Chapter 1: First Meeting
Mark Tuan hadn’t been expecting to be hit with the sudden smell of cinnamon and vanilla when he suddenly turned around from the baggage claim, and he looked around with a slight frown. He ignored the chattering of his best friend, Jackson Wang, beside him, his nostrils flaring slightly as the scent seemed to come closer. It eventually plateaued, as if the thing (or person, his mind screamed) behind the smell had stopped in wait.
“Dude, have you been listening to anything I’m saying?” Jackson said, poking Mark’s side, and Mark startled slightly. “Usually we’re on the same wavelength, being best friends and fellow betas, but you just suddenly went in the clouds. Is something wrong?”
“I just smelled something, it’s nothing Gaga.” Mark said, giving Jackson a fond smile as he reached up to ruffle the currently blonde hair. The other beta swatted his hand away, shaking his head. Mark remembered when his parents found out that Jackson wasn’t his true mate, and he smiled a bit wider at the thought. They had always wanted him to travel, and now being in Incheon International in Seoul of all places, the beta could feel himself getting excited. Sure, it had taken an invitation for Yugyeom’s mating ceremony to get him out of the house, but his parents and the Kims had let him bring his best friend, so Mark was pretty content.
“Hey, I think that’s for us.” Jackson said, breaking through Mark’s thoughts as he pointed forward. Mark followed his gaze to see a small boy standing behind the railing separating the section, holding up a sign that spelled out Mark’s name in messy Hangul (with an added addendum that said ‘Mark’s friend’ since Mark had RSVP’d very last minute). The beta took a few steps in that direction before the cinnamon and vanilla smell wafted back over to him and up his nose, and he turned to look at Jackson with wide eyes.
“Do you smell that, Jackson? The cinnamon and vanilla scent?” Mark whispered, biting his lip as he realised what it could be. When Jackson shook his head, the older of the two grinned widely. “Good, I don’t ever want you to.” He turned back to face the small man holding the sign, walking forward without giving Jackson the time to register his comment properly.
“Hyung, does that mean it’s your mate?” Jackson asked loudly, slipping into Korean now that they were both in Korea, and Mark could tell by his tone of voice that the other beta was getting excited for him. They had both felt the pull to Seoul with no trouble at all, but Mark hadn’t been sure that it was real until he smelt the cinnamon and vanilla…
Right in front of him.
“Mark-ssi?” The small man asked, reaching up to brush his light pink hair back from his eyes. He realised that the other might not know English, and Mark watched with slight amusement as the pink haired man shifted nervously as he swallowed. “You are Mark Tuan, correct?” He asked in slow English, and Mark decided to cut the younger some slack.
“Yes, I am Mark and this is my friend Jackson.” Mark said in Korean, easily going into the language that his four cousins had made him learn so they could communicate easier. “I’m a beta and I’m twenty-three years old.” He remembered to be polite and bowed slightly, looking back at the smaller man with a shy smile.
“I am Park Jimin.” The small man (Jimin, Mark would have to remember that) said, bowing slightly in return. When he straightened up, Mark was taken aback at the smile that crinkled up Jimin’s eyes. Now he knew for sure that the smell was coming from Jimin, but he didn’t want to assume anything yet. “I’m an omega and I’m twenty-one years old.”
“Call me hyung then. You’re here to deal with his obnoxious ass, so it’s fine.” Mark said, pointing at Jackson who had just joined them. Jackson frowned at Mark and shook his head, hearing the end of his words (but the little giggle from Jimin at Jackson’s facial expression was worth his best friend being a little mad with him).
“Twenty-one you said? Call me hyung too.” Jackson said, giving Jimin a bow and a wide grin in return, and Jimin nodded once.
“Sounds good! Namjoon will be here soon, he’s just taking my son to the bathroom last I checked.” Jimin said, and Mark felt his eyes get slightly bigger. The omega already had a kid? His first heat must have been pretty rough then, if he had managed to get pregnant. “Knowing them both, they’ll have gotten distracted by something shiny.”
“Shiny things are great though!” Jackson protested, and Mark shook his head as he gave Jimin a look. Jimin didn’t notice it until a few moments later, looking at Mark with a shy smile and reddening cheeks. Jackson bit his lip and looked between the two of them before taking a few steps away, muttering an excuse at deaf ears about calling his mother, and Mark stepped a bit closer to the railing.
“I can tell you want to ask me something.” Mark said, tilting his head to the side, and Jimin shook his head. The beta waited a long moment before Jimin finally burst, his cheeks burning a darker red as he spoke.
“What do I smell like?” Jimin asked, his voice quiet as he leaned closer to the railing as well. Mark was taken aback by the question, but he wasn’t surprised that the omega could tell that they were true mates. “To me you smell like a salty breeze at the beach. It makes me think of Busan, where I grew up.”
“Cinnamon and vanilla.” Mark blurted out in return, breaking their eye contact to look down shyly. “Cinnamon was my first dog, funnily enough, and vanilla perfume like the kind my mother wears.” The beta let out a soft breath of laughter and looked back up at Jimin to see that the other looked like he was about to die of embarrassment. “You’re as cute as a dog and I absolutely adore my mother so I’ll adore you too. I’m here for a week, you know.”
“Not long enough.” Jimin mumbled, lowering the sign he had definitely handwritten finally to place a hand on top of Mark’s (and Mark couldn’t even remember when he had put it on the railing in the first place. God, he was already losing his mind and it was day one with a true mate in his life).
“Daddy!” A voice shouted, and Jimin turned around to look behind him. Mark could see a tiny head of brown hair making their way through the crowds of people, and he barely managed to catch the sign that was thrown his way as Jimin crouched down to scoop the little boy up off of the ground.
“Woozi, you know you can’t run from Joonie like that.” Jimin said, pressing a kiss to the head of dark hair as he turned to look at Mark. He seemed to contemplate something for a long moment before looking down at Woozi, smiling softly. “I want you to meet someone, baby. You know how Jaebummie is Appa’s mate?”
Mark had so many questions to ask, especially when he heard the unfamiliar name brought up, but he was brought out of it as he watched the little boy nod. He was completely enraptured by the sight of the omega with his son, and Mark felt a pang in his chest when he realised that without a knot, he would never be able to give Jimin another kid (if the omega wanted one, of course). But it was too early to think of that for now.
“Well, Daddy met his mate today.” Jimin said, and Mark watched with a slow growing grin as the kid (Woozi, he guessed, although he’s not quite sure how Jimin came up with the name) gasped excitedly. Jimin pointed to Mark, and the beta found himself locking eyes with the little boy that couldn’t be much older than three years. “His name is Mark. He’s here for Gyeomie’s mating ceremony, so he won’t be here for long, but maybe you can play with him when I’m busy?”
“I would love that.” Mark said, giving Woozi a smile and grinning wider when he received one in return. “Woozi, huh? I like that name.”
“His real name is Jihoon, but he picked Woozi because he wanted to sound like his Appa. Woozi adores Yoongi.” Jimin said, pressing a kiss to Woozi’s cheek as the little boy became sleepy. “Yoongi is a good father but today him and his mate were fighting so I decided to bring him with me. You don’t...you’re not one of those people who frowns upon kids before mating?”
“I’m the product of one of those, so no. Besides, he’s too cute.” Mark said, giving Jimin a wide grin. He watched as the omega blinked in surprise before grinning back, but their happiness was slowly cut off when Mark felt Jackson tugging on his arm.
“Hyung, hyung I found my mate too, he’s got dimples and purple hair and he’s really cute and…” As Jackson kept rambling on, Mark looked behind his friend to see his cousin Namjoon standing there…
With purple hair and a dimpled smile.
“Hey Gaga, that’s my cousin you’re talking about.”
“...Oh my goodness Markiepoo, I’m finally going to mate into your family like your parents want me to!”
Chapter 2: Brief Affair
This one was really intense for me to write. I hope you enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“How long will you be back?”
“I’ll be here for the mating ceremony.”
“That didn’t answer my question, Tae.”
Bambam sighed and rolled over on the bed to face Taehyung, biting down on his bottom lip. He pulled the sheets up to cover his chest, ignoring the crestfallen look on his mate’s face as he frowned deeply. “You’ve been gone for months, Taehyung.”
“I’ve been working on getting more money—”
“You missed our son’s birthday!” Bambam said, sitting up. He ignored his current state of dress to put some clothes on (because with a mate like Taehyung, of course he decided to greet him with sex first rather than a serious talk). “All he could talk about was that he just wanted to see you. He’s six, by the way.” The omega ranted as he pulled on his jeans, trying to find his shirt in the pile that they had created when they got excited earlier.
“I didn’t mean to be that long, I’m sorry.” Taehyung said, sitting up and letting the sheets fall off of him. Bambam tried to ignore the sudden surge in the smell of lavender coming from his mate, but it didn’t help to ignore it when Taehyung stood up and came to hug him from behind. “I wanted to get him the best present he could ever ask for...so I had to work more for it. Did you see his face last night? It was worth it.”
And it had been worth it. Bambam could remember the wide smile that Minghao had on his face when he opened the wrapped gift, picking up the obviously handmade teddy bear with antennas like he had wanted ever since Taehyung had told him that he was from outer space. The omega remembered as Minghao had buried himself against Taehyung’s chest when the alpha opened the door to their small and quaint house, his body shaking as sobs overtook him. Bambam had joined the two of them in their tight hug, tears of his own sliding down his cheeks as he held his mate close.
“You even missed my birthday, Taehyung. It was the beginning of May, if you remember. It’s March right now.” Bambam mumbled softly, pulling himself out of Taehyung’s embrace to pull on his shirt. He could hear the alpha sighing in response to his words, but he didn’t let up as he continued to speak. “I don’t know if I can keep doing this anymore.”
“What do you mean by that?” Taehyung asked, his alpha temper slightly rearing up as his voice got louder. Bambam immediately turned to shush him, making sure to not get distracted by the sight of his mate naked—he didn’t want their son to hear them fighting.
“Six years, Taehyung. No, now that it’s March it’s been seven. Seven fucking years since I begged for your help in the middle of my heat.” Bambam said, keeping his voice low as he seethed his own ruthless temper at his mate. “Seven goddamn years since you got me pregnant. When we both found out that I was pregnant you promised that you would be here for me. When Minghao was born you promised to be there for every birthday, for every first that happened with him. It’s been seven years and you haven’t followed up on any of those promises so excuse me for getting upset when you tell me you’re only going to be here for a week when I’ve needed you here for the past seven years.” Bambam turned around when he felt his eyes welling up with tears, sniffling quietly. He brought a hand up to wipe them away, looking down to see that his hands were shaking. "I shouldn't have believed you seven years ago, Taehyung. A fourteen year old can never make promises that he'll keep."
“Bambam…” Taehyung said, trailing off when he realised that his mate was shaking. He hurriedly pulled on his clothes, knowing that this discussion was better off being had with the both of them fully clothed. “I didn’t know you felt that way.”
“You never asked.” Bambam whispered, stumbling over to the armchair in the corner of the room to collapse onto it. Taehyung hurried to his side once he saw how pale the omega was, reaching up to wipe at the stray tears that were falling down his cheeks. “Watching you leave every single time...it felt like rejection, Taehyung. Do you know how many times I’ve had to feel like you’re rejecting our mate bond?”
“You don’t get to call me that anymore.” Bambam pulled his hand away from Taehyung’s reach as he spoke, clutching it against his chest once he saw how bad the tremors were getting. “You leave and you stay gone for longer than the last time. I’m always worried that a goodbye from you is going to be the last time I ever see you again. I told you from the beginning that I don’t want to be with someone who’s absent from his son’s life and his relationship.”
“I never meant to be gone for so long, you have to believe me.” Taehyung said, looking up at Bambam with pleading eyes. “I just wanted to make myself worthy to you, please baby please—”
“ That’s not my name !” Bambam shrieked, sure that the pack could hear them since the walls of the house weren’t exactly thick (plus they had always been a loud pair anyways). Taehyung looked up at him from his crouching position with wide eyes, and Bambam pushed him away with the strength he had left. “I am not your baby, this is not your bed or your house, so please get out.”
“My name is Kunpimook. Only…” Bambam said, turning his head to the side as his bottom lip quivered. “Only the people I love get to call me ‘Bambam’.”
“But our son—”
“He is not your son, Taehyung! Not as far as I’m concerned because you haven’t been here to be a father.” Bambam said, managing to keep his voice firm as he spoke. He ignored the stricken look on Taehyung’s face as he stood up from the armchair, grabbing his coat and pulling it on. Since it was March, there was still a chill in the air. “I’m going to take Minghao to Jimin’s house to say hi to Mark and his friend. When I get back I expect you to be packed and staying with someone else.”
“Bambam I am your mate.” Taehyung said, all fight having left his voice. He didn’t sound at all like the strong alpha Bambam had known him to be—instead he sounded like a man who had lost everything. And with the way that he had treated their relationship, he definitely had.
“Not anymore.” Bambam whispered, looking up from the floor to look at Taehyung. The alpha was stricken at the heartbroken look on the omega’s face, his beautiful features marred with something only someone he was in love with could have given him. “I wish you had never helped me with my heat, Kim Taehyung, because I’d rather have died than go through this bullshit you’ve been pulling on me for the past seven years.”
The Thai boy opened the door to the bedroom and slipped out, leaving it open as an obvious sign that he wanted Taehyung to leave. And as painful twinges reached his chest, Taehyung realised exactly what he had been doing to Bambam for the past seven years.
Don't worry, there's going to be more. Subscribe if you want to stay caught up!