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The Pragmatic Sanction

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Wonwoo rolled out of the covers of his bed, unaware that he had been on the edge of it and was forced to grab on to the bedpost behind his pillow so as to not fall on the floor. He had been doing it so many times that before he even woke up from his dreams he was already holding on to something to catch himself from falling.

 

Yet nothing could stop the unpleasant feeling of his two feet hitting the cold hardwood floor of his bedroom. And he hissed at the feeling, his legs bending as he landed.

 

He exhaled, wincing at the thought of another week of school. Wonwoo always hated Sundays because they served as a reminder that Monday was around the corner. He always talked himself into going though, nevermind his mother’s relentless scolding. He was at the top of his class and occupied the upper stratum of the social hierarchy. Being both intelligent and the fact that he was one of the school’s only omegas had compensated for his deficiencies in other areas. But the boys at his school didn’t seem to notice. To them, he was certainly not deficient in the looks department. 

 

Tip-toeing over to his mirror-stand as to not wake the rest of the house up, Wonwoo noticed the bags under his eyes and how abnormally pale his face looked. He hadn’t gotten enough sleep last night because he had been so engrossed in the latest book he was reading. Wonwoo would have thought that reading made people sleepy, but he supposed he was an outlier. 

 

The knowledge was worth it at least, he smiled, giving his reflection one last glance before gathering his clothes from his dresser. He could never understand some books in their entirety, but he was appreciative of all the little quotes he had found. Quotes were what kept people going, right? Nevermind finding them in a novel. Google was great.

 

He laughed at his reflection.

 

It was imperative that he get all spruced up he thought. There wasn’t any doubt that his boyfriend would want to be extra affectionate today considering it was National Love People day. Whatever the hell was with the name he couldn’t care less. It was just a sorry excuse for people to kiss each other. 

 

Wonwoo was sure that his boyfriend didn’t want to be kissed by someone who looked like a ghost, so he snatched moisturizer, primer, and foundation from the top of his desk and brought them in with him to the bathroom.

 

Fifteen minutes passed and Wonwoo emerged with a bronzed face, glowing more than any pregnant omega could have dreamed of. He didn’t waste time looking in his mirror anymore and rushed down the stairs, shoving his brother Jungkook to the side as he rushed to eat breakfast. 

 

“Ow! Geez Wonu, we still have twenty minutes left.” Jungkook whined, rubbing his shoulder as it hit against the wall.

 

“Don’t forget who’s driving. I have to be there early to meet with a teacher.” Wonwoo replied, not bothering to look behind him. 

 

“You mean your boyfrienddddd.” Jungkook said with a cheeky grin. His eyes crinkled just as Wonwoo’s did, suggesting to any onlooker that they were indeed brothers. But other than that, it seemed that their personalities were distinct. Jungkook was usually seen as the guy in leather who dyed his hair every couple of months. He was more of a people person than Wonwoo, going to the cinema with his friends all the time. Yet Wonwoo had the strength of being his older brother and being on a pedestal of admiration. Perhaps that was why Jungkook never pushed him back.

 

“Shut up! Mom’s going to hear you and the questions will be endless. We don’t have all day you know.” 

 

“Going to hear what?” a smooth and feminine voice rang out through the corridor connecting the dining room to the kitchen. A short woman appeared under the kitchen door frame. Her rounded face made her appear as if she was only in her thirties. There wasn’t a wrinkle in sight. 

 

However, her deep set eyes and well-defined smile did not negate the seriousness of her question. She crossed her arms, expecting Wonwoo to answer.

 

“Just that I got a D on a quiz last Thursday,”

 

“It wasn’t just on a quiz.” Jungkook muttered under his breath. 

 

“Eheh.” Wonwoo smiled sheepishly, ignoring what Jungkook had said. It wasn’t true of course, but it made him blush anyways. 

 

“Well that shouldn’t bring your grade down that much. Just don’t let it happen again.” she gritted, eyes glowing yellow. Wonwoo flinched and Jungkook’s mouth went slack in fear.

 

“Kidding! My baby is so smart, you must have been tired.” she cooed.

 

“Yeah, that was a pretty good guess mom.” Wonwoo said, feigning a grin.

 

“I’m hungry!” Jungkook pouted, climbing up onto one of the stools at the island. 

 

“Are there any waffles left?” Wonwoo asked his mother, looking into the freezer.

 

“No, but you can have this banana.” Jungkook smiled, almost gaping.

 

“Haha, you’re so funny. Where’d you get your sense of humor, Disney Channel kids shows?” Wonwoo said, leaning over the counter and moving his head side to side to taunt Jungkook.

 

“Okay Mom, now’s the time to tell me that Wonwoo was adopted because he's giving me ‘son of the Devil’ vibes.” 

 

“No, he’s your father’s son alright.” their mother chuckled. 

 

II

“Jungkook, I told you not to eat in my car.” Wonwoo said, glaring at the back of another vehicle in front of them. 

 

“God Wonu, I’m not a baby anymore. If there is anyone who should be complaining it’s me. I must have found a dozen old french fries in mom’s car from where your car seat was. Besides, these ones aren't that messy as the regular kind.” 

 

“Didn’t mom purge all the junk food from the cabinets?” 

 

“I saved this from that monster.” Jungkook replied, stern and focused as he struggled to open the bag. 

 

A second later, an incoming call showed up on the touch-screen display between them and Wonwoo pressed the accept button. He tried to ignore the crinkling sounds of Jungkook’s potato chip bag as he concentrated on the road. He spotted his best friends name before he accepted it. Just as he was about to greet him, he was interrupted by a manic onslaught. 

 

“Wonwoo! Did you finish the math worksheet? I totally forgot about it.”

 

Hello to you too.

 

“Yeah I- AHH, oh my God, Kookie, what the hell is wrong with you!?” Wonwoo yelled, jolting in his seat. 

 

His little brother’s potato chips had exploded all over him, littering his white shirt and stereo with chips and crumbs as well. 

 

“Sorry.” Jungkook winced. “It’s not like your BF will leave you because you smell like sour cream and onion. I don’t think he’ll even notice a difference.”

 

The boy on the other end of the line burst out laughing, forgetting about the urgency of his situation.

 

“Woozi if I could I would reach into the speaker box and grab your throat I would!” Wonwoo groaned. 

 

“Don’t worry, I have some deodorant you can rub on your shirt.”

 

Wonwoo could only despair, not wanting to smell like a beta either.

 

“How will I get hugged by my beloved now?” he pouted. 

 

“The same way you got railed by him the other night.”

 

“Ooo Burnnn” his brother howled.

 

“Oh my god Jungkook I would lock my bedroom door tonight if I were you. You know Wonwoo’s eyes are already like daggers.” Woozi laughed.

 

“For once, Woozi makes sense.” Wonwoo said, eyes boring holes into the windshield of the car in front of them.

 

“And that time I told you to answer the phone and it turned out that you won a coupon to Five Below.”

 

“Yeah, Below average.” he muttered. “Just kidding I love that place. And you too Woozi. If only your personality was as colorful as their collection of school supplies.”

 

Woozi decided to ignore the jab.

 

“Speaking of school can you pick me up? My mom got angry at me and she said that if I don’t start walking to school she’s gonna drive behind me the whole time beeping at me.”

 

“Alright, I’ll be there in a few. Start walking.” 

 

“Okay- oh my God- guys. Hurry. I just heard her cock her hunting rifle.” Woozi whispered, causing Jungkook to gulp.

 

“What! Get the hell out of there! We’re coming, oh my god.”

 

“Ugh I was just joking. But please get here quickly. She actually said the other stuff.”

 

III

 

Pledis High School wasn’t much to look at. Wonwoo appreciated its plainess however. At least it wasn’t a Gothic monstrosity with gargoyles hanging off its roof or a Brutalist behemoth soaring into the sky. Rather, it’s flat roof and uniform windows had a calming feeling, as if every day wasn’t a struggle. It was just school. 

 

He dropped Woozi and Jungkook off at the curved driveway outside the lobby and went to park his car in the lot. He didn’t mind the walk. He’d been wanting to meet his boyfriend ever since he had woken up. It was a silly infatuation he had with the older boy but he enjoyed being in the bliss of it. It wasn’t anything super serious, but the thought of seeing him made Wonwoo speed up his pace making a few people watch him curiously as he strode through the parking lot. It wasn’t like he was in heat or anything but the sight of an omega frolicking like a fawn in a meadow did things to people. 

 

That and some people shrugged it off as Wonwoo being eager to get to class. He was the school’s nerd, not the school T after all. But since he was one of the only omegas, it wasn’t seen that way unfortunately.

 

But being the oblivious fawn he was he ran through the doors, untouched by everyone's eyes. He had seen his boyfriend through the row of glass lining the entrance making him want to jump through them just to get to him faster. Wonwoo had to pull on the door a couple of times to get it open and he looked back to check if anyone was behind him before he bolted through the vestibule to the lobby. 

 

Wonwoo liked to think that they were the same height so he crouched slightly, sneaking up on the older boy as he was talking to a pair of his teammates. 

 

The omega narrowed his eyes and pounced on his boyfriend, digging his dainty fingers in the beta’s sweatshirt. 

 

“Boo!” 

 

The other boy didn’t even flinch as he felt Wonwoo’s fingers crawling up his back like a spider. Rather, he lifted an arm, revealing the face of his omega beneath it. 

 

An endearing smile crossed his boyfriend's face. It truly was a pleasant surprise. Wonwoo may have been too in love to notice, but butterflies fluttered in his stomach every time his boyfriend looked at him like that.

 

“Hey kitten. You’re here later than usual. Where were you?”

 

Wonwoo tried to stifle his giggling. 

 

“Alright Cheolie I get it, you don’t want to pretend that I scared you for a second. And I had to pick up Woozi, his mom was- you know.” Wonwoo said, shaking his head as he tried to catch his breath.

 

“That’s Coups-hyung to you Wonu. Plus I wasn’t scared. You’re too cute.” 

 

“Yeah he is. Ain't that right Baekho?” one of the boys in front of them said, nudging his comrade’s shoulder. Wonwoo wasn’t close with his boyfriend’s teammates but he was accustomed to their antics, especially Shownu’s.

 

“Dude, shut up.” Baekho replied, although he couldn’t hide his blush.

 

“Yeah Shownu, Wonwoo’s mine.” S.Coups growled, playfully tickling the omega. Both of Seungcheol’s friends were relieved that their captain was able to turn a possible threat to his relationship into a subject of amusement. He had barely looked at Baekho when he had warned him, rather, his focus was almost always on Wonwoo. 

 

Even if the omega was oblivious about many things he was grateful and aware that Seungcheol was a boyfriend like no other. It may have been an indication of their own immaturity but Seungcheol was Wonwoo’s world, even if it was full of rainbows and sunshine. He may not have taken love seriously, but all one could say was that Wonwoo was seriously into the older. 

 

Seungcheol’s arm wrapped around his torso instinctively as more people flooded into the lobby. Almost immediately, the bell rang, and they started walking.

 

“See ya, coach says we’re gonna be doing sprints today so don’t eat anything right before.”

 

“Alright.”

 

His boyfriend’s teammates groaned, disappearing into the sea of students being funnelled throughout the numerous hallways that branched out into the building. 

 

“You got math first right?” the older boy asked him as they walked up the stairs.

 

“It’s monday so we have home room.” Wonwoo sighed.

 

“Hey I just remembered your first class on day 1. Aren’t you going to compliment me or something?”

 

“No, but I didn’t forget you were a stalker.”

 

“Fuck you.”

 

“When we’re mated hyung.”

 

Seungcheol growled, face becoming flustered. But his expression returned to its usual calm when Wonwoo held onto the railing and leaned down to peck his cheek.

 

“Bye.” Wonwoo grinned, hiccuping as he ran up the stairs. His lithe body slipped around the corner and disappeared behind the double doors of the stairwell’s exit.

 

“See ya.” the beta whispered, not bothering to stop smiling like a fool.

 

IV

 

The hallway to the locker room was cramped and dimly lit, with only the ambient light from adjacent rooms illuminating the corridor as if it was a sewer tunnel. It was a few minutes before noon and so the windows wouldn’t be flooded with sunlight but the school’s lowest level wasn’t that well-lit anyways. 

 

Before Wonwoo and Woozi had rounded the corner, their footsteps were the only thing they had heard but now the sound of a ball bouncing on the polished cement floor echoed off the walls.

 

“Great. Mingyu’s got nothing better to do again.” Wonwoo sighed.

 

“Is that why he’s turned the hallway into his playground? I thought it was because he was still a child.” Woozi snickered.

 

“Yeah, that too.”

 

Wonwoo’s eyes zeroed in on the taller boy’s figure, sporadically stepping in all directions and in every second as he dribbled a basketball. The ball barely stayed in his hand, flying through the air most of the time. Mingyu’s green basketball jersey rippled as he moved abruptly and the hems of his shorts swung due to the amount of footwork the taller boy put into his game. 

 

Perhaps it was the only admirable thing about the guy, Wonwoo thought. If his boyfriend wasn’t the captain of the team by virtue of being a senior, Wonwoo would have imagined Mingyu being promoted to the position. He deserved it. 

 

That was, if his stupid attitude didn’t get in the way.

 

Despite being barley noticeable in the shadow of the school’s star athlete, Mingyu’s friends leaned against the wall, joking around with each other as they watched their friend.

 

“He’s got his ‘enablers’ with him too. If he pulls one of his stunts on me again he’ll have an audience. So let's not get on his bad side today please.” Wonwoo said to his friend.

 

“When are we not?” Woozi pursed his lips.

 

A moment passed until they were finally noticed. The whole ‘rat gang’ as Wonwoo called them looked up at them like a hungry pack of wolves. If only that wasn’t the case.

 

“Hey Wonu. You come here to play?” Mingyu said, cocking a brow.

 

“No, sorry. I left something in my gym locker. Thanks for offering though.” Wonwoo said softly, although the look he gave the other boy was stern. 

 

“Whatever, didn’t expect an omega to keep up with me anyways.”

 

Wonwoo blew air through his pursed lips.

 

“Don’t start with me Kim. I’m not in the mood for it today.” he replied with a tired voice. The black-haired boy simply stared ahead, brushing past the basketball player as Woozi trailed behind him like a shy kitten.

 

“Your boyfriend fuck you too hard or something?” one of Mingyu’s friends retorted, uncrossing his arms to high-five one of the boys.

 

Mingyu gave his friend a grin. Then his gaze returned to Wonwoo’s back side and he bit his lips at how curvy Wonwoo’s figure was. Why did the omega have to be taken? S.Coups was one lucky bastard.

 

Over the cackling of the boys Wonwoo heard Mingyu wolf whistle in his direction, causing Woozi to turn around angrily. 

 

Before Woozi could raise his arm Wonwoo’s hand latched onto it, dragging the shorter boy deeper into the locker room. 

 

Over the obnoxious laughter of Mingyu’s gang Wonwoo hissed at his friend.

 

“Woozi he’s stronger. He’d kill you.”

 

“Not if it’s his last straw with the dean. He’s been suspended two times already.”

 

“Yeah well you never know. Since when did Mingyu ever think about the consequences?”

 

“True.” his best friend admitted, looking down at his feet as Wonwoo got to his locker.

 

“Now let’s get the hell out of here. Seungcheol-hyung is waiting in the caf.”

 

“Yeah and Kim’s still out there guarding the door. I think Seungcheol can wait.”

 

“And we let them have power over us? Uh, no. C’mon. You know you have no respect for yourself if you let a frickin troll make us afraid to even walk past them. If anything happens Seungcheol will take care of it.”

 

“Okay but you're the one going to detention if you start anything with them.”

 

“Of course.” 

 

Wonwoo swung his black shoulder bag in front of him, stuffing a pencil he had found in his locker into one of its pockets. He ignored how menacing the boys’ shadows looked elongated on the floor. Their dark shapes contrasted uncomfortably against the yellow glow of the ceiling fixtures in the corridor making it seem as though they were about to be murdered.

 

He didn’t pay them any mind as he walked through the doorway, distracting himself with fixing the inside of his bag. Woozi took out his phone, gripping the case with as much force as someone who was pushing out a baby. The beta was just itching for a fight, but he knew Wonwoo didn’t want any trouble.

 

The black-haired omega had just strapped his bag onto his shoulder when a larger hand grabbed the band of it, yanking it off of him. 

 

Wonwoo’s blood was already boiling under the heat of their stares but it culminated into him whipping around, confronting the pure-blooded wolf with his acrylic blue eyes. They were ice-cold but searing hot, causing Mingyu’s friends to tense. But their leader remained undeterred.

 

“Give it back to me.” the omega gestured, suddenly finding the motivation to fight.

 

In response, Mingyu took sadistic pleasure in flashing his glowing red eyes. 

 

“Make me.” the taller said through his gritted teeth and fangs.

 

The low tone of the alpha’s voice struck something within him, as if it was something that had laid dormant in him since birth. The next thing he knew he had made himself smaller and was whimpering. It was humiliating. 

 

“That’s what I thought.” Mingyu grinned, cutting open the front of the bag with a large dark brown claw.

 

Did he not see the zipper with those werewolf eyes? Wonwoo internally laughed. It was all he could do really.

 

“What’s in here?”

 

“Mingyu, I’m telling you right now. S-stop.” 

 

“You gonna cry omega?” the basketball player chuckled. 

 

“It would be fucking hillarious if Jeon Wonwoo had a diary.” one of the boys said.

 

Mingyu shook his head.

 

“Wouldn’t be surprised.”

 

His callous indifference to Wonwoo made Woozi growl.

 

“Give it back to him Kim. Your stupid power might work on Wonwoo but not on me. I don’t care if you’re an alpha. You don’t even deserve to be one.” he spat, lunging at the athlete.

 

The alpha caught Woozi’s punch with his free hand, still holding Wonwoo’s bag and letting it dangle in the air. Woozi hissed in response to the uncomfortable pain in his knuckle as the taller squeezed his fist.

 

“You’re lucky I don’t use my fucking claws on you.” Mingyu growled. 

 

Wonwoo’s eyes narrowed.

 

“Let him go. I swear I’ll-” the omega was cut off by the rush of air flowing past him. It took him a second to realize even with his enhanced senses that Mingyu had thrown his best friend on the floor. Woozie’s shoes slid against the floor as his hands saved his head from making contact with it.

 

The alpha looked genuinely disgusted with his best friend.

 

“And you call yourself a beta? If I could take away your werewolf status I would. Don’t try that shit with me again or it will be your best friend next time.” 

 

Laughter however negated the seriousness of the moment.

 

“I don’t know man.” one of Mingyu’s buddies clicked his tongue. “Wonu’s looking good right now. I don’t think I want to wait til next time.”

 

“Shut up.” Mingyu snarled, giving the guy a death glare. It was borderline possessive. 

Mingyu must really want to be the one that kills him, Wonwoo thought. 

 

Sick.

 

Wonwoo knew alphas were strong but Mingyu was on a whole other level. He single handedly pushed Woozi back as if he had only been flexing his muscles. 

 

He couldn’t care less about Mingyu searching through his bag and he rushed over to where his friend lay on the ground, groaning as if someone had just woken him up.

 

“Yo I found it.” the basketball player laughed. 

 

“I didn’t know Jeon Wonwoo could draw.” one of the boys smiled.

 

“If you can even call it that.” Mingyu snickered.

 

“What is that? A stick with dots on it?”

 

“Pretty sure it's a building.” 

 

That was enough.

 

Wonwoo’s seething anger afforded him a spike in energy, enough to get him back on his feet without having to yield to the alpha. Then, in a blur, his hands clamped onto the sketchpad like eagle claws. Wonwoo let out a low growl of his own yet the boys around him only laughed.

 

“Dude, is he a cat?” 

 

“Half kitsune I think.”

 

Mingyu ignored them, staring straight into Wonwoo’s blue eyes.

 

“Back off Wonwoo, I don’t think you want this to rip.” Mingyu warned him with a derisive grin.

 

“I don’t care, you’re not worthy to see it anyways.” 

 

“Wow.” Mingyu drawled out, reaching out a hand to pull Wonwoo’s arm away from the book.

 

“I’m not letting go. I can do this all day you know.” Wonwoo gritted, avoiding the alpha’s deadly glowing red eyes. They were an omega’s weakness, especially his own.

 

Within a few seconds, the binding finally gave way and the paper tore out from it, causing Wonwoo to fall backwards onto the floor. The sudden force of Wonwoo’s pull caused the sketchpad to fall out of the alpha’s grip and clatter onto the floor, leaving another page open and exposed to the prying eyes of onlookers. 

 

“Wonwoo, you got some weird fascinations.” one of them said, eyeing a sketch of a headless Greek goddess at the helm of a ship with wings protruding from its backside.

 

“Nice job Wonu, why didn’t you share this with us earlier. Aren’t we your friends?” Mingyu asked, taking another approach.

 

Wonwoo clenched his teeth, leaping to snatch the drawing pad from where it lay open on the floor. But his speed was out-matched by the alpha’s reflexes and Mingyu’s basketball shoes slammed down on the paper.

 

“Mingyu get your fucking foot off you dick.” the omega yelled, crouching down and hopelessly waiting for the taller to raise his shoe.

 

The basketball player chuckled.

 

“Bow your head and use your manners Wonu.” 

 

“Say ‘please alpha’.” a voice added.

 

Mingyu looked at his friend and shook his head, finding it amusing.

 

“Say it.” he pressed, his expression becoming darker. 

 

Wonwoo squeezed his fists, springing off from his feet and colliding with Mingyu’s chest.

 

“You’re being a fucking asshole.” the omega yelled, aiming to catch the taller off guard with sheer ferocity but Mingyu caught both of his wrists, encircling them with his large hands and spinning Wonwoo around. They collapsed on the floor with the alpha using Wonwoo’s momentum against him.

 

Mingyu wasn’t that big of a monster, Wonwoo had to give him credit for that. The alpha’s arm protected Wonwoo’s head from hitting the floor and cushioned his fall. 

 

There was just one problem.

 

Mingyu was now on top of him.

 

If that wasn’t enough, Wonwoo could feel the alpha’s breath on his neck, traveling down his chest. Not to mention the mocking grins that the athlete’s friends were giving him. 

 

Wonwoo’s face may have been a priceless kind of shock and anger, but Mingyu continued to smirk down at him, proud of himself for still being in control. He wanted to slap himself when the thought came to him that he actually enjoyed being like this. It was like the alpha was protecting him. 

 

But the sweet and sour moment had to be interrupted of course by one of their gnawing teachers who must have been having lunch in his class while their scuffle was going on. Although Wonwoo didn't know if he could call it a scuffle. Mingyu already had beaten him the minute they made eye contact. 

 

By the time the door had creaked open Woozi and the others had fled the scene, making their position even more scandalized.

 

“What the hell is going on?” the man shouted, struggling to censor himself.

 

Mingyu -now reverted back to normal, craned his neck behind his shoulder and was about to answer but the middle-aged man cut him off.

 

“You know what? I don’t want to know. Get your asses to detention after school and if you don’t show up, consider yourselves suspended for fighting on campus.”

 

Mingyu removed his arm from out underneath Wonwoo’s head, eliciting an ‘ow’ from the shorter boy. The alpha wasn’t in a playful mood anymore.

 

“This is all your fault.”