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Belated Bloom

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***I'm currently writing this fic on www.asianfanfics.com - under the same username, just FYI .

 

WARNINGS: Suicidal thoughts/ ~attempt (not graphic just a bit mentally in depth- and only for 1 chapter or so) Rape (not graphic- I would never do that to you guys, but it does happen to the main character but Exo is not the one who instigates that FYI.) Abuse (Exo and others are apart of this but much of it stems from miscommunication, and in one person's case, obsession.)

OT9:

Minseok – Pack alpha

Junmyeon – Beta/ EXO leader

Yixing – Unpresented “Non”  

Baekhyun – Omega

Jongdae – Omega

Chanyeol – 2nd Alpha

Kyungsoo – Beta

Jongin - Beta

Sehun – Baby Alpha

China line: Yifan - Alpha, Luhan - Beta, Tao - Omega.

 

Others:

Taehyung - Beta

Heechul - Omega

Inspiration: "Hidden Omega" by LadyPrussia. Super awesome story! Go read it if you like Rapmon/BTS (it's unfinished but really well written!) After reading it I had the idea to adapt the concept, my story and writing are all my own- it does not follow LadyPrussia's in anyway and does not plagarize in accordance to the Terms of Use on this site. If you feel differently please let me know. Until then, enjoy!

A/N: I have the whole thing planned out, it all just depends on how fast I can write them fully out. For now, this will be multi-chaptered, and I plan on them atleast being 5,000 words each but let's be real people- it will probably more. <3

Chapter Text

A/N:   'nnn' - thoughts     "nnn" - dialogue/Korean      "nnnn" - Chinese (just FYI <3)

 

 

~ Wind ~

Oh Sehun learned early on, just as his fellow schoolmates had, that fooling around before you presented was a bad idea. The government, the teachers, and parents - they all said so. From what he could gather, it would create lots of issues and conflicts in a pre-existing relationship after presentation; roles could change, pack issues could arise, and attraction could wane. But, some idiots want to break social norms or whatever crap (it didn't really matter to him what other shit people got into - pssshhh) and went ahead and let their freak flag fly.

Sehun saw this happen first hand in his family pack actually. His cousin Su Lee became very close with a boy in high school and just after they graduated, his cousin presented and claimed to want nothing to do with her longtime boyfriend and dropped him- just like that. Admittedly she was one of his annoying cousins (a total alpha) but Sehun did feel sorry for the young man she had abandoned. That experience and the general populace consensus drove Sehun to keep everyone (girls and boys) at arms length, never having any close friends or socializing outside of school kept him from making a stupid mistake. He was lonely most the time but, deep down he couldn't wait until his own presentation so he could bond with his own pack and just freely love them without risks.

However even with his cool demeanor in place, wherever he went people told him "Don't waste your face" "join our company" or some merely mentioned he should consider joining an agency. One day in 2008 he decided he wanted to try this whole entertainment thing and auditioned for SM Entertainment, which (of course) he was promptly accepted.

He had heard horror stories of the difficulties idols faced and how strenuous the training could be (sounds horrible if you ask him) but he figured he had age on his side and natural beauty of course and he shouldn't waste it. Sehun soon recieved confirmation for his accepteance into their trainee program and his mother was thrilled to drive him straight over to sign his life away.

So...here he was...standing on the curb like a statue outside SM's entrance with his mother's parting words ringing fresh in his ears. "Sehunnie don't let this opportunity go to waste. You go and train hard and become a star okay baby boy, and make some friends for once okay? It's trendy to bond within those idol groups; maybe you'll find your pack sweetie! Just please, don't ignore the people around you- you deserve to be happy too Sehunnie". 

What she had said made him even more anxious to begin his new life in SMEnt, she had basically told him to do the exact opposite of what he had been doing his whole life until now, to let people in. These thoughts whirled around his mind as he pulled his bubbly black coat closer to fend of the chill seeping into his collar and apprehensively approached the doors to SM Entertainment. Maybe he had moved too quickly or possibly too suddenly or bumped into someone- whatever the case, he was falling, straight towards the unforgiving ground. He closed his eyes, braced his arms and gave an instinctive yelp as he prepared for his imminent meeting with the cement below. But the impact was soft and his yell was suddenly muffled in the soft ground.

'Wait, soft ground?!' Sehun thought as he lifted his head for a better view of said ground.

Instead of the boring, cold, grimy cement of the streets of Seoul, Sehun caught a glimpse of soft black hair hiding under the puffy white jacket that had just broken his fall. Realizing he was lounging on the person he had just fallen onto he scrambled to his knees, straddling the poor soul, and carefully turned them over. Large mocha eyes stared back at him, glazed and confused.

'Oh good, he's awake- phew!' Sehun slapped his hands on the ground, dropped his head down and and let out a breath he hadn't realized he had been holding.

The body under him suddenly squirmed and giggled out in broken Korean "Hahahaha, stop! - ticklish! haha". In a split second Sehun had his sight zeroed in on the most gorgeous sight he had ever seen in his 14 years of life, a smiling and dimpled angel looking up at him from where he lay underneath Sehun on the cement. Again, he held his breath, this time in awe and shock. The boy before him was maybe a little older, maybe even a little slimmer than himself (was that humanly possible?), he even had a few spots on his face but his eyes...those eyes just mesmerized him. Those two mocha eyes twinkled with a sparkle of levity and joy that drew Sehun into their depths, caught like a mouse in a trap he froze in shock.

He was so caught up in those entrancing eyes he was confused to be met once again with the eyesore of the grey cement of the sidewalk. Looking up sharply he caught the sight of a familiar white coat quickly whipping out of sight behind the tinted glass doors of SMEnt. 

'Damn he's quick,' he thought...then after a moment he realized just where the angel had run off to.

'Shit, I'm so fucked.' 

 

 

* Ice * & ! Fire !

Kim Minseok was a blessed individual, or so he believed. He had his struggles, sure, but none that had ever stopped him from achieving his goals. He had struggled with weight and even struggled when he had presented earlier than most of his peers at the age of 17, but ultimately the presentation helped him with his weight struggles too.

Minseok was blessed though to have lost all that weight, he was blessed to have presented as an alpha a son of his family's pack alpha, and he was blessed to be sitting in the office of the CEO of SM Entertainment. Signing his young soul away to a life with the company and of course the possibility to become an idol. A dream he had never dreamt until recently when he had spontaneously auditioned after his presentation, his alpha status and his unique voice won him this seat here in this office to sign the contract laid out in front of him while the CEO of said company sat in front of him silently.

Similarly three other contracts were laid out on either side of his own, one on the left in front of a large eared boy with curly hair and on his right two empty seats with lonely contracts and pens on the table. The boy on his left mentioned his name was Chanyeol, obviously younger than himself but Chanyeol hadn't seemed to notice. Another blessing of his actually, his seemingly young features compared to his age.

The other boy, Chanyeol, was ungendered but he had a similar feel to other alphas he had met and would bet money that Chanyeol would present as such in the future. Minseok himself was not the typical alpha, he had been groomed from birth to be a pack leader like his father, most pack leaders were calm and calculating alphas who need to make the important decisions and take care of their pack. Minseok took great pride in his upbringing and possessed all of these qualities and more (possibly one of the reasons SM wanted him- idol groups became packs more times than not and a possible pack leader would be very useful). Whether he lead the idol group or the pack, Minseok was positive he would have some type of leading role in the future.

*click*

"Very sorry" a soft accented voice broke him from his musings.

Looking over his shoulder he followed the slim form of the boy who had just entered the office as he gracefully hurried to the empty seat on Minseok's right. After the boy settled next to him he couldn't help but stare a bit longer. The boy had no amazing features as far as he could tell; skinny, shaggy haired, unclear face, and worst of all he was late...but something about the younger called for him to take a closer look...

"It's okay Yixing, thank you for coming so quickly from the airport." the man in front of them stepped forward and shook hands with "Yixing" who gave a deep bow in return. 

The CEO turned towards myself and Chanyeol and began introductions "Yixing, these new trainees are Chanyeol and Minseok. Minseok, Chanyeol - this in Yixing a new trainee from Changsha China. Please get along and take care of each other" simple and clear to the point he returned to his desk. He continued to explain the contracts and gave us time to look them over- even calling in a translator, who had seemingly been waiting outside the office, to help the Chinese trainee. Once they had all signed and finalized their contracts CEO Kim Young-Min called in a handler to show them to their new living space.

As they walked out the office doors a young boy was being ushered in to see the CEO, 'probably the long lost 4th trainee, where is he coming from? England?' Minseok scoffed then banished the thought of the very tardy trainee.

Minseok turned to Yixing instead, "So, you're from China. Do you know much Korean?" he asked hesitantly.

"Hm?" Yixing looked away with a puzzled look and kept walking. A few seconds later he looked back and replied in stilted Korean "Um, just a little...I'm...learning"

Chanyeol suddenly appeared next to Yixing "Oh, I can help! I'm super good at Korean!".

"Because you are Korean" Minseok blithely replied

"So? Some Koreans really can't speak Korean" Chanyeol defended.

"True enough" Minseok paused and turned to Yixing who had a glazed-over expression already. "We'll try to help you" he said slowly "but SM will be giving you classes right?". After a moment Yixing hesitantly nodded. 

"Sounds like a plan then roomies- we'll help you hyung! Yixing-hyung, Fighting!" Chanyeol paused in his encouragement when Yixing turned to him confused "uh...Jaiyo! Right? Yeah, jaiyo!" lifting his fist up to Yixing. Suddenly a giant smile bloomed on Yixing's face and adorable dimples appeared, Yixing's sweet smile was infectious and Chanyeol burst into a large toothy smile as well. With a small chuckle and a smirk to match Minseok raised his fist with Yixing's so they matched Chanyeol.

"Fighting" came a soft, hesitant cry from the sweet dimpled angel between them. Minseok and Chanyeol shared a quick wide-eyed glance that communicated these simple words:

'He is so adorable!'

'Omg, he's sweet enough to eat.' 

(A/N: Marshmallow *singing Xuimin*)

 

 

^ Flight ^  &  $ Water $

Wu Yifan had made many mistakes, he may not admit to all of them, but they still happened of course. He wasn't perfect even if most people think he is, or at least should be. After all he is the son of a prominent pack leader in Guangzhou, Guangdong. Even after he and his mother had moved to Canada many still expected him to be this perfect little leader or something. Yifan never cared for being labeled or stereotyped and rebelled strongly against the values everyone pushed upon him. He unhappily presented as an alpha at seventeen and two years later moved to South Korea to pursue a career in music, specifically in the lucrative idol industry. He joined SM Entertainment with many regrets, but he kept himself busy with training and socializing with the other trainees.

During his first week in the company he was introduced to Kim Junmyeon, a beta who was a veteran trainee helping the new incoming trainees. Kim Jongin, a new trainee as well, was introduced to him through Junmyeon. He introduced himself as Kim Jongin, younger than them both and ungendered but that's to be expected of a thirteen year old boy. Technically Junmyeon was also younger than Yifan but only by a few months, so in the end Junmyeon agreed to talk more comfortably with him. Yifan was never much of a talker but he soon became amiable with the other two Koreans in the dorm. A year later (way too long if you ask Yifan) they were still training and learning about the industry when SM announced they had four new trainees arriving within the week.

The day they were meant to arrive Jongin, Yifan and Junmyeon cleaned up the dorm; Jongin left to go practice afterwards and Junmyeon went with Yifan to eat in the small SM "cafeteria" (AKA: a tiny lounge you can eat in but they don't actually serve food, they just have 2 crappy vending machines). They hadn't been there long when one tall boy and two shorter boys they did not recognize walked into the lounge. The trio sent small smiles in their direction then bowed to both Yifan and Junmyeon. The boys then turned their sights to the vending machines. 

"That one in the white is adorable, don't you think Yifan?" Junmyeon motioned to the figure on the right.

"Sure, if dimples and dazed looks do it for you".

"So you ARE looking, that's a first" Junmyeon teased.

With a roll of his eyes Yifan shot back "Fuck you, I have a life. You should get one too. And stop checking out random strangers!....it's creepy".

Junmyeon shrugged and turned away, he was already used to Yifan's rough bravado and quickly set his sights once more on the three cute trainees.

"Wait.....weren't there four new trainees?" Junmyeon quickly turned to confirm the info with Yifan who shrugged and ignored Junmyeon's predictable breakdown.

"Did we lose one already? Is he lost? What if he's been kidnapped? Oi! You three! Where's number four?!!?!"

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

- Teleportation -

Kim Jongin found life to be very frustrating. From a young age, his mother had forced him to keep his hair long and permed, which caused many annoying misunderstandings in the restroom and even among his friends. They didn't bully him really, but sometimes their pranks and jokes went a little too far, which can hurt the fragile pride and confidence of a child.

So as Jongin grew older he became more closed off and shy- sure he had his friends still but he always felt he needed something else, something fulfilling in his life. That something came in the form of a paper smacking him in the face one blustery day in late March. For a moment, he thought he had gone blind but the crackling of the straining paper soon clued him in to the silly reality of his situation.

After reaching up and crumpling the offending paper, he had nearly cast it aside but paused after seeing the image of a small shoe-clad foot near one of the edges. Wondering if it was possibly a missing person's notice, Jongin carefully smoothed the paper out on his thigh to reveal two dancing figures and a notice about a new ballet studio just down the road from his school. 

The figures looked very elegant to Jongin and dancing had always been a fun past time for him, plus his mother and father had been constantly badgering him to find a healthy hobby instead of playing video games with his friends. So, on a whim he decided to visit the studio and from that day on he visited nearly every day after school. His parents, thrilled he had found a healthy way to spend his time, dished out the money for his lessons and studio time. Jongin progressed quickly and impressed his teachers with his natural skills and strength.

 

By the time he reached twelve years of age his instructors were urging him to compete, and his parents kept mentioning auditions for companies to "secure his future" (or some nonsense like that). Being a child, Jongin didn't really care for the money and was more interested in possibly competing, until one day his father offered him something much more tempting than an award.

"Jongin-ah, I know you said you didn't want to audition but please listen to me one last time, I have a very good proposition for you this time" his father had stared at him solemnly and waited for an answer. 

"Abeoji~" Jongin whined, "I just don't wanna do it." His father raised a hand to silence him.

 "Just hear me out, your mother and I have agreed that" he paused, " If you go to the SM audition next week, we will get you a Nintendo." Now that caught his attention.

Jongin sat in shock for a few moments. He really wanted that Nintendo but he didn't really want to audition...

"Fine" he sighed after a pause, "I'll do it, but only for the Nintendo".

So as promised he showed up to the audition and performed an original piece he had been working on for competition, then he left and thought nothing of it except his new Nintendo.

 

Then something unexpected happened, 2 weeks after his audition he was called by Lee Soo Man himself and was asked to join him and the current SM CEO Kim Young-Min in his office the next week to sign a contract with SM Entertainment. Jongin was intrigued that they had liked him and called him personally but wasn't sure he had the confidence to be an idol...in the end though, he accepted Lee Soo Man-nim's offer and decided not to look back.

At first, he had been intimidated by the other trainees but five of them debuted in a group called Shinee just after he had joined their ranks. Sadly, his new dance buddy Taemin-hyung debuted with Shinee as well, so all he really had was Junmyeon-hyung to hang out with in the dorms or at the studio.

It's not that he didn't like Junmyeon-hyung, this hyung just enjoyed singing more and didn't care for dancing like Taemin-hyung had. For nearly a year he had a little hole in his life that couldn't be filled no matter how hard he danced. Even Yifan, the Chinese/Canadian trainee who was always looking for things to learn, didn't want to practice in the studio with him. 

Nearly a year after he had joined SM, the staff announced that four new idol trainees were joining them. Jongin was elated, unless he had some rotten luck, one of those trainees was bound to be a dancer like him! In his excitement, he rushed to help clean the dorm and quickly found himself waiting in the dance studio.

He had told Junmyeon-hyung and Yifan-hyung he was going to practice but truthfully, he was a bit nervous to meet the new trainees. But deep down he felt the need to wait in the studio, hoping the dance-oriented trainee would magically appear and dance with him. So, he waited, and waited, and waited, and...you guessed it- he waited.

Jongin sighed 'this is stupid', it had been four hours since he arrived and still no one had shown up. 'I wish Taemin-hyung were here'. 

 

He trudged over to the sound system and connected his MP3 player, quickly scrolling through his vast list of songs until he found what he had been searching for. With a quick tap Shinee's upbeat bop "Replay" echoed in the empty studio. Jongin knew nearly all the steps and began bouncing to the beat.

As soon as Jong-Hyun sunbaenim's smooth vocals trickled out the speakers the door to the studio crashed open scaring the life out of Jongin. 

"Jongin-ah!!" Junmyeon-hyung yelled over the speakers, "Have you seen number four!!??!".

With a hand over his poor startled heart Jongin quickly walked over and paused the loud music. He looked over at Junmyeon-hyung with a confused expression thinking he had misheard him, "What did you say?".

Looking over his hyung's head Jongin could see three other people standing at the door. One looked like an elf? I mean, just look at those ears. And the other two were a bit too short for him to see clearly.

Junmyeon gave an irritated sigh, "Have you seen the fourth trainee anywhere? I found three of them but supposedly the fourth one was late and now we can't find him!".

Jongin also gave an irritated sigh 'someone needs to get Junmyeon some anxiety meds, uuggghh'.

"No hyung, no one's been by here except for me" Jongin replied.

"Seriously?! Where could he have gone?!" with an exaggerated throw of his arms Junmyeon rushed back out the door and down the hall to badger more innocent bystanders for information, two of the trainees quickly followed him. Jongin waited as the last trainee hesitated and looked back and forth between Junmyeon's retreating form and the warm light of the SM studio where Jongin stood.

"It's okay, you can come in if you want", the trainee seemed even more unsure because of his words.

"It's alright, come on in. Junmyeon-hyung won't mind. I can take you back to the dorms when I'm done here." Jongin paused and waited for a response.

 

Slowly the trainee lightly stepped onto the wooden floors of the studio and into the light. Now that Jongin could clearly seem him he was a bit blown away. It's the strangest thing...he's not really strikingly handsome but he had a bit of a swagger in his gate and a light step. But what really caught his attention were the open and innocent eyes of the young man in front of him.

His eyes, just wow! were they actually sparkling?! Damn, Jongin could get lost in those eyes forever.

The boy's accented voice broke their silent staring contest. 

"You dance?"

Jongin's eyed widened a bit 'Is he the dancer? Woah, I might just be ... in love? Holy crap!'. Jongin's mind began to race before it suddenly came to a screeching halt.

'Wait, he just asked a question, answer Jongin, Answer him!!' Jongin straightened his back and looked away trying to look cool.

"Yeah, I..uh, I dance." He floundered for a second before asking, "Do you dance?".

"I do, the song...before...I liked it- uhhh...Replay. Shinee?" the other's accent became more prominent as he spoke more, even throwing in a Chinese word as well? Jongin just found it so adorable! 

"Wanna dance?" Jongin asked, gesturing to the open studio.

With a smile that could light up a city the trainee replied "Yes!" with such enthusiasm you would have thought Jongin had offered him the world. His lively and dimpled smile quickly brought a wolfish smile to Jongin's face too. 

Jongin offered his hand to the smiling boy "I'm Kim Jongin".

"Nice...to meet you, I'm Zhang Yixing" He replied in stilted Korean before shaking his hand and giving a short bow.

Jongin bowed and quickly turned to the sound system once more and pushed play. Yixing quickly shed his white coat and excitedly moved to the center of the floor next to Jongin.

 

As the vocals came in Jongin was surprised to see Yixing moving perfectly to the beat and his choreography was spot on. A quick glance in the mirror had him reeling, 'Damn. Those hips are dangerous.' Jongin thought as Yixing popped his hips side to side. Jongin was so mesmerized it took him half the song to notice another figure standing near the open studio door.

This time it was another boy he hadn't seen, possibly younger than Jongin, standing stock still watching Yixing and Jongin with hungry eyes. Jongin couldn't help but grin then glance back at the mirror in front of him, 'We do look good together', Jongin couldn't help but think. 

As soon as the music stopped Yixing took a knee along with some gasping breaths, still not having noticed the newcomer. 

"Ya! Kid!", his sudden yell broke the boy out of his intense stare and he locked eyes with Jongin. 'Mmmm, he's quite a handsome one too'.

"What did you want?" Jongin continued, "Are you the trainee Junmyeon-hyung was looking for?".

With a tone of insolence, the young boy replied "I don't know any Junmyeons but I do know dancing and you guys are pretty good...teach me." he demanded.

His retort was a bit sassy for Jongin's liking. He watched silently as Yixing shyly looked away and gave Jongin a pleading look.

Jongin gave him a raised eyebrow in return, 'well well well, this could be fun after all'. Funny enough, the thought seemed to fit right into the small Teamin-shaped hole in his heart. 

With a wide smile, he gestured for the boy to come in and join them.

"Well then, let's get started!"

 

 

:   Time  :  #  Strength  #  `  Telepathy  ' 

Huang Zitao was born to an omega mother and an alpha father who hailed from a family known for its strong lineage of alphas. Ever since his birth he was expected to become the next alpha in a very long line of alphas dating back nearly 300 years, spanning many generations. His mother's family had a lineage of betas intermixed with a few alphas, she was the first omega of her family, but most did not expect her to pass on the rare gene, especially if she birthed a son. 

The standardization of Wushu in china spread in the 1950's, starting with his grandfather who trained his son who now trains him, Zitao. For years he trained hard with his father and even his grandfather. He competed in local tournaments and collected a few awards here and there.

Even a few talent scouts had seen his skills and had given him their information. Zitao never contacted them, his father would never want to see his Wushu trained son dancing around like some flower boy.  

 

His father and grandfather were very proud of his accomplishments in Wushu and were always quick to remind him he would only get better once he presented as an alpha. They always went on and on about the strength and pride of the alpha, even his own omega mother never talked to him much about any other possible presentation.

So, when he presented a month before his 17th birthday he was shocked to be entering what he could only vaguely recognize as a heat. Luckily his parents were still asleep down the hall and he was able to sneak out undetected. He even jumped the wall instead of leaving out the gate entrance just in case someone from his family might be there. 

As soon as the chill of the night truly registered he began to panic and breakdown. All of his anxieties and worries about his presentation were happening! He wasn't an alpha, he never would be, he father would hate him! Soon Zitao's small cries turned into wails as he hugged himself and screamed his anger and sadness into the empty night.

And that's how the police found him early in the morning, passed out but still crouched in a copse of trees on the outskirts of the neighborhood. The police knew him and his family well so they tried to escort him back home.

It took a few beats as they dragged him upright for him to remember why he was there, but the night soon came rushing back to him and Zitao thrashed in their arms and begged them to let him go, begged them not to take him home. Without having any real reason to arrest him, even if he did seem distressed, they let him go and left with a final admonishment of not staying out late at night. 

 

Zitao was calm- completely calm mind you- when he bought a plane ticket with the help of a friend so he could flee the city he grew up in. And he definitely did not whimper when the hospital in Shanghai diagnosed him as a newly presented omega.

Sadly, he DID spend a week in hell, waiting in a heat room at the hospital, trying to wish away his omega status as his body changed in ways he did not want. Once he was released from the hospital he contacted a friend from his international Wushu competitions, Matthew Kim, a South Korean pen pal of sorts who lived in Seoul- he had reluctantly agreed to help pay for Zitao's flight to Incheon airport. His friend warned him that he couldn't house Zitao but he had a friend who had spare couch space if he needed it.

Once he arrived his friend picked him up from the airport, he had given him a pitying look and a strong hug before ushering him to the car park. Matthew communicated with him in Mandarin (Matthew grew up in Nevada, and is fluent in English, Mandarin, and spoke pretty good Korean) and carefully explained that he took off work to come pick him up and have lunch, but he also reassured him that he didn't need to pay him back anytime soon.

"Just get settled first, if Seoul is where you wanna stay then definitely learn Korean but you also don't have to stay here if you don't want to. There's a big world out there Zitao and lots of ways to live your life. Just have fun, don't worry too much about the omega stuff alright?".

Those were the words that stuck with Zitao as he stood outside the restaurant Matthew had treated him to. In his hand was a tiny slip of paper with the contact information of Matthew's friend scrawled upon it. In a moment of pure insecurity Zitao ducked into the nearest store still unsure of what to do, but he felt more secure in the store than on the busy bustling streets of Seoul.

 

Rapid movement to his left caught his eye, he turned and was met with the picture of an idol group dancing in shiny clothes on a huge stage. There was no sound, and looking around now Zitao realized he had ducked into a television appliance store. T.Vs surrounded him actually and mostly the video of that same boyband was playing. 

'They make money...they make LOTS of money' Zitao's eyes widened. "Where's my wallet..." he whispered to himself as he scrambled to dig his wallet out of his small luggage bag.

'Aha!' he mentally exclaimed as he opened up his black leather wallet and found he talent scouts' card he had been given over half a month earlier.

'SM Entertainment?' Zitao quickly hid his wallet away and walked over to the store manager who had been eyeing him carefully.

"Sir...SM Entertain- Enter "

"SM Entertainment?" the man asked.

"Yes...where?"

"Uhh, SM's building?" with a nod from Zitao he continued, "I think it's actually a few blocks away kid, maybe turn right" he pointed out the door and to the right. 

"Then 4 blocks to the left?" the manager held up four fingers and then pointed the opposite way he had before.

 

Zitao thanked him and headed to the left just as he walked out the door, he tried to follow the man's instructions but it soon became clear he was lost. He wandered for a bit hoping to catch someone who spoke Mandarin to give him directions or help him. Just as he was passing the entrance to a large apartment complex he accidentally ran over a small young man who had darted out in front of him.

"Ahh!"

"ouch... oh! I'm so sorry! Are you okay? Here let me help you up hyungnim!" the shorter boy quickly pulled him back on his feet and was apologizing in rapid Korean phrases.

"Sorry, I don't understand-" Zitao was cut off by another Chinese voice.

"Hey it's okay, Kyungsoo go wait with the guide okay? Sir, are you okay? you're not hurt right?" he looked over at the other boy who had interrupted him. He was a beta, taller than the first boy, with large doe like eyes and sandy brown hair.

"You speak Mandarin!? Oh, thank goodness, I need you help please." Zitao grabbed the boys shoulders and stared deep into his eyes pleading for help.

"Wait, so you are unhurt correct?" Zitao stopped and looked down letting his shoulders go.

"Oh?" he patted himself down, "yeah I'm fine, but that's not important" the other boy raised his eyebrows in disbelief." I need direction to a building for SM Entertainment, do you know where it is? I have a card from a talent scout with the address on it, but I don't have anyway to look it up".

The shorter boy looked hesitantly over to the van near the road where the even shorter boy and his "manager" stood, "Well, um, actually I'm basically a new trainee there, so is Kyungsoo. The one you ran into earlier. We were just putting our luggage away before heading back to the company building...I can go ask the manager for you if you want to catch a ride with us?" he pointed over towards the sour looking man by the van.

The beta reached out a hand to Zitao "By the way, I'm Luhan"

"Huang Zitao" he replied shaking "Luhan's" hand.

"Good to know. Here, let me take the card to him too. I bet he will at the very least let you ride with us if he sees that scout card." And with card in hand Luhan ran over to the manager with Zitao in tow. The manager seemed hesitant at first but when Luhan presented the card his face changed to disbelief before he turned around and grabbed his phone. He seemed to urgently mumbling into the phone, too quiet for Zitao to hear or understand, and after about 5 minutes he turned back around.

"Huang Zitao, please come with us" he motioned to the van, "SM has been expecting you".

 

Luhan turned to him looking a bit perturbed but translated the message to him in Mandarin. Zitao agreed and climbed into the van along with Luhan and Kyungsoo. The manager explained to Luhan and Kyungsoo that Zitao was a prospective talent from china and they had been hoping to hear back from him, not expecting him to show up in person.

As soon as they arrived, all three were herded to the elevator and brought straight into the CEO's office when arriving at the top floor. In front of them lay three contracts on a small wooden table, one for Luhan, one for Kyungsoo, and even one for Zitao. Luhan questioned the CEO in Korean asking on Zitao's behalf about the sudden contract offer, a little worried that they might possibly be trying to take advantage of his seemingly confused countryman.

The CEO waved his worries away with a hand, instantaniously a translator appeared from the entrance and promptly explained to Zitao that SM had written up a contract a week earlier hoping to hear back from the talented "Wushu Warrior" (their talent scout had raved about him upon his return to Korea). Nodding, Zitao explained his situation and that he was willing to sign a contract today if it meant he would have a place to stay and food to eat. The CEO then nodded in approval and explained they could read over their contracts now and sign when ready.

Surprisingly Kyungsoo and Zitao both signed their contracts after only glancing over them, so together they were lead from the room leaving Luhan behind. This made Zitao very nervous, Luhan had mostly been the one translating for him up until now and his own Korean was non-existent. However, they were led to a small studio and asked to wait there for another trainee who would be their guide around the building once Luhan was finished.

 

Kyungsoo and Zitao sat in a very awkward silence for about ten minutes before Zitao's anxiety got the best of him and he began to shoot questions in broken Korean at Kyungsoo, who in turn seemed to give him a hateful glare, shooting back Korean phrases he didn't understand.

'Does he hate me because I ran into him earlier? Is my Korean that bad? ughhh, I think he might actually hate me'

Zitao slipped down the wall into a crouched position on the floor. Those depressing thoughts sent him into a panic which he then unknowingly released a panicked omega scent into the room. Kyungsoo was completely unaffected by the scent (ungendered persons cannot scent until after presentation) but seemed to be sporting a worried look as Zitao began to suddenly cry.

He couldn't see clearly as tears had clouded his vision but he heard a nearby door slam open along with loud, maybe angry? Korean phrases. Zitao didn't want to face anyone, especially like this.

'like a stupid crybaby' he admonished himself dropping his head down and curling his legs up to hide himself in a ball.

 

"Hey, don't worry, what's wrong? Don't cry, I'm here to help you. Zitao, right?" a sweet kind lilt of Changsha broke through his troubled thoughts.

He slowly lifted his head to glimpse at the person trying to console him. Zitao's eyes widened and his cries turned to small hiccups as he stared up at the sweet angel above him. The first thing he saw were kind brown eyes, they softly lingered on his tear stained cheeks before meeting his own eyes once more. The angel then reached up a hand to wiped the tears away then gave him a warm smile.

'Oh' his eyes widened 'angel has adorable dimples!'. Even though he had just been crying Zitao had almost squealed when the dimples had appeared. He really wanted to reach out and poke one.

"Yixing- ungh. What's that smell? ugghh, I don't feel so...good..." the sound of someone hitting the ground broke Zitao from his thoughts of poking the cute dimples.

Looking over towards the source of the thud he spotted a prone figure lying just inside the door. The angel also turned away then quickly crawled over to the body on the ground, even Kyungsoo had rushed over to the body leaving Zitao lounging against the wall alone staring with a confused expression at the trio across the room.

"Jongin! Jongin! Can you hear me?"

 

 

<   Light  >  &  {  Lightning  }

Byun Baekhyun knew he was special, I mean, just one glance and anyone could tell you that. He had been born with a lovable face and soft features, not to mention his slim frame. Sure he had put on a bit of weight as a young child but now it was obvious- he was the perfect specimen, the embodiment of a pure omega. As far back as he could remember people assumed he would present omega, Baekhyun didn't mind and even embraced their praises.

It was all quite boring really, his presentation. Just as anyone and everyone had predicted he had presented right on time as an omega on his 18th birthday. He hadn't seen much of a physical change in himself, it probably explained why his first heat had gone so smoothly- nearly painless actually which was quite a rare occurrence. So, while Baekhyun was special, his actual life was anything but.

 

For a year he auditioned for companies all over Korea, even traveling to Busan in hopes of impressing the talent scouts in a less saturated market. Sadly, he was turned away every time with hurtful and critical remarks that only drove him to work harder to join the entertainment industry. They all seemed to say the same thing though:

"We don't need an omega, sorry kid."

"Maybe someone of your status would be best suited for a different profession?"

He could take the criticism, he could even take the gender stereotyping, what he could not take was their ignorance of his abilities. None of them gave him a chance to sing- ever. The moment they saw his omega status they would dismiss him from the stage with the grace of a clumsy elephant.

This never stopped him though, he always left the stage head held high, never letting his tears fall until he was safely hidden away from prying eyes.

 

Soon he found himself once again in Seoul, a friend of his mother works at SM Entertainment and had let her know they were having an open audition at the company's building if Baekhyun was interested. Of course he was on a train to Seoul in a heartbeat and here he was standing outside the SM Entertainment building looking like a fool, gawking at the bright lights and tinted doors.

'If I don't pass this last one maybe I should ju-' Baekhyun's brain suddenly stopped and went into over drive, 'What is that smell?'.

Baekhyun quickly followed his nose to a nearby alley tightly tucked into the south side of the SM building where a small form was crouched. The smell was coming from the small huddled form, the scent of a distressed omega. Well he couldn't just ignore the poor thing so he crouched down to eye level and carefully laid a hand on the shivering shoulder of the other omega.

"Hello? Um...are you hurt anywhere?" he questioned the curled form nervously. Ugghh, he was horrible at this kind of stuff.

"Just go away, I'm fine." the other boy replied without looking up.

 

Baekhyun took another sniff wondering if he had misjudged the situation- 'oh...he's a new omega- poor thing. His hormones must be causing an emotional response'.

"Here, let me help you, my name is Baekhyun. You're a new omega, right?"

The head in front of him lifted just enough for red rimmed eyes to peak over pale arms. The boy gave a small but sharp nod.

"Do you know where your hormone levels are at? Do they feel elevated? Maybe I should take you the hosp-"

"No!" the boy suddenly burst out, seemingly agitated by the thought of a hospital visit.

"O~kay...but you might need mediation if it's too high."

"No, I can't, I have to go audition no matter what!" The boy became tear-eyed once more. "Waaaeee! What am I going to do! I can't stop crying and I have to audition today!''.

 

Suddenly the boy began blubbering once more, annoyed and feeling a bit pressured for time Baekhyun enacted what he thought was the quickest solution to both their troubles. He pulled his shirt a bit to the side and pulled the other boy into his scent gland where his neck met his shoulder. He held strong as the boy lightly struggled, only thinking of calming thoughts hoping his scent would calm the boy down enough to get him into the building before they both missed their auditions.

Surprisingly, the boy seemed to calm down and latch onto Beakhyun falling further into his embrace. Omegas were known to have the most comforting scent of all the genders. Calming and relaxing effects were the usual product of scenting an omega. Baekhyun looked down at the little omega in his arms.

"So, you cool now?" Baekhyun hesitantly leaned away from the seemingly calm omega.

"hmm?" the boy seemed a bit dazed, a common side effect of scenting as well. "Yeah? I think I'm okay...thanks, uh...Baekhyun right?"

Baekhyun nodded before standing up, careful to lead the other omega into a standing position as well.

"Thank you, I just presented last week and I've been practicing for this audition for a month" the boy gave a small sad smile before holding out his hand to Baekhyun.

"I'm Kim Jongdae by the way" Baekhyun smiled at Jongdae before offering his own had in return, "Byun Baekhyun- an omega of one year and I'm auditioning today as well".

 

Jongdae's eyes widened in shock before they were replaced with eyes full of resolution. "Please hyung, help me get through this audition, I really want this but my omega is still settling and as you saw it's causing all kinds of issues. Please help me...just keep me calm until it's over, please!." Jongdae pleaded with him.

For a moment Baekhyun just looked at Jongdae, trying to stare into his soul to discern his true intentions. After a minute Baekhyun's serious face broke into his signature lovable grin. He slung his arm around Jongdae and pulled him along towards the doors of SM.

"Don't worry, I'll be there for you! How could I say no to such a cute omega!" He cooed at Jongdae as they entered the large forum turning to the left, a large sign past the doors indicated for auditionees to keep left.

"Excuse me" an accented voice called out from behind them. Baekhyun pulled Jongdae into a 180 degree turn to respond to the voice. Baekhyun felt Jongdae freeze under his arm before his mind fully registered what he was seeing. Stood in front of them, only about 10 feet away was a slim pale boy with long black hair, he wore baggy pants and tight t-shirt, a beanie on his head completed his look perfectly. But do you want to know what was truly perfect? The dual sparkling jewels that were filled with kindness that looked upon them with mirth.

 

The boy smoothly took two steps forward, "You actually have to go that way" pointing behind himself, the opposite way in which they had been headed. " The sign at the front is actually-"

"Waaee! The sign says for auditionees to go left, not right." Jongdae sounded loud in Baekhyun's ear but it didn't matter as he kept on staring at the newcomer and his lovely mocha eyes. Said newcomer giggled lightly before holding up his hands and backing away in surrender.

"Well, if you are sure then I guess I can't stop you. You better hurry, I think I heard auditions have already begun." And with a small wave and a dimpled smile the angel trotted away from the two frozen boys.

"Wait" Baekhyun looked over to Jongdae," Did the angel just say the auditions already started!".

"Shit, come on hyung let's go!".

The boys set off at a run in the direction they had been headed before that lovely interruption. Somehow they ended up in the SM accounting office, which directed them to turn right at the entrance instead of left. Damned angel was right, ugghh, now they were gonna be so late!

Well, even if they might miss their audition- at least they were able to meet an angel along the way.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

+ Healing +

Zhang Yixing knew the world was cruel- most people thought he was a sweet innocent angel who could never understand the horrors everyone faced day to day. But of course, he did! People really think someone could get by on good vibes alone? No, it takes intelligence, cunning, perseverance and an elusive spirit to get into this business.

Not all idols have all those skills but at least one is necessary and all of them are roots from a seed, and that seed is experience. Experience with the real world, experience with the monsters and tricksters that plague every single human life on the planet earth. Yet somehow Yixing is put into this category of the innocent, when in actuality his mind and life are very much the opposite.

He has to fight his own demons and jump over the hurdles life throws at him, just like the rest of the world. Then, there's a moment, a moment where you lose your balance. All hell breaks loose, and you trip over one of those hurdles, big or small, and fall face first into the drudges of the world; addiction, hate, greed, depression, you name it- it's waiting there, waiting for you to fall when you are at your weakest.

Maybe people think he's some amazing person who just soars over all those hurdles on snowy white wings of an angel, but even if he had those wings they were ripped out long ago.

 

For a while now he had been scraping the bottom of the barrel- circling the drain if you will- just waiting-no, hoping for it all to end. In hindsight, his original dream had been innocent and naive, a dream of Exo as a pack all together. Such positive thoughts those were, and slowly but surely, he was robbed of that dream and those positive thoughts by the people around him and by circumstance, to the point of becoming the empty shell, devoid of feeling and happiness, that he currently inhabits.

And what remains of him now lies limp on a thin white mattress, on a stretcher in an ambulance with only the emergency care staff and his racing thoughts to keep him company. He's all alone, and struggling to stay awake but all he can think about is his pack- 'oh wait, that's not right. They aren't his pack, they are Exo pack, and I'm just Zhang Yixing the spare member'. And as it would seem, they are perfectly fine without him.

The loud wail of sirens ring out through the cold, silent night as the ambulance races through the streets of Tokyo. An ambulance carrying a sweet angel who deserved the world and had been given hell instead. The sirens almost give the angel comfort, the loud noise drowns out his depressing thoughts and he begins to drift out of consciousness.

"Sir please stay awake" the EMT repeats loudly in English whenever his eyes begin to droop.

'It's no use...they don't want me, they never wanted me.' tears begin to slip down his pale cheeks to the white sheet below. Yixing ignores the insistent calls of the woman next to him and closes his eyes, hoping to block out the noise in his last moments of consciousness. In his mind’s eye he broken heartedly conjures up that naive dream he once had; an image of 11 boys, all happily smiling at him, all lounging together calling for Yixing to join them. But as Yixing moves closer the others move farther and farther away until all Yixing knows is the nothingness of the black void that surrounds him.

 

 

 


 

Years before Exo, years before SM training, Yixing had one objective in mind- to love and be loved. Most days that meant he generally loved humanity and hoped for the people around him to love him back.

He was very young when he entered the entertainment business and had seen quite a few unsightly things, but still he had persevered, knowing that not everyone was rude and arrogant like many in that circle had been.

He always remembered what his mother had told him when he chose to enter the world of television, she had explained to him simply, "Sometimes the world can be cruel and horrible things can happen, but you must remember nothing good will happen if we let those things drag us down. You, my darling, are a lovely shining light and you must promise me you will never question whether you should love or be loved. You deserve love and respect just like others deserve it from you."

Yixing had quickly pulled his mother into a tight hug that had his small arms straining to pull his beloved mother as close as possible. He reverently promised to do as she had asked, which in turn had brought a doting smile to her face. From that day on, Yixing tried to live with positivity as his focus point, whether he was on a show broadcast or behind the scenes with fellow entertainers he always kept a smile on his face and kept kindness and goodwill in his heart for all of them.

 

And through his kindness, he was shown kindness in the form of support; his fans, friends and family all supported him when he decided to audition for a Korean entertainment company. With all their support, he knew he had to succeed and could not give up, no matter how hard life may become. He was one of the lucky auditionees to be selected for SM training and within 2 weeks he was on a plane from Shanghai to Seoul.

He had received a tearful goodbye from his mother and from his friends before he left the house he grew up in, so the moment he had slipped into the car to be taken to the airport he had felt his anxiety begin to build.

After he had landed in Seoul he was taken once again by car to another location. Again, his anxiety built as the car passed through endless cycles of green lights and red lights. Through all of this Yixing kept eerily still, clutching his precious brown leather bag to his chest. All of these sights were new to him and Seoul seemed so grand he was sure he would have been lost in a heartbeat.

The most intimidating aspect of his new life was the language barrier. When Yixing had been cast by SM he had promptly began to study Korean greetings and phrases, hoping he wouldn't make a complete fool of himself when he arrived in Korea. Because above all, he had to represent China in the best way possible and he would have to return home victorious and make his mother proud.

 

His attention was diverted from his patriotic thoughts as the car slowed and pulled over to the side of a bustling street. Through the tinted windows he could see the tall building a few feet from the street with a sign reading SM Entertainment just before the entrance. 'This is it' he thought, as he thanked the driver and stepped out onto the pavement.

He sadly only made it three steps before disaster struck; he fell flat on his face. Sure, his amazing reflexes had saved his actual face but his body hadn't taken the fall well. He had no time to asses himself before he felt a heavy weight drop down on top of him and flatten him to the ground. Pain shot through his chest as the weight restricted the air available to his lungs.

Just as he managed to open his mouth to shout out for help, he was turned over and much needed oxygen rushed into his lungs, filling his chest with the cold stale air of Seoul. It took him half a second for his eyes to adjust, and a further 5 seconds to register just what was in front of his face. Well...not WHAT, but WHO.

There was a very pretty looking boy staring at him from above with a mixture of relief and fear straining his features. Yixing couldn't help but stare back into the boy's focused gaze, which the boy then promptly broke by slapping his hands on the ground on either side of Yixing's head, causing Yixing to startle a bit.

But the most startling thing was yet to come when warm air was blown onto his exposed neck from the boy above. Throwing his head back Yixing was forced into a fit of giggles prompting him to let out a garbled phrase in Korean, pleading for the boy to stop.

 

Seemingly surprised, the boy had straightened up- still sitting on his torso- staring straight at him. Worried that he didn't want to insult the boy, he patiently waited for him to move away and let Yixing up. Unfortunately, the boy kept staring at him...and staring...and staring... soon Yixing became so unnerved he decided he would have to remove himself from this awkward situation.

 Yixing quickly wiggled his was out from under the boy, like a snake from the brush, and dashed to the entrance of the SM building. Refusing to stop until he had made his way into the nearest elevator.

He took a deep breath, trying to forget about the awkward encounter- he had more important matters to attend to. He silently built up his courage and refocused on the task at hand, 'time to meet my destiny' he thought as he stepped off the elevator and headed towards the CEO's office hoping he wouldn't be late. He spotted a woman waiting outside the door who quickly identified herself as Shae Lin, his translator for the next few days. After exchanging pleasantries, she led him into the office where two other trainees already sat waiting.

'Wait, weren't there four of us signing today?', he didn't have time to ask about or contemplate the dilemma before he was lead over to the others and introduced.

 

 

 


 

The two other trainees were introduced as Chanyeol and Minseok. They were all currently being guided down to the vans to be taken to the trainee dorms. Chanyeol was loud and very emotional- like a happy virus. While Minseok was an alpha- more reserved, but still kind and open to conversing- which he sadly didn't follow very well but tried to answer their questions. The translator had left for her lunch break so he was on his own with the two Koreans.

They seemed nice enough; adding in a few Chinese words- trying to get their messages across to Yixing. And soon enough they had their luggage set up in the dorm and they were headed back to SM Ent. for lunch. When they arrived, the staff member handed them a few thousand won and directed them to the SM staff "cafeteria" for Lunch.

Chanyeol had reached for the money but his hand had been quickly swatted away. The manager explained that the oldest should hold the money, before handing the money Minseok. This had surprised both Yixing and Chanyeol but Minseok simply shrugged and accepted the money before turning around and leading the way to the "cafeteria".

'I wonder how old he actually is then' Yixing wondered as the wandered the halls, ' Is he really the oldest?! He's so...so'

"I know what you're both thinking and if you call me baby faced I swear you'll regret it." Minseok said, still gazing ahead.

'Was that a threat?' Yixing hadn't understood all of Minseok’s words but after a glance at Chanyeol’s newly paled face he could only guess he had assumed correctly.

 

They continued in silence after Minseok's declaration, roaming down the dim corridor until they came across on open door way that lead into a lit room full of chairs and tables.

'Is this actually where they eat?' was all Yixing could think as he took in the poor excuse for a cafeteria, 'all they have is vending machines!'.

Minseok nudged him as they fully entered the room and subtly tilted his head towards two boys sitting in the corner across the way; an alpha and a beta. "They are probably our hyungs, possibly sunbaenim- make sure to bow to them as we pass".

Yixing quickly bowed along with Chanyeol and Minseok before turning his full attention to the vending machines.

"Oi! You three! Where's number four?!" the loud command startled Yixing who in turn grabbed the closest person to him, Chanyeol- specifically Chanyeol's hand. He felt Chanyeol give his hand a comforting squeeze before gently untangling their fingers. Minseok, ever the collected one it would seem, didn't even flinch and turned to address the beta who had yelled.

"The fourth?" Minseok questioned with a raised eyebrow. The boy who had stood and yelled at them made his way over to them while also explaining, "Yes, there are supposed to be four of you. Where's the fourth trainee?".

 

The beta was now standing in front of them looking worried and a bit annoyed. He had handsome features and a strong figure- but he seemed like the stereotypical beta. He looked about as old as Yixing, but after learning that Minseok was older he wasn't sure if could make an accurate assumption.

After a moment of silent glances between them all the tall browed boy spoke once more, “What are your names then? I've read all your files, at least I'll know WHO I'm looking for."

Chanyeol scoffed "You read our files? Who are you? A P.I?".

The shorter beta gave Chanyeol an unamused look before haughtily stating "No, my name is Junmyeon, and that's hyung to you by the way, I'm older than all of the new trainees except one- but judging by your behavior I don't believe YOU are Kim Minseok." Then he added, "I've been a trainee for over a year now and I'm going to be responsible for the new trainees- AKA you three and the missing duckling."

"And me" came a strong but quiet voice from across the room. The other boy, seemingly reading a book and ignoring them all.

"Yes, yes, yes and Yifan too- he's definitely a handful. Needs lots of love and care you see, but right now we-"

"And Jongin" the other boy added in once again.

Junmyeon swiftly turned around and yelled across the room "Yes and Jongin too, I know Yifan! Just give me five seconds to talk about actual important things, okay!!??".

Together Yixing, Chanyeol and Minseok took a step away from the angry mother hen- Junmyeon whipped back around with a forced smile plastered on his handsome face. "So, what were your names again?" he asked lightly.

"I'm Kim Minseok, an alpha from Guri." Minseok then turned slightly to Yixing, "This is Zhang Yixing, unpresented from Changsha, China".

"Nihoa" Junmyeon greeted him.

"That's not how you pronounce it"

Eyes snapping back over to reading alpha Junmyeon hissed "Shut-up-Yifan. I'm taking care of trainees here, unlike someone I know". Junmyeon refocused his eyes on the three, "ignore him- and you are?" he kindly asked Chanyeol with a strained cheer to his words.

"Uhh...I'm Park Chanyeol- not presented yet, from Seoul." Chanyeol swiflty answered.

"Ah, so we are missing the youngest then, Oh Sehun-ah". Junmyeon gave a tight, uneasy smile.

"Well, there was a boy who entered the office as we were leaving" Minseok supplied, "We left to put our luggage away at the dorms before greeting him."

Junmyeon brightened at his words then began to head towards the CEO's office, not before demanding they follow him in his search for the lost trainee of course.

 

 

 


 

They quickly learned from the CEO's secretary that the boy had left the office and had insisted on roaming the building before going to the dorms. So here they were, all four of them, walking the halls- Junmyeon asking any and all if they had seen the new trainee wandering nearby.

 Their search soon led them to the floor of the studio spaces, Junmyeon had insisted that he had read Oh Sehun's file and he had mentioned dance as his area of expertise as well as rapping.

"I'm pretty sure he would have been drawn to the dance studio, maybe he's with Jongin- he's always in here practicing." Junmyeon explained as they approached the only studio door with a light on. Even from out in the hall a familiar beat could be heard thrumming through the floors of the studio level.

'Isn't this 'Replay' Yixing thought as they approached the door.

Just like his way of approaching people, Junmyeon suddenly threw the door open and the synth filled song filtered loudly into the hall.

"Jongin-ah!! Have you seen number four?!?" Junmyeon yelled into the studio. Yixing couldn't see into the studio but following Junmyeon’s yell the music stopped and a smaller voice could be heard answering.

"What did you say?"

 

Junmyeon gave an irritated sigh, "Have you seen the fourth trainee anywhere? I found three of them but supposedly the fourth one was late and now we can't find him!".

The voice answered "No hyung, no one's been by here except for me".

"Seriously?! Where could he have gone?!" with an exaggerated throw of his arms Junmyeon rushed back out the door and down the hall with Chanyeol and Minseok quickly following him. Yixing paused as he caught sight of "Jongin" inside the dance studio. The boy was lean and muscled, he looked like a dancer- a good one at that.

"It's okay, you can come in if you want", Jongin's voice broke him from his contemplation of the dancer's body. 'Maybe he wants to teach me a dance?' Yixing then turned his head uncertainly to look back down the hall, 'But Junmyeon is going to freak out if he finds me missing too'.

"It's alright, come on in. Junmyeon-hyung won't mind. I can take you back to the dorms when I'm done here." the dancer paused and waited, staring warmly at him.

Slowly Yixing made his way through the door and into the studio, the lights bounced off the mirrors on two of the walls and the other two white walls reflected the light back' as well. 'Very nice' Yixing thought as the wood of the studio floors brought a light bounce to his step. After a once over of the room he turned back to the other boy, 'Jongoon'?.

 

Hesitantly he asked "You dance?". The other did not respond for a few moments and Yixing began to wonder if he had said it correctly as his face began to burn in a blush of embarrassment.

Suddenly the boy leaned on the mirrored wall and responded "Yeah, I..uh, I dance...Do, uh...you dance?".

Yixing willed away his embarrassment, encouraged that the boy had responded to his Korean, "I do, the song...before...I liked it- uhhh...Replay. Shinee?". The blush came back full force though as he was forced to add in a Chinese word where he had no idea what the Korean translation was.

"Wanna dance?" the boy offered, swinging his arm out towards the dance floor.

Yixing couldn't keep the smile from his face even if he wanted. he heard the word "Dance" and he was gone.

"Yes" he replied, maybe with too much enthusiasm, but he didn't care- he was going to dance, and with a very good looking boy none the less.

"I'm Kim Jongin"

"Nice...to meet you, I'm Zhang Yixing" Yixing tried his best to reply correctly before shaking the darker boy's hand. He gave a quick bow before hurrying over to the front once more and shedding his coat.

'I love this song, I can't wait to dance with a real SM dancer to it!' Yixing thought excitedly as he dropped his coat to the ground and hurried to the center of the studio.

 

As soon as he turned to the mirrors Jongin pressed play and they began the routine. Jongin was amazing! His movements were so fluid yet strong and his presence was so intense when he was dancing. Yixing couldn't keep his eyes off of Jongin's movements in the mirror until the very end. Even when Yixing kneeled on the floor gasping for more air, Jongin remained standing.

'Does he even sweat?!' Yixing wondered as he marveled at Jongin's endurance.

"Ya! Kid!" Jongin's sudden shout made Yixing jump a bit, but he realized Jongin's attention was not focused on him but on the studio entrance. Turning around Yixing caught a glimpse of dark eyes and a black bubble jacket before quickly averting his eyes to the ground.

'What the heck is that kid doing here? Wait...is he the other trainee?' at that thought Yixing took a peek through the mirror in front of him at the boy still standing in the doorway. 'No way, he's so young...but why else would he be here?' with that thought Yixing gave an inaudible groan and lowered his head once more.

"What did you want?" Jongin continued speaking to the boy, "Are you the trainee Junmyeon-hyung was looking for?".

'Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap.'

"I don't know any Junmyeons but I do know dancing and you guys are pretty good...teach me." he demanded.

'Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap...' Yixing kept repeating in his head as he turned to look at Jongin, pleading to him with his eyes to turn the boy away.

Jongin gave him a raised eyebrow in return, then with a wide wolfish smile he gestured for the boy to come in and join them.

'Shit. I'm so fucked'

 

 

 


 

Believe it or not, that night was the beginning of two beautiful friendships with both Jongin and Sehun. Yixing could not fully understand them language wise for a few weeks, but they all loved to dance. And all three knew the others felt the same passion as them, sure Sehun was more into hip hop, and Jongin was more into modern dance and ballet. Yixing was more into street dancing and composing- but dance brought them together and they all lit up whenever they practiced together.

Over the next year Yixing rigorously studied Korean with an SM provided tutor and made leaps and bounds of progress. Once he was able to communicate with the other trainees, the easier it was to create more friendships. Of course, there was always Yifan, the Chinese/Canadian alpha, who spoke Mandarin to him often but most times they would practice Korean or English together.

As far as he could tell no one was truly Yifan's friend, he's a pretty closed off guy who works hard but doesn't seem as interested in creating bonds like Yixing does- if he had to say one person, only Junmyeon-hyung came close to being what Yixing would consider Yifan's 'friend'.

So Yixing would spend most days with Sehun or Jongin in the studio and then they would meet up with Junmyeon, Minseok, Chanyeol or Yifan for meals throughout the day or at the dorm. Of course, they all had classes and school to finish up but they always spent time together, hoping to stave off the home-sickness they all felt.

 

Dancing was such a stress reliever for Yixing- Jongin and Sehun were amazing at it, but Yixing soon felt he wasn't making any progress. He couldn't hit as hard as them, he couldn't move as quick as them, the list slowly grew longer and longer as time went on. One night, nearly 5 months after he entered the company, the boys watched an old Kung Fu film at the dorms. Yixing watched them tie sand bags to themselves and quickly progress in their training, and that gave him an idea.

He decided he would stay late at the studio every night and tie sand bags to himself too and train, just like the trainees in the films. At first, he thought it was a stupid idea but it was worth a try- it was painful and tiring but surprisingly he found fast results through his newfound process. Making 5 times more progress in the second half of the year than in the first half. So fast that Jongin and Sehun were blown away by how powerful his moves became after only one year of training- considering he started basically as a newbie to professional dancing.

'Finally, things are going my way.' he thought, pain thrumming through his back, as Jongin and Sehun happily applauded his latest performance.

He continued with this process for the next year, progressing more and more- much better than when he had been slacking, trying to improve with just regular training.

 

 

 


 

So, when the CEO called Yixing to his office he was worried he had been found out or some janitor had discovered his late-night practices and had reported him. Those thoughts raced through his mind as he stepped in the door and a twinge of pain shot up his spine as he minutely twisted to shut the door behind him. Ignoring the dissipating pain he turned to look at the office occupants and was surprised to see Yifan and another unknown person already standing in front of the large desk of the CEO.

"Zhang-ssi, come over here."

As he approached the desk he could tell the other unknown boy was a beta, Yixing could smell the calm confidence he exuded from a mile away- trademark of a good beta. His scent was fresh, like cucumber, and his large shining eyes made Yixing feel at ease around the stranger.

"Zhang-ssi, this is Lu Han. He's originally from Beijing and has been studying in Korea recently." CEO-nim then turned slightly towards Yifan, "Yifan-ssi has kindly agreed to escort Lu Han back to the dorms, and I would like you to do the same with the two new trainees waiting in the dance studio." The unspoken demand was for Yixing to wrangle the new trainees and give them a good view of SM- specifically eating a meal all together- standard protocol.

"Of course, Kim Young Min-nim" Yixing gave a swift deep bow to his CEO before turning to exit the room and perform his duties.

 

"ah, ah, ah- wait Zhang-ssi I would like to have a quick word before you go" Young-min turned to Luhan, "I do hope you enjoy your dinner with the others, but for now I need to speak with Zhang-ssi alone. I'll see again tomorrow morning."

With a wave of the CEO's hand Yifan led Lu Han from the room. Yixing froze in place after he turned around to meet the CEO's stern stare. The click of the door signaled that the two others had vacated the room and that Yixing was now all alone with the CEO.

Kim Young-nim walked around his desk to perch on the front of his desk in a semi-seated position. He crossed his arms and addressed Yixing once more, "Yixing-ah how is training going?"

Yixing began to sweat once more, paranoid that the CEO knew and was prying for a confession from him. 'But what if he doesn't know? Then I'll just be ousting myself- then he'll stop me from progressing' Yixing let out a short breath, trying to subtly calm his rapid heartbeat.

"I'm doing well Kim Young min-nim, my teachers are very happy with my results and I finished my educational classes with flying colors." Young min nodded his approval and looked down in contemplation for a moment, hand coming up and rubbing his chin all the while.

 

"So..." he began cautiously, "you still haven't presented then?". The weight of the question hit Yixing full force, causing his eyes to flutter and his breath to catch in his throat. It felt more like an accusation than a simple question, but it was also a sensitive topic- especially for someone over the age of 18. Yixing was just past his 19th birthday, and he was becoming more and more stressed by the day about his presentation.

Yixing lowered his head in shame and forced out a small "No CEO-nim".

"Hmmmm" Young-min kept his gaze on the floor as well, seemingly still contemplating Yixing and his words.

"That is all, good work with your training Yixing". Young-min lifted his head and stared at Yixing with a solemn gaze that belayed none of the warmth of his words, "Keep up the progress. You may go now".

The words of encouragement were a surprise and the dismissal was sudden, but Yixing wasn't willing to stay any longer and possibly let slip his questionable training methods. He turned heel and walked out of the office and did not stop until he was safely inside the elevator.

The moment he entered the elevator he let out a long-relieved sigh and collapsed against the wall. All of his strength left his body and he stared listlessly at the mirror in front of him- he looked...pitiful.

 

'At least I can still keep training' he thought to himself as the elevator descended to the studio level. But a warning voice sounded in his head 'only if your back holds out'. Yixing let out a huff as his hands self-consciously drifted to his lower back, a dull throbbing pain made itself known as his hands probed the sore area.

'It's just soreness' he reasoned with himself, 'It will go away soon if I train harder and become stronger- I'll just add some more weight to the bags from now on'.

The elevator dinged, announcing his arrival at the studio floor, he nearly ran over Jongin as he launched himself through the doors.

"Woah! ... Hyung, what's wrong?" Jongin was holding his shoulders trying to steady himself and Yixing before they both fell to the ground.

"Hmm?" Yixing questioned Jongin quietly with his lips sealed and eyes wide, trying to look innocent.

Jongin blinked then gave Yixing a scrutinizing stare, after a second of analyzing his hyung's face he said "Nothing, never mind- sorry hyung".

Yixing nodded going along with Jongin's judgement and ignoring the doubting expression Jongin still wore. He decided to distract him with "Have you seen the two trainees they escorted down here? Supposedly I need to show them around and take them back to he dorm for a celebratory dinner".

Pouting at his hyung's sudden change of topic Jongin replied "No, I haven't seen any but I was only in one studio for most of the morning so..." he trailed off as the acrid scent of a distressed omega filtered into the hallway. Upon instinct Yixing followed the scent to the studio just to the left of the elevator and Jongin followed closely behind.

 

"Do you think it's the trainees?" Yixing questioned Jongin as he pulled open the door, Jongin never answered him but Yixing became too distracted the moment he opened the door to notice. Inside the small studio sat an omega curled up in a ball on the other side of the room against the mirrors, to his immediate left sat a small boy looking confused and a bit annoyed. When Yixing had opened the door, the boy jumped up and slowly began to approached Yixing holding his hands up in surrender- this confused Yixing even more.

"What happened?" Yixing demanded. 'Is the omega being bullied? Why is he so distressed?!'

"I don’t know what happened sunbaenim" the boy continued to speak as he approached Yixing.

"The guy just broke down, he kept talking but I couldn’t understand him- then he called me an asshole who needed to drink water from the alley..." he then looked back over his shoulder angrily at the omega. "The HE started to cry, I mean- does that make any sense?"

Yixing looked over the omega once more before addressing the boy again, "Is he Chinese? Did he sound like he actually understood Korean?".

The boy looked down in embarrassment before mumbling, "Well, there was a translator at the contract signing, but I was kind of ignoring them- I couldn’t understand them" Yixing gave him a stern look before moving towards the small ball of an omega.

"I'm sorry- " the boy began but Yixing stopped him with with a raised hand, "Just stop, wait there for a moment. Let me calm him down then we can figure this out." Yixing paused then asked, "Did you happen to catch his name?"

"Zi Tao? I think?"

Yixing gave the boy a stiff nod of thanks, then his full attention was once again on the omega before him. He crouched down to the level of the sobbing omega and decided it would be best to approach him with Mandarin first, and if worst comes to worst he could try his poor Cantonese.

 

"Hey, don't worry, what's wrong? Don't cry, I'm here to help you. Zitao, right?" the omega seemed to pause in his crying to look up over his folded arms at Yixing.

'Aww, he's so adorable- poor thing'

Yixing tried to convey his good intentions through a soft smile as he gently lifted his hand to wipe the tears away from the omega's cheeks. The omega blushed and seemed to freeze at Yixing’s ministrations, but his eyes seem to focus on something just below Yixing's eyes.

Slowly the omegas scent changed from the acrid smell of distress to a more calming natural state- 'like chocolate' Yixing couldn't help but smile widely at the thought.

"Yixing-ungh " Jongin's strangled call from behind him caught him off guard, "What's that smell? ugghh, I don't feel so...good..." the sound of someone hitting the ground had Yixing swinging around to locate who or what had hit the floor.

To his horror his best friend was lying prone on the floor just inside the studio door. As quickly as he could Yixing scrambled over to his fallen friend calling out, "Jongin! Jongin! Can you hear me?"

 

 His friend didn't answer him but upon closer inspection he looked like he was in pain even though he seemed to be unconscious. The boy from before crouched down next to Jongin looking stricken.

"Sunbaenim" he called to Yixing, but Yixing ignored him and kept shaking Jongin and calling out to him.

"Sunbaenim!" the boy demanded forcefully, this time the boy grabbed his hands and forcibly took them off of Jongin's body. "Stop" this time in a more gentle and consoling tone.

"He's going through presentation, we need to call the hospital and have him transferred" the boy paused before adding, "Unless he has someone here to go through the- um…changes with?" he trailed off, not needing to continue, Yixing got the picture.

Still in a bit of shock Yixing pulled his shaking hands from the boy's grasp and deftly dialed Minseok's number- in all trainee emergencies up till now Yixing had always been instructed to notify the eldest trainee, they would know what to do.

After two rings -that felt like hours to Yixing- Minseok answered his call.

"Hyung, we need your help- Jongin's passed out and we think he might be presenting."

 

Chapter Text

 

+   Healing (Continued) +

The year following that incident was a strange one, Jongin presented as a beta and was kept at the hospital for over a month. Besides his forced presentation (sometimes brought upon by exposure to large doses of omega or beta scent, especially those of intense emotion, once the presentee has reached a viable age to present. Sadly, it is more painful than a natural presentation, that is why it is labeled a 'forced' presentation) he had also injured his back when he fell. Jongin had been in a wheel chair for the following month and then released from the hospital under a strict rehabilitation regimen.

Yixing had his hands full though, dealing with the new Chinese omega, Tao and Kyungsoo, an ungendered vocalist who's somehow a horrible dancer. Tao was also a bit poor at dancing but he was good at tricking and flips from years of Wushu training it would seem. But the week after Jongin was released from the hospital Yixing landed himself in the hospital.

His back had finally given out and he had been found on the studio floor by a frantic Sehun. After being rushed to the hospital they recommended surgical correction and rehabilitation. His mother (who had arrived the next day) had been very skeptical and worried, her baby Yixing had been through surgery in the past to remove his tonsils and she had almost lost her baby then. He had nearly bled out because of a blood clotting disorder, causing complications.

But this surgery, a major spinal surgery, she just couldn't believe that it would be safe and after notifying the company they agreed the risk might be too high. The doctors decided to bring in a specialist with specific skills to figure out a way for Yixing to be rehabilitated without surgery and to continue as an idol. His mother had been angry when he decided to continue with SM but deep down he thinks she understood the shame he would feel if he were to quit.

 

During their conversations at the hospital, she discussed all kinds of things, how his father was doing, what the neighbors were up to, and they discussed his life in Korea. She always worried over him being in South Korea all by himself, which usually led to their usual discussion about his presentation- but this time Yixing was more sensitive because of his awkward and shameful meeting with the CEO on the same subject.

"Mother. I know that it’s..." he struggled to find the right word, "unusual for someone my age to be ungendered - but there are some cases, right?"

"That's my point!" she replied," It is very uncommon sweetheart and the only known cases of people over 20 remaining ungendered are 'Nons'."

He was quick to correct her "But that's a very rare thing mom, only like 3 cases are living examples."

"Your right, and the evidence isn't conclusive- I know. But they do say long lines of purebred genders are present in those cases......and I've thought about it baobei, I even did quite a bit of research on your fathers side just to make sure- but both our lines are surprisingly beta filled- i haden't realized how much so... only one omega on my side and an alpha and omega on your dad's side." The information shocked Yixing into silence, so his mother continued.

"That's over 200 years of records...and I'm just worried that.... maybe...possibly" She couldn't bring herself to even say it to his face, "be prepared for that scenario?...What would you do here in South Korea? It's a frowned upon condition here; their gender hierarchy is almost as strict as their age hierarchy. Luckily no Korean has yet to suffer it in modern times but I don't want you to be...to be dragged through the gutter by this horrible system." his mother gathered his hands into hers and pressed them tightly together.

"Please Yixing, just come home-"

'Ah, so that's why she's making a fuss, she's trying to scare me into going home now.' Outraged Yixing tore his hands away from here and turned over in his hospital bed, back facing his mother.

"I've made my decision mother, I'm staying." he choked up a bit trying to say his next few words, "Please...just go home."

His mother had not been happy and had even criticized him for ignoring her advice, but he knew she wouldn't leave if he engaged her again, so he pushed her away and would only repeat "Please, go home mother."

He finally succeeded after the fourth day and he unhappily bid his mother farewell after she announced she would be returning to Changsha. He didn't want her to leave, but at the moment he also didn't want her to stay.

 

 

 


 

After Yixing had been declared rehabilitated SM announced that the ten of them would be forming a group that would debut the following year. They were given choreography and their debut concept that day to begin practicing. Only three months into their preparations for debut, SM announced they were casting two omega vocals into the group- their excuse was the vocal prowess of the trainees was needed, but Yixing knew it was because the omegas were necessary.

Omegas were the calming presence and passion behind any pack or group- sadly Tao had been doing a poor job. Tensions were high, fights were constantly breaking out amongst the ten of them- and through it all, Tao did next to nothing (he didn't know what to do). Junmyeon, Luhan, and Jongin all tried to help the strenuous situation but they were only betas, they couldn't fully calm the alphas like an omega could- betas were meant to be a rock for the pack, a constant source of strength and decisiveness; not to be the tumultuous yet calming waves like omegas.

But most times Tao was too frightened to get between Yifan and Minseok. Yixing couldn't blame him though, both alphas were very intimidating, their age and strength were huge factors in keeping the young omega from interfering. One night Tao confided in him about his past and how he hated being an omega- honestly Yixing had felt something off about Tao's scent, almost constantly, and now he knew why. He reassured Tao that he no one hated him, yet- especially for being an omega, but they would be angry if he didn't do his omega duty correctly.

It would seem Yixing was too slow though, they had that talk the night before SM announced the two new omegas' casting. Tao had no time to even try to become a strong omega presence before the other two omegas took over.

Yixing knew they would, because no omega in their right mind would act like Tao (sad but true) and many things would change once they arrived. Yixing just hoped they weren't like the two omega auditionees he had met last week:

 

They both had walked confidently through the entrance doors for the auditions, one had his arm slung around the other's shoulders. They looked quite friendly and seemed to be hurrying in for the auditions.

'Cute' Yixing had thought, 'maybe one of them will be cast' they definitely had a high probability- they were both omegas and both were quite naturally handsome.

As the two approached him they turned to the left down towards the business offices- 'wait. aren't they auditionees? Shouldn't they be headed the other way?...'

Confused Yixing moved forward and leaned around the sign in the middle of the entry way to get a good look at the front. 'Ah, Sehun-ah... your handwriting is still as bad as mine' Yixing thought, a chuckle escaping his lips.

Standing straight again he looked down the hall at the two auditionees walking unknowingly into a harmless prank.... 'It wouldn't hurt them' he reasoned. But one look at his watch made him second guess that thought - it was already 5 minutes after the auditions were set to begin.

Feeling sorry for the poor doomed auditionees he decided to step in and point them in the right direction.

"Excuse me" Yixing called out to them hoping to catch their attention, and catch it he did. As soon as the words left his mouth the omega leading the duo made a quick turn around looking for the source of the call- dragging the other poor omega under his arm with him.

Both had frozen stock still and were starting at him with glazed expressions, 'Why do people always react like that?' he thought amusedly. A small smile formed on his face at the funny thought.

'Maybe they think my face looks funny or something- is it the dimples?' he wondered absently

Shaking himself back to reality he pointed back behind himself down the correct hallway, "You actually have to go that way. The sign at the front is actually-" before he could continue he was interrupted by the omega under the arm of the other.

"Waaee! The sign says for auditionees to go left, not right."

'Oh, so that's how it is' he inwardly frowned. These omegas were stubborn it would seem- even stubborn enough to walk headlong into a prank. Placating to them he held his hands in the air and gave an awkward giggle.

"Well, if you are sure then I guess I can't stop you. You better hurry, I think I heard auditions have already begun."

He gave them a small ironic (in his mind) wave and a dimpled smile before turning and heading out to watch the auditions with Junmyeon and Minseok. He could faintly here the two omegas loudly conversing as he turned down another hallway to enter the upper deck of the small basement level auditorium of SM.

 

'SM is doomed if they are willing to cast stubborn, annoying omegas like that- Tao would never survive meeting such boisterous omegas.' Yixing mused as he listened to Kim Young min-nim introduce the two omegas joining the Exo team.

So understandably, when the two omegas he was just thinking about waltzed through the conference room doors, Yixing became concerned. Not only were these two a bit unruly and possibly a bit rude, but Yixing could already tell Tao would not like them (they were confident, well rounded omegas- everything Tao isn't).

Sure, Tao had his faults and had not been a very good omega to the group but it wasn't his fault his parents were restrictive assholes who drilled into their child's head that omegas were inferior. That really messed Tao up, but besides telling Yixing, Tao didn't want the others to know about his past or his struggles. This is what worried Yixing; Tao's distrust- which in turn caused others to distrust the omega as well.

 

The only reason Tao had opened up to him is because Yixing's the only one to confront Tao on how poorly he'd been acting as the groups omega. He had gently warned him that the group would soon come to dislike him if his behavior went on, but he also encouraged Tao to embrace being an omega; that it would make him happier to fulfill his omega needs and instincts.

But if these two new omegas joined now, Tao would have less of a chance to grow into a good omega and naturally learn to trust all of Exo (and vice versa)- Tao was shy and emotionally fragile, and doing this, adding TWO loud and overbearing omegas would just put Tao back in his shy little corner of isolation. And all of Yixing and Sehun's hard work of bringing him out of said corner would be null and void.

'This is gonna get messy...' was all he could think as he carefully observed Tao's sullen face.

 

 

 


 

Sadly, the new omegas behaved just as Yixing predicted - but with a twist. Jongdae was actually a fairly new omega, so his hormones and scent were all over the place, which worried him that Jongdae's presence might cause some forceful changes in Chanyeol or maybe even Kyungsoo (he was still young but near the age to present). Jongdae constantly clinged to Baekhyun like a barnacle; trying to learn from the older, more experienced omega.

And just as he expected they kept their distance from Tao and took over as the omegas of the group- Baekhyun was a great omega, don't get him wrong, but he seemed to be angry at Tao for how low the group sunken before they arrived- which was also understandable. As an omega it would seem he had every right to feel that Tao was in the wrong- Which is why it's so frustrating!

No matter how hard Yixing tried to explain Tao's situation (without saying too much mind you) Baekhyun still wanted nothing to do with the 'failed' omega, and Tao (feeling pitiful) just took it like a punishment he deserved- it made Yixing cry on the inside.

And Jongdae had no other excuse, he just followed Baekhyun's lead and ignored Tao as well- his sole focus was learning from Baekhyun and also getting to know the other Exo members better before debut. Yixing had no idea how to bring all three omegas together, or at least get Baekhyun to help his poor Tao Tao instead of ignoring him.

 


 

A month after the omegas arrived in the dorms, Kim Young min-nim called Exo to his office.

"So boys, we have your concept down of course - but now Lee Soo Man-nim has approved our plan to enter more aggressively into the Chinese market. So, after you debut all together we will have you split into 2 groups of six." he excitedly help up the number 2 and then 6.

"The four Chinese members and two others will be promoting your album in China while simultaneously the other six promote solely in Korea. Exo-M and Exo-K" he gave a single loud clap of his hands before spreading them widely.

"Exo will rule both the Chinese and Korean markets every album- twice the sales! Boys. This is the opportunity of a life time." He gave them a quick grin before adding "and I need announce the members for both groups so you can prepare." He finished with a flourish before retreating behind his desk to grab a single sheet of paper that had been resting innocently on the desk top.

 

"Now I know some of you haven't presented- but that's okay- I think we've figured out how to keep it balanced no matter how you present in the future- so no pressure, okay?" he reassured them before turning back to the sheet in his hands.

"First up, Exo-K: Junmyeon, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, Kyungsoo, Jongin, and Sehun" from his seat next to Yifan Yixing could see Jongdae stiffen- past Jongdae, Sehun and Jongin's faces also fell.

'Well that's a great sign' Yixing couldn't help but think, worried about his two best friends- but also about the new omega who would seemingly be assigned to Exo-M, without his mentor Baekhyun.

'Isn't that a mistake though? I mean sure, Jongdae's vocals are amazing but Kyungsoo is better at Mandarin- and without Baek-'

"Next! Exo-M: Yifan, Minseok, Lu Han, Yixing, Jongdae, and Tao" Young-min dropped the paper back to his desk. "The staff will give you your exact assignments and placements in the group. Once you leave here the staff will also go over your concept details more thoroughly. Dismissed- Exo."

They all stood up and bowed before beginning to file out of the cramped office space.

 

"Yixing-ah, wait a moment, would you?" at the CEO's words Yixing froze and automatically took a step to the right, letting the others move past him. Jongin gave him a confused look while Sehun literally gave him the 'we need to speak later' look.

Yixing gave a small nod to Sehun before turning around to face the nearly empty office. Once the door clicked shut, Kim Young-min motioned for him to sit down in one of the empty chairs in front of the desk. Yixing quickly sat down and waited for his boss to address him once more.

"Yixing-ah...I know this is a bit sensitive for you but I also think you can benefit greatly from this conversation- as well as Exo." he began, staring solemnly into Yixing's eyes.

"You still have not presented" he stated bluntly, Yixing reactively flinched at his words.

'He's going to kick me out isn't he' Yixing began to breakdown mentally, 'what will mother say- no, she was right, maybe Koreans are too unaccepting of special cases- I mean...am I ...a ...a...non?'

"Zhang-ssi!" Yixing snapped out of his daze and once again locked eyes with Kim Young-min. "Calm down" he consoled, "I'm just stating a fact".

He slowly rose from his own seat and came around his desk to stand in front of Yixing, leaning back against the edge of his desk he continued.

"You're well past your twentieth birthday - you know as well as I do that most people present by 18, only 10% of the population presents later- days sometimes a year, rarely two. But past twenty years of age- Yixing-ah, you and I both know that's insanely rare." He gave Yixing a pitying look. "Your mother talked to me-

"She what?" Yixing's eyes alighted in anger, he even stood up- pushing his chair back hard enough to crash to the ground behind him.

 

Young-min jumped at the sound of the chair's clatter, then slowly a cold look seeped into his shaocked gaze. "Sit. down. Zhang-ssi" he ordered.

"Please" he added after a calming breath.

Realizing that he had disrespectfully yelled at his superior Yixing quickly righted the chair before sitting down once more. 'I can't believe her! My own mother?! After all of her warnings about Nons and Koreans she just up and tells my Korean boss?!'

"Back to my original point, your mother spoke about her worries to me- about your high risk of being a Non" he paused letting his words sink in before continuing. "I confess i already had my concerns, but she also expressed her concerns about the Korean public-one that I very much agree with." he sat down beside Yixing in one of the vacant chairs, "About also concerns about your heritage and your families’ beta lines."

"So, you know ... CEO- nim?" Yixing's eyes began to well up with unshed tears and his throat became constricted as he bowed his head in humiliation. "That I'm...th- that..mm...I'm" Yixing couldn't even bring himself to voice his deepest darkest worries- the core of all of his anxieties-

"A Non?" Young-min finished. "Yes, at this point, at your age" again he gave Yixing a pitying glance, "I believe it's true- and I'm so sorry…but we have to deal with this."

Yixing's head shot up, the tears finally escaping to roll down to his chin and fall to his clasped hands. 'What? What does he mean "deal with it"? Deal with him? Throw him out of SM?'

 

Young-min reached out and pulled Yixing into an awkward hug, "Don't cry - I'm here to offer you a solution okay?" he loosened his grip and pushed Yixing to arms length so they could look eye to eye.

At first Yixing continued looking distraught and unaware, but after the CEO's words began to register in his worn-out brain his eyes lit up once more.

'A solution? What kind of a solution is there for someone like me?’... ‘only the bad kind' his conscience supplied.

"What do you mean?" Yixing carefully probed.

"What I mean, is that I plan for Exo to become SM's greatest success- but we can't have scandals or infighting tarnish that now can we?"

 He dropped his hands away from Yixing's shoulders, moving to lean back in his chair- still looking straight at Yixing.

"You know they won't accept you as a Non, if you did you would have told them or me by now." He tilted his head towards the door. "They don't know and they don't ever have to know Yixing-ah. The fan's you'll have, they won't need to know. Even your mother in China" he shook his head, "none of them would have to know your little damaging secret".

 

Yixing didn't know how to respond, he was numb as his CEO continued to hit every nail on the head and spout out every detail of his worst nightmare. 'They would hate him- people wouldn't know how to deal with me. I couldn't be a part of Exo- and if I returned home to mother...she would eventually became the disgraced mother of a Non...'

"Only you and I know the truth, and if we act now- I can help you fulfil your dream; having happiness, fans, love. All of that will come only if you "present" and show the world you are just like the rest of them. If not," He gave a small shrug "You'll just be the Non who failed, and returned home disgraced."

When Yixing still did not respond Young Min added, "I'm not just offering this out of the goodness of my heart. If you do not take this option I cannot have you debut with Exo- nor can I allow you to stay a trainee- You would need to leave SM Yixing-ah."

Those words brought Yixing to action, he fell forward- elbows on knees, hands clasped- and let out a long stabalizing breath. Tear tracks remained on his face but his tears had dissipated- the light in his eyes slowly dimmed to a dull sheen as he became resigned in his decision.

'This is the only way, I have to do this- I can't leave Tao or Sehun or any of them. They need me...right?' he gave a small sniffle, and clearing his throat.

"...I'll do it"

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

3 days.

Exo hadn't seen Yixing for 3 days! and SM wasn't telling them anything.

The omegas had become a complete mess; Tao was struggling around the other two without Yixing's helpful tips and encouragement. While Baekhyun was constantly working to ease the unrest of Yixing's absence amongst the members.

Minseok and Yifan had been denied any details up front when they had asked Kim Young-min about the specifics of Yixing's whereabouts and absence- they were extremely worried, which was slowly evolving into aggression.

Even more unsettling; their manager kept hush about the whole thing! He obviously knew something was going on, and it all seemed a little too secretive for comfort.

By the fourth day even Jongin and Kyungsoo, the most harmonious duo in Exo, were at each others throats; Jongin- frustrated by the disappearance of his best friend, and Kyungsoo- going through severe caffeine withdrawal (Jongin wasn't making coffee for him in the mornings because he was so distressed, and while Kyungsoo was also very worried about their missing hyung he couldn't understand why the coffee had to suffer?!)

All-in-all Exo was a mess; waiting, worrying, and working themselves to the ends of their fuses, hoping everyday for some word about Yixing.

 

At 4:38PM on the fifth day their manager announced Yixing was returning to the dorms and promptly left for the night (he had his own pack and didn't like to linger in the dorms too long) refusing to give any more information, promising that Yixing could inform them if he wished. So they all gathered in the living, scattered throughout the small room, waiting for their friend to walk in the door.

At 4:49PMfaint beeps could be heard from the front door, and the low whine of squeaky hinges alerted the boys that someone had entered the dorm.

The first thing that caught nearly everyone's attention was the smell...it was the scent of an unknown beta, definitely not their manager- and definitely not Yixing...right?

Minseok cocked his head to the side trying to decipher if the person was a threat, next to him Baekhyun tensed and squeezed his arm alerting Minseok to his unease.

"Wait here" he whispered to the group. Chanyeol and Kyungsoo seemed confused but Minseok simply tapped his nose twice, signaling to the two ungendered that it was a scent issue, before moving towards the small entryway.

 

Whoever had entered their dorm still hadn't made their way into the living room.

'Odd' Minseok couldn't help but think. It had been over 30 seconds since the door had opened, confusing them all with the scent that had followed.

Minseok's steps were light but his scent began to permeate the entrance to the hallway as his protective instincts took over. 'This is our home. No one will ever hurt what's mine.'

The stranger had still not left the entry way, so Minseok silently came to a stop just at the corner where the wall turned to meet the entryway- he crouched low and peeked just around the corner.

The intruder was sitting on the small step just inside the door, dark hoodie pulled up over his head- it looked like he was...taking his shoes off?

'While I'm grateful he isn't tracking dirt onto my lovely clean floors, who the hell takes off their shoes when they break in?' Minseok couldn't see the face, but he was sure it was a male beta crouched on their step.

'Such a weird person' he thought, now fully looking around the corner in open curiosity.

 

Suddenly the figure turned towards him as if to enter the home. Minseok couldn't let this opportunity to control the situation slip- so before the figure fully turned and spotted him, he pounced. He bowled over the figure with all of his strength sending them both a few feet back into the front door.

*Thwack!*

The loud sound of the intruder’s head hitting the door resounded through the hall into the living room. Of course, they had all seen Minseok crouch and then bound into the entry way. But the loud thuds and the smack of bone on wood made nearly all of them jump- it had broken the very tense silence of the room.

They heard a faint whisper before Minseok's words became clear- horribly clear.

"Yixing?...Yixing! Help! Someone!...Jongdae!!?"

In a second flat half of the group had rushed to the entryway trying to get a better look at what was happening. Jongdae had actually been the closest but ended up with the two giants- Chanyeol and Yifan blocking his way. After hearing Minseok desperately call his name, Jongdae quickly elbowed Chanyeol aside (unwilling to elbow the older alpha to his right) but the sight that greeted him didn't make sense at first.

 

Minseok was crouched over a lithe figure that laid feet first before him, Minseok's left leg resting between the splayed legs of the body lying against the front door. His eyes locked onto Minseok's hand, clenched in the baggy fabric of the figure's hoodie, and up Minseok’s arm- tense and shaking. When he reached Minseok's face he let out a tiny whimper at the utter despair displayed on his friend's gorgeous features. 

Jongdae followed his gaze down to the face of the unconscious beta underneath- 'Yixing...hyung?'

It took him a few beats to comprehend that it was indeed his kind hyung's face under the hood of the figure against the door. He reacted quick, darting forward and gently pushing Minseok to the side so he could move Yixing to lie flat and roll him over to his side.

“Kyungsoo!” Jongdae waited as Kyungsoo elbowed his way through the group, elbowing Chanyeol aside just as Jongdae had a moment before.

“Ye-y-yes, hyung?”

Jongdae turned away from Yixing for a second to address Kyungsoo calmly, “I need the first aid kit. The one above the cabinet in the washroom- hurry please.”

With a nod Kyungsoo darted back through the shocked group still standing in the entrance of the hallway- this time they moved out of his way but many of them still seemed unable to comprehend the scene before them.

 

Jongdae continued to silently and carefully check Yixing’s back and head, knowing that if his hyung was bleeding they would have to quickly stem the flow as best they could and rush him to the hospital.

Minseok still sat unmoving on the other side of Yixing, sitting slumped against the wall where Jongdae had moved him aside. He couldn’t help but stare at Yixing’s unconscious body; eyes closed and lips turned down in a slight frown- ‘I- I did that. To my sweet xingie no less...’ his eyes swam with unshed tears, blurring the image of Yixing from his sight.

‘Yixing-ah, why- what happened? I took you for a stranger…and then this!’ the thought sent a stomach churning wave of disgust through him. ‘I’m so sorry!’ Minseok let his head fall back against the wall, promising to protect Yixing better from now on.

“Minseok-hyung” Luhan crouched down on his left, calling out to him, pulling him out of his reverie. Once Minseok’s eyes met Luhan’s he continued, wrapping an arm around his distraught hyung.

“It’s going to be okay” he paused turning to Jongdae with hope shining bright in his eyes, “right?”

 

Jongdae opened his mouth to answer but at that moment Kyungsoo rushed back into the hall carrying the first aid kit. He took a seat next to Jongdae and carefully laid the kit down between them, "What do you need hyung?"

“I don’t see any bleeding actually, but he has a pretty good lump on his head here” Jongdae softly brushing his fingers over the bump at the crown of Yixing’s head. “Could you go get an Ice pack? And see if we have any smelling salts too.” Kyungsoo nodded, rushing off once again.

The whole, everyone in the entryway had remained silent; unsure of how to help and also shocked and confused by the scene unfolding before them.

After Kyungsoo left the whole hall was enveloped in a shocked, tense silence.

 

“What the hell is this?” Chanyeol’s voice rang loud and clear, cutting through the silence like a thunderous clap. Like a cue, the members in the hall all began to speak at once, letting out their confused and mixed emotions in a tidal wave of sound:

“He’s right, what the hell is going on?”

“He’s a beta now? How?”

“Did he present?”

"Of course, right?"

“This is messed up guys, SM has gone too far!”

“The hell Chanyeol, what about SM?”

“Yixing wouldn’t just disappear to present- SM is behind this shit.”

“Oh come on, this isn’t a conspiracy”

“Well, SM is a bit shady sometimes…”

Junmyeon interjected “Be quiet Sehun-ah- that’s your employer! You don't kn- ” 

“No- you shut up, he’s right- stop brown nosing for SM hyung” Chanyeol moved forward to stand in front of Sehun protectively, towering over Junmyeon.

“Chanyeol- back off.” Yifan commanded, having moved closer to Junmyeon as Chanyeol seemed to grow angrier.

“Really hyung? Just look at Yixing?!"He yelled back at Yifan before turning his angry glare back to Junmyeon, "You still want to fight for SM?”

"This is because of Minseok." Yifan replied bluntly, making Minseok flinch in Luhan's hold.

“Yes, b-but as far as Yixing's absence is concerned, it was probably Yixing’s decis-“ Junmyeon was once again cut off.

“Bullshit! Yixing would never pull this kind of shit- and you know it!” Chanyeol yelled in Junmyeon’s face, his anger and frustration getting the better of him. At this point, everyone had taken two steps back from the arguing trio.

“Chanyeol- calm. down.” Yifan stepped up, glowering at Chanyeol. Junmyeon made the mistake of reaching towards the angry male in front of him, trying to calm him- as soon as Chanyeol registered the approaching hand he smacked it away harshly.

“No! YOU CALM DOWN!” his roar of fury resounded in the small space and left them all a little deaf as Chanyeol huffed and stalked off towards the living room- he cut across the small space and slammed the balcony door open moving outside in an attempt to calm himself.

 

In the hall, Junmyeon remained frozen in shock at Chanyeol’s outburst. ‘How has it gotten to this point?’ Junmyeon asked himself, ‘Have I not been taking good enough care of them? Have I been working them too hard in Yixing’s absence?’  Junmyeon suddenly began to seriously doubt all of his decisions as Exo’s leader this past week. He knew they had all been stressed but this was all becoming one big mess and he couldn’t help but think he was no help at all.

Junmyeon sat down heavily on the step next to Yixing’s splayed legs, he brought his hands up to his face, letting out a sigh mixed with a frustrated growl before dropping has hands once more- his face once again calm and collected.

Behind Junmyeon, Jongin nudged Tao and Sehun, silently communicating to follow him back into the living room. Obviously his hyungs needed some space and he knew they wouldn’t be able to help until Yixing was awake anyways.

Sehun quickly followed but Tao lagged behind. His geges all seemed like they needed him right now- something deep inside him called for him to comfort his injured and stressed geges. But after an insistent tug from Sehun, Tao quickly shook his head to clear the 'stupid' thoughts and followed the rest of the maknae line back into the living room.

‘Baekhyun’s here, he’ll take care of it… like he always does’ a voice in Tao’s head hissed out, but he resolutely ignored it and quietly left the room.

 

Speaking of, Baekhyun gave a loud sigh as he gave the group a sad look, “I’m sorry guys, I’ve been trying to work with Chanyeol's anger all week but it’s been a bit difficult. He’s ungendered so he’s not really comforted by my scent- only my words affect him-”

“And we all know how good you are with words” Yifan’s cutting statement had a sarcastic edge that didn’t sit well with Baekhyun.

“What did you just say?” Baekhyun countered with a scowl, arms crossed over one another. “I’ve been working my ass off all week since HE” he whipped a finger towards Yixing, “decided to disappear and cause all this havoc.”

“You have no right to criticize- omega. You might have worked with some of the members but if memory serves, you constantly ignore Tao-yah, and you ignore Luhan and I as well.  And you know who has always taken care of us since the moment he met us?” Yifan pointed at their unconscious member on the floor.

“That’s who. That’s who has helped everyone the moment he met them, till now; without an omega scent, and without favoritism. He even tried to help you and whatever the hell you have against Tao.”

 

No one interrupted Yifan, because they all knew it was true. Yixing protected them and encouraged them from the moment he met them. He was always kind but strict and blunt when necessary. He was a natural at making people at ease and lifting them up.

And that was also something Baekhyun couldn’t help but burn with jealousy over.

This alpha was standing there -telling him, Baekhyun, that an Ungendered (now beta?) was doing a better job caring for the group than the main omega? He scoffed at the thought and retorted “Whatever- screw you alpha”.

Surprisingly Yifan kept silent and continued to glare at him.

Baekhyun huffed, annoyed at the lack of response from the alpha-‘I’m NOT the petty one here, he is! With his stupid speech about ‘perfect’ Yixing. What a load of crap.’

“I’m going to go help Chanyeol calm down- you know? try to actually help someone instead of uselessly yelling up a storm?” Baekhyun stormed away, following the path Chanyeol had taken mere moments before. Completely blowing past the trio sitting on the couch in the living room.

 

 

As Baekhyun stepped onto the balcony he took a deep breath of fresh air, the chill of the evening burned his lungs a bit but his focus sharpened and his anger subsided with every breath.

"You too?" Chanyeol spat out. Baekhyun had actually forgotten for a second why he was even out here until Chanyeol's words had brought him back to earth. With a sigh Baekhyun tilted his head back and let out a sarcastic chuckle.

"Well, he had to find someone to be angry at once you left."

While the statement was technically harmless they both knew it went deeper than just transferred anger. Yifan had always gotten angry quickly with Chanyeol, over small and big things- but the moment Baekhyun had arrived he displayed his disapproval through nearly constant vicious verbal jabs at them both. 

Baekhyun could only guess it was because of the whole 'Tao issue' but maybe because Baekhyun would stand up for Chanyeol when Yifan's harsh words became too much. Maybe Yifan's inner alpha couldn't deal with an omega standing up to him? Either way it annoyed the crap out of the both of them and  they quickly learned to protect each other and when possible- avoid Yifan.

 

Chanyeol wasn't an omega, and maybe that was the issue, but he never could understand Baekhyun's anger towards Tao.

It was almost instantaneous and it was similar to how Yifan had treated him sometimes. But Chanyeol wasn't willing to risk his friendship with Baekhyun by bringing it up, because that's what almost happened when he had tried defend Tao along with Yixing just before Yixing had done the disappearing act.

Chanyeol could only sigh, "That's what he does though Baek, and right now one of his friends is lying unconscious in the entry way. So- I get it, he may not be actually angry at me this time. We're all a bit stressed", he pinched the bridge then leaned forward to grip the fencing of the balcony.

"True but that doesn't excuse him for everything else." Baekhyun wasn't completely heartless, he would be able to forgive Yifan for this- like Chanyeol said, it is a difficult situation and they are all at the end of their fuses. But Yifan never relented in his very verbal denouncement of himself and Jongdae's entrance into the group and that left a bitter taste in Baekhyun's mouth.

'Again, probably because of his precious 'poor baby Tao' and Yixing constantly whining in his ear about Baekhyun's 'bullying' ,' he scoffed, 'If Tao doesn't want to be ridiculed by the world he needs to step up and be a good omega for once in his life- little brat.'

 

A hiss from his left brought him out of his angry thoughts. Chanyeol was crouched down; hand on the railing and his other hand clutching his head.

"Yeolie?" he quickly stepped over to his friend and crouched down to feel his forehead, "You okay buddy?"

Chanyeol was burning up.

"Ugghh, my head it feels like it's splitting man- maybe we should go back inside Baek. I need to get something for this ASAP"

"Yeah sure" Baekhyun nodded, guiding Chanyeol to stand with him.

Just as they turned to walk inside, the balcony door slid open and a hesitant, pale Kyungsoo poked his head out- looking almost as bad as Chanyeol, "Guys, Yixing-hyung's awake".

"Finally."

"Baek!" Chanyeol admonished. He knew Baekhyun was annoyed with Yixing but he didn't have to be so blasé - Yixing could be really hurt. "How is he Kyungsoo?"

Kyungsoo looked away sheepishly "Ummm, well...you see..."

 


 

After Baekhyun had stormed out of the hallway the remaining members were once again silent.

“Hyung was that necessary?” Jongdae carefully asked, still crouched down by Yixing's head. He knew Baekhyun wasn’t perfect but he knew first-hand how hard Baekhyun was trying to help the group and how hard they both had worked to make themselves a place in the group.

If anything, Yixing was making it more difficult for them by fighting for Tao; a useless omega- maybe even unable to be an omega. The immature omega had nearly let this group tear itself apart before he and Baekhyun had arrived, and that was unforgivable in Jongdae’s eyes- and to Baekhyun as well.

But Yixing always kept pushing for them to help the useless omega. And what annoyed Jongdae the most- Tao never seemed to own up to his mistakes. Never had the omega himself come and try to defend his action (only Yixing had tried, which was dishonorable on Tao's part) or even ask for their help. So in the end they'd had to step in and help the group themselves.

‘Pathetic. I almost feel sorry for the little omega… But no. He doesn’t deserve the mantel of group omega after all he has done.’ Jongdae ended his inner debate and focused once more on the annoyed Alpha before him.

Yifan was giving him quite the glower. “Really Jongdae? You really want to go there? Just be quiet and do your job like the good little follower you are.” Yifan’s words were dripping with acid and Jongdae couldn’t help but flinch.

 

“Just stop it!” Junmyeon cut in.

He was tired of all the squabbling and vicious comments- especially from Yifan. He was used to it but most of the group, specifically the new omegas, took Yifan at his every word- which was borderline abusive to say the least.

“Just stop please” he repeated, “This isn’t the time. We should all stop and take a breath before we say something we’ll all regret.” He turned and stared directly at Yifan as he said these words.

Luhan had been silent until now but seeing the conversation turn sour he decided he needed to bring it back on track.

“He's right, this is about Yixing- we need to wake him up and hear what he has to say before jumping to conclusions.”

Luhan turned to Minseok, whom he was still holding “It’s going to be okay... his scent would have thrown any of us off" he consoled. "Now it’s time to help him and move on okay? I highly doubt Yixing will hold a grudge” he finished with a small smile.

 

“He’s right hyung” a weak voice sounded from below and two cold hands enveloped Minseok’s. The sudden chill caused Minseok to instinctively twist away from the unwanted stimuli. Not having much room, he twisted himself sideways, knee catching on something solid, before plastering himself against the wall in fright.

The other four in the hall had looked down at the new voice and watched in horror as their newly awakened friend was clocked in the jaw by Minseok’s knee.

A high-pitched whine came from Yixing as he curled up into a tiny little ball of pain.

“Shit- Yixing are you okay?” They all crowded him, trying to help and pull him from his curled position.

At that moment Kyungsoo walked back into the hallway…”Do I need to get another ice pack?”

 

 


 

A thousand apologies and two icepacks later, Yixing was lounging in the living room with all the other members of Exo circled around. SM had squeezed two couches into their dorm living room after the dorm exceeded 6 inhabitants, and there were also a few beanbag chairs scattered about as well- assuring everyone in the dorm a seat.

Yixing was lounging on one of the couches; a fussy Jongdae on his right and a hovering Junmyeon on his left. Minseok sat on the armrest next to Junmyeon, hoping to give the trio space but close enough to hear Yixing.

Baekhyun was sitting on the arm of the second couch as close as he could to Jongdae's side. Chanyeol was sitting uncomfortably next to Baekhyun with Luhan pressed up against him by Yifan, who sat on the end. Tao had found a perch next to Yifan on the armrest farthest from Baekhyun.

Kyungsoo, Jongin, and Sehun were sitting on beanbag chairs completing the circle in the space between Tao and Minseok on the arms of opposing couches. Junmyeon filled the others in on what had transpired in the hallway while Yixing iced his newly bruised jaw.

 

It was the youngest- Sehun who, impatient to wait any longer, spoke up first and asked his best friend "What happened hyung?"

Yixing let out a small, nearly inaudible sigh- he knew it was coming, he knew he would have to tell them but he really didn't want to. Reluctantly Yixing pulled the ice pack from his throbbing jaw, a colorful bruise already blooming along the right side of his pale jaw line.

You could hear a pin drop, everyone was completely still and silent- they all wanted to hear what Yixing had to say. They had all been worried for days and now they would finally know the answers to their burning questions.

“Well, um…it all happened so fast- and I’m so sorry to have worried you guys, I didn’t mean-” he choked a bit as his throat tightened, intense emotions flooded his mind. “I just mean...I didn’t know-“ he stopped and let out a whoosh of breath, calming himself and collecting his thoughts.

Sehun could see his hyung struggling and decided to help by prompting him to start from the beginning.

 “Hyung- why did Kim Young-min hold you back after the meeting?”, the question caught Yixing off guard but he gave Sehun a small grateful smile before answering.

 

“He has been worried all year about the … absence of my presentation, my mother also has been worried and constantly asking me to return home” he stopped, let the information settle before continuing. “We’ve all been under pressure, but this has been chipping away at me for a while now. Then Kim Young Min-nim mentioned it again when he held me back after the meeting and I guess it was the last straw...I can't even remember it very well to tell you the truth.”

“All I remember is feeling ill all meeting long, then pain all over. I nearly collapsed right there in the CEO’s office” he paused when small gasps resounded around the circle of his…well, his family. 

"So you presented? Right then?" Minseok asked, Yixing nodded. "Yes. I don't remember what I said but supposedly the reason Kim Young Min-nim ordered the staff not to tell you is because I told him not to." Yixing stopped and looked down in shame. "And I'm so sorry for that- I really can't remember saying that! I've had so much anxiety about presenting and finally I do but I say that?!" tears began to fall from Yixing's eyes.

"I mean, you guys are my family and I should be happy to tell you about presentation. I don't know why I was...scared? worried? I just- I'm so sorry for causing you so much trouble!" Yixing was outright sobbing at this point, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry..." he pulled his arms around himself and bowed low, his shoulders shaking as he continued to sob and mumble his apologies.

 

At first they all sat in shock, the information they had just heard was still sinking in and the fact that Yixing was breaking down in front of them did not even begin to register. 

'Yixing hadn't done it on purpose' was the relieving thought that resounded amongst the members. It was practically a mistake that had gone a bit too far, an incapacitated command that had been upheld to the letter by their CEO from Yixing. 

Jongin was the first to walk over to his precious hyung and gather him in his arms, trying to comfort the bawling beta. 'He's a beta now too...for some reason...that seems...wrong?' Jongin hated to put it in those terms but he personally had thought Yixing would present omega; his hyung was so sweet and kind, always caring for the group already. 'It is what it is I guess. I just wish we had more time.' he held his hyung tighter, knowing his fellow beta would be leaving with Exo-M in a few months. Tears were beginning to form in his eyes at the thought.

As Jongin began to tear up- Sehun, Tao, Junmyeon, Luhan and Minseok all joined in the emotional group hug. Yifan sat fidgeting on the sofa for another moment before joining in as well- he did care for Yixing but he had never been good at emotional things, like crying; that was the worst.

 

Kyungsoo sat pale and unmoving in his bean bag chair, unable to move even though he really wanted to comfort his crying hyung too. Chanyeol was in a similar predicament, he too wanted to comfort Yixing but his body felt like lead and his head felt like it was about to explode!

"Hyung......Hyung!" Baekhyun's harried voice pierced through the group hug. They all paused, moving back a bit, letting Yixing sit up once more. Tear tracks and red eyes greeted Baekhyun as his hyung straightened and looked at over at him in confusion (it made him a bit more self-concious to the fact he had not moved to comfort Yixing himself) . 

"Hyung" Baekhyun paused, still looking worried and maybe even guilty?

"Hyung" he started once more, "it was forced ... wasn't it?"

Realization rushed over the group along with a sick feeling, was Baekhyun insinuating what they thought he was?

 

"Baekhyun-" Yixing began, his eyes had softened and his tone kind- too kind, the consoling kind- the guilty kind.

"Hyung!" he cut Yixing off, "Was. It. Forced?" the weight of Baekhyun's words was crushing Yixing's poor heart.

Yixing knew he had to answer the question because Baekhyun knew the answer, but it would seem Baekhyun wanted undeniable proof. He wanted hear it from Yixing's own mouth that it was him and Jongdae who were responsible for forcing his presentation. 

Yixing's long pause was answer enough for Jongdae who failed away from the other and fell backward back into the couch, looking horror stricken. "W-w-we? We caused this?"

Jongdae had never been in a situation like this, he had heard about an omega's scent forcing presentation during vulnerable times but he had hoped never to be the cause himself. He had read the pamphlets and books, he knew how hellishly painful it was to be forced- accidentally or not. 

Yixing could only avert his gaze downward, unable to look either omega in the eye, unable to voice the truth. 

 

Chanyeol had been following the conversation as best he could under the circumstances, but his head was killing him and he was slowly slumping on the couch, slowly losing his strength to stay conscious. When Jongdae had thrown himself away from Yixing, his awareness had become just sharp enough to catch another, smaller movement on the other side of the group. Kyungsoo had slumped down, quietly rolling off his chair onto the thick rug, pale and unmoving as far as Chanyeol could see.

Chanyeol scanned the others in the room quickly, deciding they were all too absorbed in the drama unfolding to realize Kyungsoo's collapse. 'Well shit. I guess it's Chanyeol to the penguin rescue' the thought drove Chanyeol to stand upright- swaying a bit to the right before taking a step forward, slowly moving closer to his fallen bandmate.

Baekhyun hadn't seen Kyungsoo but the moment Chanyeol stood up he knew something was wrong, Chanyeol was swaying and slowly shuffling forward.

"Yeolie?" Baekhyun gave a face contorted in confusion as Chanyeol ignored him. At this point, everyone was looking at the swaying giant as he moved forward, and they all watched in horror as he collapsed like a sack of potatoes- still unaware of the smaller, fallen member no more than 8 feet from Chanyeol.

They all rushed forward, all trying to ask Chanyeol if he was okay but Chanyeol could feel his eyes drooping and his body letting go. With the last of his strength he pointed towards Kyungsoo and said "help. Soo." 

Then everything went dark.

 

Chapter Text

 

Yixing hated lying- it was a horrible nasty tool of vile, deceitful people. He hated it with every fiber of his being- it wasn't in his nature to lie.

Okay so maybe he might have told a fib or two when he was like six or something - but that didn't really count! It usually involved candy, and when candy is involved, all bets are off!
But this lie was special- it made him a beta to the rest of the world- and none of them would ever assume he could be anything else now. Lying was the only option he was given to continue to be apart of Exo- he had to be something to continue on, and Nons? They were the opposite- they are nothing.

Nons are viewed as failures to society. Like lepers they have historically been cast aside, by every culture- though, none of the others had lived in an era as accepting as he did now in the modern age he doubted he would be the one to change all that. and truthfully, he didn't want to! He just wanted to live happily with his family and Exo.

And it is such a rare condition that Nons aren't even considered a minority (one appearing maybe every 50 years or more). Nons are a gruesome rarity to the public- a faulty gene that no one wanted in their pack. Plus, historically Nons couldn't even function correctly to join a pack even if they wished; they were useless, scentless, and emotionally bland.

This sometimes confused him, he's sure at his age he would be considered a Non...but he could still smell scents, and had no social problems- if anything he was too passionate (for example his stupid back issues from over-training, or hugging Sehun too tightly when he acted just too darn cute not to be hugged to death!)...it was all a mess, but for now he had at least one solution- SM's beta facade.

Untested (AKA band by most countries and denounced as dangerous to the public) black market pheromones - a few drops in his bath, twice a month, and PRESTO! SM had their new beta.

 

Sure, he knew it was untested but he needed this- he dreamed one day he could join a pack (preferably his Exo boys) but for that he needed a subgender. So, this was the solution, or "the bath from hell" as he so fondly dubbed his pheromone treatments.

The 'bath from hell' was one of the most excruciatingly painful things Yixing had experienced in his young life; it felt like dipping yourself in acid instead of harmless water- it was like a thousand bugs eating away at his skin- burning his pores and suffocating his senses all at once. Seconds seemed like minutes, and the minutes seemed like hours of none stop agony.

His first treatment ... let’s just say it didn't go very smoothly.

He withstood ten seconds of the mind-boggling pain before throwing himself out of the tub and onto the floor to rethink all of his life choices up until that moment. Why was he even doing this? Why was he torturing himself? He tried to convince himself that telling Exo the truth could never be as painful as this medieval fuckery. But he knew that wasn't true, the truth would be the end of his career- then 'bye bye' Exo... the truth would hurt him and them more than the lie would, right?...at least that’s what he kept telling himself.

He had to do this- take one for the team.

So he stepped back into that tub...whimpering the whole way. He wasn't proud of it but this was the only time he allowed himself to cry and scream in pain. Not just the physical pain but all of the emotional pain, all of the stress, all of the anxiety he'd been feeling the past year. The insane pressure he was under was immense and this was his tipping point, his breakdown, the most excruciating pity party ever.

In retrospect, it was the only time he would be able to make even a peep of pain during treatment- he would be back in the dorms soon which meant paper thin walls and nosey young roommates who could never know the truth.

 

The moment the 15-minute timer went off he dragged himself out, slipping many times on the sides of the slick tub in his haste- flopping onto the ground like a fish out of water. Twitches of residual pain ran along his pale skinny body as he lay on the tile, recovering and trying to gather his thoughts once more. He stayed there for quite some time, trembling in pain, unable to put his scrambled brain back together just yet.

He instantly knew the moment his senses returned, because he realized it had actually worked; he smelled like a beta! Even gave off scent like a beta!... it was the strangest and best feeling of his life. It was all Yixing had wanted.

 

So, the lying, the scheming- it was a necessary evil; lie to his family, lie to Exo, lie to the public - everyone.

'This is for the best, the only way forward...and no one can ever know the truth.'

 

 


 

The night he returned to the dorms he had hoped to be well received, maybe even congratulated on his presentation- but nearly the opposite happened! He was knocked out, punched out, and then interrogated because CEO-nim hadn't told Exo a single thing while he was gone. Nearly ruining his whole plan from the get go.

Having to make up a story on the fly had been a bit difficult, again lying wasn't his strong suit, but he managed to pull it off with some water works and deflection.

But the absolute worst part was letting the omegas assume they had been responsible for 'forcing' his 'presentation'...he had never really connected well with the two newer omegas of the group but it struck him to his very core when he saw tears in Baekhyun's eyes- He, Zhang Yixing, had made the strong, independent, defiant Baekhyun cry!

Oh man, it was near impossible for him to keep quiet as Baekhyun and Jongdae broke down right in front of him. The utterly distraught look on Jongdae's face had nearly broken his resolve- he himself had nearly broken down right then and there- profusely apologizing for putting them through such pain, such guilt, gather them both in his arms and hold them close and tell them the truth- that he was to blame, not them!

But he didn't. He couldn't. It would ruin the plan, and the omegas assuming guilt was an added benefit -effectively writing his cover story for him.

He would rather see them cry for a week than leave him forever (lie vs. truth)

So, he chose to lie- it was horribly selfish but he couldn't bear to watch Exo leave him behind. And this was all for them, all for Exo, all for their success- so technically that wasn't selfish, right?

 

 


 

After all of the chaos upon his return to the dorms Yixing worried for all his Exo members:

Minseok and Luhan were always attached at the hip- being two of the oldest in the group but also long-time roommates. After Yixing's return Minseok, as the oldest alpha, felt he needed to help and comfort the stricken omegas- becoming exceptionally close with Jongdae. If it annoyed Luhan, Yixing never saw it. But Luhan did become very protective of Tao and seemed to argue more than anything whenever he and Minseok were around together.

Yifan and Chanyeol had constantly been at each other’s throats ever since they first met, Chanyeol had never cared that Yifan was older and felt the need to get up in the older alphas face whenever he felt it necessary. Chanyeol's presentation was only going to make things even more unstable on that field but luckily, they would be separated by the sub units soon enough.

Kyungsoo was the luckier of the two affected upon Yixing's return; he had presented beta and was discharged after two painful nights in the hospital. Chanyeol was by far worse off, he had presented alpha- which meant at least 3 days of initial rut, along with some painful bodily changes. He had stayed 5 nights in the hospital before returning pale and haggard to the dorms. Chanyeol and Kyungsoo's return found them immediately thrown back into training by SM. Yixing could tell they were on auto pilot just like the rest of them- holding up as well as could be expected after being newly released from the hospital.

 

And it truly hurt his soul to watch Baekhyun slowly slip into depression, it seemed like none of them could do anything to help; but that sounded like Baekhyun, stubborn on every front- even depression. Worst of all Baekhyun's sad omega scent was sour and bitter, stifling the dorm- like rotten peaches. Baekhyun wouldn't talk to Yixing now, and not just him either, over half of Exo didn't hear Baekhyun's voice again until it was time for Exo-K to say goodbye to the Exo-M unit.

At first Yixing thought Baekhyun was depressed about 'forcing' his presentation but as he watched Baekhyun latch onto Jongdae like a boa constrictor as Exo-M loaded into the vans to leave, he realized maybe this was Baekhyun's breaking point.

His constant troubles with Tao, joining the group late, working harder than all of them to catch up, and now losing Jongdae to Exo-M.

This separation would sever their physical bond- which is very important for inter-omega relationships. It was like oxygen, they needed it every day. And omega-omega bonds demanded quite a bit of touch, they were practically starved without it. And it was probably what had been holding the frazzled omega together until now.

'Not much different from how Tao feels everyday then- because of those two.' a spiteful voice always chimed in whenever his thoughts turned to the two omegas.

These thoughts were the worst though, because they were technically and painfully true- and it was difficult for Yixing to accept but ... his pack wasn't stable at all;. Of course, they weren't a 'pack' yet but they only had each other now- and lots of idol groups naturally became packs. But day by day things seemed to grow worse and worse. Tao and the omegas, Chanyeol and Yifan, his own 'beta' issues...it was all getting out of hand and they were all just too young and stupid to stop it.

 

So, Yixing was actually relieved to be apart of Exo-M; in China (with only half of Exo) there were less people to hide his secrets from and hopefully less drama.

Of course, he would miss all the members of Exo-K though. He would miss Junmyeon's damn near smothering cuddles but also his soothing voice during their late-night cocoa rendezvous. He would miss Kyungsoo's wide innocent eyes (that could also give you the scariest glare in the history of ever) and quietly reading with him in Korean- Kyungsoo had always been the most supportive in Yixing's language practices, a very patient and calm teacher.

He would miss watching Jongin's sexy dance practices; always trying some new, amazing dance move. Sending silly flirtatious winks Yixing's way through the routine (Which never failed to draw out the darkest blush from Yixing and Jongin would laugh at his cute innocent hyung's reaction). Yixing would definitely miss little Sehunnie- chittering guidance in his ear while standing as close to him as possible. Sehun leaving soft, light touches dancing along Yixing's body, trying to correct his hyung's moves as Yixing tried to imitate Jongin's dances.

He would miss Chanyeol's strong, warm hugs and happy smiles that lit up his day- sadly he had seen less and less of that after Chanyeol had returned from the hospital. He would even miss Baekhyun- no matter how horrible he was to Tao sometimes- his tart, fresh peach scent always soothed his worried mind. It was the sign of a very good omega (not that he would ever admit that to Baekhyun).

He would, of course, call and talk to his dongsaengs and hyung when he could but the conversations they had late at night in the studio or elsewhere were special memories he held in his heart that would never be outmatched by a simple phone call.

 

Yixing walked out of the Seoul dorms that chilly spring morning, trying not to think about the sweet dongsaengs and hyung he was leaving behind, it would make him cry and if he cried, Tao would cry, and if Tao cried Sehun would cry- literally the never-ending domino effect of crying would begin. So he pushed all of those sweet memories aside, tightly hugged every single Exo-K member- subtly taking a final whif of their scents; it would be months before he smelt their familiar scents again- (he tried to ignore the fact that not just Baekhyun, but Chanyeol as well, stiffened as he hugged them goodbye) before climbing into the van.

'It's only for a few months, then we will all be together again. One big happy family' he knew that wasn't even true now, but he still hoped that they could be soon.

Exo-M drove away towards the airport at 8:00AM. Tao cried on Yixing's shoulder and Luhan kept a comforting hand on the maknae's back. Jongdae and Minseok held each other’s hands tightly, refusing to look anywhere but the road ahead, and Yifan sat alone in the passenger seat quietly brooding- staring straight ahead as well.

 

 


 

Exo-M surprisingly worked well together in front of the camera and in the studio in China; the fans loved them! They shipped them, they coupled them, they thought they were such a 'cute pack'.

Sadly, those fans would have been utterly devastated to see Exo-M behind closed doors. It was like war every day, and Yixing was literally stuck in the middle; Luhan felt Tao was the baby omega that was the one in need of more love and attention because Minseok felt Jongdae was the omega much more in need of comfort and care, always caring for Jongdae but not Tao.

Literally they were waring over the omegas. Yifan and Luhan helped Tao as best they could since the oldest alpha (Minseok) refused to, they even helped with Tao's heat (which was huge since before now Tao had always gone to the hospital heat rooms, refusing any of Exo's help).

So, in turn Minseok helped Jongdae because the rest of the group was ignoring Jongdae and his needs in favor of helping Tao. In their defense, it was a bit tricky, mostly because the two omegas had heat at the same time and heats were best spent with another person, not alone- AND it hit the second week after their arrival in China.

 

So Yixing was caught in the middle of an impossible situation- and had refused to help either omega through their heats.

Not that he would have been able to help much anyways. He wasn't even a 'real' beta to begin with and really didn't know much about heats (in school they taught very little about subgenders, the government had created a required class for seniors on the subject but Yixing had joined SM by then.) - so it just seemed... immoral? deceitful? It simply felt wrong and in a small way it helped his conscience to know he had set his boundaries somewhere.

He knew rejecting their heat invitations had to have hurt them but Yixing felt it was necessary. And it quickly became apparent that being around omegas in heat and not participating was a battle of the wills- the scent of an omega in heat was insanely tempting.

So he locked himself away in his room as the two omegas' heats progressed- and the sounds! Oh the sounds that slipped through the walls were simply sinful. It was impossible for Yixing not to react, he was a man after all and the smell the delicious scent of an omega in heat drove him mad with lust just like any other person on the planet.

 

The pleasured moans and loud rapid thumps that slipped through the walls brought so many tempting amazing images to his mind’s eye; Jongdae's head thrown back in ecstasy as Minseok wildly thrust into him, Tao's lips wrapped around Luhan's cock as he groaned in pleasure.

It was literally torture- and Yixing couldn't stop his treacherous hand from slipping south to ease the suffering. Every time a sultry moan floated down the hall a small shiver rolled down his spine in excitement- admittedly it wasn't his best moment but he wanted sex just as much as the next sexually frustrated virgin- and with the hours they put in at SM they never got any action what so ever- at least no one had ever approached him (being ungendered and all did wonders for abstinence, and he had only been a beta for three weeks before they left for China.)

'I may not be able to survive this' he thought to himself, thumb lightly sweeping across the head of his hardened cock, pushing him over the edge. The resulting wave of pleasure rocked his body, hips raising off his comforter with aborted thrusts. The pants he had forgotten to remove in his haste quickly developed a dark spot as he lay panting and shaking on his bed from the intense orgasm.

However, his hand didn't move from the confines of his pants- he was still hard and still very, very horny - he would probably have to go one or two more times just to satisfy the intense sexual energy pent up in his body at that moment. Damn, heats were really some kinda torture- pleasurable or no, it was intense just to be around these omegas in heat.

'Crap, I really won't survive this will I?'

 

 


 

A month after heat week ended, Yixing was composing a new song on his small keyboard in his studio corner of his dorm room. He was completely immersed in his music making and was understandably scared shit-less when the door swung inward with a loud resounding BANG!

Jumping in fright, Yixing fell out of his desk chair and toppled to the floor. The noise of someone clearing their throat had him looking up at the door from where he had fallen. Above him stood a very pissed off Yifan, one hand on his hip, the other hand behind his back. Trying to burn a hole through Yixing with his glare.

Yixing's first thought was Yifan was pissed about his dirty laundry again- he always threw a fit when Yixing mixed the colors and whites- or maybe Yixing had left the stove on again?

'Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit' Yixing scrambled to his feet and attempted a calm and composed stare back at Yifan, refusing to speak and possibly incriminate himself, 'it could be the laundry...or it could possibly be the stove...when did I use the stove last? Wait, did I-'

"Zhang Yixing"

' oh shit, he used the full name tactic- Save me Luhan! Save me!' he cried mentally.

"What" Yifan paused, pulling the arm behind his back forward revealing a small, innocent cardboard box "is this?"

When Yixing registered just what Yifan was holding his mind froze in terror, sending shock waves of adrenaline running rampant through his body. He could feel the back of his neck begin to burn, which he hoped to God Yifan wouldn't notice.

 

Yifan held the box delicately and at arm’s length, registering Yixing's every twitch and move. It was the package SM shipped to him every month. The beta pheromones.

'The chemicals- shit! Where the hell did he get that? Does he know what it is?...I'm so dead...shit! SM's gonna kill me.'

Yixing's face amazingly remained stoic but his body betrayed him giving a subtle flinch- it was an instinctive reaction to his vile secret being dragged into the light so suddenly and unexpectedly. Yixing hesitated as he mentally panicked.

"Oh nothing, just some crap J-Junmyeon-hyung sent me- you know how he w-worries." Yixing tried to play it off as a simple mail package carefully reaching forward hoping to pull the evil little package out of Yifan's hand and hide it once again deep in the bowels of his closet.

As Yixing moved forward, Yifan swiftly pulled the package behind his back once more then leaned forward as well into Yixing's personal space.

"Oh really? Junmyeon sends you black market chemicals when he's worried?" Yifan laid the sarcasm on thick, his words literally dripping in it- 'He's opened it...' terror seized his body, his lungs refused to take in oxygen, and his whole body stiffened. A member of Exo now knew one of his deepest darkest secrets, there was no way he could get out of this one- but maybe he could keep Yifan in the dark about the rest of it.

All of the tension left his body at once, shoulders slumping and head hanging.

Yixing closed his eyes, unwilling to look at Yifan's scowl any longer- plus Yifan had the other worldly sense of knowing when a person was lying, Yixing was banking on the last shred of hope that Yifan could use those 'powers' when you made eye contact. The next few moments would possibly determine his whole future and if Yifan didn't buy it he would lose Exo forever.

 

"Oh, that- it's for someone else- You know how I can't help but help othe-"

"Cut the crap Yixing" Yifan's words were unexpectedly harsh and loud, spat in anger and frustration. "Just stop okay. I know it's for you- I saw Manager-hyung sneak it to you yesterday. This is Beta pheromones, black market, and highly dangerous" Yifan paused, Yixing heard him give a deep sigh.

"Do you even know what the hell you're doing? What kind of crap you're putting into your body?? Is this some kind of body shaming thing?" he rattled of questions at a rapid pace, but it definitely was not unintelligible. Yixing understood every word and with every word his heart sunk lower and lower.

"So, what? Are you an omega who can't deal- like Zitao? Or even worse, are you an alpha slacking as a beta?" Yixing was sure he should be offended by both those statements but neither were true, and at the moment he was lost for words. It seemed Yifan was at aloss too; tense silence filled the small room once more when Yifan suddenly stopped talking.

Yixing felt a light tap on his cheek, an insistent but silent command from the alpha for Yixing to look at him.

'No no no no no no no no'

He couldn't stop himself from following the Alpha's command in the end. Sure he was utterly mortified, but Yifan had a commanding presence that demanded recognition- he had always been the strong tall alpha of Exo, though sometimes harsh and cold.

Yixing slowly opened his eyes, hesitantly looking up at Yifan uncertain.

"Yixing...are you-are you a Non?" Yifan’s eyes didn't hold any hate or disgust as he said these words, just pity and worry- it was actually a bit unsettling though. Yifan was a smart man who had figured Yixing out in one-minute flat, and Yixing was sure he couldn't outright lie about his status to him now.

"Fan-ge" he begged, "please don't tell the others! please! I'll do anything- I'll do anything you ask but please don't say anything to Exo." Yifan seemed taken aback by his sudden verbal vomit and literally took a hesitant step back. Yixing fell to his knees and bowed low, resting head on the floor hoping to convince the alpha to take his pleas seriously.

"Please...just please- don't tell anyone. If you do, they-"

"They?" Yifan cut him off, " who, they? Are you really a Non then? Is someone blackmailing you? Who- wait..." once again Yifan trailed off, stopping mid-sentence to drop down and lift Yixing off the floor. The stare Yixing was met with was intense and full of anger.

"SM did this, didn't they?" Yixing looked away from Yifan's intense gaze, hoping once again Yifan would not discern the truth from his own eyes. "SM is forcing you, right?"

Instead of trying to lie once again Yixing gave Yifan a curt nod, lips pulled into a tight firm line as he awaited the inevitable reaction of Yifan.

"XingXing" he whispered softly now, giving Yixing a light shake, “I’m not gonna bite. Please, will you look at me."

Yixing didn't move, still too scared and possibly ready to bolt if necessary. Yifan's actions confused him, they were so contradictory to his mother's warnings. Yifan seemed to care more about SM and his treatment than the fact that Yixing was a Non.

Yifan let out a long sigh, his shoulders slumping and the energy seemed to leave his body all at once.

"This is- this is just... so unreal- a Non? It was a far-fetched idea but not impossible- I mean, right now you are the only Non alive right? It's just so..." he trailed off as Yixing's expression grew darker and darker. "Those SM bastards, they're literally poisoning you Yixing! What if this kills you, huh? Is it worth it?"

"It doesn't matter" Yixing spat, twisting away from Yifan's gentle hold.

Yifan's eyebrows raised, disappearing behind his fringe- in shock, his handsome face twisted in disbelief.

"Fucking hell it does!" Yifan swung his arm out and smacked it hard against the wood end of the closest bed- sadly it was Yixing's bed that took the abuse. "So Chanyeol was right? This whole thing was shady from the beginning but I could never had imagined...THIS. Shit Yixing, how can you live like this? It's not right! "

Another tense silence encompassed the room.

Yifan stood, taking a few steps back- at first Yixing was sure he was running away just like he originally assumed Yifan would. But to his surprise Yifan simply turned and closed the open door (which Yixing hadn't realized was still open until now- he hoped they hadn't been overheard, or this could all blow up real fast).

The small room housed two beds, the closest to the door was Yifan's. He lowered himself onto his bed after closing the door, and motioned for Yixing to join him.

"I'm so sorry Yixing" Yifan quietly stated reaching out and pulled Yixing's cold hand into his warm palms as Yixing complied and joined him on the tiny bed. "I'm so sorry- it must be... horrible- I'm so sorr- I just mean..." again he trailed off, he seemed unsure of what to say next.

'You don't know the half of it’, but the only thing he could force out was a choked, "Yeah" it was breathy and quiet, the first time Yixing ever admitted to anyone that he was suffering in anyway.

Yixing needed space and fast, pulled away from Yifan and shuffled to his bed. Sitting near the headboard to pull his legs up close to his chest -curling into the fetal position- his only defense from whatever might possibly leave Yifan's mouth next.

Yifan tensed at the small broken word, before moving to sit on Yixing's bed too- oblivious to the meaning behind Yixing's move in the first place it would seem.

 

Tears of frustration formed as he mentally berated himself for leaving the box where it could be found, for letting Yifan figure out the truth.

'This it- I completely destroyed everything all by myself. I'm such an idiot, thinking I could live forever like this- And now' he let out a broken sob, 'I'll never see Exo again! SM will send me home and I'll be humiliated and-'.

The initial fear and shock of being found out was fading and now a bit of anger and paranoia began to take it's place. 'Would Yifan tell the others? Would Yixing be kicked out? This shit would be all for nothing?! No, I have to convince him to help me-'

"Fan-ge, please" another small sob escaped "I had no choice, it was this or no Exo- the fans wouldn't have accepted me- the boys wouldn't have accepted me. So I had to become this." motioning to himself. "I had to Fan-ge. I HAD to okay!" Yixing let all of his emotions out as he sobbed- crying in fear, shock, anger, frustration, fatigue, everything came out as he cried on his bed in front of Yifan.

Yifan didn't move to comfort him but he looked on in pity, thinking about how horrible a company must be to force this shit onto one of it's employees. It was practically illegal.

 

 


 

After he had given Yixing some time to collect himself Yifan told him he would not tell a single soul IF Yixing agreed to help him with something- a small, tiny thing that was completely harmless.

Basically, Yifan blackmailed him but he would do anything to keep his secret from being exposed to anyone else. So stupidly he agreed- unwittingly becoming involved in what would become known as the 'Wu clan Scandal'- which effectively led to Yifan's departure from Exo and suing SM.

If Yixing had known, of course he never would have agreed to help Yifan. But Hindsight is 20/20 and Yixing was blind as a bat.

 

Initially Yifan's demands were simple; cover for him when he left the dorm once a week, late in the evening. It seemed harmless enough and Yifan was so much happier after his late-night escapades that Yixing hadn't the heart to question it.

Then Tao and Jongdae's heats rolled around once more (this was now their fourth month in China; and omega heats regularly run in cycles of three months).

In light of this upcoming 'situation', Yifan revealed a secret of his own to Yixing; He was secretly a part of an unregistered pack, illegal in South Korea but not China (it was frowned upon but not against the law). Which meant he was already bonded to others- not Exo, and would never be bonded to Exo. The revelation ripped a chunk out of his heart and left him speechless for a good 30 minutes afterward.

Yifan wanted Yixing to tell Minseok and Jongdae that Yifan was with Tao, while telling Luhan and Tao that Yifan was with Jongdae- fooling them all so he could go spend time with his pack.

 

From what Yixing could gather, Yifan had done something similar when they first arrived in China during Tao and Jongdae's heats; only he had used phone calls instead of Yixing. Supposedly he had almost been caught when Jongdae’s heat unexpectedly ended a day earlier than Tao's. Yixing had wondered why Yifan looked to unfazed after heat week ended but he had ignored it as Yifan just being awesome Yifan- but now he knew better.

Yixing would ensure that Yifan wouldn't be found out and he entrusted his fate in Yixing's hands, knowing he would have to lie for Yifan or else.

Yifan's strategy for revealing this secret seemed to be along the lines of 'mutually assured destruction'; If either one of them blabbed about the other's secret the other person would be likely to reveal their secret as well. So, in the end Yixing covered for Yifan- knowing he was happy with his pack somewhere, not with them, not with Exo (which killed Yixing to admit but obviously Yifan never cared for them in that way from the start.)

 

 


 

Weeks later Exo-M (still divided in many ways and full of tension) returned to South Korea to prepare for their next album, XOXO and do their first tour together. Yixing had been excited to see his two precious dongsaengs Jongin and Sehun- literally hugging them for a full minute, refusing to ever let them go again. 

They had just laughed it off as Yixing being silly, but Yixing was serious- he missed them something fierce and had been dying for just a tiny bit of Jongin's scent; the earthly scent of freshly cut wood always made him feel happy and lively. And he had been starved for months! Deprived of all his favorite scents for weeks on end. Not to mention Jongin was the least dramatic person he knew, and lord knows he'd had enough of that in Exo-M.

And then came their EP release of 'Overdose"- the begining of the end if you ask Yixing.

Yifan slowly began ignoring him and most of Exo; refusing to talk to him whatsoever specifically- and with their busy schedules those weeks turned into months of silence with the exception of talking when the camera was rolling. It was infuriating immature but Yixing knew exactly why Yifan wasn't happy (with him or anyone really), he wasn't with his pack- but the rest of Exo just assumed Yifan was unhappy because of Yixing (whom he avoided quite often)- and that was annoying to say the least.

Yifan left on 'vacation' for a week back home in China with family, which had turned into 2 weeks before SM dragged him back to Korea.

Unbeknownst to the public, and Exo (at the time) SM had caught on to Yifan's little secret pack and were using it to blackmail him into fulfilling his ten year contract. Every member of Exo was called in a month later and notified that Yifan had disappeared once again and had only left the message that he was lawyering up and suing SM.

 

Yixing was the only one in the room that day who had not been shocked.

Yifan had confronted him before disappearing once more to China and it wasn't on good terms. Yifan immediately blamed him for SM's knowledge of his secret pack, arguing Yixing was the only other person who could possibly have known and told SM.

"Your so full of crap- no wonder you hide behind your beta facade. Your a scared, vicious snake- hurting friends and enemies alike. And you know what? I'm going to let you suffer and wallow in misery- I won't tell anyone else your little 'secret' so you can just go suffer for the rest of your life for all I care!"

Those were the last words Yifan spoke to him, leaving him wondering if he had somehow been responsible for SM finding out the truth- it was probably the angry ramblings of an angry alpha but it bothered him for weeks afterwards. 

 

So here he sat, in the CEO's office, listening to them officially report Yifan's removal from Exo. Watching as Jongdae, Minseok, Luhan and Tao's faces crumble in disbelief. Yixing thought it was understandable reaction though, they were hearing from their CEO that one of their group mates had duped them all and was disappearing during heat week- instead of helping like he said he had been; it was all quite shocking.

Yixing was sure he would have the same dumbfounded look of disbelief if he hadn't been a part of it himself. Which Minseok and Luhan (whom he had been communicating with during the heat weeks) were quick to point out.

The scariest part was no one yelled at him. No one spat in his face. No one said or did anything to him- they just looked at him in slightly disgusted horror, and utter disappointment; they all thought he was such an angel, he knew that, but now they knew the truth. He now had proved to them he could fuck up just as well as the rest of them. And this one? it was a real doozy.

It was only after they sullenly returned to the dorms that Minseok wheeled around and punched him square in the jaw. Said nothing and did nothing else, just punched and left- no one helped him and they all left him there leaning on the front door clutching his throbbing cheek.

Zitao and Jongdae made themselves scarce and avoided Yixing whenever possible, Jongin and Sehun still practiced with him but as soon as practice was over they picked up their bags and left. Literally everyone avoided him like the plague, all except for - Luhan.

 

Luhan was...weird after the Yifan revelation. He seemed quieter and less social, reflective in a way. And he was the only one willing to even speak to Yixing right after everything that happened with Yifan. He would usually talk at Yixing more than anything, mostly about the inequalities of Chinese SM employees to that of their Korean counterparts- besides the blatant racism of course.

Luhan went on and on before always coming to the conclusion that they should also leave SM, and have a comfortable career in China- asking Yixing to go with him.

Yixing knew where this was going long before Luhan had proposed the idea, and the thought of losing another 'pack member' left him feeling empty and robotic. He knew Luhan was going to leave too, with or without him.

Luhan left him with one last warning before walking out of the dorm for the last time:

"You know, they are forming a pack, right? Minseok even asked me to be his right-hand man after Yifan left...but I can't get stuck here! You know I could never live like this, like SM's dog- like a Chinese mutt in their 'oh so civilized' Korean society. And you shouldn't have to either XingXing...I know it's what you've always wanted but Yixing- it's just not right! it's a hollow dream. We can't stay here, even baby Tao agrees he wouldn't want to be a part of this pack. Even if you do stay, you probably can't even take a real bite, can you? So just get out while you still can XingXing"

That was the first and last time Luhan ever mentioned knowing anything about the truth of his status as a Non- and it frustrated the hell out of him. 'How had he known? When did he find out? Why didn't he tell anybody?' But Luhan had quickly left for the airport, leaving him with more questions than answers- he left his number sure, but Yixing wouldn't find the courage to speak to Luhan for atleast a year after he left.

Because, he found out the following year that actually, yes, Luhan had told someone- Zitao.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

The next few months were weird, to say the least. Jongdae and Baekhyun still wouldn't speak to him but the rest of Exo seemed like they had variably forgiven him. Sehun and Tao (who always gave Yixing long intense stares) were stuck to him like glue, talking his ear off or practicing together- yet Jongin, Kyungsoo, and Chanyeol all seemed a bit stiff whenever Yixing was around but they at least tried to lessen the divide that the Yifan scandal had created between Yixing and Exo.

Jongin was sadly the most distant and Yixing did not want to scare him away by pushing too hard, which meant Jongin had most of the studio time during the day and Yixing chose to practice at night; it cut his sleeping hours in half, but in his mind, it was worth every second of lost sleep if it meant someday he would have his friendship with Jongin back.

He was running himself a bit ragged but they were still promoting Overdose and everything had to be perfect if they wanted to take their best step forward as the new 10-member Exo. Yixing was sure that the others felt the same and were working just as hard to keep Exo at the top.

 

When mid-November came so did 'award show' season, which meant more media coverage and more interviews. And a week before the first award show Junmyeon and Minseok approached him with a simple proposal:

"Yixing, I would like to formally offer you a place in our pack- you don't have to answer now, we've offered this to the other members as well, we're hoping to bring Exo back together as a pack...and we really want you to be a part of it too Xingie."

The offer left Yixing stunned, it had been sudden and to-the-point, no beating around the bush; very Minseok-like

"I- I.." he wanted to scream "Yes!" but he couldn’t. Luhan's parting words kept resounding in his head- he had always wanted a pack but what if he couldn’t actually take the bite? Then he would be caught, he would have to tell them the truth- that he had been lying to them for over a year. And if the Yifan scandal fallout was anything to go by then telling them the truth would probably destroy his bonds with Exo.

"Wait! Before you say no, just take some time to think about it. I know it's a little sudden but Minseok and I have been throwing the idea around for a bit now and-"

"You asked Luhan, right?" the two seated across from him stilled in surprise, "That's why he ran right? Because you asked him?".

An angry look rolled across Minseok’s shocked expression, "Is that what he told you?" Yixing didn't answer, just watching the other two mull the information over, gauging their reactions.

Junmyeon scoffed after a beat, looking away with an annoyed expression as well muttering as he stood and left the room angrily.

"Ignore him, Luhan I mean. He was offered a spot, yes, but he was a bit volatile when he declined..." Minseok's angry expression looked a bit sad now, "But that was his choice, and he did what he wanted to do, always has and always will" his hard expression melted somewhat as he described his longtime friend- it made Yixing's heart clench, knowing Minseok had experienced just as much pain when Luhan left as he had, if not more.

"Do you know why he declined?" Yixing knew the answer, or at least the one Luhan gave him but he was curious if there was anything else to the story.

Minseok didn't answer right away, hesitant to divulge the information, "Since he's not here to defend himself I won't say much but I think Luhan still felt he was a good friend of mine even after the Exo-M mess. I think he thought I would name him my second, because he seemed happy enough with the idea of a pack until I told him Chanyeol would be my second-in-command".

'Ahh, so Luhan's pride was hurt as well...'

"Then he stomped out cursing at me the whole way- I haven't seen him since." Minseok's voice warbled a bit, regretting the last moments he had with once-best friend. He was never one to openly show his feelings, like Baekhyun or Chanyeol, but that's what made him a good alpha and will most likely help him be a good pack leader.

 

'My alpha...if I wasn't such a fucking failure.' Yixing sighed knowing deep down he only had one answer to give Minseok- he almost wished Exo could just stay as they were, like a tight bonded group- not bonded as a pack- then maybe he could still pretend they were a pack and pretend that taking the beta treatments was fine, that lying to them all for their love was fine. But now he was stuck between a rock and a hard place; take the bite and most likely have the truth exposed, or decline the bite and-

'Live like an outsider watching everyone you love live happily without you?' Yixing just wanted a pack; He wanted love! He wanted security! He wanted Exo. But fate was cruel, reality was cold, and he would have to decline the bite if he wanted to live without Exo hating him.

'They will still hate you, declining the bite? How cruel' an unkindly voice hissed at him mockingly.

"Minseok." said alpha lifted his eyes to meet Yixing's gaze once more- Yixing saw the moment Minseok met his eyes- the sad eyes softened and a small smile formed. 'I can’t do this, I can't say no- it will break his heart!... but I can't say yes either....ahhhh, why are they doing this to me?!'

Yixing's inner turmoil must have been visible because Minseok quickly leaned over, smile dropping, looking worried "What's wrong Xingie? Is it b-"

"I can't" Yixing forced out.

He had to do this, broken hearts or no. They would still love him, probably...

Minseok looked confused, he was so close now the scent of freshly brewed coffee was filling Yixing's senses.

Yixing put a shaky hand on the alpha's shoulder and pushed him back out of his space once more- Minseok's scent always made him a little dizzy, it smelled like home and always left him wanting more.

"I can't accept the offer...I'm sorry" the sentence began strong but ended with a whisper.

Minseok froze, "Yixing-ah...is this because of heats or something? I mean, I know you didn't participate in the past but once we are a pack-"

"No" he cut off Minseok once again, "It's not about heats, or-"

"So, it's about Luhan?"

"No! " Yixing had no good excuse he could tell Minseok, which he was realizing was going to make this conversation difficult.

"Then what? Yixing-ah, be honest with me please." pleading with his eyes for Yixing to answer, "I know your presentation was difficult and everything has gone to shit recently- but I know they have all forgiven you for the Yifan mess and I can see the longing in your eyes when I cuddle Jongdae-ah or Chanyeolie kisses Baekhyun-ah. I know you want this- and we all love you Xingie...so why?"

Yixing didn't realize his longing had been so obvious, and the fact that Minseok cared enough to pick up on these things made Yixing's heart swell, knowing his alpha cared about him, maybe even loved him back-

'No. Say no. No feelings- they don't love you, they've been pushing you away and now they are forming a pack that you cannot join.' he tried self-hypnosis to block the warm feelings Minseok gave him.

Yixing hardened his heart and said what he knew he would regret for the rest of his life.

"I said no, and that's final."

Every word felt like a shot to the heart and from the looks of Minseok it would seem he felt the same way.

'I'm sorry Minseok-hyung but I'm not a beta- I'm a useless Non- who will never be able to take your bite. I'm sorry but it had to be done.'

 

Yixing quickly slipped away from Minseok's room and headed down to the end of the hall, to his empty, lonely room - he had once shared it with Luhan and Yifan but now only Yixing remained. He had hoped a new roommate would appear but if Exo became a pack they would all sleep together and he would be left all alone in his small dorm room.

So, there was no one there to hear him cry or hold him as he let out all of the guilt and sorrow, all of the pain he had been feeling since declining Minseok’s offer.

He didn't eat or leave the room for 2 days- deciding he would much rather mope around then watch Exo be bonded forever- without him. And they probably did just that because no one came to check on him and when he left his room he could smell all of their intoxicating scents mixed together down the hall.

Something broke inside him as he trudged into the kitchen to ease the pain in his stomach- he hadn't eaten but his stomach was turning as he took in the scents of the bonded pack mates. He grabbed a granola bar and a water bottle from the fridge before running out of the dorm, unable to stand the scent any longer.

Ironically it was pouring rain and as he ran towards the SM building he let tears stream down his face- mixing with the water falling from the sky, a perfect mask for his pain. As he ran he heard the click of a camera or two, probably fans, but Yixing didn't care as he ran away from the pack he had always dreamed of.

 

 


 

All of the stress of the past year crushed him down into a curled ball on the hard floor of the large SM studio. His gasps of pain and anguish echoing off the gleaming mirrors and cement walls. He didn't know when his sobs had turned to gasps of panic, he didn't know when he fallen sideways to lay on the ground- still curled in a tiny ball, he didn't know when it had all become too much, all he knew? He was alone, frightened, sad, angry, completely soaked by the rain and utterly defeated- pathetically crying on the studio floor hoping he could just fade away- not like any one would notice or care, right?

 

"Umm...you okay there?"

Yixing registered the voice but was too far gone to respond, only letting out another gasp as he felt his throat begin to close up, humiliation washing over him- not only was he being pathetic, but there was also someone here to witness it.

Lovely, just lovely.

"Hey, what's going on?" The voice was kind and small but firm hands grasped his shoulders, pulling him up back up to a seated position once more.

"Woah. Um, you are really wet and really unhappy...um, uh- take deep breaths? ... ah, there you go! In.....and out. In.....and out" the person holding him kept patting his back the whole time and even began to gently rock him back and forth- the actions were a bit confusing but his scent was so...calming and made his brain fuzzy.

"There you go, easy now...you okay little rabbit?" At the question Yixing finally opened his eyes and was surprised to see long black hair- 'wait, wasn't that a male voice?' after another second he also realized the person trying to help him had pulled him into a tight hold against their scent gland- 'that's why I feel fuzzy.... wait did they ask me a question?'

He thought long and hard but the scent was over powering his senses and his brain wasn't properly functioning, so in the end he just nuzzled closer taking in the smooth sweet potato scent- it was heavy and earthy, keeping him grounded and calm.

"Kid?" He was forcibly pulled away this time, "You okay?"

Yixing leaned back against the wall behind him and took in the form kneeling in front him- long black hair, large mischievous eyes, skinny, pale skin, thin li- wait! Heechul-hyung??

"H-H-Heechul-hyung?" the wide, scared look that crossed his face must have looked funny because Heechul burst out into a fit of giggles.

"Heechul...hyung-nim?" he repeated, debating on whether to make a run for it or stay and take the taunting his hyung may be about to throw at him- why else would someone laugh at you in this situation? But the downside to running was he had no place to go- he didn't want to go back to the dorms tonight with the...the Pack still there.

"I'm sorry, it's just you look like a waterlogged bunny" giggles escaped once more, "It's just so cute!"

'Wait what?' Yixing had been expecting some kind of ridicule, maybe even a lecture on tracking so much water into the studio, but the super junior hyung said he was cute?

"I'm not cute...I'm...not cute okay." then he added, "hyung-nim".

"Aww, so adorable" Heechul didn't seem to care about Yixing's protest and pinched his cheeks for good measure. "Seriously though, are you okay sweetling? You were kind of panicking there for a sec."

Yixing shook his head, drops of water flicking out at the movement, "I’m fine, I just needed to be alone for a bit."

"Are you sure? Because it seems to me you are a beta in need of some major comfort little one" the omega paused, "how about we fight over how much care you need back at my place- it's much warmer there and I promise my cats will only bite you if you touch them."

'What? Is he for real?' Yixing had heard stories about the eccentric omega of SuJu but this was just plain weird...and a little comforting?

"I'll take that as a yes!" suddenly Heechul pulled him up and dragged him out into the rain once again, but he was quickly thrown into a large van where a startled older manager sat in the front seat.

"Back to the dorms please" a cheerful voice to his right announced.

'Was I just kidnapped?' it was true he had virtually been kidnapped but in the end it was a blessing that Heechul-hyung had found him.

 

Heechul could be a bit rude and probably a bit mean in public and in private but Yixing was surprised and thankful to find that Heechul was insanely kind to those who he deemed fit to receive it; and Yixing was a prime candidate, or as Heechul liked to phrase it, "You were a drowned little rabbit before I picked you up- now look at you, you can't live without me right!" before hugging him to death. Heechul quickly caught on to Yixing's extreme fondness for skinship and scenting and for 24 hours after he found him, cuddled him and even let him scent him- it was amazing!

Exo had never been this close with him, but admittedly it was his fault for being so paranoid but also growing distant after Yifan's departure. He couldn't blame them, right?

And he couldn't help his instincts- his body craved the touch and love Heechul willingly gave him, he drank it all in like water in the desert. Heechul called him touch starved, but Yixing refused to believe a Non like him could ever be labeled as such- historically Nons had no reason to, they couldn't scent or bond. Yixing could, but he was still a Non as far as he could tell- so why was Heechul so insistant he was touch starved?

Heechul happily cuddled him to sleep that night while telling him silly- borderline porno- stories about SuJu and then forced him to wake up at an ungodly hour to play video games with him. Now don't get him wrong, Yixing had quickly come to love the excitable, eccentric omega but half of Yixing was always thinking about Exo and what would happen when he returned to the dorms.

But he would always be grateful to Heechul for trying to help him when he was at his worst, it must have been hard for Heechul to deal with him like that- but Heechul never once complained and kept reassuring him he was loved and would be there for him when he needed him. (sadly, Super Junior left South Korea for their new international tour later that month- Heechul with them of course, leaving Yixing without his new omega friend).

 

The moment he stepped back into Exo's dorm (4 days after he had declined their offer and 2 days until the AAA's) he was berated by a stony-eyed Junmyeon about his disappearance before being informed that they had a manditory practice that evening. When Yixing finally made it back to his 'empty' room he was surprised to see Tao and Sehun setting up their belongings and luggage.

"Hyung! you're back!" then his arms were full of two tall maknaes, sending him promptly to the ground with a pile of excitable dongsaeng atop him.

"What's going on?" he choked out, the breath knocked out of him by the two still laying on him.

Hearing the strain in his voice the two young Exo members scrambled up, pulling their hyung to stand once again. "We saw some pictures of you running around Seoul in the rain but then you didn't come back to the dorm! We were so worried hyung!" Sehun smacked his arm as punishment before continuing, "Oh, by the way we awesomely fine people are your new roommates." Sehun didn't sound horribly thrilled though- that's when Yixing realized Sehun sadly couldn’t have bonded with the pack, he was unpresented still.

'Poor baby, he loves his hyungs and he must be dying to present and join the pack...but Tao-' Yixing turned to give Tao a hard stare.

Tao looked away hanging his head, "I just couldn't gege, I didn't have to accept so I didn't." The confidence Tao had to state his position brought mixed feelings to the surface. Tao obviously had found more confidence, and he seemed to have accepted his status- which was great! But it would seem he had also decided he wasn't interested in Exo pack...was he also planning on leaving?

Yixing had talked to Tao about Yifan and Luhan's departure after Luhan left, at the time Tao seemed to condemn their decision to leave and he seemed committed to Exo- but now, would Tao be leaving as well?

"Zitao, what's going on?"

"Nothing gege."

"Are you sure? because you know you can always tell me any-"

"Just stop, please. Let's just talk about something else."

Sehun could only pick up a word or two and looked confusedly between the two as they both became tense and silent.

"Everything okay?" Sehun asked hesitantly.

"Yeah Sehunnie, it's fine- it will all be just fine."

 

 


 

It wasn't fine.

Tao was injured during one of the concerts the following spring and rumors were flying around that he would leave Exo; as more and more time went on Tao didn't return to the stage. It had gotten so bad that Tao decided to move out of the almost constantly empty Exo dorm (his father was now reconnecting with him and trying to support him by renting him an apartment in Seoul). Sehun had grown very close to Yixing and Tao the past few months and when Tao left the tour and the dorms he had been devastated, Yixing cuddled with him as Sehun cried himself to sleep- worried they had lost another member once again.

A week later Tao's father posted on social media that his son should leave SM and return to China.

The next day they were all called into the CEO's office for an emergency meeting- Tao included.

 

"This is a closed meeting, everything said here will be confidential- the moment you leave you will sign a confidentiality form. If that makes you uncomfortable you are free to leave" Young-Min gestured to the door. All twelve people in the room remained in their seats; Exo, Zitao, CEO Kim Young-Min, and Lee Soo Man himself. "Alright then let’s begin, Lee Soo Min-nim." He gestured for his senior to begin as he took a seat behind the desk.

Soo Man stood, walking to the front of the desk to address the ten boys before him.

"This meeting is a chance for everyone to clear the air, to inform you of the truth of the situation before it reaches the press" he gestured to the stone faced Tao sitting on the other side of the desk, "Huang Zitao has informed me he intends to leave Exo." the whole room tensed in shock, even a few gasps were heard.

Looking around Yixing could see they were all shocked, some even angry but Yixing wasn't. He was resigned, feeling a bit hopeless even- he had seen Tao begin to fade the past few weeks and he and Sehun had tried hard to keep him happy when they were around, but something must have happened for him to cross the line and actually leave.

"He will be attending the concert tomorrow to say his goodbye to the fans, then we release the news to the press the following morning." Lee Soo Man was a strong beta and always calm and collected but today he looked like Yixing felt, sad and resigned. 'He must have tried to reason with Tao as well- I guess we all failed'.

 

After a few moments of shocked silence Junmyeon stood up, "You can't be serious, you're just going to leave? After all we went through? after Yifan? after Luhan? You want to leave as well?"

Tao also stood moving in front of the desk to speak directly to them, "It's my life, my decision. I'm not thinking about the past I'm thinking about my future. If SM can't help me then I have to help myself."

It was surprising to Yixing how calm the CEOs were considering they were barely 5 feet away from a contractee threatening to break said contract. 'He'll probably even have to sue them...but maybe that's where their confidence comes from, winning the lawsuit?'

"Well there you have it folks, it's his life and we should all butt out" Baekhyun's blasé tone brought Sehun to the defense. "Really hyung? That's all you have to say when your dongsaeng is in pain and asking for help?"

"He's not 'asking for help', he's saying he wants out- I personally think he's wanted out for a while now and this is just a convenient excuse" Baekhyun replied.

"What?" Sehun spun to look at Tao, "You've wanted to leave?". Tao looked away unable to look the innocent maknae in the eye, "Kinda..."

Junmyeon bowed his head rubbing his temples in agitation, Kyungsoo and Jongin were squeezing each other’s hands so tight their knuckles were white, and Chanyeol's eyes were brimming with tears.

"But- but we asked you. We wanted you-" Chanyeol was cut off by an irate Tao.

"And I said No, so get the message." Tao spat back at Chanyeol, "Butt-out, yeah?"

"Zitao, calm down." Tao whirled around to look at Yixing, fire in his eyes, "Oh, you want to start with me too gege? What are you gonna say? That I should be grateful and should let SM ruin my life like they have yours??" Yixing physically flinched at his words and inside he was panicking.

'Does he know? How could he possibly know? He wouldn't tell them if he did...right?'

"Zitao- don't."

"What don't want me to tell them how messed up all this shit really is?" It would seem he had assumed correctly, from the sickly gleam in Tao's eyes Yixing knew Tao had an ace up his sleeve.

"Yixing, what's going on?" the soft question broke them both out of their intense stare down, looking to the other side of the room at Minseok who had asked the question.

"Nothing." his heavy stare was once again on Tao, the word was full of meaning- 'don't you fucking tell them, or so help me-'.

Tao held his gaze once more as he spoke, "Oh, but it's not nothing, it's everything." Yixing's hard stare turned into a full-blown glare, trying to burn holes into Tao's face- he had to be careful or he would end up giving himself away, but that's probably what Tao wanted anyways. Tao had paused, letting Yixing glare at him before straightening up and looking back at Minseok, "Yixing's little 'secret', the one thing SM holds over him".

 

Minseok's eyes flickered down to Yixing before fixating on Kim Young-Min, "CEO-nim what's he saying? What are you doing to Yixing-ah?"

Chanyeol slapped his hands down on his armrests and swiftly stood in anger, pointing an enraged finger at his CEO, " See, I told you guys- they fight dirty! This whole company is fishy. They did something to Yixing hyung I know it- what did you do to Yixing-hyung?!"

"Chanyeol!" Minseok allowed a growl to permeate his words as he ordered his Second to stand down, "You are an employee of this company and he is our boss- calm down and show some respect." Chanyeol seemed to deflate at his alphas words, falling back into his chair annoyed, but Chanyeol's angry scent was slowly overpowering all the other scents in the room.

"CEO-nim, what exactly is going on?" Minseok firmly requested after Chanyeol was seated.

Tao turned, glaring at the CEO behind the desk "Should I tell them about it, or will you?" It was a testament to how distracted everyone was that they did not berate Zitao for his insolence.

"Young-min, what is all this nonsense?" Lee Soo Man spoke up for the first time since Tao's outburst, and he looked just as confused as the others.

'So, only CEO-nim knows...even Lee Soo Man-nim was left in the dark.' This was all becoming too much for Yixing to handle, he knew what was coming next now that they were accusing Young Min-nim. Now his life was over.

'I'm sorry guys, I'm so sorry.'

"I wasn't forced Tao-yah, I asked for it."

--------------- (Yixing and Young Min's meeting two years ago) --------

"...I'll do it."

Young-Min gave Yixing a chilled smile before standing once more. He explained the specifics to Yixing as he retrieved something from his desk, "We have quite the effective resources available to us in this day and age but the most effective solution is chemical exposure- not to worry, they are natural chemicals, similar to pheromones that create what we know as scent." as he leaned down to open a lower drawer he strained to add, "It can be painful - ah here it is - but effective."

"Alpha and omega scents are too inconsistent to be replicated, the scent system I will give you is a beta scent and no one will be the wiser. For now, we can use the new omegas as the reason for your sudden presentation- if anyone asks, you went through a forced presentation and are now a beta, just like your parents."

He straightened and continued, a single paper in hand "SM will provide the product to you free of charge" he paused and handed the sheet of paper to Yixing, it was a short one-page contract. "If you agree to sign this, stating that you will be responsible for any and all issues that may arise pertaining to your use of the product."

Yixing looked up giving Young-Min a stricken look, eyes wide and disbelieving. " But what if I have a bad reaction? What if I go to the hospital because of this "product"?" Yixing couldn't believe what he was hearing.

Young-min gave him an unamused look, " Yixing-ah, this product is very expensive and also the use of it is a bit questionable for some- but this is the only solution for you if you want to stay. All I'm asking from you is to be contractually obligated to take the heat if you were to be exposed. If anyone, even your bandmates, find out- you will be the one to take the blame."

"But-" Yixing wasn't so sure he was being given a fair offer at all.

"No." Young-min interjected, " If you don't sign this, you will be fired from SM, sent back to China and live out the rest of your life as a pitiful Non." He paused and added quietly.

"Just don't get caught, yeah? Work hard, take the offer and live life happily. Make your family proud."

Yixing hesitantly nodded before looking down at the contract in his lap, he did want to live happily with Exo, and of course make his mother proud. But at what cost? There was still the possibility he might present, right? - and what then?

'No... I’m a Non, and... I have to do this'.

"Okay, I'll do it"

Yixing leaned forward and set the contract on the CEO's desk, scanning it for a few minutes, fully reading its contents before turning back to the other in the room.

"Oh, right- Here's a pen" Young-min offered.

------------------------------------(fin)------------------------------------

 

Behind his desk Kim Young Min gave Yixing an approving look.

"I asked for his help" Yixing added.

Tao looked shocked, his eyes wide and disbelieving as he turned to look at Yixing, "They…they didn't force you? But Luhan s-"

"Ah, so it was Luhan who told you?"

Tao must not have wanted to give that away because the next second he slapped his hand over his mouth with a surprised look.

'So, he is remorseful about that but not about telling everyone my deepest darkest secret?! Insolent brat.' Yixing was so past angry but he couldn't very well beat an injured boy- no matter how much he wanted to. If looks could Kill, Yixing would be on trial for murder.

"Wait, I'm still confused. What did you think he was forced to do?" Kyungsoo questioned, speaking for the first time since they had entered the office.

"Beta pheromones, treatments for Yixing-ah" Yixing snapped his head to glare at the CEO he had trusted with his secret until this moment. He felt betrayed but most of all infuriated as his CEO blithely blabbed away Yixing's secrets.

Jongin now stood up looking confused as ever "Beta pheromones? Why would you need beta phere-"

"Idiot-" Tao cut in, "he's not a real beta!"

Jongin looked like a deer in the headlights, eyes round in disbelief at the revelation, "Hyung is-is that true?" the beta's gaze was so innocent and confused, Yixing couldn't bring himself to meet his dongsaeng's sweet gaze.

Kyungsoo now stood up as well, moving to stand protectively in front of Jongin "Yixing what the fuck did you do?" the accusation ran deeper than just his subgender he knew- Kyungsoo had always been the observant one, probably had even correctly assumed the truth.

Yixing closed his eyes, gathering the courage to utter the words he never wanted to say out loud- ever. "I asked CEO-nim to provide me with the beta chemicals."

"Why?" Minseok’s calm, blunt answer surprised him, had him opening his eyes once more to zero in on the strangely calm Alpha. "What, are you an alpha? An omega? Just...why?"

Once again CEO Young Min stepped in "He's actually quite unfortunately a rare specimen- a Non."

There it is- the heart of the bitter truth. Just hearing the words sent a chill down his spine, disgust and anger taking up residence in his heart as the truth of his subgender came to light. Anxiety rolled through his body as a deafening silence filled the once clamorous room

"Yixing, is he for real?" Junmyeon whispered conspiratorially, like he had just heard someone had committed some horrible sin.

"What the hell hyung?", Sehun.

"So, you've been a fake beta this whole time?" Minseok had a strange misplaced look of relief as he turned to Junmyeon, grasping his hand and squeezing it.

'Odd' he thought to himself as he gave a small guilty nod.

"This is all probably quite shocking, I know. But I think it's time for you all to leave." Kim Young-min motioned towards the door, "I've been accused of enough for one day and it looks like this drama will be ongoing no doubt. So please- go deal with it privately." effectively dismissing them.

"Don't forget, Tao will be at the concert tomorrow night. Then we release the news publicly"

The reminder of why they originally met in the CEO's office fell a bit flat compared to the bombshell that was Yixing's admission. All of them moved slowly, unsure- reeling from the emotional rollercoaster they had disembarked from. As they turned to file out the CEO called Yixing to stay.

As Lee Soo Man moved to leave he put a heavy hand on Yixing's shoulder, "I'm disappointed in you son, in SM too..." he gave a loud sigh, "I'd had high hopes for you too." Then he walked away leaving Yixing frozen in his spot, anxiety rolling wave after wave through his body, he needed a seat or he was gonna pass out.

He stumbled to a seat near the CEO's desk and eased himself gently into the comforting arms of the squishy seat.

"Yes, CEO-nim?" Yixing asked tiredly, his soul having left his body long before.

"I wanted to applaud you on your performance and for keeping up your end of the contract Yixing-ah. I also wanted to inform you that I have a manager who will be working exclusively with you in China."

"In China?"

"Well, yes. You are the last Chinese member of Exo- our last foot in the door- and I have many plans for you. Your manager will go over them with you but I have a full schedule planned for you... Think of it as a thank you."

Yixing's mind was floating and his ears felt like they were stuffed with cotton, "I'm going to China?"

"Yes, you'll be MCing for a new variety show with some high profiles, and I even found a movie offer for you. So, work hard this summer, yeah?"

"Sir, what am I going to do? I can't leave now- everything's a mess, they hate me! You saw them, they all hate me!" Yixing was in disbelief as his CEO ignored the obvious breakdown Yixing was experiencing.

"Oh, I bet they might come around- who knows, maybe some space is what you need?"

Clearly his CEO's only goal was to get Yixing's ass to China and fast- damage control. They were going to lose fans and make anti-fans; just like Yifan and Luhan's departures- Yixing was the buffer between them and the rest of Exo. It was on his shoulders alone now to make Exo prominent in China and to keep the general public on their side.

"Okay...okay, I'll do my best."

 

 


 

When he reluctantly returned to the dorms he was vaguely surprised to find Sehun's belongings moved, probably to the spare room- Exo's dorm had four rooms to house the original twelve members; but now most of Exo stayed in the nest room, and had a separate room for heats aside from the main nest (a second nest if you will). Leaving one spare room beside his own room.

Yixing had never been one to curse or yell but when he saw his room empty once more his sadness suddenly turned into a rage; rage at being abandoned once again. He threw his bag down and whirled around to yell down the hall, letting out all anger and frustration he had been feeling since Yifan's departure.

"Well, I didn't want you in here anyways!!"

'Don't leave me.'

No answer. He knew they were all in the dorms- he could smell them- feel them.

"Fuck all of you!!"

'I love you all too much for this.'

"I don't need any of you!!! Got That??!! I.DON'T.NEED.YOU!"

Every word was enunciated by a loud thwack as his fist hit the wall repeatedly.

He didn't immediately regret his harsh words but he knew they already hated him, why not blow off some steam?! He sighed, slumping to the floor lifelessly.

'What the fuck am I doing? I should be saying goodbye- not yelling out lies in anger... fuck all of this! Fuck it!' He let out a sob that echoed loudly in the silent and empty hall as he curled in on himself.

"Goodbye...I love you...don't let me leave..." he gasped out, almost wanting them to hear him.

The tatters of his heart longed for his pack to answer his cries, no matter how angry they were.

He recieved no reply.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Minseok stared at the empty room in front of him, Yixing's room - the room Yifan and Luhan had shared with Exo's beloved unicorn- then Tao and Sehun, who had vacated the room as well. The last resident, Yixing, remained here- alone.

'Until now.'

The bed was made and the floor cleaned spotless, the few trinkets Yixing kept on his desk were gone but most of his heavy equipment remained. If it weren't for the clothes in the closet he would have thought his fellow member had left them as well. Even if he had, Minseok wouldn't have blamed him, the bomb Tao dropped on them last night was...pretty bad, to put it lightly. And Minseok was by no means happy with the revelation that Yixing, his sweet innocent Xingie, had been lying to them for years. Yet he had unexpectedly felt a weight lift from his heart after the revelation.

He loves Yixing just as much as he loves the others of Exo, and had dearly wanted him to join Exo Pack. And for months now he had thought Yixing rejected joining the pack as a choice of free will -and that had hurt Minseok more than he would like to admit. But now he knew Yixing literally couldn’t bond with them, not by choice but by physical inability to bond as a Non.

And strangely enough that thought was comforting. For months Minseok thought Yixing may not love Exo like they loved him but now it all made sense! And maybe, just maybe, Yixing loved them too?

Minseok didn't want to assume but...he really hoped he was correct.

That being said though, he was furious Yixing had lied to them about such an important thing for so long, He couldn't understand why Yixing did it.

One, it was the reason Yixing rejected them, he hated that.

Two, it made him doubt his sweet Xingie's sincerity, he loathed that.

And finally, it had turned the whole pack upside down once the secret had been revealed.

It was quite possibly the root of quite a few issues the pack had with Yixing over the last year as well. Minseok never thought he could hate Yixing, but it's been a close thing for the last 20-something hours.

 

Minseok sighed, eyes closing as he took calming breaths. He couldn’t bare to look at the room that was now a stark reminder of how broken Exo truly was on the inside.

"Hyung?"

He caught sight of Jongdae over his shoulder, looking hesitantly at him.

"Hm?"

Jongdae glanced down at his hands twisting in an anxious manner, "Hyung, did he- ... did he leave too?"

The question was so sad and quiet it broke Minseok's heart (surprising considering how broken it already was). He turned and scooped Jongdae into a tight hug. "No Dae-yah, I think-" he sighed sinking into the omega’s sweet embrace.

"I think they sent him, probably to China- you know- to deal with all of this."

Jongdae's hands clenched, pulling slightly on the back of his oversized shirt.

"Are you sure? What about Sehunnie? What about the concert? What about Zitao~" the name of the newly lost omega warbled a bit as it left Jongdae’s lips - he could even feel Jongdae shake as he held back his tears, and felt him tense up when Minseok did not give an answer.

Minseok was wracking his mind for a comforting response but could find none. Jongdae was right. They still had Tao's last concert, and if he was honest with himself he would have liked to talk with Yixing before he had disappeared to China.

And Sehun...If Yixing was truly on his way to China, then sadly Sehun's situation was only going to deteriorate.

"I don't know Dae." Minseok hated to admit it but he had no clue- he didn't even now Yixing was leaving Korea until he found Yixing's room empty moments ago.

"Min-Hyung, I'm angry but...I'm" he stopped, gathered his thought, then continued cautiously, " I- I mean, I AM furious" Jongdae tightened his hold on Minseok, angry thoughts swirling for a moment before relaxing once more into Minseok's arms. " But- I just can't help feeling sorry for Xing-hyung?" Jongdae pulled away to look straight into Minseok's eyes. "Is that...bad? I mean- everyone's pissed and angry but I- just- can't - hate him? This whole thing is messed up but we are still Exo right? Including Yixing-hyung?"

It sounded like questions to Minseok- he could tell Jongdae had confused feelings towards Yixing, just like himself. They were the only ones left from Exo-M; they had their own personal bond with Yixing that the members from Exo-K would never understand. BUT maybe that’s why they both were so broken up over this mess. Only Sehun and Jongin, being the closest to Yixing, could come close to feeling how he and Jongdae are feeling.

"Ne, We are one."

Minseok hoped one day those words would ring true once more. Today though, the words were empty. Minseok knew they most certainly were not 'one' - last night’s events, fresh in his mind, were evident of that.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Most of the pack had finally settled to sleep, some shocked and some angry but ultimately they were all tired and in no mood to talk to one another. Instead of talking they all cuddled in the nest together, finding comfort in the touches of fellow pack members rather than words. Minseok couldn't sleep though, Yixing had still not returned but also Sehun was in the spare room now- he was certain the soft bangs and light footsteps were the product of his exodus from Yixing's room- and that thought alone was enough to keep him up.

Sehunnie would need comfort just like the pack members did, if not more so- he had been one of the closest to Yixing and if he was correct, Sehun had a crush on the last Chinese member of their group. Minseok winced at the thought- 'last Chinese member'.

The sound of beeps broke him from the depressing spiral of thoughts the phrase had sent him down. 'Must be Yixing then... glad he made it back safely...' even in his thoughts Minseok was at a loss when it came to Yixing. The shock and betrayal was still fresh in his system- just having learned said member had been lying to them and manipulating them for the past two years.

He lay numb and emotionless as he listened to Yixing move through the dorm. He felt a sick satisfaction as Yixing paused at the end of the hall. Minseok could only assume Yixing was surveying his now empty room devoid of roommates.

'That's what happens when you screw over your friends- you lose them.' Minseok couldn’t help but think. It was vicious and dark, but Minseok wasn't in the forgiving mood. Willing to fully feel his anger towards Yixing for at least a few more before bottling it up and get Exo back on track.

'Serves him right for duping us, he deser-'

"Well, I didn't want you in here anyways!!"

Minseok twitched as Yixing's loud screams broke the silence of the dorm. He hadn't expected that...Yixing never raised his voice- ever.

"Fuck all of you!!"

His eyebrows went up in shock- Did ... did Yixing just curse at them?? The shock was quickly replaced by anger.

'What the hell?! We should be the ones cursing at you-'

"I don't need any of you!!! Got That??!! I.DON'T.NEED.YOU!" loud thumps accompanied the last few words, each word carving a deep cut into his already broken heart. He was so emotionally over stimulated tears began to pool, blurring his vision.

Yixing never raised his voice, he was almost like a saint- an angel, never one to yell or fight- and he NEVER had cursed, like ever. (as far as Minseok knew). But he also sounded so sad…

 

Minseok quickly scanned the room, praying that none of the others had heard Yixing as well. No one looked back at him thank goodness.

'Really Yixing? After all you've done- throwing another knife at our hearts is just cruel'.

Minseok turned over hoping Yixing would just go to bed and stop yelling before he woke up the others, who would be more than willing to jump up and scream right back at him - AKA the hot headed alpha across the nest, currently splayed across Baekhyun and Kyungsoo.

His prayers were answered when no more sounds came from the hallway and the members around him did not stir- he sighed as he turned to the right curling up closer to Junmyeon while simultaneously pulling Jongdae closer on his left.

They all needed some sleep and maybe they could talk later...but for now sleep sounded good.

 

*Ring* Ring*

The soft ringing of his phone brought him back to reality, awakened from a light slumber- 'damnit! Can't a man get some sleep!'

He carefully pulled a nearly numb arm out from under Jongdae, his other arm still pinned by Junmyeon who was an immovable rock once asleep. He blindly scrambled around for his annoyingly loud cellphone buzzing and ringing somewhere just above his head. 'Stupid phone, stupid noises, stupid- ah!'

Finally grasping the pesky piece of tech he pulled it closer to his face but made the mistake of looking at the screen- for which he was momentarily blinded.

"Uggh!" he flinched back, turning his poor burned eyes into the fluffy dark sanctuary of the pillow below him.

The phone was still ringing, eyes still burning and his anger rising- so he blindly answered the call with a swipe of his finger.

"Who is it?" his words were muffled into the pillow but he was too annoyed to care.

He didn’t' hear an answer, and the continued silence only fanned the flames of his fury. "Who the fuck is it? And why are you calling me in the middle of the night?" he didn't give a fuck right now if he was possibly cussing out a manager he just wanted sleep!!

"Minseok-hyung" the soft, accented voice had his eyes flying open, whipping the phone in front of his face once more to check to make sure that- Yes. Yixing, the little creator of chaos, was calling him at 3:00 in the morning. 'Is he for real right now?'

Pulling the phone once more to his ear he heard, "-so I need you to-"

"Yixing-" there so much he wanted to say but knew he would regret pretty much all of it so he stopped himself and tried to be as cordial as possible, "leave.me.alone." then hung up. Tossing his phone angrily to the side.

Turning over once more he forced himself to sleep without thinking twice about Yixing's sudden call.

 

*Ring* Ring*

"You wanna die!" Minseok shouted into the phone, assuming it was Yixing once again waking him up. He was wrong.

"Wha- Do you wanna die?!" the voice belonged to manager Lee- the head manager.

It took Minseok a split second to realize whom he had just threatened, but when it finally clicked he was bowing in the middle of the nest, spouting apology after apology into the phone.

"Okay, okay, OKAY! Stop already, I'll forgive you this once- yeah?" he froze at his manager’s words, forgiven? Already? Manager Lee wasn't really the forgiving type.

"Lee Hyung-nim, what's going on?" by now Junmyeon and Jongdae were both sitting up watching him intently- woken up by his frantic bowing.

"Ah, well, you see...Sehun-ah is in the hospital- and I'm sorry but I just now thought about notifying you."

"What? He was just here..." Minseok was up in a flash, moving quickly out the door and down the hall, the door to the spare room was open and a heady scent filled space.

"Well, manager Choi was the one to bring him in- then he called me. I didn't even realize he hadn't called you until Sehun asked for "hyung". I'm sorry Minseok-ah, I really do apologize for the late-"

"It's okay hyung-nim" he cut in robotically, he didn't want apologies he wanted answers about his Sehunnie, "Where are you? Is he stable right now? Can we see him tonight?"

"It's probably the only time to see him, yes. He's stabilized and resting but I can only guess his rut will kick in any second now."

"Alpha then- okay, I'll be there soon. Don't let them take him away, I need to talk to him before he goes in- wait, which hospital was it again?"

After confirming the location he rushed to get down to the parking garage, Junmyeon and Jongdae were understandably irritated when Minseok left in a rush without much explanation- just shouting "Sehunnie needs me!" as he ran out the door.

It was 4:16 AM when he arrived at the hospital- a 15 minute drive that took 15 minutes too long in Minseok's opinion

 

Manager Lee quickly and quietly led him to a small-secluded room on the second floor (some how they had not garnered their fans' attention yet), inside lay Exo's sassy maknae, Oh Sehun. He looked absolutely horrible; pale sweaty skin, heavy breathing, pained expression, hair completely disheveled.

All obvious signs that the youngest of their group was going through a painful and forced presentation

'oh baby boy...' Minseok couldn't help but wonder why Exo seemed to buck the norm when it came to presentation- over one third of their members had a forced presentation. That was insane, considering the population average was 1/50 - it really was unfortunately incredible how many Exo members had dealt with this. After Tao's confession about Yixing's poor life choices Minseok had begun to theorize that maybe it connected to Exo's misfortunes in this area, but he did not want to assume- he needed the facts before crucifying Yixing- again.

"Hyung" the soft inquiry broke him from his worried thoughts and he moved into the room, closer to Sehun but far enough to give him his space.

"Ne, Sehun-ah?"

"Hyung" his voice sounded groggy and strained, like it was painful to even speak.

"I'm here Sehunnie, see? Right here" he waved his hands trying to catch the attention of Sehun's vacant gaze.

"Minie-hyung?" Sehun sounded so confused Minseok worried he was too far-gone to even recognize him. "Where's Xing-hyung?"

The question froze him dead in his tracks- shock and confusion painting his features as he stared at Sehun's pained expression.

'Yixing? Why would he even ask about him at a time like this? Shouldn't his emotions be heightened? Shouldn't he be spitting fire right now at the mere mention of Yixing?'

"Sehun-ah, Yixing-" he paused to see if there was any negative reaction- none what so ever, "-He's not here right now, Manager hyung brought you here. You're in rut sweetie." Minseok's tone was gentle, putting every ounce of tenderness in his words hoping to keep the conversation at a calm level. No matter how sensitive the topic had suddenly become.

Sehun's eyes began to dart back and forth, arms straining and hands shaking. "Hyung, I need hyung! Were is Xing-hyung?!"

'Is he crying?' Minseok could tell he was upset but why was he calling out for Yixing of all people? What had Yixing done now??

Without care for the space he had set between them, Minseok now darted forward and clasped his distraught dongsaeng’s hand reassuringly. "Hyung is here, Minnie-hyung. I'm here Sehunnie...what did Yixing do to you?" the last part he whispered to himself as he watched the maknae cry and shiver below him. But it would seem Sehun still heard him.

The hot, clammy hand clasped in his own was violently ripped away from his grasp by the owner of said hand. Sehun let out a pained groan, turning away from Minseok onto his side, slipping further down the elevated bed in the process.

"No! Yixing! I want Yixing!"

Minseok snapped- maybe it was the number of times Yixing's name had already left his distressed dongsaeng's mouth, maybe it was the way Sehun was now openly sobbing- Minseok wasn't sure but all he could see was red.

"No! Sehun, I'm here- right now. Yixing is God knows where, probably sulking, not giving a shit about you Sehun-ah! Hyung is here." he stopped mid rant, pulling at Sehun's broad shoulders until he was once more facing the angered Alpha of Exo. "You need to focus on yourself right now, okay? Forget that lying bastard and come back to the pack in one piece, okay?"

Minseok new he was being a bit harsh, but Sehun just...he needed to get over Yixing, get over that crush he's had forever, and grow up. He needs to see what's right in front of him, a pack full of members waiting to bond with him and love him- not a lying Non that would never be able to give Sehun the bond and love he truly deserves.

Sehun seemed frozen in shock, or at least his sobbing had subsided, he still looked horrible though.

"Sehunnie, I came here to make sure you know you have a place in the pack when this is through- we love you and have been waiting for this very day to come for quite some time- just not in this-" gesturing to his pained and stricken face,"-way. Please Sehunnie, forget him right now and remember us...okay?"

Sehun still looked shocked but Minseok was sure he was still processing the words, he waited a full minute but Sehun remained shivering and still in his grasp, his eyes never leaving Minseok's.

'Did I go too far...no, it has to be Yixing, he's the cause of this whole mess- he may even be the cause for Sehun's forced presentation.'

He shivered at the thought, it was dark and dangerous. Something he wasn't sure he should consider or ponder upon...but still-

"Okay." Sehun twisted out of Minseok's hands and turned over once more, curling in on himself.

Sure Sehun was in a tough situation but Minseok was expecting something- well....more? Some happiness at least at the prospect of joining his pack? Had he really gone too far? Was Sehun hurt by-

"Sir, please excuse me, but could you leave the room please? We need to transfer the patient now." a nurse quickly informed him, rushing past to maneuver Sehun's bed into a fully reclined position.

"What? oh, sure...I'll just...go?" he now felt very displaced, Sehun wasn't looking at or talking to him and the nurse was solely focused on the task of transferring the pained presenting alpha.

'Please stay well Sehunnie, see you on the flipside.' he thought as he quickly exited the room, nearly running over Manager Lee in his haste.

 

 

 

 

 


 

When he had returned to the dorms he told the other members what Sehun had said, nearly omitting the part about Yixing, not wanting to stir the pot any more than it already had been by Sehun's hospital stay. But he decided they needed to know, especially if it was going to be an issue once Sehun was released as well.

To say the others were not thrilled would be a huge understatement but deep down all the members understood Sehun's feelings even if they weren't willing to admit it. They all loved Yixing and were hurt by his lies but even more so by his sudden disappearance from their lives.

Sure, it was just to China, miles upon miles away, but they had always been comforted by the lingering scent or little notes left behind. Sadly the scent left behind, which they now knew was fake, gave them no comfort this time around. And this time Yixing left no notes, or sweet messages, only an empty room.

The situation was now left unresolved between the other exo members and Yixing, confused feelings left unsettled without thier necessary resolution- in other words, they did miss Yixing but it was most definitely a bitter sweet sorrow.

 

 

 

 

 



 

It took Yixing a good half hour of sulking to finally move out of the hallway and into his nearly empty room. He tossed his knapsack across the room and felt an angry satisfaction as it hit the wall with enough force to leave a mark.

'Now what?'

 

He had no idea and his brain was a bit emotionally numbed now from his explosion of pent up feelings earlier in the hallway. Deciding to be productive if he couldn't sleep, Yixing decided to start packing his things. He had a feeling he would be in China quite a bit from now on, working the market- all alone, without even Jongdae or Minseok for company.

'Maybe they'll make a studio in China- that would be nice' SM had denied his previous requests back when even Exo-M was active but maybe they would be willing to spend some money to make a lot of money. Because even disheartened Yixing was going to work hard even though bubbly Yixing was preferable for such ventures. And SM was definitely going to pack his schedule for this trip- it was crucial to keeping the Chinese fans active and happy.

'I should ask if- what is that smell?!'

A scent had drifted into his room, a heavenly smell that called him to react- he was even getting a bit dizzy as the scent became stronger and stronger. In a daze Yixing followed his nose, then literally running smack dab into the closed door just down the hall from his own- 'the spare room?'

*Knock* *knock* *knock*

"Sehun-ah? You okay?" Yixing kept his voice quiet, not forgetting he had just hours ago hurt the maknae with his revelation of lies- but as shameful as that was, Yixing was determined to help Sehun if he was in trouble. Judging by the heady scent Yixing was certain Sehun was presenting (Yixing couldn't fault him, if anything it's surprising Sehun had held out for this long with all the drama going on the past year).

When Yixing received no answer he felt reassured that Sehun was not going to rip his head off the moment he opened the door, so open the door he did, and inside the spare room he went.

 

The scent nearly nocked him off his feet as wave after wave hit him every second he remained inside the room.

'Shit, grandma Zhang, toilet paper, "moist", sad puppies, cold rain- ughh, too late'

Great! now he had a boner and a stressed out presentee to deal with! Must be his lucky day.

Yixing carefully adjusted himself before focusing on the groaning pile of blankets on the bed before him. Hesitantly he stepped closer hoping to help Sehun but also leave the room alive, for all he knew Sehun was just waiting for him to get close enough to go for the kill.

'This is a bad idea, bad idea, bad idea! Bad idea!!'

Before he had taken even two steps into the room Yixing convinced himself to back out once more and rethink his strategy. The moment he closed Sehun's door he began to return to his senses, the intoxicating scent lingered on and around him but his mind was now a little clearer.

'Note to self, be careful around Sehun- his scent will literally be the death of me.'

Knowing he wouldn't be able to enter the room once more without jumping the poor maknae's bones he decided to suck it up and call Minseok- this plan may also lead to death but this one seemed more reasonable and less of a hassle...kinda.

*ring**ring**ring**ring**ring**ring*

Yixing could hear the phone ring down the hall, it was annoying but he knew better than to step even one toe into the nest- if this plan failed Yixing didn't know what to d-

"Who is it?" the words were muffled but the anger was clear in the elder Alpha's voice, "Who the fuck is it? And why are you calling me in the middle of the night?"

"Minseok-hyung, Um, uh- Sehunnie is presenting and I, um...I just can't go in there, so I need you to-"

"Yixing-" he was surprised to here Minseok's voice so calm compared to the infuriated tone from before, and this would be his first time talking to Yixing since Tao's reveal just hours ago- how was he so calm? Didn’t he hate Yixing right now?

"Leave.me.alone." ah...there it is...

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Did he just hang up on me? Really?! The nerve- Sehun needs your help not me you stupid Alpha!" okay, so maybe he shouldn’t be SO angry but he was kind of panicking now. If Minseok wasn't going to help then how the fuck was he going to help Sehun?!

*knock* *knock*

Yixing whipped around in the direction of the front door, who could that be? At this time of night? Looking down at his watch 3:20AM flashed back at him. Deciding it must be a manager and probably not some crazy stalker, Yixing sprinted to the front door. Taking a quick second he checked to make sure it was indeed a manager and not a crazy fan waiting at the door, before throwing it open in a rush to get help for Sehun.

"Thank God! You're the new manager right?"

The man seemed so shocked all he did was nod as his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "Is there some kind of problem"

"Many" Yixing succinctly stated as he back down the hallway back into the dorm towards Sehun's room, waving like mad trying to get the manger follow.

"But right now, Sehunnie needs your help."

"Sehun? What's happened? Is he-" the manager trailed off as they approached the Sehun's door. "Shit. I was just supposed to pick you up Zhang-shi, we have to catch a flight in an hour. How can we-"

"What?! I'm leaving already?" Yixing couldn't believe what he was hearing- they were sending him away before Tao's last concert?! What the hell, "What do you mean flight? I have to be at the concert tomorrow! I can't-"

"Zhang-shi!" the young beta manager's command brought silence once more to the hallway. "We need to get Sehun-shi to hospital, I guess. Call manager Lee, then we HAVE TO catch our flight, okay? As your new personal manager I can't let you miss that flight- BUT" he held up a hand as Yixing tried to comment once more, “but I’m not heartless, obviously Oh-shi needs our help first."

Yixing nodded in agreeance, "Ne, but his scent is too strong I can't go in there- it's too much." his bluch came back quickly as he remembered his hard problem downstairs. 

The manager seemed confused at the revelation, "Aren't you a Non? It shouldn’t affect you at all, right?"

That threw Yixing for a loop, "You know?!"

"Ne, manager Lee and CEO-nim made sure to catch me up on all your personal details before sending me with you to China- I'll be the one receiving and delivering your treatments now."

At the mention of that vile activity of scent treatments Yixing flinched as if in pain- just the thought brought the memory of hellish pain to the forefront of his mind.

"Ah...I see. Well, thank you?" the manager gave a small affirmative nod before turning back towards the door.

"Gather your things, I'll get Oh-shi down to the van myself- we leave in 10 minutes."

The statement left no room for discussion, so Yixing turned towards his own room and quickly left to gather his luggage. The faster, the better for Sehun.

A chill ran up his spine as he retreated down the hall- the feeling like eyes on him quickened his steps. Yixing gave himself a small shake to rid himself of the feeling, but the feeling didn't fade until he had entered his empty room and was out of sight of the manager.

'Strange...'

 

A quick call to manager Lee, a final sweep of his room and one long struggle with the luggage down the stairs later found Yixing in the parking garage ready to depart. The strong intoxicating scent of Oh Sehun suffocating him as he entered the small van.

'So this is how I die...not a BAD way to die- I just thought I would live long enough to-'

"Hyung"

'Just ignore it, no dirty thoughts Yixing!- he hates you, yeah he totally hates me right n-'

"Hyung!"

'Just look away, he'll calm down soo-'

"Hyung!?"

Never one to deny his Sehunnie anything for long Yixing made the mistake of turning towards to handsome maknae, and was instantly hypnotized by the large brown eyes staring back at him. 'Shit- '

"Hyung I need you" he called, reaching for Yixing.

"Seh-Sehun-ah, please-" Yixing forgot how words worked the moment Sehun's large warm hands made contact with his hips, Sehun then proceeded to drag Yixing towards himself, gripping him in an iron-clad hold.

"S-s-s-s-sehun..." Sehun was hot, probably with a fever- and Yixing was heating up with more than just a blush now.

"Hyung-mmm, missed you." the words didn't really register because Sehun's lips were on his collar and he was literally mouthing at Yixing's most sensitive spot. Yixing tried hard, really hard not to moan- then Sehun used his tongue and 'Oh shit'  holy crap, Yixing was in heaven! Sehun's lips felt so good and pleasure he had never felt before was coursing through his veins. It was amazing, euphoric, but...

"S-sehun- Sehun!" Sehun didn't listen but luckily Yixing had gathered enough of his wits to push the young hormonal alpha away. "Stop. Stay." holding up his hands like a trainer to a dog.

"Hyu~~ng, I need you" Sehun whined, moving forward to grab at Yixing once more. His hands were quickly swatted away and Yixing literally plastered himself against the car window.

"Stop. I don't- " should he really be saying this to poor, sweet Sehunnie- just to get him to stop?

"I don't want this. Okay? So...just, stay over there."

The second he uttered those words he regretted it. Of course he wanted Sehun, probably more than someone like him should, but not like this- not when he was positive Sehun would hate his guts once again in a few days. And the look- oh the kicked puppy look just killed Yixing. Sehun looked at him as if he had killed Vivi or some other poor defenseless animal.

"Sehunnie-"

"No." Sehun turned away, looking a bit more sobered now.

"What?"

"...."

"Sehun-" Yixing nearly went flying into the front seat as the van came to an sudden stop, putting an abrupt end to their moment.

"We're here, let's get him inside- Manager Lee is on his way right now so we can leave as soon as he's settled."

Sehun nodded, looking weak and tired all of a sudden, "okay then, lets-" Yixing moved forward to help Sehun as he opened the door, only to be brushed aside by said maknae. "Just go hyung." Sehun looked straight into his eyes as he said this, but Yixing couldn't tell if he really meant it.

"Sehun, it's not like that. I do lov-" their staring contest ends, cut off prematurely once more as two nurses and two doctors descend upon Sehun, ushering him into a wheelchair. When one of the nurses moved to the side, Yixing saw Sehun still held his gaze and had never stopped looking his way. He was sure Sehun was trying to tell him something but for all his worth he couldn't decipher the calculating gaze of Oh Sehun.

Only when wheeled away did the young man break the staring contest with his hyung- the moment their eyes left one another Yixing felt his heart clench and his neck throb...'wait- did Sehun actually give him a hickey!!??'

Slapping a hand to his neck he quickly shut the van door and buckled his seat belt in a huff, hopefully the new manager wouldn't judge him or Sehun for that scene in the van moments ago- he hadn't realized how heated the exchange had become and prayed the manager wouldn't bring it up- like ever again.

'What a crazy night...at least Sehun is safe though...I can leave without any regrets (or like, 8 major ones?- either way.)'

His new manager slid into the driver's seat once more and silently pulled away from the hospital curb.

"Manager-nim?"

"Ne?"

"I'm sorry I completely forgot to ask you, but what is your name? "

"Choi Taehyung."

 

 

 

 

 


 

His manager Taehyung was nice, a bit closed off sometimes but always willing to let Yixing do as much as he could with the schedule SM gave him. Even better he didn't constantly haggle him about eating and sleeping much, he let him compose and work late. His manager was very attentive to his every wish and Yixing was very productive with him around.

He found out Taehyung was actually a fan of Exo's music and knew quite a bit about their history. More importantly he was there for Yixing. When Yixing had to take a hellish treatment bath, Manager Choi was there to help him through the pain. Whenever his back hurt, his manager kindly gave him a massage, and when he missed Exo and needed a hug, manager Choi was always willing to give him a tight, comforting hug. It was a patch job on a humongous hole in his heart, but it helped. And he appreciated all that Taehyung did for him while he was in China.

But now it was time to face the music, he'd easily been able to lose himself in the fun of shooting Go Fighting (a new variety show he was offered to MC) and shooting Happy Camp and CF's for so many brands he couldn't remember them all. But now- now he was returning to Seoul, where his pack-no, Exo pack was waiting for his return. Exo was required to attend the awards shows during awards season and so it was time for Yixing to return to South Korea.

He hadn't talked to any of the members since he left, complete radio silence. They didn't contact him (continuing with the last two concerts of their tour and a few appearances on TV) while Yixing had emersed himself in his work while in China, trying to ignore the fact that he hadn't seen or talked to his members in months. Sure, he had talked to friends and dongsaengs but he always craved the attention of his members, and right now he was starving for it.

 


 

As soon as they landed Yixing asked to be taken to the dorms, Manager Choi didn't seem pleased - which confused Yixing- but he let it slide when his Manager drove him there himself without further complaint. Wishing Yixing luck he gave him a hug then left Yixing to enter the dorms alone.

'It's been months...would they even let him in? Did they change the code? Had they forgiven him? Did they still hate him?'

Doubts plagued his mind as he quietly stood in front of the familiar metal door of Exo's dorms. He knew they wouldn't welcome him with open arms (no matter how desperately he wished they would) and he knew it was going to be a long, hard road to redemption. He sighed as his thoughts drifted for a moment to a happier image- Exo, laughing together, happy, and smiling like a real pack, including Yixing.

But image soon faded and the daunting door was all that was left. It had always been his dream, to be apart of a pack; to be loved and cherished. But it would seem fate had other plans in mind if the last few years were any indication of his future luck- AKA: horrendous.

'Well, there's nothing for me to lose by just opening the door right?' he questioned himself as he reached towards the keypad.

 

The moment he stepped inside he really should have stepped right back out, but being the curious fool he was he ventured farther in as the strong scent of heat wafted through the entryway, overtaking his senses.

'Is that Baekhyun?' the scent was a strong fruity smell, like peaches- nearly the same as Baekhyun's normal scent- but more intense. Yixing had never been near Baekhyun during his heats and the scent was addicting to say the least. Yixing couldn't get enough of it! He kept sniffing the air trying to find the source, his brain not really processing the fact that he was entering dangerous territory.

'Mmm, so good- need more' his thoughts continued to center around that divine scent as he mindlessly walk down the hall- even going so far as to put his hand on the door of the nest. Then finally his brain caught up with his actions and he ripped his hand away as if burned- 'crap, Minseok would have killed me...whew, close call.'

Then the door opened, '...or not.'

 

The steely gaze of Park Chanyeol, poster child for hot-blooded alphas, cut into him- Yixing ducked his head in response, trying to look as innocent as possible. Silence was all he heard, all he could see were Chanyeol's feet, neither of which had taken a step in his direction. Yixing could assume Chanyeol wasn't going to kill him outright- but he could feel his hard gaze still glaring down at him. Chills went down his spine as a few more tense moments went by.

"Get out." the feet shuffled back and the door to the nest replaced them with a loud Bang!

Two words...it had been three months- and all he gets are two words?

Tears blur his vision and fall straight to the ground seeing as Yixing was still frozen in his half bent position. He remembers the days when Chanyeol would tackle him to the ground when Exo-M returned from long trips, Chanyeol would even curl up in Yixing's bed with him sometimes just to make sure his hyung was safe for the night.

They had grown so close just before Yifan left, then slowly (just like nearly all his relationships with the other members) their relationship had begun to deteriorate. No cuddles, no talks out on the balcony or at the tiny table in the kitchen late at night, only the stray hug here or the odd joke there.

And now, months of no communication and bam! The loving yet hotheaded alpha says, "Go away." No talking, no yelling, no discussion- just one order, "Go away"?!

He knew things were bad, but this was horrible! This was, like the twilight zone! Chanyeol had just dismissed him like he didn't even care at all that Yixing had returned.

'Maybe he doesn't- maybe your lies were all they needed to learn to hate you?'

Yixing hated to admit it but maybe he had well and truly fucked up so bad that the people he loved the most now hated him the most...'I need' he sniffled as he wiped the stray tears away, ' I have to get out of here.' the smells of the dorms were now invasive rather than inviting and familiar- he really didn't want to hide out in his empty room tonigh, alonet.

But where? Heechul was busy but Yixing needed a place to stay not just a listening ear (Heechul's usual role).

'I just, I can't deal with the others today- this was a mistake.' Maybe he would try again once Baekhyun's heat had subsided but for now he needed...well, he needed Exo, but that wasn't going to happen, if Chanyeol's reaction was anything to go by. So, for now he would settle for a nice place to stay- away from the Exo dorms.

'Hmmm...Maybe I'll call Taeyong-ah and go stay with the boys for a bit...'

Yixing looked down the hallway of dorm rooms one last time, there at the end of the dim hall was his room - the room Yifan and Luhan had shared with him for a time. Then Tao who had now left, and Sehun whom he could only assume still slept in the spare room- or better yet was snug in the nest room with the rest of the pack by now.

He alone was the sole occupant of that room, until now.

He may or may not return, but for now that door would remain shut, and the room empty.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

The dorm was nearly empty seeing as NCT-U were beginning preparations for debut that was only a few months from now, and the others were all working hard (hoping to be apart of the next unit after U). So, Johnny had free reign of the dorm for the day, no dongsaengs running about or chaos (as usual in the dorm)- just lovely, lovely silence. He smiled in contentment as he walked into the small kitchen to make some lunch before they all returned.

It wasn't his usual shtick (cooking), Taeyong was the one who loved to cook for the boys (it was usually the maknae or eldest omega's chore but Taeyong always insisted, even though he was the alpha) but he was busy today with NCT-U and would probably want lunch prepared before they returned from practice, so being the loving hyung and dongsaeng Johnny was he decided to cook just this once.

'As long as nothing gets burned I think they will eat it...hmmm, maybe just stick to soup then? Just to be on the safe side'.

*ding* *dong*

Johnny panicked, 'Oh no, are they back early!? Shit, Taeyong's gonna flip!' no joke though, Taeyong could hold a grudge- and it was NOT pretty. Johnny stomped his way through the dorm as he ran full tilt to the door, his feet slid on the wood floor as he came to a sudden stop in front of the door.

*thunk* *beep*

"Hello?"

To his surprise, and utter relief really, it was not any member of NCT- it was his favorite hyung Yixing!

"Hyung!" he cried, jumping the poor soul before he could even get one word in. 'Still too skinny' he thought as he squeezed Yixing's slim figure tightly, completely encompassed by Johnny's bulkier figure.

He had not seen Yixing for quite some time, he knew of course his hyung had been in China- they had received many calls over the past three months- but seeing him and holding him, even smelling him, it so much better than any call he could have made. Speaking of smell though, his hyung smelled ... off? Which was weird since Yixing-hyung never smelled different. He was like a rock, his scent never changed. Johnny gave him a tight squeeze before backing away fully to get a good look at his sweet hyung.

It was then he realized something was wrong, beside the fact Yixing had yet to greet him back, he wasn't smiling. His eyes- they looked...dead. Those gorgeous, perpetually shining mocha eyes now looked dark and lifeless- something was definitely wrong.

"Xing-hyung" he asked hesitantly, hands now lightly resting on the other's shoulders, "Has...has something happened? In China?...or here?" he asked dumbly, unsure how to translate his worries into words.

Yixing gave no response at all. The lithe, pale man before him didn't even move, his gaze seemed far off and his eyes took on a glazed look, "hyung?"

"It's...can I stay here for a bit?" even his voice sounded dead and it scared the shit out of Johnny.

"What? Why? I mean, not that you can't! Of course you CAN hyung, I just mean... um, did Exo do something again?" Johnny was almost sure Exo had done something but there was no telling the extent or details and Yixing was so far gone Johnny couldn't gauge his reaction to the question because he literally had none. Yixing just continued staring off down the hallway with a sad, almost confused gaze.

The only people who effected his hyung this deeply were his band members, Exo. Whenever Yixing comes to them crying, it's because of Exo crap- whenever he's hyper and happy, it's usually Exo's doing as well. It always came in waves and most of NCT had witnessed them because they were the ones that held him when he cried or received the excited calls from Yixing during the good times.

Johnny also knew Yixing wasn't a part of the Exo pack, which was confusing to say the least (NCT already has a small pack forming, they all had been willing to bond except the ungendered of course- but Yixing was a beta, so why had he refused to join Exo's pack?). Ever since that pack had formed Yixing had been in either sad or depressed states, not to mention the recent loss of ZiTao as well. Yixing's calls from China made it relatively clear to them that Yixing was not happy and Exo was probably to blame.

Yixing never mentioned Exo by name, but they knew.

That being said, here Yixing was, looking so downtrodden and asking for a place to stay- logically his mind supplied the culprit, 'EXO'.

"No, it's...it's complicated Youngho-yah." Yixing's eyes seemed more focused now but he still refused to look Johnny in the eye as he stated it wasn't Exo that had forced him here.

Johnny sighed, "I'll believe you- for now." He would let Renjun weasel the truth out of him later. "Come on in, the boys will be back soon and I still need to make lunch."

 

 

 


 

Taeyong was impatient to get back to the dorms. He had received a call from Xing-hyung asking to stay the night- which had been slightly unsettling (since he had just returned from China) but of course he had said yes. Now he was stuck wrangling the kids back into the van as fast as he could so they could get back to the dorms ASAP.

"he-hem! Xing-hyung is at the dorm."

With those words every member of NCT stopped before chaos ensued. Taeyong was lucky not to have been trampled as the boys rushed to vans, leaving Taeyong standing alone in the now empty studio.

'Wow, why didn't I say that to begin with. Note to self.'

But in hindsight he probably should have held off on the news that Yixing was waiting for them- the NCT boys, his pack and the others all adored Yixing and now that they were all packed into the vans the questions were flying.

"Xing-hyung is at OUR dorm?"

"He's back from China??"

"Is he staying the night? What about Exo?"

"Is he okay?"

"Taeyong-ah, is Yixing really back?"

"Okay, okay! Hush!" Taeyong turned to address the whole van, "Yes, he's at our dorm, so obviously- yes, he's back from China. I believe he will be staying the night, and I have no idea how he is."

Just as he finished speaking his phone let out a quack (a cute little sound bite Mark had found and made his text alert) signaling he had a new text- he knew it was probably Johnny texting him about Yixing, who had probably arrived at the dorms by now.

He swiftly unlocked his phone and scrolled through Johnny's text:

Tae, Xing-hyung is here asking to

stay. He looks so sad! :'(

Come quickly, he needs lots of

hugs!! :{

'Oh Xing-hyung, what have they done to you now?' he sighed knowing it may be a long weekend ahead of them. He quickly typed a reply:

On our way! Be there in 10.':(

He sighed leaning back and studying the world outside his window. 'Why can't Xing-hyung ever catch a break?'

 

 

When they arrived at the dorms all of the boys hustled out of the vans once more, Taeyong would have liked to have been right there along with them but he stayed behind to thank their managers before following the NCT stampede. When he finally walked through the front door he was surprised to see all of the once rowdy boys silent and somber, their attention focused on one spot- the living room couch.

As he turned the corner into the room he too froze in shock and mild horror.

On the couch sat Johnny, Yixing, and Renjun; Johnny was sitting awkwardly to the side while Renjun was clutching to Yixing like a baby panda. But that wasn't the reason he was now frozen in his tracks, no- the reason was the horrible, heart wrenching sobs coming from the skinny, pale hyung Renjun clung so tightly to.

Taeyong's heart clenched in pure agony as he watched his beloved hyung breakdown in Renjun's arms, 'oh, Xing-hyung...what have they done to you?'

It was not a well-kept secret that Exo and Lay had been off recently, it was obvious to NCT who saw first-hand how depressed and lonely Yixing was (always coming over to their dorms or Heechul’s apartment instead of staying with Exo). Even the fans could tell they were awkward on stage together too, of course they tried to mask it with excessive skinship- but even that could not blind everyone from the truth; something was wrong between Exo and Yixing.

Movement to his left brought him back to the heart-breaking scene in front of him, it was Yuta and ChenLe moving forward to join Renjun on the couch. As they moved forward the rest of the group started to move as well, and like a blob they encompassed the two crying persons on the couch, hoping to comfort them the best they could.

No words were spoken and they all sat or laid out around the duo, getting as comfy as one could in the huge puppy pile.

Now Taeyong was the only one left standing, watching as his pack members and teammates crowded the distraught beta in the center. Deciding the boys were enough for Yixing for now he pulled Johnny up from couch and pulled him down the hall to help prepare lunch and set up for Yixing's stay in the dorm.

 

 

 


 

"Hyung?"

"Hmm?"

"Please don't be sad anymore, just stay here with us- please?"

Yixing turned on his side to fully look at Renjun who he had thought was sleeping peacefully beside him. Yixing hadn't been able to sleep yet but knowing all the boys around him were snoring into oblivion had brought him a little peace of mind; but his emotions were still too tumultuous to allow any sleep. So Renjun had taken him by surprise, speaking up all of a sudden but also pleading for him to stay. Had he really seemed that far gone to them?

"Junnie, Exo is where I belong" he sighed, "I can't stay here forever- no matter how much I would love to" he carefully pulled Renjun into a strong hug hoping to translate his message 'I love you but I love them too' with the fiercest hug he could muster.

All he could hear were snores and... sniffling? 'Wait, is he crying?!'

Sure enough one look down at the small boy in his arms confirmed that, yes, the omega was indeed crying- looking up at him with watery eyes that just looked so sad.

"Renjun-"

"No Xing-ge, I can't- I WON'T see you cry like that again. It's always Exo right? It was Exo this time too right? They always make you cry" he ducked his head down and curled into Yixing, clutching his shirt. "So please, just stay here- we have room to-"

"Renjun", it came out a bit forceful but Yixing was starting to get angry, not at Renjun but at himself- for making Renjun cry, he never wanted to see his sweet Dongsaengs sad.

"Renjun, I...Exo is my pack I can't ignore them forever"

"But they aren't your pack- you wouldn't bond with them." that, as always made Yixing flinch.

He was always sensitive when the topic came up because he always heard the same answer "Exo isn't your pack" because to everyone else that was the truth, but to Yixing it was far from it. Exo would always be his pack, and he would bond with them in a heartbeat if he could. And sadly he could never explain that to anyone, well maybe except for Taehyung- he knew Yixing's secret but he wasn’t who Yixing wanted to talk to- Yixing wanted Exo.

"I'm sorry, I just meant that-"

"It's okay" Yixing sighed, "I know, we aren't bonded" 'And never will be'.

Renjun remained quiet, probably worried he had hurt Yixing, so he changed the subject hoping to ease his dongsaeng’s worries and divert the conversation.

"You know, I'm working a bit on my own music right now? I might even be able to release a song next year?"

"Really?!" Renjun perked up, listening carefully as Yixing went on to explain a song he dubbed 'Monodrama'.

 

 

 


 

It was now morning and most of the boys were already awake as Yixing stumbled out of the nest and into the small living room. It had taken a little snuggling and a little talking but he and Renjun had both finally fallen asleep around 2:00AM. He yawned wide as he stretched, smiling as he walked past the adorable scene of Yuta and Taeil cuddled on the couch. It gave him hope to see NCT treat Yuta so well, Yuta was a late presenter who was in a similar position Yixing had been in 3 years ago- though Yixing doubted Yuta was a Non, it was heartwarming to see his pups all getting along so well in spite of it.

'Unlike my own pack' he couldn't help but think. It had been incessant recently- his thoughts ending on a sad or dark note. No matter what the subject matter his thoughts always drifted back into the darkest reaches of his mind packed full of feelings he always suppressed; dark, disturbing, frightening feelings he knew he did not want to drown in.

He shook his head to be rid of the gloomy thoughts once more and continued on his way into the dining room/kitchen for breakfast.

Another lovey sight greeted him as he stepped into the brightly lit room; Taeyong was, predictably, at the stove with Johnny hovering and Taeyong trying to shoo him away with a spatula. Chenle and WinWin stealing food off of Mark and Jaehyun's plates as the two were in deep discussion. Ten, Haechan and Doyoung all stood against the wall playing 'rock, paper, scissors' over God-knows-what. The other boys had still been sleeping soundly in the nest when he had left and the domesticity of it all hit him hard.

These boys were happy, they were playful, they were normal- everything he wanted for himself and Exo...but it was something they would never have- at least not with him.

And maybe that was why he was so sad lately; Exo was happy without him- or so he assumed. They hadn't called him or seen him in months and still they seemed unaffected, Chanyeol even ordering him out of the dorm on his first day back in South Korea. Ugghh, why couldn't Exo be like this? Why couldn't they love him? Was he that horrible? Was he that ugly? Did they truly hate him?

Once again his eyes dropped as they do when these thoughts over take him, and the energy he once had left his body as he slumped- why did he even exist if all he was going to be was tortured and bitter?

Unknowingly he had slipped sideways and had quietly slumped against the wall, suddenly his head was spinning and the once sweet scene before him blurred before his vision turned black. The last thing he heard were horrified gasps and loud thuds- too loud, why were they so loud?

Then the darkness took over and he knew no more.

 

 

 


 

Taeyong had been swatting Johnny on the arm for the umpteenth time when he heard a loud thud from across the room. At first, he had assumed Jaehyun had caught WinWin stealing his food again and was making a scene, but then he heard horrified gasps all around the room and that had him spinning quick as a top to the source.

The sight was...not what he expected and he found himself gasping in horror as well.

Sweet, handsome, kind, loving Yixing was out cold, on the ground- Taeyong was frozen in momentary confusion before leaping into action. Flinging the spatula into the sink he bounded over to his fallen hyung, hoping to God he wasn't hurt. As he jumped into action the others in the room also began to move forward, though more hesitantly than himself.

He dropped hard to his knees on the wood floor next to his precious hyung- "Hyung!" he quickly moved the unconscious man before him onto his back before moving his hand under the other's jaw, quickly finding a steady enough pulse he turned to the nearest person (Haechan) ordering him to call Yixing's manager.

"Xing-hyung!" he shook the bony shoulders lightly, almost afraid he would break the frail body splayed on the ground. He continued for a few minutes but Yixing remained unresponsive.

"Xing-hyung! Please wake up!"

No response.

"Jaehyun, water please!" said boy ran to the sink, quickly fetching water for the distressed alpha. Taeyong promptly emptied the cup on Yixing's face.

Flinch.

"Hyung?...Hyung! Can you hear me?"

"Tae-yah...why- what...what happened?" Yixing had yet to open his eyes but just hearing his voice calmed them all down, at least now he was conscious.

"You lost consciousness hyung...how are you feeling" he knew the answer though, same as always, even in this kind of situation.

"I'm fine Tae, don't worry about me..." and of course just moments after fainting, here Yixing was slowly sitting up already, but holding his head as if possibly in pain.

"No, you’re not fine- is it your head? Does it hur-" he reached forward only to have his hand quickly pushed away.

"I'm fine."

"No. You're not." he ground out with a bit of alpha growl behind it, Taeyong loved his hyung but he was always too stubborn for his own good. He roughly grabbed Yixing by the shoulders and pulled him closer so as to comb through his hair and search his scalp for injuries.

"So, shut-up and let me help you damnit."

Yixing surprisingly remained still, lightly leaning on Taeyong as he diligently searched for any injuries- thankfully he only found a small bump on the side of his head, probably from the fall. After he deemed Yixing fit to stand he slowly pulled him into a standing position before pulling him into a tight hug.

"Please don't do that- ever again. My heart can't take shit like that hyung" Taeyong was now on the verge of tears as the adrenaline left his system and fear and anxiety took its place.

"Seriously though, what happened?" he asked, still clutching onto Yixing. "You were fine yesterday...do you need some breakfast? Do you need more rest?"

He felt more than heard Yixing give a great sigh before returning the hug, "Sure Taeyong-ah, sure."

 

Once Yixing was fed and back in the nest sleeping soundly his manager finally showed up.

'Thank goodness Xing-hyung didn't need the hospital' he thought as he opened the door for the older beta, 'how long has it been? Like half an hour?'

"Sorry boys, I was sleeping in a bit today. I thought Yixing would too, guess not" he finished with a short chortle.

'The hell? This is the guys taking care of Yixing??' he and Taeil shared looks of disbelief over the oblivious managers' back as he sat down and calmly removed his shoes.

'The fuck is wrong with this guy, Yixing just fainted! And he's not worried? or concerned?'

"So" he began cheerfully as he turned around once more, "Where is he?"

"He's sleeping", it might have been a bit rude but Taeyong was too disgusted to care.

"What? I thought you said he fainted and needed me- why is he sleeping?"

"Because he fainted and was exhausted so we sent him back to bed."

The manager rolled his eyes in obvious annoyance at Taeyong. "Silly boys, all he needs is something to keep his mind off of all those troubling thoughts, or better yet an energy drink!" Taeyong watched in alarm as the manager proceeded to literally pull an energy drink out of his bag and head towards the rooms.

As soon as he was out of ear shot it was Renjun who exploded first.

"The hell? What kind of bullshit is that?!"

"Language!" Taeyong scolded out of habit, but he agreed, 'who the hell gives someone, who just fainted, an energy drink and MORE work??'

And also the manager didn't seem all that surprised to hear about the fainting incident, even bringing a remedy even though he had 'rushed over'...like he possibly had it on hand for such occasions.

"Something's wrong here, we can't just stand by and let this go- maybe if we told-"

"Who?" Johnny interjected, everyone paused and looked at him. "Who?" he repeated, shrugging as he held out his arms asking for an answer.

"Who would we tell? You know as well as I do that the higher ups are probably the ones who told the manager to do that right? I mean, I highly doubt the manager is that diabolical, but SM- meh. I wouldn't put it past them really."

Everyone in the room looked down, unable to meet Johnny's eyes as he scanned the room for objections. And that was the sad truth of their reality, Exo's reality, Yixing's reality- everyone in SM really. So, none of them had anything they could say against it.

"And we sure as hell can't rely on Exo for shit, especially when it comes to taking care of Yixing. Am I right?"

Before anyone could answer, Manager-Taehyung and Yixing came stumbling out of the nest room.

Taehyung had his arm around Yixing's waist and held Yixing's arm securely over his shoulders as he maneuvered the tired young man towards the exit. This time however instead of a fake smile the manager was practically glowering at them as he quickly lead Yixing to his shoes before exiting the dorm, Yixing in tow.

'Creep.' he had heard so many great things from Yixing about his manager but this? This was just plain freaky- that man was not...right? There was definitely something off about the beta...

"Hyung" a small voice whispered in his ear, by the scent he knew it was Renjun.

"Ne?"

"I don't like him. Did you see the way he was holding Xing-hyung?"

"What?"

"His hands, they were pretty low for someone trying to support dead weight and also he was touching bare skin-"

"Junnie, come on."

"No hyung, I'm serious! Yixing shirt didn't ride up because the manager has trying to hold him and the shirt was slipping- he intentionally was holding Yixing skin-to-kin and pretty low on his hip at that..."

He had a point, it was wierd-ish. And that on top of all the other freaky and ridiculous crap that just happened Taeyong began to worry if his hyung was really in safe hands or not.

"We can't really do anything right now Renjun, just watch out for Xing-hyung okay? If no one else will, we will. That goes for everyone, okay?

 

 

 


 

Ever since his fainting incident Yixing had been staying at Heechul's, it was almost like having his own apartment really seeing as Heechul was constantly gone filming variety shows or working in the studio. Every day he went to practice with Exo and every day they mostly ignored him.

Sometimes Minseok or Junmyeon would ask him for help on a move but most times he was a bit isolated. Even sweet Sehunnie avoided him like the plague, and every time he looked over at the maknae he felt eight pairs of eyes stare into him. It was unsettling and completely disheartening.

He was almost happy when Lucky One promotions ended, almost.

Sure, SM gave him a week to himself but all he did was wallow in self pity. Even though practices and performances had been awkward, at least he had been with Exo and had been able to smell their scents. He had missed them so much in China and just being near them made him happy- what made him unhappy was their lack of interaction, but seriously, just beng near them seemed to lighten his heavy soul somewhat.

His birthday came and went, Heechul made him a cake- okay that's a lie, he bought a cake for Yixing's birthday. And he video called his mother and family in China before falling asleep. The well wishes and gifts he had received were lovely but...he was still missing a piece of his heart- he was missing Exo.

 

For the next three months he flew back and forth between China and Korea; recording commercials and shooting a series in China while also recording songs for Exo's Christmas album. They even flew him in for the award shows, which Yixing nearly fell asleep at every single one.

Luckily SM had established a studio in China for all of the work he's been doing and will be doing in the future.

It really was like a curse and a blessing wrapped into one. On one hand it kept him away from Exo, which seemed to make them happy? On the other hand, it kept him away from Exo, which made him unhappy. It was a win-lose situation, and he was the 'loser' or so he thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

"Dae-Aa~h!"

Filthy sounds filled the air as three bodies writhed together on silken sheets. Chanyeol tangled his hands deeper into Yixing's hair pulling him closer, his hand keeping Yixing grounded as he drowns in the pleasure.

Sinful sounds surrounded Yixing, Jongdae's high pitched whines of praise and Chanyeol's deep throaty moans created a beautiful symphony in his thrumming ears. He had never felt or heard such amazing things in his life! He was high on the intoxicating scent of the aroused alpha before him and the mischievous omega behind, their combined scents of pine and honey swarmed his sense- making him feel somehow aroused and at ease.

"Please Dae, mo~re!" he gasped out as he reluctantly detached from Chanyeol's cock to maneuver himself closer to Jongdae's talented tongue.

The large, strong hands that had previously occupied his hair skimmed down his sides, Yixing shivered in their wake. The hands soon found their destination, firmly gripping his rump and spreading his firm cheeks apart for Jongdae to delve deeper.

"Waaaaah! Yeol-ah!" he gasped grabbing at Chanyeol's shoulders as Jongdae pushed just a but deeper, pulling away only to quickly lap up slick as it slid Yixing's silky white thighs.

"Damn Xing" Jongdae whispered as he now moved downwards to mouth at Yixing's strong thighs, "mmm, love your thighs-" he could feel Jongdae smirk as his thighs quivered under such praise.

"Maybe Chanyeol should fuck them?" at the thought Yixing let out a small whine of approval.

"Need you..." was all he could whisper through the thick cloud of lust blanketing his thoughts. He could feel Jongdae smirk once again against his leg, and he felt Chanyeol give an aborted thrust below him at his words- it was intoxicating, the power his words had over the two. But of course, they had quite the pull over him as well.

Jongdae paused in his ministrations forcing Yixing to focus his attention on the omega suddenly denying him his talented tongue.

"Dae-yah~"

He felt incredibly exposed as Chanyeol held him open for Jongdae's viewing- it was almost embarrassing feeling so exposed, even to his packmates. Thankfully Jongdae quickly made his way back up to Yixing's fluttering hole just as Yixing began to feel embarrassed.

"Don't worry Xing-hyung, you look amazing." Jongdae remarked, it confused Yixing- 'had he spoken his thoughts out loud?'

"Wha-ahhhhhhhh!" his thoughts went full stop when Jongdae's slim fingers slowly circled his slick hole.

Jongdae teased Yixing's entrance, tracing once more around the rim before slipping a single finger inside, gliding smoothly along his walls as slick slipped down Yixing's thighs. It was absolutely filthy, and Yixing loved every second of it.

"Yes! Dae~~"

Yixing couldn't see, couldn't breathe, couldn't think- what little sanity he had left was solely focused on the insane pleasure Jongdae's scissoring fingers were creating and how close he was to cumming. Just a little more was all he needed.

" Yes, yes! More !'

Jongdae hit right on his prostrate and kept pressing- it was euphoric- it was intense- it was HOT.

"Go on, cum for us."

Yixing keened and writhed with pleasure as more slick poured from him, then suddenly his joints locked up and his back arched.

"Jongdae-yah!"

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Yixing shot up, pleasure and adrenaline still racing through his body. 'What? Dae?' he reached out behind him, all his hands found was empty space. 'Yeolie?'

It was dark but he could distinctly make out multiple forms sprawled out around him, 'pack?'

Knowing he was surrounded by his pack calmed his worry as he slowly came down from his high. 'pack...yeah...wait, that's not-'

His stomach dropped as he belatedly realized he was, in fact, not with Exo. The scents that surrounded him were familiar yes- his NCT pups to be exact- but definitely not Exo.

He was not with Exo and sadly he had not just had mind blowing sex with his packmates- both were crushing realizations. He was, in fact, sleeping in another pack's nest, sporting a rather large stain on his pajama bottoms from a wet dream.

'Dae...Yeolie....' he flinched now as he thought back to the dream- 'stupid, of course it was all a dream.' He burned with embarassment as he realized his perdicament.

He didn't say a word as he balled up into a small cocoon of self-pity, the shock of waking up without his pack after such an amazing dream slowly settled into his bones. 'You would think I would be used to this by now.' he thought ruefully.

 

After a few minutes he laid back down quietly, slowly curling in on himself once again, feeling very alone despite the many bodies in the nest around him. All the while NCT slept soundly, unaware of his emotional distress.

'They don't love me, Exo will never love me...why are my own dreams torturing me?!'

Tears formed then slipped down his cheeks as his mind wandered once again into the suffocating darkness of his reality. 'They can only ever love me back in my dreams.'

It was a never-changing truth for him, evidence of which he had seen once again just hours before, when he had visited Exo's dorms after his latest stint in China.

 

'Should I?.....or should I not?......Should I?.......or should I not?

Yixing had probably worn a path in the tile with all of his pacing, he stopped and looked down, 'nope, all good'. Then he continued to pace, reassured he had not damaged the flooring just yet.

He was standing once again in front of the Exo dorms entrance, unsure if he should enter. It had been 5 months since he had seen them- he had once again been sent to China once awards season had finished. That was February, it was now mid-May of 2016 and Exo was set to release their new album Lotto, then Ex'Act in the summer.

From what he could tell they had all been very busy while he was away filming dramas, movies, CF's and other things. Which was probably the reason why he had not heard from them nearly the whole 5 months (he had heard from Junmyeon after his accident during filming of 'Mystic Nine' but that was it.)

Yixing himself had also been very busy, they had filmed another season of Go Fighting, finished filming for Mystic Nine AND he had written and produced a few songs he was hoping SM would let him release soon. SM already had Monodrama set to drop but currently Yixing was looking forward to possibly releasing his own mini-album in October.

There was so much work to be done in so little time that he had been unable to sleep or eat properly but Taehyung always kept him focused and made sure he made it to his schedules on time- he would be forever grateful to his manager even though he sadly it would seem he never had enough room in his schedule for sleep.

Unfortunately, this had gotten the best of him while they had been filming Go Fighting last month. He had fainted during shooting, then had been rushed to the hospital, causing a huge ruckus and he also scared his geges half to death! Needless to say, SM had not been pleased and after a short week-long break in Changsha he had been ordered to return to Korea for Exo's new comeback.

 

So now here he was, pacing and waiting- wracking his mind, trying to figure out how to approach Exo's pack after such a long absence. So much had happened and he had no idea how much they knew or how they felt and it unnerved him to confront them in this way.

'It shouldn't be this way!...ugh...how has it come to this? Me, Yixing, afraid to even step foot inside me own dorm. They probably-'

*beep*

*click*

  .....

"Hyung?"

It was Jongin, and behind him Kyungsoo, luckily no one else seemed to be present. 'Okay, okay, okay, just breathe...okay'.

"Jongin-ah! Kyungsoo-yah!" Yixing greeted with a smile, hoping they would stay and speak with him (it had been over a year since he and Jongin had a real conversation- that was a terrible fact indeed).

Jongin was frozen, his hand still on the door handle, leaving the dorm wide open. Kyungsoo had stopped for a moment as Jongin froze in front of him but he quickly side stepped his frozen friend to approach Yixing. His signature scent of freshly cut grass filled Yixing’s senses like a healing balm and calmed his anxiety somewhat.

"Xing-hyung" Kyungsoo stopped just out of reach, pausing to look back over his shoulder at the open dorm door before continuing, "When did you get back? How are you doing?"

Even though Kyungsoo was just being polite, possibly even formal, with him Yixing couldn't help the flutter of his heart as Kyungsoo's words washed over him. It had been so long since any Exo member had shown any consideration for him, at least to his face, and it made him feel all warm inside, even if it was only a few words.

"Oh, I returned a few hours ago- I wanted to come see you...all..."

The words died on his lips as a strong scent of peaches suddenly filled the air, behind Kyungsoo there was movement but Yixing didn't have to look to know exactly who it was- Byun Baekhyun.

Kyungsoo gave him an innocently confused look, then his eyes widened as he finally caught wind of Baekhyun lurking behind him. Kyungsoo quickly turned, allowing Yixing to focus his gaze on the new arrival, and boy did he look pissed.

"Baek-" the omega held up his hand to silence Yixing, then beckoned for Kyungsoo to move out of the way. Yixing had hoped, it would seem- in vain, that Baekhyun would be amicable. Yixing was surprised to see Kyungsoo turn back to him with a pained and apologetic expression before he retreated back into the dorm, slipping past Jongin once again who was still frozen holding the door open.

Jongin's eyes were sharp and focused on Yixing but his body hadn't moved an inch.

 

"You too Jongin." he did not move.

"Jongin!"

"No- I want to hear what he has to say too hyung."

Baekhyun sighed as he stared at Jongin's steely gaze. Yixing could tell neither were happy but he was also confused, 'had they planned some talk with him? What did Jongin want to know?'

"Jongin-ah-" Yixing started.

"No" Baekhyun cut him off, "No. YOU don't get to talk- we do."

'What?'

"Now hold on, I can say wh-"

"So help me God, if you finish that sentence I will rip you a new one!" Yixing visibly flinched back at the rage Baekhyun was exhibiting, where was all this coming from? Yixing hadn't done a thing to them, what was with this hostility?"

Shocked, Yixing remained silent- just long enough for Baekhyun to begin his tirade.

"You Yixing" Baekhyun rudely pointed at him, " have no right to just waltz on in here like everything is all hunky dory! Do you know how much grief you have caused this pack? Do you know how much damage you have done to everyone here? Hm?!"

"Sehun can't even look at you much less talk about you, and when he hears your name he literally leaves the room! Now why is that? Can you answer that Yixing? Because I have no idea but it is obviously tearing up our poor maknae inside. Not to mention how you betrayed everyone in this dorm with your stupid beta facade!"

At this both Jongin and Yixing flinched, not because of Baekhyun's raised voice but because it was STILL a sore spot that had not healed.

And everything Baekhyun was saying confirmed every anxiety and worry Yixing had- it proved Exo was done with him.

"And don't get me started on Jongdae- I mean, you nearly destroyed my poor Dae with that shit you pulled with Kris! THEN you go and break his fucking heart again with your fucking lies! Is there anything good you have ever done in your fucking life?! Because I would be surprised as hell if you had!"

Yixing dropped his eyes to the ground, he couldn't continue to look into Baekhyun's eyes and he couldn't deny his words. The angry omega was literally voicing everything he had been thinking about since Tao left and, in his mind, he wasn't sure he could remember the last thing he did right.

He couldn't film shows or movies right; he always got hurt or seemed weak. He couldn't be a good friend; he had been so busy he hadn't even called his NCT boys for the last month! He couldn't even live right, I mean, he's lost 20 lbs. in the last month alone and he was fainting all over the place. And last and worst of all his own body wasn't right. He was a Non, a pack-less, bondless 'thing'- leeching off Exo, Heechul, and even NCT but never really helping them in return.

'I'm so selfish...Baekhyun has every right to hate me...I'm a fucking mess.'

Baekhyun had continued to yell at him but Yixing was already drowning in his own woes. Baekhyun's words were twisting at his heart and his own mind was driving the knife deeper and deeper.

'I can't...I can't do this...'

Yixing found himself stumbling sideways towards the stairs, trying to move his body even though it felt like lead. He forced his feet to move and his legs to lift- forced himself to move farther and farther away from the horrible truth, from the terrible realization that Exo was a mess because of him and he didn't deserve a place in their pack.

'Get away, just get away!` he screamed internally as he stumbled a few steps before finally gaining some speed, rushing down the steps two at a time. He heard loud yells from above but they sounded far and distant. Right now he just needed to get away, to disappear.

"Hyung! Hyung!" it sounded like Jongin, but Yixing was in no mood to stay and listen to what his once beloved dongsaeng might accuse him of next.

'Just...Just leave me alone!'

And just like that he ran away from Exo once again.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Junmyeon was worried, and not just in the "I'm the mom of the group and must take care of you all" kind of way- he legit was worried for his pack. He was currently listening to quiet sobs drifting out from behind the door he was sitting against. Behind this door one of their omegas, Baekhyun, was crying his eyes out- and for good reason it would seem.

An hour ago Junmyeon and Minseok had left SM in a rush after hearing from their CEO that Yixing had collapsed in China while filming a show and would be returning to them today. Initially he had been more angry than worried, and Minseok had been...dare he say furious? Because SM decided to wait a whole week to tell them?!

Yixing was flying back today but he had supposedly been hospitalized last week!

Junmyeon was sure they were only being told the details because the incident would literally be aired on television tomorrow- which was a whole different issue all together. But for now, it was important for them to get back and be there for Yixing, especially since they had not really been there for him in recent months.

Out of the whole pack it was Minseok, Kyungsoo and himself who held the least animosity towards Yixing and it was they who needed to heal the rift between the others and Yixing before things got out of hand...

but sadly they were too late.

 

When they arrived at the dorm they found a stricken Jongin held by Kyungsoo and an annoyed Baekhyun who was glaring pointedly at said cuddlers.

"Finally, someone with some sense!" Baekhyun grumbled as he swiftly intercepted his leader and alpha. "Can you believe it? Yixing's back and do you know what he did? He just ran away!" he threw his arms up in the air. " like, what the hell? He can't even take it? Even though he's the one always pulling crap?"

Baekhyun was just venting but Minseok and Junmyeon remained quiet, listening as the omega seethed- but Junmyeon's calm facade quickly melted into a scowl as Baekhyun continued to rant.

"I mean, HE'S the one who left! He's the one who betrayed our trust! He's the one who left the dorms in the first place! And you know what's worse? He fucked up with Sehun and just left!"

"Hyung!" Kyungsoo harshly cut in.

Baekhyun whirled to face the one who dared defy him mid-rant, "What Soo?!"

"You know Sehun won't tell us what happened, for all we know it's just a misunderstanding." Kyungsoo tried to reason, but it was like trying to calm a hurricane.

"No. No. No." He pointed at Kyungsoo with a scowl, " No. He does not need defending- Yixing-hyung can defend himself. And as far as I'm concerned, the one who came out of that whole shitstorm worse for wear was Sehunnie- poor guy was in the hospital for a week! And you know what Yixing-hyung did? He left for fucking China and didn't even call; never once did he ask about Sehun."

"he hem" Minseok coughed awkwardly next to him, and once again Baekhyun was spinning around, this time a bit more timidly as he waited for his alpha to continue.

"Um...Yixing actually DID try to call me that night but I was so...emotional...I hung up and later-um, the manager woke me up and told me where Sehun was."

Baekhyun seemed to deflate somewhat at the admission, "He did? Why?"

"Probably to tell me about Sehun, but I was a bit blinded by anger at the time" Minseok hesitated, his heart heavy with sorrow," and in the end I failed Sehun AND Yixing by not being there for either of them when they needed me most."

"Alpha. Yixing is NOT a part of this pack, you don't have any responsibility towards hi-"

"Yes I do!" Minseok nearly roared, cutting off Baekhyun's brash remark.

"Baek...you don't really believe that. Do you?" Jongin sounded almost horrified, and Junmyeon couldn't blame him. He was shocked as well.

'If this is how the pack feels, then we are too late...oh God what have we done!?' All Junmyeon could think about was how lonely Yixing was, had been, and possibly would be in the future without them.

"Kinda...I dunno...I just...I'm so angry!" he stopped talking, and flopped down on the couch before curling around Kyungsoo, a sad frown marring his face.

"I miss him...I miss my old Xing-hyung."

Silence persisted as they all digested the words. they ALL felt the same but most never admitted it out loud, like some kind of horrible secret. It probably started the night Yixing was revealed as a Non, the night they all went to bed silent and angry about the lies their sweet hyung had hid from them for years.

Then waking up to Sehun's hospitalization had probably pushed many of them farther away from talking it out.

At the time all of them were focused on Sehun and the fact that Yixing was gone.

It felt like they had all silently agreed to ignore the issue and pretend it was alright, Junmyeon had done it for Sehun's sake (because the poor maknae had a bad reaction to even Yixing's name the first week he was out of the hospital) and maybe the others had as well.

But now they needed to start talking or Exo was quite possibly going to fall apart.

"Guys...we have something to tell you...it's about Yixing."

 

Now here he was listening to the poor omega weep after hearing the news of Yixing's ailing health. At first, they had all been shocked as Minseok delivered the news to the pack, then Baekhyun ran from the room in tears. Kyungsoo and Jongin looked on sadly and the others were confused. Junmyeon knew though, he knew Baekhyun must be feeling guilty for what had happened earlier with Yixing. If it wasn't for him, Yixing would probably be safe here in the pack's dorm where they could care for him- maybe even mend the bonds they had broken.

Junmyeon didn't exactly feel bad for Baekhyun, because in truth he was furious at Baekhyun for ruining what could have been the best thing for the pack and for Yixing- heal together. And now Yixing was God-knows-where! (Actually, he had a hunch where Yixing ran off to. Taeyong always gives him the stink eye whenever Yixing disappears from the dorm, so he has suspected for a while now that Yixing was probably shacking up with NCT).

But he, Junmyeon, was also guilty of turning Yixing away and not treating him at least like a friend. Maybe in the beginning his cold attitude had been a spiteful- retaliation when Yixing declined their pack invitation.

But now he knew he was wrong, he should love not hate the loving dongsaeng that is Zhang Yixing- but.... the anger since the revelation of Yixing's lies hadn't ever had time to fade for Junmyeon, not really. If anything, it had been fueled by the revelation of Yixing's status and most recently Sehun's predicament. But STILL, he loved and cherished deep in his heart the sweet angel he knew Yixing to be, and that was why his heart ached as he listened to Baekhyun's sobs.

It mirrored his own feelings, and if he were in the omega's place he would probably be crying as well.

 

"Junmyeon" Minseok called as he approached Junmyeon, "We need to talk."

Junmyeon sighed, "I know...Minnie... we need to seriously consider bringing Yixing back in- I don't know how, I don't know when, but we need to figure out how to bring a Non into a bond and we need to do it soon."

Minseok's eyes turned dark as he considered the proposition before sitting next to Junmyeon, grabbing his hand and stating, "Agreed...but how?"

 

*ring* *ring*

"Hello?"

"Xing, it's Minseok. Can we talk?"

.

.

"...okay."

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

'Did that really just happen?' was all Yixing could think as he lay quietly on the balcony of the NCT dorms.

He had just talked to Minseok for an hour- an hour! Yixing could probably add up the minutes he had spoken to all of Exo that whole year and it still wouldn't add up to a whole hour. To Yixing this was monumental! Even more so, Minseok wasn't angry or sad- if anything he had seemed relieved? to be talking to him?

He didn't want to look too much into just one conversation but...was there really still hope Exo would want him back?

'Baek made it pretty clear I wasn't welcome...but Minseok seemed insistent that we should all talk more...'

It confused Yixing, but in truth Yixing was probably just confusing himself. He was probably just reading too much into Minseok's call- they must feel bad for him or something.

Yixing sighed as he sat up, quietly looking out over the night life of Seoul.

'Who should I believe...better yet- what should I do?'

Yixing sighed once more (he'd been doing that quite often)- he felt like it would be easier to jump off this balcony than do what Minseok had asked of him.

"Just come to practice tomorrow, okay?"

How could he? With Baekhyun angry with him, not to mention Sehun, Jongdae and Jongin ignoring him- and if he was not mistaken, Chanyeol was probably still angry with him too.

'ugghh, let the nightmare begin',  it's not like he hadn't been living one for years now.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Besides the uncertain glances here and there it was actually quite pleasant to practice with Exo.

I mean, Yixing already loved them and enjoyed their presence but for that week after Baekhyun’s tirade Yixing felt like they might actually be forgiving him; they talked amicably with him (Well...not Sehun or Jongdae- but Baekhyun had even approached him once to apologize! – now that had been a shocker).

Of course, Yixing couldn't look at Chanyeol or Jongdae without blushing but Chanyeol had at least tried to talk with him.

It was such a turnaround from the usual interaction he had with Exo (at least for the last year or so) it had been startling at first but very welcome.

By the time he had to leave for China the following week, most of the Exo members promised to message or call him while he was away.

Then he was shocked when they actually did!

He would be on set, or in the studio, or in the hotel and suddenly get a cute message from Kyungsoo like:

Jaiyo hyung! We saw your commercial online- good job!  :)

or silly from Chanyeol:

So handsome on happy camp Xing-hyung! :D So funny! XD

Junmyeon would even call and say such things out loud- and of course Yixing would always blush like crazy at the praise.

Even though it was amazing to have that communication open once more between himself and the others he couldn't help but regret that half of Exo still ignored him. Kyungsoo always encouraged him to keep trying and that Jongin and Sehun would come around but even Kyungsoo knew that the issues between Yixing and the omegas ran deep- "Don't worry hyung, it'll work out eventually" he would say.

 

With all the progress they had made it was definitely less awkward during interviews and music shows, sure the public still pressured him about leaving Exo but Yixing knew he could only show them his loyalty and that his words would just be ignored.

Sometimes he worried if maybe the omegas and Sehun felt that way- felt that Yixing might just up and leave like the others. Maybe that's why they continued to keep their distance?

But Yixing had yet to build up enough confidence to approach them, waiting and hoping maybe they would make the first move- and that, in hindsight, had been a huge mistake.

 

 

 

 


 

"I'll talk to them."

"No, you don't have-"

"Yes, I do, they are my pack and you are a part of Exo- you guys need to talk this out sooner than later Xing."

"I know...but...what if they need more time? I mean, they haven't seen me in a few weeks. They didn't even send any birthday messages, I think that's-"

"What!? Those turds!- ugh nevermind, I'll deal with that later. Yixing, how about this, you sit with me and Junmyeon when we fly out tomorrow for Japan and we will help you talk with them. It will just be Exo and the managers in 1st class so we should have some privacy. I mean it's not like they can go anywhere."

That's what worried Yixing though, he didn't want to corner them- he wanted to peacefully reconcile, cornering them would start world war III.

"Minseok-"

"Just get some rest okay, you have to get up early right? So, let's talk more tomorrow- 'night Yixing!" Minseok quickly ended the call.

'weird...'

Yixing sighed, carefully laying his phone on the side table of the small hotel room before turning over to sleep. He was indeed exhausted but he would always be awake enough to talk to his pack- even if they weren't really his pack they were like his family and things were getting better every day- and every call counted.

The thought brought a smile to his face, he couldn't wait to meet Exo tomorrow.

 

 

 

 


 

4:30 AM - Oct 11, 2016 - Shanghai

 

*ding*

The normally loud text notification sounded small in the dark hotel room. On the bed, a form was sprawled out- unmoving.

*ding*

Again, the phone sounded but the handsome man on the bed was out cold, lightly snoring.

*click*

Low light flooded the room as the entry door swung open slowly, a shadowy figure quickly entering the room.

Quietly the door was closed and the room was once again dark, only the dim light of the phone on the side table shone in the darkness.

 

The figure moved about the room, leaving a bag of food on the small counter before swiftly picking up luggage from all corners of the room and packing it away. First was Yixing's clothes and shoes, then Yixing’s precious laptop and his light weight recording equipment.

Yixing was not usually this messy, but the young man had been so busy recently he was becoming a bit of slob in his haste.

The figure sighed as he finished tidying up and gazed over at the young man still fast asleep on the bed.

'So gorgeous, even when sleeping.'

Taehyung had been doing this every morning for the past month, and the sight of Yixing never got old. The young star had everything, money, fame, skill- but Taehyung also knew his secret, Yixing was a Non without a pack bond.

Taehyung was sure anyone else who heard that would pity the boy, but to Taehyung it was enticing- Yixing was rare on all accounts and sexy to boot. When SM had assigned him as Yixing's manager he had been enthralled by the knowledge of Yixing's lack of sub-gender. But now, a year and a half later he was completely consumed by the little star- if only Exo would just-

*ding*

Taehyung raced over to silence the phone as the noise seemed to disturb the once sleeping Exo member into waking.

"Huh" Yixing's eyes were heavy with sleep and his hair was in complete disarray

'Cute'

"Xing, go back to sleep" Taehyung slowly carded his fingers through Yixing's already unruly hair.

"Wha?"

"Shhh Shhh Sh" he consoled, "Just go back to sleep, all your stuff is packed- we aren't leaving for another hour".

Yixing yawned but took his manager's words like a command and slowly drifted back off to sleep, subtly leaning into the warm hand.

'Always eager for affection...' Of course, he knew exactly the reason why.

Yixing's need for touch and love was unfulfilled by a pack, and just like any human the young man craved love and affection. And Taehyung was always more than willing to give him what he needed.

*ding*

'Who the fuck is texting me so early?'

Looking down at the phone in hand he was reminded the phone was not his own, but Yixing's.

'Oh...'

On the lit-up screen before him was a preview of a message from Minseok, along with 6 other notifications- texts from the Exo members?

'When did this happen?' he thought annoyed. He knew everything about Yixing, but when had he been on speaking terms with ALL of Exo?

He scoffed, "Like they could ever make up for what they've done to Yixing."

Even as he said those words his eyes drifted back down to read Minseok's text.

 

Yixing, I forgot to mention this but Myeon and I have something very special to ask you when you get here. Just some encouragement for yo...

Squishy-soo (3)

Nini (1)

Yeollie (3)

Eomma (2)

Baekie (1)

Dae (1)

 

*clang* *tink*

The once bright light of the phone dimmed as it settled in the water glass. It flickered, once, then twice before finally dying, leaving the room once again dark.

On the bed, Yixing slept soundly while his manager seethed in rage.

 

 

 

 


 

Sehun sat quietly as the world moved quickly around him; managers squabbling, fellow Exo members arguing, and in the midst of all of that the head manager is ordering them all to move along to the gate. Luckily there wasn't much of a crowd to witness the chaos of the group of SM employees but it still annoyed Sehun none the less.

But what annoyed him the most was his phone- glaring back at him was the text message he had yet to send to Yixing-hyung.

For the past twenty minutes he had been going back and forth with himself about what to say, or if he should even send a text. He wasn't one to conform but all of Exo seemed to be working on communicating with Yixing-hyung, and now here he was, the last one left- the only member in Exo who hadn't sent an encouraging message.

'But what good did that do them?' he thought spitefully as he stood to walk down the tunnel towards the plane.

The reason they were all in such a tiff was because Yixing had yet to show up and they couldn't reach his manager either. Not to mention the flight was literally about to leave and still no word.

As far as he could tell none of the members had received a text back either.

Sehun huffed as he looked down one last time at his message before pressing send and stuffing his phone away.

It's not like Yixing was going to respond anyway, right? Sehun had done what Minseok had asked, and that was that.

As the group loudly worked its way down the gate tunnel to the plane Sehun couldn't help but look back and scan the crowd, Yixing may have broken his heart but that broken heart still loved him.

'Xing-hyung...what happened? Where are you?' he couldn't help but wonder, where had his smiling angel gone?

 

Xing-hyung, I miss you.

 

 

Baekhyun's heart broke as his phone remained silent and the plane lifted off. Beside him he could feel Jongdae tense, he instinctively grabbed the worried omegas hand but knew he could offer no real comfort at the moment.

Right now, he was too emotional and Jongdae didn't need to deal with that right now, Jongdae was probably feeling the same way he was but possibly deeper- he had always been closer to Yixing than Baekhyun, atleast before everything had gone to shit of course.

They had both texted Yixing earlier that day and neither had received replies- sadly none of Exo had received a text from the Chinese member. Baekhyun was worried but the hurt and anger outweighed the worry.

He was hurt that Yixing was rejecting them again, and he was angry at himself for thinking the Non would do anything otherwise.

'Is this really your goodbye Xing-hyung? Were you just stringing us along to crush our hearts once more?'

Unwillingly tears formed as the emotions bubbled inside him, 'You're no angel' the rocky ascent of the plane forced the tears to slip down his cheeks, 'you're a demon'. He gripped at the arm rest in frustrated anger as he looked around, unsurprised to see most of his pack members in a similar state, 'and you are tearing us apart.'

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

"Hyung, did you find my phone?"

Yixing was piling the last of his luggage into the van, they were in a bit of a rush to get to the airport but Yixing really wanted to find his phone- he couldn't leave without his phone, it was the only connection he had with the pack right now!

'And now I've lost it- of course'

"Sorry Yixing" Taehyung walked up, stopping just to the right of Yixing, the three other staff members following in his wake. "The staff and I found your phone...and it looks like we'll need to get you a new one." His manager held up Yixing's phone.

"What do you mean a new phone? It looks fine to me- can I have it back please." Taehyung reluctantly held the phone out, and Yixing quickly snatched up phone from his manager's grasp, eager to contact exo. He couldn't wait to call Minseok and-

'Wait- why isn't it turning on?!'

Frantically Yixing pushed all the buttons, deftly putting in every combination he knew.

"Turn on damnit!" his sudden yell echoed loudlythrough the parking garage, his staff jump in surprised at his shout. He ignored them though- this was more important, he NEEDED TO TALK TO MINSEOK!

"Yixing"

"Just give me a second alright!" he yelled in frustration, pushing his managers halting hand away, he didn't know why he was yelling but he didn't really care to correct his behavior. "Maybe it needs to be charged?" he mumbled to himself in anger as continued to push button to no avail. He turned to pull his carry-on bag back out of their carefully packed van.

'Of course I would forget to charge the stupid thing- I'm so stupid- stupid, stupid, stupid!'

Anry, toxic thoughts circled his mind, that is until a firm hand tightly gripped his bicep keeping him in place and refraining from further movement.

Yixing looked over his shoulder giving his manager an annoyed glare,"Just give a minute hyung!"

He lightly struggled to pull his arm away, "I need to charge my phone! I need-"

"Yixing!" Taehyung's loud shout brought Yixing to pause, Taehyung never yelled at him. 

"Yixing" he continued in a low whisper, "it's not going to turn on...the phone was sitting in a pool of water under the bathroom sink. I'm pretty sure it's done for Xing." after slowly stating this, Taehyung dropped his hold on Yixing's arm.

Yixing froze in fear, 'What? How the hell did that happen?! Now I can't call Minseok, or any of them! What if we miss the plane? If I'm not there, what will they think- especially if I can't call?! What should I do? I can't let them down again, I -'

"Yixing?"

"Sorry hyung, I just-" Yixing sniffled a bit as he tried to clear the racing thoughts of his mind, "I really need my phone though, can we stop by a store?"

Taehyung gave a long-suffering sigh, Yixing looked down shame 'I'm being a selfish brat again' Yixing gave a small sigh at the thought, 'Hyung is just doing his job...hyung shouldn’t have to deal with an inconsiderate kid like me. I should apol-'

"No Yixing, we're already late, we can't miss our flight." he looked pointedly at Yixing.

Yixing sighed again 'I AM the one who slept in and needed a bath too' he shivered as always at the memory. 'I shouldn't ask the staff for more- I'm the one who's made us late already.'

Yixing took a long breathe in and let it out, the situation had become a bit tense and he now felt bad for holding up the staff (as usual).

"Yeah, I know .... let’s go hyung- I'm sorry".

Taehyung scooped him up in a consoling hug, "It's okay, I understand Xing. If it weren't for the flight schedule I would love to have taken you to get a new phone. But we just can't right now, we have to catch or flight."

After a moment Taehyung pulled back from their embrace and leaned down close, looking straight into Yixing's eyes, "You can just use my phone if you really need it, okay?"

Yixing smiled, "Thanks hyung", his manager had always been a light in the darkness for him - he was always grateful to have such a caring manager.

"Always for you Yixing" Taehyung answered with a smile.

 

 


 

Yixing refocused his gaze out the window as he pulled himself away from the very recent memory. Buildings and people blurred as the van Yixing was traveling in raced through the streets. His skin prickled with pain, like an itch he couldn't scratch no matter how hard he tried. It was probably a new side effect from the chemical bath he'd had to endure that morning...but still, this felt...different? Weird? Foreign?

He couldn't quite place it but his body felt like it was itching all over and there was a fire in his belly that wouldn't go out. 'Probably just anxiety- it' been so long since I've seen the rest of Exo, maybe I just really need to smell them again.'

The fact that he craved their scents wasn't new to him, and recently every time he has been away from them this last year, the worse the cravings became. So, logically to him this weird, foreign feeling must be another part of that craving, or at least he hoped so. Because God help him if he was getting sick! No, no, no, no. He would NOT let a stupid virus ruin this perfect day for him and exo!

As he gazed out the window his thoughts drifted to exo, to a happier place in his mind - a distraction from the strange, uncomfortable feelings. Soon he even found himself humming "XOXO", humming along with an imaginary Kyungsoo, " hhmh mhmh mhm m hmh mhm kiss" making a cute kissy face at the English word.

Sadly, the uneasy and anxious feeling still lingered.

 

 

"Okay, let's go people!"

Yixing jumped at his manager’s command, he looked around confused for a moment, how had they arrived so quickly? 

"Thank you so much." he quietly offered to the van driver before quickly slipping out of the vehicle and into dim light of the dawn.

In hind sight it had been a stupid idea to just jump out of the van, especially at a Chinese airport- fans literally showed up in droves in China, and even early this morning was no exception. A loud roar erupted as he exited the van and Yixing was suddenly pushed against the van as fans crowded in from all sides, even some media personnel were there, snapping pictures and recording video. The flashes of thier cameras momentarily blinding him.

"Yixing!" he heard a muffled cry from his manager over the screaming fans, "Yixing! Move left!" blindly following the voice he carefully pushed an enthusiastic fan on his left back a bit trying to follow the command. He could never hurt his fans, but obviously they had no qualms about cornering him in- security was usually better about this, what is happening?

Rapidly Yixing began to feel fear creep into his mind, he kept pushing towards his left but anxiety and panic were also begining to take over his body. The back of his head felt fuzzy and the noise of the crowd became secondary to his own breathing. His manager's voice kept ringing in his ears "Move left!" but where was he!?

'I'm moving left, I'm moving left, I'm moving left- where is he?? All I see is fans- I'm moving left! Taehyung!'

"Tae-ahh!" he cried out as a sudden force pulled him sideways and slammed him into the hard chest of a body guard. The scent was unfamiliar but the sight was somewhat calming, a large man dressed in the usual black was crushing him into his chest as he literally began to drag Yixing along. It was then he realized he was being dragged because his feet weren't moving.

'What? I thought I was walking...what- what is happening?' the crowd was a blur, flashes went off but his mind was elsewhere and his gaze was still lowered, looking at his useless legs.

"What?" he mumbled aloud as his head lolled back as the adrenaline rush from his panic attack took its toll, his whole body became lax and suddenly he was very tired and scared. "Hello?"

The large man, basically carrying him into the airport, looked down in confused concern, "Sir.....Are you okay?".

The look on the guard’s face made Yixing giggle for a moment, before he sighed 'Do I really look that bad?......Am I even okay?' he had no answer.

"I don't know" he uttered out loud, after a moment he tried using his own arms to grip the body guard tight, kind of pulling his feet back under himself (it was difficult, seeing as they were moving very fast, but he managed to keep some of his pride). "Thank you" he whispered, still being heavily supported by the large man, but at least he could give the illusion he was walking on his own.

The man gave a sharp nod as they quickly made their way into the airport and away from the prying eyes of the public.

 

 

"What happened back there Yixing?"

"I don't know hyung...I think I had a panic attack?" Yixing had experienced them before but no one knew about that, no one. Not even management, only Taehyung who had been there to help in those dark times.

"Are you okay? You smell...off?"

"I smell?!" his yell caught the attention of others in first class and those passing down the aisles. Realizing his mistake, he quietly mouthed an apology to the lady he had scared half to death who was passing their seats at that moment.

"I smell?" he whispered to Taehyung, who was sitting beside him.

Taehyung shrugged, "Kind of, I mean just a little bit- I mean you have your own unique scent seeing as" he gave a vague wave of his hand, but Yixing understood- he was a Non but he still had a 'scent' of sorts, "Even without the- you know" waving his hand again- Yixing understood, his manager was refering to the chemical bath that gave him his beta scent.

So something is bleeding through the artificial scent? Was something wrong with the chemicals?

"So... I don't smell how I should?" he slowly asked, to be honest he was a bit confused, not by Taehyung but by his own body- what is happening?

Taehyung wrinkled his nose, taking a quick whiff before stating, "Yeah...kinda...-ish?"

Yixing sighed, this day was not turning out the way he had planned.

 

Incheon International Airport 9:30 AM

As soon as the flight landed Yixing pulled down his carry on and moved to the exit, his manager frantically shuffled around passengers as he tried to keep pace with Yixing's quick exit from the plane.

"Xing! Slow down!"

"I can't, we can't miss the next flight- we have to hurry Ge!" Yixing couldn't really contain the excitement building in his body. It had taken over his system the moment they touched down in South Korea, overriding his persisting anxiety and unease.

If he was being completely honest he was also trying to get away from all of the unfamiliar smells of the large plane. He was so sensitive and today all these scents were putting him on edge- almost to the point of nausea. All he needed to do was get to exo and he would be fine! Their scents always calmed him down, and the familiarity should calm his frayed nerves too, right?

"Yixing! Wait!" a strong grip claimed his arm, the touch was like fire on his skin, which was unusual but at the moment it was pulling him away from the gate doors, 'No! I'm so close, exo is just past those doors somewhere! I need to get to them!' Yixing struggled againt the hold.

"Ge~" Yixing whined -

Hold up. 'Did I just...' he stopped his struggling to look over at his manager, which confirmed that, yes, he just fucking whined (if his manager's taken aback expression was anthing to go by).

'The fuck is wrong with me today!?'

"I'm sorry hyung!" he frantically apologized, "I don't know why that-" his manager dropped his arm and took a step back, looking embarrassed.

"No, I'm sorry Yixing, I shouldn't have touched you without your consent" he paused, looking put upon as he delicately finished, " You have had a tough day....but I can't let you just walk out those doors. I've arranged for an alternate route to take us to the next gate" he paused hesitantly, "away from the fans."

'Ahhh, he probably thinks I will be angry for bypassing the fans’ but today Yixing was actually thankful. After the ordeal in Shanghai that morning he really wasn't up to seeing his fans- they didn't need to see him like this and he wasn't sure how he would react to them right now.

"Thank you hyung" his manager looked confused at his acquiescence, seeing as just moments ago he had been struggling like a captured animal.

Yixing sighed at his manager's hesitant behavior, "No, seriously hyung, thank you for looking out for me."

Still his manager gave him a calculating look of near disbelief, which Yixing quickly tired of, "Seriously hyung! Let's just go please. I need to see exo." Yixing looked around once more to show his insistence, "Which way?"

Taehyung him one last worried glance before turning and pointing towards a group of security guards across the entry way, behind them Yixing could spot a nearly hidden door.

As the duo approached the group of guards, one of them moved to open the door as the other two moved aside.

If Yixing was being honest it was kind of an ominous moment, the guards weren't talking, Taehyung wasn't talking and Yixing felt very uneasy as the door opened to reveal a long staircase leading down to a tunnel below the building. Yixing couldn't help the sickening feeling that overtook him, pai flaring in his stomach one more, as he glanced down the narrow passage way- he wasn't normally claustrophobic but today was a day of firsts it would seem.

"Hyung, I don't feel so good...let's just-"

His manager hushed him with a raised hand giving him an unimpressed look, "Yixing. This is the fastest way to the next gate, it's just a VIP hall- there's nothing scary about it." He stopped before giving Yixing a a small sour smile, "You want to see exo right?"

Yixing gave a hesitant nod- he really, really, really, really wanted to see them- 'Suck it up then, just suck it up and get through that tunnel.' Yixing took a deep breath as a wave of nausea rolled through him at the thought.

"Let's go" he managed to whisper out before darting forward into the small corridor.

Yixing, Taehyung, and the three body guards quickly made their way through the long tunnel, walking across the airport completely undetected. The group moved quickly and silently, silence was usually nice, but at that moment it really wasn't helping Yixing; whose mind was going haywire.

Yixing was struggling internally; he kept a fast pace as he walked but his heart was beating out of his chest and he was soaked with sweat after a few seconds of walking.

'Just a few more minutes and I'll be fi- arghh!' Yixing nearly toppled over as an intense wave of nausea hit him once more and the fire in his stomach flared into a painful blaze. Yixing looked down at his stumbling steps, trying to regain his balance but the mistake cost him his balance entirely. His momentum carried him forward but his legs became tangled, sending him falling forward without any way to catch himself.

"Aahh!" Yixing toppled to the ground, hitting the solid concrete floor with a sickening smack. His shoulder took the brunt of the fall but the moment his head hit the ground everything became fuzzy.

 

*crack*

"Yixing!!"

A chorus of "sirs!" rang through the long corridor, bouncing of the walls and echoing- 'sounds kind of… nice.......wait- what is happening?'

Yixing tried but couldn't find his bearings, the world was now dark and he felt like he was spinning, his body was laying on something cool and solid, he could feel the rough texture of it on his fingertips. Then he moved his arm.

"Gah! ahhh- ah! wha?" the left side of his body was on fire from even the smallest movement, his shoulder throbbed in excruciating pain-

"Ahh! stop!" he cried out as someone rooled him over, off of his shoulder but the movement created pain that pulsed through his whole body! "Stop!" he sobbed, tears forming and slidding down his cheeks. "Please" he whimpered as hands probed at his shoulder and neck, he smacked the hands away- even those small touches sent flares of pain through his arm and chest.

His mind slowly cleared a bit from the initial pain, with his mind a bit sharper he realized his eyes were actually closed.

'Why are they closed?' his addled mind couldn't really process the information, he slowly cracked open one eye but he was quick to close them once more in regret.

The light alone sent a intense wave of pain though his head and quickly nausea over took his senses, a sharp pain spread from behind his eyes and a metallic scent overtook his senses. He couldn't really think, it felt like he was drowning but he could still feel himself laying on solid ground- it was so confounding!

"Yixing, Yixing" a finger tapped his cheek lightly, "Answer me, Yixing!"

The touch felt almost numb and the voice sounded miles away- where was he again?

Yixing struggled as he tried to latch onto the voice and answer back but he found himself slipping further and further away- he was floating away, so far gone he couldn't even feel the fear he was sure he should be feeling.

'Wait- exo!' he needed them, he HAD to get.to.exo.

'exo

.....

need

....................................

close

.........................................................................................

pack.'

 

 


 

Jongdae sat solemn in his seat, staring out the window of the plane in a daze.

For the first time, in a long time, he was contemplating his band mate Yixing. At one time, he would have labeled his hyung as sweet, caring, lovable- like a complete angel really- but that all changed after Yifan left. It was the pivotal point in their relationship, at the time Jongdae had fully loved and trusted Yixing but had been slightly hurt when he had chosen Tao over him (it hurt a bit but Jongdae understands now why Yixing protected Tao but back then it had stung a bit).

When Yifan left, the scandal confused and scared Jongdae; he was confused by Yixing's actions and scared of his acting (and Yifan's for that matter, but that's another story). It scared him that his sweet, loving Yixing had virtually tricked him and Minseok for over a year! And in the darker parts of his mind he worried over what else Yixing could be hiding, or worse yet, how far his acting goes.

To be fair, those were Jongdae's deepest paranoid thoughts and fears- anxieties from the revelation that one of his team members had lied for so long. But it bothered Jongdae that he felt that way, he hated doubting Yixing but at the time he had fallen into a depression as his team leader (and alpha) Yifan, left exo- then Luhan (a close beta friend), and then the real kicker Zitao (the baby omega, whom he had failed in so many ways). Dealing with all of that AND the revelation that Yixing had even more lies and secrets was too much for him.

It was the last straw for an already strained omega; and after they went home that night (after the infamous meeting with Tao- revealing Yixing as a Non) he had a massive anxiety attack- which luckily the others of the pack were there for but it still hurt so bad.

It set off a long string of depressive streaks that, looking back on it now, had left him isolated from Yixing (mostly because Baek wanted Yixing to apologize before he let Yixing anywhere near him) and he was also very self-focused for quite some time- focusing on his own mental health as exo was pushed harder and harder after Zitao's departure.

Jongdae had never felt they were good excuses for why he neglected his bond with Yixing, but somehow the depression and paranoia had kept him far away from the drama of the pack and Yixing.

But....Jongdae had heard what Baekhyun had said to Yixing the night he ran away a few months back and he also heard the way Minseok talked to Yixing afterwards on the phone. Funny enough, he wanted to do both as well; he wanted to yell at Yixing AND he wanted to call and talk to him- he wanted that bond back.

 

Jongdae ruffled his hair in frustration and let out a huff before flopping back and slamming the window blind closed, 'Ughh! When had this become so complicated and confusing!..........can't we just cuddle again and just forget all this crap'.

He sighed as he thought about the last few times he had seen Yixing on TV- he had looked small and thin, bags under his eyes and tired. Jongdae flinched at the thought.

Junmyeon had explained Yixing's health was bad (going so far as to faint) but from what he's seen recently it was REALLY getting bad.

"You okay?" a small voice grumbled next to him, Baekhyun. Jongdae looked over to see Baekhyun curled up on his seat clutching his phone, his eyes were closed but he probably could sense the change in Jongdae's mood.

"Me, probably- Yixing? probably not" Baekhyun's head shot up like a bullet at the mention of Yixing (per usual). Jongdae wasn't going to ignore the tense atmosphere of the cabin any longer- he too had sent a text to Yixing without any answer but if anything, he was worried something had happened to Yixing rather than Yixing actually ignoring them.

To Jongdae it seemed like it would be illogical for Yixing, who had been in near constant contact with most of the pack, to just ignore them all of a sudden. And Jongdae was sure (ignoring his deep anxieties about the Non) that they knew all of Yixing's deep dark secrets now and the poor Non had probably been punished enough by the pack's unforgiving behavior. Just yesterday they all seemed ready to bring Xing-hyung back into the pack and now they were all-

'Xing-hyung?'.....wow, it had been a long time since Jongdae had even thought of that nickname...

Jongdae was so caught up in that thought, he didn't realize a very serious faced Baekhyun had moved and was sitting literally inches from his face.

"Woah! Baek back up-" he pushed the normally playful omega away, "What?" Baekhyun just kept staring at him.

"Wha-"

Baekhyun cut him off looking slightly angry, "What do you mean 'Yixing? Probably not.'?"

Jongdae floundered a bit, "Well, you know, he-um, he hasn't looked very healthy lately. So, I'm just-"

"Just what?" Baekhyun cut in once more, looking no angrier than before, just insistant "Just what, Dae?"

"I'm just thinking that maybe he's not here because he got sick? or maybe wasn't well? Who knows, there are all sorts of reasons besides him ignoring us. I mean, does that REALLY sound like Xing-hyung? When has he ever ignored us? truly? Because if I remember correctly we were the ones to 'ignore' him first". Jongdae spat back at the end beginning to feel angry, Baekhyun's residual anger affecting his own emotions.

Baekhyun's eyes hardened at the accusation, "This is different Dae, we all texted him and he always has his phone- so why hasn't he answered?"

Jongdae gave him a very unimpressed look, turning in his seat to fully face his fellow omega "Baek, really? Until we talk to Yixing we shouldn't jump to conclusions."

"Jongdae." Baekhyun took a deep breath before continuing a bit more calmly, "Yixing is a very complex subject- but it still doesn't erase the fact that he has hurt us before. And this" Baekhyun angrily gestured to his phone, "is just another way we've been hurt by him."

Baekhyun paused before slumping into his chair with a sad sigh, closing his eyes in surrender, "You of all people should understand that pain."

Jongdae paused at the insinuation, then looked down with a bitter smile, "I think it's more of a coincidence that all of Yixing’s mistakes happened to have affected me the worst, but some of it's my fault too." Jongdae leaned forward, taking Baek's limp hand.

"My anxieties and depression were there before I even joined SM, remember the alley way when we met? When I was a crying mess, too scared to even walk  into an audition?" baekhyun nodded. "And sure, the past few years have not 'helped' the issues I have but Yixing isn't the only one to be blamed for me being like this. You understand, that right?" Jongdae paused, giving Baekhyun a long hard look. "And when it comes to today, I think we deserve to give Yixing the benefit of the doubt- especially if we want to bond with Yixing like the pack all agreed".

Baekhyun's eyes opened at the mention of their agreement, "Yeah" he sighed, "Your right." he begrudgingly admitted before rolling over and ignoring Jongdae.

Jongdae sighed, Baekhyun didn't have a horrible temper, but when he felt wronged he sure held a grudge- and not to mention the omega hated to be wrong. Sadly, Yixing had been at the center of Baek's anger for a while and it seemed like it was hard for the little omega to let it go.

Jongdae sighed once again, the topic of Yixing was definitely a sore one and very complex- but hopefully they can all take a step forward and try and make it better during this trip to Japan.

"SMTown, here we come."

 

 


 

When Yixing opened his eyes, he was confused. All around him was white; white curtains around a small white bed, white sheets covering his legs, and bright white lights overhead. His head throbbed a bit but not as much as his shoulder, even his stomach was sending his brain pained signals. Looking down he saw an IV stuck to his left hand and he was now sporting a thin plastic bracelet.

'Hospital?' he thought, groggy and tired, 'When did- WHY am I here?'

Just moments ago (in his mind) he had been walking through the airport, he had been feeling sick and then-

Yixing shot up in his small white bed, gasping at his realization.

"Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap" he muttered to himself as he weakly struggled with the sheets now tangled in his flailing legs, "I need to call them, I have to call Minseok- Taehyung!" Yixing called in desperation, nearly falling out of the bed when the curtain was quickly thrown back and a figure stepped into his 'room'.

A spritely young nurse, with short hair and a button nose had popped in, quickly stepping into his personal space. And in his shock, she was able to push him back down onto the bed with a firm press on his good shoulder. "Hello!"

Her appearance was so sudden and he was now lying down again? He was dumfounded and could only muster a small "...Hello?" in Korean to answer her greeting.

She smiled sweetly down at him before turning monitoring his vitals.

"Mr. Zeng, welcome back. Do you remember me?" He almost missed her words as she spoke without looking at him, continuing her careful work.

'Remember?'

'"Huh?" Yixing tilted his head to the side (cutely) in confusion trying to translate and turn the words over in his head, in the end he concluded that her statement confused him- and not just because she was speaking Korean and his head was throbbing like crazy.

The nurse gave a small, but noticeable pout at his confusion, looking worried yet cute, "Do remember what happened last time you were awake?"

'I was awake?' he looked around trying to wrack his pained brain for answers, ‘here?'

"Ummm, no?" he tried to shake his head but the movement only served to bring more pain to his poor, pained head.

Maybe the nurse could sense his pain or she was simply worried about his apparent memory loss but she gave him a long hard look before saying "Hmm, let me call in the doctor, one moment sweety." and then she was gone as quick as she had arrived, like a breeze through the curtains.

'Sweety? Doctor? Zeng? Wait....his name isn't 'Zeng', why was she calling him that?' he looked around once again hoping to find answers somehow in the small empty space his bed occupied. 'Where is Taehyung?' had they missed the flight again? Were they still in South Korea?

His mind pilfered through all kinds of questions and worries as he sat there alone for a few minutes on his small white bed.

"Mr. Zeng" a tall woman entered his room, wearing a long white coat and carrying a stethoscope around her neck. 'There it was again, why are they calling me Zeng?'

Yixing gave a small, but slow bow in greeting (his head wouldn’t allow for much movement at the moment).

The doctor gave him a small head nod before pulling a small rolling chair into him 'room' and sitting down on his left.

"Hello, I am doctor Ha Jiwon" she was pretty beta; her voice was deep and calming- but the moment she moved closer Yixing felt on edge, similar to the anxiety he'd had in the airport before he had woken up here. It made him a bit wary, he even found himself reactively scooting away from her seated form.

The doctor must have caught his movement because she gave him a small, sad smile- almost pitying really, which just put Yixing even more on edge.

'Why does she pity me? What is even happening?.......does she know I'm a Non??' the thought didn't sit well with him, but it was possible and it scared Yixing that someone he didn’t know at all, knew his deepest darkest secret.

"If you could" her words cut through his spiraling thoughts, "I'm going to ask you to perform a few tasks, please complete them to the best of your abilities. This is all just standard procedure."

Yixing nodded, still confused but compliant- for now.

 

She held up fingers and asked him to count them, she made him follow her fingers, she shined a light in his eyes and even tested his reflexes before asking him silly stuff like; "What's your date of birth?" or "What day is it today?". She seemed happy as she finished typing out her observations on a small laptop situated on a retractable arm on the wall behind his bed.

"You seem to be in the clear now, you're lucky you don't have a concussion- but you do have a pretty good bump on your head"

'Con..tu..sion?' Yixing was unsure of the medical term, his medical vocabulary was almost nonexistent in Korean.

"You also had a slightly dislocated shoulder, we have some pain meds for you."

'Shoulder? Head?..... oh!'  he still didn't exactly understand the terms she was using, but he vaguely remembered falling in a long hallway before passing out. All he could really remember was the pain, but reviewing the memory, he was almost sure he had fallen hard onto the ground for some reason....

The doctor turned and addressed a figure just beyond the curtain "You can call in the guardian now- and detach his line please."

His doctor turned to leave, having already given him a quick bow goodbye, but stopped short and turned back to face Yixing once more. "Oh, I almost forgot, your Lorasitum levels were a little high on your blood work results. I would suggest going to your gender specialist to have that regulated- it's worrisome because they are near presentation levels; without regulation you could start to experience emotional d-" the doctor was nearly knocked over as another figure bowled through the curtains.

"Finally! Let's go Yixing." it was his manager Taehyung!

Yixing momentarily forgot about the doctor's conversation, Taehyung's scent was familiar and calming and it was just what Yixing need. His stress was reaching an all-time high with all the confusing Korean terms and sterile smells surrounding him. Then, Taehyung's words finally registered.

'Let's go? We're leaving?' Yixing looked down at the blue medical gown he was sporting. "What?"

Taehyung sighed at Yixing's confused state (it wasn't unusual, just inconvenient) "We need to get going, you missed your flight to Japan and I could only book another flight today at 5:00."

"Yeah?" Yixing still wasn't fully comprehending his manager's words for some reason, his head was getting a bit fuzzy again and his vision was somewhat blurry. "Wait, so where are we then?" he still had no idea if they were still in Korea, or in Japan, or God knows where.

"Inha University Hospital airport clinic Mr. Zeng" was the clipped answer Dr. Ji won gave, she was giving Taehyung a pretty vicious glare (seeing as Taehyung had nearly knocked her over he could understand why).

"Thank you" Yixing gave her a slightly pained, but grateful smile, "By the way Doctor.... why do you call me Ze-"

He stopped, biting his bottom lip in pain- a hard smack to his leg had sent a spike of pain through his left leg, "Thank you doctor" his manager cut in, "If you could excuse us for a moment, please?" Taehyung motioned to the curtains. The doctor gave him a final glare- pushing Yixing's medical papers into his manger’s hands before slipping through the cloth curtains without nearly a sound.

 

As soon as the doctor left Taehyung swooped down, tossing the papers aside and pulling Yixing up into a seated position, "Let's go, now."

"What, why?" Yixing wobbled as he was dragged out of his bed by Taehyung, he roughly pushed his manager away and plopped back down as a wave of dizziness nearly knocked him off his feet, "I'm sorry hyung, I don't think I can stand." he paused before explaining, "I seriously might be ill if I stand up again."

Taehyung ignored Yixing's pleading to stay put, "It's okay, I have your clothes to change into- I need you to wear this and cover up as much as possible. SM doesn't know about this and neither do the fans." pulling out clothing and laying it down on the bed next to him.

"The airport was very discreet and kind enough to transfer our tickets to another flight- but that flight leaves in 30 min." He looked annoyed and rushed, "We need to move quickly and without notice, okay?"

'Why?' What, why, when, how- Yixing had been asking these questions since he had woken up and he was getting tired with the lack of answers he was receiving.

"Hyung, what?! Why doesn't SM know? Who paid for this treatment then?"

"I did", short and simple, but also shocking. Enough so that Yixing froze and stared in confusion at his manager's confession

"You did?.... but why hyung? Why not SM-" once again he was cut off by an irritable Taehyung.

"Yixing, it would have been extra paper work and I wouldn't have been able to get you to Japan quickly if SM had to send someone." his eyes were wide, his breathing a bit heavy and his tone was angry, “Just be grateful everything has worked out and you are okay to go. Alright?" his manager spat, throwing Yixing's shoes on the bed- his clothes were now completely laid out, now all that was left was for Yixing to change- but Yixing still had questions and he made no moves to follow his agitated manager's demands.

"But hyung, they said I need to see another doctor? or at least I think that's what she said- it's on that paper she- "

Taehyung took a quick cursory glance down at the small packet of paper's he had cast aside, then promptly threw it in the trash. "Yixing, it's complete crap- that's a Lorasitum test, you don't actually have a subgender- it doesn't matter"

Yixing's cheeks burned with embarrassment, "Oh....okay..." he had run out of excuses and if he was really being released by the clinic he might as well catch that flight- even if his whole body hurt and his head was spinning like a top- it would make Taehyung happy, and in the end Yixing would be happy as well once he was with exo once more.

"let's go"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chanyeol walked quickly, nearly running, down the hallway to tell his pack mates the good news; Yixing was finally here! Yixing been AWOL for the past 24 hours and when Yixing and his manager had failed to show up for rehearsal yesterday all of the managers and staff were scrambling to find out what the hell happened. All they knew, or at least told Exo, is Yixing and his manager had at some point traded in their tickets for a much later flight and they had heard after the concert that they had landed- but that was it. For the last hour Exo had been waiting together for more information, now 2:00AM and Chanyeol finally had some good news!

Smiling like a fool, he hurried to push the elevator call button, anxiously waiting for the elevator to arrive.

'Come on, come on! This is the 21st century' he whined in his head, 'shouldn't everything be, like, lightning fast by now?'

He knew it was absurd- no one was really to blame for the stupid-slow elevator, but it did help his anxiety a bit. His hand twitched with a nervous itch and he bounced on the balls of his feet as his impatience grew.

*Ding*

"Finally" he huffed out in vague annoyance. As soon as the elevator doors opened, he rushed in and quickly pressed the button for the 9th floor.

This was super important news for the pack! They hadn't heard from Yixing or his manager all day and just 2 minutes ago Chanyeol saw Yixing's personal manager in the lobby. When Chanyeol had rushed over and asked about Yixing, the manager had given him an angered glare and told him "Yixing is here and resting, this can wait until morning" then he had turned away and walked out the lobby doors (presumably to the parking lot- unless Chanyeol was mistaken). He obviously wasn't interested in being friendly, and even though the manager was a bit older than him, it annoyed Chanyeol how rude the beta had been to him for no reason!

Chanyeol froze in his recollection as his mind connected the dots. Taehyung was Yixing's personal manager...that meant he probably knew everything! Yixing being a Non, and all that had happened between him and Exo...so, maybe he was angry at him because of how he had treated Yixing?

He tossed the thought around in his head, mulling it over thoroughly. It wasn't new to him really, he actually thought about his estranged hyung quite a bit.

For most of them, it had all started that horrible night Yixing had returned to the dorms after 'presenting', which had ended in a forced presentation for himself and Kyungsoo.

Chanyeol shivered, phantom pain spread through his limbs as he reflected on that dreadful night.

Of course, he could never have guessed that after he presented, everything would change. After that night, Baek and Jongdae avoided Yixing like the plague- Chanyeol kind of understood, but every time he had approached Baekhyun about talking to Yixing he would cover his ears and walk away (literally, like a child). Baek was so stubborn and Chanyeol was so tired that he soon gave in and stopped asking and pushing the omegas to reconcile with Yixing.

If there was one regret Chanyeol had, it was probably giving up that fight.

If only he hadn't presented and been so exhausted all the time, maybe he could have made Baek talk to Yixing and clear the whole guilt-depression thing up. I mean, forced presentations happened all the time- but also, in the end that was also a lie of Yixing's.

If only they had cleared the air sooner! Then maybe Baek wouldn't have felt so hurt after Tao revealed Yixing's lies- Baekhyun had been feeling guilty for so long over Yixing's 'presentation' lie, that once it had been revealed, he just lost it. That was the real reason why Minseok had punched Yixing when they got back to the dorms- because Baek and Jongdae had literally broke down after that meeting, and Minseok was driven nearly mad by their swirling emotions.

Later that horrible night, before the pack fell asleep, Minseok had talked with him. He had said:

 

"Chanyeol-ah, don't be like me okay? Don't ever hit a fellow pack mate, or friend for that matter. What I did to Yixing was wrong, and hopefully tomorrow I can apologize. We are all driven by scents, pheromones, and powerful emotions- but don't ever let them get the best of you like mine did tonight okay?"

 

At the time, Minseok had given him a sad smile then gave him a long, tight hug before heading off to bed. Chanyeol appreciated his alpha for owning up to his own mistakes, even using those mistakes as a lesson for a hotheaded alpha such as him. But Chanyeol also saw his alpha's face the next morning after they had discovered Yixing's room empty. The utter disbelief and sadness on his face has stuck with Chanyeol to this day as a reminder to be careful of his action and his words.

Sadly, just like most of Exo had, the following year Chanyeol basically kicked a newly returned Yixing out because he interrupted Baek's heat. Just like his alpha had said, "We are all driven by scents, pheromones, and powerful emotions- but don't ever them get the best of you" - and sadly he had done the exact opposite when tested- and regretfully he had slammed the door in Yixing's face and ordered him away.

And just like Minseok, he too was not able to apologize- once he had regained his senses and realized what he had done, Yixing had long disappeared and Chanyeol had been too embarrassed to speak to him when he saw him again a month later.

Chanyeol sighed as all the sad memories circled his mind. 'I really need to talk to Yixing.' The plan was for the pack to speak with him together about bonding and Chanyeol would bet money that every one of them had an apology prepared, but Chanyeol knew Yixing deserved a heartfelt and personal apology from him specifically- and maybe Baekhyun too...yeah, Baek definitely need to apol-

*Ding*

Oh yeah, he nearly forgot he was in an elevator- and on a mission at that!

So, once again Chanyeol walked quickly, nearly running, down the hallway to tell his band mates the good news; Yixing was finally here!

 

 


 

'What...where am I?'

Yixing's head lolled across the pillow as he tries to take in his surroundings. It's all been very confusing to him, ever since he had boarded that flight to Japan his brain had turned to mush; he lost large sections of time and supposedly he had been sleep talking whenever he passed out. His only source of information was Taehyung, who was always there whenever he regained consciousness- but now, he was missing.

Yixing tried desperately to find his managers form in the dim hotel room- but it would seem he was alone.

"Tae-" he winced as his sore throat throbbed in pain.

"T-" wincing once again he gave up trying to use his pained vocal cords.

'Am I in Japan? Because I don't think...they have rooms likes this...on a plane...'

Yixing tried hard to remember what happened after they landed- but all he could recall was standing up then promptly throwing up before it all went dark- and now here he was, alone.

'What in the world is happening to me??' he mentally whined as pain swept his body and nausea built once more. His body felt like lead and his shoulder still throbbed dully but common decency urged him to move off of the bed and towards the bathroom before vomiting once more- so throw himself off the bed he did.

*THUD*

"Owwww" he moaned low in his throat, his body protesting the motion- even so he continued; crawling very slowly towards the bathroom in hopes of keeping his dignity. 'I would rather pass out from pain than be found in a puddle of my own vomit' Yixing shuddered at the thought and hastened his pace as he felt the bile rise in his throat.

'Finally!' just as he pulled himself over the bathtub his whole body heaved as his stomach forcefully ejected his miniscule lunch. 'Close enough' he sighed as he laid his head on the cool metal of the tub and rested for a moment- that journey from the bed had nearly taken all of his energy.

*knock* *knock* *knock*

He was too tired to lift his head, and his throat was too sore to call out to the visitor, so he waited; eyes glazed, face paling, and labored breaths wracking his form.

'Who...is it?' his thoughts still came slowly but he was aware enough to hear the door unlock and heavy footsteps fall, coming closer and closer.

"Yixing?" called out an insistent voice.

'Taehyung...'

"Taeh-" once again he choked on his words as his throat protested.

The footsteps became much louder and more in number until they stopped completely- they sounded pretty close, Taehyung must be close.

"Yixing..." the other voice now echoed through the bathroom, not as loud as before but it was obvious he had entered the room.

Yixing still refused to move, so as he opened his eyes, all he could stare at was the previously pristine tub, now sullied by his vomit- it looked a bit red to Yixing.

'Hmm...Is vomit red?'

"Yixing!" before he could really contemplate the vomit, he was forcefully turned around- now looking straight into the worried face of his manager.

"Good God" Taehyung whispered, then his face fell as he took a whiff of Yixing, "Wait- I think I know what can help you". Yixing heard the words but they didn't exactly register. Pain was beginning to flare up in his chest and low in his torso, he didn't dare move an inch.

Yixing doesn't remember when Taehyung filled the tub up, but he was wide awake the manager picked him up and set him into the water.

'Whaaa...' the world swung wildly around him, and once again his nausea built.

"Stop." Yixing pleaded, it hurt his throat but he needed the world to stop spinning or he was going to throw up!

"I know" Taehyung cooed chillingly, "I know, just let me get you into the bath".

The water felt like ice against his hot skin and the moment he was laid out straight, pain took him over once more.

"AAHH!" Yixing writhed in agony; his torso was consumed in pain.

"Help!" he hoarsely pleaded, he didn't know why- but he was scared and confused and he was beginning to panic as the pain grew and grew. Suddenly it felt more like acid than ice biting at his skin.

"AHHHHH!"The scream was guttural and deep; purely reflexive to the pain he was enduring. The scream wrenched from him hurt his throat, but this bath hurt worse than any pain he had ever felt! His skin now felt like it was on fire!

"Help" he continued to whimper, twitching thrashing a bit in the hellish water, clutching himself for comfort. 'Pack, pack, pack, help' was all he could think.

'Get me out, get me out, get me out!' Yixing screamed mentally, he knew exactly what this was- this was a chemical bath, The Bath From Hell!

'How could he do this to me? I just had- wait.... was that yesterday? Why is Taehyung doing this again!'. Yixing struggled like a wild animal to get free, but strong hands squeezed his arms tight and forced his body below the burning water. Yixing felt trapped and afraid, he didn't understand why his manager was forcing a second chemical bath on him in as many days.

'How is this supposed to help??!'

"Your making it worse!" he cried out, his already raw throat making the words sound airy and dry.

"Yixing stop! You have to do this, your scent is completely off for some reason- this is the only option we have right now."

Yixing threw his head side to side, effectively hitting his head as he writhed in pain, "No....no........no......."

Slowly his tired mind began to falter and all of his senses became dulled, "No............no................" he kept mumbling until his body shut down entirely.

 

 

 


 

"Yixing's here?"

Baekhyun's stomach gave a flip; he was suddenly anxious and worried.

'Yixing's here- but why didn't he answer our texts? Why did he miss the concert?' Baekhyun's eyes flickered to the small digital clock on the nightstand, 'It's past midnight and they are just now arriving?'

Jongdae, who had quickly situated himself next to Baekhyun earlier, put a hand on his shoulder and gave off a calming scent- Not only Baekhyun, but nearly the whole room, gave off anxious and angry scents of their own.

"Thanks Dae" Baekhyun whispered, giving the other omega a small smile before turning his attention back to the excited giant regaling the group with his story.

"So, I walked over and asked- Hey manager-nim, we missed you earlier. Is Yixing here too?" Chanyeol paused, straightening his back and giving a sour look, "He glared at me and said - 'Yixing is here, he's resting, this can wait until morning' - and then he left!" Chanyeol yelled out as he threw his hand exasperatedly in the air. "Can you believe that? I mean, besides the disrespect, Yixing missed a whole fucking concert and all he has to say is 'this can wait until morning??" As he finished, Chanyeol plopped down on the bed, nearly sending a lounging Kyungsoo to the floor.

Annoyed, Kyungsoo retaliated by clocking the young alpha in the face with a pillow.

"Oww! Soo!!? What the hell?"

Kyungsoo gave the alpha an unimpressed look before addressing the room, " I think there's more to it than just that, and I don't really like that manager either." all of the room's occupants nodded. Baekhyun agreed, the manager was always all over Yixing and always glaring at them. But this- I mean, Yixing missed a whole concert for crying out loud! It wasn't just them Yixing would have to deal with; SM would be on his case too (If the head managers hysteria last night was anything to go by).

Junmyeon chose that moment to cut in, "That's possible, but we seriously need to talk to Yixing ASAP- ignore the rude manager for now, okay guys". He gave all seven members of Exo a hard look, "We have more important things to worry about, remember?"

"Yes" Minseok interjected, "We need to focus on Yixing". He stood and gave everyone one in the room a small smile before continuing, "I don't know what happened with his phone or his flight- but I do know that I'm tired of all this miscommunication and assumptions". This time Minseok glared in Baekhyun's direction.

Baekhyun couldn't deny he had been a bit of an ass recently and had jumped to some conclusions he shouldn't have on the plane. Jongdae had helped him see that. Even though he didn't really want to admit he was wrong, when it came to Yixing, it would seem whatever Baekhyun did was wrong.

So when his alpha's angered gaze had fallen upon him he simply diverted his eyes to the bedspread below and remained quiet, accepting the accusation.

Next to him, Jongdae shifted a bit as the tension in the room went up a notch. Baekhyun knew Jongdae hated conflict but right now they had to resolve this and find Yixing, so he simply gave the omega's thigh a comforting squeeze. It seemed to work, Jongdae's hand drifted from his shoulder up into Baekhyun’s hair.

'Mmmm' Baekhyun always loved Jongdae's affection- possibly even more than Chanyeol’s (it was a close call- too close to call really).

"Baekhyun, focus" Jongdae whispered, darn omega knew his hands worked magic- little minx.

"Ne" he breathed out, sitting up just as Minseok asked, "So who will go and find Yixing? Ah- Baekhyun. What pleasant surprise."

Baekhyun froze mid-movement, eyes locking onto Minseok's 'What??'

Confused he whipped his head to the left, only to find Jongdae giggling his ass off. Annoyed, he poked the omega as hard as he could.

"What the hell?"

Jongdae gave him an innocent smirk, "Waae? Just go find Yixing cry baby."

Baekhyun gave him one last playful glare before standing and moving over to stand by Minseok.

"Ah, Sehunnie, very good!" Junmyeon clapped his hands together in glee then hurriedly pushed the two 'volunteers' towards the door.

Just as they were pushed over the threshold, Junmyeon whispered, "Hurry, please find him quickly". Then with a slam of the door the two confused Exo members were left all alone in the hallway.

 

 

"Sehunnie...you don't have to come with me if you don't want to," Sehun paused at Baekhyun's words, effectively stopping their march towards the lobby.

Surprised at Sehun's sudden stop, Baekhyun stopped as well looking confused, "I mean, you've been avoiding Yixing like the plague and I know that when you presented he-"

"Beak -hyung" Sehun cut him off, giving him a hard look, "That night was just me being scent drunk and making a fool of myself." Sehun closed his eyes, looking pained at the thought. "It was all me alright. I don't know why you or the others assume Yixing hyung did 'something'- " Sehun turned and began walking determinedly down the hallway once more. "But Yixing only did what he thought was right, I was only thinking with my dick- okay?"

"Language!"

Sehun huffed in annoyance but made no apology- Baekhyun didn't push for one either. He was still digesting the young maknae's words- his response to the vulgarity was just a knee jerk reaction (ingrained into them by Junmyeon-eomma no doubt).

They continued in contemplative silence until they reached the lobby desk moments later.

"Hello sirs!" The attendant called out in Korean, smiling knowingly at them. "How might I be of assistance?"

His Korean wasn't bad but Baekhyun knew it would probably be easier to communicate in Japanese.

"Hello" Baekhyun added a little wave for good measure.

The familiar Japanese phrase brought an even bigger smile to the attendant's face.

Encouraged, Baekhyun continued, "We, um- we need a room number for our friend?"

The man at the desk gave the two Exo members a knowing look, "You mean Lay?"

It didn't exactly surprise Baekhyun that the man knew about Exo or that they were staying in the hotel, but it was surprising how smoothly this Intel mission was going, "Oh, you know him?"

The attendant just smiled once more, “Ne, he was checked in only a few minutes ago- but...don't you already know what room he is staying in?"

'Now he's asking us? Wow, we really need to have a talk about security.'

Storing the thought away for later, Baekhyun began to spin is story.

"Oh, well you see- he, um, he was late today and we never talked to him before he checked in. So if you would be so kind as to point us in the right direction?"

Sehun rolled his eyes as Baekhyun hammed it up as always.

 

 


 

 

Yixing woke with a start, head lifting and limbs twitching- 'Wha..?'

Residual pain tingled on his skin, feeling like thousands of tiny little needles piercing is skin- like a itch he couldn't scratch; he always hated that feeling.

He gasped as pain-filled memories came rushing back to him, 'The bath!'

This time he did sit up straight, eyes wide in shock as his brain supplied him the horribly painful memories from...last night? ... What time was it? What day is it?

Realizing he had no idea how long he had been out or what time or day it had been when he was last conscious, he quickly scanned the room.

"Fuck!" Yixing yelled out in surprise as he turned to his left and found his manager Taehyung only a few centimeters from his face. Looking down he saw that his manager was actually sitting on the bed with him, 'How did I miss that?'

"Yixing" at Taehyung's call Yixing's eyes shot back up to look him in eye. "How are you feeling?" the words were calm, but not caring- curious but not soothing.

"Terrible" Yixing mumbled, flopping back down onto the bed in anger, "No thanks to you." he glared.

Taehyung scoffed at the accusation, "Xing, please- you were not yourself and your scent was going haywire- what else could I have done? You know I only have your best interests at heart."

Yixing gave him a look of outrage; "You could have taken me to a hospital! Maybe even outside for some fresh air! Anything but- but THAT!"

'How can he sit there and act so calm??' Yixing wasn't normally one to yell, but he was in utter disbelief at his manager's bravado- it made him sick. And to think, he thought Taehyung was a good guy. No, he was just another SM lackey trying to keep Yixing's beta facade firmly in place.

'If he really cared, he would have done anything but that first. ' He reasoned.

"Yixing..." Taehyung moved closer, putting one arm and leg across Yixing- effectively straddling the poor, confused Non.

'What the fuck'

Yixing drew back further into the mattress, shocked and stunned at the sudden turn of events. He froze in fear as Taehyung moved a bit closer and sniffed him.

'What the he-' "Get off me Taehyung!" Yixing was in no mood for games and Taehyung was quickly freaking him out. He pushed and shoved at Taehyung's chest trying to push him away- every time he tried though, his arms gave out before he could move the larger beta even an inch!

'Why am I so tired? What is going on with me today?' he thought slightly dazed by the energy he had just exerted.

Yixing soon became more and more exhausted as he flailed limbs, and Taehyung seemed to grow impatient.

"Stop" he ordered, grabbing Yixing's hands firmly in his own, "moving" he forcefully pushed them above Yixing's head and leaned in close, "please" Taehyung whispered before continuing to scent him.

Yixing squirmed, this is not what he wanted and now he was strung out like a display. "Stop Taehyung!" his throat still felt a bit sore but in this situation he wasn't going to let that deter him. "Stop!"

Taehyung transferred both of Yixing's hands to one of his own, and used the other to grab Yixing's hair and jerk his head backwards. His molester then began to suck and bite his neck, right over his scent gland. This sent Yixing into a bit of a frenzy.

"Stop! What the fuck are you doing! It's just an artificial scent asshole! Get the fuck off me now!!" He was feeling things he had never felt before- he especially did not want to with Taehyung. No one had ever been this close and intimate, and surely no one had ever actually scented him before.

 

All Taehyung did was chuckle at Yixing's pleas for release before mouthing once again at Yixing's neck, "Oh sweet Xing- you don't even realize do you? Do you know how good you smell right now?"

Yixing froze in fear at sheer lust behind Taehyung’s words, 'what the hell is going on? Is this because of my scent? Shit, he's fucking scent drunk!'

Everyone, even Yixing, knew that intense scents (especially those associated with heat or rut) could drive people to do some crazy shit, but this? This was too much for Yixing. He could see the headline now, 'Manager rapes idol, another horrific case of scent-driven madness'.

Yixing could not let that happen.

"I don't care about my scent" Yixing whispered out in fear, "No one bit, just let me go, please Taehyung-nim, please!" Taehyung just pulled his hair harder and squeezed his wrists until they hurt. Yixing winced in pain.

"I just want you though" Taehyung purred.

Yixing was afraid of the lust-driven beta above him, but the pain he was causing Yixing alighted anger in him once more. "I-" Yixing huffed in renewed anger, "just want YOU away from ME!"

Taehyung simply smirked, "You smell like an omega-bitch in heat- so just let me help you Xingie."

'What???' Yixing's mouth dropped open in shock at the man's disgusting offer; one, he was most definitely by that 'omega-bitch' shit, and two, he couldn't smell like that- he was a Non for God's sake. His body was incapable of creating any scent. Taehyung had gone mad! He had to be-

"You know Yixing" a sadistic look crossed his dark lust-blown eyes as he leaned in close. The proximity of his manager (soon to be ex-manager) sent shivers of disgust down his spine. "You really shouldn't worry. If you are an omega, I'm just doing you a favor really."

At those words Yixing began to struggle furiously once more, trying to head butt Taehyung, trying to scratch at his restraining hands, anything to get away from this scent-driven monster!

"Let go, let go, let go!" Yixing could feel his body reacting in ways he did not want as Taehyung rabidly latched onto his scent gland once more.

'Fuck!' Yixing mentally panicked- knew he was doomed the moment a small moan accompanied his cries to be released.

'No!' his body refused to listen as it lit up with pleasure and pain. 'No!'

"That's it Xing, just take it." the monster hissed in his ear.

'No! Help! Please! Pack! Please!'

Soon Yixing's mind was completely over taken by waves of pleasure and horror.

'Please! Anybody!'.

 

 

 


 

 

Sehun scoffed as they rounded the corner of the lobby and entered the main hallway of the hotel's first floor.

"I can't believe he actually told you where Yixing-hyung is staying."

Baekhyun gave him a small smile, "Why? It's not so strange- he knew who we were. And" he paused for effect, "I'm an amazing performer." showing Sehun a quick body roll.

Sehun gave a little chuckle at Baekhyun's antics, then quickly became serious once more. "But what if you were and imposter? That's not very good security if you ask me."

Baekhyun paused and gave the maknae in incredulous look.

"Sehun, are you seriously complaining about someone doing their job in a helpful and diligent manner?" ending with a bit of exaggerated sarcasm.

Sehun sighed, also pausing to turn and face his dramatic hyung, "You know what I mean."

Of course, Baekhyun was still unwilling to take this seriously at all and replied, "Oh, do I? Or am I an imposter?" he moved forward and whispered conspiratorially in Sehun's ear at the end, poking fun at Sehun's paranoia.

Sehun shoved the omega away with an annoyed glare, "Shut-up". Then continued down the hallway towards Yixing's supposed room.

Giving an exaggerated gasp, Baekhyun followed, "Is that anyway to talk to your beloved hyung Sehun-ah??"

Sehun scoffed, and kept walking.

Being ignored, Baekhyun continued, "If only Myeon-eomma were here to see this, then he would know the truth of our devilish maknae!" Baekhyun finished with a dramatic sweep of his hand.

Sehun just sighed, already used to Baekhyun's extra-ness. Just as he turned his head to resume counting the room numbers, an intense and heady scent caught him off guard- giving him pause. 'Wait...is that ...Yixing?' Sehun was unsure.... he’d smelled a similar scent only once before ... when he had been with Yixing in the van the night he had presented.

As the scent filled his senses Sehun unconsciously whispered "He's here hyung."

Baekhyun gave him a strange look, nose twitching as he continued on down the hallway a bit farther, "Silly Sehunnie, Yixing's room is down here at the end of the hall."

sniff sniff

Confused by the scent, Sehun slowly followed Baekhyun farther down the hall, "But I can already smell him.... and something else?". As he approached room 107, the scent became even more pronounced- it had a bitter edge to it now. 'Hmmm?'

Baekhyun gave him a worried glance as Sehun moved closer to the door- nose nearly touching the white painted wood, "Something else? His manager maybe?"

sniff sniff -

"Oh!" Baekhyun exclaimed, "I smell it now! ...What the fuck? Isn't Yixing using chemicals though? Why would he smell different? Are you sure that's Yixing's scent Sehun?"

"Language hyung" Sehun mumbled, "And yes, this is definitely Yixing's scent." The scent, it smells.... so good, yet kinda bad too? Sehun knew it used to smell like rain- but this smelled more like.... like petrichor.

'Ughh, this is so confusing'. Sehun couldn't help but think, 'Why is Xing-hyung always so confusing?'

Then he heard something...what is that?

At first his ears picked up a shout, then.....then a moan?

"What the-"

As he stood there Sehun could just barely make out the faint sound of thumps and moans coming from the room, 'Is- is that-'

At the edge of his vision Baekhyun stiffened.

"Sehun let's go." Baekhyun whispered harshly, quickly trying to tug Sehun back the way they came.

Sehun gave him a wide-eyed, confused stare as the omega uselessly tried to pull his taller form away from the door, "But Baek-"

Baekhyun gave him and icy glare and a tight squeeze of his arm, "Sehun. Let's. Go. Now"

Sehun had seen the omega angry before, sure. But this, no- Baekhyun was utterly pissed of. Sehun's brain was slowly catching up but Sehun needed to know the truth, not run from it. "No."

"Sehun, you don't underst-"

Sehun cut him off before he could start with any excuses or crap, "No, I understand perfectly hyung. My ears work just as well as yours" he openly glared at the omega now, "And I also know you jump to conclusions far to easily" another glare.

Baekhyun huff, dropping his arm with a outraged look, tinged with sadness. "Yes, I know! But this is pretty obvious don't you think??" Baekhyun flailed his arms out in exasperation- now tired of arguing with the maknae.

Sehun simply replied, "No hyung, it's not." Baekhyun gave him a look of pure bewilderment at those words, so Sehun continued, "Not yet at least."

This time, the omega couldn’t help but yell in frustration, "The hell Sehun?! Yixing is in there fucking around! And all you can do is say don't jump to conclusions??!"

"Yes"

Baekhyun paused, dropping his aching head into his hand and pinching the bridge of his nose in disbelief. "Oh" Baekhyun tutted, shaking his head, "You poor naive child...some times people don't love you back- or maybe you even fuck things up and they end up leaving you." Baekhyun took a deep breath, pausing, trying to find the words to say. "I won't lie, if he is in there fucking some one can we really blame him?" Baekhyun's shoulders slumped and let out a long breath, "After all we've done?"

Sehun stared, dumbfounded. 'Did he just...did he just admit he was wrong? That Exo had been wrong?'. It was hard for Sehun to believe because it was so incredibly rare for the omega to admit he was wrong- and when it came to Yixing and Exo, everything to do with YIXING had always been wrong to Baekhyun- or so he had thought.

After a few moments of silence and Sehun staring, Baekhyun finally snapped.

"Oh don't give me that surprised look! I know how much of a bitch I've been...but I do love Yix- no I loved Yixing." Baekhyun wrapped his arms around himself and looked away.

'You have a funny way of showing it' Sehun sighed at the nonsensical omega before him.

"But now it's pretty obvious he's not here for us okay, so lets just go." Baekhyun choked on the last few words, the emotional weight of the conversation became a bit too much for the bitter omega.

"Hyung" Sehun began in a consoling tone, "...I get it...but- but what if it's not Yixing in there?" Sehun moved forward and forcibly turned the stubborn omega to look at him once more, "His manager is staying in that room too, what if it's him with someone in there" Sehun tried to reason.

It was Baekhyun's turn to sigh, "But you said the scent-"

Sehun cut him off there, "Maybe it is just residual scent? Maybe he left the hotel earlier?"

Sehun straightened and pulled out his phone, quickly dialing a number. Baekhyun looked on, confused at the sudden actions of the young alpha, "Sehun, what are you-" Sehun held up a finger to his lips, signaling Baekhyun to be quiet.

"Who are you calling at a time like this you crazy maknae??" Baekhyun whispered furiously.

Suddenly a ringing sound could be heard just down the hallway. Both of their heads whipped around at the sound, one confused and another wide-eyed in shock.

"Sehun...who are you calling?"

"Xing-hyung" Sehun whispered breathlessly. Just as he answered Baekhyun, the line connected.

"Hello?" Sehun's eyes nearly bulged out of his head as he recognized the ragged voice on the other end of the line- it belongs to Yixing's personal manager Taehyung.

Before Sehun could even gather his thoughts to answer, a short mewling moan cut in and Taehyung spoke once more, "Yixing is a little busy right now, call back later."

-Click-

Sehun stood stock still, his mind unwilling and unable to analyze the sounds he had just heard. The hand holding the phone to his ear went slack and the phone dropped with a heavy thud to the carpet below. He felt it but did not hear it hit the ground- everything felt like it was in slow motion, his ears seemed like they were stuffed with cotton, his eyes wandered aimlessly not sure what to focus upon at that moment.

'Baekhyun...Baekhyun was right...he doesn't love us anymore...what have we done?!'

In a daze, he grabbed ahold of Baekhyun and hugged him close- his scent was comforting and Sehun just needed someone to hold him for a moment or he might just fall over in shock.

Baekhyun gave him a strong squeeze (strong for Baekhyun), then carefully maneuvered Sehun so that the taller alpha could still cling to him as they walked.

"-ehunnie"

"Sehu-"

"Sehun-"

"Sehunnie!!"

Slowly Sehun's hearing returned- Baekhyun was yelling at him and had somehow moved them both into the elevator as well.

"Hyung" Sehun choked out.

"Ne, I'm here" Baekhyun paused, looking worried, "Sehun-ah, what did he say? What did Yixing say?"

"It wasn't Yixing-hyung".

Baekhyun gave him a sad and understanding look, resigning himself to ask- Baekhyun closed his eyes and asked the fateful question, "Who was it then?"

Sehun coughed to clear his throat before he straightened, let go of Baekhyun and leaned heavily on the railing of the elevator- slumping once more.

"You were right." He hated to admit it, but this time Baekhyun had been right about Yixing- about all of it. He was fucking someone, but it wasn't just a random stranger- it was- it was...

"Yixing is sleeping with someone...his manager."

 

 


 

Baekhyun didn't speak the whole way back to Exo’s rooms. Both were dead silent in the elevator and trudged down the hallway like dual zombies.

As they approached the door, Baekhyun turned to finally address Sehun, "I'll tell the-

As usual, Junmyeon had really, really, really bad timing and cut Baekhyun off as he opened the door and bodily ushered the two back into the room full of their pack members.

Pack members who all wanted to make amends with Yixing...who had all agreed to make him apart of the pack. At the thought, Baekhyun's eyes watered a bit knowing that would never happen now.

'Oh God, how do I tell them?'

"Okay...so, where's Yixing?" Junmyeon asked with a slightly forced smile, looking worried at Yixing's absence.

Baekhyun sighed; 'this is going to kill them' he looked around the room at the hopeful faces that were already starting to slip into confusion. 'Fuck, even I was broken up- I'm still not prepared- I can't do this I can't.'

Sehun must have sensed his growing anxiety, he moved forward and put a comforting hand on Baekhyun's shoulder- Sehun whispered a few words of encouragement in his ear and remained holding onto him for support. Baekhyun saw Minseok shift uneasily to his right, having heard the encouraging words from the maknae.

Baekhyun sighed once more, 'The little maknae is so mature now' finding comfort in his words and the strong hands keep him grounded. 'Comforting a mess of an omega like me- I should be comforting him' with a quick look around the room once more he edited himself, 'actually, we will all need some comfort tonight.'

He turned to Junmyeon and Minseok who were looking at him so earnestly he almost broke down, 'fuck, they look so hopeful...and now we have to crush that hope- no, not him or Sehun- this was Yixing's fault! We aren't guilty...for this at least.'

Resolved Baekhyun finally spoke, "Yixing is with his manager...in their room...together"

"And?" Minseok drew out the vowel after having waited for Baekhyun to continue, only for him to remain silent.

"Couldn't you have waited until they were finished talking and then brought him up here?" Minseok stated, annoyed at Baekhyun's seemingly shallow excuse.

"No hyung- he was...he was with the manager." Baekhyun stated, wide-eyed and still looking a bit shocked himself.

The room gave him weird looks, still not fully grasping the situation. This time Junmyeon reiterated Minseok's earlier statement, "Well then you should have waited until they were done talking, we need to talk to him-"

"Hyung" Sehun's broken cry cut through Junmyeon's angered words. Baekhyun could feel the poor maknae’s heart breaking again as his hands tightened a bit on Baekhyun’s shoulders.

"Hyung" Sehun tried again, "They weren't talking".

He gave Junmyeon a meaningful glance, eyes brimmed with unshed tears. Junmyeon stopped moving, actually the whole room froze, within seconds silence and tension completely filled the space- every member strung high in apprehension, disbelieving of what they had just heard.

"Not talking? Then were they unpacking? Or were they-"

"No hyung" this time Baekhyun broke in, sounding quiet and dejected, "they were fucking."

A chorus of light gasps swept the room, Kyungsoo even sprang up in shock, standing upright which sent Jongdae falling to the ground with a thud, there was even a loud rumbling growl from the alphas.

And as the room quickly fell into chaos, over all of that noise Baekhyun still heard Junmyeon's halfhearted admonishment of, "Language."

 

 


 

Yixing whimpered as he stepped (nearly dragged) out of his room, not only was his body sore and bruised- no; his soul was quite battered as well. Fate, of course, had to throw some salt in the wound too though.

As soon as he opened the door he could smell two very familiar scents, one distinguishably tart and fresh like peaches, and the other completely opposite- heavy and earthy, like freshly turned soil.

'Baek...Sehunnie...' his tired mind supplied.

It killed him inside to think about them outside his door, just feet from him... but that meant they probably heard him and Taehyung...and yet- if that were true, then they had also done nothing to stop him either...

Yixing was sure no one had come to save him after he blacked out last night, and yet he could smell their scents outside his door- plain as day.

Yixing gazed sadly down at his bruised and weakened form, here he was once again being held up because he had no strength of his own. This would be the third time in as many days, this time it was a few kind hotel staff who had come to fetch him after calling a taxi for him. Quickly a flood of tears invaded his sight, blurring out the whole world, blurring the image of his poor damaged body. 'If only that were true...'

The poor cleaning lady had found him, laying amongst the soiled sheets of the hotel bed- bruised and crying for help (Taehyung had long since stepped out, and had yet to return- thank God). Of course she had run for help right away and quickly returned with the hotel manager, who carefully tried to communicate with him.

All Yixing could do was let out a sob when he tried to speak back.

In the end, with a small nod of approval from Yixing, the hotel manager decided the best place for him was a hospital heat room (verifying that he, in fact, did smell like an omega to others- and it was probably said scent that had driven Taehyung mad).

So, here he was with two kind staff members supporting him as they moved through the entry way and towards the lobby, Yixing couldn't help but look over his shoulder- viewing a blurry scene of a cluttered and dark room, one last mental picture to remind himself that this was truly his reality.

Then he took a deep breath of Sehun and Baekhyun's scents...yet, some how...he found no comfort in that moment from them...

All he could think was, 'Why?' he turned to look forward once more as he stumbled, almost pulling the two staff down with him.

Among the many thoughts racing through his mind, two very loud ones yelled across the surface of his consciousness constantly; 'Why didn't he stop?' and 'Why didn't they stop him?'

His troubled thoughts continued whirling and he was slowly led away from the once comforting scents that lingered outside of the hotel room he'd been raped in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

A/N: 'nnn' - thoughts "nnn" - dialogue, Korean "nnnn" - dialouge, Japanese

 

Sirens blare loudly down into the E.R as an ambulance pulls up into the hospital drive, 'never a moment too dull around here' Mori Eiko couldn't help but think as nurses and doctors hurried past her station to receive the new incoming patient.

It wasn't anything new really, St. Luke's International Hospital was a hub of activity everyday- and in general, hospitals were the place to go for emergencies. So the loud sounds, and bustling activity of the staff around her didn't really faze her anymore. Glancing to the side she took a glimpse at the incoming patient, registering the gunshot wound to the leg, before focusing ahead at the EMT approaching her with a shaking young girl under her arm.

'Time for work'

"Hello, I'm nurse Mori," she gave her most comforting smile to the duo as she rounded the counter to meet them, "Is she a family member of the emergency patient?"

The EMT gave her a curt nod, gently handing the shaking female over to her "Her name is Ito Hinako, 24, she's in shock- she witnessed the whole shooting event so she needs to wait here for an officer to give her statement to the police before she can be taken anywhere else." With that said the EMT swiftly turned and headed back down the hall towards the E.R entrance.

Eiko could feel the young woman shivering in her embrace so she quickly steered her to a chair just beside the nurses' station, grabbing a shock blanket out of the cabinet she wrapped the poor girl up.

"Stay here okay, I'll be right back - you're safe now okay?" Eiko waited until she saw the girl's subtle nod before moving once more behind her station, deftly dialing the hospital's number for the police management on site. "Hello, this is nurse Mori Eiko at E.R station 1, I have a witness to a shooting waiting to be questio-"

"Thank you ma'am, we will be there shortly." the man on the other end had quickly cut in before swiftly hanging up.

'Well...I guess I can't be angry if it gets them here faster' Eiko shrugged her shoulders and sighed, looking over to check on the young woman, 'shivering like a wet dog, but safe all the same'.

Assured that the woman wouldn't get up and wander away, Eiko began to write up the details she had seen and been given, calling out every now and then to the young woman for her companion's information.

'And done!' just as she pressed the 'Enter' key two police officers arrived- quietly and gently leading the girl away into a secluded room off to the side of the main E.R hallway.

 

Looking at the time she saw it was already 11:30 AM, 'maybe I should just take an early lunch, I bet I could convince Mao to fill in fo-' her train of thought was completely interrupted by a very strange scent.

'What is that?' looking to her left she only saw the empty waiting room, 'Where is it-ohh...' once she looked forward she realized exactly what the scent was.

Still a few feet down the hallway, she could clearly see a poor omega struggling to stand- even from this distance she could tell he had been beaten or possibly something even worse by the smell of him. Under the pained grimace and light bruising on the man's face she could tell he was quite handsome, if not somehow familiar...

Quickly shoving her thoughts away, she rushed forward pressing the assistance button as she rounded the corner of her station. The omega's eyes were glazed and his stance shaky as she approached, but in seconds he dropped to the ground, eyes shut tight in obvious pain.

"Sir! Sir!" she called out trying to grab his attention once more, she wouldn't be able to move him herself so she needed him conscious if she wanted any chance of moving him before assistance arrived (which possible could take a few minutes considering they had just taken a critical patient back).

The young omega's eyes barely opened against the pained grimace he was sporting, but she was thankful he was conscious and alert. Kneeling down next to the fallen omega she carefully checked over her new patient, quietly talking to him "Sir, I'm nurse Mori Eiko, I need to know your name and what's happened sweetie."

His heartbeat was through the roof and he felt feverish, 'possibly in heat' she winced as she looked over his visible wounds, 'quite possibly raped- oh the poor thing'. It was a horrible thing to see- to take advantage of an omega in heat, or anyone more that matter was just despicable! 'And to force yourself violently-', she nearly growled aloud at the thought, 'whoever did this belongs in prison!'

Of course, she didn't want to startle the poor thing that lay on the floor before her, so she kept her face emotionless and hands steady as she continued to monitor his condition and behavior.

It took the young man a few moments to process her words but she listened carefully when he opened his mouth to speak, "Hello, I'm Zhang Yixing...I'm from EXO, uh SM Entertainment? I need help and I need to contact them please..." his words came out breathy as his faced scrunched up in pain once more.It was heavily accented and if she was not mistaken, he had spoken Korean as well.

"Exo? Idol Exo yes? SM boss?" she knew very little Korean but she had definitely heard of Exo before (her neice was a huge fan), and if this omega was an idol, then this just became an even more delicate situation to deal with.

The young male omega slowly nodded 'yes' to her questions.

'Well shit...' she definitely had not expected this to walk though her E.R doors- she had never met and idol, much less cared for one.

 

Once the shock passed of realizing she had a Korean idol bloodied and bruised in front of her, a chilling realization hit her dead-on, freezing her where she knelt beside Yixing 'If he has been assaulted here in Japan this could become a huge issue. This could make international news, this...this is.... horrible' she of course would not let herself panic but she knew she had to do something, she had to try to make this right.

"Yixing sweetie, I need -number - telephone number" she mimed out the action of dialing a number on her hand. "I can help, but...need phone number".

Yixing once again took his time answering but as soon as he had recited the number she was moving quickly back to her station. As she reached for the small pink paper pad on her desk two other nurses rushed up to the desk.

"Eiko, you called for assistance?"

'Finally,' Eiko mentally sighed, the gravity of the situation easing a bit as she saw the familiar faces of her colleagues.

"Yes, a male omega- he’s stable but in pain just down the hallway. He collapsed but he's conscious, he needs to be looked over immediately and put in a heat room ASAP-" she briefly paused, hesitant to verbalize her theory of the young omega’s situation, before continuing, "he shows signs of having been sexually assaulted, we need to get his consent for a rape kit if possible and get a SANE nurse here ASAP- we need to help this omega the best we possibly can."

 

 

 


 

Kyungsoo culdn't figure out exactly how to feel about the last three days.

After Sehun and Baekhyun dropped that ‘Manager-and-Yixing-are-together’ bombshell the other night, Exo has been a mess of emotions. Some were still in shock, others had moved onto denial or anger- Kyungsoo...well, he was most definitely shocked but if anything, he felt more guilt and sadness at the moment.

Exo had a whole day to themselves yesterday (which they had actually planned to spend with Yixing…) and now they had a fan signing event today, and tomorrow they had SMTown rehearsal, then they were performing the day after that. Kyungsoo had spent the whole day yesterday by himself; he had left the hotel early and had wandered the streets of Tokyo trying to process the news about Yixing's new...relationship.

Kyungsoo scoffed as he thought about it though, he had conclude that the whole Yixing-and -the-manager thing must be some kind of one-off, or there must be something else going on.

'I mean, Yixing's close to the guy but that manager is solely responsible for giving Yixing his hellish baths (yes, he and Yixing had once spoken quite frankly about the chemicals SM gave him and Kyungsoo had been horrified to find out his hyung was suffering so horribly while taking the chemicals). Another thing, Yixing never smelled like the manager- at least not in THAT way. He sometimes smelled a bit like some of the NCT boys- even coming to the dorms smelling a bit like Heechul hyung-nim! But out of all the times Yixing has traveled back and forth with his manager, never has he come home smelling like the beta really at all.'

Kyungsoo shook his head, sighing as he sat back in his chair- waving to some of their Japanese fans as Baekhyun and Junmyeon continued to entertain them.

The fan meet today was supposed to be all of them, all of Exo, but no one had seen Yixing and surprisingly no one had heard from his manager, Taehyung.

A scowl slowly crept onto his face as he thought about the man, even if Yixing was with that guy Kyungsoo would never really trust him- the guy just gave off weird vibes. If anything, he felt more inclined to watch the manager more closely knowing he was...'with' Yixing.

Because if anyone was with Yixing they better damn well treat him right, 'God knows we didn't' Kyungsoo couldn't help but dejectedly admit.

 

"Smile Soo, you're on camera" Chanyeol whispered next to him, leaning over and making a thumbs up motion to the hundreds of cameras flashing in front of them. Kyungsoo scowled a little before pushing the giant alpha out of his space. He couldn't help but let out a small chuckle as the oaf tripped over his own long legs and sprawled out on the ground with a heavy thump.

Gasps from the worried fans accompanied Chanyeol's tumble but Kyungsoo knew he was fine- Chanyeol was much tougher than he let on. As expected, Chanyeol gave him a playful glare before quickly moving back to his seat, motioning for Junmyeon to continue whatever it was he had been telling the fans before the commotion had cut them off.

"So, again, we are sorry Lay can't be here, but he sends his love and he is so sad he had to miss meeting you all today." Junmyeon ended with a very forced smile before sitting and allowing the MC to begin the fan sign event.

As the MC began to excitedly chitter on in rapid Japanese Kyungsoo turned to quietly and somberly to address Chanyeol, "Hyung, Yixing still hasn't called?"

Chanyeol eyes dimmed a bit and his ever-present smile quickly slipped from his face, "Yeah, no one’s heard anything-" Chanyeol leaned in to whisper in his ear, "but of course the fans can't know. I don't even think the managers know what’s going on" Chanyeol finished with an annoyed grimace, pulling away to glare at said managers.

Kyungsoo put his hand on Chanyeol's arm, bringing the alpha's attention back to him, "Hyung, it's not their fault- if Baek and Sehun are right then maybe they don't know anything about it just like we didn't. And it's also possible that Baekhyun jumped to conclusions again and-" Chanyeol angrily ripped his arm away from Kyungsoo before hissing, "Soo! Is that what you think? Baek or worst of all Sehun would lie about this kind of fucked up shit?"

The glare Chanyeol sent him this time was full of anger and frustration, Kyungsoo knew Yixing had unresolved issues with nearly every pack member but Chanyeol was probably at the top of the list from the looks of it.

Kyungsoo gave an annoyed sigh, "You know that's not what I mean...I'm just saying maybe everything isn't so black and white- maybe there's more to this than we know. But until someone hears from Yixing or his manager about what actually went down then I'm inclined to believe that we still have a chance to bring Yixing into our pack." Kyungsoo hated voicing his opinion for just this reason- he hated explaining himself, or what he views as obvious or common sense.

But this whole on-going drama with Yixing had left him so frustrated that he now gave no shits about what the others thought. They had fucked up things with Yixing on their own. And now they were finally close to fixing this, Kyungsoo was so close to having Yixing as his pack mate- he isn't going to let his pack screw things up again.

'Not this time and never again.'

With that Kyungsoo smacked Chanyeol hard on the shoulder to grab his attention, then left him with one last thought.

"We've hurt Yixing, and in some ways he's hurt us too...but just let him speak once we find him okay?" Chanyeol stared at him with wide-confused eyes, tinged with turmoil, still unmoving in his seat.

Kyungsoo rolled his eyes at the alpha’s reaction, ‘Is it really that strange of a thought? To actually sit and listen to Yixing’s side of the story for a change?’

 

 


 

"What do you mean he's gone?!"

The sharp command echoed in the room as the other occupants flinched but remained silent.

Managers and staff from all of the SM groups were gathered together here in a meeting with the CEO Kim Youngmin, and Lee Soo Man who had flown in to be a part of the show tonight.

Right now, the two most powerful men in the room were looking furious and shocked at the six Exo staff members whose heads were lowered in shame.

The head manager spoke up first, "Yixing has been missing for the last 3 days. His manager was supposedly seen at the hotel when they arrived from the airport but hotel staff mentioned Yixing had boarded a Taxi late the next morning but we have not heard from either of them since then." He looked down in shame as he finished.

Youngmin was nearly spitting fire at this point, but Sooman looked more worried than angry- noticing his companion was at the end of his patience, Lee Sooman put a calming hand on Youngmin’s shoulder, quietly asking him to sit and calm himself. Once the CEO was sitting, fuming in his chair, Lee Sooman began to question the staff.

"Have you contacted the police? I don't want to make an international mess out of this, but if you cannot find me Zhang Yixing or Choi Taehyung by the end of today we must treat this as a serious issue." Soo man paused, sighing in annoyance, "This, of course, has already become a serious issue, but if you cannot find them then we will have to explore all opt-"

"Sir" a hesitant, but urgent voice cut him off.

Farther down the table, NCT's head manager had his phone out and hand raised- the man was nearly half out of his seat in urgency. Soo Man's gaze transformed from stern to confused as he took in the site of the anxious manager.

"Yes? Do you have something to add?"

The manager gave a short affirmative nod before stating, "I believe I know where Zhang Yixing is."

This brought the most unbefitting look of utter disbelief to Lee Soo Man's face, eyebrows nearly disappearing into his hairline, "How? Where? Manager Taehyung as well?"

"No sir, no mention of his manager- but one of the staff members monitoring NCT just informed me that a few of the boys have left the venue."

"What??!!"

The poor manager flinched at the loud yell, "Yes, Yuta told him that Yixing had texted Renjun and some of the boys left along with another staff member to go pick him up".

Soo Man gave a sigh, sitting down to take a break from all of the chaos for a moment. In his place, Kim Youngmin promptly stood up and demanded, "What the fuck is going on!"

Soo Man put a calming hand on his CEO's arm once more.

"When Yixing arrives, I need all of Exo's managers, and all of the Exo members once they finish rehearsal, to come meet in the executive suite- until then I'll be there waiting."

Then he stood, dismissed the staff and quickly left the tense room behind, Kim Youngmin and three security guards hurrying quickly after the millionaire.

 

 

 


 

It has been three days since Yixing was admitted to the hospital, atleast that’s what the nurses told him as they helped him out of the heat room he had woken up in an hour earlier.

Now he sat outside said hospital, an enclosed packet in hand and wearing borrowed clothes (the moment he was handed the clothes he had been admitted in he had thrown up from the smell alone- Taehyung’s smell and the beta chemicals were still on them and it brought back sickening memories. The hospital staff had graciously given him some of their own spare clothing).

So Yixing, now wearing a shirt too big and sweat pants that were a little small, was sitting on a small stone bench overlooking the parking lot outside the hospital.

You could probably mistake him for a statue, he was dead still and stared unblinkingly at a small garden across the road- his mind a mess after the horrors he had faced the last three days. He had been assaulted by his manager, and nearly killed if he had been in that chemical bath much longer (or so the doctors believe), and he’d finally presented … as an omega- at 25 no less…

‘Better late than never.’ He thought sardonically.

His body was at its limit though, when he had woken up in that heat room he could barely move. The aches were bone deep and a shooting pain shot through his waist whenever he moved. At the very least he was satisfied that he now had more energy than when he had woken up- that was a good sign…kind of…

----------

“Sir…Sir, can you hear me? If so, move your hand please”

‘That’s a strange thing to ask’ he couldn’t help but think as his mind slowly cleared and he followed the command.

Good, good- thank you, tell me your name?”

Yixing groaned as he tried to open his eyes, only to shut them tight- retinas feeling almost burned from the light of the room.

“Uggghh- I…I’m Zhang Yixing” he was barely able to wheeze, his throat was bone dry and his whole body incredibly sore.

“What…what hap- where am I?” the sounds of this room were so unfamiliar to him, and when no one answered, panic began to seep into his conscience.

‘What happened? Why does my back hurt? Where is Tae-‘

In an instant every horrifying moment from the past three days came rushing back, forcing a low moan of pain and agony from his already sore throat. Which abruptly turned to sobs- acrid memories flooding his fragile mind.

“Sir?”

He looked up at the inquiry, this time his eyes opened a bit more and the light wasn’t so harsh- his eyes were glazed with unshed tears blurring his vision, but still he was able to make out a small figure standing beside him.

“Sir?” the figure moved closer, and now Yixing was able to get a good whiff of it’s scent- ‘omega’. Instinctively he pulled the figure close and curled his arms tight around its waist as he continued to sob, desperately trying to find comfort from the fellow omega.

“Help” he whimpered out, “make it go away.”

A hesitant hand carded through his hair, “Make what go away dear one?” a gentle voice cooed from above. Yixing curled up tighter, trying to hide from the world.

“Everything.”

----------

The nurse with him when he had woken up had been very sweet and calming, she had helped him with everything- getting clothes, putting them on, drinking water, and she even had helped him brush his hair and teeth (he had been so drained after his break down that he couldn’t even lift his finger, much less his arms).

They had hooked him up to an I.V on an outpatient bed as they waited for an official translator- the nurse that had been helping him only knew limited Korean, so they decided to call in a professional for the important things they would need to discuss.

And discuss they did.

Yixing sat there for about half an hour with his doctor and the nurse.

'Eiko? Or something like that- man, I should have at least asked her name.’

They talked with him through the translator about his omega status and his chemical imbalances, then they pulled out the packet. A harmless, orange paper envelope with damning evidence inside.

They gently explained that inside the envelope were paper documents with test results, pictures, and official hand-written notes from his nurse and doctor about his condition when he entered the facility. Funny thing though, they never actually mentioned the word ‘rape’ or even ‘assault’- possibly to keep him from being triggered? They simply said it was for him to take to his company, and that he should at least notify them of the situation, and that things could proceed once the correct people were involved.

During the whole encounter Yixing had remained zombie like, in his mind the whole thing felt like it was far away- he couldn’t really focus- his mind kept wandering back to Taehyung and SM.

‘What will they do? Where is the monster now? Should I go back to SM? What if he's there?’

Hs mind kept running in circles, enough to cause a mild panic attack after they handed him the harmless orange envelope.

And once again his kind nurse had led him outside and sat with him for a few moments until his panic eased, and after forcing him to call a ride she left him with a small sad wave, leaving him sitting there all alone on the cool stone bench.

Yixing sighed, he didn’t want to think right now- he just…he…he knows what he wants- but sadly he knows it’s something he may never have now…a pack who lov-

‘Stop!’ he thought to himself, trying to stop the thought before it consumed him-as it always does, ‘forget that- I just need…comfort, that’s what I need right now…yeah…comfort’ he thought sadly.

“Hyung!”

Yixing jumped at the shout but is on his feet in an instant when he realizes who called out to him-

“Renjun-ah!” in his rush, Yixing practically tackles the smaller omega in a crushing hug. Then sudden movement sent spikes of pain up his spine and his aching muscles screamed their protest. A small quiet sob left him and he shifted most of his weight onto the smaller omega. His body sags as he finally breathes in a comforting and familiar scent for the first time in days. “Renjun-ah…” Yixing sniffles and suddenly tears of bitter happiness are spilling down his face.

Renjun must have heard his sniffle, because suddenly the small omega is fighting against the hug, trying to get a good look at Yixing’s face.

 

“Hyung!”

Yixing looked up from Renjun’s shoulder to find Taeyong and Johnny approaching the hugging duo slowly, like they were approaching a wild animal. The scents of Taeyong and Johnny suddenly had Yixing flinching back hard and away from Renjun- the only thing connecting two, Yixing’s tight grip on Renjun’s sleeve.

Johnny gave him a pout at the reaction but Taeyong just stood frozen watching him intently. Renjun on the other hand was a bit panicked at the volatile reaction (Yixing never reacted badly to any of the NCT member- ever).

“Hyung…are you okay?” Renjun paused, hoping for a response but Yixing was now frozen- caught up in his own panic at the scent of the beta and alpha behind Renjun.

‘They aren’t him, they would never hurt me, they won’t hurt me’, Yixing chanted in his head, trying to calm his frantic mind.

“Are you…hurt? Why were you in the hospital” Renjun’s confused and earnest stare broke Yixing out of his instinctive panic.

“I- I um…” He didn’t want to tell Renjun anything- the boy was so sweet, and pure and that’s what Yixing loved about him, he didn’t want to be the one to ruin that. So, instead of answering Yixing took a deep breath to steady himself and simply moved forward to hug the small omega once more, “I’m better now.” He wasn’t exactly lying, Renjun's light scent of watermelon was refreshing and sweet, ike a healing balm to his battered brain.

Renjun shifted in his embrace, whispering into his ear, “Xing-hyung, where have you been? Everyone’s been looking for you. They even had a meeting today about-“

Yixing trembled a bit, “What? They had meeting? With who??”

‘Please don’t be Taehyung, please not Taehyung’, if his manager had talked to SM, who knows what he told them or what lies the monster would say to cover his tracks. The large orange envelope in his hands now felt heavy- what if it was all useless now?

“CEO-nim, and Lee SooMan-nim met with all of the managers- “

Whatever Renjun said after that was lost on Yixing, his mind shorted the moment he heard ‘managers’.

He vaguely registers the hands on him that begin to move him towards a large van just a few feet away, and he only comes back to himself once the van begins to move.

‘What do I do? What can I do? What does SM know? Do his members know, do they even care?’

In his mind’s eye he can easily remember the moment he had been helped out of that retched hotel room only to smell Baekhyun and Sehun outside the door. Realizing his members had been so close yet still Taehyung was able to-

‘No, stop! Stop thinking- just,' Yixing took a deep breathe and slowly let it out, ‘comfort- I just need comfort’ he reminded himself, curling closer to Renjun who held him tight like he would never let go.

 

 

 


 

“That’s all we know sir.”

Lee Soo Man sat behind a small desk in an executive suite overlooking the venue; a large arena where SMTown was currently in progress. Lights cascaded across the room as the concert continued outside the windows, but inside the suite the atmosphere was cold and nearly silent. The only noise being the faint sounds of the concert below.

All six of Exo’s staff, managers and other personnel, were standing against the far wall by the door, farthest from the windows overlooking the arena. They stood silently as they judged the young men before them, like a jury observing witnesses.

All eight Exo members were seated near the windowed wall, but the chairs were facing towards the managers. In between the two tense and shocked groups was Lee Soo Man, alone and somber as he listened to Baekhyun recount what he had heard the night before Yixing had disappeared.

Giving a long sigh, SooMan couldn’t bear to look at the distraught faces of Exo or the managers any longer. For the past ten minutes the managers and Exo members had recounted to SooMan what they had seen and heard for the past few days in regards to the two missing SM employees, Choi Taehyung and Zhang Yixing.

 

And in the middle of Exo pack sat Jongin, who had an indecipherable look on his face.

All of the managers across from him looked shocked and angry, all of his pack looked distraught and some angry as well. But Jongin was beyond shocked, he was confused and utterly frustrated.

‘How is it that no one seems to know anything! No one’s actually heard from Yixing since he had texted Minseok the night before the they flew to Japan and out of the 14 people in this room, not a single one had heard from Yixing’s shady manager either!’

Jongin nearly growled in annoyance, ‘All we have is Chanyeol’s story from the lobby and Baekhyun and Sehun’s story from the hotel room. Why had no one questioned all of this sooner?’

He couldn’t help but sigh though because Exo had also been a bit late to that party as well- they hadn’t even asked the managers where Yixing was until he hadn’t shown up for the fan sign two days ago. Which, by then, it had been a whole day since Yixing had ‘officially’ disappeared.

‘We can only blame ourselves for that, but I want answers not more fucking questions’ this time Jongin did release a low growl that had all the rooms occupants turning to look at him.

“Sorry” Jongin mumble, clenching his teeth and lowering his head to glare at his feet.

Kyungsoo nudged him gently, “Jongin, you okay?”

Jongin scoffed, still glaring at the ground, “Is anyone okay?”

Kyungsoo nudged him harder in annoyance.

“What?!” Jongin finally snapped.

“Jongin!” this time it was Minseok who addressed him, it had him looking up to acknowledge his alpha’s command.

“Ne?” Jongin ground out.

As Minseok opened his mouth, ‘probably to berate me’, he was cut off by Lee Soo Man.

“Boys, stop it- I know you are stressed but fighting each other isn’t the answer” Soo Man gave Jongin a hard stare before continuing, “Our questions will be answered when Yixing arrives”.

‘They found Yixing?’

At the announcement all of the Exo members bristled, an bitter relief spreading through the group. They hadn’t been told that Yixing had been found, much less that he would be attending this meeting.

It would be the first time in over a month since they would be seeing Yixing face to face. It would be the first time since the members had tried to reconcile with Yixing…and now it will probably be a blood bath.

Jongin slumped a bit at the thought. He’d had mixed emotions the first time he had texted Yixing a month and a half ago, and only after reaching out once more did he realize how much he missed his sweet hyung. Ever since Tao had left, Jongin had felt miserable whenever he thought of Yixing.

He couldn’t stop thinking about all of the lies, at that time he couldn’t tell what was a lie or the truth with Yixing- and that scared him too. He was young and couldn’t really handle the situation well, looking back on it he regrets not being there for Yixing when he was miserable too.

 

Because Jongin could tell his hyung had struggled- he had been Yixing’s best friend and Jongin knew him inside and out- he knew Yixing struggled every time he saw him when he returned to Korea, BUT whenever he saw Yixing the anger and hurt would return and he would ignore Yixing in the end.

If Jongin was truthful, he knew it would be worse this time- before, Yixing had lied to them, and that hurt, but this time…this time he was rejecting the pack- he had slept with someone else, and who knows how long that had been going on!

Jongin’s hands turned to fists as the anger returned, his veins pumping with jealousy as he thought of Yixing with someone else.

‘He should have been with us! He should be pack!’ he thought angrily.

They’d had it all planned out; on their free day two days ago every Exo were going to take him on a date- each of them had carefully planned out their individual date in the city. They even planned to meet altogether at the end of the day and ask Yixing if he would allow them to court him. Minseok and Junmyeon had worked hard to figure out the best way to bring Yixing into the pack, and in the end they’d found a semi-solution through courtship…but now…

‘It doesn’t matter anymore, Xing-hyung’s picked someone else. We were too late’. he though bitterly.

Because no matter how badly Jongin wanted to hate Taehyung for this, no matter how badly he wanted to blame Yixing- Jongin knew they could only blame themselves for being too slow and blinded by anger to bring Yixing closer sooner.

That didn’t stop Jongin from mourning the loss though, he knew things would never be the same with-

 

“Zhang Yixing.”

Jongin’s head snapped up at Lee Soo Man’s announcement. And the sight before him nearly broke his already battered heart.

‘Xing-hyung…what’s happened to you??’

Jongin’s eyes were impossibly wide as he took in the slim form of the dancer. Where Yixing once had firm, mouthwatering muscles, he now had lithe (almost non-existent) muscle, his once glowing, milky white skin was now pale and sickly looking with bruises lining his neck and wrists. And worst of all was his hyung’s eyes- there was a time he felt like he could stare into their sparkly, mocha depths all day- but now, they looked dead and soulless, not even a tiny spark of life to be seen.

'What the fuck did that bastard do to my Xing-hyung!'

As Yixing moved farther into the room, Jongin could tell something was very wrong- Yixing... he- he wasn’t moving right. And his scent- it smells strange…something was definitely very, very wrong.

Jongin glanced at the members around him as they all watched Yixing shuffle awkwardly forward, they all had the same shocked look he probably wore on his own face. And looking back at his broken hyung all he could think was,

'I'll wring that fucking manager's neck myself.'

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

A/N:   'nnn' - thoughts     "nnn" - dialogue/Korean      "nnnn" - Chinese (just a reminder <3). Also, sorry for posting this so insanely late!

 

Four SM idols quietly sit in the back of their van as it swiftly traversed Tokyo, moving along the quickest route to the SMTown venue near the city center.

One of the idols sighed deeply, Renjun.

He had been holding back questions since he, Johnny, and Taeyong had picked up Yixing from the hospital. Renjun was silently letting his precious Xing-ge cuddle with him, but he knew he couldn’t hold back his curiosity for much longer.

He couldn’t stand the awkward and tense silence that had fallen upon the occupants of the van. Yixing lounged lethargically in his arms, curled up against him- seemingly unaware of the world around him. And it was literally driving him crazy.

‘Easy now…’ he paced himself.

His hyung was obviously in a fragile state at the moment, he had to be gentle but he wanted answers- no, he stopped himself. 'We need to comfort first then question'. But...the only way they could really help is to find out what happened in the first place...

Renjun bobbed his head in finality before bolstering himself mentally to question Yixing.

 

“Hyung” Renjun paused giving Yixing a small shake, “Why were you at the hospital?”

He calmly waited for his dazed hyung to react...a few seconds ticked by without any answer from Yixing.

Yixing had been doing that the whole ride to the arena; staring out the window blankly, silent and morose. And now, as Yixing turned to look at him, he felt something shift- the once fresh beta-like smell around him turned a bit acrid and a dark look crossed his hyung’s face as well.

Renjun’s face crinkled into a confused look. Yixing had smelled a bit off earlier, but this was something different- something familiar he couldn't quite place-

'This scent...doesn't smell like a beta. But, Yixing hyung is a beta…so where is it from? Or more accurately, whom is it from?' Renjun questioned, giving the inside of the van a once over, as the strange scent continued to assault his senses. It smelled...omegan? Maybe? but none of the van's occupants were omega...

“Do you smell that hyung?"

Renjun continued to sniff the air hoping to somehow recognize the vaguely familiar scent. Moving ever closer to the 'source', he found himself leaning over further- closer to Yixing's neck.

"Did you get into a fight with an omega?” Renjun paused, taking a few whiffs once more. When Yixing shifted away from him, Renjun moved back to sit up right once more. 'Why is he reacting so strangely to me? He's never been so stand off-ish with me before.' especially considering half the time they are together, they are cuddling.

“I mean, it’s definitely not Baekhyun hyung-nim or Jongdae hyung-nim, and I know you have fought with them before- but this smells different and I don’t know who’s it is- but I’ll kick their ass!” Renjun vowed in Chinese, continuing his rant as his urge to protect his hyung grew stronger with every word.

“I can see the bruises on your neck too! And you look so thin and so sad- did the omega do that to you? Did they jump you in the street? Who would do tha-“

“Xiao-Jun…it’s not like that” his hyung sighed, turning away to look out the window- turning away from Renjun.

"Hyung, I know you and I know your scent. This isn’t you,” Yixing seemed to flinch at his words, but Renjun pressed on. “It’s kinda…familiar actually…is it another omega from SM? Is that why you disappeared? To get away from them?”

Yixing shook his head, still refusing to look back towards Renjun.

Renjun growled lowly in frustration, “Then who was it? Please, I just want to help you hyung. Pleas-“.

"Renjunnie." A strong, raspy voice cut him off from behind. Taeyong.

 

Renjun shifted to turn, looking at Taeyong but still gently holding Yixing in his arms.

Taeyong gave him a hard, in explicable look, then motioned with his eyes towards Yixing.

‘Huh?’

Taeyong rolled his eyes in obvious annoyance at his incomprehension before tapping his nose twice.

‘Scent?’

Taeyong then points to Yixing.

Renjun's eyes widen in realization, ‘Yixing hyung?’

Taeyong gives him a sad looking nod before turning his pitying gaze back to Yixing's slumped form.

‘The scent...is Xing-ge?…’ In confusion he looked back and forth between Yixing and Taeyong.

‘What in the hell?’

Wordlessly he mouths, “the omega scent is Yixing hyung’s??”.

The swift nod he gets from Taeyong sends what feels like a hard weight plummeting straight down into his gut. Like a punch, knocking the wind out of him.

The young omega looked at his alpha with wide, disbelieving eyes "Really? It’s his scent?!” he mouths quietly back, looking frantically between his two pack mates.

Taeyong and Johnny both gave swift, synchronized nods. Neither looked at Renjun for long though, their attention quickly refocused on the man in Renjun's slim arms. Both looking worried- never a good sign.

"Why is that?" Renjun whispered conspiratorially, briefly glancing back down at the man curled up in his arms. "And why doesn't it smell right? I've never scented an omega that smelled this way."

Renjun had tried to discreetly direct the questions to Taeyong, but as the words left his mouth, he felt Yixing flinch again, a tale-tell sign that he had most definitely been overheard.

 

When he received no answer from his alphas- just more worried stares, Renjun's gaze strayed- landing on his feet as he concentrated on wrapping his head around the current situation.

'How could he smell like two sub genders, as far as he knew Yixing was a beta- granted he had presented later than most...but maybe...is he ungendered? Maybe... using scents? But why would he use a different scent now? Has he somehow changed his sub gender? Alpha, beta, omega- what else was there? ...Well, except for-'

"I mean, I've heard of Non's before" he whispered lowly to himself, thinking out loud "but this is something el-"

Renjun abruptly stopped muttering as Yixing ripped himself away from Renjun's hold to plaster himself against the adjacent window.

Shocked at his hyung’s reaction, Renjun flinched back as well before taking a calming breath. Out of the corner of his eye he had caught the sight of the two alphas behind jumping in fright as well. 'At least I'm not the only one' he couldn't help but think as he willed his heart to stop beating so loudly.

Obviously, this situation wasn’t getting better. They still had no answers and now he's set Yixing off somehow.

The acrid omega scent from before grew stronger now, causing Renjun's nose to wrinkle in distaste but he remained silent and frozen- carefully observing Yixing. The man before him was definitely acting strange. Renjun thought he had seen Yixing at his worst before all this, when it was just Exo acting like idiots and making Yixing-ge cry. But this shivering, panicking, silent man before him was much worse than those times before...something was very wrong here, but they still had no idea what the hell was going on in the first place!

The silence in the van was now filled with tension, the occupants all unmoving, holding their breaths, unwilling to disturb the beta- or omega? more than they already had. All of Renjun's instincts screamed at him to pull his hyung back into his embrace, his arms itched to wrap themselves once more around his distressed hyung (as he had done so many times before). But he waited, not exactly patiently, but he waited and waited…and waited… until he couldn’t any longer.

 

"Xing-ge?..." he trailed off, unsure what to ask- but his heart was full of compassion and worry for his distressed gege.

From this angle, he could see Yixing’s face was strained and pale- contorted with mixed emotions, flickering between pain, anguish, and fear in a seemingly endlessly cycle.

'That's not good' Renjun pouted, unable to stop himself now he reached out to grab Yixing into the strong embrace he had been itching to initiate. But at that same moment, Johnny leaned his massive self forward, effectively topping Renjun. A little annoyed at the rebuff, he watched worriedly as Johnny put a light, hesitant hand on Yixing's shoulder.

'Shit'

The moment the alpha's hand made contact, it had the opposite affect Johnny had probably been hoping for. The van filled with the scent of sheer panic, mixing with the already acrid scent present- it made Renjun's stomach churn. Yixing flinched back hard from the alphas hand, pulling his legs up and curling into a tight shivering ball.

Stop” softly floated from quivering mess that is his distressed hyung. “please…don’t”.

Terror seized Renjun's heart as the words registered. Yixing never reacted like this to any of NCT, much less Johnny who handed out PDA constantly- which Yixing usually loved!

‘What is happening? Why is this happening?’ Renjun’s frantic thoughts must have shown on his face or in his scent, because Johnny suddenly had his hand on Renjun's shoulder now- comforting him, holding him back, or possibly grounding him?

Renjun’s mind was racing though. Johnny’s hand was a comfort to him for sure, but definitely not enough to keep him from going on full alert- especially while his precious hyung was obviously having a break down in front of them!

Looking worried, Johnny leaned closer and whispered lowly, “Renjun, give him some space. He doesn’t need you to-“

In a flash of anger Renjun swiftly smacked Johnny's hand away. “Of course he needs me“ Renjun growled out, giving the two alphas a scathing glare- “who the fuck else does he have besides except us? Exo? Hah!” He gave a scoff at the mere thought.

"Language" Taeyong muttered half heatedly.

Renjun rolled his eyes, “We’re all he has hyung- so don’t try to stop me again”.

Johnny gave him a pained but restrained look of acceptance before moving back further into his seat once more. Giving Renjun and Yixing the space they needed.

Renjun gave him a one last glance of bland approval of his choice before he softened his expression and turned to address Yixing again.

 

“Yixing-ge? What's wrong?”

He received no answer, just silence and the permeating scent of panic and fear. Taeyong and Johnny fidgeted restlessly- the scent of Yixing's distress starting to visibly affect them as well. But still they remained silent, and unmoving- letting Renjun take the lead.

"H-hy-hyung?" This time Renjun couldn't keep the quiver of sorrow from slipping out into his speech.

Yixing was a shivering mess against the door, possibly having an anxiety or panic attack? A flashback maybe?

Seeing Yixing like this, it…it broke his heart. 'After all, Yixing has gone through, after all SM and Exo have put him through, we’ve always tried to help, and protect him. But we've obviously failed horribly today'.

Yixing had obviously gone through something recently, they had picked him up at a hospital for Christ’s sake. But Yixing was also reacting to them in ways he’d never seen before- ignoring them, pushing them away…

‘Xing-ge is obviously hurting and it seems like we’ve only managed to make it worse’.

Renjun was a new omega himself, just having presented last year (Xing-ge had been so happy for him then), and he was…emotionally fragile if you will. at this stage. It had been difficult for Renjun after he presented- with the promotions and crazy schedules along with his new hormone levels trying to balance themselves out. And through it all his pack and Yixing had been amazing with helping him through these struggles and protecting him.

He wanted be that same support and comfort for Yixing now, but...if he was pushing them away like this…

‘Xing-ge doesn’t trust us anymore!’ Renjun’s shoulder’s drooped and his heart felt heavy at the realization.

Involuntary tears welled up in his vision. He was overwhelmed by the sudden feeling that he was an inadequate comfort for his hyung- that's what omegas were known for even! But here he is, already failing his omega duties somehow.

The tears slipped down his face as Renjun bowed his head in shame, a quiet sob slipping from his lips- unable to stop the emotions flooding his system.

Quick as a snap, 3 sets of eyes were trained on him.

"Renjunnie?" Taeyong called out in surprise, swiftly moving forward to comfort him.

Before he could reach the young omega however, another set of arms wrapped around Renjun’s tiny frame.

 

Renjun didn’t know who was holding him at first, cradling him like a baby. He had assumed it was Taeyong. But that was proven false when the scent that washed over him was fresh and calming (unlike Taeyong or Johnny's heavier, earthy scents)- confirming it was neither of his alphas...but Yixing who held him so tightly.

At the realization, Renjun's eyes snapped open, slightly shocked at the sudden turn of events.

"I'm sorry, Renjunnie, did I... scare you?" he could hear Yixing's soft quivering voice, and coupled with his refreshing scent it calmed him greatly. Renjun could also smell the remnants of panic in Yixing’s scent though- he could even feel Yixing's subtle tremble still.

Renjun hiccupped, opening his mouth to reply, to console his hyung back. But in his own suddenly overwhelming emotional state all he could do was let out another short sob and wrap his arms around Yixing as well.

'I'm so terrible at this dammnit!' he reprimanded himself.

The arms around him tightened as though Yixing could read his thoughts. And Yixing's trembling became stronger, beginning to shake Renjun as well-

'Wait, what?'

Squirming a bit, Renjun turned his teary eyes upwards to look into Yixing's face. The sight he was met with broke his heart ten times over (not like that hadn't already been happening this whole van ride or anything), causing another flood of tears wash over him.

Above Renjun, Yixing had his shoulders hunched and head bowed, basically clinging to Renjun like a koala. His eyes shut tight in what seemed like pain, tears also rolling down his cheeks, same as Renjun. They both shook with sobs, tears flowing freely- they both probably looked an emotional mess, but Renjun couldn't bring himself to care.

Yixing-ge, his precious hyung, was shaking in pain? Or sadness? For Renjun? For himself? Renjun couldn’t fully focus enough through the flood of emotions in his system to pinpoint it. What he did know though, is that his hyung was obviously hurting- Renjun could never stand it when Xing-ge was hurting.

So Renjun just clutched him tightly and protectively- hoping that in some way he could transfer his love and protection to his hyung via giant hug - if only he could hold him tighter.

'If words hurt you right now, then I just won't use them. I'll just hold you forever...' It made perfect sense in his head, but he knew that it was sadly unrealistic. He sulked a bit at the thought but resolutely remained silent, simply clinging to his precious hyung, tears slowly drying from his cheeks.

And so, the van traveled on, two omegas (was his hyung really an omega now? He never had gotten that answer really) holding each other as if their lives depended on it- completely silent. Slowly but surely their distressed scents fading into something more calmed but the sense of tension and worry never really fading.

Of course, their drive to the venue couldn't last forever- and the moment the van stopped, their scents of distress spiked to worrying levels once more.

 

The manager who had been driving through all the drama turned in his seat, coughing awkwardly when he took in the situation.

"Sorry to interrupt boys, but I need to take Yixing-ssi upstairs ASAP." The manager almost looked regretful as he informed them of this.

The manager deftly exited the van to hurry around to the main van door.

Renjun gave a small sniffle and a long drawn out sigh, giving Yixing one last squeeze before reluctantly releasing him.

"Hyung, tell me honestly" He paused, looking deep into his hyung's sad and sunken eyes, red from crying, "will you be okay if I let you leave now?"

At Yixing's hesitation Renjun quickly began to verbalize all the possible solutions he had been brainstorming during the van ride, "Hyung, I could follow you, I could hold your hand! Do you need to cuddle some more? We can definitely cuddle some more- I love cud-"

"Renjun-ah."

The soft command stopped his ramblings short, a soft snort of laughter coming from his left- probably Johnny.

Renjun lightly glared at the alpha before turning eagerly back to Yixing, "Ne, Xing-ge?"

Yixing gave all three of them a sad but loving smile, the sun illuminating his face as the van door slid open "Don't worry about me okay little ones?" Renjun's nose twitched in distaste at the title of 'little'.

Moving forward swiftly, Yixing gave him one last hug.

"It will all end soon anyways." Yixing quietly whispered into Renjun’s ear before deftly slipping past him, out the van door and hurrying up the steps to the back door of the venue.

It all happened so fast that when Renjun's mind finally processed the words, Yixing was already opening the venue doors.

Swinging wildly around, ignoring the confused stares of his pack mates, Renjun desperately cried out.

"Xing-ge! What does that mean?!"

Johnny and Taehyung looked on worriedly as Renjun stumbled his way out of the van to rush up the steps.

"Renjun!"

"Renjunnie!"

His alphas called out to him from the van but he ignored them in favor of pursuing his cryptic hyung.

'Why can't he just communicate clearly like everyone else' Renjun huffed as he moved quickly up the stairs to the venue's entrance. But before his eyes could even adjust to the indoors, he felt himself being pulled to the side by his collar- nearly choking him.

"Ah ah, not so fast." Crap. The manager.

"You have your performance in 20 minutes, so no more running off!" his manager was giving him some serious side eye when they locked eyes- not good.

"But Manager hyung-nim-"

"No" the manager snapped obviously very agitated. "And that's the same for you boys" he snapped at Taeyong and Johnny as the entered the venue.

"No, I've been looking for you for almost an hour- AN HOUR. So you three get your butts to the makeup room NOW!"

"Ne hyung-nim" they answered as they were ushered forcefully down the hallway to get glitzed up for their performance.

 

 

 


 

Chanyeol had been staring in anger at the door for minutes now, waiting for Yixing to walk in the door and to give him a piece of his damn mind (Yixing had ditched them this week, missed a performance and even a fan sign event! So, he had every right to be angry at his bandmate). But those thoughts were wiped clean from Chanyeol's mind the moment Yixing truly stood in front of them. He couldn't dare to think those things while Yixing stood in front of them looking like this; so frail, so fragile, so…exposed. The moment Yixing entered the room, it felt as if everything stilled.

The managers, Exo and Lee SooMan, who had been glaring over at Exo for the past hour were now laser-focused on the weak form that had entered the small meeting room.

All Chanyeol could do was stare in pure, confused disbelief, 'Yixing-hyung…looks like he can barely stand...’.

Chanyeol shivered at the thought, a chill running up his spine as he considered the implications.

'How the fuck did this happen? Why is he like this? Has he really been sleeping with his manager? Is he about to faint?? Why is no one saying anything?!'

Looking around at the Exo members around him he saw many had similar expressions of confusion and shock. Chanyeol couldn't help but question everything he knew about the situation thus far- because what he was seeing now just didn't add up to the facts he thought he knew.

And truthfully, not much had added up lately when it came to Yixing- Sehun and Baekhyun's testimony about Yixing and the manager sleeping together had been…shocking and had hurt to say the least. Yixing had also not shown up for schedules all week. Which frankly didn’t sound like Yixing- sure, he had lied to them (multiple times) but he always loved the fans and never missed schedules, like, ever.

So, why?

"Why did you miss the fan meet?" "Where have you been the past few days?" "Where is Taehyung manager-nim?" and besides those questions, there were now new questions to be asked as well.

Why has Yixing shown up, looking like this? Why is Taehyung not with him? When did Yixing lose that much weight??

Chanyeol’s head was spinning as he wracked his brain for all the possible answers.

Truthfully, from Chanyeol's perspective, Yixing looked scared and small as he shuffled forward into the tension-filled room. He almost looked shrunken into himself, one hand clutched at his chest and the other clutching a large envelope, his eyes wide in what seemed like fear. Chanyeol nearly moved from his seat as the scent of fear rolled over him- it shocked him.

'That scent…what is that?' Chanyeol pondered, 'Fear, panic, ? Is he scared...punishment? Unlikely. Yixing has always stood strong even through their harshest punishments SM had thrown at them.

'Wait-' He sniffed the air a bit more trying to understand what his brain was telling him.

‘Omega?...What is going on?'

His mind supplied to him images of a scared Yixing looking up at him in fear as Chanyeol slammed the door shut in a rut-driven rage. Chanyeol flinched a bit at the memory.

‘Is he scared of...us?’ Sadly, this was the more likely theory. 'I… Yixing's the one who missed his schedules this week, and dumped us for his crappy manager..he...he should be scared of us!

Shaking his head, he returned to the real world only to link eyes with the one and only Zhang Yixing. Yixing's eyes widened in obvious fear before looking back toward the ground. The utter fear and distress he saw when he locked gazes with Yixing had been unsettling. Chanyeol was having trouble reconciling his frustration and anger with his instincts to comfort his distressed bandmate (and obvious evidence to the fact that fishy-ness was afoot).

Yixing had lied to them before, but this whole situation just didn't make sense, something didn’t seem right. And if he was being honest- that manager, Teahyung or whatever, really creeped him out. He just...couldn't really picture Yixing with a creep like that- but Sehun and Baekhyun had been thoroughly convinced, and Chanyeol hadn't had the heart to go check their story for himself (he didn't know what he would do if he heard the sounds Baekhyun and Sehun had supposedly heard coming from that room).

So, there stood Yixing, barely 10 feet from him, looking worse for wear- nowhere near the same as when he had last seen him (On a skype call just days before)- Yixing's eyes were bloodshot and dark purple bruises had formed under his eyes. And the clothes! Ugghh, why was Yixing wearing such...ugh, terrible clothes?

Nothing seemed right. This wasn't the Yixing he knew...

 

Chanyeol sat sprawled across the couch of the dance studio, trying to catch his breath. He nearly rolled his eyes as he tracked the lithe body still dancing in front of the mirrors.

Yixing always had this amazing resolve to work insanely hard, a resolve that Chanyeol would never have- at least for dancing that is. It seemed like Yixing was always dancing, always in the studio with Jongin or Sehun, always moving. Not that Chanyeol minded- his hyung was a fine-ass dancer and had a gorgeous body to match. Not to mention he had the patience of a saint when Chanyeol was ranting and raving or in the throughs of his music making.

He couldn't help but smile as he watched Yixing happily dancing across the floor- movements perfect as always. Looking like the epitome of happiness. Never stopping until the music did.

Speaking of- the music swelled quickly into a short crescendo- then suddenly dropped out, ending abruptly. Yixing dropping into his ending pose along with it.

'Magical really' he thought dreamily.

Automatically, Chanyeol's hands clapped tiredly together in applause, echoing loudly in the nearly empty dance studio. Yixing gave him a soft smile and a short bow- the smile reaching his eyes, dimple popping in for a moment as well- so adorable.

"Thank you for the rousing applause Chanyeollie" the dancing angel giggled out as he tiredly approached Chanyeol's haphazardly sprawled figure on the leather sofa.

Chanyeol hastily moved over, just in time to dodge his hyung who belly flopped onto the sofa in exhaustion.

He laughed as his sweet hyung gave a loud sigh and curled up onto his side, facing Chanyeol.

Chanyeol couldn't help but stare at Yixing's tired but happy expression- eyes droopy but filled with mirth. It made a soft smile stretch across his own face in response.

'So cute' he couldn't help but think as he observed his nearly glowing hyung.

Yixing seemed to work harder than all of them all the time; dancing, singing, composing- if Chanyeol was a betting man, he would bet Yixing would take the world by storm one day.

Chanyeol's gaze slowly moved down the lithe form of his hyung. Taking in his slim but powerful dancer muscles, appreciating his pale smooth skin, before taking a long stare at the solid thighs. Taking in the tremble of his body as he cooled down, taking deep breathes every few seconds to steady himself. So he nearly jumped out of his skin when he felt a smooth hand slide over his own. Snapping his gaze upwards he found a thin, pale hand now laying atop his own larger one.

Moving his gaze up higher he found two large mocha eyes staring at him fondly- Yixing's smile has faded into a softer version but the happiness still remained.

"Really Yeollie-ah" Yixing squeezed his hand in an earnest gesture, "Thank you for staying back and practicing with me."

Chanyeol just gaped like a dumb idiot at the kind angel (apt nickname if there ever was one). He couldn’t help but think he was so lucky to debut with such a handsome and kind person- inside and out.

At the thought, Chanyeol gave Yixing the dopiest smile he could before replying, "No Xing-hyung, thank you."

 

Chanyeol sighed quietly, those days felt like a life time ago. A simpler time, when most of them hadn't presented, when most of them were stupid enough to promise they would stay together forever- and actually believe it.

It was a lovely memory…but it was just that. A memory.

WuFan, Luhan, and Tao had all left them now...would Yixing leave them too? The mere thought brought mixed feelings.

Chanyeol deeply cared for all of his packmates- and for most of their career that had included Yixing. But the moment Yifan left, Yixing's secrets and Yixing's lies had been exposed. And sure, Yixing was most definitely not the only one at fault- but they had all been hurt by those lies, especially Jongdae. And that had made Yixing an easy target for their anger.

Chanyeol often thought about the ever deepening divide, between Exo and Yixing. But what kept him from resolution was his temper-but the other's struggled as well; Baekhyun with his omega pride and protective nature (especially towards Jongdae), and on that note- Jongdae's depression after Wufan's departure had been tough to deal with. And of course there was always the good old SM fuckery- the worst was when SM sent Yixing back to China (which had thrown them all for a loop, making it harder to bridge the divide between them).

Minseok, their ever-reliable pack alpha had tried to help them reconnect with Yixing- Chanyeol'd had so much hope for their future- a future with Yixing not just near him.

There were so many cogs in the machine and Chanyeol didn't want to be the monkey that threw the wrench in it- but...something had to change (if their current situation was any evidence to the fact that this was all very fucked up).

And now...well now it was all fucked up again and even worse, nothing was adding up. And worst of all his once sweet, amazing, healthy, powerhouse hyung was a frail, shivering mess. Standing in front of all of them like it was judgement day.

Just looking at Yixing, Chanyeol could tell something was very wrong- his clothes are a mess, his hair is matted and stringy, and his skin looks-

‘Shit…’

That's when he saw finally them.

Bruises.

 

First his eyes caught onto the stark bruises exposed by his ill-fitting shirt on his lower neck, but what really made him see red were the dark, ring like bruises on Yixing's wrists. Chanyeol's nostrils flared in anger as he took in the damage.

They could be from Taehyung or they could be from something else. But either way, Yixing didn't look healthy, he didn't look happy, and Chanyeol sure as heck couldn't reconcile that what he was seeing was okay in any shape or form.

'Hyung' Chanyeol stared hard at Yixing, gaze set and anger rolling off him in waves, 'What...what the hell happened to you?'

Something was very wrong here indeed.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Yixing couldn't help the shiver that ran up and down his spine as he stood, lonely, in the center of the crowded but silent room. He could feel the eyes of all those present staring at him- boring holes through his trembling body. Yixing could feel the heavy stares, but he could barely feel his own body- it had gone numb the moment he had laid eyes on Exo.

They all had looked so handsome and calm when he had glimpsed them through the door, but now many of their expressions had morphed into faces of confusion and anger. Scents he had found comfort in over the years now bombarded him like giant waves in the ocean.

He had nearly keeled over when he had stepped inside the conference room but somehow his feet had kept moving his body forward, acting on instinct.

'Why is it always like this?' he couldn't help but sigh as he slowly trudged forward, sluggishly scanning the faces of his members. Indignation flared inside of him at the thought, the same thought he'd had so many times before. 'Why does everyone hate me so effortlessly? Why can't they ever smile at me in person anymore?' he agonized as he visualized the smiles he had seen countless times directed at him over skype this past month.

He sighed in resignation, breathing in the scents around him once more.

One scent in particular sent him nearly into a fit as he moved past the unmoving pack, Sehun's earthy scent- like newly turned soil. The same scent he had caught just days earlier outside that god forsaken hotel room Taehyung had...ruined him in.

Yixing shivered at the vile memory. Any resolve he'd had when he entered the room melted into defeat as he locked eyes with Sehun, whose eyes held a cold look of despondence and concealed anger. Yixing knew he probably looked pitiful but the coldness of Sehun's gaze sent a spike of fear through him, only adding to his mounting distress.

'I don't think they will ever be different' his eyes flickering over to Chanyeol whose face held a steely, angered gaze.

The bruises on his neck and hips smarted with every move he made, 'Do they even notice?'. He doubted it, judging by Jongin's guarded expression.

It wouldn't be the first time Exo ignored him falling to pieces right in front of them.

His whole body screamed at him to rest, his muscles aching from his recent heat as well, 'Do they even care?'. Unlikely. Jongdae and Baekhyun were doing very good impressions of stone faced statues just four feet from him- they could probably smell his fear and anxiety but just didn't care.

The large yellow packet in his hands begins to crumple a bit as he clutches to it, well aware of the damning contents inside. Evidences of his abusive manager, damaged body- but most importantly, his newly assigned sub gender.

'Would it even matter to them?...Do I matter to them?'

The thought froze Yixing in place, stricken suddenly with a horrifying thought.

'Can I even show this to them?'

The documents clearly specify Yixing as an omega and they also document the (luckily reversable) damage done by the black market scent treatment he had been using- the one SM had illegally procured for him.

SM wouldn't want to know the truth, they would want to cover it up and make it seem like nothing had changed- business as usual. And Exo pack...they had abandoned him to his manager and, by the looks on their faces, wouldn't care about the truth either.

Yixing realized in that moment that he was truly powerless. The truth of his situation nearly left him boneless in utter hopelessness.

He scanned the disapproving faces of the managers (he nearly collapsed in relief when he saw Taehyung was not among them), the stone cold faces of his members, before finally settling on the furious face of Lee Sooman.

'They wouldn't want to know the truth and they would never forgive me even if they did.'

 

Yixing stood, defeated and broken, in front of the seated duo Lee Sooman and Kim Young-Min. To his right sat Exo and to his left their managers stood looking somber and sullen. The rough cloth of the hospital's donated shirt itched as he thought about how terrible he must look right now to them.

Carefully slipping into a blank expression, Yixing raised his head to look Lee Sooman in the eye before proceeding to lower himself into a nearly perfect 90 degree bow. It was painful, it pinched his bruised hips and pulled the strained muscles of his back taught.

Still though, pushing through the pain, he ground out a hopefully polite sounding, "Ceo-nim, Lee Sooman-nim". He remained in the torturous bow as the silence stretched on a few seconds longer.

"Zhang-ssi"

That as his que, he rose back into a somewhat upright position- his waist flared in pain when he tried to fully straighten so he just gave up and slouched, leaning slightly forward awkwardly.

Lee Sooman's eyebrows rose as he observed the struggle.

"Zhang-ssi" he repeated, "There has been much talk about you this week, and I must say I'm very disappointed in what I've heard".

Yixing's gaze went to the floor as the words sunk in, 'They know, they hate me, they're disgusted with me, they-'

"You missed a full Exo concert" Yixing flinched at the memory of his body giving up and falling to the floor in the airport tunnel- the pain had been excruciating.

"Why is that?"

The question was simply, but loaded- the tension in the room could be cut with a knife.

'I wish someone would cut me with a knife' he thought. Wanting nothing more than to not be in this room- or better yet not even be here at -

"Zhang-ssi!"

The shout knocked him out of his thoughts and back to the present- oh, right, he needed to answer the question.

Yixing shook his head, trying to get the fuzziness out so he could think clearly.

"SM doesn't know about this" Taehyung's words ring through his head as he thought back on what had happened that fateful day.

"I um...I was delayed at the airport for too long and missed my flight to Japan".

Lee Sooman and Kim Young-Min did not look impressed.

"Delayed?" Lee Sooman repeated in disbelief. "You were delayed for so long you completely missed the other ten flights that lifted off between your original flight and the one you took?"

"Some kind of delay" Kim Young-Min chimed in.

Yixing began to shake as his anxiety welled up, should he tell them or not? Would it make things worse? Would it make things better? Honestly Yixing had no idea who to trust with the truth and it was slowly eating away at his sanity.

"Ne, I'm sorry" Yixing replied with a small head bow, deciding that his fainting spell didn't need to be talked about.

"Hmph" Sooman scoffed, picking up a paper from his desk and reading aloud, "Zhang Yixing- absent from fan sign event, Zhang Yixing- absent from SMTown rehearsals this morning." Lee Sooman lay the paper back down to give Yixing a glare over his glasses.

"Not to mention these rumors I hear about you and your manager being in an indecent relationship."

Yixing froze cold, his eyes widening in shock at the accusation- 'what?'

'Is that what they believe...is that what Taehyung told them?'

"What gives you the right to think these kinds of actions are acceptable?" Lee Sooman's voice had dropped down into a dangerous tone now.

'It's not right, it wasn't my fault, I would never do this!' Yixing thought despairingly. But looking around the room he could tell he had no support what so ever- every single face was a mask of cold judgement.

"I almost couldn't believe what I had heard this morning" at Lee Sooman's words Yixing whipped back around to stare into the cold gaze of his mentor and boss.

"I thought you were better than this Yixing- I thought you were smarter than all of this shit" he ended, slamming his hand loudly and angrily onto the table.

The words pierced Yixing's heart and bruised his soul. These people, his co workers, his bandmates...did they all think this way?

"You've made quite the mess Yixing, and we don't have the time to discipline you now- but" Kim Young-Min paused briefly, glancing around the room, "it will be severe and you will never do what you've done ever again or so help me God we will void your contract."

Someone gasped to his right but at that moment he didn't really care, all he could focus on were Kim Young-Min's words "void your contract". It repeated over and over in his head as he felt the ground move below his feet.

*smack* Yixing's hands made a meaty sound as they hit the floor, barley catching himself.

Yixing found the world still spinning as he sat on all fours, mind reeling.

He could hear muffled words being spoken but he had no idea what they meant, nor did he care.

Taehyung had completely ruined his life, Kim Young-Min, Tao, WuFan- they had all controlled him, manipulated him, exposed him...and now all of his hard work would be for nothing.

He had been through so much already and now, here, at the end of the tunnel was...nothing.

No matter how hard he tried, with Exo, with dance, music- it would never be enough would it? Yixing was seriously struggling to find any hope now. He had always been so optimistic yet tragedy followed him like a dog.

Yixing sighed, dropping his head in defeat.

 

"Hyung!"

The shout barely registered as Yixing sat there regretting his life.

"Hyung!" soft yet firm hands shook him lightly, "Hyung- look at me".

'Huh?'

He looked up to meet the wide, scared eyes of Do Kyungsoo, 'Kyungsoo-yah?' Yixing was momentarily taken aback as he scanned one of the familiar faces he had dreamt of seeing in person again this past month. He was in such a lethargic mindset he hadn't even heard the man move over to him- and now he was holding? him?

Looking down he saw Kyungsoo slipping his arms through Yixing's to lift him up gently, swaying with him the whole way up.

"Hyung, I've got you- don't worry I've got you." Kyungsoo reassured him as he was pulled from the room- when had Kyungsoo gotten so strong?

Looking to his left he lazily scanned the shocked faces of Exo as Kyungsoo swiftly pulled him through the room and out the door, unaware of the fact he had left an unassuming envelope behind.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

                                                                           

 

'What happened to you hyung? Why are you like this? Who do I have to go secretly kill now?'

Those questions had been on repeat in Kyungsoo's mind since Yixing had shuffled clumsily into the office looking like death warmed over. Kyungsoo could almost feel the pain radiating from his hyung as he bowed and stood in front of Lee-Sooman. And when Yixing had fallen to his knees Kyungsoo couldn't hold himself back any longer. His hyung needed him, Lee Soo-Man be damned, Exo be damned, no one else lifted a damn finger as Yixing fell apart on the ground before them.

So Kyungsoo did the only thing he could think of, get his hyung out of there- out of that den of lions.

"Keep moving hyung, we're almost there" he mumbled, slightly out of breath.

They were currently shuffling through the arena hallways, Kyungsoo whispering encouraging and soothing words to his broken hyung along the way. But Kyungsoo knew soothing words would not help much, not when his hyung was like this.

Glancing down Kyungsoo could see Yixing’s dazed expression was still set in place and he could more clearly see the bruises he had first glimpsed back in the office. 'Whatever happened couldn't have been good'. Yixing had been missing for a few days now and Kyungsoo didn't want to assume (that was Baekhyun's job), but it was hard not to assume the worst when you're dragging your battered hyung alongside you down an arena hallway just before your performance.

He couldn't help but sigh at the whole situation, if not cry really.

This whole week had just gone so utterly and horribly...wrong.

This trip was supposed to be a new beginning for the pack, but then after the hotel everyone had felt lost and confused- he wasn't blinded though, unlike the rest of the pack. He understood in a sad, guilt-ridden way why Yixing had decided to move on.

But he absences at the following Exo events had shocked Kyungsoo. As far as he knew, his Aeris-loving hyung would have never missed a fan meet.

So to him, something seemed off about the whole thing.

Yixing had kept his secrets in the past, sure, but Kyungsoo truly believed Yixing had never been malicious in his intent (some members would disagree with him, but Kyungsoo knew better). It...it just seemed so out of character for Yixing to be so excited to see them in Japan but then turn around and sleep with his manager and skip out on schedules.

Kyungsoo shook his head trying to rid his mind of the mental image that came with the thought- he had to focus.

Shifting Yixing a bit as he started to slip, Kyungsoo gripped his hyung firmly as they continued their never-ending walk. His hyung felt so light- lighter than Kyungsoo could ever remember him being. He could feel Yixing's ribs sliding along his fingers as he breathed in and out. That most definitely wasn't normal, and he couldn't help but flinch at the feeling.

'Even Xing-hyung's scent wrong' he couldn't help but note, catching a wiff of it as they continued to shamble down the hallway. 'What even is that scent?' it seemed familiar in some way but it seemed so soured...what was it? It wasn't his 'normal' scent...

Do Kyungsoo was nearly %100 sure he was missing some piece of the puzzle somewhere, somehow.

 

The somber beta was brought out of his musings though as he looked up once more and spotted the resting place he had been looking for. A small metal bench off the main hallway, quiet ans secluded for the most part.

Gently Kyungsoo tapped his hyung's side to gain his attention, rewarded with a slight turn of the head from Yixing, Kyungsoo continued,” Hyung we're here."

Slowly, Kyungsoo pulled Yixing's pale arm from around his shoulder and carefully as he could maneuvered him onto the bench against the wall. Yixing let out a small huff as he was plopped down onto the cold surface, but said and did nothing more. His stillness worried Kyungsoo more than he would like to admit.

There were one or two staff walking around, but for the most part they had a bit of privacy for now in this small section of hallway.

"Hyung" he started off hesitantly, "Tell me what's happened...please."

Yixing seemed to choke on his own chuckle before mumbling, "I missed your straightforward nature Kyungsoo-yah". His tone sounded bitter and sad to Kyungsoo. His eyes slowly making their way to look into Kyungsoo’s own imploring ones.

This brought a small smile to Kyungsoo's face briefly. It had been too long since he had received praise from his last Chinese hyung, he had missed the cute lilt Yixing had when he spoke Korean- and it warmed his worried heart. Until a shadow moved past behind him and Yixing's face contorted into one of deep sorrow and shame.

"Yah, Zhang-ssi" along with a disappointed hiss sounded from behind him and the familiar voice had him whirling around in surprise.

 

 

 

 


 

 

'Yunho- sunbaenim...'

Yixing's eyes had warily caught onto the tall, styled form of the TVXQ member just as the man had opened his mouth- from the cold look in his eyes Yixing had quickly deduced what would come next. Yunho-sunbaenim was normally a passionate and caring person, inverse to that cold hard look he was receiving- it was like another knife to his battered heart.

'I just can't stop fucking everything up, can I?' his heart dropped as he resigned himself to his fate- if even Yunho was angry at him, then everyone must hate him.

"Yah, Zhang-ssi” Yunho’s face twisted into a sneer that looked unfit to be on his normally cheery face. The taller man released a huff of air through his teeth- like a hiss- Korean for 'You done fucked up'.

'I deserve that... I'm just letting everyone down-'

Yunho opened his mouth to probably hurl more at him, so Yixing ducked his head in shame, ready to receive the verb lashing...but it never came.

 

"Yunho-Sunbaenim, I'm pretty sure I heard BoA-sunbaenim was asking for you earlier- I think she's in her dressing room now."

'Huh?'

"Really?" the surprised, light tone did not match the look Yunho had been wearing not a moment earlier. The whiplash had Yixing quickly looking up to figure out what the heck had just happened, only to find Kyungsoo grinning as Yunho began to sprint out of sight.

Kyungsoo then turned his large sparkling eyes to Yixing, giving a small shrug as he mischievously whispered, "He's whipped for her, and he was about to make an ass out of himself".

Yixing couldn't find it in his tired state to look away from the glittering eyes of his handsome dongsaeng, his large chocolate eyes had always been Yixing's kryptonite- and right now they were directed right at him, sparkling with mirth.

Before Yixing could even think of an answer Kyungsoo smoothly slid down to sit next to him- far enough away that they didn't physically touch but close enough to talk. Kyungsoo's eyes suddenly became serious and the sparkle disappeared. The actions caused Yixing's eyes to shutter into an empty look once more. Of course, Kyungsoo was probably is angry with him too, maybe even disgusted.

'He knows you were with Taehyung that night, of course he's disgusted. Wait! What if Yunho knows? What if everyone knows? His look cold, his sneer full of loathing, he had to have known then, right!?"

"Hyung" the deep, smooth voice drew him back to reality for a moment and his eyes locked with worried chocolate colored eyes once more. But Yixing was too frantic to hold his gaze for more than a second before jumping up.

"Ah!" he let out a pained huff at the sudden strain to his weak muscles, almost falling in his haste- but it didn't stop his panicked mind from forcing him into action. His hands shook in fear and his body twitched, causing him to move back and forth, not knowing which way to go, which way to run to- to run away from this nightmare. He had to-

"Hyung!" soft, firm hands grasped his biceps, and firmly led him to sit down once more- Yixing didn't know why but his body instinctually followed the firm hand's guiding him. Kyungsoo was now kneeling in front of him, worry was now gone- replaced with fear. "Hyung, what's wrong?" Kyungsoo seemed slightly panicked as well, quickly scanning Yixing's body up and down.

'I can't tell you, I can't tell anyone' Yixing just shook his head, tears in his eyes.

'I don't want you to know the truth- you'll be disgusted like everyone else' he continued to shake his head as he trembled.

"Hyung?" Kyungsoo's hands slipped away as he leaned back, hands held up in a soothing gesture, or maybe he was getting ready to run- to leave, just like everyone else. The loss of Kyungsoo's touch sent him reeling further into his panicked state.

"I can't Soo! Yixing suddenly cried out as he rocked back and forth, unable to look at his sweet dongsaeng.

"I -I- I can't t-tell you, Taehyung will punish me, y-you'll hate me! I can't live like that anymore, Soo-yah I can't- I don't w-want to be hurt anymore" Yixing cried as wrapped his arms around himself, his sobs now filling the hallway.

Kyungsoo stood suddenly, the only thing left in his line of sight were the younger's shiny black shoes.

Yixing gripped himself harder as his heart began to crack 'I knew it, he is leaving, he’s disgusted- he's leaving, he's-'

Abruptly two warm, comforting arms swiftly made their way around his shivering body, the warmth radiated something...something that felt like a soothing balm to his pain ridden body. Yixing subconsciously leaned into the warmth, his body sagging and shivering slightly as it gave out from the sudden panic.

Hadn't he just been panicking? What was happening?

His head was fuzzy and he was consumed by a sharp but fresh scent of earth grass that had fully enveloped him. He felt like he was in the clouds- snuggling closer to the center of the scent his lips brushing against the smooth neck of Kyungsoo.

'Aah, that's what it was...Soo-yah' his fuzzy mind supplied sluggishly.

Yixing took deep breaths of said scent like he was drowning, like his sanity depended on inhaling as much of that lovely scent as possible. God, he had missed Kyungsoo's scent.

As he nuzzled against the young vocalist something drifted through the haze.

"Xing-ah...what have we done to you" it had been whispered so sorrowfully soft into his ear he almost hadn't heard it.

 

 

 

 


 

 

The strange atmosphere from the office seemed to hang in the air even after the managers whisked Exo out and over to the arena wings for standby. They only had one more song to perform before getting ready for the finale, but looking around he could see he wasn't the only one feeling exhausted by the emotional rollercoaster they had just disembarked from.

Chanyeol was quiet and solemn, only looking down at his feet- unusual for sure. Jongdae seemed almost frozen, his face gave of the impression he was still shell shocked- Junmyeon wasn't surprised. The omega had moved to help Yixing after he collapsed in the office, but Kyungsoo had pushed him away with a glare before moving to help Yixing himself own. Jongdae had stood there, staring at the duo with shocked eyes as they exited and his expression hadn't changed in the past 10 minutes.

Baekhyun and Sehun stood together, hands held, but they too were quiet and reserved- only mumbling a few words here and there when nagged by the managers. Jongin and Minseok stood on either side of Junmyeon, so he could literally feel the anxious and nervous energy radiating from them. Since they had left the office Jongin had been constantly flipping between teary eyed and glaring a hole into Minseok. Minseok on the other hand had remained stoic like a rock, but by his soured scent Junmyeon could tell he was unnerved by the events in the office.

Junmyeon was a bit resigned, definitely worried, but mostly confused-

'Why did Yixing have those bruises? Where had he been? Where had Kyungsoo dragged him off too?' He had no idea and it not knowing things bothered him because the leader had to know everything about their members and not knowing made him a bad leader so-

His spiraling anxiety was interrupted by a sharp slap to his shoulder, he jumped at the sudden pain, looking to the offender on his left.

"Yah! Jongin-ah that's no way to treat your hyung!" he hissed in anger; his worn nerves were not helping his patience- he almost felt bad for snapping but the almost-maknae had hit him!

Jongin shook his head subtly, before shifting his eyes to Junmyeon's right, jutting out his chin, signaling for him to take notice of something.

Junmyeon gave a small glare of annoyance before also shifting his gaze over to the entrance of the stage wing- 'oh'

 

There, in all of his glory, stood Zhang Yixing, Exo's Lay- decked out in a black cut-off shirt and form fitting blue denim jeans. If it weren't for the obvious bruises and weight loss, Junmyeon would quite possibly be turned on by the comma- style hair and bad boy look. But sorrow and anxiety rolled off Yixing in waves and a strange scent filled the space- it wasn't Yixing's normal manufactured scent...at least not fully. There was a hint of the fake scent, but something softer and fresher pushing through his senses.

'Has...has his scent changed? ... Did SM change it?'

Junmyeon 's eyes caught Yixing’s for a moment before looking away, ready to nearly throw up his dinner.

'Yixing's eyes they're- they look...dead' his heart dropped to the floor at the thought.

A small vindictive part of his mind told him he should be happy that Yixing wasn't happy- that he was the one who had chosen the manager over them. But he ignored that feeling, knowing that something wasn't right, knowing he needed to find answers before assuming what that dead gaze meant- it wouldn't be fair to be so spiteful without hearing from the Chinese member himself, he reconciled.

He really needed to talk to Yixing to get to the bottom of this once and for all. He watched as Yixing hesitantly glanced around and ducked his head.

At the very least, does he still want to be a part of the pack? They had offered and Junmyeon didn't feel right withdrawing the offer just yet.

A week ago, Junmyeon thought he knew the answers to that question, but now he really had no idea what to think.

"Are you ready for E-X-O?!!!!"

"Ahhh!!!" the roar of the fans fell flat to him for the first time ever; Junmyeon couldn't bring himself to feel the same excitement the fans were- all he could feel was mounting dread. He quickly looked back over at Yixing once more, only to find Kyungsoo holding tight to Yixing's hand rushing the stage, moving quickly past the rest of Exo. Again, the scent that rolled off Yixing confused him, momentarily giving him pause, before Jongin started pushing him out onto the stage hastily.

'I hope I can talk to Yixing after this' he glanced over again as the music started, from the first beat Yixing seemed to fumbled his steps and did most of the choreography half-heartedly. Yep, they were definitely having a talk after this.

 

Sadly, he wouldn't get the chance.

 

The moment the performance ended they were rushed to the dressing rooms and then the stylists descended upon them- the finale of SMTown was next and they all had to be in their t-shirts before going back on stage.

Junmyeon tried to quickly find a way out of the throng of stylists after they had forced the shirt onto him. Once accomplished he tried to spot Yixing but he couldn't see him anywhere at the moment.

He did however notice Kyungsoo- the only member to have interacted with Yixing today- talking hurriedly with Jongin and Chanyeol, both looking at Soo with rapt attention. Moreover Jongdae and Baekhyun were doing a horrible job trying to subtly eavesdrop on the hushed conversation. Seeing a golden opportunity to finally get some answers he moved to approach the trio-

"Myoennie! It's time to go!" 'What?' Minseok was calling him over to follow the managers out.

Junmyeon pouted a bit at his hyung's horrible timing "But I-"

One of the managers closest to him swiftly silenced him, "Not now Junmyoen-ssi, whatever it is deal with it later- right now you have a job to do".

The manager wasn’t wrong and Junmyeon knew he had no leg to stand on so he sullenly followed the manager and Minseok out of the dressing room and back to the arena. He could feel Sehun move up behind him to follow them, the young alpha giving off a very heavy melancholic scent, similar to the smell of dust, instead of the heady scent of fresh earth he usually exudes. He silently followed his hyungs, not speaking a word- only looking at the ground thoughtfully.

Leaning over close to his alpha Junmyeon whispered, "Minseok we need to talk with Yixing ASAP okay- the moment this is over we go find him okay?"

Minseok gave him an openly surprised and worried look, but Junmyeon could see the hesitance in his hyung's eyes as well, his normally soothing coffee scent still soured in anxiety. After a beat the head alpha nodded, taking Junmyeon's hand and giving it a reassuring squeeze. Reaching back Minseok slipped his other hand into Sehun as well.

In his head Junmyeon repeated one mantra as they walked farther and farther away from the dressing room, 'Everything is going to be okay. Everything is going to be okay.... Everything is going to be okay.'

 

 

 

 


 

 

Baekhyun now sat alone in the dressing room, the other members had either been dragged off by managers or walked out to head to the stage. But some of the things he had overheard bothered him, and Yixing was still in the small bathroom just off the dressing room, getting changed- which was also strange but he chose not to dwell on that at the moment. He had made a spur of the moment decision to stay and talk with Yixing himself. Because no one was telling him anything and it annoyed Baekhyun to no end...he was too nosy to not know.

 

-------------------

 

Kyungsoo was standing not too far away from Baekhyun leaning in close with Jongin and Chanyeol in the corner of the dressing room, conversing quietly- and by the wary looks shot his way, Baekhyun got the hint that he wasn't invited. But that didn't stop him from being nosy, it wasn't his style to follow the rules or listen to anyone, not even the company. So Kyungsoo's and Jongin's icy glares didn’t really hinder him from leaning close and tilting his head just right so he could strain to hear:

"Yixing was panicking hyung, he couldn't even say his name without trembling in fear..."

......

"...seriously he needs us now hyung, we have to talk to him..."

.....

"I don't think it's that simple Channie..."

"...after-"

Baekhyun was standing now, moving closer to the trio of whisperers- he could barely hear a damn thing!

Just as he had moved into an optimum position-

"Kyungsoo-ssi, Jongin-ssi let’s go!" a manager called from the entrance. The three looked up in surprise before moving as a group to the door, Chanyeol following along, probably to continue their secret little conversation.

Baekhyun sighed, it was just his luck. Turning back towards Jongdae he had just began to make his way over when-

*smack!*

Jongin had passed by Baekhyun and Jongdae on his way to the door and he had forcefully shoved Baekhyun out of the way, making him stumble forward a few steps, almost falling into Jongdae's lap!

“Ya! Kim Jongin!” Jongdae's loud scream in his ear leaves his head ringing a bit and he almost falls over as Jongdae pushes him to the side as well, moving to follow Jongin. However, Jongdae’s loud cries of anger seemed to fall on deaf ears (unlikely) as the trio swiftly kept moving down the hallway out of sight. Obviously annoyed at being ignored Jongdae went out the door as well yelling loudly all the way.

Baekhyun would have been touched by Jongdae's concern if he wasn't so angry about being shoved out of the way like a fucking piece of furniture! Not by one but TWO of his pack members!

'Ugh- just let it go Baekhyun, were all stressed. Just let it go', he consoled himself as he took a deep, calming breath before straightening his slightly skewed SMTown shirt.

 

-----------------------

 

So- here he was, still lounging on the couch, pouting but also debating with himself.

'What should I ask Yixing about first? he sighed as ten million questions ran through his mind. None of them seemingly good to start with.

'....it all really started with the hotel, so…' but Baekhyun physically flinched at the memory, he didn't really want to talk about that yet...shaking the thought away he continued his internal debate.

'Maybe I'll start off with the flight to Japan, because he was definitely lying when he told SooMan he had just somehow been delayed for half a day-Yixing's always been a terrible liar...except for when he's good at it'. Dark memories of the past sour his mood and he sighs, feeling like he'd probably be better off just talking with Yixing later.

Yixing probably wouldn't talk to him anyways- he had always shown clear dislike for Baekhyun even from the beginning; always taking everyone else's side, always arguing with him, disapproving of him at every turn. Truly Baekhyun had been surprised when he and Yixing'd had a simple and pleasant conversation, just the two of them, two weeks ago. Back when they all thought Yixing would be theirs...

Deep down Baekhyun feared all of this was his fault really.

Yixing had probably never liked him and never would, so why would he want to join into a pack with him....either way, Yixing had chosen the manager instead of Exo- it did not however stop the painful twinge in his heart at the thought.

To be honest... in his weakest and darkest moments, he sometimes wondered if anyone actually loved him- because...deep down Baekhyun knew Zhang Yixing was a good person (no matter how much they fought), and if Yixing of all people disliked him...

Baekhyun shook his head, shoving those fears back down into the deepest depths of his mind. Chanyeol and Jongdae were always the ones to encourage him when he started to doubt their bond. But they weren't here now and Baekhyun was finding it difficult to find his way out of his morose feelings.

He needed-

He needed to leave.

With a sad sigh Baekhyun stood to make his way back to stage, he didn't want to be feeling this way when he confronted Yixing; he didn't want to feel so weak and raw- he knew he would probably only make things worse if he did...like he always does. And seeing how poorly Yixing had looked, he probably didn't deserve the hot mess that is Byun Baekhyun at the moment.

'Let's talk another time Xing-hyung' he dispiritedly thought as he glances one last time to the closed door that led to the bathroom.

 

He really should have been more aware of his surroundings though because just as he turned towards the entrance he was painfully bowled over and knocked to the ground.

"Ah!" he yelled out as he landed funny on his side, his elbow digging into his ribs uncomfortably. "What the hell" he choked out rolling over to lever himself back into a standing position to confront the idiot who had decided to run into a room like a raving idiot. The moment he looked up however, he froze, locking eyes with the new arrival.

"Choi- hyungnim?" the situation suddenly felt a bit unreal. Standing there was none other than Yixing's missing manager Choi Taehyung.

Taehyung looked a bit worse for wear; clothes a bit rumpled, hair messy, and a dark thundering look in his eyes. The larger beta loomed a bit over Baekhyun moving almost uncomfortably close.

"Where might find Yixing?" he asked in a sickly-sweet voice.

A shiver of disgust ran down his spine at the request. "Wouldn't you like to know" he retorted snidely, annoyed merely by the man's presence.

The beta's eye seemed to twitch in annoyance, ‘Ha, good, now we're even', Baekhyun did a small vindictive cheer inside. Taehyungs next words though quickly stifled his little moment.

"I need to see Yixing, now. I know he's in here- so move out of the way if you’re going to be so useless, you prude-ass omega" Taehyung hissed out, eyes flashing in anger as he moved to walk around Baekhyun.

Baekhyun’s eyes flashed immediately in anger at the harsh words suddenly hurled at him. Quickly he moved to intercept Taehyung as the beta moves farther into the dressing room, 'Of course, all he wants is Yixing- but insults really? Now you've stepped over a line'

"Excuse me, rude- ass beta, but only Exo members are allowed beyond this point" Baekhyun said with a forced smirk of confidence. He normally would never talk to a manager like this but for this slimeball he would make an exception, if not only to see the absolute fury his words incite.

And just as he'd thought, his words bring the beta to a complete stand still.

 

His victorious feelings are short lived because the beta now turns fully towards Baekhyun, giving him his full and undivided attention. Stepping right into his personal space the beta exudes a pungent scent of dominance that has Baekhyun’s stomach turning. Taehyung then leers at him in a way that makes his skin crawl.

"What did the little omega just say to me?"

His figure was not horribly intimidating, but the wild look in Taehyung's eyes had Baekhyun wavering.

But Baekhyun was not known as a particularly submissive person- it would take more than a cold look and a fucking scent bath to ward him off. Baekhyun rolled his shoulders back, pulling a sly smirk as he laid down his metaphorical ace.

"I mean… at the meeting we had,” Baekhyun playfully glances at his blank wrist, “30 minutes ago, they seemed to frown upon your actions Taehyung-nim, tsk tsk" He finished his vindictive performance with a quick wag of his finger in condemnation. That froze Taehyung dead in his tracks, his eyes widening- many emotions seemed to pass across his face before he pulled a look of guarded anger.

Seeing he now had the upper hand, Baekhyun continued, "I heard they might even fire you manager-nim" whispering conspiratorially for good measure, 'And now for the final blow.'

"You're welcome" Baekhyun gave a sarcastic bow and a devious little giggle just to drive home how much fun this was for him, damn he loved being a bitch sometimes.

 

Taehyung seemed to lose his fighting spark for a moment, "You? You told them? Wait...what exactly did you tell them?"

Briefly his mind flitted back to the moment in the hotel hallway when he and Sehun realized Yixing had moved on. Hearing the sounds and scents drifting through the door- Sehun's crushed look as he realized what was happening. He knew, even at the time, it was Yixing’s choice to be with whoever he wanted to- but his heart still stung from the memory of that horrible night.

It ignited a sudden cold fury withing him and his devious smirk dropped into a icy glare, "Hotel rooms aren't sound proof hyung, didn't you know that?" Baekhyun spitefully spat.

It did feel good to see Taehyung's face pale in momentary fear yet in milliseconds Taehyung's eyes became feiry with fury.

“How the fuck did you find out?" the manager growled out low and dangerous.

He could see Taehyung fuming and it made him sickly gleeful to see the man who ruined their perfect plan to bring Yixing into the pack looking so...well, ruined. A smirk had made it's way onto his face once more without him knowing and it only served to make Taehyung even more angry.

"You fucking useless omega-" Taehyung began to yell but abruptly stopped, looking over Baekhyun’s left shoulder as his pupils dilated even further.

"T-t-taehyung?" the breathy whisper behind him had him turning his head, away from the angered man in front, to a cowering form behind him.

'Well crap.'

Baekhyun had gotten so lost in infuriating Taehyung that he had forgotten who was also still in the dressing room, the man of the hour- Yixing.

 

But something was definitely off. Yixing was looking at Taehyung like he was a demon coming for his soul, his eyes were wide as saucers and the utter fear he displayed gave Baekhyun pause.

'Aren't they together though?' glancing back to Taehyung he could almost smell the lust he saw displayed on Taehyung's face- he almost looked...deranged really. 'That can't be healthy'. Comparing the expressions of the two supposed lovers instantly told him one thing though, 'something is most definitely not right here...' glancing back at his cowering bandmate he deduced one more thing as well, 'I definitely can't leave Yixing with him'.

Turning back towards Taehyung, with his back to Yixing, Baekhyun decided it was time to get out before the bad energy in this room imploded.

"Ugghh, knock it off man, not again! " Baekhyun yelled out loudly, waving at the air between them with one hand as he took a few steps backwards and subtly reached out his other hand towards Yixing. "The pheromone bath is so old school, ugghh".

Taehyung briefly took his eyes off of Yixing, 'finally' but now they were zeroed in on Baekhyun, 'fuck'.

"We- um, we need to get to a performance now, so... " Baekhyun flashed his biggest fakest smile, while the hand behind him hung in the air, waiting for Yixing to grab it.

When it did happen though, the feel of Yixing's hand is his own took him by surprise. A tingling, warm sensation traveled up his arm, then down his spine- his body giving a subtle shudder. Even his mind entered a bit of a haze as Yixing moved closer to him, 'Shake it off Byun, focus'.

Baekhyun cleared his throat and continued, "So you'll have to excuse us if we leave without you." Again flashing a sarcastic smile, all the while moving towards the exit, Yixing following close behind.

They were almost to the door way when Taehyung spoke, low and calm "I think not".

Baekhyun realized in that moment he had made a fatal mistake- he had turned his eyes to the exit and not on Taehyung.

If he had been watching the manager more closely, he probably would have seen the solid fist headed straight for his head before it collided painfully with his skull.

"Baekhyunnie!!"

He didn't really know what was happening, it had been so fast. One moment he had been on his feet, Yixing's hand in his. Now he was off his feet? Maybe? Fire works of pain blossoming behind his eyes- then suddenly it all stopped with a sharp smack. Pain and darkness engulfed all of his senses and he knew no more.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Yixing stared in absolute horror as Baekhyun hit the hard, solid brick wall next to him. immediately slumping down the floor like a limp puppet with cut strings. The sickening thud had bile creeping up to the back of his throat, but the stillness- oh go, the deadly stillness of his bandmate scared him to his core. It happened so fast, one moment he held Baekhyun's warm, strong hand in his- then the next Baekhyun's hand was ripped from his own as the lithe omega was thrown off his feet by Taehyung's left hook.

'Oh god, please don't be dead!'

In shock, Yixing had cried out for his dongsaeng and terror welled up inside of him as he stared at the unconscious form of Byun Baekhyun. So many emotions flashed by as the moment sunk in. Baekhyun, Byun Baekhyun had tried to save him, and now he was lying on the floor, tossed aside by Taehyung like a paper doll.

Shaking, Yixing gave Taehyung's looming frame a brief- fear filled glance, flinching at the wild man he glimpsed there, before scrambling over to help Baekhyun.

"Baekhyunnie!!"

Yixing couldn't explain it, but the sheer panic of thinking the omega wasn't breathing drove him feral. Yixing's deft fingers clambered to find a pulse and reassure himself. Before he could even feel it though he was suddenly ripped away by a powerful grip that brought back horrifying memories of being help down on a hotel bed.

The memory alone had him writhing in sheer panic, "No! No!! Let go! Stop Taehyung, please just stop!" the memories wouldn't stop flooding his mind- the hands around his throat, the bruising fingers at his hips, the teeth on his collar bone. "Stop it! Stop it! I said no!!" he screamed out as tears cascaded down his cheeks. He floundered wildly, trying to hit what was holding him, trying to get away, anything!

"Ooof!" The breath was knocked out of him as he was thrown to the ground, pain exploded behind his eyes and fire alighted his back. His ears ringing loudly, leaving him dizzy and defenseless.

He could feel more than see the monster that now crouched above him, hovering over him before forcing his hand over Yixing's mouth to muffle his screams. The sadistic gleam in Taehyung's eyes as they locked gazes never wavered as he watched Yixing continue to writhe in panic and pain.

Yixing could feel a wetness develop behind his head, he couldn't tell if it was tears or blood, he couldn't think of anything really, only the panic of survival. He fought even harder now, trying to kick his legs out but all they could do was weekly wobble as pain continued to spear him in the back.

Taehyung sneered down at him, "You fucking omegas," glancing back behind him he motioned to the fallen form of Baekhyun, “you’re all so weak and helpless- it's fucking pathetic." He gave a strangely pained look before continuing, "And you would pick that bitch" pointing with a sharp gesture over his shoulder, before pointing back to himself, "over me?! I'm hurt Yixing. Do you know how many times I had to console you because of that waste of space over there? huh?! Then you go and try and run out on me, holding hands with the same filth I saved your from." Taehyung gave him an ugly sneer of disapproval.

"I'm so much better than these acks of shit baby- and you know it. How could you run out on me after all I gave you that night-ahhhh!" Taehyung jumped back, cradling the hand that Yixing had given the hardest bite he could. Yixing took the opportunity to scramble backwards, as far from the monster as he could, pain singing in his head the entire time.

"You fucking bit me?! You stupid omega bitch!"

Yixing closed his eyes, raising his arms in a feeble attempt to protect himself as Taehyung lunged forward once more.

 

 

*SMACK!!*

*thud*

"Wrong again asshole, I'm the bitch here- get it right."

Yixing's eyes snapped open, arms falling open to see a bloodied Byun Baekhyun breathing raggedly over a fallen Choi Taehyung, watching in shock at Baekhyun delivered another swift kick to Taehyung's side- the beta remained unmoving on the ground. Baekhyun stumbled a moment, grabbing his side in pain, but deftly stepped over the fallen beta, shuffling forward until he made it to Yixing, who still sat frozen in a state of shock.

"B-Beakhyunnie?"

"Ne?" Baekhyun breathed out as he knelt down to Yixing's level, gently helping Yixing sit up fully. A twinge of pain had him flinching but the pain was not a bad as before thank goodness.

They sat in silence for a moment, only Baekhyun’s pained breathing filled the otherwise dead silent room.

"H...hyung?" Baekhyun has spoken first, he seemed a bit out of breath and wary but also...guilty? It was hard to tell, but his posture was slumped and his eyes pleading.

"Hyung, are- are you" Baekhyun slowly and gently lifted a hand to cup Yixing's neck and traced his jaw with his thumb, "an omega?"

Yixing jolted at the touch and the words.

"Hyung" Baekhyun then leaned in trying to give off calming pheromones, all the while trying to scent Yixing, trying to find the truth- needing the truth. "Did you…" he paused, nose twitching as his eyes widened in horror, "did you just present this week?!" the words came out garbled and wet as he listened to Baekhyun choke on his words, as he watched Baekhyun seemed to break right in front him. The younger omega tilted his head downward in a sincerely innocent look that pleaded for his hyung to tell him he was wrong, that he was mistaken.

Yixing remained silent feeling empty as Baekhyun revealed it all, tears still silently streaming down his face.

"H-h-h-yung-gie!" Baekhyun cried out, outright sobbing now- hands twitching, wanting ing to frantically console his hyung somehow. Instinctually though, he knew it was futile.

He dropped his head in shame- he couldn't bear to look at the hyung he had obviously failed so spectacularly.

His shoulders shook with repressed sobs, "H-y-yung, he- he did-dn't" he stopped to sniffle, "at the hotel, d-don't tell me he-" Baekhyun choked on his words once more. He felt Yixing's shoulders begin to shake and that was all the answer he needed.

'Fuck.... that fucking bastard- how could he- to Xing, how could he-'

The younger omega shook his head, unable to complete the thought, letting out a sob of true sorrow as he lifted both hands to clutch the sides of Yixing's face, raising his eyes to link eyes with his poor broken hyung.

"Why!" he forced out between sobs, tears and snot streaming down both their faces as they cried their hearts out, "Why..."he let out in a whisper, "you should have told us, we- we -we should have been there for you- hyungie! How could he..." Baekhyun fell forward as Yixing suddenly scrambled out of his hold and bolted for the door.

"Hyung!"

"Hyung!"

 

 

 

 


 

 

Yixing moved as if on autopilot, he didn't know which way was up, down, left, right- he just went where his legs took him.

He stumbled past a few pre-occupied staff members.

He could hear the SMTown finale playing.

'I'm supposed to be there'

'I have to get on stage'

He moved almost like a zombie into the stage wings where he was greeted by the loud roars of the crowd just meters out of sight.

'I- I- don't know what-'

A hand guided him by the arm to the edge of the stage, just a step away from the lights and cameras of the arena.

"Hurry up, go, you almost missed the finale!"

The hand gave him a small push, but that's all he needed to be sent reeling, feet stumbling over one another as dizziness took over for a moment. As soon as the world stopped spinning, he began to recognize details and the full roar of the crowd finally penetrated is ears. He could see many of the SM Artists were down stage meters away, only a few NCT members and a few SUJU members remained near the other side of the main stage, playing around, smiling.

Yixing just couldn't seem to find his balance, much less smile at all the adoring fans that screamed from below. He found himself awkwardly standing towards the edge of the stage unmoving, trying to grasp reality. After a few moments he robotically moved to wave and bow through his pain to thank the crowd of fans like they always did. But it all felt completely unreal and he couldn't focus fully on the reality of the moment.

Taehyung had literally had him pinned not minutes ago, hurting him, slandering him- and now- now Baekhyun knew everything and soon all of Exo would know- would be repulsed by him. Oh God, and NCT as well, oh God please no.

He despondently looked over to where his babies stood just meters away and traced the length of the stage with his gaze, trying to find them all. Maybe they already knew, maybe that's why no one came to find him...

 

He stood there on the stage alone, a cold creeping feeling of despair passing through his hazy mind.

 

Slowly tears welled up in his eyes once more, realizing the sweet faces of the fans before him were the only people left who possibly didn't know and possibly even cared and he couldn’t even properly bow to them in thanks. His back was hurting even worse than before now and the muscles refused to stretch...and...they would all hate him soon anyways, once the news broke.

His mind became blank as he coldly and sullenly examined the height of the main stage, and the distance of the guards, from the fans; he didn’t want to live like this and he certainly didn’t want to leave this stage only to be under Taehyung’s thumb once more. He didn’t want to leave this stage and return to outraged colleagues and loaded threats from management.

He just

He just wanted it all to end.

.

.

.

His only regret is that seeing this might put some of the fans off, but how many of them were even here for him? Did he have any fans anymore?

He slowly slipped down a dark hole of doubt. And with gentle jabs it slowly coerced him towards the edge of the stage.

Only fr a moment did Yixing waiver near the edge of the stage, alone...

Just one more step...just one more...

"Hyung-nim?"

"Hyung!"

Apologizing in his head to the precious fans all watching him intently- he gives into that gentle nudge, stepping forward into the empty air, a small smile on his face. Finally, maybe wouldn't have to feel this pain anymore. Maybe he would be free.

"Hyung!!!"

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Renjun had been antsy all night, a bad feeling that hadn't left him alone.

After Yixing had been taken to see Lee Sooman-nim. He had intently watched his hyung stumble around on the monitor as Exo performed their final stage before the finale. Then he diligently stood with Jeno and Jaemin as they waited for Exo to show up to the finale. So, they waited, and waited, until finally the managers forced them onto the stage for the finale.

Still- no Yixing-hyung.

The whole finale Renjun kept glancing to the wings no matter where they were on stage. He wouldn't rest until he saw Yixing-hyung for himself. Taeyong and Johnny knew exactly how he felt ( having heard Yixing's parting words as well, ominous as they were) and they seemed to share the same sentiment because they too kept close eyes on the main stage.

So, it was a surprise to the three of them when it was ChenLe who loudly called out "Yixing hyung!"

Whirling around to look for themselves, they saw Yixing stumbling out looking uncertain and dazed. The moment Renjun saw him though he felt a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. Their group wasn't too far from the main stage and from this distance he could make out most of the details on his hyung, but something seemed off, he seemed to be acting strange. At one moment Yixing even glanced over him and then looked away without even waving!

At this point Renjun had started to move quicker, make his way closer, eyes never leaving Yixing's form. He was only four meters away when suddenly Byun Baekhyun burst out from the wings just in front of him nearly knocking Renjun over.

"Hyung-nim?"

Looker closer what he noticed made the feeling of dread worse.

'That was..that was blood on Baekhyun's head!'

Baekhyun seemed to pay him no mind though as he continued on. rushing past him, dashing towards Yixing.

"Hyung!"

Renjun didn't know it then, but the sight that lay just before him would haunt him for years to come.


There at the edge of the stage stood his sweet precious Xing-hyung, and from this angle he saw there was blood dripping down Yixing’s head as well. This alone had Renjun moving, same as Baekhyun, towards Yixing.

Then Xing-hyung gave the smallest, saddest smile Renjun had ever seen- and in that moment it broke his heart in two.

'No, no!' he just knew, he knew what was happening now- and what would follow.

His precious hyung moved forward taking a graceful step forward, as if to simply walk on the air, before plummet downward 10 feet to the concrete below.

'NO!!' he internally screeched, he wouldn't make it. "Hyung!"

 

But bless Byun Baekhyun, because Yixing only just started to tilt downwards when the power vocalist dove forward, quickly latching onto Yixing's arm. The momentum of his lower body however still took Yixing over the edge, dragging Baekhyun with him.

"No!" Renjun was small, Renjun had very little muscle- but nothing would stop him from saving his hyung!

Renjun dove wildly forward and latched onto Baekhyun's legs, anchoring them to the stage, just as Baekhyun's torso was about to go over as well.

"Hyung!" he could hear Baekhyun desperately cry, "Xing-hyung!"

"Renjun stay there" Jeno called as he ran up to help, panic clearly in his voice, "Just stay there! I'm going to help Baekhyun-hyungnim." Renjun watched in unabashed relief as Jeno swiftly move to crouch next to the older omega and begin to help pull Yixing back onto the platform. 'Oh thank God' he couldn't help but sigh in utter joy as Yixing was gently deposited onto the stage once more.

Johnny and Taeyong came running up, descending on them like worried parents, just as Renjun sat up from pinning Baekhyun's legs.

"Stop it, I need to see Yixing-Hyung!"

Renjun struggled out of the suffocating hug Taeyong was giving him as he watch Baekhyun struggle to sit upright, with the help of Johnny, and check over Yixing, who had not moved since he had been set onto the stage.

"Taeyong-hyung let me go!" but Taeyong wouldn't relent.

"No, not here Renjunnie", he ran a soothing hand down his back as he explained, "we need to get everyone off stage and get them checked okay, we can't do this out here, okay Injunnie".

It made some sense in the back of his mind but panic was at the forefront as Johnny and Jeno proceeded to carry Yixing off stage, only when they had passed by did Taeyong let Renjun go. Like a bullet Renjun rushed to his hyung's side, he hadn't even noticed he was crying but he saw the tear drops land on Yixing's shirt as Renjun hovered, checking his hyung over.

"Set him down here Jeno" Johnny called over to the younger as the finally made it into the wings.

 

Renjun knows he's frantic and hysteric but he doesn't give a shit- his beloved hyung is passed out, bleeding from God knows what!

Renjun pulled Yixing close and pets his face calling for him to wake up.

"X-x-xing-hyung! Come on!"

"We need you, wake up!"

But still he remained motionless, breathing but completely unconscious.

Renjun barely registered Taeyong carefully depositing the haggard form of Byun Baekhyun on all fours next to them, his breathing sounded terrible and pained, only his ragged coughs make Renjun turn and take a good look at him.

the omega's blood smeared hair now stuck to his brow with sweat, and his whole body shook with each cough. And after a moment of ragged choked breathes Baekhyun keeled forward, unmoving. This makes Renjun even more frantic.

"Hyungnim!" Renjun frantically calls out for help,” Taeyong! It's B-Baekhyun-hyungnim!"

Taeyong enters his line of sight in seconds looking worried and unsure, crouching down to help roll Baekhyun over.

"Baekhyun-hyungnim!" Taeyong calls as he begins to look over Baekhyun, Renjun turns his attention back to Yixing though. He knows others have come to see what was the matter; he heard Jaehyun's soothing voice somewhere behind him, there were at least two sets of hands on his back, silently comforting him- and then he heard Heechul-sunbaenim cry out behind him and soon felt the man clamber to settle down next to him.

Heechul-sunbaenim may even be talking to him- Renjun didn’t know. Everything was a blur, he couldn’t really hear anything much anymore. Renjun's sole focus was on Yixing, his loving, sweet, innocent hyung that lay broken before him. Dazedly he began to pet his hair lovingly as he cried.

'Is this what you meant when you said it would all be over soon? H-hyung...'

“W-w-we’re here hyung, it’s okay- we’re h-here now” he mumbles on repeat as he softly cries, gently stroking Yixing’s hair away from his pale, handsome face.

‘I promise you, I’m not going anywhere. I promise.’

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Zhang Yixing knew the world was cruel- most people thought he was a sweet innocent angel who could never understand the horrors everyone faced day to day. But of course, he did- he has to his own demons too.

In hindsight, his original dream had been innocent and naive, a dream of Exo as a pack all together. Slowly but surely though, he had been robbed of that lovely dream.

And this.

This is the result.

Laying on a thin white mattress, on a stretcher in an ambulance with emergency care staff and his racing thoughts to keep him company. He was vaguely aware someone was holding his hand.

But here he felt all alone, struggling to stay awake but… for some odd reason all he wants is his pack- 'oh wait...that's not right...I don’t have one…I'm just Zhang Yixing the freak omega'.

A small piece of his damaged heart cracked as he thought about how perfectly fine Exo would be… without him.

Yixing felt his throat close up as tears blurred his vision, a small painful wheeze filling his oxygen mask with condensation.

"Sir please stay awake" the EMT repeats loudly in English whenever his eyes begin to droop.

'It's no use...they don't want me, they never wanted me.' tears begin to slip down his pale cheeks to the white sheet below. Yixing ignores the insistent calls of the medic next to him and closes his eyes.

In his mind’s eye he broken heartedly conjures up that naive dream he once had; an image of 11 boys, all happily smiling at him, calling for Yixing to join them. But as Yixing moves closer the others move farther and farther away until they disappear into the darkness.

‘No! Please stay…st-stay ...with.... me…..please.......’

The loud wail of siren rings out through the cold, silent night as the ambulance races through the streets of Tokyo. An ambulance carrying a sweet angel who deserved the world and had been given hell instead. The loud noise drowns out the rest of the world as the angel slowly but surely drifts away...far, far away...