Being an omega in an idol group well known for their hip-hop sound (mostly anyway, since Jiho wanted their comebacks to all sound different from each other) wasn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do, of course. But Taeil took it in stride.
It had been worse when they were signed under Stardom Entertainment. The CEO at first wanted him to wear scent blockers, thinking that it would be easier for them to promote if they all had a more alpha tough image. Taeil wasn’t sure where the logic came in that, considering Kyung was also an omega and Jaehyo and Yukwon were both betas, but he supposed that being mated to an alpha would help mute that obvious omega scent (and of course Kyung and Jiho’s love story was something that Stardom had liked to flaunt before the lawsuit, having grown up together and Jiho following him all the way to New Zealand to bring him back to Seoul, the two of them having been mated since even before Taeil knew them. Nobody cared that it was technically illegal for two people to be mated while underage, their parents having given them permission to do it).
Thankfully at Seven Seasons, they didn’t care that he was an omega. He and Kyung were treated the same as everyone else, gender rank unimportant to the employees there. Their manager did hint several times that Taeil should look into getting a mate, not only because the other members started pairing off as well (it was obvious that Yukwon was going to mate with his alpha Minhyuk, the two of them purposely wanting to wait until the group’s next long break, and Jaehyo and Jihoon made an unlikely but still cute couple, the maknae having offered a proper courtship the day their music video for Shall We Dance was released), but also because unmated omegas usually got sent to the military once they were old enough.
That was the only reason why Taeil was sitting on a bench in what looked like a high school gymnasium with a large name tag pinned to his shirt and a green bracelet on his wrist to signify his rank, a red plastic cup filled with Coke in one hand and the other stuffed in his pocket as he resisted the urge to pull out his phone and play a game out of boredom. He looked around and pulled his hand back out to fiddle nervously with his turtleneck, Kyung and Yukwon having convinced him to cover up the large bat tattooed there in case it drove people away (not like it was going to be erased just because someone didn’t like his ink — Taeil wasn’t giving that up for anything). He dropped his hand quickly and huffed loudly, looking up at the clock across the room with a frown. It had already been three hours, and nobody had even bothered to approach him to even speak yet. Taeil was about to give up, finishing his coke and standing up so he could leave and go to bed (probably to cry himself to sleep — as much as he claimed that being unmated wasn’t a problem for him, it definitely hurt his heart that nobody cared enough to approach him, sending so many insecurities running through his brain that he could write a song to rival Jiho’s well written words).
“Hey, you’re Taeil right? From Block B?” A voice said from behind him, and Taeil turned around to look slightly up at the other. His eyes locked on the form of someone who was vaguely familiar to him, probably another idol from a group that didn’t necessarily rival Block B (Taeil had already come to terms with the fact that the group he was in wasn’t exactly popular , not standing a chance against a junior group that apparently had better… everything . All he knew is that they also started with a B, but he had listened to a few songs and couldn’t understand why they were so popular).
“That’s me.” Taeil said, giving the other a shy smile. He lifted his sleeve slightly to show off the green bracelet, the other man complying with the silent request and showing off his own bright red bracelet hanging loosely off his wrist beside a silver chain.
“I thought so. I just caught sight of the hat and wanted to come by and see who else is being dwarfed by the people here.” He said, and a tiny laugh spilled from the alpha’s lips before a hand was being held out to Taeil. “Kim Minseok, from EXO. More commonly known as Xiumin, but please don’t call me that.” The omega hesitated before reaching out with a tattooed hand to shake his hand, smiling lightly.
“Lee Taeil. Just known as Taeil. Also known as the one from Block B who’s short and obsessed with hats.” Taeil said, shrugging a shoulder before letting go of Minseok’s hand. “And the one who’s tattooed. The managers never let me live it down.”
“Ah yes, you just got a new one, didn’t you?” Minseok asked, moving a step closer to Taeil as they spoke. The omega tried to pin it onto the music being too loud and the alpha moved closer to hear him better, but he knew in the back of his mind that it wasn’t that at all (he couldn’t admit to himself that a handsome alpha wanted him , a small, tattooed omega who could be bratty at the best of times and hated listening to authority because he was older… no offence to Jiho, of course). “Dae-yah said that he really liked it, but our company won’t let him get one as big as it. It’s a bat, right?”
“Yes.” Taeil said, surprised that Minseok even knew what it was. Before he could think his actions through, the omega pulled down his turtleneck to show off the tattoo, and Minseok made a soft noise of what sounded like awe.
“May I?” Minseok said, moving forward a bit more, and Taeil nodded before even realising what the other was asking. Suddenly there were gentle fingertips brushing along his neck, and a shudder ran through the omega’s body when he realised that that’s all he was doing. The touch was still there for a few moments, and suddenly his skin was cold as the alpha pulled his hand back. “It looks really good, I like the tattoo. It suits you.” Taeil blushed as he pulled up the neck of his turtleneck quickly, ducking his head in a smile.
“You’d be the first to say that, honestly.” Taeil said, looking up at the other while biting his lip. There hadn’t been a single alpha that made him feel like a child again, and he registered the look from Minseok as meaning the same thing. They worked really well together, and Taeil hoped that he wasn’t reading into things. And having made skin contact a couple of times, Taeil could feel that Minseok was the alpha that matched his omega almost perfectly.
“I have to go because I’ve got an early schedule tomorrow.” Minseok said, and he looked apologetic as he pulled his phone out of his pocket. “I… could I get your number?”
“ Yes , oh my god.” Taeil blurted, covering his mouth as a startled laugh came out of Minseok’s lips. The smaller man shook his head and pulled his own phone out, the two of them exchanging numbers before tucking their own phones away. “I’ll walk you out, Minseok-ssi.”
“Please, just call me Minseok. I’m pretty sure we’re the same age.” The alpha said, reaching out to take Taeil’s hand in his gently. “I love your tattoos, hopefully you don’t have to cover them up as much.”
Minseok gently led Taeil outside, having picked up that Taeil was done being at this get together as well, and Taeil couldn’t help himself as he pressed a kiss to Minseok’s cheek once they were outside. The two of them looked at each other for a long moment before the alpha leaned back in, sealing their lips in a gentle but meaningful kiss.
“Lee Taeil, stop making out with your new boytoy and let’s go, we have schedules tomorrow!” A voice said, and Taeil pulled away from Minseok with a sheepish smile.
“You have schedules too?” The alpha said, returning the smile and caressing Taeil’s cheek gently. “I suppose we’ll see each other soon, then.”
“I hope so.” Taeil mumbled, reaching up onto his toes to connect their lips in another kiss. Minseok returned it softly, an arm sliding around Taeil’s tiny waist to pull them closer together. The omega promptly forgot that his leader was waiting for him, and he continued kissing Minseok until there was a clearing of the throat beside them. The two of them pulled away from each other to see Jiho standing next to Joonmyun, the two leaders looking at them amusedly.
“I’ll call you, okay?” Minseok said, pressing a quick kiss to Taeil’s lips before pulling away from him with a slight smile. “Text me so I know you got home safely.”
“I will!” Taeil said, allowing himself to be pulled away from the alpha by Jiho’s grip around his wrist. Nothing was said until the two of them were in the back of the van, one of their managers driving them back to the dorms.
“So, Xiumin of EXO?”
“Shut up, Jiho. And it’s Lee Taeil- hyung to you, disrespectful brat.”