“Seokjin, uh, hi”
“Hi, hyung,” Jin responded cheerily. He had the phone pressed between his ear and his shoulder as he washed the dishes, “do you need something?”
“Yes, actually,” Jaehwan sounded stressed, “I just rescued an S-hybrid from illegal trade?”
Jin almost let the phone fall in the water.
“You- you what ?” He yelped drying his hands and grabbing the phone. He could leave the dishes to soak… totally. “How?”
“We thought that we were doing a drug bust,” he explained slowly, “but it was more than just that. And, uh, we have a temperamental caracal in our hands. Someone almost lost their hand.”
Jin sighed, running his hand through his hair, “where are you?”
“Outskirts of seoul.”
“I’ll go to you.”
Jin wasn’t surprised to see police vehicles surrounding the area- most seemingly circled around something. Jin peered over the cars, his small ears flattening in surprise at the sight.
“You locked him in a cage?” He snapped at the nearest policeman, the latter flinching. Jin hurried to the cage, watching the caracal growl at him, ears flat against his head and tail curled up in the air.
Jin wrinkled his nose at the harsh stench of pheromones, a mix of aggression and fear staining in the air. Jin crouched down, doing his best to make his own scent calming and passive. The poor s-hybrid must’ve been terrified.
“Oh, Jin, thank goodness you’re here,” Jaehwan gasped. The caracal flinched at the sudden sound, hissing at the human.
“Shut up!” Jin ordered Jaehwan, “can’t you see he’s distressed?”
“Take everyone away,” Jin made a vague motion with his hand, “leave me with him.”
Jaehwan nodded, hurrying to tell everyone to back off the vehicles. Most policemen seemed disgruntled but did as told, leaving the sight.
Now Jin was all alone with the s-hybrid.
“Hey,” he said softly, sitting down besides the cage. The caracal growled at him. “Would you like to turn into a human so we could talk?” a snarl. Well, plan A was a fail. Jin sighed, knowing it would take a while for the caracal to even think of trusting him. God knows what the traders had done to him. Jin hoped that they’d treated him at least somewhat decently.
He sat there, humming to himself, making sure he was relaxed. If the caracal was as feral as he looked- he must have good senses, especially for pheromones. Jin didn’t bother glancing behind him to see if the s-hybrid had calmed down. He was patient, and he’d know once the caracal was ready.
Eventually, the pheromones from the caracal faded. The scent of fear and anger lifted from the air, and Jin slowly turned around. The caracal was staring at him with unreadable eyes, sitting upright with his tail wrapped around his paws. Now that Jin could see him clearly, he saw the cuffs over his paws, an ugly metal with no apparent lock or way to open. He had a stiff metal collar around his neck as well.
Jin hesitated, slowly reaching inside the cage, “Can I try to take those off?”
The caracal huffed, unamused. He didn’t move any closer, only stared at Jin’s outstretched hand.
“Do you not want to go into your human form?” Jin asked. He didn’t understand why the s-hybrid kept his animal form. “I can get you clothes, if you want.”
The caral bared his teeth in disagreement. Jin sighed, taking his hand back. The caracal was stubborn.
“I need you to cooperate with me, please,” Jin wasn’t sure, but he couldn’t smell any type of dominant pheromones coming from the caracal. Which was odd- most hunter species were dominant- but meant that Jin had an advantage. “I can’t let you out of this cage unless I know you won’t try to escape. I just want to help you.”
The caracal huffed, tip of his tail flicking.
“Go into your human form,” Jin ordered, using as much dominance as a pine marten half-hybrid could muster. He could smell his own dominant pheromones taint the air.
The caracal stilled, nostrils flaring. Slowly, his body started to change.
Jin opened the door to the cage, hurrying in and already taking off his jacket. He watched as the caracal shivered, growing in size and his feral attributes.
“Hey,” Jin said softly, wrapping his jacket around the caracal’s -now human- shoulders. The man before him had striking black hair with changed to a soft brown at the tips. It framed his face, long and unkept and almost curly by how messy it was. Jin noticed he had human ears along with hybrid ears, with two piercings in each lobe. The man lifted his face, staring at Jin with something akin to anger. His eyes were as dark as his hair, and had a cat-like shape to them. He didn’t seem to like getting bossed around. It was amazing how the caracal features affected the man’s face- the bottom of his nose was completely black, along with the philtrum all the way down to the cupid’s bow. His upper lip was black, too.
“Sorry about… Being bossy,” Jin apologized, resting his hand in the man’s lower back, “what’s your name?”
He stared at Jin with unreadable eyes, not saying a word.
“...You can talk, right?”
“Yes,” the caral responded, curling his lips as he spoke, revealing his canine-like teeth. His voice was deep and hoarse- as if he didn’t speak often.
“My name is Kim Seokjin,” Jin smiled at him, “pleased to meet you.”
“... Min Yoongi,” the caracal huffed, looking away.
Jin’s grin widened, “well then, pleased to meet you, Min Yoongi.”
Jin bared his teeth (which mind you, weren’t very threatening,) at the caracal, “just get in the car!”
“No!” Yoongi hissed, his tail twitching angrily behind him.
“Yoongi, please,” Jin sighed, his arm tired from holding the door open. “You’ve been in cars before, right?”
Yoongi didn’t bother answering, plopping down on the floor, hands together on the floor and legs spread. A very cat-like pose, really.
“Yoongi,” Jin growled. The caracal didn’t budge. “Just- please? I need to take you somewhere safe.” He crouched down besides the hybrid, exerting as much calm pheromones as he could, “please? For me?”
“Stop that,” Yoongi hissed, “that smell. Stop it. I know it’s you.”
Jin blinked, taken aback, “my pheromones?” did Yoongi not know what they were? “... Have you ever been in contact with another hybrid?”
Yoongi didn't answer.
Jin sighed, “whatever, just- please? You can trust me, I promise. I’ll take you somewhere warm. We’ll get these,” he pointed to Yoongi’s steel cuffs, “off you. You can take a warm bath. You can relax.” He leaned in close, cradling Yoongi’s cheek with his hand, “please?”
Yoongi’s ears dropped in submission, “fine.” he crawled inside the car, turning back into a caracal as he did so. Jin opened his mouth to argue, but decided to let him be. He closed the door as Yoongi curled into himself on the seat.
Yoongi didn’t let anyone else near him except for Jin. He’d growl and hiss and sometimes even turn back into his caracal form. A half-hybrid assistant almost lost a finger.
Rooming was even worse.
Since the place was an adoption center, hybrids had to room with each other. They were usually put together by species and genetics. Submissives were never put with dominants.
Jin tried to get Yoongi to room with some wild cat hybrids, all submissive. Cheetahs, servals, and ocelots. But Yoongi would instantly turn into his animal form and promptly try to bite everyone’s hands off.
“Seokjin-ssi he won’t listen ,” a staff member stressed, “he’s like a wild animal!”
Jin sighed, following the staff to Yoongi’s room. They had to make an empty room for the hybrid, meaning they had to shove various hybrids into one cramped room. Inside, Yoongi was destroying the couch.
Jin groaned, opening the door roughly. Yoongi instantly stilled, turning to Jin. He turned back into his human form, a shit-eating grin on his face.
“What the hell, Yoongi,” Jin snapped, his ears flat against his head. The caracal had no right.
Yoongi shrugged, “needed to sharpen my claws.”
“You don’t-” Jin gritted his teeth, “you don’t do that.”
“Who says I can’t?” Yoongi stuck his tongue out at the two of them, “you guys?”
Jin wanted to throw himself at the stupid s-hybrid. He thought he was so high and mighty just because he could turn into an animal? He’d show him. Oh he’d show him.
Jin leaned into the staff member’s ear, “bring Hakyeon.” the staff nodded and scurried off.
“What?” Yoongi frowned, “who’s that?” his ears flattened against his head, “who are you bringing? Why?” the distress was clear on his face.
Jin shrugged, a grin tugging at his lips, “just someone.”
Yoongi raised his shackles- well, shoulders- baring his teeth at Jin, “who is that? Who are you bringing?” His tail waved anxiously behind him.
Jin could smell the pheromones before he could see him. He smiled and leaned back, looking at the hall. Hakyeon waved cheerily at him, tail swaying behind him. He was a lion hybrid, with extremely dominant genes. If anyone could shut Yoongi up it would be him.
“Jin, you called?” he peeked inside the room, tilting his head once he saw Yoongi. “Who’s he? Is he my new heat partner, or something?”
“No,” Jin laughed, waving the thought off, “I just need you to help me. Yoongi here,” he motioned to the frightened caracal, “is a bit of a rebel.”
“I can tell. That poor couch.”
“G-g-get away,” Yoongi whimpered, his tail between his legs and his ears pressed so far back it pulled at his hairline.
Jin felt a little bad.
“If you promise so stop being a little shit I’ll make Hakyeon leave,” Jin offered.
Yoongi bit his lip, his eyes flicking between the two.
“Is that a no?” Hakyeon raised an eyebrow. Yoongi whimpered again.
“I don’t want to be here,” Yoongi said, his voice shrill, “I don’t like it. There’s too many smells a-and too many people and-” he hunched over, knees touching his chest, “the rooms feel like cages.”
Jin sighed, feeling mean. He waved Hakyeon off and padded over to Yoongi, who still looked pretty freaked, “sorry about bringing him. You should’ve said something, Yoongi.”
The caracal turned away, his gaze dark and sad.
“But you need to stay somewhere,” Jin explained, “you need a home.”
“I can just-” Yoongi sniffled, “I can just go to some animal reserve.”
“What?” Jin frowned, “what do you mean? You want to live- as an animal?”
Yoongi nodded, “I’d much rather… Humans and hybrids… Cities... ” he grimaced.
“Hey, hey,” Jin pulled the hybrid into a hug, “how about you live with me?”
Yoongi’s ears perked up.