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in the middle of the night (no one has to know what we do)

Chapter Text

 

chim

where are you?

buzzed in @ your place and Joonie just growled at me

 

tae

babysitting duty

send help

 

chim

oh

be there in 5

- ♡ - 

 

The white two-story house at the end of the street was already a familiar place to Jimin, so many afternoons spent there in the past year whenever Yoongi and Seokjin had an emergency at work and nobody but the Kim's youngest to cry for help. Still, it was always a pleasant image, Taehyung opening the door to his brother's living room, messy hair, sparkling eyes and Jeongguk attached to his hip, safe in his arms, refusing to let go of his uncle. It wasn't any different that day, the baby chewing happily on his uncle's right cheek, Taehyung already used to his nephew's soft bites. Jimin knew from his own experience that the man used to do the same during their childhood years, the alpha being seen more than once with his teeth on his best friend's squishy cheeks.

 

Those old days were so much easier.

 

"Minnie!", the kid squealed at the sight of the omega, making grabby hands with his chubby fingers, big eyes shining with emotion. Jimin just laughed, winking at a relieved Taehyung once Jeongguk had been transferred to the short man's arms. Funny thing was the baby never tried to bite at his honorary uncle, even If he did have the perfect cheeks for it. No, whenever Jeongguk found himself in Jimin's embrace he went straight for his neck, nuzzling there softly and bathing himself in his caramel scent.

 

"Yoongi had to run to the magazine because someone fucked his last article and now he's totally pissed," the alpha explained, making a gesture so his friend could come in, the always present smell of  freshly baked cookies welcoming them, "and Jin should be home soon... I hope. I've been here for an hour and damn,  I love Gukkie, but I haven't finished editing my pictures and I need to hand them in tomorrow,  but he wants attention and doesn't let me work."

 

"Don't worry,  I've got him," Jimin smiled, holding the little boy tighter, "go finish your thing. We can talk later.  Gukkie and I will have some fun."

 

Taehyung mouthed a rushed thank you , running to the kitchen where he probably had spread all of his equipment in order to come up with a small office. For weeks he had been working on a dozen different photos for his next exhibition, the ending of the term coming quickly and startling both of the college students.

 

But thinking about college only brought Jimin the memories from the reason behind his distress. The reason why he went looking for his best friend as soon as the meeting with his grandparents ended, leaving a bitter taste inside his mouth. The only thing he should focus on now was the way the baby in his arms was babbling at him, snuggling on his lap as soon as they got themselves comfortable on the Kim's huge cream sofa.

 

He didn't have the heart to tell Taehyung later that all that got him to calm Jeongguk down was handing the boy his favorite rabbit plushie and turning the TV on some random cartoon. Both of them enjoyed each other's warmth while watching a bunch of animals dancing, Jimin almost feeling like he could snooze off at any time.  From the kitchen,  all he heard was his friend's voice here and there,  heavy and tired. He could almost see the man running his fingers through his hair, pouting his lips whenever something didn't go to his liking.

 

It  wasn't too much later when the sound of keys filled the living room,  followed by the strong scent and the soothing voice of the eldest of the Kim brother's announcing his presence. It was enough for Jeongguk to start bouncing excitedly, giggling brightly at the prospect of seeing his father.

 

"Jiminnie!" Seokjin greeted, scooping his son from the man's arms, the baby immediately sinking his teeth on his dad's right cheek, before he had the chance to even make himself comfortable at home, "Great seeing ya. Where's Tae?"

 

"Kitchen!" his brother answered before his best friend could, the top of his head showing up on the door, as messy as Jimin predicted to be, "did you get Yoongi’'s message?"

 

"About the mass killing he'd start if the guys at the magazine didn't fix their shit? Sure. It was a very pleasant one," his windshield wiper laugh filled the room, Seokjin throwing himself comfortably on the opposite couch, his child giggling excitedly with no apparent reason, "He should be getting here  any moment now Tae. So clean the table for us, please? We'll be having dinner as soon as he arrives. Join us for it, Jiminie? Joon said he's on his way, too. We're getting pizza because according to my dear husband, ' fuck you, Doctor Kim, I want it and I'll have it'. If we are lucky enough maybe he went full on crazy and brought ice cream as well."

 

"Don't curse in front of the baby, fucker" a voice reached them from the door, the sound of Yoongi taking off his shoes and dropping his keys on the floor startling everyone. The man looked frazzled, his cheeks still red from the sprout of anger he was probably feeling. Still, the omega lowered himself to steal a peck from his husband, a soft smile taking place on his face once he'd done it. Jeongguk turned into a bubbling mess once he realized both of his parents were there, his grabby hands turning to them. "When Gukkie gets into kindergarten and they call us because he's swearing at the other kids I'll not be attending any stupid counseling meeting. You know the other parents from our neighborhood get me itchy. Hey, Jiminnie. Thank goodness you're here, If I had to go through dinner with all the Kims by myself things would not end up well."

 

"Hey, Yoongs. Looking good."

 

"You're really on a roll today, aren't you, babe?"  Seokjin pulled the sleeve of his sweater, frowning his own nose in an attempt at looking cute that was way too much for him. Yoongi just rolled his eyes, kissing their baby on the forehead, ignoring the fact that Jeongguk was still munching on his husband's cheek, "I'll go to all the meetings you want. The Neighborhood Council thinks I'm charming. I'll only tell them good stuff about us and put all the blame on my younger siblings, because this is why I have younger siblings for."

 

"You're an ass!" Taehyung screamed back from the kitchen, the sound of something crackling on the floor following his answer.

 

"Told ya. Fucking Kims. They're gonna destroy my house. Stay away from them if you wanna survive, Jimin. Never marry a Kim, even if he's good-looking as fuck and has a big dick" Yoongi mumbled, taking the boxes of pizza to the kitchen, screaming something unintelligible to his brother-in-law in the process.

 

"Yeah, sure" Jimin answered to no one, a lump going down his throat, burning his insides and making his heart clench. He knew he'd never marry a Kim, never would have the chance of choosing who he wanted to marry either. His family sold his hand to a Jung, like the man was one of their properties. He tried shoving the thought away, avoiding the tears that insisted on coming again and again. He focused all his attention on the sweet babbling of Jeongguk, who seemed to be in a very serious conversation with his father. Taehyung told him once that the baby started to do that after realizing that Yoongi talked about his day every time Seokjin arrived home. If his dad could do that, the baby Kim sure as hell could do it too.

 

"Oh, really? Hmm. Oh my god, seriously?" Seokjin answered every mumble directed to him, his eyebrows following all of his reactions, stains of saliva still covering his cheek. He turned to Jimin for a second, long enough to whisper "he had a very, very interesting day with Uncle Taetae" before the boy demanded his attention once again. Something that sounded like "Minnie" showed up in the middle of a sentence, chubby fingers pointing at him, "Oh, Uncle Minnie watched movies with you? That sounds fun, we should thank him later."

 

Trust Jeongguk to bring a smile to Jimin's face even in the darkest hours.

 

"Why does it smell like pizza in here? And why is the door open? Have you finally lost the rest of your sanity?" Namjoon yelled, the sound of his bags falling on the floor, his feet stumbling on it a second after. The room was suddenly filled with excited baby squeals, Jeongguk jumping on his dad's lap in  anticipation  of seeing his favorite uncle. Namjoon always complained that he wasn't suited for children at all, but his only nephew ignored his quirks and launched himself onto him as soon as possible, sinking his face on the man's chest, "You're the most mature around here, aren't you, Gukkie? How can these clowns fuck up this bad? Oh, hey, Chim."

 

"Shhh, Yoongi said we shouldn't curse in front of him" his older brother hit the taller man on the arm, but his expression was light, playful. Seokjin always liked that, house full and noisy, resembling the place he grew up in, his parents always loud and his younger brothers screaming happily in every room possible. It was safe, it was comfortable, it was home.

 

"But he is the one who swears the most among us, this is ridiculous" the omega complained, trying to untangle himself from the tight grip his nephew kept on his collar.

 

"You tell him that. Go on, he almost murdered half of the writer's room earlier. Good luck, or pray for someone to finish your big ass project once you're dead."

 

"Oh, this is why we're having pizza. You're forgiven, Yoongs, it’s all good" Namjoon announced in a strained voice, Adam's apple bobbing in a nervous manner. "Shit, do you still have those pills for lactose intolerance? I really don't have the time to get sick right now. I have a ton of papers to grade by tomorrow."

 

"I put them by your plate already. You're welcome," Taehyung showed up, balancing his equipment in an unstable stack, arms full and smile fuller, "Thank goodness I'll be staying at Jimin's tonight because no way I'm helping you decipher your students scribbles again," he lowered his body, whispering in his friends ear,  "I can stay over tonight, right?"

 

"Please," he replied even lower, "We do have to talk".

 

The worry in the alpha's eyes was never a good sign, the way he nipped on his own lower lip a sign between them, a hidden question for how bad the news were. Jimin just shook his head, asking him in silence to really leave it for later. There was no way he could give his friend an update on the subject without spilling a few tears on his own shirt. Taehyung just nodded, but his eyes would always follow his best friend's every move.

 

"So, are you guys coming or whatever?" Yoongi's head showed up at the kitchen door, getting a " Dad! Joon!" from his son, the boy shaking his uncle's shirt to show his father the man was there, "Yes, baby, Dad did realize that Noodle Legs is here, please don't let his brainiac thing influence you. Come on, you dorks, before food gets cold or I decide I'm in a grow spurt and need all these six pizzas to survive."

 

- ♡ - 

 

"Why are you so slow ?"

 

"Because we don't have 5-feet-long legs like you, dammit!" Taehyung yelled at his older brother, a dozen steps in front of them with his bags full of books and his silver hair shining under street lights. "No, but for real, I bet he just wants to use the bathroom, this is why he's being such a cry baby," he lowered his voice so only Jimin could hear it, shifting the weight of his photography equipment from one arm to the other. It was routine for them, those walks home late at night after dinner in the eldest of the Kims' house, picking on Namjoon's antics and strolling slowly, pinkies tangled together. It used to spread a nice warmth through Jimin's chest, a welcomed contentment at the end of a long day. That night, though, the only thing that came to his mind was how that kind of silly thing would just be a memory to long for sooner rather than later.

 

Namjoon suddenly stopped, turning slowly to them with a question mark reflected in his eyes. He stared at the two younger boys for a second, before adding "You're awfully quiet tonight, Jiminnie. Something happened?"

 

"No, Joonie, don't mind me," he tried to smile, but it came out faded, never reaching his eyes like most of his smiles usually did. The older omega didn't seem to buy it, one of his eyebrows disappearing beside his fringe when he lifted it up. Jimin completed, as soon as Taehyung squeezed his finger with his own, "I'm just exhausted from college. It's been a tough semester. Glad it's almost over."

 

"Right?" the alpha tried to help, panting loudly while trying to speed up to catch up to his brother. The sooner they got to the ten-story brick building - where they were neighbors on the fifth floor - the sooner Namjoon would stop trying to pry into his childhood friend's strangeness, and that was always the best solution to avoid conflict. The older omega tended to be too alarmed about anything out of his control, making a bigger deal of things that were already screwed up. It was always better to leave Namjoon out of their business. "This semester really bit me in the ass. You guys are coming to my exhibition this weekend, right?"

 

"Sure," they answered at the same time, before  silence crept up again. They weren't far away from home now, the shape of their building standing in the horizon, desert streets welcoming them with bright lights. It wasn't that late, not really, but it felt like the hours before the dawn, like a new day was about to come up and gleam in the sky.

 

"You've got the keys?" the older Kim asked as soon as they got to the wooden doors, balancing his stuff on the side so he could reach for the keychain his brother handed him on his middle finger. Namjoon wasn't allowed to carry them with him anymore, not since the last time he lost them again - Taehyung refused to pay for a new door-handle for the sixth time. "Are you stopping home before heading to Jimin's?"

 

"Yeah, gonna drop this stuff and then I'm leaving. Need something?"

 

"Just... can you..." he struggled with the words while calling the elevator, hands clearly shaking with something that looked a lot more like anger that nervousness "can you scent the door again before you go?" Ah, there it was, the reason behind all his stiffness. Namjoon hated that, the feeling he needed someone else to "protect" him because of his sub-gender. He never hated being an omega, not at all - just the lack of respect that came from it. It didn't matter that he was older than Taehyung - because he was an alpha, people tended to listen to Taehyung and refer to him whenever they needed to deal with them, and it pissed  Namjoon off. It was not right. It'd never be right.

 

"Oh shit, is that guy from the ninth floor bothering you again?" Taehyung stopped, even with the elevator waiting for them. There was this asshole alpha living on their building who loved to pick on Namjoon for anything, from the way he dressed to his choice of work and how he would tame him as soon as he claimed the omega - and other very disturbing things Namjoon never dared to repeat, but they know he heard anyway. Jimin could feel in his heart the fear in his friend's eyes just by talking about it. Unmated omegas were always chased like that, like they were nothing. The only reason he was "safe" was... well, it was because of Taehyung. He always smelled like Taehyung, the man's scent everywhere around his apartment. He was sure the neighbors thought they were mated by now.

 

"Don't do anything stupid, just scent the damn door so he doesn't come near again, okay?" the taller man pulled his brother to his side, pressing the button to the fifth floor with his elbow. " Do not say anything about this to the others, okay? God knows Yoongi would come running here with a knife and Jin would just growl behind his back."

 

"It's what he deserves," Jimin mumbled for the first time, surprising even himself. Maybe it was the weight of everything that happened that day and the soft lights inside the elevator, his image pale and tired, pink hair sticking on his forehead. "For putting us down, looking down on us. We're not walking pieces of meat, walking sex toys to please bored alphas, we're not... we're not currency trading for failing business," he whispered the sentence low enough that the brothers wouldn't hear him, but it stung right into his soul anyway. When the doors opened again, showing the dark corridor they were so used to, he just smiled, shaking his head, "I'll leave the door open, Taetae. Night, Joonnie. Good luck with your test grading. See ya later."

 

- ♡ - 

 

"Move your peachy ass to the side, I'm coming," Taehyung's voiced echoed through the semi-pitch of the room, his scent announcing him even before his words did. Jimin knew his scent like he knew his own, so entangled in his life he didn't even remember a time before the smell of his best friend was impregnated in everything around him. That exact scene, the alpha sneaking onto his bed late at night, was trivial, so common for them that Taehyung had a drawer full of clothes on the omega's closet, a toothbrush waiting for him in the bathroom and a favorite pillow waiting for him on his side of the mattress.

 

All of that would be gone soon. All of that would be gone too soon and Jimin knew that. So, when he felt the weight of his best friend by his side the only thing he could do was literally shove himself into his arms in a messy cuddle, whispering a soft "Scent me" against his white t-shirt. Some people believed that only mates should do the scenting thing, but for them it was a code, a need of affection and love and a "please don't go away". Taehyung was warm, so warm, his arms enveloping Jimin's torso in the best way, his legs tangling themselves on Jimin's legs and his nose running, first lightly, on the omega's neck, going up to his jaw, his lips leaving soft kisses on the soft skin of his cheeks. There, Jimin could hear his heart beating, so fast, Taehyung’s fingers in a comfortable grip on his shoulder-blades, his breathing trying to soothe all the worries in his best friend's head.

 

"Tell me what's wrong, Chim."

 

"Remember when we were about to move here and my dad got scammed and lost a hell of a lot of money? And we almost thought I'd have to give up the dream of coming with you for college, but then somehow dad managed to not only get the money back, but enough to rent me this place?" he felt Taehyung nodding above his head, his hands caressing his shoulders protectively, "turns out they lied to us. They didn't get the money back. They went to my grandparents. My grandparents gave them the money to send me to college and rent this place."

 

"Wait, what? Didn't your grandparents disown your dad because they were rich as fuck and didn't want him to mate a... what were their words again? 'Suburban stinky omega?' I thought they ended their relationship when your dad just ignored them and married anyway."

 

"They did... they did, but mom and dad were desperate. They didn't want to disappoint me," that was the point where his tears started to stain his face, rolling heavily against his cheeks, "so they went to them. They went to them, and they gave the money, but asked for a favor in the future in return, because they are sly assholes."

 

"What did they ask for?" he heard the question, but couldn't avoid the silence that filled the air after it. It burned his insides, hurt his heart even hours away from hearing it, "Jiminnie, what did they ask for?"

 

"They were having business issues... their company... their company was sliced and the stocks sold in the market. This guy, this Jung guy, he bought most of it, but my grandparents didn't take it easily. So they made a deal with him. This new CEO, he wants his son married, and soon, because maybe this way he will finally settle down and follow on the family's business. So they offered me. They offered their only grandson as a trading deal to save their money," he was fully crying now, sobs making him choke on his own saliva, head hurting from the motion of it.

 

"No, Jimin, no, they didn't..."

 

"The guy's an alpha, so that's what he needs, isn't it? A nice, compliant omega to put some sense into his head and open his legs for him whenever he wants to burn energy. And I'm it. To them, I'm nothing but an useless omega that has no right of having a life of his own. I don't have the right of choosing my mate, of marrying for love," the man was desperate at that point, clinging to his best friend for dear life, "I don't wanna do it, Tae. I hate this shit. What if he stops me from doing things I love? What if he wants me to behave like a good little omega . You know how I hate those labels, how I hate people who look down on us. And now... now they're asking me to give up everything for people I don't even like in first place? Why me, Tae? I don't wanna do this. I don't wanna do this..."

 

He kept mumbling those exact same words, again and again and again, but Taehyung wasn't listening to it anymore.

 

The only thing Taehyung could hear was the sound of his own heartbreak at the prospect of losing the man he loved.