A/B/O verse is a parody of the white, nuclear family. In A/B/O verse, the world is made up of alphas, betas, and omegas. In addition to your primary gender identity, you might be an alpha (protector, provider, dominant), beta (neutral, asexual, platonic), or omega (vulnerable, receptive, submissive). The world of the A/B/O verse is organized into packs. Within packs, alphas lead and omegas breed.
Cancer is ruled by the Moon. Cancer is a collective sign. Sailor Moon is a Cancer. In the Sailor Moon movie Promise of the Rose, the other scouts call Usagi the glue that holds the sailor scouts together. There is a stickiness to the sign of Cancer. It doesn’t look for relationships the way Libra or Scorpio does—Cancer looks for belonging. Belonging is a political reality that can only be imagined by either subverting or serving nationalism.
“When’s your heat due? I could have sworn I smelled something last night. It was a little stronger today when you were dyeing my hair, but now it really smells like it’s coming, Jimin.”
“About that,” Jimin feels dizzy just looking at the alpha in front of him and he’s subconsciously pinching his thigh as he taps his foot on the wooden floor, “I’ve forgotten to take my suppressants twice this month. It’s incredibly stupid and irresponsible of me, but I’m going to have to go through a heat.”
Yoongi’s eyes widen at Jimin’s confession and the omega quickly tries to save the situation.
“It’s only going to be a day or two — I don’t think it’s going to start until maybe tomorrow night or maybe even the day after tomorrow—”
“I think tomorrow is more likely. Shit, Jimin, are you going to be okay?”
Jimin blinks a couple of times, Yoongi’s unexpected reaction catching him off guard. The alpha’s face shows deep concern, his eyebrows furrowed worriedly as he brings his knees to his chest and sets his chin on top of them.
“I—I think so? Luckily it’s only going to last a couple of days,” he replies. “I’m really sorry about this. I—”
“Don’t apologize, it could have happened to anyone,” Yoongi waves him off, concern still visible on his face, “Do you want me out of here? You’re going to be in heat and I—”
“No,” he replies a little too fast, so his cheeks flush and his gaze drops to his lap. He fidgets with the rings on his fingers, a sudden need to be close to the alpha washing over him. He’s much calmer than he initially thought he was going to be, and he realizes that Yoongi’s releasing comforting pheromones as the alpha’s probably noticed him squirm and sweat.
“No,” he repeats a little slower this time, “This is your apartment. I don’t want you to leave. I should be the one to leave but you know what the situation is like…”
Jimin’s voice trails off and him and Yoongi stare at each other for a couple of minutes. The alpha runs his hand through his bleached hair and sighs loudly, his eyes not leaving Jimin’s. He searches Yoongi’s face, looking for a sign of annoyance, frustration — anything that might imply that he’s angered the alpha. Yoongi looks none of those things, he just watches him intently as he hugs his knees closer to his chest.
“I’m going to do anything I can to make you as comfortable as possible,” Yoongi says shyly, his cheeks turning pink and he smiles a little before his eyes dart away from Jimin’s, “You can uh… Use my room, you know. Also, I’m not going to kick out an omega in heat. I’m not a monster.”
Cancer is the sign on the summer solstice. Cancer is a heat. In A/B/O verse, heats are when omegas enter a point of their cycle in which they need sex. In heat, omegas become delusional, weak, and hungry. Sometimes, omegas literally can’t survive on their own due to their heat cycles and need the presence of alphas. Omegas need to be comfortable when in heat. Cancer is about comfort but comfort needs discomfort to show up. Heat is an incredibly uncomfortable experience. Sara Ahmed calls whiteness a sense of comfort that extends outwards. Whiteness is a sense of home and public belonging that extends outwards.
The alpha’s entire body is set tensely. “You’re in pain.” He growls the words through clenched teeth and jaw.
Jimin huffs and pushes Yoongi’s blankets farther down his body. He’s nodding, lifting up his own hips in the most uncomfortable way whenever a cramp wracks his body. Sure, Yoongi’s scent is in the room, but Yoongi is there and Yoongi could be with Jimin and those thoughts are making his muscles tense again—
“It hurts,” Jimin croaks, squeezing his eyes shut. He feels overwhelmed, and his vision is blurring up. “It hurts.”
Some histories of pain are better imagined than others. Some bodies are seen as more impressionable and more vulnerable than others. White bodies are seen to be more impressionable than others (Kyla Schuller). Oppression is also the state of needing to adapt and change in order to suit the oppressor. The aesthetics of pain and vulnerability is something that cuts into some bodies and protects others.
The Moon is a body. The Moon is sometimes a body that is in pain. The Moon is a somatic experience. The omega in heat is also a somatic body. Omegas in heat come in a multitude of forms. Some omegas have cloaca, others have penises, and others have pussies. Omega-ness and Moon-ness is not a gender or a biological reality. It is a feeling and a need.
When Jimin wakes up from his doze, the fever has grown unbearable.
He barely registers that he’s in his bed again, towels spread underneath him with Yoongi by his side. Yoongi’s awake, scrolling through his phone, and Jimin only has to inhale his scent once to feel like he’s going absolutely out of his mind. He groans, skin on fire, belly aching both with cramps and a hollow sort of emptiness – he feels like he’s missing something, like he’s strangely empty.
With his neediness growing while time passes, he crawls out of bed and moves on shaking legs toward the armoire. He takes the first thing he can find before crawling straight back into the alpha’s bed to put it on. It’s a thick, almost flannel button-down with a high collar that brushes the alpha’s scent soothingly against his neck. He pulls the collar directly up against his nose, sniffs, and feels like the world around him is grounded.
Shit, he thinks, and wants nothing more than to be wrapped entirely in that scent. Jimin doesn’t know how it’s possible to be more overwhelmed, but he wants it.
(Sunflower by jonghyunslisterine)
Omegas in heat need to feel claimed—to be marked—to belong. Cancer is also a yearning. Cancer placements are placements that yearn. Cancer Venus yearns for affection and Cancer Mars yearns for touch. Cancer Suns yearn for the self. Omegas yearn for alphas and, in A/B/O verse, alphas also shape shift. Sometimes alphas are a scent and, other times, alphas are a presence. Some alphas cook and farm. Other alphas do nothing but make money. Omegas want to belong to the alpha and, so, alphas are the systems that we yearn for. Sometimes, we yearn for capitalist systems and other times we yearn for resilient community. Yearning doesn’t always feel good. Sometimes, yearning betrays us. Sometimes, the things we yearn for don’t align with our political principles. Yearning is an emotional reaction—not a political response.
Namjoon sucks on his nipples, shallowly fucking him, enamored with how Yoongi comes from only that within minutes. Namjoon, of course, does not stop, instead keeps mouthing along Yoongi’s bared neck.
If this were any other situation, Namjoon would be salivating to put a mating bite on him. The urge is definitely there, a subliminal itch at the back of his thoughts, but easy enough to ignore. Namjoon is no savage; he’s not going to succumb to his baser instincts.
Yoongi, however, is already too far gone and the touches to his neck rile him up even more. He’s leaning into each kiss, each nibble, letting out breathy little noises. He wants the bite, needs it even, feels bereft when he is denied.
“Please,” Yoongi wheezes, his head aimlessly lolling from side to side, as though to offer all of his unmarked neck. “Please…”
(clothed only in obscenity by dawnstruck)
A/B/O verse is a fantasy. It is tangential to the furry fandom. It came from the Supernatural fandom and can also be called werewolf kink. A/B/O is a pornographic and nasty space. Cancer is a pornographic and nasty sign. Cancer is a mess.
A/B/O verse is also safe because it’s fictional. There are no real bodies in A/B/O verse. There are no real betrayals and no real feelings at stake. Your relationships will not change as a result of reading A/B/O verse. If there is violence in A/B/O verse, readers expect said violence to resolve itself by the end of the story. Cancers, too, can and must handle normalized violence. Cancers, like omegas, sometimes learn that the things that pretend to protect us are really the things that hurt us.
Eren heard Levi whine over his own snarling, an Omega’s cry coming from that throat with traces of fear in it, and it took him a few moments to figure out why. The Alpha forgot about whoever was at the door, pushing his aggression back to focus on his Omega, who was trembling now. He was calling out in answer, growling, rubbing his face against Levi’s as he soothed him with those deep vibrations. It was not impossible to pull out of an Omega you had knotted, but it was extremely painful for them, while an Alpha felt little to no discomfort. Usually only a bonded pair would knot, so it wasn’t really a concern for most Omegas. If they were close enough with an Alpha that they knotted, they did not need to worry about their mate carelessly hurting them. But Levi thought Eren was going to force them apart, pull out of his Omega to face what his instincts were interpreting as a threat. The Alpha’s hands were on Levi’s face, thumbs brushing over his cheekbones as he made soft shushing noises, pushing his hips up flush against the Omega to draw them closer together.
(Red Heat by sciencefictionness)
A/B/O verse is a fantasy of yearning. It is also a fantasy of care. It imagines a world where social structures are built to care. It imagines a world in which neglect is not normalized and expectations around care are met. A/B/O verse is a politically messy world. It isn’t really queer but it’s not really straight either. A/B/O verse can be transphobic or it can be transpositive. Some trans people hate A/B/O verse and some love it.
A/B/O verse is a fictional world that releases yearning. Cancer is not a feminine sign because Cancer is not about gender. Cancer is not about social expression. Cancer is a carnal sign. It’s a hot sign—a hungry sign.
All at once, Jimin pulls away. He smirks when Yoongi whines in protest, trying in vain to tug his mouth back. But Jimin only giggles at him. “You gonna come, huh? My pretty little omega.” He curls his fingers inside of Yoongi, pulling his free hand from Yoongi’s hip to play idly with his clit. He grins, quickly muttering, “Tell me if you like this,” before ducking down and pressing his mouth against Yoongi once again.
Quickly, he pulls his fingers out. Yoongi is right about to explain that no, he does not in fact like that, when he feels something much larger and much more blunt pressing up against his entrance. Yoongi squeals, high-pitched, knotting his fingers in Jimin’s hair when he feels it slide inside of him, feels Jimin’s tongue slide across his clit again, and oh god it feels almost, almost like there’s a knot inside of him, and —
Yoongi whines when he comes.
His body goes completely still, his thighs pressed tightly to either side of Jimin’s head. His orgasm washes over him almost painfully slowly, Jimin continuing to suckle lightly on his clit until Yoongi pushes at his forehead.
“Holy shit,” he says.
(Sweat it out by pornographicpenguin)
Words by Alice Sparkly Kat
Header Image by Alice Sparkly Kat and Kiona H. Niehaus
Alice Sparkly Kat is a queer, PoC astrologer. They use astrology to re-chart a history of the subconscious, redefine the body in world, and reimagine history as collective memory. Their astrological work has inhabited MoMA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Hauser and Wirth. They’re friendly, located in Brooklyn, and available for readings in person or by phone at www.alicesparklykat.com! Follow them on Instagram at @alicesparklykat for astrology memes and content.