moonrene - a/b/o au

like spring that suddenly comes (i keep feeling like love will come too)

Byulyi nearly went cross-eyed trying to balance a pencil on the edge of her nose, leaning back to ensure that no wobbles would lead to the object clattering to the floor.

 

“Byulyi, would you stop being a and let me copy your notes?” whined Junghwan from his seat next to her.

 

“You should have finished it last night instead of playing video games.  I asked you to go to the library after cram school but you said no.”

 

“I didn’t want to have to get caught up in an enforcer patrol.  They always walk around our school because it’s integrated.”

 

Byulyi harrumphed as her pencil finally tipped off her nose and she caught it in mid-air. 

 

“The enforcers aren’t that scary.”

 

“They’re the only branch of the police force that can freely carry guns in Korea.  How is that not terrifying?”

 

“They only are supposed to use them on alphas that go berserk.  You saw the news the other day right?”

 

She tipped her head back and met Junghwan’s sullen gaze.  Of course he had.  The whole country had watched breathlessly as the blurry images circulated all across South Korea.  Even though the schools had just started being integrated two years ago in an effort to lessen the bias amongst alphas, betas, and omegas, last week’s news made it a very hard sell.  Byulyi remembered seeing how even the grainy pixels of a handheld video had to be blurred as the alpha, clearly not on his scent blocker medication, had torn out the throat of an omega high school girl in broad daylight.  It’d gone viral in hours and trended globally by the end of the day.

 

So much for South Korea being the leader in cutting edge scent-blocking pharmaceutical research.

 

“I heard that alphas might have to start filing their teeth down now,” Junghwan murmured as he pillowed his head on his arms. 

 

“Don’t they already?  I heard naturally they’re even sharper than betas’ teeth.”  Byulyi gave Junghwan a one-handed finger gun and he automatically curled his upper lip to show off the undeniable pointed edge.  But that was just his canines.

 

“Are they really all sharp? Like actual wolves?”

 

“Apparently,” Byulyi muttered as she wiggled her pencil in her hand, watching as the rest of her classmates filtered in for the first period of school.  She wiggled her eyebrows at her friend Heeyeon with a smile as the other girl took her seat near the front of the classroom.

 

“Heeyeon-ah, will you check math answers with me?” she half-shouted across the room.

 

“After! We’re getting a transfer student and I have to help Ms. Park settle her in.”

 

“Wait, really?”  Byulyi tilted her head curiously, startling a little when their teacher walked in.  She adjusted something at her desk before the class stood to bow and greet her for the morning.  Byulyi zoned out as she half listened to her teacher do a few cursory announcements.  Outside the classroom she caught sight of dark black hair in the periphery of the window.  If she wasn’t on scent-blockers she probably could smell her but it was mandatory for everyone to be on the medication to suppress as much of their differences as possible.

 

But, Byulyi could catch the faintest hint of something musky, like pine in the woods on a cold winter night.  It made her heart race a little in her ears.  The scent was untamed in a way that was clearly forbidden as the reintegration tapes had stated.  Wild and free—not for me!

 

“-Bae Joohyun.”

 

Byulyi blinked owlishly, tuning back in just in time for the prettiest girl she’d ever seen to slide the classroom door open and enter quietly.  She knew that every one of her classmates was straining a little forward, curious to try to tell what exactly was she.  Was she an omega? A beta? An alpha?

 

But of course the scent-blockers kept that a secret.  A gift for reintegration.

 

“Why don’t you introduce yourself, Joohyun-ah,” Ms. Park said with a smile, a hand gesturing to the eager students.

 

“… My name is Bae Joohyun.  I’m a transfer student from Daegu.  I’m… please take care of me.”  She bowed quickly and the rest of the class began a frenzy of curious questions despite the clear shyness tightening her face.

 

“What high school did you come from in Daegu? Angel High?”

 

“Are you an omega?  You’re so cute!”

 

“What’s your favorite food?”

 

Byulyi rolled her eyes a little and by chance her and the transfer student made eye contact.  She blinked slowly, nose twitching as she tried to put a finger on the faint scent.  It was almost like Joohyun knew she was trying to smell her because she flushed and silently sat in the empty seat behind Heeyeon, silencing the questions.

 

Ms. Park seemed a little flustered as she stared at Joohyun for a long moment before awkwardly shifting on her feet.

 

“W-well everyone, please be nice to Joohyun, okay? It’s hard transferring in the middle of the second year of high school so answer all her questions.”

 

Byulyi almost snorted because it’d be the other way around.  Joohyun would be lucky if she got through today with her identity not immediately revealed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Byulyi usually left her classroom during break to bother Yongsun but she stuck around to watch everyone flock around the new girl.  She almost felt a little bad at the way they swarmed her, bombarding her with questions like they couldn’t tell she was getting extremely uncomfortable under the weight of them all.  Even Heeyeon looked a little terse despite her usual big smile.

 

She sighed as she stood and ambled over to the fray.

 

“-my cousin says that’s the best chicken place in Daegu!  That’s so cool your parents own that restaurant chain.”

 

Joohyun weakly smiled at the comment, ducking her head a little and letting her dark hair fall more in front of her face.  It was a curtain, Byulyi thought with a sad smile.

 

“Hey, everyone, class representative Moon Byulyi needs to talk to the transfer student.  So I’m going to steal her for a second.”

 

“Aw come on, Byul, can’t we have a little fun?”

 

“After I help her out.  Hey, Vice President Ahn, you probably need to go to the bathroom before class starts right? I’ll take care of the transfer kid.”

 

“Oh could you, Byul-ah? Thanks I’ll be right back!”

 

Joohyun raised her head, exchanging a smile with Heeyeon as the taller girl practically leaped from her seat and sprinted for the bathroom.

 

 

“Want to get out of here?” Byulyi stepped in front of the crowd of curious students.  She blocked them from Joohyun’s line of sight with her back, bracing her hands on the corner of the girl’s desk and chair.  Byulyi almost flushed at how close they were with Joohyun’s thigh almost brushing her knee.

 

“Where?”

 

Byulyi just smirked and grabbed Joohyun’s wrist, running off with a barking laugh to the dismay of her classmates.  She didn’t realize the transfer student was laughing too until they’d climbed a few flights of stairs to the empty music classroom.  Byulyi dropped Joohyun’s wrist as she stumbled into a chair, flipping her long bangs out of her eyes.

 

“Thanks.”

 

Byulyi looked up at Joohyun who was still uncertainly standing near the door, one hand clenching onto her wrist.  She looked uneasy as she glanced around the empty classroom.  It was like she was worried a chair was going to jump up and bite her or something.

 

“They’re all really nice.  We all basically went to the same middle school together so getting a transfer student is really fun for us.  But I can get how all those strangers up close might be scary.”

 

Joohyun tucked some of her hair behind her ear with a nod.  Noticing how stiff the other girl’s shoulders were made Byulyi feel a little guilty.  She seemed just as nervous as when they were down stairs.  With a determined glance around the classroom she ambled toward the only piano in the corner and gestured for Joohyun to join her.

 

“Can you play?”

 

“A little.”

 

“How about this one?”

 

Byulyi tinkered around a little, pulling a playful rendition of chopsticks from the old keys.  Joohyun bit back a smile as she tapped along, the two of them making a sloppy stream of music.

 

When they stopped, Joohyun turned to look at her and Byulyi swore her eyes were almost golden in the lighting.  But it must have just been her imagination.  After all, it was a lot having such a pretty girl staring at her like that.

 

“What perfume do you use?” she asked quickly, making a show of randomly pressing a series of lazy chords against the keys.

 

“Perfume?”

 

“Yeah.  Everyone wears it since the scent blockers sort of make you smell… sterile.  Like a hospital room.”

 

“I don’t wear perfume,” Joohyun mumbled as her eyes fell back to the keyboard, her profile solemn as she produced a sad string of notes from the piano.

 

“Oh sorry, you just smell-” Byulyi’s eyes widened at the way Joohyun’s jaw clenched so hard she could see the muscle twitch “-nice.”

 

“Nice?”

 

“Yeah.  Like have you ever gone hiking when there’s snow on the ground? It makes the trees smell so clean and fresh.  Especially the hour or two before it gets dark.  I think… I think you smell like that.”

 

Joohyun looked at Byulyi oddly before staring back down at her hands on the piano, small fingers almost engulfed by the sleeve of her uniform blazer.  Even though Byulyi was an omega, there was something about the other girl that made her want to protect the gentleness that seemed to ooze out of the careful way she touched everything.  If she touched me, would she act like I was made of glass, too? Byulyi wondered.

 

“You shouldn’t be able to smell me with the scent-blockers,” Joohyun muttered tersely, fingers tracing the piano keys but no longer playing.  “Are you an alpha? Your sense of smell is really strong.”

 

“No.  I’m not actually.  I was born with a good nose.”  Byulyi gave Joohyun a half-smile which the girl almost returned.

 

“You smell nice, too.”

 

“You can smell me?”

 

“Well, you’re standing right here,” Joohyun flushed, her cheeks undeniably pinkish at the way Byulyi leaned forward curiously. 

 

“What do I smell like?”

 

Joohyun stopped trying to pull away, letting Byulyi be nearly a breath away as she let her gaze slide from her bangs to the slope of her jaw.

 

“Sweet.  Like candy.”

 

“Well don’t eat me.  I’ve read Little Red Riding Hood and I know how that story goes.”

 

“Do I look like the Big Bad Wolf?”

 

Byulyi lifted her head to laugh at the absurd question Joohyun was posing. This tiny person that looked more like a doll than a girl was asking if she was some monster from a story?

 

But then when Joohyun just stared back at Byulyi with not a hint of bluster, she found she couldn’t quite say no.     

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