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I Promise I'll Do Better

Chapter Text

“He tweeted again!”

“Mmph?”

“He tweeted! Again!”

The sound of a bang through the wall made Jimin groan, shoving his face into his pillow. He could hear Taehyung bouncing about in the main living space of their apartment, loud enough that it was making the frame of Jimin’s door shake. Jimin’s head was already pounding. He didn’t need the added stress.

Jimin shifted around on the bed until he was face-down, buried in his pillow, surrounded by the blankets and cushions he’d been slowly adding to all week. He pulled his favourite thick blanket over his head but he could still hear Taehyung, though it was more muffled and gave him a little relief. There was a throbbing by his temples, and he felt, for want of a better word, rough.

“Chim!” Taehyung cried, loud even through the walls.

Jimin whined when he heard his bedroom door fly open. The bed dipped where Taehyung clambered onto it, falling face-down over Jimin, covering his much smaller body with his much warmer weight.

“Tae, watch the blankets,” Jimin hissed, rolling over enough to tug his favourite thick blanket against him. He let out a sound of despair to see that Taehyung had disturbed the alignment of almost every cushion and pillow he had carefully piled on his bed.

Taehyung pulled back, frowning a little. “Are you still feeling sick?”

Jimin groaned in response. Even just rolling over had made the world spin around him, and his stomach lurched. If he hadn’t already thrown up that morning, he certainly would be again. He squeezed his eyes shut and massaged his aching forehead. “Yeah.”

“That’s a really bad bug.” Taehyung sat up a little more, further disrupting Jimin’s carefully-arranged blanket pile. “It’s been what, three days now?”

“Four,” Jimin answered through gritted teeth. He distinctly remembered waking up feeling like death warmed up four days ago, vomiting violently after breakfast and then miserably climbing into Taehyung’s bed. Since then, Jimin had retreated back to his own room, not wanting to burden Taehyung when he was still going to class and working in the evenings too. He knew it was in Taehyung’s alpha instinct to want to care for him, despite the lack of anything romantic between them. Taehyung was convinced they were platonic soulmates, and Jimin was inclined to agree with him.

“That’s more than food poisoning, then.” Taehyung’s tone was heavy with concern. He gently brushed Jimin’s hair back from his sweaty forehead, instantly calming him right back down. Jimin closed his eyes and hummed in his throat, almost purring with satisfaction.

“Do you think we should get you to a doctor?” Taehyung asked worriedly. “Or should I call your eomma?”

“No!” Jimin shook his head quickly, horrified at the thought of his eomma worrying over him when he’d probably just caught a bug. “I’m fine, Tae, really. I’ll get over it.”

Taehyung still looked worried, so Jimin cracked his eyes open enough to smile, squinting as the bright light made his eyes sting. “Come on, you came in here to show me something, right?”

Taehyung hummed, reluctantly drawing back. Jimin shifted over enough that there was space for Taehyung to curl up next to him, lifting the blanket so he could shuffle under it too. The added body heat honestly made Jimin feel even more nauseous, but he was sick and clingy and he didn’t want to worry his best friend, so he snuggled into Taehyung’s shoulder and watched as he took his phone out.

“I just wanted to show you,” Taehyung’s tone turned a little wicked, “Your boyfriend is tweeting again.”

Jimin frowned. “I don’t have a— Tae.

It was Agust D’s twitter account that Taehyung was happily showing him. Agust D. AKA Min Yoongi. AKA the bane of Jimin’s current existence.

Taehyung snickered evilly.

Jimin gave Taehyung a half-hearted whack, rolling over with another groan. “Tae, don’t tease me like this, I’m sick. Take pity on me.”

Taehyung grinned. “So what, you have his number and you text him all the time and he’s not your boyfriend, sure—”

“He’s not , Tae,” Jimin huffed. He turned away and snuggled into the blankets, pretending not to be interested in whatever Yoongi had tweeted. Honestly, Jimin wasn’t sure what he was to Yoongi. It had been a shock to meet him. He was an underground rapper; Taehyung was a big fan, as was Hoseok, so Jimin had kind of had to know who Agust D was by association. And he’d tagged along when they were going to a concert a couple of months ago.

Jimin just wasn’t expecting to sleep with Min Yoongi after the concert, or to get his phone number the next morning. But he had. Not that anyone knew that he’d slept with Yoongi – Jimin knew he’d never hear the end of it if Taehyung or Hoseok found out about that.

Jimin honestly wasn’t sure what had happened to his life.

“Look,” Taehyung patted Jimin’s shoulder, “I’ll read the tweet out to you if you don’t want to look. He says thanks everyone that made it last night, keep the spirit strong. And then he’s attached a selfie, see—”

Jimin squinted when a phone screen was shoved in his face. Even without his glasses on he could make out that the selfie was of Yoongi – the same blue-grey hair, dark catlike eyes, and thin, curved mouth. Jimin hated that he found him so attractive, that even just the sight of him made Jimin’s fingers itch for his phone, to text him or call him or something. Yoongi wasn’t smirking for once in the picture – instead, he was just looking at the camera, exuding calm and confidence.

Jimin remembered his smell, strong pine and mint and alpha , and shuddered.

Taehyung cackled. “You’re totally whipped for him.”

“I am not ,” Jimin grumbled, rolling back over to face his friend. Taehyung was smiling his wide, rectangular grin, leaned up on his elbow with his other hand holding his phone with the screen turned towards Jimin. He looked happy, at least.

Jimin’s stomach turned again and he winced, screwing his face up.

Taehyung was instantly alert, his alpha instincts well honed. “What is it? Are you going to throw up again?”

Jimin shook his head, but that quickly turned to nodding when bile rose up his throat. He lurched forwards, and Taehyung was quick to grab the bin they’d been using the past few days. Jimin was long past the embarrassment of throwing up in front of his friend, but it still wasn’t a pleasant experience.

Taehyung pushed Jimin’s sweaty fringe out of his eyes and frowned. “I’m really starting to think you need a doctor.”

Jimin was too exhausted to reply. He slumped back into his blankets, although his skin was itching at the fact that the precise way he’d piled his pillows and cushions together had been disturbed. He ignored the feverish feeling for now and closed his eyes. His stomach was clenching and cramping, and he was sure he’d have been able to deal with it all better if he’d had some sleep, but lately the night only brought vivid, disturbing dreams that Jimin would rather leave alone.

“Should I take the day off?” Taehyung asked, his deep rumbling voice soothing something innate in Jimin. “I can stay with you, find you some medicine—”

“It’s alright,” Jimin said, surprised by how raspy his voice was. “I’ll just sleep it off.”

There was a gentle touch to his shoulder, and Jimin opened his eyes to be met with Taehyung’s worried gaze. There was a furrow in his brow, his mouth set in a line.

“I’ll really be fine.” Jimin tried to sound as reassuring as possible. He reached up and took Taehyung’s large hand in his much-smaller one, summoning up a smile from somewhere. “You have to get to class, you have your project.”

Taehyung looked unhappy. He’d been working on his project for weeks, though, and was close to being done – it was for his favourite module, the modern art one where he got to play with photography and different mediums. His project was a wonderful mess of different paints and collages, and Jimin loved it, and he knew Taehyung did too.

“I’ll be fine,” Jimin reiterated, gripping Taehyung’s hand. “Look, if I’m still sick tomorrow, then you can take me to a doctor. Alright?”

Slowly, Taehyung nodded, though he was still frowning as he stepped back. “Let me at least help you to the sofa. You can’t spend all day in here again.”

Honestly, the thought of moving made Jimin’s nausea even worse, but he’d do anything to keep Taehyung happy, weak as he was for his best friend. So he let Taehyung gently help him upright, leaned on Taehyung’s arm when he got to his feet because his stomach felt tender and the world was spinning around him.

Taehyung guided him to the sofa, where Jimin instantly curled up back under his favourite blanket and refused to move. Taehyung laughed at him a little, but also got him a glass of water and some tablets (if he could keep them down, which Jimin was seriously doubting).

“You know,” Taehyung said, raising his brows at the way Jimin burrowed into the blanket, “If I didn’t know you any better, I’d say you were pregnant.”

Jimin’s blood ran cold. He stared as Taehyung went about collecting his bag, chattering on about his project and the new materials he was hoping to work with that day. He didn’t seem to notice that Jimin was suddenly finding it hard to breathe.

Taehyung ruffled his hair, making Jimin promise to text him if he felt worse in the day, before he left for class.

Jimin’s whole world narrowed down to a single point.

He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t think. He couldn’t move. He just stared at the door where it had closed behind Taehyung, leaving him alone in the empty room, and he couldn’t breathe.

If I didn’t know you any better, I’d say you were pregnant.

The words echoed hollowly in Jimin’s ears, his chest tightening with every repeat. Taehyung had said it jokingly, tossed out with a careless half-laugh on his way out of the door, but it left Jimin’s world tilting on its axis. He felt like he was falling even though he hadn’t moved from the sofa since Taehyung left.

Pregnant.

It wasn’t possible, was Jimin’s first thought. He didn’t sleep around, it just wasn’t in his nature, and he hadn’t been in a relationship since his first year at college. Even that had only lasted a few months. Jimin was more focused on his studies; he wanted to become a dancer, and he spent too much time in the studio to have much of a social life.

And yet.

He knew when it would have been, if he was pregnant. Of course he did.

“You here alone?”

“Yeah, sure, I’d be dumb enough to come to one of your gigs alone.”

A low chuckle. “Mouthy little shit.”

“Says you. Have you even heard some of the lines from your raps?”

“I wasn’t aware that you had either.”

“...My friends are big fans.”

“Well, your friends aren’t here now, are they?”

The night he’d spent with Yoongi had been wonderful; the alpha turned out to be gentle and caring behind that hard, couldn’t-give-a-fuck attitude; everything Jimin had ever desired in an alpha.. The thought of Yoongi still made Jimin’s heart constrict.

“I don’t think you should be going home alone.”

“What, are you gonna take me home instead?”

“Wouldn’t say no.”

The last message Jimin had received from Yoongi had been two days ago, and he was still waiting on a reply – but it was normal, he reminded himself, Yoongi was busy. He was a producer, a rapper, he had a career and a following and a life outside of Jimin. They weren’t even in a relationship. Jimin should have no expectations.

He couldn’t be pregnant.

Jimin took in a slow breath, trying to calm the high, scratchy sounds that had been leaving his throat over the past few minutes. He couldn’t think straight. He had a lecture he should be going to in half an hour, and he’d already missed class the last three days because he’d woken up vomiting three times in a row. Four times, now. He pushed his sweaty hair back from his forehead and closed his eyes.

It could still just be a bug. A virus. Something that would go away with time.

Jimin swallowed hard and reached for his phone. He’d email his professors and apologise for not making class again, but he knew he’d be useless in a seminar just then. He could barely even string two sentences together.

With the emails sent, Jimin retreated back into his bedroom and curled up in the huddled pile of blankets he’d made for himself over the past week, fixing everything that Taehyung had pushed out of place earlier. Nesting . The thought briefly flitted through his mind, but he pushed it away in favour of reaching for his laptop. A distraction was what he needed, a distraction and to rest and then hopefully this bug would go away for good.

He made it through three videos before he caved and started googling pregnancy signs.

He fit all the symptoms for morning sickness. Even the other things he’d been noticing – the headaches, the vivid dreams, the tiredness, the near-constant nausea he’d felt for days now, the way even the littlest things could make him angry or upset or emotional, how he’d clung to Taehyung more than usual, how he’d built himself a nest – the internet was telling him that he had almost all the signs of early pregnancy.

Fear was well and truly starting to settle in, like cold fingers wrapping around his heart. Jimin knew not to just blindly trust the internet, but the evidence was piling up high. There was only one way to truly tell him if he was pregnant or not – pregnant, he could barely think the word without flinching – and that was to take a test. But Jimin didn’t want to. He shouldn’t need to. He couldn’t be pregnant. The night he’d spent with Yoongi had been almost two months ago, after all, surely he would have noticed something before now?

But the internet was telling him, with resounding agreement, that his symptoms meant he was pregnant.

Jimin stared at his screen for a full minute, the words blurring before him, and tried to quieten his mind. His stomach was still turning, nausea making him sweat.

Well. He might as well use the internet for one thing, and all the omega forums he’d read had said ginger was the best thing to help with morning sickness. Pushing all thoughts to the back of his head, Jimin got mechanically to his feet and went back out to the kitchen to find the ginger tea.

By the time he’d made himself a cup, returned to his room, and settled back amongst his blankets, Jimin was feeling a little calmer. His hands were no longer shaking as he cradled his mug – one of Taehyung’s, it had a joke scrawled along its side in ugly font – and his chest felt a tiny bit lighter. He knew better than to blindly trust what he read on the internet.

Besides, if he really was pregnant, then his scent would have changed. Taehyung hadn’t noticed anything, and as an alpha living with an omega they’d become very attuned to each other’s scents. Taehyung would have noticed the second something changed, and he hadn’t.

Plus, Jimin was taking suppressants. He hadn’t missed a dose in months, there was no way—

And then Jimin’s blood ran cold.

The last suppressant he was supposed to take was a little over a month ago, shortly after the night he’d spent with Yoongi. Only Jimin had caught the flu, hadn’t he – he’d been in bed for a week and a half. And he couldn’t remember taking his suppressant through the haze the illness had blanketed across his mind.

He couldn’t remember taking his suppressant.

The fear was back, clinging to his skin until his chest tightened up and his breathing sounded too loud in his ears again. Jimin sat staring blankly into his almost-empty mug, noticing that his fingers were trembling.

Slowly, he placed the mug down and went to the bathroom, opening the cupboard where he and Taehyung kept their medicines. His suppressants were at the front, like they always were, sitting innocuously in their bland packaging. He reached up and pulled them out, holding the packet for a moment before he opened it and slid out the blister packs.

Then he started counting.

He had one too many.

It didn’t matter how many times he counted and recounted, the dose he had left was one over what it should be. He hadn’t miscounted. Somewhere along the way he hadn’t taken his suppressant, and it would make perfect sense for it to have happened when he was under the weather. Just after the night he spent with Yoongi.

Jimin was finding it hard to breathe again.

Alright. This had gone on for long enough. He needed to put a stop to his floundering worries, it was doing him no good at all to be sitting around on his own at home where he could just let panic build up and build up inside him. He needed to know, for sure , whether or not he had something to worry about.

Gritting his teeth, Jimin went back to his room, pulled on a sweater over his pyjama bottoms, grabbed his keys, and headed to the pharmacy.

He may have attracted a few odd stares along the street, but Jimin paid them no mind, too wrapped up in the worries inside his own head to stress about what other people might be thinking of him. When he reached the pharmacy, he was glad to find it almost empty.

Walking through the aisles until he found the pregnancy section made his stomach twist, and a new bout of nausea rose in his throat. He swallowed it down as best he could and stepped into the aisle, pausing in front of the display.

There was an overwhelming amount of choice. It turned out there wasn’t just one type of pregnancy test – there were all different kinds, for male and female omegas, telling you the amount of weeks or just whether or not you were pregnant – and Jimin had no idea where to even start. He didn’t know what to do.

He clenched his trembling fists by his sides and closed his eyes for a second, focusing on his breathing. He could do this. He could, he could

“Are you alright?”

There was a touch to his shoulder, and Jimin jumped a mile. He span around to find one of the shop assistants smiling kindly at him, her hand on his arm.

The room tipped around him.

Jimin stepped back, swallowing.

The woman looked at him, concern in her expression. Her scent was calming, omega, a whiff of an alpha mixed with her scent, and Jimin trembled. She was mated. He was alone. Alone, and possibly pregnant, and so, so afraid.

The woman’s hand was still on his arm. “Do you want to sit down?”

Jimin took in a breath, feeling like his lungs were collapsing. He shook his head, stumbled back a step, away from her calming scent, and his chest tightened again.

“It’s ok,” the woman soothed. “Sit – I’ll get you some water.”

She led him over to where a few chairs were scattered along the edge of the aisles, and Jimin sank into one, his mind a mess. The woman disappeared, leaving him alone again. Jimin took in a few calming breaths, leaned back against the chair and closed his eyes, trying to stay calm.

He couldn’t be pregnant. He couldn’t. Not if even just staring at the display of pregnancy tests had sent him into a panic attack. He wanted his eomma. His eomma, what would she say if he called her to tell her he was pregnant. He wanted comfort and warm drinks and his nest of blankets and the strong, heady scent of pine to surround him; he wanted to bury his head and only resurface when this nightmare was over; he wanted cuddles and to feel safe and loved.

The woman returned, a bottle of water in her hand which she passed to him. “Take small sips. It’ll help, trust me.”

Jimin drew in a shaky breath, accepting the bottle with trembling fingers. He struggled with the cap for a moment before taking a few sips, the cool water soothing his throat.

The woman settled in next to him, her calming scent helping Jimin to relax a little. “Feeling better?”

Summoning up a smile from somewhere, Jimin nodded.

“So, how many weeks?” The woman asked, looking satisfied. “It’s only subtle in your scent, so I’m assuming quite recent?”

Jimin went absolutely still.

“Or do you not know yet?” The woman let out a small sigh. “It’s so exciting in the beginning, it’s no wonder you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. But it’s alright. From one omega to another, you’ll handle it better the further along you get.”

She continued to chatter, but Jimin could only hear roaring in his ears. He clenched his hands tight around the bottle of water, feeling the cold plastic against the smooth palms of his hands, and he felt his throat tightening up all over again.

It couldn’t be in his scent. Taehyung would have noticed. It couldn’t be in his scent.

Panic began to flow through Jimin’s veins, blood roaring in his ears, and he felt lightheaded. His stomach twisted, nausea so bad it made him dizzy coming over him in waves. He squeezed his eyes shut. He didn’t want to be sitting in the pharmacy listening to a woman talk to him about how pregnancy had been the best part of her life, he wanted to be wrapped up safe in his nest with his own scent and the scent of pine and mint mixed up with it, comforting and safe and familiar. He wanted strong arms to wrap around him and a sturdy chest to curl up against. He wanted home .

Suddenly, Jimin knew exactly where he wanted to be.

He stood up abruptly, cutting the shop assistant off mid-sentence. She looked up at him, raising her brows questioningly.

“Sorry,” Jimin stammered out, backing up. “I have to – I need to be somewhere.”

The woman looked like she was going to stop him, so Jimin turned quickly. “Thank you for the water!” He gripped the bottle tight in his hand and started to jog through the pharmacy back to the doors, stepping out onto the street, finally free.

His legs took him where he was going almost without him having to direct them. It was like his instincts knew where he needed to be, desperate for comfort and a need for stability, security. He didn’t think things through too much, knowing he would get too scared, too insecure, if he stopped to think about what he was doing.

Before he knew it, he was standing outside Yoongi’s apartment building.

He swallowed, staring at the intimidating gated entrance with the intercom system on the side. Even though he was standing still again, his heart was hammering away, his breath coming in short, sharp gasps. He’d never felt this unfit in his life, but the world was spinning around him and he felt like he was barely hanging on by his fingertips.

Swallowing down his fear and focusing on his instincts that were screaming at him for alpha, Yoongi, Jimin reached out and pressed the buzzer for Yoongi’s flat.

No sooner had he pressed it than fear bit at him again. What was he doing? He hadn’t actually seen Yoongi in person since that night, despite the fact that they’d been messaging each other on and off. He didn’t know if he was welcome here at all. Yoongi had never invited him back. What if he wanted nothing to do with Jimin? What was Jimin supposed to do then?

He shouldn’t be here.

Surprisingly, Jimin felt his throat close and his eyes well up, warmth pricking at the corners of his eyes. No. He would not cry, not in public hanging around some alpha’s house like the pathetic omega he was. He wouldn’t do that, wouldn’t show his weakness.

With his head held high, Jimin turned on his heel to walk away.

Then the intercom crackled.

Park Jimin ?”

Jimin froze.

Is that you ?” The voice from the intercom was unmistakably Yoongi’s.

Jimin swallowed around his dry throat, refusing to blink because he knew if he did then tears would come out. He looked up and cursed when he realised he’d forgotten about the camera system that allowed everyone in the building to see who was showing up at their door.

Fucking fancy flats and rich people.

Turn around, ” Yoongi said bluntly. “ Let me get a proper look at you.”

Jimin sucked in a breath and, with his head still held high, span around and looked right at the camera. “Are you going to let me in or what?”

There was a crackle that might have been a low chuckle, and then the buzzer beeped and the gates slowly began to swing open.

Jimin sucked in another breath, drawing himself up as tall as he could. It took a lot of courage for him to take the first step through, and then the second, and then all the way until he was inside the building, nodding quickly at the concierge before heading for the lift.

In the lift, he felt panic enveloping him again. What was he supposed to tell Yoongi? He didn’t even know anything for certain himself yet, he couldn’t be sure what was happening to him – all he knew was that he’d been missing Yoongi’s alpha scent all day, just wanting to curl up in it and close his eyes and shut off the world forever.

But he couldn’t do that. He had no idea what Yoongi’s reaction was going to be. What if he hated Jimin? Or blamed him for being so stupidly irresponsible? Coming here could be a massive mistake. Never mind that Jimin still hadn’t got his head around anything, or that he could be making a massive deal over nothing.

He might not even be pregnant at all.

The thought strangely wasn’t as comforting as Jimin thought it would be. He sucked in another breath, resisting the temptation to lean his sweaty forehead against the cool mirrors inside the lift. When the smooth automated voice announced that he’d arrived at the right floor, Jimin pushed himself away from the mirrors, his forehead feeling sticky and his stomach still rolling. Each step he took down the corridor towards Yoongi’s door took more courage than the last.

Jimin was seriously considering just turning back around and leaving. He couldn’t help but feel like this was a bad idea. And yet, his instincts were settling down the closer to Yoongi’s door he got, curling up in warmth at the barest hint of pine.

And then the door swung open and Yoongi himself strode out.

Jimin froze mid-step, eyes widening. He took in Yoongi’s rumpled appearance – casual clothes, sweatpants and a hoody, his fading blue hair mussed and his eyes half-open and crusted with sleep – and instantly felt calmer. On his next inhale, pine and mint swept over him, and something deep within Jimin clicked into place.

Yoongi was giving him a very obvious once-over, and instantly Jimin felt self-conscious, still in his pyjama bottoms and with only his ratty old sweater making him look even halfway presentable. But then Yoongi’s eyes glided back up and met Jimin’s, and Jimin swallowed.

Yoongi stepped back and gestured to his doorway. “Come on. I could smell your distress from the kitchen.”

Although feeling embarrassed at those words, the rough rasp of Yoongi’s voice calmed Jimin further, his stomach settling a bit. He obediently stepped forwards, brushing past Yoongi and into his flat.

Everything smelled like pine. Jimin’s stomach stopped rolling altogether, and he couldn’t help but release a soft little sigh, embarrassingly close to a purr. He slipped out of his shoes and stepped forwards into the wide lounge, hearing Yoongi close the door behind him.

“I hope I didn’t wake you,” Jimin said quietly, his eyes fixed on his feet.

A low scoff sounded behind him, and then Yoongi appeared, making straight for the kitchen where Jimin could smell coffee. “Don’t worry. I needed to get up anyway.”

Jimin swallowed, trailing after Yoongi into the kitchen. The counters were gleaming, but Jimin knew that was only because Yoongi didn’t use them much. From their messages, he’d gleaned that Yoongi did know how to cook, but he couldn’t be bothered with it very often.

Yoongi poured out two mugs of coffee and handed Jimin one before leading them over to the sofa. Jimin’s throat felt too tight as he wound his fingers around the mug. Should he even have caffeine if he was pregnant? He’d have to look it up.

Pregnant. The word was making him flinch less, but his nerves jumped in response. The real reason for his visit to Yoongi reared its ugly head again.

Yoongi sat on the sofa and took a long sip of his coffee before turning to where Jimin had perched nervously on the edge of the armchair opposite him. His eyes looked a little more awake, his hair falling down his forehead, and Jimin noticed a slight spike in his scent. Pine filtered through the air around him and Jimin felt himself calming right back down again.

Right. Yoongi could sense his distress and was releasing his calming alpha pheromones. Jimin didn’t know how to feel about that.

“So is this just a social call?” Yoongi asked, taking in Jimin’s appearance again.

Jimin licked his lips and tried to speak, but his throat felt closed up, so all that came out was a tiny, low sound that was dangerously close to a whine.

“I’m guessing not,” Yoongi said into the ensuing silence, leaning forward and surveying Jimin closely. “So. Are you going to tell me why you showed up at my door when you’re supposed to be in class, dressed in your pyjamas and smelling of so much distress I could sense you coming all the way down the corridor?”

Jimin swallowed down a real whine and groaned instead, dropping his face into his palms. Hot embarrassment curled through him despite the calming scent Yoongi was giving off, mixing with the waves of nausea still flowing through him . Please, please don’t let him throw up on Yoongi’s carpet . Or in Yoongi’s house at all, for that matter.

He shouldn’t have come here.

“Yah,” Yoongi said, and Jimin heard the clink as he put his coffee cup down. “Calm down. Breathe. Use your words and tell me what’s going on.”

Jimin drew in a high, ragged breath, keeping his face buried in his hands. The reality of the situation felt huge, too vast for him to handle – that he’d come here fearing he was pregnant, pregnant with Yoongi’s child, though he still didn’t know for certain, and somehow he was going to have to explain that to Yoongi along with the direct, instinctual need he’d felt to come here, somewhere he didn’t even know if he was welcome—

“Yah.” Yoongi’s voice sounded much closer now, gentle, and then a warm palm was circling Jimin’s wrist. “It’s alright. Calm down.”

Jimin shuddered, and felt an arm wrap around his shoulders, and then his face was tucked up against Yoongi’s neck. Jimin breathed in deep and shivered, pine and mint surrounding him until he felt calm spread through him again, relaxing him enough to stop quaking and start breathing normally.

“There,” Yoongi said, his voice low and gruff. “No need to fuckin’ panic. Everything’s fine.”

Jimin trembled. In his eyes, there was an awful lot to panic about, actually, but the scent Yoongi was emitting along with the arm wrapped around Jimin’s shoulders was helping to keep him calm, to allow him to think straight. The panic was still there, tingling under his skin, but Yoongi was helping him hold it at bay.

He just prayed that Yoongi would be as understanding once he knew why Jimin was there.

Jimin closed his eyes and let himself nuzzle into Yoongi, just the smallest amount, despite his instincts crying out at him to curl up in Yoongi’s arms and stay there. He had to keep his wits about him if he was going to get through this.

Slowly, he opened his eyes and lifted his head out from Yoongi’s neck, meeting his concerned gaze. Yoongi was kneeling down on the floor in front of the armchair, one arm wrapped around Jimin’s shoulders, the other curled over the edge of the cushion. He looked worried. Jimin instantly felt guilty.

He opened his mouth. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have – I shouldn’t have just shown up here, I—”

“Don’t worry,” Yoongi waved him away, his brows furrowed. “Just tell me what it is that’s upset you so much. You’re shaking.”

Jimin swallowed and realised that Yoongi was right – his hands were trembling in his lap. He folded them and took in another slow breath, opening his mouth to speak.

And nothing came out.

Jimin swallowed, sitting there thinking what on earth he was supposed to say – how he could even begin to explain the situation. The words I think I might be pregnant were on the tip of his tongue, but the enormity of them – the sheer giant mess he was going to create – made his tongue stiff and his throat close up. He squeezed his eyes shut again, felt tears coming, and willed them away with everything he had.

“Sh, sh,” Yoongi said, almost frantically. The arm around Jimin’s shoulders tightened. “Jimin-ah. Whatever it is, it can’t be that bad – just tell me, Jimin-ah. Tell me.”

Jimin shuddered. He wanted to believe Yoongi, wanted so badly for everything to be ok—

But it wasn’t. It really, really wasn’t ok.

“I think,” Jimin managed to squeak, his eyes still squeezed shut, “I think – I might be pregnant.”

A ringing silence followed his words.

Jimin felt the arm around his shoulders withdraw and he whined, his eyes flying open to meet Yoongi’s gaze directly. Yoongi looked surprised, but not horrified – at least not yet – and he stayed crouched in front of Jimin, both hands now on the cushion by Jimin’s knee.

Jimin swallowed, his heart hammering away.

“Oh,” Yoongi said finally, “Ok. That’s alright.”

Jimin drew in a trembling breath. Was it? Was it really ? Jimin don’t know for sure, but alright was really not how he was feeling about the situation.

“I appreciate you telling me,” Yoongi continued gruffly, his brow pinched. “But you didn’t have to. You – you’re allowed to do what you want, and if you’re starting a family with someone else—”

“What?” Jimin said breathlessly. He felt like he was in a dream.

Yoongi looked up at him, and he didn’t look happy, but he wasn’t freaking out at least. “It’s none of my business, really, what you do. You’re not tied to me. I’m happy for you, and – and for the alpha.”

Jimin stared at him in utter shock. He didn’t know whether he felt like laughing or crying. The sheer stupidity of Yoongi, to think that there was anyone else in his life – that there was anyone who came even close to Yoongi in Jimin’s eyes – was beyond words.

“Yoongi,” Jimin said, astonishment laced in his tone. “Hyung. You idiot.”

Yoongi arched a brow.

“It’s you ,” Jimin told him. “The alpha. You’re the alpha.”

There was a pause, in which Yoongi continued to look confused, until it clicked into place. And then all the colour drained out of Yoongi’s face.

Jimin scoffed, putting his face back in his hands. “As if you thought there’d be another alpha – hyung, there’s you , there’s only you—”

Jimin cut himself off before he could say too much, biting down hard on his lip. And then he risked peeking through his fingers.

He instantly wished he hadn’t.

Yoongi looked shell shocked. His mouth was halfway open, his eyes wide for once, his hands gripping the sofa cushion so tight his knuckles were white. He was looking in Jimin’s direction, but it was like he was seeing straight through him.

Panic began to rise back up, clogging Jimin’s throat. He buried his face back in his hands and dug his fingernails into his hairline, squeezing his eyes shut. He’d fucked up. He’d fucked up bad. He didn’t even know for sure if he was pregnant – yet here he was, being an embarrassing mess in front of Yoongi, destroying their entire relationship until all that was left was a burning, muddy, awful mess.

Yoongi was going to hate him. Despise him. Jimin couldn’t cope with that.

High, scratchy noises were sounding from Jimin’s throat, and he did his best to calm them, trying to count his breaths through the panic welling up in him.

“It’s been two months.” Yoongi’s monotone voice cut through Jimin’s terror, freezing him in place. “How long have you known?”

“I don’t know,” Jimin answered, stupidly, and he squeaked. “I-I mean, I haven’t – I don’t know for sure. I just – I’ve been sick, really sick, and Tae said this morning that he, that he’d think I was pregnant if he didn’t know me better, and then I realised I forgot my suppressant and, and everything adds up too much, but I – I don’t know —”

A calming hand gripped Jimin’s knee, and the scent of pine surrounded him again. Jimin let himself lean into it, breathing in deep, calming down, trying to hold the sheer panic he was feeling at bay.

“You haven’t taken a test?” Yoongi asked, his voice rough with an emotion that Jimin couldn’t quite place.

Refusing to look past his palms, Jimin gave his head a quick shake. “I went to the pharmacy, but – but there was too much choice, I got overwhelmed.”

“Right.” There was pressure against his knee, and then Yoongi was standing up. “We’ll start with that, then.”

Jimin peeked through his fingers, looking up at where Yoongi was turning away from him. “Wh-what do you mean?”

“Stay there.” Yoongi was already halfway across the room, pulling on his shoes and reaching for his coat. “I’ll be ten minutes max.”

Jimin swallowed. “But—”

“Ten minutes,” Yoongi said curtly, and then he was out the door.

Jimin found himself alone in Yoongi’s flat.

The instant that Yoongi was gone, panic rose up once more, clogging his throat, churning up his insides until Jimin felt like throwing up again. It was only the fact that he hadn’t eaten all day that kept him from being sick. He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to rationalise with himself.

At least Yoongi hadn’t been angry. He hadn’t thrown Jimin out.

He hadn’t really done anything.

Jimin didn’t know what to make of his reaction. He knew Yoongi had been shocked, but it was difficult to read what other emotions he had – his face was stony, impassive, impossible for Jimin to read.

The next ten minutes passed impossibly slowly. Jimin curled further and further into a ball on the armchair, wrapping his arms around his knees and burying his face in the dark space in between, squeezing his eyes shut. Tears were gathered at the corners of his eyes, blurring his vision when he blinked. He was thankful that he hadn’t cried in front of Yoongi. He might be a mess, but he didn’t want to look weak in front of the alpha – he didn’t want to give in to the baser part of himself that wanted to scream and wail and let Yoongi take control over all of it.

No. This was Jimin’s mess. He was going to be the one to fix it.

The door clicked back open after just seven minutes – not that Jimin was counting. He peeked up from his sheltered position curled up on the sofa and watched as Yoongi stepped through the door, a plastic bag swinging from his hands, avoiding Jimin’s gaze.

Jimin’s stomach clenched. He curled his hands into little fists and tried to keep his breathing calm. At least the scent of pine and mint was back, washing over him; every inch of this place smelled like Yoongi.

“I got two packs,” Yoongi mumbled as he made his way back to Jimin’s side. “There’s two in a pack, but I thought – to be safe—”

Jimin drew in a high, shuddery breath. Right. A pregnancy test.

He was about to take a pregnancy test.

“Yah.” Yoongi’s voice was low, but he was suddenly back by Jimin’s side, one large, warm hand curling around Jimin’s wrist. “It’s ok. Breathe, come on.”

Pine and mint filtered all around him, and Jimin didn’t hesitate to take a deep breath in, drowning in the scent Yoongi was giving him. His eyes fell shut as calm swooped over him, slowly relaxing his tense muscles, slowing down his breathing, easing the pain in his chest.

“Look at me,” Yoongi murmured from somewhere very close to him. “Jimin-ah. Look at me.”

Swallowing, Jimin opened his eyes and turned his head the tiniest amount to find Yoongi’s gaze trained right on him.

Yoongi’s eyes were dark, unreadable. Jimin drowned in them all the same.

“Whatever happens,” Yoongi said lowly, “You aren’t alone in this.”

The words settled Jimin down even further, if he could believe them. He took the comfort Yoongi was giving him, though – clung to it in the hopes that he hadn’t ruined everything, that he hadn’t just made the biggest mistake of his life.

“I’m not?” Jimin managed, his voice higher than he would like.

Yoongi’s lips twitched, but his eyes remained serious, trained straight on Jimin’s. “Not at all. It’s as much my fault as yours – whatever happens, we’re in this together.”

Jimin let out a low sigh, feeling his stomach settle further. Pine filtered through the air around him, until he almost felt like he could touch it, wrapped around him like the best kind of blanket. Yoongi’s hand was still around his wrist, and Jimin couldn’t help but notice how much larger it was than his own – how Yoongi’s fingers met easily where they curled around his arm.

He pulled his thoughts back and looked away, giving his head a quick nod. He didn’t know what to say, but he felt a lot calmer.

Much to Jimin’s chagrin, Yoongi released his hold on Jimin’s wrist. Jimin whipped his head around, almost ready to say something, but he stopped when he saw that Yoongi was now digging around inside the bag, his brows pinched together.

He withdrew with a box in his hand – Jimin tried to avoid looking at the picture – and Yoongi narrowed his eyes. “I don’t exactly know how these things work—”

“Give it here,” Jimin said lowly, sitting up from where he was curled in the foetal position.

Yoongi glanced at him, apprehension written all over his face.

Despite himself, Jimin smiled. He held out a hand. “Really. I feel a lot better, thank you. I can look.”

Reluctantly, Yoongi passed over the box, but Jimin was right – his stomach had calmed right down, and with the heady scent of pine wrapped all around him, he felt almost normal again. Normal enough to look down at the box and take in all the instructions without throwing up.

“It seems fairly straightforward,” Jimin said after a moment. He peed on the stick and the stick told him if he was pregnant – that was all. So simple, and yet it could send his entire life spiralling.

Yoongi gripped his knee firmly, warm through Jimin’s pyjama bottoms. “You can use the bathroom. Do you – do you want me to come in with you?”

Jimin pressed his lips together, amused at the obvious awkwardness roughing up the alpha’s tone. He glanced at Yoongi and shook his head, impossibly endeared by the slight pout on Yoongi’s lips, the way his gaze had never for a second strayed from Jimin.

“I’ll be alright,” Jimin said, and he almost believed it. “Where’s the bathroom?”

---

Jimin was grateful for the warmth of Yoongi pressed up against his side as they sat together and studied the test on the table before them. It was still carefully blank, but Jimin refused to take his eyes off it.

His insides felt like they were squeezing together.

Yoongi was still emitting pheromones, and everything around Jimin smelt like pine and softness and home . He leaned into the scent and allowed it to surround him, calming the panic still threatening to overtake him at any moment. That, plus the warm hand Yoongi had placed on Jimin’s thigh, were the only things keeping him together.

The silence stretched on.

After a moment, Yoongi said, “Is it – working?”

“Give it a few,” Jimin answered, trying to make his voice sound normal. “The instructions said it would take a few minutes.”

“Ah.”

They fell into heavy silence again, and Jimin felt his breathing rate increase. Yoongi must have sensed it, because another wave of pine and mint wafted around Jimin’s nose. He took in a deep breath, probably audible, but Jimin already looked enough of a mess showing up at Yoongi’s door in his pyjamas that he was past caring.

The test started showing something. Jimin looked at it with growing horror in his eyes.

A plus sign.

A plus sign. He knew what that meant – he didn’t need to check the instructions again, though he felt Yoongi rustling around next to him. Jimin didn’t need to look. His world had ended the second the plus sign came into view.

Jimin dropped his head into his hands, struggling to breathe..

He was pregnant.

He was pregnant. The tears were coming now, all of a sudden – probably because of the shock. Either way, his vision was blurry and there were tear tracks down his cheeks, his forehead sweaty, nausea rolling in his stomach. His hands were shaking when he clasped them in his hair, squeezing his eyes shut and feeling more tears fall.

“Fuck,” he whispered, and felt Yoongi still beside him. “I’m still in college. Fuck.”

Suddenly, there was a warm hand on his back rubbing soothing circles just below his shoulder blade. Another wave of pine washed over him and Jimin reacted to it even though he wasn’t sure he wanted to – he could feel himself relaxing, his body calming, although tears still clung to his lashes.

“I’m with you,” Yoongi murmured quietly.

Jimin let out a shuddering breath.

“I want you to know,” Yoongi continued, his voice low but assured, “That I can support you. I have the finances—”

“Money isn’t going to fix this,” Jimin hissed, suddenly antagonised.

There was a short silence before Yoongi continued, “I know that. I’m simply saying that I have resources, and they are all open to you.”

Jimin paused in snapping back an angry reply.

“Everything I have,” Yoongi said evenly, “All of it, is open to you. Whatever you need, whatever you… decide, I’m at your disposal.”

Jimin was stunned into silence.

Slowly, he turned his head to meet Yoongi’s eyes for the first time, and found Yoongi was already looking at him. His gaze was serious, heavy on Jimin’s face.

Jimin swallowed. “That’s – I – I can’t accept that. I can’t just—”

“You can,” Yoongi interrupted, and squeezed Jimin’s thigh where his hand was still resting, the touch burning through to Jimin’s overheated skin. “That’s what I’m telling you. This means that, whatever you need, I will provide.”

That was such a typically alpha thing to say that Jimin would have scoffed had the words not been so welcome. His head was a mess, he couldn’t even begin to wrap his head around the enormity of what was happening – but Yoongi was making it very clear that Jimin could rely on him. That he wasn’t angry, he wasn’t going to kick Jimin out or deny this ever happened or say it had nothing to do with him.

Yoongi confirmed this again by saying, “We’re in this together, Jimin-ah. That’s what I’m telling you.”

A rush of air left Jimin’s lungs. A tear escaped from his eye, tracking slowly down his cheek, and in a surprisingly soft motion, Yoongi reached out and wiped it away for him.

Jimin met his eyes and said, hesitantly, “You really mean that?”

Yoongi nodded his head.

Jimin swallowed and sat back, pushing a hand through his sweaty hair. He felt disgusting – greasy and sweaty and overheated, nausea still rolling over him in waves. The only thing keeping him together was the warm scent of pine and mint embedded deep in everything around him. It was in the sofa cushion by his head, and Jimin had to try very hard not to grab it and press his face into it and never emerge until this nightmare was over.

“I’m going to have to move my college classes,” Jimin said finally. “I – I must be two months pregnant, and – and seven months away I’ll still be in class, and I’m not – I’m not going to be able to attend with—”

With a baby , he almost said, but the thought of an actual living, breathing, human child being his was terrifying enough to make him stutter.

Yoongi squeezed his thigh again. “We can shift your schedule around. I’ll pay the extra tuition.”

“You can’t—”

“I will ,” Yoongi said, his voice suddenly commanding. “Are you registered with a doctor?”

Jimin swallowed, not sure what to do with himself, although his instincts were curling up and preening at the way Yoongi was taking control of the situation. He took in a careful breath and his stomach settled further as Yoongi’s scent surrounded him. “I – I never got around to it. Tae and I go home a lot—”

“I’ll get you an appointment with my doctor,” Yoongi said smoothly. “If you – if you like, I can go with you.”

Jimin turned to him, startled. “You’d do that?”

“I’d like to be part of things.” Yoongi turned away, averting his eyes. His voice was gruff. “If you’re comfortable with that.”

A small burst of happiness unfurled in Jimin’s chest, curling gently through his veins. He relaxed a little more, even felt his lips twitch up in a smile. “I’d love that, actually.”

Yoongi glanced over at him. One corner of his mouth turned up.

For the first time, Jimin felt the beginnings of hope.

Jimin stayed sitting on Yoongi’s couch while Yoongi phoned up the doctor and got an appointment for the following Monday. It was a four-day wait, but Jimin thought he could survive – at least, he felt a lot better than he had earlier. His head was still spinning with everything.

For a second, while Yoongi was on the phone, Jimin glanced down at his stomach.

He was growing a whole person inside there.

The thought was so insane, Jimin wondered as he gently pressed a hand to his stomach. There was a person in there. Someone who was relying on him for everything – all the sustenance they needed.

He knew, in that moment, that he was going to do his best to provide. No matter what it meant. There were two of them now – two people to think of in every decision he made.

Jimin swallowed. He wasn’t sure if he could do this, in fact he felt like the ground was falling away beneath his feet, but something inside of him clicked. He felt connected to the little one in his stomach.

He would protect them with everything he had.

“Are you alright?” Yoongi was off the phone and standing above him, gently resting a hand on the top of Jimin’s head. Jimin closed his eyes and leaned into the touch, trying not to read anything into it – he was too emotional just then to determine anything, all he knew was that Yoongi’s fingers in his hair felt good and his scent smelled like home.

“I’m ok,” Jimin confirmed, and bit his lip. “Sorry, I should – I should probably get out of your hair.”

“You’re welcome to stay,” Yoongi offered, his tone low and difficult to read.

Jimin shook his head, slowly moving out from under Yoongi’s touch and getting to his feet. “No, I should – I should get home, I really need a shower and my roommate’s going to be worried if I’m not there when he gets back from class.”

At that thought, Jimin’s eyes suddenly widened in horror and he groaned, pressing a hand to his head. “Oh, fuck, Tae. What the fuck am I going to tell him?”

Yoongi reached out and firmly grasped Jimin’s shoulders, holding him steady. Jimin squeezed his eyes shut and breathed slowly, the world tipping around him once again.

“I think he’s going to be able to tell,” Yoongi said quietly. “I’m afraid you might not be able to hide it from him, if that’s what you were thinking.”

Jimin squinted at him. “What do you mean?”

“Your scent,” Yoongi said. “It’s a little faint, but – it’s there. Now your distress is lower it’s even easier to smell your pregnancy.”

Jimin almost blanched. Right. Of course. The woman in the pharmacy had smelled it, too – he was going to be obvious, and it was only going to get stronger as the weeks went by.

“How come you didn’t smell it straight away?” Jimin asked, peering nervously at Yoongi.

Yoongi shook his head, his expression carefully blank as he regarded Jimin. “You were so distressed, I could barely smell anything else. Stank up the whole corridor.”

Jimin winced. “Sorry.”

“Don’t apologise,” Yoongi told him, his hands still on Jimin’s shoulders. They were almost exactly at eye-level. It was rare for Jimin to have an alpha not towering over him, and he was enjoying the experience.

“I am, though,” Jimin said, glancing down. “I’m sorry for showing up unannounced and ruining your morning and – and for everything, for forgetting my suppressant, for not realising earlier—”

“Yah.” Yoongi dug his fingers into Jimin’s shoulders until Jimin yelped. “Stop it. This is as much my fault as yours – I mean that. Don’t fuckin’ apologise for things that aren’t in your control.”

Jimin went still, lifting his head to meet Yoongi’s gaze again. Yoongi was looking at him softly, the blank expression broken for one moment – Yoongi’s eyes were gentle, his expression almost… fond.

Jimin wanted to be looked at like that forever.

“At least let me drive you home,” Yoongi murmured, his eyes never leaving Jimin’s.

Jimin bit his lip, regarding Yoongi for a moment, before he gave in and nodded his head. “Just this once.”

“I’m picking you up for the doctor’s appointment, too,” Yoongi said, and lifted a finger. “No arguments.”

Jimin made a face at him.

Yoongi shook his head, lips twitching, before he released his grip on Jimin’s shoulders. He didn’t let go, though – rather, he slipped one hand down until it was encircling Jimin’s waist, and then he led him towards the door.

Jimin leaned into the touch, his stomach swirling, but Yoongi was there, right by his side, offering him support. Comfort. He smelled like home , and as much as Jimin knew he shouldn’t, he let himself relish it for a while – just for the drive home. Then it would be back to reality.

But just for that short time, Jimin could close his eyes and breathe Yoongi in and pretend, pretend that he was his.

Chapter Text

The door felt too loud as it closed behind Jimin.

The drive home from Yoongi’s had been quiet but comforting. That was the thing about Yoongi – he may not say much, but his actions spoke loudly, and he’d had one hand on Jimin’s thigh for the whole ride while filling the car with his comforting, familiar scent. As such, Jimin had calmed down a lot – though he still had no idea how to tell his best friend what was going on.

Taehyung was already in the apartment when Jimin got in. He turned to Jimin with wide, worried eyes, his phone glowing in his hand. “Chim! Where have you been?”

Jimin swallowed. He hadn’t expected Taehyung to be back before him – he figured Taehyung would be working on his project, that Jimin would have time to shower and change and get his head around things a little more before having to explain his… situation to Taehyung.

But now, the sight of his best friend with a furrowed brow and wide, expressive eyes and a worried downturn to his usually-smiling lips made something deep within Jimin crack.

“Tae,” he said brokenly. “Tae-yah.”

“What is it?” Taehyung was by his side in an instant, hands fluttering around Jimin’s shoulders, his waist, like Taehyung wasn’t quite sure what to do with himself. Taehyung always knew what to do with himself, however weird and wonderful and bizarre it might be.

Jimin swallowed around the harsh lump in his throat, tears pricking at his eyes. “Tae-yah. I—I’m—”

He couldn’t get the words out.

Taehyung leaned in, hands finally falling on Jimin’s shoulders as he searched Jimin’s eyes.

“Can’t you smell it?” Jimin asked finally, fighting back a sob. “I thought – thought you’d be able to smell it.”

“Smell what?” The furrow in Taehyung’s brow deepened. “What’s happened? Talk to me, Chim.”

Jimin closed his eyes, feeling something within him finally give as a tear rolled down his cheek. In seconds, Taehyung had his arms wrapped tight around Jimin, his familiar spicy scent curling through the air. Jimin buried his head in Taehyung’s chest and sobbed, feeling Taehyung squeeze him tight.

And then he heard Taehyung take a deep breath in and go completely still.

“I didn’t realise,” Jimin managed between high-pitched, hitching breaths. “Not until you said it this morning. That you – you’d think I was pregnant. You were right. I’m—I’m—”

“Holy shit .” Taehyung’s deep voice was quieter than Jimin had ever heard it.

Jimin squeezed his eyes shut and pressed his face into Taehyung’s chest. His arms had gone a little slack, so Jimin reached up and fisted both his hands in the silky material of Taehyung’s shirt, clinging onto him however he could. Clinging onto normality. Not that anything felt normal anymore.

“You smell like another alpha,” Taehyung said, his tone almost wondering. “And like…”

Jimin swallowed. He knew what else he smelled like.

“When did you know?” Taehyung asked, his arms coming back up to encircle Jimin tight.

Jimin sniffled. “Not – not until today. That’s why I was out.”

“Fuck, Jimin-ah.” Taehyung pulled back to look Jimin in the face, and Jimin instantly missed the comfort of his familiar scent, the curve of his shoulder, the gentle line of his neck. Taehyung’s expression wasn’t disappointed – that was one thing Jimin clung to – but he did look shocked, like he’d been drenched with cold water. Jimin trembled. It was hard to be looked at like that by his best friend, by the one person who’d been with him every day since they met in their first year at uni.

“Who even was it?” Taehyung asked, his voice almost a whisper. “ When was it? You never told me—"

“I’m sorry,” Jimin interrupted, choked up. “I’m sorry that I never told you, I didn’t think you’d believe me, fuck.”

Taehyung shook his head, his eyes wide. “Why wouldn’t I believe you?”

Jimin bit his lip. His fingers were shaking; his legs felt like jelly.

“You can tell me anything,” Taehyung said, gripping Jimin by the shoulders and bending to look right in his eyes. “You know that, right? I’m here for you, no matter what?”

Tears threatened to fall from Jimin’s eyes again. He swallowed, taking in a shuddering breath. He knew, and normally he wouldn’t hesitate to tell Taehyung anything. They shared everything, from their worst thoughts about uni work to their 3am rambles to their deepest family drama. Taehyung was like a brother to him. They’d clung to each other, as two packless newcomers to university two years ago, and they’d stuck together ever since. Along with Hoseok, Jimin considered him the closest thing to a pack-brother he currently had.

Jimin never wanted to do anything to threaten that.

“I just,” Jimin squeaked, squeezing his eyes shut. “I just – I’m gonna tell you, but you have to believe me, ok? Please just tell me you’ll believe me.”

Taehyung nodded his head fervently, his hands tightening around Jimin’s shoulders to bring him gently over to the sofa. For the second time that day, Jimin found himself being pressed down onto a sofa by an alpha when he was trembling and crying uncontrollably. Jimin had never felt so weak, so typically like an omega, when that was a stereotype he’d spent most of his life fighting.

Probably the hormones, he thought distantly. Pregnancy would do that to you.

“Tell me, Chim,” Taehyung murmured, settling into place beside him. “Nothing you tell me is going to change my opinion of you.”

Strangely enough, that settled the last of Jimin’s nerves. The scent of spice was also stronger, implying that Taehyung was subconsciously releasing his pheromones to calm Jimin down, but it wasn’t working as well as the mint and pine that had exuded form every surface in Yoongi’s flat.

Yoongi.

Jimin closed his eyes, imagining the older alpha for a moment – Yoongi’s soft, catlike eyes, his low rasp of a voice that calmed Jimin down so well. Even the memory of it helped to settle Jimin’s nerves, his nausea easing, his stomach settling down.

“It was two months ago,” Jimin said lowly after a moment of silence.

Taehyung let out a rush of air.

“When we were out at the concert,” Jimin continued, miserable. “I didn’t come home with you.”

“I don’t think you should be going home alone.”

“I got separated from you and Hobi-hyung when I went to the bathroom—”

The quiet in the cubicle compared to the brash loudness outside. Scratched walls, graffiti on the door. A cracked sink with a dark silhouette beside it, someone else in the shadows, someone who was watching Jimin as he stepped closer.

“I was the only one in there, until he came in.”

“You were on stage.”

“I was.”

“You looked at me.”

“I did.” A smirk. “It didn’t look like you knew who I was.”

“I didn’t.”

“And do you now?”

“We got talking,” Jimin sniffed, reaching up to push his hair back off his forehead – he really wanted a shower – “And, and then you texted me to ask where I was, if I was coming back with you—”

He was near enough to lean over Jimin’s shoulder, to read the text too.

A low hum. “It’s up to you, kid. You can leave with your friends if you want.”

“Or?”

“Or, you can come home with me. I’ll take good care of you.”

Jimin trembled, staring down at the sofa where his fingers curled into the threadbare cushion, unable to look Taehyung in the eyes. “And I – I told you to go home without me.”

“I thought you stayed with some of your dancing dongsaengs that night?” Taehyung interjected, confused.

Jimin let out a soft sigh. “I told you that because it was easier.”

“Easier than what?” Taehyung reached out and put two fingers under Jimin’s chin, tilting his face up to meet his worried eyes.

Jimin looked at him and prayed that he wasn’t about to ruin the best friendship he’d ever had.

But he had no choice.

“I didn’t expect to meet him.” Jimin’s voice was almost a rasp. “You know – you know how surprised I was to get his number. He was on stage , I assumed he’d have, like, a backstage space or something—”

Understanding was beginning to dawn on Taehyung’s face. Understanding, and shock, and finally horror.

“You said you just chatted him up in the corridor!” Taehyung pointed an accusatory finger at Jimin, eyes wide, mouth hanging open with his usual rectangular grin nowhere in sight.

Jimin winced. “I know—”

“You said you just talked and he asked for your number! Not that you slept with him!”

Jimin whined – really, truly whined , a drawn-out, high-pitched noise that would have been enough to quieten any alpha. Taehyung, as attuned to Jimin as he was, instantly clapped his mouth shut and shrank back into the pillows, although he never took his eyes off Jimin.

“I’m sorry,” Jimin whispered. “I just – I couldn’t think of a way to tell you, before.”

Taehyung stared at him. “You slept with Agust D.”

Jimin flinched. “I did.”

A pause.

“You’re carrying Agust D’s baby.”

Jimin glanced down at his stomach, a shudder of disbelief rocking through him. He still hadn’t even begun to wrap his head around it. But, slowly, he nodded. “I am.”

Gently, Taehyung reached out and began petting Jimin’s hair – a soft, slow motion that he knew always calmed the omega down. Jimin closed his eyes and leaned into it – and then Tae lifted one arm, and Jimin instantly curled up against his side, safe in his embrace with Taehyung’s fingers in his hair.

“You could have told me,” Taehyung murmured.

Jimin shook his head. “I know. But – but I didn’t know how to say it. He’s your favourite artist, you practically stalk him.”

Taehyung snorted. “Yeah, and then my best friend went and slept with him behind my back.”

Jimin winced.

Taehyung continued his soothing motions, gently petting through Jimin’s hair. “Does he know?”

Jimin nodded. “That’s where I was today.”

Taehyung pursed his lips. “How did he take it?”

Jimin paused, thinking about it. The memory of Yoongi was still helping to settle his stomach and calm him down, so he closed his eyes and thought about it for a moment – the serious tone to his voice, the gentleness with which he handled Jimin even in the midst of his own shock.

Yoongi was a good alpha. He wasn’t going to abandon Jimin. Jimin knew that much.

“He was shocked,” Jimin admitted after a moment. “Not going to lie, I thought he was going to keel over at one point. You know at first he assumed I was telling him another alpha got me pregnant?”

Taehyung snorted, his fingers digging satisfyingly into Jimin’s scalp. “As if. With the way you’ve been glued to your phone texting him?”

“That’s what I said,” Jimin mumbled. “Stupid alpha. As if there could be anyone but him.”

There was a pause. Taehyung’s fingers stilled in Jimin’s hair, and then he was pushing Jimin back, giving him a serious look.

Jimin shivered. He didn’t like that look.

“Chim,” Taehyung began, watching Jimin closely. “You really like him, don’t you?”

Jimin bit his lip. He leaned away from Taehyung, glanced down at his own (still flat) stomach, and pursed his lips. “Doesn’t matter. He’s going to be a big part of my life now, whether I like it or not.”

“But if you really like him, you need to tell him,” Taehyung urged.

Jimin flinched. “Why the hell would I do that ?”

“Because like you said – he’s going to be a big part of your life now.” Taehyung tugged at his sleeve, studying him. “And if you really like him, and you don’t tell him, then you’re just going to get hurt.”

Jimin winced. He stared down at the floor, unable to look at his best friend just then – his best friend, who always told him the truth he needed to hear even when it hurt a bit, even when it was the last thing he wanted to hear. But, as ever, Taehyung was right.

Jimin just didn’t want to think about it.

“I don’t know if I like him,” Jimin said quietly. He lifted his head to meet Taehyung’s eyes again, reassuring him that he was being honest. “I’ve only known him two months. And he’s Agust D. His life is totally different to mine. I just – I need to know him better first.”

Reluctantly, Taehyung nodded. He kept his eyes trained on Jimin though. “Just promise me one thing?”

“Anything,” Jimin answered, already burrowing his way back into Taehyung’s side.

Taehyung gave a muffled laugh, his fingers finding their way back into Jimin’s hair again. “If you do figure out that you like him, tell him quickly. I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

Jimin went quiet. He glanced at a loose thread on the sleeve of Taehyung’s shirt, breathed in his spicy scent, and tried to relax.

He didn’t know if he could promise that. Jimin wasn’t very good at sorting through his feelings, or at confronting them when they appeared. He was far more likely to leave things simmering under the surface until they all exploded at once.

But he supposed he could try.

“I promise,” Jimin murmured, and nestled into Taehyung’s side.

Taehyung hummed. He kept stroking his fingers through Jimin’s hair before he grinned. “This does explain why you’ve been nesting so hard, though.”

Jimin whined. “I haven’t!”

“Right, so you won’t mind if I go take a blanket from your—”

“Touch my nest and you’re dead .”

Taehyung snorted.

---

The weekend passed with Jimin sitting curled up in his nest and hiding from the world. Taehyung came in every couple of hours to make sure he ate something (which Jimin usually threw up - turned out that morning sickness didn’t just happen in the mornings) and drank enough fluids.

They arranged a meeting with his personal tutor for later in the week, and then Taehyung helped him rearrange his schedule and fix up some of his classes to make the timing work – it meant Jimin wouldn’t be graduating until the term after he was supposed to, but that was a small sacrifice to make in the grand scheme of things. Still, Jimin felt a pang at the thought of watching Taehyung graduate without him, moving on with all their other classmates and leaving Jimin behind.

Jimin knew it didn’t work like that, though. Hoseok had graduated last year and he was still incredibly close to Jimin, although it helped that they both taught at the same studio. Jimin still hadn’t told Hoseok – pregnancy didn’t seem like the kind of thing to explain over a casual text. Jimin was teaching a class later that day, though, so he figured he could explain then. He was going to have to shift his hours there too, eventually, but Jimin hoped he had several more months of dancing in him before then.

“I’ll go with you,” Taehyung offered. “Haven’t seen Hobi-hyung in ages anyway.”

“Come pick me up,” Jimin countered. “We’ll get noodles.”

Taehyung’s eyes immediately lit up. The promise of hot food was usually enough to get him to agree to anything, seeing as neither he nor Jimin could really cook, although Jimin was slightly better than Taehyung. Jimin shuddered at the memory of letting Taehyung loose in the kitchen and coming home to a black patch on the ceiling from the smoke and a very sad, lumpy-looking, charred bit of chicken stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Then there’d been the time he forgot to put water in the pasta and set it on fire. And the time he’d left the plastic on the microwave meal he’d picked up and set that on fire too.

Sometimes, Jimin wondered how Taehyung had survived for all 21 years of his life.

Sunday afternoon, Jimin put on his comfiest dancing leggings and floaty top, wrapped himself up warm in his big coat and favourite scarf, and set off from the flat to the dance studio. He taught two classes a week, one for three to six year olds, the other for seven to twelve year olds. He loved both his classes, but today he was working with the tiny ones, the three year olds who would trip while he taught them first position and the slightly older ones who’d look so proud when they could support themselves without wobbling.

He loved working with young children. At least that was one less thing about his pregnancy to worry about – he did at least know that he liked the company of children.

He wondered if Yoongi could say the same thing.

Jimin shivered, pushing his hands deep into his coat pockets as he walked quickly through the few streets to the studio. He had no idea whether Yoongi was good with children or not. On the one hand, it was a little difficult to imagine his stoic, slightly grumpy hyung around small children, but then again, Jimin could be wrong. He hadn’t seen Yoongi in many child-friendly settings, after all.

He still had not got his head around the fact that he was having a baby with Yoongi .

Jimin arrived at the studio and used his keys to let himself in. He always arrived a good half hour before the students at least, so he could set up and prepare himself and the room to make sure everything was as it should be. He strode past the reception desk and headed towards the staff room, expecting that Hoseok would be there before him.

Sure enough, the faintest hint of chamomile lay lightly on the air.

Jimin smiled, quickening his steps until he was right outside the staffroom door. He twisted the handle and walked in, his smile widening at Hoseok’s greeting shriek.

“Jimin-ah!” Hoseok jumped on him the minute he was through the door, being as loud as ever. It made Jimin feel warm. He’d met Hoseok at uni; Hoseok had been appointed as his mentor and they’d become fast friends. Hoseok had been the one to get Jimin the job at this studio, and Jimin loved it – loved his work, loved dancing, loved watching Hoseok and cheering him on when they both entered competitions.

Hoseok was a beta, and therefore not as sensitive to smells, so Jimin wasn’t expecting him to be immediately aware of his pregnancy. So he wasn’t surprised when Hoseok started chattering away about his classes, about how the lesson he’d just taught had the most adorable little boy who perfected a certain move that he’d been struggling with. Jimin smiled, happy to listen. Honestly, it was a good distraction from the craziness his life had become over the past 24 hours.

After a while, there was a lull in the conversation, and that’s when Jimin reached out and laid a hand on Hoseok’s arm. “Hobi-hyung. I need to tell you something.”

Instantly, Hoseok came to attention, raising his brows and looking at Jimin appraisingly. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Jimin bit his lip. It was getting easier to say the words I’m pregnant , but it still wasn’t easy, and while he didn’t think Hoseok would react badly, he also really didn’t know how he’d react at all.

Unfortunately, Jimin’s silence only made Hoseok worry. He widened his eyes. “Are you ok?”

“Yes. Well, no,” Jimin reconsidered, biting his lip. “I’m – it’s a bit complicated.”

Hoseok looked very worried by now. “You’re not injured, are you? Do you need me to cover your class?”

“No, no,” Jimin waved him away hastily, “Nothing like that. Just, ah. Um.”

Hoseok stared at him.

“Ok, let me just say this,” Jimin said, holding his hands up, palms outwards. “No interruptions, ok?”

Hoseok saluted him, looking like he was on tenterhooks.

Jimin took in a deep breath. Let it out. Said, “I’m pregnant. The alpha father is Min Yoongi. You know him better as Agust D.”

Hoseok’s mouth dropped wide open.

Then, he screeched.

Jimin winced, throwing his hands up as Hoseok jumped on him, hands patting at his head, his shoulders, Hoseok’s warm weight pressing up against him as he jumped up and down wildly.

“When did this happen?” Hoseok asked when he’d calmed down enough, his voice still uncomfortably loud.

Jimin, used to it, just laughed. He glanced away, biting his lip. “Uh, it was… after the concert you took me and Tae to. A couple of months ago.”

Hoseok shrieked again. “You slept with Agust D after the concert I took you to?!”

Jimin winced, but he nodded.

Hoseok shook his head, but there was no disapproval in his gaze. “I thought you just got his number!”

“I did that, too,” Jimin mumbled, scratching at his sleeve. “I just… wanted to see where it was going, before I told you and Tae any more.”

Hoseok eyed Jimin closely. “Well, now you don’t have much of a choice, I’m guessing. Does he know?”

Jimin nodded. “I saw him yesterday. That’s when I found out. He was really gentlemanly about it.”

“Well, I should hope so, seeing as he knocked you up in one night.” Hoseok frowned. “Unless it wasn’t just one—”

“It was one night,” Jimin interrupted hastily. “And he was lovely, actually. Calmed me down a lot. I was a bit of a mess, to be honest.”

At that, a more serious expression crossed Hoseok’s face. He reached out and drew Jimin into a hug – touching was easy between him, Taehyung, and Jimin, and the three of them hugged each other as much as possible. All three of them were currently packless, and being transient meant they all sought out physical attention as much as possible. Jimin was lucky, having Taehyung at home to cuddle whenever he wanted, but Hoseok lived alone, so whenever they were together Jimin made sure to touch him as much as possible.

“Are you ok, though?” Hoseok asked, giving Jimin a gentle squeeze. “I mean, it must be a shock.”

“It is,” Jimin admitted slowly. “But… I’m getting used to the idea. And Yoongi-hyung really was great about it, he helped me take the test and made me a doctor’s appointment that he wants to come along to.”

Hoseok gave an approving nod, drawing back from Jimin. He pointed at Jimin with a frown. “You’re telling me more after class.”

“Sure,” Jimin nodded, smiling. “Taehyungie and I are taking you out for noodles. No arguments.”

“None from me!” Hoseok sing-songed as he made his way back out of the door.

Jimin caught sight of the time and yelped, realising he only had ten minutes until his class. He scurried after Hoseok to his own studio, where he instantly started setting up for his little students.

---

After dance, Taehyung came to meet them both, and the three of them set off to their favourite noodle place. Jimin slid into their favourite seats opposite Taehyung while Hoseok ordered their usual, Jimin feeling tired and sweaty and aching in the best of ways.

Taehyung grinned at him. “You need a shower.”

“Fuck off, Tae,” Jimin laughed. His class had gone wonderfully well, his little students not throwing any tantrums and most of them had grasped the new steps he’d choreographed. It felt wonderfully, refreshingly normal.

Hoseok joined them again soon enough, sliding in next to Jimin, and Jimin didn’t hesitate to sidle up next to him and nuzzle into his side. The mix of the three of their scents was comforting and familiar, and the delicious smells coming from the kitchen had his stomach rumbling, nausea finally abated a little.

Hoseok laughed, patting Jimin’s stomach. “The little one is hungry, hm?”

“I don’t think it’s big enough to be hungry yet,” Jimin answered with a soft smile.

Taehyung tilted his head. “But you don’t know that, do you?”

Jimin shook his head. Honestly, he hadn’t thought too much about the tiny human growing inside him, the idea still too insane for him to properly wrap his head around.

“We should look it up,” Taehyung decided suddenly, reaching into his bag for his phone.

Hoseok cheered, but then sent Jimin a quick, sidelong look. “You don’t mind, do you?”

Jimin tilted his head, considering for a moment. The crushing panic he’d felt yesterday had dulled a little with the comforting reaction of the two people closest to him, and of course the way Yoongi had taken control yesterday and helped him to calm down, reassuring him that he didn’t need to worry about being abandoned and alone.

Jimin nodded his head slowly, reaching for his own phone. “No, I don’t mind. Knock yourselves out.”

Taehyung instantly started googling, Hoseok trying to lean over the table to read his screen upside-down. Jimin bit back a smile, glancing down at his own phone. He was surprised to see it blinking with messages.

15:30

[Yoongi-hyung]

I need your address

To pick you up for the doctor tomorrow

Jimin bit his lip. He wanted to roll his eyes at the way his stomach jumped from seeing that Yoongi had texted him, but he admitted to himself he was a little bit happy that Yoongi was still taking an interest, that he still wanted to support Jimin. It might not be everything Jimin wanted from the alpha in his deepest heart of hearts, not with some of the thoughts he’d had that he didn’t dare to even admit to himself, but it was something, and Jimin was happy.

“How many weeks are you, Chim?” Taehyung asked.

Jimin paused, glancing up from his phone to find both Taehyung and Hoseok huddled over Taehyung’s phone, staring at him. He rolled his eyes a little. “You both know when the concert was. You figure it out.”

He glanced back down at his phone, typing out a reply while listening to Hoseok and Taehyung open up the calendar.

17:04

[Jimin]

Are you sure you’re ok to pick me up??

I can probably walk if you tell me where the surgery is

“Seven weeks,” Taehyung announced, satisfied. “You’re seven weeks pregnant, Chim.”

Hearing it out loud like that gave Jimin another start, his stomach fluttering. He glanced up and worried his lower lip with his teeth, fiddling with his phone. Seven weeks. It didn’t feel like that long – Jimin had stayed in touch with Yoongi, texting whenever they could over that time, but Yoongi led a busy life and he wasn’t always the fastest replier. Jimin had learned that he would never get a response from Yoongi before midday, and he would often wake up to texts that Yoongi had sent in the middle of the night.

Honestly, Jimin worried for Yoongi’s sleep and work schedule, but he’d figured it wasn’t his place to intervene. Maybe it would be now, as the father of Yoongi’s child.

Jimin shook the thoughts away.

“Oh, it has a mouth!” Hoseok said excitedly, though he had to sit back from staring at Taehyung’s phone upside-down when their noodles arrived. “And vocal chords. And the beginnings of arms and legs, too.”

“It kind of looks like an alien,” Taehyung commented.

“Don’t insult your future niece or nephew,” Jimin muttered under his breath, drawing his bowl of warm noodles closer and breathing in the heady scent. The place was cheap and the food was probably saltier than recommended, but the three of them had been coming here since Taehyung and Jimin’s first year at university. It was familiar, it was comforting, and it was exactly what Jimin needed.

“Oh my God,” Hoseok whispered, “Tae. Tae-yah, we’re going to be hyungs to Agust D’s child.”

Tae’s eyes went big and round.

Jimin bit his lip, feeling warm at both of his friends. They’d taken things so much in their stride, were honestly showing more of an interest than Jimin had dared to hope for – though if he was honest with himself he hadn’t given it much thought past the blind panic he’d been feeling.

But now, full of warm food and surrounded by love from his two closest people in the world, Jimin started to feel… settled.

And then his phone buzzed again.

17:23

[Yoongi-hyung]

If you think I’m letting the pregnant father of my child walk through the streets alone you have another thing coming

I’ll pick you up at six

Address

Jimin couldn’t quite hide his smile.

Yoongi was a good alpha. If this had to happen to him with anyone, he was pleased it was happening with Yoongi. Jimin felt soft, his heart fluttering in his chest.

17:24

[Jimin]

It’s here: [insert address]

I’ll see you at six

Jimin bit his lip, glancing over at where Taehyung was still scrolling through his phone while Hoseok practically inhaled his noodles. He had to admit that he was feeling a little nervous about the doctors tomorrow, and with both his friends sitting with him he realised that he wanted someone close to him to be there. Not that he didn’t trust Yoongi – more like, Jimin still honestly didn’t know him that well, and the idea of having to sit in a doctors’ office with an alpha he barely knew made his stomach tie up in knots.

“Um,” Jimin said, and instantly Taehyung and Hoseok’s attention both snapped to him. “Are either of you free tomorrow evening?”

Hoseok shook his head, saying around his mouthful and dripping sauce everywhere, “Sorry, I’ve got a workshop.”

“I should be,” Taehyung shrugged. “My last lecture ends at four.”

Jimin bit his lip. He glanced down at his phone, feeling shy again, and took in a deep breath. “Yoongi-hyung is taking me to the doctor at six – would – uh – would you come with me, Tae-yah?”

“Of course,” Taehyung said immediately. He reached across the table and patted Jimin’s hand, and Hoseok leaned into his side. “We’re here for whatever you need, Chim. Seriously.”

“Seconded,” Hoseok said around another mouthful of noodles.

Jimin felt warm. He couldn’t hide his smile, so he leaned back into Hoseok’s side and turned his hand on the table to interlink his fingers with Taehyung’s, allowing himself to feel lucky for having such good people in his life.

Perhaps this wouldn’t be impossible.

“Let me just check with Yoongi-hyung,” Jimin mumbled, turning to his phone.

17:30

[Jimin]

Can I bring someone with me??

“If he isn’t ok with it, I’ll come anyway,” Taehyung said decisively. “And probably hit him for being an idiot. You need all the support you can get.”

Jimin shuddered at the image of Taehyung punching Yoongi. Suddenly, he had second thoughts about bringing the two alphas together – but hopefully their shared care for him would keep their natural competitiveness down.

“He’s joking,” Hoseok said, nudging Jimin’s arm. “Probably.”

“He better be.” Jimin narrowed his eyes at Taehyung. “This is, like, the first time you’re meeting your idol, you can’t punch him in the face.”

“I don’t care that he’s Agust D ,” Taehyung answered, “I care that he got you pregnant and he’d better not be an asshole about it.”

Jimin arched a brow. “You totally care that he’s Agust D.”

Taehyung pursed his lips. “Ok, I maybe slightly care that he’s Agust D, but his treatment of you comes above that.”

Jimin smiled, feeling warm, and glanced down when his phone buzzed again.

17:41

[Yoongi-hyung]

No problem

17:41

[Jimin]

He’s an alpha

My best friend

17:42

[Yoongi-hyung]

Like I said, no problem

I’ll pick you both up at six

Jimin smiled, glancing back over at Taehyung. Taehyung smiled his wide, choppy smile back, noodles hanging from his lips, and Hoseok choked on a mouthful beside him and had to lunge for a glass of water, but Jimin had never felt safer.

Perhaps he could do this after all.

---

Six o’clock on Monday rolled around faster than Jimin had planned. One minute he’d been curled up in his nest trying to read through some textbooks (he still wasn’t going to class – throwing up every time he was around strong scents was not a good idea in a room full of students) and the next minute his phone was buzzing with a text from Yoongi telling him he was on his way.

Suddenly nervous, Jimin sat up slowly. He reached out and tugged a soft red blanket towards him, then paused and adjusted the pillow that lay behind it until everything was aligned to his satisfaction again. Then he burrowed into the blanket, breathing in his own comforting scent and trying to calm down.

He wasn’t nervous at seeing Yoongi again as such, although that was definitely an issue too. Mostly he was worried about the appointment. He’d looked up a bit about what was going to happen, and while it didn’t sound scary, it did make everything feel real .

Still. Time was ticking on, and Yoongi was almost here, so Jimin clambered out of his nest and went hunting for something a little more appropriate to wear.

Dressed and with his hair freshly combed (and perhaps styled a little, too), Jimin emerged from his room and went to the other side of the apartment to knock on Taehyung’s door. A few minutes later, Tae came out with paint splattered on his sleeve, no doubt from his last class of the day.

Jimin tutted. “You could have changed.”

“It’s just an appointment,” Taehyung hummed, linking arms with Jimin and leading him to their shoes. “We’ll be fine.”

Jimin huffed, glancing down. Nerves were still jangling around in his belly, but he took a deep breath in and tried to stay calm. Taehyung’s spicy scent was familiar, and he always felt safe around Tae. He could handle this.

They made their way out of the building, shivering as they stood out on the street. Jimin huddled close to Taehyung, though they were careful not to scent each other – they weren’t mated, courting, or part of the same pack, after all. Sometimes, Jimin wondered what it would be like to scent his best friend, and though he’d love it if they ended up in the same pack one day, it still felt oddly intimate. Like something he’d do with a mate.

Jimin shook the thought away. He was probably just being broody. He’d been on edge all weekend, his nerves frazzled, and he knew it was bound to be the hormones.

Thankfully, it didn’t take long for a sleek black car to pull up on the road before them. Taehyung’s eyes widened at the sight of its smooth, glossy exterior and tinted windows, and he whistled lowly, taking Jimin’s arm to lead him closer.

Jimin just rolled his eyes. He slipped out of Taehyung’s grip and knocked on the front window. It rolled down to reveal Yoongi sitting behind the wheel, as sleepy-eyed as ever.

Jimin smiled at him. “Thanks for this.”

Yoongi simply waved him away.

Jimin clambered into the front seat at Taehyung’s insistence – pregnant omegas take precedent – and soon he found himself surrounded by the scent of mint and pine again. He glanced down at his lap, folding his hands, before turning to find Yoongi’s gaze already on him.

“You’re looking well,” Yoongi murmured.

Despite himself, Jimin preened at the praise. He smiled a little, meeting Yoongi’s eyes confidently. “So are you.”

It was true. Although Yoongi still looked a little like he’d just rolled out of bed, his grey-blue hair was styled neatly and he was wearing a smart button-down and black jeans. His gaze felt heavy on Jimin, but Jimin wasn’t nervous at all once he was back in Yoongi’s presence. In fact, he just felt… comfortable.

Then the back door opened and Taehyung clambered in noisily, and Jimin suddenly became very aware of the presence of two alphas in close proximity to him.

He twisted back in his seat to meet Taehyung’s gaze, but Taehyung wasn’t looking at him – instead, his whole being was focused on Yoongi.

Yoongi turned around slowly. His expression didn’t change as he met Taehyung’s eyes, and Taehyung’s face was blank and impassive – which it only became when something very serious was happening, or when he didn’t want to give away what he was thinking. Taehyung was one of the most expressive people Jimin knew, but in that moment, even Jimin couldn’t tell what he was thinking.

“You’re Agust D,” Taehyung said, his tone measured.

“I am,” Yoongi rasped in response.

Taehyung hummed. He tilted his head. “You’re smaller in real life than you look on stage.”

Yoongi arched one eyebrow. Without taking his eyes off Taehyung, he said to Jimin, “You didn’t say he was a bratty alpha.”

Jimin winced.

To his surprise, Taehyung just laughed, his eyes sparkling a little. “Your music’s really cool. I’ve got to say one thing, though.”

Yoongi gestured to show he was listening.

Taehyung’s eyes narrowed. “If you’re an asshole to my best friend – who you were enough of an irresponsible idiot to knock up, which I really don’t approve of, by the way – then I won’t be just a brat. We clear?”

Jimin winced again.

Yoongi made a low noise in the back of his throat that was just shy of a scoff. “Forgive me if I’m not that afraid of a college student.”

Taehyung narrowed his eyes. “You haven’t seen how angry I’ll be if you do anything to upset my best friend.”

“I’m sure you’re terrifying,” Yoongi snorted, rolling his eyes a little. But at the angry downturn to Taehyung’s lips, Yoongi held both his hands up palm-out. “Relax. I’m not going to hurt Jiminie. Now will you stop posturing so I can take you both to this fuckin’ appointment on time ?”

Taehyung studied Yoongi for a long moment, his eyes sharp and his expression flat. But then he relaxed back into his seat and smiled his boxy smile, and Jimin felt something deep within him settle. Taehyung nodded his head. “Permission to leave, granted.”

Yoongi made that same low noise in the back of his throat, but he turned back around in his seat and focused on the road, putting the car in gear and flicking on the indicator. Jimin watched him with quiet pleasure bubbling away inside him. Why was driving suddenly such an attractive thing for someone to be doing? All it took was one glance at Yoongi’s hand on the gear stick for Jimin to start feeling a little hot under the collar.

He tore his eyes away and looked out to the road instead, watching as Yoongi got them into the line of traffic that was always present in the city. Jimin and Taehyung didn’t live super centrally, unable to afford it, but there were still plenty of cars out and about.

They stopped at a traffic light, and Yoongi glanced sidelong at Jimin. Jimin caught the look and smiled at him, pleased when Yoongi’s lips quirked up slightly in response.

“How are you?” He asked quietly, gesturing vaguely in Jimin’s direction. “How are you coping with… everything?”

Jimin’s insides felt warm at the question, so his smile widened as he settled back into his seat. “Oh, you know. I’m managing. Kept down breakfast this morning, which is more than can be said for most days.”

“Our apartment smells like vomit all day now,” Taehyung chimed in. “It’s delightful.”

Jimin huffed, twisting to send him a warning glance. Taehyung just grinned cheerfully back at him.

“So you live together?” Yoongi asked, interest hidden in his tone.

“We’re flatmates,” Jimin confirmed, straightening up in his seat a little. He was prepared to defend himself. It was unusual for an unmated alpha and omega to live together, but Taehyung had never been just an alpha to Jimin. He was Taehyung, Jimin’s best friend, closest confidant, and most trusted ally, even if he did have a nasty habit of stealing all the breakfast cereal and hiding blankets from Jimin.

“Best friends,” Taehyung added, also used to the questions. “Platonic soulmates. But nothing romantic.”

Yoongi hummed, the sound low and raspy, and Jimin shivered. He glanced over to try and take in Yoongi’s expression, but it was hard to see from just his profile. Yoongi was a good driver – he’d hardly taken his eyes off the road once.

“Of course, our apartment is a state right now,” Taehyung said, grinning. “You should see the size of Jiminie’s nest. He’s taken every single blanket in the apartment, even the one I keep locked in my wardrobe. Three of my pillows, too.”

Jimin whined, sinking down in his seat.

Yoongi gave a low laugh, keeping his eyes on the road as he said, “That so?”

“It’s instinct,” Jimin felt the need to immediately explain himself. “I can’t help it.”

“I really have no idea how we didn’t figure out you were pregnant sooner,” Taehyung hummed. “You’ve been nesting all month.”

“Have not,” Jimin huffed, though it probably had been about a month now he thought about it.

Taehyung chuckled. His grin turned wicked. “Of course, if I’d known you slept with Agust D —”

“Ok, that’s enough of this conversation,” Jimin said loudly, clenching his fists in his lap.

Much to his surprise, Yoongi just chuckled, shaking his head. “He keep that one a secret from you?”

“Only because I knew he’d freak out that I fucked his idol,” Jimin huffed.

This time, it was Taehyung who whined.

Jimin bit back a smile, pleased to see out of the corner of his eye that Yoongi’s lips were turning up, too. The interior of the car was all sleek leather and smooth surfaces, but it smelled like Yoongi, and that took away almost all of Jimin’s nerves. He almost forgot where he was going, and why.

The journey passed smoothly. Once Taehyung got over his initial, immediate instinct to protect Jimin, he quizzed Yoongi on almost everything to do with his newest album – the song choices, who he’d collabed with, what his inspiration was. Honestly, Taehyung knew a lot more about Yoongi’s music than Jimin did.

Jimin folded his hands in his lap and glanced down at them, a small furrow creasing his forehead. His best friend knew more about the father of his baby than he did.

Yoongi answered Taehyung’s questions with patience, at least most of the time. If he was surprised by how much Taehyung knew about him, he didn’t question it, though he did turn to Jimin with raised brows when there was a pause in Taehyung’s barrage of questions.

“This one of the friends that was at the concert with you?”

Curious, Jimin nodded his head.

Yoongi gave a low chuckle. “Good job I met you and not him. Not sure I would have ever been able to leave.”

Jimin laughed, leaning his head back against the seat. “Tae’s been a fan for years. Be nice.”

“Oh really?”

“Trust me, if you caught sight of his internet history—”

“Yah, Park Jimin, don’t rat me out!” Taehyung whined from behind him.

Jimin just laughed again while Yoongi raised his brows. Jimin glanced out of the window, watching Yoongi flick on the indicator again and turn into the car park at the doctors’ surgery. They all climbed out of the car, Jimin relieved at the fresh air to calm his ever-present nausea. The past few days had been a mess of feeling sick, being sick, and feeling awful after being sick. Jimin would be pleased when this phase of his pregnancy was over.

Yoongi held the door for both of them, and Taehyung stepped in close as they entered the surgery, his hand hovering over Jimin’s lower back. It only took a couple of steps for Yoongi to catch them up, and he positioned himself firmly on Jimin’s other side, one hand resting on his shoulder.

Jimin resisted the urge to roll his eyes. These two useless alphas were just posturing at each other. He was going to have strong words with both of them.

Jimin got himself signed in at the reception desk and then they took three seats in the waiting room. It was quiet apart from a radio playing in the corner, only a few other patients scattered around waiting. Jimin gnawed on his lower lip. The surgery was nicer than the one he went to with his parents, but he hadn’t been in ages – he was generally very healthy, keeping himself fit with his dancing.

He never imagined his next trip to a doctor would be for this reason.

“You nervous?” Yoongi asked, settling in beside him.

Jimin nodded, swallowing. “I’m ok, though.”

“Of course you are,” Taehyung hummed from his other side. “It’s only an appointment.” Still, he offered his hand, which Jimin gladly took, hanging on to his best friend to try and anchor himself in something like normality.

Yoongi looked like he was about to say something, but then his phone went off. He glanced down at the screen, pursing his lips as he typed out a reply.

Taehyung leaned in, his lips close to Jimin’s ear. “Really, though. Are you alright?”

Jimin squirmed in his seat. Other than the occasional wave of nausea, he was feeling fine – if a little tense at having Taehyung and Yoongi in such close proximity to each other. So he sent his best friend a reassuring smile. “I’m fine. I promise.”

Taehyung nodded, though he still studied Jimin’s face closely. “Do you want me to come in with you?”

Jimin bit his lip. He wanted Taehyung to be close to him, but at the same time, a pregnant omega showing up with two alphas – it just wasn’t done . So he shook his head. “I’ll be ok.”

Taehyung frowned. “Are you sure? I don’t mind—”

“I’ll be there,” Yoongi interrupted smoothly. Jimin turned in surprise to find Yoongi giving Taehyung a serious, if still sleepy-eyed, look. “I’ll make sure he’s ok.”

Jimin frowned at being referred to like he wasn’t there, but Taehyung just nodded. “Thank you.”

“I’m not a child,” Jimin huffed.

“I’m not suggesting you are,” Yoongi answered, turning the weight of his gaze to Jimin. “I just mean that I’ll be there for you. As long as you’re happy—” he paused when his phone went off, glancing down at where it sat in his lap. He muttered something under his breath. “Shit, sorry, I’ve just gotta – I’ll be back before the doctor calls you.” With that, Yoongi rose to his feet and walked right out of the waiting room, his phone at his ear.

Jimin watched him, trying to calm the instant anxiety that clenched his stomach. It wasn’t until Yoongi was gone that he realised just how much he’d been relying on his scent. Without the growing-familiar mint and pine, Jimin felt a little lost, and suddenly all his nerves came crashing back.

A touch at his arm calmed him slightly, and he turned to find Taehyung leaning against him. The scent of spices surrounded him and Jimin closed his eyes, trying to stay calm.

Thankfully, Taehyung didn’t question him. He just murmured, “He’ll be back soon. Don’t worry.”

Jimin nodded his head. He let out a breath, leaning gratefully into Taehyung’s side, taking comfort from his familiar warmth. “What do you think of him?”

“He’s responsible,” Taehyung said approvingly. “Well, now he is. Not so much when he knocked you up.”

Tae ,” Jimin hissed. He glanced around, glad that the waiting room was empty enough that nobody was within hearing distance.

Taehyung chuckled. “Relax. Really, Jimin-ah, I like him.”

“Of course you do,” Jimin sniffed, “He’s your idol.”

“More than that, though,” Taehyung replied thoughtfully. “He’s very considerate. Especially about you. I can see why you like him.”

“Keep your voice down,” Jimin said, but it was half-hearted. His eyes were fixed on the door that Yoongi had disappeared through. “Besides, I don’t like him.”

Taehyung just snorted. He squeezed Jimin’s hand, and Jimin did his best to focus on Taehyung’s scent, letting the spices and natural comfort he got from his best friend calm him. It didn’t work as well as Yoongi’s scent did, but it was something.

Jimin knew he was becoming more reliant on Yoongi because he was carrying his child. His body naturally yearned for the alpha father. It was instinct, perfectly reasonable, and yet Jimin couldn’t help but feel embarrassed by it. He hated seeming like just some weak omega. It was only going to get worse over the next several months, too, and Jimin was hesitant to think about it when he didn’t know how often he was going to be seeing Yoongi. The thought made his heart clench.

Yoongi came back just as the doctor appeared to call Jimin’s name. Jimin got to his feet with his heart pattering away in his chest, but Yoongi was by his side in an instant, a hand on his elbow and the soft scent of mint and pine surrounding him again. Jimin breathed it in and felt his stomach settle, his panic dissipating.

Already growing too reliant.

Taehyung waved them off from his seat, so Jimin allowed himself to be led forward by Yoongi and into the doctor’s office.

“Park Jimin-ssi?” The doctor asked, her manner business-like. She was young, probably not much older than Yoongi, and her blonde hair was tied back in a sharp ponytail.

“That’s me,” Jimin answered. His voice only wobbled a little.

Yoongi squeezed his elbow, his hand lingering on Jimin’s arm as they both settled into their seats across from the doctor’s desk. The examination table was on the other side of the room, the curtain drawn back. Jimin swallowed. It felt very official.

“How can I help you?” The doctor asked, smiling at him.

Jimin took in a slow breath. He glanced once at Yoongi, who gave him a reassuring nod, before he turned back to the doctor. “I’m pregnant.”

“Ah.” The doctor turned to her computer, typing away. Her scent was lemony, sharp and strong, clearly alpha. It made Jimin shrink subconsciously into Yoongi’s side. “Have you taken a test?”

“Yes,” Jimin answered, glancing down. “I’m – I should be seven weeks pregnant.”

The doctor hummed, still typing away. “Is it your first pregnancy?”

“Yes.”

“And is this your first appointment?”

“Yes.”

“Alright then.” The doctor typed once more, and then turned to Jimin with a smile. “Can I do a quick physical examination?”

Slowly, Jimin nodded. He’d been expecting this from what he’d read, but he was still nervous. Yoongi gave his elbow another squeeze, and the scent of mint and pine filtered towards him. Jimin sent Yoongi a grateful look.

He followed the doctor to the examination table, where she drew the curtain. It didn’t take long, so soon Jimin was settling back into his seat beside Yoongi, and Yoongi placed his hand instantly back on Jimin’s elbow.

Jimin bit back a smile.

“I’ll get you set up with our antenatal team,” the doctor said briskly as she typed on the computer. “You’ll have regular appointments with them, but for now, I’m here to explain the basics to you.” She reached across her desk and riffled through some papers, coming back with a leaflet which she handed over to Jimin.

Glancing down, Jimin saw a picture of an omega woman curling a hand around her round belly, smiling softly. The title read Pregnancy: what you need to know.

“It tells you what to expect from the kinds of changes your body will go through, and what sort of supplements to take and diet to follow.” The doctor went back to her computer, typing away. “Are you a regular patient at this surgery?”

Jimin looked up from the leaflet, panic suddenly surging through him. “Uh – no, I , uh—”

“He’s with me,” Yoongi said from next to him, his voice raspy but oh-so-welcome. “I’m a regular here.”

The doctor glanced over at him. “And what’s your relation to Park Jimin-ssi?”

“I’m the alpha father,” Yoongi explained. “Jiminie is a student, so he isn’t registered with a doctor here. I brought him to my surgery instead.”

“And your name?”

“Min Yoongi.”

The doctor started a little, glancing over at him again, but then she turned back to her computer. Jimin watched with his heart pattering away, nerves stinging underneath his skin. Yoongi’s grip slipped from his elbow down to his thigh, where he gave a reassuring squeeze.

Jimin glanced sidelong at Yoongi, but Yoongi was watching the doctor, not him. Still, Jimin took some comfort from his side-profile, relieved that Yoongi had come with him.

“The referral should still go through,” the doctor said after a moment, turning back and smiling at both of them. Jimin was relieved she didn’t look judgemental – he and Yoongi were very clearly not mated, after all. “I’ll take your details, and then you should get a letter with your next appointment time within the next two weeks. Can I take your address?”

Jimin rattled off his details easily enough. It was simple to sit there and give over his basic information; that way he didn’t have to think about the real reason for his appointment, which still made his head feel a little fuzzy. He was growing a person . The whole idea was terrifying.

All through it, Yoongi kept his hand on Jimin’s thigh, the touch reassuring and reminding Jimin that he wasn’t facing this alone. Even when the doctor switched to asking him more personal questions, like how he’d been feeling and what changes his body was going through, Yoongi didn’t flinch or look squeamish. The scent of mint and pine was ever-present, relaxing Jimin enough to answer the doctor’s questions without fear.

Finally, the doctor had taken all the details she needed, so she turned to Jimin and asked, “Any questions?”

Jimin glanced down at the leaflet in his hand, and he thought about all the things the doctor had told him about diet and lifestyle changes, how his class time was going to be reduced, how his body was going to be changing over the next few months. It was strange, to see his life change through something he couldn’t control.

Jimin glanced up at the doctor. “I’m a dancer. Can I still do that? I need to practice, and I teach two classes a week.”

The doctor pursed her lips. “What type of dance?”

“Contemporary ballet, myself. I teach classical to the children though.”

He felt Yoongi sit up a little. Yoongi knew he was a dancer, but Jimin had never told him about the classes he taught. The subject had just never come up.

The doctor hummed, glancing back to her computer. “Exercising is generally a good idea, though you have to be gentle with it. No lifting.”

Jimin’s face fell. That meant no group dancing for him. Hoseok was going to be disappointed.

“Contemporary should be ok as long as you don’t do anything too strenuous,” the doctor continued. “Limit the spins. But I’d be careful with classical. Your body is changing, you have to grow accustomed to it, and it takes a lot of energy to be pregnant. You may find that you struggle to accomplish what you usually do.”

There was a distinct sinking sensation happening in Jimin’s gut.

“All in all, I’d say continue dancing, but with caution,” the doctor finished, turning back to him. Jimin’s face must have shown what he thought of that, because she leaned closer, her scent wafting towards him. “I’m sorry. It is only for a few months though – in the grand scheme of things, you’ll be able to dance again. Just not right now, or at least, not to an expert level. Keep exercising, but gently.”

Jimin swallowed. If he couldn’t do any of the more advanced moves, then he wasn’t going to be able to enter any competitions, and if he couldn’t do ballet then he couldn’t teach his older class. He might be able to get away with the little ones, as they really didn’t do anything too complicated, but still – it was a huge blow.

Yoongi squeezed his thigh, saying lowly, “It’ll stay with you. Dancing is a part of you. You’re not going to lose your talent.”

Jimin pursed his lips. He felt like being petulant, like pouting and saying that he was going to keep dancing no matter what, but he knew he couldn’t do that. He didn’t want to risk hurting himself, or the – the baby – but it was still going to be a massive loss.

“Ok,” Jimin said finally, leaning back in his seat and meeting the doctor’s eyes again. “Chill out on the dancing. I got it. Anything else?”

“Keep your classes to a minimum, and try and avoid stress if you can,” the doctor answered. “Otherwise, follow the diet and take the supplements, and you should be all set. Anything else you’d like to ask me?”

Yoongi glanced at him. Jimin looked back, then back at the doctor, then shook his head.

“Excellent.” The doctor stood with them, shaking both their hands. “You’ll get a letter soon about the next steps. In the meantime, good luck. And congratulations.”

Jimin smiled at that, thanking the doctor, even though he wasn’t sure there was much to be congratulating. He was still feeling morose about the dancing. Lessening his hours and not teaching his older class was going to seriously cut into his finances, never mind he was going to have to find someone to cover for him – though he was certain he could at least teach the little ones.

Yoongi gripped his elbow again once they were in the corridor, making Jimin melt a little against his side. Jimin glanced down at the leaflet he was still holding, then back to Yoongi. He smiled. “Thanks for coming with me today. I don’t know how I would have coped without you there.”

“I haven’t done much,” Yoongi waved him away. The scent of mint and pine was strong, and Jimin found his eyes drawn to the crook of Yoongi’s neck. He kind of wanted to bury his face there and stay there forever.

“Still, you help,” Jimin said simply.

Yoongi smiled at him, though it soon turned into a close, searching look. “You didn’t seem that pleased about your dancing.”

Jimin whined. Properly, loudly whined, drawing a couple of looks from other people in the corridor.

Yoongi chuckled. He drew Jimin in closer to him, which Jimin was not complaining about – Yoongi’s scent got stronger, and he was almost close enough for it to be called a hug. Yoongi didn’t wrap his arms around him though – instead, he just said, “Are you going to be able to cut down your hours?”

“I have to find someone to cover,” Jimin grumbled. He was pouting. He knew he was definitely pouting, but he didn’t want to put the effort into hiding how truly upset he was feeling. “I can’t teach the older kids. The younger ones, maybe—”

“Be careful,” Yoongi warned. His gaze was heavy on Jimin’s face. “I didn’t realise you taught classes.”

Jimin glanced up, meeting Yoongi’s strong gaze right in the eyes. It was sometimes hard to hold the gaze of an alpha, especially one like Yoongi, but Jimin didn’t feel afraid as he looked into his eyes.

“There’s a fair bit you don’t know about me,” Jimin said quietly.

Yoongi’s eyes softened. He stepped forward, even further into Jimin’s space, opening his mouth—

And then Yoongi’s phone started ringing.

Muttering a curse, Yoongi dug his phone out of his pocket and glared at the screen. He looked apologetic. “Sorry, I really fuckin’ have to take this—”

Jimin couldn’t deny the sinking feeling in his gut. But he nodded. “It’s ok.”

“I’ll be back,” Yoongi promised. “Go and find your friend. I’ll be there very soon, ok?”

Jimin didn’t even get a chance to nod again before Yoongi was turning and walking away, his phone back at his ear.

Jimin bit his lip. He knew that Yoongi led a busy life, that he was famous in some circles, that he worked and had a lot of people who needed his time – but Jimin needed his time, too. Jimin needed him just then. He could already feel anxiety and panic stirring in his stomach, agitating him without the scent of mint and pine to calm him down.

With a sigh, Jimin turned away and headed back towards the waiting room. At least he’d be able to find Taehyung.

Taehyung got to his feet the instant Jimin reappeared, instantly attaching to his side and asking how everything went. Jimin relayed the news to him, feeling his face fall again when he mentioned his dancing.

Taehyung’s eyes went wide. “Oh, Chim. I’m so sorry.”

“’S’Ok,” Jimin mumbled, eyes down on the floor. “It’s my fault I’m in this position, isn’t it?”

“Yours and Agust D’s,” Taehyung answered. He frowned. “Where’d he go, anyway?”

“You can call him Yoongi. And I don’t know. To take a call.” Jimin was muttering, his lips pursed into a pout again. Why would his alpha leave him at a time of his need?

Well, because he wasn’t his alpha. Jimin didn’t have an alpha.

The thought stung. A lot.

“Cuddle me, Tae,” Jimin mumbled, nudging his way into his friend’s side. Taehyung instantly wrapped an arm around him and led them both back to the chairs, sitting them down so Jimin could properly curl up, half-in Taehyung’s lap. Tae held him tight, and Jimin felt himself relaxing a little. At least Taehyung was familiar. At least, with Taehyung, Jimin didn’t feel like the world was tipping away under his feet.

It didn’t take too long for Yoongi to return. He made his way straight over to Taehyung and Jimin.

Jimin eyed him defiantly from his place on Taehyung’s lap.

If Yoongi noticed, he didn’t give it away except for a slight pinch in his brow. He simply said, “Ready to go?”

“Yes,” Jimin said petulantly. He clambered to his feet, still clinging onto Taehyung as they stood. He glanced back over at Yoongi, eyeing the phone in his hand. It was ridiculous of him to feel jealous. He had no right. He knew that, and yet, the emotion still rose sharply in him, leaving a sour taste in his mouth.

Yoongi was more perceptive than Jimin gave him credit for, however. They were only a few steps down the corridor when Yoongi stepped decisively over to Jimin’s side and laid a hand back on his elbow.

Jimin instantly relaxed.

“I’m sorry,” Yoongi murmured to him, so that Taehyung on Jimin’s other side couldn’t hear. “For taking the call. It was my pack-mate, or I really would have left it.”

Jimin’s eyes widened. He felt like a rush of cool water had just been poured over him.

Yoongi had a pack?

“It was urgent, or I really wouldn’t have left you,” Yoongi continued, his grip on Jimin’s arm tightening.

Jimin swallowed, trying to get himself to grips enough to reply. He managed a weak, “You don’t have to worry. I’m ok.”

Yoongi made a low noise in the back of his throat. “I’m not suggesting you aren’t. But I know what your instincts must be doing.”

Jimin almost blanched. He felt mortified. Had he really been that clingy that Yoongi had noticed how much Jimin was relying on his scent?

Jimin had no idea how to respond to that.

Fortunately, Yoongi didn’t say anything else. He just kept close to Jimin’s side, a hand on his elbow as they walked back over to Yoongi’s car.

The drive back was quiet, other than Taehyung’s chattering from the back. Jimin curled up in his seat and stared out of the window, one hand subconsciously curling around his stomach.

He was going to have to cut down his dancing.

That meant all the competitions he’d signed up to, any of the group performances he was a part of, everything he and Hoseok had planned – he was going to have to walk away from all of it. And watch them all dance without him.

A strong pang ran through him then, and he shivered.

Almost instantly, the scent of mint and pine grew stronger. Jimin glanced over, surprised, and saw Yoongi casting him a quick, knowing gaze before looking back at the road. Jimin swallowed, watching the way Yoongi’s hands were confident on the steering wheel and gear stick, the scent of mint and pine sticking in his throat.

Jimin wanted to drown in it.

Unbidden, his thoughts went to what Taehyung had said to him – about him liking Yoongi, him having to tell Yoongi early if he did. Jimin bit his lip. He didn’t know what he was feeling. He knew that he yearned to be around Yoongi, for his scent and his touch and his sharp, knowing gaze, but so much of that could be put down to his instincts. Jimin didn’t know how to differentiate between them and his real, true feelings.

Although, he supposed, he had liked Yoongi well enough before he knew he was pregnant. When he and Yoongi had been texting each other. He’d liked that. He’d liked the alpha’s attention, liked the way Yoongi treated him like an equal, rather than an omega. Liked the way they bickered about silly things, how they shared little details of their day, hearing how Yoongi worked all through the night when there was a track that he couldn’t quite complete, how he fell asleep on his sofa by accident and woke with his phone half-hanging out of his hand and a cramp in his left thigh.

Something deep in Jimin’s chest tugged.

He swallowed, turning back to look outside the window. It didn’t do to dwell on it now. Right now, he had to call Hoseok and try and sort out his dancing hours, never mind get his head around all the vitamins and supplements he was going to have to start taking.

Jimin sighed. He leaned his head against the window, but he couldn’t quite hide his smile when the scent of mint and pine spiked again.

Chapter Text

Jimin wasn’t going on a date.

It wasn’t a date, he reminded himself as he stood in front of the mirror holding the fifth shirt up to his chest. A casual dinner. That’s all that Yoongi had suggested, even if he hadn’t put it in so many words. He’d just texted come over for 19:30 I’m cooking and left it at that.

Not a date.

“It’s totally a date,” Taehyung said from his place on Jimin’s bed (under strict orders not to disturb Jimin’s nest). He was grinning. “What alpha cooks for an omega when it isn’t a date?”

“A polite one,” Jimin grumbled.

Hoseok snorted from inside Jimin’s wardrobe.

Jimin held up a red button-down, pursing his lips, then put it down in favour of a white floaty top he often wore to dance in. It was clean, but he was worried it was a bit too formal for just dinner at Yoongi’s flat.

His stomach clenched a little at the thought. Just him and Yoongi, alone, and not when Jimin was freaking out or when they were having sex. Eating, and talking, presumably, and – well. Jimin really wasn’t sure what to expect.

It was making him very jittery.

“It’s still a date,” Taehyung insisted. “He invited you for dinner .”

“He might just want to talk,” Hoseok countered, emerging with about six new shirts for Jimin to try. He tossed the pile uncaringly onto the bed. Jimin squawked and hurried to throw them onto the floor instead, determined not to ruin his nest.

Taehyung laughed at him.

“Exactly,” Jimin huffed, giving Taehyung the middle finger. “He might just want to talk .”

“People talk on dates,” Taehyung shrugged.

Jimin whined from the midst of searching through the new pile of clothes. He was overwhelmed. Too much was happening, and too fast, and he could have sworn when he woke up that morning that his belly was a little rounder. It was only a small change, and he knew it had to happen at some point, but seeing it in reality was different .

Hoseok crouched down next to him and handed him a dark blue t-shirt. “This, with a denim jacket. You’ll look hot.”

“Or this,” Taehyung suggested, holding up a fuzzy black jumper that was deliberately two sizes too big. “You’ll look all soft and adorable. Paired with being pregnant, he won’t be able to look away.”

Jimin made a face at both of them. “It’s not a date . Stop dressing me like it’s a date.”

“It’s a date,” Taehyung said decisively.

Hoseok shrugged his shoulders, grinning widely at Jimin.

Jimin groaned in despair, then grabbed the jumper from Taehyung’s hands and headed to the bathroom to change.

---

Convincing himself that it wasn’t a date when he was on his way to Yoongi’s flat was proving harder than Jimin had first thought. Yoongi had offered to drive him, but Jimin politely declined, preferring to walk. It took about half an hour, considering that Yoongi lived right in one of the fanciest districts in town, compared to Jimin and Taehyung who were right out in the outskirts, but it was a nice walk, and Jimin liked to be outside.

He walked briskly and tried not to let his mind wander too much. Yoongi inviting him for dinner didn’t mean anything in and of itself; he could easily just want to discuss logistics with Jimin. After all, they were having a child together.

Jimin gnawed on his lower lip. He shoved his hands into his pockets, wishing he’d brought gloves with him; he really should be prepared for November but somehow in his head it was still summer. He’d at least remembered to put a coat on.

Jimin’s phone buzzed against his hand. He pulled his phone out, glancing down at the screen expecting a text from Yoongi, or perhaps an encouraging message from Tae, but instead the number was unrecognised.

19:17

[Unknown Number]

Welcome, new friend, and congratulations!

I’m here to answer all your questions

Jimin stared in utter confusion at the message. He didn’t know anyone who talked like that, and he never gave away his number to strangers – so how had this person somehow got hold of it?

Pausing for a second on the pavement – he had time, he was already close to Yoongi’s and he still had ten minutes before he was late – Jimin forced his frozen fingers to type back.

19:19

[Jimin]

Who is this??

He shoved his phone back in his pocket and kept walking, scouring his brain for who it could possibly be. A couple of campus societies had his number, but they were confidential so they couldn’t pass it around – would one of the leaders prank text him? Maybe Sooyoung, he’d offended her by accident when she asked him on a date and he turned her down. But she wasn’t petty, and besides, the message had been a friendly one, albeit strange.

A reply buzzed through a minute later. Jimin checked the time, decided he still wasn’t late, and then paused again to answer it.

19:20

[Unknown]

Ha, well

You don’t know me yet

But you will

19:20

[Jimin]

???????

Who are you????

19:21

[Unknown]

You can call me Jin

For now

19:21

[Jimin]

How did you get my number??

19:22

[Jin??]

Well

Actually

Funny story

I kind of took it

Well

Stole it

To be more accurate

19:22

[Jimin]

?????

I’m blocking you

19:22

[Jin??]

NO DON’T

I’m here to help you

I promise

How is the pregnancy going

Jimin’s blood ran cold.

He stared at the message with wide eyes, frozen on the edge of the pavement, his fingers going numb. He barely registered it.

How did this person know about his pregnancy?

He’d only told Taehyung and Hoseok, and obviously Yoongi – but none of them would play this kind of trick on him. No one else knew, at least not as far as Jimin knew. Could Yoongi have told other people? It was possible, but Jimin wasn’t sure. Yoongi seemed to understand privacy, and wouldn’t it ruin his image if he was suddenly found out to have got an omega pregnant?

Would it be considered a scandal?

Jimin felt a little bit sick at the thought.

He shoved his phone back into his pocket so he wouldn’t have to look at the message anymore, and then he carried on his way to Yoongi’s. He was going to have to forget about it for now – he had a dinner to eat, hopefully without throwing up (because morning sickness sucked) , and he needed to talk to Yoongi. Or at least find out why Yoongi had invited him over.

Not a date, he reminded himself, chanting it like a mantra inside his head until he found himself outside Yoongi’s building once more.

He pressed the buzzer and the gates opened without any further prompting. Jimin headed inside, smiled at the concierge, and waited for the lift, his nerves jangling the closer to Yoongi’s flat he got. His stomach clenched. The last time he’d been here – only a few days ago – he’d been out of his mind with panic.

He wasn’t sure he felt much more in control now.

He knocked on Yoongi’s door three times when he got there, then waited for the minute it took Yoongi to answer him with nerves jumping around in his stomach. He placed a hand there thoughtfully, imagined it feeling a little rounder – but not yet. He wasn’t showing yet, although that morning he had definitely felt a little bigger than usual. It could just be in his head, though.

The door opened, and Jimin almost melted at the sight he was met with. Yoongi stood in front of him, as sleepy-eyed as ever, and his sharp catlike features were softened by the slouchy hoody he was wearing with an apron tied over it. The ensemble made him look domestic and homely, and that coupled with his scent made Jimin’s instincts instantly tell him home .

Jimin savoured the thought for a moment – the thought that Yoongi could be his home – before he pushed it away in favour of giving Yoongi a small smile.

Yoongi’s lips turned up in response, and he stepped out of the way, waving Jimin in. “You’re early.”

“I had a little time,” Jimin answered, slipping out of his shoes and padding further into the flat. It was more familiar to him than ever, the wide windows letting the soft moonlight in from outside and the comfortable sofas spread out in the lounge, but something was itching at the corner of his mind.

“You’re always fuckin’ early,” Yoongi mumbled behind him, although the words were said without spite. “Up early, texting early, coming over here early—”

“It was almost midday last time I was here,” Jimin pointed out.

“Exactly,” Yoongi pointed the spatula he was holding at him, “Early.”

Jimin rolled his eyes, biting back a fond smile. He followed Yoongi into the kitchen, the smells coming from the room adding to the warm, inviting feeling that had settled in Jimin’s chest. He felt relaxed, all hint of nerves gone, and being back in Yoongi’s presence calmed something deeper and more instinctual within him; something that Jimin was trying very hard not to listen to.

Home , it whispered, nudging towards Yoongi.

Jimin pushed the thought away.

“Wow,” Jimin said as he stepped further into the kitchen, glancing around the counters where all the chopping boards and serving dishes and saucepans were lying scattered about. “You really can cook.”

Yoongi came up beside him, head down, looking abashed, of all things. He had one hand scratching behind his head, the other fiddling with the tie of his apron, spatula held delicately between two fingers. He didn’t look like the intimidating Agust D at all; he just looked like Yoongi .

“It’s something I picked up,” Yoongi said, his voice a low rasp. “I’ve tried to make it nice for you.”

Something in Jimin’s gut tugged. His instincts sang happily, and he very much wanted to wrap Yoongi up in a hug, but he held himself back and instead wrapped his arms around himself. He hummed. “Can I do anything to help? Set out dishes, wash up?”

“Yah, you’re a guest.” Yoongi waved him away. “Go sit at the table like a good boy and stop bothering me.”

Jimin huffed, folding his arms. Yoongi caught sight of his pout and rolled his eyes, pointing once again with the spatula to the kitchen table in the farthest corner of the room. Jimin held his pout for a few seconds before giving in and sitting primly in the closest seat to the oven, where he could easily watch Yoongi cook.

Yoongi had made something that smelled suspiciously like kimchi jjigae, and from the look of the various pans scattered about and the rice still boiling on the stove, Yoongi clearly knew what he was doing. The smells were making Jimin’s mouth water.

Yoongi caught his look and grinned. “Hope you’re hungry, by the way. I always make too much.”

“It smells amazing ,” Jimin answered honestly. His diet consisted largely of whatever he could throw together into a stir-fry, and takeout with Taehyung when he was feeling too lazy to attempt to cook, so the sight of Yoongi cooking proper, homemade stew was doing funny wriggling things to his insides.

Plus, an alpha had never cooked for him before. It wasn’t unheard of for alphas to cook, but it was definitely still thought of as an activity more suited to omegas. Jimin had always worried that he wasn’t a good enough omega because of his ineptitude in the kitchen, but having Yoongi cook for him felt so much better than cooking for himself.

Yoongi swiftly took the rice off the stove and set it into a side-dish, then brought it over to the table before returning for the huge pot of stew that was making Jimin salivate. Yoongi set it down, went and grabbed them plates and chopsticks, and smirked at Jimin. “You can stop staring now.”

“Shut up, hyung,” Jimin answered, still staring at the pot.

Yoongi chuckled. “You’d think you’ve never been around real food before.”

“I haven’t eaten a homemade meal in ages ,” Jimin groaned.

Yoongi arched a brow at him. “Really?”

“Not unless you count me frying a selection of whatever we have left in the cupboards.” Jimin shrugged. He looked up from the pot to see Yoongi sending him a soft look, and his insides did the weird wriggly thing again.

Not a date, he reminded himself fiercely. Nope. No. Definitely not a date.

“Well, don’t let me stop you from digging in,” Yoongi murmured, and that was all the go-ahead Jimin needed.

After minutes of happy chewing, Yoongi asked about his day, so Jimin told him that he’d finally felt well enough to go to class, but the smells at lunchtime had been enough to see him throwing up in the bathroom. He was feeling a little better over the dinner, though – and he stubbornly told himself that it wasn’t because of Yoongi’s scent, even though it had been soothing him since the second he’d stepped through the door.

Yoongi surveyed him over his chopsticks. “It must be helping, though.”

“What must?” Jimin mumbled around a mouthful of stew.

“My scent,” Yoongi said, as easily as breathing, ignoring the way Jimin choked. He waved an arm around them. “Being here. Around my things. I thought it might help settle you.”

The thoughtfulness in that gesture warmed Jimin’s heart, even though he was mightily embarrassed by what Yoongi was implying. He was right, though – Jimin did feel comfortable here. Even though there was a strange itch in the back of his head that something was just off .

Jimin lowered his eyes, biting his inner cheek. He took in a deep breath. “I’m sorry if I’m making you uncomfortable—”

“Yah, Jimin-ah.” Yoongi stopped him instantly. “I don’t mind. I invited you here partly because I knew it would help settle you.”

The funny wriggly things happening inside Jimin’s stomach intensified.

Yoongi took another bite of stew, chewed, and swallowed, before continuing, “I told you I want to be part of things, and I meant it. I really want to be around, as much as you’re happy for me to be.”

“Of course,” Jimin answered immediately, instinctually, his whole being crying out for alpha, home, alpha, and he felt warm. “I want you to be as involved as possible.”

Yoongi met his eyes, smiled – a sweet smile that showed off all his gums – and nodded.

Jimin went back to his stew feeling much better, though something was still itching in his skull. His seat wasn’t in the right position at the table. It needed to be just a little further to the left, but doing that would bring Jimin closer to Yoongi, and he felt a little nervous about that.

“Of course, that’s only partly why I invited you over,” Yoongi continued after a few minutes.

Jimin sent him a questioning look.

“I wanted to talk about what happens once you – once you’ve had the baby.” Yoongi’s voice was low, serious, and he was refusing to meet Jimin’s eyes.

Embarrassed.

Jimin felt impossibly endeared.

Still, the thought of having a baby still made panic start tingling under his skin, so he swallowed his mouthful and said, cautiously, “What do you mean?”

“Of course, it’s all your decision too,” Yoongi hastened to add. “I’m not claiming to know what’s best here – I don’t. But I have told you that I’d like to be involved.”

Jimin nodded his head. “And as I said – I would like that, too.” Actually, he’d love it, because the prospect of more Yoongi in his life was only a good one, but he was too scared to admit exactly the depths of his feelings for the alpha. He didn’t even know himself what he wanted yet – he was too mixed up about the pregnancy to figure things out.

“Then I’d like to think that the baby, at least for some of the time, will be staying with me,” Yoongi said quietly.

Jimin stared at him, eyes wide. The image that presented itself in his mind took his breath away – an image of Yoongi dressed comfortably, as he was now, only with a baby in his arms, smiling that gummy smile down at the child, their child , as if he saw nothing else in the world—

It melted Jimin’s heart. He let his breath out in a rush of air.

“For that to happen, there’s a few things you need to know,” Yoongi continued, dragging Jimin back to the present.

Jimin blinked at him. “Like what?

“Well.” Yoongi set his chopsticks down and glanced down at the table. Jimin studied his side-profile. “I have a pack, for one thing.”

That set Jimin on edge a little. He’d already gathered as much from their last conversation, but hearing it straight out of Yoongi’s mouth like that grated against his nerves, unsettling him. He swallowed. “But – but you don’t – I mean – you lead the pack alone, right?”

“I don’t have a mate, if that’s what you’re getting at,” Yoongi said dryly.

Jimin would be lying if he said he wasn’t relieved. He’d known it really - after all, Yoongi very clearly didn’t have a mating bite, and his scent wasn’t mixed with anyone else’s. But Jimin had worried all the same, as irrational as it was. He refused to meet Yoongi’s eyes, saying primly, “Ok then. It’s just – I don’t really know many packs not run by a couple.”

“It’s a little rare,” Yoongi shrugged. “My pack has come together over time – there were just three of us to start with. Now there are four.”

Jimin nodded. He was listening – he was interested, in fact – but the fact that his chair was still in the wrong place was annoying him. He shifted it just a little around the table, closer to Yoongi.

“I’ll tell you about them, if you want,” Yoongi continued. “But what I’m getting at is that we have a pack house, out of the city, where I spend most of my time when I’m not working.”

Jimin stopped focusing on the chair for long enough to meet Yoongi’s eyes, surprised. “You don’t live here?”

“Not all the time,” Yoongi admitted. “I work from here. Spend a lot of nights here. But home is the pack house.”

Huh. Jimin hadn’t been expecting that. He glanced down at the table and gritted his teeth. The salt shaker was out of place. He reached out and corrected it instantly. When he looked back up, he caught Yoongi watching him curiously, so he quickly drew his hand back.

“Where’s your pack house?” Jimin asked, trying not to feel embarrassed.

Yoongi made a quiet hm noise under his breath. “Out of the city. About an hour’s drive.”

Jimin nodded. His seat was still itching at him, so he shifted just a little further around the table towards Yoongi.

Yoongi watched him with his dark, catlike eyes. “What I’m suggesting is I’d like to make a room there for the child, if that’s ok with you.”

Jimin’s eyes went wide. He was distracted enough from the position of his seat to look back up and meet Yoongi’s gaze, surprise written all over his face.

Yoongi held both his hands up. “I’m not suggesting I have full custody, or anything of the sort. I’m just asking you if it would be ok with you for me to start preparing a room there.”

Jimin blinked at him. It was a lot to take in – he honestly hadn’t given much thought to what he was going to do when the baby arrived. A room for it to sleep in was obviously going to be important – where the hell was Jimin going to be able to make room in his current flat with Tae? It was a nice enough place, but it was a student place. He had no idea where he’d fit a crib other than a dusty corner of his own room, and his child deserved better than that.

“You can have some time to think about it,” Yoongi continued, his low voice helping to calm Jimin back down. “There’s no particular rush.”

No, Jimin supposed there wasn’t really a rush. As long as they were ready in seven months’ time for when a baby would inevitably appear on their doorstep.

Jimin swallowed his last bite of kimchi and asked, “Can I see it? Your pack house?”

Yoongi blinked at him. He looked taken aback for half-a-second before he said, “Of course, I mean – it really isn’t much, and you – well – you’ll have to meet my pack at some point, I suppose.”

Jimin tried not to feel offended, but it slightly sounded like Yoongi didn’t want to introduce him to his pack. The thought made Jimin’s hackles rise, and he took a deep breath to keep calm. He couldn’t get angry over that. Pack business was very personal, and there was no reason for him to automatically have a place in Yoongi’s. He had to keep his head on straight.

“I’d like that,” Jimin said carefully, primly. His brain itched. The salt shaker was still in the wrong place.

Yoongi nodded. “I have no problem with that. Still, take your time. This is all a lot to take in.”

“You’re telling me,” Jimin said absentmindedly, reaching out to put the salt shaker back in the middle of the table. He tilted his head. Now it wasn’t quite angled correctly with his chopsticks, so he moved them until they were leaning horizontally over his plate. Then he moved them back. Then adjusted the salt shaker one more time.

He looked up to see Yoongi watching him unreadably.

Jimin flushed despite himself. He glanced down. “Sorry. Just. It was in the wrong place.”

Yoongi made a quiet hm noise that might have been agreement. “Anything else in here seem out of place to you?”

Jimin glanced around the kitchen. Once Yoongi had mentioned it, he could see several pots that were stacked haphazardly by the sink, but they weren’t fully bothering him. The dishcloth was in the wrong place, though, and the oven gloves needed to be moved immediately. Then he looked beyond, back into the lounge, and immediately caught sight of two blankets that could be in better places and a few cushions that ought to be put to better use.

Jimin bit his lip. This wasn’t his house. He couldn’t just go around moving things as he wanted, so he shook his head. “It’s fine.”

Yoongi snorted. “By the look on your face right now, it certainly is not fine . What is it? Am I too messy for you?”

“No, no,” Jimin said hastily, mortified. “Nothing like that. I just. Things… have a certain place, and…. They’re not in the right places right now.”

Yoongi arched a brow at him.

Jimin whined. He folded his arms and curled in on himself, curling his fingers into the comforting fabric of his jumper. He was glad Taehyung had persuaded him to wear something soft and baggy; it was familiar and warm and comfortable and just what he needed.

“How about,” Yoongi murmured, studying Jimin across the table, “You show me what else needs to go in the right place?”

Jimin looked at him, confused. Yoongi couldn’t really be giving him free reign in his flat, even though his instincts were leaping with joy at the prospect.

“It’s ok.” Yoongi shrugged, reading Jimin’s expression correctly. “I’m not overly attached to anything in here.”

Jimin swallowed. “I… I can move around anything?”

Yoongi waved a hand at him, a gesture which Jimin immediately took to mean go ahead.

Jimin was on his feet before he realised. He went straight to the oven gloves, hanging them neatly above the oven, and then moved the dishcloth so it was in the correct place by the sink. Then he straightened out a few of the dirty pots and pans, moved around the tea towels, and paused to survey the rest of the kitchen.

The itch in his head was satisfied. But he could still see the lounge beyond the kitchen, with the blankets and the cushions and the pile of messy DVDs and CDs, the tangle of wires by the TV, what looked like a gaming console piled haphazardly on top which was definitely in the wrong place

“You can go in there, too,” Yoongi said, behind him, and his tone was almost amused.

Jimin didn’t think about it any further. His instincts pushed him forward, so he followed them into the lounge and immediately set about straightening things out.

He moved the games console so it lay neatly under the TV, then spent several minutes sitting on the floor untangling the wires. Once everything was laying correctly, he turned his attention to the pile of CDs and DVDs, which he straightened out and neatened up until they were just so. The itch in his head had all but disappeared, and he felt a lot calmer.

Once he was done, Jimin turned his attention to his favourite part – collecting the blankets and cushions. Without much thought, he immediately scooped up a soft blue blanket made of some sort of fleece, which felt oh-so-pleasant under his fingertips. He nosed into it without thinking, turning his head to rub it against his neck, leaving his scent all over it.

It smelled deliciously like a mix of himself and Yoongi now, and Jimin loved it.

He went and collected the second blanket from the back of the armchair – a rougher brown one – and went to the sofa where he and Yoongi had been sitting to find out the results of the pregnancy test just a few days ago. Jimin didn’t think about it – didn’t want to remember the blind panic he’d been in – so instead he set the blankets down and curled them up until he was happy with their alignment. Then he collected two of the sofa cushions and propped them up around the blankets until he could crawl into the space they made and settle in with a deep, contented purr. Everything smelled like mint and pine; he had never felt so calm.

There was a noise from behind him.

Jimin twisted his head to see Yoongi leaning in the doorway, his head tilted, eyes fixed on Jimin.

Instantly, Jimin felt heat rising to his face and round the back of his neck. He glanced around himself and realised he’d made a complete mess of Yoongi’s lounge, even though the itch in his head had disappeared and everything felt right . Still – he wasn’t sure Yoongi had meant for him to go this far.

“It’s alright,” Yoongi murmured, stepping further into the room until he was crouching in front of where Jimin was curled up on the sofa. “Nesting is a natural instinct. It’s fine.”

Nesting.

Understanding clicked in Jimin’s head, and he instantly felt mortified. Oh fuck. He’d nested. He’d nested in Yoongi’s house. In his lounge. Oh, fuck, thank goodness he hadn’t continued around the flat; just the thought of the delicious mess he could make of Yoongi’s bed and blankets—

Jimin pulled the thought away and instantly dived under the blue blanket, whining.

There was a low chuckle from outside. “It’s really alright, Jimin-ah. Don’t hide from me.”

Those words, in Yoongi’s low, raspy voice, were surprisingly comforting. Jimin didn’t want to hide. He wanted to drag Yoongi inside the nest with him and curl up with him and scent him and never, ever let him go. But he couldn’t do that. He wasn’t even sure how much of him wanted to do that and how much of him was just acting on instinct.

He hated his hormones.

“I’m sorry,” Jimin squeaked, deciding to just about poke his head out of the blanket in order to meet Yoongi’s eyes.

Yoongi simply shrugged.

Jimin swallowed. “I mean – I mean, you did tell me I could put things in the right places—”

“I really don’t mind,” Yoongi interrupted, and was that a touch of amusement back in his tone again?

And then Yoongi said the best thing possible.

“Would you like me to fetch the blankets from my room?”

Jimin made a noise suspiciously close to a purr before he could stop himself. He was mortally embarrassed, and kind of wanted the sofa to swallow him up completely so he could be out from under Yoongi’s knowing gaze, but on the other hand, he really, really wanted those blankets.

Thankfully, Yoongi seemed able to read his expression, because he chuckled and got to his feet. “Be right back.”

Jimin nestled further into the cushions, watching Yoongi head down the hall to where he knew the bedroom was. Once again, the itch in his brain started up at the thought of all the blankets and nooks and crannies to curl up in there, but it had settled down a lot with the cushions and blankets he’d already surrounded himself with. It felt good, nesting in Yoongi’s flat.

Jimin tried very hard not to think about what the implications of that might mean.

Just then, Jimin felt his phone buzz in his pocket. He dug it out, jostling the blankets as little as possible, and frowned down at the screen when he saw that the text was from the unknown number again. The Jin who’d been texting him on the way to Yoongi’s flat.

20:18

[Jin??]

I’m not doing a very good job at this

Joonie is much better

But his morals stop him from texting you so you’re stuck with me

But I really care ok

I want to know how you are

The messages were bordering on creepy. Jimin felt the fine hairs on the back of his neck rise, a chill shuddering down his spine. He had no idea who this person was, but somehow, they knew about his pregnancy, and they wanted to know more.

Well, he wasn’t going to tell them.

“You alright?” Yoongi’s raspy voice made Jimin jolt, dislodging a cushion. He righted it instantly with a grumble.

Yoongi chuckled. Jimin twisted his head to see Yoongi approaching the sofa with a legitimate mountain of blankets clutched to his chest – the main duvet from his bed, it looked like, along with a throw and some pillows and a couple of lighter blankets that looked like they’d seen better days.

“Sorry it’s not much,” Yoongi said, approaching the sofa. “I raided my wardrobe, but I really don’t have—”

“It’s perfect ,” Jimin said dreamily. He dropped his phone and held his hands out, pleased when Yoongi dumped the pile onto the sofa beside him.

Everything smelled like mint and pine and deliciously like Yoongi .

Jimin got to work straight away. He tugged the duvet down until it was spread across the whole sofa, then set the pillows up and arranged the blankets until they were in just the right spots. He pulled one of the blankets over himself, occasionally rubbing his cheek against it so the mix of his scent and Yoongi’s was just right.

Before long, Jimin was a pile of blankets on the sofa, surrounded by cushions, his head poking out of the top. He was warm – perhaps a little too warm – and surrounded by mint and pine and Yoongi , and the itch in his brain was completely satisfied.

Yoongi knelt in front of him, giving him a look that was soft and fond, cracking the hard, unreadable expression he usually put on. His fingers curled over the edge of one of the sofa cushions. Jimin wanted nothing more than to invite him into the nest, to reach out and pull him forwards until he could curl around Jimin and hold him, and Jimin could burrow into his chest and press his face into his neck and—

But once again, Jimin couldn’t do that. Not only would it be totally inappropriate, but he still couldn’t be sure how much of that desire was him , and how much was just instinct.

It was a mess.

Just then, Jimin’s phone buzzed again. He fished it out from under a cushion and saw a new message from the person calling themselves Jin .

20:23

[Jin??]

Please answer me, I promise I can explain everything

The text made a shiver run down Jimin’s spine.

Yoongi, watching him, automatically caught it. He frowned. “Are you ok?”

Jimin thought about it for a second, then shook his head. “I’ve been… I’m getting these weird texts.”

Instantly, Yoongi looked alert. “What sort? Are they harassing you?”

“No, not exactly.” Jimin pretended not to be happy about the protective note bleeding into Yoongi’s tone. “I just – they know about my pregnancy? Which weirded me out, and – they say they’re called Jin but I don’t know anyone by that name? And I don’t give my phone number out to random strangers, you were an exception—”

Yoongi’s face had gone a funny colour. His brows drew tight together and he held his hand out. “Can I see?”

Jimin wordlessly passed his phone over.

Yoongi scrolled back through the texts, his expression getting darker and darker. Once he reached the bottom, he closed his eyes and took in a deep breath through his nose.

Jimin tilted his head.

“I’m going to kill him,” Yoongi muttered under his breath.

Jimin blinked. “Who?”

Jin. ” The word dropped heavy like a stone from Yoongi’s lips.

Jimin’s eyes widened. “You know him?”

“I’m afraid this is my fault,” Yoongi grumbled. “Though I didn’t know he’d stolen your number , fucker needs to stop going through my phone.”

“Who is he?” Jimin asked immediately, feeling tightly-strung.

“My pack-mate,” Yoongi explained. “You have nothing to fear from him. It’s just – he found out that I got you pregnant, and he wanted to be involved. They all do. Jin is just the most brazen, the motherfucker .”

Jimin bit his lip to stop himself from smiling. There was just so much fond exasperation in Yoongi’s tone – like he was obviously irritated at this Jin person, but also that there was a bond there, something that linked the two of them that Jimin couldn’t quite grasp.

It had been so long since he’d been in a pack, he’d forgotten what it was like.

“I’ll ask him to stop texting you,” Yoongi said, glancing down to text on Jimin’s phone.

20:25

[Jimin]

You’re dead

Start running

20:25

[Jin??]

Hi Yoongi-yah

20:25

[Jimin]

You have three seconds to explain yourself

Then, Jimin’s phone started ringing.

Yoongi glanced up at Jimin, arching one brow. Jimin nodded his head, something like excitement tightening up his gut. This was his first real view into Yoongi’s world – into his life. It made his skin tingle.

Yoongi answered the phone and put it on speaker. “Two seconds.”

You shouldn’t leave your phone lying around when you go to the toilet,” an unknown voice sounded from the speaker. It was soft, male, like honey, and smooth too. Jimin instantly perked up, listening closely.

Yoongi’s jaw tightened. “I have told you so many times —”

Anyway, that isn’t the point ,” the voice on the phone interrupted. “ Is he here? Where is he? Put him on the line.”

Jimin took that as his cue and leaned towards the phone. “Hi! I’m Park Jimin.” Then, after a second, “I’m carrying Yoongi-hyung’s baby.”

Yoongi closed his eyes and took in a deep breath.

Oh, you sound precious!” Jin cooed. “ I’m Kim Seokjin, but you can call me hyung. Oh, this is wonderful. How is Yoongi-yah doing? Is he treating you right?”

Yoongi took in another deep breath.

“Oh,” Jimin answered, casting a sly look Yoongi’s way. “He’s doing alright, I guess.”

Has he fed you?” Seokjin asked, the phone line crackling. “ He made the jjigae, right?

“Stop,” Yoongi gritted out, “Talking.”

I taught him how to do the rice properly,” Seokjin continued on sunnily. “ He didn’t screw it up, did he?”

“No, the rice was lovely.” Jimin was trying very hard not to laugh at the expression on Yoongi’s face. “Everything was lovely, actually.”

I’m glad to hear it!” Seokjin sounded delighted. “ Text me when you get home safe, and don’t stay up too late. You’re going to need your rest. Don’t let Yoongi-yah keep you up.”

Jimin bit back a smile. It was hard to feel uncared for when he was wrapped up in a bundle of blankets on Yoongi’s sofa, but he still answered, “I won’t.”

And you’ll have to come to the house soon, ” Seokjin said bracingly. “ We need to meet you. Joonie is dying to see what you look like so he can try and come up with an accurate image of the baby.

“Maybe he’ll come if you stop scaring him off,” Yoongi drawled. Jimin looked over to see that he’d finally opened his eyes again, and he was watching Jimin carefully.

Jimin beamed back at him. “I’ll come as soon as I’m invited.”

Oh, you’re definitely invited!” Seokjin said brightly. “ Are you free Saturday? Come on Saturday.

Jimin glanced at Yoongi, who raised his brows at him. Jimin tilted his head and mouthed can I say yes?

A small smile tugged at Yoongi’s lips - a smile that was almost fond - and he nodded.

Jimin grinned. “I’m free Saturday.”

“Wonderful!” Seokjin’s smile was audible in his tone. Jimin pictured a smooth, handsome man, maybe taller than Yoongi, probably a beta. He wondered what Seokjin smelled like. “ Yoongi will pick you up at six. I’m cooking.”

“Will I now,” Yoongi drawled, but his eyes softened as he looked at Jimin.

Jimin preened under that look.

“I’ll be thrilled to meet you then,” Jimin said, but he didn’t look away from Yoongi.

“Great, yes, everyone’s happy now,” Yoongi grumbled, bringing the phone closer to him. “I’ll see you tomorrow, but don’t think you’re going unpunished for stealing my phone.”

It’s all worked out now, hasn’t it?” Seokjin hummed.

“I’m hanging up on you,” Yoongi said bluntly, and then he did just that, cutting Seokjin off mid-squawk.

Jimin couldn’t help himself. He fell back into his nest and burst out laughing, rolling around the soft blankets until his belly hurt. He felt light as air, and slightly as if he was floating, surrounded by Yoongi’s delicious scent and in his nest in Yoongi’s flat and with Yoongi himself watching him with an expression that could only be described as fond .

“If you’re quite finished,” Yoongi said, but he sounded amused.

Jimin sat up a little. His hair was sticking up everywhere, he could feel it, so he ran one hand through his fringe to try and fix it a little bit. His nest had also been jostled when he rolled around, so he adjusted a few of the blankets and lined a cushion back up, and then everything was right with the world again.

“You can stay, if you want,” Yoongi said out of nowhere.

Jimin blinked at him.

“In your nest, I mean,” Yoongi hastily corrected himself. “I just—what I’m trying to say is, I won’t kick you out of your nest. If your instincts want you to be here, then you can be here.”

A burst of warmth trickled through Jimin’s chest, spreading through his veins, making him smile. He felt soft, and respected, and he was so impossibly fond of Yoongi for doing everything he could to make Jimin comfortable. Jimin didn’t really know what he had expected of the alpha, but he hadn’t expected for him to be this thoughtful.

“That’s… really nice,” Jimin said, considering the matter carefully. “But… I probably should get back. My roommate will worry.”

Yoongi nodded once. “Taehyung.”

“Taehyung,” Jimin agreed. “And Hoseok-hyung might be staying over – my friend, the other one, the one who dances.”

“You three are close,” Yoongi rumbled.

Jimin told himself he was imagining the hint of jealousy he detected in Yoongi’s tone. He smiled. “We are. None of us have packs, so – it’s nice to spend time with them.”

Yoongi blinked slowly, looking straight at him. “You don’t have a pack?”

Jimin shook his head. He glanced down at his nest, drawing one of the blankets in tighter to him. “That’s why Tae and I live together, and why Hobi-hyung comes over a lot. It’s fun. They’re great, and I love them a lot. I just…” he trailed off, fingers curling around the edge of the blanket. “Can I… um… I’d like to…”

“You’d like to what?” Yoongi prompted gently.

Jimin glanced up to see Yoongi crouched in front of him again, one hand half-reaching towards him over one of the sofa cushions.

Jimin swallowed. “Can I leave my nest here?”

It was a big ask. Jimin knew it was a big ask, saw it written all over Yoongi’s face when he leaned back, surprised. Jimin held back a shudder. Asking to leave a nest in an alpha’s home – even if this wasn’t Yoongi’s full-time home – was a big deal. Omegas only made nests where they felt completely comfortable. Usually only around people they trusted with their lives.

It was a big ask.

Yet, at the same time, Jimin felt as if he was supposed to leave his nest at Yoongi’s. As if a part of Yoongi was his home now, as if a part of him would remain with Yoongi wherever he went. And Jimin supposed it was true. They were bonded now, whether they liked it or not – they were having a child together.

And Jimin wanted to leave his nest at Yoongi’s.

Eventually, Yoongi broke the silence, and the words were exactly what Jimin wanted to hear. “Of course you can leave your nest here. But – I – are you sure that’s what you want?”

Jimin nodded his head, wriggling a little before he looked back up into Yoongi’s eyes. “It’s what I want.”

Yoongi returned the look with a measured gaze, assessing Jimin’s expression. Then, he smiled, and Jimin’s heart warmed. “Then I won’t touch it, and nor will anyone else.”

Jimin hummed in satisfaction. A purr was hiding in his throat, but he pushed it down – he really would want the sofa to swallow him whole if he audibly purred in front of Yoongi. Instead, he got carefully to his feet, turning to make sure the blankets were all in their correct places and the cushions remained undisturbed.

Yoongi walked with him silently over to where he’d left his shoes. Jimin smiled at him again as he put them on. “Thank you for the food. You’re a really good cook.”

“Wait until you’ve tried Jin’s food,” Yoongi answered, his voice rough. “He’s far better than me.”

Jimin perked up at the mention of Jin. “Are you sure it’s ok for me to meet your pack?”

Yoongi waved him away. “As long as you’re happy to, I’m fine with it. Just… don’t believe a word they say about me, ok?”

Jimin held back a laugh. He held his hand out to Yoongi. “Pinky promise.”

Yoongi regarded him for one long moment without moving. It made Jimin feel a little stupid, standing there with his little finger held out in the air, but then Yoongi lifted his hand and linked his little finger around Jimin’s.

Jimin’s skin sizzled at the touch.

“Pinky promise,” Yoongi said lowly. “I’ll see you on Saturday.”

Jimin couldn’t wait.

Chapter Text

The rest of the week passed by slowly. Jimin managed to go to a few of his lectures, although he was still playing catch-up for all the time he’d missed so far. Taehyung was helping him with their shared classes, and Jimin was generally a good student, so he wasn’t too worried about the amount of work he’d missed.

He was also still a bit bitter about not graduating at the same time as everyone else.

“It won’t feel any different,” Taehyung told him, curled up in Jimin’s nest with him. “We’ll still be us. I’m not going to suddenly ditch you when I graduate.”

Jimin glanced down, playing with the fraying edge of a blanket. “I know. I just – it’ll be strange.”

Taehyung hummed, and held his hand, and Jimin tried to take what comfort he could.

His clothes were starting to fit tighter around his stomach. His jeans, which had always been a little tight around his thighs, were near impossible to get on now, so he’d started to live in sweats and shorts, things that were looser. Thankfully he’d always been a curator of oversized tops and jumpers, so that wasn’t a problem. They just weren’t as oversized as they had been before.

The week continued to crawl by, and suddenly, before Jimin knew it, Saturday had arrived and Yoongi was turning up at his doorstep , ready to drive him to his pack house.

“I know, eomma,” Jimin said on the phone, racing to get his bag shut with his other hand. “I’ll call tomorrow, I promise.”

It was time for his weekly phone call with his mother, and Jimin hadn’t forgotten exactly, he’d just – let it slip his mind. He had no idea what to tell her about his life at the moment. He knew she had a right to know he was pregnant, and part of him was desperate to tell her, but the other part of him –

He was afraid of judgement, and he didn’t want to make her situation any worse.

“Tell Jihyun I love him, ok?” Jimin heard a knock at the door and his eyes went wide. “I’ll call you tomorrow.” He hung up with a wince, cutting her off, and scurried his way over to the door, sliding his shoes on en route.

Jimin answered the door with wide eyes and nerves jumping around in his belly. He was wearing his comfiest trousers, made of soft fleece, nice and loose, along with a long, oversized yellow jumper, and he worried that Yoongi would disapprove somehow. Not that Jimin had any reason to care.

Or so he told himself.

Yoongi, however, looked a little smitten when Jimin opened the door. Yoongi was dressed all in black, as per usual, but he’d stuck a red beanie on his head, the colour bold against his fading grey-blue hair. His scent struck Jimin with warmth still, and he resisted the urge to pull Yoongi into his arms and scent him.

Yoongi seemed to take a moment to gather himself, too, and then he gave Jimin a small, soft smile. “You ready?”

Jimin swallowed and pulled his rucksack over his shoulders. “I’m ready.”

The walk down to the car was comfortable. They chatted a little – Yoongi asking about his day, Jimin grumbling over some reading he had to do for his next seminar – and Jimin felt himself relaxing. Yoongi’s scent and low, familiar voice calmed him until he felt at ease.

The interior of Yoongi’s car was all smooth leather and dark wood, the scent of mint and pine heavily infused in everything. It leaked out of the seats, sitting thick in the air. Jimin drank it in with everything he had.

He also had to suffer again through the undeniable attractiveness that was Yoongi’s driving – his hands on the steering wheel, the smooth way he changed gears, the confidence to his profile when he turned to look behind him to reverse out of the car park.

Jimin squeezed his hands in his lap and looked resolutely forward.

They crawled their way out of the city, then took one of the fast roads that led out to the countryside – somewhere Jimin had never had the occasion to be before. He looked with interest out of the window. Fields flashed past him, coloured yellow in the weak sunlight, dappled with clouds that threatened rain. There wasn’t much traffic about, what with it being the weekend, and Yoongi took his time driving, his eyes slipping from the road only when he looked at Jimin.

Jimin resisted the urge to squirm in his seat when he found himself under Yoongi’s dark, strong gaze. After a few long moments of Yoongi intermittently looking at him, he couldn’t take it anymore and he turned to look right back at Yoongi, a challenge to his expression.

Yoongi merely quirked a brow at him.

Jimin bit his lip, twisting his hands in his lap. “Is there something on my face?”

Yoongi chuckled, low and smooth. He glanced back to the road, flicking on the indicator to change lanes. “Nope.”

Jimin furrowed his brows. “You could at least try and be subtle.”

“No need,” Yoongi hummed. “Figure I’m allowed to stare at the father of my child as much as I want.”

Jimin could feel heat creeping steadily up the back of his neck. He clenched his fingers into fists. “ I didn’t give you permission,” he mumbled.

Yoongi glanced at him sidelong. “Do you mind?”

Jimin bit his lip. He was caught. He turned to stare stubbornly out of the window, muttering under his breath, “…I suppose not.”

He could feel Yoongi’s smirk without needing to turn and see it.

They passed the rest of the drive with idle chatter – and with Yoongi telling Jimin about his pack, the people they were on their way to meet. The way Yoongi talked about them – softly, with a rumbling edge of fondness to his tone – melted Jimin’s heart.

There was Jin – Seokjin, the person who’d been texting Jimin, the one who’d invited him to the pack house in the first place. He was tall and handsome and had far too much brazen confidence, according to Yoongi, who smirked every time he mentioned him.

Then there was Namjoon – Seokjin’s mate and Yoongi’s oldest friend. Someone who had stuck with Yoongi through the rough times at the beginning of their career, someone who had never once left Yoongi’s side. They were loyal to each other as true packbrothers. And that was when Jimin realised that he actually knew about Namjoon – only he knew him by his stage name, RM. Another rapper that Taehyung and Hoseok hero-worshipped.

He wondered what they’d say when Jimin told them that he’d met him, too.

The third and final member of Yoongi’s pack came as a bit of a surprise. Jeongguk, a young man who’d come to the city as a teen in the hopes of chasing his dream to be a singer, who had latched onto Yoongi as soon as he’d first heard his music and refused to let go ever since. Yoongi had a soft, wry smile on his face as he told Jimin about how Jeongguk had followed him around incessantly until Yoongi took him under his wing, and how the pack would feel incomplete without him. Despite this, Jeongguk was apparently shy around new people.

“Be careful with him,” Yoongi finished up his explanation with a low hum. “He’s – not having the best time just now.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.” Jimin straightened up in his seat a little. “Anything I can do?”

“Just go easy on him,” Yoongi answered. He glanced sidelong at Jimin before looking back at the road, which had turned to country lanes a long time ago. They were surrounded by fields. Jimin no longer had any idea where he was.

“I think he’ll be fine with you, though,” Yoongi added with a wry twist to his lips. “I don’t see how you could harm a fly, let alone my little packbrother.”

Jimin didn’t know whether to take that as a compliment or not. He huffed. “Hey, I can be terrifying when I want to be.”

Yoongi snorted.

“I can!” Jimin retorted, folding his arms and fixing Yoongi with a stern look. “Taehyungie cowers if I catch him having the last of the milk before I’ve had my coffee.”

Yoongi, if anything, seemed delighted at this. “You like coffee? Good.”

“That’s what you take from that?” Jimin shook his head, but he could feel a smile tugging at his lips. “What does it matter?”

Yoongi shrugged. “People who don’t like coffee are stuck-up assholes who should fuck off and stop being happy about mornings.”

Jimin laughed. “I mean, I don’t hate mornings. I just think they’re better with coffee.”

“Well, we can agree on that,” Yoongi said, satisfied.

Jimin smiled. He leaned his head against the window and watched the fields flash past, tall trees growing on the verge of the road, their branches reaching up towards the sky. Yoongi took a left at the next fork, the car driving smoothly and quietly up a hill that Jimin soon realised was a driveway. Trees grew along the lane’s edges, the open expanse of fields stretching out on either side, distant hills rearing their heads in the background. Everything was covered with a sprinkling of frost, but the evergreens were thick and stubbornly persistent, which made Jimin smile.

They drove up to the crest of the hill, and just as they reached the very top, a house appeared. A great, sprawling house that appeared ahead of them, the driveway ending next to a broad, welcoming oak door. The building itself was made of something like sandstone, but hardier – a light colour that blended in well with the surrounding fields.

It took Jimin’s breath away.

The windows glinted in the sunlight, the clouds parting just enough to allow a few beams through. There were two other cars parked in the driveway; Yoongi pulled in next to them, the driveway spacious enough for all of them. Jimin had never seen a house so big, and yet, it didn’t feel like a typical mansion – no, warmth and light bled from the stone walls and wide windows, the soft suggestion of home invading every corner.

Jimin stared at it, wide-eyed, as Yoongi parked the car and turned off the engine. He could sense Yoongi’s gaze on him, but he didn’t turn, too enraptured by the sight of the house. It beckoned to him; welcoming.

“So,” Yoongi murmured from behind him. “Do you like it?”

Jimin squirmed in his seat. When he turned to face Yoongi, he could feel that his lips were curving upwards, and he was grinning. “Like it? I love it.”

Yoongi’s expression relaxed, his eyes creasing as he smiled back. “Well. You haven’t seen the inside yet.”

“I’m going to love it,” Jimin said immediately. He reached for the door handle, eager to be out of the car, which had grown a little stuffy during the hour’s drive. The air smelled fresh and clean when he stepped out, a welcome change to the centre of Seoul, and Jimin took in a deep breath. Something inside him felt settled, calm, just from the surroundings. It was undeniably beautiful.

Yoongi came around the car and wrapped one arm casually around Jimin’s waist, leading him up to the large oak door. Jimin tried not to startle at the contact. He also had to resist leaning back into it and burying himself against Yoongi’s side, which was what he really wanted to do.

Yoongi extracted a key from his back pocket and released Jimin in order to fit it into the lock. Before turning it, Yoongi turned back to survey him, brows raised. “You sure you’re ready for this? They can be a bit… full on.”

Jimin bit back a smile. He was itching to meet Yoongi’s pack, to have this window into Yoongi’s life, even though he was admittedly nervous. It helped that Yoongi had told him a little about the people he was about to meet, and he’d already spoken to Seokjin on the phone.

Jimin was ready for this.

“I can handle full on,” Jimin said confidently, smiling when Yoongi tilted his head. “Trust me. I deal with Taehyungie and Hobi-hyung screaming on a daily basis. Your pack? It’ll be easy.”

Yoongi regarded him for a long moment, and then his lips quirked up into a small smirk. “Well. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. And grab me if you need a break, ok? I can always take you outside.”

Jimin felt warm at the care he could hear behind Yoongi’s tone. He preened under the attention. “Ok. But I’ll be fine.”

Yoongi nodded, then finally twisted the lock and opened the door.

There came an instant cry from the other side. “Is that him? Oh , is he here?”

A warm scent hit Jimin’s nose – homely and cosy, like baked bread, but surprisingly he could sense alpha in that smell. An alpha? For some reason, Jimin had been expecting Yoongi to be the only alpha in this pack.

Before he could think any more on the matter, the owner of the scent appeared in the corridor and instantly pounced on Jimin.

“Oh! Oh, it is you, you’re absolutely precious, just as I thought.” The owner of the warm scent’s voice was familiar – Jimin recognised him instantly as Jin , the person who’d texted him, who’d invited him here in the first place. Jimin paused for a moment to take him in – tall, he had to crane his neck to meet Jin’s eyes, and his face was smooth and handsome, his eyes glinting with warmth. Although his scent was alpha, Jimin didn’t feel in any way intimidated or afraid – if anything, Jin just felt welcoming.

“Come in, come in,” Jin exclaimed, all but pulling Jimin into the house. “It’s so cold outside, Joonie’s had the fire on – thankfully he’s not a stingy asshole—”

Yoongi snorted from somewhere behind Jimin. “Yah, hyung, you can’t have a go at me the second I walk through the door.”

Jimin blinked. Had Yoongi just called Jin hyung ?

There was an alpha older than Yoongi in the pack, and yet Yoongi was still pack leader?

Jimin was confused, but he didn’t have much time to dwell on it before Jin was pulling Jimin through the first door on the left. They stepped into a cozy, warm living room decked out with comfy-looking sofas and cushions and piles of blankets sitting ready in the corners. Jimin instantly loved it.

There was a man, an omega, crouched over the fire – a real wood burner, Jimin noticed with pleasure – who stood up and turned as they entered the room. He had white-blonde hair swept away from his face and a dimpled smile, and he smelled like coffee and smoke. His scent was tangled up with Jin’s baked bread, though, which meant – yep, sure enough, there was a mating mark just visible on the man’s neck.

This had to be Namjoon. RM. Jin’s mate.

“Joonie, you’re an angel,” Jin said from beside Jimin, ushering him further into the room. “Come, sit – here, this seat’s closest to the fire, we’ll get you properly warm before we start the introductions.”

Slightly overwhelmed, Jimin allowed himself to be pushed into a soft two-seater by the wood burner, and admittedly the warmth from the licking, crackling fire was very welcome. He held his gloved hands out over it, thawing his fingers.

“So,” Jin said warmly, settling into the sofa across from Jimin and pulling Namjoon down beside him, “I’m Seokjin, but call me hyung – and this is Namjoon, my mate. He’ll probably waffle at you. I’ll poke him if it gets to be too much.”

Namjoon just let out a long-suffering sigh, leaned forward, and offered Jimin his hand, western-style.

Jimin removed his gloves, took his hand and shook it, finding himself at the receiving end of a very scrutinising look.

“You must be Jimin,” Namjoon murmured. His voice was low and smooth.

Jimin nodded, glancing quickly to Yoongi, who was still standing by the door, for comfort. Yoongi was watching them with apparent nonchalance, but Jimin was beginning to learn how to read him, and he thought he sensed curiosity behind his gaze.

“I’m not sure if I’m your hyung or not,” Namjoon continued easily. “I was born in 1994, so—”

“Oh, you’re my hyung then,” Jimin stumbled out, and quickly dipped his head in a bow. “It’s good to meet you. Hyung.”

“Jeonggukie will be pleased if he’s older than you,” Jin added. “Though I have to question why Yoongi-yah is going around picking up kids that look like teenagers—”

“Yah, he’s not a teenager,” Yoongi muttered. He finally stepped further into the room and, much to Jimin’s delight, settled right into the seat beside Jimin.

Jimin resisted the urge to lean into him, but only just barely.

“I’m 21,” Jimin clarified, smiling. “Born in ’95. Not a teenager.”

“Ah, Kookie will be disappointed, he is younger than you.” Jin sighed, but quickly perked up again, settling back into his seat. Namjoon wrapped an arm around him. “So. Park Jimin. Tell me everything about you.”

It was surprisingly easy, sitting there and talking about himself with Yoongi’s packmates. Seokjin fired question after question at him, going into detail about his studies and his dance, the lessons he taught and the competitions he’d entered and won, going so far as searching the internet for one of the more prestigious ones so he could see Jimin’s picture on the website. Jimin didn’t mind – he’d been proud of that competition.

Where Seokjin was all direct questions and brazen replies, Namjoon was quiet curiosity. He chimed in every now and then, but his questions were more subtly probing – how did Jimin feel when he won, who was his best friend, where did he call home. When Jimin said he grew up in Busan, Namjoon smiled.

“Busan? Jeonggukie’s from there too,” he said in his soft, calm voice. “He’ll be pleased.”

“Speaking of the brat,” Yoongi said, his voice full of fondness. “Where is he?”

“Playing Overwatch,” Namjoon answered. “I figured it was best to leave him to come down in his own time.”

As if on cue – and maybe he’d been standing outside the door listening, Jimin didn’t know – the door to the cozy living room opened, and in stepped a young man with black hair and a shy expression on his face. He was young – that much was immediately obvious – and he was a beta. Jimin caught a whiff of honeysuckle, muted, soured just a little by fear.

Jimin remembered Yoongi’s instructions to be careful with him, so he put on his best smile and sent a little wave across the room.

The beta – Jeongguk – stepped a little closer, hovering by the arm of the sofa where Namjoon and Seokjin were sitting. He was handsome, with big round eyes and a mouth made for smiles, even though just then he was frowning a little, a crease in the centre of his brow.

“Jeongguk-ah,” Yoongi murmured, leaning forward a little. “How are you today?”

“Better, hyung.” Jeongguk’s voice was soft. “I’m feeling better.”

Yoongi hummed. “Did you win at your game?”

“My team always wins,” Jeongguk grumbled, pulling himself up to properly sit on the arm of the couch. There was an edge of petulance to his tone as he said, “I’ve shown you.”

Yoongi merely nodded sagely and wrapped an arm around Jimin’s shoulders. Jimin jumped, but leaned automatically into the touch, mint and pine curling satisfactorily around him.

“This is Park Jimin,” Yoongi introduced, and Jimin put on his best smile again. He wasn’t going to scare off Yoongi’s youngest packmate. He wasn’t.

“Hi!” Jimin said, settling easily into Yoongi’s side. “I heard you’re from Busan?”

Jeongguk, who up until that point had been looking anywhere but at Jimin, turned and faced him full-on, their eyes meeting. Jeongguk’s gaze was shy, but strong, and he nodded.

“I am, too.” Jimin grinned, satisfied. “I live, like, two doors down from this great barbecue place. Or my eomma does. I guess I… kind of live here now.”

“Same,” Jeongguk said, his voice growing in strength. “I mean, I moved here deliberately, but – home is still Busan.”

“I’m with you on that one,’ Jimin agreed wholeheartedly.

Jeongguk smiled, a small thing, but Jimin felt Yoongi relax against him, his arm drifting down to Jimin’s waist, and Seokjin was beaming and Namjoon was looking at him warmly, and Jimin felt like he’d done something right.

“So,” Jimin said, still facing Jeongguk. “Jeongguk-ssi. Who’s your favourite Overwatch character? My flatmate is obsessed.”

Jeongguk brightened even more, and immediately launched into a story of his most recent game. Jimin listened happily, and he was sure he heard Seokjin laugh under his breath just as Yoongi’s arm tightened around him.

This was going well.

---

Hours later, when Jimin was stuffed full of a delicious meal Jin had made, and Jeongguk had started calling him hyung and chatted with him for hours about various games, and Namjoon had surprised him by speaking in three different languages, Yoongi drove Jimin home.

The whole drive, Jimin couldn’t stop talking. He waxed lyrical about how much he liked Yoongi’s pack, at how Seokjin hugged him and Namjoon patted his back and Jeongguk had smiled more than once. And Yoongi seemed pleased, too – if the way he couldn’t seem to stop smiling said anything, anyway.

It was a wide, gummy smile; an expression that Jimin had only seen a handful of times. But he was delighted to see it then.

“I’m glad you like them,” Yoongi murmured when Jimin stopped for breath. “Thanks for going gentle on Jeonggukie.”

“He’s a sweetie,” Jimin instantly replied. “And he has good taste in games. Taehyungie would love him.”

“Well, I’m glad you got along with him, fuckin’ nerd that he is,” Yoongi answered, absolutely no bite in his tone. “Kid needs more friends.”

Jimin preened at the thought. Becoming friends with Yoongi’s pack – getting to know them. It was easy to feel like he belonged.

But then Yoongi said, “It’s always hard, introducing strangers to them. We have a very specific pack balance, and it’s easy to upset that by bringing in people we don’t know. So I’m glad you coped well today.”

Jimin felt like a rock had just been thrown in his stomach. Jagged edges pierced at him, and he winced, rubbing a hand over the small bump growing in his abdomen. He wasn’t physically hurt, just – just.

Ouch.

Yoongi, inadvertently, had made it very clear that Jimin didn’t belong. That he was an outsider. That he didn’t have a place in the pack, that he could very easily upset the balance simply by being there.

It hurt. It hurt a lot.

Suddenly, Jimin felt like he couldn’t breathe. The car felt too claustrophobic; he wanted to get out, to think clearly and have his head on straight and not be distracted by the sweet, beautiful, alluring scent of mint and pine that was everywhere . It was messing with his head.

Of course he didn’t have a place in the pack. It wasn’t his pack.

He didn’t have a pack.

Jimin felt very, very alone.

And it was all his fault. Maybe, if things had gone differently – if he’d been smart and they’d been safe, maybe the one night with Yoongi would have turned into getting to know him better, into learning more about each other and growing closer naturally. Because Jimin knew he liked Yoongi. His instincts aside, he liked his company, his conversation, felt safe when he was around, enjoyed every chance he got to talk with him.

He liked Yoongi.

And if they’d got to know each other naturally – maybe things would have been different. Maybe they would have got together properly, eventually mated, and Jimin would have had a place in Yoongi’s pack.

But that was never going to happen. No, because he’d gone and got himself pregnant, and while that was partly Yoongi’s fault too, Jimin couldn’t help but feel stupid. Because now Yoongi would never see him as more than the irresponsible omega who landed him with a kid he hadn’t planned for.

It didn’t matter how good Yoongi was being about everything, how much care he’d already shown their child before it was even born – they hadn’t planned for this. And Jimin couldn’t see a way around it.

He was stupid, irresponsible, and alone.

Yoongi continued chatting for a while, but Jimin could only manage short responses, so eventually the conversation dried up. For the first time in a while, the silence between them felt awkward, and Jimin could see Yoongi giving him sidelong glances from the corner of his eye.

Jimin turned his head and looked out of the window instead. He was barely holding himself together as it was; looking at Yoongi would only make him burst into tears from how much his heart wanted , but couldn’t have.

They pulled up outside Jimin’s apartment building, but before Jimin could clamber out of the car , Yoongi caught his wrist.

“Hey,” he murmured, voice gentle – too gentle. Jimin couldn’t stand it. “You’d tell me if something was wrong, wouldn’t you?”

Jimin wanted to cry.

Swallowing, he turned and glanced in Yoongi’s direction, vision blurry. He managed a nod, and gasped out, “Yes, sorry, I just – nauseous. Better run to the bathroom.”

Yoongi nodded, drawing back slowly and giving Jimin a searching look. But Jimin couldn’t stand it anymore. He stepped out of the car, hoping the smile on his face wasn’t coming out like a grimace, and all but ran into his apartment building.

When he fell through the door with tears already escaping, Taehyung was there.

“I could smell distress down the corridor, what’s happened?” Taehyung urged, already standing with his arms open.

Jimin fell into them and sobbed. He clung to the front of Taehyung’s sweater and allowed himself to cry for a while, fingers curling tightly in the soft fabric, bathing himself in Taehyung’s familiar spicy scent.

“I’m an idiot,” he finally managed to get out through his tears.

“What happened?” Taehyung asked again, rocking Jimin gently. Jimin leaned into him, squeezing his eyes shut. Taehyung’s voice turned dark as he said, “Was it Yoongi’s pack? Did one of them say something? I’ll—”

“No,” Jimin answered, squeezing his eyes shut. Fresh tears ran down his cheeks. “They – th-they were lovely. I loved them. All of them.”

“Then what is it?” Taehyung’s voice turned gentle again. He cradled Jimin in close. “Jimin-ah, tell me, tell me what happened.”

Jimin didn’t know how to voice his thoughts. His throat felt thick, upset swirling in his stomach. Although he’d been lying to Yoongi earlier, he really did feel quite nauseous; it flowed over him in waves.

“Did Yoongi say something?” Taehyung asked. “Has he hurt you?”

Jimin shook his head. He took in a deep breath and managed, “No, no one’s done anything, I just realised – I’m so stupid .”

Taehyung petted his hair. “You’re not.”

“I am .” Jimin’s breathing was high-pitched and noisy. “I – I like him, Tae-yah.”

Taehyung went still.

“I like him,” Jimin repeated, his tone dropping. “But – but I’m so stupid. I’m never going to be part of his life in the way that his pack is. He’s just – he’s so gentle with them, so fond, and he – he’s good to me, don’t get me wrong, and I’m grateful, but – but I like him, and he’s never going to see me as anything o-other than the st-stupid omega he knocked up—”

“Sh, sh,” Taehyung whispered, arms tightening around him. He rocked them gently; swaying on the spot.

“But I’m so stupid ,” Jimin wailed. “I can’t even tell if it’s just my fucking instincts, but – but I like him, I really – I r-really—”

“It’s ok,” Taehyung murmured. “It’s ok that you like him, Jimin-ah.”

Jimin squeezed his eyes shut. “But he’s never going to like me back.”

“We don’t know that,” Taehyung said bracingly.

Jimin gave a short laugh. “Yeah, right. It’s a miracle he doesn’t hate me. Knocking up an omega? No alpha wants that – and – and he’s fucking famous , for all I know this could be a scandal —"

“He’s not that kind of a celebrity,” Taehyung argued. “He’s always been open about his social life. Nothing has ever phased him, and this wouldn’t either – I’ve followed him long enough to be sure about that.”

Jimin sniffed. He’d made a mess of Taehyung’s shirt, a mix of snot and tears dampening the soft material. It was a nice shirt, too – as far as Jimin could tell. Taehyung’s fashion sense was a mystery to him.

“It’s going to be ok, Jimin-ah,” Taehyung murmured, petting his hair. “And whatever happens, you have me and Hobi-hyung. Forever, ok?”

Jimin had never been more grateful to his best friend. He was feeling so alone, and so lost, but Taehyung was a tether – and so was Hoseok.

Whatever happened, he would have them. He was packless, and it wasn’t the same, but - he would always have them.

“Thanks,” Jimin said, and meant it. He managed a wobbly smile. “I think – I’m gonna go lie down for a while. Today was just – it was a lot.”

“Ok.” Taehyung patted his head once. “I’ll order pancakes from the good place on the corner?”

Normally, that would make Jimin feel miles better, but nausea was still rolling around in his belly. He hugged his abdomen and shook his head. “I really just – I want to sleep.”

“Just promise me you won’t mope on your own,” Taehyung ordered. “Moping has to be done in groups around here.”

Jimin felt a smile tugging at his lips. “I promise.”

“Alright.” Taehyung pressed a loud kiss to the top of Jimin’s head, and then let him go.

Jimin wasn’t alone. Not really. No matter how terrible he felt – at least he wasn’t alone.

---

After spending a long time curled up in his nest, Jimin started to feel a little better. It still hurt to think of Yoongi’s pack, of how they were all genuinely good people – he’d liked them all. But he didn’t have a place among them. He knew it was hitting him extra hard because of the lack of a pack of his own – but it just hurt. He missed the bond, the feeling of belonging, of knowing that there were people in the world who would have your back no matter what.

And yes, Jimin had Taehyung and Hoseok, and he loved them both, but the three of them were strays. Floating; separate. It wasn’t quite the same.

Suddenly, he had a strong desire for his eomma. And he hadn’t called her back from earlier, so he leaned over the bed and dug his phone out of his pocket, curling up back inside his nest and pressing call.

Jimin was close with his family, but there was always a distinct sort of pain when he called his eomma and Jihyun, his younger brother. The three of them were close, but the wider pack were a lot more distant. Jimin’s appa hadn’t been part of the pack – he’d been a traveller who promised his eomma a thousand things, one being that he would settle down with her and join her home pack in Busan. He’d stuck around long enough to give her Jimin and Jihyun, and then left when Jihyun was a baby and Jimin was three.

He’d never been seen since.

His eomma had been heartbroken, and not only that – bringing up two children when their father wasn’t a part of the pack had made her an outcast. The pack alpha tolerated them, as long as they never caused trouble, but Jimin’s childhood was dotted with loneliness and fear. When he’d expressed his wishes to become a dancer, the pack alpha had laughed at him and told him he’d stay in Busan and learn a proper profession.

But the idea of becoming a lawyer or an accountant or a businessman had brought Jimin such unhappiness that his eomma had come into his room one day and made him promise her that he’d follow his dreams and go to Seoul, no matter what the consequences were. So he’d auditioned in secret and earned a place at his favourite university, much to his delight.

But the consequences were that when he’d told the pack alpha, the pack alpha had immediately disowned him and ripped him of his place in the pack, leaving him packless.

Jimin had been forced to leave the very same day, with no time to say a proper goodbye to Jihyun and his eomma and no time to pack up any of his stuff. He’d arrived in Seoul with the clothes on his back and his phone and his wallet, desperately hoping his place in the dorm would still be approved.

His eomma had sent on his stuff, and he’d met Taehyung, whose dorm was across the hall, and Hoseok, who was in his faculty, and he’d etched out something of a life for himself. But the toll of not having a pack bond was hard on him at first. He also knew that things had become worse for Jihyun and his eomma back home, but he couldn’t go back to visit, exiled as he was.

So he called as often as he could, and he told them he loved them, and he hoped that it was enough.

When he called, his eomma picked up after four rings, sounding delighted. They chatted for a while, and the familiarity of her voice eased Jimin, helping him to calm down further. He was still lucky to have met Yoongi’s pack, he knew, but it still hurt when he didn’t have something like they did.

Naturally, his eomma picked up that something wasn’t right.

“What is it?” she asked, concern bleeding through her tone. “Alpha trouble?

Jimin sniffed. He wished with all his heart he could tell her he was pregnant, but he was terrified of what she’d think – that he was repeating her mistakes, that having a child without a pack was reckless – and his throat closed up even at the thought.

So instead he just closed his eyes and said, “Something like that.”

“Sweetie,” she replied. “Communication is the most important thing. If you aren’t happy with something, you have to tell the people around you, so they can work towards fixing it. Otherwise nothing will ever get resolved.”

Jimin swallowed. “It’s just – it’s so hard to talk. He – he’s in a different world to me.”

“So there is someone?”

Jimin bit his lip. “There… might be.”

“Talk to him,” she insisted. “Don’t let your feelings fester. You don’t have to be certain of everything; it’s better to talk than to be silent.”

Jimin let out a shaky breath. He opened his eyes and stroked the nearest blanket inside of his nest, letting the soft texture calm him. He loved his eomma, because she never needed to know everything about his life to be able to offer advice.

And she was right. Jimin would feel better if he talked to Yoongi.

“Alright,” he murmured, curling into a ball. “I’ll talk to him.”

His eomma was pleased, and they chatted a little more before she had to go pick up Jihyun. Once they’d hung up, Jimin lay there staring at his phone before finally opening his text conversation with Yoongi. He wasn’t even sure what he wanted to say . He just knew that there was a sour taste in his mouth, and he felt lonely, and he wanted Yoongi to make it better.

Yoongi had a pack, but it was a small one, and obviously not the one he’d grown up with. Perhaps he knew a little what it felt like to be transient; to be between packs. Either way, Jimin knew Yoongi would listen to him. And he felt lonely .

Slowly, Jimin typed out a text.

21:32

[Jimin]

Hey

Meeting your pack today was amazing

But

There’s something I want to talk to you about

21:43

[Yoongi-hyung]


Of course

21:34

[Jimin]

It’s

It’s kind of a lot

Could I call you?

Jimin didn’t need to wait for a response, because not two seconds later his phone was ringing. He swallowed, staring at Yoongi’s contact name flashing for a moment before he answered and placed his phone at his ear, curling up small in his nest. “Hi.”

“Hey.” Yoongi sounded gruff, his voice a comfort so close to Jimin’s ear. Jimin closed his eyes and imagined Yoongi’s scent, felt so much calmer just from hearing his voice. “Is something wrong? Today wasn’t too much, was it?”

“No,” Jimin answered immediately, taking in a slow breath. “Your pack are wonderful. I just—” he trailed off, not even knowing where to start.

How did he tell Yoongi he was so lonely that it hurt to watch Yoongi with his pack, knowing he didn’t have the same thing to call his own? He sounded like a petulant child, and he knew it. But he liked Yoongi, and he was lonely, and he was weak, and he didn’t want to feel alone any longer.

“What’s wrong?” Yoongi’s voice turned gentle. “You weren’t right in the car earlier.”

Jimin swallowed. “How do you know?”

“Morning sickness colours your scent,” Yoongi answered immediately. “You actually seemed a little better today. I know it wasn’t that that made you practically run away from me.”

Jimin didn’t know what to make of that, although he felt touched that Yoongi was so attuned to him. “My morning sickness is still very present.”

“But there’s something else, isn’t there?” Yoongi pressed.

Jimin paused, frozen. There was so much emotion welling up in him, he didn’t know what to do with it.

“I’m packless,” he said eventually. “You know that.”

“You told me once,” Yoongi agreed, his voice carefully neutral.

Jimin swallowed. He curled his fingers around the soft blanket he was laying on and closed his eyes again. “Well. I’m packless. And… and seeing you and your pack today – it’s just. I miss that. A lot.”

Yoongi was silent, just breathing for a moment, before he said carefully, “Can I ask why it is you’re packless? I understand if it’s too personal.”

Jimin opened his eyes again and bit his lower lip. Only Taehyung and Hoseok knew about his old pack in Busan, and he hated telling the story, but—

But with Yoongi, it somehow felt easy. Right.

So, slowly, Jimin opened up. He started by telling Yoongi about his eomma, and Jihyun, and how much he loved them, and then he explained about his appa and his old pack and how he’d been exiled, and by the end of it his throat was clogging up with emotion and his breathing was unsteady.

“So I can’t go back anymore,” Jimin finished. “I haven’t seen my eomma and Jihyun in almost three years. It’s been so long that I’m scared I’m forgetting what a pack bond even feels like. I have Taehyungie and Hoseok-hyung and I love them, but we’re not bonded in the same way, there isn’t – that feeling , that you had with your pack today – I haven’t seen it in so long, and seeing it today—” he cut himself off, squeezing his eyes shut to keep the tears inside.

For a long moment, Yoongi just breathed.

And then he said, “Jimin-ah. Packs are one thing, but the people in your life are who you choose to be with. You have your friends. They are just as important as they would be if you were a pack.”

Jimin let out a shaky breath. Despite his best efforts, a tear slipped down his cheek, hot and wet.

“Family is who you choose to be with,” Yoongi continued, his voice gruff. “My pack and I chose to be with each other. You choose to be with your friends. There is no difference.”

Jimin felt himself sob. “But—”

“But nothing,” Yoongi insisted lowly. “With or without the bond, they are your family.”

Jimin clung to those words with everything he had.

“And your old pack are fuckin’ shitty, for the record,” Yoongi added. “They treated you like shit and you’re better off without them. Though I am sorry that you can’t see your eomma and brother – that isn’t right.”

“It is what it is,” Jimin sniffed through a shaky breath. “I miss them. But – but I have a responsibility now. I have a child—” he stopped for a second, his free hand slipping from the blanket to wrap around his abdomen. “I have a child, and I have a responsibility to make sure they don’t grow up like I did.”

“They won’t,” Yoongi said softly.

Jimin pressed his lips together, then said, “I have to make sure. This child, they’re – they’re yours too, and you have a pack, and – and I want the best for my child. And the best is life within a pack. You said you wanted the child to stay with you sometimes, and—” Jimin’s breath hitched. He hurt.

He hurt, because he wanted his child to have a life with a pack, and Yoongi had a pack, but—

But he didn’t want to give his child up.

“This child is both of ours,” Yoongi murmured.

Jimin took in a breath. “I know. But you can offer them so much more than me—”

“We can both offer them love,” Yoongi interrupted gently. “That’s the most important thing.”

Jimin swallowed. That was true, and he didn’t want to give up this child – he didn’t, no matter how upside-down his life was going to become. He wanted this child, and he wanted Yoongi, and even though he was scared shitless he was absolutely sure of that.

“I just need to know that our child is going to have a family,” Jimin said.

“Our child will be part of my pack, Jimin-ah,” Yoongi said seriously.

Jimin wanted to cry. His child would be part of Yoongi’s pack; Jimin himself wouldn’t.

But that was the best he could ask for.

“You have to promise me,” Jimin demanded, his voice thick with tears. “I don’t want our child growing up estranged – they have to be fully part of your pack, no matter what I am—”

“Jimin-ah,” Yoongi’s voice was soft. “I promise you. Our child is part of my family.”

“No matter what?”

“No matter what.” Yoongi was breathing heavily, and after a moment he added, “And, Jimin-ah—”

Silence.

Jimin closed his eyes. “Yes?”

Eventually, Yoongi said, “You are part of this child’s family, too.”

Jimin squeezed the blanket, aching to believe it. He knew he was, but – but it was different. Jimin couldn’t offer their child anything – not a home, not a family, not a job. But Yoongi was famous, he had money and family and a pack, and that was what Jimin wanted his child to have.

Even if he couldn’t be part of it himself, his child deserved to have it.

“Thank you,” he managed down the phone, and squeezed his eyes shut. “I just – I just needed to be sure of it.”

“You can be sure of me,” Yoongi murmured gently. “Hyung is here for you, Jimin-ah.”

The words were so sweet, they cocooned Jimin in his nest, wrapping warm and soft around him. He remembered them for the rest of their conversation, until Jimin grew so sleepy that Yoongi warmly told him to hang up and get his sleep. And the words stayed with Jimin as he closed his eyes and felt himself drifting to sleep in his nest.

Yoongi was there for him.

---

It was as Jimin and Yoongi were exiting Jimin’s doctor’s appointment that the box landed in his lap.

Jimin frowned down at it, confused. He was sitting in Yoongi’s car – Yoongi still insisted on driving him to every appointment – and Yoongi had just dropped a cardboard box in his lap. It was small, square, with a lid and no writing or any identifying marks whatsoever. There was a small pink ribbon tied around it.

Jimin shook it, frowning suspiciously.

“Careful,” Yoongi muttered from next to him, typing the date of Jimin’s next appointment into his phone. It was the scan date – and Jimin didn’t know how he felt about that. In just over a week, he’d be seeing an image of his baby for the first time.

Honestly, he loved cooing over other people’s babies, but he’d never really seen the appeal of a scan photo. It just looked like a fuzzy image. But maybe it would be different with his own scan – goodness knew Jimin was nervous enough about it.

He stopped shaking the box, putting it back on his lap and twisting to face Yoongi. “What is it?”

“Just open it,” Yoongi muttered. For some reason, he wasn’t meeting Jimin’s eyes.

Jimin turned back to the box, tilting his head. It looked innocuous enough. He had no idea why Yoongi was giving him something, but – he was definitely curious.

Taking his time, Jimin unwrapped the ribbon, folding it carefully into his bag to keep. Then he lifted the lid of the box, and raised an eyebrow.

Inside, divided neatly into three rows, lay a collection of teabags. The smell coming from the box was delicious, washing over Jimin in pleasant waves – spice, ginger mostly, with a hint of lemon and something else that Jimin couldn’t quite place.

“Jin-hyung helped me mix the spices,” Yoongi murmured, still refusing to look at Jimin.

“It’s – it smells amazing,” Jimin answered, surprised but warm. He leaned in close and took a deep sniff.

“Ginger’s supposed to be good for nausea,” Yoongi added, voice gruff. “You mentioned your morning sickness was still bad, so – maybe this will help a little, I don’t know.”

Jimin stared down at the box with renewed interest. He felt touched. He breathed in the smell again, and he couldn’t hold back his smile. “That’s so thoughtful. You don’t have to look after me, but – thank you.”

“Hyung will take care of you,” Yoongi muttered almost under his breath. He finally put his phone down and turned on the engine, but before he could set off, Jimin stopped him.

He placed a hand on Yoongi’s arm and squeezed gently, smiling wide when Yoongi turned to face him. Yoongi looked a little awed, which only made Jimin smile wider. Slowly, carefully, he leaned in and placed a small kiss on Yoongi’s cheek – far away from his mouth, closer to his ear, because Jimin was a little nervous. There was a small amount of stubble on Yoongi’s skin.

Jimin’s instincts were telling him to be as close to Yoongi as he could. And for once, Jimin was going to listen to them.

“Thank you,” Jimin murmured, leaning back. “Really. This is lovely.”

Yoongi had gone pink. It was a very pleasing colour, spreading high across his cheeks, and he stared at Jimin with his mouth open for a second too long.

Jimin grinned, feeling pleased with himself.

Eventually, Yoongi shook himself and turned back to the steering wheel, putting the car in gear and pulling away. Jimin still found Yoongi unfairly attractive when he drove, and watching him now sent warm sparks of something curling in his belly.

Jimin hugged the box to himself, glancing down at his lap, and smiled.