There will be spoilers for the manhwa series Staff Only.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to medical conditions, illegal drug use (fictional drugs), and dubious consent, as it appears in the manhwa.
Hansol is a teacher and has lived his whole life under the assumption he's a beta. That is, until he starts experiencing some concerning symptoms. He goes to the doctor, assuming he's just got a cold, maybe the start of the flu, or he is dying when he receives an unexpected diagnosis: he's a late bloomer omega. While he's thankful that he isn't dying, he's a bit shocked that he's an omega after reaching adulthood. Still, it's better than the alternative. While the doctor tries to impress upon Hansol the importance of taking his suppressants, Hansol is busy thinking about dinner and any other mundane thing he has to worry over rather than the very pertinent issue of him being a newly manifested omega.
His laissez-faire attitude comes back to bite him when he forgets his suppressants. He barely makes it through class when he crumples to the ground. Thankfully, the gym teacher Chan is there to help Hansol get to the school nurse, Hansol's friend Yesung. There, Yesung realizes Hansol has manifested as an omega, something he had no idea about until now. Uncontrolled pheromones are a rarity in modern society, with most people legally obliged to have implants to keep them in control. Still, Hansol hasn't gotten his implant yet, so his pheromones are wild, and as it happens, Chan and Yesung are alphas. Will they be able to hold themselves back, or will Hansol's pheromones be too much to bear?
I love this art style so much. It's very clean with an omega that looks masculine rather than feminine, which is rarer than I'd care to admit. Each character looks very distinct beyond just different colored hair and eyes, which is so nice. Something as small as their eyebrows and eye shapes is particular between each character. I love it. I wish there were more licensed work by soorak because I'd be all over it.
A key point that will sound really weird but that I love so much is the concept of penis shrinkage in omegas. I don't know if this awakened some new fetish or perversion in me, but I love that a key issue for Hansol is that his penis shrinks due to his awakening as an omega and the medication he's on for his heat. Watching him cry and whine about having a smaller penis while his two alphas praise him for it just did something for me. It's such a fun concept that I wish I had thought of it myself. It makes total sense that this would happen since omega men don't need their penis to breed, but it's also such a fun way for Hansol to be vulnerable and intimate with Yesung and Chan and, in turn, make them soothe and comfort him. It's just so clever.
The major downer in this short series is that there is no resolution to their current poly situationship. Hansol never indicates that he sees them as nothing more than fuck buddies or just assumes they are in a relationship between the three of them. It is very on-brand as Hansol is depicted as a bit of a ditzy airhead, so it totally makes sense that he would never confirm his feelings one way or the other and instead just go with the flow, but it was disappointing all the same. I like to imagine they are in a poly relationship, specifically an alpha-omega-alpha sandwich, but that's just my headcanon. If you like a definitive ending to love triangles, you may be disappointed with this one as it's not confirmed whether he only wants one or both. Sad face.
Granted, if I was forced to choose one of the two alphas in this, I don't think I'd be able to, nor would I want to. So, in that way, the fact that this ends with no definitive choice is a plus in its own way. It also lends itself well to a possible longer series where we get some kind of clarity on their relationship, though I am admittedly just putting that in the universe with the hope that that will be a possibility someday. The worst part about this series is that it ends at all. I could read more of these three people and their goofy situationship as the alphas compete over Hansol while Hansol just blissfully basks in their attention. I love it so much.
This is short but near perfection. The worst part about it is that it is so short, which is a fantastic problem to have. I would love more of this any day, any time. It's smut on smut on smut in an omegaverse setting with a poly scenario, and my degenerate soul is pleased. Highly recommend.
Have you read Staff Only? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!