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“do you have your books?”

“yes, hyung.”

“and your notebooks for taking notes?”

“yes, hyung.”

“and your—”

yes, hyung. i have everything i need; you don’t have to ask me every five minutes. nothing has changed since the last time you asked.”

he can tell the words are little off-putting, but the brief look of irritation that passes over jimin’s face is gone as soon as it arrived, and then he’s shoving a piece of toast directly into jeongguk’s mouth.

“brat. i just want to make sure that you’re prepared,” says jimin before taking a bite of his own toast, shrugging a little when he turns and leans against the kitchen counter. jeongguk removes the toast from his mouth and licks at his lips—some of the nutella got on them, but he’s not going to complain when jimin actually got over his severe dislike of nutella in order to slather an extra large helping onto jeongguk’s toast. he forgot the banana slices, though. “first days are pretty scary. the last thing you need is to get to school and realize you’ve forgotten all of your supplies at home and have to suffer without them.”

jimin—has a point, jeongguk knows. and he knows that jimin is just trying to be helpful, just trying to make sure that jeongguk’s very first day of college goes smoothly, but he’s being a helicopter mom instead, even if it’s in his nature to act like this around jeongguk. alpha genes and all.

so—jeongguk takes a bite of the toast, chewing a little as jimin raises an eyebrow at him, waiting for either another bratty comment or an apology. “sorry,” jeongguk finally concedes once he’s swallowed the food in his mouth, staring intently at the shape his teeth made on the toast instead of having to see the vaguely triumphant look in jimin’s eyes. “i’m just—nervous, i guess.”

“there’s nothing to be scared of, bun,” jimin tells him, and jeongguk looks up with a pout. “i know i just said first days are scary, but if you’re prepared, it won’t be bad at all. plus, you’re taking some classes with your friends, right?”

“yeah, but so much could go wrong,” he whines. “what if i go to the wrong class and i’m too embarrassed to leave once it starts and then i’m sitting there listening to intro to anthropology when i’m actually supposed to be learning about art history?”

jimin giggles a little, that fond sort of laugh he gives whenever jeongguk does something particularly endearing. and it’s not supposed to be endearing, because jeongguk is genuinely concerned about ending up in the wrong class, but jimin puts down his toast and slides over until their hips bump against the counter. then he leans up and presses a kiss to jeongguk’s cheek, leaving the skin sticky with jam.

“you’re cute,” says jimin, and jeongguk flushes despite hearing it about fifteen times a day. “and you’re going to be fine. if you need help, you can just call me.”

“aren’t you supposed to be in class, too?”

“i’m a third year,” says jimin, waving the idea away with his hand as he grabs the rest of his toast and breezes out of the kitchen. “i can do whatever the fuck i want.”

the truth is—jeongguk is nervous. he’s never been the best with new situations or new people, even if there’s a thread of familiarity running through his first day of college thanks to very careful planning. he is taking just over half of his classes with people he already knows, so at least he’ll have a familiar face in a few of them. he won’t have to worry about where to sit or finding partners for group projects, at least, and the agony of making friends on the first day will be squashed for the most part.

it also helps that jimin is just a phone call away. it helps that he’s living with jimin now that he graduated from high school, which means he doesn’t have to worry about a new roommate on top of a new everything else. jimin has been living in this apartment for the past two years, so even the apartment isn’t new—jeongguk has been over more times than he can count, a second home long before it became his first.

despite groaning and grumbling about jimin’s overbearing attitude toward jeongguk’s preparedness, he has to admit it was nice to have someone with him while shopping for school supplies and textbooks, when he was touring the campus, when he had questions about things like what to wear, how to address his professors, what kind of notes he should take. jimin is very, very good at quelling jeongguk’s fears. always has been, since they were kids on the playground and became best friends then.

now that they’re dating, it just—makes everything calmer. jeongguk stole one of jimin’s beanies because it’s infused with the alpha’s scent and proves to be one of the surest ways of making him feel safe and calm and not like he’s going to have an emotional breakdown if something goes wrong.

which—it won’t. but. just in case. jeongguk likes to have all of his bases covered.

they walk to campus together, because their apartment is only a few blocks away. jeongguk keeps a firm grip on jimin’s hand the whole way, trying to convince himself that he’s not as fearful as his heart is making him think. sometimes he curses his omega nature for making him the sort of person who doesn’t know how to ask for help at the best of times, or doesn’t want to bother someone if he does need help, but—his other omega friends don’t have quite so many problems with that, so maybe it’s less of an omega problem and more the fact that jeongguk was a shy kid, and turned into a shy adult unless he’s with familiar people in familiar places. he’s hoping that some of jimin’s boisterous confidence and unwavering friendliness will rub off on him, somehow—physically, probably, like jeongguk can absorb his boyfriend’s ability to deal with unfamiliar situations through osmosis. or something. jimin’s the science major, not him.

anyway. anyway.

“are you sure you know where your classes are?” asks jimin once the campus buildings are in sight, in full bloom. “you took a screenshot of your schedule on your phone so you can check it, right?”

“yes,” says jeongguk, pulling out his phone and opening it up to the right picture to show jimin. “and you showed me where all of the classrooms were last week, remember? i haven’t forgotten.”

“good. there are floor plans in the entrances of all of the buildings so if you forget where something is, you can just check that.”

“oka—”

“and don’t be afraid to ask someone for help if you get lost,” adds jimin. “it might seem scary and i know you don’t like talking to strangers, but it’s better than wandering around and accidentally missing a class because you don’t want to ask someone a question.”

the comment has jeongguk flushing a little. “i’m not scared of talking to strangers,” he protests.

“gukkie, sometimes you make me order for you at restaurants.”

“that’s only when the waiter comes while i’m in the bathroom!”

“and why are you in the bathroom to begin with? because you’re hiding.”

it’s—not entirely false. sometimes jeongguk does hide in bathrooms when he gets overwhelmed with people and new situations, but it’s not like he does it on purpose when he and jimin are out on dates. still. still. when he doesn’t say anything about that, jimin giggles, swinging their hands between them and leaning over to drop a kiss to jeongguk’s cheek again.

“have i told you you’re cute yet today?” he asks, and jeongguk doesn’t even bother looking at him—knows the fond sort of smile that will be on jimin’s face, anyway, eyes pressed into crescent moons.

“you may have mentioned it,” mutters jeongguk.

“my cute little omega,” continues jimin. “all grown up and going to college for the first time. remember when you were a little baby and smaller than me? now you’re a lanky beanpole and going to learn about art like the smart, sophisticated man you are.”

“i’m not little. and you sound like my mom.”

“oh yeah, did you call your mom this week? you know she gets worried when you don’t call her once a week.”

it goes on much the same way until they get to the right building, where jeongguk’s first class is. he reassures jimin three times that he has his wallet, that he brought the packed lunch that jimin made for him (you’ll be tempted by the cafeteria on campus, but that stuff is extremely unhealthy, gukkie, don’t eat it), and that he won’t be afraid to tell the professor if he somehow accidentally starts bleeding in the middle of class. most of it is unnecessary.

“don’t forget your coat if you take it off,” says jimin as they stop outside of the door to jeongguk’s classroom, the alpha pausing to smooth down the front of said coat. “i did that once and i never saw it again. and i bought you this coat, so i better see it hanging up in the closet tonight.”

“yes, hyung,” says jeongguk, glancing into the classroom. there aren’t many students in it, as it’s the first class of the day and they’re early—but jimin likes to be early, at least when it comes to school. apparently he doesn’t mind being late for literally everything else in his life.

“and you know where the bathrooms are?” asks jimin. “you don’t have to ask your prof if you can pee; you can just go if you have to.”

“oh my god,” mumbles jeongguk, cheeks colouring red red red with the volume that jimin is speaking with; when he glances sideways, he sees a girl at the front of the classroom watching them. how mortifying.

before jimin can ask another embarrassing question, though, jeongguk hears his name being called down the hallway and turns to see what might just be his saving grace: yugyeom and mingyu, beaming smiles on their faces. he offers them a smile in return, already feeling more comfortable knowing that his friends have arrived and he won’t have to awkwardly sit in silence as he waits for the class to begin.

“first day of college,” grins yugyeom as he and mingyu join jeongguk and jimin outside of the classroom. “ready to fuck shit up?”

“this is literally a first year english class and we’re going to be reading jane austen,” says jeongguk. “i don’t think anything will be getting fucked up in this class.”

“alright, party pooper,” snorts yugyeom, but he claps jeongguk on the back anyway and then turns to jimin. “hey, jimin-hyung. dropping jeongguk off this morning?”

“yep,” says jimin, grinning as he reaches up and pokes jeongguk in the nose. “gotta make sure my cute little omega gets to his first class safely.”

“oh god,” mutters jeongguk, feeling himself cringe so hard that the ground might as well swallow him up as mingyu starts making cooing noises. his friends have been present for plenty of jimin’s doting and teasing, since jimin apparently doesn’t know how to tone down the protective alpha boyfriend attitude even when they’re in public or surrounded by other people—and not here, either.

“he’ll be fine, jimin-hyung!” chirps mingyu. “he’s got us, right, geom? we’ll take good care of him.”

“except we’re not his boyfriend,” says yugyeom, shoving at mingyu. “and you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing either. this morning, you called me and asked if it was socially acceptable to wear a shirt with a swear word on it to school.”

“well, i don’t know,” argues mingyu, and jeongguk tunes them out when he feels a tug on his sleeve and turns to see jimin grinning at him.

“i should head to my class,” he says. “be good. and you’re sure you know where you’re going after this?”

he can’t help it—maybe it’s the fact that it’s about the fifth time jimin has asked in the past hour, or maybe it’s the fact that jeongguk is feeling kind of jittery now that he’s just outside of his first class but not quite there. it might be his friends standing right there and knowing they’re going to tease him mercilessly the moment jimin leaves about his alpha, asking if jimin helped him pick his outfit (which he did, but that’s beside the point) and if he’ll have to call jimin to ask if he can sneeze in the middle of class.

the truth is—jimin is kind of overbearing sometimes. and jeongguk knows that it’s just because he’s protective, and it’s just because he loves jeongguk, and it’s just because he wants to make sure that jeongguk has a good first day of school. he knows that jimin is an alpha, that he’s jeongguk’s alpha, which mean he can’t really help wanting to take care of him in any way possible. they were best friends before they were boyfriends, so the feelings of protectiveness and care are doubled. he knows that jimin doesn’t mean any harm by it.

but still. when jimin asks that goddamn question for the fifth time, jeongguk snaps.

“oh my god, hyung,” he says, a little louder than necessary, with a roll of his eyes. “yes, i know where i’m going after this. and i know where the fucking bathrooms are and i have all of my books with me. i’m not a baby. i can take care of myself, so i don’t need your help.”

for a second, when jeongguk stops speaking and he’s met with nothing but awkward silence from all three of the people around him, he thinks… he might have made a mistake. he didn’t mean to snap at jimin, knows that it’s usually a very bad idea for jeongguk to be rude to anyone he loves, let alone his boyfriend. who is also an alpha. jimin doesn’t have a temper, not like some alphas that jeongguk knows.

but jimin doesn’t get angry at him. doesn’t chide him for being rude or tell him off for getting angry when jimin really is just trying to help. he just tilts his head a little and says, “okay.” the casual indifference in his voice might be worse than being angry, and jeongguk swallows tightly when jimin smiles at him—not the kind of smile that he’s used to, though, not the one that reaches his eyes. jimin reaches up and smooths his hands over jeongguk’s chest one more time, picking off a piece of lint from the coat. “if you can take care of yourself, i’ll leave you to it. have a good day, okay, baby?”

he leans up and presses a kiss to jeongguk’s lips, one that jeongguk can’t quite react to because he feels the guilt settle in instead. yugyeom and mingyu still haven’t said anything, and jeongguk hopes they don’t, even when jimin takes a step back and gives him another smile, this one more genuine. wiggles all of his fingers in a goodbye wave.

“i’ll see you at home, okay, guk-ah? i love you.”

“‘kay,” mumbles jeongguk. “love you, too.”

once jimin leaves, squeezing past other students making their way down the hallway, and the silence has become a little awkward, yugyeom clears his throat. says, “so… what was that about fucking shit up?” and mingyu gently shoves him into the wall, and jeongguk swallows down the guilt as he finally loses sight of jimin in the crowd and makes his way into the classroom instead.

the first half of jeongguk’s day goes by like a breeze. his first class is easy enough, just an introduction to the course where he spends most of the time passing notes back and forth with yugyeom and mingyu. he finds his second class easily enough, considering the classes are in the same building, and meets another friend for it so he doesn’t have to worry about strangers. his professors don’t call on him, so he doesn’t have to worry about speaking in class, and he finds that a lot of his worries about the nit picky things were for no reason. it’s remarkably easy to get into the flow of things, once he’s actually there.

despite his guilt over snapping at jimin, jeongguk makes sure to text his boyfriend throughout the day to reassure him that he hasn’t gotten into a fist fight with someone who wanted the seat he was sitting in and that he’s enjoying his classes so far. jimin doesn’t sound angry when he responds, instead being as supportive as ever, but jeongguk knows he’s going to have to apologize anyway. at least he has a few hours to prepare for it. he begins to formulate ideas as he gets a text from jimin just after noon saying he’s heading home for the day, only having had morning classes.

not having jimin at school with him shouldn’t be a big deal. they weren’t even around each other for the morning, and their apartment isn’t far from campus, anyway, but—jeongguk takes a deep breath as he replies with angry emojis to convey how jealous he is that jimin gets to go home already while he’s stuck here waiting for his last class to start and finish.

it’s not a big deal. but jeongguk feels a little nervous, anyway, reminding himself of everything that jimin told him to keep him calm that morning when he was freaking out about one thing or another. he has jimin’s beanie, which—is proving to be less helpful than he had hoped for. maybe jimin hasn’t worn it since the last time it was washed, although he knows that having jimin here in person would help much more.

in any case. jeongguk’s a big kid. he can handle this himself.

and then—everything begins to go very, very wrong, very, very rapidly.

what happens is this: that morning, jeongguk joked about accidentally going to the wrong class and being too awkward and embarrassed to get up and leave. but by the time his third class is set to start, he’s sitting in a classroom of almost two hundred students and waiting anxiously for the class he was most excited about: an art history class about the development of art in the west. he knows it’s just the introduction and not much will happen, but this is what he came to university for.

then—“good afternoon, everyone,” says the middle-aged man at the front of the class, booting up the powerpoint that everyone seems to have open on their laptops. but—jeongguk didn’t get that. was he supposed to be that? “welcome to philosophy one thirty-three, an intro to ethics and values. i hope you’re all prepared to discuss some hard questions this semester.”

oh—god, jeongguk thinks. it’s his worst nightmare, suddenly come to life before him—swallowing him whole. one fucking bite.

“i also hope you’re all actually registered for this class,” the professor continues, as jeongguk feels the panic beginning to well up inside of him. he doesn’t know what to do. “if you’re in the wrong class... now is your time to make a swift exit. i can’t guarantee it’ll be a painless one, though.” the class rumbles with low laughter, and jeongguk starts sweating. this isn’t his class. this isn’t his class. his eyes dash to the door, where the number is written there: arts 110. he distinctly remembers that that’s the number of his classroom, because jimin made him check fourteen times that morning, and he checked and double checked before making his way over.

but this isn’t the right class. and the laughter in the classroom is dying now, and the professor is changing the slide to introductory information, and jeongguk needs to get out of here.

he stands all at once, his chair making an awful grating noise as it scrapes against the floor. the professor stops talking, turning to look at him, and jeongguk can feel the heat of two hundred other gazes on him. he freezes for an instant, all of that attention making his skin crawl, like all of the air has been sucked out of the room. no one knows him here, but they’re staring at him anyway, like an insect under a microscope. and then he grabs the strap of his backpack and tries to get out from the long table of students, but he was in the middle of it so he has to squeeze by, awkwardly hissing apologies. his backpack accidentally knocks over someone’s water bottle, a horrible clanging filling the otherwise silent room.

jeongguk finally gets down the long, long aisle to the door at the front of the classroom. of course the door is at the front of the classroom and he can’t make a discrete exit, and of course the prof has to say, “ah, there’s always one,” and of course the class has to laugh again, louder this time, grating on his ears. they’re laughing at him. he knows none of them mean harm, but it doesn’t help the panic rushing rushing rushing through his ears heart mind.

it probably shouldn’t be that big of a deal. but jeongguk is shy to begin with, hates making a fool of himself, hates being wrong. he prides himself on going unnoticed in most of his daily life, choosing to outshine others when it comes to grades and sports achievements and video games scores rather than drawing attention to himself in other ways. but he’s made a fool of himself anyway, and as he stumbles out into the empty hallway, all of the other classes having started, he feels the sting of tears at the backs of his eyes.

like a child. he’s nineteen years old, has done a lot scarier things than walk out of a classroom because he accidentally ended up in the wrong class. but something about this is worse: it’s worse because, as he hurries down the hallway and tries not to throw up into the nearest trash can, he realizes he has no idea where he’s going. has idea what to do.

jeongguk pulls out his phone, fumbling for the screenshot of his schedule. he can practically hear jimin’s voice in his head, somehow more mocking than it had been in real life: are you sure you know where you’re going?

he was right: his classroom number is 110. but it’s not arts 110, where he just escaped from. it’s agr 110. which—is the agriculture building. and he has no fucking idea why his art history class is being held in the agriculture building, but he also realizes he has no idea where that is. has no idea how to get there, and it’s already five past two, which means he’s five minutes late to class and there’s no way he could get there now and everyone laughed at him and he feels like an idiot and he wants to cry, he wants to cry so badly but he’s supposed to be a grown adult.

jeongguk is lost. it’s the first day of classes and he’s lost and ended up in the wrong class and doesn’t know how to get to the right one, and it’s all gone horribly wrong so quickly that he can practically feel the whiplash of it.

he’s supposed to know what to do. he’s supposed to have been prepared enough to avoid this. he and jimin toured all of the buildings where his classes were to make sure that he could find his classrooms, and they went over his supplies three times. jimin spent all morning asking him questions, making sure he knew what he was doing.

and jeongguk still fucked up.

and—jimin would know what to do. jimin would know where the agriculture building is, would be able to point him in the right direction. would be able to calm him down enough to reassure him that it’s not the end of the world, that those people that laughed at him didn’t mean any harm and he’ll probably never see them again in his life, and if he does, they certainly won’t remember he was the one who left the class. jimin would be able to get jeongguk to class on time without panicking, would make him feel better about all of this, would do what he does as both an alpha and jeongguk’s boyfriend: keep jeongguk together.

but jeongguk can’t call jimin. he should—jimin told him to call if he needed help, is always more than willing to help jeongguk in any situation, even ones he has no prior knowledge in. except jeongguk snapped at jimin, except jeongguk told jimin that he could take care of himself. except jeongguk told jimin that he didn’t need help, and he still hasn’t apologized, and the shame of it rises up like bile in his throat right along with the humiliation. right along with the overwhelming urge to lie down on the ground and melt right into it.

so he can’t call jimin. so he doesn’t have anyone else he can call, and all of it piles up and up and up as jeongguk hurries down the hallway and wipes hastily at the tears that have already begun to form in his eyes. he doesn’t know what to do, doesn’t know where to go. all he knows is that he needs to hide, feels the impending breakdown like something in the air. a warning: a tsunami, fucking hurricane jeongguk.

he fucked up on his classrooms, but he does at least remember where the bathrooms are, and he speeds down the hallway toward the nearest one, just on the other side of a common area that will likely be filled with students waiting for a class to start. jeongguk keeps his head down as he passes and then stops, looking down the forked hallways and trying to decide where the closest bathroom is. he tries to keep himself shielded from the common area, but that somehow doesn’t stop the coincidence, the curse—maybe a miracle, if he really thinks about it.

“jeongguk-ah?” he hears.

jeongguk startles just a little, wiping at his (red red) eyes as he turns and sees—“yoongi-hyung?”

what are the chances, he wonders, as he sees yoongi sitting on one of the sofas with a laptop propped on his knees. what are the chances, he wonders, as yoongi takes notice of his red eyes and spooked posture, like a deer in the headlights or someone trying to find the nearest exit.

“hey, guk-ah, are you okay?” asks yoongi, and his voice is so fucking soft and concerned that it’s somehow the gust of wind that blows the whole house of cards that is jeongguk’s shaky composure right over. it’s because yoongi is an alpha, too, probably—because they’re friends, because he knows how to take care of jeongguk, too, even if it’s not quite the same as jimin. sometimes, when jeongguk has a bad day, jimin will call yoongi to come over—and seokjin and hoseok, too, and namjoon and taehyung when jeongguk can handle that amount of people crowding into his bed. it’s nice having friends who care.

it’s not now, though, when yoongi looks at him like that and jeongguk completely crumbles, only able to give his head a little shake before he’s turning and hurrying down the first hallway he sets his eyes on, desperate for someplace to hide as the tears come without barriers now.

the worst part, maybe, is that he feels so alone. jeongguk, despite being an introvert and shy and preferring to spend friday nights in his room than out at a party, doesn’t do well with feeling alone. being alone, physically, is one thing—but it’s the isolation now that gets to him. the feeling that there’s no one he can turn to, the feeling that there’s no jimin he can turn to, because he shot that opportunity in the foot hours ago.

the thing about jeongguk: he’s stubborn. he’s stubborn as fuck, as most omegas tend to be, at least when it comes to their own nature. another thing about jeongguk: he doesn’t know how to ask for help. he doesn’t know how to ask for help and he’s stubborn in not asking and he’s ashamed, he’s humiliated, he’s guilty.

so he locks himself in nearest bathroom, sits down on the closed toilet, and cries. he cries and cries and cries. and hates himself a little but for it as he does so.

it takes twenty minutes for jimin to show up.

he knows jimin is there before the door even opens—all at once, jeongguk picks up a familiar scent: citrus and strawberries and the sea, just a little, a leftover piece of busan. smells like home. he would know that scent anywhere, could pick it out of a crowd in an instant. his heart is so attuned to it, and smelling it jolts him out of his last bout of tears. he hiccups once as he realizes what it means, and his tears abruptly stop along with any sound he was previously making.

the door opens. not the first time in the past twenty minutes; jeongguk had to awkwardly keep his crying to a minimum every time the door opened and someone else came to do their business before leaving again. but this is different. this time, he keeps himself quiet not because he doesn’t want to be found, but because he doesn’t want to be weak.

“jeongguk-ah?” jimin asks, voice echoing in the silence and emptiness of the bathroom. jeongguk holds a hand over his nose, trying to filter out the scent, because—it’s already working to calm him down, but maybe he doesn’t deserve that. maybe he shouldn’t let jimin help him, because jeongguk was stubborn and said he didn’t need help, and it’s not fair to either of them. but jeongguk sees shoes stop just outside of the stall he’s locked in, a familiar pair. he bought them for jimin’s last birthday.

a silly detail to focus on, maybe. but focus on it he does, trembling as he presses his hand further over his nose and mouth and feels a new rush of tears anyway, and tries not to let them out.

there’s a soft knock on the stall store. “jeongguk, i know you’re in there,” says jimin quietly. “can you open the door for me, baby? can you open the door for hyung?”

jeongguk finds himself shaking his head, even though jimin can’t see it. he’s so—ashamed. so humiliated, not only from making a fool of himself in front of two hundred laughing strangers, but also for messing up with jimin. and he decides, for the both of them, that that means he’ll have to sit in this bathroom stall until jimin—gives up.

but the thing about jimin: he’s as stubborn as jeongguk is, at the worst of times. at the best—he’s patient. he’s very, very patient, especially for jeongguk. always for jeongguk.

so when jeongguk doesn’t open the door, jimin doesn’t leave.

“yoongi-hyung texted me,” says the alpha quietly. “told me that you looked like you needed me. you wanna tell me what happened?”

the tears finally spill over at the memory of it, even if it’s the only thing he’s been thinking of for twenty minutes. he can’t stop the pathetic whine that leaves him, too loud and muffled against his hand, and then he realizes there’s no point in hiding it. jimin knows—jimin can probably smell the distress in jeongguk’s scent, because jimin is just as attuned to him as jeongguk is to jimin. and still, he doesn’t push it. still, jeongguk just drops his hand and lets out a little sob, curling his knees into his chest where he’s still sitting on the closed toilet lid.

“jeongguk-ah,” says jimin, and there’s a tremble in his voice, too. “jeongguk-ah, baby. i want to help you. please let me help you.” jeongguk sniffs, letting out another sob because that’s worse, that’s worse—he made jimin feel like he wasn’t needed, wasn’t wanted. jeongguk said he didn’t need help, so why is jimin offering it? “i can’t help you if you don’t talk to me, though. if you don’t wanna open the door, that’s okay. but i need you to talk to me.”

“no,” jeongguk finally mumbles, but it comes out like a whine when it’s caught in the middle of another sob, wiping at his tears with the back of his hand.

“what do you mean, no?”

no,” repeats jeongguk, louder now. “i want you to go away.” it’s hardly the first time jimin has been present for one of jeongguk’s emotional breakdowns. they’ve seen each other cry enough times over the years to hardly be phased by it—and jeongguk knows that jimin knows better than anyone how to take care of him. how to make it better. but jeongguk still believes he deserves to suffer alone.

“i’m not going anywhere,” jimin tells him. “why do you want me to go away?”

“‘cause i fucked up,” sniffs jeongguk. “i said i don’t need your h-help, so i don’t need your help.”

that has jimin pausing—or at least not replying right away. jeongguk wipes at his eyes again, even though it does nothing to stop him from continuing to cry. he’s not sure what he’s crying about anymore—if it’s the class thing or the jimin thing or something else entirely. sometimes when he cries, he simply can’t stop, just feels so goddamn overwhelmed about everything that it takes falling asleep from the exhaustion of crying so much to get him to stop.

he hooks his chin on his knees, holding himself a little tighter like it can substitute for jimin. jimin, who is two feet away, just on the other side of a little metal door. who still isn’t going anyway.

“is that what this is about?” asks jimin finally. “you’re upset that you snapped at me this morning?”

“no,” protests jeongguk.

“how did you fuck up, then? i just want to understand, guk-ah. help me understand.”

his stubborn stubborn stubborn heart stops him from doing what he wants, what his body wants—every part of him is aching for jimin, knowing he’s close but not close enough. he stares at the door, at the little poster that someone has hung up on it: stitch and bitch club! come get your gossip out while you learn how to knit. thursdays at 3:30. jeongguk sniffs.

“i miss your face, gukkie,” jimin adds, voice even quieter. “i wanna see it. can you please open the door?”

jeongguk realizes, belatedly, that jimin could solve this very easily. as an alpha, all he has to do is—command it. push all of that alpha authority jeongguk knows he has into his voice, demand that jeongguk do his bidding the way that some alphas demand omegas do everything. it wouldn’t force jeongguk to act by any means, but it would hook into his heart and subconscious much harder than simply asking, and he’d be compelled to anyway. the omega in him would beg him to do it, not wanting to upset his alpha.

but. jimin isn’t commanding it. jimin is asking, because jimin always asks. because jimin understands that there are parts of himself that jeongguk hates, the parts that he can’t get rid of. because jimin is always gentle, always kind, even when he doesn’t have to be. he’s never commanded jeongguk to do anything, not like that—not unless jeongguk wants him to.

somehow, it’s this thought that finally makes jeongguk untangle himself, put both feet on the ground and stand up. he reaches out for the latch on the stall door, toying with it for a second before he undoes it and pulls the door back just enough to peek out from behind it, finally seeing jimin for the first time with a tear-stained face and his heart in his throat.

the shame flares again, when he does see jimin—he looks tired, kind of. concerned, mostly. jimin’s eyes snap to his, wide and scared, and he sees jimin begin to reach out before he stops himself, and his arms kind of just hang there mid-air.

“jeongguk,” sighs jimin.

“hyung,” breathes jeongguk, and blinks out a few more tears.

“hey, hey,” says jimin. “baby, hey—come here. you don’t have to hide from me.”

finally—finally, jeongguk’s heart gives in. his head is telling him to be stubborn, that he doesn’t deserve this, but then he remembers everything that jimin has taught him about deserving things. and the truth is that it’s a lot harder to keep himself away from jimin when they’re this close already, when there’s nothing standing between them other than his own wounded pride.

his face crumbles again as he swings the door open fully, and then steps out from the stall and all but throws himself at jimin, sobbing again as he clings onto the alpha and stuffs his face in jimin’s neck. he’s engulfed, suddenly, with jimin’s scent—the home home home of it, the comfort. he practically gasps it in through gulps of air, wanting to fill his head with it, wanting to be okay even though he just cries harder when jimin’s arms encircle his back and hold him tight.

jeongguk doesn’t realize that jimin is trying to hush him until he stops gasping in the alpha’s scent, until he takes a moment to think, and then he feels jimin’s hands raking up and down his back, feels jimin’s lips pressed into his hair, feels more than hears the gentle shh jimin is pressing there. and it’s—strange, maybe, that it begins to work almost immediately. it feels like all of the tension of the past half an hour is slowly bleeding out of him and he slumps a little in jimin’s arms, letting himself rest. letting himself have this, even if he doesn’t deserve it.

they stay like that for a while. at one point, jeongguk hears the door open behind him, and then imagines that jimin gives whoever it is one of his glares, and then the door closes again. and once jeongguk stops sobbing again, once he thinks he’s calm enough to leave the warm cocoon of jimin’s arms, he stirs.

“doing okay?” asks jimin when jeongguk does, and he nods a little into jimin’s neck. “c’mon, you’re gonna hurt your back if you keep standing like that.”

it’s a joke at jimin’s own expense, one he knows is meant to make him laugh, but jeongguk just sniffs again, finally pulling away from jimin fully and standing up before him. he gives his boyfriend a miserable frown, arms dropping to hang at his sides as jimin frowns right back. his hands move up and up to jeongguk’s face, cupping his cheeks before he thumbs at the tears still clinging to the omega’s lashes, careful and caring and so, so full of love that jeongguk almost starts crying again.

“i love you, jeon jeongguk,” whispers jimin. “do you know that? do you know how much i love you? and how much i want to take care of you and make you happy and make sure you’re safe?”

he’s not sure if jimin actually wants an answer, but he nods a little away, as much as jimin’s grip will let him. “i love you so much,” continues jimin. “and i never want to see you sad or upset or hurt. it breaks my fucking heart. makes me feel like a shit alpha, too, because i’m supposed to take care of you. it’s not your fault, but you have to let me take care of you, okay?” jeongguk nods again. “i’m sorry i wasn’t here to take care of you.”

“s’not your fault,” whispers jeongguk.

“can you tell me about it?” asks jimin, still wiping at his face. “about what happened?”

it’s mortifying. but jeongguk’s face is already red from crying, so he doubts it makes much of a difference when he flushes as he mumbles, “i went to the wrong class.” he expects that—maybe jimin will laugh. jimin has never laughed at his problems before, but he loves to tease jeongguk anyway, especially when it comes to silly things. he giggled at jeongguk bringing up that very concern earlier in the day, but—jimin doesn’t laugh. doesn’t even look like he wants to laugh.

he just whispers, “oh, gukkie,” and it’s soft and warm and jeongguk’s eyes well with tears again, can’t stop a few from spilling over onto jimin’s waiting hands.

“i didn’t mean to, hyung,” he whispers. “i—i really knew where i was going, i promise. i checked my schedule so many times like you told me to a-and i still went to the wrong class, and then when i tried to leave everyone looked at me and it was so quiet and they—” he lets out a little sob, closing his eyes. “they laughed at me.”

“jeongguk,” says jimin instantly, but jeongguk doesn’t open his eyes. he does let jimin tilt his head downward, making him slump a little until their foreheads are pressed together. “guk-ah, i’m sorry. i’m so sorry that happened.”

“i was so lost,” continues jeongguk, “and i didn’t know how to get to the right classroom and it was too late by then and i—i wanted to call you but i couldn’t because i was mean to you and told you i didn’t n-need your help,” he sniffs, shaking with the tears, “and it’s so stupid because it shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but i couldn’t stop crying because i felt so alone

“jeongguk,” says jimin. “jeongguk, no, baby. you’re not alone. i’m right here.”

“i was so ashamed.”

“i would have helped you. jeongguk, i would have helped you. you know that, right? i wasn’t mad at you. i’m not mad at you.”

“you should be,” whispers jeongguk. he sniffs again, and then feels jimin pressing gentle kisses into his cheeks, the corners of his eyes. kissing away his tears, which don’t stop don’t stop don’t stop—“you should be mad at me, hyung.”

“i’m not,” jimin reassures him. “i don’t care that you got snappy with me, jeongguk-ah. you shouldn’t have gotten snappy, but why did you think i wouldn’t help you? why did you think i wouldn’t pick up the phone?”

suddenly—jeongguk isn’t sure anymore. at the time, the feeling had been so strong. he’d been so certain that he couldn’t call jimin, that he couldn’t ask for help, but now that help is here, he realizes how silly his ideas had been in the first place. “i don’t know,” he cries. “i don’t know, i’m sorry

“hey, it’s okay,” jimin says, whispers it into the corner of jeongguk’s eye. “it’s okay, i’m not mad at you. i just think you made the decision for me about how i was going to feel and that put you in this position. you decided you shouldn’t have my help before you even asked for it.”

it’s what he does, is the thing. jeongguk convinces himself of what he does and doesn’t deserve and doesn’t let anyone else show him otherwise. he has to work on it, he knows. but jimin is still patient, is still kind. kisses his nose, once, then his cupid’s bow. part of jeongguk still doesn’t think he deserves that kind of love, but he forces himself to feel it. forces himself to let him feel it.

“i’m sorry, hyung,” he says again. “i should have called.”

“nothing we can do about it now, bun,” jimin tells him, and pulls back. jeongguk finally opens his eyes. “nothing we can do but be better. you’re okay now. it’s all behind us.” us, he says, because it’s always us when it comes to the two of them. jimin never lets jeongguk go through any of it alone. “i forgive you for being a little mean to me. i know i was being overbearing and you probably didn’t like that, especially in front of your friends. right?”

jeongguk shakes his head.

“i apologize for that,” says jimin. “but i forgive you for what you said. and those people in that class? they shouldn’t have laughed at you. but it was an honest mistake on your part and you didn’t fail yourself. you didn’t fail me by going to the wrong class. it happens sometimes, okay? happens all the time. i’ve done things like that, too, and you just have to pick your head up and keep going. tomorrow’s a new first day.”

“what if i fuck up tomorrow, too?”

“then you’ll call me,” says jimin. “right? you’ll call me next time? so i can help you?”

there’s a bit of a pout on jimin’s lips and jeongguk finds himself copying it almost subconsciously, fingers reaching out and catching on the end of jimin’s sweater. “okay,” he agrees. “i will.”

“good,” says jimin, and finally—grins. feels like being in the sun for the first time in a very long time. “i love you, jeongguk. i will always help you, even if i’m mad at you or it’s the middle of the night or you think i won’t. you’re my best friend and my boyfriend and my person. you’re my person, jeongguk-ah. i’ve got you.”

it’s silly, now that jeongguk thinks about it. jimin has always been protective and doting, but more than that, he’s always been helpful. always been right at jeongguk’s side, even when they don’t agree on something. it’s been something like fourteen years since they met and became best friends, and jeongguk has fourteen years of proof that jimin is telling the truth. even before they presented, before it became clear that they were meant to be together, before they even knew what being in love meant: jimin was jeongguk’s safe harbour. jimin was jeongguk’s home. jimin was jeongguk’s help line, all of his hopes, everything he needed. everything he needs.

and jeongguk is very, very foolish to forget that.

there’s more he should say, probably—a better explanation he could give for why he did what he did. maybe he should apologize again. but he knows, and jimin knows. he’s tired of being sad.

“can we go home now?” asks jeongguk, tugging on jimin’s sweater. “this bathroom kind of smells.”

jimin laughs, the sound bubbling out of him like it surprises him, and he leans forward for a moment, pressing his forehead into jeongguk’s cheek. “there he is,” laughs jimin. “my big baby. of course we can go.”

“m’not a baby,” says jeongguk stubbornly, and jimin looks up and kisses him square on the mouth.

“you’re my baby,” says jimin, and then lets go of him so he can reach into the bathroom stall and grab jeongguk’s backpack, he throws the strap over one shoulder, and takes jeongguk’s hand, and tugs him toward the door. “you know, i thought alphas were the ones who were supposed to have problems with their pride. are you sure you’re an omega?”

“have we ever had to use lube?” jeongguk counters, and jimin laughs again—so hard that he throws himself against jeongguk, the sounds going high-pitched and squeaky. it’s the first time since this whole ordeal stated that jeongguk finds himself grinning, too, just a little. he tightens his grip on jimin’s hand, and feels much less afraid of facing the world with jimin there beside him to lead him, to make sure he doesn’t get left behind.

》》》

when they get home, jimin wastes no time in throwing jeongguk’s backpack in his room and steering the omega toward the couch, telling him not to protest as he goes about preparing an immersion of comfort and cuddles for jeongguk. and jeongguk obeys, mostly because he can sense that jimin feels a little guilty about not being right there with jeongguk to stop him from having a breakdown at school—even if it is jeongguk’s fault for not calling jimin in the first place. but jimin had said in the bathroom that it’s his job to take care of jeongguk, at least in his eyes, and jeongguk knows he can’t help feeling like he failed jeongguk, much in the same way jeongguk feels like he failed jimin.

so—maybe they both have something to make up for. and maybe both of them have to work on not feeling guilty about things they can’t exactly control, but for now, jeongguk is just going to let jimin do what he needs to do, satisfying the alpha within him that is likely screaming for him to make jeongguk feel better.

so jeongguk sits and lets jimin busy himself, first grabbing quite literally all of the blankets and pillows from their bedrooms, as well as half of jimin’s wardrobe, and dumping all of it on or around jeongguk. the omega grins to himself, just a little, and waits until jimin has left the room again to set to work on building a nest for himself—and jimin. it’ll work to help calm him down, keep him safe and comforted, and being surrounded by jimin’s scent is the first step. jimin pops back into the room intermittently, bringing more supplies—snacks, food, drinks. jeongguk spots most of his favourites.

once jeongguk has finished his nest and jimin has finished dragging supplies into the living room, the alpha comes back with a handful of movies and holds them up in front of jeongguk. “which one?” he asks, and jeongguk—feels something warm bloom bloom bloom in his chest as he sees what jimin has picked out for him: all of his favourites, of course. most of them are movies that they’ve seen a hundred times and jimin would complain about watching on any other day, but of course he’s willing to sit through anything if jeongguk wants it.

jeongguk hums as he beckons jimin closer, scrutinizing the movies. finally, he points to one.

kiki’s delivery service?” asks jimin, and jeongguk nods, already grinning. it’s one of his go-to movies when he’s having a bad day and at this point, he almost has it memorized word for word. but jimin just nods in agreement, leans down to drop a kiss to the top of jeongguk’s head, and gets the movie ready.

they watch it like that: both of them curled into the nest and blankets and pillows and sweaters, wrapped up in each other their limbs tangled. despite being the larger one, jeongguk manages to cram himself into jimin’s space, held against his chest with his head tucked under jimin’s chin. jimin lets him drink four banana milk cartons, despite the fact that he’s always reminding jeongguk to be moderate.

he feels—warm. and loved. and calm, for the first time since the day stated. tomorrow, he’ll have to go back to school and hope that he doesn’t end up in the wrong class. the next day, he’ll have to go back, and the next and the next for the next four years of his life. but it’s not as scary as it seemed at first, because he knows that he’s always going to get to come home to jimin, who will ask him how his day was and kiss him when he’s had a good day and when he’s had a bad day, too. this is what he has: the promise of something more, the promise that his days can never be terrible once he walks through the front door and hears jimin’s lilting jeongukkie? that lets him know—he’s home.

once the movie is over and jeongguk is sufficiently comforted, they don’t move for a few minutes. then jeongguk stirs a little, lifting his head until he can see jimin’s face. “thank you,” he says. “i don’t know if i told you earlier. but thank you for coming to help me.”

“you should be thanking yoongi-hyung for calling me,” says jimin, shifting so he can look down at jeongguk as he pokes his sides. “what would you have done if he hadn’t?”

“i dunno,” admits jeongguk, flushing. “i wasn’t really thinking.”

“are you doing better now?”

“yes, hyung,” says jeongguk. “a lot better. i really love you.”

“no way!” says jimin, grinning now as he drops a kiss to jeongguk’s forehead. “i really love you too.”

“why didn’t you tell me this before?”

“i wasn’t sure how to,” sighs jimin, giggling as jeongguk starts, to. “but cat’s out of the bag now, i guess…”

“i’ll have to move out,” sighs jeongguk. “i don’t know how i can live with someone who loves me and didn’t bother to tell me.”

brat,” huffs jimin, sticking his fingers in jeongguk’s armpits, which has him shrieking with laughter and vaulting away—but jimin is merciless, coming after him and trying to tickle him as jeongguk shrieks on the ground. “you’ve been such a brat today.”

“you were hovering!” he protests, swatting at jimin as the alpha lands on top of him, still poking at him.

“i can’t believe you snapped at me in front of your friends.

“what are you gonna do, spank me?”

the moment jeongguk says it—everything kind of grinds to a halt. jimin stops laughing, stops trying to tickle or poke him, instead leaning up slightly so he can get a look at jeongguk’s face. and jeongguk realizes what he actually said, stomach dropping when he sees the way jimin is looking at him.

the thing is—they’re not big on punishment. most of their sex life revolves around doing things gently and lovingly. it’s not a secret that jimin has a praise kink and jeongguk just likes being taken care of, which means anything rough is generally out of the question unless one or both of them is feeling particularly daring. but. it wouldn’t be the first time jimin spanked jeongguk.

wouldn’t be the first time jeongguk asked for it even if he didn’t deserve it.

jimin tilts his head, scrutinizing jeongguk. “yeah?” he asks. “is that what you want, jeonggukkie? want me to take you over my knee and spank your perky little ass until it’s red and screaming? until your cute little cock is drooling all over my knee and you just want something to stuff you full to make it better?”

f-fuck,” jeongguk stutters, surprised by the sudden change in jimin’s demeanour. and—surprised, a little, too, at the way his cock twitches at that, at the idea of jimin’s words becoming true.

“hm?” asks jimin, planting one hand on each side of jeongguk’s head and straddling him properly, looming over him. “is that what you want, baby? want hyung to punish you for being a brat?” he accentuates the words by grinding down on jeongguk’s half-hard cock, smirking wickedly all the way, and jeongguk lets out a gasp, throwing his head back as he tries to keep himself from moving.

“c’mon, gukkie,” grins jimin, grinding down again. “use your words. you’re a big boy, i know you can.”

“hy—ung,” jeongguk manages, hands grasping at jimin’s wrists.

and jimin is—cruel, daring to giggle like he’s not torturing jeongguk by grinding down on him a third time, leaning down until his breath is ghosting over the shell of jeongguk’s ear. he whispers, “you smell delicious,” and then nips at jeongguk’s ear, the omega letting out another strangled gasp as he tries to keep himself from bucking up when jimin doesn’t give him more pressure. he’s rapidly growing harder, hates how jimin’s words are going straight to his head—and straight to his cock.

and then jimin pauses, moving his face so that they’re looking in the eye. quietly, he asks, “but actually, do you want me to?”

jeongguk lets out a huff of air. “jesus christ, yes,” he whines. “stop teasing me.”

just like that, the smirk is back on jimin’s face. “but it’s my favourite thing to do,” he says, leaning down and pressing a kiss to jeongguk’s lips—too sweet for what the rest of his body is doing—and then rolls off of jeongguk, leaving him cold and wanting.

not for long, though. he holds out his hands and jeongguk grabs them, letting jimin pull him up from the ground. jimin sits down on the couch and then raises an eyebrow, gesturing to his open lap in a way that makes jeongguk flush something fierce. he’s not sure he should be getting such a high from this already, but he’s not going to question it as he does what he knows jimin is asking, draping himself over jimin’s lap with his ass on display.

“good boy,” says jimn, tapping jeongguk’s ass once like a prelude. “how many do you think you deserve, jeonggukkie? for being such a brat to your hyung and then not letting him take care of you?”

jeongguk squirms, feeling how his hardening cock is already trapped between himself and jimin’s legs, and turns his head to look at his boyfriend. “fifteen?” he asks.

jimin raises an eyebrow. “are you sure you can handle that?” he asks. “you know you have to go to school tomorrow and i don’t want you to be uncomfortable the whole time because your ass is sore.” for some reason, that has jeongguk’s cock twitching again—something about jimin taking care of him, thinking about what will be good for him in the future even when it comes to something like this.

“ten?” he amends after a moment; in all honesty, it’s been a while since they last did this, so he has no idea how much he can handle. but jeongguk likes to think he has a high pain tolerance and he just wants to do what jimin wants. when the alpha grins, jeongguk knows they agree on it.

this time, jimin doesn’t bother to tease. jeongguk is already hard, anyway, and he’s waiting, so the alpha gets to work. “hands,” he says, and jeongguk immediately puts his hands behind his back, letting jimin wrap his fingers around his wrists to keep them pinned at the base of his spine. and then jimin grabs the waistband of jeongguk’s sweatpants and underwear, yanking them down to his thighs in one move that has jeongguk gasping at the sudden rush of cold hair on his bare skin.

“cute,” says jimin, poking at one of jeongguk’s cheeks. “you have such a good little ass, jeonggukkie. i just wanna bite it.”

hyung,” whines jeongguk, although he’s not sure if it’s because he doesn’t want jimin to—or because he does. but it’s not what he was promised either way.

jimin rubs a palm over one of jeongguk’s cheeks, giggling softly to himself. maybe the anticipation is the worst part of it, trying to keep himself from twisting around and looking at jimin so he can know what to expect. but he’s trying to be good, so he keeps his eyes trained on the ground, hands on his back, and waits. jimin squeezes his ass.

then—“gonna count for me, baby?”

“yeah,” breathes jeongguk. “i—i’ll be good, hyung, i promise.”

jimin hums. “good little omega,” he says. “so lucky that you’re mine.”

he opens his mouth to say something—maybe something in agreement, or something about how he’s the lucky one, and then jimin spanks him instead. the sting is sharp and sudden, surprising him as jeongguk lets out a yelp and his body jolts, its natural reaction to try to get away.

“jeongguk,” says jimin.

“one,” breathes jeongguk.

jimin spanks him again. he lets out a breathy, “fuck,” before counting again, hating the fact that his body is reacting so much to it already—his cock is achingly hard, trapped between the two of them, and he hangs his head as jimin’s hand comes down hard on his other cheek, making him squeak with the pain as he counts it.

“are you gonna be a brat again?” asks jimin as he smacks jeongguk’s ass again, waiting for jeongguk to say four before he rubs at the tender spot. “huh? gonna be rude to me again tomorrow when i try to help you?”

no,” whines jeongguk, squirming a little as he tries to get any sort of friction on his cock, the sting from the spanking only spurring on the arousal in the pit of his stomach. but jimin isn’t just holding his hands behind his back, but pressing down enough that he’s pinning jeongguk’s hips to his knees, too, keeping him from being able to move.

“are you sure?” asks jimin.

“yes, hy—ah,” he cuts himself off with a moan as jimin spanks him again, leaving him keening this time when the force of it jostles his lower body and finally gives him a little friction of his cock against jimin’s thigh. he feels, somewhat embarrassingly, slick begin to leak out of his hole.

of course, jimin notices. jimin always notices.

“what’s this?” he asks, moving his hand from jeongguk’s cheeks and instead slipping a finger in between them, wiping against the skin close to jeongguk’s rim but not close enough, making jeongguk whine high in throat. “are you getting wet already, baby? i’ve barely even touched you.”

“jimin-hyung,” jeongguk lets out, sounds like something caught between a whine and a cry—something desperate either way, embarrassed as he tries to will his body to stop responding, but it won’t. traitorously, he leaks a little more slick right onto jimin’s fingers and then lets out an embarrassed whine as jimin just laughs.

“something wrong?” asks jimin.

“stop teasing me,” mutters jeongguk. he almost forgot how hot and sore his asscheeks are in the middle of it, but jimin leans down and presses a kiss to the juncture of his ass and thigh, like an apology or a consolation.

he finally removes his hand. “where were we?” asks jimin.

“five,” says jeongguk, and jimin makes an ah sound, like he’s solved a math equation rather than remembered how many times he’s spanked his boyfriend, and then spanks jeongguk again.

the next five are—somehow more torturous than the first, making jeongguk squirm and writhe as each blow lands harsher than the last. it hurts more, but it’s more than that—his cock is red and aching, no doubting smearing precome all over jimin’s pants, and he won’t stop leaking down his thighs, whining high in the throat as jimin makes him count again and again and again, landing blow after blow while jimin all the while remains as calm and collected as he always is when he’s exercising his alpha dominance over jeongguk.

it’s unnerving. and extremely arousing as jeongguk realizes he’s half naked and there are tears in the corners of his eyes, completely undone while jimin just spanks his ass one last time.

“ten,” squeaks jeongguk, hands already trying to fight against jimin’s hold. “ten, ten—ten, hyung, fuck—” he continues to squirm, ignoring the sting of his skin as he tries to get up.

“where are you going?” asks jimin, squeezing at jeongguk’s thigh. “i didn’t say you could get up.”

“it hurts,” jeongguk whines. “please—fuck, i need to come.” and jimin has the audacity to laugh at that, already rubbing a hand over jeongguk’s ass and then slipping his fingers in between his cheeks again, moving closer and closer to his rim with each swipe back and forth.

“i think you should come just like this,” says jimin. “can’t you do that for hyung? be a good boy and come without him touching your cock?”

jeongguk—lets out another cry, a tear escaping him at the idea of not being touched. the thing is—jeongguk loves being touched. loves having jimin’s hands all over him when they’re fucking, can hardly go a moment without jimin kissing him and holding him and tugging at his cock to bring home closer and closer to orgasm. he can come untouched. he just doesn’t like it.

“hyung, please,” he whines, sniffing as he wiggles again. “please, please, jimin-hyung—”

jimin coos a little, which makes it worse, and languidly runs a finger over jeongguk’s rim to make him keen, but it’s not enough. jeongguk doesn’t realize he’s beginning to cry properly as jimin teases him, only thumbing at his hole instead of just pushing a finger in despite jeongguk being wet enough for it—doesn’t realize until jimin is shushing him, removing his hand from jeongguk’s ass entirely and manhandling him upright.

jeongguk ends up in his lap, pants down to his ankles, and cock hard and angry against his stomach. “hey, hey, it’s okay,” jimin is saying, wiping his thumbs over jeongguk’s cheeks to get rid of his tears for the second time that day. “jeongguk-ah, don’t cry. i was only teasing.”

the omega sniffs again, hands grasping at jimin’s shirt. “i j-just want you to touch me,” he whines, and jimin leans forward to kiss him, not even bothering to tease again before he drops a hand to jeongguk’s cock. the contact has him gasping immediately, pressing himself into jimin’s chest—partially because he realizes how sore his ass is even from only ten hits, the friction against jimin’s jeans too painful, and he latches onto jimin entirely as the alpha begins twisting his hand over jeongguk’s cock.

jimin kisses him soft and slow, paradoxical to the way his hand is moving rapidly over jeongguk’s cock, thumbing at the head as jeongguk pants and whines into his mouth. he’s still leaking all over jimin’s pants, and he’ll have to apologize for it later, but he’s too busy trying to keep himself upright now, jimin’s hand twisting and twisting, and then he sinks his teeth into jeongguk’s bottom lip and digs his thumb into the slit of his cock at the same time, and jeongguk comes with a moan.

once he’s come down from it, slumped against jimin’s chest with the alpha’s hand running through his hair, he mumbles, “was i good?”

“the best,” says jimin. “think you’ve learned your lesson? not gonna be a brat about me trying to help you? and you’re actually going to let me help you from now on?”

“yeah,” sighs jeongguk, closing his eyes as he realizes how tired he is. “sorry, hyung.”

“i love you,” jimin replies, kissing the top of his head. “wanna go to bed now?”

jeongguk hums in agreement before—“wait, you didn’t get to come,” he says, shifting a bit until he can press a hand against jimin’s groin to check if his suspicions are correct—and they are. but jimin just giggles, smoothing down jeongguk’s hair.

“don’t worry about me, baby,” he says. “i can take care of it. i’ll get some lotion for your bum, okay?”

this time, jeongguk can’t really argue—he’s too tired for it, too bogged down with too many things. he can’t help feeling loved and warm despite the fact that jimin just spanked him, but he did ask for it. and jimin did it, because jimin has a hard time saying no to jeongguk at the best of times. and jimin always finds a way to take care of jeongguk.

like this: pulling him into the bathroom and cleaning him up, getting him ready for bed. and this: tugging him into jimin’s bed once he returns the blankets and pillows from the nest. and this: joining him after a few minutes, turning off the bedside lamp. letting jeongguk curl into his chest and kissing all over his face as a goodnight and promise, promise, promise that tomorrow will be better.

there’s a very good chance that something else will go wrong. but as jeongguk falls asleep cuddled up against jimin, he decides he’s really not afraid of it at all.

(the next morning, as soon as jimin drops him off outside the door to his first class and says goodbye and disappears into the swelling crowd of students, jeongguk pulls out his phone. he tries to keep himself from collapsing into giggles as he holds it up to his ear and waits for jimin to pick up, and once he does, immediately gasps out a, “hyung, oh my god!”

“what?” jimin replies, a thread of panic in his voice.

“i forgot.”

“forgot what? oh my god, jeongguk—”

“to give you a goodbye kiss,” says jeongguk, cutting him off. “it’s the most important thing i have to do today.”

he can practically hear jimin facepalming through the phone, but then he sees his boyfriend squeezing through the crowd of students in the hallway again, coming back to where jeongguk is still standing outside of his classroom. and jimin’s face is just a little red, likely embarrassed by jeongguk’s antics, and jeongguk can’t stop himself from laughing as jimin comes to a rest in front of him.

“i thought you already had an emergency this early in the morning,” jimin says, still into the phone.

“this is an emergency,” jeongguk tells him. “and also proof that i’m not afraid to call you if i need something.”

jimin rolls his eyes—but he’s grinning anyway, and jeongguk giggles as jimin grabs the front of jeongguk’s shirt and tugs him down until they can press their lips together. “you’re a fucking brat,” jimin mumbles into it, and jeongguk kisses him again and again and again. he’s not disagreeing, of course—just proving that maybe a brat isn’t the worst thing he could be. and jimin loves him, anywayand he’s got all the proof he needs right here.)