You’re An Alpha??!
Premise Tags: Omegaverse, Family Issues,
Office Relationship, Friends First,
Friends to Lovers, Misunderstanding.
Content Warnings: n/a.
The first day of spring had bright blue skies and a chilly air. When lunchtime arrived at Y Company, many workers looked out the windows in longing.
Liu Ning, executive assistant of Y Company, was one of those looking out the window. He was currently sitting in President Yan Qiang’s office. “Yan-ge, you don’t have a lunchtime meeting today. How about I book a window table at the Spring Gardens Restaurant? They should have some early blooming flowers...”
Yan Qiang’s eyes swept lightly over Liu Ning’s profile. “En.”
Liu Ning’s lips quirked up. “Thanks, boss.”
“Didn’t you miss out on breakfast this morning?” Yan Qiang said casually.
Liu Ning made a face. “Accident. And who is the assistant here? Caring about whether I have breakfast or not?”
“Xiao Ning, my mother would be disappointed if I didn’t look after my best assistant.”
Liu Ning snickered. “Okay, I’ll let you pretend that’s the reason why…”
“Book the restaurant,” Yan Qiang said.
If anything, Liu Ning’s face became even more mischievous and sparkly.
Yan Qiang looked away and reflexively typed onto his computer: How to date a beta if you are AO
The first results page was all purple, showing that Yan Qiang had clicked into those articles already.
“Done, we can head out now,” Liu Ning said. He closed his own laptop and grabbed his coat and Yan Qiang’s coat.
With a click of a button, Yan Qiang locked his computer and accepted the coat.
Downstairs in the company lobby, many workers milled about in groups as they prepared to head out for various group lunches. The moment the two tall men exited the executive lift, eyes drew their way.
There was no helping it—Yan Qiang’s alpha pheromones were too strong, and he was their boss.
“Greeting President Yan,” came a round of voices.
Yan Qiang’s eyes flickered to his subordinates, his head inclining in the minimal acknowledgement. His face remained cold.
“Hello, everyone,” Liu Ning replied, smiling calmly. Unlike the others, he appeared unaffected by the heavy aura emitting from Yan Qiang. “Boss Yan and I are heading out for lunch at the Spring Gardens restaurant.”
The coworkers eagerly moved their gaze from the cold Yan Qiang to the welcoming Liu Ning. Everyone knew that speaking to Liu Ning was like speaking to Yan Qiang, except Liu Ning wasn’t scary at all. How many times had Liu Ning saved them from Yan Qiang’s coldness and overbearingness? Even betas, who have only a weak sensitivity to pheromones, can detect Yan Qiang’s; still Liu NIng was a beta, so it was at least better for him compared to the omega and alpha staff.
“How lucky you were able to get a reservation there!” one of the omega women said.
“Actually, I made the reservation a long time ago,” Liu Ning said, the corner of his lip quirking up mischievously.
At that, Yan Qiang gave him a sidelong look.
Liu Ning breezily ignored it. He farewelled the coworkers for now, and he and Yan Qiang headed out. The restaurant was within walking distance.
It was true that Liu Ning, unlike the rest of the staff, was not affected by Yan Qiang’s pheromones the same way.
It wasn’t that Liu Ning couldn’t smell Yan Qiang’s scent. But rather, he had easily grown used to it. Not that he would ever tell anyone, but he liked it. And Yan Qiang also felt a bit tsundere, a bit men sao to him.
Thinking about that, Liu Ning glanced at Yan Qiang, and happened to meet Yan Qiang’s eyes. Liu Ning cleared his throat. If he looked away, he would be even more guilty.
“You don’t have a meeting till 4pm this afternoon. I’ve already prepared the documents, so we can take our time during lunch,” Liu Ning said professionally.
“Xiao Ning has worked hard,” Yan Qiang said faintly.
Upon entering the restaurant, they were shown their window seat next to the internal garden of the restaurant. Inside the warm restaurant, the blue skies seen through the glass, combined with the greenery of the garden, really made one think it was a warm spring day. Extremely deceiving!
The waiter brought them menus and a light drink. There was a flower in a small vase on the table between them. Liu Ning swiftly ordered for both of them, unerringly picking out the dishes that Yan Qiang would like, learnt through years of working with him.
With the sweet flower between them though...
Almost feels like a date… Liu Ning thought wistfully.
Little did he know that Yan Qiang was thinking along similar lines: Does this count as a date?
No, probably not.
Liu Ning noticed Yan Qiang’s expression. “Boss, something troubling you?”
Yan Qiang fixed his down expression. “Why must you keep calling me boss with that tone?” he said drily. It was an argument they’ve had many times.
“Big Boss?” Liu Ning suggested. “President Boss?”
“Only you…” Yan Qiang looked away from Liu Ning’s curled-up lips.
A loud sound drew their attention.
“Yes! Yes, I’ll marry you!” came a joyous voice from a few tables over. A beta man was smiling widely, trying to pull his kneeling alpha boyfriend—now fiance—up.
The waiters and other diners politely clapped, some calling out their congratulations.
Not everyone looked happy about it. Liu Ning easily noticed some of the darker faces, hoping it was just because they didn’t like the sound, and not because they were prejudiced against an alpha/beta couple. Society had come a long way, but alpha/omega couples were still seen as the norm, and any beta getting together with an alpha or omega was seen as “stealing” the fated-partner spot.
Yan Qiang looked at the proposing alpha stumbling to put a ring on his fiance, and then he looked at Liu Ning.
Yan Qiang was better than that random alpha. If that random alpha could date a beta man, then so could Yan Qiang. Yan Qiang wasn’t lacking anywhere!
Liu Ning’s eyes snapped back to Yan Qiang.
“Yan-ge, your pheromones,” he said lightly. “Are you trying to suppress that other alpha?”
Yan Qiang cleared his throat, embarrassed. “My mind wandered.”
Liu Ning hid his smile. See!! Men sao!! Gap moe! “What was on your mind, boss?”
Yan Qiang’s lips twitched. “If I got on one knee…”
Liu Ning’s heart skipped a beat. “Don’t joke, boss.”
Yan Qiang recalled all the ‘helpful’ articles, and converged his mentality. “In two week’s time, it may be possible to go cherry blossom viewing. Go with me.”
Liu Ning’s eyes brightened. “The gardens just outside the city will be beautiful.”
“As a date.”
Liu Ning opened his mouth.
Yan Qiang’s heart also thumped hard. “Speechless? For once?”
“Yan-ge,” Liu Ning shook his head lightly. “This...were you stimulated by those two?”
“You are clearly not against an alpha and a beta dating,” Yan Qiang said.
Liu Ning’s expression became even more conflicted. “Ah, it’s a bit more complicated…”
Yan Qiang’s brows furrowed lightly. “Is it...your parents?” He knew that Liu Ning was somewhat estranged from his parents; over the last few years, Liu Ning spent the Spring Festival with Yan Qiang’s family rather returning to his own.
“Yan-ge...I’m not a beta.”
Yan Qiang sucked in a deep breath. All of a sudden, Liu Ning seemed to look different in his eyes. “You’re...an omega? Have you been using an inhibitor all these years?” Yan Qiang felt pained thinking about it. Using inhibitors during working hours was growing in popularity, but he spent long, long hours in Liu Ning’s company.
Liu Ning smiled wryly. “Boss Yan, I’m an alpha.”
“You’re an alpha?”
Yan Qiang froze. Liu Ning is an alpha? Liu Ning is an alpha?!!! They’ve spent years together, and yet, somehow, Yan Qiang never realised that Liu Ning was an alpha?
Liu Ning gave a light smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “Don’t like me anymore?”
“I...” Yan Qiang sipped his glass of water, wetting his suddenly parched throat.
“It is not that I want to purposefully deceive others,” Liu Ning said. “When I was young, I already knew that I liked alphas. I was a bit tall, so my parents thought I would be a beta, because alphas can’t like alphas, right? Liu Ning scoffed. “Only, I turned out to be an alpha.” Liu Ning’s eyes were deep.
Yan Qiang’s chest tightened. “You are estranged from your parents.”
Liu Ning inclined his head, his lips curling into a self-deprecating smile. “There comes a point where one gets fed up hearing about how I’m stealing alphas from proper omegas over and over again.” Although Liu Ning said it lightly, he felt a pain in his own chest.
Aren’t you stealing alphas from proper omegas? Are you sure you don’t think you’re an omega? You’re an alpha! How many people wish they were an alpha!!
His parents were a proper alpha-omega couple. How they hated that their alpha son couldn’t do what was natural.
“I take inhibitors. I don’t fawn over omegas. I don’t find alpha scents particularly intimidating. In that way, it appears as though I’m a beta,” Liu Ning continued. “It was...easier.” He looked up at Yan Qiang. “It is easier to think of me as a beta, isn’t it?”
Yan Qiang’s chest tightened at the underlying current in Liu Ning’s words. “It doesn’t matter,” he said decisively. “I wanted to ask you on a date, so I am.”
And Yan Qiang hated the feeling of going back on his words, especially if those words were to Liu Ning.
Liu Ning’s eyes brightened, but his tone was careful. “Really, Yan-ge?”
“Really. Two weeks time, cherry blossom gardens. Assistant Liu, please put that onto my schedule. Also, I will need some time in my schedule to prepare a gift for my date.”
The smile that bloomed across Liu Ning’s face was like an arrow to Yan Qiang’s heart.
Yes, proceeding as planned was the absolutely right decision.
On the walk back to the company, Liu Ning felt light. Yan Qiang had accepted his “secret” about being an alpha, and accepted his actual secret about being an alpha who liked alphas. And Yan Qiang had asked him out!
Liu Ning had to suppress his feelings in order to professionally greet his colleagues when they returned to the company. The two then took the executive lift up to Yan Qiang’s office.
Liu Ning organised Yan Qiang’s afternoon coffee and necessary files. He was about to leave when Yan Qiang caught his arm.
“You must have a scent, despite the inhibitor.”
Liu Ning stared into Yan Qiang’s eyes. “Yes. But who’s ever close enough to tell?”
Yan Qiang’s lips curled up. “Come closer.”
Liu Ning’s own lips curled up. “During work hours? I don’t know if my boss will allow me.”
“Pretend it’s still our lunch break.”
Liu Ning’s heart began to race. “En, then come closer. Maybe we’ll even be a fated alpha-alpha pair.”
“Modern humans make fate.” Yan Qiang tugged Liu Ning into his arms, and pressed his nose against Liu Ning’s neck.
Yan Qiang’s scent was very familiar, and Liu Ning long knew that he liked it. There were no abnormal fluctuations in his heart over this. But being in Yan Qiang’s arms? Hugging Yan Qiang back?
“Hmm...” Yan Qiang’s voice vibrated near Liu Ning’s ear. “It’s not repulsive. I don’t feel like having an alpha vs. alpha fight.”
Liu Ning pinched Yan Qiang’s arse. “Say that again, Yan-ge.”
Yan Qiang winced. In truth, the smell truly wasn’t repulsive. It helped that the inhibitor weakened it, but Yan Qiang also felt that this scent was familiar. He must have unconsciously become used to it after years of being in Liu Ning’s company.
“Will you forgive me if I give you a kiss?”
Liu Ning’s heart skipped a beat. “Yes.” He raised one hand to Yan Qiang’s face, fingers trembling slightly as he touched Yan Qiang’s skin.
Yan Qiang rested a hand on Liu Ning’s opposite cheek. Slowly, their heads closer. Slight tilt. Lips touching. A tingling feeling spread.
There was no going back to Yan Qiang. He liked Liu Ning, and that made him an alpha who liked alphas. He deepened the kiss, pulling Liu Ning closer against his body.
“Okay, okay,” Liu Ning was the one who finally pushed back first. “We both have work to do. But what we do tonight outside company time is our own business, President Yan.” A smirk floated on his kissable lips.
“En.” Yan Qiang regretfully separated from Liu Ning. “Tonight, I’ll stay in your apartment. It must have your scent.”
Liu Ning’s lips twitched. “Sure.”
And what they indeed did that night, and the nights after...was their business.
Two weeks later, the cherry blossom gardens were in full bloom. It was a beautiful blue-sky day, and the brilliant sunshine made the pink and white cherry blossoms glow. Two tall alphas strolled down the garden footpaths. Dressed in matching colours, the two attracted many eyes.
Liu Ning ignored those eyes, instead focusing his attention on taking pictures of both the cherry blossoms and of Yan Qiang standing next to the cherry blossoms.
“Don’t smile for this one!” Liu Ning directed.
Yan Qiang’s brows creased. “Why now?”
Liu Ning smiled mischievously. “But the contrast between brooding alpha and romantic background is too good.”
Yan Qiang felt hopeless, but he obeyed Liu Ning’s words and pretended to be thinking about work instead.
After Liu Ning finished [that round of pictures], Yan Qiang wrapped an arm around Liu Ning’s waist.
“Don’t you think that from my perspective, we should be taking pictures of you, Xiao Ning?”
“Hmm...no. I think pictures of Qiangqiang is just right.”
Yan Qiang snorted. He turned towards the nearest passers-by, a group of young beta and omega women. “Good morning, can one of you take a picture of us?”
One of the beta women immediately agreed, accepting Yan Qiang’s phone to take their picture. A picture of them standing together; a picture of Liu Ning looking at Yan Qiang; a picture of Liu Ning kissing Yan Qiang; a picture of them both kissing.
The beta woman’s cheeks heated up. She cleared her throat, and quickly handed the phone back.
“Thank you,” Yan Qiang said, zero embarrassment on his face.
“No problem, you’re welcome, have a nice day!” The beta woman rejoined her friends.
Yan Qiang flipped through the pictures, and sent them all to Liu Ning. “Send one of them to your parents,” he said. “And I’ll send one to mine.”
Liu Ning’s lips twitched. “Only because I like you.”
Yan Qiang pecked him on the lips. “En, only because I like you too.”