You’re the last reason.
For me who was standing at the edge of the cliff.
Jimin still has nightmares. It’s been months and he’s been safe ever since but he still wakes up in the middle of the night, drenched in cold sweat, heart beating too fast and body trembling with fear. There’s still a part of him that feels like Byungwoo will be able to somehow trace his scent and find him. And he fears of what he’ll do if it happens. There’s a bittersweet feeling in Jimin’s chest and he hates it a lot because how fucked up can he be that he misses the older alpha. Well, misses the good moments, that is, not the several times he found himself on the floor, helpless and in pain. He’d fallen so deeply, blindly .
He doesn’t trust anyone, anymore. He won’t let anyone hurt him. Fuck society and their class distribution. He d oesn ’t need an alpha, he d oes n’t need anyone, for that matter. He only ha s himself and his mother, who he ha s n’t spoken to in months (this is another reason to hate Byungwoo for ). There are actually so many things that Jimin hates him for. He’s got his top three but then there are a million more points, heading downwards.
And what’s worse is that, even after all this time, the older one still has his claws digging deep into Jimin’s flesh, no matter how far away he is or how much he hates him. The memories and scars will forever remain and maybe it’s not as bad as it seems, maybe it’s better that they stay, for they will be a reminder of what he had to go through and to never trust anyone, again.
Even if the alpha still haunts him, there are things he’s accomplished, things he’s managed on his own and they are the reason he keeps fighting . There’s only so much he can let Byungwoo have.
He startles when his cellphone starts ringing, his heart beating so fast in his chest upon seeing the unknown number. It happens every time. He can’t risk not answering because it could be his mother but he also risks that it will be Byungwoo , that he somehow has found his number and that’s he calling to get back what he believes is his. He needs to save up money to bye a cellphone for his mother, soon.
“Dumpling?” He hears and sighs in relief.
His mother always starts her phone calls like this, calling him dumpling. A cute pet name she’d had for him ever since he was a baby.
“Eomma,” he whispers, smiling a little.
Tears fill his eyes, immediately but that’s because it's been so long. He misses her so much, wishes things were different and he hadn’t fucked up so bad. He would still be with her; they would together .
“My baby, how are you?” She asks.
“I’m okay,” he says, even though he isn’t and he’s really close to just letting go and crying like a real baby. “How are you, huh? What have you been up to?” He asks back.
“Baking, you know how much I loved it,” she replies. “I get to do that now and nobody can stop me.”
Jimin smiles sadly. His father had passed away when Jimin was still in high school and it had set his mother free, free from the hands of such an ugly being. Maybe it’s a thing about he and his mother, maybe he shouldn’t have been so optimistic to believe that the same thing wouldn’t happen to him, once he met an alpha that seemed nice on the outside but was actually a monster in the inside.
“I’m glad,” he says. His mother is free now. And even if Jimin is being forced to stay away, even if he was forced to run and not look back, he is free, too. “I’ve been saving up money. Maybe soon we’ll be able to bring you over here for a visit, how’s that?” He asks.
“Please don’t over work yourself, angel. I don’t want you to tire yourself out,” she says, voice sounding sad. “I’m saving up, too. I’ve been selling what I bake, people even ask me to bake them desserts, now,” she adds, excitedly. “I’ll save up for you to be able to come over here, or to go over there,” she goes on.
“ Eomma ,” Jimin sighs. “Don’t force yourself either, yeah?”
“It’s okay. You’re doing so much, too. It’s only fair,” she argues.
There’s a moment of silence. Jimin gives in to the sadness that has settled in his chest for so long. He bites his lower lip, trying to prevent it from trembling and forcing himself to ignore the tears that want to spill.
“I’m sorry,” he whispers.
Because he is. Because of him, they’re separated. Because of him, his mother is saving up money to be able to see him. Because of him, everything because of him.
“Stop that,” she replies. “Stop blaming yourself, you couldn’t have known, just like I didn’t. It’s not your fault, Ji min."
The omega closes his eyes tight.
“I should go,” he says. “I have to work a night shift at the library, there’s an event today,” he explains.
His mother sounds disappointed when she answers.
“Okay, dumpling. I’ll talk to you soon, yes?” She asks.
“Okay, Eomma,” he replies. “Love you.”
“Love you, too,” she says back.
When the line goes off, he lets the cellphone fall onto the bed and finally lets out a sob. He misses her so much. He just wants to be held by here, he wants everything to be better. Happiness had lasted so little, after his father passed away. Byungwoo had taken it away, not much after. He hates him. He hates him so fucking much. But he can’t stay here and keep bawling his eyes out because he has to work to help his mother and to pay for the things the scholarship doesn’t help him with.
He gets up and grabs his backpack, hangs it over his shoulders and leaves the small individual room the college offered him. It’s small, just enough to fit his bed, a small desk and a nightstand. The closet is small but it’s not like he has much clothes anyway, since he’d ran away with what little he could grab (he’s yet to have enough money to buy more clothes, has to save up for other important things, clearly). He doesn’t need more than what he has in that room. He’s just grateful that he’s safe and that he is free, even if the memories never leave him alone.
The library is at the other far end of the college campus but he still has another half hour before his shift begins, so he takes his time walking over there, his eyes wandering off around the place. It’s his subconscious, too terrified to ever stop what had once been a habit for him. He’d been surprised by Byungwoo so many times, he doesn’t think he’ll ever be able to let it go.
People are leaving class, walking back to the dorms or towards the parking lot, to go home. Jimin doesn’t make eye contact with anyone. He hasn’t made friends. The only people he talks to are female omegas and, even then, it’s only when he strictly needs to. He doesn’t initiate conversations with anyone, he doesn’t want to get to know anyone. He’s fine like this, on his own. Jimin had been different during school. He’d been innocent and naïve, he’d chosen to give chances, to not let other’s bad experiences influence his life. And look where that got him .
The library is still full of people, something that doesn’t usually happen when it’s a little over nine p.m. It normally starts closing at half past eight. But today there’s a special event and the library will be open all night long, for whoever wants to participate. Jimin isn’t sure what it’s all about but it has something to do with motivating people to read more and to use the services the college offers. He honestly couldn’t care less, what matters to him is the fact that they’d offered him the shift and a double payment. He’d accepted immediately.
He goes to the back and enters the room that’s only allowed for workers, he makes his way towards one of the lockers, to leave his backpack there, not before having taken out the book he’s reading (and that he’d borrowed from the library because that’s a benefit he has, since he works there), his cellphone and a small notepad, in case something pops into his mind and he feels the need to write it down. He still has ten minutes, so he makes his way outside, towards the reception and greets the woman behind the big, rounded desk. He puts his stuff in one of the drawers and tells her that he’ll be looking around for anything out of place, that she can leave, when her shift is over.
She nods and smiles at him. Jimin doesn’t smile back but nods his head, before disappearing in between the tall bookstands. There are a lot of things out of place but he knows the library better than he knows himself, so he finds the places they belong to, without taking too long. He goes back to the reception only a little while later, because it shouldn’t be alone, especially since there’s so much people tonight.
He sits in the now empty seat and takes out his stuff to place them in front of him. He leans back on the chair, lifts his legs to cross them under himself and opens the book on the page he’d stopped the last time he was reading. He lifts his gaze every few minutes, scanning through the place to make sure that nothing unusual is happening. It’s one of those times that his eyes meet with a pair of brown ones, soft and alluring, completely focused on him.
He looks away immediately but his omega is already making a fuss, wanting to see again. He hates that sometimes they have so different ways of seeing things. His omega is the innocent and naïve part of him, the part that he’d let guide him during his younger years and no matter what he’s gone through, it doesn’t seem to understand that trusting blindly is dangerous and not something he’s planning to do again.
That doesn’t stop the omega from wanting to see again, that is. He fights it but ends up complying, his eyes sliding back to the alpha sitting in one of the chairs, book in hand but not even paying attention to it. Jimin has learned who it is, throughout the months he’s spent here.
Jeon Jeongguk .
An alpha two years younger than him, with whom he shares several classes and that had taken a strange interest in him from the very first moment. Jimin had made sure to keep him as far away as possible because his omega had taken a liking of him very quickly. It was something about his vanilla scent, barely noticeable unless he was sitting right next to him (which he did a lot, whenever they had the same lesson).
The alpha keeps his eyes on him, a small smile appearing on his lips. Jimin looks away , almost immediately and goes back to looking at his book, trying to continue with his reading. But it’s not easy now that he can practically feel the burn of Jeongguk’s eyes over him. Why does he have to be like that? What does he even want to accomplish? Jimin has told him so many times that he doesn’t want to have anything to do with him but the younger one doesn’t seem to understand.
Whatever he’s looking for, fun, a good laugh or maybe just having some sort of power over him, he won’t let him. He’s made sure to keep his heart protected and he’ll never let it fall blindly for someone that’s probably going to end up hurting him, just like Byungwoo had hurt him.
Jeongguk still often thinks about it. About the purple bruises he’d caught a sight of, a few weeks after he arrived. He’d felt this sparkling interest for Jimin from the very first second, an omega different to all the ones he’d met. His alpha had felt it too, this need to come closer, to meet him, to get to know him, to just... come closer.
It’s not the only thing he thinks of. Jeongguk has seen and heard things he shouldn’t have, things that haunt him and that make him wish he could make things better. But he can’t, because it’s not in his power to do so and anyway, Jimin won’t let him. He’s seen the bruises in his body, has heard him crying in a bathroom stall, has heard him talking about whoever that alpha might be. He’s seen and heard things he shouldn't have and he sometimes wishes he hadn’t. It’s not like he did it on purpose. It’s not like it was his intention. It had happened because he was there, at the moment.
And Jimin doesn’t know. He doesn’t have to. He might never. He’s so adamant in keeping him away, even though Jeongguk wants anything but to hurt him. He wants to protect, wants to bring back the smile to his lips (he’s never seen him smile) and keep away whoever dares try to hurt him.
It’s strange, he knows. He himself doesn’t understand wherever that sudden need is coming from. He and Jimin barely know each other, even if the older omega has been coming to this college for almost a year already. He’s tries, of course. But Jimin has managed to keep him perfectly away.
Jeongguk knows there’s a reason to it, to why he’s so decided to not let him in, he’d heard him briefly, once. Heard him talking about being afraid that he’d find him. He. At first, he’d thought it was maybe his father, since he was talking to his mother (he’s sure he’d heard him say eomma ) but then Jimin had said something that up until today, made Jeongguk shiver. What I’m scared about the most is that I loved him and, in his eyes, no matter what, I still do.
Jeongguk knows there’s an alpha that has hurt Jimin and that the omega doesn’t want to let anyone in, because of that. But he wants to show him that not everybody is like that, that there’s still a possibility that he’ll find happiness next to someone, someone who will actually take care of him. He just needs a chance, a moment, anything.
He knows he’s coming off a bit pressuring, what with being here in the library, knowing that Jimin has to work a night shift. To be fair, he has to study. And coming here tonight will give him a few extra points he might need at some point. But honestly, he isn’t getting anything done. He’s just staring at Jimin, observing how he reads some book he has on his lap ( Jeongguk can’t see because of the tall desk) and trying to not smile every time the omega looks back up to him.
It’s that what makes him keep trying. Jimin says that he doesn’t want to have anything to do with him yet his omega clearly feels the pull towards his alpha. It must be something about scents. Jeongguk’s alpha loves Jimin’s cinnamon scent, soft and alluring, mixed with something else he can’t quite recognize. He wonders if he’d be able to, if he was to drown his nose in the space where Jimin’s neck and shoulder met. He clears his throat, shifting in his seat. He shouldn’t be thinking about that because it does things to his heart and to his groin. There’s no denying the fact that he’s wildly attracted to Jimin. The omega is beautiful, small and delicate, yet intimidating and decided. There’s a healthy blush on his cheeks, all the time and he walks so elegantly.
There’s also the alpha part of him that had seen Jimin’s petit figure and had gone crazy because the smaller one screams of healthy omega and perfect for pups and Jeongguk’s alpha seems to have a desperate love for the idea of pups. He tries not to dwell on it too much because he figures it must be something normal. Still, he’s tried being very careful with his alpha instincts because he knows approaching Jimin must be done gently, without making him feel threatened. He doesn’t want to give him reasons to believe he’s anything similar to whomever hurt him before.
He tries to get some actual work done and focuses the best he can, for a few hours.
The next time he lifts his gaze, the library is almost completely empty and it seems that they’re getting ready to close. He looks towards the desk and is disappointed to see that Jimin isn’t sitting there anymore. He looks around the place briefly but he still doesn’t see him. He puts his stuff away, still looking around as he hangs his backpack on one of his shoulders. Still, no Jimin.
He sighs and turns but stop abruptly when he comes face to face (debatable because he is much smaller than him) with Jimin. The older omega is looking up at him, not from too far away. He’s not exactly close, either. He seems wary, eyes focused on Jeongguk’s, like he’s analyzing.
“We’re closing,” he says.
Jeongguk clears his throat and fixes his bag on his shoulder.
“I know,” he says, voice hesitant. Jimin nods and starts to move away but Jeongguk blurts out: “What are you going to do after this?”
“It’s five in the morning,” he says.
His voice is soft and Jeongguk finds himself liking it a lot, especially when it’s directed to him (Jimin doesn’t always talk to him, unless it’s to tell him to leave him alone and not bother with him). But it’s also empty, void of emotion and sad.
“Yeah,” he mutters, feeling stupid.
Jimin makes him nervous, if he’s being honest. He never knows what to expect when it comes to him. The older one turns away and walks towards the desk again, leaving Jeongguk just staring at him walking away. He sighs and scrunches his nose in distress. It’s not something he’s used to. He’s normally calm and collected, easily makes people happy and easily talks with whoever he has to. But with Jimin it’s just so hard .
He leaves, following behind the few students that are leaving too and makes his way towards the parking lot to get his car. He turns it on and puts the heater because it’s honestly freezing at this time of the morning. He leans back, eyes on the exit doors of the library, waiting for Jimin to come out. He knows this is kind of weird but he’s only going to offer to take him home because it’s dark outside and it’s very early in the morning and his alpha doesn’t like the idea of Jimin walking home alone.
When he sees J i min coming outside, a few minutes later, he takes the car out of the parking lot and drives to where Jimin is walking. The omega eyes the car sideways when it comes to his side and Jeongguk is quick to bring down the window.
“Jimin!” He calls out because the omega is already looking away. “Let me take you home,” he says, voice lower because he’s looking back at him. Jimin looks at him for a long moment, holding his backpack straps with both his hands. There’s a furrow in between his eyebrows and Jeongguk can sense his hesitation, the worry behind it. “It’s late, I don’t like the idea of you walking alone right now,” he adds.
He knows he’s fucked up even before Jimin’s furrow grows, fingers turning tight and the sharp smell of anger is noticeable even though he’s not exactly close to him.
“I don’t care about what you like,” he snaps, resuming his way towards the college exit.
Jeongguk swears under his breath, moving the car forward to follow him.
“I’m sorry,” he calls out. “That’s not what I meant, I’m just worried,” he explains.
“Well, don’t be,” Jimin says, not stopping his steps, his eyes focused forward. “I don’t need you to,” he adds, anger still in his tone.
“Just let me take you home, please?” He asks, voice softer, trying to make sure he doesn’t sound threatening nor angry (because he is, just the mere thought of Jimin walking around at this time, alone, makes his alpha restless and beyond worried).
“Why are you like this?” Jimin asks, stopping on his tracks and making Jeongguk step on the pedal in a hurry to stop too. The car jerks and he comes forward too abruptly but his eyes remain on Jimin. “Don’t you get it? How many times am I going to have to tell you that I want nothing to do with you?” He asks.
Jeongguk’s alpha doesn’t like the way Jimin is talking to him, doesn’t like that he’s keeping them away. He has to grip the steering wheel because he’s angry and wants nothing more than to make Jimin understand. He wants him, all of him, he wants to take care of him and to make him happy, he wants to prove him that it’s okay to trust sometimes, he wants a chance. He doesn’t care about how weird it might be, that he can’t stay away even though Jimin doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. There’s a part of him that just feels, knows that Jimin is meant to be his omega. How can he give up on something that feels beyond his power?
“I know you don’t trust me. I’m not sure why but if you gave me a chance to show you, you’d see I only want to be there for you,” he says. He’s never had much of a chance to tell him what he feels, either. He might as well try now that he has his attention. “I just—”
“ Why? ” Jimin asks. “Why the fuck do you want a chance? And why the fuck would I want to give you one?” He demands to know.
Jeongguk is taken aback by his reaction. All this time, he’s never talked to him like this, he’s never lost his temper so quickly, so suddenly. He blinks in surprise, body freezing for a whole minute but he manages to talk, at the end.
He shouldn’t say it so easily and suddenly but it’s what he ends up blurting, either way.
“Because I like you.”
Jimin’s eyes flare with something Jeongguk doesn’t recognize but then it turns into fear. He takes a step back, almost trips with his own feet and suddenly, he’s running away before Jeongguk can understand what’s happening. He wants to step on the pedal and follow him but there’s the fact that he just confessed what he feels and that Jimin burst out running with what seemed to be fear and he can’t exactly move because his alpha is offended (he’s an idiot, clearly) and because he’s too surprised to do so.
Jimin’s eyes are focused on the ceiling. He can’t sleep. He’s overthinking and anyway, his omega is restless. He’s cried so much and he’s finally calmed down, he doesn’t want to start again but he can’t stop his mind from going back to Jeongguk’s words. Because I like you . Why? Just why did he have to say that? Jimin doesn’t know if it’s true or if it’s not but it scares him so much, that someone has possibly set their eyes on him. The last time that happened, he’d ended up hurting so bad.
It’s just that, there’s something pulling at him, a strange need to be close to Jeongguk , too. And it means that there’s a part of him that maybe likes him back, even though he’s done everything in his power to keep him away. His omega doesn’t care about what Jimin is feeling, about his fear. His omega wants to do something about the feelings Jeongguk seems to have for them and he’s angry that Jimin ran away. But fear had overpowered everything else and Jimin’s mind had been set on keeping safe and away.
Now that he’s alone, he can’t stop thinking about Jeongguk and just how easily he’s managed to confuse Jimin to the point of tears. He hates him (he does, it’s just a feeling that comes mixed up with everything else he feels) but he’s also pulled towards him. It’s been almost a year since the first time he saw him, a year since they met. Jeongguk had had his eyes set on him from the very first day and he’s never done something to hurt Jimin.
Don’t. You see? You’re trusting. You’re giving excuses for him
He’d done this with Byungwoo . He’d convinced himself that he was a good person, even though he hurt him countless times. He’d given himself excuses for the alpha, he’d fooled himself because he’d been in love. And now he’s giving excuses for Jeongguk because he likes him back, even if just a little bit, even if he’s been trying to ignore him.
It’s just that, his omega has felt so safe with him, despite everything. Jeongguk has never done something that had made Jimin’s omega feel like he’s being threatened, he’s always worried about him, has always offered himself to help, in whatever way he can. He’s always been there and even when Jimin has pushed him away, he’s stayed behind if only to make sure he’s okay.
Jimin noticed all these things, Jimin had sensed them happening. Jimin can’t shake those memories off of him. There’s a longing in his body he doesn’t understand and there’s sadness too because he wants to be happy, so desperately, wants to stop being afraid but he also doesn’t want to trust and doesn’t want to risk getting hurt.
It’s just so hard. To forget about the pain and everything that he’d been through. He hates it. He hates it so much. He falls asleep but his dreams are filled with nightmares that just make everything ten times worse.
“Aren’t you a pretty one?” Jeongguk asks, smiling. He leans forward and leaves a kiss on Jimin’s forehead. The omega smiles widely. He’s really so handsome, really so nice. He’s so lucky to have met him. “ Lets go out, huh? Want to watch a movie?”
“Yes,” Jimin whispers, excited about the idea.
“Great,” Jeongguk whispers back kissing his forehead once more. “ Lets go, baby.”
“I’m so happy your mine,” Jeongguk says, arms wrapping around his waist and pulling him closer. “Mine, mine, mine. Only mine. I like you so much, Jimin,” he whispers, before leaning in to kiss his lips briefly. “Do you like me, too?”
“I like you too,” he whispers, smiling back at him. “You make me so happy.”
Jeongguk smiles down at him, arms tightening around his waist.
“You make me happy, too.”
“I saw the way he was looking at you, are you sure you don’t know him?” Jeongguk demands to know. His arms are crossed over his chest and he’s angry, really angry. Jimin’s omega is desperately trying to get away because it’s making him feel intimidated, like he’s small. “I don’t like it, Jimin,” he says, taking a step forward.
Jimin flinches, suddenly scared by the way the alpha is standing over him, furious.
“I don’t know him,” he assures, for what feels like the hundredth time.
“You’re mine,” Jeongguk says, slides his fingertips over Jimin’s forehead, moving them under his chin to make him look up. “Don’t forget that.”
“I ’m sorry,” Jeongguk whispers. He’s on his knees, arms wrapped around Jimin’s thighs and he’s drowning his nose in his belly, shaking his head softly. “I didn’t mean to; I promise I didn’t mean to. I love you, don’t leave me please,” he’s begging, holding on tight.
Jimin’s face still hurts, it burns and stings with the force of Jeongguk’s hand hitting his skin. But there’s regret in his tone and he’s on his knees and it must have been a misunderstanding. He wouldn’t hurt Jimin if he loves him, right?
“Jeongguk,” he whispers.
“Forgive me, please,” the other one says, again. He looks up, pleading . Jimin gives in
“ Do you think I’m an idiot?” Jeongguk asks. “I’ve been compliant with you Jimin but I’ve had enough. It’s like you’re asking me to give you a lesson, why would you do that?” He demands to know. Jimin feels his body tremble, Jeongguk hovering over him. He can’t move because it hurts. He closes his eyes when he feels the alpha’s breath against his ear. “You asked for it.”
Jimin wakes up drenched in sweat, body trembling with his sobs and aching because he can still remember how it had hurt, how badly it had gotten. And it’s so much scarier because this time it wasn’t Byungwoo who was hurting him, he knows all those moments happened with the older alpha but his mind had put Jeongguk’s body instead of his and he doesn’t think he’ll ever be able to push it away.
Jeongguk had made a decision. It wasn’t all that influenced by the fact that Jimin had practically ran away from his confession of feelings. It was actually a sum of things, of everything that’s been happening in the past year. His alpha had hated it, when Jeongguk was finally decided but he’d long taught him that not everything could always be the way he wanted.
When he’d gotten to college early morning, the next week, Jimin had ignored him. His body had remained tense during the whole lesson they shared on the first hour and he hadn’t moved to say anything ( Jeongguk himself had been too nervous and embarrassed to say anything, he was also scared of his feelings being hurt) and as soon as the hour was finished, he’d ran out of the classroom, without looking back. Jeongguk would be lying if he said that it wasn’t the drop that spilled the glass.
He can’t keep going after someone that clearly doesn’t like him back. He’s been trying for a year. Maybe it’s time he moves on. So, that’s what he decides and will try his best to do so.
“What’s got you so grumpy?” He hears Taehyung ask, before he feels his hand pat his back. The beta’s scent is calming but Jeongguk isn’t really feeling well, so it’s not doing the best job at helping him. “Let me guess: Jimin,” he mumbles.
Of course, he knows. Everything that’s been happening with Jeongguk recently has had something to do with the older omega.
“I’m gonna stop,” he mumbles, combing his long hair backwards. “I’m tired of trying, you know?” He asks.
Taehyung frowns and stops touching him in order to be able to eat his food.
“What happened?” He asks, curiously. “You were so adamant this Friday , did you not go to the library?” He asks.
“I did,” he replies. “I accidentally told Jimin that I like him.” he confesses.
Taehyung stares at him for a long minute before he snorts.
“How do you accidentally tell someone you like them?” He asks, shaking his head.
“I didn’t want to; it just left my lips and he freaked out. He ran away, literally. And on Monday he ignored me completely. I’m tired and a little bit hurt. I have to let go,” he voices out loud his thoughts. “Maybe it’s for the better?” He asks, seeking the beta’s approval. “Maybe I can’t be what he needs,” he adds, as an explanation.
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” Taehyung asks, sounding rather mad at his words.
Jeongguk hasn’t told him about what he’s caught in the whole year Jimin has been here. He hasn’t told him because it feels like that would be more invasive than the fact that he’s heard it because of just being in the wrong place, in the wrong moment. But maybe he should? He’s always told Taehyung everything, they’re best friends, after all. He’s always trusted him better than anyone else. And he does need to talk about it.
“Can we talk it over dinner? Lets get pizza,” he suggests.
Taehyung cocks an eyebrow but nods.
“You’re inviting, right?” He asks.
“Great, then,” he says, focusing on his food again.
The rest of the day goes by in a blur, Jeongguk attends his classes but he’s so distracted with everything, he can’t focus and he can’t stop thinking about Jimin. He keeps feeling like he catches his scent, everywhere he goes. He hasn’t seen him since Monday but tomorrow he has classes with him, so he’s expecting to see him then. It shouldn’t feel this way, just because he made a decision, he shouldn’t be hurting nor feeling so down.
By the time he gets to the pizza shop with Tae, he wonders if it would be different if he hadn’t made the decision. If he were to pursue the issue with Jimin, would he feel better immediately?
“Okay, please care to explain because I’m getting confused over here with all your weird mixed up pheromones,” Taehyung mutters.
Jeongguk waits until they’ve ordered their pizza to actually start talking with his best friend.
“I’m not sure why my alpha is getting all fuzzy since the moment I decided to stop trying with Jimin,” he starts, tapping his fingers over the table.
“I think you should start from the beginning,” Taehyung interrupts, leaning back in his chair. “Start with what we were talking about earlier,” he asks.
“A few weeks after Jimin got here,” he begins. “After one of the physical education lessons, I stayed back to practice for the football match we had programed. He was the only one that had stayed after class but I didn’t know that until I entered the dressing room to shower and change. I um — he was getting dressed and — ”
“Oh my God,” Taehyung interrupts .
“Not like that,” he mutters, cheeks growing hot with embarrassment. “He was putting a shirt on,” he explains. “And there were bruises on his skin, all over his back. They were fading away but they looked painful and I hated it? I mean, I set my eyes on him from the first time he arrived because, come on, he’s beautiful. But then I noticed how closed off he was and got intrigued. After I saw that, I wondered if there was a deeper reason to his attitude,” he goes on. “I think in the middle of trying to understand him and observing him more closely, I started to like him and to feel ten times more attracted to him. That, and the fact that my alpha seems to love him to no end,” he adds.
“You sure you aren’t the one that’s in love with him?” He mutters, though he doesn’t seem to be expecting an answer and honestly, Jeongguk doesn’t want to give him one because he himself isn’t entirely sure of to what extent his feelings have grown. “You think someone is hurting him?” Taheyung asks.
Jeongguk shakes his head.
“Maybe before but I don’t think it’s happening anymore,” he replies. “It’s not the only thing I’ve seen. I also heard him crying, a few months later, in one of the bathroom stalls of building E, the one nobody visits. And some time after that I heard him talking to his mother, also crying and in the same place,” he continues. “He was talking to her about someone he’d loved and that didn’t understand that he didn’t feel the same way anymore. He apologized for having left, too. So, I think he maybe ran away? And it might have been an alpha,” he finishes.
Taehyung doesn’t answer immediately because the pizza is placed in front of them and he takes his time grabbing a slice and munching on it. Jeongguk follows, strangely feeling as if he just poured his heart out. They eat in silence for a moment, just enjoying the food and when Taehyung talks, Jeongguk isn’t entirely sure if he’s ready to hear him.
“So, Jimin ran away from an alpha that was hurting him, that’s out theory?” He asks, slowly.
Jeongguk nibbles on his bottom lip.
“Yeah, I guess so,” he murmurs.
“Well, that would make sense. I mean, you have mentioned how determined he is to keep you away, right?” He asks. “It sounds like he’s trying to protect himself and I can only imagine why he has such deep trust issues, if he’s been hurt physically by an alpha before. Of course, not everybody is like that and of course, it’s sad that he’s so sure that it’s better to keep everyone away. But he’s scared and you have to understand that,” Taehyung tells him.
Yeah, Jeongguk knows that. He knows that it must be scary. And he understands, he really does. But he also wishes that he could have a chance to take those scary feeling away from Jimin. He wishes he could see him smile and he wishes he could take care of him, take away his fears.
“I know,” he whispers, once he finishes his slice of pizza. He leans back in his seat and crosses his arms over his chest after having used a napkin to clean his fingers.
“You said you can’t be what he needs,” Taehyung intervenes, his eyebrow lifting again in questioning.
Jeongguk makes a face and scratches the back of his neck.
“What if I end up hurting him?” He asks. “What if I ever snap at him or say something I shouldn’t because I’m angry? What if I forget about important things or make him feel unwanted? What if I’m not enough to take away everything that’s hurting him?”
“Don’t you see?” He asks. “You’re worrying about all of this even when you’re not with him, even when he’s pushed you so hard away that you’ve finally given up,” he explains. “You couldn’t hurt him even if you wanted to, Jeongguk. I think you might be in love with him,” he mentions.
Jeongguk’s heart starts beating faster in his chest. A strange pressure settles in his body and he feels like he might explode. He doesn’t know what it is but he’s scared of it, of how intense it seems to be, whatever it is.
“I don’t know Tae,” he whispers. “I’m a little bit hurt and I can’t stay here forever, can I? Jimin doesn’t want me, pressuring him isn’t the right thing to do,” he explains.
Taehyung nods but seems pensive .
“I know that. I respect your decision, even though I think that you shouldn’t give up just yet,” he replies. “And about the fuzziness in your alpha, it could be that you’re destined to be with him, you get me? As in, you’re supposed to be mates. I know it’s not entirely verified and that nobody actually knows if it can happen for real. But maybe your alpha feels it, the bond that’s supposed to form between you guys. And that’s why you feel so much for him even though you don’t exactly know him,” he offers.
Jeongguk hadn’t thought about that, hadn’t even considered it. He didn’t think it could be possible. How could his alpha just know that he’s destined to be with a specific someone? And does Jimin’s omega know so, too? Is that why there’s a pull (at least from Jeongguk’s side) so intense that he’s not been able to fight it, so many times?
“But he doesn’t want me,” he argues and feels like a whiny kid, the very next second.
“Maybe he does and is just trying to fight it,” Taehyung replies.
Jeongguk shakes his head.
“I made a decision, Tae,” he says.
“I know,” Taehyung nods. “I just thought you should maybe think about it. But I’m here, for whatever you might need,” he adds.
Jeongguk nods and tries to not think about it right now. He’s going to enjoy his pizza and wait until he gets home before he decides to start overthinking as he always does.
“Can we just eat now?” He mumbles, looking down at the still almost complete pizza.
“Yeah, let's eat,” Taehyung agrees, taking a new slice in his hand.
Jeongguk follows, trying really hard not to think about Jimin and whatever is going on between them.
Jimin ’s omega misses Jeongguk. He keeps looking for him everywhere, he keeps imagining he can catch his scent. He hates that he doesn’t like the fact that he’s started avoiding sitting close to him, that he doesn’t try to talk to him anymore. There’s still fear and worry in his body but there’s also disappointment and the need to feel safe. It’s a different feeling. Now that he’s understood that the alpha has taken a step back, his omega feels terrible, restless and slightly offended.
And Jimin. Jimin feels exhausted. He isn’t sure as to why but he’s tired and wants it all to just end. He wishes he didn’t have to be so scared. He wishes he’d never gotten hurt; he wishes Jeongguk had tried a little harder and he hates himself for being so sad over what has happened. Jeongguk could be another alpha that would hurt him and here he is, moping over the fact that he doesn’t seem to want him anymore.
He sometimes wishes his omega instincts didn’t have such a power over him, it would be much easier to control things, to control everything . But he hadn’t known just how bad it could be until Tuesday comes and the classroom is full by the time Jeongguk arrives. When the alpha takes the only seat available (right next to Jimin), his omega just loses it completely.
He holds his breath, as if that way he can hold back whatever might happen but eventually, he has to breathe and when he does, Jeongguk’s vanilla scent fills his nostrils, makes him squirm in his seat. It’s so intense and it’s been so long since he was as close as he is right now. He releases a shuddered breath, hands closing in fists under the shared desk.
He’s aware of the fact that he’s probably releasing a distressed scent and he’s aware that Jeongguk can smell it, sense it, his body tensing up right next to Jimin’s. His nostrils flare (Jimin isn’t sure when he’d turned his head to stare at him) and he interlaces his fingers over the table, so tight that his knuckles go white .
He has no fucking idea of what’s happening, he doesn’t know why he’s reacting this way, why it’s so hard to control his omega. He can see a few people looking back, probably catching a sniff of whatever Jimin must be releasing and he feels his cheeks heat up, embarrassment taking over him.
But then it all calms down, his body relaxes and this soothing feeling takes over and it takes him just a few seconds to acknowledge the fact that it’s Jeongguk who’s provoking it, releasing pheromones to calm Jimin’s omega. His lips part, eyes drifting shut and body slumping backwards on the chair. He’s confused (his omega, mostly) and he’s also feeling like he’s floating in the sky and he’s safe again.
And it’s all because of Jeongguk.
He wants to look at him but he also doesn’t want to open his eyes because he feels okay like this and it’s been a very long time since he’s felt this way. He lets himself get lost in it, wonders what it would be like if he felt this way every single day. He wonders what it would be like to have Jeongguk next to him all the time, releasing his calming pheromones to take away Jimin’s fear and pain and distress. He wonders and wonders, never wanting to let the feeling go.
But soon enough, the high he’s in dissolves and he’s brought back to reality, the only proof of what had happened, being Jeongguk , his bigger body settled next to him. He’s not sure how much time has gone by and he’s also not sure when the teacher had arrived but he can only think about finally turning towards the younger one. So, he does. His eyes move to Jeongguk and he stares at his profile. It’s clear that he’s noticed that Jimin is looking, by the way his body tenses but he doesn’t turn, doesn’t say anything, just keeps staring ahead.
Jimin’s omega doesn’t like it. He wants Jeongguk to look at them again, as he always did, back before the night at the library happened. He wants to have his attention and he wants to be surrounded by his pheromones again. He squirms in his seat again but stops, trying to control himself. He hates not being able to control himself, it makes him feel as if he’s being manipulated and that only takes him back to Byungwoo.
As soon as the alpha comes into his mind, Jimin freezes. Fear takes over again and he snaps back to reality, noticing just how lost he’d been in whatever it was that took over him. His eyes fill with tears and he suddenly can’t breathe. He moves to get up and just run but suddenly, a hand falls onto his wrist and he startles, heart beating too quickly in his chest.
“Breathe, Jimin,” Jeongguk’s voice is low and gentle, only meant for him to hear it. He tries but he can’t and tears spill down his cheeks because he’s scared, about what’s happening and about the fact that it’s the first time in so long that someone has touched him, an alpha. It’s overwhelming, it’s too much but at the same time, it’s not enough. The last time he’d been touched by someone was almost a year ago, his mother when they were saying their goodbyes. And the last time he’d been touched by an alpha had been a few days before that, Byungwoo , when he was trying to get Jimin to stay with him and shaking him with a force that made his teeth clash and his head go dizzy.
When Jeongguk’s eyes snap to him, the world seems to freeze and the soothing feeling takes over again because pheromones are being poured into the space between them. They fill Jimin’s body and take away the pain. But he’s still crying silently because Jeongguk’s fingers are still around his wrist and his thumb is pressing against his skin and it feels good, safe.
Tears stop flowing and his body relaxes, his eyes remain glued to Jeongguk’s and the younger alpha keeps releasing his pheromones to keep him calm. The rest of people in the room, the ones around them (they’re at the far end) must be able to feel Jeongguk’s pheromones, a few of them squirm but nobody says anything, nobody interrupts. Jimin looks back at Jeongguk , focuses on his eyes, gentle and soft.
They stay like that for what feels like hours. The class finishes and people start leaving and it’s only then that Jimin snaps back to reality, looking around to see that he should be getting up, too. But he doesn’t want to move away from Jeongguk and his omega surely doesn’t want to let go, either. But, anyway, it seems to be that the alpha has other plans, his fingers slipping away and things being put away in his bag. He doesn’t look at Jimin anymore. He doesn’t even glance towards him, doesn’t acknowledge his presence.
Jimin almost whines for his attention.
But Jeongguk stands, leaves the room without looking back and Jimin is left alone, everybody else having left. Tears fill up his eyes once more but now for an entirely different reason. He doesn’t want Jeongguk to be away, anymore. He wants him to come back and hold him, to make everything better. He wants to feel his touch once more, wants to be invaded by him.
He wants to talk with someone, wants to be taken care of, wants everything to just be better. He doesn’t want to run away anymore because Jeongguk’s touch had been enough to make everything better and it must mean something, right? If he doesn’t risk it, how will he know? Maybe Jeongguk is the one destined to make him happy, maybe he can just try.
He stands, grabbing his things in a hurry, he rushes out of the room, mind set on finding Jeongguk and stopping him, asking him to talk, trying. He just wants to try. He stumbles out of the building, eyes moving over the walking students but he doesn’t find Jeongguk . He walks forward, still looking and finally spots him moving towards the parking lot. He dashes in between people, doesn’t stop until he makes it to where Jeongguk is and it’s almost as if the alpha senses him, stopping short on his tracks and turning in time to Jimin freezing in spot, just a few meters away.
Jimin doesn’t even know what he was planning to say or do. He only knows he wanted to be close to him again, wanted to feel protected. He swallows the lump in his throat and tries to talk but he doesn’t manage. He has nothing to say, just wants Jeongguk to come closer. But the alpha isn’t moving nor saying anything, either. And Jimin caves. He steps forward, hurt taking over his expression when Jeongguk shakes his head and takes a step back.
“Don’t,” he whispers. There’s a sadness to his voice that Jimin had never before noticed and he seems to be pleading with his eyes for him to not come closer. It hurts Jimin’s omega and it hurts him. “You can’t do that, Jimin. I’ve been trying for a whole year. And when I suddenly decide that I can’t do it anymore, you decide that you want me close?” He asks, demands to know. Jimin doesn’t like the way he’s being talked to. It hurts him. “It’s too late,” he whispers. “I’m sorry.”
Jimin watches him turn around and go, watches him greet that beta friend he has and watches him get into his car. He watches him leave and it hurts. It hurts just as much as physical pain hurts and he doesn’t want it. The tears finally spill onto his cheeks, once more and he runs, doesn’t stop until he makes it back home and, even then, he doesn’t stop crying, he settles under his covers and cries and cries.
Because he misses Jeongguk , even if he doesn’t understand when he got to that point.
Are you sure that was a good idea?
A year, hyung . I tried for a year.
I think it has something to do with the mating bond thing I told you about. When you started avoiding him, his omega felt the threat, felt the possibility of losing the one they’re destined to be with. I think it might have taken over and pushed away everything else. It would definitely explain the sudden change.
It isn’t fair.
He looked very sad.
He hurt me so many times, hyung .
He’s gone through a lot, if our thoughts were correct.
Jeongguk’s mind keeps replaying what had happened, keeps seeing Jimin’s tears spilling from his eyes, when they were in the classroom and his hurt expression when they were in the middle of the parking lot. He keeps seeing everything and he can’t sleep because his alpha is restless, angry at him for having denied what was good for them: Jimin.
He’s angry too but not just with himself. It’s unfair that Jimin changes his mind out of a sudden, after the year that’s gone by, after everything Jeongguk has done. It’s unfair and it hurts but it also hurts that he’d caused Jimin pain.
There’s this strange pressure on his chest, there’s a bothered feeling everywhere and he keeps staring at the ceiling, keeps thinking about his conversation with Taehyung. He keeps wondering what is happening and he also keeps trying to stop himself from searching for Jimin because he knows , fuck he doesn’t understand how, but he knows that his omega is crying and he hates it.
His alpha loves the thought of that and he’d be lying if he said that he didn’t feel the same way. He still wants Jimin, he still wants to take care of him and he still wants to make him happy, he still wants to take his pain away and he still wants to be there for him. And Jimin has apparently changed his mind and wants him back.
He moves to a sitting position, after having taken his cellphone from the nightstand. He scrolls through the contacts, reaches Jimin’s number. He shouldn’t have it but he’d gotten it the same day he heard Jimin crying in one of the bathroom stalls. He’d wanted to call him and he’d managed to get it out of an omega girl that had done a project with him. He’d never called because he hadn’t mustered the courage to do so and because he hadn’t wanted to invade his privacy any more than he already had ( accidentally , but still).
He enters a text chat and types several times but keeps erasing and starting all over. He sighs and shakes his head. What is he supposed to say? What can he do? The only thing he can think of is going over to wherever he might live and hugging him until he feels better, until he stops crying and falls asleep. But the possibility of Jimin letting him go over is so slim, impossible, even.
He types out Jimin’s name and sends the message before stopping himself. He won’t be able to sleep knowing that Jimin is in pain and he can’t just ignore the fact that they already seem to be connected. It’s for a reason and he’s tired of this. He just wants Jimin and he’ll try again if he has to.
It hurts so much. Even if he knows that Jeongguk is on his way to him, even if he knows that everything will be fine in a while, it still hurts.
Jimin , Jeongguk’s text had said. Jimin hadn’t even tried asking where he’d gotten his number.
Please , he’d texted back. And then:
Tell me where you are.
He’d texted his location and hadn’t even tried asking how he knew . How he knew that Jimin was crying and hurting. He’s sure it’s something beyond their understanding and he honestly doesn’t care anymore. He can only think about Jeongguk coming over, Jeongguk somehow fitting into the small space that he had as a room, close by to college.
It doesn’t take Jeongguk long to get to him. When there’s a knock on the door, Jimin stumbles with his feet and quickly opens it, Jeongguk’s tall frame invading the space in front of him. He isn’t even inside the room but Jimin already feels like he’s everywhere and it’s better, it’s so much better.
He sobs, can’t believe that this is happening. He’s actually about to let the younger alpha in, he’s about to put himself at risk and he doesn’t want to stop. He wants Jeongguk to prove him wrong, even if he’s scared.
“Jimin,” Jeongguk whispers his name and Jimin can’t find it in him to talk.
He just takes a few steps back, leaves space for Jeongguk to come inside. The alpha does so, taking slow steps forward until he’s standing in the room, closing the door behind himself. Jimin swallows the lump in his throat, tries to calm down his heart because It's beating so fast and he’s so scared. Don’t hurt me, please. Just take the pain away. Please.
“Jeongguk,” he whispers back.
He’s not sure if it’s the first time he’s actually addressing the younger one by his name but it might as well be because Jeongguk’s lips part, his eyes drown in his and everything just freezes as Jeongguk takes a tentative step forward, now standing so much closer to Jimin. The room is very small and Jeongguk is very big and it’s overwhelming again but Jimin wants to drown in it so bad.
“You’ve stopped crying,” Jeongguk mumbles, taking another step forward.
Jimin hadn’t noticed but the alpha is right. Tears have stopping flowing and he can only think about what’s about to happen, about Jeongguk doing something that will take everything else away. Maybe release more pheromones, maybe hold him tight until he falls asleep, maybe—
Every single thought leaves his mind as soon as Jeongguk takes a last step forward, body so close that they’re chests are almost touching and his long hair is almost touching Jimin’s forehead and he’s invading but not touching and Jimin wants him to. Jeongguk seems to want that too because he tilts his head to the side, lets his nose float so close to Jimin’s cheek that the omega can almost feel it. But he doesn’t touch, not yet. It’s when his nose floats above Jimin’s neck that his lips part, body trembling with nerves and anticipation.
When Jeongguk’s nose brushes against his scent gland, tears fill his eyes agani because it’s been so long since he’s felt it, someone close, someone there, someone engulfing him. His scent smells like vanilla, of course, but what’s new is the faint feeling of what seems to be chocolate, added at the very far end. And it’s so calming, so warm and relaxing. Jimin doesn’t even notice that he’s baring his neck for him, tilting his head and whining in the back of his throat, his hands flying to Jeongguk’s hair in fear that he’ll move away or stop.
And the alpha complies, nose pressing deeper into his skin, taking a deep breath as if he hasn’t had enough of Jimin’s scent. There are hands on his hips, bringing him forward and his chest bumps into Jeongguk’s and then his arms are wrapping around Jimin’s small waist and he feels protected. He feels safe. And it’s so scary.
One of Jeongguk’s hands drowns in his hair and tilts his head back, as if it was necessary, even when Jimin had practically offered himself on a silver plate. His breath tickles against his skin and makes him shiver but there’s warmth in his embrace and gentleness in his touch. Jimin closes his eyes, tears spilling because Jeongguk suddenly kisses his skin, mouths at his scent gland as if coaxing his scent out, desperate for more. And he might as well be, his other hand still on his hip is digging fingers into his skin and he wants to be closer, too. He wants to never be away. His omega wants to be here, forever.
Jeongguk breaks away, all too suddenly and he whines before he can stop himself, ducking his face to try and hide his tears. But Jeongguk’s alpha must feel the omega’s distress because he hums, going back to nibble on the skin of his neck, his hands move soothingly across his back. Pheromones are being released into the air but Jimin is too focused on Jeongguk’s scent to actually feel their effect.
“Hey,” he hears him, so close, against his neck. “Don’t cry,” he whispers. “I won’t hurt you.”
“I know,” he barely manages to mumbles, mind lost in the haze of getting scented by him.
That’s the thing. He knows that Jeongguk won’t hurt him and that thought alone is enough to make him cry because it means that he’s let him in and he’s scared of it, scared that even if he knows, it’ll end up being the other way around.
“There’s something I don’t understand between us, Jimin,” he whispers, a hand still rubbing circles into the small of his back. “I don’t' know what it is but I know that I want to be here with you, however you’ll let me. We can take it as slow as you want, just let me show you that you can trust me and that I’ll do everything in my power to make you happy,” he asks. His face floats above Jimin’s and their eyes meet.
Jimin doesn’t even have to think about it.
“Show me,” he whispers.
His hands are still in Jeongguk’s hair and he lets his fingers play with the soft and long strands. When Jeongguk leans forward, lips floating over his, he gasps, eyes fluttering shut.
“Can I kiss you?” Jeongguk asks, breath brushing against Jimin’s lips.
Jeongguk’s lips are soft and gentle over his, they move slowly. They’re full of meaning and they make Jimin’s insides go crazy. His omega is beyond happy, trying to creep out of his skin to make sure that Jeongguk never moves away. There is something beyond their understanding, between them and Jimin doesn’t mind spending the longest while trying to figure out what it is. Being where he is right now, everything bad has left.
He isn’t crying anymore, there isn’t pain nor is there fear. There’s just Jeongguk kissing away whatever he can and bringing into Jimin the feeling of hope. He doesn’t know, there’s still a possibility that it’ll end up being the other way around. But Jimin wants to try, wants to believe, wants to trust. Jeongguk’s lips remain soft and his hands only ever move over Jimin’s back but it’s enough and it makes him feel as safe as he wants to feel. There’s this tugging feeling in his chest, a pull towards Jeongguk he’s probably felt all along. He lets it engulf him, embraces it with his whole soul.
“I’ll show you, Jimin,” Jeongguk whispers, suddenly breaking away. Jimin tries to regain his breath, not having noticed that he needed it. “I’ll show you that you have nothing to fear,” he says.
His hands cup Jimin’s face and their eyes meet.
“I want you to,” he whispers back.
Jeongguk nods before he’s leaning in to peck his lips one last time. He takes his hand and moves them towards the bed, motioning for them to lay down. And they do. Jimin lets Jeongguk embrace his body, engulf it completely because he’s so much bigger. He lets his face drown in Jeongguk’s neck, takes in his delicious scent and smiles barely when he notices the younger one tensing, his arms pressing Jimin’s body closer, even though it doesn’t seem like they can be any closer.
“We have to talk a lot, Jimin. I want us to trust in each other completely,” he murmurs, lips pressing against Jimin’s forehead as he speaks. His nose brushes against his skin and Jimin closes his eyes.
“Okay,” he agrees.
When one of Jeongguk’s fingers hooks under his chin and makes him look up, his small smile is still covering his lips and the alpha smiles himself.
“I’ve always wanted to see your smile,” he confesses, thumb brushing against the underside of Jimin’s bottom lip. “ So beautiful.”
Jimin closes his eyes when Jeongguk leans forward to kiss him again. He kisses back and keeps smiling, in the middle of it. He holds Jeongguk tight and lets him hold him tight, too. He stays close and they fall asleep next to each other, bodies tangled together, scents mingled and feeling like everything is finally how it’s meant to be.