The SM pack has had their failures, but no one talks about that in the face of their successes.
Kim Jonghyun’s mating to Lee Taemin is probably the most successful thing the company has ever slapped their logo on, and it’s not even because of them that it came about. Most omegas come to entertainment companies for two reasons- clout and desperation. Some come from families strong enough to get them mated to an idol who lives under a microscope, often becoming idols themselves. Others are desperate because there is no other avenue to explore.
Jonghyun and Taemin have been figuratively mated since they met on the playground over a decade ago. To hear Taemin’s parents tell the story, it’s a relief that their youngest had found the alpha meant for him at such a young age, an alpha who has only ever treated their son with an unrivalled love and affection. For Jonghyun’s sister Sodam and their mother, it was fear-inducing as the boys got older, and the Lee family got more offers for Taemin’s hand.
Because Taemin refused every single one and still looked at Jonghyun with stars in his eyes, and Jonghyun would have fought the whole world for his Taeminnie.
The pair had only mated with the onset of Taemin’s first heat, and it had been torturous for all bystanders. Jinki and Minho, the lead pair of SHINee, hadn’t seen as much as most bystanders, wrapped up as they were in each other, but SHINee’s Key had smacked his head repeatedly against the wall.
Especially the year and a half before that, when Jonghyun had his first rut and had refused to come within ten feet of Taemin for fear of bringing his heat early.
There’s no room to talk about failures now, though.
Kris- Yi Fan- is dancing with a blissful Junmyeon in his arms, Yixing and Tao sliding happily around each other as Lu Han and Jongdae hem Minseok between them, and it’s a fun night. Jongin has Kyungsoo parked in his lap across from Jonghyun and Taemin, the dancers in discussion while Kyungsoo and Jonghyun trade longsuffering looks, and Johnny could be envious.
He probably should be. NCT127 isn’t a sure bet yet, and it’s probably his last chance at a debut. But how can he even try to resent their happiness when, even as he descends the steps into the foyer where they’re all mingling, Jongin tightens his grip on Kyungsoo with one arm to wave him over?
He heads that way, but the Suju-hyungs waylay him. Ryeo-wook and Kyuhyun are giggling together, already drunk on booze, and each other, while Heechul hovers protectively over Jungsoo. The omega leader looks so happy that Johnny doesn’t have the heart to tell Heechul that the legendary Leeteuk does not need his protection at a company party with Shindong and Siwon already playing guardian angels.
He waves off the hyungs to make his way to the SHINee-EXO corner, the groups having reorganized so that the omegas are seated in their respective alphas’ laps. It’s nothing against Johnny as a person, he knows, more a comment on his strength as an alpha than anything else.
But tonight, it feels like he’ll never have that.
Minho, the only omega large enough that sitting on his alpha would make him uncomfortable, is kneeling between Jinki’s spread legs, grinning mischievously as Taemin drawled
“Oh, wow, Johnny, and here I thought you’d be with your mate tonight.” Raising his brows for an explanation, and praying that it’s the meddling gene that omegas seem to come wired with instead of the company doing something behind his back, Johnny’s kind of stunned when Jonghyun hisses a scolding into Taemin’s ear as Jongin explains
“Taeminnie and Soo-hyung were near Sajangnim’s office when they overheard him talking to the other trainees- you and a few other alphas are meeting with the omegas. If enough pairs form, he’ll debut you.”
Taemin grins at him unrepentantly as he strokes Jonghyun’s thigh, while Kyungsoo rolls his eyes and mutters to Jongin.
It’s not long after that that they all disperse.
Johnny later wishes he’d given serious weight to what they’d told him- at the time, he’d dismissed it as the omegas being their meddlesome selves.
For all that he knows that Kim Dongyoung is an idol because that’s the life his parents chose for him, so he’d have a mate who’d be held to account, Jaehyun kind of wishes Dongyoung would want to be mated to him.
He’s nothing special, Yoonoh knows that. He can sing and dance as well as the next trainee, but he’s not a standout like Jonghyun-hyung, who has an incredible vocal range and is mated to a dancer on track to be an industry heavyweight. Nor is he the quietly competent Kris Wu, who backs his mate like it’s nothing to stand there and glare menacingly while Junmyeon gives the orders. And he is not Heechul-hyungnim, a fantastic dancer even with an injury and a powerful vocalist in his own right who isn’t mated to his omega leader but has defended him multiple times.
Basically, meeting Kim Dongyoung and being barrelled over by the other male’s scent is overwhelming. He’s pretty and kind and all the things Yoonoh would want in a mate.
But Yoonoh- who’s chosen to go by Jaehyun- knows he’s not what the other male is looking for in a mate. Leave aside his admittedly good looks and Jaehyuns’ not exactly rare talents, and he’s still one the strongest alphas in his age bracket in his hometown. Yugyeom and Jeongguk, also alphas of the same age, are just as strong, and it’s honestly a relief because he grew up with the omegas he knew being afraid of him.
So no, he really wasn’t expecting Kim Dongyoung to choose him as his mate.
Haechan watched the hyungs with fascination. He was quite pleased that he’d had the nerve to bait Minhyung into mating him before they had planned. Mark, of course, understood Lee Donghyuck took what he wanted when he wanted it.
If half the crap Mark said was true, he adored that about Haechan.
Which was good because Haechan had no intention of changing himself for his mate.
The other matings were somewhat predictable. Two of the dancer-hyungs they weren’t super acquainted with, the quiet Chinese hyung and the Thai hyung and of course, Doyoung-hyung and Taeyong-hyung were drooling over the alpha-hyungs Mark hung out with.
Clapping his hands, Donghyuck announced
Before bouncing into the fray, loving the smile that Mark sent his way.