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Minho smelt Kibum’s scent before he actually saw him. He lowered his book and looked up towards the hallway to see a puffy-eyed Kibum round the corner. Immediately he was up, book forgotten on the couch. He gathered the omega in his arms, one hand on the back of his head and one rubbing up and down his back. He felt Kibum burrow his face into his neck as his hands latched onto the front of Minho’s shirt. They stood there, rocking back and forth with only the sound of Kibum’s occasional sniffles until they became tired of standing.

“Come on Bummie, let's sit at least,” Minho urged as he slowly tried to walk them backwards to the couch. Kibum simply wrapped his arms around Minho’s neck so Minho knew he didn’t want to move. He grabbed the back of Kibum’s thighs and lifted him into his arms. He knew the dorm like the back of his hand and he was confident he could get them to the bedroom even if he couldn’t properly see.

Upon entering the bedroom, Minho sat himself at the head of the bed and leaned back against the headboard, careful not to disturb Kibum too much. Whenever Kibum got like this, he needed lots of physical affection and little to no talking. It had taken Minho a couple years to figure out how to comfort Kibum best, because Kibum refused to talk about it, but once he figured it out, he became confident in himself as Kibum’s best friend and Alpha.

As they sat there, Minho rubbed circles into Kibum’s back in an attempt to both comfort and scent the omega. Due to Kibum’s position buried into Minho’s neck, it was a little awkward to reach his neck for a proper scenting, but when has a little difficulty ever stopped Minho? Minho nosed his way towards Kibum’s neck, eventually gaining access when Kibum tilted his head in submission.

He placed gentle licks and kisses along Kibum’s scent gland, laying his scent on thick, before nipping slightly. At that, Kibum let out a soft whine, barely audible, but incredibly precious to Minho. It meant he was doing well, and Minho was nothing if not a people-pleaser. Kibum snuggled in closer and began placing his own gentle licks and kisses along Minho’s throat. Minho hummed in contentment to let Kibum know he was doing well. As Kibum licked, Minho’s hand travelled under the back of Kibum’s shirt to rest on the skin of his back. Skin on skin was always more comforting, that was it. Minho would never push further while Kibum was in such a sensitive state and they both knew that.

With one hand on Kibum’s back, and the other petting his hair, Minho felt Kibum’s head begin to droop. He placed a light kiss on Kibum’s temple and let Kibum sleep with no further distractions. He knew they’d probably both be a little sore when they woke, but he had no desire to move at this point. Together, they dozed.


Minho wasn’t sure how long had passed when he felt Kibum begin to stir. As Kibum woke up, Minho stroked his hair out of his face.

“How are you feeling?” he asked gently.

Kibum hummed in acknowledgement and burrowed back into Minho’s neck. He sat there for a few moments before finally taking a breath to speak.


Kibum shifted in Minho’s hold so he sat perpendicular to Minho’s chest, ear against his heart as he glanced around the room. Minho simply hugged him and waited.

When the time felt right, Minho asked, “What happened?”

Not ‘do you want to talk about it?’ because the answer would always be ‘no.’ As much as Kibum complained about the little things, he had difficulty talking about the serious stuff going on in his life. His reputation as a ‘strong omega’ left some lingering challenges when it came to be vulnerable. But if Minho asked directly, he was simply answering a question. He may not get it, but it helps Kibum.

Kibum sighed, “The photographer for the magazine was an asshole. He…”

Kibum choked out a groan as his hand came up to hold his head. The frustrations of what happened clearly came back to him and he struggled to voice what happened. He took a few deep breaths and he continued.

“He kept trying to get me into really vulgar poses. I told him no, that it had nothing to do with the concept of the shoot, it was degrading and unnecessary. But he wouldn’t stop. He… god, it’s humiliating,” Kibum cried. “Sitting there in front of dozens of people as he touches my neck and tries to spread my legs. His staff was clearly used to his behaviour and Euisoo-hyung was out of the room taking a call.”

Minho’s hold on Kibum tightened as he relayed what happened. He fought down a growl knowing his jealousy wasn’t productive or important right now. Of course his alpha was feeling possessive because someone had touched one of his pack members like that, but that didn’t matter compared to how Kibum felt. To have your boundaries violated like that was beyond disgusting, it wasn’t something you just walked off.

“Did the call take long?” Minho asked as evenly as he could.

“No, and once hyung was back in the room he stopped. It was like he was a different person. The rest of the shoot finished quickly and then we were able to leave. But I- I couldn’t bring myself to admit what happened afterwards,” Kibum cried harder than he had in months. “I know- logically, I know I didn’t do anything wrong. But I feel so ashamed, I didn't think this sort of thing would ever happen to me. I thought I was stronger than this…”

“Hey, no,” Minho shifted their positions to look Kibum in the eyes. “What happened has nothing to do with your strength or who you are as a person. You didn’t do anything to invite those sorts of actions, no matter what he said. What happened is not a reflection on your character, it’s a reflection on his.”

“I know, but I can’t help but feel like I did something wrong,” he whispered.

“You didn’t, and I’ll say that as many times as it takes for you to believe me. None of this was your fault,” Minho insisted. "Abuse has nothing to do with strength or weakness. This does not define you."

Kibum looked up at Minho with glassy eyes and Minho just smiled.

“I really appreciate you telling me, Bummie. Is there anything I can do to help?”

Kibum put his head back against Minho’s chest, “I don’t know. Should we tell someone?”

“That's up to you, but you don't have to decide right now. We can worry about that later, right now is about you. Can I run you a bath? Make you something to eat?”

Kibum smiled for the first time that evening, “I love you, Minho.”

“I can guarantee I love you more but okay,” Minho grinned.

Kibum huffed out a laugh, “Ok, just chill your competitiveness.”

“I will not!” Minho scooped Kibum up and spun them around the room until Kibum screeched at him to stop.

Kibum might be complaining now, but Minho succeeded in both distracting and pulling a laugh from him, so he counted it as a win. In response to Minho’s smug grin, Kibum threw what was probably supposed to be an intimidating punch at Minho’s chest, but in reality, looked more like a disgruntled kitten.

“God, you’re cute.”

Kibum, ever quick on his feet, flashed the most exaggerated puppy-dog eyes, “Bummie’s cute?”

“Ok, you ruined it,” Minho said and dropped Kibum back on the bed. Kibum just cackled.