Jimin and Yoongi had been…something. In college, they often slept together after studying for their music theory exams together; Jimin usually got cuddly when his brain was exhausted, and their snuggling frequently turned into kissing, which more often than not turned into having sex on whichever surface was closest. And yes, that wasn’t always a bed. Sometimes it was a desk. Sometimes it was the sofas in the soundproof music studios. (When they did that, it always had to be under the cover of darkness, since there were audio-less cameras in each of the rooms.) But most often, it was in one of their beds, where Yoongi could fuck the omega until he was panting for air and whining from overstimulation.
In Yoongi’s last year of university, he and Jimin went through some rough patches. Yoongi was stressed; and thanks to Jimin’s susceptibility to being affected by the alpha’s emotions, the omega also became stressed out—which in turn stressed their friendship.
Sometimes they went days without speaking until they’d inevitably run into each other in a campus café or just outside the classroom, and then the omega would press needily up into his space and they’d have to find the closest restroom before things got too messy.
There was always going to be an end point to their activities, though.
About three months before his graduation, Yoongi was offered a job in Japan, producing for the music groups trying to break into the Japanese market. It wasn’t exactly what he had in mind when he decided to become a producer, but it was a much higher ranking option than anything else he’d found thus far, so he had quickly accepted the job. He’d never been as good at Japanese as Jimin had been—another class they had shared at one point—but he figured he was good enough to not suffer too badly.
The night of Yoongi’s graduation ceremony wasn’t the last time he and Jimin saw each other, but it somehow felt like the last.
Yoongi’s blood was hot, coursing with all of the alcohol they’d consumed. First champagne and wine at the dinner with Yoongi’s friends after the ceremony, and later shots upon shots of soju once the two had gone back to Yoongi’s apartment alone. Jimin was especially giggly and cuddly, rubbing all up in the alpha’s space, chattering about this and that. Yoongi wasn’t really listening; he didn’t exactly have the capability to properly process everything his omega friend was saying.
“Hey, give that to me!” Jimin was pouting, reaching out with grabby hands at the last bottle of soju Yoongi had picked up, intent on pouring himself another shot (or two; why not). However, Yoongi’s arms were longer than Jimin’s, and his hands were larger, so all it took was one hand to capture the omega’s small wrists together and hold them away as he did exactly what he’d been intending on doing.
“But I want some!” Jimin whined, tugging hard at his hands without success.
“’s my graduation; my rules,” Yoongi responded, raising an eyebrow.
“Not fair,” was the retort he got in return. He felt the omega leaning back to flop on the sofa in defeat, so he let go of his wrists right as he polished off the last of the soju.
“When’re you leaving for Japan again?” Jimin asked the ceiling, before shifting his eyes to look down his body and up toward Yoongi.
“In a—what day izzit now?”
“Uhhmmm, I dunno,” Jimin laughed, lifting his stomach up off the sofa as he was overcome by giggles again.
“Leavin’ on the, the ‘leventh.”
Jimin stuck out his lower lip. “Don’ wan’you ta go,” he whined pitifully, and then wrapped his thighs tightly around the alpha’s waist to pull himself up without even using his hands. “Don’wanna.” He pressed close and kissed the corner of Yoongi’s mouth sloppily. “Fuck me good one last time?” he breathed, and Yoongi could already smell the sweet, musky scent of slick wafting up toward his nose.
“Yeah,” he sighed, breathing in deeply through his nostrils and fitting his hands to the omega’s waist. “Yeah,” he said again. “I’ll fuck you real good, baby.” He leaned forward and nipped at Jimin’s earlobe, tugging hard, but not to the point of pain. Jimin’s thighs tightened around him.
“Yoongi-hyung,” he moaned, already starting to grind down on him. The alpha quickly got rid of Jimin’s shirt, moving down to suck hard at his nipples, one hand massaging him roughly through his pants. He could feel the wetness through the fabric.
His head was so, so fuzzy, his blood so hot that he was sweating despite the chilly February air, but the way the omega was offering himself to him was sharply in focus. It was all he could think about. He couldn’t wait to give him all he had, to fuck him so hard he cried. Sex with Jimin was never, ever disappointing; but after, when he was deliciously spent, soft and pliable, and reeking of Yoongi—that’s what the alpha liked the best.
They weren’t dating, no. They weren’t even romantic with each other. Other than the fucking, and the hand jobs, and the blow jobs, and the occasional rimming when Yoongi was feeling especially dirty, they were just friends. Yoongi liked it that way. He didn’t need to tie someone to himself this early in his life. There was so much he wanted to do; so much Jimin wanted to do, but he still had another year to go. And their dreams were too far apart for them to work without one of them giving up at least a little on their dream.
This was better.
Yoongi wasn’t even sure how they made it there—he certainly didn’t remember the journey—but somehow they both toppled onto his bed, absolutely butt-naked. He wasn’t sure where their clothes even went. Maybe the sofa. Maybe the kitchen. Somewhere on the floor, perhaps.
That didn’t matter, though. What mattered right now, was that he had three of his fingers deep inside the omega, pumping deep and hard, and Jimin was positively whining below him.
“Gonna make you come,” he growled, face barely a centimeter from Jimin’s ear when he suddenly snarled and snapped his jaws sharply. He massaged rapidly against Jimin’s prostate, and the man below him cried out as he came. Yoongi ducked his head to lick up the mess from the trembling stomach, nipping at the skin just enough to pinch it here and there.
He heard what he thought was a sniffle, and his head snapped up. Sure enough, there were tears streaming down Jimin’s temples into his hair. Yoongi’s head was foggy; so foggy it was hard to think, but he immediately moved up to kiss his dear friend. This wasn’t the kind of crying he wanted.
“Jimin. Jiminie. It’s okay. You’re okay.”
“I didn’t want to come be-before you g-got inside me,” he sobbed, and right away Yoongi’s concerned disappeared.
“Oh, don’t you worry,” he chuckled with a quick peck to his lips, “that was only the first time.” He absently reached down to fist his erection, and he saw Jimin’s eyes drawn down to the movement. He saw the hunger and desperation in them. “You ready?” he spread the omega’s legs and scooped a dollop of slick to spread around his already weeping cock. The wet noises it made were almost disgusting, but Yoongi watched as Jimin’s pupils dilated and his panting became more labored. Then, without any further warning, Yoongi pushed in.
The next hour passed in a blur. Jimin felt tighter than usual; maybe because they hadn’t fucked in a while, but Yoongi was sure the omega probably had toys to keep himself happy when Yoongi was too busy to spend time with him, or when they were too testy with each other to feel in the mood. Yoongi pounded into the omega, rocking him off of the bed, spreading his legs wider, kissing him so intrusively that Jimin nearly drooled all over the pillow from not being able to swallow.
He ripped another orgasm out of him, this one more expected after the steady build up; the, “Hyung, hyung—ohh—I’m guh-gonna—aah!” cries getting higher and higher with each thrust until he groaned loudly when Jimin clenched hard around him, cum hitting Yoongi’s stomach and dripping down slowly.
Immediately, he felt the tightness increase exponentially, and he realized he was knotting the omega. Normally he pulled out just enough to prevent his knot from catching, since there was always a higher chance of condoms splitting on a knot, but in their drunken haze they hadn’t even thought to use a condom. He could count on one hand the number of times he’d gone bare due to forgetting, but luckily nothing had ever happened.
Jimin cheeks were flushed, and his eyes were shining with tears. “Yes,” he moaned, the sound so wrecked and dirty it went straight to Yoongi’s expanding knot. He planted his hands down on either side of Jimin’s face as he growled deep in his throat and the omega frantically grinded down against the knot, pushing it deeper until there was no question about it being locked inside.
Then, just as Yoongi’s vision was beginning to go spotty, he released a surge of hot semen into the omega.
“Ohh,” Jimin’s voice started out breathy, slightly low, before abruptly switching into a whimpering whine. “More, more, please, hyung,” he babbled, bursting into messy tears. He reached up to wrap his arms around Yoongi’s neck. “Fill me up,” he moaned. “Need more.”
And oh, did Yoongi give him more. Even though he could feel the fingers of unconsciousness trying to claim him, Yoongi continued to instinctively grind against Jimin to create as much stimulation as possible as he released more and more seed into the fucked out beauty below him.
Yoongi saw the way Jimin’s stomach was beginning to bulge out, as if he’d just stuffed himself full of noodles midway through a late-night study session, and a more guttural snarl gurgled up his throat.
He pressed a hand against the soft swell, rubbing his hand around the rounded belly. His alpha’s pride soared for reasons his inebriated brain did not catch up on. All he knew was the sight made him feel good. The building snarl broke free from his lips finally, and he wrenched Jimin up to kiss him harshly, one hand going between them to squeeze and pump the omega’s sensitive cock until he was dripping all over his stomach again and shaking with aftershocks. Jimin’s mouth was wide open as he tried to breathe; their kisses turned into bumping lips and dripping tongues trying to press up and catch against each other.
Yoongi reached down to take both sides of Jimin’s ass in his hands, squeeze him hard, and then shove in even deeper. Jimin threw his head back, baring his neck, and groaned so loudly Yoongi could see the vibration in his throat.
Much later, after multiple knot-triggered orgasms from both of them, Yoongi caressed the reddened streaks on Jimin’s cheeks as he slept, curled tightly against the alpha. It wasn’t often that they spent the night together, but this was a special occasion.
This would be their goodbye.
Yoongi couldn’t send Jimin back home as he was now; the omega would be at his most vulnerable after taking his knot. He might even need assistance home; from the way they’d gone at it. The alpha himself was exhausted, but strangely content.
Yoongi gently lifted the blankets to check on the omega’s lower body. He was met with a wave of omega pheromones so thick that he nearly whited out. It was different now than before; a deep, heated scent, sweet but heavy. Honestly, he wasn’t sure if it was a healthy smell or one of pain, so he carefully maneuvered out of Jimin’s hold and shifted down until he could see the raw, abused pink hole. It was still slightly stretched open, fluttering occasionally with Jimin’s murmured sighs or shifting thighs. Yoongi delicately pulled the globes of Jimin’s ass apart and pressed a feather-light kiss to the puckered hole. He resisted the urge to stick out his tongue and taste him.
Jimin whined slightly in his sleep but didn’t wake up.
Yoongi was going to miss this.
The move was quick. It seemed like one minute Yoongi was staring at the stacks of boxes in his apartment, the next he was fighting off exhaustion as he dragged himself up his narrow stairs to his new apartment in a suburb of Tokyo. His apartment was so quiet and empty inside, and he had no internet nor a working mobile yet, so he couldn’t call home to let his family know he’d made it all right. He hoped to get a phone the next day, or the day after if he didn’t make it to the phone shop before it closed.
He sat on the floor as he silently ate a convenience store-bought dinner of rice, tonkatsu and shredded cabbage with a single cherry tomato. He’d also bought a small container of kimchi. It was too sweet, but it’d have to do for now. He planned on complaining to Jimin about it as soon as they were back in touch. Other than that, though, life seemed to be working out.
Although his apartment was small, it was in a good location. It was just the right size for him, and in good condition. He liked his coworkers and his boss, and his weak Japanese (he hadn’t studied nearly as hard as Jimin had) turned out to not be as much of a burden as he thought it would be. He was in good spirits as he got his new life set up in Japan.
It didn’t take long for Yoongi’s luck to run out.
At the end of the first week, his bag was stolen. Inside of which had been his brand new mobile phone and the notebook where he’d written all of his friends’ and family’s contact information—including Jimin’s mailing address and phone number. They didn’t have any mutual friends with whom he also had their information. It was only thanks to Yoongi having his family’s house phone number memorized that he got a few of his longer-term friends’ numbers back from his older brother.
Yoongi felt guilty about not being able to get in touch with Jimin, but he figured life happened; there was nothing he could do about it. He’d lost touch with many of his high school friends in a similar way; forgetting to write down a way to contact them once he’d left Daegu for Seoul.
He thought of Jimin fondly from time to time, but as the years worn on, he naturally thought about him less and less. He never quite forgot the omega, though.
Jimin hadn’t spoken with Yoongi in a few weeks. Not since he’d sent Jimin his new phone number. He’d complained about the mildness of the kimchi over in Japan, having to sleep on a futon since he couldn’t afford a bed yet…and then he stopped replying. Jimin wasn’t too worried at first, since he figured Yoongi was busy getting used to his job.
Before he knew it, two weeks had passed—that’s what happened when one attended classes and worked a nearly-full-time job, all on top of interning at a preschool; time flew by without him realizing—and he became angry.
“The gall of him,” Jimin muttered to himself as he lay back on his sofa with a pile of blankets wrapped around himself to fend off the late March chill. He’d been grouchy and uncomfortable lately; he wondered if he’d caught some kind of stomach bug. He stared listlessly up at the ceiling.
“Goddamn alpha. Forgotten me already, has he? Thought we were friends.”
He flipped over and buried his face into a pillow, letting out a frustrated, whiny groan. Luckily no one was around to witness his tantrum since he had the cheap apartment to himself, but that didn’t mean that he still wasn’t ashamed of the spoiled way he was acting. He’d been spoiled too much over the years, and now it was just part of who he was.
But still. How dare he.
By the time slightly more than a month had passed with no word, Jimin had resigned himself to the fact that Yoongi had clearly moved on and didn’t care about him anymore. And he could deal with that. He could.
“Tae, he won’t answer his phone! I’ve tried at least twenty times! I think, I think he blocked me,” he wailed. He was pushing through his closet, shoving aside sweater after sweater, shirt after shirt, none of them what he was looking for.
Jimin’s face was already streaked with tears, and he couldn’t get himself to hear whatever Taehyung was saying over the phone. He began to hyperventilate, and then abruptly his stomach turned. He dropped the shirt he was holding.
“Oh—no; I’m gonna be—”
He bolted for the bathroom and just barely made it in time to throw up. The phone clattered to the bathroom floor as he lost his lunch. He was a mess; nose running, face splotchy and swollen from crying, a cold sweat breaking out all over. He leaned his forehead against the toilet seat and let himself sob.
“I can’t do this,” he fumbled for the phone, bringing it back to his ear. “I can’t do this Tae.”
“Hold on, I’m coming to you, okay? Give me ten minutes, Jimin, please?”
“Tae, I can’t. I don’t want to do this.”
“J-just, wait for me, Jimin, please.” The phone went dead.
Jimin had calmed down and washed up by the time Taehyung arrived fifteen minutes later. He’d put on his softest loungewear, and was curled up on the sofa when the doorbell rang.
He had finally found the hoodie he’d been looking for, and was currently pressing it against his face to breathe in the faded but still lingering scent around its collar. Yoongi had left one of his hoodies behind once, and rather than give it back, Jimin had taken it for himself. When Yoongi had discovered it, he laughed at Jimin and told him to wash it. “You’re such an omega sometimes,” he’d said, rolling his eyes. The omega had begrudgingly done as asked—but when he handed it back to Yoongi, fresh from the dryer, the alpha had put it on immediately to wear all evening, rubbed it roughly against his neck…and then purposely left it behind on Jimin’s pillow when he’d left.
Now, Jimin didn’t want to get up to answer the door, but he also couldn’t just ignore his best friend.
“TaeTae, what am I going to do?” he asked morosely after letting Taehyung in. He let himself be gathered into a warm hug, burying his face in the other’s shoulder. It wasn’t the same as having an alpha hold him, but Taehyung was also an omega, and he naturally gave off a calming aura whenever Jimin was stressed.
“Let’s sit down first, okay?”
Taehyung waited until they were wrapped in the blankets together, Jimin curled up against his side, before he spoke again.
“How far along are you, Chim?”
Jimin bit his lip and pressed his hand carefully against his stomach. “T-ten weeks.” He let out a miserable whine. “I didn’t—I just thought I’d caught something. I didn’t recognize the signs.” But when he’d begun throwing up on a regular basis, he’d been forced to go to the doctor, and— “It already has fingers! I, I—look,” he said, grabbing the face-down paper lying on the cheap coffee table.
Taehyung gasped. “It’s adorable,” he held the photo carefully up to the light so he could see better. “Oh, Jimin, it’s going to be the cutest little—”
Jimin burst into tears. “He’s abandoned me. I can’t do this alone. I don’t, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know anything about having babies. And, and I still,” he choked slightly on his saliva, “I still have this year left to finish.”
“You’re going to keep it, then?”
“Of course I’m going to keep it,” Jimin snapped, in a moment of anger. “It’s mine. And, and Y-Yoongi-hyung’s. And, and, it’s already cute.”
“You can still go to your classes, Chim. I’m sure the professors will understand if you have to take a few days off here and there closer to the date. It’ll be November, right?” He set the ultrasound photo down. “And you won’t be alone, I promise. I’ll be right here.”
Jimin had a very difficult pregnancy.
It wasn’t that there was something wrong with the baby, but not having the other father of the baby around took a toll on the omega. He began spiraling into depression; he was too thin, he became lethargic and without energy, and although he didn’t cry as much as he had before, he’d spend hours just sitting, staring at the window, or the TV, or the ceiling without really seeing anything. He skipped classes when he didn’t need to, and he frequently forgot to complete his homework. He just barely scraped by during the first semester.
He was, in the simplest way to say it: not happy. It was only thanks to Taehyung and a new classmate-turned-friend—a beta named Kim Namjoon—both of whom constantly checked in on him, that he made it through to a healthy birth.
The moment Jimin first laid eyes on his baby boy, he had to fight back the tears at the overwhelming surge of love he suddenly felt. His baby was beautiful. Sure, his skin was red, and his face was pinched up as he let out a strong cry, but he was beautiful.
He had a full head of soft black hair, his cheeks were round and adorable, his large eyes were squeezed shut as he wailed…and he had Yoongi’s nose. Jimin had seen baby pictures of the alpha, and his baby most definitely had both Yoongi’s nose and lips.
Jimin knew right then that he couldn’t use any of the other names he’d been considering. There was only one.
“Mingi,” he murmured, cradling the small body to his chest, nuzzling and scenting him for the first time. The cries quieted down, and a tiny, tiny hand curled around one of his fingers. “My little, precious Mingi.”
Jimin didn’t have Yoongi anymore, but at least he had Mingi.
‘Hey, Brother, Te Tsunaide’ (Hold my hand)
Nearly Five Years Later
Yoongi groaned as he stepped on another toy that had somehow, mysteriously, made its way out of its bin again. He bent down to pick it up, finding the culprit to be one of the multiple Anpanman stuffed characters Ren owned. Yoongi wasn’t sure, but he thought this one might be Melonpanna-chan. It certainly looked like a head of melon pan on a green-clothed body, at least.
He sighed and tossed it into the bin before snapping it shut one last time.
“Ren, are you ready? Let’s go! The movers are just about here,” he called into the apartment. It didn’t take long for the pattering (thundering?) of little feet to become audible.
It had been a long, frankly exhausting journey, but Yoongi was content with his life at the moment. Now he was a single dad of a four-year-old boy. He’d met a Japanese omega woman a handful of months into his new job in Japan. She was pretty, with soft cheeks and a sweet smile, and a cute laugh. She spoke a few words of Korean. She worked in the coffee shop down the street where he liked to pick up his morning coffee, and it hadn’t taken him long to ask her out.
In October, they slept together for the first time, and the condom broke. Yoongi had sworn up a storm about “fucking, cheap-ass Japanese condoms,” and had to reign himself in when she began crying and then almost immediately got angry at him as well.
She got pregnant from that one goddamn time.
Of course, because they were in Japan, she hadn’t been allowed to get an abortion. First of all, she was healthy. Second of all, she didn’t have any economic hardship. And third of all, it hadn’t been conceived by force.
The bottom line, though, was that she didn’t want the child. She made this emphatically clear to him during one of the many, many fights they would have over the rest of the next nine months. Yoongi, despite his terror at the idea of raising a child, and the knowledge that this would severely affect his career, agreed to take care of the baby if she wouldn’t. He wasn’t about to give it up to a stranger if she was going to give birth to a child of his.
Their relationship fell apart during her pregnancy. Yoongi was still there for monetary support, and for clinic visits, etcetera. But they couldn’t be together for more than twenty minutes without getting into some kind of argument. She didn’t even want him to soothe her with his pheromones, something that even he knew was extremely important for omegas to have during pregnancy. But she was too bitter, and too angry, and didn’t want anything else from him.
Once she gave birth to the healthy baby boy, she signed all of the papers relinquishing her custody of the child, and then she walked out of their lives completely.
Yoongi didn’t regret his decision. He loved his son with all of his being, and would never even consider what his life could have been like if he’d abandoned Ren’s mother before he was born. He was happy that Ren seemed to mostly take after himself; he had Yoongi’s mouth and nose for sure, and his legs seemed to be a bit on the scrawny side as well. Ren had his mother’s eyes, though, a small, soft face, and small stature.
Now, four and a half years after the birth of his son, Yoongi was being transferred back to Korea, back to Seoul. He hadn’t visited even once in all the years he’d lived in Japan. His parents and brother had come east to visit him a few times and to help out with baby Ren when Yoongi was floundering as a single alpha father with a tiny, fragile (to his eyes) infant.
Thankfully, Yoongi soon enough got the hang of being a father, and liked to think that he might even be a great one. But that was just his opinion.
Yoongi was just a little excited to be going back to Seoul. Since the city was so expensive to live in but he didn’t want to be too far from home when he was at work, Yoongi and Ren were actually moving into an already partially occupied apartment; the other tenant being Yoongi’s long-time friend and fellow alpha Kim Seokjin. He and Seokjin had been roommates back in his freshman year of university, and although they really didn’t have a lot in common, their friendship had lasted for nine years now. Thanks to Yoongi’s mother being a busy-body, she’d also had Seokjin’s phone number “for emergencies” when Yoongi was in school, so his was one of the few he hadn’t lost when his bag was stolen all those years ago.
It was a relief to have another adult in his home, especially one he trusted. Also, because Yoongi’s schedule looked like it would be a problem with dropping Ren off at preschool. Yoongi had noticed his son really seemed to like art of all kinds, whether it was finger paints or clay, or collaging (the word Yoongi was using to describe Ren’s hobby of cutting up bits of paper and old magazines and gluing them to a big square of paper in a big mess of color), so after a little research he enrolled Ren in a three-days-a-week kinder kids arts school for when Yoongi was at work. He would go to a regular day care the other two days.
Yoongi had to be to his producing company too early to drop his son off, though, so Seokjin offered to drop him off and pick him up every day. The other man had the luxury of deciding his own schedule as a professional chef currently working on his next cookbook, and other than the occasional book signing or meeting with his publishing agent, he was a free man.
Perfect for Yoongi to take advantage of; and he said as much to Seokjin.
“You be careful what you say, Yoongi-yah,” the older alpha warned in a serious voice. “Just give it a few months, and Ren won’t ever want to taste your cooking again.”
Yoongi snorted, not intimidated. “Keep in mind that he has a very Japanese palate.” He raised his eyebrows suggestively. “Mild and with lots of mayonnaise is the way to his heart.”
Now, on Ren’s first day of preschool at Kinder Arts, Yoongi was struggling to leave the apartment without rips in his pants from little fingers. (He really needed to remember to cut the kid’s nails.)
“Come on, Ren-ah. It’ll be fine. Uncle Seokjin will go with you.” Yoongi crouched down to his son’s height and bopped him on the nose. “Just pay attention to your sniffer, and you can’t go wrong.”
“I can’t?” Ren’s voice was watery and pitiful, and tugged at Yoongi’s heart, but he wouldn’t be distracted.
“Nah. You’ll find the best friends, no doubt about it.” He straightened up with a slight groan, and turned to Seokjin. “Right. Hyung, I’ve got to get going. Make sure you give the school the number for my office in case they need to get in touch. I think I gave them my mobile when I enrolled him, but I don’t usually have it nearby when I’m working.”
“Sure, not a problem. Say bye-bye, Rennie,” Seokjin’s voice went up a notch as he switched to speaking to the little boy still holding onto one of Yoongi’s pant legs.
“Daddy no, I don’t wanna!”
Yoongi watched as his son’s face pinched up, the tell-tale sign of a tantrum about to explode.
“I’ll see you later,” he said quickly, and pulled free just as Ren’s tears spilled out of his eyes.
Yoongi ignored the wails and gave Seokjin one last, apologetic glance before shutting the door behind him, cutting off a piercing scream as the tantrum hit its peak. One thing Ren had learned very well in his preschool classes in Japan was how to have the most spectacular tantrums. There had been one or two spoiled rich children in his class back in Tokyo, and Ren had clearly learned that if he acted like they did, he would get the adults to do whatever he wanted.
Yoongi, however, wasn’t so easily swayed by fake tears and shrieks.
Jimin looked up at a sharp knock on the classroom door, and he quickly put down the marker he was using so he could rush over to open the door.
He was met by a relatively tall male alpha with a beautiful face which seemed vaguely familiar, although Jimin wasn’t sure where he’d seen him before. He was accompanied by a sniffling and hiccupping little boy who was clutching onto his pant legs and hiding behind him, peeking out at Jimin.
“Hi, there!” Jimin smiled warmly at both of them, making sure the boy could see that he was included in the greeting. “You’re Ren, right? Come right in. You’re a little early, but that’s perfect so I can show you around a bit.”
The man—Jimin honestly wasn’t sure if it was the father, because the two didn’t smell or look very similar to each other—went to enter the classroom, but the little boy planted his feet down and began to whine.
“Iya! Iya-da! Iki-takunai~!” ((‘No! No! I don’t wanna go!’))
Jimin’s eyes widened. “Oh!” He quickly looked up at the man—he really needed to ask his name, but— “Does he speak Korean at all?”
The man rolled his eyes. “Don’t worry; he does. He’s just being difficult right now. His father couldn’t drop him off, so I offered. I’m Kim Seokjin, by the way. Close family friend.”
“Ah.” Jimin smiled. “I’m Park Jimin. I’ll be teaching Ren’s class. That’s good to know.” Jimin bent down to Ren’s eye level and gave him his best smile. “Hajime mashite, Ren-kun. Isshou ni ippai tanoshii koto wo shimasho, ne!” ((‘Nice to meet you, Ren-kun. Let’s have lots of fun together, okay?’))
The little boy’s eyes widened, and he stepped a little bit away from Seokjin.
“Nihongo hanaseru?” he whispered at the exact moment that Seokjin also asked in surprise, “You speak Japanese?”
“A bit,” he replied, glancing up but staying at Ren’s level for a moment longer until he stepped farther away from the alpha accompanying him. “I took some courses in university, but other than watching the occasional anime with my own son, I don’t get much chance to use it.”
Honestly, Mingi usually complained when they watched anything in Japanese, but Jimin thought it would be good practice for him; and he’d been right; his hangul reading comprehension was moving along quite smoothly for someone his age, and he even picked up the occasional Japanese phrase here and there.
“Well, I’m sure his father will be pleased to know that he has a capable teacher,” Seokjin nodded, pleased. “Ren’s lived in Japan his entire life, and his father and his relatives who visited occasionally were the only Korean exposure he had. I have a feeling that he might not know as much as the other children.”
“Oh, don’t worry about that. My class has kids as young as three and as old as five, so there’s already a wide range of ability. Luckily they’re all here to learn and have fun, so it’s not a problem at all. I’m really excited to—”
“Daddy, I wan’ a juice, but Daeun-noona said I can’t. Can I have a—who’s that??” Mingi wandered over to them from the secondary classroom door, leading directly from the staff room. His cheeks were especially puffy and rosy at the moment, and his hair was sticking up a little; he must have just woken from his nap.
Jimin gave Seokjin an apologetic grin, and beckoned Mingi over. His son wasn’t always shy, but sometimes when he was sleepy, he could be. Like now. He wrapped an arm around Jimin’s leg and rested his cheek against his hip as he cautiously looked over the newcomers. Jimin ran his fingers through his son’s hair to smooth it out a little.
“This is my son, Mingi. He just turned five a couple months ago. Mingi-yah, can you say hello to our new friend? His name is Ren. He’s from Japan! You like Japan, right?”
Ren’s eyes were wide as he stared at Mingi, and the two fingers pinching the material of Seokjin’s pants slowly loosened until his hand went completely loose and he stepped forward. His nose scrunched up, and Jimin wondered what he was doing for a second before he realized; he was sniffing the air.
There was a chuckle, and Jimin glanced back at Seokjin. “His father told him to ‘follow his sniffer’ to find friends. It seems like he took that advice to heart.”
“How old are you?” Mingi asked carefully, holding out the hand not attached to Jimin’s leg, which Ren immediately took with both hands and a shy smile.
“I’m four and a half,” Ren whispered, looking up at Mingi in awe. Then, for some reason, he reached out and touched Mingi’s face. Jimin half expected Mingi to protest, or back away at the very least, but he just let Ren touch him. Then he abruptly smiled widely, let go of Jimin, and seized the little boy into a big hug.
“We’re gonna be best friends, I just know it!” he exclaimed, and to Jimin’s relief, Ren giggled. He could see the tenseness from before disappear completely from his little shoulders.
“That’s great,” Jimin encouraged. “Mingi, can you show Ren where to put his thermos and his jacket?”
Once the boys were gone, Jimin returned his attention to Seokjin.
“I think he’ll be fine. My son can be difficult to please sometimes, but it looks like he’s already taken Ren under his wing.”
“Thanks so much. Oh,” Seokjin startled, and reached into his pocket. “I nearly forgot. His father asked me to make sure you had his company’s phone number as well, since he doesn’t often have his mobile handy.”
“Ah, yes, of course.” Jimin indicated that they should leave the classroom, but right then several of the other parents began to arrive with their children. He paused, nodding to several of the mothers. “If you go back toward the entrance, you’ll see a door labeled ‘Registration,’ and if you go in there, they’ll be able to take down any extra information you have. I don’t really handle that kind of stuff,” he shrugged apologetically. It was best if he didn’t lose important information like that.
“Sure, of course. Thank you again. What time should I be back to get him?”
“You’ll be picking him up as well?” Jimin asked, surprised.
“Ah, yes. His father would like to, but the timing is just…” he trailed off, and Jimin nodded.
“I understand. That’s fine. You can come back at three-thirty.”
It was very apparent, once all of the children arrived, that both Mingi and Ren had taken to each other surprisingly well; Ren seemed to prefer to stick close to Mingi rather than to the other children at first. Jimin thought it was particularly odd, because his son usually took some time to warm up to new people. He wasn’t necessarily a rude child; just quiet. Probably taking after his other father, Jimin thought with sad fondness. But here he was, already whispering things in Ren’s ear and causing the youngster to giggle at nearly everything.
Jimin clapped his hands to get everyone’s attention.
“Okay, everyone, we have a new friend with us today, and I want you all to be nice! Come here, Ren-ah.” He seemed hesitant to let go of Mingi’s hand, but Jimin’s son gave Ren a little friendly push, and he shuffled over to stand next to Jimin. “This is Ren. I’m sure you remember how scary it was your first day here, so—”
“How old are you?” Eunjung, a five-year-old girl who was probably going to be an alpha when she was older if the way she acted in class was any indication, interrupted Jimin’s announcement to the class.
Ren’s small hand tensed inside Jimin’s fist, and small fingers slipped through to tightly grip his fore and middle fingers together. Jimin used his free hand to pat the top of Ren’s head soothingly.
“Can you tell everyone how old you are, Ren-ah?” Jimin repeated the question in a softer tone of voice.
“I’m…four and a half,” Ren said, just loud enough for everyone to hear.
The day went well. Ren was a good kid, Jimin thought. There was something odd about him, though. He couldn’t put his finger on it. It was just a feeling he had. Jimin liked all of his students, and even did his best to not treat Mingi any differently during class—Mingi had to call him ‘Teacher’ in class just like everyone else—but there were so many instances during the day when Ren would turn a certain angle, or smile a certain way, and an inexplicable warmth would spread through his chest at the sight.
It was a strange warmth, though. It wasn’t necessarily happy. It was…Jimin bit the inside of his lip as he ate his lunch at his desk, trying to figure out what was wrong.
Ren reminded him of someone. He didn’t really want to think about who he reminded him of, though.
“His teacher seems a little young, but has a five-year-old son of his own who Ren seemed to really like,” Seokjin told him as Ren buried his face in Yoongi’s neck when he got home from work that evening.
“Oh? Ren made a friend already?”
“Yeah. I’m sure he’ll tell you all about him later,” Seokjin laughed, leaning back against the doorframe with his arms folded. “I already heard the whole story. I don’t want to steal the little guy’s thunder, though.”
“Yeah, I don’t recommend that. Unless you want the cold shoulder for the rest of the evening until he forgets why he’s mad at you.”
“Don’t worry, I know who’s the boss of this house.”
Yoongi readjusted his hold on Ren and resumed his path toward his bedroom to change out of his work clothes. It wasn’t like he had to wear a suit to work, but somehow the concept of changing into “house clothes” once he’d gotten home from a long day at work was the perfect transition to get him out of that working mindset.
He set Ren down on the floor once they reached his bedroom and he shut the door.
“So, Mister,” he began, “tell me about this friend of yours at school.”
Ren turned and climbed up onto the bed, crawling toward the pillows and making himself comfortable.
“His name is Mingi,” he said, sounding a little like he was mentally ticking off lines of a list as he was going along.
“Mingi, huh?” Yoongi pulled off his shirt and dropped it into the laundry basket before pulling out a t-shirt with a big picture of a roaring T-Rex on it—Ren had picked it out when they went to USJ a month earlier on Christmas; even though he hadn’t been tall enough to go on the Jurassic Park ride, he’d been obsessed with dinosaurs, and they spent half an hour in the gift shop.
“Yeah, he’s five years old,” Ren told him, as if Seokjin hadn’t already said so five minutes previous.
“Wow, he’s a big kid, then? Is he really tall?”
“No,” Ren shook his head emphatically. “He’s only this much taller than me.”
Yoongi quickly glanced over at him in time to see Ren hold up two fingers separated by about the same distance as the length of Yoongi’s pinkie finger.
“And he looks just like me!”
Yoongi snorted as he changed out of his jeans, tugging on a pair of comfortable sweatpants. “You have a doppelganger?”
“What’s a dobble ganner?” Ren asked, arms falling to his sides from where they’d been raised dramatically in the air. He gave Yoongi a very lost expression.
“Doppelganger. It’s someone who looks exactly like you. Like a twin.”
“Ooh I want a twin,” Ren said, smiling wildly and then jumping off of the bed with a loud thud when he saw Yoongi had finished changing.
“Why, so you can play tricks on me like in all those movies?” He raised his eyebrows. “I, for one, am very glad you’re not a twin. I only need one of you, thank you very much.”
“Why would I need a second one when the first is already perfect?” He bopped his son on the nose.
“But I want a brother,” Ren pouted. “It’s not fair.”
“Maybe someday, Ren,” Yoongi sighed. “Come on; Uncle Seokjin told me he was making pizza tonight.”
Jimin lay back in the bathtub, eyes closed as he enjoyed the soft hissing of the bath salts floating and dissolving in the water around him. Distantly, he could hear Mingi playing Legos in the living room with Taehyung, who had stopped by for dinner earlier. It was a relief to finally have a moment to himself, since he didn’t really get that opportunity very often. It was almost impossible to have a relaxing bath on his own these days. If he took a bath at all (instead of simply a shower), it was usually with Mingi splashing around and playing with bath toys while Jimin made sure he didn’t slip and drown.
He let a slightly shaky breath escape. He was sore; his shoulders and the small of his back. He’d always been more susceptible to sore muscles after his pregnancy with Mingi. Perhaps Taehyung would be willing to give him a quick massage before heading home for the night.
Jimin slid his hands along his arms, just skimming over the soft hairs, caressing his skin and squeezing the muscle a little. He wished he had someone to hold him. He didn’t have anyone, though. He’d vaguely entertained the thought of dating Namjoon, since the beta was so caring and thoughtful, and had helped him in so many ways during his pregnancy. He was handsome, and strong, and despite not being an alpha, he still made Jimin feel safe.
But it didn’t take long for Jimin to realize that he didn’t actually want that kind of relationship with Namjoon. He loved the attention, and the hugs, and the teasing. But he just…couldn’t see himself doing anything more intimate with the other man. Nor could he see himself living with him for an extended period of time.
“He snores, anyway,” Taehyung had said with a grin one evening when Jimin had told him about his thoughts. Jimin had raised his eyebrows and given Taehyung a look so judging until the other omega had given in bashfully. “Yeah, we kind of—one time—it was really awkward—uh, yeah,” he’d stammered into his cup of cola, and Jimin knew to drop it.
Jimin hadn’t had anyone since Yoongi. To be honest, Yoongi had been both his first and his last. He’d never told the alpha, but he was sure Yoongi had figured it out anyway. They never really talked about it. Jimin had loved Yoongi, but to the alpha, they were just friends who played around.
Well—actually, Jimin wasn’t even sure if he’d loved Yoongi. He’d had fun in university. Jimin didn’t recall being confused or stressed out about what he had with Yoongi. It was only after he’d gotten knocked up that he started thinking too deeply about his relationship with the alpha.
While carrying Mingi, Jimin had been needy and fragile. He’d dream about Yoongi on a regular basis; holding him and kissing him, and then shoving him away and calling him worthless, useless, ugly.
It was the truth, anyway. Jimin knew he was not worth Yoongi worrying over. And maybe at some point he’d been proud of his beauty, but he’d become ugly and revolting to even look at the more his belly grew. His face was sallow, he was too thin—even he knew that—and he spent so much time doing nothing at all that he had next to no energy to take care of himself.
He realized he was descending when there was soft plip of water as a tear hit the surface of the bath. He squeezed his eyes shut against the build-up, and two more, larger tears slid down his face. He could feel himself shaking, beginning to breathe more heavily.
He tried to sit up, splashing some water on the floor as he tried to get up.
The tunnel vision was coming.
“T-Tae,” he whispered, gripping the side of the tub. It was coming fast. “Tae!”
When the bathroom door banged open, Jimin was hunched over the side of the tub, heaving.
“Oh, shit; Jimin.”
They spilled water all over the bathroom floor pulling him up and out of the tub.
“It’s okay, Mingi; your daddy’s okay. You can go back and finish up the big train,” Taehyung spoke, and Jimin cringed when he heard the small responding whine. But Mingi was a good little boy, and he shut the bathroom door on his way out.
“I’m su-such a tehh-rrible fa-father,” Jimin managed to get out around his cottony tongue. Taehyung manhandled him into a towel and hurriedly rubbed at his arms and body.
He couldn’t really see, but the feeling of Taehyung’s hands on him was like small bursts of light, like the flash of a match before lighting a candle that just won’t catch.
“You’re a wonderful father,” Taehyung argued, wrapping him tightly in the fluffy towel and then wrapping his arms around Jimin to just hold him. “I wish you could see that. Mingi is such a good soul, and that’s all your doing. You’re the best father.”
“I’m not. I’m defective. He’s…he’s only five. He shouldn’t have to see his parent breaking down like this. I’m supposed to be strong.”
His five-year-old son shouldn’t have had to learn how to use the phone to call his ‘Uncle Tae’ whenever Jimin went into one of his non-responsive headspaces and forgot to fix dinner. He shouldn’t have had to learn that when Daddy said “I’m tired,” he really meant, “I feel sad right now and I just need some cuddles.”
There was so much that Mingi shouldn’t have had to learn already, but he had.
“No. There isn’t one right way to raise a child,” Taehyung said, always a voice of wisdom beyond his years, when he wasn’t letting the child inside of his heart run free. “You’re doing the best you can do, and that’s what matters. Mingi knows how much you love him. That’s what matters.”
The weeks went by.
Jimin couldn’t help but notice how his son and the new boy, Ren, had grown almost inseparable. They also liked to exchange clothes midway through class, and curl up together during nap time.
One afternoon, Jimin accidentally mistook Ren for Mingi. The little boy was looking down, busy drawing a long-necked dinosaur, and wearing Mingi’s 101 Dalmatians sweatshirt. Jimin hadn’t even seen the switch take place.
He was looking down, but Jimin could still see his nose, and a bit of his mouth. He automatically assumed it was Mingi.
“Mingi-yah,” he said, putting his hand down on Ren’s shoulder, “time to clean up.”
“Huh?” Ren looked up, surprised, and a split-second later Mingi exclaimed from the other side of the table, “Da—I mean, Teacher, I’m over here!”
Jimin froze, and looked between the two boys. A few students giggled at his mistake.
“Sorry, Ren-ah, I thought—” he shook his head. Why did the two boys look so similar to each other? Besides the fact that Ren clearly had at least some Japanese blood in him, and he was a little smaller due to his age, the boys looked scarily similar. Ren even had a freckle in the same place to the left of his nose like Mingi did. Jimin had had sibling students who looked less similar.
It was confusing, and messed with his instincts. Jimin didn’t like to play favorites with his students, but Ren was quickly inching his way into his heart more than any other students had so far. He thought once or twice about contacting Ren’s parents, but then what would he say?
No, it was best to just leave it be.
Yoongi groaned and rolled over, only half conscious. “Uhgn?”
“Daddy, can I sleep with you tonight?”
“Rennie?” Yoongi grunted. “What’re you—what time is it?” he asked, not awake enough to remember that there was no way Ren could tell him that.
The bed shifted as his son climbed up onto the bed and shimmied under the covers.
“Something wrong, Rennie? Ooh—your toes are cold! Get those off me, you little rascal!”
There was a little giggle when he reached out and gently tickled Ren under his armpit, and then he got a nice kick in the shin. But then he looped his arm around the four-year-old’s tiny waist and pulled him close.
“Come’ere, kiddo.” He grumbled, thoroughly scenting Ren, and he seemed to calm down, shoving his face against Yoongi’s neck.
“’s a monster under my bed,” Ren mumbled, and Yoongi frowned, trying to figure out what he was talking about.
“I’ll check it in the morning with you, okay? You can stay here tonight.”
Ren had only recently begun sleeping alone, and Yoongi realized that he missed this quiet snuggling. He fell asleep quickly, his son pressed against his side; a little heater under the covers.
Yoongi was woken up again probably not much later, when the sky was just starting to turn gray. Ren was tossing and turning, and startled awake a second later.
“Daddy,” he whined, eyes full of tears.
Yoongi heaved a big sigh and carded his fingers through Ren’s hair, bringing him closer to kiss his forehead.
“It’s okay; there’s no monsters, kiddo.”
They both slept fitfully for the rest of the night, only falling into a proper sleep right as the city’s crows were beginning to caw outside. Ren was sprawled across the entire bed, head on Yoongi’s stomach.
He shot awake, heart pounding. No, wait, that was his door.
“Yoongi, you’re going to be late! Is Ren in there with you?”
“Shit,” he hissed, trying to be quiet as he dislodged himself from his son and his covers. He felt like there was a vice squeezing his temples together, and his stomach swooped unpleasantly as he sat up. It was almost like he’d been drinking. But no. Just Ren’s fitful sleep.
Ren was not having it that morning. They had one minor meltdown at the breakfast table because he changed his mind about what cereal he wanted only after Yoongi had poured the milk in—Yoongi told him he was going to eat it or nothing at all, because they don’t waste food. Eventually Ren ate half; Yoongi ate the other, very soggy half while standing in front of the dishwasher. They had another meltdown in the bathroom—he wasn’t sure the cause of this one—as Yoongi brushed both his teeth and Ren’s at the same time while fat tears rolled down his son’s face. It was pitiful, and it hurt, but such was life.
“Come on, Ren-ah, go let Uncle Seokjin know you’re ready.”
“You have to go to school,” he pointed out calmly, dropping down to eye level with him. “You can’t just stay home alone all day. Don’t you want to play with your friends?”
Ren sniffled, and Yoongi was sure that he wanted to say no, even though the truth was yes.
“You’ll feel better at school, kiddo. You don’t have to deal with grouchy Daddy, and you can play with all your friends, and draw lots of pretty pictures; how does that sound?”
Ren just squished his face against Yoongi’s chest. The alpha sighed and glanced at his watch before rubbing his hand up and down the four-year-old’s back.
They were in the middle of setting up teams for a game, and he’d just assigned Mingi to one team when Jimin sensed sharp anxiety in the room. He turned just in time to see Ren, who was standing slightly back from everyone, heave a few sniffles and then suddenly begin crying. He wasn’t loud, but a soft whine made its way up his throat until abruptly the sniffling sobs turned into miserable cries.
“Oh,” Jimin expelled, immediately moving toward the little boy. “Ren, what’s wrong?”
The boy’s crying only got louder and filled with more snot as great, big tears leaked out of his eyes. The rest of the class watched silently, as was usual when one person had a tantrum. People always assumed that one crying child would set off a chain reaction and pretty soon the entire class would be crying; but that simply wasn’t true. More often than not, the rest of the kids would just watch, or perhaps tell Jimin that someone was upset if he hadn’t picked up on it right away.
“Oh, sweetheart,” Jimin’s heart clenched, and he pulled the upset boy to his chest.
“Daddy, what’s wrong?” Mingi, of course, was the first one to approach them, but the others were all watching nervously. “Why’s he crying?”
Jimin felt Ren go slightly limp against him, although he had his tiny fists buried in Jimin’s shirt.
“Mingi, can you go get Jiwoo-noona, please?”
“I can do it!” exclaimed Kyun, the oldest of the class; only two months older than Mingi. He raced off to the staff door and didn’t bother knocking before pushing it open and calling loudly for Jiwoo, even though Jimin knew she had to be sitting only a few feet from the door.
“What’s going on?” she came out a moment later. Both Jiwoo and Daeun were betas, naturally predisposed to act as mediators, and it was often betas who remained calm in stressful situations. Betas were invaluable employees, which is why Jimin was currently one of only two omega staff at their small school. Omegas were good with children, and betas were good with parents. At the moment, they didn’t have any alpha staff, but that was only because they hadn’t had any apply for positions.
Jimin hooked his arms around underneath Ren’s thighs and lifted him up to hold on his hip. The boy didn’t protest at all; he just squashed his face even more against Jimin’s shoulder.
“I have a feeling that he needs a nap, but it’s not nap time yet. Can you—” he started to lift Ren away, intending to hand him over to Jiwoo so she could take him into the Quiet Time Room, but Ren wailed loudly and wrapped his thin arms around Jimin’s neck with so much strength that there was no way he could break his hold without hurting him. “Uh, actually,” he glanced shortly at the class, “could you maybe just watch them for a bit while I calm him down? We were about to play the Rose of Sharon.”
“Sure, no problem.”
Jimin carried Ren into the Quiet Time Room and sat them down on one of the big, colorful squishy mats across from the shelf of picture books. Ren was calmer now, but still softly hiccupping against him. Jimin rubbed circles into his back and carded his fingers through his hair, twisting the strands lightly between his fingers in the same way that Mingi always enjoyed.
Separated from all of the others now, Jimin could smell not only Ren’s distressed scent, but also what Jimin assumed were the scents of his family. There was a deep, earthy scent that strangely calmed Jimin. He breathed in, and then stopped himself. This was the parent of his student. He could tell it was a strong alpha’s scent—diluted due to all of the kids’ playing, but still there just below everything else. It reminded him of Yoongi’s scent, which hurt, but Jimin knew he had to be imagining it.
He jumped slightly when the door flew open, but it was just Mingi.
“Jiwoo-noona said I could come help,” he insisted, and Jimin narrowed his eyes.
“I hope you didn’t give her trouble to convince her,” he warned.
“All right, if you say so.” Jimin didn’t quite believe him, but he wasn’t going to make a big deal of it.
Mingi grabbed some character pillows and brought them over.
“Ren-ah, look,” Jimin whispered, “Mingi’s brought you something.”
Hesitantly, Ren raised his head and wiped his eyes roughly on his arm before peeking at Mingi. Jimin’s son held out the Tsum Tsum Mickey Mouse pillow with a big smile on his face, and Ren grabbed it, squeezing it tightly to his chest. A big yawn suddenly overtook him, and Jimin ruffled his hair. Mingi flung his arms around Ren to give him a big hug, and Jimin felt his heart swell.
It had been hard raising his son on his own, but whenever Mingi did things like this, Jimin thought maybe, just maybe, he was doing some things right.
He pulled them both into one big hug, and then ruffled their hair really messily, causing them both to giggle, burying their faces in each other’s necks to get away from him.
“Why don’t you take a nice little nap?” Jimin suggested to Ren. “Then, when you’re ready, you can come back and have fun with everyone again, okay?”
“Can I stay, too?” Mingi asked.
Jimin opened his mouth to say, no, of course not, but then he saw the way Ren was holding onto Mingi’s sleeve, and the hopeful look in Mingi’s eyes. He sighed.
“All right. But I don’t want to come back in here to find you goofing off. I think Ren really needs a nap.” Sure enough, the little boy’s eyes were drooping already.
“I’ll be good; promise!”
Jimin finished putting away the last of the craft supplies and then stepped carefully around the piles of napping children. Then he went into the Quiet Time Room to check up on the boys. He had to pause in the doorway for a moment just to take in the adorable sight. Ren was curled up in a tight ball with his face squished against Mingi’s shoulder, while the older boy had his arms wrapped around him. The Mickey Mouse pillow was shoved between them, held tightly in Ren’s arms.
Yoongi had not had a good day. Thanks to his lack of sleep, he’d been in somewhat of a funk all day, making mistakes and not having much inspiration to work off of. He was looking forward to going home and getting an armful of Ren—squirmy or not—to calm him down. Maybe even take a nap before dinner.
He stopped by the grocery store and picked up a liter of milk, along with a pack of Ren’s favorite banana cookies. Yoongi thought they tasted awful, but for some reason the kid loved them. He bought real bananas for himself. And more coffee beans.
The click of the apartment door shutting behind Yoongi was all it took.
“Daddy! Daddy’s home!” Yoongi heard the squeal, and tried to hide a smile as he hung up his coat and removed his shoes. He was just stepping into the kitchen and setting the groceries on the counter when Ren came flying around the corner and threw himself at his legs.
“Oof,” Yoongi grunted, laughing. “You’re getting too strong,” he joked. He reached down to grab Ren under his armpits, and—thankful that their ceilings were higher than their previous apartment—tossed him up into the air. He earned a shriek and then an earful of giggles when he brought him back down to hold on his hip.
“Pretty soon I’m not going to be able to carry you, kiddo,” he said conversationally as he opened up the fridge to put the milk inside.
He pulled out the small pack of cookies, and put them up in the cabinet before Ren even noticed.
“Is it okay if we sit on the sofa for a bit, Ren-ah? Daddy had a long day, and he’s tired. I wanna snuggle my favorite boy for a bit before dinner.”
“Can I watch TV?”
“I suppose so.”
They settled down onto the sofa and flipped to one of the kids’ channels—Yoongi had no idea what show it was, because all he knew were the current Japanese cartoons and the Korean ones from when he was a child.
“Daddy, why don’t they have Anpanman or Doraemon here?” Ren asked, sighing like an old man as he sank into Yoongi’s lap, head falling back against his chest.
“Hmm. I dunno. Maybe we can look for it another time. I’m sure they have it available somewhere.”
They were quiet for a little while, just watching the cartoon together, but then Yoongi rested his chin on the top of Ren’s head and unconsciously drew in a deep breath through his nose.
As if his eyes were telephoto lenses, his attention zoomed out from the TV screen and immediately refocused on Ren’s hair.
Yoongi was used to his son coming home smelling like other children, but the scent lingering on him this time was bizarrely familiar.
He smelled like Jimin.
Yoongi was sure he was imagining things. It had been years since he’d last spoken to his friend, and he wasn’t sure it was possible to remember someone’s scent so well after such a long time.
He pressed his face against Ren’s hair, where the scent was especially strong, and something deep inside him stirred when he inhaled the scent. An instinct. It couldn’t be right, but somehow—
“Ren, did someone touch your hair today?” he asked, purposely keeping his voice light.
“Whatcha mean, Daddy?” was the response he got, and he almost got kneed in the crotch by not one, but two bony little legs clambering upon his open lap as Ren turned around to look at him.
“You smell like someone else.”
“Huh? You mean Teacher?”
“Did your teacher touch your hair today?”
Ren nodded, looking a little embarrassed. “I got, I got upset. But I was so tired, and I didn’t wanna play with the other kids. I only wanted to play with Mingi-hyung.”
“You got upset?” He recalled the meltdowns in the morning.
“Yeah,” Ren admitted. “But Teacher gives the best hugs. He, he let me go into the Quiet Time Room where there’s lots of picture books and pillows, and him and Mingi-hyung gave me a nice big hug ‘til I stopped crying. Then I got to take a nap, and Mingi-hyung gave me a big fluffy Mickey Mouse pillow to snuggle.”
So it was his teacher’s scent. It had to be a coincidence, then. Yoongi tried to recall the name of Ren’s teacher, but came up with a blank. He knew he’d read through the paperwork, but he’d been in a bit of a rush at the time, and he might not have bothered to look too closely at the teacher’s name.
Besides. The teacher probably knew the students’ parents’ names, right? If it was Jimin, he’d have contacted him right away, wouldn’t he have?
“Hello, this is Kinder Arts, how may I help you?” A woman’s friendly voice answered the phone.
“Hi, my son is a student; Min Ren—I’m calling because this afternoon he accidentally took home another student’s sweatshirt. I’m sorry I didn’t notice it until now.”
“That’s not a problem, Mr. Min! Does it have a name anywhere on the shirt, like on a tag? We encourage parents to write their children’s names on their tags in case of instances like this. Happens more often than you think, what with the children trying to scent their best friends all the time,” she laughed.
“Ah—let me check; hold on.” He shouldered the phone as he reached into the shirt to check the tag. “Yes, there’s a name, it’s—” he paused, frowning.
“It says, ‘Park Mingi,’” he finished, a very odd feeling settling deep within him.
He startled and refocused at her exclamation.
“Mingi-yah’s!” He heard her laugh. “I had a feeling this would happen soon. Those two boys are absolutely inseparable. They’ve been trading clothes the past couple weeks.” She seemed very amused. “Anyway, you can just bring it back the next time Rennie has class.”
“Ah, um, okay, I’ll do that. Thanks.” Then, just before he hung up, he asked, “What’s your name?”
“My name is Lee Daeun,” she responded. “I’m always in the registration office if you need anything, but you can just bring it straight to the classroom and give it to Teacher Park, Mingi’s father.”
After he hung up, Yoongi fingered the letters printed on the tag in fading black marker. ‘Park Mingi’ was written in a neat, careful font that looked a little too familiar. The name was a little too familiar.
Everything was too familiar.
His brain seemed to catch up to himself, then, and he realized; if Ren’s teacher was who he thought he was, then that meant Jimin had had a child of his own, was possibly even mated with someone else…and that—that hurt more than he thought it would. It was ridiculous for him to feel that way, because he had Ren, and he hadn’t even spoken to Jimin in nearly six years. He had no claim over the omega anymore.
He never had.
“Hey, Rennie?” he raised his voice to call out into the other room. He began walking toward his son’s room even as he heard the thud of him jumping down from the bed and running toward the door. “Ren-ah, how old is your friend at school again? I forgot.”
“Yes, that’s the one.”
“He’s older than five!” Ren exclaimed, clearly impressed with the older child’s age. “Five and, and…I can’t remember how much.”
Yoongi frowned. Mingi was more than five years old? Had Jimin…so soon after Yoongi had left?
But no. He looked down at the name in his hands. Min…gi. It almost felt like a joke; too much of a coincidence.
“Tell me more about your friend?” He crouched down to Ren’s level, shifting his voice up a pitch in pretended light curiosity. Ren fell for the bait.
His eyes lit up, and a big smile spread across his face. “Mingi-hyung is the best! He’s my best, best friend!”
“What’s Mingi-hyung look like? Can you tell me about that?”
He got an emphatic nod. “He looks like me!”
Yoongi felt a twinge of déjà vu. Ren had told him all of this before, but he hadn’t even thought—
“He’s this tall,” Ren held his hand up a tiny bit higher than his own head, “and he has a cute nose just like me,” he pressed his own finger against the end of his nose, squishing it as he pouted in thought, “and he has cute, puffy cheeks!” He grabbed his own cheeks and puffed them out roundly. “He’s pretty, like Teacher.” Ren nodded seriously.
Yoongi’s stomach was dropping. “He…has the same nose as you? And puffy cheeks? You don’t have puffy cheeks, though,” he pointed out, desperately grasping at any reason this wouldn’t work.
Ren shook his head. “No, but Teacher does! When Teacher’s happy, his face does this!” He puffed out his cheeks and made an exaggerated closed-eye smile; one that was scarily familiar to Yoongi.
“Do you…is anything else the same as you?”
Ren frowned, and Yoongi could almost see the cogs working in his brain. He knew he was pushing his son too hard for such complicated information, but he had to know.
“Oh!” his face lit up, and he pointed to his mouth. “His mouth is the same as me, and we have matching freckles right here! Isn’t that cool?!” He had his little pointer finger jabbed right into the freckle to the left of his nose, the same one Yoongi had.
Yoongi was going to be sick.
Ren suddenly stopped speaking, and froze up. “Daddy? Daddy, what’s wrong? Are you mad at me?”
Yoongi realized he was giving off distressed pheromones, and he tried to reign them in. He pulled Ren into his arms, lifting him up and walking them toward the sofa.
“I love you so much, you know that, right?” he mumbled against his son’s neck.
“Daddy, why are you being weird?”
“Rennie, do you want Daddy to drop you off tomorrow? You can introduce me to Mingi-hyung and Teacher.”
“Really?!” Ren squealed directly in his ear, and Yoongi tried not to wince as he nodded.
“What are you still doing home?” Seokjin asked him two days later, when Yoongi was sitting on the sofa watching morning cartoons with Ren on his lap.
“Oh. Hyung, actually I’m—I can drop off Ren today.” Yoongi hoped he wasn’t going to regret this. But he needed to know.
Seokjin gave Yoongi a look. “What? You don’t have to be into work?”
“I let them know I’d be late. There’s something I need to talk to Ren’s teacher about.”
Seokjin seemed to relax, but he could probably still sense that Yoongi wasn’t telling him something. “Ah, okay. Sure. Do you still need me to pick him up later?”
“Uh…yeah, probably. I’ll let you know.”
“Daddy, shh! I can’t hear!” Ren suddenly scolded him, turning around to pout. Yoongi just smiled and flicked him on the nose.
The walk from the car to the school building was stressful. Yoongi had Mingi’s sweatshirt folded carefully over his arm, washed and everything, while Ren skipped ahead, clearly excited about Yoongi coming to school. They were a little early; Yoongi had severely over-estimated the time it took to get to the school, but that was probably a better thing, anyway.
Ren stood impatiently by the classroom door, waiting for Yoongi to walk down the hallway and open it. He was practically dancing, wiggling in excitement.
“Hurry up, Daddy! Why are you so slow?”
“I’m coming, I’m coming.”
Yoongi knocked twice before pushing the door open, and immediately he could smell him.
Jimin’s back was to them, but he was turning, and suddenly Yoongi couldn’t move. Jimin’s face went pale, and the sweet, calming scent in the air turned sour with anxiety.
“Y-Yoongi…hyung?” he whispered.
Ren didn’t understand what was going on, but he understood something was wrong. He latched onto Yoongi’s leg and whined.
But Yoongi’s eyes weren’t on his son. They were on Jimin, who was beginning to breathe unevenly and go even paler. The omega was looking back and forth between Ren and Yoongi.
Yoongi’s instinct to go forward and touch him, to wrap him in his pheromones to calm him, was very strong, but he knew that would be the wrong thing to do.
“Jimin,” Yoongi said, stepping forward awkwardly with Ren clinging to him. He flinched when Jimin’s legs gave out as he tried to back away.
“Oh my god,” Jimin was mumbling, and then a sudden sob broke free from his lips.
“Daddyyy,” Ren whined, his small arms tight around Yoongi’s thigh. A door on the other side of the classroom opened.
Yoongi’s breath caught in his chest when a child who could be no other than Park Mingi came flying across the room and threw his arms around Jimin. A woman with glasses and short hair had been right behind him, and she quickly entered the room as well.
“What’s going on? Jimin-ah, are you all right?!”
Jimin was heaving, struggling to breathe, it looked like. Yoongi could smell Mingi’s terror. He wasn’t surprised when Mingi began crying loudly. He was surprised, however, when Ren also ran forward to Jimin and Mingi.
The alpha couldn’t just stand back, and started to move toward them, but Mingi’s wailing stopped for a split second as he moved in front of Jimin and growled at Yoongi.
Ren grabbed his hand. “Mingi-hyung, no! That’s my Daddy! He’s not bad!”
Jimin flinched and pressed his hand to his mouth to muffle a whimper. He reached out blindly, trying to grab Mingi’s arm, but missed completely. On the second attempt, he managed to grab his son’s wrist and pull him close.
Yoongi stepped back. He couldn't take his eyes off of Mingi. He’d never, in all the years since he last saw Jimin, thought of the possibility that he’d left Jimin with child. It hadn’t even crossed his mind. And even though it hadn’t been on purpose, he had completely cut off all contact with the omega right when he’d needed him most.
He'd abandoned him.
He'd abandoned him with child.
“I think you should go, Mr. Min.” The woman, whose voice Yoongi recognized from the phone—Lee Daeun, was it?—stepped forward, pulling him out of his vortex of thoughts and apologetically urged him back from the shocked omega. “You can leave Ren; we’ll take care of this. I don’t think you should be here right now.”
“I’m sorry, I—” Yoongi broke off when both Ren and Mingi looked up at him at the same time, and he could clearly see the resemblance between the two.
He could see the mix. Of himself…and Jimin, in Mingi. It was impossible to not see. He had no idea how Jimin had missed it, if this was the first time he was finding out, himself.
The alpha’s blood ran cold, and in response to Yoongi’s horror—it was seeping out of him beyond his control—Jimin collapsed a little further onto the ground, both hands now covering his face.
“Please, Mr. Min,” Daeun urged.
“I’m so sorry,” he said again, backing away.
“Daddy?” Ren started to move toward him.
“Uncle Seokjin will pick you up later, Ren. Daddy has to go to work.”
Then, before he could do something else he’d regret, he stepped outside of the classroom and walked quickly out of the building.
Yoongi was in shock. He wasn’t sure how he got to his car, but once he was there, he sat in the driver’s seat for several minutes, unable to even see in front of himself.
What Jimin must have gone through after Yoongi stopped contacting him…. Yoongi had dealt with a pregnant omega in Japan, and he knew—because he knew what Jimin was like—that Jimin must have been in so much pain, in so much agony without his alpha, but Yoongi hadn’t been there for him. He’d abandoned Jimin.
Yoongi swore loudly and hit the steering wheel with the heel of his fists.
His phone pinged, and he realized he was even later for work than he’d said he would be.
“Goddammit. God-fucking-dammit. I’m so fucking stupid.”
Suddenly the last six years…all of the good in them…felt hollow. He felt like he didn’t deserve them.
Ignoring the text that was likely from his boss, he turned on the car and backed out of the parking lot. It was only thanks to his brain going into autopilot that he arrived safely.
The day was too long. He couldn’t concentrate all day at work. He kept his phone close to him, glancing at it every few minutes, it felt like, but it didn’t ring at all.
He just barely remembered in time to message Seokjin to let him know he needed to pick up Ren in the afternoon.
Jimin sat in the back of the registration office, hunched over the desk he and Jiwoo shared—where he couldn’t be seen if a parent walked up to the front desk. It probably looked like he was sleeping, but he was far from sleep. His mind was a complete mess. He was going into a spiral; he knew.
He’d had to be nearly carried out of the classroom by both women, unable to get his legs to work. Unable to breathe. The two boys didn’t help his situation, distressed pheromones filling up the entire room and choking him even further.
Luckily Jiwoo had taken care of them, while Daeun helped him over to the desk.
“Do you want anything? Water? Meds? A Mickey Mouse pillow?” she joked weakly.
The strangeness of the comment startled him enough to force a half laugh from him, but then he thought of Mingi, and Yoongi, and…Ren, and he broke down completely.
“Shh, shh; it’s okay,” Daeun soothed, wrapping her arms around his shoulders.
Jimin didn’t ask for it, but she brought him a glass of water.
“Take it easy, okay? Jiwoo can take over your class for the day. If you’d like, once you calm down a bit, you’re welcome to go home. I can bring Mingi-yah home when the school day is over.”
Jimin shook his head. “No, I…I shouldn’t—”
“You need to take care of yourself first, Jimin-ah. Who’s going to take care of Mingi if you can’t take care of yourself?”
“Daeun-noona…Noona, that was his father.” He pressed both hands to his face, elbows on the desk as a fresh wave of tears spilled from his eyes.
“What?” Instantly she was closer, hand gripping his shoulder.
She knew the story. She’d been working here before it was Kinder Arts; when it was just a regular preschool for less advantaged families, and Jimin was just an intern who got knocked up and then abandoned by the other father. Jimin had never told her the name of Mingi’s other father, but she knew everything else. She’d been there for him when he was trying to pick himself back up onto his feet, trying to fight his depression. She had made sure he had a safe, welcoming place to work; that it was possible for him to do this himself.
“That man…Min Yoongi…is Mingi’s father.”
“Oh my god,” she breathed.
Jimin shook his head. “I don’t know. Maybe, maybe now he does, now that he’s seen Mingi, but I, I don’t know.”
He thought about Ren. How both he and Mingi had taken an instant liking to each other. It made sense, now. They didn’t understand, but their instincts knew they were brothers. Ren had latched onto Mingi so quickly, and had become surprisingly dependent on the older boy; and despite Mingi having a general dislike for the other kids getting up in his space, he’d had no problem with Ren’s adoration.
“Noona, is…is Min Yoongi married?” He wasn’t sure if he wanted to know the answer, but he already had a knife in his chest; a little twisting wouldn’t make much more of a difference.
The hand disappeared from his back. “I don’t remember off the top of my head. Do you really want me to check the papers?”
He couldn’t form the words, so he just nodded, and then let his forehead rest on the desk. His anxiety was going down, and so was his energy. He felt weak, and shaky. He needed someone to hold.
He listened to the metallic squeak of the filing cabinet, and then the shuffling of papers.
“Min…Min…Min Ren. Here it is.”
Jimin bit his lip and squeezed his eyes shut.
“Let’s see; ‘Parents or Guardians. Father: Min Yoongi, alpha male. Mother or Birthing Father: unlisted, omega female,’” she read aloud. “And there’s a little side note scrawled here that says the mother is Japanese, not Korean.”
Jimin sat up. “’Mother’? He had Ren with a woman?”
“Yes.” Daeun gave him a curious look. “Is that surprising to you?”
He frowned. “Yeah, I guess. I mean…when we knew each other, I don’t think he ever dated anyone, and he never showed interest in any of the women around us.”
“Hmm. Well,” she waved the papers slightly, “it looks like he’s not married. Who’s that tall man who always drops Ren off, though? I only met him once, when he gave me a second phone number for an emergency contact.”
“Kim Seokjin,” Jimin sighed. “He said he’s a close family friend. Ren calls him ‘uncle,’ but Yoongi only has one brother, and Seokjin-ssi isn’t him.”
The knot in his chest eased a little bit. The knowledge that Yoongi wasn’t in a relationship right now somehow made him feel better, although the knowledge that he’d had a child of his own within such a short time of leaving him—
“What’s Ren’s birthday?” he asked.
“Jimin, don’t do this to yourself. It’s not healthy,” Daeun sighed. She checked, anyway.
Ren had been born eight months after Mingi. Which meant that right when Jimin was in the worst stage of his pregnancy, and in the worst mental health, Yoongi had been sleeping with some other omega and getting her pregnant. Right when Jimin had needed him most.
His stomach turned, and there was a burning in his chest. Jimin accidentally hit his head on the edge of the desk as he hunched over, curling in on himself on the chair.
His vision was tunneling.
“Mingi,” he growled out. “I need Mingi, please.”
“Jimin, it’s not a good idea to disturb the children—”
“Please,” he whimpered, and toppled off of the chair to sit curled up on the floor, back against the desk and knees to his chest as he fisted his hair.
“O-okay,” she heaved a sigh, and walked off.
The sound of children’s playing voices got louder for a split second before cutting off again as the door closed.
He was having trouble breathing again. The only thing he could see was the V between his knees; a triangle of lighter color surrounded by darkness. Everything else was out of focus and hurt his head. He couldn’t breathe.
The noise elevated once more, and then suddenly a pair of small arms wrapped themselves around his head.
“Daddy,” Mingi whispered, pressing a sloppy kiss to the top of Jimin’s head. “Daddy I love you,” he said. He always said this when comforting Jimin. It was just part of what Mingi did. The little boy didn’t really understand what was going on, but this had always been a part of their relationship.
“I love you, too, baby,” Jimin choked out, unfolding his arms and spreading his knees apart so his son could climb onto his lap and cuddle him better. “I love you so, so much, Mingi-yah.” He wrapped his arms around the small boy’s body and held him close, burying his face against his hair and breathing in deeply. It took a few moments, but soon enough he could feel himself relax.
That is, until they all heard an escalating cry coming from the classroom.
Mingi tried to pull away. “Rennie,” he hissed, but Jimin held him tightly.
“I’ll go see what’s up,” Daeun said quickly, getting back up out of her chair with a groan of springs and rolling wheels. A minute later she was back, with a sobbing four-year-old clinging to her neck.
“I wa-want my Daddy,” he was crying as he sat on her hip. “Duh-don’t wanna be alooone!”
“You’re not alone, sweetheart,” Daeun cooed, bouncing him on her hip like a baby. “We’re right here.
“No! Want my Daddy!” he shrieked.
He was inconsolable, and Jimin’s instincts to soothe him took over.
“Bring him over here,” he said, struggling to get up and ultimately failing when he found he had no strength in his arms or legs. He leaned back against the desk. At least they cleaned the floor every day, and didn’t wear shoes in the classroom or behind the front desk.
Mingi shifted to one side of his lap and leaned heavily against his chest, somehow knowing that Jimin couldn’t let him go just yet.
Daeun set Ren down on the floor next to him, still holding him up under his armpits when he didn’t put any effort into standing on his own.
“Rennie, come here,” Jimin encouraged. “Do you want a hug from Mingi-hyung?”
Ren sniffled and hiccupped, rubbing at his face before slowly nodding.
“I thought so,” Jimin said, trying to keep his voice as light as possible. It was difficult, and pulled twice as much energy out of him, but he knew Ren was already scared. Mingi was—unfortunately—used to seeing Jimin like this. But Ren…he must have been terrified and confused.
Ren stepped forward and over Jimin’s other thigh before dropping down to sit on it. Then, without moving from his spot against Jimin’s chest, Mingi pulled him in for a big hug.
Jimin felt his eyes stinging again, and he looked up at Daeun helplessly. She only shook her head and tried to smile encouragingly at him.
“I’m going to get a couple of banana milks for them,” she said, and then left them in the quiet.
“I want my daddy,” Ren whimpered, softer this time.
“You can borrow my daddy for a bit,” Mingi offered, patting his head as best as a five-year-old could do. Ren’s head bobbed each time from the force of the pats, but he didn’t seem to mind. “My daddy gives the best hugs, and the best kisses, and smells nice and safe,” he explained, somehow not sounding like he was bragging.
Jimin tried to laugh.
“I’m sure your daddy does all of those things, too,” he told Ren, rubbing a hand up and down his back. He wasn’t just saying it to console the little boy; Jimin knew it all to be true.
A week passed. Seokjin continued to drop off and pick up Ren. Jimin went back to teaching as normal. There was no word from Yoongi. It was almost as if nothing had even happened. Except now, Jimin couldn’t get Yoongi out of his mind. He had a feeling that Yoongi was trying to give him space.
He didn’t want it, anymore.
At the end of the week, Jimin asked for Yoongi’s phone number. Although it was against school policy for teachers to take parents’ contact information for personal use, everyone agreed that this was a special case to which the rules did not apply.
That night, Jimin sat in bed, staring at Yoongi’s name in his phone for a long time before finally taking a deep breath and pressing it.
It rang several times before going to voicemail. Jimin panicked for a split second, considering hanging up, but then he thought better. He cleared his throat.
“Hi…Yoongi…hyung?” his voice caught. “This is Jimin.” He didn’t know what to say. “I…I just wanted to talk with you. You can…um, reach me at this number. It’s my personal mobile. That’s…it. Um, yeah.” He hung up before he could say anything worse.
He was just setting the phone on his bedside table after staring at it blankly when it suddenly began to ring.
‘Min Yoongi’ lit up across the screen. He quickly swiped to answer.
“Hello?” He was relieved that his voice wasn’t shaky.
“Jimin,” Yoongi’s voice came through, sounding tense. “I just—I just got your message. I was putting Ren to bed.”
“Oh,” Jimin said, not knowing how else to respond.
“Jimin, I…there are so many things I want to talk to you about. Things I want to apologize for.”
Jimin didn’t know why he called Yoongi. Now that he had him on the phone, he really just didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know where to start. He—
“I missed you,” he said weakly. The dam broke. The words poured out of him. “I missed you so much. Hyung, I needed you. Where were you?”
He wasn’t crying, but he might as well have been.
“Jimin, I’m so sorry.” Even through the phone, he could hear the pain in Yoongi’s voice it helped, somehow. “I can’t even begin to tell you how much I regret—”
“‘Regret’?” Jimin choked.
“Regret not finding a way to contact you,” Yoongi finished quickly. “I—I really don’t want to have this conversation over the phone. But, Jimin, my bag was stolen. My bag—with my phone, and my entire address book. It was stolen right when I got to Japan. We never…we never had any mutual friends in school. I didn’t know how to get in touch with you. I…” he trailed off slightly. “I should have tried harder.”
“You had a child,” Jimin found himself saying, the accusatory tone leaking into his voice.
“I know. I…it was an accident. It wasn’t meant to happen.”
“Don’t call him an accident,” Jimin snapped. He couldn’t stand the idea of Ren being considered unwanted.
“I’m sorry. No, I love him, Jimin. I love him so much. I’m sorry.”
“Mingi…” Jimin started, keeping his voice low in case his son on the other side of the wall heard his name being spoken.
“He’s ours, hyung,” Jimin whispered. “He’s all you and me. Through and through.”
“And I love him more than anything on this entire Earth.”
There was a short pause. “Jimin, can we, can we meet? Just you and I first. Please. This shouldn’t be done over the phone. There’s so much we need to talk about.”
“Tomorrow? Are you free tomorrow? It’s Saturday. Sunday…I can move some things around if Sunday is better for you,” he insisted.
“No; tomorrow—I can do tomorrow. I just need to drop Mingi off at a friend’s, then—where should we meet?”
Yoongi was already waiting when Jimin entered the small café.
It felt surreal, seeing the alpha sitting at one of the more secluded tables, one leg folded over the other, foot bouncing slightly in the air to the music playing in the café. He wasn’t looking up at Jimin, so the omega had a moment to just look.
Yoongi was scrolling through his phone, and there were dark sunglasses on the table beside him. He was dressed nicely; nicer than he had dressed in university, anyway. Mature, but still somehow youthful. Jimin, himself, had spent a good amount of time fretting over what to wear, his bedroom door locked so that Mingi couldn’t come in and distract him from his panic.
He hadn’t been trying to impress Yoongi. He had no reason to. But still, his instincts pushed him to look good for ‘his alpha,’ and his brain was in a complete disarray because of it. Yoongi wasn’t his alpha. Jimin wasn’t even sure he wanted him to be. But then he thought of the way Yoongi use to hold him and kiss him, and he went weak.
He wanted that back.
Sometimes, instincts were troublesome.
Now, he watched as Yoongi lifted his forest green sweatered hand to scratch lightly at the side of his neck, the sleeve sliding down slightly to reveal a shiny silver wristwatch. Jimin wasn’t materialistic by any means; he didn’t have the luxury of that—but the image was so alpha that his heart jumped a tiny bit.
Jimin stepped forward, gripping his bag between his tense fingers. Yoongi looked up just as he reached the table.
“Hyung,” Jimin said, voice low. He was trembling.
Yoongi stood up to greet him, sending a wave of unfortunately delicious pheromones over him. Oh, how Jimin had missed that scent.
“Jimin-ah,” Yoongi murmured, in that low, slightly rough voice of his.
Jimin couldn’t look him in the eyes. He stared at his shoulders instead. His broad, safe shoulders.
Abruptly he forced himself to look up. The amount of concern in those eyes was overwhelming.
“Jimin,” he said again. “Can I…” he swallowed. “Can I hug you?”
Jimin stepped forward half a step, entire body tense. He licked his lips. “Yes.”
The moment Yoongi’s arms came around him, drawing him in to press against his chest, Jimin let out a shaky breath that was the tiniest bit vocal at the end. Yoongi groaned quietly as if in relief, and then tightened his hold. Jimin let himself rest his cheek against the alpha’s shoulder. Inches from his neck, from his scent gland.
Besides the soft, innocent scent of Ren he’d grown to recognize, Jimin couldn’t smell anyone else on Yoongi. He allowed himself to breathe in deeply, and melt a bit against him.
It felt so good.
It was like a headache finally disappearing. Like a stomachache easing after many hours of pain. Like sore, tense muscles losing all of their knots after a good massage.
Eventually, though, Yoongi pulled away. Jimin’s fingers lingered on his chest for a moment before dropping back down to his bag.
“Let’s order some food before we start talking, okay?” the alpha suggested, voice soft.
Jimin nodded. He didn’t feel too hungry, but he walked up to wait in line with Yoongi. They didn’t speak, but every now and then Jimin would catch his gaze on him when he snuck glances himself. The alpha urged him to go first, and Jimin could feel his eyes on him as he pointed out his order on the counter menu to the cashier.
“And for you, sir?” the teenage cashier asked, turning to Yoongi before she’d charged Jimin for his order.
“Oh—we’re not,” Jimin stumbled over his words. “We’re not, um.”
“It’s okay, I can pay,” Yoongi offered, but Jimin shook his head quickly. “No, I don’t want you to.”
“Ah—okay.” His gaze shifted to the cashier, watching the whole interaction with vague interest. “Separately, please.”
Once Jimin had finished paying and was given his drink, he went to wait by the pick-up counter, staring at the table where their jackets and bags sat saving the table. There was a strip of sunlight lying across the glossy wood surface of the table. It was only broken up by the tiny decorative succulent plant sitting in the center of the table.
He startled when Yoongi joined him at the pick-up counter.
“Why don’t we sit down to wait,” he suggested gently. It didn’t sound like he was pointing out Jimin’s stupidity, but just offering an innocent suggestion. Jimin nodded.
It was clear that Yoongi also wanted to wait until they had their orders before beginning to talk; to avoid any unnecessary interruptions. They sat silently, sipping at their coffees and glancing at each other. Jimin chewed on the inside of his lip and played with his fingers under the table, hiding them within his long, navy-blue sleeves.
Finally, after what felt like ages, they had their food spread across the table.
“Jimin. Can you tell me what happened? When…when was Mingi born?”
“You want me to just skip over all of the bad stuff?” Jimin couldn’t help asking. He stabbed his fork into his pasta and began to twist the noodles around it.
“No—I just mean; when is his birthday? I want to know.”
“November twenty-first.” He could see Yoongi mentally counting back. “Then…that last time…?”
Jimin nodded. “Yes. We were—we were both so drunk that night. We weren’t thinking. And then you abandoned me, right before I found out I was pregnant.”
“I didn’t abandon you,” Yoongi insisted. “Not on purpose. I’m not saying you should forgive me. I don’t…I don’t want you to forgive me. But I never meant you harm, and I—”
“Yoongi-hyung, I was a wreck,” Jimin found himself interrupting. The alpha went silent. “If it wasn’t for my best friend Taehyung being there for me, I might have lost the baby. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I had school to finish, but I couldn’t concentrate on my classes. I had my internship, but I kept calling out sick. I didn’t eat. Taehyung forced me to eat. He forced me to take walks with him, to get sunshine. To listen to music. I wasn’t…I wasn’t me.”
Yoongi was silent, staring hard at him and listening to every word.
“I still have bad days. Bad weeks, sometimes. But it is easier, now. When Mingi was born, he was like…” Jimin tried to think of an adequate comparison. “He was like this bright, warm bundle of love. Pure innocence, and completely dependent on me. I had to pull myself together, for him. Tae helped, so, so much. He still does.”
“Jimin, I’m so sorry. I can’t even begin to express how…disgusting I feel about myself.”
The omega felt a shot of pain. “Don’t say that,” he said quietly. “Please don’t talk like that.”
“I’m sorry,” Yoongi said again.
“What about Ren?” Jimin changed the subject, forcing himself to eat some more of his lukewarm food.
“What do you want to know about him?”
“What happened to his mother? Why is it just you two? Who is Kim Seokjin?”
Yoongi’s shoulders seemed to relax. “Seokjin-hyung lives with us. He was my freshman year roommate—”
“How did you get in touch with him, if you lost all your contacts?” Jimin spoke up suddenly, feeling a sick sense of suspicion in his gut.
“My mom,” Yoongi replied easily. “She had his number. I only remembered my old home phone number, and then the only numbers I could get back were the ones my parents or brother had.” There was a moment of silence where they just stared at each other. Then Yoongi continued.
“Ren’s mother…I slept with her only once. The condom broke. She wanted an abortion, but Japanese laws only allow abortions for certain situations, and she didn’t qualify. She was—understandably—furious. It was…we never really had a proper relationship. We weren’t even friends. She threatened to put up the baby for adoption, but I couldn’t just give away a child of mine, so I said I’d take the baby. I don’t regret it one bit,” he finished quietly. “I love Ren too much.”
Jimin smiled warmly. “He is a precious boy. He and Mingi,” he paused, feeling his eyes water a little, “they are the best of friends, Yoongi-hyung. I don’t know why they could sense it when I couldn’t, but somehow they just…and now apparently they are brothers.”
Yoongi’s hand was lying on the table by his drink, only a few centimeters from where Jimin’s hand rested limply beside his plate. After a moment of hesitation, Jimin moved his hand just enough to touch his fingertips to Yoongi’s. The alpha’s fingers twitched, his eyes flickered down to their hands, and then he slowly opened his hand, stretching his fingers out underneath the tips of Jimin’s.
The omega’s breath caught in his chest, and his fingers trembled slightly. He pulled his lips in to moisten them, feeling the tingle in his skin as his blood couldn’t decide whether to disappear from his cheeks or gather.
Jimin slid his hand forward. Yoongi curled his fingers around his, and gently stroked his thumb over Jimin’s smaller knuckles.
“I want you to meet him properly. I want you to meet our son,” Jimin whispered.
Yoongi was having trouble wrapping his mind around everything. He felt horrendously guilty, especially after hearing Jimin’s story. Jimin told him to stop apologizing, though.
Jimin had matured in their years apart.
The omega used to be somewhat of a wild little thing, only soft for those he cared about, strong for those he didn’t have any interest in. Yoongi had always thought he’d been a bit silly, teasing him and acting childishly when they were trying to study together. It was only when they moved against each other in their most intimate moments when the omega’s eyes would go dark, his face would go slack, and there was no question that he wasn’t an innocent soul.
Now, though, Jimin was a responsible adult. A father. In control of his life. Yoongi hated that the only weakness the omega seemed to have was the alpha’s fault. He had weakened and broken Jimin, and the omega had to pick up the pieces alone; had to put them back together and deal with the cuts when they didn’t go back together without a fight.
Yoongi didn’t feel pity. He felt guilt.
But that wasn’t why he wanted to pull Jimin into his arms and just hold him tightly for as long as he could. It wasn’t why at all.
That very evening, after going their separate ways, Yoongi showed up at Jimin’s door with Ren in tow. The only thing Ren knew was that they were going to have a pizza party at Mingi’s home.
Ren was nearly wetting himself in excitement. He’d already forgotten about the incident at school.
“Does Mingi have lots of toys?” He asked now. “Can I play with them? Does he have a pet? Does he—”
“Kiddo,” Yoongi cut him off, putting his hand firmly down on the top of Ren’s head, effectively holding him still. His little arms continued to wave around, and Yoongi could still feel the wiggling travelling up through his spine. “We’ll have to wait and find out, okay? But I’m sure that you can play with his toys as long as you ask nicely.”
Jimin opened the door, smiling widely. Yoongi felt himself go a little weak. He’d missed that smile.
“Hi, Ren-ah,” he swung the door open more to let them in. “Mingi’s in the living room, cleaning up his Legos. He made a big mess earlier, and somebody stepped on one and hurt his foot.” He not so subtly pointed to himself, mouthing to Yoongi, ‘That would be me.’
Yoongi grimaced in empathy—been there, done that. His hand shot out to grab Ren’s shoulder as he made to run into the house.
“Ren-ah, what do we say?” he reminded, intending for him to greet Jimin properly. What they got instead was:
“Ojama shimasu!” and then he kicked off his shoes and went tearing into the apartment.
Yoongi suddenly realized that this was the first Korean household Ren was visiting. “Ah,” he said, glancing at Jimin and feeling somewhat awkward. “I guess we have to work on that. Sorry.”
Jimin just shook his head, though, as he led Yoongi inside. “It’s all right. He’s stopped using so much Japanese in class, actually. There are certain things—like onomatopoeic words—that he has trouble with. But other than that, he does just fine.”
“I tried to speak only Korean with him at home, but honestly he was hearing and using more Japanese because of his day care and preschool.”
Having something to talk about made it easier to chat with Jimin without feeling uncomfortable.
“Mingi knows a little bit; we watch anime in Japanese together,” Jimin pointed out. “I’ve been trying to speed up his reading comprehension, and so far, he’s doing really well.”
“He can read subtitles?” Yoongi asked in surprise.
Jimin shrugged nonchalantly as they stepped into the living room where the boys were currently taking the Legos out of the bin instead of putting them away.
“Mingi!” Jimin’s voice was suddenly sharp. “What did I say about the Legos?”
His son—their son—froze, and looked up guiltily.
“I was—we were just—I wanted to show Ren-ah the jet I made,” he insisted, a slight whine in his voice.
Jimin sighed and shook his head. “Show him the jet, then, and then put everything away. Don’t you want to eat pizza with us?”
Throughout the evening, Yoongi could see that Jimin wanted to tell Mingi, but didn’t know how. He kept starting to tell him, but backing out halfway:
“Mingi-yah, come here for a second?”
Mingi had obediently come over to where Jimin and Yoongi were still sitting at the table, chatting, while the boys had been rolling around on the floor together and complaining about their full tummies.
Jimin visibly swallowed and then reached out to brush a strand of Mingi’s hair.
“You had something stuck,” he avoided once more.
In the end, Jimin didn’t tell Mingi. The omega hesitantly hugged Yoongi goodbye, and whispered, “I’m sorry,” against his ear, but Yoongi just shook his head and smiled sadly.
“It’s okay. I understand.”
On their third playdate (that’s what they were calling them for the kids) together, after a fun day at the optical illusion museum in Seoul, Jimin finally told Mingi.
Yoongi wasn’t sure why Jimin had chosen that particular moment to tell him; they were sitting at the end of the park and eating hot hotteok (the boys and Jimin had sweet ones, while Yoongi alone had chosen to get a savory filling), but when he saw the omega draw his son up into his lap and touch both hands to his sticky cheeks, Yoongi knew what was coming.
Yoongi set his partially eaten hotteok down on the bench in its paper and shifted so that his shoulder was just barely brushing against Jimin’s. He let out the breath he didn’t realize he was holding when Jimin leaned into the touch.
“Mingi-yah,” Jimin began, voice serious. To Yoongi’s surprise, the little boy calmed down quickly. Maybe he was used to serious discussions with his father. “You know how you used to ask me why you only have a daddy, not a mommy and daddy or two daddies like your other friends do?”
Mingi nodded, taking a big bite of his hotteok and then offering Jimin a bite. He took a tiny nibble.
“You said,” the boy said around his mouthful of food, “that I had another daddy, but he isn’t here right now. He lives far away.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Jimin pressed a little more into Yoongi’s side. The alpha could feel the nervousness oozing off of him in small waves, so he carefully nudged Jimin’s leg with his own. Since that first dinner with the kids, they had carefully been testing out their own relationship with each other. They had only been alone a few times, and although they were in no way intimate, multiple times they had found themselves gravitating toward each other. Jimin, especially, seemed to need Yoongi’s presence and touch the most.
Ren decided right then to climb up on the bench—he’d run off to throw his empty paper in the bin a little way’s down the sidewalk, and now was back—and he crawled onto Yoongi’s lap with a happy trill. The alpha looped his arm around his son’s waist to hold him still like a seatbelt, and hopefully calm him—he wasn’t nearly as successful as Jimin had been.
“See, the thing is,” Jimin continued, carding his fingers through Mingi’s hair, “he is here, now. And I didn’t know this, but…you have a little brother, too.”
Mingi’s mouth dropped open, and out fell a piece of half-chewed hotteok. Jimin cringed and caught it before it could fall into his lap. He pressed it right back into Mingi’s mouth. He glanced once at his sticky fingers with a resigned expression and then stuck them into his own mouth to lick clean.
Yoongi was honestly shocked that Mingi understood such a serious conversation.
“He’s sitting right next to me,” Jimin said. “Ren’s daddy is…your daddy, too,” he managed to say with a watery smile.
Mingi turned to give Yoongi a hard stare. He frowned, and then leaned forward, sniffing, like he’d be able to tell whether Jimin was lying or not.
“It’s true,” was all Yoongi could say.
“What’re you guys talking about?” Ren interrupted with a whine, bouncing on Yoongi’s lap and kicking his shins. “Why does Mingi-hyung smell not good?”
“Mingi-hyung is your big brother, Rennie,” Yoongi said softly, rubbing his hand on his back. “Your real brother.”
Mingi’s attention immediately swung to Ren instead of Yoongi.
“Really? Rennie is mine?”
Jimin snorted and glanced at Yoongi.
“Yes…I suppose he is,” he said in amusement.
Letting out a squeal, Mingi threw his arms around Ren, nearly toppling them off of Yoongi’s lap if it weren’t for him quickly putting an arm out to steady the both of them.
“This is the best day ever,” Mingi announced, squashing his face against a very confused Ren’s neck, rubbing his cheeks all over.
Later that evening, Jimin pulled Yoongi aside in his kitchen as they prepared dinner together.
“I want you to scent him,” he said in a low voice, stepping close as Yoongi peeled carrots.
“Are you sure?” Yoongi glanced up at him for a moment and then put the carrot he was peeling down; shaking the peeler clean, and then setting it down as well.
“I’m sure. I want him to have his father’s scent,” Jimin insisted. He was so close that it would be so easy to just slip an arm around his waist and hold him.
Yoongi debated with himself for a few seconds before giving in to the urge. He could feel the almost imperceptible shiver that went through Jimin’s body at the touch of Yoongi’s hand on his back, and then suddenly the omega was pressed against him, cheek resting on his shoulder.
“This,” Jimin murmured. “I needed this. I need this.”
Yoongi did, too.
Deciding to scent a child and actually going through with it were two very different concepts. Mingi was squirmy and uncooperative, clearly uncomfortable with Yoongi—essentially just the strange uncle who hung out with his father and sometimes played Legos with him—so they gave up and decided to watch a movie instead.
The boys wanted to build a sofa fort, so the four of them piled up the sofa cushions and draped a couple of bed sheets—dinosaur and Anpanman print, respectively—over chairs before crawling inside to watch “the penguin movie” (‘Penguins of Madagascar’) for possibly the umpteenth time in Yoongi’s life as a father.
Yoongi and Jimin settled back against the front of the sofa, the boys sprawled out facing forward between their stretched-out legs. When Jimin rested his head on Yoongi’s shoulder, the alpha slid his arm behind him to hold him a little closer. He shifted his own head to rub his jaw against the top of Jimin’s head, and he felt the omega’s cheeks pull into a smile against his shoulder.
Jimin reached out to lace their fingers together.
Ren looked back at them, and as soon as he realized what was happening, he perked up.
“I want to cuddle, too,” he announced loudly, interrupting the penguins’ argument going on, on screen. Unexpectedly, rather than go to Yoongi, he climbed onto Jimin and began to scent his neck.
“Looks like you’ve stolen my son from me,” Yoongi joked, looking down at them and feeling a rush of fondness.
Jimin’s eyes were watery as he smiled sadly. “I already did that six years ago.”
“No. It’s all my fault, Jimin. Don’t say that.”
“I could have tried harder. I could have…I could have tried to contact your family. Or your company. Done something.”
He stared long and hard into Yoongi’s eyes, as if trying to communicate the meaning behind the universe.
“Mingi, come here,” Jimin said suddenly, voice strong and leaving no room for argument, not taking his eyes off of Yoongi’s. “Let your other daddy scent you. I want you to have his scent.”
Mingi still squirmed, but he let Yoongi take him into his arms and nuzzle at his hair and neck.
Yoongi’s instinct knew he was his son. His entire body relaxed…and he started crying.
“Daddy, Daddy, he’s crying!” Mingi exclaimed, sounding both shocked and worried.
Ren had never seen Yoongi cry. Not once. Which is why it wasn’t unexpected when the four-year-old started getting upset. Jimin pulled him back into his arms, and brought them all together, kissing the top of Mingi’s head, and then hesitantly looked up at Yoongi.
They leaned forward at the same time, meeting in the middle above the boys’ heads for the softest, most careful kiss.
Both boys shrieked and threw themselves away, making barfing noises together and covering their eyes (Mingi looked through his fingers).
“No kissing allowed!”
“Let’s go, Ren-ah!”
The boys ran into Mingi’s room, leaving the two adults alone to hesitantly kiss again, lingering a little longer this time, but remaining chaste. In the background, unnoticed by anyone, mutated penguins ran amuck on the television screen.
When Jimin pulled away, his eyes were hopeful, but he laughed and began to get up.
“I suppose we should go make sure they don’t tear the room apart.”
“Yeah, I suppose we should.”
The new bed with its new sheets seemed too white, too pristine, and as Jimin pulled back the covers on one side, they both glanced at each other. There was a nervousness circulating in Yoongi’s blood. He watched the slow way that the omega slipped underneath the covers and then pulled them up to his chest. Jimin turned onto his side, facing Yoongi.
The alpha still hadn’t made a move.
“It’s okay, Yoongi-hyung,” Jimin said quietly. “Please, come to bed.”
Yoongi licked his lips nervously and then peeled back the other side of the covers. Jimin’s hand was waiting for him, outstretched over his side of the bed. He took the hand in his as he settled back against his pillow.
“I missed you,” they both said at the same time, eyes widening in mutual surprise. Jimin’s cheeks flushed slightly, and he scooted closer on the bed.
“You did?” he whispered, eyes on his hand which Yoongi was raising slowly to his mouth.
Yoongi brushed his lips against Jimin’s knuckles, leaving only the softest touch.
“I did,” he spoke against the skin.
Jimin shifted on his pillow, the smile on his face so soft and fond as his hair spilled over the pillow in such a smooth arc that Yoongi couldn’t help but reach out to card his fingers through the soft strands, curving his palm around the back of the omega’s head before slowly bringing his hand back. His fingers curled around Jimin’s ear on the way down, and Jimin’s mouth slipped open. Yoongi’s eyes shifted down to watch the way Jimin’s tongue peeked out to wet his lips, leaving them shiny and plump.
Yoongi didn’t realize he’d been staring for so long until the lips stretched out wide, and Jimin’s cute little crooked tooth became visible.
“Hyung…you can kiss me if you want to.”
“I want to,” he replied immediately, but didn’t move.
“Then what’s stopping you?”
“I don’t deserve to.”
Jimin’s face pinched up in pain. “Don’t say that. Stop saying that. You absolutely deserve to.” He leaned forward and pressed his lips to Yoongi’s. His mouth was open, but he didn’t try to rush Yoongi. Just tugged his lips between his and gently nudged him with his nose.
“Will you scent me again?” Jimin murmured against his lips.
Yoongi couldn’t find it in himself to answer; he simply pulled the omega against himself, breathing in deeply before pressing his face against the omega’s scent gland. Fingers pressed into his back, pushing him closer.
It took him a moment of nuzzling to realize that Jimin was giving off a scent he’d never noticed before. It was curling around him, seeping into his pores and coating the insides of his nostrils. He took in a shaky deep breath through his nose, letting the fragrance settle into his lungs. He found himself rolling the omega over onto his back, pressing him down into the mattress.
“What are you doing?” Yoongi murmured through the heavy haze in his head, nuzzling against Jimin’s neck and collar, dragging his teeth slightly and relishing in the shiver that rolled through the omega’s body.
“I can’t help it,” Jimin gasped. “I…I read about this when I was pregnant.”
Yoongi paused, pulling away a centimeter. “What?”
Jimin swallowed down a whine, and put his hand on the back of Yoongi’s head to push him back down until his lips were on his skin again.
“I read that unmated omegas will automatically give off pheromones to encourage the fathering alpha to mark or bite them.”
So that’s what was buzzing in his body right now. He caught himself opening his mouth against Jimin’s neck, teeth pressed slightly into the skin. He pulled back.
“Even after all this time? How does your body even know?”
“It’s not like nothing was left behind in my body for three quarters of a year,” Jimin said dryly. “Your signature will be with me forever, as the father of my child.”
Yoongi was quiet for a little while. “Do you want me to?”
“Do you want to?”
“Jimin, it doesn’t matter whether—”
“Yes, it does. Because I want it, but if you don’t want it, I don’t want it, either.”
“I want to.”
“Then do it. I’ve wanted…I’ve wanted it for years.”
“Right now?” Yoongi could feel himself dropping a little into that sneaky alpha headspace, but he kept himself steady, as if holding himself just above the water of a pool.
“Why not now?”
“I dunno; don’t you want it to be special?”
He wasn’t expecting Jimin to scoff at him “Why does it need to be any more special than this? It’s already special enough on its own. Just do i—!” He broke off in a muffled cry—a hand quickly pressed against his mouth—as Yoongi sank his instinctually sharpened teeth into Jimin’s skin.
Jimin squirmed below him, whining through the hand pressed to his mouth, lifting his legs to wrap tightly around Yoongi’s waist.
“Yoongi,” he gasped.
He could feel Jimin’s pulse pounding against his mouth. He pinched his teeth more, and pressed the flat of his tongue against the skin. The omega was breathing heavily, hand buried in Yoongi’s hair, writhing on the bed as if experiencing the most overwhelming pleasure. Yoongi held on until he felt it; felt the almost unnoticeable snap of the bond clicking into place. First a sharp tenseness, then a hot flash of reinforcement, and finally a rush of sensation, as if he’d orgasmed without even getting aroused first.
He carefully pulled his teeth out, feeling the shudder that went through Jimin’s body, and pressed a light kiss to his scent gland right at the center of the mark. He gingerly pushed himself up partway to look down at Jimin.
The omega’s eyes were halfway shut and fluttering, eyes rolled up until just the lower parts of his irises were visible. His mouth was open, shiny with saliva, and his cheeks were flushed. He really looked like he’d had the most intense orgasm in his life.
“Jimin,” Yoongi murmured, leaning down to gently kiss his lips. A weak whimper slipped through Jimin’s nose. He gave him another peck, a little harder, and maneuvered them so that Jimin’s limp body was lying partially over his.
He lifted Jimin’s head to kiss him again, pushing open his lips to swallow the breathy whine, slipping his tongue inside.
“Come on, baby,” he urged when he pulled back for a moment. Jimin’s eyes were closed completely, and each breath he took was vocalized with a soft whimper.
Yoongi had read here and there about the mating process, and knew that omegas were affected differently, but the readings had never been especially specific. He didn’t know what Jimin was going through right now.
He connected their mouths again, nudging Jimin’s tongue with his own. He could feel the saliva pooling in Jimin’s mouth, dripping down into his own—and then finally, the muscles in Jimin’s lips locked against his, and his tongue lifted to press at his own.
It was a sleepy, weak kiss, but Yoongi swallowed it up and urged him on until Jimin’s eyes were open and focused again—although they were quickly shut after a soft eye smile melted Yoongi’s insides.
Jimin pressed his entire body as close to Yoongi as possible.
“I feel good,” he whispered between deep kisses. “I feel like all of the holes and cracks in me have been sealed up. I feel so warm. I feel…I feel so happy.”
Yoongi didn’t know what to say to that, so he just drew him close and pressed his lips to Jimin’s cheek, smiling against the soft flesh.
“I want you to always be happy,” he kissed up toward his cheek bone, flicking his tongue out a few times and reveling in the way he could feel Jimin smiling. “I know there will be days when you are not, but even on those days, I want you to be able to come to me and feel loved. Because I love you; and I think I always have.”
“Even…even back in school?” Jimin’s voice sounded a little choked—not because of tears, no; Yoongi could smell the pheromones growing stronger—and wrapped his arms tightly around Yoongi’s waist.
“Yeah. I just wasn’t ready for us to settle down. I wanted you to have a chance to go after your own dream, and I wanted to go after mine. I never intended to just disappear. I’d always intended to come back to you if you were still interested. But then life happened.”
“Mm. It certainly did.” Jimin was quiet for a little, just letting Yoongi spread kisses all over his face and neck. “That night, you know…I didn’t want you to leave. I think I was desperate. And I think my instincts took over, trying to keep you with me. I don’t, I don’t really remember it all too well, but I do remember how terrified I was of you leaving. I think I’d already decided I wanted only you.”
“I’m so sorry,” Yoongi nuzzled his nose against the space between Jimin’s jaw and neck.
“I said no more apologizing,” Jimin sighed, and Yoongi could hear the smile in his voice.
The tension in the omega’s body seemed to have relaxed, so Yoongi settled back down against the bed, simply keeping him close. Jimin shifted so his leg was thrown over him, and the alpha could feel the heat between his legs. Neither of them were hard, but there was the sense that Jimin’s body was ready for him if they so chose to give in to that possibility.
Yoongi took in a deep, lingering breath of air, pulling that delicious scent in his lungs, and let his eyes drift shut.
He was almost asleep when Jimin spoke against him, voice a little hoarse and sticky.
“Can we do it again?”
“Hm? Do what?”
“Can we make another baby together?”
Yoongi was a little slow to react, but then he let a small smile grace his lips. “No more accidents?”
Jimin pinched him, quite painfully. “Don’t call them that!”
He chuckled, and pulled Jimin tighter against him before rolling them over on the bed so that the omega was caged beneath him. He pecked him on the nose.
“Hey, it’s the truth. Doesn’t mean we love them any less. They were happy accidents.”
It wasn’t immediate; the integration of two families into one,
but eventually it was as if they had always been together.
A year later, they had a happy addition to the family.