Power-play; a/b/o #taekookau
“You are an omega?”
Jungkook feels the question snap something in him.
He glares up at the man standing in front of him, “yes?”
He waits for the jab. Waits to listen to the mocking words about how he looks nothing like an 'omega' is supposed to.
The flowery scent of jasmine turns into something rotten as he waits, and the man's nose scrunch up.
Jungkook waits for more. He knows there has to be more.
There always is.
The man points at himself, “I am Taehyung. Hi! Can you take me to the omega-rights club?”
"You are-" Jungkook sniffs, the heady scent of soil, soaked after a drizzle, fills his nostrils, "you are an alpha."
Taehyung nods, "my friend, Yoongi? He is in the club. I am trying to find the club and got lost. I am new here. Sorry, if it's not too much of a problem?"
"You are not going to," Jungkook gulps, "tell me how I don't look like an omega?"
The man, Taehyung, blinks at him, "what…" he frowns, "what does an omega supposed to look like?"
The question throws Jungkook off, "you know-"
Taehyung grins, "No, I don't. I don't know."
Jungkook starts walking, bag slung over his shoulder. Taehyung follows silently.
Jungkook watches as the man looks around, those large eyes taking in everything.
Taehyung has a smile on his face as he inspects the university as they go, eyes taking in everything.
"Careful!" Jungkook's arm grasps at Taehyung's elbow when the alpha almost stumbles on a step, "look where you are going."
Taehyung has the decency to blush, smiling awkwardly, "sorry. I was just…" he shrugs, "this place is so nice! I just got transferred here. So…"
Jungkook listens as they walk down the hallways. Taehyung is from Daegu. He is majoring in literature and is going to room with Yoongi.
They are childhood friends. Even though Yoongi is his senior.
Jungkook hums absent-mindedly as they finally round the corner for the club.
Jungkook looks up to see Jimin and Yoongi standing by the door of the club.
Jimin has a gift in his hand and Yoongi is glaring at the alpha.
Jungkook sighs, "there is your friend."
Taehyung looks at the man and a grin breaks on his face before he is running with a shout.
Jimin flinches when Taehyung collides with Yoongi and pulls him in a bone-crushing hug.
Yoongi is too shocked to response, but then a smile breaks on his face and his arms wrap around Taehyung's waist.
"Hyung!" Taehyung sighs, "I finally found the club!"
Yoongi nods with a smile, "I see you did! Awesome, Tae!"
Jimin and Jungkook watch as they pull back with the widest grin on their faces.
Then Taehyung turns to point at Jungkook, "all thanks to him. He got me here. Thank you," he pauses, "you-"
Jungkook nods, "Jungkook."
Yoongi nods at Jungkook, "thanks, Kook," then his eyes shift over to Jimin, "excuse us."
Taehyung bows, "thank you, Jungkook, for showing me the club."
Jungkook waves it off, "it's okay."
Jimin blinks, "wha-"
Yoongi closes the door of the club and tugs Taehyung away with him.
"What just happened?" Jimin slaps Jungkook's back with a frown, "who is that guy and why is he with Yoongi and why he gets to hug him like that and-"
Jungkook curses, "will you stop obsessing over Yoongi hyung? He doesn't like you! And that's Taehyung. His childhood friend."
Jimin blinks, "are they-" he gulps, face pale, "is he that guy Yoongi talks about? Is he the one Yoongi is rejecting me for?"
Jungkook holds Jimin's hand, tugging him away, "you got rejected for proposing too many times! He is not interested. Come on."
Taehyung is a dork.
Jungkook finds out soon.
He would wave enthusiastically whenever he sees Jungkook. He would come over to talk to him in the classes they share. He would manage to ramble without offending Jungkook like most of the alphas do.
"Here," Taehyung says one day, holding out a box of chocolate, "good for omegas in heat. It reduces the exhaustion."
Jungkook blinks, "do you go around offering treats to every omega you meet?"
Taehyung grins, "no. You are my friend."
Jungkook doesn't know when that happened.
He takes the chocolate, nods, "thank you."
Taehyung is sitting beside him, munching on a bag of chips, "I got you a few tickets for the detoxication salon. After your heat, you can go there. It's good to relax after such physical-"
Jungkook is burning, his face red, "I don't have a partner to exhaust me."
Taehyung gapes, crumbs of chips all over his lips, "you don't have a partner?" he blinks, "someone as handsome as you is still unmated?!"
Jungkook has never faced a situation like this. He laughs.
He doesn't know why, but reaching out and wiping Taehyung's mouth is a reflex to him.
He feels the soft skin under his touch, focuses on it before he looks up at the alpha.
"Do you always speak this bluntly, or I am a special case?"
Taehyung grins, "you are special!"
Jungkook retreats his hand, a soft smile on his lips, "I am?"
Taehyung nods, curls bouncing with the movement, "you are so cool. You are so handsome, so strong, so neat and clean. You dance so well. Your grade is top-notch. You paint so well. What are you lacking?"
Jungkook has never let his omega take pride in any alpha's word. He knows there is always a motive for them to say sweet things.
He never lets himself feel any of those words.
But Taehyung's eyes speak volume. They are honest, and Taehyung rambles mindlessly.
His scent never spikes up with a tinge of arousal. His eyes never wander all over Jungkook as if he wants to devour him. Those smiles hold nothing but pure happiness and warmth. His gestures are so subtle. Unlike those alphas who point out that they are trying to court him.
"I am not an omega they want," Jungkook sighs, "I don't want to get mated anytime soon, and I don't drool over knots as the alphas think we omegas do."
"Those alphas don't deserve you," Taehyung shrugs, throws another chip in his mouth, "find someone who cares. Yeah?"
Taehyung's eyes are on him, "never settle for those dumbheads. They know nothing! They drool over their own knots, and I am pretty sure no one else would ever."
Jungkook smiles, "you know any alpha better than those?"
Taehyung hums, frowning, "how about Jimin?"
Jungkook's face twists, "he is my childhood friend. I have seen him whine over Yoongi for two years now. I don't need to even think about him like that!"
Taehyung pouts, "then…"
Jungkook shrugs, "I will find someone. First, tell me, what is in your bag? It looks so heavy!"
Taehyung grins, pulls out a shawl, "I made this for you. How is it?"
Jungkook's breath catches in his chest, "what?"
Taehyung nods, "what? I made this. For you. How is it? It took me four weeks! Tell me how it looks?"
Jungkook lets out a breath, "for me? Why?"
Taehyung shrugs, "I don't know. I was making it when I suddenly thought you should have it."
Jungkook sits still while Taehyung wraps it around him. The scent of the alpha wraps around him, warmth seeping through his skin.
Jungkook shivers nonetheless.
"How is it?" Taehyung asks, eyes glinting with happiness as he watches Jungkook in the shawl.
Jungkook nods, gulps, "thank you. It's warm."
It is warm. Too warm. Too cosy. Too safe.
Jungkook shrugs out of it, folds it up, "I will keep it safe. Thank you."
So it starts.
Taehyung brings things he makes from scratch and gives them to Jungkook.
Jungkook can't say no. He can't refuse when the alpha holds out the things with the purest smile and with those glistening eyes full of admiration.
"He knows these are courting gifts, right?" Jin wonders, looking at the gifts scattered on Jungkook's bed, "these are the gifts a potential mate gets for his omega."
Hoseok giggles, "like Namjoon used to get for us."
Jin smiles, "right?"
Jimin sighs, "only if Yoongi would accept any of my gifts."
"You are still on him?" Hoseok sighs, "you know how he is. He-"
"Move on," Jin squeezes Jimin's shoulder, "you know by now that he doesn't like you. You have to accept that."
Jimin looks away.
"He doesn't know," Jungkook murmurs, fingers caressing the shawl, "he doesn't know how these are taken. He doesn't understand how I feel when he hugs me and his lips press against my scent-gland. He doesn't know how his scent makes me feel. He doesn't feel it."
"How do you know that?" Jimin frowns, "did you ask-"
Jungkook chuckles, "he tries to set me up on dates. He points out hot alphas and betas, even omegas for me," his fingers curl over the shawl, "he encourages me to find someone. He is not courting me. He is just nice."
Jin makes a face, "he offered me a ride yesterday."
Hoseok nods, "painted a jacket for me."
Jungkook snorts, "see? I am not special. He does this for everyone."
They are all looking at him and Jungkook is looking at the shawl.
He lets out a breath, "I am not special to him."
The thought cracks him, echoes around his omega, and Jungkook has to bite back a painful shiver.
He doesn't understand why his omega is expecting anything out of this anyway.
He thought he was better than an omega who bares his neck to the first alpha who shows him respect.
Taehyung doesn't come to the university for five days and then shows up smelling of an omega.
Jungkook knows where he was and what he was doing, but the thought is not easy.
Knowing it and accepting it are two different things.
He can't accept it.
It frustrates him that he cares.
It makes his skin crawl that he can pick up that omega's scent on the alpha's skin.
It upsets him that he started hoping.
It makes him weak because Taehyung never promised him anything.
The alpha never gave him false hope.
Never lied to him.
"Gukkie!" Taehyung's arms wrap around Jungkook, "God, I missed you!"
Jungkook feels suffocated, his eyes squeezed shut, "Tae-"
Taehyung lets out a sigh, "how have you been, Gukkie?"
Jungkook steps away, "I am fine. Why? What was supposed to happen to me?"
Taehyung grins, "nothing. I just missed you. So I thought you would-"
"You are not important enough for me to start missing you," Jungkook blurts out, lips pressing in a hard line as he steps back, "excuse me. I have a class."
He turns away. But not before noticing how Taehyung's face falls.
Jungkook is not used to this feeling of longing.
He is not used to this feeling of heartache and jealousy for a faceless person.
It drives him mad.
He doesn't understand this animalistic urge in him to just confront Taehyung and ask who he was with for his rut.
Who he prefers.
He finds himself in the gym. Exercise and boxing helps for a bit before he is out and thinking about the same thing.
He finds himself in Jimin's dorm, where the alpha is getting ready for his date with an omega Hoseok fixed him up with.
"Have you ever shared your rut with someone?" Jungkook asks, "do you alphas have to have someone, or it's a choice?"
Jimin makes a face, "it's a choice. We can choose not to be with someone. I haven't in two years."
Jungkook looks at his best friend, "You love him, don't you?"
Jimin's expression doesn't change, but Jungkook notices how his fingers tremble, and he misses a button on his shirt.
Jimin starts fixing it, "it doesn't matter. Sometimes," he gulps, "no matter how much we want someone, we have to let them go because they don't feel the same."
Jungkook snorts, "I never tried to hold him back. It was him," he closes his eyes when he feels them burning, "he just came barrelling in my life and messed it all up. I never wanted to feel-"
Jimin's arms wrap around him, "kookah, it will be alright. You will move on. Okay?"
Jungkook snorts, "I don't love him. There is nothing to move on from."
Jimin pulls away, his face tender, "acceptance is the first step, kookah. Accept it, acknowledge it and move past it. Yeah?"
Jungkook blinks up at him, "you did?"
Jimin looks away, "it takes time."
Jimin forces a smile on his lips, the playfulness so forced Jungkook wants to laugh, "if nothing works out, we fool around. Huh? How does that sound?"
Jungkook shoves Jimin away, "please go on the date. Oh, my God!"
Jimin laughs, "we will be fine, okay? We will find a way."
Jungkook is sensitive to scents. It bothers him when people use too much of cologne or spreads too much of their pheromones.
The alpha is looking up at him with wide eyes and a bruised face as Jungkook catches his breath looking down at him.
"Never touch me," Jungkook grits out, "without my permission ever again."
The alpha's pheromones spread around him, heavy in the air, trying to make his omega submit.
Jungkook leans down to glare at the alpha, "I will beat you up all over again. Your scent doesn't work on me!"
As he walks away, Jungkook ignores the curses and choice words thrown at him.
He ignores how his hands feel cold and his muscles contort because of the anxiety the whole situation caused him.
He hurries his steps, ignoring how his omega is terrified in him right now.
He finds himself on a bench near the science building. Sitting with his hands resting on his knees.
He glares down at his hands, fingers still shaking with the tension and nerves.
Jungkook starts the breathing exercise he learnt ages ago to calm himself.
The crispy air fills his lungs and his omega breathes it all in.
He closes his eyes, counts the numbers backwards from 100 and when he is around 67, he smells it.
The whiff of soil after a monsoon drizzle. The scent of fresh air.
Jungkook's eyes burn with helpless tears as he feels his omega starts to calm in him.
The scent brushes away the lingering scent of that alpha.
The scent wraps around Jungkook like the warmth his body craves, and then he feels it.
The alpha's presence in front of him.
Jungkook's omega snaps in him. After so many derogatory words, a single word from that mouth makes his omega swoon.
Jungkook glares down at his feet, willing those tears to stop hazing his vision.
He closes his eyes when Taehyung kneels in front of him, "Gukkie?"
Taehyung doesn't touch him, his hands hover over Jungkook's knee, "you okay?"
Jungkook's jaw snaps close, he blinks up at those worried eyes, "do I look or smell okay?"
Taehyung's hands tremble, he gulps, "may I?"
Jungkook gives a curt nod, "yeah."
Those hands touch him.
Warmth seeps through Jungkook's veins from his knees and carries all over his body.
His omega calms in him as he looks at the alpha who is looking at him with so much worry, "what happened?"
Jungkook snorts, "got in a fight."
Taehyung's eyes widen, "what?!"
Jungkook shrugs, "not the first time. Those assholes deserve it for thinking we omegas would love it if they just touch us without our permission or say shit thinking we can't fight back. I am fine. Stop looking at me as if my cat died. I am tota-"
Those arms wrap around him.
Taehyung pulls Jungkook in his arms, nose rubbing against his scent gland, "you smell so sour."
Jungkook hisses, "thanks!"
Taehyung sighs, "I didn't say it as something bad. I just," his lips press against Jungkook's throat, "calm down. You are fine. You took care of it."
"I am so proud of you," Taehyung's voice is deep against Jungkook's ear, "you stood up for yourself. You took care of it."
"I feel dirty," Jungkook hisses, eyes squeezed shut, "those words," he shakes his head, "I feel cheap. He just slapped my butt. It's not like it was much-"
"It is too much!" Taehyung pulls away to frown at him, "how dare anyone get in your personal space? How dare they touch you in any way you didn't want? You are not wrong in feeling bad. You are right! How dare that guy touch you without permission. Do you want to report him?"
Jungkook lets out a snort, eyes skimming over Taehyung's face, "why don't we have more alphas like you?"
Taehyung's eyes widen, "I-"
Jungkook's vision blurs, he blinks back tears, "the person you choose will be so lucky to have you, Taehyug. I am so happy for them."
Jungkook gets up from the bench, "I will report him. Thank you for your help. See you around."
He turns to leave but stops when Taehyung grabs his elbow to pull him back.
Jungkook looks over his shoulder at the alpha, and Taehyung is already looking at him.
"Can we talk?"
Jungkook nods, "about what?"
Taehyung lets go, hands clasped together, "what happened, Gukkie? Why are you suddenly avoiding me? Did I do something?"
Jungkook looks at the alpha, a small smile on his lips, "you didn't do anything. I can't say you did something."
"I went on a trip and I came back to you being odd with me," Taehyung murmurs, "is there something I am missing?"
Jungkook frowns, "a trip?"
Taehyung nods, "a friend of mine just broke up with his boyfriend. I was with him. I," Taehyung blushes, "I kind of like him."
Jungkook grips the strap of his bag, looking at the alpha, "oh?"
Taehyung chuckles, "he said he might need some time to think, you know?" he scratches the back of his head, "I wanted to talk to someone and Yoongi is busy. You are not talking to me. I don't know..."
Jungkook gulps, smiles, "I told you, Taehyung. Any omega will be lucky to have you. He will understand it. Yeah?"
Taehyung's eyes are hopeful, "you think so?"
Jungkook nods, the smile he hopes looks genuine, "I know so. You are the best, Tae. Just hang in there."
Taehyung waves him off, "I will handle it. But, look, what I got you from the trip."
Jungkook watches Taehyung rummage through his bag and pull out a bracelet.
Taehyung grins at him, "I made it myself!"
Jungkook stares at the bracelet, "oh."
Jungkook lets Taehyung loop it around his wrist, the bracelet shines under the late-afternoon sun. It hurts Jungkook's eyes.
He looks up at the alpha, "can I ask you something?"
Taehyung nods, happy smile on his lips as he stares at the bracelet, "yeah?"
Jungkook steps away, his hand dropping beside him, "don't make me gifts anymore. I don't want them."
Taehyung's smile dims, "what?"
Jungkook nods, chuckles, "you know our biology, right? My omega confuses it as a courting gift and it gets weird. I am sure your omega will feel the same. I-"
"It's just gift," Taehyung frowns, "I give gifts to everyone I adore."
"𝑌𝑜𝑢 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑡𝑜 𝘩𝑖𝑚. 𝐻𝑒 𝑑𝑜𝑒𝑠 𝑡𝘩𝑖𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦𝑜𝑛𝑒."
The words echo in Jungkook's head. His omega whispering it to him.
Jungkook shrugs, "I know. I get it. But I would like you to stop. I don't want these anymore."
"I will throw him off a cliff!" Jimin thunders, "I will kick his ass. I will-"
"You will sit down and stop shouting," Hoseok sighs, "can we not curse him? He is not wrong. I mean, he doesn't know how Jungkook feels. He is good to everyone. He is friendly. Not his fault that-"
"Jungkook likes him," Hoseok rubs his temple, "Kookie, you are right in your point but he is not wrong either. He is just being himself. Friendly. Nice. Taehyung. You know?"
Jungkook sighs, looks up from his book, "I am not blaming him. Okay? I am fine too. I am totally fine."
He gets two sets of eyes staring at him with a deadpan expression.
Jungkook huffs out a chuckle, "It's just a crush. Okay? It will go away. It has to. I will move on and get back on track. I don't need you to make him a villain when he is not. We are friends still. Okay?"
Hoseok pats Jungkook's head, "you will be okay."
Jimin hugs him, "feel it and overcome it. Yeah? You will be fine. This too shall pass."
Jungkook hopes so.
He lets his friends hug him from both sides. He hopes this passes soon.
He hopes he gets back on track soon.
Things don't get back to normal.
Because for Jungkook, moving on would be easy if he could hate Taehyung.
No one can hate Kim Taehyung.
Jungkook finds himself falling deeper as days go by.
Now that Taehyung can't bring him gifts, his gestures speak of his warmth.
He walks with Jungkook to his building. He has a bicycle, and he almost always picks Jungkook up from his dorm.
He gets Jungkook the coffee he likes after his classes.
Taehyung remembers Jungkook's orders when they eat out.
He goes to Jungkook's rehearsals to watch him dance.
He cheers the loudest when Jungkook gets on the stage.
The compliments are thrown at him almost always.
Taehyung makes playlists for him, shares them with him.
He finds those videos for omegas in stress or omegas who need calming sounds for sleep and sends them to Jungkook.
"Tae, it's almost four in the morning," Jungkook smiles, "you realize the sun is about to rise, right?"
Taehyung chuckles over the call, "hey, Gukkie?"
Jungkook hums, "this call started around one! We talked for four hours!"
Taehyung sighs, "come out to your balcony."
Jungkook whines, "it's freezing outside. No!"
Taehyung giggles, "lazy-ass, come on!"
Jungkook sighs, gets out of the bed to walk onto his balcony, "what?"
Taehyung lets out a breath, "the sun is rising, Gukkie."
Jungkook watches the horizon fading into the soft glow of dawn.
"It is," Jungkook yawns, "I see. What about it?"
Taehyung lets out a breath, "I have always wanted to watch the sunrise with someone."
Jungkook pauses, "Tae-"
Taehyung chuckles, "look down."
Jungkook blinks, peering down, and he gapes, "Taehyung!"
Taehyung smiles up at him, phone pressed against his ear, "want to go on a walk, Gukkie?"
Jungkook's breath hitches, he shakes his head, "you get up here. I will make us coffee."
Taehyung makes a face, "I hate coff-"
Jungkook curses, "it's too cold. Get up here, you idiot!"
That's how Jungkook finds himself on his balcony.
Sitting on a mattress Taehyung dragged out, and a blanket wrapped around them as they hold the steamy mugs of hot-chocolate in their hands.
They are pressed together, smiles wide and foolish on their lips as the sun rises.
"You will get the mattress back in there," Jungkook warns, presses closer to the alpha, "this is not worth the hype it gets. It's just the sun-"
"It's about starting the day with someone you love," Taehyung sighs, "it's about having a person beside you when no one is around."
"Except you don't love me," Jungkook smiles at the sun, fingers grasping the mug closer to his chest, "and I am not the person you probably wanted here."
Taehyung's eyes are on him, and Jungkook looks at the alpha. He takes in how Taehyung's face glows with the soft glow of the dawn.
He takes in those tender orbs staring at him.
Jungkook smiles at the alpha, "Jihoon," he smiles, "that's where you should have gone, idiot."
Taehyung looks at the horizon, "he doesn't like early mornings. He doesn't like when I wake him up. He doesn't like these things."
Jungkook sighs, "neither do I," he yawns, "but if you love someone, you bear through it. He would have too. You didn't ask. Did you?"
"I am just not sure of his love as I am of yours," Taehyung chuckles, looks at Jungkook, "I am not as confident of him as I am of you. I can't make demands this stupid to him like I can to you. You know? You are my safe-place, Gukkie. The one I can be an idiot with."
Jungkook watches as Taehyung lies down on his thigh, looking up at him.
His fingers comb through Taehyung's curls, eyes stuck on the alpha who is looking up at him.
Taehyung lets out a sigh, "my alpha instinct act up when I don't see you for a day. I didn't yesterday. Remember?"
"You had your first date," Jungkook murmurs, watches how unconsciously Taehyung takes a hold of his wrist and noses his pulse-point, "you were busy. We are fine."
Taehyung's lips press against Jungkook's wrist, "I kept thinking how you are doing. It's stupid, really."
"I ordered your favourite dishes out of habit," Taehyung breathes out a laugh, "he hates them, by the way. Was staring at me like I am crazy. I don't know, Gukkie, I know his orders too, but I just rambled on what you like, and then it was so awkward."
"I ate it all but those dishes don't taste as good as they do when we share it," Taehyung looks up at Jungkook, "I kind of messed it all up. You know? Bought him gifts when my handmade ones turned out trash. The whole date," he sighs, "it was a fail."
"You smell sour," Jungkook whispers, "you need to stop worrying. He will understand, okay?"
"Scent me?" Taehyung blurts out, eyes wide, "I mean," he coughs, "I feel so stressed, and the whole thing blew off and now," the alpha shrugs, "it's totally okay to say no. Of course-"
Taehyung comes to a stop when Jungkook's lips press against his wrist, lips warm against his racing pulse.
Taehyung watches the omega rub his cheek against his wrist, and his hand cups Jungkook's face.
His eyes are on Jungkook when Jungkook smiles at him, "it will be alright."
Taehyung watches, mesmerized, as the first rays of the sun hit Jungkook's face. Those eyes shining with the glow of the dawn as Taehyung sits up.
Jungkook lets Taehyung pull him on his lap.
Taehyung hugs the omega closer, leans against the door of the balcony and sighs.
"What if we pretend this door leads to the actual world," Taehyung murmurs, arms tightening around Jungkook, "and this balcony is another universe where just we two exist. Our world? What if we never open that door and face that world again? Can't we stay like this forever?"
"Because that world is so complicated," the alpha noses against Jungkook's nape, "so tough. That world scares me, Gukkie. Can't we just stay here, watch the sunrise and sunsets forever?"
Jungkook closes his eyes, tears prickling his eyelids, "our worlds are different, Tae."
Jungkook looks at the sun, just rising over the horizon, "you have someone waiting for you in that universe. You have someone who you love in that universe. You have to face it. It's tough, but it's okay. You will figure it out. Just stop running away when it gets hard."
Taehyung lets out a deep breath, "I don't want to. For now, let me stay here. Let's call it our universe. This place. This balcony. You and me. Just us."
Jungkook chuckles, "two people in a universe, we will be the worst one. I swear."
Taehyung shrugs, "I don't mind."
Jungkook leans against the alpha, closes his eyes, "I didn't get any sleep last night. You kept talking."
Taehyung chuckles, "sleep now. I am here."
Jungkook sighs, gulps, "don't wake me up when you leave."
Taehyung frowns, "what?"
Jungkook buries his face against Taehyung's chest, "I don't want to watch you go back to your world when I stay in our universe alone. Okay?"
Taehyung's arms tighten around him, "I am never leaving you. I am not going anywhere."
Jungkook closes his eyes, "you are. You will."
As Jungkook feels sleep engulfing him, Taehyung's lips press against his forehead.
"I would never leave your side, Gukkie," Taehyung murmurs, "I promise."
Jungkook doesn't answer. He can't say that they were never beside each other to begin with.
"Please don't show it, but I think Taehyung is taking him on the uni trip," Hoseok murmurs, throwing the bag at Namjoon who delivers it to the person who is tying the luggage on the top, "just don't show it."
Jungkook has never met 'him' officially, and he doesn't want to.
Jungkook doesn't have to because his eyes shift to find Yoongi and Jimin.
They are talking against the bus. Yoongi is listening while Jimin explains something with wild gestures, "what are they doing?"
Hoseok sighs, rubbing his temple, "goodbye speech, I guess."
Jungkook watches as Yoongi nods at something Jimin says, and then Jimin is watching Yoongi get in the bus.
The alpha's shoulders slump before he is rubbing his hands over his face and letting out a breath.
Then Jimin turns away to come over to them, "done. We are done."
"What do you mean?" Jin holds Hoseok by his shoulder, eyes on Jimin, "done?"
Jimin nods, coughs, "just apologized for being a pest and not understanding his wishes. He never," Jimin chuckles, "he never really saw me as someone he wants, you know? I was just a junior."
Jungkook wraps his arm around Jimin, "he missed out on someone like you. His loss."
Jimin looks away, blinking fast, "well, he never had me to lose," then he claps his hands, "come on. Let's get in the bus. It's about to be packed. We won't find good seats otherwise!"
Jungkook pauses when they hear the shouts of his name.
He looks over his shoulder and a breath catches in his chest.
Taehyung waves at them, smile wide and eyes shiny.
His one arm upheld in a wave and the other is around a boy their age.
Jihoon has his bag slung over his shoulder, and he is wearing something that screams pricy.
Jungkook takes in the way Jihoon dresses. So poised, elegant and sophisticated.
He is smaller than Taehyung in every sense, petite, and the way he walks, it radiates power with class.
He bows when Taehyung introduces them. His smile is warm, welcoming when he waves at them all.
He knows Jungkook and the smile he gets is vibrant and Jungkook knows his is not.
He feels awkward in his black hoodie and jeans.
Jihoon is all dressed while Jungkook came bare faced.
"You look pale, are you okay?" Jihoon asks Jungkook as they climb the steps into the bus, "do you need something?"
Jungkook shakes his head, "no. It's too early. I just came after waking up."
Jihoon nods with a smile, "you can take my sunscreen. I have extra."
"He can have from me," Jin waves him off with a polite smile, "no worries, Jihoon. Why don't you find a seat for yourself and Taehyung?"
Jihoon nods, "see you. Tae," he looks at Taehyung and points at the seat in the middle of the bus, "let's take those?"
Taehyung nods mutely.
"Where are you sitting?" Taehyung asks, eyes on Jungkook, "you can-"
"He is sitting with me," Jimin's voice rumbles over Jungkook's shoulder, his eyes on Taehyung, "thanks for asking."
Jungkook watches from the corner of his eyes, Yoongi is watching them from his seat.
Jimin drags Jungkook and Hoseok to the last seat of five.
Jungkook takes the window seat and Jimin sits beside him.
Hoseok takes the middle seat, while Namjoon and Jin sit beside him.
The bus start and Jungkook closes his eyes with his headphones connected to his phone.
Jungkook doesn't know what time is it when his phone buzzes, and he blinks down at it to see a message.
He opens it with a yawn, and it's Taehyung.
He is asking why Jungkook was looking so pale.
Jungkook lets out a breath before he locks his phone and goes back to sleep.
Jungkook watches them.
His eyes never leave them as the bus stops for lunch break.
His eyes follow Taehyung and Jihoon.
He notices their dynamic and observes the way Taehyung treats him.
It's tender, Taehyung is careful, he is so poised.
Taehyung's voice is soft with him. His smiles softer. His gestures protective and at the same time careful.
Jihoon is the only person Taehyung sees, and Jihoon is the only person he hovers around.
Jungkook smiles when he sees Taehyung blushing at something Jihoon had said.
"That is how requited love looks like then?" he asks Jimin who promptly chokes on his soda and glares at Jungkook.
"That's how puppy crush looks like," Jimin snorts, biting down on his sandwich, "don't get ideas. That's too cheesy."
Jungkook eyes him, "your sandwich or them?"
Jimin laughs, "them. My sandwich is dry like my love life."
"You don't have one," Jungkook dodges the slap, "I am right though."
Jimin sighs, "love can't be that soft and tender and perfect, Kookie. It has edges. Hard one. It's rough. It's painful in some ways. You know?"
Jungkook shakes his head, leans his head against Jimin's shoulder, "requited love should not have edges or pain or shit like that."
Jimin leans against Jungkook's head, "it does. You love someone, but that doesn't take away their faults. You two are still two different persons."
"That is some good level of pretence," Jimin sighs, "they both are trying hard to be someone they are not and showing just the perfect sides to each other. It will come crumbling down when those edges show themselves or when the faults start to appear. You know?"
Jungkook sighs, "I will hope they stay just like that forever," he looks up at Jimin with a smile, "happiness suits him."
Jimin's eyes are tender on him, "happiness suits you the most, though."
Jungkook's chest twists with a sharp pain, he smiles, "It's not a competition."
"You will find someone better," Jimin holds him close, presses a soft kiss against Jungkook's head, "you will find someone way bette-"
"Would you be happy if you find someone better than Yoongi?" Jungkook wonders and when he gets no answer, he chuckles, "exactly."
Taehyung doesn't understand this feeling.
The feeling of missing somebody who is right in front of him.
The feeling of yearning so deep that it swirls in his chest and swallows him entirely.
His eyes search Jungkook when Jungkook is right in front of him.
Jungkook's scent wafts around him, and Taehyung finds himself breathless.
His eyes follow the omega as Jungkook gets in the bus.
The omega doesn't look at him, doesn't spare him a glance as he passes their seats.
But Taehyung's eyes follow him to his.
Jungkook looks up when he is at his seat, and Taehyung's breath catches in his chest when the omega gives him a soft smile.
The day feels bright. His heartbeat picks up and Taehyung thinks the day is just starting right.
He smiles back, trying to hold that gaze for longer.
Jungkook doesn't wait, though. He sits down, and all Taehyung can see is the crown of his head.
Taehyung looks back through the window and lets out a long breath.
He doesn't understand the restlessness his alpha feels inside him.
He doesn't get the uneasy feeling out of him.
Jihoon is leaning against him, "Tae?"
Taehyung looks down at the omega with a small smile, "yes, Ji?"
Jihoon smiles, "I think I am ready, you know?"
Taehyung frowns, "for what?"
Jihoon huffs out a breath, "for us. I think we should start dating. I am ready."
Taehyung gapes, "what?"
Jihoon blushes, nods, "I think we should give this a try."
Taehyung looks over at Yoongi who is sleeping, then his eyes move on to Jihoon who is looking up at him expectantly.
"I have thought enough, you know?" Jihoon smiles, "I like you, Tae."
"I think I started to like you since that five days' vacation we took together," Jihoon smiles, "you came to Bangkok with me. Just to cheer me up. I can't believe you let me cry and hold you while all I talked about was him. I am so grateful for you, you know?"
"You are so perfect," Jihoon sighs, "you are just the perfect alpha any omega can ask for."
Taehyung listens and lets Jihoon take his hands in a grip, "Ji-"
Jihoon leans forward to place a soft kiss against Taehyung's jaw, "I would love to date you, Taehyung."
The omega's nose rub against his jawline before Jihoon is leaning closer to press a soft kiss against his scent gland.
Taehyung can smell the omega's scent, it's mixing with his.
Jihoon smells of roses, the rich scent of it surrounds him.
Roses and the scent of soaked soil…
Roses don't flourish on soaked soil.
The thought is out of blue and the scent wafts around him.
The scent of roses, trying to mix with the scent of soil, soaked after a light drizzle.
Roses don't grow on soaked soil.
Taehyung's eyes flick over, and he can't see Jungkook, but the scent reaches him.
The scent carries over.
The scent Taehyung has come to register as comfort.
The smell of Jasmine wraps around him, mixing with the scent of his alpha.
The pheromones dance around him in particles, blocking away any other scent, and Taehyung inhales the balanced pheromones.
Taehyung looks at Jihoon who is looking at him and the scent in the air is heavy. The surrounding pheromones are creating a cocoon.
His alpha roars in him, and Taehyung tries to not let the instinct take over.
He nods at Jihoon, lungs full of Jasmine, "okay. Yeah. Okay."
It's like a bubble bursts and his senses zoom out.
Taehyung inhales, and this time the scent of Jasmine doesn't wrap around him.
He inhales as long as he can, but the scent evaporates, leaving him in the middle of his own pheromones and Jihoon's spiked scent of roses.
"Can you kiss me?" Jihoon asks, voice trembling with hesitant excitement, "Tae…"
Taehyung's eyes drop to Jihoon's lips and his eyes are stuck on the mole at the corner of Jihoon's lips.
Jungkook has a mole on his lower lip.
Taehyung frowns as the thought pops in his head.
Taehyung's thoughts break when he feels soft lips against his and his breath catches in his chest when he smells the roses around him.
He lets out a breath as Jihoon squirms closer, their lips pressed against each other.
The scent spikes around him, and Taehyung's senses pick up on it in an instant.
The sour scent fills his lungs and his alpha tears in his chest.
Taehyung pulls away, eyes moving from Jihoon to someone who is standing behind him.
Jungkook's eyes are on them as he stands there.
Jungkook gulps, eyes moving from Jihoon to Taehyung, and then he smiles, holds out a box, "Namjoonie hyung said you are in charge of rooms?"
Taehyung looks at the box, "oh. Yeah. I," he coughs, "yeah, I am. That's the box with names?"
Jungkook nods, "y-yeah. Here."
Jihoon chuckles, "sorry. We made you awkward."
Jungkook waves him off, "no, it's okay," he smiles at Jihoon, "we are on a trip. This is allowed."
Taehyung looks at the omega and Jungkook nods at them before pointing behind himself, "excuse me."
As the bus reaches the destination, Jungkook and Jimin get out first, as if they can't even be in there anymore.
Taehyung follows Jihoon, and behind him is Yoongi.
Yoongi pats his back, Taehyung looks over his shoulder, "hyung-"
Yoongi sighs, a small smile on his lips, "you know who is the biggest loser, Tae?"
Yoongi nods, "a person who runs behind something they dream and ignores the reality altogether. Think about it."
"You are still up?"
Jungkook misses the basket, looks over his shoulder at the man leaning against the pole and sighs, "I couldn't sleep."
Taehyung pushes off the pole, walking inside the dark, empty field behind the hotel where they are staying, "neither could I."
Jungkook hums, "tiring day and yet you can't sleep?"
Taehyung chuckles, "can ask you the same."
Jungkook bounces the ball, eyes fixed on it, "my omega can't settle in unknown places. I need at least a day to relax enough to sleep. The smells, the beds, all," he shrugs, "new."
Taehyung nods, "so basketball?"
Jungkook huffs out a chuckle, "so basketball."
He winces when Taehyung steals the ball easily from him, dribbling it teasingly, "good at it?"
Jungkook smiles, stepping closer to Taehyung before stealing the ball, "best at it."
The game starts friendly and Jungkook doesn't know when it turns into a competition.
He is channelling all his energy, feelings, anger, frustration into the moves and Taehyung is keeping up just equally.
They are neck to neck and Jungkook doesn't want to lose to Taehyung.
He shoves the alpha away to score the third basket, and Taehyung stumbles, his eyes on Jungkook. Calculating.
Jungkook doesn't match those eyes, his eyes are stuck on the ball and Taehyung is moving it from one hand to the other until he side-steps Jungkook and Jungkook curses.
Jungkook grabs at Taehyung's elbow, but Taehyung scores the basket anyway.
Jungkook lets out a long breath, "right," he shakes his head, "good night, Tae."
He turns to leave and Taehyung reaches for him, "hey, wait. You said you couldn't sleep."
"I wanted to be alone," Jungkook murmurs, closing his eyes, "I wanted to be on my own. You just came-"
"Are you upset because you lost?" Taehyung is right behind him, his breath tickling Jungkook's nape.
Jungkook looks at the darkness ahead of him, snorts, "I lost. Right."
"If you want we can go for a walk," Taehyung throws the ball away, "let's go for-"
"I love you," Jungkook breaks Taehyung off, his voice loud enough in the dark, empty filed for Taehyung to hear, "I think I am in love with you."
Jungkook nods, turns over his shoulder to look at Taehyung, "and judging by how I am the third party here, I should start keeping my distance," he looks ahead of himself, tears lining the rim of his eyes, "I hope you won't mind if I ask you to leave me alone."
"What?" Taehyung blinks, his voice hoarse, "you are what?"
Jungkook starts walking. He feels exhausted. He doesn't want to drain himself anymore. He has said it once and it will break him if he has to say it again when he knows Taehyung would not say it back. Not for once. Ever.
Taehyung stumbles to follow him, grabs at Jungkook's elbow to stop him, "wait!"
The words echo and Jungkook curls in on himself.
The alpha timbre vibrates in his veins, and his omega howls in him for submission.
He lets out a groan before he jerks himself free, "shit!"
Taehyung looks crestfallen, his face going pale, "shit, I didn't mean to. I-"
Jungkook staggers away, eyes watering, "are you seriously using your alpha voice on me?!"
Taehyung shakes his head, hand unsteady as he reaches for Jungkook, "no! I didn't mean to. You know-"
Jungkook shakes his head, tears rolling out of his eyes as he tries to disobey the word and step away.
His omega roars in him, tearing him apart as he stumbles away from the alpha.
Taehyung looks like he is in pain, he reaches again, "Gukkie, stop. It will hurt."
Jungkook snorts, "more than you hurting my self-respect?"
Taehyung's eyes blur, "I didn't mean to. I would never-"
Jungkook nods, sucks in a breath, "not your fault. After all, you are an alpha too. Can't take a bratty omega, can you? I can't believe I thought you would never-"
The more he moves, the more the pain sears through his veins.
An alpha's command, no matter how weak, can't be ignored.
Jungkook has broken that rule many times, his biology has never reacted like this.
But it's maybe because Jungkook's omega has accepted Taehyung's alpha.
Unknown commands don't hurt as much as it does from a loved one.
Jungkook loves Taehyung.
Disobeying his command rips at his veins, the pain intensifies as Jungkook tries to step further away.
Taehyung curses, face contorting, "I am sorry, but," he lets out a breath, "I have to."
Jungkook lets out a muffled scream when Taehyung grabs his wrist and presses him up against the boundary wall.
The alpha's lips press against his ear, "shush. You know I have to. I'm sorry."
"Calm down," Taehyung's voice rumble in his chest, the deep voice turning deeper, "take a deep breath. Take a deep breath, Jungkook."
Jungkook does, his mouth parting as he gasps for air. His hands clutch at Taehyung's shirt.
Taehyung hums, "I am sorry."
Jungkook looks at the alpha and frowns when he sees tears spilling from Taehyung's eyes.
Taehyung's hands are cold when he holds Jungkook's face, "I am so sorry. I didn't mean to," his forehead presses against Jungkook's, "oh, God, I am so sorry. Are you okay?"
"I am going to scent you," Taehyung whispers, "you need to calm down, and your omega needs to understand I am not mad. Yes?"
Jungkook grits his teeth, "no. I don't need you anywhere near me."
Taehyung lets out a breath, "you can't fight biology, Guk-"
"Don't call me that!"
"You have lost your right to call me that," Jungkook whispers, shakes his head, "you can't call me that anymore!"
Taehyung's face contorts with pain, his hands pull away from Jungkook's face, "you are in pain."
Jungkook snorts, lips curling back in fury, "because of you!"
Taehyung nods, wiping at his eyes, "does it hurt?"
Jungkook's skin is crawling like it's on fire. His chest contorts.
He can feel his omega weakening as they talk.
He shakes his head, "go away."
Taehyung takes a step back, "you do it," he nods when Jungkook frowns in confusion, "you scent me."
Jungkook eyes the man, breath heaving as he starts to feel the distance between them. His omega trying to fight the sense that the alpha is leaving.
The distress makes his wince.
Jungkook wants to.
For once, he wants to be selfish and leave his traces on the alpha.
He wants Jihoon to smell him on Taehyung.
The thought is alluring.
Then the thought changes. He thinks Taehyung will go back to Jihoon and kiss him while he smells like Jungkook.
The thought is so disgusting, Jungkook recoils. He shakes his head, a wobbly smirk gives way to his lips.
He pushes off the wall, shakes his head, +
"I am not so cheap to leave my traces on people who are not worth it, Kim Taehyung. I will suffer but won't let a person heal me who hurt me in the first place. No."
He staggers away, supporting his weight on the wall as he moves away from the alpha.
Taehyung reaches for him, "Jungkook-"
Jungkook shakes his head, "did this before and will do it again. I will be fine, just," his tearful eyes look up at Taehyung with something like heartbreak and betrayal, "never thought I would have to run from you like this, Taehyung. I thought you were not like them."
"I am an omega, but I am not weak," Jungkook snarls with the last ounce of energy he has left in him, "I let you have the control over me because I trusted you otherwise you are nothing!"
He turns on his heels and stumbles out of the filed with Taehyung hot on his heels.
"You did what?!" Yoongi chews out, his eyes burning, "what were you thinking?"
Taehyung sits on the bed, head held in his hands, "I wasn't. He just said he loves me, and then he was leaving and-"
"And you proved why it is a mistake," Yoongi nods, "loving you."
"What if he is not fine?" Taehyung springs up, tenses eyes on Yoongi, "what if-"
Yoongi sighs, "he will be fine. It's not the physical pain. It's the mental shock that you did it. He is a grown man. He will be fine, but what you saw was his omega breaking. He trusted you."
"He loves you," Yoongi whispers, eyes over Taehyung's shoulder, "we are not weak, Tae, but when we trust someone with our everything and that person tries to dominate us without our consent and use something that is a sore point for us. It sucks. You fucked up."
"What am I going to do, hyung?" Taehyung's voice cracks and when Yoongi looks at him, he sees the young Taehyung.
The one who was so scared when he presented as an alpha when no one thought he would. Not even him.
Yoongi sees the alpha he almost raised on his back.
Yoongi watches the boy who is looking at him with those terrified eyes, "you never lost control before, Tae," Yoongi's voice tremble, "why? I taught you to never," he gulps down the bile, "you are not like those alphas. Then why?"
Tears brim in Taehyung's eyes, "he was leaving. He was leaving, hyung, and," he stumbles on his hurried steps to hug Yoongi, burying his face against Yoongi's neck, "I don't know. He was leaving and the fear that he would never look back. That he would never-"
"The thought," Taehyung's arms tighten around Yoongi's neck, "I broke his trust. I turned out to be like those alphas he hates. He said I am not like others, and tonight I proved him wrong. I am just," sobs wreck through Taehyung, "I couldn't watch him leave."
Yoongi's arms wrap around Taehyung's shaking frame, "Tae?"
Taehyung cries, heaving breaths mixing with the sobs that escape his lips.
Yoongi closes his eyes, "how did it feel when he was leaving?"
Taehyung gasps for air, "it felt like," he sniffles, "it felt like he was tearing something away from me. I couldn't breathe. The thought of him leaving," Taehyung hisses, "it hurt so terribly."
Yoongi's eyes snap close, his arms tightening around Taehyung, "Tae?"
Taehyung hugs Yoongi just as tightly, "hmm?"
Yoongi's skin break with goosebumps, "what if he is your mate?" He gulps, "the chosen one?"
Jungkook ignores all the messages and calls of Taehyung. He ignores the alpha for the next two days.
He spends time with his friends. His friends who try their best to cheer him up, and it helps.
But then the night comes and Jungkook is back at the basketball field.
He doesn't know what drags him there or what he was expecting, but when he sees the empty field, he goes to stand in the middle. His eyes are on the stars and hands are in his pockets as he feels the cool breeze blow past him.
It's the breeze that carries the scent to him.
Jungkook doesn't look down. He doesn't look away from that one star his eyes are focused on as he hears footsteps.
He doesn't look down when there is a person standing right in front of him.
He keeps his eyes fixed on the star when Taehyung whispers his name.
"There is something we need to talk about," Taehyung murmurs, voice carrying the hesitance he feels, "we," he watches the man in front of him, "there is something, I think, I mean," Taehyung frowns at himself for the loss of words, "I think we are-"
"There is a way of breaking it," Jungkook murmurs, "one of us needs to get mated. You will soon," Junkook's eyes finally matches Taehyung's, "so the bond will break."
Taehyung's mouth parts around a gasp, "you knew?"
Jungkook nods, "found out that night. Found a solution, too."
"Jungkook," Taehyung lets out a sigh, "we can't-"
"Be together," Jungkook finishes it for him, eyes roaming over Taehyung's face, "because you want someone else and after that night, I don't want anything to do with you."
Taehyung's hand reaches out for Jungkook, "please-"
"What?" Jungkook asks, steps back and looks down at Taehyung's outstretched hand, "what do you want to do now?"
Taehyung lets his hand drop beside him, "I want to say how terribly sorry I am," he grips the side of his jogger, "how awful I feel for doing that. Forgive me. Please?"
"I will forgive you with time," Jungkook nods, "I understand now why you did that. I know how biology works. It was your alpha that couldn't let me go, not you. I-"
"No," Taehyung cuts him in the middle, "it was not my alpha. It was me. Not my biology. It was me who did it."
Jungkook frowns, "what?"
Taehyung nods, gulps, eyes fixed on Jungkook's face, "it was not my biology or my alpha instinct. It was me. I couldn't watch you go. It has nothing to do with my primal side. Me," Taehyung steps forward, "I can't watch you leave like that. Me."
"I can easily blame it on my biology or my alpha and get out of the situation, but how can I ever match your eyes without telling you how that thought of you never looking back at me scared the hell out of me?" Taehyung shakes his head, eyes teary, "forgive me. Not my alpha."
"I am sorry," Taehyung shakes his head, "for breaking your trust. For making you scared and think that you can't trust me. For letting you down. I am so sorry."
Jungkook lets out a breath, "it's not your fault. It's mine that I let you have that much effect on me. You know?"
"I shouldn't have," Jungkook chuckles, "you are not at fault."
Taehyung feels the words pierce through his heart, he doesn't know what to do for Jungkook to just look at him like he used to before.
Taehyung feels helpless, his insides churning as he feels it's going downhill.
"Tell me what can I do," Taehyung reaches out to grasp Jungkook's wrist, tugging him closer, "please, anything. Tell me how can I fix this."
Jungkook's eyes are on him, his body pressed against Taehyung's, "there is nothing to fix. Why not-"
"Then look at me like you used to," Taehyung whimpers, eyes glistening with unshed tears, "look at me like you-"
"Like I love you still?" Jungkook whispers, voice clogged, "like you are the one I would do anything for? Like you are the alpha I want over anyone else?"
Taehyung shakes his head, tears trailing out of his eyes, "like the person who I go to when the world sleeps," his arms circle around Jungkook's waist, "like the person I make all my gifts for. Like the person who taught me how to be me in more ways than I can imagine."
"I feel guilty," Taehyung whispers, forehead resting against Jungkook's who rests his hands on Taehyung's chest, "I feel like I am cheating on you when I hold him like this."
Jungkook goes rigid, "Tae-"
Taehyung shakes his head, "let me finish. Please."
"I have liked him for a long time, Jungkook," Taehyung murmurs, "I have wanted him for a long time. You have to understand it's not easy. It's not easy forgetting everything I shared with him."
Jungkook tries to pull away, "you don't need to make me understand anything."
"But I do," Taehyung whispers, "I don't want to lose you."
Jungkook's eyes are wandering over Taehyung's face, "you will not lose me. I am not going anywhere. I just need some time and I will be fine. We," he nods, hands grasping at Taehyung's shirt, "we will be fine."
"You are one of my closest friends," Taehyung whispers, "I don't want to lose you. I love you, just," he shakes his head, "not like," he can't finish it.
Jungkook nods, breathes out a chuckle, "not like a lover."
Taehyung's hands free Jungkook this time, "yeah. Not like that."
"I don't want to give you false hope," Taehyung chokes out, "I don't want to be that guy. I don't feel that way for you. I," he shakes his head, "I love him. I really love him."
Jungkook hugs himself, "I needed to hear that. I guess," he smiles, "for closure. I needed it."
"If after this, you don't want to see me, I will accept that decision," Taehyung shoves his hands in his pockets, "but I didn't want to hang you in the air and leave like that. I think it's better to have a closure than thinking of what ifs, you know?"
"If after tonight," Taehyung's voice cracks, "you hate me, I deserve it. I-"
"Not loving someone back who loves you is not a crime, fool," Jungkook sighs, "it's not a crime. It would have been if you left me in darkness. If you juggled with us. You didn't. I appreciate that."
"I like people better when they are clear about their wishes, and you are," Jungkook nods, "you want our friendship to stay intact, and I get that. I-"
"I want you to decide that," Taehyung murmurs, "if you want anything to do with me or not. You decide."
"I wanted to clear the things out," Taehyung shakes his head, "I just wanted to tell you how I feel, and I didn't want you to feel neglected after you said you," he bites his lips, "I didn't want to never acknowledge it. You love me, and that's something I don't want to ignore."
"I didn't want to make you feel like your confession meant nothing to me and it was easily forgettable," Taehyung shakes his head, "it is not. I stayed up these past two nights thinking about it and I kept thinking how it would feel to return those feelings. To be loved by you…"
"It is an honour and I don't deserve it," Taehyung shakes his head, "not when my heart lays somewhere else. I can't ignore the feelings I have for you but they are very," he waves his hands, "they are confusing but then the whole fated mate and all," he gulps, "I don't know."
Jungkook shakes his head, "there is nothing to be confused about," he chuckles, "you don't love me."
The words are clear between them, the sound of Jungkook's voice echoes between them.
The words draw a line that both of them are reluctant to step over.
"You don't love me."
"I don't love you," Taehyung murmurs, the words a hollow of himself, "I don't feel the same."
Jungkook nods, acceptance clear in his face, "I have spent the past two nights accepting it. I know. I just needed the confirmation. Now I can move on."
They stare at each other and Taehyung is the first one to move.
He takes a step back, the clearance behind him in Jungkook's sight, "you probably want to leave."
Jungkook watches the clearance, a clear shot as escapade.
He should take it.
He glances at the alpha, "I don't."
Taehyung blinks up at him, "what?"
Jungkook shoves his hands in the jogger's pocket, trembling fingers clutching at the material, "I miss my friend."
Taehyung's face contrasts, his eyes pooling with tears, "you do?"
Jungkook nods, "did we fuck up our friendship?"
Jungkook's heart cracks as he asks the question that kept him up all night, "did we lose what we had in the middle of all these feelings and shit?"
Taehyung's tears fall from his eyes, "I am in no position to ask you for a friendship, Jungkook. I will take whatever you give."
Jungkook nods, "because I desperately need my best friend right now. I kind of need him to hold me as I tell him how a guy broke my heart."
Taehyung's frame shake with sobs, "that guy is a dumbass. He doesn't know what he lost."
Jungkook wipes his tears, "he is. Isn't he?"
Jungkook shrugs, "I mean, look at me. What a hot mess of a person I am, and he didn't want me! I feel bad for him to be honest-"
He stops midway when Taehyung crashes against him, arms looping around his neck as he alpha hugs him, "you deserve better. I know you deserve better."
"He didn't deserve you," Taehyung's hand presses against Jungkook's nape, the other arm holding him by the waist, "you deserve the best, and he is not it. You can't settle for a person that bad. You can't. He didn't deserve you."
The words are chanted against Jungkook's ear.
Jungkook's arms lift to hold Taehyung, wrap around his frame as Jungkook pulls Taehyung closer.
"Stay," Jungkook buries his face against Taehyung's neck, "because I need you as a friend. I need my best friend right now."
Taehyung nods eagerly, "I will. I will never leave."
"That boy is sorry," Taehyung murmurs, "he used his instinct on you. He is a sorry piece of ass. You don't need him. You don't need an alpha who can't control himself. Yeah? You should have kicked his ass."
Jungkook huffs out a snort against Taehyung's shoulder, "I forgave him."
"Do you want to go on a walk," Taehyung whispers, "maybe? If you want-"
"I want to sleep," Jungkook murmurs, sighs against Taehyung, "and judging by how tired you smell, you want that too?"
Taehyung's arms tighten around him, "want to leave now?"
Jungkook doesn't. He doesn't want to leave yet.
He hums, "I can stay for a few minutes."
Taehyung's arms tighten around him, "let's sit then. Yeah? On the steps? Come on."
Jungkook doesn't protest as they sit down on the steps around the field, eyes on each other.
"If you see Jimin anywhere, hide," Jungkook murmurs, blush high on his cheeks, "he might come for you."
Taehyung lets out a breath, "I get it. I deserve it, I guess."
Jungkook shakes his head, eyes on the sky, "no, he is overprotective of me."
Taehyung watches the omega's side-profile, the clean-cut image Jungkook presents.
Who wouldn't be protective of him?
Taehyung doesn't blame Jimin. He understands the alpha.
Taehyung leans against the steps, "we will be going to the sea tomorrow. Excited?"
The words between them flow. As if they never stopped talking.
The ebbs off with each passing smile and teasing remarks.
But occasionally Taehyung will remember how broken Jungkook had looked when he had used his alpha voice and his smile would dim. Making the guilt resurface.
They part that night with a hug. A hug that lasted longer because both of them were reluctant to let go.
The moment they entered their separate rooms, they stared at their phones.
It's ridiculous how Taehyung bit down on his nail as he dialled the number.
It was busy.
It was his fourth try when the ring started and Taehyung lets out a sigh as Jungkook picked up, "I- am I disturbing? You were busy-"
Jungkook had laughed, "I was calling you. It's cross connection, I guess."
They both had stayed up the night. This time on their own will.
Maybe it's the overwork, or the stress, or the new atmosphere.
Jungkook stands at the beach, sweating, as he feels heat course through him.
He lets out a whimper when he feels the sweat ticking down his spine.
He knows this feeling.
He hates this feeling.
He is going into heat.
In the middle of nowhere, with nothing as precaution, he is going into heat.
He can see everyone around him, having fun at the beach as he stands there panicking.
He looks at the bus, it's vacant, no one is in it.
He looks back at the sea, almost everyone is there.
He bites back a whine when he thinks he didn't bring his meds.
His heat is not supposed to hit this soon.
His heat normally doesn't come until the first week of the month, and it's the third week.
Jungkook can feel the cold sweat break on his skin as he looks around.
He knows the alphas around him would be able to smell it on him if he stayed for long.
He looks around to find his friends, but they are nowhere to be found.
His eyes scan the beach before he is pulling out his phone and checking if he can book a hotel or something.
His head hurts, vision going fuzzy as he scrolls through the names before clicking on one.
He dials the number of the reception, "yeah, hello," his voice is already scratchy, "uhh, I needed a room. For a few days," as he talks, he smells the alpha.
Taehyung comes to a screeching halt a few feet away from him and one look at the alpha and Jungkook knows Taehyung can smell it on him.
Remorse, mortification, humiliation run through his veins as he turns on his heel, still fixing the room, "I will be there right away. Thanks."
Jungkook curses when he feels the alpha following him.
He looks over his shoulder, "what are you doing?"
Taehyung looks right at him, "following you."
Jungkook bites back a grunt, "You know where I am going."
Taehyung nods, gulps, "I can smell it."
Jungkook closes his eyes, "you need to stay put."
"You smell of heat!" Taehyung grits out, "anyone can smell it on you and-"
Jungkook's eyes snap open, "and, what? Try to take advantage of me? I can take care of myself. You are an alpha yourself. I can't let you follow me."
Taehyung shakes his head, "I can't let you go like this. How are you going to reach the hotel?"
Jungkook waves his phone, "booked a cab."
Taehyung steps forward, "what if the driver is an alpha who can't-" he stops, "please, Gukkie. Let me come with you."
Jungkook shakes his head, "you are an alpha yourself, Tae."
Taehyung shakes his head, "I would never do that to you."
Jungkook's eyes search Taehyung's face, "Tae-"
Taehyung gulps, "I know, you can't trust me," he looks away, "not after how I acted last time. But, please."
Jungkook shakes his head, "I don't get sexually active during heat," he feels the way his face heats up, cheeks reddening, "I just feel the aches all over my body, and normally I just sleep it off. I will be fine. I don't need any help like that."
Taehyung's cheeks turn bright red, his eyes large, "I didn't mean help that way either. I," he gulps, hands waving around, "I mean, I will just be there. Sexually active or not, you smell too alluring, Gukkie, I-" he stops midway, eyes wide, "I didn't mean to say that. I mean..."
Jungkook smiles, "you promise not to jump me? I am asking for your own good because if you do, I can break your bones easily."
Taehyung gapes, "wha- no! Of course, I won't jump you! I can control my pheromones, thank you very much!"
Jungkook laughs, "just checking."
Jungkook looks at the room, "this is all I can afford."
It's a cheap motel with two beds.
Taehyung looks around, "how long your heat lasts?"
Jungkook shrugs, "three or so days? I need some supplies."
Taehyung nods, "write them down. I will buy it for you."
Jungkook hesitates, "you can leave after you get those for me. It's your trip and I don't want to-"
Taehyung looks at him, "no way in hell I am leaving you in this cheap motel with that flimsy door. No matter how strong you are, you are in heat. I am not leaving."
Jungkook sighs, "I will be fine."
Taehyung shrugs, "write the damn list down, so I can hurry."
Jungkook types out the things he needs and sends it to Taehyung, who looks at the list and quirks a brow at Jungkook, "scent nullifier?"
Jungkook nods, smirks, "I smell alluring, you said. Can't have you going into rut now, can we?"
Taehyung turns another shade of red, "that is not what I meant when I-"
Jungkook laughs, "just precaution. What if the scent gets suffocating? You never know. Just go."
Taehyung buys everything and the snacks he knows an omega might need during heat.
He buys twelve bottles of banana milk and curses at himself afterwards because Jungkook didn't write it.
He sends a quick text to Jihoon, telling him about the situation before he locks his phone.
He comes back to the motel and Jungkook opens the door for him.
For a second, Taehyung stills.
The scent wafts out, his nostrils flaring as he inhales. The scent wraps around him, choking him almost and Taehyung reconsiders his decision.
Only for a second, his alpha roars in him.
The animalistic side rears its ugly head and the thought comes quick, like a flash.
How easy it would be to overpower Jungkook right now.
How easy it would be to manipulate the omega into submitting.
The alpha in him snarls at the idea. The scent of his chosen mate right there.
Then Taehyung looks at the omega in question and imagines Jungkook like that.
Helpless, under his mercy, not in his clear mind.
He would do whatever Taehyung says because Taehyung can easily use his alpha voice or pheromones to overpower him.
It would be so easy.
Then Taehyung's eyes match the omega's and Taehyung's thoughts vanish with a snap.
Those trusting eyes look at him, and Taehyung knows he would do something to himself before he touches Jungkook in any way.
His alpha roars in him, protective of someone so dear.
"I will protect you," Taehyung murmurs, closing the door behind himself and stepping inside confidently, "from everyone," his arms open to pull Jungkook in a hug,
“𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑚𝑦𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓”
"I am not a good man," Taehyung shakes his head, smiles at Jungkook, "but I can be for you. Yeah?"
Jungkook frowns, "what?"
Taehyung shakes his head, "nothing, Gukkie. How about you rest? I will bring you some soup? You go and rest. Yeah?"
Jungkook yawns, "you sure?"
Taehyung watches the omega, a smile on his lips, "I wasn't. Now I am. I can do this. Okay? Go, sleep."
Jungkook nods, goes over to the bed and wraps himself in the duvet, "thanks."
Taehyung shrugs, "it's alright."
Turns out, Jungkook's scent intensifies as the heat builds.
It's almost past midnight and Taehyung is reading an article over 'relief from painful heat' as he watches Jungkook shiver on his bed.
"Are you alright?" Taehyung asks, worried, "you are shivering too much, Gukkie."
Jungkook hums, "it's always like this. I get too cold. It feels like a fever. The joints ache and all. I will be fine."
Taehyung lets out a breath, "you want to cuddle?"
Jungkook looks over his shoulder, "with you?"
Taehyung rolls his eyes, "do you see anyone else here?"
Jungkook glares, "your sarcasm is not helping."
Taehyung smiles, "I might? Want to cuddle?"
Jungkook hesitates, "my scent…"
"Choking me, yes," Taehyung nods, deadpan, "but I am alright. Yeah? Would you like that? Cuddling?"
Jungkook nods, hesitant, "okay."
Taehyung slowly steps out of his bed, hovers over Jungkook's as the omega looks up at him.
Taehyung gulps, "okay?"
Jungkook squirms away, making space for the alpha to climb up, "just," he hesitates, "don't move too much. Don't ruin my nest."
Taehyung tip-toes onto the bed, the scattered bed welcoming him as he sits against the headrest and opens his arms for the omega to come to him.
Jungkook crawls over, on his hands and knees, "you sure?"
Taehyung keeps his arms open, "I am absolutely sure."
Warmth seeps through his veins when Jungkook lies down on top of him, between his legs. His head rests on Taehyung's chest and entire body on Taehyung.
Taehyung sucks in a breath as he inhales the rich scent of jasmine, blooming all around him.
Jungkook squirms closer, "nice."
"Talk to me?" Jungkook whispers against Taehyung's chest, "all my heats, I have spent so lonely."
Taehyung's arms tighten around him, "yeah?"
Jungkook nods, looks away, "no one really talks and all, you know? I had partners but," he shrugs, "it was just sex. I don't know-"
"No one ever wanted to talk or-" Jungkook squirms, "it didn't-"
Taehyung tugs Jungkook closer, wrapping him in duvet, "you know, there is this farmhouse my parents own?"
Jungkook looks up at the alpha as his rumbling voice fills the air between them.
Taehyung talks animatedly, painting a picture of a place Jungkook has never visited.
He watches, sleeping heavy on his eyelids, as the alpha ramble on and on about that farmhouse and the place far away.
Jungkook smiles, "you love that place. Don't you?"
Taehyung looks down at him, lips pressing against the crown of Jungkook's head, "my sweet Gukkie, I will take you there. Some day."
Jungkook closes his eyes, "you will?"
Taehyung watches the omega, "I will take you there."
As Jungkook sleeps, Taehyung looks up at the ceiling. Thinking.
His parents are not rich enough to have a farmhouse. He smiles to himself, looks down at the omega who is wrapped all around him, "If you want to go, I will build one for you. Some day. I promise."
Taehyung doesn't remember falling asleep. He knows he did when he wakes up to the omega burning beside him.
Jungkook's body temperature runs higher as time goes by, and the scent that welcomes Taehyung is maddening.
He should have thought this through.
He looks at the mobile and knows why he woke up.
There are twenty missed-calls and almost over hundred messages.
He swipes the lock open and looks at the screen to read the messages.
All from Jihoon.
The phone goes off as soon as Taehyung opens one message.
Taehyung slowly untangles himself from Jungkook and goes to the shabby window, cracks it open to inhale some fresh air as he accepts the call.
"Hey," he sounds groggy, "what's-"
"You are spending heat with Jungkook?" Jihoon lets out, voice shocked, "are you crazy?!"
Taehyung yawns, "I am not spending his heat with him like that. No. It's more like, he is sleeping, and I am here to make sure he is fin-"
"It is just the starting, Tae," Jihoon lets out a curse, "do you know how an omega gets during heat? Do you have any idea?"
"You are a potential mate," Jihoon hisses, "his omega is right now fighting with him to claim you just as much as your alpha would want it in a rut. Do you have any idea how it all works? You can't help him without sex, Tae. What are you even thinking? What help does he need?"
"Do you have any idea how I am feeling right now?" Jihoon sniffles, "you are my boyfriend, and you are spending heat with someone else."
"We are not dating yet, Jihoon," Taehyung closes his eyes, "and I told you how I am helping him in his heat. It's not like that."
"Would you do this for Yoongi?" Jihoon grits out, "would you help him like that?"
Taehyung looks out of the window, eyes fixed on a banner he can't quite read on the opposite building, "I have helped him. A few weeks ago. Just like this. I told you."
"You dropped off a few things and left," Jihoon whispers, "you didn't stay with him. Did you?"
Taehyung closes his eyes, "Jihoon."
Jihoon exhales, voice trembling, "what is different about Jungkook?"
Taehyung looks over at the omega in the bed, still asleep, "He is."
"He is alone," Taehyung murmurs, chest tightening as he watches Jungkook sleep, "in this new city, he knows no one. Imagine spending your weakest time alone, defenceless, tired, fighting your inner-self and others if someone gets to you?" Taehyung curses lowly, "I can't leave."
"You are a threat to him," Jihoon tries again, "you are an alpha. You can easily lose control."
Taehyung chuckles, "I can't deny the animalistic side in me, Jihoon, but you have to trust me. I will not do anything to him. I will fight myself. We are fine. Don't worry. Yeah?"
Jihoon hums, "what if I tell you this makes me uncomfortable? What if I don't want you to be there?"
Taehyung looks ahead of himself, eyes closing afterwards as he exhales, "I will not leave. I understand what you mean, Jihoon, but I can't leave him. I can't."
Jihoon snorts, "choosing him over me?"
Taehyung looks over at Jungkook, noticing the omega stirring, "don't degrade yourself to be an option then, Jihoon. Put a little faith in me," he sucks in a breath when Jungkook's eyes flutter open, looking around, "I gotta go. Sorry."
He cuts the call, turns the phone off, before hurrying over to sit on the bed.
Jungkook smiles up at him, wobbly, fevered, "you left?"
Two words and Taehyung feels them in his bones, he pushes Jungkook's hair off his eyes, cupping his sleepy face in his hands, "I didn't. No."
"I thought you left," Jungkook's hand comes to hold Taehyung's wrist, his eyes wandering over Taehyung's face, "thought I dreamt it all-"
Taehyung gets under the cover, pulling Jungkook to himself, "I am here," he presses the omega's face against his neck, "I am right here."
The omega's nose presses against Taehyung's scent-gland, lips pressing against Taehyung's throat, "alpha…"
Taehyung sucks in a breath, looks down to see those eyes staring up at him.
They are lost. Jungkook's omega surfacing from the depth of his rational mind, "alpha…"
The pheromones waft in the air. Jasmine all around Taehyung.
He watches how rationality leaves Jungkook's eyes, only to be replaced by his omega.
Taehyung watches, transfixed, as Jungkook bares his neck, head tilting back, "alpha..."
Their scents mix together, wrap around them.
Taehyung nods, "I am here," his voice chokes off when Jungkook snuggles closer, "how are you feeling, baby?"
Jungkook whines, lips parting around a whimper, "hurts. My body hurts."
Taehyung nods, "you want me to-"
Those eyes clear a little, Jungkook fighting with his inner self, "whatever I say," he whines, closes his eyes, "don't do anything."
Taehyung nods, "I know. I know."
Jungkook's face twists with pain, "please."
Taehyung watches the omega go slack in his arm.
Taehyung watches the omega's animal side take over.
Jungkook climbs on his lap, nose pressed against Taehyung's neck.
He watches, mesmerized, how Jungkook fights it. The omega fights his most basic instinct in his primal stage of heat as he pulls himself away from Taehyung.
Taehyung has spent his time with omegas in heat. Has spent time with omegas during his rut.
He has never seen someone fight their base instinct as Jungkook does.
He watches Jungkook pull away to bury his face in the mattress, "just... get me something. Something for the smell."
Taehyung shrugs out of his shirt, slowly holds it out for Jungkook, who eyes it for a few seconds before reaching for it.
Taehyung watches the omega bury his face in the material, inhaling.
Jungkook nods, "thank you."
Taehyung watches the omega slowly drift off to sleep.
He gets out of bed, makes some soup for the omega to consume.
Takes a shower himself and changes into the cheap clothes he bought for the two of them.
When he gets out, Jungkook is still asleep.
Taehyung takes the tray of warm soup and gets on the bed.
As he wakes Jungkook up, slowly whispering his name, Jungkook eyes the soup distastefully.
"I am not hungry," he murmurs, hiding his face against Taehyung's neck, "it smells."
Taehyung chuckles, "it's good for your health. You need to stay hydrated. Come on."
Jungkook doesn't protest further when Taehyung holds the spoon out for him.
He takes a small mouthful and looks up at Taehyung. Those round eyes full of concern, "you? Did you eat?"
Taehyung pauses, eyes the omega, "me?"
Jungkook frowns, "you didn't eat?"
Taehyung watches Jungkook take the spoon from him, dipping it into the soup, holding it out for him, "here."
He lets the omega feed him, taking turn in feeding each other.
He lets Jungkook wipe the corners of his lips. When Taehyung looks down, Jungkook is already looking up.
Taehyung's eyes drop to Jungkook's lips.
Shining, moist, parted around small puffs of breaths.
Jungkook's eyes are on his face, lips parting slightly as the alpha's eyes stay locked there.
Then Taehyung looks up, those eyes locking with his as they watch each other.
Jungkook's eyes gloss over, a lone tear rolling down his cheek, "if you were my alpha, I would kiss you."
Taehyung flinches, eyes fluttering close, "Gukkie."
Jungkook pulls away, turns on his side, "I won't. I won't."
Taehyung closes his eyes, "Gukkie…"
Taehyung closes his eyes, something stinging in his eyes as he sucks in a deep breath.
He feels the pain in his chest as he watches the omega.
He frowns when he feels the sting on his wrist.
He looks down at it, eyes widening, as he watches the small line on his wrist.
“𝑇𝘩𝑒 𝑓𝑖𝑟𝑠𝑡 𝑑𝑎𝑠𝘩,” 𝑌𝑜𝑜𝑛𝑔𝑖 𝑠𝑚𝑖𝑙𝑒𝑠, “𝑚𝑒𝑎𝑛𝑠 𝑡𝘩𝑒 𝑓𝑖𝑟𝑠𝑡 𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑝 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑏𝑜𝑛𝑑. 𝑌𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑤𝑜𝑙𝑣𝑒𝑠 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑙 𝑡𝘩𝑒 𝑠𝑎𝑚𝑒.”
The words ring in Taehyung's mind, his eyes on the single dash on his wrist.
He lurches forward, grabs Jungkook's wrist to see the same dash.
On Taehyung's wrist, it means the omega feels something for him.
On Jungkook's wrist, it means the alpha feels the same exact emotion.
Taehyung jerks away from the sleeping omega.
Taehyung looks at the omega, feels his heart squeeze tightly in his chest.
He turns away, gripping his wrist as he looks at the first dash.
It's a glaring contrast against his skin, "oh, god, no," he chokes out, "no, no, no. Oh, God. No. He can't see this. I can't confuse him!"
"How does it go away," Taehyung stands up from the bed, runs to his phone and switches it on, "fuck, how does this-"
He stops when he looks at Jungkook, who is frowning in his sleep, reaching out for something on the bed, or someone.
Taehyung whimpers, "oh, God."
Jungkook lets out a pained whimper and Taehyung throws the phone on the floor to reach him.
He wraps Jungkook up in his arms and against rests himself against the headrest as Jungkook rests on himself.
Taehyung buries his face against Jungkook's neck, "I am so sorry for this."
He presses his lips against Jungkook's forehead, mouths soft kisses all over Jungkook's face, "I will get a way out of this. Please trust me. Nothing will happen. I can't hurt you anymore than I already did. I," he sniffles, "I didn't know this will happen. I am so sorry."
He looks at the dash on his wrist, "this is the first and last dash we will have. Yeah?"
Taehyung doesn't get an answer as Jungkook is fast asleep.
Taehyung watches the dash, his heart in his throat.
They both have taken the first step towards each other.
Jungkook is staring at that dash for quite some time, and Taehyung can't tear his eyes off the omega.
Jungkook looks up, wide eyes fixed on Taehyung, “how will you explain this to Jihoon?”
The question takes Taehyung off guard, his eyes widening, “what?”
He didn't think of it.
Jungkook nods, "this tattoo," he rubs at it, "it's the starting of soulmate tattoo, isn't it?"
Taehyung blinks, "Y-yeah. It is. You know?"
Jungkook smiles down at it, nods, "Jin, Hobi and Namjoon hyung have it. A whale in the middle of the sun."
Taehyung blinks, "a whale...?"
Jungkook shrugs, "their story will take forever if I start telling. It was painful. Anyway," he looks down at the tattoo, "it goes away with time. Jin hyung's did."
Taehyung frowns, "then…"
Jungkook nods, "Hoseok hyung and Namjoon hyung were dating when Jin hyung met them."
"Jin hyung got the soulmate mark of the whale with Namjoon hyung, the first dash and Jin hyung started distancing himself from the two, thinking he will come in the middle," Jungkook chuckles, "turns out the three were meant to be. Anyway, I know how to get rid of it."
"You do?" Taehyung asks, hopeful.
Jungkook leans back against the headrest, "when we get out of here," his eyes never leave that dash, "we have to stop seeing each other. In any way, no contact. We have to decrease the physical touches. Let our senses lose each other."
"That's your idea?" Taehyung wonders, eyes on the dash on his skin, "to stop seeing each other?"
Jungkook hums, "it will be easy. After this trip, our vacation starts. We will be going home. We won't see each other anyway. So, just, keep it that way, and we will be fine."
Taehyung looks at the omega, "I don't understand why it came in the first place."
Jungkook chuckles, looks up at the alpha, "maybe our biology thought we are spending heat together like that?"
Taehyung gets up, bringing Jungkook the supper, "I see."
He ignores how divine Jungkook smells as he leans in and places the tray over Jungkook's lap.
Jungkook nods, taking the spoon and feeding himself.
Taehyung watches the omega eat, "so we just stop contacting each other. For how long?"
Jungkook shrugs, "depends."
"What?" Taehyung starts eating his supper, his eyes on the omgea, making sure Jungkook eats everything.
"Well, in Jin hyung's case, it took two months," Jungkook wipes his mouth, thoughtful, "it's because Namjoon hyung and Hoseok hyung kept trying to talk to him or reach out."
"If we don't do that," Jungkook's lips jut out, expression thoughtful, "a month or so? Even after that, we can't really be in physical contact. The marks can come back. We need to wait until you or me get mated for the risk to completely go away."
Taehyung breathes out a chuckle, "wow, how are you talking about this so normally? I am freaking out."
Jungkook smiles down at his plate, "hope and fear of losing that hope make us scared, Tae. I don't," he looks up at Taehyung, "I have no hope for us."
The words float around him but what chokes the breath out of him is that smile on Jungkook's face.
It's not a happy smile. It's not a sad one either.
It's just a practised stretch of lips that doesn't convey anything.
It's… Taehyung feels the pain… it's empty.
"Sorry," Taehyung chokes out, shaking his head with the same smile that reflects on Jungkook's lips, "I don't know why anymore. Just," he gestures vaguely, huffing out a breath, "for colliding with you in the uni. For ever meeting you. For being the shittiest soulmate."
"For not loving you as you deserve," Taehyug knows tears are rolling out of his eyes, he ignores them to look at Jungkook, "for not treating you better. I wish I never met you, saved you from each and every heartache I am causing you. I wish I never met Jihoon. Then maybe-"
"Soulmates can be Platonic too, you moron," Jungkook throws a chunk of bread at him, shakes his head, "you realize-"
"Platonic soulmates don't get matching tattoos," Taehyung looks down at his wrist, "they don't try to erase it as if it's a crime. They don't hurt each other."
"Then let's not hurt each other," Jungkook reaches out, takes Taehyung's palm in his, "let's not think about it. We will rest tonight. Get my heat off our backs and tomorrow we will go our ways. Yeah? Let's not hurt each other by feeling guilty or sad. Come on. Stop it."
"You are the best thing that happened to me, hyung," Jungkook smiles, nods, "trust me. You changed my thoughts about alphas. You spend my heat with me and never touched me. Once. You took care of me and my needs always. Because of you, I am starting to believe in good in alphas."
"I will be fine," Jungkook whispers, squeezes Taehyung's palm in his, "and I am fine right now because of you. You took care of me. Now let me take care of this. Yeah? I will get us out of this. Don't worry, okay? We will be fine. I promise."
"Can we sleep now?" Jungkook yawns, "I am so tired. I didn't even do anything, and I am tired. Come on. Let's sleep it off. Yeah? Stop worrying."
Taehyung takes the trays and leave them outside of their door before coming back to sit on the bed, "okay. Okay, let's sleep."
They sleep on separate beds.
Jungkook sleeps, Taehyung stays up all night.
He makes sure Jungkook doesn't have fever. Pulls the duvet up to wrap Jungkook up in it whenever Jungkook misplaces it. He stays away by Jungkook's side, eyes on the sleeping omega.
"Hey, hyung," Jungkook nudges Taehyung awake from his slumber, "why are you sleeping on the floor?"
Taehyung looks up to notice he has fallen asleep on the floor, leaning against Jungkook's bed, "I-"
Jungkook chuckles, "scratch that, hey, hyung?"
Taehyung hums, looks up at the omega, "what is it, Gukkie? Are you alright? Is your body hurting? Are you-"
Jungkook places his palm over Taehyung's lips, points at the cracked window with his chin, "want to watch the sunrise together?" his eyes meet Taehyung's, "one last time?"
They sit down on Taehyung's bed, from where the window cracks open, and they can see the first ray of dawn layering the horizon.
Jungkook holds the warm cup of tea, and Taehyung holds Jungkook against his chest.
Jungkook leans back on him, "this feels nice."
Taehyung looks at the horizon, the hazy glass of the window not really making the scene pop or anything.
His arms tighten around Jungkook, feels the way Jungkook relaxes against him.
The freshly out of heat scent of the omega overpowers his senses, and Taehyung closes his eyes.
When the sun, the orange ball peeking over the horizon, Taehyung's eyes are not on it.
His eyes are closed.
Jungkook's lips are pressed against the underside of his jaw in a soft kiss, "thank you for everything."
Then the sun is out and Jungkook is out of Taehyung's arms.
The dash doesn't fade, but Jungkook did.
He slowly faded away from Taehyung's life.
And all it took was a week. A week for Taehyung to notice the changes.
Jungkook has blocked him, from all social sites. His number, his IDs, everything.
Their chats are deleted.
Sometimes it feels like Taehyung has hallucinated the omega up in his dreams.
Only that dash reminds him that everything is real, so Taehyung clings to it.
The alpha finds himself caressing that patch of ink, thinking if Jungkook even looks at the mark or not.
He should not.
Taehyung doesn't ask anyone about Jungkook.
He couldn't be Jungkook's alpha. He can at least be a good friend and let him move on.
Taehyung never speaks about the omega.
Maybe that's why those thoughts pour out of him when night comes.
He can't sleep.
"He went on a date," Yoongi says one day, patting Taehyung's back, "said he likes that alpha. He is moving on."
That night Taehyung slept, dreaming of a happy Jungkook. His smiles are of happiness and not empty.
He is moving on.
Taehyung takes Jihoon out on dates after that night.
He makes gifts, and decorates his shelves with them.
He promises to himself that one day he will be able to hold it out for Jihoon and let Jihoon take it.
One day he will be able to accept he makes them for Jihoon.
The first time he notices it, he thinks he is imagining stuff.
It has been more than a month and the dash is fading.
Taehyung watches, eyes fixed on that small patch of ink.
It is dull. The ink is dull. It used to be so bright.
It feels like something is drying. Slowly.
It feels like something is dying.
Taehyung smiles to himself.
Jungkook's feelings for him.
He watches the dash and caress the tattoo, he knows the process has started.
They are walking away from each other.
"You are happy," Taehyung murmurs, "finally, I think you are happy."
Taehyung closes his eyes, tears lining his lashes as he presses his forehead against that small tattoo, "tell me you are happy. Tell me you found someone who makes you happy."
He pulls out his phone, he knows Jungkook's number. Has it memorized, but he won't call the omega.
He dials Namjoon instead.
The ring goes off for a few seconds before Namjoon picks up, "hey?"
Taehyung closes his eyes, "I just need an answer and I will never ask about him again. I promise."
Namjoon is quiet for a minute, then he sighs, "What is it, Tae?"
"The tattoo," Taehyung squeezes his eyes shut, "it's fading, hyung. So did he find someone?"
Namjoon breathes out a chuckle, "what?"
Taehyung nods, "the ink is fading, hyung. So, his feelings, they changed. Right? He found someone and-"
Namjoon sighs, "sometimes the feelings don't change, Tae," his voice is rough, "sometimes we kill them inside us to just get out of that clutch. If that is what being happy looks like, then he is happy. He is going on dates, he found an alpha he likes. He is happy."
"And what change, Tae?" Namjoon sounds curious, "I saw him today itself. His tattoo is just as bright. As prominent as ever. He actually is worried why it's not working. What do you mean it's fading?"
Taehyung lets out a soft chuckle, eyes stuck on the mark on his skin, "he is doing alright, yeah?"
Namjoon sighs, "he has to."
Taehyung knows that. He nods. With a gulp, he closes his eyes.
"I will talk to you later, hyung," he bites his lower lip, "don't tell him I called."
"What is bothering you?" Yoongi strums his guitar, eyes fixed on the strings as he tunes them, "you said-"
"I feel like I am cheating on Jihoon," Taehyung closes his eyes, "not because I am thinking of Jungkook but because it feels like I am not doing anything to stop it."
"I think how it would be if I never met him and I can't think of that," Taehyung closes his eyes, listening the off-tune of the guitar, "I don't want to think of never meeting Jungkook. But then I think of meeting him and all this," he sighs, "I feel like I am-"
"It feels like I should love him, the universe's way of telling me that I should love him is this," he points at the tattoo, "but what if it's just that? The soulmate bond tugging at us? What if we both don't really feel like that normally? What if I am being blind?"
"I have wanted Jihoon for a long time, hyung-"
"You have him now," Yoongi's eyes flick over to match his, "you have him now and you are not talking about him. Why?" he puts the guitar down, eyes on Taehyung, "stop thinking about this bond, Tae, take Jihoon out. On a date."
"Make a goal for yourself," Yoongi cards his fingers through Taehyung's hair, "for a day, you will stop feeling the guilt of not loving Jungkook and take Jihoon out. You will find a gift for him, think how Jihoon would feel when you give him that and enjoy the day. Yes?"
"You can't force your heart to love someone, Tae," Yoongi sighs, "you can't feel guilty for not loving someone just because the universe chose them for you or because they love you. Think about yourself once and take Jihoon out on a date. Enjoy the day. With him."
"Be happy," Yoongi smiles down at him, "for once be happy. Since you met Jungkook, I haven't seen you smile for once. You need to let go of him and start enjoying your life. How about a double date? I am going on a date, want to join me?"
Taehyung looks up at him, "you are going on a date?"
Yoongi nods, "Byul asked me out. I kind of like him. Why not? Tonight. Want to join us?"
Taehyung bites his lower lip, "you," he hesitates, "You don't like Jimin-"
He stops when Yoongi's face hardens, "no. I don't."
Taehyung's eyes trail over Yoongi's face, finding the guiter-pick necklace he is wearing.
Taehyung watches sunlight reflect on the metallic brown colour of the pick.
He sighs, nods, "okay. Let's go on a date."
Yoongi smiles, "I will pick you two up. Eight. Don't be late."
The date goes well. Taehyung finds himself actually enjoying the company.
He watches Yoongi and Byul converse, a deep shade of pink adorning Byul's cheeks while Yoongi talks about something related to music.
Jihoon is leaning against him, tired, eyes almost closing.
His scent wafts around Taehyung. Roses blooming all around him.
Taehyung wraps his arm around Jihoon, pressing a soft kiss against Jihoon's hair.
Jihoon smiles up at him, sleepy, "want to stay over the night?"
The words are soft, tentative.
They haven't done that yet. Sex…
There is a hint of tangy scent in the omega's pheromones. Those eyes expectant as they stare up at Taehyung.
Taehyung looks at Jihoon's face, takes in the familiar shape of the man he knows since he was a kid.
He smiles, rubs a thumb over Jihoon's cheekbone, "I would love to."
There is a sense of betrayal as soon as he says it.
A sense of guilt blooms in his heart.
Taehyung feels the guilt wash over him as a smile blooms on Jihoon's face.
He feels the gut-twisting sense of nausea at the words he just uttered.
He looks ahead to see Yoongi watching him.
The omega's eyes are hooded, those intense orbs move from Jihoon to Taehyung.
Taehyung watches the small sigh that escapes Yoongi before the omega takes a sip of his wine, looking away.
Yoongi looks thoughtful, eyes down on the plate in front of him.
"How long do you three know each other?" Byul asks, sipping his wine, smile pointed at Taehyung, Jihoon and Yoongi.
"Since we were kids," Jihoon laughs, "we were friends since we were kids."
Taehyung smiles, "yeah."
"Childhood sweethearts?" Byul grins, "you two?"
Jihoon laughs, shakes his head, "no. Not at all. We were just friends. I think we had that attraction for long, but I kept resisting, you know? I think, love takes time in growing, and ours is a love story in process."
Yoongi smiles, "love takes time," his eyes flick over to Taehyung, "but we are too blinded and ethical to let our heart choose for ourselves."
"What?" Jihoon smiles, confused.
Yoongi shrugs, "nothing, just," he sighs, "sometimes we are too righteous to let love grow. You know?"
When everyone looks at him, confused, he shrugs.
Taehyung watches Yoongi take a sip of his wine before smiling down at the glass.
"We train our minds to feel a certain way for a certain someone," Yoongi's eyes are on the glass, "we plan life with strict ethics. On our own."
"We do everything to keep our life trained on that road we drew out for it," he lets out a chuckle, "so when life starts to trail on its own and surprise are thrown at us, we resist it. Because how can we let something destroy our years of planning? No?"
"You can't plan love," Jihoon frowns, "it happens."
Yoongi's eyes snap up to Jihoon's face and then flicker over to Taehyung's face, "but then why are we trying to hard to plan it?"
"Why are we forcing our hearts to fit into the mould we made for it ages ago? Why can't we accept that we grew out of it?" those eyes burn on Taehyung's face, "why can't we understand that it's not wrong to love someone we never planned on loving. It's wrong to ignore it."
"Why can't we accept that sometimes it's okay to give in to the laws of the universe and let it choose for us? Sometimes it's okay to accept, at least to ourselves, that yes I wanted something but now, as I grew up, my plans changed. I am not fickle minded, I am just growing up."
Taehyung ignores the gasps as he storms out of the booth.
He ignores the concerned calls of his names as he finds himself on the rooftop of the hotel.
He pants, leaning against the railing of the terrace as a cool breeze wafts past him.
He hears the footsteps and curses.
"You wanted me to come to this date!" he shouts, glares ahead because he knows that scent without even turning around, "you wanted me to stop thinking-"
"I wanted you to stop thinking of him and think of yourself," Yoongi snorts, "and realize, how you don't want Jihoon anymore."
"I wanted you to stop thinking of Jungkook and Jihoon and think of yourself. How you don't want Jihoon like that anymore."
Taehyung pants, heaves for breath, "you don't know shit! You-"
Yoongi leans against the railing, "breaking promises are hard for you. I know. I know, Tae."
"I know how you feel about change," Yoongi sighs, "but you are changing and that's okay. I know you think breaking promises will-"
"My dad promised to love my mum forever," Taehyung grits out, "you know, you know how he left when his soulmate showed up. You know how I-"
"You know how I tried to cope," Taehyung trembles, "he left all those promises broken. He left us," tears well in his eyes, "just because of a stupid bond. I saw my mum break because she trusted those promises. Those words. I trusted him. He just left! Just like that!"
"Why?" Taehyung cries, "why? Because one day he met someone who the universe chose for him and the pull was stronger than his family? Than the son he had?! Stronger than the promises he made? He was supposed to stay! You know how much I hate him! Alphas like him. You know!"
"Tonight I stand right where he stood that night," Taehyung trembles, "you were there. You saw him leave us. Tonight I am standing exactly where he was, and you want me to choose what he chose?! Be like him?! You want me to be like someone I hate?! How can I ever do that?"
"For others I am wrong," Taehyung wipes his eyes angrily, lips trembling around a sob, "for the others I am terrible for resisting something like the pull I know I have with Jungkook, but you too, hyung?" he grabs Yoongi, tugs him closer, "you? You know! You know it all!"
Yoongi pulls Taehyung into his arms, lips pressing against Taehyung's hair, "I am asking you to think, Tae, so you don't end up where your father did. I am asking you to back out before it's too late. You didn't get too deep. You can still walk out. Do it. Before it's late."
Yoongi's tears press against Taehyung's hair, "I am trying to save a baby Taehyung in the future from the pain you might cause him," his lips press harder against Taehyung's hair, "I am saving my Taehyung from the hate his son might have for him then. Yeah?"
"I am saving you from the mistake you are about to commit if you agree to still not acknowledge how you feel," Yoongi sniffles, "I," he closes his eyes, "I can't let you stand where your father did. I can't see the pain your father's face had when he left on your face."
"You don't need to go to Jungkook," Yoongi's arms tighten around Taehyung, "but, my baby, don't go to Jihoon to forget Jungkook. Rebounds don't work. It doesn't work, take it from me," he sniffles, "baby, you don't love Jihoon. You can't forcefully love someone, baby. Please."
"How do you know?" Taehyung sniffles, arms wrapped tightly around Yoongi, "how do you know so much-"
"I love someone who is not my soulmate," Yoongi bites back a whine, "and Byul is my soulmate. I let go of someone to be with Byul because I know I can't fight the universe."
Taehyung pulls back, eyes wide, "what?"
Yoongi wipes his eyes, shakes his head," Namjoonie said we can visit them. They are all at Namjoon's place, and it's just an hour's drive away. If you want, we can-"
"Who do you love?" Taehyung demands, "hyung, who is he?"
Yoongi's face pales, he shakes his head, "that is not your concern, Tae. I have fixed it. I am fine. You-"
Taehyung sucks in a breath, "J-" he stutters, "Jimin?"
Fresh tears pool in Yoongi's eyes, his jaw locking, "never takes his name again. Do you hear me?"
"Why?" Taehyung whimpers, "wh-"
"Because it took everything in me to build these walls," Yoongi shouts, steps back, "it took everything in me to turn him away. Don't ever take his name. He is not mine, and I can't be his! Okay? Never take his name!"
Taehyung flinches, "I-"
"What is going on?"
They both turn to see Jihoon and Byul by the entry of the terrace, looking at them.
"Babe, what-" Jihoon steps closer, "what are you two crying about?"
Yoongi wipes his eyes, "tell him," his eyes show the pain, "don't do this, Tae. Tell him."
Taehyung gulps, eyes on Yoongi and then back on Jihoon, "can we talk?"
Jihoon frowns, "about what?"
Taehyung sighs, "us. We need to talk about us."
Jihoon eyes Yoongi, a nervous chuckle leaves his lips, "what is it, Tae, you are scaring me."
Taehyung watches Byul wrap his arms around Yoongi who flinches in the embrace before pulling away.
Taehyung watches two soulmates standing in front of each other while their hearts fight against the bond.
He thinks about him and Jungkook… how it's not the case for them.
He watches how the universe fucked up in Yoongi's case, and the hesitation in him is answered.
The feelings he had for Jungkook were never the bond or the universe. If they were, it would be the same case for Yoongi.
But it's not.
Taehyung's feelings for Jungkook are natural.
He loves Jungkook. Naturally. Not because a bond binds them.
He loves the omega on his own.
Taehyung feels the burden lift off his chest, he looks at Yoongi one last time before facing Jihoon.
"I can't date you," he murmurs, "I don't think we can date anymore."
Jihoon frowns, "what do you mean by that, Tae?"
Taehyung gulps, rubs his hands over his face, "I liked you for a long time, Jihoon, but," he looks at the omega, "but even then I can't bring myself to ignore this pull anymore. I," he feels air stuck in his chest, "I love him."
Jihoon's eyes tear up, those lips trembling.
Taehyung waits, he knows he will accept everything Jihoon gives him for doing this to him.
Jihoon lets out a deep breath, nodding to himself, "I kind of knew," his lips tug upwards, "kind of knew for a long time. I just thought-"
He looks down at his clasped hands, "I just thought if I tried hard enough you will," he snorts, "forget him or never realize."
Taehyung bites back a choked sob, "Jihoon-"
Jihoon shakes his head, "an alpha spending heat with an omega without losing it, of course you love him."
Taehyung sniffles, "Jihoon, I am so sorry. I led you on. I did everything to forget it. I didn't want to-"
Jihoon waves him off with a small smile, "the heart wants what it wants, huh?"
Taehyung reaches out, "I am sorry."
Jihoon sighs, nods, "I am at fault too. It's… okay."
Taehyung nods, looks at Yoongi, "I will see you soon, hyung?"
Yoongi smiles, nods, "going to him?"
Taehyung shakes his head, "no. I will," his shoulders sag, "I will just go home. Rest for the night."
Yoongi frowns, "Tae-"
Taehyung shakes his head, "excuse me."
Taehyung drags himself home. His eyes halting on the gifts he made, decorated, on the shelves in the living room.
He steps in front of those, eyes skimming over them while he takes his landline and dials the number he knows by heart now.
Taehyung snaps his eyes closed, breath hitched in his chest.
There is chaos on the other side, loud music, blasting speakers, shouts, giggles.
It makes Taehyung snort.
His world is silent, breaking around the edges while Jungkook has everything now.
He cuts the call.
He can't take that chaos away from Jungkook.
He can't be selfish and drag Jungkook in his empty, silent life.
He can't do that.
The phone rings, making him jump.
Taehyung picks it up, "hello?"
The other side is quiet, "why did you cut the call?"
Taehyung can't hold himself up. He slides down the wall, leans against it with the phone craddled between his ear and shoulder.
Jungkook doesn't say anything after that and Taehyung can't bring himself to say anything.
They stay on line for a minute like that.
"You are out," Taehyung murmurs, "I didn't want to disturb."
Jungkook hums, sighs, "let me decide if you are a disturbance or not, yeah? Why did you call, hyung?"
Taehyung closes his eyes, "I heard," he bites down on his lower lip, "I heard you started dating."
Jungkook is quiet for a minute, the silence grows between them until there is a soft chuckle, "calling to congratulate me?"
Taehyung feels the first sting of tears in his eyes, he squeezes them shut, "are you happy?"
Jungkook doesn't answer right away. The pause kills Taehyung.
"He does everything to make me happy," Jungkook murmurs.
The tears trail out of Taehyung's eyes, soaking his cheeks as they run down his face, "I see," he doesn't bother with wiping them, "I…" he nods, "he sounds like a great alpha."
Jungkook chuckles, "he is."
Taehyung blinks up at the ceiling, "I am happy for you, Jungkook. I am," he breathes out, "I am so happy for you."
Jungkook doesn't reply right away, when he does, his voice is heavy, "did you call to congratulate me, hyung?"
Taehyung looks down at his tattoo, "I just-"
Jungkook gulps, audible, "how are you?"
Taehyung chuckles, "perfect. Enjoying the holidays before they end. I am fine. Don't worry about m-"
"You talk fast when you try to hide something," Jungkook whispers, "you know?"
Taehyung sniffles, eyes tightly closed, "since when do you know me so well?"
Jungkook chuckles, "I just do," he huffs, "why are you calling me, hyung? Tell me, is everything okay? Are you okay? Do you need something-"
“𝐼 𝑛𝑒𝑒𝑑 𝑦𝑜𝑢.”
"I missed you," Taehyung murmurs at last, "I just missed you."
Jungkook sucks in a breath, "hyung-"
There is a voice, calling Jungkook's name.
Taehyung listens how that voice laces with warmth and adoration.
How that 'kookie' sounds so tender.
"Hyung..." Jungkook hesitates.
And Taehyung can't. He can't shove himself in the middle of something Jungkook built on his own.
He can't snatch away something that clearly makes Jungkook happy.
He can't be selfish when Jungkook never was.
He chuckles, "your alpha is calling."
There is a pause.
Then Jungkook breathes out a chuckle of his own, "my alpha is calling me. Yes."
"I won't take your time," Taehyung murmurs, wipes his eyes, "you should go. Sorry for the distur-"
"What's wrong, hyung?" Jungkook sounds like he is in pain, "what is bothering you? I can feel it, hyung, what is it? What is happening?"
"Nothing?" Taehyung chuckles, breathes out a snort, "what is bothering me? I-"
"Look at your tattoo, hyung," Jungkook's voice is thin, "look at it."
Taehyung frowns, looks down at the tattoo with tired eyes.
His eyes widen as soon as he notices the tattoo, though.
There is another dash.
A second dash right beside the first one. It's forming, a soft line that is deepening with time.
Taehyung sucks in a breath, "Jungkook-"
Jungkook hums, "what did you do?"
"Nothing," Taehyung bites back a curse, frowns at the line, "this is not," he gulps, "there is a mistake. I-"
Jungkook sighs, "a mistake…"
Taehyung closes his eyes, "maybe because I called you. That's why-"
Jungkook hums, "there is nothing more?"
"Babe," that voice interrupts them, "what is taking you so long? We are waiting."
Taehyung grips the phone, eyes fixed on his tattoo while he listens to Jungkook talking to the alpha.
Jungkook's voice drops into a softness Taehyung has never heard before, "babe, I am talking."
"Make it fast, I miss you already," the voice drops into something seductive, "can't see you gone for this long, baby."
Jungkook laughs, "get in there, you fool!"
Taehyung closes his eyes, a small smile on his lips as he listens to them bicker over the phone.
When Jungkook finally joins him, Taehyung is lying down on the carpet, eyes on the ceiling.
"Hyung-" Jungkook pauses when Taehyung gives a small laugh.
"I will call you later, Jungkook," Taehyung murmurs, "I just wanted to see how you were doing."
Tears trail out of his eyes, getting lost in his hair, "you are doing good," he whispers, "I can hear it."
Jungkook is silent.
Taehyung sighs, "I disturbed. Go in, I will cut the call. Bye, Jungkook-"
"Since when you call me Jungkook?" Jungkook murmurs, "hyung?"
"Since the day you started calling me hyung," Taehyung murmurs, "good night, Jungkook. Sorry if I disturbed," his voice chokes in his throat, "it won't happen again."
He cuts the call.
Taehyung closes his eyes, the heels of his palms pressing against his eyes, "he has ever fucking right to move on. Don't cry!"
The words echo in the room.
Tears spill out of his eyes no matter how many times he wipes them until he is exhausted and lets it flow.
Jungkook watches the screen, the bright wallpaper hurts his eyes. Tear drops fall on the wallpaper as he stares at it.
"Why can't you let me go?" Jungkook murmurs, "why can't I leave? Why do you stop me every time I feel like I can finally move on?"
"You had to call when Yujin asked me to be his boyfriend," Jungkook sniffles, "you had to choose that exact moment to call, and I had to pick it up. I had to pick it up, leave him hanging because I felt like it would be you. Why can't you stop holding me back?!"
Jungkook wipes his eyes, jaw clenched, as he goes into his gallery and pulls up a random photo to change his wallpaper.
He lets the anger, heartache course through him as he changes the wallpaper before shoving the phone in his pocket and storming inside the club.
His eyes scan over the crowd before he finds Yujin by the bar and walks up to him.
"Babe-" Yujin startles when Jungkook tugs him down for a kiss, pushing him up against the bar-counter, "whoa-" he breathes out when Jungkook pulls away a little.
Jungkook looks at Yujin, eyes fixed on the alpha's face, while he nods, "I will be your boyfriend. Yes."
Yujin's grins, wide and happy.
When his arms wrap around Jungkook, thanking him for accepting the proposal, all Jungkook can think of is…
Taehyung's smile is warmer.
Yujin is the prettiest alpha Taehyung has ever seen.
Those brown eyes filled with warmth, that smile filled with happiness and those arms around Jungkook, towering over him.
That's how Taehyung meets Yujin after the break is over.
In the cafeteria, along with everyone else.
"Taehyung," Yujin's smile dims a little, brows furrowed, "how come I never heard this name from him?"
Taehyung's eyes slide from the alpha to Jungkook who is looking at him with an unreadable expression.
Taehyung breathes out a chuckle, "I am not that important. Hi."
Yujin grins, "hello. I am Yujin. His boyfriend."
Taehyung's eyes find Jungkook again, he nods, "I know."
Yujin squeezes Jungkook's waist, "babe, you want anything?"
Jungkook shakes his head, "nothing. Thanks."
Taehyung looks over when Hoseok and Jin wave at him to sit down.
Taehyung sits down when Hoseok tugs him down beside them, asking why Taehyung hasn't visited them once during the break.
Taehyung shrugs, "I was busy."
Jungkook sits across from him, a seat beside him empty.
Taehyung looks up when Yujin comes to sit beside the omega.
"You look tired," Jin frowns, "everything is okay, right?"
Taehyung nods, ignores the whispers he can hear coming from the couple, "I am fine. I was just busy with the new semester."
Hoseok nods, "don't lose yourself too much into work, yeah?"
Taehyung smiles, nods.
"What are you all doing tonight?" Yujin asks, sipping from his Americano, "me and Googie are throwing a party, you all are coming, right?"
Hoseok laughs, "we don't need invitation, man. We will show up."
Yujin turns to Taehyung, "Taehyung?"
Taehyung shakes his head, "busy. I will be stuck in the studio with the painting I am doing."
Yujin laughs, "you are a painter?"
Taehyung smiles, "you can call me that."
Yujin nods, "I am in Math."
Taehyung shakes his head, "I am already bored."
They share a laugh.
Taehyung looks at the approaching man and lets out a sigh before getting up.
Jimin's eyes are on him, calculating and hard.
Taehyung waves at everyone, "see you around, guys."
He turns to leave, Jimin right in front of him.
Taehyung looks away from that glare, eyes downcast.
His breath catches in his throat when he sees that necklace around Jimin.
That guitar-pick pendant shining under the café's lights.
Taehyung looks up at the alpha, but Jimin is glaring at him.
Taehyung frowns, stares at the necklace once more before he walks away.
The painting makes no sense.
The more Taehyung stares at it, the more it goes out of his head.
He brushes the sides of it, frowning when the colours don't match with the shade.
With a tired sigh, he sits down on the stool, biting the tip of the brush as he stares at it.
It's pouring outside, thunders cracking through the gloomy clouds.
The studio is dimly lit. Only a bulb is hung over Taehyung's painting as he works.
He sighs, looking at the window behind him before he gets up and goes over to open it.
Letting in the fresh air.
Raindrops touch his face, brushing away the smell of paint.
Taehyung closes his eyes, feeling the rain against his skin.
The door of the studio opening makes him frown, "it's booked for the night."
Taehyung freezes, his eyes snapping open while he turns around.
Taehyung grips the windowsill, throat closing, "Jungkook…"
Jungkook stands by the door, soaking through the clothes, water pooling around him, "can I come in?"
Taehyung gulps, "you walked here?"
Jungkook walks in, closes the door behind himself, "I had to talk to you."
Taehyung picks up the sheet he covers his canvases with and hurries over, "shit, you are soaking, Jungkook!"
He reaches out, drying the omega's hair.
"Why are you here, you are soaked!" He pauses when Jungkook grips his wrist, pushing him away.
"I am fine," Jungkook murmurs.
"I need to know something," Jungkook's face gives away nothing, "tonight, before the party," he gulps, "I need to know something."
Taehyung nods, "what is it?"
Jungkook gulps, "we haven't had sex," he whispers, the words still so loud to Taehyung, "me and him."
Taehyung grips the sheet in his hand, "why," his voice comes out too stiff, "why are you telling-"
"He wants to," Jungkook's face gives nothing away, his voice void of emotion, "I might agree…"
Taehyung focuses on that mole under Jungkook's lips, he can't focus on those words.
"Are you asking my permission for that?" Taehyung chuckles, nails digging into the sheet.
Jungkook's teeth bite down on his lower lip, "I don't need your permission. You are no one, but," he pauses, holds out his hand, "I need an explanation for this second dash before that."
"Are you happy?" Taehyung whispers, "with him, I mean… are you…"
Jungkook's face crumbles for a blink of an eye before his jaw tightens, "I am."
Taehyung nods, "that dash doesn't mean anything. It's just," he shrugs, "I don't know why it popped up."
Jungkook's eyes gloss over, those round eyes wide, "that's all you have to say?"
Taehyung nods, turns away to close his eyes, "there is nothing else."
Jungkook chuckles, "so it's just there-"
"I don't know," Taehyung hisses out, "I don't know, okay? I have no idea."
"So it just-"
Taehyung throws the sheet on the floor, turns around to face the omega with a firm nod, "yes. The whole thing makes no sense. You make no sense. If you are happy, if you are ready to fuck him, or he is ready to fuck you, then why are you here? Like this? Why?"
"What do you want me to say? Why do you think I would have any clue? I don't know!" Taehyung steps closer, the omega's scent engulfing him as he advances, "if he makes you happy," his voice cracks, "if you want to have sex with him, then why," his hands reach to grasp Jungkook...
Jungkook's hands grasp at his shirt, eyes on the alpha, "because I had to clear it out with you-"
Taehyung shakes his head, pulls Jungkook closer, "you don't have to," his eyes roam over the omega's face, "you don't have to ask me before doing anything. You don't have to."
Jungkook's eyes pool with tears, "so I don't need to ask your permission for anything I do, right?"
Taehyung nods, "who am I to give you permission? We are nothing. Right?"
Jungkook nods, "we are nothing. We are nothing. And I don't need your permission."
Taehyung nods, "yes. You-"
Hands grasp at his face, pulling him forward, Jungkook's lips ghost over his.
"I don't need your permission to do what I want?" Jungkook chokes out, "one last time?"
Taehyung blinks, "Jungk-"
Those lips press against his and tears roll out of their eyes.
The kiss is messy, sobs breaking through their lips as they hold each other close.
"I am sorry," Jungkook whimpers, "I am sorry."
Taehyung chases those lips, "Jungkook-"
"I am so sorry," Jungkook pulls away…
"Jungkook," Taehyung tries to grasp at Jungkook, but Jungkook swats him away.
Tears soak his face, those lips trembling around sobs, "You can call me selfish, hyung, but for once I," his frame shakes with the sobs, "for once I wanted to have what was rightfully mine."
Taehyung's heart cracks into pieces, his eyes overflowing, "Gukkie…"
Jungkook closes his eyes, "never call me that."
Taehyung steps forward, "you can have-"
Jungkook shakes his head, eyes snapping open, "that's the thing, hyung, I can have him. He loves me so much!"
"He makes me happy," Jungkook shouts, "he holds me and promises a future. He cares, he loves me, he fucking loves me so much!" he hugs himself, "he never leaves me alone. He knows my orders. He knows what I like, what makes I dislike. He knows how to love me!"
"Then what's the problem?" Taehyung hates how his voice rises, his arms flails, "what is the problem if he-"
"I don't know how to love him!" Jungkook shouts, "you absolute piece of shit, I have no idea how to love the person who loves me so much!"
Taehyung pauses, eyes on the omega who is leaning against the wall to support himself now, "Wha-"
Jungkook nods, "I don't know why I am telling you this. You are out there, with your omega and of course you are happy. Shit, I am messing it all up so selfishly. I am so shitty..."
"Like a fool, I am staying up at night to stare at a dash that is so meaningless to you," Jungkook crumbles, "like a fool I ran here to tell you I will have sex with him as if that would make you jealous when you feel nothing for me. I can't believe I am turning into this..."
The door bursts open and they both startle.
Yujin stands by the door, huffing, "Googie? Oh, God, are you okay?"
Taehyung watches Yujin run inside to grasp at the omega who leans heavily against him.
Yujin has a worried expression on his face, "shit, I searched you everywhere."
"God, I was searching for you everywhere and then Jimin said you might be here," Yujin looks at Taehyung, "what is going on here?"
Jungkook's eyes are on Taehyung, tears clinging to his lashes, "I came to talk to him."
Taehyung watches Yujin's confusion, "about what?"
Jungkook's lips tremble around unsaid words, eyes still on Taehyung.
Yujin watches Jungkook, "babe, you look like a soaked bread. Really fluffy and soggy."
Jungkook's eyes shift onto him, a small chuckle leaving his mouth, "what?"
Yujin grins, "see, smile suits you."
Yujin's eyes are tender, the love he has for Jungkook is clear in his eyes, "Jimin was so worried when you ran off. He was so frantically calling you, babe. You know how worried he gets, so he asked me to check. Thank God you are here. What were you two talking about?"
Taehyung watches them together, his eyes trailing over the omega who is safely nestled in Yujin's arms.
Yujin is already ruffling his hair, trying to dry it off.
Taehyung gulps, the decision is so easy when he watches them, "nothing important. I just wanted him to model for me."
Jungkook's eyes snap to his, and Taehyung ignores those orbs.
He smiles at Yujin, "the portrait is about eyes. Tearful eyes, and shit like that?" he waves his hand, "I just asked him for an impromptu visit. I need to finish it by tomorrow, so, that's why he was here."
"Sorry," Taehyung's eyes glide over to Jungkook, "I just keep making him cry."
Jungkook's lips twist around a sob, he looks away.
Taehyung looks back at Yujin, "really sorry, man. You can take him away. We are done. It's finished."
“𝑊𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑑𝑜𝑛𝑒.”
"I kissed him," Jungkook whispers, the words cracking louder than the thunder outside, "I kissed him."
Taehyung watches, body going lax, as Jungkook gets out of Yujin's arms and stands up.
The omega's eyes are on Yujin, "you deserve to know this. I kissed him. My soulmate."
“What?” Yujin murmurs, hands retreating from Jungkook, his face showing the confusion.
Taehyung watches the omega pull away, nodding, “He is the person I told you about. The one I told you I need time to move on from.”
Yujin's eyes flick over to Taehyung, “your soulmate…”
Yujin's face morph's into a grimace, "and you two made up?"
Jungkook snorts, shakes his head, "we have nothing to sort out. He has a boyfriend."
Yujin's grimace turns into disgust, "what?"
Jungkook wipes his eyes, tugging at Yujin's hand, "look at me, Yujin. It's about us."
Jungkook grasps at the alpha's shirt, making Yujin face him, "I can't do this," he whispers, "I tried," tears roll out of his eyes, "I tried so hard to move on, but I guess, moving on doesn't mean jumping on someone else and making their life miserable. I need to do this alone."
Jungkook shakes his head when Yujin tries to say something, "I kissed him," his voice breaks, "and for the past two months of dating you, I couldn't bring myself to fully accept you. I can't accept anyone when I am still reeling from my own rejection. I can't."
"I thought I will be able to move on if I find someone better than him, and you are," the omega's hands grip Yujin, as if letting go is scary, "you are so much better than him. In everything, you are so much better than him. You love me, you care for me. You are better."
Those red-rimmed eyes shift onto Taehyung then, "you are better than him but," those eyes hold so much agony as Jungkook continues, "but he is still the standard I am holding you to," his eyes go back on Yujin, "he is still the one I am comparing my standard to. He matters."
"As long as it stays, 'you are better than Taehyung or not,' I will not be able to move forward," Jungkook shakes his head, "I look for a replacement of him because he is still the one I am trying to find. The day the standard goes back to being no one, I will know I moved on."
"I will wait," Yujin shakes his head, tears clinging on his lashes, "I don't care if I am your rebound, googie, I will wait. You are," the alpha's voice tremble with urgency, "you are everything I want in my partner. We will work on this and you will move on one day."
Taehyung sees the shift, feels it, when Jungkook's scent starts to change.
He is in distress, his words are falling on deaf ears, and the omega hates when people don't let him talk or make his point or understand where he is coming from.
Taehyung sees the way Jungkook trembles.
"Sit down," Taehyung steps forward, voice tight, "sit down, calm yourself."
Jungkook frowns, "I am oka-"
Taehyung matches those eyes, "sit down, Jungkook. You two can talk and take as long as you need, but you need to sit down."
"Man-" Yujin pauses when Taehyung looks at him.
Taehyung shoves the stool forward, "sit down!"
Jungkook does, slowly falls on the stool, tired, "I-"
Taehyung grabs the bottle of water, "drink."
Jungkook looks up at him, eyes trailing from Taehyung's face to the bottle.
Taehyung nods, "drink. Calm down. It's okay."
"Control your pheromones," Taehyung's lips tighten when he looks at Yujin, "he is sensitive to scents."
Yujin glares, "listen-"
Taehyung turns back to Jungkook, "we will do whatever you want, okay?" his voice slow, tender, "whatever you want. Please relax yourself."
Taehyung falls on his knees in front of Jungkook, "do you want me gone?"
Jungkook's eyes snap up to meet his, he bites his lower lip, says nothing.
Taehyung lets out a breath, "want him gone?"
Jungkook's eyes fix on a glare, "don't do something stupid!"
Taehyung looks over his shoulder, "leave," his voice gravelly, "he will talk to you later."
Yujin snorts, "are you serious right no-"
Taehyung's eyes flicker over to meet Yujin's glare, "listen, this studio is booked for the night by me. I can kick you out. You know?"
"I will just call the security and tell them you are disturbing me," Taehyung stands up, jaw locked, "I know you have every right to be pissed and I get that you should have a fair chance to talk to him but he is stressed, and you need to leave. Help me out here, buddy."
"You are stressing him since the start!" Yujin screams, "don't act like a saint when you made him cry, and I was there to hold him when you were busy with your omega! Don't act like a saviour when you made him miserable in the first place! Okay?!"
"I know," Taehyung's heart clenches in his chest, "I know what I did, and I know I am no one to talk like a saint, so," he steps forward, face going blank, eyes steely, "be the better man here then. Respect his choices and leave. He will talk to you later. Can't you hear?"
Taehyung feels the soft grip at the hem of his shirt, his chest flutters when he feels that light tug to pull him back.
Taehyung reaches behind him, hand finding Jungkook's cold fingers, grasping at them.
He stares at Yujin, "leave on your own, or I call the security. Choose."
Yujin's eyes flicker over to Jungkook, "you will call me," he murmurs, "I will wait because," those venomous eyes turn on Taehyung, "because I know this piece of shit will never make you happy. I will wait, baby. I will make you realize I am a better man."
Taehyung watches the alpha storm out, grips Jungkook's wrist tightly when Yujin kicks the easel on which Taehyung's painting was before walking out, stepping on it.
The painting lies on the ground, ruined, Taehyung watches it for a second before he turns to face Jungkook.
Jungkook is pale, his eyes wide and on the painting.
Taehyung watches the goosebumps all over the omega's arms.
His whole body shaking.
Those lips are trembling around a sob, silent tears rolling out his eyes while he stares at the gaping door through which Yujin left.
Taehyung steps in front of Jungkook, cutting his view of the ruined painting, "want me to open another window for you? You love the smell of the soaked soil after a downpour."
Jungkook's eyes find him, a wobbly snort leaving him, "I like it because it smells like you."
Taehyung kneels again, hands outstretched but not touching Jungkook, "can I hug you?"
Jungkook's eyes trial over his face, "you are asking?"
Taehyung's lips part around a soft sigh, "won't do anything to hurt you."
Jungkook laughs, "really?!"
Taehyung can't say anything when Jungkook looks away, "sorry for kissing you," his voice comes out small, eyes anywhere but on Taehyung, "Jihoon," his face crumble, "I am sorry. You don't need to tell him, or if you do, I can apologize to him. It was me. I mean..."
"Broke up with him," Taehyung whispers, the words pushing out of him in a whoosh, "broke it all off."
Jungkook's eyes are wide when they snap back on Taehyung's face, "what?!"
Taehyung chuckles, shakes his head, "tried hard, you know? To make it work. Failed terribly."
Jungkook is staring at him, mouth parted with nothing coming out of it.
Taehyung snorts, looks down at Jungkook's lap, "tried hard to hold onto the idea of loving him. Turns out," he looks up at Jungkook, "turns out he was just that. My idea of a future. He is not my reality."
Jungkook sucks in a breath, "what-" fresh tears pool in his eyes, "what went wrong?"
Taehyung smiles, "are you sad?"
Jungkook nods, wipes his eyes frantically, "of course I am. I never," his face crumbles, "I never wanted that. I never wanted you to hurt. I am not like that!"
"I never, believe me," Jungkook reaches out in his haste, clutching at Taehyung's shoulders, "never, not even for a moment, wanted you to break up. You were happy, and I never wanted you to feel anything but hap-"
"You make me happier," Taehyung chokes out, "the happiest."
"Wh-what?" Jungkook murmurs, eyes wide, "what are you-"
Taehyung holds his wrist up, a small smile on his lips, tears soaking his cheeks, "this dash," his voice cracks, "because I love you. Because I am in love with you."
Jungkook lets out a whimper, flinching as he pulls away, shakes his head, "don't fucking lie to make me happy!"
Taehyung stands up too, wiping his eyes, "If it was to make you happy, I would have said it back then, that night, I would have said it. I am not lying."
Jungkook glares, "then what is it? Why all of a sudden? Because you got scared? Because you think just because we are soulmates, we have to stick together, and suddenly you are in love with me? I can't believe you are-"
Taehyung curses, "no, that's not it. It's not the reason."
"Then what is the reason?!" Jungkook screams, steps away when he sees Taehyung advancing, "you said you love Jihoon! You said it. You were with me in my heat, and you rejected me," his eyes water some more, "I was so unwanted that even in my prime, you didn't look at me."
Taehyung's chest tightens, air caught in his throat, "no! No, that's not it. Jungkook, you can't think like that. What was I supposed to do?! What was I-"
"It's biology," Jungkook presses himself up against the wall when he is backed against it, "you rejected me on my heat!"
"That is a pull no alpha can reject, and you are my soulmate, it's the hardest for you, and you still rejected me!" Jungkook's hands press against Taehyung's chest when Taehyung crowd him against the wall.
"Can't you see?!" Taehyung grits out, "I loved you enough to stay away!"
They have a LOT to clear out, and Jungkook deserves Taehyung's truth. We will be on it tomorrow.
If you can, support me by buying me a coffee? Thank you. x
"Did you really want that?" Taehyung murmurs, eyes boring into Jungkook's wide ones, "did you really want me to lose my control?" those eyes trail over Jungkook's face, "did you really hate me because I didn't reciprocate your feelings? Did you?"
Those soaked eyelashes flutter while Jungkook tries to look away, his breath ragged in his chest.
His back presses harder against the wall, he inhales deeply.
Taehyung waits, lets the omega compose himself.
Jungkook looks over at the open window, his eyes stuck outside, "no."
The omega lets out a shaky breath, fresh tears trailing out of his eyes, "no, I didn't want that. I didn't think you are horrible for not returning my feelings," his eyes close, pain clear on his face, "I didn't, but," those eyes open to match Taehyung's eyes, "my omega did."
"He felt rejected, it hurt," Jungkook whispers, "I know I should not blame you for not having feelings for me. I know in a perfect world, with everything perfect, I should understand why you are not the bad guy, and I do, but it still hurt. It hurt because of you. A lot."
"I know I respect you for not crossing the line," Jungkook wipes his eyes, "I trust you for not doing anything but there is my omega who took that as a rejection and it hurt. I would not see your face if you tried anything, but it still hurt. You know?"
"It's not your fault," Jungkook murmurs, eyes going back to the open window, "it's just... I had no one to blame for us, so I thought it would," his face contorts with pain, "I thought hating you would make it easier to move on. I held onto that anger when nothing was left."
Taehyung lets out a long breath, "I understand. Wel-"
"What went wrong?" Jungkook asks, eyes not moving from that window, "why did you two break up?"
Taehyung watches the omega in front of him, eyes trailing over his face to focus on that scar on Jungkook's cheek.
"I wanted a perfect family since I was young," his eyes stay stuck on that scar, "I wanted to be the best alpha my omega can wish for," a rueful smile tilts his lips, "and in those dreams, Jihoon would be that omega. I wanted him for a long time, Jungkook. You know that."
"I wanted what my parents had when they started," Taehyung frowns, "Jihoon is everything my mum is like, I always liked how similar they were while I took after my dad, I hated that, but anyway," he snorts, "I wanted to do that one thing right and stay when my dad left."
"I was doing everything to achieve that goal when I met you," Taehyung murmurs, closing his eyes, "someone so different and someone so not like anyone I ever met or imagined meeting. You," he snorts, looking back at the omega, "you didn't fit anywhere in my dreams of the future."
"You told me once how you don't want to settle down soon, how your dreams are not of mating," Taehyung smiles, "you wanted a future where your main priority was not a family in the way I wanted it. You, as an omega, were different and I loved that about you. But not as my omega."
"That night, when we stayed up all night talking," Taehyung murmurs, "I cut the call and that night was the first time I wondered to myself, 'I will take him to my house, he would love mum's garden.' It was ridiculous, that thought. But it was there, sudden, so prominent."
"I wanted you there and that thought kept me up all night because," Taehyung frowns, "I never wanted to go back to that house. That house reminds me of my dad leaving and I never wanted to be reminded of that place, I never thought of taking Jihoon there, but I wanted you to go."
"Because with Jihoon, I wanted things to be perfect. I wanted to be the perfect in every way possible for him. So, he couldn't see how my parents' house turned out after dad left. I didn't want him to see how me and mum worked so hard to keep us going. I didn't want him there."
"I wanted you though," Taehyung finds himself reaching out to touch the omega's face, "I wanted you to see me in my most vulnerable point. That house, each wall of that place, holds my childhood in them. My imperfect memories. That house is a symbol of a dysfunctional family."
"And I wanted you to see it," Taehyung cups Jungkook's face, "because with you, I never felt the urge to hide my broken self. With you I never felt the urge to paint a shiny Taehyung. With you I was broken, imperfect, yet so me. I wanted you to see that side of me."
"That thought scared me shitless," Taehyung snorts, "I wanted you to be there to share my painful memories and happiest ones too. That morning when I came to you, to watch the sunrise? I love that time of the day because the night my dad left, I stayed by the door. Waiting."
"My mum went to sleep, could hear her crying, sobbing before she probably passed out because of exhaustion, and it was painful," Taehyung's face contorts, "I couldn't believe dad left. I waited the whole night for him to come back, and that was the first time I saw sunrise."
"It brought a new day, made me realize no one was coming back. The sunrise, I sat there alone, made me realize in our most broken moments, we are alone. I never shared that time of the day with anyone else again. Until you. You sat through it with me. I let you."
"It felt like that Taehyung, the teenager who was craving a company beside him when everything was breaking apart, finally found his companion that day. In you. You didn't realize, I didn't tell you, but when I rested myself on you, it felt like I am closing a door on my past."
"That teenager finally had someone, a companion, who didn't leave when a new day arrived," Taehyung breathes out a sob, "it felt like I finally gave that boy's fears a closure that yes, he will find someone to sit beside him in his most vulnerable moment. He will have someone."
"And for that, he didn't have to paint himself a new one. For that, he didn't have to pretend to be another version of himself. You sat beside me, watching the sunrise, and I watched you, thinking that maybe… maybe that broken boy from Daegu can have someone being just himself."
"I think I loved you then," Taehyung whimpers, voice cracking, "I think I loved you then."
Jungkook's lips tremble, "Tae…"
"You helped me look back at my past," Taehyung leans against Jungkook, "you helped me revisit my memories. It felt like I held onto you as I turned and saw that younger me finally closing the door of the house and going to sleep. After years of waiting. Sleeplessly. At the door."
"But I still wanted to give Jihoon everything my dad deprived my mum of," Taehyung frowns, "because I wanted to prove to myself that I can be his blood, but I am better. I was projecting my past on my present and I held onto that. For this long."
"What changed?" Jungkook whispers, hands coming to grasp at Taehyung's shirt, clutching at it, "what changed?"
"My dreams," Taehyung murmurs, "in my dreams, I was not running behind my dad, begging him to stay anymore. I was," he rubs his thumb over Jungkook's scar, smiles...
"I was not shouting at him that I will be better than him," Taehyung leans, forehead against Jungkook's, "I was back inside the house. This time I was with you, showing you all the dents and flaws. I was leaving myself open for you to see. Bare, honest, only for you."
"In my dreams, I was moving on from that past and planning a future where I didn't want to prove anything to him anymore. I wanted to prove to you that I can be myself, and you can be yourself, and we will make it work. In my dreams, we were building that house as our own."
"I want to build my future with you," Taehyung whispers, "not like I did with Jihoon, by pulling a curtain on my past. I want to build a future with you where you know how fucked up my past is and I know how your past was and we still stay because we love each other. Please."
"I had to break up with him because one," Taehyung chuckles, "Yoongi hyung would have kicked me, and two," Taehyung pulls back a little to match Jungkook's eyes, "I really wanted my dreams to come true. For the first time, I was wishing for my dreams to come true."
"I hated my dreams until you showed up in them and now," Taehyung grasps Jungkook's both hands in his, lips press against Jungkook's hands, Taehyung's head bows while he sniffles, "now I want to beg you to stay. I want you to stay. For the first time, I am asking you to stay."
"I can't go back running after him, I am tired," Taehyung lets his tears go, tired of holding, hiding them back, "I am tired of staying up all night because I didn't want to see those dreams again. I am tired of plastering a new mask of perfection every day. Help me out of here."
Arms wrap around him, Jungkook's lips pressing against Taehyung's temple, "you can't ask me to stay when I never left."
Taehyung freezes in Jungkook's arms, "Jungkook…"
Jungkook pulls him closer, "I never left. I wanted to. So many times. But I never left your side."
Jungkook presses his nose against Taehyung's neck, a broken chuckle leaving his lips, "what your dad did, I don't know," his voice sounds tight, "but you are not him. You don't need to prove or compare, you are not him. Just like I am not your mum. We are all different."
"Our stories are different, and we will write ours like we want," Jungkook pulls back to look Taehyung in the eyes, "we will re-write our dreams and let that young Taehyung see that no, he did not end up like his dad. He turned out like himself. Not like someone else. Yeah?"
Taehyung nods, "yeah?"
Jungkook smiles, a soft, broken, a little wobbly smile, "yeah. You don't need to hold him as the standard."
Taehyung's arms grasp Jungkook's hips, "we have so much to work through."
Jungkook nods, "we do. We have a long way to go."
Taehyung feels the way his heart runs in his chest, missing beats as it goes, "will you," he stutters, "will you be my boyfriend?"
Jungkook stares at him, a single teardrop rolling down his cheek, "do you want me to?"
Taehyung nods vigorously, "I do. I want you to."
"We have so much to talk about," Jungkook murmurs, "we-"
Taehyung nods, "we have time. Don't we?"
Jungkook wipes his eyes, "we do."
Taehyung's eyes trail over Jungkook's face, "I missed you," his lips part, "Gukkie…"
Jungkook's eyes pool with tears, "Gukkie?"
Taehyung cries, nods, "Gukkie..." his hands pulls Jungkook up against him, "my Gukkie."
Jungkook's arms clutch at his shoulders, "Tae..."
Taehyung's eyes roam over Jungkook's face, pausing when they find those lips.
Jungkook inhales sharply, noticing those eyes on his lips.
"This is not the bond, right?" Jungkook murmurs, leaning closer, "we want this?"
Taehyung looks at him, takes in Jungkook's worried face with a small smile, "the bond formed and would break if it was just that, Gukkie," his arms tighten around Jungkook, "we escalated it. No?"
"We want this," Taehyung murmurs, eyes trailing over Jungkook's face, his heart fluttering as he notices how Jungkook's lips twitch with a hint of smile, "we want us."
Jungkook grasps him tightly, "am I dreaming?" his eyes reflect the agony he feels, "tell me it's not a dream."
Taehyung's palms pull Jungkook's face closer, their breaths hot against each other, “it's not a dream. Can I kiss you and prove that?”
Jungkook closes his eyes, “y-yes…”
Taehyung does. He presses his lips over Jungkook's trembling ones while the rain picks up outside.
Jungkook breathes out a sob against Taehyung's lips, tears soaking his own cheeks and smearing against Taehyung's as they kiss.
Taehyung knows he is not better, his own tears rolling out of his eyes even when he has them tightly closed.
Taehyung presses Jungkook against the wall, lips desperate against his.
The omega's pheromones spread around them, jasmine blooming over the scent of freshly soaked soil.
It grows around them when Taehyung growls against Jungkook's lips, "fuck."
Jungkook's lips trail down Taehyung's throat, pressing against his scent gland.
Taehyung noses against Jungkook's neck, "you are soaked."
Jungkook looks up at him, wide eyes staring at him.
Taehyung's face heats up, cheeks tinted red, "n-no! No, I didn't mean like that. Because of the rain. Not because you-"
Jungkook looks away, biting down on his lower lip, "oh, God, shut up!"
Taehyung closes his eyes, "fuck, I am so-"
Jungkook bites back a smile, "stupid."
Taehyung growls at him playfully, kissing Jungkook breathless while the omega giggles against his lips.
Jungkook lets Taehyung tug at his shirt, "I am not putting out on the first night! No way!"
Taehyung curses, "you are going to catch a cold. Come on. Get out of these."
Jungkook shrugs out of the shirt, feeling the goosebumps on his skin when he notices how Taehyung's eyes trail over his tattoos.
A sharp breath leaves him when Taehyung leans, pressing his lips against the tattoo over Jungkook's shoulder, "you are so handsome."
Jungkook whines, feels the way those warm lips press against his tattoos, slowly trailing back to his scent-gland.
The omega in him preens when the alpha noses at where the mating mark should be.
Taehyung kisses him there, lips parted, moist, soft kisses all over the gland.
Then Taehyung is pulling away, leaning in for a final kiss, "let's get you home."
Jungkook shrugs, "it's raining."
Taehyung chuckles, "then stay here. I will paint and you can stay here. We can spend the night together. Yeah?"
Jungkook nods, "I would love that."
Taehyung turns on his heels, going to the rack where he has his long coat hanging.
The alpha gets it and comes over to help Jungkook into it before he buttons it with care.
Jungkook smiles, lets the alpha fuss over him until a smile breaks on Taehyung's lips, satisfied, "done."
They end up in front of the open window. Taehyung leaning against the wall and Jungkook leaning against him with his face buried against the alpha's neck.
Taehyung's arms around him, their eyes on each other while thunders crack outside, heavy rain giving them company.
"Oh," Jungkook whispers, his eyes wide, on Taehyung's wrist, "Tae-"
Taehyung's eyes are on his wrist too, shifting from his own wrist to Jungkook's wrist.
There is another dash. The third one.
"How many dashes complete the process?" Taehyung wonders.
Jungkook smiles, "five."
"What are the last two dashes," Taehyung wonders, lips pressing against Jungkook's nape, "do you know it?"
Jungkook does, if the way his turns scarlet is anything to go by.
Taehyung frowns, tries to see the omega's face who doesn't look him in the eyes, "what? What is it?"
Jungkook curses, glaring at him with a flustered expression, "the fourth one is when we have sex for the first time and the last one is when we mate. Then the next day we will have our tattoos. Now shut up!"
Taehyung gapes, his own face feeling hot, "o-oh."
The alpha buries his face against Jungkook's neck, "that can wait then. First we have so many things to do."
Jungkook leans back against him, playing with Taehyung's fingers, "what do we have to do?"
Taehyung shrugs, "our first date. First trip together. Everything is waiting."
Jungkook cranes his neck to kiss Taehyung, eyes tender, "yeah?"
Taehyung nods, "all those gifts I made. I will give them all to you. Just you wait. I will suffocate you with love and affection."
Jungkook bites back a smile, tears pooling in his eyes, "I would love that."
They take it slow afterwards.
The first thing they do is meet each other's friends. Taehyung takes a day to befriend Jimin, turns out the alphas get along better than Jungkook has given them credit for.
Then Jungkook meets Yoongi, officially, gets a hug and a pat on the head.
It's hard, getting all of their friends in the same room because Yoongi and Jimin refuse to be anywhere near each other.
It's harder when they meet and the air around them turn chilly.
They manage when the seven of them are together, ignoring each other as much as they can.
"Tae, wha-" Jungkook holds Taehyung's hand while they stand in front of a small house in Daegu.
His eyes take in the structure before he looks back at the alpha, "Tae..."
Taehyung has his hands in Jungkook's and his eyes are on the omega, "my home. I had to show you."
The house has no one in it. Taehyung's mum lives with his grandparents and this house is empty.
Jungkook holds Taehyung's hands tightly, eyes on the alpha, "are you sure?"
Taehyung gulps, nods, "I want you to see my most vulnerable side, Gukkie. This house has me tied to it."
They pause by the threshold. Jungkook lets Taehyung gather himself, waits and watches the alpha battle with himself before he turns to Jungkook.
"I lost my everything right here," Taehyung points at the floor, "I left my childhood and dreams right here to break for ages."
"Today," he pulls Jungkook closer, arms around each other, "today," his lips press against Jungkook's forehead, "I am asking you to pick up the pieces and build it all back up, Gukkie. Will you? Will you do it with me? Can we make this house our home after we mate?"
Jungkook presses his lips against the alpha's with a small smile, "we will make this our home. We will make it work."
Taehyung sniffles, lets Jungkook tug him over the threshold.
He follows Jungkook inside the house he never came back to after he left.
Taehyung watches, his eyes trail after the omega as Jungkook wanders into the depth of the house.
His fingers trail over those covered furnitures. That nose scrunches up when he feels the dust on the floor and cobwebs.
Taehyung watches the rays of sunshine finally invading the darkness of the cold and empty house, following Jungkook's footsteps.
As if with his each and every step, the omega brings life to a dead house.
As if with his touches, he lights up the darkest parts of Taehyung.
Jungkook opens those windows, locked away for ages, and fresh air fills Taehyung's lungs.
He stands by the door frame of his house and watches, mesmerized, how Jungkook paints the walls with his soft touches and small smiles.
Taehyung can see his younger self, stuck in this place, looking at Jungkook, as the omega finally sets that boy free.
Free of his nightmares, free of his burdens.
Taehyung can almost see that young Taehyung slowly ebbing off, leaving behind a peace Taehyung hasn't felt in ages.
Jungkook looks at him, smiles, "what?"
Taehyung stumbles forward, desperate to take the omega in his arms, "come here."
Jungkook grins when Taehyung wraps him in his arms, kisses him breathless, "what happened?"
Taehyung shakes his head, "I love you. Gukkie, I love you."
Taehyung watches Jungkook smile at him, "I love you too. So much."
Taehyung lets out a sniffle, "want to see my bedroom?"
Jungkook nods, "if you want me t-"
"I want you to see everything I have to offer," Taehyung tugs him out of the living room, "come on."
"This was my nursery," Taehyung points at a door, waves his hand, "we can build it up. Set it up with the latest design and all. When the pups-" he pauses, noticing Jungkook's wide eyes, "what?"
Jungkook coughs, "pups?"
Taehyung blinks, "uhh... I was just..."
The tips of Jungkook's ears are red, his eyes are on anything but Taehyung, "you want pups?"
Taehyung holds the omega tightly in his arms, "if you don't want pups, we can adop-"
Jungkook points at the room, "show me. Come on."
Taehyung holds Jungkook in place, "if you don't want to think about that now, or ever, you can say so, Gukkie. I am not going to be against anything you-"
Jungkook chuckles, "I know. Can we see the room appa chose for the pups we will get?"
Taehyung chokes on a sob, "Gukkie..."
Jungkook laughs, "we will talk about this after we mate. Not now. Okay?"
Taehyung nods, wide smile on his lips, "okay. My babies can wait."
"How many are we talking about?" Jungkook follows Taehyung inside the room, "babies?"
Taehyung shrugs, "two?"
Jungkook stares, "right."
Taehyung takes Jungkook to his bedroom at last.
He opens the door and holds his breath while Jungkook steps in.
It's hard to miss.
The torn photos of his family all over the wall.
Those ugly lines of scratches Taehyung left on the wall in his anger, trying to erase everything.
Those painted lines, desperate attempts at hiding those broken pieces of a 'perfect family.'
Taehyung lets Jungkook see his broken lego house.
Pieces scattered everywhere.
Ugly, honest, broken.
His lego house.
The one he broke into pieces himself.
His bedroom holds it all.
One piece of his broken house is his father's photo. Torn apart, painted over, angry scratches all over his face so no one can recognize him or his smile.
Taehyung doesn't want to remember how once he used to be happy in this household.
One piece of his lego house. His father.
The other piece of his lego house.
Whose photo is torn into pieces too.
She lost herself after her husband left. She did her duty as a provider and made sure Taehyung was fed and healthy.
But his 'mum' left that night. Along with his dad.
She never once asked him how he was doing. Never once looked him in the eyes and showed him the love he deserved as a kid.
His face reminded her of his father, and so she did everything she can to avoid him.
Another broken piece of Taehyung's 'family.'
This bedroom is the most vulnerable place and side of Taehyung, and today he stands in it with a person who is seeing it all.
Taehyung lets Jungkook see the lego house in the name of a 'home' he has.
Lets the omega see it all.
He will take it if Jungkook leaves.
Jungkook goes around the room, eyes skimming over all the angry scratches, those torn photos hanging from the walls, the broken frames on the reading table.
Jungkook picks up one photo frame, wipes it with his sleeve and smiles at it.
Taehyung watches the omega turn to him.
"So you were always this good-looking?" Jungkook smiles, "a pretty baby, grew up to be the most handsome man I know."
Taehyung falters, his eyes holding the omega in place, "that's-" his voice comes out stiff, "that's all you are taking from this room?"
Jungkook gives a tender smile, "I took in everything. I saw it all. I acknowledge how your past is, but," Jungkook points at the photo, "I will take only one thing out of this room. It's how this baby never changed. He was pretty inside out, and he is still the same man."
"The world around him," Jungkook stands against the reading table, across the room from Taehyung, "changed. His family broke apart. His world crashed one day and never returned to its axis since then, but he never changed for the worse and that's all I will take from this room."
Taehyung feels the tug in his chest, lips pressed together, "are you sure?"
Jungkook looks at him, a slow nod, and the omega smiles, "I am."
Taehyung stands up properly, blocking the doorway, "think about it, Gukkie, this is the last chance you will get to leave."
Jungkook giggles, nose scrunched up and bunny teeth on display, "why? Are you going to lock me up after this?"
Taehyung can't stand still anymore, he takes long strides to reach the omega and press him up against the table, "no," he whispers against Jungkook's lips, "I will mate you."
The kiss takes Jungkook by surprise, he squeaks in Taehyung's mouth when the alpha picks him up and sits him down on the table.
"You just ruined my pant!" he whines, kissing the alpha back just as greedily, "it's all dusty!"
Taehyung shrugs, "take it off then."
"That was smooth-"
"Like butter?" Taehyung arches his brow, laughs when Jungkook swats at him and shoves him away.
"I am not taking my pants off in this dusty house that needs some serious renovation. You need to calm your horses. Okay?"
"You just ignored my attempt at smooth talking, I have nothing to say, you killed my boner!" Taehyung follows behind Jungkook who glares over his shoulder.
Jungkook sighs, "not here. Not now."
"Then when?" Taehyung crowds him, "tonight?"
Jungkook blushes, "shut up!"
As Jungkook holds his wrist, drags him out of the house, talking about what they need to do with it, Taehyung turns back to watch it.
He lets Jungkook take him away, a small smile on his lips. Finally he is leaving this house behind. In every sense.
Until he comes back willingly.
[ 2 YEARS LATER ]
Jungkook leans against his mate, his sleepy eyes trace the edges of Taehyung's face. Those long eyelashes flutter while Taehyung sleeps peacefully in their newly decorated house.
Jungkook yawns, thinks how they have to pack to leave for their honeymoon soon, "get up, tae."
The alpha stirs, pulls Jungkook closer with a garbled word thrown at him.
Jungkook smiles, buries his face against his alpha's neck.
He presses his lips against the mating mark on Taehyung's shoulder, watching with pride how it looks on Taehyung's skin, "get up, come on."
The throbbing on the inside of his arm makes him look down at the spot and he gasps. Eyes going wide while he swats at Taehyung repeatedly.
"Taehyung, wake up and see the tattoo!"
Taehyung blinks, finally looking at his omega and realizing the pain on his arm too, "shit, what?"
Their eyes fall on each other's arms and they both spring up on the bed.
Taehyung gapes at Jungkook's arm, and Jungkook stares at Taehyung's with equal astonishment.
There is the mating tattoo. Finally binding them together for life.
It is raw, formed throughout the night.
"Why are you eating me?" Jungkook whines, traces the lines of the tattoo with pure adoration and wonder.
Taehyung shrugs, "the universe took last night literally, I guess."
Jungkook glares up at him, cheeks bright red, "shut up, Tae!"
Taehyung looks at him, smiles…
"My mate," he pulls a naked Jungkook on his lap, arms wrapping around Jungkook's waist, "my soulmate," his lips press against Jungkook's, "my everything, thank you for accepting me as your alpha."
Jungkook's hands rest on Taehyung's shoulder, "I love you, my alpha."
Taehyung's eyes are teary, his lips stretched on a smile, "I thought it would scare me some day. The power you hold over me. That day never came. Maybe because of you. You never made me feel anything but loved, taken care of. Thank you. For choosing me as your alpha."
"Tae," Jungkook leans to kiss Taehyung on the mouth, "thank you for teaching me, in this world where the status of a person shapes their entire life, you are different. Thank you for never trying to overpower me in this relationship. Thank you for loving me as your omega."
They look down at their joined hands, a smile playing on their lips when they look back at each other.
"I love you," Taehyung sighs, pulling Jungkook down for a kiss.
"I love you too," Jungkook smiles against the alpha's lips, "I love you so much."
#taekookau (Power-Play snippet)
"Stop, stop, Gukkie, stop before I vomit all over you!" Taehyung giggles, grasping at his boyfriend's shirt.
Jungkook stops the wheel, a wide grin on his face, "you said you can endure for at least two minutes, hyung!"
Destined; a #Yoonminau
Jimin wakes up to the sound of shuffling, he looks at the man who is getting out of the bed, "where are you going?"
Yoongi doesn’t look back, reaching for his clothes, "leaving."
Jimin hesitates, "It's midnight."
Yoongi nods, "I know."