The smile on Jimin’s face is breathtaking as he watches the video, eyes curving. One hand quickly comes up to hide his laugh in his palm. A shame, in Jungkook’s opinion, but who’d ask him anyway, they all know he's infatuated. Every single one of them is aware. He is aware. And then there’s Jimin.
Jungkook is jostled out of his thoughts when Taehyung nudges him into the ribs with a jab of his elbow, one eyebrow arched knowingly. “Stop staring,” he whispers to tease, eyes glinting.
Jungkook presses his lips together, takes a deep breath and directs his attention elsewhere, fingers finding Seokjin’s shoulders, kneading the cords of muscle to keep him occupied. Seokjin briefly throws a glance in his general direction from where he sits propped up against the sofa between Jungkook’s legs and snorts before returning his attention to the screen again, no questions asked as to why Jungkook suddenly decided to grant him a massage.
They all know.
Except for Jimin, who is now leaning over the armrest, still exhilarated by their antics on the screen. Jungkook fights hard to keep his eyes trained on the TV, too, hands clenching. Seokjin stiffens but doesn’t complain. He catches Namjoon watching them out of the corner of his eyes from where he’s seated on an armchair to the side before he sighs and resumes his conversation with Yoongi in a low murmur.
“I’ll get some snacks,” Hoseok announces and receives a round of cheers. Jimin stops laughing, looks up and naturally volunteers to help him carry them.
Jungkook stares after them—after him—until they’ve vanished around the corner.
“Yah, Jungkook-ah,” Seokjin turns, brushing off Jungkook’s hands, “it hurts.”
Namjoon’s attention is back on him, too, the look he gives him almost accusatory.
Tae throws an arm around Jungkook’s tense shoulders. “Just tell him, Jungkookie,” he chirps good-naturedly, and leans in, wide boxy grin radiant.
“Yeah, please do. I seriously can’t stand to watch this for much longer,” Yoongi drawls, expression bored as always.
Jungkook’s face heats up immediately and he shakes off Tae’s arm, anxiously eyeing the door through which Jimin and Hoseok could come back at any moment. “Shut up,” he mumbles, too embarrassed for politeness.
Yoongi groans, pinches the bridge of his nose. “Then let me do it. It’s like ripping off a band-aid.”
The room is silent after Jungkook’s loud protest, all staring at him and his wide-eyed horrified expression before they either laugh or shake their heads, Tae ruffling his hair amiably.
“Are you all teasing Jungkookie again?” Jimin asks, not without amusement in his tone, soft smile curling his plush lips as he returns with bags of chips in his small hands, Hoseok on his heels, cans of drinks in his arms.
Jungkook is downright mortified.
“It’s not like he doesn’t deserve it for what he puts us through,” Yoongi drones, accepting a can of beer from Hoseok.
Jimin settles in Hoseok’s old spot beside Jungkook on the sofa and distributes the bags of chips to greedy hands, this thigh pressing against Jungkook’s as he leans forward. When he settles properly again, he looks at Jungkook.
“You’re cute when you’re blushing, Jungkookie, you know that?”
Jungkook prays for the ground to swallow him whole.
Beside him, Tae snorts like the damn traitor he is before he reaches out and pinches one of Jungkook’s burning cheeks. “He is, isn’t he. So cute our Jungkookie.”
Jungkook tilts his head, expression promising a slow painful death, jaw tense, teeth gritted. But his breath catches in his throat when Jimin laughs at their antics, the sound high and clear and wholesome, resting his head on Jungkook’s shoulder, one hand on his thigh. “You should see your face, Jungkook-ah.”
In front of them, Yoongi groans and Namjoon buries his face in his hand, shaking his head as Seokjin’s frame trembles with suppressed laughter. A can pops open with a hiss. “I definitely need more than one drink if I want to make it through tonight,” Hoseok mumbles. Yoongi grunts in affirmation. Jungkook is too distressed to notice any of it.
Luckily, they keep their opinions on Jungkook and his annoying crush to themselves for the rest of the night, finish watching the video and then another, remarking more on what their past selves do on screen than what’s happening between Jimin and Jungkook on the sofa. Though, of course, Jungkook has trouble paying attention to the recap of their travels, hyper-aware of Jimin’s presence beside him, the warmth of his thigh, his upper arm, the faint scent of his cologne. And he would lie if he said he wasn’t looking for more proximity, leaning in to make a subtle statement without giving away too much or coming on too strong.
He wonders if Jimin can feel his heartbeat with how close they are, and has to put in all the effort not to return Jimin’s gaze when he looks at him out of the corner of his eyes, watches, observes.
Jungkook is so immersed in his thoughts and feelings, he doesn’t realise how everyone gets up and leaves to go to bed one after the other. He acknowledges Taehyung with a dazed nod, because the sofa shifts when he stands up, but his focus is elsewhere. On Jimin’s head resting on his shoulder again, heavy with fatigue.
“Yah, Jungkook-ah,” Jimin says.
He jolts, hazy mind cleared like a violent gust of wind has swept across its plains.
They are alone. He swallows thickly.
“Time to go to bed, hm?”
Jimin’s eyes are gentle as they meet Jungkook’s, the lines of his face as soft as ever, angelic, mesmerising. Jungkook’s heart skips a beat. The video is a low murmur on the edge of his consciousness, as if there’s a bubble containing only him and Jimin. It’s fuzzy and warm inside of it, filled entirely with the radiances of Jimin’s smile, bright despite its tenderness.
“Yeah,” Jungkook croaks, voice hoarse. The ache to reach out and pull Jimin close, hold him, cling to him, is sudden, overwhelming. But he’s too scared to move a muscle. Jimin’s lips twitch, smile widening as if he knows. It attracts Jungkook’s eyes like the sun’s gravity pulls in the planets.
“Jungkook-ah.” His name is a soft sigh out of Jimin’s mouth, tentative fingertips bumping against his knuckles.
He holds his breath.
A small hand covers his own, warm, a bit clammy, trembling.
His eyes widen. He’s a deer trapped in headlights.
Jimin wets his lips, smile faltering before he breathes in deep, gaze locked with Jungkook’s. He leans in.
Jungkook’s world shifts out of perspective. The ground drops and he’s in zero gravity.
The kiss is as tender as Jimin’s smile, as tentative as the touch of his hand. And it’s real.
Their imaginary bubble pops, Jungkook’s chest expanding with too many emotions filling a space too little to contain them all.
His heart thunders.
He shifts, angles his face and kisses back, catching Jimin’s quiet sigh of relief, tossing it into the whirl of a thousand butterflies trapped behind his ribs.
It’s not a daydream. It’s real.