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The Winner Takes It All

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Jeongguk wiggles around, trying to get comfortable on the crammed boat where he was sitting. There was a woman to his right snoring away, head resting on his shoulder. To his left was an old man with his legs so wide open that Jeongguk’s were forced to be pressed tightly together. He sighed and held his suitcase a little closer and tried to ignore the horrific smell, overall filth, and lack of space on the small boat. Jeongguk had always had an acute sense of smell so his nose was going crazy right now. It was an overwhelming mixture of alpha musk that automatically put him on edge. It didn’t look like anyone was trying to threaten him though so he tried to calm down a little.

 

The only thing keeping him sane was the small envelope that he held in his hand. Jeongguk smiled as he looked at the front of it. The paper was yellowish and somewhat crumpled from the travel it had gone through. Three stamps, assortments of different pictures, were slapped on the corner but it was what was on the middle that gave him a little hope.

 

Jeon Jeongguk was written there in a delicate cursive, each letter intricately done. Under it was the address to his law firm where the letter lay on his desk not but two weeks ago. And in the other corner there was another name.

 

Kim Taehyung

 

Jeongguk had thought he would never see that name again, not after everything that had happened five years ago. He had been in shock when he had held it in his office, staring down at it like a little child. Taehyung had taken the time to write him letter after all this time. He had been terrified for a second, thinking that it had been a letter of anger or grief. He had quickly torn it open in curiosity. His eyes ran over the content of the letter, drinking in every word.

 

 

Dear Jeonggukie,

 

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Five years to the date. I know you’re probably wondering why I’m writing this after all of this time and what happened between us. Well, maybe not. You know that years and years will pass but I won’t be able to stop thinking of you, it’s just not possible. I know you can’t either. It’s your fault after all. But, I’m not here to continue my blame on you. It’s the fifth anniversary of you know what. I wonder if you remembered. I did.

 

I couldn’t stop thinking of you tonight. I lay in bed by myself, looking in the mirror of what we could have been. What we were for that short time. It hurts me more than I’ll ever let anyone know. I always put on a mask in front of everyone else but underneath it all… I’m lonely. Around town, everyone knows me as the independent omega who doesn’t need an alpha to make it. And sometimes it is nice, showing other omegas that we can be strong on our own. But sometimes it really hurts.

 

It’s hard to watch my omega friends go home and enjoy their lives with a loving alpha. It’s hard to watch them raise a family and have everything that I can’t have. Not after what happened. So, here I am. Five years of being a lone omega and living on my own. Now, I don’t want you thinking I’m some damsel in distress because I’m not. I teach a kindergarten class and I’m doing quite fine on my own. The first year on my own was hard but as time passed I was accepted and people became more accepting of my situation.

 

I have friends who love and support me and I don’t have any enemies. It’s just… I feel like there are so many loose ends concerning you and I. So many questions that need answers. I’ll give you choice. I know it’s been five years and you may have forgotten me, I don’t know. The address on the envelope is where you can find me though if you do still want to see me. I’m not asking you to come here to fix our relationship because I’m not sure that’s what you want. But maybe we can at least fix some things and work off of that. I really want to see you, Gukkie. I’ve missed you.

 

With love,

 

Your Taehyung.

 

Jeongguk sighed and pressed the letter against his chest. Taehyung wanted to see him, Taehyung missed him. After all this time of chasing and desperately searching for the omega, he had requested to see him. His omega. Jeongguk had to bite down his grin of happiness. This was his chance. His chance to finally apologize and explain to Taehyung what had happened, and then they could finally go back to that time of bliss and dreams. It would be easier than he had expected now that Taehyung was wanting him there.

 

He thinks back to the letter. Your Taehyung. The words made his chest warm. It had been a hard five years for him as well. Every night he had dreamt of the omega, grieving that he wasn’t by his side in bed. He could fix it now though. They could be together.

 

The boat’s horn went off, deeply ringing in the air as they began to slow down. They were being pulled into the docks and people were beginning to get up. The woman sleeping on him finally woke up and walked away without a single apology. Jeongguk didn’t let it bother him though, standing up and getting his suitcase ready.

 

Everyone began to get off, all waiting in a line to get past security and finally step foot on Jeju. Jeongguk wasn’t bothered by the wait though, grinning to himself as the security guards went through his papers and moved him along.

 

He took a deep breath of the fresh air as he looked at the island. Even after five years this place was still just as beautiful. Jeongguk squeezed his hands together before walking away from the docks. Taehyung was waiting for him, waiting for their long-awaited reunion. There was a skip to his step as he hailed down a taxi.

 

Jeongguk would finally have his omega again.

 

~

 

Taehyung was woken up by a blaring alarm clock by his ear. He sluggishly opened his eyes before slamming the clock off aggressively. Damn piece of shit. He yawned and rubbed his eyes. It was the summer and he didn’t have any children to teach but he still had some work to do. He had taken up work at a bakery to keep the money coming in on his breaks; the hours were pretty short but it was still a bitch to have to wake up anyways. Eight in the morning had become a nightmarish time.

 

He finally motivated himself to get up, stretching up towards the ceiling and loudly yawning. His night shirt with the aliens on it was thrown off and he went over to the mirror to brush his wild hair back into place.

 

Taehyung’s eyes settled onto the red scarring on the skin between his neck and shoulder for a brief moment. His mating mark that had been there for five years now. He rolled his eyes and walked towards his closet to pull out his work uniform. Never trust an alpha, that was his motto. Well, maybe not all alphas. There were a couple good ones like Hoseok, Jimin, and Namjoon. The majority weren’t though. Specifically, Jeon Jeongguk.

 

Whatever. Taehyung didn’t care. It had been five years. He didn’t care that Jeongguk had waltzed over here and picked him off of his feet like a charming prince. He didn’t care that Jeongguk had mated him and looked at him like he was the world. And he really didn’t care that Jeongguk had told him the next morning that he had a girlfriend and had to go home because of law school. Yeah, whatever. It happens.

 

The sucky part about that though was that mating marks were irreversible. He and that Jeongguk were mated forever. No going back. Taehyung couldn’t go find another alpha and besides, no alpha wanted a mated omega who had been ditched anyways.

 

Basically, Taehyung was destined to be alone for the rest of his life. It was fine though. He didn’t care. Nope. He had all the children he wanted at the school he taught at, that was his family. He still had all of his friends who would always watch his back when they went out for drinks. The town he lived in didn’t judge him anymore, much more sympathetic towards his situation and somehow he become a beloved figure. Still didn’t help with the fact that no alpha wanted him.

 

But, Taehyung didn’t want an alpha. He didn’t want someone to hold him like he was the most precious thing in the world. He didn’t want someone to cuddle with him or take bubble baths with. He didn’t want someone to raise a family with. Hell no.

 

He roughly brushed his teeth, causing some of his gums to bleed before throwing the tooth brush back down in the cup holding it.

 

Taehyung continued to bristle as he pulled his uniform on and grabbed his bag, walking towards his door so he could get to the bakery a little bit before his shift started to eat breakfast.

 

God, if there was one person who he never wanted to see again, it would be that son of a bitch. Taehyung considered himself to be a calm and pleasant person. Most people who really knew him said that he was a sweet omega that just got the short end of the stick. But he swears that if he ever had to see Jeongguk again, he would give him a proper beating before throwing him off deck to drown. For sure.

 

He tries to settle down as he makes his way down onto one of the main streets where the bakery is located. A smile was the best way to show people that you were doing just fine. A couple people waved at him and he did the same. It was a small town and everyone seemed to know each other. Sometimes this was nice, after all there was always a sense of community and friendliness. The only downside was that you really couldn’t escape anyone.

 

Taehyung eventually spots his coworker and jogs so he can catch up. Well, he’s technically the manager but he still treats Taehyung like an equal. The man looks over when Taehyung joins him by his side.

 

“Hey, Jin.”

 

Jin gifts him a warm smile as the two walk down the cobblestone together.

 

“Good morning, Tae. You’re coming in early today.”

 

Taehyung nodded, pulling his bag back onto his shoulder. “Yeah, just for breakfast. Jimin will be there too, is that a problem? I swear we won’t make a mess or anything.”

 

“That’s fine, you know Jimin is always welcome.”

 

Taehyung had always appreciated Jin as a friend. Of course, Jimin was his best friend but Jin was up there. Jimin had been there for his entire childhood and even when they presented they had stayed friends. While they had gone total opposites, Jimin being an alpha and Taehyung being an omega, it had never changed the dynamics of their relationship. Jimin had just become a little more defensive about people who messed with him. A best friend who was also a body guard of sorts.

 

But Jin was an omega like himself which made him easier to talk to on certain subjects. They could talk about heats and such with ease, not embarrassed to laugh about it or joke. And after the whole fiasco with Jeongguk, well, Jin had been the most understanding. Jimin definitely was ready to behead Jeongguk but wasn’t able to empathize as well. Jin had understood his grief of losing an alpha, and rubbed his back when Taehyung had cried about his mating mark which apparently meant very little to his alpha.

 

Speaking of which, Jin decided to bring that subject up once again.

 

“Hey, wasn’t the other day-”

 

“The five-year anniversary of Jeon Jeongguk?” Taehyung finished for him.

 

Jin nodded, looking sympathetic. “I know that you still must think about him a lot even if you don’t wish to because of that stupid mating mark.”

 

Taehyung shrugged and tried to look as if he didn’t care all that much. “I mean, sometimes. It’s not like I’m thinking anything positive about him.”

 

Jin knew that Taehyung was trying to cover up his emotions again but he didn’t press on that issue, knowing that Taehyung would just get angry.

 

“I know it’s a weird question but if Jeongguk were to for some reason come back, would you consider… being with him again?”

 

“What kind of question is that? You and I both know that he’s not coming back, it’s been five years.” Taehyung snorted.

 

“Well, you did move around a lot after then, you know.” Jin added.

 

“So what? He didn’t come back and he won’t now.”

 

Jin rolled his eyes and sighed. “Just indulge me for once. If Jeongguk were to come back would you consider him?”

 

Taehyung bit his lip. He hadn’t asked himself that question before, wanting to push Jeongguk out his mind as best as possible.

 

“I mean… I don’t know. He’s a total jerk for leaving me like that. Leaving me all alone.”

 

Taehyung would be lying if the thought of Jeongguk finally coming back, his alpha, didn’t make his heart flutter just slightly. The only problem was that thoughts like that were dangerous, Taehyung knew that. There was no point in dreaming. Jeongguk was gone and even if he did come back how could Taehyung trust him? If he had the audacity to do it once than he could do it again.

 

“W-Why are you even asking that? I don’t know how I’d react until he got here. But for now, it’s a total no. He sucks, end of story.” Taehyung huffed, looking at his feet as they approached the bakery.

 

Jin smiled to himself. “Whatever you say.” He said in a sing-song voice.

 

“What is that supposed to mean?” Taehyung scoffed as Jin unlocked the front door and let the two of them inside.

 

Jin just laughed to himself as Taehyung shot him a weirded out look. The older man was acting odd today.

 

The door behind them burst open though and the two quickly turned around to see who it was. Taehyung initially smiled when a familiar alpha scent came to him, telling him that it was Jimin, but it faded as he saw his friend’s state.

 

Jimin was bent over, hands on his knees and panting as if he had just sprinted a mile without breathing. Taehyung quickly made his way over to help Jimin back up, placing a supporting hand on the other’s shoulder.

 

“What’s wrong, Jimin?” Taehyung prodded as Jin came over in curiosity.

Jimin just shook his head and Taehyung could tell that something was off.

 

“Why didn’t you tell me, Tae? I thought we were best friends and that you would tell me anything.” Jimin panted, looking obviously upset.

 

Taehyung blinked in confusion. “What are talking about? I haven’t kept anything from you, I swear.”

 

Jimin just gave him a disbelieving look that made it seem as if he truly felt betrayed. Taehyung hadn’t ever seen this expression on the other alpha.

 

“What about Jeongguk then?” Jimin asked, lips pursing in annoyance.

 

Taehyung glanced at Jin for a quick second before slowly shaking his head, not sure why Jeongguk was being brought up right now.

 

“Jimin, you need to explain what you’re talking about because I haven’t the slightest clue what you’re referencing here. I’ve told you everything about Jeongguk, and besides all of that drama went down five years ago. You’ve known everything.”

 

Jimin just scoffed. “Everything? Then why is Jeongguk here right now?”

 

Taehyung stilled for a second, lungs refusing to take in another breath. He licked his lips.

 

“Jeongguk isn’t here, Jimin. He’s over in Seoul with his stupid girlfriend probably.”

 

“Actually, Jeongguk is here because I just saw him.” Jimin responded, digging something out of his back pocket.

 

Jin finally decided to speak up after looking at Taehyung, who was currently standing as still as a rock.

 

“Jimin, are you sure it was Jeongguk you saw? You know what Jeongguk did so why would he be back here?”

 

All the proof Jimin needed was in his hand though, a small piece of paper with a number scribbled over it. Jimin handed it to Taehyung.

 

“He gave me his number just in case I needed to get in contact with him.”

 

Taehyung trembled as he slowly brought the piece of paper up to his nose, taking a deep breath in. The mark on his neck burned as Jeongguk’s smell came back to him after five years. It felt like just yesterday that this scent was on his bedsheets.

 

It couldn’t be possible though. Why would he be here? To torment him?

 

“W-Why would he… Why would he be here?” Taehyung whispered. He barely noticed how Jin was rubbing comforting circles into his back in an attempt to soothe him. He must have been giving off a wave of distress since even Jimin’s alpha nature and anger from before had started to settle down.

 

“That’s exactly what I said to him when I saw him walking down towards the hotel by the beach with his luggage. I thought he was here to stir up trouble with you. But he was oddly chipper, enthusiastic even. Seemed weirdly happy to see me even though he knows how protective I am over you. I got angry at first but then he explained to me. Told me that you had invited him back here after five years to meet up again and solve whatever issues you guys had.”

 

Taehyung looks at the floor, desperately trying to comprehend what was going on right now. Jeongguk, the alpha who had mated him and left on the same day, was here right now in the same town after five years of absence. And apparently, he was the one who had invited Jeongguk to come back.

 

He shakes his head and runs a hand through his hair. “I-I didn’t… I didn’t invite him though. Why is he saying that? I haven’t talked to him since that morning that he hightailed it out of this island for that girl.”

 

The piece of paper in his hand is crumpled up from how tightly he is clenching his fists together.

 

Jimin crosses his arms. “Jeongguk wasn’t lying about being invited though. I could smell the honesty on him, there wasn’t an ounce of deceit. His eyes as well. You… Somehow he got invited and he thinks it was from you.”

 

There’s a moment of silence shared between the three as they contemplate the situation. Jin taps his foot in thought, utter confusion plastered onto his face. Taehyung is looking similar but with an ounce more of distraught mixed in there.

 

“Well, what are you going to do?” Jin finally asks, the question that all of them had been silently asking themselves.

 

Taehyung bites his bottom lip and crosses his arms. The truth is that he didn’t exactly know what to do in this situation. Jeongguk, his mate of all people, is here after five years of absence and silence. Thinking that he’s been ceremonially invited back by Taehyung himself. It feels like a dream.

 

Jeongguk was a jerk of an alpha, there wasn’t any question of that. He had mated with an omega and left the next morning with a sad excuse of an apology. Taehyung had already had issues with self-perception after presenting as an omega in a family of alphas. There was so much hope lying on his shoulders that he knew he could achieve before it got ripped away from him. He was smart and strong, the pride of his siblings. It was like he was a totally different person though when he hit eighteen and had his first heat. His parents no longer put alpha responsibilities on him, instead having him be taught the ‘ways of an omega’. How to attract a mate a keep them basically.

 

It had been utterly humiliating. He was being treated like a doll at all times and his body wasn’t doing him any favors at all. All those muscles he had worked up in the gym started to diminish, his skin bruised easier, and his new scent caused many gazes that made his skin crawl. The surge of hormones that came along with the presentation made him feel strange at times and he often had to fight back against his biological urges at points. His siblings who had once respected him now just saw him as an omega who would be given off to an alpha soon enough.

 

Taehyung resented that idea though. He couldn’t stand the feeling that he was slowly conforming to the idealistic omega his parents wanted him to become. In an attempt to find himself and perhaps destroy the omega inside of him, he ran away from his hometown of Daegu to Jeju. For a while everything had been going well. His alpha friends that he had made here didn’t see him any differently due to his proud nature and somewhat average scent (though he always made sure to keep his suppressants a secret from them).

 

Everything had changed though when he met Jeongguk one sunny summer day. It was like his body had made a huge victory over his stubborn mind. His legs went to jelly when he had first laid eyes on the alpha walking shirtless down the sandy shores. His heart had pounded and his suppressants seemed to be overpowered somehow, his scent spiking. Taehyung had nearly died of embarrassment when the alpha had noticed, the man turning a head and promptly staring at him in interest.

 

Taehyung had never been interested in courtship due to his pride, especially not with an alpha. But none of that had seemed important when Jeongguk had walked over, water droplets falling from his perfectly sculpted body. Taehyung had flirted with him before he could even comprehend what he was doing. Jeongguk had responded though, grinning at him with cute smile and sitting next to him. The entire week that Jeongguk had been with him had seemed like a beautiful dream that had come straight from a fairytale. For the first time since his presentation, Taehyung had begun to accept his nature as an omega. It had just seemed natural with Jeongguk holding him. All of that development had been flushed down the toilet however when the alpha had left so abruptly.

 

Taehyung, who had been known as the unmated omega too stubborn and stuck-up to court was now the omega who was mated and abandoned. He didn’t earn much sympathy from his parents either. They had blamed him for leaving before knowing how to be a proper omega. How could an alpha want an omega who wasn’t submissive and willing to take care of them domestically? They begged Taehyung to come home to finish his ‘lessons’ and then they could get in contact with Jeongguk to fix all of this.

 

His parents were left wordless though when Taehyung told them that Jeongguk had left because he was already courting another omega back at home. He had just been some vacation fuck for Jeongguk to enjoy, the only problem being that Jeongguk had taken things out of hand and mated him in the heat of things. His only hope was the fact that you couldn’t just take back a mating or mate another person. Taehyung and Jeongguk would be forever bound by that. Jeongguk couldn’t mate that omega back home.

 

One advantage that Jeongguk had was that he was an alpha. Society viewed him as the dominant figure and he would be favored. He could still find a partner easily after that whole ordeal, even if he was mated. Taehyung couldn’t though. A mated omega was basically a beacon screaming ‘Don’t touch me because I’m taken!’. Almost nobody touched him in a suggestive manner, and the ones who did were so vulgar that he had no interest.

 

The embarrassment of it all had been too much to handle for a while though. Taehyung had moved around a lot after that, not wanting to stay in the same place for too long. A new place was somewhere where no one would know about his situation.

 

He tried his hardest to go back to the way he was before all of that happened. Back to normal Taehyung. It wasn’t possible though. He had new doubts about himself which led to a further disdain for his omega nature. Every heat was just a repeat of terrible memories as his body couldn’t help but to picture Jeongguk above him, pinning his wrists down on the bed. Everybody, including his friends, now looked at him in sympathy and pity. He just wanted to maintain a single ounce of pride, was that too much to ask?

 

That’s why Taehyung has some issues in terms of coming up with ideas on how to address this Jeongguk returning fiasco. A good part of him just wanted to tell Jeongguk to fuck off and go away. And also a part that told him to forgive him immediately and be his omega again. That’s his head and body debating again.

 

Taehyung also had to consider why Jeongguk even came over, letter or not. Jeongguk was supposed to be working in some high dollar law firm with an obedient and perfect omega waiting back home with dinner. Jeongguk doesn’t really have any motive to be here anyway, right?

 

He sighs and closes his eyes, head starting to hurt from all this thought. He knows what he should do, what he probably needs to do before anything else. Ask Jeongguk to see the letter and then tell him that it wasn’t him who had written it or sent it.

 

“Jimin, do you know where Jeongguk is?” He finally asks, sounded exasperated.

 

His two companions look at him in surprise before Jimin finally spoke up.

 

“He should still be by the hotel down the road. I think he said that he would be on the beach for some time, said that he’s been missing it.”

 

Missing it, huh.

 

Taehyung sighs and puts a hand over his face in frustration. He was really going to have to go and talk to him, wasn’t he? He turns to Jin and gives him an apologetic look.

 

“Is it okay if I go talk to him? I swear I’ll be back for my second shift.” Taehyung says, truthfully since he really doesn’t want to talk to the other for too long.

 

Jin raises his hands and awkwardly laughs. “You take as much as you need.”

 

Taehyung nods, thanking the other omega for being understanding. He looks back over to Jimin.

 

“Sorry for assuming that you weren’t telling me shit…” Jimin mumbles, looking somewhat deflated.

 

“It’s okay.” Taehyung replied. “You said it yourself, Jeongguk thought he was telling the truth. You couldn’t have known that something fishy is going on here with that letter.”

 

He pats Jimin on the shoulder before heading to the door, taking a deep breath in anticipation for what he’s about to do, the person he’s about to see.

 

Before he can step out the door though, Jimin says one last thing.

 

“Good luck.”

 

Taehyung blinks. “Thanks.” He has a hard time believing that he will.

 

It’s hard to say what’s going on in his mind as he walks down the street, small hotel that Jeongguk’s staying in already within sight. His heart is pounding against his chest and there’s an obvious sense of excitement that he desperately tries to ignore. He convinces himself that it’s just his nerves and that he should be nervous, after all he had to confront an alpha who has done him much trouble in his life.

 

The hotel is finally standing directly in front of him and he clenches his fists together. He can be brave. Jeongguk doesn’t hold the power here, he does. Jeongguk doesn’t matter. He never did. All that happened five years ago was just a terrible mistake and they were stuck in a sticky situation. The alpha probably didn’t even care, only came here to settle some stuff.

 

He walks around the building to the back entrance, where the sand and soft waves lie. The air smells of ocean, a salty breeze that brings Taehyung some comfort.

 

But there’s no one in sight when Taehyung finally walks out onto the beach. He stands there in solitude, sand blowing over his shoes.

 

A scent hits him though and his knees wobble just slightly. The salty air now is mixed in with hints of rosewood and something earthy. Distinctively Jeongguk. He swallows and closes his eyes one last time, knowing that Jeongguk is coming closer by the sounds of sand moving and the ever-increasing scent.

 

It’s so familiar and it reminds him of their first meeting. It reminds him how awestruck he had been at the time, utterly dumbfounded that someone like Jeongguk could even exist.

 

A bitter smile finds place on his lips when Jeongguk gently calls out to him. It’s the first time in five years that he’s heard that timbre. The sound resonates and he fights the urge to shiver. He refuses to look weak here. Refuses to look like an omega.

 

“Tae?”

 

It’s the nickname Jeongguk had always used so fondly. It sounds weird to hear.

 

Taehyung finally works up the courage to turn around and he has to bite the inside of his cheek to stop the reaction his body is fighting to show. His breath is taken away when he sees the alpha.

 

He’s nicely dressed, suit and everything. His hair is parted neatly and it’s pitch black. Jeongguk looks more like an alpha now, if that’s even possible. He looks more filled out, an inch higher and still as muscular as ever. Taehyung holds back a swallow.

 

Jeongguk looks… good. To say the very least. His lips are still the same, with the little mole under his bottom lip still there. His nose still has that cute bridge that Taehyung used to kiss with a grin. It’s the eyes though that has him nearly reeling. It was like a look into the past. Jeongguk’s eyes held a profound depth that couldn’t be described. They looked at him, curious and wide.

 

There was a brief moment of silence as the two mates stared upon each other for the first time in years.

 

“…It’s been a while, Jeongguk.” Taehyung said, voice and body a bit stiff.

 

Jeongguk slowly nodded, taking a step forward so they could be closer. Taehyung looked away for a second, not sure how to deal with this sudden close proximity.

 

“You…you look beautiful.” Jeongguk says, hands curling up by his sides as he did not know what to do with them.

 

Taehyung’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion at the bluntness of that statement, not sure why the other was saying that after five years. He peered down and looked at the bakery uniform he was wearing. It was a pretty boring outfit that didn’t accentuate any of his features.

 

“Um… thanks?”

 

Jeongguk swallowed, and Taehyung could smell the anxiety and excitement rolling off of the alpha.

 

Taehyung was beginning to become unnerved by how Jeongguk was longingly gazing at him so he rubbed the back of his neck and tried to get to the point. All of this was becoming confusing after all.

 

“So why are you here?”

 

The alpha smiled at him, one of those bunny ones that he had loved so much. He tries to ignore it.

 

“I got your letter and I came over immediately.” Jeongguk replies enthusiastically, eyes twinkling. Taehyung is confused as to why the other looks so… happy? What the hell was in that letter?

 

Jeongguk reaches out and grabs Taehyung’s hands, holding them in his own. Taehyung freezes in shock as Jeongguk’s thumb rubs over his skin in a gentle manner.

 

“I want to thank you, Tae. For sending that letter and giving me another chance to prove myself to you. It means the world to me; you have no idea. It’s been such a long time and I thought you might have forgotten about me… In that time, I’ve learned a lot about myself and changed as well… I wanted you to see that and know that I can still be your alpha, your mate.” Jeongguk softly says, eyes loving and he pulls Taehyung’s hands to his heart.

 

Taehyung stares at him with wide eyes, not a clue as to what is going on here. Was Jeongguk trying to mock him or something?

 

“S-speaking of that letter… May I please see it?” Taehyung musters out.

 

Jeongguk smiles at him and pulls his hands back to reach into his suit pocket. Taehyung tries to breathe but finds that air isn’t coming easily right now. He feels like falling over right now, body willing him to go into the alpha’s hold.

 

The other finally pulls the letter out and hands it over to Taehyung, still looking at him with those eyes that he can’t meet.

 

Taehyung has a whole new onslaught of emotions when he looks at the envelope. The cursive writing on the paper matches his handwriting to the exact detail. It’s almost frightening, as if he really had written this himself. Jeongguk is quick to pick up on it and he leans in.

 

“I know this is all so sudden but I’ve been waiting so long for you to finally want me back.”

 

Taehyung sends him a quick glance before opening the envelope.

 

Want me back? That seemed rich since Jeongguk was the one to have left him. What the hell was he even talking about?

 

He unfolds the letter and begins to read.

 

Jeongguk’s smile falters a little bit and Taehyung guesses it’s because the other doesn’t know why he’s reading over the letter, since he was supposed to be the one who had written it in the first place.

 

The handwriting is his. The style of writing is his as well. But Taehyung knows for a fact that he didn’t write it. He didn’t write this letter of longing and desire, even if there was a part of him that could. He bites his lip and he continues to read.

 

A lot of stuff written down was personal, things that only his close friends could have known. Suspicions begin to arise as he reads on. Whoever wrote this was close enough to him to know this information.

 

Your Taehyung

 

He shakily exhales as he fumbles with the paper, enough to the point where Jeongguk gently takes the letter from him to fold back up.

 

The alpha looks at him, enthusiasm still there but with a hint of concern now.

 

“I-I… I pray that everything you wrote there was true. Because I really do want to talk to you and hopefully restore our relationship. There’s nothing that I want more in this world than that.”

 

Taehyung doesn’t know what’s going on. Who wrote that letter? Why did they write that letter? Why is Jeongguk acting like this? Does he actually want what he is saying?

 

It’s becoming too much to handle.

 

Jeongguk tries to go on but Taehyung interrupts him.

 

“I didn’t write that.”

 

The alpha pauses and awkwardly laughs for a second.

 

“What do you mean, you didn’t write it?” He asks, scent becoming more stressed and in turn Taehyung becomes more anxious.

 

“I mean, I didn’t write it. I never wrote that letter nor did I sent it. I don’t know who wrote all of that because it certainly wasn’t me.”

 

Jeongguk blinks.

 

“What?”

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Day One

 

Jeongguk was confident in the fact that his parents hated him. Not even a mild hate, but an actual full out resentment. He understood that there was a lot of responsibility resting on his shoulders, being a pure-bred alpha and also the son of a very powerful lawyer whose name had become well known in Seoul. It just seemed like he could never fill his father’s shoes however, which earned him disdain and criticism at every turn.

 

His parents forced him into private schools all throughout his childhood and made sure that he became a law major in college. Things weren't great, but at least he was in the top of his class which subdued his father for a short time. He couldn’t have imagined what would happen next though. When summer break came around, his parents had a very certain surprise waiting for him at home. An arranged courtship with some omega he had never even met before.

 

He had obviously argued, saying that he wanted a mate who he actually loved. A mate of his choosing that he would actually want to be with come twenty years. He had seen the effects of an arranged courtship after all, his parents being the prime example. They were together for financial benefits and because of traditional views on mating. Their love wasn’t true however, even with the mating mark. Jeongguk didn’t want that, absolutely not. His pleas went over deaf ears though and his parents demanded that he comply.

 

So, here he was. Jeongguk had decided to take one small vacation by himself to Jeju to calm down before meeting this supposed omega female he was being forced to court. But even the beautiful island and its soft beaches did nothing to soothe his nerves and frustration. He had two weeks by himself here and he had spent the first week just brooding and kicking sand around.

 

One Monday morning he decided to actually go and do something. He hadn’t worked out since he had gotten here, just stress eating a shit ton of junk food instead. A morning swim sounded good to start his new week off nicely. He knew that when he got home everything would go back to shit so he should enjoy his last week of freedom. The beach was empty for the most part as he chose a more unpopular area, wanting to swim instead of run into small children playing around.

 

The water was cool and felt great with the blazing sun above him. Swimming had always been a favorite of his and the waves did little to stop his movements. After thirty minutes of this he figured that a rest would be good so he headed towards the shore. There were a couple more people laying on the sand than before and he decided to head off before the place got any more crowded.

 

He could tell that there were some eyes following him as he walked across the sand, rubbing a towel over his wet hair. It didn’t bother him though until a scent like no other hit his nose, causing him to stop in his tracks. It was like every tense muscle in his body relaxed, every stress forgotten and thrown aside. The aroma that surrounded his being was of butterfly bush and strawberry. He blinked a couple of times, looking around to see who the scent belonged to.

 

His eyes settled on one boy laying on a towel with sunglasses and a beach robe and he immediately realized that it was him. Due to the sunglasses he couldn’t really see what the omega’s facial expression were, but Jeongguk did know what he was feeling due to that scent. Jeongguk didn’t notice that he was doing the same though.

 

A couple of steps later, he was standing directly in front of the omega, who looked up at him with a playfully innocent smile. Jeongguk swallowed as the boy took off his sunglasses. To say that the omega was the most beautiful person he had ever laid eyes on was an understatement. His body was like the ones you would see in magazines and wonder if anybody really looked like that. The gentle breeze blowing by tussled the omega’s brown locks of hair and Jeongguk realized that he had never felt like this before. He just stood there staring at him like a rock before the omega spoke up.

 

“Take a picture, it’ll last longer.” The other joked, eyes twinkling and playful. His voice was much deeper than Jeongguk had expected but it just peaked his interest more.

 

Jeongguk returned the grin, slowly getting down so he could sit by the omega. Something inside of his chest fluttered as the other boy inched a little closer. Jeongguk could see the details on his face now which didn’t make any of this better. There was a mole on the tip of his nose and on his bottom lip, which made the alpha reel from how cute it was. His cheeks were plush and Jeongguk felt an odd desire to reach over and pinch them.

 

It was like something out of his dreams. Soft hair, golden skin, lithe frame, and a beautiful smile. They had both gotten closer somehow, only inches away at this point.

 

“I’d rather look at you like this.” He replied, and the omega smiled brightly at him, lips shaping into a rectangle.

 

“What’s your name? I haven’t seen you around these parts before.” The other asked, leaning down on one arm to look up at Jeongguk.

 

“I’m Jeongguk, I’m here on vacation for the next week so you probably haven’t seen me before.”

 

“Jeongguk.” The omega repeated, closing his eyes and saying it a couple more times. “That’s a pretty name; I haven’t met a Jeongguk before. I’m Taehyung.”

 

“Taehyung.” Jeongguk said and it rolled off his tongue like honey.  

 

“You said you’re here on vacation?”

 

Jeongguk nodded and joined Taehyung on the towel as the other had moved over to make room. Their shoulders brushed but neither moved, letting the skin touch.

 

“Yeah I’ve been here for a week and I have one left. I’m on summer break from university and I thought a little solo trip here would be nice.”

 

Taehyung nodded and smiled. “Have you done anything fun yet?”

 

“Well… not exactly. I’ve been eating and staying in my room for the majority of it really.” He truthfully tells. This was supposed to be a trip to take his mind off of things but all he had done was brood and overthink the situation he was currently stuck in.

 

“What?! You’ve been here for a week and you haven’t even done anything? What’s got you down?” Taehyung questioned, bumping into Jeongguk a little to emphasize his point.

 

Jeongguk sincerely debated on telling Taehyung the truth, that he was forced into an arranged courtship without any say. But something stopped him. Something instinctive, the alpha inside of him begging him to not say anything about the subject. He told his first lie, one that he thought was minimal and wouldn’t do any harm.

 

“I’ve just been so stressed about my college classes. I’m on break but I still have to worry about my next semester. My father is a lawyer so he expects me to follow suit and if you take anything from this conversation, let it be that becoming a law major is suck ass.”

 

Taehyung laughed and Jeongguk’s lips curled upwards.

 

“That sounds tough, and it’s impressive that I’m laying next to such a smart alpha. Should I be nervous?”

 

The praise and joking made Jeongguk feel a little weak. He turned to the omega and their faces were close enough where they could feel each other’s breaths.

 

“Nervous isn’t the word I would use.”

 

Taehyung raised a brow at him, a smirk forming on his lips. The omega got back up on his knees and brushed some of the sand off of himself.

 

“Tell you what, Jeongguk. Since you’re obviously not doing much but having a boring time here, I’ll show you around the island. What do you think?”

 

Jeongguk swallowed before grinning. Spending a little more time with Taehyung sounded perfect and every part of him seemed to agree with the suggestion.

 

Taehyung began to pack all of his stuff up, shoving his towel into his bag and Jeongguk could tell that he was rushing so they could go already. The bag was pretty big and Taehyung’s face showed a small amount of effort as he pulled it over his shoulder. Before he could get it all the way on though, Jeongguk stopped him and grabbed one of the straps.

 

“Here, let me carry that for you.”

 

The omega gave him a ‘really?’ face and pulled the bag on fully.

 

“I’m not that weak where I can’t carry a little bag.”

 

Jeongguk smiled as Taehyung had to lean over to one side due to the uneven weight. He was cute.

 

“Alright, but don’t be afraid to ask if you need help.”

 

Taehyung just scoffed and they started to walk away from the beach. Taehyung was a little shorter and the bag on his shoulder made him walk a little slower. Jeongguk pretended to not notice and walked beside the omega with a grin. It seemed that Taehyung was one of those proud omegas who didn’t want to be helped. It seemed that over the years more omegas were trying to break the stereotypes that had always held them down.

 

Omegas could attend college but it was nearly impossible to get through harder programs, even if they were perfectly capable of doing so. They were expected to take on smaller, more caring roles in society and were treated carefully. Independence wasn’t really a word people used when talking about omegas.

 

Coming from such a traditional family made Jeongguk understand some of these roles in society, but it was still refreshing to meet someone like Taehyung.

 

“Where to first, tour guide?” Jeongguk asked jokingly.

 

“I have somewhere special to show you first. We can save the tourist traps for later, but for right now you need to see what makes Jeju really special. I have some food so we can picnic up there together.”

 

It sounds suspiciously like a date but that doesn’t deter Jeongguk in the slightest.

 

Taehyung seems to know his way around the island and all of the people. Jeongguk can’t help but notice that a few surprised glances are thrown their way, and that the air smells like curiosity. Was it weird that Taehyung was walking around with an alpha?

 

It didn’t seem to bother the other and they kept walking together. Their route soon went away from the main streets and they stepped onto dirt paths that led into the forest. Jeongguk held back his chuckle as Taehyung began to puff from carrying the bag up the steep hill.

 

The scenery so far was phenomenal and it already brought him a sense of calm. He regretted being so useless for the first week here and not going out and seeing what the island had to offer.

 

Sunlight creeped past the leaves of the trees covering them and made it look like a sea. Noises of the trees blowing and animals chirping made for a very relaxed setting. Taehyung eventually led them off of the dirt path and through some brush that slowed them down just slightly. This destination that Taehyung was taking him to definitely wasn’t a tourist place which excited him.

 

After a couple of minutes, they made their way out of the forest and to an open cliff side with the ocean waiting just below. Jeongguk stared in amazement at the sight, a perfect view of the blue ocean crashing against the rocky shoreline. He could almost feel Taehyung’s smile at the fact that he actually enjoyed the place. The omega set the heavy bag down on the ground and began to pull out the contents and lay them out on the ground.

 

Jeongguk turned around and his eyes widened in surprise when he saw Taehyung slip out of his robe with a sly grin. The omega was definitely rebellious since omegas were not really supposed to be undressing like that in front of another alpha, especially one that they were not courting. It made his chest warm however and he felt a rush like no other.

 

Taehyung was wearing a very short pair of shorts that looked more like sleepwear than anything. He then broke out into a full out sprint and Jeongguk stood there frozen as the other ran past him and leaped out over the cliff. His instincts went into overdrive as he saw the omega disappear downwards and he quickly ran over to see where he had gone and if he was safe.

 

A huge splash was heard and as he peered over the ledge he saw a huge spray of water go upwards and for a second he went into a worried mode, stressing over if there were rocks on the bottom or if Taehyung was a strong enough swimmer. He suddenly cared deeply, not wanting to see Taehyung struggling.

 

But his worrying was for nothing as the omega resurfaced with a laugh, whipping his head back and forth to get the hair out of his face. Jeongguk sighed in relief and almost wanted to yell down at the other to not worry him like that.

 

“Come on! Jump!” Taehyung shouted gleefully, swimming in place and waiting for Jeongguk to come down and join him.

 

Jeongguk stared at the boy before shaking his head. “Are you crazy? You just jumped like five floors!”

 

Taehyung laughed and the sound seemed so smooth and deep. “Are you telling me that you’re scared? Come on, live a little and come down here with me!”

 

The entire idea of jumping off of a cliff into the ocean didn’t exactly seem like the smartest or safest idea in Jeongguk’s opinion. But the thought of being down there and maybe impressing Taehyung was appealing enough for him to begrudgingly get back up on his feet and walk back a few steps. He gulped and prayed that he didn’t jump onto a rock before running and taking leap of faith, closing his eyes as he heard Taehyung yell out in support.

 

A moment later he was breaking the surface of the ocean and salty water pulled him in. After a few seconds of adjustment, he pushed his arms down and went swimming towards the light above him. He took a deep exhale as he came up, blinking to get the water out of his eyes. Taehyung was giggling beside of him and the omega gently held on to his bicep as Jeongguk caught his breath again.

 

Bright light shined down upon their bodies and they seemed to glisten in the water. Jeongguk was a strong swimmer and was able to hold up Taehyung as he laughed away in joy. He gazed down on the omega and simply beamed at how Taehyung leaned upon him.

 

They swimmed about for a bit at a relaxed place, Taehyung showing him all of the nooks and crannies of the small cliffside area. The two of them watched as colorful crabs walked across rocks and native birds flew down to catch them. It was like a hidden wonderland, just him and Taehyung without anyone else interfering.

 

When they grew hungry they climbed back up to the top where their stuff was by a small pathway. Jeongguk had made sure to have Taehyung go first, wanting to be able to catch the omega should he fall. The lunch that Taehyung had packed was actually quite big and they were able to share.

 

Taehyung pulled out a few thermos and containers and they began to eat side by side. Jeongguk hummed in appreciation as he chewed on some of the curry.

 

“This is really good.” He complimented, food still in his mouth.

 

“Thanks, it’s not much but I do know how to cook a couple of meals. Professionally trained, in a way.”

 

Jeongguk swallowed his food and saw the disdain on Taehyung’s face after the comment.

 

“Your family required you to go under that ‘omega training’ huh?”

 

Taehyung rolled his eyes and nodded. “Yup, and that’s the reason I came here to Jeju. I was born and raised in Daegu and I was expected to live my life there as well. You see, my entire family is made up of alphas so it was a surprise that I came out as an omega at eighteen. Thankfully my family was accepting enough to still love me even though I presented this way, but they still saw me like any other omega. Weak, helpless, dependent. They thought my main purpose in life was now to find a mate and settle down with them, like an accessory for an alpha to carry around. I got tutors and all that stupid shit trying to help me become more submissive and polite. I mean, of course there were changes when I became an omega, I can’t deny that. But not to the point where I was a totally different person. I wanted… I needed to be treated like a person, not a doll. So, I ran off. I became the disappointment of my family and a disgrace of an omega.”

 

He rolled over onto his back and Jeongguk looked down at how the omega gazed at the sky.

 

“Even though I’m an omega, I still want to act like Taehyung. I don’t want to become some stereotype.”

 

Jeongguk tilted his head in confusion. “Why can’t you be both? You can still be Taehyung while being an omega. Do you think being an omega is a bad thing?”

 

“Of course.” Taehyung scoffed. “We’re the joke of all societies. Our bodies lack muscle and basically all strength, we’re expected to be housewives, and no one takes us seriously. God, how I wish I presented as anything but an omega.”

 

“Well, yes, omegas are treated unfairly and always have been. But just because society is screwed up doesn’t mean that you should hate being an omega and reject your true self, if anything you should embrace your nature and strive to prove to others that you’re worthy of being called equal. How can you expect others to respect you when you can’t even respect yourself?”

 

Taehyung sighed and threw a hand over his eyes. “It’s harder than you think it is, Jeongguk… I don’t even know why I’m telling you all of this, we’ve only just met after all.”

 

Jeongguk leaned over and pulled Taehyung’s hand away from his face, letting their eyes meet. Taehyung’s eyes were a dark brown but it seemed like Jeongguk could look deep within them.

 

“You can be honest with me; I won’t judge you. I promise. But I do think you can find a compromise within yourself, being an omega isn’t a terrible thing. It’s just who you are; you shouldn’t have to reject such a significant part of yourself.”

 

Taehyung blinked at him before giving him a small smile.

 

“You’re one of the few people who think that then. Even my close friends think I should just choose one, be an omega or be Taehyung. You’re a bit odd, Jeongguk. In a good way though.”

 

The small amount of tension in the air seemed to dissipate after that and they fell easily back into simpler conversations. They laid side by side, fingers just barely touching.

 

“I don’t want to sound weird or anything, but you smell really good. Is that weird to say?” Taehyung asked, turning his head over so they were facing each other.

 

“Not really, since I think the same about you.” Jeongguk laughed, because it was honestly true. He may not have noticed the omega that morning had it not been for his alluring scent.

 

“Really?” Taehyung rolled over his body, so close to being on top of the alpha that Jeongguk had to remember to breathe.

 

“What do I smell like?” He questioned in curiosity.

 

Jeongguk bit his lip in thought. It was so nice that it was hard to explain properly.

 

“Well… sweet. Really sweet. But not the kind that’s too overpowering, you know? You know how there’s an artificial sweet and a natural sweet?”

 

Taehyung nodded.

 

“Yeah, well the natural kind that’s pleasant. There’s a hint of fruit like fresh berries. The best part though is that you really smell like butterfly bush, which basically means you smell like a god.”

 

That statement had the omega smiling and Taehyung leaned in a little closer.

 

“Could I…?”

 

Jeongguk quickly understood what the other was asking for and he was willing to comply. He turned his head to the side, exposing his neck to the omega. He had never been asked such a thing and to anyone else it would certainly be a very weird request. Omegas weren't supposed to be this upfront and blunt about things like this but Jeongguk found it endearing.

 

Taehyung pressed his nose against the skin there and took a deep breath, causing Jeongguk to shiver just slightly.

 

“Curse you and your alpha charms.” Taehyung muttered as he leaned back, pupils dilated and cheeks a little red.

 

“Oh yeah? So why are you here with me and stupid alpha charms then?” Jeongguk grinned, knowing that his scent was affecting Taehyung just as badly as the omega’s was to him.

 

“Because I feel bad for a grumpy law major who hasn’t done anything yet on his vacation?”

 

Jeongguk rolled over and pinched Taehyung’s sides, causing the omega to squeak and try to push him off.

 

“That’s it? Nothing else?” The alpha prodded, tickling the other with his fingers, strong enough to where Taehyung could only giggle and squirm about. When he finally stopped, Taehyung was beaming in a manner that was so adorable that Jeongguk just wanted to hold him tightly within his arms.

 

“I’ve never felt this way before.” Taehyung happily sighed, closing his eyes so the sun wasn’t shining directly into them.

 

“Yeah… me neither.” Jeongguk quietly agreed.

 

It was peculiar indeed, Jeongguk thought. The fact that he already felt as if he had known Taehyung for years and years when in fact they had must met that morning. There was just an obvious connection between the two of them, perhaps that was the reason why they were both so attracted to each other’s scents. Taehyung just seemed so perfect; his body was sculpted beautifully and he just seemed to glow in the sun. The omega wasn’t just a gorgeous specimen though, he had personality and wasn’t some boring pushover. It just made him more bitter to the fact that another omega he had no interest in was waiting back in Seoul for him.

 

“Being with an alpha like this is a first as well for me.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Well, as you can probably guess I don’t really go out of my way to look appealing for other alphas. Courtship has always been a delicate subject for me after all. It’s basically the whole omega vs Taehyung debate. There’s times where I really want to court and times where I really don’t. And it doesn’t help that my friends always get involved somehow.” Taehyung laughed quietly.

 

“Jin, an omega, is always trying to find a match for me. He thinks I just need to go out with a bunch of alphas until I find the right one for me. It basically ends with me going on these terribly awkward dates with random people just to make him feel better. And the polar opposite of Jin is my best friend, Jimin. He’s an alpha and he’s always been pretty defensive of me. He agrees more with the fact that I need to be me and not worry about any other alphas. He scares away any people I go on second dates with.”

 

“Are you sure that’s not because he’s interested in you?” Jeongguk asked, not liking the sound of this Jimin guy.

 

Taehyung shook his head. “Nah, he’s been courting this one beta named Yoongi for quite a while now. I think they’re considering mating sometime soon. Jimin’s always been there for me and seen me through a lot of hardships. I think as an alpha it’s hard to see me off, to have another person be responsible over me. He just doesn’t get that I can handle myself and any alpha that I’m interested in.”

 

“I guess I should avoid him then, sounds like he’ll try to jump me if he sees me with you.” Jeongguk snorted.

 

That caused the other to laugh and nod. “Oh, definitely. Jimin’s scared of the alphas I like after all.”

 

Jeongguk’s heart soared and his cheeks became pink.

 

Taehyung looked over at him and winked. “We’ll keep this a secret between you and me.”

 

The two of them remained in silence for a good while after that, comfortably relaxing in the sun’s light and enjoying each other’s company. Jeongguk was pretty sure that this was what pure bliss felt like. He could lay here for the rest of his life if Taehyung was the person next to him. This moment, he never wanted it to end.

 

To stay here on this island, to forget about home, that was what he desired. If only he hadn’t been born to his parents, with no responsibilities to go into law and have an arranged courtship. Life was truly cruel to have something so perfect just out of his reach.

 

He was thrusted out of his head though when Taehyung suddenly sat up.

 

“Oh shit!” He exclaimed, already shoving things into his bag.

 

Jeongguk sat up as well, somewhat worried by the omega’s sudden behavior. Was there something wrong?

 

“What is it?”

 

Instead of the apprehensive face he was expecting from the other, he was met with an expression of excitement.

 

“I totally forgot! There’s a summer festival going on in the east side of town! Come on, we have to go!”

 

Jeongguk quickly began to help pack up all of the containers and blankets and put them into Taehyung’s bag. The omega quickly pulled a shirt back on and handed one to Jeongguk as well. It looked like Taehyung was trying to pick up the bag to carry once again but Jeongguk stopped him.

 

“Here, let me carry it this time. Not because I think you can’t handle it but because I want to. You carried it up the hill so I’ll carry it down. Okay?”

 

Taehyung’s lips pouted out and it looked like he was going to reject that offer, looking mighty defensive over letting Jeongguk carry it for him.

 

Jeongguk gave him a gentle smile though, holding out a hand. “Please?”

 

The omega looked at him suspiciously for a couple more seconds before sighing and handing it over. Jeongguk grinned and took the bag from the other, glad that he hadn’t upset Taehyung or insulted him.

 

With a hum, Taehyung got back onto his feet and brushed some of the dirt off of his knees, stretching his arms up to the sky. They made their way back down through the forest, moving much quicker now that Taehyung wasn’t being held down by extra weight. Jeongguk still walked by his side though, letting the omega set the pace and lead the way.

 

It was late afternoon by the time they reached the main road again, the pavement hot under their feet. They two of them skipped about, trying to jump and land on the shadowed parts of the road so they wouldn’t burn the skin of their feet. It caused laughter between them, looking at each other widely jump about and squeaking when they touched a hot spot. Some of the other people around them gave them weird looks but it didn’t bother the duo in the slightest.

 

They were going pretty fast so they reached the festival in good time. Jeongguk smiled in wonder as Taehyung grabbed his hand and led him in. There were a lot more people here and the place was beautifully colored. Many people were wearing traditional outfits or costumes, leaving them to look pretty casual. Children ran about with food and toys, yelling and laughing as the adults followed after them. Jeongguk hadn’t ever been allowed to one of these as a child, his parents saying they were ridiculous and stupid.

 

Taehyung quickly dragged him over a booth where food was being sold, the smell making Jeongguk want to drool. The man there seemed to recognize Taehyung and the surprise was evident on his face from seeing the omega with an alpha here. They bought some Dak-kkochi and went on their way, watching performers and singers light up the festival. Their shoulders kept bumping together and from the corner of his eye, Jeongguk could see the smile that Taehyung was trying to hold back.

 

Jeongguk ended spending all of his spare change in an attempt to win Taehyung a stuffed Pikachu plushy but it ended up being worth it when the omega squealed in delight and hugged him tightly when he won.

 

He hadn’t had this much fun in years, to be honest. The festival was incredible but for the majority of the time he just watched in awe as Taehyung guided him around by the hand, pointing things out enthusiastically and singing along with the music being played. Jeongguk found himself joining in even though he usually wasn’t that type of person, dancing and loudly singing with Taehyung, eating food and being messy because there weren't any people here who could tell them to act normally. He felt free.

 

When an array of fireworks went bursting into the air to signal the ending of the festival, Jeongguk bent over so Taehyung could sit on his shoulders, standing up and letting the omega have the best view of the night sky flooding with vibrant colors. One of Taehyung’s hands rested in his hair, gently stroking the dark locks as loud booms silenced all other surrounding noises. The omega really weighed nothing to Jeongguk and he stood there with the biggest lopsided grin on his face.

 

There was an old couple in front of them and Jeongguk looked at them for a brief moment as the boy on his shoulder still stared at the fireworks. From the smell he could tell it was an alpha and omega couple and he felt his chest warm from the sight. The alpha had their arms wrapped protectively around the omega’s waist, lips brushing against the other’s ear and happiness written all over their face.

 

Jeongguk wanted that kind of love. Something that could last until the very last years of his life and even into the next. Taehyung was wiggling around in excitement above him and something inside of him was burning. His parents had always told him that alphas were meant to be stoic and serious, dominant and not always showing their emotions. Jeongguk thought that was total bullshit. How could he be expected to be emotionless when someone like Taehyung was on his shoulders? He wanted to feel every possible emotion right now, not lock it away in his heart.

 

A huge bang was heard and Jeongguk looked up just in time to see the finale. A huge firework went flying into the sky, exploding with a mass of red and blue, smaller fireworks of different colors following behind it and making it a true spectacle to be seen. The light reflected in Jeongguk’s eyes and he couldn’t help but think that the entire thing was somewhat inspiring. The entire crowd was cheering and from the mass of voices he could hear Taehyung’s deeper timbre shouting in glee.

 

People started to clear out after that, bellies full and legs weary from dancing and running about. Jeongguk felt like he could run a marathon right now, heart pumping and almost bursting out of his chest. He didn’t want this day to end, for more reasons than one. It was one day closer to going home and returning to the sticky situation he was stuck in. It was also one day closer to leaving Taehyung and facing reality.

 

He kneeled down to let Taehyung hop off of his shoulders and he missed the weight when the omega stepped down onto the ground. When he stood back up though, Taehyung embraced him and rested his head in the space between his neck and head. The warmth was well welcomed and Jeongguk wrapped his arms around the smaller man in return.

 

“Thank you.” Taehyung said, voice muffled from the cloth of the shirt Jeongguk was wearing currently.

 

Jeongguk held him a little tighter. “Of course.”

 

They walked back from the festival in relative silence, both not sure what to say now that the day was coming to an end. The sky was dark and stars were the only light coming from it. Taehyung was going back to his apartment that he shared with Jimin and Jeongguk was walking him back. He had said it was because it was dark and late but the truth was that he wanted to look at the other for just a little longer tonight before saying goodbye.

 

“There it is.” Taehyung quietly said, pointing to a small building on the end of the road.

 

Jeongguk really didn’t want to say goodbye.

 

Smaller steps were made and it was obvious that both were trying to stall around. The time to say goodnight finally came though as they reached the yellow door of Taehyung’s apartment. They stood facing each other in silence for a couple of seconds.

 

Jeongguk was the first to break the silence, not wanting this to be the end.

 

“Um… I’m not sure what your schedule is but if you’re not busy I still have the rest of the week here and I’m sure there’s still plenty of the island to explore… But only if you want!” He quickly added. There was nothing he wanted more than to see the omega again but if Taehyung didn’t want it then he didn’t want to pressure him.

 

That was something he evidently didn’t need to worry about however since Taehyung’s face immediately brightened.

 

“Oh! Of course, I would love to keep showing you around! I-I’ll be here tomorrow morning if you want to come by. I can show you some other cool places.” Taehyung’s voice was a little higher than usual, obviously pleased by the fact that Jeongguk still wanted to hang out.

 

Jeongguk gave him a wide grin and nodded. “Okay… Awesome.”

 

Taehyung bit his lip and Jeongguk swallowed.

 

There was still something to be done but neither knew how to start it. After a few seconds, it was Taehyung to finally break.

 

The omega quickly leaned in a pressed a kiss against Jeongguk’s lips and then immediately pulled back, cheeks red and eyes wide. It seemed that he was nervous as to how the alpha would react.

 

Jeongguk just smiled though and pulled the other back in for a longer kiss, placing a hand on the small of his back. Taehyung seemed to melt in his hold, wrapping his arms around the alpha’s neck and opening up his lips so Jeongguk could deepen the kiss.

 

Their tongues met and Taehyung made a breathy noise, letting Jeongguk take control. Before he could do anything though the door slammed open and the two separated in surprise.

 

A sudden scent reached Jeongguk, one of another alpha. An angry alpha at that. A shorter man who looked to be the same age as Taehyung stood there in the doorway, arms crossed and lips pressed into a fine line.

 

Taehyung didn’t pull back completely, still letting Jeongguk’s hands rest on his body. He smiled and still looked a little giddy from the kiss.

 

“Hey, Jimin. I thought you were going to be out on a date with Yoongi tonight?”

 

“I was. It’s nearly midnight.” Jimin deadpanned, voice showing his displeasure at the situation.

 

“You didn’t tell me that you would be out late.”

 

Taehyung licked his lips and giggled softly. “Sorry, I was showing Jeongguk here around the island and then we went to the summer festival. We must have lost track of the time.”

 

Jimin glared at Jeongguk and there was an obvious ‘hate at first sight’ situation going on.

 

“Hi.” Jeongguk finally said.

 

“Hi.”

 

The two alphas continued to glare daggers at each other as Taehyung took his bag back and took a step towards Jimin. He looked back at Jeongguk.

 

“I’ll be waiting here for you tomorrow, Guk.” His voice sounded hopeful.

 

“I’ll come for you.” He responded, softer than he had ever heard it be.

 

Jimin swiftly let Taehyung back into the apartment before glancing one last time at Jeongguk and slamming the door in his face.

 

He seemed super pleasant.

 

As Jeongguk walked back to the hotel he could feel his pulse beating. He wondered about what he would do about this arranged courtship. It seemed like there was no possible way of getting out of it. It was about business and he knew how his father was with business.

 

His mind wandered to Taehyung. He should at least enjoy his last week of freedom with Taehyung, he shouldn’t let the situation at home bother him now.

 

He was aware that his time with Taehyung was limited, and Taehyung had to be aware as well. They only had six days left together and that seemed like no time at all. It made his heart hurt just a bit thinking that this thing between them couldn’t become serious because of many circumstances, but he supposed that was fate’s way of being cruel.

 

A little summer romance couldn’t hurt though, right?

 

 

Chapter Text

The atmosphere surrounding the two mates had become increasingly awkward. Awkward to the point where they were just staring at each other, waiting for an answer of some sort.

 

Jeongguk nervously laughed, rubbing the back of his neck and licking his lips a few times over. “So… You’re telling me that you had someone else write it for some reason?”

 

Taehyung blinked before shaking his head. “Uh, no. Like I just said a few seconds ago, I didn’t write it and I don’t know who did. None of those words in that letter were from me. None of them.”

 

Okay, there were maybe a few things written there that could have been written by himself had he been truly honest and let his wolf take control of the pen but that wasn’t relevant at all in this moment. He did wish though that the alpha standing in front of him would stop looking at him with those expectant and pleading eyes. Taehyung was struggling to maintain eye contact, finding this whole situation to be terribly uncomfortable. Of course, the alpha needed to know that the letter was fake but it was still difficult to put him down like this since he had seemed so… excited.

 

Waves softly washed over the sand of the beach, just out of reach from where the two were standing. It was a beautiful scene compared to what was happening between the mates. A seagull cried out from above them and Taehyung could see the wheels turning in Jeongguk’s head, the alpha desperately trying to get a hang of what was occurring. It sort of reminded Taehyung of himself when Jeongguk had mentioned a girlfriend back in Seoul. That confusion when you thought you knew what was going on but really didn’t after all.

 

Jeongguk holds up the letter again and Taehyung can tell that his voice is wavering just slightly. “B-But the letter… It came to my office. It had your handwriting, down to the very last detail. E-Everything in here was personal stuff that not just any person would know. It was about the things that went down between us-“

 

“Yeah well, turns out that I did tell a couple of people once you ditched me like a one night stand. My friends did have to wonder after all why I was crying my eyes out for two weeks straight and had a fucking mating mark.” Taehyung bitterly interrupted, fingers beginning to shake.

 

The alpha swallowed and looked off for a second before opening the envelope again with a tremble. “Your scent though… It’s on the paper. A-and why would any of your friends send this to me? They hate me from the sound of it. When I saw Jimin this morning he hadn’t a single clue about this and if anything, he was ready to kill me.”

 

“I don’t know why they sent it, Jeongguk! It may be some cruel prank but I had nothing to do with it, why would I?!” Taehyung finally snapped, built up frustrations finally boiling over.

 

To anyone else this scene would be quite the spectacle. An alpha being yelled at by an omega and actually looking completely terrified. It was certainly a sight to be witnessed.

 

“I-I don’t know, did you not want to see me? Did you not miss your mate? I missed you.” Jeongguk stammered.

 

Taehyung gave him a sour smile before nodding and looking at the sky in utter annoyance. “You missed me? You missed me? That is complete bullshit and you know it!”

 

Jeongguk held out a hand in an attempt to soothe the omega’s rage. “It’s not, Taehyung. I’m being honest! Why would have come here otherwise?”

 

“I don’t care why you came here because I don’t want to see you! I shouldn’t have to when you didn’t want me five years ago!”

 

The dam of emotions that he had been holding within himself was beginning to crack, the foundations of betrayal and confusion breaking. That hopeful look that Jeongguk was bearing before has now been replaced by one of guilt and alarm but to the raging omega this meant nothing.

 

“I did want you, Tae! Please, if you’ll just let me explain-“

 

“You wanted me? You are just spitting lies in my face right now! If you had truly wanted me back, then you would have stayed and called off that stupid relationship you had with that omega! You didn’t want me and you never did, I was just some omega you wanted to fuck before going home!”

 

“It wasn’t like that, I swear. Of course, I wanted you over that girl. You were my mate. How could I have not wanted my mate? Both me and my alpha desired you so badly, that’s why I mated you that night!” Jeongguk pleaded, trying to make Taehyung listen to him. The omega wanted nothing of it though.

 

“No, you mated me because you couldn’t control yourself! You were a dumb, young alpha who couldn’t comprehend the consequences of being reckless in bed! This thing between us,” Taehyung motioned with his hand between him and the alpha, “Was a mistake on your part which I have to suffer every day because of!”

 

“I-It may have been a mistake at the time, only because I wasn’t thinking properly but that doesn’t mean I think of it as a burden! You’re my mate, Taehyung.” Jeongguk suddenly comes forward, taking Taehyung’s hands in his own once again. “We’re forever bonded and there’s no possible way that I could just forget that. My feelings for you have just become stronger over these years that we’ve been separated. Don’t you want to go back to then? Back to that week of pure bliss that we shared together? When it was just us and our love? Won’t you give it a chance?”

 

Jeongguk’s hands on his own makes a certain warmth swell up in his heart but Taehyung is quick to stomp it out with fervor. He refuses to be weak in front of the other, not after what he had done. Of course, he wants to go back to that week they had shared. It was what every part of his body with the exception of his logical side wanted, more than anything. To be reunited with his mate and live the rest of his life out with a companion who he loved and who loved him back. Taehyung was struggling to fight back against the omega inside of him, having to pin and punch the shit out of that side of himself to maintain control here.

 

“What? Why the hell would I want to go back to then? So you could make me fall in love with you again just to abandon me without a single warning? Is that something you like, Jeongguk? Going around and fucking omegas when you have one at home that you’re courting? I’m sorry, but that doesn’t work for me. I don’t want to go through that again.” Taehyung snarls, unsure of what he’s even saying. There’s a conflict inside of him and he wonders if Jeongguk can pick up on it. He suspects not since he’s on such a heavy dose of suppressants so no person could pick up on what he was feeling. But, who knows. Mates could be the exception to that.

 

“Taehyung, please. I never saw you like that and I never will. You’re so precious to me and I need you to know that. Please, don’t push me away. At least not before I can explain what happened back then.”

 

“I don’t need your explanations, Jeongguk.” Taehyung bitterly laughed. “I got it five years when you ran away from me.”

 

The omega was about to continue his rant before he spotted something from his puerperal vision, something that surely shouldn’t have been there. His jaw fell in disbelief as he saw five heads duck back down behind some rocks only feet from where he and Jeongguk stood. The alpha looked over to see what Taehyung was angrily gazing at.

 

“Are you- Oh my God, it better not be.” Taehyung hissed as he stomped over to the rocks, crossing his arms and looking down with the most pissed off expression in the world as he stared at his five friends who smiled up innocently at him.

 

“What. Are. You. Doing. Here.” He asked through gritted teeth. Jeongguk slowly walked over, making sure to not get too close to the seething omega before peering over the rocks and seeing the five others.

 

Hoseok was the first to jump up, standing tall and brushing the sand off of his clothes. He smiled back at Taehyung and the others were not sure how he was withstanding that fiery gaze.

 

“Oh, you know. Taking a relaxing stroll on the beach like any other normal person. It’s a wonderful day, actually.” He commented, looking up at the bright sky for a second before looking back down at Taehyung. “What have you been up to?”

 

Taehyung usually really loved Hoseok’s joking and happy personality but in a situation like this it almost made him want to sock the alpha in the face. His friends were seriously eavesdropping on a personal conversation like this.

 

Hoseok finally looked at Jeongguk and gave the most fake looking surprised expression. “Jeongguk! Holy shit, is that really you? What has been, like five years? What are you doing here?”

 

Jeongguk just stares at Hoseok with a wide expression, eyes fluttering over to gauge Taehyung’s reaction for a brief second. The omega did not look pleased at all and Namjoon decided to step in.

 

“We were just trying to make sure everything was going smoothly, just to check up and see if you were doing okay. We didn’t intend on listening to your conversation but some people decided to drag us over.” Namjoon shot a look at Jin and Hoseok.

 

Taehyung’s foot tapped on the sand with irritation. Namjoon gave an exasperated sigh before grabbing Hoseok by the ear and tugging him backwards, the other alpha yelping and glaring at the elder. Namjoon just shook his head and gave him a pointed look before returning his gaze to Taehyung.

 

“We’ll be leaving now so you two can have some privacy.”

 

The five friends all started to get up but Taehyung just walked towards them, throwing a look back at Jeongguk. “It’s fine. We were just ending our conversation anyway.”

 

Jeongguk opened his mouth several times and tried to follow after Taehyung before a certain alpha of shorter height stood directly in front of him to serve as a blockade. From the sidelines, Yoongi looked on in interest as his mate and Taehyung’s (sort of) mate had a small standoff.

 

“Wait, Taehyung! You still haven’t let me have my say!” Jeongguk called out, his voice obviously distressed and Taehyung stopped himself from shivering when he picked up on the alpha’s spiked scent.

 

He turned around and the breeze blew his hair about, making him seem a little bit more dramatic. “I honestly have no interest in what you have to say to me, Jeongguk. I didn’t send that letter to you and you came here for nothing. Our relationship ended five years ago.”

 

Something inside of his chest was clawing against his ribcage, crying out for Taehyung to tell the truth and to stay with Jeongguk for just a little longer. He ignored the crippling pain and bared it with a grimace. Something felt terribly wrong when he saw the distraught expression on Jeongguk, a combination of grief and regret. Taehyung tried to push it off though and convince himself that Jeongguk didn’t care and never did.

 

The omega turned around but then faced Jeongguk again, face red and eyes puffy. It looked like he was about to take back his last statement but apparently not.

 

“And just for the record, you were terrible in bed! Your knot almost slipped out of me because it was so small!” He yelled before finally turning around and storming off, Jin and Hoseok right by his side. That comment was even more of a lie than his last one but at the moment his brain was just firing out any nasty insult it could come up with. He clenched his fists tightly together and pushed past the desire to kiss Jeongguk again.

 

The alpha was left in the dust, or the sand for better wording and his eyes began to turn pink and teary. Namjoon gave him a look of pity before walking his own way, leaving only Jimin and his mate with Jeongguk. The air here was even more awkward than before.

 

When Jeongguk did look up, tears about to spill over, he was met with a smug grin from Jimin.

 

“Looks like he didn’t want you after all.”

 

The tears spilled over.

 

The shorter alpha was leaving but then turned around when he saw that Yoongi hadn’t moved an inch.

 

Yoongi looked at Jimin. “I’ll be with you soon. Just give me a moment with him.”

 

Jimin seemed like he was about to argue with that decision but Yoongi gave him a look which had the alpha begrudgingly nodding and walking away, leaving the two alone.

 

Jeongguk looked as if he were about to fall apart, hope and excitement from before now replaced with bleakness and misery. Yoongi put a hand on his shoulder and gave him a somewhat comforting smile. It was the first one Jeongguk had seen since he had come here.

 

“Let’s go for a walk.” Yoongi suggested.

 

~

 

Hoseok and Jin silently stood outside of the bathroom stall, listening to the broken sobs and tears coming from the other side of the door. They looked at each other and shared a frown. Their omega friend was obviously not doing well from the number of cries heard. Taehyung blew his nose on some toilet paper and Hoseok bit his lip, not sure if they should try to talk to him or leave him in peace. Everything had been going fine until they had gotten maybe a quarter mile away from the beach where Jeongguk had been left before Taehyung had completely broken down. Neither Jin or Hoseok had expected it considering he had seemed so angry beforehand. They couldn’t get a word out of him though on why he was crying now and had to chase after him once the omega had sprinted off, wiping away his runny nose with a sleeve.

 

Now they were in some random restaurant’s bathroom, waiting for Taehyung to calm down enough for them to try and comfort him. It had been nearly ten minutes though since the omega had locked himself in the stall and Hoseok’s alpha instincts were telling him to knock the door down and hug his friend. Jin’s glares kept him from doing that however so they just stood there patiently.

 

“Tae?” Jin began, voice soft and barely above a whisper. Taehyung was still sniffling. “Is everything alright in there? I know you’re upset about Jeongguk but-“

 

The alpha’s name was an apparent trigger though and another broken sob was heard. Jin stopped talking and just winced at his mistake. He looked at Hoseok with a hopeless expression, unsure of how to soothe Taehyung.

 

Hoseok decided to do a little childhood trick that Jimin had told him about. Jin stared as he approached the door and put a hand against the wood.

 

“Chiquitita, tell me what’s wrong.” He tried to sing, voice a little wobbly since he hadn’t sung in forever.

 

Jin gave him a ‘what the fuck are you doing’ look and Hoseok just shrugged with a ‘might as well try’ look. He turned back to the door.

 

“You’re enchained by your own sorrow; in your eyes there is no hope for tomorrow.”

 

Hoseok little idea was stopped short though. “Okay, that’s enough! You don’t have to sing.” Taehyung sniffed, unlocking the stall door so his two friends could enter. Hoseok prided himself in failing to succeed.

 

Taehyung was sitting on the toilet which had its seat down, cheeks stained with tears and skin red and puffy. Jin immediately went over and pulled Taehyung’s head into his chest, rubbing circles into his back. Hoseok closed the stall door and then knelt by the omega’s side, holding his hands.

 

“Are you upset that we eavesdropped? I’m really sorry.” Jin whispered, letting his shirt get wet from salty teardrops. Taehyung just shook his head no, making a noise of disapproval.

 

“We only heard the last part where you were telling him off. Did that guy say something rude to you beforehand? You know I can go and kick his ass if Jimin hasn’t already killed him.” Hoseok suggested, squeezing the omega’s hands tenderly.

 

“N-No… It wasn’t that. It was the total opposite…” Taehyung wept, snot running down his nose. “He said he wanted to be with me again… C-court again.”

 

Jin blinked and stared at Hoseok in disbelief. “Wait, what?! Tell us more!”

 

“He said he got the letter and was so happy that I wanted him back. I wanted him back. I can’t believe he had the audacity to say that when he was the one who left. I told him that I didn’t write the letter and he tried to explain but I didn’t want to hear it so I told him off. I just…” A fresh onslaught of tears came.

 

“But he wanted to court you again, Tae. You didn’t let him explain why?” Hoseok asked, now incredibly curious as to what Jeongguk’s motives were.

 

“Obviously not! And why should I have, he’s a pathetic and awful person who mated me without even thinking about the next day! He’s my mate… and…” Taehyung sniveled.

 

“He’s my mate… And I turned him away without even letting him talk. The only alpha I’ve ever loved and wanted to have me… I should have let him explain because maybe he had a good reason as to why he left and came back after five years-“

 

Taehyung’s mood suddenly changed again and he criticized himself. “No, no! I shouldn’t have because he doesn’t even deserve redemption after doing that!”

 

Hoseok and Jin watched as the omega battled himself, an emotional and logical side fighting for dominance inside of him. It was a strange thing to witness.

 

“Taehyung, just be honest with yourself. None of us will judge you for whatever decision you make. What do you want?”

 

Every person in that cramped bathroom stall was aware of Taehyung’s struggles with being an omega. He considered the omega inside of him to be like a separate being, not a true part of him. Something that he had to battle for control with. Jin could never understand that since being an omega had never bothered him one bit. He wanted what his omega wanted and his omega wanted what he wanted. It seemed that Taehyung was still desperately holding on to this image of himself that he used to be before presenting. He would go to the point of taking suppressants to a dangerous level and missing heats because of it. Jin and the rest of them were worried about him. The only time that he didn’t seem to internally battle himself however was during the week Jeongguk had been here.

 

Jin had thought he had seen a miracle when Taehyung’s scent had returned to normal and he no longer had that expression of anxiety, that look of holding back who he was. Jin thought he was seeing a whole new side of Taehyung when the omega had come to him one night for a sleepover, telling him all about Jeongguk and how perfect the alpha was. His eyes had sparkled and Jin could tell that he was utterly star struck.

 

He honestly wanted this to work out, this thing between Taehyung and Jeongguk. But it seemed that Jeongguk was all hands-on deck while Taehyung was one hundred steps behind. This wouldn’t be an easy task.

 

“I don’t know… I just don’t know.” Taehyung said quietly, closing his eyes and swallowing.

 

“What Jeongguk did to me was absolutely awful. I don’t know if I could ever trust him in the same way, even if I were to somehow fall back into his arms. And, why should I? But, at the same time … I can’t deny it. He’s still my mate and the omega in me will never let that go. I’ll always feel that connection to him, something so strong yet unexplainable. But does that mean the only thing binding us together is some stupid chemical bond?”

 

“Taehyung, you know mating is more than that. It’s not just biology that makes your omega want him. Did you not feel something significant in that week he was here?” Hoseok asked.

 

“I mean, yeah. But that was all for nothing anyway.”

 

Jin placed a hand on Taehyung’s knee. “Listen. Jeongguk said that he wanted to explain or show you that he was sincere about courting you again. Why don’t you just have another talk with him, a calm one where both of you aren’t having emotional breakdowns, and actually discuss this situation. He may be being honest or he may not be. But you won’t ever know unless you give him a chance.”

 

Hoseok nodded. “You don’t have to be with him again. But if you just leave it like this, then your omega will always be miserable. You can’t do that to yourself. You need to have some closure with Jeongguk and now is the perfect time since he’s here and very willing to talk to you.”

 

Taehyung sighed and snuggled his head back into Jin’s broad chest, seeking some degree of comfort. He remembers when he did this with Jeongguk so long ago and how the alpha would embrace him tightly before rolling over and crushing him with his body weight. Taehyung would squeak and attempt to push the alpha off, but Jeongguk would just laugh and hold him down. It was one of the few times that Taehyung had appreciated that he didn’t have the strength of an alpha.

 

“How am I supposed to even talk to him now? I just told him that I didn’t want to hear anything that he said and that our relationship was officially over. And then I made those last insults to him…”

 

“Yeah, those were pretty cut throat, if I’m being honest. First the relationship over thing and then the small knot. Dang I would probably die of embarrassment if an omega said that to me.” Hoseok laughed and Taehyung just groaned.

 

“Was it true though? Was he bad in bed?” Hoseok asked quickly, curiosity getting the better of him.

 

Taehyung pouted at him, eyebrows furrowed. “No, Hoseok. He was really good in bed but I needed to insult him somehow.”

 

“Really? How big was his-“

 

“Okay, that’s enough of that!” Jin interrupted, kicking Hoseok in the shin when Taehyung wasn’t looking.

 

“Taehyung,” Jin said, tucking some of Taehyung’s hair behind his ear, “You don’t have to anything you’re uncomfortable with but I do think it would be a good idea to at least talk to Jeongguk again. You two could at least get on better terms, maybe not romantically but perhaps as friends?”

 

Hoseok nodded and smiled. “Yeah, you’d be the craziest friends. Friends who are actually mates!”

 

Jin rolled his eyes at that comment before helping Taehyung stand up from the toilet. “Let’s start with getting you out of here, this place is really disgusting if I’m being honest.”

 

The two of them led Taehyung over to the sink and the omega was able to see his reflection, which he noted was extremely rough. Red cheeks, bloodshot eyes, tear stained skin, and snotty.

 

Hoseok and Jin took paper towels though and ran them under cold water before wiping Taehyung’s face down thoroughly. Soon enough, Taehyung was looking like a normal person and Hoseok stretched his cheeks out to make him smile again.

 

“Thanks, guys.” Taehyung mumbled, somewhat embarrassed by his emotional outburst. They had to see his angry side, which consisted of his more logical personality being furious that Jeongguk decided to show his face after five years of absence. The sobbing side was more his omega being upset due to what he had said to his alpha. He needed to get a hold over himself.

 

“You don’t have to thank us, Tae.” Hoseok smiled, shaking him by the shoulders.

 

Jin nodded as well. “Exactly, but we do wish that you’d love all parts of yourself, even the omega part. Because that is you.”

 

Taehyung just sighed and looked down at the floor, letting his friends walk him out of the restaurant they had just spent the last half hour in. He sometimes wished that he could let go. It would be so easy. Just accepting himself and giving in.

 

Like hell was he actually going to do that though.

 

Other customers in the restaurant stared at the three as they walked out of the door, back into the beaming rays of the sun’s light. It really was a nice day outside. Too bad a certain someone decided to come back and ruin that.

 

They walked aimlessly down the street, not entirely sure where to go. Taehyung hadn’t made up his mind on whether or not he wanted to talk to Jeongguk. However, he was at least sure that if he did decide to talk to him, that he didn’t want to do it today. A familiar face was seen approaching them and Taehyung gave Jimin a small smile when he came over.

 

“Hey, I was looking for you guys. Where have you been?”

 

Jin looked at Hoseok before answering. “Just walking around.”

 

Jimin raised an eyebrow, but went along with the answer. Hoseok moved over so Jimin could walk next to Taehyung. The alpha put a hand on Taehyung’s shoulder and squeezed.

 

“How are you holding up? I’m always willing to beat him up if you need me to.”

 

“Thanks but I don’t think that will be necessary. Besides, I’m not sure that’s a fight you could win.”

 

Jimin snorted. “No way in hell would I lose to a gutless alpha like him. If anything, based on how he acted this morning, he would just run away crying.”

 

Taehyung glanced at Jimin. “Crying?”

 

Jimin laughed for a second and nodded. “Yeah, after you left, he started crying like a child. It was kind of amusing to be honest. I guess that’s what he got though after everything he did to you.”

 

Taehyung processed that for a minute, something that didn’t go unnoticed by Jin. Jeongguk had cried once he left? The last time he had even seen the alpha close to crying was when he had announced he was leaving but even then, they weren’t full tears. Was he actually upset that he had been rejected? His omega was internally cursing him for saying such wounding words before running away.

 

A weird feeling rushed over him and it felt like there were pieces of a puzzle missing. Something just didn’t add up.

 

“I left after that but Yoongi stayed with him for some reason.” Jimin also added on, sounding somewhat confused about that part.

 

“Really? Yoongi usually seems so disinterested when these kinds of things happen though.” Hoseok commented, running his hand through his black hair.

 

“That’s what I was thinking, but he went walking with him on the beach. Who knows, maybe he rubbed in the salt a little more.”

 

Taehyung wondered what Yoongi and Jeongguk were talking about. They had only seen each other a few times when Jeongguk had been here five years ago and didn’t seem to be that overly friendly with each other. Yoongi also wasn’t the kind of person to go out of his way to make peace. He had to have some sort of motive for talking to Jeongguk…

 

He was ripped out of his thoughts though when Jimin continued to talk to him. “So, what are you going to do, Taehyung? Rip him to shreds again like this morning or let one of us do it?”

 

His mother had once told him about omega instincts being one of the most important assets his kind had.

 

There was a moment of hesitation before he decided to answer that question. “No… I think I’m going to talk to him again.”

 

Jimin whipped his head around to look at his best friend, unsure that he heard him correctly. “What do you mean, talk to him again?”

 

“I mean, talk to him again. You had to have heard him say that he still wanted to talk to me and try to recover some parts of our relationship.”

 

“You’re actually going to court with him, after everything that he’s done to you?! Do you even realize how terrible it is to leave your mate like that?” Jimin probed, shocked as to why Taehyung would even suggest a thing.

 

“I think out of everyone here, I know the most about what he did and the effects of it. And no, I’m not going to court with him again. I was being honest with him back then; our relationship is over. That much is clear. I can’t trust him again with my heart. I just can’t. But I’ll at least give him the chance to apologize and attempt to be my friend.”

 

Jimin blinked. “Your friend? You would want him to be your friend? How could that even work? Do you honestly think that your omega could handle that, having your mate close to you but not close enough?”

 

“Jimin!” Jin snapped, all attention being directed to him. “It’s Taehyung’s choice. If he wants to talk to Jeongguk and try to restore some part of what they used to be, then that is perfectly fine. Because it is what he wants to do. This isn’t about you, Jimin. I know you’re very protective over Taehyung and want him to be safe, but he’s not helpless. He can figure some of these things out himself.”

 

“I know that he can do things himself but when it comes to an alpha mate he may not be thinking like he wants to. His omega must be screaming at him to go and return to Jeongguk. He needs to logically figure out what the best choice is here. If he goes back to Jeongguk then he may have no choice but to fall back into his arms.”

 

Part of what Jimin was saying was correct and Taehyung knew it. It would be a difficult task to not give in and return to Jeongguk, but he trusted that he could manage it. He wouldn’t be as foolish as he was the first time.

 

Jin just frowned at that. “Jimin, there is nothing wrong with Taehyung’s omega side. It’s who he is. He needs to be able to make compromises and somehow come to a point where both of those sides can become one.”

 

“It’s not who he wants to be though and that’s what is important!” Jimin argued back.

 

The two of them kept bickering and Taehyung shared an exasperated look with Hoseok. Jimin and Jin were his very good friends but they both seemed to have very different ideas as to what was best for Taehyung. It seemed like Jin wanted him to be Jeongguk’s mate without a second question and Jimin wanted him to kill Jeongguk. Two polar opposites that Taehyung couldn’t agree with. Neither sounded preferable at the moment.

 

“Okay, okay that’s enough arguing!” Taehyung finally said, getting annoyed by the two shouting his ears off. “I’m going to talk to Jeongguk. Not to become his mate again or to rip him to shreds, but to just talk. I’m not dealing out forgiveness immediately and if he proves himself to be a dick like he was then I’ll drop him and never speak to him again. Okay?”

 

Jimin and Jin said a very grumpy ‘yes’ before returning to silence and walking besides Taehyung. It wasn’t until Hoseok pointed over to their right did they begin talking again. There was Yoongi, standing by himself at a vending machine and grabbing a bag of chips to rip open.

 

“Yoongs! I thought you were talking to Jeongguk?” Hoseok questioned, stopping in his tracks to go talk to the beta.

 

Yoongi shrugged and swallowed a chip. “Yeah, we went for a walk. We’re done now though.” He looked at Taehyung and there was a certain glint in his eye. “We had a very interesting talk.”

 

Jimin, Hoseok, Jin, and Taehyung all looked at him expectantly. “And…? What did you talk about?”

 

Yoongi just smirked and grabbed more chips out of his bag. “Private stuff.”

 

Jin looked like he was about to lunge on the beta after that smug comment. “Private stuff?! What the hell is that supposed to mean? Nothing is private when it comes to Jeongguk because everything about him is Taehyung’s business!”

 

Hoseok nodded and spoke his agreeance but Taehyung and Jimin remained silent. Yoongi didn’t seem that phased either.

 

“No, it was between Jeongguk and I. Let’s just say that this summer will be quite the spectacle. On all parts.”

 

“That’s the most ominous thing I’ve ever heard and I’m honestly afraid.” Hoseok said with wide eyes. Jin rolled his and just grumbled.

 

After some more complaining from Jin and Hoseok, they all began to walk away, trying to find somewhere to get lunch. Yoongi and Jimin were a little behind the group, following at a slower pace. Jimin was oddly quiet compared to his usually talkative self as he walked with his mate.

 

Yoongi eyed him and said quietly, “You’re lucky that I love you so much. That was pretty low of you, even in my standards. I know you care about Taehyung, but to do that…”

 

“I did what I had to do. In the end, it didn’t even matter. Jeongguk left him and proved himself to be everything I predicted.”

 

In front of them, Taehyung took deep breaths. Had you asked him yesterday if meeting Jeongguk was a possibility, he would have said it was crazy. Life was strange. He would worry about Jeongguk tomorrow, he had enough shit to think about today.

 

Such as who in his group of five friends wrote that letter.

 

 

Chapter Text

Day Two

Jeongguk found himself by Taehyung’s door the next day in the early hours of morning. Okay, well eight wasn’t that early but for a vacation it was. He wasn’t entirely sure what he and Taehyung were going to do today so he brought a small backpack with the essentials just in case. A huge bottle of sunscreen, sunglasses, an extra pair of clothes, and several bags of snacks. He was currently wearing shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, and a baseball cap with made him feel like a middle-aged man somehow.

His day had already started great since the thoughts of Taehyung guiding him around filled his head with glee. His knuckled knocked against the apartment’s yellow door and he waited with a bright smile, expecting Taehyung to greet him any second now. Those expectations were let down though as the door slammed open and he was met with a familiar face. Taehyung’s grumpy alpha best friend, Jimin. The alpha stared him down with a grimace before stepping aside to let him in. Jeongguk gave a short smile and nod before walking past him and into the apartment. He could feel the other’s eyes burning into his skin.

The apartment was quite nice and Jeongguk looked around carefully. The walls were painted quite oddly and he had a creeping feeling that Taehyung was the one who did this. Various pictures that were all connected were painted across the rooms, making the place feel lively and colorful. He smiled as he looked at the beaches, schools, fairs, and other scenes made. The decor was pretty casual but did seem to have a beachy theme to it, seashells and net-like furniture everywhere. Jeongguk’s personal favorite was the hammock stretched out with someone he hadn’t seen before lazing inside of it.

The boy in the hammock sat up and gave him a drowsy look, obviously not fully awake. Jeongguk awkwardly waved a hand to the beta, not sure how to approach this person he had probably just woken up. He then remembered what Taehyung had been telling him yesterday about Jimin and the beta he had been courting.

“Are you Yoongi?” He tentatively asked, trying to be polite.

The beta nodded and made a noise of approval. “That would be me.”

“Taehyung! Get down here, that guy is here!” Jimin yelled, arms crossed against his chest. He didn’t sound very pleased that Jeongguk was standing in his apartment. Jeongguk really didn’t understand why the other alpha hated him but whatever.

“Coming!” Taehyung called back, followed by a crash and the omega cursing loudly. Jeongguk smiled and bit the inside of his cheek.

“Oh, I see.” Yoongi smirked, leaning back into his hammock and closing his eyes. “Then you must be Taehyung’s new alpha that he was talking about all night long.”

Jeongguk’s cheeks seemed to turn a little pink at the thought of the omega talking about him after he had gone. He knew that he would have ranted on and on about Taehyung had he had anyone to do so with.

“He’s just a friend, Yoongi. Besides, he’s leaving by the end of the week.” Jimin commented, and Jeongguk had to stop the urge to turn around and say something. The alpha was definitely verging on a challenge and Jeongguk knew that wasn’t a good idea. He had always been a fairly well-behaved guy but sometimes enough was enough. How the fuck was this guy Taehyung’s best friend?

Taehyung rushed down the stairs with a wide grin before the tension could get any worse. The omega did seem to notice the animosity coming off of both of the alphas and quickly rushed over to Jeongguk, looking like he wanted to get him out of there before he and Jimin started something.

“Bye bye, Jimin! I swear I’ll keep you updated and text you if I’m coming home late.”

Jeongguk had to bite back his smug look when Jimin eyed how Taehyung was holding onto his arm. Somewhere deep inside of himself his wolf was pleased that the omega had come to him first. He realized that this wasn’t the best thing to be proud of since Taehyung was (understandably) closer to Jimin due to their best friend status and they had only known each other for two days now. It still felt nice though.

Taehyung began to drag Jeongguk out of the apartment without another word and he could hear Yoongi snickering in the background. The omega shouted out one last farewell before closing the door and hopping down on the gross with a wide smile, quickly skipping to the side of the building to grab something.

“I’m really glad that you came by!” He said and it almost sounded relived, as if he had been worried that Jeongguk wouldn’t have come back for him. Jeongguk followed after him and watched as he pulled a tandem bicycle out along with two helmets. He had to stop for a second to recover from how adorable this was.

“What, did you think I would just ditch you like that after everything yesterday?” The alpha questioned, grabbing the black helmet that the omega handed over to him. Taehyung looked shy for a brief second and Jeongguk couldn’t help how he instinctually leaned in closer, not wanting the other boy to doubt him. His scent seemed to coax some words out of the other.

“Well, no. Sometimes I just get worried you know.” Taehyung finally said, smile quickly returning as he put his own helmet on. Jeongguk reached over and helped the omega tighten the straps and click it secure.

The alpha quickly thought of something and started to rummage in his bag. When he finally grabbed a hold of a bottle he pulled it out and popped the cap off. Taehyung looked at him in question. “What’s that?”

“Sunscreen.” He responded as he squirted some out onto his hand and looked to be reaching over to put some on the omega. Taehyung scrunched up his face though and stuck his tongue out.

“It’ll be fine, I’ve dealt with worse sun. Plus, it smells really bad.”

Jeongguk shook his head and went ahead and slapped some onto Taehyung’s arms and smiled at how the omega groaned. “Okay well I’d rather have you smelling bad than getting a sunburn or potential skin cancer.”

“I’m not going to get skin cancer, mom.” Taehyung complained, letting the alpha rub in the sunscreen on his skin.

“That’s what they all say.” Jeongguk joked as he rubbed it onto Taehyung’s nose and ears.

When he finished, he rubbed the excess liquid onto his own arms and stuffed the bottle back into his backpack. Taehyung pouted his lips out before hopping onto the front seat of the bike.

Jeongguk got onto the back and put his feet on the pedals, ready to go whenever Taehyung was. “Where to, tour guide?”

Taehyung started their ride and they biked down the road with ease. “Our first stop is little further away than yesterday’s, hence the bike ride. We’ll be going to the Jeongbang Waterfall, which is a tourist stop but for a good reason since it’s beautiful and right next to the ocean. Does that sound good to you?”

“Sounds perfect.” Jeongguk responded, even though he was more excited about spending the day with Taehyung. Just like yesterday, the sun was shining brightly and Jeongguk was glad that he had put on sunscreen for the both of them.

“You know, I was thinking last night that Jimin hated me but now I’m certain.”

Taehyung laughed and Jeongguk could see the way his shoulders lifted. “Don’t worry about Jimin, he’s not actually going to do anything too serious. He’ll just gripe about it but I’m sure he’ll get over it.”

Jeongguk wasn’t too sure about that. “Why is he so defensive over you? I know you two are best friends and all but does he seriously not want you hanging out with other alphas… in that way? I mean he does have his own beta that he’s courting.”

“Yeah, I can understand why it’s sort of confusing.” Taehyung began. “Jimin can come off as strict and pissy when he first meets other alphas but I swear he’s actually a big teddy bear. I remember when we were just kids we made this pact that we’d always be best friends and always be there for each other. As we grew up we were both sure that we’d both present as alphas and when he did so we became even more certain. So, when I presented as an omega I was so humiliated and ashamed to talk to him about it. I was terrified that he’d think of me differently or our relationship would change somehow. I mean, alphas and omegas aren’t usually best friends because it evolves into something else entirely within a few months. But when I finally got the courage to approach him he just hugged me and reassured me that everything between us would remain the same. And he never went back on his word, the only thing that changed was that he had to protect me more than I could protect him.”

Taehyung sighed. “The first couple of months after becoming an omega were really tough for me, and that’s not an over exaggeration. My scent was heavier than ever and I wasn’t taking suppressants then. Everywhere I went I had eyes following me and it seemed like I was a whole new person. I wasn’t allowed to do the same things that I used to do and while most of my friends and family lovingly accepted me, there were those who didn’t. Strangers and alphas who talked down upon me because of my omega status. Others who thought I wasn’t a proper omega and wanted to ‘show me my place’ in society. Jimin fought for me when I couldn’t and always defended me. He didn’t see me as an omega like everyone else did, he saw me as his best friend, Taehyung. I’ve fooled around with some alphas in the past and none of them seemed to end very well. They all wanted me to stay in the house and basically have no personality except for submissive and passive. Naturally, that had caused Jimin to distrust basically any alpha who’s interested in me, even the ones who are nice. Sometimes it’s a bit troublesome but I know it’s because he really cares for me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Some of Jeongguk’s agitation towards Jimin subsided with the story and he found himself empathizing with him just a bit. He was aware that omegas faced many hardships in life and for someone as proud as Taehyung was, it must be terrible. It still did irk him just slightly, how mean he was last night and this morning. He really didn’t give any alpha a chance or ounce of faith, huh?

“Oh, but it was pretty funny how much he was brooding last night after seeing us kissing!” Taehyung giggled as they made a right turn on the road.

The alpha didn’t even realize how cheekily he was smiling.

“As soon as I walked into that apartment it became an interrogation. Who was that?! When did you meet him?! Did he try anything?! Yoongi and I couldn’t stop laughing and that just pissed him off even more. And then this morning he just got in a worse mood when he was doing the laundry and apparently, my clothes reeked of you. He honestly thought we were out in the woods fucking or something like that!”

Jeongguk blinked in surprise at hearing Taehyung say such things but to be honest it was like him to be so blunt. The words caused a mental image though that Jeongguk couldn’t seem to fully kick out of his thoughts.

“And then…” Taehyung had to hold back his laugh and his words were a little broken. “I told him to not worry and that we were saving that for later, a-and he…” Taehyung was cackling now and Jeongguk had his jaw open.

“H-his face was so hilarious and you should h-have seen it!”

Jeongguk just shook his head and kept pedaling. “No wonder he hates me…” He muttered.

“He deserves it though after all the lost nights of sleep I’ve had ever since Yoongi has moved in with us. It’s almost astonishing how much stamina those two have at night.”

It looked like Taehyung was opening up a bit more and being more of his loud self, something that made Jeongguk’s chest pound. The omega had a very pure laugh which seemed to carry through the air with ease. It was loud and Jeongguk knew that it was true because of how the other boy threw his head back and didn’t care how his mouth opened wide and eyes clenched shut even though he was on a bike.

Speaking of which, the bike did sway a little and Jeongguk took his feet off the pedals for a brief moment, ready to put them down on the pavement and catch them should the bike go out of control. Taehyung recovered from his humorous state though and they continued on their way without any more scares of crashing.

“How about you, Guk?” Taehyung asked, turning his head around for a flash second before paying his attention back to the road.

“What about me?”

“Well, I told you about myself and how I struggle with being an omega. Do you ever have issues with being an alpha or is it just a smooth ride?”

“I wouldn’t say it’s the easiest thing, being an alpha. Especially if you’re a purebred.”

“Wait, you’re a purebred? Both of your parents are alphas? That’s pretty rare.” He sounded surprised and impressed at the same time.

“Yeah and it’s the reason why I’m the only child. Most female alpha births go terribly but I guess I was a lucky case. I was the result of their first try and they haven’t attempted to repeat it since, my mother is too worried about losing a child during labor so I didn’t get any siblings. Being purebred means that you’re apparently a miracle and all that but it still comes with a fuck ton of pressure and responsibility. As soon as I presented as an alpha everything was thrown on me. Of course, my parents had prepared me for this but nothing could have been like the real deal. Everyone expected me to be the best at everything. School, athletics, behavior. They all want me to be this perfect alpha who is always commanding and stoic but sometimes I feel like I can’t ever be that.”

Taehyung was silent and let Jeongguk talk.

“Omegas obviously get the brunt in terms of societal pressures and all but alphas do face some of it occasionally. I am an alpha and I wouldn’t want to be any other way, I’ll be honest. I have always felt the want to protect those who I care for to pretty harsh extents. I’ll always have a natural instinct to seek out omegas and find a mate to have pups with but there are times where I just can’t be everything society expects me to be. I hate that my parents think that showing emotion and feelings isn’t alpha like. I hate that I can’t cry without someone saying that I’m an alpha and need to suck it up.”

He was getting worked up. His parents had always told him to never let things go like this but he couldn’t stop himself with Taehyung listening.

“It’s going to sound really fucked up, and it totally is, but when I went into my ruts, my first ones at the least, they would hire omegas and basically lock us in a room together. They would pay these people to throw themselves on me, knowing perfectly well that I couldn't stop myself in a vulnerable time like that. I mean, I know heats are worse and had the roles been switched around it would have been much worse but it still really sucked.”

“I’m not perfectly sure how heats work but ruts are probably similar in the fact that you’re not exactly yourself. It’s all instincts and the alpha inside of you takes total control. The first time they sent an omega in, I hadn’t a single clue about what was happening. I thought it was a mistake. I tried to tell her that I was in a rut and that she needed to get out before I did something. But she just smiled at me and pushed me down on the bed before undressing herself. I… I was afraid. I hadn’t ever been with another person like that. The first thing I did was run, towards the door so maybe I could at least get out. Guess my parents locked it from the outside though so I was stuck. After a few minutes, I lost all control and I don’t really remember anything after that. Nobody would sympathize for me so I guess it wasn’t that big of a deal but to me it was.”

“No, Jeongguk. Don’t downplay what happened to you, what they did to you. Heat and ruts, neither one is worse. You were in a helpless state and they took advantage of you without your consent. That’s wrong on so many levels.” Taehyung softly said and Jeongguk could tell that he was purposefully giving off a relaxing scent that made his shoulders drop a little. He hadn’t told anyone about this and wasn’t even entirely sure why he was opening up this much to Taehyung. He didn’t feel immediate regret though.

“Why did they do that to you? Why would they do that to their own son?”

Jeongguk awkwardly laughed and sighed, it was a weird topic. “Apparently to give me experience with omegas and breeding them or whatever.”

He could tell that Taehyung had a follow up question but went ahead and answered it, not wanting the omega to have any doubts. “They were all on heavy suppressants and birth control though so none of them actually got pregnant. I just really wish they hadn’t done that, it felt so wrong. I wanted to find my own omega and make it special.”

He barely noticed that Taehyung had pressed on the breaks before they had come to a full stop. He was confused when Taehyung turned around with the most pained looking expression he had ever seen. The omega’s eyes were full of sadness and he could smell the distress rolling off like waves from him. Jeongguk didn’t understand why Taehyung was so upset right now.

“What’s wrong, did I say something wrong?” He asked, not wanting to see Taehyung like this.

The omega just shook his head and put a hand on Jeongguk’s. “I’m so sorry, Gukkie. That’s awful and there isn’t any excuse for it. They did that to you without your consent and knew that you couldn’t do anything to stop it. I… I don’t know what to say. I’m just… really sorry.”

Jeongguk swallowed. “It’s okay, Tae. You don’t have to be sorry, you didn’t do any of that after all. It’s just something that I have to deal with.”

“You shouldn’t have to, though. Just because you’re a purebred alpha doesn’t give them the right.”

The two gazed at each other before Jeongguk decided he wanted to move on from this. “Come on, the day’s wasting away. Let’s get moving.” His voice was barely above a whisper.

Taehyung looked like he was about to say something else but decided against it as he turned around and started to pedal again. They rode in silence for a while, neither knowing how to restart their conversation after that.

Nobody had ever felt bad for Jeongguk from that story. His parents had expected him to be grateful for providing him an omega during his rut and giving him ‘experience’. When he had told his best friends with tears nearly falling from his eyes they had just cheered for him. Told him that he was a lucky son of a bitch and wished that they had an omega to fuck during theirs. Jeongguk couldn’t understand why nobody could see his point of view. He had been frightened when the girl got on top of him and remained that way after she had left many hours later with angry red marks all over her pale skin.

Taehyung had related to him however and told him truthfully that he was sorry and that all of that had been wrong. It shouldn’t have happened without his consent. It felt… good to have someone else agree with him. Maybe that was because Taehyung struggled with certain aspects of his rank as well. Jeongguk could tell that the omega was on suppressants, most likely there to control his heats.

For the most part, Jeongguk was glad to be an alpha. It’s who he was and was meant to be. He had never felt like anything other than what he truly was. He just wished that his parents and the rest of society could accept that not all alphas had to fit the same exact mold to be proper and true.

Thankfully enough, Taehyung begins to talk again and doesn’t keep pressing on the previous issue, probably sensing that is was a sensitive topic for the alpha.

“Okay, I have a super duper important question for you. One that will define the rest of our relationship.”

“Yeah?”

“Mm hm. Do you think that hot dogs are sandwiches?”

Jeongguk suddenly became very serious. “No. Fuck no.”

“Why not?”

“Why not? Because they’re not fucking sandwiches that’s why. A hot dog is a hot dog. Its own food.”

“But a sandwich is some sort of food between two pieces of bread, doesn’t that mean that it classifies as one? It’s a piece of meat with bread on both sides.”

“No! It does not! With that understanding, a cheese cracker is a sandwich! Listen. Do you ever bite into a hot dog and think, jeez this is going to be a good sandwich? No! Because it isn’t one! It’s a hot dog!”

He could hear Taehyung giggling and that just riled him up since this was a very controversial topic to him. Hot dogs were goddamn hot dogs, not sandwiches.

“Okay, but I think it’s more of a subcategory of sandwich. Like an evolved species that originally came from sandwiches but then branched off and became its own thing.”

“What the- No! Hot dogs did not evolve from sandwiches because they are entirely different!”

“Alright, alright!” Taehyung said in a sing song kind of way. “But tell me this, are pop tarts a form of ravioli?”

Jeongguk groaned.

Finally, after an entire round of terrible questions which somehow included crocs or uggs, but they reached the trail that would lead them to the waterfall they had been traveling to for the last hour. They locked the bike up and started their walk together, hands brushing together every once in a while.

Their conversation had travelled away from the things Jeongguk had been talking about but he could still see that Taehyung was thinking deeply about it. He hadn’t realized how much it would bother the omega. He almost felt bad that he had put that burden of knowledge on him.

He finally broke the distance and held Taehyung’s hand in his own. The omega looked up at him with wide eyes.

“Hey, don’t worry about it. It was a bad time but it’s over now, it’s in the past. Let’s live in the present while we still have it, okay?” He squeezed the omega’s hand and rubbed his thumb over the soft skin there. Taehyung bit the inside of his cheek before nodding and giving him a gentle smile.

Jeongguk let out an unnoticeable exhale of relief before pulling the boy a little closer so their shoulders bumped into each other.

It was a Tuesday so there wasn’t an overwhelming crowd heading towards the waterfall and it seemed as if they had come at the perfect time. Once again, Jeongguk was treated to beautiful scenery and clear air. It was nothing like the thick air of Seoul where every road was packed with people and tourists at all times.

He watched with a relaxed gaze as a flutter of butterflies flew past his head and in front of them, colorful wings flapping hastily with intricate designs. Taehyung’s boxy grin caught his attention through the corner of his eye and he now laid his attention on the omega.

Taehyung watched in wonder, eyes following the bugs as they fluttered about. His lips were parted and he gave a toothy grin for everyone to see. Jeongguk honestly didn’t understand how someone like Taehyung could really even be real, let alone the person who was letting him hold their hand as they walked to an ocean side waterfall.

Home felt so far away and the arranged courtship out of mind for the moment.

After several minutes, Jeongguk can hear the crashing of water and he assumes that they are getting closer. The temperature has gotten a bit cooler as well. Humid.

The omega by his side speeds up the pace and Jeongguk soon finds himself running after the sprinting boy.

“Hurry, hurry!” Taehyung called happily, and he obliged with a smile.

Finally, a magnificent waterfall came into view and Jeongguk felt like he had been missing out on so much back at home. The water poured over a cliff side where a green forest lay and down onto smooth rocks which led a path into the open ocean. The alpha had never seen anything like it before in his life and it made it even more special when Taehyung leaned up and pressed a chaste kiss against his cheek.

“Come on, let’s get closer.”

The two of them walked closer where more people were standing, most of them with their phones out and taking pictures or videos. Jeongguk felt like a picture couldn’t do this view justice. Tiny droplets that came from the waterfall’s splash fell on their bodies and it was a great feeling with the hot sun on their backs.

Taehyung took off his shoes and dipped his toe in the water before quickly pulling it out with a squeak.

“Cold!” He whined with a pout and Jeongguk nearly combusted into flames from how endearing the omega was.

Jeongguk proceeded to pull his backpack off his shoulders, laying it down on the rocks along with his shoes. He put his feet in the water and made a noise of exaggerated pain as he waded into the water.

“Oh, no! It’s so cold!” He cried out, grinning at how Taehyung crossed his arms.

“It is!”

“Aw, come on. It’s just some water, pup.” Jeongguk snickered, reaching a hand out and getting a firm grasp on Taehyung’s wrist.

“No-!”

Jeongguk pulled the omega into the cold water and Taehyung squawked at him, trashing about and holding onto his chest in an attempt to warm himself.

“You are so mean, Jeonggukie!” He wailed, pushing Jeongguk down into the water.

The alpha just held onto him and they stood in the ocean water as Taehyung adjusted to the colder temperature. He was aware that some of the tourists were staring at them in confusion but he couldn’t care less. Let them stare.

Taehyung jumped onto him and they both went underwater with a huge splash. Before he could resurface though, soft lips pressed into his and his body went lax.

He cupped Taehyung’s cheeks with his hands and as they came back up their lips crashed together, a desperate attempt to hold onto the moment for as long as possible. Jeongguk chuckled when Taehyung lightly bit his bottom lip, pulling the omega closer into his chest and letting his tongue slip past the other’s lips.

When they finally separated with a pop, Taehyung’s lips were red and his own swollen. They pressed their foreheads together and Jeongguk took a deep breath, letting the omega’s scent hold him captive. Taehyung was doing the same and he couldn’t help but smile at how the other was trembling just slightly.

A sudden wave of cheers and clapping broke them from their trance and they looked back over to where the waterfall was. It seemed like all those staring tourists had witnessed their dramatic fall into the water and make out session.

A couple of wolf whistles were heard and Jeongguk just beamed. The expression grew brighter though when Taehyung became a bit embarrassed and tucked his head into the alpha’s chest with an awestruck look in his eyes. It was official. Jeongguk was screwed.

He was sure that Taehyung could feel his pulsing heartbeat pounding against his chest. The people finally starting diverting their attention back to the waterfall and Taehyung finally stopped hiding, slowly looking back up at him with an open look. Lips wet and just slightly open and Jeongguk almost stopped breathing. The close proximity allowed him to see all the small details of the omega’s face and he leaned down and pressed a kiss on the small freckle located on Taehyung’s nose.

Taehyung gave him a dreamy look, still leaning a good portion of his weight on the alpha’s chest.

“You make me… feel different.” He said in a soft voice.

“A good different, I hope.”

“Yeah… I don’t know. For some reason, you’re the only thing my omega and I can agree on.”

Jeongguk smiled and closed his eyes before returning Taehyung’s gaze. “That’s makes me happy to hear. I like both sides, after all.”

Taehyung leaned in for another kiss, this time returning the favor from before and pressing his lips against the bridge of Jeongguk’s nose.

“I could kiss you all day long.”

“Well then it’s good we have all day together.” Jeongguk joked, letting his hands wrap around the omega’s waist.

Taehyung’s arms wrapped around his neck and there was barely any space between them now.

“Well then-“

Jeongguk stopped the moment when he felt something very long and very slimy brush against his leg. Taehyung watched in curiosity as the alpha leaned over and grabbed it with a laugh.

Taehyung shouted in disgust as Jeongguk held up what he had caught, a very long, very white, and very dead fish looking creature. It looked like the alpha was trying to bring it closer to him but Taehyung was having none of that. He fell backwards into the water and a gush of it splashed over his face.

“No! Get that away, Jeongguk!”

The alpha just cackled though and waved the dead thing in the air. “Come on, Tae! Give me a kiss!”

And so, the day began with a kiss, chasing each other around with a dead fish, and then some more kisses.

Chapter Text

Taehyung takes a deep breath as he leans his head on Jimin’s chest, lips pouting out as his face is squished down on the alpha’s strong body. The older alpha gently runs his fingers through Taehyung’s hair, tender and careful. The feeling is soft and Taehyung can’t help but feel like there is some sort of unspoken feeling behind it. He didn’t say anything about it though, the two of them continuing to watch a random soap opera on the television.

It had been a full day since his confrontation with Jeongguk and he hadn’t ever felt so empty. He had barely slept that night, unable to erase the picture of his mate from his mind. Flashes of how Jeongguk had looked at him that morning with hope and something akin to love. Those words that made his omega tremble with longing, dreaming of being reunited with his alpha. If it weren't for that last thread of stubborn logic lingering in his head, he would have run to the hotel and back into Jeongguk’s strong arms.

His hands had shaken when he walked back to his old apartment where Jimin and Yoongi still were. The place that he had been when Jeongguk waltz over here five years ago. When Yoongi and Jimin had mated, he had moved out even though the two of them insisted otherwise. He didn’t want to invade.

But right now, he needed to be there. He needed to have something to distract him enough until the morning when he would be a bit more sensible. The extra key was under the doormat like it always had been and he quickly unlocked the door. It was dark inside and it was obvious that everyone else was asleep.

The new wave of scents helped him calm down just slightly, Jimin’s recognizable aroma all around the apartment. He didn’t want to wake them so he slowly tiptoed into the living room before laying down on the couch and pulling a thin blanket over his body. It was still difficult to fall asleep but certainly better than his lonely apartment where he was just left alone with his thoughts.

Yoongi was the one to wake him up that next morning, gently rocking his shoulder back and forth until the younger drowsily opened his eyes. The beta was understanding and didn’t even have to ask why Taehyung was here.

“I’m going out with Namjoon and Hoseok; I’ll be back later this afternoon. Jimin is still upstairs if you need him.” He softly said and Taehyung nodded, appreciative that the beta had always been kind to him.

He was aware that other mates would become jealous and angry if their alpha were best friends with another omega, and touchy with that omega. Yoongi had never been like that however, recognizing their friendship for what it was. Platonic soulmates, that was probably the best way to title it. The beta knew that the two still needed each other.

“Thank you, Yoongi.” Taehyung whispered, looking down.

Yoongi hummed before standing up. “I think you should talk to him again today.”

Talk to Jeongguk. He wasn’t sure if he could handle it.

“Do you think he even wants to see me again? After everything I said to him yesterday?” Taehyung wasn’t sure. His omega had cried out at every insult he had spat out to his mate, unable to fathom why they were lying about their true feelings.

“Of course. To be honest, I think he’s going to stay here until there is some conclusion between you two.” Yoongi answered, knowing something for himself ever since he had walked with the other alpha on the beach last morning. He was very curious as to how all of this would play out within the next few weeks. Some things might be shattered and some things reborn. Maybe.

Taehyung smiled at him as the beta grabbed his bag and went out through the front door. After another thirty minutes of anxious nail biting, Jimin had called down from his bedroom.

“Tae, I can smell you down there! Get up here already!”

And that’s how he found himself in his best friend’s arms, being held tightly and caressed by tender hands. Taehyung finally decided to speak, unable to handle the unspoken tension surrounding them.

“I’m going to go and talk to him later today.” He whispered, still a bit afraid to do so. Of course, there was still the feeling of anger and betrayal, that wasn’t going away anytime soon. But there was also the feeling of hope that maybe things could work out over time. If Jeongguk truly still cared about him like he had said on the beach.

Jimin’s fingers kept running through his hair and Taehyung closed his eyes. He knew that Jimin held a very strong grudge against his mate and always had since they had first seen each other. Throughout the week the alpha had been here, Jimin had warned him to not get too attached. Jeongguk was leaving, he didn’t actually care, he’s just like all the other alphas who want you for your body. Taehyung had argued against that however because his heart had told him that Jeongguk was the one.

When he had fallen into Jimin’s arms, sobbing uncontrollably and a mark on his neck, he had felt his friend’s silent ‘I told you so’. He knew from yesterday’s events that Jimin still wasn’t his fan and probably wouldn’t support his decision to converse again. It was a bit stupid, he knew, desiring his friend’s blessing to go and talk to his mate, but he still did. In a way, Jimin was his protector and Taehyung didn’t want to go against him. He had been right all those years ago after all.

“Are you… are you angry?”

Jimin sighed before looking back at Taehyung and turning the television off with the remote. Taehyung rested his chin on his friend’s chest and his eyes were just a bit wet.

“I’ll never be angry at you, Tae. No matter what you choose to do here. Of course, I have my personal opinions but I can’t let that get in the way. I’m sorry that I was adamant about it yesterday; I just got worked up after seeing you so upset and it brought back memories from back then when he first left you. I have… personal things to say to Jeongguk but what you want to do is final. If talking to him again… Is your desire than you shouldn’t let me waver your decision.”

It wasn’t what Taehyung had expected from the alpha, honestly. He had been prepping himself for the lecture of ‘Don’t talk to that dirty bastard he deserves to die’. But, there was still something off. Jimin was giving him a look that he couldn’t exactly understand and that was strange considering he could usually read the other like an open book. The other’s scent had turned just a bit sour as well, meaning he was incredibly stressed over something.

“What’s wrong, Jimin?” He asked, not wanting this to hurt his friend. “Please tell me.”

Jimin just let out a sad laugh before looking away from Taehyung’s pleading eyes. “It’s nothing important. I’m just… I’m just worried about you, like always. I know it’s weird to say but, it’s really hard for me to see you grow up. I’m aware that you’re obviously an adult, twenty-five years old for God’s sake, but I’m just so used to taking care of you. Protecting you and making sure that you feel safe, it had always felt like a duty that was mine. I know you can take care of yourself but this world is a cruel place and an extra hand is something everyone needs. So, it’s agonizing sometimes to know that one day… That place will no longer be mine. It will belong to another alpha who I don’t know well enough to trust them with such a precious person like you. It’s selfish and not right to think but I can’t help but feel that way. I just,” Jimin swallows and his breath is a little shaky.

“I feel like you’re slipping through my fingers all the time. I try to capture each minute, but I can’t anymore. And I have to accept that now, you’re not mine and you never really were. Not in that way. So, if talking to Jeongguk is what feels right to you than I suppose that’s what you should do. Just um… maybe don’t talk to me that much about it since I’ll be kinda butt hurt for a while.”

Taehyung bit his lip as he smiled before wrapping his arms around Jimin and squeezing as tightly as possible. All the air left the alpha and he let out a little squeak before Taehyung let go.

“I’m glad you’re my best friend, Chimberly. I wouldn’t want it to be anyone else.”

Jimin tried to smile. “Me too.”

“And no, I’m not just going to get back together with him, I’m not that easy. I just want to talk to him and maybe be on talking terms. He’s still a jerk and I do recognize that but everyone deserves a chance to talk.”

The two of them spent the rest of the morning together, lazing about in their pajamas and just spending some alone time together. Jimin made endless blueberry waffles and Taehyung cooked the eggs and bacon. Somehow that had ended up in a short food war and they spend the next half hour cleaning the floors and walls before Yoongi comes back and beats their asses.

Before the two of them knew it, the afternoon had come around long with Yoongi coming back looking somewhat sunburned. Jimin had cooed at him while the beta had scowled; Taehyung thought that the whole thing was rather adorable. He had sat by and listened with a smile when Jimin had rubbed a soothing cream on his mate’s red skin with care and adoration. The two were in love and for once, Taehyung was pretty happy as the third wheel. Seeing his best friend in utter awe towards Yoongi was a lovely sight.

The time had come through for him to leave and do what he had been saying all morning long. Go and talk with his mate, a task that should be happy but had now become worrisome. Could he control all the emotions bottled up inside of himself? Which side of himself would win, that was the real question.

Yoongi and Jimin sent Taehyung off and the omega had waved at them one last time before leaving and going towards his alpha.

Jimin remained quiet, deeply exhaling and rubbing his temple. Yoongi glanced at him and took his hand in his own.

“Tell me what you’re thinking right now.” He softly prompted, wanting his mate to talk to him.

The alpha just sadly laughed and Yoongi could feel his heartbreak.

“I’m thinking about how Taehyung is going to hate me.”

~

110. That was the room number Jeongguk was staying in according to Yoongi. Taehyung couldn’t help but wonder what Jeongguk was doing right now and his heart trembled. His mind wandered and he soon began thinking about what he and Jeongguk would be doing right now had he not left.

They would have surely moved in together by this point and have gone through numerous heats and ruts with each other. His hands shake when he thinks of Jeongguk helping him as he writhed about on his bed sheets, it was what he imagined every heat alone after all. Would they be raising a family together? Jeongguk used to talk about how much he wanted to be a father and raise pups. It was a sentiment that he had shared.

He shook his head and tried to avoid those thoughts. He was going to Jeongguk to be civil, not to rekindle what they had. It would be better that way. Give Jeongguk a chance but not to that point where everything was like it had been. That was reasonable, right?

Whatever, he figured that his plan would fall to pieces as soon as he laid eyes on his mate just as it did yesterday. The most elaborate plan could be imagined and a single glance would have Taehyung fumbling for what he had made up.

Everyone who passed by the omega gave a look of interest at the fume that you basically see coming from his head due to overthinking the whole thing. He was stomping down the sidewalk with a stern expression and even the alphas stepped aside to get out of his way. That didn’t even come to his attention however and he kept brooding as he walked towards to that hotel where his supposed life partner awaited him.

He guessed they would talk inside of Jeongguk’s hotel room which would be a lot more private than yesterday was. That would either make things a little bit better or a whole lot worse. Something about being in a closed off space with Jeongguk made him feel comforted just slightly and he failed to realize that his omega was swooning.

It was pretty easy getting into the hotel, just walk in and pass by the receptionist who looked like they were about to fall asleep and then go down the hall. The room was 110 so he should be on the first floor. Somehow he went down the wrong hall and had to turn around, totally not embarrassed as he passed by the front desk a second time.

Jeongguk’s room was at the end of the hallway and Taehyung spent a good minute just staring at the brown door with 110 painted on the wood. It was his least favorite number now. Well, it was now or never.

He knocked on the door before quickly retracting his hand as if it had been burnt. His foot was tapping impatiently against the carpeted floor of the hotel hallway as he waited for a response. Jeongguk should be here, right? No one answered and he finally resorted to knock loudly several times. Once again, no answer came and Taehyung bit the inside of his cheek. Had he really come out here for the other to not be here?

But as he was getting ready to leave he heard the sound of something unlocking and suddenly the door was swung open. Taehyung swallowed and tried not to show any reaction at what he saw standing right in front of him. He didn’t do that well of a job.

Apparently, the reason why Jeongguk hadn’t opened the door the first time was because he had been in the shower. So here he was, looking like he had jumped out of the shower and ran directly over here knowing that it had to be the omega. His hair was still soaking wet just like the rest of his body. Taehyung definitely didn’t pay attention to how the water droplets rolled down his perfectly sculpted and naked chest. Nope.

It didn’t make it any better that the only thing the alpha was wearing was a low hanging towel wrapped around his hips that honestly looked like it was about to fall off. The alpha hadn’t a single care about that however, only paying attention to his mate who was fiddling with the hem of his shirt. He had one hand on the door and one on the frame, showcasing his muscular arms and Taehyung had to wonder how he could have gotten any bigger than he was five years ago. Taehyung was finally able to rip his gaze from Jeongguk’s body (mentally punching himself for even looking in the first place) and meet the alpha’s eyes with a feigned calm.

“Tae.” Jeongguk breathed out, a mix of worry and desire. “How did you know where to find me?”

The omega just sighed and crossed his arms. “Well I already knew that you were at this hotel and Yoongi told me the room number. It wasn’t that hard.”

‘Oh… Yeah.” The other responded and there was an awkward moment of silence. Taehyung finally broke it with an exasperated breath.

“May I come in to talk with you?”

Jeongguk’s scent spiked and he could sense the fear and stress radiating off of the alpha and for a second it made him feel a bit guilty. The other was probably thinking that Taehyung came back here for a sequel of the conversation that they had yesterday where he had completely shut down the alpha and rubbed salt in all of the wounds. Including his own.

The alpha quickly got out of the way, still holding the door open for the other. Taehyung just tried to brace himself, shoulders tight and figure tense as he stepped inside and attempted to not take a deep breath. That failed and he breathed in, the full force of Jeongguk’s scent hitting him like a crashing airplane holding grenades in its cargo. A familiar musk that took him back to that week of euphoria.

He heard the door close behind him and the two mates were left alone inside of the room. Taehyung looked around, trying to redirect his attention away from the almost naked alpha standing idly behind himself. There was a single king-sized bed sitting right in the middle of the main room, sheets and comforter thrown about as if Jeongguk had gotten frustrated with them. A suitcase laid open on the floor and Taehyung could see all of the fancy clothes neatly folded inside. They looked incredibly expensive and he nearly rolled his eyes when he saw the Rolex sitting on one of the drawers with the TV.

The gears moving in Jeongguk’s head seemed very loud and Taehyung couldn’t take it any longer. “You… You should probably get dressed before anything.”

Jeongguk blinked before nodding (even though Taehyung couldn’t see him) and grabbing some of the clothes out of his suitcase. He changed while the omega looked up at the ceiling though his eyes were begging for permission to fall and watch his mate. He managed to hold back.

With the falling of a towel and an ‘Okay’, the omega finally looked at his mate. It looked like not everything was overly fancy in that suitcase considering that Jeongguk was wearing a plain white tee and some gray sweatpants that still hung pretty low, letting some of the skin of his abdomen show off. Taehyung decided to pay no heed to it and gently sat down on the bed, body positioned like he was ready to run away should anything happen. Jeongguk joined him and a noticeable distance separated them.

“So… You finished law school.” Taehyung wasn’t sure why that was the first thing that came out of his mouth but it was. The alpha looked at him and slowly nodded.

“Yeah. Opened up my own law firm in Seoul.”

“Guess that explains the Rolex.” Taehyung snorted. They returned to silence and they both looked around the room in a painful way.

“You’re a kindergarten teacher?”

“Oh, yeah. For a while now. It’s summer break though so I work some hours at Jin’s bakery to make a little more cash.”

“Do you like it?”

“Being a teacher?”

“Mmhm.”

“I like being around the kids and teaching them, makes me feel happy to be helping them.”

Jeongguk rubbed circles with his finger on the white comforters. “I remember you saying that you didn’t want to become a school grade teacher.”

Taehyung looked down. He had said that. “Well, I needed the money and it was the only paying job I could get around here being an omega. Jimin offered to pay for my expenses but even you know I hate being dependent like that. I didn’t like it at first but the kids grew on me and so here we are.”

He doesn’t mention how mated omegas are supposed to be financially supported by their mates but the silent message is obviously conveyed to Jeongguk.

“How about you? Do you enjoy being an important lawyer like your father?” The words are a bit bitter.

The alpha scratches his ear. “It’s alright. I enjoy being able to help people who need justice on their side but it can get hard at many points. I’m the boss of my own firm but I still seem to be under my father’s heel.”

“Must be high paying.”

All of this is small talk and it makes something deflate inside of Taehyung.

“It is. I wish I could spend it on another person but I can’t since Jieun is obviously out of the picture and you… You know.”

Wait, what?

Taehyung’s eyes narrow for a second as he tries to process what he had just heard. So, Jeongguk isn’t with that omega girl anymore? Since when had that been off? Was the only reason he had come back was because he had lost his other girlfriend?

He wants to ask but for some reason he can’t make himself do it. Underneath it all, he’s still terrified of the truth in a way. So, he avoids it even though asking could have saved him a lot of trouble in his upcoming future.

Jeongguk suddenly looks at him with pleading eyes and the omega knows what is coming next.

“Taehyung… I know that you’re still angry with me and you have every right to be. I’m your mate and I wasn’t here for you when you needed me. I understand… I understand how miserable it must have been. I’m a terrible alpha and...” Jeongguk takes a deep breath, fists closing and opening. “I want to, no I need to prove to you that I’m still that person you met and fell in love with five years ago. Won’t you give me another chance?”

Taehyung had no idea that Jeongguk was capable of making such wretched looking expressions. He wanted to forgive Jeongguk, he really did underneath it all. But forgiveness shouldn’t be given until trust went both ways.

“Jeongguk. I can’t just move on this quickly after everything that’s happened. I know you came back here with those intentions but I’m just not ready for that yet. You’re my mate, my one and only, and yet I feel like you’re the furthest away. I don’t exactly understand what’s going on with this letter business and all that but I do know that I can’t just run back into your arms.”

He can practically feel the disappointment rolling off of the alpha in waves. It does make him feel guilty and he tries to say something that will maybe get that dejected look off his face.

“I um… I also came here to apologize.”

Jeongguk frowned. “For what?”

“For yesterday. I was… emotional. Very emotional. And while what you did was completely unacceptable and terrible, I should have listened to you before screaming in your face and telling you in front of everyone else that your knot was tiny.”

There was a moment of silence before Jeongguk softly laughed, which made Taehyung snap his head over. He didn’t really find it amusing so why was the alpha chuckling?

“Yeah, that was a definite hit to the ego but I probably deserved it after everything.” He said, gifting Taehyung a genuine smile.

Taehyung couldn’t help but feel a tug on his lips as well.

“I… I did miss you. You might not believe it but I really did.” Jeongguk softly added and the distance between them suddenly seemed too far.

The omega wasn’t sure how to answer that but tried his hardest. “I did too, in my own way.”

“So, what now?”

And that was the question everybody had been silently asking. What would be their future together?

“...I don’t know. How long do you have here this time around? If you say a week I might actually kick you out.”

Jeongguk laughed and shook his head. “No, of course not. My original plan was a little bit ruined though since it wasn’t you who wrote that letter. I had come here thinking that you wanted me back and would come home with me pretty easily. But, we both know how that ended. I have enough break time to spend a good month here especially since I own my law firm but they’ll be expecting me back there soon enough.” Jeongguk suddenly turns to Taehyung and the omega nearly jumps from where he’s sitting.

“But I don’t want you thinking that my job is more important than you! If it came down to it, I would quit my job and stay here if that’s what you wanted!”

Taehyung raised his hands in defense and just shook his head. “N-No, Jeongguk I don’t want you to quit your job. That’s okay.”

Jeongguk’s shoulders fell and his lips pouted out just slightly. “Oh. Okay.” He sounded a bit dejected.

Was his mate really an alpha? Taehyung wasn’t able to stop himself and he reached over to pinch the other’s cheeks for a brief moment. Jeongguk’s eyes lit up and the small smile returned. Taehyung’s cheeks grew pink when he realized what he had just done and he pulled his hands back into his lap.

“I’m still upset about what happened and I will be for a while, but I’m not going to hate and push you away because of that. Maybe...Maybe we can just be friends for right now.”

For right now.

That statement served as a small glimmer of hope for Jeongguk and sated Taehyung’s omega which was clawing at his chest. Jeongguk slowly nods.

“Okay. Friends, I can live with that.”

Friends was a weird place for mates to be but for now it had to be that way. Taehyung needed to maintain some composure here without totally throwing Jeongguk out of his life. He had already gone through the excruciating pain of being separated from his mate five years ago and he wasn’t entirely sure that he could live through that experience twice.

“Do you maybe want to get out of this room and go somewhere?”

“Where would you want to go?” Taehyung asked, leaning back on his hands.

“We could go to dinner. As friends of course!” Jeongguk quickly added.

Taehyung smiled and looked at the ground, finding all of this to be somewhat amusing. Friends.

“Alright, I know a place.”

Jeongguk blinked before that familiar grin came back to him. “Really?”

“I just said alright.” Taehyung said as he stood up and stretched out his arms. He hadn’t decided on whether or not this was a good choice. Jeongguk certainly thought is was however and the alpha quickly scrambled about to get all of his stuff ready.

They walked out of the hotel together in relative silence, neither knowing how to start this new ‘friendship’. Taehyung found it oddly nostalgic having Jeongguk walking by his side down these streets and it brought him strange feelings.

Taehyung ended up just taking him to a small burger joint near the hotel, not exactly in the mood for going out into town. It was somewhere that they had gone together when Jeongguk had come here first. He decided to not worry about that fact though and just say that he was going there because the food was good.

Jeongguk did the ordering and Taehyung was surprised that he had remembered his very long order. The alpha for some reason ordered a shit ton of other sides and when they came he had slid all of them over to Taehyung’s side of the table.

Taehyung raised a brow at him. “Is this all for me?”

The alpha had nodded, picking up a fry and dipping it into ketchup. “Mm hm. You need to eat.”

It was an alpha instinct to make sure that their mate was eating properly and well nourished. Taehyung guessed that Jeongguk had noticed that he had lost some weight over the years and didn’t have the same body appearance as before.

Jeongguk stopped, mouth open with the fry nearly in his mouth. The omega was a little confused as to what the hell he was waiting for until he followed Jeongguk’s gaze to the food sitting before him. Taehyung rolled his eyes and picked up his burger to take a bite out of it. Jeongguk’s eyes crinkled up and he started to eat as well.

Even though he did probably need to gain some of his weight back, there was way too much food on his side and Jeongguk eventually had to help him finish it.

“Your friends look like they’re doing well.” Jeongguk finally said after taking a sip of their caramel milkshake.

Taehyung shrugged. “Yeah, they’re alright. Nothing much has changed with them since the last time you saw them except for the fact that Yoongi and Jimin are mated now.”

“Yeah, Yoongi told me that when we were talking yesterday.”

The omega’s attention was peaked when he heard him say that. “What did you and him talk about?”

“Nothing too crazy. He basically just caught me up on everything going on here and asked me questions. I told him… Told him about why I left and came back.”

Taehyung had told Yoongi years ago when it had first happened about how Jeongguk had left him for his omega girlfriend and law school so why was this news? He brushed it off.

“Did you talk to Jimin?”

Based on the face that Jeongguk made he could assume yes. “Oh God, what did he say to you?” He laughed.

Jeongguk sighed and Taehyung could tell that it wasn’t anything nice. “Just the usual Jimin thing.”

Taehyung smiled and just shook his head, knowing how his friend could be. “If it makes you feel better, he told me that he wouldn’t interfere in all of this anymore, for my sake.”

The alpha ended up paying for their dinner even though Taehyung had insisted otherwise. He had only agreed when Jeongguk had argued that he was the one who ordered the excess of food for him.

They stood in front of the restaurant then, their respective destinations two different ways. A breeze blew by and it tousled Jeongguk’s dark hair and Taehyung bit his lip.

“Thank you, Taehyung, for talking to me and not completely rejecting me. It… It really means a lot.”

Taehyung nodded and held his hands behind his back to hide that fact that his fingers were trembling heavily.

Jeongguk took a deep breath before stepping forward. “It’s okay if you say no, but could I see it?”

The question was a bit vague so Taehyung looked up in question and saw that the alpha was looking at the area between his neck and shoulder which was currently covered by his cotton shirt.

Taehyung really considered saying no, seriously. But, he second thought himself. Letting Jeongguk see the mating mark couldn’t hurt anything so he pulled his shirt over to the side.

Jeongguk took a deep breath as he took in the sight. The skin there was scarred and pink from where the flesh had been bitten into and Jeongguk felt an onslaught on emotions which were obvious to Taehyung.

“Does it ever hurt?”

“Sometimes, usually just during my heats.”

“I’m sorry.”

Taehyung put his hand down and his shirt covered the area once again. “I know.”

The alpha looked like he was about to say something else but he stopped. His fists closed and he tried to smile at Taehyung.

They ended up exchanging phone numbers so they could stay in contact without one of them having to actually go and talk to the other. Taehyung wished that they had done this before Jeongguk had left the first time.

“Goodnight, Jeongguk.”

“Sleep well, Tae.”

 

Chapter Text

Day Five

 

The last four days with Taehyung have been heaven, truly. Jeongguk had done and seen more than he had ever thought possible and certainly felt a lot more in his heart than what was safe. But today, he wasn’t sure if he really wanted to see the omega.

 

It was easy to forget his predicament during the day when Taehyung was by his side, looking at him like no other person had. Almost all thoughts about home disappeared when the omega pressed their lips together and laid gentle hands on his chest and neck. As soon as he returned to his hotel however, everything came crashing down.

 

The first three days weren't too bad. Jeongguk obviously was able to realize his infatuation with the omega but he had able to handle it. He was able to accept that this was a one-time thing, a little romance that wouldn’t last or become serious. That had proved itself to be a stupid assumption and by the fourth day together he began to realize that this infatuation had grown into something much more dangerous.

 

They had been watching the sunset together, Taehyung laying on his chest as the sun descended down the clear water of the ocean. The passing time and gentle warmth had lulled the omega to sleep and Jeongguk had watched the younger in awe as his face grew lax and open.

 

It was a split second, that’s all it took. The feeling hit him in the gut as he realized that the emotions swirling within his chest were no longer playful, but something else entirely. He didn’t want to leave Taehyung to go home to some other omega that he didn’t care about. He didn’t want to see Taehyung with another alpha who wasn’t him. He wanted to be Taehyung’s, and wanted Taehyung to be his.

 

Daydreams of what their future could be like filled his head and the images still haunted him. He imagined courting Taehyung, not just this unofficial thing that was going on between them. Taehyung on his heat and holding him tightly as he knotted him and marked him as his own, becoming mates. Perhaps having pups together and raising a family.

 

He had held Taehyung tightly then, kissing the omega’s forehead even though he was asleep. These feelings were beginning to become problematic, scratch that, they already were.

 

But Taehyung wasn’t his. And couldn’t be, at least not with how things were now. Jeongguk laid in his bed that next morning, agonizing over the whole ordeal. Leave it to fate to still want to kick his ass. First he’s put into an arranged courtship that was only made for business purposes, then he goes off for one fucking week and falls in love with another omega. Fuck his life.

 

Did Taehyung love him back though or maybe reciprocate some feelings? He had to, Jeongguk knew it deep down in his heart. Taehyung wouldn’t have spilled his heart out to him over personal matters and frustrations, wouldn’t have kissed him with twinkling eyes that only showed that feeling. But, Taehyung also knew that Jeongguk had to leave by the end of the week. Granted, he wasn’t aware of the arranged courtship and all that but the omega knew that this summer romance had to come to an end.

 

The only problem was that Jeongguk really didn’t want it to. He didn’t want to go back home and he wanted to stay here. The responsibilities of home still called, however. Something his father had drilled into his head last night when he called.

 

“An omega? You’ve suddenly fallen in love with some omega in the course of four days?! That’s not even possible! You’re just trying anything at this point to get out of this courtship, aren’t you?” His father had shouted through the phone, loud voice making Jeongguk cringe and close his eyes.

 

“Father, you don’t understand. He’s… I know that he’s the one. Everything from his scent to the way he acts, it’s perfect. If you would just give this a chance I know you’d see how much he means to me. I found myself an omega, isn’t that enough?”

 

“Isn’t that enough? Are you joking? There are so many reasons why that is an awful idea. One, you have an obligation to this family and this business to court that omega! We have already set everything up and you could ruin months of trust between our companies which could lead to severe financial consequences! Two, there is a perfectly fine omega waiting at home for you! Jieun is a fine omega who has been properly raised by a family who has a considerable amount of wealth. She is proper and will provide everything you desire as an alpha!”

 

Jeongguk took a deep breath and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Relationships aren’t just about an omega pleasing their alpha, father! Omegas… Omegas aren’t just accessories that we use! They are people as well and they shouldn’t have to be taught to be worthy! They are individuals with their own thoughts and feelings.”

 

There’s a moment of silence before his father speaks in a very dark tone that sends shivers down Jeongguk’s spine.

 

“Omegas are omegas. They serve one purpose, and that is to please an alpha and bear their pups. Nothing more and nothing less. I know whatever foolishness you’re spewing right now did not come from your mother or me, so I can guess that omega you’re playing around with right now put that lie into your head. Let me tell you son, an omega who thinks they are higher in the hierarchy than they actually lie are very dangerous. They are manipulative and obviously don’t understand their place. Stay away from him.”

 

“He doesn’t understand his place in the hierarchy because the class system makes no fucking sense in the first place. He’s an omega, that’s true. Natural instincts and biology make it so that he is that way. But that does not mean that he is below any beta or alpha in any circumstance. My beliefs were once clouded by your judgment but it’s become clear now. I don’t need some handpicked omega who’s been taught to grovel at my feet to be happy, okay?”

 

His ire was spiking and it was an unfamiliar sensation, to become so angry with his own father. In his fury, he did not notice how his voice had grown deeper and his teeth just a bit sharper.

 

“You can have your week of romance with this slutty omega, I don’t care. But you will come home and you will court Jieun. End of discussion.”

 

Before Jeongguk had the chance to yell something back at his father to tell him to shut the fuck up, the phone call ended. He was left there, furious and panting, hands shaking as he was almost about to tear something apart. He had never felt so angry in his entire life, even when that one alpha from a year ago had challenged him.

 

His own father, the alpha who had raised him, had actually said those kinds of things about omegas and Taehyung. Disgusting.

 

The only thing that had gone well with that conversation was the fact that he had refrained from saying Taehyung’s name. His father would have surely done something to the omega to set them apart. That was the last thing that he wanted.

 

But now he was left with the choice of staying or leaving. Of course, his heart was begging him to stay with Taehyung here on Jeju. To live out his life with someone he truly loved and cared about. His mind was reminding him however that he would face the fury of his entire family if he didn’t come back, law school was still waiting for him, and that he would never have the chance to be financially successful if he stayed.

 

It was nearly three in the afternoon now, and he hadn’t seen Taehyung at all today. He was supposed to have gone and picked him up like every other day but his thoughts were still a mess. Regret poured in as well when he imagined Taehyung waiting for him expectantly and then his face downcast when he realized that the alpha wasn’t coming. Jeongguk slapped his hands over his cheeks and let out a noise of frustration. He really sucked, didn’t he?

 

That regret soon overcame his distraught over what decision to make and he finally got the motivation to get up from his bed and find some clothes to wear. He was upset but he didn’t want that to affect Taehyung. He went for something simple, just some jeans and a white t-shirt before fixing his hair and heading out. The omega may have left the apartment by now but he had to at least try and go find him.

 

The weather outside wasn’t as nice as the other days but Jeongguk appreciated that the sun wasn’t blazing in his eyes. Gray clouds covered the sky and although it didn’t look like it was going to rain today, it seemed like a storm was preparing to come. He shoved his keys and small leather wallet into his back pocket and walked at a quick pace over to where he knew the apartment to be.

 

Although he had only been here for less than two weeks, the small town’s map seemed to be ingrained within his head. In a way, it felt like home. That made it all the more worse.

 

A deep sigh escaped his lips as he stepped before the familiar apartment, the yellow door looking much more intimidating than ever before. Hopefully, Taehyung would be home and wouldn’t be upset that Jeongguk hadn’t come earlier.

 

He stepped up and knocked several times, biting his lip to the point where a small cut formed. The door suddenly opened and of course, it was Jimin standing there with a grimace.

 

Jeongguk swallowed and awkwardly looked down at his feet. He was a pure alpha but Jimin’s fiery gaze was still hard to meet. The other alpha just rolled his eyes and let Jeongguk in, the door slamming behind them.

 

“A little late today, aren’t you?”

 

Ah, there’s the usual attitude that he had become so accustomed to.

 

“Yeah, sorry. Is Taehyung here right now?” He replied, a bit curtly since Jimin wasn’t his favorite person in the entire world.

 

“No, him and Yoongi went out and probably won’t come back until the end of the hour.”

 

Jeongguk stopped in his tracks and blinked for a second. Wait, if Taehyung wasn’t here then why did Jimin let him in? Momentary dread filled his veins and he felt the sudden urge to run the hell out of this place.

 

Jimin kept walking though to the small wooden dining table and sat down with an icy smile. His legs were crossed and Jeongguk thought he looked like the evil stepmother from Cinderella. A shiver ran down his spine.

 

“You must be wondering why you’re in here if Taehyung isn’t. I wanted to talk to you about him. Have a seat.”

 

That sounded like the worst idea ever but Jeongguk mustered up the will to go and sit beside the other alpha even though it was the last place he ever wanted to be.

 

“Taehyung was disappointed that you didn’t come this morning. It seemed that he was terribly excited to go take you somewhere.”

 

Jeongguk let his hands rest in his lap and tried to calm his nerves. “Um, yeah. I was really planning to but something came up and I couldn’t come until now.” That was sort of true.

 

Jimin just nodded and looked at his nails. “It seems like you’re the hot topic for him, you’re the only person he cares to talk about nowadays. Every late night after you drop him off, he just runs about going on and on about how much fun he has with you and how perfect you are. I’ve never seen him so utterly fascinated in another alpha like he is with you.”

 

That certainly made Jeongguk’s cheeks red, knowing that Taehyung talked about him like this but Jimin’s tone and expression made his stomach feel queasy. Nothing good could come from this conversation.

 

“Taehyung has always been incredibly independent and I’m sure you have noticed his strong personality by now. But somehow you’ve been able to throw him on his knees. A bit worrisome, don’t you think?”

 

Jeongguk’s eyes narrowed, not liking the sound of this. “Why is that worrisome? It’s not like I’ve changed his entire personality. Taehyung is still Taehyung at the end of the day; you’re acting like I’m defiling him in some way which I’m not.”

 

He looks up at the wooden ceiling and bites the inside of his cheek. “You know, Taehyung was telling me about his problem with separating himself with his omega nature. How he wants to hold on to who he is. Also, how you seem rather obsessed with keeping him away from any and all alphas and keeping him ‘Taehyung’. That is what is worrisome to me. Being an omega is a part of who he is and he shouldn’t be ashamed of that because being an omega isn’t a bad thing. He should be proud to be an omega, not shoving that out of himself. But, it seems like you want him to for some reason. Do you think it’s wrong for him to accept who he truly is?”

 

“Taehyung is an omega, yes, but that shouldn’t define who he is.” Jimin seethed, “He wants to be his own person, that’s why he ran away from home and his parents who wanted him to conform to a certain mold. Taehyung isn’t some person meant for the house and raising pups, it’s not his place in this world.”

 

“Oh, so that’s what you think omegas are for in this world, huh?” Jeongguk interrupted, scoffing and crossing his arms.

 

“I never said that-“

 

“Well actually, you just said that omegas were for raising pups and taking care of the house so you kind of did.”

 

“I’m saying that’s what society thinks and expects of him! Taehyung has said himself that he doesn’t want that so I will protect him and make sure that he doesn’t put himself into a positon where he will.”

 

Put himself into a position? Are you being serious? What, do you think that Taehyung can’t make his own damn decisions without you holding his hand? If he’s so fucking independent, then why won’t you trust him to follow his own path?!”

 

“He’s independent but he still needs someone to help him along the way. He’s an omega and that means a lot of instincts and certain urges.”

 

Jeongguk laughed and the air between them just grew heavier. “Instincts and certain urges? Yeah, that’s natural, Jimin! Do you think that it’s healthy for us alpha to suppress our natural selves? No, it’s not. If anything, it’s just harmful. Taehyung has to love himself for who he really is, and every part. Even the omega side.”

 

“It’s not who he is.” Jimin snapped.

 

Any person who watched this argument could tell that things were becoming heated quickly and it almost seemed that the two alphas were beginning to challenge each other. Something that could result in a fight should one not back down soon enough.

 

“Who is he then?! You have some twisted view of what he should be and you need to let that shit go. You can’t constrain who he is nor should you want to. Taehyung shouldn’t want to cut off his omega side nor should he let that be his only identity. Just let him be himself! And Jimin, if he has to take that many suppressants than maybe that really isn’t who he is.”

 

“He takes those suppressants to control his heat.” Jimin said through gritted teeth, hands closing into fists.

 

“I’m not a fucking idiot. Any alpha with a working nose can sense that he’s taking more suppressants than what is needed to stop his heats. His scent is strong but even I can tell that it is suppressed at some level. Those suppressants can be dangerous when taken at that degree, to the point where he can be hurt. His omega nature is probably weaker right now than what it should be and that’s not right. Taehyung should be able to accept himself.”

 

The two glared daggers at each other and crimson started to bleed into Jeongguk’s eyes.

 

“Listen.” Jimin snarled, and Jeongguk could feel his now sharper teeth beginning to cut into his lips, “You’re going to be gone by the end of this week. Taehyung is getting attached and you need to go ahead and rip the band aid off.  Say goodbye and leave, don’t come back in the morning to see him. You’re not a worthy alpha for him and you never will be.”

 

“You think you’re any better for him? You can’t keep him chained by your side forever.”

 

Jeongguk hardly noticed how his alpha had suddenly taken control and that he was slowly standing up, teeth bared as he towered over the other.

 

Both of the alphas now had red coloring the irises of their eyes and their teeth ready to bite. They were one string away from breaking into a full out fight.

 

You can’t stop me from claiming him.”

 

Jimin suddenly kicked Jeongguk straight in the knee with a growl and he nearly fell from the impact. It was only a kick however and he soon grabbed Jimin by the collar of his shirt and his alpha sneered in pride when he saw Jimin’s eyes widen as he was lifted into the air.

 

Many people had the habit of underestimating Jeongguk in a fight since he was pretty passive in normal situations. He didn’t like picking fights and was usually somewhat nervous when confronted. But in the end, he was a pure alpha. The highest ranking of all alphas. He didn’t have those genes for nothing and when his temper was triggered, it exploded.

 

Jimin blinked and his aggressive look from before had dissipated just slightly as he realized his mistake in challenging Jeongguk. His feet hung a few inches above the ground as Jeongguk raised his entire body in the air without any strain or struggle.

 

“Pick on somebody your own size, Jimin.” Jeongguk spat before letting the other down with a shove. Jimin stumbled backwards and flailed about in an attempt to regain his balance.

 

The challenge was over, Jeongguk had proven his dominance here and he stood tall, still panting as he tried to calm himself. There was still the desire to keep going, to kick and claw until Jimin verbally submitted but he knew that his point was made.

 

He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and glared at Jimin one last time before turning his back and storming out of the apartment. His hands trembled and irritation found its way under his skin. How could Taehyung, the sweetest person he knew, have that son of a bitch as a best friend? His day was already going terribly and now it was completely ruined. Thanks, Jimin.

 

The scent coming off of him was terribly bitter and anyone could tell that this was an alpha you did not want to get in the way of. His eyes were clouded by rage and there was an indescribable urge picking at him. A sudden aroma hit him and he desperately looked about, nails digging into his palms.

 

Time itself seemed to stop when he laid eyes on a certain someone ahead of him who was accompanied by someone else. Taehyung.

 

His breathing was ragged and he was sure that he looked a bit feral after his encounter with Jimin. For a second he was afraid that Taehyung would be frightened but the omega just looked at him with caring and sympathetic eyes. Sad, even.

 

He wasn’t sure where Yoongi had gone and he didn’t care either since his eyes were only on Taehyung as the omega slowly approached him. Jeongguk realized that his teeth were still sharp and on full view. Taehyung did seem to take notice of them, gazing at the four enlarged teeth with a strange interest.

 

“Gukkie…” Taehyung softly said, and Jeongguk’s anger and rage from before seemed to melt into something else entirely. Desperation, desire, want.

 

The omega held his arms open and Jeongguk fell into his hold, nosing the soft skin of the other’s neck and taking deep breaths of his scent to calm himself. It only made things worse however because all he could smell was the lingering scents of Jimin and Yoongi. Nothing of himself.

 

His breathing grew worse and his hands shook, wanting to rest on Taehyung’s body and hold him close. Taehyung seemed to notice this along with Jeongguk’s strange state of bitterness.

 

“We’re close to the hotel, aren’t we? Let’s go back there, Guk.” He whispered, running his fingers through the alpha’s hair.

 

Jeongguk lets Taehyung lead him by the hand back to his hotel room and he walks in a daze. He’s still in complete alpha instincts right now and he needs to be soothed. His eyes remain on Taehyung and Taehyung only, who looks behind and gifts him with a smile every once in a while.

 

He barely registers that they’re back in his room until Taehyung lays him down on the bed, resting a pillow under his head.

 

“Taehyung…” Jeongguk says, voice gruff yet soft at the same time.

 

The omega smiles and sits by his side, caressing his cheek with a hand. “What do you need, Jeongguk? Tell me.”

 

He knows that he can’t have what he truly needs right now and he closes his mouth. There was no way in hell that he would force Taehyung to do anything he was uncomfortable with. His body trembled and maybe being alone with Taehyung in his room wasn’t the best idea.

 

Taehyung seems to sense what he’s thinking though, and he licks his lips. “You’re angry. Was it Jimin?”

 

Jeongguk is able to nod before closing his eyes.

 

“…I figured. I saw you coming out from the apartment looking ready to fight. I’m sorry. He said some things to me this morning as well that made me upset. That’s why Yoongi took me out.”

 

Taehyung sighs and runs his fingers over Jeongguk’s face. First his lips, then his nose, and finally over his closed eyelids.

 

“I don’t really want to talk it about it. I know what he’s saying has some reality to it but I don’t want to worry myself over it right now. I just… I just want to be with you before you leave. I want to be yours, even if it only lasts a little longer.”

 

Jeongguk opens his eyes and his lips part as he sees the broken expression on Taehyung’s face. So, he did feel the same after all.

 

Taehyung gazes back at him and says softly, “Will it make you feel better if you scent me?”

 

Jeongguk stops breathing and he stares at the omega, not sure if he heard that correctly. Scenting wasn’t some simple matter that any two people did. Only those who were in the serious stages of courting or mates scented each other. It was an act of trust and an act of claiming. Not as significant as the biting mark to mate but certainly up there.

 

“…Scent you?” He repeated, wanting to hear it from Taehyung again.

 

“Yes, would that not make you feel better right now?”

 

“It would but that’s a serious matter, Tae. And besides, I don’t want to do that if you’re not ready.”

 

Taehyung inches a little closer to him though with an earnest look. “N-No, you misunderstand. I… I want it as well.”

 

Jeongguk blinks and takes a deep breath. Okay. Okay, this was actually happening.

 

“You want it? You want me to scent you?”

 

“Yes, Guk.” Taehyung said once again and he tilted his head over so his neck was exposed. Jeongguk smiled at the sight because it was almost humorous. Taehyung sitting there with his neck out, eyes wide and lips a bit wet. He looked so innocent and Jeongguk’s chest warmed.

 

“Okay…Okay.” Jeongguk said, and his alpha clawed at his skin in anticipation.

 

Taehyung closed his eyes as the alpha sat up and rested a hand on his chest as their bodies came closer. Jeongguk leaned in and swallowed.

 

He first tried to will his teeth away, not wanting to nick Taehyung’s skin or scare him into thinking he was going to bite a mating mark into his neck.

 

The omega let out a breathy whine as Jeongguk’s lips found their place on his pheromone glands, sucking a mark there that would last several days. Taehyung tried to pretend like it was Jeongguk truly claiming him, biting him and making him his mate. Of course, that was only in his deepest dreams but he could at least daydream while Jeongguk was here, so close to the real thing.

 

Jeongguk kept kissing over Taehyung’s neck, licking and sucking every inch of skin available to him. His alpha felt at rest now that his scent was mixing into Taehyung’s sweet one. Small noises of pleasure and comfort left the omega and Jeongguk felt himself falling further into the hole.

 

As he moved over to the other side of Taehyung’s neck, a sudden pressure between his legs had him stopping. He gazed down and saw Taehyung’s hand there, rubbing over his clothed length. He took a deep breath and the heat made the omega sigh.

 

He decided to continue, tentatively kissing the skin there once more. Taehyung undid the zipper of his jeans and he closed his eyes. Soon, the omega’s hand was fully wrapped around his growing erection and he realized just how soft his hands were.

 

The two of them began to pant, Taehyung unsure of how Jeongguk could work such wonders with his mouth. He couldn’t smell his own scent but now Jeongguk’s musk was cloaking his skin and he felt like he was truly Jeongguk’s.

 

Jeongguk groaned softly as Taehyung’s rubbed his thumb over the crown of his cock, sliding over the slit there. His hips jerked as the other hand joined and went lower this time, massaging and squeezing where his knot would form.

 

“I-I’ve been wanting to do this with you…” Taehyung whined as Jeongguk sucked another mark on his neck. “Wanted to see and feel how big you are. Know how well you would fill me up.” He’s never felt this way about someone and his thighs shake. The noises that Jeongguk is making vibrate against his skin and he throws his head back.

 

“When? When did you think about me?” Jeongguk whispered, voice raspy.

 

Taehyung flicked his wrist and Jeongguk’s hold on the omega’s hips tightened. A bead of precum was formed and Taehyung rubbed over it.

 

“Back at the waterfall and ever since. When you pulled me in the water and held me close to you. I thought about what it’d be like inside your bed… And… W-When I got home to my own bed… I’d think about how’d you hold me down and knot me until I couldn’t move anymore…”

 

Jeongguk nearly wanted to faint with happiness knowing that Taehyung had daydreamed about them together. With his scent all over Taehyung, he raised his head and brought their lips together.

 

Taehyung whimpered against his lips as Jeongguk undid his zipper and reached a hand under the fabric there. The omega cried out as Jeongguk pulled out his pink cock, fully hard and already leaking a good amount of precum.

 

“A-alpha!”

 

“Cute.” Jeongguk quietly laughed, letting his hands jerk the omega off. He could tell that the other was close and so was himself.

 

Taehyung fell forward, head resting on Jeongguk’s chest as his hands moved in rapid movements around the alpha’s cock.

 

“You’re doing so well, pup. So pretty.” Jeongguk cooed, voice teasing but eyes filled with love.

 

It only took another minute until the two of them were cumming, white streaks covering their stomachs and hands. Taehyung panted with a small smile painted over his face.

 

Jeongguk watched with wide eyes as Taehyung wiped all of the cum up with his fingers before bringing it to his mouth and lapping it up with kittenish licks. The omega’s eyes were much less innocent looking however.

 

Taehyung’s hands were soon clean and he smiled. Jeongguk laughed gently and raised a brow at the omega as he brought his hands back, licking up the mess on his hands just as Taehyung had done. The taste was bitter on his hand but somewhat masked by the sweet smell in the air. It was then that he noticed how Taehyung was holding his legs very tightly together. He was wearing gray sweatpants though and Jeongguk could see that there was a wet spot forming.

 

He swallowed as he realized that Taehyung was leaking slick right now and Jeongguk had to wonder if it tasted like it smelled right now. That… That could wait until later.

 

Taehyung looked at him with a tired expression and Jeongguk was quick to pull the omega into his arms and into his side as the two fell back into the bed.

 

“That was nice.” Taehyung whispers, snuggling into Jeongguk and trying to have as much contact as possible.

 

“Is it okay if I nap for a while? I’m tired.”

 

Jeongguk smiles and holds Taehyung closely in his arms. “Go to sleep. I’ll be here when you wake up.”

 

Taehyung closes his eyes and sighs. “I wish you always would.”

 

It isn’t until much later, when Taehyung is passed out and drooling on his shirt, does Jeongguk think about everything that happened that day.

 

He stares into the white paint of the ceiling with a terrified expression and a feeling of dread of what will come in the next two days.

 

“I’m so fucking screwed.”

  


 

Chapter Text

Taehyung wakes with a frown. He rubs his hands over his face and groans. There’s a damp feeling on the skin of his palms when he retracts them and he looks at them in mild confusion. It was odd but he didn’t exactly think of it as anything out of the blue. Plenty of people woke up in a sweat after all. Taehyung quickly dismissed it as such and went on to throw the blue sheets currently covering him off. He failed to notice the wet marks from sweat on the fabric as he sat up and looked at his alarm clock sitting on his bedside drawer.

 

His eyes widened when he read ’11:24 AM’ there and he quickly got up off of his bed to run to his closet. It wasn’t like him to sleep in so late, even when he had no alarm on the latest he would awake would be around nine. He wiped his hand back over his forehead and sighed as more wetness accumulated on his fingers. Was his air conditioning getting faulty right in the middle of summer? Fuck, it really was hot right now.

 

Once again, he was supposed to meet Jeongguk back at his hotel room. Now that they had exchanged numbers it was easier to get in contact unlike before. The alpha had wanted to talk to him again and his enthusiasm and hope were evident even through text messages. Taehyung had wanted to reject the offer but somehow his fingers had already texted back a yes before his head could register what he had done. He had less than half an hour to get over there and he was looking like a groggy monster right now.

 

It felt as if his skin was about to melt off so he decided to wear some lighter clothes. A soft silk shirt and pair of cotton shorts was his attire for the day but it still felt heavy for some reason. When he got into his bathroom he turned the sink faucet on and splashed some cold water onto his face. It felt heavenly and he kept doing it for a while longer. The only problem was that the sudden heat kept coming back whenever the cold water wasn’t on his skin. Wonderful.

 

He pulled the mirror door open and quickly grabbed his bottle of suppressants. The back label instructed to only use one a day at most but he popped three into his hand without another thought of what consequences could arise from it. The three pills went down dry and he stood there with his eyes clenched shut for a few seconds as they went down his esophagus.

 

His doctor had repeatedly reminded him that overusing the suppressants was dangerous but over the years Taehyung had realized that the advice wasn’t that great. Nothing bad had come from taking a few more than recommended on the bottle and he had been doing it for so long. He guessed that he must have grown an immunity to them as one a day wasn’t cutting it anymore. On a usual day, he took two but he was meeting Jeongguk today. Three was necessary to keep a complete cool throughout the entire day.

 

Bag in hand, he trudged along and made it through the door. A tiny bit of discomfort pooled into his stomach and he exhaled shakily.

 

(He hadn’t experienced a preheat in five years; the feeling was unrecognizable)

 

The outside air was unbearably boiling and Taehyung looked up at the sky. It looked like it was about to rain, angry clouds littering the sky with a dark gray. The sun was nowhere in sight and Taehyung blinked several times in confusion. That was… odd.

 

There weren’t that many people out right now and Taehyung guessed it was because of the rain clouds appearing and the terrible heat. One alpha passed by him and the omega failed to notice how the other stopped and turned around as he kept walking. The alpha’s head cocked in interest, a mixture of confusion and want. Taehyung was giving off a new scent, signaling that his heat was about to begin. But there was also a mating mark on his neck. A clear sign that there would be trouble should the alpha try anything. The thing that confused the alpha though was why Taehyung, a mated omega, wasn’t at home. A normal mated omega in preheat would be nesting in a safe area, waiting for their alpha to mate them. The alpha shrugged and moved along.

 

Taehyung looked at his watch and sighed. He was nearly late and he hated being off time. Besides, he was sure that Jeongguk would have a mini panic attack if he was a minute off. He tried to speed up his pace but it just felt like his feet were sinking into the concrete of the sidewalk. Beads of sweat were forming on his face again and he was almost embarrassed for Jeongguk to see him like this. A minor thought ran through his head, telling him that it didn’t matter what Jeongguk thought or how he looked. That usually would have been the dominant thought but today another overwhelming feeling was taking over, so slowly that Taehyung wasn’t even alarmed. To look good and impress Jeongguk, it started to fog his mind.

 

The air conditioner of the hotel blew onto his skin but provided almost no relief. It was almost like more hot air was being pumped out. He wanted to be home in his bed but also with Jeongguk. Why did he want Jeongguk in his apartment again? The hotel receptionist sent him a strange look of concern but for some reason it didn’t occur to Taehyung to ask what was wrong. His stomach hurt and he tried to think of what he ate last night. Just some ordered takeout that he ate in the solitude of his bedroom, that couldn’t be it.

 

The hallway which Jeongguk’s room was on seemed to stretch out for miles and Taehyung grimaced in pain. He rested a hand around his abdomen, trying to put a little pressure there. Finally, after what seemed like ages, his mate’s door came into reach. His mate? Since when did he refer to Jeongguk like that?

 

Hand reached out to the wooden door, he was finally able to take a relived breath. Jeongguk would know what to do. Jeongguk would take care of him.

 

My alpha will always take care of me.

 

He nearly knocked before he heard some voices. Jeongguk’s soothing voice made his fingers tremble but then another voice was heard. Taehyung paused and gently pressed his cheek against the door, straining to hear the conversation.

 

“What do you mean the letter wasn’t for you? I saw the letter myself, it was from Taehyung!” An unfamiliar female voice said through a phone. It must have been on speaker. A line of something formed between Taehyung’s brows.

 

“I know, I know. I came down though and met with him and made a total fool of myself. I was there confessing all of my feelings towards him and then he broke the news that the letter wasn’t from him! I tried to talk to him but he just kept shutting me down… And then all of his friends showed up and he yelled at me and said that I was awful in bed!” Jeongguk replied, sounding pretty hurt and dejected. Taehyung was nearly panting now, body shaking.

 

Something’s wrong something’s wrong something’s wrong

 

Taehyung swallowed.

 

A laugh came from the other line and it was loud and pleasant. Nothing like his own which was strange and deep. A pang of insecurity ran through him and a clenching pain constricted his lungs. It was getting hard to breathe.

 

“He’s sounds as feisty as you described him the first time. What happened next? Have you talked to him again?”

 

Jeongguk sighed and Taehyung could almost envision him running a hand through his hair. “Yeah. He actually came to me first and it was pretty awkward. I mean, I was definitely ecstatic that he came back but there still that barrier between us… We went out to dinner and he said he wanted to start off as friends again. That’s… That’s good, right? He’s not completely rejecting me?”

 

“I mean… It’s definitely a start. I think you just need to give him some time. It’s been five years after all. He’s going to need some time to get used to your presence again. Don’t worry about it, okay? Taehyung is your mate. He’s your omega and you’re his alpha. The trust between you still needs some building but underneath it all you love each other.”

 

“Do you really think that, Jieun? You think that he’ll take me back?”

 

Taehyung’s breath stopped when he heard that name. Jieun. That was the name of the omega who Jeongguk left him for. The omega who had been waiting for Jeongguk back in Seoul. A terrible and overwhelming flood of jealously and resentment flowed through Taehyung. The pain in his body became worse as these new feelings joined the crowd already going through him. Why was Jeongguk still talking to her? Why would he still want her when he was right here? He was his omega, not Jieun.

 

“Of course, Guk. Taehyung knows what you’ve been through and what you’ve suffered through. I’m sure that he’ll be able to see that and forgive you. Once that happens you’ll be together again.”

 

Why the fuck did she know about them? Why did she know his name and why did she call Jeongguk by a nickname? She had no right. And what the fuck? Suffering? What had Jeongguk gone through that could be considered suffering? He wasn’t the one who was left high and dry after being mated for five years.

 

Those feelings of want from before were now being covered by anger and confusion. His head and logic were now pissed the fuck off and he had to stop himself from busting down that door and breaking that damn phone.

 

“I don’t know… There’s something off here. I feel like there’s some severe miscommunication or misunderstanding going on. It just seems like Taehyung isn’t on the same page as me. Like he doesn’t know the full story.”

 

Taehyung sniffed and frowned. Didn’t know something? Was there another part of this story that he was not aware of? His thoughts were cut off by a horrifying agony that ripped through his abdomen, sending him to the floor with a silent gasp. He may have not have had a heat in five years so the beginning stages were unfamiliar, but there were some things that he was bound to remember. This pain though, it was like no other heat. It had never hurt this badly.

 

His eyes widened, pupils dilated and swirling with emotion. Oh, God. He was having a heat, after taking three suppressants that morning and for the last five years on a regular schedule. This shouldn’t be happening. Scientifically speaking, it couldn’t happen. The side effects of overdosing on suppressants included a whole lot of things but certainly not intensive heats.

 

He was scared. Really fucking scared. He wasn’t at home in his nest. He was in fucking public, in a hotel of all places where there was a great number of other alphas. He remembered Jeongguk. His alpha, his mate.

 

Jeongguk could take care of him… but would he? Taehyung wasn’t sure what he was feeling anymore. The heat was starting to take over his consciousness and the last thing he felt before completely losing himself was panic. He didn’t want this. He was scared. He didn’t want-

 

Taehyung blinked and a sudden heat fell from his stomach downwards. His vision swirled and all he could think about was Jeongguk’s arms and body wrapping around his own. He could hear his alpha’s voice through the door and it felt so far away and yet so close at the same time.

 

“Taehyung… Taehyung is…” Jeongguk said, voice slowing down and growing deeper, obviously in response to the huge flood of new scents that Taehyung was releasing.

 

Yes… I’m out here. Leave her and come to me…

 

“Jeongguk? Is everything okay? What’s going on?” Jieun asked and Taehyung’s lips parted. What was he waiting for?

 

“I- I um…” Jeongguk’s voice was breaking away, obviously not interested in the phone call anymore.

 

I’m here… Your mate…

 

“I have to go.” The alpha suddenly said before hanging up.

 

Taehyung bit his lip tightly and a muffled moan moved up his throat. His nails scratched against the door and he wondered what was taking Jeongguk so long.

 

He didn’t have to worry about that for too long though since the door went flying open, making Taehyung fall back down on his hands. Shoes. He saw a pair of shoes before slowly raising his head up.

 

There was a bit of strain on his neck as he started directly at Jeongguk, who was still standing and looking down at him. Even from this distance, Taehyung could see the crimson coloring forming in Jeongguk’s usually black irises. His lips parted and his mouth suddenly felt incredibly wet.

 

Jeongguk looked no better, chest heaving and jaw tightly clenched shut. Taehyung took a shaky breath and a small smile found its way onto his lips when he smelled that the alpha was reacting to his heat.

 

His alpha was towering over him and his loose shorts now seemed to be a bit tighter. Taehyung’s legs shook and he instinctively brought his thighs closer together.

 

“A-alpha… Help me…” Taehyung whimpered, eyes beginning to well up with tears. The desire inside of him was becoming too much and he desperately needed the sensation of touch.

 

Jeongguk swallowed and Taehyung made a soft noise as his Adam’s apple bobbed.

 

“K-knot me.”

 

That seemed to get Jeongguk moving and he knelt down, arms stretched out. Taehyung gasped when Jeongguk lifted him into the air with strong arms. He remembered this feeling. He remembered how nice it felt.

 

“Oh, Taehyung…” Jeongguk softly whispered and the omega whined in response.

 

Taehyung leans in and his lips find contact with the skin of Jeongguk’s neck. He sucks several marks there and it pleases him to see the reddish bruises left behind.

 

This brings back so many memories that he had locked away for so long, and Taehyung questions why he had ever tried to suppress such memories of happiness and pleasure. Jeongguk used to hold him like this, easily carrying him about without strain. It made him so happy, even though he would never admit it. He loved the feeling of being taken care of, loved that Jeongguk was strong enough to do so.

 

The omega rested his head against Jeongguk’s shoulder with a content smile, toes curling in at the thought of what was to come.

 

“Claim me again, alpha… Mark me like you did back then. It’s been so long…” Taehyung whispered and he feels how Jeongguk’s heart is pounding.

 

The mark on his neck was throbbing and everything was screaming at him to have Jeongguk prove their connection once again. Five years of no mating was a long time and everything was beginning to burst now.

 

“It’s okay, Taehyung. Everything’s going to be okay.” Jeongguk said, voice somewhat shaky.

 

Taehyung moved his hips forward, allowing for some friction against his hardening length. It was something but nowhere near enough.

 

Jeongguk gently carries him to the bed and he whimpers when the alpha lays him down on the soft sheets. He spreads his legs apart and bares his neck to the side, submitting to his mate. Taehyung closes his eyes and waits for his alpha to finally claim him again after five years.

 

A second passed. Then another. Several more. Taehyung peaks his eyes open and slowly moves his head back over to look at his mate, to see what was wrong.

 

Something’s… off. Jeongguk hasn’t moved a single inch from where he was standing. He just stood there with wide eyes, entire body shaking. His scent was spiking and Taehyung could smell the lust coming off of him. But, Jeongguk was holding himself back. His body was obviously struggling but there was a fire in the alpha’s eyes like no other. Determination.

 

Taehyung swallowed and his lips trembled into a frown. “Alpha… Touch me…”

 

Jeongguk’s hands closed into fists. The omega’s chest tightened and fear ran through his heart. Was there something wrong with himself? Was he no longer good enough for Jeongguk?

 

With a pained noise, he sat up and Jeongguk took a step back. Taehyung’s face was one of hurt.

 

“I-I’m still a good omega… She… Jieun isn’t as good as me… I can prove that I’m still good!” He cried out, reaching out to his alpha.

 

Jeongguk finally approached him, taking Taehyung’s hands into his own as he kneeled down by the bedside. His eyes were completely red now and if Taehyung looked into the mirror he would see that his were blue.

 

The alpha gifted him a gentle smile and he tenderly rubbed his thumbs over the soft skin of Taehyung’s hands.

 

“I know, Taehyung. I know. Jieun doesn’t compare to you. You have always been my one and only, okay? I’m sorry that you ever had to doubt that. I’m sorry that you think that you aren’t good enough for me because the truth is that you’re the one who’s too good for me.”

 

He reached over and tucked a piece of hair behind Taehyung’s ear.

 

“Underneath it all, I failed you.”

 

A tear ran down Taehyung’s cheek from the pain and he fervently shook his head, unsure of where all this talk was from. He just wanted Jeongguk to knot him. Why was he hesitating?

 

Jeongguk laughed for a second, though it sounded very sad. “You’re not listening to what I’m saying. That’s okay, I understand. It’s nearly impossible to when you’re in heat, I know that I’m the same when I’m in a rut. We can talk when this has passed, though for some reason I feel like you’ll be too embarrassed to do so. I’ll wait until you’re ready.”

 

“I am ready!” Taehyung argued and for a brief second he sensed that there another meaning to what Jeongguk was trying to say.

 

“I want you!”

 

The alpha was still breathing heavily, the effects of Taehyung’s heat affecting him terribly. It looked as if he were about to burst.

 

Jeongguk put his head down and took a deep breath, immediately regretting it since it just had more of the scent in the air going into his lungs.

 

“Your heart wants me; I can at least see that. It makes me happier than you’ll ever know… Knowing that I still have a place in your heart after everything that you had to go through; you’ll always have a place in mine after all.”

 

Taehyung sniffed and closed his eyes as another wave of heat rushed through his body. Jeongguk’s presence was making all of this worse and he rubbed his legs together, wanting the touch but not wanting to let go of Jeongguk’s hands.

 

“Please please please…”

 

“I want you so badly, Taehyung. Fuck…” Jeongguk said, the corners of his eyes crinkling up in a manner that Taehyung thought should be illegal.

 

“I’ve been waiting for so long to be with you again, to have my omega back in my arms. It didn’t turn out like I had originally thought when I first came back to see you but… sometimes things happen. But what matters is that you’re here now and are at least willing to talk to me again. I want you, Tae.”

 

Taehyung gazed up at Jeongguk with fond eyes, sated at the knowledge that Jeongguk did want him after all. Everything would be okay.

 

“…But not like this.”

 

Taehyung’s face curled up in rejection, hurt immensely by those four words.

 

“W-What? Why? What did I do wrong?” He cried, moving forward and trying to get closer and closer to his mate.

 

Jeongguk let him, wrapping his arms around Taehyung’s body when the omega fell into his embrace. Taehyung pressed his nose into Jeongguk’s neck, breathing in the heavy scent. Jeongguk did the opposite, not allowing himself to look down as see the mating mark on Taehyung’s neck. That might actually be the breaking point for him. Everything hurt and every alpha instinct was screaming at him to claim Taehyung right here and right now but he knew that was wrong.

 

“I know what it’s like, don’t you remember? On my first rut when my parents locked an omega in my room. It felt so wonderful during my rut and I didn’t picture any regrets coming from it. But… when I woke up from that daze I was horrified. It wasn’t what I had wanted. Of course, I was still myself during all of it but I was also running on pure instinct as well. I couldn’t do anything to protect myself from it. I… I don’t want you to go through that.” Jeongguk’s voice was cracking and Taehyung froze when he realized that tears were freely falling from the alpha’s eyes and onto his shirt.

 

“I don’t want you to feel that betrayal and grief. You don’t deserve that, nobody does. So, I can’t touch you. Not when I don’t have your full consent and willingness.”

 

Jeongguk tried to pull back from the embrace but Taehyung clung to him with desperation, panting and feeling as if he were about to die.

 

“No, I want it! I want you! I’m telling you right now!”

 

The alpha just gently shushed him in a soothing manner, pulling Taehyung’s arms off of him.

 

“I’m going to call Jimin, okay? I’m sure he’ll bring some of your friends to help you out. You can stay here in my room; I know some of the stuff here with my scent on it will be nice. You just have to hold through for me, okay? We can talk after all of this has passed. I think… I feel like there’s some things we need to discuss. I promise that I’ll wait for you.”

 

As soon as he got Taehyung off of him, he stood back up and quickly paced over to the door, not sure how much more of this he could take.

 

Don’t leave him

 

His hand laid on the doorknob when Taehyung tumbled over by his feet, hands pulling on the hem of his shirt.

 

“A-alpha!” He sobbed. “Don’t leave me here! I’m your mate!”

 

There it was. Jeongguk’s hand trembled like never before and he had to press his other hand above it to hold it down. He was fighting every instinct and feeling inside of himself, and Taehyung wasn’t helping his purpose. He needed to leave, right now.

 

“I’m doing this because I’m your mate.” Jeongguk said with finality before opening the door and stepping out, slamming the door harshly and shoving the key in there to lock Taehyung inside.

 

His heart clenched up and it felt as if he had just killed something inside of himself.

 

Jeongguk gasped for breath as he fell downwards, back resting against the wooden door. He could feel the vibrations as Taehyung pounded at the door, and he could practically envision the tears on the omega’s face. Once again, he hurt his mate. It seemed like it was the only thing he ever did.

 

“Jeongguk!” Taehyung wailed and the alpha pulled his knees to his chest, eyes tightly shut closed.

 

There was a moment of silence and Jeongguk briefly worried about what was happening behind that door which was currently separating them.

 

He nearly jumped to his feet when a huge force hit the door and he realized that Taehyung had just kicked the door. Jeongguk blinked in moderate surprise.

 

“You’re an awful mate! I didn’t need you these past five years and I surely don’t need you now!” Taehyung sobbed, sounding incredibly miserable and heartbroken.

 

His words crushed Jeongguk.

 

He heard a thump, probably Taehyung jumping back onto the bed. After that was just tears. Jeongguk truly hated himself as he pulled his phone out of his back pocket. He hated that he had to call another fucking alpha to help his mate during his heat. He hated his parents for forcing him home, he hated that Taehyung had moved on so fast after such a small amount of time, he hated whoever wrote that fucking letter under Taehyung’s name, he hated how everyone here despised him, and he hated his own weakness.

 

Jimin’s number was quickly dialed and he held the phone up to his ear with a face of irritation. He could still hear Taehyung in the background.

 

“What?” Jimin responded, sounding quite bored.

 

Jeongguk tried to level out his voice but it still came out very deep and raspy. “Taehyung’s in heat…”

 

“What?! What the fuck do you mean?! He’s been on suppressants for years now, he couldn’t be having one!” Jimin immediately shouted and Jeongguk pulled the phone a couple of inches away from his ear to escape the loud noise. It sounded like Jimin was scrambling around. At least somebody was coming to help.

 

“I know, I know. I don’t know what’s going on right now…” He panted, wiping some of the sweat off of his forehead.

 

“Wait. Why do you know that he’s in heat?” Jimin asked, voice very dark and suspicious.

 

“H-He came over here… We’re at my hotel room right now… please come over.” Jeongguk hung up the phone before he had to listen to whatever bullshit Jimin was about to start screaming at him. He wasn’t exactly in the mood right now.

 

Jeongguk rested his head against the door and closed his eyes. He had to sit here until help came. There was no way in hell that he would leave Taehyung unguarded in such a moment of vulnerability.

 

He prayed that this wouldn’t worsen the already tense air around them. Jeongguk just wanted things to get better and this wasn’t that great of an advancement. What if Taehyung was angry after this? What if he was afraid and would never want to see him again?

 

Did I make the right decision?

 

The only thing he could do right now was hope for the best. Hope that Taehyung would still talk to him and give him a chance to explain everything.

 

Jeongguk sat there alone, with his mate separated only by a locked door that he had to the key too. He would be lying if he said that the thought of going back inside didn’t cross his mind but he restrained himself from even budging an inch.

 

Time passed, though Jeongguk was not sure how much. When he opened his eyes again it was due to heavy footsteps coming his way.

 

He looked up and saw Jimin and Jin sprinting down the hall, the omega holding a packed bag. Jimin looked pissed as hell.

 

The two stopped in front of him and Jeongguk slowly got up. His heart told him to hold onto the key, but he still found himself dropping it into the hand of Jin.

 

The omega put a hand on his shoulder before moving behind him and unlocking the door to help Taehyung. Jimin’s hand was wrapped around his arm, to keep him in place should he be tempted to follow Jin into the room. A useless move since Jeongguk would throw Jimin down the hall should he really want to. Jeongguk didn’t move however.

 

Jin locked the door behind him and Jeongguk took a deep breath.

 

“Did you touch him?” Jimin hissed, tone already accusing.

 

“I swear if you laid a single finger on him-“

 

“I didn’t fucking touch him, okay? If I was actually going to do something, would I have called you of all people?”

 

He had a point and Jimin retracted his hand. The two alphas just stood there, both of their arms crossed.

 

Jimin finally spoke up. “What happened? He hasn’t had a heat in years.”

 

Jeongguk shrugged and bit down on his cheek. He was slowly starting to calm down but his instincts were still going haywire.

 

Jimin seemed to notice this and he walked Jeongguk down the hall to where Taehyung’s scent wasn’t as strong. They still stood at the end of it though, keeping a good view so they would know if anyone tried to approach the omega’s room.

 

It was certainly better out here and Jeongguk was finally able to catch his breath. “I’m not sure… We were supposed to meet again to talk today but then he just suddenly showed up, fully in heat. I know that he’s been on suppressants, even overdosing to a dangerous level, does that have anything to do with this?”

 

Jimin tapped his foot against the floor, deep in thought.

 

“Heats aren’t a side effect of the suppressants, even when taken irresponsibly. But, who knows? All that I’m aware of is that when you overdose and stop taking the suppressants, it messes your whole cycle up. Some omegas won’t have a heat for another year while other’s can have intense heats that last an entire week. It just wacks everything up.”

 

Jeongguk didn’t like the thought that Taehyung was taking suppressants, let alone taking too many. It deeply disturbed him.

 

“So, his cycle is messed up. That could explain why he’s going into a heat so randomly.” He suggested, not entirely sure of the science behind those wretched pills.

 

“… No, there’s something else to it. It would explain him having a terrible and sudden heat, but not what caused it. He probably still took suppressants this morning. Something triggered it.”

 

Jeongguk was about to say something but he quickly shut his mouth.

 

He and Taehyung hadn’t seen each other in five years.

 

Taehyung’s heat had been triggered by the presence of his mate.

 

Jeongguk looked up and saw that Jimin had figured it out as well.

 

“…You two have a lot to talk about when this is over.”

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Day Six

 

Jeongguk’s earliest memory of learning about being an alpha came from a rainy day when he was a young child. The sky outside was dark and menacing, rain pouring downwards and wind blowing the trees from side to side. He had been sitting by his own in his father’s chair, stubby fingers running patterns on the red leather. His lips were pink and pouted out as he looked at the storm raging on outside.

 

He was supposed to play outside today with the rest of his friends. They had been planning to go out into the woods where their wooden fort was located. That plan was ruined by the bad weather though. Jeongguk’s mother had insisted that he stay inside today, saying that he would get sick if he was exposed to the rain and wind. How could weather make him sick? Only germs could make you sick.

 

At first, he had argued. Complained to his mom and gave her the best sad eyes that he could muster up. But then she had pulled out the scary alpha voice and he found himself unable to speak another word. Jeongguk hated when his parents used the alpha voice. He ended in bubbling tears, furiously wiping them away as he ran off to the reading room.

 

So, now he was just sitting here doing absolutely nothing. His father would probably want him doing homework or reading but that was so boring. He wanted to be playing in the mud.

 

“Jeongguk?” A voice spoke out from the previous silence, making him jump a little in his seat. He turned his head around and saw that his mother was standing by the door.

 

With a sniff, he turned his head back around in a small display of rebellion. A defeated sigh was heard and Jeongguk could hear that she was walking closer. He curled his body up into a tight ball, not wanting to talk to her at all.

 

She sat down in the seat opposite of him. “Jeongguk. Come on, you’re not allowed to throw tantrums like this. There’s a storm outside, you have to stay inside.”

 

Jeongguk shook his head. “That’s not what’s bothering me.” He quietly mumbled.

 

“You’re mumbling, Jeongguk. Speak up.”

 

“That’s not what’s bothering me.” He said a little louder. Jeongguk didn’t understand why she couldn’t see that. Wasn’t it obvious from how he had run away crying?

 

“You’re still mad about that? You know you were acting up back there. When you misbehave, you get put in your place. Do you understand?” Her voice wasn’t overly angry or threatening, just stern and disappointed.

 

Jeongguk wiped the fresh tears that welled up in his eyes away. “I thought the alpha voice was for making people feel better…” He softly said, not wanting his mom to get angry at him again. “But it seems like every alpha uses it to make others feel worse.”

 

His mother blinked before leaning back in her chair. She hesitated before holding her arms open.

 

“Come here, Guk.”

 

Jeongguk eyed her, sniffing up some of the snot running down. He slid off the chair and walked over to his mother. She gently put her hands under his arms and lifted him up into her lap. Instinctively, he fell into her embrace and wrapped his small arms around her neck.

 

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I just don’t want you to become sick, okay?” Her voice was much more tender now after seeing her son’s tears. Jeongguk nodded against her soft skin.

 

“I don’t think I want to be an alpha anymore…” He softly said, being totally honest.

 

His mother frowned and pulled his small body back so they could look at each other. She was met with glossy eyes and red cheeks. With a gentle hand, she brushed his bangs out of his face.

 

“Why is that?”

 

“Because alphas are mean and they always bully everybody. In all the stories we read together, alphas are supposed to be the heroes that protect the things they care about and love. They’re supposed to take care of omegas and people who are too weak to protect themselves. But most alphas in real life are selfish and just like to hurt others. Last week some of the older alphas in the school starting pushing betas around just because it was funny to them…”

 

After a second of silence to take in all that he had said, the mother ran her fingers through his dark locks of hair and tried to put on a smile.

 

“Oh, sweetheart… Not all alphas are like that. Those kids… Well, they’re just kids. They haven’t presented yet and aren’t truly alphas. Not yet. They’ll grow up and become more mature then.”

 

Jeongguk looked at her with a skeptical eye. “Present?”

 

“For example, you’re an alpha, Jeongguk. There’s nothing you can do to change that. The thing is though is that you haven’t presented yet. When you turn eighteen, you’ll become a true alpha and you’ll get all those things that define a real alpha. You’ll grow your fangs for mating, become taller, stronger, and you’ll get that alpha voice that you don’t like. Those kids will become alphas, but for right now they just have the ego of one. Don’t let them make you feel bad about being an alpha, okay?”

 

“How do you know if I’ll be an alpha if I haven’t presented?” Jeongguk quietly asked, fingers playing with the sleeve of his mother’s dark shirt.

 

“Well… Genetics. Both your father and I are alphas, which happens to be quite rare-“

 

“Why is that so rare?” Jeongguk suddenly interrupted, his young curiosity getting the better of him. His mother sighed as she realized what she had gotten herself into.

 

“Because it’s very dangerous for alpha females to give birth. Your existence is quite the miracle, Guk. Because of this, there aren’t many female alpha and male alpha relationships. That’s why I hope that you’ll find yourself an omega to mate with when you’re old enough to be thinking about those sorts of things. But, anyway, because we’re both alphas, there’s a one hundred percent chance that you’re a pure alpha. Basically, you’re a very cool and very strong alpha.”

 

This seemed to make Jeongguk’s eyes glow up. “Super strong and super cool?!”

 

His mother nodded with a smile. “Yes, which means you can be that hero that you’ve always wanted to be.”

 

Jeongguk gave a cheeky grin and bounced up and down on his mother’s lap.

 

“Mom, I want a special mate who I can take care of no matter what!”

 

Jeongguk thinks about that memory often. Thinks about how stupid he was back then to be convinced by his mother. In the end, she didn’t support him. She had let that arranged courtship happen.

 

He sighs and looks at the phone in his hand. His fingers tremble. He’s supposed to be a ‘true alpha’ but in the end, he can’t escape the feelings of cowardice.

 

It’s storming outside, just like it had been that day. Jeongguk is standing on the balcony of his hotel room, the floor of the balcony above him covering his body from the onslaught of rain.

 

Taehyung is inside. Still laying in the bed that they shared last night. Nothing… like that had happened. Even though Jeongguk wished something had.

 

The omega had clung to his side the entire night, head resting on his chest. He hadn’t asked about what had happened with Jimin and Jeongguk deeply appreciated that.

 

Jeongguk knew that he shouldn’t have acted that way. He shouldn’t have resorted to violence, even if Jimin was trying to challenge him. Jimin was an alpha, but he was a pure alpha. It wasn’t exactly a fair fight.

 

The day was dreary and it perfectly reflected his mood. What was he supposed to do? This was his planned day here on Jeju, this trip would be ending tomorrow. He had an airplane ride back home and he would be leaving this hotel at around eight in the morning.

 

How was he supposed to say goodbye to Taehyung?

 

Could he ever truly find happiness with that other omega when Taehyung had already made a mark on his heart?

 

The doors behind him opened with a slide and Jeongguk closed his eyes for a brief second, not sure if he could do this anymore. Any of it.

 

Taehyung’s arms wrapped around his chest, warm and comforting. The omega stepped onto his toes so he could rest his chin on the alpha’s shoulder.

 

“Gukkie… What’s wrong? It’s storming outside, you’ll get sick if you stay out here for too long.” He whispered. Jeongguk brought his hand up so he could the omega’s. It made him smile when he saw that Taehyung’s palm was larger than his own.

 

“Come on inside… We can watch another movie if you want?”

 

Jeongguk wasn’t sure if he could stand the silence anymore. He turned around and tried to give the omega a reassuring look. Taehyung looked up at him with somewhat worried eyes. It hurt Jeongguk to see him that way, his instincts told him to comfort him.

 

Taehyung wasn’t wearing much. Just a pair of night shorts and a blanket over his shoulders. They had just spent the entire day in bed with each other watching different shows and movies on his laptop in relative silence. Both of them knew that Jeongguk was leaving the next day. Neither could muster up the courage to say anything about it.

 

What they had had the beginning, a simple summer romance, had evolved into something so much more.

 

He gently pulled the omega into his arms and cherished the way that Taehyung fit perfectly with his own body. A cold whoosh of wind blew into Jeongguk’s back, and he tightened his hold around Taehyung, not wanting the omega to become cold. He pressed a kiss on the top of the other’s head.

 

“I’ll be back inside soon. Will you wait for me?” Jeongguk murmured. He still needed just a little bit more time to clear his head. Wash the slate clean and make a decision that he wouldn’t regret in the future.

 

Taehyung swallowed and nodded against his chest. He was being rather quiet and docile today, quite unlike his usual mannerisms.

 

Jeongguk watched as the omega went back inside, that blanket following behind him like a cape. He stopped his hand from reaching out as the doors slid shut once again.

 

His phone was still in his hand.

 

What the fuck was he supposed to do?

 

It must look silly, he thinks. Seeing a pure alpha like himself sit down on some balcony, barefoot and looking as if he were about to burst into tears.

 

Jeongguk chooses silence for right now. He doesn’t think about it for just a moment. Doesn’t think about the consequences that he will face.

 

He just listens to the rain and wind and his toes curl up from the cold.

 

I want a special mate who I can take care of no matter what!

 

Another moment passes. And another.

 

Jeongguk opens his eyes and pulls up a familiar contact on his phone. He pulls the phone up to his ear and waits as the phone rings. He doesn’t have a plan and he has barely thought any of this through. Fuck it, honestly.

 

Hello?” A voice rang out. Jeongguk swallowed and took a deep breath.

 

“Hey, Mom. It’s me.”

 

Jeongguk could imagine what his mom looked like through the call. She was probably smiling since she hadn’t heard from her son in nearly a week.

 

“How are you doing, Guk? Is everything alright? You all packed up to come home tomorrow?”

 

Not a single article of clothing was packed up. He couldn’t bring himself to do such a thing.

 

“I’m doing good, Mom. Just fine. I’ve had a lot of fun here.” His voice is a little shaky.

 

“Oh, really? I’m glad. You deserved a nice break this summer after all that work you did this year. I know you have a lot of stress on you right now.”

 

She had no idea how much stress.

 

He heard some shuffling around and a door closing.

 

“I… I heard from your father about something you told him the other day… I wanted to hear it from you though. Something about an omega?”

 

Jeongguk bit his lip and blinked several times.

 

“Uh, yeah. Yeah. I met someone here. Someone I really like.” He said, hands growing clammy.

 

Silence for a couple of seconds.

 

“A one night stand?”

 

He face palmed and shook his head even though she couldn’t see.

 

“No, Mom. Not a one night stand. I met him at the beginning of this last week and he’s been showing me around the island. We’ve… We’ve become really close. I really like him. I think I might-“

 

“You’ve only spent one week together?” She quickly interrupted, not allowing Jeongguk to finish his last statement.

 

“Yes, we’ve only spent a week together. I don’t know, he just makes me really happy and I think I make him really happy. It’s only been a week but… I think it’s become pretty serious.”

 

He could hear his mother sighing. “Sweetie, what do you expect from this? To make this… random omega your mate?”

 

Jeongguk rubbed his fingers together and had downcast eyes. This wasn’t going that well.

 

“…Yes, actually.”

 

“Jeongguk. I know what you’re going through, okay? I’ve had instances before your father when I met an omega who I really liked. Those short weekend relationships that I became so involved in. But… that wasn’t love. It was just infatuation. You haven’t known this omega long enough for you to love him, or for him to love you back. Trust me. I don’t think back on them now and regret my decisions. After all of this you probably won’t even remember him.”

 

“This is different though!” He argued. “Taehyung is-“ Pause. “He’s not just some hook up. He’s more than that. I… I want him to be my mate.”

 

“You’ve only been with him for a week and you want that? Jeongguk, you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. You have no idea what that omega is actually like. You haven’t been on enough dates, you haven’t talked enough, and you haven’t lived in the same house with him. How do you know if you’re actually compatible with one another?”

 

“Are you serious? You question our compatibility due to time and yet you and father signed me into a fucking arranged courtship?! Do you even hear yourself right now?”

 

“Jeongguk. Jieun is going to be a perfect mate. She’s a proper omega who comes from a rich family. She will be submissive and gentle, a perfect omega that will please you in every regard. This omega who you’re with… We know nothing about. And from what I’ve heard from your father he’s a wild thing who needs to be tamed and put in his place.”

 

Jeongguk’s mouth fell in shock. He had expected this type of talk from his father, but certainly not from his mother.

 

Tamed and put in his place? Are you being serious?” He choked out, hurt by how his mother truly felt.

 

“Don’t fool yourself, Jeongguk. You don’t want an omega who can’t be checked. This person just isn’t right for you.”

 

“No, Mom. They just aren’t right for you. All of this has been for you and father’s selfish benefit. You don’t care about how I feel, you never have! You just want me to be with Jieun for reputation and profit!”

 

“No-“

 

“I’m sick of it! This is my life and I will be the one and only person choosing who my mate is! Not you, not dad, nobody!”

 

Jeongguk took a deep breath.

 

“I’m not going home tomorrow. I’m not coming back until classes start again at the end of this summer. I’m not going to court Jieun. I’m staying here with Taehyung, the omega that I actually want in this lifetime.”

 

“Jeongguk, don’t you dare. Don’t you dare even try to go against your father and I.” His mother hissed.

 

Strangely, Jeongguk found himself smiling in such a situation. It felt like every ounce of weight on his shoulders had just fallen away. He denied his parents the right to control him like a puppet on strings. He had lived through it his entire life but he was finally done. This was over.

 

“You can tear that courtship contract up. I’m done.” Jeongguk said with finality, hanging up before his mother could get another word in.

 

A flash of lightening cracked through the sky and he laughed for a good while. Liberation, that’s what he felt. Utter freedom.

 

He chose Taehyung.

 

His hands shook in anticipation. He hadn’t ever done something like this before.

 

Jeongguk sees that his phone is ringing once more, his father this time. He lets it go to voicemail before turning his phone off. His parents were surely throwing a fit just about now.

 

With a genuine smile this time, he turns around and looks through the sliding doors. He can see Taehyung inside, picking at his fingers as he sits on the edge of the bed. That blanket is still wrapped over his shoulders and Jeongguk’s heart warms at the sight.

 

The omega looks a bit worried and Jeongguk doesn’t blame him. There have been a lot of unspoken things between them. He takes a step forward and opens the doors. Taehyung turns towards him and straightens up with an expectant look.

 

Wet feet step onto the carpet of the hotel floor, leaving damp marks in their tread. Taehyung sees the smile plastered on Jeongguk’s face and returns it.

 

Jeongguk has a playful gleam in his eye and Taehyung’s smile suddenly morphs into one of mock horror.

 

The omega raises his arms in defense as Jeongguk creeps forward. “No… No, don’t you even think about it!” Taehyung shrieked as the alpha pounced on him.

 

The two went flying back into the bed, Jeongguk crushing Taehyung and wriggling his body around, the cold and wet being shared with the omega. Taehyung squealed and tried to move around, a giant grin gracing his features.

 

They end up tangled together by the blanket and by their own limbs, laughter filling the air. Jeongguk likes the way Taehyung’s deep voice vibrates. It’s loud and soulful.

 

Taehyung leans in and presses a chaste kiss against Jeongguk’s nose. “Don’t blame me when you wake up tomorrow with a cold. Your neighbor on the plane will hate you.”

 

That was the first mention Jeongguk had heard from Taehyung about his ex-plans of departure. The omega’s eyes were a bit sad.

 

Jeongguk pulled him in a little closer. “No… I think that you’ll be the one getting sick from me.”

 

Taehyung blinked several times before awkwardly laughing. “W-What do you mean?” He looked confused.

 

“I mean that I’m not leaving tomorrow.” Jeongguk laughed, wrapping his arms around the omega and pulling him on top of his chest in joy. “I’m not leaving!”

 

Well, that was certainly news to Taehyung. The omega’s eyes widened and Jeongguk could smell the flood of emotions radiating off of him. He loves it. He absolutely loves how Taehyung’s face just lights up, looking as if he could almost burst from that news. It makes him happy.

 

“You’re not? What changed?” Taehyung slowly asked, hands trembling and eyes open. Jeongguk can tell that the excitement is there but the omega probably doesn’t want to assume anything and be disappointment. The alpha pinches the sides of Taehyung’s stomach and the omega’s nose scrunches up.

 

“I’m staying for the rest of the summer, Tae. I talked to my parents and I’m not going home until my semester starts again. That… that gives us a lot of time.”

 

“Us?” Taehyung softly asked.

 

He nodded with a smile. “Yeah, us. I want to stay here with you. I know we started this… thing between us not knowing what was going to be the end result. To be honest, I hadn’t a single idea. I’m not sure how I fell for you in such a small amount of time but somehow I did.” Jeongguk said, his confidence growing and he sat up, pulling Taehyung to sit in his lap.

 

“When I met you I already felt a connection… a spark. Something deep inside of me telling me to go to you.”

 

Taehyung nodded and his eyes grew glossy. “M-me too…”

 

“It may have been subconscious, but on that day, my alpha and I both decided that you were the one that I wanted to share my life with. You can call it ridiculous… but I can see our future together. I can see you by my side in bed when I wake up in the morning, walking beside me every step of the way. I want you to be mine… and I want to be yours.”

 

A tear ran down Taehyung’s cheek and his nose became runny.

 

“I know that there is still a lot to work out… My home is still in Seoul and yours here in Jeju. But I’m willing to work through all of that to be with you. I want to spend the rest of my summer here and stay by your side as your alpha. I’m willing to… I want to continue being your alpha when I go back to finish my education. Will you… will you wait for me until I come back for you?” Jeongguk asked, cheeks a dark red now.

 

Tears ran freely down Taehyung’s face and he was biting his lip harshly. “Jeongguk… I thought… I thought you were going to leave me here all alone… I was so distraught thinking that the one alpha I truly desired was going to leave just like that…”

 

A sob escaped the omega’s lips and Jeongguk caught him in his sturdy arms. He rubbed Taehyung’s back as he choked against his words.

 

“Y-You have no idea h-how happy I am right now…” Taehyung cried as he pulled himself back up, pressing his forehead against Jeongguk’s. “Of course! Of course, I would wait for you!”

 

Jeongguk let out an extremely relived breath and closed his eyes, squeezing Taehyung’s hips in his hands.

 

“You’ll be mine? You’ll let me have you?”

 

Taehyung nodded and let out a choked laugh. “Yes, yes, yes…”

 

Without another moment to waste, their lips found each other. Taehyung felt so soft in his arms, so malleable and fragile. Jeongguk wanted nothing else to protect and care for this omega. He wanted to be that hero that he had always daydreamed of being as a child, to hold Taehyung in his arms and have him know that he’s safe. He didn’t want Taehyung to be on those wretched suppressants anymore. He wanted to help Taehyung when he went on his heats and needed another’s touch.

 

He wanted Taehyung to know that he was loved and cared for.

 

His hands slipped further down, gently squeezing the supple bottom of the omega. Taehyung gasped against his lips before crashing right back in.

 

Taehyung’s lips were soft yet irresistibly hot. Jeongguk wanted more, wanted to pull him in closer until they couldn’t anymore.

 

Closer

 

The omega rolled his hips in a circle and Jeongguk’s eyes narrowed just slightly. He leaned in and bit the other’s lower lip as Taehyung writhed.

 

It suddenly felt incredibly hot in that hotel room. The smell was so delicious that he had to stop himself from pining Taehyung down and scenting him again. He wanted them to come together.

 

“A-Alpha?” Taehyung panted, thighs starting to tremble.

 

Jeongguk pressed his lips to the crevice of the omega’s neck, pressing sloppy kisses there as he took in the sweet aroma.

 

“What do you need, pup? Tell me.” He lowly growled, hands travelling up now.

 

“You said I was yours?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“You said you wanted me in your future?”

 

Yes.”

 

Taehyung whined as Jeongguk gently bit at the place where a mating mark would usually be bitten. He was certainly playing with fire now.

 

Claim me then.”

 

It was like flipping a switch. Jeongguk’s eyes were now a dark red hue as he switched their positions, laying Taehyung down on the bed below him. The omega’s chest heaved as he looked up at Jeongguk, eyes becoming blue. His arms slowly moved above his head to show submission.

 

Tender flesh was on display as Taehyung bared his neck, closing his eyes as he looked to the side. A rush of heat fell to the pit of Jeongguk stomach and he ran his hands over the omega’s chest, exploring the soft skin that deeply contrasted his own.

 

Jeongguk feels as if he can’t stop as he presses kisses down the omega’s jaw, teeth grazing every once in a while, which made Taehyung breathe heavily and tug at the sheets.

 

“H-Hot… It’s hot…” Taehyung gasped, writhing his thighs together. The omega was still only wearing a pair of night shorts and yet the temperature had become almost unbearable. The air was intoxicating and thick, making it feel as if they could choke if they didn’t do anything.

 

Their bodies are already so close together and Jeongguk can hear both of their heartbeats beating loudly. This feels like a dream, one that Jeongguk hopes never ends. He’s wanted this, he’s wanted to have Taehyung like this for so long. Perhaps for longer than he’s actually known the omega. Every movement he makes has the omega gasping for air and he’s never felt like this.

 

Taehyung’s scent has been intensified and it seems as if those suppressants could no longer hold him down. Jeongguk stands up for a second, eyes not leaving the omega for a single moment. He takes in every curve and crevice, memorizing and loving every inch of skin.

 

Jeongguk pulls his shirt off and a lazy smirk forms when Taehyung makes a noise of desire. He throws it to the side and slowly crawls back on top of the omega, arms caging his lithe frame in.

 

“Like what you see?”

 

Taehyung didn’t even try to deny it as he shook his head up and down.

 

“You smell really good. B-better than before.” Taehyung panted, finally moving his arms to embrace the alpha as he leaned in closer.

 

“You too.” Jeongguk breathed into the skin of his neck.

 

He licked over the skin where the mating mark usually lies and Taehyung moaned loudly, not caring if anyone else would hear them.

 

This barely seemed real, it couldn’t be. It was all too perfect. And yet, Taehyung was here, looking alive as ever as they shared a heated yet longing gaze.

 

Jeongguk would be lying if he tried to say that he wasn’t incredibly hard right now. He could say the same for Taehyung as he pressed his knee between the omega’s legs so he could fit there.

 

“What do you want?” He softly asked, voice deep and soft like a lullaby. His fingers barely grazed over Taehyung’s golden skin, the slight sensation driving the omega absolutely wild. Jeongguk sits between Taehyung’s thighs and the omega throws his head back as Jeongguk tucks his fingers under his shorts and begins to tug ever so slowly.

 

“I want you…” Taehyung whispers.

 

Jeongguk keeps pulling and soon Taehyung’s hip bones come into view and he has to stop himself from leaning down and biting several marks there. He revels in the omega’s v-line and wonders how he could have ever even considered leaving this behind. Taehyung lifts his legs up so Jeongguk can fully pull those shorts off, the alpha’s eyes follow every inch of those slender and long legs. He can’t help but smile when he sees the mark of slick on the shorts.

 

For a brief second, it seems that Taehyung is a bit nervous. His thighs are close together and it seems that he might be trying to hide what lays in between them. Jeongguk looks at him with an affectionate expression and places his own hands gently on his knees.

 

“It’s okay… You don’t have to be embarrassed. Let me look at you.”

 

Taehyung bites his lip and shuts his eyes as he slowly spread his legs apart, allowing Jeongguk to have a total view of his vulnerable body. Jeongguk finds himself truly grateful that Taehyung would trust someone like himself with this.

 

Fluttering kisses were pressed against the sides of Taehyung’s legs, moving up to his soft thighs. The omega whined and his entire figure trembled in anticipation. Jeongguk allowed his hand to wrap against his length, giving it a few jerks as his mouth moved up Taehyung’s stomach.

 

Slick is steadily leaking from the omega now, causing tremors to rack up Jeongguk’s body, begging him to hurry up and do something already. He pulls back and everything feels like it’s moving in slow motion. Once again, his hands find fabric again but this time it’s his own. He slips his fingers under the waist band of his sweatpants before pulling them down fully along with his boxers in one motion.

 

Taehyung stares at him with glazed eyes, lips parted with a layer of saliva covering them. “A-alpha… Please…”

Jeongguk comes back in, guiding the omega’s ankles to rest on top of his shoulders. Taehyung’s knees are nearly pressed against his own chest and he whimpers.

 

Their lips crash together again and every movement is a lifetime. They revel in the moment, never wanting any of this to end.

 

“Are you sure? Are you sure you want this?” Jeongguk asks, pausing for a second to get the omega’s consent. He wanted those words before trying anything more.

 

Taehyung nodded his head fervently and tried to pull Jeongguk in closer.

 

“Yes.”

 

Jeongguk had never felt so sure about anything in his entire life and he exhaled deeply, sweat glistening on his skin. He reaches his arm down, it’s a bit of a reach but he still wants to have this closeness with Taehyung. His finger finds place in the tight heat of the omega and he closes his eyes as Taehyung cries out.

 

He’s knuckle deep, pumping his finger in and out to help Taehyung get used to the stretch. It’s unbearable to himself. His other hand is placed on Taehyung’s thigh, holding his leg down.

 

After a while he adds another finger, hand nearly drenched from the slick. Taehyung squirms around and clenches the sheets like a lifeline. He’s taking deep breaths and Jeongguk can tell that he’s trying to control himself.

 

“You’re so beautiful, Tae. So fucking beautiful.” Jeongguk whispers as another finger is added in.

 

The omega whines from the stretch and his cheeks are dusted with crimson. His eyes are tearing up from all of the praise that he’s never received before, at least not from someone who he actually felt the same for.

 

“Such a good omega… I couldn’t ask for a better one. Every part of you is so perfect.”

 

Jeongguk’s fingers find that bundle of nerves and he presses down, causing Taehyung to sob out from the pressure. He stretches his fingers out and those tight walls are finally starting to loosen just a bit. Jeongguk keeps going though, he wants to stretch this out as long as possible. He wants this to be pleasure for Taehyung, without any discomfort.

 

“I want you so bad, Tae… I wonder if you’ll ever know the extent.” His sweet words fell to Taehyung’s ear and caressed his heart.

 

Taehyung suddenly grasped his wrist to stop his movements. For a second, Jeongguk was worried that something was wrong and he had overstepped an unspoken boundary. But as he looked up and met the omega’s eyes, he knew that wasn’t the case at all. Taehyung gazed at him like he was the only thing in this entire world that mattered and Jeongguk felt his heart soar.

 

“I’m… I’m ready…” Taehyung softly pleaded, squeezing Jeongguk’s wrist.

 

Jeongguk nodded hesitantly. “Okay… okay…” He could barely hold back his excitement and anticipation.

 

He pulled his fingers back, wet and almost dripping. Taehyung already looked so fucked out already, panting with nearly closed eyes. Everything about him screamed sin and Jeongguk shamelessly stared.

 

Jeongguk has Taehyung laying on his back and legs wrapped around his torso as he leans in. He guides his own cock inside of the omega and his fingers shake at the way Taehyung clenches around him.

 

Taehyung moans and pulls their foreheads together as Jeongguk bottoms out inside of him. He’s never felt so completed in his entire life.

 

“W-will you go slow the first time? Please?” Taehyung whispers, so quietly his voice was barely audible.

 

Jeongguk slowly thrusted, taking his time as he pressed a kiss against the omega’s eyelids. “Of course.” He whispers back and it feels as if the world only consisted of them and this bed.

 

Each sound that escapes Taehyung’s lips is cherished and memorized, each tremble and shake thanked, and every breath loved. One particular thrust has Taehyung throwing his head back and arching his back off the mattress in lust, their bodies intertwining and nearly becoming one. Jeongguk keeps his eyes focused on Taehyung, not wanting to miss a single detail. Sweat drips from his forehead and the heat is intense.

 

They take their time, there is no desperation of time. They know that they have their future’s together so they make no haste to swallow each other up in the moment, there’s no need to. Jeongguk lets the omega’s whines fuel his ego as he looks down with total adoration. This feels like a dream, to have Taehyung under him, so needy and fragile, calling out his name like no other. This will certainly be the subject of his future dreams.

 

Jeongguk wraps an arm under Taehyung’s lower back, pulling him up. The omega soon holds onto him as he lifts him up into his lap, cock still seated inside of him. Jeongguk now sits on the edge of the bed with Taehyung bouncing slowly on him. The slaps of skin filled the air and it felt so filthy, so right.

 

There’s a heat building up in his stomach and Jeongguk guesses that Taehyung is getting pretty close based on the sounds he’s making. Every drag of his cock inside of Taehyung feels like heaven and he never wants this to end. He’s so endlessly grateful that he decided to take a swim that morning, none of this may have happened. But, then again, this had to be fate. Something this perfect couldn’t be because of coincidence.

 

“C-Close Gukkie… I’m close.” Taehyung whimpers, one hand leaving Jeongguk’s shoulder to jerk himself off. Jeongguk smiles at him with gentle eyes, breathing heavily as he continues to thrust into the omega. “M-me too.”

 

Jeongguk can feel his cock beginning to swell now and Taehyung sobs from the stretch. It feels so good and Jeongguk starts to speed up just a bit.

 

The sounds of their bodies crashing together becomes louder.

 

“Ah!” Taehyung cries out, and he bears his neck once again. “P-Please… Knot me!”

 

Jeongguk’s eyes grow to a nearly comical size as he stares at Taehyung’s neck, spread out perfectly for him. His hands grasp tightly around Taehyung’s waist, physically pulling him down on his cock now that his knot was starting to form. His teeth are beginning to sharpen and Taehyung seems to notice this. His blue eyes meet Jeongguk’s red ones.

 

Make me yours.”

 

Taehyung clings to him as he thrusts again, again, and again as his knot grows to its full size. The omega has tears running down his cheeks now and the aroma in the air is like nothing else in this world. Jeongguk feels himself about to cum and everything starts to build up to a sudden climax.

 

Claim me

 

His teeth are biting down into the tender skin of Taehyung’s neck and the omega sobs from pleasure, cumming and letting the white streaks paint their bare stomachs. Jeongguk’s knot pops inside of Taehyung and it’s like they’re truly one now. Connected by something that couldn’t be described in words.

 

Taehyung pants, eyes closed and head falling on Jeongguk’s shoulder as the alpha licks the mating mark clean, the skin there stitching back together with a scar left behind. His eyes shine like a star as he gazes at the mark with love.

 

There’s an overwhelming feeling pure bliss that washes over him like a crashing wave and he wonders if he can ever come down from this kind of high. His hands shook from the ecstasy of it all and he pulled Taehyung into his chest, squeezing him in an embrace.

 

He held Taehyung there, holding his omega and comforting him after such an event. He whispered sweet praises in his ear and the omega rubbed his nose against his neck.

 

They sat there together for several more moments, resting and gaining back their energy, basking in the moment. After a good while, Jeongguk’s knot went back down and he was able to pull out. His cum and Taehyung’s slick dripped out onto his leg.

 

Taehyung slowly pulled his head back up before opening his mouth and gently biting Jeongguk’s neck. His teeth didn’t even break his skin and Jeongguk couldn’t help but laugh as he pulled Taehyung back so he could look at him properly. Those tears from before had dried up and were now replaced by a look of pure affection.

 

“What are you doing?” He grinned, squeezing Taehyung’s sides.

 

“I was giving you a mating mark as well. It didn’t seem fair that I’m the only one who got one.” Taehyung laughed, voice still a little tired from effort.

 

Jeongguk leans in and presses a kiss against Taehyung’s lips once more and it felt as good as it did before.

 

Taehyung sighed in happiness and their noses touched from the close contact.

 

“A long-distance relationship…” Taehyung said, playing with some of the bangs hanging in front of Jeongguk’s eyes, wet from sweat. “Sounds perfect as long as it’s with you.”

 

Jeongguk rubs patterns over Taehyung’s naked skin. “I love you.” He whispers.

 

The truth is overpoweringly beautiful and he revels in the fact that nothing could compare to how he felt about Taehyung.

 

Taehyung smiles back at him and there is no doubt that his feelings are not requited.

 

“I love you too.”

 

Jeongguk holds him close and buries his face near the mating mark he had just made.

 

He felt like this feeling would never end.

 

 

Day Seven

 

 

Jeongguk wakes up to the sun shining brightly in his eyes. He blinks several times and rubs a hand over his eyes, still trying to wake up from such a good night’s rest. A smile finds its way on his face when he feels the arm that is wrapped around his chest. He glances down and sees that Taehyung is still asleep, face lax and much younger looking, lips slightly parted. It’s honestly the cutest thing that Jeongguk has ever seen.

 

Their bodies are clean since Jeongguk had pulled them both into the shower before going back to bed, not wanting them to be a sticky and uncomfortable mess when they woke up. He felt fresh now and their naked bodies were tangled together along with the white sheets of the bed. It feels perfect.

 

He looks over to the bedside drawer and sees that it’s just past eight in the morning. It’s still pretty early so he won’t wake Taehyung up just yet. Besides, he wants to look at his peaceful state just a little bit longer. The mark on Taehyung’s neck is on view and it makes Jeongguk’s heart swell. It wasn’t too big nor small, just the perfect size and coloration. He took a little bit of pride in that.

 

A small vibration buzzed by his side and he saw that it was his phone. He waited another second before picking it up, not wanting his gaze to leave Taehyung’s sleeping form.

 

It was just a friend texting about some stupid party he had went to and Jeongguk rolled his eyes. Based on the spelling of the message it seemed that he was probably wasted out of his mind. There were several other notifications including a few more texts and emails. Right at the bottom were two voicemails. Jeongguk’s eyes nearly left his head. His father.

 

He was honestly considering not listening to them but something in the back of his head urged him to. They were from yesterday and probably because of his call to his mother. Jeongguk sighed and pressed open before pulling the phone up to his ear. He might as well just listen to his father’s insistent nagging and complaining and get it out of the way.

 

The first one was just his father yelling at him to call him back immediately ‘or else’. That was a common phrase that he had heard from his father. Well, one out of the way. This wasn’t too bad.

 

Taehyung moved just slightly in his sleep and made a small noise of contentment before falling still once again. Jeongguk couldn’t help but lean down and press a soft kiss against his nose before looking at his phone. The second message looked to be much longer than the first and Jeongguk frowned. He opened it and listened.

 

“Jeon Jeongguk. As your father, I demand that you come back home tomorrow, you have no idea how insubordinate you are being right now. You are nothing but a bratty child who hasn’t grown into their alpha body, and you decide to throw this tantrum when you don’t get your way. When you get back home, I will be having a serious discussion about your actions and level of disrespect. Your mother and I have given you everything you have in this life. Your wealth, your education, everything. And how do you repay us? By running off to be with some omega slut who has nothing behind his name except for being a disgrace!”

 

Jeongguk’s jaw clenched.

 

“You’re a complete fool if you think you can do that without any consequences. You want to be with a disgrace? Fine. You can be one yourself, a perfect couple who deserves each other. If you aren’t back at this house by tomorrow, then you can consider yourself disowned from this family.”

 

Jeongguk blinked and slowly pulled Taehyung’s arm off his chest, sliding off the bed and standing up. Something new was growing in the pit of his stomach. It wasn’t good.

 

“You won’t be supported by this family, and trust me I’m not bluffing. We don’t want some pathetic alpha sharing our family name. And don’t go crying to your mother because she’s not on your side. She’ll tear you down if you don’t submit to us. Everything you have ever had, it’ll be gone. We’ll cut your education funds, you can pay for every single last won of your student funds if you want to finish college. And if I recall correctly, you don’t have a job. All of your money is ours. Your bank account is connected to ours. We’ll cut all of those ties and you’ll be left in the dust without an education or a career. I will love to see you try and support yourself and that omega without a job; you’ll both be left homeless and miserable.”

 

His father laughed through the line and it was cold and detached. Jeongguk’s breath was starting to become uneven and a feeling of utter fear flooded through him. The reality of the situation was starting to hit him in full force now.

 

Fuck.

 

“Having second thoughts about your love for that omega? If you aren’t, well I have something that will still bring you crawling back home on your knees begging for forgiveness. Your relationship with that omega won’t just hurt you… It will him too. Kim Taehyung.”

 

Jeongguk’s heart stopped and he froze where he stood. His eyes fell to the omega still sleeping in the bed and that fear from before intensified greatly. Guilt and regret starting to prick at his heart.

 

What had he done?

 

“Surprised? You made a huge mistake, letting that whore’s name slip when you were speaking to your mother. She came running to me with his name when you made that decision. It wasn’t that hard to find him once we knew his first name. You just had to look for disgraced omegas named Taehyung who had no money behind their name.”

 

Betrayal hit him like a truck and shock stabbed him like a knife. His own mother? His own mother had done that to him? Knowing that this would happen? Jeongguk’s bottom lip started to tremble.

 

“Yes, Kim Taehyung. He will suffer greatly due to your decision. That courtship contract with Jieun’s family has already been signed, Jeongguk. You and her are legally courting and bound to mate. That is law. What you’re doing with Taehyung is technically illegal and both families can press charges against him. You know more than anyone else that I am a powerful lawyer with a lot of wealth. I can sue that omega for every won that he is worth and more. We can ruin that omega’s life in one trial and there is nothing that you can do about it.”

 

A tear dropped from Jeongguk’s eye as he realized that there was truly nothing he could do. Panic. Fear. Pain. Anger. Grief. All of these feelings rushed through him.

 

“So, tell me. Is this relationship worth it? Are you willing to destroy your future and condemn yourself to an unsuccessful life without a higher education and successful career? Are you willing to cut all ties with your family? You know that nobody will even acknowledge you, friends and family, if you are disowned. And most of all, are you willing to hurt Taehyung like that? Have him be sued in court, lose all of his money and be publically humiliated for the rest of his life? Your lives together will be one of suffering and misery if you follow through with this, Jeongguk. For his sake and yours, I suggest you get on that airplane tomorrow.”

 

The voice call ended with that and Jeongguk stood there like a rock. He was fucked. Absolutely fucked. Everything hurt and his mind was reeling. His parents were actually willing to do such heinous acts to him. That’s how much that business deal with Jieun’s family meant to them. That’s how little he meant to them as a son.

 

Jeongguk looked at Taehyung and saw his mate. His mate. His fucking mate. How could he do this to his mate? How could he leave him in crippling debt and shame for the rest of his life?

 

And it wasn’t like there was a way around this. He knew his father; he knew how wealthy and powerful he was. He could ruin Taehyung with a snap of his fingers. Fuck.

 

He couldn’t even think about himself. He didn’t even think about the effects this would have on him, just what would happen to Taehyung.

 

There wasn’t a single way he could support Taehyung on his own. For God’s sake, Taehyung was only getting by with Jimin supporting him every step of the way. He had run away from home as well and wasn’t being helped at all. They would be on their own, in tremendous debt, living in shame, with no careers, no family support, and no money.

 

Jeongguk couldn’t do that to Taehyung. He couldn’t burden Taehyung like this and ruin his life.

 

There were only two choices. Stay and live through all of those consequences or leave and abandon his mate for an arranged courtship.

 

Fuck. Holy fucking shit. There wasn’t any way around this.

 

It hurt. It hurt so badly. He wanted to be with his mate. He wanted to be with Taehyung more than anything in this fucking world. They were mates.

 

Jeongguk had fucking mated him and was now going to ruin his entire life. Guilt hit him like a bullet and tears freely fell. What had he done? What had he condemned Taehyung to?

 

Taehyung was going to suffer either way. Both routes ended with his misery.

 

He couldn’t do it. As much as he wanted to stay with Taehyung, he couldn’t. He cared only for Taehyung’s happiness. His departure would hurt Taehyung, but at least Taehyung could still survive. He could still have a career. Perhaps find another alpha to take him in, and if not, Jimin would still provide for him. Jeongguk couldn’t let this shame and debt fall upon the omega. It was too cruel.

 

A sharp pain shot through his heart as he looked at the clock. He needed to leave now if he wanted to make that plane. He had to be home by today.

 

Terrible tremors shook his entire body as he grabbed his clothes and possessions, all that he could, and stuffed them into his suitcase. He put new clothes on, just the clothes he had discarded yesterday and that just made him feel all the worse. He was freely sobbing now and he couldn’t help the noises of agony that he was making. He was trying to zip the suitcase shut when he saw Taehyung sitting up in the bed looking at him with confused eyes in his peripheral vision.

 

“Jeongguk… what’s wrong?” He asked, voice somewhat scared and very worried.

 

Jeongguk look at him with terrified eyes. What the fuck was he supposed to do? How could he do this to Taehyung? How could he hurt his mate like this?

 

He couldn’t tell him. He had to lie. Taehyung was in love with him, terribly in love and Jeongguk felt his heart break again. Taehyung wouldn’t let Jeongguk leave if he knew the truth. He’d fight every step of the way. Taehyung would stay by his side because they were mates, he would go to trial and assume that devastating debt that they could never pay off in their entire lives, he would live in shame because he loved Jeongguk.

 

No. No. Jeongguk couldn’t let that happen. He wouldn’t… He couldn’t let Taehyung do that to himself.

 

He had to lie. He had to break Taehyung’s heart.

 

“I’m leaving. Today.” Jeongguk spoke, trying to level out his voice. It was hard with all the tears falling. The expression on Taehyung’s face made him want to run over and comfort him but he couldn’t. He couldn’t even comfort his own fucking mate.

 

Taehyung visibly swallowed and his face broke just slightly. “W-What do you mean?”

 

“I mean that I’m leaving to go back to Seoul. I’m leaving now to catch my airplane back. This is over.”

 

Please. Please know that I love you. Please know that I’m lying. I want you. I want this to stop.

 

Taehyung hopped up off the bed and pulled the sheet around his body so he was covered. He approached Jeongguk and tried to kneel by his side. Jeongguk wanted to touch him.

 

“J-Jeongguk… You said you were staying for the rest of the summer. I don’t understand…”

 

“I’m leaving, that’s what it means. I’m going back home. What is so hard to understand about that?” He hates how cruel he sounds. Like he doesn’t care.

 

I’m sorry. I’m so fucking sorry. This is breaking me too.

 

Taehyung’s eyes widened with horror and Jeongguk couldn’t bring himself to look at his mate any longer. He’d break if he did.

 

“Jeongguk. We’re mates. You can’t leave.” Taehyung slowly speaks and Jeongguk can tell that the omega is trying to not cry. His voice is breaking.

 

“I can and I am. The week is over, okay? This was fun and all that but it’s over.”

 

I love you. It will never be over for me.

 

Taehyung grabbed his shoulder and Jeongguk had to stop himself from embracing him.

 

“Please, I don’t understand! What are you doing? Why are you doing this? You mated me and told me you loved me last night! What is happening? Did something happen back at home? Are your parents mad at you? You’re crying, Jeongguk…I can help you! You just have to tell me!”

 

Fear strikes through Jeongguk’s heart. Taehyung knows that something’s wrong. He’s figuring it out. He can’t let that happen.

 

Jeongguk pushes Taehyung off of him and it feels like someone fucking stabbed him when he sees the look of betrayal and hurt on the omega’s face.

 

“There’s nothing wrong!” He shouted, getting in Taehyung's space and the omega cowers in fear as Jeongguk aggressively yells at him. Fuck, it hurts so badly. Taehyung is afraid. He’s afraid of him.

 

“Stop getting in my face, okay?! I don’t want to be with you anymore! It’s that simple!”

 

Taehyung is trembling, tears falling and his composure is completely broken. Jeongguk tries to pretend like he’s yelling at his father, not as his mate who he loves with his entire life.

 

This is all my fault. It’s okay to hate me. I’m sorry.

 

“T-then why… Why did you do this with me… Was I nothing to you…?” Taehyung sobbed, knees wobbling.

 

Jeongguk wanted to help him stand but he grabbed his suitcase instead.

 

“I wanted to see if I could have you. You have quite the reputation for being a tight ass around here. Not letting any alphas fuck you. It was more of a personal competition. To see if I could fuck you by the end of the week. And I was right, you spread your legs like every other omega does. Guess you weren’t all that special after all. You meant nothing to me at the end of it.”

 

“The truth is, I already have an omega at home. She’s been with me for several years now. You couldn’t even compare to her, it was pathetic, really.”

 

That’s not true. None of it. I hate myself and I want you to hate me as well.

 

That seems to break it for Taehyung. He collapses onto the ground with a sob and Jeongguk feels like the worst person to ever walk on this Earth.

 

He grabs the shattered pieces of his heart and walks away. He refuses to turn back; he can’t let Taehyung see how he’s about to break down.

 

“Jeongguk!” Taehyung wails, and Jeongguk stops in his tracks. It’s a punch to the gut. But he can’t. He can’t ruin Taehyung like this.

 

“P-Please don’t go! I lu-love you!”

 

Jeongguk’s face is breaking and silent tears run down his face. He walks on, out of the room, and out of the hotel. He hates himself. He hates how fucking stupid he is. He hates that he just abandoned his mate.

 

He hails down a taxi and steps inside. The driver sends him a concerned look when he notices the heartbroken state of the alpha. An odd sight.

 

“A-Airport…”

 

Jeongguk coughs. He thinks he has a cold.

 

Chapter Text

The Aftermath

 

Jeongguk doesn’t like her. Not one bit. His lips are pressed into a tight line, eyes hooded and demeanor quite unpleasant as he stands there looking straight forward. Red crescents are imprinted into the palm of his hand as he clenches his hands into tight fists. He honestly feels like he’s going to be sick as his stomach coils.

 

She’s skinny and Jeongguk is surprised that she’s still able to stand up with the lack of muscle on her body. There’s not a single blemish on her face, skin pale and lacking of any freckle or mole. Her dark hair flowed past her shoulders and it looked like it had been straightened and dolled up before this meeting. She was wearing a white dress made of silk and lace, intricate designs decorating it. Everything about her screamed ‘innocent and pure omega’ and Jeongguk already felt the beginnings of disdain for her.

 

Jieun was looking at the ground, hands behind her back and standing as straight as a pole. The air was pretty awkward between them. Both of their parents were standing right next to them, smiling as if nothing was wrong with the situation. His mother turned towards him that disgusting smile that now made him want to burst into a fit of anger.

 

You betrayed my trust. I’m suffering because of you. Taehyung is suffering.

 

She put her hand on his shoulder. Jeongguk wanted to slap it away and yell at her right in front of that other omega and her family. He refrained himself. That would change nothing and besides, he had already made it quite obvious how he felt the moment he had landed back in Seoul.

 

There was a lot of yelling, bared teeth, and heavy alpha pheromones. Jeongguk had felt the prickling of violent urges on his skin and the only thing that had held him back was the knowledge that this was still his family. All he wanted was to be with Taehyung. He wanted to be reunited with his mate. His stomach hurt, probably due to the separation. Newly made mates were supposed to stay by each other’s sides for the first couple of days. Jeongguk had to wonder how his omega was doing. Horrible, he knew. Probably in misery and agony after what he had said to him before abandoning him.

 

 Why did this have to happen?

 

“Greet her, Jeongguk.” His mother had whispered into his ear, voice sickly sweet and vile. A brief moment of silence passed as both parties waited for Jeongguk to do something already. Several minutes had already passed and nothing had happened. His father shifted and crossed his arms.

 

Jeongguk’s jaw clenched and it felt as if his teeth were about to shatter into a thousand pieces. He took a step forward, coming closer to this fate in which he was chained to forcibly. Jieun kept her eyes on the floor, lips slightly parted. She looked nervous. Jeongguk hated that. Taehyung was confident when they had first met, he knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to act on it.

 

He stuck his hand out between them and tried to look away. He couldn’t bear to even look at her right now.

 

“Hi.” He gruffly said, voice obviously uninterested and detached. Jeongguk could hear his mother sighing in the background. What, did she actually expect him to like this omega? This omega who wasn’t his mate?

 

The soft skin of her hand wrapped around his own and Jeongguk could tell that she must have used some sort of lotion. He didn’t like how she smelled. It was too soft. There wasn’t enough presence. This was what people considered to be the ideal omega? Bullshit.

 

“Hi.” She said back. Her voice was incredibly high pitched compared to Taehyung’s. It seemed squeaky and Jeongguk knew that it would become annoying over time. They didn’t shake hands for long as Jeongguk snatched his hand back after the bare minimum of contact. This was obviously not the best meeting and Jeongguk’s mother soon stole the scene back.

 

“Jeongguk, why don’t you show Jieun the room you two will be sharing? I’m sure she’ll love to look around and get her nest settled and in place. In the meantime, we’ll be settling all of the details of your courtship.”

 

Oh, wonderful. A nest in his room. He stopped himself from rolling his eyes before walking away in the direction of the staircase. Jieun scurried behind him, following every one of his footsteps. It seemed like she had no personality at all.

 

The irritation from being with his backstabbers of parents had now been replaced by a lingering dislike and discomfort directed towards Jieun. Her footsteps were light and as they travelled up a winding staircase, Jeongguk found that she didn’t make much of a presence. She was awkwardly quiet and Jeongguk wondered if that was what was taught to omegas.

 

“This way.” Jeongguk muttered as they came up to the third floor of the large house. He shoved his hands into his pockets and blew out some air in a pout. Every part of his body was throbbing. He should be lying in bed with Taehyung right now, embracing the omega and admiring the mating mark he had placed there. Now, Jeongguk could only think of how he had condemned Taehyung to a painful life.

 

Jieun stopped and waited as Jeongguk opened his bedroom door for her. He couldn’t believe that he actually had to share his room with this omega. They didn’t even know each other and were expected to share a bed. Well, that’s what his parents were thinking was going to happen but it certainly wasn’t. Jeongguk’s room was quite large and there was an extra futon sitting across from the bed. One of them would be sleeping there for the duration of this hell. Jeongguk refused to sleep next to her. That would be cheating; he would still remain loyal to Taehyung no matter what. Even if they were separated for the rest of their lives.

 

He closed the door behind him and closed his eyes for a second to sigh. Now they were alone in his room. Awesome. Jieun looked around with a pretty neutral face before biting the inside of her cheek.

 

Jeongguk took his jacket off and threw it on the bed, turning away from the omega for a brief moment. This wasn’t going well at all.

 

“Jeongguk.” Jieun said, and her voice seemed a little off. Jeongguk turned around to heed her and his eyes widened just slightly. Her demeanor had changed from her docile nature back downstairs and she now stood in front of him, standing tall with her arms crossed, eyes glaring and accusing. Well, that was certainly a change.

 

“Let’s get one thing clear.” She started, stepping forward and raising a finger to make her point. “This little thing,” She pointed to him and back to herself. “Isn’t going to happen. Contract or not.”

 

She sounded terribly angry and Jeongguk couldn’t muster a single word out as she continued on her rant.

 

“I don’t want a relationship with you and I never will. I am only here because my parents forced me to, not because I actually want to. And trust me, if you even try to lay a single finger on me, I will make sure you will regret it for the rest of your life!”

 

Jieun kept stepping closer and the back of Jeongguk’s knees hit the mattress, causing him to fall over and have to sit down on the bed. Suddenly, the roles were switched and Jieun was in the spot of dominance, jabbing her finger into his chest without a second thought.

 

“I already have an alpha and I would honestly rather jump off a cliff than abandon him to be with you! I’ll keep up this little game but only for the amount of time that it takes for all the business plans between our parents to be solidified and signed. After that, I’m leaving. I don’t care if all the blame is put on me and I don’t care if that breaks your little alpha heart. We are never ever going to happen. Got it?” She hissed, expression showing off her fury and hatred towards him.

 

Jeongguk blinked and opened his mouth, no noises made. He could barely think properly right now after that whole thing. So, Jieun… felt the same way as him? Was in the exact same situation as himself?

 

He tried to speak but she started to talk again.

 

“Also, I swear if you even try to tell our parents about this I will literally cut your dick off in your sleep so don’t even-“

 

Jeongguk stood up for that one because she sounded a bit too serious with that threat. He raised his hands in surrender.

 

“Okay okay okay I hear you, will you just let me talk now?”

 

“No! I am not making compromises with you, I don’t care-“

 

“We’re in the same situation!” Jeongguk loudly said to stop the omega.

 

Jieun made a weird face like she was confused. “You have an alpha?”

 

“What? No!” Jeongguk slapped his forehead and shook his head. “I’m already with another omega. I’m only here because, as you said, our parents forced us with that forsaken contract!”

 

The omega blinked and her lip curled up just slightly. “Wait, seriously?”

 

Jeongguk nodded fervently and went on. “Yeah, I have a mate.”

 

That seemed to shock Jieun. “Woah, woah! You have a mate? For how long?! Why would your parents put you in this arranged courtship then?”

 

“Well, uh… we’ve been mates for less than two days, actually.”

 

The way Jieun’s jaw dropped was almost humorous. “Two days? What do you mean, two days?!”

 

Jeongguk sighed and sat down on the bed, patting the space next to him so Jieun would sit down as well. She followed suite with a very confused yet curious expression. He rubbed his temple, a headache already starting. This was going to take a while.

 

“Well, it started around two weeks ago when I took a trip to Jeju…”

 

As he retold his story, he found that his story was quite whimsical really. There were a lot of twists and turns, odd things that sounded like it came out of some cheesy fanfiction. Several parts made him incredibly happy, such as meeting Taehyung and sharing their first kiss. Other parts made him angry, like Jimin being a constant asshole to him. And finally, it made him miserable, knowing that it ended the way it did. With both him and Taehyung being separated, him breaking Taehyung’s heart into a thousand little pieces, and now being stuck in Seoul.

 

When he finishes, he feels a bit empty. This is very much real. Well, at least he has someone to rant to about his feelings. His own parents can’t do the same. He looks over at Jieun to gauge her reaction. She still looks somewhat confused.

 

“Okay, hold up. You’re telling me that you didn’t tell him about the arranged courtship? You didn’t tell him that you were being forced to leave his side? He thinks that you’re leaving because you have another omega and are just a jerk?”

 

“…Yeah. I couldn’t risk him following after me after what my father threatened to do. I can’t do that to him. I won’t do that to him.”

 

Jeongguk couldn’t have predicted that Jieun would respond to this by hitting him over the head. He whipped his head back up and held the spot where she had hit him.

 

“What was that for?!”

 

“You’re a fucking dumbass, that’s why!” Jieun snapped. “You might be the stupidest alpha I have ever encountered in my entire life! You should have fucking told him! You’re mates for God’s sake! He would have listened to you and understood what you were saying! Just because he’s a mated omega doesn’t mean that he’s lost all sense of logic, he would live with the situation and still be with you while you go home and get this shit done with!”

 

Jeongguk paused, opened his mouth, and then closed it.

 

“You could have done what I did and none of that shit you’re going through right now would be happening! You could have explained and also promised to always be his. You could have told him to wait just a year or two until all those contracts and business deals were signed and unable to be broken. You could still stay in contact with him and everything would have been fine! You didn’t have to leave and break his heart like that!”

 

Jeongguk stared at her with a blank look. Oh. Oh.

 

His entire slumped over and he pressed his forehead into his knees, hands going up to his dark locks of hair to violently pull at them.

 

“Oh. My. Fucking. God.” He muttered. In the rush of the moment, in a harried panic, he had been unable to reason out the best plan of action with Taehyung. He hadn’t been able to keep his cool and ended up making a brash and terrible decision. Great. Wonderful. He didn’t actually have to break Taehyung’s heart and leave both of them in an agonizing state of separation. For all the education he had received he was still truly the most idiotic person on the planet.

 

“Mm hm. Exactly. You’re stupid.”

 

Jeongguk flew back up and Jieun nearly toppled over from the fright of his sudden movement. “Well?! What do I do now?! Did I ruin it?” His voice sounded a bit broken and Jieun frowned in pity at him. Alpha’s were always so rash, acting before thinking anything through. She sighed and put a hand on his shoulder.

 

“No, Jeongguk. This isn’t the end of the world. Stop looking like you’re about to cry. Everything is going to be fine, you’ll be back with Taehyung in no time.”

 

“Really?” Jeongguk sniffed. He wasn’t usually this emotional but thinking about being away from Taehyung brought in a flood of agony like nothing else.

 

“Yes, really. All you need to do now is tell him about what’s going to happen. Call him!” Jieun reassures him, squeezing his shoulder one last time. “It’s as simple as that. I’m sure that he’ll understand and forgive you for… that little blunder you had back there.”

 

Jeongguk nodded, hope starting to return to him. He didn’t exactly expect that meeting Jieun, the omega he was forced to be with, would end up with him maybe getting Taehyung back but it was certainly the best outcome out there. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and nodded again.

 

“Okay…okay. I just have to call him...” He paused before throwing his phone on the bed and covering his face with his hands again. He let out a muffled scream.

 

“What’s wrong?” Jieun asked with a tired expression. Jeongguk was a weird alpha.

 

“I didn’t fucking get his phone number!”

 

“You’re mates and you don’t even have each other’s phone numbers?

 

Jeongguk fell back on the bed and slapped his hands to his cheeks. “It didn’t seem that important back then!”

 

Jieun rolled her eyes and tried to think of something else. “What about social media? Can’t you dm him?”

 

After around ten minutes of extensive searching they found that Taehyung in fact did not have any form of social media. Of course he wouldn’t. Incredibly convenient.

 

“Um… Do you any other way to reach him?” Jieun asked, crossing her arms with a frown.

 

Jeongguk tried to think. He didn’t know his cellphone number and he couldn’t contact him through social media. What else was there? How could he talk to him and explain everything?

 

His entire face broke out into a grin as a lightbulb went off. The alpha turned to Jieun and she thought that may be the biggest smile she had ever seen in her entire life.

 

“His address! He shares an apartment with Jimin and I know the address! I can send a letter to him!”

 

Jieun blinked before nodding. “That works, that works.”

 

Jeongguk stood up, energy and enthusiasm finally coming back to him. It was a great rush and he felt happy for the first time since he left Jeju. He jogged over to his desk and starting rummaging about in a rush, opening drawers and throwing things out. He finally pulled out an envelope and several stamps before grabbing his notebook and violently tearing a piece of paper out. Jieun walked over to wear he was standing and looked over his shoulder with a smile.

 

He was already writing in scribbled handwriting and Jieun couldn’t help but feel warm from the sight. Jeongguk really loved this Taehyung, didn’t he? The bedroom door suddenly opened and they both looked up. Jeongguk covered his paper with his hand.

 

It was their parents. Jieun’s father stepped inside and gestured for Jieun to come over. “Alright, sorry to ruin the fun but Jieun needs to finish packing back at home. She’ll be back in no time though, so you don’t have to worry Jeongguk.”

 

Jieun seemed to switch back to her previous demeanor of submissive alpha, being docile and passive. She looked back at Jeongguk but there was that familiar gleam in her eye from before. Jeongguk smiled. Fate had finally worked in his favor this one time. Thank the heavens it was Jieun who he was stuck with. Someone who definitely didn’t want him back.

 

“I’ll see you soon, Jeongguk.” She softly said with a wink that her parents couldn’t see. Jeongguk returned the courtesy. As quickly as she came, she left. Jeongguk’s smile faded slightly though when he saw his mother approaching him.

 

Well, there was one person here who he really didn’t like. She came up to him with a blue grin. Jeongguk couldn’t do anything to tip her off though. He couldn’t let her know about what he and Jieun were really planning. For now, he’d have to play the role here. If he did that, then maybe he could be reunited with Taehyung.

 

“Well, how’d it go?” She asked. Jeongguk kept his smile, though his posture was a bit stiff. He hated having to conform to her but he had to for right now.

 

“Good. She’s really nice. I like her.” He forced out in a pleasant tone of voice.

 

He did in fact like Jieun now, just not in the way his parents wanted him to.

 

“Oh, that’s just wonderful! See, I told you she would be a perfect omega! I’m sure Taehyung can’t even compare.”

 

Jeongguk nearly tackled her to the ground for that comment, but somehow was able to stay still. His fingers dug into the skin of his palm with fury. How dare she say such a vile thing?

 

He nodded, movements jerky. “Yeah.” He said. If this went on for much longer he might actually attack his mother. She was actually the worst person on this planet.

 

She soon left after that with her smug smile and arrogant aura. Jeongguk let out a sigh of relief as she left and closed the door behind her. Finally, peace. He looked back to the letter he was writing. He prayed that Taehyung would be able to understand through these words. Jeongguk smiled as he looked at the Taehyung written down with black ink. He kept writing.

 

Dear Taehyung, my one and only omega and mate,

 

I know that you’re undeniably angry at me and for good reasons. I have been a terrible mate to you for the past two days that we have been mates. I was so cruel to you and left you without a true explanation. Please, please know that what I said to you back then is not true. I love you so so much, I can’t even begin to explain how much you mean to me. You are a wonderful omega and I would trade the world for you. Please, let me explain to you why I truly left that day.

 

I was a coward even on the day that I met you. When I talked to you I was so infatuated that I left out a huge fact in my life. You already know how cruel my parents are. They are terrible, controlling people who don’t even care for their own son. The reason why I was so upset back then was not about stress over my law degree. My parents forcibly put me into an arranged courtship with an omega who I’d never met before. I was so furious that they had decided to do that to me. I lied and neglected to tell you this and I am terribly sorry. If I had not been so cowardly from the first day and actually told you the truth, maybe we would not be in this situation.

 

Everything I said to you before leaving was a lie. I truly do love you like no one else and you are my only omega. On the last day, I made a call to my mother. I told her that I was not going to have a part in this arranged courtship and that she could rip that contact up. I was going to stay here with you, I really was. I was fully prepared to live the rest of my life with you. That’s why I mated you. I wanted to start a family together, have pups together and grow old side by side.

 

When I woke up the next morning I was so happy and so in love. You were asleep, still lying in my arms. I felt like I could face the entire world as long as you were with me. But I got a voicemail from my father. He was angry, so terribly angry. He knew who you were, Tae. I made the terrible mistake of slipping your first name during my call with my mother and somehow they figured out the rest. My father had already had the arranged courtship contract signed for me and the consequences for breaking it right now would be tremendous. He threatened to disown me from the family and no longer pay for my education. He also threatened to press charges against you, Taehyung. Charges that put you in heavy debt for the rest of your life. I was afraid. If I stayed, I would condemn you to a life of humiliation and poverty. I was terrified of hurting you like that. I couldn’t bear to think of you suffering like that because of something that I had done. My plane was about to leave and I had to make a choice.

 

In the rush of everything, I made a terrible choice. One that I regret so much. I wasn’t thinking straight and I decided that leaving you would be the best thing for you. I didn’t even take the time to talk to you and see how you would react or act. I was selfish and thought my decision was best. To make sure that you wouldn’t follow after me and hurt yourself, I lied and said such awful things to you. I humiliated you and broke your heart. Please know that I now understand how stupid I was being. I should have told you. I should have explained.

 

I wasn’t able to have a clear mind though and see what I should have done until I got home. The omega I was arranged to be with is named Jieun and she’s in the exact same situation. She already has an alpha and has no interest in me romantically. She made that quite clear actually. But, she’s still with her alpha. She told him and they are still together. I should have done the same. We both wouldn’t be in such a state of heartbreak had I done so.

 

Jieun has a plan. This arranged courtship is for business purposes only. It will probably take a year or so for every business deal and contract to be signed and solidified, aka unable to be broken. After that, our courtship won’t really matter that much. We’ve only just talked once and we still have a lot of things to figure out but I think we’ll be able to split after some time. I’ll be able to be yours once again, like it should be. I should have told you, I know. You’re not stupid, you would have understood. We’re mates, we’re not supposed to be separated.

 

Please, Taehyung. Will you forgive me for what I have done? I’m riddled with guilt, regret, and grief. I want you to know that I’m still yours forever. I’m still your mate. Please, I beg of you. I love you so much. Please write me back.

 

-Your mate, Jeongguk

 

  1. Will you reply with your phone number? I want to talk to you.

 

Jeongguk folds the paper up before placing it into the envelope, licking it closed. He couldn’t fit everything he needed to say but he desperately wanted this to be sent off. The sooner the better. Taehyung didn’t need to be in agony and longer than needed.

 

He wrote Jimin’s address down, knowing that Taehyung would still be there by the time this letter came. Even if he wasn’t, Jimin would still give it to him. He wrote down the rest of the information needed and slapped on a stamp. Done.

 

Jeongguk ends up walking quite a distance that night, disguising it as just a late-night walk, to give his letter to the main post office. He doesn’t want it lingering in their house’s mailbox, his mother might go rummaging in there anyway. He walks back with a smile on his face and sleeps soundly that night.

 

After that, he writes a letter to Taehyung every day. He pours his entire heart into each word and he always ends each letter with a small drawn heart. Taehyung is justifiably angry and Jeongguk understands that it may take several letters to convince him to write one himself.

 

The thing is, he never does write back. Weeks go on without reply but Jeongguk still keeps writing. He writes every day. Some days he just writes about his day, things that he did and feelings he felt. Other days he writes short poems, of the small things in life that remind him of Taehyung. Sometimes he begs Taehyung to respond, that he doesn’t have to forgive him but to at least say something.

 

Jieun will look at him in pity those days. She’s a good friend. When Jeongguk cries silently it is she who holds him and makes sure that he eats and sleeps. It makes him bitter on some days when he thinks of how Jieun still has her alpha, how they still live in love. They’re not even mates yet.

 

Those thoughts just fill him self-remorse however because he always goes back to blaming himself. He should have told Taehyung before. This is all his fault. He doesn’t deserve to have Taehyung.

 

Months go by and he writes to Taehyung about how the businesses have been doing well and the contracts are officially settled. Jieun says that this courtship won’t have to last much longer.

 

He asks sometimes why Taehyung won’t respond. Was he still angry? Did he no longer want to be mates? Did he hate Jieun? Jeongguk constantly wrote in his letters that Jieun was only a friend, nothing else.

 

Seventeen months pass and still no response. Jeongguk writes that Jieun was the one who spilt it to her family. It was supposed to be a group effort but Jieun took it upon herself, knowing that Jeongguk would face the wrath of his parents. He had more to lose. Jieun’s parents apologize greatly to their family, saying that they are ashamed of their unfaithful omega daughter. Jieun is not bothered by this however and she goes on with a smile to live with her alpha. Jeongguk’s parents don’t blame him. The business deals still remain intact. His education is still paid for. There are no charges to be pressed.

 

His letters now tell Taehyung that everything has been settled. They can live together. There are no longer any issues.

 

Taehyung still doesn’t write back.

 

In the end, Jeongguk makes a last-ditch effort to make Taehyung his again. It’s during his spring break that he decides to make another trip to Jeju. If Taehyung wouldn’t come to him, then Jeongguk would come to him.

 

Jeongguk’s hurt. Hurt that Taehyung refused to write a single letter back. He puts it aside though; Taehyung is still the love of his life. He refused to move on.

 

The plane ride over feels familiar and nostalgic. He’s not sure what to expect. How would Taehyung react to seeing him? Well, he hoped somewhat positive.

 

Hope is the keyword.

 

The streets of Jeju are a little different from what he had remembered. There are new shops and buildings but he’s still able to figure out where he is. Every step he takes brings back memories from when Taehyung guided him around, showing him all the nooks and crannies of the island with enthusiasm. He missed that. Missed being with his mate.

 

His apartment finally comes into Jeongguk’s field of vision and the alpha smiles. It oddly feels like home. Well, at least more like home than the place he used to live in with his parents.

 

With a deep breath, he musters up all of the courage he has. He needed to be brave. Taehyung was still his mate. The omega still had feelings for him. Mates can’t just move on like that.

 

The knocks he makes against the door sound very loud and he internally cringes. This was going to go well. He just needed to maintain his composure. Talk to Taehyung.

 

The door whips open and Jeongguk freezes. It’s Jimin. Not the face he had wanted but at least he knew that this was still Jimin’s apartment. It’s not like they had moved or anything. The alpha stared back at him, expression first surprised before morphing into one of displeasure.

 

That look was very familiar.

 

There was an awkward silence and Jeongguk bit his lip, looking down. This was going wonderfully.

 

“What are you doing here.”

 

Jeongguk swallowed and looked up. “I wanted to talk to Taehyung.” He softly said, rubbing his hands together.

 

“Why would he want to talk to you?” Jimin snapped. Jeongguk had a very bad feeling about this. Something was very wrong.

 

“Because we’re mates. I… He hasn’t responded to any of my letters. I know I’ve sent a lot and-“

 

“Yeah, you’ve sent an entire fucking mountain of them. It fills up our recycling bin every week. We’d all appreciate it if you’d give it up already.”

 

Jeongguk heart drops in his chest and he’s filled with an unexplainable feeling. He blinks several times. His cheeks feel hot and his hands clammy. Taehyung… threw his letters away?

 

“What do you mean, recycling?” He asked, hoping that it wasn’t like it had sounded.

 

“Yeah. Recycling. Taehyung read your first letter and didn’t even bother to read the rest of them. He went ahead and trashed them as soon as he got them in the mailbox. God, did you write one every day? There were so many.” Jimin sounded cruel and Jeongguk wasn’t sure if he could take this right now.

 

He did write one every day. Taehyung didn’t even bother to read them?

 

“W-Why? I explained everything in the first letter.” Jeongguk didn’t understand.

 

“Well, he didn’t care. He had moved on, realized that you weren’t all that after what you did to him. To be honest, everything you wrote just sounded like an excuse anyway. There were times where I would beg him to just write back so you would stop sending so many letters, but he said he didn’t want to get your hopes up. So, here we are.”

 

Jeongguk’s mouth was dry and he didn’t want to believe it.

 

“I… That can’t be true. It can’t… I want to talk to Taehyung. I want to hear it from Taehyung.” His voice was wobbly. Taehyung loved him, he wouldn’t have done this.

 

“You can’t. He’s off right now with his boyfriend.”

 

Jeongguk froze. His boyfriend?

 

Jimin could see the look on Jeongguk’s face.

 

“It surprised me too. Mated and ditched omegas aren’t exactly in high demand but turns out there was an alpha out there who still fell in love with him. They’re off right now on a trip in Daegu. Taehyung wanted to show him to his parents.”

 

Jeongguk shook his head and his eyes started to water up. “No… You’re lying. Taehyung would never do that. Taehyung’s still my mate.”

 

Jimin scoffed and reached into his pocket to pull out his phone. Everything hurt. Jeongguk hurt and his alpha was crying. He was holding onto the last threads of hope that Taehyung was still his.

 

A picture. That’s all it took to shatter Jeongguk’s heart.

 

Taehyung was standing there with some other guy who was obviously an alpha. He was tall, attractive, a good looking alpha. Their arms were wrapped around each other and they were both grinning widely. Taehyung looked happy. Really happy. The alpha was looking at the omega, and there was something in his gaze that destroyed Jeongguk. That wasn’t a look of friendship.

 

“His name’s Bogum. Really nice guy. Takes care of Taehyung when you didn’t.”

 

An empty feeling. That’s it.

 

Taehyung really didn’t want him.

 

He doesn’t exactly remember what happened after that. Those memories are blurred by shock and an inability to understand why Taehyung left him like that.

 

Jeongguk stops writing letters after that. He doesn’t want to bother Taehyung with them.

 

He continues to blame himself. All of this was his fault.

 

Years pass by but he doesn’t stop thinking about Taehyung. Unlike the omega, he doesn’t go looking for someone new. Taehyung was his first and last.

 

He sits at his desk in the law firm he runs and thinks about how he has so much money but no fulfilment. Utterly alone. At least Jieun stays in contact. Comforts him and patiently listens on the days where his misery is especially bad. She’s a good friend.

 

One day before the five-year anniversary of their mating, a letter arrives on his desk. It looks a lot less official than the rest of the papers there and he looks at it in interest.

 

Jeongguk nearly drops the letter when he sees what’s written on the envelope.

 

It’s from Taehyung.

 

 

Chapter Text

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?”

 

“What?”

 

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. 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

“Is this okay?” Jeongguk gently asked, hands tentatively rubbing up and down Taehyung’s arms, lips close to his ear. They were currently sitting together on Jeongguk’s hotel bed, Taehyung between his legs and back resting against his chest. It had been a day since… that, and needless to say, Taehyung was in some need of comfort and touch. And he sure as hell wasn’t going to get it from Jimin. He and Jeongguk had a lot of time together now, and they had already spent most of it talking. Taehyung still felt like he was in a dream.

 

“…Yeah, it’s okay.” He replied, cuddling himself further back into Jeongguk’s wide and sturdy chest. Taehyung could feel how the alpha was rubbing his nose against his neck and he closed his eyes.

 

“What are you thinking about, pup?”

 

Taehyung sighed and shook his head. “I don’t know. All of this… It feels so good but so strange. Like I shouldn’t be doing this. Like I shouldn’t be in your arms again. For five years, up until yesterday, I truly believed that you had abandoned me. I believed in everything that you said to me that morning you left… that all of it was fake. That our relationship was just some game to you unlike how it was to me. I suffered, I really did. I always wanted to deny that, especially with you, but now that everything is out I suppose I can say it. I was so desperate for you to come back at the beginning; I would have traded anything in the world to be in your arms again, even after all those things that happened. After a while, I gave up. I accepted that my mate had abandoned me forever. So, to find out all of that wasn’t real within minutes… It doesn’t feel real.”

 

“It’s like whiplash in a way. There’s also the fact that none of this would have happened had I just opened that first letter. Had Jimin not hidden them away for no known purpose, I would have been by your side by this point. Five years of wasted time, and for what? Jimin’s sick pleasure?” Taehyung whispered. He wasn’t sure what or how to feel about Jimin right now. Of course, there was the anger. Anger that Jimin, his best friend, would go behind his back and ruin his relationship like that. After the endless nights of crying over Jeongguk in Jimin’s shoulder, this seemed like the ultimate betrayal.

 

Taehyung turned his head around to face Jeongguk and the alpha could feel his heart shattering. The omega’s eyes were watering and on the verge of crying, looking as distraught as he did the other day. Jeongguk wanted to take all that pain away, but could he?

 

“I want to be your mate again, hell, we are mates, but maybe not in the emotional way right now. I… I don’t know how to explain it. I love you, but… it’s been so long. It’s been so long since I’ve been myself and been in your arms. I don’t know how to do it. I’m at the point where I don’t even feel like an omega anymore and I’m scared to go back to that. I’m… I’m scared that you’ll hurt me like last time, even though I know it wasn’t your fault. And I don’t know if I’m ready to just suddenly get back in such a devoted relationship after all of this… H-How… I don’t even know if I’m ready for a family!” His voice wobbled.

 

“And all of this… Who is to blame? Who am I to be angry at? My best friend? Am I supposed to go on forever hating the person who I’ve always adored? I can’t help but also feel angry towards myself… How could I have not have realized? How could I have given up on my mate so easily?”

 

Jeongguk pulled Taehyung into his chest before he could say another word. The alpha shushed him and comforted him at the same time, not wanting him to place any of this burden upon himself.

 

“Taehyung, no. None of this was your fault, okay? If anything, I had much more of a role in fault than you. I was the one who screwed up, not you. I never told you anything and couldn’t keep my cool when my father made all those threats. I should have told you more things and trusted in you. You are my mate, after all. So please, please, don’t put any blame on yourself. For the both of us.”

 

Jeongguk lifted Taehyung’s chin up with a finger and used his other hand to wipe a tear off his cheek. He gently smiled and allowed himself to release a soothing aroma to calm the omega down.

 

I’ll protect you now. You don’t have to worry anymore.

 

“And Taehyung, I don’t expect you or want you to jump back into this relationship just like that. I know that would be too much for anyone after everything that has happened. We don’t have to rush anything, this time there is no deadline or ending date. We have forever to be with each other. We can take things slow. Just start things off like we did back then. Little dates so we can learn about each other again, get used to the idea of being mates. We don’t have to even live with each other right now, not until you’re comfortable with it. And Taehyung, having pups can be an idea that we’ll worry about in the future, okay?” Jeongguk softly whispered, thumb still rubbing circles on the tender skin of Taehyung’s cheek.

 

Taehyung sniffed and buried his face into the crook of Jeongguk’s neck. Half of this was to get closer and the other half to breathe in some of Jeongguk’s comforting scent better. For the first time in many years, the mark on his neck bares him no pain or humiliation. It feels right and his heart beats once again. 

 

“Were you angry? When you never received any letters back?” Taehyung asked. He couldn’t imagine the grief Jeongguk must have experienced back then. He must have felt so hopeless.

 

Jeongguk bites the inside of his cheek before opening his mouth to speak. “Not in the beginning, no. I was more distraught, pained over what I had done to you. I felt like a fool, a terrible fool who had made a mistake. The first letters I sent were ones begging you to forgive me and trying to explain the whole situation. I didn’t expect you to reply for a while because I knew you still needed to time to comprehend everything that had happened. But… after a couple of weeks I started to get worried. I had sent so many and yet you refused to send one back. I kept thinking to myself that you hated me and weren’t going to forgive me. There… there was the thought that maybe you had moved on but I tried to push that to the back of mind. There were times… when I would get frustrated. I couldn’t understand and that hurt me. And when I came over, and Jimin showed me that picture and had told me that lie, I was crushed. I really thought… I really thought you had abandoned me.”

 

The alpha lets out a deep breath before continuing. “But I’m sure that what I went through was nothing compared to you. You had no idea what was going on and you had to face everything as a mated omega on your own…”

 

Taehyung shook his head and whispered ‘no’s.

 

“Let’s not compare our griefs… we both suffered.” The omega said. It was somewhat comforting, knowing that he had not been alone all that time. His pain had not been solidarity.

 

He still had one question still on his mind, however.

 

“Do you… Do you think we can go back to what we were? We were so young back then, so much different.” He whispered.

 

The omega closes his eyes when Jeongguk places a kiss on the top of his head. “I believe we can. Five years is a long time, but not enough time to separate us.”

 

~

 

The passing days find them both a little more peace, and the two mates are able to take some time and fully realize that this was actually happening.

 

Taehyung hadn’t seen Jimin ever since and he wasn’t sure how to feel about that. The alpha hadn’t tried to get in contact with him ever since but Taehyung knew that this wasn’t out of spite or malicious nature. Jimin knew that what he had done was wrong, surely, and probably wasn’t going to try and speak with Taehyung until he had blown some steam off. He certainly had, but he still didn’t know how to approach Jimin about this.

 

He was still angry and heartbroken over Jimin’s actions but underneath it all, he still missed his best friend. He missed being over at their old apartment and laughing together with Yoongi. He missed going out with everyone in their friend group. They couldn’t even have that.

 

About everyone seemed to be pretty peeved with Jimin and Yoongi right now, and Taehyung couldn’t help but feel a bit guilty. Of course, he himself had done nothing wrong, and Jimin and Yoongi had done something quite terrible. However, there were still his friends. Taehyung didn’t want them to be so ostracized and outcasted. It just made him feel sad.

 

Jeongguk squeezed his hand and Taehyung looked up at him, pulled away from his thoughts. His alpha smiled at him, the sun shining light down on his face and making him seem as if he were glowing with warmth. Taehyung felt that he had never seen someone so beautiful in his entire life. He leant in a little closer so there wasn’t so much space in between them.

 

They were walking into town together to meet up with Namjoon and Hoseok for lunch. Hoseok had urged them to come, saying that he had something important to give them. Taehyung really had no idea what it could be, but he didn’t worry over it for too long.

 

“Can’t believe I’ve been accepted by your alpha posse.” Jeongguk joked, bumping his shoulder into Taehyung’s. “Never thought I’d see the day.”

 

Taehyung just rolled his eyes with a smile. “Whatever, they love you now. It’s hard not to.”

 

There was a cheeky grin growing on Jeongguk’s face and he wiggled his eyebrows. “Oh? Do you love me?”

 

A pink hue appeared on Taehyung’s cheeks and the omega turned his head to look at some buildings beside them. Jeongguk laughed and kept bumping into Taehyung in an endearing manner.

 

“Come onnn… Say it…” He cooed.

 

“I love you.” Taehyung mumbled, voice barely above a whisper.

 

“What? I couldn’t hear you!” Jeongguk said loudly. Taehyung’s face was as red as a beat now, though there was a tiny smile being formed by his lips. His alpha was truly something else.

 

He finally turned around to face Jeongguk who was looking mighty happy right now. “I love you!” Taehyung said louder, standing up on his toes to make his point very clear. Jeongguk’s eves turned into little crescents before the alpha jumped in to kiss Taehyung’s face, making sure to get every little spot.

 

Taehyung giggled and bit his bottom lip as Jeongguk placed on final kiss on his nose, making an exaggerated smooching sound.

 

The alpha pulled back. “I love you too.” He gently said.

 

Jeongguk leaned in again but Taehyung met him in the middle this time. Their lips fit like puzzle pieces and Taehyung felt as if he were melting. His mating mark tingled a bit and it made butterflies flutter in his stomach.

 

“Oh my god, everyone can fucking see you two basically making out in the middle of the street!” Someone yelled out, and the two looked around to see who it was. Hoseok was crossing his arms and shaking his head in mock disapproval, Namjoon sitting beside him and looking as if Hoseok had just embarrassed him beyond repair.

 

Taehyung didn’t feel embarrassment at all however, and he grabbed Jeongguk’s hand to walk them over to where his two other friends were. It was nice to finally have an alpha to go with his mating mark. It was odd to say, but, he couldn’t help the small feeling of pride that welled up in his chest when the locals in town would stare at him walking with Jeongguk on some of their dates. He had always been the pity case beforehand but not anymore.

 

Namjoon and Hoseok were sitting outside of the restaurant at a nice table with an umbrella out to hide them from the blazing sun. Taehyung and Jeongguk sat down across from them and the other two alphas didn’t fail to see how the couple scooted their chairs a little closer together.

 

“Oh… young love. How it makes this old heart feel again…” Hoseok cried out, holding a hand over his chest (the wrong side for his heart) and leaning back in his chair. Namjoon watched him and sighed.

 

“I’d hardly call it young love, but thanks for the sentiment.” Jeongguk chuckled, his foot and Taehyung’s just barely touching under the table.

 

Hoseok grinned and gave a look to Namjoon. “They’re cute, aren’t they?”

 

Namjoon finally nodded and looked over to Taehyung and Jeongguk. “Yeah, I haven’t seen Taehyung this happy in a while.”

 

Taehyung didn’t see how Jeongguk’s breathing stopped for just a second.

 

“You know what’s lame? Almost nobody else but Jimin and Yoongi got to see Jeongguk five years ago! Like, all that drama happened and I didn’t even really know what Jeongguk looked like!” Hoseok jumped in to complain. “Please say that you’re staying a little bit longer this time.”

 

Hoseok seemed to realize something as well and he jumped up in his chair. “Wait! You’re not planning to take Taehyung away to Seoul, are you? Because I will actually jump you if you’re trying to steal away my friend!”

 

Jeongguk laughed and shook his head. “No, Hoseok, I’m not going to steal Taehyung anywhere.” The alpha glanced at Taehyung. “We’ve actually been talking these past few days and I’m probably going to move over here. Of course, I’ll probably stay in a different apartment until some more time passes, but I still want to be over here. I really don’t want Taehyung or myself to be anywhere near my parents, ever. I can start a new law firm over here to maintain while simply owning the one over in Seoul.”

 

Taehyung nodded and he seemed to only be able to look at Jeongguk right now. The alpha was willing to move over here for him and start a new life. Taehyung hadn’t heard of any alpha who would make such accommodations for just an omega, to go so out of their way and be so patient. He wondered if it were fate that he was on that beach the same morning that Jeongguk decided to go out. Things would have been so different had one thing changed.

 

“Wow.” Namjoon stated, actually sounding pretty surprised. “So… this is serious.”

 

“Well, we are mates.” Taehyung said. “W-we’re taking things a bit slow right now since… well because of everything that has happened, but we’re still serious about all of this. Mates are supposed to stay together forever, right?”

 

Namjoon nodded and took a sip of his drink. “Yeah, absolutely. I’m just… I’m just really happy for you two.”

 

Jeongguk couldn’t stop smiling. He was happy as well and he glanced back over to Taehyung. He had no idea how he had lucked out and gotten someone as special as Taehyung. His alpha was pleased as well, finally at rest now that they were together again. Going slow like this was fine as well for him, which was surprising. He had been so impatient before, wanting more and more. But now, this seemed perfect. Taehyung’s happiness meant everything to him, after all.

 

“Oh, um… Hoseok. You said you had something important to give to me?” Taehyung finally asked when he remembered why they were here in the rest place.

 

That smile on Hoseok’s face faded just slightly and Namjoon looked a little bit nervous. “Oh, yeah. That.”

 

Taehyung looked a bit confused and he put his hands on the table. “What is it?”

 

Jeongguk leaned back into the chair, smelling that something was off here. That happy and carefree atmosphere from before was no longer.

 

“Do you remember the uh letter that brought Jeongguk here in the first place? The one with your handwriting and your scent on it, though you didn’t actually write it?”

 

“Well, yes, of course.” Taehyung answered, tilting his head to the side. He actually hadn’t thought about it in a long time with everything that had been going on. It had been such a mystery before but with all the things going on with Jeongguk and Jimin, it had been pushed to the side. It remained the only thing unsolved now, though it was probably one of the most important things. Jeongguk may have never had come back had it not been for that letter and whoever had sent it.

 

“Okay, well, I have to tell you something about it.” Hoseok slowly said, looking somewhat cautious.

 

“Oh my god, you were the one who sent it! I knew it!” Taehyung exclaimed, pointing a finger at Hoseok and looking somewhat excited.

 

“Wait, what? No! It wasn’t me!” Hoseok responded, putting his hands up defensively. “Definitely not me.”

 

Taehyung sat back down and frowned. “Oh. Sorry.”

 

That was a bit embarrassing and Jeongguk had to stop himself from smiling.

 

Namjoon couldn’t even smile and Hoseok took a deep breath before reaching down and pulling something out of his bag. It was a large envelope, probably a foot by six inches and it looked stuffed to the brim. Hoseok handed it over and Taehyung tentatively took it from him. It was pretty heavy and all of this was making the omega somewhat nervous.

 

He looked at Jeongguk one more time before opening it up and dropping its contents on the table. Papers flew out, some from notebooks, some post it notes, and some other normal envelopes. They smelled like Jimin.

 

“I mean… I wasn’t snooping around of anything but I happened to be in Jimin’s apartment trying to find something and… yeah. I maybe took them?” Hoseok nervously laughed.

 

Taehyung frowned and picked up one of the letters. A new suspicion started to rise in his chest and he didn’t like it. This wasn’t it. This wasn’t what happened. Jimin hated Jeongguk, he always had. That’s why he did all those terrible things.

 

He picked up one of the letters which was addressed to Jeongguk, and from Jimin. Taehyung’s hands shook as he opened it, and Jeongguk leant over so he could read as well. What was inside would change a great many things.

 

Jeongguk,

 

I know that I’m the last person you want to receive a letter from, especially after all the ones you sent specifically to Taehyung. You’re probably angry, hurt, and confused after all this time. You sent letters for an entire year to Taehyung, explaining why you had to leave and begging for his forgiveness. I know that you were heartbroken over the fact that he never responded. That’s why you came back to Jeju, after all.

 

I’m writing this letter to you to explain and apologize as well. The truth is that Taehyung would have responded to you, he would have fallen right back into his arms, had I not stolen your letters and hidden them. Taehyung soon left after your departure, heartbroken over his mate. I read your first letter and I knew that I should give your letter to him. Let him know that you still loved him and that everything was going to be okay. I should have told you the truth four years ago when you came back to Jeju. But I didn’t. I kept all of your letters and I still have them. I was so selfish and arrogant, I had my mate and my happiness but I denied the both of you the same. I even lied to you and said that Taehyung was with another alpha when he never was.

 

When I first saw you, I hated you. There was no really good reason but I did. I have always protected Taehyung, from childhood until now. In a way, I have been his alpha though we are not romantically together and never will be. I grew possessive over time and I didn’t want to see him become someone else’s omega. I didn’t want to lose him and I became the alpha that I used to despise. I didn’t give Taehyung the choice to decided things on his own. To be honest, I’m still scared to. I’m so scared to lose Taehyung and have him move off with another alpha and forget me. I don’t want to lose my best friend.

 

And yet, I hurt and betrayed him. I swore to myself to always protect him but I have been the most destructive person in his life. I saw you two and I knew that it was true love, I knew that Taehyung was already so bonded to you. I tried to deny it but the first night I saw you two, I knew in my heart that you would become mates. I feared that you would take him to Seoul and maybe do something to him that I couldn’t stop because I was so far away. That’s why I was always so cruel to you that week, trying to discourage and run you off.

 

Then, when Taehyung came sobbing into my arms, crying over how you had abandoned him… I felt relief. I was happy underneath it all because you had left. You had done something terrible to him and ditched him. I was right about you and I felt that now, more than ever, I had to protect Taehyung. But then I read your letter. You had made a mistake, but it wasn’t your fault. You still loved Taehyung and you wanted him back. I understood that if Taehyung got his hands on that letter, he would go back to you. He was still in love with you, after all.

 

I was a coward and I hid it. I didn’t want to be wrong and I didn’t want to lose Taehyung. I can’t express how guilty I feel through just words and you’ll never know how terrible I feel either. Even if we were face to face, I couldn’t express it. I couldn’t even explain to Yoongi.

 

I know that you’re probably ready to tear my head off right now, and I honestly deserve it. I don’t expect you to forgive me or ever me nice to me because a person like me doesn’t deserve such things. But please, I want you to know this.

 

Taehyung is unhappy without you. He may deny it because he is heartbroken, but you’re the love of his life and he will never be able to move on or find another person like you. You two are mates and mates are supposed to be together for life, not separated due to the actions of an awful best friend. If you were to come back, and he were to know the truth, he would forgive you. I know he would because he loves you.

 

Please, will you come back one more time? Taehyung is on summer break right now and won’t be travelling. It’s the perfect time for you to come back for your mate.

 

I hope that maybe in the next lifetime that I will be able to repay you for what I have done. I know that one lifetime is not enough. It’s hard to say, but, I hope to see you here soon. Win back Taehyung.

 

-Jimin

 

Taehyung stared at the letter and Jeongguk stared at it for even longer.

 

“I… I don’t understand. Jimin wrote this? Jimin wanted Jeongguk to come back? Why… Why didn’t he send this letter? Why did he make all of this so confusing with that other one?”

 

Hoseok shrugged and slided over the papers on the table so Taehyung and Jeongguk would look at them.

 

“I really have no idea about all of this other than the fact that he was guilty as hell over what he did to you guys. Look at this though.”

 

Taehyung looked at the other sheets of paper and picked some of them up. It looked as if Jimin were practicing his handwriting. No… he was practicing Taehyung’s handwriting. Lines and lines of perfecting every last detail of it, erasing and restarting. Taehyung couldn’t believe it.

 

“This doesn’t make sense though. If Jimin really felt that bad, then why didn’t he send his own letter? Why did he write a whole new one that looked like one from Taehyung? Why did he act like such a jerk when I came here? I mean… he was going off on me the day I got here. He’s writing as if he wants us to get back together immediately but he acted like he wanted me to die. This just doesn’t add up.” Jeongguk said, shaking his head and picking up some more of the papers.

 

“I think… I think he was still scared. He even said so in that one he wrote. That’s probably why he pretended to be Taehyung in that letter. He still wanted you to come back to Jeju and talk to Taehyung… but maybe he didn’t want you coming back knowing the entire truth. I don’t know… He may have wanted to test you and see how you acted and behaved after five years. I mean, five years is a long time. And who knows… maybe he was scared to send that letter to you as well.” Namjoon tried to explain.

 

Jeongguk rubbed a hand over his cheek and sighed. Once again, a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. This story just wasn’t going to play out smoothly all the way. There was always a new bump after every turn.

 

Taehyung put the letter down and placed his face in his hands. He didn’t know how to feel. Jimin was the reason why Jeongguk and himself weren’t together but was also the reason why they were together now. Why? Why couldn’t have Jimin just have done this earlier? Why did he feel the need to make everything so difficult? He felt a hand rubbing his shoulder.

 

“Tae… are you okay?” Jeongguk softly asked. All of this was surprising news to him but he was sure that this was more distressing for Taehyung. His omega had been through so much these past years and all he wanted to do was take away all the pain and confusion.

 

“I’m okay… I’m just… I don’t understand all of this. There’s still so many questions that come out of this answer.” Taehyung explained, finally removing his hands from his face and looking at the letter again.

 

“It makes me feel better that Jimin knew what he did was wrong but… I don’t know. Jimin is my best friend and I know that he’s been my protector for so long. He’s been so good to me, and I know that you may not see that after all of this, but he truly has. He loves me but has made a terrible decision. I’m mad but I… I don’t want to lose him.” Taehyung blinked. “I really don’t want to lose him either.”

 

Jeongguk hesitated for a second before nodding. Hoseok and Namjoon watched in mild shock.

 

“It’s okay. I understand. And you don’t have to lose him, Taehyung. Your feelings are valid and you don’t have to feel a certain way. I’ll support you, no matter what you choose to do. I’m not the biggest fan of Jimin personally, but I’m not going to force that on you.” He finally said, completely serious.

 

No, he really did not like Jimin at all. He had ruined five years of his life and was probably Jeongguk’s least favorite person on the entire planet. But, he could see that he and Taehyung were close. They loved each other. And sometimes, people made mistakes and did shitty things when love blinded them.

 

“… We all make mistakes and do things we regret. We’re humans, after all. And Jimin is included.”

 

Taehyung looked up at Jeongguk in astonishment. “But… but you hate Jimin, don’t you? After everything he’s done?”

 

Jeongguk laughed and put his hand over Taehyung’s. “Well, probably yes, but like I said, I’m not going to push that on you. I can see that you’re still angry but you’re also confused. Jimin did some really bad things to the both of us but that doesn’t mean that you need to ditch him. If you don’t want to, then don’t. If you do, then do it. Just do whatever makes you happy, Taehyung.”

 

Taehyung swallowed and nodded. “Okay… okay.”

 

“I think the best thing to do right now is to go talk with him. Just you and Jimin, nobody else. You can… talk about all of this and how you feel. Let him explain his side, and then you make your decision on whether or not you want to forgive him. And Taehyung?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“When you do decide, don’t think about anyone else but yourself. Not me, not him. Do it for yourself. You deserve to make your own path after years and years of suffering due to other’s mistakes and decisions.”

 

Taehyung smiled and nodded again. It’s like he was falling in love with Jeongguk all over again.

 

“I will.” He softly said.

 

Hoseok just stared at them and shook his head. “You two honestly act like we don’t even exist at this table.”

 

 

Chapter Text

“I saw the letter you wrote.” Taehyung quietly said, barely above a whisper. He was looking straight down at his hands to avoid having to share eye contact with the alpha sitting on the other side of his orange couch in his living room. Taehyung nervously picked at his fingernails and acted as if he were inspecting them in some way. The tension was dreadful and even a complete stranger who had no context of what was happening could figure out that something was very awkward about all of this. “Not the one you sent pretending to be me. The one you never sent, that you had addressed to Jeongguk in your name. The one you were too afraid to send, I guess.”

 

Taehyung could almost see Jimin tensing up, shoulders raising and tongue swiping over his chapped lips. He didn’t have to look over at the alpha to know what small motions he was making. Jimin was his best friend after all, he knew him better than the back of his own hand.

 

“I… I figured. Hoseok didn’t do a very good job of hiding that giant envelope under his shirt when he ran out.” Jimin finally said. His voice was a bit raspy and it was deeper, closer to Taehyung’s deeper voice. It sounded as if he were sick, or perhaps choked up. Taehyung figured that it was the latter.

 

“You didn’t try to stop him?” Taehyung asked. His breaths were shorter and he tried to lengthen them, tried to calm himself down. He had promised that he wouldn’t get emotional during this conversation, he didn’t want this to be like the other times. The last couple of days… had been quite traumatic and Taehyung was sick and tired of crying and resting his head in other alpha’s shoulders. There weren’t any tears left in him and he took a deep breath, closing his eyes and composing himself.

 

“I thought about it but you and Jeongguk deserved to know. Besides, you two would have found out sooner or later about all of it. The others are prying as well and I couldn’t stop them.” Jimin sighed. “At least everything is out now. No more secrets. You deserve only the truth now.”

 

Taehyung finally found the nerve to turn his head around and face Jimin. His heart shook when he saw the alpha’s glossy eyes, just barely holding back from letting tears fall freely down his cheeks. The omega felt mixed emotions. He didn’t want to see his friend cry but at the same time it seemed like tears weren’t enough.

 

“I would have asked why. Why you had done all of those things to me and Jeongguk, why you had betrayed your own best friend, why you would even have the thoughts of doing such a thing. But, it seems like you beat me to the punch with that letter. You explained everything quite well, though I suppose you did leave some things out. All that’s left now is figuring out how we could ever go back to what we were.”

 

Jimin looked down, lips parting as if he were about to say something. Taehyung swallowed and bit his lip. This wasn’t going to be easy.

 

“Jimin, do you love me?”

 

The alpha’s head snapped up at that and his eyes narrowed as if he were confused. Taehyung could tell though from a single glance that the confusion wasn’t really the case.

 

“Taehyung…”

 

“I know that you love Yoongi now, you wouldn’t be his mate if you didn’t. I don’t think you ever felt for me what you feel for him… but I do know that there was something akin to that affection before Jeongguk. I never addressed it before because we were best friends and maybe because I was afraid for things to change in a bad way. I brushed off the thought and ignored the way you would gaze at me for just a second too long, the way you’d brush your lips against my hair when you thought that I was asleep. When you met Yoongi, all of that stopped and I know that’s because you loved him and that I no longer held that position in your heart. But, I’m guessing that you still felt something for me… as your best friend and as your past love. That reasoning would fill in the blanks for why you did what you did. Of course, it doesn’t excuse it but it gives you a motive. I don’t… I’m not sure if you thought about those feelings for me when you did such things… but I do believe that they had a part to play, whether you were aware of it or not.”

 

The omega watched carefully as Jimin reacted to what he said. Jimin shut his mouth, lips pouting out and Taehyung could see that he was trying not to cry. The first tear fell down onto his cheek, rolling down until the next one came. It was like a dam breaking and Jimin’s shoulders sunk, the rest of his body falling after them and he didn’t seem so strong anymore. Those tears now fell, thick and wet down his face. His cheeks were flushed red and it looked like he was about to burst. He was still holding his lips tightly together, forced to breathe out of his nose. The problem with that however was that his nose was clogged from the tears and welled up emotions, and it sounded as if he were about to pass out from oxygen loss. It wasn’t a pretty image and Taehyung gazed at him with eyes filled with an indescribable emotion.

 

Jimin finally opened his mouth to breathe and the sob that escaped his lips had Taehyung closing his eyes for just a second. When he opened them again, Jimin was hiding his face in his hands, opening crying aloud in heart wrenching wails. Taehyung’s arm felt as if it were in pain, not being able to reach out and pull Jimin into an embrace. The omega did scooch a little closer on the orange couch, to cut some of that distance that had been separating them.

 

“I- I didn’t… I didn’t realize why I… Why are you, w-why are you even t-talking to me… After w-what I did to you… You shouldn’t… You shouldn’t want to t-talk to me… You should be with J-J-Jeongguk! I took five… five years from you, didn’t I?! Why are you… taking the time to talk with me… when I took five years of your h-happiness?!” Jimin wept.

 

The alpha removed his hands and they looked soaked in tears, snot running down his nose and face looking an utter mess. Taehyung tried to say something but Jimin kept ranting on.

“I’m so… pathetic. I-I held onto you for s-so long and let my feelings get in the w-way of your relationships and love. I a-already had Yoongi… My mate and love of my life… and yet I denied you the same experience… A-And for what?! Nostalgia for how I used to feel about you? Because I was s-some possessive alpha who couldn’t quite see you with somebody who w-wasn’t me? You were never mine… and you never will be…” Jimin hiccupped and his hands clenched onto his hair, tugging at it and turning away to hide his face again. “I’m disgusting.” He moaned, almost incomprehensibly.

 

“Y-You know I always… I always preached to you about how dangerous alphas were… About how you needed to be cautious because t-they would hurt you… use you for their own… How fucking ironic. The only alpha you needed to be w-weary of was m-me. H-How could I have…”  

 

“Jimin…” Taehyung said, eyes a bit more sympathetic now.

 

“No… I don’t d-deserve you… Not a-after what I did. I’m not your best friend anymore because you don’t deserve one who h-hurt you like I did. I know you’ll never forgive me and I’m glad because y-you shouldn’t have to live with me.” Jimin suddenly put his hands atop of Taehyung’s, holding them tightly and surprising the omega just a bit. “But Taehyung… I want you to know… before we… if we never do talk or have some form of friendship… That I do care about you. I-I did terrible things to you but… I do still care. And t-that I’m sorry for ruining e-everything.”

 

Taehyung’s eyes widened when he saw that Jimin was about to get back up, letting go of his hands and beginning to stand. Jimin kept shaking his head, thick tears still rolling down his cheeks.

 

“I’m sorry, Taehyung. I-“ The alpha choked out, backing away and ignoring how Taehyung was blinking up at him. “I shouldn’t be here.”

 

Jimin started to turn away but was halted when Taehyung reached out and grabbed his wrist in a firm hold. The omega tugged Jimin back onto the orange couch with quiet a strong arm and had a serious expression.

 

“Jimin, stop. You can’t just say all those things and then run away and isolate yourself from the world because of what you did. You did something bad, something really bad. But, don’t run away from that. You have to confront what you did and face the consequences.” Taehyung sighed and ran a hand through his hair. This was just a mess.

 

“I’m not… I’m not here to shout and scream at you about what you did. I’m not trying to humiliate you and just keep shoving what happened into your face. I think it’s quite obvious that you understand what you did and how wrong it was.”

 

Jimin sniffed and kept wiping his continuous tears away.

 

“I know that you realized what you did a while ago. You wouldn’t have written all those… things to Jeongguk had you not. Like I said before, I don’t have any why questions. I know why you did what you did. I’m just… here to talk.”

 

“Why? Why aren’t you angry at me? Why are you even bothering to listen to what I have to say?” Jimin questioned, body tight as if he were trying to make himself smaller.

 

Taehyung scoffed and crossed his arms. “Oh, trust me. I’m angry.”

 

Jimin seemed to curl in on himself even more.

 

“I’m angry, but I’m also confused, hurt, sad. And not just because of what happened. Of course, all of this stems from how you lied to both me and Jeongguk but I’m also worried about you.”

 

The alpha’s eyes looked up at Taehyung in surprise. “I’m mad but I don’t… I don’t want you to just disappear out of my life like that. I don’t want to just end what we had without even speaking to each other about what happened. I know it’s hard, and trust me, I know. I’m suffering and I have been suffering for a long time. But, I don’t want to lose you either. I want to be with my mate, I want to be by Jeongguk’s side for the rest of my life and enjoy the time we have together. I want to experience that love and feel what I haven’t felt in five long years. However…” Taehyung swallowed and he closed his eyes.

 

“I’m not sure if I can go on in perfect happiness knowing that I just lost you. If I made the choice to not even give you the chance to regain my trust. And I know that nothing will be the same for you either if I were to do that. I’m sure there’s a lot of people who would think that I’m foolish, that I’m too forgiving or that I don’t have a backbone. But, I don’t care about what they think. This is my life, my relationships, and my choice. I’m going to do what makes me happy for once, not what will make others happy or what they think is right.”

 

Taehyung looks at Jimin with determined eyes, no tears or pain in sight now. He looked confident and sure.

 

“Listen, Jimin. I’m not ready for forgiveness right now, not when the wounds are so fresh. The thing I do want though, is to move on into the future bearing no hate. I’m tired. I’m so tired of feeling so down, so dejected, and unhappy. I’m sick of it and I’m not going to subject myself to it any further when I can change it. Yes, I’m still hurt, but I want to leave that pain in the past. I want to walk forward, hand in hand, with you, Jeongguk, and everyone else. Over time, things will get better and I will be able to forgive you. But for now, let’s just worry about moving forward and getting all of this shit behind us. Okay?” He asked, the slightest hint of a smile growing on his lips at the end of his statement.

 

 Jimin just stared at him in shock for a good couple of seconds, unable to believe what Taehyung had just proposed. Then, per usual, the alpha started crying even harder, sobs shaking his entire body until he couldn’t even speak.

 

Taehyung blinked and scooted over to put his hands on Jimin’s shoulders. “Jimin? What’s wrong? Is that not good?”

 

The alpha just shook his head and fell into Taehyung’s chest. Taehyung held him and let Jimin cry against him. A great weight that had been on his shoulders fell away and Taehyung was finally able to breathe for the first time in days. He had been so worried before, about what others would think if he had forgiven Jimin. He was afraid that others would think that he was weak, unable to stand up for himself, or perhaps that what Jimin did was so unforgiveable and that he should never even associate himself with the alpha. But, none of that would have made him happy in the end. What, he was supposed to be bitter and hateful towards a person who had brought him so much happiness in the past? He was supposed to make a choice that would end in the both of them being upset just because it was seen as more appropriate? No. Taehyung was sick of it. He was going to be making his future from now own. And he wanted Jimin to be in his future. Taehyung could work with conversations, apologies, and working through things better than broken friendships and grudges.

 

Having Jimin in his arms like this, it reminded Taehyung of all the times that Jimin had comforted him. When Taehyung had first presented as an omega and faced discrimination by his family and old friends. It was Jimin who had protected him and told off all of those who had made snide or demeaning remarks to him. It was Jimin who had helped him study and maybe given him answers when he had taken the test in first period. It was Jimin who had come back to the apartment with bloody knuckles and a black eye when he had caught word that a group of alphas had pushed Taehyung around with roaming hands. And now it was Taehyung who was holding Jimin in his arms after he had made a mistake.

 

He felt like things were finally going to be okay and he let out a deep exhale. Taehyung squeezed Jimin a little tighter.

 

When they finally walked out of Taehyung’s apartment after another hour of conversations and apologies, Jimin’s cheeks were still a bit tearstained and Taehyung walked with a new sense of self. He felt better now. He had a loving mate, the love of his life, Jeongguk, and a best friend, foolish as he may be, Jimin.

 

The day is still bright outside and the sun shines down onto Taehyung’s golden skin. The future seems bright and there’s still an entire summer to waste. He does stop though a few steps out from his apartment building and he frowns as he turns to the bush beside them.

 

“You guys act like I don’t have a nose and can’t smell all of you hiding.”

 

He could already hear Hoseok laughing and he rolled his eyes as the other five all stood up from where they were crouching, dirt on their knees and leaves in their hair. Jeongguk was there as well, with a cheeky grin of feigned innocence.

 

“Exactly how long have you guys been hiding there?”

 

“Like, the entire hour and a half that you guys were in there. Hoseok and Jeongguk wouldn’t let us leave.” Namjoon complained, Jin chuckling as he helped his mate up. Taehyung sighed and simply shook his head. Why was he stuck with the nosiest friends in the entire universe?

 

Everybody probably knew that things had worked out based on their knowing smiles and gleaming eyes. It had been a stressful few days for everyone, not knowing if their friend dynamic was going to be ripped apart forever.

 

They all came together, Hoseok making sure that the air was comfortable and not awkward in any way. His voice covered the silence when Yoongi put a hand on Taehyung’s shoulder, and Taehyung pulling the beta into a hug.

 

Somehow, all of seven of their bodies had gotten a lot closer before Jeongguk had shouted out a ‘Group hug!’, surprising everyone by putting an arm around Jimin and pulling them all in. Jin made a mock crying noise while everyone else but Jimin laughed and pulled in closer. Jimin still seemed to look frozen with shock with Jeongguk actually making a nice notion but he soon relaxed and gave a gentle smile when Hoseok started to rock their giant huddle back and forth.

 

“Beach, beach, beach!” Hoseok started to shout in excitement. Everyone else seemed to agree with that sentiment and soon they all started walking down towards the sandy beaches. The sun still shone brightly and Jeongguk’s hand soon found Taehyung’s.

 

The two mates shared a secret look and their lips soon found each other. The others walked ahead of them, just a few paces, which allowed the two to chare some private words.

 

“Everything work out okay?” Jeongguk whispered, gazing at Taehyung as if he were the entire world.

 

Taehyung squeezed Jeongguk’s hand and nodded. “Yeah, everything is going to be okay between us. What about you though? I know that you and Jimin don’t exactly love each other and especially after what he did-“

 

“Tae.” Jeongguk softly reassured. “It’s going to be okay as long as you’re happy. Your happiness is my happiness. What really matters here is your relationship with Jimin. I’m not the one who’s best friends with him, after all. Jimin and I will figure things out over time, just not fully yet. I’m going to be pleasant though when we’re together, so don’t worry about that. We can settle our disagreements in private.”

 

The omega looked up at Jeongguk for a few seconds before jumping up to kiss his cheek. His cheeks very dusted with pink as he smiled. “I don’t know how someone like me ended up with someone as wonderful as you, Gukkie.”

 

Jeongguk just laughed and pulled Taehyung in a little closer. “Trust me, I ask myself how I got such a perfect mate about every day now as well.”

 

It was only a couple minutes before they were walking on sand, the crashing waves giving the scene a peaceful aura. Hoseok and Yoongi were already in full sprint, throwing off their shirts and waving their arms around as if they hadn’t a single care in the entire world. Hoseok tripped as soon as he got into the water and it was quite the funny sight. The rest of them followed suit and soon they were all in the water, splashing and running about like they were children once again. Nothing seemed to matter but the fact that all seven of them were there together now. Something felt complete. Taehyung had never noticed it until Jeongguk had come back, but there was something missing when their group was only six. It was as if Jeongguk was always supposed to have a place here. They were meant to be seven.

 

Taehyung felt happier than he had in years as everyone played together, Jeongguk always right by his side. All those years of pain and confusion were beginning to melt away and he wondered how it could have been any different. They stayed out there for a long while until the sun started to set and Jin started to complain about how hungry he was.

 

After a while, everybody except for Jeongguk and Taehyung had left. The two sat on the sand, the soft water just coming up to wash over their feet. They were silent for a while, simply enjoying the view and the company of each other. Nobody else was on the beach right now and it felt as if they were the only ones in the world right then.

 

Taehyung was leaning his head on Jeongguk’s shoulder, and the alpha pressed a kiss against the top of his head.

 

“Gukkie?”

 

“Yes, pup?”

 

“Do you believe in parallel universes?” He softy asked.

 

Jeongguk smiled and looked down at Taehyung. “You mean like there being infinite universes with infinite possibilities? Like a universe where I’m an alien and you’re a cowboy? Or I’m some mafia boss and you’re my sweet literature professor lover?”

 

Taehyung laughed and nodded his head. “Well, yeah. I meant more in terms of smaller things, though. Like maybe a universe where Jimin never sent you that letter and you never came back thinking that I had been the one who had written it. One where we… just never met again. We just drifted and lived out the rest of our lives alone and without each other.”

 

A seagull cried out as it passed overhead and the two took a second to gaze upwards at the flying creature as it flew into the distance. Jeongguk blinked and smiled.

 

“Yeah, I suppose that there is a universe where we never met again. One where nothing turned out well and we both suffered for the rest of our lives. But, there’s also a universe where there was nothing holding us back and we have been sharing our love for years now. Infinite universes where we are together. But… If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that I’m sure damn glad that I was born in this universe with this particular version of you.”

 

Taehyung smiled and kissed Jeongguk once again. The alpha’s lips were soft, a juxtaposition to his hardened hands that came up to cup Taehyung’s cheeks as they fell into each other. Butterflies flew in the omega’s stomach and he had no idea what else could make him feel like this.

 

Now that he was off the suppressants, everything with Jeongguk felt so different. Every touch had him shivering, every breath a tremble. Taehyung wondered if Jeongguk felt the same way. Perhaps it was a different feeling since Jeongguk was an alpha. Taehyung simply wanted to be held by Jeongguk, be protected and cared for. Seen as important, worthy, loved. Never before had he felt such an urge to please somebody, make somebody proud. And all of those desires were validated when Jeongguk touched him in the way that he did, looked at him with those gleaming crescent eyes.

 

Jeongguk pulled Taehyung in closer and smiled against the omega’s lips when Taehyung gasped. He pulled back for just a second and Taehyung felt as if he were about to melt. His lips were just parted, wet with saliva, and cheeks a beautiful hue contrasted against his golden skin.

 

‘You’re the most beautiful person I’ve ever laid eyes on, Taehyung. I’m not sure if I can ever look away.”

 

Taehyung softly laughed as if he didn’t believe the compliment, looking down nervously as his heart did summersaults. To be loved by someone, to be seen as the entire world, it was something akin to indescribable.

 

Jeongguk placed a curled finger under Taehyung’s chin to lift his head back up so they were looking at each other again.  

 

“You sure know how to make an omega feel special, Guk.” Taehyung whispered.

 

“Not just any omega, only you.”

 

Taehyung could only smile as he buried his face into the space between Jeongguk’s neck and shoulder. His face was red now and he wasn’t sure how much of this sweet talk he could take before becoming a puddle.

 

There was something warm on his neck and Taehyung briefly wondered what it was. It only took a couple of seconds before he realized that it was his mating mark. The pink, scarred skin there was no longer a source of shame for him. He could be like other omegas now who proudly showed off their marks, showing that they belonged to someone and that another was theirs as well.

 

His mark had become lighter over the five years of Jeongguk’s absence. Sometimes that would happen if mates had been parted for a long period of time or if one had died. Back then, Taehyung had wanted it lighter but now things had changed. Jeongguk was back and everything was solved. He knew that they should be moving slow but this was one thing that he wanted to do now.

 

“Gukkie?” He said, finally pulling away and pulling his shirt down just slightly so his mark was more visible. Taehyung didn’t fail to notice how Jeongguk’s eyes lingered there for a second.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Will… Will you remark me?” He asked, tilting his head just a bit to the side so his neck was exposed.

 

Jeongguk blinked and looked a bit surprised. “Right now?”

 

“Yeah, I’m ready. I… It feels right to do it. Now that everything has been figured out, I want to do this. Rekindle our bond in every way possible.”

 

The alpha swallowed and nodded after a second. His heart was beating quickly now and he tried to reposition himself to get in a better spot. Taehyung tilted his head over more and his mark was fully exposed, pink and a bit faded.

 

The sun was creeping lower down the horizon and the sky filled with a magnificent purple hue as the waves brushed up against their bodies over and over again.

 

Jeongguk could feel his teeth start to sharpen and he loomed over Taehyung’s neck, hands finding place on the omega’s hips. He licked his lips and glanced over to Taehyung’s face one last time.

 

“Are you sure? You can still back out if you’re not okay with this.” He asked, not wanting Taehyung to feel pressured to do anything he didn’t want to do.

 

“I’m ready. Do it.” Taehyung whispered before closing his eyes.

 

Jeongguk nodded and took a deep breath before sinking his teeth deep into the marking glands of Taehyung’s neck. Blood oozed from the wound as he bit further in, hands holding Taehyung in place as he squirmed about.

 

It wasn’t that Taehyung was actually trying to get away or stop Jeongguk. It was a natural omega instinct to flail about when bitten, as natural as someone’s leg kicking out when their knee was hit.

 

When he was done, Jeongguk licked at the new scar forming, pulling in his omega so there wasn’t an inch of them not touching.

 

Taehyung was gasping for air, still on his high and feeling as if he were one of the stars right now. The pain of the bite was now replaced by immeasurable pleasure and he felt his bond with Jeongguk strengthen even more, if that was even possible.

 

Now, a fresh and red mark lay on his neck. Taehyung smiled as Jeongguk kept licking at it, even after it had fully healed. He allowed Jeongguk to do this, and instead chose to pull the alpha closer and face his head up towards the stars.

 

It was a beautiful night.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

One Year Later

 

Jeongguk wakes up, eyes fluttering open with sunshine falling down upon him. The first thing he thinks of is how nice he feels. It’s the perfect temperature, the morning has just begun, the sun is out, and there’s a gentle breeze that is coming in through the window they had left open last night. A bird is chirping outside, far enough to where it was just a pleasant noise. A smile grows on his face as he looks down and sees Taehyung still sleeping on his bare chest, fingers just barely curving on the alpha’s skin as he continues to wonder about in his dreaming state.

 

There’s a feeling of bliss that floods throughout his body, making his fingertips tingle and cheeks warm when he thinks of the events of last night. They both bore no clothes now, limbs intertwined and bodies nearly connected. Jeongguk lips fall apart into a silent grin and he has to close his eyes and push his head back into the pillow before he awakes Taehyung in excitement when he catches a glimpse of the omega’s swelled belly.

 

He really wants to wake his mate up, shake his shoulders and kiss him deeply, run his hands all over the omega’s golden skin, pull him onto his lap and hold him closer than his own heart. Jeongguk knows that his heart is pounding and he hopes that it does not disturb Taehyung, as his head is laid right above it. No, he’ll let Taehyung sleep for as long as he desires. His arm may be going numb, fingers perhaps going purple, but Jeongguk doesn’t even dare to think about moving.

 

The clock on their bedside drawer reads eight in the morning and Jeongguk sighs contently. They still have plenty of time to rest, relax, even make a nice breakfast before they have to go out and meet the others on the beach. It’s Sunday, the only day that Jeongguk doesn’t have work to look at so it’s a day for leisure and relaxing. He’s thinking about sleeping for a little bit longer and enjoying the moment with his mate, besides, if they slept in too late he was sure that either Jimin or Hoseok would come knocking their door down and tackling them. Jeongguk is so close to closing his eyes once again until he sees a flash a fur.

 

Yeontan had somehow jumped up onto the bed (though Jeongguk had no idea how he managed that since his legs were legitimate stumps) and was standing menacingly by their feet. Jeongguk and Yeontan stared each other down, Jeongguk glaring with his jaw set and Yeontan with those deceivingly innocent eyes. The damn dog’s tail was wagging dangerously slow, pink tongue just barely passing through those sharp teeth.

 

Ever since Taehyung had made the terrible decision to adopt the dog, Jeongguk had been fighting against it for the omega’s affection. Mating season had just ended and Jeongguk was almost surprised that he and Taehyung even got around to it.

 

Jeongguk would be left pouting on the couch, arms crossed and eyes narrowed, as Taehyung would walk around smelling like a goddamn feast and wearing skimpy panties, and yet paying his actual mate no mind as he took care of the damn dog instead. There had been way too many times where Jeongguk had finally pulled Taehyung into his lap, thumbs slipping under undergarments and lips parting when the stupid dog would start whining and the omega would jump up and go take care of him.

 

By far the worst case though was when Jeongguk was actually on top of Taehyung, both naked and panting, and Yeontan just started barking. Non-stop. This time, Taehyung didn’t get up to go tend to the thing but damn, he still didn’t stop barking. It eventually ruined the mood and they ended up watching some movie and cuddling, which was nice and all, but as an alpha during mating season it wasn’t overly awesome for Jeongguk.

 

It wasn’t until last night when Yeontan was finally merciful and didn’t bother them, leading to their current situation right now with Taehyung laying peacefully atop Jeongguk. But now, of course, he wanted to ruin it again by waking Taehyung up and mess up their morning of bliss.

 

Jeongguk started to shake his head, lips in a tight line as Yeontan got closer, fuzzy paws not making a single sound.

 

Yeontan looked like he was about to put his paw on Taehyung’s ass and that really didn’t sit well with Jeongguk. “No! Back off! That is mine!” He seethed, voice barely above a whisper so he didn’t wake his mate up.

 

He was about to try and rip his shoulder out to swat the dog away before he heard, or felt, a giggle on the skin of his chest. He looked down and saw that Taehyung’s eyes were open, lips pulled into a sweet grin that oozed playfulness. Jeongguk blinked and opened his mouth to say something, but ended up just making a weird “uh” noise after realizing that Taehyung had seen that entire interaction with Yeontan.

 

Taehyung just laughed again, voice a bit deeper due to just waking up, before lifting himself up to press a kiss against Jeongguk’s lips. They both had morning breath but Jeongguk didn’t care in the slightest, cupping the omega’s cheeks in his palms and pulling him a little bit closer.

 

“You two are ridiculous.” Taehyung managed in between kisses, hands now wandering over Jeongguk biceps that he was very appreciate of.

 

“Can’t help it. He’s trying to steal my mate away. It’s natural for me to try and dropkick him off this planet.” Jeongguk responded, eyes cracked open just a little bit so he could see every second that passed. Life was too short to not be looking at Taehyung 24/7.

 

Yeontan was jumping on Taehyung’s back, still trying to get his attention with little whines.

 

“Tannie, can’t you see that we’re having a moment here?” Taehyung laughed, sending one hand back to blindly seek the body of the dog.

 

“He doesn’t care. He never does.” Jeongguk grumbles, though his dissatisfaction is soothed when Taehyung leans his head into the space between his shoulder and neck, little puffs of breath tickling the skin there.

 

Yeontan seemed to realize that Taehyung wasn’t going to give him the attention he desired and he finally laid down with a huff. Jeongguk ran a hand over the bare skin of the omega’s back, fingers moving over the natural arch with a touch so gentle that you could barely feel it.

 

“You feeling alright?” Jeongguk whispered, eyes going soft as a breeze came by through the open window, causing Taehyung’s brown hair to move about in the slightest.

 

It was safe to say that Jeongguk was a hopeless romantic. A foolish one at that. Ever since he was a child, he dreamed of having an omega to take care of, and be taken care of by. Daydreams about soulmates that would last throughout time and universes, two souls meant to be. Maybe it was something like reincarnation, moving on through time and always existing side by side. But, no. That wasn’t exactly it. He thought of what Taehyung had asked him, so long ago when they had finally found each other once again. Did he believe in parallel universes? Perhaps. If it’s with Taehyung, Jeongguk thinks that he can believe.

 

It’s Taehyung who pulls him back to the real world and away from his never-ending thoughts of life in general.

 

“I’ve never felt so happy in my life, Guk. Though I would be lying if I said that my ass isn’t sore.”

 

Jeongguk grinned and let his hands travel down a little bit further, squeezing Taehyung’s butt with endearment.

 

“Sorry, baby. It’s only because I love you.”

 

Taehyung got a coy look in his eye and he innocently looked up at Jeongguk. “You love me?”

 

“Mm Hm.”

 

“Love me enough to dress me? I’m tired.” Taehyung pouted, lips sticking out and almost glistening. How could anyone expect Jeongguk to deny that face?

 

Jeongguk helps Taehyung get up, sitting him on the edge of the bed before officially kicking Yeontan out of the room. He’ll give him a little extra kibble this morning to make up for it.

 

When he looks back to where Taehyung is sitting, he sees that the omega is no longer looking at him but at the picture frame rested beside the window. The curtains are gently drifting up and down and light is hitting the omega just perfectly. Resting upon his features like a blanket and making Taehyung look… well, soft.

 

It’s the perfect side view of his mate and Jeongguk can’t help but stare for a second. Taehyung is sitting straight up, hands in his lap. His thighs are out for seeing, stomach as well. His face looks so relaxed as he gazes at the picture frame of the couple together, laughing in the distance. Jeongguk remembers that day quite well. Jin had brought his fancy camera to that burger place that they all enjoyed and had someone captured the perfect picture.

 

Taehyung and Jeongguk are both laughing, the omega covered in ketchup and fries while the alpha was soaking wet in vanilla milkshake. It almost looks staged because of how nice it all seems. However, if you really looked, you would know that it wasn’t. You couldn’t stage those genuine smiles and the looks in their eyes.

 

The alpha finally walks over and kept help himself from leaning down on his knees and pressing his palm against Taehyung’s abdomen. He knows he won’t feel anything right now since the swelling is only due to Taehyung’s heat and the knot he just took, but it’s still comforting to feel. It’s a promise for the future, and that’s all that Jeongguk needs.

 

After all, he had waited six years now for this.

 

But then again, he would have waited for however long Taehyung needed.

 

One of Taehyung’s hands find way to the top of Jeongguk’s head, fingers carding through his black locks of hair. After a moment, Jeongguk brings that hand down with his own, pressing a kiss on the omega’s knuckles before standing up again.

 

First things first, he puts some damn underwear on himself. It was a bit stupid to be walking around butt naked with the window open but what the hell, they were young and lived out on the part of the beach that no one else was remotely close to. They could do whatever they pleased.

 

He fumbles around the drawers, trying to pick out something that Taehyung would like to wear today. It was sort of a weird request for Taehyung to make, asking Jeongguk to dress him, but he wasn’t complaining.

 

It’s not that hot out today due to a recent storm passing by so that was good. Jeongguk picked out a pair of cream colored pants, loose fitting and quite long. He picked out a similar shirt and placed it on the sheets beside Taehyung. Whatever, it wasn’t overly fancy or anything, and Jeongguk liked Taehyung in lighter colors anyways.

 

He slides some underwear up Taehyung’s legs and is too focused on his job to notice how the omega is sweetly gazing down at him. The pants go on next and Jeongguk’s hands are as tender as possible. He treats the omega as if he were porcelain sometimes, about to break. He may not recognize it, but there’s still that fear that something, someone, may take Taehyung out of his hands again. Take away his happiness. And that’s why he holds so dearly to the omega, protecting him and treating him more tenderly than any lover ever could. There are some days where Jeongguk simply can’t fathom how he survived those five years without his mate. Hell, how he survived the first portion of his life not even knowing Taehyung. It’s odd how one person, just one, can change everything.

 

Jeongguk gets dressed himself and leads Taehyung by the hand to their kitchen. They go slowly, Taehyung making sure to whine and complain as loudly as possible about how sore he is and how he’s going to fall over. Jeongguk eventually picks up on what Taehyung refuses to ask for, leaning down to pick up his omega bridal style, smiling when Taehyung squeals in delight. Yeontan is barking at his feet and Jeongguk has to resist the urge to just… whatever.

 

Taehyung is giggling the entire way, wriggling his long legs around in excitement. His movement almost makes Jeongguk trip down the last two stairs and he stumbles about trying to catch his balance again. Taehyung is just seeming to have the time of his life, but somewhere in the back of his head, subconsciously so he didn’t even realize it, Jeongguk is thinking about the pups that may be coming and he finds his balance before the two go toppling.

 

The alpha puts the omega down with a gentle smile, making sure Taehyung’s feet are firmly on the ground before he lets go completely.

 

Taehyung is already headed towards the fridge, presumably to find something to cook up for breakfast while Jeongguk is picking up Yeontan’s bowl to feed the little bastard. The dog is yapping like crazy and Jeongguk rolls his eyes.

 

“Yeah, yeah. I’m getting there so shut up.”

 

Yeontan stands up on his hind legs, his two front ones moving like crazy as Jeongguk places the bowl on the ground. Jeongguk stands back up to see Taehyung heating up some leftover soup on the stove and pulling out some fruit to cut.

 

“I told you, we should have gotten a cool dog, like a boxer or something.” He complains.

 

Taehyung just shakes his head and looks back as if he were betrayed. “Yeontan is cool! And he’s cute as well. Besides, boxers drool everywhere. That’s gross.”

 

Jeongguk just laughs with tenderness in his eyes before walking on over to where his mate was standing. Taehyung was chopping something with a knife, hips gently shaking to the rhythm in which he was humming. How could Jeongguk be expected to resist that sight? Jeongguk lets his hands wrap around those hips, fingers heavy yet soft at the same time. The omega stopped waving around, though he kept up his act of pretending to not know what Jeongguk was doing.

 

The alpha pressed quick kisses around Taehyung’s mating mark, which were obviously not meant to be chaste ones. Taehyung just kept on chopping, barely keeping his smile back.

 

“You’re going to ignore me? Is that what you’re doing?” Jeongguk whispered, eyes crinkled into crescents. His hands started to push up the fabric of Taehyung’s shirt, fingertips brushing against the soft skin of Taehyung’s stomach.

 

“You know, if you were planning on doing this than you should have done it when we were naked in bed. Not when you spent all that time getting me dressed and carrying me down here.” Taehyung replied in an almost sing-song manner. Jeongguk didn’t fail to notice how the omega still naturally leant back into his chest, as if he were seeking protection in some way.

 

“But undressing is you is what makes it so fun.” Jeongguk said back, lips brushing against Taehyung’s neck with every word spoken. His hands were roaming over the omega’s tummy now, much more gentle than they had been on the other’s waist. “And besides, we need a change of scenery. That bed has gotten boring.”

 

Taehyung finally laughs, placing his hands above Jeongguk’s. He turns around with a playful look.

 

“Okay, but you’re going to have to massage me afterwards.”

 

~

 

Taehyung loved being in the water, it was one of his favorite things to do and places to be. Especially when there were other people with him. Currently, he was atop Jeongguk’s shoulders, thighs around his head and arms outreached. They were currently in a serious battle against Hoseok and Jin, and Taehyung was not planning on losing today.

 

“Namjoon, help me!” Jin shrieked, slapping his arms everywhere and kicking at Jeongguk’s face as well. “Hoseok is trying to kill me!”

 

No, you’re trying to kill me! Stop moving around or I’m going to drop you!” Hoseok exclaimed, trying to get his balance back as Jin kept thrashing about on his shoulders.

 

“You’re on your own, Jin! I thought you said that Taehyung and Jeongguk were too wimpy to beat you anyways!” Namjoon shouted from where he was standing, by the sand trying to catch some crabs.

 

“Wimpy, huh?” Taehyung laughed, pushing at Jin and making him wave his arms around like a helicopter.

 

After a couple more pushes, the Jin and Hoseok combo went tumbling over, causing a splash a water to come up all the way to Taehyung’s nose. The omega giggled and wiggled his feet around.

 

Jeongguk just grinned and squeezed Taehyung’s thighs from where he was holding onto them. Taehyung was surprisingly light (an alpha’s bias) and he hardly weighed a thing to him. The alpha slowly squatted down, letting his chin become submerged in the seawater so Taehyung could easily and safely get off.

 

Jin finally popped out of the water, looking as if he had just been offended in the worst way possible. He blinked violently to get the water out of his eyes, spitting out whatever had just gotten into his mouth. Hoseok followed a second afterwards looking like some kind of water god.

 

Jeongguk cackled at the two while keeping a protective hand on the small of Taehyung’s back.

 

“Whatever, we let you two win. Have to boost your egos somehow.” Jin remarked, pulling some seaweed off of his shoulder.

 

“More like you let them win by flailing around.” Hoseok muttered. Jin proceeded to chase Hoseok away, leaving a trail of splashing water in his footsteps.

 

The two mates just watched them in curiosity, not sure who would win. Taehyung eventually turned towards Jeongguk and poked his side.

 

“Hey, I’m going to go back and sit on the shore for a minute.”

 

Jeongguk nodded and pressed a kiss against his lips, sweet and salty at the same time. “Alright, love you.”

 

Taehyung’s cheeks went a bid red like they always did when Jeongguk said such things. “Love you too, Gukkie.”

 

The omega was pretty sure that he would never get tired or used to Jeongguk saying ‘I love you’ and it always caught him off guard in a way. Maybe it was because Jeongguk always said it so sincerely, like it so important and that he really wanted Taehyung to know that he meant it. Whatever it was, it sent butterflies flocking in the omega’s stomach.

 

He starts to head towards the shore, accidently stepping on a shell and cursing on his way. Jeongguk had set up a blanket for them to sit on, along with a packed bag and some food to eat in case they got hungry.

 

Taehyung sits down with a huff, pretty sore in all the right areas. At least the sand beneath him was soft and the sun wasn’t overly terrible today. He sighed and pulled his notebook out of his bag, a yawn escaping his lips as he flipped to an empty page. What should he write about today?

 

He looked out to the shore where everyone, including his mate were. Jeongguk looked so happy and that in return made Taehyung happy. He was out in the water, which seemed to be where he glowed the most. Jeongguk wasn’t wearing a shirt and was showing off some of his best assets, which never failed to make Taehyung swoon just a bit. Water was running down his caramel skin and the sunlight seemed to perfectly fall down on his body. He looked like those alphas on sports magazines that were meant to make omegas blush. Taehyung wasn’t sure how he had gotten ahold of such an alpha.

 

Jeongguk was roughhousing and pushing the others over and getting knocked over himself as well. He and Jimin were seemingly in some form of battle, both trying to drown each other. The two had somehow achieved a weird frienemies relationship over the passing months, though Taehyung couldn’t complain. It was much better than straight up hating each other.

 

So much had changed over the last year and it was pretty hard to keep up with. To be honest, Taehyung had never ever predicted that his life would go about like this. It sort of seemed like some overdramatic soap opera, but nope, it happened. He had gone from abandoned and rejected to loved and about to start a family in such a quick period. There had been rough spots but Taehyung was happy with them nonetheless. The Jeongguk and Taehyung of today wouldn’t have been the same without them.

 

Jeongguk must have caught Taehyung gazing out at him because he stopped for a second. Stood still and simply looked back at the omega with eyes that looked as if they were shining. Taehyung felt his lips curling up as well, he had never been able to resist the other’s smile. Jeongguk looked like he was about to shout out something before Hoseok literally materialized out of thin air and tackled him back into the water.

 

As he continued to watch his friends in the water, an idea suddenly popped into his head on what to write. He pulled out a pen and started with a smile.

 

Dear Jeonggukie of the future,

 

I am writing this to you today, hopefully a day in the past, if I don’t cave in and give it to you in like a week. Mating season has just ended and hopefully we will be expecting pups soon. Maybe we will already have them running around the house when you read this! Wouldn’t that be nice? I know that you’ve been wanting pups and to raise a family for such a long time now. And yet, you were still so patient with me and made sure to wait until I was completely ready. After a year, and perhaps even less, I am ready.

 

There’s nothing else in this world that could make me happier than sharing the rest of my life with you and growing a family of our own. I want to grow old with you and see our pups grow up and have their own. I had never thought such things possible until I was with you.

 

 I used to be so afraid back then before I met you, afraid to have pups as an omega. And maybe, probably, it was I was ashamed of my status as an omega and being seen as one. To me, having pups would be a surrendering of sorts. Admitting that I was an omega above anything else. Yet, I barely remember how that feels anymore. That fear of identity and accepting who I am.

 

Everyone says that you have to love yourself before you can love others, but I don’t think that’s true. You helped me learn how to love myself, Jeongguk. You made me feel like I had a purpose and that I could be happy as an omega. I hope that I have been able to make you as happy as you have made me over the years. This all may sound silly but it’s really true. You’ve breathed life back into my lungs and pumped blood through my heart once again.

 

You know, I can’t help but always think about how letters have brought us together. When you forced to leave me, you wrote me letters upon letters in an attempt to get me back. It was Jimin’s letter that brought you back to Jeju, and now this one. It’s something that we will always share, just one more memory of ours that we can cherish together.

 

Jeongguk, I hope you know just how much I love you. In this universe and in the next, we’ll always be together. That’s how soulmates work, don’t you think?

 

With Love,

 

Your Taehyung.