There are very few things that Yoongi remembers from childhood. Growing up as a royal, there were just too many aspects of his life that changed too much to keep up with it. Things were constantly changing within the castle — to the point that Yoongi knew to never grow attached to anything or anyone.
There were only a number of things that he allowed himself to never forget, locking away the precious memories into the recesses of his mind, only letting them come to life when he was alone in his quarters at night. The memories, the scents , that he kept in his heart were something he knew he would never forget. He wouldn’t allow himself to.
He remembers his mother always smelling like freshly bloomed cherry blossoms. She was an omega, like himself, but one like he had never seen before. While she was gorgeous — all soft smiles and high cheekbones, she was also tenacious. She was one of the most amazing people Yoongi had ever met.
He remembers the way his father smelled of cherry wood and happiness anytime mother was around, simply existing. He remembers the way their scents intertwined, as if they were always meant to be one. He thinks, they were. Their souls intertwined, fated, as his mother once told him while she lulled him to sleep as a child.
He also remembers the way his father's scent changed the day after they lost her. The overwhelming grief, masking the scent of the alpha that Yoongi once sought out for comfort. His father's scent is no longer masked by a sadness that was almost palatable, but it never went back to the scent Yoongi had once loved.
If anyone were to ask, those were the only scents he kept dear to his heart. But that wasn’t the truth, for there was another scent that he could never forget. One his heart would never allow him to.
It was the scent of sandalwood, with a touch of lotus. The scent that Yoongi’s heart would always associate with happiness. Reminding him of days he felt free. The days of his youth that were spent running around the small garden of the kingdom, or playing hide and seek in the ballroom.
It was also the scent that resembled heartbreak. That carried with it, the night that Yoongi felt a piece of himself die. The night that he can no longer think of without feeling as if his soul were to split in two, one piece of it being torn from him and taken against his own wishes.
It was the scent of Jimin.
“Jimin, please,” Yoongi begs. He feels frantic. His omega feels as if it’s clawing against his skin, trying to break free in order to grab onto Jimin as well. “Please don’t go.”
The alpha doesn’t look at him but he also doesn’t move to remove his wrist from where Yoongi’s pale fingers are wrapped around him— clinging to him out of sheer desperation. He’s never felt farther away from Jimin than at this moment. Yoongi can hardly recognize the alpha. It terrifies him. The only person he knows better than himself, is Jimin.
“Yoongi, I don’t want to stay,” Jimin says sharply. His voice is detached, but Yoongi can still pick up his scent. There is devastation lingering in the scent of sandalwood, a type of heartbreak Yoongi has only recognized once, when his father lost his mother. It gives him pause.
Yoongi doesn’t understand. Jimin’s words say one thing, but his scent is telling another story. There would be no reason for Jimin to lie to him, seeing as he’s always been his best friend. Jimin is like the other half of his soul. He can’t comprehend why he’s leaving him or why he's lying about wanting to. He also doesn’t understand why Jimin won’t look at him as he tears his heart in two. Why it would be hard to do so if Jimin means his words.
“I love you.” Yoongi doesn’t know what compels him to say it. But it’s the truth. Probably the truest words he has ever uttered. It’s always been somewhat of an unspoken truth between them. Yoongi has never been good at masking his feelings, especially when it came to the alpha.
It’s the first thing that has given Jimin pause this entire exchange, the alpha freezing under his hands. For a moment, Yoongi thinks Jimin isn’t going to leave. Unfounded hope surges through him, his heartbeat coming just a bit easier at the prospect of Jimin not leaving him. But then the alpha turns to look at him, his eyes glowing red, and Yoongi know’s that nothing good is going to come from his words. Can already feel dread settle low on his heart.
“I don’t love you.”
Jimin doesn’t turn around as he walks away from him. Yoongi watches helplessly as he goes, all the words he wishes he was able to say dying on the tip of his tongue.
It’s not often he thinks of Jimin. More so for the sake of his own heart. But there are moments, like now, that he allows his mind to drift to the face of the man he never got to say goodbye to.
Yoongi presses back against his pillows, wanting to be swallowed whole by the comfort of his bed. Some nights he has trouble sleeping, his mind running at a speed that makes it nearly impossible. Tonight seems to be one of those nights.
He’s been on edge, even snapping at one of his maidens, when all she was trying to do was help him relax. He had immediately apologized, of course, and proceeded to lock himself away in his quarters for the rest of the night, feigning illness. He had no duties to attend to today so his father didn’t bother him, letting him take some time for himself.
It doesn’t really help. Being alone with his own thoughts sometimes causes more harm than good but just this once, he indulges in all the feelings he tries to keep locked away.
He thinks mostly of Jimin’s smile. After his eyes, it’s what Yoongi fell in love with. When the alpha’s eyes would slip closed, resembling half crescent moons, — like the one branded just over Yoongi’s heart — he looked most beautiful. Happiness always looked beautiful on Jimin, even if it wasn’t something the alpha had a lot of. Jimin’s life was nothing like his, full of tragedy Yoongi knew he would never quite understand.
Yoongi sighs, turning on his side and burying his nose against his pillow. He doesn’t even know if Jimin is still alive. He hopes he is. The crescent moon aches on his chest as he falls into a pitiful sleep, thoughts of a beautiful smile and kind eyes the only thing on his mind.
He thinks, if Jimin was truly dead, the mark on his chest would never stop hurting.
“You’re calling for an attack?” Yoongi stands, bewildered. “On the forgotten forest?”
His father nods. “We have to keep the problem under control. Something's brewing there, the dark energy surrounding it is inviting all kinds of unwanted visitors.”
“And you think he’s the cause of it?” Yoongi asks incredulously. “You practically raised him! How could you think of him so lowly?”
“There are people dying, Yoongi. This isn’t a matter of my own feelings.” His father levels him with a meaningful look. “If he's anything like his mother, he could very well be the cause of it.”
“What do you mean?” Yoongi asks, not comprehending his father’s words. “Jimi— he would never do such a thing. Why would he feel the need to dabble in the dark arts? He’s no fool. He knows the stories of her. He wouldn’t knowingly go down the same path.”
His father sighs, running a tired hand over tired eyes. “That maybe so, but I trust the word of my men. For what reason would they lie to me?”
Yoongi chews the inside of his cheek, knowing better than to fight against his father. His soul mark aches slightly, the crescent moon tingling over his heart as his father talks more of Jimin.
“Son, as the next king you aren’t to allow your own feelings to cloud your judgement. The decision has been made. Jimin is to be stopped, no matter the cost. Even if the debt is to be paid with his life.”
Yoongi is pulled from his nightmare by the sound of shouting coming from down the hall. His heart seizes as he realizes the voices are unrecognizable. He hears muffled screaming come from the other end of the door while he quietly makes his way out of bed.
“Find the prince,” He hears one man shout. “Alive. The price on his head is not to be interfered with.”
He doesn’t hesitate to run from his quarters, his heart thundering in his chest as servants around him wail. He can hear their pleads for mercy, they only last for a few moments before they fall silent. He silently thanks his mother for having constructed various escape tunnels leading to the outside grounds in case of emergency.
He tries not to think of his father as he removes his desk from in front of the escape route. All he can hope now is that he’s found safety. That he will see him standing outside of the castle, with a plan of defense. He can feel, down to his bones, that won’t be the case.
Just as he makes it into the tunnel, the door to his quarters flies open, the entire thing falling from its’ hinges. He sees masked figures rush into the room, their eyes red. Their energy isn’t pure, nor does it hold any good intentions. He wonders where exactly these raiders come from, but doesn’t stick around long enough to try and find out.
He makes his way down the tunnel, the only thing on his mind is finding safety. This isn’t the first time he’s been targeted by any means, it’s what happens when you are the heir to a powerful kingdom. The only difference being no one has ever actually attempted to go against the crown so directly. He shakes the thoughts away, knowing that there is no time to dwell on any thoughts except finding safety.
He makes it to the bottom of the tunnel, shuffling out before stepping down onto the wet grass of the outer grounds. Yoongi doesn’t hesitate to run, knowing that any second wasted is a second too much. His heart plummets when he hears footsteps trailing him away from the kingdom. He’s being followed and if he doesn’t lose them, it can very well cost him his life.
Yoongi doesn’t know how long he’s been running, but he figures he’s already a ways away from his kingdom when the forest of the fallen comes into view. He’s only ever passed the forest when traveling to other kingdoms, always being warned against entering. The stories of people who enter the fallen forest are plagued with misfortune and tragic endings but… Yoongi sees no other option. Out of a moment of desperation, he turns and runs straight into the forest. It’s a risky decision, but he knows he won’t be able to outrun his wannabe capturers if he doesn’t act boldly. His feet ache as he runs through a fallen bush and he mentally scolds himself for not thinking to slip on a pair of shoes before fleeing. The footsteps behind him can still be heard, getting closer with every turn he takes.
Yoongi tries to swallow the panic bubbling just below the surface. It will do nothing to help the situation if he lets fear overcome him, especially in a place like the fallen forest. The people after him aren’t the most dangerous here. There are scarier things that lurk in the shadows of the trees.
He stops when he makes it to a small enclave, trying to catch his breath. He listens intently for footsteps but doesn’t hear any. All he hears is distant howls to the moon and small insects flying around him. He inhales sharply, wincing when pain shoots up his side from running for too long. Just as he’s about to fall back against the cold wall, he hears the shouts of men outside the opening.
Yoongi bites his lip, pressing himself against the cave wall in fear. But it’s too late. The men come rushing into the cave, scanning the darkness until their eyes fall upon him. His bones ache with exhaustion, but he can’t give himself up without a fight. He closes his eyes, channeling his core energy. White energy blast from his fingertips, momentarily stunning the men. Before they are able to gather their bearings, he flees from the cave, hooking a right and running deeper into the forest.
Every muscle in his body aches for him to stop running, but he knows he can’t. Those men are looking to take him, give him up for some cash to be someone’s token omega. He can’t have that, refuses to be someone’s personal plaything.
The men catch up to him again, and Yoongi turns to blast them with another surge of energy but he’s halted by a voice coming from behind him.
“Get down,” It roars, the words bleeding into an alpha command. Yoongi’s body obliges against his will and falls to the ground. Just as his body hits the cool soil an orb of black energy flies over his head, hitting one of the men square in the chest. The man goes flying back, his body standing no chance against the magic. Before the other man can try and counter attack, they are completely wrapped by black energy. It wraps around them like ropes, raising them into the air.
Yoongi’s never seen magic like this. While he’s mastered his own energy well, he knows it’s hardly anything to this kind of power. He’s also never seen black energy before, at least not from anyone in the sects. The act has always been forbidden due to the catastrophic consequences wielding that sort of power holds. He’s only heard stories of people who are able to channel a darker energy, a complete contrast of his own light magic.
He hadn’t heard of anyone recently— wait, the last person that was rumored to possess that kind of power was— his heart drops when he catches the familiar scent of sandalwood, mixed with a hint of his own lotus scent.
Yoongi looks up, turning towards the source of the energy, and is met with a myriad of feelings that he once tried to repress. Jimin isn’t dead. Jimin is alive and he’s here, saving him. Well — at least he thinks he is. Jimin doesn’t look at him as he steps completely into view from behind the trees. He’s wearing a black cloak, only the lower part of his face being shown, his upper half covered by the shadow of his hood.
But Yoongi catches sight of glowing red eyes, slowly bleeding into black.
He doesn’t know what to do at first, his entire being frozen in fear as Jimin steps closer to him and the men currently being held up by the black energy flowing from the alpha’s clenched fists. Now that Yoongi can see him clearly, he can see the way the dark magic clings to Jimin, pouring from his hands in a controlled manner.
Yoongi doesn’t say anything — whether out of fear of Jimin turning on him, or just because he truly doesn’t know what to say in this moment, he is unsure which. Two men step out from the shadows of the trees, flanking Jimin on either side. The tallest of the three, flicks his hand towards the third man on the floor, purple energy flowing from his veins. The purple light wraps around the man, dragging him towards them. His screams fall on death ears, his fingers clutching at the soil of the earth doing nothing to stop him from being pulled towards his demise.
Once he’s in front of Jimin, the alpha looks down at him, the black energy flowing from his hands being undisturbed by his divided attention. Yoongi knows how difficult it is to control your power when not giving it your full attention, so Jimin being able to still control himself means he has a lot more control of the dark arts than Yoongi ever thought possible.
“You look fearful,” Jimin says as he looks down at him. “Why is that?”
“You’re… you’re the mage,” The man sputters, his entire body shaking in fear. “The one the townspeople speak of.”
“If you know of me, why do you dare run through my lands at night. Surely you aren’t a fool. Or do you simply have a death wish?”
The man cowers, his eyes not locking with Jimin’s. “We didn’t mean to. We would never disrespect you.”
Jimin chuckles, the sound hollow and bored. “And yet here you are? Disturbing my peace.”
“We— we were just taking this omega to his quarters for the night,” The man tries to say calmly but his voice cracks. Yoongi looks at Jimin, catches the way his eyes flicker towards him for the briefest of moments but don’t linger long enough for Yoongi to get a clear look at him.
“Is he your omega to take?” Jimin asks, his attention fully back on the thief laying at his feet. Purple energy keeps him still, unable to run like he is probably desperate to.
“He— sir I promise we will be out of your hair if you just let us take him and leave,” The thief says in lieu of an answer. “He’s worth nothing. Just a common whore.”
Yoongi opens his mouth to dispel those words but Jimin beats him to it. Yoongi presses his hands into the soil under him as Jimin growls low in his chest, his eyes completely bleeding into black.
“Watch your words,” Jimin growls. He steps closer, looming over the man. “For they will be the last you speak if you continue to disrespect the prince.”
The man’s words die on his tongue. Yoongi has never seen someone look so terrified, his whole frame quivering under Jimin’s dark gaze. The man on the other side of Jimin drops a hand on his shoulder, the action seemingly familiar.
“Jimin,” The man says quietly. His voice sounds like velvet. “Keep your calm. Don’t lose control over him.”
The alpha exhales roughly but complies with the words. He steps back, his eyes slowly bleeding back into red. The other two guards are still in his grasp, dangling in the air above Yoongi. Jimin doesn’t look at him as he speaks, but the words still hold him in place.
“You tell your leader that if he wishes for a war, he will get one if he ever comes after the prince again,” Jimin says slowly, his eyes growing darker with every word. “Do you understand?”
The man withers against the earth. “I do.”
Jimin smiles at him but it hardly looks kind. Nothing like the smiles he used to share with him as a child. “Then you’re free to go,” Jimin crouches down, grasping the man’s face. “But if you try anything funny, I’ll kill you without an ounce of remorse. If you’ve heard the stories of me, you know I’m a man of my word.”
“I— I understand.” The man seems to shrink even further under Jimin’s piercing gaze. “We will leave and not return.”
“ You will leave and not return. The fate of your friends has already been sealed.” The man gulps but doesn’t dare argue. Yoongi thinks it’s wise not to. “Seokjin, release him and show him from the forest.”
The purple energy slowly uncurls from around the man, draining back into the palms of who Yoongi now knows as Seokjin. The thief stands on shaky legs, his eyes darting between the three men in black cloaks. He doesn’t turn to look at Yoongi, which is probably the smartest decision, whos to know what Jimin would do if he did.
Seokjin pushes the man’s shoulder, forcing him away from them and towards where they all stumbled in. Jimin lowers the men to the ground, both of them seemingly still knocked out. The black energy around them unfurls and seeps into Jimin’s palms.
“Take care of them for me please,” Jimin says, turning towards the other cloaked man.
The man nods. “Will you be okay? Or should I call for Namjoon to meet you at your cabin?”
Jimin waves him off with a small smile. “No, I wasn’t hurt. Let him rest tonight, we will figure out the attackers motives in the morning.”
“Whatever you say.” The cloaked man looks over at him, his head tilting. “What are we to do with the prince?”
For the first time Jimin looks at him directly. His eyes are no longer black around the edges, but simply black around his pupils. He looks… looks like his Jimin. The one he thought he lost so many years ago.
“He can stay with me tonight. He will be safest with me.”
Yoongi wails, tears rolling down his cheeks. He clutches his knee. Jimin sits next to him, wiping the tears from his eyes as Yoongi’s mom cleans the wound.
“Don’t cry Yoonie hyung,” Jimin says gently, his voice already helping to calm him. “I promise it won’t hurt for much longer.”
Yoongi looks at his best friend, his eyes swimming with tears. “How can you promise that?”
“Because I’m here!” Jimin says as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world. “I would never let you stay hurt for too long.”
“Do you promise?” Yoongi asks, the tears finally stopping as he looks at the younger boy.
Jimin nods vigorously, taking one of the hands from Yoongi’s knee and intertwining his chubby fingers with Yoongi’s paler ones.
“I promise you will always be safest with me!”
The walk through the woods is quiet. Neither of them say a word as they step over fallen trees, the only sound coming from the crunch of leaves under their shoes. Jimin keeps him close though, tucked into his side with an arm wrapped around his waist. Rationally, Yoongi knows that it’s for his own protection but it’s almost too much to endure. It’s been years since he’s been held by the alpha, since the alpha had been aliv— around.
He has a million questions he wants to ask, but doesn’t dare to. For now, he allows himself to be enveloped by the scent of sandalwood, it’s enough.
After another thirty minutes or so of silence, Yoongi finally decides to break it, for the sake of his own sanity.
“Do you live in these woods?” Yoongi asks, even if he already knows the answer to the question. It at least gives him a place to start. “You used to hate going outside, when we were children.”
He remembers all those nights that Jimin pleaded with him to stay in the castle, instead of running around in the courtyard. He would only ever give in to Yoongi when the elder would pout at him, promising to give Jimin extra cuddles if they could go watch the moon.
Jimin grunts an affirmative but doesn’t say anything more. Yoongi sighs, chewing the inside of his cheek. This isn’t really how he imagined their reunion would go the few times he allowed himself to think of Jimin. To let himself hope that one day he would see the alpha again.
“How long have you been living here?” He tries again, desperate to hear Jimin’s voice in a situation where he doesn’t have to be intimidating.
Jimin doesn’t respond. Yoongi begins to feel desperate. His can already feel his body ache from the running he had to do, his soul mark matching the same pain but for an entirely different reason. The small wooden pendant under his robes lays heavily against his chest.
“Can you at least tell me how much longer until we get to your home?” He tries for a third time, with silence as his only response. It frustrates him to no end. He’s spent so many years of his life longing to hear Jimin laugh again, to just have him next him again but Jimin seems to hardly care that he’s with him again.
“I missed you,” Yoongi says quietly, deciding to throw all caution to the wind. He doesn’t care for the consequences it may bring. The words at least give him a reaction.
Jimin stumbles slightly, his grip on him loosening. “You can’t say that.”
“You can’t silence me,” Yoongi says indignantly. “I don’t care if you didn’t miss me as well, but I felt you should know.”
Jimin stops walking, turning to look at him. “You think I didn’t miss you?”
Yoongi huffs. “You could have fooled me with how you’re acting. We can’t just pretend there isn’t some enormous weight between us.”
“I— Yoongi.” Jimin looks around them, eyes scanning the darkest parts of the trees surrounding them. “This isn’t something to be discussed where others can hear us. Please, I promise we will talk… about everything when I can be sure that you’re safe.”
Yoongi wants to say how Jimin’s promises mean nothing to him. All they are is empty words. But he doesn’t. As Jimin looks at him, he can recognize the person he loved — still loves — all those years ago. The moon mark on his chest aches as Jimin holds him.
“Why should I trust you?” Yoongi asks, not caring how his voice cracks.
Jimin grabs his face, his hands gently as they caress Yoongi’s cheeks. “Because I will never lie to you again.”
He wonders what Jimin has lied to him about before. A small part of him hopes it was that night. That the cruel words Jimin hurled at him, weren’t his true feelings. But he squashes that small flicker of hope, knowing it’s dangerous for his heart. It wouldn’t be able to survive a second break.
Yoongi follows him in silence from that point on, his hand now in Jimin’s. The alpha doesn’t speak either, but his hand is tight around Yoongi’s, almost as if he’s afraid to lose him.
Jimin clutches at his hand, burying his face into Yoongi’s chest.
“Jiminie,” Yoongi whispers into the younger’s hair. He hates seeing his best friend so distraught. “Please don’t cry.”
Jimin sniffles, wiping his tears against Yoongi’s sleep robes. Yoongi finds he doesn’t really mind.
“I know,” Jimin breathes into his chest. “I know it’s just the rain b-but,” he takes a deep breath. “I can’t help it.”
Yoongi hums, laying down and pulling Jimin with him. It’s not the first time they’ve cuddled in their thirteen years of knowing each other by any means, so Jimin falls against him easily.
“It’s okay to be scared but you have me, okay?” Yoongi says gently, running his hands through Jimin’s hair in the way he knows the younger boy likes.
“I’ll always have you, right?” Jimin intertwines their hands.
Yoongi squeezes his hand. “You’ll never lose me.”
“You’ll never lose me, either,” Jimin promises.
“I trust you.”
Jimin smiles against him. “I would never lie to you.”
They finally arrive at the small cottage, thankfully without running into any other problems. Jimin lets him in and drops his hand. Yoongi will never admit how much he misses it wrapped around his own.
Jimin removes the black cloak, revealing red under robes. Yoongi sits awkwardly on the bed, his side hurting from where he fell. He exhales softly, trying to get comfortable, but failing miserably.
“Are you hurt?” Jimin asks, startling Yoongi with how close he is. The alpha is kneeling next to the bed, his hands hovering over where Yoongi is clutching his side.
“Just from when I dropped to the ground.” His eyebrows pinch slightly as he takes a deep breath, the pain making the action uncomfortable.
“May I?” Jimin’s hand continues to hover. “I can ease the pain.”
Yoongi nods but doesn’t speak a word. Jimin gingerly removes the omegas hands from his side, replacing them with one of his own. He lays the palm flat against it, over the robes and closes his eyes. Yoongi watches as his veins slowly turn black and flow towards Jimin’s palm. He wonders how black magic is able to heal him, but doesn’t ask the question out loud, not knowing if he will like the answer.
As Jimin promised, the pain slowly fades, making it easier to breathe again. Neither of them say anything, the silence isn’t exactly uncomfortable, but millions of unspoken words hang between them. Yoongi wants to yell at him, beg to know why Jimin left him. Ask him why he never loved him, even just as a best friend. More than anything, he just wishes to understand.
The black energy surging through Jimin’s veins slowly drains but the alpha doesn’t remove his hand from his waist. His hand stays, holding him. Yoongi wonders if it’s just to make sure he’s real, it’s the reason Yoongi doesn’t move to push Jimin away. If he’s touching him, his warm hand weighing heavily on him, at least Yoongi knows this isn’t some sort of nightmare.
It’s Jimin who ends up breaking the silence between them.
“Are you okay?”
Yoongi wants to laugh then, because no . He isn’t okay. People tried to kidnap him tonight, he has no clue if his father is even alive — if his kingdom is even still standing and well… then there is Jimin. He locks eyes with the alpha and god, he wishes he could hate him. It would probably be easier that way but all he feels when he looks at Jimin, is love — well that, and a dull ache shooting through his soul mark.
“Do you even care?” Jimin frowns. “If I’m okay?” Yoongi continues. As much as he wishes he could just fall into Jimin, he can’t. His heart won’t make it out a second time.
There is a small downturn of Jimin’s lips. “How could you ask that?”
“How could I ask that?” Yoongi repeats. “How could I not? I haven’t been okay since…” he trails off, not wanting to say the words aloud because then that makes this all so much more real. Because then they would have to talk about the pain of the past.
But Jimin seems to know what he was going to say. “There is a lot you don’t know. But leaving you, was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
Yoongi rushes to stand. He can’t have Jimin’s hands on him, not when it already feels like he’s suffocating. His heart hammers against his chest. He can feel his omega whine pathetically, already missing the heat from Jimin’s hand. The alpha let’s him step away but his eyes remain trained on him.
“How can I believe you?” Yoongi asks, unable to look at Jimin. He stares at a small nook in the corner of the cabin, his eyes falling upon furs.
Jimin steps closer to him, his hands clenching after his sides. “I had to make the choice Yoongi, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I never wanted to leave you.”
“Then why did you?” Yoongi turns to him, his eyes burning. “Why did you… I have never felt pain, like I did the night you left.”
Jimin’s own eyes shine bright with unshed tears. “I did because I couldn’t bear to drag you down the path that I was always destined for.”
“That wasn’t your choice to make,” Yoongi breaks. “You left… you left and then I had to hear the news that you…” Yoongi can’t even finish the sentence, his heart unable to bear the memory for a second time. All the hurt he tried so desperately to bury, rising to the surface as he stares at the alpha. He wonders if Jimin can smell the grief that overcomes him as he thinks of the night Jimin walked away from the castle. Walked away from him.
Jimin looks at him, his expression hard to read. Yoongi wishes he could hear what’s going on in the alphas head. He looks so tired. Not in a way that comes from lack of sleep… but as if his soul has never known rest.
“Do you think I wanted to?” He asks. “Do you think it was easy? Walking away from the only one I’ve ever loved.”
Yoongi inhales sharply. “You— Jimin, you can’t… please ,” please don’t lie to me. “You didn’t love me.”
Jimin laughs hollowly. “There were many things I was unsure of Yoongi, but my love for you? That was never something I wasn’t sure about.” He steps closer. “Something I’m still not unsure of.”
“I thought you were dead.”
Jimin freezes. “I know.”
“That night…” Yoongi had tried so hard to bury it in the darkest recesses of his mind. Wanted nothing more than for that memory to die along with Jimin that night. “I thought you had died Jimin. You led me to believe you had.”
“I had no choice!” Jimin fires back, eyes bleeding red. He’s only inches from his face now, but Yoongi doesn’t cower in fear. He’s as sure as the sky is blue, that Jimin would never cause harm to him. “It was easier that way.”
Yoongi softens. “What was easier?”
“Burying my love for you,” Jimin whispers. “It was easier knowing you were safe. That you could be happy without me.”
Yoongi runs to his father's quarters, his hair in a hundred different directions but he doesn’t care. He has to know, even if he’s sure the news will break his heart.
He bursts through the door, what’s left of his heart hammering against his chest. His father is lying in his bed, the healers working around him to tend to the wounds covering his body. He kneels against the side of the bed, taking his fathers hand in his own.
“Father, what happened? Are you alright?” Yoongi looks down at the burns covering his body, the intricacy of them unrecognizable. “These scars… I’ve—“
“They come from dark power,” His father says, words choppy from the cough that overtakes him in the middle of his sentence.
Yoongi’s heart plummets. “Was it…. is— is he…” He can’t finish the sentence, his soul mark stinging painfully under his sleep robes.
His father looks at him, his scent twinged with guilt. It’s all the answer Yoongi needs. He can feel whatever’s left of his heart shattering in his chest. His eyes burn as his father pulls something from the other side of him.
“Give me your hand,” His father says softly.
Yoongi complies, holding out his palm and watches as his father drops a small wooden pendant in his hand. He inhales sharply.
“He told me to give it to you before he died.” Yoongi stares at the small moon pendant, a J carved into the back. How could Jimin know. There was no way ... unless….
He looks up at his father, his eyes shining. His father smiles sadly at him. “It was his dying wish.”
Yoongi pulls the pendent from under his robes, holding it in his open palm. Jimin’s eyes follow the movement, recognition flickering across his features as his eyes slowly drain of fire and turn into the brown ones Yoongi was sure he was never going to see again.
“Why did you make the pendent a moon?” Yoongi asks, needing to finally know the truth.
Jimin looks away from him. “I think you already know the answer to that.”
“Is…” Yoongi’s eyes drop down to the alphas chest. Jimin looks at him again and nods. He looks so completely lost that Yoongi’s soul aches for him, can almost feel Jimin’s pain as his own.
Yoongi raises a tentative hand, reaching out to touch Jimin’s chest. He wonders if it looks the same as his, if they are truly fated. Yoongi can feel his own mark tingle on his chest, yearning to be closer. Yearning to become one.
Jimin stops him before he’s able to touch him. “Yoongi, you can't be sure,” He tells him softly. “What if your heart beats for another. I don’t want to cause you more pain.”
Yoongi looks up at him, his heart hammering against his chest. Jimin is beautiful.
“I know who my soul yearns for,” Yoongi replies gently. He curls his fingers around Jimin’s wrist. “I finally understand why I always felt like I was missing a part of me. Why it felt as if I was merely half alive, even as a child with hardly any burdens to bear. But even more so, when you… when I lost you.”
He pushes his hand forward and Jimin lets him, all fight seeming to dissipate from his body. The alphas hand drops uselessly to his side. Yoongi grabs the fold of his robes covering his mark. The last people who had mate marks where his own parents but he can hardly recall what they looked like and he wonders if all the stories are true. Wonders if their marks will truly light up at the touch of their mate, or if Yoongi will suffer horrible pain for touching a mark that doesn’t match his own. Mated pairs are rare. The odds of your mate being in the same kingdom as you are typically small, so the truth behind the lore has never really been proven. He gently pulls back Jimin’s robe, gasping when the mark comes into view.
It’s a moon. A small crescent one that matches the one Yoongi bears on his own chest. His eyes catch Jimin’s, the alpha’s eyes already trained on him, staring intently. There are beads of sweat on his forehead, his lips red from where he had been chewing on them out of nervous habit. Jimin left when he was only sixteen, meaning they were never able to show their soul marks to each other.
Yoongi knows, if he touches the soul mark and Jimin isn’t his fated, they will both bear an excruciating pain. Knows that if he feels pain underneath his fingertips at the trace of the moon, that Jimin isn’t the one his heart beats for. But it doesn’t stop him from reaching out to touch the black lines of the crescent moon.
Jimin stops him just short of his skin, only an inch away from figuring out their truth.
“Are you sure?” He looks genuinely concerned, as if he wouldn’t dare believe Yoongi is his fated. The prince wonders if its out of fear, or because he simply doesn’t want this to be his truth. He hopes that it’s the former.
Yoongi doesn’t give him a response, knowing words would only fail to convey what he’s feeling at this moment. He removes his hand from the alphas grasp and presses the pads of his fingertips forward.
Before, Yoongi wondered why he felt like he was hollow. Not in the sense that he wasn’t whole, or without purpose. He knew his duty to both his people and to his family. But even so, he always felt as if a piece of him was simply gone. As his fingers finally touch the moon on Jimin’s chest, he finds the missing piece.
There is no pain as his fingers trace the crescent moon. Neither him nor Jimin crumple to floor in agony. Instead, Jimin inhales sharply and Yoongi… well Yoongi feels like he can breathe again. The scent of lotus flowers in the spring engulfs him, intertwining with the scent of sandalwood. His own soul mark lights up as Jimin’s glows white. He looks down to see the energy radiating between the two of them, the way it intertwines as one.
He looks up at Jimin. “It was always you.” And Yoongi isn't surprised. He thinks a part of him has always known.
Jimin stares down at their soul marks, tears gathering in the corners of his eyes. “Yoongi…”
Yoongi lays his palm on Jimin’s chest, covering his mark and the area where his mates heart beats steadily. “You knew didn't you?”
Jimin looks away from him. Yoongi doesn’t understand. Everything makes even less sense than it did before. If Jimin knew, why would he choose to leave? Why wouldn’t he come back to him. Why would he try to make Yoongi believe he was dead?
“Jimin… did you…” Yoongi tries again. He just wants to understand.
“Not at first,” Jimin finally says after a moment. He’s still not looking at him, but he’s also not pushing Yoongi away from him, which for now is enough. “I didn’t know when I left. Of course I knew I loved you but I couldn’t have known that our souls were fated.”
“When did you know?” Yoongi asks, his eyes wandering down to the small moon.
Jimin sighs. “I had been traveling back to the forest with Seokjin. We had just finished taking down a small coven of witches who had been summoning demons. You were traveling to another kingdom with your father and the moon on my chest ached in a way it never had before.”
Yoongi remembers that day. He had gotten a shooting pain down to the core of his body, his soul mark feeling as if it was ripping him open and causing a pain so excruciating he nearly blacked out. He didn’t understand what was happening at the time, but now he realizes it was his soul yearning for its other half.
“Why didn’t you…” Yoongi has so many things he wishes to know. Why didn’t you come back? Why did you leave me? Why didn’t you ever try to find me again? He wishes to ask these questions but he’s unsure if his heart can handle the answers.
Jimin looks up at him. “I wanted to. Every day since I left, I wanted nothing more than to go back. Even before I knew we were fated. But…” he hesitates. “There are things you don’t know. I know you must have questions, from what you saw.”
Yoongi does. He has hundreds of questions in all honesty but he knows, no matter the answers he gets will it change anything. He’s loved Jimin since before he even knew what love meant and losing him was like losing a piece of himself. Now that he has him again — now that he can reach out and hold him again, the alphas scent wrapping around him like a blanket, he won’t ever let him go again.
“I do,” Yoongi says, letting his hand drop from the alphas chest and down to his hands, intertwining his fingers with Jimin’s own. “But it won’t change a thing about how I feel about you.”
Jimin looks at him sadly. “It might.”
Yoongi shakes his head. “Do you remember? The promise we made to each other when we first met?”
Jimin looks up at him, a stray tear falling from his beautiful brown eyes. “Of course I do.”
Yoongi peers are the smaller child from around his mother's legs. The child can be no older than him, probably even younger he thinks. The small boys eyes are red with tears, his chubby cheeks stained. He’s standing behind a knight, clutching at his pant leg.
Yoongi moves from behind his mother, clutching his small sewed bear. He takes a step towards the younger boy, something in his heart telling him that he needs to comfort the boy. He doesn’t quite understand the pull he feels for the stranger, he just knows he doesn’t want to see him sad.
As soon as he’s close enough, he places his favorite bear on the ground, standing behind it. The boy peers around the knights legs, eyeing both Yoongi and the bear curiously.
“I want you to have it,” Yoongi says quietly, not wanting to interrupt the adults.
The small boy gasps softly, stepping forward to the tentatively reach for the stuffed toy. He grabs it gently, clutching it to his chest.
“Why?” The small boy asks. “Isn’t this your best friend?”
Yoongi shakes his head. “He was, but now he can be yours too.”
The small boy looks down at the bear, smiling only slightly but Yoongi thinks he likes his smile a lot. Almost as much as his mothers.
“Can we also be best friends?” The small boy asks, his voice timid.
Yoongi nods vigorously. “I promise! We will stay best friends forever.”
“Really?” The boy asks in wonder. “No matter what?”
Yoongi nods again, stepping forward and holding one of the bears stuffed paws in his hand while the stranger holds the other paw. There is a small ache in Yoongi’s chest, where his heart beats, but he ignores it.
“No matter what.”
Jimin sighs, pulling away to sit at his small cot. “I was right.”
“What do you mean?” Yoongi asks, sitting next to him. “Right about what?”
“My mother’s powers,” He says, glancing down at the black energy pulsating through his veins. “They also reside in me.”
“Is that why you left?” It would make sense. Jimin had always been afraid of taking after his mother, scared that the demon lurking within him would one day take over.
Jimin nods. “Three months after I turned sixteen, I started noticing changes. My thoughts growing darker as I started to lose control of my powers.” He sounds devastated and Yoongi wishes he could take the pain away from him.
“Jimin… why didn’t you tell me?” Yoongi asks. He understands now, why the alpha felt the need to leave. Fear is one of the hardest things to battle but it breaks Yoongi’s heart that Jimin thought he needed to battle it alone. “Why did you leave me?”
Jimin looks at him, his eyes shining. “I couldn’t ask you to love someone like me. I refused to let you love a monster.”
Yoongi places a hand on Jimin’s arm. “You aren’t a monster.”
“How could you say that?” Jimin snaps. He stands from the cot, turning on Yoongi in an instant. His eyes turn completely black, dark energy pouring from his fingertips to completely surround the omega. Yoongi doesn’t flinch.
“You were never a monster,” Yoongi says, sure to keep his voice steady. He stands slowly, the black energy pouring from Jimin’s hands circling around him but not touching him. “You will never be a monster.”
Jimin stares at him, his face torn. “You don’t know that.”
“I do,” Yoongi says softly, stepping forward, the energy breaking slightly in front of him so it’s not touching him. “You would never hurt me.”
“Yoongi…” Jimin voice cracks, sounding so unsure. Yoongi steps closer.
“I know you,” Yoongi says, taking another step closer. “You would rather hurt yourself before you would ever hurt me, before you would ever hurt anyone that doesn’t deserve it. That’s what makes you different from her.”
Yoongi takes the last step, standing directly in front of Jimin. The alpha let’s him, the black energy dissipating from around them. Yoongi grabs Jimin’s hands, intertwining their fingers between them.
“I wouldn’t love a monster.”
Jimin looks at him, his expression crumbling under Yoongi’s soft gaze. “But you love me?”
“Because you’re good Park Jimin,” Yoongi promises. “You’ve always been good. You will always be good.”
Yoongi doesn’t know who moves first but suddenly their lips are meeting and it’s like he’s taking his first breath of air.
Their soul marks light up, darkness intertwining with light.
“Do you love me?” Jimin asks one night as they sit outside in the small garden of the kingdom.
Yoongi looks up from the cherry blossoms to look at his best friend. It’s been four months since Jimin’s sixteenth birthday and exactly one year since Yoongi realized he was in love with him.
“Of course I do,” Yoongi promises. “You’re my best friend.” You’re the love of my life, he doesn’t say but wishes he could.
Jimin looks up at the moon. It’s a crescent moon. “Would you love me even if I was a monster?”
Yoongi frowns, setting down the flowers he had been holding and shuffling over to Jimin. The younger looks at him, his eyes holding various emotions. Yoongi can pick up fear the most clearly.
“You aren’t a monster,” Yoongi finally says. “You’re Jimin.”
Jimin smiles at him but it doesn’t quite reach his eyes. “Who says I can’t be both?”
Yoongi doesn’t quite know what to say that, but his chest aches at the words.
Yoongi wakes up wrapped in Jimin’s arms, the alpha breathing softly against his neck. Jimin’s face is pressed against Yoongi’s scent glands, the alpha nuzzling it ever so slightly even in sleep. For the first time in years, Yoongi feels whole. He feels safe. The scent of sandalwood and lotus flowers intertwining as one, and completely immersing him.
The events of last night come rushing back to him. He touches his soul mark, enjoying the small tingle as he runs his fingertips over it. There is no longer pain lingering behind the mark, just contentment.
Jimin huffs against his neck. “T’early,” He mumbles, smashing his face even closer to Yoongi’s scent gland. “Sleep.”
Yoongi giggles, running a hand through the alphas hair. “The sun is up, I can’t sleep with the way the light pours in through the windows.”
“I’ll have them covered so you can sleep well from now on,” Jimin says quietly, still half asleep. It causes Yoongi’s heart to soar in his chest. The prospect of staying here with Jimin is something he desperately wishes he could have.
Just as he opens his mouth to respond, there is a knock at the door. Jimin groans, pulling away from Yoongi but before the omega can complain about the loss of his mate, the alpha intertwined their fingers above their furs.
“Come in.” Jimin squeezes his hand gently as the door to the cabin opens. “What is it, Taehyung?”
The man that had kept Jimin calm from yesterday steps into the cabin, followed by Seokjin. “We talked to the prisoners this morning.”
Jimin raises a brow. “Without me?”
“Believe it or not, I’m more than capable of getting intonation on my own,” Taehyung snips back. “But yes, you seemed content to catch up with your mate and you two were too cute to wake up.”
Yoongi flushes at being referred to as Jimin’s mate but he doesn’t say anything. He actually finds he quite likes it.
Jimin rolls his eyes. “And what did you find out?”
A silence descends upon them, the atmosphere turning heavy. “The King…” Taehyung looks at him for a brief second and Yoongi’s heart plummets. “He’s dead.”
Jimin’s hold on him tightens as Yoongi’s scent slowly morphs into heart wrenching sorrow. The omega bites the inside of his cheek, forcing himself to stay calm. He can’t afford to break, not when he has the entirety of a kingdom now riding on his strength.
“Who?” Jimin asks. His fingers stroke Yoongi’s side gently, his small way of letting him know he’s here for him.
Taehyung hesitates, his eyes flickering towards Seokjin. The mage sighs, stepping forward. “Eodum.”
Jimin freezes next to him and Yoongi looks at him curiously. The name sounds vaguely familiar but he can’t quite place it to a face. He thinks back to the hundreds of people he’s met and nothing seems to ring a bell. He knows he would remember a name with a meaning like that.
Jimin moves from the bed. Yoongi immediately misses his warmth. The alpha grabs his black cloak, throwing it around him. Yoongi makes his way out of the bed, feeling the tension rolling off of his mate in waves.
“What’s going on?” He asks, sliding up to Jimin, tentatively touching his waist. “What’s wrong? Who’s Eodum?”
Jimin turns towards him, his shoulders sagging ever so slightly.
“Do you think I’ll be like her?” Jimin asks the night of his sixteenth birthday. He’s pressed against Yoongi’s side, eyes trained on the night sky above him.
Yoongi turns to look at him. “Like who?”
“My mother,” Jimin answers, not looking away from the stars. His fists clench at his side, white energy slowly bleeding into his veins. “Do you think one day my magic will turn dark?”
“No,” Yoongi says without hesitation. “I don’t think you’ll ever turn down that dark path.”
Jimin looks at him. “How could you be certain? It’s in my blood. She— her wickedness is a part of me.”
“Because you’re not evil.” Yoongi interlaces their hands between them. He tries not to think about how much he enjoys having Jimin’s hand in his.
“What if I am one day? What if-“ Jimin looks down at their intertwined hands. “-If one day I lose control like her.”
Yoongi squeezes the younger’s hand. “You will never be your mother. You have too much love in you.”
“You think too highly of me,” Jimin argues, his cheeks slightly flushed from the praise.
I love you, is what Yoongi wants to say.
“No. I just know your heart,” Is what he says instead. “You will always be on the side that fights for the goodness in the world, even if you do it in your own way.”
“Your mother?” Yoongi asks, his hands falling from Jimin’s hips. “Your mother is still alive?”
Jimin shares a look with Taehyung and Seokjin, who both nod. “We will wait for you in Namjoon’s quarters. I’ll gather both Hoseok and Jungkook.” They take their exit, bowing slightly to Yoongi before they go.
“We’ve been tracking her,” Jimin tells him as soon as the two men are gone. “She went idle about two years ago, back to the underworld.”
“Why?” Yoongi asks, his stomach twisting.
Jimin sighs, rubbing his eyes. “She wants a war, with the light. All of those descended from good, she wants to wipe them completely so she can take over.”
“Like my father and mother?” He looks down at his own hands, at the white energy running through his veins. “Like me ?” Yoongi whispers.
Jimin is at his side in a second, holding Yoongi’s face in his hands. He presses their foreheads together. Yoongi lays his hands over the alphas, holding him there. Jimin’s eyes are slowly bleeding into black.
“I will never let her lay a finger on you,” He promises fiercely. “I will kill her before she even dares.”
“She knows of what I mean to you,” Yoongi tries to reason. “She has to know we are fated.”
“Be that as it may, I’ve been training since I was sixteen to finally end this.” Jimin’s eyes are completely black as he looks at Yoongi. “I won’t lose you again. I won’t let her hurt you.”
Yoongi smiles sadly, running a hand through the alphas hair. “But you know I can’t stay here. I have to return to my kingdom.”
“Why can’t you stay?” Jimin asks, his voice desperate but his eyes resigned. As if he already knew that Yoongi wouldn’t stay. “You don’t have to return. You can stay here.” With me.
“Because, I won’t let innocent people die for me to stay safe.” Yoongi leans forward, pressing a kiss to Jimin’s nose. “It’s my kingdom now and there are too many warriors that harness the same light power as I. I will not have their blood on my hands.”
Jimin sighs, letting his eyes slide closed. “I expected nothing less from you, but it didn’t stop me from hoping. I won’t be able to protect you there, I can’t return with you with her still out there.”
“Look at me Jimin,” Yoongi says softly. Jimin complies, his eyes no longer black but the brown Yoongi has loved since he was a child. “I can take care of myself, at least until you’re able to find your way back to me.”
Jimin nods. “As soon as we find her, I swear I’ll go to you again. I'll never spend another day not at your side.”
Yoongi’s eyes burn as he pulls Jimin in for a searing kiss. It’s full of everything they’re too afraid to voice aloud. Eodum is powerful and with her mind set on overtaking the world, so many things can go wrong. It’s a dangerous game they are playing.
When Yoongi pulls back, he places his hand over Jimin’s soul mark. The moon lights up under his cloak and so does Yoongi’s. Energy flows between them, intertwining like their souls.
“You have a map back to me,” Yoongi says softly, looking down at the energy flowing between them. “Just follow it.”
“I would find you even without one,” Jimin promises. He presses another kiss to Yoongi’s lips and pulls back, looking into the omega’s eyes. “I will always find my way back to you.”
Yoongi looks around frantically, trying to find his mother or Jimin in a sea of unfamiliar faces. He can feel himself start to tear up, overwhelmed by his own fear. He makes it to the fountain in the middle of the square, clutching at the stone.
He hates crowds. Is scared of people already but it’s worse when he doesn’t have his mother or father with him and especially when he doesn’t have Jimin with him. He slowly inhales, trying to breathe correctly so he doesn’t spiral into a panic. When he’s panicked, he loses control of his powers. White energy slowly trickles to his fingertips but Yoongi can’t get himself to focus.
Just as he’s about to lose control he feels small arms wrap around him.
“Yoonie hyung! Breathe!” Jimin says loudly into his ears. “Look at me.”
Yoongi turns to his best friend, forcing his eyes to open. His vision is a bit blurry, Jimin not in focus as his eyes begin to bleed white. Jimin grabs his face, chubby hands forcing him to just focus on him.
“You’re okay,” Jimin says softly. “I’m right here. You’re not alone.”
Yoongi exhales shakily. “You found me.” He croaks, his eyes finally focusing on his best friend. “Was scared I lost you.”
Jimin smiles at him, his eyes forming small crescent moons. “You will never lose me.”
The white energy slowly retreats back from Yoongi’s fingertips. Jimin doesn’t let go of his face, giving him whispered words of encouragement until Yoongi is able to breathe normally.
When he does, Jimin presses a soft kiss to one of his tear stained cheeks. “I’ll always find you Yoongi. Always.”
Yoongi sits at his father's throne, the golden crown being placed on his head as he looks out at the sea of townspeople that have gathered for his coronation.
They cheer for him as he’s officially declared king. He smiles at them, happy to see his people still alive and happy — even if it’s just for the time being. He bows to them, thanking them for coming and announcing that the celebration festivities are to begin. He hears them yell his name, waving their hands to him and bowing in thankfulness.
As the celebration begins, he pulls his best men away from the party and to the private area of his office. Jungkook and Hoseok follow them, flanking him on either side. Yoongi is thankful to have them at his side, even if it makes him long for his alpha. But Jimin had practically begged to at least send two of his best men with him, just as for some extra peace of mind, and Yoongi could hardly deny him.
The door closes behind them and Yoongi looks to his most entrusted.
“What is it your highness?” Yunho asks, stepping forward. “You seem distressed.”
Yoongi smiles at the knight. “I need you to begin preparing our best men.”
There is a few murmurs that begin to pass within the group of knights, various levels of confusing flickering across their faces. Yoongi gives them time to digest the information, knowing their kingdom hasn’t gone to war in a long while.
Yunho nods slowly. “Of course your highness but I must ask, what exactly am I preparing them for?”
Yoongi shares a look with Hoseok and Jungkook, both of them giving him a small nod. He gives one back before turning to his men, all of them giving him their utmost attention.