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cross my heart

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Jeongguk has always been very good at his job.

In fact, if anyone were to ask just about anyone who the best makeup artist around is, the overwhelming majority would at least consider his name as one of the top contenders. He’d started out as a small beauty guru on Youtube and had eventually moved on to doing celebrity makeup, building his portfolio over the years until he finally landed a job at BigHit doing makeup for their newly formed idol groups, bright eyed and baby-faced.

He was popular and successful at that point, of course, but what really launched him into popularity was when he began working for Park Jimin three years ago.

Of course, Jimin was just a brand new idol at the time, just like the rest of them. Jeongguk still remembers the way he nervously poked his head through the crack in the door, asking Jeongguk if he was in the right place to get his makeup done for his first brand deal. Even though Jimin was older than him by a couple of years, Jeongguk instantly felt an overwhelming urge to take care of him. Despite how nervous he was back then, there was still something about him that was so different from the other idols he worked for. Underneath the nerves and the discomfort, he had this fire burning under his skin, this hungering desire to be the best he can be. Jeongguk had seen it even from that first meeting.

It’s unsurprising to him that not even three years later Jimin is a household name, the nation’s sweetheart, the most famous idol in the nation and popular even overseas. Jeongguk had eventually become Jimin’s personal makeup artist, not working any other jobs unless he got pulled in by the company for an emergency or Jimin was doing some sort of collab with another artist that Jeongguk would do matching makeup for, but for some reason Jimin was always quite territorial about Jeongguk’s work and didn’t often like him doing the makeup of other idols. Jeongguk never found it odd, considering how easy it is to be poached by other artists and companies.

Little does Jimin know, there’s basically no way in the world Jeongguk would ever find another company or another idol to work on. He’s way too far gone for Jimin at this point to ever consider doing anything like that.

“Knock, knock,” a familiar voice sounds out from behind him.

Jeongguk doesn’t startle— even though he’d been lost in thought while standing in front of the tap at the back of his personal studio in the company building, swirling soft-bristled makeup brushes in a soap compact in his palm next to the running tap, he’d still been expecting his favorite (and only) client any second.

“You’re late,” Jeongguk says without turning around, using the pads of his fingers to gently work the soap from the fan brush in his hand before sliding it delicately into the brush drying rack near the sink. He quickly flicks the tap off with his elbow as he dries his hands with a cloth hooked into the apron wrapped around his hips, not wanting the water to dampen Jimin’s voice.

“Yeah, and?” Jimin replies airily. The soft tap of his leather boots on the hardwood floor is loud in the otherwise empty studio, growing closer as he steps toward Jeongguk’s back. “Since when have I ever been a morning person?”

“Tell Mijun noona to stop scheduling you for morning shoots, then,” Jeongguk says, sighing as he makes his way over to his makeup bag, back still turned to Jimin. The air under his nose slowly fills with soft hyacinth and lavender, the omega’s familiar scent. His heart beats a little harder in his chest. Jimin is in a good mood this morning. “I was this close to packing up my bag and heading over to your place to paint your face while you slept if you didn’t show up in the next five minutes.”

“Aww, I should have just stayed home, then,” Jimin says, a pout in his voice. He hears the styling chair sink behind him when Jimin settles his weight into it. “Last time you came over to my place to do my makeup was so much fun. I made you pancakes, remember?”

“Jimin-ssi, you microwaved frozen pancakes. There wasn’t even any syrup, I ate them dry with my hands. I almost choked to death.” Jeongguk turns around and lugs his kit onto the table, looking Jimin in the eyes for the first time.

He’s barefaced, hair all cute and mussed from sleep. He looks like he’s just rolled out of bed, wearing a pair of loose sweatpants that pool around his ankles and a black t-shirt with sleeves that swallow his arms all the way down to his elbows, eyes glassy with sleep. It’s incredible how gorgeous he manages to look even like this. If anything, Jeongguk likes this Jimin even better than the made-up one.

“That still counts as making them,” Jimin shrugs. “You know Taehyung does all the cooking, I’ve never had to bother with it.”

“Why are you so tired? Were you out late last night or something?” Jeongguk asks conversationally. He internally kicks himself for the question— he’s been trying his best to tamp down his inappropriate jealousy and possessiveness issues when it comes to Jimin, a habit he’d started from the second they’d met and had only gotten more and more out of control the longer they’ve known each other.

Jimin’s eyes glass over and he focuses on a spot over Jeongguk’s shoulder as if he’s thinking. “Mm, no, not really,” he says, pushing a hand through his hair to brush it off his forehead. “I had a few drinks with my friends but came home early. Mijun noona warned me not to do anything crazy last night because my song launches tonight and she said— and I quote— if I get into a scandal the night before the biggest launch of my career she will literally kill me.”

“She probably would.”

Jimin laughs brightly. “Right? Noona is such a softie but she gets so scary when she’s mad.” He plucks a takeaway coffee from the little table next to the chair and sips at it thoughtfully, steam scented with cloying caramel curling out from the gap in the lid.  “I wanted to dance but I didn’t know if that would count as a scandal so I played it safe. I actually ended up playing games on my phone until like five in the morning which is why I’m so tired.”

A tiny corner curls at the corner of his plush lips. Jeongguk’s eyes linger there as his mind drifts away to unwelcome thoughts of Jimin at the club by himself last night. Of Jimin all loose and dressed up, the makeup Jeongguk himself had applied now smeared and messy as faceless alphas run their hands over his body while he dances. His alpha shakes with jealousy and he hadn’t even realized he was squeezing the primer tube in his hand, a bit of the product spilling out over his fingers.

Jimin cocks his head, eyes suddenly concerned. Jeongguk registers that his scent has changed just slightly in anger, souring the air in the room.

He clears his throat, loosening his grip on the tube. He needs to change the subject quickly before he gets even more jealous for no reason and Jimin starts to pick up on it. “So you only slept for three hours?” he asks, desperate to change the subject back to something less anger-inducing.

Jimin eyes him like he wants to ask Jeongguk what his mini outburst was about but he leans back in the chair after a few seconds, allowing the subject to be dropped. He knows Jeongguk well enough to know that he doesn’t take well into getting pressured to talk about things that are bothering him. “Yeah, but I do that all the time. It’ll be fine. All I have to do is a quick shoot and then I can go back home and crash. The company already prepared the interview questions, I didn’t have to answer anything.”

“If you say so.” Jeongguk ducks his head to hide his smile. He loves when Jimin is sleepy and playful like this. Truthfully, he kind of wishes he’d been late so he had an excuse to lounge around Jimin’s place and eat frozen microwave pancakes. The rare moments he’s able to spend with Jimin, not just Park Jimin the idol, are few and far between.

They’ve always had a strange sort of relationship, the two of them. Jeongguk had been drawn to Jimin from the start but Jimin hadn’t trusted him at all right away. He’d learned quickly that Jimin’s shy, meek demeanor was an act, something he did to protect himself; he was skittish around Jeongguk for the first few months, never relaxing or wanting to close his eyes when they were alone together. Jeongguk had chalked it up to him being uncomfortable being alone for extended periods of time with an alpha and hadn’t taken much offense to it. Thankfully he’d warmed up to him fairly quickly and since then they’ve become very close, to the point of even being friends; they often spend time together outside of work (when Jimin has time, which these days is rare) and texting late into the night when they can’t sleep.

Jeongguk cherishes Jimin’s friendship more than anything in the world, and the privilege of being able to practice his craft on one of the most beautiful faces he or anyone else has ever seen is just icing on the cake.

“Can we listen to music?” Jimin asks as Jeongguk is smearing a bit of Jimin’s favorite primer on the back of his hand to get ready to apply it. “It’s so quiet in here, I’m gonna fall asleep.”

“You can sleep if you want to,” Jeongguk says. “You don’t have to open your eyes until—”

“Mascara, I know,” Jimin rolls his eyes. “You act like we haven’t done this same routine at least three times a week for the past three years.”

“Brat,” Jeongguk mumbles under his breath, dabbing at the product with a pink beautyblender. “Close your eyes.”

“Don’t let me fall asleep,” Jimin says cheekily, letting his eyes flutter shut, long lashes laying across his cheekbones. Jeongguk allows himself to sweep his eyes over Jimin’s face, the natural pink blush on his high cheekbones and the sharpness of his jawline. Jimin truly is a work of art. “You seem a little off today, though. Are you sure everything is okay?”

“Well, I kinda want to kill my roommate,” Jeongguk says as he buffs the product into Jimin’s skin. “But other than that I’m fine.”

“Oh yeah? What did he do now?”

It’s a well-known fact that Jeongguk despises his roommate, an alpha he’d moved in with six months ago. He’s one of his college friends who had recently fallen on hard times and Jeongguk had agreed to let him stay at his place for the time being until he got back on his feet, which had proven to be a huge mistake.

Even though it’s a nightmare, Jimin gets a huge kick out of the stories and loves hearing about the various ways Jeongguk’s roommate is inconveniencing him, to the point where Jeongguk has started exaggerating them just a little bit to make Jimin laugh.

“He hasn’t done the dishes in weeks,” Jeongguk says. “I don’t even know what my countertops look like anymore.”

Jimin huffs a laugh, shifting in his chair to cross his legs at the knee. “Come on, it can’t be that bad.”

“This morning I drank my cereal out of a martini glass, Jimin-ssi. I had to drink my cereal. I fear the mess will soon multiply and take over my entire apartment. If I don’t show up to work on Monday please call the police.”

Jimin giggles. “First of all, that’s disgusting. Second of all, I’m going to have the image of you drinking your cereal from a martini glass while surrounded by filth stuck in my head all morning. If I keep laughing during my super-serious photoshoot it’s going to be all your fault.”

“As if it would ever be my fault you can’t stop laughing,” Jeongguk says. “You laugh at everything and nothing.”

“Hey!” Jimin says, eyes flying open just as Jeongguk is about to dab concealer underneath them, poking him in the eye with the end of the sponge. He immediately shrinks back, slapping a hand over his eye and gasping. “That hurt!”

Jeongguk rolls his eyes. “This sponge is like a giant marshmallow. It didn’t hurt. Give me a break.”

Jimin giggles, pulling his hand down. “I wanted you to apologize. It’s cute when you grovel.”

“I’ve never groveled a day in my life.”

Jimin giggles. “Oh yeah, what about that one time when—”

“Okay!” Jeongguk slams the primer tube on the side table. “I don’t need an example.”

Jimin opens his mouth again like he’s going to speak but then he dissolves into a fit of giggles again, leaning back in the chair and shutting his eyes once more to let Jeongguk continue his job with a mischievous smile curled on his lips.

All those years ago, Jeongguk had hoped and prayed that his crush was just that— a crush, something fleeting like puppy dog love based on his first impression. He thought maybe once the superficial side of it faded and he got to know Jimin as a person they could become friends with a nice work relationship without Jeongguk’s stupid alpha running its mouth but of course, once he got to know Jimin on a personal level all he did was fall deeper and deeper. Jimin is like a raging current trying to drag Jeongguk underwater every time he giggles or bats his eyelashes, and Jeongguk has been in a constant state of drowning for the better part of the last three years.

The worst part of it is knowing that Jimin could never feel the same way. Jeongguk is his makeup artist, his employee , and Jimin is one of the most famous and beloved faces in all of the nation. He could have anyone he wants, anyone , and Jeongguk doubts some random guy who does his makeup could ever be one of his top choices. Or even one of his last choices, to be honest.

They sit in comfortable silence as Jeongguk finishes their routine, following the vague instructions the magazine editors had sent over the night before.

“Now open for mascara,” Jeongguk says softly, breaking the silence other than the low hum of the Bluetooth speaker coming from the corner of the room. “And—”

“Look at me and stay still,” Jimin says, following his orders as he does so. “You’ve been doing this long enough, I know the drill.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Jeongguk says, unable to keep the smile from his voice. “Maybe if you were a better listener I wouldn’t have to repeat all the same things over and over again.”

“What is this, roast Jimin day? You’re so mean. I’m a great listener. How could I be the most beloved idol in the nation if I wasn’t?”

“And he’s so modest, too,” Jeongguk pokes back, causing Jimin to huff and cross his arms over his chest, but he instantly goes still and slack-jawed the second the inky mascara-loaded wand approaches his lashes.

Doing Jimin’s mascara can probably be considered a form of torture in at least nineteen countries, Jeongguk is sure of it. It’s the worst part of his job, not because he doesn’t like doing Jimin’s makeup (he could happily do Jimin’s makeup for the rest of his life, every single day) but because having to spend several moments coating his long lashes with Jimin’s bright eyes locked on his own, lips gently parted and their breaths mingling in the space between them— it’s too much.

The urge to kiss him is excruciating .

The worst part is that sometimes, with the way Jimin looks back at him and the way the whole room falls away when they’re looking at each other like this, just the two of them and the gentle voices outside the cracked door and soft music playing from the speaker at Jeongguk’s back, the atmosphere is enough to trick him into thinking that maybe Jimin wants to kiss him, too.

Three painful coats later, Jeongguk is finally leaning away, lashes now long(er) and loaded with product. He spins immediately to cap the wand and put it away in the vanity, using it as an excuse to drink in a few long, deep breaths that hurt his lungs with how little he’s been breathing over the past hour.

Jimin seems entirely unaffected, as always. Something about it kind of stings, but Jeongguk can’t put his finger on exactly why it stings. It’s an emotion he prefers to bury deep and ignore rather than letting it come to the surface.

“It’s so perfect!” Jimin exclaims, admiring his reflection with bright eyes and a huge smile. “The magazine editors were really annoyed that I insisted on using my in-house styling crew rather than theirs, but they’ll get over it the second they see me. Nobody does the classic Park Jimin look like you do, Jeongguk-ssi.”

Jeongguk smiles. His heart feels warm. “At least I have job security.”

Jimin rolls his eyes. “Even if you put clown makeup on me you’d still have job security,” he says. “You’re my friend. I’d just have you do my makeup so we could gossip about your terrible roommate and then I’d wash it all off and have someone else do it all over again.” Jimin smiles so brightly it curls his eyes at the corners.

Jeongguk hates that fact that even though Jimin is saying such sweet things his heart still sinks at the word friend .

He really needs to fucking snap out of it. Jimin is his friend. An idol. Technically his boss. Someone he can never, ever have, as much as he wants to will it into existence.

Jimin claps his hands together. “Speaking of which, I’ve been meaning to ask you but I almost forgot. Tonight I’m having a little friends-only— no company people! — launch celebration for the new collab song releasing tonight. It’s supposed to be the biggest release of my career, like I said, so I’m really excited for it. It’s releasing with that other idol from our rival company, Minsoo, you know him, right— don’t worry, he’s not coming— and it’s supposed to be a huge hit. So I wanted to celebrate.”

Jimin is rambling, twisting his hands a little bit and for the first time in a long time he actually seems nervous, which Jeongguk finds odd.

“Anything you release is a huge hit, Jimin-ssi. The fact that you even bother celebrating at all anymore is kinda funny. I’d think you’d get bored after, like, two dozen chart-topping singles.”

“Stop trying to charm me and say you’ll come,” Jimin says, pouting. “I want all my friends to come. Please?”

Jeongguk can’t help but be a little flattered that Jimin insisted on no company people but still invited Jeongguk. His alpha soars with pride and Jeongguk internally tells himself to shut up and stop gloating because of course Jimin considers him a friend after all they’ve been through together.

“You know I’ll be there.”

“I’ll buy you food so you can eat off an actual plate for once.” Jimin slides out of the chair, sparing one last glance at himself in the mirror before heading across the small studio back to the bustling hallway where a woman Jeongguk recognizes as one of his staff members waits anxiously with an armful of files, eyes focused on her watch. Jimin doesn’t seem to pay her any mind. “Hey, Jeongguk?”

When Jimin tosses a look over his shoulder, his expression is a little different— his gaze, which had been glazed and sleepy when he came in, is now sharpened under the smoke of his shadow and thin point of liner.


“I really can’t wait to see you tonight,” he says, curling his lips at the corners and then disappearing out the doorway before Jeongguk even has a chance to respond.

The floral notes of his scent linger in the air, spiced by cinnamon.

Jeongguk is somehow always nervous about seeing Jimin outside of work despite all of the times they’ve hung out over the years.

He tugs on the hem of his shirt outside the club that he’d been texted the name of a couple hours ago— The Alibi Room , it says in bright blaring neon letters above a nondescript concrete door. It doesn’t look like the kind of place where an idol like nation’s sweetheart Park Jimin hangs out at night, but Jeongguk suspects that’s exactly why he likes it.

Inside it’s dark and loud— Jeongguk has to resist the urge to cover his ears with his palms and he weaves through the bodies crowded together under the flashing lights, hot and humid and sticky in every space in between. The mixed scents in the club are dizzying, alphas and omegas pressed together with arousal hanging thick and heavy in the air.

He scans the booths around the edges of the room looking for Jimin, knowing he’ll be able to spot him in half a second— a few minutes go by without much luck before he finally sees him, tucked into a far corner booth surrounded by a group of people Jeongguk knows and recognizes from various other outings with Jimin.

Jeongguk takes a few deep breaths (which proves to be nauseating) and then shoves his hands in his pockets, forcing himself to square his shoulders before walking over to Jimin’s booth.

“Jeongguk!” Jimin sing-songs when he approaches the booth, pulling up on his heels and leaning over the jutted edge of the table. “You made it!”

His words are a little slurred when he speaks, clearly already several drinks deep— he reaches out to paw at Jeongguk’s hands, elbow jutting out and nearly knocking over a class of clear liquor at his hip. His friend— a beta who Jeongguk is almost positive is named Taehyung— quickly grabs the glass to stop it from toppling with a loud sigh, grabbing Jimin by the hem of his shirt and tugging him down into the booth.

“Hey, Jimin-ssi,” Jeongguk says, nodding at him and then in the direction of his friends to greet them. His heart hammers in his chest. “Of course, I wouldn't miss it.”

“Please, You’re always so stoic around new people,” Jimin says, giggling. “Sit down and have a drink, I want the real Jeongguk to come out and play.”

Jeongguk’s cheeks flare hot but he tamps down his embarrassment, sliding into the booth next to Taehyung and grabbing for the bottle service in the middle of the table just as an alpha with kind eyes (Namjoon, he thinks?) shoves a rocks glass over the table in his direction. He pours a drink and downs it in one swift motion, eyes watering at the burn down his throat.

Jimin looks gorgeous. Of course, he always looks gorgeous— he’s still wearing the makeup Jeongguk had put on him that morning, a little bit smudged around the corners of his eyes from a full day of use but otherwise intact. There’s a black baseball cap pulled low over his eyes to conceal his identity, blonde hair pushed down against his lashes. His eyes glitter as he scans the table, corners of his lips curled in his signature smile. 

“Let the poor guy live for once,” Taehyung says, rolling his eyes as he pours himself another drink and dumps some more whisky into Jeongguk’s glass when he does, which Jeongguk instantly downs. He has a feeling he needs to be really, really drunk to deal with Jimin tonight. It’s something about the way he acts when he’s out like this, drinking and drunk off the atmosphere of feeling like a normal person for once, that always makes Jeongguk’s heart and mind race to thoughts he knows he shouldn’t have about someone he works for.

It doesn’t help that Jimin is exceptionally flirty (and handsy) and when he gets like this it’s easy for Jeongguk to let himself believe that maybe Jimin has a thing for him, too, when he knows how impossible that actually is. He could have anyone in this club drop to their knees with one look, and the only thing stopping him is how recognizable he is.

When he thoughts snap back to the club when a third drink is already being pushed into his hands, he realizes this time it’s Jimin— he’s leaned over Taehyung, eyes fixed on Jeongguk’s. They’re big and glittering, the club lights dancing over them and casting pretty colors over the side of his face.

Jeongguk swallows.

Time passes while they all chat and drink— Taehyung is always more than happy to share embarrassing stories about Jimin from their childhood, and while the stories themselves are funny the better part is the way Jimin gets all hot-faced and embarrassed, slamming his fists on the table and demanding for him to stop.

It doesn’t take long before a pleasant buzz has settled deep in his veins and his brain starts to feel all fuzzy from the alcohol; he isn’t much of a drinker, usually the one who makes sure everyone gets home safe, but knowing Jimin has drivers and he’s in the company of friends makes him feel good about lowering his inhibitions for one night.

“He had to go to the fucking ER because he had so many jellybeans up his nose,” Taehyung is saying at some point— Jeongguk had either drifted off to sleep or was zoning out so hard he doesn’t remember how the story ends, but based on how animated Taehyung is along with Jimin’s bright red cheeks he’s almost positive it’s another embarrassing childhood story.

“Tae, you’ve told us that story more times than I can even count,” Namjoon says, rolling his eyes. He takes a sip from his drink. “Honestly, I don’t think it’s really all that funny that your friend had to go to the ER when he was seven, and isn’t that whole thing kind of your fault anyway?”

Taehyung scoffs. “Did I put the jellybeans in his hands? Did I?” he says dramatically, taking a drink of whisky and slamming his drink back on the table. “We need more bottles. Namjoon hyung, you go get them because you’re the one being a buzzkill.”

Namjoon rolls his eyes but he slides out of the end of the booth anyway, grabbing the necks of the empty bottles and disappearing in the direction of the bar. The fiery redhead with a bright smile that Jeongguk is pretty positive is his mate Hoseok trails after him, stumbling a little bit even though Jeongguk thinks he’s only had one or two drinks.

Jeongguk is only half paying attention, feeling like he’s on the verge of sleep with droplets of condensation dripping over the side of his hand from his long-forgotten drink. Truthfully he’s starting to feel a little bit nauseous and thinks maybe he went a little too hard too fast— normally he’d just tap out and head home for the night but being able to spare glances over at Jimin, giggling so happily with his eyes glittering is enough to make him want to stay a bit longer. He’s afraid that Namjoon and Hoseok coming back with more bottles means he’s going to be forced to drink more and if that happens he isn’t sure if he can handle it.

“I want to dance ,” Jimin suddenly exclaims. There’s a warmth against Jeongguk’s thigh and he startles, glancing over to his left to see what Taehyung is doing— only to find that Taehyung isn’t there at all anymore (when had he even left? Jeongguk is much drunker than he thought) and instead Jimin is pressed up against him, fingers clutched around the neck of a mostly-empty bottle and eyes big and bright, staring right into Jeongguk’s own. “Jeonggukie, will you dance with me?”

Blood pounds in his veins at the nickname. Through his half-drunk haze he’s fairly certain Jimin has never called him that nickname or anything like it before, but he can’t say he hates the way it sounds.

“I’m not much of a dancer—”

Jimin cuts him off with an over-exaggerated pout, pulling up on one knee in the booth seat until he’s eye level with Jeongguk. “You don’t have to dance. I’m a good dancer. I promise. I’ll show you.”

Jeongguk laughs. “Jimin, I know you’re a good dancer, everyone knows you’re a good dancer—”

“Just— ugh.” Jimin wrinkles his nose, taking another swig straight from the bottle and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “Please? We hardly talked all night. Maybe we could have if Taehyung didn’t tell that damn jellybean story again…”

“To be fair, the fact that you managed to shove six jellybeans up your nose as a kid and had to go to the ER is both hilarious and impressive, so I can’t really blame him for telling it.”

“He’s the one who dared me to do it!” Jimin exclaims, slamming his palms down on the table.

He recovers quickly, though, and before Jeongguk knows it he’s being shoved out of the side of the booth, a knee shoved into the side of his thigh and small, ring-smattered hands pushing at his arm. “I’ll lead. Don’t worry. It’ll be fun,” he says, eyes glittering.

Jeongguk is a little too drunk to protest and honestly the thought of dancing with Jimin is pleasant enough to make him not really care about embarrassing himself; he lets himself get dragged out of the booth and watches as Jimin stands, stretching his arms over his head and then wrapping his hand around Jeongguk’s wrist to lead him out to the troves of people dancing.

Jeongguk can’t help but sweep his eyes up and down Jimin’s frame as they walk— he hasn’t seen his full outfit because they’ve been sitting the whole time but he looks incredible, clad in skin-tight black pants hugging his thighs and disappearing into his signature shined black Chelsea boots. He’s wearing a thin white button up made in an expensive-looking material, draping elegantly off his shoulders with a low neckline that shows the high flush on his chest from the alcohol.

“Gorgeous,” Jeongguk mumbles under his breath, flexing his fingers against his palm.

“Did you say something?” Jimin calls over the noise of the club, tossing a look over his shoulder. His lips are parted and the berry lipstick he’d been wearing is nearly worn off from the drinking, staining his lips a pretty, bitten red. Jeongguk’s vision goes a little fuzzy.

“No,” he lies, pushing his hair off his forehead, a little damp from sweat.

They finally reach a spot on the floor that Jimin seems satisfied with, a place far from the bar and the main lights where it’s much darker and cramped than the rest of the bar. The smell of pheromones hangs heavy in the air and makes Jeongguk’s head spin, heightened by the alcohol— he can feel the blood rushing through his veins and his head throbs, vision wavering.

Maybe he’s a lot more drunk than he thought he was, but it’s clear Jimin is, too— he steps forward until their thighs are pressed together and winds his hands around Jeongguk’s neck, head lolling onto one shoulder as he starts to move to the music pounding around them.

It’s a lot more intimate than Jeongguk had thought it would be but his brain is nearly switched off at this point and he goes along with it automatically, too swept up in the atmosphere and in Jimin— he lets his hands drop to Jimin’s waist and pulls him closer, letting the smaller omega guide him in swaying his own hips along with the beat.

He swallows hard and he thinks Jimin can feel it based on how close they’re pressed together, chests to chest— they meet eyes and Jimin is smirking. He looks like a mess, the cap still pulled over his hair but a little off-center, messy tufts of blonde hair spilling out from around the edges. His makeup is faded off and smudged, the pretty facade from the photoshoot a wreck.

Jeongguk’s alpha claws its way to the surface, urges to take and to claim the pretty omega in front of him making his head spin— images of Jimin looking like that, squirming on the bed beneath him, biting his lips and dragging his fingers through mascara tear tracks and he groans Jeongguk’s name flare to the forefront of his mind.

Arousal floods down to his groin and heat pumps to his cheeks and chest. He can smell his spiced citrus scent grow sharper from it, thankful that the other mingled scents in the air of the club should hide it enough for Jimin to not notice.

Jimin’s body moves like a dream, all the years of dancing professionally on top of his already impressive dance background making everything he does sensual and effortless. It seems like every time he moves his hips he also presses their bodies closer together until they’re pressed chest to chest, suffocatingly close— a thin layer of sweat dampens the skin under Jeongguk’s clothes and he feels like he’s drowning as he often does when Jimin sweeps him away like this. It’s even worse tonight— Jimin is drunk, loose and pliant and inhibitions lowered. They’ve danced like this a couple of times before, on rare nights where they go out drinking without the prying eyes of company staff or paparazzi on them. But something about tonight feels different— the way Jimin is looking at him feels predatory, the movement of his hips more purposeful. He arches his back and Jeongguk’s hands slide a little further up his waist, pulling up the delicate fabric of his button-up to expose a flash of skin at his belt.

His senses are so dulled from alcohol and arousal he doesn’t even realize Jimin has leaned into his neck until his voice sounds directly in his ear.

“What’s gotten into you tonight?” Jimin asks, his voice all lilted and buttery, slurred from alcohol; chills burst from his hot breath against his ear and scatter down his neck and spine. “Too much to drink?”

Jeongguk clears his throat, tightening his grip ever-so-slightly on Jimin’s waist. He doesn’t miss the tiny puff of air that slips from Jimin’s lips when he does.

“Not enough,” Jeongguk replies. It comes out raspy; his throat is dry. “But I should be asking you that question instead.”

Jimin giggles, high and sweet, pressing himself impossibly closer— he shifts, pressing his thigh against Jeongguk’s zipper. The sudden pressure against his slowly fattening cock makes him suck air in through his teeth, and it’s then that he realizes how close Jimin’s scent gland is to his mouth and nose, tasting spring flowers on his tongue.

“I just wanted to have a little fun with my favorite makeup artist,” Jimin says playfully. He runs the pads of his fingers down the back of Jeongguk’s neck and then grazes his nails there. Jeongguk shakes, his cock hardening even more under Jimin’s touch.

He’s doing it on purpose.

“I’m your only makeup artist,” he says dumbly. Flirting when this overwhelmed and inebriated is clearly not his strong suit.

Jimin giggles again, twisting his hand into the hair at Jeongguk’s nape.

“My favorite alpha, then.” He corrects, darting out his tongue and sliding it across his lower lip. Jeongguk’s dulled eyes follow the movement, a smear of lipstick at the corner of his mouth catching his attention. His eyes linger there, thoughts trying to catch up to his racing heartbeat.

My favorite alpha.

My alpha , Jeongguk’s brain amends.

Without thinking, he slides one hand up the side of Jimin’s waist up to his chest— Jimin shivers, arching his back and letting his head loll to the side, exposing his scent gland— and then Jeongguk presses the side of his thumb to the smear of lipstick, wiping it away.

A devilish grin spreads over Jimin’s lips, then, and he turns his head to bring the tip of Jeongguk’s thumb to his bottom lip, staring up at him through thick, mascara-laden lashes.

There’s a beat where they just stare at each other, Jeongguk’s thumb on Jimin’s lip and one hand digging hard into his waist. Through his muddled thoughts he managed to gather that Jimin is hard, too, pressing his cock against Jeongguk’s zipper, heavy breaths ghosting over his finger every time he presses forward. Under the heavy smells of the other omegas in the club, Jeongguk can smell Jimin’s arousal, like a ripe peach.

Jeongguk has never wanted anything more in his entire life.

“If you feel like you didn’t have enough to drink then we could have more, if you want,” Jimin says coyly. Jeongguk can’t stop staring at his thumb, still pressed to Jimin’s lip, just enough that the very tip beneath his thumb can feel the wetness of his mouth. His cock throbs in his jeans. “I have a few bottles back at my place. You can have your pick of whatever you want. It’s much quieter there. We could… talk.”

Jeongguk’s heart pounds once, hard, in his chest. Jimin’s invitation is enough for him to come down slightly from his high just from the shock of it, from the implication of what exactly Jimin is saying. As many times as they’ve gotten handsy when too drunk on the dance floor at some random club, Jimin has never invited him back to his place except as a clearly platonic invitation to shower off the grime of the evening and crash on his couch with some spare pillows.

But this is different. It’s in his tone, in the way his fingers are sliding through his hair, in the way his scent is ripe and heavy like Jimin wants him to smell it. It’s in the intention.

Jeongguk takes a deep breath in a futile attempt to clear his head but all it does is cloud his judgment even more, pulling Jimin deeper into his senses. He knows this isn’t something he can just jump into, but the longer he waits the more Jimin seems to want him. His smell is everywhere , like the most fucking delicious and intoxicating thing he’s ever smelled in his life, like pure want, like everything he’s ever wanted since the second he laid eyes on him all those years ago.

“So?” Jimin asks when Jeongguk doesn’t immediately answer. He’s vaguely aware that the song playing has changed at least twice and the club is even darker, signaling it’s probably already nearing closing time. Jimin is needy under his hands, grinding up against Jeongguk like he can’t control himself. His palms slide from his broad shoulders down to his abdomen where he presses them flat and then grazes his nails over his dress shirt like he’s thinking about ripping it off of him. “Do you wanna get out of here or not?”

And when he grasps that one strand of clarity that says no, we shouldn’t, if we’re going to do this we should be sober and talk about it first all it takes it one look in Jimin’s eyes for him to realize he’s a fucking goner.

Running off pure instinct, he dips his head and presses their lips together.

Jimin gasps in surprise but it melts quickly into a groan— he instantly tilts his head and deepens the kiss, lips parting instantly to meet their tongues in the middle. It’s desperate from the start, slip licks and tongue and teeth and want. Jimin tastes the way he smells, floral and cinnamon, tinged with the sharp notes of liquor still on his tongue. He’s more pliant than Jeongguk would have thought, given how hardheaded and strong he normally is— Jimin shivers every time Jeongguk bites his lip or slides his tongue over the roof of his mouth, gasps against his lips whenever Jeongguk shifts his hips and grinds their cocks together. He groans when he thinks about how responsive Jimin would be while taking his cock, shivering under his hands every time he fucks into him.

Jeongguk hadn’t even realized they were walking backwards until his back slams into the wall and Jimin is practically crawling up onto him, grinding his cock on Jeongguk’s thigh with breathy moans mixed with wet, messy kisses that are more sliding their tongues together while open-mouthed panting than anything. Jeongguk is so hard it hurts, his cock throbs against his zipper and he already feels like he could come in his pants just from how overwhelming it is to have Jimin all over him like this. It’s torture, having such a beautiful, needy omega who smells so fucking good wanting to give himself over to him, mewling against his lips and scratching at his skin under the hem of his shirt with his nails, grinding on him like he needs his cock more than he needs to breathe.

Jimin tucks his head into the crook of Jeongguk’s neck and mouths over the skin, leaving a sticky, wet trail in his wake— he shoves one hand further up his shirt and flicks his nipple with his nails, making Jeongguk gasp and throw his head back until is cracks against the concrete wall. On any normal day it would probably hurt but he doesn’t even feel it, too keyed up and high on the adrenaline of the alcohol, the club, and Jimin.

“Want you so bad,” Jimin breathes, almost a whine, laying his hot palm flat against Jeongguk’s muscles. He flexes his fingers, eyes fluttering shut when he does. “Fuck, you’re so toned, bet you can fold me up and throw me around however you want.”

“Yeah, you like that?” Jeongguk growls, wrapping his hand around Jimin’s jaw and pulling him back up to his mouth to kiss him again, making Jimin mewl against his lips. He’s practically riding Jeongguk’s thigh, now, panting like he already wants to come, so desperate for a cock that Jeongguk’s alpha practically wants to tear himself out of his own skin to please him. “Want me to pick you up and fuck you against the wall? Bet I could hold you there with one hand, you’re such a dainty little thing.”

Jimin’s eyes roll back into his head and he moans, digging his nails so hard into Jeongguk’s skin they might draw blood. “Alpha,” he breathes. “Take me home.”

All the air is sucked from the room at that— Jeongguk is so hard he feels like his zipper might pop, and the intensity of everything happening right now presses in on him in every direction until he feels suffocated. The pheromones, the club, the low lights, everything mixes together with Jimin and the alcohol blurring his senses in a sickening cocktail. His alpha is seconds away from taking over, shaking beneath the surface of his psyche, and it takes every single shred of his willpower to not push Jimin into the wall and fuck him right in the middle of the club while everyone watches.

Jimin would probably love that.

“Fuck— okay. Let’s go to my place. It’s closer.”

Jeongguk wakes in the morning with his head pounding and sweat-drenched sheets wrapped around his legs.

The bright morning sun hits red against the back of his eyelids and he winces, pulling the sheets up to his face to hide them from the light. He usually closes his blackout curtains before he goes to bed but he must have been too drunk last night to remember to do it before going to sleep.

He groans, turning his face into the pillow. He feels like someone is taking a blunt metal object to the back of his skull and his mouth is so dry his throat feels like sandpaper.

He tries to remember what day it is— does he have a job today? No, he did Jimin’s makeup for the big magazine interview yesterday, which means today he can do whatever he—


Panicked, Jeongguk flips over in bed, wincing when his head pounds in protest at the sudden movement. He sits up, scanning his room in a panic, last night’s memories flooding back to him. The other side of his bed is empty, Jimin nowhere to be found, but now that Jeongguk’s sleep-induced haziness is fading away, flashes of last night keep popping up in his memory, heightened by the soft floral and cinnamon scent of Jimin still clinging on his sheets.

“Fuck me harder, alpha,” Jimin had growled, hands wrapped around the iron headboard, back arched as he fucked himself back on Jeongguk’s cock. Bright red handprints on his ass and hickeys trailing down his thighs with slick dripping down them and pooling into the bedsheets— Jeongguk fucking into him hard and fast, Jimin taunting that he wants more, wants Jeongguk to knot him, to stretch him so full it hurts.

Jeongguk’s cheeks flush hot red and he scrubs his hand up and down his face, still sticky from last night’s sweat and who knows what else. It’s all a blur, but he remembers how good it felt to have Jimin shaking and moaning underneath him, simultaneously begging for Jeongguk’s cock but also taking control at the same time.

If it wasn’t a dream— which Jeongguk isn’t convinced of— it was the best fucking sex he has ever had and could ever dream of having in his life.

Which puts him in an even bigger dilemma than he was in before. It was enough when he was in love with Jimin and thought he was the most beautiful being in existence, but if they also have sexual compatibility then he isn’t sure if he can physically even handle being around him anymore.

So basically, life sucks.

He forces himself out of bed and pulls on a pair of sweats, cringing at the stickiness on his thighs. He’s desperate for a shower but wants to find Jimin first, feeling bad about sleeping in so much later than him and not giving him a proper breakfast after bringing him back to his place last night.

But when he opens the door to the living room and scans it, Jimin is nowhere to be found.

He cringes at his roommate’s pile of dishes in the sink, embarrassed that he even let Jimin come over in this state, but then again Jimin knows all about his trainwreck of a roommate and he was probably too drunk last night to care or notice it, so he supposes it doesn’t matter. But he makes a mental note to spend the day cleaning his place.

“Jimin?” Jeongguk calls out tentatively, as if he’s hiding behind a door or something, but he knows he must have left already. Based on the sun beating through the window it must be at least noon, so he probably left already to attend a schedule or something for his new song release, and Jeongguk can’t blame him for leaving in a rush.

He pads back into his bedroom to find his phone— it takes him a second to find his pants, which are still belted and crumpled on the floor next to the bed.

“You wanna suck my cock, baby?” Jeongguk had said, fisting Jimin’s hair as he’d dropped to his knees. Jimin pawed hungrily at his belt, not even bothering to unloop it before pushing his pants down to his knees, cock flushed red and throbbing from all the teasing. Jimin had looked at it in awe, room filling with the scent of his arousal, spiced cinnamon making Jeongguk dizzy as he wrapped his hand around it. His hand was too small to even fit all the way around it— the sight of a drunk, glassy eyed Jimin on his knees with his lips inches away from his cock made it jump in his hand, literally something out of his wildest fucking fantasies.

“Fuck,” Jeongguk says out loud, feeling his cock stir in his pants every time a memory of last night flashes back to him. His entire room stinks of his and Jimin’s mixed scents, and there’s puddles of unknown fluids splattered all over the unslept in side of his bed— he knows he needs to wash everything and get his place cleaned up but his alpha is still reluctant to remove traces of his omega being in his bed last night.

He winces at his own thoughts. Not his omega. Jimin.

Scrolling through his phone he finds that Jimin hasn’t texted him letting him know where he was going, but it’s no big deal. He figures he’ll hear from him after his schedules— he’s a busy man.

Hours after Jeongguk has finished cleaning up his place and has taken a long, hot shower, he sits on the floor of the living room and shovels takeout into his mouth, thinking of the events of last night.

And he feels— happy.

Over all the years he spent pining over Jimin, he never let himself get too consumed because he knew the chances of Jimin not liking him back were slim to none. But after last night, a little piece of him lets himself think that maybe it could happen. That maybe Jimin wants him just as bad as he does, like maybe Jimin has been suppressing feelings for him, too. He thinks back to how needy he’d been, begging for Jeongguk’s cock, ordering him to fuck him harder, faster; how he’d told Jeongguk his cock was the biggest he’d ever seen, how he felt perfect inside of him, how no one would ever be able to fuck him like he did.

He checks his phone for what feels like the hundredth time that day, but Jimin still hasn’t texted him.

The day passes, then two, then three, and Jimin doesn’t text Jeongguk, nor does he get any texts about needing to do Jimin’s makeup for any schedules. Any excitement Jeongguk had about the night they spent together starts to wane replaced with nerves and sadness. Had Jimin regretted it? Did he not want anything to do with Jeongguk? Had he come on too strong and take advantage of him? Questions race through his mind as he waits for any kind of signal that something is wrong or right or just okay.

Then finally, on the evening of the third day, when Jimin already has a regular schedule the next day— a press conference for his new single, something planned quite in advance— Jeongguk gets a forwarded company email.

here’s the shoot 4 jimin’s last appearance. every1 who worked on it pls check it out. good job team

He rolls his eyes at Mijun’s poor grammar— Jimin’s assistant, while brilliant and excellent at her job, has never really been great at proper business communication.

He scrolls to the cover. It’s an e-magazine, and a copy had been sent to the team for free to show the work that had gone into the issue. Jeongguk is always happy to check out the photos to see how well his makeup was photographed (and how stunning Jimin looks, of course, though right now seeing his face stings a little bit).

Staring back at him are the same narrow, smoky eyes adorned with the makeup Jeongguk had applied to him that morning, the same makeup Jimin had been wearing when he fucked him later that night, skin shimmering with sweat and eyeliner smudged down onto his temples.

He feels sick to his stomach.

But just as he’s about to close the app, not wanting to look at any more pictures before he can sort out his feelings and talk to Jimin about it one-on-one, a little snippet of text in the bottom corner near Jimin’s jawline catches his eye.

Park Jimin talks alphas— who’s the mystery man spicing up his life?

Jeongguk blinks at it, heart sinking into his stomach. It’s probably nothing— just magazine drivel. After all, he and Jimin are friends, and Jimin had never mentioned seeing another alpha.

With shaky hands, he swipes to the article, feeling nauseous. He shouldn’t feel as stressed or sick about this as he should, knowing it’s probably nothing, knowing he should probably avoid looking at gossip in magazines until he gets a chance to talk to Jimin himself about what’s going on between them, but the text combined with Jeongguk’s already insecure feelings after being effectively ghosted by Jimin after they had sex have him unable to think about things rationally.

“Why the fuck did you publish this?” Jimin asks, slamming his phone down on the table in front of him. Mijun, his manager, stares back at him with folded hands and a blank face.

“I told you,” she starts after a few seconds of silence. “Being in a relationship with Minsoo is good press for your single. You don’t have to pretend to date him for long, just temporarily to increase the hype of your new song together. After it peaks on the charts you can announce that you broke it off and it was just a fling. No big deal.”

Jimin taps his boot against the floor, heart racing and skin hot with rage. “I told you I wouldn’t do it. I don’t need to pretend to date someone to sell songs. You say it yourself all the time, I’m the most popular idol in the country. I don’t need to use him to chart. If anything, he needs me, and I didn’t agree to anything like this.”

It doesn’t help that Minsoo had been nothing but nasty to him while they were recording together. He was so full of himself, acting as if he was above Jimin and doing him a favor by even being in his presence, which is laughable considering Jimin’s fame laps his at least twenty times. But the difference is that Jimin knows what it’s like to work for what he has rather than having his agency hand everything to him on a silver platter, something the other singer hasn’t had to do for a second in his life. He has a feeling Minsoo’s agency must have made some sort of deal with his own to get this rumor going, and the fact that he wasn’t consulted about him at all is a huge betrayal of trust.

The idea of having to date him, even fake, makes bile rise in Jimin’s throat.

“Jimin-ssi, we really aren’t budging with this,” Mijun says with a sigh, pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose. “I’m sorry, but it’s already been published in the article. There’s a press conference later tonight for you to respond to the rumors about your relationship. Your in-house stylists will be arriving shortly to get you ready.”

Jimin’s heart drops into his stomach like a brick of hot lead when he says the word stylists .

Jeongguk. Fucking Jeongguk. It’s almost guaranteed that he’s seen the article already, and his omega wants to curl up and sob at the thought of him thinking he’s taken by another alpha.

“Absolutely fucking not,” Jimin says, folding his arms over his chest and tucking his hands under his armpits to stop them from shaking. “Issue a retraction.”

Mijun sighs. “You know we can’t do that. We made a deal with that magazine to give them an exclusive story— we’ll burn so many bridges if we humiliate them.”

“So you care about humiliating them and not humiliating me? ” Jimin asks incredulously. “Are you kidding? After everything I’ve worked for with this company you’re removing my free will and telling me to sit here and pretend to be dating some—” Jimin coughs. “Alpha who isn’t even polite enough to stop his stink from making me feel like I’m going to throw up the whole time we’re recording together? Tell him to wear some fucking scent suppressors for one time in his life and maybe he can find a real omega instead of having to pretend he’s dating someone else.”

Mijun clicks her tongue. “If you’re done ranting, Jimin-ssi, you really do need to get ready.”

Jimin snarls, whipping around just as she starts to get up from her chair. He refuses to let them leave first.

He’ll fix this himself if he has to.

Going straight to Jeongguk after his big fight with his management team probably isn’t the brightest idea Jimin has ever had, but as they say hindsight is 20/20, and Jimin is so frustrated he forgets to take into account that Jeongguk is probably very, very pissed at him for walking out of his place without saying anything after they hooked up and then effectively ghosting him for three days.

The realization doesn’t hit him until he slams the door open to Jeongguk’s little studio, instantly relaxing when he sees the way everything is in its place— the bluetooth speaker playing soft music in the corner, the soft running tap of brushes being cleaned, the sweet-and-spicy orange of Jeongguk’s familiar scent. He drinks in a deep breath and his omega purrs at being near the alpha, instantly calming down when he lays his eyes on his broad back, turned to him as he works on cleaning the sponges.

But something is wrong— there’s a hint of distress in Jeongguk’s scent that’s hard to pick out, and Jimin feels hot with shame when he smells it, knowing he’s definitely the cause.

“Jeongguk?” Jimin asks tentatively, stepping into the studio. His boots are always far too loud against the shined hardwood. “Hey.”

Jeongguk grunts in response, continuing to wash the brushes without any further acknowledgment. Jimin’s stomach twists into knots. He needs to have a serious talk with him first, something he should have done days ago. He’d rushed out of Jeongguk’s place that morning upon hearing about the article that was going to be published and had been so distracted with trying to get it retracted before Jeongguk was able to see what he’d let what happened between them fall to the wayside.

“Are you free to talk right now?” Jimin slips all the way into the room, pulling the door shut behind him until it closes with a soft click . He almost never shuts the door completely when the two of them are alone, and the action is enough to make Jeongguk turn around in surprise.

The look on Jeongguk’s face breaks Jimin’s heart; he knows for sure now that he must have seen the news. And if Jimin was never sure how Jeongguk feels about him he definitely realizes it now, the way his hair is all messy and disheveled like he’s been anxiously running his hands through it and how his eyes are ringed red like he’s been crying.

“Can I say something first?” Jeongguk says, lifting his makeup kit from the counter behind him and setting it down on the table next to the salon chair that Jimin always sits in to get his makeup done. “Sit, I should work on your makeup while we talk. You have that conference in an hour.”

Jimin swallows. He definitely knows.

“Yeah— yeah, of course. You can say whatever you need to.” Jimin shuffles across the floor, edging around the corner of the room like he’s trying to give Jeongguk as much space as possible. “But before you do I just want to say I’m sorry.”

Jeongguk laughs. It’s a little bitter and tugs at Jimin’s heartstrings.

“You don’t have to say sorry to me,” Jeongguk says. “I just wish I had known you were dating someone else before we did… what we did.”

Jimin opens his mouth to correct him, but Jeongguk keeps talking before he can.

“I mean, I should have known you regretted it. It’s kind of pathetic of me, because I thought maybe that night meant something, you know? I just wish you would have told me it was a drunken mistake so I didn’t have to spend the next three days of radio silence realizing how much of an idiot I was.”

Jimin curls his hands into the hem of his t-shirt, cheeks hot with shame and guilt.

“Jeongguk— please, can I say something?”

“Just let me get it out.” Jeongguk shakes his head, dabbing a bit of primer on the back of his hand. It’s shaking. “I understand that the way I’ve felt about you all this time is inappropriate and that it was a mistake for us to hook up under the circumstances of the company and our contract, and for that I’m sorry. Which is why I’m going to put in my two weeks. I think it’s better if we don’t see each other again, in a personal or a work-related context.”

Jeongguk’s scent is overwhelmingly sour; it makes Jimin’s eyes water with how intense it is, like the oranges have turned rotten. The way Jeongguk is talking to him like a corporate robot to mask his hurt, hurt that Jimin caused, is overwhelming. He hates it. He hates it because he knows it’s his fault, that he should have told Jeongguk exactly what was going on from the beginning instead of leaving him in the dark and letting him believe he doesn’t care about him.

“Jeongguk, hey, look at me,” Jimin says, his words coming out soft. He can see the beginnings of tears welling in Jeongguk’s eyes. His head is hanging down, eyes focused on the primer still dotted on the back of his hand. “First of all, I know I said this already— but I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry.”

Jeongguk nods.

“Second of all—” Jimin continues, taking a deep breath. “I feel the same way you do— about me. I like you, too.” He laughs nervously. “I have for at least a year. I don’t know how you didn’t notice, but I guess I’m just oblivious because I had no idea you felt the same way and I was afraid of coming on too strong because we work together and I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable. That was like a sexual harassment case waiting to happen.”

Jeongguk’s  lips twitch up in a little smile at the joke, grip around the pink sponge loosening. “So you’re not dating that Minsoo guy?”

“God, no, he’s such an asshole,” Jimin says, wrinkling his nose. “And I’ve been such a jerk to you— I’m so sorry. I was really drunk that night and disappearing afterward was really horrible of me and must have made you so sad. I’m angry at myself for even letting it happen. But I heard about the news and I— I didn’t want you to see it, so I freaked out and was trying to get it retracted as soon as possible. But by trying not to hurt you I hurt you even more than I needed to.”

Jeongguk’s laughs. “You know you could have just told me that it isn’t true? That would have cleared everything up.”

Jimin swallows. His throat feels thick. “But if I did that… I would have had to admit my feelings for you and… and the thought of it was too scary. I panicked. I’m so sorry.” Jimin’s heart pounds from the adrenaline of the confession, but the sweet change of Jeongguk’s scent spurs him on to keep speaking his mind. “God, I really hope I’m not misreading what you said and confessing for no reason because then I’ll just feel like an idiot, and I—”

Before Jimin can even register what’s happening, Jeongguk is leaning into his space and their lips crash together.

Jimin is shocked at first but he quickly melts into it— Jeongguk feels so soft and warm and comforting around him, arms sliding to each other’s waists and lips moving together, tender yet desperate at the same time. It’s so much different than the messy, heated kisses they’d shared the night they hooked up, laced with so much more meaning that it makes Jimin’s heart physically hurt in his chest.

“I’ve wanted to kiss you for real since the first time I laid eyes on you,” Jeongguk whispers against Jimin’s lips when they part. His breath smells like sweet peppermint and Jimin can’t get enough of it, wants to kiss Jeongguk until he runs out of air in his lungs— he glances up to look him in the eyes and sees a softness in them he’s never seen before, the spiced orange of his scent bleeding into the air around him, more citrus and less spice than usual.

“So you forgive me?”

Jeongguk’s fingers slide to his neck, carding through his hair comfortingly. “Of course I forgive you,” Jeongguk says. “What are you going to do about the announcement, though? I was on twitter earlier and your name is trending worldwide with Minsoo’s and has been for hours. A bunch of your stans are already making— ship names, or whatever they are.”

“I don’t know,” Jimin groans. “I’m happy you know the truth, but it makes me angry that I’m going to be romantically connected to him forever, even if we do—” Jimin makes quotation sins with his fingers— “break up. I’ll still be Lee Minsoo’s ex forever. Ugh, I hate that.”

Jeongguk shrugs. “I mean you could… tell them yourself?”

Jimin laughs. “How am I supposed to do that?”

Jeongguk shrugs again. “I don’t know. Just— tell them. They can’t stop you from outright denying it, right? What are they gonna do? Drop you from their label? They’d go bankrupt. What even is this company without you? Are they gonna make me an idol? Or the janitor?”

Jimin blinks, focusing on a spot on the wall behind Jeongguk. With the alpha’s arms around him his thoughts are clearer than they’ve been in days, and then the gears start turning.

“Just… tell them?”

Jeongguk nods, wrapping his arms tighter around Jimin’s waist. His breath tickles his skin when he buries his nose in his neck and he giggles, trying to push him away because all the alpha pheromones are making him a little dizzy. “Exactly.”

“Jeongguk-ssi, I’m trying to concentrate and you’re proving to be very distracting.”

“Don’t wanna let you go,” Jeongguk mumbles into his neck. “Wanted to do this for so long.”

“Hey, I have an idea,” Jimin says. His voice is full of enough mischief that it makes Jeongguk pull back to look him in the eyes. “Wanna go to my apartment?”

Jeongguk scoffs, but his eyes are dancing and playful. “Already trying to get me into bed again?”

Jimin raises his eyebrows. “Maybe. But that’s not my point. I’m just— not gonna go to the press conference.”

Jimin, so used to everyone telling him what to do his entire adult life, half expects Jeongguk to chastise him and tell him he’s being ridiculous, to just sit down and shut up and get his makeup done so he can look pretty and tell the press exactly what they want to hear like a good boy.

But instead— refreshingly, Jeongguk laughs.

“Yeah, okay,” he says, reaching around his back to untie his apron and tossing it onto the far table under the mirror. “An entire afternoon with Park Jimin? Sign me the fuck up.”

An afternoon with Park Jimin could be more accurately described as an afternoon with Park Jimin on top of him.

“This is so nice,” Jimin murmurs against his lips for at least the hundredth time, elbows resting on his shoulders and legs straddling his thighs, knees pushing gently into his waist. They’re cuddled up on the sofa in Jimin’s huge luxury apartment, plush blankets around them and no noise in the room except the soft hum of humidifier and the wet sounds of them making out, which they’ve been at for at least forty-five minutes. “I wanna stay here forever.”

“Mm, I don’t think we can do that,” Jeongguk replies, but even as he does he pulls Jimin down by the neck to steal another kiss, then two, then three— he honestly feels like he’s in some kind of dream world, like he’s floating on a cloud, having Jimin straddling his lap and whispering sweet affections against his lips like he’s never let himself dream of before. “But I wish.”

“Let’s just pretend like we can, then,” Jimin says, curling his fingers under Jeongguk’s chin and tipping his head up so they can kiss again. Jeongguk stares back at him, watching as Jimin runs his fingers down the side of his temple, down the line of his jaw, admiring the slope of his neck and then finally letting his fingers dance over his scent gland. It makes Jeongguk shiver, heat pooling deep into his groin when Jimin looks back at him again, honey dripping from his eyes. “At least for now.”

When they kiss again it’s still soft but a little bit more heated, more purposeful; Jimin sinks his knees into the couch so he can pull up on his knees arching his back and making his t-shirt brush up over his hips and expose the skin above his waistband, which Jeongguk immediately slides his hands to. It’s warm and soft, and he can’t help but run his palms up and down Jimin’s waist, savoring the little gasps Jimin puffs from his kiss-stained lips every time he does. The new shift in position makes it so the swell of Jimin’s ass sits directly on Jeongguk’s cock and the new pressure has his blood rushing a little faster in his veins.

The kiss deepens— Jimin licks languidly into Jeongguk’s mouth, moving the hips gently together. It’s not much, subtle and teasing like they’re feeling each other out, but it’s enough to bring Jeongguk nearly to full hardness, pressed hot right between his cheeks through the thin material of their sweatpants. The fabric makes it easy to feel every little slide and twitch, both of them all too aware of each other’s arousal.

Jimin pulls back from the kiss and drags his teeth over Jeongguk’s lower lip, fluttering his eyelashes.

“What do you wanna do, baby?” Jeongguk asks, dragging his nails back down to Jimin’s waistband and letting his hands settle there, smoothing soft circles into his skin with the pads of his thumbs. He lets his fingers duck under the elastic, heavy with implication but not wanting to pressure Jimin into doing anything he isn’t ready for just yet.  Jimin squirms just enough to press his hard cock just below Jeongguk’s belly button. He can already smell the omega’s arousal, the heavy floral scent of his slick starting to pool.

Jimin seems a little nervous, biting his lip; it’s not often that Jeongguk sees him like this, seeing as how the omega is always so blunt and confident in his everyday life. He remembers from their hazy hookup that Jimin liked when he took control during sex, had liked feeling small and powerless and had begged Jeongguk to use his body however he pleased.

“I— I want to…” Jimin trails off, chewing on his lower lip. The mascara he’d been wearing is smeared and messy and something about it makes Jeongguk’s cock throb. “I want to remember what the other night was like. God, I’ve wanted you so bad for so long and everything we did was so hazy but all I’ve been able to think about for three days was how good you felt inside of me.” Jimin squirms a little bit and Jeongguk groans when he feels a damp patch from Jimin’s slick dampening the front of his sweatpants through both of their layers, wetting his cock through the fabric.

“Fuck, Jimin,” Jeongguk growls, his alpha shivering in anticipation— he digs his nails into Jimin’s waist and instantly pulls up on his knees, picking Jimin up to flip them over the couch so Jeongguk is on top between Jimin’s legs, rearranging him on the couch so he’s proppd up on the edge. “You want me to fuck you? Is that it?”

Jimin groans, letting his head loll back and he lets his arms fall loosely onto the side of the couch above his head, wrists together, looking down at Jeongguk with half-lidded eyes.

“What are you gonna do, alpha?” Jimin says, his voice a little faraway and hazy. “Are you gonna fuck me already? Right here, right now? Gonna bend me over the couch and knot me with your hands around my throat?”

Jeongguk’s cock throbs at the filth spilling from Jimin’s mouth, grinding down to slide their cocks together. Jimin mewls, arching his back to chase more friction, keeping his wrists together above his head in an act of complete submission. His omega wants Jeongguk to take him however he wants.

And as tempting as it sounds to just pull Jimin’s sweats down and fuck him stupid right here and now, there’s something else Jeongguk has been fucking dying to do for as long as he can remember— he slides down between Jimin’s legs and wraps his hands around his waistband, pulling his sweats all the way down to his feet and clean off, tossing them aside.

Although he doesn’t remember much from the night they hooked up he does remember this, and yet seeing Jimin spread out and naked in front of him is so much better when he’s stone-cold sober. Jimin looks like a fucking wet dream, his skin all tanned and flawless, legs strong and thick with muscle from dancing. His cock is short and fat, messy with precum, his inner thighs already dripping wet from his slick.

“‘M gonna eat you out until you come on my tongue,” Jeongguk says, pushing his hands underneath Jimin’s knees and pressing them nearly up to his chest, mouth filling with saliva when he gets a good look at the omega’s thick ass and pretty pink hole. “And then as soon as you come I’m gonna fuck you until I knot. How does that sound, baby?”

Jimin moans, pushing his head further back into the armrest and struggling against Jeongguk’s grip on his knees to try to push his ass up to present himself to Jeongguk even more. “P-please, alpha,” he gasps. “Fuck, that sounds so good.

The first time Jeongguk curls his tongue against Jimin’s rim it’s like he’s touched him with a live wire— Jimin straight up gasps, his whole body shaking in a mini convulsion. He cries out, hands flying down to grip in Jeongguk’s hair, forcing his tongue deeper into his hole. He’s just as needy as Jeongguk remembers, gasping and mewling so prettily, the noises shooting straight to his cock. His enthusiasm spurs Jeongguk on to spread his legs wider with his hands, giving himself full access to bury his head between the omega’s legs and lap his tongue over his pretty holy, chasing the warm, wet slick inside. He tastes how he smells, like hyacinth and lavender,  so fucking sweet Jeongguk thinks he could drink Jimin’s slick as a fucking meal if he was allowed.

“J-Jeongguk,” Jimin whines, throwing his head back against the couch, fingers gripping at Jeongguk’s hair until it’s almost painful. “F-fuck, please, keep going.”

The deeper Jeongguk works his tongue, the more Jimin desperate Jimin gets. His heady moans echo off the walls of his huge, empty apartment, loud and desperate; his knees lock around his head and he shivers and shakes, working his hips down against Jeongguk’s mouth as he desperately chases his release on Jeongguk’s tongue. Jeongguk has to strain his muscles to keep Jimin’s legs apart every time he tries to squeeze his head with his knees, and the feeling of being manhandled just makes Jimin even more desperate until his hands are scrambling against the couch as he tries to push himself down on Jeongguk’s tongue.

“‘S too much.” Jimin sounds like he’s nearly going to cry, nails digging so hard into the couch Jeongguk wouldn’t be surprised if he tore a hole in it. Jeongguk is so fucking hard from how worked up Jimin is and the taste of him, thinks he could just pleasure Jimin all day and never get tired of it— he grinds his cock against the couch, desperately chasing friction as he fucks Jimin with his tongue, pushing a thumb in his hole beside it to massage his prostate as he does.

Jimin is so messy, dripping slick all down Jeongguk’s chin and wetting his thighs, cumulating into a puddle on the couch below him. He’s the wettest omega he’s ever seen— Jeongguk pushes his thumb inside his hole as he eats him out and every time he presses it deeper a gush of slick floods into his mouth.

“P-please,” Jimin gasps. “So— so close, Jeongguk. Already gonna come, wanna come on your mouth.”

The second Jeongguk lets go of Jimin’s other thigh to wrap his hand around his cock Jimin’s thighs clamp around his head, squeezing like he wants to crush his skull. He strokes him one, two, three times, and Jimin is almost instantly coming with a squeal that sounds like it was supposed to be Jeongguk’s name but comes out as more of a sob instead. His hole clenches around Jeongguk’s tongue and a whole mess of slick gushes out when he comes, filling his mouth down his throat. Jeongguk swallows until he’s milked clean, holding some of it in his mouth, and the second Jimin is done coming down from his orgasm his hands are scrambling against Jeongguk’s shoulders trying to pull him back up to his level.

“Empty,” Jimin pants. “Fuck me now, want you, need you, please knot me, please, I’m so fucking wet for you alpha, need you inside—”

Jeongguk pushes up on his knees, desperate to fuck Jimin while he’s still coming down from his orgasm— he scoops some of the slick from Jimin’s thighs and uses it to slick himself up and then he’s on top of Jimin and pushing inside in one motion, stretching him full.

Jimin full on sobs in pleasure when Jeongguk’s cock finally enters him, squeezing his eyes shut— he arches his back so much he pushes himself full off the couch, smearing his desperate hands through the release and slick mixed together on his belly.

Jeongguk dips his head down to Jimin’s mouth to kiss him, releasing the slick still in his mouth and dripping it between Jimin’s lips. Jimin moans, taking every drop of his own slick and swallowing it all, darting out his tongue to lick every last drop of it clean from Jeongguk’s lips.

“That’s so hot,” Jimin gasps, licking Jeongguk’s chin and jawline like he can’t get enough of how he tastes.

“You’re so fucking good for me, so fucking perfect,” Jeongguk gasps, digging his fingers into Jimin’s thighs so hard it might bruise. “I’m gonna fuck you like no one’s ever fucked you before, gonna fuck you like I’m gonna mate you.”

Jimin squeals, frantic. “Y-yes. P-please.” He sets his cum-slicked hands on Jeongguk’s shoulders, scrambling against his sweat-damp skin. “Do anything you want to me, mate me, breed me, you’re so fucking big it almost hurts Jeongguk, please don’t stop—”

“So fucking beautiful,” Jeongguk gasps, so far gone he doesn’t even know what he’s saying. “Perfect, fucking beautiful, so pretty you deserve to get fucked until you forget your own name.”

“Oh yeah?” Jimin pants. Jeongguk wraps his hands around his ankles and rearranges Jimin’s legs until his legs are hooked over Jeongguk’s shoulders so he can fuck deeper inside of him. “D-do it then,” he pants, biting his lip to choke back a moan. “Fuck me til I cry .”

Jeongguk growls, pulling back on his heels to fuck Jimin at a deeper angle. Jimin chokes around a sob, pulling his hand back to his mouth to bite it in pleasure. His hole clenches around Jeongguk’s cock, so tight and wet and warm, slick gushing out of his hole every time he fucks into him.

Without warning he pulls out and Jimin gasps, scrambling against the couch to try to push himself back onto Jeongguk’s cock between pleas of alpha, need your cock, feel so empty— but his protests are quickly dampened when Jeongguk flips him over and pushes him down into the couch by his lower back, sliding his cock back between his cheeks and pushing back into him in one swift motion.

“Yes, alpha,” Jimin babbles. “Just l-like that, right there—”

Jeongguk smacks Jimin across the ass once, twice. Jimin yelps in pleasure, heat blooming from the bright red mark on his ass that mirrors the ones Jeongguk had left there just a few nights ago.

“I’m gonna mark your perfect little body up,” Jeongguk growls, fucking into Jimin at a brutal, relentless pace. “Wanna show everyone you’re my omega, gonna show them I’m gonna mate you some day.”

“W-wanna feel you every time I try to walk tomorrow,” Jimin gasps. “Want you to knot me, Jeongguk, please —”

Jeongguk can feel his knot already starting to swell at the base of his cock and he knows Jimin can feel it, too, the way his rim is stretching more and more around it every time he fucks in and out of him. He wants to keep fucking Jimin but his instincts telling him to breed his pretty, needy omega are too intense he doen’t know if he can hold out much longer. He fucks deep into Jimin, hardly pulling out between thrusts, rubbing the early swell of his knot against Jimin’s abused, puffy rim until he’s nearly sobbing from it.

“You’re so fucking wet,” Jeongguk says, babbling to keep his mind off his nearing orgasm, wanting to fuck Jimin for as long as he can. “Is there any part of you that isn’t perfect, baby?”

Jimin mewls at the nickname, pushing up on his elbows and exposing his neck. “Would be prettier if you’d mark me,” he says, hazy. “Want alpha’s marks all over me, want alpha to show everyone I’m all yours.”

Jeongguk knows he shouldn’t leave any visible marks but his alpha is calling the shots the closer he comes to knotting— he growls, wrapping one hand around Jimin’s throat from behind and ducking his head to suck a deep purple bruise right next to Jimin’s scent gland, right next to where he’d bite if he were to mate him.

“Just like that!” Jimin cries out. He struggles against Jeongguk’s hand around his throat but when Jeongguk loosens his grip Jimin whines, shaking his head. “N-no, want more, choke me harder— just like that, alpha, you fuck me so good. Wanna come again but don’t want to without your knot in me, please, your omega needs you—”

“My omega,” Jeongguk growls, smearing his tongue over Jimin’s scent gland, tasting hyacinth on his tongue. His neck is drenched with Jeongguk’s saliva and the smattering of bruises on his skin like a constellation. “Such a good little omega, perfect omega. Are you gonna come for me? Are you gonna come for your alpha when I give you my knot?” 

“Yes,” Jimin says around a sob. “G-gonna come on alpha’s knot.”

Jeongguk thrusts a few more times, savoring the way Jimin shakes and shivers beneath him, and then the heat pooling in his belly snaps and he comes, knot swelling full of his release. Jimin cries out in a mix of pleasure bitten with the pain of the stretch, tears pricking at his eyelids as he takes Jeongguk’s knot like he was made for it. They’re both babbling, hands scrambling against sweat-slicked skin as they come together, high pitched whines mixed with low growls and come splattering onto the couch below.

When Jeongguk comes down from his orgasm his teeth are sunk into Jimin’s neck just centimeters from his scent gland, tasting iron on his tongue. Jimin winces when he pulls his teeth out of the shallow bite, apologizing by licking at the crimson droplets of blood and nuzzling gently against his neck, admiring how pretty the dark purple bruises he’d left look on his skin.

They both shift and Jimin winces when another wave of Jeongguk’s release floods into him from his knot. Jeongguk pulls back and twists Jimin around to help rearrange him so they can lay on the couch on their sides, Jeongguk comfortably spooning Jimin until his knot goes down and they can comfortably go clean themselves up.

“That was amazing,” Jimin sighs, his voice finally not as cloudy as it was before. “Even better than I thought it could be. God.”

“You’re so perfect,” Jeongguk whispers, nuzzling his nose into Jimin’s scent gland until he can hardly even smell Jimin’s own scent over his own. He wants Jimin to smell like his omega, the marks aren’t enough, he needs to smell like him too.

“Someone’s territorial,” Jimin says with a giggle, though Jeongguk can tell how happy and calm the scenting has made him. “And shut up, you know what I mean. I wanted this… sober. Not just a drunk hookup at a bar.” He wrinkles his nose. “I shouldn’t have let any of that happen. I was drunk and stupid and almost completely fucked everything up. I’m still really sorry.”

Jeongguk shakes his head, wrapping his arms around Jimin’s waist. “You have nothing to be sorry for, baby. You couldn’t mess anything up even if you tried.”

“That’s a complete lie,” Jimin says, laughing. “I actually really did fuck up. If I had let you go it would have been such a huge mistake. I mean look at us, we've been dancing around our feelings for god only knows how long and when we finally did something about it the first thing I did was focus on the complete wrong problem instead of just talking to you like a rational human being.”

Jimin’s voice is tinged with sadness, and it makes Jeongguk’s heart feel heavy. Jimin is always so strong, confident, and put together, but Jeongguk knows that he’s so used to having everything he’s supposed to do and say spelled out for him that it might be hard for him to deal with things on his own sometimes.

“Do you feel guilty about not going to the press conference?”

“Yeah,” Jimin admits, gasping when Jeongguk’s come floods into him again. “But I also feel sort of— giddy? I’ve never stood up to them before. I guess before I wasn’t able to, but like you said, what are they going to do if I don’t? At the very worst they could cut me from the agency and then I could have my pick of any one I want.” Jimin hums. “I wasn’t able to do that when I was a small artist, but I was still letting them push me around like I was a nobody.”

“It’s not your fault. It’s just the way these companies work.” Jeongguk cards his hand through Jimin’s hair. “But whatever decision you make, I’ll be here for you every step of the way.”

“Mm,” Jimin says, closing his eyes as Jeongguk continues to stroke his hair. The room falls mostly silent except for their breaths and their shifting as they wait for Jeongguk’s knot to come down.

Jeongguk actually thinks Jimin has drifted off after a particularly long stretch of silence when his eyes suddenly fly open and he whips his head around, alert.

“Is everything okay?” Jeongguk asks, worrying that maybe he’d hurt him by accident.

“No, no, everything is great, I just… I had an idea.” He turns back around and leans over the side of the couch to fish for his discarded sweatpants— Jeongguk has to move with him, seeing as how they’re still attached, and he makes sure to hold on to Jimin’s waist so he doesn’t accidentally fall off the couch. After a few seconds he produces his phone from his pocket, which he’d purposefully switched onto silent on the ride over after ditching the conference.

He pauses and scans all the missed calls and angry texts, and for a second Jeongguk thinks maybe he regrets his decision, but then he quickly swipes them off the screen without a second glance and navigates to the camera app instead, leaning against Jeongguk’s back and raising it to snap a picture of them. He takes a few before he seems satisfied and then after some careful cropping he swipes over to Twitter.

Jeongguk watches him make a new tweet and put the picture in, and when he realizes what Jimin is doing he’s hit with a wave of panic. “Jimin, we’re—”

“We’re still wearing our shirts,” Jimin huffs. “It’s not like they can tell what’s really going on. Relax.” He pauses with his thumbs over the keyboard for a few seconds before a little smile spreads over his lips and he types in a caption:

don’t believe everything the media says ♡

He hesitates for a second with his thumb over the tweet button and for a second Jeongguk thinks he’s not going to do it but then he shrugs and taps it.

He locks his phone near instantly but not before the notifications are already flooding in, thousands of likes and hundreds of comments professing their love for him with a few shocked messages asking about who Jeongguk is— he knows it’s only a matter of time before they ID him, seeing as how he’s a bit of a public figure with his makeup career, too.

“Are you sure you’re not gonna regret that?” Jeongguk asks, just to gauge Jimin’s feelings on it.

“The only thing I’ve been more sure of is that I want to be with you,” Jimin says, turning to press a chaste kiss to Jeongguk’s lips. “Doesn’t it sound nice? We can be together without hiding. Everyone can know I’m yours.”

“And I’m yours,” Jeongguk agrees, running the back of his knuckles against Jimin’s cheek, all pretty and flushed.

They fall asleep like that, together, for the first of many nights to come.