Mingyu had been wondering if he had done anything wrong for the past three years.
He still clearly remembered how the fans crazily loved the close interactions and interesting relationship between him and Wonwoo. Although the older male was quite savage and liked to push Mingyu away sometimes, everybody could see how playful and loving he was at those times. It was obvious that they had a lovely bond between each other, and Mingyu always loved to keep Wonwoo companied. He just loved Wonwoo. Despite being rejected or shoved away, Mingyu kept falling head over heels for the cold and aloof boy who was one of the quietest members of Seventeen. No matter how many years passed by, Mingyu’s heart never stopped fluttering, and Wonwoo remained the same perfect person Mingyu had met from the training days.
Nonetheless, things gradually changed from when he was not aware of. At the moment he eventually realized something was wrong, it seemed to be already too late.
When Wonwoo started to close off a little bit, just a little bit, Mingyu simply thought that perhaps his best friend was not feeling well that day. It was also understandable since their popularity was going up and it was reasonable for everyone to feel more exhausted while working under so much stress. However, Wonwoo’s bad days kept going on and on until one day Mingyu suddenly saw a hot topic on an online forum saying that he and Wonwoo did not seem to get along well anymore.
This was when the tallest member of the group registered that, perhaps he had messed up for the whole time. It was terrible, when even the fans could see the change in their relationship, because it meant Wonwoo was not trying to hide anything. The fact that they were not close anymore was not something the older man wanted to cover out of Carats’ eyes.
Mingyu did not understand anything. Once realization hit him hard, desperation set him on fire, and the man felt like he was turning crazier and crazier day by day. Following the fans’ doubts, in horror, Mingyu was forced to admit that there were some days in which Wonwoo did not even talk to him, if he did not try to initiate a talk with the older boy first. Mingyu could not figure out the case was the same for other members or not, since surely the other eleven people must talk to Wonwoo sometimes regardless of his mood or their mood. Moreover, Mingyu did not want to tell others about his and Wonwoo’s troubles. He knew how much Wonwoo hated it when other people got into his business unnecessarily.
This characteristic of Wonwoo gave Mingyu a slight hope. Maybe Wonwoo was overwhelmed by the attention he had got through their abnormal friendship? Maybe Wonwoo did not want the fans to consider him and Mingyu as a couple anymore? Or maybe Wonwoo did not love Mingyu as much as the younger man loved him? Mingyu thought that was probably the reason, although it was painful. He tried to come to terms with that possibility for almost a week with a battered heart, but it turned out that he was allowed to get rid of that silly thought pretty soon.
That was a very long day for the whole group as they were all crushed by hectic schedules and tiring performances. Consequently, the long way home in the cars was also a precious time for them to rest. As usual, they traveled back to the dorm in three cars, separated in accordance with their units, which meant Mingyu entered the same car as his crush. Being urged to come inside first by Seungcheol, Mingyu thought the leader would come in right after him, but Wonwoo became the one who sat next to him, and Seungcheol was the last one to get in the car, while Vernon was sitting in the front seat. The car engine soon started, and it took only a minute for Wonwoo to fall asleep without giving Mingyu even a chance to talk to him.
Nevertheless, Wonwoo did not sleep on his own. Instead of leaning backwards, he naturally rested his head on Mingyu’s shoulder and closed his eyes, sighing deeply before breathing steadily in his slumber, while the younger man stared at him in awe, and also in pain.
Looking at Wonwoo like this, Mingyu desperately just wanted to bring his crush to his lap, hugging him tightly and sweetly luring him into sleep, so that he could take care of Wonwoo, protect him, and not allow anyone to disturb his sleep even once. Mingyu’s poor shattered heart wanted to beam at the fact that Wonwoo did not seem to have difficulty in choosing between him and Seungcheol, but his said heart wanted to break down, too. Wonwoo’s face was completely pale and awful. He did not have any color left on his skin, although Mingyu had always thought it was the impression the sharp and cold features his face gave out. Wonwoo was literally colorless. If someone else asked Mingyu to describe exactly how unwell Wonwoo was, he was not sure how to give a proper answer, but the simple image of Wonwoo sleeping was enough to tell that he was not only physically under the weather but also mentally ill.
Mingyu was startled when the car encountered a bump on the road and made all of them jolt up, but fortunately, Wonwoo did not even stir, still sleeping like an unconscious man on the taller man’s shoulder. Shocked and worried at the same time, Mingyu could not help staring at his crush during the whole way long, and this act made him eventually see Seungcheol watching Wonwoo as well, worries filling his eyes. They shared a meaningful look with each other but no one said a word, as they both knew they should not risk talking about Wonwoo’s troubles when the said member was here. At least, without talking, they finally confirmed Mingyu was not the only one to see Wonwoo acting strangely recently. This was a slight relief for the tallest man, but it was much more of a bigger problem for everyone to think about.
Mingyu just wanted Wonwoo to be fine. He would do anything to make Wonwoo happy and healthy.
Yet, he wondered if Wonwoo would give him the opportunity to do so. Maybe Wonwoo was not in a good condition lately, but Mingyu could not help wondering whether his crush was having an issue with him, in spite of how clingy Wonwoo was being right now.
Receiving a nod of encouragement from Seungcheol, Mingyu carefully scooped Wonwoo up in his arms, letting the smaller male’s head rest on his right shoulder. Still sleeping soundly in complete exhaustion, Wonwoo seemed to have no idea about what was happening, making it easy for Mingyu to bring him upstairs. Other members glanced at them tiredly without saying anything, simply waving goodbye and helping the tallest man open the door into Wonwoo bedroom. Mingyu was not sharing the same room with Wonwoo now, so he just entered it in order to place his crush down on the bed and tuck him carefully under the blanket. Coming after him a few seconds later, Soonyoung patted Mingyu’s arm gently.
“Don’t worry. He’ll be fine.”
Mingyu desperately hoped so, but half of his heart did not believe those words.
Mingyu thought that Wonwoo acting coldly to him was the worst thing, but it turned out that he was completely wrong. Things were able to be even more terrible.
Since the whole group had been taking suppressants for so long, most of them barely remembered the matter of social ranking based on their second gender. All of them presented really late, due to the long use of suppressants, and the already presented members still hardly affected the other ones, as they kept on using those pills in order to keep the whole group function well and safely. Mingyu himself did not actually remember that not only Seungcheol but also Jeonghan was an alpha and Joshua was the only omega among the three oldest members.
Mingyu had no idea what he would be on the day he was woken up by the terrifying and loud scream of Soonyoung. Startled, Mingyu jumped out of his bed like a flash, seeing Jun – his roommate – doing the same thing with wide eyes.
“WONWOO’S IN HEAT!”
That was all Mingyu heard from Soonyoung’s frantic and chaotic screams. The next second, he was already sprinting out of his own bedroom, heading straight towards the room of the said newly presented omega.
Having gone through only three episodes like this in the past, Seventeen was still a mess while dealing with a member’s first heat. It used to be quite calm with Seungcheol and Jeonghan, since they were both alphas, and there was no omega living together with them to trigger their instincts. In front of the boys who had not presented, the alphas were just harmless. For sure, they were mad, aggressive and horny, but they could control themselves instead of just grabbing someone and fucking them to oblivion. However, it was truly scary when Joshua’s first heat came, because both of the alphas had already had intense romantic feelings for the said member. Everyone struggled to get the two oldest males out of the dorm before they turned completely uncontrollable.
With a little bit of his mind left, Joshua had whined for Jeonghan and begged everyone to let the alpha come to help him. After putting a neck protector on the omega, they did let Jeonghan in, allowing him to bring Joshua through his heat while Seungcheol literally ran madly to the wood to vent out his disappointment, jealousy and anger. The whole grouped pitied their leader, but there was nothing else they could do. The omega’s choice must be prioritized at all cost, and they all knew Joshua and Jeonghan had mutual feelings for each other. This could not be wrong.
This time, it was much worse.
Before Mingyu could really register the situation, Soonyoung had already told him to help bring Seungcheol and Jeonghan out of the dorm, because Wonwoo wanted neither of them. Already sweating and shaking, Mingyu quickly asked if the omega asked for anyone particularly, silently wishing that his crush could be calling for him, despite him being just a beta right now. Nonetheless, Soonyoung just said that Wonwoo only shook his head vigorously when being asked about the two alphas. Consequently, Mingyu was forced to just bring the two alphas out, and waited to do other things later.
He had to admit, that his hyungs were seriously scary at this moment, but he had to do this job so as to protect Wonwoo. As a hungry alpha who had not ever had a taste of an omega in heat, Seungcheol was crazy and livid when he was prevented from approaching the omega’s room, yet Mingyu knew the leader was still successfully holding himself back. Apart from growling, snarling and glaring at everyone through red eyes, Seungcheol did not hit anyone, and actually did not fight back when Mingyu gripped his arms tightly and dragged him out while Jun helped him deal with Jeonghan. The second oldest member was actually much more of a trouble.
Jeonghan was the kind of alpha who was exceedingly over-protective over the pack members, and now Wonwoo had unfortunately became the omega who was struggling in heat without anyone helping him out yet. This fact pissed Jeonghan off awfully. He wanted to do nothing but to shove everyone out of his way so that he could reach the omega’s room and take care of him immediately. Mingyu was able to imagine that if Jeonghan really came to Wonwoo’s room now, he would softly coo to the omega and gently coaxed the younger boy into letting him help. On the other hand, Mingyu also knew this was not what Wonwoo wanted, no matter how tender or sweet the alpha could be.
Once getting rejected, Jeonghan would turn furious, and everyone knew things would not be peaceful or easy for the omega from then on. By all means, they had to get Jeonghan out of here.
Fortunately, Jeonghan was not a very physically strong person, so Jun could handle him quite easily, with the help of Joshua, who did not want his lover to hurt another member. Moreover, they were afraid Wonwoo’s heat could trigger Joshua’s one too, so they approved the idea of letting the couple leave together.
The dorm only got more peaceful and calmer once the alphas had left. It was not until now did Mingyu finally have time to really come to Wonwoo’s room and check what was happening. Only three members had been staying by the omega’s sides from the beginning, but Mingyu had not even known who they were.
For the first time of his life, Mingyu was dumbfounded to see hear Wonwoo’s scream. What was happening in the omega’s room was completely different than whatever the tallest man had ever imagined in his mind. He thought the members must be hugging a spooked and nervous Wonwoo, cuddling together in bed so as to provide him with some comfort of being surrounded by his pack members. Nonetheless, none of those things happened, because Wonwoo did not allow anyone to touch him.
Mingyu did not even see Wonwoo. All he saw was the shape of a person curling up under the thick blanket in the farthest corner of the bed. His screams were muffled, hoarse, and pained, but it was not difficult at all for Mingyu to figure out what his crush was begging everyone to do.
“Leave me alone! LEAVE ME ALONE! GET OUT! GET OUT!”
“Please calm down, Wonu hyung!” Seungkwan was trying to get closer to the bed, face contorted in distress. “We won’t hurt you! Just let us hug you and make you…”
“I DON’T NEED ANYTHING! GET OUT! JUST GET OUT OF MY ROOM!”
When Wonwoo called this place “my room”, Mingyu eventually noticed how the omega’s bed did not look like a normal bed anymore. The boy in despair had built his own nest which made of all the members’ clothes and blankets from when nobody knew. Wonwoo must have done it not a very long while ago, when they were all sleeping soundly, and it was obvious that the omega had tried very hard to make everyone fail to notice anything happening. Mingyu recognized many pieces of his clothes around the mess of fabric on Wonwoo’s bed, which made his heart almost jump out of his ribcage, but another problem made his said heart stop beating.
Although Wonwoo was covering his whole body including his head with the blanket, Mingyu could still see the two pillows under the omega’s head. They were exactly the same as each other with the silly cat doodles all over the surface. In Seventeen, there were only two members who were deeply in love with cats, and those two boys had once brought a pair of two identical pillow covers.
And the amount of Jun’s clothes were almost on the same level as Mingyu’s. Just almost.
But that was already a lot, because Mingyu had always thought he himself had always been the one who was closest to Wonwoo among Seventeen, and everyone else was still far behind him.
Now, it was undeniable that Jun and Wonwoo were much closer to each other than what Mingyu had ever known. This fact sucked, because it made him know more clearly that, perhaps he was not someone that significant to Wonwoo anymore. What was Mingyu to Wonwoo? What was Jun to the omega?
Unable to think properly, Mingyu ran to the bed where his crush was lying. The sounds of his footsteps caught the omega’s attention instantly, causing him to peek out from the blanket in order to look. However, Mingyu was not the only one to approach Wonwoo, as Jun was furiously walking to the bed as well, but the taller man was able to tell, that the omega was only looking at him when he shrieked and screamed.
“Don’t come here! DON’T COME HERE! STAY AWAY FROM ME, MINGYU! STAY AWAY FROM ME!”
Hearing his own heart shattering into thousands of pieces, Mingyu froze on his spot, unable to move, or to even breathe. Wonwoo had kept on pleading everyone to leave, yet he had not called own anyone’s name particularly. Unfortunately, the first name came out of his mouth was no one but Mingyu only, even though Jun was still walking to the omega, closer, and closer, without being stopped by anyone or anything.
Not any different from the tallest man in pain, the other members were shocked to the utmost, since they had all thought that Mingyu would be fine for Wonwoo. They had been very close friends; they had assumed that Mingyu’s presence would calm the omega in heat down, but reality was just brutal. Wonwoo not only rejected Mingyu but also seemed to become more frightened and drown deeper into agony. He started to cry and sob extremely hard, as if Mingyu had just pushed a very wrong button and ruined everything.
Nevertheless, Jun was able to sit on the bed, getting into the nest without a trouble. Within three seconds, he had already pulled Wonwoo into his arms and hugged him tightly, whispering sweet words to his ears continuously in order to calm the omega down. At first, Wonwoo was startled, but his reaction changed so quickly that nobody could do anything except for gasping in shock.
“Don’t cry, Wonwon. Please don’t cry!” Jun hurriedly rubbed his friend’s back in a soothing manner. “It’s okay! Everyone just wants to help you. Don’t be scared, okay?”
Burying his own face into Jun’s chest, Wonwoo cried out between heavy sobs.
“I don’t need help! Please… don’t… I don’t need help…”
Although Jun was allowed to hug the omega, Wonwoo still consistently claimed that he did not need any kind of help. They offered to get him the professional service where they provide a well-trained alpha for him to get through his heat.
“PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE!”
They offered to gently help him through his heat without fucking him for real.
They offered to give him some toys so that he could deal with this by himself but still find some pleasure and a much needed release.
“PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE! I DON’T NEED HELP! I DON’T NEED ANYTHING!”
The only hope they had left was Jun, since Wonwoo did not try to push the dancer away even once, deliberately clinging to Jun tightly and desperately. The scene left everyone confused, worried, and lost. They did not know what to do. It was surprising to see Jun being able to hold Wonwoo like that, but it did not look like Wonwoo would comfortably have sex with Jun at all. If the omega really wanted Jun, in this state of the first heat, Wonwoo would not be able to stay still like this. They should be frantically undressing each other now, if getting Jun’s dick inside himself was what Wonwoo wholeheartedly wanted.
Consequently, they all stared at Mingyu, slowly and silently feeling the pain their tallest member was going through. Nobody found a proper way to explain all of this, but they knew, it was wrong. Somehow, Mingyu’s and Wonwoo’s relationship had been twisted and deformed in an ugly way no one had ever expected. In bewilderment, they wondered if Mingyu had ever hurt Wonwoo so badly that the omega did not want to see him anymore. They wondered if the two of them had dated secretly and then broken up without anyone’s notice. Nothing seemed reasonable.
Wonwoo himself was not reasonable, either. As an omega in his first heat, he was undoubtedly scared, vulnerable, and needed a lot of affection from his beloved people. However, the omega’s reaction expressed nothing but pain, rejection, and misery. The further they tried to approach, the more Wonwoo shrunk into his own shelf, temporarily using Jun as his only shelter and protector. Why couldn’t it be Mingyu? Why did he vigorously try to stay away from Mingyu? Why did he only start to cry when Mingyu came here?
That night, they had no other choice but to leave Wonwoo in his bedroom with Jun, while Soonyoung came to sleep in Mingyu’s bedroom instead. The dorm was drowned back into darkness and silence again, like how it had been two hours ago (after all doors had been locked carefully) but hardly did they manage to fall asleep. Sighing deeply, Mingyu listened to the sound of Soonyoung’s tired breathing, and tried to find out any clue of Wonwoo and Jun having sex in another room of the dorm. Nothing came to his ears, except for the sounds of his own heart, still breaking, collapsing, and bleeding.
The question kept Mingyu awake for the whole night long, and many other nights after that day.
Mingyu had been wondering if he had done anything wrong to Wonwoo for the whole time.