At four, Yixing met Yifan. The older boy was the son of his mother's boss but the two got along like a house on fire. They shared their toys and Yifan had even asked his mother if Yixing could have dinner with him, which never happened with anybody else the five year-old met.
When Yixing was eleven, he found out that his best friend was a werewolf. At first he thought it was just a joke, a silly prank the older boy was pulling to tease him, but he was wrong. Yifan truly was a wolf. Or half one at least.
He made a pinky promise to always keep the secret he'd been trusted with and the thought that he meant enough to Yifan to tell him made him feel incredible. He felt almost invincible knowing he was trusted so much.
When he was thirteen Yifan told him he was being sent away to learn things about being a werewolf at some school in Canada. He wasn't exactly enthralled at the idea of being left by his best friend but he knew this was important to the wolf, so he gave him a wave along with a dimpled smile. Yifan looked relieved that Yixing understood why he had to go and was glad he'd told the small boy about his kind. Though it didn't make leaving any easier, he felt better knowing he didn't have to tell the lie his mother urged him to give. As she wasn't aware that their secret had been divulged to the human.
When Yixing started high school, the only Chinese person in the whole population of the Korean school, he had high hopes. Which were suddenly dashed at the hands of bullies who mocked him because of his race and the way he spoke with an accent. He never cried in front of them, nor did he fight back. He stayed silent. Never uttering a word to anybody, not even teachers. He didn't want to burden anybody with his difficult to understand voice or foreign presence. He found his solace in the music rooms that were always left empty during lunches, fingers flowing over piano keys or guitar strings. Yixing often wrote letters in his mind to his absent best friend that he hadn't seen or heard from in years. The only assurance he had would be when he'd bump into Yifan's mother and she would revel in telling the young boy about how proud of her son she was. From what he's been told, Yifan was popular from being a basketball captain, had even managed to get a few girlfriends and was excelling in all his subjects. Yixing knew this translated to Yifan becoming the Alpha everybody expected him to be. He was strangely proud of the older boy. Even when he didn't believe in himself, he believed in Yifan.
When Yixing was sixteen things really took a turn for the worst at school. It seemed that the whole student body had found out that Yixing was gay and was often beaten up over that fact. He'd always return home with a few new bruises here and there that took weeks to fade because of his haemophilia. The staff at the school knew about everything that went on but always turned a blind eye when it came to the Chinese boy. Yixing never really felt lonely, even though he was always alone, because in his mind he still had Yifan there to listen to his problems. His mental letters became more frequent, often filled with Yixing explaining away his insecurities. Words of how Yixing had begun to skip his meals, often forgot to take his medication and how he wouldn't mind if he died. Not that he'd go out of his way to harm himself critically but he knew that if a car was speeding towards him, he wouldn't make much effort to move out of its way. These secrets were all enclosed in his mind, sealing each one off with an 'I miss you, Fan'.
When Yixing was seventeen, he was a shadow to the world. Nobody saw him or acknowledged him. He'd stopped being beaten up because the stupid bullies thought he might infect them with his homosexuality if they touched him. Yixing wasn't one to push his luck, so he didn't mention how absurd that notion was. His appetite was still pretty non-existent but that didn't stop him from going out almost every night. Yixing found solace in going to nightclubs rather than music rooms. His parents worried for him but he couldn't seem to bring himself to care. He just wanted to forget and fade into the crowd, which was exactly what the bars did for him. He had the tendency to make out with the closest willing person he could grab, not caring what their gender was despite his male preferences. Things never went further, things never seemed to feel right enough to do so. Yixing was lost and no longer felt the warmth of the sun on his skin. Yixing didn't write letters in his mind to his best friend anymore.
When Yixing was eighteen, Yifan returned. He didn't know it for weeks; his time was spent drifting between school and alcohol filled rooms like a zombie rather than in the real world. It was only when the older boy found Yixing passed out in his bedroom, reeking of beer and the scent of numerous people that Yifan got a look at him. He saw how sunken his face looked, how his revealing tank top showed his prominent ribs and how his skinny jeans - which should have been skintight - were hanging off him like sweatpants. Yifan struggled with the fact that this was the same boy who would shine like a star even in the darkest of rooms. He hated the fact that his mate had lost himself in the absence of the alpha. His deep growl had managed to stir the younger boy awake who released something like a gasp crossed with a scream at the stranger in the room.
"W-who are you? W-w-what are y-you d-doing in h-here?"
"Did you develop a stutter while I was gone, XīngXīng?" The tall man asked, eyes flashing a beautiful gold as the faintly familiar nickname passed through his lips.
"XīngXīng?" Yixing muttered, eyes still seeing double from the alcohol and his drunken mind fumbling for answers.
"Don't tell me you forgot about me?" Yifan questioned, cocking his head teasingly as he approached the boy who was still laid out on the floor.
"I don't have anybody to remember," Yixing frowned, not realising the hurt he'd caused the other with his slurred words.
"Not even your Wolf Prince?" The wolf asked, an eyebrow raised as recognition dripped through the intoxicated human's features.
"Y-Yifan?" Yixing gasped, scrambling onto unsteady feet and swaying as he reached his full height.
"So you do remember me?"
"O-of course but you're not supposed to be here. You still have six months before you come back," Yixing knew this like he knew his own name, it was barely January and there was no school that graduated at this time.
"Not as an Alpha, I graduated early after showing my abilities which had developed a lot faster than normal," the older explained, suddenly advancing towards the younger male and lifting him effortlessly onto the bed.
Carrying humans and even fully grown werewolves was an easy feat for Yifan but holding his human's weight was like that of a child. He frowned when he felt the bones of the other poking through his clothes.
Yixing could feel the warmth spreading through him as he came into contact with the elder, his heart beating furiously to draw as much of it in as possible through his thin attire.
"Why are you drunk? Did you go out with friends?"
Yixing would have scoffed or laughed at the idea of going out with friends if he had the energy, so he just gave a simple shake of the head.
"A girlfriend - or boyfriend - perhaps?" Yifan found it hard to contain the possessive edge to his voice, his wolf coming into contact with his mate again after four years wasn't pleased with the idea of having to share.
"Neither," he mumbled as Yifan tucked him under the comforter and sat beside him on the cramped single bed.
Yifan couldn't help but growl slightly, acknowledging the fact that the scent adorning Yixing so strongly must have been a stranger's.
"You went out alone and sought the attention of a male human?" The wolf asked directly and his mate nodded.
"How did you know?" Yixing asked, snuggling towards the heated body beside him instinctively, unaware of the fact that it was the bond between the two of them driving him to be obedient to the powerful aura of the alpha - even as a human.
"I can smell him all over you; on your clothes, in your hair and on your lips," Yixing flushed at the words but stayed quiet. "But, I can also smell your innocence, your body is untouched by another."
Yifan seemed to be purring, that was the only way Yixing could describe it and he felt the werewolf's body shift to nuzzle into the pale expanse of his neck. Yifan was becoming drunk on Yixing's scent, forgetting that doing such things wasn't normal for humans - nor was telling them that you knew they were a virgin through scent.
"You smell the same," Yixing murmured, sending shivers down the elder's spine and his wolf yelped in excitement within him at the praise from his mate - Yixing was scenting him even though he was a human, which was a rarity.
He didn't want to explain that Yixing would one day share the scent, or at least part of it, to ward off the advances of other wolves in a show that he belonged to an alpha. It was too soon for the mate talk and Yixing seemed too inebriated.
"Have you got your wolf?" The younger asked, peering up at the sitting male he'd managed to drape himself across. Yifan made a noise of confirmation and the twinkling light seemed to return to the otherwise lifeless appearing boy. "Can I see him?"
The wolf within the man was now clawing to be released and present himself to his beloved human to see if he was approved of but Yifan held him in.
"He really wants you to see him but we'll show you tomorrow, when you're sober," Yifan promised and he saw the other nod.
"Does he have a name? You said wolves take on another identity, right?"
"Just call him Fan, we tried other names like Kris, Kevin and even Jiaheng but he liked Fan the most," Yifan didn't want to divulge that it was because his wolf had heard Yixing call the human side of him that when he was still a pup and didn't want to be named anything else by his mate.
"But that's your name."
"It is and it's his too," Yifan grumbled, his large hand beginning to trace soft circles on the smooth skin of Yixing's bare, bony shoulder.
"Good night, Wolf Prince" Yixing said softly, his breaths coming out more evenly as he settled into the warm embrace even more, relishing in the contact he'd been craving since his best, and only, friend had left.
"Goodnight, my lovely mate," Yifan said the last three words in English, not wanting to scare Yixing but it seemed as though the language change fell on deaf ears as the younger was soundly asleep.
Yixing found the werewolf waiting for him in his bedroom the next night with a leather backpack slung over one shoulder and Yixing's winter coat draped over the other. For the first time in a while, he felt excited about doing something. Yixing's mother popped her head into the room, her normal routine for the evening and Yixing glanced to where Yifan had been, that spot now empty, thankfully. He bid his mother goodnight and she gave the best smile she could, the door closing silently behind her and revealing the freakishly tall young man behind it. They moved silently to the window, or at least Yifan did and Yixing tried his hardest to, the elder jumped out with ease and opened his arms, a clear sign for Yixing to follow him down. He stood unsteadily on the ledge, legs shaking in slight fear that he might fall and break something but a strange part of his brain told him to trust Yifan fully, that the older boy would never let him fall to his death.
So he shimmied off the ledge, air whistling past his ears and face until there was a soft thud then pure warmth. He felt the arms around him shift, his feet touching the ground as his legs solidified from their jelly-like state. The coat was placed softly around his shoulders.
"We'll be walking for a little while, so I have tea and soup for when you get tired," Yifan began to walk down the road from Yixing's house.
There weren't any forests in the suburban area, which was probably why they'd be going so far and Yifan knew that Yixing would have little to no energy from the little food he'd eaten that day. He could hear the small hungry gurgles from the human's stomach and he felt guilty. A wolf that had a human mate was a very delicate matter. If a wolf left its human mate for prolonged periods of time it meant a downward spiral in their mental state - usually leading to drug abuse, self harm and, in Yixing's case, an eating disorder. It was them trying to cope with not being able to understand what was happening to them, not realising that it was a link between two people fated to be together. Yifan hadn't known that Yixing's mind recognised him as a mate when he'd left or that they'd bonded enough to leave such a chasm for both. He'd put down his own sense of loss as being away from his family pack and his best friend, not that it was because he was mated to Yixing. If he'd have known his absence would cause such hurt he never would have left.
They'd gone barely a kilometre before the wheezing and coughing began, each sound shattering through his over sensitive hearing and sending what felt like shards of ice into his heart. They paused and Yixing drank some tea, blowing it softly and Yifan could smell the mint from the toothpaste he'd used strongly. Such a harsh scent usually made him cringe but when it was intermingled with Yixing's own fragrance, it was bearable. Yixing had always smelt of daisies and cotton, it was an extremely feminine smell and Yixing had actually been offended when he'd told them when they were nine. Yifan had been told at his school that he had the scent of salt water and coffee but when he'd turned seventeen - the age in which your wolf acknowledges its mate - a more floral note was added to the combination. He'd known immediately who his other half was and that was actually what spurred him to study harder.
Yixing's breathing settled down for a short while after but there was still a worrying rattle in his chest that put Yifan on edge as they moved out f the town, he was constantly sparing glances over his shoulder to the person who was falling further and further behind.
"I'm going to carry you the rest of the way," he announced, slipping into a crouching position as he let the backpack fall to the floor.
The younger had no qualms when it came to climbing onto the warm back, he was too tired to care and felt like he was going to pass out. In actuality, he felt ashamed of himself. Yifan could probably run for days without tiring and he could barely deal with the flat journey from his house to the forest. A route he used to run as a small child. He felt weak and inferior beside the werewolf whilst also feeling like he'd never been stronger or more powerful. Emotionally, he was at his peak with somebody showing him affection rather than hatred or disgust, but physically, that was a whole other matter. The taller boy lifted the bag and seemed to speed his lengthened stride up to a pace that Yixing could only imagine sprinting at. The trees moved in a slight blur around them but he didn't feel a single branch touching his body, there was only rushing air that was barely any different to when he'd leapt from the window.
They came to a small clearing that Yixing vaguely remembered from when he was a child and his best friend would lead him everywhere with a sharp tug at the wrist, it was where they used to play games and hide from their parents when it was time to go home. Though, Yifan's parents being werewolves too put them at a disadvantage, they were always smelt out within the hour. Yixing didn't want to be let down to the floor, he'd finally had some warmth surrounding him and he wasn't willing to let go. It seemed as though the elder shared the same sentiment by tightening the grip he had on his thighs. He couldn't see much initially but as the moon's light filtered in, he could see a little more clearly. He'd always had better senses than anybody he knew, excluding Yifan, and it was unknown to him that he'd been born that way because he was the mate of a supernatural being.
"I'm going to have to put you down to show you," Yifan murmured as Yixing began to nuzzle in and close his eyes.
"But you're so warm," the younger whined, his whole mind relaxing under the soft hum of Yifan's voice.
"He's even warmer and fluffy, I'm certain he'll let you cuddle up to him."
"Really? You think he'd like me that much?"
Yifan laughed a little to himself, "He will love you."
"And you're certain of that?" Yixing was biting his lip shyly as he was placed on the ground again.
"He's a part of me, how could he not love you?" Yifan's mouth had answered before he could filter it and Yixing looked as if he was blushing furiously at the words.
Yixing let out a small breath before sitting down, "Okay."
Yifan took that as his cue to quickly run into the forest, disperse of his clothes and undergo the shift in bone structure to re-emerge as his jet black wolf that had white tips on his tail and ears. It was rare colouring for a werewolf, something that signified powerful lineage that had been passed on through his mother.
Yixing was in awe when he saw the animal pad towards him quickly, letting out soft barks and whines that he could only hope were affectionate. He was shocked when the wolf pressed its forehead against his, the noises coming out even more quietly and he raised his hand to slowly press into the fur.
"Hello, Fan," he whispered and the wolf pressed his head harder. "I've wanted to meet you for a while now, I always knew Yifan would have a beautiful wolf but you surpassed all my expectations. Your level of handsomeness is on par with your human form, I'm sure you're popular with all the girl wolves."
Yixing was a little taken aback when he heard a growl, throwing himself back and away from the creature he'd just angered. He'd always remembered when Yifan had told him never to anger a werewolf in it's animal form as they had a much more limited control over their emotions. It seemed as though that was the wrong moved as Fan moved back towards him with a desperate whine coming from his throat.
"It's okay, I'm not scared of you," he assured, "I just don't want to make you mad, that's all."
The wolf seemed to settle and came to lay down next to him, nose pushing under Yixing's hand in a silent ask to be petted. It wasn't like Yixing could refuse such an adorable gesture from an animal that outdid him in height, much like its human form.
"Your fur is very soft, Fan," Yixing whispered and the wolf seemed to purr, much akin to the noise that had rumbled from Yifan the night before. "May I lay with you?"
The wolf seemed to nod, probably aided by his human side to understand what was being asked of him. Yixing shuffled around until he was laying on his side and looking into the freakishly light grey eyes that seemed to glow in the dark, he felt at ease.
"You know, I was actually thinking of killing myself next week," Yixing whispered in a shaky, fragile voice. "I'm no good at living, you see. I have this emptiness in my head and chest that doesn't go away, it makes me feel unwanted and lonely all the time. I had a letter written for my parents and everything, it wasn't as hard to write as I thought it would be. It strangely made me feel a little freer, like letting them know that it wasn't their fault I feel this way was the best I could ever do for them. I wanted to tell you, well, you both last night that I was glad I could see Yifan at least once before I finally let myself go but I woke up this morning and I felt lighter, as if that gaping hole within me was filling or falling in on itself. I honestly think it's because you're back. I don't have any friends because I'm gay. I used to get bullied for it, punched and kicked to the ground whenever a boy though I'd looked at him for a little too long or if I'd turned around from my locker during gym class. But then there's you, literally smelling a male presence on me and you still sleep by my side, even going as far as to hold me. You're so accepting of me and how I am. I'm actually nothing to this world and you're this handsome man with this beautiful animal in his head who was born to be something greater, yet you still waste your time with me like you did when we were younger. Do you known how many times I wished I could have been born like you? Not even to have a wolf or be part of a pack but just to be with you. I could have gone with you to that school that's so far from here, I could have defended myself from the people who hurt me and I could find that one person who would complete me."
Yixing hadn't felt the body around his shift from fur to skin during his painful confession, he'd only realised the change once strong arms enveloped him.
"I'm not going anywhere anymore," Yifan comforted, his own heart now broken hearing what he'd caused his mate to go through. "I'm always going to be at your side, I will never leave you again."
"But you will," Yixing cried, "you've got duties to fulfil and you're going to find your soulmate, you'll focus on her and the family you'll have with her and you'll forget about me."
Yifan couldn't even entertain the thought that Yixing had convinced himself that he'd ever forget him.
"Yixing, I love you more than anything in this world. You're the person I'm going to forget about everybody else with, who I'm going to adopt a little family with and who I'm going to follow to the ends of the earth and back. The soulmate you know I'm going to find is you."
"W-what?" Yixing scrunched his face weakly and his limbs were suddenly rendered useless.
"You're the mate to me and my wolf, I've adored you since I met you and when Fan declared to the world that we were yours, I couldn't have been happier," Yifan told him. "When a wolf finds his or her's mate their scent changes to include parts of their scent, others can smell daisies and cotton on me. You don't have to accept being our mate and we're fine with being just your best friend, we won't ever be able to be with another but as long as we can be near you, things would be okay."
"I thought mates didn't have a choice?"
Yifan's face was suddenly pressing into Yixing's neck. "That's for werewolves, a human can accept or deny the link. If you think you'd be better of with another human then we have to step aside."
"So, I'm your mate?"
Yixing couldn't believe anything he was hearing. He, somebody who was worth less than anything, had the most handsome man he'd ever met tell him that he'd love him unconditionally for the rest of his life. It felt like he was drowning, his eyes burned with tears and his body curled in on itself when the elder replied in the affirmative.
A strangled sob sprang from his throat.
"I'm so sorry that I couldn't be better for you. You've been left with such a useless and weak mate, I'm sorry I'm not more but I'll try harder. I'll be better, I swear."
Yifan froze, he hadn't expected this reaction and he had no idea what to do. His wolf was whining to be let out again and comfort Yixing but Yifan didn't want to rely on Fan for everything that went on between them - he was in love with Yixing too.
He though about how his father had acted around his mother and pressed his lips to the smaller boy's forehead. "You're perfect, maybe a little skinny but I'm sure Fan will see to that. All you have to do is live and that'll be enough for us, just knowing that you're safe and that your heart is still thumping away will mean that you're the best other half to us both."
His lips moved from Yixing's forehead to the apples of his cheeks and he kissed there too, he ended up littering them everywhere and they brushed tears away from the crestfallen face.
"I'll take you home and we can go to bed," Yifan whispered and Yixing felt the body slip away only to return a minute later.
Yixing woke up to a hand softly carding through his hair and he knew who it was immediately. Yifan had been sneaking into his bedroom for nearly three weeks and he now found it impossible to sleep without the warm werewolf by his side, he'd been assured that it was part of their bond after being separated for so long. The elder had said that it was supposed to heal them both, as Yifan had confessed that he too had been miserable while he was away but focused on being the best, just so he could come back early. Yixing still wasn't fully used to the idea of being with Yifan, despite the crush he'd been harbouring for years, and was coming to terms with what he'd been doing to himself. Yifan had been right when he'd said that Fan would take on the responsibility of helping him gain weight if the small 'gifts' he had been leaving were a sign.
"Good morning," Yifan rumbled sleepily and Yixing pressed a kiss onto his chest without replying. "I tried to stop him but he's insisting on you eating whatever he leaves, I tried to explain that there is a process and you have to eat in stages but he doesn't care - he just wants you a bit pudgy."
"He wants me to be fat?" Yixing questioned tiredly.
"No, I don't think he's sure what he wants you to look like, he doesn't understand the human physique."
"Do you think he's lonely? I mean, he doesn't exactly understand me and I don't have a wolf of my own to keep him company when he's out running and hunting or whatever it is you guys do," Yifan could hear the pout, alongside the worry, in Yixing's voice and he sighed.
"He loves you and the fact that you're human, nobody else in our pack has a human mate and he's actually really proud of it. The more responsibility a wolf has, the more powerful it is; so with him being an alpha who has to protect his pack and having a human mate that he wants to protect, he's extremely powerful. You're honestly all he's dreamed of since he came forward and he loves you. Plus, we'd have to adopt cubs in the future and he'll have those little wolves to play with."
"How does passing on his line work if I can't have children?"
"There's a ritual, somewhat like when I bit you," Yixing's hand flitted to the spot on his neck that Yifan had bit the week before, a marking to show their bond, "I'd pass my DNA on through that, the pup would have to be a born alpha for his DNA to take on my form."
Yixing frowned, "So you basically mutate a small child?"
"No, no, no. Each pack has a general pack scent and then each member within that pack has an individual one, when we would adopt him then I'd bite him and he'd carry our joint scent. He wouldn't have his wolf yet and his wolf is what would change to become like Fan, not the human side."
"This is all so complicated," Yixing groaned, he wasn't any good at human biology and all of this complex wolf stuff was hurting his head.
"You're only eighteen, love, you don't have to worry about children for a while," Yifan assured with a large smile on his face.
Yixing had finished school for the day, his uniform fit him a little more and he could almost feel the emptiness closing over within him. Yifan had explained that a lot of what was happening was the bond, that he wasn't at fault for feeling like he did and Yixing was taking baby steps to being more positive. Instead of falling asleep with wishes of never waking up again, he dozed off hoping the relaxing sounds of the heart below his ear would never stop. He never regretted waking up in the morning anymore, if anything he felt guilty for sleeping so long and not being awake with Yifan. It was all progress and Yifan had actually encouraged him to see a counsellor for his lingering low moods and eating habits, they knew that Yifan being there wouldn't miraculously cure what ails him. Yixing had to deal with the damage that years of bullying had left him with, he still often heard homophobic slurs be thrown his away in corridors and even that day as he walked towards the school's exit.
He didn't expect to walk straight into an angry looking Yifan, whose eyes were flickering between a white-grey and their normal coffee brown and they were narrowly pointing at the girl who'd called Yixing a 'faggot'. He could hear the rumbles of a growl coming from his chest and Yixing knew that it would be a disaster if Fan came out a his school.
"What the fuck do you think you're saying?" He'd never heard Yifan use such a terrifying voice and when he looked into his eyes again, they were a constant monochrome shade. The only other time he'd seen Yifan's human form with the wolf's eyes was when he marked him but this was different. Instead of showing love, like they always did whenever he saw the silver irises, they only held a detached hatred.
The girl looked terrified of the tall yet muscular man glowering at her with unnaturally coloured eyes, Yixing knew he would be too if he was in her position but he was frozen still.
"If any of you have a problem with my ma--boyfriend, then take it up with me and leave him the fuck alone, you petty little humans."
Yixing sprung into action at that point and wrapped his arm around Yifan's elbow, the angry man looking down at him and his eyes faded back to the brown he adored.
"Let's just go home," he whispered and Yifan didn't say anything, he just let Yixing drag him off in the direction of the forest.
The werewolf was still shaking in anger when they got well past the tree-line and Yixing wasn't sure what to do, he'd never comforted somebody before. He followed what he could only hope were the instincts of their mating bond and wrapped his arms around Yifan, thumbs running up and down his spine and lips pressing lightly to Yifan's scrunched ones.
It was a matter of moments before the shaking stopped and the little kisses were being returned, arms circling his tiny waist and bringing him in closer.
"I hate them," Yifan finally said. "I was so close to letting fan out and he was ready to kill."
"It's okay, really. It's nothing I haven't heard before and it doesn't get to me like it used to. I don't feel like being with you is wrong and I don't care what people think about it," Yixing was fully nestled into Yifan's chest and he could hear the usually steady thumping heart pulsating madly. "I'll be done with school soon and then I can move away from everything."
They hadn't properly discussed what Yixing was doing after school but they both knew that he wanted to go to university and find himself a job before settling with Yifan's pack. However, both of them knew that the werewolf wouldn't be able to handle living in a city or far from his family. Though Yifan had assured that Yixing could have whatever future he wanted, that being a wolf's mate didn't mean what books made it out to be, there wasn't any rush to have a family nor was there a need for the dominant wolf to be in control all the time - despite the aura Yixing had felt when they were first reunited.
"I know, it's just hearing you talk about this stuff then actually being there for it is different. You're doing so well with dealing with things and I'm incredibly proud of you, I just don't want some stupid human girl to go and mess everything you've worked hard to do."
"You're so cute," Yixing giggled and he heard a playful growl, lightening the mood before it became a tearful event. "Why were you even there in the first place?"
"Okay, so don't be mad," Yifan began and Yixing peered up at him. "The guys I went to school with may or may not all be here to meet you."
It was a flurry of names at first, ten of them to remember all at once and Yixing felt overwhelmed.
There was Baekhyun, Jongdae, Chanyeol, Sehun, Minseok, Tao, Kyungsoo, Lu Han, Junmyeon and Jongin all crowding him as they took in their friend's mate.
"Guys, come on, you're freaking him out with all the scenting and licking -- Chen stop biting," Yixing could only watch as Yifan pulled his friends away from him, some in human and some in wolf forms.
Yifan went through and named the wolves, saying that not all of them had different names - like Baekhyun, his wolf was called Baekhyun too. It was Jongdae who was called Chen, Minseok's wolf was Xiumin, Kyungsoo's was D.O. (Nobody, including the werewolf himself, knew why his wolf insisted on it being spelled and said that way), Junmyeon had Suho and Jongin had Kai.
"Yifan, don't hog, we only have one other mated pair and we see them all the time," Baekhyun somehow looked like a puppy, even as a human.
"You're not with us all the time," Sehun rolled his eyes and took a seat beside Jongin's wolf form then unashamedly biting his ear.
Yixing blushed at the sight of it, Yifan had told him that biting Fan's ear would make him really happy but was shocked when the wolf had begun to nuzzle between Yixing's thighs. Apparently it was an action you did to a wolf you wanted to mate physically with and once he'd changed back, Yifan laughed so much he cried as Yixing sat there as red as a tomato.
"Don't worry, they've been together long enough for the action to only be affectionate," Kyungsoo explained, having turned from being a wolf.
"Since they were twelve, they came from the same pack and it was clear they were going to be mates. You can find the bond at any age but it's only when you turn seventeen that your wolf acknowledges it fully," Yixing looked up to see Yifan's eyes on him, gazing affectionately and he smiled back. "We all knew Yifan was mated when he first came to the school and he always talked about you, I don't know how he couldn't connect the dots on his own."
"What do you mean that you knew?"
"He held himself differently, you can see it now," He pointed to how Chanyeol looked slightly rigid beside Yifan but you wouldn't have noticed unless you looked. "He and his wolf have relaxed. Plus, when his wolf released what we now know as your scent, he seemed relieved. Almost as if he had been waiting for you to officially be named as his mate."
The rest of the night passed in a buzz of Yixing telling stories of a young Yifan and the others returning them with their own, he'd never seen Yifan blush before - apart from when Yixing had bitten his human ear one morning to see what would happen. It was fun for Yixing to be surrounded by people who didn't look at him strangely or call him names, he didn't know whether it was because they were all in the presence of Yifan, the only alpha in their class... The others were either betas or pack wolves. They were all comfortable with each other and had even decided to play a game of spin the bottle - the kind where the two people the bottle pointed out had to kiss for a set period of time. There was the clause that if it landed on Yixing, Yifan, Sehun and Jongin that they were only going to kiss their mates to save everybody from a vicious brawl.
It hadn't landed on either Yixing or Yifan once the game had ended and the elder of the two was thankful for that. They hadn't completed the mating ritual (read: they hadn't had sex yet) and Yixing had begun to unwittingly release almost wolf-like pheromones in order to speed along the process, it always smelt extremely needy which wasn't something he wanted his friends to be able to smell. Especially with Yixing being human and not even knowing how his body had been reacting.
Laying in bed with Yifan had become the best part of Yixing's day, the world was always better when it was just the two of them whispering under the sheets quietly and kissing softly at times but something felt off with how the other had been acting since his friends had come to see him.
"What's wrong with you?" He asked, fingertips running over the sculpted cheeks of his face.
"What do you mean?"
"You're being weird, I don't know how to describe it but it is weird," Yixing pressed his palm to the cheek, fingers now caressing Yifan's temple.
"Fan's on edge because we've not slept together," the words were honest and completely unexpected.
It wasn't like he hadn't thought about having sex with Yifan but he didn't feel ready for it, not only would it be his first time but he'd practically be married in werewolf terms. It was a big deal.
"And what about you?" His nervousness showing in his voice and his face too.
"I'm okay with waiting until you're ready. You have my mark and that's enough for me, especially seeing as I've barely been back with you for a month after nearly five years apart. He just needs to remember that human dating is different to wolves', you don't have a presence in your head urging you on to be claimed like I do. You're still recovering from major separation anxiety and we're going to ease into everything. Nothing needs to be rushed."
Yifan relaxed around Yixing like he always did and everything felt right again for the first time since he was thirteen.
Yixing felt like with a little more time that he could finally start living rather than just getting by.