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Gutenvell

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the name of Lura, our blessed teacher, we wolves can live.

 

All is blessed by the divine sun and moon, all share life, the space to coexist, a space known as Dretna, the home of wolf culture, a country that sits in the middle of a split world.

 

But, the sun and moon no longer parent the world, letting life dictate its course.

 

The divine history of sun birthing life, and the moon elevating life, these stories of legends and old, they have become chains that bind tightly into rigid stereotypes for wolf kind.

 

Chains that never once become lax, always rigid, stubborn, like the ones that cling to them.

 

Now, a hundred years into a peaceful treaty of cohabitation with those called human kind and wolf kind, Dretna has become stagnant with no change.

 

The sun and moon bore the start, but now it’s up to humans and wolves to figure out the end together.

 

An end that should be free from chains, both from humans and fellow wolves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Why do I always have to go to the islands?” Yoongi overhears a groan of complaint from the cubicle next to his own, and can’t help but slowly lean back in his chair to stare at the male pressing his face down onto his own desk.

 

“Because you’re the youngest?” Yoongi states, amused, as Jungkook’s mop of dark, thick, black hair covers his face as he continues to groan into the wooden desk, almost hitting his keyboard in the process.

 

“I hate boats, they knock me sick,” Jungkook’s whine comes from the hunched form.

 

Yoongi reaches out and pats the younger wolf’s back the once, before rolling back to his computer where he was doing the ball-aching task of writing in all the names and numbers from his most recent census check-up from one of the wild packs outside of the city.

 

Being a Data Collector allows you to travel across the country, visiting packs you only normally hear or read about in documentaries and books on nomadic wolf life in the deep forests and mountains, and even visiting the isolated packs of wolves that live in the islands littering out into the sea.

 

It’s a job that really opens your eyes to the world, especially when all you have known is city life due to being born in one, and it sometimes feels like Yoongi hasn’t completely gotten over experiencing culture shock.

 

But, being a Data Collector also means you have to painstakingly manually type up every single name, age, occupation title, rank, region, and pack name, into a document that you then have to send off to the census board where it is officially submitted into the system that monitors every single wolf in Dretna, before joining along with the mass numbers from other countries.

 

Monitoring is a strong word, more like trace every wolf to appease the treaty that the humans drafted up centuries ago to allow a semi-peaceful acceptance so that humans and wolves could live together.

 

So, here Yoongi was, at the age of twenty-eight, a single omega (much to his mother’s frustration because she keeps hustling his ass to have pups), typing out names of faces he barely remembers because he meets so many damn wolves, wondering if it’s too late to change his occupation because the numbness in his ass is starting to question it.

 

If you were to ask eighteen-year-old Min Yoongi where he saw himself in ten years’ time, he’d have told you that he would be following his mother’s footsteps into the slightly political scene of education that shapes the humans’ views and education on just what wolves are.

 

Instead, Yoongi got himself ‘fired’ within his first month of being her shadow because, ‘apparently’, he didn’t have the patience or calmness to be dealing with ignorant humans that are still convinced – after co-existing for nearly a hundred years – that omegas are the submissive ranks, and that male omegas are an oddity for their ability to own two reproductive systems.

 

A ‘submissive oddity’. Eighteen-year-old Yoongi nearly tore out some throats that day.

 

As a male omega with those two reproductive systems, Yoongi had naturally spoken up to his gendered rank’s defence, and may have used some colourful phrases and words in the process.

 

Even to this day, Yoongi has little patience for humans. In his eyes, they’ve had a hundred fucking years to educate themselves on wolf history, biology differences, and language, so they have no fucking excuse of still being ignorant.

 

“You’re doing that creepy look to yourself again,” Jungkook’s voice interrupts Yoongi’s trip down memory lane, and without looking, he kicks the alpha’s cubicle wall, making it violently shake, and for the male to squeak as he stabilises it.

 

“Haven’t you got a ferry to catch?” Yoongi retorts back in his bored, lazy, drawl as his vision threatens to blur if he stares at his damn computer monitor for a second longer.

 

“No, shut up. I don’t want to go,” comes the whining again, making Yoongi laugh, despite this being a running routine with them whenever the alpha is tasked with travelling to the packs on the islands surrounding their coastlines.

 

“You’re acting like a pup. Aren’t you twenty-four?”

 

“Age is nothing but a number.”

 

“Numbers that are fast disappearing if you don’t hustle your ass to the ferry terminal,” Yoongi teases, looking back at the sighing alpha as Jungkook sags into his chair, looking up at the ceiling as if it could save him from making that journey. “Which island are you collecting from, anyway?”

 

“Gutenvell,” Jungkook huffs out, shaking his black hair off his face, his gaze shifting to look at Yoongi instead, “I’m going to the support pack. You ever been?”

 

Yoongi shakes his head. Yoongi is not often tasked with visiting support packs, unfortunately. His ass is always assigned to birth packs, or social ones that have no established mates or pups in it.

 

Yoongi watches as Jungkook pouts up at the ceiling, his eyes fixed on it. It doesn’t matter how many times he sees it; he’s always taken by the birthmarks that all wolves carry in their eyes. Birthmarks that state their ranks at birth, way before puberty does when their own individual scent manifests from the neutrality scent of puphood.

 

Rich brown eyes, where one iris is marked in half with a striking ice blue, represents the rank of alphas, the only wolves to possess dominance, dominance that only should be used for safety breaches to a pack, or to another’s wolf safety.

 

Rich brown eyes, where one full iris is a lighter shade of brown that compliments the other deeper darker brown iris, represents the rank of betas, wolves that are highly intelligent since they are intrinsically suited to mentally challenging roles.

 

Rich brown eyes, where one iris is marked in half with variant shades of green, represents the rank of omegas, wolves that are the most emotionally-instinctive connected to wolf instincts and assertive nature - more so than an alphas, whose instinct is laced the need to protect - so omegas are emotionally stronger than any other rank.

 

The icy blue in Jungkook’s eyes makes the alpha even more stunning when you pair it with his thick, black, hair that has never seen a hint of chemical colouring in its life, and the natural broadness and mass of alpha genetics making the younger’s body highly desirable to humans and wolves.

 

But, not to Yoongi. The kid is too damn tall, and Yoongi’s natural spitfireness hates his lacking height from his mother’s side of the family, so being paired up with Jungkook in a nonplatonic way is simply out of the question.

 

“Blink, or you’ll go blind,” Jungkook teases. “I think you need a break, old man.”

 

“It’s my first day back in the office and I already need a vacation from this fucking thing,” Yoongi snarls at his computer, even if he is still tired from his late-night arrival back into the city.

 

“You should’ve drove back slower,” Jungkook says as he unwillingly heaves himself to his feet, his computer now shutdown, as he reaches for his leather jacket hanging up on his cubicle wall.

 

“The southern wild packs are too wild, they make my teeth ache from how hard I grind them whenever I see their pack laws counteract the real laws,” Yoongi says as he stands up too with the intentions of getting a drink from the office floor kitchenette to delay the inevitable of sitting at his desk for another three hours until his work day ends.

 

Jungkook nods in agreement, frowning hard, as they both walk into the aisle of the office floor, bypassing other cubicles.

 

“We’re all taught and brought up knowing the laws regarding discrimination to our ranks, and yet, those fucking wild packs use that shitty loophole of it being pack law for them to twist it,” Jungkook vents thickly, his scent of honeydew melon and slight vanilla sharpening with his anger.

 

It itches Yoongi’s nose as his wolf instincts notes the shift in emotions, but Yoongi easily quietens the urge to comfort the younger alpha.

 

Contrary to what humans still like to believe, despite the numerous amounts of evidence shoved down their throats, wolves do not have a split personality where each form has a separate temperament.

 

Wolves are simply born with an intrinsic knowledge of pure instinct and senses, which are amplified in their wolf form. Depending on the rank you’re born with, the way your instinct responds to certain stimuli will vary.

 

Yoongi appreciates the fact that omegas are emotionally stronger and deeply connected to their baser nurturing wolf instincts, but, sometimes, his responses to certain stimuli – such as Jungkook’s spike of annoyance – is bothersome because the alpha doesn’t need to be pandered to like he’s a pup.

 

“Did I tell you about the asshole High Alpha that told me that I’m too pretty to be travelling around to different packs, and that I should be policing their pack instead of all of Dretna’s packs,” Yoongi shares the anecdote from his recent job, and grins at Jungkook’s response.

 

Jungkook’s jaw is tight as he grinds out, “did you report him? High Alpha my fucking ass, he needs to be policed on how to wash his mouth out with several bars of soap.”

 

“Oh, but aren’t omegas more important to safe-guard the pups growth and education because we’re oh-so connected to our nurturing instincts and empathy?” Yoongi plays back, tone heavy and sarcastic of the never-ending obstacles and limitations most omegas face in some wild packs.

 

“At least island wolves have a brain cell to know that a pack benefits from an omega guiding its boarders and laws, rather than forced to remain behind them, supressed,” Jungkook sighs out, still agitated from hearing of Yoongi’s most recent case of rank baiting.

 

“Wild packs are getting there. Slowly. But getting there,” Yoongi points out as they come to the fork in the aisles where the left will take Jungkook to the elevators, and the right will lead Yoongi to the kitchenette and the box full of instant bitter black coffee that Yoongi severely needs to get through his work.

 

“If they develop any slower, we’ll all be extinct by the time they catch up with the times.”

 

Yoongi sniggers at that, reaching out to lightly smack fists with the younger male. “Don’t forget to take motion sickness tablets. The weather is shit today.”

 

Jungkook pulls a pinched face, already looking peaky, as he departs from Yoongi with a shudder.

 

Yoongi drags his feet to the kitchenette and grabs his usual cup, one gifted from Jungkook which reads: don’t let the green eyes fool you, I’ll rip your eyes out if you touch my coffee.

 

It had made Yoongi and a few other omegas on the floor chuckle when Jungkook had proudly gifted to him as he stated, ‘it’s you in a cup, how could I not buy it’.

 

Pouring three of the small black and red packets of instant black coffee, Yoongi groans along with the hot water machine as it gurgles out the steaming water into his cup.

 

Back to the grind of staring at his screen and mindlessly typing up personal information from his file.

 

At least this time he only has one file.

 

A few weeks prior, he had a birth pack that resulted in three files being filled.

 

Yoongi was sick of his life by the time he finished that assignment, and never wanted to see another blue folder again in his life.

 

Yoongi blows on his coffee as he walks back to his cubicle, inhaling the bitter scent of the instant coffee, and feels it perk his eyes open a little more, as he sits down back at his desk.

 

Glancing at his thick diary that holds nearly all of his assignments, dated and named, Yoongi wonders when he’ll get the pleasure of witnessing a support pack for himself, instead of always dealing with social and birth packs.

 

Support packs aren’t as common as they appear to be, since there is still a slight social stigma connected to it. For some wolves – read, traditionalists – they think packs like these are unnatural and that the wolves that work in a support pack are the government’s dogs, being paid to spy and pry on wolf issues.

 

But, support packs, are…. well, support packs. They exist as temporary packs, packs with a focus on building recovery, rather than focusing on socialising, or building families.

 

Yoongi only knows of them, though. He’s never actually visited a support pack because support packs only accept a temporary wolf into its pack if the support wolves find a scent compatible for their nurturing skills to aid the wolf’s recovery. If they don’t, then the wolf is refused, and is directed to another support pack.

 

It’s very different from how social packs are formed - which are constant with social changes, you just really have to befriend other wolves to be accepted into a social pack until you decide to move on and leave it - compared to how birth packs work, where you’re either born into it, or are mated into an established pack that has families within it.

 

Support packs sit in the middle, almost how island wolves do, which is maybe why most support packs can be found on islands, a disconnect from the cities and the wild regions of endless forests and mountains.

 

Yoongi isn’t going to lie, his curiosity is very high to see a support pack in action. He finds the ability for any wolf, really, to willingly be scented and to scent in such an intimate context of a wolf’s health and general well-being, fascinating.

 

He knows that support wolves are trained by others like them, and may have traditional schooling from a city or town, but….Yoongi is still fucking curious to know how – mainly - Support Alphas steel their instinct when faced with a wolf that may have suffered a trauma, and needs comfort and a shoulder to hold on to.

 

Alphas and omegas are the most emotionally influenced ranks in wolf society, with omegas being more naturally influenced due to their deeper connection to wolf instinct and empathy, but alphas are still emotional wolves that rather spill their own blood if it meant that another wolf wouldn’t be in distress.

 

The only clear distinction from omegas and alphas is the simple fact that alphas have dominance, a specific vocal tone and scent that triggers a submissive response in the other ranks.

 

Apart from that distinction, alphas and omegas are the same, emotionally.

 

Physically…..well, that is another distinction, especially if you’re a male omega.

 

For some male omegas, they are born with two sets of reproductive systems - male genitalia and a recessive ovary and womb that only become dormant during a season cycle due to some chemical in the brain that releases, allowing that additional reproductive system to become active.

 

From how Yoongi was taught about his additional sex organs in a very scientific way, but Yoongi understands it more crudely – his season cycle hits, triggering a little chemical switch in some part of his brain, that then tells his ass to shut shop and go to sleep because no food will be ingested so no worries about pooping anytime soon, which then allows his sleeping ovary and womb to wake up with lovely cramps, and the finishing touch is his ass becomes a temporary slick passage for if he wants to indeed get pregnant, in which a microscopic muscle near his prostate will slip open to allow sperm into his womb.

 

Yoongi should’ve wrote educational books just like his mother, at least his explanation is understandable to hormonal teenagers that are going through puberty, even as it borders along the lines of being crass.

 

Yoongi pauses in typing at the passing thought of season cycles, and unlocks his phone to check his cycle tracker to make sure that he’s taken his cycle pill this morning.

 

Yoongi has been taking cycle pills ever since he had his first season cycle at the age of fourteen, and almost kissed the floor of his family home with sweet relief that his cycle wasn’t sexually charged as textbooks had made it out to be.

 

For humans, the easiest way to understand season cycles is like this – hormone-driven cycles where your body craves to procreate, or makes you feel incredibly annoyed at your body if you have no interest in doing that at all.

 

Yoongi’s brother - who is a beta - has no interest in pups or sex in general - which is probably why Yoongi’s mother hustles Yoongi’s ass, now that he thinks about it – so, season cycles are always a nuisance to his older brother, even though he takes hormone suppressing pills to stop his season cycle for periods of time.

 

Yoongi’s mother, who is a sort-of lecturer for their political party in the education department, has wrote about this so many times in her education books that Yoongi could easily recite it himself since she often used him as a tester to make sure that eight-year-old Yoongi knew what the fuck she was telling him.

 

Alphas season cycles are called, ‘ruts’, and alphas can be sexually active, with the craving for constant affection, and have a vast hunger to match the relentless energy. Some ruts can be more sexually charged since this really depends on the wolf, rather than the wolf’s rank, and some ruts can simply be the alpha wanting to cling to a nest made by its mate, by or another wolf that they seek comfort from.

 

Season cycles for alphas are basically, ‘please touch me, I don’t care if it’s a cuddle or a hard fuck, just touch me please, or I will combust’, as his mother had put it, once upon a time.

 

Betas…..Yoongi really feels for betas because their season cycles aren’t like alphas or omegas - which happens twice a year for them – since betas are the only rank capable of impregnating or becoming pregnant outside of season cycles, which means they….don’t really have a ‘specific’ season time period.

 

Betas season cycles are called, ‘periods’ – which had confused the fuck out of teenage Yoongi when he learnt that human females also have something called a ‘period’ - and betas suffer from something commonly called, ‘hormone sickness’, as their bodies ready for a fertility window where conception is higher due it not following the standard season cycle.

 

This is where betas and humans share the title - if a female beta doesn’t conceive, they will have a menstrual period just like female humans, and if a male beta doesn’t relieve themselves a lot (either to conceive, or not) their dicks will become tender and sore, a ‘clogged-feeling’ from the extra sperm produced from the hormone sickness, as his brother had once described to him since he has no desire to masturbate or impregnate someone.

 

Yoongi may be an omega, but he doesn’t have to deal with a sore dick and literal blue balls if he doesn’t unload all of his sperm.

 

Yoongi only has to deal with being horny (maybe, it’s happened the once so far) and cramping (always, unfortunately) from his womb as it wakes up from its slumber as his ass turns into a slicked, temporary, vagina-like passage.

 

Yoongi has strong feelings about his second reproduction system – both in protecting himself from judgemental humans that have their own shit they need to get over first, and why is it only male omegas born like this.

 

He’s not alone in questioning why it’s only male omegas that are born with two sets of reproduction systems, it’s been debated and theorised for as long as educating about it became a thing.

 

Wolf history likes to dictate that male omegas became what they are today for two reasons, mainly.

 

The first reason being, that a male omega was born with both – kinda how some wolves can be born missing a finger which results in missing a claw in their wolf form, as his mother had tried to explain it to him – and that general breeding produced this new line of male omegas alongside male wolves that don’t have it.

 

Yoongi still finds it hard to believe that an entire branch of male omegas exists because of one past omega.  

 

The second reason is the more glorified one, one that some male omegas take great pride in: birth-rates were really dire at one point in their history (which is true, based on songs and stories passed down from different wolf generations), and that the ‘magic’ of their existence birthed the opportunity for male omegas to conceive and produce offspring from the sun and moon.

 

The ‘magic’ nature of wolf stories and songs is so deeply ingrained into their history, of how the ‘magic’ of the moon and sun birthed their entire existence and more, Yoongi has learnt from his past mistakes to never question if it is all really true, when he has been labelled as a skreta in the past as a teenager, which in wulften means to be a betrayer of wolf identity and pride.

 

Just like humans, with their vast differences of religions, wolves are very protective when it comes to stories regarding their ancestors, stories that involve terms such as ‘magic’.

 

So, Yoongi doesn’t understand the second possible origin story of how some male omegas have two reproductive systems because of his sceptic nature, and nor does he like how it has become his rank’s historical identity.

 

In Yoongi’s opinion, it’s all just simple evolution which has allowed for some male omegas to be further ahead than everyone else, but he can’t say that out loud in case purists around him jump down his throat for not believing in his wolf ancestry history and he gets called a skreta again.  

 

Locking his phone after he’s checked to see if he’s marked that he has taken his season cycle pill that helps regulate his cycle so he knows the exact date it will start in a few months’ time, Yoongi forces himself to return back to his work.

 

Omega season cycles are called, ‘heats’, and while it can be like an alpha’s rut – possible high sex drive, clinginess for affection and attention, and a rejecting stomach for food - because omegas are so deeply in tune with their wolf senses, a heat can be absolutely brutal and raw with intensity and sensitivity to everything around them.

 

Humans like to believe – despite all the fucking evidence that wolf society continues to provide them with – that omegas are the sexual wolves, since they are oh-so deeply connected to their wolf’s instincts and nature, it must mean that omegas season cycles are a mess of slick and cum.

 

It’s human media’s fault, really, and Yoongi fucking detests this stereotype pinned on his rank.

 

Because of the way human media has painted omegas to be, it’s become a never-ending mantra of wolves saying, ‘but for some omegas that can be the reality of their cycles, just like how ruts can be vastly different, depending on the individual alpha’.

 

Yoongi, during one heat cycle, was so annoyed by the sound of his own breathing that he was half tempted to suffocate himself to stop the grating noise.

 

Heats are honestly just omegas being completely overwhelmed by everything around them, and of their own bodies, because they’re just too damn aware of everything and are snappy as a result of it.

 

Oh, and the cramping is ridiculously painful too.

 

Yoongi had also learned a lot from his older sibling in terms of dealing with a shitty cycle when he was growing up, which is why he’s so thorough with taking his pill so that he can be well prepared for it.

 

Yoongi checks the time in the corner of his screen, and almost chugs a still too hot mouthful of coffee when he sees that not even five minutes have passed.

 

Maybe he does need another job

 

His ass may not be able to take sitting at a desk much longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Gutenvell Port. Please check in at the Visitor Centre which is directly ahead as you exit the dock. If you require gifts or food, local shops are located within the port for you to purchase. If you have a cargo shipment due for arrival, please head for the Cargo Dock, located to the far right. Thank you, and we hope you enjoy your time on Gutenvell Island.”

 

Jungkook has only been to this island once before, to visit the Velli pack to the north of the island, a birth pack that lives almost like wild packs do in rustic log cabins, but are very fond of their wide screen TVs and fast internet, whereas wild packs aren’t.

 

But, he’s no stranger to visiting the many islands dotting their coastlines, so you would think that he’d be used to seasickness.

 

Sadly, not.

 

Jungkook bows his head at the male beta that stands at the end of the ramp, directing the flow of small foot traffic in the only direction possible as they all walk down the long strip of a wooden dock.

 

Jungkook has noticed throughout his nearly three years of doing this job that islands all tend to follow the same look.

 

There is always a mix-match of shipping containers and cabin-shaped buildings, most often the shipping containers are outfitted with wood to make it look less marine line, and more rustic.

 

The containers make sense, due to the constant shipments back and forth from the mainland, so it’s not as if they’re lacking any, and it is easier to place the containers from a ship, rather than driving large trucks through the tight roads inland of the islands with building materials.

 

Jungkook comes from a city, was born and raised in the capital, but his parents made sure that he got as much access to the forests and mountains in the form of weekend hikes since they were paranoid (yes, Jungkook can call his parents that because it was slightly suffocating as a pup) that his growth would be stunted if he was cooped up playing in the streets and apartment building, with no large park areas to play in.

 

As a pup, Jungkook found that hard to believe that his size in both forms wasn’t the same as those that live in the wilds.

 

And then he became a Data Collector and sharply changed his mind when he saw how massive some of the wild wolves can be.

 

So, his parents’ paranoia was justified, but the end result was inevitable.

 

Living in a city just affects a wolf’s growth, no matter how many weekend trips to the mountains you take as a pup to avoid it.

 

Jungkook isn’t small, he towers over Yoongi easily, but there is a difference with them being city wolves, one that always causes his eye to twitch whenever he catches wild alphas eyeing him up with pity, or slight challenge to belittle him.

 

Jungkook has never shifted in front of a wild pack, so he can’t really measure up the difference in his wolf form, but in his neutral human-shape form, Jungkook’s mass and build is a lot slender compared to wild wolves, despite him hitting the gym harder to make up the difference.

 

The brine air and the cool breeze does help with the nauseated fog that is clouding his head as Jungkook heads straight for the visiting centre to register his visit, and to see if his guide is already here, waiting for him.

 

The building structure is of a container, with large, wide, glass windows facing the dock, but the roofing and the exterior are of a dark wood, almost like the dark brown bark that is on the trees more to the south of the mainland.

 

Jungkook steps through the automatic doors, smelling the standard neutral air all commercial and communal buildings are ventilated with to prevent oversaturation of scents, and doesn’t recognise any of the three members of staff that are at the reception desk.

 

Some of the passengers are talking to two staff, leaving the third empty, as Jungkook heads straight for the male.

 

“Hello, welcome to Gutenvell, may I ask the reason for your visit today?” the male politely and warmly asks, smiling, and despite the ventilated air removing personal scents, Jungkook knows the wolf’s rank due to the splotches of shades of green in his eyes.

 

Jungkook unearths his identification card that hangs around his neck, the one stating his governmental job title, name, age, and hands it over to the omega, who takes it from him.

 

“I’m here to collect data from the Vellga Pack,” Jungkook states softly, trying his best to smile, even as his head still feels cloudy from nausea.

 

“Your visit has been authorised for a full night’s stay, with an early return back to the mainland, correct?” the omega asks as he begins to type at his computer, double checking, as Jungkook nods.

 

“According to our records, this is your second time, yes?”

 

Jungkook nods again. “I visited the Velli Pack, last time.”

 

“It’s been some time since your visit, do you need a map of the island, just in case?” the omega asks, already leaning to procure a map from behind the desk.

 

Jungkook shakes his head. He hasn’t got the time to explore this time around.

 

“Your guide is already waiting outside in the car parking area at bay three, and this is your visiting pass,” the omega talks as he stamps a small card with today’s date, before handing it over to Jungkook, along with his ID, “please bring it tomorrow so that you can be logged out of the island’s system.”

 

Jungkook nods, hooking it back over his head, and pocketing the visiting pass into his leather jacket’s pocket, “thank you, have a nice day.”

 

Vellswa,” the omega replies back with, and Jungkook briefly freezes at the unfamiliar expression as he moves to the right, where another set of glass doors lead out into the car park.

 

Jungkook’s brain is itching, trying to recall what the wulften dialectal expression means, as he pushes open the door, looking for the correct parking bay for his guide.

 

Outside, where the air is not ventilated, Jungkook is smacked with the soft scent of oranges - not too overwhelming, or too diluted, but perfectly balanced scent notes.

 

Jungkook swallows as his mouth waters slightly at the appealing scent of a beta nearby as he heads for the jeep parked in bay three.

 

Jungkook startles the male sitting in the driver’s seat, the window half down as he knocks on it.

 

The scent of soft oranges remains strong as the beta smiles at him, his brown and light brown eyes crinkling slightly with it, and his rich brown hair pushed up off his face with a red bandana band, and into a slight bun.

 

Jungkook follows the wave for him to get in via the front passenger’s side, and shrugs off his backpack as he pulls open the door, before heaving himself up into the jeep.

 

“Jeon Jungkook?” the beta asks as Jungkook shuts the door, and Jungkook blinks at the out of place accent, a rough accent mostly associated with wild wolves, and not the lilted way island wolves speak.

 

“That’s me. Kim Taehyung?” Jungkook ask, recalling the name that was on his assignment detail form.

 

Taehyung nods, and to Jungkook’s shock, leans slightly towards him to sniff the air.

 

“You city wolves always confuse me,” Taehyung states in a curious, but polite, tone. “So many scents.”

 

“Your accent is not what I was expecting,” Jungkook states back, trying to even the sudden straightforward playing field.

 

Taehyung smirks at that as he starts the engine. “And here I thought my accent was smoothing out.”

 

“Maybe it is. I just know the accent well,” Jungkook reassures politely, fastening his seatbelt, as Taehyung reverses out of the parking bay.

 

“How long have you been a Data Collector?” Taehyung asks as he drives them to the only set of gates in the port, gates that open as the wolf outside waves friendly at Taehyung as he drives them through it and out onto the only main road on the island.

 

Jungkook is distracted as he takes in the trees, the lushness of their leaves, as they drive down the smooth tarmac road.

 

The island isn’t small, and is quite decent for its size to allow three packs to co-exist without being on top of each other.

 

“Coming up three years,” Jungkook answers, looking from the views they’re driving by, to glance at Taehyung’s relaxed form.

 

“Dunno how you do it, all that travelling around and meeting so many wolves,” Taehyung states bluntly, making Jungkook laugh at the slight contradictory to the wolf’s words.

 

“Aren’t you a Support Beta?” Jungkook states, amused. “You meet just as many wolves as I do.”

 

“That’s different. I know the wolf’s scent that I’ll be helping,” Taehyung corrects as he shifts gears, “I haven’t been a support wolf for long, so I haven’t had that many clients.”

 

Jungkook recalls the details on his form, how the pack has only been established for three years now.

 

“When did you join the pack?”

 

“Already starting your collecting, huh?” Taehyung teases as he drives them around tight bends.

 

Jungkook holds onto the handle above the door to stop himself from hitting against the door as the bends get tighter.

 

“Just curious,” Jungkook huffs back, smiling.

 

“A year,” Taehyung hums back as the jeep straightens back onto a straight road. “I had training from my birth pack since I showed early signs to be a Support, but I was mainly a Hunter, so I was split between the two. You know how wild packs can be about certain ranks doing certain roles. Suffocating.”

 

Jungkook hums without commenting, despite agreeing to the male’s opinion.

 

“I was tired of being forced to ignore my ability to be a decent Support, so when I saw that there was a job going here as a Support from the official job board online, I came and aced my interview, and here I am, a year later as a Support and also as an Angler…..which is a work in progress. Hunting in water is a lot different than hunting on land, let me tell you that.”

 

Jungkook can’t help but chuckle at the ending remark and the beta’s tone.

 

Jungkook notes a sign, the third one he’s seen so far as they’ve been driving, that states how many miles to the pack that he’s visiting as Taehyung turns off the main road, as they begin to slow and onto a slightly rougher one.

 

“Are there any guests in the pack at the moment?” Jungkook questions, wanting to be mindful and respectful.

 

Taehyung nods. “One. She arrived a week ago, so she’s settled.”

 

Jungkook makes a mental note of that as the road continues to be dense with trees on either side of the rough road.

 

“Have you been to the island before?” Taehyung questions, his speed slowing.

 

“Once, to the Velli Pack,” Jungkook answers, shifting forward at seeing the brown wooden gate up ahead of them. “The pack grounds are contained?”

 

“For the most part, yes. It’s a precaution to keep our guests feeling safe, but not caged in. The surrounding packs know this is an official support pack, so they don’t come this far south of the island,” Taehyung answers the closer they get to the wooden slatted gate.

 

The gate’s slats have enough space between each slat to see through onto the pack ground’s, but enough to still give security too.

 

Taehyung presses a button on a remote that sits in a holder on the dashboard, and Jungkook hears a machinal hum as the gate pulls open to the side, giving way for Taehyung to drive through, before pressing the button again to shut the gate behind them.

 

“Welcome to Support Vellga,” Taehyung announces cheerfully as he parks the jeep into a parking spot of the courtyard-like area, opposite where the back of a long, sizeable, charcoal black shipping container sits as the main building.

 

Jungkook has seen packs use shipping containers before, but it never ceases to amaze him the creativity that wolves have to create homes from these hulking husks of steel.

 

This building has been tweaked by having the flat roof of the container removed and arched up to not make it feel claustrophobic inside, and the pale wood used for the roofing instead compliments the charcoal metal.

 

The same pale wood on the roof is brought down the metal sides as decoration, framing the glass door that would allow you to see down the long length of the building if it wasn’t so densely frosted.

 

Jungkook follows after Taehyung up the slight step that leads to the frosted glass door, stepping inside the building and immediately smelling the neutral air ventilation, designating this as a communal area.

 

Jungkook closes the door behind him, the weight of the door not heavy as it would seem, the click soft, as he takes in the building, the open ceiling that the arched roof gives it.

 

He can see that there is a slight open kitchen area that sits at the far back with an island to it, as well as a floor pit table area that sits into the ground with plenty of padding of bright, loud, colourful pillows, and before that, sits the obvious entertainment area with a two small sofas, and a wall mounted TV.

 

Despite the slight chill outside, inside is well insulated, the walls an off-white colouring, allowing the décor to bring in the vibrancy of tones and colour, the wooden floor a warm tone.

 

“The High Alpha of the pack should be in the office, if you’ll just follow me,” Taehyung smiles as Jungkook takes in the space, nodding for him to follow towards a room that sits next to the open kitchen.

 

Jungkook notices, as they walk down the length of the building, that there are wide sliding doors to the left and right side of the building, leading out to different areas of the pack grounds, judging from what he sees through either one of them.

 

Taehyung knocks on the only wooden door that Jungkook has seen since arriving, and hears an answering call come from within.

 

Jungkook barely as time to ready himself for meeting the support pack’s High Alpha as he hurries in after Taehyung.

 

Jungkook blinks at the sharp difference this room is compared to the previous - which is more open, bright, and neutral tones (if you ignore the floor pillows and padding) - the same neutral air is present, meaning this room too is used for communal use, despite its obvious office appearance.

 

The office is completely outfitted in wood – walls, floor, and ceiling - creating a much more rustic and lived in feeling with its wall length of shelves that hold books, magazines, and a few boardgame boxes.  

 

The desk is facing the two small couches that sit in front of it, a tree stump coffee table in the middle of the sofas.

 

Jungkook’s gaze snaps to the alpha approaching them, takes in the grinning male that is slightly shorter than himself, but his presence makes up for it.

 

The alpha has slight waves to his deep brown hair, a wave that looks like the male’s hair has just had his hands scrunching in it, mussing it up to have a tussled-look, and his skin is slightly tanned, allowing the blue pigment of his eye birthmarks to stand out even more against his brown eyes. 

 

Gutenvell, Jeon Jungkook. My name is Jung Hoseok,” the alpha grins as he reaches out to shake Jungkook’s hand, and Jungkook is only slightly delayed in the accepting it as he’s hit with a second dialectal expression that he can’t recall the meaning of.

 

It’s the name of the island, yes, but island wolves tend to use dialectal expressions for names too.

 

Jungkook knows he was taught the meaning the last time he was here…..but….

 

“Sorry, my ignorance is showing, I’ve forgotten some of the local dialect,” Jungkook apologises earnestly with hot cheeks as he shakes the alpha’s hand.

 

“Understandable, it is your second time here,” Hoseok reassures him, taking no offence to his honesty. “It just means peaceful welcome.”

 

And just like that, the expression from earlier clicks into place.

 

Peace on your journey.

 

Jungkook takes the offered seat that Hoseok waves to one of the sofas, sitting opposite the male, with Taehyung remaining standing.

 

“Since this is your first time to the pack, I will give you the same introduction we give to our guests,” Hoseok smiles, looking at ease as he sits back against the sofa, and Jungkook tries to relax, following the older alpha’s vibes.

 

Island wolves tend to be chiller than wild wolves, but Jungkook doesn’t like to stereotype, so he treats every wolf with caution and polite respect that his father drilled into him whilst growing up.

 

“Support Vellga is a respite for wolves that have suffered trauma, in any form, and needs to disconnect from their current living situation in order to find peace and to seek healing,” Hoseok begins, the alpha’s tone soft and pleasant to listen to, “our Supports in this pack are trained vocationally, and also naturally, so there is a variety of support on offer.”

 

“The Supports in this pack also permanently live within the pack grounds, and have their own distinguished roles here, as well as being a Support,” Hoseok explains. “This allows us to keep the pack small and intimate, rather than overwhelming with a high number of wolves.”

 

Jungkook nods along. So far, this sounds like the standard for a support pack.

 

“Our clients – guests - they have full use and access to this building, as well as their side of the pack grounds too, which is to the left, where the seafront is,” Hoseok points to their left, where the wide window behind them is, showcasing smaller container units dotted around the land, and the glistening of the sea water in the distance.

 

“The only part that guests are not permitted access to are the Supports residential area, which is to the right of the building. That is also where most of our resources are kept and made.”

 

“Taehyung mentioned there is a guest present?” Jungkook asks, and Hoseok nods. “You’re aware that I will have to take her details too, as required by the law.”

 

Hoseok nods again. “I’m aware, and so is she.”

 

Jungkook lets out a small exhale of relief.

 

So far, so good.

 

“Taehyung will be your guide for your visit. He’ll show you to your den, and also give you a tour around the entire pack ground’s. When you’re ready to begin, this office is yours for the taking,” Hoseok smiles, rising to his feet, with Jungkook rushing to follow.

 

A quick glance to the beta confirms that Taehyung was already aware of this plan as he smiles at Jungkook.

 

“Vellga is open to you, whatever you need, just ask,” Hoseok says, reaching out to pat Jungkook’s arm, as he moves back to the desk.

 

Jungkook takes the cue to leave, following after an amused-looking Taehyung.

 

“You sure you’ve been doing this for nearly three years?” Taehyung asks as soon as the door is shut behind them, moving to lead Jungkook to the doors that lead to the guest living area.

 

“I have learnt that meeting a High – regardless if they’re an alpha, beta, or omega – never goes the same way twice,” Jungkook answers, sliding the glass door shut behind them, and taking in the true scents of brine and bark as nature welcomes them once more outside.

 

The scent of soft oranges is also reintroduced to his senses, startling him once more at how much he reacts to Taehyung’s scent as he walks side-by-side the tall male.

 

“The fencing can’t be seen, but it surrounds the pack grounds boundaries,” Taehyung begins his tour, and Jungkook has to force himself to not focus on the tantalising scent of soft oranges. “The dens contain scents well, so it allows us to minimise space here, and use most of it for recreational use.”

 

The sounds of their feet lightly echo in dull thumps as they walk along the wooden walkway that branches from the main building, and to the four den units clustered near each other, but with enough space in between each container to not be intrusive.

 

The den units all have the same styling and size, but from what Jungkook can see through the massive glassed front of each of them is that the insides of each unit are renovated differently.

 

The outside of the shipping containers are completely covered in wooden panels, making it seem like a box-shaped cabin, than a shipping container, and one of the den units has a small staircase that leads up onto the roof that has rails and the tuffs of green peeking over the edges of it.

 

“You’re in den three,” Taehyung states as they walk away from the main walkway and up the wooden path to the glassed front of the den they’re approaching.

 

Jungkook watches as Taehyung unearths a key with a blue wrist tie on it, and unlocks the door and holds it open for Jungkook to enter first.

 

Jungkook steps in, and is immediately hit with the strong scent of neutraliser that removes even the strongest of scents.

 

“Sorry, it does wear off,” Taehyung apologises as he notices Jungkook’s scrunched up nose. “I was in here doing last minute checks this morning and had to remove my scent, so that’s why it’s so strong. Normally, it wouldn’t be, since we always make sure there is enough breathing space between each new guest.”

 

 “It’s fine, just wasn’t expecting it,” Jungkook reassures as he looks around, not moving any further in because he still has his boots on.

 

His den is, what Jungkook can only describe as, quaint.

 

There is a small, basic, kitchen to his right, as soon as you enter, and to the left side of the den there is a small set of steps (no handrail, and Jungkook has to smother his instinctual urge to point it out as a potential safety hazard) that leads up to a miniature balcony-landing area that has a comfy-looking chair in the corner, a circle table to eat at, and a cushioned bench against the right-side wall with plenty of pillows to create a cosy comfort fort.

 

Back onto the floor below, there is a sight that he isn’t used to seeing in a shipping container.

 

“Is that the bedroom?” Jungkook questions to the closed door that is under the landing, noting that there is a slight decline as there are two steps leading down to it.

 

Taehyung hums from behind him. “This den has an underlayer, allowing for a more den-like bedroom without being terrifyingly suffocating. The bathroom is located on the other side of it.”

 

Jungkook ignores the stupid twitch his gut makes at the word ‘den-like’ as his nose continues to try and greedily inhale more of the soft oranges scent that should be giving him a headache, since normal oranges tend to do.

 

But, his head is crystal clear, and a little too focused on the beta behind him.

 

“I’ll investigate it later,” Jungkook smiles as he turns to Taehyung, moving to leave, and tries not hurry after the male in order to stay close to the beta’s soothing scent as he shuts and locks his door behind him.

 

“The wrist tie is there in case you’re forgetful,” Taehyung teases as Jungkook shoves the key into his jeans pocket.

 

“I’m still young, my mind isn’t wandering just yet,” Jungkook jokes back, as Taehyung begins his tour, taking him away from the dens, and towards the water.

 

“The form said you’re twenty-four?” Taehyung questions, and Jungkook nods, already knowing where this is going by the smile that appears on the beta’s face, “that makes me older.”

 

“So, your mind is the one wandering.”

 

 “Oh, it wanders, just not in the way you’re thinking,” comes back the cheeky retort, and it catches Jungkook off guard, feels his neck heating up because now his head is slowly shifting from ‘work mode’ to ‘play mode’.

 

Jungkook shifts his backpack on his bag, distracting himself. “You said that you’re the pack’s Angler?”

 

Taehyung sighs, long and heavy, as he nods. “Yeah. It’s a good thing that we don’t totally rely on my shitty skills of catching fish, otherwise we’d have starved by now. But, I’m getting better, according to Jin.”

 

“Jin?” Jungkook questions, pulling up the pack’s previous data collection sheet in his mind. “He’s the Lead Support, correct?”

 

“Yep, that’s him, Kim Seokjin, resident boss of us Supports, and resident Healer too, just in case.”

 

“Just in case, considering what I’m hearing of your skill,” Jungkook can’t help but tease, making Taehyung grin.

 

“You have no idea how accurate that is, I’m surprised I haven’t managed to strangle myself with the fishing wire.”

 

“Well, there is time,” Jungkook teases a little more, completely out of ‘work mode’ now, unable to contain the polite, impersonal, professionalism he’s known for.

 

Taehyung’s scent becomes a little stronger even as the wind shifts away from them.

 

“You have a cheekiness to you, Mr Data Collector, one that I’m rather enjoying seeing,” Taehyung warmly states, and Jungkook hopes to the high skies that his scent is behaving and not betraying the way he’s reacting to the beta’s presence.

 

Jungkook is honestly glad when Taehyung becomes more focused on the tour of the pack grounds, it means he can push himself back into ‘work mode’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Do you want to start from seniority, or with our guest first?” Taehyung questions from the office doorway, watching as Jungkook situates himself on the sofa, his file, papers, and pen on his lap, ready.

 

“Seniority, please,” Jungkook answers with a smile, and watches as Taehyung disappears, closing the door behind him, and leaving him alone for the first time since arriving at the pack.

 

Jungkook isn’t left waiting long when the door opens again and in comes the High Alpha.

 

“How did you find the pack grounds?” Hoseok asks him with a warm smile as he sits across from Jungkook.

 

“Relaxing. I can see why there is a high demand for your support,” Jungkook compliments him, and Hoseok dips his head in an almost shy acknowledgement of it.

 

“Thank you. How would you like to start this?” Hoseok questions, curious. “Most collectors have their own method.”

 

“Mine is simple, I’ll just be asking the routine questions of yourself, and also of the pack, since you are the High Alpha,” Jungkook begins, clicking his pen, and putting a pillow on his lap so that his file and papers are higher up to make it easier for him to write.

 

“You can use the desk,” Hoseok points out softly.

 

Jungkook shakes his head, smiling. “It’s fine, this is how I tend to do it.”

 

“You prefer equal balance, rather than the typical, ‘I’m a governmental worker and therefor I am higher than you’.”

 

Jungkook bites back a smile at that. “Something like that.”

 

Hoseok hums out as he relaxes. “Shall we begin? The pack is small, so this shouldn’t take too much of your time, allowing you to have a break.”

 

Jungkook blinks. “I don’t-”

 

Hoseok’s knowing grin makes him falter. “Support Alpha, remember? I know the tell-tale signs of an overworked wolf very well, no matter how subtle.”

 

Jungkook looks down at his papers at that, not denying or confirming anything since the truth is pretty damn clear.

 

“I’ll begin with just cross-checking information from the previous visit,” Jungkook begins as he pulls out a form that was under the blank one, and hears a hum in response.

 

“Can you tell me your social security number?” Jungkook asks, eyes on the 12-digit code that all wolves and humans have.

 

Hoseok rattles off his code with ease, and Jungkook moves on.

 

“Your birthday has passed, so you’re now twenty-seven years old, correct?”

 

“Correct.”

 

Jungkook starts writing.

 

“You’re still the High Alpha of Support Vellga, a title you have had since the establishment of it.”

 

“Correct. I have a year and a half left before nominations of change happen within the pack,” Hoseok says, tone soft with amusement, and if Jungkook believes his ears, fondness too.

 

Jungkook isn’t unused to wolves taking a liking to him when he does his work due to the manner he speaks and works, but his gut feeling this time doesn’t feel like this is the usual, ‘you’re a soft alpha, you’d fit in well here’.

 

“You’re also a Support Alpha, too?”

 

“Yep, that hasn’t changed,” Hoseok confirms.

 

“Are you still unmated?” Jungkook asks, hating that he has to ask so bluntly.

 

It can always become tense, depending on the answer.

 

“No mate. It’s hard for mating to be a priority when you’re living in a support pack, I guess.”

 

Jungkook nods, filling in the form that is a fresher copy of the previous one from the last data collection visit.

 

“No pups?” Jungkook asks, hand paused.

 

Just because the alpha isn’t mated, doesn’t rule out casual sex.

 

Hoseok’s voice is thick with more amusement as he answers, “unless you count Taehyung when he acts like one when he’s throwing a tantrum in the sea, then no.”

 

Jungkook smiles at the image, already knowing it’s true from what he’s seen of Taehyung’s personality.

 

“Just to confirm, your birth pack is the Velli Pack,” Jungkook asks, looking up, trying to pull old memories, to see if he can recall any hazy faces of meeting the male during his visit to that pack a few years ago.

 

“It is. I left the pack when I was twenty to move to Selta Island, where I worked as a Support too.”

 

Jungkook nods, giving up on searching his memories since the male would’ve been long gone at that point of Jungkook’s visit.

 

“I just need to mark the confirmation that I detect no false scent of you potentially hiding a mate scent,” Jungkook says, straightening, as he meets the alpha’s gaze.

 

“I’m always curious how that feels for you, to scent for that on strangers,” Hoseok muses, elbows leaning onto his knees, his neck angled, not in a submissive gesture but a displaying one, to allow the scent gland to be directed to Jungkook.

 

Jungkook leans, inhaling deeply so he can catch it over the scent of the neutraliser, and only detects the alpha’s scent of plums and soft vanilla, with no chemical smells that he’s been trained to sniff out.

 

Jungkook checks the box that clears Hoseok from falsifying his scent.

 

“It can be tense, depending on the wolf I have to verify. You’d be amazed how some really do try to hide secret relationships since they are the ones that don’t agree with the treaty.”

 

“The treaty has allowed us to live and walk down city streets without fear of aggression from humans for a hundred years, but, it’s usually wolves that haven’t stepped a foot into a town or city that fear the unknown,” Hoseok sighs out as he stops displaying his neck, watching as Jungkook writes additional notes that were missing from the previous form.

 

“I take no joy in reporting wolves that do try to falsify details, but the law is the law, and if I suspect foul play, then they are the ones that have to face the consequences,” Jungkook sighs out too, signing his signature at the bottom of the pages, before turning it around for the wolf to read and sign too.

 

Hoseok does so without even checking what Jungkook has been writing down, and again, Jungkook’s chest tugs at the open display of trust and ease, ignoring the way his baser wolf instincts are seeing the other alpha as an ally, rather than as a potential hostile.

 

It’s a familiar tug, one that he’s felt only once before, and it makes Jungkook ignore it because he’s here to work.

 

“I’ll go get Jin for you,” Hoseok grins as he hands back the file and paper, standing up to leave.

 

Jungkook nods his head, hands busy filing away the two forms, and retrieving the next wolf’s forms as he tracks the sound of Hoseok leaving.

 

Jungkook skims his eyes over the previous visit’s form, and swallows as he notes down some of the details for the wolf he is about to meet.

 

A small bubble of sadness wells in the bottom of his tummy as he reads over the words relating to mateship status.

 

Mateless

 

That bubble of sadness only grows as he reads the details behind the wolf’s loss of a mate.

 

Sometimes, this job reminds him of how invasive this treaty is, that wolves that have suffered a loss, albeit a mate or pups, have to constantly speak of it every time a Data Collector comes around.

 

Two times a year, you have to open up your grief for the sake of filling in a form to confirm something that can never be returned.

 

It’s not fair, really.

 

Jungkook sighs as he readies to face an interview where he’s going to have to ask the question that shouldn’t need to be asked.

 

“Wow, that’s a heavy sigh from such a young face,” an unfamiliar voice says, and Jungkook glances at the silent male that is entering the room.

 

Jungkook takes in the tall, broad, male that swiftly comes over to sit down across from him, a tired sigh leaving his lips, as he removes the thin-rimmed silver glasses off his face to rub his eye that holds the blue pigment of an alpha’s birthmark.

 

“Kim Seokjin?” Jungkook asks, just to be sure, as the alpha’s spicy tangy scent hits his nose, before it’ll soon be gone as the air ventilation makes the room neutral once more.

 

“I was him when I woke up this morning,” comes the grinning retort, and Jungkook can’t share the ease that the alpha is radiating because he knows that he’s only going to make the wolf uncomfortable.

 

“Jeon Jungkook,” Jungkook introduces himself. “I’ll make this fast, since this isn’t the most entertaining thing to do.”

 

“Take all the time that you need. I have nothing better to do today,” Jin waves off, stretching his arms back on the sofa as he truly gets himself comfortable.

 

Jungkook starts with cross-checking the wolf’s social security number, and age, which remains the same as the previous visit due to it not arriving yet, before moving on to check the wolf’s additional titles.

 

“Lead Support, Support Alpha, and also Lead Healer,” Jin hums as Jungkook writes. “I’m the only wolf in the pack that has three titles.”

 

“You’re listed as the High Alpha’s Second, as well, is this because you two are the ones that established the pack?” Jungkook questions as he checks the previous visit’s form.

 

“It’s because of me that Hoseok wanted to establish an official support pack on the island, instead of the unofficial one that used to be located further into the island,” Jin answers with ease, and Jungkook can feel his gaze as he nods and writes, the bubble in his tummy rippling.

 

“You’re from the Velli Pack too, correct?”

 

“Yep. Left when I was……nineteen. It’s been nearly ten years since I left.”

 

Jungkook wants to avoid the next question, but knows that he can’t.

 

“I’m still mateless. I’m too damn busy making sure Taehyung doesn’t put a fishing hook in his eye, and that Namjoon doesn’t cut off a finger with his garden shears,” Jin beats Jungkook to it in the most straightforward manner, it takes Jungkook aback as he looks up at the male.

 

“Oh,” is the only thing that comes out of his damn mouth as the alpha smiles at him, gaze knowing.

 

“It’s a shitty feeling for both of us to talk about the death of a loved one. I’ve learnt over the years to dive straight into the uncomfortable waters, instead of toeing in slowly, drawing the discomfort out.”

 

Jungkook nods in understanding, seeing the male’s point of view.

 

“I don’t have pups either. So that hasn’t changed in the last few months as well,” Jin states as Jungkook quickly writes.

 

“I just need to verify your scent…” Jungkook winces, sending an apologetic look to the alpha, who waves it off as he leans all the way over the coffee table for Jungkook to be smacked in the face with tangy spices.

 

Jungkook wordlessly checks the box that clarifies the wolf’s details are indeed correct.

 

“You city wolves are so polite, it never fails to amuse me,” Jin states as he straightens, standing up, after signing the form where he too didn’t look over Jungkook’s notes.

 

Jungkook can’t help but let out the slightly embarrassed laugh at that, knowing what the wolf is referring to.

 

City wolves are known to have stunted senses, along with stunted physical growth, so when strong scents do manage to penetrate their senses, the natural reflex to lean away when it is triggered.

 

“It’s been awhile since I last encountered an alpha with spicy undertones,” Jungkook comments as the wolf’s scent tickles lightly in his nose.

 

“You should smell my mother’s, she’s pure spice,” Jin comments with a smirk, handing back the papers and pen.

 

“I’ll go get Namjoon for you. It was nice meeting you, Jungkook,” Jin says as he leaves, and Jungkook smiles, saying the same thing back.

 

The door shuts, and Jungkook rubs his chest where his instinct is prodding him to take notice of what his wolf instincts are whining at him.

 

Despite scenting no sadness from Jin, his instinct to comfort the wolf for his loss of losing a mate still rings deeply in his chest, along with the same feeling that Hoseok gave him, the same ally feeling.

 

When the door opens, five minutes later, Jungkook glances to see another tall male, one that has a slight half-up ponytail due to how thick his brown hair is, but the length isn’t long enough to hit his shoulders, it’s just really thick.

 

“Kim Namjoon,” the wolf introduces himself with a warm smile, and the male’s brown and green eyes crinkle up with it as two dimples form on his cheeks,

 

Jungkook grins back at the omega, getting a faint scent of rich earthy mint as the male sits down on the edge of the sofa.

 

At Jungkook’s confused look, Namjoon holds up dirt covered hands, and Jungkook notes more on the knees of his jeans.

 

“I’m the Lead Gardener, and Hoseok would nag me all damn day if I get soil on his sofa,” Namjoon chuckles, explaining his awkward position.

 

“Oh? What do you grow?” Jungkook can’t help but blurt out, and then mentally chastises himself for it.

 

“Mainly citruses and herbs, but our oranges and lemons really grow well due to the soil on the island. Has Taehyung let you taste some yet?” Namjoon questions, his eyes lighting up with pride at his produce.

 

Jungkook firmly ignores the part of brain that has started to associate anything relating to oranges with Taehyung, and shakes his head.

 

“No, but I’d love to try some of your produce. Nothing beats organically grown.”

 

“I agree. Cities and towns buy from us a lot, but then they smother it in chemicals to make sure it doesn’t spoil, which is ridiculous because it makes produce spoil faster,” Namjoon huffs out, and Jungkook can’t help but smile at the look of irritation that slips through the omega’s expression.

 

“Anyway, don’t get me started on that, I’ll have you here all day,” Namjoon laughs, trying to get himself comfortable while balancing his tall body on the edge of the sofa.

 

Not wanting to prolong the awkward balancing act that the omega is currently doing, Jungkook flies through the social security, the wolf’s age which has changed to being twenty-seven since the last data collection visit.

 

“Your titles haven’t changed, I’m going to assume?” Jungkook questions, looking up.

 

Namjoon nods. “Lead Gardener, and Support Omega.”

 

Jungkook glances down at the box specifically for omegas when it comes to titles, and gives the omega an apologetic look that makes Namjoon smile reassuringly at him.

 

“It’s fine, I’m long used to this question,” the male reassures him.

 

“Do you feel your title has caused you discrimination within pack living?” Jungkook asks the question all omegas are required to answer.

 

The question is mainly there for wild packs, where having an interview with a Data Collector could be their only chance of speaking up without an overbearing High to hear it.

 

“No, my title has not caused any discrimination due to my rank,” Namjoon answers honestly, and Jungkook nods, writing the male’s words down.

 

“Are you mated?”

 

“Nope. Free and single, but too busy to mingle.”

 

Jungkook knows that feeling all too well.

 

“Pups?” Jungkook questions, looking up to see the omega smirking.

 

“I have a non-biological grown pup in the form of Kim Taehyung, does that count?” Jungkook laughs, since this is the second time the beta has been referred to as a pup.

 

“Kim Taehyung is, technically, the youngest of the pack, right?” Jungkook questions, and Namjoon nods.

 

“And he plays on it whenever he wants to get out of chores, but he forgets that we all know him so well, know his endearing ways. But, he’s a rough one, our Taehyung. I’m sure you can tell due to his accent that he’s from a wild birth pack,” Jungkook nods, and Namjoon continues, “He was supposed to be the next in line to be Lead Hunter, but left it all behind him once he was able to get a job outside his birth pack.”

 

Jungkook bites the inside of his lips as he listens. He knows too well how wild packs live like, and how it does push some wolves into leaving birth packs because of how suffocating, and narrow-minded, it can be.

 

“Which is why the beta is struggling so hard with his Angler title – he was next in line to be Lead Hunter, but he can’t snag a fish without diving after it,” Namjoon chuckles fondly, making a similar smile appear on Jungkook’s face.

 

Namjoon doesn’t do what Jin did by leaning over the table for Jungkook to catch his scent in the neutral air since the wolf is sitting so close to the edge of the sofa, so he only has to display his neck for Jungkook to check the box on the form that Namjoon’s details are verified.

 

“Taehyung will be next, due to Jimin being out on the water with his guest,” Namjoon informs Jungkook as he hands him back the form, all signed.

 

Again, the omega chooses not to look at Jungkook’s writing, and Jungkook is starting to wonder if he needs to inform Hoseok of making sure that his pack members remember to check future forms.

 

Namjoon leaves with the promise of tracking down Taehyung, and Jungkook rearranges his order of forms, putting Park Jimin’s and the spare blank form for the guest under the file for later.

 

Jungkook jumps, startled, by the sudden entrance of soft oranges and the scent of herbal tea.

 

“Figured you were gonna dehydrate yourself before giving yourself a break, so I hope you like homemade lemon tea,” Taehyung grins, sitting opposite Jungkook, and placing a glass cup onto the coffee table.

 

Now that the beta mentions it, Jungkook’s mouth is super dry, a side effect from the over-processed air.

 

“I bet you’re glad that this is a small pack, huh?” Taehyung teases as he blows on his own glass cup.

 

Jungkook picks up the delicate-looking cup, and inhales, taking apart the scents before the ventilation system strips the tea of it.

 

“Is honey in this?” Jungkook questions, meeting Taehyung’s fixed gaze on him.

 

Taehyung hums, waiting.

 

Jungkook takes a careful sip, mindful of the hot water, and feels his taste buds tickle to life at the contrasting taste of sweet and a little bitterness.

 

His face must be doing something because Taehyung looks smug from behind his own cup as he takes a sip too.

 

“If you want to take some back, we have some in stock,” Taehyung says as Jungkook takes one more sip before putting his cup back onto the table.

 

Jungkook is glad he has semi-hot water in his mouth to prevent what his traitor of a brain wanted to respond with.

 

“What time should I anticipate for Jimin to be free?” Jungkook questions, picking up his pen again.

 

“Maybe another hour or so,” Taehyung says as he glances out of the window, studying the waterfront that they can see from this distance.

 

Jungkook is waiting for the distracting, teasing, scent of soft oranges to be sucked away, making the room neutral again, but all he can smell is Taehyung.

 

“At least now I can smell just your scent, and not the thousand others clinging to you,” Taehyung comments lightly as he settles into the cushions, crossing a leg slightly over his left knee.

 

Jungkook pauses, heart rate spiking.

 

Taehyung shouldn’t be able to even smell Jungkook at this point, due to how long he’s been sat in the office, and yet, the beta is saying that he can smell Jungkook’s scent.

 

“Honeydew, with a slight hint of smooth vanilla,” Taehyung continues, before taking another sip of his honey and lemon tea.

 

Jungkook’s heart kicks hard in his chest.

 

“S-shall we start?” Jungkook says instead, mouth feeling drier than before he started drinking the tea.

 

Jungkook firmly ignores the way dark brown and light brown eyes fixate on him as he goes through Taehyung’s social security number, age, and titles within the pack.

 

Jungkook’s mouth dries further as he pauses on the next question.

 

“Are you mated?”

 

Jungkook almost pulls the muscles in his neck from how fast he whips his head up to gawp at the wolf before him.

 

“Excuse me?” Jungkook blurts out, convinced that he’s heard the question wrong.

 

Taehyung puts his now empty glass cup onto the table, and doesn’t move to relax back as he props up his chin as he leans his elbows onto the leg that is crossed over his left knee.

 

“I can’t smell another wolf’s scent on you,” Taehyung muses, blatantly scenting the air as Jungkook continues to blink at the beta.

 

“Not mated,” Jungkook is amazed at himself for saying it like a normal wolf, and not stuttering it out.

 

“Me neither,” Taehyung grins as he slowly leans back to rest against the cushions.

 

Jungkook frantically writes it down, ignoring the excitement thumping through him.

 

“Pups?” Jungkook asks, the back of his throat tightening, as he forces his gaze to remain down as he pretends to look over his writing.

 

“One day, maybe. Depends on my mate, you know? Do you want pups?”

 

Jungkook hisses as his pen jerks across the paper, taken aback for the second time in the span of a minute as he quickly scribbles over his mistake.

 

Jungkook is used to flirting and being flirted at, but Taehyung’s scent and tone is screwing up with Jungkook’s usual calmness of professionalism.

 

“Maybe, depends on my mate,” Jungkook answers back as he finishes writing Taehyung’s answers.

 

“For a city wolf, you’re quite big, you know?” Taehyung comments in a low hum, and Jungkook has to put his pen down as a slow, hot, burn crawls up the back of his nape as he looks up at the beta.

 

“Are you like this with all the Data Collectors?” Jungkook asks, curious, and desperate to shut down the way his gut is responding to Taehyung’s slightly layered tone.

 

“I’m not a breta, I’m not a fan of collecting notches with my bed,” Taehyung retorts with a laugh, and Jungkook panics because that is not what he was referring to, “but, my mama taught me that when a scent catches your nose, you grab it with all your claws.”

 

Jungkook’s panic dies, and his wolf instincts roar to life.

 

Even the ventilation system can’t fully erase the spike of Jungkook’s scent as he breathes through the shuddering feeling of his senses responding to an equally interested scent.

 

Both of them are staring at one another, both responding to the attraction that has been toying with their wolf instincts.

 

“Isn’t it outside of Beckoning Season?” Jungkook states neutrally, testing the waters, his job completely forgotten.

 

Taehyung’s lips twitch into an amused smirk. “Only wild packs follow those archaic seasons. I may be wild, but the rest of us can Beckon whenever we desire to, or are you a traditionalist, Jungkook?”

 

Jungkook has always avoid Beckoning Season for as long as he can remember, avoided being a giver and a receiver.

 

High school does that to you, avoiding oversaturated scented gifts of courtship proposals from wolves and humans that want to date you.

 

“Not a traditionalist,” Jungkook answers softly, “just cautious.”

 

“Why? Ah, are you one of those alphas that thinks they can only find their ‘true’ mate with an omega, like how our history used to be?” Taehyung questions, curious, and not at all harshly like his words can be taken.

 

Jungkook scoffs at that. “I don’t buy into the ‘one true omega/alpha’ propaganda. I’m attracted to whoever catches my attention.”

 

“And what does, ‘catching your attention’, require?” comes Taehyung’s low voice.

 

Jungkook can practically taste soft oranges on his tongue.

 

“I-”

 

Both of them jump out of their skins when Namjoon all but waltzes in, the door wide open due to his fast entrance, and yanks a spluttering Taehyung up and off the sofa by his left arm within a blink of an eye.

 

“I can smell you two outside this room, so this interview is over,” Namjoon’s gaze is stern, the greens in his brown eyes digging deep into Jungkook’s core, saturating a coldness of embarrassment through him as he realises that both he and Taehyung had been throwing their scent at each other, ruining the neutral air of a communal space.

 

Jungkook can hear his father already scolding him, since that is the most basic wolf etiquette to learn once you hit puberty and develop your own scent from the neutral scent of puphood.

 

Hoseok is standing at the door, a hardness in his gaze that is fixed to Taehyung, and not to Jungkook.

 

“You know the importance to our rules of scent throwing in communal spaces whilst a guest is here, Taehyung,” Hoseok scolds the beta as Namjoon pushes the wolf towards the door with a shake of his head, his gaze fond, despite the slight sternness that was just present to the omega’s gaze.

 

“Can’t control nature, Seok,” Taehyung states, tone completely unapologetic, as he looks back at Jungkook, “I’ll sign the form later, yeah?”

 

Jungkook nods, trying hard not to feel like a disobedient pup as Namjoon and Taehyung leave the office.

 

Hoseok shakes his head with fondness as he fiddles with a dial on the wall, and Jungkook hears a slight vacuum sound above him, and shudders as a rush of coldness hits him.

 

“I’d advise you to finish your work first, before engaging with Taehyung again,” Hoseok states as the scent of chemical neutraliser cleanses the room.

 

“I apologise for my behaviour,” Jungkook rushes out as he stands up, clutching the file and paper to his chest as he averts his stare from being too direct with the High Alpha.

 

“Granted that you know not to stink up a communal area since that is what we’re taught first as pups, but other than that, you’ve done nothing wrong, Jungkook,” Hoseok says, leaning against the doorway.

 

Jungkook thinks otherwise, already scathingly chastising himself in his mind.

 

“Hey, less of the inner scolding,” comes the alpha’s soft, but firm, voice, and Jungkook meets Hoseok’s gaze. “Your wolf instinct responds to a compatible mate whenever it scents it. You can’t predict the when and where’s of that happening.”

 

Jungkook’s cheeks burn at the insinuation of finding a compatible mate, rather than just finding another wolf attractive.

 

“Your job is pretty demanding, and yet you meet a lot of wolves, right?” Hoseok questions, throwing Jungkook off with the sharp change in direction.

 

“Yes?” He confirms, unsure of where this is going, and is starting to feel like he’s being counselled right now.

 

Hoseok smiles slowly, warm and encouraging. “I’ve only known you for a few hours, but even I can assume that none of the wolves you’ve met have produced a reaction from you like Taehyung did, right?”

 

Jungkook keeps his mouth shut, heart racing.

 

“You’re a wolf at the end of the day, Jungkook. Don’t become a caged one.”

 

Jungkook stares at the closed door, the alpha’s absence as hard hitting as his parting words.

 

Those words aren’t unfamiliar to Jungkook, he’s heard it plenty of times from family whenever he skips important holidays.

 

“Don’t become like humans, Jungkook. You’re a wolf, you were born to roam free, and not be confined to a desk, or a city. Don’t follow our mistakes in thinking the city holds all the answers to life.”

 

Jungkook slowly sits down, and stares at the tea on the table.

 

He’s twenty-four years old, and all he has to show is this job, really.

 

He’s an alpha in his prime, and yet, he’s been following the same routine for nearly three years.

 

Jungkook stares down at the forms on his lap, chewing on his lip, as he’s come face-to-face with something that he’s probably been hiding from.

 

He’s settled too easily, too soon.

 

And now he’s feeling a pull, a connection, that he hasn’t felt towards a lot of other wolves before.

 

A connection that his mother would always bring up whenever Jungkook brought friends home.

 

“If your instinct tells you another is an ally, believe it, and don’t let go. Your wolf instinct will guide you to those that you’re meant to have in your life, and not to waste it on those that aren’t to be trusted. In wulften, it’s called Zentt bond, which fits, don’t you think? Since to have a Zentt bond, you’re connecting instinctively via scent.”

 

Jungkook’s instinct did that when he first met Yoongi, and knew immediately that the omega was a lifelong friend, pack.

 

Three years later, they regularly meet outside of work, despite almost seeing each other’s faces all the damn time, and know each other’s families well enough to be invited to gatherings.

 

“Your wolf instinct is you without the baggage of living in a human world clouding its subconscious,” Jungkook whispers, reciting something a teacher would often tell them during one of his health and society classes, back in high school.

 

Jungkook lets out a heavy sigh as he leans and grabs his cup, drinking the now cold tea with a grimace.

 

He came to Gutenvell to do his job, not to have a quarter life crisis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi is already yawning, and he’s only just arrived at his cubicle to start his shift.

 

With bleary eyes, he goes through the motions of turning on his computer, before dragging his feet to Jungkook’s cubicle to turn on his as well so that it’s up and running for him to start his paperwork.

 

Yoongi murmurs a few, ‘good mornings’ to the other wolves he passes as he goes to get his morning coffee from the kitchenette, and also a glass of cold water for him to sip on as well.

 

By the time he’s logged in and situated at his computer, willing himself to resume the work he couldn’t finish yesterday, Yoongi is already counting down the minutes until clocking out time.

 

“Maybe I should get a new job,” he sighs to himself as he cradles his morning coffee, ignoring the cat-shaped mirror that sits propped in the corner of his desk, another gimmick gift from Jungkook because of Yoongi’s habit of rolling straight out of bed without even looking at his reflection.

 

Yoongi eyes the paleness to his cheeks, the heavy purples under his eyes, and the limpness to his straight, black, hair, and lets out another sigh.

 

He needs to shift soon; his complexion is crying out for it.

 

“Mornin’,” comes an exhausted voice from behind him, and before Yoongi can even grunt one back, he’s rubbing his nose at the foreign scent clinging to Jungkook’s own.

 

“The fuck did you do on that island, roll around in orange peels?” Yoongi comments, rolling his chair to the cubicle wall to watch the tired younger wolf collapse in his chair, his hair a mess from maybe the ferry journey, or Jungkook’s own lack of self-care this morning.

 

Yoongi was expecting a sarcastic response, since a tired Jungkook is a snarky one, but all he gets is a wicked redness that ignites all the way up the alpha’s neck and cheeks.

 

Yoongi is old, but he ain’t naive.

 

Yoongi can’t help but slowly rake his gaze over the fidgeting alpha as he pulls off his leather jacket, revealing a T-shirt that he definitely hasn’t seen before, and he knows Jungkook’s style well enough to state that the earthy toned V-neck he’s wearing is not part of it.

 

“Or did you roll around in someone’s bed that smells of oranges?” Yoongi slowly states, watching the twitch Jungkook’s hands make as he types in his login details.

 

“I didn’t sleep with anyone,” Jungkook answers back, looking at him.

 

“Will the beta that I can scent on you appreciate you saying that or…?” Yoongi trails off, his nose identifying the citrus scent marker that is found in some betas.

 

Jungkook’s honeydew scent peeks through the soft orange smell, alerting Yoongi that the alpha is becoming a little stressed as lines appear on his face too.

 

“I didn’t have sex with him, we just talked since he was my guide. My trip there was less about work, and more about opening my eyes to how dull my life has become,” Jungkook sighs out, his back thumping heavily against the back of his chair.

 

“You’re twenty-four, pup. Your life has only just begun,” Yoongi murmurs, concerned.

 

“It feels like I’ve been going in circles, and it’s only because of that trip, that I’ve realised how I’ve settled myself into it.”

 

Yoongi eyes the wolf, noting the wording, his tone.

 

“Seeing island wolves was also a much-needed breather from the constant stuffiness we see in the cities and wild packs,” Jungkook continues, head titled back, revealing his arched neck, as he runs his hands through the thickness of his dark hair, messing it up further.

 

“Island wolves are known for their balanced nature,” Yoongi murmurs in agreement, still studying Jungkook’s movements.

 

“The pack was pretty solid; I can see why they’re a highly desired support pack. The wolves there are really….I dunno how to describe it.”

 

Yoongi agrees with his intuition. Jungkook has changed.

 

“Jungkook,” Yoongi softly calls for the alpha’s full attention, waiting until his head rolls Yoongi’s way, “did you connect with them?”

 

By the way Jungkook swallows, Yoongi gets his answer.

 

All of them?” Yoongi asks gently, “and not just the beta.”

 

Jungkook nods in a slow, almost terrified, way, and Yoongi can relate to the confusion and maybe slight terror it feels to know that your instinct has deemed strangers to be ones that you’d step into a fire for.

 

Zentt Bonds are more commonly referred as the ‘connecting bond’, but connecting a Zentt bond is always something wolves hope for, but not always really care if it doesn’t happen when it comes to making groups of friends.

 

To connect to another wolf, you’re opening yourself up to a bond that can become set for life, platonically, or sometimes romantically.

 

Old stories used to dictate that this was how packs used to be formed, and how some mates were found, way before wolves learned how to shift between forms.

 

“You’re the last wolf that I felt connected to, and then I go to this island, and bam! I feel connected to all five of them,” Jungkook groans out, stressed, as he rubs his hands over his face.

 

“There’s nothing wrong with connecting to other wolves, Jungkook. It’s also okay to not do anything about it,” Yoongi says gently, “remember, your instinct is just that, and you don’t have to jump at everything it wants.”

 

“I know, but…it’s so rare for me to connect to one wolf, never mind five,” Jungkook rushes out, exasperated by his own response to the pack.

 

“Give yourself a chance to take this in, don’t go straight into anything, yeah?” Yoongi says, edging his chair back to his desk to the give the orange-smelling alpha some space.

 

Jungkook just sags in his chair, face tilted to the ceiling with a faraway look.

 

Yoongi stops keeping track of how many times the younger wolf in the cubicle beside his makes quiet, distracted, and sometimes stressed, sounds as he works, and Yoongi knows it’s more centred around the pack consuming his thoughts than the paperwork he’s typing up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honestly, as soon as it happened, Yoongi knew that something along these lines would happen eventually.

 

What he didn’t really expect was for how fast it would happen.

 

“You think I should leave this behind for the next wolf?” Jungkook questions, chewing his lower lip, as he holds a used notepad in one of his hands, the other hand is holding the small box into his side, a box that is full of items and objects that has cluttered his workspace and drawers for the last three years.

 

Yoongi rakes his gaze over the twenty-four-year-old that is dressed in comfortable sweats and a hoodie that is underneath a padded coat, and not his usual work attire of black jeans and some form of shirt or plain t-shirt that a jacket can smarten up, if needed.

 

Jungkook’s hair is hidden beneath the woolly hat he’s wearing due to the freezing temperatures outside as winter smacks into them.

 

“It can be their New Year’s present,” Yoongi says, taking it from the alpha’s hands and throwing it carelessly back into the drawer it was in.

 

Jungkook shuts the drawer, and Yoongi can tell by the repetitive swallowing the male is doing that he’s becoming a little emotional as the reality of his choice becomes more real as they both stare at the bare-looking cubicle.

 

“So, this is it, huh,” Jungkook states quietly, clutching the box with both hands now, holding it to his stomach, not meeting Yoongi’s gaze.

 

For the last three months, Yoongi has watched Jungkook go back and forth from following his curious intrigue about completely changing his lifestyle to discover if his instinct that told him that the support pack was a good match for him, and from backtracking from that intrigue with panicking feet because it would mean uprooting his entire life in the capital.

 

It was only at the start of December did Jungkook finally make his mind up and submitted his resignation.

 

And here he is, two weeks later, packing his work life into a box that will join the others in his empty apartment.

 

“You leaving for Gutenvell tomorrow?” Yoongi asks, despite knowing the answer, but doesn’t know what to say either as they both linger in the wolf’s cubicle.

 

Jungkook nods, his hands clutching the box tighter.

 

“Taehyung is picking me up at the port with a trailer for all of my stuff, despite me telling him that I’m leaving most behind in storage at my parents place since his place isn’t as big as my apartment.”

 

Yoongi nods along, familiar with the mentions of the pack members that Jungkook will soon be living with.

 

He knows of Taehyung and Hoseok the most, the former being the beta that Yoongi had scented on the alpha months back and is also Jungkook’s long distance boyfriend of two months, and the latter being the High Alpha of the support pack.

 

“Your parents seeing you off?” Yoongi asks as he follows Jungkook’s movements as he slowly turns to leave.

 

“Nah, I’m saying goodbye to them tonight. They’re just glad that I’m getting out of the city. They’ve been wanting me to make a move like this for years,” Jungkook huffs in a soft laugh as they walk past other cubicles, smiling and nodding goodbye to those that call it.

 

“You ready to start a new job, one that involves too many numbers?” Yoongi teases the younger, watching Jungkook’s face pull slightly.

 

“I haven’t touched maths since I left high school, so….no, not really, but Hoseok said that if my training to be the pack’s Treasurer doesn’t work out, I can always train to be a Support since I have the temperament for it, apparently,” Jungkook shrugs softly as they turn towards the elevator.

 

“Better you than me, maths is like another language to me,” Yoongi says, making the alpha laugh. “But that means he trusts you already, to offer you that role.”

 

“I know, and I’m trying hard not to freak out about it,” Jungkook sighs out, familiar stress lines appearing as Yoongi hits the call button for him. “I mean, I’m not shit at maths, I did alright for my level in school, but….being a Treasurer is a big role, and I’m not sure I-”

 

“Jungkook, the wolf wouldn’t have offered you it if he didn’t think you weren’t capable of doing it,” Yoongi gently cuts off the alpha’s panicky rambling. “He’s giving you time to train for the role, to familiarise yourself with the demands of keeping track of the pack’s money flow and accounts. He wants you to excel at this, instead of being an asshole by throwing you into it.”

 

Jungkook lets out a shaky sigh, swallowing thickly, as the doors open and they both get into the elevator.

 

“I know, but all I know is collecting data, and here I am, about to be the sole wolf responsible for the pack’s finances,” Jungkook says as they descend down, heading for the building’s main reception area where Jungkook will hand in his identification card as his job as a Data Collector comes to an end.

 

“Well, in some ways, it’ll be the same, but without dealing with shitheads that we sometimes have to deal with,” Yoongi points out, “so, you’re not completely going into this blind.”

 

“True,” Jungkook hums, and both of them become silent as they step out of the elevator and head through the body scanners that all governmental buildings have (blame the humans that liked to bring weapons into work places for no logical reason whatsoever) and towards the large reception area that is for the entire building.

 

Yoongi takes the box from the alpha, watches him head for the desks, and tries to breathe through the slight tightness to the back of his throat as he comes face-to-face with his own goodbye to the younger wolf as Jungkook hands over his card.

 

It’s going to be strange not seeing the wolf’s face near enough every day, nor smell the other’s familiar scent.

 

It’s going to be even stranger whenever Yoongi is out, having a drink after work, and finding himself missing an alpha-shaped presence.

 

In just three years, Jungkook became a part of his life, that even now, Yoongi’s mother is still disappointed that they never became more than friends.

 

And now he’s saying goodbye to the wolf.

 

Granted, they can always meet up, whether that means Yoongi travelling to Gutenvell, or Jungkook coming back to the capital, but that requires time on both ends, time that Yoongi can’t always guarantee with how sudden his assignments can be sent to him.

 

“That felt weird, and a little dejavu-ish,” Jungkook states as he takes the box from Yoongi, now both of them heading to the large automatic glass doors that lead out of the building.

 

Yoongi isn’t ready.

 

He’s suddenly not ready to part from the wolf that is like a little brother to him.

 

“You better let me meet the wolf before you decide to mate,” Yoongi blurts out, almost causing the alpha to drop his box onto his own toes as he jerks away with a strangled sound as his face and neck turns bright red as he gawps at Yoongi.

 

“One, I never said we were gonna mate, and two, what the fuck,” Jungkook chokes out, his eyes wide, his tone surprised and nervously high.

 

“I’m just sayin’,” Yoongi grins, endeared at the younger wolf’s reaction, “that if I get a Mating Ceremony invitation without meeting your soon-to-be mate, I’m gonna drown you in the sea.”

 

“I’m saying goodbye now, bye,” Jungkook states with still red cheeks and a flustered expression as he pretends to head for the steps leading down onto the street.

 

Yoongi laughs as he grabs a hold of the wolf’s elbow, and Jungkook halts, grinning too, as he turns to face Yoongi.

 

“I wouldn’t pull a stunt like that to you, we connected for a reason, and I’ll honour that for as long as I live,” Jungkook says in a soft shy way that makes Yoongi’s baser instincts squirm with a huge swell of affectionate love for the wolf.

 

“Good, because as your best friend, I need to threaten his life if he dares to break your heart.”

 

Yoongi’s heart kicks in his chest at the sight of glistening tears in the male’s brown and blue eyes, the scent of honeydew spiking slightly, and this time, Yoongi allows his own scent to reach out to blanket the other’s, comforting the wolf with his scent.

 

“It’s gonna be so fucking strange not having that scent stuck up my nose,” Jungkook teases as he bends to put the box onto the floor, eyeing Yoongi with plenty of intentional warning for what he’s going to do next.

 

Yoongi – who is not big on public displays of anything, but is a huge snuggler behind closed doors – is the one to open his arms first.

 

Jungkook’s bulk and height almost knocks him back a few steps as he’s hit in the face with honeydew.

 

“Brat, my scent is perfect, you have no taste,” Yoongi berates playfully as they hug.

 

“You smell like that cologne that all human male’s seem obsessed with,” Jungkook retorts back, just as playfully, hugging Yoongi tighter.

 

“Not my fault cedarwood is an excellent choice for a base note.”

 

Jungkook snorts into his hair, and steps back, breaking the hug, and bending down to pick up his box again.

 

The unshed tears are still there in the alpha’s eyes, and Yoongi knows they’re in his own too.

 

“You’re trading one long distant relationship for another,” Yoongi jokes as the goodbye peaks, the end approaching fast.

 

Jungkook laughs again at that, sniffling slightly, as he fixes his grip on the box.

 

Yoongi’s smile falters, his throat tightening. “You better take care of yourself, yeah?”

 

Jungkook bobs his head rapidly, eyes filling more with building tears. “You too. You better report every piece of shit that treats you like you’re beneath them. I’m not a Data Collector anymore, so now I can beat the shit out of wolves, if you want me to.”

 

Yoongi rolls his eyes at that, but the words mean a lot, despite his response.

 

“You forget that I’m a lot older than you, but yes, I promise,” Yoongi adds on as he sees the slight narrowing of Jungkook’s gaze.

 

“I mean it, Yoongi. Your habit of withholding information isn’t safe when it comes to shitheads that think the law is beneath them,” Jungkook begins, a familiar lecture that the alpha has made over the years, one that Yoongi knows word for word.

 

“I can handle shitheads, you know that,” Yoongi reassures pointedly. “I’ve kicked plenty of roaming dicks that tried to be domineering and failed.”

 

Jungkook doesn’t say anything, just continues to level his narrowed, worried, gaze on him.

 

“I swear it on Lura,” Yoongi swears softly, meaning it.

 

Despite his own scepticism about most of wolf history whenever ‘magic’ is tied to it, he knows that Jungkook values the meaning behind Lura and respects the alpha’s values, so now Jungkook knows that the omega means business since wolves only ever swear upon Lura unless they truly intend to keep the vow.

 

Lura, their most famous story that humans have twisted into some pathetic cliché for wolf kind being reliant on the moon to shift, or for their behaviours.

 

Lura is one their most sacred, cherished, stories, one that has been passed down for as long as wolves can remember.

 

The story goes like this.

 

Back when the world was rich with energy that came from the moons and sun as it nurtured it, growing forms of life that no longer exist, Lura was a wolf, but a special one. Lura was a celestial being that was born from the magic of the moon, but granted knowledge from the magic of the sun. Lura was sent to teach wolves how to heal the itching in their muscles, the itch that was created by the sun’s magic that would allow them a human form, and she taught wolves how to embrace the sun’s magic by using the moon’s guidance, using its magic when the moon was the brightest in the sky.

 

Over time, wolves began to shift into their other form, their human form that was granted to them by the sun’s magic. The better they become at shifting through different moon phases, the less and less Lura was seen, until, one day, Lura was never seen again.

 

Lura taught them a survival skill that wouldn’t be needed for many years, and it’s why wolves value and cherish the story, why there is a dedicated day in the calendar to celebrate the gift Lura gave them.

 

Lura was their teacher, and now is a protector for the knowledge bestowed upon all wolves.

 

“I swear upon Lura,” Yoongi vows again, watching the worry and narrowness leave Jungkook’s gaze as he relaxes.

 

“Thank you,” Jungkook says earnestly, tone gentle. “You know I wouldn’t have-”

 

“I know,” Yoongi says just as gentle, smiling at the wolf, “it just shows how much I have you wrapped around my finger, huh?”

 

Yoongi’s light joke does the job in breaking the slight heaviness that had crept into the goodbye as Jungkook rolls his eyes with a loud snort.

 

“You better get going, I have work to do, unlike someone,” Yoongi teases, taking a small step back to the building, the end of their goodbye now here.

 

For a split second, Yoongi thinks Jungkook’s eyes are finally going to admit defeat in holding back the tears still present as the alpha inhales sharply at the small step back.

 

But then Jungkook gives him a smile that radiates softness, even if it is tinted with sadness, as they come to the end of the life chapter that they’ve been sharing for the last three years.

 

“Remember to eat solid food, and not just live on coffee,” Jungkook teases as he moves to step down the concrete steps that lead down onto the street below.

 

“Remember to practise how to swim, you’re stuck on an island now, you may get washed away,” Yoongi teases back, grinning at Jungkook’s laugh that echoes slightly around the space as the alpha balances the box in one arm as he waves goodbye with his free hand as he steps down onto the steps.

 

Yoongi’s chest kicks once more as he waves back, watching as Jungkook turns his back to him, and slowly disappears from Yoongi’s sight.

 

Yoongi clutches the lanyard his own card is attached to around his neck as he breathes through the impulse of worry that hits him hard in the chest as the goodbye becomes final.

 

“He’ll be okay,” he whispers to himself, the freezing wind only now just hitting him as he violently shudders, his work attire painfully thin for the winter weather as he rushes back inside.

 

For the rest of the day, Yoongi can’t help but stare at the emptiness that the cubicle next to his own radiates with now.

 

For the rest of the day, Yoongi has to bite back moments where the small sense of loss brought on by his instinct of viewing Jungkook as part of his pack keeps kicking his heart.

 

He’s stronger than his omega instincts, he’s stronger than his deep connection to his wolf nature.

 

Jungkook isn’t dead, he’s just moving onto better things, experiencing life outside of the cities.

 

Which is something Yoongi should do himself, but still hasn’t changed a thing about his mundane routine.

 

Yoongi hates to admit it, but…Jungkook was the only thing in his life that made it less mundane, and now…now Yoongi has to remember how he went about his days before he met the younger wolf.

 

Yoongi wonders if the sense of loss is more towards losing Jungkook’s closeness, or losing part of his routine that kept life from being so crippling dull.

 

He thinks it’s both.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi groans as he gets out of his car, his legs stiff from the long drive from the capital, which is located in the west, compared to where he currently is, all the way down to the south-east of Dretna.

 

In the last year and a half, Yoongi’s life has changed slightly in terms of work, but the rest of his life remains painful dull, and he’s convinced his mother has finally given up on hustling his ass into parenthood.

 

Yoongi eyes the gated community he’s here to see, the black painted metal gates keeping the boundary lines very clear where pack grounds begin, and where the crude attempt of a parking lot that Yoongi is standing in, ends.

 

Yoongi slams his door shut, and moves to the rear of his compact car, and pops open the boot to take off his comfortable hoodie, and to put on the official-looking bomber jacket that is mainly black, except from the neon green and silver letter on the back of it, that reads, ‘Monitor’.

 

Yoongi zips up the padded jacket, the material crinkling slightly as he moves as he fastens the communication belt around his hips, a belt that holds direct communication to law enforcement, so that no matter what part of Dretna he’s in, he has a direct line to call for assistance.

 

Yoongi checks to make sure it’s all working as he places the ear cuff on his right ear, tucking the wire behind it, before clipping the wire hook to the specific latch at the jacket collar at the back of his nape.

 

He doesn’t have a separate mic piece like you’d see in other cases of authority, since the communication device he’s currently using is activated only when the specific code word is said, or by a hidden button on his belt.

 

This is because the wild packs tend to be more hostile to blatant uses of technology from the dated technology that they use, so all Monitors are equipped with almost spy-level equipment.

 

Yoongi shuts the boot lid, and his heavy boots crunch over the dry earth of stones and soil, already missing the air conditioning from his car as the spring temperature this far down the country is already mimicking the beginnings of summer.

 

He double checks that his entire car is locked, and catches a glimpse of himself in the windows, making sure that he looks appropriate to be dealing with a social pack.

 

His straight black hair is in need of a good cut and style, already trying to curl slightly at the wispy ends due to the humid air, and his skin looks paler now that the sun is a lot more frequent, compared to the dullness that winter days are known for.

 

At least the jacket helps give him shape to his frame, making him seem broader, before his waist is tapered in from the communication belt.

 

His legs are their usual slimness, a genetic trait gifted by his father, which makes it near impossible for Yoongi to naturally bulk up on his lower body, which is just as well, considering Yoongi’s more suited for agility, than brute strength, in both of his forms.

 

Yoongi pulls out his phone from his jeans pocket, opens up the app that is tracking him, and taps on the specific button to alert the other side that he’s entering a wild social pack.

 

He waits for the green tick to alert him that the other end has received it, before he turns off his screen, and pockets it once more.

 

And heads for the gates where there is an already burly-looking male standing, waiting.

 

The jacket that Yoongi is wearing has special lining inside that not only temporarily neutralises Yoongi’s scent as he wears it and for a short period time after, but also helps block out external scents from affecting Yoongi’s instincts.

 

 It’s not just for omegas that are Monitors, but for all ranks that have this job title.

 

“Min Yoongi, Capital Monitor,” Yoongi calls his introduction as he comes to a stop in front of the gates, his ID already fixed to the front of his jacket without him having to unearth it.

 

“You’re early,” comes the response that is not unusual from wild wolves that want nothing to do with city wolves, but it’s also not the correct response to give Yoongi’s governmental presence.

 

Yoongi arches a dark eyebrow at the male, taking in the brown and ice blue gaze on him, waiting, keeping his ground on such a trivial matter as this.

 

It comes a second later in a visibly, touchy, growl.

 

“Welcome to the Yelk Social Pack, Monitor. I’m the Second, Clay Minlee.”

 

“Where is the High Beta?” Yoongi questions pointedly.

 

The male’s eyes twitch.

 

Yoongi doesn’t miss it.

 

“She’s trying to clean up the mess that your Data Collector left behind,” Minlee grunts out as he moves to open the gate with a key that is hanging around his neck.

 

A key that shouldn’t be in the hands of a Second.

 

A Second’s role in a pack is just to offer counsel to the High-whoever.

 

The only time a Second is handed literal control over the pack and its grounds is when the High-whoever is not physically able to.

 

Yoongi remains silent as the sound of metal creaks and groans as the alpha unlocks the gate, before yanking it towards himself as he opens it for Yoongi, granting him access into the pack grounds.

 

Yoongi doesn’t move as he holds out his hand, his gaze like steel on the tensing wolf.

 

“Key,” Yoongi demands curtly, “until I am satisfied with the picture you’re trying to paint.”

 

The male rakes his gaze down Yoongi, and Yoongi already knows what type of running commentary is going on in the wolf’s skull as he becomes affronted from having an omega order him around.

 

Wild wolves. Archaic beasts, most of the time.

 

In the eyes of some wild wolves, that have been taught behaviours - and have seen from others - that are illegal when concerning an omega’s place in the pack order (behaviours that consist of suffocating an omega’s natural assertiveness brought on by their deep instinctual cues about wolf behaviours and sharper intuition, which sees that omegas are only ever seen as basic caregivers and educators rather than natural leaders). So, when a wild wolf is faced with an omega that is establishing that very natural assertiveness in the form of policing you, it can be tipping moments for those wild wolves.

 

Yoongi doesn’t say anything, just lets the silence do the pressuring for him.

 

At the age of thirty, Yoongi has seen some shit, both as a Data Collector, and now as a Monitor, and he knows how to read and use silence, instead of using words.

 

So, he remains quiet, his silence not submissive as it appears as he waits, but in control.

 

He doesn’t need to speak, or prompt the wolf to grow a tail and admit that he’s a rankest.

 

He waits. He’s still getting paid, at the end of the day, even if it means standing out here all damn day.

 

The wolf is the one going be crushed by higher authorities if he doesn’t obey the law and Yoongi’s position as a Monitor.

 

The alpha growls deeply from his chest as his body language shifts, displaying a more domineering language by opening his chest more, his lips tightly pulled back to show a hint of yellowed teeth.

 

If Yoongi wasn’t wearing the jacket, he’d be smacked in the face with the wolf’s scent, a pheromone war engaging between an alpha’s and an omega’s.

 

Yoongi once again arches a dark eyebrow, unimpressed and bored, as his hand remains open for the key.

 

A second later, the key is smacked down into his palm, causing the skin to tingle from the force behind it.

 

Yoongi pockets it without showing a reaction to the antagonising smack.

 

“After you,” Yoongi nods, tone neutral, almost cold, at the slight trail path behind the wolf.

 

Yoongi isn’t stupid, he’s not having a potential attacker behind him.

 

Minlee leads the way, his entire back rigid with tension.

 

Yoongi takes in the area, noting possible vantage points to be attacked.

 

Olvak?” Yoongi comments to himself, noting the pale blue flower that is only beginning to bloom in the grass at their feet, the wulften word also carries a dialectal meaning of farewell.

 

Wild Olvaks usually grows where the minerals are richest, and the south-east isn’t known for mineral soils.

 

You usually see Olvaks at burial grounds, due to the minerals released back into the soil from those buried deep in it. Their scent alone is very pungent enough to mask the scent of rotting flesh.

 

Yoongi slowly drags his gaze back to the wolf in front of him.

 

Olvak,” Yoongi repeats himself once more, voice a little louder, as he calls for the wolf’s attention, “how come there is so much of it here?”

 

The wolf shrugs, not even looking back at Yoongi as he grunts out, “how am I supposed to know where the weed grows? I’m not a Gardener.”

 

Yoongi uses the chance given to him with the wolf’s back to him as he reaches for his belt and presses down on a hidden button to the communicator that is hooked up to his in-ear bud, using the non-vocal alert instead of the code he can say.

 

He hears the click in his ear, and then, “ETA, ten minutes.”

 

Yoongi’s face is neutral as the wolf glances back with a small frown as they clear the trail as they enter the main area of pack grounds, where a dedicated fire pit has been built into the middle of the area with wooden benches surrounding it, and beyond and all around the fire pit sit scattered fur housing, or ‘tents’ as humans would call them.

 

The area is too still, too empty, considering it is a social pack of ten members, all between the ages of twenty-three to thirty.

 

“According to the Data Collector, this current social pack has been present in the area for eleven months, correct?” Yoongi questions the Second, watching the alpha nod as they come to a halt of the low burning fire.

 

“Your Data Collector is correct about that, but mistaken about the accusation pointed to us,” Minlee scowls, still agitated by Yoongi’s presence.

 

Yoongi knows for a fact the report wasn’t a mistake, since he knows himself the ins and outs of reporting abuse.

 

“I’d like to speak to the High Beta,” Yoongi states, hinting for the male to go and retrieve the beta, despite knowing the reaction that he’ll get.

 

The alpha’s presence curls a little as he once again tries to use his mass and height to intimidate Yoongi, who is smaller and thinner than him.

 

“I told you, because of your-”

 

“I wasn’t asking for your opinion, I was demanding you to go get her,” Yoongi cuts off the alpha, his own patience thinning, his own gaze hardening.

 

“You think that because you wear that jacket, it protects you?” The alpha suddenly grins, and Yoongi’s earlier gut feeling begins to strengthen as the alpha steps towards him.

 

Omega senses are sharper, just like how alphas can be when they’re taught to use them correctly, whereas it’s more instinctual for omegas.

 

So, Yoongi knows that he’s already being shadowed, can feel it like pricks at the back of his nape, before the alpha in front of him lets it slip as his gaze flickers ever so slightly over Yoongi’s left shoulder.

 

“No, but if you do go through with the little hunt that you’re trying to intimidate me with, then you can kiss goodbye to any hope of a future,” Yoongi states bluntly with a shrug, watching the alpha’s body language whilst also tracking the barely there sound of movement behind him, “you’re forgetting that your details have been taken and cross-confirmed, so, even if you do try to run after mauling me, then….good luck trying to evade the bounties that will be firmly on your head for breaking multiple laws.”

 

“You think we gave your Data Collectors honest names?” The alpha smirks, a sick kind of look appearing in his gaze, one that Yoongi has been trained to see.

 

The look of a predator.

 

Yoongi isn’t a fighter. He’s trained in self-defence, yes, but he’s no fighter.

 

Yoongi knew this fucking assignment wouldn’t end well. He should’ve called in sick instead of ignoring the way is gut reacted to the assignment.

 

“Min Yoongi, Capital Monitor, Omega, and too cocksure that he’s above the rest of us, just like the rest of you governmental city mutts,” the alpha spits, stepping into Yoongi’s space.

 

Yep. He knew he should’ve called in fucking sick instead of driving nearly ten hours down the country to face this asshole.

 

His gut literally screamed at him when he read the report and the details around the social pack, and Yoongi ignored it.

 

“Funny, the only mutts that I see before me are the ones that think they are above the law,” Yoongi growls back, feels his wolf instinct sparking up to defend himself against an alpha, to protect himself as he feels himself caged in by other wolves, unable to scent them or take his gaze off the alpha to see their ranks for himself.

 

Yoongi sees the tensing coming.

 

And responds with his fist punching straight up into the exposed apple of the alpha’s throat before the wolf could actually move to hit him first.

 

The alpha drops, choking for air.

 

Yoongi runs.

 

He hears the sound of the hunt begin behind him as a guttural roar of anger chase him, the sound of sprinting legs and pounding feet.

 

Yoongi just needs to last ten minutes.

 

He just needs to make sure they don’t shift and kill him before Officers’ swarm the place.

 

He just-

 

Yoongi senses it too late, unable to dart completely free from the female’s path as she unexpectedly appears from the only large, open, fur home.

 

Both of them grunt and shout as they connect hard with the forest floor.

 

And then Yoongi’s body is being saturated with adrenaline from his screaming instincts to protect his exposed neck.

 

His tummy is protected as long as the jacket remains on his body, allowing him to focus as he grapples with the hands that fight to pin him down, to restrain him.

 

“Get the knife!” the female beta barks, tone panicked, as she pins him harder, her much thicker form winning against his slender one.

 

Yoongi feels his shifting impulse trying to push to the surface, to shift, to bite and claw his way free, but he can’t do that since it puts him too much at risk, too exposed to them.

 

Instead, he fights, trying to hold off as long as he can as he tries not to win over to the panic flooding his system as four others join them.

 

Including the Second that he had choked out with his punch.

 

“You want to meet our High Beta, well, come on then,” the alpha snarls as Yoongi is violently yanked up by his arms and jacket, his hands hitting and punching at the attempts of trying to undo the clips and zips that fasten his jacket together.

 

And ends up stumbling and gasping as a sickening smack lashes over the back of his skull, causing black spots to appear, and for his head to turn cottony.

 

One second, he’s stumbling outside, trying to push against the pulling as he’s led somewhere.

 

The next, he’s seeing red.

 

Blood.

 

Death.

 

Yoongi wasn’t able to smell a thing due to his jacket.

 

The Olvaks.

 

They were a scent barrier as well as a warning.

 

Yoongi, for the first time in a long time, isn’t so sure he’s going to be returning from an assignment.

 

For the first time in a long time, Yoongi feels cold fear curdle in his gut.

 

Yoongi looks down at the glassy dark brown and light brown eyes of a female beta that is carved up in the floor, her body naked, brutalised with markings of wulften and human dialectal words.

 

Governmental mutt.

 

Skreta.

 

Snitch.

 

Detha. Die.

 

Before Yoongi can swallow back the bile, he’s falling as his knees go weak as another violent hit to the same spot at the back of his skull knocks his world off its axis.

 

“-left pocket, -lock it.”

 

Yoongi’s sluggish form is too slow to react to the hands that grab over him, searching, undoing.

 

“-knife is faster.”

 

Yoongi tries to crawl away as soon as the jacket is yanked off him, barely registering the pain to his ear as the ear piece is yanked with it due to it being connected.

 

Yoongi’s body jerks as his shifting impulse shoves harder under his skin as he smells the blood first, gasping as his body constricts with taunt muscles tensing up to shove him through the shift.

 

Stop.”

 

Yoongi pants through the ice that slides through him as a domineering scent and tone speaks from above him.

 

Yoongi closes his eyes, his hands curled into tight fists as an alpha’s dominance steals control.

 

Darkness is all he sees.

 

But, it’s not all he feels.

 

Darkness can hide the horror of reality.

 

But, it’ll never mask the horror that cuts deep into flesh.

 

It’ll never mask the voices.

 

It’ll never mask the scent of putrid fear.

 

Darkness will never mask the sharp scent of excitement of predators hunting prey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I hope you all have enjoyed your month off, but now it’s time for business to return back to normal,” Hoseok starts off the meeting with a blinding smile as he carefully puts down the sealed container that has scent samples inside from potential guests, hoping that one of them will match and become their Support.

 

Jungkook, however, is exempted from that sniff test, and is in charge of reading out each potential guest’s details to the pack, now that he’s officially a Treasurer.

 

All six of them are inside the office, coming to sit on the sofas and the floor around the coffee table where Hoseok has put the container.

 

“Come on, Jungkook, hit us with potential number one,” Jin yawns, still recovering from his trip back from Selta, an island way up north, as he drops down onto the sofa next to Hoseok.

 

“Do we have to do this at nine in the fucking morning?” comes Taehyung’s whine of complaint, and his boyfriend’s comforting scent of oranges is ever present on his skin as Taehyung drapes himself around Jungkook’s shoulders as they sit on the sofa opposite the High Alpha and Lead Support.

 

“Why waste the day away when it can be done now?” Hoseok teases as Namjoon and Jimin sit on the floor with contrasting expressions of alertness and tiredness, with Namjoon being the latter, and Jimin being the former since the wolf is always up at the crack of dawn.

 

Jungkook smirks at the looks on the faces around him as he tears open the massive envelop that came with the package of scent samples, and takes out the stapled forms inside that have all the details they need from a potential guest.

 

“Okay, sample one…” Jungkook begins, making sure that he’s got all of the paper out of the envelope as Taehyung kindly takes it away from him as he places the forms on his lap, picking up the one marked as, ‘sample one’ as Hoseok reaches to pick up the container box.

 

“Jon Rose, female, alpha, twenty-six, referral from her doctor for stress-related anxiety,” Jungkook skims over the form, his eyes used to picking out key details, as he feels his pack members watch him. “Has had a past case of anxiety attacks, her doctor feels this time she’ll benefit some time in a support pack instead of using medication.”

 

Jungkook looks up as Hoseok hums softly to himself as he breaks the seal on the container, opening it up to reveal five glass cylinder tubes that hold a thin strip of scent-collecting paper where it would’ve been pressed against a wolf’s scent gland on their necks to make it more potent.

 

One by one, Jungkook watches as each wolf takes a slow, careful, sniff from the tube, before quickly capping it to prevent the office’s ventilation from neutralising the scent inside it.

 

When it reaches Taehyung, who is last in the weird shaped circle they did with passing the tube, Taehyung shakes his head with a small frown, and Jungkook lets out a small sigh as he takes the pen from behind his ear to make a ‘x’ in the box that says, ‘incompatible scent’ on the form.

 

“Not a good start,” Jin sighs, disappointed.

 

“We can’t always match, it can’t be helped,” Namjoon says softly.

 

Jungkook hands the form to Taehyung to put into the folded envelop that had been inside the main one, and hopes the next one can be a match for their pack.

 

Two matches, and one incompatible match later, they’re onto the final scent.

 

“I think my nose is broken,” Jin huffs, ignoring Hoseok’s and Namjoon’s smug, playful, expressions since they are the only two so far that has matched with a guest.

 

“Too much sea air,” Jimin teases from where he sits on the floor, leaning back onto his hands, grinning as he jerks his leg away from the kick aimed down at him.

 

“Last one, sample five,” Hoseok cuts Jin off before he can retaliate, already holding the still sealed tube.

 

Jungkook looks back to the remaining form on his lap, and feels the air being sucked out of his lungs.

 

“Love?” Taehyung immediately whispers, hand on his back, but he barely feels it as his hand begins to shake as he brings it closer to his gaze, unable to believe the words staring up at him.

 

“Jungkook?” That’s Hoseok’s concerned tone.

 

Jungkook’s chest can barely expand as he lets out a choked sound as raw anguish floods through him, causing his scent to flood out, and causing worried scents from his pack members to rush back at him as they move to crowd him, trying to comfort him.

 

“I-I..give me a minute,” Jungkook wobbles out, leaning away from them as he flips the form over from their prying eyes, shutting his own to block out the words that are going to be forever carved into his memory.

 

Taking a deep breath, Jungkook flips the paper over, opens his eyes, and reads.

 

“Min Yoongi, male, thirty, omega,” Jungkook ignores the collective tension that fills the room, ignores the way Taehyung almost curls protectively around Jungkook’s frozen form as soft oranges try to comfort him, “g-governmental referral due to being attacked whilst on the field, Yo-client suffered physical injuries due to being d-domineered into a…into a-”

 

“Jungkook, go take a walk,” Hoseok’s tone leaves no room for him to argue back, the High Alpha’s gaze gentle and worried, but his tone like law with firmness and concern. “Take a breather, come back when you’re ready.”

 

Jungkook, through the blur that is from the collection of unshed tears, thrusts the form on to the table, and blindly rushes for the door, needing air that is true air and not this recycled bullshit.

 

As soon as he’s outside, the summer air hitting him as birds chirp and sing, Jungkook presses a hand to his chest that feels like it’s barely beating as he lets out a sound of raw anguish and anger.

 

This was Jungkook’s worst fear coming true for his best friend, ever since he got that message from the older wolf that he was being promoted as a Monitor, Jungkook’s fucking anxiety has been through the roof.

 

Jungkook focuses on the air, the scents he can smell, the feel of the air on his arms, the warmth of the sun on his skin, the wood underneath his feet, the solidity of the wooden decking.

 

Being part of a support pack also means you pick up a few things, despite not being an official support wolf.

 

Jungkook has learnt cues to look out for so that he can always be on hand if a guest suffers anything from a panic attack to a dissociative episode, Jungkook has been taught from his pack members how to learn subtle cues, hints, that a wolf needs help before they may even realise it themselves.

 

Jungkook focuses on the environment around him, rather than the anxiety trying to overthrow his mind, trying to lure his instinct into responding in a way to protect himself.

 

Jungkook forces his legs down the wooden steps of the decking, and heads for the cabin-like buildings that are dens to his pack members.

 

Jungkook focuses on the distant sound of the sea lapping where the guest accommodations lie far behind him, on the other side of the main building, focuses on the facts that he knows, rather than the fear trying to cloud it.

 

Yoongi has been hurt, yes, but he’s still alive.

 

Dominance was used to force the wolf into a position that removed his chance of fight, stealing Yoongi control of his own body, yes, but Yoongi was still alive.

 

Jungkook breathes in deeper, curbing the burning inhale of anger and pain.

 

Yoongi is still alive, he isn’t dead.

 

He survived.

 

Jungkook chants this in his head as he does a calm, slow, lap, around the pack grounds.

 

He does it until the curdling of emotions festering in his chest and gut becomes a heavy, still, awareness.

 

Yoongi is a survivor.

 

And Jungkook is going to help his best friend in any way, shape, or form that he can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“He’ll be fine,” Hoseok says just as Taehyung rises to follow after the distressed alpha, pausing as he looks over at their High Alpha’s calm form, “let him process his shock first.”

 

Taehyung slowly sits, still looking at the open door, Jungkook’s spiked honeydew scent still sharp in their noses.

 

Jimin sighs softly to himself as he leans to get the forms that the younger wolf had dropped onto the table in his haste to leave.

 

“Jimin?” Hoseok prompts gently, and Jimin clears his throat, eyes skimming over the form.

 

“The client was dominated into a submissive position that removed his ability to fight and protect himself,” Jimin continues what Jungkook had been unable to, his voice clear. “Physical injuries that the client sustained have been healed, but the client is displaying signs of trauma related stress and cannot be cleared for work until the client acknowledges and learns to cope with his own trauma,” Jimin finishes reading the referral notes, and looks up, his gaze on their High Alpha.

 

Hoseok nods, thanking him, as he still holds the glass tube.

 

“We all know of Jungkook’s Zentt bond to the wolf, but we can’t force a match to happen,” Hoseok reminds them clearly, despite the slight anguish to his face. “Our role as Supports comes from us being able to connect to the wolf, to let nature allow our nurturing to naturally lead their healing process.”

 

“Myself and Namjoon are excluded, due to being matched already,” Hoseok states as he hands the tube to Jin, but not letting the tube go as he adds, “don’t try to lie and force it to be true. The guest comes first, before personal relationships, understood?”

 

All three of them nod to the alpha’s words, and Jimin notes the anxious way Taehyung’s leg is bobbing, his breathing not yet erratic, but getting there.

 

The beta’s response is understandable, since he is the one that knows the most of the client, has often spoken to him on the phone, knows his face and voice well, despite never having met in person.

 

Jin shakes his head as he hands the tube to Taehyung, who almost cradles the tube like it’ll break as he takes a slow, careful, sniff.

 

Jimin isn’t the only one holding his breath as they wait.

 

Because, if Taehyung doesn’t match, then that only leaves one chance left.

 

Jimin.

 

“Oh, thank fuck,” Taehyung chokes out in thick voice, clutching the tube to his chest, as he hunches over with relief.

 

“You’re sure?” Hoseok questions immediately, which is understandable due to the nature of Taehyung’s relationship with Jungkook.

 

Taehyung nods frantically, capping the tube, as he runs his hand through his long hair, relief seeping from him in every way possible as he straightens.

 

“Be mindful that your relationship with Jungkook doesn’t cloud your work ethic and role as a Support,” Hoseok cautions as he seals the container, leaving out the one Taehyung is holding so that the beta can become familiar to it.

 

Taehyung nods firmly. “I know, and it won’t. It could go in my favour, or against it, him knowing me a little well. We’ll have to see.”

 

Jimin nods along with the rest of the others at the beta’s point. Just because they know each other, doesn’t necessarily mean that the wolf will feel comfortable bearing his soul to his best friend’s boyfriend.

 

“I’ll go wait for Jungkook to return, tell him of the news,” Taehyung says as he stands up, dismissing himself.

 

Jin waits until the door is shut behind the beta before turning and saying, “is this a good idea?”

 

Hoseok lets out a long sigh, looking conflicted himself. “I’m not entirely sure myself.”

 

“Like Taehyung said, it could go either way, but we won’t know for sure until the wolf is here,” Namjoon reminds them pointedly, his gaze looking assured, and not too worried.

 

It makes Jimin relax, taking the calmness from the omega’s body language.

 

“I meant more in terms of Jungkook seeing his best friend like this, as a guest,” Jin continues, still worried. “He’s not a Support. I’m worried that it’ll be too distressing for the alpha to keep a clear mind.”

 

“Jungkook may be young, but he’s not a pup, Jin. He knows how to separate his instincts from his emotions,” Jimin speaks up for the alpha. “He’s been here over a year now, has seen distressing situations, has watched us guide and counsel those that are in those very situations. He knows his friend is safe here. He can separate his instinct to protect his friend in a distressing situation because he knows his friend is in capable, helping, hands.”

 

Namjoon nods along with firm agreement, and Jin lets out a soft hum as he thinks over Jimin’s words.

 

“It all comes down to the guest, at the end of the day. If Yoongi doesn’t respond well to the support, then we can’t force it. The wolf has to feel safe in his recovery, not obligated,” Hoseok states as he stands up, container in hand, as Jimin rushes to grab the envelope left behind from Taehyung so that Hoseok can send it and the container back to the capital where the department of office responsible for support packs resides.

 

Jimin remains sitting on the floor, watching as his pack members of two years exit the room to attend their other duties as a pack.

 

Namjoon pauses, noting Jimin still sitting on the floor. “You okay?” the older wolf asks, pausing at the threshold of the office door.

 

Jimin nods, smiling at the omega. “Just thinking.”

 

“Careful, you might strain yourself,” comes the cheeky retort, making Jimin laugh.

 

“Take your own advice and not slice open your palm today, yeah?” Jimin teases back, grinning at the middle finger the omega throws back at him as he leaves the office.

 

Jimin can still smell the residue of Jungkook’s distress, the ventilation system recycling it back into neutral air, taking all of their spiked scents and recycling it.

 

It took a long time for Jimin to feel comfortable in spaces like this, where scents are removed, and a neutral scent is falsified.

 

Growing up in a wild birth pack where communal buildings stunk of a collective scent of all wolves and nature, where scents are a distinct part of identity, that any hint of removing it is seen as socially abnormal. It’s why most wild wolves can’t be around those that live in towns or cities, where chemicals are introduced into spaces that should be layered with natural scents, or chemicals that change the potency of one’s scent.

 

Birth control or a season cycle suppresser, a chemical that suppresses a lot of a wolf’s nature, is not a common thing you’d see in wild birth packs, either.

 

It’s why the numbers are so damn high, why it’s becoming a problem as those numbers grow up believing traditional living overrules collaborative living.

 

Wild wolves have their laws, their own beliefs of health care and reproduction, and of what rank fits what role within a pack, and when that sort of mindset is taught in a way that damages a wolf’s psyche, especially where their rank is suppressed or pushed to extremes, it unfortunately manifests into a growing number of attack cases.

 

Humans have no desire or interest to help police ‘wolf problems’, they rather create propaganda that continues to paint certain regions in Dretna as ‘barbaric’, where humans no longer feel safe living in those areas that have large numbers of wild packs.

 

A hundred years of collaborative living is fast going down the toilet with the way some wolves are behaving lately.

 

Once over, support packs were only small niche packs, not really required as standalone packs.

 

But now, due to the rising numbers of conflict that stems from two styles of living clashing, to how wolves are losing their identity in the cities as they work and behave too human-like where they damage their own bodies by neglecting their own wolf instincts to shift, support packs became from a niche, to a necessity.

 

Wolves with the temperament to be a Support moved from their birth packs, from the cities, to help build up support packs, and now here they are, twenty years later from the first government established support pack, needing more than ever.

 

Jimin sniffs at his wrist, unable to catch his scent from the small scent gland there, and breathes through the impulse he’s still not quite over to claw at it, to force the gland to produce more of his scent.

 

Jimin knows wild packs very well, knows their ways of living, thinking, behaving, because he is a wild wolf.

 

He’s a wild wolf that did the one thing any alpha in a wild pack should never do, and why he’s no longer allowed back to his birth pack, banished for life.

 

Jimin groans as he pushes himself up, his arms a little achy from this morning’s chores in helping unloading the wood shipment that arrived at the port yesterday evening with fellow wolves from the two birth packs on the island.

 

As the pack’s Woodcutter, it’s Jimin’s job to make sure that trees, fencing, and building maintenance are up to standards, as well as making sure that all buildings on the pack grounds are always fully stocked with wood for their indoor heating systems, and that the wood is ready to use.

 

It’s a hard, laborious, job, but it keeps him extremely fit, his body toned but not as toned as it used to be when he lived in his birth pack, living a very different style of life.

 

His life now is a lot slower, calmer, almost tranquil despite the most traumatic cases he helps care for.

 

Jimin knows that support and care works, because he’s been on the other end of it.

 

Jimin knows trauma well, because he still carries his own, still faces old but not forgotten reminders of his own, which is probably why he carries so much empathy.

 

He’s a survivor, just like those that he helps realise it too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Gutenvell Port. Please check in at the Visitor Centre which is directly ahead as you exit the dock. If you require gifts or food, local shops are located within the port for you to purchase. If you have a cargo shipment due for arrival, please head for the Cargo Dock, located to the far right. Thank you, and we hope you enjoy your time on Gutenvell Island.”

 

Yoongi has made it almost thirty years without stepping a toe on a damn ferry, and yet, here is he, having been stuck on one for the last three hours, and having vomited twice.

 

He’s a stranger to the many islands dotting their coastlines, since his assignments always were on the mainland, and it shows in how discomfort crawls through his skin.

 

Yoongi hides his sweaty face from behind the hat that covers the top part of his face, the mouth mask covering the rest to help filter the over the ferry and the sea, as he follows the other passengers down the ramp off the ferry, pulling the stupid suitcase he was forced to bring with him at his side. 

 

The sound of the rubber wheels on the wooden dock immediately grates on Yoongi’s senses, the sound of it and the vibration shooting up his arm as he drags it.

 

Yoongi knows that islands tend to follow the same look, and some of the coastlines on the mainland do the same with a mix-match of shipping containers and cabin-shaped buildings, most often being shipping containers outfitted with wood to make it look less marine-like, and more rustic.

 

The containers make sense, and Yoongi has grown up in the city, so he’s no stranger to compact box-shaped housing.

 

The brine air and the warm breeze of a nice spring day does not help with the nauseated thickness that is masking his mind as Yoongi eyes the buildings in the port area, taking it all in.

 

The signposts tell him that the massive building ahead of him is the visiting centre where all guests must report to first, to his right are a few stores and the cargo ferry dock, and to his left are more storefronts, all of them following the same shipping container cabin-look.

 

Yoongi has no desire to buy anything, so he heads straight for the visiting centre to register his visit.

 

The building structure is of a container, with large, wide, glass windows facing the dock, but the roofing and the exterior are of a dark wood, almost the same type of bark on the trees down in the southern regions of Dretna.

 

Yoongi sharply shuts down any thoughts associating with the southern region of Dretna.

 

It’s been three weeks since…since shit went bad, and he’s still pissed with himself at how much of a shitshow that assignment had ended up being.

 

It hurt his pride, considering the amount of years of experience he had as a Data Collector before becoming a Monitor, that he still walked into a blatant setup.

 

Yoongi shakes his head, shutting those thoughts down too since he’s in public and can’t afford for his scent to spike from his anger as he steps through the automatic doors, smelling the standard neutral air all commercial and communal buildings are ventilated with to prevent oversaturation of scents, and eyes the three members of staff that are at the reception desk.

 

Yoongi heads for the nearest one, his suitcase now gliding over the smooth flooring.

 

“Hello, welcome to Gutenvell, may I ask the reason for your visit today?” the female omega politely and warmly asks, smiling at Yoongi, not even giving his covered-up attire a second’s glance.

 

“I’m here as a guest for the Vellga Support Pack,” Yoongi says, pulling down his mouth mask because he was taught manners, watching as the female types on the computer keyboard, her gaze on the monitor.

 

“Name?”

 

“Min Yoongi,” Yoongi answers, trying hard not to feel self-conscious, despite seeing no sign of pity or judgement on the wolf’s face at hearing which pack he’s visiting.

 

“Ah yes, you’ve been authorised a four week stay at the Vellga Pack,” the female confirms, and Yoongi’s left eye twitches at the length of time he hears.

 

He’s going to call his boss the second that he can and not so politely correct that time frame.

 

There is no way he’s sitting on his ass for a month, no way.

 

“This is your first time to the island, so here is the standard guest pack which has an island map, an information leaflet with emergency numbers and guidelines in case of an emergency, and this is also your guest residence ID tag, which you’ll be required to wear outside of Support Vellga pack grounds,” the female rattles off in one smooth, coherent, speech as she hands over a clear bag as Yoongi just blinks at her smooth delivery.

 

“At the end of your stay, please return the tag so that you can be discharged out of the island’s system. Your guide is in parking bay five, please exit to your right through the automatic doors, and you’ll find the parking lot right in front of you. Any questions?”

 

“You should be a Data Collector, your mind is like a sponge,” Yoongi blurts out, making the wolf laugh.

 

“I get that a lot, but I prefer island-living,” she says with a smile, waiting for any questions, in which Yoongi shakes his head.

 

“If you find that you do, don’t hesitate to call the centre’s number,” the omega states, and Yoongi nods in understanding as he hooks his ID tag over his neck.

 

Vellswa,” the wolf says with a soft dismissive tone, and despite not knowing what the fuck that means, Yoongi recognises a goodbye when he sees one and hurries to his right, towards the doors he was directed to.

 

He knows his guide already, and he also has a feeling that the male won’t be alone.

 

Stepping back out into the air and into a car park, Yoongi heads for the stand that has the number five above it, towards the jeep that sits with its windows down.

 

Soft oranges and a slight hint of honeydew greet Yoongi as he approaches the passenger side’s door, seeing a familiar but not too familiar face.

 

“I’m surprised he let you come alone,” Yoongi greets a startled Taehyung with a small smile, watching as the beta frantically shoves open the driver’s door to rush around to where Yoongi stands.

 

“He knows you’re here as a guest, first and foremost, so whilst he would be here to greet you if you were here on other circumstances, he respects the order of me being your Support and getting you familiar with the island and the pack grounds, first,” Taehyung rushes out as he opens the rear of the jeep to allow Yoongi to put his suitcase in, before shutting it.

 

Once they’re in the jeep, Yoongi takes a moment to look around the port as Taehyung leaves the parking lot, heading for the only road that leads to a massive gate, trying not to feel awkward since this is the first time they’ve met in person.

 

“You ever see that human movie about dinosaurs on an island, way out towards the east? This feels like that moment they’re going into the park for the first time,” Yoongi states, causing Taehyung to huff a laugh as he waves at the female wolf that opens the gates for them.

 

“Islanders take security seriously because of those extremist humans that like to blow shit up,” Taehyung says with a frown.

 

“I guess our own extremists are slowly catching up to the madness the humans have,” Yoongi comments, looking out of the window at the passing scenery of the forests on either side of the jeep, the road long ahead.

 

“Unfortunately, it seems,” Taehyung says lightly, tone careful, as he no doubt begins to assess Yoongi’s mental state on this particular discussion, since it’s the reason why he’s here, after all.

 

Extremists, or rather, traditionalists were the cause of getting beat up.

 

“I read the pamphlet my boss practically shoved down my throat before coming here, I know the gist of what is to come, Taehyung. So, don’t tiptoe around me, yeah? I’m here because I got assaulted, and my bosses can’t release me for assignments until I’ve received some therapy for it,” Yoongi sighs out, ripping off the bandage that was hanging over this conversation, allowing his circumstances, his wounds, to be seen.

 

When he glances at Taehyung, he’s actually surprised to see a small smile on his face, instead of the worried one that Yoongi has become used to seeing whenever he speaks about his assault in the blunt manner he’s just done.

 

“Jungkook was right, you really are forward,” Taehyung says softly, sending a brief look at him, before looking back at the road as they hit turns and twists as they drive deeper into the island.

 

Yoongi shrugs, gaze on the road. “I know I need help, even if I disagree with being sent to a fucking island to get it, but I’m not…the assault, if I don’t talk about it like how I do, I feel like I’m letting it win by cowering from any mention of it.”

 

“That isn’t always the healthiest way of approach, you have to find the balance in the middle of taking control without risking further damage to yourself by forcing yourself to talk or act in a way that may cause it.”

 

Yoongi glances at the beta, at the…non-counselling way it came out, despite it being very much a counselling thing to say.

 

It’s the first time in three weeks since someone spoke to him like….like normal, instead of as a patient.

 

Taehyung catches the look, and smiles. “As your Support, I’ll match the manner of openness and straightforwardness that you’re sending me. I find that it creates a balance between us, where we both know what to expect from the other.”

 

“Sounds good to me, I’m tired of being spoken at rather than to.”

 

“I know you have read a pamphlet, but I just want to explain how I tend to support, and how our time together may progress,” Taehyung begins, and Yoongi nods when the wolf glances at him.

 

“Once you’re settled into your own den, we’ll then meet in the communal building to go through the paper part of your stay. I’ll be asking you about your hobbies and interests – they don’t have to be amazing, if you enjoy lying around watching Netflix then we’ll do it – I’ll also have to ask you about any known triggers,” a quick glance at Yoongi’s nodding face reassures Taehyung that he’s okay with the mention of it before he continues, “from there, we’ll create a loose plan for your first couple of days. My role in the pack is as an Angler, as you know already, so we may have sessions on a boat, is that okay?”

 

Yoongi pulls a slight face. “I’m not familiar with boats, but I’m open to trying?”

 

Taehyung sends him a smile, pleased. “Excellent.”

 

“I’ll be blunt, I have no idea how you wolves really do your job,” Yoongi blurts out, making Taehyung laugh, “I was only ever sent to birth and social packs, never supports.”

 

“It’s fine, all Supports have their own methods, so it’s never really the same. Some prefer a more scented way where scenting is a key component for healing and associating tones of scent with good emotions, and some prefer to be physical with hikes and building your body condition as you build up your state of mind. But for me, I tend to support more by listening,” Taehyung explains, slowing as they come up to a sign. “Listening is an overlooked method, but you’ll be amazed at how much you really learn of someone just from listening to their mannerisms, their rhythm of breathing, to the tones of their words.”

 

“You were a Hunter in your birth pack, right?” Yoongi vaguely remembers the detail popping up at the very start of him getting to know Taehyung through Jungkook, and Taehyung hums as they turn to the left onto a rougher road, “makes sense of your method of approach, listening is a key skill for Hunters to have.”

 

“Tell that to the fish that like to evade me,” Taehyung huffs out in a small laugh as they come upon a gated property, the tell-tale signs of pack grounds.

 

Yoongi has no idea of the scale of the island, since he had spent most of his time focusing on not puking for the third time instead of taking in the sight of the island as they approached and docked, so he’s curious to see the size of the pack grounds, considering there are two other packs on the island, both of some considerable size.

 

“Do you ever get the other packs knocking at your door?” Yoongi questions as the gates open from a remote Taehyung has on the dash.

 

“I think they did at the very beginning, when the High Alpha and Second were establishing the pack grounds, since they both came from the same birth pack. Gutenvellians are well known for being compassionate to their neighbouring packs, both on this island, and the others around us,” Taehyung explains as he pulls into a courtyard-like area, the gate closing behind them as he pushes the button again.

 

“But now that the pack is up on its paws, they know the importance of keeping the boundaries clear for the integrity of our guests,” Taehyung finishes as he parks up in front of a long charcoal-black shipping container that has been fitted with wooden planks to make it less marine-like.

 

The main building has been designed with an arch wooden roof, instead of the standard flat one that shipping containers have, again making it appear more cabin-like. 

 

Taehyung shuts off the engine and Yoongi follows the beta’s lead as they get out of the jeep, and Yoongi retrieves his suitcase from the boot, letting Taehyung slam it shut afterwards.

 

“This is the main communal building, it sits in the centre of the pack grounds, and is tall enough for you to see if you get overwhelmed around the grounds,” Taehyung explains as Yoongi carries his suitcase, following the wolf to the frosted glass door.

 

Yoongi follows after Taehyung up the slight step that leads to the frosted glass door, stepping inside the building and immediately smelling the neutral air ventilation, confirming the beta’s previous words.

 

“You will see other guests in here, as well as other pack members, but you’re not required to be here all the time,” Taehyung continues with the tour as Yoongi shuts the glass door behind them, pausing to let Yoongi look around the space.

 

Yoongi can see an open kitchen area that sits at the far back of the building with an island to it, can see a tall male washing what appears to be herbs in the sink, politely giving Taehyung and Yoongi privacy despite the fact he’d probably be able to hear them easily enough.

 

Yoongi notes the use of a floor pit that is kitted out with plenty of brightly coloured pillows and cushions, a floor table sitting in the middle of the pit to prompt conversation over meals, Yoongi is assuming.

 

He also sees the entertainment area where there are two small sofas and a wall mounted TV, again both are covered with loud-ass colours and printed pillows.

 

“I see you guys have a thing for loud colours,” Yoongi notes, looking at the waiting beta.

 

“You should see us in the winter, we have fur throws to clash with the colours,” Taehyung grins, looking a little relieved at seeing Yoongi’s neutral response to the area.

 

Yoongi can only assume that communal spaces can be triggers for some wolves, given the way Taehyung relaxes as the tour resumes.

 

“The right sliding doors lead to the pack members dens, but guests aren’t permitted access,” Taehyung cautions, and Yoongi nods.

 

“You guys need your own space,” Yoongi shrugs, not seeing an issue with the lack of access, and once again he’s left assuming if – in the past – a guest has tried to invade the private quarters of the Supports living here.

 

 “The left sliding doors lead to the seafront and also the guest dens. The wooden door ahead is the office which is also used as a communal space,” Taehyung points to the only wooden door in the entire building, making Yoongi’s lips twitch in slight fondness.

 

“The wolf at the sink is our Lead Gardener and Support Omega, Kim Namjoon,” Taehyung introduces clearly, making it clear for Namjoon to acknowledge them at Taehyung’s direction.

 

The omega waves a handful of herbs their way, before returning back to wash them in the sink.

 

“Namjoon makes all of our teas, and also herbal perfume pouches that help with anxiety or stress,” Taehyung adds softly, and Yoongi nods politely at the offer.

 

He refused pills back in the capital. He doesn’t want to rely on medicine – organic or not – to heal him.

 

He wants to do it himself, or at least try.

 

“Let’s get you introduced to your den,” Taehyung says, already heading for the sliding doors.

 

Yoongi closes it behind him, and puts down his suitcase so that it can roll on the wooden decking that leads down onto a wooden walkway that echoes the sounds of their feet and his suitcase wheels in a dull thumping sound as they walk along the wooden walkway that branches from the main building, and to the four dens clustered closely together, but with enough space in between each container to not be intrusive.

 

Again, following the pattern of the main building, these shipping containers are slightly shorter, but taller than the main one, allowing for a more compact den, probably to encourage the warmth and comfort that a den signifies.

 

The den units all have the same styling and size, with massive glassed fronts that hold the main door, and Yoongi can’t see into two of them, due to thick curtains drawn shut, signalling them being used.

 

“There are two others here?” Yoongi asks as they pass the two used dens.

 

“Yes, and it is completely up to yourself and them if you wish to interact. Myself, and their Supports, will not force it.”

 

Yoongi notes the den they’re approaching has a metal staircase on the outside of it as it leads up onto the roof where a railed decking area is.

 

“You’re in den four, and yes, Jungkook insisted that you have this one,” Taehyung says with a soft, teasing, tone, making Yoongi smile, touched at his best friend’s lack of shame about securing Yoongi the more elaborate den.

 

“It’s because he knows I hate exercising, this is his way of getting me fit,” Yoongi jokes as they walk up the wooden path towards his temporary den.

 

Yoongi watches as Taehyung unearths a key with a blue wrist tie on it, unlocks the glassed door, and holds it open for Yoongi to enter first.

 

The entire interior is made of a deep wood, giving it a rustic, authentic, feeling, despite the height of the tall den.

 

“Take off your shoes, relax, and explore. I’ll be back in the main building in an hour to start the paper work portion of your stay,” Taehyung says as he hands over the blue wristband without stepping a foot into the den.

 

Yoongi takes it, noting the completely lack of any other scent in the den, and is a little impressed at how well a neutraliser truly gets rid of scents in a space such as a den.

 

“If you need to reach me, or the main building, there is a wall mounted phone with a directory on it for us, and the port, too,” Taehyung adds as he slowly eases the glass door shut, but not fully, leaving it ajar, as he smiles and turns and walks away.

 

Yoongi watches the beta leave, noting that he – again – had made his movements non-controlling as possible.

 

Yoongi hadn’t missed the way that the beta so far hasn’t reached to take control from Yoongi, even from something as small as helping with his suitcase or shutting doors behind him.

 

It’s a small detail that is easy to overlook if you’re not trained to notice little details, and Yoongi can’t help but smile at the beta’s professionalism in making sure that he doesn’t accidently trigger a negative response with his actions.

 

Yoongi shuts the door properly, draws the thick curtains slightly to block out the full view into his den, and pulls off his shoes before padding further into the den, rolling his suitcase as he does so.

 

To his left lies the tiniest kitchenette that Yoongi has ever seen, with just two cupboards and counter space, an electric stove top, and a sink, all made of wood and varnished to get the deep mahogany colouring it has.

 

Next to the sink, lies a two-seater sofa, one that looks very plush and soft with folded fur throws and plenty of pillows, with a small wall mounted flat screen facing it.

 

Yoongi leaves his suitcase at the edge of the rug that sits in the middle of the sofa and the TV, exploring the slightly jutted-out corridor that shows a hanging curtain straight ahead of him, and a lone wooden door to his left.

 

Yoongi is well versed with wild pack living, and knows that the use of curtains is a very common living condition that is used for bedding areas. Sometimes it can be a lone curtain fixed into a nest-like cubby that is built into the wall, or it can be many curtains that surround a bedding area.

 

Yoongi pulls back the cream-toned curtain that is free of scents, and blinks at the large bed that takes up the entire back end of the unit.

 

Yoongi takes a step back, searching for the storage since the bed takes up all of the space, and finds it at the bottom of his feet in the form of a knee-high shelving unit.

 

Yoongi opens the only door, confirming the room to be the bathroom, and is a little impressed that they have managed to squeeze in a toilet, sink, and a shower into the cramped space, a thin, long, frosted window sitting above the sink, letting in much needed light.

 

Yoongi closes the door, looks back at the bedding area, and notes the lack of windows there, feeling his throat tighten a little.

 

Sleep is not his friend at the moment, the darkness of night proving to be his undoing when he can’t stop his mind from wandering, from bring forth sensations, scents, words.

 

Yoongi sharply walks to his suitcase and drags it to the storage under the bed.

 

There, in the cramped corridor, Yoongi distracts his mind from trying to take an unhealthy trip down memory lane as he folds and organises his belongings.

 

His scent starts to calm himself down as it slowly takes control over the neutral air of the den, and Yoongi also rubs at the skin where his scent glands to the sides of his neck sits, subtly scenting the air too to make it more inviting for himself.

 

It’s not usually something he does, and he’s never done it whilst out on a job that required him to stay for some periods of time in whatever pack he was collecting data or monitoring from.

 

If he were to scent a room in a wild pack…..Yoongi would’ve been signing himself over to it, since scenting culture is a lot different for wild wolves than for city wolves, possibly different for island wolves too, now that he thinks about it.

 

Scenting is more than just sharing a scent, it has a lot of social layers, layers that mean differently depending on where you’re born, and have been brought up believing.

 

For Yoongi, a city wolf, manipulating his scent like he’s just done by physically rubbing at the glands that sit in the crook of his neck, deep into the muscles of the throat and collar, is to almost restart his sense of smell.

 

City wolves have denser senses, and despite the air ventilation in places, you do still get covered in scents of pollution, humans, other wolves, that it makes it hard for you to even scent your own scent. But, by forcing your scent out by rubbing at it, it’s a city wolf’s way of centring yourself again, balancing out your sense of smell by reconnecting with your own.

 

It’s a self-comfort thing, a necessary one when you fight a constant stream of conflicting scents.

 

However, physically forcing your scent out has a different meaning for wild wolves, one that Yoongi was educated on in his many wolf education lessons whilst growing up in mixed schools.

 

For wild wolves, physically manipulating your scent into a space means you are stating that you are comfortable in that space. It becomes a bold statement, a statement that can be taken out of context, depending on rank.

 

If Yoongi scented a room, whilst staying in a wild pack, he’d be signing his neck over because he’s an omega, and to some wild packs, the belief still stands strong that if an omega scents a wolf, or a space, it means the omega stays.

 

It becomes a territorial mark.

 

Yoongi doesn’t know what self-manipulating scenting means for island wolves, he’ll have to remember to ask Jungkook, see if the alpha knows.

 

Speaking of his best friend, Yoongi is impressed that the wolf is playing by the rules in keeping his distance, despite knowing that Yoongi is here because Taehyung would’ve informed the pack by now, surely.

 

Yoongi puts his suitcase in the corner beside the massive windows and front door, and takes a look around his supposed den for the next four weeks.

 

Which reminds him…

 

Yoongi sits down on the sofa, pleased to note that it’s just as soft and plush as it seems, as he calls his boss.

 

“I shouldn’t even be answering, but, yes, Yoongi?” comes the sigh from his boss, a female omega, with the attitude of a pure wolf, completely unashamed of her opinions, or others.

 

“I’m not staying four weeks,” Yoongi cuts to the chase, leaning into the softness of the pillows.

 

“If you want your job at the end of it, you will.”

 

“I agreed to this stupid respite on the condition it wouldn’t keep me off the field for a long time,” Yoongi snipes, bitter and angry.

 

“Four weeks is not a long time, be grateful I didn’t get my own way of wanting you to be off work for sixteen,” comes her retort, and Yoongi is full on glaring at the TV across from him.

 

“I-”

 

“Be rational, Yoongi. You’ve suffered a horrific trauma; you can’t expect yourself to be fully healed in as little time as you’re hoping for. You need time to heal, and until you allow yourself that time, you’re on permanent sick leave,” his boss cuts him off, tone brutally blunt and honest, it always takes him aback to hear someone blunter than himself.

 

“Sitting on my ass for four fucking weeks is not going to magically undo the shit that is scarred into my memory,” Yoongi states back. “I’ll have it for the rest of my life.”

 

“You will, but you’ll also learn how to cope and manage it for the rest of your life by sitting on your ass for four weeks, instead of going at it blind for the rest of your life.”

 

Yoongi chews on the inside of his mouth, knee bobbing with frustration.

 

“I can’t just….I can’t be so idle for four weeks,” he admits thickly, his knee bobbing faster.

 

“So, don’t be idle. You’re on an island, for fuck sake, Yoongi. You’re in the best place for yourself to shift freely without attracting unwanted attention from shithead wolves, to pick up a hobby, to destress. I don’t think you’ve ever done that latter one for as long as I’ve known you,” comes a softer, but still blunt, response.

 

Yoongi hates that he can see her point.

 

Hates it.

 

“Turn off your phone, disconnect from the mainland shit, and just be free, yeah? This is healing time for your mind and soul, Yoongi. Embrace it, don’t argue with it.”

 

Yoongi listens to the dial tone as she hangs up, and he can’t help but thank her for that because he doesn’t know what to say back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Is it always this empty, or is there a sign that goes up for everyone to become like shadows before a new arrival comes?” Yoongi questions, sliding the door shut behind him, as he looks over where Taehyung is sitting in the floor-seating pit, paper work on the table in front of him, as he smiles at Yoongi.

 

“Something like that,” Taehyung answers back as Yoongi heads over, once again noting the lack of other wolves in a communal space, even the wolf from earlier is gone.

 

“The emptiness, or the sign?” Yoongi questions after he’s taken off his shoes, and tucks his legs under him as he sits down into the padded seating pit, finding it not too soft that it’ll make you ache from lack of support, but also not too hard where the padding will numb your ass after a minute or so.

 

“Usually, Supports will inform their guest if there is another joining the pack, just so they’re not surprised by seeing a random new face, and the pack members who aren’t supporting, they know the value of a calm welcome into a new space, so they stay out of sight until much later in the day,” Taehyung explains as he pours himself a drink from the big jug of orange juice that almost combats against the beta’s own scent.

 

Again, he doesn’t pour for Yoongi, leaving it to him to decide.

 

“You’re very detailed,” Yoongi says, referring to the way all guests are made aware, and also to the beta’s behaviour towards Yoongi, as he leans to pour himself a glass of juice too.

 

“From here on out, you will dictate details about your stay, and I will do my best to produce means that will help you,” Taehyung starts, his voice softening, as he pushes a pencil towards Yoongi, and a blank piece of paper.

 

“I want you to have a think - take however long you need - of your interests, things you like to do, places you like to visit, food you like, just anything that brings you positive emotions,” Taehyung directs as he too picks up his own pencil, a blank piece of paper in front of him too.

 

“You’re going to see I have very little,” Yoongi states after swallowing his mouthful of juice, finding it to be pleasantly tangy on his tongue instead of bitter, and puts down his glass to the side.

 

“If that is true, then your time here is going to be full of you discovering new interests,” Taehyung smiles at him. “Shall we start?”

 

For the next five to ten minutes, they both sit in silence, just the sound of the pencils scratching over the paper as they write, taking idle sips of orange juice in between the little sighs of trying to remember what they enjoy in life.

 

As predicted, Yoongi’s list is short, and no matter how much he hums and sighs, he just can’t think of anything else to add to the list.

 

 

Family – mother, brother, Jungkook

 

Good coffee – not milky, or overly sweet, and not too hot = perfection

 

Music – piano, soft nature sounds, heavy metal that forces your blood to race and scream

 

Food – anything with dough – pizza, bread, but not too sweet

 

Places – watching others go about their lives (not in a creepy way) but prefer moments of alone time

 

Hobbies/Interests – more craft building focus, not a fan of hardcore exercising (shifting excluded, naturally)

 

 

“You sound like you’re all done,” comes Taehyung’s voice, pulling him away from his short list.

 

Yoongi takes a glance at the Support’s paper, and blinks at the pictures, which Taehyung notices and chuckles.

 

“I’m a visual person,” is all the wolf says in explaining, and again, it matches with what Yoongi is coming to understand of Taehyung’s personality and supporting method.

 

“You want me to read it out or…?” Yoongi asks, picking up his paper in preparation to do so.

 

Taehyung nods, smiling. “Sure, if you want to go first.”

 

Yoongi is glad no one is in the building as he reads out his bland list.

 

Once he reaches the end, he half expects Taehyung to be frowning in concern at the bleak look on his life, but instead, the beta is nodding to something he’s thinking as he smiles at Yoongi with a look of understanding.

 

“What?” Yoongi questions as he puts the paper down.

 

“Your tone tells me you find your own positive physiological needs to be boring, when really, they say a lot,” Taehyung responds with kindly, not in a lecturing tone, but a soft one.

 

Yoongi looks back at his paper at his supposedly ‘physiological needs’. “How does having good coffee become a need?”

 

“It’s a detailed one, one that almost matches your food preferences – to be filling, not overly sweet, and full of taste.”

 

Yoongi stares at the beta. “I live an unhealthy lifestyle of being coffee-dependant and living on fatty foods.”

 

“That is your diet, yes, but if you look at it on the level Supports do, it also helps guide us on producing cleaner versions of that, versions that replicate the same effect, but healthier on the heart,” Taehyung teases, his tone making the topic remain light, rather than heavy as Yoongi’s past medical check-ups have done about his poor diet.

 

“From a non-diet perspective, the theme of having that sense of filling without it being false, continues,” Taehyung continues even as he pours himself a drink, “you value the close bonds of a small number of individuals over high numbers of ‘meh’ bonds.”

 

Yoongi’s lips twitch. “Meh bonds?”

 

Taehyung raises a playful eyebrow as he drinks, before answering after he’s swallowed.

 

“Fake bonds that leave you feeling hollow and hungry for more, compared to the fullness of true bonds,” Taehyung explains, and Yoongi ignores the way his gut reacts to the accuracy of the male’s words.

 

Yoongi hates befriending others simply because they work together, live next to each, or even sitting at the same bar as each other, because his instinct never connects to them, unlike how his instinct connected him to Jungkook in the form of a Zentt bond.

 

“And from the look in your eyes, you’re starting to understand the level of nosiness a Support sits on,” Taehyung grins, making Yoongi smile as he huffs out a small laugh.

 

“You all sit on this level?” Yoongi questions, picking up his glass so that his hands have something to do.

 

Taehyung shakes his head. “Nah, those that have training from the cities sit higher up. They have more….theory knowledge? Whereas most of us have a little voice in our head that likes to whisper for us to dig a little deeper, to understand another on a more instinctive level.”

 

Yoongi slowly nods as he drinks.

 

It makes sense that those type of wolves become more book knowledgeable. It’s kinda how humans deal with their own traumatic situations – a lone person called a ‘therapist’ tends to be more analytical, or group settings called ‘support groups’ where it is more experience-led.

 

Yoongi only knows of those human forms of support, since the topic comes up about the differences how humans and wolves live.

 

“So, now that we’ve both learnt that I prefer true, fulling, things, what else did my lacklustre list whisper to you?” Yoongi asks, leaning his elbow onto the table, and watching as Taehyung leans slightly to peek at his paper one more time.

 

“Your music taste,” Taehyung states simply as he leans back, and Yoongi raises an eyebrow for the younger wolf to elaborate, “you wrote that you like softness, but also the thrill of a harsh, loud, beat. What do you think that means, Yoongi?”

 

Yoongi shrugs his shoulders. “That I’m trying to break omega stereotypes of preferring soft shit?”

 

Taehyung snorts, not even taken aback by his bluntness. “Try again.”

 

“That I may come across soft, but I’m not?”

 

“You’re getting there,” Taehyung encourages with a smile.

 

Yoongi just stares at the beta. “Well, I don’t see how else my music taste represents another meaning.”

 

“Think of your job, Yoongi,” Taehyung hums thoughtfully, leaning back onto his hands. “Think of the dangers it has to be a Data Collector, a Monitor, and then think of who you are, your rank.”

 

The beating of his heart feels heavy and more noticeable in his chest as Yoongi listens.

 

“Omegas are stereotyped by humans and some wolves to be this soft, nurturing, rank, when we both know the true reality of what the omega rank means. Tie that together with your tendency of putting yourself into adrenaline-inducing assignments – yes, Jungkook has told me the stories – your taste in music reflects this side of you that enjoys breaking that stereotype via the job you do.”

 

Yoongi’s heartbeat feels like it’s either trying to beat out of his chest, or is excitedly responding to the beta’s opinion, an opinion that holds a deep-seated truth to it, with the way his gut kicks.

 

Yoongi is bored of his job, sure. But….is the reason why he’s never left it is because he hasn’t found another way of dismantling the view of how omegas are seen in the faces of those that cling to the false stereotype?

 

Even as a pup, Yoongi has often gotten himself into trouble for being outspoken in how omegas should be treated, has always fought against other wolves and humans to shove the truth in their faces that he is not this soft thing that is constantly pinned onto omegas, that he doesn’t need dominance to assert his own self-worth.

 

“Maybe this stay is going to be more insightful than I have been giving it credit for potentially being,” Yoongi states honestly, making a softness sneak into the beta’s expression.

 

“It’ll be what you make of it, Yoongi. I won’t force you into anything.”

 

Yoongi nods in agreement, his boss’s words haunting his skull for him to disconnect, to use this chance to his full advantage.

 

Maybe…maybe Yoongi has been approaching this all wrong.

 

Maybe this is going to be less about him dealing with his trauma, and more about Yoongi learning about himself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi sees the wolf coming and beats him to the door of his den, opening it wide, as he steps out into setting afternoon’s air.

 

“Look what the tide finally decided to bring in,” Yoongi teases with a massive grin on his face as he walks towards the other grinning wolf.

 

“I obey rules, something you should’ve learnt by now,” Jungkook teases back, the scent of honeydew a warm, tender, familiar scent hitting his nose as Yoongi surprises the alpha by drawing him into a tight hug, even if their differing heights make it so that Jungkook is half hunched over as Yoongi almost chokes him with his arms.

 

Neither of them say a thing as they hug each other tightly – Jungkook’s hold being more cautious, Yoongi can tell the difference from their past hugs to know that the alpha’s hold isn’t as tight as it would be – breathing in each other’s scents, scents neither of them have smelt since the day Jungkook left.

 

“Did you get skinnier?” Yoongi comments as they step back, breaking the hug, not at all ashamed as he feels up the younger wolf’s arms with a frown.

 

“Sorta,” Jungkook admits with a sheepish smile. “Figured that I was over trying to prove myself to other alphas. Also, gyms are hard to come by out here.”

 

Yoongi snorts at that. “You look leaner, less bulky. It suits you.”

 

Jungkook smile shows a bit of shyness at the comment, never one to accept compliments, just like Yoongi.

 

“So, I’m assuming that now you’re here, the other wolves aren’t banished to the shadows and can come and show their faces?” Yoongi jests as he heads for his den to shut the door to keep out the bugs.

 

“You’ll meet the pack members for dinner, maybe the guests if they have the energy. Hoseok and Namjoon were busy today with outdoor activities, and that usually results in guests conking out early,” Jungkook explains as he leads Yoongi up the staircase connected to his den, making Yoongi rolls his eyes from behind.

 

“It’s been five seconds and your ass is already making mine exercise.”

 

“It’s a staircase, Yoongi, not a mountain.”

 

Yoongi has to admit that, once up on the patio roof, the view is a lot more picturesque, especially with the added detail of a grass patch near the front of the den.

 

He could easily picture himself sitting up here with his headphones on, just chilling.

 

“What do you think of it so far?” Jungkook asks as they sit on the lounge chairs.

 

“The island, or the pack grounds?” Yoongi questions as the spring air brings the crisp scent of the sea not too far from them.

 

“Both,” Jungkook grins as he makes himself comfortable. “This is your first island experience, right?”

 

Yoongi nods. “Yeah, and so far, it’s nothing too dissimilar from the wild packs on the mainland. Sure, the housing is sorta similar to those on the coastlines, but so far, it’s isolating, and has its own structure, so nothing is striking as different.”

 

Jungkook pulls a face at that. “I need you to turn off that part of your brain. You’ll soon learn how vastly different those two living styles are.”

 

“Taehyung is what I was expecting, but also not?” Yoongi continues as he freely admits it, and finds it endearing at the way Jungkook straightens up at the mention of his boyfriend.

 

“How do you mean?” Jungkook aims for curiousness and fails, making Yoongi even more endeared at the slight nervousness he can read from the wolf.

 

“I knew he was a light, charming, wolf, but I wasn’t expecting him to have this….depth to him, this sense of quiet empathy that just rolls off him in waves,” Yoongi explains, watching Jungkook’s reactions as he listens, “he knows his shit, but doesn’t lecture you with it, which I very much appreciate, because I had enough of that back on the mainland.”

 

“He’s candid, which just adds to his charm,” Yoongi finishes with a soft shrug, his inner gut feeling happy with how he’s worded his opinion, and smiles at the way Jungkook is trying very hard to contain his relief at how his friend views his boyfriend.

 

“And now you can see how he managed to hook me in,” Jungkook chuckles softly, smiling. “Taehyung…he’s a wolf we just don’t see a lot of, back in the cities.”

 

“Oh, I can still see the wildness in him, the cheekiness stems from it,” Yoongi chuckles fondly.

 

“Just wait until you meet Jimin. Taehyung’s own cheekiness will pale in comparison.”

 

Yoongi vaguely knows the names of the wolves that live here due to his many calls to Jungkook, but he’s only ever seen Taehyung and the High Alpha, Hoseok, through those calls.

 

“Jimin is the Lead….” Yoongi trails off, hinting.

 

“Woodcutter,” Jungkook supplies. “He’s also a Support Alpha.”

 

Yoongi saw the piping and the tiny wood burning heater in the corner of the room, opposite where his suitcase is now sitting, and the metal box on the rear of the den that must hold all of the wood.

 

“He must be fit if he’s the only woodcutter for the entire pack ground,” Yoongi comments, gaze out onto the other dens around his, and glances back at the spluttering that the alpha besides him starts making, “what?”

 

“Nothing, not a damn thing,” Jungkook rushes out, cheeks pink, and all fidgety, it makes Yoongi narrow his gaze on him, which prompts more fidgeting, “I mean it! Nothing is wrong.”

 

“Ah ha, sure,” Yoongi sarcastically says, gaze flicking away, letting the younger wolf sag with relief, “what about the others here?”

 

“Well, you know Hoseok’s role,” Jungkook begins, tone relieved to be on a topic he isn’t choking himself on. “Jin is the Second, but he doesn’t ever enforce that title, so it’s only a paperwork thing, really. Jin is the Lead Support and Healer, as well.”

 

“He’s an alpha, right? I vaguely recall you saying something about there only being one omega and beta here.”

 

Jungkook nods. “Namjoon is an omega, and of course you know about Taehyung.”

 

“Why the high number of alphas, anyway?” Yoongi questions, poking the younger’s arm. “Most support packs have a balanced number, from what I’ve read.”

 

“Most have the space to have that equal balance,” Jungkook hums in agreement, poking him back. “But, Hoseok, Jin, and Namjoon all knew each other prior to submitting the idea to the capital. You’ll soon see how islanders treat the whole rank thing. Honestly, it’s such a breath of fresh air from the shit back on the mainland. It’s why most support packs are on islands, and created by island wolves.”

 

Yoongi hums as he listens, trying to see how the rank toxicity that plagues wild packs will differ to the supposed neutrality of it here.

 

“Really, Yoongi, you’ll soon be scratching your head at how island wolves have managed to nail the peace that we try to portray to the humans, and yet, we still struggle in getting it with city and wild wolves.”

 

“Shit back on the mainland feels like it’s regressed,” Yoongi admits with a heavy sigh, looking up at the cloudless sky. “It feels like our generation, and younger, have been successfully brainwashed by pack laws.”

 

“It was bound to happen, that loophole should never have been allowed to continue for all of these years,” Jungkook sighs out too, his tone tired and frustrated. “Wild wolves have always earned that title of being wild, but…they really are toeing the lines of being ‘wild’ and ‘uncontrollable’.”

 

“You should feel the tension in the cities now, fuck, humans were only ever lukewarm with us, and now it feels like we’ve been dragged back to the beginning with every leak into their media about packs and wolves fighting for territories and shit,” Yoongi’s own frustration leaks out, anger for his own kind fucking things up when things were only just starting to become somewhat neutral between the two races.

 

“Is it true that we’re lacking more numbers than ever before to police those regions?” Jungkook asks quietly, his past job as a Data Collector knowing some harsh truth to the reality of policing wolves outside of cities and towns.

 

Yoongi nods. “Monitors are dropping like flies due to the constant conflict with traditionalists and extremists, and the agreement for human police enforcement to intervene is non-existent now. They’re too scared to step into wild packs now, especially social ones.”

 

Jungkook thumps his head lightly back against the chair as he too looks up at the sky. “Fuck.”

 

“Word on the streets is that these selected wolves are pushing for ranks to be like they were in the stories, for alphas to be leads of whatever title, for betas to be the neutrals, and for omegas to be seen, but not heard from,” Yoongi growls out, agitation rippling from him, almost causing his scent to spike as it pushes up towards his skin. “They’re so brainwashed by the stories we’re told as pups, and by the close-minded upbringing of being so isolated from civilisation, it’s going to destroy the last one hundred years of coexistence with humans.”

 

“It won’t ever reach the level they’re hoping to get. Humans and wolves have to come to mutual agreements when it comes to the law now.”

 

“Jungkook, you know as well as I do that humans still think omegas are submissive, weak, wolves, their fucking media still portrays that sick stereotype because of how some of our history has been told. If it ever got that high, humans would easily agree to the traditionalists’ point of view since it matches their own.”

 

Jungkook reaches and grabs Yoongi’s hand, his grip gentle, but firm, as they both look at each other.

 

“Enough of this topic, it’s not going to do you any good,” Jungkook states softly, his tone firm. “I’m sorry for bringing it up.”

 

“It’s all over the media, it’s not like it’s a secret,” Yoongi retorts with, still feeling the burn of agitation under his skin towards those that are trying to fuck up their future.

 

“It isn’t. But this is supposed to be about you disconnecting from all of that shit for once,” Jungkook comments back with a gentle squeeze.

 

Yoongi takes a deep breath in, and forces the burn to cool off.

 

Jungkook is right. He’s here to temporarily forget all of the shit on the mainland.

 

He’s here to heal and learn to improve his state of mind.

 

“Is it time for food?” Yoongi asks, changing the topic, and Jungkook snorts as he moves to stand up.

 

“I’m sure there is space for you to lend a helping hand.”

 

Yoongi makes a playful scrunch of his face at that. “I have to cook?”

 

“You are going to learn how to eat like a normal wolf, and not like a human.”

 

“Rude, humans have great food,” Yoongi snipes back as they head down the metal staircase.

 

“And that is why their mortality rate is low compared to wolves, well….compared to wild and island wolves, anyway,” Jungkook tacks on as an afterthought as they walk together on the wooden walkway, towards the main building.

 

“Not all of us like to eat like a rabbit,” Yoongi teases, pushing the alpha slightly, and laughing as the taller wolf almost wobbles off the edge of the wooden walkway.

 

“I leave you for nearly two years and you start spewing out human bullshit,” Jungkook teases back with a gentler nudge, one that Yoongi – again - notes the change.

 

Yoongi files it away to save for a later discussion since he knows it’s only coming from a place of care and love, and not from a place of changed opinion of how Jungkook now views Yoongi.

 

Inside the communal building, Yoongi remains by Jungkook’s side as he leads him to the small gathering of wolves in the kitchen area.

 

Taehyung spies him coming and grins as he comes to greet them.

 

Yoongi expects the beta to go straight for Jungkook, instead, Yoongi is his entire focus as he rushes over to them.

 

“How is your head feeling after a quick nap?” Taehyung asks, face soft with concern, since at the end of their meeting of paper work, Yoongi’s earlier travel sickness nausea decided it was time for him to have a moment of peace.

 

“Still a bit foggy, but it’ll pass,” Yoongi reassures the wolf, grinning at the way Jungkook patiently stands there, listening, “you gonna greet him, or leave him standing at attention?”

 

Jungkook’s cheeks turn pink even as Taehyung laughs.

 

“For the record, I may be your client but I don’t want it to limit how you two engage around me,” Yoongi warns them both, and gets two twin looks of seriousness back at him. “Don’t let my presence here disrupt your relationship.”

 

“It wouldn’t, even without your warning,” Jungkook reassures gently, smiling.

 

“Like I said in the jeep, I’ll follow your lead, Yoongi. If you want to witness how soft the alpha is for me, then by all means, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show,” Taehyung teases both of them, making Yoongi laugh and Jungkook’s cheeks turn pinker as he playfully growls at his boyfriend as he pulls him into a side-hug.

 

“Who was the one that was too blunt with his flirting?” Jungkook teases back, making Taehyung grin, completely proud of the fact.

 

“I had to snatch you up,” Taehyung states, and Yoongi can’t stop watching with extreme fondness as he witnesses his best friend become the image of a besotted wolf.

 

Yoongi hasn’t heard anything about a potential Mating Ceremony for the two wolves, but by the looks of things now, Yoongi wouldn’t at all be surprised to see it happen sometime in the very near future.

 

Taehyung and Jungkook have the same energy around each other that is almost reminiscent of mated wolves.

 

“You up for meeting the other Supports?” Taehyung checks before moving, and Yoongi nods.

 

He doesn’t fear other wolves.

 

He fears the images that are stuck in his head from the wolves that caused them.

 

Meeting the other pack members isn’t any different than it is to meet the wolves Yoongi met on assignments.

 

Hoseok’s bright and welcoming energy is ever present in person as it is through a phone screen, the High Alpha shows zero signs of having a power chip on his shoulder, and if Yoongi knew nothing of the pack, he’d have assumed that Jin was the High Alpha instead.

 

“You’re as short as Jimin is,” Jin bluntly states after Yoongi’s finished greeting Namjoon properly, catching Taehyung, Jungkook, and Hoseok off guard, and making Yoongi bark out a laugh.

 

Jin then hisses as Namjoon blasély hits him over the back of the head with a towel. “Ignore him. He gets it from his mother,” the omega states with an eye roll, making Yoongi even more amused by the dynamic he’s seeing so far.

 

“I was only stating a fact!” Jin argues with the omega, his tone and stance not at all serious, but light-hearted playfulness.

 

“As was I,” Namjoon retorts back with a grin.

 

“Anyway, as I was saying before Jin opened his loose mouth, the other guests won’t join us tonight for dinner, but will be for breakfast, if you’d wish to eat with us as well,” Hoseok continues what he had been saying.

 

Yoongi can feel Jungkook’s gaze on him, and rolls his eyes, which makes Taehyung arch an eyebrow as he catches their interaction.

 

“I don’t eat breakfast,” Yoongi explains their mini silent exchange, since he knows the beta won’t ask him just yet.

 

“He refuses to eat breakfast, is more correct,” Jungkook corrects as he tosses the huge bowl of greens with the wooden tongs.

 

“I prefer to sleep longer, bite me.”

 

“Why not try having a smoothie or a juice?” Taehyung cuts in before Jungkook can even retort back, already familiar with their bickering ways from the many phone calls he’s witnessed.

 

Yoongi shrugs his shoulders. “Never tried them.”

 

And doesn’t miss the way Namjoon’s green and brown gaze widens as he brings over two glass jugs of chilled water from the refrigerator.

 

“I can open you to a whole new world,” the omega states, dead serious, as he places the jugs onto the island that they’re all standing around.

 

“Oh?” Yoongi says back, amused, and feeling more comfortable around the wolves than he’d expect himself to feel.

 

“Just ask Jimin. He was resolute on not touching a smoothie until he finally tasted one, and now he’s a changed wolf,” Namjoon continues, and Yoongi notes the fond way Hoseok is grinning at the omega, half leaning on the island, head propped up by his hand.

 

“I thought I felt my ears burn, what are you gossiping about me this time, Joon?” comes an unfamiliar voice from behind Yoongi, a soft, but clearly accented voice of a wild wolf.

 

Yoongi turns to meet the last Support wolf, and blinks as he takes in the wolf that joins them at the island.

 

Jin was right, they are the same height, which is….unusual to see in a wild wolf, Yoongi isn’t gonna lie.

 

Jimin’s black hair is thick and has a natural loose wave to the longish locks that are currently being tussled from off the male’s face, a face that has a softness to it that shouldn’t be classed as fat, but more as charm.

 

Yoongi blinks as the wolf’s brown and ice blue gaze falls on him, plump lips pulled up into a warm, welcoming, smile.

 

“Park Jimin, but I’m sure you have figured that out from Joon’s gossiping,” comes the same soft, accented, voice.

 

“Possibly,” Yoongi answers back, making the alpha snort as his captive gaze fixes onto the other omega that is grinning innocently.

 

“I was merely singing your praises for embracing more variety into your diet,” Namjoon says with a tone of playful innocence that makes his pack members snort and laugh at, Hoseok’s sounding more endearing than the rest as he remains fixated on the tall omega.

 

Yoongi smirks to himself, wondering if that sort of endearment stems from a place of platonic love, or romantic.

 

Dating within the pack is obviously okay because Jungkook and Taehyung are together, but their case may be different considering that Jungkook is the pack’s Treasurer and not a Support.

 

“Not all of us like eating like prey animals,” Jimin teases as he moves to pick up the jugs, and startles when Yoongi vehemently agrees with him with a hummed sound, his startled gaze whipping to Yoongi.

 

“See,” Yoongi prods at Jungkook’s chest, feeling the other gazes on him as he taunts the younger wolf, “I’m not the only wolf that thinks that way.”

 

“At least Jimin exercises,” Jungkook taunts back, poking Yoongi’s shoulder instead of his chest, and it makes Yoongi wonder if the wolf is already aware that most of the scars are on his front and back.

 

Before he can fall into that mind trap, Yoongi forces his hands to grab the bowl of greens, and smiles as he asks where to put it.

 

If the other wolves notice his sudden shift in mood, they don’t comment on it.

 

But Yoongi isn’t blind to the sudden concern he sees in his best friend’s gaze, or the slight observing one in his Support’s, as he moves towards the floor seating area.

 

Maybe Yoongi was rushing himself into being so social when he never usually is, especially when he would be on an assignment, he’d have never put himself into a setting that he’s currently in.

 

Maybe he should go back and-

 

“Where do you want to sit, Yoongi?”

 

Yoongi startles at the sound of Jimin’s soft question, and glances to see the wolf kneeling down as he places the jugs of water onto the table within the floor pit, not looking up at where Yoongi had subconsciously remained on the outside of it, still in his shoes, still holding the bowl.

 

Yoongi hurries to remove his shoes and steps down onto the padding.

 

“Erm, where does everyone else usually sit?” he asks the wolf as he places the wooden bowl down on the table.

 

“There isn’t an order, so you’re free to sit anywhere,” Jimin reassures him as he makes himself comfortable, looking up at where Yoongi is awkwardly leaning now that the bowl is out of his hands.

 

Yoongi doesn’t want to draw more attention to the fact that he’s just had a mild inner monologue crisis, and sits his ass down beside the alpha.

 

“What do you make of Gutenvell so far?” Jimin asks, effortlessly beginning the small talk between them as Yoongi gets himself comfortable.

 

“Haven’t seen much yet, but the port was interesting. I wasn’t expecting the security check,” Yoongi admits, making Jimin laugh lightly as the others come join them.

 

“Gutenvell has always had some form of security for as long as I can remember,” Jin says, picking up on their conversation, as he sits on the opposite side of the table.

 

“It used to be just wolves guarding the gate, but over the years, it’s become more fortified with the visiting centre being there,” Hoseok adds on as he sits next to Jin.

 

“This is my first island, so I haven’t seen a lot of what makes living here different,” Yoongi explains as Jungkook sits on his right-hand side, with Taehyung following.

 

“Selta Island follows the same protocol, so I think it’s just the nature of islands that have support packs established on them,” Namjoon shares, and Yoongi has to pull up the map of their country in his mind to recall which island the omega is referring to.

 

“It’s not so different from how wild packs claim their own boundaries,” Taehyung pipes up as everyone begins passing ceramic plates around so they can fill it with the food that is now on the table.

 

“That’s different, wild packs don’t keep a log of who comes and goes near their boundaries, they just monitor who comes in,” Jungkook disagrees with a shake of his head as they all begin to plate up their food.

 

Yoongi doesn’t, however.

 

He’s curious, okay. He knows the eating culture of wild wolves, so he wants to know if island wolves have their own, and with three island wolves, two wild wolves, and two city wolves sitting at a dining table, Yoongi is damn curious to see how they eat and share food.

 

The general culture of eating with a wolf is this: pups and elderly are always fed first before any ranking culture comes into play. Once the elderly and pups have had their portions given, then it usually follows rank of eating, with omegas picking their food first, betas second, and then alphas eat last once they are satisfied that the other ranks at the table have enough food to sustain them.

 

It’s an instinct that all alphas are born with to make sure a pack is strong, since alphas are naturally-skilled hunters due to their higher range of senses, and can get more food if they needed it, back in the day.

 

But, that is the textbook example of wolf eating culture, and not all wolves abided by it.

 

Yoongi is used to sharing his food with Jungkook, since both of them have grown up amongst human peers, so they have learnt that sharing food with peers doesn’t carry a rank meaning or a typical social meaning as it does for wild wolves.

 

Eating via rank position is important in wild wolf eating culture. If you’re an omega, your food is plated for you by a neighbouring alpha, if you’re a beta, you are tasked with plating your own food but also with making sure there is enough to drink on the table you’re sitting at, and once an alpha has deemed your portion size to be to their liking, then the alpha plates their own food.

 

That is just the first part, though. If you wish to feed another that is of no blood relation to you, it becomes less about eating, and more about establishing an intention of courtship potential to the other wolf.

 

Yoongi has seen this happen enough times with wild wolves due to his job, and it never fails to give him a sense of culture shock due to how seriously it is taken to be fed by another wolf in a wild pack.

 

If he and Jungkook shared their food in a wild pack setting, like they used to do back in the city, they’d be giving off the message that they’re romantically interested in each other, which is far from the truth.

 

So, Yoongi is curious to see if island wolves have their own eating culture, and can’t help but watch Jin, Namjoon, and Hoseok as they begin to plate their food.

 

So far, Namjoon has plated his own food, and Jin and Hoseok are busy making sure glasses are filled with water for everyone.

 

Interesting.

 

Yoongi keeps on watching even as he moves to plate his own food from the subtle nudge to his arm from his best friend who had noticed his lack of movement.

 

Taehyung’s plate is full, and Yoongi can’t take the beta’s plate into consideration since he and Jungkook are dating, so it’s perfectly normal that Jungkook is trying to put more fish onto the beta’s plate as Taehyung whisper-threatens for him to retreat.

 

Yoongi takes a glance at the silent alpha beside him, since he’s the only wild wolf that he can study, and blinks as he sees the wolf on his phone, his plate still empty.

 

“How do you like your den, Yoongi?”

 

Yoongi jerks at the question, his gaze locking with Namjoon’s who is smiling at him.

 

“It’s impressive with how you’ve managed to use small spaces effectively,” Yoongi compliments, his nosiness on pause for now, as he picks up his fork and knife to eat the grilled fish and delicious smelling roasted potatoes that even the ventilation can’t truly erase.

 

“You can thank island upbringing for that,” Hoseok says with a small, pleased, smile. “I think most islands nowadays are going the container route, since it’s so easy to have the electrics and plumping installed on the mainland before it’s shipped over for Artificers and Joiners to mould it into the desired building.”

 

Yoongi nods along as he listens, since the theme is the same as far as he’s seen – retaining the convenience of a container structure, but outfitted to retain some of the rustic nature of wolf living.

 

“The Vellgee Pack is very similar in terms of using shipping containers, instead of using handmade wooden cabins like the Velli Pack does - a pack myself and Hoseok were born in,” Jin explains, sharing some pack history on the island.

 

“Kinda like how wild packs live with rustic cabins,” Jungkook adds, meeting Yoongi’s gaze.

 

“How come you both decided to go for the containers, instead of the cabins?” Yoongi questions, curious, as he cuts into his fish.

 

“Selta Island is all containers, so when I lived there briefly for a few years - and how I also came to meet Namjoon - the feeling stuck with me,” Hoseok explains with shared smile with the omega, once again making that tickle at the back of Yoongi’s mind appear as he studies to two.

 

“And I had previously lived in a wild pack, and was tired of the cabin life, that shit is a ball-ache to maintain as an adult,” Jin straightforwardly states, almost making Yoongi choke on his bite of fish, as the other wolves at the table laugh.

 

“Wait, you lived in a wild pack?” Yoongi asks over the noise, and Jin nods.

 

“I was mated, so I moved into my mate’s birth pack, but my mate – who was born with a heart defect – became sick, which would ultimately lead up to his passing in the few years we had of being mated.”

 

Yoongi wishes he never asked now as the mood at the table chills in an instant, as any mention of death would do so.

 

“I’m sorry, if I knew I wouldn’t have pried,” Yoongi apologises earnestly, feeling his chest squirm with the need to comfort the alpha, even though there is no hint of sadness to the male’s features, just kindness.

 

“How could you know, until a conversation like this came up?” Jin says light-heartedly with a gentle smile. “I made peace with his passing a long time ago. His absence is a sad one, but it led us all to where we are now.”

 

Yoongi frowns, lost.

 

“I brought my mate here, away from the wilds of the mountain forests, so that he could be around the peace of the sea,” Jin continues to share his story, and Yoongi doesn’t dare loosen his hold on his fork and knife as he listens. “He wanted to see my home, see my parents one last time, and as a family, we cared for him in my birth pack until the moment he passed.”

 

“Hoseok helped too, as did most others in our pack, which made it more bearable,” Jin smiles at Hoseok, squeezing the alpha’s hand, and the alpha covers their own as he squeezes back.

 

“Gutenvell had no official support pack, back then,” Hoseok continues on as he looks away from Jin’s face after they had shared a meaningful smile with each other, to look at Yoongi. “So, when Jin’s mate passed away, it left behind a seed, a seed that rooted and bloomed into my obsessive thought of submitting a plan to the capital to establish an official support pack here.”

 

“The idea wasn’t as farfetched as he thought it seemed, since Gutenvell had the space for a pack,” Jin teases, nudging the alpha with his shoulder, “so when he came to me about the idea, I joined in with the obsession, and from there….Support Vellga was born.”

 

“Fast forward nearly five years, and here we are today,” Hoseok grins at Yoongi.

 

Nearly five years, that means the alpha will be facing the pack vote of whether or not another wolf will challenge him for the position of High, or to vote for Hoseok to continue to lead as one.

 

Yoongi watches the pack as they engage with each other, and monitors the little mannerisms that he can spot.

 

Mannerisms such as the conscious awareness of each other’s portions, whether that is food or water, each wolf is constantly checking in on another’s plate with a quick glance as they converse and laugh.

 

Yoongi has already seen Jin reach across the table to fill up Taehyung’s plate as the beta and Jungkook playfully bicker with Hoseok.

 

It seems like the High Alpha is not only well respected, but also well-loved since he behaves so freely, not holding power due to his title.

 

Maybe he’ll continue being the High for the next five years, too.

 

“You can take a break, you know.”

 

Yoongi whips his head to the whispered statement, catching the gentle look that Jimin is sending him as the alpha plays with the stray leaves of greens on his plate.

 

“From what?” Yoongi answers back, a tad confused, since he hasn’t really spoken much with the alpha to warrant the whispered comment.

 

“From this,” Jimin nods with a jerk of his head to the noise around them, his voice still whispery. “You’ve had a long day, so I’m sure their noise is that last thing you’d want.”

 

The alpha isn’t far off the truth, but Yoongi knew that when he agreed to join the dinner.

 

“I’m fine, thanks,” Yoongi makes sure his tone isn’t too dry since he hasn’t taken any offence, but he doesn’t know how else to answer it.

 

Jimin glances at him from where he had been looking back down at his plate, the ice blueness of his birthmark a quick flash of colour.

 

Jimin nods, not saying anything further, leaving the air between them a little strange and awkward-feeling on Yoongi’s end as he looks from the alpha to the sudden laughter that comes from the couple beside him, wincing only slightly at the volume of it.

 

Yoongi’s temples thump a little more prominently after that, and Yoongi stops himself from looking at the silent alpha sitting beside him to confirm if the wolf has noticed the sudden way his shoulders are tensed up now.

 

“Hey…” Yoongi says as he pats the crook of Jungkook’s elbow as he leans into the wolf’s space to whisper his own dismissal, “I’m gonna call it a night. Do I help with the cleaning, or..?”

 

Jungkook rapidly shakes his head, patting his hand with a smile. “Not tonight. You can help with the manual labour some other time,” the wolf teases lightly.

 

Yoongi smiles as he begins to push himself up off the floor, attracting the attention of the pack members.

 

“I’m beat,” he starts to excuse himself, straightening up, “thank you for the meal, it was tasty.”

 

“You’re welcome, Yoongi. Enjoy the rest of your night,” Hoseok smiles up at him, speaking for the rest of them as they all nod and smile at him too as he puts on his shoes again.

 

“I’ll see you around noon, yeah?” Taehyung questions lightly, not pushing it, but leaving it up to Yoongi to confirm.

 

Yoongi nods as he leaves, sending his Support a smile, as he heads for the sliding doors that are connected to the guest side of the pack grounds.

 

The evening was in full effect now, and Yoongi has to take a moment on the decking to stare up at the stars in the cloudless sky, allowing the stars to have his attention.

 

When was the last time he had just stopped to look up at the stars?

 

When was the last time he stopped to ground himself?

 

Yoongi grounds himself in this moment, the night air crisp, but not super chilly on his skin, the air clean from pollution, and filled with a healthy mix of the salt from the sea and earthy tones from the forest around them.

 

Yoongi’s walk back to his den is a slow one as he takes in the scents of nature at night, finding the wooden walkways lit up from the small lights that must be solar powered as they stand spotted along each side of the pathway, evenly spaced out to keep the way seen and not in complete darkness.

 

Yoongi can see the light around the rim of the curtains of the two occupied dens as he walks past them, heading for his dark one as he listens to the sounds of the water moving from the sea edge, and the faint sound of laughter from the pack he has just left behind.

 

Once inside his own den, with the door locked and the curtain closed, Yoongi only has to fumble a little as he hits the light switch beside the windows, watching as it slowly flickers to life as energy-saving bulbs do, before it chases away the darkness in his den.

 

Yoongi removes his shoes, and pads his socked feet towards his bathroom so he can relieve himself and wash his hands, teeth, and face.

 

He’ll save the shower for in the morning when he can clean away the evidence of his night sweats brought on by his mind playing cruel games with him during his slumber.

 

Refreshed, Yoongi checks his phone where he had left it charging on the bed, seeing that it’s barely nine o’clock, and he’s already feeling the pull of sleep.

 

He’s had a long day of travel and socialising, so an early night is only natural, but Yoongi can’t go to sleep just yet.

 

He needs to be on the verge of passing out. That’s the only way he can have an hour or two of peaceful sleep before the nightmares come for him.

 

Yoongi undresses, placing his top in the laundry hamper, and placing his folded jeans on the sofa so he can wear them again tomorrow.

 

He then pulls on the loose-fitting sweats he wears for bed, black, to cover the sweat marks he’ll be faced with seeing in the morning.

 

He turns on the light above the head of his bed, having to crawl onto it to reach it, and then shuffles off it to go and turn off the main light in the living area.

 

Yoongi forces his legs to not hurry to the light coming from his bedding area as he walks in the darkness, reminding his mind that this darkness isn’t going to hurt him.

 

Crawling onto the bed once more, Yoongi yanks shut the bedding curtain, feeling his chest ease a little as it blocks off the ominous darkness that lies in wait behind it.

 

With a heavy sigh and still thumping temples, Yoongi sprawls out onto the wide bed, stretching his limbs and still having plenty of space left over.

 

Yoongi stares up at the wooden ceiling, at the dark tones, as his hands and feet lightly rub over the soft cotton of the white duvet cover in a self-soothing motion.

 

His gaze then trails down to the wooden walls, where the bottom wall of the bathroom is free of long length pillows, and instead holds a shelf unit that has some empty spaces for personal belongings, and the other shelves holding books of various thicknesses.

 

Yoongi turns onto his side, facing the left wall, eyeing up the smaller pillows there that are purely for decoration since that part of the bed can be seen from the hallway.

 

Yoongi doesn’t kick them off like they should be, too lazy to do so now, and just lightly trails a finger over the raised stitching of the design on the closest pillow.

 

The rough texture of the stitch helps ground Yoongi a little more, stops his heart from building its nervous beating.

 

Yoongi shifts himself up to where the main head pillows lie, and where the lamp and plugs lie higher up on the wall.

 

He turns off the plug since his phone is fully charged now, and tucks the cable down the specially allocated space built into the back of the bed.

 

On his knees, Yoongi pulls back the white duvet until its almost halfway down the bed, ignoring the disarray the decorative pillows make in its wake as he sits into the revealed space, rubbing his feet against the slightly cooler bedsheet.

 

Yoongi leans against the wall, pulls his phone up, and logs into the wifi.

 

He spends the next hour mindlessly scrolling through wolf gossip sites that are fixated on the those that have managed to earn fame, checking his work email despite having received nothing for three weeks now but is unable to break the habit of checking.

 

It continues like that until Yoongi falls asleep, lamp still on, phone on his chest, as he slowly slumps further down the wall with his ankles tucked under the duvet.

 

And just like every night, he dreams.

 

Darkness is all he sees.

 

But, it’s not all he feels.

 

Even in his dreams, darkness hides the horror of a past reality.

 

But, even in his dreams, it’ll never mask the horror that has cut its way deep into the flesh of his memory.

 

His dreams will never mask the voices, they’ll never mask the scent of putrid fear.

 

His dreams only amplify it in a raw, cruel, loop.

 

Dreams and darkness will never mask the sickeningly sharp scent of excitement as Yoongi is hunted like prey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His black hair blows away from his face as the night’s breeze greets him as he walks around the pack grounds, the air not quiet since the water never rests, but like a comforting companion as he walks.

 

Patrolling on the island isn’t a necessary action since it’s such a peaceful one, but, it’s one of Jimin’s habits from living in his birth pack that he can’t shake off.

 

He was brought up in a strict hierarchy of what alphas do for a pack, and had witnessed every gendered alpha in his birth pack patrol through the night in shifts that would change as the morning shift alphas take over patrolling the pack grounds.

 

It didn’t matter that the birth pack was situated in a peaceful territory that didn’t need such excessive patrolling, what did matter was that all alphas were brought up knowing the importance of providing a constant image of safety, support, to the entire pack.

 

The day he developed his own scent, signalling an end to his puphood and the start of his adulthood, Jimin shadowed the older alphas as he learned that patrolling is more than just walking around a perimeter.

 

He learned to maintain posture, and alert senses. He learned that in order to do that for hours upon hours, it required a focus that needed to be built up, needed dedication to achieve it.

 

Even now, years later after being banished from his birth pack, Jimin still maintains an alert posture, his senses honed into the environment he’s in, the scents that carry in the wind, the sounds he hears under the passing wind and gentle laps of moving water.

 

He doesn’t do it all night, so his habit has changed in that aspect, but he does patrol for an hour or so after every wolf has retired to their own dens for the night.

 

Hoseok still tries to sway Jimin from the habit, his instinct as a High Alpha wanting to reassure Jimin that this patrolling isn’t a needed custom in their pack, but also respects Jimin’s habit since they all know of his history.

 

They all know each other’s histories, know each other’s deepest fears, regrets, and shame.

 

It’s why their bond as a pack is so strong, why they can help others learn to heal, since they’ve all had to in their own ways, their Zentt bonds to each other just an added bonus.

 

Jimin lingers by the water front, feeling the breeze come stronger across the sea surface as he stares out into the darkness, the safety lighting from the wooden walkway that is throughout the pack grounds leading a little further out into the sea in their own private dock where they have two small boats, one electric, one oar powered.

 

Jimin tries to ignore the itch that has begun to niggle under his skin, an itch that is trying to prompt him to continue, to check the boats, to make sure they’re still tethered to the dock.

 

He doesn’t need to, since he has already checked it the once during his patrol.

 

But, the itch is ever present, and it makes Jimin huff to himself as he continues to ignore the compulsion.

 

He knows the pack grounds are secure, safe. He knows that he is the one in control, and not his instinct, and not his habit.

 

Jimin turns his back to the sea and the dock, and walks up the walkway, making sure his footsteps are slow and silent so that he doesn’t alarm the guests that are sleeping in their dens.

 

But begins to frown when he notices a glow of light that wasn’t present thirty minutes ago when he was last here.

 

Jimin pauses at the path that leads to the den that Taehyung’s guest is staying in, studying the glow of light that seeps around the edges of the closed curtain at the front of the den.

 

Jimin pulls his phone out, and frowns harder at noting that the time is almost two in the morning.

 

Pocketing his phone, Jimin inhales slowly, focusing on the scents in the air, his head slightly tilted up to catch the wind blowing at him.

 

The dens are well enclosed, so scents can’t escape unless a window or door is open.

 

But, he just wants to be sure. Volatile emotions can break through a den since it causes a wolf’s scent to become a foghorn as it alerts every wolf within radius.

 

Scenting nothing but the night air, Jimin turns and continues on finishing up his patrol so he can rest too.

 

He’ll be back up in four hours to start his morning exercise before attending to chores and anything that he needs to do.

 

Not many can function on just four hours of sleep, but tonight’s dinner had overrun as it morphed into a heated debate if Jin should assist Namjoon with his ever-expanding garden.

 

The debate was hilarious to watch, since Namjoon trusts none of them with his garden, but it meant that Jimin started his patrol late as a result.

 

He’s functioned on less. Had to, really, back in his birth pack, it was just another thing all alphas were disciplined into being able to do and maintain.

 

Jungkook has often teased Jimin that if he were human, he’d be in the human army or something along those lines due to the way he was brought up as an alpha, and the young alpha isn’t that far from the truth.

 

Jimin’s upbringing was rank-focused, the version of love he gained was because of his rank, and not for himself.

 

Even his own parents didn’t love him or his younger sibling as equals, they only ever saw their own offspring as ranks, not as their own pups.

 

Jimin was their prized alpha son, and his younger brother was a ‘stubborn’ omega that evaded every Beckoning attempt towards him.

 

Jinho is only a year younger than Jimin, but has the maturity beyond his young age, enough of it to pit him against their parents whenever the mention of ‘mating’ came up around or after his brother’s heats.

 

Jimin smiles to himself as he recalls those past fiery arguments between Jinho and his parents.

 

Jinho would always throw it in their father’s face that he should understand how he feels, since their father is an omega too, and that he and his mother never mated for love, but out of obligation.

 

“You always told us to mate for love, since you both were lucky to fall in love after being mated, and now you’re trying to make history repeat itself by using me.”

 

Those were Jinho’s famous words, and it would always make their parents turn away in slight shame and embarrassment, which would only last a few months until they would start up the discussion again when one of their friends’ pups mated or moved away.

 

His brother’s other famous words were, “why is it always me being hassled into having an alpha shoved between my legs, but you never once hassle Jimin to mate, he’s the older one”.

 

The answer to that was simple, really.

 

Jimin was their prized son for a reason, he was the pack’s image of how an alpha should be – the image of safety and security.

 

However, Jimin himself was not the image of lust or attraction.

 

His smaller stature, his slight roundness to his face, were not the beauty standards of attraction in his birth pack.

 

Even his wolf form wasn’t seen as an improvement to his smaller build, compared to the bigger, thicker, alphas.

 

Jimin was loved and respected for his rank, but never for himself, or even his body.

 

The only times Jimin was ever intimate with another wolf was if it was through a dare made by other wolves in his pack - a dare to kiss him, to see how far they can take him to bed before backing out of it, and all times he was aware, but had hoped for it to not be another.

 

Jinho never saw that side of their parents’ intense focus on securing him a mate because they already knew the slim chances that Jimin had of securing a mate outside of an arrangement.

 

It’s why they tried so hard to encourage Jinho to entertain Beckoning gifts and gestures, so he could foster an attraction that wasn’t as forced if it were to come from an arrangement.

 

Jimin’s smile sours as he forces the trip down memory lane to halt there.

 

He’s learnt to not go knocking on that particular door during the dark hours of night and morning.

 

Jimin left – well, was banished from – his birth pack when he was eighteen years old, a year below the standard age of when a wolf can leave a birth pack willingly, on the day of Hunter’s Trial, one of their many wulften calendar dates.

 

A fitting day, really. What a perfect chance to test the capabilities of aspiring Hunters than to challenge them to run out a banished wolf?

 

Jimin can still recall the sound of those he grew up with, grew up watching with respect with every meal they brought back to the pack, run him out the territory, can still recall the crude barks of disgust and shame that they wanted to dig deep into his flesh.

 

Crude barks that were hypocritical, considering the very reason that Jimin was banished is because he discovered the cruel truth behind the perfect images that they all were taught to maintain.

 

Jimin’s boots are light on the four wooden steps as he steps onto the small front porch of his own den, and unlocks his door with a twist of the door handle, opening and stepping into the calming scent of comfort and security that a den represents.

 

Jimin had left a lamp on earlier, so his den is lit in a soothing warm glow as he turns and shuts the curtain behind him, cutting off the view from the large yard his and the other pack members dens are in.

 

The dens the members live in aren’t any bigger than those their guests stay in, just more personalised, and very rustic in terms of the wide oval thatched roof being the key feature since it also covers the wooden walls on either side of the den, leaving the back and front exposed to allow the use of glass, and the contrasting smoothness of wood panelling inside.

 

The design for support dens is like this to not only make the distinction clear between a guest den and a member den, but also because their dens are lived in, and not just a temporary stay.

 

Jimin doesn’t remove his boots at the door as he walks over the varnished wooden floor as he heads straight for the small kitchenette to grab himself a glass of water from the tap.

 

Even though he’s been here for nearly three years now, he’s tried tweaking the layout as best as he can in the limited space, but a deep part inside him has never been able to settle in his den.

 

Looking at his den, Jimin knows that it’s comfortable and cosy, since he’s lined the walls with different fabric prints that he’s traded from his visits to other islands to mask the bareness that covers the wood behind it.

 

Maybe it’s because in the den that he was brought up in was filled with a vast range of furs, stitched fabrics, and dyed fabrics made by hand to fill in the empty spaces with the touch of cosiness, or maybe it’s because he’s still not used to just his own scent in one space for a long length of time.

 

Jimin sighs as he feels the slight chill from the water run down into his tummy, the sensation pulling him from those types of thoughts that never quieten in his own personal space as he rinses the glass out and places it on the side of the sink to dry.

 

From there, he pulls aside the heavy curtain that hangs in the middle of the room, allowing it to be separated into two, and heads for his spacious bed that sits to his left, a small walkway in front of it where his set of drawers and an exposed hanging rail for his clothes are, and another thin walkway that leads to the bathroom door.

 

Sitting down onto his bed, Jimin unties his laces and pulls off the boots, not bothered by the flakes of dry dirt that rain down onto the floor from his patrolling off the walkways as he places them at the side of his drawers.

 

Leaning behind him, Jimin pulls down the shelving unit he fixed there to use as a desk as he sits on his bed, and connects his phone to his charging cable, leaving it on there to charge as he stands up and heads for the bathroom.

 

Clicking the bathroom light on, Jimin steps down onto the tiled floor, and begins his nightly routine of tying up his hair into a half-up-half-down ponytail so that the hair that frames his face is up out of the way so he can clean his face with homemade soap.

 

Face cleaned, teeth scrubbed, Jimin pulls off his clothes and dumps them into the tiny tall box that holds his dirty laundry in it, and returns back to his room completely naked, clicking the light off behind him.

 

Swallowing a yawn as his routine comes close to its end, Jimin parts the curtain again to turn off the light, ignoring the mess that still sits on his sofa from yesterday from when he was sharpening his tools.

 

With his den now in complete darkness, Jimin effortlessly passes through the curtain one last time, and returns back to his bed where he lies on top of the blankets since his den is a little too warm to be under them tonight.

 

There, in the darkness of the morning hours, Jimin lies, listening to the sound of his heart, feeling it beat under his hand which lies on his chest, staring up at the curved ceiling, wondering if Taehyung’s guest has returned to sleep.

 

It’s not uncommon to see guests up late in the night, but it’s also not something to easily dismiss when trauma is connected to a guest.

 

Jimin shakes his head, stopping himself.

 

He’s not Yoongi’s Support, and forces that part of his brain to quieten.

 

Jimin focuses on his breathing and closes his eyes, picturing a small ball of warmth at the bottom of his feet, a ball of warmth that will relax and soothe his muscles as he pictures it slowly circling around him from the flats of his feet, all the way up his body, not missing his fingers either.

 

The meditation soon works as he feels his breathing slow and soften, his body become lax, and his chest to feel not as tight.

 

Before the ball of warmth can even make it to his head, Jimin is out like a light, sleep finding him and taking over from the ball of warmth.

 

In sleep, he can dream of how his life may have gone if he weren’t banished, if he didn’t discover the truth, if he still had a family.

 

In sleep, Jimin isn’t an outcast.

 

He’s free.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi is glad that he had the foresight to pack his own coffee, because he severely needs it this morning after the shitshow of a night he’s had.

 

Yoongi has been up since one o’clock this morning with his hair stuck to his head and his heart trying to race out of his ribcage as he woke up fighting the duvet off his ankles, thinking it was something else, something more sinister than fabric.

 

Yoongi breathes heavily through the fumes of his second big cup of black coffee, already feeling jittery but needing more of a hit to help clear his head.

 

He knows caffeine isn’t going to help him, that it’ll only make it harder for him to sleep and provoke his anxiety around sleep, but it’s just another vicious cycle he’s stuck in.

 

Yoongi startles as the phone rings that is hooked up on the wall, and hesitantly answers it whilst also cradling his cup of coffee.

 

“Hello?” Yoongi answers tentatively as he squints out of the window of the front of his den to see if he can see that far ahead into the main building.

 

“Good morning, sunshine,” comes his best friend’s chirpy voice, and Yoongi immediately feels comfort rush through him at hearing the alpha’s voice.

 

“You’re lucky I’m up, or you’d be hearing a very different greeting right now,” Yoongi snorts as he leans against the wall, taking a small sip from his coffee.

 

“I had a hunch you’d be up early. You always are during the first few nights you stay outside of yours, or my old place.”

 

Yoongi keeps the truth to himself as he hums along to the younger wolf’s bright tone.

 

“You up for eating with us and the other guests this morning?” Jungkook asks lightly, making sure Yoongi doesn’t feel any pressure to say yes.

 

Yoongi takes a look down at his black sweats that are still showing evidence of his night sweats, hours later.

 

“I’ll grab lunch. I have stuff to take care off before I totally disconnect myself from the mainland,” Yoongi partially lies, since Jungkook is well versed in knowing his lack of breakfast eating habits.

 

“Knew you’d say no, but don’t fret, you’ll soon become a breakfast eater and will thank me for it,” comes the teasing remark, which makes Yoongi smile even as he scoffs at it.

 

“Can you ask your boyfriend where I should meet him at lunch?” Yoongi asks, changing the topic onto much safer grounds.

 

He listens to Jungkook as Taehyung, smiling at the instant shift that happens in the alpha’s tone whenever he speaks to Taehyung.

 

Definitely heading down the road of becoming mates, they’re too paw-whipped for each other.

 

“Meet him in the main building whenever you’re ready at lunch time,” Jungkook comes back to him, and Yoongi hums around the cup before he takes a sip.

 

“Oh, before I forget, I’ll be running to the port this morning, so if you’ve forgotten anything…” Jungkook trails off, waiting for Yoongi to jump in.

 

“Nah, I’m good,” Yoongi reassures with a tender smile as he moves to put his cup on the counter top next to the sink.

 

After that, they part ways with Jungkook once again teasing him about his supposed plans for this morning, and Yoongi sighs heavily as he heads for the bathroom.

 

He ignores the scent of sweat and his overpowering scent brought on from fear that comes from the bedding area that is closed in by the curtain.

 

He’ll need to find a way to air that out, considering there are no windows back there, and he doesn’t want to leave his front door wide open like a blinking beacon for Jungkook or Taehyung to come rushing.

 

Making sure the bathroom door is shut behind him, Yoongi props open the small window to allow in the air as he showers so that he doesn’t immediately sweat again as soon as he steps out of it.

 

If he can find some oats in the main kitchen, then he can use them and some coffee grounds to absorb the scent of his nightmares.

 

As he steps into the shower, Yoongi forces himself to leave behind the world at the shower door to allow him to relax as much as possible under the decent hot pressure of the water raining down on him.

 

He honestly has no expectations or ideas of how his stay is going to go. He can’t help but compare what he knows of support packs to what he knows of human therapists and counselling groups.

 

Will it be Taehyung trying to make him connect to his inner wolf nature?

 

Will it be a load of meditation which will be just Yoongi napping instead?  

 

Or, will it be Yoongi having to spill his soul to the Support, going into details he’s had to skim over more than once when statements and reports were being recorded?

 

Yoongi rests his head on the tiled wall in front of him, wet hair hanging onto his face, as he breathes through the small thump of anxiety brought on from not knowing what he’s potentially facing.

 

He promised his family that he’d try this, promised himself to try and use the respite from the mainland and work as a way to channel some form of healing.

 

He just needs to follow Taehyung’s support, even if he’s unsure of how that support will come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi is actually surprised to see that he’s the early one as he steps into the main building and sees no sign of Taehyung.

 

“Good….morning? Afternoon?” Jimin calls, his hair up today in a half up ponytail as he stands in the kitchen with a glass of - what Yoongi is going to assume to be - a smoothie mix.

 

The way the male’s hair sits, tendrils framing his face, suits the wolf’s face, making Jimin look soft.

 

Yoongi smiles at the wolf’s greeting, only now just realising that he hasn’t really caught the other pack members scents since he’s always been in here whenever he’s met them.

 

“Is that the famous smoothie that Namjoon gloated about yesterday?” Yoongi questions, making light conversation as he steps into the kitchen area, standing on the other side of the wide island that stands between him and the alpha.

 

Jimin raises an eyebrow since he’s currently jugging down a few mouthfuls, and Yoongi’s smile twitches as he watches the alpha frantically try to clear his mouth so that he can talk.

 

“It took him a few attempts for him to convince my taste buds,” Jimin grins as he places the half-finished drink onto the countertop, “I highly recommend the strawberry and mango fusion he does. That was the champion that won over my tongue.”

 

Before Yoongi can respond, the door that leads to the pack members residence area slides open, revealing a smiling Taehyung that is dressed in cotton shorts and a plain black t-shirt that suspiciously looks a lot like the ones Jungkook wears since it hangs slightly on the slimmer wolf.

 

“It’s lovely out there, isn’t it?” Taehyung greets as he slides the door shut, making his way over to them.

 

“Depends on what you have in mind to do out there,” Yoongi answers back as he smiles at the wolf, and turns when he hears a soft choking sound, watching as Jimin hunches slightly as he tries to swallow around the mouthful he’s just choked on.

 

“How about we start small, and I just give you the grand tour of the grounds?” Taehyung answers back with an amused look sent towards the struggling alpha in the background, “you okay there, sunshine?”

 

A croaked, “fine,” comes from Jimin as he turns his back to them, facing the sink as he finishes up his drink.

 

“How about it?” Taehyung asks, looking back at Yoongi.

 

Yoongi shrugs his shoulders. “Sure. Sounds easy.”

 

“But first, food,” Taehyung sings as he heads straight for the refrigerator, bypassing Jimin as he washes his glass.

 

“I can eat when we come back,” Yoongi tries, since he still hasn’t got much of an appetite, and is still feeling the racing effects of the coffee in his system.

 

“I know you don’t eat breakfast, but a habit won’t change unless you try to change it,” comes the beta’s response as he begins to pulls out butter, cheese, and some tomatoes.

 

“Tell that to my gut,” Yoongi states back as his gut makes a hollow thump at seeing the food as the wolf then begins to hum as he moves to grab what he needs to make a sandwich.

 

He glances to his right at the sign of movement, seeing that Jimin is now drying his hands at the towel rack hooked on the wall as he too watches Taehyung move around the kitchen.

 

“You want one, Jimin?” Taehyung calls as he opens up a pantry-type cupboard.

 

“You just watched me inhale – literally – a smoothie, I’m good,” Jimin laughs, his eyes crinkling at the corners slightly, making his face look even softer and youthful.

 

Yoongi snaps his gaze away from the alpha when the wolf turns to move past him.

 

“So, how was your first night sleep in your den, Yoongi?” Taehyung asks with a soft smile as he begins to cut into the homemade bread.

 

“Slept like a log,” Yoongi lies through his teeth as he smiles back at the beta, and softly apologises to Jimin as he brushes past him to at least help with the beta, since the alpha had paused in leaving the area.

 

A quick glance at the paused wolf tells Yoongi nothing, and grins at Taehyung’s soft ‘thanks’ as he begins to cut up the tomatoes into thin slices.

 

“And how was your patrol?” Taehyung questions Jimin, and Yoongi frowns, knife poised in confusion as he looks between the two wolves.

 

“Same old,” Jimin responds with a smile, and then notices Yoongi’s confusion, “I usually patrol the pack grounds before I sleep. A habit from my upbringing, really.”

 

Yoongi recalls the vast amount of times he’s seen alphas patrolling whenever he had to stay over in a wild birth pack, and nods in understanding.

 

Wild wolves take rank responsibilities very seriously, even if they are stereotyped behaviours for those ranks.

 

“How long has it been since you left your birth pack?” Yoongi questions curiously, since he doesn’t remember Jungkook ever telling him deep details about his pack members.

 

Jimin’s face turns thoughtful as he leans against the island, the sound of Taehyung softly humming and the sharp sound of the knife on the chopping board filling the space.

 

“Almost eleven years,” Jimin answers slowly as he calculates. “I left when I was eighteen.”

 

Yoongi was not expecting to hear that, and makes sure to not let his surprise show on his face at hearing an alpha leave a wild birth pack at the age of eighteen, a year below the standard.

 

Wild packs very rarely let alphas go, especially if they look like Jimin. How the hell did the alpha manage leaving his birth pack without a dozen of Beckoning offers trying to stop him?

 

“I left mine as soon as I was able to get a Support job, fuck living in those suffocating conditions,” Taehyung replies with his own, making Yoongi and Jimin nod in agreement.

 

“Have you always lived in the capital?” Jimin questions lightly, soft welcoming smile on his lips.

 

Yoongi nods. “Born and raised.”

 

“I used to envy city wolves, but after living on islands for a few years, I envy island wolves instead,” Jimin hums out as he straightens, making to leave again.

 

“You both are bigging up living this island lifestyle, I better not be disappointed,” Yoongi jokes, making Taehyung bark out a laugh as he hands Yoongi his sandwich, while Jimin looks a little shocked by his bluntness.

 

Yoongi gets that shocked look a lot because of his straightforward nature to even strangers, so he doesn’t take any offence to it as he thanks the beta for the food, and bites into the cheese and tomatoes sandwich, easily noting the difference of homegrown produce from what he’s used to eating back in the city.

 

“Clean this up for us, yeah?” Taehyung calls sweetly to Jimin as he steps around and past Yoongi, already biting into his sandwich as he leads the way to the guest door.

 

Yoongi can’t help but smirk at the affronted, playful, look on the alpha’s face as he steps past Jimin.

 

But, not a word of complaint comes from the alpha.

 

Yoongi glances back at the alpha just before he slides the door shut and notes the fond smile on Jimin’s face even as he cleans up their mess.

 

It’ll never fail to shock his system whenever he sees wild alphas behaving out of the way that he’s seen them behave in wild pack settings.

 

Maybe he’s starting to understand the reason why there four alphas in this support pack, and that it allows guests like Yoongi to unlearn what he knows or expects of examples he’s seen from other alphas.

 

“I can’t show you our side, but I can take you around the little fencing we have, since that is still public to guests,” Taehyung begins as they turn right, turning towards the unexplored part of this side of the grounds as they step down the wooden steps off the wooden decking, and onto another wooden walkway that follows alongside the wall of the main building.

 

“Do you get many guests trying to come and see you on your side?” Yoongi asks, curious to know, as he slowly forces his protesting tummy to accept solid food.

 

“In the past, we’ve had a few that did mistake a Support’s attention for something else,” Taehyung admits freely, and Yoongi can feel his eyes widen in surprise, causing the beta to giggle.

 

“It comes with the territory, sometimes,” Taehyung begins to explain as he leads them to a gated area that appears to be the garden, “depending on the wolf, they can misread our intentions for guiding them into a healthier state of being, with romantic or even sexual intentions. But, those misreading’s are often stemmed from that wolf’s upbringing in how they view certain behaviours, and such.”

 

“What do you guys do when that happens?” Yoongi asks as Taehyung leads them into a pretty impressive garden that is full of fragranced plants, all of which are vibrant and growing well, no doubt the cause of Namjoon’s dedication and maintenance.

 

“Explain, and try to find the source of the misunderstanding. If that doesn’t help, then the guest’s stay is terminated and they’re moved onto another support pack to prevent further conflict from both sides,” Taehyung sighs out heavily as they pause on the wooden walkway in the middle of garden. “All Supports are trained knowing that particular risk, but it’s never fun having to turn away a wolf in need.”

 

“Some wolves just aren’t meant to be supported in this way. It’s really intimate and personal, this whole supporting business,” Yoongi says lightly, not fully reassuring the wolf since Taehyung isn’t sending him the full signals for that, but with understanding to the wolf’s occupational hazard.

 

But, the soft tugging in his chest continues, much more noticeable today than yesterday now that he’s not weighed down from travelling and being sea sick.

 

“True, even Supports that reside in birth packs are seen as targets for jealousy because they’re so hands-on with a wolf that another has their eye on,” Taehyung continues, and Yoongi tilts his head at this titbit of information, since he never really stuck around long enough to see details like the one Taehyung is describing.

 

“So, what made you become one, since you were a Hunter, previously?”

 

“I knew I was capable of providing support since I have the temperament for it,” Taehyung smiles as they both stand there in the garden of vibrant flowers, herbs, and produce, each holding their half-eaten sandwich, “but, Supports were more of an omega role in my birth pack, rather than a mixed one like others, so I knew I would never get an official job as a Support in my birth pack, no matter how many times I would shadow and learn from Mentors.”

 

“Hunting was just handed to me since my wolf form is built for it,” Taehyung shrugs. “I mean, hunting is just another form of support, but….it never satisfied the feeling inside.”

 

“So, you left at the first chance of a Support job?” Yoongi states softly, rather than question.

 

Taehyung nods, grinning, as he brings his sandwich up.

 

“And I haven’t looked back since,” the beta states with pride just before he takes a massive bite into his sandwich, humming with delight around his mouthful.

 

Living in the city, Yoongi never saw or interacted with Supports outside of his work. It was only whenever he was on assignment that he would have very brief interactions with them, so to have this type of conversation with Taehyung….it really helps fill in gaps that Yoongi has assumed over the course of his life about how Supports truly work.

 

And he’s going to be getting a hands-on experience too, so by the time he leaves, he’ll know much more than he did when he first arrived.

 

“Okay, so, this is Namjoon’s haven and the main source of our trade with other packs and the mainland,” Taehyung announces with a prideful tone as Yoongi quietly finishes his sandwich, watching the wolf as he points to different fruits and herbs that are popular.

 

“Namjoon doesn’t mind guests sitting and enjoying the fragrances, he just asks that no one – including pack members – to touch,” Taehyung grins as he leads Yoongi through to the other side of the garden, leaving Yoongi to close the gate behind them.

 

“This path will take you all the way around the outskirt of the residence pack members live in and to the front of the main building where the gate and jeep is,” Taehyung continues his tour as they begin to walk from the building and garden, and into the mild, but maintained growth, of bush and trees.

 

Yoongi sees wild flowers growing amongst the grass and bushes, the trees thick and old, sturdy and health in their towering heights, as they walk on the outskirts of the thickness the woods enclosed inside the pack grounds.

 

Soon enough, he sees the start of the dark brown fencing that breaks from the growth of greenery, and sees the pack members dens for the first time.

 

“Are they cargo containers, too?” Yoongi questions, slowly, as he stares curiously at the round-roofed dens.

 

“Nah, these are made out of timber with an overextended thatched roof,” Taehyung stops, giving Yoongi the silent go-ahead to be nosey as he smiles. “They’re smaller versions of how the Velli Pack house their wolves.”

 

“Not strictly cabin-like, but also not too limiting on space, either,” Yoongi notes as he takes in the dinky porches.

 

“Inside, they’re mainly for single-living, but it’s do-able for a couple,” Taehyung teases, making Yoongi laugh as they begin to walk again.

 

“Is it common for Supports to live alone?”

 

“In support packs? Mostly, yeah,” Taehyung hums, their walk slow, the air not too warm or humid, but nice.

 

“It’s mainly in birth packs that Supports are seen having a family, since they generally have the housing to do it,” the beta laughs softly, making Yoongi smile too.

 

“But, Hoseok isn’t opposed to us having relationships, as long as it doesn’t spill over into our work.”

 

Yoongi nods in understanding. “He really is a chill High.”

 

“Super chill,” Taehyung stresses back passionately with a mixture of relief in his tone too. “Islanders, they just….they just naturally behave on a level that we’re all striving to be on, you know?”

 

“A level we try to convince humans we’re on, when sadly, we’re not,” Yoongi chuckles out. “I am curious to learn the island way of living. City living bores me, and wild living is just out of the question.”

 

“Island wolves get as much shit as city wolves do in wild packs, but….if most of the wild packs actually became socialised outside of other wild regions, then we’d all be nearing that level we’re trying so hard to show humans.”

 

“It’s still a competition for wild wolves, the need to be the ‘winning’ ones in remaining ‘true’ to our wolf history, as if we even know our own history and evolution background clearly enough, even to this day, since most of it is glorified gossip,” Yoongi huffs out, slightly exasperated.

 

“You must know a lot due to your line of work,” Taehyung hedges casually, and Yoongi bites back the urge to smile at his Support’s way of leading them towards him beginning to open up some personal layers.

 

“Probably too much,” Yoongi says with a slight sigh to the end of his words. “But, I’ve been thinking of what you said yesterday, about how my jobs represent the way I represent myself - my rank - to others, and I think you’re onto something.”

 

“Oh?” Taehyung says as they walk completely amongst trees now, still on the wooden walkway.

 

“For the longest time, I’ve been questioning myself why I’m still doing what I do, why was I a Data Collector when I was tired of dealing with wild bullshit and sticking my nose so deep into another’s business, and why did I think it would be a good idea for me to become a fucking Monitor which means I have to deal with more bullshit from wild packs,” Yoongi says softly as he looks at the trees, taking in their warm tones of bark, and vivid greenness of their healthy leaves, “and I never could answer my own questions.”

 

“With what you said about me taking some delight in the ability of proving that my rank breaks stereotypes, that I break more of those by being how I am…it really got me thinking if I have unintentionally been displaying some sort of arrogance,” Yoongi finishes with a shrug, and immediately rushes to explain more at the sharp look of concern from the beta.

 

“I’m not stating that my attitude was the cause of my attack, I’m just saying that….maybe it played a part if I have been walking around with this air of-”

 

“Even if you walk around with an air of self-reassurance and confidence, that does not condone or invite anyone to lay a hand on you,” Taehyung cuts him off, tone gentle, but his words clear, “and you do give off an air of confidence, Yoongi, and that is perfectly okay to have. What isn’t okay, is if you start to think that your confidence in yourself and your rank, is the cause of behaviours that have been directed towards you.”

 

Yoongi thinks the male’s words over, agreeing, but also disagreeing at the same time.

 

“We all know how wild wolves act,” Yoongi points out, tone light and debating to make sure the other wolf understands that he isn’t taking everything he’s saying too deeply, “I’m just saying that my job as a Monitor ruffles fur enough, without rocking up on their doorstep with confidence that I believe in, and what they don’t believe an omega should have.”

 

“We do know how wild wolves act, and we also know that severely narrow-minded wild wolves will not listen to authority that is outside of the pack they’re part of,” Taehyung points back.

 

“The wolves that attacked me were beta and alpha, well, an alpha Second leading the assault, an alpha that immediately sent red flags flying as soon as I interacted with him,” Yoongi brings up the topic of his assault first, and Taehyung doesn’t react at all surprised or shocked by the suddenness.

 

His Support just nods, his pacing unchanged, his gaze still glancing back and forth from Yoongi and the trees like he has been doing since they entered the forest part of the pack grounds.

 

“I saw those red flags, and I still entered the pack grounds,” Yoongi continues. “I knew I was entering a potentially dangerous situation because I called in officers before I even got close to the den area.”

 

“You did, but from what I know of Monitors, that is your job – putting yourself into dangerous situations because the situation is already volatile, it’s why you were summoned there to check, yes?” Taehyung questions lightly, meeting Yoongi’s gaze as he nods. “So, even though I personally believe Monitors shouldn’t be sent alone into situations like that, it is, after all, your job, correct?”

 

“It is, but we also are trained to know when to not intervene.”

 

“And you choose to intervene, why?” Taehyung asks, curious, and Yoongi is the one to pause them on the walkway since – for once – that question hasn’t been snapped at him.

 

Yoongi can easily recall the report that came with assignment, the Data Collector’s review concerning if there was evidence of abuse.

 

“Because it wasn’t a social pack, but a prison for the High Beta,” Yoongi reveals as the writing lingers in his mind, highlighting key words that made his blood race with anger.

 

Taehyung tilts his head slightly. “How so?”

 

“Fear is a cruel, suffocating, prison,” Yoongi answers loosely, since he technically isn’t legally allowed to mention specific details from ongoing investigations. “And this social pack stunk of it.”

 

“And the instigator was the Second, the alpha?”

 

Yoongi nods, shoving his hands into his jean’s pockets. “He was a wild, narrowminded, asshole of an alpha, through and through. The others only attacked with violence when he barked for them to, because he was using dominance to enforce his orders.”

 

Taehyung’s lips are pulled slightly in a look of disgust at that, even as he tries to clear it, Yoongi still catches it, and can’t help but smile.

 

“I needed proof, and I sure got it,” Yoongi sighs out as he starts walking again, with Taehyung falling in step alongside him.

 

“I think that what you do, what you did that day especially, not a lot of wolves can do.”

 

Yoongi glances at the beta, at the way Taehyung has a thoughtful look on his face as he looks up at the trees offering them shade.

 

“It takes a certain wolf that willingly puts aside their own safety, their own survival instincts, in order to help another, and that goes beyond what rank you may be, because even some alphas can’t reach that level of selflessness,” Taehyung continues in a slow, thoughtful tone.

 

Yoongi blinks at the sudden look fixed on him, one of softness and firmness.

 

“Your job allows you to prove that the omega stereotype is wrong, yes, it proves to others that you carry a confidence that is natural because you’re comfortable in your own skin, yes. But, your job also proves just what kind of wolf you truly are, Yoongi.”

 

“A reckless one,” Yoongi lightly jokes as his chest tightens from the way he’s being looked and spoken to with such sincerity.

 

He’s just not used to facing it, and doesn’t know how to process it.

 

“To be reckless, you have to have some form of confidence in your own ability to come out on the other side, scathed or not,” Taehyung tuts lightly, not taking his joke seriously, as he playfully rolls his eyes.

 

“I’m not completely selfless, I just don’t like seeing others being abused,” Yoongi argues quietly as they come to the front of the pack ground’s where the gate is.

 

“Do you still believe that you’re not selfless, despite what you went through?”

 

Yoongi pauses, and Taehyung stops a little bit ahead of him.

 

Taehyung looks back at him, gaze comforting, encouraging, far from the anger and the frustration Yoongi has been met with ever since he woke up in hospital, weeks ago.

 

“Would you like to continue the tour with me, or alone?” Taehyung questions, and Yoongi is thankful for the wolf’s intuition of wanting a breather as he answers back with ‘alone’.

 

Taehyung doesn’t even look surprised at his answer, and just steps towards the main door of the building.

 

“If you want to eat dinner with us, I’ll see you later this evening, if you wish to eat alone in your den, then I’ll see you tomorrow morning for breakfast, yes?” Taehyung says with a knowing smile at the end of his question, since Yoongi immediately pulls a face at the word ‘breakfast’.

 

“If I come for dinner, does that give me a free pass from breakfast?” Yoongi tries, since it’s very clear his Support is determined to achieve what Jungkook failed to do for years back in the city.

 

Taehyung laughs as he shakes his head, pulling open the glass, frosted, door.

 

“Worth a try,” Yoongi grins, finding the beta’s laughter infectious and comforting because he’s heard it so much through phone calls.

 

Again, the soft tug in his chest pulls as it too responds to the wolf’s laugh.

 

“Enjoy the rest of your afternoon, Yoongi, don’t fall into the sea!” Taehyung calls as he slips into the building, leaving Yoongi alone.

 

Despite the wolf no longer being there, the beta’s orange scent is still there with him as he walks onwards towards a smaller gate that must lead to the guest part of the pack grounds, as well as the sea front.

 

Walking along the wooden walkway, Yoongi replays his conversation with the beta.

 

It’s difficult to put into words exactly how he feels about where blame should lie.

 

Should the blame be on the social pack that slaughtered the High Beta, and tried to do the same to Yoongi before Officers arrived?

 

Should it be on Yoongi for going through with the inspection, despite calling for back-up, despite the gut feeling he had?

 

Or, should it go higher above?

 

Is it the government’s fault that this happened – keeps happening – to Monitors, Officers, and even Data Collectors that are only trying to do their job in maintaining order, because the government allows pack laws to exist, instead of enforcing the actual law?

 

Where should the blame land?

 

Yoongi doesn’t know the answer to that, and he suspects that neither does anyone else.

 

Shit happens, at the end of the day, even if that shit causes scars and nightmares, it happens because life cannot be controlled in every inch of it.

 

Yoongi knew the chances of violence being used against him when he took this job, he knew how different branches of packs work, he knew all of the above stems from erratic behaviours, behaviours that can’t be controlled, but only cautioned and prepped to face.

 

Yoongi inhales the crisp scent of the sea as he comes to stand on the slight little dock, the guest dens behind him, as he gazes out at the calm surface of the water.

 

Yoongi knows processing is part of dealing with trauma, to make sense of where blame and reason lies, but there is nothing for him to really process since he was so acutely aware of what was about to happen.

 

Maybe it could help the images in his head, the ones that are brought out when darkness comes for him, or maybe it might not, maybe that’s just something he’ll have to learn to put up with.

 

Yoongi and trauma are strangers. He’s never had anyone close to him go through something traumatic, and he himself has only had mild scuffs or arguments that only annoyed him rather than traumatise him.

 

So…he doesn’t really know how he should be processing his own when he has a clear view of the reason why it happened.

 

Letting out a heavy sigh, Yoongi lightly scuffs his shoe against the wood, knocking off a stray leaf into the water.

 

And then he feels it.

 

The feeling from behind as the back of his neck tingles.

 

Yoongi glances over his shoulder at the subconscious instinct of feeling a gaze on him, his eyes scanning at the dens, instead of the pathway he’s just come from, since that is where his instinct is pointing him into.

 

With the wind blowing from the sea, Yoongi can’t catch another other scent other than his own and the sea’s, so it takes him a moment to fix on the wolf that is a distance away, on the wooden decking where the guest side doors are.

 

Yoongi’s eyesight is as poor as his lacking height, another downfall of being born in a restricted, city, environment where he couldn’t naturally train and improve his heightened senses as an omega, so it takes him a few strained blinking to realise who is watching him.

 

And the wolf is watching him, since the male has yet to move.

 

Yoongi raises his hand and waves it at the alpha in greeting, before turning to face the sea again.

 

Jimin may be a wild wolf, an alpha too, but Yoongi has no issues with that.

 

Just open curiosity to see how island-living has changed a wild wolf that somehow managed to leave a birth pack with a face he has.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It takes a moment for Jimin to realise the banging noise that has just sounded came from him accidently yanking the sliding door shut with more force than needed.

 

Taehyung and Jin raise an eyebrow at him from where they sit in the floor pit, both nursing cups of tea.

 

“You alright there?” Taehyung is the first to ask, tracking the way Jimin moves towards the kitchen, to the open doorway where the laundry room is at the back of the building.

 

“Yeah, I just forgot to erase my name from the whiteboard,” Jimin calls back, trying to ignore the way his hands are still twitching, or the fact that his heart feels like it’s been choked, as he steps into the tiny room to wipe his name clear off the whiteboard.

 

The whiteboard is mainly there for the guests, rather than themselves, since they’re so used to each other’s scent and sometimes having that scent on them from being affectionate.

 

But, for guests, it’s different, and it’s vital that their scent isn’t cross-scented with another wolf’s, so that is why there is a rota for pack members and guests to write their name on, so that using the lone washer and dryer that they have is another neutral area with organised time slots.

 

Of course, guests have the option of manually washing and drying their own clothes, since that is a very therapeutic exercise when combined with a support session, so they do have the means to do that as well.

 

Jimin moves with a restless energy that wasn’t present when he left to sneak a few mint leaves from Namjoon’s garden, but now his body is unexpectedly flooded with it as he neatens the already neat room, buying himself time to hide his jitters from the pair of hawk-eyes out in the floor pit.

 

Even the air filtration isn’t doing much in removing the tingling scent of faint cedarwood from his nose.

 

Jimin stalks himself out of the laundry room with an air of peace that he doesn’t feel as he ignores the way his insides are fixating on the tendrils of cedarwood.

 

And freezes when the guest doors slide open to reveal a soft smiling Yoongi that nods his head in acknowledgement at the bright calls from the other two wolves in the room.

 

“Are you looking for Jungkook?” Taehyung calls, not moving from his position as he smiles at the omega that closes the door behind him.

 

Yoongi shakes his head, and runs a pale hand through his dark lengths.

 

Jimin had stopped breathing the very second the door opened and the outside air shot the wolf’s scent straight at him, but he’s damn fucking sure that little action brought more of the other’s scent straight at him.

 

“I was wondering if I could steal some oats?” The wolf requests, and Jimin is still not used to the deep, slightly rough but not quite, voice of the omega, still not used to the way his senses become more focused on the wolf.

 

“Sure, hold on – Jimin, show him where they are!” Jin hollers as he remains comfortably on the floor.

 

Jimin’s feet respond even as he tracks the shuffling sound of the omega joining him in the kitchen.

 

“I forgot to pack some, it’s always handy to have in for a late snack,” Yoongi continues speaking to the other two as Jimin pulls open the cupboard that is above the counter that holds their dry ingredients, and steps back so that he won’t be in the wolf’s space once he joins him at the cupboard.

 

“If you’ve forgotten anything else, just let us know. We can get it, or I can take you to the port,” Taehyung pipes up as he smiles over the rim of his cup at the wolf as Yoongi joins Jimin.

 

Jimin, however, is chewing on his tongue as he ignores the tugging in his gut, reminding it and himself that he’s not the wolf’s Support, so he needs to keep his opinions to himself.

 

Most often, Taehyung knows more than he lets on, so if he’s suspected the same reason that Jimin is suspecting, of course the beta isn’t going to bring it up in mixed company.

 

Jimin hasn’t mentioned the fact that he saw Yoongi up in the late hours of the morning, or the fact he didn’t attend breakfast, and had showed hesitance to eat the sandwich that Taehyung had made him, all possible clues of a disturbed night of sleep.

 

Jimin clears his throat as he forces his legs towards the fridge so that he can keep himself distracted from his tongue making any comments as he helps himself to a small glass bottle of homemade juice.

 

“Do you have a container?”

 

Jimin almost drops the glass bottle, since he wasn’t expecting the question directed to him as he senses Yoongi come up behind him.

 

Tightening his grip around the glass bottle because Jin would drag his ass across the sea to purchase another one, Jimin smiles – what he really hopes is a warm one and not a startled one – at Yoongi as he quickly retrieves a glass container.

 

“Take as much as you need,” Jimin says softly, ignoring the tugging still going strong in his gut.

 

As Yoongi pours out what he needs, Jimin uses that chance to join the other two in the floor pit, giving the wolf space so that he doesn’t feel uncomfortable around Jimin.

 

And ignores the not so subtle looks being given to him by either wolf sitting across from him.

 

“You joining us for dinner?” Jin calls towards where Yoongi is closing the cupboard as he holds his glass container of oats.

 

Jimin almost gulps down half of his juice at the way the wolf shakes his head, sending more of his scent towards Jimin, as he moves to leave.

 

“I’m not used to a lot of socialising with wolves I’m not familiar with, Jungkook will tell you that himself,” Yoongi says politely, and Jin nods in understanding, “so I just wanna ease myself into this, since this is all new to me, anyway.”

 

“Understandable. These two here took some time getting used to free time to eat by themselves,” Jin says with a nod to Taehyung and Jimin, causing Taehyung to playfully roll his eyes.

 

Jimin hears a soft, rumbling, chuckle, and he definitely chokes down the juice this time as his chest fills with sudden warmth at hearing it, snorting it back out through his nose as Taehyung and Jin loudly exclaim in mock disgust at his dramatic hacking.

 

“What is with you? You’re gonna choke yourself before the week is even over!” comes Taehyung’s laughter as Jimin rushes up and towards the kitchen to mop up his face, his cheeks burning.

 

 When he turns around without juice all over his chin, he sees that Yoongi had left whilst he had been preoccupied with cleaning up his mess.

 

Jimin returns back to his seat, plopping down with a heavy sigh as he faces the incoming questions that are just waiting for his ass to fully settle on the cushion.

 

“You’re acting strange,” is the first thing Taehyung blurts out, beating Jin by a millisecond.

 

“I have to agree, you’re acting unlike yourself,” Jin says as he pushes aside his cup, his expression soft with warm concern.

 

“The only way I can make sense of it is because I’m the only one here that never smelt his sample, so it’s taking me aback,” Jimin sighs out as he leans on his elbows, looking at the wolves in front of him, feeling heavy from the sudden rush of reactions he’s having to the omega’s scent.

 

Jin makes a humming sound as he nods along, while Taehyung silently drinks his tea as the alpha speaks.

 

“You’re saying that you could’ve been his Support?”

 

Jimin nods. “It’s my first time finding myself compatible with a guest that already has a Support, so I’m learning to-what?” Jimin questions at the raised eyebrow coming at him from Jin.

 

“You’re learning to, what?” Jin questions, curious, ignoring Jimin’s question.

 

Jimin shrugs. “I dunno, to ignore the impulse to make sure my guest is okay and settled? The usual.”

 

Jin glances at Taehyung’s still, silent, form, who is still quietly sipping away at his tea, his brown gaze neutral on Jimin, before glancing back at Jimin, his mouth opening to ask something.

 

“You sure it’s just about being a compatible Support and not a compatible pack member?”

 

Both Jimin and Jin whip their heads at Taehyung’s sudden question, Jin looking more stricken at the directness, and Jimin looking confused.

 

“No?” Jimin answers, frowning when Jin sighs and sends Taehyung a pointed look for the bluntness, before looking at Jimin.

 

“You didn’t realise you had connected to us until Jin had to teach you what your instinct was saying,” Taehyung points out, tone soft, but factual.

 

Jimin restrains the urge to flinch at the reminder.

 

Jimin wasn’t ever taught what it meant to connect to another wolf, to know what a Zentt bond felt like to be triggered.

 

Alphas didn’t need to connect, they just needed to protect, in his birth pack.

 

It was only when he came here as a guest, to learn other supporting methods, did he realise that he had connected to Jin, Hoseok, Namjoon, Taehyung, and eagerly developed a Zentt bond with them, like they did to him.

 

His connection to Jungkook came more apparent once the wolf moved to the island and the other wolf was willing to develop a Zentt bond in return.

 

But, he wasn’t feeling the same pull as he had done with them towards Yoongi, and he says this to them both as they attentively listen.

 

It reminds him of the days he was a guest, struggling with his identity, his purpose.

 

“It could be a delayed scent reaction,” Jin murmurs, thinking, “what with the month-long break between work, you could be out of practise, so it could be affecting your response to a compatible guest.”

 

Taehyung hums in response, but Jimin knows the same aged wolf well, knows when the beta has a different opinion but is keeping tight-lipped until he’s certain if it’s right or wrong.

 

Jimin drains what is rest of his juice, standing as he does so to clean it so that it can go back in the cupboard for the next batch of juice to be shared.

 

“Will you be patrolling tonight?” Taehyung asks as Jimin shoves his sandals back on.

 

He shakes his head, swallowing the juice. “Not tonight, no.”

 

“Not that he needs to do it,” Jin sniffs, making both Taehyung and Jimin share the same look as the alpha gives Jimin a pointed look.

 

Hoseok wasn’t the only alpha that wanted to make sure that Jimin knew he didn’t need to patrol, Jin was forever on his tail about it because it messes up Jimin’s sleep.

 

“I know I don’t, but it makes me feel settled, so it’s worth it,” Jimin calls as he heads for the sink, this debate familiar and not at all scolding as others may take it if they were to overhear it.

 

Jimin half listens to his pack members as they return back to whatever it was that they were talking about before Jimin and Yoongi distracted them as he cleans and rinses the glass bottle, his mind wandering off to how different he feels just interacting with pack members, compared to back in his birth pack.

 

Jimin wouldn’t have been able to joke around with other wolves, other alphas, his age due to suffocating image of alphas being seen, but not really heard.

 

Jimin was there to reassure the pack was safe, not to comment on if such-and-such had a nice day.

 

Jimin scrubs a little harder at the glass, causing it to squeak from the friction he’s using.

 

His birth pack really messed up his sense of identity and purpose in life by robbing him of very basic interactions – making conversations with peers and other ranks, being able to sleep more than three hours, even eating customs were different for alphas in his birth pack.

 

Alphas would sit at their own designated tables if they lived outside of the parental den, if they still resided with parents, then they would sit only at that table, unless given permission to sit with wolves of Beckoning interest.

 

Jimin was so used to sitting with his family, watching them eat, waiting until they were done until he could go and claim his portion from the kitchen, where he would then have to quickly eat his food to avoid being alone in the meal hall since that was a social no-no in his birth pack.

 

It never made sense to Jimin that alphas had to rush their own food to avoiding being seen eating alone, since they were basically alone, anyway.

 

Jimin leaves the bottle to dry on the draining board besides the sink, and moves to dry his hands.

 

Honestly, being an alpha sucked in his birth pack. It was suffocating, rigid, and so focused on his rank, that Jimin wouldn’t be at all surprised if the High didn’t know all of their names.

 

“I’m gonna go for a run, I’ll be back for dinner, though,” Jimin announces, his skin itching to shift and shut down memories of his past, and waves at them as he exits out of the main door of the communal area, shutting the frosted glass door behind him.

 

He waves at Jungkook who is getting out of the jeep, heading for the gate.

 

“You going for a run?” Jungkook calls as he slams the door shut, heading for the rear to unpack whatever he’s bought.

 

Jimin shouts back an affirmative as he races through the closing gate to beat it before it can fully shut, and hears Jungkook wish him a good run from the other side.

 

Technically, their pack grounds are big enough to run in your wolf form, but when Jimin isn’t supporting a guest, he prefers to run the island, respecting the boundary lines of the two birth packs that co-exist with them.

 

Not that either pack mind when the members run through their boundary lines. Hoseok and Jin’s birth pack encourage it, and sometimes those two do revisit their childhood running trails.

 

Jimin hums as he walks away from the road, away from the fencing that closes in the pack, until he reaches the clothing box that Hoseok built for them.

 

His toes tickle with every teasing brush from the blades of grass that graze over his sandaled feet, his senses, his instinct, reaching out, taking in the area of trees and wilderness beauty.

 

Upon reaching the clothing box, Jimin undresses, folding his clothes neatly, and placing them on top of his sandals as he puts them inside the cupboard.

 

Once he was banished, Jimin spent a lot of years in his wolf form, just drifting from social pack to social pack, until he somehow ended up on a ferry heading to an island that he’d never heard of because his birth pack didn’t care for island wolves.

 

It was only there that Jimin realised his training as an alpha could be used in another way, a more instinctual way of showing compassion and support, rather than security.

 

Jimin stopped drifting like a shadow of rank, and grew into his shell of being Jimin.

 

Rolling his shoulders, Jimin inhales deeply from his stomach, and exhales slowly as begins to quieten his mind.

 

Namjoon taught him that a calm start will equal a more enjoyable shift, where you’re reconnecting to your wolf, your identity, your core.

 

Jimin was taught to shove himself through a shift as fast as he could as a pup, was so used to the pain it brought, the aches and the headache that would persist for a full day.

 

Jimin learnt that shifting shouldn’t bring pain, it should bring calm as you shed one form for another, that it should bring you peace, not chaos.

 

It’s almost like meditation, a soft exercise of breathing through the release that the mind triggers to the rest of the body to pull and push.

 

Jimin lowers himself to his hands and knees once his mind has quietened, and just like that, his shift ripples through his skin, almost like the waves that lap against the shorelines of the island, repetitive and strong with power as he moves his body as it contracts and contorts.

 

Shifting isn’t easy, it makes you breathless by the end of it, sweating slightly under your fur, your heart racing from the physical endurance it takes to push and pull from two different forms.

 

It’s moments like this that the old stories of the sun’s and moon’s magic truly resonate within wolves as they shed one skin, and take on another.

 

Shaking out his fur, Jimin stretches out onto his front paws, arching his back, as he sucks in a lungful of air, enjoying the feeling of being in his wolf form, before rising up onto all four paws.

 

Jimin is short in his other form, but in his wolf form, he likes to think he’s no taller than how city wolves are in their wolf forms.

 

But, Jimin isn’t a city wolf, and for as long as he can remember, he was met with pitying eyes from those in his birth pack for his lacking height and build.

 

The only good thing going for Jimin was the way his fur coat looks.

 

His back and underbelly marbled with cool-tones of grey and white – almost like a saddle that horses wear - while the rest of his body was a deep black that wasn’t dull or limp.

 

Due to having black fur covering his face, neck, legs and tail, it always made the ice blueness of his eyes stand out, as well as his saddled fur markings.

 

Jimin gently sniffs down at the forest floor, inhaling to see if anyone has been out here recently, and wags his tail at the old scent of plums and vanilla that represent Hoseok.

 

And then, Jimin lets go.

 

He lets his wolf nature take over, allowing raw instinct to flood through his veins, directing him as he races through the forest, causing disturbance through the grass, and the bushes that he races around and past.

 

As a wolf, Jimin feels the most connected to his body, as do most wolves do.

 

As a wolf, Jimin can forget about haunted memories.

 

As a wolf, he’s free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently, he is patrolling tonight.

 

Jimin had tried, he really did.

 

But, Jimin knows what those oats were for, even as he argued with himself in his own den, he knew the real reason why Yoongi requested for oats after his first night in the pack.

 

And yet, his instinct wanted to be sure.

 

It pushed.

 

It niggled.

 

It clawed.

 

So, here he is, one in the morning, standing on the wooden decking that connects to the guest side of the communal building, chewing his lips as he stares at the lone light that shines through the guest area, away from the smaller ones that light the pathways.

 

Jimin leans on the wooden railing, debating whether he should go and notify Taehyung, or to keep his nose out of the wolf’s supporting.

 

Maybe Taehyung knows himself that Yoongi is using the oats as way to neutralise his scent inside his own den, since it’s common knowledge when you’re so used to cleaning with natural means.

 

Maybe his friend is just biding his time to approach the subject with his own guest.

 

Maybe Jimin should just turn around and walk away.

 

The thought is there, the tension is in his muscles too.

 

And yet, he remains locked in place against the railing, gaze fixed on the glow around the curtains that comes from Yoongi’s den.

 

Against his willpower, a small rumble leaves him from deep within his throat, and it makes his own ears redden.

 

Jimin almost smacks into the glass in his rush to eject himself from the decking.

 

Maybe Taehyung was right.

 

Maybe he was connecting to Yoongi.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi is tempted to not go, but, strangely, he feels really bad if he doesn’t go to breakfast.

 

He’s not sure if it’s because he’ll be letting down Taehyung and Jungkook, or himself.

 

He is here to change, after all, to make better habits.

 

Yoongi inhales the last dregs of his black coffee, his den smelling of it, as the coffee beans and oats that are placed in the bowls he found in the cupboard - two in the bedding area, one in the mini hallway opposite the bathroom door, and one on the countertop.

 

Yoongi makes sure to grab the empty glass container he borrowed yesterday, and shoves his feet into his slip-on shoes, his heels pressing down on the back of the shoe, making it like a sandal.

 

Locking his den behind him, Yoongi bites back the urge to yawn as he shuffles down the wooden pathway, towards the communal building.

 

He’s not nervous to meet the other two guests, but more with trying to force down something into his jittery stomach.

 

On the way, he glances at the dens being used, noting that one of them still has the curtains drawn whilst the other is wide open, showing a female pottering around inside.

 

Yoongi diverts his gaze at seeing the other wolf, and drags his feet up the steps of the decking.

 

“G’morning,” Yoongi calls as he opens the door, startling the pack members inside at the sudden extra voice joining in along with theirs, before smiles and greetings are thrown his way.

 

Jungkook is the first to approach him, grinning proudly at Yoongi’s eye-rolling form.

 

“Sleeping beauty graced us with his presence this morning, I’m honoured,” the younger wolf playfully taunts almost dipping into a playful bow as well, and Yoongi responds by shoving the glass container against the alpha’s chest as the wolf giggles at the playful snarl Yoongi sends him.

 

It’s familiar, and helps ease his jittery tummy.

 

“You’ve ate all of it already?” Taehyung questions, his gaze on the glass container in his boyfriend’s hands as both of them join the hustle and bustle in the kitchen area.

 

Yoongi smiles at Jimin who is assisting Namjoon in juicing fruits and vegetables, the handful of leaves in the alpha’s hand fisted tightly to prevent any from falling, as he nods his head at Yoongi in a greeting, watching them, as Jungkook places the container on the island.

 

“I stored them in a container that I found in the den,” Yoongi lies smoothly, adding a warm smile to it as he places his hands onto the smooth countertop, “is there anything I can do to help?”

 

Before anyone can say anything, Namjoon answers immediately.

 

“You can bring your taste buds over here so you can experience a whole new world,” the omega declares with a massive, encouraging, grin, and Yoongi can’t help but be amused at the way Jimin sends the omega a helpless look of fond embarrassment.

 

“It’s just juice, Joon,” the alpha sighs out as he puts in the greens at Namjoon’s waving hand to do so as he monitors the blender in action.

 

Namjoon responds by poking Jimin in the middle of his forehead that is bare due to the way the alpha’s hair is parted as it’s thrown up into a mess bun today.

 

Yoongi ignores the fact he’s noted the difference, reminding himself he really does need to turn off that part his brain that soaks in details.

 

“Says the wolf that never tasted a smoothie until I educated you on them.”

 

Jimin rolls his eyes so hard, Yoongi can’t help the huff of breath that escapes him as he looks from the playful scene to see what Hoseok and Jin are up to at the stove.

 

Breakfast today consists of a porridge that looks rich and tasty – a standard, since the food he’s had so far from the pack has been - sliced up fruits, toasted wholemeal bread, and a bowl of yoghurt.

 

“We usually plate our food here, and eat at the table for breakfast, since it’s more of a buffet kinda style, and most times we’re all not here at the same time,” Hoseok explains as Jin grabs a bowl and starts serving himself a generous serving of porridge.

 

Yoongi blinks at that, but nods along.

 

Okay, this is definitely a new eating style, especially for the first meal of the day, which usually follows the same pattern as dinner does in wild packs.

 

Yoongi watches as Jin moves to sit first in the floor pit after he’s dropped some strawberries and blueberries into his porridge with a drizzle of honey over it, and then observes how Hoseok and Taehyung talk as they plate up their breakfast, while Jungkook moves to take four glasses of water to the table.

 

Yoongi raises an eyebrow as he watches the way Taehyung slathers three slices of thick toast with what smells to be marmalade since it’s so fragrant, as well as filling up a small bowl with the yogurt.

 

“What fruit do you want this time?” the beta calls, not looking up as he licks his finger clean where he had gotten marmalade on it.

 

“You choose, I’m easy,” Jungkook answers as he comes back, already reaching for three more glasses, before glancing at Yoongi, “do you want water, or juice?”

 

Yoongi eyes the slight orange-green juice concoction as Namjoon pours it into bottles instead of a jug, with Jimin making sure the bottles don’t move in the process of pouring.

 

“Juice?” Yoongi says slowly, more directed towards his gut than to anyone else, and can’t help the smile that happens at the delighted way Namjoon snaps his head up, ignoring Jimin’s startled yelp as he accidently spills juice onto his hand.

 

“Stand aside, everyone,” Namjoon teasingly says as he gently nudges an already filled glass bottle Yoongi’s way, still ignoring the mess he’s made as Jimin silently cleans it up with a damp cloth.

 

“You sure you’re a wolf and not a damn rabbit?” Jin hollers from where he’s sitting, and Yoongi glances to see that it’s just himself, Jimin, and Namjoon in the kitchen area.

 

“Just because some of us like eating healthily, doesn’t mean that I’m less of a wolf!” Namjoon hollers back, completely distracted now as he glances over at the alpha, so Jimin effortlessly takes over and pours the rest into the bottles.

 

“You’re supposed to chew your food, not drink it!” Jin retorts back with a snort, and the omega and the alpha fall into a petty argument of why juice is just as filling as an actual solid meal.

 

Yoongi quickly moves to the alpha’s side, apologising when Jimin startles and pours more outside the bottle than inside it.

 

“I’ll hold it,” Yoongi murmurs as he just does that, gaze focused on the rim of the bottle so that he doesn’t accidently jerk it from his caffeine jitters.

 

“Thanks,” comes the soft, still slightly rough, voice as Jimin starts pouring the juice.

 

“Are they always like this?” Yoongi questions so that the silence between them isn’t as obvious compared to the loudness currently going on with Namjoon and Jin bickering back and forth about dietary needs.

 

“Pretty much,” Jimin laughs softly, his movements controlled despite it. “You’d think they were brothers with how they tease and taunt each other, rather than just best friends.”

 

“Others used to say the same thing about me and Jungkook, but they also thought that we were dating,” Yoongi recounts with how their old co-workers would tease them both.

 

“There we go,” Jimin murmurs as he tries to encourage the last few dregs out.

 

Yoongi glances up, and is again hit with the fact that Jimin is one very pretty wolf since he’s standing so close to the male, so close that he could scent him, if it wasn’t for the fact the male has been exposed to the air filtration that has basically masked his scent, even this close.

 

“What’s up?” Jimin questions softly, pausing in moving to the sink when he realises that Yoongi is studying him.

 

“I just realised the only scents I know are Taehyung’s and Jungkook’s,” Yoongi snorts with a shake of his head at his lack of attention to learning the other wolves’ scents.

 

Jimin blinks, clearly not expecting that for an answer. “Oh, yeah. Makes sense. You’ve only interacted with us in here. We have the air filter set to medium to prevent the food from tasting bland and dry.”

 

“Do you put these straight into the fridge or leave them out?” Yoongi asks as Jimin hurries over to the sink.

 

“Leave them for now, Namjoon deals with them after breakfast,” the alpha answers before he turns on the tap and begins rinsing the blender.

 

Yoongi takes that as his cue to grab his own bottle, and joins the others sitting in the floor pit.

 

“Just juice?” Jungkook notes as Yoongi steps down, sitting down beside the male, with everyone pretty much sitting in the same order as the dinner.

 

“I had coffee this morning, so I’m already sorta full,” Yoongi shrugs as he places the bottle onto the table, his gaze on the bowl and plate the couple are sharing, where two spoons sit in the bowl, and the toasts have equal bites into the slices.

 

“Sickening,” Yoongi tuts, and grins at the immediate nudge against his shoulder for the comment.

 

Hoseok’s eyes twinkle with amusement when Yoongi accidently catches his gaze, and smiles at the High Alpha as he tries to relax.

 

“Will the other guests be joining us?” Yoongi asks, making the effort to start the small talk this time.

 

Hoseok nods as he takes a hearty bite of his toast, the crunch of it satisfying to the ears, but not to his gut, warning Yoongi that it’s not up for solids just yet.

 

“My guest will be,” Namjoon answers as he looks up from munching on a piece of toast.

 

Yoongi has a feeling it’s the female that he saw on his way up here, and nods as he toys with the bottle in his hands, using the coolness of the glass to focus on instead of the thumping way his heart is reacting to a caffeine rush.

 

“How much coffee have you had?”

 

Yoongi glances at the way Jungkook is eyeing up his folded right leg, and feels his cheeks flush at the way it is bouncing slightly, like a small twitch.

 

“My usual?” Yoongi answers back, meeting the alpha’s studying gaze.

 

“Before, or after I left, usual?” Jungkook questions back, brown and blue eyes showing just a hint of his concern.

 

“No comment?” Yoongi tries to tease instead, since he doesn’t want Jungkook to chew him out for it.

 

He got his ears chewed on a regular basis when they had a cubicle next to each other and the wolf would poke his head around the corner whenever he sniffed that Yoongi had a new cup of coffee.

 

If Jungkook was in his wolf form, Yoongi can bet that the alpha’s ears would be pressed to his skull in severe disappointment with the way Jungkook groans.

 

“It really isn’t good for you,” Jungkook murmurs, sending Yoongi a familiar look to know that the doe-eyes are coming his way, “and it affects us more, compared to humans.”

 

“A lot of shit is bad for us, compared to humans,” Yoongi snorts out, ignoring the way he and Jungkook have drawn attention to their discussion. “We’re not supposed to eat a lot of cheese, but I still have double the amount of it over my pizza.”

 

Yoongi hears a few quiet huffs and snorts of laughter at his response, and owns it with pride as Jungkook looks at a silent Taehyung, who is watching them with his cheek pressed into his hand as he leans on the table with his elbow.

 

“Have you ever tried matcha?” Taehyung hums out, curious, and Yoongi instantly pulls a face.

 

“I’m not into powdered teas, thanks.”

 

“You’ve had the processed version, I bet you haven’t had an organic version,” Jungkook mumbles as he bites into a slice of toast, causing Yoongi to roll his eyes.

 

“Maybe we could try the brand Jin raves about?” Taehyung glances at the alpha, whom nods his permission to raid his stash.

 

“Matcha is a healthier stimulant, one that won’t affect you as hard as black coffee does,” Jin states as he scrapes the last of his porridge from his bowl.

 

Yoongi keeps his lips shut at that, not wanting to admit that his coffee intake is probably making his nightmares the way they are.

 

“Word of advice, you may want to drink the juice before it all settles at the bottom and you get hit with a mouthful of pulp,” Jimin’s voice startles him from his left, effectively breaking Yoongi away from the conversation as he helpfully points out that Yoongi’s juice is slowly starting to settle.

 

Without thinking of his gut, Yoongi downs a mouthful of the juice.

 

And almost snorts it back out in surprise at the rich tones of crispness and slight tartness of whatever is in it.

 

Yoongi forces himself to swallow as his taste buds zing to life at the unexpected tastes that flood his mouth, coughing slightly, as he runs his tongue around his teeth, collecting the last dregs of his mouthful.

 

“I can’t tell if that was a good or a bad reaction,” Namjoon honestly says as Yoongi meets the omega’s expecting gaze.

 

“Good?” Yoongi says, still unsure, even as he brings the rim of the bottle back to his lips.

 

Namjoon’s face lights up with pride and happiness at that. “I’ll take it as good, considering you’re not even thinking twice about having another sip.”

 

“Namjoon, I’ll do your chores for a year if you successfully wean him off his addiction to coffee,” comes Jungkook’s bargaining offer, tone playful, but also probably serious, since Yoongi knows the alpha hates the stuff.

 

“You-”

 

“Good morning!” comes a very chipper, female, voice, and all of their heads turn to look at the wolf that is sliding the door shut behind Yoongi.

 

Yoongi looks away with disinterest as he returns back to his juice, trying to pick apart the taste, but still listens to the female engage with Hoseok, who had quickly got to his feet to greet the guest.

 

Because of his disinterest, Yoongi notices the visible shift that has happened at the table.

 

Namely coming from Namjoon, who looks neutral as he focuses on his breakfast, but Yoongi is reading a new tension coming off the omega, one that was not even present a few seconds ago when the omega was lit up like a human Christmas tree.

 

Curious, Yoongi glances at the way Jin is currently sipping on his water, his gaze fixed on the two wolves in the kitchen area, his glasses not hiding the silent scrutiny.

 

Yoongi looks at the kitchen, and feels the cause of the shift click into place.

 

The female wolf is a bit too close in Hoseok’s space, even as the High keeps stepping back, removing himself from the closeness.

 

Strange, isn’t she Namjoon’s guest? How come the omega hasn’t greeted her?

 

Now Yoongi is more curious to learn of the guest as Taehyung’s words from yesterday echo at the back of his mind of how some wolves mistake a Support’s guidance for attraction.

 

“I submitted your leave papers this morning, so by the end of the week, you will be discharged,” he overhears Hoseok say, his tone soft, but not too soft, almost like he’s speaking just loud enough for it to be overheard by them.

 

And the more Yoongi watches the female’s movements, studies the tone of her speech, he understands why the alpha is making sure that he’s overheard.

 

Yoongi was taught the same tactic when dealing with a wolf that isn’t abiding by certain social conduct rules, taught how to spot when a fixation, or a hint of aggression, has been sensed, and to make sure the wolves of the same authority around you are aware of the issue, and that they are your witnesses if the issue snowballs.

 

Hoseok is keeping his pack members aware of his attempts to not cater or pander to the guest’s insistent behaviour of intruding his space - which explains Namjoon’s reaction, and Jin’s unwavering observation.

 

Yoongi looks to his right, and meets Taehyung’s gaze, and the small little nod the beta sends him confirms the questioning look that Yoongi is sending him.

 

Well, shit. Yoongi knew it was an issue that support packs face, but to see it? He had assumed it was a rare issue that would crop up not as often, but judging by the pack members around him, he’s suspecting that this is a familiar scene they all have had a taste of.

 

And Jin proves Yoongi’s assumption by loudly clearing his throat when the female wolf puts her hand on Hoseok’s arm as she continues to speak over Hoseok’s silent cues as he continues to tell her of the discharging process, and Hoseok neatly steps from her startled form as he heads back to the table.

 

“Oh, good morning, I wasn’t aware it was a full house,” the female – an alpha, Yoongi is able to see the female’s eyes as she hurries over to the pit, a plate of toast in her hands – rushes out as she joins them.

 

Yoongi can’t help but snort at the stupid lie.

 

The door is literally to his back. She saw them all sitting in the pit when she greeted them all.

 

And feels her gaze on him as she sits down on the opposite side, beside Namjoon, and nowhere near Hoseok.

 

Yoongi wonders if that is the reason why Namjoon and Jin have consistently sat on either side of the High, to stop her from intruding his personal space?

 

“Oh, you must be Taehyung’s guest, it’s nice to finally meet you!”

 

“Taehyung’s guest has no obligation to meet or interact with you, Mira, you’re aware of this,” Namjoon curtly responds before Yoongi can even think of one, and the omega’s tone just confirms the niggle in the Yoongi’s gut of the picture that’s developing.

 

Mira looks completely unbothered at Namjoon’s tone or words, and Yoongi has to prevent his inner instinctual feeling to not take her dismissal of an omega’s statement as an alpha thinking she’s above an omega.

 

“I’m Mira, and from the look of you, you’re a city wolf too, right?” Mira continues as she bites into her toast, her entire posture open and carefree, despite the obvious tension at the table.

 

Yoongi notes two things happen simultaneously at her very blunt, very stereotyped, appraisal.

 

One, the alphas on either side of Yoongi both stiffen up enough for it to be noticed out of the corner of his eyes.

 

And two, Namjoon’s scent actually breaks through the air filtration as his scent screams his disapproval and annoyance at her callous behaviour towards another guest.

 

Yoongi isn’t even surprised when he scents earthy tones and mint, since it fits the omega’s personality.

 

“Mira, you-”

 

“Aye, I’m a city wolf, but my bite is wild,” Yoongi cuts over Namjoon’s sharp, reprimanding, bark, his speech lazy and rough, as he idly shakes the bottle in his hand to mix the juice, his gaze taking in the surprised look gracing the female’s face.

 

“He’s kidding, right?” Mira laughs, looking around at them as if he can’t answer for himself, her posture shuttering slightly, as Yoongi continues to dead stare at her.

 

“He isn’t,” Yoongi answers back with a small, pleasant, smile. “I have no tolerance for wolves that impede on another’s boundary. It really turns my stomach, you know?”

 

“I mean, you are an omega, so I guess that’s a reaction you’ve grown to have over the years, right?”

 

Again, Jimin and Jungkook both react like they’re about to say something in his defence, both of their chests filling out as they inhale sharply to retort back, and Namjoon’s earthy mint scent is only growing as he makes a sound through his teeth.

 

Yoongi doesn’t even have to say anything, he just lets his expression do it as he slowly drinks the last dregs of his juice, all the while making the eye contact with her prolonged and uncomfortable as she begins to fidget as the table remains silent too.

 

Once finished with his juice, Yoongi makes sure the sound of him smacking his lips is loud as he places the bottle onto the table with a dull thud, still not taking his gaze from her own that has looked down.

 

“A word of advice, city wolf to city wolf – wolves bite, so mind your words in mixed company, yeah?” Yoongi states as he pushes up onto his knees, dragging his bottle with him as he stands up.

 

Mira doesn’t look up as he leaves the pit, shoving his feet into his shoes, and hums as he heads for the kitchen area to rinse his glass bottle.

 

He listens as Namjoon once again reminds his guest of what types of behaviours are acceptable and what isn’t in the pack grounds, and that, as a guest, she will abide by them, or be forced to leave.

 

Yoongi hears other sounds of movement over the omega’s clipped words, and glances behind him as he starts the tap to see Jungkook and Taehyung almost rushing towards him.

 

“Leave that, Jin cleans in the morning,” Jungkook whispers as he turns off the tap, while Taehyung dumps in their empty plate and bowl.

 

“Come on, let’s get some air,” Taehyung hustles them both out, and Yoongi doesn’t look back at the other four remaining wolves in the floor pit as Jungkook shuts the door behind them.

 

“First of all, I’m sorry a guest behaved like that towards you,” Taehyung rushes out as the three of them linger on the decking, “you really aren’t obligated to engage with a guest, and she’s been here longer to know the rules.”

 

“Not your fault, she overstepped the line, not you,” Yoongi snorts, not accepting the beta’s unnecessary apology. “But, it’s not just with me she’s overstepped with. How come she’s not respecting or even listening to Namjoon, her Support?”

 

Jungkook sighs heavily as they lean against the wooden railing, taking in the morning air and sun.

 

“Sometimes, a guest doesn’t match with a Support,” Jungkook is the one to explain, and Taehyung nods along as he wraps an arm around Jungkook’s lower back, hooking him in closer, and making fondness swell in Yoongi’s chest at the open display of affection.

 

“Even though a Support can only take on a guest if their scent is compatible to their scent palate, a guest doesn’t have to do that in return,” Jungkook continues. “If a guest doesn’t match well with their Support, the relationship between them becomes near impossible to be beneficial for the guest since the Support’s natural instinct to help and care for them isn’t received.”

 

“Namjoon has been trying, but his guest has become fixated on Hoseok, who already has a guest of his own,” Taehyung takes over, and Yoongi winces, just picturing the awkwardness of scenting another guest on your Support, the wolf that is supposed to be your rock as you heal and learn.

 

“Hoseok doesn’t like evicting guests upon them immediately going against a pack rule, and is always optimistic that the guest will settle,” Taehyung sighs out, and from the tone and the similar look on Jungkook’s face, this is a trait of the High’s that the pack members must struggle with respecting.

 

“Jin is the complete opposite, and he’s been trying to force Hoseok in discharging her under the grounds of lack of compatibility and inappropriate behaviour towards another Support ever since she showed an interest in him,” Jungkook says, his gaze on the scene inside, where only Namjoon and Mira now sit.

 

“Why prolong it? He’s a High, he knows the risk a fixation can have, surely,” Yoongi asks, confused, because Hoseok doesn’t come across as naïve, so why has he been so reluctant in evicting the guest?

 

“She’s from a left-wing political background,” both Taehyung and Jungkook say at the same time, and hearing that, it all makes sense.

 

“Why the fuck is she even in a support pack? Don’t those left-wing assholes think we’ve lost touch with our wolf and that we need to return back to the wild?” Yoongi spits out, already wishing he knew this before so that he could make his responses to her more hard-hitting.

 

“I can’t share personal details, but she sure has been treating this entire stay as a vacation resort,” Taehyung grunts out, voice lowering, as Jimin slides open the door, joining them on the decking.

 

At the first hit of peony, Yoongi starts coughing, taken aback from the strength of the wolf’s scent as it slams into the back of his throat, not expecting it to be so strong.

 

“Yoongi?” Jungkook calls as Yoongi forces himself to turn his back to the stunned alpha that has paused in closing the door, so that he can suck in the air away from the alpha.

 

Peony musk, a rich, but soft, scent that humans are obsessed with in their perfumes that are labelled as ‘sexy’.

 

Yoongi’s heart feels like it has dislodged a valve with how sluggish it feels in his chest, like it too is winded from the sudden hit of the male’s scent.

 

He wasn’t expecting musk to be connected to Jimin, maybe fruit because of the male’s soft appearance, but the more he breathes it in, the more it curls up in his nose, the more it suits the wolf.

 

“Yoongi?” he feels a tentative hand on his back, and peeks to his left to see Jungkook is the one rubbing a hand up and down his spine.

 

“Just ignore me, catching Jimin’s scent for the first time completely took me off guard,” Yoongi coughs out once more as he turns around, chest feeling raw, as he meets Jimin’s almost shuttered gaze.

 

“Sorry, I forgot you haven’t scented me yet,” Jimin apologises, tone soft, as he moves to leave, body language not quite mortified, but close, and Yoongi feels like an asshole because of it.

 

“Don’t apologise, it’s my fault that I’ve been lazy in learning everyone’s scents,” Yoongi rushes out, his gut almost lurching him forward with how hard his instinct booms inside him to reassure, to explain his response.

 

Jimin pauses in leaving, still looking guarded, but not so much as he did a second ago.

 

“So, I know Namjoon’s, and your scent now. I just need to learn Hoseok’s and Jin’s, and I’m good,” Yoongi rambles, trying hard to continue to fill the air so that the alpha doesn’t mistake any silence from him is because of his opinion on his scent.

 

Wolves are very sensitive to others reacting to their scents, since it’s so personal, an identity that you gain when you leave puphood behind.

 

“Namjoon is going to be pissed for the rest of the day, he’s been teetering on that edge ever since the weekend when Mira asked Hoseok to be her Support without even talking to Namjoon about it,” Jimin sighs out as he looks behind him at the way the two wolves are still sitting in the pit.

 

“Honestly, if she was mine, I’d have submitted the eviction myself,” Taehyung grumbles out. “But, Namjoon won’t do that. He respects Hoseok too much.”

 

“That’s one way of putting it,” Jungkook mumbles, smirking when Taehyung elbows him for it.

 

“I think it’s returned,” Yoongi comments, grinning when he gets the response he was hoping for when the pack members whip their heads at him, “oh come on, I can sniff out when two wolves are attracted and trying to hide it. They’re blatantly attracted to each other.”

 

Taehyung bursts into laughter as Jungkook groans, ‘I told you to switch off, not analyse the pack, Yoongi’, and Jimin has turned a little pink in the face as he laughs too, a second behind Taehyung’s own.

 

“How I can I turn off something that is so deeply rooted?” Yoongi retorts as he pokes Jungkook in the chest. “It’s part of my oh-so-blessed omega traits.”

 

“And part of your training as a Data Collector and Monitor, don’t sass me with rank traits, mister nosey.”

 

Yoongi can’t help but laugh at the younger alpha’s retort, once again feeling the bond he has towards the wolf tug with fondness.

 

Yoongi frowns when he realises that something feels off inside his chest.

 

He’s used to Jungkook and Taehyung being the sole cause of his fondness lately, due to his bond with them – Taehyung’s is a newer, baby, tug of awareness waiting to be strengthened, but it’s there, and Yoongi wasn’t even surprised when he realised it during the early hours of his first morning here – but there is new tugging feeling now, one that wasn’t there when he went to breakfast.

 

Yoongi wonders if it has anything to do with the alpha or the omega he’s scented recently.

 

Yoongi stares at Jimin, at the way he waves goodbye as he leaves them to head towards the sea, watching the alpha walk down the wooden walkway.

 

“And what is your training telling you about him?”

 

Yoongi shushes Jungkook with a hand slapped over the alpha’s mouth, not wanting the other alpha to overhear it, since they have good hearing too, and Jimin’s won’t be stunted like Yoongi’s own.

 

“I already feel bad about my reaction to his scent, don’t make it worse,” Yoongi hisses, ignoring the joint looks of amusement being sent his way from both wolves.

 

“Worse, how?” Taehyung joins in on the teasing, and Yoongi hates that the two wolves are a perfect match for each other in this moment.

 

“I’m going to walk away and pretend that you both aren’t reaching for something that isn’t there,” Yoongi says as he heads for the stairs down onto the wooden walkway.

 

“I’ll see you for lunch for our session, yeah?” Taehyung calls sweetly, and Yoongi nods, even though he knows it’s not going to be focused on his healing, but the dramatic way he reacted to Jimin’s scent.

 

Heading for his den, it’s only natural for Yoongi to focus on the way Jimin heads away from the dock, and towards the trail that takes him into the trees, away from the den area.

 

But, what isn’t natural is the way the wolf’s scent has glued itself to the inside of his nose.

 

Considering that they’ve all been sat inside a ventilated area; it would mean that their scents would take longer than a few minutes to become potent again as the neutraliser wore off their skin.

 

Yoongi shuts the door behind him, wincing at the overbearing scent of coffee.

 

So, why was he able to easily scent Jimin as soon as he stepped outside?

 

Yoongi knows he shouldn’t have been able to because it doesn’t make sense that he was able to.

 

Yoongi pauses in the middle of the living area.

 

Actually, there could be a reason why he was able to scent the other wolf so clearly.

 

But, it’s so ludicrous, that he just shrugs it off.

 

It’s probably like he said – one of his many traits of being an omega allowing him to scent the wolf as easily as he did so.

 

Omegas are instinctively in tune with their wolf instinct, allowing them to sense shit that other wolfs can’t unless they know what to sense for.

 

For omegas, their senses are so second-nature, very little training is needed to take full advantage of them.

 

Humans tend to not only label omegas as submissive due to the nurturing instinct they have, but also crudely label omegas as ‘seers’, a mythological creation on their part due to the vast ranges of religion humankind has.

 

Omegas aren’t seers, and Yoongi hates it when a human prattles on about his instinct as if it is a gift from a god.

 

Omegas are just wolves born more connected and attuned to what makes them a wolf, that’s it.

 

“That’s why I could smell him,” Yoongi sighs out as he drops down on the sofa, feeling sleepy now that his stomach has nutrition in it, and not just black tar of caffeine.

 

Yoongi fluffs up some pillows, and lies down.

 

Napping is probably another bad thing that is not doing him any favours in sleeping during the night, but fuck it, he’s here for four weeks, he has time to unlearn his shitty habits.

 

Despite the fact his den is practically choking with the scent of coffee grounds, Yoongi can still catch Jimin’s scent.

 

Just Jimin’s.

 

Not Jungkook’s.

 

Not Taehyung’s.

 

Not Namjoon’s.

 

Just…Jimin’s.

 

Yoongi glares up at the ceiling.

 

He refuses to believe the ludicrous idea is in fact true.

 

Because, surely, life wouldn’t have made it so that Yoongi’s found a compatible mate in the one place where he’s meant to heal.

 

Yoongi has travelled far and wide, and has never scented a potential anything for himself, purely because he’s never believed in the hype that comes along with the topic of ‘mates’.

 

He’s travelled far and wide, and yet, here on a fucking island, Yoongi’s gut response to Jimin’s lingering scent is making him question his own senses.

 

Yoongi shakes his head.

 

Ludicrous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taehyung watches as the omega walks into his den, and waits until the door is shut before he dares voices his opinion without Yoongi catching a hint of it.

 

“Didn’t that little moment seem a little familiar to you, or was it just me?” Taehyung hums as he feels Jungkook wrap himself around him from behind, tucking his chin over Taehyung’s shoulder, gentling scenting him.

 

“Yoongi is sharp with his instinct, it won’t take him long to realise,” Jungkook murmurs. “It’s Jimin that I worry about.”

 

Taehyung’s chest pangs at that, feeling a shadow of anger and sadness resonate in the pang.

 

It’s no secret amongst the pack members that they all detest Jimin’s birth pack for how they withheld him from basic wolf needs of affection and socialisation that wasn’t connected to his rank, but also for the reason why they banished an eighteen-year-old.

 

Taehyung’s birth pack was never as controlling, but he’s a beta, so the only shitty thing he really had to – still has to – deal with are his periods.

 

It took Jimin awhile to realise he had connected to them, and despite showing the same signs of him responding that way towards Yoongi, Taehyung worries that the alpha isn’t also seeing how Yoongi had reacted to him so earnestly.

 

Realistically, even for an omega, Yoongi shouldn’t have been able to scent Jimin so strongly.

 

But he had.

 

Just like how Taehyung and Jungkook were able to scent each other so strongly, despite them both sitting in a ventilated office, and that was because they were both instinctively responding to being in the presence of a compatible mate.

 

The old stories of Zentt bonds exist for a reason, so some truth has to be in there somewhere for it to be so prevalent in their dialect, culture, and history. Zentt bonds guide you towards wolves that can be the greatest of friends, or a compatible mate.

 

“You think it’s more than a platonic Zentt bond?” Taehyung asks, wanting to know Jungkook’s opinion on his best friend potentially finding a compatible mate.

 

“I’ve never seen Yoongi respond or be flustered like that from a scent. He didn’t even react like that to me when we connected.”

 

“I mean, just because they’re compatible, doesn’t mean they have to act on it,” Taehyung points out, and feels Jungkook nod in agreement. “It just will make it hard for them to not focus on each other.”

 

“Like two magnets drawn together,” Jungkook summarises, and Taehyung nods, liking it.

 

“Like two magnets,” he echoes, still staring at the den.

 

It’ll be unconventional, sure, but their entire exist nowadays is unconventional, so finding possible love in a support pack?

 

Taehyung is all for it.

 

It’s how he found his own mate.

 

He just needs to put a bite on him, first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting Taehyung after how the breakfast went – both with Mira and Jimin – Yoongi is half expecting their session to be focused on that.

 

So, when he meets the male in the communal building, he’s a little surprised when the beta waves for him to join him in the study.

 

“I can’t tell if you’re setting me up to discuss about this morning, or to make me do my taxes,” Yoongi says as he shuts the door, watching as the wolf wriggles the computer mouse, clicking on something.

 

“Wolf media is a tentative place of combating against stereotypes and stigma, and also undoing that effort,” Taehyung says, slightly distracted, as Yoongi moves to sit on one of the two-seater sofas.

 

“Sounds accurate with the current state of wolf society,” Yoongi huffs out, watching the beta.

 

“Normally, I wouldn’t touch this with a guest, but, I know you used to have a guilty pleasure of watching that reality TV show where a bunch of wolves were shoved into a den for a month, and the public voted out the assholes of the hour.”

 

Yoongi is already smiling as he stands up and heads over the computer.

 

“I’m surprised you remember that, since I only mentioned it in passing,” Yoongi says as he sees the webpage of a video site.

 

“You were addicted to I think…..season four? You were so agitated when that alpha won.”

 

“She was a traditionalist, and I’m allergic to them,” Yoongi shrugs, making the beta snort.

 

“I’m gonna show you season six, well, a clip from it. I want you to tell me what you think,” Taehyung says as he clicks on a video, and pats the chair for Yoongi to sit down.

 

Yoongi tucks himself into the chair, and waits.

 

The premise for this reality TV show was for wolves to prove to the general public that different ranks, backgrounds, living types, could share a den that usually was more like a human mansion than an actual den space with twenty-four-hour surveillance in the form of cameras in all sorts of places.

 

The first couple of seasons were interesting, since it had been something wolf society hadn’t seen or partook in, and with the producers being wolves themselves, it got a lot of love from wolves as season two ended with high ratings.

 

But then season three came, and so did the backlash of trying to prove to wolves and to humans that all ranks and backgrounds can behave civilly around each other.

 

The show steadily went from being a show you would watch with fascination and understanding, to something of a guilty secret due to standards slipping drastically.

 

Yoongi likes to watch people, to learn from their mannerisms, but season four ruined it all for him when an omega male was evicted from the den because he was caught sharing his own piss over sleeping wolves, and was broadcasted to Dretna’s nation.

 

Yoongi was so pissed that he had to spend the weeks after that episode vehemently denying that pissing on sleeping wolves is not an omega thing they do, and then the extreme traditionalist won, and he lost all hope for the stupid show.

 

“They’re just eating?” Yoongi states after watching the clip play for a minute, already bored.

 

“It’s a five-minute clip, give it a second,” Taehyung teases him, and Yoongi lightly pushes the beta’s hip for it.

 

He ignores the surprised way Taehyung tenses at his playful reaction, wanting the wolf to study that whilst Yoongi tries to see the purpose of him watching this video.

 

With a sigh, Yoongi rests his head in his hands, elbows on the desk, as he continues to listen to the dull droning of conversation coming from the video.

 

“I swear on Lura that I have never had a Zentt bond. No one in my family has, how shocking is that?”

 

“How can you not have at least one Zentt bond? Were you isolated all your life?”

 

“Rude,” Yoongi grunts out, hears Taehyung murmuring an agreement.

 

“Oh, I’ve felt the pull to connect, but I don’t like the idea of my instinct dictating who I should trust, you know? The thought of scenting another wolf to cement that kind of bond is too intrusive.”

 

“You’re a wolf, why the fuck would you not want to listen to your instinct?!”

 

Yoongi watches as the male shrugs in response, continuing to eat, as the other wolves at the table just gawp at him.

 

Yoongi can’t tell because of the pixels and the distance of the camera what the rank of the wolf is, and doesn’t have to wonder long.

 

“Aren’t you omegas the strongest in our society?” A female questions, her tone polite and respectful, compared to the previous wolf.

 

“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean an omega has to listen to it. I don’t want to have my relationships dictated by a niggle in my gut, you know? I just want to do as I please.”

 

“He’s lying,” Yoongi states, blinking, as he leans closer to the screen, clicking with the mouse to go back to the start so he can check.

 

“How can you be so certain?” Taehyung questions, tone curious, as Yoongi hits play.

 

“He’s overdetailing,” Yoongi says with a soft shrug. “They weren’t even talking about bonds here, just sex, as per typical with this fucking show.”

 

“I swear on Lura that I have never had a Zentt bond. No one in my family has, how shocking is that?”

 

“How can you not have at least one Zentt bond? Were you isolated all your life?”

 

“Oh, I’ve felt the pull to connect, but I don’t like the idea of my instinct dictating who I should trust, you know? The thought of scenting another wolf to cement that kind of bond is too intrusive.””

 

“You’re a wolf, why the fuck would you not want to listen to your instinct?!”

 

“Aren’t you omegas the strongest in our society?”

 

“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean an omega has to listen to it. I don’t want to have my relationships dictated by a niggle in my gut, you know? I just want to do as I please.”

 

“Liars tend to overdetail their stories to make it more believable, which most of us can take as pointless information we didn’t ask for,” Yoongi explains, going back to the start again, and points with his finger, “watch him.”

 

Together, they watch how the wolf goes from being a listener to the topic of sex, to suddenly animated about his own experience with Zentt bonds.

 

“His entire body language shifts too, just look at the way his legs start to fidget when he gets the full attention of the group, the way he uses eating to keep himself from fully blurting out pointless details, and the way he doesn’t know how to fully expand on his contribution to the conversation,” Yoongi lists, and looks up to see that the beta isn’t even looking at the screen, but at Yoongi, “what?”

 

“He could just be nervous to talk about it.”

 

He was the one to change the subject to Zentt bonds,” Yoongi points out back.

 

“Why do you think he lied?” Taehyung asks, turning to lean his rear against the desk, facing Yoongi more comfortably.

 

Yoongi shrugs. “From an outside view without knowing fuck all about him, I’d say he could’ve felt left out from the previous discussion and wanted to feel included so he created one focused on his own experience. It’s why most lie, wanting to be part of something, so they create a part.”

 

“Possibly, but he could’ve just mentioned about him having a foursome with some humans, that would’ve earned him screen time.”

 

“Well, he’s an omega, isn’t he?” Yoongi points out. “Omegas are the most instinctive, empathetic, ranks. Him admitting that he doesn’t care for his instinct and actively ignores it, that would cause the reaction he was seeking.”

 

“Well, he’s causing a stir online about it, so I was intrigued to see what you make of it,” Taehyung says, and Yoongi narrows his gaze, not believing that to be all it.

 

“You know I care little for pop culture, especially when it concerns wolves digging themselves into holes.”

 

“Maybe the hole he dug was the only out he saw,” Taehyung counters, and Yoongi squints harder at the male.

 

They’re definitely not talking about pop culture anymore; this is starting to feel more directed.

 

“Maybe he needs to stop talking in longwinded sentences and say what he wants to say,” Yoongi responds with, making Taehyung laugh as he pushes from the desk, leaving Yoongi’s side.

 

“Right back at you, Yoongi,” his Support says, heading for the door, leaving behind a vaguely confused Yoongi. “I’ll see you at dinner!”

 

“Wait, that was today’s session?!” Yoongi hollers after the beta, standing up, as Taehyung pauses on the threshold, nodding.

 

“We both said what needed to be said for today’s agenda,” Taehyung smiles at him, looking completely at ease while Yoongi is fully confused now.

 

Yoongi watches as the wolf leaves the room, leaving the door ajar in his wake.

 

And immediately starts replaying the last ten minutes in his head.

 

What the fuck does the beta mean that this was today’s purpose?

 

All they did was talk about a wolf that was most likely lying.

 

Yoongi freezes, his gaze snapping back to the open door.

 

Lying was today’s focus?

 

….Does Taehyung know?

 

Is…is this his Support’s way of letting Yoongi know that he knows that Yoongi has been covering up his nightmares?

 

Yoongi is pushing the door further open and slipping from the office before he’s fully aware of him moving.

 

Taehyung is gone, the only one in the building is Jungkook who is sitting in the floor pit with a thick folder and a pen.

 

“That was a quick session,” Jungkook greets as Yoongi heads his way. “Taehyung looked way too pleased with himself just now, what did he do?”

 

“We debated on how liars’ function and why,” Yoongi mutters, trying to pick up the scent of oranges, and failing because of the stupid ventilation. “Where did he go?”

 

“Oh, he and Jin usually go to the Velli Pack on Wednesdays,” Jungkook answers as he picks up his stuff, moving to leave, “you finished with the office?”

 

Yoongi nods, remembering that the younger wolf is the pack’s Treasurer, which explains all the paper he’s carrying. “How come you’re using paper-based records?”

 

“We use digital and paper – paper is more familiar to island wolves than an excel spreadsheet,” Jungkook chuckles as he shoves his feet into his shoes.

 

“I haven’t had a chance to really catch up with you,” Yoongi says, only just realising it as he trails after the alpha.

 

Before his attack, the last time they spoke was a month before it, and they didn’t speak after his attack since Yoongi was too busy trying to shut up the busy lips around him that were trying to treat him like a delicate flower.

 

“Nothing has changed,” Jungkook answers as they enter the office, with Jungkook going straight to the desk, and Yoongi sitting on the sofa, “work is the same, even if it is a little painfully similar to my old job of filling in data all day.”

 

“Didn’t you secure the pack more money from the government?” Yoongi is pretty sure this is true, but Jungkook tends to admit his own accomplishments in a rush of words whenever he does share them with Yoongi.

 

Jungkook’s cheeks redden, confirming Yoongi’s words.

 

“I also negotiated a higher rate of pay for the Supports, considering the success rate this pack has, it wasn’t being reflected in their pay.”

 

Yoongi smiles fondly as he listens to the indigitated tone to the alpha’s voice as he sets up his work area.

 

Jungkook notices, and playfully rolls his eyes. “You’re gross.”

 

“I’m proud, deal with it,” Yoongi hums back, not changing anything about his expression as Jungkook hides behind the computer monitor.

 

“So, is it fair of me to bet that Taehyung is going to be the one that will initiate you two into mating?”

 

And grins smugly at the way Jungkook almost sends a flutter of paper to the floor as he jerks to look back at Yoongi.

 

“Oh Lura, you think so too?”

 

Yoongi almost falls off the sofa at that, not expecting the excited rush of words coming at him as Jungkook practically launches himself from the desk to be beside Yoongi.

 

“We’ve been talking about it, you know,” Jungkook continues his rush of excitement, and Yoongi can only grab the excited wolf’s hands to keep him anchored to the fucking sofa instead of flying off it, “and we’ve been discussing what shape we want our scar to be. Taehyung wants to be traditional and trace our bite marks, and I’m kinda leaning towards that the more we talk about it.”

 

“You’re an alpha, of course you’d love to have your bond mark as your bite,” Yoongi teases.

 

“It’s gonna sting so much if we do that, since it’s on the neck,” Jungkook muses, lower lip pulled in between his teeth in thought.

 

“Scarification stings no matter how you do it,” Yoongi laughs, ruffling the male’s hair. “But, choose wisely, since it’ll be with you both for life.”

 

“I know, I think that’s what’s holding us back because I know for a fact that as soon as we bite each other to trigger the mating bond, I’m not going to be able to contain the impulse it brings to cement us as mates to think about it,” Jungkook answers honestly, and Yoongi nods in agreement, since he’s heard the rumours too.

 

Triggering that primal part of your instinct is like you’re fully handing over complete control to it.

 

The old stories call this transition an echo of the magic the moon supposedly gifted them with, the ability to elevate their relationships into a deep, powerful, bond that only death can break.

 

“You nervous, or just excited?” Yoongi asks, wanting to know, wanting to further see that glint in those brown and blue eyes.

 

A glint of love that Yoongi only ever sees in mates that mated for love, and not for anything other.

 

“Excited,” Jungkook answers quickly. “I know Taehyung is the one for me. I knew it when I first met him. It sounds corny, but it feels like we’re made for each other.”

 

Yoongi bites back the urge to coo, and just tugs the alpha into an embrace since he has no words that will do his happiness justice for the couple.

 

Jungkook sags into his hold, arms tight, familiar again, and no longer cautious.

 

“Would this be a good time to tell you that I’m feeling the pull to connect to Tae?” Yoongi announces, and grins at the immediate way Jungkook jerks back to gawp at him in stunned awe.

 

“You…you want to connect to him?” Jungkook forces out, forcing himself to remain neutral despite the way he’s practically glowing with happiness right now.

 

Yoongi nods, expression earnest, despite the flutter of nerves since he hasn’t really seen much on Taehyung’s end to know if the male has sensed the pull too.

 

“Only if he wants to,” Yoongi rushes in before Jungkook can explode, “since he has so many Zentt bonds already.”

 

“Taehyung is a softie for the old stories; he firmly thinks that instinctively connecting to another wolf that isn’t of blood relation is special,” Jungkook admits warmly with a small, endearing, smile. “He’d love to be connected to you, Yoongi.”

 

“Noted, now I just have to figure out a causal way of bringing that up without complicating our working relationship. I don’t want it to be awkward for him with him still being my Support.”

 

“I don’t think it would complicate it, it might bridge you both more, allowing for Tae’s support to reach you,” Jungkook offers, and Yoongi hums as he thinks it over. “He’ll deny this until he can’t deny it anymore, but he was super nervous to meet you in person.”

 

Yoongi recalls the way Taehyung reacted when they first met in the parking lot, all startled and fumbling hands.

 

“I’m still surprised that he was the only one that instinctively responded to be my Support,” Yoongi admits as they relax against the sofa, Jungkook’s work forgotten.

 

“The scent sample isn’t a full, descriptive, scent since it’s just meant to trigger an instinctive reaction to help, but Jimin never got the chance to smell it, so maybe he could’ve been your Support too.”

 

Yoongi is quite proud of the way that he doesn’t react to that detail featuring the alpha as he says, “kinda like how humans have that perfume and cologne catalogue where the pages have small scent sample for them to test on their skin before they buy it?”

 

Jungkook nods. “Yeah. The more exposed the scent sample is to the air – filtered or not - the faster it weakens. It’s like watching them play a game as they quickly pass it around before the ventilation can weaken it.”

 

“You’re not a little bit curious in trying to be a Support, since you live in a pack full of them?” Yoongi questions, and Jungkook shakes his head.

 

“I have the nurturing temperament, but I don’t have that inkling inside me that I’m assuming Supports have to alert me or help me recognise when another wolf is silently suffering. I mean, I can guess based on body language and scent, but some wolves really internalise whatever it is they’re seeking support for. It’s why I respect Supports so much – you’re either born with that temperament of being aware, or you have a lot of empathy to share.”

 

Yoongi wholeheartedly agrees with all of that.

 

He can tell when a wolf is festering from something from deep within themselves, but he doesn’t have the words nor the ideas of how to bring that wolf comfort.

 

And that’s another thing that most mistaken in omegas – not all of them know how to nurture, but they can sense when it is needed.

 

“What is there to do around here that is fun-related?” Yoongi asks, looking out at the window that looks out onto the guest side of the pack grounds.

 

“Shifting, lazing on the water front, wading in the water - oh, did Tae show you the tree decks?” Jungkook perks up at the mention of the decks, and Yoongi raises a slow eyebrow at the description.

 

“You mean like a treehouse?”

 

“I mean, it’s a decking thing that is up in the trees, allowing for a little hideaway with a view?” Jungkook unhelpfully describes, causing Yoongi to snort.

 

“No, he didn’t,” Yoongi says, scanning the trees that he can see, looking for anything ‘decking-like’.

 

“There are three of them, and they’re scattered. There is one near the water front, just look up as you head away from the dock into the clusters of trees. There is another further back from the garden close to the fencing, and then the other is outside the gate, close to the clothing box for when we shift outside of the grounds.”

 

Yoongi blinks at the alpha at that. “You guys shift outside pack grounds?”

 

Jungkook nods, smirking smugly. “Told you that island wolves have mastered the art of peaceful living.”

 

“Guests can do this too?” Yoongi checks, since it would be an easier way of seeing more the island.

 

“First with your Support, since you don’t know the lay of the land, but after that, just notify your Support and you’re good to go,” Jungkook grins, sensing Yoongi’s interest. “There is a completely empty meadow between us and the north-west Velli Pack, and it’s stunningly beautiful and fun to run through.”

 

“Sounds alright. It’ll be nice to run, actually. Can’t remember the last time I did,” Yoongi admits, shying away sheepishly at the look that graces his friend’s face, “it’s an accident every time, I swear.”

 

“How can a wolf forget to shift,” Jungkook deadpans, not letting him get away with it.

 

“When a wolf has bills and paperwork to do.”

 

Jungkook rolls his eyes at that, a snort leaving him as he stands up, heading back to his work.

 

“Go explore, play in the water, remember how to be a wolf,” Jungkook teases as he sits back in the chair, while Yoongi heads for the open door.

 

“I’ll see you at dinner, pup,” Yoongi calls, already anticipating the alpha biting at the endearment.

 

And Jungkook doesn’t disappoint as he puffs his cheeks, looking everything like a petulant pup, as he says, “not a pup.”

 

Yoongi’s laughter is his answer as he leaves the office, shutting the door behind him to give the alpha some privacy.

 

Yoongi sees Hoseok and a male wolf coming up the wooden walkway from the guest dens, and Yoongi hightails it for the frosted door that leads to the front of the building.

 

Meeting Mira was enough, Yoongi doesn’t want his good mood to be dampened by being awkward with a stranger.

 

Closing the door behind him, Yoongi takes the trail to his right, and decides to look for this supposed tree hideout, taking the long way around to the sea front.

 

Jungkook never mentioned about following a path, just to look up, so once Yoongi nears the bend that would take him towards the dock and guest area, he steps down off the wooden walkway, and takes his first steps into an uncharted area as he begins to explore more of the pack’s grounds.

 

Yoongi doesn’t know how far ahead the sea is, despite smelling it close, so he treads slowly, since this is an island with dips and curves to it, and he doesn’t want to accidently sprain an ankle because bedrest would suck.

 

Yoongi is, admittingly, wearing the wrong clothes to venture into the thick bush of trees and bushes that aren’t as manicured as the ones closer to the walkway are.

 

He’s wearing thick denim jeans, a long sleeved, baggy, shirt, and sandals.

 

At least it’s just humidity that comes with being in a dense, forested, area, and not added heat from a scorching sun.

 

Yoongi squints through the sun rays that slip through the branches and leaves of the towering trees, still blindly looking for a hideaway.

 

For all he knows, this could be the wrong direction he’s going in, and comes to the startling realisation that he could probably waste the rest of his day just searching for the damn thing because he didn’t think to ask for clearer directions.

 

“They really should fix signs to some of these trees, just so you know where the fuck to go,” Yoongi grunts to himself, wiping the trails of sweat from his temples and his neck.

 

Maybe Yoongi is a seer, because his thoughts come true.

 

He does waste all afternoon exploring until he reaches a small little cliff edge that the sea laps up at.

 

Yoongi may haven’t found a tree hideaway, but he sure found this little one that allows him to dangle his legs over the edge of the cliff, staring out at the smooth horizon of the sea, letting the breeze cool him down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner, thankfully, isn’t as awkward as Yoongi was dreading when he saw the male guest already sitting amongst the pack members.

 

If anything, the dinner followed the same pattern as it did on his first night here – good food, the pack members making most of the noise and conversation, and ample time for Yoongi to study mannerisms.

 

The male guest – Drek, as he softly introduced himself before remaining to himself and Hoseok – was a city wolf, so Yoongi paid him no attention.

 

Yoongi did notice that Namjoon was plating Hoseok’s and Jin’s plate a lot more frequently, and Yoongi wondered if this was the omega’s way of thanking them for this morning when his guest misbehaved, and Jin responded in kind as he made sure Namjoon’s glass was never half empty.

 

The couple beside him were still acting like mates rather than as boyfriends with the way Jungkook was constantly being threatened with playful whispers from Taehyung to stop filling him up with all the carbs, and the alpha being completely shameless as he shovelled more garlic and herb covered roast potatoes onto their shared plate.

 

Yoongi almost inhaled his sip of water when the beta shoved a small handful into the alpha’s mouth, forcing him to ‘eat already, you’ve barely touched a thing on this damn plate’.

 

But, the thing that piqued his interest, was Jimin.

 

Jimin’s eating pattern from the first dinner that Yoongi shared with them remained the same this evening – the alpha didn’t touch a thing on his plate until Yoongi and the others reached for seconds, and even then, the alpha only moved when Yoongi noticed Hoseok eyeing the alpha, his gaze warm, but directed.

 

It felt like the High Alpha was reminding the alpha to eat.

 

Yoongi couldn’t stop watching once he noticed that look, couldn’t help the curiosity simmering in his tummy as he noted that Jimin took small portions of food, taking measured bites, and drinking too much water.

 

Yoongi doesn’t want to assume the worst about the male’s eating behaviour, since the male is far from malnourished with the way muscle frames his body, not too bulky with mass but still noticeable.

 

But, Yoongi couldn’t help the annoyed ticking feeling brewing in his chest whenever he saw more water being ingested than food, his instinct not happy with it.

 

Even hours later, Yoongi is still unable to stop picking apart Jimin’s behaviour, wondering why he acts so differently compared to the other alphas at the table.

 

Jimin isn’t following what Yoongi is used to seeing in wild alphas, or city alphas, and he hasn’t seen enough island alphas to get a good grasp on the common eating practises, and for someone like Yoongi who prides himself on his ability to learn behaviours, it’s making him focus more on a wolf he should be keeping a fair distance from.

 

Yoongi can still smell the other wolf, despite sitting in a filtered airspace for over an hour, he was still fucking able to smell the soft peony musk scent deep in his nose.

 

Grunting in frustration because his head won’t shut the fuck up about the wolf, Yoongi stares up at the ceiling of his bedding area.

 

For once, being anxious about the nightmares lurking in wait aren’t the cause of him tossing and turning in bed.

 

Yoongi drags his phone to him, the lamp above his head still illuminating the space since Yoongi doesn’t sleep in total darkness, and opens up his internet browser and types out the nonsense in his head.

 

 

why can I smell a wolf’s scent so strongly?

 

 

Yoongi waits for the page to load with answers, already feeling stupid for even asking a search engine this question.

 

When it loads, Yoongi’s eye twitches as he scans over the hits.

 

 

Five Signs of a Zentt bond waiting to be made!

 

 

Stuck with a scent up your nose? It could be your future mate!

 

 

Scents – Wolf History Explained

 

 

Yoongi eyes that last one for a lot longer than he normally would do when it concerns their histories and stories, since it’s often written in an outlandish way.

 

Yoongi clicks on the first one, and skims over the list.

 

He reads nothing new, nothing that he doesn’t already know about Zentt bonds and the process of sealing one – he’s done it before with Jungkook.

 

He still needs to mention it to Taehyung, to see if the male is as open to another Zentt bond as Jungkook made it sound.

 

Locking his phone, Yoongi huffs up at the ceiling, feeling restless with energy when he should be feeling anxious and tired.

 

Admitting defeat, Yoongi drags himself from his bedding area, phone in hand to light his way as he quickly hurries into the main living space to turn on the light.

 

He then grabs a thin blanket from the sofa, shoves his bare feet into his sandals, unlocks his door, and steps out into the late night.

 

The metal of the staircase slightly makes a noise as he climbs it, the breeze coming from the sea cool and nice on his skin as he throws the blanket around his shoulders before sitting down on the bench, looking out at the lights on the wooden walkways that make the entire pack grounds glow in a soft, dim, light.

 

Yoongi rests his head back, gaze up at the sky that is full of stars, few clouds, and the moon.

 

He stares at the moon, at its light, as he listens to the rustling of the waves at the shore to his far left.

 

Again, when was the last time he did something like this? Sitting outside in the late hours of night, listening to the world around him, breathing in clear crisp scents, gazing up at the sky.

 

It’s hard to do so in the city, what with the air pollution and the constant sound of traffic no matter the hour, and Yoongi never would do this if he was out on an assignment since that would be inviting attention to himself.

 

Yoongi looks down at his phone and unlocks it, and sees that the search engine results are still there from where he backed out of the article he’d read.

 

Without giving himself a chance to talk himself out of it, he clicks on the heading that drew his attention the longest, and shifts on the bench as he waits for it to load.

 

 

Scents – Wolf History Explained

 

We’re all taught of the importance of scent – your neutral pup scent of youth and mischief, the scent of your family home that is a hybrid of your parents and your own pup scent, the scent of you shedding your youth as your scent changes and blossoms into your own individual scent that is mix of you and your born rank marker.

 

We’re taught that scent is an identity, our own, others, even the most mundane scents of food and places have an identity to their scents.

 

Scent is core to identity, and in the past, it was core to how wolves lived everyday life.

 

In the old stories, rank-living dictated the standards in a pack, whereas in today’s modern world, only wild packs still adhere to that way of living.

 

To live by the scent of rank meant that alphas protected and ruled, betas assisted and sought knowledge, and omegas silently monitored all.

 

Rank markers in a scent are just as important because of the meaning they carry.

 

The scents of alphas: fruits, florals, spices, and musks, are scents that are light with a hint of depth, easily matching the old standards of alphas being approachable and welcoming.

 

The scents of betas: citruses, clean like the scent of rain or a stream, and sharp and distinctive like the smell of cut grass, are scents that bring an awareness of attention to the individual due to the sharpness this rank represents.

 

The scents of omegas: woody, earthy, aromatic tones of mint thyme and so much more, are scents that reaffirm that omegas are the ones most connected nature, and to their wolf ancestry.

 

 

Yoongi rolls his eyes as he thumbs down the page, skimming the headings, searching for something relating to relationship bonds.

 

And has to quickly thumb back up when he spies something of interest.

 

 

Relationships in a rank-living pack was also dictated around scent.

 

In old wulften - the dialect that all wolves spoke a form of before merging fully with human dialect - the two important scent bonds are called: Zentt (Connected Scent, in modern dialect) and Mayt (Destined Mate).

 

Zentt bonds are typically bonds meant for friendship and compatible pack-living , and sometimes even romantically, and not to be confused with a Berrth bond which is shared with blood-related members.

 

A Mayt bond doesn’t follow the same pull of a Zentt bond being triggered, but shows in the form of the wolf being solely fixated on the scent of another wolf.

 

A Mayt bond was seen as the most wished for bond, for it represented the moon and sun blessing two wolves a union made by them.

 

Mayt means ‘Destined Mate’ in modern dialect, a fitting name, for once a wolf scents another, they are unable to stop scenting that wolf. It triggers a response to bond with that wolf, both feeling the urge to connect, to scent, to bond as mates .

 

Nowadays, the Mayt bond has lost its name due to the change of living outside of a rank-based living, it’s become lost as wolves choose who they wish to bond with for life by using the bite on the main scent glands to trigger the bond.

 

Zentt bonds, Mayt bonds, they were the key focal point of relationships outside of blood-relations, but now, now they are mere scientific terms used in textbooks.

 

 

Yoongi slowly rereads the text again, consciously aware of how quiet his heart seems to be as if it too is reading along with him.

 

 

-Mayt means ‘Destined Mate’

 

-is unable to stop scenting that wolf

 

-it triggers a response to bond with that wolf

 

-it’s become lost

 

-now they are mere scientific terms used in textbooks

 

 

Yoongi laughs, the sound of it a wheeze more than an actual laugh.

 

He’s heard of compatible mates, yeah, but he never knew it had a specific name, nor was it an actual thing.

 

Yoongi’s head whips up as he catches the scent of faint peony musk, his heart lurching in his chest as he shoots to his feet, eyes scanning to find where the alpha may be.

 

Yoongi swallows as he sees movement on the dock, watches as the alpha freezes too, his body facing directedly towards Yoongi’s den.

 

He doesn’t know what to do.

 

He’s very aware of the late hour, already knows that Taehyung is suspicious of his need for oats, he doesn’t want another Support making the same connection at seeing Yoongi up on his roof terrace.

 

He’s also trying to ignore the fact that his nose is once again saturated with the male’s scent, despite the fact the wind is blowing to Jimin, meaning he should be smelling Yoongi easily, and not Yoongi smelling him so easily.

 

Yoongi presses his phone hard to his chest, almost trying to force his chest to make the pulling sensation he feels around Taehyung’s scent, and clenches his fist around the thing when nothing comes.

 

When he feels no tug in his chest, a tug he knows of a Zentt bond, Yoongi’s heart races faster.

 

When Jimin moves towards the wooden walkway leading to the guest dens, Yoongi is so frozen stiff with not knowing what the fuck to do, that he just watches the alpha’s slow, carefree, approach.

 

Yoongi forces himself to take shallow breaths once Jimin is close enough, not needing a scent headache to form as he walks to the railing in front of him, staring down at where the wolf has paused as he looks up at Yoongi.

 

“Everything okay?” Jimin’s voice calls up, quiet and soft so that he doesn’t disturb the other guests, and Yoongi fiddles with the blanket over his shoulders to give him something to do as he straightens it.

 

“Yeah, you?” Yoongi calls back, and refuses to cringe at his almost standoffish answer which he – for once – didn’t intend.

 

Jimin doesn’t look like he’s taken any offence for it as he nods. “Just doing my patrols.”

 

Yoongi leans on the railing, aiming for casualness as his never-ending curiosity around the male comes back.

 

“You mentioned before that it’s a habit?”

 

Jimin smiles, and Yoongi knows it holds more to the male’s answer when he responds with, “I was brought up watching alphas doing it.”

 

“You get up early too, right? How can you function on so little sleep, and still be so pleasant to others around you,” Yoongi states, meaning it, because he can’t be nice to anyone if he’s sleep deprived, it’s why he makes sure to nap during the day to avoid biting off someone’s head.

 

Jimin grins up, almost leaning against the staircase railing, as he shrugs his shoulders.

 

“Habit?”

 

Yoongi snorts at that. “You ever had a lie in?”

 

“I do sometimes, I’m not a machine,” Jimin laughs, and Yoongi is once again reminded of how pretty the wolf is as he stares down into his brown and ice blue eyes.

 

Yoongi curbs that thought immediately. His previous appreciation of the male’s attractively soft looks only reminding him that Yoongi found the wolf pretty before scenting his equally pretty scent.

 

“Jungkook was telling me earlier that you could’ve been my Support if you got to my sample first,” Yoongi blurts out, the reminder just sitting poised at the front of his mind, waiting to jump out through his lips to question the male about it.

 

Jimin – who is surprisingly chill, that it frustrates and worries Yoongi that his nose could be broken because he’s seeing no key signs that Jimin is even reacting the same way to his scent as he is to the alpha’s – nods at that.

 

“I could’ve been, but Taehyung is a good Support, and you two know each other already, so he’s the most suitable for you.”

 

“What if I asked for a change?”

 

Yoongi doesn’t know whose eyes widen more in shock – his or Jimin’s – as he again blurts out shit that should remain as curious thoughts.

 

“What?” Jimin blurts out, his accent coming out more noticeably due to his shock as he gawps up at a flustered Yoongi.

 

“I mean, I feel the pull to connect to Taehyung and would want to have a Zentt bond with him, I just don’t know if that is going to work with him being my Support, you know? And since you reacted well to my scent – right? – maybe you could take over?” Yoongi practically vomits the entire spiel out as he clutches to the railing with a death grip as he refuses to cave to the embarrassment that is burning his face.

 

Yoongi can’t blame the silence that comes from the wolf below him.

 

He wouldn’t know how to answer that either.

 

“Never mind, it’s probably rude, right? I mean, I’m sure Taehyung wouldn’t-”

 

“You’re right, I did react to your scent, so I am compatible in being your Support, but you don’t know me, would you feel comfortable to have sessions with me?” Jimin questions gently, still shocked, but processing it faster than Yoongi probably would’ve been able to.

 

Yoongi quietens at that.

 

Would he?

 

Taehyung knows him from before his assault. He knows Yoongi’s mannerisms, and they’ve already got a strong support rapport going on.

 

Would he really be comfortable in turning to Jimin for advice? To go into details that he has yet to go into detail with even to Taehyung, someone who obviously knows because he’s read Yoongi’s admission file.

 

 “I mean, a guest doesn’t know their Support until they meet, right?” Yoongi tentatively says, not agreeing or disagreeing on whether he’d be comfortable, and notes the way Jimin swallows in response to that as he tentatively nods.

 

“True,” Jimin agrees, voice pitched a little high, before he clears his throat and leans from the railing, “I have no guest, so I am free. Sleep on it, and if you still feel like this is something you’d like to explore, mention it to Taehyung.”

 

Yoongi nods along, body too tense, despite the lack of a rejection. “I hope he won’t take offence.”

 

Jimin smiles warmly at that. “Taehyung cares for you, for your recovery, so if that means me taking over as a Support, and you both exploring being friends with a new Zentt bond, then I’m sure he’ll be open to it.”

 

Yoongi lets out an exhale at that. “I’ll think on it some more, just to be sure.”

 

Jimin nods at that, moving to return back to his nightly patrol. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Yoongi. Try to get some sleep, it is late, after all.”

 

Yoongi can’t promise that, but he nods and watches the alpha leave, and doesn’t move an inch until the wolf has entered the garden, disappearing around the bend of the communal building.

 

He makes more noise going down the staircase than he did going up it, and it almost matches the chaotic way his thoughts are spinning as he enters his den, locking it again.

 

Turning the lights off, Yoongi – for once – doesn’t rush back to his bedding area since he’s so distracted by replaying the entire conversation with Jimin to even give the darkness attention.

 

It’s only as he’s lying down, once again staring up at the ceiling, does Yoongi realise that he can’t smell the scent of oats and coffee.

 

Shoving himself up onto his elbows, Yoongi frowns as he inhales deeply through his nose, only to get Jimin’s scent instead.

 

Yoongi rubs at his neck, manipulating his scent glands to release more of his scent, and relaxes when he can scent it.

 

Yoongi still can’t make sense on whether or not he has this so-called Mayt bond-thing playing with him, or he’s just fixating on Jimin’s scent because it’s so nice.

 

Yoongi slaps his cheeks lightly at that, and growls at himself for the thought, before flipping himself over onto his tummy, his face almost squished completely into his pillows as he continues to breathe in Jimin’s scent through his nose.

 

Yoongi doesn’t know how long he lies like that, because, one second he’s so consciously aware of his thoughts, and the next, he’s jerking awake because he can’t fucking breathe because he’s buried his face into his pillows.

 

Groaning loudly, Yoongi squints at his too bright room, since he had forgot to draw his curtain when he had returned earlier, and rolls into a better position to return back to sleep.

 

It’s only as he’s curling around a pillow that he realises something with a jerk.

 

He’s trying to go back to sleep, because he’s sleepy.

 

He’s not forcing himself.

 

His body is encouraging him to pass out again.

 

Yoongi jerks up onto his hands and knees, pillow forgotten, as he moves to stare out through his open bedding curtain.

 

There, shining through the gaps around his window curtains, is daylight.

 

Yoongi almost knocks himself out in his haste to get off the bed to rush for the window, yanking open the curtains, and hissing as he’s blinded by sunshine.

 

“No fucking way,” Yoongi rasps out as confusion slams into him as he rushes back for his bedding area, lunging for his phone.

 

But his phone confirms it.

 

He’s slept all night.

 

All night.

 

He hasn’t done that since before his assault.

 

Yoongi’s back slams into the hallway wall and he sinks down to his ass as he inhales the scent of stale coffee and oats, but no hint of his own scent screaming his fear, or the stench of sweat.

 

He can’t even smell Jimin anymore, and Yoongi wheezes as his mind whispers with, ‘is it because of his that I slept like the dead?’

 

That webpage mentioned nothing about the finer details of what the fuck happens if a Mayt bond has been triggered, and Yoongi is honestly freaking out a little to even attempt to search for the answer.

 

He doesn’t know how to feel with the possibility that Jimin’s scent is the cause of his peaceful night sleep, since only mates can have that sort of effect on a wolf since the scent brings comfort and security.

 

It could be because he’s been so tired.

 

But, he’s been tired for weeks now.

 

Yoongi clutches his head, feeling a headache pulse from his confused thoughts.

 

The fuck does he do about this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimin barely makes it out of view before he squats down on the wooden walkway, in the middle of the garden, and sucks in fast, deep, breaths as he tries to beat against the way his head is currently feeling light, his nose jammed up with Yoongi’s scent.

 

Why is he reacting so strongly to the wolf’s scent?!

 

It’s not a delayed reaction, Jimin didn’t even believe that was the answer when he spoke to Jin and Taehyung about it, and it’s not a Zentt bond being triggered because he can’t feel a tug towards the omega, so what the fuck is this?

 

Jimin has scented past wolves with pleasing scents, but nothing has ever sucked in his entire attention as Yoongi’s does, and it’s starting to unnerve him, starting to play with his head the more he’s around the wolf’s cedarwood scent because it’s as if it is calling to Jimin’s instinct.

 

Which is crazy.

 

Jimin sucks in the scent of herbs and soil as he runs his shaking hands through his hair, trying to ground and distract himself as he works to take control of his breathing, of his rapid, pounding, heartbeat.

 

Jimin knows he needs to let Hoseok know of this, to let the High Alpha be aware of Jimin’s current state of unrest and confusion since that is what you do in a pack that sees everyone as equals – you communicate.

 

He also needs to let the alpha know that there may be a possibility of a Support transfer.

 

Jimin glances back on himself, his skin prickling with the hyper focus of Yoongi’s scent and location as he picks up on the sound of the metal stairs creaking, as if the omega is in a rush, or is just heavy footed.

 

Jimin thinks it’s more the former, than the latter.

 

Jimin shoves himself towards the gate, needing to walk the long way to the main door to hopefully clear his head and nose.

 

Is it wise for him to encourage Yoongi entertaining the possibility of Jimin being his Support when Jimin doesn’t know the whys of why he’s reacting to the wolf’s scent and presence?

 

The logical part of his brain screams, ‘no!’, but the instinctual part is screaming, ‘yes!’ loudly above it.

 

Jimin huffs heavily through his nose, trying to clear the cedarwood from it, as he tries to not focus on the pulse of instinct that is wide awake at the back of his mind, nudging for him to fixate more on Yoongi, his scent, his personality, to learn everything the omega has to share with him.

 

Jimin practically runs the rest of the distance to the front of the pack grounds, shouldering open the frosted door that he locks behind him since he’s the last one awake, and rushes for the office door.

 

Flicking the light on, Jimin heads straight for the bookshelves that hold handwritten books that were gifted to the support pack from the Vellgee and Velli packs when Hoseok, Jin, and Namjoon opened the pack doors, and also the printed books from the mainland.

 

Jimin wasn’t ever a book reader back in his birth pack, since alphas were required to have outdoor smarts, than book smarts. It was only when he started to learn about being a Support that he realised that he really enjoyed getting lost in a book for a few hours.

 

With the ventilated air helping with dulling down – but not erasing – Yoongi’s scent in his nose, Jimin can concentrate on trying to find the book he occasionally rereads, despite the possibility of him being able to recite every word in the book because he’s read it so many times.

 

Usually, he reads this book whenever he needs guidance on a support method, since he’s the one with the late training and exposure to the supporting role, so the book he pulls from the shelf is very dear to him as a Support.

 

It’s a handwritten one, Jimin vaguely knows that it came with Namjoon a few summers ago, but it’s a book that was written from the perspective of a wild-born, alpha, wolf, that moved to the islands when she was young and grew to become a Support.

 

The book has the balance of wild-born preconceptions that are passed down from adults, the neutrality of growing up with island-living, and the knowledge of combining all of that into being a Support later in life, rather than earlier in life.

 

Jimin sits his ass down on the floor, and gently flicks through the pages after looking at the contents list.

 

Once he finds the chapter he needs, he reads.

 

 

Being a Support, you’re opening up your instinct to be vulnerable to all directions of sensory.

 

Being a Support Alpha, you’re opening up a channel within your mind that can’t ever be filtered shut once you’ve opened it.

 

Your instinct is a current through you, a pulse, an identity, a voice, depending on how a wolf visualises it, and like all currents – streams, rivers, the seas - it is unpredictable.

 

Your instinct responds when it feels that you need to listen, to pay attention, and depending on the environment, the tone of emergency that will flow through that current with fluctuate.

 

As a Support, you will scent, sense, and see things that will produce that trigger from your instinct. As a wolf, it’s your job to listen, to follow the current’s pull, and not twist from it until you are certain that you can.

 

To be a Support, you have to be confident in your swimming ability to navigate the current that flows through you.

 

If you can’t, then stop being a Support to others, and start supporting yourself.

 

As an alpha, your swimming ability is even more vital. Us alphas respond on the levels of protection and microaggression, and logic tends to get lost in translation when instinct flares up. It’s down to you to recognise your own signs of when your instinct is trying to overrule your logical side.

 

Listen to the direction the current is trying to pull you – is it telling you to put distance between a guest, if so, what behaviours are you seeing from the guest and yourself to prompt that?

 

Is it drawing you closer to a guest, if so, why? Is the guest a danger to themselves? To others? Is it less serious and you’re simply sensing how lonely the guest is?

 

 What is your instinct telling you? How is it making your body respond?

 

Your instinct will only flood through your consciousness when it senses you need guidance.

 

Listen to it.

 

We survived the past by listening and learning from instinct, it exists for a reason.

 

 

Jimin closes his eyes, and focuses on the pulse at the back of his mind, the pulse that is controlling his current state of breathing and high pulse.

 

It’s not frantic, nor is it how it has felt in the past when he’s felt a threat nearby, but nor is it calm.

 

It’s….waiting, not moving, not stilling. It’s just remaining constant, an awareness that he can’t ignore.

 

And this started once he caught Yoongi’s scent.

 

Not before, but after, and has remained the same ever since.

 

 

What is your instinct telling you? How is it making your body respond?

 

 

Jimin doesn’t know!

 

It just feels like he’s become unnecessarily fixated on Yoongi’s scent for no logical reason.

 

Could it be because he knows of the male’s nightly unrest? Is that why his instinct won’t allow the omega to slip from his focus?

 

But, that would mean he’s reacting to a guest as a Support, but he’s feeling none of his usual hints whenever he’s supporting a guest.

 

Jimin chews on his lip as he puts back the book, even more restless since it didn’t help him unknot the mystery around this puzzle that he’s stuck in.

 

He’ll have to speak to Hoseok about it, maybe Jin, too.

 

They have more knowledge than he does due to his rather restricted upbringing, maybe they can help him understand why he can always smell Yoongi, even in places he shouldn’t be able to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi is still rattled from sleeping all night, that his gut is too twisted to stomach even coffee, never mind food, so his excuse was genuine this morning when Jungkook called him to ask him where he was for breakfast.

 

The alpha let him off once Yoongi asked him to tell Taehyung to find him down by the dock once he’s finished his breakfast, his playful tone retreating as a softer, cautious, one overtook it.

 

Yoongi should’ve known that the beta would’ve come immediately after getting the message from Jungkook.

 

“You up for a morning swim or something?” The beta’s voice calls from behind him, his footsteps on the wood thumping lightly, as Yoongi turns from where he’s sitting with his feet dangled over the edge of the dock, hanging above the water below.

 

Yoongi watches as the beta comes all the way down the dock to where Yoongi is sitting at the end of it, where a boat on either side of him float.

 

“Here’s some juice leftover from yesterday, if you want it for a late breakfast,” Taehyung says softly as he offers the glass bottle to him, before joining Yoongi as he sits down.

 

Yoongi places the bottle on his other side so that his nervous hands don’t accidently drop it into the sea below them.

 

“You bailed on me before we could really talk about our session, yesterday,” Yoongi opens up with, glancing at the small, soft, huff the wolf makes as Taehyung looks out at the morning sea.

 

“I didn’t bail, it was a short and sweet session for a reason,” Taehyung answers back lightly, sending Yoongi a smile.

 

“You know that I’ve been lying, why didn’t you just ask me about?” Yoongi forwardly asks, curious. “You said that you would follow my lead.”

 

“I was,” Taehyung responds back simply. “You were open in discussing topics relating to your work, but not sharing topics relating to your health. So, I went with discussing the topic of why a wolf may lie, instead of sharing what I was sensing from your behaviour.”

 

“Which was?”

 

“Jittery, the hitches in your breath that would happen whenever coffee was mentioned, the tell-tale signs of exhaustion on your face. You know, the simple things that indicate when someone can’t sleep.”

 

Yoongi smiles at that, because even though he has always had chronic eye bags, he has to admit that they have become more bruised-like, his skin looking lifeless because of the lack of rest.

 

“And when you asked for oats, your scent became layered with it and the bitterness of coffee, so I knew then that you were hiding a massive sleeping issue,” Taehyung tacks on, and Yoongi groans, since he had been hoping he wasn’t carrying those scents on him.

 

“So, the entire pack knows,” Yoongi deadpans in a grunt.

 

“They’re Supports, and Jungkook is your best friend who knows when you’re hiding something from him,” Taehyung gently says back. “But, I was waiting for you to come to me about it, since that is what I’m here for, to support.”

 

Yoongi looks down at his lap at the not so subtle reminder from the wolf.

 

Why was he hiding his nightmares? Taehyung has seen his report, so the wolf already knows of his recovery up until now, so….why was he even hiding it?

 

“Does my report mention my nightmares?” Yoongi asks, throat a little tight.

 

“It didn’t,” comes the response he wasn’t expecting, and his surprise and confusion shows on his face as Taehyung smiles reassuringly at him.

 

“Your file told me some details of your assault, and wellbeing notes from your leading doctor about you displaying signs of trauma related stress, which is pretty broad to say since stress manifests in very different ways,” Taehyung continues. “Guest files aren’t explicitly detailed to protect a guest’s privacy during the scenting process.”

 

“So, you weren’t sent an updated one when you accepted to be my Support?”

 

Taehyung shakes his head. “A Support can’t be fed all the information from another perspective since it will hinder your own way of supporting and guiding the guest. It’s why it’s vague, it allows us to learn what we need to know directly from our interactions with our guest.”

 

“So, you didn’t even know I was suffering nightmares until I just said it,” Yoongi says quietly, and Taehyung nods, expression still soft and gentle, encouraging.

 

“But, you’ve said it now, it’s out there. How does it feel to not keep it to yourself?” Taehyung questions lightly.

 

“Vulnerable,” Yoongi breathes out, trying not to listen to the way his chest is squirming with unease, just waiting for the wolf to scold him for keeping it hidden.

 

“You say that like it’s a bad thing,” Taehyung murmurs, curious, and Yoongi frowns.

 

“Isn’t it?” Yoongi echoes. “To be vulnerable, you’re opening yourself up to potential harm.”

 

“That is a narrow way of thinking, a very human way of thinking, if you look at how human kind live; they fear to be seen as vulnerable – whether against us, or themselves,” Taehyung hums out, looking out at the sea. “To be vulnerable, you’re no longer desensitising yourself to living your life holding back emotions, thoughts, opinions.”

 

Yoongi stares at the beta’s side profile, lost for words.

 

“Think about it, we close ourselves off to avoid feeling or saying something, and when we reopen that part, it feels raw, forbidden almost, to let it be open,” Taehyung continues as he swings his legs a little, “is that healthy to do?”

 

“It depends, sometimes closing something off is the healthier option,” Yoongi answers, thinking of his nightmares, at how it would make him feel to share what makes him afraid.

 

“Is it healthy?” Taehyung counters, looking at him. “Is it healthy to ignore something that begins to fester inside you, affecting your way of living, because it may hurt to let it out?”

 

Yoongi steels his spine, ignoring the pulse of his instinct wanting to retreat from this conversation as he begins to feel uncomfortable, caged.

 

“Is it healthy for you to force yourself to function in a way that you won’t heal from, because you are afraid it’ll hurt, be uncomfortable, to let that rawness to breathe?”

 

“For some, it can be. Not everything can be healed,” Yoongi grits out as his chest feels tight.

 

“But most can be,” Taehyung points out softly. “I’m not saying everything can be healed by simply talking about it, but most can be. You can recover from trauma, Yoongi, even if it feels like you’ll never recover, you can.”

 

“I find that hard to believe when I have the images haunting me every time I try to sleep.”

 

Taehyung gently grasps his hand, and Yoongi clings to it.

 

“The funny thing about nightmares is that they’re your brain’s way of trying to process the trauma, even if it feels like you’re constantly getting punished, it’s actually your brain trying to heal and move on,” Taehyung mutters as they hold hands on Yoongi’s lap.

 

“Well, my brain needs to fucking stop,” Yoongi bitterly grunts out, still feeling choked, but grounded as he holds Taehyung’s hand, breathes in his scent along with the sea’s.

 

“Healing isn’t always a comfortable process, and it takes time. If you’re having a recurring nightmare, it could be your brain is trying to tell you something, something that you should talk about, rather than keep locked inside.”

 

Yoongi thinks of the darkness that takes over his dreams, taking his sight, leaving him completely open to the sounds around him, the touches on his body, the pain, the scent of fear and blood.

 

His dreams make his eyes numb, like they’re not even there, no mater how many times he tries to blink them open, he can’t feel them, a little bit like how they feel now as he stares out at the waves on the sea surface.

 

The scents make him as trapped as the pressure from the hands that press him down onto a cold, hard, floor that is rough and crumbly beneath his legs due to the floor being forest and dirt.

 

The darkness amplifies everything he wants to forget, the voices that are a mix of dominance and fear, fear for Yoongi or themselves, he’s never been able to figure out.

 

The darkness amplifies and robs him at the same time his control over his body is stolen from him as the darkness croons the voice of an alpha at him, crooning for him to listen to his voice, to remember it.

 

The voice croons to him now as he stares numbly out at the sea, the darkness invisible as the morning light shines determinedly through.

 

Yoongi can still feel the touch of those pinning him down, can feel his hands being gripped, can feel his own nails digging into flesh that isn’t his own.

 

He can taste the dirt from the forest on his tongue, the taste of bitter cedar of his own fearful scent.

 

He feels the hands tug on his, feels his body turning as if he’s in the water in front of him, sluggish and slow.

 

Water?

 

Yoongi blinks, feels it happen as if it is in slow motion.

 

The sea is in front of him, yet he can’t smell it.

 

Yoongi blinks again at the face he’s seeing now, frowning.

 

Oranges.

 

Sweet oranges.

 

Yoongi feels a gentle pull in his chest, and smiles.

 

Taehyung.

 

 He’s sitting with Taehyung, his…

 

“There we go, keep breathing nice and slow,” comes the words that Taehyung’s lips are making, his ears feeling small and hollow as they accept them.

 

Yoongi then realises his chest is tight, his heart heavy and fast, and sucks in a deeper breath, hoping to ease the tightness free.

 

“Keep focusing on what pulled you free, keep it in your focus, cradle it like it’s a small bunny in your hands,” Taehyung continues to speak softly, delicately, and Yoongi feels a sensation grow over the back of his hands and looks down to see the wolf’s thumbs stroking the back of his skin.

 

Yoongi keeps breathing in the scent of sweet oranges, listening to the pull that anchors him to Taehyung, a bond they have yet to speak about.

 

“That…was weird,” Yoongi murmurs once he’s able to work his lips and tongue.

 

“It’s normal when trauma is involved, spacing out from reality for a few seconds,” Taehyung gently explains, still rubbing his thumbs over the back of Yoongi’s hands, “it’s just your mind’s way of putting on the brakes.”

 

“I wasn’t….I was still thinking of my nightmares,” Yoongi explains, licking his dry lips.

 

“And your mind was trying to avoid it,” Taehyung explains. “Did you feel numbness, as if your body wasn’t really there?”

 

Yoongi nods, frowning. “A little, yeah.”

 

Taehyung slowly nods. “Your eyes become glazed and blank, like you were staring off into space, but your scent began to climb, growing with distress.”

 

Yoongi swallows as he listens, remembering the bitterness he caught in his scent.

 

“Has this happened before, Yoongi?”

 

Yoongi isn’t sure, and tells the wolf this.

 

“I’m trying to recall the medical term, but what you just experienced is your mind trying to avoid reliving something, kinda disconnecting from reality, and this type of thing is common in traumatic cases, such as assault,” Taehyung explains, his thumbs still massaging the back of Yoongi’s hand, “it’s not something Supports encourage or ignore, so I want us to work on this, yeah?”

 

Yoongi nods along, because his head is only just stopping from feeling light and airy.

 

“I want us to discuss your nightmares, to narrow the reason why your mind is fixating on certain details, and how to overcome them, yeah?” Taehyung continues softly, his eyes warm and comforting, as are his hands.

 

“Taehyung…” Yoongi begins, feeling the pull in his chest tug, reminding him of the reason why he wanted to speak to the male this morning, and doesn’t know how to go from there as Taehyung sits, waiting for him to continue.

 

Taehyung gives him the time, even if his gaze does become a little concerned the longer it takes for Yoongi to get the words out.

 

“I…do…fuck, do you feel it?” Yoongi eventually blurts out, needing to know as he tightens his hands around Taehyung’s.

 

Taehyung looks mildly taken aback, before frowning slightly as he says uncertainly, “you mean the pull of a triggered Zentt bond?”

 

Yoongi sags with sweet relief, making Taehyung laugh lightly.

 

“I was just waiting for you to mention it, since it would be unprofessional of me to mention it first,” Taehyung reassures as Yoongi opens his mouth to speak.

 

Yoongi’s chest clenches. “About that, I would like to have a Zentt bond with you, but I’m unsure of the rules, what with you being my Support.”

 

“I mean, it falls down to you, Yoongi,” Taehyung says with a slowness that makes Yoongi think that the wolf isn’t so sure of the answer himself, “it would bring us closer, so it is down to you if you feel comfortable with that closeness being present in your support.”

 

Is there a difference? Wouldn’t he and Taehyung become close naturally the deeper they get into his recovery?

 

“I’ll ask Jin, he’s the Lead Support, so he may have a different view on this, since I don’t have an answer for this,” Taehyung suggests softly, and Yoongi nods in agreement.

 

“I just want this to be out there so it doesn’t feel like I went behind your back or anything but, I know about Jimin being a compatible Support to me, so if us nurturing a Zentt bond gets in the way of us being a guest and Support, then Jimin has already said he’d be open to being my Support,” Yoongi rushes out, feeling a mild headache grow in his temples, as he reaches for the bottle of juice, needing a drink of something.

 

Taehyung blinks as he runs his hands through his hair that the mild wind has shifted around his face. “You spoke to Jimin? When?”

 

“Last night. I saw him on his patrol whilst I was up on my den roof.”

 

“That’s pretty late,” Taehyung hints subtly, and Yoongi for once tells the truth about his sleeping issues as he reassures the beta that it’s because his mind was too cluttered with thoughts, rather than anxiety over going to sleep.

 

“Let me speak with Jin first, just in case. He’s technically our boss as Supports, so both myself and Jimin could be missing a rule somewhere,” Taehyung says as he looks back at the communal building in the distance.

 

“Sure, I just wanted it out there, just in case it goes either way,” Yoongi explains as he plays with bottle of juice by swirling it around.

 

Taehyung sends him a smile that is warm and normal, no offence in it.

 

“You feeling okay?” The beta checks, and Yoongi nods as he takes a sip of the juice.

 

“Yeah, just a faint ache in my temples. I actually slept all night last night so I don’t feel like I’m hanging upside down.”

 

Taehyung smiles wide at that. “You did? That’s great, Yoongi!”

 

Yoongi clears his throat after he’s finished swallowing, conscious of the way his cheeks are a little flushed.

 

“I’m not sure if it was because of exhaustion giving me a free pass to sleep all night, or because I could only smell Jimin,” Yoongi sighs out, still confused about it now.

 

When he glances at the silent wolf beside him, Yoongi is almost certain that he saw Taehyung shutter something away from his expression.

 

“You okay?” Yoongi questions, and feels that bubble of certainty grow as Taehyung nods a little too enthusiastically.

 

“Could be both,” the wolf says as he heaves himself up onto his feet, looking down at Yoongi, “if you want a herbal remedy for that soon-to-be headache, have a chamomile tea. There’s plenty in the kitchen.”

 

Yoongi nods, watching as the wolf announces his leave so he can track down Jin to answer their questions.

 

Watching the broad width of Taehyung’s t-shirt covered back, Yoongi finds himself losing to his thoughts of what it would be like if Jimin were his Support instead.

 

He’s only just growing to learn of Taehyung’s way of supporting, of the way he responds to things that Yoongi doesn’t say, but his body does.

 

He wonders what Jimin’s method of supporting is like, and if Yoongi will like it and learn something from it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What time is Namjoon’s guest leaving today?” Jin calls so that he can be heard over the sound of the bathroom sink from where he lounges on the porch floor, against the door frame of the open door of the alpha’s den.

 

“Lunch!” Hoseok calls, and then the sound of brushing teeth comes.

 

Jin is more than relieved that the nuisance is leaving earlier than the time Hoseok gave her. She had treated them all as if they were servers at a resort, rather than Supports in a support pack.

 

It’s a shame the omega had to deal with an alpha like Mira, someone that comes from not only a left-wing political side, but someone who believes that city wolves are more intelligent than the other sub-living areas of their kind.

 

Namjoon has a lot of patience and kindness, but even Mira tested the wolf’s limits, and Jin was all too glad the wolf was leaving today, rather than at the end of the week.

 

“No doubt we’ll receive a complaint,” Jin calls once Hoseok has stopped brushing his teeth.

 

“Yeah, well, they’ll be getting a complaint of their own, from myself and Namjoon, once I ask him to write one up.”

 

Jin smirks at the touch of protective roughness to the alpha’s tone.

 

“You should’ve let Namjoon evict her when she started flirting with you, but no, you had to be the considerate High Alpha,” Jin taunts back, looking around the door frame as he hears the sound of the male leaving his bathroom.

 

Hoseok sticks up his middle finger, bare chest on display, his toned lower body in long shorts, as he moves to dress himself from the rail of clothing that blocks off the view to the bed.

 

“You know why I persist in the hope of behaviour changes. I honestly thought she’d lose interest in me,” Hoseok sighs out as he yanks off a plain white shirt from a wooden hanger.

 

“Have you seen yourself lately? Your trip away to the far southern islands has made you glow,” Jin teases the male’s sun-kissed complexion, which looks even more radiant with the white shirt to contrast from.

 

“I’m a sun wolf, bite me,” Hoseok says with a roll of his eyes as he finishes getting himself ready.

 

“Nah, I think another wolf will bite my head off if I were to bite you,” Jin hums out, waiting for it.

 

And grins with glee at the way Hoseok’s face grows red as he once again sends Jin the middle finger.

 

“Is there a reason why you’ve come to my den to annoy me before breakfast?” The High Alpha growls out, flustered, and Jin is about to answer when peony musk greets him first, and he looks to his left to see Jimin coming across the yard.

 

“Morning, Jimin,” Jin calls softly as he pushes himself up onto his feet as he hears Hoseok moving closer to the open door.

 

“Morning, I was hoping to catch you both before you were busy,” the alpha rushes out, and Jin’s playful mood shifts into a concerned one as he takes in the fidgeting the other alpha is displaying.

 

“Sure, sit down,” Hoseok immediately rushes out as he waves to the wooden bench he has on his porch, one that has barbells under it since the alpha works out outside, rather than in.

 

Jimin sits down in between them, all squashing together a little, but instead of it being uncomfortable to be pressed together like this, it actual is soothing due to the shared Zentt bonds they have with each other.

 

“What’s got you in a tizz?” Hoseok questions as Jin slings his arm around the shorter male’s shoulders, pressing Jimin’s nervous form closer to him to relax him with his scent.

 

“Yoongi asked me if it was possible for me to be his Support instead of Taehyung because he wants to grow his Zentt bond with him, and he’s worried if the two will conflict together, so he found out from Jungkook that I’m compatible to be his Support and asked me and now I’m trying to figure out if that is a good thing for me because I can scent Yoongi in areas I’m not supposed to catch his scent,” Jimin practically vomits out his entire rush of words, and it takes Jin a good minute or two to process what the fuck the alpha has just babbled out to them.

 

 And when he does, Jin shares a look with Hoseok over the alpha’s down faced head.

 

“What do you mean you can scent Yoongi in areas you’re not meant to?” Hoseok asks, running his hand through the lengths of Jimin’s wavy hair as Jin lightly rubs up and down the alpha’s spine to ground him.

 

“I can smell him in the communal area, smell him when I’m nowhere near him afterwards. It’s not normal, right?” Jimin looks up at them both, brown and ice blue eyes uncertain and confused.

 

It tugs at the first memory that Jin has of Jimin, the memory when he first met the alpha, and feels the curl of protectiveness creep around his mind as he presses his cheek into the male’s hair.

 

“Are you feeling a pull?” Hoseok asks, and Jin already knows that answer since he and Taehyung asked Jimin the same thing.

 

“No, so it’s not a Zentt bond I’m feeling being triggered, and it’s not something relating to being a Support either.”

 

Jin shares another look with Hoseok, both of them deciding who to be the one to bring it up.

 

“Have you heard of compatible mates?” Jin brings it up first, under the supporting gaze of Hoseok as Jin meets Jimin’s blank gaze.

 

“In theory, yeah,” Jimin states slowly. “I’ve read about them. But mating wasn’t always a love thing in my birth pack.”

 

Jin bites back the anger he has for the neglect Jimin was given in terms of being allowed to learn beyond the means of being an alpha, his hatred for the wolf’s birth pack burning stronger.

 

“I mean, compatible in the same way as Zentt compatible,” Jin reiterates gently. “Have you heard of the old stories of the moon and the sun matching wolves together as destined mates?”

 

“Just jump straight into the deep end, well done, Jin,” Hoseok coughs out as Jimin gawps at Jin, taking over from Jin’s straightforwardness, “there are different bonds that a wolf can trigger, a Zentt bond is the most commonly known one.”

 

“Also, the mating bond that gets triggered by a mating bite,” Jimin adds carefully, and both alphas nod, “but judging by both of your faces, there is more?”

 

“There is a difference between you choosing to mate with someone, and having instinct choose for you,” Jin takes over this part, since he has experience of his own to gleam from. “When I mated, it was my choice, not my instinct telling me that he was my mate. He was attractive, smelled good, made me laugh, and showed me love, that is why I mated him.”

 

“Are you telling me that my instinct thinks Yoongi is a potential mate?” Jimin croaks out, his face torn with shock and confusion.

 

“We can’t answer that, only your instinct can,” Hoseok whispers to the stunned alpha as he gently presses his cheek to Jimin’s hair.

 

“I don’t know what it’s telling me, I think it’s as confused as I am.”

 

“Then take the time to listen to it,” Jin suggests lightly. “You’ll soon figure it out.”

 

“Yo, just the wolves I was looking for!”

 

All three of them look down the yard to where the communal building door entrance is to see Taehyung already down off the decking, and jogging down the middle of the yard towards Hoseok’s den.

 

“Which wolves?” Hoseok questions, standing from the bench to greet the beta as he climbs the steps of Hoseok’s porch.

 

“Jimin and Jin, but you can stick around cos Mira is in there right now,” Taehyung grins at the sound Hoseok makes at the mention of the wolf, his annoyance loud and clear.

 

“What have we done?” Jin asks, still rubbing Jimin’s spine that had grown stiff at the mention of his name.

 

“Yoongi just told me that he wants to have a Zentt bond with me, but now we’re both confused if that would still be doable if I’m his Support as well,” Taehyung sighs out as he leans against the wooden railing.

 

“In terms of the law, it’s a grey area,” Hoseok admits, his expression thoughtful as he leans against his closed front door. “Technically, you wouldn’t be breaking the confidant law, but you have to keep in mind the nature of nurturing the bond as it cements itself. It requires scenting and affection as you both familiarise yourself as pack members to each other.”

 

Taehyung sucks on his lower lip as his listens, nodding along. “It could be a distraction.”

 

“It could,” Hoseok hums in agreement, still thinking. “It really comes down to you and Yoongi. Do you both feel that you’d be able to focus on his recovery and grow a bond between you both?”

 

Jin can see the doubt and stress flick through the beta’s expression as he thinks.

 

“Remember what it means to be a Support, Tae. You’re there as their rock, their guide through the rough. If you can’t focus on that, you’d be letting both of yourselves down,” Jin kindly reminds the younger wolf, being careful with his wording so that he doesn’t cause offence since Taehyung and Jimin are the least experienced Supports in the pack.

 

Taehyung has more intuitive knowledge than Jimin, simply because he was able to shadow Supports in his birth pack at times, but both are still building up their own methods of support which can take years of practise to be confident and capable in them.

 

“I’ve already told Yoongi that I’d be open to being his Support if you both wish to focus on your Zentt bond together,” Jimin speaks up, voice calm and open, as is his body language as he sits straighter.

 

Taehyung sends Jimin a soft, conflicted, look, and Jin knows exactly what the wolf is going to say as he opens his mouth.

 

“Can you be his Support if he is your potential mate?” Taehyung questions gently, and Jin is impressed that Jimin doesn’t jerk again at the mention of Yoongi being his potentially destined mate.

 

“I don’t know if he is, I can’t understand what my instinct is telling me,” Jimin admits honestly, “but, before I caught his scent, I was already pulled into wanting to support him. I…he’s not been sleeping.”

 

Taehyung smiles warmly at that. “I know, we’ve just been discussing that, actually.”

 

“I responded to Yoongi first, before I responded to his scent, so I feel assured that I can help him with his recovery,” Jimin continues, and Jin uses the chance to study the way the alpha is projecting himself, since this seriousness wasn’t at all present before Taehyung’s arrival.

 

But, Jin can’t find a hint of the male’s previous restlessness. The alpha sitting beside him is acting as if he normally would whenever they did their selection meetings.

 

Jin knows that Jimin has the innate ability to shut down parts of himself because he was taught to do so in his birth pack, and it worries him every time he sees Jimin fall back onto habits that were created and taught in the wrong manner.

 

He knows Jimin still practises his meditation, still rereads the books himself, Hoseok, and Namjoon shared with him when he first came to the pack to learn of different styles of supporting, but for the progress that Jimin has made in healing himself and finding his identity and purpose away from his rank, Jimin can regress just as fast back to old habits of focusing on purpose, than living.

 

Jin also knows that Hoseok still fights the government on their opinions on Jimin being a Support, despite the alpha’s success with past guests, since Jimin’s banishment had been noted from his birth pack, as the law dictates.

 

Even if the record about Jimin’s banishment is full of half-truths, painting the young alpha as a wolf that he’s far from being, Hoseok and Jin always fight for Jimin’s right to be a Support.

 

It’s why the entire pack is protective over Jimin, whether he realises it or not, they fight for him because no one fought for Jimin when he really needed someone in his corner.

 

And it shows in the way Taehyung tugs Jimin into a side hug as the beta joins them on the bench, nuzzling into Jimin’s hair and the side of his face.

 

“I’ll see what Yoongi decides, since his opinion matters the most,” Taehyung finalises with a sigh as he looks at them all. “He kinda reminds me of you, in a way, Jimin. He’s come from a lifestyle where all he’s focused on is his purpose, rather than actually living his life. I want him to finally learn to live it, enjoy it.”

 

“Maybe I should be his Support, we have something in common,” Jimin teases as he gently pushes the beta’s shoulder as he stands up.

 

“Maybe more, if you can figure out what your instinct is pushing at you,” Taehyung taunts back, before launching himself off the porch as Jimin darts after him in mock chase.

 

Jin watches as the two same-aged wolves push and play with each other as they head back to the communal building, as Hoseok sits down beside him.

 

“You think this is a smart idea, letting Jimin and Yoongi get close when Jimin doesn’t understand what his instinct is telling him?” Hoseok questions quietly, not wanting the other two to pick up on their conversation.

 

“I think he won’t understand until he’s been interacted with Yoongi more,” Jin mutters back. “Jimin learns differently. He sought out advice to help him in the choice of how he should approach his instinct, not what his instinct is telling him.”

 

“It could get messy on both sides, his and Yoongi’s, if the omega reacts the same.”

 

“It could, but we don’t know if Yoongi is feeling the same instinctive awareness of Jimin. We don’t know if this really is a Mayt bond being triggered, or Jimin just learning another social aspect that he was denied the chance of learning as a pup.”

 

Hoseok lets out a shallow sigh at that. “I hope it’s the former. Jimin….he’s always been told he’d never be worthy of being a mate. He was always torn down by stupid wild pack beauty standards.”

 

Jin grunts at that. His few years of living in his mate’s wild birth pack taught him that life on the mainland wasn’t as grand as it makes itself out to be.

 

“I just want everyone to be happy,” Jin murmurs as they both watch through the window as Taehyung and Jimin move out of sight together, “including yourself, Hoseok.”

 

Jin turns his head at the spluttering the alpha makes beside him.

 

“When will you and Namjoon stop dancing around each other?” Jin questions, serious for once, instead of playful.

 

Hoseok’s expression closes up, but Jin was expecting it anyway.

 

It always does when he brings this up.

 

“You know why,” Hoseok states as he stands up.

 

“Even in wild packs, no High ever gives themselves a ‘no dating’ rule, not one,” Jin deadpans, following after the wolf. “I don’t see why you’re so deadset on maintaining this rule which isn’t needed.”

 

“The politics is different for support packs, Jin. I can’t date a pack member; the government boards won’t allow it, and I don’t want to hide a relationship either. I don’t want Namjoon to feel like he’s less, when he means too much to me.”

 

“The Board states to be ‘wary’ of dating a pack member, not that you can’t,” Jin grabs the male’s arm, ignoring the growl of warning that comes with it, “you’re scared it will mess with the pack if it ends badly, but what is messy about that logic is that you’re already condemning the relationship to fail.”

 

Jin lets go and walks away, one last final word of, “stop thinking and start living, Hoseok. It’s what we preach, so you should follow it too.”

 

Heading for his own den, Jin lets out a long exhale.

 

He just wants the wolves around him to be happy, and because of his own experiences and also being the eldest, Jin feels the need to ensure that happiness happens even more.

 

Jin has watched Hoseok and Namjoon toe the lines of friendship and flirting ever since Hoseok invited Namjoon to their birth pack one summer, so that the omega could shadow their Supports.

 

Their relationship, their Zentt bond, has always shown sides of it being something more due to how protective and affectionate they are towards each other. It’s more than friends, and it pains Jin to know that they could have something more if it wasn’t for both of them fearing they’d ruin their bond if it doesn’t work out.

 

Jin is a firm believer in trying, despite fearing the worst.

 

He knew of his mate’s heart condition before they approached each other during the Beckoning Bloom, both of them meeting in a social pack that was on the western coastline.

 

Jin knew that his mate’s condition would only deteriorate as time passes, knew that he could become mateless, but he still gave the relationship a try.

 

Leaving his door open to allow some air into his den, Jin pauses as he looks at the pictures he has on his walls, a mix of wolves from his birth pack, some of the wolves he lives with now, and some of his mate.

 

Jin doesn’t regret approaching his mate during the Beckoning Bloom with his gift of interest – the pelt of a rabbit, all clean and ready to hang – and accepting his own gift of interest which had been a woven basket of pretty shells from the beach that the was nearby the social pack grounds.

 

He runs his fingers over the shells that still have a place in his den as they sit on his dresser, a reminder of a first love ending too soon.

 

He’s mateless now, but he has no regrets of ever allowing himself to explore loving his mate, despite all that he knew.

 

It’s why Jin wants the others to find someone they can explore love with, even if it doesn’t end in mating, he just wants his pack members to be happy, and not denying themselves of a chance of it.

 

Taehyung and Jungkook are a prime example of both wolves ignoring fear to explore something together – Taehyung still has his moments where his upbringing as a wild wolf conflicts with Jungkook’s more laidback nature of growing up in the city, but both still push through that fear of the unknown, and Jin is pretty damn certain those two will mate.

 

Jungkook left the mainland to come to try his relationship with Taehyung, implementing himself into a pack structure that isn’t normal due to the nature of it. The younger alpha left behind everything he knew and was secure in understanding, to learn about island life, and how to date a wild wolf that is also learning how to live a different lifestyle.

 

Jin wants Hoseok and Namjoon to take some of Jungkook’s and Taehyung’s courage, and apply it to their dance of flirting and backing away.

 

“Time will tell,” Jin murmurs to the shells, his gaze on the photos in front of him, as he traces the raised white scar that is in the shape of the old wulften symbol for lifelong health just under his collarbone, a bonding scar that his mate wanted Jin to carry in light of his own ailing health.

 

Time will tell for Hoseok and Namjoon, but also Jimin and Yoongi.

 

Jin’s gut feeling is telling him that Jimin is experiencing a Mayt bond being triggered, since all of his lessons growing up points into that direction.

 

When your instinct fixates on another wolf, flooding your senses with an awareness of the other, it’s telling you that the wolf matches you, compliments you, and dare he say it, complete you.

 

Just look at Taehyung and Jungkook. They have all the signs that a Mayt bond brought those two together, after all.

 

Jin has known of Mayt bonds to exist, more so in the islands that are furthest away from the mainland, so the existence of ‘destined’ mates isn’t new to him.

 

But, mainland-living is a mess of teachings and knowledge being lost or distorted, so Jin can understand why it’s seen as a textbook term, rather than an actual term.

 

Jin just hopes that Jimin listens to his instinct, instead of trying to engage with it.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi ends up attending dinner late because of a long phone call reassuring his older brother that he was settling into the pack, and that he wasn’t already on a boat back to the mainland.

 

So, he isn’t surprised at seeing only Jimin sitting at the table with no other signs of the others.

 

“At least I’m not the only one eating late,” Yoongi lightly says to fill the air as he shuts the door behind him, watching as the alpha smiles at him in welcome as he beckons Yoongi over to the food still on the table.

 

Yoongi isn’t surprised to see that it’s grilled fish and plenty of greens again, and tries not to think of the craving he has for something greasy, like pizza.

 

“Taehyung and Jungkook are out on a run together, Hoseok is still with his guest so I’m assuming their session is overrunning because it’s near the end of his stay, and Namjoon peaced-out and took food with him to his den,” Jimin tells him as Yoongi fills a plate of the few vegetables he enjoys eating and some of the fish.

 

“And Jin?” Yoongi asks, noting the lack of mention of the alpha.

 

“I haven’t seen him since this morning, actually,” Jimin admits as he nurses his glass of water, his plate almost done with only a few remaining bites of food left on it, “so, he’s either at his birth pack, or he’s just eating in his own den tonight too.”

 

“So, you guys don’t always eat together, even without a guest being here?” Yoongi asks as he lightly digs into the food.

 

Jimin shakes his head. “As long as we eat one meal together, then Hoseok doesn’t mind us skipping on eating as a pack. We only make large portions of food like this when guests are present, otherwise we’d just stick to our usual eating schedule of planned meal times.”

 

“Is that something new for you to get used to, considering wild pack eating customs are very rigid?” Yoongi politely questions, wanting to learn more of how the alpha has adjusted to island-living.

 

The tight expression that shows on Jimin’s face only causes more curiosity to arise as Yoongi waits.

 

“In my birth pack, eating customs were very rigid, especially if you were an alpha,” Jimin hums out, his elbows on the table, as he leans his chin on the back of his hand. “We couldn’t eat until everyone else had finished, or was close to finishing, and then we had to rush down our food because to be seen eating alone was a social no-no.”

 

Yoongi chews slowly as he listens, pulled in by the wolf’s history.

 

“Even when I was in social packs, it took me a few years to shake the habit of waiting until the end to eat my food. So, when I came to the islands, I learnt a lot of differences between the two – island wolves care about you being inclusive when sharing a meal, whether that is through plating food or pouring drinks, they care that you’re included.”

 

“Whereas in wild packs, they care about rules – certain ranks can do this, but another can’t, your age excludes you from sitting with certain ages, that sort of thing,” Jimin continues as he watches Yoongi take a drink of the water that the alpha has just poured for him.

 

“And then you have city wolves that just don’t give a shit – you either eat together or you don’t,” Yoongi adds, making the alpha snort at his tone, smiling at Yoongi.

 

“In my head, I’ve always associated city wolves to be impersonal, too out of touch from wolf customs or even behaviours,” Jimin admits honestly, and Yoongi nods, not taking offence since it’s a pretty much broad assumption and stereotype about city wolves.

 

“It wouldn’t be too far from the truth. Living in the cities, sharing the space with humans, you just follow what is around you,” Yoongi shrugs as he eats small bites of food in between talking, “if you have a lot of wolf neighbours or friends around you, you keep some form of wolf etiquette, but if you’re more surrounded by humans, then you tend to live like one.”

 

“How does that work for you, a wolf that travels a lot, and sees a lot of differences?”

 

Yoongi chews as he thinks through the question.

 

“I guess I’m guilty of living like a human, than as a wolf,” he slowly admits, meeting the alpha’s gaze. “I very rarely shift, I tend to favour my own company, or only with those that I’m connected to, and I have very low tolerance of wolves using being a wolf to score points or to dodge responsibility.”

 

“I don’t feel like I belong in any particular living area – humans still see us as ‘others’ despite how long we’ve been out there for them to see, wild living is too suffocating for my rank, and I have yet to see what island-living is all about,” Yoongi continues as he lifts his glass of water for another sip.

 

Jimin’s gaze and expression makes him pause before taking the sip, reading recognition in the brown and ice blue gaze loud and clear.

 

“Looks like we have something in common,” Jimin murmurs with a softness to his voice and gaze, making Yoongi swallow small, quick, sips of water. “I’m still getting used to how island wolves live, and I’ve been around a few islands to learn that, whilst they all follow the code of caring and respecting for all equally, it still feels like I’m an outsider.”

 

Yoongi can relate to that so hard in terms of how he’s always felt whenever he had to visit city or wild packs.

 

He’s always felt like an outsider amongst his own kind, ever since he was young, with his loud opinions and scrappy attitude to defend his rank, Yoongi has always been outside of the ‘norm’.

 

As he inhales, bringing in another lungful of peony musk, Yoongi notes the way he feels towards the other wolf, at how comfortable he is to be this open to a near stranger.

 

It’s not something he’s used to doing, or feeling. But, his body, his mind, his instinct, feels at ease sitting here with the alpha, discussing their inner layers of identity and sense of it.

 

Which is strange, since he’s only ever felt like this with his family, or those he’s connected with via a Zentt bond.

 

Yoongi swallows all of his water as his brain reminds him of Mayt bonds, pushing it far out of his head.

 

“This got a lot deeper than I think either of us was expecting it to,” Jimin laughs out nervously, flustered, as he keeps playing with the food on his plate, not moving to leave or eat it.

 

“A little, I’m not used to wanting to talk so openly with a stranger, no offense,” Yoongi admits, making Jimin laugh.

 

“None taken, I get what you mean though. My job as a Support requires for me to be open to a guest, to share any experiences we have in common, but it’s something I still find myself hesitant to do.”

 

Yoongi tilts his head at that, surprised. “Then, why do you still do it?”

 

“Be a Support?” Jimin clarifies, and Yoongi nods. “Being a Support has given me a focus, has allowed me to channel my instinct and empathy in a way that feels natural, instead of being held back from it due to how I was taught to behave as an alpha.”

 

Again, Yoongi is surprised that Jimin was taught to hold back his instinct and empathy as an alpha, considering those are the two strongest instinct traits alphas possess.

 

“The more you hint at your upbringing, the more I’m starting to sense that your birth pack was more rigid than most wild packs are,” Yoongi says politely, and Jimin makes this face where its part amused, part scornful agreement.

 

“It was. It really had most of the ‘traditional’ standpoints twisted, in a way. Alphas were seen, but never heard unless it was a certain calendar day where we could socialise freely without scorn,” Jimin reveals in a bland tone, and Yoongi’s eyebrows rise and rise as he listens.

 

“The only wolves you could socialise with were your kin. If you wanted to talk to another wolf of a different rank, you’d be breaking social customs, and be reprimanded for it,” Jimin sighs out as he digs his fork into the poor leftover food.

 

“What was your birth pack name?” Yoongi asks, trying to recall if he’s possibly visited this pack.

 

Jimin tells him, and Yoongi tries to think through his mental catalogue of wild packs that have left a lasting impression on him over the years.

 

“I don’t think I’ve been, nothing is ringing clearly in my head,” Yoongi says, and is a little curious at the way the alpha relaxes at hearing that.

 

“It’s been ten years or something since I left, so for all I know, a new High could be in power and has changed everything, but I highly doubt it since, when I was there, the High was always re-elected.”

 

Yoongi pulls a face at that. It was a common thing in wild packs, a particular wolf would lead the pack for as long as possible until they either died or a next of kin was elected in their place.

 

It went against the purpose of changing the power of a High wolf, since the whole point of changing wolves was to allow a pack to grow and learn, not become stagnant.

 

Which is basically all of Dretna, at this point. It feels like the other countries around them are flourishing, and yet, at the heart of where it all began, where wolves first emerged in human skin to demand a public treaty, has come to a stop.

 

Dretna started the shift of two kinds living separately, but somewhere along the way of showing other countries how to act and respond, they’ve come to a halt, whilst the other countries have continued to steam on.

 

The only tourism that Dretna gains is because it’s the heart of their history and the stories that have been whispered throughout time from every generation of wolves.

 

If it wasn’t for Dretna being seen as the birthplace of where wolves were born, their country probably would be left in the shadows, forgotten and pitied because they can’t move any further forward.

 

“You look lost in thought,” Jimin comments, studying Yoongi’s suddenly pensive form.

 

“Just thinking how Dretna is stuck in this limbo of trying to be progressive in humans and wolves living amicably together, while the rest of the world laughs at us,” Yoongi shares as he picks up his empty plate and glass.

 

Jimin copies him, and together, they head for the kitchen to add their plates to the pile on the counter next to the sink.

 

“Just put it there, I’m on cleaning duty tonight,” Jimin gestures as he begins to fill up the deep sink.

 

Yoongi glances back at the table where the other plates and bowls of leftovers sit.

 

“Do you want me to pack those away in the fridge, or to bin them?” Yoongi asks, already stepping back over to the floor pit.

 

Jimin turns off the tap so that he isn’t raising his voice as he answers.

 

“I can do it, you can go and rest, Yoongi,” the wolf smiles at him, nodding for him to take his leave for the night.

 

Yoongi scoffs and turns for the floor pit where he picks up the jugs that held the water, and comes back.

 

“I slept all night, for once, so I have no tiredness in me right now, so I may as well be of help,” Yoongi tells the wolf, ignoring Jimin’s slight flustered sounds as he puts the jugs down with the rest of the cutlery.

 

It’s only then that Yoongi realises what he’s just let slip, and when he glances at Jimin, he notices the look of relief that the wolf tries to hide as he turns his face to look at the sink as he turns the tap back on.

 

Looks like he really was lying for no reason if it was obvious to the pack members that he was having issues with sleep.

 

“We have a compost bin for leftovers, just dump it all in the green box next to the trash bin, and I’ll take it out later,” Jimin directs as Yoongi begins to stack the plates and bowls in his hands from the table.

 

Together, they work on their separate jobs – Jimin scrubbing, and Yoongi scraping the leftover food into the green box next to the silver paddle bin.

 

Once he’s finished, Yoongi grabs a towel from the hanging rail and helps Jimin with drying the mountain of cutlery.

 

“Thank you, you really didn’t have to help. We don’t ask the guests to help with chores,” Jimin says, filling the silence between them as they work.

 

“You should make them do something, some routine chores won’t harm them,” Yoongi snorts out as he starts a new pile of plates.

 

Jimin laughs lightly at that, handing Yoongi stuff now instead of just putting it on the draining board.

 

“A lot of guests are only here for a week or two, so making a guest do chores isn’t ideal since it takes time away from their recovery process,” Jimin hums out as he cleans the knives, spoons, and forks, making a small pile for Yoongi as he finishes up cleaning the plates.

 

Yoongi is reminded of his four-week timeline, and sours a little at how he has the excessive time frame compared to the usual.

 

“You okay?”

 

Yoongi glances at the stilled male beside him, noting the concern in the wolf’s face as he waits for Yoongi’s answer.

 

“Yeah?” Yoongi says, unsure of where the sudden question came from,

 

Jimin stares longer, confused, and Yoongi notices the way the wolf is breathing short and deep through his nose, as if he’s scenting the air.

 

Which should be impossible for the other wolf, considering the air filtration, even if it doesn’t work for Yoongi’s nose since it’s so fixated on the wolf’s scent now that he can smell it so easily, despite it.

 

“Are you okay?” Yoongi questions, reaching for the knives first to dry.

 

“Ask me that in a few days, I’m trying to figure it out myself,” Jimin forces out in a light laugh, and Yoongi pauses, raking his gaze over the alpha, searching for signs of stress or a hint that could prompt that answer.

 

Yoongi, for once, allows his omega instinct to creep to his attention as he studies the wolf.

 

He’s so used to dulling down his already duller senses compared to non-city born wolves to prevent his instinct from bugging him, that when he allows his senses to focus more, to feed him more stimuli around him, it takes him a few seconds to adjust.

 

But once he does, he frowns as he notices the body language that Jimin is subconsciously giving off as he washes up.

 

And the more he watches from the corner of his eye, the more confused he becomes.

 

Whether the alpha is aware of it or not, Yoongi is noticing the little contractions of Jimin’s jaw with every inhale he takes, only relaxing when he exhales, only to promptly tense his jaw again as if he’s locking it. It reminds Yoongi of when an injury is present and you’re trying to breathe through the sting of it without making it noticeable that an injury is present.

 

Yoongi turns his body in the act of reaching for the forks so that he can do a quick scan of the wolf’s body to see if he’s favouring a side with his weight.

 

He knows of Jimin’s title as the pack’s Woodcutter, so if he has injured himself, then it’s not an unexpected injury to his job.

 

But, Yoongi can’t see any hints of the wolf favouring his weight onto one side of his body, he just keeps locking his jaw, the only noticeable tension in the otherwise relaxed male.

 

“Are you injured?” Yoongi blurts out, wanting to unravel the reason why, and startling the wolf enough to splash some water up at them as he glances at Yoongi.

 

“No?” Jimin echoes, lost. “Why would you think so?”

 

“You look tense,” Yoongi says vaguely, not really pinpointing the area of tension he’s noticed.

 

Jimin stares at him, even more lost. “I do?”

 

Yoongi nods, reaching for the few spoons on the counter.

 

“I’m not injured, for once,” Jimin tacks on with a soft wheeze of a laugh. “What gave off that impression?”

 

“You keep locking your jaw every time you inhale,” Yoongi reveals as he maintains eye contact with the still male who has his hands motionless in the water.

 

Yoongi was expecting maybe a shadow of realisation at his observation.

 

He wasn’t expecting his nose to be punched with Jimin’s scent spiking, and a look of conflicted confusion to swim in his gaze.

 

“Sorry if I’ve made you uncomfortable, I don’t often indulge my omega instinct in poking its nose into another wolf’s business,” Yoongi apologises, darting his gaze away as he dumps the towel so that he can begin to move the cutlery to their designated cupboards and drawers.

 

“You didn’t. I’m just not used to it, I guess,” Jimin rushes out, again splashing water up as if he was going to halt Yoongi from moving, before his hands dart to latch onto the towel instead.

 

Yoongi pauses, hands full of plates and bowls as Jimin quickly dries his hands, moving close to him again, as he begins opening up the correct cupboards, saving Yoongi the question of asking.

 

“You’re not used to it?” Yoongi repeats lightly as Jimin takes the bowls from him so that he can squat down without the fear of smashing everything in his hold to put the plates in first.

 

“I’m used to the members checking on me,” Jimin says as he puts the bowls up in the cupboard above them, making sure that he’s not leaning his body over Yoongi’s crouched form in doing so.

 

Yoongi still gets his nose swarmed with the male’s scent.

 

But, Yoongi hears more to the wolf’s admission.

 

Jimin isn’t used to non-connected wolves instinctively responding to his body language.

 

Again, the feeling of neglect creeps in his mind as he connects it to Jimin’s upbringing.

 

Yoongi will admit that he hasn’t come across alphas being neglected, or even isolated, purely for the sake of rank, so it’s taking him a moment to connect the wolf’s behaviour to what he’s learning.

 

Jimin reminds him of the omegas in wild packs that Yoongi has come across over the years during his work, the ones that have been shoved into a box that is only ever opened to be of convenience for others.

 

“I told Taehyung about what we spoke of last night,” Yoongi brings up as he stands, shutting the cupboard doors, meeting Jimin’s eye contact as the wolf retreats to give him space.

 

“I didn’t expect you to ask so soon,” Jimin truthfully says as he hands Yoongi the cluster of forks for him to put in the drawer that he’s leading him to as he holds the knives and few spoons.

 

“The more I ignore the pull, the more it’s making me realise that I really want to have a Zentt bond with Tae, even if it means no longer having him as my Support,” Yoongi says as he places the forks into their designated compartment in the drawer, him and Jimin standing side by side the same drawer.

 

So, he notices the halted action Jimin makes at his comment, but doesn’t look up as he continues to neatly place the forks inside.

 

“You’ve already…you want me to be your Support?” Jimin asks, tone soft.

 

Yoongi nods, only looking up to send the wolf a small smile. “I think tonight has proven that we connect well. I think us being a guest and a Support will work well.”

 

Jimin nods in agreement as he reassumes putting in the knives and spoons.

 

“I’ll tell Taehyung in the morning, and then we can…I dunno, have a session together?” Yoongi trails off, not knowing the system of transferring from one Support to another.

 

Jimin pushes the drawer shut once they’re finished as he speaks. “Before we have our first session, I’ll need to have an assessment one, kinda what you did with Taehyung.”

 

Yoongi frowns, confused. “Can’t you use Taehyung’s notes, or whatever he made from that meeting?”

 

Jimin laughs at that, looking endeared. “No, it doesn’t work like that. We have our different ways of observing what a guest needs from us and their stay here. I can’t go off another Support’s opinion, since it’s an opinion made based on their methods in mind.”

 

Yoongi makes a small ‘ah’ sound as he gets what the wolf is saying.

 

“I’ll tell you what I told Taehyung – my life is a bore, so don’t be too concerned when you realise it.”

 

Jimin sends him a reassuring look as he unplugs the water, letting it drain away.

 

“Would you like to start at breakfast or lunch?”

 

“Let’s go for breakfast, it saves me twiddling my thumbs all morning until lunch, because I highly doubt that I’ll be able to catch another full night of sleep,” he admits with an aggravated huff in his tone.

 

“We’ll be touching upon that tomorrow, just so you’re aware,” Jimin warns, watching Yoongi as he moves to leave since there is nothing more for his restless hand to do, and the conversation is nearing its end.

 

Yoongi ignores the pull of denial that tugs in his chest, not yet ready to fully admit to his nightmares, but knows it’s not going to help him if he continues to lie about it when it’s clearly known by the pack members.

 

Yoongi forces himself to nod in agreement, hand on the glass sliding door.

 

“I’ll be here from around eight,” Jimin notifies him as he grabs the damp towel, moving to hang it up to dry.

 

“I’ll come once I’ve told Taehyung,” Yoongi says, sliding the door open.

 

And doesn’t miss the tensing of Jimin’s back as he steps out, the chill of the night air blowing into the room before he can shut the door.

 

On his way to his den, Yoongi doesn’t feel alone.

 

How can he be when it smells like the alpha is still beside him?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearing the door slide shut behind Yoongi, Jimin all but hunches against the towel rack, fisting the material as he takes in deep, calming, breaths.

 

He had been doing fine being around Yoongi’s cedarwood scent, had been fine with the lingering fact that he can still scent the other wolf in the communal area when he shouldn’t be able to.

 

And then Yoongi opened the door, and the wind betrayed him.

 

Jimin was just thankful his back had been to Yoongi so that the wolf wasn’t able to see the way he clutched desperately at the towel in his hands as he stopped breathing to curb the sudden desire to trail after the wolf, to remain close.

 

Even the ventilated air isn’t helping calming Jimin’s chaotic nerves, just leaving him to continue to be restless with a faint buzzing under his skin.

 

If he thought that spending time with the other wolf would help him understand why the fuck his instinct is reacting the way it is, he’s just been proven wrong.

 

He’s even more confused by his responses to the wolf.

 

And it doesn’t help knowing that Yoongi’s instincts were poking at him to check in with Jimin’s health because he’d noticed tension that Jimin hadn’t even caught himself having.

 

He’s not used to others checking him, reaching out to him with care, instinctive or not.

 

It’s only since he Zentt bonded to his pack members did he start getting a taste of that care.

 

And now Yoongi has started, a wolf that – to Jimin’s observations so far – purposely goes against his omega instinct most of the time.

 

Jimin knows it’s rude to lump ranks under an umbrella of stereotypes, but honestly, Yoongi is under his own umbrella of definitions, and Jimin can’t help it when he just stares at the omega when he responds out of what Jimin has seen from other omegas.

 

Yoongi is straightforward, and very charismatic, even if he doesn’t say a lot, the stuff that he does say just draws you in, like bait does for a fish.

 

And Jimin is now worried that, with being the wolf’s Support, he’s going to be drawn further in.

 

He had hoped that by interacting with Yoongi more it would calm his overactive instinct that won’t shut the fuck up, or stop fixating on the wolf’s scent, but towards the end of their conversation, Jimin knew.

 

His instinct wasn’t shutting up, it had just become even more fixated on the wolf to the point he almost followed Yoongi, the urge to remain close coming out of nowhere.

 

Jimin said he wasn’t feeling a pull before, but now, now he very much is.

 

And it’s definitely not a Zentt pull.

 

Jimin sucks in air fast and quick as his instinct practically ripples through his mind with a wave of glee.

 

He’s not feeling the pull of a Zentt bond, but the pull of being near a compatible mate.

 

And he’s just agreed to be Yoongi’s Support.

 

He can’t take his word back; his chest is already squeezing tight at the thought of taking away Yoongi’s chance of bonding with Taehyung without any distractions or pressure from being a guest and a Support.

 

Jimin forces his hands from the material, forcing his breathing to even and calm.

 

He controls his instinct. His instinct doesn’t control, or define him.

 

Jimin can be Yoongi’s Support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi wasn’t able to sleep last night.

 

Whether it was because of talking about his nightmares so much during the day is to blame, but he woke up to the usual night sweats, panicked breathing, and the urge to curl around the nearest light source.

 

Yoongi had sent Jungkook a message once he got back to his den, asking for Taehyung to call him in the morning about what they discussed yesterday, since he figured the couple would be out until the late hours on their run together.

 

Yoongi hasn’t ever been on a run with someone that he sees as a romantic interest, but he’s heard the tales of how it sends a euphoric rush through you both to be in your wolf form, running together, sharing instinct without words jamming the fluency of it.

 

It’s been so long since he shifted, shifting itself will cause that same euphoric rush without the help of someone he fancies alongside him.

 

At eight in the morning, his den phone rings, and Yoongi knows who it’ll be as he heads for it.

 

“Jungkook just saw your message and told me,” Taehyung’s voice greets him, still slightly thick with sleep.

 

“You sound like you could do with another hour,” Yoongi teases fondly as he leans against the wooden wall.

 

“We’re both too competitive when we run, and last night we basically ran the entire length of the island,” comes Taehyung’s choked yawn of an answer, making that fondness double for both of them.

 

“I didn’t wanna do this over the phone, but I…I have a session with Jimin at nine, and I wanted to tell you first before I go to it,” Yoongi rushes out, mixing the order of the news he was trying to tell the beta.

 

Thankfully, Taehyung understands him, despite the sleep coursing through him.

 

“I spoke to Hoseok and Jin yesterday, and they both said it would be a distraction if I was to remain as your Support as we both connected, but it was up to you if you’d want to shift Supports,” Taehyung reassures him, still no sign of hurt or annoyance in his tone despite the fact Yoongi is going to be seeking Jimin’s support from now on.

 

“And you’re sure that you’re okay with this change?” Yoongi asks, checking, seeking for verbal proof of it.

 

Taehyung huffs out a soft, warm, laugh. “I’m perfectly happy either way, as long as you get the support you need, I don’t mind stepping aside and letting Jimin take over.”

 

Yoongi lets out a breath of relief at that.

 

“Just promise me that you’ll let Jimin in - no more lying about stuff connected to your health, yeah? He’s a really attentive Support, so lying really wouldn’t do much anyway but take time away from your sessions.”

 

Yoongi nods along, and promises that he’ll be more open this time.

 

“I’ll be fishing today – or well, trying to, depends on the fish – so if you wanna hang out later, just come on down,” Taehyung offers, and Yoongi can’t help the little tug of excitement of actually starting the process of fully establishing a Zentt bond with the wolf.

 

It’s been so long since he’s last connected to another wolf, he’s almost nervous with it.

 

They hang up with Yoongi promising to seek him out later in the day, and just like that, it’s final.

 

Jimin is his Support now.

 

Yoongi swallows as a new set of nerves flutter through him as he glances at the building through his windows.

 

Taehyung said that Jimin was an attentive Support, so now Yoongi is wondering how much more attentive can a Support be, considering he had Taehyung reading him well enough?

 

Yoongi glances at the bright sky, despite the early hour, and sighs as he sets to get dressed.

 

He’s not used to all of this sunshine either, and his clothing shows it as he drags on another thin, long sleeved shirt – plaid this time - and rolls up the sleeves to his elbows, pairing it with a clean pair of jeans.

 

He should’ve checked out the few shops in the port to see if they have any attire that is more suitable to island living.

 

Yoongi wastes time listening to his music, lounging on his sofa, trying to ignore the growing amount of nervous flutters in his gut as the time ticks closer and closer to nine o’clock.

 

And when it does hit nine o’clock, Yoongi is even more nervous as he locks his den door, and heads for the communal building.

 

Mira’s den has been empty since yesterday, no sign of the curtains moving, so Yoongi can only assume she’s now gone from the island, and the other guest’s curtain is still shut.

 

Yoongi is curious to see how Namjoon will de-scent the den, curious to learn more of how a support pack functions in these lesser details that not many think about when you think of support packs.

 

Stepping into the building, Yoongi is surprised to see that he’s the only one here as he gently slides the door shut behind him.

 

Yoongi steps for the laundry room, needing to write his name so he can come back and do a load later tomorrow, and again takes in how the pack has adapted a very claustrophobia space into a space that feels warm and light with no clutter to the surfaces, or the walls.

 

With his name on the whiteboard rota, Yoongi heads back into the main area as the frosted doors ahead open.

 

“Sorry that I’m late,” Jimin rushes out, looking flustered at catching sight of Yoongi, as he shuts the door.

 

“You’re not late,” Yoongi reassures with a soft, amused, huff. “I wasn’t expecting you to come that way, though.”

 

“Hmm? Oh, we’re spending the session outside so that we’re not distracted by breakfast,” Jimin grins as he heads for the kitchen area where Yoongi is lingering in, since he was unsure of where they were going to start their session.

 

Yoongi blinks. “Outside?” he repeats, surprised, as he trails after the alpha as the male unearths a small wicker basket from a cupboard.

 

“I tend to do all of my sessions outside, even during the wet seasons,” Jimin explains with an almost shy look as he fetches two bottles of water, and two glass bottles of new juice that Namjoon must’ve made yesterday.

 

Putting the bottles in the basket, Jimin pauses before leaving the kitchen area to ask, “I know you don’t eat breakfast, but would you like something to nibble on, as well as having the juice?”

 

Yoongi shakes his head, since he’s forced himself not to drink coffee this morning because of the jitters it would give him.

 

Which is pointless because his nerves have him jittery enough.

 

“We should be finished before breakfast ends, so we can catch a bite to eat after,” Jimin adds as he leads the way to the frosted door.

 

“Am I about to be shown the secret way to these tree decks that Jungkook teased me with?” Yoongi asks, already looking forward to finding at least one of them as he shuts the door behind them.

 

The humidity hasn’t built yet, but there is no breeze, so the warmth from the clear sun is already making Yoongi feel hot, and is envious of Jimin’s vest – plaid shirt too, just minus the sleeves since it looks like the wolf has cut them off by how frayed the hem is – and loose shorts.

 

Jimin leads them to the left, towards the fencing of where the pack members den area is, and both fall into a slow walk alongside each other on the wooden walkway, the trees shading them from the sun.

 

“He didn’t show you them?” Jimin questions with a knowing smile, and Yoongi snorts as he shakes his head.

 

“Of course he didn’t. He probably wanted me to get lost in the pack grounds and to act like a wolf, than as a human,” Yoongi teases about his best friend’s intentions, making Jimin laugh.

 

“Well, the one I’m showing you will be the one we use for our sessions. It’s kinda known as my unofficial office, since it’s where I do all of my sessions,” Jimin admits sheepishly, shifting the basket to his right hand that hangs down beside Yoongi’s left.

 

“As long as its shaded, I don’t mind where we do it,” Yoongi says as he uses his hands to shield his eyes from the sunlight.

 

Jimin takes him off the wooden walkway just before they get near where the garden is, taking him through the trees, and along a well-worn trail of sparse grass as it leads straight ahead.

 

Yoongi doesn’t know what he was expecting, had no picture in mind, really, of what these tree decks would look like, so when he sees the platform that sits high up above them at the thick tree ahead of them, he can’t help but slow.

 

“How…you know what, maybe I am more human than wolf, because my first impulse was to demand how the fuck you guys built it,” Yoongi says as Jimin turns to look back at him.

 

“Don’t ask me how, it was here before me,” Jimin grins, making Yoongi laugh a little as he follows the wolf up the wooden steps that lead up to the platform.

 

Yoongi isn’t fearful of heights, but maybe the wooden slats of the steps are too far apart, causing him to hold onto the railings as he climbs the steps up.

 

Once up on the platform, Yoongi’s instinct is immediately sated at seeing that there are railings up here as well, making it safe without the fear of plunging down onto the forest floor below.

 

Yoongi takes a moment to take in the few rails of wood that are slanted from some of the railing posts to connect to the base of the tree, allowing for an angled, open, canopy roof.

 

“The other platforms have a fixed roof to make it semi-waterproof, but I like this one because it allows open access to the sky and the tree itself, and I can hang lights like this, making it more…. whimsical?” Jimin tests out the word as he points to the small lightbulbs that wrap around the angled wood.

 

Yoongi notes the lack of plugs, and squints to see if he can spy a solar panel on the wires, and smiles when he finds it at the bottom, facing the gap in the tree branches where the sunrays are the most direct.

 

Jimin sets down the basket next to the tree that sits in the middle of the platform, and opens up the plastic box that sits almost like a bench against the longest part of the platform, taking out two cushions.

 

“Make yourself comfortable, I have more if you need them,” Jimin offers as he hands the cushions to Yoongi, before pulling out a small, folded, table.

 

Yoongi joins Jimin in sitting on the surprisingly smooth wooden floor – no risk of having a splinter in the ass – shoving the cushions behind him so that he can lean against the railing.

 

Jimin sets up the table and puts their drinks on it in front of Yoongi, and then leans against the tree itself.

 

Yoongi notes the peace around them, the scent of the forest a welcome change instead of just only being able to scent Jimin in one area.

 

Sitting outside, it allows their scents to breathe as well, and Yoongi can’t help but be grateful that it helps with him not being too focused on the wolf’s scent.

 

“Since this is our first session, I want us to just get to know each other a little more whilst also touching upon details of your assault and nightmares, if that’s alright?” Jimin asks as he opens up his glass bottle of juice, and takes a sip from it.

 

Yoongi nods, ignoring the way his gut is already twisting slightly in preparation of revisiting his memories.

 

“Okay, so I’m going to start a sentence and I want you to fill it with what immediately comes to mind,” Jimin explains with a smile, and Yoongi can’t help the way his nose is still being stubborn in fixating on the male’s scent, rather than the forest, as they talk.

 

“Apologies in advance,” Yoongi grins as he reaches for his juice too.

 

Jimin takes a quick sip of his juice, and so does Yoongi, before the alpha begins.

 

“I am…” Jimin starts, brown and ice blue gaze warm, friendly.

 

“tired,” Yoongi ends the sentence simply, and it makes Jimin laugh, a hand covering his mouth from the force of Yoongi’s deadpan tone.

 

Yoongi ignores the tickle of delight that runs through him at successfully making the wolf laugh.

 

“I enjoy…” Jimin starts the next one, still smiling from his laughter.

 

Yoongi actually pauses on admitting the first thing that comes to his mind, and Jimin notices it with a soft tilt of his head.

 

“Just in case it needs to be stated, whatever you say won’t faze me, Yoongi,” Jimin gently tells him. “It could be the most random thing, or the most horrifying thing. I’m open to hearing it all.”

 

“Actually, that’s why I’m hesitant to admit it – I’m already feeling more…open with you, when normally I wouldn’t be with someone that is still a stranger to me.”

 

Jimin hums softly at that as he takes it in, his gaze on Yoongi’s face, never once flicking away.

 

“It’s okay to be afraid to show a deeper, vulnerable, part of yourself to someone. But, usually, when vulnerability shows, it’s asking for you to show it,” Jimin says softly, his hands playing with the condensation on the glass bottle in his hands.

 

Yoongi thinks that through, the urge for him to reveal a part of himself that only those close to him see and know about with the wolf.

 

Yoongi recalls what Taehyung mentioned of being okay with showing vulnerability, but that was in relation to Yoongi’s admittance to his nightmares, and not something mundane like his interests.

 

“I enjoy being affectionate, but have a hard time initiating it because I don’t want it to be linked to me being an omega,” Yoongi rushes the words out, his chest tightening with every word he rushes out.

 

Jimin doesn’t even look taken aback as he nods in understanding. “I get that feeling. I enjoy affection, but I was always taught affection was for omegas and betas to share, and not alphas. So, I feel that I’m not allowed to have it.”

 

Yoongi restrains the urge to curl his lip at that, as he would do if he were about to snarl at something that unsettles him, but feels his chest ease as Jimin shares his own vulnerability too.

 

“How do you overcome that?” Yoongi questions, putting his bottle on the small table in front of them.

 

“I force myself to follow through with it,” Jimin says simply. “If I get stuck in my head, my head wins, and I’m still left feeling lonely. If I just force myself to act on my need to seek or give affection, then it wins before my head can.”

 

Yoongi chews on the skin of his lower bottom lip at that. He’s been guilty of getting sucked up by the voice in his head that whispers others will only ever see him as a needy omega by seeking affection, and it’s resulted in him feeling that hollow ache of just wanting to cuddle someone.

 

“If you’d like, we can work on that,” Jimin offers, taking him from his thoughts, “we can work on you being impulsive with your urges, and how to break the habit of shutting it away.”

 

Yoongi’s heart thumps at that, the tips of his fingers tingling at the offer.

 

He’d like to become more open with his affection, to be able to show it as often as he feels the urge to do so.

 

“Sure, that would be nice,” Yoongi hears himself agree, and his heart thumps more at the smile Jimin sends him.

 

“Let’s start small,” Jimin offers as he puts a hand out on the table in front of them, palm facing up, “if you feel the urge to touch, do it.”

 

Yoongi stares down at the wolf’s hand, notices immediately the hardened skin under where the joints of his knuckles are from his work chopping and collecting wood.

 

“I hate…” Jimin launches into the next question, taking Yoongi’s focus from his hand.

 

“The dark, and how shitty our politics are at the moment, it’s like we’re all stuck in the dark instead of being out in the open,” Yoongi sighs out as he leans his elbows onto the table.

 

“Is the dark related to your nightmares, or prior to them?” Jimin asks gently, also leaning on the table with his elbow, his other hand remaining in its place on the table.

 

“It’s related to my assault,” Yoongi admits, reminding himself that the wolf doesn’t know details of it.

 

Jimin slowly nods, gaze encouraging and warm. “I know some of the details from the selection meeting, but not the whole picture.”

 

“You know that it was through dominance that I was assaulted, yeah?” Yoongi checks, and Jimin nods again. “The only thing I could do to protect myself was to keep my eyes shut. I couldn’t run, couldn’t fight, I was just limp, but I could block it out visually.”

 

“And the darkness is all you dream of?” Jimin asks, tone respectful and gentle.

 

Yoongi nods, playing with the bottles on the table. “Instead of blocking it out, it’s tormenting me now, it’s like the darkness is holding it all in, not allowing me to break through.”

 

“What does it hold in?”

 

Yoongi breathes in through his nose, slowly, deeply, and uses the male’s peony musk scent to focus on.

 

“Their voices, the fear I can hear, whether or not that is for me or for themselves being around an alpha shitting out his dominance. The scent of blood - mine, and the dead beta that I know is lying next to me - the scent of my fear, his scent of dominance. And then the pain comes, reopening the healed marks I carry, but in my dreams, they’re ripped open with a burning hot knife as it slashes over my back and chest,” Yoongi slowly mutters, not looking up, focusing on the bottle in his hands and the familiar scent of peony musk.

 

Jimin’s scent remains steady, which is a welcome relief, because the small number of times Yoongi’s had to explicitly admit to the nightmares to his doctors their scents had spiked with pity and anger.

 

“Do you sleep with a night light?” Jimin questions, curious, and Yoongi restrains the urge to balk at the childish idea of sleeping with a night light.

 

He’s not a pup.

 

“I fall asleep with a lamp on, but I don’t have a night light,” Yoongi says, looking up at the wolf, whom frowns at that.

 

“The lamp in the bedding area?” Jimin checks, and Yoongi nods, frowning too when Jimin continues to frown.

 

“The lamp is too harsh to fall asleep with,” Jimin explains before Yoongi can question him. “It’s too white, so it’s not allowing you to fully relax.”

 

Yoongi stares at the male as he pictures the lamp in his bedding area.

 

Is it too white? To Yoongi, it’s just a lamp.

 

“Admittingly, your den isn’t the best to be dealing with nightmares in since your bedding area has no windows,” Jimin murmurs to himself, expression pensive.

 

“I don’t mind the den,” Yoongi rushes out. “I don’t want to move if that’s what you’re thinking of.”

 

Jimin shakes his head. “No, I’m just trying to remember if the port sells warm tone lightbulbs.”

 

Yoongi can’t help but smile at the wolf’s words. “I can always sleep with the main light on with my bedding curtain shut, see if that helps.”

 

“That’ll be too much light seeping through, it’ll be easier to just change the lamp until you feel comfortable sleeping in the dark again,” Jimin disagrees softly, pulling out his phone that is a very old model, Yoongi has to admit, and starts tapping on it in a notes screen.

 

“This is going to be a personal question but, have you made the bedding area into a nest?” Jimin questions as he looks up from his phone, and Yoongi almost sends the bottles flying off the table as he jerks at the question.

 

Ignoring the flush to his face, Yoongi shakes his head.

 

“I don’t nest,” Yoongi coughs out, his neck growing hot as Jimin blinks at him.

 

“Nesting is just as important outside of a season cycle as it is in it,” the wolf slowly states, and Yoongi shakes his head in disagreement.

 

“Nesting doesn’t work for me,” he further forces out. “I…I’ve tried during my heats and it did nothing but annoy the fuck out of me.”

 

Jimin puts his phone down and gives him his full attention as his gaze becomes…concerned?

 

“What are you taught of nesting, Yoongi?”

 

“The usual – inviting scents of comfort in a bedding area in the form of different textures of material, most often expensive sheets and pillows made for the purpose to build a nest,” Yoongi states, because what else is there to nesting?

 

All wolves do it, it’s not something adherently an omega thing, but omegas are more prone to doing it more often because if satisfies that baser level of instinct.

 

Like Yoongi said, he’s tried it in his heats when the urge for comfort is at its highest – because, fuck hormones - but it only aggravated him because it made his bed too bulky and smaller than what it is.

 

Jimin frowns – again. “Nesting is more than materials and scents.”

 

Yoongi scoffs at that, sending the wolf an amused look. “Maybe in wild packs it’s more, but in the city? Most drop serious cash for the best nests.”

 

“A nest means security and comfort, it’s supposed to make you feel safe, even more so in a bedding area so that you can sleep peacefully,” Jimin says, and Yoongi knows all of this, so he doesn’t get why the alpha is bringing it up.

 

It doesn’t work for him, simple.

 

“Like I said - tried it, and it did nothing for me.”

 

“This is going to be even more personal but, what did you use?” Jimin blurts out, as if this really matters to the session.

 

Yoongi decides to entertain the topic rather than shutting it down.

 

“Pillows, thin layering blankets, a scent holder sheet that prolongs the scent in your nest,” Yoongi lists, studying the way the alpha is tensing up with curiosity, “why do you look like you’re one second away from selling me the allure of nesting?”

 

“Because nesting is more than fancy pillows and blankets, it’s personal,” Jimin rushes out, tone not fully desperate, but along those lines. “It should reflect what brings you comfort, not what a store says it should.”

 

“My own scent isn’t enough to fill a nest, I’ve tried. I’ve also tried adding Jungkook’s and my family members, but it just felt wrong,” Yoongi admits, since some wolves do like the inclusion of close kin and those that they’re connected to to be present in a nest.

 

“Do you take any medications?” Jimin politely asks, and Yoongi restrains the urge to smile at the tone.

 

“I used to, but since my assault, I’ve been taken off my season cycle pills to prevent insomnia, which - may I just briefly rant about, I have never had as a fucking symptom but my asshole of a doctor thought it was ‘best’ for me to be off it for a season,” Yoongi almost growls out, still heated about this medical decision.

 

Jimin blinks in surprise at his sudden change of tone, and then asks, “how long have you been using cycle pills?”

 

“Ever since I started having heats,” Yoongi says simply, not getting the sudden look of realisation that blooms over the wolf’s face, “What?”

 

“I’m not sure if you’re aware because…you know, city growth development, season cycle pills or suppressers actually dull down your scent,” Jimin reveals carefully, and Yoongi dumbly stares at the wolf as he continues, “it’s actually a frequent issue us Supports work on with guests that use medicines to manage a season cycle because it’s like your own body doesn’t really know its own scent, and if you’ve been on them for years, making a nest – something very personal – the potency of your scent can affect how you respond to it.”

 

A minute of silence lingers between them as Yoongi absorbs the wolf’s words.

 

In a way, it makes sense. If the pills are controlling your hormones, what else is it controlling?

 

But, Yoongi’s been on them ever since he was a teenager. Does this mean he’s never known the full potency of his scent?

 

Is…is this why he’s never been able to hold on to relationships? His dulled down scent isn’t enough to hook a wolf in?

 

Which would make sense, since he’s only ever dated city wolves, so how would they know the difference?

 

Before he realises what he’s doing, Yoongi reaches out and grabs Jimin’s palm, holding it tightly, feeling the wolf return the hold.

 

“Why don’t I know this?” Yoongi asks, a little winded from the discussion.

 

“You’re supposed to, but if you started taking them as a teenager, you’re more than likely have forgotten the details of taking them. That is the usual answer,” Jimin reassures, his thumb rubbing the back of his hand. “Like I said, this is pretty common for our city guests.”

 

“Since we’re more likely to take them,” Yoongi says what the wolf doesn’t say.

 

Jimin sends him a small smile at that.

 

“You’ve been off them for a few weeks now, maybe you should try nesting again.”

 

Yoongi can’t see any harm in trying it, now that he knows a possible reason for why it’s never helped him in the past.

 

“I’ll try it, see what happens, but I’m not hoping for much.”

 

“Trying is better than not trying at all,” Jimin gives him a full smile this time, his gaze pleased and proud.

 

Yoongi playfully rolls his eyes as he leans again on his elbow, still keeping his hand in the other’s rougher, smaller, hold.

 

It makes him smile a little, noting the difference in their hand sizes with Yoongi’s being bigger than the alpha’s, despite them being near identical heights.

 

“I feel like we just went so far from the original path, I don’t know how to get back,” Yoongi says, making the alpha laugh a little.

 

“I think it was worth it, considering the progress made,” Jimin reassures him, gently squeezing his hand with a pointed reminder.

 

Yoongi flicks his gaze down, still a little surprised that he actually sought out the male’s touch.

 

“We’ll see about that later tonight,” Yoongi teases as he lets go of the wolf’s hand so that he can take a hearty drink of his juice.

 

“You have all day to play around with making a nest, it may just tire you out,” Jimin teases back, and it makes Yoongi choke on the juice since Jimin hasn’t shown this side of him towards Yoongi.

 

It’s nice, it makes it easier to connect to the wolf, instead of trying to force it.

 

“Jungkook mentioned that you were cheekier than Taehyung is, and I think I’ve just seen a hint of it,” Yoongi playfully taunts, watching as Jimin laughs, his hand once again covering his mouth as his body shudders from it.

 

“Maybe, but you’re cheeky too, so it’s another thing we have in common,” the wolf retorts with, smiling.

 

Yoongi’s heart kicks at how pretty it makes the wolf look.

 

Jimin really is an attractive wolf, and now that Yoongi is learning more about the male’s past, it’s starting to make sense why he not only left, but also is not mated.

 

If he was told that only his rank meant everything for every day of his life until he left, Yoongi wouldn’t see anything past his rank either.

 

A curl of anger outweighs the sympathy.

 

He really fucking hates how wild packs live, it’s shit like this that proves it’s damaging to a wolf’s head.

 

“You okay?” Jimin asks, and it reminds Yoongi of last night when the wolf had asked the same thing in the kitchen, his expression and tone the same.

 

Yoongi nods, since his brief burst of anger wasn’t enough to affect his scent, but maybe it came across his face.

 

“Just thinking of the money I’ve wasted on marketing scams,” Yoongi tells the white lie, because now that he thinks about it, it makes him angry too.

 

Jimin sends him a soft look. “I mean, some of it can help you with the comfort side, but most of it is honestly just a scam.”

 

Yoongi nods in firm agreement as he drains more of his juice, feeling the hunger in his stomach now that the nerves have completely gone.

 

Maybe having Jimin as his Support was the right choice. He’s shared more with Jimin than he did with Taehyung, and even though he feels slight guilt for that, Yoongi wonders if it is a subconscious choice since he knew he wanted to purse a Zentt bond with the beta?

 

So what if the alpha’s scent gets stuck up his nose despite being out in the open air, or the fact that Yoongi feels a little too comfortable around him, despite the lack of interactions they’ve had.

 

If Jimin’s support helps him with his recovery, Yoongi will firmly ignore what his internet search results say about being fixated on a wolf’s scent, and embrace the alpha’s presence in his life.

 

Not literally, though. Yoongi is cool with holding the wolf’s hand, but hugging?

 

Yoongi expects the usual curl of discomfort to appear at the thought of hugging someone he’s not connected to, and almost chokes again on his juice when it doesn’t come.

 

If anything, there is a curl of curiosity of how it would feel to be hugged by the alpha.

 

Instead of focusing on what that means, Yoongi shuts the door on his thoughts, and focuses on Jimin suggesting for them to end their session here, watching as the wolf stands up to put the cushions back into the box.

 

And ends up noticing the wolf’s arms more clearly than he did earlier.

 

He can’t stop staring as he watches Jimin lift and move the bottles into the basket, watching the barely-there contraction of muscle as he moves, or the way the wind and Jimin’s movements are sending him a constant stream of peony musk.

 

Yoongi feels like he’s drunk a whole bottle of the clear alcohol that humans are obsessed with drinking with sodas as he gets to his feet on light legs, and an equally light head.

 

Belatedly, Yoongi realises he’s become scent drunk.

 

On Jimin’s scent.

 

“Is it okay if I leave first?” Yoongi rushes out, half impressed when he doesn’t bite his tongue in the process, “I don’t think my gut likes the juice.”

 

Jimin nods, concerned. “Sure, the way back is just straight, you can’t get lost.”

 

Yoongi says his goodbyes, and holds on for dear life as he rushes down the wooden steps, before hurrying down the trail, away from the wolf he’s leaving behind.

 

It’s probably a miracle – or bad drinking habits that have formed the muscle memory of returning home drunk – when he unlocks his den door and all but stumbles inside.

 

Shutting the door behind him, Yoongi heads for his sink and turns on the cold tap and splashes his face with water to help clear the foggy feeling in his head.

 

Yoongi has only ever been scent drunk once before, and that was when was a pup missing his mother when she had to go away for work and had buried himself in her closet.

 

As an adult, it feels a lot floatier than he remembers it being as he stumbles to his sofa, collapsing on it with a slow grunt.

 

Lying on his stomach, head turned towards the pillows, Yoongi can’t block out the words that his brain thumps at him from his temples.

 

Yoongi needs to research what the fuck the symptoms are for a Mayt bond being triggered, if only to appease the voice whispering it to him as his instinct sends ripples of warmth through him.

 

He just hopes its his instinct telling him that Jimin is a compatible mate, rather than a destined mate, because the latter will be harder to ignore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a nap, and waking up feeling like death warmed over from how heavy his limbs feel and the ache in his temples as his senses sober up, Yoongi is feeling too lethargic to even try to build a nest.

 

So, he rubs his scent glands to help chase away the lingering trails of Jimin’s scent stuck up his nose, and stumbles out of his den.

 

Instead of turning right at the wooden walkway that sits in the middle of the guest area, he turns left, towards the dock.

 

It’s easy to spot the lanky male wading in the water, a net poised in his arms, held high, as he looks down into the water with a deep look of concentration.

 

Yoongi heads for the dock, walking until he’s level with the beta in the water, and sits down.

 

“You missed breakfast and lunch,” Taehyung greets him, not looking over at him, his gaze fixed to the water, but his tone is scolding enough.

 

“I napped longer than I anticipated,” Yoongi says as he scrubs at his face to waken himself up more. “How long have you been like this?”

 

“Too long,” Taehyung growls out, tone frustrated and bitter, that it makes Yoongi smile despite it.

 

“Do you always do it like this?” Yoongi questions, curious.

 

Taehyung shakes his head, moving slowly through the water. “Sometimes I fish further out using the boat, that is usually more successful. But I’m stubborn and refuse to be defeated by fish.”

 

The classic tone of a Hunter refusing to be bested by their prey. Watching Taehyung like this, it reminds Yoongi of the wolf’s past role in his birth pack, and can easily see why he was good at his job from studying the way he moves, even the way he breathes.

 

“You due for a break anytime soon?” Yoongi calls after silence lingers for a while.

 

Taehyung surprises him when he suddenly slaps the net down into the water, causing a massive wave of water to rush around him, and Yoongi is too slow to jerk back in time to avoid the spray as it laps up towards the dock.

 

Shaking his black fringe and wiping at his face to remove the salt water, Yoongi playfully glowers at a growling beta who is once again dripping water.

 

Fuck it. I’m done,” Taehyung growls out as he scoops and heaves the empty net up.

 

Taehyung wades over to the dock, throws the net onto it first, before lifting himself up onto it, causing water to pool down off him and soak the wood as he sits next to Yoongi.

 

Yoongi scoots away from the growing wet patch, making Taehyung snort.

 

“It’s only a bit of water,” the beta teases him, flicking his wet hands at him.

 

“And wet jeans are not fun to sit or walk in, stay over there,” Yoongi warns with a finger pointed at him, which makes Taehyung laugh.

 

“How was your morning?” Taehyung asks as he leans back onto his hands, dripping water behind him.

 

“It was good, the session went a lot deeper than I think either of us were expecting it to,” Yoongi admits as he copies the beta’s posture.

 

Taehyung smiles at hearing that. “That’s a good sign, you must be more receptive to his support.”

 

More like his scent, Yoongi answers in his head.

 

“How about you? What did you get up to now you’re free?” Yoongi teases.

 

“Kicked Jungkook out of bed to bring us breakfast in bed, then spent an hour trying to will my aching body to come down here and produce more aches,” Taehyung sighs out, head tilting back to catch the sun more on his face, uncaring that he’s in soaked clothing.

 

“Where is the alpha, I’ve hardly seen him since being here,” Yoongi comments, already feeling hot the longer the sun beams down on them in the open space that is lacking shading.

 

“It’s tax season, which means he spends more time in the office than he does outside of it,” Taehyung answers, looking at where the office windows can be seen from here, but they’re too far away to see past the sunrays gleaming off the glass.

 

“He’s trying to get us a bigger budget so that we can upgrade the pack member dens,” Taehyung reveals, and Yoongi raises his eyebrows in surprise at the daring news, because he knows how stingy the Budget Board can be because they are for his department at work.

 

He’s had to use the same desktop computer since he started there, and it’s so slow and noisy, he’s started bringing in his own laptop to do his work.

 

“Even if it’s just enough so we can add small extensions to the dens, just to give more living space, we’d finance the rest from money we earn from selling the teas, and produce,” Taehyung continues as he flicks his drying fringe from his face, most of his hair out of the bun he’s wearing.

 

“I wish the pup all the luck, I’m still waiting for the go ahead for a new office computer, and I submitted that a year and a half ago.”

 

Taehyung pulls a face at that. “Considering the work you all do, they should be jumping at the chance of making your work easier in any way they can.”

 

“You’d think,” Yoongi grunts in agreement, once again wondering why the fuck he continues to work in a job that he very rarely gets any form of benefit from.

 

“You hungry? I’m starving,” Taehyung announces as he pushes himself up onto his feet, and Yoongi hurries up after the beta as Taehyung heaves the net over his shoulder.

 

“It’s be dinner in a few hours,” Yoongi points out with a laugh as he falls into step beside the wolf as they head for the main building.

 

“We’re having – what do the humans call it, afternoon tea?” Taehyung muses as they climb the wooden stairs.

 

“Sugar and tea, basically?” Yoongi grins, becoming even more amused. “You want my first meal of the day to be laced with sugar?”

 

“It’ll be our secret,” Taehyung plays back as Yoongi slides the door shut behind them, tagging along after the wolf as he heads straight for the other set of sliding glass doors.

 

Yoongi pauses. “I’ll start the boiling the water whilst you do…what you do with that thing.”

 

Taehyung glances at him, hand already opening the door as he says, “you’re coming with.”

 

Yoongi gawps, not moving, as the wolf steps half out the door. “You said guests can’t go beyond that door,” he reminds the beta of the rule he had told him on his first day here.

 

“You’re not my guest, you’re my friend,” Taehyung’s grin and eyes sparkle with mischief, and Yoongi has to hurry after the male as he leaves the door open in his wake.

 

Yoongi is not usually fussed about breaking rules, but he can’t help but feel on edge as he shuts the door behind him as he steps onto the decking that leads down towards the five dens he’s seen from the other side of the fence, two on each side with one directly ahead at the end of the wooden walkway, all with a decent amount of space between them for privacy.

 

And purposely ignores the faint trail of peony musk as he follows Taehyung straight down the wooden walkway, before turning right at the second den on this side of the yard.

 

Yoongi slows as he watches Taehyung lightly spring up the steps of his porch as he drapes the net over the railing to allow it to drip dry, remaining on the wooden walkway as Taehyung opens the front door of the den he shares with Jungkook.

 

It’s not like he hasn’t seen the inside of it before. He’s seen it plenty of times during his video calls to the alpha.

 

But, it’s different seeing it through a screen and seeing it in person, disrupting their scents of their den with his own.

 

He knows some wolves – especially mated, which is basically these two at this point without the bite – are very finicky about non-kin wolves’ scents in their den.

 

“You sure it’s cool for me to step a toe into your den?” Yoongi calls from where he’s rooted himself to the path, and Taehyung only notices his lack of presence behind him as he swings open the door more, the invitation clear, as he comes back outside on the porch.

 

“We would’ve invited you long before now, but you were my guest, so I had to obey the rules,” Taehyung tells him with a reassuring smile. “Come on in.”

 

Yoongi still slowly walks up the wooden steps and onto the porch, peeking into the couple’s den, and trying hard not to pay attention to the scents inside that are a comforting mix of both wolves’ scents, and the scent of a den made homely.

 

“It’s not like you’ve never been in Jungkook’s den before,” Taehyung points out as he gets out two cups from the kitchen cupboard to the right of the living area, the kitchenette small but very much cluttered with stuff he vaguely recalls from Jungkook’s city apartment.

 

Actually, most of the living space reminds Yoongi of his times relaxing in the alpha’s den, the cushions on the two-seater are the ones Yoongi’s mother gifted for the younger wolf’s birthday, the framed picture hanging above it is of Jungkook’s love for photography, a gift from Yoongi for no other reason that he saw it and knew the alpha would like it.

 

“I can see that he’s very much stamped himself all over the place,” Yoongi comments as he recognises some of the background he’s seen in the video calls, mainly the L-shaped curtain that completely blocks out the bed from view without cutting up the entire space, since the two-seater sits with its back against the long drape that sits at the foot of where the bed ends.

 

“Do you want the door open or shut?” Yoongi asks, pausing at it.

 

“Keep it open, these dens are a lot stuffier than yours, another reason why Jungkook has been so adamant in getting us a bigger budget to improve our dens,” Taehyung snorts out as he begins to boil some water on the electric top stove in a muted green kettle.

 

“Come have a look at what you’d like to drink,” Taehyung beckons him with a grin, further luring Yoongi into the space under the guise of making a decision instead of leaving him to stand and question himself with being in the den still.

 

“You know that I’m not a tea drinker,” Yoongi pointedly reminds the wolf with an amused smirk as Taehyung holds out a box of different bags of leaves.

 

“Which is why we’re starting broadly – pick the one that smells the least like grass,” Taehyung teases him, and Yoongi’s unease slowly continues to leave him the longer he becomes used to being inside the den and inhaling the comforting scents of both Jungkook and Taehyung.

 

“Why don’t you just pick?”

 

“Why don’t you just stick your nose in there and pick?” Taehyung counters back, even brings the box further up to send a wave of fragrances into Yoongi’s face.

 

“The pink bag,” Yoongi picks without caring, and laughs at the eye roll he gets for the too quick of an answer.

 

As Taehyung adds the leaves into the two cups, before putting the box back into a cupboard.

 

“While we wait for the water to boil, pick your poison – dark chocolate, or glazed donuts from the mainland?” Taehyung asks as he leans against the other counter that doesn’t hold the stove top and is in between it, and the sink.

 

Yoongi’s mouth is already salivating. “Donuts.”

 

Taehyung smirks as he opens up a pantry-sized cupboard that sits next to the sink and brings out a box of donuts.

 

“The port stocks bakery goodness from the mainland, you just have to catch the days they stock it before all of the other wolves snatch it up,” Taehyung winks as he leads Yoongi to the two-seater, placing the box onto of a messy table of folders (Jungkook’s personal copies of the pack’s records, by the looks of them), and a small pile of books that the beta quickly shoves under the table.

 

“Why are you looking up wolf history?” Yoongi questions since he had caught the first title of the book on top.

 

“Hold on, I’ll tell you once I change,” Taehyung says as he heads for the tall set of drawers that honestly clashes with the rustic tones of the den because it’s so modern, another addition from Jungkook’s apartment.

 

As the wolf whistles whilst entering the bathroom with some fresh clothes in his hands, Yoongi uses the chance to notice if he can see any more hints of Jungkook’s old apartment.

 

He knows that the alpha has most of his stuff in storage at his parents’ place, since he didn’t want to sell a lot of his furniture in case he and Taehyung ever decide to move into a bigger den, either here, or not.

 

Yoongi can only see traces of Jungkook’s past den in the various miscellaneous items, the dresser being the only sign of his furniture being here.

 

“I’ve been refreshing my memory of it,” Taehyung answers as he opens the door in soft, comfortable, cotton shorts, and another of Jungkook’s t-shirts, his wet clothing left inside the bathroom.

 

Yoongi bends to pick up the book from underneath the table, curious.

 

“You could’ve looked this up online,” Yoongi says as he flicks through the thin, but old, book.

 

“Books existed before the internet. It’s nice to stick your nose into a good book once in a while,” Taehyung tuts from where he turns off the kettle that has started to steam from its stout, and pours the hot water into the cups.

 

Leaving the cups to brew on the counter top, Taehyung joins him back at the table where he sits down on the floor that is covered in a very pretty rope rug that Yoongi knows has been made by hand, he just isn’t sure if it’s by Taehyung’s hands, so Yoongi copies him.

 

“Is it any good? I could do with a refresher myself,” Yoongi asks, looking at the beta as Taehyung flips open the cardboard lid of the donut box.

 

“How come?” Taehyung quizzes, pausing in helping himself to a donut.

 

“I never paid it any attention in school,” Yoongi shrugs, truthful, but not the true reason of why he’s asking.

 

“I don’t know how you coped being stuck in schools with humans and wolves. I hated just my pack school which was just a room for us all to be taught shit about what it means to be a wolf,” Taehyung shudders dramatically as he holds out the box towards Yoongi.

 

Yoongi takes a donut and inhales the sugary scent of doughy sin.

 

“Is it too early to admit that all of this clean eating has made me crave all of the junk I practically lived on?” Yoongi muses, making Taehyung laugh into his bite of his donut as they both dig.

 

Yoongi’s taste buds practically cry at the first bite.

 

“You and Jungkook are too alike, he practically inhales these whenever we manage to get them,” Taehyung sniggers as he leans against the sofa.

 

“Our eating habits are too human, and I don’t think I have any shame about that,” Yoongi admits, making the beta laugh again.

 

“Speaking of too human-like habits, you need to shift soon,” Taehyung states, and Yoongi sighs in agreement, nodding too.

 

“I know. I’ll do it at the weekend,” Yoongi says around the bite he’s just taken of his donut.

 

“The faster you have your first shift with Jimin so that he can observe your first run, the faster we can run together with you as a pack, or just myself and Jungkook.”

 

Yoongi raises his eyebrows at the offer of running with the rest of the pack members. “Is that a usual thing to do with guests?”

 

“Sometimes, but not always. It really depends on the guest and if they’re comfortable with it,” Taehyung answers as he quickly gets to his feet, and walks around the table to retrieve their cups.

 

“I mean, I have never run with unit that isn’t my family or just Jungkook,” Yoongi shares as he takes his cup from the beta, watching as Taehyung’s sits down again on the floor.

 

Taehyung blinks at that. “Never in a pack of friends?”

 

Yoongi scoffs at that. “Nah. I’ve only ran with Jungkook.”

 

“Running with others is something every wolf should experience. It’s a real stress reliever.”

 

“It’ll be nice to run with you two,” Yoongi admits and tries hard to not feel self-conscious about it as he shifts himself to sit closer to the wolf, reminding himself of Jimin’s encouragement to act on impulses to share affection.

 

And really, if he wants to grow a strong Zentt bond with Taehyung, he’ll have to start the process of sharing their scents and affection.

 

“Jimin is fun to run with too,” Taehyung comments, and Yoongi notes the change of tone to the beta’s voice and squints his eyes at the beta, making the wolf laugh, “what?”

 

“You keep mentioning him,” Yoongi points out.

 

“You’re going to be spending a lot of time together, makes sense for me to give you little details about him,” Taehyung says back, expression of innocence, despite the subtle hinting that had been present before.

 

Yoongi slowly sniffs at the tea in his hands as he continues to stare at the beta. “Right.”

 

Taehyung just grins behind his own cup as he blows on it before taking a sip.

 

Yoongi follows, and his tongue morns the loss of sugar as a rich, earthy, tone chases it away.

 

“You’re like a pup learning to eat solids for the first time,” Taehyung sniggers as he watches the repulsive scrunch of Yoongi’s face that he makes as he politely puts the cup onto the table, far away from him.

 

“I’ll stick to water,” Yoongi huffs out as he leans and gently rests his head on the beta’s shoulder, holding his breath, as the pull in his chest wriggles with happiness the longer the physical connection between them goes on.

 

Yoongi swallows thickly when he feels a nuzzle to his hair, a huff of air hitting over his hair, as Taehyung rests his cheek against his head.

 

“It’ll never fail to amaze me how cathartic this always feels, to connect to another wolf, to feel that instinctual pull to befriend, to become pack,” Taehyung mutters quietly, and with the combined effort of the beta’s scent, and the comforting scent of a homely den that holds the scent of Jungkook as well, Yoongi feels his chest just…release, allowing the warmth of fondness he has grown towards the wolf to be let free.

 

“Forgot how it feels to do this,” Yoongi mumbles back as Taehyung seeks out his hands, and gently rubs the inside of their wrists against each other’s, scenting each other.

 

It reminds Yoongi of the early years he’d do it with his brother, the subtle scenting of their wrists against their hair, the side of their cheeks, just softly sharing a subtle scent mark of comfort.

 

“It’s nice, isn’t it?” Taehyung breathes out another nuzzle to Yoongi’s hair. “I don’t have siblings, so my Zentt bonds to the guys give me a taste of what that would’ve felt like, to share a connection, a bond that is purely out of comfort, softness, and trust.”

 

Yoongi swallows at the accuracy of the wolf’s description, but he knows his scent tells Taehyung that he’s comfortable and happy to have this bond with the wolf.

 

They sit like that, their teas growing cold on the table in front of them with neither of them touching again after their initial first sip, the door to the den letting in a cooling breeze, the sound of the birds in the trees around them as gentle background noise.

 

It’s so lulling, Yoongi catches himself falling asleep, and feels Taehyung jerk too.

 

A quick glance up to see the relaxed gaze blinking back at him makes them both snigger at themselves being so relaxed to the point they almost napped.

 

Yoongi straightens before his neck can begin to cramp up, and with his right hand, playfully reaches out to make a mess of Taehyung’s uncombed hair of dried, salt-gritted, hair.

 

“Urgh, I stink of salt,” Taehyung groans as he catches a scent of his hair from the tussling, not even budging from Yoongi’s playfulness.

 

“A little,” Yoongi grins, feeling the soft pull towards Taehyung as it settles comfortably in his chest, satisfied.

 

“Another donut before I hit the shower? I promise to keep it from the two alphas that would throw my ass into the sea for encouraging such unhealthiness,” Taehyung cheekily grins as he reaches for the box.

 

“Just two?” Yoongi echoes, amused as he takes his second donut. “One of them is Jungkook, but who is the other?”

 

Taehyung hums around the massive bite of his donut, his gaze twinkling with secrecy and knowing, that it makes Yoongi almost ram half of his donut into his mouth when he figures it out himself.

 

Okay, so maybe Yoongi has an inkling of who the other alpha would be.

 

Jimin is his Support, after all. Of course he’ll want the best for him.

 

“Since we’re all Zentt bonded now, it gives me free pass to ask the deep questions,” Taehyung bluntly says, and Yoongi has to force his throat not to choke on his food as he watches the way Taehyung leans back against the sofa with his cup and donut in each hand.

 

“Define de-”

 

“I’ll think of some,” Taehyung hums over Yoongi’s response, grinning as he bites into the rest of his donut.

 

Refusing to go down alone, Yoongi retorts with, “I’ll think of some too.”

 

The glint in Taehyung’s eye reminds Yoongi too much of how a pup getting his own way and delighting in it.

 

It causes a wave of fondness to roll through him, and he can’t feel nervous anymore about how ‘deep’ the wolf wants to go.

 

Yoongi is all but ready to be nosey himself of his two close friends becoming mates.

 

He already knows Jungkook’s opinion on this, and he can’t wait to see the same passion and eagerness from Taehyung.

 

Even if it may come at the cost of Taehyung asking about a certain alpha, because Yoongi isn’t stupid, he’s been on the end of Taehyung sussing something out from him, so it’s only a matter of time before he asks Yoongi about it.

 

Hopefully, by the time the beta does, Yoongi knows himself if he’s responding to Jimin in a ‘wow, you smell mate compatible’ or the ‘holy shit, we are mates’ way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s during dinner that Taehyung makes good on making sure that Yoongi shifts this weekend.

 

“What’s the weather like for this weekend?” Taehyung causally asks as they all help organise the table, celebrating the last night of Hoseok’s guest as a guest with a small cake for dessert.

 

Yoongi – who is the only one in the kitchen area bringing the last of the side plates of food with the beta – pinches the wolf’s sides for the question, ignoring the huff of laughter it prompts from Taehyung as he leaves the wolf behind.

 

“Not too hot,” Jimin answers as he pours the water into everyone’s glasses, while Hoseok and his guest pass the empty plates around.

 

“Next week a small heatwave is starting,” Namjoon informs them, causing groans to come from them all but Hoseok’s guest, who looks smug when he answers with, ‘I have aircon in my apartment, I’m good.”

 

“I’ll add that to my growing list,” Jungkook grunts out from where he sits, waiting for Yoongi and Taehyung to take their now usual spaces on either side of him.

 

“You’re doing enough, we’ve survived past summers without them,” Jin discourages, sending the younger wolf a soft, but stern, look. “You’re already locking yourself away in that office too much.”

 

“I agree,” Yoongi says, sending his best friend a look that dares him to argue. “You know those assholes too well from working in the city, you know they are tight with their money.”

 

“I refuse to submit to capitalists,” Jungkook growls a little, leaning into Taehyung’s space immediately as the beta joins them.

 

Yoongi can’t help but feel a little pride swell at the comment.

 

Looks like all of his years of cussing out the system has been rubbing off onto the alpha.

 

“Sexy.” Taehyung coos as he tickles under the alpha’s chin, and Yoongi smiles at the immediate gross-but-fond looks the pack members send to their two youngest members.

 

“Since it’s not going to be too hot, you fancy showing me the island? I haven’t shifted for a few months, so I’m long overdue,” Yoongi asks the alpha beside him as everyone digs into filling their plates.

 

And yelps in surprise as Jimin’s elbow jerks, knocking over Yoongi’s glass of water that had been closest to him, soaking Yoongi’s left thigh.

 

Before Yoongi can reassure the now flustered alpha that has all but flown to the kitchen area for a towel, Jungkook has picked up his fallen glass, handing it to Taehyung to fill, as he also takes the paper napkins from Hoseok at the same time.

 

“Thanks,” Yoongi says as he takes the napkins from Jungkook and lays them over his soaked jean leg, already cringing inside at the feeling of the wet, heavy, material on his skin.

 

As Jimin steps back into the floor pit, Yoongi helps the alpha soak up the rest of the water that had soaked into the cushions between them, patting down on the towel together.

 

“You haven’t shifted in months?” Jimin repeats, voice still showing his shock at hearing it as he looks up, meeting Yoongi’s gaze.

 

Yoongi purposely ignores how close their current positions put their faces together, and if Yoongi wasn’t already able to easily scent the other, he’d probably be able to now due to how close they are.

 

“Another bad habit of mine,” Yoongi huffs out in a short, small, slightly awkward, laugh, as he focuses on their hands on the towel between them.

 

“We’ll soon make it a good habit,” Jimin softly reassures him, and Yoongi can’t help the way it makes his gaze look up again.

 

And swallows as they lock gazes.

 

“You two going to eat anything tonight or flir-ow!” Namjoon’s amused comment is cut off with an abrupt whine, and it breaks the locked stare Yoongi is in with the alpha as he snaps his attention to the pouting omega that is softly glaring at an ignoring Jin.

 

Without saying anything about the intended comment, Yoongi fills his plate with clean food, not feeling the pangs for junk due to eating two donuts earlier.

 

“How long will it be before a new guest arrives?” Hoseok’s guest questions, curious, and Yoongi pays attention to the conversation as he eats, intrigued too.

 

“We won’t hold another scent selection meeting until we’ve cleaned and de-scented the two dens,” Namjoon is the one to answer, since Hoseok is too busy enjoying his food to answer fast enough.

 

“How do you do that, anyway?” Yoongi asks, since he’s been hoping to catch it in action.

 

“It takes a couple of days of repetitive cleaning since it has to be a completely neutral space again,” Jin joins the conversation. “We use natural cleaners, so a lot of lemons, white vinegar we import from the mainland because we suck at brewing our own, and a little bit of fragrance to help calm the harshness. Then we go in and douse a lot of scent neutraliser to make sure our scent and everything else is gone.”

 

Yoongi’s nose is already scrunched up at the sound of all of those harsh scents, which makes the pack members chuckle at his and the guest’s expressions.

 

“You get used to it,” Hoseok huffs out in a laugh. “But the first time is brutal on your nose.”

 

“And hands. My hands were dry for weeks after I cleaned my first guest den,” Taehyung groans, remembering his ordeal.

 

“But it’s a lot of work, when you think of all of the different fabrics in your den, so it’s like we’re doing a massive spring clean every time a guest leaves,” Hoseok grins, enjoying the joint look of growing horror from the two remaining guests.

 

“That’s a lot of washing,” Yoongi points out as he thinks of all the pillows in his den, at how they hoard in scents.

 

“It’s usually becomes a pack effort once we hit day three of deep cleaning,” Namjoon comments, causing the pack members to grunt in agreement, making the omega grin.

 

“Is this another reason why you don’t want to become a Support?” Yoongi suddenly questions the only smug-looking wolf at the table, making Jungkook laugh.

 

“Partly,” Jungkook grins, not even ashamed of it. “But I do help out when I can.”

 

“And when that happens, we all make sure to capitalise on it,” Jin deadpans, making everyone laugh at his tone.

 

Yoongi slips out of conversation after that to focus on his food, and also with patting his damp thigh to dry quicker.

 

So when Jimin reaches towards Hoseok all of a sudden, Yoongi is too out of the loop to know why, just noting the movement out of the corner of his eye as he wonders if all of this clean eating is going to result in him losing weight, rather than gain it like his mother is hoping for from this break away from everything.

 

It’s only when he feels a lightness on his thigh, barely noticeable if he wasn’t so aware of the dampness, does he glance down to see fresh paper napkins lightly resting over the wet ones.

 

Yoongi glances at the silent way Jimin returns back to his plate of barely touched food, and smiles.

 

“Thanks,” he says as he pats the alpha’s back at the same time, acknowledging the alpha’s attentiveness.

 

And almost regrets doing so at the tickle that flutters over his hand at the contact.

 

Unfortunately, Jimin had been taking a bite of his food at the exact moment Yoongi touched him, and hadn’t been expecting it come, since he inhales the food instead of chewing it.

 

As Jimin starts choking, Yoongi reacts faster than everyone else as he darts up onto his knees, braces an arm against Jimin’s chest, and with his left-hand palm wide, he hits between the male’s shoulder blades.

 

When the first blow doesn’t do anything, Yoongi hits again, harder, and ignoring the chaos of voices and spiked scents around them as he focuses on getting Jimin to cough out the food.

 

On the third harder hit, Jimin coughs out the food onto his plate, coughing roughly as he holds his throat, and Yoongi makes soft comforting sounds from low in his throat as he rubs the wolf’s back, grounding him from the terror he’d have felt through those few seconds of choking.

 

“You’re okay, just breathe nice and slow,” Yoongi comforts the wolf, and is so pleased that his first aid training was worth it, otherwise he’d had joined the chaos around them that has now settled as everyone watches Jimin recover.

 

Jimin gives him a weak thumbs up, which not only makes Yoongi smile at the cute way of communicating with him, but also causes his chest to ease with relief as Jimin’s scent begins to calm.

 

“Do we need to teach you how to eat solids?” he hears Taehyung weakly tease, and smiles at the middle finger Jimin sends the beta as he remains hunched over as he focuses on his breathing with Yoongi’s hand still calmly rubbing up and down his spine.

 

“Who’d have thought our shitty first aid training would come in handy,” Yoongi jokes to Jungkook, meeting the alpha’s concerned gaze.

 

Jungkook huffs at that. “Rather you remember than me. I forgot it all as soon as I left.”

 

“Is that so?” Hoseok pipes up, both he and Jin scrutinising the alpha.

 

Jungkook groans as he realises his slip up. “I’ll read the book again.”

 

“No, you won’t,” Namjoon says, just as Taehyung says, “I’ll train you to make sure it sticks.”

 

Yoongi leans close to the alpha in front of him, making sure he’s not leaning too much into the Jimin’s space.

 

“You good?” Yoongi checks as he slows down the soothing motion with his hand.

 

Jimin makes a soft sound of denial, tensing, and Yoongi rubs his spine firmer.

 

“You good, Jimin?” Jin calls softly, since the wolf is the Lead Healer.

 

Jimin slowly peeks up, and Yoongi can’t really read the alpha’s face due to the hair curtaining down, hiding his profile a little.

 

“Getting there,” Jimin laughs out weakly as he forces himself to straighten.

 

“Want me to check you over?” Jin asks, rising up to stand.

 

Jimin shakes his head, rubbing absently at his throat. “It’ll fade away,” and then glances down at his plate where the mess lies, “but I think I’m done.”

 

“We’ll save you a slice of cake,” Hoseok promises as wolves begin to move to take away the empty plates to get ready for the meal’s highlight.

 

It’s only as they do so that Yoongi realises that he’s still stroking the alpha’s back, sitting on his knees, his arm still pressed lightly against the alpha’s chest.

 

Yoongi freezes with the realisation, and Jimin makes a questioning noise as he looks at him.

 

Yoongi’s ears can only focus on the hyperawareness of how fast his heart his pounding in his ears as he sees the way Jimin’s eyes are soft, his expression completely revealing to Yoongi at how much he appreciates his help and comfort.

 

It’s so soft, but Yoongi can see affection in those brown and ice blue eyes.

 

“In the short time that I’ve known you, you’ve choked too many times on food and drink. Maybe Taehyung is right about teaching you how to consume solids,” Yoongi quietly jokes, mouth drying the longer he stares into those brown and ice blue eyes.

 

“I’ve only just started having trouble,” Jimin jokes back, but Yoongi senses more truth to it than simple jokiness.

 

Yoongi eases his touch away from the alpha, and doesn’t miss the immediate way the wolf tenses at the loss, the flicker of panic that rushes over Jimin’s expression, before a forced neutrality takes its place.

 

The scent of peony musk digs deeper into Yoongi’s senses as he feels the air in the room shrink from him as he fixates on Jimin’s nonverbal cues.

 

Yoongi doesn’t know what possesses him to test what his gut is telling him, but as he raises his right hand up, wrist facing Jimin, as he gently ruffles the wolf’s hair before pulling away completely, he sees it.

 

He sees the way Jimin inhales quickly, deeply, but shallowly, and the way he tenses again as catches the lean he was about to make to prolong the ruffle to his hair.

 

Instinct is running around in his head with glee as Yoongi absorbs it all.

 

Jimin was able to catch his scent from his wrist, the weakest, subtlest, area your scent is, in a filtered room.

 

Before Yoongi can rush to his feet as the sounds of the room comes back to him as the pack convene in the kitchen as they wish Hoseok’s guest well wishes for the rest of his recovery outside of Hoseok’s support, he locks eyes with Jimin again.

 

“M-make sure to drink something warm to ease the roughness you’re feeling,” Yoongi blurts out at the eye contact, watches as Jimin nods as he tracks the way Yoongi stands up, napkins falling off him, as he reaches for their plates.

 

And without saying another word to the wolf, Yoongi rushes to the kitchen, dumps the plates, and takes his leave after telling Taehyung and Jungkook that he’s going to change and have an early night.

 

Jungkook promises him that he’ll save Yoongi a slice of cake, completely oblivious to the way Taehyung shares a knowing glance at him, one that Yoongi ignores.

 

Even the night air does nothing to quieten the way his instinct is rattling his mind.

 

In the security of his den, and behind closed curtains, Yoongi lets out the haggard breath that had been locked in his chest from the moment he realised Jimin can easily scent him.

 

Just like how it’s easy for Yoongi to do so too.

 

Jimin wasn’t injured yesterday, he was scenting the air because he had sensed Yoongi’s shift in emotions whilst they were washing up the dishes together.

 

Yoongi looks at the book on the sofa that he had discarded earlier when he had come back from his ‘afternoon tea’ with Taehyung.

 

It feels like it’s mocking him, the title, ‘wolf history’ standing too proudly on the front of the cover.

 

Yoongi ignores it as he heads for the bathroom to peel off his half damp jeans, and to brush his teeth.

 

It’s only as he changes for bed that he realises he never did try to make a nest earlier in the day due to being lazy, and now it’s too late in the evening for him to focus on it, since it’ll only make him feel more awake by trying to make the thing.

 

Yoongi groans as he flops onto the bed.

 

Looks like he’s having another shitty night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was indeed another shitty night.

 

Once the scent of fear-laced sweat has dulled down after stealing more oats from the main kitchen before anyone else was awake, Yoongi faces something that he hasn’t tried to do in a few years.

 

Building a nest.

 

Yoongi can remember when he was in school, learning of the differences of season cycles for each rank, at how that ‘nesting’ was a recurrent theme amongst the three ranks.

 

If you were an alpha close to, or even during, your rut cycle, you nested in the form of redecorating your entire den – whether that was by building something or splashing paint over your walls, whatever satisfied that itch of restless energy and the need to share comfort visibly consisted of.

 

Since betas are the unluckiest rank when it comes to having to deal with frequent season cycles with their periods, it would be tiring for them if they were to act like how alphas do, so it’s fortunate that the way betas nest is simple by scenting their den with their own scent, grounding themselves with their own comforting scent.

 

And omegas do all of the above, but only in dedicated area, which is most often the bedding area, but Yoongi has known of some omegas to nest in their living space since it can be bigger, and not so closed in.

 

Yoongi hasn’t tried to make a nest in so long, that the longer he stares at the bed, the more his mind goes blank.

 

“This is shameful, having to look up how to make a fucking nest,” Yoongi growls to himself as he stalks for his phone that he had left in the living area.

 

Hitting the ‘images’ option, Yoongi squints down at the grid of images shown to him, looking for inspiration and guidance on how to build a nest.

 

He ignores the expensive, lavish, probably fake, images of a nest, the ones that have silk curtains around the bed – even up and over, like a canopy – and plush pillows that are various sizes and lengths, and focuses on the more natural-looking nests.

 

Yoongi chews on his lip as he zooms in on different images, making a mental list of what he needs for what, before locking his phone and shoving it in the back of his jeans.

 

Then, he kneels on the bed, and yanks the entire duvet and all the pillows off it.

 

Now that he’s facing an empty canvas of a bedding area that is a lot bigger now that it’s so bare, Yoongi has to decide which side he wants the middle of the nest to be.

 

He doesn’t want a huge nest, doesn’t want it to match the size and width of the bed itself, he only wants a moderate one.

 

Yoongi decides on almost being in the middle of the bed, allowing open, bare, space on either side of his nest, and starts from the bottom by adding the biggest pillows against the wall, stacking them almost, making a foot rest instead of an actual wall of pillows.

 

Since his nest is more towards the left so that he can avoid the curtain opening, it means he has less space on that side of the nest, compared to the right, so he uses the medium sized pillows he has to make a pillow wall to mark where the empty space begins, and his nest lies.

 

He ends up having to steal a few from the living area to complete it, but ends up throwing them out because he doesn’t like the texture of the material, which is at that point the entire process of making a nest makes him more irritated because he doesn’t like how it looks when he throws the duvet back on.

 

No amount of shoving and patting eases the fast-growing feeling of agitation building in his chest, a low sounding growl building in the back of his throat at he starts hitting the pillows and duvet into the ideal shape he’s seen in the images on his phone.

 

All he wants is a nest that can only be described as ‘squishy’ without a lot of stuff in it to make it look like that.

 

“Fuck it! I’ll do without!” Yoongi snarls to himself, frustrated, hot and bothered, as he falls onto his butt from his knees from where he had been lumping up the duvet to make it lie how he wants it.

 

Yoongi leans back onto his hands, and lets out a sigh.

 

The bedding area is just too big for him to make the nest he wants, and he hasn’t got the right pillows or duvet to make it.

 

“What a waste of time and energy,” Yoongi grumbles to himself, highly agitated, as he shifts to pull his phone from out of the back of his jeans pocket.

 

Seeing that it’s breakfast time, Yoongi admits defeat, kicks the stupid mess on his bed with his foot, and scoots himself off the bed.

 

He tries to remove himself from the agitated bubble forming around him before it can affect his mood for the rest of the day as he walks to the building, but the more he thinks of his failed attempt of trying something so simple as building a nest, the more agitated he becomes.

 

“Morning!” Namjoon is the first to greet him from where he’s stationed at the kitchen island, blender in front of him, and a pile of fruit and greens waiting to be liquified.

 

“That’s a grumpy look,” Jin states as he comes from the office, the door left open, which is unusual to see since it’s always shut.

 

Yoongi isn’t fazed by the comment from the alpha, nor the blunt way the male came out with it, since that appears to be Jin’s nature, which is great, because it’s Yoongi’s too.

 

“Couldn’t sleep, again,” Yoongi huffs out, trying to force himself into a more positive headspace as he joins Jin in the kitchen area too. “How does this go when you only have one guest here? I saw your guest’s den open and empty on the way up.”

 

“When we’re guest-free, breakfast is mainly a serve-yourself thing, and lunch and dinner is where we plan what to eat as a pack,” Jin answers the first part of Yoongi’s question.

 

Namjoon nods at that. “He caught the first ferry to the mainland. Hoseok just got back not that long ago.”

 

Yoongi stares at Jin. “I’m still here, you’re not guest-free.”

 

Jin’s head disappears behind the fridge door as he opens it. “You’ve bonded to our pack members; it makes you extended family at this point.”

 

Yoongi isn’t the only to stare at the alpha’s side profile, even Namjoon has paused in putting in the fruit to stare at Jin.

 

Jin notices their silence, and leans back to look at them. “What?”

 

“You’ve just assumed that Yoongi would be comfort-” Namjoon begins, tone scolding, and Yoongi cuts off the omega that is making a fair point about the alpha’s comment.

 

“It’s fine, I don’t mind the comment,” Yoongi reassures the omega, smiling at him. “You guys don’t make me want to ignore your existence, and I do have bonds to Taehyung and Jungkook, so…in a way…I am an extended part to the pack.”

 

“Don’t let these alphas lure you in with their sweet words, especially this one over here, he’s just looking for another wolf to bicker with,” Namjoon says, tone playful, but his gaze meaningful, and Yoongi can’t help but feel endeared towards the omega.

 

Omegas looking out for fellow omegas, something that still prevails strongly, something the history books do get right.

 

“Rude. You’re the one always baiting others, like you’ve just tried to do there,” Jin scoffs out, amused, as he focuses back on the contents inside the fridge.

 

“It worked, didn’t it? You bit at it.”

 

Jin sends a middle finger at the omega, making the tall wolf laugh, as he returns back to his blender.

 

“Just help yourself for breakfast, Yoongi. At lunch, we’ll decide what to have for dinner,” Namjoon tells him as Yoongi leans on the island.

 

“I’ll try whatever it is you’re making, if you don’t mind?” Yoongi says, already smiling at the easy reaction he gains from the omega that beams at him.

 

It doesn’t take Namjoon long to pour Yoongi a serving of the smoothie – strawberries, mangos, bananas, with a hint of spinach – and Yoongi is nursing it as he watches the live-action show in front of him as Jin and Namjoon bicker good-naturedly about how painfully thin Jin’s pancakes are compared to how thick Hoseok cooks them.

 

“They’re supposed to be thin! They are there to compliment the fruit I’ll have with them, not smoother them,” Jin argues back to Namjoon’s comment, hip-bumping the omega away from where they’re clustered at the stove.

 

“What is the point in eating them if you can’t taste the actual pancake? The whole point of it being thick and fluffy is for you to taste it.”

 

“Oh hush, you’re only biased because Hoseok makes them like that,” Jin retorts with a knowing snort, and Yoongi smirks from around the metal straw in between his lips as he sees the tips of the omega’s ears grow red.

 

“Not true, he just knows how to make them correctly,” Namjoon rushes back, destroying his attempt of acting unbothered.

 

“Ah ha, even when he scorches them, they’re still perfect?”

 

Yoongi watches as redness grows up the back of the omega’s neck now.

 

“Not perfect, but still better than this pile you have here.”

 

Yoongi glances over at the glass door where the pack members live, and ignores the way his gut reacts as he catches the scent of peonies.

 

“Mornin’,” comes out the rough, barely-awake, voice from the wolf as Jimin shuffles himself inside the small gap he had made with the door.

 

The two bickering wolves miss Jimin’s greeting, their volume loud and growing, so Yoongi makes a stilted wave motion with his hand without fully lifting it off the countertop as Jimin runs his hands through messy, wavy, black hair, his face still slightly puffy from sleep, as he joins them.

 

Yoongi finds himself straightening from his slouched position against the island the closer the alpha comes, unable to stop his eyes from staying on the sleepy alpha that pulls a slight confused face as he looks over at the two wolves that are bickering like sibling pups.

 

“What set them off this time?” Jimin asks him, coming to slump against the island next to Yoongi.

 

Yoongi ignores how close the alpha is, wondering if the wolf is even aware of their closeness, so close that their arms are brushing against each other.

 

“Pancakes,” Yoongi states, talking around the metal straw in his mouth so that he can focus on that and not the way his entire body is hyperaware of the wolf beside him.

 

Jimin makes a grunting sound at that, almost mirroring Yoongi’s semi-slouched posture, as he shakes his hair from out of his face, tucking the messy locks behind his ears.

 

“You okay? You smell strong,” Jimin questions, glancing at him.

 

Yoongi accidently inhales through his straw, and since he wasn’t expecting the mouthful of liquid, he chokes and coughs it out across the countertop.

 

As he hacks up the rest behind his hand, Yoongi is painfully aware of the sudden flurry of movement from Jimin as he instantly takes away the drink from Yoongi’s hands and begins patting his back.

 

“I’m good,” Yoongi wheezes out, knowing that he’s as red as Jin’s t-shirt is as he avoids Jimin’s stare on the side of his face as Yoongi uses the bottom of his shirt to clean around his mouth.

 

Jimin’s hand stills, allowing Yoongi to clean his mouth without the gentle thumps to his back.

 

“You want some water?” Jimin checks, and Yoongi finally forces himself to look at the wolf’s face, not even surprised when he’s faced with an intense look of concern, far more intense than needed for the situation.

 

Yoongi also can’t help but notice how strong Jimin’s scent is, a lot stronger than usual, and it’s got nothing to do with their close proximity.

 

“Nah, I’m good,” Yoongi reassures, his voice slightly rough from the force of his coughing.

 

“You’re starting to act like me,” the alpha teases him lightly, trying to ease Yoongi’s embarrassment.

 

It works, and makes Yoongi smile at the reminder that he’s seen the wolf choke and cough a fair few times on drink and food.

 

“Well, it was your fault, I didn’t expect you to comment on my scent,” Yoongi points out, not thinking of the implication of his words until they’re completely out of his mouth and he’s staring into Jimin’s wide brown and ice blue gaze.

 

Yoongi can feel that his own eyes are wide from the slip of his tongue.

 

He’s just admitted – like Jimin did – that they’re both aware of the other’s scent in an area that is heavily filtered.

 

Yoongi doesn’t know how to break the moment, doesn’t know what to say.

 

“I failed in making a nest,” he blurts out just as Jimin open his mouth to speak, again shocking the wolf at his words.

 

The shock quickly vanishes as understanding and concern replace it.

 

“That explains why your scent is so strong,” Jimin whispers, and Yoongi’s mouth turns dry as his gut begins to slowly stir with what he can only describe as slight excited nerves since he’s not fearing the continued topic, but hoping for more.

 

“It annoyed the fuck out of me trying to make it,” Yoongi bluntly admits, making the alpha slowly smile at his tone, “so I gave up.”

 

“You’re just not used to your own routine of making a nest, you’ll soon find it,” Jimin reassures softly. “The more you do it, the more you learn.”

 

“Doubt it. I had to look up for examples,” Yoongi huffs out, completely aware of the fact that he’s zoned out on everything but Jimin.

 

All he can see, smell, and feel, is Jimin.

 

The hand on his back gently rubs as Jimin responds to his huffy tone.

 

“We can always practise making a nest,” Jimin offers thoughtfully, and Yoongi knows for a fact that he is the only one taking that in a way the wolf isn’t meaning, since wolves in his high school tried to use that excuse to hook up.

 

Jimin is his Support, after all. Of course the alpha wants to help Yoongi relearn shit he’s supposed to know.

 

And yet, the squirmy feeling in his gut jumped at the offer. Even his instinct is urging Yoongi to accept the offer because Jimin is comfortable, familiar, soothing.

 

“Have you just propositioned me, Jimin?” Yoongi forces himself to keep his tone playful and light, and not at all choked as he shoves and shoves at his instinct to shut the fuck up.

 

Yoongi has to give the alpha credit, he only blushes once he realises the way his offer can be taken, and doesn’t become completely flustered as he responds.

 

“If we were in a wild pack, possibly,” Jimin teases back, matching Yoongi’s playfulness.

 

Yoongi files that away to remember for the future.

 

“Wouldn’t it be strange to practise it, though?” Yoongi questions, even though he’s already leaning towards accepting the offer simply because he needs to fucking learn.

 

Jimin shakes his head, his hand still rubbing soothingly up and down Yoongi’s back and Yoongi is still wondering why he hasn’t stopped the touch since he doesn’t need soothing, like he’d normally stop another wolf from doing what Jimin currently is doing.

 

“I mean, I’m not an expert in nesting, I tend to manifest my nesting urges by sanding down varnish and reapplying a different colour of it, and then later regretting giving in when my arms feel like they’re dead,” Jimin admits openly, making Yoongi huff a small laugh at the image in his head of the alpha going crazy with a sander, causing dust to go everywhere.

 

“That’s more me at this point, I would’ve ripped the bedding apart if it was my own and not the pack’s,” Yoongi admits too, making Jimin laugh.

 

“I’ll bring some extra pillows and a blanket for our next session, we can practise a little during it,” Jimin suggests with a softness to his tone, and a slight tilt of his head.

 

Yoongi finds himself nodding even before he can fully think it through.

 

“Sounds good. I’m sure I can promise not to rip yours apart.”

 

Jimin smiles, and Yoongi watches the moment happen when Jimin himself realises that he’s been stroking Yoongi’s back for the past minute or so, watches at the slight startled widening of his eyes, the flash of panic, the way the wolf tenses before relaxing as he follows Yoongi’s body language of being soft and relaxed, and not tense and uncomfortable.

 

“Pancakes, Jimin?”

 

Both of them jump at the loud voice of Jin and the sharp sound of the plate hitting the island countertop as they both look at the two males staring at them.

 

Yoongi flushes at the mess still on the countertop, and hurries to clean it up, leaving Jimin’s space, and their little bubble in order to do so.

 

Even at the sink, Yoongi’s head is still full of Jimin’s scent and the weight of his hand that had been on his back.

 

“I’m good, I just came for some juice,” he hears Jimin answer as Yoongi wrings out a damp cloth.

 

“You want any, Yoongi?” Jin offers as Yoongi returns, with Jimin moving past him to go to fridge to get a glass bottle of smoothie that Namjoon had put in there not that long ago.

 

Yoongi shakes his head as he cleans up the smoothie he had spat out, hurrying to clean up the evidence since he’d been so focused on his conversation with Jimin that he forgot the mess both on the counter and probably still on his face.

 

As he rinses out the cloth at the sink, he listens to the soft sound of movement from the fridge as Jimin retrieves a bottle, and the sound of the door sealing shut again.

 

“Do you want to wait until after lunch for a session, or in an hour’s time?” Jimin asks, and Yoongi glances over his shoulder at the wolf that is approaching him at the sink. “We won’t have one tomorrow since it’s a Sunday.”

 

“Supports’ day off,” Jin explains at Yoongi’s brief lost look.

 

“This morning. That way I can have the rest of the day to seethe by myself if the nesting practise goes bad,” Yoongi lightly says, continuing their previous playfulness, causing Jimin to smile.

 

“It’ll be fun, and a stress reliver. I’ll let you punch the pillows under the disguise of it being a nesting technique,” Jimin quirks back, before taking a deep drink of his smoothie, humming in appreciation afterwards as he sends Namjoon a thumbs up which causes the omega to snort, but his expression is pleased.

 

“I’ll meet you here, or at the tree deck?” Yoongi questions as he moves to grab his own smoothie, figuring it’ll be nice to walk around the pack grounds with it, to truly calm down his mind for his session.

 

“I’ll meet you at the deck,” Jimin smiles, heading to leave himself.

 

“I’ll see you guys later then. Thanks for the smoothie, Namjoon. You may be winning me over,” Yoongi calls as he lightly waves the glass in his hand, causing another dose of pleased smugness to show on the omega’s face which causes both alphas to snort at.

 

Stepping outside, Yoongi takes in a deep breath, and forces himself to shut off his thoughts as he heads for the path leading to the garden.

 

He’ll overanalyse everything later.

 

Right now, he needs to be of a calmer state if he’s going to be faced with trying to figure out how the fuck to make a nest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Hold on, Jimin,” Jin calls just as Jimin moves to leave after watching Yoongi shut the door behind himself.

 

Jimin glances over at the two wolves, and frowns at the way their posturing themselves with their careful neutral expressions and leaning forms against the island.

 

“What’s with the ‘we need to talk’ expressions?” Jimin questions, one hand on the door, the other firmly clasped around the neck of the glass bottle.

 

“You were throwing your scent just then,” Namjoon speaks first before Jin can even open his mouth, and Jimin almost drops his bottle.

 

“No I wasn’t,” Jimin denies instantly, mind frantically trying to recall if he had been.

 

But, all he can smell is Yoongi.

 

That’s all he can ever smell when they’re both in the same place.

 

“He was too,” Jin adds carefully, and Jimin has to tighten his grip on the bottle as he gawps at the alpha, “you both were throwing your scent at each other.”

 

“The air filter is off now that Namjoon’s guest is gone, that’s why you can smell-”

 

“Wrong, I’ve just turned it off not even ten minutes ago,” Jin disagrees smoothly, tone light. “It takes an hour for natural scents to return, you know that.”

 

Jimin does.

 

He just doesn’t want to admit the blatant truth that has been slapping him in the face for days now.

 

He doesn’t want to admit what it means when wolves throw their scent at each other in a non-threatening situation.

 

“You’re both responding to each other more noticeably now, even Joon has noticed it,” Jin says softly, heading for Jimin’s frozen form. “Both of your instincts have recognised and accepted each other has compatible mates.”

 

“You’re trying your hardest to make me bite this morning, aren’t you?” Namjoon retorts at Jin with a roll of his eyes.

 

“You never once showed that you were aware that these two have a connection blooming between them,” Jin snorts back, folding his arms.

 

“Wrong. Last night confirmed it when they were flirting, also, have you ever heard of ‘minding your own business’?”

 

“Maybe you should stop shutting your eyes and start seeing what’s right in front of you,” Jin smoothly counters with.

 

Jimin silently opens the door, sliding it open enough for him to slip out as the alpha and omega focus on each other, their conversation becoming centred on Jin’s never-ending goal of making Namjoon and Hoseok admit that they both should court each other.

 

It’s a scene that pops up every so often, so while the air around those two may seem heavy, it’s not, since Namjoon would immediately shut down Jin if he overstepped the line.

 

Having successfully escaped, Jimin heads back to his den.

 

If Jin and Namjoon were able to scent both Jimin and Yoongi throwing their scents at each other – a subconscious reaction that happens when wolves are around another that they are very compatible with, most often sexually or romantic – then Jimin needs to listen to them.

 

Both Jin and Hoseok had told Jimin to listen to his instinct, to understand what it has been telling him, and he hasn’t been listening it to.

 

He’s been ignoring it.

 

But now, now he has to listen.

 

He’s subconsciously throwing his scent to Yoongi, and Yoongi is responding. That means they are both subconsciously reacting to each other without either of them being aware.

 

Well, that may not be as true now, considering Yoongi is now aware that Jimin is able to scent him so easily, to read his moods based on his scent.

 

Jimin chugs down his smoothie, needing the distraction as he leans on the railing of his porch on his den.

 

He’s Yoongi’s Support now, the only wolf left in the pack that can be his Support now that Yoongi and Taehyung are Zentt bonded.

 

He’s Yoongi’s last chance of support in this pack, and Jimin doesn’t want to disrupt the wolf’s recovery any more than it has been so far, one week into his stay with them.

 

But now that he’s aware of what his instinct has been screaming at him, Jimin isn’t so sure he can be the Support the wolf deserves.

 

Awareness opens up a door that has been tightly locked, and now that he’s aware that he is compatible to be….to be possible mates with Yoongi, Jimin doesn’t know how to shut that door again.

 

Logically, he can’t keep that door open and support Yoongi as a Support at the same time, it would disrupt Yoongi’s recovery.

 

Right?

 

Jimin’s gaze snaps over to the far fencing from the dens, tracking the scent of cedarwood, and can see Yoongi’s walking profile through the gaps.

 

He swallows down the rest of his smoothie, not even tasting it now, as his instinct pulses in time with the soft sounds of Yoongi’s feet hitting on the wooden pathway.

 

Jimin forces his feet inside as he finishes the bottle.

 

He promised to show the wolf how to make a nest, something that had slipped out of his mouth, something that had been pulled from deep inside of him at the sight of Yoongi’s frustration with it.

 

He wanted to chase away that frustration, wanted to chase it far far away.

 

Jimin breathes though his nose, exhaling slowly out of his mouth, as he curbs that same flare of need to chase away all of Yoongi’s stress and worry.

 

He needs to be strict with himself, Yoongi’s recovery relies on it.

 

That should be easy to do.

 

Jimin was taught as a pup to shut parts of himself away from the surface.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You weren’t joking about bringing pillows and blankets,” Yoongi deadpans, surprised, as he rushes to help the alpha with the load in his arms as he climbs the steps up to the deck.

 

“I wanted to make sure you had enough padding to vent at,” Jimin grins as Yoongi unearths his face from behind the mass in his arms, “set them down anywhere for now.”

 

Yoongi has to stop breathing as he carries them to where he had been sitting on the floor.

 

The pillows in his arms are so rich with Jimin’s scent, it feels like Yoongi has his nose stuck against the male’s scent gland.

 

“Okay, for this session I want us to try talking about your nightmares first, and then practise with building a nest,” Jimin says as he sits across from Yoongi, a lot more alert than he was an hour ago when Yoongi first saw him this morning.

 

His black hair is tied completely up into a ponytail, the lengths of the tail curling due to the waviness to his hair.

 

Yoongi has to force his gaze away, ignoring the curious voice in his head that wonders if the wolf’s hair is soft as it looks and if it will feel nice to twirl the wavy locks around his fingers.

 

“Hard-hitting stuff so early in the morning, huh?” Yoongi lightly laughs out as he sits cross-legged with Jimin copying him.

 

“I want you to start sleeping, so we have to hit the hard stuff,” Jimin apologises softly, gaze meaning it.

 

“It’s fine,” Yoongi grunts out, unsure if he’s trying to reassure himself or the wolf.

 

“Whenever you feel overwhelmed, squeeze this,” Jimin suggests as he pulls out a lumpy-looking cushion that has seen better days, its cover a vibrant sea blue.

 

“Looks like the poor thing has already had the life squeezed from it,” Yoongi snorts out as he takes it from the alpha.

 

“It’s a good stress pillow,” Jimin smiles as he pulls a pillow onto his lap too, just so that Yoongi doesn’t feel odd being the only one having one.

 

“Let’s see how it holds up after this,” Yoongi sighs out, squeezing the cushion, testing it.

 

“You can start wherever you like, Yoongi. I want you to go at your own pace of telling me the pattern that your nightmares take, and what you hear from the voices in the darkness.”

 

Yoongi nods, sucks in a calming breath that he doesn’t feel, and tries to verbalise the full extent of his nightmares for the first time, ever.

 

“It always starts off the same, you know?” Yoongi begins and it feels like his tongue is slowly swelling up as his mouth grows dry as he clears his throat a little, pitching his voice more stably and not as a wheeze.

 

“It starts with his face, but it’s blur because I’m struggling to get out of his tight grip, yet he isn’t holding me, his dominance is, and I can feel it like it’s a pair of arm cuffs on my arms, just snatching a hold of me in a tight grip, not letting me move my arms up, down, or out in front of me.”

 

“I can hear the buzz of voices merging together in my ears, not yet understandable, but a growing buzz,” Yoongi continues, breathing in the comforting, stable, scent of the wolf listening to him. “Then my knees buckle, my ear hurts, and then the darkness comes, and so do the scents.”

 

“I can taste them like they are fresh on my tongue, the metallicness of blood, the dryness of dirt, the bitter sourness of fear. I can taste it because it’s so strong in the darkness, trapped, unable to go anywhere.”

 

Yoongi looks up to meet Jimin’s soft, encouraging, gaze. “From there, the nightmare becomes a loop of the same thing – suffocating on the taste of the scents locked in the darkness with me, the buzzing clearing and allowing their voices and words be heard, the echo of pain in my chest and back as they slice me open.”

 

“What are the voices saying?” Jimin asks gently, voice supportive.

 

Yoongi swallows, feels like his chest has shrunk since he can’t take in as much air as he normally can.

 

“A mix of wulften and non-wulften,” Yoongi says, hands squeezing the pillow. “Most of it I couldn’t understand since it was wulften commonly used in wild packs, but the wulften I understood….I wish I didn’t.”

 

Jimin makes a sound at that in understanding, gaze still attentive and soft. “What words did you know?”

 

Breta, skretamega, brud…detha,” Yoongi forces the dialectal words out, ignoring the way it makes his skin feel like its shrinking over his body as his heart pounds, tries to ignore the way the voices sounded as they spoke them.

 

Yoongi doesn’t know if Jimin meant to show it, but he does with the way his jaw ticks as he clenches down briefly, as if he’s locking his jaw, and the flare of anger that rushed through his brown and ice blue gaze.

 

“I mean, breta can be taken as harmless fun, but in the way they used it, they were intending it to mean, ‘whore’, namely for the government, and the humans,” Yoongi shrugs out, since that one doesn’t really affect him.

 

It’s the next one that affected him.

 

Skretmega means I’m a useless omega, a betrayer to my rank,” Yoongi continues tightly, “admittingly, I’ve only heard ‘skreta’ used at me, but I knew of ‘skretmega’. But I’ve never had it snarled at me fifty times while under the influence of dominance and unable to snarl back.”

 

“What would have you snarled back?” Jimin asks, unlocking his jaw enough to ask it in a soft tone that Yoongi is surprised he’s capable of achieving from how tightly he’d been clenching his jaw.

 

“Nothing that would change their mind, well, the asshole alpha’s mind.”

 

“Alphas that use dominance to subdue in order to inflict violence are the types of wolves that need that shield, that barrier to push down on another, because without it, they wouldn’t win, and winning is everything to those pathetic excuses of alphas,” Jimin says, trying to remain neutral and soft, but the more he talks, the more noticeable the alpha is really having trouble holding back his anger towards Yoongi’s attackers.

 

It’s surprisingly amusing to witness, to see this side of Jimin fight to emerge past the professionalism he’s trying hard to maintain as Yoongi’s Support.

 

It’s enough to take Yoongi’s mind from fixating on how much he detests that dialectal word, at how it tears down all of Yoongi’s attempts to prove that he’s more than his rank, at how it robs him of identity.

 

“True. If that alpha didn’t use his dominance, none of the wolves in that social pack would still be around. We were all victims to it, and he thrived off it,” Yoongi nods in agreement, thinking of what he can remember of the assignment details. “He killed the High Beta because she had alerted the Data Collector that abuse was happening, which brought me to their door.”

 

“If anything, he is a brud,” Jimin huffs out, expression hateful, that it makes Yoongi even more amused because he’s witnessing the collapse of Jimin’s professionalism, “bullies often lack confidence in their lives, so they manifest toxic control to make themselves feel confident.”

 

Yoongi recalls the way the alpha had been when they first interacted, at how threatened and insulted he was by interacting with Yoongi, a Monitor.

 

“I really hate the lack of safety that social packs sit in,” Yoongi sighs out, his mind branching off onto past assignments where he’s had to be on the receiving end of wolves taking insult based on Yoongi’s rank and job. “It’s too open.”

 

Jimin nods in agreement. “The few social packs I’ve been in were hits and misses. Wolves come and go whenever, and there are no set responsibilities. It’s too free. Some structure is needed for a safe environment to exist. Remove that structure, and chaos takes over.”

 

“You’ve just accurately described the problem that no one is willingly wanting to fix. The government is too focused on wild packs regressing further back into dangerous waters of traditional thinking.”

 

Jimin lets out a sigh at that, leaning back onto his hands. “Dretna is a mess, right now. We’re not going forward, but not yet going back. We’re just stuck.”

 

“I know that feeling. I feel like I’m just stuck, not improving, but not deteriorating enough for it to be a huge concern,” Yoongi grunts out, idly hitting the pillow. “I just want to move on, you know? I knew of the dangers my job has, and yet, my brain won’t stop reliving my assault.”

 

“Your mind takes time to heal, which can be frustrating,” Jimin reassures gently. “But, talking, sharing, can help the mind process it a little faster.”

 

“I don’t want to talk about my nightmares all the time, they get enough of my attention as it is,” Yoongi complains, hating how they make him feel so redundant, so trapped.

 

“You don’t need to go into detail every time if you don’t want to, but simply acknowledging when a nightmare happens out loud, can be therapeutic for your mind because you’re not trapping that awareness inside your mind, if that make sense?” Jimin suggests softly. “Think of your nightmares as the thick pulp from juice, and your mind is a straw. If you ignore the pulp, the straw becomes constrained, shrinking in on itself as it tries to move around the pulp. But, if you blow out the pulp instead of sucking it higher up the straw, the straw doesn’t become constrained. If you voice that you’ve had a night of nightmares, your mind can breathe a little more.”

 

“You could’ve just said it’s better to let it out, than to keep it locked in,” Yoongi teases softly, and hopes that the endearment swimming around in his chest is firmly locked in his chest, rather than escaping out into his voice.

 

Taehyung was right, Jimin is very attentive. Instead of being simple and pragmatic with his advice, Jimin seems to favour being descriptive and open, wanting to ensure that his advice can be understood as he intends it to be, instead of left open for interpretation.

 

“I could’ve,” Jimin teases back, not taking any offence, as he smiles at Yoongi. “But you get what I mean. I think your nightmares of entrapment could be your mind asking for you to just let it all out.”

 

Yoongi’s hands pause from their fiddling with the pillow at that.

 

In a way, it makes sense. This is the first time he’s been so explicitly descriptive with his nightmares, whereas he’s always been passive with describing them, almost closed off because he doesn’t want to relive them again, especially to asshole doctors that want to treat him like an omega, rather than as a fucking wolf.

 

Your mind can play cruel tricks on you in order to get a point across. Maybe Yoongi’s mind was trying to make its point of him just opening up more about his assault and nightmares, to free himself of locking it inside him, to allow himself to process it in a way his mind needs, and not what he thinks it needs.

 

“You could be onto something there,” Yoongi slowly admits as he stares at Jimin’s studying gaze since Yoongi had become silent and still.

 

“How about this, I want you to tell me when you have a nightmare – you don’t need to be detailed about it, but just a simple, ‘yo, I had a nightmare last night, pass me the salt’ or something along those lines,” Jimin grins as Yoongi starts to laugh at his example, “just to see if it helps with the mental pulp you have.”

 

“Mental pulp,” Yoongi repeats with amusement. “I’m not going to be able to look at pulp in the same way again now.”

 

“You’re welcome,” Jimin hums out as he leans for the pillows and blanket he brought, dragging them over in between them, “I think now will be the perfect chance for you to play around with nesting, just so you can form a habit of soothing yourself after experiencing a nightmare.”

 

Yoongi eyes the pile dubiously. “We’ll see if it becomes soothing.”

 

Jimin rolls his eyes playfully at his comment as he rises up onto his knees with Yoongi copying him.

 

“In that space, I want you to choose the size of your nest,” Jimin directs to the empty decking space in front of the stairs, “don’t think of a shape yet, just how wide and long you want it to be.”

 

“Well, my short ass doesn’t need a massively long nest, but I do like to sprawl out,” Yoongi says as he tries to picture a vague image of a nest in his head as he looks at the floor space.

 

“Why not lie down and do just that?” Jimin suggests simply, and Yoongi ignores the burn to his cheeks because, yeah, that would be the simpler way of trying to figure out his nest size.

 

Again, Yoongi is reminded that he’s severely lacking in this department because he didn’t even think of doing that earlier this morning.

 

Yoongi crawls out onto his stomach, arms and legs out in the way that he likes to sprawl out when he’s relaxing, eyeing up the distance past his fingers and sandals to see how much more space he wants.

 

“This big,” Yoongi says as he shoves himself to his knees, and leans to tap out four corners around him.

 

Jimin hands him four pillows. “Mark the four points you’ve just shown me.”

 

Yoongi does so, and looks back at the alpha once he’s done.

 

“Okay, so now that you have a rough nest space, you now need to decide what you want your nest to mainly consist of – only pillows of different thickness and shapes, just blankets that you can mould and layer, or a mix of both,” Jimin smiles as he explains to Yoongi.

 

“I have no idea,” Yoongi bluntly responds with, making the alpha laugh.

 

“What do you mainly sleep with?” Jimin reiterates.

 

Yoongi thinks of his den here, and his apartment back in the capital.

 

He doesn’t really sleep with a lot of pillows since he finds them too annoying when he’s sprawled out on his bed, and he can’t sleep with a blanket on him lately due to his night sweats.

 

“Erm, nothing?” Yoongi says, since he doesn’t curl around anything, doesn’t sleep with anything over him. “I just lie there and hope for the best in terms of sleeping.”

 

Jimin’s expression becomes thoughtful as he thinks through their options they have on hand.

 

“Since you’re so fresh to this, you haven’t developed a preference to what holds in the scent of comfort, so let’s start from the bottom – lying on top of blankets or pillows?” Jimin slowly says as he moves, turning so he can separate the pile of blankets and pillows.

 

“Blankets, it’s too hot to lie on pillows,” Yoongi answers easily enough, taking the offered blanket from the alpha.

 

“Do you like the idea of the blanket escaping over the four markers, or contained within?” Jimin asks as Yoongi unfold the blanket.

 

Yoongi has to stop breathing as it sends a plume of Jimin’s scent straight into his face, like it’s just fresh off the male’s bed.

 

His hands curl deeper into the material at the thought that the wolf has stripped his bedding area just to help Yoongi learn how to make a nest, his chest wriggling with a warmth at the possibility

 

Yoongi keeps quiet that his nest is going to smell of the alpha as a result as he positions the blanket to remain in the lines of the four pillows.

 

“Test it with your hand, see if you want another layer,” Jimin encourages softly, and Yoongi presses down, testing.

 

He can still feel the hardness of the decking floor, and pulls a face at it. “Maybe another.”

 

Jimin hands him a smaller one, one that looks to be a throw blanket, and Yoongi notes that it doesn’t smell as strongly of the alpha, confirming it to be an accent blanket.

 

Yoongi places it lengthways in the middle of his nest, finding the mix-match of loud colours and prints of both of the blankets not as jarring as you’d expect them to be.

 

They layer nicely, and Yoongi can’t help but wonder if the wolf’s den is a mix of colours and prints clashing nicely.

 

“Now you need to decide which is your access side,” Jimin hums, shifting his body so that he’s now sitting back on his butt.

 

“The left, since it’s closer to the stairs,” Yoongi answers, since he remembers that nest-building rule well – always have your access side open to the bedding area entrance so that you can come and go freely without disrupting the nest.

 

“Do you want to build up all three sides, or just a couple? If so, do you want to use the pillows or to roll up another blanket so it’s not as defining as a row of pillows can be?”

 

Yoongi glances at the last blanket, sees that it’s a smaller blanket to throw over something than to curl into.

 

Without speaking, Yoongi moves, reaching out for a pile of pillows as he begins to build a pillow wall to his right, using the bigger pillows as the main wall, and a few smaller ones to compliment it.

 

“If I had more pillows, I’d maybe do the top where my head would be, since I’d only kick the pillows at the bottom, even with the extra space,” Yoongi says as he lowers himself to sit on his knees in the middle of the nest, careful not to get dirt from his sandals in it, his gaze looking around him at the half-built nest.

 

Jimin – who is sitting outside the wall of pillows – smiles at his words. “See, you’re already figuring out what you’d prefer.”

 

Yoongi runs his hands over the base of his nest, tries not to think that he’s technically spreading a faint scent trail over it from the palm of his hands as he continues the soothing action of feeling the soft cotton.

 

“You can lie down, if you want,” Jimin encourages softly, chin resting on his palm, as he slouches comfortably with his elbows resting on his knees.

 

Yoongi really shouldn’t. Jimin’s scent is already stuck in his nose.

 

He really shouldn’t because he knows that his instinct is prodding at him about how compatible Jimin is, at how well they suit each other as potential mates.

 

Yoongi shouldn’t do anything to further encourage his instinct. He’s the one that decides if he should listen to the thing.

 

And yet, Yoongi eases himself onto his side, facing Jimin, his arms under his head to prop it up, as Jimin smiles down at him.

 

“How does it feel?” Jimin whispers softly, lowering his arms until they’re folded up on top of his knees, allowing him to rest his chin that way now.

 

“A little hard, but I’m surprisingly relaxed,” Yoongi teases, making the alpha’s smile grow softer, as does the wolf’s gaze.

 

“That’s good, Yoongi,” Jimin continues to whisper. “You look a lot more at ease now.”

 

“Could be because your scent is coating the nest,” Yoongi admits, knowing he shouldn’t admit it but wants to know how the wolf will react to his small confession of awareness.

 

He watches the surprise hit those brown and ice blue eyes, watches as it quickly morphs into trepidation as Jimin swallows slightly.

 

“I…didn’t think about when I upturned my bedding area,” Jimin admits politely, tone aiming for casualness, and almost succeeding if it wasn’t for the way Jimin’s body language is betraying him.

 

Yoongi can tell that the wolf is scenting the air, scenting at how both of their scents are mixing together from nest the longer Yoongi lies there.

 

“It’s a good thing that we both are receptive to each other’s scent,” Yoongi says, keeping his own voice light and causal as he touches upon what he knows of Jimin’s ability to catch his scent so easily.

 

Jimin swallows as he nods. “Not often a guest responds back to their Support’s scent, but it does make sessions a lot more beneficial,” Jimin says, and Yoongi can’t help but smile at the return of the wolf’s professionalism in the face of Yoongi trying to open up the topic.

 

“Does that happen often?”

 

Jimin slowly shakes his head. “Not really, but it’s not unheard of. It’s not the same reaction you’d get when a Zentt bond is triggered, or so I’ve heard.”

 

Yoongi raises an eyebrow at that. “Am I the first guest to respond to your own scent?”

 

Jimin nods, cheeks a little pink, his gaze a little evasive as he answers with, “the last time a wolf responded to my scent, I Zentt bonded to all five of them.”

 

“It’s a shame, I bet Taehyung and Jungkook would’ve been thrilled to know that we both felt a Zentt bond being triggered,” Yoongi huffs out in a light exhale as he slowly sits up as his arms start to grow numb.

 

“Would you have accepted a bond like that with me, a stranger?” Jimin asks, his expression curious.

 

Yoongi snorts softly at that. “You’re not exactly a stranger when you know about my fear of the dark, and helping me to overcome that.”

 

Jimin looks honestly surprised to hear Yoongi say so, as if he wasn’t expecting Yoongi to admit that he doesn’t view Jimin as a total stranger.

 

“Jungkook will confirm this if you ever ask him, but I don’t talk to other wolves if I have no interest in them,” Yoongi chuckles softly, watching the alpha’s surprise grow. “If I wanted to view you as a stranger, I’d be a lot less receptive to wanting your advice and company. Actually, if I viewed any of the pack members as strangers that I don’t have an interest in getting to know, I wouldn’t be joining pack meals.”

 

“Hoseok will be pleased to hear that you enjoy the pack’s company,” Jimin smiles, surprise ebbing away as a softness replaces it.

 

“But to answer your question properly, I wouldn’t have minded having a Zentt bond with you, Jimin. But, I also don’t need my instinct to tell me that you’re a wolf worth being around, either. I can see that you are.”

 

Jimin’s face is red, his eyes shocked again, as Yoongi reaches to dismantle the nest.

 

“You’re not so bad yourself,” the alpha responds with as he joins Yoongi in folding up the blankets, sending Yoongi a soft smile when he glances at the wolf.

 

Yoongi stops his instinct from taking that too deeply before it can curl around it with glee.

 

“Even though my scent only has one layer to it?” Yoongi teases as they both grab equal amounts of pillows between them.

 

“There is nothing wrong with your scent,” Jimin argues back, tone firm, and Yoongi doesn’t miss the subtle way the wolf holds his pillows and blankets closer to his body as if to prove that he doesn’t find Yoongi’s scent boring.

 

Yoongi wonders if the wolf is even aware that he’s done so.

 

So far, Yoongi has seen the moments where Jimin allows himself to be…him, instead of half of him that is shuttered behind the professionalism of being a Support.

 

Yoongi didn’t really have to see this with Taehyung due to them both having prior interactions before the beta became his Support, allowing them to be a lot freer and more open.

 

But with Jimin, Yoongi is learning about the male at the same time the wolf is learning about Yoongi, so the professional air that sometimes is present in their sessions can’t be helped because it’s obvious the alpha doesn’t want to accidently offend Yoongi.

 

Yoongi likes seeing Jimin be open with him, but he has a feeling that if he wants to see this more, Yoongi is going to have to lead it.

 

Jimin has mentioned a few times that his upbringing was restrictive, and Yoongi can see signs of that when they talk, as if the alpha is stopping himself from asking questions he’s curious about, or responding in a more natural way.

 

Yoongi doesn’t even find the silence that falls between them uncomfortable as Jimin leads the way back to the main building, their session coming to a natural end without either of them having to state it.

 

“I noticed your scent on our side yesterday,” Jimin brings up suddenly, and Yoongi glances at him as they walk side by side on the wooden walkway.

 

“Taehyung seems to think that just because I’m not his guest anymore and that I share a bond with him, that it means I can freely go over there,” Yoongi huffs out in amusement, “it felt like I was a pup again, skirting around places only for the adults.”

 

Jimin laughs at hearing that, sending Yoongi a fond, amused, look. “In case you weren’t aware this morning, Jin thinks so too. He’s turned off the air filter.”

 

Yoongi’s eyebrows raise at that. “Is that even legal?” He questions, since public communal spaces have to be air regulated from personal scents.

 

“Probably not,” Jimin huffs out, smiling. “But, it’s something that Jin or Hoseok do once the last guest leaves to allow us to have our own space together, where food can smell its richest, and where we can scent each other as a pack.”

 

“At least you don’t have to deep clean afterwards, the air filtration does it for you, huh?” Yoongi teases as Jimin reaches the frosted door first and opens it for him.

 

“Exactly, no one ever needs to know of laws being broken,” Jimin grins back, playing along.

 

“My lips are sealed,” Yoongi says before he mimes his lips being sealed shut by pressing them tightly together as Jimin eases the door shut behind them, both of them calling a greeting to Hoseok who is coming out of the laundry room with an empty basket, which reminds Yoongi of his own that needs doing.

 

Jimin giggles at his playfulness, and leads him to the glass sliding doors of the pack members side.

 

“You can just pile them on top of mine, I can carry them the rest of the way,” Jimin says, pausing as they reach the doors.

 

“Or you can just let Yoongi toddle after you,” Hoseok suggests with an amused look as he joins them at the door, sliding it open to leave first.

 

Yoongi notices the redness to Jimin’s cheeks at that, and also the way the alpha’s eyes have widened at the other wolf’s suggestion.

 

“You do realise that I’ll be breaking your rule of not entering that area,” Yoongi calls after the High Alpha that has paused on the deck to look back at them, and for the first time since being here, Yoongi is hit with the other wolf’s scent, chasing away Jimin’s scent that has taken up home in his senses.

 

Richness of plums and the softness of vanilla.

 

Yoongi gasps and drops the load in his arms as he presses a palm to his chest where a prickle of awareness has tickled from, and he knows by the look on Hoseok’s face that he isn’t the only one feeling it.

 

“Are you okay?” Jimin asks, tone alarmed, dropping his own load to the floor but doesn’t touch him even though he had been about to.

 

Hoseok blinks back at an equally stupefied Yoongi, both of them still reeling from their surprise and shock of a Zentt bond being triggered.

 

Yoongi feels a faint memory being pulled from the back of his mind as Hoseok turns to join them again.

 

 

“You’re the last wolf I felt connected to, and then I go to this island, and bam! I feel connected to all five of them,” Jungkook groans out, stressed, as he rubs his hands over his face.

 

“There’s nothing wrong with connecting to other wolves, Jungkook. It’s also okay to not do anything about it,” Yoongi says gently, “remember, your instinct is just that, and you don’t have to jump at everything it wants.”

 

“I know, but…it’s so rare for me to connect to one wolf, never mind five,” Jungkook rushes out, exasperated by his own response to the pack.

 

“Give yourself a chance to take this in, don’t go straight into anything, yeah?”

 

 

Is this karma paying Yoongi back for all of the years he’s spent not connecting to another wolf?

 

Is this karma really saying, ‘ha! You thought that Taehyung was pure luck?’, because how else will it explain the fact Yoongi has found two wolves that his instinct has decided they would be perfect for him to befriend and to count as an extension of pack members without being in an actual pack?

 

“Yeah, I’m good,” Yoongi answers the anxious-looking alpha beside him, sending him a reassuring smile, before looking back at Hoseok, “we’ve both just scented each other properly for the first time and a Zentt bond has been triggered.”

 

He can see Jimin’s jerk of surprise from out of the corner of his eye as Hoseok stands on the other side of the open door, grinning at Yoongi.

 

“I know we haven’t spoken much, and we both don’t have to listen to it, but you’ve bonded to some of my pack already, so I’m touched that our instincts share the same taste in choosing the best wolves to be connected to,” Hoseok says with a brightness to his gaze and tone, even though it makes Yoongi laugh at hearing the subtle bragging.

 

“You’re ridiculous, did you even hear what you just said?” Jimin groans from the side, looking amused and embarrassed at the same time as he bends to pick up his pile.

 

“I’ll let you know if you’re cool enough to connect to,” Yoongi grins back at the High Alpha, amused too.

 

“I’m plenty of cool, I’m letting you break my rules,” Hoseok winks as he turns to leave, leaving them both behind as he jogs down the steps and straight down the wooden walkway to the den that sits at the far end, in the middle of the others.

 

“You seriously don’t need to help me, I manged on my own to the deck,” Jimin rushes out as Yoongi bends to pick up his own mess, looking flustered, but not uncomfortable.

 

“And let you trip and possibly break an ankle down the steps? What kind of omega do you take me for?” Yoongi scoffs out jokingly as he nods for Jimin to take the lead again, even though he could probably find the wolf’s den just by tracking his scent.

 

Jimin practically catapults himself through the doors, red cheeks and ears highlighting the peak of how flustered he is.

 

It’s cute, and Yoongi’s chest feels like it’s bubbling with soft warmth as he trails after the wolf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimin is going to either have a heart attack or explode from how fast and hard his blood is pounding through his veins, making him hyperaware of the wolf behind him, the scent that is wafting up from the items in his arm, and the way his mouth becomes drier and drier the closer he takes them to his den.

 

If he knew that Yoongi was going to be seeing his den anytime soon, Jimin would’ve neatened the place up, slapped on a new layer of varnish to the wooden walls and floor to make it look warmly, and-

 

Why the fuck am I thinking like that, I’m not showing off my den to Yoongi, Jimin screeches in his mind as he holds onto the pillows and blankets for dear life as he climbs the steps of his den porch.

 

Jimin had tried to shut down the curious and eager part of him that wants to bond more with Yoongi during their session, but for the first time in his entire life, he kept fumbling, kept failing to keep that part shut away.

 

And instead of panicking about it, Jimin just…let it fumble from his control.

 

He was so focused on Yoongi, so focused on listening to him share something that he hasn’t voiced in detail, that Jimin couldn’t help but lower his own walls in response.

 

Their session today felt differently, felt more open, despite it being their second session together.

 

Yoongi allowed Jimin to guide him into the basics of nest building, allowed Jimin’s scent to be in it instead of denying it and the use of his materials, that it had caused Jimin’s chest to constrict with a tight warmth of something that Jimin refuses to admit to when neither of them have admitted to each other that they see each other as compatible mates.

 

And then Hoseok had to go and open up his big mouth and send all of Jimin’s chill out of the door.

 

“Since you’ve been in Tae’s and Jungkook’s den, you’ll see that the layouts are similar,” Jimin is amazed he managed to get that entire sentence out without choking on it as he walks into his den, since he had left the door open due to having his arms full.

 

Jimin heads for the small sofa he owns and dumps his pile onto it, whilst also checking the long curtain that divides the space into two for any hints of grim or dirt.

 

Yoongi adds his pile to the sofa, and the air in Jimin’s lungs lock inside them as he scents the immediate change in his den as it fills with Yoongi’s scent.

 

His sofa and bedding materials are gonna be full of the wolf’s scent for days, and Jimin doesn’t know how to mentally prepare for that, doesn’t know if he likes or hates the idea of removing it with neutraliser, and then wants to slap himself for thinking of keeping it in his den without the omega’s explicit consent.

 

“You can tell that you and Tae have wild pack upbringing,” Yoongi comments softly as he stands in the small living area, his gaze on the curtain.

 

Jimin glances at it again, once again hoping it looks clean to the wolf, glad that it hides the bareness of his bed because he stripped it almost clean as he responds with, “it was Jin’s idea to include the bedding curtains in the guest dens from his own experience of living in a wild birth pack.”

 

“I think when I return to the city that I may add it to my bedroom, to make the bed an actual bedding area, you know? It’s more soothing than I thought it would be,” Yoongi admits as he rubs the back of his neck, before that same hand runs up the back of his black straight hair, causing it to ruffle as he scratches at the back of his head.

 

Jimin has to force his gaze away before the wolf notices his non-blinking stare.

 

“Tae’s and Jungkook’s is more traditional since it closes around a bed, making it a true bedding area,” Jimin says, and cringes at how boring he sounds commenting on a fucking bedding area.

 

“Really?” Yoongi asks, his intrigue genuine, despite how mundane the topic is.

 

It takes a minute for Jimin to get over the fact that Yoongi isn’t just entertaining him and that he really does want to talk about this.

 

“You can take a seat if you want,” Jimin rushes out when he realises that they’re both just standing like statues in his living area.

 

Jimin waits until Yoongi is sitting down on the floor, in front of the open door so that the breeze hits his back, cooling him from the slight stuffiness these dens have during the summer, before joining him, sitting opposite the wolf.

 

The more the breezes flows through, the more Yoongi’s scent does too.

 

“The dens I stayed in whenever I was on assignment to a wild birth pack were a mix of standards, so I never really learnt what is the traditional way of how bedding areas are,” Yoongi continues, keeping the topic and conversation from dying as Jimin tried to find where to start.

 

“You’d be staying in a den that was purposely designed for outsiders,” Jimin hums out, casting his mind back to his own birth pack. “The dens are meant to be sparse, but not completely lacking identity since they still have to fit in with the rest of the dens in the pack grounds.”

 

“Oh they were sparse and tiny. Definitely felt like I wasn’t to stay longer than a few days,” Yoongi chuckles.

 

Jimin smiles at that because it’s true, they were built just to ensure that unspoken warning was felt.

 

“In family dens, curtains are always used to separate beds if there wasn’t enough space to build actual walls,” Jimin shares, thinking of his own family den, at how his parents had their own room, but he and his brother shared a room with curtains giving them privacy once they got older.

 

“In a den of your own, you decide if you want to be traditional with just dividing off the bedding area, or so be more modern and not use curtains,” Jimin continues, trying to remember of the dens he saw but never owned whilst he lived there.

 

“You don’t see or really hear the term ‘bedding area’ in the cities,” Yoongi admits, and Jimin isn’t surprised to hear that, considering city wolves live more of a human-influenced lifestyle. “Nor do you see curtains being used to divide space. They’re used just for windows, or for fancy nests if you own an expensive bed that you can them around it.”

 

“What does your apartment look like?” Jimin asks, heart racing, as he allows himself to be curious, to seek more personal details of how Yoongi lives his life outside of the support pack.

 

“It’s not big since I live in the capital, so rent is obscene for the small amount of space you get. It’s not as small as the guest dens are. My place has kitchen and living area that is open, a bathroom, and a bedroom,” Yoongi shares with him, patting his pockets before sighing, “if I had my phone on me, I could’ve showed you some pictures of my place since I’ve not long moved in it.”

 

“How come?” Jimin – again – can’t help himself from asking.

 

“My old place was being sold off by the landlord, so I had to move,” Yoongi shrugs a little. “It was a chore to pack and unpack again, but at least my new place has decent parking for my car without fear of it being vandalised.”

 

Jimin scrunches his nose at that. “So, the stories are true, living in the cities with humans opens you up to all kinds of mindless, pointless, violence?”

 

Yoongi nods. “A little. But doesn’t that also happen in wild birth packs?”

 

“Vandalism?” Jimin checks, and Yoongi nods. “No. Well, only if a courtship has gone really sour and emotions are running high.”

 

Yoongi smirks at that. “Oh?”

 

“I haven’t experienced it personally, but I did see a fair bit of it during Courting Sun, especially amongst the wolfs just leaving puphood,” Jimin huffs out in a small laugh, remembering the angst of early adolescence he saw.

 

“Growing up and living in the city, we don’t really follow the wulften calendar,” Yoongi says as he leans back onto his hands, looking relaxed in Jimin’s space.

 

Jimin isn’t surprised to hear that, but it still does make him a little shocked to know that some of their calendar days aren’t celebrated.

 

“It’s mainly the dating ones that we don’t really celebrate in the cities,” Yoongi continues. “I mean, we know of them – Beckoning Bloom, Courting Sun, only really happens in schools since that’s where you learn more of how courting used to be like in the old days.”

 

Jimin has only unpleasant memories of both of those celebratory days, remembers how he would be approached to complete a dare, to have a taste of what it would be like to be courted by a wolf of Jimin’s lacking beauty standards.

 

“How did your birth pack celebrate them?” Yoongi asks, curious, and Jimin almost wishes he didn’t because he doesn’t want Yoongi to pity him – or Lura forbid, think the same as those did in his birth pack.

 

Beckoning Bloom was always the most anticipated. You’d see all ranks crafting, hunting, to produce the best courtship gift, especially the younger wolves that were just starting to become interested in courting,” Jimin reveals, moving to sit with his knees up so that he can wrap his arms around them. “Everyone would become secretive and busy during that time period, keeping their gifts and their intended wolf’s identity a secret to themselves until one brave wolf would start the chain of offering their gift to another, and the rest would follow.”

 

Beckoning Bloom is full of nervous excitement, whereas Courting Sun is full of tension – will my courtship offer be accepted or rejected? Will I have to wait another year to find a wolf that views me worthy of being their partner? Who amongst my peers has succeeded, and how am I going to face their ridicule of failing to impress another wolf?” Jimin lists blandly, memories bright in his mind of the official time period where wolves decided if they were dating or not.

 

“All of that sounds like too much stress and anxiety,” Yoongi says with a pulled expression of discomfort. “I thought high school was stressful trying to avoid stupid gifts left on your desk, I can’t imagine how it would be to live in that environment with no breathing space from it.”

 

“It does become suffocating, wolves fixated too much on the same monotonous pattern they grow up seeing – grow up, learn about your rank responsibilities, become the desired wolf to match your rank, become desirable enough to be dateable, date long enough to move into a den together, have pups, maybe mate to seal the process,” Jimin mumbles out as he plays the with frayed hem of his shorts that barely cover his knees.

 

And looks up when he’s met with silence.

 

“Sounds pretty suffocating,” Yoongi agrees softly, his brown and green gaze holding Jimin, reading him in a way that Jimin keeps forgetting about the wolf’s job background.

 

He’s just not used to someone having an interest in him, and it took him years with living in this pack to become familiar to having friends, to having bonds that shares comfort and security.

 

“City-living is suffocating too, in a way,” Yoongi suddenly shares, further holding Jimin with his attention, “you have to decide if it’s more beneficial for you to live like a human, or to find a balance of living like a wolf in such a busy, contrasting, space. You either conform to human standards of pursuing life, relationships, and work, or you spend the rest of your life trying to figure out how to juggle what it means to be a wolf living in a very non-traditional environment.”

 

“You either conform to the standard you’re born into, or you become isolated trying to find your own way of living,” Jimin smiles sadly.

 

“Unless you’re born as an island wolf, then you’re already seen as an oddity,” Yoongi huffs out the main stereotype island wolves have – oddities.

 

“And yet, they are the wolves that are the most happiest, the ones that have a large number of Supports emerging from, and the ones that accept both living styles,” Jimin notes fondly, still not accustomed to how life really is out here on the islands, compared to how it is on the mainland.

 

“Must be the sea air, helps clear out the mind, stops wolves from going nuts,” Yoongi jokes, smiling, and Jimin smiles back at it.

 

“If you’d like, I can show you the Vellgee Pack, and Velli Pack, tomorrow during your first run on the island?” Jimin offers as his heart nervously skips a few beats.

 

Yoongi straightens at the mention of the two birth packs on the island. “I thought Sundays are your day off from supporting?”

 

Jimin hopes that his cheeks don’t betray him when he answers with, “they are. I’m not asking you as your Support, but as a friend.”

 

He doesn’t know which is more devastating – seeing Yoongi blush like that, or the way Jimin’s heart flutters helplessly in his chest at seeing it.

 

“Sure, sounds fun,” Yoongi accepts with a shy smile, one that Jimin returns.

 

Now that is out in the open, Jimin just has to ignore the rapid fire of thoughts flying around his skull about Yoongi’s wolf form.

 

In his birth pack, Jimin only ever went running with his family for fun, or when he was on patrol.

 

In the years he spent wandering after being banished from it, he only ever ran alone, never comfortable to run with those he met in the different social packs he stumbled upon.

 

It’s only since he became part of this pack, three-ish years ago, that Jimin grew to appreciate a good run with another wolf, to feel the rush of exhilaration it gives you to play with another, to just be wolves.

 

He can’t wait to teach the same thing to Yoongi.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner had been more about Yoongi being bombarded with his instinct responding to not just Hoseok’s scent, but also Namjoon’s and Jin’s.

 

Namjoon’s earthy, mint, scent was semi-familiar due to Yoongi managing to catch his scent that morning he encountered Mira, but he wasn’t sure at the time if he was responding to Namjoon or Jimin’s scent with the little tug of awareness.

 

However, being sat around a table, being able to scent everything so damn clearly, had been a shock to his senses.

 

He wasn’t used to so many personal scents in one place after going almost the entire week being around a forced neutral barrier, and he was just relieved that Namjoon and Jin took it in good strides when all three of them froze when Yoongi stepped into the kitchen for dinner, all three of them scenting each other’s scent clearly for the first time.

 

Yoongi had went to bed that night with Jungkook’s amused whisper of, ‘now you’re having a taste of what I felt when I first came here – bam! How is the chest feeling?’¸ floating around his skull as he tried to come to terms with the fact that karma indeed was having fun with him.

 

Because, why else would he be responding to the pull to connect to everyone – bar, Jimin – with a Zentt bond.

 

Karma not only had allowed an alpha to force him into submission in order to slow his ass down and get away from work and mainland bullshit, but also decided to drop him into the laps of four wolves that his instinct believes he’d step into a fire to protect them, knowing they’d to the same for him. 

 

Needless to say that Yoongi only managed to get a few hours of sleep.

 

But, instead of doing what he usually does when he wakes up disturbed from his sleep, Yoongi tried to make an attempt to nest – not fully, but enough for his mind to seep away from nightmares, to focus on making his bedding area a little more inviting.

 

It helped distract him, but not enough from the stench of his fear-laced sweat.

 

But it’s progress, progress that Yoongi hasn’t made since he woke up in the hospital after being assaulted.

 

It made his chest grow a little tight at the accomplished feeling swirling in it, made him smile in the shower.

 

Sure, he still had some nightmares, but he managed to calm himself down in a more therapeutic way than what he’d normally do.

 

Progress is progress, no matter how small.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi wonders if the nerves fluttering in his stomach are from him not shifting in months, or from him shifting with Jimin.

 

“How have you spent your day?” Jimin asks as he presses a button that is the same as the one in the jeep’s dashboard, but one that he had retrieved from the office before he had led Yoongi out through the frosted front door, and both of them watch the gate open to let them leave the pack grounds.

 

“Being lazy, watching random movies on Netflix,” Yoongi admits as they both walk down the road that leads to the pack, “you?”

 

“I slept a lot longer than I usually do,” Jimin admits with a sheepish laugh as he presses the button again for the gate to shut behind them.

 

“I’m just glad my den has a high ceiling to allow air to circulate, otherwise I’d be melting every night in the bedding area,” Yoongi says as he follows Jimin’s direction as they step away from the road and into the thick of the forest that is all around them.

 

“Last night was really muggy, and when the weather is like how it’s going to become next week, it makes moving around the last thing on your mind,” Jimin whines in a huff, making Yoongi smile, since he hasn’t heard the male be like this.

 

It’s endearingly cute.

 

“Oh, before I forget to tell you – I sorta made a nest this morning when I woke up from my nightmares, and it surprisingly felt decent,” Yoongi shares, keeping to his promise of communicating out loud when he’s had a nightmare, but also wanting to share his progress to the wolf that helped him learn how to nest again.

 

The look that the alpha sends him can only be described as pure happiness as Jimin grins at him, causing his eyes to crinkle cutely too.

 

“Next you’re going to tell me that you have this awesome nest and that you’re sleeping like a pup in it,” Jimin teases warmly, gently bumping their shoulders together, which is easy to do since they’re near enough the same height.

 

Yoongi smiles as he returns the little bump. “That’s the goal.”

 

“A goal you’ll achieve in no time,” Jimin hums out, believing it a hundred percent as he smiles at Yoongi. “You’re already on your way there.”

 

“Speaking of being on the way to something, where are we going exactly?” Yoongi questions curiously, since the forest hasn’t really changed in scenery.

 

Everything is vibrant with the growth of summer, with scents that are crisp and full of richness that you can only ever smell when you’re out in the wilds of nature, allowing that deeper part of your gut feeling to soak it all in, and enjoy it.

 

“We have a clothing box just up ahead for the pack, we’ll undress there and shift. There is plenty of foliage to undress behind as well,” Jimin adds, and Yoongi feels a little of relief spread through him at that.

 

Another downside of being brought up in the city, living mainly like a human, is that you’re a lot more self-conscious of that part of shifting – being naked first.

 

It’s probably one of the reasons why Yoongi always put off going for a solo run, the rest being that he’d had have to drive himself to a decently sized park in the city, one that was for the purpose of wolves having a run, or drive himself out of the city to have a run that lasted for longer than thirty minutes.

 

Living in nature, the impulse to shift is a lot easier because your home is already in nature.

 

Yoongi has always been a little envious of that ease.

 

They come up to a slight open space amongst the trees, not a true clearing, but an area where the trees are more spaced out than they have been on their walk through the forest, and Yoongi spies a cupboard fixed to a wooden post, and like the alpha said, plenty of bushes to undress behind and shift.

 

“I’m a quick shifter, so I’ll be done before you, so don’t rush through your shift. Take your time, savour the stretch,” Jimin smiles at him as he heads for the left bushes, and Yoongi nods as he hurries over to the right where the bushes are a lot denser than the ones Jimin has disappeared behind.

 

He’s shifted with Jungkook before, the only difference between now and then is that the parks in the city had changing cabins where you undressed and shifted in a stall that can be opened and locked with a foot pedal lock, making it easy to access in wolf form.

 

But, even that was very clinical, and nothing like what Yoongi is doing now as he strips down to his bare skin, folding his clothing neatly, trying to push away the nervous excitement of shifting for the first time in months.

 

Once he’s on his hands and knees, Yoongi breathes like that for a solid minute as he focuses on emptying his mind so that his body can focus on releasing tension in this form, and shifting him into his wolf form.

 

Admittingly, if he did this often enough he’d be able to pull the shift forward faster, but since he is a little out of practise – like how it always feels when you ride a bike for the first time in years, unsure if you’re going to actually be successful or fall on your face – shifting in to his pure black pelt of his wolf form takes a moment.

 

Yoongi has never had any feelings towards his wolf form, since you can’t change your wolf form, not like how you can cosmetically change or enhance your neutral human form, so it felt pointless for him to worry about if his black fur was dull or glossy, or if his coat was too thick or too sleek.

 

But, he has memories of Jungkook always hitting the gym, hoping it’ll help bulk him more in his wolf form, always trying to push against the limitations of being born and raised in a city environment.

 

Jungkook had always been self-conscious of his size and mass due to his rank, but he too never payed attention to if his black and tinted brown fur was pretty or not.

 

Biting down on the clothing he had neatly folded, Yoongi leaves his sandals behind as he moves from behind the bush, stretching his body that way as he moves.

 

And almost feels his jaw hang loosely as he sees Jimin in his wolf form, watching as the alpha stands up on his hind legs, front paws on the shelf inside the clothing box as he nudges his clothing in more with his nose.

 

Jimin’s fur is black too, but unlike Yoongi’s one-tone coat, the alpha has an almost marbled underbelly of grey and white, a hidden contrast that can’t easily be seen as Jimin drops back down onto four paws, shaking his body to right his fur that moves in soft waves, the male’s natural wave present in this form too.

 

The alpha looks so soft and mesmerising, Yoongi almost stands still, completely stunned.

 

Yoongi swallows around the clothes in his mouth as he meets piercing ice blue, the colour standing out even more in the male’s brown and blue eyes against the blackness of his fur.

 

And if it was possible, the wolf’s scent has climbed to new heights of potency.

 

Yoongi wouldn’t be too shocked if he returned back to his den later, scent drunk again.

 

How was it?” Jimin questions, and Yoongi’s ears perk up at the accented deep rasp in his huff, a pitch lower than Yoongi is used to hearing with Jungkook and his family members, completely taken off guard at how the wolf’s accent carries through into this form too.

 

Yoongi heads for the clothing box, and copies what he saw the alpha do with his clothes as he dumps them half on, half off the wolf’s pile of clothes.

 

Jarring,” Yoongi answers back with a huff as he drops back onto his paws, wondering if he sounds any different to the wolf, or if he’s used to hearing different accents in wolf form too.

 

Jimin’s tail wags, his gaze light, almost playful, as he stretches down into a bow, stretching out his belly and front paws.

 

“Stretch first. We’re going to be running a lot,” Jimin tells him, before reversing his bow so that he can stretch his back legs and back as he thrusts his chest high and up.

 

Yoongi can’t take his eyes off the alpha as he follows the wolf’s stretches, feeling his muscles remain tight and coiled, a sign he’s let his shift be put off for too long.

 

He’s not going to be able to walk properly tomorrow, his entire body will ache, and he only has himself to blame for it.

 

Jimin must notice his stiffness as he stretches because his gaze becomes concerned as he pads closer to Yoongi’s stretching form.

 

“How tight does it feel?” Jimin questions, his gaze assessing, as Yoongi grunts through a stretch, hearing his hip joints click more into place.

 

“I’m going to be walking like an old man tomorrow,” Yoongi groans out as he stands up properly, still not feeling like he’s one hundred percent in his wolf skin due to the tightness that is cuffing his joints into limited movement.

 

“I’ll just take you to the clearing first, and if you feel that you can, I’ll show you the outskirts of Pack Velli.”

 

Yoongi dips his head up and down in agreement as he stretches his neck from side to side, hoping to ease the tension free.

 

“If it becomes too painful, let me know and we’ll turn back,” Jimin huffs, gaze soft, but firm, as he turns to take the lead.

 

“Lead the way. I’ll be fine once we start moving,” Yoongi huffs back in reassurance, his mind still too focused on his body than the environment he’s in and the natural way he should be relaxing right now as his wolf instinct enjoys the freedom, the connection, of being in wolf form.

 

Slowly, Yoongi’s mind does slip from being hyperaware of the way his joints ache as they warm up and click further into place as he walks behind Jimin’s trail, to how the alpha moves fluidly, his tail idly wagging with every paw forward he takes as his own inner wolf instinct is sated with being out to relax and breathe.

 

Yoongi knows the moment that he’s truly relaxed because he gets the urge to play with the alpha, to see how Jimin would react if Yoongi teasingly dived for his hind legs, if he tried to snuff at his tail to see if the other wolf is sensitive there as some wolves can be.

 

And with Jimin’s scent firmly wrapped around his nose, Yoongi acts on the urge as his instinct takes the lead.

 

Jimin is so startled by the teasing brush of Yoongi’s muzzle at the back of his legs that he almost nearly kicks Yoongi in the face as he turns and jerks, stumbling over his legs like a new-born fawn, before crash-landing onto his side.

 

“Dramatic,” Yoongi teases down at him, his tail wagging with fond amusement, as Jimin gawps up at him, his eyes wide with his surprise.

 

“Excuse me for being surprised, I thought it was snake or something,” Jimin barks softly, rushing to his paws again.

 

Yoongi freezes at the mention of the reptiles.

 

“There are snakes on this island?” Yoongi growls out quietly, casting his gaze slowly around them.

 

Jimin’s tail begins to wag again at Yoongi’s body language. “A few.”

 

Yoongi turns tail and heads back the way they had come, ignoring the bark of amusement from the following alpha that runs to cut ahead of him.

 

“They’re harmless, you don’t need to worry,” Jimin huffs out reassuringly, his gaze still amused and soft.

 

“I was brought up with scary bedtime stories of snakes swallowing you whole in your sleep, and you want me to play out here with them? No thank you.”

 

“That’s a mean bedtime story, but I mean it when I say that you don’t need to worry. They’re not even big, just grass sn-Yoongi!” Jimin laughs with a sharp bark as Yoongi darts past him at that.

 

Before they both realise it, this becomes their game.

 

Yoongi trying to outrun the alpha that keeps blocking him off from escaping the area they keep circling in.

 

Really, Yoongi doesn’t have a huge fear of them, he just doesn’t like the way they look or the fact he can’t scent them as clearly due to them being cold-blooded.

 

But, a part of him is secretly thrilled with the attention he’s getting from Jimin as they both bark and play.

 

And the thrill only grows when Jimin butts his body against Yoongi’s in chase, trying to herd him back, both of them having gotten a lot closer than both of them were expecting.

 

The first graze of the alpha’s fur against his own causes Yoongi’s nose to be hit with the joint scent of cedarwood peony musk.

 

And it smells good.

 

Both of them freeze, still pressed close, their eyes wide as both of them breathe in how their scents mix the longer that they remain grazing against each other’s sides.

 

Your wolf form is your freedom of expression, let it express, and not be clouded by pressing thoughts of doubt.

 

Old words from one of Yoongi’s mother’s many books floats through his head the longer he and Jimin remain watching each other, both being obvious in their inhales as they scent the air.

 

Yoongi moves first, tapping lightly with his muzzle underneath Jimin’s lower jaw, heart racing slightly.

 

Jimin makes a questioning sound, head tilting slightly, as he lowers his muzzle to lightly rub against Yoongi’s own.

 

Somewhere, deep in his chest, opens with a flood of urgency to prolong this, to explore something that both of them have been toeing around in their human forms, hiding behind their words, their own unsurety.

 

Yoongi is the one that initiates the nuzzle, pressing the side of his face lightly against Jimin’s, a soft sound being made in the back of his throat, a sound he hasn’t made before, but feels it release in this moment as he pulls his face back to study the other.

 

The sound seems to draw Jimin in as he nuzzles Yoongi back, an answering sound slipping from the alpha as he presses closer to Yoongi.

 

As sudden as the urgency appeared, it fades just as quickly, but instead of feeling mortified at openly scenting Jimin, Yoongi feels his tail wag, his body still relaxed, as Jimin looks just as appeased with their soft scenting nuzzle.

 

Scenting holds so many social layers, but sometimes, a good old nuzzle is all that you really need to show when you feel content in another’s company.

 

And Yoongi really does feel content in Jimin’s company, has done for a while now.

 

It’s why he’s able to talk so freely with the other wolf, why he’s been able to grow this….thing…..between them, despite the confusion of what that thing between them really means.

 

Are they just compatible mates, or are they mates brought together by a Mayt bond?

 

Yoongi doesn’t know, but in this moment, he’d be lying if he were to say that being mated to a wolf like Jimin would be a terrible thing to happen to him.

 

Jimin is soft, understanding, funny, and carries a strength that allows him to be the wolf he is today, and not this hollow echo of a wolf due to how he was neglected and treated in his birth pack.

 

Jimin is defiant, just like how Yoongi is too.

 

Maybe that’s why they get along so well too.

 

They just complement each other, just like how their scents do.

 

“You ready to see the island?” Jimin huffs quietly, almost tenderly, his accent just adding to the tender tone.

 

Yoongi wags his tail in answer, gently nudging the other with his body to take the lead.

 

“But if I see a hint of a snake, I’m leaving you behind,” Yoongi playfully warns as they move again.

 

Jimin’s wagging tail shows his amusement more than a laugh ever could’ve done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the time they get back to the clothing box after running through the stunning meadow clearing that lies between the support pack and the Velli pack (that Yoongi had gotten a brief glimpse of when Jimin took him as close as his aching paws could allow) Yoongi is in a severe need of a cold shower to get rid of the sweat, and also a nap.

 

He isn’t the only one grimacing as he appears around the bush, Jimin is too as he pulls at his t-shirt, stopping it from sticking to his sensitive skin.

 

“I love shifting, but I hate this part,” Jimin grumbles as they leave the area, walking side by side each other.

 

Yoongi nods in agreement, fanning himself with his hand, feeling like he’s suffocating in his own skin.

 

“But, it was worth it. The island really is as beautiful Jungkook would always brag about it being,” Yoongi shares as he wishes he had packed more cotton clothing, instead of heavy clothing like the several pairs of jeans and shorts he brought.

 

“Once you build your stamina up again, we can go on longer runs, that’s if you want to run with me again, of course,” Jimin rushes the last part out, and it only makes Yoongi more aware of the subtle change in the air between them, at the less of space that now remains between their bodies as they walk.

 

“I wouldn’t have scented you if I was sick of your company,” Yoongi huffs out pointedly, amused, as he glances at the wolf beside him.

 

A fast look of relief flies over Jimin’s face, before a glow of soft happiness appears as he smiles at Yoongi.

 

“I’m not used to non-pack wolves scenting me, or even wanting to play, but I liked what we did today,” Jimin admits softly, and the air between them becomes smaller, wrapping around them almost in a secluded bubble as they just focus on each other.

 

“Same. It was nice just being…free, without overthinking,” Yoongi admits too, chest once again feeling that spark of urgency.

 

Jimin smiles in agreement, and the look in the wolf’s eyes makes Yoongi’s chest thump.

 

For the first time since meeting, Yoongi can read the tell-tale signs of attraction coming from Jimin.

 

He can see it in the way the wolf keeps inhaling his scent, the way he looks at Yoongi as if he’s the most fascinating thing around him, and the way his body keeps angling towards Yoongi, their hands always flirting with touching.

 

For the first time since meeting Jimin, Yoongi can feel his own attraction to the wolf bleed out from him.

 

He’s always appraised the other wolf for being attractive, but now, now Yoongi knows he’s showing it as he mirrors Jimin’s own interest.

 

He isn’t surprised when he notices that his and Jimin’s scent have become stronger.

 

Throwing your scent at someone is the key sign of interest being shown, and both of them are responding to each other’s.

 

Nerves and little tickles of excitement grow in his stomach, as does the feeling of slight feeling of taboo.

 

Jimin is his Support, after all. Neither of them should be showing signs of attraction to each other.

 

But, both of them were aware of this thing between them when they started this.

 

And, just maybe, both of them were hoping it would develop like this.

 

Yoongi is starting to suspect that maybe he was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi sees Jimin a lot sooner than he thought he would after both of them parted ways this afternoon.

 

But, then again, whereas Yoongi had looked like he was in dire need of a nap, Jimin looked to be radiating energy after their run together.

 

So, while he isn’t surprised at seeing the wolf so active still, what he is surprised with is to see the alpha standing outside his den door, just before dinner.

 

“Did I disturb you?” Jimin questions sheepishly as he stands a respectful distance from the front door as Yoongi stares down at him in mute surprise.

 

Yoongi has only been lazing on the sofa after his shower, body feeling like wet noodles, as he air-dried, before he convinced his aching body to get dressed.

 

Which is a good thing, because he’d still be naked now and completely flustered from trying to dress in a rush with the alpha outside his door.

 

“Not really, what’s up?” Yoongi asks as he fiddles with the curtains next to him, making sure that they’re pushed aside and not in any danger of getting caught in the open door.

 

Jimin shifts, and Yoongi stills as his gaze drops down to the box in Jimin’s hand.

 

For one, long, passing thought, Yoongi saw the box and his immediate reactive thought was that it was a Beckoning gift.

 

But it isn’t. It’s a light bulb box.

 

Their conversation from the other day comes soaring to his focus as he quickly meets Jimin’s almost shy, hesitant, gaze.

 

“You remembered,” Yoongi states dumbly, which causes the alpha in front of him to shift on his feet as he shrugs his shoulders a little, aiming for casual and failing, because Yoongi is becoming so used to reading Jimin’s body language now, and he knows that the alpha displays more nervous, reactive, energy around him specifically.

 

“I got it yesterday, but forgot to give you it when you left my den,” Jimin explains, still standing on Yoongi’s doorstep with his hand stretched out, holding the box.

 

If any of the members were to look out of the windows from the main building, they’d be getting one entertaining show.

 

Yoongi pushes open his door and steps aside, “come on in.”

 

Jimin’s gaze goes from shy to completely startled and a little panicky. “You’re letting me come into your den?”

 

Yoongi nods, unfazed with what it’ll result in.

 

He’s so used to Jimin’s scent now, it has started to become a strange feeling when he doesn’t scent it.

 

“You coming in or no? You’re letting in the bugs,” Yoongi teases, easing the tension from the alpha’s shoulders as Jimin steps up into his den.

 

Yoongi leaves the door open a little, enough to stop bugs from flying in, but not fully shut so that he doesn’t close the alpha inside.

 

“You want some water?” Yoongi calls, aiming to further ease Jimin into uncharted waters by normalising this, despite the fact that it’s a probably a big deal for a guest to willingly allow a Support into their private bubble.

 

Jimin shakes his head, fiddling with the box. “I’m good, thanks.”

 

“You’re lucky that my nightmares weren’t too bad last night, otherwise all you’d be able to smell is coffee and oats,” Yoongi continues to lighten the mood, hoping it’s relaxing the still slightly tense wolf, even as he becomes painfully aware of how Jimin’s scent is once again mixing in with his own, making the den feel a little more comforting with the joint scent.

 

Yoongi had a little taste of it yesterday when he was sitting in Jimin’s den, at how their scents wove together inside the smaller space, at how much it calmed him.

 

Now because of them both scenting each other earlier, Yoongi feels that calmness tenfold.

 

“If you want, I can change the lightbulb, or you can do it, since that would mean going into your bedding area,” Jimin begins to ramble, his face becoming more and more flustered as he does so.

 

It’s ridiculously cute, that Yoongi can’t help but smile. “Breathe, Jimin. I don’t mind you going back there, just don’t laugh at my mediocre nest, and we’ll be fine.”

 

“I wouldn’t do that, even if it was,” Jimin firmly promises, taking it a little deeper than Yoongi meant for his teasing to be taken.

 

It causes Yoongi to feel a little flushed this time as he watches and trails behind Jimin towards his bedding area.

 

But when he sees Jimin kneeling onto his bed, respectfully moving around and leaning as far as he dares to over the mess that is Yoongi’s nesting attempt, Yoongi’s mouth and throat feel dry as his chest swells with a slow thump of warmth hitting all corners of his chest cavity.

 

“You can dismantle it if it’s in your way, I don’t mind,” Yoongi says as he leans against the wall where the curtain isn’t fixed back on, watching the delicate way Jimin is moving on the bed as he slowly unscrews the lightbulb from the light, the box down beside his knees.

 

“It’s fine, I can reach it,” Jimin huffs out from the effort of leaning and holding his body in that position over his nest, one hand supporting him on the wall at the back of the bedding area, the other slowly screwing the bulb free.

 

Yoongi decides that he’s not fine with it, his chest filling fast with a squirming sensation amidst the warmth, and yanks his nest towards him, out of Jimin’s path of access, and effectively startles the alpha in the process.

 

“Why did you-”

 

“I’m going to redo it, anyway,” Yoongi cuts over the sudden panic he can hear in the alpha’s voice as Jimin gawps at him, watching as Yoongi shoves the pillows and duvet into the far corner away from both of them.

 

“I was managing,” Jimin huffs, tone fond, and maybe even a little snarky?

 

Yoongi is interested in hearing more of that tone.

 

“You looked like you were one second away from face-planting into it,” he teases, baiting the male on purpose as he leans his shoulder back against the wall.

 

“Was not, I was in perfect control,” Jimin snorts back, and Yoongi grins because he’s hearing more of that little snark, seeing more of Jimin’s personality emerge from behind the uncertainty and nervousness from earlier.

 

“Oh? With the way you were stretching, it looked like a simple breeze could undo you.”

 

“I own muscles for a reason,” Jimin retorts as he unscrews the light free, completely missing Yoongi’s little smirk.

 

“I mean, your arms are thick, but I haven’t seen the rest of you to comment,” Yoongi lightly says, being mindful to keep this sudden new area between them light and teasing so that he doesn’t make the alpha uncomfortable with the flirtish behaviour Yoongi is testing out.

 

It’s a good thing that there is bed underneath Jimin because he fumbles with the lightbulb and drops it as he snaps his gaze to look at Yoongi, stunned.

 

“What? It’s true. Your arms show off how hard you work at your job,” Yoongi says in light of the alpha’s sudden gaze, watching as the surprise falls away to a brief – but very interesting – look of heat, before settling onto playful determination.

 

Yoongi knows a challenging look when he sees one, and is curious at how Jimin is going to play.

 

“You sound like you wanna touch them,” Jimin huffs with a soft laugh, looking down at the bed so that he can peel open the box, tipping it so that the new lightbulb slides out.

 

“You sound like you want me to touch them,” Yoongi retorts back a lot stronger and blunter than he meant to, and the way Jimin freezes, head still down, Yoongi is regretting it.

 

But, before he can do damage control, Jimin speaks first as he peers up, looking at Yoongi through a slight curtain of his black, wavy, hair, as it falls forward still.

 

Piercing ice blue and brown eyes kick him hard in the gut where a curl of excitement sparks.

 

“If I asked, would you?”

 

That curl of excitement sparks again, hotter.

 

“If you didn’t ask, would you still let me?” Yoongi murmurs back, too conscious of the way the air hangs in his bedding area, of how still, thick, it is with their scents again.

 

Jimin is the one to break the thick air as he leans for the lamp, fixing the new lightbulb in it.

 

Yoongi almost believes that is the end of it, Jimin’s answer left unspoken, when the alpha responds with, “you should try it and find out.”

 

Yoongi catches his own scent as it spikes in answer, watches the way Jimin’s hands pause as he visibly inhales, before forcing his hands to continue screwing in the lightbulb.

 

Neither of them speak after that, but both know just what the other is thinking, their scent gives them away.

 

There is no discomfort, just a heavy awareness of attraction and heat that is slowly kindling between them as they dip their toes over the line that they’ve both been dancing behind.

 

Yoongi knew before his nose did that he was attracted to Jimin, and he wonders if that was the same for Jimin, or if the guidance from his instinct drawing them together like magnets was first.

 

“There we go, a warmer light for you to sleep with,” Jimin beams as he turns it on, showing off the difference in tone, and Yoongi has to agree with the wolf, this lightbulb is a lot less harsh than the previous one.

 

“I don’t think I’ll have any trouble falling asleep tonight, you have my legs feeling like they’re noodles,” Yoongi huffs with a small laugh as he watches as Jimin turns off the light, and turns around on his hands and knees to come to the edge of the bed.

 

But seeing the wolf crawl on his bed like that, highlighting the male’s tensed arms as he braces his weight, the way his t-shirt dips down, allowing a sneak of a peek down through the male’s toned chest, has Yoongi’s skin burning up.

 

He never had a type when it came to dating, since whenever he did have the time and the energy to open himself up to the dating world again, it never went past a few dates, or a few tumbles in beds he can’t recall the names of.

 

His relationships always felt flat, forced, as if he was just filling up time until they or himself were tired of it.

 

But, as he listens to Jimin talking as he heads back for the front door, enjoying the way the wolf’s accent has started coming out a lot more now compared to before when they first met, and taking in the way the wolf just makes him feel relaxed, as if he doesn’t have to force anything into the engagement, makes Yoongi wonder.

 

Maybe he never had a type because he doesn’t have one.

 

If the supposed moon and sun destined him to have Jimin as his mate, then it makes sense why all of his past relations have failed, and why he feels at ease being around Jimin, technically someone that is still a stranger to him.

 

The question is, is Yoongi really going to start believing in something that he’s always scoffed at, the supposed magic of wolfkind, all because he feels close and comfortable to Jimin and is slightly hooked on his scent?

 

When Jimin turns and waves goodbye at Yoongi with a soft, ‘see you at dinner, Yoongi’, Yoongi feels his chest pinch slightly.

 

The subtle ache of longing soon follows, and Yoongi lets out a shaky exhale as he shuts the door, pressing his head against the cool glass.

 

He can’t ignore it any longer.

 

His instinct won’t let him, his nose won’t let him.

 

Yoongi grabs the door handle, ready to yank it open to call after the alpha, but pauses when he sees Jimin being yanked into a side hug by Namjoon who is coming from his garden.

 

Yoongi watches the two as they interact, at how comfortable Jimin is in the arms of another omega, and feels his hand tighten on the door handle.

 

Shame soon floods through him at his pathetic reaction, ignoring the way his instinct is still and flat, as if it is studying the two wolves for Yoongi, despite him knowing they’re pack members with a Zentt bond, and the fact that Namjoon has feelings towards Hoseok.

 

But, his reaction further proves the truth, the brief curl of envy hard to swallow as Yoongi is faced with more facts.

 

He’s attracted to Jimin.

 

And he’s responding to the wolf in a way a mate would do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner is the same as usual – the pack members make enough noise without Yoongi feeling like he needs to force a topic to happen, but easily laughs his way into one whenever a discussion becomes over the top.

 

It’s actually nice to eat a meal with them and be able to breathe in their scents too, it makes it less clinical and much more of a wholesome pack-like feeling, and Yoongi comments on it.

 

“Ideally, we’d want our communal area to be like how it is outside of the cities, where scents aren’t banished, but we can’t always predict how a guest will react to a heavily scented area. They are here to escape all of that, after all,” Jin leads the discussion as he pauses between mouthfuls of homemade beef burgers, the meal so tasty, Yoongi would’ve spent a small fortune for it back in the capital.

 

“Most of our guests are from the cities, so they’re a lot more….” Jin trails off, trying to find the word, and Yoongi smirks from around his own burger as he supplies the wolf with, “finicky?”

 

It causes Jungkook to snort back his laugh.

 

“I guess that is one way of describing how city wolves are,” Jungkook comments as he reaches for a second burger for both himself and Taehyung, who has barely finished his first one.

 

“I was going to say, ‘sheltered’, because most of the issues we help them overcome are directly from the environment they live in – stress, anxiety, are our two most common issues we help our guests work through,” Jin hums out as he cheeks a mouthful of his burger.

 

“Most are sheltered in the manner of not knowing how to embrace their wolf instincts, so when those come knocking and they get overwhelmed, most doctors nowadays send city wolves straight to a support pack on the islands to help them learn how to be a wolf again,” Hoseok says as he fills up Yoongi’s glass of water. “Unless you’re a city wolf like yourself or Jungkook, who is far from sheltered due to your work.”

 

“It’s easy to forget that most wolves don’t live like us – travelling to a vast variety of packs, not putting roots down, flirting with danger,” Jungkook admits, and Yoongi nods in agreement because it’s true, he often forgets that not all wolves live the lifestyle they do, or did in Jungkook’s case.

 

“Says the wolf that no longer does all of that,” Yoongi snorts out as he elbows his friend playfully.

 

“Says the wolf that hates his job but is too lazy to find another,” Jungkook snorts back, returning the playful jab to his side.

 

“I’ve been doing it for nearly ten years, it’s all I know,” Yoongi shrugs, biting in to his burger.

 

“So? Do what the humans do – uproot your life and make a new one,” Jungkook retorts with, and Yoongi knows the alpha is being half playful and half serious now.

 

He was wondering how long Jungkook would remain idle and keep his mouth quiet about Yoongi quitting being a Monitor. The alpha had shown a stressed reaction when Yoongi first told him of his promotion.

 

“You’re missing the part of, ‘I don’t know nothing else but sticking my nose into other wolves’ business’,” Yoongi retorts back with a mouthful.

 

“You’re only thirty, not eighty, you can easily learn a new trade.”

 

“Maybe I don’t want to?”

 

“Maybe you should, considering that shit is only going to get more violent,” Jungkook grunts back, and with the wolf’s comment, the light, humourful, air in the floor pit drops to a still, tense, moment as Yoongi and Jungkook stare each other down.

 

“Shit is getting more violent, which is why we need more numbers now,” Yoongi manages to keep the growl out of his voice, tries to push down his instinct of taking offence from an alpha that thinks he’s too weak to do his job.

 

Jungkook isn’t like that, and Yoongi knows it, but it sure does annoy the fuck out of his omega instinct to be spoken to like he’s a delicate flower.

 

But, before Jungkook can respond, another wolf does.

 

“Yoongi is aware of the dangers his job faces, he doesn’t need to be reminded,” Jimin intervenes with a gentle, but firm, tone, and Yoongi quickly glances at the alpha sat beside him, sees the male’s gaze the exact same as his tone.

 

“I think he does need the reminder. No offence, Jimin, but Yoongi has a really bad habit of not taking his own safety into account when this fucking job is concerned, so sometimes I do have to be the bad wolf,” Jungkook says thickly, and Yoongi glances back in time to see Taehyung calmly patting the alpha’s hands that are still holding his burger back down to his plate.

 

Taehyung’s gaze is a mix of what Jungkook’s own is – fierce with protection and frustration – and what Jimin’s own had been – gentle firmness.

 

But, Taehyung doesn’t speak up, whereas Jimin continues to do so as Yoongi has to grind his teeth back the urge to hiss at his own best friend.

 

“You’re allowed to be worried over a friend, but if Yoongi wants to continue his job, then that is his choice, Jungkook. His.”

 

“How can you say that with a straight face, huh?” Jungkook growls out, and the scent of rising honeydew hits Yoongi’s nose just as Taehyung rests a hand down onto the back of Jungkook’s nape.

 

“Not the place or time, love, breathe,” Taehyung tuts, tone light, but reprimanding, as he turns Jungkook’s gaze from Yoongi and Jimin, to face him, “tell your instinct to pipe down and it’s not needed for this, yeah?”

 

“I’m going to say this once, and once only, so listen up, Jungkook,” Yoongi grinds out, still pushing down the urge to hiss at his best friend, both of them fighting against their instinctive reactions brought on in the height of the tense moment.

 

“I love you as a brother, but you don’t rule my life choices. You have to learn to respect them, even if you don’t agree with them.”

 

“And if you can’t do that now that I have been assaulted, then maybe we should part ways, our Zentt bond ignored,” Yoongi adds the last part with a sharp pain in his chest, the bond he has with Jungkook pulling harshly in denial as does the way Jungkook’s terrified expression whips around to face him.

 

Yoongi puts his hand up to stop the alpha from reaching out to him, ignores the pain building in his chest at the sheen that builds over Jungkook’s panicking gaze.

 

“Think on it, Jungkook. Really, think on it. This is an argument between us that is only going to happen more so now that I have been assaulted, and I’m not going to allow it to become another cycle I can’t break away from. My nightmares do that enough.”

 

Yoongi pushes himself up to his feet, nodding his head at the silent, observing, pack members in goodbye, as he shoves his feet into his sandals, and leaves the dinner early, his stomach too knotted to even touch his half-eaten food now.

 

Yoongi doesn’t want to push Jungkook away, he doesn’t want to feel the way he’ll miss and long for the little brother he gained through a Zentt bond, but he doesn’t want to have this argument all the time, to constantly go in circles.

 

His time in the support pack is teaching him that cycles that affect you negatively need to be broken, no matter how hard it is to admit it that they do, and Yoongi wants this to stop before it can become a cycle of upset between himself and Jungkook.

 

Yoongi doesn’t even know himself if he’s going to feel comfortable out on assignment again, but he knows he needs to try it before he can decide properly.

 

Maybe then, Jungkook will get what wishes for Yoongi – a safe job, away from the assholes Yoongi would encounter on a frequent basis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi waits until he sees no sign of the pack members sitting in the floor pit from his den windows before he leaves with his basket of dirty laundry.

 

He is in dire need of clean clothes, and even though he’d like to coop himself up in his den for the rest of the night after his argument with Jungkook, his dirty basket demands to be emptied.

 

Yoongi is quick to load up the machine, and as it begins the wash cycle, Yoongi is left with forty minutes of waiting time to ponder his next moves.

 

The communal area is deserted of wolves, the kitchen clean with just plates air drying on the draining rack.

 

Yoongi leaves the laundry room and grabs a towel from the rack on the wall, and proceeds to dry the remaining cutlery.

 

He knows most of where everything goes from when he helped Jimin earlier in the week, so it doesn’t take him long to finish.

 

A quick look at his phone tells him that he’s only successfully used up ten minutes of his waiting time by slowly drying and putting away the cutlery.

 

Groaning to himself, Yoongi retreats back to the laundry room where the loudness of the washing machine is amplified in the small space, hikes himself up onto sitting on the countertop, and unlocks his phone.

 

He may as well try and beat his brother’s score on the trivia game they play together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All he wanted was a sweet snack, his sweet tooth kicking in after having such a savoury dinner, so Jimin honestly wasn’t expecting to see Yoongi again today.

 

Instead of going to the fruit bowl where he had planned on getting an apple, Jimin’s feet take him straight past it, and towards the laundry room where the dull thud of the dryer is coming from.

 

“Smart idea of doing a load now. The next few days are going to be non-stop washing for Namjoon and Hoseok as they clean their guest dens,” Jimin greets the omega with a soft voice, leaning against the door frame, and smiles at the little jump Yoongi makes at the sound of his voice from where he sits on the countertop.

 

“Is that what you came to do too?” Yoongi questions as he puts his phone down beside him, giving Jimin his full attention.

 

Jimin shakes his head. “I came for an apple.”

 

“You walked right past them,” Yoongi deadpans in a teasing tone, grinning.

 

“It would’ve been rude of me to ignore you,” Jimin says as his cheeks turn warm, ignoring them.

 

“I’d have let you off the hook, we’ve seen each other a fair few times today,” Yoongi chuckles, his legs swinging a little as they dangle down.

 

And yet, Jimin’s chest still aches with wanting to see the wolf some more.

 

It had been hard to walk away from Yoongi’s den, to leave the way their scents just melded together so comfortingly.

 

Jimin has had a taste of how it feels to have Yoongi’s scent rubbed onto him, to have their scents complement each other, that he was a little sour about it before dinner when he noticed that he couldn’t catch Yoongi’s scent on him anymore from their run earlier.

 

“Do you want an apple?” Jimin questions, using it as an excuse to put some breathing space between him and the wolf that his instinct keeps whining at him to shower with affection and attention.

 

Yoongi nods his head, and Jimin leaves to quickly retrieve two apples.

 

And if he spends an extra minute making sure that Yoongi has the reddest one, then no one needs to know.

 

“Hop on up if you can,” Yoongi teases as he accepts the apple from him.

 

“Oh, we’re that close now that you can crack the height jokes?” Jimin laughs out as he effortlessly joins Yoongi up onto the countertop, sitting beside him as the dryer drones on in the background.

 

“We’re the same height, I think that gives me fair rights, no?” Yoongi smirks back before he bites into his apple.

 

Jimin only bites into his own once he’s heard a hum of approval from the omega, satisfied that Yoongi likes the one he picked for him.

 

“Have you been in here the entire time?” Jimin asks, and Yoongi nods as he crunches down into another bite of his apple.

 

“Figured that if I went back to my den, I’d be too lazy to come and get my stuff, you know?” Yoongi says as he cheeks his mouthful of apple so that he can speak.

 

“You could’ve just watched the TV, you know? It’s out there waiting to be used,” Jimin huffs in amusement.

 

“I didn’t feel fully comfortable just mooching around in here on my own, so sitting out there on my own as a no-no,” Yoongi says with a shrug.

 

“Is this because of what happened at dinner?” Jimin asks gently, bringing it up first, since the omega left before Jimin could get a read on how Yoongi took the entire argument.

 

They all know how Jungkook took it once Yoongi left. Jimin’s chest was tight with every tear the alpha quietly sobbed out as he tried to explain his anger and how it wasn’t directed at the wolf, but at how helpless Jungkook feels.

 

It was an emotional dinner, one that ended with Taehyung cradling the alpha to him as he led them out after Jungkook had listened to the older wolves’ opinion and advice on how to move forwards with Yoongi.

 

None of them wanted to see Jungkook and Yoongi fall out, but like Yoongi had said, it isn’t healthy of them to form a cycle of arguing with each other about something that only Yoongi has control over, not Jungkook.

 

“Not really, I just feel strange making myself at home in a communal area,” Yoongi answers honestly, “but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t affected by what happened during the dinner.”

 

“It sounded like a frequent argument between you two.”

 

“It is, and now because of my assault, it’s only going to become more hurtful if it gets brought up every time in an argument.”

 

Jimin nods in agreement. “Jungkook loves you, as you love him, but you both need to be understanding of each other’s view,” he says gently.

 

“I know, and I do understand where he’s coming from because I’d be exactly the same if the roles were switched, but at the same time, I wouldn’t always use it against him, and sometimes it can feel like that whenever we get into it,” Yoongi admits, and Jimin watches the way the wolf breathes a little uneasy as they discuss their argument, the residue frustration and anger flickering through the male’s brown and green eyes as he looks at his apple, fiddling with it.

 

“I think you’ve made him aware of that tonight,” Jimin murmurs softly, his hand itching to run through Yoongi’s straight, black, hair, to tuck it behind his ears, to press his nose along his jaw in a comforting nuzzle.

 

“I hope so. He means a lot to me, and it’d suck if we had to cut each out of our lives over the sake of what I do for a living.”

 

With what they spoke about with the younger alpha tonight, and how distraught Jungkook had been, Jimin doesn’t think what Yoongi has said will come true.

 

“Thanks for speaking up, even though you didn’t have to, I still appreciate it,” Yoongi says suddenly as Jimin takes another bite into his apple.

 

Jimin quickly chews, ignoring the amusement in Yoongi’s face as he watches.

 

“I didn’t speak for you, but I also couldn’t just sit and remain silent. It felt….wrong,” Jimin admits slowly of the crawling sensation that had wormed tightly around his chest and throat, at how he’d been unable to remain silent, at how his instinct didn’t want Jimin to be silent too.

 

“Wrong?” Yoongi questions, curious, and also a bit tightly, and Jimin rushes to clarify in case Yoongi thinks of him as an asshole alpha that insists on speaking for omegas.

 

“I don’t like seeing a wolf cornered, especially if that wolf is you.”

 

“Why? Because I’m your guest? Does it wrongly rub your instinct as a Support?”

 

“No, because…” Jimin trails off, stomach a knot of sudden nerves as he and Yoongi stare at each other, “because you’re someone that my instinct sees as a compatible mate.”

 

There. He’s said it.

 

He’s said it out loud, and despite his stomach being a knot of nerves, admitting the connection he has towards Yoongi is freeing.

 

“I honestly expected myself to be the one to bring it up,” Yoongi says, causing Jimin to stare in mute surprise because he wasn’t expecting the conversation to turn into this with Yoongi’s response.

 

“I’m surprised that you’re taking this so…chill,” Jimin blurts out, and Yoongi’s laughs.

 

“If we started this conversation a few days ago, I would’ve still been in the denial phase.”

 

Jimin feels himself relax at hearing that. “Good to know that we both were stuck in a phase. Mine felt more like I was in a, ‘what does this mean’ phase.”

 

“The internet helped me uncover why I could smell you so easily once I scented you, and from then on, I was denying the possibility of you being a compatible mate, despite the glaringly obvious signs,” Yoongi chuckles out, both of their apples forgotten in their hands now as they focus on each other.

 

Jimin recalls the moment where Yoongi caught his scent the first time, at how aback it took his breath, and feels his cheeks warm as a small curl of happiness opens up in his chest.

 

“I caught your scent the day before that. I saw you down at the dock, and the wind was blowing your scent at me. I damn near shattered the glass door from how hard I yanked it shut behind me,” Jimin reveals his own moment with a soft laugh, and Yoongi’s gaze sparkles with amusement too.

 

“We both had dramatic reactions, a growing theme, wouldn’t you say, huh?” Yoongi teases as he nudges their shoulders together.

 

Jimin’s shoulder tingles at the brief contact, his chest aching to open up more of this affectionate behaviour between them.

 

But then the logical part of his brain stops the happy warmth that is flowing through him as he remembers a crucial key factor.

 

He’s Yoongi’s Support.

 

“I…know that I said that I would be your Support so that you can focus on your Zentt bond with Taehyung, but, I don’t think it’d be professional of me to remain as your Support if you were open to us courting – that’s if you were even thinking along those lines. I’m just trying to say that-” Jimin wants to sew his mouth shut as he panics rambles as Yoongi raises a dark eyebrow at him.

 

“Breathe, and rewind. You actually are interested in me? You. You’re not just being led by your instinct?” Yoongi questions, his gaze studying Jimin’s once again nervous form.

 

“Yes. The moment I met you, you had me intimidated and flustered because you’re….you,” Jimin helplessly explains the first impression he has of Yoongi, of the their first dinner together during Yoongi’s first day in the pack.

 

He had made Jimin feel like his eyes were being opened as he took in Yoongi’s carefree, honest, mannerisms, the way the wolf was not yet fully comfortable being around the pack members but wanting to at least try to be comfortable and engaged with them, the way he and Jungkook interacted as if they were blooded brothers.

 

Yoongi stole Jimin’s concentration and had him lost for balance as he tried to hide how curious he was about their latest guest.

 

He didn’t want to be too curious and ask a lot of questions, he didn’t want to make Yoongi uncomfortable with his attention, so he maintained the professional distance he’s used to having with guests.

 

“When I first saw you, all that came to mind was how soft you looked,” Yoongi reveals, and Jimin’s face ignites on fire with shyness and delight. “I couldn’t understand how such a good-looking alpha was able to leave his birth pack without a load of Beckoning gifts thrown at him.”

 

Jimin’s shyness vanishes as he kneejerks in response to the mention of how his birth pack saw him far from attractive, and Yoongi immediately notices.

 

“I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable,” Yoongi rushes out, and Jimin shakes his head in denial.

 

“I wasn’t considered attractive in my birth pack – I’m too short, not muscular as the other alphas – so I guess that is still a subject I’m not fully used to discussing,” Jimin rushes out, reassuring the wolf that it wasn’t Yoongi that brought on the discomfort, but a residue from how he was treated in his birth pack.

 

Yoongi’s scent spikes a little as his face turns into an annoyed, angry, scowl. “I fucking hate how wild packs fixate on shit like that.”

 

Jimin nods slowly in agreement. “Me too. Fucked up my head for years, and I’m only just getting used to not belittling myself from the opinions of how others raised me or treated me in that pack.”

 

“Well, let me state for the record – you are attractive, and if I were in your birth pack, I’d be breaking the social rules just to show that,” Yoongi sniffs out, a slight growl to his voice, before he bites into his apple roughly, as if he can bite into the wolves that always showed repulsion to Jimin whenever they weren’t acting on dares to bed him.

 

Jimin will not deny the way it settles his heart to hear that from Yoongi, because it really does.

 

The pack members have always told Jimin that he’s handsome, good-looking, cute, but to hear it come from Yoongi, it just hits differently.

 

“If you were in my birth pack, you’d be shunned for it,” Jimin plays, finding it comfortable to play with the mentions of it with Yoongi now.

 

Yoongi scoffs at that around another bite of his apple, chewing as he says, “wouldn’t the first time I’ve been shunned for breaking the rules.”

 

Jimin smiles into his own bite at hearing that because he can picture it so easily in his head, Yoongi ignoring the gossiping whispers, the looks of disgust and pity as he courted Jimin.

 

Jimin refrains from sharing his own tale of rule breaking, not wanting to chase Yoongi away when they’ve just broke down a wall of unsaid words between them.

 

“But, I’ll respect your role as being my Support. I promise to not flirt with you for as long as you’re my Support,” Yoongi hums out as he bites into the core of the apple, sending Jimin a warm smile.

 

Jimin returns the smile, and even though a part of him wants to explore this new open land of flirting, courting, Yoongi, he also really means it when he promised Yoongi that he wants to give the wolf’s recovery the attention it deserves.

 

He’s went all of his life being denied a chance of courting another wolf, at least this time Jimin is the one denying himself for a small period of time of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearing a gentle knock on his den door, Hoseok pauses in making himself his morning tea to stare at the wolf’s profile he can see through the glass on either side of his door.

 

Putting the kettle down on the stove, Hoseok makes his way to his door, and opens it to welcome the unexpected wolf gracing his porch at seven in the morning.

 

“If you’re looking for Jimin’s den, his is that one,” Hoseok says slowly, pointing the den out to the omega that has its curtains open since Jimin will be up and around attending his chores, as Yoongi ignores his pointing.

 

The wolf’s expression is of one of firm decisiveness, a wolf that has firmly made his mind up about something, and refuses to be swayed.

 

Hoseok knows the look well, since Namjoon has perfected this look whenever he comes to Hoseok about purchasing something for the garden.

 

“You’re the wolf that I need to have a word with,” Yoongi says with all the carefreeness that his entire body language is radiating.

 

Hoseok steps aside, “come on in, then.”

 

Yoongi closes the door slightly, not fully, and Hoseok goes back to his stove.

 

“Tea?” He asks the wolf, and Yoongi pulls a face, making him laugh softly.

 

“I don’t want to take up much of your time, but I want to request an early discharge.”

 

Hoseok almost scalds himself with hot water as he hastily puts down the kettle to snap his attention back to the wolf.

 

“May I ask why?” Hoseok questions in an instant, worry rising, because Yoongi is a guest, but also because of the pull of awareness they both have of Zentt bond that has been triggered.

 

“I can’t court Jimin whilst he’s my Support, we both agreed that it’s not ideal, so it makes sense for me to discharge myself,” Yoongi shrugs, still looking so at ease, Hoseok’s mind is struggling to not only take in the fact that both Jimin and Yoongi are aware of each other’s potentials as mates, but also at how blasé Yoongi is about ending his recovering with them in order to pursue it.

 

“I can’t authorise an early discharge on the grounds of you wanting to court Jimin, especially not after a week of treatment,” Hoseok explains as he turns to face the omega fully. “Your boss was pretty adamant on the four week stay with us.”

 

“I can still stay, just not as a guest,” Yoongi retorts with not a full question, but a hint of it.

 

Hoseok runs his hand through his messy hair, not yet brushed. “You’re here to recover, Yoongi, not to flirt and chase tail.”

 

Yoongi smirks at his description. “Considering that I was mainly sent here for my nightmares, Jimin has already taught me coping methods of dealing with a bout of nightmares, and also the possible route of lessening them by talking about them more, which I can do anywhere without being a guest.”

 

“In the eyes of the law, a week of sessions is not enough for me to clear an early discharge, not on the grounds of what you’re telling me.”

 

Yoongi arches a black eyebrow at that. “I’m telling you that I can’t see any further use of treatment that doesn’t recycle what I’ve already been taught, and you’re denying my opinion?”

 

Hoseok feels the back of his neck prickle at the omega’s assertive tone, feels his throat tighten as a lick of nerves flush through him.

 

He doesn’t mean to come across that way, but the law is the law, and he can’t just discharge Yoongi after a week when the standard stay is two.

 

The second week is there in case of issues surrounding the treatment taught to the guest.

 

“Red tape ties my hands with this, Yoongi, even if I want to, I can’t, unless you behaved in a way that forced an early release,” Hoseok sighs out, and Yoongi nods silently, expression thoughtful.

 

“You could just lie,” Yoongi bluntly states, and Hoseok stares at the wolf.

 

“Lie?”

 

Yoongi nods. “Lie. Lie about me being a guest for the two weeks on paper, but in reality, I’m not.”

 

Hoseok continues to stare at the older wolf in front of him.

 

“You aren’t due a Data Collection Visit, are you?” Yoongi questions, and Hoseok shakes his head, “then the Boards won’t have a clue that I’m not receiving treatment when the papers say that I am.”

 

“You’re wanting to break the law to court Jimin,” Hoseok deadpans, because surely, the wolf is aware of the implications if the Board were ever to hear this happen – a guest not being a guest, but posing as one until they can be discharged – both Hoseok and Yoongi would be severely reprimanded with Hoseok being blacklisted from being a Support and Yoongi facing a criminal charge for lying on official papers.

 

“What the law doesn’t know, won’t hurt it,” Yoongi shrugs in response. “I’m hardly causing chaos by breaking a rule that says I shouldn’t remain in a support pack when I’m not an official guest. The Board has bigger wolves to deal with than little me.”

 

The wolf has a solid point….

 

“The next selection meeting we have is next week,” Hoseok says slowly, hinting, and Yoongi catches it with a smile.

 

“Looks like you can sign my early release under the citation of, ‘doesn’t play well with other guests’.”

 

Hoseok smiles back as excitement builds.

 

After everything Jimin has been taught as a pup, what he was exposed to, Yoongi is a perfect match to guide Jimin into fully accepting that he’s more than what he was brought up thinking.

 

Yoongi is daring and unapologetic in how he comes across, what you see is what you get with the wolf, and while Jimin does have his own daring moments, he is often apologetic for being himself.

 

“I’ll write up the early release,” Hoseok says as he approaches the wolf.

 

“Looks like I’m not the only one willing to break a few laws for the alpha, either,” Yoongi teases as they shake hands on it.

 

Hoseok grins at the tease. “Some laws are worth breaking.”

 

“I’ve ignored my instinct for a week, I think it’s time I start entertaining it and allow myself to see if we really are compatible, and to test that in person, rather than through distance after I leave.”

 

“I think you both owe yourselves that chance to explore,” Hoseok murmurs, endeared by Yoongi’s openness.

 

Yoongi hums in agreement as he heads for the partially open door. “Keep it quiet, yeah? I want to be the one to tell Jimin. Until then, everything continues as it has been. I’ll continue my sessions with Jimin until I can offer him a Beckoning gift.”

 

Hoseok nods. “I won’t say anything to anyone.”

 

Yoongi dips his head in thanks, and steps out of his den, leaving behind his cedarwood scent.

 

Hoseok lets out a soft exhale.

 

Well, he wasn’t expecting this to drop onto his lap when he woke up this morning.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the first time in his life, Yoongi is following wolf tradition.

 

He’s never gave another wolf a Beckoning gift because as an adult wolf living in the city, that is more juvenile behaviour you see in schools.

 

So, here is he, phone in hand as he waits for the wolf on the other end to answer.

 

“I think this is the earliest you’ve ever called me,” comes his mother’s surprised voice.

 

Well, her surprise is about to skyrocket when he asks her what he’s about to.

 

“What kind of Beckoning gift do you give to a wolf that your instinct dictates is a compatible mate?” Yoongi asks without tiptoeing around it.

 

The shocked choking of an inhale sounds accurate as Yoongi waits for his mother to recover as he sits on the roof of his den, lazing in the early morning sun.

 

“You leave for a week and all of a sudden you’re calling me up about mating?!” his mother’s voice is still part shocked, but also part shrill with exploding glee.

 

She did used to hustle Yoongi’s ass to settle down and give her grandpups, and then she gave up when Yoongi took on the mantle as Monitor, further cementing himself into an endless routine of work, work, and work.

 

“Not mating, ma, courting,” Yoongi corrects patiently, as he watches the waves lap up at the dock.

 

“If your instinct has decided a wolf is a fitting mate, you practically are going to mate,” she retorts back with, thankfully calming a little, but not completely. “Wow, just wait until I tell your brother.”

 

Yoongi snorts at that. “He’ll be mad that he may about to lose that bet you two are shameless about having. He always said that I wouldn’t ever settle down.”

 

“A mother knows her pups well. I always knew you’d mate, you’re a secret romantic at heart, Yoongi.”

 

Yoongi laughs. All of his past romances have been far from being worthy of that title, but he’ll let his mother believe in what she wants to believe.

 

“Hmm, since this is your first Beckoning gift, do you want to go full traditional and make it yourself, or go modern and buy it?” His mother questions, and Yoongi smiles at the familiar tone of Mama Min getting down to the nitty-gritty of business.

 

“He’s a wild wolf that was fed toxic beauty standards from his birth pack, so I want my gift to be of even more proof that he’s worthy of being courted, you know?” Yoongi admits softly, listening to the soft sound of his mother’s breathing. “I just don’t know where to begin in showing that.”

 

“Has he told you what the most common gifts were given in his birth pack? They’re usually wooden ornaments, handmade blankets, anything that is long lasting, because a gift that can stand the test of time also tells the receiving wolf of how serious the intended wolf is in pursuing them. Food, flowers, they have short lives, so they’re seen as an indicator of a short courtship.”

 

Yoongi wishes he was taking notes as he attentively listens to his mother.

 

“You said he was from a wild birth pack? The majority of gifts would be wood-based, since it’s an easy material to have access to,” his mother adds on, tone musing.

 

“I failed art in high school, ma. How am I meant to make a wooden ornament that doesn’t look like a jaggered piece of wood,” Yoongi grunts out, feeling the beginnings of nervous stress collect in his gut.

 

“It’s the thought that counts, Yoongi. If what you said is true, then he’s probably never received an honest gift, yes? I’m sure the wolf will be more focused on you giving him a gift, rather than what it looks like.”

 

“He’s the support pack’s woodcutter,” Yoongi deadpans, and his mother’s silence confirms that just maybe impressing Jimin with his wood skills will be met with some level of critique.

 

“Why not ask him to teach you how to handle wood?” His mother suggests suddenly, and Yoongi blinks at it. “That way you can learn a few tips to apply to making something.”

 

Maybe his mother is onto something.

 

“I can also look at the port shops, see if they have wood glue or something easy to work with,” Yoongi muses to himself, mind already plotting on a trip to the port to see what they have on offer.

 

“And if you need anything shipped, I can send it to you by express courier,” his mother offers, excitement once again creeping back into her tone.

 

Yoongi rolls his eyes fondly at that. “I’ll let you know, ma.”

 

“I’m really happy that you’ve become interested in a wolf, Yoongi. Life is more than working, after all,” his mother says softly, and Yoongi breathes through the slightly guiltily tug in his chest at hearing her say it.

 

His mother has hustled his ass to find someone and settle down, but she always did it because she hated how his life had become so built around a job. She would always tell him and his brother not to become copies of her and their father, wolves that became glued to work, work that can very easily replace you, and not to kill yourself in trying remain glued to a career.

 

His mother and father separated when Yoongi and his brother were older pups, a separation that was due to both of them trying to juggle being parents, partners, and successful workers in their jobs.

 

The latter ultimately killed their relationship, since it was the key factor that both were unwillingly to step back from, at the time.

 

Don’t live like the humans do, Yoongi. Don’t live how me and your mother lived. Don’t let a job tie you down, his father would often tell him whenever they would catch up, a mantra that had become background noise whenever his father brought it up.

 

“Let da know for me, yeah? He’ll be ecstatic to know that I’m showing an interesting in something other than work,” Yoongi chuckles softly, hears his mother snort with her own.

 

“I shall. Now, go and learn how to woo your man.”

 

Yoongi hangs up with another roll of his eyes, and knows that later in the day he’ll probably be bombarded with texts from his father and also his brother, who will probably complain about him losing the bet with their mother.

 

Catching the scent of peony in the air, Yoongi pockets his phone into his jeans, and sits up to track the scent direction.

 

He sees Jimin wandering from out of the far skirts of the pack grounds, beyond where the garden is fenced in, and smiles to himself when the alpha’s body language shifts as his head lifts up and towards the direction Yoongi’s den is.

 

Yoongi can’t see the male’s face from this distance, but he can bet his life savings that Jimin is smiling just like Yoongi is at how attune they are to each other’s scent now as they both wave at each other.

 

Yoongi stands up as Jimin begins to head his way, deciding to meet the wolf halfway as he leaves his roof deck, and walks up the wooden pathway that connects to the main one.

 

“How come you were out there?” Yoongi calls as he shades his eyes with his hand so that he isn’t squinting through the warm rays of the sun.

 

“Checking the trees that sit alongside the fencing,” Jimin calls back, the wolf dressed fittingly for the approaching heatwave – cotton shorts that show off a lot of the wolf’s tanned skin, and a white cotton shirt that is unbuttoned slightly to allow it to be baggy around the male’s chest.

 

Yoongi feels even hotter as he stands in his jeans and plain white t-shirt.

 

“Why?” Yoongi asks, as the male hops up onto the wooden path that leads from the den he’s just passed.

 

“Just monitoring the growth of the branches and making sure they’re not a hazard to the fence,” Jimin grins as he joins Yoongi, “no offence, but you may want to take a pair of scissors to your jeans soon. It’s going to get hot.”

 

“Sounds like a fucking good idea, I’m already sweating my ass off,” Yoongi states, making Jimin laugh loudly as they both turn to head for the communal building.

 

Both pause when the glass doors slide open, and both Hoseok and Namjoon step out with buckets and a cleaning caddy each.

 

“You should’ve started earlier when the sun was barely out!” Jimin teases to them.

 

“What’s the point, I’m going to sweat my balls off anyway!” Namjoon calls back, making all three of them laugh as the wolves walk towards them.

 

“I’ll be thinking of you both as I enjoy a refreshing cold drink,” Yoongi joins in on the teasing as he and Jimin skirt past the wolves, and laughs as Namjoon sprays him with a lemon-scented cleaner.

 

“They’ll be dragging all of us to help them by the end of tomorrow,” Jimin huffs out with fondness as they enter the building, the air cooler inside due to the low hum of the air ventilation being back on.

 

“Speaking of dragging wolves into chores – would you mind if I shadow you doing yours tomorrow morning?” Yoongi asks before he can second guess the idea, and snorts at the way Jimin whips around to stare at him.

 

“Why do you want to get up that early to watch me count wood or trim down any trees and bushes?” Jimin questions, surprised, but also very curious.

 

“It’s a good survival skill to know?”

 

Jimin’s gaze narrows playfully at his answer, before turning and continuing on towards the fridge.

 

“Only if you eat breakfast with me,” the alpha calls as Yoongi trails after him, “and I mean solid food, not just juice.”

 

Yoongi rolls his eyes good-naturedly as Jimin peeks over his shoulder. “Sure, you’ve twisted my arm.”

 

Jimin grins as he pulls open the refrigerator, and both of them plan what to make for breakfast for the pack.

 

“Hoseok and Namjoon have already had theirs since both have had a smoothie each,” Jimin points out at the two glasses into the sink, “so that leaves us, and the other three.”

 

“Pancakes are good warm or cold, and they’re not as heavy if we don’t make them like doorstoppers as Hoseok makes them,” Yoongi snorts out as he grabs the egg carton, butter, and milk.

 

Jimin goes to get the dry ingredients and re-joins Yoongi back at the island where they assign each other tasks – Yoongi with melting the butter as Jimin sieves and weighs out the flour and baking powder, and once they’ve both completed each, Jimin cracks the eggs as Yoongi whisks.

 

“Look at this image of domesticness.”

 

Yoongi smiles to himself as Jimin sends up a middle finger to the other alpha as Jin joins them.

 

“Pancakes?” Jin hums out as he leans on the island, watching them as Jimin cleans up the egg shells and Yoongi adds in the milk to the eggs, and only adds the butter once he’s checked to make sure it had cooled enough.

 

“If you’re feeling daring, can you go get some fruit from the garden?” Jimin asks the older alpha as he returns with a small bottle of vanilla extract and the sugar jar.

 

Jin leaves with a smirk, making Yoongi snort in amusement at the wolf’s eagerness to toy around in Namjoon’s garden with the wolf being so near it.

 

Together, they make the batter with Yoongi stirring and Jimin taste-testing the raw batter to make sure they get the balance of sugar and vanilla just right.

 

“How good are your flipping skills?” Yoongi questions as he turns the oiled pan on low, waiting for it to heat a little before ladling in the first batch of pancakes.

 

“Good? I almost always get it back in the pan,” Jimin says as they stand side-by-side at the stove.

 

Yoongi stands back. “You’re it. I always burn them.”

 

Jimin smiles at that, swapping places with him, as he manages the cooking of the first pancake.

 

“I snuck away some strawberries,” Jin announces his return as he heads for the sink to rinse them.

 

“Should I go see if Jungkook and Taehyung are going to join us or not?” Yoongi asks, since Jimin doesn’t need any help as he confidently flips over the pancake with his spatula.

 

“Go ahead,” Jimin nods, not taking his focus off the pan. “Ask them how many they want as well if they are eating with us, please.”

 

Yoongi steals a strawberry as he passes Jin, and hurries away with a laugh when a spray of water hits his back.

 

Stepping back outside only makes Yoongi cringe as the warmth hits him from being in a cooler building, and makes a firm mental note to steal some scissors so he can diy his jeans into shorts.

 

Heading for the couple’s den, Yoongi is only slightly apprehensive at how the atmosphere will be between himself and Jungkook.

 

Knocking on the door and waiting on the porch for an answer within, that apprehension grows.

 

The curtains shift at the windows on either side of the door, and then it opens a bit to reveal a very puffy-faced Jungkook that looks more from a long night of crying, than a night of restful sleeping.

 

The wolf’s tired, slightly bloodshot, eyes widen comically as he realises Yoongi is standing in front of him, his entire posture going from slouched to almost standing at attention.

 

“Yoongi?” Jungkook croaks out, and Yoongi’s chest burns with the need to wrap his arms around the younger wolf and hug that wariness from his face.

 

“You guys up for some pancakes? Jimin and I are making them this morning,” Yoongi offers softly, making his tone and body language open, and not at all tense to make the wolf think Yoongi is still upset with him.

 

Jungkook peels open the door a little more, showing off his bare, toned, upper body, and cartoon shorts that makes Yoongi stifle a smile at seeing.

 

“You’re making pancakes?” Jungkook repeats, still looking like he processing that Yoongi is here as he begins to fidget.

 

“I’ll make you some of my coffee, it’ll help perk you up, pup.”

 

It’s at Yoongi purposely using his endearment that he always uses for Jungkook, that the wariness slips from Jungkook’s body, and replaces relief in the form of sagging shoulders and glassy eyes.

 

“I don’t want us to separate, nor do I want to fight with you all the time about your job. I was just angry at feeling helpless, and it was wrong of me to project that onto you. I’ll always support you, no matter what it is you do, Yoongi, I just- fuck, how the fuck are tears still forming?!” Jungkook sniffs in a soft whine as he frantically wipes at his eyes, cutting off his own rush of words.

 

Yoongi steps forward and engulfs the wolf into a tight embrace, and feels the alpha melt into his hold as he fists the back of Yoongi’s t-shirt, his face pressed down onto Yoongi’s shoulder as he shudders.

 

Yoongi meets Taehyung’s concerned gaze from where he stands in the den, watching them, and sends the beta a reassured smile as he rubs Jungkook’s spine.

 

“I hear pancakes with an unhealthy dose of syrup is the cure for stopping tears from forming,” Yoongi mutters softly as his runs the same hand up into the messy of knots that is the wolf’s black hair, lightly scratching at the back of his scalp.

 

“It’s an accurate cure,” Taehyung plays along as they both give Jungkook a moment to calm himself, to seek and soak up the comfort Yoongi is giving him.

 

“A stack of them, all fluffy and thick enough to make it satisfying to dig your fork into,” Yoongi continues, and both he and Taehyung grin as they hear a soft huff of laughter against Yoongi’s shoulder.

 

“Sounds like diabetes, but I’m in,” Jungkook sniffs out as he pulls himself back, wiping at his cheeks once more, and Yoongi isn’t at all fussed about the slight damp spot on his shoulders where the material caught the wolf’s tears.

 

“How many should I relay to the chef?” Yoongi questions them both as he playfully ruffles the alpha’s hair before he steps completely away from Yoongi.

 

Jungkook and Taehyung share a silent look as Jungkook wraps his arms around Taehyung’s body, before nuzzling his hair lovingly.

 

Yoongi can’t help but smile at the couple.

 

“Eight?” Taehyung suggests, and Jungkook jerks back at the suggestion.

 

“I hope you don’t mean eight each, I’ll be puking instead of crying.”

 

Taehyung rolls his eyes at that, smiling, before he pokes Jungkook’s nose. “No, together, silly.”

 

Yoongi nods, order taken, and steps back to leave. “Join us whenever you guys are ready.”

 

“Have fun playing house with Jimin,” Taehyung smirks knowingly, and Jungkook is a step too late to understand why Yoongi sends a giggling Taehyung a silent middle finger, his cheeks betraying him as he hurries down off the porch and back to the kitchen.

 

 “What’s the order?” Jimin greets Yoongi first with a soft smile from where he’s plating up a pancake on a stacked plate already.

 

“Eight,” Yoongi says as he joins the alpha’s side again. “Where did Jin vanish to?”

 

“To tease the other two with the scent of pancakes,” Jimin chuckles as he ladles another batch into the hot pan. “He refuses to allow them to do heavy cleaning on a smoothie each. So, he’s tormenting them instead.”

 

“He’s going to come back smelling of lemon cleaner, isn’t he?”

 

“Possibly. Namjoon is trigger happy with that thing.”

 

As Jimin cooks, Yoongi makes a back-up batch for the couple in case they don’t have enough from the main one.

 

And it’s nice, cooking alongside Jimin. It’s light and fun with both of them talking about the most random of things, and making each other laugh as they both threaten each other with the pancake mixture.

 

By the time Jimin is halfway through making the couple’s stack, Jin returns smelling of lemon cleaner, and an empty plate.

 

“At least they ate it,” the alpha beams with success, before helping himself to the plate that isn’t reserved for the couple.

 

Taehyung and Jungkook arrive not long after Yoongi has placed their plates onto the table in the floor pit, before going back to help Jimin dump the dirty bowls, pan, and spoons into the sink.

 

“Come on, the chefs should be eating their own food!” Jin hollers, mouth already stuffed full, which makes Taehyung throw a napkin at the wolf in mock disgust.

 

Yoongi and Jimin sit in what is starting to feel like their regular spots, with Jungkook and Taehyung sitting across from them, and Jin sitting at the head of the table on Jimin’s left hand side.

 

Yoongi doesn’t think about it as he plops down a pancake onto Jimin’s plate before doing so with his own since the male is busy in playfully trying to get some strawberries from Taehyung who has started to hoard the bowl with his fork.

 

And he still doesn’t think anything of it as he drenches his own pancakes with syrup, if it wasn’t for him turning to offer the bottle to Jimin, it’s only then that he notices the pink little flush to Jimin’s cheeks and the way he’s biting back as smile as he hastily takes the syrup from Yoongi.

 

Yoongi’s own cheeks feel a bit warmer as he tries to remain nonchalant about the fact it’s the first time that he’s plated another wolf’s plate whilst being here.

 

But, of course, it didn’t go unnoticed. Jin’s amused stare tells Yoongi all.

 

Yoongi soon changes that amused stare into a soft one when he plops a pancake onto the alpha’s plate, before doing the same to the couple’s shared plate since they were almost empty.

 

He’s used to sharing food with Jungkook, so the alpha just sends him his usual smile at the action, but Taehyung looks just as touched as Jin did.

 

It makes Yoongi’s cheeks burn even more.

 

But, it’s worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi regrets asking if he can shadow Jimin the next morning after managing to sleep well during the night, his body doesn’t want to leave the blissed feeling of sleep.

 

But, he forces his sleepy body out of his nest, and forces himself to brush his teeth and shove clothes on – his jeans now much shorter due to him going scissor-crazy with them last night after dinner.

 

Walking past the dens, Yoongi can still smell the pungent scent of lemons, vinegar, neutraliser as he passes by the two that Namjoon and Hoseok spent the majority of yesterday cleaning.

 

Both wolves had stunk of it when Yoongi joined them for dinner, and Jimin had been right – both wolves nearly inhaled their food.

 

“You know, I could’ve just shown you my chores later in the day,” Jimin points out in fond amusement as he stands on the decking on the guest side, watching Yoongi come up the walkway.

 

“It will be hotter than an oven later, it’s barely cool now,” Yoongi points back as he climbs the wooden steps.

 

“Well, at least the shading from the trees will help with blocking out the sun. I’m doing the road today leading to the pack, it’s been awhile since I last pushed back the forest from taking over the road,” Jimin tells him as he leads Yoongi through the building and towards the frosted door.

 

Outside, Yoongi sees an axe, a handsaw, a tarp bag, and a hedge shear, in a wheelbarrow.

 

Yoongi is glad he had the foresight to wear sneakers today as he follows after Jimin as they leave the pack grounds, the gate remaining open behind them this time as Jimin leads them halfway down the road.

 

Yoongi refuses to think that Jimin is leaving the gate open for him to escape back into once he grows tired of shadowing him.

 

Yoongi is on a mission, after all. He wants to learn and understand anything when it comes to working with wood, even if it’s just how to make it look neat.

 

“See those trees down there?” Jimin points with his axe, and Yoongi forces his gaze to remain on the axe head, and not the wolf’s exposed arms since he’s wearing a white vest today, “see how the branches are hanging low? It’s a hazard for the transport trucks that sometimes come this way whenever the pack has a big order put in.”

 

Yoongi nods as he listens, eyeing up the differences of where low hanging branches that would get in the way of a taller vehicle.

 

 He also notes the lack of a ladder too, and begins to frown as he turns to look back at the wolf.

 

“How-” Yoongi cuts himself off to spin around in a circle, searching for the wolf that has done a disappearing act, and tracks his scent as he heads for the tree the alpha’s scent leads to.

 

“You may want to stand back in case it hits you on the head!” Jimin calls from where he’s comfortably straddling a tree branch, and Yoongi gawps at the wolf that doesn’t even look a little out of breath.

 

If that was Yoongi, he’d be sweating and panting just trying to climb up the thing.

 

Instead of having the axe with him, Jimin has the handsaw as he leans and starts sawing off the branches that hang low.

 

Yoongi once again reminds himself that he’s here to learn and not to appraise Jimin’s form and strength.

 

“Do you guys use the wood from the forest for anything?” Yoongi calls up, making conversation and also fishing for information as Jimin works.

 

“Sometimes!” Jimin calls back as branches begin to droop down onto the road. “Sometimes for picture frames - Jin makes a lot of them, he’s handy with a chisel!”

 

Yoongi makes a mental note to pay the wolf a possible visit. “What else?”

 

“Hmm. Namjoon uses the wood for his garden trellises, he cuts them into thin rods so he can move them more freely, and Hoseok was taught how to make wooden cutlery as a pup because his father is an Artificer so he tends to make a lot of ours.”

 

Yoongi watches as the thickest branch Jimin saws off drops to the ground, before looking back up at a grinning wolf that clearly enjoys his pack job.

 

“That looks like a great stress reliever,” Yoongi points out as he watches Jimin shimmy himself back towards to tree base, and climbs down with the saw hanging from a little hook that Yoongi missed on the wolf’s belt.

 

Landing with a soft thump, Jimin wipes the sweat already on his face with the back of his hand.

 

Yoongi’s heart thumps a little harder in his chest as the wolf’s scent grows stronger as a result.

 

“It really is, even if it kills your arms later, it’s worth it,” Jimin laughs out as he and Yoongi work together to snap and shove the branches into the tarp bag that sits in the wheelbarrow, all the while with Jimin offering tips for a smoother break in the wood.

 

“May have to take this up as a hobby once I’m back at work,” Yoongi jokes. “Then again, I’ll probably have Officers at my apartment door because my neighbours have called in about screams of anger and the sound of heavy shit dropping to the floor.”

 

Jimin snorts at that as he heads for the trees opposite them to do what he’s just done to the previous one.

 

“Is there anything I can do down here to help?” Yoongi calls as he watches Jimin effortlessly climb up the try like he’s a cat, rather than a fucking wolf.

 

Jimin glances up and down the road from where he sits on the branch.

 

“Trim back the bushes with the shears?” Jimin suggests, and Yoongi heads for the wheelbarrow to do just that.

 

And after a few minutes of snipping away at the bushes that have pressed onto the road due to the summer growth, Yoongi has a pretty good idea why Namjoon is so passionate about gardening.

 

It’s oddly therapeutic.

 

They’re not on the road for long, maybe an hour a half of them both working on their tasks, before Jimin calls an end to it as it gets too hot, even under the shade.

 

“You guys really need air conditioners if island summers are this hot,” Yoongi says as he fans himself by pulling at his t-shirt, hoping for air to flow down and cool his sticky chest and back.

 

Jimin is a glistening mess of sweat, since he did more of the manual labour of repetitive sawing and climbing, but the wolf looks exhilarated, rather than uncomfortable.

 

“You have any regrets in shadowing me?” Jimin teases as they park the wheelbarrow in the shed of tools that Jimin shows him.

 

Yoongi shakes his head. “Not a bit. It’s about time I was more active.”

 

Jimin sniggers at hearing that, shutting the tool shed door behind them, and picks up the tarp bag they had left outside it.

 

“I’ll catch you later? I need to break these down into small twigs to put on the compost heap,” Jimin explains as he pauses in parting ways with Yoongi.

 

Yoongi nods, and waves goodbye to the alpha as he heads back towards the wooden walkway that circles around the guest side of the pack grounds, heading for the communal building in hopes of tracking down a certain alpha.

 

Sure enough, he finds Jungkook in the office, glaring at the computer screen.

 

“That bad, huh?” Yoongi says softly as he enters, making Jungkook glare even harder at the screen.

 

“The Board are being assholes with the latest records I emailed them last week. They want them to be more, ‘explicitly clear’ for why I’m demanding financial support to improve the members dens,” Jungkook snarls, irritated at the panel of humans and city wolves that makes up the Board.

 

“Unleash those claws of yours,” Yoongi hypes up the younger alpha as he lingers. “But do you have a spare moment before you rip into them?”

 

Jungkook answers by pushing himself from the desk, and joining Yoongi on the sofa.

 

“I’ve been meaning to catch you alone since yesterday,” Jungkook speaks first before Yoongi can. “Are you and Jimin courting?”

 

Yoongi chokes on his own saliva as Jungkook grins at him, looking pleased with himself.

 

“Not yet, he’s still my Support,” Yoongi explains once he’s stopped coughing.

 

“I knew it. I knew it as soon as I saw how you reacted to him,” Jungkook says with excitement. “You know, you both act similarly to how me and Tae did when we first met.”

 

Yoongi tilts his head at this, intrigued. “Oh?”

 

“Yeah, you both are so acutely aware of each other’s scent, of the magnetic pull you have to be close, that you both keep glancing at each other despite sitting beside each other.”

 

Yoongi’s cheeks burn at that ending remark. “Erm.”

 

“It’s honestly so cute and endearing seeing you so soft for him, Yoongi. I feel like a proud wolf seeing you go for a wolf that you connect so well with,” Jungkook continues to steamroll on with the compliments, knowing fine well that Yoongi isn’t the best wolf at accepting them so verbally as he turns into the colour of a tomato.

 

“We haven’t started courting yet,” Yoongi helplessly points out, and Jungkook waves that off.

 

“You both are compatible mates, your instinct knows more than you do,” Jungkook teases as he lightly pokes Yoongi’s nose.

 

“Question – have you ever heard of a Mayt bond?” Yoongi questions as he realises two things.

 

If he is experiencing what Jungkook went through, exactly, then both of them have possibly triggered this supposed Mayt bond that Yoongi read about online and in the book that Taehyung lent him.

 

And secondly, Taehyung is aware of said bond, but he’s not sure if Jungkook is.

 

Jungkook’s blank face answers for him. “A what bond?”

 

Yoongi clamps his mouth shut.

 

If Taehyung hasn’t told him, then that means the wolf is either planning something to reveal it to Jungkook, or Yoongi is mistaken about them both feeling the same bond triggers.

 

“Doesn’t matter. Anyway, I came to ask you a different question – what did you give Taehyung for a Beckoning gift? I’m assuming you two did that, considering how whipped you both are for little stuff like that,” Yoongi rushes out, distracting Jungkook before the younger wolf can truly question him further on it.

 

Jungkook’s eyes grow wider with happiness at that. “You-Oh Lura, you’re going to give Jimin a Beckoning gift? Yoongi, are you trying to make the poor alpha cry at your feet?” Jungkook whispers.

 

“Why will he cry, he’s supposed to like it, not cr-”

 

“Idiot, you know how his pack treated him. You’re probably going to overwhelm him with an honest gift,” Jungkook cuts him off. “Just, keep that in mind, yeah? He’s been through a lot, and he’s not used to kindness or love being shown his way.”

 

Yoongi nods at the seriousness he sees in Jungkook’s gaze.

 

“But to answer you, my approved submission form to live on the island as a permanent resident instead of as a visitor was my Beckoning gift. Tae has it framed on our wall in our nest,” Jungkook admits with red cheeks, and Yoongi wants to coo at how fucking soft these two are for each other. “I gave him that during the weekend Hoseok offered me the job. The High helped me with the submission work, so he was in on the surprise.”

 

And now he’s in on Yoongi’s surprise. It makes Yoongi more aware of far Hoseok will go so that his pack members can have happiness.

 

He really is a great alpha, a High, a friend, and pack member.

 

“I want to make Jimin a wood gift, but you know what I’m like with making shit, useless,” Yoongi reveals, and Jungkook bites his lip to hold back the knowing snort he’d have normally made. “But, I’m not sure where to start.”

 

“Jimin hasn’t got a lot of photos, so a photo frame wouldn’t be best,” Jungkook murmurs, thinking. “But, he does like making his den really homely. He likes collecting candles, said that they make his den feel more lived in.”

 

“Candles,” Yoongi murmurs, thinking of stuff he’s seen in stores in the candle aisle since he too likes to indulge in them. “Maybe a coaster, since I can’t exactly make a candle holder, I haven’t got the skill or tools, or time for that matter.”

 

“Ask Tae to take you to the port, they usually sell tealight candles,” Jungkook suggests. “I would take you, but I have assholes to chew out.”

 

Yoongi smirks with pride at the fight he sees in those brown and ice blue eyes.

 

Lura help the wolves on the receiving end of Jungkook’s stubbornness. Jungkook will not let this go until he sees something come from it.

 

Following Jungkook’s suggest of asking Taehyung for a lift to the port, Yoongi begins to track down the beta, searching for the scent of sweet oranges.

 

He finds him with a wolf he doesn’t need overhearing this request.

 

“We’re seeing each other again so soon,” Jimin teases in greeting as both wolves turn over the compost heap with a manure fork.

 

“Do you ever rest?” Yoongi teases back, ignoring the amused smirk on Taehyung’s face as he watches him and Jimin swap teasing barbs, “but I need to steal Taehyung from you. He owes me a book to read.”

 

Taehyung sends him a complete lost and confused look from over Jimin’s shoulder, before morphing it into a delighted grin before Jimin glances his way as he hands over the fork to a curious Jimin.

 

“What type of book? I have plenty you can borrow too, if you’d like,” Jimin offers, and before Yoongi can think up an answer, Taehyung does.

 

“Porn, you know, the hardcore kind?” Taehyung cheekily retorts with, and neither Yoongi or Jimin were expecting that to come out of the beta’s mouth.

 

Jimin almost stabs his toes with the fork as he whips his head back up to gawp at Taehyung, and Yoongi can’t help but shove the cackling wolf towards the front of the pack grounds with a burning face.

 

“He’s lying, I promise!” Yoongi calls back as Jimin remains frozen on the spot, and Taehyung giggles more, very pleased with himself.

 

“What? You lied to get me away, so I gave you a fitting excuse,” Taehyung grins as Yoongi makes eye contact with him.

 

“You’ve been hanging around with Jungkook too much, he’d have done the same thing.”

 

“Just more proof that our instincts were a thousand percent accurate in us being destined mates,” Taehyung sighs out in a pleased hum, and Yoongi almost stumbles as they climb up onto the wooden walkway as he stares at the beta’s back.

 

Did Taehyung mean that in the way Yoongi knows of supposed destined mating bonds, or just an expression?

 

“So, how come you needed me away, anyway?” Taehyung asks as Yoongi decides to refrain from asking.

 

“I need a ride to the port and Jungkook is busy gnawing his teeth on the Board,” Yoongi tells him, and Taehyung’s face turns prideful at hearing what Jungkook is up to.

 

“He’s so hot when he gets riled up about the Board, I can’t wait to see him,” Taehyung sighs out fondly, and Yoongi just rolls his eyes, completely used to the pair of them being grossly in love with each other from his calls to Jungkook.

 

“Jungkook is like my little brother, please keep the descriptions PG-rated,” Yoongi huffs out in a laugh as they circle around the fencing of the members den area.

 

“As if I would kiss and tell,” Taehyung sniffs, and Yoongi knows that’s a blatant lie.

 

Taehyung was the one to shout through a phone call, knowing fine well that Jungkook was talking to Yoongi, about how sore his ass was and that he should come kiss it better.

 

Needless to say, Jungkook ended the call pretty quickly. Yoongi is still unsure to this day if it was because he was so overwhelmed with embarrassment, or his horny ass went to do just that to his beta.

 

“Ah ha,” Yoongi deadpans back, and they both share a quiet laugh as Taehyung runs inside the building to get the keys for the jeep, leaving Yoongi outside.

 

Five minutes later, they’re on the road, heading for the port.

 

“What kind of shops are in the port, anyway?” Yoongi questions as soft music plays from the radio.

 

“Attire, food, household, tools, a couple of gift shops where island wolves sell their own handmade stuff,” Taehyung answers, counting them off on his hand. “There is a café too, for when you’re waiting around for the ferry, or for a wolf to come and collect you.”

 

Yoongi nods, and hopes that he can at least find something that he can use to make a gift with.

 

“What are you after?” Taehyung asks, glancing at him.

 

“I need some shorts, or my jeans are not going to last if I continue to take a pair of scissors to them,” Yoongi says, and Taehyung sniggers.

 

“You could use some sun on those legs, no offence. You’re super pale.”

 

“As if I can get my legs out when I’m on a job. I’d be attracting wolves that will annoy the fuck out of me.”

 

“Well, I know one wolf that couldn’t stop glancing.”

 

Yoongi’s neck and cheeks flare up with heat. “Should you be tattling on your friend?”

 

“I’m a friend that is all for seeing his two friends get together and be grossly lovey-dovey,” Taehyung says without any shame, just happiness. “You two make an already adorable picture, I can’t wait to see how you both are when you start courting.”

 

“You sound confident that will happen,” Yoongi says lightly, since he hasn’t been the one to mention it to Taehyung, but maybe Jimin has?

 

“You subconsciously fed Jimin first last night, then tried to cover it up by making me soft when you fed me for the first time too,” Taehyung comments. “Plus, you guys have yet to stop throwing your scent at each other, it’s like watching two pups paw at each as they learn how to play with each other.”

 

“Why does that sound like you’re also describing how you and Jungkook behave?” Yoongi retorts back with a laugh.

 

Taehyung grins, shrugging. “Hey, not my fault the alpha is whipped for me, just as I am for him.”

 

“Gross.”

 

“I’ll be saying that to you in a few months’ time, so look forward to it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankfully, Taehyung leaves him to wander around the shops on his own, since he got talking to another wolf and told Yoongi he’d easily track him down once he’s finished.

 

Yoongi bought some much needed cotton shorts first, all three of them neutral-toned and light, and so much softer in his hands then the thickness of his jeans.

 

Then he went to check out the small tool shop for wood glue and anything else that could help him achieve making a wooden gift.

 

Now, he’s checking out the houseware store to see if they do stock candles.

 

The store is probably the biggest store in the port, and Yoongi nods his head in greeting to the beta sitting behind the cash register as he begins to look up and down the aisles.

 

It’s when he’s in the decoration section, one filled with plastic flowers and plants, that Yoongi spies a potential idea.

 

He’s been seeing it a lot in the few stores he’s been in, but driftwood is used as decoration – whether that is as an art decoration on the wall, are used in long strips of it as a shelving unit with items hooked to it.

 

Yoongi runs his hand over the polished pile on sale, mind racing.

 

Jimin likes candles, but there are very little options for holders in this shop, which is why Yoongi had been hesitant on whether or not to buy the thick medium-sized candles.

 

But, if Yoongi could somehow make his own….

 

“Excuse me?” Yoongi calls softly, moving towards the wolf at the register, “is driftwood save to use on glass?”

 

The beta nods his head. “Sure, as long as the glass is thick enough so that the heat of whatever light source you put inside it is contained.”

 

Yoongi thanks the male, and goes back to the candle aisle where he retrieves three candles – tall, medium, and small – and then tracks down a simple cylinder-shape glass that are meant for drinking but Yoongi has other plans for them.

 

“Is it okay if I wrap the glasses using these?” Yoongi asks with a nod to his canvas bag that the store gave him with his shorts as he gets out the cash from his wallet, and the beta nods, and while he deals with counting the coins and notes, Yoongi quickly wraps the three glasses with his shorts, concealing them from view in case Taehyung catches a glimpse into his bag.

 

Yoongi finishes just in time because he sees Taehyung walking towards the store just as steps out.

 

“I see that you’ve bought the shorts already,” Taehyung laughs as he sees the bag.

 

“I was in dire need,” Yoongi grins as he and Taehyung turn back to head for the car pack. “You done, or do you need to call in somewhere?”

 

“I checked the café to see if they had any sweets left, but sadly not,” Taehyung pouts softly, and Yoongi’s chest tugs with warm affection at the sight of it.

 

“Well then, lets head back before we both melt in this heat.”

 

Taehyung nods eagerly at that. “I hope to Lura that Jungkook manages to get us air con. Island summers are no joke when they’re in full motion.”

 

“Even hotter than the southern regions of Dretna?” Yoongi questions, curious, and also slightly dreading the answer.

 

“Possibly the same level from what I’ve heard from Jimin. He’s from that area, I’m more middle region.”

 

Now it makes sense why Jimin is so used to being so active in stifling weather like this, he grew up in it.

 

Once they’re back in the pack grounds, Yoongi thanks Taehyung for being his ride, and parts from the wolf so that he can plot in his den about Jimin’s gift.

 

He needs to gather wood, different sized twigs and colours, for the slow forming image that is in his head as he places the glasses onto his kitchen counter, the candles fitting the glasses nicely.

 

The glue he bought is a big size, so he’s not at risk of running out, so he can go wild with the amount of wood he uses.

 

He just needs to hunt for wood without attracting attention to himself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi decides that his best chance of not getting caught is during the night.

 

He even makes sure that tonight is one of the nights that Jimin doesn’t feel the urge to patrol the grounds before committing to the plan.

 

So, he waits until everyone is asleep, before he leaves his den with the canvas bag from the store, and his phone’s flashlight on.

 

He goes into the forest, almost following the way he went last week when he discovered the quiet cliff edge, and makes sure to keep his ears focused on the sound of the sea to make sure he doesn’t stray too close to any edges as he uses his flashlight to scan the forest floor, looking for twigs.

 

It’s slow going, but his bag does start to fill up with different varieties of twigs and broken branches that Yoongi scavenges from the forest, before he decides to head for the dock to see if he can find driftwood on the small embankment the dock runs off from.

 

Yoongi treads slower and more carefully, aware of the moss-covered pebbles and dirt the embankment is made off, and picks up a few of the pebbles that look pretty enough to possibly use alongside with the wood he fishes out off the water that sprays up at him.

 

And almost slips and topples head first into the water as the wind brings forth the scent of peonies.

 

Head darting up, Yoongi sucks in fast inhales to see where Jimin’s scent is coming from as the wind continues to alert him of the alpha’s scent.

 

“He said he wasn’t patrolling!” Yoongi hisses to himself in a panic as he launches himself up onto the dock again, and runs as lightly as he can on the wooden dock, before he full on sprints on the grass to his den, praying Jimin is on the other side of the pack grounds, and not about to come from the forest trail that is to Yoongi’s left as he shoves himself up onto his roof deck, and plants his ass onto the seating.

 

Jimin’s scent only draws closer, coming from the forest side closest to Yoongi, and Yoongi concentrates on his breathing to make it look less like he’s been caught doing something, and more casual.

 

Yoongi turns off his flashlight and loads up the first song in his music app, still trying to even his breathing.

 

A minute or so later, and he picks up the sound of Jimin moving fast.

 

He looks that way just in time to see Jimin’s torch bouncing all over the place, his expression panicked, before Yoongi’s being blinded by the strong beam.

 

“Thanks for burning off my retinas!” Yoongi calls as he blinks black spots, using his hearing to track the sound of Jimin running on the wooden walkway to Yoongi’s den.

 

“I could smell you in the forest?” Jimin questions, confused, and still panicky, and Yoongi forces himself to his feet to lean on the rail to look down at a vague Jimin-shape below.

 

“I went for a walk before I got lazy and came up here instead,” Yoongi lies, rubbing at his eyes so that the black spots dancing in his vision can fuck off already.

 

“Oh…sorry, I…panicked,” Jimin coughs to cover up the slightly awkward and shy tone present in his voice as he looks down at his torch.

 

“It’s fine, you don’t need to be sorry for reacting to your instinct,” Yoongi reassures softly, smiling down at the alpha when Jimin looks up again. “But, someone lied to me when they said they weren’t patrolling tonight.”

 

Jimin shifts with a sheepish look. “I know, but I’m too restless to sleep yet, so a patrol sounded like a cure.”

 

“I don’t know how you’re restless, you’ve been climbing up and down trees, sawing off branches, and turning over the compost heap. You should be feeling tired, not wired.”

 

Jimin chuckles at that, nodding in agreement. “You’d think so. But, I just can’t settle.”

 

Yoongi chews on his lips to stop asking potential flirty-sounding questions.

 

He promised the alpha to still have this professional distance, after all.

 

“Oh, did you find a good book from Taehyung’s?” Jimin questions, remembering it.

 

Yoongi shakes his head. “Nah, nothing jumped at me.”

 

“My offer still stands. Maybe our session tomorrow can be a book one, considering today’s one was so active with nature?”

 

Yoongi nods, chest warming with the chance of being close in Jimin’s den again.

 

He really did like how it smelt with both of their scents.

 

Pure comfort, that’s how it smelt.

 

“Don’t stay up too late,” Jimin says softly as he moves to leave.

 

“You too. Don’t be wandering all night,” Yoongi returns softly, forcing his feet to remain and not to go down the metal stairs.

 

Jimin looks like he’s struggling to leave too, and both of them share a shy, soft, laugh, as Jimin forces himself to walk away.

 

Yoongi’s chest is tight, but his heart feels giddy to know that Jimin feels the same reluctance to part.

 

Instead of going to bed, Yoongi stays up.

 

Sitting on the wooden floor of his living area, the curtains drawn tightly shut to prevent a peep of glass showing, he makes neat piles of twigs and branches, the pebbles he got from near the dock, the few big junks of driftwood he managed to scavenge, the three glasses, and his wood glue.

 

Yoongi then has to decide he if he wants to stick the wood directly to the glass, or if he wants to make an actual wooden holder for them.

 

Yoongi begins to neaten the twigs and branches, snapping them and making them more rounded as he can get them, and then does something he hasn’t done since he was a pup.

 

He begins to stack the twigs as if they’re building blocks, making a simple square layer first, before adding four smaller sticks to make the base bottom, and then he starts the tentative task of adding two sticks at a time, both sitting diagonally on opposite corners, before repeating the same thing on top of them but on the other corners that are empty underneath.

 

The stack collapses just as he finishes that layer, but Yoongi is already focused and refuses to be bested by twigs, so he starts it again, being more mindful of the twigs he uses, using the thicker ones so that they hug against the glass that will stand in the centre of the wooden holder he’s creating.

 

When it collapses just as he gets to the fifth layer, Yoongi grabs his glue, and commits to the idea.

 

Is his heart racing a mile per second as he does so?

 

Do his hands shake as he lightly places the twigs delicately onto their places?

 

And is he sticking his tongue out between his teeth as he focuses more on making sure that the stack of twigs doesn’t collapse and stick to the wooden floor?

 

Yoongi is glad that his den can’t speak, or it’ll be gossiping about all of the above and the little panicked hitches of breath he sucks in whenever a twig so much as threatens to roll off the stack.

 

By the end of it, his den stinks of glue, but the three stacks of wood look passible as candle holders, so he’s happy with it.

 

He just hopes that Jimin will like them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi accidently skips breakfast due to tending to his gift and making sure the glue had set.

 

He was that preoccupied by testing the weight of the glass inside the wooden holders, that he airdried in the nude after taking his morning shower to rid himself of the smell of sweat and fear.

 

At least his nightmares aren’t robbing of most of his sleep lately, but he’s still having them, so in a way it is progress.

 

Yoongi ends up adding more twigs to the three holders to build the frame more, securing the glass weight as it’s lifted and put down, and has to force himself to stop when his den phone rings.

 

Just checking to make sure that you haven’t forgot about our usual morning session,” Jimin greet him, and makes Yoongi painfully aware that he’s still butt-naked and it’s after ten in the morning when he checks his phone for the time.

 

“Time is running away too fast this morning,” Yoongi says as he looks at the state of his living area, a mess of snapped wood, pebbles that he still needs to layer and glue to the bottom of the base as a stone cushion for the glass, and bits of leaves.

 

“I’ll be in my den, so just come whenever you’re ready,” Jimin chuckles out softly. “I’ve already made a pile of books for us to look through, and we can always raid the office if we need more.”

 

Yoongi isn’t going to be the one to point out that if they want things between them to remain professional until Yoongi’s no longer Jimin’s guest, then the office would be the best place to have the session in.

 

If Jimin is cool with him being in his den, Yoongi is going to leap at the offer of chilling in the wolf’s space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In hindsight, maybe Yoongi should’ve said something.

 

“I can smell glue?” Jimin mumbles during their session together, a moment of soft, comfortable, silence as both of them sit on the wolf’s porch, trying to catch the breeze against their hot bodies instead of sitting indoors.

 

Yoongi tries to remain casual as he looks up from the book he was studying. “Glue?”

 

Jimin nods, eyebrows furrowed, as he takes another sniff of the air. “It’s been bugging the life out of me for the last thirty minutes, but it definitely smells like glue.”

 

“Maybe some is using it?” Yoongi suggests, still playing dumb as he begins to sweat for a different reason.

 

Jimin hums, still inhaling deeply. “Could be.”

 

Yoongi launches the book he was holding onto the wolf’s lap, instantly distracting him.

 

“So, what do you think of human fiction deciding that a wolf bite turns you into one?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You know that you stink of glue, right?” Jungkook whispers into his ear as the younger alpha comes up beside Yoongi to help himself to some of the sandwiches that Taehyung and Jin made for today’s lunch.

 

Yoongi sends a quick glance to where Jimin is sitting in the floor pit, laughing at the two wolves that reek of lemons.

 

“At least those two are covering it up for me now,” Yoongi whispers back, and Jungkook hums in agreement, both listening to Namjoon dropping hints for assistance with the third cycle of laundry he needs to do.

 

“You good, though?” Jungkook asks, smiling with a subtle hint of excitement.

 

Yoongi can’t help but return it as he nods.

 

Jungkook playfully hits his shoulder as he leaves his side, and Yoongi rolls his eyes at the punch.

 

“I’ve got a family call to check in on, so I’ll see you guys at dinner?” Yoongi calls as he takes his lunch to go, and his chest warms at the various reactions he gets – pouting, waves, and beaming smiles.

 

Yoongi isn’t used to feeling so included in a group, but he sure could get used to it if it feels like this all the time, the feeling of being wanted and having your company enjoyed by others.

 

If this is what it feels to be part of this pack, the Yoongi may follow in the paw steps of a younger wolf and indulge himself with nurturing the pulls he has to the pack members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Your ma said that you’re making a Beckoning gift?” Yoongi’s father’s voice comes from the speakerphone on his phone from where it sits next to him on the floor, his curtains closed shut a little, but not fully, so that no one outside can see his gift on the floor.

 

“I’m making handmade wooden candle holders, and they don’t look that bad, I’m actually impressed with myself,” Yoongi says as he carefully glues the pebble to the wooden base inside the holder, joining the others he’s already glued inside.

 

“I’m sure the wolf you’re making it for will be just as impressed,” his father praises him, and Yoongi can still hear the sound of the traffic on his father’s side of the call as he commutes home from work.

 

“I hope so. But at least focusing on this is allowing my brain to chill with the nightmares I’ve been having,” Yoongi says as he reaches for his next pebble and the tube of glue.

 

A small pause of silence follows Yoongi’s open admittance to his nightmares, and Yoongi can’t blame it for happening, because he hasn’t been open about it with his family.

 

They’re aware he has them, but he’s never really gone in details with them about them.

 

“I read online that nightmares fade as your mind heals from the trauma, so maybe your stay on that island is actually helping you too.”

 

Yoongi smirks in amusement at his father’s polite tone.

 

Despite being an omega himself, his father doesn’t really like the idea of support packs being led by alphas, and wanted Yoongi to go to a beta-led one instead.

 

“The island is nice, the pack itself is great. I’m glad I was forced to come here, really. It’s taught me to be more vulnerable with myself, more open with my emotions, to let other wolves get to know me, and it’s also nice to see Jungkook again. He’s less buff now, you’d be happy to hear.”

 

“His frame didn’t suit all of that mass on his shoulders, so I’m glad the pup has slimmed down on the muscle. You, on the other hand…”

 

“I’m cursed with your genes of having skinny legs, don’t come for me when you’re the one to blame, da,” Yoongi laughs as he sticks the pebble alongside the other.

 

“A bit more meat on your bones won’t hurt you. I swear you get skinnier every damn time I lay my eyes on you.”

 

“That’s because you always have the rotten luck of seeing me after I’ve come back from a job and look like literal shit.”

 

His father’s chuckles answer back, making Yoongi smile as he finishes one holder, and starts the second one.

 

“Do you want to talk about them? Your nightmares?” His father asks, tone gentle, and open.

 

“The ones I had last night were the tamest ones I’ve had, really. I just dreamt that I was pinned down in darkness, unable to breathe. Usually a lot more happens, but last night it was light,” Yoongi shares, pushing through the slight tightness that forms at the back of his throat from his usual default way of holding it all in.

 

If he wants to break a cycle, he has to try and break it first.

 

“Sounds delightful,” his father responds with, and Yoongi barks out a laugh at his father’s light-hearted attempt of a joke.

 

“You should catch how my bedding area smells after it, it’s the nightmare’s selling point.”

 

Yoongi’s father chuckles at that, both of them being slightly morbid with finding humour in something as distressing as Yoongi’s nightmares, but surprisingly, Yoongi feels comfortable to make smartass comments about his nightmares.

 

If they can torture his mind during sleep, he can sure get revenge and use them as butts of his jokes.

 

“I do hope they lessen in time. You should be dreaming of this wolf you’re hoping to court, not your assault.”

 

“They will,” Yoongi hums softly, chest soft at his father’s words. “It’ll just take time. I’ve come to accept the process now. The more I normalise them, the less fear I feed them, in a way.”

 

“Makes sense, the more you feed a fear, the stronger it becomes. Fear is a reaction, after all.”

 

“I mean, I’ll probably always have that risk of having a nightmare about my assault in the future since it’s part of my memories, but I’m learning how to cope with the aftermath of them,” Yoongi hums as he continues his work, checking it from different angles to make sure the bottom is lying as flat as he can get the pebbles to rest. “I learned how to nest properly this time, since my Support told me that all of my previous times could’ve failed due to me taking my cycle pills.”

 

“Your Support is probably right. Those pills do affect your hormone levels, so if they’re managing that, they’re naturally affecting how potent your scent it,” his father muses as a horn sound comes through the call from a typical hot-headed driver lacking patience in rush hour traffic.

 

“Well, I’ve been off the pills for a month now, so my heat is going to hit me sometime at the end of the month if it miraculously follows my usual cycle pattern. If not, well…let’s hope it doesn’t just slap into me completely unrestrained.”

 

“It might, Yoongi. Your heats have always been controlled to start on the exact day your pills run out to wean the cycle out of you. Without the pills controlling the number of hormones that are supressed with each dose, you could be facing a full hormonal heat,” his father gravely explains, and Yoongi freezes as he listens. “I took the pills when they were in the early stages, and when I stopped them, my heat was the worst I’ve had to date.”

 

Yoongi swallows dryly at that. “Thanks for the confidence, da.”

 

“I’m just warning you, son. Your body is so used to being led into a heat by the hand of pills, that now it’s not having its hand held, it may just run wild.”

 

“Again, you’re just filling me up with confidence.”

 

“Well, here is some confidence – your first heat wasn’t a wild one, so it may just be a repeat of that.”

 

Yoongi can still recall his first ever heat, at how relieved he was that it went against the textbook version of how first heats can go because he just wanted to cuddle with his family while holding a hot water bottle to his gut.

 

Yoongi can only hope that his heat is kind to him, and that it does follow his usual cycle pattern date.

 

He’d rip his hair out if his heat decided to come say hello whilst he was still here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi ends up helping Namjoon with cleaning his den after dinner.

 

His Beckoning gift is pretty much done now that all the pebbles are stuck to the bottom of each candle holder, he’s just waiting for it all to harden and set before he presents it to Jimin tomorrow.

 

And it’ll be tomorrow, because they have another book session to further laugh at the ridiculousness of the human fiction that Jimin is hunting down for more examples of by raiding the office.

 

Yoongi had learnt during the session that Jimin really enjoys reading books of pretty much every genre.

 

The alpha had lit up whenever Yoongi asked for his opinion on a book, that Yoongi pretty much turned the entire session into him fondly listening to the passion and excitement in Jimin’s voice as the wolf offered his opinions on the books he owns, what he recommended and what he didn’t.

 

Yoongi gags as a massive blast of lemons hits him square in the face, and he throws the pillow back as he catches it against his chest.

 

“You were daydreaming,” Namjoon grins as he throws the pillow back, before throwing another from the bedding area.

 

This den is a lot different from Yoongi’s. There is a small, basic, kitchen to his right as soon as you enter, and to the left side of the den there is a small set of steps with a metal handrail that leads up to a miniature balcony-landing area that has a comfy-looking chair in the corner, a circle table to eat at, and a cushioned bench against the right-side wall with plenty of pillows to create a cosy comfort fort, and a wooden shelving unit acting as a low wall to stop any possible tumbling from the landing.

 

Back onto the floor below where he and Namjoon currently are, the bedding area is underneath the landing with a bathroom located at the back of the den.

 

Namjoon had already cleaned the living area above them, he’s now tackling the more densely scented bedding area.

 

“I don’t know how you guys can do this routinely, my nose hairs are already singed,” Yoongi says as he begins to jostle his load of pillows to make sure he has a firm hold around them.

 

“I want to say that you get used to it, but you really don’t,” Namjoon huffs out as he yanks free the duvet and dumps it on the floor so he can remove the bed sheet.

 

“You guys should have what my uniform has – scent neutraliser, but for you in a mask form to wear over your mouth and noses.”

 

Namjoon pauses at hearing that, looking back at him. “Now that doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Maybe we could make our own, soak those hospital type masks in neutraliser.”

 

Yoongi backs out of the room to allow space for the omega to come through with the bed sheet and duvet.

 

“You know, maybe those hospital ones are soaked in neutraliser,” Yoongi muses, both of them realising something neither of them have really stopped to question.

 

“Yeah, but aren’t hospitals heavily filtered anyway? It’d be overkill, wouldn’t it?” Namjoon points out as he leads the way out of the den and towards the communal building.

 

Yoongi recalls his time in the hospital after his assault, trying to remember if he could smell anything as he lay in his bed, angry and sore.

 

“Both of you look like you’re trying to figure out a mathematical problem,” Jin points out from where he’s in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner.

 

“Excuse you, I’m amazing with numbers,” Namjoon – as always, bites at the older wolf’s baiting, making Yoongi snort in amusement as they head for the laundry room.

 

“Shame you’re not amazing with banging a few numbers with Hoseok’s bedframe!” Jin hollers after them, and Yoongi is impressed with the omega’s self-restraint to remain in front of him, and not in the kitchen stuffing Jin’s head in the sink.

 

“He really wants you two to bang, doesn’t he?” Yoongi lightly says as he dumps the pillows on the counter as Namjoon stuffs his own load into the washing machine.

 

“He’s been like this for years, way before we came together as a support pack. You’d think he’d tire of it,” Namjoon snorts out as he shuts the door and turns on the correct settings.

 

Yoongi watches as the wolf reaches for an unmarked container and pours the liquid into the drawer, the scent super strong with scent neutraliser.

 

“Years, huh?” Yoongi repeats casually as he helps Namjoon with bringing down the two deep buckets that sit on top of the cupboards above the countertops.

 

“He saw it before either of us did,” Namjoon admits as he puts in some pillows into one bucket, with Yoongi copying him, “I think it helped distract him during those hard moments of seeing his mate…you know. He saw the attraction between us, and would be a lot more subtle about it than he is nowadays.”

 

“That’s because I actually want you to bang and be gross mates,” Jin answers from behind Yoongi, and both of them glance to see the wolf leaning against the door frame, towel thrown over a shoulder.

 

As the washing machine starts up as background noise, Namjoon pours in the same liquid he used in the washer over the pillows in the buckets, making sure to hit them all with it.

 

“You know Hoseok won’t act on anything as long as he’s a High,” Namjoon says as he pours.

 

“So, why don’t you?” Yoongi asks as politely as he can make his voice, knowing that he’s still the ‘potential new pack member if he finally gives his answer of Zentt bonding with the omega and other alphas’, but still wanting to be respectful of them still being near-strangers.

 

“Good question,” Jin says as they both watch a blushing Namjoon avoid their gazes.

 

“I’m being respectful of his choice.”

 

“By robbing both of yourselves from the chance of good dicking and being love-sick wolves?” Jin retorts back in an instant, and Yoongi – someone who isn’t shy about the topic of sex, finds himself blushing alongside Namjoon at the alpha’s choice of words.

 

“Sometimes, I want to take a bar of soap to your mouth, you know that, right?” Namjoon states, making Jin smirk at the omega’s deadpan tone.

 

“Mama tried that when I was a pup, and I still haven’t learnt to keep my mouth sin-free.”

 

“Remind me to send your mother flowers, she deserves a meadow full of them for raising your ass,” Namjoon says as he grabs a wooden stick from the hooks on the wall and begins to push the pillows down onto the liquid that has pooled at the bottom of the buckets.

 

“She really does,” Jin agrees with a nod, making both of them laugh.

 

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but there is no law that says a High can’t date a member of the pack, right?” Yoongi says as he follows Namjoon with picking up a bucket and waddling out back into the kitchen, towards the empty sink.

 

“You’re right, there isn’t one. But these two have condemned a relationship to failing before even giving it a chance to happen,” Jin answers as unhooks the tap from the sink, pulling it so the hidden metal pipe allows for them to bring it closer to the floor instead of having them lift it into the sink.

 

Jin turns on the tap and begins filling up the buckets with water as Namjoon answers.

 

“This is a cycle of constant debate when it isn’t needed, we both know the answer, myself and Hoseok have been clear we won’t change anything between us because he’s the High.”

 

Yoongi chews on his lip at that, thinking of what he’s been taught of breaking cycles, of opening yourself up instead of restricting yourself to a monotonous cycle.

 

“Aren’t some cycles worth breaking?” Yoongi casually throws out there as he continues to push at his own bucket with the stick Namjoon gave him. “I mean, you two really don’t know how things will go together unless you actually test it out, right? For all you know, you both could get together and be like, ‘meh, this isn’t what we both thought it’ll be, so let’s just go back to being friends?’.”

 

Namjoon and Jin stare at him at that, both with vastly different looks.

 

Jin’s looks delighted, and Namjoon looks pensive.

 

“I mean, that’d be the worst-case scenario,” Namjoon admits slowly.

 

“Doesn’t sound like a bad one,” Jin points out. “It’s pretty tame.”

 

“Okay, so maybe you both have a point,” Namjoon grunts as he turns the tap off, taking it from Jin to put back where it belongs.

 

Jin sends Yoongi a winning wink.

 

“Share that point with Hoseok and see where it takes you both. Hopefully to one of your dens, because while I support you both, I don’t want to walk into that office and smell that you both have done the deed in there. The air filter will need to be set high to remove it,” Jin teases as Namjoon and Yoongi pick up their buckets again to return back to the laundry room.

 

“Noted, must fuck in there just to annoy you,” Namjoon hums out as they leave, and Yoongi giggles as Jin’s towel misses them as he throws it at the omega’s taunt.

 

“You really have a lot of patience with him. Any other omega I know would’ve strangled an alpha that was so insistent on something that personal,” Yoongi says as they line up the buckets so they’re not in the way of accessing the washing machine.

 

“Jin knows I’d shut him down if he ever stepped over the line, I’m not shy in chewing him out,” Namjoon shrugs as they lean against the counters. “He just wants all of us to find happiness and to experience love, and that life has proven it’s too short to not try it.”

 

“Wise words from a wolf that has gone through it,” Yoongi comments softly, thinking of the alpha’s loss.

 

Namjoon nods in agreement. “He hides that behind jokes, but Jin really is a wolf that I respect and cherish. So, while we bicker like we’re blooded siblings, I really don’t get annoyed by the teasing. It’s Jin, at the end of the day. If he wasn’t like this, he wouldn’t be him.”

 

“I love you too!” Jin calls from the other room, causing Namjoon to fondly roll his eyes as he scoffs at it.

 

Yoongi’s chest wriggles with urge to be part of this loving, playful, dynamic that the pack members share with each other.

 

Seeing moments like this one, it only further fuels the little pulls in his chest to connect with the wolves, and to be part of that dynamic officially too.

 

Watching Namjoon’s and Jin’s conversation just reinforces how strong of a pack this one is, at how comfortable and secure they are to have conversations like this.

 

It’s like family – you love, you bicker, but most importantly, you help each other.

 

It describes this pack perfectly.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have the papers for you to sign,” Hoseok had discreetly whispered to Yoongi during breakfast this morning, and Yoongi timed his visit to the office so that none of the pack members saw him slipping into the office.

 

“Once you sign the papers, Jimin is no longer your Support, so you need to inform him today of the change,” Hoseok warns lightly as Yoongi sits on the two-seater, reading through the early release paper that cites the cause for the early release as, ‘conflict of wellbeing and comfort upon the news of a new guest’s arrival’.

 

It makes Yoongi come across as a bit of asocial, but he’s perfectly fine with that as long as it means both of their asses are covered as Yoongi breaks the hospitality law that protects support packs from guests overstaying their welcome.

 

“I’ve dated it for the day before a guest would arrive – even if we don’t have one, our backs are covered for you staying here as a non-guest until that date,” Hoseok continues, and Yoongi notes the date in question.

 

His stay at the pack will end halfway through his third week here, which also covers Yoongi’s ass from his boss who was the one that pushed for his four-week stay here.

 

Signing the paper today, it gives him and Jimin seven days to get a feeling of how courting each would be like in person, rather than trying it long distanced once Yoongi leaves.

 

That’s if Jimin doesn’t take offence of Yoongi ending his term of being his Support, and also accepts his gift, of course.

 

But, Yoongi can’t see any other way around of testing the waters with each other, not as long as Jimin wishes to remain professional due to being his Support, and with the potential addition of a guest joining the pack next week.

 

Yoongi signs his name on the forms, watches as Hoseok does it too before adding the official stamp marker that all Highs use on official documents.

 

And just like that, Yoongi is no longer a guest.

 

And Jimin is no longer his Support.

 

“Thank you for being a guest with Support Vellga, I hope the support you have gained towards your recovery continues with you,” Hoseok says warmly, smiling, giving Yoongi the official ending of his place here as a guest.

 

“And now that you’re no longer a guest, please go and make a certain alpha lose his mind with happiness.”

 

Yoongi takes his copy of the papers he’s signed, the ones he’ll have to submit at the visiting centre at the port, and also to his boss when he goes back to work, and stands up.

 

“I have to admit, I’m still surprised that you went through with this,” Yoongi comments softly.

 

“Jimin deserves all the chances of being happy, so breaking a few rules is worth it,” Hoseok shrugs softly as he takes his own papers to the desk to scan it into the computer.

 

“I think that should also apply to yourself, even if the rules are ones made by yourself,” Yoongi hints as he moves to leave, to allow Hoseok do whatever needs to be done with the papers.

 

Hoseok pauses, his gaze surprised. “Wha-”

 

“I’ll see you at lunch,” Yoongi singsongs as he closes the door behind him, leaving the alpha to pick apart his hint by himself.

 

Yoongi pats himself on the back with the paper. Last night with Namjoon, and now with Hoseok?

 

Yoongi is on a roll of hopefully helping spread some personal happiness to happen between those two.

 

Speaking of personal happiness, Yoongi’s gut is slammed with jittery nerves as he hurries to his den.

 

He’s due to meet Jimin in under half an hour at the alpha’s den, and now that everything is finalised, Yoongi hasn’t really thought through what he’s going to say to the other wolf.

 

‘Hey, guess what? You’re not my Support anymore!’

 

‘I know that we both agreed not to try anything whilst you were my Support, but I didn’t want to pursue a courtship through distance, because that would’ve been the only way to start it after my time here was up, so I asked for an early release!’

 

‘I just wanted to court you, and didn’t want to wait two more weeks to do so. We both want it, and now we can have it without working relations being in the way of us courting each other.’

 

Yoongi’s head is spinning by the time he steps into his den, anxiety creeping in to rain on his nervous excitement.

 

Now that Yoongi is really stopping to think this through now that it’s final, he’s realised at how….bold his decision was, and how Jimin may take this boldness in a wrong way and be turned off by it.

 

Yoongi’s head spins faster as nausea skips to join the party of jitters in his gut.

 

Jimin has already admitted to finding Yoongi slightly intimidating in a flustered-sort-of way, what if he finds this as too intimidating?

 

Yoongi almost scrunches up the paper in his hands.

 

Yoongi knows that he doesn’t act like a stereotyped omega, but what if Yoongi’s natural confidence and forwardness is just…too much for the alpha?

 

Before Yoongi can truly lose his shit, Jin’s words from last night hits him.

 

‘these two have condemned a relationship to failing before even giving it a chance to happen’

 

Which is exactly what Yoongi had been in the process of doing by getting caught up in his head.

 

The only way he’ll know for sure is by actually facing it, instead of conjuring up ‘what ifs?’ in his head.

 

The nerves still remain, but the nausea dissipates.

 

And when Yoongi leaves his den, canvas bag in hand, those nerves just double.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimin may have gone overboard with ransacking the bookshelves in the office for bad human fiction, but both he and Yoongi had bonded over ridiculing the books that stereotyped wolf society and mocked wulften meanings, and he wished to continue that bonding.

 

It was nice to have someone to growl and scoff along with at the ludicrous shit humans wrote about wolves in their fictions, and Jimin especially saw a rawer side of Yoongi when they came across a book that was a little too fanatical about male omegas.

 

Jimin was able to see more of that expressive rawness of Yoongi being open with his anger, the passion in the omega’s voice when he went on a tangent about both humans and wolves oversexualising male omegas that are born with a second reproductive system.

 

It drew Jimin into the wolf’s aura like a lightbulb does to a moth.

 

Seeing Yoongi so expressive with his opinions and thoughts just makes Jimin want to be too, to stop monitoring his words around others, a habit he still falls back into despite being away from his birth pack for many years.

 

Yoongi is a wolf that is completely himself, and Jimin wishes to be that too.

 

“Is it just me, or is today even more scorching hot than it was at the start of the week?” Yoongi’s voice greets as comes through Jimin’s open den door.

 

“I think today is the peak of the heatwave,” Jimin reassures with an amused smile as he heads for his small kitchenette to retrieve them both a glass of cold water from the pitcher he has in his fridge.

 

“You raided everyone’s shelves, or something?” Yoongi chuckles as he gently places his canvas bag down on the floor in front of the small table that is usually cluttered with Jimin’s work tools or clothes, but is now cluttered with books.

 

“Just the office,” Jimin grins as he brings their glasses over to the table, both of them sitting down on the wooden floor, the table between them.

 

“I brought one that I found in the den,” Yoongi shares lightly, and Jimin nods as he lifts his glass to take a sip from, watching the wolf dig into the canvas bag for it.

 

“So, which one do you recommend we start ripping apart?” Yoongi asks as he places his own book onto the table, besides the pile.

 

It doesn’t take them long to start scoffing and sniggering at the blurbs, and some of the book cover art.

 

“I mean, just look at this one – it’s a teen romance, and yet this fucker looks to be thirty, all ripped and shit,” Yoongi scoffs as he holds up the offending book in question. “I never saw any alphas in my high school days that were one, this jacked at the age of sixteen purely because they were an alpha, and two, looked like they have modelling contract on the side too.”

 

“Can’t relate. Most of the alphas in my birth pack were ripped, but weren’t always model-looking,” Jimin scoffs before he drains the rest of his water.

 

“Well, not all omegas are into this,” Yoongi says with a shake of the book before dropping it onto their rejected pile. “I mean, a bit of muscle is nice, but so is a bit of chub too.”

 

Jimin is improving – he doesn’t snort the water out through his nose or mouth like may have done whilst he was still getting used to his reaction to Yoongi’s bluntness.

 

Jimin nods as he swallows his mouthful like a normal wolf. “I agree. Feeding into the stereotype of what a wolf’s rank is and how they should look and behave as a result is so engrained into our society, I don’t think we’ll ever be able to dislodge it.”

 

“Probably not, but it’ll force wolves to become less tolerant, so that is a plus,” Yoongi hums out in agreement as he rests back onto his hands.

 

“How about this one? The one you brought?” Jimin asks as he reaches for it, since the wolf hadn’t mentioned it since arriving, which was over an hour ago now.

 

Yoongi doesn’t reply as Jimin flips open the hardback cover to read the blurb on the inside of the paper sleeve, and stills as a folded piece of A4 paper falls onto his lap.

 

“You left your bookmark,” Jimin says, handing the folded paper to the wolf.

 

And feels himself straighten slightly at the nervousness he can pick up on in those brown and green eyes.

 

“It’s not mine,” Yoongi answers back with lightly, and Jimin’s pulse picks up slightly at the sudden change of demeaner he’s seeing from the wolf.

 

Jimin slowly brings the paper back towards himself, and with a questioning tilt of his head at the wolf, he flips the paper open, his gaze leaving Yoongi’s to see who it belongs to.

 

It takes Jimin roughly ten seconds to realise that he’s reading a letter.

 

It takes a further three seconds for Jimin to gasp as he snaps his shocked gaze up at the nervous wolf.

 

“You’re leaving?” Jimin blurts out, and cringes instantly because that wasn’t the first thing he wanted to question. “I mean, I’m no longer your Support?”

 

“Technically, I leave this time next week,” Yoongi points out, voice nervous and pitched a little high to compensate it. “And technically, yeah, I’m no longer your guest.”

 

Jimin’s gaze drops back down onto the letter, not breathing, as he scans through the words, the words of, ‘early release’, ‘uncomfortable to a new guest’s presence’, ‘three weeks’ worth of recovery completed’, and snaps his gaze back up to an even more nervous-looking Yoongi.

 

“Are you upset? I just wanted us to try seeing how courting each other would be in person instead of starting it as a long distanced one due to me leaving the island at the end of my stay. Really, your support has been amazing, Jimin. I can’t deny that, and you’ve already helped me on the path of managing my nightmares. so it’s not because of your support, but because you were my Support that I went to Hoseok and basically corralled him into signing this and letting me break the law to stay here as a non-guest,” Yoongi vomits out the nervous burst of words, taking Jimin further aback as his senses try to absorb everything being thrown at him.

 

Yoongi’s spiked scent from his nerves, his actual nerves manifesting in his tone and body language that is pulling at Jimin’s own body to calm and soothe, and also trying to understand the cause of the reason why Jimin is holding the wolf’s discharge letter.

 

“You broke the law just to stay with me,” Jimin bluntly blurts out before Yoongi can start again.

 

Yoongi pauses, a tad surprised, but then nods. “Yeah?”

 

“You’re a Monitor, Yoongi,” Jimin deadpans as he lowers the paper down onto his lap. “You can’t break the laws that you monitor.”

 

“What they won’t know, won’t hurt them,” comes the automatic response, and it’s so Yoongi-like, that Jimin can’t help but smile at the carefree manner the wolf said it.

 

“You broke the law for me,” Jimin states again, softer this time, as he resists the urge to curl his hands into little fists of delight and shyness.

 

Yoongi’s gaze softens too, his nervousness simmering down. “You’re worth breaking a few laws for.”

 

Jimin swallows thickly at hearing that, at hearing something that no other wolf has ever uttered for him.

 

Not even his own family broke pack laws to protect Jimin, to keep them as a family, and yet, Yoongi has broken the law already just so that they both can court each other in person, instead of starting it long distanced.

 

Jimin breathes in thickly, feels the tightening at the back of his throat, as he wills back the urge to cry.

 

“I also wanted to do this properly,” Yoongi says as he looks down, hands digging, and Jimin stops breathing as he hears the canvas material rustling as Yoongi lifts something from it.

 

But, Yoongi doesn’t lift just one thing from the bag.

 

He lifts three wooden candle holders, all three of them beautiful with their different shades of wooden twigs, allowing a contrast of colour and texture against the glass that houses the candles that sit inside.

 

Jimin’s eyes prickle, his vision wavering, as he hesitantly moves to touch the closest one to him, the smallest one of the three.

 

“You…you made these?” Jimin hears himself ask over the heavy, thick, beating of his heartbeat, and the heavy awareness of his instinct pressing against his chest as if it too is holding onto Jimin as his fingertip lightly grazes over the wood.

 

“I made them for you,” Yoongi corrects softly, but confidently. “This is my Beckoning Gift to you, Jimin.”

 

Jimin curls his finger away from the gifts – his gifts – and presses both hands to his eyes to catch the tears before they can trail down his cheeks.

 

He hears a soft sound come from Yoongi, hears the wolf moving, and feels the other’s presence sit down on his left, a light touch on his knee that proves to be Yoongi’s hand when Jimin forces a hand away from wiping his eyes.

 

“I’m just overwhelmed, give me a second,” Jimin chokes out as his throat remains tight as emotions get trapped there, not knowing who should take the lead, as Jimin sucks in the calming scent of the wolf beside him.

 

“Take as long as you need,” Yoongi murmurs gently. “I’m just glad they’re not tears of disgust at my handiwork.”

 

“Of course they’re not, your gift is beautiful, Yoongi,” Jimin whispers, unable to speak any higher as he grasps for the hand on his knee, anchoring them together, as he makes eye contact with the wolf, turning his body a little so that they can face each other again.

 

“I have never been given a gift as…as meaningful as yours are,” Jimin continues, needing to get it out of his chest, “I’m only used to flimsy gifts of pretend interest, tokens of dares made by wolves wanting to fool around with the unattractive one. I’m not used to kindness, nor intention, being shown to me.”

 

“I know, it’s why I wanted to make my own as statement worthy as I could get without writing you a courtship contract,” Yoongi lightens the mood with the ending joke, something that they both laughed at because it was featured in one of the many books they’ve giggled over.

 

“You did your homework on wood gifts?” Jimin teases, sniffling, as his tears slow.

 

Yoongi nods with a smile. “I asked my ma for guidance since she knows so much – tradition wise.”

 

Jimin nods at that. He knows of the wolf’s parents’ careers, of how Yoongi’s mother is a scholar of educating humans about wolf society, and his father is a social worker for wolves that have been part of toxic packs, helping them find places in the cities and adjusting to city life.

 

“Thank you,” Jimin whispers, and with a skipping, overwhelmed, heartbeat, he leans and nuzzles the side of Yoongi’s cheek his nose, pressing against the flushed skin with the tip of his nose first before nuzzling with the side of his nose and cheek.

 

Jimin inhales as deep as he can to suck in the way Yoongi’s scent sticks to his nose at that, at the way he leaves behind a light scent mark of his own on the other’s cheek, as he pulls back.

 

And when Yoongi returns the nuzzle, copying Jimin’s exact nuzzling, Jimin helplessly holds the other’s hand as he shudders through the affectionate action.

 

“Just to be sure, you accept my gift, yeah?” Yoongi whispers, tone teasing, and Jimin smiles as he meets the older wolf’s gaze.

 

“I accept your Beckoning gift,” Jimin whispers back, squeezing the wolf’s hand, “but only if you’ll accept my own.”

 

Yoongi’s gaze turns confused. “You don’t-”

 

“My Beckoning Gift to you is the truth of why I left my birth pack, and if…and if you still want to be with me after hearing it, then I will happily accept yours too,” Jimin speaks over the other wolf, needing for Yoongi to hear this as Jimin’s chest tightens, and all of his senses are shrinking in at the mention of going down that particular memory.

 

Jimin waits for Yoongi to say anything further, and when the omega nods for Jimin to go ahead, Jimin takes in a shaking inhale that feels like it’s lacking any oxygen at all, and goes for it.

 

“I was banished,” Jimin begins bluntly, watching the wolf’s reactions like a hawk. “I was banished for breaking pack law of using violence against another wolf. But that pack law was already being broken by many others behind closed doors. I was just made the poster wolf of never saying it out loud.”

 

Yoongi’s gaze hardens, but not in the way of repulsion of hearing Jimin being violent, but in the way of a wolf reacting to something he’s heard many times before, and has become familiar to hearing it.

 

“Do you want me to listen first, or to ask you questions for you to tell it?” Yoongi asks, and Jimin is grateful for it, because now he’ll know the cause of any silence between them.

 

“Listen first, and then I’ll answer them,” Jimin says, and Yoongi nods, and turns silent as he waits for Jimin to begin his story.

 

A story of a wolf learning that the alphas around him, the very ones that drilled it into Jimin’s skull that they are there to protect, were some of the ones that caused others to be hurt behind the closed doors of their dens.

 

“My brother, Jinho, was an omega that was outspoken as you could be in my birth pack. He always refused gifts, refused courtships, always hated that our parents pushed for him to settle down despite being the youngest. They focused on him because he was the birth pack’s token image of attraction and beauty, so he had a better chance of finding a mate and settling down without trouble,” Jimin leaves the unspoken part of himself hanging in the air, and he knows that Yoongi knows because the wolf’s jaw clenches slightly as he continues to listen.

 

“But, my brother soon settled. He accepted a courtship from an alpha that was older by three years, and had already begun the foundations of building a den for Jinho as his Beckoning gift. Our parents allowed a sixteen year old to be courted by an nineteen year old,” Jimin sighs out, remembering that vividly, the day his brother went to check out the den with Jimin and shrugged his shoulders with a sigh of, ‘at least he’s made a start of building a den for the future’.

 

“Just like that, my outspoken, rebellious, brother settled for the promise of building a den with a wolf that had loud intentions to mate Jinho, because he was getting tired of saying no to our parents, and to others in the pack. He was sixteen, and already tired of it all.”

 

“After Jinho turned seventeen, the age of consent in our birth pack to mate, their Mating Ceremony was combined with others in the pack, as is custom so that the entire birth pack can celebrate and congratulate the couplings. It was all for the pack, than for the couples themselves, since they all followed with scarring their bond marks on their wrists,” Jimin blandly says, because even when he lived there, he always found it strange that everyone scarred themselves in the same way, and that no sense of individualism existed for something as meaningful as your bond mark.

 

“Jinho moved out of the family den once their den had a roof on it, and from then onwards, I barely saw my brother,” Jimin says as he pushes through the growing tightness in his throat. “We’ve always been close. He was protective over me, and I was as protective over him too because he was just a pup still to me, even if a year separated us. So, when the weeks started to become months of me barely being able to hang out with him, to catch up, my gut started reacting. I started to grow suspicious.”

 

“My parents told me that I was being a nosey wolf, and that, ‘of course Jinho is busy now. He’s mated. His focus is on being with his mate now, not us’. They told me to try and improve my own chances of finding a mate before worrying about how my brother spends time with his own mate.”

 

“Your parents are assholes, I just need to say that out loud before I suffocate on it,” Yoongi quickly growls out, his hand still tight around Jimin’s own.

 

“Different generational upbringings,” Jimin shrugs, having made peace with how his parents treated him for the majority of his life with the excuse. “But, my instinct was pushing at me. It wasn’t happy with that reason, and neither was I. So, I tried to make it more known to Jinho of the passing months it had been since we hung out, and Jinho started to become more evasive with his reasons for bailing on me.”

 

“After my eighteenth birthday passed, Jinho still hadn’t come to the family den to celebrate it with us, and….something inside my told me to go to him,” Jimin takes a moment to prepare himself as he stands in front of the door that the memory is locked behind.

 

Yoongi runs his thumb over the back of his hand, his scenting pushing lightly at Jimin in comfort, comfort that Jimin takes.

 

“Looking back, I don’t know how I never saw the signs,” Jimin admits quietly, tightly. “The long absences of seeing him and then not seeing him, or never being invited to his den, or not always seeing them eat with the rest of the pack, despite older mated couples eating in the dining hall.”

 

“But, I went to his den, and I went knowing that something was wrong because Jinho had never once forgotten to celebrate my birthday with me, and me to him with his own.”

 

“I remember walking to their cabin, up the wooden steps, and to the front door, not smelling a damn thing. But, as soon as I turned the handle and pushed the wooden door open, all I smelt was Jinho’s fear,” Jimin whispers, both hands gripping Yoongi’s hand, as he sees the living area of Jinho’s den in his mind, at how calm it had looked, at how it was deceiving, hiding the truth.

 

“I raced for where his scent was screaming from, found him curled into a ball in the bedding area, the curtain closing him in, clutching his stomach,” Jimin says as the memory plays on, taking the steps he speaks to Yoongi. “He broke down when he saw me, trying to reach for me but couldn’t move because of his stomach, and would whimper every damn time his body shivered from fear and relief.”

 

Jinho’s glassy brown and green eyes staring up at him from the corner of the room, the lamp from the dresser making his brother seem haunting, terrified.

 

Jimin remembers pulling back his brother’s sweater, the season not yet winter but getting close with chilly nights, and seeing the swelling caused from bruising of old and new, of how they littered his stomach and ribs, perfectly hidden from view, perfectly maintaining a lie.

 

“Alphas are taught to protect, and never to harm unless it followed pack protocols to do so, and yet, this fucker put his hands on my baby brother and used him as his personal fucking punching bag,” Jimin seethes through tightly gritted teeth as tears fog up his gaze once more. “I…left Jinho behind, and tracked down the scent of his mate. Found him out on patrol, looking completely unbothered about attacking his own mate.”

 

“And without giving it a second’s thought, I walked right up to him and punched him straight in the chest, instantly breaking ribs from the force of my punch, and as he dropped to the floor, I didn’t stop. I kicked. I stamped. I choked him with my nails digging into the sides of his neck with my knees digging into his chest, screaming at him for abusing Jinho, at how he can live with herself, at how he can call himself an alpha if he hurts his own fucking mate.”

 

Jimin can still recall how putrid the area stank of them both – of Jimin’s rage, the alpha’s blood, the panicking alphas around them that tried to pull Jimin away.

 

He can still recall the exact moment Jimin realised that the panic around him wasn’t for the alpha being hurt, but to shut up Jimin.

 

“I was dragged away, still screaming about how he should be charged for domestic violence to his mate, to an omega, when I noticed that I was trying to be silenced, that the other alphas around me were forcing their dominance on me to shut me up,” Jimin reveals as he feels the heaviness of another alpha’s dominance sit on you, the tightness, the instinctive response to throw your own back in challenge.

 

“Before I could make sense of what was happening, I was thrown into the High’s office, covered in blood, smelling of rage, and looking the perfect image of being a violent wolf. The alphas that had thrown me at the High’s feet told the High that I attacked another alpha out of jealousy, that I have been a nuisance to Jinho and his mate for months now, and that tonight I had attacked the alpha for, ‘taking Jinho away from him’.”

 

Yoongi’s gaze can only be described as pure fire now, his rage silent, contained well, as he nods for Jimin to continue.

 

“My parents were summoned, as was Jinho, and so were the rest of the fucking birth pack to witness the sudden trial I was being unfairly thrown into,” Jimin bitterly recounts, can still remember every face that stood in the yard outside of the High’s office, can still remember the concealed looks of fear, pity, and frustration.

 

“They never once asked Jinho if what I said held truth,” Jimin admits, his voice breaking, despite all of these years passing of watching his sibling crying in silence, hiding his injuries, as their parents tried to console him. “They told my family that, as an alpha, I had broken the vow of protecting members of the pack, that I unlawfully used violence on a fellow alpha, and spewed lies of violence between mates.”

 

“No one spoke up for me. No one,” Jimin wipes at his face as tears drip off his chin, falling onto their hands. “No one listened to me to pull up Jinho’s sweater to show the evidence there, no one questioned the origin of Jinho’s fear scent, and no one came forward to add their own evidence of being sufferers of domestic violence.”

 

“I was alone. And as the alphas and High issued judgement on me, so did the rest of the pack.”

 

“You know of Hunter’s Moon?” Jimin whispers, and Yoongi nods stiffly. “Winter’s Hunter’s Moon began with the alphas, fellow alphas that I grew up with and older ones that taught me the pack’s way of being an alpha, they all chased me out of the pack without even allowing me the chance to say goodbye to my family.”

 

“At the age of eighteen years old, I was banished for being a violent alpha. A lie created to protect the perfect lie the birth pack refused to admit to – that violence happened freely in the pack, providing it stayed behind den doors.”

 

“To this day, I have no idea if…if Jinho is still alive, if my family even remained in the pack after that,” Jimin’s chest aches and tightens at the same time as he sobs. “I was brought up believing one thing, only to learn that it was all a lie. That alphas can be cruel, and if enabled by a High that is just as cruel, they can remain being cruel to those behind closed doors.”

 

“For years, my mind was haunted by picking apart childhood memories, faces I knew but didn’t know because you don’t know a wolf once the door is closed behind them, of wondering if my own parents were ever violent to each other and hid it so perfectly well, just like some of the wolves did in the pack.”

 

“But, what haunted me the most was knowing that I couldn’t do anything to help them, or my brother,” Jimin admits with a sniff as he tries to calm himself down, both his and Yoongi’s hand gently wiping away his tears and snot. “I learnt that I was officially branded as a banished wolf through a Data Collector that had been visiting a social pack I was in at the time, at how my name will forever be flagged red due to the reason of the banishment.”

 

“You could appeal it,” Yoongi comments softly, and Jimin shakes his head.

 

“Too much time has passed for me to appeal anything. I…for all I know, the birth pack has completely changed.”

 

“I’ll check as soon as I’m back at work,” Yoongi vows, and that sends a fresher wave of tears to Jimin’s eyes as he splutters at it. “I know your birth pack name now. I can easily look up its census notes to see if any reports of domestic abuse have been flagged.”

 

“Part of me wants to know, and another is terrified of hearing that nothing has changed,” Jimin shakily admits as he wipes away the fresh tears.

 

“Well, now that I know the background of the pack, I can sure organise a Data Collector to go there for a surprise visit, that way the pack doesn’t have time to put on a show,” Yoongi growls as he gently thumbs away Jimin’s tears from under his eyes, his hands cradling his face. “It is hard cracking down on packs that do hide domestic violence, but it’s not impossible. It just takes us time to pull the seams apart to reveal the truth beneath.”

 

“How will you suddenly explain the sudden interest in that pack? My name has no credit,” Jimin points out softly, feeling exhausted now, as he shuts the door on memory of his banishment.

 

“Yet, it doesn’t,” Yoongi corrects firmly, gave meaning it. “As a senior Data Collector, and now a Monitor, I don’t need a reason to suddenly look into a pack. My track record is proof of my gut instinct being right.”

 

“I just hope that change has happened,” Jimin whispers, closing his eyes. “For years, I tortured myself about leaving Jinho behind. I just hope my brother managed to escape from his mate, through divorce or escaping the pack.”

 

“I’ll soon be able to answer that once I’m back in the city,” Yoongi promises, resting his head against Jimin’s. “I’ll help you, Jimin. I’ll help the truth that you were denied being heard, to be heard now.”

 

“I don’t care about the red flag on my name. I just care about my brother no longer hurting, even if it comes years too late.”

 

Yoongi makes a soft, comforting, sound that Jimin instinctively responds with one of his own as he continues to be held by the wolf, breathing in his scent, using it to calm his frayed emotions.

 

“In case it needs to be stated, I accept your gift,” Yoongi whispers after a long moment of them just breathing in each other’s scent.

 

That brings another round of tears down Jimin’s cheeks, tears that Yoongi wipes away again as he presses a light kiss to Jimin’s forehead.

 

Only this time, his tears are of relief and hope, rather of sadness and regret.

 

He always knew that this moment would be a raw one when he’d admit his deepest secret to Yoongi, but he also knew that courting the wolf couldn’t happen until Yoongi knew his full story.

 

And now that the wolf does, Jimin feels like he’s been cracked open.

 

He feels vulnerable, but free.

 

Jimin doesn’t have to hide or monitor himself around Yoongi now.

 

Yoongi has seen him at his most vulnerable state, and still held his hand through it.

 

And Jimin knows that he can do the same for the wolf too.

 

He may not be Yoongi’s Support anymore, but both of them have suffered trauma that has affected them.

 

Jimin’s own may be several layers deeper than Yoongi’s own, but trauma is still trauma, no matter the amount.

 

They’re both survivors in their own right.

 

It’s another connection, a shared experience, another form of understanding each other as they bond further.

 

And…maybe, the sun and moon had planned this all along for them, because it was trauma that brought them upon this island for their own reasons, meeting each other, and connecting.

 

Maybe the darkest chapters of their lives were the chapters needed to help them find the chapters that will define the rest of their story.

 

Maybe.

 

All that Jimin knows is that his head hurts, and he needs a good nap.

 

And when he shares his little grumble under his breath with the wolf, Yoongi snorts softly in answer, and pulls from him.

 

“Let’s clean up this mess, and you can have a well-deserved nap,” Yoongi says as he moves the books into neat piles, before pausing as Jimin shoves them onto the floor so that he can delicately display the three candle holders onto his table instead.

 

“You just made a bigger mess,” Yoongi points out even as he smiles as he watches Jimin lightly touch and study his gift.

 

“It’ll be fine, my den is always a mess,” Jimin comments back, soft warmth building in his chest, chasing away the tight coldness the more he stares at his gift.

 

“You really like them?” Yoongi comments softly, still squatting down next to the table, watching Jimin.

 

Jimin nods softly, tempted to just rest his head on the table so that he can keep close to them.

 

“They’re beautiful,” Jimin compliments earnestly, flicking his gaze to the slightly shy wolf.

 

“Well, the saying must be true, that beauty is found in the eye of the beholder.”

 

Jimin gently pushes the male’s knee at that. “Accept my compliment.”

 

“I am!” Yoongi laughs softly, before standing up with a groan. “I’m too old to be squatting like that for too long.”

 

Jimin’s lips twitch at that. “You’re thirty.”

 

“And completely stiff for my age,” Yoongi nods, even though Jimin hadn’t said a word on that, but it still makes him snort.

 

“We’ll shift again, that’ll help your muscles remember how to be young again.”

 

“I’ll look forward to it,” Yoongi smiles down at him as he grabs his canvas bag. “I’ll see you at dinner?”

 

Jimin nods, unable to move from his position since he’s still too attached to wanting to appreciate Yoongi’s gift as attentively as his instinct is urging him to do so.

 

Yoongi waves a little as he disappears past Jimin’s door, and Jimin tracks the sounds of the wolf going down his porch steps, and along the wooden walkway.

 

Jimin caves and leans his arm onto the table, his head being cushioned on it, as his left hand continues to tracing a finger up and down each twig on each candle holder.

 

And maybe he does fall asleep like that, curled around Yoongi’s Beckoning Gift to him, still able to scent to male in the air, and on his skin.

 

Maybe, for the first time in a long time, Jimin feels at peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner that night feels like it’s the first one again.

 

Only this time, Yoongi’s slight nerves are on how Jimin will act around him in front of his pack members, instead of Yoongi trying to figure out how to act in a new pack.

 

“Have you heard the latest gossip?” Taehyung says as everyone settles down into the floor pit, the tantalising smell of creamy mushroom pasta served from one massive dish, and homemade garlic bread.

 

Yoongi is clueless to the supposed island gossip, but he still listens in as he helps Jungkook fill up everyone’s glasses of water.

 

“About the café opening up during the evening as a takeout hub?” Hoseok questions, his hair dripping onto the towel that hangs around his shoulders, dressed in a loose vest and shorts, allowing the slight hint of coolness to help battle the strong humidity of the night.

 

“Wait, what?” Jin says, lost, as he pauses plating some bread onto his plate. “They’re doing what with the café?”

 

“Ell was telling me yesterday that they received the go-ahead to test if the island needs a take-away source,” Taehyung continues as he spoons a large portion into Jungkook’s bowl, whilst Jungkook does the same for him.

 

“So, this means I can just call up the café whenever I crave something greasy?” Jungkook questions, and Taehyung nods, making the young alpha do a little happy dance on the spot, making them all chuckle at his excitement.

 

“I’m not sure exactly what will be on the menu, but no doubt pizza will be,” Hoseok muses as he bashfully smiles as Namjoon hands him his bowl back since the omega had filled it with his portion.

 

“It’ll be a nice addition, a treat for when neither of us can be bothered to cook,” Namjoon hums out as he hands his own bowl to an awaiting Hoseok.  

 

“As long as it remains as just one. The mainland is the source of fast food delivery, not islands,” Jin scoffs as he digs into his food.

 

“How much would you like, Yoongi?”

 

Yoongi glances to Jimin, and stares at seeing the alpha holding his bowl, spoon in hand, and flicks his gaze up to meet the wolf’s shy, but amused, gaze.

 

“Just halfway, but I like mushrooms so….plenty, please,” Yoongi trails off as he feels attention on him and Jimin, watching as the wolf kneels more so that he can dig deeper into the pasta dish, indeed fishing out more of the mushrooms that sit below.

 

Yoongi ignores their audience as he puts two thick junks of garlic bread down beside the alpha’s empty bowl, before retrieving it to copy Jimin. “How much?”

 

“A lot. I really like pasta,” Jimin grins, scent happy, gaze happy, as they both learn each other’s food preferences.

 

“Cute,” he hears a barely contained whisper, and when he glances to see which wolf is responsible for it, the other five immediately look away or stuff their mouths with pasta.

 

“Oh, by the way, I’m not longer a guest here,” Yoongi states casually as he takes his bowl from Jimin with a thankful smile.

 

And shares an amused smirk with the alpha at the stillness that happens again.

 

“You’re not?” Jin questions, looking at Hoseok. “Wait, don’t tell me this is his last meal with us, I would’ve-”

 

“Why don’t you let them explain?” Hoseok causally cuts off the older wolf, smirking from behind the rim of his glass.

 

Yoongi glances at Jimin, studying the alpha, checking his body cues, and grows fond at the barely concealed way Jimin is holding back the urge to tell his pack members of their courtship.

 

“Yoongi and I felt that trying to court each other as a guest and a support would take away from his recovery, so we chose not to pursue it,” Jimin begins as he takes his bowl from Yoongi. “But Yoongi was smarter about it, and saw a way for us to test the waters of courting each other during his time here, instead of starting it long distanced.”

 

“In the eyes of the law, I’m still a guest until this time next week. But, really, I’m not,” Yoongi says as he digs his spoons into his bowl to fish out some mushrooms.

 

“Come again?” Jungkook says, lost. “How can that happen without breaking the-oh,” Jungkook trails off, understanding dawning on his face as Yoongi looks at him as he chews his mushrooms. “You broke the rules again, haven’t you?”

 

“You make it sound like I break them all the time,” Yoongi snorts out, making the pack laugh.

 

“So how many laws have you broken?” Namjoon questions, grinning.

 

“Only a hand full.”

 

“That the department knows of, the rest only I know of,” Jungkook grins before he shovels a mouthful of garlic bread into his mouth.

 

“Just little rules,” Yoongi quickly reaffirms, in case the pack think too deeply into it. “Not reporting asshole wolves that like to throw power trips about my rank, pretending to be on a conference call but really I’ve ended my shift for the day, not carrying my work ID at work, you know, the boring stuff.”

 

“I wouldn’t say that first one should be lumped with, ‘boring’,” Taehyung comments lightly, and Jin, Namjoon, and Hoseok nod and hum in agreement, expressions a trio of concern.

 

“I report the ones that piss me off, the others are like shit flies – annoying, but easy to ignore,” Yoongi reassures between bites of his food.

 

“Now that we know, you’ve made us accomplices to your law-breaking ways,” Jin points out with a teasing smirk.

 

“It’s good thing that my instinct has good taste,” Namjoon sniffs, playing too.

 

“Have you heard these two trying to butter up our Yoongi?” Taehyung whispers loudly to Jungkook, both wolves wearing matching grins as they tease Jin and Namjoon.

 

“I’m yours, huh?” Yoongi questions, grinning with fond amusement, and watches as Taehyung slings an arm around Jungkook’s shoulders as both of them nod.

 

“Pros of having a Zentt bond, we have bragging rights,” Jungkook grins, defending himself and Taehyung when Jin and Namjoon throw a napkin each at the couple.

 

“You’re awfully quiet, despite feeling the pull too,” Jin says as he pokes Hoseok’s side, staring at the High with suspicion that makes the male laugh.

 

“I think being law-breaking twins is more than enough of a brag,” Hoseok smiles at Yoongi, and Yoongi is once again hit with how fate truly decided to deal him this set of cards, of placing him in a pack that he not only feels drawn to have Zentt bonds with, but also a potential Mayt bond too.

 

“Speaking of bragging rights,” Taehyung trails off pointedly, leaning to look at Jimin, expression beaming.

 

Yoongi glances to witness the alpha shoving a large bite of bread into his mouth, ignoring the beta’s baiting.

 

It makes Yoongi’s chest pulse and tighten at the same time as Jimin remains closed-lipped on details of how their courtship may progress.

 

It’s endearing that the wolf isn’t going to brag about courting Yoongi - even though Yoongi is perfectly fine with that - and having a potentially stronger bond compared to them all with Yoongi.

 

The topic of focus soon shifts from him and Jimin as Hoseok accidently sends his glass flying when he reached for more pasta, and now Jin is whining as he chews out the High for getting water on his bread and ruining it.

 

And during the dramatics of poutful arguing going back and forth from Hoseok and Jin as they bicker as Jin refuses to hand over some bread to the High (featuring side comments from Namjoon as he naturally sides with Hoseok to further rile up the eldest wolf), Jimin silently refills Yoongi’s bowl with a spoonful of mushrooms and sauce.

 

“Jin?” Yoongi calls softly, grinning as the comedy show at the table continues to play in front of them.

 

“You’re not getting a damn piece-Yes, Yoongi?” Jin cuts off his argument, still holding the plate of bread far away from both Namjoon and Hoseok, as he looks at Yoongi.

 

Yoongi silently holds out his palms. “Can I have some?”

 

“Yeah sure, here you go,” Jin’s attitude switches from bickering, to attentively, as he gives Yoongi four pieces.

 

Yoongi shares a matching smirk with Jimin as the arguing picks up steam at that, as Yoongi plates three of the bread pieces next to Jimin’s bowl.

 

“Already the favourite,” Jimin teases between them as he tries to give Yoongi his third piece of bread, with Yoongi redirecting it back to him.

 

“Not my fault the face is cute,” Yoongi teases back as it becomes a mini game between them both as they each try to force the other to take ownership of the poor piece of bread.

 

“See, look what you’ve done, you’ve made them even cuter!” Namjoon whines out in a slightly distressed, but highly affectionate, tone.

 

Yoongi wins since Jimin’s attention goes to the other omega’s remark, and grins when Jimin looks down to see the bread now in his pasta bowl.

 

“Get used to being spoiled, ask the brat here, I’m notorious for it,” Yoongi hums out, completely unashamed for it as he takes a big spoonful of pasta into his mouth, and Jungkook backs him up with a hum of agreement, thumbs up an all, because he’s eating like a starved pup.

 

“That’s it, you two keep ganging up on me despite refusing to be a duo, so let’s settle this like wolves – I challenge you to a fishing duel. If you can catch more than five fish, I’ll finally shut up about you two banging, if I win, you two finally go on a fucking date,” Jin declares as he stands up, still holding the plate of bread hostage, but drawing everyone’s attention.

 

Namjoon and Hoseok immediately shut up, cheeks red, as they gawp up at the alpha.

 

“As the designated Angler of this pack, I seek offense at this challenge – where the hell is my invite?!” Taehyung complains, pout and all, as Jin looks at his whining form.

 

“You’re a hazard to yourself under non-timed conditions, you really wanna test fate and see if you can catch five fish in five minutes?” Jin retorts back with, hip cocked slightly with a hand on it.

 

“As if I’d be alone. Jungkook will help me.”

 

“Err, will I now?” Jungkook immediately teases, pretending to be serious, and laughs when Taehyung moves to abandon his side, bowl in hand, and the alpha clings to him with promises of helping Taehyung win.

 

“How about the new couple?” Jin asks, startling them both. “You in, or out?”

 

“We don’t have anything to prove?” Jimin points out slowly, amused.

 

“Really?” Jin deadpans, and then stares at Yoongi with such a blatant stare, before giving Jimin a raised eyebrow. “Nothing to prove to a potential future mate?”

 

Yoongi hides his head in his hands as he begins laughing at the entire situation, scenting the immediate change to Jimin’s scent at the alpha’s purposefully baiting words.

 

Lura, give him strength, but this pack is going to ruin his heart if they keep acting like adorable pups.

 

“What will we win?” Jimin demands, accepting the challenge, and Yoongi silently prays to Lura that the alpha can fish, because Yoongi definitely can’t.

 

“As if you two will win, clearly we will win,” Taehyung scoffs the fighting words, and again, Yoongi’s heart can only take so much ridiculous affection as he watches Taehyung and Jungkook pat each other’s arms as they show off their muscles.

 

“Jin?” Yoongi calls for the older male’s attention before Jimin can retaliate to the baiting.

 

“If Namseok win – yes, accept the name, don’t even come for me – I’ll stop chewing on their legs to date already, if the pups here win – don’t give me that look, Tae, you’ve just proven my point – I’ll stop chewing on their legs to mate already, and if you and Jiminie win, I’ll keep all of my teasing to a low minimum whenever I see you two be cute together.”

 

“Deal,” comes four immediate voices, causing Yoongi to bark out a laugh as Jin rolls his eyes at the reaction.

 

“You really want to hunt fish to prove a point?” Yoongi asks the silent alpha beside him, nudging his shoulder with his own.

 

“Against Jin? Always,” Jimin grins as he holds his hand out for the older wolf to shake, and the others follow suit.

 

“Excellent, get an early night of rest, gentlemen! I’m going to show you all what talent is truly capable of tomorrow down on the water!” Jin hollers as places the plate back onto the table, before dropping to sit down again with a very smug and proud grin.

 

Yoongi doesn’t trust that grin.

 

Not even an inch.

 

The alpha is plotting something.

 

Yoongi can feel it deep in his bones.

 

And while he has a feeling himself and Jimin may get a taste of it tomorrow, Yoongi bets that the two wolves that are going to be the entire focus of Jin’s plotting and mischief are a certain alpha and omega that are stuffing garlic bread into their mouths.

 

They all know that Jin will – to some limit – adhere to losing, if he does. But they also all know that the main reason why they’ve each accepted this pupish challenge is because they all want to.

 

Namjoon and Hoseok need an excuse to act on any ‘accidental’ touching that will happen, because the wolves are still wolves, and they both are clearly attracted to each other and will be drawn into the atmosphere of play and fun.

 

Taehyung and Jungkook are just always up for a laugh and fun, so of course those two were game to play.

 

And Jimin?

 

Yoongi smiles to himself as he glances at the alpha in question, watching the animated way Jimin is conversing with Hoseok.

 

Maybe Jin had been right about wanting to prove himself to a potential mate.

 

Because Yoongi wants to do it too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next morning at breakfast, the challenge is issued to start an hour after breakfast ending so that they all don’t get cooked under the high noon sun whilst playing around in the water.

 

Taehyung runs to prepare the nets and fishing rods, dragging a bleary-eyed boyfriend to help him set up the dock, and an observing Jin tagging along to make sure the beta plays honestly and doesn’t ‘sabotage’ anything.

 

Taehyung promises to push the older in the water for the remark, and they all know the beta will follow through with it once they are all down there.

 

“Question, you can fish, right?” Yoongi questions when he and Jimin are walking down towards the dock, an hour later.

 

“Not even a little bit,” Jimin admits, and it makes Yoongi laugh loudly at how honest the wolf sounded as the alpha grins at Yoongi.

 

“Fake it until you make it,” Yoongi says with a nod. “If we fake our fishing skill, we can make them quake before us.”

 

“Maybe we should lay off reading the bad fiction, huh?” Jimin sniggers teasingly, gently jostling Yoongi’s shoulder, as the sounds of their sandals thump against the wooden walkway.

 

“Move out of the way, losers, winners are coming through!” Namjoon calls from behind them, and when they look, the omega is actually waving his hands for them to part so he can dramatically walk past them with a flip of his head, making his hair bounce with it.

 

“What he said,” Hoseok grins, following after the omega, leaving behind Jimin and Yoongi to scoff at their backs.

 

They share a determined grin at each other.

 

“You ready to play dirty if we have to?” Jimin whispers as they approach the dock.

 

Yoongi nods.

 

“Always.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the beaming, hot, sun, on a cloudless Thursday morning, carnage rages on a little embankment of the island of Gutenvell.

 

Carnage of screams of male voices hyping each other on, taunting the others around them.

 

Carnage of dramatic flares of splashing water as bodies belly flop onto the surface of the once calm sea as wolves try to hunt down the prey that evades them from beneath.

 

And with every evade, the rising profanity and laughter it causes just continues to ring around the shore.

 

“Yah, Jimin, you’re meant to fucking hunt the fish, not Taehyung!” Jin bellows from where he stands, dripping, on the dock, observing the two wolves currently fighting in the water, their challenge forgotten as they each give Yoongi and Jungkook a fighting chance of snagging a fish with their nets.

 

Yoongi, with his hair plastered to his skull and face, sees a blur of Jimin rampaging through the water after a hysterically laughing Taehyung who is trying to evade the alpha’s chase, causing massive waves to lap up at where Yoongi and Jungkook are both trying their best to remain on their feet, rather than off them.

 

Who had the bright idea of letting the two city wolves hunt fish, no one knows, but so far, neither of them have actually caught anything more than seaweed and driftwood in their nets.

 

“Jimin!” Yoongi yelps out with loud laughter as Jungkook decides to play dirty himself and come for Yoongi to distract Jimin from chasing his own boyfriend.

 

Yoongi tries to splash waves at the fast approaching alpha, tries to move as fast as he can in waist-high water, and squeals as Jungkook finally soaks him from head to waist with a large push of water from his hands thrusting into the water.

 

“Don’t lose the nets! Those fuckers are expensive!” Jin hollers as Jungkook and Yoongi clash into a wet limbs and giggles, both trying to dunk the other.

 

Yoongi can’t tell over the sounds of rushing water if Jimin is actually coming to his aid to defeat the lanky alpha, but Yoongi uses tactics born from knowing the young alpha for years as he tickles Jungkook’s sides, his wet t-shirt making it even more of an attack as Jungkook jerks away from him with a cry of laughter.

 

And then the alpha is gone.

 

One second, Jungkook was curling away from his tickling hands, his black hair soaked against his neck and cheeks.

 

And the next second, splashing water hits Yoongi in the face, the force of it almost knocking him off his feet, as he hears cheers from the dock.

 

Shaking his head and wiping the salty water from his eyes, Yoongi grins and joins in with Jimin’s valiant effort of dunking the young alpha again.

 

They manage to dunk a hysterically laughing Jungkook one last time before Hoseok whistles, signalling that their time is up.

 

As they tread back to the shore, Taehyung is smug as he holds up a fish in his hand, the net in his other.

 

Jungkook pushes Jimin and Yoongi as he passes them, causing Jimin to slip and fall with a startled yelp, and Yoongi can’t really help his not-yet-official-boyfriend up because he’s laughing to so hard from how cute he had sounded when he fell.

 

Taehyung and Jungkook kiss loudly on the pebbled shore to celebrate beating Yoongi and Jimin, all gross and endearing at the same time, that Hoseok, Namjoon, and Jin, join Yoongi and Jimin in the effort of splashing water at them.

 

“Right, the final round is between Jin, and Namseok,” Jimin huffs out as he heaves himself up onto the dock, his arms dripping wet, his black cotton vest glued to his chest, that now Yoongi isn’t so preoccupied with being in the water, he can’t take his eyes off the delightful image in front of him as he walks on the dock to where Jimin is now dripping on it, pushing down his shorts that had rolled and bunched up to his groin due to all of the moving in the water.

 

Yoongi tries to not stare, he really does, but he’s a wolf, not a saint.

 

A soaking wet Jimin is a very pretty image, okay? Yoongi is able to see how toned the alpha truly is as the cotton shorts stick to his thick thighs, the vest sticking to a toned stomach and chest, and his arms…..Yoongi knows his scent is giving him away because Jimin glances up at him as he fights to unroll the material on his thighs.

 

And gets Jimin’s own thrown back at him as the male swallows, his gaze flickering up and down Yoongi’s form, never once stopping, almost as if Jimin can’t decide what to stare at first.

 

Yoongi looks down at himself, at how his own shorts have risen up slightly, but not as high as they had on Jimin’s thicker form, and the way his t-shirt hangs like a baggy, wet, sack on him.

 

A contrasting image, sure, but Jimin’s scent is doing wonders for Yoongi’s self-esteem as the wolf swallows again as Yoongi steps closer to him.

 

“You good? You took a hard tumble just then,” Yoongi grins, teasing the alpha a little for it.

 

But the wolf surprises Yoongi completely when a soft pout graces the wolf’s lips, and it sends Yoongi’s instinct soaring with the need to know why the sudden cause for the pout.

 

“I hurt myself,” Jimin pouts in a soft huff, and Yoongi immediately looks him over, searching for blood.

 

“Where?” he asks, ignoring the canopy of screams and splashes going on to the right from the round between the three wolves in the water, with supporting cheers from Taehyung and Jungkook.

 

Jimin sticks his left hand out, pout still in full affect. “My wrist.”

 

Yoongi tenderly takes the wolf’s wrist in his hands, and gently presses with his thumbs for the source of pain, attentively watching Jimin’s face for sign of it.

 

More screams come from the right.

 

Both of them ignore the spray of water that laps up from the waves hitting the dock.

 

Jimin winces slightly when Yoongi gently presses down near the pulse point, and without thinking, Yoongi leans and presses a soft kiss to the sore spot.

 

Both of them freeze in an instant.

 

Yoongi jerks up straight, still holding Jimin’s wrist, and meets the startled gaze of the alpha before him.

 

A wailing scream comes from the right, and then raucous laughter from Taehyung and Jungkook.

 

“Did you just kiss my booboo?” Jimin asks fondly, smiling.

 

Yoongi refuses to allow the flush to overtake his body. “You got a problem with it?”

 

“Yes, you didn’t do a good job,” Jimin snaps back so smoothly, it makes Yoongi laugh as the alpha gently jerks his wrist in his hands in a pointed manner.

 

This time, when Yoongi kisses the area, he makes sure his lips linger, tasting the male’s damp skin on his lips, leaving behind a scent print of his own, as he straightens once more.

 

“Wow, look at that, it’s all better,” Jimin says as he rotates his wrist without a hint of pain, and Yoongi pushes the alpha playfully with a roll of his eyes for being played.

 

“Brat, if you wanted a kiss, all you had to do was ask,” Yoongi huffs out amused as he turns to face the carnage going on in the water.

 

He feels a little tease of the alpha’s hand grazing his own as Jimin joins him.

 

“I’ll keep that in mind,” he hears Jimin hum, scent and tone radiating his happiness.

 

Yoongi knows his own is too.

 

This time, they join in with Jungkook and Taehyung’s cheers and laughter as they watch Jin shamelessly push Namjoon towards Hoseok – who had been the one fighting with the net – and the omega fails in keeping his balance as he grabs a hold of the High and drags them both down with Hoseok landing sideways on top of the taller omega.

 

And when they both come up for air, Jin has already put considerable distance between them and himself.

 

Hoseok helps Namjoon catch his breath, both of them clinging to each other to keep the other standing as Jin continues to send water splashing their way.

 

In the end, Hoseok launches himself through the water with murder screaming from every inch of his posture, leaving behind Namjoon to catch two fish so that they can win.

 

By the time Jungkook whistles for their turn to end, Namjoon has managed to not only catch one fish during the chaos of Jin and Hoseok trying to dunk each other, but two.

 

“Wait, we won?” Hoseok calls as Taehyung loudly complains about losing despite being the pack’s Angler with Jungkook cooing words of comfort to him.

 

Namjoon waves the fish at the alpha before he releases them back into the water.

 

Yoongi thinks it’s safe to say that no one – not even Namjoon – was expecting what happens next to actually happen.

 

Hoseok all but charges for the omega, screaming the male’s name with pride and glee as he yanks the wolf into a tight hug, feeding the omega his excitement and causing Namjoon’s own to ripple from him as they cheer and jump on the spot, causing water to splash up at them.

 

As everyone moves to leave to shower and dry off, Yoongi is the only to catch the blur of intimacy that he spies from the corner of his eye.

 

In one split second, he sees Hoseok kiss Namjoon’s cheek as they both cling to each.

 

And when Yoongi yanks his head to look properly at the duo, both are wearing matching red blushes, both no longer look as animated as they did a second ago, both radiating shyness and unsureness.

 

Yoongi grins to himself and hurries to join Jimin and the others ahead, leaving the two behind him to wade through the water to the shore.

 

Maybe Jin’s challenge worked after all, even if it was directly through his own actions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite the sunshine and playing in the water this morning, Yoongi still wakes up from a bout of nightmares, ruining his happy mood from the day of feeling part of a pack.

 

Grunting to himself as he rubs his eyes, Yoongi sits in his nest, contemplating if it’ll be worth him trying to attempt to go back to sleep, or to just admit defeat and drag his tired ass out of his nest.

 

Over the past few nights, he’s slowly been developing a sense of when he knows when to give up, or when to mess with his nest for a bit before trying to go back to sleep.

 

It’s a new development, but Yoongi will accept anything that will help him manage his sleeping pattern better.

 

Tonight is one of those nights where he still feels too wired from the nightmare to try and go back to sleep, so with a heavy, annoyed, sigh, he crawls out of his bedding area, and drags his feet across his floor until he hits the den door.

 

Unlocking it, Yoongi shuts it behind him as he inhales the night air.

 

He doesn’t even know what time it is, but he needed to get away from his scent of fear, so here he is.

 

Yoongi decides to take a walk instead of going up onto his roof, the air not stuffy, just the nice balance of warm and breezy.

 

Yoongi pads along the wooden walkway in his bare feet, feels his toes wiggle down against the smooth wood, feels a deep part of him relish in the feeling of walking around outside with no shoes on as he climbs the steps to the guest decking area, and sits on the floor of it, looking at the sea and dock.

 

He wonders if the water ever comes inland during storms, if the pack suffers from risks of being flooded or not.

 

He hasn’t seen any past evidence of flooding, no tide marks against the dens, and if there was a risk, surely the dens would be higher up than they are.

 

Yoongi has noticed that the pack is self-sufficient in terms of generating electricity, the solar panels on all the roofs, except for the pack member dens where the solar panels are located at the back of the dens, out of view.

 

Yoongi’s own den’s panel is on the back too, and with the additions of the small wood burners in each unit, their heat source for the colder seasons are self-sufficient too.

 

He startles a little at the sound of the glass door sliding open behind him, and glances up at the wolf joining him on the deck, the soft low lighting from the solar lights allowing Yoongi to see the male’s face.

 

“It feels like you’ve patrolled every night since I got here,” Yoongi teases Jimin as the alpha comes to sit down beside him with an equally tired sigh that Yoongi can relate to feeling.

 

“I think I have, if I’m being honest,” Jimin admits in his deep, low, accented voice that is just accentuated with tiredness, a pleasant sound to listen to, despite the male being so tired-sounding.

 

“Not to sound conceited, but is it because of me?” Yoongi questions as Jimin swallows back a yawn.

 

Jimin nods. “I think so. My instinct refuses to rest knowing you’re on this side alone.”

 

“Even when I wasn’t alone?” Yoongi asks, smiling at the way Jimin realises his little slip of admission.

 

“Yeah, even when the other guests were here,” Jimin whispers with a shy smile, resting his cheek on his hand as he leans his elbows on his knees.

 

“Sorry that I’m causing you sleepless nights,” Yoongi whispers back, rocking his shoulder against the male’s lightly.

 

“It’s fine. Instincts are hard to shut up, but easy to ignore by taking long walks,” Jimin huffs back as he returns the little touch.

 

Yoongi doesn’t react as the wolf lingers, his weight pressing nicely against Yoongi’s arm, as Jimin swallows, before pulling himself back.

 

“Are you awake because of your nightmares?” Jimin asks before Yoongi can ask a very different question of his own.

 

Yoongi hums as he nods. “Yeah. Tonight’s nightmares featured a full-length run-through of my assault. I’d give it ten out of ten for accuracy.”

 

“Hasn’t it been a few days since you had the full nightmare?” Jimin questions, perking up, and Yoongi nods again, smiling at wolf remembering the passing comment he made to the alpha about it.

 

“It has. It’s probably why I can’t try to go back to sleep. I’m not used to a full replay nowadays, just spots of it.”

 

“Progress, even if it’s still shitty to dream of it, it’s all progress,” Jimin comforts softly, and Yoongi nods in agreement.

 

“I have a question,” Yoongi leads with, studying the male that blinks sleepily back at him as he waits for Yoongi to continue, “today on the dock, you could’ve asked for a kiss, how come you didn’t?”

 

Jimin shrugs softly. “I wasn’t sure if you’d be at the point of wanting that type of affection with me, so I wasn’t expecting you to drop a kiss on my wrist. I had only wanted to be held.”

 

“Didn’t you tell me in a session that seeking affection is okay, and not to be caught up by that voice in our heads?”

 

“I did. But, we’re courting now. It’s different to act upon affection during courting than to seek affection outside it.”

 

“I get that, but in order for us both to know where the other stands, we need to both be open about if we’re comfortable with sharing different types of affection,” Yoongi says gently, smiling at the alpha. “And I’m perfectly okay with being affectionate with you.”

 

Jimin swallows noticeably at Yoongi’s answer. “You are?”

 

Yoongi answers by grabbing the male’s hand and linking their fingers together onto his thigh.

 

“Perfectly happy with it,” Yoongi murmurs as he moves to rest his head against the wolf’s shoulder, inhaling the alpha’s scent and warmth through the contact.

 

He feels Jimin’s hand tighten in his own, feels the wolf move as he leans his cheek down into the crown of Yoongi’s head.

 

“Your hair is so soft,” he hears Jimin whisper softly, hears a soft, deep, inhale follow the male’s words.

 

“Play with it, if you want,” Yoongi offers just as softly, and feels his heart begin to race with building anticipation as he feels tentative fingers brush through the straight locks of his hair as Jimin pulls back slightly to run his hand through his hair.

 

“So soft,” Jimin whispers again, a thick, awed, tone to his voice.

 

Yoongi hums in contentment, relaxing against the wolf, as he plays with Jimin’s fingers in his hands, tracing his fingertip over the back of his fingers, his knuckles, admiring their differences in their hands, at how veiny and skinny Yoongi’s own are, compared to the slightly shorter and rougher hands of the alpha.

 

“Lean up, I want to try something,” Jimin whispers thickly, and Yoongi does as he’s asked to, straightening his body so he’s not leaning on the wolf anymore.

 

He feels a light ghost of fingers under his chin, directing for him to look at Jimin, and Yoongi swallows noticeably this time as he reads the swirl of emotions in those brown and ice blue eyes, feels his chest build with more anticipation.

 

“I’ve never had affection given to me without it being followed by mocking laughter,” Jimin whispers as his hand trails up back to his hair, combing through Yoongi’s fringe, pushing it back, before allowing it to slip through his fingers.

 

It makes Yoongi’s gaze half-lidded in relaxation and soft pleasure of affection as he answers back to the wolf.

 

“I’m going to replace those memories,” Yoongi whispers, leaning a little, angling his head back into the hand at the back of his hair to prolong the touch.

 

“Yeah?” Jimin whispers back, gaze glittering with such tenderness, it makes Yoongi’s instinct quiver with satisfaction and glee inside his mind.

 

“Close your eyes, Jimin,” Yoongi breathes out, his heart thumping hard against his ribs, his body tingling, as Jimin shuts his eyes.

 

Yoongi studies the wolf in front of him, the soft plump lips that are parted to breathe in shallows breaths, the softness of Jimin’s skin under his fingers as Yoongi gently cradles the male’s jaw, listening to the little hitch of breath that comes with the contact.

 

“I’m going to kiss you,” Yoongi whispers, pressing their foreheads close, but not together, their noses slightly touching as Jimin nods, giving his consent.

 

Slowly, tenderly, Yoongi leans in.

 

Jimin kisses him back at the first touch of their lips meeting, eager to accept and return it, as he feels Jimin gently press against the back of his head to draw Yoongi closer, and Yoongi follows, needing it too the longer their lips press together in a soft, first, kiss.

 

Peony cedarwood musk swirls around them as they kiss each other, holding onto each other with gentle holds.

 

Inside, Yoongi’s instinct is quiet, soft, content.

 

It feels at home as they continue to kiss, the soft sound of their lips, the hitches of their breathing as they both become familiar to each other’s touch and taste, it all feels like Yoongi has stepped into Jimin’s aura, and has found home.

 

Maybe the sun and moon knew what they were doing when they paired them together, because this feels like it was meant to be, sitting on a deck, kissing each other, holding each other close, feeling an honest connection they’ve never felt with another partner.

 

Maybe wolf history is right.

 

Maybe they do have a Mayt bond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Namjoon stares at his ceiling any longer, he’s going to tear it off his den.

 

Growling to himself, he pushes himself up from lying on his bed, and huffs at seeing the moonlight seeping in from the windows at the front of his den.

 

Namjoon’s den is open, his untouched curtain pushed back to the wall, never used to separate his bedding area from the rest of the den.

 

As an adult, Namjoon prefers the openness of a den, rather than curtained areas, especially in a den of this size.

 

Unlike the other members who do use curtains in their dens, Namjoon is the only one to have a completely modern twist to his den.

 

At the thought of his pack members, a particular pack member, the one that is responsible for Namjoon staring up at his ceiling all night, makes his frustration come roaring back.

 

Planting his feet onto the wooden flooring, Namjoon yanks up a random t-shirt to cover up his bareness so that he isn’t walking around in just his boxers, and yanks open the window curtains to unlock his front door.

 

Stepping out onto his porch, he catches a faint scent of peony musk, and knows that Jimin is out on patrol again, unable to rest knowing that Yoongi sleeps on the other side, outside of Jimin’s instinctive need to protect his potential future mate.

 

At the thought of the most recent couple – though, not yet official – in the pack, Namjoon can’t help but feel relieved happiness for them both.

 

They’ve both had rough chapters in their lives, both have suffered trauma, and yet both of them are so well matched, not identical, but both sharing experience of being survivors of trauma, that it was the most natural thing for those two to be drawn together.

 

It’s been nice to see Jimin smile the way he has been, Namjoon can see the layers that hold the alpha back from being his true, open, self, start to peel at the corners as Jimin responds well to Yoongi’s own openness.

 

They’re both good influences on each other, and Namjoon can’t wait to see the whole picture of theirs develop.

 

He forces his attention from Jimin and Yoongi, and back onto the alpha responsible for Namjoon being up at this hour.

 

As Namjoon looks down at where Hoseok’s den sits, that frustrated, fidgety, energy pulsates through him as he glares at the covered windows.

 

How can you smack your lips onto another’s cheek, and not say anything about it?

 

Apparently, if you’re Jung Hoseok, you can.

 

Well, Namjoon has waited all fucking day for the alpha to come knocking at his door to explain what happened in the sea between them, and still nothing has come from the alpha.

 

They’ve been tiptoeing around each other for years, always pushing and pulling from the other when the affection or flirting becomes noticeable, and this alpha thinks he can ignore kissing Namjoon on his cheek?

 

Namjoon is already halfway down the path towards the High’s den.

 

Jin’s, Taehyung’s and Jungkook’s dens are pitched black, so no one but possibly Jimin will notice Namjoon’s trail.

 

Climbing up the porch steps with light feet born from growing up on similar den building layouts using porches as entranceways, Namjoon is well versed in sneaking around on creaky wood.

 

He doesn’t give himself the chance to talk himself back to his den, like he’d normally do after a bout of teasing between them, because this time involved a kiss, and Namjoon is determined to know what it means.

 

Knocking on the wooden door, he waits with the same fidgety, frustrated, air of energy around him as he waits for a light to flick on from behind the curtains.

 

And when a dim light does flick on, Namjoon only realises too late that he doesn’t exactly have a solid argument in mind as he hears the door unlock from the other side.

 

Meeting direct eye contact with Hoseok’s surprisingly alert ones, Namjoon feels his throat tighten as his mind decides to see how he’s going to get them both out of this now awkward standoff.

 

“You going to invite me in, or allow Jimin to catch me sneaking in?” Namjoon blurts out after a solid minute of them both just staring at each other.

 

Hoseok jerks at that, opening the door wider, inviting him in. “Yeah, sorry, come on in.”

 

Namjoon has been in the male’s den before, so it’s nothing new to him.

 

And yet, this time it feels new.

 

It feels like that brief kiss on his cheek has flipped a switch deep inside Namjoon’s mind because now he’s noticing just comfortable he always feels being in the den that is the exact same layout as his own, but completely different feel.

 

Hoseok shuts the door, and clears his throat as he heads for his sofa.

 

“Why did you kiss me?” Namjoon’s mouth blurts out the words before his brain can even decide on whether or not to follow after the male.

 

His outburst startles them both.

 

“I didn’t mean to,” Hoseok rushes out, still surprised and startled.

 

Namjoon ignores the sharp, bitter, lick of rejection as he frowns at the alpha. “Excuse me?”

 

“Wait, I didn’t mean it to come out like that, of course I’d want to kiss you, you know how I feel for you, but we’re not like that so it was wrong of me to kiss you like I did, that is what I meant when I said that I didn’t mean it, I didn’t mean it-” Hoseok shuts up with wide, mortified, eyes at his own rambling.

 

“We keep coming back to this, ‘you know how I feel for you but we can’t’ argument whenever one of us acts on our need to show it,” Namjoon points out with a heavy, tired, sigh.

 

“I know, but…” Hoseok trails off, his words unsaid because they’re always the same, always spoken in moments like this.

 

We can’t be together, not as long as I’m the High Alpha.

 

“But, what?” Namjoon dares to push for a different answer this time, energy burning like a fire under his skin with frustrated urgency. “Today felt right, Seok. It felt natural.”

 

“I know it did, I felt it too,” Hoseok admits thickly, looking every bit of hesitant and reluctant at the same time. “But-”

 

“You’re the High, so we can’t mess around,” Namjoon finishes off the predictable sentence, watching the alpha’s expression become more tighter with his emotions of not wanting to hurt Namjoon or to lead him on.

 

Hoseok has always been respectful about never hurting Namjoon’s feelings, despite both of their feelings continually being hurt whenever they both deny the blatant attraction between them.

 

“Exactly. I don’t want a bad breakup to sour things here for either of us.”

 

“We’ve both been so insistent on the ending being bad, on both of us not wanting to taint what we have going on now, that both of us are guilty of condemning it to end,” Namjoon points out what Jin and Yoongi pointed out to him, “when we haven’t even started something to begin with.”

 

Hoseok lets out a long exhale as he sits down, his skin looking flushed and a little dewy from the trapped humidity all of their dens lock in during the summer, even the alpha’s low v-neckline isn’t doing much to stop the wolf from feeling hot in it and his boxers.

 

Hoseok’s messes up his naturally wavy hair, almost knotting the lengths, as he meets Namjoon’s still form.

 

“We both agreed the risk was too much of one to try,” Hoseok reminds gently, and Namjoon heads to join him on the sofa.

 

“Maybe we need to rethink that risk factor,” Namjoon says just as gently, not letting hope in yet. “We’re settled in the pack now, compared to then. We know the balance well, how to work and play too. We’ve adapted.”

 

“We’d be adapting again if we were to court.”

 

“How?” Namjoon questions. “Because nothing about our jobs would change, since we’re both pros at keeping our affection restricted to only happening around the guys, not the guests.”

 

“What if we get a guest like Mira so soon into us courting? What if either one of us responds to that outside attention to the other in a non-pro way?” Hoseok questions back, and Namjoon knows the wolf has been playing with this in his mind because it sounds so fluent, so well-spoken out loud, a constant question the alpha questions to only himself in private moments.

 

“One, we both have been professional in handling guests like that even whilst crushing on each other so I can’t see us not handling it professionally as a couple. Two, you’re once again condemning us to fuck up.”

 

Hoseok winces, but nods in agreement at that. “I am, but…”

 

“Jin and the guys all believe we should try, and now I’m wanting to try to,” Namjoon says clearly, meaning it with a quiet longing escaping into his voice, “I don’t want us to constantly say, ‘but, what if’, about us being together when we haven’t tried being together.”

 

“Joon…”

 

“Don’t you want to try?” Namjoon whispers, feeling the most vulnerable that he’s ever felt around the alpha.

 

He’s pouring out his own want this time. He’s not shutting them away, like they always do.

 

This time, Namjoon wants.

 

 “Yes, you know I do,” Hoseok whispers back just as thickly with his own need and longing too, but also the look of fear graces his face too. “But, I’m terrified, Joon.”

 

“Same, but what do we say about fear? What do we tell our guests that struggle with their own fears?” Namjoon says thickly as he grasps the male’s hands.

 

“Fear is a reaction, one that grows stronger the more you feed it,” Hoseok paraphrases his own expression on dealing with fear. “This is different with us, though.”

 

“How? We’ve both been feeding it so well the last few years, it’s clinically obese because of it. It needs to go on a diet, Hoseok. We need to stop fearing fucking up our friendship, and start by trying to see if there is anything more to our friendship. For all we know, once we start to court, we might be like, ‘ew, I like you better as a pal’.”

 

Hoseok laughs at that, making Namjoon smile at the alpha’s infectious smile and laughter.

 

“It’s going to be strange, sure, but aren’t all new relationships a little awkward at the beginning?” Namjoon whispers, squeezing the hands that hold his own.

 

“Aren’t I the older one here, when did you get so wise?” Hoseok teases with a fond smile.

 

“You’d get wise too when you have Jin selling you the lure of an adventurous life by saying, ‘yes’ more,” Namjoon states, fondly thinking of the eldest wolf. “He finally chipped away at my walls, him and Yoongi, actually.”

 

“Ahh, Yoongi,” Hoseok chuckles softly, smiling warmly. “He’s something, alright. He’s more positive thinking than he probably thinks he is. He’s a wolf that truly lives life the way he wants to live it, and is completely unapologetic for wanting to do so.”

 

“He’s a good influence, and if he joins the pack, Jin will be meeting some competition for who is the wisest,” Namjoon huffs out in a soft laugh, already seeing it so clearly in his mind of Jin and Yoongi bickering, of Jin stressing Yoongi out with incorrect facts about the most mundane shit and Yoongi arguing back the correct facts.

 

He can see it so clearly; it has to come true.

 

“What you doing on Sunday?” Hoseok asks all of a sudden, pulling Namjoon from his thoughts as he looks back at the alpha.

 

“Probably recovering from the final bout of cleaning. You?” Namjoon says, lost.

 

Hoseok’s smile twitches, his brown and ice blue gaze soft. “Well, I was trying to ask you out on a date, but I think I’m out of practise, considering that completely went over your head.”

 

Namjoon can feel his mouth pop open in shock at the teasing remark, before snapping it shut as he clings to the wolf’s hands.

 

“Ask me again,” Namjoon almost bites his tongue in his rush to get the words out.

 

Hoseok straightens, and with his thumbs rubbing over the back of Namjoon’s hands, he asks, “will you go on a date with me this Sunday?”

 

“I pity any wolf that tries to stop me,” Namjoon whispers with a giddy grin.

 

Hoseok snorts at that, but looks pleased and flustered at Namjoon’s answer.

 

“We could go for a run?” Hoseok suggests, and Namjoon’s gut kicks with fast excitement as he nods in quick agreement.

 

They’ve run together before, but Namjoon already knows that this time is going to be different, his omega instinct is practically vibrating with ease and excitement of them both running together with no barriers between their affections.

 

“Does this mean we’re courting now, or after the run?” Namjoon asks casually, and his heart kicks in his chest when Hoseok leans close to him.

 

Namjoon shudders, a small, tight, whine, leaving his throat as he feels the alpha lightly press a kiss to his jaw, causing his neck and ears to burn as a small euphoric feeling blasts through Namjoon at the scented touch.

 

Namjoon returns the press of lips to the sharp jaw of the other, listening to the heavy way the alpha sucks in an inhale as their scents grow in the humidity thick air.

 

Plums with a soft crisp of mint undertone.

 

“I know that I said years ago that I don’t like the tradition around Beckoning gifts, but can we class a light scenting as one?” Namjoon swallows thickly as he asks as their fingers lace together, his eyes having slipped shut as he lightly trails his nose along the length of Hoseok’s jawline.

 

Namjoon’s skin buzzes like live electricity as Hoseok returns the light scenting.

 

It buzzes louder when he feels another kiss, this time just near his ear, causing a ticklish shudder to run through him, and make him huff softly.

 

He feels the answering smile against his skin, and let’s go of their hands so he can hit the back of his hand to the tacky, flushed, skin of the male’s chest that is bare from the low v-neck.

 

“You sleepy? If not, I can boot up the laptop and we can watch something together until we both are relaxed enough to sleep,” Hoseok offers as he leans back, glowing, despite the low lighting.

 

And Namjoon knows that he is too now that they’re finally acting on impulses and desires that have been locked up tightly for the past couple of years.

 

“Did you finally download that old movie I told you about? The dinosaur park one on the island?”

 

“It’s called, ‘Jurassic Park’, Joon. How can you remember twenty different types of herbs, but not a simple movie title,” Hoseok teases playfully as he moves to get his laptop from his bedding area.

 

“Simple – herbs are real, dinosaurs aren’t any more.”

 

“Shift over,” Hoseok hums as he comes back with his laptop and drops back down beside Namjoon.

 

This is familiar. They’ve done this plenty of times before.

 

And yet, as the movie kicks in, the laptop balancing on a thigh each, their hands are linked once more in front of it, their heads angled to rest against each other, their bodies pressed close as you can whilst balancing a laptop on your legs in a stuffy room.

 

So what that their hands grow a little sweaty, they’re both comfortable with it, and the tacky feeling of the other’s extra body heat against their own.

 

It feels like the most natural thing in the world, wearing a scent trail made from another’s lips, feeling the wolf you’ve been crushing over for the last few years on your skin in a slightly more affectionate manner.

 

It’s comfortable, it’s new, and it most importantly, it feels right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday lunch is a bit different from what he’s used to.

 

It involves a boat, a basket of food and drink, and one beaming alpha that is highly amused at Yoongi’s death grip on the sides of the motorised boat they’re in as they sail away from the dock.

 

“The sea is calm today, you won’t fall in,” Jimin teases as Yoongi remains stiff like a board, not even moving his head to look around at the open view of the island shores, or the far spread sea.

 

“Well, my ass threw up twice on the ferry here, so excuse me for preparing to revisit that delightful experience.”

 

Jimin barks out another laugh at Yoongi’s retort, taking his snark with easy strides as he shuts off the motor, killing off the loud, guttural, sounds it was making, and plunging them into the calmness of water gently lapping up at the boat’s sides, the waves moving slowly, as if they’re trying to relax Yoongi.

 

He has to give the water some credit, because it starts to work as he slowly loosens his death grip on the sides.

 

“It’s much comfier down here, than up on the bench,” Jimin says as he pulls a blanket from the basket and neatly places it on the bottom of the boat, covering up the hard ridges of the boat’s structure.

 

“And you sure it won’t tip over?” Yoongi confirms before he moves, watching that now familiar look of fondness grow as Jimin huffs another small laugh as he nods.

 

“It won’t tip over, the wind is barely moving for it to mess with us,” Jimin reassures as he offers out a hand to ease Yoongi down to sit beside him.

 

Yoongi does so, but stiffly and slowly, as Jimin guides him to sit next to him, their backs against the boat wall, their legs stretched out with only a slight bend in their knees, and the basket in the middle of them.

 

“Despite not being my Support anymore, you sure are determined in making sure I experience enough different activities whilst I’m here, huh?” Yoongi huffs out with a smile as he begins to relax more as he helps Jimin pull out glass containers of food.

 

“I have to sell the allure of island life if I want you to keep coming back to see me,” Jimin teases back, handing Yoongi his bottle of orange juice, freshly squeezed this morning.

 

“I better stock up on travel sickness tablets so I’m not trying to remove my stomach every time I cross over to here,” Yoongi says as he opens up their containers that consist of thick sandwiches, chopped fruit, and a little bit of cheese.

 

Yoongi may still be craving the heaviness of some processed foods, but he has to admit, all of this clean, fresh, eating has been helping him feel less bleh, and more like he has energy that he doesn’t need in the form of black coffee.

 

“I know we haven’t touched up on what happens after you leave, but when I’m not working here, I don’t mind doing the legwork to come see you in the capital,” Jimin informs him as they slowly bite into their miniature picnic on a boat, out on the sea.

 

“You ever been to the capital?” Yoongi questions curious, and Jimin shakes his head.

 

“No, but I’m sure I can figure it out,” Jimin grins around his mouthful of food.

 

Yoongi feels a bit more grounded as they have this talk because it had been at the back of his mind at how they’d go about courting each other through distance.

 

Yoongi hasn’t ever been in a relationship long enough for distance to become a factor, but with his work being on the mainland and Jimin’s being here on Gutenvell, they both have to figure out to be together despite the distance.

 

And Yoongi does want this relationship to work. He doesn’t have to hide himself with Jimin because the wolf knows and has seen Yoongi at his most vulnerable state, so he already feels secure and comfortable, and he’s starting to see more of Jimin letting himself be himself too.

 

Yoongi can see it in the way Jimin looks at him more openly, allowing emotions to play on his face without being held back, the way the alpha now speaks so candidly to Yoongi makes their conversations together a whole lot more hilarious and deeper.

 

Taehyung hadn’t been joking when he first told Yoongi that Jimin is as cheeky as the beta is, Jimin’s humour is light and cheeky that it makes your stomach ache.

 

“You know, maybe this is nice,” Yoongi comments as they digest their food, both curled close with the basket pushed to the side, the breeze on the sea much cooler than it is on land where the humidity is trapped amongst the trees and dens.

 

“See, I told you this would be fun,” Jimin huffs as he nuzzles against Yoongi’s hair, his fingers still running through it as Yoongi lays his head on the alpha’s chest, looking up at the bright blue sky.

 

“And my stomach hasn’t decided to throw up lunch, so it agrees it’s fun too.”

 

Jimin snorts softly at that, and Yoongi smiles at the light press of a kiss to his head.

 

“You be seeing me sooner than expected if this selection meeting turns out to be another dud for me,” Jimin hums lightly, and Yoongi fights the urge to let his eyes slip shut as he becomes even more relaxed.

 

“I wouldn’t be opposed to that, especially if I end up handing in my notice if I don’t feel comfortable being a Monitor anymore.”

 

“Would you go back to being a Data Collector?” Jimin asks softly, nails lightly running along Yoongi’s scalp with a pleasant tingle.

 

Yoongi shrugs the best he can in his curled position. “Not sure. May do what the humans do when they reach their thirties – pack up and go soul searching.”

 

“Maybe you could become the island’s onsite Data Collector, if that is even a thing?”

 

Yoongi shakes his head. “Nah, it ain’t. It would make the job a lot less tiring if Data Collectors were based in areas to forward the information to the capital, but the Board prefers different collectors going to different packs. It prevents familiarity from forming.”

 

“I can see why that would be a no-no, the more familiar you are to a pack, the more likely you will miss something due to it, but it can also work in the same favour, the more familiar you are, the more they trust you,” Jimin muses, and Yoongi nods along, agreeing with the wolf’s point.

 

“Trust is a delicate thing in this profession, because wild wolves don’t trust city wolves that come to stick their noses into personal businesses. I don’t think there has ever been trust between the two living types,” Yoongi murmurs, his eyes now shut, as he becomes like jelly.

 

“Maybe that’s the key to fixing the mess – trust,” Jimin murmurs too, sounding just as content and relaxed as Yoongi feels under the sun, with each other’s scents wrapped around them.

 

“I don’t even know where they’d begin to bridge that now,” Yoongi says with a deep exhale, his mouth a little dry to the warmth of the sun hitting down on them.

 

“I haven’t lived amongst wild wolves for years now, so I can’t really say if anything has changed in that type of societal living, but knowing how the majority lived, I’d say growing that trust would come as a result of complete separation.”

 

Yoongi frowns, and squints an eye open as he angles his head to look up at the wolf.

 

“How do you mean?”

 

“For the longest of time, the treaty has been between all wolves and humans. Maybe the time has come to allow wolves their own separation, an official one, one where they can form their own Board that can convene with the one in the capital,” Jimin explains softly. “Maybe instead of the unofficial wolf titles we all go by – city, wolf, island – these become official ones.”

 

“I can’t ever see the Board in the capital agreeing to letting regions of wild wolves free reign to form their own miniature government.”

 

“Isn’t that what wild wolves have been doing all of these years?” Jimin counters, and Yoongi slowly sits up to look down at the wolf that actually is making a lot of sense when he puts it like that.

 

“Even before the treaty came, packs were miniature governments,” Jimin continues as he looks up at Yoongi, his black wavy hair tussled out onto the blanket. “It’s why our histories are a mess – every pack functioned separately from the rest, and why there are so many conflicting stories about what each rank is capable or not capable of doing.”

 

Yoongi thinks back to the very hazy memories of his youth, of being taught different forms of wolf history that sounded just as messy as human history did.

 

As a wolf born in a time where only one governmental body dictates what you can and can’t do, Yoongi can’t really process what it would be like to live in a future if wolf history came to repeat itself by allowing three separate regions of Dretna to exist.

 

The cities that houses humans and city wolves, the areas of wild nature that houses wild wolves, and the islands that houses a mix of island and wild wolves.

 

Maybe that is the path Dretna needs to take, even if the humans oppose it.

 

Because, Jimin is right, despite the treaty existing, wild packs do continue to function as miniature forms of wolf law and politics.

 

Maybe….maybe the trust to allow wild regions to come together to form a solid government for the entirety of wild living culture and society, is what Dretna’s future needs.

 

Because, if wild wolves can form their own regional law and police it, that would force down the number of wild wolf attacks, and make wild wolves a lot less daunting to visit.

 

“Would you return to wild pack living if a future like that happened?” Yoongi asks as he turns his body so that he’s lying on his stomach, his elbows beside Jimin’s left arm, as he holds himself up as he gazes down at the alpha.

 

“If my banishment was lifted and explained?” Jimin asks, and Yoongi nods. “No, even if that were to happen, I wouldn’t return to wild pack living. I don’t feel that need to live in complete isolation from other wolves. I prefer island living.”

 

“My blood may be wild born, but my heart isn’t,” Jimin continues as he smiles up at him, cheeks a little pink at that.

 

Yoongi leans and gently presses a light kiss to fuller, softer, lips.

 

“We’ll both probably be dead by the time Dretna figures its shit out,” Yoongi points out softly, and smiles as Jimin laughs in his face, before shaking his head at Yoongi, fondness loud and clear.

 

“Ever the ray of sunshine,” Jimin teases as he lifts his head to kiss Yoongi lightly, and Yoongi hums into it as he leans into to the kiss.

 

“I have my moments,” Yoongi says into their kiss, feeling the answer smile against his lips as Jimin breathes out a scoff.

 

Under the cloudless sky on a sunny day, Yoongi feels himself become even more sure that this relationship with Jimin is going to make all of his other pale in comparison.

 

He can feel it in the way they tentatively kiss, as if they both feel the ache inside their chests to savour every little touch, taste, of each other.

 

This feels far different from a pull of connecting with a Zentt bond, and it feels far different from dating past wolves.

 

There is a just an all-round awareness of Jimin inside Yoongi’s mind, and chest. It’s as if his body has become so magnetised to being around Jimin, the pull so natural that it doesn’t feel jarring whenever he does become aware of it.

 

For the past couple of days, his instinct has been sated and quiet, and it’s been Yoongi feeling these urges and needs to learn more of Jimin, to be around him, to bond.

 

He may not be ready to bond as mates, to go where instinct is reassuring that they will end up, but he is ready to make their relationship official.

 

“Jimin?” Yoongi whispers as he breaks the softest kiss they’ve shared so far.

 

Jimin nuzzles his nose. “Hmm?”

 

Yoongi can’t help but smile at the thick tone of contentment in the alpha’s voice.

 

“Do you need more time to decide if you’d want to officially date?” Yoongi asks softly, his fingers playing with the tail ends of the wolf’s hair.

 

Jimin’s eyes open to reveal bright, relieved, happiness in his brown and ice blue gaze.

 

“You always beat me to asking the juicy parts,” Jimin playfully whines, making Yoongi grin.

 

“You can’t blame me for wanting to snatch you up,” Yoongi says as he rubs the tip of his nose against the alpha’s.

 

And gets a strong dose of peonies as Jimin reacts to his words.

 

“Well, consider me snatched. I’m all yours,” Jimin huffs out as his fingers trail through the back of Yoongi’s hair, cradling his head.

 

The kiss they share this time matches the intensity of their scents weaving together, marking the end of their courting, and to the start of being official partners.

 

And when Jimin makes a sound from deep within his chest when he tugs for Yoongi to press closer, Yoongi’s chest answers with one of his own as he slips over the wolf’s lying form to straddle him, his weight sitting on Jimin’s stomach.

 

Of course, his sudden movement makes the boat rock slightly which causes Yoongi to grip onto Jimin’s vest with a death grip as Jimin giggles from beneath him.

 

“You’re fine,” Jimin soothes as he smiles up at Yoongi, rubbing a soothing hand up and down his spine.

 

“Maybe we’re stuck here for life because I’m not moving again if it rocks the boat like that.”

 

Jimin laughs at Yoongi’s tone, before surprising him by taking his mind completely away from the boat’s movements as Jimin lightly scents the front of his throat with light kisses.

 

“How do you feel now?” Jimin hums in question as he meets Yoongi’s gaze after the light scenting.

 

A baser part of his instinct wants Jimin’s lips a little more towards his scent glands, but his brain keeps that thought locked up, thankfully.

 

Both of them aren’t ready for heavy scenting, they’d definitely upturn the boat if they tried it now.

 

“You should scent me again, I don’t think it took properly,” Yoongi teases, baiting, and Jimin doesn’t disappoint at the slight challenge to leave behind a more firmer scent trail.

 

By the time they pull back to the dock, both reek of each other’s light scenting, and are wearing matching slightly scent drunk expressions as they walk hand-in-hand along the dock.

 

Yoongi enjoys the hint of scent delirium this time now that he and Jimin are dating. He doesn’t have to hide how light and good he feels as he walks around in a constant cloud of Jimin’s light scent.

 

“I need a nap,” Yoongi comments as they approach his den, and Jimin nods in agreement, looking soft in terms of expression, but also in body language.

 

Yoongi tugs for Jimin to follow, and watches alertness seep into the relaxed glaze in the alpha’s eyes.

 

“In your den?” Jimin wheezes out as they walk down the wooden path to the den in question.

 

“Too stuffy in there, but we can nap on it,” Yoongi grins as he leads the wolf to the metal staircase to the roof.

 

At least this time Yoongi can nap without the constant worry in the back of his head of the boat flipping over as Jimin dumps the basket onto the seats, and Yoongi flicks out the blanket once more to cover the stone tiles since the grass part is only at the front of the den, and not all over the roof.

 

“We can’t nap out here for long, we’ll get burnt,” Jimin warns as they curl back together onto the blanket.

 

Yoongi grunts out a reply, eyes already shut, as he rests his head on the wolf’s chest, and feels familiar fingers run through his hair.

 

He hears a long, content, sigh leave the alpha, and smiles as he feels Jimin completely relax again as they both soak in the warmth of the sun, and the effects of their scenting.

 

The more they’ll scent each other, the less potent the scent drunk-feeling will be, but until then, Yoongi is quite content with feeling floaty and tingly.

 

It’s a warming feeling, and it further proves that his response to everything related to Jimin is stronger than all of his past relationships.

 

He never got scent drunk with his exes, only with Jimin.

 

And yeah, he gets a little too hot with the sun on them and napping with his head on Jimin’s chest, their legs hooked over each other, but it’s the most blissful nap he’s had in his entire life.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the start of his third week in the support pack, Yoongi is no longer wanting the next two days to pass in a blink of an eye.

 

In two days’ time, he’ll be on a ferry back to the mainland, facing his reality of if he can still be a Monitor or not.

 

Maybe that is the cause of why, during the early hours of Monday morning, Yoongi is shaking like an actual dog, sweat dripping from his hair and down his temples, his pits sticking his t-shirt to him, after having struggling to wake up from the deepest nightmare he’s had in weeks.

 

It felt too real, sounded too real, and was too vivid for Yoongi’s comfort now that he’s become so used to having weaker version of it.

 

It feels like he’s back at square one again.

 

Yoongi rubs at his scent glands to try and remove some of the fear thick in the air, but it’s not helping since he is still afraid of his nightmare, so it just pollutes the air with more fear.

 

It feels like the fear is pressing down hard on him, like it’s trying to pull him back into his bedding area for the nightmare to grab him again.

 

Yoongi is wheezing by the time he manages to unlock the door with his shaking hands and stumbles out of it.

 

He doesn’t shut it, he needs that scent out of his den, needs it to go, and he doesn’t care that it’s strong enough to linger in the air around his den, strong enough to notify any passing pack member of his night of terror.

 

Yoongi’s legs feel weak as he lowers himself to sit on the wooden path connecting to his den, and holds his head in his hands as he tries to calm down, to find a centre of peace.

 

He focuses on the air that is cooler than the heat radiating off his flustered skin.

 

The night air rustling the trees, allowing their leaves to move and sway with the air current.

 

The sea lapping at the shoreline, bringing the scent of brine and crispness.

 

He can also pick up a faint trail left behind Jimin from his patrol earlier in the night, can scent the spot where the alpha had paused on the main walkway because the scent is thickest to his right.

 

Yoongi breathes in deeply, and exhales slowly as his heart begins to calm.

 

And glances at the scent trail of his boyfriend.

 

Boyfriend.

 

It’s been two days since their courting ended and they became official, and it still makes his heart trip over itself at the title.

 

Not only was this his first time courting in the traditional wolf way of having a true courting period, when he’s been so used to going on a few dates before being like, ‘oh, we’re a couple now?’ afterwards, that having the title ‘boyfriend’ feels a lot more meaningful.

 

Boyfriend is a human dialectal word, one that is so engrained into Yoongi’s language, that he doesn’t even know what the wulften version is.

 

Actually, now that he sits outside his den, trying to distract himself, he’s not really sure of the naming titles that would’ve been commonly used back in the day when wulften was the main dialect all wolves spoke a degree of.

 

Then again, Yoongi has no need for traditional wolf dialect in his everyday language, unless…Jimin knows and wants to refer themselves as the wulften term for boyfriend.

 

Yoongi groans as he pats the waistband of his boxers for his phone and doesn’t feel it.

 

Looks like he forgot it in his rush to escape his scent.

 

And he’s not going back in there just as he’s beginning to calm down.

 

Yoongi turns and looks at the dark communal building and chews on his lower lip.

 

He’d be waking Jimin up just to ask something that can wait until normal living hours.

 

But, the longer he sits here, the more his brain churns around the, ‘what if’ about how Jimin wants to refer to each other as, and now he’s too focused on getting that answer instead of the tendrils of his nightmare haunting the back of his mind.

 

If his den light is on, Yoongi will just turn back and walk away.

 

Yoongi pushes himself to his feet, and leaves his open den to head for the dark communal building so he can gain entrance to the pack members side.

 

Creeping down off the deck, Yoongi follows the wooden walkway to the path that leads to Jimin’s den, and pauses when he sees that a light is on.

 

Which is what he wanted, right? He came over here because his mind won’t let go of the question, but now that he’s here, Yoongi is painfully aware of how dumb this looks.

 

Him, coming to knock on Jimin’s door at stupid o’clock in the morning, to ask if he wants to be called Yoongi’s ‘boyfriend’ or the wulften form of it.

 

And yet, he can’t make his feet move.

 

Yoongi is going to blame Jimin’s scent trail leading up his porch and not his own lack of willpower to walk away when he’s so close to the familiar scent of comfort and warmth.

 

And he’s going to blame his lack of shame as he walks up the steps of the porch for still going through this.

 

Knocking lightly on Jimin’s den door, however, is the exact moment his brain decides that maybe he should turn tail and run before the wolf can answer the door.

 

But, either Jimin can read minds and can hear Yoongi’s mind screaming, ‘Abort! Abort!’, or he’s not used to wolves coming knocking on his door at silly o’clock in the morning so he answers within a matter of two seconds.

 

Yoongi stares back at the alpha with the same wide-eyed look that Jimin is starting at him.

 

“I-” Yoongi barely manages to speak before Jimin is making a soft, deep, comforting sound from the back of his throat as he gently steps into Yoongi’s space, his expression tender with concern, his hands light as they gently clasp his cheeks.

 

“Nightmare?” Jimin whispers softly, gaze reading Yoongi’s, and it’s then that Yoongi remembers his own damn scent, at how it still lingers with the sharp bitterness of his fear.

 

“Yeah,” Yoongi breathes, feeling his body release like a deflated balloon as the tension bleeds out of him as he clutches at Jimin’s wrists, “yeah, it was a rough one.”

 

“You wanna come in? We can talk about it or just listen to some light music,” Jimin asks, and Yoongi nods with a grateful smile.

 

Jimin’s hands leave his cheeks, but he does let his hand link with Yoongi’s own as Yoongi steps into the den, shutting the door behind him as Jimin waits.

 

“I didn’t disturb you?” Yoongi asks as Jimin leads him to the sofa that has pillows and throw blankets that Yoongi can remember from the support session of where the alpha helped him with nesting techniques.

 

Jimin shakes his head as they sit down. “No, I’ve just been reading. It’s one of those nights, you know?”

 

Yoongi knows. The alpha had shared with Yoongi that he too shares restless nights of when hard memories come knocking in the form of distorted dreams, making it hard for Jimin to settle once he’s woken up from them.

 

“I think it’s because I’m so close to leaving that my nightmares feel fresh again,” Yoongi admits as he curls up against the alpha’s side, with Jimin’s arm around his shoulders, his other hand still linked with Yoongi’s on their laps.

 

“You’re processing the end of your stay now, so the cause of your reason being here is drawn again as you subconsciously adjust to the fact you will be back in your own home and routine. It’s a mean trick our subconscious plays when we’re finally growing used to dealing with something that causes us pain, where it kinda tests you to see if you really are used to dealing with it,” Jimin murmurs as he nuzzles Yoongi’s now damp hair, despite how it may smell.

 

“Well, my side of the pack grounds stink because I left my door open to air it out, so I guess that is progress because I would’ve never done that before. I would’ve kept it locked in, hidden.”

 

“The members won’t mind, they understand the need to remove scents like that,” Jimin reassures softly. “In the city, it’ll be easier for you to develop that airing out habit because your scent will be diluted by the thousand others in the air.”

 

Yoongi hums at that, because it’s true. “Small changes equal to big changes.”

 

“Yeah, they do,” Jimin whispers in agreement. “It may feel like you’ve taken ten steps back, but your reaction proves to yourself that you haven’t. You’ve made progress in your recovery, Yoongi.”

 

Yoongi’s chest loosens at hearing the supportive words, because even though he knew they were true, it’s still reassuring to hear them said out loud by another.

 

“Not looking forward to having my nose blasted off by exhaust fumes and a million bodies living in one area,” Yoongi grunts as he leans more against Jimin. “It’s going to suck.”

 

“Noted for when I come,” Jimin teases lightly, causing Yoongi to roll his eyes fondly.

 

“My nightmare is the reason why I’m up, but not the reason why I’m here,” Yoongi begins as he tilts his head back to look at the wolf.

 

Jimin tilts his head in question, curious. “Oh?”

 

“I’ve always referred to my partners as ‘boyfriend’, but I’m not sure if you do the same?” Yoongi asks, pulling away slightly so that his neck isn’t twisted, and he can look at the wolf face onwards.

 

Jimin blinks, looking completely bemused. “I haven’t had a partner, remember? You’re my first boyfriend.”

 

Yoongi’s chest and heart takes that deeper that the alpha probably intended it to be taken.

 

“So, you want to use that, ‘boyfriend’?”

 

Jimin nods. “Sure. What else is there to use?”

 

Yoongi’s cheeks heat slightly as he shrugs. “I dunno, I may have thought you’d want to use wulften to refer to our relationship status.”

 

Jimin slowly smiles at hearing that. “I have an appreciation for our history, sure, but I’m by no means fluent in full wulften. I only know slang words, not the important ones.”

 

Yoongi can relate to that. “Same, pretty much.”

 

“I am curious, now that we’re on the topic,” Jimin says as he gently untangles himself from Yoongi to hunt down one of his many books concerning wolf history and stories.

 

“Pretty sure I was taught it, but like the majority of my education, it went through one ear and out of the other,” Yoongi says with a soft huff as Jimin quickly sits back at his side, book open in his hands, as he skims the contents page.

 

“This one is more language focused, so let’s see if we can find it,” Jimin says as his finger slowly moves down the list, before quickly flicking pages to get to the correct one.

 

Together, they both skim over the page’s contents, searching for key words that relate to what wolves would call each other back in the day.

 

“Here” Yoongi says, picking out the section faster.

 

“There are two forms of one title to refer to a wolf that is partnered or not,” Jimin reads slowly, “partnee is the title designated for female partners, and partna is the male version. For bonded partners that have taken a mating bite and bond, mayt was used to confirm mateship status.”

 

“I know that word, ‘mayt’,” Yoongi says, not all surprised that it ties in with the name of the destined bond that connects wolves as intended mates.

 

“How?” Jimin questions, surprised. “This is my first time hearing it.”

 

Yoongi’s heart thumps heavily in his chest.

 

Jimin doesn’t know of Mayt bonds.

 

“You’ve never heard of Mayt bonds?” Yoongi questions, and it sounds like his words are a little echoey to his own ears as Jimin shakes his head.

 

“No, but I can take a guess and assume that it’s the bond that compatible mates feel, right? I know of those bonds.”

 

Yoongi’s heart hammers faster in his chest, the back of his neck hot.

 

“More like destined mates,” Yoongi reveals, watching the alpha’s expressions like a hawk.

 

He takes in the confusion, then surprise, and then slow dawning of realisation.

 

Yoongi doesn’t say a thing as the wolf shuts that book, and reaches to pick up another from the pile still on his table from their last reading session.

 

Yoongi doesn’t even move as Jimin flips pages, before settling on one that the content’s page directed him to.

 

“The two important relationship scent bonds are called: Zentt and Mayt,” Jimin reads slowly. “Zentt bonds are meant for friendship and compatible pack-living, and sometimes even romantically, and they are not to be confused with a Mayt bond.”

 

“A Mayt bond doesn’t follow the same pull of a Zentt bond being triggered, but is triggered in  the form of the wolf being solely fixated on the scent of another wolf, and instinct guiding the connection to bond via the constant exposure to that wolf’s scent,” Jimin continues to read, and Yoongi recalls a similar explanation from his web search weeks ago.

 

“Historically, a Mayt bond was seen as the most wished for bond for wolves, since it represents the moon and sun blessing wolves’ a union that was made by these powerful entities.”

  

Mayt means ‘Destined Mate’ in modern dialect, a fitting name because once a wolf scents another, they are unable to stop scenting that wolf, unable to stop the urge to become close to their intended mate,” Jimin finishes reading, sounding winded, and Yoongi waits for the wolf to have a burst of denial, the same way that Yoongi reacted when he felt the words hit too close to the truth of what he’d been feeling.

 

The reaction he gets, is far softer.

 

Jimin closes the book, places it on top of the previous book, and turns to face Yoongi with the most determined gaze he’s ever seen on the wolf.

 

“I knew that we’re compatible to be mates, but reading that…I want you to know that it resonates a lot with what I feel towards you. I just want that out there, in the open, between us so that you know that I’m in this for the long haul, not the short one,” Jimin’s honesty pours out of him, as does a new level of tenderness that resonates through his voice and gaze.

 

“I’m not saying we should become mates now, I’m just letting you know that whether or not this is the sun and moon pulling strings to put us together or not, I feel strongly for you like I haven’t felt towards another,” Jimin continues as he links their hands together again.

 

Yoongi’s heart was beating faster before, now it is possibly sprinting in his chest as if it’s trying to run to the wolf that has just bared his heart to Yoongi.

 

“You took that a lot calmer than I expected you to,” Yoongi croaks out, making Jimin smile at his blunt honesty.

 

“If I read this during the first week of trying to figure out why I was responding so strongly to you and your scent, then maybe I’d have reacted with less chill,” Jimin huffs out in a soft laugh. “But now, now I’m very comfortable with the idea of us becoming something further down the line, and I’m also comfortable if you don’t want that heavier title to come too.”

 

Yoongi swallows at hearing that. Jimin doesn’t mind what they are, just as long as they’re together.

 

And Yoongi can say with his hand on his heart, swearing it, that he feels the same too.

 

“Mating is still a bit too soon, despite how you make me feel, the logical part of my brain is screaming, ‘it’s only been a couple of weeks!’ so I think us being partners is…sweet.”

 

Jimin smirks. “Sweet?”

 

“My brain gave up on me, don’t judge me,” Yoongi huffs out as he ignores the hot way his cheeks are burning.

 

“I get what you mean, Yoongi. I’m happy either way,” Jimin hums as he brings their hands up and lightly kisses the back of Yoongi’s.

 

“So, I came here to ask you if you like to be called my boyfriend or something else, and we both ended up having a much deeper conversation about becoming mates.”

 

Jimin smiles from behind their hands, amused too. “When deepness comes knocking, you go and answer the door.”

 

“At least you’re not scared off from deep talks,” Yoongi says as he tugs for the wolf to come closer.

 

“As Taehyung or Jin would say, ‘talking deeply is my kink’,” Jimin giggles, and it sounds pretty damn accurate for what those two would say.

 

“Knowing those two, very likely,” Yoongi chuckles in agreement as he succeeds in having Jimin shuffle closer, “you should really sleep, you look exhausted.”

 

Jimin scrunches his face up at that, not allowing Yoongi to read how tired he is, so Yoongi tickles his sides, causing a bark of laughter to come from the giggling alpha.

 

“You need sleep too,” Jimin points out as he gently thumbs the heaviness under Yoongi’s eyes.

 

“Can’t sleep.”

 

“Me too, so we’re stuck in this limbo,” Jimin huffs softly, endeared by their rather pointless discussion.

 

“We napped well, the other day, we should do that,” Yoongi suggests without really thinking of the implications he’s suggesting.

 

And the widening of Jimin’s eyes confirms it. “My sofa is too small for us both.”

 

“The floor?” Yoongi asks, swallowing thickly as they both turn at the same time to look down at the wooden floor that is – admittingly, not clean and needs a good sweep – and with the heavy curtain that hangs as a permanent divider, the living area is a lot narrower as a result.

 

“We could nap in my bedding area, if you’re okay with that, of course,” Jimin rushes the latter part out, gaze snapping back to Yoongi’s. “I don’t want to make you uncomfortable or pressured. Sharing bedding areas are a big deal for us wolves, but-”

 

“They are, but it’s a good thing that you make me feel comfortable, huh?” Yoongi carefully interrupts the rambling wolf.

 

Jimin sucks in a quick breath at that, before deflating from the sudden tension his rambling brought on as he tentatively asks, “would you like to nap in my bed?”

 

Yoongi smiles and kisses the back of the wolf’s hands.

 

“Lead the way.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Lead the way.”

 

Jimin’s mind is too busy making white noise from parts shock and parts glee as he does as Yoongi softly requests.

 

Jimin leads with their hands still linked as he pushes the curtain gap open, revealing this part of his den to the wolf for the very first time.

 

The lamp is casting the same warmth that the one in the front of his den is casting, but Jimin cringes at the state he had left his bed in when he went to answer the door.

 

If he knew he was going to be showing and sharing his bed with Yoongi, he’d have made it a lot less messy, and maybe have used fresher blankets and pillows.

 

“I’m so used to my huge ass bed that seeing a regular double feels like I’m seeing a single,” Yoongi comments with a laugh, and Jimin smiles along with it.

 

“I have an electric fan back here because the curtain traps in the heat, do you want it on?” Jimin asks as he lets go of Yoongi’s hand, silently giving the wolf his permission to freely move around his bedding area.

 

“If you don’t mind,” Yoongi says, shooting him a smile, as he checks out his bathroom first, the door open to allow the extra airflow from the bathroom window to come through.

 

Jimin moves to turn on his standing fan, a valuable investment he purchased during his first summer living on his first island, and has been with him on every move he’s made.

 

As the fan whirls to life, the sound of it already a soft background noise, Jimin quickly darts to his bed to neaten the thin summer blanket and his pillows at the head of his head.

 

“Your nest isn’t messy,” Yoongi’s voice surprises him, and Jimin blames that on why his face burns, instead of the softness the omega spoke to him with about his bed.

 

It’s not really a nest, since Jimin’s rut cycle is still a few months away, but he knows what the male means.

 

“Do you prefer sleeping next to the wall or not?” Jimin asks, remembering his father’s explicit teachings about how to treat omegas as a growing pup.

 

Omegas should be respected, no matter how you see others treat them, Jimin was taught to always be respectful and polite, never assuming.

 

“What side do you prefer?” Yoongi asks, coming to his side.

 

“I don’t have a preference.”

 

“I’ll take the side, you can take the wall?” Yoongi says, and Jimin nods, already swallowing back the nervous, but a little excited, feeling creeping up his throat as he climbs onto his bed first.

 

Both of them aren’t tall or have a lot of mass to their bodies, so, as they lie together on Jimin’s bed, it’s comfortable.

 

Jimin tries to slowly shift so that he’s facing Yoongi, not wanting to jostle the mattress too much with his movements, and shares a small smile with the omega that is watching him, since Yoongi was smarter and climbed onto bed with a position already in mind.

 

“If you feel like this is too much, just chase me out,” Yoongi whispers, gaze meaning it.

 

“It doesn’t, it just…it’s different,” Jimin assures softly, hands under his cheek and pillow, as he lies on his side.

 

Yoongi mirrors him. “It feels like I have my face stuck against your scent gland,” Yoongi bluntly states with a relaxed smile, and it makes Jimin feel tingly knowing that the wolf is wrapped around his scent.

 

That locked feeling in his chest, the same feeling that hasn’t once shifted in what feels like weeks, unravels, allowing his chest to breathe easier the longer he watches Yoongi’s body loosen, his eyes droop, his breathing even.

 

For the first time in weeks, Jimin feels deep peace.

 

He feels his own body respond to Yoongi’s scent wrapping around him, seeping into his bedding, the weight of his body on his mattress, dipping it, reminding Jimin that he’s here, and not alone on the other side of the pack grounds.

 

He feels the bed shift, and realises that his eyes had shut at some point as he blinks them open slowly to see Yoongi’s own eyes shut, lips parted as he breathes softly.

 

Jimin glances down at the hand seeking for his own, and smiles as his heart both melts and aches at the wolf’s subconscious behaviour as he gently worms a hand free to link their hands together again.

 

Like that, with their hands lying between their faces, Jimin submits to the heavy feeling in his eyes, and falls asleep beside the wolf that the sun and moon blessed him to find and meet.

 

He falls into a deep, peaceful, sleep with the scent of cedarwood peony musk softly in his nose, and the warmth of another’s touch in his hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday morning – true morning, and not the silly early hours of it – is soft and warm as both of them wake up from an actual sleep, and not a light nap as they both had intended it to be.

 

Yoongi isn’t alone in feeling refreshed from catching four hours of extra sleep, he can see it in Jimin’s mood that he’s feeling the same.

 

Their good mood only grows when Yoongi joins Jimin on his front porch, waiting for the alpha to finish brushing through his tangled mess of hair, and draws the attention of Jin first, who in turn, draws the entire pack’s attention to the blushing duo on the porch as heads poke from out of their dens to see why Jin is cooing so damn loudly.

 

But then Jin notes that two heads are poking out from a certain High’s den, and the focus shifts from Jimin and Yoongi, to Hoseok and Namjoon as the omega stubbornly ignores Jin’s dramatics as he heads for his own den, all the while greeting everyone else but the alpha.

 

“About time,” Jimin grins as they both lean on his porch railing, watching the show as Hoseok and Jin bicker about the eldest being too damn loud on a Monday morning and Jin arguing back that, ‘love is in the air, let it out.”

 

Yoongi waves at the couple opposite Jimin’s den, where Taehyung is being cuddled from behind by a very half-awake Jungkook who looks like he’s trying hard to make sense of all the noise and also tug Taehyung back to bed away from it.

 

Taehyung points a finger at each other them, grinning, as he mouths, “cute”.

 

Yoongi already knows what he looks like with his hair a mess from sleep, his face slightly puffy from it, and paired with Jimin’s own wavy mess and puffy cheeks, Yoongi can’t help but agree with the beta.

 

They are cute together.

 

“You up for tagging along with me as I do morning chores?” Jimin asks him as he recovers from a yawn.

 

Yoongi doesn’t even need to think about it as he nods.

 

“You can teach me how to effortlessly climb a tree while you’re at it too,” Yoongi teases as they leave the porch to trail after a very happy Jin.

 

“I can try, but…” Jimin playfully looks down at his arms, and Yoongi shoves the alpha for the unspoken attack to his lack of muscles, making the alpha giggle as he crowds against Yoongi’s side, hugging him as he nuzzles his temple in apology.

 

“You’re lucky that you’re cute. If you were any other wolf, I’d be chewing you out.”

 

“I know, which is why I’m going to use it to my full advantage,” Jimin teases back, making Yoongi snort as he tries to hold back a smile.

 

Min Yoongi, soft for an alpha that looks like he can both squish you with his bare hands and also give the best hugs.

 

Both are highly accurate. Yoongi has seen Jimin in action with an axe and a saw, and he’s been on the receiving end of some of the best cuddles.

 

“Come on, lovepups! You can help me scramble the eggs!” Jin hollers from the door, looking more awake and alert than the entire pack together.

 

“He really is high on seeing those two together, huh?” Yoongi chuckles softly as they climb the wooden steps.

 

“Understatement of the year, he’s practically euphoric with relief and happiness at seeing those two finally give it a go.”

 

“I’m also happy for you guys too,” Jin calls, and Yoongi is once again reminded of a true alpha’s hearing range as he and Jimin share a smile.

 

The more he interacts and hangs with the pack members, the surer that Yoongi is becoming that he’d possibly want to form Zentt bonds with them.

 

But, little steps first.

 

He wants to concentrate on his own bond with Jimin first, before anyone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday sees the completion of the two guest dens completely de-scented and ready for a new guest, which means that the selection meeting can go ahead and take place today, his last full day on the island.

 

Yoongi has mixed feelings on his departure tomorrow.

 

One, he’s nervous for the actual journey back to the mainland, and even though he’s been given some natural remedies to prevent sea sickness, he’s still sure his stomach is going to revolt against him.

 

Two, he’s not sure how he’s going to react to all of the stimuli living in the city, one as large and busy as the capital.

 

And three, Yoongi has become so used to a slow, open, lazy, routine here on the island, that he’s not looking forward to the rush of his old routine coming back to claim him.

 

Surprisingly, the only thing that isn’t preying on his mind, is his goodbye to Jimin and the others.

 

He honestly thought that would be the thing he’d be struggle with, but as Jungkook had pointed out this morning during breakfast, if he and Yoongi can maintain a strong friendship through phone calls and messages, then so can the others.

 

He’s still going to be sad to leave, though. He’s grown really fond of the pack members, of the dynamic they have, of how each wolf is completely loving and hilarious to each other.

 

And saying goodbye – again – to Jungkook isn’t going to sit well with his Zentt bond, and he doesn’t even know how he’s going to react to the fresh one he has with Taehyung.

 

But, with Jimin? Yoongi feels….peaceful.

 

They’ve already swapped contact information, have already made a vague schedule of calling each other during Yoongi’s first week back in the capital since it’s highly unlikely he’ll be sent out on a job so quickly, so that first week is going to allow them both to find their feet in terms of navigating around having a long distanced relationship.

 

Plus, Taehyung and Jungkook had offered pointers on that too, since they both did it for three months before the alpha moved to Gutenvell.

 

“Don’t go into it thinking you’re both going to be in contact every minute of the day, because that is completely unrealistic and will doom your relationship,” Taehyung says as scrapes his bowl of cereal with his spoon.

 

“You’ll both miss each other, but a simple message will help you relieve that ache,” Jungkook adds as he leans against the cushions of the floor pit, done with his breakfast and just waiting for Taehyung to be too.

 

“Texts are going to be your go to, and video calls will be something you look forward to having. Keep it light for the first week apart, and then see how to take it once the new routine has settled,” Taehyung points with his spoon at them, since only Jimin, Yoongi, Jungkook, and Taehyung remain in the floor pit.

 

“But, since you guys respond to each other’s scent more than physical affection, you should swap clothing to help with the initial distance,” Jungkook quickly tacks on, face lighting up with it. “We learnt that too late, but once we mailed each other some of our clothing, it really helped settle the urge to jump on a boat to the other.”

 

Which is why, as Yoongi slowly packs up his things, he leaves out a small pile for Jimin.

 

Yoongi isn’t too worried about how the distance will affect them because they’ve already bonded so well during the last few days.

 

He feels secure, which is saying a lot, because, normally, the idea of having a long-distance relationship with any of his exes was enough for him to end it.

 

But, with Jimin?

 

He feels a sense of stability that he hasn’t felt before.

 

They both feel so…right for each other, that it still throws Yoongi whenever he catches himself being so aware of the easiness of them just being together.

 

Being with Jimin, talking to him, laughing with him, sharing affection, it’s all as easy as breathing is.

 

And that is why Yoongi feels secure that his goodbye to the wolf isn’t going to ruin him like his goodbye to Jungkook had.

 

It’s like their connection is on another awareness level that just knows it isn’t a true goodbye, but a temporary one.

 

“Knock, knock.”

 

Yoongi startles at the voice from the open door of his den, and pushes himself to his feet so that he can greet the alpha standing outside, grinning.

 

“Aren’t you supposed to be in the meeting?” Yoongi questions as he waves for Jungkook to come in side, watching as the wolf shakes off his sandals.

 

“They can read the paper themselves, I want to check in with you whilst they’re all occupied,” Jungkook says as he tags along after Yoongi to the hallway where his suitcase is open, blocking it off, as Yoongi steps over it to return back to his position of sitting between it and his storage shelves.

 

Jungkook lets out a heavy sigh as he sits down on the other side of the case, making Yoongi smirk.

 

“You’re not that old, why are you making that sound,” he teases the younger.

 

“My spirit is middle aged,” Jungkook effortlessly retorts with as he leans back onto his hands. “You all set for the morning, then?”

 

Yoongi hums as he neatens his suitcase. “Pretty much. I didn’t bring a lot, anyway.”

 

“You going to buy any souvenirs for your ma?” Jungkook asks, and Yoongi nods.

 

“She’d light my ass on fire if I didn’t bring her something from the port.”

 

“My dad is like that still. Every time I visit, he always expects a handmade gift from one of the packs.”

 

“When is your next visit home, anyway?” Yoongi asks, looking up at the wolf.

 

“Hopefully after me and Tae have decided on a mating scar. My family are itching for details so they can already prepare their outfits for the Mating Ceremony,” Jungkook reveals with pink cheeks, looking happy, but also shy about the heavy involvement of his family members.

 

“I swear, if you send me an invitation through post, I’m disowning you.”

 

“I would never!” Jungkook laughs. “I’d tell you on the phone, at least, if I can’t tell you in person.”

 

“Good,” Yoongi sniffs out, appeased. “But it sounds like you both have already started prepping for one?”

 

The pinkness grows on the alpha’s cheeks. “Maybe.”

 

Yoongi smiles at that, feeling endeared and soft. “You’re both ridiculously cute, you know that, right?”

 

“Of course we are,” Jungkook says proudly. “But it’s all Tae, he’s the cuter one.”

 

“Whatever you say,” Yoongi chuckles fondly, zipping up one side of his case, finished with packing that side.

 

“Speaking of being cute, you and Jimin, now that is cute.”

 

Now it’s Yoongi’s turn to have flushed cheeks. “It’s all Jimin, he’s the cuter one,” Yoongi echoes the alpha’s previous words, both of them sharing knowing looks.

 

“Do you want him to take you to the port, or me and Tae?” Jungkook asks. “Technically, he should, considering that you have to maintain the lie of still being a guest.”

 

“Well then, let’s maintain the perfect lie,” Yoongi huffs out with a laugh. “Though, I am a little nervous in how it’s going to be to say goodbye to Tae. Our Zentt bond is still fresh.”

 

“You both are worried about the same thing. Adorable,” Jungkook coos softly, and Yoongi throws a pair of rolled up socks at the alpha. “The first time he said goodbye to the guys when vacation time rolled around, Taehyung thought he was dehydrated from how much he cried.”

 

“That is different, he lived with the guys a lot longer, so of course he’d be more affected. I’m surprised I didn’t bawl my eyes out when I said goodbye to you,” Yoongi huffs out softly, accepting the socks back.

 

“Speak for yourself, I bawled all the way home on the subway,” Jungkook says with a soft look.

 

Yoongi swallows at hearing that. “You never told me that.”

 

“Never came up,” Jungkook shrugs softly, smiling. “Until now.”

 

Yoongi squeezes the socks in his hands at the image he has of Jungkook on the day he left work for the last time, picturing the alpha just sobbing into his box of personal items, scent sad, and confusing the humans and wolves around him.

 

“I’m sure you both will be fine tonight at dinner. I know for a fact that he’s not going to come anywhere near you in the morning for fear of bawling,” Jungkook chuckles softly about his partner.

 

“I leave at the ass crack of dawn for the ferry, I don’t want anyone near me tomorrow morning, my ass is going to be grouchy and panicky about the stupid journey,” Yoongi deadpans, making Jungkook laugh more.

 

“Don’t forget to drink the calming tea that Namjoon gave you this morning, and you’ll have a settled stomach. It helps me all the time,” Jungkook reassures.

 

“We’ll see. I’ll just probably puke it up, anyway.”

 

“You’ll be fine. The more you make the trip, the easier it is to adjust to it,” Jungkook shrugs.

 

“Are you sure you’re okay to be skipping reading duty to be here?” Yoongi questions, suspicious, because he knows the wolf well enough to sense when he’s trying to skive from work.

 

Jungkook’s grin is a touch too innocent. “Perfectly okay.”

 

Yoongi snorts at that. “What do they do, anyway?”

 

“Sit in a circle, sniffing scent samples, bickering when one of them is a match and the others aren’t, with me playing narrator,” Jungkook chuckles fondly. “It can get tough if details of a wolf’s admission is bad, but most of the time, it’s light. The guys all work hard not to get heavily affected by some details they hear. They have to have this disconnect, you know? Otherwise, their instinct overrules their natural instincts as Supports.”

 

Yoongi nods along as he listens. “Makes sense. They share so much of themselves to a guest, that they need that disconnect to keep them sane.”

 

Jungkook nods in agreement. “Honestly, they make it so easy, but living here as a non-Support, you really do get a true behind the scenes look at the reality of how Supports recover and prepare sessions with their guests. There have been a few times where I’ve walked into the office to see Hoseok or Jin just sitting on the sofa, staring at the wall, struggling to ground themselves.”

 

“What do you do when you see that?” Yoongi questions softly.

 

“Try to ground them with my scent, the scent of a pack member, holding them, talking them back to the present, away from the session they’ve just left,” Jungkook shares, gaze distant as he remembers. “It’s harder when I see Tae like that, of course, but I’ve learnt my own tricks of being the guys unofficial Support, you know?”

 

Yoongi smiles at hearing that, at seeing the obvious love and care Jungkook has for his pack members.

 

“You know, during my time here, feeling the pulls to bond to the guys, the connection I have with Jimin, your own reaction to them kept coming to my mind,” Yoongi shares softly, and Jungkook tilts his head slightly with curiosity as he listens. “You were so thrown by your response to them, to the way your instinct was directing you, that it felt like I finally understood those couple of weeks of where you were so absentminded.”

 

“I literally was,” Jungkook smiles softly, remembering too. “It felt like the universe was making my life a drama.”

 

“And now I understand, and I agree, it really does feel like our lives are a scriptwriter’s dream.”

 

Jungkook grins. “A drama of two city wolves finally finding a pack, a pack made up of island, wild, and city wolves, a dramatic tale of finding family on a little island called, Gutenvell.”

 

“Ten out of ten, would recommend watching for the laughter,” Yoongi grins back.

 

“So, have you thought any more on if you want Zentt bonds with the other three?” Jungkook asks softly, and Yoongi nods.

 

“I have. I want to focus on my relationship with Jimin first, and then approach the guys if they’d be willingly to add me to their Zentt bond collection,” Yoongi huffs out.

 

“All three of them are just waiting for you,” Jungkook reveals, and Yoongi feels shy at hearing the honesty in the alpha’s voice. “Hoseok, Jin, Namjoon, all three of them are just waiting to hear the words come from you. I think even before you guys scented each other, they had already pseudo-adopted you into the pack.”

 

“Well, they won’t be waiting long. Hopefully. We’ll see on how my life back on the mainland welcomes me.”

 

“Good luck with that. I’d never move back to a city, not after living out here,” Jungkook grimaces.

 

Yoongi has a feeling that he may be feeling the same thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoongi is half thankful and half impressed that he managed a full night of sleep without any nightmares taunting him.

 

So, it makes his morning a little more bearable as he lifts his suitcase into the jeep, letting Jimin shut it with a loud bang that echoes around the early morning air.

 

“You drank the tea, yeah?” Jimin asks as they climb into the jeep, doors slamming shut after them.

 

Yoongi grunts, still tasting the bitterness on his tongue, and making his boyfriend giggle as the alpha starts the engine, the gate opening for them.

 

“All you have to do is hand in your visitor tag, your discharge paper, sign the island’s exit forms so that you can be logged out of the system, and you’re good to go,” Jimin fills in the air as they drive, leaving behind the pack that still lie in their dens.

 

They had said their goodbyes to Yoongi during dinner last night – featuring pizza and donuts, courtesy of Taehyung – and he’s told them that he didn’t want a fuss in the morning because he hates mornings.

 

Saying goodbye had been…rocky, he isn’t going to lie.

 

Hoseok was a High that Yoongi has never experienced before, and now that they’re somewhat friends, and highly likely to be future pack members, it did make his throat tight when he hugged the alpha goodbye.

 

Jin’s jokes did help hide the wobble in his voice when he hugged Yoongi goodbye at the end of the night, but Yoongi still caught it and the way the alpha squeezed him in their hug.

 

Namjoon…Yoongi was honestly surprised at how each of them responded to the other, and he’s not really sure if it’s because they’re both omegas so they both fed of each other’s natural instinct as such, or if it’s because Namjoon has been so invested in helping Yoongi explore different tastes, textures, with food, the care that came along with making sure Yoongi didn’t feel like he was being hit with too much alphaness from the guys, that caused them both to cling a little tighter to each other, a hitch in each of their breaths.

 

And then came Taehyung.

 

Taehyung, the wolf that had been quietly avoiding making too much eye contact with Yoongi throughout the dinner, the wolf that was Yoongi’s first Support, his first rock to hold onto as he adjusted to life in a support pack, and now a pack member to Yoongi, he almost ruined Yoongi when they hugged goodbye.

 

Their Zentt bond is still new, fresh, so the pull they have is a lot louder, like how a new born baby’s cries are.

 

It felt like his chest was trying to rip into two when they parted, both of them breathing heavily, both of them looking stricken with panic and unsureness of how to proceed.

 

Jungkook soon helped with that as he pulled them both into a hug, nuzzling them both, as he whispered that, ‘texts and calls exist, remember? You’re both fine, I promise’, and it was so touching and slightly jarring to see Jungkook take charge like that.

 

Yoongi, admittingly, only ever saw that serious side of Jungkook whenever they were at work, but to have it appear as he comforted Yoongi and Taehyung from the effects of their Zentt bond reacting to a goodbye…it really touched Yoongi to see it.

 

“I’ll have time to shop for gifts, right?” Yoongi asks, looking at the alpha, and Jimin nods.

 

“Yeah, you’ll have fifteen-twenty minutes after checking out to kill time around the port. We can get breakfast if you want, too.”

 

Yoongi shakes his head at the offer. “Don’t want to give my stomach more ammunition.”

 

Jimin chuckles softly at that, shifting gears, as he takes them around the bends of the road.

 

“How long is the ferry ride to the capital?”

 

“About three hours, but it feels like ten,” Yoongi deadpans, making Jimin laugh louder.

 

“You’re so whiny, it’s cute,” Jimin teases softly, catching his gaze.

 

“I am cute,” Yoongi sniffs, playing along.

 

“Can’t argue with that,” Jimin smiles back, tone a touch more serious than playful, and it makes Yoongi shy as he looks away with a small smile.

 

“How are you feeling, anyway?” Yoongi asks after a minute or so of soft silence, rolling his head to the side to look back at the wolf, studying the male’s body language.

 

Jimin looks relaxed, his scent smells of it too.

 

“Surprisingly chill,” Jimin admits with a huff. “I thought I’d be a lot more…emotional.”

 

“But it feels like we’ve done this before, despite it being the first time?”

 

Jimin glances at him, surprised, but also with understanding.

 

“Yeah, exactly like that,” Jimin agrees softly, before looking back at the road.

 

“Must be a Mayt bond thing,” Yoongi softly guesses. “Because if this were a Zentt bond, we’d both be in near tears.”

 

Jimin snorts. “Probably in tears, because I’m an easy crier. You just have to ask me if I’m crying and I begin to cry.”

 

“That’s soft and cute,” Yoongi coos gently, smiling at the blushing profile of his boyfriend.

 

“Don’t even think of asking me it. I will crash the jeep and I’ll have to beat myself up for putting you in harm’s way.”

 

“And then run away before Jin can beat you up too,” Yoongi hums, making Jimin laugh in agreement.

 

Before long, they approach the gates of the port, and as Jimin reverses into a parking space, Yoongi double checks that he has everything he needs for the reception desk.

 

“I’ll wait out front with your case,” Jimin tells him as he kills the engine, both of them unbuckling their seatbelts.

 

Yoongi nods and shoves himself out of the jeep with slight nerves in his gut as he slams the door behind him.

 

He can see the ferry already in the distance at the dock, and just seeing it makes his gut churn.

 

He really hopes this tea helps, otherwise, he’s going to have a repeat of his journey here on the way to the mainland.

 

He steps through the doors, smelling the standard neutral air all commercial and communal buildings are ventilated with to prevent oversaturation of scents, and eyes the two members of staff that are at the reception desk.

 

Yoongi heads for the nearest one, feeling this whole scene with a large sense of dejavu.

 

“Good morning, how can I help you?” the female omega politely and warmly asks, smiling at Yoongi, and Yoongi recognises her from his first day on the island.

 

“I was here as a guest at Support Vellga, I’m checking out today,” Yoongi says as he hands over his tag and his discharge papers.

 

“Let me just scan this into the system, and then I can issue you a release form,” the female smiles at him as she takes his stuff, before moving to a large printer copier combo at the back of the desk area.

 

Yoongi takes a moment to actually take in the visiting centre, since he didn’t give it a second look during his first time in here.

 

The other end of the building appears to be a museum space, judging by the open space and the equally spaced murals on the walls, and the few wooden and stone statues standing in the space, a spaced dedicated to the history of Gutenvell Island.

 

The female returns back to her desk computer, and types away, humming softly under her breath as she works.

 

“You were authorised a four week stay at Support Vellga, yes?” the female checks, and Yoongi confirms, “and you are being discharged five days early, yes?”

 

“Yeah, that’s right,” Yoongi confirms, hoping she won’t go any deeper with the details because he’ll be forced to lie on the spot.

 

“I’ll just print out the forms for you to sign, one for you to keep, one for us, and one for your guide from Support Vellga,” she informs him as the printer behind her whirls to life, printing the forms fast.

 

Yoongi’s office floor could do with a printer that works as fast as that one does. They always have to apply mild violence to theirs to make it work.

 

“Read and sign, please,” the omega directs to the crossed area she makes on the forms, before handing him the black pen.

 

Yoongi skims over the form, reading that the island is no longer held responsible for his safety, and neither is the pack he’s been staying at once he signs the papers.

 

He signs his signature on all three forms, and hands them back, where the omega stamps them with an official stamp marked with the island’s name, before handing two forms back to him.

 

“I hope your time on Gutenvell was meaningful and helpful. Vellswa,” the female smiles at him, and this time, Yoongi knows exactly what that means since he’s been learning some of the local dialect during the dinners that he’s shared with the pack members.

 

Vellnee,” Yoongi says back, grinning at the small surprise that flicks over her face, her smile doubling as he leaves her desk.

 

Peace on your journey, peace on your stay, Vellswa, Vellnee, it’s wulften dialect, island-specific dialect, but those two words that really conveys just how simple and meaningful their language is.

 

It makes Yoongi want to learn more, to become less ignorant of his own history.

 

Stepping back out into the air at the front of the visiting centre, Yoongi heads for the male that radiates the scent of cedarwood peony musk, a lone suitcase at his side as he smiles at Yoongi’s approaching form.

 

“Easy, huh?” Jimin greets him as he takes his form from Yoongi, both of them folding their own paper and slipping it into their jean pockets.

 

“A lot easier than being checked in,” Yoongi grins, taking his suitcase handle in hand, and drags it along with them as they head for the gift shop.

 

Together, they narrow down the gifts that Yoongi’s mother would like – a handmade trinket box – and a couple of handmade fridge magnets of the island’s name for his father and brother.

 

“It feels weird to be bringing back gifts from a support stay,” Yoongi says as they slowly walk towards the dock, where a small line has already formed of wolves waiting to be boarded.

 

“It normalises it, makes it not as clinical, you know?” Jimin says with a soft smile, swaying their hands together as they join the back of the line.

 

“You should feel how frantic my heart is reacting to seeing that hulking piece of steel again. I’m definitely going to puke,” Yoongi grunts as he stares at the ferry.

 

“You will if you psych yourself up like that,” Jimin chastises him with a fond laugh, pulling him close, and cradling Yoongi’s face with his free hand.

 

Yoongi nuzzles his cheek against the male’s palm, watching the tender smile grow on the alpha’s face as he leans in and gently kisses him.

 

There, standing on a dock, at six in the morning, with the sounds of seagulls flying around, the waves hitting the shore and dock, the scent of brine and wood in the air, fills in the background as they slowly kiss each other.

 

Yoongi’s heart was nervous before, but now it settles, as if soothed by Jimin’s kisses and scent.

 

They hear the announcement from the front that the ferry is boarding and to have their forms ready to show.

 

Yoongi breaks the kiss first, pressing his forehead against Jimin’s, licking his lips to savour the taste and warmth left behind the male’s mouth.

 

“I don’t want to go,” Yoongi whispers, throat tight, clutching Jimin’s hand, his other clutching the handle of his case.

 

“You have to, for now,” Jimin whispers back, running his hand through Yoongi’s hair at his nape. “It’s not a true goodbye, remember.”

 

“I know, but I still don’t want to go.”

 

“The ferry won’t eat you,” Jimin teases, attempting to distract Yoongi, to ease him.

 

“We’ll see about that,” Yoongi grunts, hearing movement from in front of them, and turns to see the line moving faster than he wants it to.

 

Jimin gently nudges him forward, and the grating sound of his suitcase rolling on the wooden dock hits the back of his teeth, just like it did when he first arrived.

 

“I’m not sure if you’ll have signal out there, but if you do, we can text, help keep your mind away from puking,” Jimin offers as the line moves faster as wolves board.

 

Yoongi nods, swallowing thickly, as he glances at the calm wolf beside him. “If I cry, don’t judge me.”

 

“If you cry, I’ll be right behind you,” Jimin honestly says, and Yoongi can see it in the male’s gaze that he too is feeling the out of the blue urge to curl away from the hulking metal in front of them, to remain together.

 

Yoongi squeezes Jimin’s hand as he unwillingly shows the wolf in uniform his form that ends his time here on the island.

 

“Thank you for visiting Gutenvell Island,” the wolf politely says, waving for Yoongi to walk up the ramp.

 

But, all of a sudden, he can’t move.

 

He feels a gentle tug, feels himself turn to face an anxious, but fighting to show it fully on his face, alpha, as Jimin cradles his face with both hands.

 

Yoongi is glad that no one is behind them waiting to board as the wolf in uniform politely looks away, used to seeing last minute goodbyes.

 

“You’re going to be fine, I promise,” Jimin whispers as his scent wraps around Yoongi, soothing his own that had spiked unknowingly.

 

“I know. I just…I’ll miss you,” Yoongi blurts out through a numbness that settles around in his mouth.

 

Jimin swallows thickly, his gaze glassy, but determined.

 

“I’ll miss you too, but I’ll be seeing you soon, yeah? My work will be done in a month. I can come see you then,” the wolf promises, and Yoongi nods, chanting it in his head.

 

“Kiss me before I get on this thing,” Yoongi whispers, already leaning in, and Jimin eagerly meets him, their eyes slipping shut as Yoongi fists the front of the male’s thin t-shirt.

 

This kiss is less soft, but full of meaning.

 

And it helps Yoongi regain composure, feels the kiss like a balm over his heightened emotions, feels it soothe and settle his instinct.

 

Yoongi startles at the ferry horn, hears the wolf in uniform call for last passengers to come this way, and forces himself to let go of his boyfriend.

 

Jimin gives him a smile, gaze still glassy, scent still comforting, and waves goodbye as Yoongi forces his legs to take him up the ramp, dragging his suitcase behind him.

 

On deck, Yoongi stays there, watching the alpha as the ramp is lifted, the horn blaring one final time of its departure, and the ferry begins to slowly move from the dock.

 

With one final wave between them, Yoongi forces himself to move away from the railing, and retreats inside to find a tabled seat where he can put his suitcase onto the table and curl against the window.

 

Yoongi breathes in calm breaths as he feels the motion of ferry as it moves through the water, avoiding looking to his right where he can see the waves against the side of the ferry through the window.

 

So far, his gut is chill.

 

But, his chest?

 

Yoongi is torn at the deep feeling of comfort he’s become so used to feeling whenever he thinks of Jimin, and the fresh emotions of parting from a wolf that has come to mean a lot to him in a short span of time.

 

He’s going to miss them all, for each wolf has wormed their way into his heart, and rooted deeply.

 

Yoongi rests his head back onto the wooden rest of the seat, and lets out a heavy sigh.

 

Well, here comes reality.

 

Let’s hope he’s got the patience for it after being away from it for nearly a month.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been a week.

 

Seven, extremely long, days.

 

And Yoongi is already questioning how he spent thirty years in this suffocating, loud, trap of a city.

 

He’s had a permanent headache from adjusting to the swamp of thick, heavy, scents that stuff up his nose, and the sheer racket of horns from traffic racing at all hours of the day and night, the hubbub of noise of bodies living so tightly together.

 

Even his own apartment stinks of the city, of stale air and odours, his own working overtime to make it feel like home once more after his three-week absence.

 

Being back at work doesn’t help centre him either, if anything, it makes his world feel even more flipped on its head as he has to get used to new looks of sympathy from co-workers due to his month-long absence.

 

The only thing that hasn’t changed, is his boss.

 

As she proves now as she drops a blue folder on his desk. “I need you to take a trip.”

 

Yoongi’s heart thumps a bit faster than normal as he drags the folder to himself, flipping it open to read the contents inside.

 

“It’s not too far, just the next region over. A noise complaint from the city’s police department was flagged for a Monitor to check over the family,” she says as he skims over the document. “Easy work.”

 

“They’re city wolves, of course it’s easy and mundane,” Yoongi grumbles, flipping the page to read how many wolves live in the family home.

 

“Good. I’ll see you tomorrow when you come back!” she hollers, leaving his cubicle, leaving Yoongi to his first assignment upon coming back to work.

 

Yoongi shuts the folder with a long sigh, already feeling tired, as he shuts down his computer.

 

At least his routine is still painfully the same, even if he’s struggling to adjust back to an environment he was born and raised in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You had a job today?” the wolf’s voice sounds surprised, and a touch concerned, through the speakerphone of the call.

 

“It was a simple one. It was only in the next region over, in the main city there, a simple house-calling of making sure no abuse was happening,” Yoongi explains as he stirs his soup that is from a can, and the only thing he can be bothered in making after driving to and from the region that is next to the capital’s.

 

“You’ve only been back a week,” Jimin states, still surprised.

 

“It was an easy job, easy to travel to and from, easy to check out the situation,” Yoongi shrugs, even though the alpha can’t see it, as he continues to stir his soup at his stove.

 

“How did it feel? To be out on a job?”

 

“Seeing that blue folder did cause a bit of anxiety, but once I was out there, working, it was all muscle memory and familiar focus as I worked,” Yoongi admits as he moves to grab himself a deep enough bowl.

 

“You don’t sound too enthusiastic about it,” Jimin points out lightly. “You sound a little….done.”

 

“I’m not entirely sure how I feel. I’ll need to go on a few more jobs to really know if I am done with being a Monitor, or if I’m just still adjusting to being back at work after sitting on my ass for a month.”

 

“Possibly. You did suspect that she’d wait a week before throwing you out back into the field.”

 

Yoongi grunts as he turns off his stove, and pours out his soup into his bowl.

 

“How is your guest doing?” Yoongi calls as he moves to dump the dirty pan into the sink to be washed after he’s ate.

 

“He’s settled in now, and showing positive signs that he’s going to be comfortable in his stay here, so all good, really,” Jimin shares of his own work, since the alpha had found a compatible guest during the scent meeting last week.

 

Yoongi grabs his phone with his free hand as he heads for his sofa where the television is on mute, and curls up on his sofa, bowl sitting on top of a cushion, spoon waiting inside it, as he switches off the speakerphone before placing his phone to his ear.

 

“You’re still up for coming at the end of the month?” Yoongi asks as he stirs his soup with his spoon.

 

Jimin hums. “I’ll be needing the capital to jumpstart my sense of smell after deep cleaning my guest’s den.”

 

“Oh, it’ll jump start your senses, all right. I’m still adjusting, and I was born here,” Yoongi teases in between blowing on his soup.

 

“You really do sell the allure of city-living.”

 

“I try,” Yoongi grins at his boyfriend’s amused tone.

 

“Well, the pictures you’ve been sending me of the place are already helping me develop an idea of how large it is. Your apartment still is bigger than my den, despite what you say of apartments being tiny.”

 

“Just wait until you get here, you’ll see that your den is luxurious since you don’t hear your neighbours fucking at two in the morning,” Yoongi grunts out, still pissed at that particular wake-up call yesterday morning.

 

Jimin laughs at his minor growl. “I don’t, but I sure can smell it when they air out their den.”

 

Yoongi grins around his spoonful of soup at that.

 

“How’s the soup? Despite it coming from a can and probably has no nutritional value in it,” Jimin deadpans lightly, tone snarky, and it makes Yoongi grin more as he settles back against his sofa.

 

“It wouldn’t be the first thing I’ve ate that has no nutritional value.”

 

“Name three within ten seconds.”

 

“Pizza, cum, ramen,” Yoongi rattles off easily as he scrapes the side of his spoon around the bowl’s edges, collecting soup.

 

And raises an eyebrow at the sudden choking fit going on at the other end of the call.

 

“You good?” Yoongi checks.

 

“You said, ‘cum’, right?” Jimin wheezes back as he continues to cough.

 

“I did indeed,” Yoongi hums back, smirking around his spoon.

 

“Just making sure,” Jimin says as he collects himself from his surprise.

 

“It’s true, sperm has no nutritional value.”

 

“I wasn’t denying the fact, I just wasn’t expecting that to come out of your mouth amongst things like, ‘pizza’ and ‘ramen’,” Jimin bluntly states, making Yoongi grin.

 

“You asked, I delivered,” Yoongi states, amused.

 

“Gutter brain.”

 

“How does that make me a ‘gutter brain’?” Yoongi laughs loudly.

 

“Because if you were to ask me that, I can promise you that cum would be nowhere near my list!” Jimin laughs back. “Gutter-minded, admit it.”

 

“Only if you admit that you like it,” Yoongi challenges, soup now forgotten in this new game of back and forth with his boyfriend.

 

Jimin snorts.

 

“I’ll admit it if you admit to being filthy-minded.”

 

“Filthy is a strong word, I’d have to argue against that,” Yoongi teases, putting his soup onto the floor so that he can focus completely on this conversation.

 

“And what word would you use, huh?” Jimin teases back.

 

“Fun,” Yoongi says with a smile, waiting for the alpha’s laughter to float through the call, and isn’t disappointed when it does.

 

“You’re that, alright,” Jimin agrees with a low, amused, hum.

 

Yoongi chews on his lip, debating on whether or not he pursues with his typical flirting pattern of insinuating his sexual prowess, or to keep it clean with Jimin, since this is the first time that they’ve really touched upon anything related to sex.

 

“I’m fun in many ways,” Yoongi says lightly, tone flirty, but still playful.

 

He hears a soft huff of an exhale, and Yoongi can’t really tell if it’s a small laugh, scoff, or a surprised huff.

 

“Hard to say if that is true. I still have to see all of you.”

 

Yoongi’s body tickles with a rush of warm, giddy, excitement as Jimin plays along with his flirting as he matches his light tone.

 

“Likewise,” Yoongi says back, moving to lie down on his sofa, smiling up at his ceiling, as he hooks an arm behind his head.

 

“I did tell you that all you have to do is ask,” Jimin huffs back, and Yoongi almost blanks out at the answer as he searches through his memory of such a thing being said.

 

And then he remembers.

 

 

“You looked like you were one second away from face-planting into it,” Yoongi teases, baiting the alpha on purpose as he leans his shoulder back against the wall.

 

“Was not, I was in perfect control,” Jimin snorts back, and Yoongi grins because he’s hearing more of that little snark, seeing more of Jimin’s personality emerge from behind the uncertainty and nervousness from earlier.

 

“Oh? With the way you were stretching, it looked like a simple breeze could undo you.”

 

“I own muscles for a reason,” Jimin retorts as he unscrews the light free, completely missing Yoongi’s little smirk.

 

“I mean, your arms are thick, but I haven’t seen the rest of you to comment,” Yoongi lightly says, being mindful to keep this sudden new area between them light and teasing so that he doesn’t make the alpha uncomfortable with the flirtish behaviour Yoongi is testing out.

 

It’s a good thing that there is bed underneath Jimin because he fumbles with the lightbulb and drops it as he snaps his gaze to look at Yoongi, stunned.

 

“What? It’s true. Your arms show off how hard you work at your job,” Yoongi says in light of the alpha’s sudden gaze, watching as the surprise falls away to a brief – but very interesting – look of heat, before settling onto playful determination.

 

Yoongi knows a challenging look when he sees one, and is curious at how Jimin is going to play.

 

“You sound like you wanna touch them,” Jimin huffs with a soft laugh, looking down at the bed so that he can peel open the box, tipping it so that the new lightbulb slides out.

 

“You sound like you want me to touch them,” Yoongi retorts back a lot stronger and blunter than he meant to, and the way Jimin freezes, head still down, Yoongi is regretting it.

 

But, before he can do damage control, Jimin speaks first as he peers up, looking at Yoongi through a slight curtain of his black, wavy, hair, as it falls forward still.

 

Piercing ice blue and brown eyes kick him hard in the gut where a curl of excitement sparks.

 

“If I asked, would you?”

 

That curl of excitement sparks again, hotter.

 

“If you didn’t ask, would you still let me?” Yoongi murmurs back, too conscious of the way the air hangs in his bedding area, of how still, thick, it is with their scents again.

 

Jimin is the one to break the thick air as he leans for the lamp, fixing the new lightbulb in it.

 

Yoongi almost believes that is the end of it, Jimin’s answer left unspoken, when the alpha responds with, “you should try it and find out.”

 

 

“You’d really show me if I asked?” Yoongi tests, making sure he’s on the same page as the wolf, the warmth under his skin burning a little warmer.

 

“I don’t know, you have yet to ask me of something.”

 

“I don’t know if I can ask,” Yoongi responds with, meaning it, since he doesn’t want to make Jimin uncomfortable as they toy with this new line they’re tentatively tiptoeing over.

 

Jimin snorts gently at that. “I’d tell you if I’m not comfortable with something, Yoongi. I do own a tongue, after all.”

 

“If I asked you to send me pictures of you, would you?”

 

Yoongi’s heart beats fast with the spike of nerves.

 

“Of me doing what?” Jimin questions, tone completely at ease.

 

“I never did get the chance to touch those muscles that you flaunt,” Yoongi answers, still nervous, despite this being the tamest thing he’s asked from someone he’s dating.

 

“See? This is what happens when you don’t ask in person, now I get to decide how much of a tease I can be,” Jimin chuckles, and it instantly soothes Yoongi’s nerves.

 

“If you tease, I tease back,” Yoongi playfully warns, secretly looking forward to learning what Jimin classes as ‘teasing’.

 

Yoongi knows he’s more experienced than Jimin is, which is why Yoongi is making sure that he’s not making the wolf uncomfortable being in this new area of flirting and teasing each other with slight sexual undertones.

 

“I look forward to setting the bar.”

 

Yoongi laughs at that, can easily picture Jimin’s smirking face, as he too is amused and anticipating the end result of their conversation.

 

“Dinner calls,” Jimin says gently, a little reluctance in his tone to end the call, as Yoongi listens to the wolf move through the call, no doubt heading for his den door.

 

“Give the guys my greetings,” Yoongi says back just as gently, hearing his own reluctance to part too.

 

As they say their goodbyes, and the call ends, Yoongi lets out a long sigh as he stares up at his ceiling, phone on his chest.

 

It’s new, being in a long-distanced relationship, one that is actively being grown and maintained through texts and calls, when he’s so used to doing it all in person by going to the other’s person’s place or a nearby meeting spot.

 

It’s new, but Yoongi doesn’t regret having it. He looks forward to their nightly calls, the random text messages they send each other about the most out of context stuff, and the fact that they both have to be explicitly open with communicating through words rather than through visible physical cues such as scents and body language.

 

It’s nice, bonding like this.

 

And when Yoongi returns from his evening shower to check to see if his phone is fully charged before he passes out for the evening, he sees that he has three messages from Jimin.

 

Anticipation bubbles through him as he sits on his bed, towel wrapped around his hips, hair dripping water down his back and shoulders, as he types in his passcode and opens up the message.

 

And immediately smiles at the first image that pops up as it shows Jimin from a high angle, showing off his beaming grin as he leans on the railing of his porch, the setting sun hitting the warm tones of his brown and ice blue eyes.

 

Yoongi scrolls down to the second image that has been sent, and swallows at the complete juxtaposition of the two.

 

If the first were to be labelled as, ‘soft and warm’, then the second image should be labelled as, ‘intimate’.

 

Yoongi swallows as he carefully takes in the image of Jimin standing in his closed den bathroom, facing his mirror, completely shirtless as he shows off his soft muscle tone, his black wavy hair a tousled mess as he tilts his head at his reflection, his gaze feeling as if he is directly looking at Yoongi.

 

Yoongi then looks at the text that sits underneath the images.

 

 

all you had to do was ask

 

 

Laughing softly at the snarky little text that he can easily hear Jimin’s voice saying it in his head, Yoongi stands up, and heads for his own bathroom.

 

Whereas Jimin was still dressed in jean shorts, Yoongi is only dressed in the towel that is wrapped around his hips, and he makes sure to highlight that fact as he opens up his camera, and angles his phone to get a decent mirror selfie of him tilting his head too as he stares at his reflection.

 

Yoongi takes a couple photos until he’s happy with the one he chooses to send back, with the reply of:

 

 

i ask and share

 

 

As he waits for Jimin’s response, despite the late hour, Yoongi gets dressed, blow-dries his hair, and brushes his teeth.

 

When he climbs into bed and checks his phone, he smiles at it as opens up the response.

 

 

r.i.p my heart

 

 

“Dork,” Yoongi affectionally whispers to himself as he says goodnight to his boyfriend.

 

And falls asleep to the emoji filled response of kissing emojis, and heart emojis, his lips firmly tucked up into a soft smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two weeks into living back on the mainland, and Yoongi’s headache has finally left.

 

But, what follows it, is something that Yoongi is not in the mood for dealing with, not after a week of dealing with city wolves being stupid and petty with each other in apartment-living altercations.

 

Yoongi opens up his cycle tracker, and feels his eye twitch at seeing that his gut feeling is right when he notes the lateness of his season cycle.

 

The heightened level of annoyance he’s been experiencing all damn week, the lack of patience on his end of dealing with anyone that acts like a pup rather than a grown wolf, all makes sense.

 

“Fucking pre-heat,” Yoongi growls to himself, irritated even further as he sits at his desk, typing up his report.

 

Yoongi is so used to knowing when to expect his pre-heat symptoms to manifest as his cycle pills lead him into a seasonal cycle, that now he’s been off his pills for two months now, he hasn’t been tracking when his heat would start.

 

He’s so used to the rigidness of knowing when to expect his pre-heat symptoms and actual heat, that knowing it is happening completely at the whim of its own doing, further aggravates him.

 

“Looks like this is going to be a moody fucking heat,” Yoongi grunts to himself, hitting his keyboard harder than necessary as he continues to work.

 

Usually, his pre-heat lasts for a couple of days as he builds up to his heat cycle, which lasts three days.

 

But, that was under the influence of season cycle pills.

 

Without them?

 

Yoongi has no fucking idea how long this season cycle is going to annoy his ass with.

 

Literally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My heat is coming and I can’t stop being angry,” Yoongi greets his boyfriend before the poor alpha can even say hello.

 

“I can tell,” Jimin says lightly, probably testing how irritated Yoongi is before deciding if he’s in the mood for playful remarks. “Apart from feeling angry, you’re feeling the usual symptoms of pre-heat, yes?”

 

Yoongi grunts out an affirmative as he heads straight for the bathroom so he can remove the clothes that stink of work and public transport, his nose having none of it in his den as he puts Jimin on speakerphone as he sits his phone on his bathroom counter.

 

“I think I have another day or so of feeling like the entire world is trying grate under my skin,” Yoongi huffs out as he quickly undresses himself, shedding his clothing off his skin, and rubbing at his scent glands in his neck to settle his annoyance of the stench left behind from his clothes.

 

A comforting sound comes through the call, and Yoongi wishes he could have it in person, and glares at his phone as if it is the reason why the alpha can’t physically be here.

 

“I have work tomorrow, and then heat leave,” Yoongi says as he balls up his clothing, butt naked, grabs his phone, and leaves his bathroom so he can hurry to his washing machine to stuff the items inside.

 

“How are your heats, usually?” Jimin politely asks, still on loud speaker, as Yoongi sets the washer away with scent neutraliser detergent inside it.

 

“Moody,” Yoongi admits. “I don’t get sexual heats. I just get real annoyed by everything around me as I cramp up.”

 

“You want me to send more of my shirts? Or will that only annoy your senses?” Jimin offers softly, and Yoongi picks up his phone as he heads for his bedroom.

 

He had sort of made it into a bedding area, had even rearranged his room around just so that he shoved his bed against the wall farthest from the window, and had installed a curtain rail that his landlord doesn’t know about around his bed.

 

The curtain wasn’t flushed to his bed, with a wide enough gap for him to move freely around it, but it helped separate his bedroom and gave him a deeper sense of privacy than the window curtains ever did.

 

Opening up his wardrobe, Yoongi tugs out a loose t-shirt that still smells of Jimin, and throws it on, before moving to snap shut his window curtain.

 

“If you don’t mind me depleting your wardrobe,” Yoongi answers as his bedroom becomes muted, but not completely dark, as he turns on his lamp that sits on his dresser, casting a warm light into the space as he heads for his bedding area.

 

Jimin snorts at that. “I have plenty of shirts to share. I don’t mind.”

 

“You’ll get them back when I see you in a couple of weeks’ time,” Yoongi promises as he starfishes onto his bed, legs dangling down the side of his double bed, the curtain still open.

 

“I can’t promise the same thing. You can scent your clothes again, but not so sure I’ll be returning them,” Jimin teases, making Yoongi huff out a small laugh.

 

“I have to go grocery shopping for some energy drinks and bars, and I can’t convince my legs to take me,” Yoongi complains as he gently rubs his wrist against his bedding, lightly scenting his nest.

 

“Order online and have it delivered to you?” Jimin suggests, and it’s not a bad idea.

 

“Aren’t you supposed to be encouraging me not to be lazy?” Yoongi jokes, mind already decided on ordering his groceries online for a change.

 

“Season week is all about self-care. If I had that mainland convenience, I’d be using it all the time during my ruts.”

 

“Urgh, that reminds me, I have to buy some scent strips on my way to work tomorrow. My scent is too much in an office environment, and that’s with the air filter on.”

 

“Should you be at work then?” Jimin questions, concerned. “I was taught that, when a wolf’s scent reflects their season cycle starting that is when the wolf peaces out and remains in their den.”

 

“Depends on your job, here in the city. If you work with the public, then your season leave starts as soon as your scent climbs with it. I work in an office, mainly, and since I’m not going to be assigned a job now my heat leave has been submitted, I can still attend work.”

 

“Well, that sucks,” Jimin grunts out, not impressed, and it makes Yoongi smirk at hearing the rare tone of annoyance in the alpha’s voice. “Just call in sick.”

 

Yoongi barks out a laugh at that. “No more sick days left. I’ll be fine. It’s an inconvenience, yeah, but my scent doesn’t smell of need, so I’m lucky in that sense that I won’t get slimeball attention.”

 

The grunt that comes this time sounds angrier, making Yoongi know exactly what the other wolf is thinking off with is ‘slimeball’ comment.

 

Even in cities, there are still times where a wolf is accosted by another wolf that is reacting instinctively to their scent.

 

“Text me when your heat kicks in to let me know if you can tolerate talking or not. For me, the first two days of my rut, I shut out the world as I deal with myself. On day three, I go searching for affection and comfort from the guys,” Jimin shares, and Yoongi pays careful attention to the wolf’s own season cycle pattern.

 

In a way, they’re very similar. Yoongi can barely tolerate himself during the first couple days of his heat, but once it wanes, he feels the deep need for comfort from those he loves.

 

“I’ll let you know,” Yoongi promises as he rolls himself onto his tummy, face full of his scent and Jimin’s that comes from the t-shirt he’s wearing.

 

“Before you get too comfortable, order what you need, and then get comfy,” Jimin chuckles softly as he hears the difference in Yoongi’s breathing as he begins to relax.

 

“Too late,” Yoongi grins into his duvet, arm cushioning his head.

 

“You’ll regret it in the morning,” Jimin playfully warns. “The faster you do it, the faster you can chill.”

 

“Wise words, shame that I’m too lazy to follow them.”

 

Jimin laughs at that, tone affectionate as he lightly berates Yoongi.

 

In the end, the alpha wins in succeeding in forcing Yoongi up off his bed and to his laptop out in his living room.

 

Groceries ordered with the delivery due to arrive in the next few hours, Yoongi is forced to say goodbye to the alpha as he’s called for dinner, and Yoongi’s washer calls for his own attention.

 

Scenting the neutraliser, it causes an impulse in Yoongi to grab a spray bottle full of it to deep clean his entire apartment at seven in the evening.

 

He doesn’t want his apartment smelling of the city from when he had his window open in the early hours of this morning to air out his bedroom after having a very mild nightmare, and with that in mind, Yoongi follows instinct.

 

He grabs a spray bottle of neutraliser, a rag, and goes spray-crazy on his front door, cleansing the metal door, and causing a scent barrier in the process.

 

From there, he does his windows, his bathroom, living room, and kitchen.

 

He doesn’t touch his bedroom – apart from the windows – and strips his bed so he can have fresher bedding that he can scent mark more satisfyingly.

 

By the time he crawls into bed at midnight, his lower abdominal feels a bit bloated and tender, and Yoongi knows that work in the morning is going to be a nightmare of its own as cramps begin as his secondary reproductive system decides to make itself known again.

 

Evolution sure could’ve skipped the need for cramps when it decided that some male omegas can carry two sets of reproductive systems, because there is no need for cramps to exist in this world, both omegas and betas can firmly agree on that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

my stomach feels like razor blades are having a party in there and feels bloated as a fucking balloon

 

 

Jimin winces in sympathy for his boyfriend as the texts continue to fly in.

 

 

at least slick isn’t runnin out of my ass like a leaking tap, I think I’d prefer that over my womb trying to lure me into getting pregnant

 

 

Jimin winces again. Admittingly, he hasn’t met a lot of male omegas that do have the ability to carry a womb as well as male genitalia, but he’s still met a few, so he knows how uncomfortable male omegas heats can be.

 

His father doesn’t have a secondary reproductive system, but his heats had been of a sexual need, so whenever his father’s heat came around, his mother’s own season cycle synced up.

 

Even before he knew what season cycles were, he and his brother were used to staying at a neighbouring wolf’s den during the initial first few days.

 

As he got older and learnt of different types of season cycles, he became more aware of when sexual needs were part of a cycle, and when emotional needs were.

 

He’s always been nervous that he’ll have one of those rut cycles that is entirely focused around his cock getting as much friction as it craves, since that was the cycle most alphas are taught to expect and prepare for since they are the most dangerous ones to have lucid control over your instinct.

 

So far, he’s only had really heavy emotional ruts where loneliness and longing felt like a heavy ache in his bones, where it felt like the scents of his own family were never enough to calm the ache.

 

Even now, living in the pack with the guys, Jimin still struggles to find a hard centre during his first few days of rut.

 

 

I know I said not to call me but fuck it, if I hear the sound of my own breathing anymore, I’m going to take a pillow to my face

 

 

Jimin quickly calls the omega at reading that text message, his previous silence shattering since he had listened to the wolf’s warning of not responding to his messages during the first few days of his heat.

 

“How much blood do you think I’ll lose if I rip out my womb?” Yoongi lightly questions, and Jimin ignores his instinctive reaction to swim to the mainland to stop Yoongi from even contemplating harm to himself.

 

“It’ll be messy, and you hate cleaning up mess,” Jimin answers instead as he continues on his patrol around the pack grounds, the night air much cooler now that summer has passed its peak.

 

“True.”

 

“Have you tried using a warm cloth and massaging on top of it?” Jimin asks softly, trying to recall all the tips he’s heard of.

 

“I think my womb would literally fight me if I so much as tried to rub my belly,” Yoongi deadpans, miserable with pain and discomfort, that Jimin really has to breathe through the urge to head straight for the sea.

 

He’d kill himself just trying to swim in the ocean, so his instinct needs to chill and find another means of offering comfort to both of them.

 

“When are you next due for pain relief?” Jimin asks as he heads for the dock, and lowers himself to sit on the edge of it, his legs dangling down off it.

 

“Another hour. But I’m tempted to take it now, and deal with the consequences later.”

 

“Having your stomach pumped will only make it hurt more,” Jimin counters, once again wishing he was near his boyfriend to help him somehow.

 

Yoongi grunts at that, sounding more miserable than he did a second ago.

 

“I hate heats. They suck.”

 

“I know,” Jimin softly soothes, chest aching. “Try to focus on me, not the razor party in your gut.”

 

Yoongi snorts at that. “I filled my nest with your shirts, and it’s helping take my mind away from how much my own skin is aggravating me at the moment.”

 

Jimin smiles at hearing that. “So, my package arrived in time, huh?”

 

“Fuck yes it did. It smells glorious in here, like you’re here with me.”

 

Jimin swallows as a strong pang of longing hits him. “I would if I could.”

 

“You should come. I don’t bite,” Yoongi grunts out, the sound of moving coming through as the omega gets more comfortable.

 

Jimin’s swinging legs pause. “What?”

 

“I said, ‘you should come’. Your guest left yesterday, yeah?”

 

Jimin’s heart races, his mind blank.

 

“You said that you need space,” Jimin blurts out, confused, because that’s what the wolf told him to expect from Yoongi during the first few days of his heat.

 

“That was before I knew that your scent would be this comforting during my heat. Your scent is literally my anchor at the moment. I’m much more lucid than I usually am. I’d normally be deep into hating my life right now.”

 

Jimin’s heart races faster. “I would, but…”

 

“You wouldn’t be breaking into my den. I’m giving you clear consent to come and snuggle with me,” Yoongi reassures, easily picking up on the cause of Jimin’s hesitance. “I’m completely lucid, Jimin. I know what I’m asking for.”

 

Jimin’s head turns into white noise of instinct and fretting of how to get to the mainland as fast as he can.

 

“The port is closed now, I’ll have to see if there are any spaces on the ferry tomorrow morning,” Jimin warns as his mind spins, already thinking of how to convince Namjoon and Jungkook to clean his guest’s den for him in his absence, or get the okay from Jin and Hoseok to leave it for when he comes back.

 

“Wait, this sounds like I’m demanding you to come. You’re probably busy with cleaning-”

 

“I don’t mind, Yoongi. I wasn’t sure you’d want me there, which is why I never offered to come,” Jimin gently cuts the wolf off. “I can clean the den when I come back.”

 

“But, that means if you come now, you can’t come at the end of the month.”

 

Jimin frowns, not following the logic behind that. “Why not? I don’t mind riding the ferry, I’m long used to it now. I can still come back after taking care of my guest’s den.”

 

“…..well then. That shut me up,” Yoongi says slowly, taken aback, that it makes Jimin giggle.

 

“As long as you’re a hundred percent sure that my presence in your den isn’t going to backfire and annoy you, then I’ll be at your door sometime tomorrow if I can secure a seat on the ferry,” Jimin says as he stands up, ignoring the sense of urgency filling him to make things happen now when he knows he can’t.

 

“The only thing annoying me greatly are my cramps. You’re good,” Yoongi promises.

 

“Well then, that settles it. I’ll be seeing you tomorrow. I’ll let you know an approximate time once I know which ferry ride I can get.”

 

“I apologise in advance for any whining that may happen during your visit.”

 

“No need to apologise for venting. Vent away, babe,” Jimin hums out, and then freezes on the dock at the slip of endearment that betrays his lips.

 

Silence comes through the call, and Jimin eyes the water beside him, wondering if drowning will be more fun than burning from the inside out with embarrassment of calling Yoongi something he may not be comfortable with.

 

Jimin has always wanted to call his partner sweet names, names he’s heard often said around him, but never directed to him.

 

“Sorry, I should’ve asked-”

 

“Babe…I like it,” Yoongi cuts him off with a soft, gentle, huff, and Jimin blinks.

 

“You do?” Jimin asks tightly, not fully believing it.

 

“I’m a sucker for using endearments. I was just waiting to ask you about potential names,” Yoongi hums back. “Babe, sweetheart, I’m sucker for them all.”

 

“Well, I’ll talk to you tomorrow, babe,” Jimin says as he fails to keep the giddy smile off his face as he hurries back to his den.

 

Yoongi’s breathing hitches slightly, a contented hum coming from him.

 

“I’ll look forward to it, babe.”

 

Jimin knows the wolf hears his delighted little giggle as he hangs up, feeling euphoric over such a small thing of using pet names with his boyfriend.

 

It feels just as good as he’s always fantasised it to feel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite his gut cramping up a vicious storm, making him want to curl into a ball of misery in his nest, Yoongi stuck his middle finger up at it, dragged his feet out of his apartment, and drove his ass to the ferry terminal.

 

Heat be damned, he was not letting Jimin roam the capital streets alone on his first time here.

 

Which is where he sits, hunched against his steering wheel, phone in one hand, the other wrapped around his belly, as he scans the bodies coming from the entrance of the building connected to the port.

 

Jimin said that his ferry had just docked, and it’s been fifteen minutes since Yoongi received the message.

 

Considering it was after four o’clock in the afternoon, Yoongi wasn’t surprised with the congestion the area has as people come and go from their different journeys to the capital from different islands, and mainland connections to other region ports.

 

Yoongi glances back at his phone, checking to see if he’s missed a new message, and frowns when he sees the old one still there.

 

“Screw it,” Yoongi grunts out to himself as he opens his car door, and all but forces his resisting body out to stand against it so that he can see better from the higher vantage point.

 

Leaning most of his weight onto the side of his car, and car door, Yoongi squints at the entrance, looking for Jimin’s familiar face, since he’s unable to catch any hint of a scent due to the congestion.

 

Five minutes later, Yoongi waves his arm madly when he spies a familiar face, trusting the alpha’s much more sharper senses to spot Yoongi faster than if Yoongi were to shout his name.

 

Jimin does with a quick jerk as he changes direction as he heads towards where Yoongi is parked, expression tight from the understandable on slaughter of stimuli that the capital has even this far out on its’ edges, but radiating happiness in seeing Yoongi.

 

That happiness soon vanishes the closer he gets, and the senses of a wild wolf accurately reads the misery pouring off Yoongi’s body as Jimin practically sprints the rest of the way to him, his holdall bouncing on his back from where he carries it.

 

“You shouldn’t have come,” Jimin worries out as he tentatively steps close to Yoongi’s side, gaze searching Yoongi’s own for discomfort of his presence.

 

Yoongi answers instinctively, the pull and urge to wrap himself around the wolf so natural, it would feel unnatural if he fought it.

 

Jimin gently wraps his arms around Yoongi’s waist, snuffling softly at his hair, as Yoongi wraps his arms tighter around the back of the wolf’s neck as he too breathes in the scent of peony musk.

 

The wolf’s scent relaxes his muscles, taking his focus away from the tight ones that are cramping around in his gut, and he makes a soft sound in the back of his throat as he lightly rubs his scent into Jimin’s hair.

 

“Okay, let’s get you home before you become goo-like,” Jimin softly whispers, a smile to his voice, as he gently pulls back a little to read Yoongi’s response.

 

“Too late,” Yoongi huffs back as he leans in for quick kiss. “Hi, by the way.”

 

Jimin laughs as he kisses him back, before pulling away completely.

 

Jimin shoves his bag into the back seat of Yoongi’s car, and even though he voices that he’d much prefer to drive them back to Yoongi’s apartment so that Yoongi isn’t distracted by his cramps, he also knows that he’d get them lost even with Yoongi’s directing.

 

“Once you get familiar with the lanes and the nut jobs on the roads, then I’ll let you drive,” Yoongi huffs out as they sit in traffic.

 

“You weren’t kidding when you said this place was crammed,” Jimin comments, looking out of the window as he takes in the hulking skyscrapers and towering buildings of the downtown business district.

 

Yoongi nods, taking in the buildings too, trying to picture it from Jimin’s point of view of only seeing the city from afar.

 

“Just wait until you see how apartments look inside. Your brain may explode,” he teases lightly as they move through the rush hour traffic.

 

“Seeing and smelling are too different things. So yeah, my brain probably will try to deny the fact that wolves live in spaces such as this,” Jimin says back, completely immersed in adjusting and learning his new environment.

 

And it doesn’t stop as they crawl through the traffic.

 

Yoongi is just glad his cramps lessen up, otherwise he’d be a lot less chirpy at having to sit for over an hour in crawling traffic.

 

Inside Yoongi’s apartment, Jimin’s face is a priceless picture of confusion, awe, and mild disgust as he keeps wiping at his nose.

 

“Your nose is going to take awhile to adjust to the thousand layers of scents going on,” Yoongi consoles gently as he locks the front door.

 

“I can’t even smell you anymore,” Jimin whines, looking slightly distressed as he gently puts his bag down on the floor in his living area, inhaling deeply to prove his point.

 

Yoongi waves for the alpha to follow him to his bathroom, where he dampens a cloth with some mild alcohol cleanser and gently cleans the male’s face, neck and hands to help lessen the imprint of scents on his skin.

 

“Better?” Yoongi asks softly, since he can smell Jimin strongly, already used to the scents of the city.

 

Jimin nods, looking down at the cloth that Yoongi then dumps into his washing hamper.

 

“It’ll get easier,” Yoongi reassures as he steps into the alpha’s space, running his fingers through the slight tangles in the wolf’s wavy, black, hair.

 

Jimin inhales deeply as he rests his forehead against Yoongi’s, his hands light on Yoongi’s hips.

 

“You should lie down,” Jimin grumbles softly, voice thick with contentment, but also a touch of concern too.

 

Yoongi’s cramping gut agrees as a new wave of agony builds.

 

Yoongi grunts as he flinches at the building discomfort, takes Jimin’s hand in his, and leads him to his bedroom.

 

“Shoes off,” Yoongi instructs as he kicks off his own, before tugging for Jimin to follow him past the curtains of his bedding area.

 

Yoongi heads straight for the wall where he lies down on his back, waiting for Jimin to poke his head through the curtains to follow him.

 

Instead, the curtains remain unmoving.

 

“Jimin?” Yoongi calls, sitting up with a groan as he hugs his belly.

 

“You sure you want me in your nest?” Jimin calls back, nervous and polite at the same time.

 

It reminds him of the first time he invited Jimin into his den, back on Gutenvell, at how polite and nervous the alpha had been when he changed the lightbulb in Yoongi’s bedding area.

 

“Half of your wardrobe is in here with me, so you may as well complete my collection,” Yoongi calls back in a soft huff, endeared, and grins at the wolf as Jimin tentatively pokes his head through the curtains.

 

And when Jimin kneels onto his bed, still moving tentatively, Yoongi does the rest by eagerly yanking the alpha to join him, both of them letting out huffs of air as Jimin frantically tries to make sure that he isn’t smothering Yoongi with his weight.

 

“See? All better,” Yoongi reassures the wolf as Jimin lies on his side, and Yoongi remains on his back.

 

“The second you get uncomfortable with me being here, you let me know,” Jimin warns lightly, meaning it.

 

“I will, but I highly doubt you will. I told you that your scent is comforting,” Yoongi reminds his boyfriend softly, head turned to look at him, as Jimin tries to get his head comfortable on his pillows, inhaling deeply as he scents Yoongi’s nest.

 

It makes a bubble of pride and happiness grow in his chest at seeing the wolf so relaxed in his nest.

 

Yoongi grunts as a sharp roll of burning discomfort crawls over his belly, making him tense up as he lifts his legs up so that his knees are bent, and his feet are planted into his mattress.

 

“Do you have a hot water bottle or microwavable heat cushion?” Jimin questions, sitting up, as he notices Yoongi’s discomfort immediately.

 

“Somewhere in here, probably at the bottom,” Yoongi hisses, trying to sit up, and snorts when he feels a soft pressure to his shoulder for him to remain lying.

 

“I’ll do it, just try and get comfortable, okay?” Jimin says softly as he moves, searching for the items, before hurrying out of his bedding area.

 

Yoongi forces himself to sit up so that he can adjust his pillows so that he and Jimin can be comfortable as they lie together, patting the mounds of cushions until he’s appeased, before shoving a long pillow behind him, against the wall, where he then half lies on it at an angle – not fully lying on his back or on his side, just somewhere in between.

 

He then shoves his phone from out of his sweatpants, tucking it under his pillows after making sure it was set to silence and not vibrate because that would annoy the fuck out of him if it started to vibrate around in his nest, and listens to the sounds of Jimin moving around in his apartment.

 

Yoongi is a terrible host. He should be giving the wolf a tour or something, instead, he’s lying in his bedding area, listening to the sound of his kettle boiling, and the hum of a microwave working.

 

But, Yoongi has to admit, the last time he was cared for during a heat, was when he still lived at home with his mother or father, depending on the weekend.

 

He’s not used to being fussed over, mainly because he can’t stand it during the first two days of his heat, but with Jimin….it feels like they’ve done this a hundred times.

 

It feels familiar, another reminder that the bond they share isn’t like any other Yoongi has felt.

 

“How you doin’?” Jimin checks as he returns, carefully kneeling into the nest with his hands full of his hot water bottle, and a pink reheatable bead-filled cushion that can mould to the shape of your body.

 

“The party of razor blades has decided to kick up again,” Yoongi grunts as he gratefully accepts the water bottle and shoves it behind him so that it can help with the growing ache in his lower back from all the tensing, and cradles the cushion against his belly, sighing at the immediate relief of the warmth helping his muscles relax.

 

Jimin lies down next to him again, on his side, watching Yoongi carefully.

 

With one hand holding his heated cushion against his belly, he reaches out with his other to lightly tug at the wolf’s shirt, his jacket gone now.

 

“Come closer,” Yoongi whispers, feeling hot from the combined heat of his water bottle and heated cushion.

 

Jimin does so slowly, making sure he doesn’t jostle Yoongi as he lifts his arm up so that he can lightly run his fingers up and down Yoongi’s arm, causing little tickles to run through him, distracting him from his cramps, and making him relax further as the same hand trails up to play with Yoongi’s hair.

 

“Close your eyes,” Jimin whispers quietly, voice lulling and nice.

 

Yoongi is unable to resist the excellent idea, his breathing becoming heavier with contentment as he focuses on Jimin’s caring touch, his calming scent.

 

Who knew that the remedy to dealing with his body trying to convince him that it’s time to maybe get pregnant is to have his boyfriend’s scent cocooning him, his touch grounding him away from the hypersensitivity of his gut cramping up, and the way everything feels sharper to his senses.

 

“S’nice,” Yoongi mumbles, feeling lethargic the longer that Jimin’s fingers play with his hair and ears.

 

“You should sleep,” Jimin’s voice is even more lulling. “I’ll be right here.”

 

Yoongi throws a leg over Jimin’s hip, startling the other, but feels him relax.

 

“No moving,” Yoongi grunts, teetering on the edge of relaxing enough to sleep, and remaining conscious of his stupid cramps.

 

“I won’t,” Jimin promises.

 

Yoongi tightens his leg over the male’s hip, pressing his leg to the alpha’s back to make him shift closer so that Yoongi can sense his proximity more.

 

“Better,” Yoongi hums out, satisfied, as he curls into Jimin’s chest, head tucked under the other’s chin.

 

He feels Jimin’s finger’s lightly play at the back of his hair, grazing his nape, and it makes Yoongi’s scent glands itch with the urge to scent mark Jimin, to make their scents even more interwoven.

 

“Can I scent you?” Yoongi asks, mouth feeling numb with lethargy, nosing at the front of Jimin’s collar.

 

“Yeah, of course,” Jimin whispers back, pulling his hand back so that Yoongi has access to his wrist, to the smaller scent gland there.

 

With his eyes still shut, Yoongi grasps the alpha’s wrist, and inhales deeply first, sucking in the wolf’s scent deep into his chest, before he opens his mouth and licks at it, listening to the way he can hear Jimin swallow, the little hitches to his breathing, as Yoongi kisses and gently mouths at the skin as he marks it with his scent.

 

It’s intimate, but not too intimate, and it makes the itch in his own scent glands lessen as he breathes in their mixed scent.

 

Yoongi doesn’t want their first-time scent marking each other’s necks whilst he’s under the influence of a heat.

 

He doesn’t want a heat memory to be the memory of both of them taking their relationship further.

 

“You can scent me too,” Yoongi offers in a mumble of almost-sleeping slurring, “I share too.”

 

He hears Jimin snort softly at the reminder, and feels his wrist being lifted slightly from where it lay between their chests.

 

The alpha’s nose runs up and down the inside of his wrist as he inhales Yoongi’s scent, a warming rumble coming from the wolf’s chest that makes Yoongi’s own ignite with tender warmth as he returns the sound, before he feels light, butterfly, kisses being peppered over his skin.

 

It makes Yoongi feel even more boneless as he huffs his approvement of adequate scent marking affection.

 

It doesn’t take Yoongi long to fall asleep after that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimin soon learns the pattern of Yoongi’s heat by the end of his second day being beside the wolf.

 

Yoongi’s heat is very mood driven, his cramps being the main source of his discomfort, so when a cramp does settle in for the next thirty to sixty minutes, Yoongi’s mood dips fast, resulting in him being very grouchy (which is completely understandable) but also very clingy for Jimin’s general presence.

 

Which, Jimin is still getting used to. He’s so used to his own way of dealing with a rut, of isolating himself because everything around him irritates his senses, and he knows omegas senses are twice as sharp during a heat compared to a rut, and yet, Yoongi never once growls at him when Jimin hugs him, or plays with his hair.

 

The only time Yoongi does growl is when the curtain touches him and he doesn’t like it touching the bare skin of his arms, or when the kettle makes too much noise for his ears, or when Jimin tries to pull away from him to attend to one of his needs, such as making sure the wolf drinks enough liquids and has plenty of pain relief on hand.

 

But, Yoongi never once growls at Jimin.

 

“You’re quiet,” Yoongi grunts, both of them lounging on his sofa, watching a human-centric movie.

 

“Just thinking about how comfortable you’ve been with me being here,” Jimin answers honestly, and meets the omega’s gaze as Yoongi looks up at him from where he’s slumped against Jimin’s chest.

 

Yoongi shrugs. “Feels familiar.”

 

Jimin nods in agreement, the description fitting perfectly of what the day has felt like. “It really does.”

 

“How are your ruts?” Yoongi asks, still looking up at him. “You said before that you like to isolate yourself too.”

 

Jimin hums as he nods. “I do. I get really sensitive to other wolves’ scents, so I try to block all scents out during the first couple of days. My ruts aren’t sexual, so I don’t feel overbearingly horny, they just make me feel really fucking lonely.”

 

“You ever had a horny one?” Yoongi questions, curious. “I’ve only had one heat where I’ve felt it, and it had been mild.”

 

Jimin shakes his head. “Not that I can recall. The alphas in my birth pack scared the shit out of us younger ones about our ruts, at how they can be extremely sexual and that all we’ll think about is scratching that itch.”

 

Yoongi pulls a face at that, looking angry and disgusted. “They sound like humans.”

 

Jimin snorts at that. “I guess they were just trying to educate us using fear, of how we should react to a rut like that to prevent us from upsetting those around us with our actions.”

 

“Still an asshole thing that ignorant humans still like to spew out now,” Yoongi growls, still annoyed. “Ruts vary, as do heats. But no fucker seems to be capable of learning that.”

 

“At least we only suffer twice a year – betas…” Jimin whistles lowly as Taehyung comes to mind, feeling strong empathy for the wolf that has periods every couple of months.

 

“My brother is a beta, and he fucking detests his season cycles. He doesn’t like sex, doesn’t feel the urge to have it, you know? So, his periods are a nightmare for him,” Yoongi shares, and Jimin attentively listens, learning more of Yoongi’s family.

 

“Taehyung drinks this herbal tea that we get from another island through trade, it almost sedates him through his periods, making him focus less on the need to make pups, and more on floating through the cycle,” Jimin shares, recalling those times where Taehyung and Jungkook don’t leave their den, only Jungkook leaving to retrieve anything they run out of.

 

Yoongi raises an eyebrow. “I may need a hook up, see if my brother wants to try it. He really hates how periods affect him.”

 

Jimin nods, already making a mental note to call Taehyung about it. “I’m assuming he’s on suppressers?”

 

Yoongi nods. “Yeah, but he has to have at least two periods a year to prevent the risk of going sterile, despite the fact that he doesn’t care for procreating, so he honestly wouldn’t care if he became infertile.”

 

“It’s different in wild packs, if you don’t want to deal with a period, you just drink this tea and it knocks you out,” Jimin recalls his memories growing up, of hearing of how such-and-such won’t be attending work because they’re taking ‘beta tea’.

 

“Here in the cities, healthcare is micromanaged to prevent overuse or overreliance of medications, especially those relating to season cycles.”

 

“Medication in the cities is highly processed, compared to the natural means of how wild and island wolves medicate.”

 

“True,” Yoongi sighs out, fidgeting, and Jimin’s nose picks up on the subtle hint in the male’s scent now, knows what it means.

 

“You want to go back to your nest?” Jimin asks softly as Yoongi rubs lightly at his belly.

 

“If I go back there, I’m gonna fall asleep again.”

 

Jimin smiles at hearing that, at the comfort the wolf feels from the bedding area that strongly smells of them both that allows him to focus away from the pain.

 

“If your body needs it, it needs it,” Jimin counters.

 

“If you just want to snuggle, all you have to do is ask,” Yoongi playfully retorts with, grinning up at him, making Jimin laugh.

 

“Guilty,” Jimin plays along, stroking his fingers fondly through the wolf’s hair.

 

Yoongi dramatically groans as he stands up, holding his hand out for Jimin to take.

 

“Come on, then. Let’s go snuggling,” Yoongi grins as he tugs Jimin back to the bedroom they left not even an hour ago.

 

But, Jimin doesn’t mind.

 

He’ll do anything that’ll make Yoongi comfortable through his heat, even if it means lying wide awake next to the slumbering wolf, unable to sleep because he doesn’t feel a hint of tiredness during the day to nap alongside with the wolf.

 

But now that it’s night, and they both are still dressed in their sleepwear from last night, Jimin can easily fall asleep with the wolf curled around him.

 

Even if he sweats during the night from the added heat of the water bottle between them, it’s worth it for the calmness of Yoongi’s scent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometime after Jimin’s second visit to the capital, where they both actually explored some of the city now that Yoongi’s heat has been and gone, Yoongi realises the truth.

 

He’s bored.

 

He’s really, really, fucking bored of his job.

 

And it hits him differently this time, compared to all the previous times he’s mused over whether or not he should change jobs.

 

Yoongi returns from a job dealing with a wild birth pack that is a classic example of too many opinions getting involved in another’s relationship and causing said relationship to sour and become bitter for the rest of the pack to deal with.

 

He returns from the job feeling….hollow.

 

Once over, his job used to spark a fire in him, to help shatter the rigidness that stereotypes hold around wolf ranks, to help steer packs back onto the right path, to help guide wolves away from total anarchy.

 

But now…Yoongi just feels…meh.

 

And what good is he as a Monitor if all he feels is, ‘meh’ towards his job?

 

He isn’t, is the answer.

 

“A bad one?” his neighbouring colleague asks, catching sight of Yoongi’s expression as he dumps his stuff into his cubicle to start his shift.

 

Yoongi shakes his head as he powers up his laptop and computer (he still hasn’t been given a faster computer to deal with his workload).

 

“Just having a life crisis,” Yoongi sighs out as he glances over at the wolf.

 

The wolf pulls a sympathetic face as he nods in understanding, since most of them in this profession have had the thought of changing it all.

 

As Yoongi sits at his desk, staring at the two screens in front of him, it niggles at him at the way the cubicle walls close in on his space, isolating him, despite the floor being full of other wolves, he still feels incredibly alone as he sits at his desk.

 

He feels bored, and alone. His job isolates him due to his constant travelling, forces him to remain at a distance to other wolves because he’s the one being invasive to their personal business all for the sake of checking a few boxes on a census form.

 

And as he loads up a new document to submit his written report of his visit, he feels redundant.

 

He’s been doing the same thing for ten years, the same back and forth of going out on an assignment, coming back to fill in the details, rinse and repeat.

 

But, what else can he do?

 

Collecting data, asking questions, chasing gut instinct of situations, are all he knows.

 

On a whim, during his break, Yoongi loads up a webpage that he hasn’t looked at since he left high school.

 

The national job search site that all wolves and humans use to advertise and apply jobs on.

 

His account has long been deactivated from little use, but he can still search, can still see what type of jobs are out there.

 

He sees a lot of customer service jobs for public houses such as restaurants, bars, stores, the adverts all open to human and wolf applicants.

 

And when he changes the order to show the most recent posts, he sees a wider range of jobs – assistant, cleaners, delivery drivers, data collecting, and even the odd teaching gig.

 

Then he sees the option to narrow the search results based on location.

 

Currently, his is the default – the capital region.

 

His hand moves, and clicks that option off.

 

He honestly doesn’t expect there to be any job listings to show, but surprisingly, they do.

 

Some are in the other cities, following the same pattern as the ones he’s seen for the capital.

 

But then he sees a very familiar name.

 

Yoongi’s heart thumps firmly in his chest as he clicks the link.

 

 

Reference Number: #7568GUT

 

Location:         Gutenvell

 

Job Title:         Visiting Centre Assistant

 

Open to:          Wolves Only

 

Closing
Date:               Immediate Start

 

Summary of role: The applicant will be greeting and discharging guests that pass through the border of Gutenvell Island. The applicant must be comfortable with engaging with the general public, with asking personal questions to ensure that the safety of the island meets the standards and protocols of the job. The job entails long hours of interacting with the public, and also producing paperwork for each guest logged into the island’s system. The applicant must also be comfortable with either living on Gutenvell Island in one of the resident birth packs that house port workers, or be able to travel via ferry for early and late shifts. 

 

Based upon receiving the applicant’s Curriculum Vitae that states the full educational and working background of the wolf, an interview may or may not be issued.

 

If interested, apply by sending an email with the required CV to the email below.

 

 

Yoongi’s gaze automatically tracks to see when this listing was posted, and sees that it was posted almost a month ago.

 

Yoongi racks his brains for if he saw any hint of a job poster when he was at the desk, discharging himself from the island, but the only thing he can recall were the two wolves working there.

 

Has there always been two?

 

Yoongi frowns at the listing, forcing himself to remember his first day on the island.

 

Maybe there was three? He’s not really sure.

 

But, as his gaze goes back to the job listing, rereading it a second time, Yoongi’s heart quickens its pace.

 

It’s been vacant for a month….so….it’s not like there is a lot of competition for it.

 

Or…the boss is just very specific in what they want from their workers and has yet to hire someone.

 

Yoongi’s heart kicks faster as he realises that he’s actually contemplating in trying for it.

 

The last time he made a CV was when he was in high school.

 

He hasn’t even touched it since.

 

Yoongi opens up a new word document, and pauses before typing anything further.

 

Is he really going to do this?

 

Is he really going to sit at his current job, typing up a CV for another job?

 

 

Name: Min Yoongi

 

 

The answer is yes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Min Yoongi, in regards to your application, I would like to arrange a face-to-face interview on Gutenvell Island at the earliest convenience your current working schedule allows.

 

Please contact me via this email address to arrange when is best to conduct the interview.

 

Kind regards, In Keera

 

 

Yoongi stares at the email a lot longer than he realises he does.

 

He honestly had expected a rejection, considering he’s a Monitor. He thought he could possibly be overqualified for the job, and his experience may intimidate, instead of lure interest in.

 

But, apparently not.

 

He applied on a whim, and now he’s faced with the consequences of it.

 

If he gets the job, he’s going to have to either move to Gutenvell, or move closer to the ferry port on the outskirts of the capital.

 

Yoongi blanches at the mere thought of taking the ferry twice a day.

 

No. He’d have to move to the island, move into one of the two birth packs.

 

Yoongi jerks as his phone vibrates next to him on the sofa, almost knocking his laptop off his lap.

 

At seeing Jungkook’s name, he forgets the email, and instantly greets his best friend.

 

“Long time, no-”

 

“I bit Taehyung.”

 

Yoongi almost bites his tongue off at the fast rush of three words that hold massive meaning, his eyes wide, as he listens to the way the younger alpha is breathing.

 

“I bit him, and he bit me, and – my head is spinning but, fuck - we’re having a Mating Ceremony in two weeks’ time, this is your invite, wear blue, that is the colour scheme. Now I need to call my parents,” Jungkook continues to vomit the words out in an excited, elated, rush.

 

Yoongi blinks at the dial tone that greets him before he can even say his congratulations.

 

“Well, I guess the textbooks don’t lie when they say your head becomes a mess once a bonding bite has been initiated,” Yoongi chuckles to himself, slowly getting over his surprise, as he types out a congratulatory message to Jungkook and Taehyung.

 

Yoongi has never attended a Mating Ceremony, so he needs to figure out if it’s a casual thing, or if he needs to by a traditional garment or something.

 

In blue.

 

What blue? He has no idea, but he’ll ask after he gives the two wolves a couple of days to adjust to their instincts riding them hard to mate as fast as possible whilst organising a Mating Ceremony to officialise their mating.

 

Yoongi smiles at the cluster of emojis that Taehyung responds back with.

 

“About time, you two,” he whispers fondly, excited for the ceremony to watch his best friend become mated.

 

Yoongi glances at his laptop that still sits open on the sofa beside him.

 

Without a second’s thought, he drags it back onto his lap, and hits the reply button.

 

 

In Keera, I am free to travel to Gutenvell in two days’ time for the interview. Is there any required paperwork you’d like for me to bring along to the interview?

 

Kind regards, Min Yoongi.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Gutenvell Port. Please check in at the Visitor Centre which is directly ahead as you exit the dock. If you require gifts or food, local shops are located within the port for you to purchase. If you have a cargo shipment due for arrival, please head for the Cargo Dock, located to the far right. Thank you, and we hope you enjoy your time on Gutenvell Island.”

 

 

This time, he has no suitcase by his side grating on his nerves as he walks along the wooden dock.

 

This time, his stomach was nauseous for one reason and one reason only.

 

His interview.

 

Yoongi had called in sick so that he could travel here today, and as his stomach churns with nerves, he can sort-of justify it.

 

He just really hopes none of the pack members are in the port this morning, since he’s told no one of his sudden choice to try for a new job, or the fact that he’s really thinking of leaving the city behind to do so.

 

Even Jimin is completely in the dark, and a part of Yoongi feels guilty at keeping the wolf there, but he’s not even sure himself if this is something that he really can see coming true.

 

It’s an interview, after all. Not an offered job.

 

Yoongi hasn’t even thought of the potential outcome of him getting the job. He’s still making this up as he goes along.

 

He’s being spontaneous, just like the humans are when it comes to uprooting their entire lives.

 

Yoongi enters the visiting centre, notes the two wolves at the welcoming desk, and heads for the nearest one.

 

“Hello, welcome to Gutenvell, how can I help you?” the male wolf greets him, the female smiling welcomingly at Yoongi with a hint of recognition in her gaze as she greets another wolf that had entered the centre behind Yoongi.

 

“I have an appointment with In Keera?” Yoongi says, and the wolf nods, grinning as he picks up a phone, pressing a button as he says, “I’ll let her know you’re here.”

 

Yoongi tries hard not to fidget, and rubs at his trousers and white shirt that is beneath his black blazer.

 

It’s still warm, so he’s trying hard not to start sweating through his attempt of looking smart for an interview.

 

“She’s on her way,” the wolf tells him as he hangs up. “She’s asked that you wait for her in the education exhibit,” the male points at Yoongi’s left where the museum part of the centre lies.

 

Yoongi thanks the male, and heads over to the empty space that hasn’t filled with tourists as they kill time waiting for an island wolf to come and get them.

 

Yoongi kills time by looking at the art drawings of how the island has developed and changed over the years, little stories of local history printed onto metal plaques.

 

He learns that, ‘Gutenvell’ in wulften island dialect means, ‘peaceful welcome’, and the island has always strived to maintain that meaning to how they greet outsiders.

 

Vellswa’, means, ‘peace on your journey’, and is often said as a formal goodbye rather than a casual one, and ‘Vellga’ means, ‘peace be with you’, and is the casual way to say goodbye, which made Yoongi smile because it fits with the support pack’s role of being temporary and casual.

 

He also learns that the Vellgee birth pack is named after the wulften word for, ‘sea breeze’, which is why they live and build using shipping containers to memorialise the dialect meaning, and the Velli birth pack is also named after the wulften word for, ‘tree’ which also matches their own preferences for using traditional builds of cabins.

 

It’s a warming feeling to know how the three packs remain true to the wulften meaning of their names.

 

“Min Yoongi?”

 

Yoongi startles at the female voice, having not been able to scent her beta smell due to the air ventilation, and nods his head in greeting at the beta that is dressed in smart casual wear and looks to be around his age.

 

“If you’ll follow me, we can start getting to know each other,” Keera smiles at him, her gaze warm and friendly, as she leads the way to an unmarked door and opens it to reveal a small, basic, room with a sofa, table, and another wall mural of the island.

 

“So, is this your first time to Gutenvell?” she asks as they sit down on the sofa, a respectful amount of space between them so that they don’t feel awkward sitting so close.

 

Yoongi shakes his head, choosing to be upfront and honest. “I was a guest here a month or so ago.”

 

Keera doesn’t look surprised or wary to hear that as she nods, leaning to retrieve the electronic tablet that was on the table in front of them.

 

“I’m glad you were honest about that,” she says carefully, and Yoongi knows what’s coming next, “since I ran your name through the island’s database and it came up as such. It’s protocol of me to make sure a wolf has a clean record, and not a questionable one.”

 

“What defies as such?” Yoongi questions, part intrigued, part annoyed that such information is accessible even after he’s left.

 

“Some wolves become a little fixated on some of the residents, some past guests keep returning trying to visit the support pack, for instance, which isn’t appropriate when that guest was discharged for an unhealthy fixation on a Support,” Keera explains, and Yoongi relaxes, finding himself agreeing with the measures the staff here take to keep residents and non-residents safe as she makes her point.

 

The job title of ‘Assistant’ is a broad one, Yoongi is beginning to suspect.

 

“I need my staff to be sharp with their senses, to be sharp with their gut response to when a wolf is being genuine or dishonest,” Keera continues, the interview beginning. “The visiting centre is the main hub of the port, so you will see a lot of tourists that have come to visit the port, and some wolves that come to visit the residents or support pack.”

 

“My work as a Data Collector and Monitor has pretty much refined my instinct for such,” Yoongi assures her.

 

“I’m aware, it’s why I was so eager to get you here for an interview. You’re our most skilled applicant so far, and from what I’m seeing, you know how to read a wolf.”

 

Yoongi nods, because it is true. He’s grown a sixth sense of knowing when a wolf is hiding something from him.

 

“But, what I am curious to learn is why you’re wanting a job here, on Gutenvell, when you already have one in the capital?” Keera questions, curious, as she tucks her blonde hair behind her ears, studying him with her sharp gaze.

 

“This isn’t going to sound great on my part, but I’m still questionin