Oh gosh it’s happening again
Can’t stop the idea - I…I need to focus on my existing AU’s
Okay okay here are just some thoughts so far.
Erm…a/b/o dynamics bc it’s me
. Let’s see. I’m envisioning futuristic society. Family issues and drama. Omega JK. And Omega (his dam) YG. And JK being one of the most gifted athletes in a sport YG used to do way back in the day….
Yoôngi gets the call while at work, and for a brief moment he doesn’t answer, looking at the school’s number with trepidation. He has it memorized. Due to the sheer number of times he’s seen it on his communicator.
“You going to take that?” Suran asks, eyebrow raised, confused at the other omega’s lack of response to an obvious incoming call.
“Maybe later. We’re kind of busy,” he says, trying to justify putting the call off.
Suran glances around the empty bar.
“Not really. You should take it now, before the miners get off,” she suggests.
Yoôngi knows she’s right. He should answer it now.
It’s just that…he already has an inkling of what’s happened. And has no idea how he’s going to deal with it.
But her stare finally drives him to act. To do something.
So he raises his communicator to his face and presses ‘accept.’
“Mr. Min. I’m so glad I caught you,” comes Principal Lightower’s voice.
Yoôngi musters up an earnest look. He might need it to save his son’s education.
“Hello, sir. Is everything okay? Is Jungkook okay?” He asks. And maybe he widens his eyes a bit, maybe he bites his lip and tries to project an aura of ‘exhausted single omega parent doing their best.’
It’s not an inaccurate moniker, after all.
Principal Lightower’s stern voice immediately softens.
“Your son is fine, nothing to worry about there. It’s just that we’ve had another little…incident,” says the alpha.
Yoôngi lowers his eyes. It’s dirty, but…Mirane Public 14 is the last public school within a 400-mile -
- radius that Jungkook hasn’t been expelled from.
And Yoongi doesn’t have the money to send him to a private school. So this is their last shot.
Hence…appearing appropriately contrite and hoping it’s enough to get the principal to give Jungkook another chance.
“Do I need to come to the school? I’m at work. I might be able to figure something out though. Somehow,” Yoongi says.
Principal Lightower shakes his head.
“That won’t be necessary. No one’s been hurt. But your son did impersonate an alpha student in order to enter a Solrelay tournament with our other two A-team competitors,” he says.
Yoongi nods, calming down. It’s not nearly so bad as what he was expecting.
Jungkook is the light of his life. His baby boy. His reason for working a shit job in a shitty overpriced bar where a bunch of shittily behaved alpha workers just so happen to hit up after their long shifts on Quaria nearby. A tiny little moon orbiting their tiny little planet -
- that happens to contain quadrillions worth of raw materials.
Serving those alpha miners from off-planet pisses Yoongi off on the daily. But he does it because he gets paid extra. So much extra that it triples the wages he’d get doing pretty much any other unskilled job.
And so he stays. Because Jungkook deserves more.
But sometimes it’s very stressful. Especially when his baby boy gets into trouble. Often. And that’s probably Yoongi’s fault too - either due to genetics or environment - but figuring out which isn’t going to do him any good now.
“Did they win?” He asks, the words slipping out before he can stop them.
The principal blinks in surprise, before nodding.
“Yes. By quite a bit, from what I understand,” the alpha admits.
Yoôngi barely stops himself from fist pumping the air. Barely. He settles for a smile, which he covers with a hand - feigning a cough - before looking back at the screen.
“I see,” he covers quickly.
The principal’s eye twitches, though he recovers after a moment.
“Yes. Of course it’s an honor for the school. It’s why there will be no consequences. But I’m afraid we have to forbid him from trying to enter another competition. It’s simply not safe. I’ve discussed this with -
- him and I believe he understands how dangerous what he did was. But I was hoping you could have a talk with him at home too. This behavior…it can’t be encouraged,” the alpha says.
“I’ll talk with him. I’m sorry. He just…he loves solrelay,” he says.
Principal Lightower nods understandingly.
“Of course. And exercise is healthy! That’s why we have intramurals. For our omega students to participate too. Maybe you can urge him to give it a shot. He wasn’t receptive when I brought it up earlier,” says the man.
Yoongi is pretty sure his baby boy would willingly clean the whole house from top to bottom before he’d try out intramural solrelay, but he tries for a smile, eyes crinkling weakly.
“I’ll explain it again,” he says.
Principal Lightower nods.
“Good. Very good. I’ll let you return to work now, Mr. Min. Thank you for taking this so seriously.”
“Thank you for calling personally. Jungkook is lucky to have teachers who care about him so much,” Yoongi says back, inclining his head before -
- cutting off the call.
“What’s brighteyes done now?” Asks Suran.
Yoôngi shakes his head.
- he expected.
Not for fighting on school grounds, something strictly forbidden. He wonders how his dam talked the principal out of the penalty, but doesn’t ask out of fear he’ll get into more trouble.
“I’m glad you understand. I ever see you start a fight with another student at my school again and you’ll be suspended immediately,” says the principal.
“He provoked me.”
“It doesn’t matter. You need to learn to control yourself. Sneaking into a competition you don’t qualify to participate in is bad enough, but then you assault another student? It’s disgraceful. It makes us all look bad. And I won’t have it. Do you understand?” He demands.
Jungkook scowls. But he doesn’t talk back. He’s been in trouble enough to know what not to say at this point.
“I understand,” he bites out instead.
“Good. Now get to class.”
- Solrelay gear and Yoongi’s old tools.
Yoôngi immediately feels bad when he sees it.
Jungkook’s board is a stabilized board. Which is fine for most recreational solrelay, but any serious racer needs something more sensitive to body movement. A manual board.
But manual boards are insanely expensive. Even the low-end ones.
Yoôngi would know. He had to sell his to make rent when Jungkook was still very small. He doubts the pup even remembers.
“Congratulations,” Yoongi says, taking a seat next to his pup.
Jungkook glances at him, as if to gauge his mood, before going back to his board, tightening the cover over the small fusion powersource he’d had off a few seconds ago.
“I’m not doing intramural solrelay,” Jungkook says stubbornly.
“I know. And you don’t have to. But pup - could you at least stay out of trouble? Until the end of the school year at least? For me? We’re running out of options. And you aren’t dropping out. You’re -
- finishing standard education if it’s the last thing I do. It’s important. Okay?” Yoongi asks.
Jungkook makes a face. But then he inclines his head, scent turning apologetic.
“I didn’t mean to get so angry. But after we won, that asshole from 13 said something. And he wouldn’t shut up. Even the other guys were getting agitated. And then he said it again and I just lost it,” Jungkook admits.
Yoôngi’s brow furrows.
“Wait. Your principal didn’t say anything about a fight! He just said you snuck into the competition,” he says, confused.
Jungkook glances away sheepishly.
“Maybe there was a fight too. Just a small one! No one got hurt though,” the light of Yoongi’s life insists.
But solrelay is a dangerous sport and it’s racers typically retire around 30 because of it, usually too laden with injuries to continue living without the mods that improve quality of life but also disqualify one from racing.
As a former solaracer, he understands.
It’s a big step, choosing to retire.
One Namjoon hadn’t truly had a choice in when he’d retired at the age of 24, forced out of the sport he’d loved his whole life - one he’d dedicated his life to - because of another racer’s jealousy and vindictiveness.
Vitale, thé miracle drug, had fixed the life-threatening injuries Namjoon had sustained during a horrific crash ten years ago.
Not only repaired his body, but made it better. He goes in for regular tune ups, and because of the properties of the medicine, he’s virtually -
- unchanged physically from what he looked and felt like as a healthy 24 year old. And as long as he continues to receive boosters, he can pretty much live as long as he wants.
Most people throw the towel in around 800 or so, but Namjoon thinks he could keep on the way he -
- is for quite a long time. There’s so much to experience out there. He can’t fathom opting out.
But ingesting Vitale every 5 years also means he’s ineligible to participate in organized, competitive sports.
Given the chance, Namjoon knows he’d be the same as his mate.
Opting to live a natural life in order to keep racing.
But solrelay takes a physical toll, and Seokjin is 35 now.
And today has clearly been the kind of day where Seokjin realizes just how physically demanding it is.
But Namjoon made a promise.
So he doesn’t go after his mate and ask him to just retire and start Vitale already, for both of their sakes.
But he does glance at Hoseok - the team doctor.
“What happened?” Namjoon asks.
It’s a question he dreads the answer to. But he has to ask. Namjoon is the head coach, after all.
The other alpha grimaces.
“He got disoriented from the high speeds. Fell off his board. Luckily he was wearing safety guards,” Hoseok says.
Namjoon looks away.
It’s worse than he thought, then. Seokjin is talented, one of the best racers (certainly the best omegan racer) Namjoon has ever seen.
So if Seokjin is having dizzy spells and didn’t catch himself in time to stay on his board, it means things are dire.
“Go after him,” Namjoon says.
“I examined him already on the field. I recommended he see your family doctor to get some more extensive tests done,” Hoseok explains.
Namjoon nods. It’s what needs to happen, even though he doesn’t relish convincing his mate to see the kind of -
- doctor who will probably take one look at his bloodwork and prescribe a course of Vitale.
But before that delightful conversation, there’s one more talk Namjoon needs to have.
“Where’s Coach Dallan?” He asks.
And as a family team and company, Seokjung likes to keep the crew to those who are related or at least have ties to the Kim family.
As a former Solaracer and someone who’s spent a lot of time studying the race and people, Namjoon is a talented coach.
It’s part of the reason he’s the head coach of Kim Skysports.
The other part of that reason is because he’s mated to Kim Seokjung’s omega son.
Without missing a beat, he stops on the threshold of Seokjung’s door and taps the wood.
Seokjung brightens when he sees his son-in-law.
“Oh! Namjoon - please come in. We were discussing the upcoming season,” the man invites.
Namjoon enters the room and Coach Dallen’s scent shifts subtly. More on his guard.
“Thank you. I was just looking for Coach Dallen. I wanted to ask what excuse he could possibly have for not contacting me immediately when my mate fell from his board in the middle of practice.”
Kim Seokjung looks at Coach Dallen, brow furrowing.
“Seokjin fell?” He demands.
“I told you - there was a small accident. But he’s perfectly fine. We discussed it after and he wants to continue racing,” Coach Dallen insists.
Seokjung shifts his attention to Namjoon.
“How bad was it?” He asks, looking for all the world like he’s about to get up and go see for himself. He’s still so protective of his omega son, even now that said son is an adult grown.
Namjoon gets it. He’s protective of Seokjin too.
The omega is a world-class athlete. One of only two omegas in the league right now. Not to mention, Seokjung’s only child to take up solaracing.
During his prime, Seokjin couldn’t be beat as a center, able to navigate the complex, often changing tracks in the middle length -
- of every solarace with ease.
These days he’s still better than 69% of the league when he’s at the center position, according to his times.
But being on top takes a toll. And frankly, a part of Namjoon is worried his mate is going to get killed if he doesn’t retire soon.
After all, he knows better than anyone what happens if you’re distracted. He kept some of the scars to remind himself.
“He’s walking, at least. But I don’t know. He asked me not to come to the first practice,” Namjoon says.
“He’s done. We aren’t doing this anymore,” he says.
It’s music to Namjoon’s ears, even if he knows it will only take Seokjin ten minutes to undo it all and convince his father he’s fit to race.
Coach Dallen holds up his hands.
“He recovered from the accident quickly. And his pacing was on track. And you know we need him - it’s going to be next to impossible to find a replacement that will make us competitive enough to have a shot at nationals this year,” he protests.
He’s not wrong. Losing Seokjin leaves a hole in the roster. Not only because Seokjin is talented, but also because he has a massive fanbase.
Not to mention - it’s going to look bad when Seokjin retires and gets replaced by an alpha.
Namjoon just knows it.
And he doesn’t like it. But omegan racers talented enough to make it in the elite leagues are few and far between.
Namjoon can think of a handful of alpha racers they can look at from the rookie team who might be able to take Seokjin’s place. Yeonjun looks good this year.
So does Taehyun. Maybe Soobin…. Really, the entire rookie team is good enough to try out for the position.
But none of them are omegas. And they haven’t had 2 decades to build up a following in the way Seokjin has.
And Namjoon can already see the headlines talking about -
- how omegas aren’t given the same opportunities and he wants to roll his eyes.
It’s simple biology. There’s nothing he can do about it.
But their brand reputation is still going to suffer for it. There will be fallout.
“We don’t have anyone at all who can step in? Then what are we training a rookie team for?” Seokjung snarls, standing up.
Coach Dallen gets up too.
“The rookie team is great. They’re just…not Seokjin,” he retorts.
“I’m not going to watch my son die this year, Coach. Do you understand? So get out there and figure it out,” Seokjung snaps.
And then he looks at Namjoon.
“And you. Grow a spine. What happens at home is your and Seokjin’s own business, but if my son asks you - as his coach - to ‘skip’ a practice again, I recommend you tell him - as his coach - to fuck off. Now go console my son. And then get me some options,” the man demands.
Namjoon hesitates. There’s no winning for him, really, even as his mind searches for some kind of useful strategy. He decides to go for the truth.
“Jin…you got hurt today. It could have been worse, too,” he says.
“It was just a slip. I’m fine. Stop being so melodramatic.”
“It wasn’t just a slip. You got disoriented. You fell off your board,” Namjoon points out, already feeling himself start to back down.
“It was an off day. I’ll get back to normal soon. I didn’t warm up enough,” Jin retorts.
“Okay. I trust you to know your limits. But I can’t have you out there until you’ve seen a doctor. Not Hoseok - a specialist,” he says.
Jin’s eyes narrow.
And Namjoon gets this too. If he had an option, if he hadn’t almost lost his life ten years ago, he’d probably be exactly where Jîn is now. Still racing, going for as long as he possibly could before being forced into retirement by his own body.
It’s normal for solaracers.
And at 35, Seokjin is five years past the age most racers do retire.
Namjoon gets it. Retirement feels almost like death in some ways. That rush and that incredible feeling - they’re gone once you retire.
But he knows it’s the right decision. He can see it.
And there’s an element of selfishness to the whole thing, sure, but Namjoon doesn’t want to live his life alone. He wants to spend it with his mate. And every year Seokjin continues putting it off is one more year -
- of Namjoon wondering if this will be the year his mate crashes, or gets shoved into a wall, or falls off his board in the middle of a race and doesn’t get back up. Theres a limit to what Vitale can heal.
The hardest part of falling off his board hadn’t actually been the falling or the landing.
It had been imagining what he must look like to Tae and Jimin - their other teammate - as he fell.
The horror in their eyes…it bothers him. He knows they saw it, too.
Despite his anguish, he doesn’t want to quit. He still feels like he has a season left in him, like he has more to do.
That, and the fact that Kim Skysports hasn’t won nationals in 172 years, not since Jin’s great-grandfather himself raced.
So maybe Jîn feels some responsibility. They’d come close last year, taking second place.
Not as close as when Namjoon, Jîn, and Hoseok had raced together for two glorious years before the accident that took Namjoon out of the skies forever.
Second overall in points, half of which Jin had racked up through technique alone.
Third in speed, which he’d unfortunately brought down their average in.
It’s a complicated balance, being a solaracer. And part of Jin knows he should retire already.
But he’s not sure if he’s ready to give up the race.
And even if he does…they might be able to find someone as fast or faster than him on the track.
But not enough to make up for the lack of technique so many racers have.
Jimin has beautiful technique - enough to be a center if he put his mind to it. But Jimin’s also a powerhouse when it comes to speed. They need him where he’s at - their front.
Other than Jimin, Taehyung is the only racer Jin’s ever seen come close. His alpha nephew has strong technique, and more creativity in his movements than Jin’s seen in a long time. Taehyung as a center would be…amazing.
But then they’d have no one to be the anchor.
And if good centers are hard to find, good anchors are even more so.
Sports commentators might argue about it endlessly, but the anchor is and always has been the most demanding position in solrelay.
The last racer has to have it all. They have to be fast, agile, intelligent, innovative, persistent, and a little bit mean to really come out on top and win.
Taehyung’s been their anchor for the past 4 years since their last anchor retired and he’s grown into the position well.
Under Namjoon’s coaching, Tae had gone from a talented, wide-eyed rookie to a competent, elite racer with an intimidating stare.
And Jin doubts Taehyung would even want to switch from anchor to center anyway.
So…it’s all a big mess.
“Still working on it. But everything will be fine. Don’t worry about it,” Seokjin finally says.
“Do you want me to talk to him?” He poses.
Seokjin is touched by the gesture. And also a bit indignant and annoyed by the overstep.
He hasn’t been working his ass off since he was 6 - working his way into the elite leagues, fighting every step of the way to be taken seriously - to need a baby alpha to step in and advocate on his behalf.
“No,” he says, a bit colder than he means. Though when Tae’s eyes turn a bit hurt, he swallows down his pride.
This isn’t another asshole journalist asking what kind of undergarments he wears while racing, or a photographer trying to get him to smile more.
This is his nephew. A nephew he’s practically raised as his own from the age of 10, him and Namjoon, when Jin’s sister had decided to move off-planet to further her career and left Tae in their care so he could continue to race in the kiddie leagues.
“Sorry. I’m still on edge. But no, I can handle him. Don’t worry about that. Worry about your balance. I saw you lose it around the turns. You lost speed too. You need to work on that,” Jin says.
Tae nods, pulling back.
“Thanks. I know - Coach Dallen has me in the gym all day tomorrow doing balance exercises. It’s going to be miserable,” he says, making a face.
Jin nods sympathetically. He loves his nephew. He’ll always support him.
But it’s hard to relate.
Training is hard sometimes, but Jin loves it. Even when it hurts. Even the boring parts.
Maybe because he fought so hard to be here in the first place.
Of course, as a Kim, he’d raced in the kiddie leagues for 12 and unders since he was 6. And he’d been one of the best, but that was pre-pubescence for most racers.
He’d entered the pre-rookie leagues at only 13, and competing against 16 and unders had been much harder.
Suddenly, the racers Jîn used to leave in the dust had gotten so much bigger and stronger.
He’d managed to stay in the top 10. And when his father had asked if he wouldn’t like doing something less dangerous when Jîn had turned 17 - old enough to be recruited into the rookie -
- leagues - Jîn had said no. Firmly. Unyieldingly.
And so he’d joined Kim Skysports’s rookie team.
And only 2 years later - at 19 - the elite team.
And he knows he’s had some advantages. His father owns Kim Skysports. But Jîn still had to fight for his position.
He had to beat older racers who were more experienced and in order to get a spot. And there had still been grumblings of nepotism.
But there’s a reason he’s where he is now, and it’s not because he breaks down when challenged.
“Dont worry. You’ll figure it out, and then you’ll be back out on the track with me and Jimin,” Jin says.
“Hopefully it just takes a day.”
“It will take how long it takes. Focus on getting your stance right, not on getting through the exercises quickly.”
“Thanks. I will,” he promises earnestly.
Jin feels a little bit lighter. He hugs his nephew one more time before letting go.
“Oh! You answered fast,” Yoongi hears his pup’s voice. He sighs in relief. No authority figures - maybe this is a social call.
“Hi baby. Everything okay?” He asks, picking up a rag to wipe down the counter while he talks.
“Yes! It’s great!” Jungkook says. Yoongi nods.
“Great,” he replies, apprehension starting to creep up on him.
His pup does not call randomly. Especially not when he should be in class. He swallows.
“Are you sure everything’s okay?” He asks again.
Jungkook is silent for about fifteen seconds before responding.
“I just want to say that I told you first and you should take that into consideration - that I didn’t try to hide anything. I was honest,” Jungkook pleads his case, using his best ‘I’m innocent’ voice.
“Jungkook, what did you do?” He asks.
“Nothing!” Jungkook cries.
Yoongi scowls. He knows when his pup is guilty, even when he can’t smell him to confirm it.
“Do I need to come to the school? Pay someone for property damage? Get a lawyer?” He asks.
“No. I told you, it’s nothing I did. Well, nothing new. Just…something happened,” Jungkook explains.
“Okay. So what happened?” Yoongi tries to clarify.
“Yoongi, isn’t that your pup?” Suran asks suddenly, turning up the big screen in the bar so they can hear the reporter.
Yoongi looks up, staring in shock at the scene unfolding in the frame.
It’s a scene from ‘Solrelay Today.’ The clip is Jungkook all right, wearing his medal from winning 14’s competitive solrelay, two alpha teammates next to him and several unfamiliar alphas across from them.
“Just saying, we all know the only reason you won is because the cunt probably blew the refs before the race,” one of the other alphas is saying.
“I’d shut my mouth if I were you,” one of Jungkook’s alpha teammates snarls back.
“Hey, equal rights, equal fights,” the alpha from the other team retorts.
Yoongi has one brief moment where he’s grateful Jungkook’s teammates are defending him - to the point where one of the alphas has actually moved protectively in front of Yoongi’s pup.
And then his life flashes before his eyes as he sees the light of his life’s hurt eyes grow furious and angry.
And then Yoongi’s precious angel launches himself forward and decks the offending alpha in the face, taking the other boy down with three more punches before he’s dragged off by his own teammates.
And the clip ends and Yoongi hears the reporters asking where the omega’s parents were before it’s replayed again.
“…anyway, like I said, no big deal, probably no one has even seen it, but it is kind of going viral so I just wanted to let you know,” Jungkook says at his ear.
Okay I’m aiming for Sopenamjin but I have to tell you there are some parts to this that are not going to be happy (and a lot of parts that will be). I’ll add tags below.
TW: a/b/o dynamics, sexism, classism, discussions of abortion (no abortions), kind of douchey NJ who does not stay that way, illegitimate child, intense rivalry, obsession with a sport that’s not quite healthy, JK and Tae dislike each other at first, objectification.
“I’ve been busy,” Jin responds, sitting down to start stretching.
“You should watch it. It’s funny,” he says.
The truth is, he’s got a lot more on his mind than entertainment right now.
Like planning his departure from Kim Skysports. At least as a racer.
Because his appointment this morning didn’t go well, and Jîn is starting to realize that having a final season - something that seemed set in stone a few days ago - might be out of reach.
It’s been a jarring few hours.
Getting told you’re going to die if you don’t start taking Vitale in the next few months though - well, it’s jarring.
He hasn’t even told Namjoon yet what the doctor had found. Much less his family or team.
But he has a follow-up appointment for next week. One where the doctor has insisted he’ll be getting an injection of Vitale.
In that moment, Seokjin will change in two ways. First, the cancer spreading rapidly through his system will die.
Second, he’ll never be allowed to participate in organized Skysports again. He can coach, he could get a medical degree and be a secondary team doctor. He could become the team’s manager. He could switch paths and take pretty much any kind of business or public relations role.
But he won’t be able to race.
Vitale is…the greatest medical discovery in the history of medical discoveries.
Vitale is going to give him new life. Forever.
And in some ways, it’s also going to kill a part of himself that’s been so important for so long.
“Jimin. If I were to retire,” Seokjin begins.
Jimin snorts, interrupting him.
“Yeah, right,” he says.
Seokjin fixes his younger teammate with a more serious expression and Jimin instantly quiets, suddenly looking panicked.
“Hyung?” He asks, confused.
Jin manages to keep it together.
“If I were to retire, who would you want to take my place? Who do you think would fit?” Jin asks.
There’s a reason he’s asking Jimin.
Taehyung would have an opinion, he’s sure. Tae…he’s worried Tae simply wouldn’t accept anyone else no matter how nice or skilled. Tae still calls Jîn his dam, sometimes. In private.
While he does love Jimin like a little brother and a dear friend, Jimin doesn’t see Jîn as -
- a parental figure. More like an older brother.
And in this case, between the two he knows Jimin will be the more emotionally intelligent - the more analytical.
Jimin shakes his head.
“Well, that’s not relevant right now. But hypothetically…I guess someone who would fit in with Tae and I. Someone a bit younger but not too young. A beta over an alpha. Or an omega, if there are any out there who can hang,” he says thoughtfully.
“Not a strong center?” Jin asks. Jimin shrugs.
“Maybe. But Tae and I are both solid in every position. We could switch it up if we had to. So I think speed matters more. That and someone Tae’s going to be able to work with. Not anyone too…stubborn,” Jimin decides.
He was thinking the same thing.
“There will be an announcement soon. Don’t tell Tae - I’m going to tell him myself. But spend a bit of time putting a list together,” He advises.
Jimin’s eyes widen.
“Jin - why?” He asks.
Seokjin doesn’t know if he can even talk about it yet. He’s still messed up inside. Sick over it.
“I’m not ready. Soon, maybe. But I’m still going to be here for you and Tae. However I can. Maybe I’ll be your new coach, and then you’ll finally have -
- to listen to me,” he tries for a joke, though this is anything but funny.
Jimin manages a very weak chuckle in response.
“Okay, hyung. I’m here for you. Whatever you need,” he says, getting up to pull Jîn into a hug.
It helps a little, even as it makes him tear up.
When Seokjin shared a copy of his blood work with Hoseok for team records, Hoseok knew what it meant.
And his heart ached, even if a tiny part of him felt relieved that he’d never have to watch one of his best friends have a close call with death again.
He assumed, once Seokjin had settled into retirement, that the omega would take some much-needed time to relax.
That he’d go on a vacation with Namjoon.
That he’d start doing some things he personally enjoyed.
But that wasn’t what had happened.
Instead, Seokjin had started shadowing pretty much everyone. Had continued to attend some practices. Had drawn Hoseok into a number of meetings just to discuss how Hoseok tracked everyone’s health and nutrition. He’d even been sitting in on his own father’s meetings.
And none of that bothered Hoseok necessarily.
Even if it took extra time to send weekly reports to the omega now.
But it was confusing. Because as far as he was aware, Seokjin wasn’t getting paid for…whatever he was even doing.
Until one day he just asked.
“Are you trying to push your father into retirement too?” He joked. Only partially though.
Seokjin didn’t deny it. He shrugged.
“Just learning about Kim Skysports. Through the eyes of its most prized employees,” the omega said.
Hoseok blinked in surprise.
Not a huge surprise. Seokjin was smart, Hoseok had no doubt the omega could inherit the business.
But to his knowledge, Namjoon had been the one Seokjung had been grooming to take over the team.
Seokjin had simply never shown the inclination. And Namjoon…well. He was an alpha. It wouldn’t be as questioned in their primarily alpha-dominated field.
And he had family ties through Seokjin. Through the fact that the man was practically a father to Taehyung too.
It was interesting.
“As the team doctor, you should know I’m fine with whatever you decide,” Hoseok put his two cents out there.
A corner of Seokjin’s mouth lifted into a smirk before he smoothed out his features.
“Very professional. Thank you Dr. Jung,” he said.
Hoseok huffed at the insolent tone.
“Of course. But as your friend, I have to tell you that you’re clearly pent up, and it’s driving me crazy,” he said.
Seokjin peered over the edge of the report Hoseok had prepared on the team’s health.
“Namjoon and I are fighting. So…I am pent up,” Seokjin admitted.
Hoseok raised an eyebrow.
He’d assumed. Namjoon had insinuated as much just yesterday when the man had barged into his private quarters, grumbling about how stubborn Jin was before they’d had a pleasant -
- rough and tumble on Hoseok’s couch.
“Mmm. As your doctor, I might recommend you do something about that. Or find someone to help you do something about that, then,” Hoseok said, alpha inside perking up at the thought of getting between the omega’s pretty thighs.
They’d all been sleeping together pretty much as soon as they’d become a solrelay team so many years ago. Young and excited. Unknowing what the future would bring.
And sure, Namjoon and Seokjin were mated now, and maybe pairs were the more modern thing to do.
But they’d always had an understanding that once Namjoon took over the Kim Skysports, once he was calling the shots instead of Seokjung, that might change.
Hoseok didn’t mind. They had forever. Centuries still to figure it out.
In the meantime, he enjoyed the excitement that sneaking around the company afforded.
“Maybe, as my doctor, you could…demonstrate what kind of treatment you recommend?” Seokjin proposed, setting aside the report.
Hoseok winked and got up to lock the door to his office.
“Hopefully,” Yoongi responds, meticulously repairing the wiring.
Jungkook swallows nervously. Yoongi kind of wants to comfort him. He understands. This board is Jungkook’s future right now.
Because while going viral two months ago had done a lot for Jungkook’s socials, -
- he needs a functioning board in order to stay on the competition team he’s managed to join. All-alpha of course, but they’d made an exception for Jungkook.
And Yoongi is grateful for that. But the team was quite…rough.
Not inappropriate or anything. But obviously lacking resources given that Jungkook isn’t getting paid a wage and his only gear has been a jacket with the ‘Team Hawksin’ logo.
And to some extent, Yoongi is aware that they invited Jungkook to join for publicity.
It’s all fine, so far as he’s concerned.
Because Yoongi and his pup are using Team Hawksin too.
Thanks to Hawksin’s status, Jungkook is legally a pre-rookie now. That means something in solrelay. It’s an official status showing he’s not an amateur.
It’s progress. It’s a name to put on Jungkook’s resume while Yoôngi tries to find his pup a better team to join. It’s an opportunity for Jungkook to learn.
And learn he has. Over the past two months Jungkook has thrived under his new coach, accepting the lessons and improving -
- so much that he’s part of Hawksin’s regular line-up now. Their anchor - a position that makes Yoôngi as proud as it does nervous.
But Hawksin’s lack of resources also means that they don’t have the money to buy Jungkook a proper manual board either. Hence Yoongi spending -
- his hard-won time and savings finding Jungkook a better power source. Something to even the field at least a bit.
“Do you think any scouts will be at the competition this weekend?” Jungkook asks.
“Whether there are or not, you need to behave as if there are,” Yoongi responds, finishing the connections before putting down the soldering iron to look at the board in its entirety.
Jungkook peeks over his shoulder.
“It looks good,” he offers hopefully.
Yoongi nods. It does.
“Out,” he says, putting the board down on the floor.
“I want to see you fire it up!” He protests.
“And I don’t want my pup’s life to hinge on his dam’s limited knowledge of micro fusion reactions. Out. Now,” Yoongi insists.
Jungkook huffs like he’s being put upon, but he obeys and leaves the shed behind their house.
A few minutes later, Yoongi gets on the board.
It takes only seconds for the board to recognize and respond to him, connecting seamlessly with his brain and the extra processor he got put in a decade ago.
Once he’s integrated, he leans forward just a bit.
The board roars to life, and with limited movements Yoongi hovers a few feet above the ground.
Looks like it worked.
He can hear Jungkook cheering from where he’s peeking over the door of the shed, fist raised. Yoongi grins.
- to participate in. Including our rookies, if they dare. We can make a choice from the top three or so based on team compatibility,” Namjoon proposes.
The room goes quiet, considering, and he’s momentarily satisfied. He’s spent hours developing an approach that would feel -
- fair and earnest. One that would limit negative fallout once Jin retires.
Three weeks ago he was falling apart inside, desperately trying to keep it together when he found out his mate had terminal cancer.
But Jin’s already had a dose of Vitale since then.
And his mate, frustrated and manic though he is, already looks healthier.
They’ve had a few fights over Jin’s place in the company too, but Namjoon knows they can work through it. They just need to figure it all out. And this is how that process starts.
“If we’re just going to pick a racer from our rookie team anyway, what’s the point in having an open call first?” Jimin asks from across the table.
“Politics,” Namjoon replies simply.
Jimin nods, still looking a bit unsure.
Satisfied, Namjoon observes the other meeting participants for objections.
Taehyung isn’t even looking up from his communicator, scrolling through his socials.
Hoseok is taking notes - maybe organizing his thoughts.
Seokjung has his hands folded, pondering Namjoon’s proposal and waiting for more feedback too.
Jin looks like he’s on the verge of objecting but doesn’t yet have an alternative ready.
Coach Dallen looks mutinous.
“We don’t need extra bodies on the rookie team,” he argues.
Namjoon’s eyes narrow.
“You want to add untried rookies to our elite team, then?” He asks.
He and Coach Dallen have never exactly been friends.
“No. I want to add an elite racer to the elite team,” he says.
“That would cost more money. Much more,” Seokjung speaks up, though he refrains from taking a side just yet.
“But it’s better for our brand to get a racer with some experience. One who won’t need five years of development just to keep up. One who brings value to the team, not one who takes energy from it,” Coach Dallen insists.
Seokjung nods, granting its a fair point.
“Who did you have in mind?” He asks.
“Lee Taemin,” Coach Dallen proposes.
Jimin agrees immediately.
“He’s awesome! I didn’t know he was looking for a new team though,” he says.
“He’s not. But as the only other omega in the league, his brand value has just gone way up. I propose we court him away from his team and make him a better offer here,” Coach Dallen explains.
At the words, Seokjin finally speaks.
“I think it comes down to our intention. We’d be lucky to have Lee Taemin, but if we’re really trying to enhance the diversity of the elite leagues, we should promote a lesser known omega racer,” he says.
“Is it our intention to promote diversity? Or is it our intention to enhance our brand?” Hoseok asks, looking up.
“Neither. Our intention is to win,” Seokjung says firmly. Decisively.
“Agreed. Which is why I think we should poach Lee Taemin,” Coach Dallen interjects after a few moments of silence.
Namjoon mulls the idea around. It’s not a bad idea. Lee Taemin is an omega, but he can more than hold his own on the track.
At the same time, he’s not sure how it would be perceived from a marketing standpoint.
Not to mention, Lee Taemin is 28 years old. That’s two years before he retires, maybe.
His intuition is that they need someone about 21. Someone a couple of years younger than Jimin and Tae, who are both 23, but old enough to know what they’re doing.
And the boys on their rookie team fit the bill better.
“It’s a poor investment. It’s not a choice that will set us up for success in the future, if we can even get him. And that’s a big ‘if,’” Namjoon insists.
At the challenge, Seokjung speaks.
“Does anyone have any other ideas? We’ve heard two approaches so far,” he asks.
Jimin pokes Taehyung and gives him a look, but Taehyung just shakes his head.
“It’s all the same to me,” he says, just barely respectfully enough to avoid being reprimanded. Barely.
Namjoon still gives Taehyung a chiding look. Taehyung lowers his eyes in response.
“What about a targeted approach? We’ve discussed the merits of representation, but if we hold open auditions what are the odds we’ll be evaluating the best we can find? It’ll probably be a combination of amateurs and people who live planetside,” Hoseok speaks up suddenly.
“Go on,” he invites.
“We hold open auditions for the rookie team, but we also reach out and proactively invite omegas who show potential. Offer to pay their expenses to get them here too. Show we’re serious,” Hoseok says.
“That would be good for marketing should it get out. Which it will eventually. But we’ll lose money if none of them can keep up well enough to actually make the rookie team. The publicity might be worth it,” Namjoon agrees.
Seokjung looks at his son.
“Jin, what would you like to do?” He asks, smoothly deferring the choice to his son.
Jin hesitates, but finally answers.
“Jimin. Taehyung. This is my replacement, but it’s your teammate. If you have preferences, I believe those should come first.”
Jimin responds first.
“I’m honestly okay with what you think is best. I see merit in all three approaches,” he says diplomatically.
Jîn looks at Taehyung, who sighs.
“I get the whole marketing thing, but honestly none of the rookies we have are good enough and no one new you try to bring in is going to be good enough either. At least Lee Taemin is competent and won’t slow us down. So if you’re trying to put together a PR stunt, I’d pick him.”
“Whatever. I’m trying to focus. Go bother Jihoon or something,” he said, gesturing to the team’s front.
Mikel threw his hands up and stormed off.
Frowning, Yoongi thumped Jungkook’s ear. Jungkook jumped, startled, and then turned his glare on his dam.
“Leave me alone,” he muttered, pulling up his hood.
Yoongi’s eyes narrowed.
“Try again, spawn,” he said.
Jungkook shook his head.
“I’m wired. I can’t think - I need it to be quiet,” he insisted.
“I don’t really care what the reason is - you aren’t going to talk to me like that. So get it together,” Yoongi countered.
Jungkook inhaled deeply, and then exhaled, continuing to glare at his dam.
And then tears appeared in his eyes.
“Sorry,” he whispered.
Yoongi leaned forward, wrapping a hand around his pup’s head and bringing him forward into a hug. Jungkook settled in his arms, clinging on tightly, sniffling.
“I’m know, baby. I know it’s a lot. But you’re going to do great out there,” Yoongi whispered back.
“I…I know. I mean I don’t know, but I’m not worried about, like, crashing or flaking out or anything,” Jungkook confessed.
Yoôngi kissed his pup’s cheek absently.
“Okay. Then what is it?” He asked as quietly as he could, aware that some of Jungkook’s teammates were in -
- the holding room with them, stretching and warming up but occasionally glancing over at Hawksin’s lone omega racer and his dam.
“I don’t know. I’m just…hyper. Or something. And angry. I want to have a fight with someone,” Jungkook tried to explain what he was feeling.
Yoôngi’s frown deepened.
“Maybe we should go to a doctor,” he suggested, feeling Jungkook’s cheeks and forehead.
Jungkook pulled out of the embrace.
“I’m not sick. Just…vibrating,” he tried to explain again.
“Okay. It’s okay. Are you okay to race?” He asked.
“It’s all I want,” he insisted.
Just then Coach Aya stood up and gestured for the team to come over.
Jungkook moved his shaking hands to fasten up his fire suit at the summons, but Yoôngi pushed away his pup’s fingers in order to clip and tighten each button on his own.
“Dam?” Jungkook asked hesitantly.
Yoongi swallowed down his own fears and terrors and smiled.
“Give em hell,” he said.
- rest of the anchors in the dust.
Yoongi isn’t sure what to say. She’s not lying, really. Jungkook can be a bit of a brat sometimes. He’s aware of it.
At the same time…they aren’t here because they plan on staying with Team Hawksin long-term. And everyone knows that too.
“I’ll talk to him,” he says.
“Good. Because he’s going to go far. Better he learns how to behave under public scrutiny now,” she says, before hesitating, scanning Yoongi’s face.
She must like what she sees, because she speaks again.
“We’ll take him back if he doesn’t make it, but you should know there’s a big company recruiting omega racers for a spot on their rookie team,” she says.
This is news to him. No one’s reached out. He’d know - he’s been acting as his pup’s manager and agent for the past few months when they’d moved off Mirane and onto Liharan to join Team Hawksin.
He’s been stretching his savings and what he’d made from selling the small house he’d owned on Mirane to cover expenses, but it’s not going to last much longer. Maybe 3 months, if they keep living frugally.
So he’s been quietly looking for some kind of job he can do on the side while still supporting Jungkook, trying his best not to feel resentful of the other members of the team.
Team Hawksin isn’t a rich team. But they’re a team that - by necessity - has teammates who have -
- the ability to focus on racing most of the time. Because they don’t have to worry about paying for their basic needs.
Unlike Yoôngi and his pup.
“Is there a way we can get into contact with them?” He asks Coach Aya.
“I’ve reached out already. Sent them a few choice clips of your pup. They’re interested. But you’re going to have to travel to Enlix if you want a shot. That’s where their team HQ is,” she says.
Yoongi’s heart drops for two reasons.
One - Enlix is a huge hub for Skysports, especially Solrelay. It’s one of the biggest hubs. Which means the team Coach Aya is referring to is a bigger deal than any they’ve encountered so far.
Two - how the hell are they going to get to Enlix?
“Are they offering any kind of funding for…potentials? Scholarships maybe?” He asks, even though he doubts it. And Jungkook’s grades. Well. He’s still going to school. Most of the time. Kind of.
“Yes. You have to pass an interview though for funding. PR. Do you want me to set it up?” Asks Coach Aya.
“Please,” he says, a bit ashamed at how eager he sounds.
“Winning nationals would be good for the company. Not this dog and pony show. We should be looking for an elite racer. Instead we have a track full of amateurs, most of which probably learned solrelay in the past few years,” Taehyung replies moodily.
It’s true that many of the potential trainees look very…young. Untried. He’s fairly sure some of them aren’t even proper rookies, but pre-rookies.
He also saw one that looks like an an overeager little bunny, eyes shiny, carrying a stabilized solrelay board, of all things.
He was almost tempted to take the poor kid aside and explain that this was a professional rookie audition, but hadn’t been able to summon the will to destroy the day of such a happy-looking omega.
Let the kid try. It’s good practice.
“It’ll be fine. Whatever happens, we’ll make it work,” Jimin says, pressing a kiss in between Tae’s shoulder blades.
“I know. I’m sorry. I just want to get back to focusing on what matters. And I don’t want to get on the track in three months and look like a joke,” Tae says.
“No one in the league would be crazy enough to call you a joke,” Jimin replies.
It’s true, too. Taehyung’s really filled out over the past few years. As alphas who work out and keep up on nutrition, they’re both fit, but Tae is especially prolific these days.
“They will if we start the new season in last place because Namjoon is trying to be politically correct,” Tae argues.
“Then let’s make sure we don’t start the season in last place. Find a teammate who fits with us. Hmm?” Asks Jimin, hugging Tae more tightly.
Tae sighs. But nods.
“Well try it your way,” he agrees.
- rookie recruits (and in some cases when they were younger their parents - or in cases where they were older their agents or individual managers) how tryouts worked.
But it was nerve-wracking. Nothing about the facility made him feel like he and Jungkook belonged. It was -
- like an enormous shrine to all the Kim racers who’d come before, now retired, and their many wins and achievements.
The only thing that felt mildly reassuring was that the biggest picture of all they’d seen displayed when walking in was of Kim Seokjin - Kim Skysports most significant achievement since winning the National Cup about 180 years ago. Kim Seokjin, who had led Kim Skysports to -
- second place a total of 9 times and third place a total of 4 times. A medal of some kind for every year he’d been Kim Skysport’s elite team center.
“I want to race on HIS team,” Jungkook had commented, admiring the giant image.
“The tryout is for the rookie team,” Yoongi reminded his pup.
“I know. But I like the way he flies,” Jungkook explained.
Yoongi couldn’t help but smile. Jungkook was a force of nature, and maybe a little naughty on occasion.
But he also had a gentle heart and a pure worldview.
“What do you like about his flying?” Yoongi asked, curious.
Jungkook smiled brightly.
And really, what could Yoôngi say to that?
He shook his head and ushered Jungkook along past the atrium and down the hallway.
“There’s going to be a lot of people here. You remember what we discussed?” He asked.
Jungkook sighed as though put upon.
“Listen to what the coaches say. Be polite to everyone. Don’t get into any fights,” he said.
“Good. Remember, even if you don’t make the rookie team there are going to be people here who can help your career. So play nice.”
“I’m nice,” Jungkook protested, looking back at his dam with wide eyes.
Yoôngi snorted, not at all fooled by the innocent expression, but refrained from making any comments when they entered a large indoor gym with a built-in kiddie track.
Because the gym was packed, filled with dozens of hopeful-looking potentials, along with their parents or agents, casually chatting amongst themselves, some in groups.
There seemed to be a mix of alphas, betas, and omega rookie’s from the scents lingering in the enclosed space.
He took a feel slow, deep breaths when he saw how high-dollar some of the equipment was the other hopefuls were wearing, reminding himself that money couldn’t FULLY compensate for talent.
It sure helped though, a tiny voice in his head pointed out. He squashed it down fast.
And then he tried to focus on the task at hand.
After passing some bogus interview where Jungkook had been coached by a PR worker for Kim Skysports on what to say to pass (something Yoôngi was grateful for given how unpredictable Jungkook’s answers might have been without the -
- coaching), they’d been officially granted a travel scholarship to get to Enlix.
The PR rep had also sent them a schedule and some orientation materials telling them what to expect.
First thing, they needed to check in.
Luckily the table was clearly marked.
Yoôngi hurried across the gym toward the organizers, Jungkook following behind them.
“Checking in, dear?” Asked one of the women behind the table. Yoongi blinked in surprise before shaking his head.
He knew he looked young - still 20. A result of taking Vitale at a younger age than was typically approved, but still.
“My pup, Min Jungkook,” he corrected, pulling the boy forward.
The woman looked Jungkook up and down, and then smiled.
“Oh yes. I remember your interview, dear. Such a cutie. I’ve marked your pup as a high-potential, just so you know. He looks so great on camera I couldn’t help myself. So he’ll be in the yellow category,” she said, handing them an informational packet, a large adhesive number, -
- and a yellow sash that would go over Jungkook’s firesuit.
Yoongi nodded. At least it wasn’t the red group. Still….
“What did the hopefuls in green have to do to qualify?” He asked.
She raised an eyebrow before commenting.
“Those ones came in with rookie status already, rather than pre-rookie status. They’re just a little more experienced,” she said.
Yoongi nodded and thanked her before exiting the line, Jungkook in tow.
He wasn’t sure if he really believed that, but at least they weren’t being -
- blatant about it all.
“Everyone’s already changed,” Jungkook muttered, looking around at all hopefuls wearing newer firesuit models.
“I think I saw a locker room. Let’s go get you ready, come on,” he said.
In the locker room, there were still a few hopefuls looking over their appearances, some applying cosmetics, so Yoôngi figured they were fine on time.
Jungkook didn’t need prompting as he stripped off the t-shirt and sweats he’d been wearing and went to his bag to get -
- out his Team Hawksin firesuit.
Only what he pulled out wasn’t in Hawksin’s blue and grey colors.
It was an all-white firesuit with black thread and new black gloves.
Something new, yet familiar somehow. He looked at Yoongi.
“Dam?” He asked hesitantly.
“I took off the old patches so it would be more like new. Had it repaired too, and added new padding to keep up with today’s safety standards,” he said.
Jungkook’s eyes grew huge.
“You didn’t,” he murmured.
Yoôngi furiously blinked down tears. It was a terrible time to get emotional.
“You deserved something nicer than Team Hawksin’s colors,” he explained.
Jungkook positively beamed as he scrambled into the suit.
“I can’t believe it fits so well. We really have the same measurements,” he said, admiring how the slightly-worn but clean and well-repaired fabric of the firesuit fit his form.
“Don’t be daft. You’re two inches taller - they actually had to add a bit of fabric to get it to fit you. Our measurements are completely different,” he admonished.
Jungkook didn’t seem to care, zipping up the suit and grinning widely.
“I’ll look just like you in this, dam,” he claimed, pulling on the gloves while Yoongi double checked the zippers.
“Don’t let it go to your head,” Yoongi teased, happy his pup was still young enough to find his dam’s old firesuit cool.
- there are about six trainees who - physically speaking - won’t be able to cut it. Just being honest. They’re a bit too green,” he said.
Namjoon glanced at the large screen where photos of eighty-nine trainees were prominently displayed.
“Let’s not waste time then,” he said decisively, daring anyone seated around the table to contradict him.
No one did. Jimin was watching attentively, and Tae was absorbed in his phone.
Coach Dallen and Seokjung were nodding in agreement. Jin was frowning, but he didn’t protest.
Hoseok greyed out the ineligible trainees.
Eighty-three potentials left.
“Sim scores next, then?” Namjoon asked. More nods of acquiescence.
It was empowering, knowing that despite all the arguments leading up to this point that in the end his plan had been the most viable.
Lee Taemin had been polite yet firm when Coach Dallen had reached out with an offer a few months ago.
And the man was starting to annoy Namjoon with how hyper-fixated he seemed with getting a ‘replacement omega’ on the rookie team.
As far as Namjoon was concerned, secondary gender had nothing to do with it so long as they were equitable in their consideration.
Hoseok’s suggestion of proactively reaching out to omega solrelay racer’s had been helpful wjth that.
So here they all were, with eighty-nine initial candidates, twenty-two of them omegas.
A more than fair representation.
“Seems logical,” Jin spoke up, finally responding to the question.
Namjoon pressed a button, and all but sixteen candidates disappeared.
Their PR representative, Sooyeon, frowned.
“All the omegas are gone,” she complained.
Namjoon didn’t waver.
“Sim scores are the fairest, least biased way of assessing competency,” he argued.
“But those scores are built on strength, speed, balance, agility, and creativity. Of course the omegas and betas aren’t going to score as highly as the alphas with the strength in there,” Hoseok pointed out.
“Actually, as you can see, there is a beta in there - Parker Crane. But aside from that, strength is included because it’s associated with performance,” he defended.
“But Jin isn’t as physically as strong as Tae and I, and he’s a better overall racer,” Jimin pointed out.
Jin shot Jimin a look, and Jimin smiled weakly.
“Jin isn’t like other omegas though,” Tae muttered under his breath.
“As the only doctor in the room, I can confidently say that Jin is exactly like other omegas, actually, from a physical standpoint,” he insisted.
“I don’t really care. No offense. You can’t eliminate all the omegas on day one. Pick a few to keep,” Sooyeon insisted.
Seokjung spoke up.
“When Seokjin was young, his strength score was lower, but his balance and agility scores were far above that of his peers,” he mused.
Namjoon considered the trainees on the screen.
“You’re saying we should weight balance and agility a bit lower then?” He posed.
Coach Dallen interrupted.
“What about we just…eliminate the strength parameter for full group of candidates altogether?” He suggested.
Namjoon rolled his eyes. But Jimin looked thoughtful. So did Seokjung and Hoseok.
“It may not even make a difference,” he pointed out. But Coach Dallen was already detracting the metric.
The results were almost the same, except for two differences.
Two omegas had made the final sixteen when strength was removed as a parameter.
Namjoon scanned the first name.
Kai Huening was solidly in sixteenth place, happy face peering cheerfully at the camera through the screen.
“A six-foot tall omega?” Namjoon murmured, impressed.
“He’s perfect. Pretty and well-spoken, from the brief interview we did. We can work with him,” Sooyeon said.
“And his balance score was the highest out of anyone who tried out,” Coach Dallen agreed.
Then their eyes fell on his age.
“Fourteen? How the hell did he get into this audition anyway? Did you approve him?” Namjoon demanded, shooting a look over at Coach Dallen.
The man threw up his hands in protest.
“We took a merit-based approach, and he was a strong candidate.”
“He’s not even old enough to be legally classified as a rookie though. How is he going to join the rookie team if he can’t legally join the rookie team?” Namjoon argued.
“We can offer him a contract and when he’s sixteen bring him on if he’s still performing.”
Coach Dallen pointed out.
“This is a CURRENT audition,” Namjoon shot back.
Jîn put a hand up, and his mate quieted, though his face still conveyed his annoyance.
When the room was silent, Jîn looked at the screen.
“The other omegan candidate seems to be of age. Barely,” he pointed out.
A new photo flashed on the screen, showing Jungkook Min, eyes wide and bewildered like he hadn’t expected to have his picture taken.
Namjoon fixed Coach Dallen with a hard look.
“Are you absolutely sure this one is old enough to attain rookie status? He’s at least seventeen? Because he doesn’t look like it,” he said.
Hoseok raised a hand.
“ I have his birth certificate here. Seventeen a week ago. Just old enough,” he clarified.
Namjoon nodded, calming down.
Sooyeon scrutinized the photo.
“Oh, I remember this one. He’s one of two charity cases we invited. Dirt poor, no alpha parent, just a dam raising him on his own who acts as his agent. The kid needs some coaching, but he’s got that rags to riches story going for him. The public would eat it up,” she said.
Namjoon breathed a sigh of relief. Some good news.
He scanned the kid’s face again, and then his scores, eyebrow raising in surprise at what he saw.
“Third overall?” He asked, impressed.
Jin clicked into Jungkook Min’s profile.
“First overall in speed. Second in agility. Sixth in creativity. Twelfth in balance,” he recited the stats.
Coach Dallen smiled.
“Those are excellent for sim scores. I think we’ve found our new rookie team member,” he said.
Namjoon shook his head.
“Not until he proves he can race for real. Being in a simulator is a lot easier than being on a track. He makes the top four tomorrow and we can consider it,” he countered.
Seeing his pup’s pain hurt almost physically. Especially because there wasn’t anything he could do about it.
It had been a stressful day, and Yoongi had known it would be.
But he hadn’t realized just how many things would go wrong.
In fact, the only part that had gone right, other than Jungkook liking his new firesuit, was the physical exam.
Yoôngi didn’t like the thought of an alpha doctor touching his pup, but the polite man had allowed him to stay in the room while he took Jungkook’s -
- height, weight, vitals, and temperature. A quick scan to look at lung capacity and muscle density, along with a quick review of Jungkook’s vaccination records, and it had been all over. Nice and easy.
Then had come a written exam. Yes - a written test ‘just to assess their knowledge of the rules of the track,’ the proctor has claimed.
A horrified expression had come over Jungkook’s face as he entered the testing room, and Yoongi…had been worried.
Yes, his pup has been a solaracer for several years, even if most of that time was as a hobbyist.
And of course he knew the things he was and was not allowed to do while in a race.
But did he know the nuances of different rules? Yoongi had no idea.
Jungkook was a doer. He did things. He was not one to sit down and study without a lot of coaxing and positive reinforcement, even as a young pup.
And judging by his defeated expression when he’d exited the testing center, it hadn’t gone well.
But it was only one thing. Surely actual skill on a track would count for more, Yoongi had consoled, trying to get his pup in a better place mentally before the more practical parts of the tryout.
Then they’d been directed to a simulator and Yoongi felt like a bucket of ice -
- had been dumped over his head.
A simulator. A fucking simulator.
They were expensive as fuck. So much so that Liharan had only had one available for public use (with a fee of course), and Team Hawksin certainly hadn’t had the money to rent it.
He could feel his pup’s panic as the other trainees in line stretched and chatted, clearly both comfortable and used to flying in a simulator.
“It will be fine,” Yoongi had said at the time, frantically looking up information on his communicator to figure out how they worked.
It had not been fine. Jungkook had fallen off the simulator board during the first round, caught off guard.
And the other trainees had seen it and laughed - some good-naturedly and others more meanly.
Luckily Jungkook had figured it out after a few more rounds, even though the settings were obviously off for him, designed to simulate a manual board rather than Jungkook’s stabilized one.
Yoôngi could see the frustration on his pup’s face as he’d tried desperately to -
- compensate for his atrocious first round of simulated flight.
Their final scores weren’t revealed publicly, only available to the coaches, but Yoôngi knew his pup was hurting inside when he got out of the simulator.
Now they were back at the hotel Kim Skysports had paid for, courtesy of the travel scholarship, and Yoongi’s pup was finally breaking down in Yoongi’s arms.
“I can’t believe I fucking fell,” he sobbed.
“Watch your fucking language,” Yoongi chided, pressing a kiss to his hair.
“I probably came out dead last,” Jungkook sniffled, fist hitting the pillow on the bed next to them in anger.
Yoôngi pulled his pup back into his arms.
“Hush. You weren’t last,” he soothed.
“Wanted to do good for you. Make you proud wearing your colors. But I couldn’t even stay on the board,” Jungkook nuzzled into Yoongi’s neck, wanting more comfort.
Yoôngi cradled his oversized pup on his lap more tightly. Bigger than him, but never too big to hold.
He’d been Yoongi’s world for a very long time, ever since that fateful day so long ago when Yoôngi had made a very difficult choice.
Yoongi regretted nothing.
“You always make me proud. Just by existing. Don’t forget. Or I’ll spank you,” he threatened.
Jungkook sniffled sadly and squeezed his eyes shut.
Yoôngi kissed his forehead.
“Shhh, now. It’s all right. We’re going to calm down, and then we’re going to get something to eat. After that you can have a nap while I look at the schedule for tomorrow,” he said.
And then there was the kid - number 7 - who’d somehow made it in using a stabilized board instead of a manual.
But he wasn’t worried. Elimination rounds would take care of the issue.
“Feeling okay?” Jin asked suddenly, interrupting his thoughts, placing a hand on Nj’s arm.
NJ offered his pretty mate a smile.
“I should be asking you that question,” he replied, lifting Jin’s hand to his mouth and placing a kiss on the omega’s knuckles.
“As well as can be expected, I guess,” he said.
“Mmm. Maybe once this is over we can take a little vacation. Just you, me, and Hobi. Relax and focus on our relationship for a few days,” NJ said.
Jîn wrinkled his nose.
“Jimin and Taehyung need me here. The team needs me here,” he said.
“That’s what Dallen is for. He can handle things for a weekend, at least,” NJ protested.
“Maybe. How about you ask me again after the season is over?” He posed.
“Noted,” he said, following Jin’s eyes on the screens showing the sixteen trainees being led through some warm-up laps by Jimin.
“Any favorites yet?” He asked.
“They’re all good,” Jin said, noncommittal.
“But we’re not looking for ‘good,’ we’re looking for good fit,” Namjoon pointed out.
“Numbers 7, 13, 15, and 16 are doing well,” he allowed, tracking the trainees on the screen.
“Number 7 won’t last. He’s using a stabilized board,” Namjoon said.
Jin blinked in surprise.
“Consumer grade? That’s a surprise. I didn’t know they made stabilized boards that could reach the needed speeds,” he said.
“They don’t. It’s probably modified - but it doesn’t matter. He won’t be able to keep up. Which actually makes things easier. One less candidate to worry over,” Namjoon said.
“I wouldn’t be too sure of that,” said a voice behind them. Namjoon glanced over and watched Hoseok -
- enter the viewing room.
He raised an eyebrow.
“Oh?” He asked.
Hoseok strolled into the space confidently, wrapping his arms around Jîn from behind.
“I’ve been looking at old footage all morning. Trying to lock in my bets. Number 7 isn’t afraid to trade paint,” he said.
Namjoon rolled his eyes.
“Just what we need. A loose cannon using an antique board,” he said.
“Why must you be so negative all the time?” He asked.
“Safety is important. I know that more than most,” Namjoon murmured.
At the admonishment, Hoseok dropped the discussion, not wanting to bring up bad memories.
“At any rate, they’re about ready to start elimination rounds. You want to do two brackets or one?” He asked.
“One. May as well get this over with,” Namjoon said.
- that Jungkook had made it to the elimination rounds. One of only 16 trainees who had.
“Yeah, I’m ready,” Jungkook replied moodily, visibly agitated.
Of course Yoongi was used to it. He’d resigned himself to the fact that Jungkook would probably always get angry before -
- an important race months ago. His pup’s body just…processed anxiety as anger sometimes. He supposed it could be worse.
“Stay focused. Pay attention to your surroundings. And try not to injure anyone,” Yoongi advised.
Jungkook didn’t reply, glaring over at the starting line where some of the other candidates were chatting amicably with Taehyung Kim and Jimin Park - two of the racers on Kim Skysport’s elite team.
Yoongi followed his pup’s gaze.
“I’ll see if I can get an autograph later,” he offered. Jungkook shook his head.
“I don’t want a fucking autograph,” he hissed.
Yoongi smacked his pup’s arm lightly, startling the little one into attention.
“These higher end teams care about public image. Control yourself.”
Jungkook didn’t reply, but he didn’t curse again, choosing to look down instead.
Yoongi let the issue lie, content to listen to the sound of other solaracers chatting and talking. And then he heard the organizer calling the racers in.
His heart seized for a moment, but he reached out and kissed his pup’s cheek before he could second guess himself.
Jungkook looked up, anger briefly shifting into more of a pout.
“Dam,” he whispered, cheeks reddening.
Yoongi stepped back.
“Go, baby,” he said.
Jungkook nodded, determined. And then he went.
Not to mention just how dangerous solrelay really was.
The current small groups were racing the ‘front’ part of the track, and Jungkook would be going in the next group, Yoongi knew.
“Mr. Min. How are you?” Asked a kind voice suddenly, interrupting his thoughts.
Yoongi looked over and saw Dr. Jung. He offered the alpha a polite smile.
“As well as can be expected, thank you,” he said. Dr. Jung joined him on the viewing bench, keeping a respectful distance but close enough so they could talk with a bit of privacy.
“Don’t worry. I’ve been watching your pup’s old footage. He’s quite talented. And aggressive,” the doctor disclosed.
Yoongi flushed. He wasn’t ashamed of his pup, but ‘aggressive’ was often considered derogatory when used to refer to omegas.
“He’s passionate.” He countered.
Dr. Jung nodded.
“Forgive me, I meant nothing negative by calling him aggressive,” he explained.
“It’s okay. I might be overly sensitive. As you can imagine, we’ve been called some pretty unflattering things. Usually after Jungkook takes first place,” Yoongi murmured.
“You won’t have to worry about that here. Of course image is important, but skill and hard work are more important,” Dr. Jung replied, before turning to watch the next group of four racers at the top of the track.
“Here we go then,” he murmured.
Yoongi swallowed, feeling sick to his stomach. Jungkook was in a group with three other alphas. None of them seemed to be inappropriate, he just hoped they wouldn’t try to team up to keep his pup from doing well.
“We weren’t given a lot of information about the current rookie team during orientation. Would you be willing to share a bit about them? I know Coach Dallen is in charge. Whats his coaching philosophy like?” Yoongi asked, eyes intently focused on Jungkook.
Just then the round started, and the four racers zoomed down the edge of the starting platform.
Yoongi watched as Jungkook quickly moved into last place by a hair, stabilized board not yet adapted to the speed of the drop.
But he was keeping up well with the other three.
“Coach Dallen? He’s great - really committed to improving the diversity of the rookie team. Currently the team consists of four alphas, but they’re all good boys,” Dr. Jung explained.
Yoongi nodded, watching as Jungkook seemed to catch his stride on the end of the first lap -
- and pushed forward, now level with the other racers.
Given how close together they were, it was difficult to pinpoint a clear leader. The AI on the screen was fluctuating between the four, with another of the boys consistently in fourth.
“Is Coach Dallen the sole coach for the rookie team?” Yoongi asked as the four racers completed the ‘front’ portion of the track and moved into the center portion. One of Jungkook’s favorites.
Yoongi saw an enormous loop coming up and silently prayed his pup didn’t -
- try anything crazy while navigating through it.
“There’s Head Coach Kim as well, though he’s transitioning into more of a strategic role for Kim Skysports. But he’ll be involved from time to time with the rookies,” Dr. Jung said.
Yoongi clenched his fists as one of the four trainees lost his sense of balance while navigating the loop and was thrown off course.
The boy’s safety sensor kicked in quickly, harness activating to prevent him from crashing to the ground. It was still terrifying to watch.
One of the other racers made the mistake of looking down at the fallen trainee, and lost his stride himself.
Luckily, he was able to slow down and correct course.
Jungkook and the last racer kept going, both solidly ahead.
Giant loop behind them, both racers navigated a series of smaller obstacles for more points, the center portion of the course gaining complexity.
Both did well, Yoongi saw, though Jungkook was slightly in the lead.
And then he saw the anchor portion of the track ahead and -
- his heart sank.
The track itself twisted, so the racers would have to twist their bodies along with it. Something that would almost certainly throw them off balance without dedicated practice time.
Yoongi shook his head in bewilderment.
“That’s not a rookie anchor leg - that’s an elite leg. There’s no rookie track in the galaxy that expects rookies to be able to complete that,” he said, standing up angrily.
Dr. Jung stood up too, looking confused.
“You’re right, that’s something we train elites on. Over time. There must be a mistake - the first group didn’t have to complete that section. I’ll go and see what’s going on,” he said, though his eyes stayed glued to the screen.
Yoongi’s heart was beating nearly out of his chest as he watched his pup heading confidently toward the twisted section of track.
“Slow down, you brat,” he hissed under his breath.
Almost as if obeying, the other trainee slowed the speed of his board dramatically, approaching -
- the leg with caution.
Jungkook did not slow down. Nor did he maintain his speed.
Jungkook sped up.
“No, no, no,” Yoongi hissed, seeing his pup throw himself into the spiral.
For a few seconds he was fine. Yoongi watched with bated breath as his pup navigated two spirals like he’d been born doing them.
Balanced. Natural. Effortless.
His form was a thing of beauty.
And then the momentum of the spiral forcibly ejected him and Jungkook was violently thrown from the track.
Somehow - against all odds - instead of landing in the out zone he was thrown back onto a different section of the track.
And he regained control of his board.
But now he was a full minute or more behind the other two racers still ahead.
Yoongi couldn’t make out his pup’s face but he was sure Jungkook was snarling under his helmet as he righted himself and zoomed forward, trying to make up for lost ground.
“Fuck,” Dr. Jung said next to Yoongi, eyes frozen on the screen.
Yoongi felt the profane statement in his core, even as he felt immense pride in the fact that his pup had done as well as he had.
He looked at the other two racers to track progress and saw that the one -
- who’d slowed down was making his way through the twisted track so slowly that it was a little embarrassing, only going a few feet at a time.
But he was doing it.
The other racer who’d caught up had hesitantly moved forward and lost balance after a few seconds, tossed -
- into the outzone.
“Well, looks like your pup will be second regardless, since the other two are out. That’s good - the top two qualify to move on. Though they’ll probably get a rematch considering the error on track selection,” Dr. Jung mused next to Yoongi.
Yoongi choked out a laugh.
As if Jungkook would be happy with second. His pup was probably seething inside.
“A rematch would be the fairest thing,” Yoongi agreed with Dr. Jung.
Even so, they watched together as Jungkook covered the distance and re-approached the twisted section of the track. The other racer was nearly done, still making slow but steady progress.
“Now, slow down and take your time,” Dr. Jung murmured, eyes on Jungkook’s form.
To Yoongi’s relief, his pup didn’t speed up again. But he didn’t slow down either as he twisted his body with the track, somehow - against all odds - keeping his balance.
“No. Stop it,” Dr. Jung said beside Yoôngi. That was when Yoôngi realized how Jungkook was doing it.
He was using his safety thrusters, inverted, to exert force in the opposite direction.
In essence, using the force to generate pressure to keep his body as close to the track as possible even as the unusual shape should have caused him to fall. Like using shooting a -
- laser gun and using the recoil to intentionally push yourself backward.
“It’s not illegal,” Yoongi quickly defended his pup to Dr. Jung.
He knew he was right. It wasn’t illegal - but it was extremely dangerous. And Yoongi knew his pup’s board had to be close to overheating -
- from the generation of forces in two different directions.
“It’s not illegal because it goes without saying that you shouldn’t do that!” Dr. Jung hissed, a bit of anger in his voice as he stormed off toward the control room, spurred into action.
Yoongi kept his eyes on Jungkook, heart sinking even as he mentally steeled himself to argue on his pup’s behalf.
Jungkook was speeding up. And he was rapidly catching up with the other racer, who’d only just finished, slicing their distance from 45 seconds into 14 seconds.
It was shocking to watch, and Yoongi was aware - distantly - of other spectators exclaiming and pointing and loudly discussing the legality of the move.
But Yoongi couldn’t tear his eyes away.
And then - miraculously - he watched as his pup overcame the other racer.
And he watched as somehow, both finished the twisted section of track at the same time.
And he watched as they sped toward the end of the track.
And he watched as his pup tried to get ahead and the other racer kept moving in front of him, using his board’s superior navigation -
- to maintain his lead by a hair.
He knew what Jungkook was going to do before he did it.
Because it had happened before. He could only hope they wouldn’t get thrown out of the tryout.
As he watched his pup plow forward and 𝑩𝑼𝑴𝑷 his board into that of the other racer.
He saw the other racer get thrown off balance in shock, moving out of the way at the startling contact, fearful of getting bumped again.
And then Jungkook zoomed past him and won.
- solidly beat yelling at his pup.
The other trainee’s mother was screaming at him hysterically, in fact, while the father seemed to be trying to lecture him.
Dr. Jung was nowhere to be found, but he did see Coach Dallen trying to mediate.
Not very successfully.
Yoongi lurched forward.
“Is this your pup? He’s crazy! He tried to kill my son!” The dam cried, her mate holding her back.
“Please calm down, this isn’t the place. I understand you’re upset but I think we all need to take a breath,” said the coach.
“He should be thrown out for what he did out there. It’s not safe for the other boys!” Another parent spoke up.
Yoongi was about to explode. He was trying to stay calm but he was about to set a very bad example and tried to keep it in.
“We’ll be discussing this internally to determine appropriate consequences, but it’s not something we can comment on right now,” Coach Dallen had interjected smoothly.
That was when a new scent entered the room. Calm. Firm. Steady.
“The parameters of the match were a mistake and your son will get another chance. We’re looking into it right now. However, everything that happened during that race was 100% legal. To be clear, no one will be disqualified,” Yoongi blinked in surprise, jolted when he realized -
- who was talking.
The man and the legend. Kim Seokjin himself.
Even more handsome in person than through a viewing screen.
“Come on now, you know that’s bullshit. You can’t try to crash another racer! They’re barely rookies!” One of the parents spoke up.
“You’re just mad because my pup won. I’m sorry he’s good, but you don’t get to throw him out to give your pup a better shot,” Yoongi retorted, knowing it would piss the other off and saying it anyway.
“As if you and your charity case of a pup could compete. Isn’t he using a stabilized board? We aren’t worried,” the parent hissed back.
Yoongi’s eyes narrowed.
“You should be. Your pup has the best equipment the planet has to offer and still couldn’t win,” he argued.
That was when a hand came down on Yoongi’s shoulder.
Yoongi wanted to shove it off. But. Well, he wasn’t going to do that to Kim Seokjin.
“All right, this is over. We’re going to take a break to review safety protocols. Racer 7, please come with me,” the omega said.
Sure enough, upon opening the door he found Namjoon, Coach Dallen, Dr. Jung, Jimin, Taehyung, his father, and all four members of their current rookie team.
The rookie team members were the quietest ones. And Jimin and Taehyung. But everyone else was fighting.
“I’m sorry Dallen but it’s just too dangerous. We can’t set a precedent like that,” Dr. Jung was insisting.
“Roughhousing is a part of racing! It’s not like he spun the other kid out!” Coach Dallen was shouting back.
“If our team doctor thinks the level of risk is too high, perhaps we should listen to him,” Jin’s father interjected.
The words - though well-meaning - made Jîn angry. So angry.
He glanced at his mate, curious about what Namjoon thought, but the alpha had his arms crossed -
- and his brow furrowed.
So Jîn spoke up.
“If he were an alpha, would you feel differently about the level of risk involved in recruiting him?” He asked Hoseok.
The man flushed.
“Stop it. You know I don’t discriminate. This isn’t about his designation, it’s about his sanity. He’s a loose cannon. Namjoon, back me up on this,” Hoseok snapped.
Jîn looked at his mate, who seemed to be deep in thought.
Finally, he spoke.
“He’s the winner of the tryout. But I don’t know if he’s right for the rookie team. He’s the best omega we’ve ever found though. If we’re serious about diversifying our pipeline, we need to consider him,” he said.
Then Namjoon looked at the four rookies.
“How would you feel about racing with him on your team?” He asked.
The rookie team members collectively looked at Soobin, who swallowed.
“Whatever the company thinks is best, of course. But…I thought he was brilliant,” he said.
“He’d be a good backup for Taehyun,” Yeonjun added, nodding to their anchor.
Taehyung nodded back.
“I think he needs a little training and probably a new board. But if I had to choose he’s the one I think I’d want to take my place if I had to sit a race out.”
“Could we meet him? Have dinner? See if he’s a good fit?” Soobin posed.
Jungkook’s eyes avoided his own.
“I got distracted, dam!” He cried.
Yoôngi considered the excuse. And then he shook his head and cornered his pup, rolling the fabric smoother over Jungkook’s sweater, trying to coax out the wrinkles.
“Too bad. Now hold still,” he chided.
He adored his pup to the ends of the galaxy, but Jungkook wasn’t yet to the age where he cared to mind his appearance. Not beyond being clean.
Truth be told, Yoôngi had been much the same way as a young omega, more inclined to dress -
- for function rather than fashion.
He’d developed his own style when he’d gotten a little older and felt free to explore the kind of clothes he felt looked good on him.
He was pretty sure Jungkook would do the same in a few years, though if it were just him, he wouldn’t have -
- cared if his pup wore oversized hoodies and sweatpants for the rest of his life.
But he also know it wasn’t that simple.
Society cared how omegas dressed, and being perceived as ‘sloppy’ or ‘unkempt’ wasn’t going to reflect well on either of them.
Maybe in another life Yoôngi would have done whatever he wanted and told the galaxy to go fuck itself.
But Jungkook was his pup, and even if Yoôngi didn’t give a damn what anyone thought of himself, the thought of others viewing his pup negatively - and how such whispers could -
- affect his pup’s burgeoning self-image - made him feel protective.
He couldn’t shield Jungkook from the eyes of others - his pup was getting older, and he was already far outside the mold of what most people thought an omega should be.
But Yoôngi could give him this - could make sure that at least no one had anything overtly negative to say about his pup’s appearance.
So that’s what he would do.
“Dam, we’re literally eating pizza,” Jungkook whined, pouting as Yoôngi stepped back to look at his pup’s outfit.
Wrinkle-free white sweater, dark trousers, white collared shirt peeking out over the neck of the sweater to add a hint of style.
It was understated, but the best they had. It would have to work.
“You look beautiful,” he praised his pup.
“Whatever. Can we go now?” He asked.
Yoôngi gestured to his pup’s feet.
“Put on thé black socks, with your black shoes,” he instructed.
“Dam!” Jungkook pouted, though he obediently moved toward his suitcase to dig for a pair of black socks and pull them on, while Yoôngi scrutinized his own appearance in the mirror.
He and Jungkook were always going to look more like brothers than dam and pup. It was something -
- he’d come to terms with soon after Jungkook’s birth.
Of course Vitale meant that no one really aged past 30 - 35 in society, with most choosing to start taking Vitale as soon as they were legally able - at the age of 25.
Dur to the circumstances of Jungkook’s birth, Yoôngi was different than most. Yoongi had taken Vitale at thé age of 20.
Five years younger than normally allowed, special dispensation made on account of him almost dying in labor.
At the time - alone with a pup and limited prospects, Yoongi hadn’t much cared.
But now that he’d aged a bit, now that he was 37, he found it a bit unnerving.
He often thought he’d have looked better with a few more years of age under his belt.
He certainly would have been taken more seriously - treated more deferentially - with those extra years.
But there was nothing to be done for it now.
He quickly checked his own clothes - simple blouse, tailored trousers, dark shoes - and felt satisfied.
“Want me to do your makeup?” He asked Jungkook, though he knew what the answer would be and was mostly teasing.
“No,” Jungkook shook his head.
“All right. Let’s go, then.”
It was always complicated with rookies because sometimes they were quite young when they started out, often accompanied by their parents.
It was another thing entirely when the rookie in question was still a legal minor, because there were only so many hours in a day a minor -
- could be legally made to practice.
Not to mention new thinking about how rookies should be subsequently attending school.
Not to mention the fact that they tended to need somewhat more emotional support.
It would be a whole headache.
But he’d been reviewing holo-scans of Jungkook Min’s flight for the past few hours, and he was feeling more confident that he wanted the omega on their rookie team.
Time would tell if the investment would be worth it, but he was seeing what Coach Dallen saw now.
The kid was talented.
His technique was severely lacking, but he was talented. Namjoon was curious what the kid could do with some proper training.
So he expected to spend the next few hours hashing out the details of Jungkook Min’s contract with the kid’s parent.
But when he saw the pup and his dam enter the private area they’d reserved at one of the fancier restaurants in their district, he froze.
Jungkook Min. He was a good-looking kid, Namjoon was sure Sooyeon would be plastering his image all over Kim Skysport’s promotional -
And then came the dam.
And Namjoon felt like he might throw up.
Because he’d know Yoongi Min’s face anywhere.
He managed to exchange polite greetings with the assembled group of coaches and owners, including Namjoon’s statuesque mate, before excusing himself to the restroom to freshen up.
He’d just released the contents of his stomach into a very fancy porcelain toilet when the bathroom door slammed open and Kim Namjoon came storming through.
“Is he mine?” the alpha demanded.
Yoôngi got to his feet, sneering.
“Not on your life,” Yoongi replied.
Namjoon locked the bathroom door behind him.
“The timing fits. You were knocked up…seventeen years ago. And you lied to me,” he said furiously.
“Is that the line you’re going to take, then? Play the injured party? It’s what you’re best at, I guess,” Yoongi argued.
Namjoon slammed his fist into the wall.
“Don’t play games with me,” he snapped.
Yoôngi went to the sink to rinse his mouth out.
He swished water around for a few seconds and then spat it down the drain before answering.
“I’m the one playing games? Okay - then explain the fact that you thought fifteen-thousand credits was enough to cover eighteen years worth of child support and then cut off all contact.”
Namjoon shook his head.
“You’re just as crazy as I remember,” he accused.
“And you’re as psychotic as I remember,” Yoongi hissed back.
Just then there was a knock on the door.
“Dam? Are you okay?” Came Jungkook’s voice.
Both of them whirled to face the door.
Namjoon gestured to Yoôngi, who swallowed.
“Go and eat your dinner, pup. I’ll be out in just a few minutes,” Yoongi said, striving to make his voice normal.
“Okay. Um, should I tell them to order your usual to drink? They have a lot of different whiskies on the menu,” Jungkook said.
Namjoon looked incredulously at Yoôngi, who grimaced.
“Water, Jungkook. Thank you,” Yoongi said.
Namjoon crossed his arms when the footsteps at the door retreated.
“So you’re an alcoholic too?” He asked.
Yoongi clenched his fists.
“You listen here, you selfish prick. I have spent years sacrificing to give my pup - and my pup only - a good life. And you aren’t going to ruin it with your theatrics, not today. So listen. You didn’t have a pup yesterday. And you don’t have one today. Got it?” Yoongi hissed.
Namjoon’s eyes narrowed.
“So he is mine,” he said coolly.
Yoongi huffed angrily.
“You had your chance 15 years ago. You declined. You don’t get a second chance now just because you’ve seen him with your own eyes.”
Namjoon’s angry pheromones started to pervade the space.
“Well I hope all that ‘sacrificing’ allowed you to save up a lot of money. Because you’re going to need it for when I take you to court for custody,” he said.
Yoongi’s pheromones flared in response.
“Over my dead body,” he snarled back.
Just then there was a sharp knock at the door.
“Yoongi? Namjoon? What’s going on in here?” came Dr. Jung’s voice.
Yoongi threw open the bathroom door and stormed out.
Spotting his confused-looking pup a few feet behind Dr. Jung, he made a bee-line for him, ready to get the fuck out of the restaurant.
“No. You aren’t taking my pup anywhere,” Namjoon followed, hot on his heels.
“Whoa there - whose pup now?” Asked Dr. Jung, holding up a hand to slow Namjoon’s approach, preventing the alpha from following the omega-dam as he led his pup away.
“Let go of me, Hoseok,” Namjoon demanded, voice low as he tried shoving the other’s hands away.
“I dont know what’s going on, but this looks really fucking bad so you need to get ahold of yourself before someone calls the police,” Hobi hissed, grip tightening.
“Good, let them,” Namjoon snarled, finally breaking free, only to come face to face with his furious mate.
“Namjoon, what the fuck is going on?” Seokjin demanded.
“Nothing,” he said, picking up a stray article of clothing from the floor and tossing it into his bag.
“Okay. Then why are you stealing the hotel’s towel?” Jungkook asked.
Yoôngi blinked and looked down at his bag. Sure enough, he’d tossed a stray towel into it.
“Sorry,” he mumbled, grabbing for it and tossing it into a pile in the corner.
Jungkook looked worried.
“Did Coach Kim attack you? Should I call the police? I…I don’t care if he’s part of Kim Skysports. He’s not allowed to do what he wants,” he said.
Yoongi took a deep breath, trying to calm the adrenaline flowing through his body and mind.
His pup was scared and he needed him. He swallowed.
“Come here, baby,” he said, opening his arms.
Jungkook moved into his arms, nosing at Yoongi’s scent gland for comfort.
“Dam? Are you okay?” Hé asked, biting his lip.
Yoongi held onto him tight, not sure how to put things into words for his pup. Not knowing how to explain.
“I’m okay. Coach Kim didn’t touch me,” he said.
“Okay. What happened though?” Jungkook asked softly, eyes teary.
Suddenly Yoongi’s communicator went off.
He pulled it from his pocket, grateful for the distraction. His heart sank when he saw the name on the screen.
But after a few moments and a deep breath, he answered.
- taken it upon himself to contact the devastated-looking omega who’d fled from the restaurant earlier as though he felt he were in danger.
It was true Namjoon hadn’t given them the full story.
But he’d gathered enough to know that Jungkook was very possibly Namjoon’s biological pup, and that Namjoon didn’t seem to have known about the pup’s existence either.
“Jungkook and I are leaving tomorrow. Please tell him not to contact us,” Yoongi said, denying the request.
“Yoongi. I’m so sorry about the way the evening went. I know Namjoon’s behavior was unacceptable. But if he is Jungkook’s father, he has certain rights and obligations.”
Hoseok tried to argue.
Yoôngi laughed meanly, but didn’t get into things too deeply.
“Trust me, he’s had chances,” he said instead.
“Okay. How about instead of all of us, just you and I meet to discuss things? I’d like to understand a little better. Maybe I can serve as an intermediary? I can help convey your concerns to Namjoon, and help you both work out an amicable solution?” he offered.
- at the pup’s name.
“Yes, I heard that part. Skip to the part about you and Yoongi Min,” the omega snapped.
Namjoon waved a hand absently.
“We were kids at a tournament. It was years before we started dating.”
“So what, you left the kid and his dam to do their thing and flew off to pursue your own dreams?” Seokjin demanded.
“I didn’t know he existed! We were just kids ourselves. I paid for an abortion, but I had another tournament. Yoongi said he took care of it. Thats the last I heard from him,” NJ explained, bristling at Jin’s accusing expression.
“Stop it. We weren’t even together,” he insisted.
“And you didn’t consider protection? For sex with an omega you apparently barely knew?” Jin asked, shaking his head in disgust.
“He said he was on something. I believed him,” he claimed.
“Well apparently not. And now we’re in a huge mess because of your carelessness,” he snapped.
Namjoon shook his head.
“Yoongi’s not the type to go public, its not his style. He’s the type to go on the run. Which is why it would be helpful if you’d tell your father I need access to his friends. I know he has connections with judges in our area.”
“And what am I supposed to say to my father? Do you even know what you’re doing? You have an omega son who doesn’t know you, and you’re trying to - what - take custody of him? He’s seventeen, not seventeen months,” Jin replied angrily.
“His age doesnt matter,” NJ insisted stubbornly.
“Yoongi admitted he was mine,” he murmured, remembering Jungkook vividly.
His son was tall for an omega, with wide eyes and pretty features.
He’d been wearing a sweater that was clean but clearly second-hand. Washed one-too-many-times.
Namjoon’s inner alpha growled at the thought.
His pup shouldn’t be wearing second-hand clothes.
He’d worked hard his whole life so he could take care of the people he loved.
A puppy that was his, making due with scraps…it was eating away at him inside.
He felt like he was partly out of his mind, his alpha going crazy while trying to adjust his worldview.
He had a pup.
He had a 𝑝𝑢𝑝.
And the pup wasn’t where he could keep an eye on it.
Anything could happen, and it was like dozens of urges were hitting him all at once.
“I would have taken care of them. Yoongi didn’t want a pup either. We barely knew each other, but if I’d known he’d kept it I would have been there,” Namjoon said, knowing it was true.
“I think I can work out visitation rights for you, but if we have to put this in front of a judge it probably won’t work in your favor. What’s likely to happen is that they’ll order you to pay seventeen years of pup support all at once,” his lawyer commented.
Namjoon shook his head.
“Thats fine, I don’t care about that. I care about access. Jungkook is half mine. I should get him at least half the time. Maybe more - my home and job are a lot more stable than Yoongi’s. I know that for sure,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter. At seventeen, assuming we can establish paternity, the judge is going to turn to the kid and ask him who he wants to live with, and then go with that. Unless his dam is physically abusive, you don’t have a case,” the man replied.
Namjoon paced the room angrily, trying to think.
“Move forward. Do what you have to in order to establish paternity. Then well go from there,” he decided, before hanging up.
He was still feeling restless, body wanting to fight something.
That was when Hoseok entered the room, medical bag in hand.
“I have good news,” the man said, taking a scanner and holding it up to Namjoon’s arm. Namjoon hissed when it pricked him, but didn’t complain.
“What? You talked sense into Jin?” He asked.
“I was hoping things might go the other way around actually. But no, thats not it,” he said, reviewing the results on the scanner’s output.
“Your alphestrone is off the charts,” he said, urging Namjoon to sit down.
The alpha stayed on his feet.
“I feel like I need to keep moving,” he insisted.
“Yeah, I’m sure you do. But you need to sit so I can run some more tests,” he said.
Namjoon sat down, realizing for the first time how fast his heart was beating.
Hoseok took his blood pressure, shone a light into his eyes, and then took some more blood.
His eyebrows raised at what he saw.
“Huh. Your omegestrone is up too - 34% higher than your typical average,” he observed, before finally holding the scanner up to do a brain scan.
Namjoon eyed his lover with skepticism.
“The Vitale will even it out. I don’t know why you’re checking,” he said.
Hoseok looked at the results of the brain scan.
“I was checking for signs of this,” he said, holding up the output.
Namjoon squinted, frowning.
“I dont know what that means.”
“It means you’re a good father,” Hoseok explained, glancing at the results again before shrugging.
“Well, it means you likely will be. Once your fight reflex drops, and your alphestrone. The scan shows extra brain activity,” Hoseok said, lifting his finger to tap NJ’s forehead.
“Here and here,” he traced over a few parts of Namjoon’s head before dropping his hand.
“Attachment and empathy regions. Your body’s realizing you’ve a pup, and undergoing the subsequent biological changes. Except all at once rather than slowly over the course of 9 months.”
“Is that why I feel like im going out of my mind?” Namjoon asked.
“Likely. We can test it, if you want. To make sure,” he proposed.
“You’re going to test my brain chemistry,” he deadpanned.
Hoseok pulled something up on his communicator and held it so NJ could see.
“Isn’t Jungkook cute in his firesuit?” He asked, blowing up the photo until it showed Jungkook’s face, shy smile and wide eyes.
Namjoon stared at the picture, drinking in the image of his pup.
He stared for longer than he needed, only looking away when Hoseok cleared his throat.
That was when Namjoon realized his cheeks were wet.
He wiped them with his sleeve.
“What the fuck is happening to me?” He asked, voice considerably calmer despite the harsh words.
Hoseok pulled his lover up and into a hug.
“Sirehood. Congratulations. Breathe, its going to be okay,” he said.
Namjoon tried to obey.
“Hobi I’m terrified,” he confessed.
“I know. Its okay.”
“What if something happens to him? Fuck. I need him to be here where its safe,” Namjoon insisted.
“What you need is to lay down. You’re going to feel better tomorrow, and then were going to deal with this as best we can,” Hoseok countered, leading Namjoon to the bedroom.
Jungkook bit his lip and looked to Yoongi for guidance as the other men stood up.
“Good morning. I hope you both slept well?” Asked Dr. Jung politely.
Yoongi nodded back.
“Fine.” It hadn’t been fine.
“Jungkook, how would you like to see more of Kim Skysport’s facilities today? I thought it might be fun to check out some of the common spaces we have available for our racers,” Dr. Jung proposed.
Yoongi’s eyes narrowed.
“Jungkook doesn’t go anywhere without me,” he said.
“Dr. Jung is a good man. He’ll take good care of your pup, and then you and I can talk freely,” Kim Seokjin interjected.
Yoongi knew a lot about Kim Seokjin. Every omega who’d ever raced knew a lot about one of the only professionally successful omegan racers in history.
And yet, he couldn’t bring himself to trust the man with his child.
“Maybe Dr. Jung would like to chat with Jungkook over breakfast then, but neither of us will be visiting your facilities,” Yoongi insisted.
Kim Seokjin raised an eyebrow.
But then he nodded. Clearly the one in charge. Yoongi wondered how much control the omega really had at Kim Skysports.
It was starting to feel like a lot.
Kim Namjoon could threaten all he wanted, could hire fancy lawyers and scream about it, but the fact of the matter was - Namjoon hadn’t been interested in raising a pup. He’d made that clear years ago, and there were records, and none of it could be erased.
So the whole ‘I didn’t know I had a pup’ act…well, Yoongi was pretty sure it could easily be exposed if things went that far.
Of course, he didn’t have money for a lawyer if it DID come to that, but he felt like he could figure it out. There had to be someone who would -
- take a case involving high-profile persons like Kim Namjoon.
At the same time, he was worried about what Namjoon could do to Jungkook’s budding career.
After looking into the man for hours the previous night, Yoongi couldn’t deny that it was clear the alpha had undeniable influence in the solrelay industry on his own.
Adding in the influence of Kim Skysports on top of that, and things didn’t look good.
So he was ready to negotiate.
He had a loose goal in mind: Namjoon drop any and all talk of custody, and promise to stay out of their affairs, and Yoongi wouldn’t contact the media.
He felt like it was an okay plan. Maybe.
“What would you like to talk about?” He finally asked Kim Seokjin.
The other omega pulled a tablet from his bag.
“Several things. But first and foremost, I’d like to know your goal in coming to Enlix,” he said.
Yoongi looked across the dining room to check on his pup and was reassured when he saw Hoseok sitting across from Jungkook calmly while Jungkook shoveled some kind of stew into his mouth.
At least his pup wasn’t bothered enough by everything to stop eating. Small mercies.
“I dont know what Namjoon has told you, but I didn’t know he lived on Enlix, or that he was coaching for Kim Skysports. We haven’t had any contact since Jungkook was very small. I brought Jungkook to Enlix for an opportunity. That’s all,” Yoongi explained.
“And you’re absolutely sure thats all? This isn’t about extorting my mate or causing some kind of scandal? No one paid you off?” Seokjin tried to clarify.
Yoongi’s eyes narrowed, and he started to stand up to leave, stopped only by a hand on his arm.
“Wait, please. I meant no offense. Its just…this type of sabotage isn’t unfamiliar in our industry. Teams will do anything to get a leg up. I was obligated to ask,” Seokjin said.
“Great. You asked. Now let go,” Yoongi hissed.
Seokjin tilted his head.
“Are you sure you want me to let go? Because I’m about to offer your pup the kind of solrelay contract most pre-rookies would kill for,” he said.
Yoongi blinked in surprise at the omega’s words. After a beat, he sat back down.
“We aren’t interested in Kim Skysports anymore. It would be too confusing for Jungkook. But if you could make a reference so he can try out with another team, we’ll be out of your hair,” Yoongi said, interested in the offer.
Seokjin raised an eyebrow, and then shook his head.
“Don’t be ridiculous. There’s no team out there where you’d receive an offer comparable to what we can provide. Your pup is talented, but he’s also going to need significant development. He’s best off with Kim Skysports. And not just because of who his father is, but -
- because we have the resources to protect him the way omegas need to be protected in this industry. I know you know what I’m talking about. Don’t discard Namjoon’s name because you’re angry,” Seokjin admonished.
Because having been an omega in the industry, he was very aware of how limited their opportunities were and how alphas viewed an omega who dared invade spaces they felt were ‘theirs.’
But being aware of that didn’t mean he had to like it.
“Whats your offer, then?” He asked.
Seokjin pulled up a document on the screen of his tablet and slid it over to Yoongi.
Yoongi reviewed the offer, at first with skepticism.
Then with shock.
“You’re including compensation for me?” He asked.
“Jungkook is young. He’ll need emotional support - our training programs are difficult. You’ll be paid to babysit, effectively. Fifty credits an hour,” he said simply.
It was a lot of money, to be sure, and he hadn’t expected to be offered anything at all. His plan, if Jungkook had gotten a spot, had been to find a job working near Kim Skysports rookie dorm, probably a minimum wage gig.
“Jungkook’s base salary is higher than the average rookie salary,” Yoongi said. It was true, too.
Most rookies got paid about 150,000 credits per year on a professional team.
Jungkook’s starting salary was listed at 250,000 credits per year.
“That’s because it isn’t a rookie salary. It’s an elite salary,” said Seokjin.
Yoongi stared at the omega as if he’d grown two heads.
Seokjin put his hands up lightly, almost as if in jest, though the movement seemed mostly placating.
“For all his faults, Kim Namjoon is an unfailing nepotist. He spent the better part of the morning re-watching Jungkook’s tryout clips, and he’s decided, in his infinite wisdom, that Jungkook won’t be joining our rookie team, but our elite team. The amount listed is standard.”
“Jungkook is still a pre-rookie, technically,” Yoongi muttered, trying to think, mind boggled by the thought of his pup going truly ‘pro.’
It was insane.
“We’ll be putting him into a few relays on the rookie team at first, just to get speculation going, of course,” SJ muttered.
Yoongi didn’t speak, still wondering if he’d lost his mind.
Seokjin took his silence for reluctance.
“Of course, the real money is in bonuses and brand deals. Our elite team receives bonuses in the amount of 50,000 credits for every relay where they come in 3rd, and 100,000 credits for every relay they come in 2nd. 1st place earns them 300,000 credits each as a bonus,” he said.
“Brand deals?” He asked weakly.
“Of course. Kim Skysports has several exclusive deals, including with Wings - I’m sure you’ve heard of them. Our elites get free custom gear, but they’re also eligible to be featured more heavily in Wings’s ad campaigns.”
Yoongi tried to think. Surely a brand wouldn’t have interest in a new solaracer, especially one without much experience.
“I don’t suppose…they probably prefer your A-listers,” he said.
“If they don’t offer your pup a brand deal this year, they certainly will next year. Omegas are a novelty. In full transparency, the last time I was featured in a Wings ad campaign I received 20 million credits in compensation. Its not unusual,” he said.
Yoongi couldn’t wrap his head around it.
He looked back down at the contract.
“We take the safety of our solaracers very seriously,” SJ explained.
“Okay. Um…one-on-one standard teaching?” He asked.
Seokjin waved a hand.
“Your pup will have to drop out if he’s enrolled in school, but we’ll provide a teacher who will see he fulfills the legal coursework requirements. Schooling will be secondary to training, of course.”
“My pup isn’t dropping out of high school,” Yoongi argued.
Seokjin raised an eyebrow.
“Elite solrelay is a full-time job. He won’t have time. And to be honest with you, he won’t really have need of school either,” he said.
Yoongi shook his head. Education was important. And what if Jungkook needed a fallback plan someday? It didn’t feel right.
“Its non-negotiable,” he persisted.
Seokjin considered the request, and then shook his head.
“We’re willing to be generous with Jungkook because of his potential and his father, but his education does not come before his career in this case. That’s just the way it is. Its how his priorities need to be if he wants to be successful. Do you understand?” He asked.
Yoongi scowled. But he didn’t argue further.
He skimmed through the rest of the document.
“Jungkook doesn’t need room and board. He’ll be living with me until he’s at least 18,” Yoongi said, deciding that since he’d be making enough to afford a nice apartment, there was no -
- reason for Jungkook to live at Kim Skysports’s dorms.
“That’s for both of you, actually. Our designer is already setting up your apartment within the building. We’ve discussed it with legal counsel and due to Jungkook’s age, we think this is an appropriate arrangement. -
- Your rent and utilities will be paid in full by the company. And you’ll be given a stipend for groceries each month,” Seokjin said.
Yoongi swallowed, overwhelmed.
“What’s the catch for all this, then? What’s Namjoon trying to do? I don’t understand.”
Seokjin took a deep breath before speaking, almost as if he were calming himself down.
“There are certain privacy stipulations we’d like you and Jungkook to adhere to, for one thing. You understand, I’m sure,” he said.
“You mean you dont want me going around and telling people Namjoon hasn’t paid pup support or been involved with his pup’s life for the past fifteen years?” He guessed.
Seokjin’s eyes narrowed.
“As far as the public will be concerned, Jungkook’s been kept out of the spotlight intentionally due to his father’s fame,” he established.
“Sure. And what other lies am I to feed the public?”
“Nothing, really, beyond a simple ‘no comment’ should anyone ask. Accidents happen, after all. Our PR team is going to craft something the company can release in due time, but for now, we simply ask that you don’t elaborate,” Seokjin laid out terms.
“How generous,” he muttered.
Seokjin leaned forward on the table, making eye contact with Yoongi.
“Yes, Yoongi Min. It is generous of us. All of this is generous of us. And releasing a polished PR statement is generous of us as well. Unless you really want your pup’s career marred by scandal and controversy,” he snapped.
“Dont act like you aren’t benefitting here too. Your company has a lot to gain from this contract. Jungkook is special and you know it,” Yoongi hissed back.
“Every pup is ‘special’ to their parents. Yours may be more precocious than most, but there are dozens of solaracers just as talented or even more talented than your pup,” he lectured.
Yoongi glared down at the table in front of him.
He wanted to get up and storm away, and say fuck the whole thing.
But when he looked up, it wasn’t Seokjin’s condescending expression he saw.
It was Jungkook’s - the pup keenly observing his dam’s interaction.
And even if it was killing him in the moment, the offer was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of deal.
It wasn’t his to say ‘no’ to, not entirely.
Not when it would affect Jungkook’s life so profoundly.
He swallowed his pride.
“I need some kind of guarantee that Namjoon won’t seek custody of Jungkook. Because if he does, I’ll do what I have to in terms of the press,” he stated.
Seokjin folded his hands neatly in front of him.
“Namjoon will need ready access to Jungkook, of course. In full transparency, he’s going to be taking over coaching of the elite team. They’ll be spending considerable time together. But, no - he won’t be seeking custody of Jungkook,” Seokjin stated.
Yoongi calmed inside, the raging storm starting to abate.
“He was ranting and raving about me keeping Jungkook away from him. That’s a bald-faced lie - and I don’t want him repeating it to my pup either,” he added.
Seokjin produced something from his coat pocket - a credit transfer slip.
He passed it over to Yoongi.
Yoongi unfolded the slip and stared at it. A credit transfer of 150,000 credits.
It was signed ‘KN’ on the dotted line.
“Some communications are personal. My mate has told me certain things - I’m not calling you a liar. But some words should be between a pup’s parents. In other words, I believe you and Namjoon should work together to determine what you’re going to tell Jungkook,” the omega said.
After a beat, Seokjin continued.
“It’s not the business of Kim Skysports. I can’t commit to controlling your interpersonal exchanges. You’ll have to work it out with him directly,” he explained.
It made sense.
“Can you at least promise me that Jungkook won’t experience any kind of…retaliation as the result of my communications with Namjoon?” He asked.
A disgusted look crossed SJ’s face, before he smoothed it out.
“Your pup might grow to hate Namjoon - my mate is not an easy-going coach. But yes, I can promise he’ll never take out his anger on your pup. He’s not that kind of man. Jungkook is safe with us. You have my word.”
Slowly, Yoongi nodded.
“How are you feeling today, Jungkook?” Asked Dr. Jung.
“Do you know what Coach Kim did to my dam?” He asked.
Dr. Jung smiled uncomfortably.
“Ahhh…its not really for me to say. Don’t worry though! I’m sure your dam will discuss it with you soon,” he said.
Jungkook shook his head.
“He’s really upset. He doesn’t share the things that really upset him with me,” he explained.
Dr. Jung swallowed.
“Let’s change the subject…do you…um…have any favorite foods, Jungkook?” He asked.
“I like to eat,” he offered.
“Okay. That’s great,” said Hoseok, wracking his brain for conversation topics.
Jungkook looked up from his bowl.
“Did I do something wrong at dinner yesterday? Is that what this is about? My dam always tells me to be nice. Did I make Coach Kim mad?” He asked.
Hoseok quickly shook his head.
“Oh no! No, not at all. Yesterday was a bit of a…well. Anyway, none of what happened was your fault. And Coach Kim isn’t mad at you. In fact, he was just telling me this morning how gifted he thinks you are,” Hoseok said.
Jungkook’s eyes widened.
“Really?” He asked softly.
“Absolutely. The best rookie at the whole tryout. Despite your…risky maneuver during elimination rounds,” Hoseok said.
Jungkook perked up.
“Yeah, I’ve never had to do a twist before. Usually when I don’t know how to handle a section of track I just speed up even faster,” he said.
“That sounds a little dangerous,” he commented.
“It usually works though,” Jungkook insisted.
Hoseok counted to five before answering, even as a small part of him wondered how the pup was even still alive if that was his general philosophy.
“Maybe we can teach you some safer ways of handling unpredictable lengths of track.”
Jungkook’s head tilted.
“Does that mean my dam and me are going to be on Enlix for while? Does that mean I’m getting a rookie contract? Did I pass the tryout?” He asked, bouncing a little in his seat in excitement.
Hoseok smiled warmly.
“You did extremely well in the tryout, thats for sure. I can’t tell you the rest, but I’m sure your dam will soon,” he said.
Jungkook broke into a grin.
“I promise I’ll work hard!” He said.
“Shhh, pup. I know you will. But don’t get me in trouble, now, I can’t say anything until your dam settles on contract terms,” Hoseok said quickly.
Jungkook looked at the doctor, eyes shining.
“Do you think you can convince my dam I shouldn’t have to go to school anymore now that I’ll be a real rookie? I hate school,” Jungkook asked.
Hoseok sighed, realizing Jungkook wasn’t going to drop the issue.
“Kim Skysports has only accepted one other rookie as young as you before. In that particular case, we provided a tutor for individual instruction around his training schedule, so I’d say its likely. Again, your dam will probably decide all of this,” Hoseok said.
Now they were headed back to Kim Skysports because a slightly-modified, more formal version of Jungkook’s contract needed to be drawn up and reviewed once more, this time directly with Jungkook and a licensed notary present.
And, of course, Kim Namjoon had asked to speak with Jungkook alone.
Something Yoongi knew would be difficult to circumvent if the man were Jungkook’s coach, but nonetheless he was determined to put down some ground rules.
Hence finding something to occupy his pup with.
“I already took a tour yesterday, dam,” Jungkook piped up, confused at the suggestion.
Yoongi cleared his throat, looking at Dr. Jung, who nodded.
“But that was for potentials. Let me show you the part of the building reserved for our team, hmm?” He asked.
At a nod from Yoongi, Jungkook followed after Dr. Jung.
Finally alone, Yoongi took longer than he should have trying to pep himself up for a talk with Kim Namjoon,
But after about ten minutes, he’d mentally prepared enough to enter the conference room.
Kim Namjoon was in the process of using his communicator, but apologized and hung up when Yoongi walked into the conference room.
He seemed surprised to see Yoongi alone, but not upset.
“Jin informed me you’ve accepted our offer,” he started.
“Its ultimately up to Jungkook, But it was pretty…compelling,” he said.
Namjoon gestured to the table in the middle of the room.
“I’m glad you did. And that you’re here. Please, sit down,” he invited.
Yoongi moved to take a seat at the table. Once he’d sat, Namjoon took the seat next to him.
Yoongi spoke first.
“Thank you. For choosing Jungkook and offering him favorable terms,” he said.
Namjoon inclined his head.
“None of this is going to be easy for him. But so long as he wants to compete professionally, he’ll have a place here,” he said.
“Good to know,” Yoongi murmured.
Namjoon changed the subject.
“I wont be pursuing custody of Jungkook. But I would like to have him over for dinner two nights each week,” he said.
“Why now? After all these years?” He asked.
“Well I didn’t exactly know I had a pup, for starters. In case you’ve forgotten how we got here,” said Namjoon.
“Look - you can tell your mate and whoever else you want this bizarre story about not knowing. But don’t try to gaslight me with it. I was there. I know what happened,” he insisted.
Namjoon rolled his eyes.
“Yes, I was there too. Except at the end when I had to leave for another relay and you told me you were taking care of it. Obviously I couldn’t verify that part. Or when you contacted me the day after your appointment and lied to my face about it.”
“That’s not what I’m talking about,” he insisted.
“Well what are you talking about, then?” He demanded.
“I’m talking about Jungkook’s second birthday, you asshole,” Yoongi snapped.
Namjoon crossed his arms.
“Yes, I obviously missed all his birthdays. I’ll make it up to him though,” he said.
“The money transfer, fucker!” Yoongi exploded, getting up out of his chair so hard it fell back and hit the floor.
He immediately regretted losing his temper and took a few breaths, trying to calm down.
Namjoon shook his head.
“I didn’t send you a money transfer,” he said.
“Your estate lawyer sent it. After I reached out - on Jungkook’s second birthday. A money transfer for 15,000 credits and a cease and desist letter to not contact you again,” Yoongi said.
Namjoon’s brow furrowed.
“That’s impossible. There’s no way they’d authorize something like that without getting in touch with me first,” he said.
Yoongi remained standing as he accessed his financial account on his communicator and typed Jungkook’s second birthday into the search function.
He quickly located the transaction and offered the communicator to Namjoon.
“So your estate lawyer isn’t Jihoon Lee?” Yoongi asked.
Namjoon reviewed the transfer details.
“Its difficult to say. The team I was with at the time - AR Solaracing - they handled my assets. Not that I had a lot of assets back then to manage,” he said.
Yoongi took the communicator back and pulled up his account history.
“Yeah, I know. Here’s the nice letter they sent telling me to fuck off when I tried getting in touch,” he said.
Namjoon’s frown deepened when he saw the signature stamp at the bottom of the letter: ‘AR Solrelay.’
It was clearly from the team’s lawyers.
He shook his head.
“I don’t know what to say,” he confessed finally.
“So what - I’m supposed to believe they sent me 15,000 credits and a cease and desist letter without your knowledge?” He asked.
Namjoon handed the communicator back to Yoongi, choosing his words carefully.
“I got seriously injured when I was part of AR Solrelay’s team,” he began.
“They have a policy where they’ll give you three months to heal on your own before evaluating you to determine if you’re fit to keep racing. The letter they sent fits this time period,” he said.
“I don’t understand.”
Namjoon stood up.
“I need to make some calls,” he said, moving to excuse himself.
Yoongi followed him down the hall as the alpha left the room.
“Wait! We need to talk about Jungkook still!” He called out.
“I need to sort this out,” Namjoon brushed Yoongi off.
“I’m pretty sure records will keep - but Jungkook is going to have a lot of questions and I’d rather be on the same page when he asks,” Yoongi said.
“He doesn’t know?” Namjoon asked incredulously.
“You try telling a precocious kid that their sire wants nothing to do with them to the point of legally barring contact,” he hissed.
“Well what does he know?” He asked.
“He knows there was an alpha involved in his conception,” Yoongi began.
Namjoon waited to hear what else the omega had to say, but Yoongi didn’t elaborate.
“…and?” He asked.
Yoongi scratched the back of his neck.
“Well…somehow the rest never came up,” he confessed.
Namjoon looked at him skeptically.
“You’re telling me he never asked?”
“Well, no. He did. I just didn’t know what to say. He stopped asking at some point,” Yoongi muttered guiltily.
Namjoon rolled his eyes.
“Great parenting skills there. I’m sure that will make this all less traumatic for him.”
“I did the best I could with what I had,” Yoongi said, eyes lowered.
Namjoon waved a hand.
“Its fine. We’ll tell him together - I’m free tonight. Dinner at yours,” said Namjoon, looking through his communicator again.
Yoongi tried to cope with feeling steamrolled.
“We…probably need some time to settle in first. I haven’t even seen where Jungkook and I will be living. And I’m not cooking you dinner,” he said, mind racing.
Namjoon glanced up from his communicator at the decline.
“Trust me, I wasn’t suggesting you cook. We have people for that, puppy. Keep up,” he said.
“I don’t want strangers coming into our space,” he argued.
“We can talk about it at Jungkook’s contract meeting in an hour - does that work?” Namjoon asked.
Only he wasn’t really asking, speaking into his communicator with someone else about historical transaction records from his estate.
Yoongi shrugged dejectedly, feeling a bit lost.
Namjoon noticed his expression and temporarily held the communicator away from his ear.
“Hey, cam down. I wasn’t there during Jungkook’s childhood, but I’m here now. And I’m going to look after you both. Okay?”
“Relying on an alpha hasn’t worked out for me in the past,” Yoongi muttered.
“Well I’m not a random alpha. I’m your alpha. Anything you need - you tell me. That’s how this works. I have to go - I’ll see you at the contract meeting,” said Namjoon, heading down the hall.
But inside he was nervous.
The room had far too many people - he and Jungkook, but also Kim Seokjin, Namjoon, Coach Dallen, the President of Kim Skysports - Kim Seokjung, several company lawyers, Dr. Jung, and even the two other professional racers on the elite team -
- Kim Taehyung and Park Jimin.
The company’s marketing team was there too, and someone named Sooyeon was recording the entire exchange, which made it all feel even more nerve-wracking.
Jungkook looked overwhelmed by all the attention, not answering the alpha for almost thirty seconds, biting his lip before looking expectantly at Yoongi.
Yoongi quickly stepped in.
“Do you understand the contract, baby?” He asked, the endearment slipping out before he could stop it.
He inwardly cursed at the utterance, not wanting to give the wrong impression or portray Jungkook as though he were even younger than he was.
Jungkook looked up helplessly, but still didn’t speak.
“Jungkook, talk to me,” said Yoongi.
Jungkook’s mouth remained firmly closed.
Yoongi surveyed the room. A few impatient eyes, some concerned, some confused. Not good.
“It’s okay, he’s just a little shy sometimes,” he offered.
Kim Seokjung was the one who replied, nodding understandingly.
“Omegas are much more fragile emotionally. He can take his time,” the old alpha said in a tone of voice that indicated he thought himself very wise.
Seokjin side-eyed his father from across the table, unimpressed.
Yoongi didn’t miss the exchange and wanted to answer with something intelligent to refute the claim…but he also kind of wanted to capitalize on what appeared to be an enhanced level of sympathy for his pup.
It was an interesting conundrum.
He decided to leave it and focus on getting his pup to talk, increasingly wary of the camera capturing every detail of the meeting.
“Jungkook, Kim Skysports has made you a truly wonderful contract offer. Do you have any questions?” He asked.
Jungkook’s eyes became even wider if possible, and Yoongi panicked inside, knowing what was coming.
He desperately tried to think of a solution - feigning illness, causing a distraction, fleeing the room with his pup in tow.
Before he could come up with something, Jungkook sniffled.
And then he buried his face in his hands and started to cry quietly.
Yoongi heard a variety of reactions around the room - some sympathetic noises, some questioning words, some cooing, and he heard the tell-tale -
- sound of the camera zooming in too.
He quickly took Jungkook in his arms, letting the pup bury himself in his embrace as some of the others conversed around them.
Belatedly, he recognized the sound of a chair scraping as the recipient stood up, only realizing what had -
- happened once Namjoon was already around the table.
Yoongi held his pup tight, but it didn’t faze the alpha, who easily took hold of Jungkook’s chair and scooted it away from the table before kneeling down on one knee until he was eye-level with the pup’s face.
Then he used his hands to coax Jungkook’s fingers away from his wet eyes, shaking his head fondly when he saw the pup’s tearful face.
He pulled Jungkook into his arms.
“It’s a lot, hmm? Getting your dream? Feels overwhelming, doesn’t it?” The alpha soothed.
Jungkook squeezed his eyes shut but nodded.
“I know - I know. But I want you to know that we’ve all seen what you can do and we believe in you. And you’re going to do amazing on our elite team next year,” he said.
Jungkook still didn’t speak, but he nodded, eyes still closed.
Namjoon ran one of his big hands over Jungkook’s back, rubbing rhythmically up and down.
Then the alpha looked around the room, chuckling.
“He’s okay. Just happy,” he said.
Sooyeon kept clicking away with the camera.
“Jungkook, how do you feel right now?” She asked.
Jungkook sniffled again but politely raised one hand and gave her a ‘thumbs-up’ sign.
She cooed and took more pictures.
“If there are no complaints or questions about the contract, should we go ahead and schedule his formal signing?” Asked Seokjin, pleasant but not engaged.
Yoongi met the other omega’s eyes.
“This isn’t a formal signing?” He asked as politely as he could.
“This is a contract meeting to determine any final details and discuss changes. After this we typically do a very public signing with a lot of fanfare - mostly for the press. It’s good marketing,” Seokjin explained.
Yoongi looked at Jungkook, still non-verbal in Namjoon’s arms, and hesitated.
“I’d really like to give him a chance to review the terms himself,” he said.
Namjoom waved his concerns off.
“It’s all in order, we took good care of him in the contract. I think we can adjourn.”
Yoongi’s eyes narrowed.
“I’m sorry, is your name Jungkook?” He asked the alpha, getting annoyed at the casual dismissal.
Namjoon rolled his eyes but carefully withdrew from Jungkook.
Seeing the pup’s weepy eyes, he couldn’t help but feel hopelessly endeared.
“Are you okay?” He asked.
Jungkook wiped his eyes with the back of his hand and nodded.
Satisfied, Namjoon guided the pup back into his seat but didn’t return to his own.
Instead he chose to stand behind Jungkook’s chair, one hand resting on the pup’s shoulder possessively.
Yoongi tried very hard to keep a non-disgusted expression on his face for the rest of the contract meeting as Namjoon talked Jungkook through each section of the contract with endless patience and kindness.
This was good, he tried to remember.
This was good.
Soobin, who was suiting up to hop into the simulator, looked up and surveyed the two, before deciding to use a different space.
He smiled apologetically at Jimin, who winced.
“Oh, it’s okay - you can use the simulator we’ll wait,” said Jimin.
Tae shot Jimin a dark look, but Soobin was already gathering his things.
“Yeonjun should be almost done in ours - I’ll queue up behind him,” he said, nodding respectfully toward Tae before taking his leave.
Jimin shook his head.
“Don’t scare the babies,” he lectured Tae, who was typing his specifications into the simulator.
“They’re fine,” Tae muttered, starting the program.
Jimin sighed but didn’t comment further.
Instead he took a seat on a nearby couch and checked his communicator.
“Did you know Namjoon is taking over our training?” He asked, confused.
Tae’s mouth pressed into a thin line as he started moving through the digital course.
Jimin skimmed through the profile they’d been provided on Jungkook, frown deepening.
“Wait. Jungkook is only 17? And he only has 6 months of pre-rookie experience? What the fuck? Tae - have you talked to Seokjin about this? What’s the reasoning here?” He asked.
“I don’t know, he won’t talk to me,” he said.
Jimin skimmed through the rest of Jungkook’s profile.
“He seems like a nice kid, but…he’s not even as good as our rookies speed-wise,” he observed.
“Yeah. It doesn’t make any fucking sense at all. They’re turning next year’s season into a joke,” Tae snapped.
Jimin pushed his hair back, out of his eyes.
“There’s some kind of context we’re missing here. You need to talk to Seokjin,” he decided.
“I told you. Jin’s not talking,” Tae replied.
“What about Namjoon then? I know he’s not as easy to talk to, but maybe he’ll tell you what’s on his mind,” Jimin persisted.
If anything, Tae’s scowl deepened.
“He hasn’t been around as much,” he said moodily.
Jimin rolled his eyes.
“Go talk to your sire, Tae. You know he’ll make time for you,” Jimin chided.
And Tae knew Jimin was right. Namjoon had high expectations, but he rarely denied Tae anything.
If anything, the alpha who’d stepped up as Tae’s sire was almost too involved in Tae’s life.
When Tae had been younger, he’d liked all that firm steadiness and attention - it meant someone wanted him.
He’d even liked how Namjoon casually referred to Tae as his pup in public, and how the overbearing alpha had one day corrected how Tae referred to him.
Tae would always remember it.
“Taehyung, am I your sire?” Namjoon had asked at the breakfast table.
Nine-year-old Tae’s brow had furrowed. He’d glanced at his uncle Jin for clues, but the older omega had been engrossed in some solrelay publication.
“No?” Tae had replied, aware and a little bit ashamed that he didn’t actually have a real sire.
Namjoon had raised an eyebrow.
“No? You live under my roof. I feed you, take you to school, buy you clothes and entertainment, spend time with you, and take you to the track everyday. Most importantly - I look out for you. Isn’t that what a sire does?” Namjoon had pressed.
Tae hadn’t been able to refute the statement, not entirely sure what the alpha was getting at.
He tilted his head.
“Did my dam not leave enough money?” He asked, frowning.
Namjoon had waved a hand.
“Your dam isn’t here, Taehyung. Your uncle Jîn is here. And I’m here. And we act as your parents in every way that matters. Isn’t that right, Jîn?” Asked Namjoon.
Jîn had finally glanced up from the magazine.
“Of course. You’re our favorite boy,” the omega had winked.
Tae felt warm at the words.
He was their favorite.
He’d never been anyone’s favorite before. His dam could barely stand to look at him.
He’d nodded in agreement. Namjoon smiled.
“Good. So, am I your sire?” The alpha repeated.
Tae thought he knew the answer.
“Yes?” He said hesitantly.
Namjoon reached out to ruffle his hair.
“Good boy,” he’d said.
And that had been that.
Namjoon had stepped into the role easily and Tae had been happier than he’d ever admit out loud, glad to finally be normal.
Not to mention how much Namjoon and Jîn had spoiled him. He’d been a privileged kid, he knew that.
He’d soaked up all the attention like a sponge.
Even into his teens, he’d enjoyed it.
But when he’d hit 20, he’d started to chafe a bit at how overbearing Namjoon could be.
He still loved the alpha. He still saw him as his sire - undeniably.
But as an adult he saw things a child wouldn’t.
Namjoon was controlling as hell.
And Jîn didn’t seem to mind a lot. But as a young man, Tae had started to fight with his sire here and there, his own alpha wanting to assert itself.
The biggest fight he’d ever had with Namjoon had been the day Tae had moved out, getting his own apartment in the city at 21.
The alpha had forbidden the move, had even cut Tae off and threatened to kick him off the elite team.
Jin had rolled his eyes during the fight and simply handed Tae a credit chip on his way out the door.
“This should last you until tomorrow when the idiot comes to his senses,” Jin had said.
“Dam, I have money,” Tae had protested.
It was true, too.
Tae had joined the elite team at the age of 20. He had over a hundred thousand credits in his personal account, and even more in various investments that their family’s financial planner oversaw.
He didn’t need money to be independent.
Jîn had slipped the chip into Tae’s pocket anyway.
“You can use it to go shopping for your new apartment. Unless you’d rather hire a designer? I can send one over,” the omega offered.
Tae had blinked back tears.
“Thank you,” he’d said, touched that someone supported him.
Not that it had mattered.
It hadn’t taken a full day.
Namjoon had showed up at Tae’s apartment that same evening, hugged him tight, and then looked around his apartment and said that it wasn’t up to par from a security standpoint.
But he’d talked to operations and they were willing to build a separate space on a different floor of Kim Skysport’s’ living quarters for Tae - something that would give him his own space and privacy, but keep him safe and close.
Tae had been hesitant but the alpha had insisted and after a few minutes Tae had folded.
He’d packed a bag and returned home that same evening until the new space for him was built.
So Tae knew that Namjoon cared - too much at times.
And he knew if he went to the man and demanded an explanation that Namjoon would give him one.
But he’d been getting more breathing room lately and he liked that too. It was one of the reasons Namjoon had started stepping back from direct coaching.
Tae wasn’t 9 years old anymore, he was 23.
And not having your sire breathing down your neck every single day was kind of nice.
So maybe he was worried the alpha would take his concern as an invitation to exert more authority.
It was a delicate balance Tae had worked out.
But maybe he needed to take the risk.
He finished the digital track and glanced at his score, unsurprised to see he’d done poorly.
Success required focus and effort, something Namjoon had taught him when he’d coached Tae through the pre-rookie and then the rookie leagues.
He got off the simulator and looked at Jimin.
“I’ll talk to him,” he agreed.
That in and of itself had been fine.
Namjoon had brought Yoôngi and Jungkook to an apartment suite considerably nicer than anywhere they’d ever lived before, and it had been fully furnished too.
Jungkook had explored the apartment excitedly and Namjoon had ordered dinner from the kitchen.
Because apparently Kim Skysports had an on-call chef available at all hours of the day.
Dinner had come and Yoongi had barely touched his food - though he’d been glad to see his pup eat so well.
Jungkook had chatted casually with Namjoon about his experiences in solrelay and seemed happy to have the man’s attention.
But they’d finished eating and Namjoon had just went into the other room to take a call from his communicator and Yoongi could see that Jungkook was getting tired.
He considered telling his pup to get ready for bed - and a part of him clung to the idea of putting a very -
- difficult conversation off for another day.
At the same time, Jungkook was past the age where he had a right to know about his sire, and Yoongi knew that putting it off wasn’t the answer. He’d already put it off too long.
“Do you want to make a nest on the couch?” He asked Jungkook.
His pup blinked in surprise, but then nodded excitedly.
“Can I use anything?” He asked.
“Anything,” he confirmed.
Satisfied, Jungkook went to tear the blankets and sheets from every bed in the apartment, and Yoongi busied himself gathering the fancy designer throw pillows on various chairs and stacking them up on the floor.
After another moment of consideration, he also pulled up -
- the couch cushions, scenting them lightly before replacing them in their respective spots.
Then he moved the coffee table out of the way and started pushing the two larger sectionals together.
It wasn’t easy, but with some effort he was able to get them in place until the fronts of each couch met, creating one large slightly enclosed space.
Pleased, Yoongi started arranging the cushions on the bottom and sides of the newly-formed nest, scooting over to make room -
- when Jungkook showed up with an armful of sheets and blankets and started spreading out a nice sheet over the bottom of the nest.
Catching on, Yoongi helped his pup make a soft, smooth surface for them to lie on, and then worked on building up the sides.
When everything felt right, he leaned back and relaxed, leaving space for his pup who was still meticulously shifting cushions a few inches to the left or right here and there.
His pup had always been particular.
Safe in the nest, Yoongi sighed, feeling more relaxed than he -
- had in a long time.
They didn’t do this enough, he lamented, lifting his arm when Jungkook finally finished and snuggled up to him, wanting a cuddle.
Happy and comfortable, Yoongi heard his pup give a low purr, which inevitable resulted in Yoongi returning the purr with one of his own.
Perfect. Everything was perfect.
Until Yoongi heard footsteps and shot up into a crouching position, keeping his pup behind him with a sneer.
He calmed down when he saw it was just Namjoon, blinking away the part of himself that saw everything as a threat to his pup.
“Sorry,” he managed, glancing up.
Namjoon’s eyes were focused on the nest, looking over every inch of it.
But the alpha finally pasted on a smile.
“No problem. I’m glad you’ve gotten comfortable,” he said, grabbing a chair out of the kitchen to take a seat.
Yoongi felt just a tiny bit bad at that. There was a pretty clear dynamic established, with Yoongi and Jungkook -
- separate from Namjoon.
Not the most ‘equal’ positions to be in when two parents were having a serious conversation with their pup.
Them again, Yoongi knew his pup. Jungkook would feel safer in a nest.
“Jungkook, your dam and I have something we need to discuss with you,” NJ started the conversation.
JK tilted his head curiously.
“If this is about school_”
“It’s about your sire,” YG interrupted his pup, bringing JK into his arms and settling the pup in front of him.
JK went easily, almost always tactile except for when he was about to race.
But at the mention of his sire, the pup frowned.
“Ok. What is it?” He asked.
YG tried to think of the right words, but as always, they escaped him.
His arms tightened around JK protectively.
You know the story of…why I decided to take a step back from solrelay,” he began.
“You got knocked up with me by some asshole,” he confirmed.
YG’s left eye twitched. He’d never spoken of the situation so callously. Though the assessment wasn’t really inaccurate.
“I had an accidental pregnancy, yes. But not unwanted - you were never unwanted. Maybe a little early but sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan and that’s okay,” YG insisted.
JK didn’t look upset.
“I know. You’ve told me this. But I don’t understand why we’re talking about it with Coach Kim,” the pup said.
YG tried desperately to figure out how to get from point A to point B in a way that wouldn’t cause distress, but he was coming up blank.
“Jungkook. What your dam is trying to explain is that I’m your sire. And I know you may have a lot of complex emotions about that - and those emotions are all okay. This is a lot to take in for a pup. But we’re going to get through it. Okay?” NJ took over smoothly.
JK’s eyes widened at the revelation, but then they narrowed.
He turned around, brow furrowed, to look at YG.
“Did you know when we came here?” He asked, confused.
YG let out the breath he’d been holding.
“Your sire and I…we haven’t seen each other in a very long time. Since before you were born. I had no idea what he was up to until yesterday,” he said honestly.
JK huffed, shrugging off YG’s arms.
“Okay. Well, thanks for telling me. Coach Kim can go now,” he said.
NJ remained seated.
“I’ll go soon, but I think it would be a good idea to discuss things a bit more. We’ll be spending a lot of time together for your training, but I’m interested in getting to know you as a person too, Jungkook, not just one of my solaracers,” he said.
JK rolled his eyes.
“We don’t need to get to know each other as people. Actually - you can fuck off because I don’t want anything to do with you or your stupid company. And I don’t want to be here either,” he said, wriggling out of YG’s arms and climbing out of the nest.
YG’s heart broke at the anger in his pup’s voice, and he quickly followed.
“Baby, wait. Please talk to me,” he said, trying to pull his pup into a hug.
JK resisted, a familiar scowl on his face, though it was directed toward NJ, not his dam.
“I want to go back to the hotel.”
NJ stood up too.
“Let’s calm down. You can be upset, but there’s no need for hysterics,” he said, voice firm.
If YG had been able, he would have gone back in time to warn NJ. Because NJ had seen the cute sweet brave and daring side of their beautiful pup, but -
- he had no idea about the pup’s temper and aggression.
He closed his eyes when he heard a chair being kicked and knocked over, tipping and clattering onto the marble as his pup’s scent went from ‘upset’ to ‘pissed.’
“This isn’t me hysterical. Do you want to see me hysterical?” JK demanded, storming toward the alpha, fists clenched.
YG quickly grabbed his pup from behind, clinging on to his pup’s somewhat stronger form.
“Stop, baby. Stop it right now. We can go, let’s just go,” he said.
NJ had an incredulous look on his face at JK’s rage-filled expression. He shook his head.
“You need to get yourself under control if you expect to race for me. Now,” he said, deep voice resonating with authority.
JK took YG’s hand in his own.
“Fuck you and your dumb team. I’d rather die than race for you,” he hissed.
YG took advantage of JK’s grip and used it to start dragging his pup to the door.
“Let’s go, pup,” he said.
For a moment, JK looked like he might lunge for NJ, but he settled for flipping the alpha off and following after his dam.
- him to be cautious.
YG had known NJ for a few weeks 18 years ago, and the alpha had been nice enough back then, but he didn’t really KNOW the alpha well.
And his pup was liable to take a swing. And maybe JK could hold his own against an alpha around his own age and size -
- but NJ had significant height, weight, and muscle mass on both omegas and YG really didn’t want to test how the alpha would react to JK trying to enter a physical altercation with him.
It would probably be okay - NJ would surely not fight back, but…well.
You never knew.
“I hate him,” JK sniffled, looking over at YG, eyes filled with angry tears.
It snapped YG out of the daze he’d been in and spurred him into action.
He quickly grabbed his pup and pulled him into a warm hug.
“Hush, baby. It’s okay,” he said.
“I mean it. I hate him,” JK cried.
YG stroked his pup’s nape soothingly.
“Baby, we don’t even know him,” he corrected gently.
JK pulled back, a determined expression on his face.
“I don’t care,” he insisted.
YG sighed, shaking his head, and then looked around.
They didn’t seem to be attracting much attention other than a handful of curious stares, but it was late, Enlix’s main star setting in the sky.
He pulled out his communicator, intent on finding him and his pup a place -
- to sleep for the night.
Shelter first, and then a cup of warm tea, and then he’d scent and snuggle his pup until JK fell asleep.
Then he’d worry about what everything else meant.
The fact that JK had just violently rejected the best job offer he would likely ever receive.
The fact that YG had no idea what he was going to do for money or to get them by.
That was when he remembered the pup support transfer NJ had initiated earlier.
He quickly checked his account and saw that the money was still there.
It was both more than he’d ever seen at one time and yet…YG felt terrified it wouldn’t be enough.
Then he took a deep breath and put his fear away. One step at a time.
Feeling more determined, YG started looking for a destination, wondering if it would be easier to just walk into the city and look for public transit.
Then he got a message from NJ.
‘Hoseok is going to meet you at the front of the residential tower,’ it read.
YG frowned, already typing out a message that he and Jungkook needed time alone, when he heard footsteps and looked up.
Sure enough, Dr. Jung - Hoseok - was approaching him and JK, body language open and non-threatening.
Even so, JK stiffened.
“I don’t race for your dumb company anymore,” he told the alpha, lower lip wobbly.
YG quickly pulled his pup against his side, not wanting a scene. He offered the alpha a neutral look.
“I’m sorry. We’ve had an eventful evening,” he apologized.
Hoseok nodded kindly.
“I can see that,” he said, as a vessel pulled up in front of the building.
Without a beat, HS opened the door and gestured inside.
“You can decline, but I bet you two are tired. I know a few good, safe hotels you can stay at. I’ll take care of everything,” he promised.
YG glanced at his pup, who was still sniffling sadly.
He nodded. Safe was good.
“Thank you, Hoseok,” he murmured.
With barely a glance, JK took the key and went into the room.
YG stayed back for a moment, looking up at the alpha.
“Thank you for the help. We…have a lot to think about,” he murmured.
“NJ would like to talk to you. When JK is settled. Later tonight or tomorrow morning, if possible. He has a training schedule set up for your pup already and doesn’t want to deviate from it too much,” the alpha said.
YG shook his head.
“I don’t even know if we’ll still be here tomorrow. We didn’t technically sign anything yet,” he said.
HS seemed to internally debate something before commenting.
“Can I speak frankly?” He asked first.
“Please,” YG replied.
“NJ’s shared with me a little about the situation. I don’t want to pry, but he is very determined and invested in seeing your pup succeed. If you’re determined to find a different company that’s understandable, but I would think very hard about it first. These types of -
- opportunities don’t come around often. And even when they do, your pup is going to struggle with being the ‘token’ omega despite how talented he is. And in my experience, the token omega mostly smiles for the cameras but rarely actually races,” HS explained.
“You don’t have to tell me that. I’m very aware,” he muttered.
HS gave him a sad smile.
“Of course,” he said, before continuing.
“Anyhow, I’ve known NJ for a decade. And I know the man is intense, but when he’s in your corner, he’s in your corner. And a pup like JK, with so much raw talent but a few rough edges - and an omega - he could use someone who will be in his corner no matter what the media, or -
- your sponsors, or various ‘industry influencers,’ or the fans are saying. So…I guess what I’m saying is that I would make absolutely sure you want to leave before going,” said HS.
YG pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Understood. Thank you.”
So…he wasn’t sure what they were going to do.
Talk some more today, probably. Try to convince his pup to give his sire a chance, most likely.
He sighed and rubbed his eyes for a few seconds before getting up out of bed to take the call in a different room so he didn’t wake JK.
Then he answered his communicator.
“It’s late. Is Jungkook up? He has practice in an hour and we have a lot of work to do,” Came NJ’s voice.
“He’s still pretty upset. I’ll talk to him some more today and see what he wants to do, but I don’t think practice -
- is going to happen,” he murmured.
NJ was quiet for a few moments before speaking.
“Yoongi…I understand it’s hard being a single dam, but this kind of explosive behavior isn’t something I’ll tolerate from a pup, nor one of my racers,” he said firmly.
YG’s eyes narrowed.
“Jungkook isn’t out of control, he’s just passionate. And he’s allowed to be upset at you for not being involved in his life,” he said.
“We can’t change the past, we can only move forward. And I’m here now. So…are you going to get him up and ready or am I going to have to come do it myself?” He asked.
YG imagined for a brief moment what might happen if his pup was rudely awoken my his sire, before shuddering.
“He needs more time. He’s not sure he still wants to race for Kim Skysports. So we need time to discuss that. You have to understand, pups need space sometimes to figure things out,” he said.
“Yoongi, do you hear yourself?” Asked NJ, before shaking his head.
“Jungkook is a pup. He has no idea what he wants or what’s good for him. That’s why - as his parents - we have to set him on the right path.”
Yoongi rolled his eyes.
“He’s seventeen, not seven. If you try to control him, you’ll only push him away. I was the same way. He needs our support right now, not parental control,” the omega insisted.
“So…you let him walk all over you,” he diagnosed.
YG clicked off the communicator, ignoring it when NJ tried to call back, and went back into the bedroom.
With a sigh, he sat down and pulled his pup into his arms.
JK snuggled into him easily, getting comfortable before nodding back off.
Once they arrived at the locker-room, after having stopped back at the apartment for a change of clothes, NJ met them.
“It’s about time. Your teammates have been at it for hours already,” the alpha said, gazing down at his pup.
JK rolled his eyes and didn’t respond to the quip.
NJ’s eyes narrowed, but he let it slide.
“Change, and then meet me at the simulator,” he said.
“I want a different coach. If I stay I want the other guy - Coach Dallen,” JK said, not as fiery as the night before but still upset.
“No. Change,” the alpha declined easily.
JK glanced at his dam, who swallowed.
“Maybe just for today _”
“You’re a solaracer, Jungkook, not a coach. At Kim Skysports, the racers race, and the coaches coach. Maybe your old coaches gave you some leeway because you were _
_ the best option they had, but that was the pre-rookie leagues. Here in the elite leagues you’re nothing special. In fact, you can’t even keep up. So, I suggest you focus on fixing that before trying to dictate how I run my team,” said NJ before leaving the locker-room.
For one thing, he’d done nothing so far but use the simulator, NJ employing the tracking function to get a better idea of JK’s movements and dexterity.
And JK was doing fine. But he wasn’t flying like himself, clearly unhappy. Not only that, but NJ wouldn’t recalibrate -
- the simulator to mimic a stabilized board, so JK’s balance was very…average.
And NJ was reviewing the movements with a persistent frown, shaking his head every so often.
“Doing okay?” Said a voice at his ear. YG looked over at Dr. Jung who’d just entered the room.
“Not at all,” YG confessed, feeling stressed and on edge.
He couldn’t imagine how his pup felt.
“You’ll get used to things. The adjustment is hard at first, but Jungkook will fit right in soon enough. And he’s young - he’ll learn quickly,” Hoseok assured him.
“He needs a stabilized board,” YG said.
HS shook his head.
“That might work in the pre-rookie leagues, but stabilized boards won’t cut it here. They aren’t sensitive enough - they don’t move quickly enough. NJ has the right idea. It’ll be better for JK to learn a manual.”
“I’m not so sure. I know stabilized board racers take a lot of flack even in the pre-rookie leagues, but I always flew better with a stabilized board. Almost every omega racer I knew that could hold their own used a stabilized board. There has to be a reason for that,” YG said.
“Seokjin used a manual board from the age of eight,” HS countered.
YG thought about Kim Seokjin for a moment. How tall the man was for an omega. How broad his shoulders were. How physically fit he was.
“He’s Kim Seokjin, though,” YG murmured.
“Don’t get me wrong, he’s an amazing man. But he shits just like the rest of us,” he said.
YG almost doubted that, but he didn’t argue.
“I get that, but I just…I don’t know if the manual is right for Jungkook. Even at this level. He does incredible things with a stabilized board, he just needs a better one,” YG asserted.
HS nodded in consideration.
“Well, a copy of that movement analysis will be sent to my databases. I can take a closer look at how he’s adapting if you like, but my guess is that he’ll do just fine with some practice,” said HS.
YG watched as the difficulty of the level increased and JK suddenly -
- over-corrected and lost his balance, nearly tumbling off the board if it weren’t for NJ reaching up to steady JK with a firm grip on his arm.
JK scowled and yanked his arm away, this time succeeding in falling off the board, yelping when he hit the ground.
YG sprinted across the practice room, quickly gathering his pup into his arms as JK sniffled.
“It’s okay, I’m here,” he said as JK’s eyes filled with residual tears.
And he was there. For a split second. And then NJ was pushing his way in, running his hands over JK’s arms -
- and legs to check for sprains.
“That was stupid. Did you bite your tongue? Hit your head?” He asked, stopping to double check the pup’s ankles.
JK shook his head no, but he seemed visibly shaken.
Hoseok was there in another moment, pushing them both out of the way.
“Let me see - give us some space,” he lectured, shining a light in JK’s eyes before tilting his chin up.
“Good - no sign of a head injury. Does anything hurt?” He asked, focusing on JK.
“No,” he muttered.
HS sighed in relief.
“Okay. It’s okay, just an accident. Falls happen. I’ll get you some protective gear until you become more comfortable with a manual board, okay?” He said.
JK’s lower lip wobbled and he started crying softly.
YG shoved himself through the alphas and managed to cradle his pup, scowling at NJ and HS angrily.
“We need a break,” he insisted, stroking his pup’s hair.
“It wasn’t that hard of a fall. Maybe some aspirin - I’ll grab some,” said HS, making himself useful and leaving.
JK clung to YG.
“Came here to fly for real,” he choked out.
YG glared at NJ.
“He doesn’t like the simulator. Can’t you train him on the actual track?”
“He’s not ready yet. So, no,” said NJ.
“Then adjust the settings. Jungkook wants to use a stabilized board,” YG kept arguing.
“It’s not just a matter of stabilization. Our sponsors don’t even make a line of stabilized boards for elites. And the ones for the public aren’t powerful enough,” NJ argued.
YG glared at the man.
“Well this manual crap isn’t working.”
“Because it’s his first day. That’s why we need to do this every day. He’ll pick it up soon,” NJ countered.
“Parenthood isn’t working out so well for you?” He asked.
NJ rolled his eyes.
“I don’t need parenting advice. I need your advice on coaching an omega solaracer,” he said.
SJ shook his head.
“Well first of all, you’re getting too hung up on secondary genders. He’s a racer - period. Treat him like any racer,” he said.
NJ took a seat next to SJ.
“I tried that. He started crying. I’m out of my depth here,” he said.
“I told you he wasn’t ready to race on the elite team. He’d have made a fine addition to the rookie team, but he’s about three to four years away from elite,” he pointed out.
NJ waved a hand.
“He stays on the elite team,” he said stubbornly.
“Then I hope you’re ready to accommodate a good deal more crying,” said SJ.
NJ scowled and stormed out.
- keep falling off the real manual board during simulation.
So…balance. His wasn’t up to par.
But he was determined to keep working at it until his body got used to it. Until he could wipe the disappointed look off Coach Kim’s face.
So here he was, at a private gym open to the elite team at all hours of the day, keeping his balance.
He took a few breaths and glanced at the timer on the wall. He’d lasted 4 minutes at the higher fluctuations that mimicked increased speed.
With a wave of his hand, he reset the timer and then started again, putting one foot on the manual disk and then the other, lifting himself up.
He took a breath to center himself, and then started the fluctuations.
There were different speeds in solrelay, but the most common -
Was between one-hundred and twenty and two-hundred miles per hour. So he needed to work up to setting 4.
Currently, he was still on the first setting.
It wasn’t easy, even at the low level. It just felt so off, the disk shifting dramatically at even the slightest movement of his body.
JK wasn’t used to that level of responsiveness in a board, and things were getting increasingly frustrating.
And SJ - while he still worked out on occasion - hadn’t been working out as though it were part of his career since he’d consumed Vitale.
To Jimin’s surprise, the gym wasn’t empty.
When he swung the door open, he saw none other than his and Tae’s new teammate.
The omega startled when Jimin opened the door, quickly losing his balance and landing hard on the floor for what looked like at least the 5th time judging by the fact that the couch cushions from the lounge had been moved underneath the pup.
And he was truly a pup, Jimin couldn’t help but observe.
Wide-eyed, jumpy, and looking in need of reassurance.
Nothing like an elite racer.
Despite the worry those two conflicting images presented, Jimin swallowed his hesitation down and tried to project friendliness.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. Are you all right?” He asked.
The pup nodded from his position on the floor, and then quickly gathered himself and stood up.
“Yes…um…sir,” the pup said, looking uncertain.
Jimin’s heart sank a little at the term.
Not only young and inexperienced, but lacking confidence.
Nonetheless, he smiled.
“There’s no need for that! Call me Jimin, okay?” He said.
The pup nodded, then looked down.
Jimin eyed the training disk still on the floor.
“Back to the basics, I see. It’s good to review the fundamentals sometimes. They’re the building blocks of good technique,” he said, trying to be encouraging.
But the pup looked troubled.
“Can I watch you do it?” He asked.
“Do what?” He asked, confused.
The pup pointed to the training disk.
“Coach Kim says I have to learn solrelay with a manual board. But my body won’t do it,” Jungkook confessed.
Jimin’s eyes widened incredulously for a moment, though he tried to hide his reaction.
What the fuck was coach thinking, putting this pre-rookie puppy onto their team.
With such inexperience, the pup was going to get hurt trying to race elite tracks. Or worse -
- he was going to make them lose.
Jimin counted to 10 internally, and then put down his gym bag.
“I actually came for a workout of my own, but I can give you a quick tutorial. Just a quick one though - I don’t want to interfere in the training coach gave you,” he decided.
“Did you eat? Jin made Kypherian sea bass,” he said, moving toward the cold storage unit.
“I ate earlier. It’s pretty late,” he pointed out.
NJ rubbed his eyes.
“I lost track of time. I’m trying to figure out where to put your new teammate in the lineup,” he said.
At the mention of Jungkook, Tae frowned.
“Yeah. About that,” he muttered.
“What about it?” Asked NJ.
Tae crossed his arms.
“Nothing. It’s just that I didn’t know you were planning on taking over the elite team this year,” he said.
“I wasn’t. In fact I was hoping to convince Jîn we needed a vacation this year,” NJ confessed easily.
“Mmm. Yeah, you both deserve one. What changed?” Tae prodded.
“Jungkook needs individualized attention and I don’t want Dallen in my way,” NJ said.
“That makes sense. Except it doesn’t really make sense,” he said, scowling and fixing NJ with a glare.
“Which part doesn’t make sense?” NJ countered.
Tae rolled his eyes.
“Dad. Why are you risking our season over some pre-rookie kid with no experience?” He demanded.
NJ gestured to the table.
“Sit down,” he ordered.
Tae obeyed, taking a seat, though he continued to frown.
“It’s whatever, but Jimin and I were hoping to not tank this year. I know we won’t be able to replace Jîn but you could have tried harder than \this\.”
NJ searched for a file in his tablet, and then held it out to Tae.
“Here. This will come out later this year when Jungkook has his public signing, but you should know before then,” he said.
Tae glanced down, brow furrowing at the health report - no, the blood report. Min Jungkook’s blood report.
He skimmed through the information, eyes widening when he saw the name ‘Kim Namjoon’ listed as the omega’s father.
He shook his head.
“What is this?” He asked.
“A mistake. Well, not anymore of course. I didn’t know Jungkook existed until last week when I saw his dam, and then it all fell into place. But he’s mine,” he elaborated.
Tae tossed the tablet back onto the table.
“This can’t be real. You sure it’s not a scam? Does Jin know?” He demanded.
“It’s not a scam. And yes - Jin knows. Don’t disrespect our mating like that. I know you’re surprised but I expect more from you,” NJ chided.
“I can’t believe this. So what, this pre-rookie kid shows up out of nowhere and you decided he deserves a spot on our elite team?”
“My team, pup. Don’t forget that,” NJ replied, scooping up the tablet and turning back to a different document, seemingly done with the conversation.
Tae was not.
“So what, are you guys going to play happy family for the PR then?” He hissed.
“Tae, your brother was raised amongst the literal dregs of galactic society. He’s got a cute face but it’s going to take years to get him media-trained and polished enough to do anything but memorize and repeat lines written by our marketing team,” he said.
“That weak little omega is not my brother,” Tae snapped.
NJ rolled his eyes.
“He is. Or your cousin or…however you want to think of him, he’s part of this family now and he’s going to be around. You can fight that if you want but I suggest you get used to it.”
“So we’re really going to go from the number 2 ranked team in the coalition to number 5,000 or whatever because you’re trying to - what - make up for lost time?” Tae argued.
NJ’s eyes narrowed.
“For someone so worried about their team rank, you’ve spent remarkably little time on the track this month,” he said.
Tae gaped for a moment, and then tried to recover.
“I’ve been busy with the tryouts! And you aren’t in charge of my schedule. Coach Dallen approved of the hours I was putting in.”
“Of course I’m not in charge of it. You’d be doing significantly better if you were still following the schedule I developed for you,” NJ said.
“My stats are as good as they’ve ever been. I know that for a fact,” he insisted.
“That’s the problem, pup. You should be improving. Jin isn’t going to be there to drag up the team’s combined score anymore. You need to show some leadership and set the pace for the team. Work harder. Your stats aren’t so good that you can’t do better,” NJ said.
“It doesn’t matter if I marginally improve my stats if your bastard pup falls off his board during the race!” Tae snarled.
NJ’s expression darkened.
“Watch it, pup,” he said.
“I’m not a pup anymore,” Tae muttered.
NJ rose to his feet, towering over Tae’s still-seated form.
“If you don’t want to be treated like a pup, then stop acting like one and show me you’re fit to lead the team,” NJ demanded.
And then he stood up and turned to the door.
“If our rankings tank below top 10 this year, it’s your fault,” he said.
NJ caught up to him and pushed the door shut as Tae tried to open it, preventing him from leaving.
“Say another word, pup. See who’ll be racing during the season and who will be sitting on the bench while one of our rookies fills in,” he snarled.
“Like you’d risk fucking us over more than we are already,” he tried calling the other’s bluff.
NJ laughed harshly.
“You’re a good solaracer, Tae. You have the potential to be great if you’d work a little harder. But everyone’s replaceable. And you’re about to find that out if you don’t cut the attitude,” he said.
Tae said nothing, non-responsive at the threat of losing his position on the team.
After a few moments, NJ took his hand off the front door, and regarded his angry pup.
Sighing, he moved to take Tae into his arms, ignoring Tae when the younger alpha tried backing away.
Tae eventually succumbed to the hug but continued to scowl while being consoled and held.
NJ kissed his pup’s hair when Tae finally relaxed into his arms.
“I’d never throw you off the team. You know that. But you need to trust that I know what I’m doing,” he said soothingly.
“I trust you. I just think you’re emotionally compromised over this pup and it’s skewing your judgment,” Tae muttered resentfully.
“Over this pup, huh? What about all those times I stayed up late working with you to improve your race? What about the times I fought with your coaches to put you into races above kiddies with better times because I knew you were the right choice? What about the times I -
- told your grandfather he could go straight to hell when he tried to pull you out of racing and send you to private school? We’re all those things nothing?” NJ asked.
Tae ducked his head.
“It’s not…it’s not emotional compromise when it’s me. You’re my sire,” he murmured.
NJ shook his head and kissed his pup’s hair again.
“That’s right. I am. So do me a favor and behave. Trust me to do what’s best for the team. I’d never jeopardize your career,” he said firmly.
Tae didn’t look convinced. But he nodded without further argument.
NJ released him after one final squeeze, and guided him back into a chair at the kitchen table.
“Sit down. You need to eat something real for once,” he said.
“It’s literally impossible for me to hit my nutritional needs through food alone. Protein cubes are easier,” Tae argued, though he obediently sat down and watched as NJ pulled food from the cooking unit and started heating it up.
“I don’t care. Those cubes aren’t meant to be consumed at every meal. Your gut microbiome needs greater variation before you start taking Vitale. I want you eating at least one proper meal per day this season,” he ordered.
Tae pouted a bit, muttering about not having the time to eat full meals. But he didn’t argue further as his sire fixed him a plate of leftovers and then popped it down in front of him.
“Eat. I’m going to have a word with the team chef too and have them start delivering you dinner after evening practices. Either that or you can come home and eat with me and Jin. Your choice,” the alpha insisted.
Tae picked at the Kypherian sea bass on his plate, resigned.
“If this is about drinking, the prohibition against alcohol still stands. It’s training season - there’s no such thing as a ‘night off,’” he insisted.
Jimin shrugged his shoulders good-naturedly.
“Well, that’s great to know. But no, this isn’t about drinking,” he said.
Dr. Jung gestured to a chair, moving some documents out of the way.
“By all means, have a seat. I’m at your disposal, Jimin,” he said.
The alpha racer took the offered spot, mulling over his questions and arguments. He’d been rehearsing them in his head for the past 3 days -
- but he knew if his plan was going to work then everything needed to be handled exactly right.
And it all started with Dr. Jung.
“I have concerns that aren’t exactly my business. But I feel like I have an obligation to express them anyway,” Jimin began carefully.
“An obligation, hmm? To whom?”
asked Dr. Jung.
Jimin wrung his hands on his lap - a bit of calculated body language.
“The team. And Jungkook,” Jimin admitted.
Dr. Jung sighed.
“Jimin, I understand he’s very young and very raw, but Coach Kim is working with him one-on-one to get him where he needs to be. You need to trust us,” he said.
“I do. That’s why I waited a few days to be sure before I came to you for advice. But now that I’ve seen what I’ve seen, I feel convinced that it’s worth bringing to your attention,” the alpha insisted.
Dr. Jung uncrossed his arms.
“All right,” he said, listening.
Jimin touched his watch and within a few moments, Dr. Jung received a file on his tablet.
Curious, he opened the file and saw Jungkook balancing on a manual board, some notes about the way the omega was standing in the margins of the file.
“Jimin, I’ve been doing a movement analysis on Jungkook every day. I’m aware his stance is a little off. But Coach Kim is working on correcting it,” Dr. Jung insisted.
“That’s not what I’m trying to show you. Please keep watching,” Jimin encouraged the man.
With a shake of his head, Dr. Jung turned his eyes back to the file.
He watched as Jimin spoke to the young omega, encouraging him and even demonstrating the proper form.
Jungkook obediently mimicked the alpha, and he was obviously improving from the direct observation.
He seemed much more relaxed than usual too.
After a few moments, the Jimin in the file threw something at Jungkook’s head.
Startled, the young omega ducked out of the way, nearly falling off the board though he just /barely/ managed to keep his balance by widening his hips.
After a few wobbly moments, the omega stayed on the board and seemed pleased.
But Dr. Jung wasn’t interested in what came after.
He rewound the file so he could watch the way the omega’s body moved again, seeing how the pup bent his knees - the usual way a racer would correct their balance - but also subtly widened his hips and even spread his legs just a bit.
Not enough that you’d notice it much -
- on an ordinary day.
But much more pronounced than what the young omega ever did in practice.
During practice, Jungkook had simply been falling off his board rather than correcting his stance /like an omega./
Dr. Jung frowned.
“He’s hiding how he moves. Masking,” he said out loud.
Jimin tilted his head.
“I have an alternative hypothesis,” the racer offered.
“He’s not hiding because he’s trying to deceive anyone. He doesn’t balance properly during practice because he’s extremely aware that his fellow racers move differently and he probably assumes that fixing it is part of improvement,” said Jimin.
Dr. Jung sighed.
“All right. Well I’ll think about this. But this was a good find. Thank you for bringing it to my attention, Jimin,” said Dr. Jung.
“That’s part of why I’m here. But I also did a little research on omegas and the way they move on a board. Did you know that stabilized boards require a lower percentage of muscle mass in order to manipulate? And that most sports scientists think it’s one of the reasons -
- omegas do so much better with them?” The alpha posed.
Dr. Jung sighed.
“There’s no way in hell I’ll be able to convince Coach Kim that Jungkook should be using a stabilized board,” he said, standing up.
Jimin stayed stubbornly in his seat.
“But you could convince Seokjin,” he said.
Dr. Jung’s eyes widened.
“Seokjin’s chosen to leave this matter to Coach Kim. And I think that’s the right choice,” he said, gesturing to the door firmly.
Jimin finally got up.
“Please, just consider it. Or at least look into it a little more? I know I could be wrong - I know Seokjin can use a manual board just fine. But would it hurt to glance at the research?” The alpha begged.
“Have a good morning, Jimin,” said Dr. Jung.
And then he’d dug through a number of studies looking for information on omegas that were neither Seokjin nor Jungkook, and he’d compared their forms on a board as well.
The picture was coming together.
Jungkook moved like an omega. The differences were subtle, but they were there.
Seokjin was the one who was unusual because the omega moved just like an alpha, in a way that was probably somewhat unnatural to even himself. Or probably had been when he’d been younger.
And on some level it made sense, because Seokjin might have had the face of an omega.
But there was nothing soft about his body. His hips were far more narrow than the average omega - he was in the 5th percentile.
He had biceps that were nearly as thick as Namjoon’s - probably bringing up his center of gravity toward a place closer to an alpha’s given the extra mass.
His shoulders were naturally broad.
And he’d eaten a high-protein, low-carb diet for most of his formative years and -
- well into adulthood.
Seokjin was built like an alpha, both genetically and environmentally. So moving like one wasn’t hard for him.
Jungkook was built like an omega. Moving like an alpha was going to be incredibly hard for him.
“Needs more muscles. A lot more muscles,” Hoseok muttered, re-visiting some of his projections from last week.
Then he shook his head.
It wasn’t going to be healthy. Even if they watched him carefully, getting Jungkook to where he needed to be physically in order to -
- perform at a high enough level to keep up with Jimin and Taehyung was going to take at least a year.
And the omega was going to have to lose most of his body fat and put on muscle in its place.
And since such a low percentage of body fat wasn’t typical for omegas, it was going to be a nightmare for everyone involved.
It would probably cause amenorrhea since Jungkook’s body wasn’t naturally built that way.
He shook his head.
“I’m trying to find a solution before I tell him that his pup is going to hit a natural plateau soon and the only way forward is to effectively starve the kid,” Hoseok replied.
“Mmm. It’s surprising, but not terribly. I never realized I was such a freak of nature, but looking back racing came much more easily to me than to other omegas. I thought they just didn’t work hard enough,” Seokjin admitted.
“A combination of both things, I’m guessing, since I know you took your training to the extreme,” he said.
“I didn’t have a choice. My father didn’t like the idea of me racing at all. If I’d have been average, even amongst the best, I’d probably have found myself retired and shipped off to a finishing school,” he said.
“Your father certainly respects you now,” he said.
Seokjin chuckled, taking a sip of the glass of wine they were sharing.
“Of course he does. I made him.”
“That you did,” Hoseok agreed, toasting to the other before drinking.
After a few minutes passed, the doctor peered up at Seokjin.
“What would you do if you were in my position? About Jungkook?” He asked.
“You’re trying very hard to make this my problem, Hobi. I’m not sure I appreciate that,” he said.
Hoseok put his hands up.
“We can change the subject. I know it’s not your responsibility - not even close,” he said.
Seokjin rolled his eyes.
“It shouldn’t be, no. But I can’t seem to get any peace these days,” he said.
Hoseok was the one to raise an eyebrow this time.
“Peace from your team? From Namjoon’s out-of-control hormones? Or from something else?” He asked.
Seokjin took another bite of fish, chewing thoughtfully before answering.
“Peace from answering questions,” he said finally.
“Forgive me for pushing,” he apologized immediately.
For the rest of the meal they ate companionably, Hoseok holding one of Seokjin’s hands in his own as they discussed a book the other was reading, what Taehyung had been up to lately, and tentative plans for the long-discussed vacation they’d been planning for years.
It pained him to deliberately remove himself, but he knew it was important that Jungkook learn to communicate directly with Namjoon - at least as a coach.
And he wasn’t sure it would happen if he was constantly hovering.
So he was still in the room, but watching at the other end, gritting his teeth as Namjoon kept forcing his pup to run through the same exact simulation again and again.
And Jungkook was clearly frustrated too.
But neither Yoongi nor Jungkook were in charge.
So Yoongi kept his thoughts to himself and tried to think about something more productive.
Like what he and Namjoon were going to do in terms of parenting.
Because Namjoon had been clear that he wanted Jungkook in his life as his pup too, but Jungkook had openly refused all overtures the alpha had made so far, and Yoongi knew that telling Namjoon he should just give it a rest for a while would probably backfire.
But he wasn’t sure how to proceed.
Did he encourage his pup to get to know his father when Yoôngi didn’t really even know Namjoon outside of the fact that the alpha had been a decent lover 18 years ago, he was wealthy now, and he was domineering as hell.
Yoongi was still thinking about his life choices when Kim Seokjin came strolling through the doors of the practice room, somehow looking both bored and busy.
Namjoon and Jungkook both stopped what they were doing when the omega walked in, but Seokjin didn’t greet or speak to either.
Instead he walked over to where Yoongi was sitting down on the couch, gracefully sat down next to the other omega, and then waved a hand - as if telling them to continue.
In quiet amazement, Yoongi watched as Namjoon immediately went back to the lesson.
Then he had the decency to feel a little ashamed at the fact that he’d upended this omega’s life, even if he hadn’t done it intentionally.
He kept quiet, eyes on his pup’s form, hoping Jungkook didn’t lose his temper.
“I’m told you raced back in the day,” Kim Seokjin said after a few moments of silence.
“Rookie leagues on Mirane - near the Quarian moon. A long time ago,” he said.
“Mmmm. And what kind of board did you use?” He asked.
Yoongi felt only a touch of embarrassment.
“Mostly a stabilized board. I had a manual too,” he admitted.
Seokjin glanced at Yoongi, taking in the other’s form.
“Frankly, you look too small to use a manual board,” he said.
Yoongi bristled, but tried to keep the sarcasm from his voice.
Kim Seokjin was a powerful figure. Yoongi needed to think of Jungkook too.
“It wasn’t easy,” he said instead of quipping back.
“I can see why Namjoon fell for you. You’re an ideal omega. A natural dam. Small enough that no one would ever mistake you for an alpha. Pretty face. Agreeable. I’m sure you’ve never had any trouble getting the alphas you wanted,” Seokjin said.
Yoongi blinked, wondering if he was dreaming.
Was Kim Seokjin…trying to fight with him? Flirting with him? Calling him easy?
He had no idea.
“I’ve had 17 years to practice being a dam,” he said finally.
“I’ve had as long as that to practice with my nephew, and somehow it still doesn’t come naturally,” Seokjin replied carelessly, before gesturing to Namjoon.
“That one - he’s a typical alpha. An idiot more than half the time. But I’ll give him one thing - parenthood has always come easy to him. He always knows exactly what to say,” he murmured, before sighing and shaking his head.
“Forgive me. I didn’t come here to discuss my personal life with you,” he said, before standing up to get Namjoon’s attention.
Namjoon paused where he was correcting Jungkook’s form, glancing over at his mate.
He’d been prepared to watch his pup do about 10 minutes before heading back to their apartment, and was surprised when Jungkook instead jogged on the treadmill for the entirety of the rest of their practice time - 34 minutes - before turning off the machine sweaty but happy.
“I’m getting stronger, dam,” Jungkook observed, wiping his face with a towel.
“That you are,” he agreed.
“Can we have pizza for dinner?” Asked Jungkook, packing up his bag.
“Extra ham, extra cheese?” Asked Yoongi.
“No. Just regular ham and cheese. Training,” said Jungkook.
“Regular it is,” he said, taking the sweat-soaked towel from his pup and depositing it into the cleaning slot.
“Of course he’s adapting. He’s naturally gifted. That’s not what I was getting at - I said he’s not going to be able to adapt ‘quickly enough,’” SJ retorted.
“Given you’ve been clear you don’t want to get involved, that’s not for you to worry about. Just keep enjoying your time off and leave the team to me. I’ll get him there. That’s all you need to know,” the alpha said.
SJ’s eyes narrowed.
“Careful, Namjoonie. You might be the team’s coach, but we both know I built that team from the bottom-up. They’re as much mine as they are yours. Remember that, or I’ll find a way to remind you,” he replied.
“We can have that fight if you like. Just remember you’re the one who asked for it,” NJ said, tone becoming almost conversational.
SJ took a step toward the alpha, features marred with anger.
The omega slowly put his hands on the alpha’s chest, not applying pressure - just resting them there.
“I’m not your enemy. You idiot,” the omega hissed.
NJ raised an eyebrow.
“You’re certainly acting like it. Thinking you can talk badly about one of our pups. I know you never wanted to be a dam, but I suppose I expected you to at least be indifferent towards them since we have them now.”
SJ shoved the alpha - hard - causing him to stumble back several steps.
“How dare you. I love Taehyung and you know that. I’ve always loved him,” he snarled, fuming.
“Love isn’t the same as attention and care. Pups need more than positive regard. They need time, guidance, emotional support, and physical affection,” he insisted.
SJ threw his hands into the air in frustration.
“I know your hormones are all over the place, but this would be a great time for you to remember that Jungkook is not OUR pup, he’s YOURS,” he snarled.
“Semantics. Him being mine makes him yours. Just like Taehyung being yours makes him mine.”
SJ got in NJ’s face and shoved him back two more steps.
“Tae was my sister’s, he didn’t become mine until YOU decided he was moving in with us permanently. Because you’re a chest-thumping knothead who saw an opportunity to bring a pup into our home without consulting me first!” He shouted.
NJ planted his feet.
“Tae belonged with us, not that bitch. You know I’m right. She treated that pup like dirt. I wouldn’t have left a dog with her, much less a pup.”
“But you should have discussed it with me first! That’s the point!” SJ cried.
NJ shook his head.
“You’re getting emotional. Maybe you should lay down,” he suggested meanly.
SJ clenched his fists.
“You know what? Let’s just have the fight. I’ll feel better after that,” he said.
NJ had one second of warning before his very strong, very pissed, and still highly athletic mate took a swing at him.
Now that the two days were up, they were back in the simulation gym, and YG had observed NJ’s black eye from the moment they’d walked in.
He’d blinked in surprise at first.
But after observing other bruises which looked suspiciously like bites subtly hidden beneath the collar of the alpha’s shirt, he decided not to comment, focused instead on helping JK warm up.
It had nothing to do with him, after all. He wasn’t NJ’s mate, and YG was very aware that even if the alpha had said certain things in the heat of the moment, NJ didn’t have interest in YG outside of their pup.
And YG had no interest back either. Not to a mated alpha.
Especially a mated alpha who was an asshole.
Especially a mated alpha with an omega that could probably go a few rounds in a brawl with an alpha without issue.
Nodding to himself and feeling affirmed, YG continued to help JK stretch properly as NJ took a seat on a mat near the two of them, watching.
“Jungkook. You’ve made progress over the past few weeks, but we need to ramp up your training,” said the alpha suddenly.
JK perked up at the news.
“The track?” He asked, excited to get out of the simulator and back on a proper board. Even if the board was a manual.
NJ shook his head.
“Your diet,” he said.
YG quickly intervened.
“We’ve been eating healthier lately. I know it’s important,” he said.
NJ turned his attention to the omega.
“Define ‘better,’” he said.
“Ah…well, you know. Food. Eating at home. No candy,” he said vaguely.
“Pizza without extra cheese or extra toppings and skip the breadsticks,” JK offered up.
If it weren’t for the bruising, YG was sure the alpha’s left eye would be twitching judging from his expression in response to JK’s words.
“Excuse me?” Asked NJ, voice firming up.
“Not often! Just once in a while. As a treat!” YG tried to do damage control.
NJ shook his head.
“No. Not even as a treat. Not when we’re training,” he said, considering his next words before speaking.
“You have three options. Hoseok is developing a meal plan for you. Your dam can cook the food - and only the food - on that plan. Or our company chef will cook deliver your food for each meal,” he said.
JK wrinkled his nose.
“What if i don’t like it?” He asked.
NJ didn’t respond, ignoring the pup’s question and looking at Yoongi.
“The other option is for me to cook his meals. Which I’m fine with. I used to do it for Taehyung - his teammate. He’ll join me for two meals a day and you can handle the third,” he offered.
“That’s not necessary. I’ll cook,” he said.
NJ nodded, and then looked at JK.
“Go and warm up on the simulator. Your dam and I will be along in a moment,” he advised.
“Why? What are you going to talk about?” He challenged.
NJ’s scent grew more dominating and YG quickly tapped JK’s rear with his open palm.
“Focus. Simulator. Now. Go,” he encouraged.
Still looking concerned, JK reluctantly listened to his dam and headed for the simulator.
When the pup had started his warmup, attention focused elsewhere, NJ looked at YG.
“Are you going to be able to handle all of this?” He asked.
YG looked down.
“Handle what?” He asked, though he was pretty sure he knew what the alpha was referring to.
“Jungkook’s training. It’s not going to get any easier. But you need to support it. It’s what’s best for him, if he wants to succeed,” said NJ.
“I know. I will. I can handle it,” he claimed.
NJ looked skeptical, but he didn’t comment further.
“Good. Tell me about his emotional state. How is he for you at home?” He asked.
YG glanced away.
“Our lives haven’t always been easy. But he’s doing as good as can be expected. He’s focused on solrelay. He wants to do well. Maybe he’s stressed, but I think it’s more than understandable given everything that’s happened,” he insisted.
“I’m not asking because I have a problem with his behavior. I’m asking because you and I need to have open communication about him through this season. Mood swings are par for the course for racers in training. This is a high-stakes, competitive sport. And Jungkook is -
- younger than other racers in the elite class so we need to watch his emotional state more carefully so he can focus,” the alpha insisted.
“He’s a tough pup. He’ll be okay. Better if you would listen to him and not be so stern all the time. But he’s okay,” YG assured.
“Good. Make sure you hug him - often. He’s going to need you,” the alpha said, before broaching the next subject more delicately.
“When should we expect his heat?”
YG rolled his eyes.
“None of your business.”
“It is my business. He won’t be able to practice or race through it. He should really be on suppressants. I’m shocked he’s not,” NJ said.
“He does better off of them. They make him sick.”
“So try a different brand,” NJ pushed.
“He doesn’t like them. So he’s not going on them. Do you understand?” YG pushed back.
“And when he goes into heat and we don’t have time to wait a week for him to recover?” NJ argued.
“His heats are only 3 days. And they’re only twice a year. It’s barely a blip.”
“We won’t have three days,” NJ retorted.
YG crossed his arms.
“Well I’m not putting my pup on suppressants so I don’t know what to tell you,” he huffed.
NJ’s eyes narrowed.
“You understand that this isn’t a game, right? This isn’t the kiddie leagues or the rookie leagues, it’s the elites. How Jungkook does this year will affect him the rest of his life - and you’re putting a tiny bit of discomfort over his career?” He demanded.
“Suppressants aren’t right for him,” YG persisted.
“This isn’t going to work if you don’t trust me. I know this business and I know what I’m talking about,” NJ shot back.
“Well I know my pup, and suppressants aren’t right for him. So maybe you need to trust me too.”
The two made eye contact for a few moments, before NJ shook his head, annoyed.
“We’ll revisit this later,” he decided.
“Good. Now tell me about his position. I’ve seen his flight footage - I know he’s been an anchor. But he’s not going to be able to keep up if we put him in that position right now - maybe in a few years. So…front or center?” He asked.
YG considered the ask, thinking about where JK would do best.
“He’s going to have to be flexible, but…JK’s never been a front outside of practice. I think center makes the most sense,” he said.
“Jimin’s a highly effective front anyway. We’ll give center a shot,” he agreed, before looking YG up and down.
“How’s everything else going? Do you need anything?” He asked.
“JK’s schooling. I want him to finish. It’s important to me,” he said.
NJ refrained from rolling his eyes with a sigh.
“Homeschooling. Individualized. I’ll find a tutor. But I won’t allow it to interfere with his training. Understood?” He said firmly.
“Good. Anything else? Got what you need?” NJ checked one more time.
“I…don’t really know how to manage the funds you transferred. For JK’s pup support. Or even his salary now. It’s a little overwhelming,” he admitted, ashamed at his own lack of education.
NJ glanced at his comm.
“I’ll set up a meeting for you with a financial planner and a good lawyer. They’ll help,” he offered.
“Thank you,” YG murmured.
NJ took a step closer to the omega.
“Anything else?” He asked.
It was four weeks later when JK was finally allowed on a proper track, and YG’s pup was near vibrating with excitement.
Of course it was provisional, because NJ wasn’t yet happy with JK’s stats in the simulator.
But he’d grudgingly said they couldn’t wait any longer.
So here they were all suited up, with more of an audience than YG thought was really appropriate (the whole rookie team had shown up alongside Hoseok, Sooyeon, Coach Dallen, and even Kim Seokjin).
And YG was /nervous/.
But JK didn’t seem to be. Only excited.
Jimin had greeted him politely as they were stretching, but YG quickly noticed Taehyung wouldn’t even look at JK, which was only contributing to YG’s anxiety.
When NJ arrived on the track he seemed annoyed, though he wasn’t expressing it outwardly. Yet.
“You can wait in the viewing area,” he said to YG dismissively before looking at the three racers.
YG hesitated to go because he knew his pup and getting on a real track was somewhat likely to end up in the pup getting royally pissed and mouthing off, especially if NJ tried to spur competition between the three racers.
“I’ll stay out of the way,” he murmured submissively.
NJ shook his head, looking as if he were going to reply more insistently before catching himself.
“Please, Yoongi. I need Jungkook’s full attention,” he replied instead.
YG swallowed nervously, but nodded.
Then he went to sit in the stands, first looking at Kim Seokjin - who also looked pissed - and then at Hoseok, who smiled and waved him over.
Feeling relieved, he sat down next to the alpha.
“How are you feeling?” Hoseok asked.
“Like I’m going to be sick.”
“Don’t worry. Namjoon knows what he’s doing. JK wouldn’t be out here if he had concerns about his safety.”
“It’s not his safety I’m worried about. It’s his temper,” YG muttered.
Hoseok raised a questioning eyebrow but before he could comment further the racers entered the track for warm-up laps and everyone quieted to watch.
YG carefully kept his eyes on his pup through each warm-up lap and all seemed well.
Then after a few laps the track shifted into something with more obstacles.
That was when the difference between the three racers became more obvious.
Because Jimin and Taehyung easily navigated the shifting track but Jungkook had slowed quite a bit and was moving at a different pace.
After another fifteen minutes they’d completed the warm up and YG watched the track shifted once more and JK took his place at the start.
Hoseok subtly slipped a comm into his ear and YG glanced over, curious.
“What’s that?” He asked.
“A monitor. So I can hear of there’s a medical issue and be ready,” he said.
YG tilted his head in interest.
“How do I get one?” He asked.
“There’s no way, sorry. Besides, you won’t want to hear Namjoon when he’s in his element. He can get a little…angry sometimes,” he advised.
YG’s eyes widened.
“All the more reason I should listen in.”
“I’ll give you some commentary - how’s that?” HS bargained.
“You can have mine. I don’t need it anyway. I know what’ll happen. Namjoon’s predictable. So is today’s practice run,” Jin said suddenly, appearing behind the two and handing it over to YG.
YG accepted the in-ear slowly but gratefully.
“Thank you,” he murmured.
“If it’s predictable, may I ask what you think will happen then?” Asked HS, curious.
Jin shrugged nonchalantly.
“Jungkook will go first, and he’ll be overly cautious because his board isn’t a good fit for him. Namjoon will yell at him to speed up but Jungkook won’t do it. Namjoon will end the run and spend the next hour yelling at Jungkook,” Jin said.
“That doesn’t sound quite like my pup. He’s more the type to - ,” YG didn’t get the chance to finish because suddenly the flag went down and JK was off, speeding down the track on his manual board.
He quieted down so he could watch, and Jin held out his watch, which displayed JK’s speed as he navigated the mostly smooth expanse of track on his board, turns easy and coordinated.
“One-hundred and ten. That’s about what he did in the pre-rookie leagues. Average, at least,” YG murmured.
“It’s good. For the pre-rookie leagues, as you said. But this is the elites. He’ll need to hit two-fifty for Namjoon to be satisfied,” Jin replied.
YG watched nervously. And JK’s speed did increase.
The pup slowly picked up the pace, brought the board up to one-hundred and seventy miles per hour, then one-hundred and eighty miles per hour.
Then he continued at the same pace - but no faster.
It was still the fastest he’d ever flown, YG thought bitterly.
Manual boards were truly powerful.
“Aaaaaaaand it starts,” HS said suddenly.
Sure enough, YG heard NJ suddenly barking through the in-ear, asking Jungkook to continue speeding up.
“I started feeling wobbly at one-fifty,” JK shot back.
“Your form is fine. It’s just nerves. Get it up to two-hundred. Now,” NJ ordered.
Obeying the other, YG watched as his pup’s speed increased, motion still smooth but a little choppier.
YG took a series of deep breaths as JK slowly hit 200 miles per hour and held the speed.
His form was unsure but the pup was maintaining the pace.
“Good. Now take it up to 220,” NJ said through the in-ear.
“Fuck this,” JK hissed moodily, suddenly jacking up the speed on the board.
It advanced rapidly and he managed to get to 225 before behind thrown off, body flying toward the outzone and then slowing down when he was caught by the anti-grav rays and the safety netting.
YG scowled as NJ snarled and berated his pup about being reckless.
Unable to listen to more he pulled off the in-ear and offered it back to Jîn.
Jîn accepted it, but didn’t slip it back in.
“Just as I thought. Well, almost. I figured he’d have the foresight to call it, not try to speed up beyond his capability, but same outcome,” the omega said.
“What outcome? Other than my blood pressure skyrocketing?” YG asked, ignoring the way HS was eyeing him at the comment.
“The outcome that it isn’t possible for your pup to learn a manual board at the level of competency we need for this year. So we need to find an alternative,” Jin said simply.
YG’s brow furrowed.
“Jungkook can handle anything he needs to,” he said.
“You’re a good dam. I have a mate to gloat over tonight, but skip practice tomorrow and rub your pup’s shoulders - they’ll be sore. Then bring him to the track at noon. I have something for him,” he said.
“Tae, he’s just a pup. Take it easy,” Jimin murmured behind Tae.
Tae slammed his hand against the locker angrily.
“He is /not/ just a pup. He’s our teammate. Or at least he’s supposed to be,” he snarled back.
“I said I know I messed up. I’ll work harder. I’ll do better,” JK replied evenly.
“If you can’t handle the board and the speed then you need to bow out so we can find someone who can hang. Because what you did out there today was embarrassing.”
“Tae he’s still getting used to the manual board. He’ll improve,” Jimin said, putting a hand on Tae’s shoulder and squeezing lightly.
“He’s had weeks to improve. And I get it - this isn’t easy. If it were easy everyone would do it. But he’s not even average right now. He’s not even at the bottom of the scoreboard for an elite racer. He’s so bad he doesn’t fit on the chart!” Tae snarled.
“It won’t happen again. I promise,” JK said, cheeks coloring, shame filling his voice.
“You’re fucking right it won’t. Because you’re going to go see your Daddy - the only reason you’re on this team in the first place - and tell him you’re out,” Tae demanded.
At the taunt JK looked up, scowling back at the older alpha.
“Coach Kim isn’t my father. He’s just a sperm donor,” he insisted, nose wrinkling.
At the revelation Jimin’s eyes widened in surprise, looking between Tae and Jungkook.
“Come again?” He asked.
Tae ignored him.
“That’s bullshit and you know it. Have the gifts started yet? I see he’s paying for you and your dam’s apartment - you know most of the racers here are paying some kind of rent? And I bet he’s covering everything else too,” he snarled.
“The apartment was part of my contract,” JK mumbled.
Tae laughed harshly.
“I’m sure that’s what he told you, but it’s really not supposed to be. He’s almost certainly covering it out of his own pocket - it’s 5,000 credits per month so I know for a fact you’re not paying it.”
“So what? Why do you even care?” JK asked, confused and getting more annoyed.
“Maybe I don’t like the fact that I’ve devoted years of my life - given up dating, hobbies, friends, school, everything - in order to be good enough for this team but you’re just getting handed everything on a silver platter because ‘Daddy’ feels guilty. And normally I wouldn’t -
- give a fuck what you do, but now your incompetence is affecting me and /my/ team. You don’t belong with us and everyone knows it. They won’t say it out loud because they don’t want to hurt your feelings, but you aren’t good enough,” Tae said, crossing his arms.
Jungkook glared at the other.
“Believe what you want. I’m not on this team because of Coach Kim. I’m here because I beat everyone else - your peers - at the tryout,” he shot back.
At the admonishment Tae laughed meanly.
“My peers? No pup - that was an audition for our rookie team, not mine and Jimin’s team. A level below us. And that’s what you are. Below us,” he said.
JK clenched his fists at the accusation, eyes filling with angry tears he refused to let spill.
Jimin moved in front of Tae.
“Okay - I think we’re done here. Tae, you’ve made your point - you’re an ass,” he said, before looking at JK.
“And Jungkook, I’m really sorry. Tae and I like you a lot, we do! But you do have significant improvements to make. But we’re here to help you. We either fail as a team or succeed as a team, so we need to put aside our differences and learn to work together,” he said.
JK slammed his locker shut, grabbed his bag, and stormed out.
Jimin watched him go with a wince and then rounded on Tae.
“Really?” He asked.
Tae didn’t back down.
“He doesn’t belong on our team,” he insisted.
Jimin looked down guiltily.
“I know. You aren’t fully wrong - he’s too young and raw - needs about 3 years of training. But he /is/ on our team. So you need to get over it and get with the program,” he said.
“It’s not happening.”
“We’ll we aren’t getting anyone else, it’s pretty clear at this point. So if you don’t want to look completely inept when the season starts, you should rethink that,” JM said, gathering his own things and heading off.
“What’s wrong, baby?” He asked, reaching forward to feel his pup’s forehead.
JK shook his head.
“Nothing. Just don’t want to go today,” he said.
YG’s brow furrowed.
“You like your training. And you love the track,” he said.
“I’m not sure skipping a day is part of your schedule, baby,” YG said.
JK crossed his arms and sniffled, eyes very wet all of a sudden.
“Don’t feel good,” he insisted.
At the pouting, YG climbed into the nest with his pup and pulled him into his arms.
“Why, baby? What’s really wrong?” He asked.
JK stayed quiet.
“Jungkook, tell me what’s wrong,” YG urged, stroking a hand through his pup’s hair.
“Just want a break,” he insisted.
YG kissed his pup’s hair.
“We can do that. But a break isn’t going to solve the problem - we can’t do that until you tell me what’s wrong.”
“Need to figure it out on my own,” JK said stubbornly.
“Okay, baby. But I’m here when you need me. Just remember that.”
“Love you, dam,” JK replied.
“That’s the wrong answer, and you’re going to realize that in the worst way possible if you don’t get dressed and accompany me to the track in the next five minutes,” the omega said coldly.
“He’ll be ready! Jungkook - get your gear. Now,” YG hissed.
“Fine,” JK huffed, stomping off to change.
YG took a deep breath and offered SJ a grateful smile when JK had gone.
“I apologize for my pup’s behavior. I swear he was raised better than that,” he said.
SJ gave a half-shrug.
“We’ll see,” he said.
“Can I get you something else to drink? Or something to eat?” He offered.
“No, thank you,” SJ murmured.
YG nodded awkwardly until Jk finally returned, firesuit and shoes on.
“Good. Let’s go.”