Twenty Five

Goldie Locks and Papa Bear
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He has no idea how he managed to fall asleep, but now that the sun is beginning to come up, so is Jaejoong and he would give anything not to be. 

 

Yunho is still asleep, he has no idea what time it is, but the sky is barely lightening, the deep rich blackness that is shattered by scattered stars is fading. 

 

It’s been a while since his mental alarm clock has been so aggressive, however it has also been a while since Jaejoong has laid his head down in a space that wasn’t safe. As a rule, he does not sleep anywhere save for his own home where he is familiar with the demons lurking under his bed.  

 

Yunho’s place was an accident, and he’s certain the only reason he ever managed to stay there had been because of his heat at which point he is terrified to think that maybe it could have been any alpha and he would have latched to them like a leech as well... And that is just another reason the omega keeps to himself. 

 

It worked out for him once, he knows better than to think he has more than one lucky star. 

 

At some point, Yunho is going to open his eyes to reality and the blonde will be left on his own, again.  

 

The idea should be a comfort, he’s good at alone, he’s used to alone and yet there is anxiety buzzing permanently beneath his skin every time his thoughts drift even slightly. He’s torturing himself, scratching open a wound over and over until it is festering leaving him writhing in agony.  

 

He has Yunho, Yunho wants him... there is nothing for him to fret over so aggressively, they’ve added titles and that matters. It means he is important and Jaejoong wants... he wants desperately to keep the alpha. 

 

‘But titles can be broken, ugly little bird,’ an acidic voice echoes through his subconscious, and she isn’t there but he stops pacing and his eyes dart around the room in search of Hwayoung, ‘You know all about that, don’tcha? Son, brother... Poof. Gone. It’s your own fault, though.’ 

 

Jaejoong nods, because she’s right, she’s always been right... but in the next moment he squeezes his eyes shut and attempts to shake the sound of her voice from his head.  

 

Yunho is good and he’s kind and he has no reason to doubt the alpha. 

 

Realistically, he cannot force Jung Yunho to do anything he doesn’t want to do, which means whatever they’re trying to build is genuine. It would be great news if he wasn’t going to sabotage himself because he couldn’t keep his head on straight.  

 

‘All of the tabloids say he hates your kind, omega. When he uses you to ruin our family you had better be prepared to cease to exist,’ that one sounds a lot like his father and the breath is in is shuddering. 

 

It’ll kill him, perhaps, if... when it happens, he’s sure.  

 

It’s all too fast and he is such a gullible fool but he wants to believe all of the sweet words that Yunho offers him. The alpha is patient and understanding and Jaejoong cares for him far too much, he’s never going to be able to save himself. He isn’t going to make it when Yunho turns him away, but it’s too late to run, isn’t it? Because he doesn’t want to run, even when he knows he should. 

 

At least this time he knows, he’s choosing to let someone else hurt him, and that is why he hasn’t fled the Jung mansion yet. 

 

He’ll cling, all kinds of desperate and pathetic and ugly, and he’ll probably even fall a little bit in love even though he isn’t prepared to be in love at all. Maybe they’ll even love each other, until he inherently pushes Yunho away somehow. 

 

Some days, he isn’t sure he’s ever loved anyone or anything. 

 

There’s his sister and his niece, but he lies to them constantly and he still resents Solar over something she had no control of from when he was a child. Besides, it’s not the same, really, he doesn’t think anyway. 

 

Alphas frighten him and women frighten him and he doesn’t know what a healthy relationship is supposed to be when either factor is involved. 

 

-----

 

He lasts another thirteen minutes, pacing neurotically and biting at his nails until the black polish begins to chip off against the back of his front teeth, flaking unpleasantly in his mouth.  

 

He probably shouldn’t have dared show up inside of the Jung mansion with his nails painted anyway. 

 

He’s gay, sure, and maybe Yunho likes men but if Yunho’s parents think he’s going to prance around like some flowery they’ll realize he is better off with a woman anyway, and Yunho will probably realize it too.  

 

An omega partner would already be enough of a disgrace if the public found out, but one that acts like a little ? 

 

His fingers are red and irritated from the way he’s been biting at them by the time he makes it down to the kitchen and his nail beds have seen better days but the offensive polish is gone. 

 

Jaejoong’s fingers are curled into weak fists are he stares down at them, inspecting his nails, and he is so distracted in doing so that he doesn’t see the body until he walks into it. 

 

They collide somewhat hard, and the blonde who wasn’t expecting any sort of impact goes stumbling, arms flailing as he struggles to right himself. 

 

He sort of manages, as in he doesn’t fall flat on his . 

 

But his spine does connect rather harshly with the edge of the doorjamb, causing sharp tingling pain to pulse through him. The omega grimaces before he can correct the motion, mouth turning upwards into a smile that looks bright and genuine as long as nobody looks too closely.  

 

“Oh gosh, I’m so sorry,” he apologizes while he smiles, voice gentle and placating with his eyes directed toward the floor. 

 

He’s not sure who he just ran into, probably a member of the house staff, who are a mix of betas and alphas and therefore still worth more than he is despite the number of zeros chasing the numbers in his bank account.  

 

He has a place after all, and if he can keep Yunho’s parents from underlining where that place is he might survive the day without a mental break down.  

 

“Didn’t expect you up so early.” 

 

Unfortunately, he knows that voice, in the sense of it being familiar enough to signal danger. 

 

The omega glances up briefly and cannot stop the flinch that follows when he meets Jung Jiho’s gaze. He looks away immediately, straightens up despite the way his spine smarts uncomfortably. 

 

“I’m sorry, sir. I wasn’t- I wasn’t doing anything just- water,” he stammers stupidly, bites harshly on the side of his tongue to stop himself. 

 

“What I’ve give to be twenty again, to wake up early for a drink and then crawl back into bed,” Jiho sounds amused, wistful almost, “but I’m an old man, and I wake up in the middle of the night and then again at the crack of dawn because my bladder so demands it.” 

 

“O-oh, sorry,” he’s not sure what he is apologizing for. 

 

Jiho chuckles though, stepping back and moving toward the island counter, “I won’t bite, Jaejoong.” 

 

“Sorry, of course not.” 

 

He looks up in time to see the older man’s brow furrow and he cannot stop himself from cringing, he’s blowing this. 

 

“Why don’t you join me for a cup of tea?” 

 

He would rather chew on glass, “that sounds lovely, thank you.” 

 

It’s some kind of black breakfast tea, with something lightly fruity that he can’t quite place, but its lovely as they sit across from one another with delicate tea cups on saucers in front of them. 

 

The porcelain Is fine, but he grips onto it with desperate fingers like some kind of shield. 

 

“You’re really one of those Kims, aren’t you?” Jiho asks finally, his tone is mellow but the question makes him cringe all the same. 

 

Jaejoong isn’t sure how many of the other alpha families realize his is ed beyond repair, that the only good to come of the lot of them is Solar, but he imagines it isn’t too many. Whether because they are merry with equally terrible company of not- he isn’t actually sure. 

 

“I am,” he confirms softly all the same, it isn’t as though he can lie, “I’m not much I’m afraid. Art student or... well... I won’t be involved in my parents' business ventures.” 

 

“Isn’t that why you were studying abroad in England? They spoke of it often.” 

 

Idly he wonders what he should say, is he supposed to defend his family here? He’s pretty sure they wouldn’t defend him, though... not that the Jung’s would stick their necks out for him either... But if there could be something between he and Yunho, he can’t help but think, lying to Jiho or Haewon would put an end to things. 

 

“As you can see, I didn’t turn out right.” he sounds far more bitter than he cares to admit, “my parents know of my preference for men and... little else, but that was enough for them to decide I needed to be removed from the picture.” 

 

It’s strange, the way Jiho’s features all pull into a frown, the man looks genuinely agitated, “they’re not the ones sleeping with you, who you bring to your bedroom should be of no concern to them... regardless... an omega... how is it they’re unaware...? If I may ask.” 

 

Which, isn’t that the question of the century? The million-dollar question that every gossip magazine would just love to ask and print for the masses. 

 

“I was the oops baby, of course. They were done after my sisters, I’m pretty sure? And then... surprise, they got that son they wanted, but by that time they were done with all of the baby nonsense, from what I’ve heard. Nannies mostly, and Solar... And once she went away to school it was- uh... it was Hwayoung and- and the staff and... well, once I was old enough that it could be a problem I guess, I was a frightened kid with a lot of money and nobody watching them so it was uh lots of drugs. Like- suppressant drugs not … not the other stuff.” 

 

He’s said too much, rambled for too long, Jiho looks... furious, fuming quietly and he can feel his throat constrict as his heart rate kicks up.  

 

“Sorry, I’m sorry I didn’t mean-” but a hand is held up and he falls silent and he shivers. 

 

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