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Walking Through a World Gone Blind

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“You know what? That wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be.”

“Well, you got a private lesson before class, so.”

“I think I lost half my body weight in sweat, but it’s pretty obvious to me.”

“What is?”

“That I’m a yoga genius and that you’re just an amateur in comparison.”

“You little—” Jeongguk whacked Jimin’s arm, and Jimin flinched with a laugh, still wiping some sweat from the back of his neck. Before class, he had dedicated a solid hour to walking Jimin through every pose and every sequence he planned to teach during his intermediate level hot yoga class, and Jimin had managed to remember nearly every pose. Jeongguk had noticed only a few times when he had forgotten, mostly because he’d just hung out in downward facing dog like he was taking a little rest.

“Ow, okay, okay,” Jimin said as Jeongguk grabbed the folded up cane from the changing room shelf. He pulled off the elastic cord and shook it out until it pieced together, and then he handed it to Jimin. It was completely natural now, the way that he understood what to do.

“Yoongi hyung said he was ordering Thai food for dinner,” Jimin said as they headed out of the yoga studio to Jeongguk’s car. He had one AirPod in his ear, and he was clearly listening to his text messages. “Uh… Oh, because Tae is there studying for his exam, apparently. Did you know that he has a toothbrush in our bathroom now? Yoongi hyung doesn’t even live with us and Tae has a toothbrush in our apartment bathroom. What the hell is happening?”

“A disruption of the order,” Jeongguk joked, and Jimin snickered, his cane hitting the bottom of Jeongguk’s car. He threw open the door and collapsed into the passenger seat, and Jeongguk hopped into the driver’s seat.

With the holidays fast approaching and the pressures of school weighing down on both of them, Jeongguk found himself spending more time at Jimin’s apartment than ever, and more than half the time, Taehyung was there, too. They studied together and spam-called Namjoon to get all the answers, but mostly, they tried to distract themselves using Jimin and Yoongi.

Jimin, though, had his own method of studying when he needed to. He had two sets of AirPods, and he wore one AirPod from one set in each ear for a different device. The right ear was for his phone. The left ear was for his laptop. He would listen to the lectures from his classes he recorded on his phone in his right ear, and then he would take notes or complete his assignments on his laptop using the AirPod in his left ear so he could hear the feedback from his computer.

“Since he’s the one ordering, I’m assuming he’s paying,” Jeongguk said with a grin as they climbed the stairs to apartment 316.

“I don’t ever ask that kind of thing,” Jimin said honestly. “Because then he asks if I want to financially contribute. So be a good boy and keep your mouth shut and just wait for the food to show up.”

When they walked into the apartment, Jimin hung up his coat and his cane while kicking his shoes off, and Jeongguk just stared at the scene before him. Yoongi was sprawled on the couch with his laptop on his thighs, clearly working on something, wearing a red beanie and a tired expression. Taehyung was sitting on the opposite end of the couch, his legs thrown over Yoongi’s, a textbook in his lap, wearing his glasses while he munched on some pretzels.

“Hey, hyung. Hey, Tae,” Jimin said, shuffling over to the kitchen to the fridge to get some water. “How’s the studying?”

“I’m dying,” Taehyung said casually. “How was yoga?”

“I’m dying,” Jimin replied just the same, grabbing a glass from the cabinet and setting it on the counter. Months ago, Jeongguk would have lunged to help hold the glass still or would have offered to pour the drink. Now he just leaned against the countertop and watched as Jimin held the glass and stuck his pointer finger over the rim into it, and then he set the spout of the water jug against the rim and began to slowly pour. Once he felt the water touch his finger, he stopped.

“Food’s on its way,” Yoongi said distractedly, eyes still glued to his laptop. Then he nudged Taehyung with his foot and turned his laptop around. “Is it better now?”

“…Yeah, the legs look more natural,” Taehyung said, and Yoongi nodded, turning the screen back around. Jeongguk peered over his shoulder to see Yoongi working on animating a dog, and he shook his head, fascinated.

“Okay, I’m gross.” Jimin set down his empty glass of water on the counter. “I’m gonna rinse off in the nice shower.”

“Uh, you might not want to—” Taehyung loudly began, scrambling, but Jimin didn’t get the warning in time. He opened the bathroom door, and Jeongguk jumped a mile when he heard a series of shouts that definitely didn’t belong to Jimin. Then he heard Hoseok’s loud laugh, so he marched down the hallway to see what the hell was going on.

“What’s going—oh, for fuck’s sake, seriously?!” he exclaimed. Hoseok was in near tears from laughing so hard, slumped against the bathroom countertop wearing only a pair of gym shorts, his hair damp. Namjoon was standing on the bathmat wrapped in just a towel, fresh from the shower, and Jeongguk was just about ready to bang his head against the wall.

“So, apparently I can’t take a shower right now,” Jimin casually said, arms folded, grin on his face.

“Wait a fucking minute,” Jeongguk said, and then he lunged out of the bathroom and headed straight for Hoseok’s room. He heard Namjoon shouting in protest and Hoseok’s laughter getting louder, so he threw open the bedroom door. “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?”

“…Oh. Hey,” Seokjin said, glancing up from his phone with all the nonchalance in the world, leaning against the pillows with a sheet draped over his clearly naked body.

“THEY WERE LIKE THAT WHEN WE GOT HERE,” Taehyung hollered from the living room.

“WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON IN THIS APARTMENT?” Jeongguk hollered. “WHY ARE YOU ALL HERE? WHY IS EVERYONE FUCKING EACH OTHER? WHO GAVE ANY OF YOU PERMISSION?”

“Thanks, Dad, but you started it,” Seokjin said, and Jeongguk rounded on him with a pointer finger raised. Seokjin recoiled, always terrified of his younger friend’s reactions, but then he started laughing, slouching against the pillows.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” Jeongguk cursed, trying not to laugh now as he dropped his hand. Jimin seemed highly amused by it all, and Jeongguk just considered his boyfriend lucky that he didn’t have to see such a visually scarring scene. “I hope the dick was worth it, you idiots.”

“It was a dream, thanks for your concern,” Seokjin said airily.

“And don’t you tell me I started it, I happened to find an actual boyfriend, you raging asshole,” Jeongguk said, and Seokjin burst out laughing as the younger grabbed a pair of pants from the floor and threw them at Seokjin’s face. “Should I even fucking ask if you’re staying for dinner?”

“WE ORDERED THEIR FOOD FOR THEM,” Yoongi shouted.

“My life is a fucking shit show,” Jeongguk muttered to himself, shaking his head as he stepped back into the hallway and peeked into the bathroom. Namjoon at least had some pants on now, and he looked sheepish but not ashamed at all. Hoseok was already in the living room looking for a drink like he hadn’t just initiated a threesome with Jeongguk’s best friends.

“You started it.”

“Did not,” Jeongguk sighed as Jimin wrapped his arms around the younger’s waist. Jeongguk leaned down and kissed Jimin’s forehead affectionately, and then he wrinkled his nose with a smile. “You smell. We both smell. Shower?”

“Yeah, I was gonna use the nice big shower, but apparently, I’ll have to use my tiny little one in my room,” Jimin complained jokingly, and Namjoon stifled a laugh.

“No, no, it’s fine. You can use this one,” he insisted. “Sorry.”

“Oh, you hear that, babe? We can use the big shower,” Jeongguk said. Namjoon nudged Jeongguk on his way out, pulling his shirt on overhead, and then he slipped into the living room.

After showering together, the food arrived. Jeongguk sat by while Yoongi divided it all up evenly, and the seven of them sat on the floor around the coffee table, passing around chopsticks and takeaway containers, arguing over who ordered what, demanding that someone get beer for the entire group. Jeongguk had never assumed that his friendship group would expand beyond Namjoon, Seokjin, and Taehyung. Now he had Jimin sitting in his lap, Hoseok on his right, and Yoongi across the table next to Taehyung. It was the last thing he ever expected to happen. Then again, Jimin had completely blindsided him, so Jeongguk figured he should start to normalize such surprises.

But being in such a domestic situation only made him think about where his life was going. He rubbed Jimin’s back as he ate with one hand, and he let his mind wander to all the what-ifs. Seven months later and he was sickeningly in love with Park Jimin, and who could blame him? Jeongguk had a boyfriend who talked him through all his homework, gave him advice on life, chatted with him about fake scenario legal cases, cooked him dinner if he was running late, played the violin for him while he was studying because he could.

So then what if he had that all the time?

What if Jeongguk came home from school or from the yoga studio and Jimin was just… there? What if they could sleep in the same bed not just after having sex, but all the time? What if they had a schedule to share with each other? What if they just lived together?

Jeongguk decided to pop the question to Jimin like it was a marriage proposal after his second intramural soccer game. Jimin was caught up at work and couldn’t attend the game, but since Taehyung attended, Jimin received a whole slew of text messages about how well Jeongguk did and how he got another free month of prime parking on campus for helping his team win the game. Post-game, Jeongguk swung right by Noteworthy, where Jimin was sitting outside on the stairs with his cane folded in his lap, his headphones in, texting away on his phone as he waited.

“HYUNG!”

Jeongguk had learned not to beep the horn to alert Jimin of his presence (it scared him), so he rolled down the window to call for his boyfriend. Jimin whipped his head up, grinned, and shoved his phone in his jacket pocket. Then he hopped to his feet, shook his cane out so it pieced together, and then hurried down the stairs, listening for the sound of the running car to guide him. He bumped into the hood of the car a little before making his way around, but Jeongguk said nothing. Jimin hated people commenting on any bouts of blindness-induced clumsiness on his part, so Jeongguk had learned to just accept it for what it was and sometimes found it endearing.

“Are you just taking me home, or are we going back to your place?” Jimin asked.

“Back to mine, if that’s okay,” Jeongguk said. Mine, but it could be “ours” if you wanted it to be, he thought, his heart leaping into his throat. “Thought I’d make dinner.”

“That’d be great,” Jimin sighed. “I’m fucking exhausted. I have a term paper due tomorrow, you know the one I’ve been talking about? Can you read it over tonight for me?”

“Yeah, of course I can.”

“You’re an angel.”

“Yeah, well, I love you,” Jeongguk said, and even though it was a lame response, Jimin lit up and rolled his head over to look at Jeongguk.

“I love you, too. Thanks for helping me out.”

“Yeah. Always.”

Jeongguk ended up making a stew where he threw whatever he had in the fridge right in, including rice cakes and fishcakes and kimchi and some wide glass noodles—everything but the kitchen sink, so to speak. Jimin barely had time to breathe in between bites because he was so hungry, and Jeongguk smiled to himself. Park Jimin sitting at his kitchen table in Jeongguk’s clothes, barefaced and scarfing down dinner. What the hell could be better than that?

After dinner, Jimin pull his laptop out of his bag and handed it over to Jeongguk so Jeongguk could read the ten-page term paper for the millionth time. Every page Jimin had added, Jeongguk had read. Jimin seemed pleased, mostly because he said that Hoseok never cared much to read his work or provide feedback, and Yoongi was always at work. Having Jeongguk, Jimin said, was the best thing to happen to him academically.

“Do you like it here?” Jeongguk quietly asked as he handed Jimin’s laptop back. Jimin hopped up to put it back in his bag, so Jeongguk hopped up as well, standing awkwardly with a racing heart.

“Here? In California? Yeah.”

“No. I mean, here,” Jeongguk said, swallowing the lump in his throat. “My apartment.”

“Yeah, of course I do,” Jimin said casually, pivoting. “That’s a weird question.”

“What if you just came here all the time?”

“Don’t I already do that?” Jimin scooted forward and wrapped his arms around Jeongguk’s neck, and Jeongguk slipped his arms around Jimin’s waist.

“What if all your stuff was here?”

“Can you please start making sense?” Jimin teased with a smile, so Jeongguk swallowed down his fear and took a deep breath.

“I want you to move in with me.”

“…Seriously?” Jimin breathed after holding his breath for a moment. Jeongguk grinned.

“Yeah. Seriously. I love you. I hate being apart from you. I want you to move in with me, babe. I want all the stupid stuff like—I don’t know, waking up with you every morning and complaining about the mess you make in the bathroom and fighting over where to put our shoes.”

“On a rack at the front door.”

“Debatable.”

“You really want me to—I mean, you’re really okay with—I’m not really—Guk,” Jimin stammered, laughing and dropping his forehead onto Jeongguk’s shoulder, his arms still around the younger’s neck. Jeongguk turned his head and kissed Jimin’s neck affectionately, and then he held the love of his life close, hoping desperately that his laughter meant “yes.”

“…Baby?” He pulled away when the silence was too long, but Jimin didn’t budge. “Sweetheart, are you—do you want to?”

But he still wouldn’t take his head off Jeongguk’s shoulder. Jeongguk playfully tried to poke at him, tried to peel him off, but Jimin refused. Curious, Jeongguk quietly scooted over until they were near the couch, and he gently lowered the two of them onto it. Jimin instantly broke away and rested his elbows on his knees, face buried in his hands. Jeongguk just sat there and stared, trying to make sense of the sudden rollercoaster of emotions. Fuck, was it too soon? Had he made a mistake in asking?

“What’s wrong?” Jeongguk quietly asked. “D-Do you not want to live together?”

“No.”

“No you don’t want to live together, or no that’s not it?”

“That’s not it,” Jimin whispered into his hands.

“Then what is it? I don’t understand.”

“No, you don’t. You don’t understand. At all.”

“What do you mean? What don’t I understand? Make me understand,” Jeongguk insisted, shifting so that his left knee bumped Jimin’s right. “Make me, hyung. I don’t… tell me.”

“You don’t understand the kind of life you’re asking for,” Jimin whispered, and that was when Jeongguk heard it. The hardened tone of his voice, the lack of warmth. Jimin was slowly building up his defenses, quietly pushing Jeongguk an arm’s length away to keep him at bay, to protect himself. But from what, and why? From being hurt? Jeongguk would never.

“I’m just asking you to move in with me. I’m asking for a life with you,” Jeongguk said simply. “What’s hard to understand about that?”

“Because it seems nice now,” Jimin said. “But you don’t know what you’re getting into, Guk.”

“So tell me.”

“It’s—at the risk of sounding like an idiot, Jeongguk-ah, I’m blind. I’m legally blind, and I don’t know if you really get that,” Jimin said in a strangled voice. Jeongguk wanted to reply, but he suddenly got the feeling that he needed to just listen, so he sat quietly, biting his tongue. “You know it, you’ve seen it, but I—I don’t think you’ve fully grasped the concept.”

“…What’s not to grasp?” Jeongguk asked when there was a pause.

“That my life, my entire life from now until I die, is going to be completely different,” Jimin continued, voice still strained. “I can’t sit and watch TV the way sighted people do. I can’t look at your phone when something’s funny. Can’t see all the memes you laugh at. I can’t see your face first thing in the morning when you wake up, can’t tell if you’re upset or smiling. Can’t see your face when we have sex. Can’t see your expression when you walk through the door from work, can’t tell if you’ve had a bad day or not just by looking at you.”

“Hyung,” Jeongguk said quietly, but Jimin was on a roll, and he was becoming increasingly emotional, sitting fully upright, his eyes shining.

“And what happens in the future, Guk?” he asked, blinking rapidly. “Humor me for a second. Pretend that we actually have a chance. What happens the day we get married? I can’t see the man I love standing in front of me to say vows.” Now tears were leaking from his eyes, but he kept pressing on, sounding angrier the more he talked. “I can’t look at our wedding day pictures five years later. If you tell me you want kids, then what? I can’t fucking see them. Can’t see the artwork they’ll bring home from school, can’t help them with their homework. Can’t drive them to piano recitals or swimming lessons or whatever the fuck they want to do. Everything takes me twice as long, Guk, and I wish you would just stop this bullshit and realize what you’re doing to yourself.”

“Hyung,” Jeongguk whispered, because now Jimin was close to sobbing, but he wasn’t finished.

“I wish that you’d come to your senses and just leave me,” he snapped with a small cough, choking on his own tears. “This isn’t the life you want, Jeongguk-ah. You’re only limiting yourself. I’m not good enough for you and we both know it. The only thing I can give you long-term is misery, do you get that? You can do so much better than me. I’m so fucking sorry. I’m so sorry that I entertained this stupid fucking fantasy for so long, I—” That was it. The words died in his throat, and he let out a horrible, heartbreaking sob as he collapsed forward, elbows on his knees again, head in his hands, shoulders shaking as he cried. Jeongguk just sat there, tears steadily but quietly trickling down his face, wondering why.

Why?

What had Jeongguk done, or not done, to make Jimin feel like this, feel so worthless? Had Jeongguk not tried hard enough? Had he not consistently proven and shown Jimin that he was worthy of love and near worship, that he was the most beautiful soul Jeongguk had ever met? Had Jeongguk not loved him fiercely enough? The very thought of his possible shortcomings made Jeongguk’s chest ache. Was it him? Had he done this?

“H-Hyung,” Jeongguk finally said, and Jimin, his sobs having mildly subsided, lifted his head, eyes bloodshot and swollen from crying, shoulders slightly slumped. “I need you to listen to me.”

“Jeongguk-ah, I—”

“No, listen. I need you to listen,” Jeongguk said, his voice cracking. “How fucking dare you?”

“Wh-What?” Jimin sounded stunned.

“How fucking dare you talk about yourself like that?” Jeongguk snapped hoarsely. “How could you?”

“I-I didn’t—Jeongguk-ah, don’t—”

“No, I said listen,” Jeongguk insisted. “I don’t need to watch TV when you’re around, or look at my stupid phone. I do it too fucking much anyways and you know that. You’ve never seen my face first thing in the morning, but when the hell has it ever mattered? You always touch my face to see if I’m smiling. Hell, you don’t even do that as much. You just feel it, because you fucking know me, hyung. And when was seeing my face during sex ever important? Blindfold me more, for all I care. I’d rather feel you, are you kidding me?”

“Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin whispered tearfully, and then he reached up with trembling hands, cautious. Jeongguk immediately lurched forward and let Jimin’s fingertips fall onto his face, mostly by his mouth and cheeks. So familiar.

“You know how I feel without seeing me,” Jeongguk said quietly, still crying. “You always have. You always will. You never judge me, either, hyung. Do you know how rare that is? Do you know how incredible you are?” His tears leaked onto Jimin’s fingers, and Jimin immediately took in a sharp little breath, using his thumbs to brush away the tears from Jeongguk’s face. It didn’t matter. More just fell. Jimin wasn’t much better off, still crying himself.

“I’ll tell you with my words if I had a bad day at work,” Jeongguk continued. “Why do you need to see my face? What if you were wrong? What if I had a great day and you thought I didn’t? That’s the kind of shit I’ll tell you, baby, why would you ever think you had to see me for that?”

“Guk,” Jimin choked out, and that was when Jeongguk, despite his tears, smiled. He smiled and Jimin felt it, and suddenly, they were both laughing, whether out of wretched misery or confusion or happiness or all three. Jeongguk couldn’t pinpoint it.

“You make me so fucking happy,” Jeongguk said, and Jimin let out a cross between a small sob and another laugh, now holding Jeongguk’s face between his hands, still feeling for smiles or frowns. “You wanna marry me one day? Let’s get fucking married. Let’s blindfold all the guests, fuck all of them. I don’t need you to see me when I tell you how much I love you, when I commit my entire fucking life and heart and soul to you. What part of that requires eyesight?”

Jimin was openly sobbing over Jeongguk’s words, but Jeongguk knew he was listening. So he pressed on.

“We don’t need a photographer. We’ll take video so you can listen to it whenever you want. And if we had kids, hyung, you’d be the best dad, I can’t even fucking believe you’d think otherwise. Jesus Christ, they would love you so much. Playing games with you and learning music from you, fighting with you over shotgun because I’ll drive you everywhere you need to go. Fucking great that everything takes twice as long, you know why? Because then I can actually fucking live in the moment instead of rushing through my entire goddamn life. I know exactly what the hell I’m doing to myself, hyung. I’m falling in love with you more every day. You got a problem with that?”

Jimin then threw himself fully onto Jeongguk, and Jeongguk let him. He let Jimin crawl into his lap and straddle him, let Jimin’s arms wrap around his neck, let Jimin’s tears fall on his shoulder. He hugged Jimin to his chest so tightly that he clenched his jaw, because how could he make this man understand how much he was loved?

“You want me to leave you? Good fucking luck. This is your fault, hyung, making me fall for you in a bar. All your fault for being so—fuck, so goddamn perfect all the time. We’re like a walking, talking dad joke, you know that? This is literally a two-men-walk-into-a-bar joke. The blind guy and the lawyer. Are we kidding?"

“Fucking awful joke,” Jimin whispered tearfully into his shirt, but Jeongguk could physically feel the smile against his shoulder.

“I’m not limiting myself. I know what I want. I want you. I want you every single day of my life until you get sick of me. You’re good enough for me, hyung, and I’m good enough for you. You can give me the whole fucking world and then some. This wasn’t a stupid fantasy for either one of us. I don’t pity you. I don’t feel sorry for you. I fucking love you, Park Jimin. Love you as in, I want to kiss you all the time and have as much sex with you as possible and cook dinner for you and marry the fuck out of you one day. Do you even hear me right now? I never even wanted to get married, you asshole. Look what you’ve done to me.”

Jimin burst out laughing, eyes still red-rimmed from his tears. But he threw his head back, and Jeongguk finally stopped crying. Jimin didn’t look despondent anymore. He looked fucking radiant, glowing, so beautiful. He looked like a man who was loved, like a man who understood that he was loved. Like a man who finally grasped that Jeongguk wasn’t here to fuck around with his feelings.

“If I ever hear any of this ‘I’m not worthy’ bullshit come out of your mouth again, I’ll be so mad at you,” Jeongguk said, his forehead against Jimin’s. “So mad, hyung. Say you’re sorry.”

“I’m sorry, baby.”

“Not to me. Say sorry to yourself for thinking so little of you. Say it.”

“I’m sorry, Jimin,” Jimin said quietly, and then he let out a little giggle and a hiccup.

“Say it again.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Put your hand on your heart and say it like you mean it.”

“Guk,” Jimin sighed, but then he squirmed on Jeongguk’s lap and smiled, placing his hand over his heart. He took a deep breath, and then he said, “I’m sorry.”

“That’s better,” Jeongguk whispered. “Now kiss me, you fool.”

Jimin stifled a laugh, and then he captured Jeongguk’s lips in a kiss. Jeongguk grabbed Jimin’s hips and pulled him as close as he could, desperate to feel the elder’s heartbeat against his, savoring the way their tongues met, how their lips just kind of fit together like a dream. They kissed and kissed, hot and heavy but so pure and with so much love. Jimin had a grip on Jeongguk’s hair, slowly circling his hips for some kind of friction, just because he wanted to feel Jeongguk as much as Jeongguk wanted to feel him.

“I love you, Jeon Jeongguk,” Jimin whispered against Jeongguk’s lips.

“I love you too, baby. So much.”

“Want you to fuck me,” he murmured, still leaving kisses on Jeongguk’s skin. Then Jeongguk felt him smile. “Was gonna ask you to make love to me, but it sounded cringey in my head.”

“Yeah? I’ll do it anyways.”

Jeongguk stood up with Jimin’s legs wrapped around his waist, the two of them kissing like it was second nature. Jeongguk could already feel the hard line of Jimin’s cock pressed against his abdomen, and he nearly stumbled with the love of his life in his arms, but he controlled himself and made it to the bedroom. He lowered Jimin onto the bed slowly, reverently, and then he kneeled on the mattress, hovering.

“Undress me,” Jimin whispered, and who was Jeongguk to deny such a simple request? He shifted until he was kneeling behind Jimin, and then he grabbed the hem of his t-shirt. Every inch he lifted the t-shirt, he covered in kisses, bending at the waist as Jimin sighed, head lolling back. He silently lifted his arms up like a child, and Jeongguk removed the shirt, tossing it aside and littering Jimin’s back and shoulders and spine with kisses, wanting to just nuzzle and bury himself in the smoothness of the skin beneath his fingers and lips. He didn’t want to leave a single inch of this beautiful man’s body untouched. He wanted to map out roads, constellations, secret passageways on Jimin’s skin with directions that only he had access to when he wanted it.

“You still gonna move in with me?” Jeongguk whispered after he threw Jimin’s pants onto the floor, trailing kisses from Jimin’s ankle up the inside of his leg, closing his eyes as he tried to commit every second to memory.

“Of course I’ll move in with you,” Jimin breathed. “Can’t believe you thought I’d say no.”

“I love you—so fucking much,” Jeongguk muttered, kissing up the other leg as Jimin squirmed and arched his back again, eyes closed.

“I love you, too.”

It was second nature now, being intimate. Jeongguk ravished Jimin’s entire body head to toe in kisses, and Jimin sighed happily, whispering his praises to Jeongguk and pleading quietly for more. Jeongguk undressed and climbed onto the bed again, watching with baited breath as Jimin scooted back up against the pillows and fell back. It would never cease to amaze Jeongguk how radiantly and effortlessly beautiful Jimin was. His hair fanned softly on the pillow, his brown eyes sparkled with excitement, and he was propped up on his elbows, waiting for Jeongguk.

“You know how easy it is to be with you?” Jeongguk whispered, leaning down and kissed Jimin’s exposed neck. “Thought it from the first night I had you like this.”

“God, I love you. Just fuck me already,” Jimin breathed, reaching up for Jeongguk. Jeongguk grabbed for the lube and coated his fingers, and as he slipped the first one in, he watched intently. Watched Jimin’s lips part, watched his head loll back, watched the pure pleasure on his face. A second finger, a third finger, and suddenly Jimin was quietly moaning, fucking down onto Jeongguk’s fingers and gripping the sheets with white knuckles, licking his lips in anticipation. Jeongguk kept his fingers inside and grabbed Jimin’s cock with his other hand, and with his first stroke, he curled his fingers inside Jimin.

“Oh-h-h my God,” Jimin moaned breathlessly. “F-Fuck, oh my God. Keep going, keep going.”

Jeongguk cocked his to the side and watched as Jimin’s breathing became more erratic, as his head fell back even further, as his elbows started to slip. When Jimin’s whimpers started to become louder, Jeongguk knew he was close. He had half a mind to cease all stimulation, but he couldn’t help himself. He chased Jimin’s moans eagerly until Jimin was coming undone, falling onto his back as the first orgasm ripped through his body, and he came all over his stomach and on Jeongguk’s hand, his rim clenching around Jeongguk’s fingers.

“You gonna cum twice for me?” Jeongguk whispered, trailing kisses along Jimin’s neck, glistening with sweat already.

“Y-Yeah, if you clean me up,” Jimin whispered, still panting. Jeongguk dove down and used his mouth to get rid of all the cum that was on Jimin’s abdomen, and Jimin threaded his fingers through the younger’s hair as he worked. Once Jimin was relatively clean, Jeongguk knelt over him, stroking himself eagerly.

“W-Wanna sit on you,” Jimin said, scrambling upright. “Wanna sit on your cock. Wanna ride you. Can I? Can I, baby?”

“Yeah. You can have whatever the fuck you want,” Jeongguk breathed, grabbing the lube to slick himself up. He was painfully hard, and Jimin was already aroused again. Jeongguk pulled Jimin towards him and kissed him gently at first, but it escalated fast. Jimin buried his hands in Jeongguk’s hair, and Jeongguk’s tongue ended up in Jimin’s mouth as he tried to swallow the elder’s moans and whimpers. Jimin started rocking his hips subconsciously, seeking relief already, happily letting Jeongguk suck new marks on his neck, fingernails digging into the younger’s back.

“Fuck me already,” he whispered in Jeongguk’s ear.

Jeongguk meant to fuck him. He did. But it wasn’t just fucking. He lifted Jimin up effortlessly, and Jimin sank right down onto Jeongguk’s length, sitting in his lap, taking it like a champion as always until he was completely full. He wrapped his legs around Jeongguk’s waist and leaned back, his hands on Jeongguk’s knees, and circled his hips a few times, searching for the perfect spot as Jeongguk watched, enraptured. This was the goddamn love of his life, the man of his dreams, glistening with sweat, skin flushed with arousal, naked and fucking himself on Jeongguk’s cock. Holy shit.

“G-Guk,” Jimin whimpered, and Jeongguk almost started crying. He was too young to be feeling all of these emotions at once.

“I’ve got you, beautiful,” Jeongguk said breathlessly, and then he threaded his fingers through Jimin’s hair at the back of his neck, snaking his other arm around the elder’s waist. “You feel good, baby?”

“S-So good,” Jimin breathed. “You feel amazing. Fuck, I love you.”

Jeongguk pulled Jimin in closer, their chests pressed together, and Jimin lifted himself up and lowered back down as Jeongguk smoothly thrusted upward. They found a steady rhythm that suited both of them, neither one saying a word, because they didn’t have to. The only sounds in the room were the sounds of heavy breathing and skin on skin, maybe an occasional moan or breathless curse word. They weren’t just having sex now. They were full on making love just like Jimin had wanted. It was blissfully intimate in a way Jeongguk had never experienced before, and he and Jimin had fucked countless times in the past months. This was so different.

“G-Gonna cum,” Jimin stuttered out, still rolling his hips steadily and using Jeongguk’s cock to find his own prostate again and again. “Fuck, I’m gonna cum. D-Don’t touch, don’t touch, don’t touch. Oh my God, I’m gonna—Jeongguk-ah.”

Jeongguk snapped his hips upward once, and Jimin let out a strangled cry, his entire body shuddering and then stilling as he came, splattering all up his abdomen and onto Jeongguk as well, his whimpers becoming increasingly louder as his orgasm washed over him. Most of the time Jeongguk needed to do more to cum himself, but seeing Jimin’s face when he came—his flushed cheeks, his sweaty hair caught in his long eyelashes, his closed eyes, his mouth slightly parted, his brow a bit furrowed, his head falling back—was enough. Jeongguk dug his fingernails into Jimin’s skin and grabbed Jimin’s shoulder with his teeth, and he thrusted harder and deeper as he came, filling Jimin up to the brim, gasping as he came down from the high.

“…Made a mess.”

“Don’t we always?” Jeongguk panted with a short laugh, picking his head up off Jimin’s shoulder. Perfectly content still sitting on Jeongguk’s cock, Jimin lifted his trembling hands and touched Jeongguk’s face, an exhausted, fucked out, blissful smile on his lips.

“I love you so fucking much.”

“I know.” Jeongguk pressed his lips to Jimin’s. “I love you, too.”

“Just—Just kiss me.”

Jeongguk obeyed, wrapped his arms around Jimin and kissing him silly. There was sweat and cum and a mess of sheets, but neither of them paid any mind to it. Still kissing him, Jeongguk lifted Jimin off the bed, still inside him, and carried him straight to the bathroom, feeling Jimin laugh against his mouth at all the cum dripping down his thighs.

“You really want me to move in with you?” Jimin whispered as Jeongguk set him in the shower.

“More than anything in the world.” Jeongguk kissed him again and then cranked on the water for the tub, letting it run hot before turning on the shower. Jimin wiggled around under the water stream, running his fingers through his hair, and Jeongguk stepped in and pulled the curtain closed.

“Positive?”

“Don’t second guess me,” Jeongguk teased, grabbed washcloth and wetting it, and then wiping Jimin down gently. He reached for some body wash after that, but Jimin stopped him. They stood under the warm stream of water wrapped in each other’s arms, and Jeongguk just closed his eyes and dropped his forehead on Jimin’s shoulder. Jimin inhaled deeply, burying his face in Jeongguk’s neck bodies pressed together, water running in rivers down their naked bodies.

“I can’t believe I found you,” he whispered to Jeongguk. “I’ve never felt anything like this before, Jeongguk-ah. Ever.”

“Mm.” Jeongguk pressed a wet kiss to Jimin’s smooth skin, licking water droplets off his lips afterwards.

“I’m serious,” Jimin softly said. “No one’s… no one’s ever treated me the way you do. I’ve never been… loved this much, you know? It’s changed my entire life.”

“Good.” Jeongguk nuzzled into his neck and breathed deeply. “Good, I hope it has. I hope you never have to go a single fucking day without knowing how much I love you.”

“You mean it?”

“Always. I’m done fucking around, hyung.” Jeongguk lifted his head just a little and pressed a few soft kisses to Jimin’s neck and jawline. “I’m done. I don’t want to play the field anymore. I’m done looking. I want to be with you as long as you’ll have me.”

“Yeah?” Jimin voice cracked a little, betraying his confidence stance in Jeongguk’s arms. “And what if I want you forever? Until I die?”

“That’s fine.”

“And what if… what if you want me forever?”

“Also fine.”

“And what if I want you to suck me off because I’m really horny thinking about being with you for the rest of my life?”

“Baby—” Jeongguk pulled away, pushed his wet hair off his face, and grinned. Jimin’s face split into the same grin, because he could feeling the cheekiness radiating off Jeongguk, especially when the younger dropped to his knees. “I can’t believe you even thought you had to ask.”

Jimin laughed, but it turned into a little breathy moan when Jeongguk took his half-hard cock into his mouth. Jeongguk did as he was told and sucked Jimin off, and it only took about two minutes. Jimin came in his mouth, though not as much as usual because he’d already been through two previous orgasms. Jeongguk was surprised there was even anything left. He then figured maybe it was time to wash off properly, but Jimin just slathered Jeongguk with body wash and “accidentally” paid special attention to his cock. He ended up jerking Jeongguk off hard and fast, casually leaning against the shower wall.

“So when I move in with you, we can do this all the time?” Jimin asked, rinsing the cum off his hand as Jeongguk caught his breath.

“Uh, maybe not all the time,” Jeongguk laughed. “I’m trying to pass law school, you know. Can’t have shower escapades every night.”

“Ah, damn. Okay, I’ll take what I can get,” Jimin joked. “As long as we get to sleep in the same bed.”

“No, you sleep on the couch—ow.” Jeongguk snickered and flinched when Jimin’s hand smacked his wet skin.

“You’ll help me move, right?”

“Of course.”

“And you’ll help me tell Hoseok hyung, right?”

“Right. Although I’m pretty sure Yoongi hyung will just move himself right into your room.”

“That’s what I was thinking. Glad we’re on the same brainwave.”

“Aren’t we usually?”

“At this point, yeah.” Jimin rose up just a little on his toes, fingers to the corner of Jeongguk’s mouth, and kissed him with a smile. Jeongguk nearly melted. He could easily get used to this being a daily occurrence. He kissed Jimin back, never wanting the day to come when he had to give up any of what they had. He gave Jimin one last little kiss, and then he pulled away, a question on tip of his tongue.

“Sweetheart?”

“Yeah?”

“Why… are all of our friends fucking each other?”

 

***

 

FOUR YEARS LATER

 

The applause echoed throughout the hall in a symphony that made Jimin swell with pride as he gripped the edges of the podium with a radiant smile. When he heard a few whistles, he stepped back, then scooted to the side and bowed deeply, filled with gratitude. He bowed again, and then a third final time before he reached over to the podium and grabbed his BrailleNote, the device from which he had been reading his speech.

“Absolutely beautiful,” Shin Hana, the wonderfully kind CEO of the South Korean Federation for the Blind, commended as she took Jimin’s place. “Please, everyone, show your thanks and support once again to our lovely keynote speaker.”

More applause. Jimin took another bow, and a hand touched his arm to hand off his cane. Jimin put the strap of his BrailleNote on his left shoulder and gripped his cane in his right hand, and then he began to make his way down from the stage.

“Tonight’s gala celebrates SKFB providing fifty years of service to South Korea. How lovely to remember that a loss of sight is never a loss of vision,” Hana said, taking a quote directly from Jimin’s speech just moments ago. “A wonderful sentiment. We are so grateful to have heard from such a successful and kind man who had proven to the world that a vision impairment is a magnificent gift and never a setback. Thank you again!”

Jimin hopped down the four stairs, and immediately, patrons of SKFB swarmed, shaking his hand and congratulating him. Jimin bowed profusely, blushing at the praise, pleased with how well his speech had gone. He had practiced it the entire flight from Los Angeles to Seoul, had barely gotten a lick of sleep in his first class seat. Thanks to his tireless preparations, though, his keynote had gone off without a hitch.

But of course, he had also read through the program of events, including the list of donors.

“Won’t you come meet some of our top donors?”

“Ah, well, some of those donors aren’t genuine,” Jimin sighed sadly. “Many donate to put on good appearances. I would be happy to meet with the donors who give with a genuine heart, please. I trust you know the difference.”

“Yes, sir,” the gentleman said, and then he led Jimin straight to an elderly couple where the husband was blind thanks to macular degeneration, and Jimin gave a full ninety-degree bow and thanked them for their monthly donations and constant support. He then worked the room, letting a guide introduce him to several genuine patrons at Jimin’s request. He accepted a bottle of water, thanked everyone who complimented his keynote speech, talked happily about the current state of his life in America.

“Excuse me. Jimin?”

Jimin turned away just slightly from his current conversation when he heard his name without a single honorific attached to it. Perplexed, he excused himself from the happy couple he was chatting with and turned to the voice.

“Yes, may I help you?”

“…Jimin. I-It’s me.”

“I apologize, but a lot of people refer to themselves as ‘me,’ so you’ll need to clarify,” Jimin said lightly, jokingly, maintaining a smile. The man cleared his throat.

“It’s—It’s me. Jihyun. Your… your brother.”

Jimin was suddenly grateful that he had read through the list of patrons ahead of time. Thank fuck he had read his mother and father’s name on the list of top donors, or his twin brother’s presence would have been enough to knock him unconscious to the floor. It was still shocking, but Jimin had enough presence of mind to not show it on his face or to give away that he was mildly (severely) alarmed.

“Right. Hello.” Jimin cleared his throat, and then he bowed just slightly in a show of cold-shoulder respect. “Good to see you again, Jihyun-ssi. What brings you to this charity event?”

“I—Why are you calling me—it’s—I mean, our parents are here,” Jihyun managed to get out. Jimin straightened up, his shoulders relaxing. All of those conversations with Yoongi years ago had been so therapeutic, brainstorming different ways to ruin Jihyun’s perfect life. Now Jimin was calm in the face of a raging storm. “You know they like charity galas.”

“Quite frankly, I know nothing about them. But wonderful of them to participate, I guess,” Jimin said coolly. “And you just chose to tag along?”

“I—well, yeah. Dad’s handing the company over to me when I’m thirty, so of course I’m here,” Jihyun said, still sounding confused and a bit shocked. “I didn’t think you were the keynote speaker.”

“I tend to surprise people.”

“By using a fake name? I saw Jeon Jimin on the program as the keynote speaker and didn’t even think it was you.”

“It’s not a fake name,” Jimin said evenly. “It’s my husband’s family name.”

“Husband’s?” Now Jihyun sounded stunned.

“Yeah. I’m married.” Jimin held up his left hand to show off his ring, wiggling his fingers weakly before dropping the hand. “People in America tend to do that, take their partner’s family name as their own. So I took his.”

“How… How long have you…?”

“Two years.” The happiest two years of my life, after the three years of dating, Jimin thought giddily to himself. “Married for two years now.”

“Oh. Wow. That’s… Wow.”

“What about you? Wife? Husband? Girlfriend? Boyfriend?”

“No,” Jihyun said curtly, and Jimin just shrugged.

“Shame.”

“Yeah, well, I’ve been pretty busy,” Jihyun said, sounding slightly panicked. It had to be like salt in the wound. Here Jimin was with a loving husband and successful relationship, a high-paying job that he enjoyed, and an invitation to be a keynote speaker in his home country in front of people who once shunned him. And what did Jihyun have?

“Still living at home?”

“Yeah, because I’m taking over the company," Jihyun said snappishly. “You didn’t get asked to do it. I did.”

“Damn, I was really hoping I’d get my chance,” Jimin sighed facetiously. “But no, I’m good. I’m a top-rated school counselor and director of a music school, and I’m halfway through my doctorate in psychology. I have a kickass lawyer for a husband and a three-bedroom house in California near the beach. We’re this close to finding a surrogate to have our first child. How about you, Jihyun? You didn’t get ousted and disowned by our parents and left to rot. Surely you have success stories to share with me.”

Jimin had never meant to rub it all in his brother’s face. He had always assumed that he would be able to remain humble in the face of his family. But now, faced with the actual situation, he couldn’t help himself. He couldn’t remain modest. He needed Jihyun to go home with his tail between his legs and tell their mother and father how happy and successful their forgotten son was.

“Why did you change your name?” Jihyun asked in a strained voice, ignoring Jimin’s rambling but letting the way it affected him seem into his tone.

“Because I want nothing to do with my own blood family,” Jimin replied. “Is that so hard to understand? You saw what happened growing up. Or maybe you didn’t. You liked to pretend that I didn’t exist.”

“Yeah, well, you were weird, “Jihyun mumbled. Such a comment would have stung years ago, but now, Jimin was unaffected.

“How weird am I now?”

“Look, do you want to say hi to Mom and Dad or not?” Jihyun asked in exasperation.

“Oh, God, no,” Jimin said with a laugh. “Absolutely not. Give them my best, though. Make sure you tell them about all my achievements.”

“Well, you could just…” Jihyun trailed off, and then he cleared his throat. “Hello. Who are you?”

Jimin felt the strong, sturdy arm around his waist before he heard the voice, and his entire heart swelled.

“I’m his husband. Who are you? Although the way you look, I could probably guess,” Jeongguk said disdainfully.

“Park Jihyun,” Jihyun introduced stiffly, politely.

“Jeon Jeongguk. Can’t say that it’s nice to meet you, but if it’s all the same,” Jeongguk said, and Jimin nudged him. “I suppose your mother and father support the South Korean Federation for the Blind? Kind of them. Do they support because of their son? I can’t imagine they’d do something so nice.”

“They’re patrons of a lot of organizations,” Jihyun said coolly. “Please excuse me. Good to see you again, Jimin.”

“Mm, have a good night,” Jimin said airily, and then he felt Jihyun walk away. The moment he was out of earshot, Jeongguk pounced.

“You’re welcome.”

“What?”

“I came over here with the intent to strangle him with my bare hands. You’re welcome for not committing a crime,” Jeongguk said, and Jimin stifled a laugh. Jeongguk took both of his hands, and then he leaned in and kissed Jimin’s forehead. “He’s nothing like you.”

“We look alike.”

“Not at all. Well, I mean, your face, maybe. But he’s put on a lot more weight than you. Scary amount. Pale, too. Don’t think he sees much sunlight. He looked miserable.”

“Yeah, well, he’s taking over my father’s company when he turns thirty.”

“Thank fuck your family shunned you.”

“Thank fuck yours did, too,” Jimin said with a smile, tilting his chin up as a signal. Jeongguk responded immediately with a kiss. “You know my parents are here.”

“Don’t tell me that.”

“So we should go get some more champagne and you should just guide me around and make sure we don’t talk to any boring adults.”

“Aren’t we adults?”

“I mean the adults who are more adult,” Jimin emphasized, and Jeongguk snickered.

“I can’t believe I married such a dweeb.”

“You’re the one who proposed.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Jeongguk gripped tightly to Jimin’s hand, and Jimin swooned. It had been difficult to persuade Jeongguk into getting on a plane to South Korea, but he had managed, and he didn’t regret it one bit. Being with Jeongguk while he marched around Seoul in his oversized clothes and hat with a camera in his hand to capture all the memories was the greatest gift ever. “I’m taking videos to show to our kids,” he had told Jimin. “So that they know how cool their dad is.”

Jimin let out a heavy sigh as they got their champagne, and Jeongguk noticed.

“Everything okay?”

“Yeah.” Jimin took a sip. “It’s just… weird. Being here.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s not home anymore. I know it’s Seoul and that if I were in Busan I might think differently, but… I don’t know. South Korea just doesn’t feel like home anymore.”

“That’s because we’ve built a life in California,” Jeongguk pointed out gently. “All your happy memories are overseas.”

“You know, if I wanted to be really lame,” Jimin began, taking another sip of champagne, “I could just say that home is wherever you are.”

“Lame, yes. Motivation to have my way with you late tonight? Also yes,” Jeongguk quietly said, and Jimin stifled a laugh. “How long do you have to stay here and mingle? We have a hotel on the top floor. Can’t waste that.”

“Maybe another hour or so,” Jimin said. “Be patient.”

Jeongguk was not. He stuck by Jimin’s side and purposely, but smoothly and kindly, shortened every conversation that Jimin had. In between conversations, he would pull Jimin’s arm and steer clear of any adult male-woman couples that he feared looked like Jimin’s parents, and he had Jimin in stitches from laughing so hard by the time it was nearly ten o’clock.They ducked out together and took a taxi straight to their hotel, Jeongguk’s hands all over Jimin’s legs the entire drive there. They ignored the people in the lobby as they hurried to the elevator, and Jeongguk pushed Jimin up against the wall the entire ride up to the top floor, kissing him like it was the last time they would ever be together.

It took only five minutes for their formal clothes to cover the floor. Jeongguk kept the curtains wide open as moonlight poured into the room, saying he wanted to make sure the entire city of Seoul knew that his husband got fucked well. Jimin could barely make sense of it all, delirious the entire time they had sex, doing nothing to quiet his moans and cries, tripping over his words, trying to comprehend how so many years had gone by and it still felt like the first time every time with Jeongguk.

“Fuck, you were so sexy up there giving that speech. Wanted to just rip your clothes off the entire time you were talking,” Jeongguk growled. Jimin only responded with a moan. “Can’t believe I got to marry you. Fuck, look at you.”

“Jeongguk,” Jimin gasped, his entire body on fire.

“God, I fucking love you,” Jeongguk panted, pressing his body to Jimin’s, their foreheads together. Jimin could feel Jeongguk’s heart pounding, could practically taste the adrenaline on his tongue. If Jimin could have nothing else in his lifetime, he at least wanted to have Jeongguk like this until the day he died. Nothing in the world could possibly ever compare to the way that Jeongguk loved him.

“I love you,” Jimin breathed, eyes falling shut, body thrumming. Like most nights, he thanked the universe that he had made a split decision to walk into Hamilton Social that April night. Fate. Fate had brought Jeongguk to him, and now his life was worth living. Jeongguk covered Jimin’s entire face in kisses, and then found his lips.

“Tell me I’m not the luckiest man alive,” he whispered.

He wasn’t.

Jimin was.