The one thing about charity banquets, or whatever they’re called (Hansung isn’t sure), is that it confuses him. Hansung thinks that instead of throwing a banquet, they could just donate all the money to the cause. But he keeps his mouth shut after saying this and receiving a stern look from Moomyung because he really doesn’t want to get in trouble tonight. Especially since there’s free food, free fancy food, and that’s his favorite kind of food. There’s going to be appetizers and italian food and shrimp cocktails and cupcakes and Hansung is so excited that he doesn’t eat the whole day just so he can eat the whole banquet. That and because most of the people attending are alphas, and he doesn’t really like talking to them. Alphas with high paying jobs and important roles usually seem to stingy to him and he just wants someone he can talk to that doesn’t involve an inner competition amongst another alpha. Hansung has always found it to be not only tiring but ridiculous. Secondary genders shouldn’t really mean anything. But he’s an omega and he’s got three mates so he can pretty much say goodbye to the idea of talking to anyone for the night.
He’s currently eating a fancy fruit cup, standing in the middle of his mates, when the first couple comes to greet them. He hasn’t been paying attention to any of them, barely giving polite nods, but he nearly jumps in excitement when he sees who it is. He can already tell by the quiet groan Suho gives that it’s Banryu and his alpha Sooyeon. Hansung likes Banryu, even if he’s kind of rude, because he’s a really good lawyer, just as good as Suho, and he’s an omega, and he doesn’t let anyone treat him any differently because of his secondary gender. He’s ruthless and unforgiving in court, and he’s merciless against alphas, and it gives Hansung a power trip. He hears stories from Suho all the time, usually because he’s complaining, but he’s excited to have a chance to meet him. Sometimes, he wishes he could be like Banryu, but he’s too shy and too passive.
He recognizes him from photos but Hansung thinks that Banryu is so much prettier in person. He’s dressed in a navy suit to match Sooyeon’s fancy dark blue dress, and the flower in her hair, and his hair is tied up. It’s a good color for his porcelain complexion and he can swear Banryu is wearing just a smudge of eyeshadow to make his eyes look smokier.
“Suho!” Sooyeon is rushing over to them, careful in her tight dress and heels, and Suho kisses her hello. “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming?”
“I guess it got away from me,” he lies. Hansung is peeking around his tall frame to see Banryu, who’s staring into space. “It’s nice to see you both,”
“Likewise,” Banryu answers.
“Sooyeon, you look gorgeous,” Ahro compliments her. The two step off to the side to talk about where she bought her dress from, leaving the four of them to politely and awkwardly exchange painful smiles. Hansung decides that it’s his turn to step in now.
“Banryu-ssi! It’s nice to meet you . . .” he gives a small bow and holds out his hand, fruit cup in his other hand, and Banryu just stares at him, confused.
“Do I know you?”
Hansung stutters but before he can speak Suho cuts him off.
“Don’t be rude, asshole, you know Hansung. He’s my mate.”
“Oh, right. Well, I’ve never seen him in person, so it’s not rude. I don’t know every omega just because you talk about them,”
Hansung just pulls on Suho’s sleeve. “It’s okay hyung!”
Banryu gives him a polite nod and Hansung takes it as an opportunity to start gushing. “I think you’re really cool! Suho hyung talks about you a lot--just work stories when he’s complaining at home--but I think it’s cool that you’re such a good lawyer, and that you have a really scary reputation. Actually, I think you’re kind of scary right now anyway, so maybe it’s the way you look, but you’re really pretty so”--
Suho quickly slaps a hand over Hansung’s mouth and laughs nervously. “I think that’s enough, Hansung.”
Hansung licks Suho’s hand and earns a smack to the thigh. “Don’t do that! That’s disgusting!”
“Don’t cover my mouth!”
Banryu watches the two of them bicker until Moomyung places a hand on both of their shoulders and they stop. “Please, you two, can you stop acting like children?”
“I didn’t do anything!” Hansung exclaims. “He just cut me off!”
“He’s right though, Suho. Can’t just shut him up because you’re his mate,” Banryu takes a sip from his flute, “but I see why you wanted him to be quiet. He’s pretty loud.”
The three of them stare as he walks away and Suho clenches his jaw. “I’ll kill him. I’m going to kill him.”
“Suho, leave it alone,” Moomyung rubs the back of his neck with his free hand, “take a deep breath.”
Hansung’s eyes dart between his two mates and Banryu, who’s joined his mate, and suddenly feels a little dumb. He’s out of place, dressed in the fanciest clothes he’s ever been in, sandwiches between his two mates who were years ahead of him financially, developmentally, and socially, and all he could do was shove mangoes into his mouth. Which is probably the easiest coping mechanism ever handed to him straight on a silver platter. He decides that even if he’s a little sad right now, that’s okay. There’s plenty more mangoes for him to eat. He doesn’t need Banryu’s approval, nor his mates. He’s got mangoes.
“I’m gonna . . . go . . .” Hansung points towards the refreshments and makes his way there alone, not waiting for anyone to respond to him. There’s still fruit cups left, with drinks and appetizers like shrimp and small rolls with fancy dressing, and he immediately grabs another fruit cup, and dumps some shrimp into it. He feels a little dumb at the table alone, probably the youngest person at the entire event, dressed in his black slacks and elegant eggplant top to match Suho’s vest. He’s wearing the necklace Moomyung bought him, too, but he wants to take it off. He doesn’t like things around his neck and he’s afraid it’s going to fall off. Even if the diamond is small, the gold chain is so thin he’s afraid he’ll tug at it and it’ll break.
He eats his shrimp with his fingers, not really caring about manners, watching the people around him. They’re all so . . . graceful. Dressed in fancy, shiny clothes, all paired up with one another, whether they’re matching or not. Most of them are smiling and engaging in conversations, looking plenty happy like he had been not too long ago. But now he just wants to go home. He tries not to look upset, knowing that if he does get upset he might not be able to control his scent, so he forces himself to just try and relax. Just a few more hours and they’ll go home and he can nest in his bed with his stuffed animals and watch Netflix on his phone.
He decides he’s been at the snack table for too long and decides to head back towards his mates. He spots them in the crowd, speaking to someone else, but it doesn’t look too friendly. He can’t tell. Suho’s smiling, but he’s always smiling, and Moomyung isn’t, because he almost never does. Ahro’s back is turned to him so he can’t get an accurate depiction of her feelings towards the stranger. But once he wanders closer he can hear the “nice to see you again” and the exchanging of names. It’s . . . not very friendly.
The man is tall, wearing a black tux, with brown hair swept back. He smells of some strongly scented cologne and Hansung can’t really catch a scent off of him. He’s tall, just as tall as Moomyung, and he’s got sharp brows and cute little ears that lessen the intimidation coming off of him. Hansung stares at him the entire time until he’s close enough to grab onto Ahro’s wrist.
“Oh! There you are!” She pulls him back in between the three of them and smiles, her purple lipstick inviting enough to make Hansung scent her briefly. She lets him. The stranger looks surprised at this but before he can ask, Ahro is speaking. “This is Hansung, our mate. Hansung, this is Jidwi, he’s an . . . old friend of ours. Can you say hi?”
The stranger is giving off such a weird energy Hansung doesn’t want to say hi, but he knows that he’s a reflection of his mates, so he just smiles a bit. There’s an unsettling feeling in his stomach and he takes a step back when the stranger looks at him. The scar over his scent gland is throbbing awkwardly and he goes to rub it. If his mates notice, they don’t say anything. Hansung and Jidwi stare at one another for a good few moments before Suho is wrapping an arm around his waist.
“Hansung, how many of those have you had?”
“Um, not too many . . .” he’s not really focused on his mate, trying to find a neutral point to lose his focus. He doesn’t want to stare at the stranger but he can’t help it. He doesn’t even say anything when Suho steals a shrimp.
“They’re pretty good,”
Hansung feels too small now; surrounded by bigger, taller alphas, save for Suho. He doesn’t like the way Jidwi is staring at him. He’s starting to shake now, clearly uncomfortable with the alpha’s gaze. Suddenly, he regrets eating so much. He shoves the fruit cup into Suho’s hands.
“Um, b-bathroom,” he says before rushing off, covering his mouth. He’s going to be sick. His stomach is causing waves inside of him, like he’s on a boat, with the water crashing and tumbling and rocking him back and forth and he barely makes it into the bathroom before he vomits, gagging tremendously, his bonding mark still pulsating uncomfortably. He coughs a bit, deciding to just sit in the stall for a while in case he gets sick again, and listens to the charming classical music wafting in from the vents. He allows the strings to soothe him bit by bit.