We and Wee
Jackson couldn't exactly sort through the myriad of emotions he was feeling as he paced back and forth within the expanse of the living room. It had all happened so fast. One minute he had been standing in the bathroom laughing at a disgruntled Mark as the omega grudgingly brushed his teeth before bed, and the next, he was standing in a puddle of some strange liquid. Worried that they may have had a leaky toilet, he had bent over to check the caulking of the porcelain bowl, only to realize the liquid was dripping from the cover of the toilet that Mark was sitting atop of.
His worry had only mounted further, until his hair was being yanked and his head was being swiveled upwards to meet a very red-faced, angry Mark. "Jackson Wang, I need you to fucking focus!" the omega snapped through sharp gritted teeth. His grey eyes were like hardened granite as they bore into his.
Jackson only realize then that his panic must have shown in the way his eyes darted everywhere else except Mark's face, and could only manage a weak nod before Mark's grip in his hair tightened again and Mark's face twisted in pain. Adrenaline course through him in that moment. Whatever pain he was supposed to feel from him hair being pulled went unnoticed, choosing to only to gather himself for what was to come... whatever that meant.
When Mark came to again, he whimpered a weak, "We need you, Jackson," before the alpha scooped into his arms and ran into the bedroom.
"Mark, baby, I need you to let me go. I need to get Youngjae," he whispered into Mark's ear softly.
After a heartbeat, the omega loosened his tight grip on Jackson's shirt, and Jackson fled out into the hallways hollering for the beta, but before he can reach the end of it, Youngjae and Bambam were already running towards him. The pair pushed past him and ran at top speed down the hall. Bambam detoured into Youngjae's room emerging with a large red bag.
"What can I do?" Jackson asked the omega.
"Stay out of our way while we make you a dad," the omega replied briskly.
"I can't do that," Jackson sneered at the omega. The intensity of possessiveness he felt in that moment was something he had never felt before. The instinctive need to protect Mark seemed to have vamped.
The omega got in his face then. "The hell you can't! Your omega is going into labor. Your alpha will kick in with the amount of pheromones that will fill that room and the need to protect him will be greater. We can't risk you being there even for just a sceond," Bambam scoffed dismissively. With his point being made, the omega stirred around him and dashed down the hall to the master suite.
Jackson fell to his knees then. The adrenaline leaving his body as though someone held a vacuum to him. He rose his head and howled with the last of the adrenaline rush. A moment later, a hand rested on his shoulder and he slumped on the floor, feeling the mostly helpless he's ever been. His back came in contact with something thin, but hard and when he looked up, Yugyeom's soft brown eyes stared back at him comfortingly.
"Don't worry, Hyung. He's got the best in there with him," Yugyeom smiled excitedly. "You're gonna be a dad soon."
The alpha's excitement was admittedly contagious and Jackson soon found himself where he was now, pacing. Not long after he had gotten up off the floor did Jaebum and Jinyoung walk into the house with happy smiles on their faces. Jinyoung had walked up to him first. His smile softening before he moved in to give him a light squeeze on the arm. Jaebum followed after. His smile seemed to brighten even more as he pulled Jackson in for a close hug.
"You'll be alright," the other alpha smirked. "He'll be alright. He's strong."
Muffled moans and groans filled his ears, and he began to panic again. "I know he is, but what if something happens to the pup? What if the umbilical cord is wrapped around his neck? What if he comes out not breathing at all? What if they have to perform emergency surgery on Mark? What if-" Jackson was silenced by the hard look on Jaebum's face.
"True. Anything could happen, but he's got the best with him. Look at Jinyoung! He's completely fine and healthy. Jaeyoung will be too."
With renewed hope, Jackson began to feel excited once more. Soon I'll be able to hold his pup in my arms. "You're right. He's in good hands."
Jaebum nodded his head and walked to sit on the couch beside Jinyoung. He watched as the pair linked hands, but sat in silence. Yugyeom, who had been sitting across from Jinyoung on an armchair, flipped his phone out of his pocket then and opened what sounded like a gaming app, before he tuned the volume down.
Jackson sighed. Everyone seems to be calm about it, but why is my heart racing? Why do I feel panicked? Jaebum is right. Mark is in good hands. Jinyoung is fine and healthy. Mark and Jaeyoung will be too. They've got Youngjae with his gentle, bright ways. His smile could raise the dead. He also has Bambam, who will push him through the ordeal. It was in that moment that Jackson realized why Mark felt at home with the employees of Whiskers. In his world, they're like his pillars. They shield him, protect him, but also support him. They're his family. His chosen family.
Family. It's a word I've only used when talking about Mommy and Daddy, but it doesn't encompass only those that shared the same blood as I do. He had never thought about it before, but looking between Yugyeom and Jaebum, he began to feel something else altogether. A sense of protectiveness? No, it was just that. It took him a moment to realize that they were his family as well. Not his blood relatives, granted, but someone he would give up his life for. Someone he wanted to walk through the ages with. My pack.
The words barely crossed his mind before strong cry that could only come from tiny lungs pierced through the night.
"Told ya!" Jaebum turned to smirk at him with a wink.
Jackson breathed a sigh of relief before he made his way down the hall, smiling proudly to himself. Mark did it. Steeling himself at the door, he reached out and knocked on it. The small thuds of his knuckles against the wooden panel banged loudly in his ears and he began to feel nervous again.
A minute later, a smiling Bambam peeked through the door before swinging it more open. The omega had been right. The pheromones in the air that swept past him made him blank for a second before he got his bearings back. Jackson smiled as his eyes drifted behind the omega to Mark who was reclining on the bed, amid layers of towels and bunched up bed sheets. His blonde hair was a mess, wet with sweat and plastered to forehead. His face slowly coming to a more pale shade. He looked extremely exhausted, but besutiful as he held their pup close to his chest. Jackson's nose began to sting and tears began to fill his eyes as he took in the scene before him.
Mark looked up, and their eyes met and held. His heart clenched before taking on a more thunderous pace. A hiccuping laughter spilled from his lips as he stumbled into the room. He made his way around the bed, not caring about the wet towels as he sat on them. Leaning forward, he pulled Mark into an embrace, conscious of the tiny bundle between their bodies. "Let's wait to have another one, yeah? You scared me."
Mark laughed through his tears, nodding his head. Pulling away, the omega looked between them at infant resting on the crook of his right elbow. "Baby, look who we made. He's beautiful."
"I told you," Jackson chuckled as he looked down, through his tear-clouded eyes.
The pup had a mat of blonde hair with touches of brown in them. A thin pointed nose just like Mark's with a pointed upper lip like his. Even with the pup's eyes closed, Jackson was sure as hell that they were the same shade of grey as Mark's, if not darker.
Reaching out a hand, Jaeyoung reached out as well and wrapped a tiny hand around his finger. The wee little pup's grip was firm, and Jackson knew then and there, he was in trouble. He would give his life for this pup. He was perfect. He was everything Jackson had dreamt of since he found out Mark was pregnant.
"He's perfect, Mark. You're perfect. I love you," he whispered leaning in to place a chaste kiss on the omega's lips.
As their lips met, Mark sniffled sharply before he began to sob, gasping between breathes. Startled, Jackson leaned back and began to panic again. "What happened? Did I hurt you? Mark, baby, please answer me," he begged the omega as his gaze swept for any injuries.
"No, you idiot! It's just-...," Mark cried.
"That's the first time you've said that to me again since I left you."
Jackson softened. "I never stopped loving you, Mark. Even when I was mad at you. Even when I thought I was broken beyond repair, I loved you. I will always love you. You're my forever, Markie," he whispered, gathering his little family in his arms again. Jackson looked up at the ceiling, and whispered a silent 'thank you.' Closing his eyes, he burrowed his face in Mark's shoulder and let silent tears of relief flow. "Thank you, Mark Tuan. Thank you for giving such a precious gift. Thank you for being you," he whispered into the omega's ear.
Someone cleared their throat behind him. "I hate to break this pretty picture, but can I see my godson now?" Jinyoung asked in a teasing tone.
Chuckling, Jackson leaned away from them. He looked into Mark's eyes silently asking to take their son, and Mark smiled gently back at him before switching their son into his arms. Standing, he turned to Jinyoung and placed the infant in his arms. "Be careful. He's precious."
"If it came down to choosing between the two of you, I would save him before saving you," Jinyoung told him in a deadpanned tone. The room erupted into laughter.
"Wow, I feel safe," Jackson gasped through the last of his mirth. He looked past Jinyoung to see Jaebum's soft expression. The longing in his friend's eyes was as clear as a cloudless sky, and Jackson couldn't help the sad smile he gave the other when their eyes met.
The alpha motioned to him, and they both stepped out of the room. Jackson closed the door softly behind him and followed his friend out of the house and on to the porch. Whatever it was Jaebum was about to voice, Jackson knew deep in his heart that it was serious and had to be taken into careful consideration, so waited patiently for the alpha to formulate the words in his mind.
The both of them stood in silence before Jaebum swiveled his head to give him a curious look. "Congratulations, man," the alpha started reaching a hand out for him to shake.
Jackson gratefully clasped the others hand, smiling. When they released their grip on one another, Jaebum continued, "Look, I hate to do it now. Tonight of all nights, really, but... how long do you intend on staying here?"
Jackson fixed him with what he hoped was a questioning expression. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, do you want to stay here? In the U.S.," Jaebum tried to elaborate, but it was still coming across to him as vague. His confusion must've been apparent on his face because Jaebum continued. "Why not take this into our playing field? Why don't we pack up and leave this place and the horrible memories it hold for everyone in this house?"
Jaebum's meaning finally clicked in and Jackson began to weigh the odds. "What if he never comes after us? What if Jinyoung stays bound to him forever?"
Jaebum seemed to take that into consideration, looking out into the darkness. "He wouldn't want to stay bound to Jinyoung forever. They're... mated," Jaebum seethed through clenched teeth. "He's a true alpha, just like you. He won't be able to control the urges he feels. The longing he'll feel for his omega when he begins to rut. If we get back on our playing field, we'll have more of an advantage. We have more places in Asia to hide our omegas than here. We can't keep bouncing from place to place. It's not healthy for Jaeyoung. Jacks, please consider it. I, of all people in this house, want to see the end of him, but we can't do it from here with the limited resources we have."
Jackson nodded thoughtfully. Jaebum is right. Once Mark is able to be on his feet, we should move. In Korea, I'll have eyes an ears everywhere. We'll be able to know when he sets foot on Korean soil. "Mark should be on his feet in no time. We'll move then."
In the distance, two bright yellow lights came into view and the pair watched as a white KIA Sportage rolled up the driveway. An old man with shoulder-length grey hair emerged from the car, followed by a woman who looked slightly younger. The air began to reek of alphas and they tensed. The couple slowly approached the house, and Jackson alpha nod Jaebum slowly made their way down the steps to stand in their path.
The old man was the first to break the silence. "You must be Jackson. I would recognize Sophia's nose anywhere," he said, reaching out a hand.
Slightly stumped and beginning to feel uncomfortable by the comparison to his mother, Jackson stared at the old alpha. "And you are?" he asked, stiffly.
The alpha smiled fondly. "Still straight forward, I see. You haven't changed much since you were a teen. I'm Mark's dad. Sophia gave me your location."
The woman reached forward and grasped his hand. "Is my Mark here? Please let me see him," she begged. Her voice quivering and all Jackson could do was glare at their intertwined hands. Anger rising in him, blinding him.