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No tired sighs, rolling eyes, no irony

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"Are we doing this or what?"

 

Jimin is already pretty drunk, raising his glass up in the air. "We graduated this motherfucking high school, we deserve some fun!"

 

The crowd cheers and the music is loud enough, to drown Taehyung’s thoughts. He smiles at his best friend, cheeks pink and full while clinging to some alphas around.

 

Taehyung feels two arm hand snake around his waist, the scent he will never admit he missed, fills his nostrils. "No offense to your best friend, but this party sucks," Jeongguk places his head onto Taehyung's shoulder and inhales the sweet smell of the omega.

 

"Can't be offended, if I agree," Taehyung replies, turning around and pulling away from the alpha, almost taunting him to follow. Jeongguk steps forward, reaching out for Taehyung but the omega swiftly moves through the large crowd, running away from Jeongguk.

 

He knows the house by heart, he stays here more than he stays with his own parents. Jeongguk follows him, of course, he does, whenever it comes to the irresistible omega, he's there.

 

"Apparently, it's the only thing we both agree with," Jeongguk finds Taehyung in the garden. The Park family is rich as fuck, and the parents are never home.

 

Jeongguk snatches two shots from one of the betas there, giving the boy an angry look, leaving the beta submitted to him and allowing him to take the two glasses.

 

He sits down next to Taehyung and the omega takes a glass and downs it in one go. He wipes his mouth with the back of his sleeve and leans back on his hands. "We did it, we are going to college."

 

It's rare moments that Jeongguk sees and hears Taehyung being so soft, but at the moments it happens, he is left speechless. Taehyung is an omega of actions, never submitting to anyone, alpha voice or not, he's grown a resistance to it.

 

It's safe to say that he is one of the most desired omegas at their school, if not the most desired. Beautiful, stunningly so, no alpha is immune to his charms - Jeongguk is no exception.

 

But he has one advantage - Taehyung dislikes him. Very much so.

 

And all that dislike and hate has to lead to something, and that something is probably the best sex Jeongguk ever had in his life. Despite they agreed it was only a one-time thing, they quickly realized that they somehow got addicted to each other and established a relationship.

 

Nothing but good old friends (enemies) with benefits.

 

Taehyung is looking at him, with those big doe eyes that always make Jeongguk give in without second thoughts. Like a fly, caught in a spiderweb, with no way to go.

 

"What do you say? One last time before we part?" A smirk on Taehyung’s face is a deadly one, luring men in, with no remorse.

 

Like a fly in a spiderweb, unable to do anything else but sacrifice himself for Taehyung’s needs.

 

-

 

Taehyung is woken up by something heavy pressing onto his stomach. He wants to turn around, but whatever is sitting there isn't allowing him to do just that. "Dad? Wake up!"

 

Taehyung groans, opening one eye and mumbling something under his breath. "Minhyuk, hey," he says, and the boy climbs from his stomach, to lie on his chest.

 

"It's time to go to the kindergarten, dad, I wanna see Minji already," Minhyuk shakes his dad awake and Taehyung dryly laughs. Of course, his four-year-old child has an adorable little girlfriend, but Taehyung, a grown ass man cannot get a partner. Taehyung wants to laugh, but it's not really that funny.

 

Just as Taehyung lifts Minhyuk off him, the loud noise shakes him awake, removing all the proof of him ever being sleepy. He reaches for his phone to turn it off, but his son is quicker and turns it off himself.

 

Taehyung realized quite fast that his son has a fascination with electronics. Perhaps it's just normal behavior of a four-year-old, but Taehyung cannot ignore how many times Minhyuk has asked him for his phone to take pictures.

 

"Can Jiminie-hyung take me out to the park today? I wanna take more pictures," Minhyuk says, bouncing up and down on Taehyung’s lap, while the omega grabs his child's hips and holds him still.

 

"I'll ask uncle Jimin, okay? But first, we gotta take you to kindergarten," Taehyung lifts Minhyuk and places him on the floor. His bare toes wiggling on the soft rug, while smiling, he shows his front missing tooth.

 

Taehyung gets out of bed, and pulls the shirt he sleeps in over his head. His little shadow follows him everywhere and whenever Taehyung looks, Minhyuk is looking the other way, almost like he's afraid to be caught.

 

"Baby, why don't you go put some clothes on? You can see Minji sooner that way," Taehyung says, glancing at the Spiderman pajamas his son is wearing.

 

Minhyuk looks down in wonder and grabs the hem of his shirt to expect it closer. "Could I wear spiderman to kindergarten? It would make me look cool," he pouts. Taehyung chuckles.

 

"I'll tell you what, Minmin, you go put on some normal clothes and daddy is going to see if there are any spiderman shirts in the store that aren't pajamas, what do you say?"

 

Minhyuk's smile brightens up the whole room, that's given. A small kid, running around their small, but cozy apartment, with a front tooth missing. His black hair bounces around like a big crow's nest and deep brown, almost black eyes shine whenever he gets his way.

 

Taehyung loves him. Minhyuk is and always will be the light of his life, the force to keep going. As tough as kids can be, his little boy seems to be one of the calmer ones and Taehyung cannot be more thankful for it.

 

If Minhyuk was any more of a brat, where is no way Taehyung would be able to graduate college with a degree in literature.

 

"Daddy! Can I put on the one uncle Yoongi bought for me?" Taehyung hears a quiet shout from the other room.

 

"Go ahead, dumpling," Taehyung laughs back while putting on a shirt and some pants. He smooths out the silk of his white shirt before his eye stops on something. He lifts his shirt up - there are a few stretch marks along his hips. Taehyung has always hated them with passion. Even though they were made because of something beautiful, Taehyung still couldn't help but find it repulsive.

 

Ever since that one asshole alpha told him that perhaps he should take care of his kid, instead of looking for a suitable partner, Taehyung couldn't stop thinking of Jeongguk.

 

Jeongguk.

 

Where would he start if he tried to tell someone about him? There's a lot to tell about Jeongguk. That one alpha that drove Taehyung crazy in more than one way, the one who made Taehyung feel something.

 

He convinced himself it was hate, it was always that feeling in the pit of his stomach. That one feeling that was pulling him towards the alpha, but at the same time, dragging him away.

 

Taehyung lets the shirt fall when he hears the door of Minhyuk's door open. He checks him and pulls the shirt out of his pants, where it must have tucked in while he was in the bathroom.

 

"Now, you're ready to go," Taehyung smiles and ruffles Minhyuk's hair. The omega embraces Minhyuk, giving him a tight squeeze as he does every morning.

 

Minhyuk never releases the hug first, always needing to be close to Taehyung as Taehyung yearns to be close to his one and only child. "We should get going. Or else you won't be able to see Minji," Taehyung says and grabs one of Minhyuk's hands.

 

The small hand fits in Taehyung’s the way any child's hand would fit in his father's.

 

As Taehyung parks next to the small building, Minhyuk runs out of the car towards the small playground where a few kids are already playing. "Minji!"

 

Minhyuk embraces the girl and she giggles while hugging back tightly. It's then that Taehyung wants to leave, but is stopped by the kindergarten teacher.

 

"Taehyung-ssi," she starts, "there is a small party next month, in celebration of 50 years since this kindergarten was formed. We'd all be happy if you and your mate would be able to attend."

 

His mate.

 

His mate.

 

"Of course. I'll be there. I'll see if my husband is free," Taehyung says, faking a big smile in hopes the teacher won't notice.

 

"I'm glad, Taehyung-ssi. I hope we finally meet this husband of yours," she says before turning around to go play with the kids.

 

Taehyung swallows down the tears that swell in his eyes, looking away from Minhyuk who is happily playing with the girl. He looks so much like him. So, so much.

 

The omega curses himself, nearly every day, for being so stupid. He doesn't regret Minhyuk, how could he? He is the biggest bright point in his life.

 

But he regrets not telling Jeongguk. Perhaps, that way, he wouldn't be a single parent, omega at that, taking care of a child who might grow up without a second parent.

 

Taehyung blinks the tears away, not wanting to think about that night. That night has, and will always have a special place in his heart. The way Jeongguk made him feel special, how he whispered sweet nothings into his ear as he made him feel like nothing before.

 

It almost made him feel like Jeongguk was his alpha. And, he supposes, at that moment in time, he was.

 

But there is one thing he regrets more than anything. He regrets not realizing it sooner that those hateful feelings that he felt during high school were nothing more but a hopeless crush.

 

A crush that slowly grew into something stronger. And perhaps, it was that night that made Taehyung realize that Jeon Jeongguk was not only his enemy with benefits.

 

Taehyung starts the car again, leaning back on the car seat and exhaling the breath he's been holding. He lets one tear fall before he wipes it off. "Get it together."

 

The swallows down all the proof he's on the verge of crying as he looks himself in the rear mirror and tries to fix himself up as well as he can.

 

He has a meeting with the CEO to get over with. Before that, he has to meet up with his publisher, because his latest book To Capture a Heart became the bestseller of the year.

 

Despite it being a basic love story, with a twist and a cliffhanger at the end, the story Taehyung wrote down was one of his own life. Him and Jeongguk (which changed names, of course). He works under a pseudonym, not really ready to come out to the world.

 

The CEO of the publishing company has been requesting a meeting with him for a long time and Taehyung always declined, saying he wasn't ready to show his face yet.

 

Thankfully, the CEO respected that.

 

While parking in front of the publishing house, Taehyung takes a few more deep breaths, hoping to calm down his beating heart. He doesn’t know why he’s nervous, he really shouldn’t be, he’s done nothing wrong. If anything the CEO should be welcoming, happy because with his last book he brought a lot of profit into the company.

 

And yet, he has this feeling of something terrible happening and he cannot shake it off. Perhaps, it’s just his omega instincts, telling him that he should be cautious. But cautious of what?

 

Taehyung locks the car, blinking twice to get rid of the last remaining tears in his eyes, before finally gaining enough courage to get through the door. Just as he enters, he’s greeted by an Alpha, Seokjin, who is the one who guided him through the whole editing and publishing process, back then when he was still new to it.

 

They work well together and Seokjin is the only alpha, aside from his friend Hoseok that Taehyung trusts. He’s had his fair share of encounters with them, but he cannot say all of them were nice. Some were there just to get that pretty lil ass of his.

 

It’s safe to say that with comments like that, Taehyung’s confidence fell drastically. He was never viewed as nothing more but a sex object. But the worst part wasn’t even that. Some alphas - when Taehyung finally, finally gathered the courage to go out and find a heat buddy - told him his stretch marks are something ugly, not something to be proud of.

 

He brought a small pup to this world, he should be proud of them, not the other way around.

 

Minhyuk was another thing that drove alphas far away from him. As adorable as his kid is, most alphas don’t want to take care of a pup that isn’t theirs.

 

Not that Taehyung can blame them, it’s in their nature.

 

“I’m so proud of you,” Seokjin ruffles Taehyung’s styled hair and messes it up. It has to take all of Taehyung’s willpower not to playfully punch Seokjin in the shoulder.

 

“Why are you proud of me? I’m only here to meet the CEO,” Taehyung speaks, his eyes forming two crescent moons as he laughs. Seokjin nudges his shoulder and stops him, smiling with the brightest smile.

 

“Because I know you know that the CEO is an alpha and I know you haven’t had the best history with them, so, I’m proud of you that you’re finally doing this,” Seokjin hugs him, squishing his head as he embraces him tightly. Taehyung has to tap the alpha’s forearm to let him go, almost suffocating in the arms of his friend.

 

“Yeah, yeah,” Taehyung brushes it off, but they both silently know, it’s a big deal for Taehyung to be meeting someone as scary as the CEO. As much as Seokjin reassures Taehyung that our little Ggukie is something else, so cute, you won’t actually believe he’s an alpha, Taehyung still has his doubts. And so does his omega.

 

Seokjin drags him up to the twenty-fifth floor by pressing onto the button of an elevator, designed for those higher up in the hierarchy of his building’s management. Taehyung penguins behind him like a lost puppy, looking around like it’s the first time he’s ever seen an office. He hasn’t seen this floor in particular, but all of the floors in the building have the same layout and it’s not hard to find what you’re looking for, even if you haven’t been there before.

 

They stop in front of a door, and Taehyung manages to read the tag on the wall next to the door, proudly claiming that this is CEO’s Office, Jeon Jeongguk.

 

Taehyung’s eyes widen, his stomach drops and his palms become as sweaty as a running waterfall. He wants to stop Seokjin, but his friend is already knocking on the door, hearing a faint come in from inside.

 

Seokjin smiles at him, but when he sees Taehyung in his frozen state, he waits before entering. He turns to his friend and carefully grabs Taehyung’s upper arms to look into omega’s eyes. “Tae, you’re going to be great. He won’t do anything, I promise you.”

 

“I-I can’t. No, no, no, this isn’t happening, Seokjin-hyung, please, don’t make me do this, please,” Taehyung almost crying, he’s shaking and just as Seokjin takes his cheeks in the palm of his hand, Taehyung’s eyes spill the crystal clean tears down his reddened cheeks.

 

“Okay, it’s okay, hey, I’ll just tell Jeongguk, you won’t be coming.” Seokjin knocks again and opens the door this time. As it opens, the scent of freshly baked goods fills Taehyung’s nose. His lips part and he closes his eyes - just like the old times, Jeongguk still has one of the best scents Taehyung’s ever smelled in his life. Freshly baked cookies, chocolate chip ones, if he’s being truthful. Not only that Taehyung loves them, but Minhyuk is also crazy about chocolate and cookies. The scent reminds him, not only of the alpha his omega practically claimed for himself but also of his son.

 

“Hey, Jeongguk,” Seokjin peeks in, careful not to reveal Taehyung from behind the door. “I’m just here to tell you that Vante won’t be coming today.” Taehyung doesn’t hear Jeongguk say anything, but he does hear the office chair behind dragged back and quick footsteps.

 

Before he knows, the door is open wide, revealing the alpha, he’s been longing for the past five years of his life. Ever since they’ve parted at that damned graduation party.

 

Tae.”

 

Taehyung never expected to hear that angelic voice call out his name again, but here he is, looking into those dark doe eyes, that show nothing but surprise in them, he’s a loss for words. Tears spill some more and it seems like Jeongguk notes his as without question steps in and pulls the omega against his broad chest.

 

Taehyung feels his omega calm down, feeling the peace he’s longed for so long. He doesn’t dare to hug back, it almost feels like he’s intruding on his own moment with Jeongguk. Soon after, Jeongguk pulls away to look into Taehyung’s eyes again, wiping the tears from his cheeks. “Why are you crying?” his voice is gentle, just as Taehyung remembers it being.

 

Taehyung shakes his head and pulls away from him. He cannot stand it, the strong scent hitting his nose like a ton of bricks mixed with shock and adrenaline. He feels like he’s being crushed under three trucks filled with gallons of water and his lungs are unable to accept more air.

 

Jeongguk is visibly hurt, but he doesn’t say anything. Taehyung finally snaps out of whatever this was and makes eye contact with Jin, who just somehow stands there, not moving and watching it all unfold.

 

He soon realizes it’s not just the three of them. Almost the whole floor is watching it go down. Whatever this is. Jeongguk seems to notice too and like a snap, his eyes change from soft, innocent looking to predatory. “I don’t pay you for standing around, go back to your work immediately.”

 

Taehyung flinches, hard. He hasn’t heard an alpha voice from anyone in years, but the last time he did, it was not a pleasant experience. Jeongguk seems to notice the change in Taehyung’s posture and demeanor as he grabs his hand and carefully pulls him into the office, closing the door behind them.

 

Seokjin just squints as he is left behind.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t let of Taehyung’s hand as he guides him to one of the chairs in front of his work desk. He carefully sits him down, checking if everything is alright with the omega. “Tae, talk to me.”

 

Taehyung just watches as Jeongguk kneels down in front of the chair while giving Taehyung a chance to speak. A chance to tell him what's wrong.

 

 "I never thought I'd see you again."

 

His voice is hoarse, raw. His eyes red and puffy from crying. Taehyung reaches on hand forward to touch the scar on Jeongguk’s cheek. The alpha lets him and closes his eyes to savor the feeling of being touched by him again.

 

"I thought the same," Jeongguk admit, loving the feeling of Taehyung's thumb brushing over his cheekbone, remembering it in case it's never going to happen again.

 

Taehyung’s bottom lip quivers as he pulls away, shushing the omega inside of him that whined for more. He already took enough as it is.

 

Jeongguk gets up, smiling. "It's been five years and yet you still look as youthful as always," he says. Taehyung knows it's a compliment but somehow he dreads it.

 

They all leave.

 

But Jeongguk isn't like that, right? He'll stay.

 

Will he? Until he finds out you've birthed his son and never told him about it.

 

Taehyung snaps out of thoughts and realized that Jeongguk watches carefully, afraid to let out any single move that the omega makes. "Thank you," he says instead of voicing his thoughts.

 

Taehyung takes a deep breath, "How are you? You're a CEO now?" he puts on a fake smile, in the last few years he's become a master at hiding his true emotions and he's been scolded by Jimin multiple times for not trusting his best friend about his true feelings.

 

"I am. I only took over the company a few weeks before you came in with the bestseller," Jeongguk proudly states. "It looked like I did all the work, when in fact it was you, and I'm really proud of you, Taehyungie."

 

Taehyungie.

 

"Well, assuming that you're Vante," Jeongguk quickly realizes he might be wrong.

 

Taehyung just shakes his head. "That's me," he says, taking a deep breath, before exhaling through his nose. His palms sweat a bit and he wipes them in the fabric of his jeans as he avoids making eye contact with the alpha.

 

"Can I just ask something?"

 

Taehyung looks up at Jeongguk.

 

"Was it inspired by our story or did you find another alpha in college?" Jeongguk's eyes are curious, there's no malice in them. He truly wants to know, not to mock Taehyung or to spite him.

 

Taehyung doesn't miss the possessive way Jeongguk says their story. It's theirs and nobody can take it away from them.

 

"It was definitely inspired by our story, but don't feel too cocky. College alphas were great too," Taehyung playfully says (and lies) and misses the flash of disappointment and anger on Jeongguk’s face.

 

Taehyung’s face slowly morphs into confusion. “What, did you actually read the book?” He’s kind of surprised but in a good way. He never thought Jeongguk would be one of those soft romantic alphas that read romantic novels. But then again, Taehyung cannot say he didn’t see it coming, either.

 

Jeongguk was always careful with him, even though Taehyung always hated it. When the omega locks his gaze on the alpha, he can see the faint blush decorating his cheeks. “I decided I’d be one of the CEOs to care for his employees. So I try and read most of the books that are published, yours just kind of lured me in, I suppose, I’m not even going to deny it.”

 

Now, it’s Taehyung’s turn to blush. He always had a talent for writing, he just never pursued it as a teenager. Only once Minhyuk was born, Taehyung considered being a writer because it allowed him to work from home, which also allowed him to take care of his pup. It wasn’t easy, in no way was Taehyung’s life easy, not when he balanced taking online college studies, taking care of a kid and working on a book, but with the help of his parents and friends, he managed to pull through.

 

“So…” It’s an awkward laugh that Jeongguk kind of lets out and Taehyung smiles because Jeongguk never knew how to handle awkward situations. He didn’t change at all. “Have any alpha in your life?”

 

Taehyung’s eyes widen. “Or you know, beta or omega, I don’t discriminate,” Jeongguk quickly adds, not wanting to be misunderstood by Taehyung. The omega bites his bottom lip - a habit he picked up somewhere - and shook his head. “No, I don’t.”

 

He doesn’t know what the emotion on Jeongguk’s face is. Confusion? Surprise? Relief?

 

“You?” Taehyung returns the question.

 

Jeongguk shakes his head, almost nonchalantly, "Never had the time. Dad threw me into this business way too early for my liking."

 

Jeongguk is way too young for all of this, being in charge of something so big. But he looks like he's handling everything well and deep down it makes Taehyung feel pride.

 

This is the other father of his pup, this man has achieved so much in his life, in such a short span of his life.

 

"I hope everything goes well for you," Taehyung says and stands up, preparing himself to leave. As much as his omega, the emotional part of him enjoys staying in Jeongguk’s presence, Taehyung, the rational part of him is screaming to go. To leave before he slips up and says something he shouldn't.

 

"I should go, the sequel never waits," Taehyung playfully winks, and it's meant to be a kind gesture, but both the alpha and omega take it differently. His omega screams at him for being a coward and not telling his alpha the truth, but Taehyung knows that if anything were to happen to Minhyuk he'd lose it.

 

If Jeongguk found out about his pup, there is no way he wouldn't fight for his custody. In this alpha ruling world, if it came down to a lawsuit, Taehyung would have no chances of winning. Not if it's an alpha he's competing against.

 

As Taehyung wants to lay his hand on the doorknob, Jeongguk's voice stops him. "You know, the reason I walked out of the office and checked who was outside that door, was because of your smell," he says while clicking his tongue. His posture changes suddenly as Taehyung looks back, to get a better view of the alpha who sits on the table with his legs spread, leaning back on his arms.

 

Then Taehyung realizes that if he could smell Jeongguk, so could he. "And at first, I was so happy because I finally found you again, but then I realized that there's another thing about your smell. It's the same, but it isn't."

 

Taehyung knows what Jeongguk is talking about. His smell is still the same, but from the fact that he has a son, some of that scent has stuck to him as well. His son smells that of strawberries and blueberries, and if that's only a little of Taehyung's scent, he can pridefully say he has the best scent in the world.

 

"It's a long story," he decides to say, keeping himself from blabbing everything that's the truth. Jeongguk closes his legs and pushes him off the table, gracefully landing on the floor.

 

Walking slowly towards the older, Taehyung wishes to escape the deadly situation his omega feels he's in (even though, his masochistic ass enjoys it).

 

"Perhaps, you can explain it one day over dinner?"

 

Not sure what his reply is going to be, Taehyung exhales the breath he's holding and gives Jeongguk a polite smile. Before he can decline (because that is the only rational thing to do????), he feels the air fill up with Jeongguk’s pheromones. He knows what the alpha is doing. He always did this whenever he wanted a thing to do his own way, and Taehyung has always been super sensitive to the smell of freshly baked goods.

 

"Jeongguk," Taehyung says, trying to stay in his own mind without the omega to take over. He's been always good at it, but sometimes, it didn't work. "You know that this is basically manipulating, right?"

 

Jeongguk steps forward, gently grabbing Taehyung’s chin to make eye contact with the omega. "You never minded it."

 

"It's different now."

 

Jeongguk’s pheromones stop polluting the air abruptly, causing Taehyung to realize that there isn't much difference with or without them.

 

He still really, really, really wants to go grab dinner with Jeongguk.

 

"I'll think about it, okay?"

 

Jeongguk gives him a smile that isn't genuine, causing Taehyung to suddenly feel bad about it. "Can I at least get your number so I can get your answer?"

 

Taehyung nods and takes the offered phone, entering his number without problems. Jeongguk sighs, taking his phone back and texting Taehyung so the omega has his number as well.

 

"Well, I gotta go, but I'll see you soon, okay?"

 

With a heavy heart, Taehyung leaves the CEO's office.

 

-

 

"Oh god, you're joking?"

 

"What makes you think, I'm joking?" Taehyung asks Jimin who is currently munching on popcorn while paying barely any attention to the movie on the screen of their shared apartment.

 

Minhyuk is already fast asleep in his room, almost dropping dead into his bed as he and Jimin came home from the park.

 

The beta picked him up from the kindergarten and took him to the playground, where Minhyuk wouldn't stop taking pictures with Jimin's phone.

 

("You should buy him a camera," Jimin suggests that day after they come home. Taehyung shakes his head.

 

"He's a baby,"

 

"He's four, Tae,"

 

"Yes, exactly. He's a baby."

 

That was the end of the discussion.)

 

"So you're telling me you've not only met Jeon Jeongguk again, for the first time after he blew your back out and knocked you up, but he also asked you out?"

 

Taehyung mutters mhm under his breath, stuffing some more popcorn in his mouth. "After I thought I'd never see him again."

 

"Not to be that person, but you need to tell him about Minhyuk," Jimin says, not lifting his gaze from the television. Taehyung knows this, he knows this very well, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to be a stubborn little shit.

 

“Yeah, no,” he says, keeping up with the straight face that looks like it’s about to crumble any time now. “He’s just going to say that he doesn’t want him and that he’s not about to take care of a child that was an accident or he’s gonna file a lawsuit against me and take my pup away from me.”

 

Jimin rolls his eyes. “Or you know, there’s another possible thing that might happen.”

 

“And that is?”

 

“He gets a little bit mad, but he calms down and you two take care of Minhyuk together. He asked me before where his other dad is, you know? He misses him without actually knowing him.”

 

“Jeongguk mentioned my scent is different from what it was.” Taehyung thinks back at Jeongguk’s words. He knows the omega hasn’t been truthful with him and it irks Taehyung that he knows.

 

Because if he knows, he’s going to pry, and if he’s going to pry, then that means he might even succeed in finding out about Minhyuk. And that is the last thing Taehyung wishes to happen. His son is the most important thing in his life, if he had to give it all up for him, he would do it without a second thought.

 

“Well, it is. You can’t expect it to be the same, not after you spent your last four years with Minhyuk. You two are like connected all the time, I’ve never seen a bond like this, not even with other parents and pups.” Jimin notices Taehyung doesn’t want to continue this conversation, but he knows that if they don’t have it now, they will never have it.

 

“Maybe it’s because Minhyuk is growing up without a second parent.”

 

Taehyung shrugs. “Maybe.”

 

“You know, Jeongguk isn’t going to take Minhyuk away from you,” Jimin tries again to reopen the subject, but Taehyung is having none of it.

 

“You don’t know that.”

 

“He wouldn’t do that to you.”

 

“He would, and you know it. All alphas are the same, whether you like it or not, Jimin. They will hurt you and leave you when they find out you’re more than just a hole to fuck.” Taehyung is breathing heavily as he stands up and shrugs off the blanket is covered with. He gives one almost betrayed look at Jimin before he wipes off the unwelcomed tears storms to Minhyuk’s room.

 

Jimin knows better than to poke around when Taehyung is as irritated as he is now.

 

Taehyung lies down next to his pup and hugs him close. He can feel the tears prickling in his eyes and he lets out only a handful of them before closing his eyes altogether, exhaling the negative emotions he’s feeling.

 

“Daddy?” a small voice shakes him awake from his light slumber. Minhyuk is looking at him with those two big eyes that remind Taehyung of Jeongguk. So unmistakable, for anyone who took only one close look at him.

 

“I’m sorry, pup, did I wake you?” Taehyung presses one light kiss on Minhyuk’s forehead. Two arms wrap themselves around his neck and a small body presses itself closer to him and shakes his head.

 

“Did you and uncle Jiminie fight?”

 

“Don’t worry about it, pup,” Taehyung presses another kiss to his nose. “Now, let's go to sleep, we gotta get up early tomorrow.”

 

“But dad, why isn’t my other dad here? Where is he?”

 

That’s the question Taehyung is afraid to answer. He doesn’t know what to tell Minhyuk without bluntly lying to him or shining a bad light on Jeongguk. The alpha hasn’t done anything bad to Taehyung personally, but Taehyung knows better than to trust alphas.

 

“Go to sleep, pup, when you’re older I’ll tell you about him.”

 

“It’s not fair. You always say that” Minhyuk mutters while Taehyung hates him for making his kid sad. His eyes don’t shine whenever he is sad, but this time they look like all the light vanished from them. He knows Minhyuk wants his other dad, but Taehyung is both possessive and afraid of losing him.

 

“I know, pup and I’m really sorry. Now go to sleep, okay?”

 

Minhyuk turns around, away from Taehyung and it hurts. It hurts to see him do that, even though, Taehyung thinks he deserves it. It’s how they fall asleep, and it feels even lonelier than normal.

 

Taehyung supposes, he should get used to it.

 

-

 

It isn't until late in the next day that Taehyung allows himself to think about a certain alpha again. Jeongguk is never far from his mind, but he pushed it out, leaving his mind blank.

 

His phone buzzes and Taehyung expects Jimin telling him he's going to be late, but instead, he gets a text from someone he refuses to think about.

 

Jeongguk

Have you thought about my offer?

20.11

 

And Taehyung has, fuck, he probably thought about it more than he should have. More than he can admit to himself.

 

Taehyung

Yeah

20.13

 

He hates the fact that he couldn't decide otherwise, as much as he should.

 

Jeongguk

And?

20.14

 

Taehyung takes a deep breath and does what his heart doesn't want, but his brain says it's the right choice.

 

Taehyung

I can't, I'm sorry, Jeongguk

20.15

 

The omega stops folding the laundry and closes his eyes, taking two deep breaths before exhaling. He cannot let the alpha find out about Minhyuk, he can't.

 

Jeongguk

Oh, okay.

20.18

 

Taehyung doesn't reply to him.

 

-

 

The next time he sees Jeongguk is just a glimpse when he's talking to Seokjin about the sequel of the book. He sees him from the corner of his eye.

 

The tightly fitted suit that was possibly made just for him, hugging him perfectly, like a second skin. The tie he's wearing is blue, a shade lighter than the three-piece suit he's wearing.

 

His hair is parted in the middle and Taehyung cannot help himself but remember how Jeongguk looked back in high school with his coconut hair. He was the best at everything, sports, academics, Jeongguk was the example of a perfect alpha.

 

He still is.

 

Perhaps, that's why Taehyung thought he hated him. Jeongguk had everything, looks, people around him that loved him. Maybe, Taehyung was just jealous.

 

Jeongguk is an alpha.

 

Taehyung is an omega.

 

Taehyung never hated his omega status, it gave him an advantage whenever he wanted something. He could just flutter eyelashes and he'd get it. But once he stepped into the real world, he realized that the world doesn't turn around him. He isn't the center of everyone's life.

 

He's nothing but a small piece of a puzzle that can be there, and if he's missing, nobody will care because you can still see the picture, with or without him.

 

Jeongguk looks in his direction for a split second, but Taehyung adverts his eyes. He doesn't need to be caught staring, not when he rejected the alpha's offer.

 

If it were any other alpha, perhaps Taehyung would consider accepting. But it's Jeongguk. The father of his child, the person who can take Minhyuk away with only a snap of his fingers.

 

"Are you even listening to me?" Seokjin waves his hand in front of Taehyung's eyes and the omega blinks twice to make sure he's back on Earth instead of losing himself in his thoughts.

 

"Sorry," Taehyung says as he wraps his arms around himself and rubs his shoulders to warm himself up, despite it being hot in the room. "I was thinking about something."

 

"You mean, someone?"

 

"No, I-I, I was just thinking about what I need to buy in the store later."

 

Seokjin sighs.

 

Taehyung bites his lip.

 

A silence engulfs them as they both wait for the other to speak. Taehyung is afraid to say something wrong, perhaps waits for Seokjin to continue his rant about his mate Namjoon never being able to cook, despite him being an omega (that's a bit stereotypical, Seokjin, even for you), while Seokjin waits for his friend to entrust him with the problems he's been having.

 

He knows how much Taehyung struggles and hates being in the presence of an alpha that he isn't familiar with. Seokjin wraps his arms around Taehyung who melts into the embrace, trying to hide his face in the crook of the alpha's neck. "I'm sorry, hyung," he says.

 

"Oh, shush, it's okay. Let's go grab some coffee, you still have an hour before you have to pick up Minhyuk," Seokjin locks their elbows together as they waltz out of the building.

 

They don't feel two eyes staring at their backs.

 

-

 

Two weeks later and Taehyung is finally taking Minhyuk out to play after he promised him a few weeks back. Minhyuk runs around with Taehyung’s phone, taking pictures of everything and anything as joyful laughter escapes his lips. "Daddy! Daddy! Look at this picture!" Minhyuk shows him a close up picture of a marigold he found close by.

 

Taehyung ruffles his son's hair and praises him, letting out be careful before letting Minhyuk go take more pictures. They have a few rules whenever he takes him out to photograph things.

 

Whenever Taehyung’s phone chimes, it's Minhyuk's duty to bring it back to his dad, so he can check it. Minhyuk is not allowed to go far away from his dad, so Taehyung can keep an eye on him.

 

Either way, Minhyuk never breaks the rules, thankfully.

 

Regardless of the good weather, there doesn't seem to be a lot of people out. Some kids play at the playground, parents sitting around and doing things on their phones.

 

Whenever they take a break like this, Taehyung always brings a book with him. He always falls in the story effortlessly, letting himself forget where he is, but never to the point to forget about Minhyuk.

 

The pup likes to remind him of his presence quite often, whenever he takes a picture he thinks is good. And Taehyung never minds it.

 

Minhyuk is by the playground, playing with some kids while trying to take the best photos when Taehyung feels a presence next to him. "Never thought I'd find you here."

 

When Taehyung looks up he's met with two doe eyes that he wishes he didn't see at that moment. He somehow wishes they would be teleported somewhere, far away from the park. "Jeongguk, hi."

 

Taehyung tries not to look nervous but he knows he's failing. The constant twitching of his leg and the erratic sweating confirm that Taehyung is almost scared.

 

Scratch that.

 

He's definitely scared.

 

"You know, you never told me why you rejected my offer."

 

"You never actually asked."

 

Jeongguk lifts his eyebrow. "I must have forgotten."

 

"Yeah, definitely."

 

Taehyung would leave, but there's Minhyuk still playing with the other kids, he cannot just leave him here and run. All Taehyung can hope is that Minhyuk won't take any pictures he deems worthy to show to his dad. Or that, you know, Jeongguk leaves soon.

 

"It's nice here, isn't it?"

 

Taehyung takes a deep breath. "Why are you here?"

 

"Because it's sunny outside and it's nice to go out for a walk instead of being cooped inside an office the whole day long?" Jeongguk replies, looking toward the playground where Taehyung refuses to look, even though it's worrying him.

 

"Yeah," is all he says.

 

"Daddy!"

 

Oh no.

 

Minhyuk runs towards them and Taehyung’s stomach does at least ten somersaults, and the lunch he's eaten only a few hours prior is now up to his throat, just waiting there to explode.

 

Minhyuk stops in front of them and smiles to Jeongguk. "Hey, daddy, hello, daddy's friend!" he says and bows to Jeongguk, who just watches him with amazement in his eyes. Taehyung still holds to the tiny piece of hope that perhaps he's dreaming all of this.

 

Minhyuk climbs into Taehyung’s lap as he unlocks the phone and starts showing him pictures. "I took this one of Minjae, I met him earlier, he's really nice." As proud as Taehyung is of the photo, Jeongguk’s silence scares him.

 

"Daddy's friend, do you wanna see photos too?" Minhyuk gives Jeongguk a big toothy smile and Taehyung wants to say that is not a good idea, but Jeongguk cuts him off.

 

"Okay, show me what you have." Minhyuk then proceeds to show Jeongguk all of his pictures, the ones he took of flowers, of the kids, even the blurry ones that didn't turn out as well he had hoped to.

 

"Can I go play some more, dad?" Minhyuk asks and Taehyung wants to yell no, don't leave me alone, he nods.

 

"You never told me you had a kid."

 

Jeongguk’s voice is surprisingly calm, almost too calm. It hurts how sick Taehyung feels at that moment, but he nods again.

 

"What's his name?"

 

Taehyung turns around to make eye contact with Jeongguk, his fingers pressing into the cover of the book so hard his knuckles almost turn white. "Minhyuk."

 

"How old is he?"

 

Jeongguk is still so calm, so, so fucking calm and Taehyung knows he can't, won't hold the secret for much longer. "Four." His voice is barely above a whisper when Jeongguk nods his head.

 

"I'm going to ask one more question and you better answer truthfully, Taehyung, because I will know if you lie," Jeongguk says and Taehyung knows the question. He fucking knows what the question is and he knows this is the moment where he loses Minhyuk.

 

"Don't ask it, I'm begging you." His voice is barely heard, but loud enough for Jeongguk to pick up.

 

"Who's the father, Taehyung?"

 

"I am."

 

"The other father, Taehyung," now there is an angry undertone to it and it shakes both Taehyung and his omega. His omega is crying to tell him the truth, while Taehyung refuses.

 

"I hate the fact that your silence tells me everything."

 

Jeongguk moves his hand on Taehyung's chin and forces the omega to look him in the eyes. "But I'm gonna ask again."

 

"Who is the father, Taehyung?" with each word, he grips Taehyung’s chin a little harder and it's then that a few tears escape Taehyung’s eyes.

 

The silence between them is nerve-wracking. He knows he has to come clean. There is no way Jeongguk doesn't already know, and the way he's looking at him now tells him that he's already lost.

 

"Don't take him away from me, Jeongguk, I'm begging you."

 

Taehyung's lips wobble and a waterfall of tears starts running down his cheeks as he takes in the bare truth. He's losing Minhyuk.

 

"Why didn't you tell me? You had all the time in the world to tell me you were fucking pregnant! Why the hell didn't you?!"

 

Jeongguk looks more disappointed, sad than angry. There is some anger there, but not as much as he feels betrayed by someone he thought had his back in the past.

 

"We aren't doing this here." Taehyung tears away from Jeongguk's grip. "I'm not fighting out here, where everyone can see and hear us. Especially my son."

 

"Our son, Taehyung. Apparently, you forget that his second parent is actually alive," Jeongguk growls, growls and the omega part of Taehyung wants to submit to the alpha's wishes, but Taehyung has had enough of alphas thinking they are above him.

 

"I know you're fucking alive. The fact that you didn't know haunted me every day! I didn't tell you because…" Taehyung trails off because he doesn't have a good reason behind it. Of course, there are many reasons why, but will any of them be reasonable enough for Jeongguk to realize Taehyung had the best for him in mind when he did it?

 

"Because of what, Taehyung?"

 

"Please, let's take this somewhere else," the omega pleads and Jeongguk nods when he sees a pair of legs running towards them.

 

"Dad! Is everything okay?" Minhyuk jumps up and Taehyung takes him in his arms like a small toddler as he looks at Jeongguk. "Don't hurt my daddy, he's the best in the world."

 

 A small smile appears on Jeongguk’s lips, and Taehyung exhales through his nose. He presses Minhyuk closer to him. "We should get home. Uncle Jiminie will take care of you for the night, okay?"

 

"Where are you going?" Minhyuk asks, letting Taehyung take the phone from his pocket.

 

"Just some adult things I have to do," Taehyung grimaces which makes Minhyuk laugh. The omega risks a glance toward Jeongguk and sees him silently observing the short conversation between them.

 

Jeongguk refuses to leave Taehyung’s side, not leaving him out of his sight, not even for a moment. Jimin looks worried when Taehyung asks him to put Minhyuk to sleep. After all, there is an angry looking alpha standing right behind Taehyung at the doorstep of their shared apartment.

 

Taehyung gives him a reassuring smile, despite being scared out of his mind.

 

Both walk back to the park where Jeongguk’s car is parked. Taehyung gets in without a word, waiting for Jeongguk to do the same. He doesn't know where the alpha is taking him, but he knows it's been a while since he's been with an alpha alone like this.

 

"Where are we going?" Taehyung’s hushed question gets picked up by Jeongguk.

 

"My place."

 

That is all he gets.

 

Taehyung isn't surprised when they enter the richer part of Seoul. He sees the colorful lights from the billboards and screens before they turn into an alleyway that takes them away from the street noise and honking.

 

Jeongguk parks in an underground garage which makes Taehyung feel even more nauseous. He follows the alpha without saying a word, the silence between them almost screaming to be broken. But Taehyung doesn't think he can be the one to break it.

 

The elevator ride is even worse, they are stuck in a tiny container together and as much as he wishes there would be any person to enter the elevator with them, nobody does.

 

He taps his foot against the floor, trying to shake off the feeling that something bad is going to happen. He doesn't need this, he just wants his son.

 

"Stop that."

 

Taehyung turns his head towards Jeongguk who points at his foot. "Stop tapping it, it's annoying."

 

Taehyung stops, almost fearfully as he wishes it would all end. Maybe he's dreaming, maybe he's going to wake up tomorrow, with sweat pouring down his body but Minhyuk will be safe away from Jeongguk’s hands.

 

Minhyuk wouldn't have to deal with his parents arguing.

 

When the elevator finally stops and opens the door, Taehyung feels the air inside was too warm for anyone's well being. He's sweating, feeling worse than he's ever felt before as he takes in the sight of the penthouse.

 

His eyes widen as it dawns on him. If the alpha is capable of so much, of such a beautiful penthouse, of handling a big publishing company, what's stopping him from taking everything Taehyung has?

 

Jeongguk moves him to the couch, sitting him down as he realizes the omega is barely breathing, skin pale and eyes full of tears. Taehyung doesn't look at Jeongguk, he can't force himself to look at the alpha who's given him all, but can take it just as easily.

 

 "Now tell me," Jeongguk’s voice is nicer and friendlier from what Taehyung expected it to be. He expected the alpha to yell at him, tell him he's stupid for doing what he's done, for taking his son away from him.

 

But he does none of it. "Taehyung, you need to tell me why you did what you did."

 

Taehyung lifts his eyes from where he was playing around with his own fingers to look into Jeongguk’s dark ones that hold too many emotions for Taehyung to decipher. He wants to reach forward, to feel the skin of the alpha against his palm again, but he doesn't. He doesn't because this isn't the time nor place to be thinking about himself.

 

He's here to do only one thing. Protect Minhyuk.

 

 "Are you taking him away?" His voice is hushed, filled with sorrow and fear. Broken.

 

"That wasn't the question, Taehyung," he gets a reply from Jeongguk, who sits on the opposite sofa. There's a small glass coffee table separating both of them, protecting Taehyung almost like a barrier from the alpha. Not that it would stop Jeongguk if he wanted to hurt him.

 

Taehyung keeps holding onto hope that this is the same Jeongguk who wouldn't hurt him in high school. Who used to lay on flower fields with him.

 

Thinking back, they were never enemies in the first place. Taehyung just liked to think that because he had to hold onto something because admitting he liked the alpha was out of the question.

 

"I was both selfish and selfless," Taehyung admits finally, wiping the tears that welled in his eyes again and wrapping his arms around himself for protection. "Selfish, because I wanted to hold onto something yours that would stay in my life and selfless because if I told you about the pregnancy, you'd do anything to help with the pup."

 

"I'm afraid I don't understand." Jeongguk really doesn't.

 

"If I told you, you would give up on everything to make sure the pup was comfortable. You'd do anything for him, that's just how you are," Taehyung says, but barely keeps his voice stable. "But, you, you are the perfect alpha, Jeongguk, back then you had so much to achieve. Such a bright future. You still do, and I-I.."

 

"You didn't want a child to take that away from me."

 

Taehyung nods. "I know I did a shitty thing, and there was an option of aborting him, but that was just like a horrible nightmare. I couldn't and today, I'm happy I didn't."

 

"Minhyukie is my baby, Jeongguk, I cannot imagine a life without him." It takes another sob that escapes Taehyung’s mouth, for Jeongguk to reach forward and touch the omega's cheek. A soft, tender touch, but it meant nothing more than comfort.

 

"I can't forgive you," Jeongguk says and retracts his hand. Taehyung’s eyes brim with tears yet again, but he understands. He expects it. "At least not right now."

 

There's a small hope blossoming in the pit of his stomach. At least Jeongguk doesn't hate him completely.

 

"But I want to be in his life."

 

His stomach drops. "Huh?"

 

"He's my son, as much as he is yours. I want to be in his life, Taehyung. I'm not taking him away from you, I have no right to do that, but I don't want to be completely separated from him either."

 

Somehow, the heavy burden that Taehyung has been carrying since the beginning disappears. He feels free, now that the alpha knows about Minhyuk. He doesn't know what else to say, so he gives Jeongguk one of the brighter smiles he can muster.

 

The hardest part, Taehyung thinks will be telling Minhyuk. Three days later, Taehyung dresses his pup up well, partially because he wants m

Minhyuk to look pretty, but also a small part of him wishes to impress Jeongguk. He knows he's being irrational, he knows.

 

But he still feels like he owes the alpha a lot. Minhyuk is silent through the whole thing, sensing that Taehyung is on edge, but he doesn't keep it up for long.

 

"Dad? Where are we going?"

 

Taehyung looks up from where he's kneeling on the floor and tucking Minhyuk's shirt into his pants. He brings up his hand to cup his cheeks and he smiles. "Remember how I never told you about your other dad?"

 

Minhyuk nods.

 

"Do you want to meet him?"

 

The pup's eyes widen and he nods, enthusiastically, almost wiggling his tail if he had one. "Really? Is he here? Where are we meeting him?"

 

Minhyuk gets really excited and Taehyung hates himself for denying his child this for more than four years. Minhyuk deserves his other father, deserves to know and love him. But if he had to change anything from the past, Taehyung wouldn't.

 

"Remember daddy's friend in the park a few days ago?" Minhyuk taps his chin, before nodding, remembering the dark-haired alpha.

 

"He was nice. Is he my other daddy?"

 

Taehyung exhales before nodding, which leaves Minhyuk smile in wonder. He looks even more excited now, jumping up and down, definitely, not telling Taehyung dress him properly.

 

"If you want to be good for your other dad, you gotta let me dress you."

 

Needless to say, Minhyuk doesn't cause much trouble.

 

They meet at a quiet café, a few blocks from where the omega and his pup live. Taehyung chose it because it's a familiar place and he knows he will feel more comfort and safety than he'd feel if they were somewhere else.

 

Minhyuk drags him by the hand, excited through and through, all the way towards the café. They arrive in record time and Taehyung knows they are a bit early, but Minhyuk couldn't calm down after that. He let Taehyung dress him up, but other than that he was so excited, he couldn't slow down.

 

Taehyung looks at his watch and realizes they are ten minutes too early, but that is fine. Before they can find a table to sit at, Minhyuk lets go off Taehyung's hand. The omega is about to shout to come back but he sees Jeongguk in the far corner of the table and his pup running towards him.

 

Taehyung’s doesn't know why he becomes a bit emotional watching this, supposedly, domestic scene. He puts on a smile and walks towards both of them, where he already sees Minhyuk in the embrace of a much bigger alpha.

 

"Daddy told me you're my other daddy!" Minhyuk exclaims, but stops, furrowing his eyebrows. "You can't both be daddies."

 

He looks between both of them twice as Taehyung sits down on the chair and sets down the bag he has with him. Minhyuk lets out a small aha! and points his finger at Jeongguk. "You're going to be papa."

 

And to say that Jeongguk's face lit up like never before is an understatement. The alpha takes Minhyuk in his arms and hugs him tightly, leaving Taehyung to wonder if he did the right thing when he deprived them both of this.

 

Minhyuk laughs his heart out as he hugs his dad back. As the pup hides his face in the crook of Jeongguk’s neck, Jeongguk and Taehyung make eye contact and the omega receives the softest smile possible. He leans his head on top of Minhyuk's shoulder and just sucks in the fact that he's holding his son.

 

They are interrupted by a waitress, a lovely beta who just takes their order. "I want strawberry juice!" Minhyuk says, finally turning around on Jeongguk’s lap to face the waitress.

 

"Minhyuk, what else do you have to say?" Taehyung cuts in, looking at his son with raised eyebrows.

 

Minhyuk purses his lips and sighs. "Please."

 

The waitress laughs and writes it down, then takes the others of both Taehyung and Jeongguk, who just order coffee.

 

They don't talk much, it's mostly just Minhyuk and Jeongguk, while Taehyung observes from afar. He doesn't know what the feeling in his stomach is, maybe a bit of jealousy. He feels like he's being completely forgotten as the two talk and play.

 

"I have something for you." Minhyuk's eyes widen and he is ready to see his gift. Now even Taehyung is interested in what Jeongguk is about to give their child. He takes out a small bag and Minhyuk thanks Jeongguk and opens his right away.

 

When Minhyuk gasps and pulls out a small box with a Polaroid camera out, Taehyung's eyes widen. Jeongguk actually got him a camera. "So you won't have to use your daddy's phone all the time."

 

As happy as Taehyung is about his phone staying alive longer, he feels somehow forgotten. He has the camera now, he doesn’t need Taehyung for taking pictures anymore. As Jeongguk starts explaining how the camera works, Minhyuk excitedly bounces on top of Jeongguk’s lap.

 

“So I can take a picture of anything and the picture will appear of this thingy here?” he points at the camera and Jeongguk nods. Minhyuk looks around, looking for something to take a photo of when his eyes stop on Taehyung.

 

“I wanna take a picture of daddy!”

 

It definitely surprises both Taehyung and Jeongguk, when Minhyuk aims the lens towards Taehyung and snaps the photo. Naturally, it’s a bit shaky when it comes out but the surprise on Taehyung’s face is evident. Minhyuk checks the picture again and smiles, waving it in front of Taehyung’s face before he stops and looks at Jeongguk.

 

“I’m giving it to papa, he deserves to have a picture of daddy,” he says and despite the surprise, Jeongguk takes it and presses a kiss on Minhyuk’s forehead.

 

“Thank you, I’ll take care of it.”



After that, they decide to take another break in the park, where Minhyuk is able to capture things and run around with polaroids he created. Taehyung and Jeongguk sit on the bench, not far from him and the playground as they watch their pup have fun.

 

“You’ve been awfully quiet today,” Jeongguk breaks the silence, with Taehyung looking at him at an alarming speed. He just shrugs, not really saying anything, rather keeping an eye on Minhyuk.

 

“I was thinking,” Jeongguk speaks up again, “with all the legal stuff, I was thinking that maybe he’s with you over the week and with me during the weekends? I’m pretty sure he’s still more comfortable with you than me, but it would be nice to spend some more time together.”

 

Taehyung just smiles at him but looking away soon after.

 

---

 

“Minhyuk hasn’t stopped talking about him.”

 

Taehyung sits on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket while Jimin hums along. The beta is cooking lunch for the three of them, Minhyuk still in kindergarten. The teacher asked him if he’s coming on that damn picnic with his husband again and all Taehyung did was smile and nod, pretending it didn’t hurt.

 

He’s closer to Jeongguk, now more than ever, but it feels like they are further apart than they were before Jeongguk knew about Minhyuk.

 

“He’s just excited about having another parent, Taehyungie. He’s never had the opportunity,” Jimin replies to the gloomy Taehyung, who is still looking as sad as ever. As much as it feels good that Minhyuk is as happy as he is, Taehyung feels left out.

 

Whatever they talk about nowadays is just Jeongguk, Jeongguk, Jeongguk. Minhyuk never shuts up about the alpha, not about the camera he’s given him, not about how cool his papa is. And yes, Taehyung is jealous, what else can he do? A child that has been with him since the beginning, the one he gave birth to is now talking about someone else like they are his superhero.

 

And yes, it feels horrible.

 

“Minhyuk acts like he only has one parent. And that parent isn’t me.”

 

Jimin rolls his eyes.

 

---

 

The moment it happens, Taehyung feels it. The small prickling feeling at the bottom of his stomach. It’s Friday and he’s preparing Minhyuk to go with Jeongguk for a weekend with him. When the bell rings, Minhyuk is already at the door, opening it and hugging the alpha standing there.

 

“Hey, Tae,” Jeongguk greets the omega as he takes his son in his arms. As Taehyung gives him the bag that’s a lot more packed than usual, Jeongguk gives him a weird look. “I don’t think we need so many clothes. He’s a klutz, but not even he needs too many spare shirts and pants.”

 

“It’s not only for the weekend,” Taehyung exhales. “It’s for the whole week. My heat is just around the corner and I can’t take care of him during it. If you can’t take care of him during the week, just drop him off at Hoseok-hyung’s house, I’ll text you the address.”

 

Jeongguk squints at him. “I thought you said your heat isn’t for another two weeks.”

 

“I guess I was wrong.”

 

Taehyung’s been really cold with Jeongguk recently, but the alpha never gave him the satisfaction of being annoyed and cold back. He’s always polite and it irks Taehyung to no end. He’s an alpha, he’s supposed to snap sometime, right?

 

“I’ll take care of him during the week, tell your friend, it’s okay,” he says before giving Taehyung one last smile, before turning around on his heels still with Minhyuk in his arms. Before Taehyung can close the door, Jeongguk’s voice stops him.

 

“Do you have a heat buddy?” he asks, curiously, big doe eyes staring back at Taehyung, who just sighs.

 

“It doesn’t matter. Enjoy yourselves,” he says, before closing the door completely, not wanting to see the expression on Jeongguk’s face nor on Minhyuk’s. He slides down on the closed door and brings his knees up to his chest. He feels pathetic, more so than ever before.

 

He hasn’t had a heat buddy since Jeongguk last time helped him in high school. He gave up on finding someone after he’s been told his stretch marks are ugly, he slowly started believing those lies and it hurts.

 

So, so much.

 

The next week is agonizing at best. He craves for someone’s touch (namely: Jeongguk’s) because his omega remembered the feelings he had for the alpha in high school. He remembered his face whenever he fingered himself, whenever he pushed in any toy, he always remembered that face in his mind and it was physically exhausting.

 

Jimin comes in every day to check up on him, to see if he’s eating between breaks and drinking water. He’s staying with Hoseok, his alpha. When Jimin sees the state Taehyung’s in, he helps him and prepares a bath for the omega to take. And while doing so hears Taehyung silently crying to himself.

 

“Talk to me, Tae,” Jimin says as he carefully sits down on the edge of the stained bed with Taehyung who lies there boneless, letting the tears fall from his eyes.

 

“I can’t stop thinking about him and it’s annoying.”

 

“Jeongguk?”

 

When Taehyung slowly nods and adjusts his position on the bed, Jimin brings one hand on top of Taehyung’s head and strokes his hair. “Have you tried talking to him? Tell him how you feel?”

 

“I hid a child from him for five years, Jiminie. He only acts civil around me because of Minhyukie.”

 

“Maybe you should at least try talking it out.”

 

When Taehyung doesn’t say anything, Jimin realizes that is the end of that conversation and helps the omega clean up before another wave hits.

 

--

 

“So that dinner,” Jeongguk is the first to speak up a week later after he comes back to return Minhyuk back to his dad. The pup runs past them into his room for something as Jeongguk snatches the chance.

 

“Dinner?” Taehyung’s furrowed eyebrows show confusion and Jeongguk laughs at it. He reaches forward to remove some of the hair that was annoying Taehyung’s eye. “The dinner I asked you to go to with me.”

 

Then it clicks. But why? “Why?”

 

“Why what?” Jeongguk answers with a question.

 

“Why are you asking me out?”

 

“Why not?”

 

“But why yes?”

 

Jeongguk just smiles. “I’ve had a crush on you in high school and i managed to get over it, but you came back into my life and this time it’s not only us, but we also have a child. And i think it would be nice if I got to know you more.”

 

“You’re serious?”

 

“I wouldn’t be asking you if I wasn’t.”

That’s how they find themselves next to each other in a rather very fancy restaurant after kind of pushing Minhyuk into Jimin’s arms (not that Uncle Jiminie was complaining). Taehyung is still very reserved, not knowing how to act, mostly because dates were never his thing, not in high school and definitely not during college.

 

“You look very pretty tonight,” Jeongguk says which makes Taehyung look down on his outfit. It consisted of dark jeans which he didn’t believe he still fits in and a white button-up with a long coat over it. He wore a black beret that he loves but never wears and it makes this night just that more special.

 

“Thank you,” Taehyung says, ignoring the fact blush on his cheek. “You don’t look bad as well.” Jeongguk takes one of his hands and intertwines their fingers together as they enter the restaurant. Taehyung forgets how nice it is to just click with a person which Jeongguk and Taehyung did. Always. He somehow feels nostalgic about it all, but instead of greasy burgers, they are actually eating a bit more sophisticated food.

 

Once the conversation dies down, Taehyung sees the opportunity. “You don’t have to do this, you know?” he sets down his fork and lets his hair bounce as he shakes his head.

 

“Define ‘this’.”

 

“You don’t have to get to know me for Minhyuk’s sake. He’s going to be well off if we are together or not. He loves both of us and I’m sure he’ll understand when he gets older,” Taehyung tries to explain the best he can, hoping Jeongguk will understand.

 

“You think I’m doing this for Minhyuk?” Jeongguk looks surprised. And not in a good way.

 

“Yeah? Why else would you do this?”

 

Jeongguk sets down the glass he’s holding and wipes his hands in the napkin close to him. Taehyung waits - impatiently - as he waits for Jeongguk’s reaction. As much as his omega yearns for him, Taehyung knows he might be overthinking. This is maybe just an act of kindness.

 

“I’m doing this because I like you, Taehyung.” Jeongguk’s hair falls down on one eye, hiding his eyebrow while the other part of his hair is brushed back. Taehyung feels small under the alpha’s gaze and the words don’t click in his brain until a few seconds later.

 

He can just gape at him like a fish out of the water. He knows he has to say something but he’s practically speechless. “You sure?”

 

Jeongguk’s lips move upwards just a little bit. “Okay, let me ask you another thing.”

 

“Do you like me, Taehyung?”

 

And this time, Taehyung’s lips move on their own, letting out a word yes, even though screaming it feels more appropriate. He likes Jeongguk, more than he’s prepared to admit, even to himself.

 

“Then that’s settled.”

 

After that, a smile plays on both of their faces for the rest of the date.

 

--

 

“He kissed me goodnight,” Taehyung squeals when he gets home and hugs his best friend. Jimin smirks and pushes Taehyung away just enough to look at his eyes.

 

“I’m gonna say it,” Jimin taunts as he pinches Taehyung’s cheeks and the omega moves away. “I told you so. Jeongguk might be an alpha but he’s a perfect alpha for you.”

 

Taehyung hates to admit it, but Jimin’s right.

 

At least he hopes so.

 

The next day, Jimin promises to pick up Minhyuk from kindergarten so Jeongguk sneaks into their apartment at that exact time. Taehyung is cooking lunch when he hears a knock on the door and curiously opens it.

 

Jeongguk smiles before pressing a kiss on Taehyung’s cheek. The omega laughs and wraps his hands around the alpha’s neck and pulls him into a kiss. It feels so familiar, so domestic. It’s nice when he realizes that he lost his alpha but Jeongguk is back, even after it all happened.

 

Jeongguk somehow closed the door behind them as they stumbled into Taehyung’s apartment without breaking the kiss. Jeongguk’s hand travels from the omega’s waist under his shirt and Taehyung freezes when he feels the alpha’s hand touch the skin where his stretch marks are.

 

He pulls away, leaving alpha stunned and a little bit shocked. Taehyung makes an excuse that he has to finish lunch and runs towards the kitchen where he pretends to be mixing the soup.

 

“I’m not leaving until you tell me what that was about.” Taehyung fears this because he doesn’t know if he’s ready to give himself to Jeongguk like before. He knows he can trust him, but he still has his doubts.

 

“It’s nothing, don’t worry about it,” he says, tasting the soup to see if it needs any more spices.

 

Jeongguk wraps his arms around Taehyung from behind and places his head on top of his shoulder. “I’m going to worry even more now, you know?”

 

Taehyung playfully rolls his eyes.

 

“I won’t be able to sleep, my company will go downhill because I will be sleep-deprived and Seokjin-hyung is going to kill me. Yoongi-hyung will take whatever little I will have and give it to charity to show how much shit I put him through…”

 

Taehyung laughs and shakes his head while leaning back into alpha’s embrace. “It’s nothing, just something I have to deal with myself.”

 

“Why would you have to deal with it yourself? I’m here for you.”

 

Taehyung is quiet for a while, just watching the bubbles in the soup as it boils. If they are going to make this work, he might as well tell him.

 

“I have stretch marks. From my pregnancy,” he admits.

 

He feels Jeongguk’s hands tighten around his waist as he kisses Taehyung’s exposed shoulder. “I had alphas tell me they are ugly even though for a few months I was proud of them. They are just proof that I brought a pup into this world.”

 

“And you should be proud of them, fuck those other alphas who say otherwise,” Jeongguk kisses his neck. “I don’t care about them, and neither should you. They don’t deserve you, not when you’re worth so much.”

 

Taehyung knows his cheeks are colored red, and he turns around in Jeongguk’s embrace to hug him properly. They stand there for a few minutes before they hear the door open. “We’re home!” It’s Jimin.

 

“Daddy! Papa!” Taehyung hears footsteps from the living room running towards them and before they know it, Minhyuk is hugging them both. “I have to tell you what happened today in kindergarten! Minji was playing on the ....”

 

Taehyung zooms out but he sees what a beautiful small family he has. And despite it having a rough start, the ending is so much sweeter.

 

Oh, and those kindergarten teachers finally meet Taehyung’s ‘husband’.

 

(Not that Jeongguk minds being called that).