"Is Seokjin going to be there?" Jungkook asks.
Five minutes on the subway, his face is already burrowed into the collar of his shirt. But not without trying. Jungkook has had to lift it from his sweat-slicked chest and tug it upward to cover his mouth, his nose, the passages that allow him to catch the scents that are sticky in the air, almost to the point of suffocation.
He hates trains, hates when they're jam-packed with every single specimen, hates how people flow in and out of them constantly, bringing in new scents and taking the old ones he was just getting accustomed to with them—Jungkook hates trains—
"Yes," is the answer he is given. And Jungkook nods, nose twitching, leg thumping on the ground. He whines in the back of his throat, jolts when the train begins to slow.
The hand he has latched around the straphanger almost slips. His grip tightens, strong legs leveling to catch his balance. The free one tugs his owner in, too close for such a small heated space, but Namjoon lets him, petting at his hair when Jungkook chins into his shoulder.
It helps calm him. Especially when the doors open right beside where they're standing, and he smells a predator walk on with an owner that seems too small to handle it.
He thumps his foot on the ground again, chinning deeper into Namjoon's shoulder, ears pulled back. Then he hears Namjoon coo.
"One more stop, bun."
Jungkook nods, trying to slow his heart rate down, stomach clenching with unease.
"Just...don't stop petting me," Jungkook whines back, closing his eyes when long fingers stoke between his deep-brown dangling ears. "please."
Namjoon hums at the request, other hand going back to whatever it is on his phone, and lets Jungkook latch onto him.
When they finally arrive at their stop, Namjoon tries to nudge him forward. Though it doesn't deter Jungkook from clinging closely to his back as they make their exit. Summer in Seoul is way too humid, wet even, and he feels dizzy with it.
Namjoon knows it too. Being a bunny hybrid, Jungkook gets easily stressed when not in ideal climates. Like now, for example, Jungkook is almost panting from the heat, sweating too much for it to be normal. It makes his owner pause, blink at him for a while before finally pulling him into the nearest ice cream shop when they finally make it out into the streets.
The owner is more than kind, offering them cups of ice water, a popsicle, just to get the hybrid cooled down. And it works, because even though Jungkook is a bunny hybrid, classified as weaker, he's resilient, strong.
Namjoon praises him when he seems ready to jump back up to resume their journey but seems a bit unsure.
"Maybe," Namjoon sighs, with a furrow in his brow. "Maybe we should head back home instead."
Jungkook's face slackens in surprise.
"But why?" he tilts his head, brown ears swinging.
"I don't want you to get overheated," Namjoon tuts, brushing a strand from his forehead.
"I'm fine, hyung," Jungkook rolls his eyes. "It was just the subway. It was too much."
But Namjoon doesn't seem convinced. He's taken to stoking ice-cubes underneath his ears, and Jungkook tries valiantly not to flinch away. He really does feel fine all things considered. Although the Subway wasn’t ideal, he can manage the rest of the trip.
Typically, Namjoon drives, because he knows how inconvenient public transportation can be for his bunny. But ever since the cars been acting up, they've been taken to foot more often.
"You've really been wanting to go," Jungkook huffs, crossing his arms. He glances to the book bag hanging from Namjoon's shoulders, then back into his face. "we can just go."
"Jungkook-ah," Namjoon scrutinizes him seriously. "Promise me that you'll let me know when it's too much. Okay?"
And Jungkook squirms under his gaze but nods nonetheless. "O-okay. I promise, hyung."
The book club meets every Thursday evening, in a small store owned by Namjoon's human friend, Seokjin. It is located between narrow alleys and cemented brick walls. The closer they get, the more Jungkook can smell the plants that thrive there. It's a bit of a greenhouse if one took a glance at it, but more of a bookstore if they took another.
Vases, whicker-baskets, and mugs filled with various flora line the windows. Books occupy the shelves that hang above them. The store can only inhabit four tall aisles of bookcases, along with the walls with shelves built into them. Mismatched lamps dangle from the rafters and stand alone in corners. There is a chair here and there, potted plants in every other nook and cranny.
Further in the back to the right, past the rickety desk where the workers tend and past the white-paint chipped door is a room full of couches, love-seats, and worn in leather chairs.
It's quiet when they enter, the front door opening with the chime of the bell. Jungkook might've thought it was closed, from the way silence seems too loud, but he knows better.
Scents from the backroom waft toward him like a buzz in the air. His heart picks up a little in expectation. Namjoon takes him by the wrist gently and tugs him forward. They wind through the aisles, making sure not to step on stray vines before reaching the door. Jungkook's nose twitches, he blinks rapidly. Namjoon rubs his back to soothe before knocking and opening the door.
Jungkook holds his breath.
Inside, Seokjin is peering at them with a grin on his face, a book in his hand. He stands from his chair and shuffles his way over. Jungkook hides behind Namjoon.
"You made it!" Seokjin cheers, leaning in to hug Namjoon, glancing at Jungkook adoringly from over his shoulder. "I'm glad you came."
"You weren't joking about the subways, hyung," Namjoon’s deep rumble of a voice vibrates against Jungkook’s forehead where it's pressed to his back. "they're...something else."
Seokjin snickers. "Ever since those laws were eradicated, it's been an adjustment. We'll get used to it in no time."
And Jungkook can't help but disagree, internally that is. They should've kept predators and prey segregated, he thinks.
"I think we're still waiting until the official start time," Seokjin pushes them forward with soft hands. "Find a seat, wherever you're most comfortable with."
Namjoon, this time, takes Jungkook out from behind him. Although it makes his heart uneasy, it's for a good reason; for him to survey the room. It's the first time he's taken a breath since he's entered, trying to pinpoint who's a predator and who's like him, but there are surprisingly very little hybrids here. More humans, which is odd, considering it's a hybrid/human book club.
Jungkook's large eyes dart around the people lounging in the room. None of them pay him any attention. He spots a couch large enough for the two straight ahead, and hesitantly points to it, looking back at Namjoon.
"I think that's okay," he almost whispers. Jungkook continues to inspect the other occupants in different seats. There's a mouse sitting with her owner in a bean bag near it, so he deems it safe space.
Namjoon nods and presses him toward it with a hand on his back.
Seokjin takes his place again at the large chair at the front of the room, flipping through pages with notes sticking out of them. Humming under his breath.
The atmosphere of the room is calm, relaxed even. It helps Jungkook settle down as he takes a pillow into his lap and glances around curiously at all the other humans. The mouse and he eye each other for a moment before they look away. Namjoon takes something out of his bag, a small willow stick, and places it in Jungkook's hand.
"There," Namjoon says then pulls out his book after. The thing is thick, and Jungkook watches him set it in his lap, opening to certain pages he has sticky-noted.
Jungkook sniffles, sticks the willow block into his mouth to chew on and leans his head on Namjoon's shoulder.
He reads over the pages Namjoon has open, recalling the scenes he's read with his owner before they'd fallen asleep at night. At one point, Jungkook couldn't read it anymore though, the book too sad for him to carry on with the story.
At the front of the room, Seokjin stands and heads to the door. He walks out, leaving everyone to their own devices before coming back in with someone in tow.
And Jungkook stiffens at the entry of the new person. A predator hybrid. He burrows into Namjoon's side and lightly thumps his foot. Namjoon glances at the new hybrid that just entered, and strokes Jungkook’s leg to calm him.
"It's okay, bun," his owner whispers. "you're safe here."
"I've never liked c-"
"Alright," Seokjin claps, interrupting Jungkook by startling him and gathering everyone’s attention. "Seems like everyone is here. These past few weeks we've all been reading Les Misérables, with the hopes of finishing for this meeting. However," Seokjin chuckles. "I know sometimes life has a tendency of getting in the way. Who here hasn't finished the book?"
Jungkook sees more than a few people raise their hands, although sheepishly. The predator included. When their hands are put back down and Seokjin continues to speak, Jungkook keeps his stare fixed on the hybrid.
He's perched in a chair across the room, posture immaculate, frame thin. His neck is elegant as his head swivels from here to there as Seokjin gestures when he speaks. His irises are orangey-brown, pupils wide. The short-rounded ears on his head move to and fro. His nose is small, lips round and pouted. Jungkook is surprised to see him here without a human occupying him.
It almost offends him. Predators should always be with their human. And his earlier thought comes back to him — he's always hated cats.
As if the cat hybrid can feel Jungkook boring holes into his face, his gaze whips to him, observing the bunny. Jungkook squeaks and glances away.
The meeting lasts like this: Jungkook tense and chinning into Namjoon's shoulder, and the cat catching his eye every so often. It lasts for what feels like hours. The group moving from chapter to chapter, discussing events in the plot, dissecting characters. Namjoon is one of the stronger voices of the group, always diving into conversation with insight beyond that of a normal reader. In a way, it helps soothe Jungkook, that his owner is so smart, so reliable.
When it finally ends, some linger about to talk more. Seokjin comes over to them to chat and titter. More than once has Jungkook met Seokjin. Although it takes him a while to warm up to, well, anyone, Seokjin is finally breaking through his shell.
"What did you think, bun?" Seokjin peers over at Jungkook. "Was the meeting as nerve-wracking as you thought it'd be?"
Jungkook studies the cat hovering nearby but shakes his head. "It wasn't too bad."
Seokjin preens and does a victory dance. "I hope you guys can come by again. I know these meetings are kind of new to you bun, but I think you'll warm up in no time."
Jungkook nods and scratches one of his ears. His gaze keeps flickering back to the cat, who is watching the three as they converse. It makes him a bit uneasy, so he hides behind Namjoon's back again. The humans seem to notice his skittish behavior, and they follow his line of sight. Seokjin then ah's when he sees exactly what he's staring at.
Then to Jungkook's utter horror, he beckons the other hybrid over.
Jungkook clutches onto Namjoon's hand like a lifeline, his owner squeezes it back in reassurance.
"Sorry," Seokjin smiles, as easy-going as ever. "I should've introduced you earlier."
The cat comes closer, with narrowed eyes and stiff shoulders, and Seokjin pats him on the back.
"This is Jimin," Seokjin says, hesitating before he finishes. "He's, well, he's mine."
Jungkook's freezes in surprise, tenses when Namjoon makes a noise of recognition.
"Ah," Namjoon snaps his fingers. "So, this is the Jimin I've heard about."
"I am," the cat, Jimin, finally speaks. Jungkook jumps. His voice is raspy, almost like a purr, but light in a way that doesn't grate on the ears. "It's nice to meet you Namjoon-ssi."
The cat bows, and Namjoon bows back. It leaves Jungkook exposed for all but a second, but it's enough to leave the cat with enough eye space to gaze at him openly.
"This is Jungkook," Namjoon throws a thumb pointing in his direction, Jungkook winces. "He's my bun."
And Jungkook is absolutely embarrassed at being addressed as a "bun" in front of the predator. Jungkook presses up closer to Namjoon, flush high on his cheeks, and peers over his shoulder. Jimin is staring at him, small pupils widening, making him resemble a kitten with the way they sparkle at him as if he's in wonder. As if he’s never met a bunny before.
Jungkook pouts and Namjoon pats his pink cheek.
"I hadn't realized you were a cat," Namjoon talks to Jimin, dimples in full display, gaze unwavering. "What kind?"
"Well," Jimin clears his throat, then reaches back to pick up his tail, beige in color with a black tassel at the end. "I come from a long lineage of lions."
The admittance sends Jungkook's heart racing. Every instinct in his body is screaming at him to run, to get away. If Jimin had wanted to, in any other setting, he'd have killed Jungkook by now. Chased him until he was tired, then chomped down on his neck with his big jaws.
Jungkook shudders at the thought. Licking his lips and bouncing his legs. His ears pull back in fear, hand tugging at Namjoon’s.
If Jimin had wanted to, he could even go after his human Seokjin and Namjoon. At the thought, he almost whimpers. He squeezes Namjoon's hand again for comfort and tries to telepathically tell him that he wants to leave.
Miraculously, Namjoon may have gotten the hint.
"That's very impressive," his human says. "I've met tigers before, but never a lion. It seems as if more are coming out in public these days."
"As they should," Jimin responds, and it almost sounds like a sneer.
"Right," Namjoon clears his throat. Aware of the tension the hybrid is emanating. "Well, Jungkook had a bit of a rough day. I know he's a little stressed, so we'll get going soon to catch the last of the trains."
"Jimin could give you a ride," Seokjin suggests, unaware of how uncomfortable Jungkook is. "I let him drive my car from time to time."
"No!" Jungkook protests, then flushes when they all gape at him. "No, i-it's fine. I want to walk."
"It's no problem," Jimin begins to say but Jungkook shakes his head vehemently.
"Don't want to be in a car," he peers up at Namjoon imploringly and repeats himself. "Don't want to be in a car."
Not with him.
"Okay, okay," Namjoon pats his ears. "we can walk."
Jimin watches the exchange with a smirk, gaze eating Jungkook up like the prey that he is. They exchange their goodbyes, Jungkook with his head down, and once they're in the alleyway, he takes Namjoon by the wrist and jogs until he can't smell the lion in the distance anymore.
Seokjin watches Namjoon and Jungkook depart with a pout on his face. He crosses his arms over his chest, but not before punching Jimin in the shoulder.
"Ow," the hybrid hisses, rubbing at the sore spot. "What was that for, hyung?!"
"Why'd you have to go and do that?" Seokjin answers him in the form of a question.
Jimin rolls his eyes. "Do what?"
"Be all," Seokjin waves a hand at him. "predatory. You scared Jungkook."
Jimin grumbles. "I wasn't even doing anything."
"Bullshit," Seokjin spits, walking toward the store area, leaving behind the lingerers of the club. Jimin follows. "you were giving those vibes. I could tell."
Jimin doesn't answer right away. When they get to the breakroom, that is essentially a closet with a tiny fridge, he pulls out a water bottle and chugs it.
"Not my fault you invited a bunny into a lion’s den."
Seokjin smacks his arm, in the same spot where he punched him, and Jimin grunts from his chest.
"Would you stop hitting me?" he asks.
"No," Seokjin answers and hits him in the other arm. "Would it kill you to be nice? I really like Namjoon and Jungkook, they're cool. And I'd love to spend more time with them, but not if you're going to get all carnivorous on the bun."
Jimin snorts then grins. "He really is a cute little bun," he muses. "you weren't lying when you said that before, hyung."
Seokjin's leers at him. "No."
Jimin raises his hands defensively. "No what?"
"Just," Seokjin waggles his pointer finger in his face. "no. You better not."
"I didn't even say anything!"
"You don't have to!" Seokjin snarks back. "I know that look on your face. You cannot breed Jungkook."
Jimin nearly chokes on his water, spluttering lightly before catching his breath.
"Who said anything about breeding?!" Jimin runs his fingers through his thick locks. "I just think-"
"No! No thinking."
"-it'd be nice to play with him."
Seokjin blinks at him, disgust curls his lip.
"You're a horndog," he says before walking away.
Jimin chuckles. "You're just as bad for Namjoon!"
"Shut up!" Seokjin yells behind him.
And Jimin grins down at his hand, where Seokjin's cellphone lies, his owner unaware that he'd even swiped it.
"Hm," Namjoon pouts down at the text he'd just received from Seokjin. Finding it a little odd that he'd ask so soon for a playdate, considering well, that Jungkook didn't warm up at all to his hybrid. He replies that he's a little skeptical about the idea and locks his phone. (Jimin is across the city, cursing that his plan failed.)
Jungkook has curled up on the couch a foot away from him, long legs slipping out on the material before he tucks them back up.
"Did you have an awful time?" he asks, feeling somewhat guilty that he'd had him trudge along only to become stressed out in the end. Namjoon thought it would have been a good bonding experience for them, since he has a love for literature, and Jungkook seemed determined to like anything he liked.
Jungkook peers at him, pausing his handheld gaming device to give him his attention.
"I didn't, hyung," he tells him. "Honest. I'm just not used to, you know..."
"The other hybrids?"
Namjoon sighs, he grabs Jungkook by the foot and pulls him toward himself, laying his ankles in his lap and rubbing at them. It makes him squirm at first, but then the massage relaxes him.
"You know why those prohibitions were removed right?" Namjoon implores. Jungkook stares at him, watching his owner go from fond to serious in a matter of seconds. Something he's been doing when they have this conversation repeatedly. Jungkook nods. "Then why?"
"Because," Jungkook pauses, biting his lip. "Because the other hybrids were oppressed?"
Namjoon nods. "More than oppressed, bun."
"I don't like hearing about it," Jungkook confesses. Namjoon sighs.
"I know," he says. Tone light, understanding like he always is. "But you need to push past your uncomfortableness to understand why things are changing. Why they're changing for the better-"
"But it's scary, hyung," Jungkook interjects. "I don't like walking down the street feeling eyes on me all the time like I'm a T-bone steak!"
Namjoon snorts and Jungkook kicks him a little.
"It's not funny," he says petulantly.
"I know, I know," Namjoon acquiesces. "It's not fun for you, and that sensitive little nose," Namjoon bops him. "but for you to understand, you must know that those other hybrids, the ones you think of as predators, they were mistreated. Enslaved or hidden or hunted. Some have never even seen the light of day because so many feared them. Do you think that's okay?"
Jungkook's heart breaks. And his head can't wrap around the idea of it all. "No, it's not."
"It's up to us to change it," Namjoon presses. "Up to you to change your views. You only see them as scary because that's what society taught you to see. But they have humanity in them, just like you."
"And animal instinct," Jungkook mutters. “I’m still just a bunny.”
"Well, yes," Namjoon nods. "You're not wrong there. But animal instinct is what makes the world go round, is it not?"
Jungkook frowns. Knows that Namjoon is right, but it's so hard to accept change. Especially when he's at the bottom of the food chain.
"I just want you to try," Namjoon implores, reaching over to tap his chin, get Jungkook to reach his gaze. "Can you do that for me, bun?"
Jungkook swallows, bites his lip, and nods.
"I'll try," he says.
Namjoon grins at him. "And I'll be right there with you, to help you along."
To protect you, is what goes unsaid.
Jungkook sits up, pulls his legs from Namjoon's lap, and throws his arms around his owners’ neck.
"You're the best human I know," he confesses, throat clogged with emotion, with love.
"You're the best human I know, too," Namjoon says and embraces him back, squeezing him harder when he feels the hybrid begin to cry.
It's an accidental meetup when Jungkook sees the lion and Seokjin again.
They're leaving McDonald's to go into a clothing store next door when Seokjin and Jimin are leaving. Jungkook and Jimin brush each other through the doors as they pass, and it takes everything in him not to jump back and growl.
"Oh!" Seokjin exclaims, pointing and then rushing to them when he recognizes them. "This is a surprise."
"Hey, hyung," Namjoon grins, then bows to Jimin. "Jimin."
"Hey," Jimin smiles back, easy going until his eyes land on Jungkook. Ogling him almost hungrily.
"What are you guys up to?" Seokjin asks, greeting Jungkook as well.
"Just walking around," Namjoon answers. "Jungkook needs some shorts though. Summer gets overwhelming for him sometimes."
Jimin and Seokjin nod in understanding.
"Well," Seokjin points behind him. "We're going to get some iced drinks down at that cafe. Come join us after if you want."
Jungkook grimaces at the invitation, but Namjoon just nods.
"I'll text you to let you know, hyung."
They wave to another as they depart. Except for Jungkook, who refuses to turn his back on the lion until they're out of sight. Namjoon tsks at him.
"Stop being so paranoid," he grumbles. "He's not going to eat you in plain daylight."
"You never know," Jungkook replies.
As if to spite him, Namjoon does drag him, unwillingly, to the cafe where Seokjin and Jimin promised to be. It's cool inside, which is a nice reprieve from the weather outside, but not quite relaxing enough for Jungkook who is smacked in the face with a varietal of scents
Everyone who is anyone seems to be in the cafe, from predators to prey to humans. Jimin and Seokjin are sat a table far off near the bathrooms, spotted by them when Seokjin all but bursts from his seat and waves at them with flare.
Jungkook pouts when Namjoon takes him by the hand, leading them to the table.
"Can we sit?" Namjoon asks, gesturing to the empty chairs. Jungkook all but shits himself when Namjoon tries to sit next to Seokjin, leaving him a little too close to Jimin.
"Um," he hovers, scratching his ears. "Uh."
"I won't bite," Jimin purrs, all demure like and Jungkook blanches.
Seokjin raises his eyebrows and stands from his seat.
"You can sit here," he shoves Jungkook down next to Namjoon, who is a little clueless.
"I hate you," Jungkook hisses at him and Namjoon is just so, so clueless.
"The pies here are really good," Seokjin says earnestly, handing them their menus. “We already ordered.”
On the table, a small meat pie is already torn into in front of the lion. Seokjin is sipping at a frozen blended coffee. Jungkook’s scans over the items then looks up, finding Jimin’s gaze on him from over the table. He steadfastly ignores it, perusing the menu to take his attention elsewhere.
The carrot cake sounds yummy, so he settles on that, whispering what he wants to Namjoon before his owner stands to order for them. The line is, unfortunately, long and the people who are at the cashier seem to take a billion lightyears to order. Jungkook is left to stew in his own awkwardness, fiddling with the hem of his t-shirt.
“Did you find what you needed at the store?”
Jungkook’s head jerks up. Jimin has an elbow leaning on the table, chin in his hand. It takes a second for Jungkook to process that it had been the hybrid to ask him, not Seokjin, who is minding his own business reading the menu over and over again.
“Y-yeah,” Jungkook stammers. “I did.”
Jimin grins, all Cheshire-like. “That’s nice,” he nods. “I bet the shorts would look extra cute on your very nice legs.”
From under the table, he gets a violent kick to the shin. Jungkook yelps, knee-jerking back and knocking into the table, hard. He whines, rubbing at it and pouting at his table-mates. Seokjin is gaping in shock, and Jimin begins snickering.
“I’m so sorry, bun,” Seokjin bursts out eventually. “I-I didn’t mean to.”
Jungkook’s eyes get all glassy. He lifts his leg to inspect it and finds a knot right at the bone, already bruising.
“It’s okay, hyung,” Jungkook pouts, willing himself not to cry. “It doesn’t hurt…that much.”
“Let me go get you some ice,” Seokjin runs away to the counter to ask.
Jimin just follows his owner with an amused expression.
“Now that he’s gone,” Jimin says, swiveling back to Jungkook. “We can finally talk.”
Jungkook scoots away in his chair, holding his leg, and evading Jimin invading his space. He smells a little too strong, it tickles at his nose, makes it twitch. Jungkook rubs his face with the back of his hand.
“Are you scared of me?” Jimin squints, lips curling at the corners.
Jungkook glances around at the room instead of answering. He wishes their humans would come back and save him from having to talk to the lion, but he’s cornered for now.
“Well,” Jungkook trails off. “You’re, uh, kind of scary.”
Jimin huffs from his nose, gaze lingering down Jungkook’s body as far as they can go with the table between them. Jungkook doesn’t know if he imagines the disappointment radiating from him when he settles back into his chair.
“That’s too bad,” Jimin crosses his arms, glancing at their owners. “Because I think you’re really cute.”
Jungkook’s breath hitches, he gawps, studying their surrounding area to see if anyone heard what Jimin just said.
“What?” Jungkook asks in disbelief. “What did you just say?”
“I said,” Jimin emphasizes with an eyebrow lift. “You’re cute. I have a thing for big teeth.”
“But I-I’m,” Jungkook stammers. Blush fighting its way to his cheeks. “I’m—”
“Prey?” Jimin finishes for him. Jungkook nods. “So?”
And Jungkook blinks. Unbeknownst to Jimin, he’s just tilted Jungkook’s world on its axis. Various thoughts fly through his head, sending him to space out right in front of the lion. He only snaps out of it when Seokjin and Namjoon return with drinks and a small bag of ice in hand.
“Let me see,” Namjoon prompts, face creased in concern as he sits down next to Jungkook and takes his kicked leg in hand.
Jungkook flushes, glancing to Seokjin and Jimin who watch with mirth, He batters his owner’s hands away, snags the icepack and mutters. “I’m fine, hyung.”
Namjoon sits back reluctantly, probably realizing how overbearing he was for a second and leaves Jungkook alone for the favor of popping straws into their cups.
The icepack feels good on the hot area where Jungkook was kicked. He sniffles and turns his attention back to the table in silence. He can still feel Jimin’s stare on him, it grows a little more intense when he leans over to sip at his green smoothie. With his lips wrapped around the straw, he peeks through his bangs at the hybrid.
Jimin tilts his head, lifts an eyebrow and winks at him. Jungkook nearly chokes, quietly clearing his throat before gulping down a large breath. Next to him, Namjoon has started stroking his back up and down in soothing motions. Jungkook leans into it and Jimin watches the action with a dark look in his expression.
Seokjin and Namjoon carry on a conversation that doesn’t necessarily involve the hybrids. Which is fine, Jungkook thinks. More than anything does he hate being forced into a conversation with another species, especially if the other species is determined to make him feel uncomfortable. With the differences in their classifications, it’s hard not to feel lesser than the lion. Like prey, he keeps repeating mentally to himself—if the lion wanted to, he could—
“—doesn’t it Jungkook?” Jungkook shakes himself out of his reverie. Subconsciously, his leg has begun to thump at the floor.
“Huh?” he asks dumbly.
Namjoon blushes, as if embarrassed. “Wouldn’t that be nice?”
Jimin chortles quietly, gathering his attention. “I think it does,” the lion says and leans forward, face in his hand again. “I think we could be really good friends.”
Jungkook’s eyebrows wrinkle and his mouth forms a pout. Seokjin is beaming from his chair at the bunny and Namjoon is nodding along, a twinkle in his iris.
“Um,” and even though he missed most of the conversation, he agrees, so that he doesn’t come off like a complete fool who’s had his heads in the cloud. “Yeah, sure.”
He must’ve said something right, or wrong because Jimin’s eyebrows shoot up into his hairline and Seokjin preens. Namjoon too, for all his earlier complacency, wears an expression of surprise.
“So, it’s settled then,” Namjoon smirks at Seokjin. “Dinner at mine next week.”
And Jungkook, upon hearing those words, visibly blanches. The lion purrs deep in his chest and the bunny almost squeals.
Back home, Jungkook has ceremoniously deemed the couch his space for the foreseeable future. He’s been stomach down on it since they’ve come back from their day out, scowling into the material, tail twitching in the air. Namjoon, when he’d tried to sit earlier, was kicked off before Jungkook stuck out his tongue in brat-like fashion.
“Don’t be like this,” Namjoon pouts from the floor, tugging at Jungkook’s leg. But Jungkook kicks him away and wrinkles his nose.
“You’re really going to make me do this?” Jungkook asks into his crossed arms, frown marring his features. “Jimin is really, really weird.”
Namjoon sighs, a little disappointed. “Weird how?”
“He-,” Jungkook pauses, evading the humans stare a little unsurely before carrying on. “he said something weird to me.”
From where he was slumped over on the hardwood, Namjoon lifts visibly at this, attention on the hybrid.
“What did he say?”
Jungkook recalls the lion’s words, such an insignificant thing in general, but so profound to him. “He said…he said I was cute. Really cute.”
His owner blinks at him for a moment; Jungkook bites his lip in nervousness. Then a moment later, he’s startled upright when Namjoon barks out laughing, the sound echoing in the ceiling.
“H-he said you were really cute?!” Namjoon giggles into his palm, and now Jungkook is starting to get offended.
He crosses his arms over his chest and scowls. “It’s not funny, hyung!”
Namjoon tries to placate him with his hands. “I know, bun. I know,” and he smiles fondly at the hybrid. “But why is that so weird?”
Jungkook’s large dangling ears flip back. “I mean,” he stammers. “it—I mean—”
“I call you cute all the time,” Namjoon points out. “When you met Seokjin for the first time ever, he called you cute. When you met that hamster named, uh,” Namjoon snaps his fingers, trying to recall.
“Taehyung,” Jungkook supplies quietly.
“Yeah! Yeah, Taehyung. He called you super cute and even groomed you at the first meeting!”
Jungkook waves him off. “That was different.”
“Taetae-hyung, he was,” Jungkook scrambles for what to say without it sounding offensive. “well, he was like me.”
Namjoon levels him with a look and Jungkook knows he’s said something wrong.
“Do we need to go over this again?” the human asks and Jungkook shakes his head because they really, really don’t need to. “I thought you said you’d try.”
“I am trying!” Jungkook is becoming frustrated, vision going blurry with stupid tears he doesn’t want to conjure. “I didn’t protest all day when you had Seokjin and the pred—I mean Jimin, tag along with us today. Is that not trying?”
“You didn’t speak a word to him,” Namjoon quips.
Jungkook scoffs, mumbles under his breath. “Wasn’t aware I supposed to.”
“As your friend,” Namjoon begins. “I try to understand you, to not act like your owner even if we have legal papers that say otherwise. As your friend, I want you to better yourself.”
Jungkook bites his lip, feels shame creep up in his heart and face.
“So, to answer your earlier question,” Namjoon beseeches, cupping Jungkook’s face to get him to look at him. “Yes, I am making you do this. Seokjin and Jimin will come over for dinner and I want you to try and talk to him. You never know, you could end up being very good friends.”
Not by a long shot, Jungkook thinks. Namjoon continues.
“Or you could just end up being acquaintances, but you need to do better. Got it?”
Jungkook peers at him with wide a glittering gaze and big teeth that tug at his bottom lip.
“Are you telling me this as my owner or as my friend?” he asks.
Namjoon smiles gently, always so gentle. “Perhaps a bit of both.”
Jungkook nods, turns his head away and stares at a wall.
“Is there anything I could do to make this easier for you?” Namjoon asks.
And there is. It’s been sitting in the back of his mind ever since the idea of the pair coming over has been set in stone. He glances at Namjoon, blushes a little, and says.
“Hm?” Namjoon leans in to hear him better because he is speaking so, so hushed.
“Jimin,” he repeats, rushing out the next words. “I want one of his shirts.”
Then there it is. The lightbulb that metaphorically goes off atop Namjoon’s head.
“Ah,” the human nods. “Okay, okay. I can do that. Worn right?”
Jungkook nods, ears flopping with the motion. Namjoon gets up from the floor, shuffles his way to their small shared kitchenette where his phone is charging and makes a couple of calls.
It is a day later when they get a knock on the door. It’s a messenger, with a bag slung over his body, and a smile adorning his face. He peers at Jungkook with a gentle gaze and hands him a package. Behind him, Namjoon studies the stranger in curiosity before realizing what is happening.
“Perfect! Thank you, thank you.” Namjoon tells the messenger before signing for the package.
They close the door and Jungkook can already smell it.
“It came fast,” Namjoon says and Jungkook just stares at the package, a little numb.
He hugs it to his chest like its something naughty before bringing it to the safety of his room and closing the door behind him. On the desk in the corner, he grabs some scissors and tears into the plastic wrap. The more it is opened, the stronger the scent. Jungkook fights to recoil from it, telling himself it is necessary, it is okay. Inside the package lies a gray Rolling Stones t-shirt, wafting off the predatory scent that clings so densely to Jimin’s milky skin.
Jungkook clears his throat, leans back from the shirt and fights with himself on what to do with it. He could wrap it around a pillowcase of his to sleep on, but a part of him is a bit uneasy with the idea. He could wear it around the house for an hour a day, but even that seems a little extreme. Not wanting to overwhelm himself with it, Jungkook settles for sniffing at it in small intervals, to pace himself. He hesitates for a moment before leaning in, where the shirt lays on the desk table top.
Jimin’s scent immediately jumps at him, all spicy and musky. Jungkook wrinkles his nose and can’t fight back the sneeze it conjures. He leans back from it, tries to take in some cleaner air, then tilts back in. And it takes a while to get somewhat accustomed to the notes Jimin carries. It’s overwhelming, in a way that makes his stomach clench in unease and his thighs squeeze together in…something he can’t name. But it swirls low in his gut and is subtly and surprisingly, addicting, so he gets closer.
When his nose touches the fabric, he closes his eyes without knowing, legs rubbing for friction and ears stiffening. He gasps on a breath that makes him dizzy, tasting spices in the back of his throat and swallowing down the scent. It fills his lungs, settling into a simmer in his belly beneath his ribs. Something like a whine almost builds up in his throat, but then a loud clatter from down the hall startles him out of his trance. He yelps, jerks upright and away from the scent.
Jungkook’s chest is heaving. He huffs to clear his passages and then takes several steps backward from the shirt. But the scent seems to follow him, clouding up his bedroom. In fear and disbelief, he nearly tears the door off to his bedroom in his escape to the bathroom, door locking behind him.
In the mirror, Jungkook frowns at his reflection. His cheeks are tinted a deep pink, his ears are up and alert. A little uncertain, he glances down at his body, and to his horror finds himself half hard in his shorts. If possible, he flushes even more and then whimpers.
He jumps when there is a knock on the door.
“You okay?” Namjoon is asking on the other side.
Jungkook covers his crotch area as if he can be seen. “I’m fine!” he squeaks out. Panting and freaking out a little.
“Are you sure?” Namjoon asks again, and Jungkook knows he’s just trying to be a good friend but Jungkook does not need this right now. “I thought I heard—”
“I just stubbed my toe!” Jungkook interrupts him, miming like he’s punching himself in the face, willing his boner to go away. “I’m okay. Taking a shit.”
Namjoon is quiet on the other side of the threshold, but Jungkook can hear him mumble something before he walks away, leaving Jungkook to his mental breakdown.
Jimin’s scent is a lot fainter in the restroom. But it sticks to his face, probably because he’d been nuzzling deep in the fabric. He turns on the tab, lets the water warm before taking soap to scrub at his nose. His heart is still racing, mind almost numbed with shock until realization slams into him, hard.
Arousal dissipates but lingers a little at the thought; Jungkook was just turned on by a scent. By Jimin’s scent. And it shouldn’t be possible, not for Jungkook because last he checked he was never, ever attracted to species that were not like his own; species that could overpower him, throw him down, and claim him like the weakling that he is—
And that thought spirals, images flash behind his lids of Jimin mounting Jungkook, his strong hands wrapped around the back of his neck—rough tongue licking at the most vulnerable parts of him—and fuck—
“Fuck,” Jungkook curses out loud, shakes his head to rid of the thoughts. “This cannot be happening.”
Because Jungkook knows, he is completely and totally screwed if he doesn’t get over this by next week.
“Has the shirt been helping?” Namjoon asks while they’re preparing food for dinner.
They’ve decided not to cook quite yet, waiting for Seokjin because the humans thought it’d be a nice way to develop teamwork - (which is fucking stupid, in Jungkook’s opinion) - if the hybrids and humans could work together to create a meal. Jungkook just got done cutting up some carrots before moving to rinse the spinach in the sink. Per Namjoon’s suggestion, soft music plays from an app connected to their surround sound.
“Uh,” Jungkook’s heart kicks a little before he lies. “Yeah.”
“That’s good,” Namjoon praises him, knocking into him with his hip. “I’m glad.”
And the shirt would’ve worked in theory. Jungkook should’ve scented himself with it little by little every day before the week was up. Essentially, he would have become comfortable with the lions’ scent in tandem with becoming less intimidated by the lion. It’s a process many hybrids like him use to introduce themselves to a species they are wary of, especially those with classification differences. But the shirt hadn’t worked…in the way that he’d been expecting.
It worked a little too well, turning him on to the point of being mouth-numbing. More than once has his mind turned to mush when pressing his nose up against the shirt; more than once has he been tempted to sleep with it on then drag a hand between his legs to rut against it until he came…
But he hadn’t. Jungkook resisted in every way possible, talking himself into believing again that coupling with the lion would be a very, very bad idea.
(Except a smaller part of him asked why? Why would it be that bad? If the scent wasn’t supposed to make him want to fuck, why did it?)
Jungkook shudders a bit, wiping his hands on a towel after he’s done rinsing the veggies. He turns to Namjoon and excuses himself to go pick up his bedroom.
The buzzer goes off minutes later, and Jungkook tries not to freak out visibly, but he is and Namjoon notices. With a concerned expression, he buzzes Seokjin and Jimin up and turns to him.
“Would you be more comfortable in your room for a moment?” Namjoon asks.
And Jungkook exhales in relief. Namjoon knows him so, so well. His bedroom is his safe-haven, a place where the lion can’t get him, so he nods.
“Okay,” Namjoon rubs comforting hands up and down his arms. “That’s fine, bun. Come out to say hi whenever you feel comfortable.”
A knock at the door sends Jungkook careening down the hall and slamming his bedroom door shut. Jimin’s t-shirt lies ominously on the corner of his bed that he resists diving for. He slides down the door, knocks his head back against the wood, and then presses his ear to the crevice.
Muddled voices seep through. Seokjin’s high lilting greeting makes Jungkook feel shameful, shameful that he can’t even bring himself to be brave enough and welcome them into their home. Jimin’s purring voice comes next, and although soft in nature, Jungkook feels it wash through him in waves. His legs tighten together on their own and Jungkook breathes.
Relax, relax, relax, he tells himself. Don’t inhale too deeply.
The voices become muffled the further they walk into the kitchen, thick walls blocking noise. The only thing he can hear is the music notes that carry down the hall from their speakers in the living room. Jungkook rises moments later, huffs in shallow breaths. Jimin’s scent isn’t necessarily cloying in the air, tempting Jungkook like it has so many times. Which is good, because more than anything does he need to keep his ass in check.
The shirt is losing some of its effects too, having been rubbed against one too many times by Jungkook.
He ogles it where it lies on the bed but then picks it up with nervous fingers. Jungkook brings it to his face, inhales it, and sighs. In a strange way, it comforts him, wraps him up in the spice that is so signature Jimin’s that it warms his insides. Footsteps down the hall startle him into dropping it. A knock at his door makes him kick it under the bed
“Bun,” comes Namjoon’s voice. “We’re going to begin cooking.”
Jungkook clears his throat of its lump. “O-okay.”
And his owner disappears down the hall. It’s not long before he can smell the pans searing vegetables and other ingredients. Jungkook starts to beat himself up some more for missing the cooking experience Namjoon has hyped up these past few days. Laughter floats through the walls and Jungkook pouts, feeling left out.
He cracks the door open, peers outside, and squeaks when he finds Jimin crouched down at the end of the hallway. Jungkook freezes in shock and a bit of fear, but Jimin just watches on curiously, head tilted, ears swiveling. The lion sniffs the air, tail flicking from his rump before Seokjin comes into view behind him.
“Hey!” Seokjin hisses, Jimin jumps about a foot in the air. “Leave the bun alone.”
“No,” and then the lions human is stalking towards the big cat, grabbing him by the back of the shirt and dragging him away.
Jungkook gapes a little before closing the door.
The rest of his night is spent like that. Peering out of the door, catching sight of the lion, then closing it once more. Eventually, he becomes used to hearing others in his home, used to the laughter Seokjin erupts in and Jimin’s rumbling voice.
Jungkook’s plate of food is settled outside in the hall for him. He drags it inside and eats alone in his bedroom. Namjoon doesn’t ask him to come out for the rest of the evening save for that one instance.
When they leave, Jungkook finally creeps back out to put his plate in the sink where Namjoon is washing dishes.
“Was it good?” the human asks. Jungkook nods and presses his forehead to his owners’ shoulder. “Seokjin sure knows how to cook."
“Did you tell him thank you for me?”
Namjoon nods. “Of course.”
Jungkook wordlessly steps back and begins to help him clean up, although a little forlornly, but he cannot pinpoint why. He doesn’t know why he feels robbed of the opportunity to socialize when he was the one who locked himself up in the bedroom. But it itches at him the wrong way, makes him regret not being more audacious.
“Don’t be so glum, bun,” Namjoon says. Jungkook scratches at the back of his ears.
“Did—” Jungkook pauses, then continues. “Did they have fun?”
The human hums. “I think so. They asked us to go to their place next time.”
Jungkook tries not to show it, but a little bit of hope lights up his aura.
“They did?” he asks. “What did you say?”
“Well,” Namjoon rinses off a pan and hands it to Jungkook to dry. “I told them I’d think about it.”
This makes Jungkook blanch and although he knows the answer already, he asks. “Why’d you do that?”
Namjoon pauses from where he’s scrubbing a spatula and turns his head around to him, says. “Because the whole night, you were in your bedroom all alone and I couldn’t help but worry about you. And if I took you along to go, you would have a terrible time.”
“You don’t know that!” Jungkook protests, a little too vehement.
Namjoon raises an eyebrow. “I don’t?”
“Tell me then, bun,” Namjoon turns his whole body towards him and brings him in by the waist. “If I told them we’d come, would you be afraid?”
To this, Jungkook cannot answer in a lie. ‘No’ wants to spill from his lips, but ‘yes’ sits heavy behind his teeth, pushing and pushing like the truth always does.
“See,” Namjoon quirks a brow, lets him go. “I don’t want you to stress out. It’s not good for your stomach.”
“My stomach is fine.” Namjoon sighs then returns to cleaning. Jungkook doesn’t carry on either and together they clean in relative silence. As Jungkook is clearing the table, a scent catches his nose. On the back of one of their worn-down chairs hangs a thin cardigan. Jungkook picks it up, sniffs at it and brings it to Namjoon, brandishing it with a question in his furrowed brows.
“Oh yeah,” Namjoon blinks. “Jimin left that for you.”
Jungkook gapes and subconsciously brings the shirt toward himself to hug. “Why’d he do that?”
And Namjoon smirks, takes in the way the bunny is clutching at the cardigan and says. “Because he really wants to change your mind about him. And because he also really wants you to go to their house for dinner.”
Jungkook flushes bright red, chews on the inside of his cheek and runs to the room, abandoning Namjoon to clean alone while he snuggles in bed with the cardigan, wearing a tiny grin.
What is nice about Seokjin’s place is that it sits conveniently above the bookstore he owns. Jungkook and Namjoon have been standing outside for the better part of half an hour, all because the human has to soothe an agitated bunny.
“Are you okay now?”
Jungkook jogs in place. The setting sun isn’t strong here in the alleyway, blocked by tall buildings, letting them sweat in the shadows instead.
“Yes,” Jungkook huffs, willing himself to calm, to stop hopping around, but he can’t help it. He’s so, so nervous.
“I’m going to press the button now.”
“Like right now.”
“Okay,” Jungkook nods again, rustling the bag in his hand.
Inside the bag are Jimin’s clothes he let Jungkook borrow; they are washed nice and fresh with one of Jungkook’s favorite Downey’s and ironed pristine by Namjoon. Internally, Jungkook is anxious and excited, not a nice combo to have when meeting the lion and Seokjin. It makes him restless, ears alert on his head and eyes bugging.
Namjoon presses on their buzzer and Jungkook screams on the inside.
“Yes?” comes a grainy voice from the speaker. “Who is it?”
“It’s us,” Namjoon answers back. “Wanna let us up, hyung?”
Instead of answering, the door is unlocked a second later. Namjoon and Jungkook hustle in to escape the heat, but the small lobby and winding stairs aren’t much of a relief. When they get to the door, they are positively wet with sweat.
“I despise you right now,” Namjoon mutters to him before knocking on the door.
“I can’t help it!” Jungkook hisses back.
Then the door is swung open and Jimin and Seokjin greet them with twin grins.
“Come in, come in,” Seokjin gesticulates with his hands. Jimin steps back, allowing Jungkook to brush past him with tense shoulders.
Ripples and ripples of the lions’ scent smacks him in the face. For a moment, he has to slap a hand over his nose and breathe from his mouth, though that does very little because it berates him from all angles. Oppressing almost, but mostly arousing. In his slight panic of being in the lion’s den, Jungkook steps out of his shoes hurriedly, bows to the homeowners and then thrusts out his hand holding the bag.
Jimin eyeballs it warily and then smiles when he realizes what it must be. “Wow,” Jimin says to him. “thank you.”
The lion opens the bag, sticks his face inside, and inhales deeply. Jungkook nearly chokes.
“Smells just like you,” Jimin says and grins up at the bunny.
Jungkook blushes. “I-I washed them.”
“He was very thorough about it, too,” Namjoon smiles at the pair before turning to Seokjin. He holds out a hand, showcasing another bag. “I brought something for you guys as well.”
Seokjin claps in glee and takes the proffered bag. Inside are some traditional Korean deserts as well as some snacks for the lion. “You didn’t have to! We’ll enjoy these.”
They are led further into the house and Jungkook finds himself gazing around in amazement. The apartment is large, larger than Namjoon and Jungkook’s humble abode, and it is green. Plants lodge here and there, it smells like the bookstore and feels just as homely. Jimin comes up to stand by his side, a small smile on his face. Jungkook is nudged a second later to see Jimin nod his head toward a couple of doors to their right.
“Want to see my room?” Jimin asks.
And Jungkook’s automatic response is to choke out a ‘no’, but he bites it back. He nods instead. Jimin takes him by the wrist, lightly, and tugs him to the door closest to the windows. Jungkook’s heart races. His wrist burns.
It’s the first time Jimin’s ever really touched him, the pulse in his wrist held by Jimin is sky-rocketing and Jimin glances back at him like he knows.
The room they stop in front of is adorned by a light-gray door. Jimin swings it open but doesn’t walk in. Jungkook gasps. The bedroom is just as large as the living room, with even larger windows that look over the alleyway. Grayish curtains match the carpet. Jimin’s bed is huge, spanning across more space than Jungkook thinks is necessary. The sheets and duvet are white. Décor keeps the room modern-chic. It’s so bright and airy that it throws Jungkook for a loop.
He’s walked in without realizing it, mouth hung open, stare locked on a tall brown bookshelf. His hand is running over a nightstand before he turns to Jimin, who’s leaning against the doorway, watching him with something like kindness in his countenance.
“Not what you expected?” the lion asks.
Jungkook is a little embarrassed when he shakes his head. “I thought it’d be more – you know.”
“Like a den?”
Jungkook shrugs. “Yeah, I guess.”
Jimin chuckles then makes his way in, opening the bag and walking towards a closet. Jungkook follows his every step like it’d be a travesty to not.
“And yours?” Jimin asks, somewhat vaguely.
“Your bedroom,” Jimin takes a hanger from the closet and wraps the cardigan around it. “is it all…nest like? With straw and straw mats and—”
“No!” Jungkook scrunches his nose. “It's just, normal, I guess.”
Jimin turns to him with a quirked brow. “So then why shouldn’t mine be?”
Jimin’s words take Jungkook aback. Some sense is knocked into him, world tilted on its axis once more. The lion smiles at him, shakes his head, and mutters something he can’t hear under his breath as he hangs the Rolling Stone shirt.
“We’re not that different, Jungkook,” Jimin says.
At the door, Namjoon comes tumbling in with Seokjin trailing behind.
“Whoa!” Namjoon grins, dimples sharp. “Cool room.”
Jimin turns to him. “Thanks, hyung.”
“Look,” Seokjin crosses his arms at the door. “I don’t know about you guys, but I will deteriorate soon if I don’t get some food in me. Wanna get to cooking?”
Jimin and Namjoon nod eagerly, minus Jungkook who meekly peeks at Seokjin.
“Did you, um…” Jungkook begins, blanching at the attention on him. “do you have vegetables, hyung?”
“Of course, bun,” Seokjin concedes. “Jimin helped me pick them out for you at the grocery store.”
Jungkook watches the lion. The hybrid is glaring at his owner, but a light pink turns up on his cheeks.
“Unnecessary information, hyung—”
“Let’s go,” Seokjin interrupts the lion, taking Namjoon by the arm and waving for Jungkook who scuffles over.
The kitchen, surprise surprise, is also big. Jungkook just watches on in awe as the other three begin maneuvering about, rinsing off rice, taking out cutting boards. Raw meat is sitting on a large slab of marble, where Jimin goes to it with a large butcher knife to start cutting.
Seokjin re-directs Namjoon to the easier tasks, keeping him away from the sharp objects (likely from having learned how clumsy the man is), and comes over to drag Jungkook near Jimin. Various vegetables are handed to him, rinsed and ready for slicing.
“Is this sanitary?” Jungkook mumbles, eyeing Jimin beside him with the bloody meat.
“It’s fine,” Seokjin assures, handing him a small board and then a knife. “Just don’t cut yourself.”
Jungkook nods. He takes some celery and begins cutting. Jimin observes him from where he’s professionally dicing up the meat into smaller bits. When Jungkook is done with the celery, he moves onto the cilantro. He starts tearing off the leaves from the stems with his fingers but then is stopped by Jimin.
“It’s easier to do it like this,” the lion crowds him from behind, takes the knife, and cuts off a handful of the leaves. Jungkook watches him work, his chubby fingers rolling up the cilantro, and running the blade through it.
Jungkook almost wants to snap that he knows what he’s doing, but he kind of likes this. Being pinned up against the counter with the lion at his back. Jungkook inhales as much of him as he can before Jimin pulls away, then coughs into his elbow, wondering when he became so shameless. “See?”
Jungkook studies the work he’s done and then nods. “T-thanks, I guess.”
Jimin nods at him and turns back to his own station.
After cutting up some strawberries and other leafy greens. Jungkook has made himself and everyone else a nice bowl of salad. The other food takes time to cook, so he is left to his devices. Outside of the kitchen and in the living room, Jungkook takes it upon himself to sit on the couch. Seokjin’s smart television is shuffling through music videos, so Jungkook watches them somewhat bored.
The entertainment center houses photographs and books about plants. Jungkook gets up to observe them closer. In smaller frames are baby pictures of a small lion hybrid with chubby cheeks, uncannily resembling Jimin. A younger boy with a suit much too big for him is in others.
“I belonged to Seokjin-hyungs’ parents,” comes a voice to his left. Jungkook jerks to attention. Jimin is smiling at the photos, reaching out to run a reverent finger over them. “Was born from their hybrids and handed to Seokjin like a little doll to play with.”
Hearing this makes Jungkook uneasy. He fidgets in place, imagines being handed down like a family air loom, like an object.
“But hyung always treated me like a brother,” Jimin seems to sense Jungkook’s discomfort, spinning the story into positivity. “We were raised together and now he’s legally my owner.”
Jungkook’s stares at him through his bangs, takes an ear and fiddles with the end.
“Um,” Jungkook says. “Namjoon hyung is like my brother too.”
Jimin pivots to him, giving Jungkook all his attention as if he wants to hear more.
“He adopted me – bought me really,” Jungkook continues. “I was one of the older ones, in and out of trading in the underground markets. He took me out, saved me…I think he’s the first human I’ve had that stayed with me longer than a month.”
Jimin nods, jaw going tight. One of his hands comes up slowly to push Jungkook’s bangs from his face. He says. “You must love him a lot then.”
Jungkook sighs, all shuddery, vision hazing at the fingers running through his hair. “I do.”
“As an owner?” Jimin questions, an eyebrow quirked. The question is deeper than it seems.
Jungkook’s hands shakily rise to Jimin’s wrist still in his hair. He takes it from his head, slowly brings it back down, and clutches it with both hands.
“As—as a friend,” he answers. “As a brother.”
And Jimin nods as if he approves of the answer. Jungkook sags in relief, knowing he’d said the right thing.
Dinner is a loud affair. With wine swirling in their glasses, they become red in the face from being tipsy. This dinner is very, very different from the last. Jungkook’s reservations have all but been thrown out the window. Their human's joke and laugh, the hybrids join in with them. They eat until their stomachs are content, diving into dessert, and drinking more wine.
At one point, Jungkook is laughing so hard he is clutching onto his stomach, thumping his foot on the ground. One of his ears gets pulled when Jimin throws himself into Jungkook’s side of laughter too, but he doesn’t mind. It’s a whirlwind of an amazing time. Not once has he felt unwelcomed, not once has he been treated like lesser from Jimin or Seokjin.
It’s as if they’d been long lost friends.
As they wind down, glasses and bottles empty, plates cleared, Jimin scoots over in his seat. The chair drags with him, but the scrape of it is lost in hushed conversation. Namjoon and Seokjin are muttering quietly on one side and Jimin leans over to whisper.
“Are you scared of me now?” the lion asks, leaning his chin on Jungkook’s shoulder to peer at him with glazed over eyelids.
Jungkook’s breath hitches in his throat at the sight, legs rubbing together. He glances at the pair across from them and looks back.
He answers. “No,” and is surprised to find that it’s the truth.
Jimin grins, all cat-like with his pupils wide. “Good,” he rumbles, rubs his forehead into Jungkook’s shirt along with his scent. “That means you can come here more often, right?”
Jungkook gulps, feeling warm where the lion is touching him with his face. “S-sure,” he answers, feeling a blush blaze in his cheeks. The wine is making him feel more relaxed than usual. His chin comes out before he knows it, to scent the lion right back. The underneath of it rubs onto Jimin’s thick head of hair, leaving his light scent in its wake.
Jimin blinks up at him after the action is done, somewhat shocked. Jungkook looks away.
“Here,” Jimin tugs at his hand, pressing something hard into it. It’s a small flip-phone, outdated as can be. “Give me your number.”
Jungkook nods in Namjoon’s direction. “We share a phone,” he admits. Because Namjoon could never afford to get him his own. “Is that okay?”
“It’s fine,” Jimin grins dopily, breath reeking of that sweet, sweet wine. “You can email right?”
“Yeah,” Jungkook nods, taking the phone and entering his contact information.
Jimin hugs the phone to his chest when he’s done.
Seokjin adamantly protests when Jungkook and Namjoon try to help them clean. But it’s in their nature to want to help.
“Just go home,” Seokjin demands when Jungkook starts picking up their glasses. “We got this.”
He comes over and snatches items from their hands. Jungkook giggles before he starts to yawn.
“See?” Seokjin points. “Namjoon, your hybrid is sleepy.”
Namjoon peeks out at him from the kitchen. “Are you?”
Jungkook shakes his head, even though he is still yawning. Beside him, Jimin rubs his back.
“I’m fine,” Jungkook answers with purple eye bags.
“Liar,” Jimin snarks. Jungkook glares at him.
“Go home,” Seokjin tells them again. “I’m already sick of your faces.”
Namjoon laughs at this, coming out to gather Jungkook up.
“We can still do this next week, right?” Namjoon asks, going to their lobby and putting on their shoes. Jungkook steps wobbly into his and lets Namjoon tie his laces.
“Of course,” Seokjin nods. “Your place next time?”
“Sure, sure,” Namjoon agrees, standing back up when he’s done. “We’ll text for details.”
Behind Seokjin’s shoulder is Jimin motioning to Jungkook, making ‘call me’ gestures that make him blush for the billionth time that night. He nods to the lion, then gets shoved outside by Seokjin. They hug the human for a quick goodbye and Jungkook waves coyly at Jimin before the door is shut in their faces.
Namjoon sighs, pats down his shirt, and takes Jungkook’s hand before they descend the stairs. Once they’re in the alley, the moon beckons them home. But a clatter behind them makes them take pause. Jimin has rushed out to them in haste, wearing a different shirt, and handing the one was just sporting out to Jungkook.
The lion huffs out to catch his breath. “I almost forgot to give this to you,” he waves the shirt at the bunny, who takes it with slow hands. They stare at each other until Jungkook jumps into action as well, handing Namjoon Jimin’s shirt to hold for a moment so he can slip off his plaid button-up. He hands it to Jimin with flaming cheeks, waving another shy goodbye at him before snatching the shirt from Namjoon and dragging his human away.
“Well,” Namjoon whistles. “This is quite the development.”
“Shut up, hyung.”
If Jungkook wears the lion’s shirt every day until the scent wears, he doesn’t tell Jimin about it. They’ve been emailing sparingly, texting innocently through Namjoon’s phone, and having late night conversations that go on for hours and hours, about nothing, about everything.
Jungkook can’t even believe he’s the same person he was just days ago, fearing predators, hating predators. But how was he supposed to know that one little lion would change his views so quickly, so extremely?
His prejudices haven’t just changed toward the lion itself, but also toward any other predator on the outside world. Though he is still hesitant in certain situations, Jungkook finds it easier to tag along with Namjoon to his workplace, on grocery shopping trips.
Ever since the segregation of predators has been outlawed in the recent years, he’s been the type to cling to his safety, hanging onto old times, finding it hard to accept change. But now, he throws himself into the new world, smiling at predators, even greeting them out in the streets. Though he gets odd stares here and there, it makes him happier, seeing that predators greet him back just as warmly.
Seokjin and Jimin come over for dinner just about every week. Namjoon and Jungkook also visit the pair as much as they can, including time at the book club that Jungkook becomes more involved in. As their relationship and friendship progress, the hybrids decide to set up play dates. One will visit the other in the pretense of reading over the book the club is currently on or playing video games. But what the owners don’t know (or do) is that the hybrids just yearn to be in another’s company.
It’d taken a while, but eventually, the lion and the bunny have wandered into grooming territory, an intimate and familial act between any kind of hybrid.
The first time it happened, Jimin had just been dropped off at his apartment and Jungkook was snuggled into his bed, curled up with a handheld gaming device. Jimin let himself in with the code, kicked off his shoes, and zipped his way to the bunny’s room. Jungkook had opened his arms without hesitance, letting the lion jump into them, into his bed, to cuddle like they’ve been doing.
After minutes and minutes of this, Jungkook felt something wet and warm at his neck, dragging up into his hair. He froze, couldn’t even pause his game, before the sensation was there again, the lion's tongue dragging up his skin, hot and rough.
The purring and rumbling were what gave it away for what it was. Jimin was grooming him like something he’d do with a mate, a cub, or a member of his pride. It was odd, a little scary at first, but Jungkook melted into the touch, let Jimin crawl all over him and lick him down like he was his baby.
And it grew from there. Jungkook began to scent him thoroughly after this and Jimin returned the favor right back. It was territorial at this point, claiming behavior.
It started to become more apparent when Seokjin would throw an arm over Jungkook and Jimin didn’t like it. Or when Namjoon would compliment Jimin too much and Jungkook would throw a fit.
What the hybrids didn’t know was that the humans already sensed this coming from a mile away.
“Do you think we should keep them separated for a bit?” Seokjin had asked Namjoon one day after dinner, watching the hybrids twine into each other on the couch from the table.
Namjoon had just looked at his friend and whispered back. “It’s unavoidable, hyung. We promised them not to be like other owners, remember?”
Seokjin sighed. “I know. But I can’t help but worry.”
“I think,” Namjoon pursed his lips. “I think we can trust them to make their own decisions. I mean, the world is changing already as it is. What’s another change added to the mix going to cost?”
And Seokjin just sighed, picked up his cup of water and gulped it down.
“I guess you’re right,” he’d said. “Just don’t like seeing my baby grow up like this.”
Namjoon chortled, threw his arm around Seokjin’s shoulder, and patted him for comfort.
And right he was. Like Namjoon is always right about mostly everything.
It’s one night after Jimin leaves Jungkook’s place does everything come to a head. The evening and the better part of the day were spent cuddling and grooming. Let alone scent marking that turned into little kisses innocent enough in nature.
One moment, Jimin’s tongue was lavishing at Jungkook’s floppy brown ear, and the next, it was trailing along his jaw, traveling up the short path of his chin and licking into his mouth. This kiss wasn’t their first, for they shared many upon rushed goodbyes and playful chases. But it was the first that was charged with tension, quivering up Jimin’s spine, transferring to Jungkook’s.
It left them shuddering, trembling. Hands grasping into loose clothes, balmy palms that wandered up shirts and roamed on top of warm skin. Jungkook felt himself heat up, thighs squeezing together like they had many times upon being overwhelmed in Jimin’s spicy scent. But this time, it was worse because Jimin’s aroma was more dense, tempting him from where he found himself pinned under the lion. It left him uneasy, that his animal instinct to mate returned with vengeance, thickening his own scent.
Jimin could smell it. His arousal. The hybrid had risen up to meet Jungkook’s lust blown eyes and froze, his pupils turning wide, tail stiff behind him. A moment later, Jungkook was tossed around, thick legs encasing Jimin’s hips from where he was perched on his lap. Jungkook blushed, pulled an ear into his mouth and felt his tail twitch.
“There,” Jimin rumbled. “Now maybe you won’t feel so threatened of me.”
Without thinking about, Jungkook had rolled his hips, and both hybrids groaned at the friction. Jungkook was already hard and Jimin was getting stiffer underneath his ass, he could feel it.
“M-maybe,” Jungkook gulped and glanced down at his hips circling over Jimin’s erection. “Maybe we shouldn’t hyung.”
And the lion practically growled, almost losing himself. They could both feel it. They were succumbing to baser urges.
“Namjoon’s home,” Jungkook said and looked over to the door. “he’s home.”
Jimin jerked from underneath, met Jungkook’s hips in their slow roll and then dragged out a groan. He seemed as though he were in pain, veins in his neck throbbing, hands clutched into Jungkook’s short shorts riding up his thick thighs.
“You’re killing me here,” the lion ground out and then proceeded to lift Jungkook off his lap.
The bunny went unwillingly, plopping down on Jimin’s side and gazing at him.
“I want it, hyung,” Jungkook gulped in Jimin’s delicious scent. “You know I do.”
Jimin turned to him, tucked his erection into the band of his boxers, and brushed Jungkook’s face with the other.
“I know,” Jimin licked his lips. “I do too,” he leaned in, pecked Jungkook pursed lips and continued. “but not like this when it feels so…”
“So rushed?” Jungkook supplied. Jimin nodded. “But we will, right?”
Jimin kissed him again. “We will. We will.”
Then Jungkook clung onto that promise, well after Jimin left, well into the night.
When he finally hears Namjoon’s door close for sleep and feels the late hour drape over him, does Jungkook let himself break.
The bed reeks of Jimin. The scent of the lion’s arousal has soaked into the blankets, strongest near the head. Jungkook grabs for the top, tearing out his pillows, and throwing off his clothes.
Once he’s naked, he grabs his flaccid cock and jerks to full hardness in hurried motions. The sensation has him muffling moans in the crook of his elbow, he writhes with want, body pulsing, heating up. He stacks the pillows underneath his hips, two on top of each other, and straddles them like he’d straddled Jimin earlier. He begins to rut down, small cock trapped between his weight and the bed below, leaking precum. But the friction isn’t enough. The fabric of his pillows is too soft.
Jungkook topples over until his chest meets the bed, nipples meeting soft sheets, naked ass in the air, his tail twitching. He shoves his fisted hands between the pillows under his aching cock and gasps. The pressure that much greater.
Jungkook thrusts down with abandon, jaw clenching. Choking on breaths, face buried into sheets that smell like Jimin, Jimin, Jimin—
“Hyung,” he whines, biting on the blankets, thrusting down harder. “Please, yes. Just—like that—”
And it’s so much, Jimin’s scent, clogging up his throat, on his tongue. Jungkook licks the sheets like a dumb animal, tightens his fists underneath his hips. He humps and humps. Humps so fast that his hips blur with the movement, his back arching, the bed creaking. His fuzzy little tail twitching.
It’s wet where his dick is being smothered. He can feel the imprint of it on his hands. He opens a fist and tries to grip it through the layers. It makes him drool, cock pulsing. Jungkook imagines Jimin here with him, watching him from the corner, smirking. His dumb little bunny fucking a pillow, wishing it was him. He almost wants to cry, balls tightening with the thought.
Then Jungkook’s body is tensing, hips jerking, sperm spurting out of his head so hard he’s lightheaded with it.
“Yes, yes, yes,” he chants, drooling down the side of his cheek until it pools on the bed, eyes rolling to the high heavens. “So, good, hyung. So good.”
His ears on top of his head jerk, pulsing in tandem with his orgasm. It lasts for what feels like ages, soaking his underbelly, only stopping when Jungkook finally feels oversensitive, his wet dick rubbed raw from the pillow casing.
He slides over and off his makeshift straddle, throws his naked leg over the pillows, and knows he can’t handle another day of not being taken by Jimin.
Early in the morning, when Namjoon has taken off for work. Jungkook all but leaps from his bed.
The dawn has just broken, but Jungkook feels impatient and needy and everything in between with the absence of Jimin. Not even his scented shirt had soothed him. Not even his late night romp in the sheets. Jungkook’s fingers are hasty where they type out a short email to Jimin from his laptop. It sends, and to his disappointment, goes unanswered for hours.
He tries to distract himself in the meantime, by eating breakfast, by working out in the living room, by watching television. But every minute spent not being fucked stupid by the lion is making him extremely uneasy.
It takes two lubed up fingers in his ass and three shoved in his mouth before he can finally settle. On the floor of his bedroom is where he deems it necessary to fuck back on his own fingers. Jungkook wriggles around, ears flipped over his head, face pressed into the ground, fingers swirling inside of him.
And he nearly cries of frustration. He cannot find his prostate. The hand that was in his mouth leave them for the favor of wrapping around his bobbing red cock. It has been dangling and twitching, oozing precum as he fingers himself open. Now it jerks in his hand, sensitive and swollen, almost purple. Jungkook just wants to come.
But not without Jimin here, he whines to himself. He jabs at himself a few more times, hums low and needy. His tail twitches about above the swell of his ass and Jungkook fears he will never be satisfied.
Jungkook makes a tight ‘o’ with his fingers around his head. He thrusts forward as he fucks the hand behind him, finding a steady rhythm. His strong legs help him rise up and down, as if he’s riding dick, and it’s starting to finally feel decent, decent enough to moan a little, to curse a plead with no one.
In his desperation to find release, he hadn’t heard the front door swing open. Hadn’t heard footsteps thumping down the hall. When the scent of the lion suddenly fills the room from the door space, Jungkook looks back with a red-rimmed gaze and pauses.
Jimin is crouched in the doorway, nearly on his knees, ready to pounce.
In his animal mind, Jungkook goes lax. He pulls his fingers from his hole, takes his hand from his cock, and lays face down on his belly, watching the lion crawl in and forward, stalking him like prey. He mewls.
“Finally,” Jungkook gasps, voice quaking. “you’re finally here.”
Jimin just hums, his brownish-orange irises roving over his naked body, his twitching fluffy tail. Jungkook feels vulnerable, so vulnerable. He brings out his hands, rolling slightly onto his side.
“C’ mere,” he begs, clenching his fists. “c’ mere, please. Please.”
And Jimin listens. He closes in almost violently, crashing into Jungkook, throwing him onto his back and settling between his legs. It’s all sticky and wet between his thighs, down his crevice. Jimin watches his fluttering hole and rumbles in his chest.
“Missed you,” Jungkook pulls him down by his shoulders, pulls him in to scent the lion on all his glands. His cheeks, his chin. “Missed you, so much.”
“Couldn’t wait?” Jimin speaks, at long last.
Jungkook shakes his head, still so desperate but so happy now that Jimin is here.
“Want you,” Jungkook is on the verge of tears, so many emotions clashing inside of him. He spreads his legs wide open around Jimin’s hips, showcasing his entrance. “Tried to open myself up for you. Waiting.”
“God,” Jimin heaves a breath, reaches down to cup Jungkook’s face in his hands. “you smell so good right now.”
“Are you going to keep your promise?” Jungkook asks, doesn’t know how he’s so coherent with how badly he needs Jimin.
Jimin nods, licking at his lips, sucking at Jungkook’s neck. “Yes, baby. Gonna keep it.”
Then Jungkook is lifted into the air. He clutches at Jimin from where he holds him, then grapples for him again when the lion settles them on the bed. Jimin divulges him, lets Jungkook suck at his tongue, his lips. Lets him bite his neck and rut up against him.
Jimin pulls away after a moment though, tossing Jungkook around on his stomach, pulling the bunny’s hips up. Jungkook goes readily, waving his ass around, reaching back to spread open his hole. Jimin rumbles at the sight. His bunny is so needy.
“Where’s the lube?” Jimin asks and Jungkook points vaguely to the floor. A small bottle was left discarded by the carpet and Jimin abandons him for a second to scoop it up. “Gonna need more fingers, bun.”
Jungkook nods, ears spread on the bed. “’ Kay.”
Jimin coos at him, leans over to kiss his cheek. The lube is warmed on his fingers not seconds later and he reaches down to circle his rim. It clenches, then loosens, welcoming the touch.
“You're so sweet,” Jimin praises, pressing his finger in, then another. Jungkook moans, ass swallowing him greedily. “You’re going to take it so well, aren’t you?”
Jungkook nods, spreads his legs wider on the bed, knees nearly slipping in the sheets. His thighs are shaking, small cock pulsing between his legs. Jimin’s other hand reaches down to cup his balls, rolling them around in his fingers, feeling Jungkook tighten around him.
“Relax, bun,” Jimin coos, adding another finger, sinking it in slow and as deep as it’ll allow him. “Take a breath.”
Below him, Jungkook is red from exertion. Chest stuttering with his labored breaths, mouth parted, eyes distant. Jimin begins fucking him with his fingers, opening them up when he pulls out, tightening them as he presses him. Jungkook adjusts beautifully, even able to take Jimin’s fourth finger, feeding it into him just as slow.
When Jungkook chokes and jerks away from the hand crooking inside him, Jimin knows he’s grazed his prostate. He angles his fingers the same way, massages into it, and earns a cry from the bunny.
“Jimin,” Jungkook sobs. “Want you, want you. Hurry, please!”
“Shh,” Jimin leans down to kiss above Jungkook’s ass, between the dimples in his back. He thrusts in harder, loving the squelching noises. “I’ve got you.”
Eventually, reluctantly, Jimin pulls his fingers from his ass. Jungkook falls flat on his stomach from holding himself up. And Jimin adores it. He adores how Jungkook unconsciously submits, baring his most vulnerable parts, turning his back on a lion.
Jimin pulls his shirt over his head, steps off the bed to climb out of his shorts. Jungkook is heaving, but a deadweight on the mattress. It makes Jimin crazy. The bunny’s position telling him he’s ready to be bred.
His own dick is throbbing, thick, veiny, and a deep red from arousal. He swipes some of the extra lube from between Jungkook’s cheeks and slathers his cock in it. He moans, drowning in the way Jungkook’s scent is everywhere, on the bed, on his cock, in the air.
He comes up behind the bunny, yearning to mount, reaching to take Jungkook’s shoulder in his hand. He teases his member between Jungkook’s cheeks, and the bunny reacts immediately, scrambling back up to meet him, opening his ass.
“So fucking slutty for me,” Jimin purrs, then smashes a hand down on the back of Jungkook’s neck, pressing him down almost hard enough that it’s a struggle to breathe. “Stay put, bun. Like a good little prey.”
Jungkook moans, about to nod. Then Jimin rams into him in one go, thickness filling him. Jungkook nearly screams.
But Jimin is unmerciful, instincts running high, body running on adrenaline. The lion takes over his head and Jimin does not waste one second to hesitate. He fucks the bunny hard. Hard enough to drive them up the bed, thrusts brutal.
Jimin’s hips slap into his with bruising force, Jungkook is dumb with pleasure. His tongue lolls out of his mouth, Jimin’s grip tightens on his neck. The only sounds are that of their coupling, Jungkook’s gasping moans, and Jimin’s grunts.
When Jungkook’s head begins to slam into the headboard, he pushes his arms out to press away from it. It brings him closer to Jimin, thrusts more violent, Jimin’s cock so, so deep inside of him. It feels like it’s in his stomach. All Jungkook can do is take it like the good mate he should be.
And it feels so fucking incredible, to let himself submit to the predator. At any moment, Jimin could kill him. But he hasn’t, he doesn’t. He just takes Jungkook by the hair, yanks him up until he’s on his knees and fucks up into him at an inhuman pace. Jungkook loves it, he loves it so much he’s wailing with it. Mouth open, keens and cries escaping him in long fluttery notes.
Jimin’s hand comes around from where it was digging into his hip, claws out, dangerous fingers encircling Jungkook’s cock. Jungkook can only let him in his powerless state, then can only sob when the lion starts to jerk him off.
His hole tightens viciously around Jimin, who’s slowed his thrusts but only minutely. He’s still going strong, fucking into the bunny with a slap, slap, slap.
“Look at how cute you are,” Jimin hisses into Jungkook’s floppy ear. Nips at it. “look at you.”
Jungkook cries, tears flowing freely down his face, dripping off his chin. Jimin coos, thrusts and jerks him off until he’s wriggling away from the touch.
“Going to cum, bun?”
The question earns him an incoherent gurgling of words.
“Want to see you cum, bun,” Jimin grits out, feels Jungkook’s walls fluttering around him. “Want to feel it, bun.”
“I-I,” Jungkook gasps, reaching for Jimin’s wrist on his cock. “S’too much, hyung. Please—please.”
“Please, what?” Jimin questions, thrusts forced to slow down from how tight Jungkook’s hole is gripping him. “I’m already doing what you want, bun. You want more?”
Jungkook trembles in his arms, thoughts hazy. It’s a struggle to get out the words, but he does, somehow. “Want a bite, hyung.”
And Jimin tenses, body practically vibrating with want, cock throbbing. The words alone bring him close to orgasm, he tries to will it away but feels nearly unable. Not when Jungkook’s words ring in his head, the bunny wants a bite.
“Come on,” Jungkook gasps, throwing his head back, forcing himself down on Jimin’s cock. “Hyung, c’ mon.”
With new determination, Jimin sets his jaw, releases Jungkook from his hold and lets the bunny fall forward. He pulls out of him, turns him around on his back, then buries himself back inside in one swift motion. Jungkook gasps, flush furious on his cheeks, brown hair and ears haloing around his head. Jimin thinks he’s perfect, absolutely cock-wrecked.
“Want a bite, bun?” Jimin asks, lightly grinding inside of him. “Really?”
Jungkook covers his own cheeks with both hands, so, so shy and nods.
“Yes, hyung,” Jungkook whimpers, all teared up. “I want it.”
“Want to be mine?”
“I want to be your mate,” Jungkook begs, legs encircling his hips to lock behind his back, voice clear even in his fucked-out state. “I do.”
Jimin crashes their mouths together at the admittance, blood rushing through his veins, heart singing. Jungkook wants to be his. And Jimin would give his bun everything he’s ever wanted
“Hold on to me,” Jimin says, pulling back from their breath-taking kisses.
He grabs one of Jungkook’s thighs, presses his full weight down into him, then thrusts up into him so hard they’re both seeing stars. Jungkook is a wreck all over again, moaning with the way Jimin fucks him, crying when the weight of Jimin’s torso grinds over his sensitive cock. He’s close to coming, Jimin can feel him about to reach the crest from the way he’s clenching around him.
“So fucking perfect,” Jimin rumbles, teeth elongating, words slurred through his canines. “Perfect Mate.”
And Jungkook nods, over and over again, clinging to Jimin like he can’t bear to let go. When Jimin hears his gasp in his ear, feels his hole close impossibly tight, Jimin knows Jungkook’s cumming, warmth pooling between their bellies. Jungkook writhing in blind ecstasy, crying out when he catches his breath. It’s beautiful, everything about this bunny is beautiful. And it all belongs to him, only him.
Jimin does not stop thrusting, cock tunneling through Jungkook’s pulsing hole inch by inch, spearing at his insides, spreading his scent along Jungkook’s wet walls. Marking him.
The pressure is incredible. Two more thrusts and Jimin roars, violently coming, hot seed pumping Jungkook full, the bunny moaning with it, hole sucking it in deeper and deeper. Possibly reaching his inner womb. Like Jungkook wants to bear kits.
Then Jimin does what the bunny has been waiting for, he opens his mouth, jaws stretching inconceivably wide, before latching onto a spot near Jungkook’s nape, over his gland, and biting down. Animalistic. Violent.
Jungkook really screams this time, another orgasm slamming into him from nowhere. Jimin’s scent blinding all his senses, then mingling with his own.
It settles, deep, deep down into Jungkook’s heart. Where his veins carry the piece of his mate to the perfect corner. Where it will thrive inside of him and stay with him forever.
When Jungkook comes to, it is to the feeling of wet cloths wiping him down.
It’s a struggle to open his eye, so he cracks open only one. When he tries to move, his body protests and his shoulder fucking hurts.
“Ow, ow,” he whimpers, a pout forming on his lips, muscles shaky. He doesn’t know how many rounds they’d gone after the first, but he’s sated and exhausted. Everything aches.
“Bun, it’s okay,” comes a low raspy timber. “Just cleaning you up. Go back to sleep.”
Jungkook peers around with his one eye, catching Jimin’s fond, glowing gaze, and smiles.
“I didn’t even realize I’d passed out,” Jungkook teases. Now that he’s becoming slowly conscious, he realizes how incapacitated he really is. His rectum hurts, his muscles are tight, tight, tight. “You fucked me up, hyung.”
Jimin snickers, kisses Jungkook’s swollen tummy, but then looks at him forlornly. “Well, can’t say I’m proud of it.”
Jungkook frowns, licks at his swollen, bitten lips. “What do you mean?”
Jimin huffs, then continue to wipe at Jungkook’s tummy.
“Hyung,” Jungkook calls for him, but Jimin seems lost in his thoughts. Expression darkening. Jungkook sighs, calls out again. Different title. “Mate.”
And that gets Jimin’s attention. His head whips to him, expression hard.
“I’m fine,” Jungkook reassures, rubs his unbitten shoulder. “A little sore, yes. But I’ll be fine.”
Jimin stands up from the bed and goes digging around in his dressers. Jungkook watches him as he procures some underwear and shorts, then takes the shirt he’d worn over here to the bed. Jungkook tries to sit up but goes slow. His lower stomach sloshes with cum. Inner womb unwilling to release it.
Through their bond, he can feel Jimin’s unease. It’s a strange thing he must get used to, having someone else’s emotions beating in his heart of hearts, but it’s welcomed like a second soul. Jimin comes to help him all the way up, then tugs the shirt over Jungkook’s head. Together, they carefully drag his arms through the sleeves, trying not to disturb the bite. Or jostle Jungkook too much. He’s not used to feeling so…bred.
“Do you regret it?” Jungkook asks, watching Jimin at his legs where he’s looping the underwear around his feet and up to his shins.
His mate freezes, hands gripping his ankles, and gazes at Jungkook with so much incredulity. “No,” he answers without hesitation. Jungkook feels the truth in the answer. Jimin pulls him into a careful hug, nuzzling his cheek. “Never. You’re everything I’ve ever wanted, bun.”
“I can feel it you know,” Jungkook murmurs into his shoulder, bringing his arms around his mate. “You feel…sad about something.”
Jimin just shakes his head. “Not about this,” he emphasizes by squeezing him a little. “I just…I hate how rough I was— how I hurt you.”
The words have Jungkook pulling back to frown at his mate. “But I wanted it, hyung. Every single time.”
Jimin sighs, staring down at their laps.
“Look at me,” Jungkook taps his chin. “I thought it was perfect. Submitting like that, our basic instincts. I felt, free, ya know? Like letting go of constricts we didn’t even know we had.”
Jimin watches him explain, probably feels his sincerity, then licks his lips. “I wasn’t too rough?”
Jungkook hums. “You could’ve been rougher even.”
Jimin chuckles. “God. Who knew you’d be so insatiable,” he jests, nudging their noses together, kissing his lips. “My bun.”
Jungkook flushes and smacks his chest. “Don’t get all sappy on me.”
“Can’t help it,” Jimin presses a kiss to his cheek and turns back to tug the underwear the rest of the way up his legs. There are bruises smattered here and there and Jimin pokes lightly at them. “God, you bruise like a peach.”
Jungkook shrugs, slowly laying himself back down. When Jimin finishes putting the shorts on him, he rips the bedding from the bed, rolling Jungkook here and there.
“Just come cuddle,” Jungkook reaches out, watching Jimin throw the soiled blankets in his hamper. Jimin gives easily.
The lion rests his head on the shoulder he didn’t nearly bite off. Already dressed in some of Jungkook’s clothes, their bodies warm up together. Scents mingling like a burning candle.
“I can’t believe we finally did it,” Jungkook sighs wistfully. Feels newly married.
Jimin snorts. “I can. Been wanting to mate you since I first saw you.”
Jungkook ogles him in shock, trying to detect for a lie in his heart, but comes up empty-handed. It makes his pulse thump, thump, thump, and his cheeks red.
“How are we going to tell Namjoon and Seokjin-hyung?” Jungkook whispers when he recovers from his daze. Jimin slowly lifts his head, wide eyes showing a newfound cognizance.
“I forgot about them—”
Then they’re interrupted by the sound of the front door opening and closing. Keys clattering on a table top.
“Bun!” Namjoon calls out down the hall. “I’m home!”
Like children being scolded by their parents, the hybrids are settled on the couch, shoulders touching as their humans’ pace around in slight anger.
“You should’ve spoken to us first,” Namjoon says, again, from where he’s running lines in the flooring.
“What was I supposed to say, hyung? Oh, by the way, I want to fuck and possibly mate Jimin-hyung so keep an eye out ?”
“I don’t appreciate the sarcasm,” Namjoon snips.
“Jimin,” Seokjin whines. “I told you not to. I told you.”
“Since when do I ever listen to you?” Jimin answers, taking Jungkook’s hand into his and twining their fingers.
The humans watch the action. Seokjin doesn’t reply.
“One of you are going to have to live with the other,” Namjoon says, sight stuck on their locked hands. “Mating bonds are serious.”
Jungkook pouts. “But I don’t want to leave you, hyung,” he whines. “I’ll miss you.”
“And I’ll miss Jimin,” Seokjin admits, blush on his cheeks. His words make the room go quiet. Then he hums. “There is only one way this will work out.”
Namjoon turns to him, eyebrows crinkling. “You’re not thinking…about, you know. Are you?”
Seokjin huffs, crossing his arms. “I am,” he nods. “And I think it’ll work. Unless you don’t want to?”
And now it’s the hybrids that are lost in the conversation. The humans seem to be talking in a silent conversation with their faces. Then after a moment, they nod in unison.
“It’ll have to do,” Namjoon shrugs. “It might be easier on us anyway.”
Jungkook and Jimin’s glares bounce between them.
“What would be easier?” Jimin asks, eyebrows raised.
Seokjin scratches his neck and Namjoon nods to himself.
It’s not days later that they’re all finally settled into their shared space. The resolution that the humans came up with was that Jungkook and Namjoon leave their small apartment, and move into their home above the bookshop.
“It’s big enough for a family of seven,” Seokjin had said when Jungkook felt bad for intruding in their space. “Don’t worry. This way, we’ll all be comfortable.”
The third room, which happened to be an unused office covered in dust and old boxes, was turned into a bedroom for Namjoon. Together, the humans split up the rent, and the hybrids shared their newly bonded life in Jimin’s room.
It’d been a hassle, moving all their belongings from their old place. It was somewhat bitter-sweet as well, Jungkook would admit later to Jimin before they slept. He and Namjoon had cohabited in that apartment for years. It was well-lived in, it was theirs. But now their world was changing, and it was a little scary.
“You don’t have to worry about anything, bun,” Jimin had said in return, brushing his floppy ear back. Then teased. “You’re apart of my pride now. I’d help take care of you, and your human.”
And it sounded a little silly, out of place, but in a way the lion was right. They were family now.
Not once after the bonding did Jungkook ever feel insecure in their relationship. Jimin treated him as equally and as fair as ever, and Jungkook swore off his prejudiced ways for the better. Even educating himself further in the world of animal and human politics. Their sociology.
The pair seemed to fall in love deeper and deeper as the days stretched, as their years piled. The more they learned from each other, they grew as people. Making discoveries together was the start of another new adventure. Jungkook could never tire of what surprises Jimin could bring, what gifts the world had in store for him.
And sure, it was hard at times. Like when people would sneer at them holding hands in the streets. Or when they’d realized that their biologies, their DNAs, fought against them. That Jungkook wouldn’t ever be able to carry Jimin’s cubs or kits.
It was a struggle, an experience. It was life lessons gained to be bonded to someone that even nature itself warned them would be unnatural. But they swore to themselves, and to another that they’d persevere. In the sake of love, in the sake of promises.
Many years later, when hybrids can finally hold steady jobs and buy land, Jimin and Jungkook purchase their very own home, their human companions still by their side to help guide if necessary, every step of the way.
Though mankind is not perfect, and might not ever be while Jungkook and Jimin roam the earth, the world keeps on spinning, the lines between predator and prey slowly blur. Humans progressively acknowledge hybrids as their own kind with time.
When Jungkook’s eyes become a little wrinkled in the corners, and Jimin’s smile lines become deeper, they adopt, with the hopes that their children can have other children, and those children can be born into a society more perfect than their own. That it’d be easier for them to be themselves, to find their soulmates, to not live in hard times. Though Jungkook and Jimin don’t resent their trials at all. Even bask in them, when there is gray peppered in the fur at their ears, and life becomes honeyed with age.
Together, as all things should, ends with them.