⚠ implied eventual mcd (character is sick with fatal illness, but does not die during fic), a/b/o dynamics, consensual adultery | minjoon focus + ot5 (yg, sj, nj, jk, & jm) + vhope side ship.
jimin knows he wants kim namjoon the moment he first lays eyes on him.
there's just something about the alpha, something deep and all encompassing and almost juvenile in the most peculiar way. maybe it's the optimistic shrug he gives when they tell him his fingers are probably broken.
there's something mirthful in namjoon's eyes that jimin doesn't see often when he's working ER triage, something aggressively lighthearted.

but it's tainted, somehow. as if his three broken fingers are the very least of his problems, so why should they be a big deal, anyway?
"don't tell me," namjoon sighs out as jimin tapes up his hand, "i'm gonna be staying here tonight."

he smiles when he asks, looks over jimin's shoulder and winks at the doctor still standing behind him like they're in on something together that jimin doesn't understand.
"we shouldn't have to admit you, namjoon-ssi." jimin's voice is curt, professional.

he's trying to ignore the way namjoon's scent is overpowering the room, palpable in the air, twisting up his insides and making him want to whine.
omega's aren't a common find in medical career paths for this very reason. alphas are more prone to fights, to injuries. what happens when a big bad alpha comes waltzing into a hospital full of omegas and they all present on the spot?

jimin refuses to be a stereotype.
he loves being a nurse, loves working in trauma. loves that his naturally more nurturing and attentive subgender allows him to excel at soothing away his patients' worries and pains and making them feel safe. there should be /more/ omegas in the medical field, he always insists.
even so, he's the only omega working tonight at this hospital. so when his patient takes a deep and satisfied inhale through his nose, jimin pretends not to notice his eyes dilating. tries to excuse himself as politely as possible and move on to the next person who needs help.
unfortunately, there isn't a next person. it's a quiet night and jimin can't even muster up any paperwork besides the ones discharging his patient. doesn't exactly make it easy to ignore the damn near dizzying effect that namjoon's scent is having on him.
jimin knows he shouldn't flirt with the alpha. he knows that. it's an unspoken rule but he's heard it loud and clear every time the beta trauma attending shoots him a 'don't you do it' glance. which by the way, is /every time/ an alpha comes in for care. which is like. hourly.
still, jimin isn't usually effected by an alphas scent this much - and clearly namjoon is enjoying his as well, if the dozy and contented look on his face has anything to say about it. surely a little mild prodding can't hurt. just to at least see if he's attached.
"y'know, it might just be an old wives tale, but they /do/ say that injured alphas and omegas heal much faster with their bonded mates nearby!" jimin chirps, passing namjoon his discharge papers and awaiting some semblance of an implication as to whether the man has a mate or not
"definitely an old wives tale," namjoon snaps back, a little more harshly than jimin thought he deserved. "you're a nurse, you should know that."

well, yeah. but ... he'd just been trying to make conversation. there's no need to be so abrasive.
despite jimin wanting to advocate for himself and insist that namjoon's sharp tone is rude, he knows it's not his place to do so.
worse than that, knows that namjoon isn't actually being any more harsh than his usual patients. it's just jimin's stupid omega attraction to him, wanting only his praise and validation.
not the time or the place. not. at. all.
"my apologies, namjoon-ssi. i didn't mean to ... annoy you."

it's barely an apology and it's /laced/ with his own insecurity but it's the best he can manage with his instincts telling him to just lean back and bare his fucking neck instead of using any words at all.
the alpha seems to mull this apology over for a little while in his mind. he takes his discharge papers, signs them (terribly, with his left hand), and stands up.

jimin tries not to react but he can't help it, instantly finding himself whimpering, jumping back against the wall.
"i'm not going to hurt you," namjoon insists, voice back to that gentle and easy tone it had carried when he'd first come in, complaining of an aching hand.
"i-i know." jimin clears his throat, steps away from the wall, squares his chest. "i know you aren't. it's just my instincts going haywire," he insists. "i'm nearly in pre-heat, so."

it's a lie. it's a lie and he sees the lie register on namjoon's face as a /lie/.
"must be a short cycle then," the alpha teases, eyes sparkling and alive. he takes a step forward, jimin takes a step back. "considering your heat just ended ... five, no-" he inhales, /massively/, nostrils flaring and tongue darting out to taste the air, "/four/ days ago."
jimin has heard of certain alphas being able to have a sense for an omegas heat cycle before, but he didn't expect it to feel this violating (or arousing) to be faced with one.
there's a voice in his mind, tiny and easy to ignore, telling him that alphas have to /learn/ to be able to sense an omega's heat cycle. that the only way they ever could learn that is by having a very serious and long term relationship with an omega whose heat they helped with.
statistically, the voice (that jimin is totally ignoring) reminds, alphas with the ability to tell an omega is coming /out/ of a heat, rather than into one, have been mated to the same omega for at least five years - long enough to pick up even the mildest differences in a scent.
he doesn't let himself think of any of that. takes a step forward, smiles when namjoon doesn't take a step back.

"do you want to get out of here?" jimin breathes, deciding to let himself have this - this /one/ thing, this /one/ time - because namjoon is hot, and he deserves it.
"no, actually. i don't," namjoon answers, smile /widening/ despite the way jimin's instincts are reeling with rejection. "but i noticed two of your pediatric rooms are available. those are sound and scent proofed in case a kid goes into their first rut, right?"
indeed they are.

most people didn't know that, but jimin decides to be impressed with namjoon's intimate knowledge of the hospital rather than suspicious of it.
he tugs namjoon's (good) hand, leads him over to one of the rooms in question and ... inhales. lets his mind go fuzzy and his chest feel full of that tantalizing scent that screams 'alpha alpha alpha'. he tugs namjoon's wrist up to his own neck, scenting himself with it.
namjoon goes soft. nervous, almost. he gulps.

"i haven't been with an omega in a while," he admits, letting jimin invade his personal space. he runs his hands under namjoon's shirt and scrape his nails lightly over his chest.

"three years, almost. like a /long/ while."
"sounds like you're long overdue, then." jimin's tone is light, teasing, he reaches to undo namjoon's pants button and pauses when the man jolts back.

"namjoon-ssi? you alright?"
namjoon chews on his lip, left hand playing with the hem of jimin's scrub-top. he leans forward, buries his face in jimin's neck and /groans/, tongue coming to lap at the skin there. jimin sighs, tilting his head to the side and closing his eyes.
it's good, an alpha's mouth on his skin. but it's ... off.

namjoon isn't releasing any pheromones to accompany this vigorous scenting. it reminds jimin uncomfortably of the way his alpha mother would nose at his neck and face after he'd crash his bike or fall out of a tree.
"you smell so ... fucking ..." namjoon is growling out his words and it goes straight to jimin's cock.


until the last one.

healthy? he smells healthy? what's so sexy about /that/?
"like you said, i'm a nurse," jimin reminds, trying to ignore the way this conversation is absolutely killing his boner. he's trying /not/ to think of work thank you very much.

"if i didn't keep myself healthy, none of you fancy-nosed alphas would trust me with your care!"
sickness. it's another one of those things alphas can supposedly gain an affinity for detecting after long term relationships with an omega.

two strikes, now. jimin almost can't ignore it.
"you sure you're alright?" jimin double checks, tries to pull away then wants to hit himself because of /course/ namjoon bites down on his neck what else did he expect an alpha to /do/ with an omega trying to pull their neck away from them.
it's a gentle bite though, a warning if anything. a soft reminder that hey, yanking your neck away while you have an open-mouthed alpha scenting you with their saliva is probably not such a good idea.
"hey, sorry. i won't pull back again," jimin reassures, waits patiently while the grip of namjoon's teeth loosens. miraculously, the alpha pulls back himself. not unheard of, but again.

it took ... practice.
strike three.
"namjoon-ssi, can i ask you something?" jimin is going to do it. he's going to just blurt it out. he's going to find out /for sure/ who this alpha spent so much time with and why they aren't still together.

maybe afterwards he'll find out why he gives a fuck.
"i don't think i can do this, i'm sorry," namjon blurts out, catching jimin completely off guard.

"you're beautiful, and sweet, and you smell - fuck - you smell fucking amazing, but i ... i can't. i'm not ready yet. i'm sorry."
not ready yet? what did that mean?

before he has a chance to ask, namjoon is out of the door. not headed the way they came, towards the ER, but further into the hospital. towards the elevators.

hm. maybe he'd parked in the lot. must be rich, that shit was expensive.
jimin powers through the rest of his shift like none of this ever happened and pretends not to be bothered when he's asked to work a double because apparently one of the patients in a different ward had requested him specifically. by name.
he's been working here for like ... three weeks, so he hasn't exactly had a chance to become anyone's favorite yet. especially with a focus on trauma, where patients were in and out in a matter of hours or transferred elsewhere out of his care.

who would have asked for /him/?
when jimin gets his assignment he's even more confused, especially looking over the patient's chart.

firstly - it's not a /ward/ he's been assigned to. it's a specific /room/ and it's the most lavish room in the hospital. one that's supposed to be reserved for politicians.
secondly, his patient for the day - kim seokjin, shouldn't actually /be/ in the hospital. well, he /can/ be. on a technicality.

but he /should/ be in hospice care. his condition isn't treatable. and it was probably costing him ten times jimin's salary each /week/ he was here.
he knocks on the door fairly early in the morning, expecting to have to wake the patient to briefly introduce himself as the morning nurse and then be on his way. he's surprised by the enthusiastic 'come on in!' that he receives as a reply.
"ah, kim seokjin-ssi, i'm park jimin. i'll be your nurse during the day today!" he proclaims, entering the room with a polite bow before finally lifting his head to see his patient.



jimin thinks that anyone who has an opinion of what an omega is /supposed/ to look like is fucking stupid. he does. he knows some of that is his own privilege, considering he definitely fits the criteria (plump ass, small frame, pretty face) but /this/ omega is ... breathtaking.
"just call me seokjin-hyung, it's fine. we'll see a lot of each other today, i'm quite needy!" the omega says, laughing boisterously.

he's ... ethereal. inky black hair falling over his face and lush pink lips. he has a natural blush to his cheeks that would drive alphas wild.
and his scent is ... wow. enticing and homey and comforting and coquettish all at once. a mockery of jimin's own.

it's like a cruel twist of fate, almost. like something this beautiful can't be allowed to exist. like his utter infallible perfection is somehow why he's dying.
he's so ... distressingly lovely ... that it takes jimin a second to notice that he's not alone. there's an alpha, tiny and burrowed under the blankets but still sharp and spicy and undoubtedly /alpha/ in bed with him.
seokjin sees jimin notice him and laughs again.

"oh, don't mind my mate. little yoongichi wouldn't hurt a fly. would you, baby?"

the blanket lump muffles something unintelligible, and a nose pops out, scenting the air.
"he didn't say it was an omega," the alpha grumbles, sitting up and discarding the blankets in the process. jimin is distracted by the amount of marks and bites littering the alpha's neck and chest. surely his mate is much too sick to have-

"of /course/ it was an omega, yoongi."
what are they even talking about?

jimin kind of feels like they're talking about /him/.

"if you're uncomfortable with an omega nurse, i'm happy to put someone else on your-"

"don't be ridiculous!" seokjin interrupts, "an omega nurse is /exactly/ what i've been needing."
hm. maybe not talking about him then.

"so tell me about yourself," seokjin prompts, patting the bed beside him. jimin envies the omega his confidence, calling another omega so near even with his just-waking alpha undressed beside him. they must really trust each other. sweet.
"what school did you go to, where are you from, what's your favorite color? don't leave out a single detail!"

jimin is getting the feeling that for the most part, this patient just wants to be entertained.
he comes to sit down, not accepting the space that's being indicated for him on the bed, but sliding up a chair instead. the chair smells ... familiar. but he can't put his finger on it.

"well, originally i'm from busan," he starts, appeasing the patient with his life story.
it's distracting to talk to seokjin. not because of seokjin himself, but because of his mate, yoongi. there's something a little feral about him, unhinged. he keeps mouthing at (more like /chewing on/) seokjin's neck, groaning with deep satisfaction with each mark left behind.
"don't mind him, his rut's next week." seokjin insists, when jimin is unable to withhold a gasp at the way yoongi /yanks/ seokjin's head to the side for better access to his mating mark, standing visibly red above his collarbone. he must have been tonguing at it for days.
"although honestly, yoongi. don't be so rough! i'm a dying man, y'know. you could break me."

yoongi growls, teeth sinking so deeply into the omega's neck that jimin winces /for/ him. seokjin, for his part, merrily closes his eyes and smiles, seemingly comforted by the aggression
jimin wants to take a look at seokjin's chart again, but it seems rude. still, he wonders. how long has he been sick? most people would be walking on eggshells if their mate wasn't healthy. the way yoongi is roughing his up would suggests /long/ established and tested boundaries.
the biting continues, all the way down seokjin's shoulder and jimin smiles, a little fond. he wishes he trusted someone that much.

"fine, keep at it then!" seokjin huffs, playfully. "but you're not the only alpha in my life, mister. if you break skin, my husband's gonna lose it"
jimin laughs. partially because jin is laughing, but mostly because it's /clearly/ a joke.

omegas could share alphas, sure. but alphas sharing one omega? damn near unheard of. especially not one like seokjin, so vivacious and otherworldly. any alpha would need to /own/ him.
surprisingly, despite it being a joke, yoongi really does let up ... a little. laps over seokjin's neck almost apologetically. kind. nurturing. appraising. it reminds jimin of-

"hey hyungs!"
another omega steps into the room, and jimin pities poor yoongi, so near his rut, whose eyes go just a little bit out of focus.

jimin can't blame him. the man, still a /pup/ really, comes in sweating like crazy, potent scent filling the room like someone lit a hundred candles.
"yah, jungkookie!" seokjin tuts, "i keep telling you not to run up the steps! you'll break your neck - and then what? yoongi'll have /two/ dead omegas to grieve. completely defeats the purpose of him meeting you."

jungkook, which jimin assumes is the pup's name, climbs into bed.
he climbs into the bed ... directly on top of seokjin.

"careful," jimin insists, lurching forward on pure instinct. "he has a central line on his chest, be gentle so you don't pull it out."

"yeah, yeah, i know where all his wires are coming from," jungkook dismisses, idly.
how long has seokjin been this sick?

"it's the colostomy bag you want to watch, gguk," yoongi jokes. "he can go a good hour without the central line, but if you tear the colostomy bag open again, i'm out of here."

they're all so familiar with it ... so /used/ to it.
jungkook laughs, burying his nose against the free side of seokjin's neck and scenting him liberally. he's cuddly. larger than most omega's jimin has met but adorable all the same.

and clearly thinks he's about half of his own size, the way he tries to squeeze between his hyungs
there's no way that with seokjin in the center of the bed, one side of it can actually fit two other peop-

oh. never mind.

it manages to work, but only with yoongi in between them and jungkook's legs thrown over the other two.
why would they both insist on being together on seokjin's left side though?

his mind unhelpfully suggests that they're used to someone else laying on his right. he ignores it. he's grown quite good at ignoring things. the scent of the chair washes over him as he crosses his legs
where does he /know/ this scent from? it's no one on the staff, he doesn't think ...
"so you're the nurse that hyung was talking about, huh?" it's jungkook who asks, and jimin doesn't know what else to do besides nod. he's unsure when seokjin would have had time to relay information to jungkook, but perhaps it's in relation to whatever had made him request jimin.
"he didn't mention that you're an omega, that's great!" yoongi has one hand on jungkook's thigh, possessive. he's squeezing at the flesh there almost mindlessly, like he's not meaning to. jungkook brings a wrist to his nose to appease him and yoongi whines, deep and throaty.
"our greedy little alpha," seokjin coos, he pets yoongi's hair carefully, practiced at not getting the IV connected to his wrist tangled with the one coming out of his chest. so well practiced.

how /long/?

"why don't you let the baby take you home, yoon?"
yoongi snarls, but it's ... petulant. a kitten baring it's milk teeth. jimin is utterly and irrevocably fond.

"you're syncing up with jungkook instead of the other way around," yoongi declares, decisively, nosing at seokjin's cheek. "your heat's gonna be in eight days."
weird. /two/ alphas who can do that in as many days. and before yesterday, jimin hadn't even known /one/.

he can see a spark of fear, or maybe just nerves in seokjin's eyes. wonders how it is that the alpha can smell his omega's heat more accurately than the omega can sense it.
"so they sedate me like they /always/ do when my heat comes, and you let joonie drag you out of here like you /always/ do, and you spend your rut with jungkook. like you /always/ do." seokjin snaps out. his voice doesn't betray any of the tension in his eyes.
it takes jimin a full ten seconds to process what he'd just said. joonie.



the smell of the chair hits him full force as he stands up. seokjin wasn't just joking about having another alpha. he knew namjoon. this is /namjoon's/ omega.

... and he's dying.
"for damn near the last three fucking years i haven't left your side while you're in heat, and i'm /not/ starting now." yoongi insists, growling against seokjin's skin.

three years, jimin's mind echoes, uselessly. he should have just asked. should have asked how long.
namjoon, the kind, sweet, /delicious/ alpha from last night.

namjoon, who had scrambled, nervous, unable to even follow through with so much as a kiss when jimin had all but thrown himself at him.

namjoon, who'd said he hadn't been with an omega for nearly /three years/.
and /this/ was the last omega he'd been with. the one he'd been good to. the one he'd stayed beside for so long that he could start to smell the sickness on his skin.

namjoon had told jimin that he smelled /healthy/.

he's gonna fucking vomit.
"i have to go, excuse me." he blurts, rising to leave before anything else can be said about it. he'll find another nurse. find someone to keep seokjin company. there's got to be someone else.
because jimin can't sit there and smile in the face of that wonderful, beautiful, funny, /good/ man. that poor, vulnerable, trusting, /dying/ man - and know that he'd almost fucked his god damn husband last night.

what the fuck was wrong with him? he should have taken the hints.
jimin refuses to be on seokjin's service for an entire week, ignoring the foul looks he gets from /literally/ everyone else in the hospital because apparently seokjin is everyone's favorite and jimin's 'dislike' for him has not gone unnoticed.
if they're pissed that he won't bring the man some ice chips he can't even imagine what they'd think if they knew how badly he wanted to bring the man's husband to climax.
namjoon's scent is ... everywhere. he doesn't know how he hadn't noticed it sooner. gossip travels faster in a hospital than just about any other business in existence, and he quickly (and not entirely willingly) learns just about everything there is to know about the kim pack.
he learns about kim namjoon, established /multi millionaire/ writer and poet, who had published his first book after winning a middle school writing contest and just ... kept the ball rolling from there.
he learns about min yoongi, music producer extraordinaire who had been bonded to namjoon for /nine fucking years/, and that both of them have been mated to namjoon's husband, seokjin, for seven of them.
he learns about jeon jungkook, the sweet omega who seokjin had apparently found on a /dating website/ and then deferred over to yoongi. it's hard to imagine one omega choosing another for their own mate, but then jimin thinks of what seokjin had said. about ruts. it must help.
yoongi's ruts are apparently notorious in this hospital, nurse's avoiding seokjin's room as it approaches for fear of being put directly out (understandable, as most of them were also alphas. that can't have gone over well.)
it seems that seokjin's summary of what 'always' happened was pretty tuned down. it must have physically /pained/ yoongi to have /his/ omega right there and know he couldn't touch him, couldn't hold him down and breed him the way he needed to.
over the last three years, namjoon had sustained several of his own injuries removing yoongi from the premises. which annoyed jimin, because the nurse's all described him as 'so kind' and 'so patient' and 'such a good leader of his pack'.
jimin didn't want to burst their bubble and tell them that namjoon had lured him to a pediatric room with full intent to stick his cock inside of someone who was /not/ his mate. and yeah he'd backed out but ... still. that was fucked up.
not fucked up enough that after revealing it to his boss in a desperate plea to /not/ be the nurse on seokjin's service today it made any difference, though.
"so what, his heat started so he's heavily sedated." the head nurse chastised, "you could ride his husband's knot right on top of him, he wouldn't even stir."

jimin is trying hard /not/ to picture that in his mind. it doesn't work. he wants to cry.
he wants /not/ to want namjoon so badly. wants not to know about how while yoongi obsesses, barely ever able to have seokjin out of his /sight/, namjoon flees. roams the entire hospital all hours of the day and night just to pretend what's happening isn't happening.
but it's so evident. he gets whiffs of namjoon's heady alpha scent in waiting rooms, next to vending machines, in the cafeteria, in /fucking/ NICU which should /really/ not be allowed and he talked to their attending about that.
but apparently it cheers namjoon up to look at babies and apparently he's so sweet and gracious that they let him. fucking sickening.

and so what if jimin was actually there to look at babies and cheer /himself/ up. he was staff, not a visitor. he didn't /live/ at this hospital.
the kim pack, he's starting to realize, /does/ live at this hospital.

but why? seokjin isn't going to get any better here. no matter how rich they are, how much money they pour into research for his condition, how many clinical trials they apply for. he's still dying.
similar to how no matter what jimin says to his boss, he's still assigned to be in that room all day.

fine. fuck it. seokjin is sedated, it can't be that bad. he'll just bring a book and monitor his vitals between chapters. he should be thinking of today as /easy/.
except he steps into the room and there, pressed against seokjin's right side like jimin should have realized someone /would/ be, is kim fucking namjoon.
"oh." jimin says, stupidly, as namjoon's scent /bombards/ him at the door, somehow more thick on the air than seokjin's despite the fact that seokjin is /in heat/.
"sorry, my scent really calms him while he's out like this. i wouldn't have gone so overboard if i'd known he had an omega nurse today..."

namjoon. is talking to him. like he's just ... just seokjin's omega nurse. not the omega nurse he'd been /licking/ last week.
"it's fine." jimin bites out, "there's not really anything that can make me /less/ comfortable with either of you at this point."

he knows brutal honesty is not something considered admirable in medical fields. he doesn't fucking care.
namjoon cuts his eyes at him, a little suspiciously.

"um, /okay/," he drawls out. jimin wonders if he really doesn't remember what happened or something. "well he needs another IV for fluids, he's leaking like a faucet. after that you're free to go."
jimin doesn't think he's ever heard of an alpha so calmly and bluntly describing just how soaking fucking wet omegas get during their heat, certainly not about their own mate. he can't keep the disbelief off of his face, apparently, because namjoon answers his unasked question.
"i fell in love with a person, not a hole." namjoon states, just as rudely and honestly as jimin's own comment. "if fucking the hole hurts the person, there's no appeal. you gonna get those fluids ready, or do i have to find someone who i make less /uncomfortable/?"
obediently, because it's his job and because his omega instincts are going to seize up any second if he doesn't do what the clearly displeased alpha is telling him to do, jimin scans out a fresh bag of saline, replaces the one that's already nearing empty on seokjin's IV.
he can't leave though. he's been assigned to this room today. all day. he's new, and not the most trusted considering the way he's ruined his reputation by refusing to come to this room /before/ today. being spotted somewhere other than where he was supposed to be isn't ideal.
he sits down in the chair. namjoon's chair, his stupid omega brain reminds. alpha's chair. /the/ chair. he sits down in the chair, and goes for the silent truce approach.

namjoon ignores him, wraps an arm around seokjin's disturbingly stilled body, and takes out a tablet.
"i don't know if you'll like this one, hyungie."

namjoon's voice startles jimin, and he realizes that he's not /talking/ to him. he's talking to seokjin.

"i saved it for while you're asleep so you can't bitch at me, so do your best not to remember this as a dream. okay?"
he starts reading. he starts reading what can /only/ be one of his stupid fucking manuscripts to his stupid fucking /best seller/ books.

jimin should feel privileged to hear it. he doesn't. he feels like an outsider looking in.
"what do you think?" namjoon asks, softly, when he's done. he nuzzles himself against seokjin's head, intimate and familiar. listens, as if he can actually hear a reply.

"well, i told you that you wouldn't like it. you're not as much of a romantic as i am, after all."
namjoon bends down and licks the sweat up from seokjin's forehead. soft, sweet little lappings of his tongue against his mate's skin.

it's not unheard of. alphas do it in the days /after/ a heat all the time, but they normally don't have cool enough heads to do it /during/.
jimin feels like he shouldn't be here for this. he doesn't feel uncomfortable, just ... uninvolved. this feels private. intimate.


how many heats has namjoon helped seokjin through without being able to knot him? he'd never ask such a personal question, but still.
"his vitals are so stable," jimin notices, speaking aloud in hopes that it brings some sense of comfort to namjoon. "normally when we sedate omegas for their heats, they're in and out of vtach every few minutes."
namjoon's smile brightens the room so thoroughly that jimin almost regrets saying anything, he wants to kiss him so badly.

"you hear that?" namjoon coos, kissing seokjin's nose sweetly. "i'm taking care of you just as well as if yoongi-hyung were here. he won't believe it."
he buries his nose against seokjin's hair, inhaling. jimin wonders why on earth he'd need to do that when seokjin's scent is flooding the whole room, slick still pouring out of him. jimin will have to change his bed dressings soon.
again, namjoon answers his question without him asking it.

"his scent is always so... sick." namjoon mutters, and jimin tries not to think of it. tries not to remember the way namjoon had elated that he smelled so healthy. tries not to remember being impressed by namjoon's nose.
"but i smell his hair, and it's just ... shampoo. his stupid expensive shampoo, that he makes us custom order for his hair texture and have delivered. doesn't smell sick at all, just smells like my hyung."

he takes another inhale of seokjin's head. jimin wants to cry.
the reason it takes so long for alphas to be able to smell things like post heat, or pregnancy, or sickness, or even certain /emotions/ on an omega is because it's a product of elimination that takes an infallible baseline denominator.
they have to /know/ an omega. to know every single influx of their scent that is /normal/ in order to pinpoint the things that aren't. namjoon had to know what seokjin smelled like happy, sad, aroused, confused, tired, determined, hopeful, and a thousand endless other things.
he had to know what, at the very /root/ of seokjin - just smelled /like seokjin/. that's not easy to do, especially considering the fact that an omega's scent can change as they age, as they emote, as life moves forward.
so it takes /years/. it takes years of daily contact before an alpha will ever find the common denominator. the baseline scent. the one that /never/ leaves no matter what else might pop up - to know it intimately enough that they can deduce when /that/ shifts.
alphas don't know the scent of sickness until they smell it for the first time. for namjoon, he probably just knew seokjin smelled off. unlike himself. abnormal. probably pestered him for weeks to see if there was a secret he was hiding that was upsetting him or something similar
when they find out that it's /sickness/ they can't unsmell it. because sickness can /become/ the baseline. the common denominator. being able to smell sickness was a box alphas were allowed to check on their paperwork in the ER, allowing them a private space to wait.
alphas don't /stay/ with sick omegas. they don't stay anywhere that smells sick.
because it's nauseating to them. of course it is. everything about omegas that appeals to alphas demands health. sexual stamina, child bearing, companionable longevity. every single thing that could make an omega more suitable a mate than a beta /relies/ on health.
so it's only natural that alphas, the natural counterpart to omegas, be disgusted, turned off, /horrified/ by the scent of sickness once they know what it is.

but here is kim namjoon. living in a fucking hospital. scenting his dying mate.
"shit," jimin huffs, leaning more deeply into his chair. "you're actually a good person."
namjoon snorts, finally /looking/ jimin in his eyes for the first time since he's come into the room.

"what makes you think that?"

jimin doesn't have much choice but to be honest, considering it's all he /has/ been so far.

"you can smell his sickness, but you stay with him."
namjoon rolls his eyes, covers seokjin's ears with his hands comedically.

"keep it between us, but i have a /huge fucking crush/ on him," namjoon whispers, tone low and conspiring, and jimin laughs loudly.
he doesn't mean to ask the next question as plainly as he does, but he does.

"if you have such a huge crush why're you feeling up other omegas in your spare time?"

namjoon hums, thoughtful but unoffended. weird. jimin had expected him to get defensive.
"i did ask myself that very same question," namjoon admits. "in fact, it's what i was asking myself when i told you that i couldn't go through with it."

yeah, no shit.

"but he keeps /insisting/ i find someone else, especially now that yoongi-hyung has, and you smell /so/ good."
wait, wait, wait.

seokjin /wanted/ namjoon to fuck another omega?

"i keep telling him that it'll never happen, that i haven't looked twice at another omega for so many years that there's no way i could even pop a knot, but you're /so pretty/ that i figured, hey, might as well-"
"THAT'S WHY HE REQUESTED ME!" jimin suddenly realizes. loudly, and vocally. "YOU TOLD HIM!"

namjoon scoffs.

"of /course/ i told him. what? you thought i wouldn't tell my own husband? he's been teasing me for not going through with it all week! i /figured/ he'd teased you too!"
namjoon was acting like nothing had happened because to him ... nothing had happened. they hadn't kissed. they hadn't fucked. he hadn't /cheated/. he hadn't done /anything/ wrong. of course he wasn't avoiding jimin the same way jimin was avoiding him. he'd never /done/ anything.
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