Actions

Work Header

the universe has moved for us

Work Text:

The moment Jimin makes eye contact with the Alpha smoking in front of his apartment building, he drops a bag of groceries.

It isn’t a purposeful, I-lost-my-ability-to-function moment caused by the Alpha’s attractiveness or anything. Not that he isn’t attractive; what he isn’t is Jimin’s type. Tattoos, nose piercing, dyed hair. Cigarette. Jimin’s been extra sensitive to smells he doesn’t like, so his nose wrinkles automatically. Cigarette mixed with strange Alpha is not a good combination.

So it isn’t his attractiveness that causes the grocery bag to slip; it’s Jimin’s precarious hold on the four bags in each hand, none of which are very light. He knows he overdid it, but he’s stubborn if anything, and he couldn’t bear the thought of a second trip to the store tomorrow. He just wanted to get it over with, hand strength be damned.

“Fuck,” Jimin mutters, watching the bag split open on the pavement.

Of course, it couldn’t have been the bag of dry food that split open. Out spill the most obvious of his grocery items: nipple cream, a belly support band, prenatal vitamins. It isn’t that he’s embarrassed, rather that he doesn’t want some strange Alpha looking at his personal things.

He’s going to pick them up, he is, but he has to stand there for a minute with the weight of the world crashing down on his shoulders before he does. He’s tired. Unfortunately, the minute is just enough for the Alpha to crush his cigarette beneath his Timbs and head straight toward him.

“Let me help you with that,” he says, reaching a hand out. Jimin stares at it. There’s a tattoo on the back: a swirling array of flowers. Jimin looks up. The Alpha has big, pretty eyes. They’re softer than the rest of him.

“I’m fine, thanks,” Jimin says stiffly.

He sets the bags down and tries to crouch to pick up the fallen items. Unfortunately, crouching with how large his belly has gotten is a little hard. In the time it takes him to get down, the Alpha’s already beat him to it. He scoops everything up and distributes them into the other bags efficiently.

“It’s no problem,” he insists. “You shouldn’t be carrying so much weight when you’re this far along.”

Jimin bristles with brief annoyance that some Alpha is telling him about what he should or shouldn’t do while pregnant, but he tampers it with a sigh. He’s right, after all. Jimin shouldn’t be carrying this weight. He should have taken two trips. He’s just tired of going to the grocery store, of walking on aching legs and dealing with all the staring.

“My hyung just delivered a few months ago,” the Alpha offers. “I’ve been hearing about this stuff nonstop.”

Jimin sighs again. “Okay. Thank you.”

The Alpha helps him to his feet with a respectful hand on his elbow before he grabs all of the grocery bags with envious ease. Jimin stares at the veins in his arms bulge, at the tattoo on the back of his bicep. It looks like a tiger. Jimin gets the door before he can do that, too, and waves the Alpha in before him. The Alpha hits the elevator button with his elbow.

“My name’s Jungkook,” he says. He peers over at Jimin curiously, and Jimin doesn’t miss the way his eyes flicker to his neck like everyone else’s. Unlike everyone else, he doesn’t ask where his mating mark is. He just waits for Jimin to answer.

“Jimin,” he says. The elevator dings and they slip on. Jimin hits the number 8.

“We’re neighbors,” Jungkook says, one eyebrow raising in surprise.

“I’ve never seen you around.”

“I just moved in yesterday.”

Jimin blinks. “Room 832?”

“Yup.”

“We really are neighbors. I’m 834.”

A college student had been living next door, but she’d just graduated. Jimin had been sad to see her go; she’d been a courteous neighbor, and she was a Beta. He’d been nervous that the new neighbor would be an Alpha. Living with the smell seeping through the walls didn’t sound like fun, not when he’s been so sensitive to it.

Jungkook smiles. It’s a cute smile, lights up his whole face, makes him look less standoffish. “Well, I’m glad to have someone I know.”

Jimin offers a tentative smile in return. They fall into a slightly awkward silence, though it isn’t quite uncomfortable. The enclosed space heightens the smell of cigarettes and Alpha, and Jimin tries very hard not to be obvious about the way his nose twitches. He can’t help that everything makes him nauseous these days. In the pregnancy books, they always say the nausea fades eventually. His hasn’t let up at all.

They leave the elevator, and Jimin keys in the code for his apartment. Jungkook slips his shoes off and follows him to the kitchen, setting the bags on the counter. Jimin looks around with a wince; his apartment’s a mess.

“Do you need help putting anything away?” Jungkook asks, but Jimin shakes his head.

“I’m good. Thank you so much for your help.”

“Sure thing. I’m right next door, so let me know if you ever need anything, yeah?”

Jimin has absolutely no intention of doing that, but he nods anyway. “I appreciate it.”

Jimin’s half waiting for Jungkook to ask, now that he’s been in his apartment and seen the evidence, seen that there’s no way Jimin’s living with anyone else. Where’s your Alpha? he’ll say, and Jimin will feel justified in turning him away and never speaking to him again.

But Jungkook doesn’t ask. He bows politely and leaves Jimin’s apartment without so much as an unnecessary glance around. The heavy door swings shut behind him, locking on its own, and for a moment Jimin stands there, stewing in the sudden silence. His feet hurt. He rubs his eyes and starts to put his groceries away, every step a burden.

His phone rings, and he puts it to his ear while he tries to shelve some of the pots and pans in the drying rack. “Hey, what’s up?”

Namjoon’s voice comes tired and low down the line. “Hey, Jimin-ah. How are you feeling?”

“I’m fine. You sound exhausted.”

“It’s been a hard day. I’m really sorry, but I couldn’t get time off for your appointment.” He sounds truly regretful. “I know I promised, I’m so sorry. I tried so hard to get a couple of hours, but there aren’t enough people on the clock that day.”

“No, it’s okay!” Jimin exclaims, panicked on his behalf. “It’s totally fine, I understand. Thank you for trying.”

“No luck on getting the appointment rescheduled?”

“Nope. They’re packed, they’ve got nothing else. But it’s really okay, I don’t mind going alone.”

“What else is new?” Namjoon sighs. Most days are late days for him. “Was work okay for you? Kids give you any trouble?”

“Well,” Jimin ponders. “One of them started sobbing his eyes out because he thought he lost the picture he was gluing onto his worksheet. Turns out he was sitting on it.”

Namjoon snorts. “Kids.”

“You?”

“Well, there was almost a death this morning. So that was fun.”

“Yikes.”

“I gotta go, they need me in one of the wards. I’m really sorry again, Jiminie, I know this’ll be hard on you.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Jimin says easily. “I’ll talk to you later, hyung.”

He sets his phone down and stares at the dishes half put away. It’s hard when his only friend in the city has a job so demanding he can hardly ever be around. Not that Jimin needs him to be. He’s fine on his own. It’s just that sometimes it’s nice to have someone by his side. Namjoon tries his best, Jimin knows that, does more than he needs to.

He sighs for what feels like the millionth time and returns to cleaning up.

Jimin sees Jungkook a few mornings later, revving his motorcycle in the parking lot, a bruise in the midst of blooming across his cheek. He raises his hand in greeting, and Jimin smiles back, tentative and a little stiff. Jungkook hasn’t done anything to make him uncomfortable yet, just has an air to him, and Jimin doesn’t really like Alphas. He’s been at the receiving end of too much unwanted interest - especially after he became pregnant, absurdly enough - that he can’t bring himself to trust Jungkook’s intentions.

Maybe Jimin’s a cynic, but people aren’t nice . They don’t just help you out of the goodness of their own hearts. If Jungkook’s being helpful, it must be because he wants something.

Jungkook doesn’t seem bothered by the lukewarm treatment. He zooms off on his motorcycle - it’s so big it makes him look small, even though Jimin had been very aware of how much larger he was when they’d been standing next to each other in the elevator - and that’s that. Jimin takes the bus to work and shows up an hour early like always so he can get the classroom ready for the day.

His coworker from the classroom next door shows up while he’s writing a morning message on the board. She’s carrying a large tumbler of coffee, and Jimin’s mouth waters at the smell. One of the (many, many, many) cons of pregnancy is the lack of coffee. He really fucking misses coffee.

“Don’t come in here and tempt me like that,” he complains, and Sunmi grins.

“How’s it going, Mama? How many times did you throw up this morning?”

He shoots her a glare but ends up answering anyway. “Once when I woke up and then after I put my clothes on.”

“That’s better than last Monday.”

“When you say it like that, my life sounds like a shitshow.”

“Isn’t it?” she teases, stepping into his classroom so she can flip over the attendance sheet by the door for him. He always forgets. “There are cookies in the lounge, want me to bring you some?”

He groans, knocking his forehead against the board. “I shouldn’t.”

“Just one cookie won’t matter.”

“Won’t it?”

“You know my mom ate cup noodles every week when she was pregnant with me? I lived.”

“That explains why you are the way you are.”

“Yah, you brat.”

He waves her off, and she laughs on the way out of his room. Part of him had been worried he’d get fired when he told his bosses he was pregnant. Working in a private kindergarten where mostly wealthy students enrolled, he knew they wouldn’t take kindly to an unmated pregnancy. But they hadn’t fired him, and he wonders if that’s mainly because he’ll have to quit anyway.

They aren’t progressive enough to offer any leave, so once he delivers, he’ll have to leave his position. He’s just lucky he’s due over break so that he can at least finish out the school year before he quits. Some of his coworkers have been a little shady about it, making snide comments like they think he won’t have a snappy comeback prepared. But mostly it’s been alright, and the kids are endlessly fascinated with his pregnancy, especially once he started showing. He’s even set up a reward system around touching his belly.

The kids start arriving before long, and Jimin stands at the door to greet them as they enter with their little backpacks bouncing. Minhyuk waits for everyone else to pass so he can have Jimin all to himself. He’s the star student of the week, so he has special belly-touching privileges.

“Go ahead,” Jimin says when Minhyuk stares at him wordlessly.

He pats Jimin’s belly tentatively, like it’s a squeamish animal he’s trying to coax out of hiding. Then he looks up at Jimin with a solemn expression and says, “I’m sorry you don’t have an Alpha.”

Jimin has to hold back the snort that threatens to escape. “What are you talking about, sweetheart?”

“My dad was saying it’s probably very hard for you because you don’t have an Alpha.”

Jimin sighs and ruffles his soft hair. “Thank you for worrying about me, Minhyuk, but it’s not hard. I’m doing just fine.”

It is hard, but that’s because being alone is hard. Two heads are better than one and all that. It isn’t that he can’t do it alone because he can, just that it’d be nice not to have to. It’d be nice to have someone to pick up the slack around the house when Jimin’s too sick to do it. Nice to have someone to hold back his hair when he’s bent over the toilet.

The day passes fine until he’s hit with a wave of exhaustion in the half hour after lunch. That’s usually when he reads to the class, but he’s tired and nauseous and honestly not sure if he can manage. He puts Minhyuk in charge and pops his head next door to see if Sunyoung’s around. She’s in the process of sitting her students down on the carpet, a book in her hand.

“What’s up?” she asks, meeting him in the doorway.

“Can my kids join yours for storytime? I’m so sorry. Just for one book, then I’ll be good to go.”

She rubs his arm sympathetically. “Not feeling so hot?”

“I just need a power nap. I’m really sorry.”

“I got you, honey. Bring them over.”

He extracts promises that they’ll be on their extra best behavior before leading them to Sunyoung’s class, thanking her quickly, and booking it back to the lounge. He lies down on the lumpy couch in the back and tries to get his bearings. He hasn’t been working here long enough to be extremely close with his coworkers, but despite that his neighbors, Sunmi and Sunyoung, have been awfully kind to him during his pregnancy. He’s planning on ordering them a nice lunch before he quits to thank them for all their help.

The power nap doesn’t do much, but it’s enough that he manages to force himself through the rest of the day. He picks up takeout on the way home - something healthy - because he deserves a reward for making it through another shitty Monday. He’s going to get home and run himself a nice bath with lots of sweet-smelling oils, and then he’s going to binge a TV show for the rest of the night.

With this determination, he marches up to his apartment building and falters when he sees Jungkook smoking out front again. It makes him uncomfortable, has him wondering if Jungkook’s always going to be out here, if he’ll have to start going through the back to avoid him. Jungkook nods, and Jimin nods back.

Jungkook stubs his cigarette out and holds the door open for Jimin to pass through. He follows Jimin to the elevator, and Jimin swallows harshly. Jungkook gets in first, stands toward the back, leaving Jimin right by the elevator doors. That eases some of his tension.

“That smells good,” Jungkook says conversationally, hands shoved into the pockets of his leather jacket. Jimin glances at him and away, catches a glint of light touching the piercing in his nose.

“It does,” Jimin agrees.

That’s the extent of their conversation until they make it to their apartment doors, where Jungkook wishes him a good evening and Jimin murmurs a response. He kicks off his shoes and settles at the counter to shovel down his takeout as fast as he can without making himself sick. Then he fills himself a bath with a layer of bubbles, sprinkling in a generous amount of his favorite essential oils.

Stripping down, he slips carefully into the water and sighs as the warmth eases the stiffness in his muscles. He pats his swollen belly gently. “It’s nice, huh?” he asks, and fancies that he can feel her stir in response. “Hope it’ll make you sleepy. Then we can both get some rest tonight, yeah?”

He closes his eyes, feeling a little like he’s melting in the best way possible. He can hear the shower going next door - their bathrooms share a wall. Jimin listens to the steady noise of the shower absently until quiet humming joins it. Then he starts to focus, listening carefully to the sweet sound of Jungkook humming. He sounds like he’d have a good singing voice. Then there’s a thump like he dropped something and an accompanying fuck .

Jimin giggles before he can stop himself. He claps a hand over his mouth, eyes wide, knows the walls are paper thin and prays Jungkook didn’t hear it. This is kind of creepy now that he thinks about it. Not that he can help it. It’s not like he’s trying to eavesdrop.

For a few minutes, there’s no sound but that of water hitting the tub. Then the humming picks up again, and Jimin relaxes.

He soaks until the water grows too cold to be comfortable before finally leaving his bath, lotioning up and snuggling into bed. He’d been worried about Alpha scent permeating the walls, but so far that hasn’t really been a problem. Jimin sets up Netflix on his laptop and settles in for the rest of the night, feeling far more comfortable than he had all day.

Assembling furniture shouldn’t be this hard.

It shouldn’t. This piece goes here, that piece goes there, hammer a nail in - simple, right? Or it would be if the instructions weren’t so goddamn useless. And on top of that, Jimin’s pretty sure he’s missing a few nails and one of them isn’t even the right damn size . He’s about to damage the wood trying to hammer it in anyway.

Jimin has always prided himself on being handy with putting things together, unlike Namjoon who can’t follow instructions to save his life. But this crib is a fucking nightmare. He supposes it’s his fault for splurging on a fancy wooden one instead of just buying the plastic ones that probably take all of ten minutes to put together.

He’s had the crib sitting in a box leaning on the wall of his living room for months - he’d gotten it on sale but hadn’t found time to assemble it until today. Now he’s regretting throwing away a Saturday he could have spent relaxing on this ridiculous fucking crib.

Except he isn’t really regretting it because his daughter’s going to need a crib and he’s going to have to put it together eventually. He’s just upset and hormonal and the lack of success is really frustrating him.

Jimin abandons the nail that doesn’t fit for another one and tries hammering it in instead. Only he’s too hasty about it and brings the hammer down on his thumb. Honestly, it isn’t that bad. It doesn’t hurt that much. But it’s a sudden shock and Jimin’s already upset, so he bursts into tears on instinct.

“Fuck you,” he sobs, flinging the wooden piece of crib at his wall. It connects with a thud then slips to the floor, leaving a mark in its wake. That only has Jimin crying harder.

He doesn’t know how long he sits there, bawling, before there’s a knock on his door. His sobs stop almost immediately. He sniffles, surprised, wondering who the hell could be visiting him right now. Namjoon’s working today, and anyway he always forgets the code to Jimin’s building.

He pushes himself to his feet, scrubbing his face off on his sleeves, and opens the door. It’s Jungkook. He’s standing there in a white t-shirt that hugs his chest and sweats, hair mussed, looking like he’d just been lazing around. He also looks slightly alarmed.

“Are you okay?” he asks, gaze roaming over Jimin like he’s looking for an injury.

Jimin sniffs, blinking his wet eyes, lashes clumped together. Of course. Their walls are paper fucking thin. Jungkook would have heard his meltdown. Then Jimin groans. Like a fool, he’d thrown the wood right at the wall he shared with Jungkook. “Oh my god,” Jimin says. “I’m so sorry. Did I wake you up? I wasn’t thinking, I just threw it - ”

Jungkook holds his palms up to stop him. “No, it’s fine, I wasn’t asleep but - are you okay? Did you get hurt? I heard a thump - ”

Jimin sighs, leaning against the door jamb. “I’m trying to assemble a crib and hammered my thumb. I’m just an idiot, it’s all good.”

Jungkook peers over his shoulder at the mess on Jimin’s living room floor. “Do you need help? I’m not that great at assembling things, but two heads are probably better than one.”

“No way, I’m not about to take up your Saturday like that. I’ll figure it out.”

“It’s really no problem.” He shrugs. “I’ve literally been playing mobile games since I woke up, so.”

Jimin bites his lip, peering over at the crib and then back at Jungkook. “Are you sure it won’t be any trouble? You’re not just trying to be nice?”

“It’s no trouble at all.” The corner of his lip curls up in a smile. “Promise.”

“Okay. Come in, please.”

Jimin steps aside and lets him in. He isn’t wearing any shoes, just socks, so he pads right over to the living room and crouches to examine what Jimin’s got so far. “Damn, is this a crib or a war machine?”

Jimin snorts. “Judging by how complicated the instructions are, definitely a war machine.”

He joins Jungkook by the mess of crib materials, sitting with some difficulty. It’s always hard getting up and down now that he’s growing bigger. “Is your thumb okay?” Jungkook asks, glancing up.

Jimin peers at it. It’s a little red and the skin around his nail is peeling. “Okay enough.”

“Maybe we should be setting this up in your bedroom,” Jungkook says dubiously. “How were you planning on moving it into there once it’s assembled?”

Jimin winces. He honestly hadn’t even thought of that.

“Sorry,” Jungkook says, misinterpreting the look. “You probably don’t want some random Alpha in your room.”

“No, it’s just - ” he starts, then realizes it’s true. He doesn’t. “Not really. Sorry.”

“We can try setting it up in parts?” he suggests. “Build one part then carry it into your room and then just fit everything together in there. That wouldn’t take too long.”

That does sound better. “Okay. Thank you.”

Jungkook settles in cross-legged, the instructions in his lap, and starts to piece things together. He mumbles as he works, pointing out what Jimin’s done and what he has left to do. It’s kind of endearing. Jimin tries to help but really he’s reached the extent of what he can do, so he sits back and watches Jungkook work.

“Hand me the hammer?” he asks, and Jimin does.

The t-shirt fits snug around his muscled arms as he hammers in a nail, brow furrowed as he frowns in concentration. Jimin’s probably obvious about the way he stares, trying to make out the tattoos swirling down his forearms. The white of his shirt doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination, either. Jimin catches hints of dark tattoos on his chest and ribs, too.

Jungkook fixes a leg to the side and grins in triumph, stretching his arms behind his head. The shirt hugs his pecs. Jimin licks his lips.

Then Jimin flushes in embarrassment and mutters something about making them tea, fleeing to the kitchen. Jungkook’s wasting his Saturday helping Jimin out, and here Jimin is admiring the way his chest looks. Being pregnant is like a rollercoaster. There are days when even thinking about someone touching him makes Jimin cringe, and then there are the horny days.

Those days are, unfortunately, a little more frequent than the other ones.

Jungkook might not be his type, but Jimin has eyes . And god, Jungkook’s really fucking hot.

“I think they fucked you over,” Jungkook calls over his shoulder, holding up a nail. “This is the wrong size.”

“Yeah, that’s what I realized.”

“I don’t think we can finish this without the right one.” He stands up and turns around. “There’s a hardware store just down the street. I’ll run over and get some extra nails.”

“Oh, are you sure - that’s a lot of trouble - ”

“Nope, no problem. It’s like a two minute walk.”

“Lemme give you some cash.” Jimin rifles through his wallet, but Jungkook shakes his head.

“Are you kidding? It’ll hardly cost anything.”

“I don’t feel right letting you pay for it. Come on.” Jimin pulls out the cash and holds it out.

Jungkook’s hand wraps around his. It’s bigger, swallows his up, and he pushes Jimin’s hand gently away. “I don’t feel right taking money from you for something so small.”

Jungkook lets him go, and Jimin’s too shell-shocked from the touch of their skin to keep protesting. He stands there, and Jungkook leaves his apartment with a cheerful, “I’ll be back soon!”

The baby kicks, and Jimin jolts. He puts a hand on his belly. “What was that about?” he asks her, but of course she doesn’t have an answer for him. He imagines one day she will, that one day he’ll get to ask her something and she’ll chirp back a response, and one day she’ll be even older than he is now and probably a whole lot smarter. He starts feeling sappy, a lump in his throat, and sniffles.

“Jimin,” he tells himself, “Get your shit together.”

He rubs his eyes and sets to making them some snacks to accompany the tea. Just like Jungkook said, he makes it back quickly, barely in half an hour. Jimin’s pushing the coffee table he’d moved out of the way to make room back into the center so he can set it up with the snacks and tea. Jungkook knocks, and Jimin lets him in. He’s holding a baggie of what must be the nails.

“Did you find them easily?” Jimin asks, pouring him a cup of tea.

“Yup. Hopefully these will actually fit.” He sits down and eyes the snacks. “Thanks, you didn’t have to do all that.”

“It’s nothing,” Jimin insists, and it really isn’t. Just some finger sandwiches he whipped up and whatever side dishes he had in his fridge.

Jungkook grabs a sandwich and downs it in about two bites, then he sets back to work. Jimin helps hold the board in place while he attaches the other leg. “So how many months are you?” he asks curiously past the nail he’s holding in his mouth while he adjusts the leg’s position.

“This is my seventh month.” Jimin glances down at his belly unconsciously.

“Did you find out the sex yet or are you keeping it a surprise?”

“She’s a girl,” he says, shy and proud. “Her delivery date is July 18.”

“Wow,” Jungkook breathes, eyes endearingly wide. “That’s so exciting.”

His eyes are so pretty; Jimin finds himself blushing as he smiles. “You said your hyung just delivered?”

“Yeah, back in February. A boy, and he was huge - ten pounds. Cutest cheeks you’ve ever seen.”

“Ten pounds!” Jimin exclaims. “Oh, I hope she’s not that big. Sounds hard to push out.”

“My hyung’s pretty big himself, so he was okay. But for you, yeah. You’re tiny.”

“I’m not that tiny.”

Jungkook makes a show of examining him up and down. “Mm,” he decides. “You’re pretty tiny.”

“Hey,” Jimin grumbles, and Jungkook laughs.

Jungkook takes a sip of tea, humming appreciatively. He shifts to pull his phone from his back pocket and scrolls through it for a minute, then holds it out for Jimin to see. “My nephew, Jinwoo.”

He really does have the cutest cheeks Jimin has ever seen, swaddled in an orange blanket. Jimin coos, feeling sappy and emotional again at the thought of his own daughter and what she’ll look like. “He’s adorable. Your hyung must be so happy.”

“He is. And stressed,” Jungkook says wryly. “He was having a hard time coping with the pregnancy solo, so my parents picked up and moved in with him. They’ve been helping out a lot.”

“Oh,” Jimin murmurs, fixated on the solo . He doesn’t want to be nosy, especially when Jungkook’s been so respectful of him, so he doesn’t ask despite how much he wants to.

Jungkook offers an explanation anyway. “His Alpha passed away not long after he found out he was pregnant,” he says. “She was in an accident.”

Jimin’s heart wrenches. He can’t imagine that kind of pain, can’t imagine how Jungkook’s brother made it through his pregnancy with that kind of loss hanging over his head. “I’m so sorry to hear that,” he says earnestly.

Jungkook nods. “It was really hard. But he’s doing better now. Having Jinwoo helped ground him.”

Jimin wraps his arms around his stomach. The heart wrenching feeling doesn’t go away. He’s frustrated to find he can’t hold back the few tears that slip out.

“Hey, don’t cry.” Jungkook sounds alarmed. He turns to him, eyes wide. “Things are better now - ”

“Don’t comfort me,” Jimin blurts, swatting his hand away. “I should be comforting you .”

Jungkook stares at him, confused, then his worried face melts into one of amusement. He snorts a laugh. “You gonna comfort me while you’re sobbing your eyes out?”

“I’m not sobbing my eyes out! I’m just teary!”

“Uh-huh.”

“I’m really sorry to your hyung. I really can’t imagine how hard that must be.” He sniffles, gathering himself, and brushes the few tears away.

“What can you do?” Jungkook shrugs. “Life is what it is.”

“Yeah.” Jimin sighs, patting his bump comfortingly. “That it is.”

They work in companionable silence for a while longer, and the crib starts to come together. Now that they have the right nails, figuring the rest of it out isn’t so bad. Just like Jungkook said, two heads are better than one.

“Where do you work?” Jungkook asks when they’ve sat back for another break.

“I teach,” Jimin answers, munching on a sandwich. He used to make them with chicken salad, but chicken salad seems to be one of the (many) things he suddenly can’t stand after becoming pregnant. Now he uses egg. “Kindergarten.”

Jungkook whistles lowly. He looks impressed, though Jimin can’t really fathom why. “You must be all ready for a kid then. You’ll know exactly what to do.”

Jimin snorts. “As if. My students come to me potty trained and speaking sentences. I’ve gotta figure out how to get my kid to that level first.”

“You’ll do great,” Jungkook says easily, waving him off. “You already seem like you’ll be a great mom.”

“How do you know?” Jimin huffs.

“I know.”

He finds himself blushing. What’s Jungkook so sure for? They don’t even know each other. “Anyway. What about you, what do you do?”

“Video games,” Jungkook offers. “I work with an indie gaming company. We mostly do adventure games.”

“Wow,” Jimin breathes. Now he’s the one impressed. “That’s so cool.”

Jungkook grins. It’s a little smug, but Jimin can’t begrudge him that. Now that’s a job to brag about. Jungkook stands and stretches, arms above his head, his t-shirt riding up to show off a strip of smooth skin and the hint of a tattoo. Jimin swallows.

“I’m gonna run out for a smoke break. I’ll be back in five and we can start moving everything to your room.”

Jungkook slips out of the apartment, and Jimin starts to clear away the remnants of their snacks and tea. He stands with his hands on his hips to survey their accomplishment. They’ve got the headboard and footboard done, the sides assembled. All they have to do is nail them together. He’s embarrassed that Jungkook had to witness his meltdown when this hardly seems like any work at all now that they’re doing it together.

His apartment smells like Alpha, seeping into the corners, mixing with his own scent. He finds it doesn’t bother him quite as much as before, now that his Omega has decided Jungkook is harmless. Jungkook has a nice scent when Jimin isn’t so defensive over it - a little like cinnamon and vanilla.

Jimin’s dozing off on the couch when Jungkook knocks. He sits up, yawning, and runs a hand through his hair, feeling a little self-conscious. Jungkook looks so good in his lounge clothes, and Jimin looks - well. Maternity clothes are expensive. Jimin had found it easier to just buy oversized regular clothing, none of which are all that flattering. It doesn’t help that he’s bloated and generally not looking his best when Jungkook’s out there just looking like that .

“Okay, let’s do this,” Jungkook says when Jimin opens the door, rubbing his hands together. His eyebrows are scrunched in seriousness. Jimin’s hit with a wave of cigarette smell, and his stomach rolls. He tries to be discreet but can’t help the way his nose twitches; all he can do is pray he doesn’t get hit with a wave of nausea.

Jungkook grabs the headboard and carries it in the direction of his room after Jimin points him over. The headboard is no light thing, but Jungkook tucks it under one arm like it weighs nothing. The veins on the back of his forearm bulge. Jimin hovers in the doorway while Jungkook sets the piece down, his lips twisting.

“You don’t like the smell?” Jungkook asks, and Jimin’s eyes flicker up to his in surprise. “The cigarette smell,” he clarifies.

Jimin flushes, ashamed. He hadn’t meant to be so obvious. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude.”

Jungkook shakes his head. “It’s fine. I noticed your nose always twitches.”

“It got worse after the pregnancy. I think it’s probably because the secondhand smoke isn’t good for the baby, so my body naturally reacts badly to it.” He sighs. “Sorry.”

Jungkook suddenly looks stressed. “Sorry. I can run and shower - ”

“No,” Jimin blurts. “It’s okay, it’s not dangerous like this, it’s just the smell - ”

“I know, I can still - ”

“It’s okay, really. Let’s get the footboard?”

Jungkook looks like he wants to argue, but in the end he follows Jimin to the living room. They put the rest of the crib together, Jimin holding the pieces up while Jungkook hammers in the nails, and they’re done in fifteen minutes. They step back to look at it, the dark cherry wood cutting a nice contrast against Jimin’s light walls. It looks perfect, nestled just next to Jimin’s bed. The room suddenly feels much smaller, but it isn’t in a bad way.

Jimin finds himself sniffling again.

“Good?” Jungkook asks.

“She’s - she’s really gonna be here,” Jimin whispers. He wraps his arms around his belly. “She’s gonna sleep right there.”

Jungkook’s answering smile is soft.

Jimin dashes away a stray tear and turns to Jungkook. “Thank you so much for all your help. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.”

Jungkook shrugs it off. “It was no problem. I’m glad I could help.”

“It’s almost dinner, do you wanna stay? I can whip something up?”

“I’m going out with a friend, actually, but thanks for the offer.” He backs out of the room, heading toward the front door. “Lemme know if you ever need help with anything.”

“I will. Thanks, Jungkook-ssi.”

Jungkook waves and slips out, and Jimin leans against the closed door with a drawn-out sigh. The apartment feels abruptly empty without Jungkook’s presence filling it up. Jimin feels strange.

He rubs his eyes and decides he needs a nap.

Jimin sees Jungkook just a few afternoons later when he’s coming home from work. Jungkook’s sitting on his motorcycle with a cigarette dangling from his lips and phone pressed to his ear. He has a black eye and a split lip. As soon as his gaze lands on Jimin, he drops his cigarette and crushes it firmly beneath his boot. Jimin’s caught off guard; the cigarette wasn’t even half-finished.

Jimin waves, and Jungkook lifts a hand in response. “Don’t worry,” Jimin hears Jungkook say as he nears. Jimin lingers in the doorway, staring at Jungkook’s injured face, wanting to ask him if he’s okay. “I fucked him up real bad,” Jungkook continues, brow furrowed. He’s turned his attention away from Jimin, glaring down at his bike. It isn’t on, he’s just sitting on it, jaw set tight and legs spread wide.

Jimin frowns. Did he get in a fight? He keys in the code and enters the building, heading for the elevator. Jungkook had been so sweet when they were fixing the crib that Jimin had forgotten there was more to him than that.

Jimin walks to his door in a daze, feeling troubled. He’d let Jungkook into his apartment without thinking it through. That was stupid. He’s a stranger, an Alpha, and Jimin has his baby to think about. He can’t risk putting her in danger, but he had. The door slams shut behind him, and Jimin stares at his empty apartment.

Jimin’s in the middle of a staring contest with his kitchen over whether he should get up and start cooking or not when there’s a knock on his door.

He opens it without thinking, and Jungkook’s standing there in a leather jacket and shredded jeans. “Hey,” he says, and Jimin blinks.

“Hi.”

“I’m heading out to get groceries and wanted to see if you need me to pick anything up.”

For a moment, Jimin flounders. He can’t find the words to answer. Jungkook has no reason to offer him that, he isn’t his Alpha or his friend, but here he is. Offering. “You don’t have to do that,” Jimin finally says.

“I know,” Jungkook says easily, eyebrow quirked. Jimin tracks the movement. “So what do you need?”

I fucked him up real bad . Jimin swallows. The black eye has almost faded. “You really don’t have to do that, Jungkook-ssi. Thank you.”

“Ah, come on.” Jungkook leans in, hand on the door jamb above Jimin’s head. He’s close like this, and Jimin looks up at him with wide eyes. There’s no cigarette smoke masking his Alpha scent, the cinnamon and vanilla. Jimin feels a little hazy. “Don’t be like that, Jimin-ssi.”

“Be like what?” Jimin says, almost a slur, his brain disconnecting from his mouth.

“I know you probably need something,” Jungkook insists. “I’m not going out of my way. Let me help.”

“You’re always helping.”

“So?” Jungkook’s shoulder lifts and falls. He stares at Jimin, waiting, and the weight of his gaze makes it hard to think.

Jimin steps back to clear his head. “Fine,” he says, if only so Jungkook will leave and Jimin can breathe. “But you’re not paying.”

“Jimin-ssi - ”

“Nope. Not a chance.” He fishes his wallet from his coat pocket, hanging by the door, and retrieves a wad of cash. Jungkook looks like he doesn’t want to take it, but Jimin glares at him until he does. Their fingers brush. “Okay, whole milk, bread, eggs, oranges - ”

“Woah, slow down,” Jungkook laughs. He whips his phone out of his pocket and hands it to Jimin. “Put your number in. Text me a list.”

Jimin eyes him, lips pursing, but he takes his phone and puts his number in anyway. Jungkook takes it back and shoots him a text; Jimin feels his phone buzz in his pocket.

“I’ll get going. Text me, okay?”

Jungkook waves and backs toward the elevator. Jimin sighs and takes his phone out to text him, his stomach swirling with something he can’t quite name. He pats his bump. “Sorry, baby,” he murmurs. “I’m probably making you feel weird, too.”

Jimin walks briskly back-and-forth across his living room as he waits for Jungkook to return. Walking is a chore with his aching back and swollen feet, but his doctor says it’s good for the baby, so he tries to walk every day. He likes to talk to her while he does, telling her about his day and musing about their future together.

“He’s being nice now,” he tells her thoughtfully, “but he probably won’t feel so genial when you’re born and he hears you crying through the walls all day.”

She kicks as if in protest.

“Mom always said I was really good about crying, though,” Jimin says. “Maybe you’ll be like me.”

He sighs, shoulders weighing down like they always do when he thinks about his mother. How he wishes she were here with him. His daughter would have made her so happy. She would have been stressed in the beginning, though, upset that he would have to struggle the same way she had, pregnant and alone. She would have hated that. She’d wanted him to have a better life than her.

But Jimin doesn’t feel like he’s going to have a bad life. She’d been much younger than he is now when she’d had him. He and his mother had struggled, especially when he was younger, but he’d grown up closer to her than anything. They’d been okay together. And Jimin’s going to be okay, too. He’s going to be happy, and his daughter will be, too.

There’s a knock on the door, and Jimin rushes to answer. Jungkook’s weighed down with groceries, too many bags to count, and Jimin steps out of the way so he can set them on the counter. He huffs as he lets go of the load, separating the bags that are Jimin’s.

“I found everything, I think,” he says.

“Thank you so much,” Jimin says, peering into the bags. “You’re amazing.”

“Yup.” Jungkook sets his change down, too.

“Can I make you some coffee or something?”

Jungkook considers, glancing between the door and Jimin. Then he nods. “Lemme just drop my groceries off.”

He leaves with his bags, and Jimin props the door open so he can come back in. Then he puts on a cup of coffee and puts his own groceries away. Jungkook’s back before long; Jimin can smell the cinnamon before he even hears him enter.

“Damn, this is you?” Jungkook calls from the entryway. Jimin peers around the corner and finds him bent over to examine one of the photos sitting on the table by the coat rack. It’s from Jimin’s ballet years. He’s flying through the air in his leotard and tights, glitter on his cheeks.

“Um, yeah.”

Jungkook looks over at him, eyebrows raised and lips slightly parted. He looks impressed, and Jimin’s cheeks warm. “Damn,” he repeats, and Jimin blushes harder.

“Stop,” Jimin says, almost a whine. “Come tell me how you want your coffee.”

Jungkook makes a show of staring at the photo for another minute while Jimin squirms, holding back a real whine, before he joins him in the kitchen. “So, ballet?”

“I used to dance,” Jimin mumbles, busying himself with pulling out a mug and his sugar bowl. Jungkook leans on the counter and watches him, his hair falling loose into his eyes.

“You don’t anymore?”

“I had to quit. Got injured in university, so I switched to an education track.”

“You wanted to teach dance?”

Jimin nods. “I just couldn’t find a job out of college. I ended up teaching kindergarten instead. Which is good, now that I think about it, because working while pregnant would have been harder if I were teaching dance.”

“I can imagine.”

The coffee’s done brewing, so Jimin pours Jungkook a mug and slides it over. “Damn,” Jungkook says again, staring at the mug without moving. “Ballet.”

“Oh my god,” Jimin says. “ Stop .”

Jungkook grins. It’s a little wicked. He pours milk into his coffee, and Jimin watches it turn light with amusement.

“Is that even coffee anymore?” he teases. “It’s just gonna taste like milk.”

“I like it like that,” Jungkook huffs.

“So you don’t like coffee.”

“Jimin-ssi, mind your own business.”

Jimin giggles, coming around to sit at the counter with Jungkook. He pours himself a glass of milk. “You can call me hyung,” he offers. “I think I’m older?”

“I’m 23.”

“25,” Jimin says with a nod. “Thought so.”

“Jimin hyung,” Jungkook amends, and Jimin smiles. Next to each other, the injuries on Jungkook’s face are a little more obvious. The black eye is almost gone, but it’s still there. There’s a bruise on his jaw, too.

“Did you get hurt?” Jimin ventures, pointing at his own eye in explanation.

“Yeah, got an elbow to the eye,” Jungkook says easily. At Jimin’s confusion, he continues, “I do MMA.”

Jimin’s mouth shapes an oh . “Wow, do you compete?”

“I do local tournaments when I want, nothing big. It’s just a really good hobby, keeps me busy and active.”

“That’s really cool,” Jimin says, and he means it. He’s relieved, too, that Jungkook isn’t some troublemaker out there picking fights. He feels more comfortable having him in his house knowing that isn’t the case after all.

And he feels a little guilty for judging him so quickly.

“I hope you don’t mind me asking, but you’re not from Seoul, are you?”

Jimin shakes his head. “You caught it, huh,” he says wryly. Sometimes he can’t hold the Seoul dialect as well as he thinks he can. “I’m from Busan.”

Jungkook beams. “Me, too.”

“Yeah?”

“My family’s still back there, my hyung, too. I go back and visit all the time.”

“That’s great. I haven’t been back in years.”

“How come? Is your family here?”

Jimin points at Jungkook’s coffee, which he’s forgotten about in all the excitement. He takes a sheepish sip. “It was just me and my mom, but she passed away when I was in university.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.” There’s genuine feeling in Jungkook’s voice, and Jimin appreciates it.

“Thank you.”

“It must be hard.” Jungkook gestures to his belly. “You must wish you had her for advice.”

“Yeah,” Jimin sighs. “I really wish she was here. She would have been mad as hell though, me getting pregnant without a mate.”

“I can imagine.” Jungkook fidgets, glancing away, and Jimin can tell he really wants to ask. He’s been so good about it so far, so careful not to pry, but of course he’s curious. Everyone always is.

Jimin pats his arm. “You can ask.”

“I don’t wanna be rude,” Jungkook blurts, and Jimin finds himself smiling again. He’s endeared.

“It’s okay, I’m giving you the opening.”

He fidgets anyway, and Jimin tries not to laugh. “Where’s the baby’s Alpha?” he finally dares, peering at Jimin carefully, like he’s afraid Jimin will change his mind and be mad at him regardless.

Jimin groans, laying his head on the counter. “I was just an idiot,” he whines. “I had a one night stand. You know I like never have one night stands? And the one time I get pregnant.”

“Are you serious?”

“I have the worst luck.” He shoots up, frowning, and pats his bump. “No, I didn’t mean that, sweetheart. You’re not bad luck.”

Jungkook’s lips twitch. Now he’s the one trying not to laugh. “I’m sure she doesn’t know Korean yet.”

“Uh-uh, there are all these studies about how much babies can hear in the womb.”

“Right, but language skills? Probably not.”

Jimin huffs. “Anyway. I told him I was pregnant, and he said it probably wasn’t even his baby.”

The way Jungkook’s face transforms so quickly is almost flattering, makes Jimin feel cared for. The playfulness in his gaze fades to anger, lips thinning to a line and brows furrowing. “What the fuck.”

“Yeah, fucking asshole. But it’s okay. I always did want to have kids, and I don’t need a mate to do it.”

Jungkook nods. “That’s true.”

“It just sucks in some regards, like when I go to the doctor with her I won’t have a family history of illness for him and that kind of scares me? Like what if she’s got some susceptibility to some disease that could be preventable but we don’t even know so we can’t prevent it?”

“That sounds scary,” Jungkook agrees.

“But it’s okay. It’s fine. I’ve got this,” he says firmly, rubbing his belly. She kicks in response, and he starts. “Oh. See? She’s listening.”

“She kicked?” Jungkook’s eyes are wide and fixed on Jimin’s belly. They’re sparkling with fascination. It’s so cute that Jimin’s heart flutters.

“Do you want to touch?”

Jungkook’s eyes stretch impossibly wider. He looks elated at the idea. “Can I?”

Jimin angles toward him. “Go ahead.”

Jungkook reaches out a tentative hand and rests it on Jimin’s bump. He only has to hold it there for a second before she moves again, and his gaze shoots up to Jimin’s, full of awe. He’s beaming. “I love babies.”

Jimin laughs. “Do you?”

“And kids. I just love them.” He pulls his hand away reluctantly, still staring fondly at Jimin’s bump. “Do you have any name ideas yet?”

Jimin nods shyly. “Nari, I think. After my mother.”

“That’s beautiful.”

“You must be really happy your hyung had a baby, then, since you love them so much,” Jimin says. “Jinwoo, right?”

Jungkook nods happily. “Yeah, I am. He’s so fucking cute, you have no idea. I could look at him all day, his little hands? His fingers are so tiny.”

“Babies are tiny,” Jimin says wryly.

“I know, but like, they’re so tiny?” He shakes his head in wonder. “I saw him a few weeks ago when I went up to visit, but I miss him already.”

“You’re so cute,” Jimin laughs. “You’re gonna be the best uncle.”

Jungkook, to his surprise, blushes. “Nah, I wish I could be around more.”

God, Jungkook’s adorable, his cheeks pink and his head ducked, talking about his little nephew like he’s the best thing in the world. Jimin’s so endeared. His heart’s fluttering. He swallows, forces himself to look away before he does something stupid like ruffle Jungkook’s hair or kiss his cheek. The urge is unbearably strong.

“I should probably get going,” Jungkook says reluctantly. “I’ve gotta get some work done from home. Thanks for the coffee.”

“No, thank you for all your help. You really saved me so much time and energy.”

“No problem.”

Jimin takes the empty coffee mug from Jungkook’s hands before he can do something silly like try to wash it himself. He puts it in the sink and follows Jungkook to the door.

“You let me know if you ever need anything, yeah?”

Jimin nods. “You too, okay?”

“Sure thing. See you around, hyung.”

Jungkook slips out with a wave, and Jimin closes the door behind him. He wraps his arms around his belly and looks down. His heart’s still fluttering. He can’t keep the smile off his face. “Oh, gosh,” he says to her. “What’s wrong with me?”

Lying with his head in Namjoon’s lap, the scent of coffee lingering in the air and Namjoon’s fingers scratching absently at his hair, is probably Jimin’s favorite place in the whole world to be. If he were a cat, he’d be purring. He feels like he might start purring anyway, content down to his bones.

“You wanna take a nap?” Namjoon asks, his voice quiet so as not to disturb the atmosphere. “You can borrow my bed.”

“Nuh-uh,” Jimin says, but it’s almost a slur. He really is about to fall asleep. “You’re not getting out of this that easy, Mister Namjoon.”

Namjoon snorts. “Getting out of what? There’s nothing going on.”

“I’m not sleeping until you text him.”

“Guess you’re never going to sleep again.”

Jimin cracks an eye open to glare at him. “You can’t do that to me. I’m pregnant.”

“You’re the one refusing to sleep. I’m not forcing your hand.”

“If you don’t text him, I’ll never sleep, and then you’ll be sorry.”

“That’s emotional blackmail, Jiminie.”

“It’s the hill I’m willing to die on.”

“Die, then.”

Namjoon’s about as stubborn as Jimin is, so they spend a loaded minute glaring at each other where neither of them cracks. “Stop being a commitment-phobe, hyung. Texting him to hang out isn’t signing your life away.”

“I’m not a commitment-phobe.”

“I’m beginning to think otherwise,” Jimin huffs. “Can you at least show me a picture of him? I’ve been asking you for ages.”

Namjoon sighs, nudging Jimin’s head aside for a moment so he can dig his phone out of his pocket. He scrolls through it with a pained expression, like showing Jimin a picture of the guy he’s been crushing on for months is akin to breaking a limb. “Here’s his Instagram. Have at it. He doesn’t post a lot, though - ”

Jimin’s already snatching the phone out of his hands. The first picture is a grainy shot of a laptop and a half-finished Americano with some caption about working late. Jimin scoffs before scrolling to the next one. His eyes bulge out.

“Oh my god.”

“What?” Namjoon complains.

This is the Alpha you’ve been drooling over?” Jimin nearly shrieks, shooting up and narrowly avoiding knocking Namjoon in the chin with his head.

“Are you saying that in a good way or a bad way - ”

“Namjoon hyung, I swear to God if you don’t text him I’m going to text him instead.”

“No you’re not,” Namjoon whines. “You hate Alphas.”

“I don’t hate them if they look like that, Jesus fuck.”

“Stop exaggerating.”

“Exaggerating!” Jimin shrieks, peering at the picture again. It’s a shot of his head on a pillow, bedroom eyes and swollen lips, hair falling over his forehead. “You clearly can’t appreciate what you got so give me his number instead.”

“Are you trying to steal my man?”

“He’s not your man if you don’t text him.”

Namjoon snatches his phone back from Jimin’s hand, holding it above his head so Jimin can’t reach. “You’re evil, you know that?”

Jimin glares at him, hands crossed over his chest, resting conveniently on his bump. Namjoon caves first, slumping into the couch with a dejected look on his face. He sighs.

“I really like him,” he mumbles.

Jimin swats his shoulder. “I know you do, silly. You’ve been whining about him forever.”

“He’s just so - ” Namjoon makes a strangled sort of noise, tossing his head back. “He’s so fucking Alpha .” He squeezes his eyes shut, face scrunching up all cute-like.

Jimin giggles. “So Alpha, huh? He got a big dick, too?”

“Shut up.” Then, quietly and with a touch of horror in his voice, “I bet it’s huge .”

Jimin squeals, falling over with laughter. “Oh my god, you’re so gone.”

“You know the other day I fucked something up on my laptop - ”

“As usual.”

“ - and he came to fix it - ”

“Are you sure you’re not doing it on purpose?”

“ - and he just got it running in like a minute and I was saying thank you - ”

“Did you offer to suck his dick?”

“ - and he was like, no problem Joonie in this gruff voice, oh my god.”

Jimin practically shrieks with laughter. “This is amazing, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you like this.”

Namjoon slumps over, resting his head on Jimin’s shoulder. “You gotta help me.” His voice comes muffled and still with a touch of horror.

“I’ve been trying,” Jimin says, exasperated. “You can’t keep pining forever. You need to text him and ask him out.”

“But I don’t have time to date.”

Jimin pushes him to look at him sternly. “We’ve been over this, Joonie hyung. You just have to let him know time is an issue.” He pats Namjoon’s thigh comfortingly. “He knows you’re a resident, he’ll understand.”

“What if he doesn’t wanna date me because I don’t have time for him? I wouldn’t blame him, I couldn’t even get a few hours for your appointment - ”

Jimin makes a noise of discontent, tugging Namjoon in. “Stop feeling bad about that. You’re doing your best. We still find time to hang out, don’t we? It’s just about prioritizing. You’ll find time for him, too.”

“It’s not like I need to be in a relationship. I’m perfectly happy.”

“Of course you don’t.” Jimin strokes his hair back from his forehead. “But would you be happy in a relationship with him, too?”

“Probably,” Namjoon mumbles.

“Then why not go for it? Just start slow. Ask him out to coffee, that’s it.” Jimin fixes him with another stern look, gentler this time. “He obviously means a lot to you with how you’ve been acting. You can’t just push your feelings away and expect them to disappear.”

Namjoon groans. “Stop making sense. I’m supposed to be the one who makes sense.”

“Then start making sense,” Jimin admonishes. “If this was just some little crush you could let it go, but this is obviously not some little crush.”

“It’s not,” Namjoon admits. “I really, really like him.”

Jimin points at his phone.

Namjoon groans again, rubbing his face in his hands. “Okay,” he says, visibly steeling himself. “Okay. I’m gonna text him.”

Jimin holds his hand while he shoots out a quick text about coffee. When he’s done, he looks relieved, and Jimin pats him proudly. “See, wasn’t so bad.”

“Nah,” Namjoon agrees. “It wasn’t bad at all. Thanks, Jiminie.”

Jimin beams. He tries to keep it on the downlow, but one of his great powers is matchmaking. And by everything Namjoon’s told him about this Yoongi guy, they’re the perfect match.

Namjoon sets his phone down, clearly more relaxed, and pats his lap for Jimin to lie down again. He does, humming with contentment. “I really do feel bad about not being able to make it to your appointment.” Namjoon resumes scratching his temples, and Jimin doesn’t have to look to know he’s frowning.

“It’s not your fault. I’m a big boy, I can go by myself.”

“But you hate going by yourself. It makes you nervous. And this is a big one.”

“Well don’t make me more nervous.”

“Sorry, sorry.” Namjoon quiets. After a moment, he says, “What about your Alpha neighbor?”

“What about him?” Jimin says suspiciously.

“Could you ask him to go with you?”

“God, no. We’re barely even friends.”

“You’ve been hanging out with him an awful lot.”

“We hung out, like, twice. And he was helping me both times. I can’t just ask him for help again .”

“Didn’t he say to ask for help if you needed it?”

“Yeah, but this is a whole entire appointment. Not groceries from down the street. It’s too much to ask a stranger.”

“I guess,” Namjoon says, but Jimin can hear the doubt in his voice. “He seems like a good guy, I’m sure he’d be willing.”

“That’s weird,” Jimin whines. “Anyway, I gotta used to it. Pretty soon I’m going to have weekly appointments. There’s no way I can drag you along to all of those.”

“Sure you can. Did you talk to work about those, by the way?”

“The principal was being a dick about it, but he said I could take off if I needed to,” Jimin huffs. “Wish I could quit already but. Money.”

“Don’t stress,” Namjoon says seriously. “I’ve got your back after you quit. You know that.”

“Hyung, you’re not making doctor salary yet.”

“I’ll manage.”

Jimin sighs. “Yeah, yeah. Let’s eat now, I’m hungry.”

Jimin had cooked dinner for them both and brought it over because Namjoon’s useless in the kitchen, and Jimin’s happy to get him away from takeout whenever he has the chance. They settle down at his breakfast table and open up the containers.

“You know who’s really good at cooking?” Namjoon says.

“Let me guess. Your Alpha with the big dick.”

Namjoon doesn’t even rise to the bait. “Yup.”

“God, he’s perfect, isn’t he?”

“Yes,” Namjoon says dreamily, and Jimin giggles into his plate.

For some reason currently unfathomable to him, Jimin had decided baking 48 cookies to teach his kindergarteners math would be a great idea. And for some even more unfathomable reason, he’d decided on an extra 12 for Jungkook next door. He’d just wanted to be nice after all Jungkook had done for him, and he’d been baking anyway.

Now his kitchen’s covered in flour and trays of dough everywhere he looks, and his feet are aching terribly. He pulls the first batch out of the oven, wiping his forehead on the back of his hand, and trades it in for the next batch. While he waits for the first tray to cool, he checks himself in the hallway mirror to dust some flour off his face and straighten his clothes.

Not that it matters what he looks like. He stares at himself and watches pink spread across his cheeks as he realizes what he’s doing. “It doesn’t matter, Park Jimin,” he tells himself, patting his cheeks to center himself.

Then he collects half of the first batch in a container and heads next door.

Jungkook answers after a minute, and Jimin’s confronted with so much bare skin that his brain short-circuits. Jungkook’s shirtless, gray sweats hanging low enough on his hips that they show off his sharp v-line. He’s got abs for days, muscled pecs and small, dark nipples. His tattoos are gorgeous - a cherry blossom tree on his ribs that travels up to fade into an octopus made of petals covering his pec.

Jimin comes to, realizes he’s staring. He blushes all the way down to his chest. Jungkook leans against the door jamb, crossing his arms over his chest, and raises an eyebrow.

“What’s up?”

Jimin clears his throat. “Your, uh, tattoos are cool.”

Jungkook grins in that cute way of his, nose scrunching up. “Thanks.” He nods to the cookies. “Those smell good.”

“Oh,” Jimin blurts, shaking his head clear. “These are for you.”

He holds the container out, and Jungkook takes it, looking a little surprised. “For me?”

“I was baking some for my class, so I made extra.”

“Thank you, hyung. They look so good.”

“No problem.”

There’s a tense moment where neither of them has anything to say and Jimin spends most of his energy trying very, very hard not to look below Jungkook’s neck. It doesn’t help that something about Jungkook’s scent is spiked today, the usual cinnamon and vanilla coming off musky. Jimin swallows.

“I gotta go check on the other cookies,” he says too quickly to be believable. “See you later.”

Jimin turns tail and flees back to his apartment, kicking off his shoes and running to the kitchen just in time for a spurt of slick to leak from his ass. He leans against the counter, groaning in mortification, thanking his lucky stars that he’d made it back inside before Jungkook could smell him.

“I’m fucked,” Jimin whines, covering his face with his hands.

Jimin dreams about Jungkook.

He dreams about Jungkook’s voice whispering filth in his ear, about his hands tight under his ass as he lifts him onto his cock and fucks him in the air. He dreams about his knot, too, thick and big, pulling a shriek from Jimin when he tightens around it. And he dreams about Jungkook’s cum - a lot of cum.

When he wakes up, he’s humping the maternity pillow between his legs, hips rolling desperately. He’s too horny to be embarrassed, rutting faster against the pillow until he can feel himself growing close, his muscles tightening and mouth dropping open. Half-asleep, he doesn’t think to dig his teeth into his pillow to keep quiet. He moans when he comes, trailing off into a sob as he rides out the aftershocks.

It’s as he lies there catching his breath that he starts to feel mortified again. He just had a wet dream about Jungkook, his next-door neighbor , who’s been nothing but kind and here Jimin is, getting off to the thought of him. Cursing his horny pregnancy brain, he rolls out of bed to clean himself up.

“Can you come out quickly?” Jimin tells his daughter as he shuffles to the bathroom. “I love you, but I’m sick of being pregnant.”

She bumps around in response, and he sighs. He cleans up and heads back to bed, but sleep is elusive after that.

The package he’d ordered a few days ago is sitting outside his door when he leaves for work one morning. Jimin has started to suspect that Jungkook’s bringing them up for him; he appreciates being spared an extra trip down. He’s had packages stolen before because he doesn’t pick them up in time. Today, his suspicion is confirmed. A neatly-folded yellow blanket sits next to the package with a note on top.

Saw this while I was out and thought of you. The building gets cold! - JK

Jimin stares at it for a long moment, reading and rereading, paying attention to the nuances of Jungkook’s handwriting. It’s an emotional pregnancy day, so to his alarm, he finds himself tearing up. He picks the blanket up and hugs it to his chest. It’s impossibly warm and soft, and it smells just a little bit like Jungkook. He slips back into his apartment to put it and the package away, but he can’t bear to let it go, lingering with the blanket tucked into his arms. Something about it makes him feel safe. Comfortable.

Eventually, he’s forced to put it away and head to work. He sees Jungkook on his way out, but he’s already on his motorcycle leaving the parking lot. He waves in Jimin’s direction, and Jimin waves back, admiring the way his pants hug his thighs as he straddles the bike. Jimin spends the bus ride to school resisting banging his head against the seat in front of him.

The other day, Jungkook had run into him in the hallway and asked him if he knew anyone who might want a coupon to the new game his company had just released. Jimin had taken a handful and promised to leave them in the lounge at school, so he stops there before he heads to class and arranges them on the table where everyone can see. He pops into Sunmi’s room personally, where she’s distributing scissors onto the students’ desks.

“Morning,” she chirps. “What’s that?”

He hands her the coupon. “My friend designs games,” he says proudly. “His company just put out a new one. It’s really fun if you want to try it.”

Sunmi waggles her eyebrows. “Is this the friend who helped you with the crib?”

“Why are you even assuming that? Like I have one friend?”

She swats at him. “I just wanna hear more about that friend.”

“Oh my god.”

“Which friend?” Sunyoung pipes up from the doorway. She strolls in and deposits a stack of papers onto Sunmi’s table. “The copies you wanted,” she says. “So who are were talking about? Unnie’s got that voice on.”

“What voice?” Sunmi protests.

“The I’m-trying-to-fish-for-gossip voice.”

Jimin huffs. He hands Sunyoung a coupon, too. “My friend released a game and it’s fun. Here’s a coupon. I’m leaving.”

Sunmi grabs the back of his collar before he can start walking. “So is it the same friend or not? You didn’t deny it.”

“Does it matter?”

“Wait, who are we talking about?” Sunyoung interrupts.

“The bad boy Alpha who helped Jiminie assemble the crib.”

Oh ,” Sunyoung says meaningfully, eyebrows raising.

“Who said he was a bad boy?” Jimin exclaims. “I said nothing of the sort.”

“You did say he wasn’t your type,” Sunyoung says, as if that explains everything. He makes a face at her that suggests it doesn’t.

“Bad boys aren’t your type,” Sunmi elaborates. “He isn’t your type. I put two-and-two together.”

“I don’t remember ever saying bad boys specifically aren’t my type,” Jimin grumbles, even though they’re right.

“Please, Jimin-ah,” Sunmi scoffs. “You’re prissy. Of course you don’t like bad boys.”

“Prissy!” Jimin shrieks. Of all the appalling things they’ve said since the conversation started, that one has to be the worst. “I’m not prissy.”

“Okay, little ballerina,” Sunyoung coos, and he huffs.

“So he’s a game designer, huh?” Sunmi muses. “That’s kinda cool. How much does he make?”

Jimin turns a scandalized look her way.

“What?” she says. “That’s a valid question. If he’s gonna support you and the baby, he better have money in the bank.”

“I regret ever telling you about the crib,” Jimin whines. He’d thought it was totally innocent, just mentioned that he’d had trouble assembling it and his neighbor had helped. He’d just wanted to show them pictures of the crib looking all pretty in his room, but of course they hadn’t let it go. Your neighbor? Is he hot? Is he an Alpha? Somehow he’d ended up divulging more info than he meant to.

“Do you have a picture?” Sunyoung presses. “I wanna see him. How bad boy are we talking? He’s not like, bad bad right? Because you have a baby to think about - ”

Jimin sticks his fingers in his ears and marches to the door. “I hate you guys!” he shouts over his shoulder, and he’s met with their ringing laughter.

The day passes relatively well in regards to health, at least compared to other days. He only feels slightly nauseous once, and for the most part his only complaint is an aching back and feet. The kids are alright, too, or at least alright as a gaggle of kindergarteners can be. He endures some more light-hearted teasing from Sunmi and Sunyoung at lunch, but a few of their coworkers seem interested in Jungkook’s game, so he’s happy about that. He’d bought it himself and started playing last night, and he’d thoroughly enjoyed himself.

He might be a little biased, though.

It’s on the way home that his day goes to shit.

People will usually give up their seat for him on the bus, but today it’s packed and he isn’t lucky. No one’s kind enough to offer. He ends up asking a man to move, and he does, but at the next stop a woman who’s even more pregnant than him and clearly can barely stand straight gets on. He ends up giving her his seat when no one else bothers.

He’s left clutching a grab handle and leaning against the side of someone’s seat for balance. He’s already fuming by then, furious that everyone’s just avoiding eye contact and refusing to offer up their seats. Jimin’s ready to ask someone else to move when the bus starts driving, and he decides that this time, he’ll just wait it out.

Then there’s an Alpha behind him.

His scent is pungent, and Jimin isn’t subtle about pressing his nose to his arm to avoid it. He grabs the handle behind Jimin’s, but he’s standing closer than he needs to. Jimin can feel the brush of his body against his when the bus lurches at a stoplight. It’s happened before, people invading his personal space on the bus or train, usually Alphas. Jimin’s used to shoving them off or sparing a choice word for them until they back off.

But it isn’t safe, telling Alphas off, and Jimin’s pregnant. He inches forward, gripping the handle tight, until he can get some breathing room. The Alpha moves with him.

The rest of the bus ride passes in a hazy blur. Jimin grips the handle so tight his fingers turn white, frozen in place as the Alpha presses against his back. He doesn’t do anything, just stands there, but Jimin can feel his hard cock against his hip, can feel his breath by his ear. Jimin breathes through his mouth, nose plugged, and tries not to cry. His whole body feels hot. He’s terrified. He can’t say anything. It would be easy for the Alpha to hurt him. He’d just have to push him over. Jimin would fall right on his belly.

The Alpha shifts, and Jimin can feel his cock against his ass now. He rocks his hips, and Jimin can feel him rubbing against him, tries to inch away as much as he can but there’s someone in front of him, too, and he can only go so far. Bile rises in his throat. He makes eye contact with a man down the bus who’s staring, seems to have realized what’s happening. Jimin pleads, but he looks away.

Jimin squeezes his eyes shut, trembling, sweat dripping collecting at his temples, and tries not to vomit. The bus lurches, announcing the arrival of his stop. Jimin tears off, shouldering people aside so he can leave the stifling heat of the bus. He’s fishing in his pockets for his phone, his fingers sweaty and shaky, casting glances over his shoulder as he speeds down the street. The Alpha doesn’t get off after him.

He keeps his finger over the call button but no one’s walking after him, and he makes it into his building and up to his apartment. It’s only once he’s inside, door locked behind him, that he breathes a shuddering sigh of relief. He presses his face into his hands, breathing hard, is hit with a wave of nausea and runs to the trash can to vomit. Wiping his mouth with a shaky hand, he moves to the bathroom and starts the shower, tearing his clothes off and leaving them haphazardly on the floor.

He wants his scent off. He spends the first ten minutes of his shower scrubbing himself thoroughly, frantically. The scent must not take long to go away, but for Jimin it lingers, and he keeps scrubbing. Then he’s tired, exhausted, so he sits down on the rubber mat in his tub and lets the shower pound onto his head and shoulders.

Being an Omega means he’s always been vulnerable to these sorts of things, but it’s different now that he’s pregnant. Worse. He’s uniquely helpless with his daughter in his belly, afraid of doing anything to risk her safety. He’s always known it, of course, thought about it many times, that having a child means their safety will always come first. But now he’s confronted with the reality of it, that he’s helpless because of her. That he’ll take anything as long as it means she’ll be safe instead.

And part of him is filled with the sudden fear that these things will happen to her, too, and he won’t be able to protect her at all.

Jimin wraps his arms around his belly and cries.

He doesn’t sit on his balcony often, just doesn’t have time for it - there are always other things to do. That evening, he makes himself a cup of tea and just sits, the breeze lifting his hair. He feels listless, everything too much energy, existing too difficult. The worst part, he thinks, is that there’s nothing he can do about it. It happened, and that’s that.

And worse yet is that it could happen again tomorrow, or the day after that, or the day after that. Now traveling to and from work will be a source of fear, and he still has a month to go.

Jimin smells the cinnamon and vanilla before he sees him, and part of him shrinks away. He doesn’t really want to deal with another Alpha right now.

“Hey, hyung.”

Jimin looks over. He’s leaning against the railing, head tilted, a smile on his face. “Hey.”

Jungkook stares at him for a minute, and the smile starts to fade. “Are you okay, Jimin hyung?”

“I’m fine,” Jimin says automatically, but the tension in Jungkook’s expression doesn’t lift.

“You smell upset.”

Jimin shrugs, looks away, the lethargy weighing his face down. He wonders if he could ask Jungkook for help. Wonders if Jungkook would take him to work if he asked him to. But Jungkook has a motorcycle, and Jimin can’t ride on a motorcycle. Their work schedules start at the same time. That’s not enough time for Jungkook to ride the bus to Jimin’s job and then ride it back to his own.

Jimin sighs, leaning his chin in his hand.

“Hyung,” Jungkook repeats, and he sounds worried, panicked even. “You really don’t smell good.”

Jimin looks back over at him. There’s no point telling him if there’s nothing he can do to help. But Jimin tries to be rational. Maybe Jungkook will have an idea that Jimin’s overwhelmed brain hasn’t thought of yet. Still, it’s hard to get the words out. “There was an Alpha. On the bus,” he tries.

Jungkook’s scent spikes immediately. His fingers clench the balcony rail until they turn white. He looks like he wants to demand what happened, but he stays quiet, waits, and Jimin appreciates that.

“He, uh, was too close.” Jimin swallows, stomach rolling with nausea again.  “And he was - was hard. He was trying to - ” He has trouble finishing the sentence, finds it hard to say it out loud when it had felt so awfully humiliating. “To get himself off.”

Jungkook’s scent grows overwhelming, full of pulsing fury, and Jimin winces. At the distress on his face, Jungkook tries to reign himself in. “I’m sorry,” he finally says. “That sounds awful.”

Jimin nods.

“What can I do for you?” he says. “Can I get you anything? Is there anyone you want to talk to?”

Jimin shakes his head, sighing again. “No, I just - I’m worried about tomorrow. And if he’ll be there again.”

Jungkook nods. “I can take you to work.”

He offers so easily. “I can’t get on a motorcycle, Jungkook.”

“I know. I can borrow my friend’s car, he’ll let me.”

“You can’t borrow his car every day.”

“Sure I can.”

“We have the same hours. You have to get to work, too.”

“I can - ”

“It’s not going to work. I have to take the bus.”

Jungkook quiets, face scrunched in thought. “I can scent you,” he finally says. “Every morning before you leave. That would ward them off.”

Jimin considers. “Do you think so?”

He nods. “I do. And I can drop you off at the bus stop, at least, pick you up too. So they won’t see you alone.”

JImin hates it, that he has to ask an Alpha to protect him from another Alpha. But he doesn’t see any other option. “Okay,” he says quietly.

“I’m sorry,” Jungkook murmurs. “I know it’s not the best option.”

“It’s better than nothing.”

“Yeah.” He runs a hand through his hair, still clearly agitated. “Can I do anything for you right now? I can make you dinner?”

Jimin shakes his head, managing a smile. “I think I just wanna be alone right now. Thank you for helping.” He stands, bring his cup of tea with him. Just before he slips back into his apartment, he says, “And thank you for the blanket. It - it made me really happy.”

“I’m glad you liked it,” Jungkook says, soft and fond, and Jimin closes the door between them.

Jimin’s just finished up his breakfast the next morning when Jungkook knocks on his door. He opens it to find him dressed, and he looks a little awkward, Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallows.

“Morning,” he says, shuffling inside when Jimin beckons.

“Morning,” Jimin responds, and his voice is a little shaky.

He can’t remember the last time someone scented him who wasn’t Namjoon. He’s not even sure the guy who knocked him up had scented him properly. It must have been his mother. He trusts Jungkook, so that makes it easier, but it’s still a bit strange. By now, at least he can say they’re friends.

“You ready?” he asks, and Jimin nods.

“Go ahead.”

Jungkook closes the distance between them, and Jimin bares his neck with a nervous flutter of his lids. Jungkook hesitates before he leans in, and when he does he’s careful, hesitant. His nose brushes lightly over Jimin’s scent gland, getting him used to the feeling, and Jimin clasps his hands behind his back. Jungkook’s careful, respectful, keeps his hands firmly by his sides as he begins to scent him properly, nuzzling his neck thoroughly. Jimin noses at him, too, brushing against Jungkook’s scent gland and breathing in the spice.

It makes his head spin, has him leaning in unconsciously, his heart thudding in his chest. Jungkook smells so good, and the touch of his mouth and nose against Jimin’s skin has Jimin’s breath coming quicker. He could get used to this, he finds himself thinking, then flushes subconsciously.

Jungkook pulls away quicker than Jimin wants him to, clearing his throat. “That should be good.”

Jimin nods. “Thanks.”

“Wanna head to the bus stop?”

Jimin grabs his bag, slips on his shoes, and follows Jungkook out.

“Hyung was telling me Jinwoo can roll onto his tummy now,” Jungkook says on their way out, his voice light and conversational. When they hit the sidewalk, he rests a hand on the small of Jimin’s back. “He’s even reaching for toys.”

“Really?” Jimin says, trying to focus on the sound of his voice and the warmth of his touch instead of his fear.

“He’s been sticking his feet between the crib railings. Hyung sent me a picture.” The bus stop’s up ahead, a small group of people already waiting. “It’s so cute, his little tiny feet.”

“You should visit soon,” Jimin says, unconsciously curling closer to Jungkook’s side. Jungkook’s arm slides around his waist, tucking him in securely. “You sound like you miss them a lot.”

They stop near the others, and no one so much as glances their way. Still, Jimin curls even smaller. “I should,” Jungkook agrees. “I don’t wanna miss all his milestones.”

“Can I see the picture?” Jimin says, voice small, staring at their feet next to each other. “Of Jinwoo’s feet.”

Jungkook tugs his phone out of his pocket and swipes through, holding it out so Jimin can see. It really is an adorable picture, Jinwoo glancing over his shoulder with his little baby smile, feet stuck between the railings. “Maybe when I have her,” he says, patting his bump, “she and Jinwoo can have playdates.”

“That would be so cute.” Jungkook lights up at the suggestion. Jimin imagines two babies together would probably make him combust.

A bus drives by. It isn’t his bus, but Jimin tenses anyway. Jungkook’s grip tightens around his waist, then he’s leaning in to nose at Jimin’s neck again. His smell is comforting, and Jimin nuzzles into him. By the time he gets on, he’s going to be reeking of Jungkook.

“Did you get hurt?” Jimin murmurs, touching the light-colored pain patch on his shoulder that’s peeking out from underneath his loose collar.

“It’s a nicotine patch, actually,” Jungkook says.

“Oh. You’re trying to quit?”

He nods, and Jimin hums, realizing that he hadn’t even noticed how Jungkook’s scent wasn’t muddled with cigarettes at all.

“Is it hard?”

“Yeah,” he sighs. “But it’s okay. I need to quit.”

Another bus rolls up to a stop, and this time it’s his. Jimin stiffens, but Jungkook grabs Jimin’s wrist and presses it against his scent gland, coating it thoroughly. “Keep your phone in your hand,” he says. “Call me if you’re scared.”

Jungkook looks as reluctant to let him go as Jimin feels to leave. Shouldering his way to the front of the line so he gets a good seat is usually too difficult to bother trying, but Jungkook doesn’t let it go so easily. Jimin doesn’t miss the way he seems to grow bigger, his scent spiking, growing a little aggressive, as he mutters excuse me’s and helps Jimin onto the bus. No one wants to mess with him, and Jimin gets onto the bus easily and carefully. He even finds a seat.

He leans against the window and waves as the bus pulls off, watching Jungkook’s lone figure, his hands tucked into his pockets, until he can’t see him anymore. Then he sits perfectly still and clutches his phone so tightly in his hand it almost hurts. He makes it work with no problems, but he doesn’t breathe a sigh of relief until he’s inside the school building. Then he’s so relieved he almost cries, trying not to think about how there’s still another bus ride home, and by then Jungkook’s scent will have lost some of its strength.

Sunmi steps into his classroom a minute after he does, her eyes a little wide. “Um, why do you smell like that?”

Jimin sighs, sitting down at his desk. “It’s a long story.”

“You’re reeking of Alpha. I could smell you from my room.” She steps inside, pulling up a kiddie chair to sit next to him, comically lower. “Is everything okay?”

“An Alpha was bothering me on the bus,” Jimin murmurs. “My neighbor offered to scent me to keep him away.”

“Oh no,” Sunmi murmurs, reaching out to take one of his hands between her own. She holds it carefully, stroking his knuckles. “I’m sorry, sweetheart.”

Jimin nods, appreciating the warmth of her gaze.

“Wish I could do something,” she says. “But I take the bus, too. Sunyoung takes two.”

“Yeah. It’s okay. I don’t really have a choice.” He shrugs. “But hopefully the scent will ward them off.”

“It’ll definitely help.”

She leaves the rest of her statement unsaid; they both already know the caveat. It’ll help, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be enough.

“Just one more month,” Jimin says, steeling himself. “Just gotta work for one more month.”

“One more month,” Sunmi mumbles, and they sit there miserably, holding hands until the students begin to arrive.

The bus ride home passes as smoothly as the one to work, though Jimin spends it frozen still and with sweat collecting on his collarbone. Jungkook’s already waiting at the bus stop when they pull up; Jimin can see him through the window, standing with his hands in his pockets again, his expression hard. The sight of him fills Jimin with so much relief that he bounds over as soon as he steps off the bus, burrowing himself in Jungkook’s arms. Jungkook takes it in stride, rubbing comfortable circles on his back, nose buried in his hair.

“Everything okay?” he checks, and Jimin nods. “Let’s get you home.”

He wraps his arm securely around Jimin’s waist, and they head back to their building. The stress of the day starts to fade with the safety Jungkook offers.

One day down, many more to go.

Like he finds himself doing more often than not, Jimin’s going through his baby things. He’s done it a thousand times, but he checks the sheets on her crib and folds and re-folds her clothing, setting her little booties carefully in their drawer. It’s partially a comfort and partially an anxious tick, the way he keeps going through her things to make sure they’re perfect. He’s fiddling with a little mobile he’d gotten, listening to it jingle, when there’s a knock on the wall.

“Hyung, that you?” Jungkook’s voice comes muffled through the wall.

Jimin snorts. “No, it’s the baby.”

Jungkook chooses to ignore him. “Come over, I’m making dinner.”

“What are you making?” Jimin asks, nearing the wall and sniffing. Something does smell good.

“Come over and find out.”

Jimin rolls his eyes at his imperious tone but puts the mobile back in its place and heads over. He wraps his yellow blanket around his shoulders and shuffles next door, Jungkook opening before he even raises a hand to knock. The smell of his cooking wafts out the door, and Jimin sniffs appreciatively.

“Wow, smells yummy.”

Jungkook grins. He looks handsome today, like always, and Jimin’s traitorous heart gives a flutter. He jerks his head for Jimin to follow and moves over to the kitchen, where the rice cooker’s beeping and the stove’s busy. Jimin’s mouth waters. Jungkook grabs a spoon and stirs one of the pots, and Jimin leans over his shoulder to peek.

“Veggie stew and stir-fry squid,” Jungkook clarifies, gesturing to the pot and pan.

“Oh my gosh.”

Jungkook beams. “Go sit down, it’ll be ready soon.”

Jimin hasn’t been inside Jungkook’s apartment yet, so he takes a moment to peer around. It’s sparse but mostly neat and clean, a small breakfast table in the kitchen and a couch and coffee table before a TV in the living room. The smell of the food is mostly overpowering it, but underneath Jimin catches Jungkook’s scent, powerful and clinging to everything. It makes him a little dizzy.

“I didn’t know you cooked,” Jimin says, settling at the table with his blanket tucked securely around his shoulders. He’s pretty sure he sees Jungkook coming home with takeout and bags of cup noodles most evenings.

Jungkook shrugs. “Only sometimes.”

“You’re going all out tonight.”

“You know sometimes the mood just strikes you. I just felt like cooking.”

Jimin contentedly watches him move around until the food’s ready. He brings it to the table: stew, squid, rice, kimchi.

“I double-checked so you should be okay to eat everything,” Jungkook says. “There’s nothing in here you can’t have.”

Jimin’s heart swells. He’d been thinking of him before he started cooking, then. Bothered to research what was okay for him to eat first. “That’s really sweet of you, Jungkookie.”

Jungkook glances up from where he’s setting their bowls down, looking surprised. “Huh? It was nothing.”

Jimin smiles down at his lap. Jungkook gestures for him to start first, so he ladles himself bowlful of stew and waits for Jungkook to do the same.

“That’s it?” Jungkook reprimands. He reaches out and ladles more into Jimin’s bowl.

Jimin’s blushing. It feels silly but he’s blushing and his heart feels all weird and woozy and Jimin doesn’t really know what to do with himself. He eats and tries not to be too obvious about the way he can’t quite tear his gaze away from Jungkook tonight.

“How’s quitting going?” Jimin asks as an excuse for his staring, gesturing the patch on Jungkook’s shoulder.

“Sucks,” Jungkook groans, shaking his head. “Don’t even ask.”

“I’m sorry,” Jimin say, frowning. “I’m proud of you for trying.”

Jungkook’s cheeks tinge pink. He glances away and mumbles something that sounds like thanks. Jimin takes a bite of the food and it’s delicious - Jungkook’s really outdone himself.

“This is so good,” he gushes, and Jungkook looks proud.

“Sometimes it doesn’t turn out great,” he laughs sheepishly.

“Well, it’s perfect tonight.”

“You must be my good luck charm,” Jungkook says, and Jimin’s blushing all over again.

They eat in companionable silence for a while, Jungkook pushing more food Jimin’s way whenever he starts looking low. He eats well himself but seems more concerned with making sure Jimin’s eating better. All the attention is making Jimin flustered.

Eventually Jimin has to insist that he’s full for Jungkook to let up. He helps clear the dishes away, and Jungkook suggests Netflix since neither of them have much to do for the rest of the night. They settle in on the couch to watch some baking show, and Jimin spreads his blanket across both their laps. He’s a little pleased that it’ll soak up some of Jungkook’s scent.

“It’s gonna fall,” Jungkook says, peering intently at the towering cake on TV. He’s so invested. It’s cute. “Look, it’s melting.”

Jimin tears his gaze away from Jungkook’s handsome side profile to actually watch the show. “It still looks yummy.”

“I need my glasses for this,” Jungkook mutters, fumbling around the coffee table.

Jimin giggles. “You have to watch it fall in HD?”

“Obviously,” Jungkook huffs.

Jimin glances back over at him, and his breath catches. The thick-rimmed glasses suit Jungkook immensely, give him a serious, mature look. Jimin swallows and looks away. He smells so good . He always does, but today there’s something sharper about his scent, something different.

They had started out sitting at a reasonable distance, not too close but close enough to share the blanket, but they’re closer now. Jimin hadn’t even realized he’d shifted. Maybe it’s Jungkook who moved. He bites his lip, peering at Jungkook from the corner of his eye, and dares to inch a little closer. Jungkook doesn’t react, doesn’t look at him, but he slips his arm around Jimin’s waist anyway. Jimin suppresses the happy flutter of his heart and leans into Jungkook’s side.

He’s warm and solid and Jimin could stay like this forever, wrapped in Jungkook’s scent. “You smell so good,” he mumbles, nuzzling into Jungkook’s shoulder. Then he freezes, mortified that he’d said that aloud, doesn’t know what came over him.

“Yeah, I’m, uh.” Jungkook looks equally embarrassed, won’t meet Jimin’s eye. “I’m pre-rut.”

Jimin blushes harder. That explains why Jimin can’t keep away from him tonight. “Oh.”

“I wanted to talk about that actually.” Jungkook shifts to look down at him. “I rented a rut room so I’ll be gone for three days.”

Jimin nose twitches in sympathy. The best thing about being pregnant (besides his daughter) is not having heats. For people who live in apartments, renting rooms designed specially for ruts and heats is the only option. Their building is especially strict about not spending ruts and heats inside apartments, given that the floors aren’t separated by subspecies.

“It’ll hit on the weekend but cross into Monday, so I won’t be here to scent you before work.”

“Oh.” Jimin’s stomach twists into a painful knot. “That’s fine, I understand.”

“I asked my friend from work to drive you to school Monday.”

“You didn’t have to do that,” Jimin blurts, alarmed.

Jungkook pats his waist soothingly. “I don’t want you to go on your own. He’s a really good guy, I’ve known him forever. He’ll just drop you off on his way to work.”

“I don’t know,” Jimin frets. “That’s a lot to ask of a stranger, I can just go on my own for one day - ”

“It’s not. It’s just a ride, hyung. He didn’t even bat an eye when I asked.”

Jimin quiets. Considers it. He doesn’t want to go on the bus without the security of Jungkook’s scent, but - “Is he - is he an Alpha?”

Jungkook nods. “His name’s Yoongi, he does tech support at the hospital and contract stuff for my company sometimes. He’s really - ”

Jimin blinks, sitting up. Yoongi who does tech support at a hospital. “ Min Yoongi?”

Now Jungkook’s the one who looks surprised. “You know him?”

Jimin starts to giggle. “Yes. Well, no. Not technically .”

What are the odds? The hot, reserved Alpha Namjoon’s been crushing on for fucking forever is friends with Jungkook. It’s a small world after all.

“What?” Jungkook asks, put off by the way Jimin can’t stop giggling. “Why are you laughing?”

Jungkook’s pouting a little, and Jimin leans into him in his laughter. “It’s Min Yoongi.”

“What’s so funny?” It’s almost a whine, and Jimin coos.

He probably shouldn’t go around spilling Namjoon’s secrets to one of Yoongi’s friends, but then again they have already gone on one coffee date. Jimin figures it’s fair game. Still, he warns, “You cannot tell him what I’m about to tell you, okay?”

Jungkook’s brows furrow. “You got the hots for him or something?”

Jimin snorts with laughter, swatting at his shoulder. “ No , listen.” He pulls himself together. “My best friend has the world’s biggest crush on a Min Yoongi who works tech at a hospital.”

There’s immediate relief on Jungkook’s face. Then he starts to grin. “No way. Songdo Hospital?”

“That’s the one. His name’s Kim Namjoon, he’s a resident there.”

Now Jungkook’s the one who’s laughing. “Are you serious? Kim Namjoon?”

“Oh my god, has he talked about him?”

Talked about him?” Jungkook exclaims. “Literally all I ever hear is Joonie this, Joonie that, Joonie’s such a clutz he short-circuited his whole laptop yesterday, Joonie’s got such a nice chest who would have thought - ”

“This is gold . Namjoon hyung agonized over whether to ask him out or not for months .”

“So did Yoongi hyung, he kept saying bullshit like why would he wanna go out with the random tech guy - ”

“Are you kidding, hyung thinks Yoongi hung the stars in the sky or something - ”

“Oh my god.”

“I can’t believe our friends are in love.”

Jungkook’s laughter dies off, and he runs a finger under his eye to catch a stray tear. “Well, I heard they went on a date. So hopefully that means they’re getting their heads out of their asses.”

“Thank god,” Jimin groans, cuddling back against Jungkook. “Hyung’s angsting was too much.”

“Honestly, I was sick of it.” Jungkook curls his arm around his waist again. “So it’s okay if he drives you then?”

Jimin nods. “I really wanted to meet him anyway.”

They settle back into watching the show for a little while. Jimin fidgets. There’s been a question knocking around his head for a while now, and he doesn’t quite know how to ask it. It feels like too much to ask, but Jungkook is so sweet that maybe he won’t mind. And Jimin’s been eating himself alive with stress.

“Jungkookie,” he starts quietly. Jungkook glances down. “I, uh, wanted to ask for a favor.”

“What’s up?”

“It’s kind of a lot to ask. So if you can’t, don’t worry. Don’t feel like you have to say yes or anything because I’ll understand.”

“Spit it out,” he says, but it’s gentle.

Jimin swallows. “Um, I have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday. Usually Namjoon hyung goes with me because I get anxious going by myself, but he can’t get out of work that afternoon and they don’t have any other appointments.”

“Sure, I’ll go.”

Jimin flounders, mouth snapping shut. Jungkook says it so easily. “I didn’t even ask yet.”

“You’re gonna ask me to go with you, right?”

“Yeah,” Jimin mumbles.

“So yeah, I’ll go.”

“Really?”

“No, I’m lying,” Jungkook snorts. “Of course I will. I’ll see if I can borrow Yoongi hyung’s car for the afternoon.”

“I’m sorry,” Jimin says, suddenly overwhelmed with emotion. How could he agree so easily? How could he do so much for Jimin like it was nothing? “I’m always asking so much of you.”

Jungkook snorts again. “Are you kidding? You never ask me for anything. I always have to pry it out of you.”

“Because you do so much already!” Jimin huffs, and Jungkook laughs. He reaches out to squeeze Jimin’s cheek teasingly.

“We’re friends, aren’t we? Friends help each other out.”

“Yeah,” Jimin sniffles, resting his head on Jungkook’s shoulder. “Thank you.”

“Hey.” Jungkook’s voice is softer, lower, and he fits his fingers under Jimin’s chin to lift it so they’re looking at each other. His gaze is as tender as his voice. “I told you to ask me for help. So don’t feel bad, okay?”

“Okay,” Jimin whispers, eyes locked on Jungkook’s. He’s so close Jimin can feel Jungkook’s breath warming his lips. He swallows harshly, and Jungkook’s gaze flickers down to his mouth. Jimin’s heart stutters. For a moment he thinks it’s really going to happen, that one of them’s going to close the distance between them. But then there’s a loud exclamation of surprise from the TV, and the moment’s gone.

They look away from each other. Jimin clears his throat.

“I should probably go,” he says regretfully. “It’s getting late.”

“You need your sleep,” Jungkook says, tone light.

Jimin folds up the blanket and shuffles toward the door. “Thank you for dinner. I had a really nice night.”

“Hey, take some with you.” Jungkook disappears into the kitchen, and Jimin hears him bustling around.

“Keep it for yourself, you can have leftovers for tomorrow.”

“There’s plenty for both of us.” He emerges with plastic containers of food and hands them to Jimin.

“Thank you, Jungkookie. Good luck with your rut.”

Jungkook smiles. “Sleep well, hyung.”

“You, too.”

Jimin waves, every step out of his apartment and into his own heavy like lead. He won’t see Jungkook for three whole days, and that feels like forever. Even if they don’t hang out every day, he still sees him in the hall every now and then or out in the parking lot. Jungkook doesn’t close the door until Jimin’s opened his own. He waves one last time, and Jimin waves back.

Jimin’s apartment door closes behind him, and he feels the emptiness acutely. He heads straight to his bed and adds the yellow blanket to his nest, hoping Jungkook’s scent will carry him through the next three days.

Yoongi’s standing at the entrance of their apartment building on Monday morning. Jimin bursts out in a rush, afraid of keeping him waiting, and barely gets a look at him before he dips into a bow.

“Thank you so much for doing this,” he says, slightly out of breath. “It’s really kind of you and I appreciate it.”

“Woah, slow down,” he says, a hint of amusement in his low voice. Jimin straightens. He’s even more handsome in real life than his Instagram pictures, hands tucked into the pockets of his slim slacks, and Jimin can’t wait to tease Namjoon about it.

“Really, thank you,” Jimin insists.

“It’s nothing,” Yoongi says gruffly. “Nice to finally meet you.”

“Nice to finally meet you, too.” Jimin’s lips quirk up into a sly smile. “You’re friends with Namjoon hyung.”

Yoongi’s ears tinge pink immediately, and Jimin has to hold back a giggle. “Uh, yeah.” He rubs his nose. “My car’s over there.”

Jimin follows him over and slips into the passenger side of Yoongi’s car. Yoongi hovers around him like he’s worried Jimin will have trouble getting in, which makes him huff. “I’ll be fine,” he says, and Yoongi flushes.

“Sorry. You’re just. Really big.”

Jimin snorts. “She’s about ready to pop out.”

Yoongi looks vaguely alarmed at the thought of that, and Jimin can’t hold back the giggle this time. Jimin slips on the wristbands he uses for motion sickness before Yoongi pulls out of the parking lot. Yoongi seems to know his way, so Jimin only has to clarify a few turns. The car is naturally full of Yoongi’s scent, and it puts Jimin on edge for about half the ride before he grows accustomed to it. After that, it’s pleasant.

“Namjoon talks about you a lot,” Yoongi says. “Glad I can put a face to the name.”

“He talks about you a lot, too,” Jimin grins, and Yoongi’s mouth twitches. “Heard you guys went on a date.”

Yoongi’s so easily flustered that Jimin can’t help but bother him. “We got coffee, yeah,” he mumbles.

“You know I’m his best friend, right?”

Yoongi nods, expression wary.

“So you know if you hurt him I’ll kill you, right?”

Yoongi’s expression eases, and he scoffs. “You’re so intimidating with your belly so big you can barely walk.”

“Hey,” Jimin huffs. “This is temporary. I have a black belt in taekwondo.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Yoongi shakes his head, but he’s smiling, too, some of his awkwardness starting to fade. “I’d probably beat myself up first if I hurt him.”

It’s mumbled, and he looks embarrassed right after he says it, but Jimin beams. He reaches over and pats Yoongi’s shoulder with amused sympathy. “I have to give you a hard time because it’s my job, but I’m really happy the two of you finally went on a date.”

“Thanks. Me, too.” At a stoplight, Yoongi turns a calculating look onto Jimin. “Jungkook talks about you a lot, too, you know.”

Jimin blushes immediately. He stares resolutely ahead. “Uh-uh, we’re not doing this.”

“Can dish it out but you can’t take it, huh?”

“This is different .”

“Right.” Yoongi rolls his eyes.

Traffic inches at this time of day, and they settle in for the wait. Jimin had had an inkling, but still he hadn’t quite realized how much he would miss Jungkook when he was gone. It’s only three days, but it feels like forever. He’s grown accustomed to being scented by him, finds a level of comfort and security in it, and so does the baby. She’s calmer on days Jungkook scents Jimin, as if she’s adapted to Jungkook’s scent too, and the past days have been hard on both of them.

“So when are you due?”

“July 18.” Jimin pats his bump on instinct.

“You must be excited.”

“Very. And nervous.”

“I can’t imagine. Joon’s really excited, too, he’s always talking about it. He keeps collecting clothes and toys and things - ” Yoongi freezes, eyes narrowing. “Wait, I probably wasn’t supposed to tell you that.”

Jimin whines, collapsing dramatically against the window. “He isn’t .”

“He is,” Yoongi says solemnly. “He’s also terrified of holding the baby, did you know that? Thinks his butterfingers are going to kick in.”

“Oh my god.”

Yoongi looks so fond that Jimin’s heart stirs. After listening to Namjoon talk about Yoongi for so long, it’s so nice to see those feelings reciprocated.

“So how long have you and Jungkook known each other?” Jimin asks conversationally.

Yoongi has to think, brows furrowed. “It’s been forever. Since he started university, I think? I was his senior in the same program.”

“Wow, it’s been a while.”

“He’s a great kid,” Yoongi says fondly. “Just real good of heart. An honest, genuine person. Wears his heart on his sleeve”

“Yeah,” Jimin murmurs. “He’s really sweet.”

“Even though he’s younger than me, I admire him,” Yoongi admits. “He’s always working hard and learning new things.”

“I don’t think there’s anything he can’t do,” Jimin agrees.

“Yeah, and he’s good at calling you out on your shit, too. Which I need more often than I think,” he says wryly, and Jimin laughs. “I’m lucky I have him. He’s pretty much all I’ve got left in this city.”

“It’s like that with me and Namjoon hyung,” Jimin says. “Most of our friends from university have gone on to other things, and my mother passed away. He’s all I’ve got.”

“My mother passed away, too,” Yoongi says, and Jimin’s heart warms with kinship. “You were close to yours?”

“We were best friends.” Jimin smiles a little at the thought of her. It had always been just the two of them against the world, and she had always been so full of love. Jimin had grown up looking at her like she was everything. “Were you close to yours?”

“It was complicated. But I miss her.”

“Yeah.”

They fall into a comfortable silence that picks up into casual conversation again after a while. They get along easily, and after meeting him Jimin’s even more convinced that he and Namjoon are perfect for each other. They make it to Jimin’s school, and Jimin thanks Yoongi again for the ride with a wish that they meet again. He’s heading inside when Yoongi leans out of the window to call, “Maybe you and Jungkook can go on a double date with us.”

It’s a cowardly move, saying it when Jimin can’t protest. Yoongi grins and drives away, leaving Jimin standing there with a furious blush on his face.

“He’s courting you,” Namjoon says, a look of deep disbelief on his face as he stares at Jimin across the dinner table. Tonight’s meal is a pasta the two of them had somehow managed to whip up together in a bid to try something new. It isn’t as good as the pictures, but it’s edible.

“What?” Jimin blinks, a bite of pasta freezing the way to his mouth.

Namjoon keeps looking at him like he’s an idiot. “You’re an idiot.”

“What makes you think he’s courting me?” Jimin takes Namjoon’s disbelief for his own, setting his fork down decidedly.

Namjoon raises his hand and begins to count off on his fingers. “He bought you a blanket, he made you food, he’s always worried about protecting you - ”

“These are all also friend things, that doesn’t mean anything - ”

“Not for an Alpha,” Namjoon says knowingly. “And who just gifts someone a blanket of all things? Have I ever bought you a blanket?”

“Maybe you’re just not that thoughtful,” Jimin sniffs.

“He’s an Alpha, Jimin. He isn’t going to do things that come off as courtship so casually. He wouldn’t gift you a blanket if he didn’t know what that meant.”

Jimin’s lips twist as he considers. He’ll admit that he would probably never give someone a gift as intimate and personal as a blanket. Especially not an Omega, not with the association with scents and nesting and all that. But if Jungkook’s courting him, he must have realized that Jimin hadn’t caught on yet.

“Why hasn’t he said anything?” Jimin mumbles. “I haven’t mentioned it. Why hasn’t he clarified if those are his intentions?”

Namjoon shrugs. “Maybe he thinks you aren’t an idiot. Rose-colored glasses and all that.”

Jimin kicks him under the table. “Don’t think I won’t fuck you up just because I’m pregnant.”

“I have never once thought that in my life.”

“I still don’t believe it,” Jimin says dubiously. “He’s really courting a pregnant Omega?”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“I dunno, it’s just - most people don’t wanna be saddled with a kid that isn’t theirs.”

“You said he loves kids,” Namjoon points out. “And from everything you’ve said about him, he doesn’t sound reckless. He wouldn’t have decided to court you if he hadn’t thought things through first.”

Jimin slumps in his seat, playing with his food. The thought of it makes his heart feel like bursting, so he doesn’t want to think about it. What if Namjoon’s wrong and Jungkook isn’t interested in him like that? Or what if he is but it doesn’t matter, he isn’t committed enough, he changes his mind when he’s confronted with the reality?

Or what if Namjoon’s right and Jungkook wants Jimin as much as Jimin wants him?

Jimin swallows, his face hot. “So what do I do?”

“You like him, don’t you?” Namjoon says gently, and Jimin does. He likes him a lot. So much that he has to stop himself from dreaming too hard because he’s afraid he’ll just end up hurt in the end.

But sometimes, when his defenses are down, he lets himself dream. He lets himself imagine a life where Jungkook’s arm is around him when he wakes up, where Jungkook calls out for him when he hangs his coat on the hook, where Jungkook holds his baby - their baby - in his arms and sings her a lullaby.

“I really, really like him,” Jimin whispers, and Namjoon’s gaze is sympathetic.

“Then let him court you.”

That sounds easier said than done. There are just so many things to think about and Jimin’s always been the type to think too hard.

Namjoon reaches across the table and flicks his forehead. “Eat your dinner, the baby’s probably hungry.”

Jimin huffs and does as he’s told. “So you probably already heard, but Yoongi hyung drove me to and from work today.”

“I did hear,” Namjoon says. “He says you’re cute but also kind of a brat.”

Jimin gasps in mock offense. “Did you defend me?”

“Is he wrong?”

“You’re the worst best friend ever. Didn’t anyone ever tell you bros before hoes?”

“Are you calling Yoongi hyung a hoe?”

“I might be,” Jimin huffs. “Anyway, he’s really cool. I think you and him really fit.”

“Thanks, Jiminie. That really means a lot.”

“Of course. I mean it.”

“I hope I get to meet Jungkook soon,” Namjoon presses, and Jimin flushes.

“We’ll have to see about that,” he mutters.

Jungkook knocks on Jimin’s door on Tuesday morning, and Jimin flings the door open before he can get a second knock in. He’d been waiting with jittery fingers for Jungkook to come, beyond ready to see him after three days apart. The sight of Jungkook standing there, hand still up to knock, fills Jimin with butterflies that are a mix of happy and nervous.

“Hey,” he breathes, but the word’s barely out of his mouth before Jungkook’s pulling him in.

His arm wraps firmly around his waist as he buries his nose in Jimin’s neck, inhaling a shuddering breath, his lips tracing Jimin’s skin. Jimin shivers and falls limp in his hold, head dropping back to arch his neck. He can feel himself growing lightheaded as he takes in Jungkook’s scent, still sharp and musky from the remnants of his rut.

God, he’d really missed him. The realization makes him emotional. To his embarrassment, he can feel tears welling in his eyes. He blinks them away quickly. Jungkook scents him for another long minute, holding Jimin against him, before he finally pulls back.

“Hey,” Jungkook says, and Jimin blushes. He’s still a little hazy. After his conversation with Namjoon, being around Jungkook has him feeling all woozy.

“Hi,” Jimin says again, uselessly.

“I missed you,” Jungkook admits, and Jimin blushes harder.

“I missed you, too,” Jimin mumbles. “How are you feeling?”

“Tired,” Jungkook mutters, looking embarrassed. “You ready to go?”

Jimin nods, grabbing his bag and slipping on his shoes. He follows Jungkook to the elevator.

“Everything go okay with Yoongi hyung?”

“He’s really nice,” Jimin says, trying not to start flushing again at the memory of Yoongi’s last words to him.

“I got back late last night,” Jungkook tells him as they ride the elevator down. He sighs, prodding at his glinting nose piercing absently. “I wanted to come see you but I figured you were probably asleep.”

“That’s okay,” Jimin says, realizing that he would have been completely fine with Jungkook waking him up if it’d meant he’d gotten to see him earlier.

Jimin’s really a goner.

Jungkook’s phone starts ringing as they leave the building. “It’s my hyung,” he says, and Jimin nods for him to go ahead. It’s a video call; Jungkook holds the phone out and answers. There’s a baby on screen, eyes big and feet wiggling. Jungkook’s face brightens almost comically. “Jinwoo!” he exclaims. “Hi, baby.”

Jinwoo gargles. Jimin leans closer to Jungkook to see him, a smile spreading across his face in delight. Jinwoo’s adorable . He’s wearing a fluffy pink romper with bunny ears, and Jimin feels like he’s going to melt into a puddle. He has to stop himself from cooing out loud, realizing it might not be polite for him to be a part of the phone call.

“You’re so cute,” Jungkook’s crooning, leaning in to kiss his phone with a wet smack. Jinwoo giggles, tiny hand reaching for the phone in front of him.

The camera shifts, murmuring in the background before Jungkook’s brother comes into view. He looks tired, dark circles under his eyes and face drawn, but he smiles at the sight of Jungkook. They look similar, the two brothers. Jimin leans away to make sure he isn’t on camera.

“Junghyun hyung,” Jungkook says happily, and Junghyun waves.

“Hey, Jungkookie. You’re on your way to work?”

“Yeah, sort of. I’m walking Jimin hyung to the bus stop.”

Jimin blinks in surprise at the casual mention of his name. He wouldn’t have thought Jungkook had mentioned him to his brother before.

Oh ,” Junghyun draws out the word in interest. “I would have waited until the evening to call, but I wanted to show you Jinwoo’s outfit before he puked on it or something.”

Jungkook laughs. “He looks adorable.”

“Turn the camera, lemme say hi to Jimin-ssi.”

Jimin flounders, casting a panicked look in Jungkook’s direction, but Jungkook just pats his waist and turns the phone toward him. “Hi,” Jimin says, waving awkwardly. “Nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you, too,” Junghyun says. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”

Jimin flushes. “Good things I hope.”

“Oh, yeah,” Junghyun says knowingly. “Great things.”

Jimin shoots Jungkook a look, but Jungkook grins shamelessly back. “Um, Jinwoo looks really adorable. He’s five months now, right?”

“Yup.” Junghyun sounds proud. “He can almost sit on his own now, and he’s starting to sleep through the night.”

“Wow, how exciting.” Jimin feels a burst of excitement for himself, too, for the day he’ll get to see his daughter growing up. It won’t be long now.

“You’re due soon. You must be nervous.”

“Very,” Jimin sighs. “Were you nervous, too?”

Junghyun casts his eyes skyward at the memory. “God, it was already hard enough getting sleep without how anxious I was on top of it.”

“I feel that.”

“But from what Jungkookie’s told me, you’re going to be a great mom. Don’t worry yourself too much.”

“Thank you,” Jimin says shyly.

Jungkook turns the camera back to himself to complain, “Can you give Jinwoo the phone? I’ve been looking at your face for 23 years, hyung, let him have a turn.”

Junghyun snorts. “Can’t believe you don’t even care about your poor hyung anymore. Fine, fine.” He shifts the camera back to Jinwoo, and Jungkook coos at his phone for the next five minutes until the bus arrives.

He hangs up before helping Jimin onto the bus. “Have a good day,” he says, looking as reluctant to let him go as Jimin feels.

“I’ll see you later,” Jimin says, unwilling to pull away.

“We’ll have dinner tonight,” Jungkook tells him, and Jimin nods before finally finding his seat.

He watches Jungkook fade away through the window of the bus.

Jimin dreams about the Alpha from the bus.

In his dream he has a voice, harsh and threatening, and a grip that’s even harsher. In his dream Jimin struggles and fights but it isn’t enough, only makes him angry, and then he pushes him and Jimin’s falling face-first, right onto his belly.

He wakes up sobbing, drenched in sweat, fear tightening his muscles. It takes him a long time to calm down, drawing in deep breaths and forcing himself to take stock of his surroundings to ground himself. There’s his daughter’s crib. There’s the window and his yellow curtains. He shifts and feels the contents of his nest around him. He strokes his bump over and over to remind himself that she’s there.

He’s safe. He’s okay. He searches around for the familiar soft feeling of the yellow blanket and brings it to his nose, inhaling deeply to catch Jungkook’s scent. There isn’t much of it left, but it’s enough to bring a little more calm to Jimin’s heart.

On Wednesday, Jungkook picks Jimin up from work in Yoongi’s car for his doctor’s appointment. Jungkook seems to sense Jimin’s nervousness because as soon as he slips into the passenger seat, Jungkook leans over and scents him. The familiarity of Jungkook’s scent helps relax Jimin, and he settles in for the drive, reminding himself that it’ll be alright.

Jungkook looks attractive driving, one hand on the wheel, sleeve rolled up to show off his tats. Hair falling into his eyes, focused gaze. Jimin shifts a little, resting his head on the seat, so he can watch him.

“Why do you get anxious about appointments?” Jungkook asks, glancing over. There’s no judgment in his voice, and Jimin takes a moment to think before answering.

“A lot of reasons,” he finally says. “My mom was sick before she passed away. I spent a lot of the last year of her life in and out of doctors’ offices, so I have bad associations.”

Jungkook hums to show he’s listening.

“And, uh - I guess I just get really worried that something might be wrong.” He picks at the hem of his shirt. “That this time I’ll go in and they’ll tell me about some complication.”

Jungkook reaches over and pats his knee in comfort.

Despite his nerves, Jimin loves his doctor. She’s wonderful and caring and because of that her office is always packed. There aren’t any seats available in the waiting room after Jimin checks in, but a kind Alpha gives hers up for Jimin, letting him sit next to her partner. The Omega looks even more heavily pregnant than Jimin does. Jungkook leans against the wall nearby.

“I want a bassinet,” Jimin sighs, scrolling through an online baby store to distract himself. “Tell me I don’t need a bassinet.”

Jungkook leans over to peer at the picture he’s looking at. “I want to tell you you don’t need one, but damn, that’s cute.”

“You definitely need a bassinet,” says the Omega next to him. “The one I got plays music.”

“Music?” Jimin repeats, stars in his eyes.

“Logically,” Jungkook interjects. “You have a crib.”

“What’s the logic?”

“You don’t need a bassinet if you have a crib.”

“Faulty logic,” Jimin declares with a sniff.

“You asked me to talk you out of it.”

“I change my mind. I’m getting one, and it’s going to play music. You can’t stop me.”

Jungkook casts his gaze skyward.

Eventually the Omega sitting next to him gets called in for her appointment, and Jungkook takes her seat. He and Jimin lean their heads nearly together as they surf the internet, mumbling occasional reactions out loud. Half the room is empty by the time the nurse emerges to call Jimin’s name.

“Hey, how are you doing?” she says when he walks up with Jungkook at his side, a protective hand on the small of his back. She’s usually the nurse on duty when Jimin comes in, so they know each other well by now. “Looking big,” she teases, and he grins.

She eyes Jungkook curiously but doesn’t ask, leading him into one of the rooms to take his vitals. Jungkook stands awkwardly to the side as Jimin takes up the only chair. When she’s done, she takes her leave and Jimin shifts onto the table so Jungkook can take the chair.

“Thanks for coming,” Jimin says, noticing how Jungkook seems a little out of his element. He glances over and smiles.

“It’s no problem, hyung, really.”

Dr. Kim joins them before long, greeting Jimin with her usual friendliness before turning to Jungkook to introduce herself. “Where’s Namjoon-ssi?” she asks, accustomed to Namjoon always accompanying Jimin.

“He had work,” Jimin says regretfully.

She starts off asking her usual questions about how he’s feeling, and he fills her in with as much detail as he can manage. She measures his belly and squeezes around to check the position of the baby; this part always makes Jimin nervous, but like always, she says everything looks fine. Then she preps him for the ultrasound to check the baby’s heartbeat.

Jungkook remains quiet, though he perks up with interest during the ultrasound, eyes widening at the sound of her heartbeat. Jimin’s a little shy about him being there, but part of him also likes it. Jungkook makes him feel safe.

“Everything looks just fine,” Dr. Kim tells Jimin kindly, aware of how anxious he becomes before appointments. “Do you have any questions?”

Jimin shakes his head. “I think you covered everything.”

“If only Namjoon were here, he’d have a million,” she says wryly, and Jimin laughs. “There is one thing I’d like to talk to you about. Jungkook-ssi, if you wouldn’t mind stepping out for a moment?”

Jungkook hops up quickly. “Of course not.”

“You can go ahead and wait by the checkout desk. I’ll send Jimin out in a moment.”

Jungkook glances Jimin’s way before slipping out of the room. The sigh of relief Jimin had been about to breathe gets sucked right back in. “Is everything okay?” he frets.

“There’s nothing to worry about,” she assures him. “I actually wanted to talk to you about Jungkook-ssi. Are you involved with him?”

A blush spreads across Jimin’s face. “No, no, he’s just my friend.”

She eyes him. “I’m not asking to be nosy, I promise. I do have a reason.”

“We really are just friends.”

“He’s been scenting you, though.”

“There was - um, I was being harassed on the bus to work. He started scenting me for protection.”

She sighs, reaching out to rest a hand on his knee. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Why are you asking?”

“Well, I just wanted you to know that babies do adapt to the scents that surround their mothers during the pregnancy,” she says. “When they’re born, they’re naturally in tune to the scent of their Alphas. It’s a comfort to them.”

“Oh,” Jimin breathes, eyes a little wide. He’d never thought about something like that.

“Given how much yours and Jungkook’s scents have mixed, I think that will definitely be the case in your situation.” She raises a hand to slow herself down. “But this isn’t a problem in any way. Your daughter won’t suffer for not having Jungkook’s scent around her when she’s born.”

Jimin huffs a sigh of relief. “Okay, I was getting worried about that.”

“She’ll recognize it and she’ll like it, but if it isn’t there, she’ll be fine,” Dr. Kim assures. “The reason I’m telling you this is that I know a common concern among parents bring someone new into the family is their scents. Children don’t always react well to the scent of a stranger when it’s mixing with the parent they love and trust.”

Jimin nods; that’s definitely something he’d known growing up.

“Since yours isn’t born yet, she’s already adapted to Jungkook’s scent. So that wouldn’t be a problem.”

Jimin falters. “Oh,” he says again, understanding where she’s going now. He wants to insist that they’re just friends, that it doesn’t matter, but he can’t bring himself to protest. It would be a lie to say he hadn’t thought about this before.

“Just letting you know,” Dr. Kim says, a smile tilting her lips.

“Thank you,” Jimin responds, taking her hand to step off the table.

“Don’t forget to check out, and I’ll see you soon,” she says, and Jimin leaves the room with a wave.

Jungkook’s standing by the checkout desk, his expression lightening at Jimin’s approach. “Everything okay?” he asks, and Jimin nods.

“Everything’s fine,” he mumbles, feeling shy around Jungkook after Dr. Kim’s words. He can’t quite meet his eyes, stopping at the desk to check out and schedule his next appointment.

“Should I come to the next one?” Jungkook asks, and Jimin flushes.

“I can always ask Namjoon hyung - ”

“He has trouble getting off, doesn’t he? Don’t worry about it. I can make it.”

Jimin glances up at him, eyes wide. “Are you sure?”

“Yup.” He turns to the man at the desk and starts to talk about availability. Now Jimin can’t quite look away from him.

He does, eventually, blush still hot on his cheeks. They finalize the next appointment and head out, and Jimin’s heart won’t stop fluttering.

“There was a lady checking out,” Jungkook says as they walk over to Yoongi’s car. “Well, her mate was checking out. And she just pulls a bottle of ketchup out of her big ass bag and starts squeezing it into a bag of chips.”

Jimin shrieks. “No, you’re kidding.”

“I’m serious. And she catches me staring and looks over and is like, ‘I’m pregnant,’ and I feel like I was going to explode trying not to laugh.”

“Oh my god,” Jimin giggles, leaning against Jungkook’s side.

Jungkook starts to laugh, too, shaking his head. His arm slips around Jimin’s waist, holding him as he stumbles in the midst of his laughter. Jimin’s heart feels unbearably full.

“Fuck you,” Jimin hears Jungkook growl through the paper thin wall of their bedrooms. Jimin snorts where he’s sitting on his bed folding laundry. There’s a moment of quiet, then a thump and an annoyed, “Fuck this.”

“Are you playing a mobile game?” Jimin calls.

Jungkook falls silent. Then, “Sorry, was I bothering you?”

Jimin giggles. “No, I was just laughing at you.”

“I’m working on code. This shit’s due at midnight.”

Jimin glances at the clock on his side table. “Yikes.”

“I know,” Jungkook moans. There’s another thump. Jimin’s starting to think it’s his head against the wall.

“Want me to pop in with some tea? I can keep you company.”

“Please. You’re an angel.”

Jimin laughs quietly. He lifts a stack of clothing and slips off his bed. “I’ll be right over.”

He puts the clothes into his drawer and heads to the kitchen to make some tea, scrounging a few snacks from his cabinets. Setting everything on a tray, he backs out of his apartment and knocks on Jungkook’s door with his knee. Jungkook opens promptly, dark circles under his eyes and hair mussed. He looks vaguely frantic.

“Smells good,” he mumbles, staring at the mugs of tea.

Jimin brushes past him to set the tray down in his kitchen. Jungkook shuffles behind him. “Have you even eaten anything all day?” Jimin admonishes, and Jungkook’s sheepish expression is response enough.

“I have a deadline,” Jungkook whines, and Jimin shakes his head.

“Drink your tea.”

Jungkook disappears to his bedroom and emerges with his laptop, which he sets down in the living room. Jimin brings over their tea and snacks and settles in next to him.

“How much do you have left?”

“Not a lot,” Jungkook sighs, leaning his head back on the couch. “But I fucked something up in the code. It’s not working.”

Jimin pats his arm comfortingly and hands him a pack of dried seaweed.

“It’s probably a fucking comma,” Jungkook grouches, taking the pack and opening it rather viciously.

“Jungkookie fighting,” Jimin chirps, and Jungkook sighs again.

Jungkook throws himself back into his work, sipping on the tea and snacking as he squints at his screen. He looks cute when he’s focused, leaning toward the screen with his brows furrowed and lips parted, glasses taking up half his face. Every now and then, his nose twitches. Jimin sits by him in contentment, warming his hands on his own mug and enjoying the comfort of Jungkook’s scent settling in around him.

It’s raining outside, has been all day, and the soft pitter-patter is soothing. It’s an awfully domestic moment, and that doesn’t escape Jimin’s notice. He has the abrupt realization that he could stay like this forever - Jungkook by his side, a sense of peace in his heart that isn’t often there these days.

Something about the realization is both comforting and jarring. He already knows his feelings for Jungkook aren’t platonic. But to sit here and acknowledge with such certainty that he wants to be with him, wants to have moments like this, is a little scary.

But it isn’t scary in a bad way. Jimin finds it welcoming.

Jungkook makes him happy. It’s simple enough.

On a lazy weekend night, Jungkook and Jimin decide to have a movie marathon in Jimin’s living room. Jungkook brings snacks, and Jimin pulls out his yellow blanket to offer in case Jungkook gets cold. His ulterior motive might be for the blanket to soak up more of Jungkook’s scent, but he refuses to admit it to himself.

Jimin’s antsy today, has trouble focusing, and sits through the first movie with little interest. Jungkook looks good today, like always, in a t-shirt that makes him look bigger and shows off his tattoos. Jimin keeps stealing glances at him, admiring the cut of his jaw in the light of the TV screen. He smells good, too, always does, and lately his scent’s been making Jimin restless.

“That one was kind of boring,” Jungkook says when it ends, grabbing the remote to sift through Netflix’s options for something new. “What do you wanna watch next?”

“You pick,” Jimin tells him, and Jungkook keeps searching. He finds something eventually, and Jimin barely notices the title.

He winces when he stands, rubbing his sore back as he heads to the kitchen to pour himself another glass of milk. He’d always hated drinking milk - something his mother always teased him about in regards to his height - but he’s been downing it like medicine for the baby. Out of the corner of his eye, he catches Jungkook turn his head away from the movie and over to him.

“You okay?” Jungkook calls. Jimin leans against the counter for a moment’s rest.

“I’m fine. My back’s been killing me, especially with standing all day at work.”

“I can give you a massage.”

Jimin snorts. He waddles back over, setting his glass down on the table. Jungkook’s looking at him very seriously from his vantage point on the floor, where he’s leaning against the couch.

“I’m really good at them,” Jungkook insists. “Seriously, everyone’s always asking me for them at work.”

“Watch the damn movie.”

“Nuh-uh.” Jungkook spreads his legs wide and pats the space in between. “Come here, I’ll prove it.”

Jimin shoots him a dubious look, but he supposes even if Jungkook isn’t as great at massages as he says, just the pressure of someone’s hand on the sore spots will be nice. So he lowers himself to sit on the floor between Jungkook’s legs, making sure to shoot Jungkook a few more looks as he does. Jungkook puts his hands on Jimin’s waist to help him down.

“Don’t press too hard,” Jimin says, hoping he doesn’t sound as whiny as he thinks he does.

“Do you have any oil?”

This time he really whines. “I’m not getting up again.”

Jungkook laughs, patting his side. “Tell me where it is.”

“Behind the bathroom mirror.”

Jungkook extracts himself from behind Jimin and disappears down the hall. He returns with a bottle of lavender essential oil, settling back in his spot. He rubs a few dots of oil between his palms to warm it up, and Jimin sighs happily when the smell hits his nose. Being extra sensitive to smell means that scents bother him more, but the ones he likes are even nicer than before.

Jimin’s so lost in the smell that he doesn’t notice Jungkook’s hands slip up his shirt until they’re on his skin. He gasps at the touch, erupting in goosebumps, his veins sparking with sudden fire.

“Cold?” Jungkook asks.

“No,” Jimin manages, and Jungkook’s fingers dig into his back.

His hands are big and calloused on Jimin’s skin, warm and firm as he massages the muscles and fat. Jungkook’s as good as he’d bragged, his fingers digging in with just the right amount of pressure, bringing a relief to the soreness that Jimin hasn’t felt in what feels like forever.

“Oh,” Jimin breathes, eyes drifting shut. It feels good. He’s good. And it isn’t just that he knows what he’s doing - it’s that he’s Jungkook, and Jimin’s imagined his hands on him before, thought of what they’d look like against his body. It’s Jungkook, and he’s got his hands on him, and Jimin’s mind is drifting away.

Jungkook’s hands drag up his sides, the oil slick on his skin, and Jimin bites his lip, lashes fluttering. He’s leaning into Jungkook unconsciously, and he adjusts when he realizes, arching to make sure his back is still easy to access. Jungkook’s thumbs dig into the meat of his back and Jimin gasps, jaw falling slack.

“You’re so good,” he says, and Jungkook hums. Jimin can hear the smugness even so.

Jungkook does something with his hands that pulls a pleased moan from Jimin’s lips. He can’t quite keep himself up anymore, leans his head back on Jungkook’s shoulder as he arches away. Jungkook’s hot breath tickles his cheek.

“You like that?” Jungkook’s voice comes low by Jimin’s ear, and it sends a shiver up Jimin’s spine.

He means to answer but Jungkook’s fingers are kneading right above his ass, pushing the waist of his sweats down, and his response turns into a whine. His toes curl. He doesn’t know if Jungkook realize he’s doing it, but he’s giving off pheromones, the comforting Alpha kind, and Jimin feels like he’s melting into his arms.

“J-Jungkook - ” He huffs a sigh, craning his head back over Jungkook’s shoulder, losing himself to the sensation. Breath tickles his neck, and he shudders, can feel the lightest brush of lips on his throat. He keeps his eyes shut, doesn’t know what’ll happen if he opens them and sees Jungkook’s face on top of everything else.

“You’re leaking.”

Jungkook’s voice has changed, full of something throatier, rougher. His hands still. Jimin opens his eyes. At first he thinks Jungkook means he’s leaking slick, and his cheeks warm in embarrassment, but he doesn’t feel any slick. Not that he’s far from it.

Then Jimin realizes it. He isn’t leaking slick. It’s his nipples, wet spots on his shirt.

“Oh my god,” Jimin squeaks, hands flying up to cover his face. “It happens.”

It’s been happening for a while, though thankfully it doesn’t happen often. He’s noticed it happen mostly when he’s aroused, or when he touches his nipples too much, thick yellow liquid seeping out that’s grown lighter over time.

Jungkook’s hands close around his wrists, pulling them away from his face. There’s something dark in his eyes, his jaw set tight. Jimin’s heart thuds hard when he takes in the way Jungkook’s looking at him, like he wants to devour him. His scent has grown stronger, cinnamon and vanilla filling the room until Jimin feels like he’s drowning in it.

Jungkook noses at Jimin’s neck, letting out a shuddering breath that tickles Jimin’s skin. His hands grip Jimin’s waist tightly, like he’s trying to ground himself. “Jiminie,” he murmurs. “Hyung.”

He buries his nose in Jimin’s scent gland, breathing him in, and Jimin falls limp and pliant against him, baring his neck on instinct. Jungkook mouths at his skin, tongue slipping out to lick a stripe over his gland, and Jimin reacts with a full-bodied shiver and a whine. Now he’s really leaking slick, the back of his sweats growing damp, his body thrumming with a mixture of arousal and relief. He’s wanted Jungkook for so long that this feels natural, feels right. Feels like a dam breaking, like he’s been waiting for so long that now he’s fit to burst. And with the way Jungkook’s holding him, he must have felt the same way.

Jungkook lifts his head to look at Jimin, holding his gaze with an intensity that makes Jimin shiver. “Hyung,” he breathes, his eyes finally tearing away from Jimin’s to drop to his mouth. Jimin licks his lips and then Jungkook’s closing the distance between him, their mouths meeting in a kiss that makes Jimin whimper. He kisses just the way Jimin had thought he would - like he’s running out of time, like he wants every inch of Jimin to be his and his alone. Jimin loses himself to the kiss, his weeks of longing finally come to fruition, and it’s better than he’d ever imagined. Better than he ever dreamed.

Jungkook breaks away first, cupping Jimin’s jaw in his hand, panting for breath. “Wanted to do that forever,” he says, and Jimin swallows, blush hot on his cheeks.

“I wanted it, too,” Jimin whispers, running his fingers lightly over Jungkook’s mouth. “I wanted you so bad.”

Jungkook leans in again, pressing soft kisses along Jimin’s lower lip and down to his jaw. “God, you smell so fucking good,” he growls into his neck, pulling him tight against him, and Jimin lets out a strangled noise. He can feel Jungkook’s cock against his hip, and it’s big even half-hard. “Wanna taste you.”

Jimin’s not sure if he means his slick or his milk but he’s nodding anyway, and Jungkook’s hands slip under his shirt to help him pull it over his head and toss it away. Jungkook lets go of his waist to run his hands carefully, reverently over Jimin’s bump. He leans over to press a soft kiss to his belly, and Jimin’s heart stutters. Then his hands find Jimin’s breasts, thumbs brushing over his nipples to catch the dots of liquid.

“Look at you,” Jungkook breathes. “You’re so wet, hyung. You’re leaking everywhere.”

Jimin flushes. Jungkook brings a thumb up to his own mouth, tongue flicking out to taste, and his lids flutter with pleasure.

“You taste so sweet,” he says. He wraps a hand around one of Jimin’s swollen breasts and kneads carefully, eyes fixed on Jimin’s nipple as milk starts to seep out. Jimin whines, his breasts and nipples extra sensitive, pressing back against Jungkook’s chest.

Jungkook shifts Jimin his arms so he can kiss his breast, tugging the fat between his teeth, sucking in a way that Jimin knows will leave a mark. His tongue laves over the red spot after he makes it, soothing Jimin’s gasp away, and his mouth travels lower, attaching to Jimin’s leaking nipple.

“Oh, Jungkookie - that’s - ”

Jungkook sucks, and Jimin’s words break off into a moan. His back snaps away from Jungkook as he arches, eyes squeezing shut, mouth dropping open. He feels like he’s on fire, skin crawling with pleasure as Jungkook’s tongue laves over his nipple and sucks again, his fingers massaging his breast to force out as much milk as he can.

“Oh my g-god, Jungkook - ” Jimin whimpers, mind hazy and overwhelmed. “That’s - ”

Jungkook pulls off with a pop, running his thumb over the abused nipple, Jimin jerking in response. “That’s what?” he asks, his voice hard yet playful. “That’s what, baby?”

“That’s dirty ,” Jimin whines, and Jungkook laughs.

He presses a kiss behind Jimin’s ear. “Trust me, kitten, that’s not the dirtiest thing I could do to you.”

“Oh my god.” Jimin covers his face, mortified, and Jungkook pulls his hands away again with another laugh.

“Don’t do that,” he admonishes. “I wanna see your face. Wanna see you fall apart.”

Jimin stares at him, licking his lips, breath coming quick. Jungkook shifts from behind Jimin, pushing Jimin against the foot of the couch so he can kneel in front of him. His gaze remains locked on Jimin’s as he leans in to wrap his mouth around Jimin’s other breast, cupping underneath to massage the skin as he suckles. Jimin whimpers, hands pushing against the ground, feet pressing into the carpet, as he watches Jungkook suck the milk from his breast.

“Shit,” Jungkook breathes when he pulls off, his lips swollen, a dot of milk suspended from his chin. He flicks his tongue over the hard bud, working it carefully between his teeth until it’s red and swollen. “I could do that all night. Fuck, tastes so good.”

He strokes Jimin’s belly, pressing soft kisses along it, at odds with how urgently he’d suckled from him, how desperately he’d scented him. Jimin’s so wet he’s afraid he’s leaking onto the carpet, and he can see Jungkook’s cock tenting his pants. It looks huge. Jimin swallows, mouth dry, filled with want.

“Jungkookie,” he murmurs, reaching for him, and Jungkook comes easily, their mouths meeting for a kiss that makes Jimin’s toes curl. He tastes sweet like Jimin’s milk. His tongue scrapes the roof of Jimin’s mouth and Jimin moans, hips canting upward, his belly brushing Jungkook’s.

“You smell so needy.” Jungkook speaks the words into his mouth, and Jimin can hear the smirk in them. He pulls back enough to look at him, eyes dark and wanting, lips curled upward. “Are you needy, little Omega?”

“N-no,” Jimin huffs, just to be contrary, not wanting to feed Jungkook’s smugness. But Jungkook doesn’t fall for it.

He runs his hands up Jimin’s thighs, spreading them, leans in until he’s face level with Jimin’s crotch. “You sure about that?” he says. He tugs Jimin forward, presses his nose into the damp spot of slick left on his sweats. Breathes in deep. “I can smell how much you want me.”

Jimin curls his hand in Jungkook’s hair, pushing his head up. “I can smell how much you want me, too,” he fires back, and he can. It’s thick, cloying, filling the air and arousing him even more.

“Omega’s got bite?” Jungkook seems to take that as a personal challenge. He scoops Jimin up, lifting him easily, and deposits him on the couch. “We’ll see how much bite you have left when you’re begging for me to fuck you.”

“Not gonna beg,” Jimin insists, but part of him already knows he doesn’t mean it, knows that Jungkook’s got him right where he wants him. Jimin’s already so horny he can’t stand it, and they’ve barely even done anything.

“Mm, you’re gonna scream,” Jungkook says, a certain aloofness to his tone that has Jimin squirming. He spreads Jimin’s legs, kneeling on the floor before him, and tugs his sweats off. Jimin has to wriggle to help him. “You’re gonna drool all over yourself sobbing for my cock.”

“Y-you wish,” Jimin huffs, but he’s already a little breathy with Jungkook’s hands on his bare thighs, pressing into the fat. He hadn’t been happy about how much his ass and thighs grew after the pregnancy, but Jungkook seems to love it. He sucks a hickey into the meat of Jimin’s thigh, slaps the other one to watch it jiggle.

“Your cock is so cute, hyung,” Jungkook croons, and it’s mocking. He wraps his hand around Jimin’s cock, barely visible beneath his belly, and kisses the tip. “Such a tiny little thing.”

Jimin’s face flames in embarrassment. He can’t see over his belly, but he can feel the way Jungkook’s entire hand wraps around his cock so easily. “Not my fault Alphas have monster cocks - ”

“Wait ‘til you see mine,” Jungkook says wickedly. He tugs Jimin forward so he can dip his fingers between his asscheeks, gathering slick with a hum of interest. He brings his hand up for Jimin to see that his fingers are coated, shining with slick. “Look at how wet you are.”

Jimin doesn’t get a chance to retort because then Jungkook’s mouth is on him, his tongue dragging between his cheeks to lap up the slick before he laves over Jimin’s hole, flicking the rim, his nose pressed against Jimin’s perineum. Jimin gasps, hips jerking, but Jungkook’s hands grip his waist to keep him still. When Jungkook’s tongue enters his hole, Jimin whines, head pushing back against the couch.

“J-Jungkookie, I’m - ah, oh - ”

Jimin dissolves to a mess of a gasps and whimpers as Jungkook eats him out in earnest, sucking noisily over his rim, his tongue flicking against his walls. The sound’s obscene, wet and slick and filthy, and somehow it’s embarrassing and hot at the same time. Jimin feels like the blood in his veins has turned to fire, every inch of him hot and alive, his fingers scrabbling for purchase on the couch.

“P-please - I’m - ”

Jungkook’s fingers dig into his ass, pulling him to rock forward as his mouth stills. Jimin catches on, throwing an arm over the back of the couch for leverage, one leg draping over Jungkook’s back. He starts to roll his hips, riding Jungkook’s tongue, finding a rhythm as he snaps his hips faster, slick dripping out around Jungkook’s mouth.

“Oh my god, I’m gonna - I’m - Alpha , please!”

Jungkook’s finger slips inside. Jimin’s still moving when he pushes in, the slide easy from how wet Jimin’s grown with spit and slick, and Jimin barely feels it until he’s crooking his finger against his walls. Jimin moans, hips stuttering, as Jungkook presses another finger in and strokes his walls, searching. When he finds his prostate, he stays there, massaging it with the pads of his fingers, reducing Jimin to a blubbering mess. Jimin can’t keep up a rhythm anymore, hips falling limp as Jungkook licks and sucks, the finger on his prostate merciless.

“Alpha,” he moans, and the pleasure starts to build to the unbearable, his hips snapping off the couch and his head arching back, mouth dropping open in a soundless plea. His muscles tighten until it hurts, feels like he’s going to strain himself, and then the noise comes back to him all at once. He moans long and low, gasps, squeezing his eyes shut and realizing they’re wet with tears.

Jungkook’s mouth pulls off him, but his fingers don’t let up. “That’s it, Omega,” he rasps. “Come for your Alpha.”

Jimin comes with a sob, collapsing onto the couch, his limbs falling loose all at once. Jungkook fingers him until the aftershocks are through, until he’s too limp to even twitch in reaction. Then he pulls out and wraps his mouth around Jimin’s tip, suckling his cock clean of cum, licking the underside of his belly to catch the stray drops. Jimin whimpers, sensitive, and Jungkook finally sits back on his haunches. His gaze roams over Jimin’s body in a way that has Jimin squirming.

“Stop,” Jimin whines, and Jungkook grins. There’s slick all over his face, on his chin and cheeks and nose. Jimin can’t bear to look at him for long, cock twitching in interest.

“What, can’t I look at you?” Jungkook demands. “Can’t I see how pretty you are, all fucked out?”

“No,” Jimin sniffles. He rubs at his wet cheeks, feeling limp and drained. He hadn’t really cared before, but now he’s embarrassed that he’s ass naked and Jungkook’s still wearing all his clothes. “Stop staring.”

“Don’t wanna.” Jungkook leans and starts to pepper sweet kisses over Jimin’s belly, stroking around it carefully. “Hope we didn’t wake her up.”

Jimin smiles, endeared. “She never sleeps,” he complains. “She’s always awake and kicking.”

“Stop giving your mommy so much trouble,” Jungkook admonishes, but his tone’s too fond to sound stern, and he ruins it by kissing his belly again. Jimin reaches out and threads his fingers through Jungkook’s hair, pushing it back from his forehead.

Jungkook crawls onto the couch to join him, hovering over him with a hand on either side of his head, careful not to place any weight on him. He kisses him languidly, like he wants to map out every inch of Jimin’s mouth. Jimin loses track of how long they lie there, breaking only when they have no choice but to breathe, tasting each other thoroughly. Jimin’s hands roam over Jungkook’s chest, stroking the muscles through his shirt, hard and firm as they look. He slips them under Jungkook’s shirt to trace the dips in his abdomen, likes the way his touch makes Jungkook’s muscles clench.

“What about you?” Jimin mumbles when they pull apart to breathe. He can feel the brush of Jungkook’s cock against his leg when he shifts. “You’re still hard.”

“I can get off later,” Jungkook says easily, but Jimin doesn’t want that. He wants to see Jungkook’s cock. Wants to touch it.

He pushes Jungkook gently so that he knows to move away, and Jimin slips off the couch. He pulls Jungkook up with him, threading their fingers together, and leads him down the hall to his room. He tries not to be too self-conscious about the fact that he’s naked. It helps that Jungkook reaches out to squeeze his ass as he follows with an impressed noise, undeterred by the glare Jimin shoots over his shoulder.

They stop at the foot of the bed, and before Jimin can demand that he take his clothes off, Jungkook has his arms around him, pulling him in to mouth at his neck.

“So fuckin’ pretty,” he says, nipping at Jimin’s skin. “With that fat ass and thighs. Make me wanna mark ‘em up.”

“Take your clothes off,” Jimin whines, tugging at the hem of his shirt.

Jungkook’s teeth sink into his throat and Jimin gasps, arching his neck, shuddering as Jungkook’s tongue laves over the spot. “Think you can tell your Alpha what to do, huh?”

Jimin’s lashes flutter, face growing hot. Your Alpha . “Yes,” Jimin bites, but it’s half-hearted and they both know it.

“You talk a lot of shit for someone who’s wet just from some kissing.” Jungkook’s voice is hard, his hands squeezing Jimin’s ass, finger dipping between his cheeks to gather up slick. Jimin’s cheeks flame hotter; of course that hadn’t escaped Jungkook’s notice. “You know who gets wet that fast?”

Jungkook pushes Jimin onto the bed, leaning over him with dark eyes. Jimin can’t find the words to answer, mouth dry, staring up at him with lips parted. His gaze flickers down to Jungkook’s mouth and back up, can’t hide how much he wants .

Jungkook takes Jimin’s chin between his fingers, his grip unforgiving. “Answer me, Omega.”

“I don’t know,” Jimin whispers, and Jungkook leans in, his mouth pressing hot against Jimin’s ear.

“A slut,” he murmurs, and Jimin goes rigid, leaking slick right onto his bedsheets. “A greedy little slut.”

Jimin whines, and the world goes out of focus, his breath coming quick, fingers digging into Jungkook’s biceps. He’s hard again. “Alpha,” he breathes. “Please, Alpha.”

“Please what?” Jungkook demands.

"Please, I - I wanna see your cock." He thumbs at the waist of Jungkook's pants.

"Mm, what a good boy," he croons. "Asking so nicely."

He shifts them so he's on the bed, scooting back to lean against the headboard. Jimin watches him, licking his lips.

"Go on, then," Jungkook says.

Jimin swallows harshly, gaze dipping down to Jungkook's cock tenting the front of his pants. It looks so big that Jimin's almost nervous to see it, the kind of fluttery nervousness that toes the line with giddiness. He reaches out tentatively, pulling Jungkook's pants down and off. There's a wet spot on the front of his boxers. Jimin feels a little smug. He thinks if he tries to tease, Jungkook will wreck him, and the thought of that makes him stir with arousal.

"Shirt, please," Jimin says, and Jungkook tugs his shirt off over his head in one smooth move. Jimin sits back, jaw slack, eyes flickering over Jungkook's torso. He drinks his fill of Jungkook’s chiseled muscles and the delicate art of the tattoo that travels from his side all the way to his chest. God, he's fucking hot.

He swallows, inching forward, peering at Jungkook under his lashes to see if he reacts. Jungkook just watches him, gaze dark, and Jimin leans in to press his mouth to Jungkook’s abs. His lashes flutter, tongue dipping between the bends of his muscles, tasting his sweat. If he’s being honest, Jimin’s wanted to do this since the day Jungkook opened the door shirtless.

Jungkook’s fingers thread through his hair, but he doesn’t stop him. “You like that?” Jungkook murmurs. “Like how I strong I am?”

Jimin flushes at the smugness in his voice, but he can’t bear to disagree. “You’re pretty, Alpha.”

Jungkook strokes his hair, and Jimin’s mouth travels up to his chest, brushing over one of his dark nipples. Jungkook’s hand tightens, pushing his head back down. “If you’re going to do it, do it right,” Jungkook says, and Jimin closes his mouth around his nipple.

Jungkook’s sensitive, jerking under Jimin as he sucks and licks, and Jimin likes pulling such obvious reactions from him when he’s so otherwise in control. He laves around his nipple until it’s red and raw then he pulls back to admire his work. His eyes catch on the octopus on his pec, its tentacles snaking over his chest, and Jimin’s mouth waters.

His tongue comes out and he licks a stripe over Jungkook’s tattoo, licks down one of the tentacles to the space between his pecs. Jungkook groans, tugging on his hair in a way that makes Jimin whine.

“Really like those, don’t you,” Jungkook says, a little breathless.

“I’ve wanted to do that forever,” Jimin whines.

He turns around and straddles his waist, back to Jungkook's chest. He lowers himself carefully, conscious of his balance, until he can feel Jungkook's cock on his ass. It takes some shifting, but he gets Jungkook's cock to slide between his cheeks, a fresh stream of slick dripping out to soak the fabric of Jungkook's boxers.

“Yeah?” Jungkook tugs his head back. “Had wet dreams about your Alpha?”

Jimin huffs and refuses to answer. He rocks his hips instead, Jungkook’s clothed cock rubbing between his cheeks.

"Came once and you're still so needy?" Jungkook rests his hands on Jimin's waist, guiding him as he grinds over his cock. "You really are a slut."

Jimin sucks in a breath, rocking down for a slow drag, the pressure of Jungkook's cock against his rim and perineum unbelievably good. "'m pregnant," Jimin defends, but the slur of his voice as his hips roll again betrays him. "Can't help it."

"Bet you were always like this," Jungkook says. Jimin wonders how he can sound so conversational when he's hard, too, when Jimin can smell how much he's affecting him. "Bet you always turn into a filthy, desperate mess with a cock in you."

Jimin jerks on the next grind, lashes fluttering, and he's leaking again, ass and nipples both. He's wanted this for so long, driven himself wild with the thought of it, so horny he felt like something was crawling under his skin and nothing quite satisfied it. And it's only like this because it's Jungkook, because he's Jungkook who makes Jimin laugh and feel safe and loved and happy. It's Jungkook and Jimin's wanted him so bad, all of him. Wants to be his.

"Look at all that." Jungkook pushes Jimin forward a bit so he can press his fingers between Jimin's cheeks, scooping up slick. Jimin looks at him over his shoulder, watches him bring his fingers to his mouth and lick around them. He hums like it's the best thing he's ever tasted. "You're leaking so much just from this? How pathetic."

Jimin whimpers, hips stuttering, and his fingers dig into the sheets on either side of their legs. He's so hard it fucking hurts, and he's going to die if he doesn't get Jungkook inside him. "You're so mean," he whines, and Jungkook laughs. His hand threads through Jimin's hair, tugging his head back.

"You love it," he says, kissing Jimin's temple, and Jimin does. He loves it.

He wants Jungkook to ruin him.

Jimin rocks his hips with more force, grinding against Jungkook, lips parting as he starts to pant, the pleasure building. " Alpha ," he moans, long and low and a little exaggerated, but it does the trick.

Jungkook pushes him forward, and Jimin can feel him shoving his boxers down enough for his cock to spring out and slap Jimin's ass. Before Jimin can even relish in how it feels against his skin, Jungkook's pushing inside him, the slide easy with how wet Jimin is. Jimin gasps, eyes widening, and he clenches around Jungkook's cock in surprise. He's so big and thick and Jimin feels so full, thinks he's floating out of his body with how good Jungkook feels inside him.

"Oh my god," Jimin gasps. "You're so big, oh my god."

"Can you take it?" Jungkook murmurs, pushing Jimin's sweaty hair back from his forehead. Maybe he means it to come out mocking, but Jimin can hear the concern underlying his voice.

Jimin answers with a strangled yes , afraid he'll come the second he moves, it feels so good. He holds still while he tries to gather himself, growing accustomed to Jungkook's girth as Jungkook's hands stroke the small of his back. He's too impatient to wait for long, Jungkook's sheer size sending him to new levels of pleasure, and starts to move.

" Oh ," Jimin moans when Jungkook's cock grinds against his walls. He can hear Jungkook groan, low and throaty, so he rolls his hips again and works to find a rhythm. "I'm so full," he says, almost a sob.

"Look at you, taking me so well." Jungkook's grip urges Jimin on, his voice rough and restrained.

Turned on as he is, it doesn't take long for Jimin to get desperate. His hips grow sloppy as he tries to ride Jungkook to orgasm, alternating between bouncing and grinding in circles, gripping Jungkook's thighs tightly for leverage. He sobs, chasing an orgasm that he doesn't have enough energy to reach on his own, can't quite fuck himself fast enough. Jungkook doesn't lift a finger to help, though Jimin can hear him panting, can smell his arousal.

"Jungkookie," he sobs. "I can't - can't - "

"What's that?" Jungkook says, his voice infuriatingly level.

"Alpha, please ."

"Don't know what you want if you don't tell me."

Jimin really sobs this time, at the peak of frustration, losing all semblance of rhythm as he snaps his hips back. "Please, I'm - I need it - "

"Need what?"

"Need y-you."

"You have me." Jungkook turns Jimin's head to look at him, running his thumb over Jimin's lips.

"Need you to fuck me," Jimin blurts. "N-need you to fuck me 'til I scream, please, make me come - I wanna come, Alpha - "

"Told you I'd make you beg," Jungkook says wickedly, then he sits up so his chest is flush against Jimin’s back.

“Wanna come,” Jimin says, and Jungkook holds his hips in place so he can thrust up hard. Jimin’s whole body jerks, Jungkook’s cock hitting him deep, crying out in surprise. “Yes,” he breathes, “Yes - ” But Jungkook doesn’t fuck him again, holds him there, shifting his cock until it’s tight against Jimin’s prostate. “There,” Jimin whines. “Please - ”

Jungkook fucks up again, his cock right on Jimin’s prostate and Jimin sobs, hands flying to grip Jungkook’s wrists for leverage, leaning back into him. He tries to rock his hips back, needs the pleasure, needs to come but Jungkook doesn’t let him, holding him in place with a bruising grip. He thrusts and Jimin screams, his cock so deep Jimin thinks he’ll feel him for days, dream about him for days.

“Alpha!” he sobs, tossing his head back on Jungkook’s shoulder. “Please, please I wanna - I h-have to - ”

“Be a good boy,” Jungkook says, lips running down his face. “Take your Alpha’s cock like a good little slut.”

“B-but - ”

Jungkook fucks up, cutting him off, and Jimin cries out, lashes wet with tears, so aroused that the pleasure his thrusts bring just hurt because they aren’t enough to make him come.

“You’re gonna wake the whole hall, screaming like that,” Jungkook mocks. He thrusts and Jimin’s toes curl, his back arching, his head falling to the side.

“Please,” Jimin says, tears on his cheeks, nuzzling against Jungkook’s cheek. “Alpha, I want - want your c-cum so bad, I dreamt about it for days - you filled me up so g-good, couldn’t even push your cock in - ”

“Shit,” Jungkook mutters, and that seems to be enough because the next time he thrusts, he doesn’t stop. He holds Jimin against him and fucks him at a hard pace, Jimin bouncing in his lap from the force of his thrusts, his moans rising in pitch as he nears his orgasm.

“Jun - Jungkook - ”

Jungkook’s hand closes around his cock, tugging in time with his thrusts, and Jimin sobs, tensing from his toes to his neck. “Such a cute little cock,” Jungkook coos, and Jimin comes with a shout, Jungkook fucking him through it.

He falls limp against him when it’s over, chest heaving as he pants for breath, his cum coating Jungkook’s fingers.

“You did so well hyung.” Jungkook kisses his temple and Jimin leans into it like a cat, turning his chin up for a proper kiss. Jungkook’s mouth meets his sweetly. He pulls away and holds his fingers out, Jimin’s cum dripping down. “You made a mess,” he says. “Clean it up.”

His fingers press against Jimin’s mouth and Jimin’s lips part on instinct, letting him in. He sucks around Jungkook’s fingers, licking away his own cum, salt on his tongue. Jungkook pulls his fingers out and Jimin licks a stripe over his palm, catching stray drops.

“Filthy,” Jungkook says, and Jimin shivers.

“You didn’t come,” Jimin says. “I wanted your cum.”

“You still want it?”

“Uh-huh.” Jimin noses against his scent gland, breathing him in, the scent of his arousal overtaking everything else. “Want it so bad.”

Jungkook pulls Jimin off his cock and lays him carefully on his side. "Okay?" he checks, and Jimin nods impatiently, wants his cock back inside. He doesn’t like the sudden emptiness.

Jungkook lifts Jimin's leg up and fucks into him with one quick thrust. Jimin gasps, lids fluttering, relaxing into the bed. He’s sensitive but he likes the edge of pain, the feeling that everything’s just too much. This is what he wanted, what he needed. Jungkook's going to take care of him. He pulls out to the tip and fucks in, has Jimin jerking in response, a throaty moan leaving him.

"Yes," Jimin breathes. "Fuck me, Alpha."

Jungkook grinds into him, running his lips down Jimin’s neck, the curve of his shoulder. “You’re so pretty, hyung,” he murmurs. “So fucking beautiful.”

Jimin pushes back onto his cock, forcing him deeper, and turns his head so his nose brushes Jungkook’s forehead. Jungkook catches on without Jimin having to ask, dragging his lips back up to meet Jimin’s, kissing him sweetly. He starts to rock his hips, fucking into Jimin slowly at first, their kisses growing deeper and messier. Then Jimin becomes impatient, rolling his hips back to meet Jungkook’s, urging him to move faster. Jungkook pulls away from him, a line of saliva connecting their lips.

“Such an impatient little slut,” he snarls, and something about the change from sweet to mean again, like flipping a switch, has Jimin burning with desire. His skin’s on fire, eyes rolling back into his head when Jungkook’s hips start to snap faster.

“O-oh, Jungkook - fuck - ” His fingers scrabble for purchase in the sheets, Jungkook’s cock angling for his prostate, ramming into him until he’s seeing stars. It really is too much and Jimin’s overwhelmed, his cock raw and sensitive as it brushes against the sheets. “Alpha, I’m - ah, ah - ”

“Good little Omega,” Jungkook croons, his voice rough, “taking cock like you were made to do.”

Jimin sobs, feels like he’s losing himself in the sensations, Jungkook’s cock pounding into his ass and his voice by his ear and his hand stroking his thigh as he holds it up. He can’t hold himself together anymore, mouth open and drooling, tears clinging to his lashes, staccato moans falling from his lips that break on every thrust. He’s limp against the bed, can’t even fuck back, letting Jungkook have his way.

“I can’t - I’m g-gonna - ”

Jungkook fucks in deep and begins to roll his hips in circles, cock nudged against Jimin’s prostate and he leans in to mouth at Jimin’s breast, lapping up the drops of milk leaking from his nipple. “Mm, so sweet,” he says, sucking Jimin’s breast into his mouth.

“Jungkook,” Jimin sobs, arching toward him as Jungkook begins to suckle on his nipple, cock still rubbing incessantly against his walls. He’s growing, Jimin can feel it, the beginnings of his knot stretching his walls.

Jungkook doesn’t let him go until he’s sucked him dry and Jimin’s nipple is raw and red. Then he pulls back, lifts his leg up, and starts to fuck him hard until Jimin’s crying out, arching back. “Gonna knot you,” Jungkook growls. “Fill you up, make you mine.”

Jimin can’t manage any words, just a mumbled Alpha that’s more of a whine. His muscles tense, toes curling, and he clenches around Jungkook’s cock involuntarily. Jungkook groans into Jimin’s hair and he’s coming, his cock twitching inside Jimin as thick spurts of come fill his ass. They’re endless, his come filling Jimin up until it’s dripping out and down his thighs, Jungkook’s knot swelling to its largest.

Jungkook was big enough already and with his knot he feels huge, Jimin’s so full he can barely move. It catches around Jimin’s rim, presses against his prostate just from the size, and Jungkook’s hips thrust erratically as the last spurts of come leave him. Jimin’s body curls tight and he can’t breathe, mouth open until he comes with a shout of Jungkook’s name and falls limp onto to the bed. Jimin can feel Jungkook’s chest heaving where it’s pressed against Jimin’s back. He catches his own breath in the meantime, coming down from his high.

“Jimin,” Jungkook breathes, littering kisses over his face. “Hyung.”

Jimin turns his face for a kiss and Jungkook complies easily, licking into his mouth eagerly. His hands stroke down Jimin’s sides then he rubs his belly gently.

“You okay?” Jungkook asks. “How are you feeling?”

“Good,” Jimin says, nuzzling against his jaw. “You were supposed to make my back ache less, not more.”

Jungkook laughs, kissing his cheek. “Sorry, baby. I’ll give you another massage when I can pull out.”

Jimin sighs, angling for another kiss. This one’s languid, and it’s nice. Jimin thinks he could kiss him like that all night. “You were so good,” Jimin murmurs when they pull apart. “Is there anything you’re not good at?”

Jungkook’s grin is smug, but Jimin doesn’t begrudge him the smugness this time. He really was amazing. Jimin doesn’t think he’s ever been fucked like that. “I was good, huh?” he says. “Maybe the best?”

“Definitely the best,” Jimin agrees, knows he’s inflating Jungkook’s ego but he deserves it. He deserves everything.

Jungkook looks pleased, nosing at Jimin’s shoulder and stroking his belly. “You, too,” Jungkook murmurs. “I could fuck you all day.”

Jimin hums, wouldn’t be opposed to that, and settles in. All Alpha knots go down at varying speeds, and Jungkook’s big, so he figures they’ll be there for a while. And he’s tired. He threads his fingers with Jungkook’s, resting over his belly, and lets his eyes drift shut. He falls asleep to Jungkook murmuring something sweet in his ear.

Jimin drifts back with the feeling of Jungkook pulling his cock out, doesn’t know how long he’s been asleep. His ass clenches around nothing, and he whines, missing the fullness already. Jungkook soothes him with a soft kiss on his hip.

“Gotta clean you up, hyung,” he says, and Jimin whines again in complaint.

Jungkook spreads his legs and Jimin can barely see the top of his head over his belly, but he can tell Jungkook’s staring at his hole. He can feel the wet of his cum dripping out, bubbling up at his rim and dripping onto the bed.

“Fuck,” Jungkook rasps, leaning in and licking up the drops. Jimin whimpers, and Jungkook licks him clean before pulling away. “How are you feeling?” he asks.

“Sore,” Jimin huffs, then softens. “But good. Really good.”

Jungkook kisses his bump and slips off the bed.

“Where are you going?” Jimin whines, and Jungkook laughs quietly.

“I’ll be right back, kitten.”

Jimin fidgets impatiently while he waits. Jungkook returns with the bottle of essential oil they’d been using earlier and a damp washcloth. He settles on the bed again to clean Jimin up properly, wiping his hole and the dried cum on his belly. Tossing the cloth aside carelessly, he wets his palms with oil and starts to massage Jimin’s belly. His touch is gentle but firm, and Jimin finds himself melting with contentment into the bed, eyes drifting shut.

“That’s nice,” he murmurs, and the baby’s lying still, too. “She likes it.”

Jungkook hums, continuing his ministrations. It’s so relaxing Jimin feels like he could lie there forever, and he can tell by the soft expression on Jungkook’s face that he’s enjoying it, too.

“On your side, hyung,” Jungkook says, and Jimin shifts so he can begin massaging his back, too.

His hands take the soreness away, and Jimin drifts in and out of a light doze. “Jungkookie,” he says when he’s coming out of sleep, voice a slur. There’s a sudden panic taking over him. He’d dreamt something strange, can’t remember what it was, just remembers that he’d been upset and afraid. “Jungkookie, this wasn’t a hookup, right?”

Jungkook’s lips find his belly, kissing him over and over. “I don’t want it to be,” he says.

Jimin can breathe again. “I really like you,” Jimin mumbles. “So much.”

Jungkook shifts so he’s hovering over him, his expression warm and happy. “I like you, too,” he says. “I’ve liked you for a long time.”

“I want - I want - ” Jimin wants to find the words to tell him how much he’d like a life together, but he’s still half out of his mind and can’t find them.

Jungkook takes Jimin’s hand in his and kisses his knuckles one-by-one. “Let’s talk about in the morning, yeah?”

“Yeah,” Jimin nods, frustration leaving him as Jungkook leans in to kiss him. They can worry about it in the morning.

Jimin wakes up alone.

He starts to panic for a moment before he registers noises coming from the kitchen; he isn’t alone. The room is so seeped in Jungkook’s scent that Jimin feels like he’s drowning in it. He buries his nose in his pillows, breathing Jungkook in. Then he slips out of bed, forced to by the pressure on his bladder.

What he really wants to do is run to the kitchen and bury his face in Jungkook’s neck, but he takes care of things first: uses the bathroom, throws on a hoodie and sweats, brushes his teeth. When he’s feeling less groggy and gross, he pads over to the kitchen. Jungkook’s standing at the stove, humming as he cooks. It smells like egg, though Jimin can’t see the pan over Jungkook’s shoulder.

The sight of Jungkook has Jimin’s stomach erupting in butterflies. He swallows, hovering shyly by the counter. Jungkook registers his scent and turns around, beaming.

“Morning,” he says.

“G’morning,” Jimin mumbles, curling smaller in his large hoodie. “Smells good.”

“If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s making omelette.”

“You’re saying that like you aren’t good at everything.”

Jungkook grins. Jimin settles onto a stool at the counter and watches Jungkook fold the first omelette onto a plate and start the second. There’s a conversation they need to have, and Jimin’s nervous. It’s been rolling around inside his head since he woke up. They like each other, but Jimin knows that’s not enough. Not with a baby in the picture.

“Jungkook,” he starts after a little while. “Can we talk now?”

Jungkook glances over his shoulder. “You don’t want to eat first?”

“I don’t know if I can stomach anything until we talk,” Jimin admits.

Jungkook’s expression softens. He plates the second omelette and sets them both on the counter before taking the seat next to Jimin. “Okay,” he says, turning to face Jimin. “Shoot.”

Jimin fiddles with the strings of his hoodie. “I, um - I really like you. But I’m about to have a kid.”

Jungkook nods, waits for him to continue.

“I need stability,” Jimin says. “For her sake. I can’t - can’t just date you and have her grow attached and then have you walk out when things aren’t working anymore.”

“Hyung - ” Jungkook starts, but Jimin shakes his head.

“I need commitment,” Jimin tells him. “If we do this, we have to mate. And if you aren’t ready for that commitment, I get it. But then I think it’s better if we end things here.”

He inhales a trembling breath, glancing down at his hands. He doesn’t want things to end. He likes Jungkook so much he feels like he’ll burst with it, but his daughter comes first. Mating doesn’t mean things will work out perfectly, but Jimin needs some sort of commitment, some guarantee that Jungkook will try to be there even if things get hard. He isn’t just signing up to be with Jimin; he’s signing up to be a dad, too.

“I understand,” Jungkook says gently. “I know what I’m getting myself into.”

“Do you?” Jimin mumbles, throat tight. “She’s not even your kid.”

“She’s yours,” Jungkook counters. “And if you’re mine then she’s mine, too.”

Jimin’s face feels hot. He can’t quite swallow past the lump in his throat. “Are you really ready for that?”

“I’ve always wanted kids.”

“You’re only 23.”

“I’m an adult,” he says. “I have a job. 23 is old enough.”

Jimin rubs his eyes. He doesn’t know why he’s trying so hard to convince Jungkook that this isn’t a good idea when all he wants is for Jungkook to be his.

Jungkook takes Jimin’s hand in his, thumb brushing over his knuckles. “Why do you think I’ve been courting you for so long? I thought things through first.”

“Joon hyung said you were but I wasn’t sure if you were courting me or just being nice.”

“Hyung, seriously?” Jungkook snorts. Jimin nudges him with his knee. “I was being nice at first, yeah, but then I got to know you. I thought I was being pretty obvious.”

“I’m an idiot.”

“You’re an idiot,” he agrees. He pulls a hand away from Jimin’s to tug down the collar of his t-shirt, revealing the nicotine patch on his shoulder. “I’m quitting smoking. And I’ve been looking into trading my bike in for a car. I know I work weird hours, but I’ve been talking to my boss about it, and we’re working out whether I can have a more normal schedule so I’m not always working at home. I know I’m not someone you’d look at as ideal for a mate and a dad, but I’m working on it. I didn’t want to approach you without proving that I was stable and consistent and someone you’d want around your kid.” Jungkook swallows, glancing down. “So here I am. Proving I’m making an effort.”

Jimin lets out a watery laugh. “Sounds like you got a PowerPoint presentation prepared on reasons why you’d make a good mate.”

Jungkook grins, rubbing the back of his head. “I can make one.”

“Now you’re the idiot,” Jimin murmurs. “Thinking you aren’t already ideal.”

Jungkook flushes.

“Thank you for doing so much,” Jimin says. “I’m - I can’t describe how that makes me feel, that you care so much. Jungkookie, you’re really amazing, don’t you know? Anyone would be lucky to have a mate like you.”

“Then will you have me?”

Jimin huffs, the tears finally slipping out. He rubs at them furiously. “Of course,” he says. “Of course.”

Jungkook leans in and kisses him, his thumb brushing away the tears. Jimin melts into the kiss, his heart fit to burst, can barely believe that this is happening, that Jungkook wants to be a part of his life. They break apart and Jungkook drops a last kiss to Jimin’s lips.

“Breakfast?” he asks, and Jimin laughs.

“Breakfast.”

Jimin gives birth on July 10, eight days before his due date.

The contractions start during a classroom party. They’re at the last days of school, so Jimin arranged a little party for his students and their parents to come attend after lunchtime. He’s been having contractions already, so at first he prepares himself to suffer through them. But they start to come faster and longer, and one of the parents registers the panic on his face and tells him it might be time.

He calls Jungkook, and while he’s waiting for Jungkook, he calls Namjoon, too. Namjoon, predictably, freaks out in as level-headed a way as possible. Jungkook arrives faster than he should have if he’d been driving the speed limit, and he barrels into the lobby looking for Jimin.

He looks frazzled, but the sight of Jimin calms him down. Jimin takes his hand and squeezes.

“It’s really happening,” he whispers, and Jungkook squeezes his hand back.

Jungkook takes him home first for the beginning of the labor. They spend it lying in bed together, Jungkook stroking Jimin’s hair and involving him in conversation to keep him distracted. Mostly, they talk about the baby.

When the contractions pick up, Jungkook grabs the hospital bag and they’re on their way. The drive passes in a blur, Jimin trying to breathe through the pain, holding onto Jungkook’s hand in a vice-like grip. By the time they arrive, Jimin’s sobbing every time a contraction hits.

He’s in labor for ten and a half hours, and every minute is agony. At some point, he isn’t sure he can make it, but everyone’s shouting at him to push and Jungkook’s holding his hand and he really has no choice but to keep going.

When they finally put her in his arms, he’s relieved. Just relieved, exhaustion weighing him down to the point that he can hardly hold her. His arms tremble. He’s waited so long, and here she is. He waited so long he had almost felt like the day would never really come. And now she’s here, and he’s relieved because she’s alive and he’s alive and everything’s going to be okay.

It takes a few minutes for the emotions to really hit, and when they do, they’re overwhelming. He can’t think straight. He passes her off to Jungkook, who cradles her gently in his arms and cries, face scrunching up and lip wobbling as tears stream down his cheeks. Jimin stares at them, and then he starts to cry, too.

She’s here, and he’s afraid and excited and amazed and proud.

Watching the two of them together, Jimin can’t help but think that universe has moved for them. This was meant to be. Everything’s different now, and Jimin feels so lucky.