Side pairings: Taekwoon/Hakyeon, Chanyeol/Sehun (Mentioned only).
Word count: 8,6k.
Warnings: Branding (mentioned), blood, frottage, cursing.
Summary: ABO!AU. Kyungsoo’s got a bothersome nephew, a best friend in love and a name on his wrist.
Notes: Written for reflection0112 2016 round. Title from Gym Class Heroes's Stereo Hearts. I owe Sarai everything for encouraging me, helping me and listening to my complaints on kkt, and Mari for always being there for me, reading through stuff she doesn't ship as well as listening to my whining. Also on AO3.
The first thing Kyungsoo notices when he wakes up is that he can't breathe. His nose and mouth are blocked from air by something heavy, furry. Kyungsoo fumbles until he manages to bring his hands up to lift the offending, furry, thing away from his face. Blinking drowsily, Kyungsoo barely gets a view of something small and furry before something warm and wet runs up and down his cheek - a tongue.
"Hey!" Kyungsoo yelps, once again curling his hands into soft fur and puts some distance between himself and his furry offender. It doesn't take long until Kyungsoo sees that it's a pup. A small wolf pup with chocolate brown fur and black ears. The pup barks softly before launching itself back at Kyungsoo, climbing onto his chest, digging its little claws into Kyungsoo's bare chest. It hurts and Kyungsoo winces, but it will heal quickly.
As the pup climbs him like a monkey would climb a tree, Kyungsoo scans the room quickly, noticing that this pup is the only one here. The pup has curled itself into a furry ball, pushing its cold snout against the skin of Kyungsoo's neck. His skin prickles at the cold, the fine hair on his arms raising up.
"Jihoon," Kyungsoo says, having recognized the pup immediately. The pup, Jihoon, makes a soft yelp and is on his feet, paws immediately. He lets out soft yelps as he steps back onto Kyungsoo's chest, sitting down on his breastbone, making Kyungsoo go cross-eyed. Chuckling, Kyungsoo takes him in his arms and sits up, supports himself by pressing his back against the pillows.
"Jihoon, who let you in?" Kyungsoo asks while petting Jihoon's soft, puppy fur. Jihoon barks in response and Kyungsoo's sleepy brain interprets that as mommy. Normally, understanding another wolf while in human form isn't that difficult - a little more than it would have been if he'd be in wolf form too, but it's not impossible. It's also easier if it's one of your own pack members.
The pup in his lap is Kyungsoo's nephew, the son of his older brother. In human years, he's three years old. Jihoon is still at that age where he prefers one of his forms more than the other. Jihoon tends to spend most of the time in his wolf form; only changing into his human form if his parents make him. Younger pups follow their parent's form by default. Slowly but surely they get to decide for themselves; most baby wolves can change into their preferred form at two years of age. It varies a lot and is individual from wolf to wolf.
Kyungsoo grumbles, tells Jihoon to stay put as he slips out of his bed, goes to locate a clean pair of sweatpants and a hoodie. He takes the time to brush his teeth too before he returns to Jihoon, cleaner but still as tired as he had been when he left him.
"C'mon," Kyungsoo murmurs, scooping Jihoon up into his arms before heading out of his cabin.
Outside, the sun greets him warmly, temperature higher than Kyungsoo had anticipated, making Kyungsoo sweat in his sweatpants and hoodie. It's fixed temporarily by pushing up the legs of the sweatpants up to his knees, his sleeves to his elbows. It's still hot but it's manageable. Something Kyungsoo can live with until he finds his sister-in-law or his brother and can hand Jihoon over to one of them.
Kyungsoo and Jihoon belong to one of the biggest packs on this side of the country. They're living in something that resembles a small suburb outside the city, just at the edges of a great forest that goes on for miles and miles. Each mated pair has a cabin of their own, families also, and sexually matured unmated wolves could have a smaller cabin for themselves or room with others who had presented the same as they had.
Humans know of them but don't bother them all that often. A mutual agreement of keeping their noses out of each other's business ruled the bond between them. Kyungsoo knew that the humans were simply pretending that werewolves never existed. The wolves for their part tried to bother the humans as little as possible, only venturing into the city if they needed something nature couldn't give them.
Younger wolves would venture more into the city than older wolves, curious about humans and their way of life. It was not unheard of that some wolves settled down in the city for a brief part of their life to explore and live the ways of the humans. However, the urge and primal need to be a part of a pack usually won in the end and the wolf returned back to his roots; the place he belongs.
Jihoon starts squirming in his arms when they pass the playground where other pups in their human forms are playing rowdily, loud laughter emitting from their small forms as they chase each other around the playground. Their parents greet Kyungsoo with a nod as he passes, Jihoon gets warm smiles sent his way, he barks softly in return, looking up at Kyungsoo with the biggest, puppiest eyes he can muster.
"No, I'm not letting you down until we get to your parents," Kyungsoo tells him, adjusting his grip on Jihoon. Jihoon lets out a sour yelp but stops squirming. Jihoon's parents live in one of the bigger cabins closer to the forest, next to Kyungsoo's parents; Jihoon's paternal grandparents.
However, as they approach their cabins, Kyungsoo can easily tell there's no one at home, usually he would have picked up the strongest scent; his sister-in-law who's pregnant and smells like an entire field of lilies. Mated omegas smell enticing but whenever they're pregnant it skyrockets and they smell like beauty, fertility.
A wolf's smell is never appealing to everybody, but a pregnant wolf's and pup's smells are. This to make the pack want to protect and take care of them.
The second smell he should have noticed would have been his dad, their pack's alpha. Although he's getting older, he still smells strong; like gasoline, Kyungsoo thinks. His dad's smell has always been a bit too strong to him.
But Kyungsoo can't smell anyone in the two cabins and so figures that they must be out, a genius observation he thinks dryly.
"Where's mom and dad, Jihoon?" Kyungsoo asks, sighs when Jihoon just barks at him. A regular bark, no meaning what so ever. If Kyungsoo could he'd force Jihoon into his human form, but since he's not the alpha of the pack or one his parents, Kyungsoo can't.
Kyungsoo has temporarily given up on getting any more sleep, has given up on finding Jihoon's parents so he has crashed outside on the lawn behind the circle of the unmated cabins. He has changed into shorts and a t-shirt and doesn't feel like he's going to die from the heat anymore. Further down, Jihoon is chasing his own tail happily.
Lavender, slight cinnamon is approaching him quickly, the sound of long limbs maneuvering through the grass, dodging a house corner. It's more than familiar, by now it's practically home. It's his childhood, the safety of his home all squished into one single package, one single wolf.
"It's Kyungsoo," Kyungsoo says flatly, not taking his eyes off Jihoon who's lying on his back, trying and failing to gnaw on his own tail. The flexibility of pups.
Chanyeol is all grins and knobby knees when he sits down next to Kyungsoo on the lawn, He's in his worn basketball shorts and a sweat-stained white tank top. Even though Kyungsoo knows Chanyeol can see the way he scrunches his nose at the sweat and musk polluting Chanyeol's natural, calming scent, Chanyeol still curls close to him, bends his long-ass body to fit next to Kyungsoo's smaller side, making himself small, tiny as he always does, always have done ever since his sixth winter, Kyungsoo's fifth when they noticed Kyungsoo weren't growing as fast as Chanyeol. By Chanyeol's 8th summer, Kyungsoo's 7th, Chanyeol was a head taller. He had never really stopped growing. Kyungsoo calls him weed, affectionately, and ruffles his hair. Kicks his shin sometimes.
"Why do you smell like shit?" Kyungsoo asks, but doesn't shrug Chanyeol off his shoulder, lets him wrap a long arm around Kyungsoo's smaller waist. Chanyeol lets out a loud bark of a laugh, loud enough to make Jihoon stop chasing his tail and look over at them. Jihoon lets out a bark of his own, wagging his tail happily, tongue hanging out of his mouth. He reminds Kyungsoo more of a domesticated dog than the werewolf he is.
Chanyeol, still in his human form mind you, barks back at Jihoon and before long they have made up their own little barking choir. And Kyungsoo, even though his cheeks are flushed from embarrassment over his best friend and his nephew, can't fight the smile that threatens to split his entire face in half.
"I helped Minseok put up the fence next to the new house over at the pond," Chanyeol tells Kyungsoo with a wide grin that probably could give the sun a run for its money. Chanyeol's big eyes look from Jihoon to Kyungsoo, but back to Jihoon again as he speaks. "It's finished already?" Kyungsoo asks, totally out of the pack happenings since his older brother is going to take over after their dad so Kyungsoo is just extra. Besides he doesn't really care about pack politics.
Chanyeol sits up and pats the huge space between his empty legs. "Jihoon-ah!". The worst thing about this is that Jihoon actually comes running, stumbling over his tiny drumstick feet as he yelps enthusiastically. Jihoon crashes into the cradle of Chanyeol's legs and barks loudly until Chanyeol bends down and he gets to lick at Chanyeol's face while Chanyeol laughs loudly, his eyes crinkling at the corners, the eyelid on his left eye twitching slightly as he does.
Kyungsoo cares about the important things. The pack is important too but, his eyes trail over Chanyeol's face as Jihoon tries to lick the smile of Chanyeol's face. This is more important than pack politics, he decides and smiles.
Later, when the sun is set higher on the sky, Kyungsoo is still sitting behind the singles cabins, with Chanyeol curled up next to him, head resting in his lap, his left arm curled over his thigh. Jihoon asleep in the cook of his right arm.
Oh Sehun. Kyungsoo traces the letters engraved into the skin of Chanyeol's left wrist. They have faded now, the color of it the same as scar tissue. It will never vanish completely or go away, but it's lighter now, not pink as the ones on wolves who have yet to imprint on their soulmate. Like Kyungsoo. Kyungsoo's is still hot pink like an open wound. It doesn't bleed but it looks like it could start to any second.
"When is Sehun moving here?" Kyungsoo asks softly, careful not to startle Jihoon who finally fell asleep, two hours overdue. I might affect his bedtime later, but Kyungsoo doesn't really care, not now.
At the mention of Sehun's name, Chanyeol's eyes widen and if it hadn't been for Jihoon's body curled up against his chest, Chanyeol would have leaped to his feet and started running or something. Mentioning Sehun, talking about Sehun or having Sehun around was one of the best ways to cheer Chanyeol up. And Kyungsoo likes him better when he smiles.
Sehun and Chanyeol had met during last summer's midsummer meetup. An entire week of single, young wolves meeting up at the base of White Wolf Mountain. The ancient purpose of the summer meetup is to find your mate, but in the recent years it has become more of a summer festival, a celebration of youth; of friendships and belonging and yes, of course, love. Most people meet their mates there so it still holds its purpose, like Chanyeol.
Kyungsoo had been sick that week last year, bedridden with the flu, asleep most of the time. It was his first summer after reaching sexual maturity, his first summer as an alpha no longer going as the Alpha's pup but the Alpha's alpha son. He had been sad, upset because it was supposed to be their summer. Chanyeol had already been at the Mountain two times and Kyungsoo had listened to him talk about it with envy and jealousy coiling in his guts as Chanyeol told them about the fishing trips and the midnight runs and how delicious the strawberries were and how fun they had it.
It had made Kyungsoo long for a summer of his own. And when he finally presented as an alpha, finally matured, he fell sick. And Chanyeol left with the pack's other younglings, promising Kyungsoo that next year, next year would be their summer. His flu cleared up and he got better just in time for the younglings to return. Chanyeol carrying the biggest news in his bag.
Chanyeol had smelled so different; like strawberries, sunshine instead of his usual lavender-cinnamon combination and it had set the entire pack off; although everyone could easily tell they all waited until Chanyeol broke the news himself. He had found his soulmate.
Kyungsoo had cried. Not when he had told them, or when he had shown them how the lettering on his forearm had now brighter instead of the usual pink. Kyungsoo had participated, glow in his cheeks as he had listened to how he had stumbled over his own legs and fallen right in front of Sehun. There were puns made, laughter and joy for Chanyeol. They had celebrated until the early hours of the morning.
It wasn't until later, when it was technically morning, the sun already rising, that Kyungsoo found himself crying. Not one for crying usually, it took him by surprise. All out of a sudden, wrapped up in his cabin, in his own bed surrounded by blankets and furs it hit him. Chanyeol has found a mate. Chanyeol gets to be happy.
Kyungsoo wasn't crying because he lost his best friend, knowing Chanyeol would always be there for him, as he always would be there for Chanyeol. Kyungsoo was crying because he never thought this day was going to happen.
In Kyungsoo's pack, betas normally weren't allowed to find soul mates, weren't allowed to act on their imprints, if they ever imprinted. And up to just a few years ago, betas weren't allowed to have a family of their own. Beats lives should be used committed to the pack they belonged to, seeing as they had no major treats like the alpha's knot or the omega's capability to get pregnant, they had no other purpose than to protect and take care of the pack their entire life.
Betas had left their pack for it, and Kyungsoo thought it was a terrible rule. It had been enforced hundreds of years ago. However, four years ago some betas did a rebellion against Kyungsoo's dad, got some betas from other packs with them, and took the ban up to the Council who after a few days of debate decided that Kyungsoo's dad, or any Alphas that rule the pack from that day on, can decide what a beta should do with their life. So the ban was lifted just in time for Chanyeol to hit sexual maturity and keep the name embedded into his skin.
As the son of the head Alpha, Kyungsoo has witnessed the removal process of a beta's soulmate-mark. His dad demanded that he'd see it because he's the son of an Alpha and should understand how this pack works, from every angle. Kyungsoo was twelve the first time he saw it. His dad made him watch a total of ten soulmate marks removals before Kyungsoo had the guts to tell him that he didn't want to watch it anymore. His dad had also wanted him to do the removal process on an beta barely four years older than him. Kyungsoo had refused and ran off.
It's a horrible process done by numbing the body while in human shape as the name is only visible while in human shape. Then you heat up an iron-staff shaped like an x that you press against the skin until it's just a blob left. A blob of ruined skin and lost love.
His dad meant that the betas deserved it, that it was a nice reminder that only the pack should be their main concern and their main love in their life. Kyungsoo's brother was no fan of it either but hadn't spoken up against this dad in fear of being disowned. And after all, he was the one who was taking over when their father died.
But it wasn't until Chanyeol presented as a beta that Kyungsoo had realized how serious it was. It might have been childish hope, or whatever, Kyungsoo isn't sure, but from the very second Chanyeol had become a beta, Kyungsoo had feared for Chanyeol and his right to love, to be with someone, to have a name, to have someone that would mean the world to him.
Kyungsoo had fought for him. Even before the rebellion, before the Council's decision, Kyungsoo had gone to his dad and begged him not to take Chanyeol's mark away. His dad had raised him not to show weakness. 'A man never cries, Kyungsoo. And especially not an alpha'. But Kyungsoo had broken down, cried in front of the man who taught him that it was a sin to do so. Fourteen-year-old Kyungsoo had cried, begged, pleaded for Chanyeol and his right to love at the same level as anyone else in their pack. Kyungsoo isn't pretending he was some kind of savior because he didn't care about the other betas, just Chanyeol.
He had terrible nightmares after that, imaging Chanyeol in the place of the betas he had seen gotten their mark burned off. It was Chanyeol's tears, Chanyeol's pained cries, Chanyeol calling Kyungsoo's name, holding his hand, looking like his entire life was taken away from him.
Kyungsoo had put his own name, his own mark up for trade. Had t old his dad through the tears that he could take Kyungsoo's mark away, if he had to remove someone's mark it should be Kyungsoo's. Since his brother presented as an alpha 9 years earlier, the line of alphas was set and they didn't need any one else until his brother became old and one of his kids presented as an alpha. Besides Kyungsoo might end up as a beta himself.
His dad had looked at him fondly, then, leaned forward and touched Kyungsoo's cheek affectionately like he had done when Kyungsoo was younger and told him that ' son, your life is worth much more than that. Its' a tradition and nothing we can change. Chanyeol's place is with the pack'.
Maybe Kyungsoo should have felt some shame, embarrassment for offering up himself like that. Maybe he should have felt sad, upset at himself for denying his soulmate the possibility to get to know him. But for Kyungsoo the choice had been crystal clear; Chanyeol's happiness - Chanyeol who had been his best friend for as long as he could remember. Or this random ranger that Kyungsoo maybe never would meet and his happiness. The choice was simple.
Long story short, Kyungsoo's dad hadn’t accepted Kyungsoo's sacrifice and merely a year later the rebellion had happened.
"Hey 'soo," Chanyeol's dark, somber voice drags him out of his train of thoughts and back into the sunlight. Kyungsoo blinks a couple of times and looks down at Chanyeol who looks up with a frown.
"Sorry I was...thinking," He says sheepishly, watching how the frown eases on Chanyeol’s face before its replaced by relief. "What were you saying?"
"Sehun is moving here after the midsummer meetup at the mountain. He has to join some of the female omegas there but after that he's all mine," Chanyeol says happily, eyes shining. Sehun, omega, belongs to one of the smaller packs on the other side of the Mountain. Kyungsoo has met him twice and had instantly fallen for the young wolf's charms. Even though he's an alpha, Kyungsoo gets this motherly instinct whenever Sehun is around and has elaborately threatened Chanyeol with murder if he didn't take good care of Sehun. Kyungsoo remember how happy Chanyeol had looked when he had threatened him, as if this was what he'd wanted all along.
"We’re leaving tomorrow, right?" Chanyeol asks, runs his fingers through Jihoon's soft fur. "I mean it takes some time to get there and we'd want the best spots for our tents. They get taken up easily and-"
"Yes, yes Chanyeol," Kyungsoo says, punches his shoulder. It lacks the usual punch so it's more than a slap than anything. Chanyeol grins at him and Kyungsoo can't not grin back. His best friend looks so happy right now and this is all Kyungsoo has ever wanted for him "We go at dawn. I've already informed the others. We'd probably have to wake Jongin though because you know how sleepy he gets but the others were in on leaving early."
Chanyeol lets out a little squeal of happiness before he nuzzles against Kyungsoo's thighs. His eyes are soft but after a second Kyungsoo notices mischief in his brown eyes.
"What?" Kyungsoo says warily, squinting down at Chanyeol.
"How about you? Do you look forward to it, you young, bachelor alpha you," Chanyeol grins, pinches Kyungsoo's soft tummy in an attempt to set him off. Kyungsoo feels his cheeks heater up slightly but he doesn't let himself blush at Chanyeol's teasing words.
"It'll probably be fun," Kyungsoo says diplomatically, not letting the excitement he feels in his chest bubble to the surface.
"Liar," Chanyeol says, still grinning. "You're so excited I don't know if you're going to sleep tonight."
"I'm not" Kyungsoo grumbles, but a smile fights its way to his face and Kyungsoo bites his cheek not to let it blossom.
Chanyeol's face sobers a bit before he continues. "Do you think he will be there?"
Kyungsoo's eyes flicker down to his own arm, and even though he can't see it now because of the angle, he knows that in pink letters, the name Kim Junmyeon is embedded into the skin of his wrist.
It would be ridiculous, Kyungsoo knows, to anticipate that his soulmate will be eat the midsummer meet up. Maybe he's older than Kyungsoo and already has his own pack, his own mate that's not Kyungsoo, obviously. Or maybe he's younger and not yet sexually matured, not yet presented. Just because Chanyeol found his, found Sehun there doesn't mean Kyungsoo will be as lucky. He wants to believe, and a part of him does. But the statistics does speak against them. There are several packs of wolves in this world and not all of them participate in the midsummer meetup. Some packs also live on different continents.
"I’m not sure," Kyungsoo says finally, his fingers coming co brush over the pink letters. "I mean I want to believe that he is. But I just presented. Lots of wolves live many years before they meet their mate. It would be foolish to believe that he is."
"But you want him to be, right?" Chanyeol presses eagerly, sitting up suddenly, bringing Jihoon's sleeping form with him. Chanyeol is taller than him, even when seated. His red hair that has been smashed against Kyungsoo's thigh now stand up in all direction as and give him this crazy look.
"Of course I do," Kyungsoo says softly, Chanyeol smiles. "I just don't think we all can be as lucky as you were. And I'm fine with that. A little waiting never hurt anyone."
"No just their dicks."
Jihoon startles awake as Kyungsoo kicks his foot right between Chanyeol's shoulder blades, sending him toppling over himself and into the grass. Jihoon dodges the falling tree that is Chanyeol with amazing grace.
The sun is setting when the group of younglings from Kyungsoo’s pack are finished setting up their tents. The octet had left the pack when the small of dawn had been in the air, all of them miraculously managing to get up, save for Jongin who needed a little extra push and a threat of a fist up his nicely shaped ass before he yelped and threw himself out of the bed.
They ran there in their wolf forms, howling and barking, jumping on each other. Save for Chanyeol who had been doomed to pull the cart. It’s the price he pays for being a bonded wolf. He did complain a bit so Jongin had promised he’d swap halfway so Chanyeol could bounce around with the others.
From Kyungsoo’s pack, in addition to Chanyeol, Jongin and himself, Baekhyun, Seulgi, Taemin, Seohyun and Sunyoung had also joined them. Some had also chosen to stay behind this time. They were nice little group and Kyungsoo, as the Alpha’s son was the one in charge of them all even though Chanyeol, Baekhyun and Seohyun were older than him and had presented before him.
The scenery surrounding the valley and the forest at the foot of the Mountain took Kyungsoo’s breath away. The air seemed cleaner than back home, the smells different, enticing. The air was heavily doused with excitement, expectations, hormones. The group with the southern wolves; Kyungsoo’s group had decided to settle a little bit outside the main camp, closer to the forest as it reminded them strongly of their home.
Chanyeol and Kyungsoo shared a tent, even though Kyungsoo expected him to settle up somewhere with Sehun when he arrived. Chanyeol told him rather somberly that Sehun would be a day late as one of the omegas in his pack – Sehun’s sister apparently – had given birth to her litter of pups a couple of days earlier than expected so Sehun was needed at home.
Kyungsoo had patted his back in what he hoped was a comforting matter, telling him that Sehun probably missed him too. Chanyeol’s grin had been so wide it threatened to swallow his entire face. Kyungsoo’s favorite smile.
The official activities didn’t start until the day after so the group of young wolves were left to their own devices; most of them sticking with the wolves from their own pack, but Kyungsoo swears he saw two wolves slip into the forest just minutes after their arrival. His heart jumps in anticipation; he feels tension cracking through his veins.
Seohyun, alpha, who is the one physically closest to him when he feels his body acting up, looks up from where she’s trying to get a fire going. Her brown bangs fall into her round eyes, she blinks curiously at him for a second, her voice soft as she speaks.
“Get it out of your system, go for a run,” she says and it’s not a suggestion. Even as an alpha, Kyungsoo is still young and another, older alpha’s words would still work on him as it would on a pup. So he feels Seohyun’s words slip under his skin, curling in his veins until his limbs listen and he changes.
In wolf form, his True form, Kyungsoo is much bigger than in his human form. Despite him being short, slim, tiny as a human, Kyungsoo’s wolf is big. It’s the alpha gene that does so. He’s bigger than Chanyeol who’s 20 cm taller than him as a human.
“Go,” Seohyun says, smiling as she returns to her fire.
As a wolf, every sense is enchanted, so the anticipation, the excitement, the lust affects him much more than it did in his human form. It bounces off his fur, settles in his muscles, the air around him crackles as if filled with electricity. Kyungsoo lets out a growl as he feels his blood starting to boil, his muscles tense as he digs his paw into the soft ground and runs.
Having no idea where to run, Kyungsoo surrenders to his instincts, lets the wolf take over as he spurts through the forest, easily jumping over thick roots, enjoying the feel and the scent of the old, foreign forest. This forest has seen much, the air of it thick with promises, secrets that Kyungsoo will never know, yet feels them impact his body.
Kyungsoo is almost thrown sideways when the most enticing scent fills his nostrils, sensually laces around his brain until he’s completely thrown off his track. Vanilla, soft, sweet, gentle yet tinged with something else, something that leaves Kyungsoo’s head spinning, his mouth dry. Heat surges through his system, his body deciding before his brain manages to catch up, he goes off the trail and out into the dark, unfamiliar forest.
Even the forest with its strong smells cannot compare to the scent of vanilla that slowly drives Kyungsoo insane. As a wolf, his body temperature runs higher than a regular human, Kyungsoo knows this, and yet his body feels even hotter as if there’s a volcano inside him waiting to erupt. Was he in his human form he’d break out a sweat but as a wolf he merely pants a bit, digs his claws into the soft ground as he speeds up, getting closer.
The spaces between the trees grow wider and before Kyungsoo knows it, he’s standing on the edge of a lake. The sky is painted a deep pink with slight hints of orange as the sun is setting above him. There’s a gentle sprinkle of stars starting to come out of hiding. A soft rustle drags Kyungsoo’s attention away from the beautiful evening sky, wind dancing through the trees, ruffling Kyungsoo’s fur. The wind carries the exquisite scent of vanilla.
Only then does Kyungsoo realize that he’s got company. It’s almost like his senses have been dulled, all of them except his scent which feels even more sensitive than usual. The wolf on the other side of the lake is beautiful. It’s – he, Kyungsoo senses it’s a male – his fur is golden, shimmering in the soft glow of the setting sun. He’s big, broad built, his eyes curious as they meet Kyungsoo’s.
Something hot surges through his veins, and it’s like a hook enters his system and draws him towards the other wolf. Kyungsoo can feel himself move, his feet moving underneath him. Kyungsoo’s legs move slowly, eyes never leaving the other wolf’s frame. The tension is thick, a layer of vanilla coating Kyungsoo’s throat. It takes too long, Kyungsoo gets impatient but doesn’t move quicker, careful not to startle the wolf who is emitting this scent that drives Kyungsoo insane.
When he’s close enough to feel the other wolf’s breath on his fur, hear the way his lungs are expanding in his chest, his heart beating. He’s hit with a force so great it feels like he’s hit by lightning.
The golden wolf lets out a soft sound that makes the situation seem a little less intense. He eyes Kyungsoo warily as he cuts the small distance between them. His skin prickles, fur raising as the golden wolf, Kyungsoo’s soulmate nudges his snout against Kyungsoo’s neck. Kyungsoo is hit with a rush of euphoria, the last straw of his free will breaking as he submits himself to the smell, the pheromones the feeling of his soulmate; the golden wolf.
What starts out as a gentle meeting, soft nuzzles and getting used to each other’s smells eventually evolves into a game of catch me if you can. They chase each other through the forest, tackle each other into the soft ground, gentle nips on flanks, throats. Soft barks cut through the quiet of the night as they chase each other, the soft sound of paws hitting moss, claws against fallen trees.
How much time they spend chasing each other, Kyungsoo has no idea, only that it feels way too short. He’s got Junmyeon pinned against the forest’s green floor. Junmyeon licks up his neck, lets out a soft noise before he tilts his head to the side, exposing his throat to Kyungsoo. And Kyungsoo, drunk on euphoria doesn’t even think twice before he brings his teeth down to Junmyeon’s throat and is just about to bite down, just about to connect their fates forever when Junmyeon fights against him, and before long Kyungsoo finds himself with his back pressed against the moss.
Junmyeon presses his snout against Kyungsoo’s throat, yips softly before he vanishes into the night.
Kyungsoo lies there, dumbfounded, for a while before he manages to realize Junmyeon left him, the only thing of him remaining is the wetness that his tongue left behind while licking at Kyungsoo’s throat and the scent of vanilla sticking to Kyungsoo’s fur.
How Kyungsoo makes it back to his tent, he doesn’t know, but relief runs through him when no one notices him returning. Chanyeol is nowhere to be seen. Kyungsoo changes back into his human form then, allowing his joints to change place, waits for his body to adjust to a smaller size – one that actually fits inside the tent – before he zips it open and crawls inside. Chanyeol’s side is a mess as it’s wont to be but for once Kyungsoo finds he doesn’t really mind. Actually he can’t be annoyed by anything right now when angels are singing in his head, his body numb with pleasure.
He sheds his clothes effortlessly, leaving them in a heap at the foot of the tent, near the entrance, the brush of fabric against his skin seems too much. The sleeping bag is soft, cool underneath him as he falls onto his back, his sweaty skin sticking to the smooth surface of it. Without a shame in the world, Kyungsoo’s hand quickly finds his cock, thick and hard between his legs. A hiss escapes through clenched teeth; he has been hard for much longer than he has registered, his vanilla-infused brain hadn’t had the time to register anything that isn’t Junmyeon.
The skin of his cock is hot against his palm, almost scalding. Even the lightest pressure, the softest flick of his wrist seems too much. The crown of it is wet, shimmery in the soft glow from the stars outside, his tummy stained with drops of precome. At the base, his knot is already swollen; Kyungsoo knows that it’ll only take the lightest pressure of his thumb for it to swell to full size. So he lets it be. Instead he presses the pad of his thumb against the slit of his cock, thumbing gently over the smooth head as he lets the shocks of pleasure chase up his spine, endorphins set free.
When Kyungsoo comes, fucking into his fist, it’s with the scent of vanilla clinging to his skin; Junmyeon’s name on his lips.
The Midsummer meetup turns out to be about way more than just finding your mate. A lot of the wolves Kyungsoo have met and talked to told him they’re not really that stressed about finding their soulmate. They just come up to the Mountain to get a break from their pack and their daily routine. After all, these days it was more and more accepted by a large number of packs to mate with someone who’s not your soulmate. My dad would tell you guys otherwise Kyungsoo had thought, but remained silent about as he listened to an older wolf named Yoochun telling a group of younger wolves about how he had searched everywhere for his soulmate but had ended up dating his best friend instead. Which, according to him, was just as fine.
It’s not like Kyungsoo have been able to stop thinking about the golden wolf he met the first night but after talking to Chanyeol and Seohyun about it, it hit him that despite knowing that he is his soulmate, he has no idea which pack Junmyeon comes from, or if he even belonged to a group of younglings. Also he had no clue how Junmyeon looked while in his human form. Chanyeol had helped him try to look around for Junmyeon but all their searches had been for nothing.
So while Kyungsoo still is sort of upset about not being able to find and meet Junmyeon after the first night, he knows he’s out there now, knows that he exists. With the encouraging words from Jongin and Seulgi, he had been able to enjoy himself somewhat the following days, starting friendship with a group of wolves from one of the western packs, and on the second to last day, he’s spending some time with them by the lake when he’s hit with the familiar scent of vanilla.
At first he’s able to ignoring, assuming it’s that one female beta he has been crossing paths with several times that week. Her smell reminds him a lot about Junmyeon’s but it’s softer, gentler. So he continues to ignore it until later when they – the swimming group of the day – are gathered around the bonfire. It’s kind of too early for a bonfire since it’s still bright outside and about four in the afternoon but that doesn’t really seem to stop anyone.
Kyungsoo lies on the soft grass with Hakyeon, one of the western pack wolves he has met over the past couple of days. Hakyeon is talking about how their omega leader just had given birth when they left and that Hakyeon is excited to see how much her pup has grown only in the past week. Kyungsoo is listening when a gentle smell of fresh rain approaches. It’s Hakyeon’s mate Taekwoon who quietly settles in behind Hakyeon, curling his long-limbed body around Hakyeon, pushing his face against Hakyeon’s nape. There’s a soft, gentle smile on Hakyeon’s face as he reaches behind him to pat Taekwoon’s butt before he continues.
With Taekwoon’s scent also comes the sharper, familiar smell of vanilla. It doesn’t belong on Taekwoon and it’s familiar. Kyungsoo would know, he has been jacking off to it the last couple of days. Chanyeol had looked at him funnily, claiming that his tent smelled like dead fish. Kyungsoo had thrown his stuff out and told him to sleep in Sehun’s tent after that. As if he wasn’t doing that already.
Kyungsoo freezes as Taekwoon’s scent settles around them and the scent of Junmyeon gets stronger. His gaze locks on Taekwoon as he lets the vanilla scent wash over him, both soothing and arousing, sending his brain into haywire. Taekwoon is busy mouthing at Hakyeon’s neck, fitting his teeth over an imprint of teeth marks carved into the skin of Hakyeon’s shoulder, too occupied with his own ministrations but Hakyeon notices.
“What’s wrong Kyungsoo?” Hakyeon asks softly, a warm, smooth palm touching his cheek, followed by the gentle scent of mangoes. Kyungsoo lets Hakyeon push his bangs away from his forehead, smoothing a thumb over one of his eyebrows as he pulls back. Hakyeon’s eyes are soft, curious and Kyungsoo can’t stop thinking that Hakyeon will become an excellent leader, an excellent parent one day.
“There’s this scent-“Kyungsoo begins, his mouth suddenly dry, tongue sticking to the roof of his mouth. Taekwoon moves, just slightly, hooks his leg over Hakyeon’s hip and the scent gets stronger, as if the vanilla is sticking to his skin, evaporating with every move Taekwoon makes.
“Taekwoon, where have you been?” Hakyeon asks, looking over his shoulder where Taekwoon has stopped fitting his teeth against the dents in Hakyeon’s skin, instead having settled for pressing his forehead against Hakyeon’s neck, soft puffs of air escaping his mouth quietly. If Kyungsoo is to guess, not knowing better he’d say Taekwoon is asleep.
“Playing with some of the wolves from the northern pack by the water swings,” Taekwoon says softly. His voice is so soft, low that Kyungsoo barely can hear him, quickly assuming that he’s speaking against the skin of Hakyeon’s neck.
“Who?” Hakyeon asks again and Taekwoon lets out a soft, annoyed huff. “Taekwoon.”
“Yifan, Eunji, Jaehwan, Junmyeon, Yixing,” Taekwoon lists, pausing as if to think but after a couple of minutes no more names have come out of Taekwoon’s mouth. Not that Kyungsoo even cares, hasn’t really paid attention since he heard Junmyeon.
“Thank you, sweetie,” Hakyeon praises, turns to press a kiss against Taekwoon’s lips before turning back to face Kyungsoo, eyes glittering. “It’s just through there, go get him.”
Kyungsoo barely manages to breathe out a thanks before he scrambles to his feet and sprints through the trees Hakyeon had pointed towards. The water swings were located at a smaller lake just a couple of minutes away from the biggest one where Kyungsoo had been lounging with Hakyeon so it doesn’t take him long to get there. A part of him itches to Shift, knows that he moves much faster in his True form but he doesn’t feel like he has the time to.
His heart beats loudly in his chest as he breaks through the last trees, ending up on top of a small clearing leading down to the lake and the water swings. There are several tall trees next to the lake, their long, thick twigs excellent for climbing and using as springboards to jump from and into the depths of the water. There are also swings tied to the sturdiest twigs that’s used to give you more height and speed when jumping into the lake. Kyungsoo had spent the day before at the lake with the other wolves from his pack and back then it had been very crowded, but now with the setting sun there was barely anyone there. It’s getting close to dinner time so most of the wolves are probably heading towards the great lawn to eat.
There are three people there now, one of them looking even taller than Chanyeol while the other two are shorter, probably about Kyungsoo’s size. And that’s as far as Kyungsoo gets analyzing their height because he’s hit with a wall of vanilla that threatens to knock him off his feet. Kyungsoo lets out a soft gasp, vanilla filling his senses, climbing into his body, laying a claim on his wolf. Stumbling, dizzy, Kyungsoo fumbles forwards, his wolf screaming for his soulmate.
The trio down at the lake are looking at him now, Kyungsoo can hear them talk, mumble among themselves but he’s not able to pick up what they’re talking about. Kyungsoo approaches them slowly and it feels like hours. At some point it’s as if they’re statues, remaining unmoving for a long, long time.
A soft sob reaches Kyungsoo’s ears. In front of him, the tiniest one of the trio has broken out of their formation. His tempo is faster than Kyungsoo’s so he matches it, the distance between them vanishing with every step until Kyungsoo can see him clearly.
He’s short. Junmyeon is short, about Kyungsoo’s height. He’s tiny, slender, Kyungsoo wants to say frail but he’s really not. He’s got a soft mop of brown hair, the kindest eyes and a nervous smile that puts the sun to shame. Like Kyungsoo, he’s wearing a pair of swimming trunks; his are red, Kyungsoo’s are green, and not much more. His skin has a gentle tan, and he’s a bit red across his nose; sunburn.
Kyungsoo wants him. Kyungsoo needs him.
The boy in front of him is a stranger and yet Kyungsoo’s wolf is longing for him. Kyungsoo feels his fingers curl into fists, trying to keep himself from doing something stupid like reaching out and touch Junmyeon. He’s not sure how he’d react, but his scent is slowly driving Kyungsoo crazy. It’s milder than it had been when they had met in their True forms, but still enough to arouse him, making him want.
“I’m Kim Junmyeon,” Junmyeon says softly, his voice light, friendly. He smiles a smile that doesn’t quite reach his eyes but it’s not unfriendly, just nervous. Like Kyungsoo feels.
“Do Kyungsoo,” Kyungsoo says, his voice a whisper. Junmyeon smiles, a bigger smile this time and shit, he’s so gorgeous.
“Yeah, I know,” Junmyeon says and exposes his wrist to Kyungsoo. His name is written on Junmyeon’s wrist in a soft pink. Kyungsoo assumes that Junmyeon’s too have been darker, but since their meetup in the forest it has gotten paler. Wordlessly, Kyungsoo shows off his wrist as well.
They stand there for what feels like hours, looking, taking in the other with their gaze, eyes flickering over knees and shoulders. It goes like that until Junmyeon moves, soft, careful as if he’s afraid Kyungsoo will jump back like a startled deer. If he only knew how much Kyungsoo wants him to touch him. And Junmyeon does. Oh so gently, Junmyeon leans forward to pick a leaf out of Kyungsoo’s hair, combs his messy, black hair with his fingers. Kyungsoo can’t hear anything save for the pounding of his own blood, his heart hammering inside his ribcage as Junmyeon moves his fingers from Kyungsoo’s hair. He trails the pad of his fingers over Kyungsoo’s cheekbone, down his cheek.
Kyungsoo inhales sharply when Junmyeon traces Kyungsoo’s bottom lip with his thumb. The movement is slow, Junmyeon’s eyes on Kyungsoo at all times. There’s a warm flush to Junmyeon’s cheeks that has nothing to do with the settling sun, a shine to his eyes that makes Kyungsoo feel as if his throat is too tight, he can’t breathe properly. Junmyeon is so beautiful, so soft, so gentle it makes Kyungsoo’s heart ache. Without thinking, Kyungsoo swipes his tongue over the tip of Junmyeon’s thumb. He watches as something dark settles in Junmyeon’s eyes. Kyungsoo can smell the arousal flaring up in Junmyeon’s small body, wonders, knows that Junmyeon can smell his too.
Or see the tent in his pants.
And Kyungsoo gives in to his wolf who has been clawing at his skin, growling, fighting against Kyungsoo to be let free, to claim, mark, love. Surprisingly, Junmyeon meets him halfway, fingers curling around Kyungsoo’s upper arms, lips pressed against his. And this is wonderful, Junmyeon tastes as sweet as he smells, his lips so soft against Kyungsoo’s. The kiss starts out gentle, yet both of them cave in, holding onto each other tightly as they learn each other’s lips, explore each other’s mouths. Trembling hands explore the foreign planes of the other’s body, palms pressed against chests, fingers curled into waistbands of shorts.
It’s ridiculous how much a person, a stranger can feel so right. Everywhere they’re touching, embers seep from Junmyeon’s body into Kyungsoo’s. When they pull apart, they press their foreheads together in lieu of kissing, bumps noses as they pant into each other’s mouths, breath sweet on their faces. Kyungsoo’s lips tingle when Junmyeon presses closer, nips at his bottom lip with his teeth, running his tongue soothingly over it afterwards.
“Junmyeon,” Kyungsoo pants, both his palms pressed against Junmyeon’s flat tummy, enjoying the feel of his warm, sweaty skin under his hands. Luckily, Junmyeon seems as affected as Kyungsoo feels, has a tent of his own in his pants.
“Shit, you feel- “Junmyeon begins, cuts off to moan as Kyungsoo cups his hard cock through the thin fabric of his swimming trunks. Junmyeon’s cock his hot, even through the layer of clothing, Kyungsoo lets out a soft gasp as he feels it throb in his hands. He palms it a couple of times before throwing his cautions to the wind, slips his hand past the waistband of his swimming trunks to be able to touch him without any layer between them.
“Fuck,” Junmyeon hisses against the skin of Kyungsoo’s neck – they’re the same height so Junmyeon can easily rest his cheek on Junmyeon’s shoulder. His mouth is hot, almost scalding against Kyungsoo’s neck and he’s letting out moans of his own as he jerks Junmyeon off with slow flicks of his wrist. Kyungsoo has never gotten anyone but himself off before, but assumes the gist of it is the same; judging by the soft moans Junmyeon lets out, he can’t be doing that bad.
Junmyeon continues to babble against Kyungsoo’s neck, lets out a soft whine when Kyungsoo runs his thumb over the slick head of Junmyeon’s cock, hips thrusting out to meet his touch.
“I need you,” Junmyeon groans, his voice, scent, sending a hot rush of arousal through his body. His hips thrust forwards against Junmyeon’s thigh, both of them moaning.
“I want you, fuck,” Kyungsoo pants, hand working over Junmyeon’s cock faster, thoroughly enjoying the sounds Junmyeon is making.
Kyungsoo’s wolf surges, arms wrapping around Junmyeon’s waist as he tackles him to the ground. The grass is soft against Kyungsoo’s arms, knees. The skin scrapes up a little and he might be bleeding. By the smell of it, Junmyeon’s back might be scraped up a bit as well from the irony smell of blood, but neither of them cares.
Hands travel everywhere, tugging and pulling until they both manage to kick off their swimming trunks. Kyungsoo growls at the feeling of Junmyeon’s skin pressed against his. Pleasure akin to electricity shoots up Kyungsoo’s spine when Junmyeon leans up and growls right back at him. Kyungsoo’s hackles rise.
The air is thick with pheromones, both of them affected by their own pheromones and the other’s. Kyungsoo briefly wonders where Junmyeon’s friends went, but considers it a good thing that they left so they wouldn’t be affected. As alphas their pheromones are stronger than other wolves’ which makes it easy for others to be affected by their pheromones. If there were any wolves close by they’d get aroused merely from smelling their arousal lingering heavily in the air.
It’s ridiculous how fast they connected, how fast Kyungsoo’s wolf decided that Junmyeon feels and smells like, is home. They were made for each other from birth so in a way it feels like Kyungsoo has known Junmyeon for an eternity already, their souls uniting to be one, greeting each other like long lost lovers. They’re two halves of a whole, and unifying like this, basking in each other’s scent, drowning in euphoria.
“I want to fuck you,” Kyungsoo whispers, elbows on each side of Junmyeon’s head as he grinds their hips together, their cocks nudging. Kyungsoo feels rather than hears Junmyeon’s moan, rumbling through his body like an earthquake. Junmyeon’s hands scramble down Kyungsoo’s back, nails leaving red dents down his back.
“You will, later,” Junmyeon promises, his voice breathy. Kyungsoo is about to protest but through the fog of his arousal remembers that they got no lube and since they’re both alphas, there’s no self-lubricating either. “I’ll let you fuck me, knot me, Kyungsoo. You’ll be so good.”
Kyungsoo whines softly, mouths over Junmyeon’s neck, fingers tangled in Junmyeon’s brown locks as he grinds against Junmyeon like his life depends on it. “Fuck, fuck.”
“Let go, Kyungsoo,” Junmyeon murmurs as he slips both hands between their slick bodies, grabs both their cocks with his tiny hands and jerks them both off. It’s slick, tight and way too much with the way the head of Junmyeon’s cock keeps nudging his cock, spreading slick precome down both their shafts. And it’s so little, not enough but at the same time more than enough. Junmyeon’s thumb flutters over Kyungsoo’s knot and nothing else matters anymore.
In the sunset, lying on the green forest floor with the warmth of his soulmate underneath him, Kyungsoo comes; for the first time by another person’s touch. He senses Junmyeon’s orgasm before it hits, feels him tremble as he spills onto his own tummy, come mixing with Kyungsoo’s. The air is filled with the soft, gentle sound of the nature as well as their gasping, both bodies thrumming with pleasure as endorphins claims their bodies. Both of their wolves are sated for now.
Kyungsoo’s last day as a half ends and his first as a whole begins.