there’s a reason they call it being in Heat, and jongin feels like he’s burning up from the inside.
a/n: imma let you finish, but I have the best friends and beta of all time, thank you for doing this with me *drops mic*
originally written as a pinch-hit for forjongin, feb 2014.
warnings: knotting, alpha/beta/omega dynamics
One Size (Does Not Fit All)
Jongin’s room is too hot. There’s sunlight streaming in through the glass of the windows and he can feel each bead of sweat as it slides down his neck and the small of his back.
Or maybe it’s not the room that’s too hot. He curls into himself a little more tightly despite the temperature, trying to stop the shaking. Jongin’s back aches and his throat is so dry it hurts to swallow, but mostly, his whole body is pulsing at him urgently, and he’s just so hot.
There’s a reason they call it being in Heat, and Jongin feels like he’s burning up from the inside.
It’s a nice fall day out. If he could, Jongin would open one of his windows to be able to feel a cool breeze, but they’re sealed shut and locked, the same as his door, to keep any scent from escaping and drawing in any unsuspecting alpha or beta.
The building itself is full of betas anyway, on other floors. The few omegas that attend Jongin’s college are spread out through the campus dorms, because a whole building full of omegas might be too tempting, while alphas are required to live off-campus, where having a house or apartment of their own is supposed to help curb the territorial instincts.
The betas are left to fill the gap between. Jongin knows a few in his year, well enough to even think of them as friends, but he avoids the alphas as best he can. He’d come to college to get an education, but there are some lessons he’d learned well enough in high school.
Jongin rolls over, hoping that the sheets on the other side of his bed will feel cooler, and hisses as his erection shifts in his underwear. He’s been hard for hours, something that ordinarily wouldn’t even be possible, but the Heat has his libido on high alert. The more he moves around, the more he can feel how wet he is too, ass already lubed up, waiting to be taken. The slick feeling it leaves between Jongin’s buttcheeks is humiliating.
He can’t jerk off. An orgasm would make his body think it had a mating partner and the Heat would last even longer. Jongin’s whole physiology is wired for him to become someone’s bondmate and it’s times like this, when he’s caught in the limbo of sexual desire and agony, that he really hates all of this.
If he doesn’t touch himself, Jongin’s Heats only last about a day, which is on the lighter end of the spectrum, but it’s the incapacitating Heat cycles that keep omegas from doing a lot of things. The university Jongin attends is one of the best in the country, but it only began allowing omegas to attend a few years ago.
He can see the stack of textbooks on his desk, waiting for when Jongin stops feeling like if he moves, he’ll either come in his pants or burst into a supernova. College isn’t built for omegas. Jongin is lucky to be here, and even if he’s excused from classes, there won’t be any other allowances made for him. There’ll be a lot of work for him to make up after this.
Jongin shudders as another searing bolt of need shoots through him, lust and desire and desperation and heat, and the face that comes to mind —
Jongin curls his arms around himself more tightly. He hates this.
“I went on a date yesterday,” Kris says, voice muffled by Jongin’s hair, and Jongin squirms because his breath is tickling the back of his neck.
“A date? You’ve never really…” Neither of them go out on dates, even if it’s for different reasons.
Kris rubs his nose into Jongin’s hair, like he’s trying to comfort himself about something, and Jongin sinks back into his chest, wanting to help. “I know.”
After high school, college is… well, in some ways, Jongin likes it more. It’s easier to steer clear of the alphas because they’re not allowed to live on campus, and the betas in his dorm mostly leave him alone. It’s nice to feel safer, not to have to worry about being ambushed on the way to the bathroom by some teenage alpha not in control of their instincts yet.
It’s also nice to be able to have Kris around. Being away from home is still weird, even after a year, without his parents and born pack around. Jongin had grown up being touched by his family and it’s abnormal for omegas in particular to go without physical contact, but usually, when they leave home, omegas have a pretty easy time finding people willing to touch them.
Whether it would be easy or not for Jongin doesn’t matter much. He doesn’t like strangers very much, and he especially doesn’t like them touching him.
Kris grew up across the street from Jongin, the only other male omega in their neighborhood, and he had always felt safe to Jongin. On days when Jongin is feeling too touch-starved to function, Kris is the one person Jongin can trust enough to come into his room and curl up with him until the ache goes away.
“So how was your date?” Jongin prompts when Kris goes quiet.
“It was… really nice, actually.” Jongin can feel Kris flexing and unflexing his fingers in the material of his shirt, something he does with his own clothes when he’s feeling nervous about something. “It was with Junmyeon,” he finally mutters.
Only the weight of Kris’s arm over his ribs keeps Jongin from rolling over to look at Kris in disbelief. “What?”
“Yeah, he… he’s in one of my classes this semester and we got paired up for a project.”
Jongin always thought maybe he’d end up with someone like Kris. At least he hoped, since it could never actually be Kris, but Kris has had stars in his eyes over Junmyeon since his freshman year.
“And he asked you out?”
“We went to dinner and he paid and held my hand and I — “ Kris ducks his head to touch his chin to the knot at the top of Jongin’s spine like he’s embarrassed. “I really like him.”
“Wow, that’s really…” Jongin trails off, not quite sure how he wants to finish that sentence. Junmyeon is a beta, but no one would ever guess by the way he’s managed to dominate the whole university campus. Jongin met him once, when the dance club had teamed up with student government for a fundraiser. He had a politician kind of smile, but he hadn’t treated Jongin differently than any of the other club members, and that was more than most people managed. Kris could do worse.
Kris’s arms go a little slack, like he’s giving Jongin room to move away if he wants. “I know you don’t like —“
“I don’t go out because the people that ask only see me as a piece of meat,” Jongin interrupts. “I don’t think you would have liked Junmyeon for so long if he was like that. You get enough of that from your asshole teammates.”
Body falling back into place as he relaxes again, Kris sighs. “He’s not like them at all. He’s really… great.”
Kris sounds all dreamy, like he’s on cloud nine, and it makes Jongin wonder what he would be like if he found someone for himself.
A face, the same one from his Heat the week before, comes to mind, unbidden, and Jongin frowns, shaking his head to clear it. “I have to pee,” he says, wriggling out of Kris’s arms and sitting up.
Kris looks up at him, lower lip jutting out worriedly.
Jongin waves him off. “How could I be mad at you for scoring a date with the guy you’ve had a crush on for two years? I just drank like three cups of coffee before class earlier.”
He leaves Kris staring dreamily up at the ceiling from the middle of the bed, making sure to close the door behind him. The betas on Jongin’s floor don’t bother him but that doesn’t mean they don’t gossip about him.
There aren’t any paper towels when Jongin goes to dry his hands, and he shakes his hands to try and help them dry while he checks the different dispensers. The bathroom is humid, probably because someone had shut off one of the showers just after Jongin had walked in, and through the fog on the mirror, he can see one of the shower stall doors open. Jongin’s body goes rigid when he sees who comes out.
“Oh,” Minseok says his eyebrows raising in surprise. He’s using one hand to hold the towel around his waist in place and the other to scrub another towel over his hair. “Do you just wait around in the bathroom for me to shower, or ?”
Jongin bristles, turning away from the sinks to face Minseok directly. “Unlike you, I actually live here. I’m supposed to use this bathroom. What’s your excuse?”
Minseok shrugs, and Jongin tries not to look at the droplets of water making their way from Minseok’s hairline, down his neck and bare chest. Minseok’s face had been plaguing him enough. He doesn’t need that too.
“Why go home dirty when I can use the shower here?” Minseok says, taking a few steps in Jongin’s direction. Jongin stumbles back, moving away from him involuntarily, until his butt hits the edge of one of the sinks.
If possible Minseok’s eyebrows go even higher. “I’m not going to bite you.” He gives Jongin a little half-smile as he comes even closer, so close that Jongin can smell the soap he’d used, the airy clean fragrance of his shampoo, and underneath that, the powerful, dominating scent of an alpha.
The water still shining on Minseok’s arms and stomach catches the shine of the florescent lights, making Jongin want to know what that would taste like, the clean water wetting his tongue, and Minseok’s smooth skin underneath.
Jongin reaches behind himself to get a grip on the rim of the sink. His stupid omega instincts are an instant away from betraying him, his head wanting to tip back and his knees buckle, screaming to be submissive. Jongin hates this.
Minseok scoots around Jongin, grabbing at the watch that had been sitting on the shelf above the sinks. He eyes Jongin as he backs away again, looking almost concerned at how tense Jongin is. “I’ll see you around, I guess, Jongin.” Jongin flinches at his own name, and Minseok holds his hands up in a gesture of pseudo-surrender, watch still in hand. “‘Bye.”
Once he’s gone, the bathroom door swinging shut behind him, Jongin finally loosens his grip on the porcelain of the sink.
The reflection that stares back at him in the mirror is somehow white-lipped and flushed at the same time. Jongin splashes some cold water on his cheeks to cool them and slowly makes his way back to his dorm room.
Kris is still lying on his bed, looking giddy, but he sits up when Jongin closes the door behind himself and just stands there.
“What’s wrong?” Jongin shakes his head wordlessly and Kris peers at him, concerned. “Did something happen?”
“I ran into an alpha in the bathroom?”
Kris blinks. “An alpha? There aren’t any allowed to live in this building.”
The week before, just a few days before Jongin’s Heat was supposed to be, Jongin had run into Minseok coming out of the shower while brushing his teeth. Minseok had introduced himself cheerfully enough, but Jongin had just stared at him warily, toothpaste foam dripping out the sides of his mouth.
“I guess I’ll just have to ask around to find out your name,” Minseok had said jokingly, as Jongin glared. The towel he’d run over his hair had made it stick up wildly, and his smile was actually kind of — Jongin had almost swallowed his toothpaste at the thought — cute. “Shouldn’t be too hard. You must be the only omega in this building.”
Jongin’s jaw had clenched at the mention of his omega status by a stranger, and Minseok had let out a peel of laughter, reaching out to touch Jongin’s face before he had a chance to stop it.
“You had toothpaste on your chin,” Minseok had said, wiping off the foam he’d taken from Jongin’s chin on his own towel. “It was nice to meet you, whatever your name is.”
Jongin had stared after him as he left until the leftover toothpaste had dripped from his toothbrush onto his shirt. He’d angrily scrubbed at the spot, trying to forget Minseok’s face, and the tempting way his towel had ridden so low around his hips.
“It was the same one from last week,” Jongin says, managing to come back to his senses enough to join Kris again on the bed. The spot Kris vacates to make more room is warm, and Jongin snuggles back into him, trying to forget how Minseok had smelled. Even though the suppressants he’s on dampen it some Kris smells like an omega, sweet in a way that lingers on the back of the tongue, like burnt sugar. It’s comforting and Jongin lets himself sink into it.
“What was he doing here then?” Kris asks, starting to sound drowsy. It’s mid afternoon, just the right time for a nap.
Jongin had wondered the same thing and asked around about Minseok. Taemin, one of the other members of the dance team that Jongin actually liked, had smirked when he heard Minseok’s name. Taemin also lived in Jongin’s dorm and told Jongin, “He’s fucking one of the other beta’s on our floor. He’d snorted at Jongin’s flushed face and Jongin had chucked a half-empty water bottle at him in retaliation. “He’s a screamer and I know I’ve definitely heard that name through the wall recently.”
Jongin had wrinkled his nose. “That’s disgusting.”
“Maybe he’s just that good,” Taemin had said, waggling his eyebrows and leering because he knew it made Jongin uncomfortable. “He’s an alpha. Maybe his knot is just ri — “ Jongin had shoved his hand into Taemin’s face to shut him up, but he hadn’t been able to forget what Taemin had said.
Jongin’s heard people talk about it: that one perfect fit, the knot that’s just right.
Some omegas sleep around as much as possible, trying to find the right alpha, but Jongin… Jongin doesn’t like the way the alphas all look at him, like he’s a meal, or someone to be taken advantage of.
Jongin’s never heard of an alpha running around, looking for the perfect fit, and most of the time Jongin thinks it’s just something that was invented to have alphas at the top of the sexual food chain while everyone else looks for something that doesn’t exist, but every once in a while…
“He’s sleeping with a beta that lives down the hall,” Jongin tells Kris after a long moment of silence, but he doesn’t get any response besides the sleepy rise and fall of Kris’s ribcage against his back. Jongin is usually the first to fall asleep between the two of them, but now, he’s too distracted to manage it.
Unwillingly, he’s stuck wondering what Minseok’s knot looks like. Jongin’s brain fills in the bits of Minseok’s naked body that he hasn’t seen yet, and he swallows, throat suddenly parched.
Jongin decided a long time ago that he never wanted certain things, and it would be better if he just forgot all about Minseok.
The problem is that Jongin can’t just forget about Minseok that easily.
He wants to. He keeps himself as busy as possible, so his mind doesn’t have time to stray back Minseok’s half-smile, the catching shape of his eyes, the curve of his biceps. but when Jongin’s next Heat comes around, Minseok is almost all he can think about.
Even with the chill of late fall beginning to hang in the air, locked away in his room, Jongin’s Heat is still scorching.
He’s had heat cycles before, ever since his second year of high school, but it’s never like this. Jongin has mostly been able to get by with curling up and pretending to read a book or, if the shaking gets too bad, closing his eyes and going through every dance routine he can remember in his head. This time, none of that works, and Jongin is left to lie trembling and sweating on his bed in a haze of torturous desire, because the only thing he wants in the world is to get fucked, hard.
Minseok, he thinks desperately, Minseok would be able to do it. Strong thighs and arms that would be able to hold Jongin down. Jongin wonders how that half-smile would feel against his throat, his belly and thighs, if Minseok would grin up at him as he pushed Jongin’s legs up to get a better look at his hole before licking up the wetness there. He wonders how it would feel if Minseok used his fingers to open Jongin up for his cock, how far Minseok’s knot would stretch him as it expanded.
It’s unbearable, imagining these things. He still has just enough of a hold on the threads of his self-control not to let himself use one of his hands, but when his hips begin twitching against the mattress, Jongin really can’t help himself. Maybe Minseok would be slow sometimes too, allowing Jongin to wrap himself up in Minseok’s scent, the spiciness of an alpha like a warm blanket, and Minseok would just kiss Jongin and let him rut against Minseok’s hip until he came.
Jongin’s already dirtied his underwear with his own come before he has a chance to realize he’d been rubbing off on the mattress, and he slumps onto it, boneless.
Already, Jongin can feel more slick dribbling out of his hole. His body will punish him for that orgasm with a longer Heat, but Jongin is too wrung out to be angry at himself right then.
He does shake his head at the thoughts he’d been having about Minseok. Alphas aren’t like that. He should know better.
The campus library is perfect for studying — at least for Jongin. It’s a tall building, floors and floors of shelves of books, and nestled in between some of the shelves are little study nooks. The library is big enough that the nooks get lost amid the sea of books, and so Jongin is able to work undisturbed.
His favorite nook is one up on the fifth floor, all the way against the wall farthest from the staircase. There’s a window next to the table and the view is of the well-landscaped campus quadrangle below. It’s the best place for Jongin to work on his pieces for his creative writing course.
As a freshman, he’d tried to write in some of the campus cafes, but his faint sugary scent always gave him away as an omega, standing out too well against the savory beta smell that lingered most places. The other cafe patrons had always looked at him speculatively, like they were wondering what he looked like naked, or contemplating the probability of Jongin being willing to spread his legs for them. It had made Jongin boil with anger, and after a while, he’d given up.
There is a desk in his room, but Jongin spends enough time in there as it is, especially when he has to lock himself in during his Heats. Hidden away in the library, no one bothers him, and Jongin can fully immerse himself in his writing.
Luckily, there’s also a bank of vending machines in the floor stairwell, and Jongin spends a couple of dollars each day on snacks. He’s on his way back to his nook one afternoon, arms full of several different bags of chips, when he sees someone lingering around his table.
They’re bent over the computer Jongin had (stupidly, he reprimands himself now) left sitting open, thinking no one else was around, reading what’s on the screen.
“Hey, what do you — “ Jongin stars hotly, but his tongue freezes in his mouth when Minseok looks up at him curiously.
“Is this yours?” He gestures to the computer, and Jongin feels the blood drain from his face as he remembers what he’d been working on before he’d gotten up. The main assignment for his creative writing course this semester is a collection of autobiographical short stories, and the one staring up at Minseok is describing Jongin in the throes of high school, when things had been… difficult. More difficult than they are now, at least.
It’s not the kind of thing he would ever show a stranger.
“Um.” Jongin licks his lips, scrambling for something to say. “Yes?”
“It’s really good.” He does that little half-smile thing again, only this time its wide enough to make the corners of his eyes crinkle up, and it sends Jongin’s stomach swooping. He hopes it’s from nervousness. “My friend is the chief editor of the school’s literary magazine. I could give you his email if you wanted to try and submit something?”
“I,” Jongin croaks in surprise. The university’s literary magazine is one of the most prestigious in the country and almost all of Jongin’s favorite authors had had at least one piece printed in it while they were in school. “I don’t really think they’d print something in the magazine if it was written by…someone like me?”
Minseok shrugs. “Junmyeon doesn’t care who the stuff is by, as long as it’s good.”
“Oh.” The bags of chips in Jongin’s arms crinkle as he shifts and the noise is loud in the quiet of the library. “Oh, Junmyeon.”
“Hmm?” Minseok tilts his head curiously to peer up at Jongin. His hair is shiny in the light pouring in from the window, and it’s got a sort of reddish tint to it. Jongin wonders if Minseok’s hair has that same spicy alpha smell to match the little cinnamon strands that glint from within the darker bits
He shakes his head so hard his own hair flops against his forehead. “My friend just knows him and says he’s… nice.” Kris’s blushing, bashful face when he talks about Junmyeon says a lot more than that, honestly, but Jongin decides not to mention it.
“He is,” Minseok says. “I should probably let you keep working. I’m sorry for being so nosy.”
Jongin almost drops the snacks in his arms, the chips inside them crunching loudly as he tightens his hold. He’s never heard an alpha apologize before. “Uh,” he sputters out. “I? Yeah.”
Just before he disappears around the corner of a bookshelf, Minseok turns back. “I meant it though: you should submit something.”
Jongin manages some kind of jerky nod in response, dropping into his chair heavily once Minseok is gone.
Unfortunately, even though Jongin tries to settle back in and pick up where he left of, Minseok’s spicy smell lingers, a phantom on the edge of Jongin’s nose.
It sends something twirling in his gut, almost like that swooping sensation from before, only hotter, or tighter, or something. Jongin’s too distracted to keep working, and so he spends the rest of the afternoon self-loathingly eating chips as he stares out the window and definitely doesn’t think about Minseok’s smile.
Jongin could take suppressants for his Heat cycles. They have them available by prescription at pharmacies, but while it would stop the Heat in its tracks and help dampen his omega scent, the suppressants have also been shown to have a high chance of causing infertility, and Jongin… Jongin doesn’t want that.
He wants a lot of things, to get his degree, to maybe write a book that isn’t just shunted off to the omega section of a bookstore, to own his own apartment, to get a puppy or maybe three. But for all the things that Jongin really hates about being an omega, he still wants to be able to have children someday. It won’t even be possible until he’s bonded to a mate and his body changes gears, but Jongin doesn’t want to give up the possibility of kids altogether — not even for a chance at flying under the radar as an omega.
So he’s not on suppressants, and each day as Jongin walks to and from his classes around campus, he can see other students stop, sniffing the air as they scent him. It reminds him too much of high school, when his burned sugar smell had been cloying and far too attractive to his classmates.
Now that Jongin is older, the scent has thinned down to just a trace that tinges the air, but on a windy day, it’s enough to turn the heads of every alpha and beta on campus.
Today is one of those days, and Jongin hugs his books to his chest as he walks back towards his dorm, head lowered to avoid people’s eyes.
On the way, there’s a place that he ducks into to get something to drink. It’s cold enough that Jongin wishes he’d brought gloves with him, and he squeezes his hands into fists to try and warm them up as he waits in line.
Over by the far window, there’s a table full of boys chatting and laughing together. Jongin recognizes a couple of them as Kris’s basketball teammates, as well as Yixing from dance club, and, Jongin notices with a start, Minseok is there, lounging comfortably in his chair as his fingers fiddle with the straw of his drink.
Jongin is so distracted that he almost misses the barista calling his name, and when they repeat it, louder, Jongin jumps. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see Minseok swivel around in his chair, as if Minseok is looking for him.
He snatches his drink up and almost makes it to the door without being spotted, but then Yixing is calling his name, waving Jongin over.
“We missed you at practice last weekend,” Yixing says, frowning.
The two basketball players are whispering to each other loudly on the other side of the table, and Jongin feels his shoulders begin to tense up. Yixing always means well, but Jongin doesn’t trust them. He tries not to look in Minseok’s direction at all.
“I was… busy.” Last weekend had been when his Heat cycle had fallen, and so Jongin had spent Saturday locked in his dorm room, trying desperately not to think about how Minseok might like to fuck him.
Yixing nods, not asking for any explanation. “Hyukjae wanted you for… something,” he says, face scrunching up as he tries to remember the details.
“I bet I know what it was,” one of the basketball players mutters suggestively, just loud enough for Jongin to hear. He feels his face flush, jaw clenching, but he doesn’t say anything. It’s not worth it.
When the boy’s teammate snickers, Minseok sets his drink down on the table loud enough to make a noise. “Cut it out.” His tone, all alpha steel, leaves no room for disagreement, and the table goes silent.
Yixing is frowning, looking around at them all, and Jongin wishes the floor of the shop would swallow him whole.
“I should — go,” Jongin stutters out quietly, body still hot with embarrassment. “I’ll see you next week, Yixing.”
The outside air is freezing against his red face, and Jongin hunches in on himself, suddenly sick to his stomach.
“Jongin!” Someone grabs his arm, and Jongin flinches away from the touch, a tiny sound of alarm escaping his throat without permission.
Minseok looks stricken by Jongin’s reaction, snatching his hand back. He’s panting slightly, like maybe he’d run out of the shop, and he’s not wearing a coat. “Sorry,” he says, though what he’s apologizing for, Jongin isn’t sure. Minseok shakes his head when Jongin opens his mouth to dismiss him. “They shouldn’t say things like that to you.”
“But they do say things like that. That’s how this works.” Suddenly, Jongin is angry, at Minseok, at Kris’s stupid teammates, at everyone, because he hates this. “I’m an omega,” he spits out. “I’m not good for anything but to fuck and have my bondmate’s children, and no one ever lets me forget it.”
Minseok’s stricken look deepens into shock, his mouth falling open, but the sick feeling of embarrassment is still rolling around in Jongin’s gut and he honestly isn’t in the mood to hear whatever Minseok is going to say. “You’re not— “
“That’s hardly the worst thing someone’s said to me, and you can look down your alpha nose to protect me, or whatever, but I don’t need it. I can take care of myself.” Jongin’s chest heaves from as he tries to catch his breath. It’s been a long time since he’s shouted at someone, and the way that Minseok is staring at him is making his chest tight.
Jongin kind of wishes he hadn’t said anything at all.
“I’m — “ Minseok laughs after a moment, but it sounds self-deprecating, instead of like he’s laughing at Jongin. “I’m starting to feel like I need to find a new word for sorry around you,” he says, combing a hand through his hair and looking up into Jongin’s eyes. “You’re right. You don’t need me to protect you.”
People don’t usually look Jongin in the eye and it’s unnerving. Minseok’s eyes are… not like Jongin would have expected an alpha’s to be. They’re a clear, warm brown that sends Jongin’s stomach swooping.
“Junmyeon said his boyfriend talks about you a lot when I asked about you, that you’re his best friend and you work really hard, and you…” He shrugs, mouth curling up into that half-smile again and his eyes cutting away to the side. Jongin might think Minseok was acting shy if it weren’t for the confident set of his shoulders. “I’d like to get to know you. If that’s okay, I mean.”
Jongin blinks, caught off-guard. “I— yeah?”
Minseok’s smile, the full one that shows all his teeth, is blinding. “Great.”
“Wait,” Jongin says slowly, watching Minseok turn to head back inside. “Are you asking if you can court me?”
Minseok laughs, sound full in the crisp air, and waves. “‘Bye, Jongin.”
Jongin can feel his mouth hanging open. “‘Bye?”
I’d like to get to know you.
Jongin wakes up with his hand already down his pants, Minseok’s name on the tip of his tongue.
It’s happened more than a couple times since their conversation outside the coffee shop, probably because Jongin’s subconscious has decided to take Minseok’s words and twist them into vivid dreams of Minseok getting to know Jongin’s body.
Jongin has jerked off to thoughts of Minseok every day for the last week, and it’s becoming unbearable. The anticipation of his next Heat is beginning to simmer under Jongin’s skin, the barely controlled need leaving him feeling unsatisfied even after getting himself off.
Taemin takes one look at him before dance practice that weekend and bursts out laughing.
“What?” Jongin huffs, twisting to look at himself in the mirrors to make sure there isn’t anything on his face.
“You look— “ Taemin sputters out, breathless with laughter. “Oh my god, I’ve never seen you like this before, this is amazing.”
Jongin watches Taemin clutch the barre to keep upright, pout deepening. “I’m serious, Taemin, come on. Tell me.”
Wiping his eyes, Taemin straightens up again. “You look like a freaking wild animal.”
“What… does that mean?”
“You look super horny, dude. Like, even your hair looks horny.”
“That’s not even possible, shut up,” Jongin snaps, eyeing himself in the mirror more critically.
“It looks all,” Taemin makes a combined hand-gesture-hip-thrust gesture that kind of looks like the mime of a mushroom cloud instead of something relating to horniness, “sexual.”
Jongin had taken a nap after lunch, but it had left him with the worst type of Minseok dream, warm and fuzzy, filled with his spicy smell and soft, golden light. He’d been so irritated when he woke up that he didn’t even bother to fix his hair before heading out to practice early, hoping to dance off some of his excess energy.
To Jongin, it just looks kind of messy.
“I’m serious,” Taemin says. “You’re lucky I’m not into you, because you look and smell like,” Taemin makes the Sexual Mushroom Cloud motion again and Jongin sighs. “What’s up with you?”
Taemin is a beta, but other than Kris, he’s also Jongin’s closest friend on campus. Jongin trusts him, but he still hasn’t told Taemin anything about Minseok. “It’s… complicated.”
Honestly, there’s not very much that’s complicated about it, except that Minseok seems serious about wanting to get to know Jongin better, and he keeps turning up wherever Jongin is. He’s somehow figured out Jongin’s favorite coffee drink, and stops by Jongin’s library nook almost every day to bring it to him. Usually, he also lingers for a bit to quiz Jongin about his classes, and the way he leans against the table, eyes looking down at Jongin to study him intently as he listens, leaves Jongin so riled up that he can almost never concentrate after Minseok leaves. He doesn’t tell Minseok to stop visiting, though.
Minseok’s also found him in between classes too, sometimes casually taking Jongin’s books out of his arms as he walks Jongin to his next class, and other times he walks so close to Jongin that the backs of their hands brush and Jongin can smell the faint trace of spice in the air between them.
He also gets a chance to learn about Minseok in return, which is more pleasant that Jongin expected. Jongin’s own writing major is world’s away from Minseok, whose focus is mathematics, but it’s… easy to talk to Minseok, somehow.
Minseok never comes to Jongin’s dorm room, though. Jongin is sure Minseok knows where it is, but he hasn’t seen Minseok on his floor for weeks, and Taemin had mentioned that the screamer next door had been strangely silent lately. Jongin doesn’t want to think about why that makes him so pleased.
Jongin wonders how he would feel if he opened up the door to his room and Minseok was there. A few weeks ago, he would have said anxious or afraid, but now…
“Is there someone you like, or something?” Taemin says, once its obvious Jongin isn’t going to explain what, exactly, is so complicated.
Jongin opens his mouth to spit out a denial but all that comes out is, “Umm?”
“Oh no,” Taemin says, starting to laugh again. “There’s no way you can stay for practice today without ruining everyone else’s day. You smell like an icing factory that’s been set on fire.”
Jongin frowns, crossing his arms over his chest defensively. “It’s just because my Heat is — “
Taemin shoots him an incredulous look and Jongin deflates.
“Okay, fine. There is the tiniest little speck of possibility that you’re right. Maybe.”
Flinging Jongin’s sweatshirt at his face, Taemin scoffs, “Go home, you sex maniac.”
“I’m not a sex maniac!” Jongin protests hotly, head trapped within the sweatshirt as he pulls it on.
“You’re right.” Taemin nods. “That would imply that you’re having sex instead of just gagging for it.”
Jongin’s head pops through the top of the sweatshirt and he slits his eyes at Taemin. “I do not like you.”
Taemin shoos him towards the door. “That’s okay. I like me just fine.”
Outside, the campus is fairly empty. It’s Saturday, so the only people wandering around are ones with extracurriculars like Jongin, and he walks back to his dorm slowly, trying not to think about what Taemin said about liking someone too much.
Kris had implied the same kind of thing earlier that week, mentioning slyly how Minseok had asked about Jongin the when Kris had been out with Junmyeon and they had run into Minseok at the mall.
In revenge, Jongin had told Kris about Minseok calling him Junmyeon’s boyfriend and Kris had spilled his giant green tea frappuccino on his lap.
Despite his efforts, Jongin is so wrapped up in his own thoughts that he barrels into someone walking the other direction on the sidewalk. The collision sends Jongin tripping back over himself, butt smarting as it makes contact with the ground, and his gym bag going flying.
He’s already blurting out an apology by the time the smell of an alpha reaches his nose. Not just any alpha, either. Minseok.
“You okay?” Minseok asks. Somehow, he’d managed to stay upright while Jongin went sprawling against the concrete. Probably something to do with having a low center of gravity, Jongin thinks darkly as his elbow throbs painfully at him where it had hit the sidewalk.
“Of course,” Jongin says, more at the fact that he’d run smack into Minseok out of everyone on campus than as a response to Minseok’s question. The nervous, coiling energy that had been left over after Jongin’s nap is still there, dancing under his skin, and Minseok just makes him feel so —
“You need some help?” Minseok is smiling down at him, clueless to the turmoil brewing inside Jongin as he extends a hand to help Jongin up. His hand looks strong and warm and Jongin wants nothing more than to hold it. He hates this.
“If you really wanted to help me, you’d stick around for my Heat next week,” he snaps, floundering around on the ground rather than accepting Minseok’s boost, and then slaps a hand over his mouth once he realizes he’d said that aloud.
Minseok stares at him for a moment, arm still extended, and Jongin tries to curl into himself, because maybe if he just makes rolls up small enough, he’ll disappear and never do anything embarrassing again.
Minseok’s sudden laugh startles him out of his rolypoly impression. “Well, I was kind of hoping to take you on a date first, but okay.”
Jongin’s head pops up. “What?”
“Yeah, we were going to get to know each other, and I could take you out, and then if you still wanted, we’d, you know.” He shrugs, and Jongin lets out an unattractive gurgle.
Peeling his tongue off the roof of his mouth, Jongin tries to regroup. “That’s…”
Minseok smiles at him, crouching down so their faces are level. “Will you go out with me, Jongin?”
His hair is catching the light again, and Minseok’s eyes are so clear, honest. Jongin’s stomach swoops. “Yeah, I’d… okay.”
Minseok’s hand is just as warm as Jongin imagined as Minseok finally pulls him upright, and their palms fit together as they walk side-by-side.
It’s nice, Jongin thinks when Minseok drops him off at the front door of the dorm, to hold someone else’s hand
Jongin has never been on a date before, so he’s not sure if he would enjoy it as much if he were going out with someone other than Minseok, but it’s kind of the Best Day Ever.
Minseok takes him ice skating, which should feel like a cheesy, first-date kind of thing, except that Minseok comes prepared with extra gloves and a scarf for Jongin when they go to put their skates on, and the pompom on the top of Minseok’s hat bounces almost every time he moves. Jongin hasn’t really been ice skating since he was a kid, but he’s graceful enough to pick it up again pretty easily, and Minseok doesn’t even complain how hard Jongin clutches at his hand whenever he feels like he might fall.
Afterwards, they go out for pasta, which is just right after spending a few hours on the cold ice of the skating rink. Minseok lets Jongin try little bits of his food while he talks about his senior capstone course, and Jongin bemoans the fact that Minseok wasn’t around back in high school, when he could have used a math tutor. It’s cozy and comfortable, and Jongin forgets all about any misgivings he might have had about going out with Minseok.
They’re sitting at a stoplight when Jongin finally voices what’s been running through his mind since he’d had to watch Minseok lick the pasta sauce from around his lips during dinner. “You don’t have to take me home, you know.”
Minseok looks at him curiously, fingers freezing in mid-tap on the steering wheel. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, um,” Jongin licks his lips, trying to work up the nerve, “my Heat is due tomorrow? And I was thinking maybe I could just, uh, I mean, we could be together. For that. Maybe?”
“Oh.” The light turns green, but Minseok’s foot doesn’t move from the break until the driver behind them lays on his horn.
“Only if you want,” Jongin adds hastily, already hating himself for saying anything in the first place. In the closed space of the car, Minseok’s smell is overwhelming, and it’s sending his body into hyperdrive, like it can sense there’s an alpha nearby.
“That’s not…” Minseok trails off, and Jongin can see his grip tighten on the gearshift between them. “It’s not that I don’t want to. I just thought maybe you’d want to wait. I know you’re not really into the whole alpha… thing.”
“I’m not,” Jongin says slowly, trying to take everything Minseok is saying in. “but you talked to me, got to know me, and asked me out. No one’s ever…”
No one else has ever treated Jongin the way Minseok does. Not just like he’s special, but like he’s strong, like Jongin is good enough on his own. Jongin isn’t into the whole “alpha thing”, he never has been, but…
“I like you,” Jongin says, voice small in the space between them as he stares down at his lap. “I didn’t think I would ever… But I do.”
The purr of the car dims into silence as Minseok pulls the car into a parking space near Jongin’s dorm. Jongin tries not to wilt with disappointment in the passenger seat.
Taking the keys out of the ignition, Minseok clears his throat. “Let me walk you to your door,” he says, his voice sounding strained.
The halls of Jongin’s dorm are mostly empty, probably because it’s a school night, and even though they take the long way, up the stairs, Jongin is pulling out his room key before he’s ready.
Minseok stops him from unlocking the door, taking one of Jongin’s hands in both of his. “It’s not that I don’t like you,” he says, looking earnestly up at Jongin. “But I am kind of serious about you, and I don’t want to mess this up.”
Jongin’s heart is beating its way out of his chest, half with nerves and half with elation. Minseok is serious about him.
“It’s not — a big deal,” he says, swallowing to talk around the lump in his throat. “I haven’t been saving myself, or anything. There’s just never been anyone that I wanted before.” Jongin flushes and looks away, staring down one of the papers tacked up on the opposite wall about the importance of hand-washing during cold season so he doesn’t have to maintain eye contact.
Minseok lets go of Jongin’s hand, snaking one arm up so he can cradle the back of Jongin’s neck. The fingers of his other hand run along the line of Jongin’s jaw, tilting it down until he’s at just the right angle for Minseok to kiss.
Minseok’s mouth is soft, and with the gentle press should feel chaste, but to Jongin, the touch is searing. He gasps, the tiny breath allowing Minseok to nibble on his lower lip. Jongin falls against him, their chests pressing together and Jongin’s mouth falling open under Minseok’s.
He feels like — well, embarrassingly, Jongin feels kind of like a storybook damsel in distress, or something, his head cradled by Minseok’s palms as he lets himself be kissed, but Minseok smells so good, breath brushing Jongin’s cheeks with every exhale, and Jongin just wants —
“Tell me to go,” Minseok says breathlessly, pulling back until he can press their foreheads together. Jongin has to grip Minseok’s waist to steady himself, lips still buzzing from being kissed. “If you say no, I promise I’ll leave — “
Jongin whines, high in the back of his throat at the thought. “Yes,” he breathes, but he’s shaking his head at the same time, so instead, Jongin leans forward to catch Minseok’s mouth again to get his point across.
Somehow, Minseok manages to cage Jongin in against the doorframe, his tongue licking at Jongin’s teeth and over the roof of his mouth. Jongin runs his fingers through Minseok’s hair, strands slipping through the spaces between them. Minseok is so soft, his lips and his hair, the way he looks at Jongin, but there’s a fierceness to his touch that makes Jongin feel so wanted and desired, he thinks he might burn up from the inside before this is all over.
“Door,” Jongin pants when Minseok moves to press light kisses over Jongin’s nose and cheeks, and Jongin fumbles for his key again, trying to jam it into the lock without looking. It’s almost too tempting to give into the temptation of going to third base in the middle of the dorm hallway.
It takes too many tries, Jongin’s hands so unsteady he almost drops his keychain, but eventually, the door opens, and Jongin pulls Minseok into his room.
He’d left it kind of a mess, clothes thrown in all directions as Jongin tried to decide what to wear on his first date ever. After they turn the light on and toe off their shoes, Jongin watches Minseok take in the mess, eyes catching on the piles of clothes like he wants to tidy up. Luckily, he seems to decide he wants Jongin more.
Minseok tugs his own shirt off, and Jongin takes the opportunity to begin struggling with the button on his pants, stumbling back until he flops into the unmade bed.
“You’re a slob,” Minseok says, sounding amused as he crawls into Jongin’s lap. He reaches down to lend a hand in unbuttoning Jongin’s jeans and Jongin juts out his lower lip.
“Not all the time!” he pouts, but Minseok places a quick kiss on the lip that he’s sticking out as he pulls down Jongin’s zipper.
“Don’t worry, I’ll clean you up,” he says, pushing Jongin back on the bed.
They kiss for a long time like that, lips melding together and Minseok pushing down Jongin’s pants until he can run his fingers over the tops of Jongin’s thighs. Minseok’s mouth tastes almost spicy too, leaving Jongin’s mouth and tongue tingling when they part for air.
He’s managed to get Minseok down to his underwear, their erections rubbing against each other maddeningly through the fabric, and Minseok hisses when Jongin’s hips jerk up into his.
“It smells like you in here,” Minseok says, closing his eyes and breathing in deep. “Like melting sugar.”
Jongin rolls them over, wriggling against Minseok so that his skin rubs against the sheets. “Now it’ll smell like you too.” Jongin giggles when Minseok presses a kiss to his jaw, pushing up Jongin’s shirt so he can brush the ticklish skin of Jongin’s sides. “Sugar and spice.”
Minseok tips his head back, fingertips drumming lightly on Jongin’s waist as he studies Jongin’s face.
Jongin licks his lips and tastes Minseok on his tongue. “What?”
“You’re sure about this?” Minseok asks.
Sighing, Jongin sits up, leaning over to open the closest desk drawer. He drops the half-empty bottle of lube onto Minseok’s chest, wincing when it lands harder than he expected.
Curiously, Minseok stares down at it.
Jongin chokes a little on his own tongue at having to say it aloud. “That’s for if I don’t get wet enough.” Honestly, that hasn’t been a problem since Jongin started fantasizing about Minseok, but he’s trying to prove a point. “I want to do this before my Heat. So that it’s — “ He stops, not knowing how to explain. “I want it like that too, but I’ve been jerking off to the thought of this for months so…”
Minseok nods, moving his hands to rub light circles over the small of Jongin’s back. His eyes aren’t curious anymore, they’re burning hot. Jongin can feel his heart begin to beat faster.
“Kiss me,” Minseok says, pulling Jongin’s body back down on top of his. Jongin seals their mouths together, rocking against Minseok and whimpering as Minseok sucks on his tongue. In response to the sounds he’s making, Minseok pushes his hands beneath Jongin’s underwear, using his hold on Jongin’s ass as leverage to rut harder. Jongin cries out, head falling back, when one of Minseok’s fingers slips down into his crack, gently teasing, and Minseok smirks up at him.
This turned on, Jongin is putty in Minseok’s hands, allowing Minseok to finish undressing him and arrange him on his hands and knees in the middle of the bed. He presses kisses to the back of Jongin’s thighs, tongue licking out to wet the skin just often enough to make Jongin shiver.
He’s painfully hard already, cock hanging heavy between his legs, breath damp as Jongin breathes against his own skin.
“You look so good like this,” Minseok murmurs, pressing a wet kiss to the base of Jongin’s spine as he spreads the cheeks of Jongin’s ass. Minseok’s mouth moves further down, tongue running right down Jongin’s crack until it’s licking over the sensitive skin around his hole. Jongin can feel that he’s already slick inside and his hips rock back towards Minseok’s face involuntarily.
The tongue is already gone, though, Minseok sitting back on his heels and wetting his fingers. When Jongin drops his head between his arms, he can see Minseok’s cock, swelling and dripping precome, through his legs, and he swallows hard.
“One day,” Minseok says as he leans forward again, fingertip touching, but not pressing, at Jongin’s entrance, “I’ll fuck you open with my tongue and see what you taste like when you come.”
Jongin’s arms are trembling already. He’s not sure how long they’re going to be able to hold him up, especially when Minseok slides the first finger in so, so slowly that he can hardly bear it.
Minseok runs his free hand up Jongin’s spine, trying to soothe him through it, but the touch is more electrifying than comforting. Jongin’s hips keep jerking both towards and away from Minseok’s fingers as they stretch him open. He can feel his own slick mixing with the lube, dripping down his thighs.
“Did you fantasize about that, Jongin?” Minseok asks when he’s got three fingers inside him, twisting and opening him up.
It takes a moment for Jongin to even remember what he’s is talking about, Minseok eating him out, but then Minseok curls his fingers, rubbing their tips over his prostate firmly until Jongin moans, “Yes, oh fuck, — ”
Minseok’s pinky is teasing at Jongin’s rim, and he asks, “What else did you think about?” He presses the tip in, making Jongin gasp for air at the stretch.
“Your,” he chokes out as Minseok’s four fingers push in further, “your knot — Minseok, please — “
The hand stroking Jongin’s spine disappears, and the fingers inside him have only barely slipped out when Minseok’s cock begins to press in. It’s hot, already pulsing as it slides in, one long, agonizingly long stroke.
Draping himself over Jongin’s back, Minseok kisses across Jongin’s shoulders and grips his hips.
Jongin’s never imagined feeling so full, Minseok’s scent all around him and their skin rubbing together as Minseok starts to move inside him. It’s still a stretch at first, Minseok’s cock opening him up and pulling groans from his throat, but after a few minutes, the friction becomes overpowering. Jongin arches his back, pressing back into Minseok’s thrusts as the pleasure curls up inside of him.
He’s starting to feel it, Minseok’s knot, swelling at the base of his cock. It’s almost pleasure, almost pain, with it slipping in and out of him as it grows, more and more resistance each time, until their skin is slapping together with the force of each thrust.
Minseok grunts lowly against the sweaty skin of Jongin’s neck until finally, the knot slides in, fucking Jongin open wider than he’s ever been, but it’s grown too large to slip back out. The force the last tug wracks through Jongin and his arms give out, chest meeting the mattress as he keens.
He didn’t think he could take any more, but Minseok’s knot has him stretching even further, filling him up so perfectly that he’s writhing with it, tears pricking at the corners of his eyes.
Minseok reaches around, pulling at Jongin’s cock and running his thumb over the slit. “Wanted you like this,” he says, voice ragged, “hanging off my knot just right.” He tightens his fist. “Come for me.”
Shifting his hips, Minseok rubs the swell of his knot right up against Jongin’s prostate and Jongin screams, spilling over Minseok’s hand and onto the sheets below.
He clenches around Minseok, body shuddering with aftershocks, and Minseok starts to fuck him again, shallow strokes that draw out Jongin’s orgasm, until he lets out a long moan, pulsing inside of Jongin as he comes.
Jongin’s whole body is limp underneath Minseok’s, his heartbeat almost deafening in his ears. Carefully, Minseok slides an arm around Jongin’s waist, shifting them both until they’re side-by-side, still connected by Minseok’s knot.
It’s not uncomfortable, like Jongin imagined it might be. He can feel Minseok’s come filling him up and the knot swollen inside of him, but it’s almost like it belongs there.
A perfect fit.
“So that’s what sex is like,” Jongin says, mostly to himself, but Minseok laughs, rubbing his face into Jongin’s nape.
“It’s only ever been that good with you,” he mumbles, drowsiness making his words slur, and he whispers something else into Jongin’s hair, but the word “amazing” is the only bit Jongin can make out.
He feels warm and relaxed, still full of Minseok inside of him, their smells mixing together on his sheets. The overhead light is still on and it’s probably almost time for dinner, but Jongin decides to ignore all that in favor of a nap.
Suddenly, he remembers something. “I submitted one of my stories to the literary magazine,” Jongin says, trying to make himself smaller in Minseok’s arms, and Minseok hums, sounding pleased.
“Knew you could do it,” he says sleepily, and he just sounds so sure that Jongin is worth something, that he’s special, that it fills Jongin up until his heart is so full it might overflow.
Watching Minseok and Junmyeon wind their way through the crowd to get to the refreshment counter is kind of funny, in a way, because they’re both small, but groups of people always seem to part like the Red Sea for Minseok, probably because he’s an alpha, and while Junmyeon is just a beta, he has an aura about him that makes people pay attention.
The lobby of the movie theater is packed full of movie-goers there for the first showing of a new superhero movie. It was one of Jongin’s favorite comics growing up, and Minseok had surprised him with tickets and a double date with Kris and Junmyeon for his birthday.
Seeing the way Junmyeon and Kris look at each other is enough to give Jongin a toothache, but whenever Minseok threads their fingers together, he gets this gooey feeling inside, like a melting marshmallow, so he choses not to tease Kris about it.
“He’s really nice,” Kris says suddenly, voice almost blending in with the din of the crowd around them. “Minseok, I mean. He’s not what I thought.”
Jongin can see Minseok laughing as Junmyeon struggles to hold both the large bin of popcorn and a drink in his arms, before he finally reaches over to help. “Yeah, I never thought I’d find an alpha who fit me like he does.”
Kris makes a choking sound. “Fits you? You mean like his — “ He holds up one of his giant fists and Jongin sputters at the implication.
“I mean — yes, but that’s not what I — “
“What are you guys talking about?” Junmyeon asks curiously as he and Minseok emerge from the crowd, hands full of snacks. “You’re both really red.”
“Nothing!” Kris and Jongin say shrilly at the same time, and both Minseok and Junmyeon peer at them curiously.
“You sure?” Minseok asks, handing Jongin the box of Sour Patch Kids he’d asked for. Jongin can feel the tips of his ears burning.
“I’ll tell you later,” he mutters, ducking his head and Minseok smiles at him indulgently. It sends Jongin’s stomach swooping, and he fiddles with the edges of the box of candy as an excuse to avoid everyone’s eyes.
“I know what you meant, though,” Kris says to him quietly a few moments later, as they wait in line to show their tickets, “about finding someone that fits you. It’s… nice. Special.”
Jongin nods, biting at his lips thoughtfully. Junmyeon slots perfectly into Kris’s side as Kris lays an arm over Junmyeon’s shoulders, in the same kind of way that Minseok’s hand seems perfectly shaped to hold his, their fingers just the right size to lace together.
“Do you like your birthday present?” Minseok asks, leaning up to speak into Jongin’s ear to make sure Jongin can hear him.
Jongin nods so vigorously that his hair flops against his forehead.
Minseok lowers his voice, adding, “Just wait until I give you the other half tonight.” He raises his eyebrows, running his eyes down Jongin’s chest suggestively, and Jongin shivers in anticipation. A few months ago, Jongin would have hated the tightening in his belly, the way his body instinctively moves to compliment Minseok’s, submissive, omega, but Minseok never takes advantage of it, never pushes, and Jongin doesn’t think he hates it so much anymore.
He can smell the faint cinnamon of Minseok’s skin, warm, like the heat of Minseok’s arm around his waist. Jongin sinks into the touch, letting himself be steered forward as Minseok hands over their tickets.
A perfect fit can mean all kinds of things, and Jongin’s been lucky enough to find more than just one of them.