Jimin didn’t have any friends. Sad, but true. Every day he woke up in his small, shabby apartment and went to university, where he sat at the back of the room by himself and focused on making as many notes as he could on music theory. After the lecture, he’d make his way to the smallest and least popular (exactly why it was his favourite) dance practice room and would dance through his lunch break. He’d then go to his practical music lectures, again speaking to nobody apart from his mentor, before returning home to his little apartment to sit on the sofa under a blanket, watching TV or browsing the internet whilst listening to music.
Honestly, he had never felt an overwhelming urge to make friends - he was comfortable the way he was and facing his anxiety to go and make more seemed like too daunting an experience. However, he had to admit that it embarrassed him when he saw other people from his university sitting in groups and chatting away, whilst he sat alone and shoved his earphones in his ears. It was embarrassing that he wasn’t interesting enough for anybody to talk to. It was embarrassing that he ordered large pizzas to eat by himself. That’s probably why he shouted ‘Pizza’s here!’ into his empty apartment when a hot takeaway guy showed up on his doorstep.
“Thank you.” He squeaked to the dark-haired guy at his door, who flashed a bright smile at him, which made his heart do a flip.
“No problem.” Was the reply, before Jimin shut the door and carried the large pizza (what? It made up for missing lunch each day) into the lounge and crawled back underneath his extra fluffy blanket.
Instead of opening the pizza and devouring it like he normally would have done, he took a second to think about the hot pizza guy. Jimin had never been served by him before, so he must have been new to the takeaway place, and Jimin couldn’t say he minded because he was nice to look at and- actually wait. No. No no no. This was bad. This was very, very bad. The takeaway place didn’t just sell takeaway pizza, but almost any food you could think of, and Jimin ordered from there most nights a week, seeing as the supermarket always made him extra anxious and was not his favourite place to be. He knew he could order food from the supermarket to his house, but he was also not the best cook ever, so decided it’d be easier just to order dinner most nights. That takeaway place was easy because it wasn’t overly popular as it looked shabby, but it was good quality and had a big variety of things to buy, as well as fairly cheap prices. Whenever Jimin ordered food, he ordered from there. This meant that the hot boy would bring food to Jimin’s apartment a lot more often and see that he was a complete and utter loner, who had to order takeaway each night because he was sad and pathetically unskilled in the cooking department. Jimin needed a plan.
It turns out that coming up with plans is more difficult than Jimin first anticipated. He’d spent an hour on his lunch break, thinking about what he could do to pretend he had friends over when he ordered himself another large takeaway meal, but honestly, nothing was coming to mind apart from shouting 'Food’s here!’ to his empty apartment. He’s sure his cat was thrilled to know that information, but shouting it wasn’t enough to fool the hot delivery guy. He had to put in more effort. That’s how he found himself at the shop (not the supermarket, a small corner shop near his apartment), buying a 6-pack of beers, a share bag of chocolates and a bottle of cologne, which Jimin had never worn before. Upon returning home, he put all of the things onto the coffee table and waited for time to tick forwards.
At 6pm Jimin ordered his food, then opened three of the six beers and placed them all on different coasters on his coffee table, before putting the other three back in the fridge. He also opened the bag of chocolates and left that on the table too, crinkling it to make it look like quite a few people had grabbed it. After that, Jimin took one of his old coats and hung it by the door, spraying it with the new cologne before spraying himself with his normal one, to create the illusion that somebody else owned the coat. Jimin knew it was sad, but honestly, it was better than the embarrassment of the delivery guy working out Jimin was a loner and a fatty (despite having a perfect body, which he shouldn’t have been ashamed of).
The knock on the door startled Jimin and he stood quickly, panicking slightly as he ran a hand through his blonde hair. The hot delivery guy was there. Quickly spritzing himself with some more of his cologne, Jimin made his way to the door and took a breath before opening it.
“Hello, Indian takeaway for Park Jimin?”
“That- that’s me.” Jimin replied, cursing himself in his head for the stupid stammer at the start of his sentence as the other guy told him how much he owed. The hot delivery guy smiled kindly at Jimin who fumbled with his wallet, trying to get out money. His hands were shaking. If the delivery guy noticed, he hadn’t said anything about it, which Jimin was grateful for - he didn’t need the pressure of the delivery guy noticing how much of a nervous wreck he was. Jimin finally pulled out the correct money and gave it to the hot delivery guy who gave him change in return, and left with a final smile and an 'enjoy!’. And that was it. Those few seconds of interaction were what all that time and effort went into. But it didn’t matter, because he didn’t seem to realise I was lonely and pathetic Jimin thought as he returned to his sofa with his food it must have worked.
This plan continued for three months. Jimin found himself anticipating the end of the day, pleading the clock to go forwards so that he could see the hot delivery guy. Honestly, he knew it was bad to obsess over a guy he didn’t even know the name of, but it was so difficult not to, especially when hot delivery guy had taken to telling Jimin jokes each time he opened the door, just to see him smile. They were stupid dad jokes (the takeaway guy insisted Jimin blame his friend, not him), but they made Jimin laugh anyway. Sometimes, he’d even ask how Jimin’s day was, and the two would chat for a few minutes until the takeaway guy realised he was on a shift and hurriedly left to get back to work. Every time, Jimin cursed himself as he remembered, too late, to ask what the hot guy’s name was.
Because of this burning need to order from the takeaway place more and more, Jimin had to find other ways to pretend to have friends, such as playing loud music and turning it down when the hot delivery guy got there, or playing podcasts from his laptop and shutting his lounge door so it sounded like muffled conversation, or using one of his old wallets to pay for the food and mumbling ‘where does he keep his loose change?’ as he pretended to work out how the wallet worked.
Despite how it may seem, Jimin didn’t order from the takeaway place every night. He did order food from the supermarket to make dishes for a few nights in a row before going back to the takeaway place. Normally, he’d make a massive portion of one dish and eat nothing else for the next three days, until he deemed it socially acceptable to order takeaway again. He knew he could just order from somewhere else, but nowhere was as good and as cheap as his usual place, and he knew how his place worked, he didn’t want to phone somewhere not knowing what to say or do.
After three nights of living off Bibimbap - one of the few things he could make from the ingredients he had left in his kitchen - Jimin couldn’t stand to look at the dish anymore and decided it was time to order from the takeaway place and see the hot delivery guy again… unless he wasn’t working, which would be sad. He worked most evenings, but there was the occasional instance where Jimin would open the door and come face-to-face with a 46-year-old man named Larry, who sadly didn’t have any dad jokes up his sleeve and instead liked to cry about his broken marriage.
Jimin ordered pasta this time, then set to work. He opened cans of beer to put on the coffee table, making sure they were in line of sight from the door. He put a DVD on, fast-forwarded it to the middle of the film and paused it, to look like he and his ‘mates’ were having a movie night. He then ran to his bedroom and retrieved his old coat from his wardrobe, sprayed it with the cologne (which he had re-stocked since he first bought it three months ago), before placing the coat by the door. He also put some of his old shoes there, just to be extra believable. Returning to the lounge, he plopped down onto his sofa and waited for the takeaway guy to arrive, which wasn’t long - about ten minutes later, he was hopping up and trying to refrain from rushing towards the front door. He took a deep breath, before swinging the door open, almost getting knocked out by the bright smile which greeted him.
“Hi, Park Jimin,” The hot delivery guy greeted, as had become the norm, and extended the takeaway towards Jimin, who managed a nervous smile in return. He took the food and placed it on the floor, before reaching for the money in his pocket to pay the delivery guy. He’s glad he made the extra effort of putting the shoes by the door and making sure the beers were in sight, because when he looked up, he could see the hot delivery guy looking around his apartment. Jimin coughed shyly and the eyes snapped back to his, then smiled and offered up the money, which the hot delivery guy took with an even brighter smile. They chatted for a few minutes, the hot delivery guy telling Jimin a story about one of the people he delivers to, before they said goodbye and the door separated them.
Jimin sighed as he picked up his dinner, muttering “Come on imaginary friends, let’s eat together again,” bitterly to himself, completely unaware that the hot delivery guy was still standing on the other side of the door, trying to put the money away, and could hear his every word.
Jungkook, the delivery guy in question, faltered slightly. Park Jimin ate by himself? So did that mean that whenever he delivered to the cute boy… he pretended to have company? Surely it wasn’t true; he’d been bringing Jimin food for months, and he had seen evidence to suggest Jimin wasn’t alone…
Well, there was only one way to find out, Jungkook decided.
The next night, Jimin figured it would be okay to order takeaway for himself, if he made it a small portion. Everyone ordered food for themselves every once in a while, and the hot delivery guy didn’t know that he ate by himself whenever he ordered large portions, so it didn’t matter that much… right?
He ordered a small pizza, partly because he was indecisive so settled for something he knew he liked, and partly because he knew if he ordered Chinese or Indian then he’d end up getting way more than was socially acceptable, even if he did skip lunch each day to work on his dance. He wished he could have majored in dance, but his parents weren’t happy with that choice, so he settled for the next best thing - music. Jimin always loved to sing, and he could play the guitar quite well, so he figured that if he couldn’t do dance he’d do something else he enjoyed. He thought his parents would say no to music, too, but apparently there are more job options for somebody who takes music than there are for somebody who takes dance. Apparently.
When he heard the doorbell ring, nervous jitters ran through his body. It’s fine, he reassured himself, people order takeaway for themselves all the time. As far as he knows, this is the first time you’ve ordered takeaway just for yourself in months.
Jimin approached the front door cautiously and took a deep breath, before opening it to be met with a kind smile. Instead of the usual ‘Hi, Park Jimin’ which he was expecting, the hot delivery guy asked a question, which threw him off guard.
“Takeaway for one?”
Jimin almost slipped. He almost said ‘as always’, but stopped himself the last second. “Y-yeah,” he stammered, intelligently. Note the sarcasm.
“Where are your friends at tonight?” the delivery guy asked, handing over the food and adding the price of it after his question.
“Urm… out and about,” Jimin replied, looking down to his wallet to get the money. He tried to stop himself from shaking at the new curiosity the delivery guy seemed to have as to the whereabouts of Jimin’s ‘friends’.
“You go to the university, right? Do they go too? Would I know any of them?” The delivery guy asked, and Jimin almost lost it. Almost. He felt his hands wobbling as he handed the money over, wishing that he could be as invisible and uninteresting to the delivery guy as he was to everybody at that stupid university.
“N-No, don’t- don’t think so. Thanks, bye,” Jimin almost slammed the door shut in the delivery guy’s face, quickly sinking down it to calm his breathing. If the delivery guy was fooled by him before, he certainly wasn’t going to be now. Scrunching his eyes shut, Jimin let his head fall against the door, where it stayed for the next hour as tears rolled down his cheeks. He wasn’t hungry anymore.
Guilt wracked Jungkook’s body each time the memory of the door shutting in his face invaded his brain. He hadn’t meant to upset Park Jimin, or make him feel uncomfortable, he just wanted to understand him. Well, now he understood him alright - he understood that the cute guy was an anxious person who covered up his lack of friends to avoid embarrassment. Jungkook didn’t know why Park Jimin didn’t have any friends, but he figured that his nervous disposition had something to do with it, and it broke Jungkook’s heart. Park Jimin was a pretty person. He looked like somebody who should have a lot of friends, judging by the shy, kind smile, gentle giggle and the delicate outward appearance. Jungkook felt an urge to get to know the quiet boy. He wanted to put a megaphone to Park Jimin’s mouth and let him shout to the city about who he was and how he felt, because he could tell that trapped underneath those over-sized sweaters was a gem that had been wrongly shunned by society and had lost its shine, and Jungkook was determined to dig it out.
That’s why he waited eagerly for an order reading ‘Park Jimin’ at work the next day, bouncing on the balls of his feet and taking all the teasing from his co-workers, Seokjin and Namjoon, because he honestly didn’t care at that point. He just wanted a reason to talk to Park Jimin properly, and he would use his job to his advantage. But he could only do that if Park Jimin placed an order and that night, the next and for about a week afterwards, no order baring that name came through.
Jimin hadn’t left his apartment for a week. According to the emails to the university, he was ill. According to reality, he had been hiding in his bed, refusing to get out of it apart from to use the bathroom. He looked sickly, he felt sweaty and he’s pretty sure he smelled weird, but nobody was going to go to his apartment so it didn’t matter. Even if he was gradually turning into a skeleton. None of it mattered, because he didn’t matter to anybody.
Feeling horrible and weak, Jimin decided he should probably have a shower, so he slid out of bed and walked to his bathroom. He wobbled as he tried to undress himself, but managed to make it under the flow of warm water, where he stood for about ten minutes, mind completely blank, until the water started to turn cold. He quickly washed himself then stumbled out of the shower, wrapping one of his big fluffy towels around his body like he used to do when he was a little kid. He shuffled into his bedroom and dried himself, before pulling on some underwear, sweats, a baggy T-shirt and a jumper.
Getting up had made him feel worse. Staying in bed hadn’t used much energy, so Jimin hadn’t felt the drag from the lack of food until that moment. Jimin hadn’t eaten since before the hot delivery guy had exposed him, he had simply climbed into his bed and refused to leave it, hiding from the world that saw him as pathetic. He ignored the burn in his stomach because each time food crossed his mind, the words of the unforgiving people who hated on Jimin when he was younger did, too. They told him he was useless, fat, ugly, unimportant, unloved. He convinced himself that the only place he could avoid all of the hurt and the pain was his bed, that the world would be better off if he never set foot outside again.
Now, as he lay on the floor, head bleeding from where it had hit the corner of his wooden chest of drawers, he cursed himself for being pathetic, and hiding himself from the world. He cursed himself for falling into his old ways, and letting himself be degraded back to the skeleton he once was. He cursed himself for not being good enough for anybody. With shaking fingers, he reached down to his pocket and pulled out his phone, tapping on the only number he ever called.
“No Park Jimin again?” Seokjin asked Jungkook, whilst leaning back into his boyfriend’s embrace. Namjoon, who was resting against the counter, tightened his arms around Seokjin’s waist, watching Jungkook over his shoulder. The three of them were the only remaining workers in the takeaway shop, seeing as it was late at night and the dinnertime rush had passed.
“No. I’ve actually scared him off,” Jungkook groaned, slapping the pizza dough violently onto the counter. He wasn’t even one of the chefs, but he was angry at himself, so Seokjin (the actual chef) had given him the job of kneading dough to relieve some of the anger. Plus it meant he could relax and cuddle with Namjoon.
“Don’t worry,” Namjoon called to the youngest worker “I’m sure he’ll order soon. He’s probably just embarrassed that you worked out his secret. Wouldn’t you be?”
“Well yeah, but-” Jungkook was cut off by the phone, which he turned to with wide eyes. Namjoon patted his boyfriend’s butt so he could move to the phone and picked it up with his usual work greeting. He smirked at Jungkook, who looked at him eagerly, like a puppy would look at a treat.
“I- I need food,” came a weak voice over the phone, causing Namjoon’s face to drop into a frown.
“Sorry, who is this?” He questioned, concern seeping into his tone.
“I- p-please, I can’t- I need food.” The weak voice replied, shaking as sobs broke his sentence. Something was clearly wrong, very wrong. Namjoon stood up straight, his eyes on the floor as he focused on the phone, ignoring the strange looks he was getting from his boyfriend and their co-worker.
“I understand, but you need to tell me who this is. Can you do that for me?” Namjoon questioned firmly, worry squeezing him into its strong hold
“Okay Jimin, my name is Namjoon. Can you tell me where you are?” Namjoon saw Jungkook shift out of the corner of his eye, the younger boy clearly recognising the name.
“My apartment I- I’m falling asleep, hit my head.” Jimin replied, and Namjoon cursed softly under his breath.
“Okay, stay awake for me Jimin, can you do that?” Namjoon heard a hum in reply “And you’re in your apartment,” Namjoon said, directing his eyes to Jungkook, who quickly started to put on his coat and gather his keys. “Can you tell me when you last ate something, Jimin?” Silence met Namjoon’s question as he watched Jungkook and Seokjin rush about their workplace, and he was about to call Jimin’s name into the phone when a weak reply drifted through.
“I don’t- I don’t know. I’m tired.”
“Don’t fall asleep, Jimin,” Namjoon instructed, looking at the number on the monitor and quickly putting it into his phone. “Jimin I’m going to call you back okay? Make sure you pick up.” Namjoon heard a hummed agreement and put the work phone down, before calling Jimin’s number on his mobile. It rang a couple of times as he followed the other two men out of the takeaway shop to the delivery car, and he was worried that Jimin wouldn’t pick up, but sighed in relief when he heard a sleepy ‘hmmm?’ through the phone.
“Jimin, it’s Namjoon again. We’re on our way over to you, and I’m going to stay on the phone with you and we’re going to chat, okay?” Jungkook listened to Namjoon talk as he started the car, and Seokjin told his boyfriend to put it on speaker so they could hear Jimin. His weak reply floated into the tense air of the car through the phone speaker.
“O-okay. Are you nearly here?” Jimin’s voice was shaky, and Jungkook pressed his foot harder on the peddle, determination to reach his angel burning inside him like a fire. Namjoon picked up Seokjin’s phone and gestured for his boyfriend to keep talking to the tired boy on the other end of the line. Seokjin took Namjoon’s phone, watching said man type the emergency number and press the green call button on his phone.
“We’re just coming Jimin, sweetie,” Seokjin replied, clasping onto his boyfriend’s free hand for support. “In the meantime, let’s have a chat, yeah? I’m Seokjin, I’m here with my boyfriend Namjoon and our co-worker Jungkook. Do you have a job?” Namjoon’s eyes stayed on his boyfriend’s lips as he spoke, feeling his heart clench. Seokjin was truly an angel, soothing Jimin with his kind voice to make the other feel less alone. He knew that Jimin must have been scared, and he couldn’t help but think that if he was in Jimin’s situation, he would wish for somebody as amazing as Seokjin to talk to him, too.
“N-no. At uni,” Jimin replied. Namjoon, who was talking to the emergency line, almost dropped the phone as Jungkook made a violent turn to the left.
“And what do you study, angel?”
“M-music. But I- I wanted to dance,” Jimin informed Seokjin, his voice getting quieter. Namjoon motioned for Jungkook to go faster, because fuck speed limits, the boy on the phone was losing consciousness and Namjoon would be damned if something bad happened because of the 30mph rule.
“Jungkook likes dancing too! Maybe you two could dance together at some point. Does that sound good?” Seokjin questioned with a light tone, but frowned when he only got a hum in reply. “Jimin, do you think you and Jungkook could dance together sometime?”
“Yes.” An actual reply came through this time, and Seokjin smiled slightly.
“How close are we?” Namjoon asked the youngest, who was still driving like a mad man.
“About two minutes away.” He replied, not taking his eyes off the road as Namjoon relayed the information to the emergency services. Thank god Jimin lived close to the takeaway shop. Jungkook wouldn’t say it out loud, but guilt was swallowing him whole. Did Jimin starve himself because Jungkook had worked out he was ordering food for himself? He had guessed that Jimin was a fragile type of person but… had he really driven him to starvation?
“I’m- I’m sleepy,”
“We’re nearly there, darling, stay awake,” Seokjin replied, “stay and talk to me.” The instruction earned a hummed response, but as Seokjin called Jimin’s name into the phone, he got no reply. “He’s not replying!” He cried to his boyfriend, who had since gotten off the phone to the emergency services.
“We’re nearly there,” Jungkook announced, pulling up to a small block of apartments and parking the car messily. The three workers got out of the car and ran towards the apartment building, Jungkook taking the lead as he stormed his way to Jimin’s apartment. He didn’t bother knocking when he got there, knowing Jimin wouldn’t be able to answer, and instead reached underneath the door mat to get the spare key, which he had accidentally discovered after tripping over the mat one time.
He shoved the key into the lock and opened the apartment, shouting Jimin’s name and rushing into the lounge instantly to look for the shorter boy. Namjoon followed him but Seokjin, the last one in the apartment, paused by the bedroom when he heard a whine. He hung up Namjoon’s phone and entered the room, his eyes meeting a short blonde lying on the floor, blood on the side of his head. “In here!” Seokjin called as he knelt down by the boy, taking one of Jimin’s small, cold hands in his. Jungkook burst into the room and knelt by Jimin, followed by Namjoon.
“Is he dead? He can’t be dead, Seokjin you’re studying medicine, please don’t tell me he’s-”
“He’s alive, don’t worry, he’s still breathing,” Seokjin replied, trying his best to calm down the panicking boy as he took off his coat and held it to the gash on the side of Jimin’s head to reduce the bleeding.
“This is all my fault,” Jungkook moaned, taking hold of Jimin’s other hand. “If I stayed out of his business he wouldn’t have gotten embarrassed and he wouldn’t have stopped eating and-”
“Jungkook, this isn’t your fault. We don’t even know Jimin, this couldn’t have been your fault-”
“But it was! I practically called him out on having no friends and eating all the takeaway to himself, and now, and now-” Jungkook choked on his panicked tears and almost jumped when Jimin moved slightly.
“Wasn’t… you,” came a weak voice, and Jungkook felt Jimin’s hand squeeze his lightly. “Was me.”
“Jimin sweetie, stay awake for me okay? The ambulance is coming, you’ve just got to stay awake,” Seokjin told the weak boy, brushing his hair slightly, making sure to stay away from the gash near his temple.
“Okay,” Jimin replied, softly. “M’sorry”
“Don’t apologize,” Seokjin instructed “it’s alright. You’re going to be alright,”
Jungkook thought he heard his heart crack when Jimin started to sob, more apologies falling past his lips and getting muffled into the carpet.
“It’s alright, it’s alright,” Seokjin repeated over and over, stroking Jimin’s hair whilst Jimin clutched weakly onto their hands.
“Please don’t leave,” he cried, and now tears were springing to Namjoon’s eyes as he watched both his boyfriend and co-worker crying along with him. They may not have known Jimin, but seeing him lying on the floor, looking pale and week as blood trickled down his face struck their hearts, Jungkook’s especially. He knew that Jimin didn’t deserve it, and it hurt so much to see an angel in such a painful state.
“We won’t, promise,” Jungkook whispered. Seokjin made more quiet conversation with Jimin until there was a shout and suddenly paramedics were rushing into the apartment. Namjoon called out to them and moved away from Jimin, dragging Jungkook with him but the younger boy protested, not wanting to let go of Jimin’s hand which was still weakly holding his own. Jimin had asked them not to leave and it was his fault Jimin was in this situation, he’d be damned if he let go willingly. But Namjoon physically uncurled his fingers from Jimin’s hand, telling the younger boy to move back and let the paramedics deal with it as Seokjin informed them of Jimin’s current situation.
As they were moving Jimin out of the apartment, one of the paramedics stated that one person could go with the patient, as Jimin was becoming stressed and needed to be kept calm. Jungkook was ready to demand to go with Jimin, but Namjoon pulled him away into the lounge of the apartment, telling the paramedic that Seokjin would be going.
“Why did you do that?!” Jungkook cried, trying to get out of Namjoon’s strong grip.
“Because you need to calm down,” Namjoon replied quietly, trying to stay calm himself. “I understand that you think this is your fault, but you barely know Jimin. This isn’t your fault. Maybe you said something you shouldn’t have, but obviously Jimin has some issues that he’s dealing with. His mental health has nothing to do with you. Now try to calm down, they might let us see him later but you have to calm down.” Namjoon pulled Jungkook into a hug, letting the younger sob into his shoulder as he did. He rocked his co-worker for a while, until the last of the tired sobs subsided and sniffles filled the air.
“We should probably leave. You’re welcome to stay at mine and Jin’s place, if you like?” Jungkook nodded “okay. I’ll call Yoongi and get him to close up the shop and deal with that order we had, and then I’ll text Jin and see what’s going on with Jimin, alright?” Jungkook nodded again as he let Namjoon lead him out of the apartment. “Don’t worry too much, I’m sure you’ll be able to see Jimin soon,” Namjoon instructed, smiling kindly at the younger boy. Jungkook nodded for a third time, no reply leaving his lips.
Seokjin let himself into his shared apartment quietly and walked into the kitchen, where Namjoon was leaning against the counter, a mug in hand. He put it down and took Seokjin into his arms, the latter burying his face into his neck.
“How’s Jimin?” Namjoon asked after a bit of silence.
“The doctors said he’s a bit unsteady but he should be fine. He- he had a lot of tubes connected to him when they let me see him, and he was asleep but I- I held his hand for a bit, until they said I had to leave. They contacted his parents, but they don’t live near here, so it’ll take them a while to see him. I- I asked if I could go back to see him tomorrow, and they said normally they wouldn’t allow it because I’m not family, but Jimin would most likely be stressed and it might be a good idea for somebody to be there to comfort him.”
“But we don’t even know him,” Namjoon stated, frowning slightly.
“I might have lied a bit and said we were his friends… I know it’s bad to lie to the hospital Joonie but- but he just looked so lonely-” Seokjin cut himself off. Namjoon could tell by the constantly rising pitch that the other man was going to cry.
“It’s alright,” Namjoon whispered “The shock’s catching up to you, try to breathe. You did so well talking to Jimin, babe, I’m so proud of you. You really are an angel.” Seokjin smiled slightly through his tears at the words and snuggled closer to his boyfriend, who placed soft kisses atop his head. They stayed in that position for a while, before Namjoon pulled away slightly and downed the rest of his coffee, which was now cold.
“Let’s get ready for bed, we’ve had a long day. Make sure you’re quiet - Jungkook’s already asleep on the sofa.”
“Where are you going?” Seokjin cursed slightly under his breath. He had hoped that Jungkook wouldn’t wake up before he left to go see Jimin at the hospital, but he wasn’t surprised that he had - it was two in the afternoon already, he should have been awake by that point. “Are you going to see Jimin? I’ll come too!”
“Jungkook, you have a lecture to get to,” Namjoon said, not looking up from the book he was reading “you can’t miss it. You can visit Jimin later.”
“But that’s not fair!” Jungkook whined “How come Seokjin-hyung gets to go? It’s my fault Jimin’s in hospital, I should be the one to-”
“It’s not your fault!” Namjoon exclaimed, looking up from his book. “Jungkook, Jimin told you himself that it wasn’t your fault. Obviously he had issues before you ever spoke to him, so you really cannot blame it on yourself. Jimin will probably still be in hospital after your lectures, you can visit him then, okay?”
Jungkook huffed but nodded, getting up from the sofa and stretching. “I should probably go back home and change anyway, I’m still in my work clothes,” he mumbled, walking towards the front door. Seokjin smiled kindly and waited for the youngest to put his shoes on before leading him out of the apartment.
As they walked, Jungkook made him promise to apologize to Jimin and let Jimin know that Jungkook really didn’t mean any harm, before leaving Seokjin to go home whilst the older continued to the hospital.
When Jimin woke he felt tired, despite having just slept. His body felt heavy and his brain was pounding, kind of like he was suffering through an intense hangover. He groaned a little bit and opened his eyes. His vision was blurry, so he let them focus before looking to the side to see who was holding his hand. He didn’t recognize the person and faltered slightly, having expected to see his mum, but the boy gave him a kind smile and squeezed his hand gently, so he relaxed a bit.
“Hello, I don’t suppose you’re going to remember me but I’m Seokjin, I was one of the people who helped you last night,” Jimin thought back, but the most he could remember was trying to struggle into his hoodie after taking a shower.
“What happened?” he rasped.
“You called the takeaway place I work at and told us you needed food, my boyfriend was the one who picked up your call and he noticed that something wasn’t quite right. You said you couldn’t remember the last time you’d eaten, and that you felt sleepy after hitting your head, so we went to your apartment and called an ambulance. I don’t know what you hit your head on, but you have a gash on your temple, and that mixed with the lack of food made everything worse. The hospital contacted your parents yesterday before I left, so they should be coming soon.” Seokjin stopped for a second, letting Jimin process his story, before continuing “I’m sorry, I know it’s not the best - waking up to a stranger in your hospital room, but you kept asking us not to leave you and I didn’t want you to be alone, so I told the hospital that we were friends so I could come back… I can leave if you want, or call somebody…?”
“No, it’s fine,” Jimin replied, quietly “Thank you for looking after me. I’m sorry, I must have been a bother-”
“No no, it’s quite alright. It was a quiet night anyway, and I’m glad you called - who knows what would have happened if you didn’t. Jungkook nearly died of fright when we saw you-”
“Jungkook?” Jimin questioned, frowning slightly.
“Jungkook- you mean, after all those months of mentioning the ‘cute angel who lives as apartment 34′, he never even told you his name?!” Cue an intense blush on Jimin’s cheeks “Aish. He works at our takeaway place, delivers food, quite hot, round eyes, bunny teeth…” Seokjin described, and Jimin faltered because he knew exactly who the other man was talking about. “He wanted to come and see you-” Jimin felt his heart jump slightly “-but he had a lecture to get to, so he told me to tell you that he’s sorry, and that he didn’t mean any offense from the other day-”
“Tell him it’s fine,” Jimin replied, cutting Seokjin off “Honestly, I was just being stupid. I’m the one who put myself in the no-friend situation, and I was the one who caused my relapse. I had… issues eating… before I knew him, none of it was his fault.”
“He wanted to come and visit you, I didn’t know if-” before Seokjin could continue, the door burst open and two middle aged people entered, rushing over to Jimin’s bed in an excited frenzy. Seokjin stepped back as the people, who he guessed were Jimin’s parents, stood next to the bed.
“Jimin! What happened? Is my baby okay?” The woman panicked, taking hold of Jimin’s hand, the one Seokjin had just been holding.
“I’m fine, mum,” Jimin replied, tears building in his eyes as his mum hugged him tightly. Seokjin smiled and nodded at Jimin’s father, who gave him a kind one in return, before Seokjin left the room. He figured the family would want their privacy. Jimin watched Seokjin leave over his mother’s shoulder and smiled slightly, warmth filling him because after years of being alone, somebody other than the nameless delivery guy (who he now knew the name of) had shown him what it was like to have a friend, even if it was very brief, and for that, Jimin was thankful.
Two weeks passed, and Jimin went back to his own apartment and started to attend lectures again, except now he had two very clingy friends constantly invading his apartment, whose names were Seokjin and Namjoon. At first, Jimin had been hesitant to hang out with the two, but after realizing Seokjin wasn’t going to let him turn down the offer of having him cook, he agreed to spend time with them… which turned into them basically living in Jimin’s apartment. They went home at night, but after their lectures they’d always end up back in the apartment the next day. Jimin didn’t want to seem ungrateful, he knew they were just looking out for him, but he hadn’t spent that much time around other people in years, he felt overwhelmed and needed a moment to himself. That’s why he let out a sigh of relief when he returned to his apartment and found texts from Seokjin telling him that he was sorry but Namjoon had taken him on a date, so they couldn’t hang out that day. Jimin replied letting the older boy know it was fine, before getting changed into comfortable clothes and flopping down onto the sofa. No sooner had he done so, he heard his doorbell ring.
“Honestly Seokjin, I appreciate it but I’m fine, enjoy your date with-” Jimin stopped mid-sentence, swinging open his door to find somebody he hadn’t expected to see standing there - the hot delivery guy, aka Jungkook. Jimin hadn’t heard hide nor hair of him since Seokjin had told Jimin his apology at the hospital, and he had wondered where the other boy had gotten to. Not that he thought Jungkook should be hanging out with him like his co-workers, but he had wanted to talk to him for a little while now, and was saddened that he hadn’t managed to. He missed Jungkook’s attempts at making him smile.
“Hi,” Jungkook said, awkwardly shifting in the doorway.
“Hi,” Jimin replied, looking down slightly.
“Can I- would it be okay if I came in?” Jungkook asked.
“I mean, you didn’t have a problem when you used my spare key the other night,” Jimin had meant it as a joke, but it flopped immensely when Jungkook looked up at him with wide eyes. This is why Jimin didn’t interact with people. “Sorry, that was meant to be a joke but- yeah, just come in.” Jimin backed away from the door and went into the lounge, letting Jungkook follow him. “Do you want anything to drink?” He questioned, earning a shake of the head in reply, so he gestured for Jungkook to sit down and sat at the other end of the sofa. Jungkook took off his bag and placed it on the floor before sitting down too.
“I’m sorry I haven’t come to see you yet,” Jungkook started, slowly. “I just- I didn’t really know what to say. Park Jimin, I’m so sorry, I never meant to be malicious with my questions or hurt your feelings, I just-”
“It’s alright,” Jimin smiled gently at Jungkook, who stared back in disbelief “you didn’t do anything wrong. I’ve-” Jimin sighed heavily, hesitant to tell Jungkook his situation in case it scared the other off. But then again, Jungkook had seen him lying on the floor with blood flowing from his head, so he’d lost most of his dignity already. “I’ve been suffering with anxiety and eating disorders for a while, and because of my anxiety I’ve never really found it easy to make friends, so I keep to myself. You were the only person I had conversations with who wasn’t family or my teacher. I- Well- Thank you for helping me that night, it really means a lot that you, Namjoon and Seokjin came to my aid.”
“Jimin-hyung,” Jungkook said, gently “have you been alone all this time?” Jimin nodded, not knowing what to say. Jungkook probably thought he was pathetic. He was waiting to hear laughter, or a scoff… he didn’t expect to be wrapped in a hug. “You’re not alone anymore. I know Namjoon and Seokjin have been hanging out with you, and they consider you one of their friends now. I know it might seem like they’re just acting out of guilt or responsibility, but they care for you and… and if you wanted, I could be there for you, too?” Jungkook questioned cautiously, his breath hitching when he felt Jimin’s arms tighten around him. “I hate that we’ve been brought together by something so horrible. I had wanted to start talking to you properly for a while, because every time I delivered to your apartment I was in awe at how cute and pretty and gentle you are, but I had no reason to talk to you, and I wanted to talk to you so badly. Jimin, you are literally my definition of perfect. I know that’s a big thing to say when we don’t know each other that well, but sometimes, seeing you is the highlight of my day and the one thing I can look forward to. Hearing your giggle and seeing your incredible smile… it makes me happy to see you happy, and it’s a breathtaking sight.” Jimin’s eyes widened - Jungkook, the hot delivery guy who he’d been crushing on for months, liked him too? No, no that couldn’t be right. Jungkook was insanely hot and had a good body and was just all around golden, there was no way he could ever like a fat lump like Jimin.
Jimin turned his head to the side slightly, Jungkook mirroring his actions, their faces so close that their noses were brushing together and they could feel each other’s breath on their lips. Jungkook’s hand came up to rest on the back of Jimin’s head and he leaned in gently, letting his lips meet Jimin’s plump ones in a sweet and simple peck. Okay, maybe there was one way that somehow lead to him liking Jimin.
Jungkook leaned back slightly to see Jimin’s reaction, but the shorter male clasped onto the front of Jungkook’s shirt and pulled him forwards, smashing their lips back together and God I’m kissing Jungkook holy shit I can’t believe I just did that!
Jungkook smiled as his they kissed. It wasn’t the best kiss ever, because neither had learned the pattern of the other yet, but it ignited something in him, something which spread warmth throughout his stomach and made him hold the man in his arms tighter than before. This was all Jungkook had dreamed about (along with some other, 18+ scenarios which he won’t mention) for months, and it had finally happened. Maybe it wasn’t the way he had fantasied about, and maybe if he had acted sooner he could have saved Jimin from some of the pain, but that didn’t matter anymore. What mattered was that Jimin was there, in his arms, kissing him, and Jungkook was kissing right back. What mattered was that after that kiss, Jimin would agree to go on a date with Jungkook. What mattered was that after a few dates, Jimin would say yes to being his boyfriend. What mattered was that after all that, Jimin would finally feel like he mattered.
But what mattered most, in that moment, was that Jimin could finally share a takeaway, because it wasn’t just ‘sharing a takeaway’, it symbolized something so much more than that. It symbolized friendship and caring and not being alone anymore. It symbolized a turning point in Jimin’s life, the first stepping stone on the path to happiness.
So when Jungkook reached down to his bag and revealed a freshly made Chinese takeaway, Jimin couldn’t stop the smile that came onto his lips and made him shine brighter than the sun.