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Lost in Oblivion

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There are four things Park Jimin hates about airports.

The first one is the absurdly large amount of people. Half of them are stressing around as if they’re trying to catch their own tails while the other half are so infuriatingly calm and collected that they completely ruin the tempo by being insufferably slow walkers.

The second one is the incredibly loud atmosphere that drowns out any normal, civilized conversation one would try to have. People can be so insanely inconsiderate of other people’s attempts at conversations.

The third one is the unacceptable distance between everything. If he wants a soda and a burger, he would have to walk a hundred miles to get both.

The fourth one is the stupid, idiotic, inhumanly dumb people Jimin is somehow always forced to travel with.

He hadn’t wanted to go on this trip, to begin with, and he’s just so incredibly happy he’s finally going home again. He’s not fond of airplanes. He’s not fond of crappy hotel rooms. He’s not fond of stupid tourist class trips.

And he’s most certainly not fond of his friend Jung Hoseok right now.

“You forgot to buy my hand sanitizer?”

“There was a long line, okay? By the time I got to check out I forgot to ask for your precious hand sanitizer,” replies Hoseok. He clearly doesn’t share Jimin’s concern and it is incredibly infuriating to the boy.

“But I don’t have any left and I refuse to board that shitty plane without it.”

“Are you being serious, Jimin? You can’t go through life refusing to touch things just because others have.” Jimin doesn’t miss the eye roll and it pulls out a groan from his throat. Hoseok always concealed his eyeballs at the beginning of their friendship. He doesn't bother anymore. Jimin can't decide whether he prefers it like that or not.

“They don’t clean those stupid planes and you have no idea how many people have been on them. It’s disgusting, Hoseok.”

“It’s life, Jimin. Get your head out of your privileged ass.” Hoseok goes back to reading his magazine without sparing Jimin another glance.

“Oh, so you can remember to buy yourself a magazine, using my credit card, by the way, but you can’t remember the one thing I asked of you?”

“One of the three,” corrects Hoseok as he lifts his gaze from his magazine to glare at him. “And I remembered your water and your chocolate bar.”

“Only because you wanted it too!” Jimin is getting more and more worked up by the minute and it’s insufferable that Hoseok remains calm and collected in his airport chair while reading his magazine.

“If you seriously can’t live without it-” begins Hoseok – not lifting his eyes from the magazine. “-then just go and buy it for fuck sake.”

“It’s in the other end of the airport,” replies Jimin in an irritated tone. 

“So? There’s still 15 minutes till boarding. You’ll make it if you stop nagging me and get going.” Hoseok’s waves his hand in the air to dismiss Jimin and the boy sends him a dirty look he, unfortunately, doesn’t see because he’s too occupied with his magazine.

It annoys him that his friend doesn't take him seriously whatsoever. It annoys him how easily he dismisses his troubles even though they seem rather insignificant to everyone else.

“God, I hate you so much. I should’ve never let you talk me into coming here.” He doesn’t say that technically, the real bad guy here is Namjoon. He has been the most convincing one – not to mention the most persistent one – so if anyone should be blamed, it should be him. Yet, he decides to blame it on all of them regardless of technicalities.

“Stop whining, we’re literally on our way home now.”

“Yeah,” agreed Jimin and the boy could see a smile begin to spread on Hoseok’s lips. “Without my fucking hand sanitizer.” And just like that, the smile was gone and the boys rolled his eyes once more. Violently enough to make him completely cross-eyed.

“Go buy that hand sanitizer. I’m not sitting next to you for two hours if you’re gonna whine the whole way.”

“Then give me my credit card, you twat.” Jimin holds out his hand but Hoseok barely spares it a glance before he goes back to his magazine.

He doesn't see the excitement about his silly magazine. Nothing interesting ever happens. But maybe it has less to do with the magazine and more to do with him.

“It’s in the bottom of my bag,” says Hoseok almost whiningly and Jimin is already sighing. “Don’t you have some cash?”

“This is unbelievable,” exclaims Jimin as he throws up his hands. “It’s my credit card.”

“Then get it yourself,” says Hoseok and uses his foot to slide over his ridiculously huge army bag. Jimin takes one look at it and decides it’s not worth it. He has some cash in his pocket, that must be sufficient.

“Anything you need?” asks Jimin as he gets up from his chair. “You know, so I can forget to buy it for you.” It’s an innocent smile he gives his friend, but it’s really anything but. Hoseok doesn't seem to find it as amusing as Jimin did, but the corners of his lips curl upwards a little bit regardless.

“Jesus Christ, I’m gonna change seats with Namjoon. Have fun with Seokjin for two hours.”

“Namjoon would never switch with you,” says Jimin as he pulls out some crumpled notes and his plane ticket to examine them before he stuffs them back inside his pocket. “He’s hoping to get a membership to the ‘mile high club’ with Seokjin today.”

“They don’t have to sit next to each other to do that,” responds Hoseok matter-of-factly. “The magic happens in the bathroom, you idiot.” Jimin chooses not to argue with the boy since he’s technically right and he only has 12 minutes till boarding.

“Don’t board without me,” jokes Jimin before he turns around and leaves Hoseok with his magazine before he disappears down the long, wide halls of the airport.

It’s a struggle maintaining a fast pace when there are so many people coming from the opposite side trying to do the same, and people walking his way who apparently have all the time in the world.

He bumps into a lot of people but refuses to apologize when they’re the ones who’re clearly in the way. He doesn’t voice any of his complaints, but he has plenty.

He does his best to be as small as possible and avoid as many people as he can, but his plan doesn’t seem to last the entire way as he eventually bumps directly into someone. It’s a hard bump and Jimin almost gets the feeling the man is doing it on purpose.

He turns his head and shouts a few curses at the bypassing man, but the stranger doesn’t even turn around as he hastily makes his way through the crowd and disappears from Jimin’s sight.

For a second he debates going after the man to curse at him but remembers he doesn’t have time to do that and continues forward. Instead, he groans in annoyance and elbows his way through the crowd.

It takes too long for him to make it to the shop and by the time he arrives, he’s afraid he'll hurt anyone who gets in his way. Even the slightest inconveniences would make him erupt at the moment.

“Some hand sanitizer,” demands Jimin as he practically slams his hand down on the counter and stares down the older man in front of him.

“Hand sanitizer?” asks the man and Jimin nods. He does his best to refrain himself from rolling his eyes or give the shop owner a passive-aggressive smile.

“That’s what I said,” he replies through gritted teeth. He pulls back his sleeve and takes a look at his wristwatch. He has 5 minutes before the plane boards.

He looks up to see the man place a bottle of hand sanitizer on the counter before he presses a few buttons on his cash register. He's doing so infuriatingly slowly and Jimin can't help but feel personally insulted as if the man is simply doing it to piss him off. It's no logical, but he hardly cares.

“That’ll be 5.000 won.” It’s a monotone voice he talks in, and he looks incredibly disinterested. Jimin can’t exactly blame the man, but it does annoy him just a little that he’s being treated so lowly when he’s the customer.

He sticks his hand inside his pocket to pull out his crumpled notes and feels his heart skip a beat when he realizes his pocket is completely empty.

“Shit.” He violently searches through the pocket and then the other and then his jeans, only to find nothing but his passport and his phone. “Shit!”

The man finally seems to look at least a little bit interested now, but Jimin is sure it’ll turn sour once he realizes his customer is no longer able to pay.

“Is there a problem?” asks the man and Jimin hates that he sounds just a little too pleased with his struggles.

“Someone fucking stole from me,” exclaims Jimin as he continues to uselessly search through his pockets, even though he knows there's nothing but his phone and passport left. “This is so fucking stupid.”

“You can’t pay?” The man is already reaching out for the hand sanitizer but Jimin desperately stops him by grabbing it before he can.

“I need this or else I’m not gonna make it two hours on that stupid plane.” His eyes are pleading as he begs, but the man doesn’t seem to care. He pulls a little harder but Jimin puts up a fight.

“If you don’t have any money, I can’t help you.” The man tries to retract his hand as well as the hand sanitizer once again but Jimin is still determined in his fight.

“It’s 5.000 won,” he argues. “It’s not like it’s gonna ruin your business. All of you airport shops always overprize everything anyway.” That doesn't seem to be the smartest thing to say, because the man’s eyebrows furrow together in clear irritation and he violently pulls the hand sanitizer out of Jimin’s hand.

“Wha- Hey!” the boy exclaims, but the man doesn’t look the least bit remorseful in his actions. “You can’t just-”

“I’ll pay for it.”

Jimin flinches as a voice speaks up behind him and he turns around at the speed of light when he realizes he knows that voice a little too well.

“And this too.” The boy places a bottle of water, a bag of chips, and a set of earplugs on the counter before he pushes Jimin out of the way without even looking at him. “How much?”

“17.000 won,” says the man. His voice suddenly much nicer when he speaks, but his eyes are still glaring at the boy unable to pay for a simple hand sanitizer. It's embarrassing to be treated so lowly next to someone like Jeon Jungkook.

“You do know there are earplugs on the plane, don’t you?” asks Jimin and he doesn’t apologize for the slightly condescending tone.

“You do know I don’t really care about your opinion, don’t you?”

“It’s not my opinion, it’s facts, Jungkook.”

“Please shut up,” says Jungkook as he pulls out his wallet and gives the man a few crumbles notes without sparing Jimin a single glance. "Stop annoying me."

“If I’m so annoying why are you buying my hand sanitizer?” He crosses his arms over his chest and raises an eyebrow at the taller boy. He challenges him despite knowing there's no reason to.

“Because you’re holding up the line and I’m thirsty.” He grabs the items on the counter and throws the sanitizer at Jimin – the boy barely grabbing it – before he puts the rest in his small bag. “Now get lost.”

“We’re going the same way, dumbass,” replies Jimin and follows it up with an eye roll. “Believe me I wish we weren’t, but we, unfortunately, attend the same school.”

“Great,” says Jungkook, the sarcasm dripping from his voice. “How lucky are we?”

“Lucky indeed,” agrees Jimin with the same level of sarcasm.

The two boys are silent as they begin walking towards their flight together – a fairly great distance between them. Every now and then they almost bump shoulders as they try to avoid colliding with the crowd. Every time they get too close, Jimin tries to widen the distance between them even more.

Jimin checks his wristwatch again and picks up speed without saying anything. He’s hoping Jungkook will get lost behind and unfortunately not reach the plane in time, but he knows the boy isn’t that stupid.

“So what happened?” It takes a moment for Jimin to realize it was the his classmate talking, not expecting him to speak to him at all on their way back to the gate.

“What are you talking about?” He picks up speed, but it appears Jungkook does as well.

“I’m talking about spoiled princess Park Jimin not having money to buy a hand sanitizer. Did daddy cut you off? Your credit card can’t accept such low-priced purchases?” He chuckles at the words and Jimin gets the urge to punch him.

“Shut up, okay?” He stuffs his hand into his pocket and turns it inside out for Jungkook to see. The boy briefly glances down for a second before he looks straight ahead again. “Someone took my money and Hoseok has my credit card because that fucker was supposed to buy the hand sanitizer for me but he – fuck!

Realization dawns upon him.

His plane ticket.

He stops dead in his tracks.

“What?” Jungkook suddenly looks interested as he stops walking too and turns to look at the boy. “What’s happening?” He actually looks worried and if Jimin wasn’t panicking he would’ve mocked the boy for it.

“Someone stole my plane ticket.”

He can see a laugh spreading on Jungkook’s lips and it’s clear the boy doesn’t believe him.

“Stop fucking laughing, I’m serious!” The smile disappears from Jungkook’s lips and his face instead turns sour as if Jimin is somehow unconvincing him with his struggles.

What?” He certainly doesn’t think it’s so funny anymore.

“Someone must’ve stolen it when I was standing in line or when I- the guy who bumped into me!” He practically yells the words and few bypassing people turn their heads in his direction for a second.

“What guy?”

“That guy that bumped into me! I just said that!”

“Let me get this right,” begins Jungkook as he takes a step closer to the smaller boy and Jimin has a feeling he doesn’t like what the boy is going to say. “Someone bumped into you and stole your money and your plane ticket?” Jimin nods reluctantly. “And you didn’t even notice? How dumb can you get? It’s the oldest trick in the book!”

“Hey! I was in a hurry and the guy is clearly skilled,” argues Jimin but it doesn’t seem to convince Jungkook at all.

“I can’t believe this.” Jungkook buries his face in his hands and Jimin is quite frankly pissed that the boy is acting as if he’s the one who lost his plane ticket.

“Stop sulking as if you’re the unfortunate one,” says Jimin and stamps his foot on the ground like a toddler.

“I am,” argues Jungkook. “I’m stuck with you.”

“I didn’t ask you to,” replies Jimin childishly. “Get lost, Jungkook, nobody’s asking you to stay.”

Jungkook seems to be apprehensive about what to do for a moment and Jimin wonders what’s stopping him from turning around and leave him to fend for himself. He has no reason to stay.

“If I go back without you, I’m gonna get in so much fucking trouble, okay? I can’t really afford more trouble.”

Jimin wasn’t exactly surprised but he was rather displeased too.

“My God, just say you never saw me or something.” He waves his hand in the air to dismiss the boy but Jungkook doesn’t leave.

“I’m a horrible liar,” responds Jungkook, and Jimin narrows his eyes at him. It’s a bit of a contradiction to believe Jungkook’s is lying when he says that, but Jimin has been fooled one too many times by this boy to believe that.

Jeon Jungkook is an excellent liar and Jimin has experienced it first-hand.

He doesn’t respond to Jungkook before he starts walking again at a faster pace than before and Jungkook has to jock to catch up to him.

“Where’re you going?”

“To find the fucker that stole my ticket, obviously,” snaps Jimin. He’s not in the mood to deal with the other boy right now. The plane leaves in a few minutes and Jimin has no ticket. And he needs that ticket. He needs to get home now.

“Do you remember how he looks? Where he went? What he was wearing?”

“No, but I… I mean…” He doesn’t get further before he feels Jungkook curl his fingers around his upper arm and violently tuck him back, so he stops walking. It doesn't hurt at all even though Jungkook's movements are far from gentle.

“So you have literally nothing to go by?” Jimin doesn’t have to nod for Jungkook to know he’s right. “Forget about that ticket, you’re never finding it.”

“Then what do you expect me to do?!” demands Jimin to know as he violently rips his arm out of Jungkook’s hand. “I can’t board a plane with no ticket.”

Jungkook remains quiet as he chews on his bottom lips and Jimin knows the boy doesn’t have a good answer.

“Oh no, take your time smart ass. We got all the time in the world.” 

“Fine,” spits the boy eventually before he begins walking again. This time Jimin is the one who has to jock to catch up. Determination colors Jungkook's movements and for a moment, Jimin actually feels reassured. As if Jungkook is going to solve his problem for him now.

“So where are you going now?” asks Jimin as he reaches the boy.

“I’m looking for your guy, you dumbass.”

“How do you know if he walked this way?”

“It’s the way you walked, for fuck sake.” Jimin was just about to say he had no idea if he was walking the right way at all, but he holds his tongue because he doesn’t want to hear the other boy’s mockery.

They both walk in mostly silence as they begin the search. Every once in awhile, Jungkook will ask if some guy looks familiar and every time Jimin says no, the boy groans in frustration.

Jimin is doing his best to work his memory but he can’t remember a single detail about the thief. However, he’s too proud to admit that to Jungkook. He knows the boy is just going to mock him if he confesses. 

He’s heard the mantra a few times before already.

“It’s too late,” says Jungkook as he looks down at his wristwatch. “They began boarding 15 minutes ago.”

Jimin had practically already bitten his bottom lips bloody but he continues to chew on it as he finally decides to stop this ridiculous plan.

“Then let’s run.”

“What?”

Jimin doesn’t answer before he picks up speed and starts running towards their flight like the devil is after him.

“You can’t board without a ticket!” yells Jungkook from behind him as he runs to catch up.

“Well, I don’t have one and I need to be on that plane!” Jungkook yells something after that, but Jimin doesn’t hear it. He’s too focused on maneuvering around people to really care anyway.

When they finally reach their gate, they’re breathing deeply and slightly sweating.

The gate is completely empty and Jimin feels his heart sink in his chest. Hoseok isn’t sitting in the seat he left him in over half an hour ago and neither is any of his other friends. Not even the airport employees are waiting for them. 

There's no one.

“No, no, no,” repeats Jimin as he frantically runs to the empty check-in counter. “This isn’t happening.”

Jungkook is silent behind him and for a brief second Jimin wants to turn around and curse his ass just to get out his frustrations, but he holds himself back by remembering that Jungkook missed the flight too and he actually had a ticket.

“Shit, the plane is taking off!” Jimin follows Jungkook to the glass windows just in time to see their plane take off and Jimin feels his heart sink even more in his chest. The plane disappears almost too slowly as if it's mocking him too. It's infuriating to witness.

“I’m- I’m gonna call Hoseok, maybe he can-”

“He’s on a fucking plane you twat, he’s not gonna pick up.” Jimin curses himself for giving Jungkook a good opportunity to mock him and actually have a valid reason for it.

“Then- then what do we do?” asks Jimin. He doesn’t want to sound desperate nor depended on the taller boy next to him, but he doesn’t know what else to do.

He’s not used to getting left behind like this.

“I’m gonna go find someone who might know something,” says Jungkook, and Jimin has to admit he is slightly envious of the calmness – not to mention matureness – in the boy’s voice. Something he’s definitely missing right now.

“Okay, well… I’ll just…” He doesn’t finish that sentence as he awkwardly stuffs his hands into pockets. His passport almost feels scalding against his palm and so does his phone.

They’re mocking him too.

“Just stay here and try not to lose anything else,” says Jungkook – the annoyance blindingly obvious in his voice. Jimin doesn’t like that the boy’s words spike guilt in his stomach. He doesn’t like it at all.

“I didn’t fucking lose it on purpose.” He crosses his arms over his chest in an almost childish manner and Jungkook scoffs when he sees it.

“No, you never do anything on purpose, do you? But somehow I’m always the one getting fucked over.”

Jimin is one second away from throwing hands as Jungkook’s harsh words register in his ears. His eyes are wide with anger and his lips a parted as they ready themselves from spitting some nasty words.

But Jungkook doesn’t spare him another second before he walks away from him and leaves Jimin to stand awkwardly by himself at the empty gate. He follows Jungkook with his eyes until he disappears and Jimin hates the rush of anxiousness running though him.

He’s not used to standing by himself like this and he doesn’t like it.

When Jungkook doesn’t return after 10 minutes, Jimin gets rather impatient. He is slightly stumping his foot in the ground as he desperately searches the bypassing crowd of people for Jungkook, but he’s nowhere to see.

He hates how uncomfortable it makes him to suddenly not have Jungkook near.

At last, he decides to find the boy.

He follows the direction he remembers Jungkook walked and struggles to maneuver his way through the huge crowd of stressed people. No one is very considerate towards the smaller boy trying to make his way through the crowd and it annoys him tremendously.

Once he makes it out of the crowd, he desperately searches his surroundings for the familiar head of dark hair. It’s a struggle to locate anything in this mess of people but eventually, Jimin spots the boy talking with an employee and he hurries towards them – not wanting to stand alone for another second.

“I’m sorry, sir, but there’s nothing I can do,” says the employee once Jimin catches up to them. He quickly looks at the new arrival and gives him a polite smile before he turns his attention back to Jungkook.

“Nothing at all? Someone stole his ticket.” Jungkook doesn’t spare him a single glance – hardly even acknowledging that he’s there – and Jimin hates that it bothers him a little bit.

“I can only advise you to book a ticket for a later flight back to Seoul. There’s really nothing else to do.” The employee looks incredibly apologetic and Jimin can’t help but feel bad.

“So, you mean, buy new tickets?” The man nods and Jungkook frowns. “We can’t just, you know, trade? I mean the tickets haven’t exactly been used.” He looks oddly desperate and Jimin doesn't understand why he's making such a big deal out of it when they can simply buy new tickets.

“I’m sorry, sir, but it doesn’t work like that. The seats have been bought whether or not you’re using them.”

While Jungkook doesn’t even look at Jimin, Jimin does nothing but look at him. He can see the frustration and maybe even the rage boiling under his skin and he's sure the boy is five seconds away from yelling at him.

“Do you know when the next flight to Seoul leaves?” asks Jimin as he directs his attention to the employee again.

“Unfortunately, no,” he replies. “But I would advise you to hurry and buy tickets if you want to be on the next flight.” Jimin and Jungkook both nod in response, but Jimin’s is a little less cranky.

“Thank you very much,” says Jimin, and the man smiles in return before he excuses himself and disappears into the crowd.

Jimin almost regrets looking up at Jungkook when he spots the flaming rage flaring in the boy’s eyes. There’s a deep frown on his face and Jimin can see his right eye twitch slightly every few seconds.

“Why are you just standing there?” asks Jimin as he reaches out to grab Jungkook’s arm, but the boy jerks it back. “He said we have to hurry. This isn’t hurrying.” He reaches out for Jungkook’s arm again and this time he grabs it before he begins pulling the boy along.

“Let go of me,” complains Jungkook as he reluctantly follows, but he doesn’t use too much strength to try and jerk his arm free, and eventually he just stops trying.

“Do you even know where you’re going?” asks Jungkook. “Because you’re walking the wrong way.” Jimin stops immediately without warning and the taller boy almost walks into him.

“Then you lead the way if you’re so familiar in an airport.”

“I’m not familiar in an airport, I just remember things,” replied Jungkook in a mocking way. “Like remembering where we bought tickets, and to keep track of my own ticket, and that you’re a spoiled brat.”

“That has absolutely nothing to do with this,” argues Jimin and feels the anger seep through his skin.

“Yes, it has,” replies Jungkook. “You can afford to just throw away your ticket and buy a new one like it’s nothing, but I can’t, okay?”

“For God’s sake, stop whining. I’ll pay for your stupid ticket, okay?”

“Yeah, you will,” responds Jungkook, and Jimin almost feels the urge to growl at the boy. “Now follow me.” He doesn’t give Jimin time to answer before he starts walking and the smaller boy has to hurry if he wants to catch up and not get lost in the crowd.

Jimin hates pushing and shoving at people, but he is forced to do so if he wants to keep up with Jungkook. The taller boy has no problem separating the sea of people in front of him. Everybody steps out of his way, but no one wants to do the same for the smaller boy.

Eventually, Jungkook stops walking and Jimin hurries to place himself next to him as he’s desperate to get away from all the pushy people.

“What are you waiting for?” asks Jimin when he’s securely away.

“I’m waiting for my turn,” replies Jungkook without looking at him and Jimin can practically drown in the condescending tone oozing from his voice. “That’s what you do when there’s a line. Of course, I don’t expect you to understand that.”

Jimin takes a quick look past Jungkook to spot a couple of people standing in line before them before he turns to the taller boy again and scoffs.

“Calm your shit, cockcake, I didn’t see the line,” mumbles Jimin irritatedly.

“You don’t see anything around you, do you?” comes the snarky reply. It's patronizing beyond measures and it makes Jimin's eye twitch. 

However, he decides not to answer the condescending – not to mention rhetoric – question and instead turns his back to Jungkook in favor of watching the people walk past them. He’s not in the mood to look at the boy. He's not in the mood to stand so close to him either. But he doesn't have a choice.

Unfortunately, he doesn't have a choice.

He wonders if his thief has walked by him in the last 10 minutes or if he's long gone with his lousy few bucks and a plane ticket. Maybe the man is on the flight back to Seoul right now.

“Excuse me, are you standing in line?”

Jimin snaps his head to the left to see a woman and man standing awfully close to him.

“Um, what?”

“Are you standing in line?” asks the woman again and gestures behind him. The boy swings around to find Jungkook standing by the counter a few feet away from him – talking with the female employee like Jimin doesn’t exist at all.

The boy had apparently not found it necessary to tell him it was their turn. He’s not surprised, but he’s mildly annoyed.

“Oh, yes, sorry. I’m with… him,” replies the boy as he – almost disgustedly – points at Jungkook. He wishes the boy would turn around and see the dissatisfied smile on his lips, but no such thing happens, and Jimin hurries to excuse himself and join the boy by the counter.

Jungkook doesn’t spare him a glance as he places himself next to him and Jimin can’t say he’s surprised.

He understands the boy's frustrations, but he doesn't understand why he's taking it all out on him. He didn't ask him to stay by his side and search for his ticket. He didn't ask him to miss the flight.

Jungkook did that out of his won free will.

So why is he being so unreasonable?

“Two tickets for the 10 o’clock flight to Seoul?” asks the employee with a smile on her face as she types away on her computer.

10 o’clock?! ” exclaims Jimin a little louder than he intends, and the woman turns her attention towards him with a confused look in her eyes. Jungkook, however, just sighs annoyed.

“Well, yes, sir,” replies the woman. “That’s the next flight to Seoul.”

“But it’s in 5 hours?” He looks to Jungkook and partly expects the same shocked face, but the taller boy just looks annoyed. And not by the flight time.

“God, stupid fucking thief,” curses Jimin to himself, but still loud enough for others to hear.

“Is it not satisfactory?” asks the woman as she looks to Jungkook and Jimin is mildly annoyed with being treated as the child out of the two of them when he is the older one, just because Jungkook is taller.

“No, no, it’s fine,” reassures Jungkook with a kind smile. “Don’t mind him.” The woman returns the smile verily as her eyes shift over Jimin before she once again types away on her computer.

“Then I’ll just need your passports.” The two boys hurry to pull out their passports and place them on the counter before the woman types away on her computer once again.

At least the thief didn’t take his passport too, not to mention his phone. Maybe his left pocket had been the least important after all.

“Here are your tickets,” says the woman as she places two tickets on the counter and the boys each snatch one. “It’ll depart at 10 o’clock from gate B5. Enjoy your trip.”

“Thank you,” says Jungkook politely before he turns towards Jimin, and the smile is instantly gone. “Try not to lose this one, will you?”

Jimin is so close to stuffing Jungkook’s ticket down his throat.

“Any chance we won’t be sitting together?” asks Jimin as he turns towards the woman, but before he can get an answer from the very confused employee, Jungkook pulls him away from the counter by his collar.

“Stop acting like an idiot.”

“Stop being an idiot.”

“Listen,” begins Jungkook, and Jimin reluctantly gives him his full attention. “We’re stuck together for the next 7 hours. Can you please just not be fucking insufferable?”

“Can you?”

Jimin is certain he spots a vein pop in Jungkook’s forehead and he takes that as a personal victory.

“Jesus Christ, forget it.”

Jungkook says nothing more as he turns around and walks away – leaving Jimin alone for the millionth time that day. He watches as Jungkook gets further and further away from him and wonders if the boy is going to tun around eventually when he doesn’t immediately follow him.

When Jungkook is almost out of sight, Jimin concludes that the boy has no intention of stopping and hurries after him before he loses him completely.

He doesn’t want to be near Jungkook, but he wants to be alone in a foreign airport even less, so he swallows his pride at last.

Even if it kills him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been almost two and a half hours and Jimin is growing more and more irritated.

Jungkook is sitting next to him and he’s fully engrossed in his magazine while Jimin has absolutely nothing to do. He stopped playing on his phone an hour ago when he realized he didn’t have much battery left and no charger.

Jungkook had immediately bought himself and magazine and no matter how much Jimin begged, he refused to buy him one.

Play with your hand sanitizer,” had the boy said and Jimin glared at him with threatening eyes that hadn’t had the desired effect at all.

He had tried falling asleep a few times, but he found himself unable to. There is too much noise around him, and it is simply driving him crazy.

He almost jumps out of his seat when his phone rings in his pocket and the dramatic reaction catches Jungkook’s attention as he stops reading his magazine in favor of looking at the boy next to him.

He pulls out his phone and sees Hoseok’s name written on the display.

“It’s Hoseok!” exclaims Jimin as he points to the phone.

“Then answer it, you idiot!”

Jimin's face turns sour at the way Jungkook addresses him, but he says nothing in return and merely answers the call.

“Hoseok?”

“Jimin?”

“Yes, yes, I’m here!”

“Holy shit, where were you? Why the fuck weren’t you on the plane? Are you still in Osaka?” Jimin bites down on his bottom lip as he thinks over how to explain as shortly as possible. And maybe if there is a way, he could make it all sound like it was Jungkook’s fault.

“I lost my fucking ticket, Hoseok. Someone stole it and I couldn’t get it back.” He can see Jungkook silently snicker next to him and he rolls his eyes instead of hitting him.

“You lost your ticket? But… what are you gonna do? What should I tell the teachers?”

“Tell them we got it under control. We just bought tickets for the 10 o’clock flight back to Seoul, so don’t worry.”

We?”

“Yeah, Jungkook’s with me.” He can see the other boy’s attention slightly spark at the mentioning of his name, but he says nothing.

Hoseok falls incredibly quiet and for a second, Jimin fears they have lost their connection.

“You’re with… Jungkook?”

“He, um, he missed it too.” For a second, he is about to say he had tried to help him, but he holds his tongue, not wanting to give the other boy the satisfaction, not to mention losing his own pride.

“So, you’re stranded in Osaka with… Jeon Jungkook?”

“Yes! Jesus, how many times to I have to say it?” sneers Jimin.

“Okay, okay, sorry,” chuckles Hoseok. “It’s just… wow, I don’t even know what. Like, a movie or something.”

“Yeah, yeah, it’s all fucking great,” replies Jimin irritatedly. “Can you please just pick up my luggage-” He can see Jungkook snap his head in his direction and understands the boy’s silent plea. “-and Jungkook’s too.”

“Yeah, sure. I don’t know what it looks like, but I’ll tell Taehyung or something.”

“Thanks, Hoseok, I’ll keep you updated, okay?”

“Yeah, sure,” replies Hoseok, and Jimin can hear some hushed voices in the background. “Oh, and I should say hi from Taehyung too. He freaked out when Jungkook didn’t show up and the plane took off.”

“I’ll tell him.”

“And hi from Namjoon and Seokjin too.”

“Yeah, tell them-”

“They got their membership.”

What? I was missing and Namjoon and Seokjin were fucking in the airplane bathroom?” His voice is a little too loud and a few nearby people turn their heads in his direction with displeased looks on their faces.

Jungkook laughs next to him and Jimin kicks his leg to keep him quiet. It doesn't stop him from laughing, however.

“Well, we were sure you were okay.”

“You guys are the worst friends,” mumbles Jimin. He doesn’t miss the amused smile on Jungkook’s lips as he goes back to reading his magazine. He's not sure why the boy finds that funny. It's not exactly amusing in any way and it irks Jimin to be ridiculed like this.

“We love you too. Call me when you take off, and I’ll come to pick you up at the airport.”

“You fucking better. It’s your fault I’m in this mess because you forgot my fucking hand sanitizer.”

“Well, did you get it?”

“I- yes, but that’s not the point,” replies Jimin – quite irritated with Hoseok’s calmness. He seems to be finding the situation incredibly funny and it frustrates Jimin that his friend isn't even worried.

“Stop whining then. You got your hand sanitizer and you’ll be home in 7 hours. Happy end, right?”

“You better hope, otherwise you won’t have a very happy ending,” threatens Jimin, but Hoseok merely laughs on the other end of the line. He doesn't believe his threat. He never believes his threats. 

Sometimes, Jimin wonders if everything he says to his friends gets written off as insignificant.

“You’re a real joy to be with, huh? Poor Jungkook.”

“Poor me,” corrects Jimin, but Hoseok’s doesn’t seem to care.

“Yeah, yeah, if you say so. See you in 7 hours, Jimin, try not to kill each other okay?”

“We’ll try.”

“Great. And try not to sleep with him again.”

“Wha- I would never!” exclaims Jimin a little too loudly once again. It colors his cheeks pink.

“That’s my good boy.”

“Fuck off,” replies Jimin before he hangs up. He’s quite certain his friend is laughing hysterically in Seoul right now and so will Namjoon and Seokjin when they hear. None of them will be particularly worried. He's quite certain no one will be particularly worried and he can't help but be slightly bothered by that.

“What did he say?” asks Jungkook, and Jimin is momentarily startled when the boy speaks up. He had been lost in his own mind for a few seconds - tuning out the reality of the situation around him.

“Just a lot of bullshit,” replies Jimin as he checks his battery percent on his phone before he stuffs it into his pocket. There's only 29% left. “But he’ll tell the teachers we’ll get a flight at 10, so it should be fine.”

“Cool,” says Jungkook and it sounds a little too nonchalant considering the situation they’re in, but Jimin doesn’t question his calmness.

“And Hoseok wanted me to say hi from Taehyung.”

“Cool,” repeats Jungkook. He doesn't sound very surprised, not interested if Jimin has to guess. It makes him cock his head to the side in confusion. 

“That’s all? Your only friend says ‘hi’ and you just say ‘cool?” It’s not until after he realizes his words might sound a little harder than what he was going for. He wasn't trying to insult the boy, but rather question his behavior. It appeared he ended up doing both regardless.

“He’s not my only friend,” replies Jungkook. Jimin can sense the annoyance in his voice as he speaks. He should probably drop it, but a bigger part of him wants to poke a little more to the boy.

He doesn't understand why. He doesn't know why he needs to poke when he should merely leave things be. But he can't stop himself. He would rather poke Jungkook before Jungkook could poke him.

“Oh yeah? Who else then? Because I only ever see you with that Taehyung guy.”

“Are you stalking me, Jimin?” asks the boy. There’s a sly smirk on his face Jimin doesn’t like. He was supposed to tease Jungkook, not the other way around. He was supposed to be doing the poking and Jungkook was the one supposed to rub his bruises.

“Fuck off, no I don’t. We go to the same school so it’s inevitable we see each other.”

“Sure.” He doesn’t sound like he believes it and its incredible infuriating.

“And even if I did, I would see the same every day. You’re not very interesting and you only have one friend.”

“I have more.”

“Who?”

“Yoongi.”

“Who?” There’s a clear look of disbelieve on Jungkook’s face as he looks at him and Jimin can’t help but feel like he’s missing something.

“You don’t know Yoongi?” Jimin says nothing. “He’s friends with Seokjin? Oh my God, Jimin, do you ever get your head out of your privileged ass and notice that there are other people around you?”

The words feel a lot harsher than Jimin would’ve thought and he doesn’t like how deep they somehow hit him. He doesn’t want Jungkook to have the ability to be able to guilt him.

“I- that’s not how it is, I just- whatever,” mumbles Jimin at last as he leans back in his seat and crosses his arms over his chest.

Jungkook looks at him for a few more seconds before he leans back in his seat too and goes back to his magazine without sparing Jimin another glance.

Jimin checks his wristwatch.

Only 4 hours left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s one hour left until departure when a storm breaks out.

Jimin isn’t particularly bothered by it in the beginning. Actually, he’s rather entertained by it since he has nothing better to do anyway. He watches the raindrops hit the windows and he listens to the thumping sound of wind and water hitting the glass.

But when Jungkook suddenly jumps up from his seat, Jimin spares the storm no mind.

“What?” questions Jimin as he looks up at Jungkook, but the boy is looking up at the huge board on the wall with information on all the flights. He diverts his eyes from Jungkook to the board as well and is confused to see nothing but red letters everywhere.

“Don’t tell me that says…”

“Cancelled,” finishes Jungkook for him. “Yeah, it fucking does.”

“But… they can’t just cancel our flight. Can they?” Jimin feels like crying and it looks like Jungkook feels like killing something because he looks rather furious. Annoyance and frustration are visible on the boy's face and it isn't until then, Jimin realizes the weight of this situation. He hasn't been aware of how much he has been leaning on Jungkook for support until the uncertain look in Jungkook's eyes makes him dizzy.

“This is so fucking…” Jimin doesn’t get to hear the rest of the boy's sentence because for the millionth time that day, Jungkook grabs his bag before he storms off without warning, and Jimin has to run to keep up.

He thinks about asking where he’s going but decides to hold his tongue. He doesn't want Jungkook to snap at him and he knows he will if he pokes to him right now.

At last, they stop by the same counter they bought the tickets at, but Jungkook doesn’t stand in line this time. He makes his way to the same woman determinedly and places himself right in front of her.

“Why is every flight canceled?” It sounds more like a demand than a question.

“As I was just explaining to this sir,” begins the woman and there’s slight irritation in her voice she’s clearly trying to hide. Jimin doesn’t blame her for the annoyance. They’re not the first to ask obviously. “There’s quite a heavy storm going on and it’s unfit to fly in for everyone’s safety.”

Jimin suddenly doesn’t like the storm anymore.

“But what does that mean for us? We can’t go home?”

“Not at the moment, I’m afraid.”

“Then when?”

“When the storm settles down.” She continues before Jungkook can even ask. “I’ve heard the weather reports state that it could be a few days.” Several deep sighs are heard from numerous of close by people, including Jimin and Jungkook.

“I would advise you to get a hotel nearby and stay until the weather dies down. Once it’s safe to fly you will be informed,” explains the woman, but Jimin has a hard time maintaining focus anymore.

“Do we have to book tickets again then?” asks a man from behind Jungkook and Jimin.

“No,” replies the woman with a polite smile. “Those of you who have already booked tickets will be prioritized first and will not have to book new ones.” A little part of Jimin relaxes at this but a bigger part of him is still boiling with rage.

“Now if you have your answers I will kindly ask you to step aside for the people who are standing in line,” says the woman as she looks at Jungkook and the forced, polite smile is back on her lips.

“Yes, I- sorry, of course,” says Jungkook in a much gentler tone as he steps away from the counter, and Jimin follows him as he continues to walk.

“What do we do now?” ask Jimin as he jocks to keep up with him.

“What she said.” Jungkook replies without looking at him as he tightens his grip on his back. “Get a hotel and stay there till the storm dies down.”

“You want us to stay at a hotel together?” Jimin can’t help but laugh in disbelief. “I’m not staying at a hotel with you.” He honestly doesn’t want to spend a single second more in the boy’s company.

“And you expect to buy your own hotel room with what money?” asks Jungkook. “Unless you’re forgetting, you don’t have anything but a passport and a nearly dead phone.”

Jimin absolutely hates that Jungkook is right. He hates that whether he likes or not, he’s dependent on the boy until they’re back home in Seoul.

It’s incredibly infuriating and Jimin is tempted to kill Jungkook and steal the boy’s money.

“I’m not fucking spending the next few days with you of all people. I’d rather die.”

“Listen, I don’t wanna stay with you either,” snaps Jungkook as he stops and turns around so fast Jimin flinches as he nearly walks right into him. “But there’s really nothing else to do unless you wanna sleep on the street.”

“Don’t tempt me.”

“Don’t tempt me.”

Jungkook’s look is challenging and Jimin already knows he’s lost whatever is going on between them right now. He's being unfair and he's being childish and he's aware of it. That's the worst part. He's aware that he's behaving like the child out of the two of them.

“Fine, okay? Fine!” exclaims Jimin and throws up his hands in frustration. “Let’s just find a fucking hotel and get these fucking days over with.”

“Couldn’t agree more." There’s a sarcastic smile on Jungkook's lips as he speaks and it irritates Jimin tremendously. 

“Now let’s get out of this stupid airport, I’m so sick of it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s pretty dark when Jimin and Jungkook are being sat off at the nearest hotel by a very grumpy taxi driver.

Jimin can’t help the disgusted nose wiggle he makes when he sees it. The hotel looks more like a back-alley entrance than a hotel entrance. The street lights are hardly lighting anything up and if Jimin looks closely, he's sure he'll eventually spot a rat or something worse.

“Do we really have to stay at the nearest and cheapest hotel?” asks Jimin as Jungkook comes up beside him. “This looks like a murder scene from a horror movie.”

“Then I hope you’ll be killed first.”

“If it’s either death or staying with you, I would choose death anytime.”

“Then choose it now.”

Jimin doesn’t have the time to reply before Jungkook makes his way through the worn-down hotel entrance and Jimin has to force his body to follow. He takes one look at the dirty door and makes sure he still has his hand sanitizer in his pocket.

The inside doesn’t look much better than the outside, but Jimin is positively surprised and figures he might have a chance at surviving this place after all.

“A room for two,” says Jungkook to the elderly man behind the counter as he stops in front of him and Jimin snaps his head in his direction with lightning speed as he makes his way to him.

Two rooms,” corrects Jimin, but Jungkook doesn’t bat an eye when he completely dismisses him.

A room for two,” he repeats a bit more forcefully.

“I’m not sharing a room with you, dick face. Two rooms,” says Jimin through gritted teeth. The poor man behind the counter looks incredibly confused.

“And I don’t have the money for two single rooms,” replies Jungkook as he turns his head to look at Jimin and the smaller boy almost feels intimidated by Jungkook’s hard eyes.

“I said I would pay you back.”

“That doesn’t change the fact that I don’t have the money right now and neither do you.”

Jimin is left rather speechless when he realizes he hadn’t thought of that. He hadn’t thought of the fact that Jungkook’s money is all they have.

“So a room for two,” says Jungkook again as he looks at the man behind the counter. The man hurries to nod before he begins typing away on his worn-down computer and the two boys are left standing in awkward silence as they wait.

Jimin watches Jungkook discreetly out of the corner of his eyes and he’s sure he’s spotting an almost embarrassed – if not shameful – look on his face.

“A double room,” confirms the man. “And how long will you be staying?”

“We’re not sure yet,” replies Jungkook. “It could be a few nights but we’re really not sure.”

“Oh, okay. Well, we’ll settle the bill once you depart then.” Jimin furrows his brows a little confusedly at him – surprised the man doesn’t want them to pay immediately.

Jungkook nods as an answer with a polite smile on his lips and the man returns it.

“The room is on the second floor,” says the man as he bends down and picks something up before he places it on the counter, and Jimin recognizes it as a very worn-down room card. “Here’s your keycard.”

Jimin hesitantly reaches out for the card and examines it in his hands for a few seconds. The edges of the card are curled, and it clearly hasn’t been replaced by a new one in forever.

“Give me that, princess,” snaps Jungkook as he rips the card out of Jimin’s hands. “Stop looking at like it’ll kill you.”

“It might,” pouts Jimin rather childishly, but he hardly cares at this point.

“I sincerely hope so." 

Jungkook doesn't even bat an eye as he wishes death upon the boy next to him and Jimin is almost bothered by the fact that it has so quickly become a casual part of their conversations.

“I’m gonna throw your bed out the window when you least expect it, you dipshit. Have fun-”

“Um, there’s only one bed, I’m afraid.”

Jimin snaps his head in the direction of the elderly man so fast he feels his neck crack. The man looks almost terrified as Jimin looks at him and he wonders just how dark his expression is right now.

“Come again?”

“There’s, um, there’s only on bed in the room. A double bed,” says the man again, but this time his voice is much timider and Jimin can hear the anxiousness. He has never been one to intimidate, but he has never been one to get stuck in situations such as this one.

He supposes that changes it all.

“Then give us another,” demands Jimin, and his eyes are boring into the elderly man’s.

“We- we only have one bed in all of our double rooms.”

“Then rearrange your rooms!” The man before him looks speechless as he pointlessly opens and closes his mouth as he tries to come up with a reply to Jimin’s demand. It's unreasonable, but Jimin doesn't care.

He can hear Jungkook chuckle beside him and turns his head in his direction exceptionally fast. However, Jungkook’s spine doesn’t crack the same way the elderly man’s had when Jimin had looked at him.

“Why are you laughing? You’re the one who’s gonna be sleeping on the floor.”

It's almost comical how fast Jungkook’s smile disappears.

“What? No fucking way. You’re the one who can’t deal with it, you sleep on the floor.”

“Oh, so want to share a bed?” challenges Jimin and there’s a clear mocking tone in his voice not to mention an amused smile on his lips. He's trying to trap Jungkook between a rock and a hard place, but the boy is too slippery.

He escapes every time.

“It’s not like we haven’t done it before.” There is a sly smirk on Jungkook's lips as he speaks and it shuts Jimin up faster than he would like. He’s not pleased that he suddenly feels like his tongue doubles in size and that he suddenly can’t swallow probably.

He diverts his eyes from Jungkook’s and instead grabs the keycard from the boy’s hand rather aggressively.

“Yeah, and how did that work out for us?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimin is rather displeased with what he sees once he pushes open the door to their hotel room. The floor is almost discolored, the bedsheets are ugly, and the curtains are almost falling off the curtain rod.

He takes off his jacket and hangs it on a worn-down hook behind the door. He pulls out his phone and checks how much percentage he has. 11% left. He’s certain it won’t even last till tomorrow.

He turns his head to see Jungkook throw his small bag on the old desk and then throw himself on the bed. It creaks under his weight and Jimin groans in annoyance.

“How many percent do you have left on your phone?” asks Jimin as he finds Hoseok’s number. He hasn’t talked to the boy since he said they couldn’t catch a flight but would find a hotel nearby.

Jungkook pulls out his phone from his back pocket with an annoyed sigh and Jimin rolls his eyes. It annoys him that Jungkook reacts so negatively to even the simplest of questions, but he can't exactly claim he wouldn't react the same way if their situations were reversed.

“35%,” he replies.

“We’re so fucking screwed,” says Jimin. “How are we gonna make it with no phones? How are we gonna know when we can get a flight? How are we gonna-”

“I have a charger, you idiot,” interrupts Jungkook shamelessly. “But I’m pretty sure I saw a computer in the lobby that’s for guests.” Jimin didn’t really pay much attention to the later part because all he heard was the word ‘charger’.

“Thank fucking God,” he exclaims before he hurries over to Jungkook and places himself in front of him at the edge of the bed. “Gimme.” He sticks out his hands and Jungkook looks at him almost disgustingly.

“What?”

“Your charger,” says Jimin rather impatiently. “Give it to me. My phone is dying.” Jungkook continuous to look at him as if he’s stupid and Jimin is growing painfully irritated. “Are you dumb?”

“No, but you are,” replies Jungkook, and Jimin detects some smugness in his voice he really doesn’t like. Mostly because he doesn’t get why. “We don’t have the same phone, jackass. Your precious iPhone won’t exactly fit my charger.” Jungkook waves his phone in the air.

“Fucking unbelievable. I’m screwed.”

“You are,” agrees Jungkook and he doesn’t seem the least bit bothered by it. Amused maybe.

The smugness is insufferable and Jimin heads for the bathroom in an attempt to put a door between them for the first time in the last many hours. He wants to breathe probably without the other boy hearing every inhale and every exhale.

He opens the bathroom door and nearly gets a heart attack at the sight. The bathroom is incredibly tiny. The toilet is actually inside the shower and the sink clearly hasn’t been cleaned in some time.

He fights back his nausea as he steps inside and dials Hoseok’s number. His eyes roam over the room as the phone rings and he’s prone to gag.

“Jimin?”

“Hoseok, thank God. I’m desperate need of hearing someone talk without wanting to roll my eyes,” exclaims Jimin and he’s sure Jungkook hears him, but he doesn’t really care.

“It’s going that bad?”

“Yes,” he replies immediately. “One room. One bed. One big fucking nightmare.”

“You’re gonna share a bed?” Jimin can hear the amusement in his voice and he takes back his previous words as he rolls his eyes. He should've known his friend would find humor in his misery. He never takes him seriously.

“One big fucking nightmare,” repeats Jimin and he hears a chuckle over the phone.

“It’s only for a few days. No more than 3 I would think. Storms like that don’t last that long.”

“I fucking hope.”

He hears approaching footsteps and less than a second later, the door swings open and Jungkook shamelessly walks in as if Jimin’s not there at all. It’s tough on room for both of them and Jimin has to practically sit on the toilet for Jungkook to pass by him to the sink.

“Excuse me?” says Jimin annoyed when Jungkook says nothing. “Can’t you see the bathroom is occupied?” He hears a ‘what’ from the phone but ignores it as he continues to focus on Jungkook.

“I need to wash my hands.”

“And you couldn’t wait?”

“No.”

Jimin bits down on his lips to refrain himself from cursing at the boy before he raises the phone to his ear again.

“I don’t have much battery left and I don’t have a charger,” begins Jimin. “But the hotel has a computer so hopefully that’ll work.”

“What about Jungkook?”

“Yeah, his phone works,” says Jimin as he glares at Jungkook who doesn’t spare him a single glance as he washes his hands.

“Well, that’s good,” replies Hoseok, and Jimin is almost irritated by the optimism in his voice. He wishes the boy would simply curse with him. He wishes he would simply share his point of view for once.

“It’s fucking annoying.”

“You’re really jolly right now, aren’t you?” teases Hoseok. His friend is having a great time at his expense and it's infuriating.

“Fuck off, I’ve had a fucking awful day and tomorrow doesn’t look that good either.”

“You never know.”

“I do know.”

Jungkook turns off the water and starts drying his hands in the dirty, grey towel. He’s painfully slow and Jimin knows it’s no coincidence. He could've waited or could've been done in less than a minute. But he isn't, because he wants to piss off his new involuntarily roommate.

“Can you hurry up and get out?” asks Jimin as he takes the phone away from his ear. “I’m having a conversation.”

“Then stop,” replies Jungkook, as he continues to dry his probably already dry hands. “The bathroom is not for phone calls.”

“It is now." Jungkook smiles almost amusedly as if Jimin’s frustrations are funny. “So get lost.”

“If you wanna continue your phone call then you get out. I’m drying my hands.”

“I was here first.”

“I’m paying for it, so technically I call the shots.”

Jungkook carries himself with such arrogance and superiority as he proudly declares every decision his to make simply because he's the one paying for it all at the moment. He has never seen Jungkook carry himself so arrogantly and it's clear the boy is relishing in the feeling.

However, Jimin doesn't much like this look on him.

He likes the humble Jungkook who gave him shy smiles and kind promises. Who blushed when he complimented him and who snickered when he was embarrassed.

This Jungkook is nothing like the Jungkook he knew for one night.

“You’re such a prick.”

“And you’re a spoiled brat.”

“Please, that insult is getting so fucking old.”

“Is it?” asks Jungkook as he lets go of the towel and takes a few steps towards Jimin who takes one back subconsciously. “Then why does your eye twitch every time I say it?”

Jimin opens his mouth to answer, but he doesn’t say a word because he doesn’t know what to say and Jungkook is so close he can feel his breath on his cheeks. It's making him pay attention to everything else than his own mind.

He hasn’t been that close to the boy in over a year and it’s a little bit terrifying.

“That’s what I thought,” says Jungkook and takes a step back. “Hurry up and do whatever. I’m tired and I can’t sleep with you running around like a dumbass.” He doesn’t wait for a reply before he leaves the bathroom and Jimin is left perplexed as he tries to gather his tongue from the ground.

He has completely forgotten all about the fact that Hoseok is still on the phone until he hears his name being spoken on the other end of the line and he frantically hurries to lift it to his ear.

“Hoseok?”

“Yeah, I’m still here, love bird,” teases Hoseok, and Jimin stumps his foot on the floor in annoyance.

“Shut up. He’s driving me insane.”

“He is indeed.” He doesn’t like the tone in Hoseok voice at all. For a moment he regrets calling the boy instead of Namjoon or Seokjin, but he doubts they would be much better in this situation than his best friend. They would tease him just as much. They would joke around and have a party at his misery. 

They would all just dismiss his worries in favor of getting a kick out of teasing him.

Sometimes he wishes everything around him wasn't so superficial.

“I’ll find a way to keep you updated, Hoseok,” begins Jimin. “Hopefully I’ll have some good news before long.”

“I’m sure you will,” replies the boy and there is still the same smug teasing in his voice Jimin despises.

“Okay, I’m hanging up. Goodbye, jackass.”

“Bye, love bird. Say hi to Jungkook from me.”

“Go choke,” replies Jimin, before he hangs up the phone and clenches it tightly in his hands. He’s really not in the mood for teasing right now when his life is in ruins. He's stuck in a foreign country with a boy who hates his guts as much as he hates his. He's stuck there for God knows how long and for some reason, no one asks him if he's okay.

He's not so sure he's okay.

But doesn't want to say that to anyone.

He hurries to get himself somewhat ready for bed with the limited resources he has before he exits the bathroom and walks into the bedroom to find Jungkook already lying in the bed. He has already made himself comfortable under the duvet and Jimin can see the lack of a shirt underneath.

He’s scrolling on his phone and Jimin is feeling almost resentful when he spots the charger plugged into the wall beside him.

“You were sleeping on the floor, idiot,” says Jimin as he kicks off his shoes.

“What?” Jungkook diverts his eyes from his phone in favor of looking up at Jimin. “I never agreed to that.”

“Then you should’ve asked for two rooms.” He could see genuine anger wash over Jungkook’s face and for a moment he felt a little bad for saying that.

“You know why I couldn’t. Shut up and be grateful I’m even letting you stay here too. You’re the reason we’re in this mess in the first place.”

“I never asked you to help me look for my ticket and miss the flight, did I?” challenges Jimin as he places himself at the edge of the bed.

“No, you didn’t,” says Jungkook as he sits up a little more and the duvet slips a little down and reveals a bit more of his naked chest. “But I’m not a fucking asshole so I didn’t leave you to fend for yourself.”

Jungkook’s words spark something ugly in Jimin’s gut and he can’t help the resentful feelings washing through him. He's a hypocrite for saying those words, and it infuriates Jimin that he doesn't seem to see that himself.

“Why not?” he asks and Jungkook looks a little confused. “It wouldn’t exactly be the first time you left, so I wouldn’t really have been surprised.”

Jungkook looks absolutely baffled at Jimin’s words as he opens his mouth to reply, but Jimin doesn’t give him any attention at all and eventually, he decides against saying anything at all. Instead, Jungkook pressed his lips together in a thin line and draws his eyebrows together in displeasure.

“If you touch me in the middle of the night, I’m cutting off your hands.”

“I wouldn’t touch you even if I was threatened to,” replies Jungkook disgustingly as he lays back down on the bed and places his phone on his nightstand.

Jimin doesn’t reply as he slowly nears the bed and lifts his own duvet before he slips under it and places himself as close to the edge as possible.

“Are you really gonna sleep in all of that?” asks Jungkook but Jimin doesn’t turn around to look at him.

“You’re not seeing anything, you perverted donkey.”

“Suit yourself,” says Jungkook. “But it’s not like I haven’t seen it before.” Jimin doesn’t like the amusement in the boy’s voice.

“Shut up and sleep.” He pulls the duvet all the way up to his nose as he scoffs. He’s not particularly comfortable, but he refuses to take off his clothes with Jungkook in the same bed as him.

He can hear Jungkook chuckle next to him and hates that he doesn’t completely despise the sound. He hates that he brings him memories of a warm autumn night.

“Goodnight, princess,” says Jungkook but Jimin doesn’t reply.

He tries his best not to move too much and stay as close to the edge as possible, while he does his best to fall asleep. It annoys him immensely that Jungkook doesn’t seem to care much as he trashes and turns in the bed as if he was alone.

It frustrates Jimin how carefree Jungkook is, yet it doesn’t really surprise him either.

Jeon Jungkook doesn’t have a care in this world and Jimin hates that it bothers him.

“Stop thinking and just sleep.”

Jimin flinches as Jungkook speaks up next to him but he refuses to turn around to look at him.

“I’m trying.”

“Then try harder. I can practically hear you’re tiny, stupid brain and it’s annoying.”

“Then sleep in the hallway if you’re so bothered.”

“Just sleep.”

I will,” he replies as he pulls his knees up to his stomach and squeezes his eyes shut.

He falls asleep hours later with Jungkook’s breath ghosting over his neck, and even though it annoys him immensely, he stays still, and he stays quiet.

Eventually, he finds himself not minding at much as he wants to.

Which is incredibly infuriating.

Chapter Text

The sun is shining through the worn-down curtains when Jimin opens his eyes the next morning. It is blinding and for a second, he feels completely lost as to where he was.

The next thing he sees is a little button nose. It’s shining in the sunlight and Jimin can spot the tiny, tiny hairs at the tip if he looks close enough.

The next thing he realizes is whose nose that is and that it’s way too close to him.

It happens too fast and Jimin is quite sure it was more of an impulsive action rather than a thought-through decision, but less than a second later, Jungkook is lying on the cold hotel floor and Jimin is looking down at him from above.

Jungkook was almost adorable asleep, now that he’s awake, he’s much more terrifying.

“What the fuck are you doing?!” yells the boy as he rubs the back of his head and Jimin figures the boy fell down face first.

“I- you were on my fucking half of the bed,” argues Jimin, though he doesn’t actually know if this is true or not since everything seemed to happen a little too fast for him to truly follow.

“I was not!” responds Jungkook as he glares up at the smaller boy safely on the soft bed. “I was on my side so if anyone was on the wrong side it was you.”

“What a load of bullshit,” says Jimin. “Do you always start your morning with a good amount of shit talk?”

“Do you always start your morning with a good amount of droll on your chin?” counters Jungkook and Jimin immediately lift his hand to wipe his mouth and the action makes the other boy laugh.

“You fucking prick,” curses Jimin as he grabs Jungkook’s pillow and throws it at the boy with full force, though he easily catches is. “Go choke, you fucking idiot.”

Jungkook doesn’t stop laughing as he gently throws the pillow back on the bed next to Jimin. He doesn’t exactly look angry anymore, but Jimin didn’t expect him to after his funny little comment. Jungkook’s mood always seems to lighten up after one of those.

Jimin’s however, does not.

He makes a sound of disgust and annoyance before he pulls the covers off him and storms out of bed and into the bathroom. He slams the door behind him rather loudly but he can still hear Jungkook’s mocking laugh through it.

It annoys him more than he would ever admit.

He doesn’t exactly like what he sees when he looks into the mirror hanging over the sink. His eyes don’t look well-rested and his clothes look messy and dirty. He doesn’t even want to look at his disaster of a hair long enough to make an internal comment on it.

He turns on the water tap and fills his hands before he begins washing his face rather aggressively as though he could wash away this entire nightmare if he just scrubbed hard enough.

He fumbles after the towel and dries his face before he gives himself one last, disgusted look in the mirror and then storms out of the bathroom once again.

Jungkook isn’t lying on the floor like he was a few minutes ago when Jimin emerges. He’s dressed in the same clothes as last night once again as well as his shoes. He's standing by the edge of the bed as he scrolls through his phone.

Jimin throws one look at his phone on the nightstand and instantly knows it’s long dead.

“Any news on the plane?” asks Jimin as he sits down on the bed again while he awkwardly fumbles with his hands in his lap since he doesn’t have a phone to occupy them with like Jungkook does.

“Nothing,” replies the boy as he continues to scroll through his phone without looking up. “It’s probably gonna be a few days, the weather really messed up the routes.”

Jimin couldn’t help be slightly confused with the weather problems. As he looks out the dirty windows in their hotel room, he sees no rain and no storm. But it’s not like he’s a weather expert.

Jungkook slips his phone into his pocket and heads towards the door where he pulls down his jacket from the hook and puts it on. Jimin follows him with his eyes and quirks his eyebrows as he has nothing else to look at.

“Where are you going?” he decides to ask. He’s mildly annoyed that Jungkook is practically completely ignoring him.

“Out,” replies the boy curtly and zips up his jacket before he grabs his wallet and puts it in his pocket as well.

“Out where?”

“Just out. I hate staying in hotel rooms. They’re so… boring.” Jimin doesn’t have to look around the room to agree. He’s usually fond of hotel rooms, but they’re usually at a completely different standard than this one.

“So what’s your plan?” He’s not sure why he’s so interested. Maybe it’s just because there’s nothing else to occupy him.

“I don’t have one.”

“That sounds smart,” he mocks while simultaneously rolling his eyes, but Jungkook doesn’t turn to look at him and it bothers him a little bit.

“No one is forcing you to come with if you don’t wanna. Stay here for all I care,” responds Jungkook rather irritated.

“I plan to.”

“Good.”

Jimin can feel a vein pop in his forehead and he hates that Jungkook’s dismissively behavior bothers him this much. He hates that it bothers him that Jungkook doesn’t directly invite him to come. Even if he doesn’t want to come. Even if Jungkook knows he doesn’t want to come. It still bothers him he doesn’t ask.

Jungkook grabs the door handle and rips open the door before he exits the hotel room and slams it behind him. He seems rather irritated and Jimin doesn’t think he has the right to.

The room falls silent and Jimin is bored already. He doesn’t have his phone, he doesn’t have anything to occupy himself with. He thinks about taking a nap, yet the thought alone keeps him awake.

He thinks about taking a shower but the thought of dressing himself in the same dirty clothes afterward keeps him from doing so.

At last, he grabs his jacket and his shoes and storms out of the hotel room.

He’s basically falling over his own feet when he finally reaches Jungkook by the stairs at the end of the hallway. The taller boy pauses as he turns around to look at the newly arrived boy who practically ran right into him.

“Coming anyway?” asks the boy and Jimin hates the smirk on his face. That mocking, teasing, I’m-better-than-you smile he has on his lips.

“I don’t have my phone,” says Jimin as he slips on his shoes and pushes past Jungkook. “Staying would be just a tad more boring than going with you.” He walks down the stairs without giving Jungkook a second look, but he hears a breathless laugh escape the boy and it somehow makes him a bit embarrassed.

“Sure,” says Jungkook as he followed Jimin down the stairs. “If you say so.”

Jimin loathes the amusement in the boy’s voice, yet he can’t help but be slightly relieved that Jungkook doesn’t get angry at his sudden decision to tag along. He doesn't seem to mind, which is a bigger relief to Jimin than he believed it would be.

“So where are we going?” asks Jimin as they reach the end of the stairs. He’s readying himself to complain about whatever Jungkook decides to say, yet he’s slightly curious as to what the boy’s plan is.

“Breakfast.”

“Breakfast?”

“Yeah. Did you expect me to starve?” asks Jungkook in a teasing manner and Jimin rolls his eyes as they walk by the reception and out the front door to the busy street.

“No, but I just- wait. Did you expect me to starve?” he exclaims once he realizes Jungkook was completely set on going for breakfast alone, had Jimin not decided to come anyway.

“What?” Jungkook quirks an eyebrow in confusion, but Jimin doesn’t let himself be fooled.

“What if I hadn’t decided to come, huh? Then I wouldn’t have gotten any breakfast. You were gonna let me starve!” Jungkook rolls his eyes at Jimin’s accusatory tone and it fuels his rage.

“Stop being so dramatic. You came with, didn’t you?”

“That’s beside the point. You were gonna let me starve, you dick eating turd!” repeats Jimin, but this time he feels slightly hurt by the knowledge.

Would Jungkook really have left him with no breakfast had he not decided to come?

He hates that it bothers him.

“If you’re gonna be like this all day, please go back to the hotel and I’ll bring back a sandwich or something,” says Jungkook. He sounds defeated already.

For a moment Jimin debates it. Not because he’s actually considering going back to the hotel, but because he knows that would be the logical thing for him to do.

He doesn’t want to go back, but he knows he should want to. They’re not friends, after all, so Jimin shouldn’t want to spend time with the boy.

Jungkook raises a brow as he awaits Jimin’s answer and by the smile on his lips, he already knows the boy’s answer.

“Let’s just go, I’m hungry.” He doesn’t give Jungkook time to talk before he hurries along – hoping the boy wipes that self-satisfactory smile off his lips fast.

They hardly speak a word as they continue to aimlessly walk down the unfamiliar streets and Jimin is beginning to doubt if they are ever going to find anything.

The people that pass them are strangers who had no idea what’s happening between the two boys they just walked by. They don’t know that Jimin once saw stars in the boy’s eyes or that those stars burned up again after a single night.

They don’t know that those two boys are forced to share a hotel room, not to mention a bed, for the next few days until they can escape each other once again.

“Can’t we just eat there?” asks Jimin after too many minutes of silent walking as they stop in front of a charming café.

Jungkook remains silent as he takes a few steps closer to the menu card hanging outside of the café. His eyes roam over it and Jimin quirks his eyebrow as he awaits the boy’s reply. His judgment of the place.

“No.”

“Wha- no?” asks Jimin dumbfounded. “What do you mean no, it’s cute, it got some good shit and it’s here.” Jungkook doesn’t even spare him a glance as he turns around and continues walking, leaving Jimin to chase after him.

“You’re impossible,” mutters Jimin once he reaches Jungkook. He practically has to run to keep up with him. “What was wrong with that place?”

“Did you see the prizes?”

“Prizes? No, why?” A chuckle escapes Jungkook’s lips, but it’s not sweet or soft, it’s mocking and borderline cruel. He's not amused, he's dumbfounded.

“Oh, I forgot princess Park Jimin doesn’t have to look at prizes like the rest of the common people. My bad.” Jungkook looks very pleased with his words and Jimin feels the familiar rage tingling under his skin.

“You’re such an ass,” he mumbles before he picks up speed and walks a few feet ahead of the taller boy, refusing to be next to him any longer.

Jungkook doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t laugh but he doesn’t apologize either. Jimin hadn’t expected him too, but he’s still mildly annoyed. Does he think his words don't bother him or does he simply not care?

His steps are aggressive yet the further he walks, the less angry he is. Maybe it’s exhaustion, maybe it’s disappointment, maybe he doesn’t know what it is.

10 minutes later and Jimin is officially feeling lost. He wouldn’t know the way back home and he just hopes Jungkook does. He feels his stomach growl and places a hand on top of it to silence it. Fortunately, no one would be able to hear it on the busy street. However, it’s not exactly a sound Jimin is eager for people to hear.

“Hey, princess, wait up.” Jimin pauses in his tracks and turns around to spot Jungkook a lot further away than he thought he would be. He’s walking towards him, holding something in his hands Jimin can’t see what is until he’s a few feet from him.

“A sandwich?” questions Jimin as he narrows his eyes at the weird packaged sandwiches in the boy’s hands. “When did you-”

“You’re not as fast as you think,” says Jungkook almost smugly as he sticks one of the sandwiches out for Jimin to take.

It doesn’t necessarily look bad, but Jimin knows it’s nothing fancy. It’s a plain ham and cheese sandwich that probably costs the same as a piece of gum.

“Thanks,” he replies as he grabs the sandwich from Jungkook's out-stretched hand.

“I know it’s not up to your standard, but you’ll have to settle if you wanna eat in 2 days.”

“Who says we’re gonna be here in 2 days?” mumbles Jimin. He’s not really looking for an answer, and he’s not really sure why he said it. He just… did.

“No one,” mutters Jungkook and the smile in his voice from a second ago isn’t as bright anymore. Jimin doesn’t bother to question it.

Jungkook remains quiet as he begins walking again and this time Jimin doesn’t voice any complaints as he wordlessly follows the boy – walking behind him instead of ahead.

He finds himself not minding that much. At least that way, he won't lose sight of the boy again.

They walk through a small park a little away from the busy streets and Jimin enjoys the less busy side of Osaka. He doesn’t mind people and he loves big cities, but there’s something about the beautiful quietness of nature he’s always adored.

He’s busy admiring a long row of flowers when Jungkook suddenly sits down on one of the empty benches and Jimin almost walks past him in his trance.

“Oh, we’re sitting,” he says awkwardly as he follows Jungkook and sits down on the bench too, making sure to have a big distance between them. They’re practically sitting in opposites ends of the bench. No one would assume they knew one another judging by the distance between them.

“I don’t like to eat while walking.”

“I know.” He says it before he can stop himself. He should’ve forgotten something like that, shouldn’t he? It was just a random comment made by a stupid, random boy a year ago, Jimin shouldn’t remember now.

Why would he remember something like that?

Why would he say it out loud?

He unpacks the sandwich rather aggressively and takes a large bite of it before he starts chewing like he hates the world.

And right now, he does.

Jungkook unwraps his sandwich and begins eating too. Jimin can’t help but discreetly watch the boy out of the corner of his eye, but the taller boy seems totally engrossed in his sandwich. He looks content and it’s pissing Jimin off.

With a displeased snort, Jimin decides to stop eyeing the boy and instead focuses on their surroundings.

It’s quiet in the park around them. People pass them by but no one is speaking overly loudly nor making much noise. Jimin still can’t help but be slightly confused by the somewhat decent weather despite them being stuck in Osaka due to weather problems.

While the sun is hidden behind dark grey clouds, the winds aren’t shaking the trees and he doesn’t hear the sound of thunder.

It doesn’t look too bad.

But Jimin never was very good at meteorology.

Suddenly, an elderly man approaches them and Jimin is momentarily startled when the man sits down in the large space between the two boys, who must look like they do not know each other.

Jimin can’t exactly fault the man since he probably would’ve thought the same.

The man doesn’t greet either of them as he places his bag beside him in the little space between himself and Jimin before he bends down to tie his shoelaces.

Jimin is following the man’s movements closely, suddenly forgetting all about his sandwich. He feels eyes on him and looks over the bend over man to see Jungkook already staring at him. His face is neutral, but it’s clear he too is somewhat intrigued by the man instead of his sandwich.

A smile then spreads on the boy’s face and Jimin is momentarily surprised by the unexpected action he feels a bit dumbfounded. Jungkook is obviously amused by the man and the smile on his lips is contagious as Jimin begins smiling as well.

He’s not sure if it’s because of the man or simply because of the smile on the boy’s lips, but he hardly cares.

The man straightens his back once again and the two boys hurry to hide their smiles as they both turn their heads away at once.

“A fine day, is it not?” says the man suddenly and Jimin flinches at the unexpected words. “One would never believe there’s a storm going on.”

It takes a second longer for Jimin to understand the words. His Japanese isn’t as sharp as it used to be, but he’s not so rusty he doesn’t understand.

The man is smiling contently as he looks straight ahead, not speaking directly to either of them, and Jimin and Jungkook catch each other’s gaze for a second. Jimin doesn’t know if the other boy is fluent in Japanese as well. His expression doesn’t give anything away, but then again, it never really does.

“Indeed,” says Jungkook while Jimin remains silent. He has no desire to speak to the stranger, but Jungkook doesn’t seem to mind as he continues confidently in Japanese. “The weather is a funny thing.”

The elderly man turns his head just the slightest towards Jungkook and Jimin can see how his cheeks wrinkles as he smiles.

“But one can hardly complain when we get such a blessing,” says the man.

In Jimin’s mind, the weather really isn’t that much of a blessing. If it was, he certainly wouldn’t be here right now, with Jeon Jungkook.

“A blessing you say,” chuckles Jungkook. “I would beg to differ since it’s keeping us from coming back to Seoul.”

The man looks at Jungkook for a second more before he turns his head and gives Jimin a quick glance and a smile the boy awkwardly returns as the man understands the two boys are here together.

“Oh, you’re stranded here?” asks the man, sounding genuinely sorry for the two boys’ faith.

“You can say that, yeah,” replies Jungkook. “We were here on a school trip, but due to some… unfortunate circumstances we had to stay and wait for the next flight.” Jungkook doesn’t look at Jimin at all as he says those words, but he might as well have.

Jimin feels the need to roll his eyes.

“Oh, you poor boys,” says the man. “At least you have each other.” The man’s face wrinkles as he smiles.

“Lucky us,” mumbles Jimin to himself, but it’s loud enough to be heard by everyone else on the bench.

They both turn their heads towards him and while Jungkook’s face is unreadable, the man’s face is slightly amused. As if he understands not only the words but also the joke underneath, even though Jimin is quite sure there shouldn’t be a joke underneath.

“You’re are indeed,” insists the man. “Imagine if you were stuck here alone.” The words are supposed to be a comfort, but Jimin hardly gets to imagine that dream scenario before Jungkook ruins it by speaking.

“What a wonderful thing to imagine,” says the boy and flashes the widest smile possible. Jimin can see right through it and he wonders if the man can as well.

“Too bad I open my eyes and you’re still here,” replies Jimin rather passive-aggressively, without looking at the boy as he takes a big bite of his almost forgotten sandwich.

“Believe me, I’m just as devastated as you are,” responds the boy in the same passive-aggressive voice and Jimin snorts as he rolls his eyes while chewing rather aggressively on his sandwich.

He doesn’t reply to the boy’s stupid comment, instead, he just focuses all his attention on the food in his hands. It doesn’t give him much satisfaction. He would never admit so to Jungkook, of course, but he’s used to better than this.

The ham is too salty and the cheese is too sticky. He clicks his tongue in dissatisfaction. If he wasn’t so hungry, he would’ve thrown the sad excuse of a meal out.

He’s so occupied with his dissatisfaction with the sandwich he almost doesn’t notice Jungkook rising from his seat on the bench and crushing the empty paper wrap in his hand.

He must’ve said goodbye to the elderly man because he responds with a nice farewell and a polite wave in the younger boy’s direction.

Jimin scrambles to get up from his seat as well with his half-eaten sandwich, that he nearly drops, and hurries after Jungkook before he can disappear once again. He doesn't say goodbye to the man, but he never really said hello to begin with either.

“You’re seriously too much,” he mumbles as he comes up beside Jungkook. The boy has his hands hidden away in his pockets as he strolls carefreely through the park. “You can’t just keep doing that.”

“Why?” His eye twitches as he registers Jungkook’s casual reply. He doesn’t sound too bothered. Jimin doesn’t expect him too, but it annoys him.

“Because I don’t wanna get lost in a city I don’t know, dumbass,” sneers Jimin. He hates that it bothers him so much that Jungkook doesn’t take his presence into consideration.

“I thought you wanted to get away from me.”

“Believe me, the moment we hit Seoul I’ll do just that,” says Jimin, making sure his words as laced with venom. Jungkook doesn’t seem to care. Jimin doesn’t seem to be able to keep himself from being irritated by it.

“Well, then let’s call this practice.” Jungkook smiles at him with too much enthusiasm and Jimin fights back an eye roll. He doesn’t wanna show how much it gets under his skin.

They continue to walk in silence. Jungkook doesn’t seem bothered by it, but Jimin’s head is squeaking with thoughts. He’s trying to think of something to say. He’s trying to break the silence without making Jungkook know he wants to speak.

He hates that he wants to speak.

He hates that he can’t be satisfied with the silence just like Jungkook seems to be.

“What’s, um, what’s the plan now?” he asks at last when he can no longer bear the quietness. It comes off awkwardly and oddly self-consciously compared to how he wanted to sound.

Jungkook shrugs without looking at the slightly smaller boy beside him. He doesn’t seem bothered with the silence between them getting interrupted. He doesn’t seem happy about it either.

Jimin just can’t figure out the guy.

“We can go see a movie?”

“A movie is expensive.”

“We can go bowling? To the theater? Some stores? Maybe a-”

“Everything you’re suggesting costs money,” interrupts Jungkook. He sighs as he does so and it annoys the other boy. It makes him feel childlike somehow. As if he’s getting lectured by an adult. “Do you really live in some fantasy world where you don’t know what money is? That you swipe your little gold card and it’s free?”

“No,” replies Jimin. He feels small and shameful. He doesn’t like how easily the other boy makes him feel like this just by spitting out a few harsh words. “I just… said what came to mind.”

“And the only things you can think of are expensive things?” He still sounds so condescending and it makes Jimin’s blood boil in his veins.

“Look, I’m just trying to come up with some suggestions,” hisses Jimin. He furrows his brows together in anger as he stops and looks at the boy. Jungkook takes a few more steps before he too stops and turns around.

Jimin hadn’t actually expected him to.

“Instead of being a total dick and use every word out of your mouth just to insult me, maybe you could come with some suggestions then.”

Jimin stares at the boy as he waits for a quick reply and maybe another insult, but he’s genuinely surprised when Jungkook stands speechless before him. He looks almost shameful as he stares back and it completely catches Jimin off guard as all rage leaves him.

“You’re right.”

Jimin blinks dumbfounded, not sure if he hears the boy right or if he’s imagining the words as he stares at Jungkook’s moving lips.

“I’m right?”

“You are,” says the boy. He takes a few steps closer to Jimin and the boy can’t help but see the action as a huge victory. Jungkook is walking towards him, not the other way around. Jungkook is the one lowering his head for once. “You were trying to help. In your own privileged way.”

“That doesn’t sound like an apology.” Jimin crosses his arms over his chest. He won’t let Jungkook get away with anything less now that he has the boy trapped like this.

“I’m not trying to apologize,” replies Jungkook as he mimics Jimin’s stance. “You’re right. Doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”

“You seriously are impossible,” sneers Jimin. Jungkook’s shameful look from just a second ago is completely gone from his face and Jimin wishes he had taken a picture or frozen time just to relish in it a little longer.

“Right back at you, princess.”

“Stop calling me that. I’m not a princess.”

“You’re spoiled and privileged.”

“And you’re arrogant and dickish.”

’Dickish’?” Jungkook raises an eyebrow and he looks almost condescending as he does so. As if he’s trying to mock him yet again. “That’s not a word.”

“It doesn’t have to be. You get the point.” Jungkook chuckles soundlessly in a mocking attempt to ridicule Jimin further and the boy loathes that it makes him embarrassed.

“Well, when you’re done making up words, come find me.” The boy turns around without waiting for Jimin’s reply and simply begins walking in the same direction as he did a minute ago.

Jimin stands frozen for a second before he slowly begins jogging after Jungkook. He hates that he does so, but he doesn’t want to get lost.

He hates that Jungkook knows this, which is precisely why he does it.

“Where’re we going?” He makes it a point to sound as annoyed and noncooperative as possible, but if Jungkook hears it, he doesn’t care at all.

“We’re gonna kill the next few hours.”

“I thought you refused to spend money.”

“We won’t spend any,” explains Jungkook. “I’m gonna show you how much fun you can have for free.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Minoo Park is as beautiful as Jungkook described it on the way. It’s a lot more peaceful than Jimin had believed and there are even more flowers than Jungkook had said.

He doesn’t tell Jungkook’s he’s impressed, but he has a hard time concealing his awe and he’s sure the boy must’ve seen it by now.

If he has, he says nothing.

They don’t have to talk as they stroll through the beautiful place. Nature makes enough sounds for both of them. There’s no awkward silence they need to fill. He’s surprised by the lack of people they meet as they stroll across red bridges and old buildings, but he’s grateful for the lack of human noise.

The weather isn’t as nice as he would’ve liked. He’s sure the park would be absolutely beautiful in the sunlight, but if grey weather is what he has to endure to get some peace and quiet, he’ll take it.

The rippling sound of water is almost mesmerizing and for a second Jimin can forget the circumstances of his visit there.

“I told you, you would love it.”

He turns around the spot Jungkook behind him, his hands are tucked down his pockets and there’s a blissful smile on his lips as he scans their surroundings.

“Because you love beautiful things,” he continues. The statement flusters Jimin as he blinks perplexed and halts in his tracks for a second. Long enough for Jungkook to come up beside him.

“I- well, yes. But, I mean, who doesn’t?”

“I guess that might be true,” says Jungkook as he continues his aimless stroll. “But there’s a little more to it for you, isn’t there?” He doesn’t turn around when he says that. “You like it because you don’t like the world, and beautiful things make the world a little bit brighter. Right?”

Jimin feels his tongue double in size as he suddenly finds it hard to speak. He hadn’t thought Jungkook would say something like that so freely. Even if the thought had crossed his mind, Jimin would’ve believed he would’ve kept it to himself.

Yet he can’t help but feel slightly flattered by Jungkook’s words. He had said that a night, millions of years ago, never expecting him to remember it. A casual, rage-filled sentence, he doesn't know if he still believes in. He has said that out of anger, but that specific anger had long ago faded to nothing.

“You know I…”

He stops in his tracks and Jungkook turns around to look at him. There’s a sly smile on his lips as if he’s well aware of what he’s doing. And he enjoys doing it.

He knew those words would confuse him.

He likes making him tongue-tied no matter the cost it appears.

It’s incredibly annoying.

“I wanna go back.”

Jungkook’s smile doesn’t necessarily falter as he hears that. If he didn’t know any better, he would say the boy had counted on it as a possible outcome.

“But we’re having so much fun,” says Jungkook and opens his arms wide to exaggerate his glee, when it’s clearly not that big.

“Then have fun alone. I’m going home.”

He barely catches the pout on Jungkook’s lips before he spins around and starts stalking down the narrow paths of the park in search of the exit. He makes it past the statues they saw early before Jungkook catches up to him.

“Do you know where you’re going?”

“I’m going back to the hotel.”

“I figured,” says Jungkook, and Jimin can feel the ‘but’ coming long before the boy opens his mouth again. “But do you know what way that is?”

He speeds up his tempo instead of answering the boy, but he’s persistent and Jimin isn’t fast enough to run away from him.

“Well, do you know the way?”

“I do.”

“Then lead the way.”

“I will.”

 

 

 

 

 

Jungkook did in fact not know the way.

They’re walking past the familiar statue for the 7th time in the last hour and Jimin can feel the growing frustrations coming from both of them.

He knows they’re gonna clash eventually.

“I thought you knew the way,” he says even though he knew he shouldn’t.

“I thought we agreed on being quiet.”

“We did. But know I find it much more amusing to talk.”

He doesn’t know what Jungkook’s expression is since he’s walking in the front, but he already thinks he knows the boy well enough to guess what it might be. Something torn between frustration and anger. Probably a hard lip-bite to keep himself from erupting. Maybe even furrowed brows.

He’s pretty sure he has guessed it, but he doesn’t care for running up beside the boy to check.

He’s not willing to risk his life for something like that.

“So, are we going to pass the statue for the 8th time, or have you found the right way this time?” He knows he’s being provocative, but considering the number of times Jungkook has poked him like this, he doesn’t have it in him not to poke back when he can.

He knew Jungkook would never miss an opportunity like this so he refuses to give it up either.

“Hello? I asked you if we’re-”

“I heard you.”

“Then reply,” pouts Jimin childishly, though he’s getting a kick out of a frustrated Jeon Jungkook.

“No, thanks,” says the boy and speeds up his tempo. “I don’t really feel like talking to you. At all.”

“Because you were wrong? Jeon Jungkook can’t own up to that?” He knows he’s pushing it. He doesn’t care. “I knew you were rather prideful, but this is a whole new level of-”

“Can you just shut up?”

The boy swings on his heel and Jimin stops dead in his tracks as he comes face to face with Jungkook. He’s slightly fuming with frustrations as his dark eyes flicker between his and Jimin doesn’t feel as cheeky anymore.

“I understand that you’re having the time of your life ridiculing me right now, but it doesn’t really help the case. We’re still lost.”

He swings out his arms to demonstrate his point while annoyance is fuming like smoke out of his ears.

“It’s not that funny when you’re the one ridiculed, huh?”

“What?”

I said, it’s not that funny when you’re on the receiving end of jokes and teasing and taunting, huh?” He places his hands on his hips and stares at Jungkook as confidently as he can muster giving his exhaustion. “You’ve done nothing but ridicule me since we got here, so, yes, I find it quite satisfying to give a little back.”

Jungkook regards him for a long time with a conflicted expression. Part of him speechless, part of him frustrated and part of him exhausted as well.

“You’re unbelievable,” he says at last. “We’re lost in fucking Osaka and your best interest is to get some petty revenge?” He looks at him so condescendingly, Jimin can’t help but feel a growing lump of guilt in his throat.

“I didn’t say that was my-”

“You’re really quite remarkable, Park Jimin.” While his words are rather flattering, the degrading tone he’s speaking in takes away any kindness that could’ve been there.

Jimin wiggles his nose as he tries to contain the fuming annoyance that is rushing through his body. It’s expanding by every second he’s looking at Jungkook’s face and at last, he tears his eyes away from the boy and starts walking again.

He doesn’t say a word to Jungkook as he walks right past him and Jungkook doesn’t say a word either. He doesn’t even bother looking at him as he strides past him.

He can hear footsteps following him almost immediately, but Jungkook stays silent behind him as he simply follows his lead even if it’s aimless.

They walk like that for what feels like forever but is hardly even a quarter of an hour. They haven’t passed the statue which is the only good sign Jimin can see at the moment.

Instead, they find themselves on a familiar path, Jimin dimly remembers from when they entered the park hours ago. Part of him wants to turn around and rub it in Jungkook’s face, but he’s surprised to realize he can’t even be bothered at the moment.

The exit of the park comes into view before them and Jimin is so relieved to be out that he almost falls to his knees in gratitude the second they step foot on the busy city streets.

“I- I don’t know the way from here,” he says reluctantly as he avoids Jungkook's eyes.

“I don’t either.”

It wasn’t the reply he had counted on receiving from the boy. Maybe a joke or at least a tiny bit of teasing. He hadn’t thought the boy would admit to being as clueless at him.

“We could ask?” he suggests and Jungkook doesn’t look entirely repulsed by the idea. “Let’s go ask. I’ll ask.”

He pushes himself forward but Jungkook grabs onto his arm before he can take more than a step and Jimin turns to look at him rather confusedly.

I’ll ask,” he says as he scans the street for a potential guide. “Your Japanese sucks.”

He’s left in a frozen state of disbelief as Jungkook so confidently strides towards two young women walking down the street, chatting with one another. Jimin doesn’t have to see his face to know he’s putting on the infamous Jeon Jungkook smile.

He’s seen that one up close, a few times himself and though he would never admit it out loud, it’s irresistible.

And it seems to do the trick on the two young girls as they smile shyly to him while they speak, and entangles their fingers into their hair as they eye him from top to toe. It seems to be going quite well and as Jungkook turns around and makes his way back, Jimin can see the two girls giggling like little kids before they hold onto one another and hurries away.

“If we continue that way, we should eventually arrive somewhere close to the hotel. Close enough for us to recognize something at least.” He points down the street but Jimin doesn’t follow his directions as he stares rather speechlessly at the boy’s face.

So quick the smile came and went, is all he can think about.

He makes it look so easy to fake it.

“Jimin?”

“Yes?”

“Are you coming?”

“I- yes, yes.”

He hurries to unfreeze his body and follow Jungkook down the street. He debates whether he should get up beside him, but he eventually decides against it. Jungkook wouldn’t have done it, had he been walking in the back.

They’re not friends after all.

 

 

 

☆☆

 

 

 

The computer in the lobby is old and dusty and sticky. He’s trying his best to hold back his disgust in fear of Jungkook’s taunting, but he’s quite sure the other boy can see right through him regardless of his effort to keep it concealed.

“I guess, I’ll check first,” says Jungkook as he pushed past Jimin and grabs the mouse and starts typing away on the dirty keyboard.

“What? Why you?”

“Because you look like it might kill you and I don’t have all night for you to gather enough courage to touch the computer.”

He finishes his taunting words with a sparkling smile and Jimin gives him a sour face in return as he crosses his arms over his chest and admits defeat silently.

He types Facebook into the search bar and waits patiently for it to load. It’s not exactly the fastest internet they have here, unsurprisingly, and the two boys are left to wait awkwardly in silence for a few minutes too much.

When the page finally loads, Jungkook bends his neck to give Jimin a weird look he doesn’t understand until Jungkook clicks on the password bar, but doesn’t type a single letter.

“As if I would hack your stupid Facebook,” he sneers, but he turns around regardless.

“I don’t trust you. Considering the rumors, you made about me, it wouldn’t surprise me if you were capable of hacking as well.”

He says it rather lightheartedly, but Jimin is far from amused.

“There. You can turn around again.”

Jimin does as Jungkook tells him. His eyes find the screen and it doesn’t take long for him to notice the surprisingly high number next to the message icon. He isn’t trying to be judgmental, but he had hardly expected more than a two or three.

Jungkook clicks on the icon and several different conversations pop up on the screen. He recognizes some of the names, like Min Yoongi and Kim Taehyung, but the rest are unfamiliar to him.

Jungkook clicks on his friends’ messages first and they’re not nearly as interesting as Jimin had hoped. Both of them are simply asking him where he is, then asking him if is still in Osaka, then asking him when he’ll be home.

Besides a few funny meme pictures and a few jokes, even Jimin found amusing, the conversations weren’t really that interesting. They both mention him with less flattering words, but Jimin had expected no less from Jungkook’s friends.

He then clicks on a different conversation and though the first name is unfamiliar, the last name is the same as Jungkook’s.

The conversation shows countless messages asking about Jungkook’s whereabouts, his safety, his health, his arrival home, and whether he’s having fun.

Every single message is finished off with a ‘love, mom, and dad’.

Jimin tries not to focus too much on that.

“They sound worried.” The words are out before he can stop himself. He didn't mean to say them out loud.

“Are you reading my messages, Park?”

He flinches as Jungkook turns around quickly to look at him, but he quickly realizes with great embarrassment that Jungkook is merely teasing him.

“Sorry,” chuckles the boy. “Didn’t mean to startle you.”

“I wasn’t- I wasn’t startled,” he replies unconvincingly. Jungkook huffs before he turns back to the screen and finishes his reply to his parents. Then he hits send and logs off his profile.

“They always worry,” he says as he steps aside. “They’re parents after all.” Jimin doesn’t join in on the laughter of what should probably be a relatable situation.

Instead of answering, he simply grabs the mouse despite his disgust and types in his username and password. He doesn’t even bother to make Jungkook turn around. His Facebook isn’t really that juicy anyway.

He doesn’t have as many messages waiting for him as Jungkook did and he can’t help but be slightly embarrassed about that. He hopes the boy doesn’t notice or at least doesn’t comment on it.

There are a few from Hoseok, Namjoon, Seokjin, and a single message from his roommate.

There’s nothing from his parents.

His friends’ messages were very similar to Jungkook’s. They’re worried, of course, but mostly, they’re light-hearted and funny.

They’re always light-hearted, though. Never too deep, never too close, and never too careful.

He hurries to give them an answer even if he can’t tell them much since he doesn’t have that much information himself. Then he responds to his roommate at last. He’s only written one short sentence, “When will you be back?”

He hadn’t exactly expected more from his dear roommate of 2 years, but knowing Jungkook is most likely reading over his shoulder, he wished for a bit more than what he got.

He sends back a quick reply before he hurries to run the mouse across the screen and logs off his Facebook.

“Your parents don’t have Facebook?”

“What?”

“They just didn’t write to you, so maybe they’re-”

“They don’t,” he says too fast. “So, they, um, they’re probably texting Hoseok for the details.”

He lies so easily.

His parents have never even met Hoseok.

“Oh,” says Jungkook. “Well, as long as they know you’re safe, right?” He smiles at him as he tucks his hands into his pockets but Jimin doesn’t quite feel like it reaches his eyes like it usually does.

The two boys stand in silence for an agonizingly long time before Jimin can’t bear it anymore and breaks it by walking towards the stairs. Jungkook follows him wordlessly as they reach their room and push open the door.

The stay silent as Jungkook throws himself onto the bed and Jimin makes his way towards the bathroom. He diligently closes the door after him and is horrified to realize there isn’t a lock on the door.

“Of fucking course,” he mutters under his breath. “Why would there be? It’s not like one would want some fucking privacy when they go to the bathroom.”

He keeps cursing under his breath as he takes off his jacket and throws in on the toilet seat before he takes off his t-shirt as well. There’s big mud stain on the edge of the shirt and he’s embarrassed to know he has been walking around with it so openly across the streets of Osaka.

He opens the tap and lets the water run until it's hot before he sticks the mud stain under the running water and soaks it neatly. He pulls at the tap to maximize the water’s speed in hopes of getting the mud off easier, but it doesn’t seem to work as well as he would’ve hoped.

“Need help?”

The shirt almost flies out of his hand as he turns around to spot Jungkook in the threshold with his smug eyes roaming over everything in the tiny bathroom.

He didn’t hear him open the door because of the water running and in shock, it takes him a second to realize that he’s topless.

“Get out!” he screams as he holds up the soaked shirt in front of his exposed torsos, but it doesn’t cover much in its wet state. “I said get out!”

“Stop screaming,” says Jungkook and holds up his hands as if he’s trying to calm down a wild animal. “I came to help.”

“Who said you could just barge in?!” continues Jimin horrified. “I closed the door for a reason. What if I was in the shower? Or taking a piss? Huh?”

“Then it would’ve been awkward,” replied Jungkook amusedly. “So thankfully you’re not.” He takes a step forward without an invite and Jimin takes one back.

“I said get out,” he repeats in a less raging voice. “I’m just trying to wash my shirt.”

“And you’re doing a horrible job,” says Jungkook. He doesn’t wait for a confirmation before he steps forward and rips the soaked shirt from his hands before he starts working on the mud stain himself.

He adjusts the water and uses his thumbs as well as the shirt itself to get out the stain. He’s doing a neat job at it and Jimin can tell this isn’t the first time the boy has hand-washed something.

Unlike himself who’s used to washing machines.

“I could do it myself,” mutters Jimin quietly as Jungkook words on the stain.

“I don’t mind,” says the boy. “I’m bored anyway and you’re hopeless at handwashing.”

“Is insulting me like breathing to you?” asks Jimin and crosses his arms over his naked chest to cover as much as possible. “If you don’t do it every 5 seconds you’d die?”

Jungkook doesn’t look up from the sink, but a sideways, amused grin spreads on his lips, and Jimin is oddly proud of himself for it.

“Maybe,” he says as he twists the shirt to get rid of the excess water. “It certainly is fun.”

As the last drops of water, falls from the shirt, Jungkook turns off the tap and hands Jimin his shirt back. It’s heavy in his hands as he unfolds it and hangs it over the shower curtain to drain and he feels rather distressed as he looks down at his naked chest.

“Thank you.”

Jungkook seemingly snaps his neck as he looks up from the sink. He’s looking rather surprised by Jimin’s words of gratitude.

“What?”

“I said thank you,” repeats Jimin a little less sincerely. He doesn’t exactly want to say that too many times. “I’m not very good at hand washing, so thank you for helping me.”

Park Jimin is thanking me?” He exaggerates his surprise as he says so. “Has doomsday finally come? Are we all going to die now?”

Jesus Christ, you good for nothing doucebag.”

He suddenly doesn’t feel so grateful anymore.

“I’m just teasing you,” laughs Jungkook, but Jimin is already storming forward and pushing Jungkook out of the bathroom with all his might.

“And I’m just kicking you out,” he responds while pushing the boy past the threshold. “So kindly fuck off.” He finally gets him past the doorway and grabs the door handle the second he sees his chance.

“Wait.”

He hesitates a moment too long and by then, Jungkook already has a firm grip on the door.

“What?”

“You’re welcome.”

He stops fighting his grip on the door and simply lets Jungkook push it all the way open. He’s not sure where the sudden loss for words comes from, but he’s certain he hasn’t seen such sincerity in Jungkook’s eyes in a long time.

“Ye- yeah, whatever, now get out.” He pushes the door shut again, but Jungkook stops it.

“And you look good, by the way.” He winks. “Even better than I remember.”

Jimin’s face turns dark red in an instant as Jungkook’s shameless words register in his mind and he’s nothing but flustered as he tries closing the door again with more force as Jungkook laughs hysterically.

This time there’s no resistance. It closes with a light click and Jimin exhales deeply to get rid of the breath he almost suffocated on for a second.

He hadn’t counted on much sincerity from the boy. He had counted on more jokes or teasing, but not this. It caught him off guard and he didn’t like it.

It made him uneasy. Mostly because he was familiar with this horrendous feeling and he remembered how it left him.

He didn’t want to go back to that again.

“When you’re done, my t-shirt is on the bed. You can borrow that when we go out.”

He almost flinches at the sudden voice.

“Out? Out where?”

“You’re gonna love this,” continues Jungkook from the other side of the door. “We’re going shopping.”

 

 

 

☆☆☆

 

 

 

“This isn’t shopping, Jungkook,” mutters the boy as he glances up at the shop in front of them. “This is humiliation.”

“It’s a thrift shop, Jimin, not belly dancing class.”

“You say that as if I wouldn’t look amazing while belly dancing.”

“I’m sure you would, now let’s go.” He sticks his hands into the pockets of his jacket before he stalks towards the entrance to the thrift shop and Jimin hurries to follow him so he isn’t left outside alone.

The minute he steps over the threshold, he feels nauseated. He doesn’t want to say this to Jungkook because he knows the boy will mock him and tease him and call him a privileged princess, but he can’t help it.

It smells like old feet at a hospital that needs cleaning.

He zips up his jacket all the way and hides his nose under the collar. He tries not to be too obvious but it doesn’t take long for Jungkook to spot there’s something going on.

“You can take your jacket off, Jimin, it’s like crazy hot in here.”

“No, thanks, I find it quite pleasant.”

Jungkook eyes him closely as he takes his own jacket off and swings it over his arm like a purse. His eyes linger on him a little longer before he turns on his heel and makes his way down the deserted clothing ails.

Jimin follows him reluctantly as he carefully avoids touching anything that smells too horrible.

“What about this?”

Jimin comes face to face with a brown sweater he’s pretty sure belongs in the dark ages and wiggles his nose in disgust.

“You don’t like it?”

“If I did, I wouldn’t look this, now would I?”

He turns around and walks down another ails as he searched through the clothing, but nothing appeases him even the slightest. He’s mildly grossed out if he has to be completely honest.

“What about this one?”

Jimin turns around again to see Jungkook hold up another piece of hideous clothing. It’s a t-shirt with lots of holes and a rock band printed on it and it honestly makes him want to gag.

“Not even if it sent me directly to heaven,” he says.

“No piece of clothing could ever get you into heaven, princess, but I like the faith.”

“Hilarious, dickward.”

“I try my best.”

Quiet music is playing in the background and though he doesn’t know the piece, it’s probably the only good thing in this place. Its soft melodies are a complete contrast to the grey, worn-down atmosphere in the shop.

He walks past a row of old suit jackets and the horrible smell comes back tenfold as he covers his nose in his jacket once more.

“Try this one.”

He barely turns around before a sweatshirt is thrown in his face and he freezes for a second before he fights back the old fabric and throws it to the ground.

“Jesus, princess, it’s just a sweater.”

“You can’t just throw things at me so suddenly,” snaps Jimin as he eyes Jungkook with contempt.

“I thought you were a quicker thinker, but obviously you’re not. Now put it on.”

“No.” He doesn’t even reach down to pick it up.

“No? It’s just a sweater, Jimin. Just try it out.”

“I don’t want to.”

Jungkook opens his mouth, seemingly to curse Jimin’s ass out, but nothing comes out except the sound of a fuming teapot.

“Then find something. Find something you like and try it on.”

“I don’t like anything in here.”

“Why? Because it’s used?”

Jungkook’s lightness from just a second ago is completely gone from him as he regards Jimin with such judgmental eyes it makes him shiver. He waits for Jimin’s reply, but they both know what that is. And Jimin knows that once he says it, he’ll get to witness more than just contempt on Jungkook’s face.

“Is that it, Jimin?”

They both know the answer yet he wants him to say it regardless. Maybe there’s a small hope in him that Jimin will surprise him, but that disappears the second the boy nods.

“You’re unbelievable,” he mutters under his breath as he runs his hand through his messy hair as if he’s trying to calm himself down. “What about the shirt you’re wearing now? That’s an old, used shirt.”

“Yeah, but… it’s yours and I know you.” He blushes slightly as he says that even though it shouldn’t really be embarrassing to say. “I don’t know the people who wore these clothes. What if they were sick or something?”

“It’s been washed mercilessly, Jimin. It’s not like that jacket over there is carrying herpes.”

“You don’t know that,” pouts Jimin childishly. “Germs are a serious issue.”

Jungkook squeezes his eyes shut as if he’s having a headache for a second or two before he sighs loudly and inhales deeply.

“Then I’ll wash it for you when we get back to the hotel. How about that? You choose something you like; we’ll buy some soap and I’ll wash it when we get back.”

He blinks a few times perplexed by Jungkook’s offer as he tries to figure out what’s in it for him. Why he would voluntarily wash his clothes.

“You don’t have to do that.”

“Of course, I don’t, but let me do it anyway.”

He looks frustrated and Jimin doesn’t blame him, but he also looks almost desperate and Jimin can’t help but wonder why he’s doing this for him. He’s the last person in the world who owes him anything at the moment. It’s more the other way around, so why is he offering to wash his clothes?

Instead of answering, Jimin slowly turns around and starts walking down the ails once more, though this time he actually takes the time to look.

Really look.

He’s not impressed by any of the things he sees. It’s all brown, grey or a dirty beige. He doesn’t particularly care for those colors.

He goes through it one by one and the further down the ails he gets, the less encouraged he gets. It’s all the same and Jimin already braces himself for the moment he has to turn to Jungkook and tell him he’s too stuck-up to find anything.

But just as he’s halfway through the speech he’ll give the boy to excuse his privileged ass, his eyes spot something interesting.

He doesn’t hesitate to reach out for the clothes hangers and pulls out a dark denim jacket. It’s in better shape than Jimin would’ve believed. While the denim is definitely a bit worn down, Jimin finds himself rather liking the edginess.

The fabric feels rough against his fingertips as he lightly scratches the sleeves, but the odd sound it makes is calming somehow.

“That’s cool.”

He bends his neck to spot Jungkook peaking up from behind his shoulder. He’s too close for Jimin to be comfortable, but not close enough for him to make a scene out of it.

It’s just his proximities that’s messed up.

“I like it,” says Jimin as he takes a step to the side and holds the denim jacket between them like a wall.

“What are you gonna wear under it?”

“What?”

“Well, you can’t just wear that.” Jungkook points at the jacket. “So, you gotta find a t-shirt or a sweater or something.”

“I need to find more?” He’s not overly joyed about having to keep searching in this mess. “But it was hard enough to find one thing I like in here.”

“It’ll be easier the second time around, I promise you. There are some cool things here, you know.”

“Then you find something,” says Jimin. “If you’re really a thrift shop God then show me a thrift shop fashion show that’ll make my eyes pop.”

“You want a fashion show?” Jimin nods. “As the princess commands.”

In a flash, Jungkook gets a hold of his wrist and drags him through the store towards the back where he pushes him into a worn-down sofa and tells him to ‘sit tightly’ till he comes back.

He feels awkward as he’s left alone but does as Jungkook says and waits patiently for the boy to return. His eyes roam over the place and he does his best to keep his disgust to himself.

Part of him is a little shameful about it. He wouldn’t have been two days ago, but now he is.

“Give me a second and you’ll see miracles. No. Fashion miracles.”

He spots Jungkook making his way towards the changing room before him with a bunch of clothes in his embrace. There’s an almost obsessive smile on his face that screams trouble yet Jimin is too amused by it to keep himself from bursting out in laughter.

“Are you really going to give me a thrift shop fashion show?”

“Oh, honey, I’m going to blow your fucking mind.” He winks at him almost preposterously as he pushes open the curtains to the changing room and slips in with his load of clothes.

Jimin is left in his seat, nearly bending over as he laughs his heart contents out till he’s out of breath and feeling tears prickling his eyes. Jungkook’s ridiculous expression and over-the-top wink are imprinted in his mind and it’s the funniest thing he’s seen in a long time.

He’s nearly done calming himself down when Jungkook pushes open the curtains and steps out of the changing room as if the floor was his runway.

Jimin is so occupied with his unexpected attitude that he hardly notices the clothes at first.

“What’d you think?”

Jimin’s eyes scan over his clothing, spotting the holed skinny jeans first before they move onto the black sweater that hangs half off his right shoulder. And lastly, he spots the cowboy hat on his head that goes against every other piece of clothing he’s wearing.

“I dig it,” says Jimin. “But the hat’s gotta go.”

“Fair enough.” He rips it off his head and frisbees it towards the pile of disorderly clothes before he gives Jimin a 180-degree view of his outfit and a ridiculous pose he does not pull off as great as he thinks.

“So?”

“I like it.”

But?

“But I don’t wanna wear it.”

“What? Why?” asks Jungkook exhaustedly. “You just said you liked it.”

“Yeah, on you.”

It takes him a second to realize the weight of his words and by then it’s too late to take it back.

“I- I mean, those jeans wouldn’t work on me. Your thighs are much more fitted to-” He bites back his words when he comes to the conclusion that it wouldn’t help his case at all. The opposite really. “Never mind, show me something else.”

Jungkook looks at him with smug eyes, but he says nothing as he silently slips back into the changing room and Jimin is given a few minutes of peace to collect himself again.

He debates whether he should make a run for it and take his chances with the city alone at night. He’s sure it can’t be worse than the mockery he’ll be exposed to in just a second when Jungkook reemerges from the changing room.

His choice is taken away from him as Jungkook pushes the curtains away and steps out even more dramatically than before and pops his hip in a diva-like pose.

“You’re really committed. I’ll give you that,” comments Jimin as his eyes try to process the sight in front of him.

It takes a minute for his brain to get used to the sight before he can get his mouth to function.

“Are you wearing a… skirt?”

“Yeah? It’s 2020, Jimin, get over it.”

“No, no, it’s not that you just… you got amazing legs. Seriously.”

“Oh,” Jungkook looks down at himself, obviously admiring his visible legs in the thigh-short skirt. “Thanks.”

“But I’m not wearing a skirt, so I hope you have something else in there.”

“You should give it a try,” says Jungkook as he wiggles his hips. “It’s quite comfortable if I have to say so. And breezy.”

“Now you’re the unbelievable one. Change.”

“As the princess commands.”

Jungkook slips into the changing room for the third time, leaving Jimin alone with his conflicted feelings. Part of him wants to break out in laughter. Part of him wants to run away.

He doesn’t really want to listen to either of those parts.

Mostly, he’s afraid of having too much fun.

He’s afraid of forgetting that they aren’t supposed to have fun. They aren’t friends and they aren’t supposed to be friends.

This is only confusing him even more.

“I’m about to do my entrée.” Jimin is startled as he looks up to spot Jungkook’s head between the closed curtains. “So pay attention to me.”

“I am paying attention to you, you soul-sucking rat.”

“You’re mean, but I’m coming out anyway.” He pushes the curtains to the side as he walks out of the changing room like a man on a mission with his hips wiggling and his eyes surprisingly fierce.

The pants he’s wearing are one of the most ridiculous pieces of clothing Jimin has ever laid his eyes on. They’re wider than anything he’s ever seen and there’s room for three separate belts around the waist. And Jungkook has of course but a belt through every single one of the belt loops making his waist look ridiculously long.

“What are you… what the fuck is that?” He points at the pants and Jungkook grins cheekily.

“Aren’t they amazing?” he asks and Jimin can’t tell if he’s joking or not. “I call it the triple killer because it got-”

Three belts, yeah, I get it.” He eyes the pants with more disgust than he’s ever eyed anything else in his life. “They’re fucking ugly, Jungkook. They’re really… really fucking horrible. Please take them off.”

“Okay.”

Jungkook doesn’t hesitate before he starts unbuckling his belts and Jimin experiences a whole string of emotions before he covers his eyes and screams for Jungkook to stop.

“Not here, you perverted ass hat!

He can hear Jungkook deep chuckle and when he finally removes his hands from his eyes Jungkook is back in the changing room. He refrains himself for laughing loudly this time, but a smile spreads on his lips and that is really just as bad as a loud laugh.

“But what about the shirt?”

He looks up to see Jungkook holding out a hanger with the shirt he just wore on. Jimin hadn’t even noticed it before. He had been too occupied with the stupid pants.

“It’s okay,” he shrugs. It’s a black t-shirt with a few white and grey dots on it. it’s not too bad, but it’s not entirely his style either.

“Come on, it’s cool. It’s just the tiniest bit tight on me so it’ll fit your tiny body perfectly.”

Anger comes to him naturally and he’s close to going off at the boy for calling him tiny, but in the last second, he bites his tongue and stays quiet.

He’s not sure why and by the time he realizes how weird that is, it’s too late for him to say anything.

He sucks in a large breath and tries his best to shrug it off.

It doesn’t matter. It was just a slip up after all.

“If I say yes, can we go back to the hotel?”

“Yes.”

“Then yes, I love it.

“Wise choice, princess.”

 

 

 

☆☆☆☆

 

 

 

He takes off his pants in the bathroom. Even though he knows Jungkook is waiting just outside and he’s gonna see him just the same, it gives him some peace to be able to strip down on his own terms without curious eyes.

He doesn’t know if Jungkook would even watch, but he doesn’t want to take that chance.

He slips out of the bathroom as quietly as possible, but since he’s the only other person in the room, Jungkook notices him immediately.

He’s lying on the bed in nothing but his black boxers and his phone in hand. He looks annoyingly relaxed and comfortable like that even when Jimin is in the room with him.

It annoys him that he can’t be like that too.

Is he the only one affected by this?

“No pants? Is Park Jimin becoming bold?” teases Jungkook and Jimin merely responses with a sour face and an outstretched tongue in his direction.

He crawls under the covers but keeps as much distance between them as possible and Jungkook chuckles amused at his effort to avoid their bodies touching.

“Not as bold after all. And here I thought my thrift shop fashion show swept you off your feet.” Jimin doesn’t bother replying to that. “It usually does the trick, but then again, my audience is usually not grumpy, stuck-up brats like you.”

“You do this often?” asks Jimin disbelievingly as he turns his back to Jungkook and gets comfortable on the edge of the bed. He ignores the insulting part because for once, he can tell Jungkook isn’t doing it to be an asshole.

“Yeah, my little sister loves fashion shows.” He sounds rather nostalgic as he speaks and Jimin finds that voice of his, rather soothing.

“Jiyeon, right?”

“Yeah,” he replies thoughtfully. There’s a small edge to his voice that is unfamiliar, yet it pokes at the smaller boy’s curiosity just the slightest.

He can hear Jungkook’s breathing as the only sound in the room. Neither of them is moving and neither of them is looking at one another. Even with his back turned towards him, Jimin knows he would be able to feel it if Jungkook was looking at him.

He pulls his legs to his stomach and tucks slightly at their double duvet to cover himself completely in the cold hotel room. Less than a second later he feels Jungkook doing the same. It’s not a big of a tuck, but big enough for it to fuel a childishness in Jimin as he tucks back.

And then Jungkook does the same with more force.

And then Jimin retaliates.

And then Jungkook rips the whole duvet right off him.

“What the fuck, Jeon?!” hisses Jimin as he scrambles to sit up and cover his exposed legs while sending Jungkook the stinky eye.

“You started!”

“I was only trying to cover myself because it’s fucking freezing. I wasn’t doing it to annoy you!”

“Yeah, well, you annoyed me.”

He slowly begins spreading out the duvet once more, but Jimin doesn’t let him finish before he rips it to him and huffs as he lays down on his side once more with the duvet covering him completely. He tightens his grip just in case Jungkook gets any funny ideas, but as the silence between them prolongs, he guesses the other boy has no interest in retaliation again.

“You know, if you’re really that cold, there are other ways to get warm.” He feels Jungkook moving around behind him and for some reason, his heart starts speeding up in his chest.

He waits with his breath stuck in his throat for whatever Jungkook is doing and the second he feels a cold finger in his waist, he hurls his feet backward in a lethal kick.

“What the fuck, Park?” exclaims Jungkook as he scrambles back to his side of the bed.

“Don’t get any funny ideas, you tasteless toad,” says Jimin. “Just because I’m cold doesn’t mean I’m desperate enough to sleep close to you.”

Jungkook is quiet for a second before he huffs and aggressively turns around on the bed, presumably turning his back to Jimin.

Fine, then freeze for all I care,” sneers Jungkook. He sounds genuinely offended and it somehow sits badly with Jimin.

He hadn’t thought the boy would be annoyed like this. He had believed he would pout childishly or maybe laugh. After all, he hadn’t actually been serious, so he shouldn’t be offended for being turned down.

Right?

He can’t help but feel bad regardless and it annoys him tremendously.

“Goodnight,” he says in a quiet voice. “Goodnight, Jungkook.”

His heart is at the edge of his chest as he waits for Jungkook’s reply. He’s not sure why he isn’t breathing nor why he’s so scared of the potential silence.

He just is.

“Goodnight, Jimin.”

He exhales in relief even though he’s not sure why.

It’s not a big deal after all.

It’s just Jungkook.

Yet why does that frighten him so much more than it truly should?

Chapter Text

The marked is marvelous. It's colorful and lively, and unique. Jimin hasn’t experienced many markets. It’s not really a place he shops. He’s used to a few more zeros on his price tags.

He would never admit to that in front of Jungkook, though.

Food is what occupies most of the market. Food he’s seen before and food he hasn’t. It’s way more creative than Jimin could ever imagine.

They hardly even have to get within a foot’s radius of the different stalls before someone offers them free samples. He was reluctant at first, not trusting the quality if they were willing to give it away for free, but after too many eye rolls from Jungkook, he eventually surrendered.

And it didn’t take him long to get somewhat addicted.

“Are you trying to taste everything they have at this market or what?” asks Jungkook amusedly from behind him as he stalks towards the 15th stall with free samples.

“Yeah, so?”

“Nothing,” says Jungkook as he comes up beside him and takes a free sample of fried fish on a stick for himself too. “You were just very much against it 20 minutes ago.”

“I’ve grown. Leave me alone.” He stuffs the food in his face in one bite and leaves the stick in the trash can before he hurries along to the next stall.

He repeats his routine at least 7 times more before the food stalls finally slip up. He’s rather disappointed when the next stall turns out to be a shoe shop and the stall after that is a bag shop.

Everything following isn’t edible either.

“That was the last of it,” says Jungkook as he stops beside him and stuffs his hands into the pockets of his jacket. “Are you still hungry or did the 25th free sample satisfy you?”

He doesn’t bother replying to Jungkook’s funny little comment, instead, he flaps his coat, turns on his heel and stalks down past the non-edible stalls.

He passes by clothes and statues and accessories by the truckload, but none of it seems to catch his eye. It’s cheap and it looks cheap, and for once, Jimin feels shameful about thinking like that.

It didn’t use to bother him, but these days, it bothers him too much and he knows who to blame for it. But for some reason, he can’t even find it in himself to be mad at him.

“Hey, Jimin!”

He turns around to spot Jungkook by one of the stalls. He’s looking at something Jimin can’t quite see from his distance, but the smile on the boy’s lips makes him curious and he hurries to join his side.

“What are you looking at.”

“Aren’t they pretty?” He holds up a handmade bracelet in light pink with shimmering stones and small symbols. It’s pretty, but it’s rather juvenile if Jimin has to be honest.

He’s used to sleek, smooth fashion accessories, not something tacky a mediocre high schooler could’ve made.

“I guess,” says Jimin and shrugs as his eyes roam over the large selection of different bracelets in different shapes and colors.

“My sister will love them.”

He has a certain twinkle in his eyes, Jimin can’t help but be enchanted by for a second. Such an honest sincerity as he regards something as simple as a pink bracelet that costs the same as a piece of gum. He’s mesmerized by the simplicity in the action.

It’s just a bracelet. It’s nothing valuable. It’s nothing extraordinary.

Yet Jungkook can look at it as if it’s a diamond.

“Oh, that one is lovely, darling.”

Jimin flinches as a voice speaks up and he turns his head to spot an old lady behind the table, looking at them both with a wrinkled smile on her face.

“Is it for someone special?” she asks.

“My little sister,” says Jungkook enthusiastically. “She loves this sort of accessories.”

“Oh, she will love this,” begins the woman as she gently takes the bracelet from Jungkook’s hands. “See this symbol? It stands for good luck. Whether its love or ambitions. She’ll have luck where ever she goes with this.”

Jungkook eats it all up as he happily nods.

“And this one,” says the lady. “This one has the symbol for happiness. Whoever bears it, will experience the true meaning of happiness. Perfect for a loved one.” She smiles widely, crooked teeth at display, and deep wrinkles by her eyes, but she looks so joyful Jimin can’t help but mimic her smile.

“Happiness you say,” mutters Jungkook for himself as he gently takes the bracelet from the woman’s trembling hands. He studies it closely in his hands, turning it around to inspect every inch of it.

Then he suddenly turns to Jimin and without warning, he grips his hand and ties the bracelet around his thin wrist.

“Wha- what are you doing?” asks Jimin startled as he pulls his hand to him and touches the bracelet around his wrist.

“I’ll take that too,” he says, but he’s looking at the woman as he does so. He’s completely ignoring Jimin’s halfheartedly protests.

She smiles warmly at them both before she places the pink bracelet in a little bag and hands it to Jungkook with a trembling hand.

“That’ll be 450,” she says and Jungkook hurries to take out his wallet and pay the woman. “I’m sure they’ll bring you lots of joy.” She smiles at both of them, her eyes completely disappearing behind her chubby cheeks and Jimin feels shy as reciprocates it.

“Thank- thank you,” says Jimin, but he’s not sure which one of them he’s grateful towards.

Jungkook wraps his fingers around Jimin’s other wrist, and with a last farewell to the elderly woman, he drags him down the street. His grip is gentle, but Jimin feels a pull nonetheless.

He stays quiet as they walk and eventually, Jungkook’s grip gets looser and looser until it feels oddly close to genuine hand-holding.

Jimin hurries to retract his hand the moment he realizes that.

“I’ll- I’ll pay you back for it,” he says and Jungkook stops to look at him. “I already owe you a lot so it’s not like it’s a big deal.”

Not a big deal.

Somehow it feels like a big deal anyway.

“I don’t want you to pay me back for it.” Jimin furrows his brows in both surprise and confusion. “It’s a gift. It would be rude of me to expect you to pay for a gift.”

He opens his mouth to tell him it’s not like rudeness has held him back before, so this time shouldn’t be any different. Yet he holds his tongue. He doesn’t want to say that to Jungkook.

“Then… thank you.”

“Thank me by buying me lunch,” says Jungkook and winks before he tucks his hands in his pockets and walks off. He’s radiating such confidence, that if Jimin didn’t know him, he might be keen to believe he was a young, handsome chaebol.

It had been a long time since Jimin had last looked at Jungkook like that.

“Hey! Wait up!” he shouts as he started running to catch up to reach the boy. He didn’t exactly wait for him but he did slow down slightly to make it easier for the boy to reach him. “Stop running off like this.”

“Scared of getting lost?” he asks with a mocking pout and Jimin is ready to throw hands.

“Keep talking and I’ll kick your teeth in, frog face,” he sneers.

“You keep saying that. Are you actually gonna do it one day?”

“Bitch, I might. Don’t push me.”

Jungkook doesn’t verbally reply, but he does bend forward in a deep chuckle, very much amused by Jimin’s temper. They both know he’s full of empty threats at the moment, but he wonders if Jungkook would ever push him too far again.

Then he might finally snap.

“Where do you wanna eat, then?” he asks instead of furthering their silly argument. “You’re gonna buy another sandwich or are we gonna-”

“What about here?”

He nearly bumps into Jungkook as the boy suddenly stops in the middle of the street and Jimin is seconds away from cursing his ass, but refrains himself from doing so and simply looks in the direction Jungkook is pointing.

The restaurant Jungkook is pointing to is cozy looking. It doesn’t look overly crowded, but there are enough people for it to look welcoming.

“You wanna eat here?” He had expected another plain sandwich, not an actual restaurant.

“Yeah.” He tucks his hands into his pocket once again and confidently strolls through the door. He’s already ordered a table by the time Jimin joins him and he hardly gets time to understand anything before he’s running out the door after Jungkook again to get seated at one of their outdoor tables.

The waiter politely gives them their menus and tells them he’ll be right back to get their orders while Jimin scrambles to seat himself as fast as possible.

He feels like he’s run a marathon by the time he finally sits in his chair with the menu card in his hands. His eyes roam over the dishes but his mind doesn’t really register any of it.

His thoughts are elsewhere.

“Why do you wanna eat at a restaurant? You seemed very much against it two days ago.” It’s a bit of a change from the cheese and ham sandwich he bought him yesterday.

“Well, I think I should get a reward for not killing myself yet.” He doesn’t look up from his menu card, but the smug grin on his lips says it all for him anyway.

I should get a reward of not killing you yet,” Jimin snaps and diverts his eyes from Jungkook back to the menu card.

He doesn’t get to look long before the waiter is back, asking for their orders, and out of sheer panic, he points to the first dish he spots on the second page of the menu.

“I’ll have the chicken salad and then two glasses of water,” says Jungkook as he passes his menu card to the waiter, who takes it with a smile before he leaves their table with the promise of being back soon with their drinks.

“Water?” questions Jimin. “We’re at a restaurant and we order water?”

“You want good food or a good drink?”

He doesn’t bother replying because he knows Jungkook is on to something. And it is, after all, his money.

For the moment being, that is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“So the fashion shows were Jiyeon’s idea?” asks Jimin, but he doesn’t really buy it even as Jungkook eagerly nods.

“Oh, yes, very much her idea. I was an innocent bystander that was forcefully dragged into the madness.” He raised his glass of water to his lips and takes a long sip to prolong his own silence.

“You’re so full of bullshit,” laughs Jimin as he calls out the boy’s bluff. “You totally came up with that shit because you love it. I saw you, Jungkook. You were having the time of your life.”

“Uhm, Stockholm syndrome,” says Jungkook matter-of-factly. “I’ve been brainwashed.”

“No, you’ve been busted.”

Jungkook doesn’t seem to be able to defend himself anymore, but he doesn’t look too bothered by that as he chuckles amused in return.

He’s directed his gaze to his salat, but even from the awkward angle, Jimin can see the wide grin on his lips and it soothes his nerves.

“You’re a good brother,” he says. “So even though I want to grill you relentlessly for inventing a thrift shop fashion show, I really can’t.”

Jungkook smiles at the compliment but he doesn’t look up from his plate.

“Yeah, well, I had to step up my game after the accident.”

The glee in his voice disappears instantly as if he has said something he shouldn’t, and Jimin watches as Jungkook’s smile fades. It makes his chest ache uncomfortably.

“The accident where she lost her leg, right?” It takes a second for Jungkook to nod. “You never told me what happened,” continued Jimin even though the back of his mind his telling him to shut up. “Just that she has a prosthetic leg, but you never-”

“It’s a long time ago,” he interrupts. “I hardly even remember anymore.”

Jimin doesn’t believe him. Jungkook knows he doesn’t believe him.

But that won’t push him to explain.

It appears they aren’t close enough to share such things yet. Maybe they never will. Jimin honestly doesn’t know any more at this point.

It’s all back and forth between them.

“It’s, uhm, it tastes good,” says Jungkook, breaking the awkward silence between them that hung heavy. “Very good. Right?”

“What? Yes. Yes, it’s, uhm, it’s really good,” agrees Jimin as he pushes around the vegetables and the small pieces of steak on his plate. He didn’t even want steak but apparently that was the first thing he could point to.

He can feel Jungkook’s eyes roam over him occasionally and he gets the feeling the boy is dying to speak. He can almost feel his inner turmoil from across the table. Yet Jungkook says nothing and Jimin gets the odd urge to save the boy from his own silent frustrations.

“Are you part of the mile-high club?” he asks before he can think the question through.

“Excuse me?” Jungkook’s eyes are wide with utter disbelief and Jimin feels his heart stop for a second as he processes what he just asked out loud.

“Oh, God, no! I didn’t mean that- I wasn’t, like, suggesting anything or- I mean- I was just asking because, uhm, because Seokjin and Namjoon is and so I… I was just… wondering. You know, making… conversation.”

The more he speaks the hotter he gets. It reaches a point where he desperately just wants to melt completely and become one with the floorboards.

He nearly flinches as Jungkook burst into a fit of chuckles across the table and he feels his cheeks heat up even further at the embarrassment he’s currently experiencing like nothing else before.

“Don’t- don’t laugh,” hisses Jimin. “I was just trying to- to break the awkward silence between us, you muffin cunt.”

“Well, you did a marvelous job. I don’t feel awkward at all.”

“I will stab you,” he threatens as he picks up his steak knife and points the tip in Jungkook’s direction. “Right through your left lung.”

“Oh, you’re taking my breath away, sweetheart.” He covers his chest with his hand as he visualizes his teasing. “I’m gasping for air over here.”

“Oh, shut up, will you?” He puts down the knife and crosses his arms over his chest. “I’m seriously dining with a child.”

“Then this child is a member of a highly inappropriate club he definitely shouldn’t be part of.” Jungkook winks at him and despite his own will, Jimin’s cheeks respond to the flirtatious gesture.

“You’re… really? You?”

“Is it that surprising?” asks Jungkook. “I’ve had hooks up before, you know. And boyfriends. Plenty of them, no less.”

“O- oh, well, sure, but I just… I don’t know.” Suddenly it’s his turn to feel awkward. “I guess I just didn’t really think that was such a, uhm, a big thing or something.”

He directs his eyes to his plate and pushes around the steak once more. He doesn’t want to look Jungkook in the eyes because he’s sure the boy is laughing at him.

“It isn’t,” says Jungkook. He can hear the grin in his voice. “But what else was I supposed to do on a 2-hour flight to Tokyo in 10th grade than bang a handsome stranger?”

“You fucked on an airplane when you were 16-years-old?”

“Well, of course. The movies they were showing were horrible,” he says as if it’s a reasonable argument to his prepubescent airplane fuck.

“Yes, but… but even still. Weren’t there any teachers? Weren’t there, like… other people?”

“Of course, there were, otherwise we wouldn’t have done it in the bathroom, now would we?”

Jimin’s mouth is agape in utter bewilderment. While Jungkook’s unrefined words are definitely contributing to his embarrassment, his true shame lies in his own inexperience.

He has never really had any serious boyfriends, much less come close to joining the mile-high club.

Would Jungkook think he was a prude?

He is definitely acting like one.

“Oh, well, that’s… cool then.” He stabs a piece of steak and stuffs it in his mouth. “Didn’t think you were careless enough to just do it on a dirty airplane toilet, but I guess desperate times call for desperate- why are you laughing?”

Jungkook is nearly bending over across the table in laughter and Jimin feels his embarrassment level sky rock.

“I’m messing with you,” laughs the boy. “I don’t even wanna burp on an airplane. I would never be able to have sex on one.”

Jungkook can hardly contain his amusement and Jimin feels embarrassed all over again for different reasons now.

“You… you’re such an asshole,” he says, but he can’t help but laugh as well. While he would never admit it, Jungkook got him good. “I should’ve known,” he continued. “As if you would ever be able to flirt your way into someone’s pants in 2 hours.”

“I flirted my way into yours in less, didn’t I?”

He wiggles his eyebrows slightly in a teasing manner and Jimin is surprised by the lack of anxiety a remark like that would normally give them. It appeared they have come to a place where that night is no longer a taboo for them. Instead, they can now joke around with it.

He had never thought such a thing would happen. Much less, so soon.

“Just get the bill, playboy, I’m sick of sitting here looking at your… face,” says Jimin as he gestures to Jungkook’s face.

“As his highness commands,” says Jungkook and bows teasingly before he waves over the waiter and asks for the bill.

It doesn’t take more than a few minutes for the waiter to return. He places the bill by the edge of their table and Jungkook gives him a nod of gratitude before he picks it up.

Jimin watches as the waiter bows in return and turns on his heel. He follows his steps through the restaurant and eventually he slips through the door to the kitchen and disappears.

“What the hell did you order, Jimin?!”

The boy snaps his head up at Jungkook’s sudden exclaim. It was a whole different tone than the one he had used just a second ago.

“What? What did I do?”

“Do you have any idea of how fucking expensive that steak was?” Jungkook is staring at the bill in disbelief and Jimin can already feel his toes curl long before he ever shakes his head. “Did you do this on purpose?”

“Of course, I didn’t!” he says a bit too loud.

“Did you even look at the prices?”

“No, I- I just… I just picked something.”

He can’t look Jungkook in the eyes as he says so because he knows the expression Jungkook has right now and he doesn’t want to look at it.

“You just picked something,” repeats Jungkook in a condescending tone and Jimin hates that he can’t even get mad at him for it because he knows how truly stupid that is.

He’s tired of disappointing him. He’s tired of giving him reason after reason as to why he is a spoiled, selfish brat.

He’s sick of it.

“I’m sorry, Jungkook, I didn’t… I didn’t think I just…”

He’s not used to picking food based on its price. He just picks something and then he swipes his card and everything is fine.

He’s not used to this and he’s embarrassed about it.

“What are we gonna do? I hardly even have the money for this meal and we haven’t even paid for our hotel yet.” He can see the defeat on Jungkook’s face and he hates the fact that he’s the reason for it. “This was such a bad idea.”

The light, friendly atmosphere from a second ago is completely gone and Jimin hates himself for being the cause of it. They were doing so well. They were actually getting along for once.

“What the fuck are we gonna do?” asks Jungkook as he looks through the windows, probably to see if the waiter is coming back any time soon.

He can see the flicker of uneasiness in Jungkook’s eyes and it’s an uncomfortable sight. He has never seen the boy so anxious before.

“We run.”

Jungkook’s lips part in confused shock as he turns his head towards him. His eyebrows are raised in disbelief and Jimin is sure part of him thinks he heard him wrong.

“We what now?”

“We run,” repeats Jimin with a little more determination. He needs to convince himself just as much as he needs to convince Jungkook, but he can’t let the boy know of his indecisiveness if he wants him to trust him.

“What? We can’t just-”

“Then what do you wanna do?” Jungkook doesn’t have an answer for that, but judging by the many times he opens and closes his mouth, it’s clear he wishes he has. “That’s what I thought.”

“Even so, we can’t just bail on the check. What if they find us?”

“It’s a restaurant bill, Jungkook, it’s not like we’re stealing the crown jewels.” Jungkook can’t exactly argue with that. “Besides, hopefully, we won’t be here in a few days, so it’ll be fine.”

His eyes roam through the windows to the restaurant one more time to see if the waiter is coming towards them, but he sees no one.

“I get that, but still, we can’t just-”

“Let’s go.”

In a second, Jimin is grabbing his jacket and swinging it over his shoulder before he hurries to rise from his chair and stalk down the street at a speed too fast to be casual, but too slow to indicate a crime.

He doesn’t look over his shoulder to see if Jungkook is following him, but he prays to God the boy is. He’s quite sure the boy would take him down with him if he got caught.

He slows down slightly in his escape to see if Jungkook’ll come up beside him, but he’s startled to suddenly feel a hand curl around his wrist and Jungkook dragging him with him at the speed of light down the streets of Osaka.

“Jung- Jungkook, what are you doing?” shouts Jimin as he struggles to keep up.

“I saw the waiter come out!” shouts the boy back without slowing down or turning around.

“Shit, did he see you?”

“I don’t think so.”

“You don’t think so? Then why are we running?”

“I panicked!”

For a moment, Jimin runs in perplexed silence. He’s looking at the back of Jungkook’s head as they move completely in sync with one another. It’s the first time they’ve moved so simultaneously, and he wants to point it out.

But he fears that would break their bubble.

So instead he laughs.

He laughs as if his heart is overflowing with amusement and glee. He laughs because Jungkook looks funny in this state of anxiousness. He laughs because the look in Jungkook’s eyes as he throws a glance over his shoulder is humorous. He laughs because even though they’re running from a crime scene, all he feels is contentment.

Jungkook’s laughter joins his and before long, they’re two laughing lunatics running through the streets of Osaka with intertwines hands yet with no one to chase them.

Trees and shops and ignorant people pass by them as they run until they can’t catch their breath anymore. They run until they finally feel safe, despite knowing they were never really in any danger.

“You… you’re crazy, Park,” stutters Jungkook as he tries to catch his breath, a few sweatdrops prickling his forehead. He’s bent over with his hands on his knees as he inhales and exhales deeply, yet there’s an amused smile on his lips.

“You’re the one who- who ran so fucking fast for no reason.” He struggles too with his breathing, but he’s determined to get the words out even if they require air he doesn’t have at the moment.

“I’ve never bailed on a check before,” explains Jungkook as he finally straightens his back once again. “I feared for my life.”

“They wouldn’t have killed you, numbnuts.” He throws a glance over his shoulder just as a precaution before he looks back at the boy. “I would’ve though.”

“Why? You think I’d take you down with me if they caught me?”

“That’s exactly what I think.”

“Well, damn, Park. Now I’m sad they didn’t catch us. I would’ve enjoyed sharing a prison cell with you.”

Instead of replying to Jungkook’s ridiculous teasing, Jimin pushes him twice in the chest and sticks his tongue out at him as he tries to maintain his balance. The boy smiles brightly, even flirtatious if Jimin had to say so himself, but he diverts his eyes and shakes off the boy’s radiating charm.

His shamelessness is getting to him.

“But I… I’m sorry about the steak,” says Jimin and awkwardly scratches his neck. “I really didn’t think about it because… I’m not used to thinking about it.” He’s ashamed to admit to that and he can only imagine what judgmental words Jungkook has to say about it.

He hopes he’ll be somewhat gentle.

“It’s okay.”

He blinks perplexed.

“What?”

“I said it’s okay,” he repeats, and the sincerity is unmistakable. “The situation wasn’t exactly ordeal, but we managed, didn’t we?”

“Ye- yeah, we did, but… is that all you have to say to me?” Jungkook shrugs.

“What do you want me to say?”

“I don’t know. Something mean and cruel and condescending. Like calling me a spoiled brat. Or a privileged princess.” It feels equally right and wrong to not receive any verbal punishment for his neglectfulness.

“You want me to call you that?”

“No, but-”

“Then I won’t call you that.”

Jungkook sticks his hands down his pockets and Jimin watches him with confused amazement as he realizes Jungkook has no intention of being mean to him.

“Oh.” He stomps his foot awkwardly as he searches his mind for something to say to that as a smile spreads on his lips involuntarily. “Well, that’s-”

“Are you coming? Or are we waiting for your carriage, your highness?” Jungkook bows to him in a ridiculous display of mockery and Jimin suddenly wants to kick his teeth in.

“And here I thought you were done teasing me.”

“You just make it too easy.”

“You were this close,” says Jimin as he raises his hand to show an almost nonexistent distance between his thumb and index finger. “This close at being a decent person.”

“Yeah, well,” shrugs Jungkook slyly. “There’s always a new day tomorrow. Now let’s go.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The skies are threatening grey as the two Seoul boys make their way towards Sumiyoshi Taisha.

Neither of them notices it at first. The lack of people is simply a blessing, and so Jimin doesn’t question it nor look up towards the sky for an explanation.

They stroll mostly in silence, but the lack of words does not feel like an obstacle this time around. He finds himself not minding the quietness between them as they walk side by side down the narrow paths and neat roads.

He can’t remember if they’ve ever walked this long beside each other since the party.

“You know,” says Jungkook and takes a step closer to Jimin so they’re walking side by side. “Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of the oldest shrines in Japan.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“It’s pretty.”

“It is.”

They continue in silence and Jimin can’t help but grow somewhat flustered. He doesn’t intend on flushing deep red when his hand brushes against Jungkook’s, but he does.

Against his will, he blushes slightly at the unexpected, yet pleasant, intimacy between them that feels so innocent yet so important.

“I didn’t know you were so familiar with Osaka.”

It’s a lame conversation starter because honestly, Jimin isn’t that interested in Jungkook’s knowledge of Japan, but he wants to hear the boy talk some more in that gentle voice of his he has kept hidden from him for so long.

“I’ve visited with my family once.”

“That sounds lovely,” says Jimin.

He wouldn’t call the uncomfortable feeling in his gut envy, but he can’t help but think of his own parents and their lack of family vacations.

“What about you?” asks Jungkook. “Do you travel a lot with your family? I mean you have the money for it so might as well, right?” He elbows him in the side with a grinning smile on his face as he attempts to joke around with the subject, but Jimin can’t find it in him to mimic the amusement.

“We don’t,” he merely says.

“No? Why not? I mean-”

“We just don’t.” He cuts the boy off before he can say any more Jimin has no interest in hearing. He had hoped Jungkook would’ve come to the conclusion by now that his family situations aren’t universal.

Jimin doesn’t always understand them.

But maybe he does know that, and he’s doing this on purpose.

Jungkook throws a glance his way, but he says nothing, and Jimin is relived for the silence once again.

It’s a bit more uncomfortable than before and it irritates Jimin how easily it can change between them. He’s annoyed by the fact that it’s always either hot or cold for them.

He feels a soft prickle on his cheek and flinches at the unexpected sensation.

“What?”

“Nothing, I just…” He holds out his hand and true enough, a raindrop hits his palm within a second. “It’s raining.”

They both tilt their heads and looks to the sky to spot the grey clouds above them for the first time. Jimin is surprised by their ignorance of the change in weather when it now seems incredibly obvious.

“I’m not dressed for rain,” says Jimin as he looks down at his thin clothes. “And I get sick easily. I don’t even have to be in the rain for more than a minute before-”

He’s cut off by a sudden crack in the sky and millions of heavy raindrops fall to the ground with dangerous speed.

“Shit! What do we-”

Jungkook curls his fingers around his bicep before he can finish his sentence, and drags him with him down the neat paths towards the first shrine they can spot. It’s beautiful and simple and exactly what they need as they hurry under the small roof of the shrine where they can sit safely from the rain.

Their hair is soaked and most of their clothes are too just by being out in the rain for less than three minutes. The raging storm goes on around them and it drowns out any other noise.

“I guess we’ll have to wait until it stops,” says Jimin as he makes himself comfortable on the floorboards on the shrine. He doesn’t feel too worried about the rain, but when he glances over in Jungkook’s direction he spots something akin to anxiousness in his eyes.

“Jungkook?” He reaches out a hand to place on the boy’s shoulder. “Are you okay?”

The boy doesn’t look at him, instead, he scooches back so he’s further away from the falling raindrops.

“I’m fine,” he insists. “I just… don’t like being in the rain.”

Jimin furrows his brows in confusion but he says nothing.

He didn’t think the boy looked anxious when it was raining a few days ago. It was raining heavily when they got stuck in the airport, but he supposes it’s different when there’s nothing but an old roof of a shrine between the rain and him.

“It messes up my hair,” he says and sends Jimin a cheeky smile that makes him roll his eyes. He doesn’t respond.

Instead, they both direct their attention to the falling rain. It’s pouring rather heavily, but Jimin doesn’t mind. He likes the smell of rain and the calming sound. However, when he turns his head in Jungkook’s direction, he doesn’t see the same peacefulness. He’s watching it as if he’s keeping an eye on it.

“Good thing we found shelter so quick, huh?” says Jimin. “Wouldn’t wanna run around in that weather.” Jungkook doesn’t say anything and Jimin awkwardly clears his throat after his failed attempt to lighten the mood around them.

He doesn’t even know why he bothers. If Jungkook wants to sit in silence and look gloomy, he should just let him. He shouldn’t care.

Somehow, that doesn’t feel right.

He finds himself wanting to ease Jungkook worry as much as possible.

“I don’t go on vacations with my parents because they never have time.”

The words are out before he gets a chance to think them through. Jungkook turns his eyes in his direction and cocks his head to the side in confusion.

“They have the money to fly around the world, but they don’t have the time to do it.” He doesn’t look at Jungkook as he speaks because that would only make him uncomfortable. “They never have time for me.”

Out of the corner of his eyes, he can see Jungkook scooch closer. It’s subtle but not impossible to spot.

“They’re not bad parents. They love me and they want me to be happy, but...” He shakes his head a bit defeatedly. “What would make me happy was if they would just be there, but they’re just not… present.” He feels embarrassed as he confesses this because he has never before wanted people to know that every aspect of his life isn’t perfect.

“I’m… I’m really sorry, Jimin.”

“Don’t be,” says Jimin and dismisses Jungkook words with a wave of his hand. “It’s not your fault they compensate for their lack of attention with money.”

“It’s not your fault either.”

Jungkook’s voice is firm and unwavering. He speaks as though he's trying to convince the world. Jimin hadn’t believed his unspoken thoughts would be so easily heard by Jungkook.

“You know,” begins Jimin. “In second grade we did a production of little red riding hood. I was the lead. Obviously.”

You were the lead in little red riding hood?” asks Jungkook in disbelieving amusement.

“I had a pretty face and I was clearly the most gifted second grader they had.”

Clearly.”

Jungkook bursts into a fit of laughter and Jimin starts throwing weak punches his way, which only makes the boy laugh even harder. He can’t deny that it sounds ridiculous and somewhat hilarious all at once, but Jungkook’s laughter is making him flustered and he doesn’t want the boy to see that.

“Okay, okay,” says Jungkook as he tries to stop laughing. “I’m sorry. Go on. Then what?”

“Then… nothing.” He sighs. “Neither one of them showed up. They forgot.”

He shrugs slightly in an attempt to seem indifferent. He doesn’t think Jungkook buys it, but he doesn’t turn his head to make sure.

“The next day they bought me a new portable DVD-player that had just come on the market and of course I floundered it in the face of every kid in my class because that’s what you do when your parents don’t really pay attention to you.”

He laughs unamused as he holds out his hand and feels a few raindrops hit his sweaty palm.

“You shove in everyone’s faces that they’re the best parents in the world. You make everyone around you jealous because that means they want what you have. That means what you have is desirable. But nothing about that is very desirable.”

He’s surprised to find a lack of regret. He had believed he would regret sharing thoughts he had never spoken out loud before, but instead, he feels relieved. As if he has finally pushed the stone on his shoulder off and can now breathe a little easier.

“I feel terrible,” says Jungkook. “All this time I thought you were living in a perfect fantasy world.”

“That’s what I wanted you to think,” replies Jimin. “That’s what I want everyone to think. The truth is embarrassing.”

Jungkook doesn’t argue against him, but Jimin knows he doesn’t agree. He already knows Jungkook well enough to tell what he’s thinking.

It scares him and comforts him all at once.

“Have you never told anyone this?” asks Jungkook and Jimin shake his head. “Not even Hoseok? Or Namjoon and Seokjin?”

Jimin shakes his head again, this time a little more shamefully.

“But… why?

Jimin can’t help but shrug despite the fact that he knows why. Deep within his heart, he’s not the slightest bit uncertain about why he keeps everything to himself, but when it comes to saying it out loud, he struggles with understanding it himself.

“I just… want them to like me.”

It feels absolutely humiliating to say those words out loud, but he says them regardless. He says them because he doesn’t believe Jungkook will judge him for them.

“My life is perfect. My parents spoil me. I have everything I need. I have a pretty face and a decent personality.” He picks painfully at the skin around his nails as he speaks, just to remind himself that it’s real. He’s really saying these words out loud. “My life is perfect, Jungkook. It’s perfect because no one sees all the crap underneath.”

He pulls a small piece of skin off his nail and watches as a few tiny drops of blood form.

“Like my neglectful parents and my failing grades, and my lack of ambitions and my ridiculous insecurities.”

He finally decides to stop picking his skin and instead stuffs his hands down between his pressed together thighs.

“I’m not very special, but I just… I want people to think I’m special. Someone they can admire and maybe even… envy. Because that means I'm not too bad. Right?”

He exhales deeply, feeling the reality of his words wash over him. He’s said it. He can’t take it back now and he’s not sure if he should regret it now.

“Having rich parents, a pretty face and a decent personality won’t make you special, Jimin,” says Jungkook. “It’s all the crap underneath that makes you special.”

Jimin turns his head in Jungkook’s direction, finding the boy staring at him with kind eyes. His gaze is roaming over his face as if he’s trying to memorize it all.

“You’re special because you like cinnamon ice tea. You’re special because your favorite color is the light orange color of a ripe pumpkin. You’re special because you wiggle your nose when you find something you like and click your tongue when you find something you dislike.”

Jungkook hardly hesitates at all as he speaks. He didn’t think long and he didn’t debate whether he should say them or not. He just did.

“You’re special because apparently, you’re more than just a spoiled brat.”

He smiles self-pleased as he finishes. Satisfaction colors his features and for once, Jimin believes it’s justified.

“You should let people see how special you are, Jimin. Not just me.”

“But what if they don’t like it? What if I tell Hoseok and I tell Namjoon and I tell Seokjin and they just… won’t like me anymore?”

“Then they’re not your friends.”

“But I want them to be,” argues Jimin despite know that he’s sounding rather childish. “I- I love them.”

“Then let them in.” Jungkook scooches a bit closer. He is close enough for Jimin to make an issue out of it if he wants to, but he doesn’t. He doesn’t mind. “Stop keeping them at arm’s length and let them in.”

“What if they won’t let me in?”

“Holy shit, Jimin, shut the fuck up,” exclaims Jungkook and throws his hands up in frustrations. He’s clearly slightly amused as well as slightly annoyed. “I’m gonna strangle you if you keep being this difficult.”

“I’m not trying to,” pouts Jimin. “I’ve just never talked with anyone about this. I need to get all of my questions out.”

He scratches his neck shyly as he mutters the words in a low voice. He almost doesn’t think Jungkook hears him, but judging by the sympathetic look in his eyes, he did.

“You’re right. Sorry.”

“It’s okay.”

They stay silent as the rain continues to pour around them. Neither of them further the conversation and though Jimin almost wants to keep it going since he’s not sure he’ll ever talk about it again, he doesn’t try.

He has said what he needed to say and he’s heard what he needed to hear.

He can’t ask any more of Jungkook and he won’t burden him further either.

His shoulders feel lighter and his breathing feels easier.

He never imagined it would feel so liberating to finally be brutally honest.

“I drove the car,” says Jungkook suddenly. His voice is a bit wavering and Jimin turns his head to give the boy his full attention.

He looks as though he's struggling and Jimin knows exactly what he’s feeling. He was there just a minute ago. Being brutally honest for the first time.

“It was raining so heavily that night and Jiyeon was sleeping next to me and I… I couldn’t see anything.”

He sucks in a shaky breath and Jimin’s chest aches.

“I didn’t see the other car until the last second.”

“Oh, Jungkook,” says Jimin quietly, feeling his heart break for the boy.

“No one died, but… but Jiyeon’s leg couldn’t be saved.”

Jimin fights back his urges to reach out and pull the boy into his arms, but he fights himself. He’s not sure Jungkook would appreciate it and he’s not brave enough to risk it.

“That’s why I don’t like the rain,” explains Jungkook and cocks his head to the side to get a better view of the heavy rain just a few feet away. “It just… reminds me of that.”

Jimin watches as the boy slowly reaches out his hands just slightly to feel a few raindrops hit the tips of his fingers.

“It’s not like I’m traumatized,” he says firmly and throws Jimin a quick look. He doesn't want the boy to pity him, but it's evident on Jimin's face that he already does. “I just… it makes me feel uneasy. As if everything in the universe is bound to go wrong.”

He straightens his back slightly and Jimin fights back the urge to tell him he doesn’t have to pretend he’s not scared. It doesn’t make him think any less of him. But he knows Jungkook would surely dismiss his words so he refrains himself from saying that.

Instead, he says something else.

“Then I’ll help you hold it together.”

Jungkook looks his way and cocks his head to the side in puzzlement.

“Hold what together?”

“The universe.” He grins at him and leans back to get comfortable on the cold floorboards of the shrine. “I’ll help you hold the universe together.”

Jungkook regards him with thoughtful eyes, but before long, they completely soften.

“You will?”

“Yeah,” replies Jimin, surprising even himself with the quick reply. “Yeah, I think I will.”

 

 

 

☆☆

 

 

 

It’s dark when they finally make it back to the hotel room.

They had been staying until the last raindrop and by then, the evening was already running into night.

The hotel room is cold as they shut the door behind themselves, kick off their shoes, and take off their jackets. They bump into each other a few times as they try to get past each other every once in a while, and every time they do smiles spread on their lips.

Eventually, they start bumping into each other on purpose simply because they find it amusing.

It a silly back and forth between them, but it feels anything but harmless. It feels rather exhilarating as if there’s finally nothing keeping them at arm’s length with one another.

Jimin never thought he would be pleased with that, but he finds himself loving it.

Their clothes has long ago dried from their short time in the rain, but Jimin still feels dirty regardless and shivers at his own disgust for his condition.

“I think I’m gonna take a shower,” he announces as he runs his hand through his greasy hair. “I feel absolutely disgusting.” He wiggles his nose in displeasure and Jungkook chuckles at the sight.

“Cute,” he mumbles before he diverts his eyes and walks further into the hotel room.

Jimin is left standing by himself, crimson slowly creeping onto his chubby cheeks.

“Do you wanna borrow one of my shirts to sleep it?” asks Jungkook as he pulls out his wallet and phone and throws both onto the bed. “I mean if you don’t wanna sleep in the dirty one you’ve been wearing all day.”

He says it so casually but it’s anything but that in Jimin’s mind.

“Yeah, I… I would like that.”

“Oh, cool, I’ll just…” Jungkook looks slightly surprised to be taken up on his offer. He scrambles to get to his bag and searches through it for a few seconds before he hurries back to hand over a black t-shirt.

He lets go of it even before Jimin can get a good grip on it and instead, it falls to the floor between their feet.

“Oh, shit, I’m- I’m sorry,” apologizes Jungkook as he hurries to bend down and pick it up before he stuffs it into Jimin’s hands so he doesn’t drop it again. “I was a little too fast there.”

“It’s fine.”

He clenches the shirt tightly in his hand before he gives Jungkook an awkward smile and the boy mimics it perfectly.

“So I’ll just… uhm, I’ll take a shower.”

“Yes, yes, of course.” Jungkook steps out of the way and Jimin hurries to slip past him and stalks towards the bathroom with hasty steps.

He can only imagine how silly he must’ve looked in Jungkook’s eyes, but he reminds himself that Jungkook looked even sillier in his eyes just a second ago.

That comparison makes him less flustered.

He hurries to strip down and jumps into the bath. It’s a worn-down bathtub with a loose showerhead handing from the wall. It looks anything but secure, but Jimin has no choice but to stand under it if he wishes to take a shower sooner rather than later.

He has no patience for waiting for the tub to be filled and he has no desire to sit down in the filthy tub either.

He struggles with turning on the water but at last, he succeeds, the water splashing him in the face with immense speed. It’s too hot at first but as he adjusts the taps, it gets too cold.

He has to either settle for scolding hot or freezing cold.

There’s no in-between.

There never seems to be an in-between for him.

He’s quicker than he’d like to be. With hasty movements he washes his hair and his body, having no desire to wait around for the showerhead to eventually fall down on him.

The towel he grabs is a dirty beige color but it’s not exactly as rough to touch as he believed it would be. It’s rather soft against his skin as he dries himself completely before he reaches out for his red boxers and Jungkook’s black shirt.

The material is incredibly soft as he pulls it over his head and lets it fall down just under his ass. It’s bigger on him than it is on Jungkook, that much he knows even though he has never seen the boy in it.

Everything Jungkook own is simply bigger on him.

But he doesn’t mind.

He likes drowning in the boy’s clothes. It's almost as if he’s drowning in him.

He doesn’t mind that.

Jungkook is lying on the bed when Jimin comes out of the bathroom again.

By the unresponsiveness, he assumes the boy didn’t hear the door opening nor his approaching footsteps. He’s holding his phone in his hands and judging by the way he’s typing on the screen with his thumbs, Jimin assumes the boy is texting someone.

“Thanks for lending me the shirt,” he says at last to make his presence known to the boy.

Jungkook flinches as Jimin speaks up from the doorway to the bathroom. The phone nearly flies from his hands but he scrambles to turn it off and press the screen against his chest before he turns his head in Jimin’s direction.

His eyes are wide with shock as if he got caught with his hand down his pants.

“That- that was a fast shower.”

“Yeah, well, I didn’t want to be in there too long. The showerhead is practically falling apart.”

Multiple times, he feared it would eventually fall down on him. He hopes he doesn’t have to take another shower in this hideous hotel.

Yet he’s not so sure he’s very eager to come home anyway.

It’s a paradox he can’t quite figure out.

“What were you doing?”

“Oh, just texting Yoongi.”

“Well, tell him I said hi.”

“I will.”

Jimin rubs the towel against his wet hair for a few seconds before he throws it back into the bathroom. It lands on the wet floor, but he doesn’t bother picking it up and hang it on one of the hooks.

“No pants?” When he turns back to look at Jungkook, he finds the boy looking at him rather amusedly as his eyes roam over his exposed legs. “Park Jimin has certainly become bold.”

“Yeah, well, I’m not interested in sleeping in jeans again and I don’t exactly have any sweat pants.”

“I’m not judging you,” says Jungkook. “I like it.”

The boy’s eyes continue to roam over him and Jimin suddenly feels very subconscious. He pulls at the edges of the shirt to cover as much of his red boxers underneath as possible, but it doesn’t hide much.

“You… you look pretty.”

The words are said quietly and for moment Jimin isn’t sure if he heard correctly or not. He doesn’t ask him though.

“Especially in my shirt.”

He doesn’t remember seeing Jungkook buying this shirt. He actually doesn’t remember seeing the boy buy anything.

“This one doesn’t smell like thrift shop,” he says as he holds the collar of the shirt over his nose and inhales the sweet scent. “It smells nice.”

“That’s because it’s not from the thrift shop,” replies Jungkook. There’s a playful smile playing on his lips. “It’s mine from back home.”

He folds his fingers behind his beck and leans back against the wall. His biceps flex as he does so and it immediately catches Jimin’s gaze. He tries not to look too long before he diverts his eyes.

“O- oh,” he stutters as he realizes he was just inhaling Jungkook’s sweet scent and shamelessly complimenting it. “You, uhm, you already had a few shirts in your bag?”

“One or two.”

“I see.”

He lets go of the collar of the shirt and instead pulls at the edge of it to hide his red boxers underneath.

“Well, I guess you smell decent then,” he says as indifferently as he can muster.

“Just decent?

“Yes. No more, no less.”

He can hear Jungkook chuckle as he walks back into the bathroom to retrieve his dirty clothes. He has to wash it before he can wear it again but tonight, he can’t be bothered.

He doesn’t mind walking around in Jungkook’s shirt like this.

Instead, he walks across the room to place it on the green armchair, pushed into the corner. It’s not until he bends down the put on the worn-down cushion, he notices that the chair definitely serves another purpose than merely being a seat.

It’s there to hide the wide hole in the white wallpaper.

It’s anything but pleasing to spot, but it’s not bothersome enough for Jimin to comment on it.

“It suits you.”

When Jimin turns around, he spots Jungkook’s gaze roaming over his exposed body. It’s not as lustful as his raspy voice might indicate, but it’s not entirely innocent either.

It’s right between the two, and Jimin likes that mix.

“I like it,” he continues. “A lot actually.”

“Yeah?” Jimin looks down at the black shirt he’s wearing. A few white patterns paint parts of the shirt, but it’s rather elegant to look at. “Well, it’s not entirely ugly. I guess you don’t have such a terrible taste after all.”

“That’s quite a compliment coming from you.”

“It’s well deserved,” replies Jimin. “But don’t get too used to it.”

He crosses his arms over his chest as he gives Jungkook a challenging look that makes the boy chuckle. A pleased smirk is plastered across Jimin’s face as Jungkook’s gaze roam over him.

He likes the look in Jungkook’s eyes as he observes him.

It makes him more delirious than he would ever admit out loud.

“Wait, don’t move,” says Jungkook suddenly as his eyes seem to fixate on something specific right above Jimin’s elbow. He gets off the bed and makes his way to the smaller boy. “There’s a loose thread.”

He’s less than a foot from him when he reaches out for Jimin’s right sleeve and turns it around to find the loose thread he was talking about.

Jimin’s eyes follow Jungkook’s and he raises his arm slightly to give the other boy a better angle. He tries to find the thread Jungkook is talking about, but from his view, he can’t easily see it without having to pull at the sleeve.

“I can’t see it,” he says. “Where is it?”

He doesn’t realize he’s bending his neck a little too much until his forehead collides with Jungkook’s and the two boys exclaim various grunts of pain and displeasure.

“What did you do that for?!” demands Jungkook to know as he rubs his sore forehead and wiggles his nose in displeasure. “I was trying to help.”

“I didn’t mean to,” argues Jimin as he rubs his own forehead. “I just wanted to see where it was.”

“Why do you wanna see it? It’s just a thread.”

“Then just pull it out!”

“I was trying to until you bumped your thick forehead into mine,” he argues. “So if you could kindly stay fucking still, I’ll pull it out.”

Fine.

Great.

Jimin huffs in childlike irritation as he stretches out his arm to give Jungkook and better angle of the sleeve and turns his head to the side. It’s a dramatic response to Jungkook’s reasonable request, but he doesn’t tune it down regardless.

He can feel Jungkook pull and push at his sleeve and he wonders for a brief moment whether the boy will rip it completely.

“There.”

Jimin looks back at Jungkook to see the boy holding up the thread. It’s not as long as he had believed it would be and he wonders just how closely Jungkook was observing him to have noticed it.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

Their exchange of gratitude is rather passive-aggressive, but neither one of them seems to mind. It’s just part of the way they talk. Part of their own language.

“Now you can see it.”

Jungkook reaches out for Jimin’s hand and places the small piece of thread in the center of his stretched-out palm. It tickles slightly as Jungkook’s fingertips brush against his skin.

“Look all you want.”

“It’s not very interesting,” replies Jimin. “It’s just a thread.”

“It seemed rather interesting a second ago when you were bumping your forehead into mind to get a look.”

“That was then, this is now,” he says as he raises his outstretched palm to his mouth and blows the tiny piece of thread at Jungkook. It flies easily in the sudden gush of air and hits Jungkook on the cheek before it falls to the floor between their feet.

“You can have it back,” he giggles. “It’s your shirt after all, so it’s your thread too.”

“God, you’re such a child,” chuckles Jungkook. The boy rolls his eyes but there’s no doubt in Jimin’s mind that he finds it rather humorous regardless of his words and actions.

Instead of defending his own maturity, Jimin blows another gush of air at the boy. It’s much more forceful this time and Jungkook squeezes his eyes shut as Jimin’s breath hits his face.

“You’re so-”

Before the boy can finish, Jimin blows another gush of air at him. He continues to do so every single time Jungkook tries to open his mouth.

“Can you just stop doing- for God’s sake, stop- you’re such a-”

Eventually, his patience runs dry and he launches forward to grab ahold of Jimin’s wrist and pulls the boy so close their noses bump into each other. The cheeky smiles on their lips fade in the blink of an eye as the tips of their noses rub together in a gentle manner.

Their eyes are wide and their lips are parted in surprise as they regard each other. Jungkook clearly hadn’t believed he would pull him this close. Yet even though this was unplanned, neither one of them steps back.

Jungkook’s grip around his wrist is loose, but Jimin can feel the heat from his palm regardless. It feels scolding hot right now.

At first, their eyes shift between each other.

Then Jungkook’s gaze shifts to Jimin’s parted lips.

He looks at them too long for it to simply be coincidental, but not long enough for Jimin to be certain of his intentions.

He mimics the boy’s gaze and looks at Jungkook’s soft, pink lips for a few seconds before he looks back up at his eyes. He hopes he’s getting his intentions across, but judging by the uncertainty in Jungkook’s dark eyes, he’s not so sure the boy gets the hint.

He’s growing impatient.

He’s growing impatient and he’s even growing desperate.

He wants this but he doesn’t know how to tell Jungkook.

He doesn’t want the boy to reject him.

Yet, before he can make sense of his messy thoughts, Jungkook closes the gap between them.

He pulls him close by his wrists as he leans forward to meet Jimin’s lips in the middle.

He’s quick and a bit forceful and sloppy, but he’s desperate too.

Jimin can feel the boy’s desperation in his lips and it matches the desperation in his own.

The kiss is quick.

It’s finished before it even began and Jimin finds himself chasing after Jungkook’s lips as he pulls away, but the boy doesn’t seem to notice that.

“I’m- I’m sorry,” apologizes Jungkook as he lets go of his wrists and pulls back to give Jimin room to push him away.

But he doesn’t.

He doesn’t push him away because he doesn’t want to. He likes it. He wants it. He needs it.

“Do it again?”

“What?”

Jungkook looks completely caught off guard. As if he never believed Jimin would ever want him again. As if he can’t believe his own ears.

“Kiss me again, you fool.”

And Jungkook does.

With little to no hesitation, he kisses him again.

He pulls him closer, almost painfully close, and kisses him like he’s starving for the taste of his mouth. Jimin reciprocates his hunger.

He hasn’t felt such a desire since the last time he had held the boy close like this and fears he won’t be able to let go of him. He wants him in every way that matters.

He wants him as close as possible.

He doesn’t want to stop ever again.

“Shouldn’t we- shouldn’t we slow down?” asks Jungkook in between kisses.

“I know what I want,” says Jimin as he pulls at the buttons on Jungkook’s pants. “Do you?”

He seems to think it over for a few seconds before he quickly dismisses any doubt he might have had. He nods eagerly as he tightens his grip on Jimin’s waist and pulls him closer.

“I do,” he replies. “I do. I want you.”

Jungkook kisses him eagerly once again. Passionately and desperately.

However, Jimin doesn’t let him take control. He doesn’t let him get the upper hand. Instead, he pulls him towards the bed, spins him around, and pushes him down on the dirty sheets.

Jungkook looks at him, equally impatient and confused. He’s eager for what will happen next but he also looks slightly terrified.

Jimin likes him like this.

He likes him vulnerable and fragile and eager for his every touch. He likes to keep him guessing what will happen and grateful for even the smallest touch.

He likes it when Jungkook looks at him as if he wants to do nothing else but worship him.

He likes being worshipped, but only by Jungkook. He doesn’t want anyone else to look at him like that, he doesn’t want anyone else to touch him like this.

“I’ve missed you like this,” says Jimin as he slowly crawls onto Jungkook’s lap to straddle him. “I’ve missed you looking at me like that as you’re under me like this.”

He sneaks his arms around Jungkook’s neck and pulls his face closer – their chests touching. Jungkook pushes his chin forward in an attempt to reach Jimin’s lips, but the boy teases him by pulling back.

“I’ve missed you,” whispers Jungkook. “I’ve just… missed you.”

Caught by surprise at Jungkook’s fragile confession, Jimin doesn’t have time to prepared for the boy pressing their lips together.

He wanted to tease him a little more. He wanted to keep him on the edge just a bit more, but he was caught by surprise and he found himself not able to stop it.

Jungkook’s hands run up and down his naked thighs and the touch sends goosebumps down his body. He shivers at the intimacy. He hasn’t been this close with anyone since he slept with Jungkook nearly a year ago.

It’s been too long for him.

“Will you let me fuck you again?” asks Jungkook almost shyly as he rubs his nose against Jimin’s in a childlike manner. “I’ll make you feel really good. I promise you.”

“I know you will.”

“Then will you let me? Will you let me touch you like I did that night? Will you let me kiss you like that again? Moaning your name repeatedly? Will you let me do all those things?”

Jungkook’s voice is hesitant as if he fears he’s asking for too much.

What he doesn’t seem to understand is that Jimin is asking for even more. He wants even more than just this one night.

He wants all the other nights that will follow.

“I’ll give you more than that,” promises Jimin. “I’ll give anything you want.”

He runs his hand down Jungkook’s chest until he reached the edge of his pants. The buttons are already open, making it easy for him to sneak his hand into his underwear and grab ahold of his twitching cock.

Jungkook gasps at the touch, lips parted obscenely and eyes glazed over with lust. He looks fragile like this, and Jimin wants to break him tonight.

He’ll put him back together and then he’ll break him all over again.

He’ll do that for as long as Jungkook will allow it.

Jungkook’s cock is hard in his hand as he starts rubbing him with a tight grip. The boy struggles with his breathing and Jimin enjoys seeing how easily he can leave him breathless.

He leans forward and traps Jungkook’s lower lip between his teeth, nibbling slightly on the soft flesh as Jungkook huffs and moans into his mouth.

“It- it feels amazing,” stutters Jungkook. Deliriousness colors his face as he throws his head back in pleasure and lets out a breathless moan. “God, so amazing.”

“Good.”

Jimin leans forward and presses kiss after kiss onto Jungkook’s exposed throat. His skin is flaming hot against his lips and Jimin can only imagine his own skin is equally as scalding hot to touch.

“I wanna prep myself,” he whispers into Jungkook’s ear and smiles pleased when the boy shivers. “And I want you to watch me.”

“Wa- watch you?”

“Yes,” he confirms. “I want you to look at me and kiss my neck and praise me and just… just look at me.

“Okay.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” he says as he leans closer to press a single kiss to Jimin’s sweaty neck before he pulls back. “There’s nothing else I’d rather do than worship you like that anyway.”

The sweet words make Jimin’s cheeks pink with shyness. He’s sure his face is visibly flustered, but he also knows he can easily blame it on the lust between them.

“Help me,” pleads Jimin as he crawls off Jungkook’s lap in favor of getting to his feet and placing himself between his thighs. He’s standing so close his knees rub against Jungkook’s crotch.

He lifts up his shirt to reveal his red boxers underneath and a few inches of his exposed stomach. He doesn’t say a word to Jungkook, but the boy understands regardless.

He lifts his hands and hooks his fingers into the boxers before he pulls them down. He does so slowly until Jimin’s hardening cock springs free and bounces against his lower stomach. Jungkook swallows hard at the sight and it makes Jimin exhilarated.

He lifts one leg at a time to help Jungkook get the boxers completely off and once he does, he tossed them somewhere on the floor behind them.

None of them knows where and none of them cares.

“Thank you.”

“You’re- you’re welcome.”

He places a hand on Jungkook’s chest as he crawls onto the boy’s lap once again and straddles his thighs. His cock rubs against Jungkook’s unbuttoned pants and it sends shivers down Jimin’s body.

He rolls his hips a few times to chase some satisfaction from his seat on top of Jungkook, but he’s not selfish for too long.

“I don’t expect you have any lube?” he giggles as he intertwines his fingers behind Jungkook’s sweaty neck.

“I didn’t exactly believe I would be using lube on a class trip to Osaka.”

“You never know.”

“No, you really don’t.”

Jungkook’s eyes are hooded as he looks at him. He looks almost drowsy as if he’s drowning in contentment. Jimin can only imagine that he looks the same.

“Then I guess we’ll have to be creative,” says Jimin as he places his fingers to Jungkook’s lips. He doesn’t say anything, but Jungkook understands his intentions. He parts his lips and allows Jimin’s fingers to enter his mouth.

It’s an obscene sight as Jungkook sucks eagerly on his fingers. Jimin can feel the boy’s tongue licking over every finger inside his mouth and it makes his cock twitch in his boxers to see.

He never thought it would be so sexy to see Jungkook so eager for so little.

At last, Jungkook parts his lips, and Jimin pulls out his fingers. Salvia drips down on Jungkook’s chin and his shirt as Jimin pulls them away.

“Watch me,” whispers Jimin as he reaches behind himself with his saliva covered fingers to find his hole. “Please… watch me.

“I am,” replies Jungkook as he brushes a few strands of hair out of Jimin’s face. “I could never look at anyone else.”

Getting the first finger in is no struggle at all. His fingers are slicked up nicely making it easier than he first believed.

Jungkook spreads his legs wider apart, giving Jimin a better angle to finger himself.

The second finger goes in easily as well and he parts his lips as he gasps for more air than he can get. He can feel Jungkook’s hands roam over his body and the boy’s lips pressing multiple kisses to his sweaty throat and it makes him absolutely delirious.

“You’re so stunning,” mutters Jungkook in between kisses. “So fucking divine.”

He forces a third finger in as he speeds up his tempo, fucking himself faster and faster as his patients wear thin.

“Mo- more,” he pleads. “Tell me more.”

“I can’t get enough of you,” continues Jungkook unwavering. “Ever since that night, I haven’t been able to get you off my mind.”

His grip around Jimin’s waist tightens, making the smaller boy gasp for air.

“And I’ve hated you. I’ve hated you so much because I wanted you so badly.”

Jungkook’s hand runs over Jimin’s ass until he finds his way to Jimin’s slick hole. He gently pushes away the boy’s own fingers and replaces them with his own, forcing 3 fingers in at once.

Jimin doesn’t fight him on it at all. He simply allows him to do as he pleases.

“But I couldn’t have you. Not then.”

Jungkook’s breath ghosts over his collarbones as he speaks.

“And now I fear I’ve become too greedy.”

Jungkook is merciless as he fingers him open and Jimin can hardly breathe at the pleasure he’s experiencing.

He bends his head forward and presses his forehead against Jungkook’s shoulder as he closes his eyes and simply allows the gratification to drown him.

“You can have me,” he says. “You can have me as long as I can have you too.”

“Yeah?”

“Yes,” he replies without hesitation. “God, all I want is you.”

He reaches down to grab ahold of the edges of Jungkook’s shirt and pulls it up. The boy retracts his fingers from Jimin’s slick hole and allows the boy to pull the shirt over his head and toss it on the bed beside them.

“I’m ready,” says Jimin. “I want you now.”

With desperate touches, Jimin runs his hands over Jungkook’s naked chest. The boy’s skin is smooth under his fingers and he can’t help but gently scrap his nails all over his body. He wants to mark him.

With care, he pushes Jungkook down on his back and instead begins to pull his pants down. It’s a struggle as he refused to get off his lap as he does so, but at last, he manages to get the boy’s pants and underwear down to his knees.

Jungkook’s cock is twitching against his lower stomach as Jimin’s leans down to place a kiss to the tip. He barely touches him but Jungkook’s moans as though he’s being swallowed down.

It’s a heavenly sound.

He licks up and down his shaft a few times and places countless kisses before he pulls back and instead crawls closer. He places Jungkook’s cock against his entrance, and with careful movements, he takes all of him at once.

It takes him a few moments to get used to the stretched. He hasn’t slept with anyone since Jungkook and he has almost forgotten the feeling of having someone’s cock inside of him.

“Don’t- don’t rush yourself,” says Jungkook as he reached to cup Jimin’s cheek. He lets his thumb caress his flushed cheek with the uttermost care. “Take your time.”

Despite Jungkook’s sweet words, Jimin hardly listens to him. He’s too eager and too impatient to wait any longer.

He wants him now.

“It’s okay,” he says. “I’m okay.”

He rolls his hips desperately. With a fast pace and precise movements. He absolutely adores the feeling of Jungkook’s cock inside of him.

He’s so lost in the pleasure of Jungkook’s cock hitting him just right with every roll of his hips, that he doesn’t notice Jungkook’s movements until he feels the boy’s hand wrap around his twitching, neglected cock.

“O- oh, shit.” The moans that leave his mouth are almost embarrassing. So eager and so desperate and so needy.

It’s an awkward angle, but somehow, they both make do. Somehow, it feels right regardless.

Jungkook’s body trembles under him and Jimin is familiar with that feeling. He remembers their night together vividly. He remembers the slight trembles in Jungkook’s body as he reaches his climax.

He’s still so familiar with his body.

“Come- come on my stomach,” pleads Jimin. “I want you to. Please.”

Unable to form coherent words, Jungkook nods eagerly. He bits down on his lower lip and the sight of his delirious high is obscene to witness.

Slowly, Jimin pulls himself off Jungkook and instead positions himself further down the boy’s thighs so he can rub his own cock against Jungkook’s.

It feels unlike anything else Jimin as ever tried, to rub his cock against Jungkook’s. Something so intimate he couldn’t possibly fathom it’s happening. He never thought he would be so intimate with someone.

He never thought it was even possible.

“To- together,” stutters Jungkook as he reaches down for his own cock. His jerks are eager and impatient. He’s trying not to rush so they can get off together, but he’s clearly struggling.

Jimin reaches down for his own cock and he matches Jungkook’s eager tempo as he bores his eyes into the boy under him.

He wants to look at him when he comes.

He wants Jungkook to look at him as well.

“Look- look at me,” he begs. “As you come. Please.”

Jungkook obeys his desperate plea. He locks his eyes onto Jimin’s, his gaze so intense it makes Jimin’s heart race.

Without warning, and seemingly too soon for Jungkook’s own liking, the boy orgasms. He throws his head back, squeezes his eyes shut, and bites down on his lower lips so hard he leaves marks.

It’s almost a pornographic sight to see.

It’s almost unbearable.

Pleasure spikes up in his body like a deadly poison. It drowns him and raises him high into the sky at the same time.

It’s unlike anything he’s ever experienced before.

The simple sight of Jungkook so exposed, so vulnerable and so lost in his own pleasure what all it took for Jimin’s body to combust.

He doesn’t know how else to describe it.

He doesn’t know how else to describe the feelings Jungkook’s gives him.

A bit too forcefully, Jimin bends over, pressing his sweaty forehead against Jungkook’s sweaty chest. He can feel the boy’s frantically beating heart. He can hear every pump and he can feel every beat.

It’s thrilling.

He feels Jungkook’s hand caressed the top of his head softly. Every now and then, he’ll entangle a single finger into Jimin’s blond locks of hair. It pulls slightly on his scalp, but the feeling is soothing.

“That was… even better,” says Jimin breathless and raises his gaze to meet Jungkook’s. “I didn’t think that was possible, but it was.”

Jungkook’s eyes roam over his face mesmerized as he continues to swirl Jimin’s hair around his fingers. He seems to find the action soothing as well.

He doesn’t say anything for a long while.

He doesn’t verbally agree with Jimin’s words, but the boy can see it on his face regardless of the missing words.

Somewhere after the fifth minute passes them by, does Jungkook finally part his lips. It’s not by much and no words escape despite his obvious need to talk.

The words he wants to say are seemingly stuck on his tongue and Jimin’s curiosity spikes. He wants to know what the boy is thinking. He wants to know if he’s thinking the same thing as he is.

“What?”

Jungkook seems to think the question over for a few seconds before he eventually closes his lips again. Whatever he was going to say, he no longer desires to.

“Nothing,” he replies quietly and cocks his head to the side with a content smile painted across his face. “Just… you just look really gorgeous right now.”

“Yeah?”

“Mhm.”

“You look really gorgeous right now too.”

A drowsy smile spread on Jungkook’s lips. It’s adorable and Jimin finds himself simply looking at him for much too long before he snaps out of his trance.

“I don’t feel so gorgeous though,” he says and wiggles his nose in disgust. “I’ve got cum everywhere.”

He looks down at the shirt Jungkook had lent him and spots several cum stains everywhere. His lower stomach had not been covered by the shirt and neither had his thighs. It was all covered in cum. His own and Jungkook’s alike.

“I got cum on your shirt.” He pulls at the edges to show Jungkook just how filthy it was now.

“It’s okay?”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” he confirms. “Now you just have to sleep shirtless.”

He wiggles his brows in a suggestive manner and Jimin laughs as he hits the boy on the chest with weak punches.

“You perverted monkey boy.”

Jungkook’s laughter fills the hotel room and it pulls at the corners of Jimin’s lips to hear such a pleasant sound. It’s so carefree as if nothing in the world can go wrong as long as he can hear Jungkook’s heavenly laugh.

“Here, let me help you,” says Jungkook at last and grabs ahold of the shirt before he pulls it over Jimin’s head and tosses it on the floor.

Jungkook’s hands quickly attach themselves to Jimin’s naked chest and he shivers at the gentle touches and the admiring eyes he’s being observed with.

“Stunning,” mutters Jungkook. It’s almost too quiet and too incoherent for Jimin to hear, but he catches it regardless.

“I still feel gross, you know,” complains Jimin and gestures to the cum on his lower stomach and thighs. “I’m still covered in cum.”

He runs his finger through the stains of cum on his thigh, feeling the slick liquid stick to his skin. It’s thick and warm and rather unpleasant to touch.

“Here,” says Jungkook as he hands him the shirt he was previously wearing. “Use that to wipe it off.”

Jimin does as Jungkook tells him to. He wiggles his nose in displeasure as he uses the boy’s shirt to wipe off the cum on his stomach.

“Are you grossed out?” asks Jungkook amused. “You’re the one who wanted me to come on your stomach.”

“It was an in the heat of the moment kinda thing,” he replies. “Cum is gross.”

“You’re too much,” chuckles Jungkook. “Way too much.”

“You know me,” says Jimin as he wipes the last few drops of cum off. “I don’t like being filthy.”

He doesn’t register Jungkook’s movements until he feels the boy placing his hand against his cheek. The look in his eyes as their gazes meet is indescribable.

“I do,” he says. “I know you.”

There’s a certain softness to his voice. A certain contentment.

He looks happy.

Happy beyond measures over something so simple.

It makes Jimin shy.

“Here. Wipe yourself down,” the smaller boy eventually says and throws the cum covered shirt at Jungkook before he crawls off the boy’s lap.

He reaches out for his boxers on the floor and hurries to put them on. Jungkook watches him from the bed, an amused smile playing on his lips.

“What?” questions Jimin and rolls his eyes at Jungkook’s indiscretion. He’s too obvious. “You know I hate sleeping naked.”

“Yeah, I know,” says Jungkook. “I just… like looking at you. That’s all.”

Jimin rolls his eyes but he feels flattered regardless. And a tad bit shy.

“Put yours on as well,” he says as he points to Jungkook’s underwear around his ankles. “I don’t wanna feel your soft dick rub against my back during the night.”

“Who says it’ll be soft when I’m lying next to you?”

Jungkook wiggles his eyebrows smugly and Jimin rolls his eyes exaggeratedly at his flirtatious words.

“Just put them on.”

Instead, of arguing, Jungkook does as he’s told. Without moving too much he pulls his underwear up and pushes his pants down. He kicks them off and they land on the floor by the end of the bed. Then he crawls across the filthy sheets and snuggles under the covers.

Jimin makes his way towards the bed again and Jungkook lifts the covers for him to crawl under.

He scooches closer to Jungkook, so closer their half-naked bodies touch.

Jungkook quirks an eyebrow at him and smiles smugly, teasing him with his eyes instead of his words this time.

“What? It’s cold,” mumbles Jimin and even though they both know it’s not true, they say nothing. Instead, Jungkook reaches out and pulls him closer into his warm embrace and Jimin smiles contently as he feels the boy’s naked, sweaty skin against his own.

He’s missed that feeling so much.

And it’s even better this time.

“I can’t believe I slept with you again,” mutters Jimin almost shyly into his pillow. “Not after last time.”

“It won’t be like last time,” says Jungkook and reaches out to pull the half-naked boy closer. “I promise you I’ll be here tomorrow. I’m not gonna leave you again. I promise.” He places a sweet kiss on Jimin’s sweaty forehead.

“I know you won’t,” replies Jimin and scooches a bit closer so his cheek is resting on Jungkook’s outstretched arm. “You don’t have anywhere to go.” He grins teasingly and Jungkook rolls his eyes in amusement.

“Even if I did,” he begins. “Even if I could go anywhere, I wanted, I still wouldn’t leave.”

“You wouldn’t?” Jungkook shakes his head. “Even if you could go to a 5-star hotel? A luxurious bathhouse? The moon?”

“Why would I go to the moon?”

“I don’t know,” shrugs Jimin. “To see the stars.”

“But I’m looking at a star right now.” He bops Jimin’s nose and the boy pushes his hand away as he giggles uncontrollably. “And it’s the shiniest star to ever exist.”

“You don’t know that,” argues Jimin. “Who says there isn’t an alternative universe with stars much brighter than me.”

“I said the shiniest, not the brightest.”

“I’m beginning to regret sleeping with you again.”

“You should.”

Jungkook grins amused and gives the boy a gentle shove. He rolls three inches away so Jungkook pulls him four inches closer. His grip around him is tight, so Jimin decides his grip will be tighter.

He’s not losing to Jungkook.

“I didn’t come back for my jacket, you know,” says Jungkook after a few beats of silence.

“You didn’t? But you said-”

“I only said that because you opened the door and you were fuming. I panicked and the words just… slipped out before I could help it.”

It isn’t what he had expected to hear.

He had expected an apology at some point, but he hadn’t expected a completely different version of what he has believed to be the truth for over a year.

“I misunderstood everything. I misunderstood big time, and then I messed up even more,” he continues. “I’m really sorry, Jimin.”

Jungkook’s grip around him loosens just a tad as if he is giving Jimin a chance to pull away if he wants to.

So instead of doing what Jungkook expects him to do, he does the opposite. He pulls Jungkook closer to him.

After all, what he did was shitty too.

“I’m sorry I made that rumor about you.”

“To be honest, I don’t blame you. What I did was really fucking shitty.”

“But I shouldn’t have made it worse. I was too caught up in petty revenge.”

He feels Jungkook shift under him and he mimics his movements so they’re both lying on their sides, facing each other.

“You said it because you thought it would make me unappealing to the rest of the guys at the university, didn’t you?”

“Wha- what? No, I didn’t, I- I-”

“It didn’t work, you know.” He completely dismisses Jimin’s stuttering reply to his blunt statement. “Everyone wanted to get in my pants to see if the rumor was true. So technically, you did me a favor.”

“Oh, that’s so bullshit.”

“It’s true!” he defends. “I got asked out by more guys in the first few months after that night than in my entire life.”

“So… you got asked out by, what? Two guys? Three maybe?”

He pinches him in the side and Jimin squirms as he laughs at his own humorous attempt. While Jungkook is clearly insulted by the words, the smile on his lips indicates he found them quite funny regardless of his wounded pride.

“I didn’t say yes to any of them, you know,” he says in a quieter voice. “I turned them all down.”

His eyes roam over Jimin’s face as if he’s memorizing it and Jimin decides he really likes it when Jungkook looks at him. He likes it more than when everyone else looks at him.

“Good for them. They would’ve shot themselves within a week of dating you.”

“And just like that, I regret ever saying no to them.”

“You should. That might have been your only chance at love. And it’s all thanks to me, of course,”

“Goodnight.”

Jungkook reaches out for the light switch and turns it off, leaving the hotel room in complete darkness. The only sounds that can be heard are Jimin’s soft giggles and Jungkook’s amused sigh.

Jungkook doesn’t comment on his words, but he never really believed he would. If he doesn’t have a decent comeback, he would rather stay quiet.

Or, in this case, turn off the lights and call it a night.

He shifts for a few seconds before he falls still on the bed next to Jimin and the boy slowly scooches closer. Jungkook doesn’t react to the small proximity between them at first, but once Jimin is close enough, he lifts his arm to lets him into his embrace.

He feels surprisingly safe there.

Just like he did a year ago.

Hopefully, the morning won’t leave him disappointed again.

“I’m really glad you turned them all down,” he whispers into the darkness of the hotel room.

“Because that saved them from suicide?”

“No,” he replies. “Because that saved you for me.”

He can’t see Jungkook’s face in the dark, but he hopes he’s smiling too. He hopes he’s grinning the same goofy grin he is.

He hopes his heart is beating just as fast as his is.

“Goodnight, Jungkook.”

There’s a moment of silence before Jungkook’s voice fills the room, a light, soft voice that’s definitely hiding a smile.

“Goodnight, Jimin.”

 

 

 

☆☆☆

 

 

 

They’re going home.

That was the news the two lovers woke up to the next morning.

Good news and unusual sleeping positions.

They had somehow managed to completely rearrange their sleeping positions during the night. While Jimin fell asleep on Jungkook’s chest, he woke to the boy lying dangerously close to the other edge of the bed.

It didn’t much surprise him. He had never been good at sharing a bed with others. He was too used to having all the space to himself and even a body large than him, couldn’t stop him from reclaiming it all.

“I can’t wait to get away from this cheap-ass hotel,” mutters Jimin as he rolls closer to Jungkook on the bed. “Call me stuck up all you want, but these sheets are disgusting.” He demonstrates his point by pushing the covers off his half-naked body.

“I agree with you,” says Jungkook. “The next time we get stranded in another country, I promise we will get a hotel with clean sheets.”

“I can’t wait.”

Jungkook seems to seal the deal by reaching over to press his lips against Jimin’s. Neither of them deepens the kiss further. It makes it feel shockingly domestic. It makes it feel as though they have done it a million times before and will do it a million times more.

“I need a shower,” announces Jungkook as their lips part and pushes himself off the bed. “You’re welcome to join. Save water or whatever.”

“I’m lying really comfortable,” pouts Jimin and snuggles closer to his pillow. “But you’re welcome to strip in here if you’d like.”

“Not a chance. If you wanna see the show, you’re gonna have to take a shower with me.”

Both options are fairly great, but the shower is definitely more tempting.

“I’ll give you a sneak peak,” says Jungkook and pulls up his boxers to reveal a few inches more of his thigh. He then gasps as if he’s done something scandalous.

“Oh, my God, what are you? A 19-century woman?”

“I have the ankles for it.”

“But not the boobs.”

“Small detail.”

Jungkook waves dismissively in Jimin’s direction before he turns on his heel and makes his way to the bathroom. He doesn’t close the door after him, but Jimin can’t get a peak from his spot on the bed.

“Come join me when you’re done being comfortable.”

“That might be a while,” he shouts back.

“I can wait,” replies Jungkook. “But the warm water can’t.”

Jimin grunts as he tosses and turns a few seconds more to gather his strength to leave the bed. His body is still sore and tired.

“Hey, Jungkook!” he shouts. “When is take off?”

He has just swung his legs over the edge of the bed when Jungkook’s replies, “I think it’s 2 pm,” he says. “But I’m not sure.”

“I’ll just check myself,” he replies, but Jungkook has turned on the water, and Jimin’s voice isn’t loud enough to go through.

He searches for Jungkook’s phone for a few seconds before he spots in on the boy’s nightstand. He crawls across the bed and fetches it fairly easily. He swipes the display and is slightly surprised to see the phone unlocking in his hands. He had expected Jungkook to have a password on or something.

“You should really put a password on your phone,” shouts Jimin, but his voice drowns in the sound from the running water. “Anyone can just-”

He stops mid-sentence as his eyes roam over the screen. Jungkook has left a chat open and judging by the clever nickname, he guesses it’s Yoongi.

He’s just about to close it. He’s just about to close the chat and go find the flight information because he’s not a snooper.

But his thumb hovers over the button as he finds his own name in the middle of Jungkook’s texts.

And his eyes scan over the screen before he can stop himself.

He’s not surprised by Yoongi’s question. His own friends have probably sent him countless texts just like that one. Even with the same smug, suggestive smiley following, that definitely doesn’t leave anything up for imagination.

No, Jimin isn’t surprised by Yoongi’s filthy question.

But Jungkook’s answer is a whole other thing.

‘I won. You owe me 100.000 won.’

Chapter Text

He doesn’t really want to be here.

The music is too loud and the drunk students are too obnoxious and everything is so filthy.

Jimin doesn’t fancy university parties. He fancies chic bars and fine clubs were no juvenile student has the money to get into. He doesn’t like being pushed around and being forced to participate in drinking games and other shenanigans that are not only childish but disgusting.

It might be his first year of university, but he doesn’t want to attend any university parties.

He doesn’t want to be here, but Byungjoon does.

“Can’t we go somewhere else?” asks Jimin as he links his arm around Byungjoon’s and pulls slightly to get the boy’s attention. He doesn’t turn his head to look at him, but Jimin knows he’s heard him.

Instead, something else seems to pull at Byungjoon’s attention and Jimin doesn’t understand what is so interesting about a few nameless girls and guys playing some ridiculous drinking game.

“Byungjoon, please,” he whines and pulls a bit harder at the boy’s arm. “Let’s do something fun.”

Byungjoon continues to ignore his words and Jimin is growing rather impatient and rather annoyed. He reaches out for the boy’s other hand, his finger brushing over the Rolex watch around Byungjoon’s wrist.

The Rolex watch he bought for the boy.

“We can go to that club downtown where there’s-”

“I don’t wanna go to any club,” interrupts Byungjoon. He doesn’t turn his head to meet his gaze as he does so. “It’s boring.”

“Well, we can spice it up.” Jimin cocks his head to the side as he says so and lowers his voice in a flirtatious manner. “We can entertain ourselves.”

He traces his hand up Byungjoon’s chest, but right before his fingertips can brush against his throat, the boy pushes his hands away. Jimin nearly trips at the sudden imbalance the small push gave him and Byungjoon uses that time to take a step away from him.

“I’m having fun here,” says the boy and finally turns his head towards Jimin. “Don’t ruin it for me.”

Byungjoon’s eyes roam over his face for a few seconds before a grin spreads on his face and Jimin doesn’t know what it means.

It looks arrogant, cocky, and mischievous all at once. While it isn’t a bad look on the handsome boy, Jimin isn’t so sure he likes that he’s the one being looked at with those eyes.

“But can’t we just-”

“Later.” Byungjoon cuts him off again and before he’s even done talking, he’s already walking away from him. “I wanna have some fun.”

He lifts his hands in the air to wave him goodbye, but his back is turned towards Jimin as he does so and it makes it looked incredibly nonchalant.

He hasn’t been giving him much attention all night and Jimin doesn’t understand why. They’ve been seeing each other for a few weeks now, so shouldn’t Byungjoon be just a little bit eager to be by his side?

He watches as Byungjoon reaches his friend group, all of them standing around a dirty, sticky plastic table while they play beer pong. Or at least something that looks a lot like it.

Handshakes and hugs are exchanged between them all and Byungjoon’s face seems to light up as he greets his friends. Their laughter can be heard even from Jimin’s spot several dozen feet away.

He wiggles his nose in displeasure at being left alone.

Students passed him by, looking him up and down and Jimin doesn’t like that they can laugh at him. They are probably all doing so as they watch him stand all alone in the entrance to the kitchen.

He doesn’t feel awkward being by himself, but he doesn’t like that other people might think that of him.

He’s not the lonely type.

At least he shouldn’t be.

“Want a beer?”

Jimin turns his head in the direction of the voice and spots an unknown boy standing beside him, holding up a filled cup of beer for him to take.

However, Jimin had no desire to touch anything from this party. The cup looks sticky and the boy offering him the drink looks drunk out of his mind.

“No thanks,” he says. “I would rather die of dehydration.”

The drunk boy quirks his brows in puzzlement at his words as if he doesn’t know what they mean. He looks at the red cup in his hand as if it could give him all the answers, but after a while, he realizes the cup can offer him no explanation.

“Oh, well,” he says at last and shrugs amusedly. “More for me.”

He empties the cup down his throat, several drops rolling down his cheek, and his chin and Jimin wiggles his nose in disgust at the sight. He’s sure that if the boy wasn’t so drunk, he would definitely have seen the disturbed look on his face, but since that wasn’t the case, the boy was merely smiling instead.

“I just thought a cute boy like you wouldn’t want to stand there without a beer.” The nameless boy crushes the empty cup in his hand and lets it fall to the floor. “But whatever, I guess. You’re Park Jimin after all.”

He parts his lips to ask the boy what he could possibly mean by that tone, but he never gets the chance.

The boy shrugs one more time before pushes himself into motion and with drunken moves, he leaves Jimin be and makes his way into the crowd of dancing students. After a few seconds, he disappears completely from Jimin’s sight.

Another few students nearly bump into him and Jimin hisses in annoyance at being treated so lowly by people who have no sense of dignity. He hates drunk people. They’re too loud and too carefree and too close going for his liking.

For a second, he thinks about going out to search for his friends. He knows they are here. This is just their scene after all.

But it isn’t his.

Far from.

At last, he pushes himself off the wall and goes towards the living room to search for Byungjoon. He doesn’t want to be here anymore.

He wants to leave.

Byungjoon isn’t hard to find. He’s standing by the beer pong table, reading himself to take his shot while his friend laughs and cheers around him. There’s a wide smile on his face. Jimin hasn’t seen that smile so often when it has just been the two of them.

“Byungjoon?”

He sneaks up behind the boy and puts his hand on his shoulder. It seems to kill the atmosphere around them rather quickly.

Byungjoon’s friends immediately stop cheering and instead watches the two boys’ interaction closely, with great curiosity. Jimin doesn’t know what’s so interesting, but he doesn’t care to find out.

“Can’t we leave? We’ve been here for hours, let’s just-”

“Why are you being so clingy,” interrupts Byungjoon shamelessly. “Can’t you see I’m in the middle of something.”

Jimin blinks perplexed at the boy’s cold tone and he suddenly doesn’t feel so keen on touching him.

“I- yes, I just-” He removes his hand from Byungjoon’s shoulder and takes a small step back. “I just want to-”

Before he can finish his sentence, Byungjoon tosses the ping pong ball on the table, grabs Jimin around his bicep, and drags him through the crowd towards a quieter spot in the back of the house.

He doesn’t say a word the entire way.

The boy’s grip is hard, but Jimin doesn’t complain and instead allows the boy to drag him as mercilessly as he would like. He doesn’t release him until they reach the back of the house, far away from Byungjoon’s friends and the loud music.

They’ve reached a spot where it’s easier for them to talk, but also easier for others to hear.

“Can you stop being such a pain in my ass?” hisses Byungjoon as he leans closer so no one can hear him. “I’m trying to have a good time and your needy ass is ruining it for me.”

His voice is just as malice as his words and it makes Jimin feel uncomfortable in his presence. He hasn’t felt like that before. Not even when he didn’t know him at all the night Byungjoon first approached him.

“I’m not trying to ruin your fun,” defends Jimin. “I just thought we could do something fun the two of us. You know, somewhere else where there aren’t so many obnoxious, drunk people. That’s all.”

For a second, Byungjoon regards him with questionable eyes, but then he starts laughing.

It’s not a sweet laughter nor is it very pleasant in Jimin’s ears.

It sounds mocking.

He doesn’t like it.

“Wow,” says Byungjoon. “You’re really something else, Park Jimin.”

He says his name mockingly and Jimin doesn’t understand why. He’s not sure as to why his name should be of any relevance now.

For the second time this night.

“I don’t know what you’re-”

“I can’t do this anymore,” says Byungjoon, but he’s laughing.

He’s laughing as if he finds it funny and Jimin doesn’t seem to understand the joke that should definitely be there. Somewhere.

“Are you- are you dumping me?”

He didn’t know whether that was the right term or not because he wasn’t sure he really knew what they were, but he didn’t know what other word he should use. What were they?

Dumping you?” Byungjoon looks amused. “How can I dump you when we were never anything, to begin with?”

His voice is ice-cold as he speaks and his eyes are intimidating to look at. Jimin can almost feel his heart beat out of his chest and Byungjoon seems incredibly amused by it.

He seems to find great pleasure in Jimin’s distress and it’s sickening to see.

Sickening to feel.

“But we-” Jimin struggles with finding the right words, not really knowing what to say, to begin with. “I- I bought you gifts and-”

“Is that what you do when you like someone? You buy them expensive shit, hoping they’ll like you back?”

Byungjoon raises his brows mockingly at him and it makes Jimin feel small.

“Don’t get me wrong, I loved the gifts, but isn’t it pretty pathetic?”

He cocks his head to the side as he says it as if he’s talking to a child or patronizing him. Byungjoon appears to find great pleasure in ridiculing him like this and Jimin can’t even pretend not to be bothered because he is.

He feels ridiculous.

“If that’s what you think of me then why did you even approach me at all? Why did you-”

“Because we thought it would be fun,” says Byungjoon, completely cutting him off mid-sentence without caring whatsoever. He stuffs his hands down his pockets and shrugs nonchalantly.

It isn’t fair that he seems amused while Jimin feels ridiculed.

We?” he questions. “What do you mean ‘we’?”

Byungjoon doesn’t open his mouth to speak he merely gestured to something behind Jimin with his eyes and when the boy turns around to look, he finds several of Byungjoon’s friends watching them from afar.

They don’t even bother to hide when Jimin’s eyes find them.

They don’t seem to care about getting caught.

“You… you were all… playing me?

“Oh, come on, don’t say it like that,” chuckles Byungjoon.

Jimin flinches when the boy reaches out to shove him softly in the shoulder in what Jimin presumes the boy think is funny for both of them. However, Jimin is far from amused.

“It isn’t a big deal,” continues Byungjoon. “Just a little harmless joking around.”

Air is a foreign concept to Jimin as he stands paralyzed before the boy.

He feels absolutely ridiculed.

“But… why?” he questions.

Byungjoon shrugs again as if the reasoning behind this whole joke, is just as insignificant as the joke itself.

“Because no one seems to be able to get into privileged Park Jimin’s pants,” he says. “We just thought it would be funny to find out if it really is as impossible as everyone believes.”

Byungjoon wiggles his eyebrows in a teasing manner as if he somehow believes Jimin will find their little joke amusing as well.

But Jimin isn’t amused.

He feels humiliated and embarrassed, however, most of all, he feels ashamed of his own naivety. He should’ve known better.

“It wasn’t so hard to get you down on your knees,” says the boy shamelessly and Jimin flushes dark pink in embarrassment. “A few compliments and you were already unbuttoning my pants.”

Laughter fills the air around him, but none of it is coming from Jimin. He feels mortified and absolutely humiliated at his own behavior. He can’t believe he was so easily swayed by a few empty compliments and a little bit of attention.

“But I’ve gotten bored of this,” continues the boy. “And it probably wouldn’t be worth the wait anyway.”

Suddenly, he looks rather bored again.

“It wouldn’t even be worth the money I would win.”

The façade he has no doubt been wearing for their entire time together is no longer needed for him. Jimin knows it all now so there’s no point in continuing the sweet charades he has been playing for weeks now.

Money?” He feels sickened. “You… you betted money on whether you could get into my pants?”

Nonchalantly, Byungjoon nods in confirmation and Jimin feels the room spin around him. He feels nauseous and light-headed all at once.

“That’s all this was?”

The question is out before he can stop it. He didn’t want to say the words out loud because they sounded just as pathetic and humiliating as he believed they would.

Byungjoon cocks his head to the side and an unpleasant smile spreads on his lips. It looks so condescending, Jimin feels his stomach twist and turn painfully.

He stands frozen as Byungjoon takes a step towards him and reaches out to grab his chin with his thumb and index finger. He holds his head gently in place. Jimin could easily slap his hand away if he wanted to, but he stands frozen in what he can only presume is humiliating fear.

“You weren’t a bad kisser and your lips around me were rather glorious, but… that’s all you’ll be to me.”

There’s a smile on his lips even as he says such cruel words.

“A pair of pretty lips.”

He rubs his thumb over Jimin’s bottom lip painfully hard as if he’s trying to degrade him or ruin the one pretty thing about him.

Jimin’s expression turns sour as he hisses in pain and slaps the boy’s hand away from his lips. He hurries to raise his hand to his mouth as if he’s trying to protect his lips from further harm.

If only he could do that with the rest of him as well.

“You’re a fucking asshole!” he hisses, but Byungjoon doesn’t seem to mind the harsh words. He had expected them. Maybe even something worse.

“And you’re a fucking prude,” he counters. “So holy it’s ridiculous.”

“I’m- I’m not holy!” he defends, but he’s not so sure he’s right.

“Yes, you are,” replies Byungjoon without hesitation. “You’re too good for everyone and anyone. Or at least, you think you are. But guess what. You’re not even a little bit better than the rest of us.”

Byungjoon cocks his head to the side and chuckles as he speaks again.

“You might even be worse.”

He spites the words with so much venom Jimin feels as though the words physically slap him across the face.

He no longer feels humiliated and ridiculed.

He feels absolutely broken.

His pride is broken. His dignity is broken. His confidence is broken.

“You were never worth it either,” Jimin says at last. “Never.”

“Oh, really?” Byungjoon doesn’t look as though he believes him even a little bit. “I seemed worthy enough when you went down on your knees for me this very afternoon.”

Jimin doesn’t allow the boy to rile him up with his continuous vulgar words. He will no longer stand here and allow the boy to press him further and further down the dirt with his every word.

“All I ever did was suck your pathetic excuse for a dick,” sneers Jimin and finally, Byungjoon’s amusement seems to falter. “You never got more than that.”

“And who will get more then?” asks Byungjoon in a degrading tone as if he’s trying to humiliate Jimin into taking back his words. “Who here is good enough for Park Jimin?

He raises his hands in the air and nearly shouts the words as if he wants everyone at this party to hear him. A few nearby students do and turn around to look, but Jimin won’t let the boy scare him by bringing more attention to them.

More unwanted attention.

His name seems to bring a lot of that tonight and he doesn’t understand why.

Anyone here is better than you,” sneers Jimin. “Even the next guy I’ll bump into on my way out of this shithole will be better than you.”

“Then fuck him.”

I will.

Irritation is clear in Byungjoon’s eyes as he regards him. So much contempt all of a sudden and Jimin doesn’t know if the boy loathes him for calling his dick pathetic or for saying everyone else at this party is better than him.

Whatever the reason, he has no desire to take any of his words back.

With his chin held high and his back straight, he pushes past Byungjoon. The boy steps out of the way easily, eager to see Jimin’s next step.

He can feel Byungjoon’s eyes in the back of his head as he walks down the hallway. He’s waiting to see if Jimin will do as he threatened to. He doesn’t have to turn around to know that the boy behind him is smiling cockily, not the least bit convinced Jimin will make truth of his words.

As the end of the hallway nears, he fears Byungjoon will win after all.

But just as he turns on his heel, a body collides with his.

It’s a hard collision and Jimin almost falls back had it not been for the stranger reaching out to grab his upper arm to keep him from falling to the floor.

“Shit, sorry, I didn’t see you,” says the stranger. “Are you okay?”

The stranger lets go of his arm and Jimin takes a step back in an attempt to stabilize his own balance that had momentarily been thrown off.

He raises his gaze to get a glimpse of the stranger’s face. The boy before him has dark hair and dark, shining eyes. His facial features are sharp and prominent and Jimin finds himself looking a second too long.

“Are you okay?” repeats the boy. “Do you need some-”

“Do you wanna have sex with me?”

The stranger blinks perplexed at the sudden, shameless request and his lips part without a single sound coming out.

Jimin turns his head towards Byungjoon, finding the boy staring at him already. There’s still a cocky smile on his lips as if he doesn’t believe this will pan out the way Jimin wants it too and that it brings him great satisfaction to see Jimin fail miserably.

“Sure.”

Jimin snaps his attention back on the stranger before him and finds the boy looking at him with shining eyes. There’s an amused smile on his face but it’s not condescending like Byungjoon’s was.

This smile is kind.

“What?”

“I said sure,” repeats the stranger. “I’ll have sex with you.”

There’s a cheekiness to the boy’s gleaming eyes. Pink colors the boy’s cheeks, indicating he is far from sober, but the steadiness in his gaze is far from drunk either.

A million questions and uncertainties race through Jimin’s mind, but he has no time to let any of them out. He reaches out for the stranger’s hand and with one last look over his shoulder at a displeased Byungjoon, he pulls the nameless boy with him through the crowd of drunk students.

He is halfway out of the house before he realizes that they aren’t just holding hands. Their fingers are intertwined.

He can also feel a stickiness in the stranger’s palm and he clicks his tongue in disgust but doesn’t let go regardless.

The fresh autumn air hits them the second they stepped out of the buzzing house and onto the quieter streets outside. Only the lights from the house behind them and the few lampposts light up the dark night sky above them.

It’s much quieter outside.

It makes it weirder to stand so close to a stranger.

Immediately, he lets go of the unknown boy’s hand once they’re safely outside, away from everyone’s staring eyes. He presses his palm against the side of his thigh and takes a small step back to give them both some space even if the other boy didn’t ask for it.

“I, uhm, back there, it wasn’t-”

“Are you hungry?” interrupts the stranger and stuffs his hands down the pockets of his jeans in a laid-back manner. “I know a great place nearby.”

Jimin gaps at the boy’s question. He’s clueless as to what the stranger is expecting because he has no real desire to sleep with this boy, yet as he looks into his unfamiliar eyes, Jimin gets the feeling this boy is already aware of that.

“I’m sorry, I know I pulled you into this,” begins Jimin. “But I’ve had a shitty night and I have no interest in getting to know you.”

Despite his rather harsh wording, the stranger doesn’t look offended. He’s quite sure the boy should be offended, but he just isn’t.

“I get that,” says the dark-haired boy. “It was just an offer.”

There’s a little smile hiding in the corner of the stranger’s mouth and Jimin can’t help but feel slightly curious as to what it could possibly mean. He watches as the boy swings on his heel and starts making his way towards the street and away from the house.

“Aren’t you gonna stay?” asks Jimin. “At the party, I mean.”

The boy swings around on his heel once again to look at Jimin as he replies to his question.

“I’m hungry,” explains the boy and starts walking backward. “Alcohol tends to increase my appetite. I don’t know why.” He pats his belly a few times and then he turns on his heel again.

Despite being the one to turn away the strange boy, Jimin finds himself dissatisfied with seeing him walk away. He’s not sure whether it’s the fact that he’s the one being walked away from or if he just feels a tad lonelier now than he did just a minute ago.

Whatever it is, it’s strong enough to compel him to stop the stranger from leaving.

“Wait!”

The boy stops in his tracks and turns around to face him. There’s a little smile on his lips as if he had counted on the boy stopping him. It dissatisfies Jimin to know he’s been seen through so easily by a stranger no less.

“Changed your mind?” asks the boy teasingly and at that moment, Jimin changes his mind once again. He doesn’t like being teased. Not tonight. Not ever.

“Never mind,” he mutters and turns his back to the boy in favor of walking down the street in the opposite direction of the stranger.

“Wait, wait, wait,” he calls but Jimin doesn’t stop walking. “I guess jokes aren’t your strong suit.”

“I like jokes,” replies Jimin as he continues down the street. “Yours just wasn’t funny.”

He doesn’t hear the approaching footsteps at all until the strange boy is close enough to grab ahold of his shoulder. He pulls him around in a gentle manner and Jimin allows it despite knowing he probably shouldn’t.

“Come eat with me,” the boy says. It’s not a question but it’s not a demand either. It’s a request and Jimin’s not sure if he wants to turn it down or not. “It’s boring eating alone.”

Jimin eyes the boy’s hands on his shoulder for a second before he pushes it off him. He’s not interested in getting the stranger’s sticky hands all over his cashmere sweater.

“Okay, fine, just… wash your hand before you put it on my sweater.”

“Oh, is it a germ thing?”

“Sure,” mutters Jimin. “I guess you can say that.”

The strange boy doesn’t look too apologetic and irks Jimin to be treated like that. He would believe it was common courtesy to apologize for such things, but the stranger doesn’t look like he’s in a hurry to do so.

“Well, are you coming,” the boy asks instead. “It’s not far from here.”

He gestures for Jimin to follow him and though the boy knows he should hesitate, he doesn’t. The party can be heard loud and clear from inside the house, and that sound alone is enough to make his feet move.

“I guess,” he mutters. “Lead the way and I’ll-”

“Jimin?”

The two boys turn their heads to spot Hoseok making his way out of the house. He’s jumping down the steps and then jogging to reach Jimin. It looks like he’s in a hurry.

“Hoseok?”

“I’ve been looking for you,” says the boy as he stops by his side. His gaze roams over Jimin for a second before it shifts to the stranger and he furrows his brows in puzzlement.

“Here I am,” replies Jimin. “But I’m leaving now.”

He gestures to the stranger before him, but Hoseok doesn’t look so friendly towards him. He eyes the boy with uncertainty and then he reaches out to pull at Jimin’s sleeve.

“Can we talk?”

The stranger seems to get the hit quickly that he’s not invited to the conversation the two friends are about to have. He’s already backing away before anyone else can say a word.

“I’ll wait over there,” he says and gestures to the lamppost a little further down the street. “Take your time. I guess.”

He spins on his heel and walks away, but Hoseok doesn’t start talking until the boy has stopped by the lamppost as he promised.

“Why am I hearing something about you leaving with someone?”

“Because I am?”

He thought that was quite clear.

“But why?” asks Hoseok. “Aren’t you seeing Byungjoon? Why would you-”

“Not anymore,” interrupts Jimin. “We… broke up, I guess.”

“What? Why?”

“I got bored of him.”

The reply came so quickly it even surprised Jimin himself. He hadn’t believed the lie would fall so easily from his lips.

He stuffs his hands down his pockets and shrugs nonchalantly despite feeling anything but that. Indifference is the last thing on his mind right now. Everything is burning too violently for that to be the case.

“Are you okay, Jimin?”

Hoseok steps forward to put his hand on his shoulder but the boy steps away before he can. He doesn’t want to be touched right now. It wouldn’t feel sincere no matter who the hand belonged to.

“Why wouldn’t I be?” he asks. “It is what it is, right?”

However, Hoseok doesn’t want to let it go. His eyes are trying to bore into Jimin’s as he regards him. Hoseok wants the truth and a part of Jimin wants to give it to him.

But he can’t.

He can’t because the truth is embarrassing.

It’s embarrassing to tell him – or anyone – that he got played. And it is even more embarrassing to tell him that he was naïve enough to believe it. A few compliments and soft kisses, and he was stupid enough to believe every lie coming out of Byungjoon’s mouth.

It’s embarrassing and his life isn’t supposed to be embarrassing.

It’s supposed to be perfect.

That’s why people like him.

“Jimin.” He doesn’t like the way Hoseok says his name. It makes his toes curl in discomfort. “Please don’t do this.”

“Do what?”

“Lie to me,” says Hoseok bluntly. “It’s okay if something is wrong every once in a while. It’s okay if you’re-”

“Stop being so fucking serious, Hoseok.” His voice is much harsher than it needs to be as he cuts Hoseok off mid-sentence. “You’re ruining my fun.”

He rolls his eyes in annoyance, but his irritation isn’t directed at Hoseok.

It’s directed at himself.

He’s the problem here and he can’t seem to fix it.

“Okay.” defeat colors Hoseok’s voice as he speaks. “Then go have fun, I guess.” He gestures towards the strange boy still waiting by the lamppost, but he’s heart clearly isn’t in it as he does so.

Indifference is visible on the boy’s face now and Jimin hates himself for loathing that expression of his when he is to blame for it.

But at least now, he doesn’t have to fear that Hoseok will push him further.

He has shut the boy down.

His perfection is still intact.

“I’ll… I’ll see you tomorrow, Hoseok,” says Jimin at last. He hopes he doesn’t sound as guilt-ridden as he feels.

Hoseok doesn’t respond to his goodbye. His gaze is stuck on Jimin as the boy backs away from him. Disappointment is clear in his eyes and though Jimin is certain it’s unfairly placed; it irks him to his very core regardless.

“Ready?”

He doesn’t realize he has reached the strange boy until he speaks up right beside him and Jimin flinches at the unexpected. For a moment he had even forgotten the boy altogether.

“I, uhm, sure,” he replies. “Let’s go.”

The stranger gestures for Jimin to follow him and he doesn’t hesitate to do so. He keeps his gaze forward no matter how much he wants to turn around to look at his best friend behind him.

He doesn’t know what kind of expression the boy must hold right now. He doesn’t even know if he’s still watching them or if has long ago gone back to the party.

He doesn’t know at all and he wants to. But he can’t allow himself to look behind because then he’s afraid he won’t be able to go after all.

“That looked intense.”

The strange boy talks beside him but Jimin doesn’t turn his head towards him. He’s not really interested in getting friendly with his stranger. For tonight – and only tonight – he’ll allow this boy he doesn’t even know, to distract him from the sting he feels in his chest.

“It’s nothing.”

“It didn’t look like nothing,” says the stranger, and Jimin clenches his fists in annoyance. “If you wanna-”

“I don’t wanna talk about it with anyone, much less a stranger,” interrupts Jimin. “So if you’re that kind of person, let’s just part ways now.”

He’s aware of how mean he’s being towards someone who doesn’t deserve his wrath, but his temper is getting the better of him. He’s being unfair.

“Then let’s not be strangers.”

A hand curls around Jimin’s bicep and the boy is stopped in his tracks. He finally turns his head around to make eye contact with the stranger and he’s surprised to see that the boy is still smiling despite how unfairly Jimin had just been with his words.

“I’m Jungkook,” says the boy and sticks out his hand for Jimin to say. “Nice to meet you.”

The boy is being surprisingly pushy despite how hard Jimin kicks back. He’s not being gentle with his words and he’s not being kind with his expressions, yet this boy is resilient in his advances.

He doesn’t give up and Jimin doesn’t understand why.

They’re strangers to one another and neither one of them owes the other one any favors.

So why is this Jungkook boy being so pushy?

“I already told you I have to intentions of getting to know you,” says Jimin and stuffs his hands down the pockets of his jeans to show the stranger than he won’t shake his hand.

“Not even my name?”

“No.”

“But you do know it now,” says the boy – Jungkook. “So there’s really no way of un-knowing that one.”

It’s an immature, childish thing to say and Jimin rolls his eyes at the stranger’s choice of counter-argument. He won’t win any court cases with that one, but that probably wasn’t his intention anyway.

Jimin can’t figure out what he’s intentions are and it scares him.

What if they’re like Byungjoon’s?

“I won’t tell you mine then,” he says. “So don’t get too comfortable with me, stranger.

He doesn’t want to use the boy’s name.

Tomorrow he doesn’t want to remember it. Just like he doesn’t want to remember this whole night altogether.

“I guess I can’t do much about that then,” says the boy. He doesn’t look too bothered by it. “I’ll just have to hope my charms will melt the layer of ice around your heart.”

“I don’t have ice around my heart,” mutters Jimin. He finds the boy’s words ridiculous. “I’m just not very fond of strangers.”

“Why?”

Jimin blinks perplexed at the boy’s choice of words because he surely hadn’t believed he would be questioned on his own choice of words.

“Because- because you have no way of knowing what their intentions are,” says Jimin, feeling frustrated. “You can’t possibly know if they’re good or bad.”

If he had known going out for a midnight snack with this strange boy would be this much trouble, he never would’ve come.

He should’ve just gone home.

“Then I’ll tell you what my intentions are.”

Despite being pushed down, time and time again, the look on the boy’s – Jungkook’s – face stays the same, more or less. This boy has a very overbearing nature and Jimin can’t fathom how that is possible considering the world they live in.

“I want to eat a meal with you,” says the boy. “Those are my intentions.”

The smile on his lips shows sincerity, but Jimin can’t allow himself to be fooled by his own eyes again. He doesn’t trust this strange boy, but maybe he doesn’t have to, to share a single meal with him.

How badly can this stranger damage him in a single night anyway?

“Whatever, let’s just get moving.”

Jimin sets into motion once again, but Jungkook doesn’t.

“We don’t have to,” the boy says.

“What? Why?”

“Because we’re here.”

Jungkook points to the neon sign hanging right over their heads and when Jimin looks up, he can see a few blinding letters shine down upon the mostly deserted street.

Honey Pig?” He clicks his tongue in displeasure. “This is where you wanna eat?” He can’t help but be repulsed. The name his hideous and the place looks greasy just from the outside. He can’t even imagine going in.

“It’s good.”

“It’s filthy.

“No, it isn’t.” For the first time all night, Jungkook looks slightly unhappy. It makes Jimin uncomfortable even though he shouldn’t be. “It’s a great place.”

Jimin presses his lips into a thin line as he regards the frown on the strange boy’s face. He’s not sure whether he should apologize, push it further or simply act indifferent.

He doesn’t know what this boy wants from him.

“Are you coming?”

Jungkook doesn’t wait for his reply before he swings on his heel and makes the way towards the door to Honey Pig. He opens it up but he doesn’t walk in yet. Instead, he turns his head around and waits for Jimin’s reply.

He parts his lips to speak, but he doesn’t know what to say and at last, he closes his mouth again. He has no use for words anyway.

He pushes his body into motion and walks past Jungkook, into the restaurant. The boy diligently holds the door for him, but Jimin doesn’t thank him as he passes by him. Jungkook doesn’t seem to mind, despite the fact that he clearly should.

He sees past Jimin’s rudeness and hostility despite having no reason to. He doesn’t have to be put up with it, so why does he?

“They have the best chicken wings here,” says Jungkook as the two boys walk up to the counter. “Let’s get that.”

“I don’t like chicken wings.”

Jungkook turns his head towards him so fast, Jimin wonders if he got whiplash. Shock colors Jungkook’s features. So much shock it looks exaggerated.

“You what?” Jungkook’s eyes are almost comically wide. “How can you not like chicken wings? Don’t you like chicken?”

“Yes.”

“But not chicken wings?” Jungkook looks nothing short of baffled.

“I don’t like food I have to eat with my fingers.” He holds up his hands and wiggles his fingers to emphasize his point. “It’s gross.”

Jungkook raises an eyebrow as his mouth twitches into an uncertain smile. It looks as though he’s amused but not entirely sure why.

“You’re really something else, huh?”

Jimin’s not sure whether it’s a compliment or not, but he doesn’t care to ask. He doesn’t want to be insulted and so he wouldn’t want to take the risk of finding out.

“But you really have to try it anyway.”

Jungkook turns his head forwards once more and gestures to the employee that they’re ready to order. Jimin doesn’t feel ready at all.

“Two orders of your spicey chicken wings, please,” he says as the employee stops before them. “And two bottles of water.”

Jimin snaps his head in Jungkook’s direction, frowning his brows in displeasure.

“I just told you I don’t want chicken wings,” he hisses. “I’m not buying something I don’t want.”

“That’s fine.” Jungkook turns his head towards him, a smile spread across his lips, and it doesn’t even falter as he sees the frown on Jimin’s face. “It’s my treat. I dragged you here after all.”

“What?”

“I’m paying, so if you don’t like it, you haven’t wasted money.”

Jimin parts his lips to tell this strange boy that money isn’t the issue. It’s never the issue for him, but the employee speaks up before he can say a word.

“Are you eating here or taking it with you?”

“Oh, we’re eating here.” Jungkook taps his fingers against the counter to emphasize his point.

The employee nods in understanding before he walks to the fridge and takes out two water bottles he places on the counter before the two boys. A few drops of water run down the sides of the bottles and onto the sticky surface of the counter. It makes Jimin click his tongue in disgust.

“You wanna eat it here?” Jimin isn’t so pleased with Jungkook’s words.

“Yes,” replies Jungkook and takes out his wallet so he can pay. “I don’t like to walk and eat at the same time. It gives me a stomach ache sometimes.”

It’s too much information and they both know it. Jimin doesn’t want to know anything about this boy, least at all, things about his bowel movements.

Yet Jungkook continues to talk and Jimin can’t figure out if he’s doing it on purpose or not.

Jungkook hands the employee a handful of curly notes and then he hurries to stuff the wallet back into his pocket. It’s a lot less than Jimin thought it would be. He doesn’t believe he’s ever had a ‘proper’ meal that costs this little.

Jungkook grabs the water bottles on the counter and then he gestures for Jimin to follow him, the boy doing so without complaint. He doesn’t tell the boy he can carry his own water bottle, but Jungkook doesn’t seem to mind holding them both.

He follows Jungkook over to one of the many, many tables. The boy walks determinedly and so Jimin can only assume he sits at this table often enough for the walk to be imprinted in his feet.

Jimin seats himself across from Jungkook with weary movements. The table and the chairs look worn-down and hardly cleaned properly. He doesn’t really want to sit here, least of all, eat here as well.

This was a bad idea.

“You should drink some water,” says Jungkook and pushed one of the bottles across the table towards Jimin. “Alcohol tends to make you dehydrated.” The boy opens his own bottle and swallows down nearly half of the water in one sip.

“I haven’t been drinking,” replies Jimin. “I don’t like being drunk.”

Jungkook doesn’t hide his surprise at all. It appears this boy sitting across from him, isn’t very good at concealing any of his thoughts. They’re all written across his face every time. Jimin can’t help but find that inability of his, shameless.

He should do good with learning to conceal his thoughts a bit better. Running around with your heart and your mind on your sleeve is immature.

“You don’t like alcohol?”

“I said I don’t like being drunk,” corrects Jimin. “People become shameless and intolerable and obnoxious when they’re drunk.”

“Not everyone.”

“But most of them.”

The pink blush on Jungkook’s cheeks has long ago faded and without knowing this boy very well, Jimin is still certain he’s no longer drunk.

“You’re really peculiar,” says the strange boy amusedly. “You’re at a university party, yet you don’t like drunk people. Everyone is drunk there.”

“I know,” says Jimin and crosses his arms over his chest instead of resting his elbows on the table. “I didn’t want to be there in the first place.”

Jungkook’s eyes flicker between his and for a moment, it looks as though he had gathered the courage to say something. However, before he can part his lips too much, two plates of chicken wings are placed on the table between them.

“Enjoy,” says the employee and then he turns on his heel and walks back to the kitchen once again. There’s hardly any emotion on his face as he does anything, but Jimin can’t blame the man for being fed up with work. It’s past midnight and this place isn’t exactly sanitary.

Jungkook’s gaze locks onto the plate in front of him and Jimin can almost see his teeth watering. He doesn’t share the strange boy’s glee. When he looks down at the plate in front of him, he can’t help but feel slightly disgusted.

While the chicken itself doesn’t warren his stomach to turn, the thought of having to pick it up with his fingers and get the sticky sauce all over himself makes him almost nauseated. There’s no cutlery of any kind anywhere and it makes him uneasy.

“Aren’t you gonna try it?”

When Jimin raises his gaze to meet Jungkook’s, he immediately spots the stains of chili sauce on his chin. Even a few stains on his cheeks.

He has hardly eaten a single piece of chicken, but he’s already filthy.

It’s gross.

“I’m not picking that up,” says Jimin. “It’ll be impossible to get off and I’ll get sticky and my nails will get filthy and- no, it’s too much, I don’t want to.”

Even without touching the glazed chicken wing, Jimin knows that sauce would get under his nails and stay there for too long.

“It’s not that bad,” says Jungkook. He takes another few bites of his wing until there’s no meat left on it. Then he places the chicken bone on a napkin next to his plate before he sucks on his fingers to get off the sauce.

The boy appears to be so uncaring about getting filthy and Jimin can’t believe he isn’t racing to the bathroom to wash his fingers instead of sucking on them. He hadn’t exactly washed them before they started eating. Doesn’t he find that disgusting?

“But if it’s too much, then I guess I have a backup plan.”

Before Jimin can question the strange boy about his words, Jungkook rises from his chair and stalks towards the counter once again. From the distance, Jimin can’t possibly know what the boy is saying. However, a few minutes later, Jungkook returns and once he reaches the table, a pair of thin, plastic gloves are placed on the table next to Jimin.

“If you wear these, you won’t get your hands filthy.”

Jimin’s gaze shifts from Jungkook’s toothy smile to the unused, plastic gloves next to him. He can already tell they’re a size too big for him, but he refrains himself for pointing that out.

“What’s wrong?” Jungkook’s eyes flicker between the untouched gloves and Jimin’s uncertain gaze. “Are you allergic? Or just-”

“No, no,” interrupts Jimin. “It’s just…” He slowly reaches out for the gloves, feeling like he’s on deep water. “I have never actually… eaten a chicken wing before.”

“Never?”

“Never.”

The thin material tickles his skin when he slides the gloves on. He wiggles his fingers to see how flexible the material is and is surprised to see how little it limits him. They’re a bit too big, but nothing too irritating.

He watches as Jungkook picks up another wing and less reluctantly than he has believed, he picks one up as well. Despite wearing gloves, he still holds it as though it might bite back, and judging by the smile in the corner of the strange boy’s mouth, he’s amused by it.

“Don’t laugh.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” hurries Jungkook to say.

“Then why are you smiling like that?”

“I don’t know,” says Jungkook and raises the glazed wing to his lips. “I guess, I’m just glad you wanna give it a go.”

Jimin’s eyes are glued to Jungkook’s mouth as he bites off a piece of chicken and then chews on it diligently before he swallows. Sauce stains his lips, his chin, and his cheeks and Jimin keeps his eyes on him as he sticks out his tongue and licks himself clean.

It’s oddly mesmerizing.

“Give it a try,” says Jungkook and gestures to the plate of chicken wings before him. “I know you’ll like it.”

Jimin’s hands tremble slightly as he looks down at the chicken wing in his hand. He can already feel the sauce stick to his gloves and he’s happy he didn’t pick one up without a thin layer of plastic to protect him from getting filthy.

“So… do I just, you know, stick it in my mouth?” He feels a faint blush color his cheek as he so embarrassingly askes this strange boy how to eat a chicken wing. He feels like a complete fool.

“Well, yeah,” says Jungkook. Surprise colors his eyes and Jimin can’t help but feel flustered over his own silly words. Is this random, strange boy judging him? Does he find him ridiculous?

Annoyed with his own thoughts, Jimin shuts of his mind and stuffs the half of the chicken wing into his mouth. He chews rather aggressively, already feeling the sticky sauce drip down his chin.

He feels gross.

He doesn’t dare look up and make eye contact with the boy across from him because he knows he’s not a pretty sight to look at right now.

Would Jungkook find him gross if he raised his head?

“This is so… dirty,” he mutters as he bites off the last meat on the chicken wing before he tosses the bone onto his plate. “I’m all sticky and gross and I’ve only eaten one wing.”

He immediately reaches out for his napkin and wipes his mouth, hoping he gets every stain. He doubts its possible. It feels as though the sauce has already become one with his skin.

“So?”

“So what?” He puts down the napkin in favor of picking up another chicken wing.

“Do you like it?”

“It’s sticky.” He bites down in the juicy flesh and feels the chilis sauce sting on his tongue and on his lips. However, despite the fact that he’s not overly fond of spicy food, he takes another bite regardless.

“Yes, but do you like it?”

“It’s filthy.”

Yes, but do you-”

“I like it.”

He diverts his eyes from Jungkook and down on the table as he sinks his teeth into the chicken once again, eating a bit to eagerly. He hadn’t believed he would fancy this experience so much.

“I told you, you would like it.”

“Don’t be cocky,” says Jimin firmly. He doesn’t fancy a know it all tonight. “It was a lucky guess. You don’t know me.”

His words come across a lot harsher than he intended, but he doesn’t feel guilty about them even though he probably should. He doesn’t want to be teased tonight. Least at all by a stranger.

“You’re right.”

Jungkook’s voice is surprisingly light as he speaks and Jimin tears his eyes away from the table in favor of looking up at the boy. Is he not insulted by his harshness?

“I just felt a little self-satisfying to being right.”

There’s a teasing spark in his eyes as he looks at him and despite having agreed with himself not to let anyone tease him further tonight, Jimin doesn’t mind this particular teasing.

He’s not entirely sure why.

Maybe it’s because this strange boy doesn’t look cruel.

“So,” begins Jungkook as he wipes his sticky fingers in his napkin. “Now that you’ve realized you like their chicken wings, do you think a little more fondly about this place?”

Jimin furrows his brows in puzzlement, unsure of what Jungkook is hinting at.

“What do you-”

“It was quite clear you didn’t like it at all when we stepped inside,” says Jungkook amusedly. “You looked light you were on the verge of gagging.”

Perks his lips in displeasure, unsatisfied about being studied so accurately. He didn’t think the boy would notice it. He hadn’t much tried to hide it, but he didn’t think the boy would look at him long enough to notice it.

“It’s just… a lower standard than what I’m used to,” he says. “I’m used to something fancier, I guess.”

He shrugs as he pushes around a chicken wing on his plate. He wants to pick it up, but he doesn’t want to get messy if Jungkook is so keen on making conversation. He doesn’t want to look stupid trying to speak with chicken in his mouth and sauce on his chin.

“So is there really nothing in here you like?” asks Jungkook. It sounds like it shocks him to think there’s nothing appealing here. “Nothing at all?”

Jimin tears his eyes away from Jungkook in favor of looking around the restaurant. He realizes within a few seconds that he’s actually searching for something he likes. He wants to tell Jungkook that there’s something in here, that’s not appalling to him.

He’s not sure why he feels the need to do that.

“I like that painting,” he says and points towards a painting of a setting sun on the wall behind Jungkook. “It’s beautiful.”

Jungkook doesn’t turn around to see what he’s pointing at. He must be familiar enough with this place to know exactly what Jimin is talking about.

“You think it’s beautiful?” Jungkook doesn't sound as though he disagrees. He just sounds curious it appears.

“The world is so grey and dull,” says Jimin. “Beautiful things like that painting makes it a little brighter, I guess.”

Even as he speaks, he knows he shouldn’t. They shouldn’t get comfortable with one another because they’re still strangers.

But even so, there’s a part of Jimin who wants to talk.

Maybe it’s because Jungkook is the first one to listen to him in a while.

“You like beautiful things because the world is grey?” Jungkook sounds slightly surprised as if he doesn’t understand. “Don’t you like the world or something?”

“What’s there to like?”

Byungjoon’s arrogant smile flashes behind his eyes and he’s not sure why he thinks of that right now. Maybe it’s because it’s fueling his anger with the world. Maybe it’s because it just reminds him that everything sucks. And everyone.

“A lot of things,” says Jungkook. “These chicken wings, for example.” The boy picks up another one and sinks his teeth into it. He’s sloppy as he bites into the chicken and though Jimin is disturbed by the boy’s messiness, it pulls at the corners of his lips to see such an unfiltered sight.

“I guess you’re a little bit right.”

A raspy chuckle is heard through the deserted restaurant and when Jimin raises his head, he realizes the laughter is coming from Jungkook.

It’s a pleasant sound.

“I knew you would warm up to me.” A self-satisfied smile spreads on the strange boy’s lips and though Jimin despises this kind of display of arrogance, anger doesn’t wash over him.

Because Jungkook doesn’t look cruel.

“Shut up and ear your chicken. I wanna get out of here.” He points towards Jungkook’s plate before he hurries to direct his own attention onto his own plate. He blocks out Jungkook completely as he consumes his food with incredible speed.

He’s starting to feel a bit too comfortable with this stranger.

“You’re really going at it, huh?” says Jungkook amusedly. “Didn’t think you would love it that much. But I guess I’m better at finding the right spots than I-”

“Oh my God, will you shut up and eat?”

“I have!” exclaims Jungkook amusedly and points towards his empty plate. “You’re the slow one here.”

Jimin’s eyes flickered between Jungkook’s face at the empty plate before him. He hadn’t noticed at all that Jungkook had swallowed down every last bite. It doesn’t sit well with him to give this boy an opportunity to tease him.

Even though Jungkook isn’t cruel about it.

“I’m done.”

“But you haven’t eaten all of your chicken.”

“I don’t want it.”

“But-”

“Let’s go.”

Jimin pushes the plate across the table before he wipes his mouth and takes off the dirty plastic gloves. His fingers are slightly moist from being trapped in a pair of gloves and he clicks his tongue in displeasure.

“Come on,” he says as he readies himself to rise from his seat. “What are you waiting for?”

“You, uhm, you have some…” Jungkook points to something on Jimin’s face and the boy feels awfully uncomfortable all of a sudden.

“What?”

“A little bit of…”

What?

The annoyance of ignorance that is growing in Jimin, vanishes in an instant as Jungkook leans across the table and wipes his thumb across Jimin’s lips.

Bafflement colors his features as he stares at Jungkook with wide eyes. The boy doesn’t look the least bit shameful about touching him without permission and though Jimin wants to tell him to get away, he doesn’t.

Because Jungkook’s thumb across his lips is soft and gentle and careful.

He’s not rubbing his thumb across his lips to tarnish them or ruin them.

Not like Byungjoon did.

He’s careful as he regards his lips and Jimin wonders if he boy lingers a little longer on purpose. If Jungkook waits a few seconds too long because he felt his body tingle as well.

However, eventually, Jungkook pulls back again and Jimin suddenly feels a little cold where Jungkook’s thumb had been.

“You had a little chili sauce on your lips.”

Jungkook licks off the sauce on his thumb and despite knowing he should find it gross to see the boy so shamelessly licking off sauce from Jimin’s – a stranger’s – lips, he doesn’t find it repulsive at all.

But Jimin doesn’t thank him.

He just keeps his gaze down so Jungkook won’t see his flustered face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The night air is chilly as the two boys make their way down the streets.

They’re walking on the same line, but there are several feet between them. Every time they get a bit to close, Jimin takes a step to the side.

“So, uhm.” Jimin’s not sure why he decides to lead a new conversation. “You live one campus too?”

“I do.”

“Great.”

“Very,” agrees Jungkook. “Then neither one of us has to walk home alone.”

The boy has his hands stuffed down his pockets as he strolls carelessly down the street. Every once in a while, he will look towards the sky, and every time he does, he looks rather content.

Jimin finds himself looking a bit too long sometimes.

He wishes he had never told Jungkook he lived on campus.

“Why did you ask me to come and eat with you?”

He doesn’t look towards the boy next to him as he speaks. Instead, he keeps his gaze straight forward and skips a step so the two of them no longer walks in the same rhythm.

“I know I dragged you into this by asking you to have sex with me but- wait, why did you agree to have sex with me?”

That small piece of the puzzle hadn’t crossed his mind all night. It wasn’t until he spoke the words out loud, he thought it over a second time.

“Oh, uhm, about that,” begins Jungkook awkwardly and when Jimin turns his head, he spots the boy scratching his neck in a nervous manner. “I actually… heard your conversation with that, Byungjoon guy.”

Jimin feels a shiver run down his back as Byungjoon’s name is spoken out loud by someone else than himself. He has foolishly believed he would never have to say or hear it again.

But it appears he can’t get rid of the boy.

“You heard… all of it?” He’s afraid to ask because he doesn’t want Jungkook to tell him he heard every single word. That would be humiliating.

Embarrassment is exploding inside of him like landmines. He can feel his face heat up from every horrible feeling imaginable. He’s completely and utterly mortified.

“I heard enough,” says Jungkook. “About the bet or whatever they called it. And, uhm, about you sleeping with the next boy you bumped into.”

Jimin’s breath hitches in his throat at Jungkook’s words.

“Is that why you bumped into me? To get into my pants?”

Bafflement washes over Jungkook’s face as he turns to look towards Jimin. His eyes are wide and it looks as though he’s caught between a rock and a hard place.

What? No. Well, yes, but not in the way you think.”

“Then in what way?”

“Just that I… I wanted to help. Not, you know, get into your pants.”

A faint blush spreads on Jungkook’s cheeks and the innocence in his eyes were slightly surprising. Maybe he just wasn’t so comfortable being blunt with strangers.

“My ex-boyfriend cheated on me,” the boy continues, despite the fact that Jimin demanded nothing more from him. “I know it’s not the same at all, but… I know what it’s like to feel played, I guess.”

Jungkook’s honesty catches him off guard. He doesn’t understand why the boy is giving him so much unneeded information. He didn’t want to know these things.

So why did his heart ache for the boy?

“That’s why I wanted to take you out to eat,” says Jungkook. “To cheer you up, I guess. To make you feel better.”

It stuns Jimin to his very core to hear a stranger utter such words. This boy didn’t know him yet he wanted to help him. He wanted to make him feel better. He went to such lengths for him.

He should feel grateful, but why does he only feel guilty?

“It’s not your responsibility to make me feel better,” says Jimin. “You don’t know me. You have no obligation to care for a stranger.”

Jungkook scoffs at his words and Jimin can’t understand why the boy dislikes them so much.

“There you go again, calling us strangers when we just shared a meal together.”

“We didn’t know each other an hour ago.”

“So what? Everyone is strangers at some point until they suddenly aren’t anymore.”

Jungkook has a sly grin on his face when Jimin turns to look at him. He doesn’t look malice at all despite it being obvious that his smile has a teasing spark,

It’s not like Byungjoon’s sly grin.

Byungjoon’s didn’t look like Jungkook’s. It looked condescend and cruel.

Jungkook looks kind.

The comparisons between the two seem to continue to pop in Jimin’s mind, despite the fact that he has no wish to remember Byungjoon and no wish to imprint Jungkook into his mind.

But no matter how much he tries to force this strange boy out of his every little thought, he can’t. It’s been an hour, yet Jungkook has already replaced all of the spots that had been made for Byungjoon over the last few weeks.

Just like that.

In an hour.

What does that mean?

“The entrance is over here, Jimin.”

The boy looks up to realize he had nearly walked right past the entrance to their dorm building. He hasn’t even noticed they have walked long enough for them to already be back at the dorms. He has been totally lost in his own thoughts.

“Oh, yes of course.”

He hurries to join Jungkook as the other boy sticks his key into the door and twists it a few times before the door opens wide before them. The hallway comes into focus before them. It’s completely deserted and quiet at this time a night.

It doesn’t much surprise Jimin. Everyone is probably at the party him and Jungkook left just under two hours ago. They’re probably all having the time of their life.

Why couldn’t Jimin have that too?

“The food wasn’t so bad,” he says as they both stop at the end of the hallway where it splits into two. “Even though taking me out for a meal was entirely unnecessary, I guess tonight could’ve ended worse.”

He stuffs his hands down his pockets as he turns to look at Jungkook. The boy has stopped walking too and Jimin doesn’t know if they’ll part ways now or if they live at the same end of the building.

“I mean,” begins Jungkook. “The night hasn’t ended yet. It can get even better.”

Jungkook’s words are nothing but vague and Jimin doesn’t know how the boy wants him to interpret them. Is he teasing him? Is he being sly? Is he being suggestive?

“My, uhm, my dorm is that way.”

He uses his thumb to point towards the hallway behind him.

“I know.”

“You know?”

Jungkook nods in confirmation. He doesn’t look too smug about it, but Jimin feels as though Jungkook is being shameless regardless.

“I’ve seen you in the halls lots of time. You might not know me, but I know who you are. Park Jimin.

It’s the third time tonight his name has been said.

But why doesn’t his name sound bad rolling off Jungkook’s tongue? Why does he say his name so softly when everyone else seems to spit it out?

“So you knew my name all along?”

“I did. We’re actually in the same year.”

Jungkook’s grin widens but despite having the chance to act arrogant about having the upper hand, he doesn’t look smug or cocky.

“But I didn’t want to use it against you, so I hoped you would tell me yourself at one point,” he continues. “But you never did.”

Jungkook’s words resonate in his mind like a broken stereo playing over and over again.

I didn’t want to use it against you.

He doesn’t think anyone has ever felt like that about him before. This is foreign land for him and it makes him uncertain. He should move before he gets stuck.

“There was no need to tell,” says Jimin. “There still isn’t.” He straights his back and takes a step back to tell Jungkook he’s about to leave.

He needs to move.

Without giving Jungkook a proper goodbye, he turns on his heel and starts making his way down the hall towards his dorm room. No one will greet him in there, his roommate is once again away, and for the first time, that bothers him.

He wants someone there.

Maybe even someone specific.

“Why didn’t you sleep with him?”

Jungkook’s voice vibrates down the hall and it forces Jimin’s feet to stop moving long before he really registers the words.

“Excuse me?”

He turns around to look at the boy and finds him exactly where he left him just a few seconds ago. It appears Jungkook didn’t have any intentions of moving from the start.

“You said you never slept with him. Why?”

Jimin knows who the boy is referring to but he doesn’t know why it matters to him. Out of everything that has happened tonight, this question feels the most surprising.

But maybe it’s not the most insignificant.

“I don’t see why that is any of your business.”

He narrows his eyes at the strange boy, waiting for his behavior to make sense.

“I suppose it isn’t. But I’m curious,” continues the boy. “You don’t think he could handle you?”

Handle me?

He’s not sure if he should feel insulted or not, but the words irritate him regardless. He’s feet move before he knows it and before he’s aware of it, he’s within reach of Jungkook once again.

“You think I’m difficult?

He stops right before him, even closer than before.

“I know you’re difficult,” says the boy shamelessly. “I’m asking if you know you’re difficult.”

“I’m aware.” He grits his teeth as he says the words.

“Good. Insightful, that’s good.”

Jungkook is looking a little too amused and self-satisfied as he teases him and it fuels Jimin’s burning flame. It makes his blood boil like nothing else.

This strange boy is riling him up and yet, he likes it.

“What are you insinuating?” he asks as he narrows his eyes. “That I’m never gonna sleep with anyone because I’m difficult?

“Not necessarily.”

Jungkook’s eyes roam over him as he speaks.

“You just have to find the right one.”

Jungkook’s words are somewhat vague and somewhat confusing, yet Jimin it sure he can read the boy regardless of the fact that he doesn’t know him.

Because Jungkook’s eyes are suggestive and Jimin gets sucked in unwillingly.

In the heat of the moment, lost in a second, he can’t undo, Jimin reaches out for Jungkook’s wrist and pulls him along, down the hall. He says nothing and neither does Jungkook, but somehow, he’s certain they both know regardless.

He’s impatient as he pulls out his keys and unlocks the door to his dorm. He’s even more impatient as he kicks it open and pulls Jungkook into the darkness of his room.

He turns on the light switch and his messy, deserted dorm room comes into focus in front of them.

“No roommate?”

“He’s not home.”

Whether Jungkook wanted to know more or not, Jimin doesn’t grant him a chance to ask.

He pushes Jungkook up against the door, slamming it shut in the progress, and he presses his lips to Jungkook’s before the rational part of his mind can stop him.

The small height difference gives him a small disadvantage, but he doesn’t let that stop him from kissing Jungkook as though he is his to do with as he pleases.

He nibbles at the boy’s lower lip as he licks into his mouth and tastes the sweetness Jungkook’s tongue has to offer. He likes the faint taste of chili on his tongue and the small trembles in his lips as he tries to keep up.

He’s already like butter in his hands.

Melting right through his fingers at the faintest touch.

“I thought you said you weren’t trying to get into my pants,” says Jimin as he grabs Jungkook’s collar and pulls him off the door. “I thought you were just trying to help me.”

“I can do both,” says Jungkook as he allows Jimin to pull him through the small dorm room towards his bed. “I’m flexible like that.”

Jungkook’s lips barely get to stretch into a mischievous smile before Jimin pushes him onto the bed and straddles his hips. Then the smile quickly turns into a blush.

A dark, shade of crimson spreads on the boy’s cheeks and it makes Jimin’s pants tighten and his breathing hitch.

He realizes quite quickly that Jungkook is nowhere near as confident and as cocky as he tried to be out in the hallway. Right now, Jungkook cheeks are flushed and his eyes are flickering and his body is quivering.

He somehow looks even better like this.

“The reason why I never let Byungjoon fuck me,” begins Jimin. “Is because I knew he wouldn’t let me take control.”

He rolls his hips over Jungkook’s crotch in a teasing manner and it makes the boy exclaim some glorious sounds. There is a certain innocence to Jungkook, he hasn’t noticed until now, as the boy is lying under him.

“I knew he would fight me on it to save his own pride and I didn’t wanna deal with his pride issues.

He leans down and hooks his finger into the collar of Jungkook’s shirt so he can pull it down and reveal more than just his collarbones.

“I don’t want a power struggle.”

Running his hands up and down Jungkook’s body, Jimin knows it wouldn’t be a struggle with this boy. Because Jungkook isn’t trying to turn them around and he isn’t trying to break free of his grip on his hands.

“I want you to fuck me, Jungkook.” He leans down and attaches his lips to Jungkook’s throat before he sucks a dark bruise onto his skin. “But on my terms.”

Whatever Jungkook heard in his voice, he must’ve liked it, because a shaky breath escapes his lips and Jimin can feel the forming bulge in his pants when he jerks his hips upward.

He doesn’t know what it is about Jungkook’s dazed eyes or quivering body, but eagerness overwhelms him and before he’s even aware of it, he’s uncomfortably hard. It’s been a long time since he last felt such a rush and it scares him.

He doesn’t know this boy, so why does the thought of sleeping with him both arouse him and terrify him?

He pulls Jungkook's upper body up just enough for him to strip the boy of his jacket and his shirt, leaving him completely topless under him. His skin is smooth as Jimin runs his hands up and down his chest. He’s hot against his fingertips and it feels as though he’s being burned.

Jungkook is stunning.

And Jimin is scared.

He’s scared because he doesn’t know if he’s doing this for the wrong reasons.

If Byungjoon’s words are fueling him.

If he’s craving for intimacy after being deprived of it for so long.

Is this wrong?

“It’s okay.”

Jimin flinches as Jungkook speaks up. He has spaced out for a moment and he hasn’t even realized before he looks up and sees Jungkook’s soft eyes boring into his own. He’s sure he hadn’t said the words out loud, so how come Jungkook seems to know exactly what he was thinking?

“What are you-”

Without letting him finish his words, Jungkook grabs ahold of his arms and turns him around. He’s moving him gently until Jimin is the one on his back and Jungkook is the one hovering over him.

He’s at the disadvantage now, so how come he doesn’t feel inferior?

How come he feels good?

“You’re still in control,” says Jungkook softly as he leans down to kiss Jimin’s plump lips. “I’m just easing some of your tension.”

There’s so much care in Jungkook’s voice and Jimin doesn’t understand why it’s aimed at him. He doesn’t understand why Jungkook is being so overbearing with him.

Is he like this with everyone?

Why does it seem to bother him if that would be the case?

“Get- get this off me.” Jimin grabs ahold of the buttons in his jeans, but he doesn’t do more than just hold onto them until Jungkook’s hands replace his. The boy is patient as he opens his pants one button at a time before he pulls them down and tosses them on the floor.

He’s suddenly much more aware of how cold it is in his dorm room now that he’s half-naked. Yet he still wants the rest of his clothes off as well.

He can see his own cock twitching in his underwear and he wonders if Jungkook is as aware of his eagerness as he is. He looks desperate and he hasn’t even been touched yet.

“Do you want me to suck it?”

Jungkook’s nose is nuzzling his twitching cock over his underwear and it makes Jimin’s face flustered and his skin hot. Jungkook’s touch is so gentle, so why does it love it so much?

“Can I suck you off, Jimin?”

Kiss after kiss is pressed onto Jimin’s clothed cock and it’s obvious that even if he says nothing, he wants Jungkook to suck his cock. It’s obvious in the way he jerks his hips upward and he bites his lower lip and his face flushes dark red.

Instead, of giving Jungkook a verbal answer, Jimin reached down to push at his underwear, telling Jungkook he wants them gone and replaced by something else. He wants this boy’s mouth around him and he wants this boy’s hands all over him.

Jungkook takes the hint and pulls his underwear completely off him, letting his hard cock bounce against his lower stomach. He’s already leaking pre-cum and he finds it utterly embarrassing.

“You got such a pretty cock, Jimin.”

Jungkook grabs ahold of his cock and the mere touch of the boy’s fingers wrap around him is almost enough to get him to come.

Has it really been that long for him?

“Just… just put it in your mouth,” mumbles Jimin. He puts his arm over his eyes to hide the flustered look on his face from Jungkook’s eyes.

Without his sight, every other sense magnifies and Jimin nearly cries out when he feels Jungkook’s lips suck on the tip of his cock.

He’s much more sensitive than he ever believed.

Jungkook’s lips around him are sloppy. It’s clear he doesn’t know exactly what he’s doing and yet, Jimin is turned on like crazy just picturing Jungkook’s mouth wrapped around him in his head.

He reaches down and entangles his fingers into Jungkook’s hair before he presses Jungkook down, hearing the glorious sound of gagging.

“Tell me if you can’t take it,” he says while he gently scrapes his nails against Jungkook’s scalp and removes some of the pressure so the boy can pull away if he wants to. “Tell me if you want to-”

“I can take it.” Jungkook releases his cock with a wet pop and when Jimin tilts his head so he can see the boy’s face, there’s a grin on his lips. “Anything you throw at me; I can take it.”

Jungkook looks confident. He looks excited and he looks brand new. Lust races through him just at the thought of breaking him in. He wants to ruin this boy. He wants to leave a permeant bruise on him that can’t be erased or forgotten.

He wants to be remembered by this boy and he doesn’t understand why that’s so important to him.

“Take off your clothes.”

Jungkook’s quirks his eyebrows in curiosity, but he follows Jimin’s demand without questions. He pushes himself off the bed and while he unbuttons his pants and pushes them down, he can’t seem to take his eyes off the boy on the bed.

His eyes are hooded and dark and, at that moment, Jimin knows he will never again be satisfied with anyone else staring at him.

It’s a terrifying realization to have about a stranger.

“Am I naked enough?” There’s a teasing spark in Jungkook’s eyes as he stands butt naked in the middle of Jimin’s dorm room. He doesn’t appear to be shy at all about his body, naked or not. He looks confident.

He looks absolutely gorgeous.

The boy’s skin is so smooth, he’s practically sparkling in the dim light of the dorm room. He’s neglected cock looks painfully hard and his cheeks have a faint blush that’s visible from Jimin’s spot on the bed.

Giving blow jobs have never been Jimin’s favorite kind of foreplay and yet he feels an almost overwhelming need to have this particular boy’s member in his mouth. He wants to suck him like a lollipop and make him exclaim sinful sounds.

He has never been this eager before.

“Perfect,” says Jimin as his eyes look up and down Jungkook’s body. It’s a heavenly sight.

Impatience makes his hands shake as he reaches towards his nightstand and searches through the top drawer for his pack of condoms. It hasn' even been touched as Jimin opens the pack for the first time and pulls out a single condom.

Then he slides down from the bed until he’s on his knees in front of Jungkook.

“Now don’t move or I’ll stop.”

Despite being vague with his words, Jungkook doesn’t seem confused at all. Instead, he licks his lips in excitement and fixates his eyes on Jimin as the boy leans forward and presses a kiss to the tip of Jungkook’s cock.

He hardly touches him, but Jungkook moans regardless and it makes Jimin’s own cock throb.

Jimin wraps his fingers around Jungkook’s member before he swallows down as much of him as he can. He’s not sure he would be able to take all of him without gagging, but he finds himself curious to find out.

He bobs his head back and forth on Jungkook’s cock, tasting the saltiness of the boy’s precum on his tongue, and surprisingly enough, he’s not repulsed.

“Oh- oh, shit, Jimin.” He can hardly hear Jungkook’s stuttering moans and shaky breaths over the sound of his lips sucking on his cock. The sound of wetness is almost all he hears.

The feeling of Jungkook entangling his fingers into his messy hair and pulling just the slightest out of desperation, makes Jimin’s cock twitch. He can feel his blood burn underneath his skin and he can feel his heart race a little faster.

He releases Jungkook’s cock with a wet pop, strings of saliva and precum hangs from Jimin’s lips and connects with the boy's member. It’s an obscene sight and it seems to make Jungkook even more aroused than he already is.

Jimin raises his gaze to look up at Jungkook and the boy’s face is twisted into pure bliss. It’s such a beautiful sight and Jimin feels his cheeks reddening.

If Jungkook asks, he will blame it on the warmth in the dorm room even if it isn’t true.

Eager for even more than this, Jimin reaches up to run his right hand all over Jungkook’s saliva and cum covered cock, getting his fingers all slicked up in the natural lubrication. He wants to suck Jungkook off and hear his beautiful moans while he fingers himself open.

“Watch me.” He spreads his knees apart on the floor and reaches behind himself to find his hole. “Keep your eyes on me and only me.”

With ease, he presses the first few digits of his middle finger into his hole until he can’t get it in any further. He locks eyes with Jungkook as he puts the tip of the boy’s cock to his lips and as he swallows him down, he presses a second finger into himself.

It’s an overwhelming sensation to feel Jungkook’s cock down his throat and his own fingers up his ass. It’s almost enough to get him to come on the spot. He can feel his own cock twitch and throb between his legs.

Jungkook’s face is twisted in pleasure and even though he struggles with keeping his eyes open, the boy is determined to do as Jimin asked of him. He’s determined to keep eye contact and it pleases Jimin to know the boy will do whatever he tells him to.

Eagerness takes ahold of him as he presses a third finger into himself and it’s not until then, he starts feeling the stretch. However, it only makes him even more lustful.

He fingers himself with desperate movements as he bobs his head back and forth on Jungkook’s cock, a bit too fast for both of them. They are both impatient now it appears.

Saliva drips down Jimin’s chin as he continues to suck Jungkook off and despite feeling disgusted with the sensation, he doesn’t bother to wipe it away. He wants Jungkook to see him like this and he’s not sure why that need is so compelling.

He’s not sure why he wants this boy to see him filthy when he doesn’t even like to be filthy in the first place.

What’s so special about this strange boy that turns everything upside down?

With a pop, he releases Jungkook’s cock and lets the tip bounce against his pursed lips a few times before rips open the condom with his teeth and slide the rubber down Jungkook’s leaking cock.

The touch pulls a moan from Jungkook’s lips and it makes Jimin’s own cock twitch in pleasure.

Then he rises to his feet so he’s once again eye to eye with Jungkook and there’s hardly an inch between them now.

He can feel the saliva and precum run down his legs as he stands up again and he can feel his whole body aching for Jungkook to fill him up. He reaches out and wraps his arms around Jungkook’s neck to bring their lips together. The kiss is messy and wet, but so infuriatingly good.

He’s completely blinded by Jungkook’s lips against his own as he steps backward until his calf muscles press against the bedframe. It hurts for a second before he instead brings Jungkook down onto the bed with him and he can feel their hard cocks rubbing together as they eagerly continue to kiss.

It’s heated and it’s passionate and sexy. Jimin feels sexy lying on his bed with Jungkook hovering over him like this. It makes him feel wanted and tended to in a way he’s never been before.

“Put it in,” he demands as he spreads apart his legs to give Jungkook complete access to his stretched-out hole. “God, I want you to fuck me good, Jungkook. Can you fuck me good?”

Jungkook looks a little caught off guard as his eyes flicker between Jimin’s and it puzzles him just a bit.

There’s a part of Jimin that is greatly amused by Jungkook’s sudden anxiousness and had he been with any other guy, he probably would’ve laughed.

But he doesn’t want to laugh at Jungkook.

He doesn’t want to teas this boy or make him feel silly.

He wants to make him feel good.

So instead, he reaches down for Jungkook’s throbbing cock and guides it to his slicked-up hole. Jungkook’s eyes are fixated on Jimin’s movements as he watches the tip of his own cock press against Jimin’s hole.

“Look at me.”

He reaches out for Jungkook’s chin and tilts his head so he can see his dark, beautiful eyes. He wants to look at him as he feels his cock slide into him. He wants to see what kind of expression that will color Jungkook’s features when that happens.

“You’re so cute,” coos Jimin.

A shy, sideways grin spreads on Jungkook’s swollen lips and Jimin can see the blush on his cheek deepen at the innocent compliment.

Cute,” the boy repeats. “That certainly wasn’t what I was going for.”

“What were you going for then?”

Wanting to edge Jungkook just the slightest, he pushes the tip of his cock into his hole. It’s barely inside at all, but Jungkook’s breath hitches in his throat and he stutters as he tries to speak.

“Se- sexy was more what I was go- going for.”

Fondness warms his chest as he listens to Jungkook’s stuttering reply and looks at his flustered face. It’s truly a wonderful sight to behold.

Feeling mischievous, Jimin jerks his hips forward enough for another inch of Jungkook’s twitching cock to enter him. It’s still not enough for Jimin to feel any sort of sexual satisfaction, but the expression flashing on Jungkook’s face is all the gratification he needs.

And so he wants to edge him on even more.

He wants to tease him and make him quiver and make him exclaim more of those filthy, innocent noises.

But Jungkook is not one to play with, it appears.

Done with Jimin’s mischievous ways, Jungkook thrusts his hips forward, slamming into him hard enough for the boy to cry out. The sound of skin slapping against skin echoes in the dorm room. It’s a glorious sound.

“Im- impatient, huh?” Jungkook’s thrusts are determined and precise and it makes it difficult for Jimin to even breathe probably, much less speak.

You make me impatient,” says Jungkook. “So fucking impatient.”

Dark lust overtakes Jungkook’s body as he suddenly takes completely charge of the pace they’re moving. He thrusts his hips forward, hitting Jimin’s sweet spot each and every time as if he knows exactly where it is, despite never having fucked him before.

How can he already know his body like this?

Each thrust blurs Jimin’s vision, pleasure and gratification blinding him completely. His lips are parted as sounds he will never admit to, rolls off his tongue. He can feel his body heating up and his limps twitch at the lustful sensation.

His whole body is moving out of his own control and it doesn’t take long for his eyes to sting and tears to form.

For the first time, he feels as though he’s being pushed to his limit, yet he doesn’t want Jungkook to stop.

He wants him to keep going until he physically can’t breathe anymore.

At last, a single tear escapes the corner of Jimin’s eyes and rolls down his temple. It’s not obvious at all, yet somehow, Jungkook spots it immediately.

He catches the tear with his thumb before he caresses the wet trail the tear left behind. He’s touching him with the uttermost care as if Jimin is a fragile glass figure he has to protect.

“Am I being too rough?” asks the boy as he leans down to place a kiss right under Jimin’s eye. Right were the tear escaped.

How come this boy is both breaking him and mending him at the same time?

“I like it,” he says and settles his hands on Jungkook’s hips to tell the boy he wants him to keep going. “I like it so much, Jungkook.”

An innocent form of self-satisfaction colors Jungkook’s features and it baffles Jimin to see such a pure expression on his face when his body is moving so sinfully.

How can this boy be real?

Lost in his own pleasurable oblivion, Jimin doesn’t register Jungkook has moved at all until a hand wraps around his leaking, neglected cock and a pair of soft, wet lips attaches themselves to his sweaty throat, sucking bruises onto his skin.

His cries and moans are muffled as he bites down on his lower lip to refrain himself from screaming out loud for the whole building to hear.

All of his nerves are tingly with the overstimulation he’s experiences. He can feel Jungkook’s cock move in and out of him while his own cock is being jerked off and his throat is being kissed full of bruises.

It’s like his whole body is on fire.

“I- I think I’m gonna co- come,” stutters Jungkook into his ear. “I- oh, shit, I can’t-”

Without letting the boy finish his sentence, Jimin reaches up his hands and with quick movements, he guides the boy onto his back before he straddles his hips once again.

Jungkook’s breathing is shaky and it’s clear by the way his cock is twitching that he’s doing his best to hold back his orgasm. The lightest touch would probably make him come in a second.

“Not yet, handsome,” says Jimin slyly as he grabs ahold of Jungkook’s cock and places it to his hole. “You don’t get to come yet.”

Mercilessly, Jimin takes up every inch of Jungkook’s cock in one go, and together, the two boys cry out in pleasure. It’s overwhelming to say the least and Jimin’s not sure if all of the pleasure is purely physical.

Something else seems to edge him on as well.

Uncaring about whether Jungkook can keep up or not, Jimin rolls his hips with immense speed. In this position, it feels as though Jungkook’s cock can get even deeper into him than before and it’s nearly tearing him in two.

Figuratively.

Literally.

Jungkook’s face twits into both pleasure and despair and though Jimin wants to edge the boy on even further, he wants the despair to leaves his face even more.

Such a stunning face, shouldn’t have to make such painful expressions.

“You can come.” Jimin leans down to nibble on Jungkook’s swollen lips. “I’m giving you permission so-”

Jungkook cuts him off mid-sentence by crashing his lips onto his and licking into his mouth with eagerness as if he wants to use the last bit of strength in his body to kiss him.

With a stuttering moan and a shaky cry, Jungkook’s whole body trembles as he reaches his orgasm. Every inch of his body vibrates against Jimin’s like a fully charged toy.

It’s an exhilarating sensation.

“Your turn.”

Before Jimin can stop him, Jungkook reaches down for his neglected cock and starts jerking him off with determined pulls.

“Wa- wait, I-”

“Shh.”

To shut him up, Jungkook forces their lips together, nearly knocking their teeth together in the process as he kisses him like a starving man. He’s snatching Jimin’s upper hand from right under his nose without asking, so how come he doesn’t tell him off?

How come he instead arches his back and jerks his hips to get even more?

How come the intensity of his orgasm is even more overwhelming than ever?

It’s as though his entire body collapses as pleasure rushes through him like wildfire. Every nerve and every inch of him is quivering and tingling. He’s being consumed, he’s being drowned and he’s being torn apart.

But in the best way possible.

“Fu- fuck.”

Strength leaves his body in a second and finally, he can’t even sit up straight anymore.

He throws himself down next to Jungkook, feeling the emptiness that follows as the boy’s soft cock slips out of him. It makes him shiver despite the fact that the dorm room is far from cold.

The sheets are stained with various body fluids but Jimin doesn’t have the surplus strength to clean them, nor even himself.

“This is gross,” he mutters and gestures to how filthy both of them are. “But I can’t even be bothered to clean up.”

“Then don’t.” Jungkook slides closer and presses a kiss to Jimin’s temple. “Let’s just stay dirty.”

Jungkook is clearly teasing him about his obsessive need for cleanness, yet he doesn’t even care. He doesn’t mind it if Jungkook teases him because the boy isn’t being malice. He’s not being cruel. And so he doesn’t mind this teasing.

This teasing is… sweet.

Or maybe it’s just Jungkook who is sweet.

“Well, we should at least get this condom off you.”

Jimin slides his hand down Jungkook’s torso and pulls the used and abused condom off his soft cock. Jungkook quivers slightly at the touch, clearly still feeling oversensitive.

With one swift movement, Jimin throws the used condom across the dorm room, and with almost frighten precision, he hits directly into the trashcan next to his desk.

It’s gross, but he’ll empty it tomorrow before his roommate gets back.

“Nice shot,” says Jungkook. “Impressive.”

“I took a few basketball classes when I was younger.”

“Really?”

“Nope.”

Smugness color his features and it pulls at the corners of Jungkook’s lips.

It feels almost like a game to them now.

Going from strangers to… something else.

Something he doesn’t know what is.

Jungkook snuggles under the covers and he lifts them up for Jimin to slip under as well, but he doesn’t do as the boy expects him to.

Instead, he crawls off the bed, leaving behind a puzzled Jungkook. The boy’s eyes follow his every move as he searched the floor for his discarded underwear. He didn’t see where they had been thrown in the heat of the moment. He was surprised to see just how far away they had landed.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m playing ukulele. Can’t you see?” says Jimin teasingly as he picks up his underwear and slides them up his legs.

“Oh, wow, are you gonna give me a show?” Jungkook sounds equally as teasing and Jimin rolls his eyes at the boy’s words before he makes his way back to the bed and throws himself down next to Jungkook once again.

“I don’t like sleeping naked,” he explains as he slides under the covers. “I don’t know why. It just doesn’t feel good.”

Jungkook chuckles amusedly as he pulls Jimin closer so they once again melt together. Their sweaty skin rubs together as they try to get comfortable in each other’s arms.

“There’s a lot of things you don’t like, huh?”

“There’s a lot of things I like too.”

“Like what?”

Jungkook runs his lips over Jimin’s forehead as he waits for his answer, but he doesn’t actually kiss him. Instead, he seems content enough about simply feeling Jimin’s hot skin against his lips.

“Like cinnamon ice tea.”

“You like cinnamon ice tea?” Jungkook sounds equally amused and grossed out.

“I do,” replies Jimin. “It’s good.”

Jungkook seems as though he wants to disagree but he says nothing. His hands are running up and down Jimin’s back, drawing soothing circles and making his skin tingle.

The boy isn’t demanding anything more from him, yet Jimin finds himself wanting to give him more regardless.

Give him more tonight. Give him more of himself. Give him more of everything.

“I like that color too.”

He points towards Jungkook’s jacket, which has somehow ended up on his desk chair. It a light blue Demin jacket, but the front pocket is a light shade of orange.

“Blue?”

“No, the orange pocket,” corrects Jimin. “I like that color.”

“Is it your favorite?”

He hasn’t thought about that before. He’s never really thought much about what his favorite things are. He’s never really put things up against each other to compare.

But maybe it’s time to start finding favorite things.

“I guess you can say that.”

A light chuckle escapes Jungkook’s lips and Jimin bends his neck to look up at him to find out what is so funny.

“But it looks like the color of a ripe pumpkin,” says Jungkook amusedly.

“So? What’s wrong with that?” He purses his lips in displeasure at being teased. Even if Jungkook doesn’t know how foreign all of this is to him, it still bothers him that Jungkook seems to say the wrong thing.

That’s probably very narcissistic of him.

“Then tell me something you like then,” says Jimin and presses his cheek hard against Jungkook’s chest. Enough for the boy to wiggle his body uncomfortably.

“You wanna know what I like?”

He sounds surprised and even though Jimin feels insulted by Jungkook’s selfish perception of him, he can’t say that he blames the boy for his hesitation.

He hasn’t been very friendly all night.

“What I like…” mutters Jungkook as he taps his fingers against his bare stomach while he thinks the question over. “I guess I like toast in the morning. And midnight walks. And the sound of stilettos on marble floors.”

Jimin chuckles at Jungkook’s list of things he likes, and though some sound odder than others, he knows for certain the boy isn’t kidding.

“That’s very specific.”

“It’s true,” he says. “It’s a marvelous sound.”

Jimin can’t possibly imagine the sound in his mind, but for some reason, he has a feeling he would like it. If Jungkook likes it, then he’s sure he will too.

Is that silly?

“And I like my little sister, Jiyeon.”

Jungkook’s tone of voice is much more solemn now then it was a second ago. Something lies behind his words and Jimin has a feeling Jungkook wants to explain it to him.

He wants to tell him what he’s thinking but Jimin doesn’t feel as though he deserves Jungkook’s intimate thoughts.

Who is he to receive a piece of Jungkook when he has done nothing to earn it?

“And here I thought it was a norm to dislike your siblings,” chuckles Jimin, but he doesn't really find it funny. “At least that’s what I’ve heard.”

Jungkook isn’t very amused and Jimin can’t help but feel uncomfortable. Why has Jungkook started this conversation if it’s not pleasant at all?

“Then I guess no one else has as great a sister as I do.”

Despite Jungkook’s solemn tone, his words still poke at Jimin’s envious heart.

He’s always wished he hadn’t grown up alone. He’s always wished he would have someone he could share his troubles, his glees, and his fears with.

But then he’d also have to share his parents’ attention and there’s not even enough for him as it is.

“What makes her so great?”

He hopes Jungkook’s words aren’t too beautiful. He hopes the boy won’t make him green with envy because he’s not the type to be envious.

At least he shouldn’t be.

He has everything.

Right?

“She’s always so happy,” says Jungkook eventually. “Even when she has every right not to be.”

There’s a somber edge to Jungkook’s voice and even without knowing what his next words are, Jimin’s chest aches for him regardless.

Because if Jungkook can sound like that, nothing good can come of his words.

“A few years ago, she was in a car accident and she… she lost her leg.”

Despite knowing it would be nothing good he would hear; it still catches him to surprise to hear such heartbreaking words.

Why does his heart ache for this strange boy he was never meant to know?

“She’s got a prosthetic one now and she’s much better, but still…”

Without being completely aware of it, Jimin scooches closer to Jungkook on the bed. He doesn’t know if it’s a reflex he would control or if it’s something else inside of him that suddenly felt the selfless need to comfort this boy.

He’s not used to being selfless.

It doesn’t usually come naturally to him, so why now?

Why him?

“If anyone has the right to fall apart, it’s her, yet she just doesn’t.”

Jungkook sound so proud of the little sister he speaks so fondly over and Jimin is envious. He’s envious because he wishes someone would speak this fondly of him.

“She’s so strong.”

Such obvious love and affection are clear in Jungkook’s voice. Jimin’s not sure how he, of all people, would be able to recognize such a thing, but he does. Maybe he’s gotten better or maybe Jungkook’s love is just that strong.

Envy flows like poison through his veins and he hates himself for it.

For the first time in a long time, he’s repulsed by his own selfishness. And it’s all because of this strange boy.

He’s unlike anyone else, he’s ever met.

The realization is terrifying.

Because Jungkook is someone he could fall in love with.

He just knows it.

He is someone he wouldn’t mind loving and someone he wouldn’t mind being loved by. Because Jungkook’s love is warm and kind and all-consuming. Jimin wants to be consumed by something so blissful.

He can feel his heart beat a little too fast in his chest and he wonders if it’s already too late to turn back.

It frightens him.

“This sounds very personal,” says Jimin. “Why are you telling me this?”

“Am I not allowed to tell you something personal?”

“I guess, you are.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

He can’t tell him.

He can’t tell him that the problem is actually himself.

“What if I misuse what you’re telling me?”

“You wouldn’t do that.”

“How are you so sure?”

“I guess I just am.”

Jimin wants to tell him that, that’s horrible logic. That his intuition can’t be his only reasoning because it’s not bulletproofed. He can easily be wrong and Jimin wants him to know that. He wants him to know he shouldn’t so blindly trust people.

He knows all about broken trust.

But he is right after all.

Because Jimin would never misuse what he just told him.

He hates that he’s right because part of him wants him to be wrong.

He doesn’t want to be predictable.

“Let me take you out on a date.”

Shock colors Jimin’s features and he feels a chill run down his spine.

“Wh- what?”

“And let me make breakfast to you tomorrow.”

Jimin pushes himself onto his elbows and stares at Jungkook with puzzled eyes. His brows are twitching in uncertainty and his lips part wordlessly.

All the while, Jungkook is looking at him with eyes full of wonder. He’s amused by Jimin’s surprise, he’s amused by Jimin’s expression and he’s amused by the messy locks covering Jimin’s eyes.

But he’s not insincere and he’s not kidding.

Jimin doesn’t know why he’s so sure of it, but he is.

“Who says you get to spend the night?” mutters Jimin but it’s obvious to anyone that it’s nothing but empty talk.

He wouldn’t be able to kick this boy out of his bed tonight.

“Is that a deal then?” asks Jungkook and reaches out a hand to push Jimin’s messy hair out of his eyes. “Is it a promise?”

A promise.

Jimin’s not sure it’s a good idea to make such deals and such promises. Because every time he does, he seems to end up disappointed in the end.

But maybe this promise will be different.

Maybe he can allow himself to give this strange boy his promise.

“Fine,” he at last agrees. “Make me breakfast.”

A smile spreads on Jungkook’s lips and before Jimin can brace himself, he’s being pulled closer until his lips press against Jungkook’s.

He licks his way into the boy’s mouth with ease and feels how soft Jungkook’s lips are against his own. He’s sure they must be swollen by now. They’ve both been a bit too eager all night and it definitely shows by now.

He has never been this eager before.

“You’re really dangerous, do you know that, Jungkook?”

They don’t pull apart even to speak.

“I am?”

“Mhm.”

“Why?”

Despite waiting attentively for an answer, it’s clear Jungkook’s eyes are glued to his lips as he hungers for them to meet again. He’s insatiable it appears.

“You made me eat chicken wings at a worn-down restaurant and then you got me into bed. All in one single night.” He rubs the tip of his nose against Jungkook’s. “It makes me wonder what else you can do.”

The answer seems to take Jungkook by surprise. He no longer looks so interested in his lips, but rather his eyes.

“It scares me.”

He releases a shaky breath and his eyes flicker between Jungkook’s in a shy manner.

“But it exhilarates me too.”

He can feel it rush through his body like wildfire.

“You exhilarate me and I don’t know why.”

Jungkook reaches out his hand and gently cups his cheek before he caresses his smooth skin with his thumb. It somehow feels like a loving gesture.

“Is it bad?”

“No.”

He leans into Jungkook’s touch and presses a few kisses to his palm.

“No, I think I actually like it.”

Too much.

He likes it too much.

He’s getting too comfortable when he shouldn’t be.

It appears he can’t stop making mistakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimin wakes up to the rays of the morning sun dancing over his naked body.

He struggles with opening his eyes because of the blinding light and he curses himself for forgetting to shut the curtains last night.

He should’ve thought of that before he fell asleep.

Or before he pulled Jungkook into his bed.

He turns his face away from the sun shining through his windows and instead rolls around to say good morning to the boy who has spend the night in his bed.

But there’s no one to greet when he turns around.

The spot that had been occupied by Jeon Jungkook just a few hours ago, before the sun rose, is now completely empty. The sheets are cold against his touch as he slides his arm over the bed. The only indication that there had ever been someone else than him in this dorm room, is the Demin jacket that hangs from Jimin’s desk chair.

Other than that, there’s no trace of anyone else.

The realization hits him like a tsunami and he throws himself off the bed and starts searching through every pile of clothes on the floor and every item on the night table.

However, there’s nothing to find.

“Ju- Jungkook?”

All of the boy's things are gone and every piece of his clothing, expect the jacket, is missing as well. There’s nothing left. No note, no explanation, not even a goodbye.

Nothing.

Didn’t the boy promise to stay?

Didn’t the boy say he would make him for breakfast? On a date?

Apparently not.

Anger seeps into his features unwillingly. He doesn’t want to get angry. If Jungkook just left him in the morning then he’s not worth getting angry over, but he is angry.

He's angry because he believed Jungkook.

He's angry because he made him a promise.

He's angry because he trusted him.

It isn’t fair.

It isn't fair that he's now sitting on the floor of his dorm room alone when he shouldn't be. It isn't fair that the other side of the bed was cold when he woke up and it isn't fair that Jungkook has left him no explanation and no goodbye.

It just isn't fair.

He doesn't know how long he sits on the floor in silence, but it feels like an eternity.

At last, a knock on the door pulls him back to reality.

It startles him at first, but it soon fuels his anger even more instead.

Because when he finally makes his way to the door and rips it open, Jungkook stands before him on the other side.

He's clearly taken a shower as well as dressed himself in some new clothes and for some reason, Jimin feels that as a slap to his cheek.

The expression on his face is impossible to read and it only angers Jimin even further. For a moment last night, he had believed he understood this boy. He believed he knew enough about him to know he wouldn’t be standing on the other side of his door likes this.

But it appears he doesn’t know him at all.

“And what could you possibly want?” Jimin’s voice is coated in anger as he speaks and his grip on his doorknob is so tight, his knuckles are white.

He hasn’t opened the door very much, not interested in Jungkook getting the wrong idea and believing he might be welcome here again.

“I just-” Jungkook’s eyes flicker over the furious boy before him and it looks as though his throat is twisting into knots.

What?” demands Jimin to know. “What do you want from me now? Haven’t I given you enough?”

His body.

His honesty

A little piece of his heart.

That’s more than enough for someone who doesn’t deserve any of it.

“My- my jacket.”

Jungkook looks almost afraid of uttering the words and though it should bring Jimin no comfort to know he can scare the boy so easily in his wrath, it satisfies him regardless.

Because Jungkook stands before him right now, simply because he forgot to bring along his jacket when he was fleeing the scene of his crime.

When he was leaving him.

With vicious footsteps, Jimin storms towards his desk chair and rips the jacket off of it. The rough material feels almost painful in his palm as he stalks towards Jungkook in the doorway and throws the jacket at him with full force.

“Here,” he hisses and grabs ahold of the door once more so he can shut it whenever he’d like. “Take your stupid jacket and leave.”

Jungkook looks nothing short of perplexed by the treatment he’s receiving. He couldn’t possibly be foolish enough to believe Jimin would’ve welcomed him with open arms and so he doesn’t understand why Jungkook is looking at him such pleading eyes.

“Jimin, I just-”

“Don’t say my name.” He tightens his grip on the doorknob, the metal feels ice-cold against his palm. “We’re not friends, so don’t tarnish it.”

“I’m not tarnishing it, I just… can you just let me in for a-”

“Have you forgotten something else?”

“What? No, I-”

“Then leave. Again.”

Before Jungkook can utter another word, Jimin slams the door shut in his face.

Anger and rage bubble under his skin and he can feel just have shaken up he is as his breathing hitches in his throat with every inhale and exhale.

If the boy was going to leave him in the morning, why did he have to make such promises? Why did he have to be so kind and so gentle with him?

He feels used and disposed of once again.

Twice in one night, it appears.

How unlucky can he be?

How cursed?

 

 

 

☆☆

 

 

 

“I’m done with boys.”

Jimin’s voice echoes in his best friend’s dorm room. He’s lying on his back on Hoseok’s bed, staring up into the ceiling above him. It’s not as worn-down as the ceiling over his own bed. He’s jealous of that.

“Is it because of Byungjoon?” asks Hoseok from his seat on his desk chair. The boy is typing away on his laptop, not sparing Jimin any glances even as they speak with one another. “Or that strange boy?”

He tries to act nonchalant, but Jimin knows the boy isn’t so indifferent with his words. He’s chosen them well.

“Byungjoon is a fucking asshole and that boy… he’s a fucking asshole too.”

He presses the heels of his palms into his eyes until he sees stars and he doesn’t remove them from his face until it starts to hurt.

“What did they do?”

Hoseok still hasn’t turned around and though Jimin knows his nonchalant attitude is a façade, it still somehow bothers him.

There’s such a distance between them sometimes.

And Jimin’s always the cause of it.

“That boy… he let me wake alone this morning.” The sound of Hoseok’s typing seizes to exist. “He said he would stay, but I guess he didn’t feel like it after all.”

He doesn’t raise his head to see if Hoseok has turned his head towards him but he has a feeling the boy has. Finally, he’s done playing indifferent.

But Jimin isn’t.

“Oh, shit, Jimin. Are you-”

“It’s not a big deal.” He doesn’t let Hoseok finish his sentence. “He wasn’t so special anyway. But it’s still annoying, you know?”

He tries to keep his emotions out of his voice because truth be told, Jungkook was special. He was gentle and kind and funny and everything Jimin realized he needed. And then he lost it all the next morning.

It doesn’t seem fair.

But maybe Jimin just doesn’t get to have fairness.

“Jimin.” He doesn’t like Hoseok’s tone. He sounds worried. He doesn’t like that.

“It’s fine,” mutters Jimin again. “I know how I’ll get some payback.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You told people I wear women’s underwear?!”

Jungkook is practically screaming the words as he stalks toward Jimin down the hall of the dorms. His brows are furrows in absolute furry and his jaw is clenched so tightly it looks painful even from Jimin’s point of view.

“By the look on your face, I don’t believe you’re here to suck my dick in gratitude.”

Jimin crosses his arms over his chest as he greets Jungkook with a teasing glow in his eyes and a snarky comment. It shouldn’t satisfy him this much to see Jungkook’s face so twisted with anger, but somehow it does.

It feels like justice.

“Why should I?! You told people I wear women’s underwear!”

Jungkook stops no more than a foot or two away from him which somehow feels too close yet also too far.

“And now people actually know who you are. You’re welcome.”

He knows he’s pushing it. He knows he’s causing the pumping vein in Jungkook’s forehead, but he refuses to back down and take back his words.

Jungkook’s eyes are hard and his lips are strained into a thin line as he regards him with absolute contempt.

It’s the polar opposite of how he looked at him just a day ago.

“And now I know who you are. A liar. And a petty one at that,” spits Jungkook and his words fuel a certain anger in Jimin he can’t quite pinpoint.

It’s like he’s being pinned for a crime he took no part in.

A crime he didn’t even know would take place.

I’m the liar?!” he asks in disbelief. “You promised me all sorts of things that night, remember? And then you fucking leave me in the morning!”

He doesn’t feel so cheeky anymore and he no longer desires to be snarky. He feels wronged and he feels violated in the worst way possible.

If only Jungkook had merely taken advantage of his body. That he could forget again. Instead, he has to walk around with a little piece of what-if dangling out of his chest like a broken toy.

He feels played.

Again.

“If anyone’s the liar here, it’s you.”

He leans forward and hisses the words into Jungkook’s face with as much contempt as he can muster.

“I’m just the naïve idiot who believed you.”

Jungkook parts his lips to argue, but Jimin holds up his hand – silencing the boy with a single, swift movement.

“Save it,” he says. “I’m done with you.”

Then he swings on his heels and storms down the hallway, away from Jungkook and away from whoever else is looking at him with those annoyingly curious eyes they never even try to hide.

He didn’t use to notice it.

The stares.

But now, after being the center of a cruel joke, and the punchline at an even worse one, he can’t seem to block out the stares.

He suddenly feels as though everyone is out to get him.

But he won’t let them succeed.

He has been played for the last time.

Chapter Text

He’s uncomfortable.

Jungkook is sitting beside him and he has never before been so uncomfortable next to the boy.

He has felt annoyance, rage, disgust, anger, and repulsiveness before, but not this unpleasant anxiousness he’s currently experiencing.

They’re nearly in Seoul. They’re nearly home again. That’s the only thing keeping him going at the moment. The prospect of going back to the life he had before Jungkook crashed into it unexpectedly.

But he’s afraid the boy has left a permanent mark he can never erase.

It feels like that.

“What a relief the hotel let us off that cheap, huh?” asks Jungkook and nudges him in the side with his elbow. “We were really lucky.”

“Yeah,” agrees Jimin, but he doesn’t sound the least bit enthusiastic about it. He’s sure Jungkook picks up on it, but the boy says nothing.

Just like he said nothing to Jimin’s sudden lack of words when they left the hotel. And when they sat in the taxi on their way to the airport. And when they waited for their departure. He has yet to comment on Jimin’s sudden change.

But maybe he just doesn’t care.

He’s won his bet after all. Why bother to continue the charades?

Jungkook’s pulls out the small airplane magazine and pointlessly scans through it. By the looks of it, he’s hardy reading any of the words. His leg is bouncing in an anxious manner and Jimin fights back the urge to slap his thigh to make him stop.

Yesterday he would’ve done it without hesitation. Yesterday he would’ve squeezed the boy’s thigh and scolded him for being annoying. Yesterday he would’ve made a silly joke out of Jungkook’s airplane fear.

Yesterday he would’ve done a lot of things.

But it’s no longer yesterday.

“Taehyung and Yoongi are picking me up at the airport,” says Jungkook. There’s an edge to his voice Jimin can only describe as uncomfortable. “Do you want a lift? Or do you-”

“Hoseok’s picking me up.”

He doesn’t want to share a car with Jungkook’s friends. He doesn’t want them to share glances and share laughs he can’t join.

Would they ridicule him?

He turns his head in Jungkook’s direction and his eyes roam over the dark-haired boy tripping uncomfortably. He doesn’t know how much of his anxiety resonate in his fear of flying and his cluelessness to Jimin’s sudden change of attitude.

But maybe it’s best he doesn’t know.

“Oh, that’s… that’s great,” replies Jungkook quietly and taps his fingers together a few times. He doesn’t turn to look at the boy in the seat next to him, even though Jimin is very much staring.

He’s staring at his messy, dark hair. He’s staring at his parted lips. He’s staring at his furrowed brows. He’s staring at the tiny mole on his nose. He’s staring at everything and nothing all at once.

Everything looks the same, yet completely different.

He’s still handsome. He’s still beautiful. He’s still glowing in such a unique way.

Even though he wants to, he can’t seem to hate him at all.

A voice from the speakers announces their arrival to Seoul and Jimin shakes his head to pull himself out of his self-made trance.

They will soon be back in Korea.

Once their feet touch the ground, everything will go back to normal.

“It’s funny,” said Jungkook, though he didn’t sound very amused. “I thought these days would be insufferable, but… it wasn’t so bad.” He turns his head in Jimin’s direction. He knows that without looking up from his lap.

The plane shakes as it hits the ground once again and Jimin finds himself being extra sensitive about the trembles he feels through his body. Jungkook is still looking at him but Jimin occupies himself with gathering his lose items and stuffing them down his pockets.

The bracelet around his wrist dangles as he does so, but he pays it no mind.

He can hear the pilot through the speakers, thanking the passengers for flying with them and wishing them a great day. As the blinking sign of the seatbelt turns off above his head, he hurries to unbuckle it and get up from his seat.

“That’s good,” he says at last. “Glad we can part of good terms.”

He checks his pocket one last time to make sure he’s got everything and then he hurries to make his way down the aisle before everyone else gets to their feet as well.

He has to maneuver to get passed those passengers who are already getting their suitcases down from the top compartment, but at last, he makes it out of the plane as the very first. He sticks his hands down his pants and makes his way down the halls. He has never been the first one out of a plane and realizes quite embarrassingly that he doesn’t know exactly what way to go.

He stops for a second as he reaches a crossroad and tries to figure out which door he should exit. Signs hang over his head, but even though his eyes scan over them, he doesn’t seem to be able to understand them.

“It’s this one.”

He turns around to spot Jungkook coming up beside him as he points towards the right door. He’s a little out of breath and Jimin realizes he has been jogging to reach him. His bag is swung messily over his shoulder as if he was doing so in a rush.

“I- I knew that,” says Jimin as he lowers his gaze to the floor and hurries through the door without waiting for Jungkook to follow him.

However, the boy does so regardless.

Always staying just a few steps behind him.

It’s awkward as they walk. Not side by side yet more intimately somehow. It’s hard to describe and at one point, Jimin simply gives up trying to understand it himself.

At last, they reach the exit and Jungkook holds the door open for him as he walks through it. They’re greeted by a large crowd of impatient strangers, all waiting for their loved ones to walk through these doors so they can welcome them home.

Jimin’s eyes scan over the crowd in slight awe. So many smiling faces and none of them is for him.

It had never bothered him before, but somehow, it does now.

“My friends are over there,” says Jungkook and Jimin follows the boy’s line of vision to spot two boys by the edge of the large crowd. They’re waving in their direction.

Jimin feels his toes curl in discomfort. He doesn’t know what Jungkook’s friends are thinking as they look at him, but he can only imagine the ridicule that most likely goes on inside their heads.

Will they share glances even if he stood right in front of them?

“I, uhm, I’m gonna find Hoseok,” he says as he tears his eyes away from Jungkook’s friends. “You can just… go. I’m gonna be fine.”

“Are you sure?”

Jimin merely nods as he keeps searching through the crowd for his best friend. He can’t spot Hoseok’s light brown hair anywhere and he wonders if the boy has forgotten him.

Just as disappointment washes over him, he finally spots a familiar face.

Hoseok is elbowing his way through the crowd to get to the front, a wide smile on his lips as they make eye contact.

“Found him.” He points towards Hoseok and Jungkook follows his finger. “So, I’m just gonna-”

“Are we okay?”

Jungkook doesn’t physically stop him from moving but it feels like it as his words completely hold him back from going anywhere.

“Are you… mad at me or something?” Jungkook turns his entire body towards him and Jimin can almost feel his neck cracking inch by inch as he turns around as well.

“What?”

“You’ve been distance almost all morning,” continues Jungkook. “Like… like you suddenly flipped a switch or something.”

Jimin knows exactly what moment Jungkook is talking about.

The exact moment Jungkook came out of the shower again, a smile on his lips as he comes closer to plant a kiss on Jimin’s lips, but instead of allowing it, he pulled away. Because Jungkook’s texts were too vivid in his mind and not even his sweet eyes and soft lips could rid him of those thoughts.

It was true that a switch had been flipped.

But Jimin hadn’t been the one flipping it. He had merely been the one realizing all lights had gone out around him.

“I’m just… happy to be home,” says Jimin as he looks Jungkook in the eyes. “So we can go back to normal and forget about being stuck in Osaka.”

He curls his lips upward in an insincere smile before he tries to turn on his heel and leave this conversation behind.

But Jungkook doesn’t let him.

He reaches out for his arm and stops him from getting away.

“What if I don’t wanna forget?” he asks. His eyes are piercing as he stars him down. He’s not kidding, but Jimin doesn’t want to believe he has good intentions regardless. “What if I can’t?”

His grip around his upper arm is tight, but not painful. It doesn’t take much effort for Jimin to push him off because Jungkook doesn’t fight him on it.

“Then that’s your problem,” he says. “Not mine.”

Jungkook looks at him with puzzled eyes. He's in disbelief, but Jimin doesn’t know what the boy had expected from him.

What more did he want?

It looks as though Jungkook has more to say, but eventually, he decides against it and Jimin finally turns on his heel. He keeps his gaze straight ahead as he walks towards Hoseok and even though his eyes are fixated on his best friend, Jungkook’s face is all he sees.

The second he reaches Hoseok, the boy pulls him into his embrace eagerly. He hugs him tightly and Jimin is slightly surprised by the action.

They’re not really the hugging type of friends.

“God, I’ve missed you, you fucker,” exclaims Hoseok as he rocks him from side to side a few times before letting go of him. “Didn’t know I could miss your stupid face that much.”

Jimin blinks perplexed at the warm welcoming a few times before he cocks his head to the side and allows his lips to stretch into the first genuine smile since he snooped through Jungkook’s phone this morning.

“What’s up with you and Jungkook?” asks Hoseok as he stretched his neck to look behind him and Jimin follows his gaze by turning around to look.

Jungkook is standing exactly where he left him and his eyes are glued to him. He can’t read the look in his eyes. It looks sad, yet confused, yet annoyed.

He’s back to not understanding him.

It hurts more than he thought it would.

Their eye contact is broken as Taehyung suddenly jumps into the picture, latching on to Jungkook and stealing his attention. Yoongi comes up beside him and though Jimin can’t hear what any of them are saying, the smiles on their lips say enough for him to understand.

“I don’t know,” he finally replies as he turns his attention back on Hoseok. “He’s probably just being his usual annoying self.”

The words leave a sour taste in his mouth.

It’s been days since words like that last left such a taste in his mouth.

“I see you two didn’t work out your shit even as you were trapped together for days,” chuckles Hoseok. “I guess it wasn’t something out of a movie anyways.” He shoves Jimin gentle in the shoulder as if he’s trying to make a joke, but he doesn’t find it amusing this time.

He takes another look over his shoulder and watches as Jungkook follows his friends through the airport. The boy has his hands stuffed down his pockets and his gaze lowered to the ground.

However, the second he senses Jimin’s eyes on him, he raises his gaze to meet his.

It’s only for a second.

Only for a second do they look at each other, then Jungkook disappears in the crowd.

He hates the disappointment that follows in his gut.

“So what’s the plan?” asks Hoseok and Jimin turns his attention back to his friend. “Do you wanna go to the dorm and get some-”

“Can you do me favor?”

He interrupts him quite rudely, but Hoseok doesn’t even bat an eye at the tone.

“A favor? Yes, of course,” he replies without hesitation.

“Could you take me to my parents’ house?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s almost deadly quiet when Jimin’s unlocks the front door.

The sound of the lock clicking and the door creaking is inhumanly loud in his ears as he steps into his parents’ house.

His home.

It hasn’t felt like a home for a very long time.

At least not in the ways that matter.

He dumps his jacket on the chair in the hallway and kicks off his shoes. He’s not trying to be quiet at all but he doubts anyone will hear him regardless.

It’s not until he makes it into the kitchen, he hears the sound of life. Two voices talking, two different conversations, and two different sounds of footsteps. His parents are pacing around in the kitchen as they speak into their respective earpieces.

His mother is cleaning out the cupboards as she speaks almost animatedly into her earpiece. He doesn’t understand most of what she’s saying. Something about a declining market for software engineers and something about getting bigger cupboards.

He doesn’t try to understand either. He doesn’t care.

His father is sitting by the dinner table, a laptop in front of him, and dozens of papers laying all around him. Whatever he’s talking about, Jimin doesn’t even bother trying to understand at all.

He’s been standing at the door to the kitchen for minutes by now, but neither of his parents has spotted him yet.

They haven’t heard his footsteps or the front door opening and closing.

They don’t hear anything.

At last, he grabs the kitchen door and slams it shut behind him.

They sound echoes through the kitchen and finally, his parents turn their heads in his direction.

Their eyes are wide for a second until the recognize the figure standing in front of the shut kitchen door. Smiles spread on their lips but Jimin doesn’t seem to truly believe them regardless of how wide they are.

“Sweetheart!”

His mother hurries towards him with excited steps and pulls him into his embrace. She hugs him tightly for a few seconds before she steps back and instead cups his cheeks with her hands. Her eyes scan over his face and the smile on her lips widens even more.

“I didn’t know you would stop by,” she says. “What a pleasant surprise.”

“Yeah, well I just landed an hour ago so I just thought I would stop by and say hi before I went to the dorms.”

“Landed?” questions his mother and cocks her head to the side in puzzlement.

“Yes?” He looks at her with furrowed brows. “From my trip? To Osaka? The class trip?” Finally, it seems to click in his mother’s head and she laughs at her own silliness as if it’s funny, she had completely forgotten all about her son’s class trip.

“Oh, that’s right,” she says. “Was it a good trip?”

“Yeah, it… uhm, it’s was okay,” he replies. “I lost my ticket so I-”

“No, I’m talking about the software,” interrupts his mother suddenly and it takes a second for Jimin to realize she’s talking to the person on the other line of her earpiece. “If it isn’t fully developed by the time of the test run, it’s no good.”

She rolls her eyes as the person on the other end speaks before she hisses again and Jimin has already accepted that their conversation has ended long before either of them makes it obvious.

“No, no, you don’t understand,” she continues. “You need to – I’m glad you had fun, honey – you need to make it perfect.” She leans closer to press a kiss to her son’s cheek before she turns on her heel and walks away from him while continuing her conversation.

Jimin watches her leave and eventually, she disappears out of the kitchen and into the living room. He debates going after her to further their conversation but he knows it’s no use. He knows not to disturb her when she’s on the phone.

Instead, he turns his attention towards his father, the man is still sitting behind his laptop as he speaks into his own earpiece as well. After a few seconds, he notices Jimin’s eyes on him and he raises his gaze to give his son a warm smile.

“Hi, dad,” greets Jimin, but as soon as the words leave his lips, his father once again directs his attention towards his computer screen and just like that, Jimin is left by himself again.

He feels awkward.

Awkward in his own home.

He curls his toes in discomfort as the seconds drag out and eventually, he decides it isn’t worth it.

He follows his mother through the doorway to the living room and spots her by the desk she has made for herself in the corner. She’s shuffling through a pile of papers, her brows furrowed in what Jimin recognizes is annoyance.

“Mom?”

She doesn’t react.

“Mom?”

She holds up her finger without raising her gaze and Jimin knows what that means.

He stands completely still for a second as he waits for his mother to give him her attention. Or at least, some of it.

After a few minutes, she looks up at him. She doesn’t ask anything, she’s merely looking at him, waiting for him to say what he wanted to say.

“I, uhm, I’m gonna head back to my dorm.” He points towards the door with his thumb in an awkward manner.

“Okay, honey, it was good seeing you.” She gives him a sweet smile, but it lasts less than a second before she diverts her gaze back to the pile of papers in front of her, and just like that, he feels uncomfortable again.

He makes his way back into the kitchen with dragging footsteps. He spots his father sitting exactly where he left him. The man’s face is twisted into a sour expression and Jimin immediately knows what that means.

Don’t disturb me.

He knows it well enough.

So instead of saying goodbye to his father, he simply makes his way out of the kitchen and down the hall towards the front door. He dresses himself again, opens the door, and exits the house.

It doesn’t feel like he’s leaving his home behind as he shuts the door.

It’s nothing but four walls to him now.

It has been for a while.

Everything has been like that for a while.

Everything but Jungkook.

It isn’t fair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was Hoseok’s idea to eat out tonight.

Jimin had barely made it to his dorm room before the other boy had been at his door, begging him to go out for dinner saying he would treat him to a good meal since it was partly his fault Jimin got stuck in Osaka.

He had clapped his hands together and begged like a toddler for a good few minutes before Jimin finally threw up his hands in surrender and agreed.

It was also Hoseok’s idea to eat at the new Korean Barbeque place a few streets away from campus grounds and Jimin had simply agreed because he was too exhausted to disagree. He didn’t much care anyway.

At least he didn’t think he would.

But as they stop before the new restaurant and Jimin’s eyes scan over the menu card hanging by the entrance, he suddenly doesn’t feel so indifferent about it after all.

“Jimin?” Hoseok is standing by the door, a hand on the doorknob, and his eyes directed at Jimin. “What’s up?”

He tears his eyes away from the menu card and looks up at his best friend. Hoseok is looking at him with furrowed brows and puzzlement. He doesn’t understand what’s going on inside his mind.

“This is fucking expensive for barbeque,” he mutters. “You could probably buy double portions somewhere else for the same money.”

He bits down on his lower lip as his eyes scan over the menu card again and something akin to indigent spreads in his gut.

“Expensive?” questions Hoseok in bafflement as he makes his way down the steps to join Jimin by his side. “Since when do you care about that? Besides, I’m paying tonight.”

Jimin understands the boy’s surprise. He understands his bafflement and his confusion because it’s true. He doesn’t care about prices. He doesn’t look at the prices. He doesn’t eat based on prices.

But suddenly there’s a new voice in the back of his head. It’s persistent and it’s annoying, but somewhere in the pit of his gut, he knows it’s right.

It’s ridiculous to spend so much money on something like this.

“Can’t we… can’t we go somewhere else?” he asks and turns to his best friend to see his reaction. To see if the boy will question him or simply shrug and follow along.

He wants him to ask.

But he’s not so sure he will.

“Well, yeah, sure,” agrees Hoseok and stuffs his hands down his pockets. “Where do you wanna go then?”

The question catches him off guard more than he would care to admit. Because he doesn’t know where they could go then. He doesn’t know where there’s good and cheap food. This is out of his comfort zone because he’s never had to find such a place before and it makes him feel more ashamed than he would ever say out loud.

He could practically hear Jungkook’s voice in his head, mocking him for being so privileged.

He’s surprised by himself when he realizes he misses that voice terribly. He wishes Jungkook was here to ridicule him in person.

It’s ridiculous.

“I, uhm, I…” He cocks his head to the side as he tries to search his mind, but it’s harder than he thought it would be. “Maybe we could… uhm…”

A memory from a night he will never forget flashes in his mind and before he knows it, he’s saying it out loud.

“There’s a place a few streets down,” he says. “Uhm, Honey Pig.”

Honey Pig?” questions Hoseok and there’s a widening smile on his face as he repeats the name. “Are you serious? There’s a restaurant called Honey Pig?

“I heard it was good,” defends Jimin. “So I just, uhm, I think we should try it.”

Hoseok looks at him with a twitching, amused smile in the corner of his lips and Jimin feels almost embarrassed as if his best friend his reading his mind – his intentions.

“Well, sure,” says Hoseok at last and stuffs his hands down his pockets as he shrugs indifferently. “Lead the way, honey.”

Jimin rolls his eyes as he reaches out to gentle shove Hoseok in the shoulder and the boy laughs amusedly at his own joke. It’s a warm laughter. It’s familiar and Jimin likes familiarity right now.

“Just come on, you twat,” mutters Jimin as he waves for Hoseok to follow him down the street. He’s surprised at how confidently he makes his way towards the restaurant when it's been so long.

He just remembers what Jungkook told him, and which shops they passed, and which streets they walked on. He spots the closed flower shop they walked by and the old antic store.

Everything is exactly as he remembered it and the boy’s voice plays on repeat in his mind until the familiar restaurant Honey Pig comes into focus before them.

“That’s it?” asks Hoseok a little weary. “It looks… small.”

“Only on the outside,” replies Jimin. “It’s bigger inside.”

“I thought you hadn’t been here before?”

“I- I haven’t, I just… I heard about it from someone else.”

Hoseok regards him with narrow eyes for a second and Jimin holds his breath as he readies himself for the boy to question him.

However, he never does.

“Alright, let’s go.”

Hoseok is the first one of them to approach the restaurant. Despite not being particularly impressed by it, he doesn’t look very dissatisfied as he pulls open the door. He looks more curious than anything else.

The bell rings as the door opens and a warm, cozy atmosphere washes over them the second they step over the threshold. Sounds of laughter and cheerfulness fill the place and the warmth from the countless grills on every table makes Jimin’s cheek flustered.

He doesn’t think he had ever entered a place like this anywhere else. A place so stripped of elegance and sophistication, but instead overflowing with coziness. He wants to belong here more than anything and for a moment he almost feels as though he can.

Then something crushes the illusion.

“Isn’t that Taehyung?”

Jimin snaps his head in the direction of Hoseok’s finger and with wide eyes, he spots a familiar head of brown hair.

He doesn’t even notice Taehyung at first. He doesn’t even notice that there’s a third person sitting around the table as well.

All he sees is Jungkook.

He sees how his legs are crossed under his chair and his right elbow is placed on top of the table while he pushes his food around with his wooden chopsticks.

He sees how messy his hair looks and how lost in his own world he is.

He notices all of that long before he notices anything else.

“Let’s go say hi.”

Before Jimin can stop him, Hoseok is already making his way towards their table. A smile spreads on his face as he raises his hand to wave hello at the three boys. Jimin can hear him greet them despite being several feet too many away.

Taehyung and Yoongi both raise their gazes to greet the newly arrived, but Jungkook keeps his head down.

“Hoseok? What's up, man?” greets Taehyung enthusiastically as the boy stops in front of their table. “Good to see you.”

“Fancy running into you here,” says Hoseok as his eyes roam over the boys. “I see we’re not the only ones in the mood for some honey pig tonight.”

“You certainly weren’t,” agrees Yoongi as he stuffs his mouth with pork, making his voice muffled. “Who are you here with?”

Hoseok, Taehyung, and Yoongi are exchanging friendly conversations but Jungkook isn’t participating at all. He’s eating almost reluctantly and Jimin can’t seem to pull his eyes off him. He wishes he could simply go back to hating the boy. It was easy to hate him once and it frustrates him that he can’t just do it again.

Why can’t he just hate him?

He’s been playing him again, so why can’t he hate him like he could last time?

“Oh, I’m here with Jimin.”

At the mention of his name, Jungkook finally seems to wake up from his trance.

As Hoseok points in his direction, all eyes go to him. Taehyung and Yoongi have to bend their necks to get a glimpse of him from behind Hoseok, but Jungkook simply has to turn his head to see him.

His eyes are wide and though he says nothing, Jimin is sure he can hear his voice in his mind regardless.

“Hi, Jimin!” greets Taehyung and raises his hand in the air to wave at him. “Come join us!”

Hoseok is already shuffling to seat himself at their table, obviously believing Jimin will be right after him. Of course, he doesn’t know that Jimin can’t even get himself to move. Of course, he doesn’t know that Jimin will never be able to sit down at that table.

Because he just doesn’t know.

And he doesn’t ask.

And Jimin doesn’t tell.

“I… I’m exhausted,” he calls, not interested in getting any closer than he already his. “I think I’m just gonna head home and get some sleep.” He points towards the door with his thumb and smiles apologetically at the group of boys. “But… but thanks for the invitation.”

He waves goodbye before he spins on his heel and leaves the restaurant with hasty steps. He’s stepping out into the evening long before the bell is even aware of the door opening.

It’s not cold and it’s not warm. Regardless of it all, he zips up his jacket all the way, wraps his arms around himself, and stalks down the streets towards his dorm.

“Jimin!”

Jungkook’s voice calling his name surprises him more than it probably should. Part of him should’ve known the boy would chase after him judging by the way he was looking at him just a minute ago. But another part of him is screaming for him to accept that Osaka is nothing but a fever dream.

Nothing was ever truly as he thought it was.

“Jimin! Please wait!”

He does as Jungkook asks of him.

He stops walking and turns on his heel to greet Jungkook on equal terms.

Judging by the flash of surprise in Jungkook’s dark eyes, the boy hadn’t believed he would stop so easily.

“What?”

Jungkook stops a few feet away from him. Too far away for it to look normal, yet too close for Jimin’s heart to beat steadily.

The boy looks perplexed. He blinks repeatedly as his eyes roam over everything and nothing. He doesn’t know what to say because he didn’t Jimin would stop.

But then why did he chase after him? Why did he bother?

“Look, I wasn’t kidding when I said I was tired,” continues Jimin when Jungkook stays silent. “I haven’t even sat down for more than 5 minutes since we landed, and I didn’t exactly get a lot of sleep last night when-”

The words die on his tongue as he realizes where he was going with his sentence without really knowing it himself. Pink colors his cheek as stuttering sounds escape his lips and he hates how quickly he gave Jungkook the upper hand when the boy hasn’t even said a single word yet.

“That wasn’t what I was trying to- I mean, I don’t mind that- what I’m trying to say is-”

“It’s okay,” interrupts Jungkook. “I get it. You don’t have to dig the hole any deeper.”

There’s an amused edge to his voice as if he finds humor in saving him from embarrassment, but Jimin doesn’t want his help. He doesn’t need his help, because he can dig his own holes and he can crawl out of them himself as well.

“I can dig it deeper if I want to,” he says. It sounds childish and immature and he knows he’s being silly, but Jungkook’s satisfied, half-smile is agonizing when his text message flashes behind Jimin’s eyes every few minutes.

“What?” Jungkook’s brows furrow together and his nose wiggle confusedly. “I wasn’t trying to insult you; I was just trying to-”

Help?” Jungkook nods. “No, thanks. I can help myself.”

He takes a step back, hoping Jungkook will understand what he’s hinting at, but the other boy merely takes a step closer instead.

He doesn’t seem to do it out of malice, which is only more frustrating because at least then, Jimin could hate him for being so inconsiderate of his feelings.

But because he’s doing so cluelessly, Jimin can only hate him for being an idiot. And that’s not enough.

“I know you can,” continues Jungkook. “I know you’re capable, I just…”

The boy scratches his neck in a shy manner and Jimin doesn’t like it. He doesn’t want the boy to talk sweetly to him because he can no longer afford to believe him.

He doesn’t want to feel disappointed again.

He doesn’t want to be here anymore.

“I just wanted to-”

“I think I can hear my butler,” interrupts Jimin suddenly. His voice is completely different from just a second ago. He turns his head around as if he’s searching for the source of the non-existing sound. “I think my carriage is waiting.”

He turns to walk away, but Jungkook grabs his upper arm and pulls him back.

“Why are you saying stupid shit?”

“I’m just saying it before you say it,” replies Jimin and shakes off the boy’s hand. “Might as well beat you to it.”

Jungkook looks absolutely frustrated and his brows are furrowed together in puzzlement at the boy’s behavior. Jimin doesn't blame him for the confusion but he wants to. He wants to blame him for everything.

For playing him.

For making him be vulnerable.

For making his heart race.

For making him feel this crushing pain.

“I’m not gonna say that.” He sounds insulted. “Why do you think I’m gonna say that?”

“Maybe you should say it,” responds Jimin. “Maybe I want you to say that.”

“Why?”

“Why?”

“Yes, why?

Jungkook looks exasperated and Jimin feels it too. He feels his frustrations build up in his body until they reach his beating heart.

“Because it was normal,” replies Jimin at last. “You would call me princess and bully me for being privileged and I would curse your ass with every name under the sun.”

He’s exhausted and he doesn’t understand why Jungkook doesn’t get it. He doesn't understand why he isn't exhausted as well.

Isn't playing pretend tiring?

“That was normal.” He tries to find Jungkook’s eyes to make him understand but the boy doesn’t seem to be able to no matter what he does. “That was our normal.”

 He misses their normal now because their normal was safe.

This doesn’t feel safe at all.

“Jimin, please, stop. Please, don’t be like this,” pleads Jungkook softly as he steps closer and reaches out to brush his hand against Jimin’s cheek, but the boy steps away before he can touch him.

He doesn’t want this.

“N- no, this is annoying,” he says. “You’re annoying me. Stop annoying me.”

I’m annoying you?” asks Jungkook in disbelief. “You’re the one talking about butlers and wanting me to fucking bully you for no apparent reason.”

“I just want everything to be normal again!” exclaims Jimin. He throws up his hands in frustrations because it annoys him that Jungkook doesn’t get it. It annoys him that Jungkook is fighting him on this when he should be agreeing.

“I didn’t like normal,” says Jungkook. “Normal was stupid and weird and unsatisfying.”

“What?” Jimin furrows his brows in absolute incomprehension. “How was normal unsatisfying?

“I don’t know. It- it just was.”

“That doesn’t make sense at all.”

“Does it have to?”

Yes!

He’s breathing heavily, inhaling and exhaling aggressively and he’s not sure why he’s so upset. He can feel his pulse going out of control and he doesn’t seem to be able to slow it down.

He tries.

He tries to breathe calmly and allow his mind to get some peace, but it’s hard.

Why is it so hard?

“Did you want something, Jungkook?” asks Jimin at last. “Because I’m… I’m tired and I just wanna go home and sleep.”

“Yes, I just…” He scratches his neck. “The… uhm, the money.”

“The money?”

“Yeah, for… everything, I guess.” He blinks awkwardly and Jimin can feel the uneasiness radiating off him as he tries to form a coherent sentence. He finds this whole thing awkward and therefor, Jimin does as well.

“Oh, the money,” repeats Jimin. He’s disappointed. He can’t deny that. “The money I owe you for… everything.

Jungkook nods in confirmation. He doesn’t look him in the eyes as he does so, though. He looks slightly embarrassed about having to say it and Jimin feels terrible for not bringing it up first.

He knows Jungkook wouldn’t find it pleasant to ask for the money he’s owed. Jimin knows the boy well enough to know that particular detail about him and for a moment he feels terrible for not mentioning it first so the boy wouldn’t have to feel so awkward.

It doesn’t last for long though.

His guilt soon turns into anger and his anger turns into disappointment.

“Yeah, sure, I’ll, uhm, I’ll give it to you tomorrow.”

“Don’t stress about it,” hurries Jungkook to say. “Just, uhm, just when you get time. It doesn’t have to be tomorrow it can be-”

“No, tomorrow is fine,” interrupts Jimin. “Might as well get it out of this world sooner rather than later, right?”

Once he’s paid him back, there’s nothing holding them together anymore. He’s disappointed in himself for not wanting it to be over, but judging by Jungkook’s eagerness to bring it up less than 7 hours after they landed, he supposes the boy is rather impatient.

“Oh, okay,” replies Jungkook. “Cool.”

“Super cool,” agrees Jimin. He raises both his hands and gives Jungkook two thumbs up. It’s absolutely embarrassing, but Jimin doesn’t realize that until after he’s done it.

He cringes at his own awkwardness and at the look in Jungkook’s eyes. It makes Jimin feel even more embarrassed to have Jungkook look at him like this.

“I, uhm, I’m gonna head home,” says Jimin at last as the awkwardness has dragged on for too long. “Tell Hoseok I’m sorry.”

“Yeah… sure.”

“Thanks.”

He gives the boy a quick smile and then he turns on his heel and starts stalking down the streets towards campus grounds. He walks fast, yet he doesn’t feel as though he’s getting away from Jungkook regardless.

“I hate normal!”

He hears Jungkook’s voice call out to him but he doesn’t stop and he doesn’t turn around even though he’s dying to see the expression on the boy’s face.

Because how can he do that without making it painfully obvious that he hates normal too?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The envelope is heavy in his hands as he closes it and writes Jungkook’s name on it.

It’s much thicker than it’s supposed to be. He’s well aware of that, but he’s not completely sure how much he owes the boy and he would rather be safe than sorry.

Besides, he should compensate the boy for putting up with him for 3 days as well.

As he places the envelope on the desk before him and for a minute, he merely stares at it. He stares at his own messy handwriting. He stares at the sharp edges. He stares at the shadows it casts over his desk.

He’s not sure what to do with it. He doesn’t know where Jungkook’s dorm is. He doesn’t know where his classes are and he doesn’t know where he would hang out.

Part of him doesn’t want to seek him out either. Part of him wants this to seem as unimportant from his perspective as it is from Jungkook’s.

The last thing he wants is to ridicule himself further by looking desperate in the other boy’s eyes. He already feels embarrassed enough by giving himself so easily to Jungkook, when the other boy was playing some sick game behind his back.

He wants to know what they bet on.

His body?

His heart?

All of the above?

None of it?

He wants to believe it’s the latter.

He wants to believe that the Jungkook he saw in Osaka was the real Jungkook. That it was real, the way he looked at him and the way he spoke to him and the way he reassured him like no one else ever has.

He wants to believe his eyes didn’t deceive him.

But he’s scared.

He’s scared because Yoongi’s text doesn’t make sense. Yet it makes all the sense in the world.

The logical part of him knows it doesn’t have to mean anything harmful. It doesn’t even have to be related to him.

But he would rather believe that then be even more embarrassed later. He doesn’t want to be even more humiliated. He doesn’t want to hold on to hope that Jungkook was sincere only to be even more disappointed in the end.

And why shouldn’t he believe it anyway?

What does he really have to offer?

He has been fooled twice before by sweet words and he can’t do that again.

He just can’t.

“Jimin?”

The unexpected voice makes him flinch and his heart is in his throat as he turns around to spot Hoseok in the threshold to his dorm room. He didn’t hear the boy open the door. He didn’t hear anything else but the cruel voice in the back of his head, telling him lies and truths alike until he doesn’t know what is what.

“Hoseok?” He spins around in his desk chair to face the boy. “What’s- what’s up?”

Hoseok cocks his head to the side as he regards him and Jimin feels exposed as the boy clearly tries to read his body language and maybe even his mind.

“What are you doing?” He takes a look over his shoulder to spot the thick envelope on the desk. Jimin throws it a quick look before he shrugs indifferently.

“Oh, it’s just the money I owe Jungkook,” he replies and dismisses it with a wave of his hand – brushing it off as unimportant when it’s anything but that. “Nothing interesting.”

“Oh,” says Hoseok simply. He doesn’t look too convinced. Or maybe the weary look on his face has nothing to do with the envelope.

Jimin doesn’t know.

“Where’s your dear old roommate?” asks Hoseok instead of furthering their conversation. “Out of town or what?”

“With his parents,” replies Jimin. “Said he wanted to spend a few days with them. He’ll be back tomorrow or the day after I think.”

“Ah.”

“Yes.”

The room falls silent around them as Jimin’s fingers tap on the desk and Hoseok’s fingers tabs on his own thighs.

Neither of them wants to make the first move it appears.

“Could, uhm, could you maybe give this to Taehyung?” asks Jimin eventually as he reaches out for the envelope and holds it tightly in his hands. “It’s just, I don’t know where Jungkook could possibly be and you seem to know Taehyung pretty well.”

“I mean, I guess,” says Hoseok as he sits down on Jimin’s bed and leans back until his head rests against the wall. “But shouldn’t you give something like that yourself?”

“It’s fine,” says Jimin. “It’s not that big of a deal.”

“Are you sure?”

Jimin narrows his eyes at his best friend, feeling as though the boy is talking about something completely different than the money in his hands.

“Why shouldn’t I be?”

“Because you’re acting weird.”

He stares at him intensely. Such a hard gaze he’s never before received from his best friend. It makes him look different and Jimin’s not yet sure whether he likes that or not.

“You usually conceal it better,” continues Hoseok. “And so I pretend not to notice because that’s what I believe you want. But this time you can’t hide it and it worries me.”

The boy’s voice is so soft it pulls at Jimin’s heart to hear. His words are delicate and his tone is gentle. Jimin doesn’t remember a time where his best friend has looked at him and spoken to him like this.

“It worries you,” repeats Jimin. He needs to taste the words because he’s never said them before. He needs to make them feel real.

“It does,” confirms Hoseok. “I know you handle everything yourself and I know you don’t want our help, but… but this time I don’t want to pretend I don’t see it.”

It shocks him to know he’s not as great at his own deception as he always believed he was. It surprises him to realize that the people around have seen his frowns when he thought they hadn’t and it angers him too, to know that even when they did, they stayed silent.

“It didn’t feel like you were worried about me when I was stuck in Osaka.”

The words are a lot harsher than he ever intended for them to be and Hoseok looks caught off guard by the sudden malice.

“It sounded like you thought it was amusing. Like all of you thought it was amusing.”

Hoseok looks nothing short of stunned by the turn the conversation took and his lips part without a word coming past them. He’s speechless and Jimin isn’t surprised. He has never been so brutally honest with him before.

Maybe that’s part of the problem.

“I did worry,” says Hoseok at last. “I worried a lot about you. Mostly because I know how fucking scared, I would’ve been if I was stuck in Osaka like that, but…”

He diverts his gaze to his fidgeting hands in his lap as if he’s not able to look Jimin in the eyes as he explains himself.

“But it’s you. You’re strong. You’re never afraid of anything. I’ve never seen you shaken and I guess I just… thought this was no different.”

The picture Hoseok paints of him right before his eyes is exactly how he wishes the world sees him. Strong and unbothered and unbreakable.

So why doesn’t it make him feel good to know he fooled the world?

“But I was scared,” he says. “I was scared and worried and… anxious.” He feels a lump form in his throat and it makes his voice sound almost choked up as he speaks. “I was scared.”

Hoseok looks absolutely baffled as he regards his best friend. He’s never seen the boy so speechless and so guilt-ridden before.

“I… I didn’t know.” He furrows his brows in a tense manner as if the confession is giving him a headache. “I’m so sorry, Jimin.”

Hoseok scooches to the edge of the bed and leans forward as he minimizes the distance between them. He would be able to touch Jimin’s leg if he just reaches out a few inches.

“I should’ve seen it. I should’ve known, but I guess I just… I stopped trying to see past your smile long ago because I knew you didn’t want me to.”

The boy wiggles his nose displeased as if he’s not satisfied with his own explanation. Guilt and regret color his features and it makes him look incredibly fragile.

“I guess I just thought you were satisfied enough with having me – having everyone – at arm’s length. I didn’t want to overstep your boundaries.”

Boundaries.

Jimin never felt as though he had boundaries. He just had walls. Lots of thick walls all around him and every time someone knocked, he would make it thicker until he couldn’t hear their hammering anymore.

“I’m sorry I made you feel like that,” he apologizes, but Hoseok is quick to dismiss him.

“Don’t- don’t apologize, Jimin,” he insists. “I fucked up. I didn’t take your situation seriously. I just… joked around when I shouldn’t have. I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay.”

“No, it isn’t.”

“Yes, it is,” insists Jimin. “It’s not like I was the world’s best friend either.”

It’s a two-way streak and he knows he hasn’t exactly been held up his end so well either. He’s in no position to preach about healthy friendships when he’s no master in the art himself.

“You aren’t so bad,” says Hoseok and when Jimin raises his gaze to meet his friend’s, there’s a smile playing on his lips. “You were there for me when dad left my mom and me. You stayed with me all night.”

He shrugs awkwardly at the kind words because they make him feel shyer than he would care to admit.

“I just… uhm, I just didn’t want you to be alone.”

He picks at the skin around his nail once again. It’s becoming a bad habit of his. His skin is all bruised and scared at this point and knows he’s merely making it worse. He just doesn’t know what else to do.

“I don’t want you to be alone either, Jimin,” says Hoseok. The boy reaches out to place his hand on Jimin’s knee and the unexpected touch catches him off guard. “But you need to let me in. Even if it’s just a little bit. Please.”

His eyes bore into Jimin, making him almost uneasy. His best friend his waiting for him to explain, to let him in, and make him understand.

He’s more forceful about it than Jungkook was. He’s a bit more intense and a bit more intimidating. He won’t let it pass if he tells him he doesn’t want to talk about it. Not like Jungkook would’ve. He would’ve let it go if Jimin had asked him to.

But Hoseok isn’t like that.

He’s more persistent.

But he’s persistent because he cares.

Jimin has to remind himself of that.

“I slept with him.” The words are over his lips before he can change his mind about them. “Again.

“With Jungkook?”

Jimin nods.

“And… it wasn’t good?”

“It was. It was really good. That’s the problem.”

Their kisses, their touches, and their bodies against each other replays inside his mind and it makes his skin crawl because he misses it.

“I slept with him again and now I’m just… fucking miserable again. No, I’m more miserable because now I’ve been fooled by him twice.”

He leans back in his desk chair and directs his gaze towards the ceiling. There’re a few spots where the painting is cracking and even falling off in tiny flakes. It used to annoy him immensely. It used to irk him to see his dorm being so work-down and old.

He used to fear the spot over his bed would soon follow suit and tiny flakes of paint would fall down on his face as he slept or simply fall down into his bed.

It used to make him disgusted and distressed.

Now he doesn’t mind it as much. He’s slept in a room much worse than this one and he made do. He got used to it. He ended up not hating it so much.

“Why would he fool you?” Hoseok cocks his head to the side as he seemingly tries to come up with the answer himself. “I mean, I don’t know the guy that well, but he just… he doesn’t strike me as malice person at all.”

“He did it once, he can do it again,” says Jimin.

“And you’re sure he did it once?”

“Yes! I mean, he said he didn’t but, isn’t that what they always say?” he questions. “No one wants to plead guilty if they can get away with it.”

“Are you sure?”

“No.” He doesn’t hesitate at all. “That’s the worst part. I’m not sure at all.”

He presses the heels of his palms into his eyes until he sees stars and he doesn’t remove them until he gets too painful to bear.

“But I just… I can’t afford to be wrong again. I just can’t.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the door to his dorm swings open a little past 3 o’clock, Jimin is sure it’s his roommate returning from his parents’ house.

He doesn’t bother putting down the laundry he’s folding and turn around to greet him because they don’t exactly do that. They rarely speak and they rarely interact, because they’re not friends.

Jimin is sure the boy had a blast by himself the 3 days he was stuck in Osaka.

“What’s this?”

The unexpected voice catches him off guard and he turns around with his heartbeat racing in his chest to spot a fuming Jungkook in his doorway. The shirt he’s folding slips from his fingers and lands on the floor.

He doesn’t pay it even a single thought. He usually would. If his freshly washed clothes touched the dirty floor of his dorm room, he would rather wash it again than wear it.

Yet right now, the dirty floor and his clean shirt are forgotten in a heartbeat.

Jungkook is holding the envelope tightly in his outstretched hand, practically shoving it in Jimin’s face despite the several feet between them. Jimin’s eyes shift between the boy’s dark eyes and the envelope in his hand. Jungkook doesn’t look happy at all and Jimin doesn’t exactly know why.

“It’s the money I owe you,” he replies matter-of-factly.

“There’s like 500.000 won too much here. If not more.” He shakes the thick envelope to further his point. “What the fuck are you doing?”

His arm falls to his side and the envelope bounces against his thigh a few times. He doesn’t look particularly interested in it. His grip around it is tight, so tight Jimin is worried he might rip it in half if he doesn’t stop.

“You said you wanted your money,” Jimin replies. “I mean, you chased me all the way down the streets just to tell me to-”

“I just wanted an excuse to fucking talk to you!

Jungkook looks nothing short of exasperated as he practically screams the words and for a second, Jimin fears his neighbors will hear him. He doesn’t want an audience. He doesn’t want anyone to see them because then people will talk.

He nearly trips over his own feet as he rushes to the door and slams it shut before he presses his back up against it as if he’s using his body as a soundproof wall.

“People can hear you,” he hisses.

“I don’t care!” yells Jungkook. He’s louder than he has to be and Jimin knows he’s being so purposefully. “I don’t give a shit about anyone else right now. I care about you and me.”

He raises the envelope once again and shakes it slightly in his hand to make Jimin look at it. His grip is still tight and Jimin can see a few holes that have no doubt been made by Jungkook’s harsh hands.

“I’m so fucking sick of your charity work,” he spits. “I’m so fucking sick of your bullshit.” His words are a lot harsher than his voice. He’s not as angry as he wants to be.

He’s hurt.

Jimin knows that emotion well enough to recognize it in a heartbeat. 

“Are you trying to return the favor?”

Jungkook looks lost and defeated as he speaks. He looks confused and distraught as if he can’t seem to understand anything at all no matter how hard he tries.

“I left you so now you’re leaving me? Is that it?” he asks. “Is this why you’re treating me like trash after our night together? Are you doing this to get back at me? Is this some more petty revenge of yours?”

The boy looks close to tears as if the uncertainty is tearing him in two it makes Jimin’s stomach turn with doubt, regret, confusion, and longing all at once.

He doesn’t look guilty.

“Everything was going so well. Everything was so… so perfect.”

The envelope falls to his side once again. It’s no longer important.

“Wasn’t it?” His voice quiver as he speaks. “Was… was I the only one thinking that?”

Jimin doesn’t answer him and Jungkook takes that as confirmation.

“I guess I was.” He lowers his head and scratches his neck in an anxious manner. Jimin can see his hand shaking. He doesn’t like this. “Since you decided to leave.”

It doesn’t sound accusatory but Jimin hears it as so regardless.

“No, no, no. You don’t get to make this into a pity party for yourself,” he says – his head shaking aggressively at the unfairness. “You left me too. You were suddenly gone in the morning when you had promised to stay and I didn’t know why but I… I didn’t do shit to deserve that!”

Jimin’s anger catches Jungkook off guard and he quivers like a puppy at the unexpected.

“I told you I misunderstood. I- I told you I regret leaving and I-”

“And I’m just supposed to believe you? Just like that?”

He pushes himself off the door and takes a few steps closer to Jungkook. The boy doesn’t move but he looks like he wants to.

However, whether he wants to stop closer or step back is uncertain.

“Because you don’t lie? Because Jeon Jungkook always tells the truth? Is that it?”

Jungkook furrows his brows in puzzlement as his gaze shift hastily between Jimin’s as if he’s searching for something specific in his eyes.

“What are you talking about?”

The tension in his body seems to loosen up. Either he’s surrendering or his too exhausted to maintain his anger.

“I saw it, okay? I saw your text message to Yoongi. I- I didn’t mean to snoop but you don’t have a password and I wanted to check the flight time and- and they just… popped up.”

“You saw what?”

“The text!” he exclaims. “From- from you to Yoongi. About… about the bet.” He can’t help but stutter. He doesn’t know how to formulate his words and he doesn’t know how to look Jungkook in the eyes as he speaks.

He’s not good at this part.

This part where he confronts his feelings head-on.

“The bet you won.”

Jungkook looks distraught but not confused. He knows what Jimin is talking about but he doesn’t know how to respond to it. His lips part uselessly a few times but he says nothing. Jimin's not sure whether the boy is speechless because he doesn't want to explain or because he can't.

For what feels like an eternity they stand in silence.

It’s more painful than any words because at least he can make a deduction from Jungkook’s choice of words. He can figure out if he’ll deny, if he’ll confess, if he’ll show remorse or if he’ll simply surrender.

But the only thing he can deduct from this painful nothingness is that Jungkook has no good excuse.

The silence is interrupted as the door is pushed open and Jimin nearly gets knocked over as someone tries to force their way into the dorm. Jungkook reaches out to help steady him, but Jimin doesn’t let him touch him and is instead determined to handle it on his own.

“Jimin?”

His roommates face comes into view behind the door, his eyebrows raised in puzzlement as he takes in the sight in front of him. His eyes shift between his roommate and Jungkook, trying to understand what he just walked into.

“Byungho? You’re… uhm, you’re back.”

His roommate nods awkwardly before he steps into the dorm room and throws his bag on the floor by his bed. He doesn’t bother closing the door after him.

“Yeah, I told you I would be.”

His roommate doesn’t look at him as he speaks, but instead sits down in his desk chair and turns on his computer. The sound of the laptop starting up is the only sound in the room and it’s awkward for everyone present.

Borderline unbearable.

“You… you should leave, Jungkook,” says Jimin at last. “My roommate probably doesn’t like you being here.”

“I don’t mind.”

“Yes, you do.”

He reaches out for the already open door and opens it wider so Jungkook gets the hint. He doesn’t want to be rude about it, but he doesn’t want to be too gentle either.

Their conversation is over.

Jungkook has no words to give him and Jimin has given the boy all of his words already.

They have no more to say to one another.

Yet as Jungkook lowers his head, walks out the door, and allows Jimin to close it shut after him, it feels like there a million unspoken words between them.

However, none of them says them out loud and eventually, the window of opportunity comes and goes in a heartbeat.

Chapter Text

Betrayal is a funny thing.

Jimin has always believed that it was black and white. He believes that either you betray someone, or you don’t. There’s no middle ground, there’s no maybe.

But he’s no longer so sure about that.

He feels betrayed. When Jungkook crosses his mind, a horrible feeling spreads in his chest and he knows that at least some of it is betrayal. But was he really betrayed? Did Jungkook really betray his heart or did his heart betray itself?

It gave him a headache to think about. It felt stupid, silly, and childish. Why should he be so worried over some uncomfortable feelings in his chest? He was to blame for them, after all. He had allowed the boy to get closer and eventually, he had let the boy in.

He should’ve known better. From the beginning, he should’ve been cautious because he knows better than anyone that people play pretend too easily.

Byungjoon played pretend when he tried to get into his pants. His parents play pretend every time they give him that warm smile. Hoseok plays pretend when he claims he doesn’t miss his father. Jungkook played pretend when they were stuck together in Osaka.

And Jimin?

Jimin plays pretend too.

He pretends he isn’t bothered by his parents. He pretends he isn’t bothered by the way people think of him. He pretends he isn’t bothered by the looks he gets sometimes. Most of all, he pretends he isn’t bothered by the fact that no matter how hard he tries, he can’t seem to get people to really like him.

He can bring them gifts, smiles, sexual favors, attention, yet no one seems to want to stay too long by his side and he can’t figure out why.

“Knock knock. Wake up, sunshine.”

Jimin doesn’t turn around to greet his friend even though he knows he’s the one who’s being addressed. He keeps his eyes fixated on the homework he hasn’t done even though he’s been staring at it since noon. It’s almost evening now. Why hasn’t he done anything?

“Are you still during homework?” Hoseok’s voice comes closer until Jimin can feel the boy press up against his side to get a sneak peek over his shoulder. It makes his chair swing a little back and forth and when his legs start to tickle uncomfortably, he realizes he must’ve been sitting down for too long now without moving an inch.

“Mhm,” he simply mumbles as a reply. He keeps his eyes directed at the equations in front of him, but he’s not trying to solve them. He’s not trying to solve anything. No mathematical equations, no emotional equations. Nothing.

“Well, it’s almost 5 pm so let’s go before the movie starts.” Hoseok’s voice is soothing and even though he’s not looking at him, Jimin knows that he's smiling warmly. “Namjoon and Seokjin’s gonna meet us at the theater, so let’s get going.”

Hoseok pats his shoulder in an impatient manner, but Jimin doesn’t move to get up. He leans into his best friend’s touch even though it wasn’t meant to comfort him. It wasn’t meant to give him anything, but he’s growing desperate now. He takes whatever he can get. Even something as small and trivial as an impatient pat on the shoulder.

“Buddy, if you don’t get up, we can’t get going.”

Hoseok chuckles amusedly but Jimin isn’t humored too much. He doesn’t really mind if they don’t catch the movie. It’s not that he doesn’t want to see it, he just doesn’t want to move.

“Do you need me to carry you all way?” Hoseok is teasing but Jimin almost asks him if he would so kindly do so.

However, in the end, he doesn’t ask him. He doesn’t want to be silly and he doesn’t want to be childish. Part of him wants Hoseok to tease him more. Maybe call him a princess or bow to him in a mocking manner.

He wants Hoseok to act like Jungkook and the thought makes him sick. Why does he need the boy like this? Why does he miss him when he has no reason to?

“Are you okay, Jimin?”

Hoseok isn’t teasing him the way Jimin has so foolishly hoped. Instead, his voice is soft and gentle like it was a few days ago when they confessed so honestly to each other. It made him queasy then, but now he doesn’t mind it. He’s already used to it.

“I don’t know,” he replies honestly. “I feel weird.”

He turns around in his chair and finds Hoseok sitting on the edge of his bed. A second ago, the boy was in a hurry, but now he’s getting himself comfortable on the bed as if they have all the time in the world. It’s comforting. He’s here and he’s listening and he wants to help.

“Because of Jungkook?”

Jimin doesn’t nod but he doesn’t shake his head either.

“I’m not sure,” he replies. “I don’t know if it’s him or me.”

“You?”

Hoseok doesn’t seem to understand, but he doesn’t seem bothered. He doesn’t seem to mind not understanding Jimin’s vague words and it’s comforting.

“What’s wrong with you?”

“I don’t know. I- I’m being childish,” He wiggles his nose in disgust at his own words. “I’m acting like a silly kid over some silly boy. I feel betrayed but instead of getting angry as I always do – as I should – I’m just… sad.”

He presses the heels of his palms into his eyes until he sees stars. He feels embarrassed but not because Hoseok heard it, because it’s actually true.

“It’s different this time.” Hoseok’s voice is strangely genuine despite the fact that he should be laughing at Jimin’s silly words. “This time… it wasn’t just nothing, right?”

His words make all the screws in Jimin’s mind spin out of control. The question makes sense but he can’t seem to really formulate an answer.

“You really like him, don’t you?”

Does he?

He’s not sure.

What it means to like someone and what it means to really like someone. He doesn’t know the difference. He doesn’t know the criteria. He doesn’t know how to turn it off and on.

“When I think about him, my chest feels tight. It annoys me like hell, but… I can’t seem to get mad.” He picks at the skin around his nails, hoping that will distract his tightening chest. “I really wanna get mad at him, Hoseok. I wanna feel petty and revengeful and spiteful, but I can’t seem to feel anything else but… pain. Silly, stupid pain.”

It’s uncomfortable but at the same time, it’s bearable. It’s just enough to constantly remind him, but it’s not enough to kill him. Instead, he’s trapped in the middle where he can’t seem to breathe nor stop breathing. He can’t seem to cry but he can’t seem to stop his nose from feeling stingy.

“There’s nothing wrong with that, you know?” Hoseok leans forward a little bit. Not enough to be able to touch him but enough to make Jimin feels as though he’s not miles away. “You look so guilty, Jimin. And for what? Being hurt?”

“Probably,” replies Jimin truthfully. “I feel silly. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, dude.” Hoseok boyish chuckle fills his dorm room, lighting up the gloomy four walls that have trapped him for 2 years now. “You’re not doing anything wrong.

“No?”

“Not at all.”

Hoseok rises to his feet and Jimin looks up at him as he steps closer. He curls his fingers around Jimin’s slender wrist and pulls him up from his desk chair. His legs nearly bend under him. He’s been sitting down for too long and now he needs to adjust to moving again.

“We don’t have to go to the movies,” continues Hoseok. “Namjoon and Seokjin won’t mind. But we need to do something because sitting here doesn’t do you any good.” He lets go of Jimin’s wrist in favor of opening up his closet and pulling out his coat. He’s tampering him, but Jimin doesn’t mind being spoiled like this.

“No, it’s fine,” he says as he takes his coat from Hoseok’s hands. “Let’s go to the movies. I’m in the mood to see something really gruesome right now.”

“Gruesome?” Hoseok sounds amused, chuckling as he collects Jimin’s polished shoes and hands them to him. “I’m not sure I would classify Fairyville as gruesome, but I guess tiny humans can be a little creepy if you think about it.”

Fairyville?” Jimin quirks an eyebrow as he puts on his shoes. They slide onto him perfectly but they were of course tailored specifically to him. Somehow, they feel a little tighter these days. “I thought we were watching Night of the undead?

Hoseok shakes his head as he ushers Jimin along towards the door. He holds it open for him and once Jimin has slipped through, he takes the keys from the boy and locks the door after them. It’s not for him to do, but Jimin appreciates it.

“Namjoon’s roommate is out of town tonight and he doesn’t want to sleep alone.”

“Can’t he just sleep with Seokjin?”

“Yes, but Seokjin can’t fight off undead zombies, so he doesn’t care. It’s almost like being alone, he said.”

Jimin chuckles as he rolls his eyes and though he feels as though he should be disappointed by the choice of movie, he can’t seem to care. It’s becoming a problem for him. Caring too little and caring too much and caring at the wrong time.

He keeps pondering over it as they make their way out of the dorm building side by side. He can’t seem to shake the feeling that the air is unusually cold and his clothes are unusually tight and his head is unusually foggy.

He’s feeling weird. But not weird like the last time.

“Should we go on a trip somewhere this Christmas?”

He hadn’t much thought about this suggestion at all. Considering his last trip, he’s surprised with his own eagerness to just… get away. He’s finally back in Seoul. He’s finally back, but he wants to get away again.

“A trip?” Hoseok sounds surprised, but Jimin would’ve thought nothing less. “I didn’t think you liked going anywhere.”

“I don’t. Not really, but…” He pauses for a second, nibling on his lower lip as he thinks over the words he wants to say. “I’ve never really been anywhere and I didn’t use to mind but now I can’t shake the feeling that I want to.”

He feels Hoseok’s shoulder bump into his and though he doesn’t know whether it was on purpose or not, he feels comforted regardless. He’s close and that’s all that matters.

Why is he so touched starved these days?

“Then let’s go on a trip,” says Hoseok. His smile is bright and warm when Jimin turns his head to look at his best friend. “Where ever you wanna go.”

“Really?”

“Of course.”

“Let’s take Seokjin and Namjoon along too.” Exhilaration runs through his veins and he doesn’t know why he’s feeling so excited all of a sudden. He’s never been excited about going anywhere before. “Let’s all just… get away and not think about anything.”

Hoseok remains quiet by his side and Jimin doesn’t turn his eyes to look at him. He has a vague idea of what kind of expression his friend wears. Pity. He’s pitying him right now and Jimin hates it, but he can’t do anything about it. After all, he is pitiful these days. He’s hearing Jungkook’s voices in his head and he’s acting oddly.

He doesn’t blame Hoseok for pitying him right now but he’d rather not turn his gaze to see it with his own eyes.

“Is there anywhere you wanna go then?” asks Hoseok at last. It’s not a topic change, but still, it feels far away from the words Jimin spoke.

“My parents have a cabin in Busan,” replies Jimin. “I haven’t been there since I was a little kid. I would like to go back and maybe get some better memories.”

“Better-” Hoseok stops himself before he can finish his sentence. But despite that, it’s still progresses. Before he came home, Hoseok would’ve never even begun that sentence.

“I don’t have the best memories from that trip,” replies Jimin even though Hoseok never finished his sentence. “Mom and dad fought and I didn’t have anyone to play with.”

It sounds rather pitiful and he fights back the shameful nausea he’s feeling. He’s trying to get better at this. Better at being vulnerable in front of his best friend.

“I’m sorry, Jimin.”

“Thank you.” He sticks his hands down his pocket as he kicks at a stone lying in the middle of the sidewalk. He could’ve walked around it, but he wanted to kick it. “Even though I don’t want you to be sorry, it feels nice.”

Jungkook had been sorry too.

His apology has been misplaced too because he shouldn’t have been apologizing at all, but it had been nice regardless. It was nice that someone was sorry.

The sky is darkening above them but there’ll still be a few hours until everything is pitch black. It’s comforting in a way. To see that no matter what, the day will eventually end. Time is still moving forward even though Jimin feels a little stuck.

In the distance, Jimin spots the lights oozing out of the cinema. It’s decorated neatly with lights in many shapes and sizes and it looks welcoming. Two figures stand on the street right outside and as the two friends come closer, Jimin recognizes them. He doesn’t call out for them though. Neither does Hoseok. Instead, they wait until they’re spotted before they react at all.

They both seem to be a little detached tonight.

“Took you long enough,” teases Seokjin as he bumps his shoulder into Hoseok as the boy stops beside him. “For a moment I thought we were gonna miss the movie.”

“No need to panic, we’re here,” says Hoseok. The brightness is back in his smile and Jimin hopes that if he looks at him long enough, he can mimic it perfectly.

“Well, you never know,” says Namjoon. “After we lost Jimin in Osaka, we can’t be too careful, now can we?” He teasingly nudges Jimin in the side with his elbow and it makes the boy feel horrible.

It feels him with guilt because it isn’t Namjoon’s fault. The boy doesn’t know anything because Jimin hasn’t told him. He can’t be faulted and Jimin detests himself for pinning the blame on Namjoon instead of himself.

It’s not as easy as he presumed to be better.

“Let’s just go in,” says Hoseok eventually. He gestures for all of them to hurry along. “There’s no point in staying out here to-”

“Hoseok?”

The four boys swing their heads around to see who is calling. Confusing quickly turns into surprise and surprise quickly turns sour.

“Had a feeling that was you, dude.” Taehyung’s smile is wide as he spots his – somewhat – new friend. “And hi to everyone else too.” The boy waves his hand in the air as his eyes roam over the four friends. His eyes linger a little longer on Jimin than they should and the boy knows why.

Jungkook is standing behind him.

“Didn’t expect to run into you guys here,” replies Hoseok, waving back with awkward movements. Too many times for it to be a coincidence, the boy’s eyes find Jimin. “Are you just passing through?” There’s a little light of hope in his voice, but it doesn’t last long.

“No, we’re here to catch a movie.” Taehyung gestures to Jungkook behind him with his thumb without turning around to look at him. “Finally convinced the dude to come out and do something.”

Taehyung is being honest and judging by Jungkook’s shy expression, maybe even too honest.

It makes Jimin wonder how much the boy knows. Does he know as much as Yoongi? Does he even know anything?

If Yoongi was here, would he have kept Taehyung from dragging Jungkook here?

“Oh, well, let’s see one together then.”

Jimin feels his neck crack as he turns his head to look at Namjoon. They boy is smiling uncaringly and unknowingly as he so politely invites Taehyung and Jungkook to join them for a movie.

He feels Hoseok’s eyes on him and after no more than a second, he feels Jungkook’s eyes as well. The boy hasn’t looked at him at all since he arrived but now, his eyes appear to be glued to him.

What does he want from him?

“That sounds fun,” says Taehyung. He must be oblivious, Jimin is sure of it. “Right, Jungkook? That would be-”

“But we’re watching Fairyville.” There’s a tiny tremble of urgency in Jimin’s voice as he speaks. “And you guys probably don’t wanna watch that.”

He tries to keep his eyes on Taehyung but too soon, they find Jungkook instead. The boy’s expression is odd, but adorable in a way that makes Jimin chest feel tight. It’s so familiar. Too familiar.

“I don’t mind.”

Jungkook’s voice sounds remote as he speaks, but Jimin is certain it only sounds like that in his ears. The boy's eyes are a little wavering but they never leave Jimin even though they probably should.

The atmosphere between them is awkward, as if they’re two school boys, seeing each other after a night of drunken, regretful kisses. Should they talk? Should they flee? Should they hide?

It appears they’re both unaware of what they need to do.

What should they do?

“Jimin, we’re not watching Fairyville.”

Seokjin is trying to hold back his chuckles as he speaks while Namjoon is already out of breath from laughing.

“We- we’re not?” He tears his eyes away from Jungkook in favor of looking at his giggling friends. “But Hoseok said-”

“I might’ve been kidding.” There’s an amused smile on Hoseok’s face when Jimin’s gaze finds him. He’s trying to hold it back but it’s crystal clear on his face. “And I might’ve forgotten to tell you I was kidding.”

It feels entirely misplaced as Jimin looks at the amused smile on his best friend’s face. A minute ago, he looked almost as uncomfortable as Jimin felt, and now he’s holding back giggles. It throws Jimin for a loop and momentarily, he forgets that Jungkook is a foot away from him.

“Oh.”

He feels alight blush overtake his cheeks. He hadn’t for even a second considered his best friend had been kidding when he told them they were going to watch Fairyville. He should’ve realized that his friends would never want to watch a children’s movie, but his mind isn't working like it should these days.

“But we can watch Fairyville if you guys want to,” says Namjoon. He still sounds amused but his offer is sincere. “We might be a little misplaces in a theater full of little kids, but we can make do. I guess.”

Jimin lowers his head from his friends’ eyes as the blush deepens on his cheeks. He’s embarrassed to be fooled so easily and then called out on it in front of none other than Jeon Jungkook. He doesn’t want the boy to know what he looks like when he’s embarrassed. He wants the boy to remember him as the spiteful, firecracker who slammed a door in his face and spread humiliating rumors about him in retaliation.

This Park Jimin is not for his eyes to see.

“Oh, no, let’s not… let’s not watch Fairyville.”

He tucks his blond locks behind his ear, trying to hide his flustered cheeks from everyone's gaze. He wishes they would all look away. One more than the other.

“How about Night of the undead then?”

Seokjin waits impatiently for a reply. The boy is always in a hurry and tonight doesn’t seem to be any different. It’s nice to see that some things stay exactly the same.

“I’m down for some zombie gore,” says Taehyung. The boy stuffs his hands down the pockets of his jacket and gestures for Seokjin to lead the way. He’s already agreeing for both of them even though Jungkook hasn’t said a word.

However, as Taehyung starts to move, so does Jungkook. Without the least bit of hesitation. It makes Jimin uncomfortable, but not the way he should be. He’s not uneasy with Jungkook being close to him, he’s uneasy with the lack of understanding of his action.

These last few days in Osaka, he felt as though he understood, but now he’s back to not knowing anything and it makes him feel… weird.

“Jimin, are you coming?” Hoseok is waiting for him. His eyes are as uneasy as Jimin feels inside and it comforts him to know he’s not entirely along with these uncomfortable feelings.

“Yes, I… I’m coming.”

His feet rub against the ground as he follows his friends and his – whatever Jungkook is – into the cinema.

The smell of popcorn and the sound of giggling children fills his senses and he can momentarily forget who he’s with. It’s not that he’s overly fond of this place. The candy counters are always sticky, the seats are never properly cleaned and people tend to forget their manners when they’re here.

But he’s wearing the shirt he bought in a thrift shop in Osaka, so maybe he belongs here with sticky counters and rude people. He doesn't know why he's even wearing it.

“Wanna share a bucket?”

Jimin snaps his head up at the sound of Jungkook’s voice and he realizes with shame and humiliation in his gut that he wasn’t the one being addressed. Taehyung and Jungkook stand by the counter a few feet down and Jimin feels oddly alienated.

His heart is beating a little too fast and a dark blush overtakes his cheeks when he realizes that deep down, he wanted to be the one Jungkook was addressing.

How silly is that?

“Jimin?”

The boy flinches as Hoseok comes up beside him, a bucket of popcorn and two bottles of water in his hands. He’s carrying more than he should but Jimin doesn’t reach out to take it from his hands.

“Are you okay?” Hoseok sounds concerned and Jimin feels guilty.

“I’m fine, I just… Never mind, I’m fine.”

He leans back against the counter and against his better judgment, he takes a look at Jungkook and Taehyung over his shoulder. His gaze lingers a little too long. He runs his fingers over the counter, feeling the tips tingle as he does so. It sends shivers down his spine.

He’s about to pull away with his nails get caught in something sticky and out of reflex, he hisses in disgust. A little too loud. He draws everyone else’s attention.

“Jimin?”

Hoseok is the only one calling his name, but all of his friends and – whatever Jungkook is – are looking at him.

“Don’t they ever wipe these counters down?” He holds out his sticky finger and waves it in the air pointlessly. “How gross.”

He wiggles his nose in disgust but he doesn’t look for a napkin. However, soon enough, one is handed to him and Jimin hurries to snatch it from Hoseok’s hands. He wipes his fingers neatly, his nose still wiggling in disgust.

A sudden faint chuckle catches his attention and he lifts his gaze from the napkin in his hands to search for the source of the sound. He doesn’t look long though. He knows that chuckle better than his own.

Jungkook’s lips are stretched into an amused grin but he’s trying to hide it with his hands. He’s not doing a good job, but then again, he’s probably not trying too hard.

“You think it’s funny?”

He wipes his fingers clean and squeezes the napkin into a ball. He keeps it in his clenched hand as he turns his body towards Jungkook. The boy is still amused.

“Come here and I’ll slam your face down on the sticky counter. Let’s see how you like it.”

The corner of Jungkook’s plump lips curl upwards in a cheeky grin and it feels like a familiar punch to Jimin’s sensitive gut.

“Be my guest, princess.”

He’s being cocky like he used to. The grin on his face is punchable just like it used to be and Jimin feels a familiar exhilaration ignite in his veins.

However, the fire quickly drowns, and somehow, they both appear to be a little disappointed.

“Enough teasing, we’re gonna miss the movie at this rate.”

Seokjin curls his fingers around Jimin’s upper arm and pulls him along towards the theater. The older boy nudges Jungkook in the side as he passes him and even though Jimin wasn’t the one to touch him, he feels sensitive.

He doesn’t fight Seokjin as the boy drags him and he doesn’t look over his shoulder to see who is following. It’s probably for the best he doesn’t know how close they are.

It’s not until they reach the doors, Seokjin lets go of him. He calls out for Namjoon to come with the tickets and Jimin brushes his finger over the spot he was touched just a second ago. It feels cold now.

Why is he so touched starved these days?

Lost in his own mind, he doesn’t register everyone has already entered the theater until Hoseok is the last one before him, calling his name repeatedly. The water bottles in the boy’s hands are gone now and Jimin feels guilty for not being the one to take them.

“Are you sure you’re good?” Hoseok reaches out his hand and grabs him where Seokjin touched him a minute ago. “I can make up an excuse so we can go if you want. I’ll say I got sick and you need to come with-”

“No, it’s fine.” He places his hand over Hoseok’s so the boy can’t remove it yet. “I’m not that pitiful.” He gives Hoseok’s hand a squeeze and then he brushes it off his arm. “At least not yet.”

There’s a hesitant smile on his best friend’s lips, but he offers him no words. Instead, he steps out of the way and their shoulders brush against each other as Jimin passes him.

It’s already a little dark in the theater when Jimin enters. He spots his friends a few rows down but he doesn’t hurry to get to them. He takes his time walking down the stairs, allowing his eyes to roam over the theater. There’re more children than he had believed. He already dislikes it. Children are too noisy most of the time.

Too soon he reaches the row he’s been walking towards and he’s unpleasantly surprised when he realizes who he’ll sit beside.

Jungkook looks up at him, but Jimin doesn’t move to seat himself. He’s stretching it out and it’ll soon be awkward for both of them.

“You wanna sit by the aisle, right, Jimin?” Hoseok’s voice speaking up from behind him makes him flinch. “You know, like you always do.”

Hoseok doesn’t flinch at all as he passes Jimin and seats himself in the chair next to Jungkook. He’s acting so natural, Jimin momentarily questions his own preferences. Hoseok’s good.

“Tha- thank you.”

Awkwardly, he seats himself on the aisle seat, before he crosses his legs in an odd manner. He looks anything but natural. Can people see it on him?

Do they look at him and see a silly boy who’s sitting 2 feet away from the boy who tarnished his heart with his insincere words?

He feels Jungkook’s gaze on him and against his better judgment, he turns his head to meet his eyes.

They’re impossible to read but Jimin continues to look at him despite that.

However, long before he can understand them even a little bit, the lights in the theater dims down and the movie starts. He missed his chance. He was too slow.

The sound is overwhelmingly loud and the screen is blinding, to say the least. He struggles with adjusting and it only gets worse as the seconds tick by.

He hasn’t watched a movie in ages and right now, he understands why. This isn’t his scene. He likes to watch movies in private, where he can’t be interrupted by strangers and where not just anyone can walk in.

It makes him feel uneasy.

A scream from the movie makes him flinch and he feels his gut turn as he watches a teenage girl devour a grown man, blood oozing from her mouth and intestines flying all around.

Right now, he wishes they were watching Fairyville. He can’t stomach something gruesome tonight after all.

Several minutes tick by but Jimin’s stomach won’t calm down. It confuses him and worries him all the same. He’s not usually this squeamish.

Another loud scream makes him flinch and finally, he’s had enough.

He leans over to Hoseok and the boy scooches closer.

“I need some air,” he whispers. “I feel nauseous.”

“I’ll go with you.” Hoseok is already putting away the bucket of popcorn in his lap but Jimin stops him before he can get up.

“Enjoy the movie,” he insists. “I guess I’m just a little squeamish today.”

He hurries to get up from his seat before Hoseok can argue against him and with his head held low, he stalks out of the theater. Breathing feels a little easier now that he can no longer hear screams and see bloody intestines.

He’s determined as he makes his way towards the exit, avoiding everyone he passes as if they’re flesh-eating zombies. He’s good at it and he always has been. Avoiding people has been a specialty of his for years.

It’s nice to know that at least he still has that when so much else is long gone.

The swing door is heavy as he pushes it and nearly falls out into the cold autumn air. It’ll be winter soon and for once, he’s not repulsed.

This year, he won’t spend it alone.

It feels odd.

“Are you okay, Jimin?”

The soothing, soft voice feels like a comforting hand on his shoulder but when Jimin turns around, Jungkook is several feet away from him. It disappoints him even though it shouldn’t.

“I’m fine.” He straightens his back and zips up his jacket all the way. “Just a little too much blood for me.”

“I didn’t think you were a squeamish guy.”

“I’m not,” he insists. “I just needed some air. Nothing serious.”

He stuffs his hands down his pants and shifts his weight to the other leg in a nonchalant manner despite not feeling nonchalant at all.

“So you’re not out here because you didn’t want to sit in a theater with me?”

Jungkook is not being discreet at all. Instead, he’s being shameless and direct. Much opposite Jimin. He doesn’t understand where the brazen attitude comes from.

“Of course not,” he says sternly. “It has nothing to do with you.”

He doesn’t know whether the words are true or not. He left the theater because he was feeling nauseous, but blood and gore have never made him sick before. He’s never much cared for it, but tonight, it made his stomach turn.

He’s overly sensitive tonight.

“Is it bad that I’m disappointed?”

There’s a light blush on Jungkook’s cheek as he speaks. It can easily be the cold air, but it can easily be something more too. It’s impossible to tell which it is.

“You want to be the cause of my nausea?” He blinks perplexed, feeling slightly dumbfounded despite knowing that probably wasn’t what Jungkook meant.

“No, that’s not…” The blush on Jungkook’s cheeks darkens. It’s definitely not the cold air. “I don’t want to be the cause of your nausea, I just… want to be the cause of your something.”

There’s a soft look in Jungkook’s eyes as he speaks and it irks Jimin to his core. It feels misplaced and unfair because who is he to plea for such a thing?

“I have a whole list of things you’ve cause me. Don’t you worry.” There’s a sharp edge to his voice. An edge of anger.

He’s getting a little angry.

Jungkook appears to pick up on it quickly and it pleases Jimin to see the boy being hesitant.

“You’ve caused me a lot of stupid pain, so fear not, you’ve done your part.”

He turns his head away from Jungkook, wanting the boy to know he no longer wishes to look at him. The cold autumn air seeps through his jacket and he debates going home. He’ll send Hoseok a quick text. The boy will surely understand.

Right now, he can’t picture himself going back into that theater. Least at all by Jungkook’s side.

“Go back to the movie.” Jimin stuffs his hands down the pockets of his jacket as he addresses Jungkook. He doesn’t turn around to look at him though.

“You’re not coming?” Surprise colors Jungkook’s pretty voice.

“I’m going home.”

“Why?”

“Because I feel nauseous.”

He hears the sound of Jungkook stepping closer and he suddenly feels a whole lot worse. Not mentally but physically as if he’s actually sick.

“I’ll walk you back to the dorms.”

“I don’t think we should spend any more time together.” He turns his head to look at Jungkook over his shoulder but he doesn’t turn his body. “This has been awkward enough as it is.”

“Taehyung’s always been like that,” says Jungkook. He’s missing the point Jimin was trying to make. “He sees a familiar face and needs to go over and say hi. He’s funny like that. A little too social maybe.”

There’s a little smile hidden away in the corner of Jungkook’s mouth as he speaks of his friend. He speaks with such fondness and Jimin feels envois once again. How silly of him to feel like that.

“Good for him,” says Jimin eventually. “Goodnight, Jungkook.”

He bids his goodbye but he doesn’t move. He doesn’t take a step forward and he doesn’t seem to be able to anytime soon. Jungkook isn’t touching him at all but it feels as though he’s holding onto him with all his might.

He can’t break free.

“You’re not moving, Jimin.”

“Shut up.”

He clenches his fist but Jungkook can’t see that when they’re hidden away in his pockets. With his back still turned towards him, Jungkook has no way of know how frustrated he is.

And he is frustrated.

With himself and with Jungkook and with the sticky candy counter and the bloody zombie gore. He’s frustrated with everything but he doesn’t want to be frustrated anymore.

“Why did you do it?”

He lowers his head, trying to curl in on himself despite still standing. He feels small right now.

“You knew about Byungjoon and still you…”

The name tastes like acid on his tongue and he curses Jungkook for forcing him to say it after so long of avoiding it altogether.

“You knew and yet you did this to me anyway. Why?

He turns on his heel to see the look on Jungkook’s face and he’s disappointed to see how guilt-ridden the boy is. He doesn’t want guilt and regret; he wants to see the anger Jungkook must harbor for him in order to do this.

He doesn’t want to see him like this because how can he hate the boy when he looks at him with such eyes?

“Don’t compare me to him. Please.” He sounds heartbroken but who gave him the right? “I’m- I’m not like him. He’s a filthy scumbag and I wish I could just bash his head in, but I’m not-”

“Then what are you, Jungkook?” interrupts Jimin. “If you’re not a filthy scumbag then what the hell are you?”

Jungkook looks defeated already and Jimin loathes him for it. He wants a fight, he wants resistance, he wants anything but this.

“I’m… sorry,” says Jungkook at last. “I’m so sorry.”

“I can’t use that for shit.”

The anger he’s been missing for days is overwhelming him and despite being drowning in his own rage, he feels as though he can breathe much easier now.

“I’m no saint, okay? Every curse you’ve thrown my way since the day I met you are true, but at least I’m not fucking playing bets on people’s feelings.

The words seem to strike a nerve in Jungkook because the boy is stepping forward instead of stepping back. His gaze is slowly changing and it makes Jimin uneasy.

“That text… it isn’t what you think.” An anxious hesitance overcomes Jungkook. He looks as conflicted as he did the day Jimin confronted him in his dorm. He can’t seem to explain himself and Jimin isn’t patient enough to wait.

“Are you really gonna pretend it isn’t what it looks like? That you didn’t make some sort of sick bet with your friend about me?”

The scene is too familiar and it shouldn’t be. No one should be accustomed to feeling toyed with like this, but Jimin is more familiar with that feeling than anyone.

“So what was it about? Sex?

Jungkook doesn’t confirm anything and Jimin feels physically sick as he speaks again – his voice quivering as he does so.

“Love?”

Jungkook diverts his eyes and Jimin feels his stomach turn. He had expected no less yet somehow, he still ends up disappointed.

Jungkook is quiet for ages but at last, he lifts his gaze, his eyes oddly determined all of a sudden. Then he finally replies.

“Love.”

Jimin truly wishes the boy hadn’t spoken at all.

He would’ve rather lived oblivious and ignorant because at least then he could tell himself Jungkook just wanted to sleep with him. Not carve out his heart and hang it on his wall as a trophy.

“You bet on whether you could make me fall in love with you?”

It’s evil and it’s cruel and Jimin wishes he had thought of it first.

He wishes he had been the one to seduce Jungkook because at least then, he wouldn’t have gotten his feelings in a pinch.

“So all those sweet words… all those promises and touches and- and kisses.”

He’s too upset to feel embarrassed about saying those words out loud. He should feel humiliated about being so honest like this, but he’s too distressed.

“They were all pretend? You were just pretending to be sincere? You were just pretending to-”

 “Be in love with you?

Jungkook finishes his sentence effortlessly but how come he looks even more upset about it than Jimin?

“I wasn’t pretending. Not even for a second.”

Jungkook’s gaze isn’t flickering as he speaks. It’s steady and it’s determined and it’s piercing. Jimin feels his lips part and his jaw practically dislocate. He can’t believe the boy’s shamelessness.

Jungkook is taking this too far and Jimin won’t stand for it anymore. It’s no longer funny – for either one of them – and Jimin wants to stop it. He doesn’t want to listen to this anymore.

“No. Nope. Not gonna happen.”

Acting out of pure self-preservation, he turns on his heel and he walks away.

He doesn’t have to look at Jungkook’s face to see that the boy is perplexed beyond comprehension but that doesn’t stop him from jogging down the street without a clear end goal.

“Ji- Jimin?”

He can hear Jungkook’s urgent footsteps as he tries to keep up while he stalks down the street with fiery steps. He doesn’t slow down at all even though it appears that Jungkook is falling behind.

“We’re not doing this just so you can make fun of me.”

“I’m not. I-”

“And you didn’t win,” interrupts Jimin as he swings on his heel and points his finger at Jungkook in an accusatory manner. The boy nearly trips over his own feet at the sudden abrupt stop. “I didn’t fall in love with you, so you owe Yoongi some money, you dunkin donut.”

He doesn’t blink at all as he stares into Jungkook’s eyes. He won’t let himself look foolish anymore in front of this boy. Even if he has to lie and cheat, he’ll do so to spare himself the humiliation.

Jungkook doesn’t blink either as he stares back and Jimin is beginning to feel uncomfortable. He had believed the words would strike Jungkook harder but the boy doesn’t look very affected at all.

Does he not believe him?

Does he not care?

“Well, I fell in love with you.” Jungkook doesn’t look the least bit apologetic about his shamelessness. “And you can call me every single one of your creative little nicknames but it won’t change the fact that I’m in love with you.”

The hesitation that overflowed Jungkook when he showed up at his dorm the other day and when Jimin first confronted him just a few minutes ago, is long gone. He’s determined and Jimin doesn’t understand what for.

“But you got it wrong. I didn’t fall in love with you to win a bet,” continues Jungkook. “I made up a bet because I fell in love with you.”

The boy’s words are nothing short of preposterous and Jimin fights back the urge to roll his eyes or lets his jaw dislocate in disbelief or even kick Jungkook in the crotch for his absurdity.

In the end, he swings on his heel again.

“Wha- where are you going?” Jungkook sounds childlike as he calls out for the fleeing boy while simultaneously trying to keep up.

“I told you this isn’t funny, you- you stupid dipshit,” hisses Jimin. “It doesn’t make any fucking sense, you know that, right?”

“I know.”

“Then stop speaking nonsense.”

“I don’t want to.”

This time, he doesn’t resist the urge to roll his eyes. Jungkook is being childish and ridiculous and unfair. The courage is surprising and it’s a mystery where the boy gets it from. He was an anxious mess a few days ago and now he’s confessing openly on the streets of Seoul.

The university campus comes into sight across the street but it’s too soon. He can’t cross the road yet because they’re not done.

“Then tell me something that makes sense.”

He stops in his track just before he can take a step onto the pedestrian and he hears the sound of Jungkook tripping over himself to not bump into him.

“Because everything you say sounds like lies and tricks and I’m so terrified of believing you.”

He turns around to face Jungkook – the boy much closer than he had believed he would be. Awkwardly he moves back to create some distance, stepping off the sidewalk and onto the pedestrian instead.

The curb gives Jungkook a bigger advantage than he should have but Jimin can’t exactly ask the boy to swap places with him over something as silly as that.

“This turned out to be my last chance, okay?”

He doesn’t understand what Jungkook is talking about yet, but he fights back his own impatience and waits for the boy to explain.

“This whole getting stuck in Osaka shit was my chance to finally – finally – make all of this shit between us right,” continues Jungkook. “My chance to explain myself and tell you that I didn’t for even a second lie about anything that night.”

Jimin wants to point out that he’s lying his guts off because he promised to stay and yet Jimin woke up alone. He bites his tongue though and says nothing.

“This last year you’ve been pissing me off like no one else but I didn’t hate it as much as I should.” His features are soft now. “I like it when we argue and when you curse my ass because at least then you’re paying attention to me.”

Jimin diverts his eyes in a shy manner because the sweet words feel entirely misplaced.

“That’s not the kind of attention you should want.”

Jungkook chuckles amusedly as he stuffs his hands down the pockets of his pants and straightens his back. He looks comfortable now, not anxious and awkward like before. Relief colors his features but Jimin can’t mimic it at all. He still feels restless even if Jungkook feels refreshed.

“I’ll take what I can get from you.”

Jungkook’s eyes shine in the dim light from the nearby lampposts and it reminds Jimin of the night they first met. As they walked down the deserted streets of Seoul in the middle of the night, after a horrible party, Jungkook’s eyes shined just like they do right now.

He was so gentle and so sweet that night. He saved him from Byungjoon’s humiliation, he got his mind off things and spoke to him with such kindness despite Jimin having done nothing to earn it. He had been snarky and rude and unfair but Jungkook had treated him kindly despite all of that.

Whether it had been lies or truths, Jimin had fallen for all of it.

He knows that now.

And it sucks.

“But why… why did that have to be a bet?” asks Jimin eventually. “Why couldn’t I fall in love with you because I just did?”

He’s no longer angry. He’s back to square one.

Pain.

“Why did it have to be a bet?

The amusement washes off Jungkook’s face the second he realizes Jimin no longer intends to be snarky. He’s used up all his anger juice on storming off repeatedly and he’s tired now. He can’t keep running forever and he can’t keep being angry.

“It was a stupid thing, said by a stupid boy who had just spent the day trapped under a worn-down roof of a shrine in a rainstorm with the boy he’s been crazy about for a year sitting next to him.”

Jungkook is desperate and Jimin is overwhelmed.

He walked out of the theater to settle his nausea but he can’t seem to calm down at all when he’s with Jungkook like this.

“I… I think I need to go home now.”

Jungkook’s face falls as Jimin steps back and it leaves a bitter taste on the boy’s tongue. He isn’t trying to be dismissive of Jungkook’s words – least of all rejective – but he can’t sort his thoughts like this.

“We can talk later but right now I just… I feel nauseous.”

It was certainly the wrong words to use and Jimin feels guilt-ridden as he watched Jungkook’s face fall even more. He hadn’t meant it the way Jungkook is taking it.

“I didn’t mean it like that!” he hurries to say. “I just…”

He shakes his head at his own frustrating inability to explain himself. It doesn’t feel fair when Jungkook has been so straightforward with him but he can’t match the boy in a word play. He’s not the smooth talker he wants to be right now.

“We’ll talk later,” he repeats, and then he swings on his heel, turning his back to Jungkook.

The light is red and the wait is awkward. He’s tripping back and forth, already halfway across the pedestrian, but he can’t cross it completely yet and it’s awkward.

He’s on edge – an easy prey – and he flinches as Jungkook unexpectedly speaks up behind him.

I told him about the car accident today. I didn’t even stutter once when I did. And he didn’t judge me.

Jimin furrows his brows in confusion as he turns around to see why Jungkook is suddenly speaking so robotically. The boy is holding up his phone and by the looks of it, he’s reading off the screen. Jimin parts his lips to question the boy’s actions, but before he can say a word, Jungkook continues.

I’m gonna tell him about that night. I’m gonna tell him why I left and I’m gonna apologize. I’m gonna tell him how I feel about him.

His voice sounds strained and frantic as he speaks. He’s uncomfortable with saying these things but he appears to fight back the urge to put away his phone.

“And- and then Yoongi wrote; as if you have the balls to tell him you like him. He’ll chew you up and spit you right out or have you forgotten he hates your guts?

Jungkook looks quite uneasy about saying those things out loud, but he once again fights back the urge to shut himself up.

“So I told him it was different now. I told him we were different now, but he didn’t believe me considering everything that happened between us the last year so I said…”

He doesn’t need to look at the screen to read out his next words.

You wanna bet?

The air stands still around them as the words being read out loud from Jungkook’s worn-down phone hang between them. They’re heavy, much heavier than possible and Jimin feels as though he’s being pushed and pulled simultaneously from all sides.

Jungkook looks nothing short of fearful and even though it looks like he wants to step back, he steps forward. He’s hesitant. He doesn’t want to overstep Jimin’s boundaries but right now, neither one of them knows what those boundaries are.

Jungkook is close now and Jimin wonders if he’ll reach out for him or not.

Too soon he gets his answer.

With a frantic look in his eyes and Jimin’s name shouted from his lips, Jungkook reaches out to grab ahold of him and pull him with all his might. It isn’t until he falls to the ground, his wrist twisted under the weight of his own body, that he realizes what is happening.

A motorcycle races by them at full speed and Jimin can barely hear Jungkook yelling out curse words after him because of the throbbing in his own head.

“Jimin?! Are you okay?!” Jungkook’s frantic voice fills his ringing ears and with disorientated moves, Jimin tries to sit up with the help of the other boy. “Fucking psycho, trying to run down people.”

His voice is rage-filled but his touches are gentle as he tries to get Jimin to his feet again. His legs a wobbly as he rises but that is the least of his worries.

Pain shoots through his body as his wrist brushes against his hip and he hisses in dismay.

“I… I think there’s something wrong with my wrist.”

Jungkook’s careful as he takes ahold of Jimin’s bruised wrist and studies it closely. Jimin watches as the boy’s face twists into different versions of concern and it’s not the least bit comforting.

“Is it… bad?”

“I think we need to get you to the hospital.”

“That bad?”

Jungkook’s unsure shrug is anything but comforting, but even so, Jimin nods his head in agreement and follows the boy as he guides him to the curb and tries to hail a taxi. He’s not shy as he waves his hands in the air aggressively and shouts unapologetically.

He sounds worried. He looks worried.

Jimin feels horrible for the blush on his cheeks and the butterflies in his stomach.

Soon enough, a taxi stops by the curb before them, and Jungkook is careful as he seats Jimin before he scooches in after him. He tells the driver to get them to the hospital and the urgency in his voices makes one believe someone is dying.

The ride is short but Jungkook still manages to ask him if he’s okay a hundred times. He’s being unnecessarily careful with his wrist, checking it every other second. Jimin fights back the urge to tell him it won’t break and fall off if he looks away for a few minutes.

But he likes the worried look in Jungkook’s eyes and the attentive words and careful touches, so he holds his tongue.

He can walk just fine, but Jungkook practically carries him through the doors to the hospital and despite the fact that Jimin can talk just fine, Jungkook doesn’t let him speak at all as he begs for a nurse to look at his wrist.

He’s not dying but Jungkook looks more than terrified.

“I’ll send for a nurse who can look at your wrist, young man,” says the receptionist. She smiles kindly as she speaks. “Take a seat over there and someone will come and fetch you.” She gestures to a row of chairs pushed up against the back wall. No one else is occupying them.

“It won’t be long, right?” asks Jungkook. There’s an edge to his voice. He's anxious.

“I hope not,” replies the woman. “It’s not a busy night so-”

“So it won’t be long. Right?”

Jungkook is being uncharacteristically pushy and it makes Jimin uncomfortable.

“It’s fine, Jungkook,” he says. “I’m not dying.”

He curls his fingers around the sleeve of Jungkook’s jacket and pulls just a little to tell the boy he’s okay. However, the touch doesn’t comfort Jungkook the way he had believed it would.

Why does he look like he’s the one dying?

Jungkook is clearly concerned about him, but Jimin can't help but believe that's not all there is to it. He wants to ask the boy, but he's afraid of admitting out loud that he doesn't understand what the boy is thinking at all.

“Someone came in with a bruised wrist?”

A soft voice speaks up behind them and the two boys turn around to spot a young nurse a few feet away. Her eyes shift between the receptionist and them a few times before she spots the bruised wrist Jimin is holding to his chest.

“Your name, young man?”

“Jimin,” he replies. “Park Jimin.”

“Well, Jimin, come with me and we’ll take a look at that wrist of yours.” She gestures for Jimin to follow her but both boys move. “I’m afraid you’ll have to wait here, young man.” She looks apologetic as she regards Jungkook, but she doesn’t change her mind.

“I’m sure it won’t be long,” says Jimin as he slowly steps forward. He tries to catch Jungkook’s gaze but his eyes are flickering and they can’t seem to focus. “It’s okay.”

Jungkook neither nods nor shakes his head and eventually, Jimin has to step forward without getting a response from the boy next to him. He allows the nurse to guide him down the hall and right before they slip through the door, he throws a look over his shoulder.

Jungkook hasn’t moved at all and it doesn’t look like he has any intentions of seating himself in the chairs.

At last, Jimin is pulled into the room and the door is closed behind him.

He feels oddly disorientated without Jungkook by his side. How quickly he had grown accustomed to him in a single night.

“Looks like a slight fracture.” Jimin flinches as he feels the nurse’s hands on his wrist. “We’ll need to put you in a cast but it should be good again in a month or two. Just in time for Christmas.”

Her smile is warm and sweet but Jimin doesn’t feel comforted at all. His legs are bouncing and his fingers are tapping against his thigh in an impatient manner.

Why is he in such a rush?

“Are you okay, young man?”

He flinches at the soft sound of the nurse’s voice.

“Me? Oh, yes. Yes, I’m fine.”

Why is he so on edge?

He doesn’t know anymore.

 

 

 

Jungkook isn’t sitting in any of the chairs when Jimin finally gets checked out and it hurts much more than his broken wrist.

Chapter Text

The white cast around his wrist is completely spot-free as he makes his way through the door to his parents’ house.

Namjoon and Seokjin had begged him to let them draw something but Jimin had refused them repeatedly. He didn’t want to walk around with a pink dick on his arm or anything else the two boys could come up with. He didn’t really want it to get dirty either. It was gross enough to feel just how sweaty he was getting under the cast; he didn’t want it to look gross as well.

He can hear the faint sound of his parents talking as he walks down the hallway but it sounds like they’re having two different conversations. They’re not talking to one another but Jimin hadn’t really expected them to.

He uses his bad hand to open the door to the kitchen and it stings a little as he pushes it open. It’s not that he needs to, it’s not his dominant hand after all, but he wants to use it. Even if it hurts a little.

His mother is sitting bu the kitchen table, her laptop, and piles of papers lying in front of her. She’s totally immersed in the conversation she’s having with someone on the other end of her earpiece. She doesn’t hear him come in.

His father’s things are placed on the other side of the table. His laptop, his notebooks, and the funny, little gadgets he uses from time to time. However, the man is not sitting down in his chair but instead standing behind the kitchen counter, filling up a mug with freshly brewed coffee.

He has his phone trapped between his shoulder and his ear as he speaks. No matter how much his mother nags him, his father doesn’t seem too keen on buying an ear piece. He likes doing it the old-fashioned way.

The atmosphere in the kitchen is far from cheerful. Whatever his parents are hearing on the other end of their phones, it isn’t what they want. They aren’t too happy about it.

He’s too familiar with this atmosphere and it’s sickening. He’s not a kid anymore so he can’t hide under his blanket but he doesn’t feel adult enough to face it with his chin held high.

He clenches his fists, feeling a jolt of pain shoot up his bruised wrist. More than anything, he wants to turn on his heel and get out of here, far, far away. The heating system is set to perfection like always, but Jimin feels a chill so wicked run down his spine it could freeze him on the spot.

He wants to go home but he doesn’t really know where it is anymore. It’s doesn’t feel like it’s here but it doesn’t feel like it’s back at the dorms with a roommate who would never call him a friend. He’s embarrassed to admit that the most home he’s felt in years, was in a worn-down, disgusting hotel in Osaka.

It felt like his. Even though he didn’t pay for it, even though it was in a different country and even though he wasn’t there alone.

But maybe that's why.

“Jimin?”

He snaps his head up to see his father’s eyes on him. The man is still standing in the kitchen, his phone no longer trapped between his ear and his shoulder but instead clenched in his hand. He looks surprised but not displeased.

“Hi, dad.”

He lifts his healthy hand to give his father an awkward wave before he hurries to stuff it down his pocket again.

“Honey,” his father calls but his mother doesn’t reply. “Honey, Jimin is here.” He calls a little louder and it seems to get his wife’s attention. However, she doesn’t turn her gaze away from her computer screen, instead, she waves her hand dismissively at her husband.

It’s not an unfamiliar scene.

“Honey,” calls his father a bit more persistently. “Take a second to-”

“Darling, not right now. I’m occupied with some foreign-”

She cuts herself off as she turns her head to look at her husband but instead, her eyes catch the figure of her son in the doorway. Her lips stretch into a warm smile but she doesn’t get up from her chair to greet him.

“Oh, sweetheart,” she says fondly. “I didn’t know you would stop by.”

Jimin parts his lip to tell her he had no idea either. It was an impulsive decision he took less than 30 minutes ago and he’s not yet sure whether he regrets it or not.

Before he can say anything, his father speaks up. “That’s the second time in under a week, son.” He places the steaming mug of coffee to his lips and sips on it carefully. “Are you missing your old folks?”

He chuckles amusedly at his own words as he sips on his coffee once more. The phone is still in his hands but he hasn’t put it to his ear yet and for some reason, it makes Jimin’s heart beat a little faster.

“I am.”

His eyes shift between his father behind the kitchen counter and his mother behind her computer screen. It’s such a familiar sight but it looks very different when it’s slightly blurry.

“I miss my parents.”

The amusement on his father’s face melts away slowly as he realizes that Jimin took his words seriously and not only that, but he also replied with such heavy words. The man’s lips part in utter surprise but he says nothing.

Jimin turns his gaze onto his mother and though she looks like she’s about to rise from her seat behind her computer, she doesn’t do the last move to get up. She’s uncertain and her movements are awkward because she doesn’t know what to do.

It’s been years since Jimin last told his parents he misses them. Or that he loves them.

“Sweetheart?” Her mother’s puzzled eyes search him from head to toe at eventually she spots the cast around his wrist. “Oh, dear what happened to your arm?”

Without bidding her goodbye to the caller on the other end of the line, she takes off her earpiece and places it on the table. She doesn’t look bothered about ending an important phone call like that and suddenly, Jimin’s chest is trembling.

“No- nothing, I just fell. It’s- it’s alright.” He feels his throat twist as he speaks and the words sound choked. “But that’s not why I’m…”

He struggles with explaining himself and his parents struggle with understanding him.

“Sweetie, are you okay?” asks his mother concerned.

His parents are looking at him – really looking at him – and though he feels ashamed and pitiful for his behavior, he can’t regret it. Not when he’s being seen like this for the first time in years. Not when he finally has his parents' undivided attention.

He doesn’t care about how pathetic or how weak he looks because if that what it takes to get his mother and father to look at him like he truly matters, he’ll gladly give up the pride he’s been holding onto since he was a child.

“No, I… I don’t think I am, mom.” He feels his lips quivering and his chest shake as he tries to breathe. “I don’t think I’m okay at all.”

The second the first tear escapes, he hurries to raise his hands to his eyes to wipe them dry again. He doesn’t want anyone to look at him when he cries, but no matter how aggressively he wipes the tears away, his eyes continue to be wet. His broken wrist hurts with every little move but the pain doesn’t stop him.

“I really like him, mom, but I’m not sure I deserved to be liked back.” He’s sobbing now, really sobbing and he doesn’t remember the last time he did that. He must’ve been a child. “I’m petty and stuck-up and cowardly. But…”

He feels his chest ache and he fears he has finally cracked his heart into unfixable pieces. He’s tried to keep it safe for so long and now it’s shattering so easily.

“But I’m so lonely,” he cries. “And I don’t want to be anymore.”

A pair of arms wrap around him and Jimin is saddened to realize how long it takes for him to recognize the embrace as his mother’s. It’s so unfamiliar to him, but so much warmer than he believed it would be.

She draws circles on his back and she presses her dry cheek to his wet cheek as she shushes him in a comforting manner. She’s being so motherly and it’s unfamiliar to him.

“Oh, sweetheart.” Her voice quivers as she speaks and it makes Jimin shiver. How broken must he be at the moment to get such a reaction from his mother?

However, no matter how pitiful his tears may be, he swallows down the shame and sets them free. Sobs and cries fill his childhood home while his mother holds him close. He lifts his arms to wrap them around her, pulling her close and chaining her to his broken form.

He doesn’t flinch as a warm hand squeezes his shoulder in a comforting manner, even though he probably should. His father hasn’t given him such a soothing touch in years. It’s unfamiliar too, but he’s no longer shocked.

Instead, he melts under the overwhelming warmth he’s receiving from his parents.

Time feels unreal as he cries his heart dry in his parents’ embrace but eventually, there’s no longer any tears left. It took less time than he had believed. Over 10 years of tears had been held back but it didn’t take more than 10 minutes to get them all out.

Exhaustion overtakes him and with exhaustion comes regret and shame. He pushes through it though.

He doesn't want to go back to before.

“How about a cup of coffee, son?”

His father’s voice is soft as he speaks beside him and when he turns his head to look at the man, his eyes swollen and his cheeks wet, he meets a fond smile. It tickles his childhood memories.

“With three spoons of sugar and a little splash of milk, right?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the best cup of coffee he’s ever gotten. It’s exactly to his liking yet somehow, even better. Maybe it’s because his dad made it. Or maybe it’s because his dad made it exactly how he liked it even though he hasn’t made him coffee in years.

“Are you okay now, sweetie?” His mother is sitting beside him by the kitchen table, her hand running up and down his arm and a soothing manner. “Do you need anything else? Maybe something for your sweet tooth?”

The offer is childish as if she’s speaking to a kid, but Jimin doesn’t mind the gentle treatment. He feels childlike at the moment.

“No thanks, mom.”

He lifts the cup to his lips as his father seats himself in the chair across the kitchen table. He’s made coffee for himself too but it’s not in his usual cup. The red one with the little dots that he always uses – that he loves – isn’t in his hands but in Jimin’s.

“Do you want to talk about it?” asks his mother. She continues to caress his arm but Jimin can tell she’s fearful of being turned down. She isn’t being persistent at all and she never has, but Jimin wishes she would be.

For all the wrong and right reasons, he wishes she would be.

“I lost my plane ticket and I got stuck in Osaka for 3 days.”

He watches as his parents exchange confused glances with one another. He can almost hear them say, why didn’t you know that? It’s not the first time they’ve tried to assign blame, but at least this time, they try not to do it in front of him.

“Oh, sweetie.” His mother sounds guilt-ridden. “We’re so sorry.”

She doesn’t look her son in the eyes as she apologizes. His father avoids his gaze for a few seconds too and it makes the boy feel odd.

“Don’t be, I… I had fun.”

“Alone?”

Jimin shakes his head and a chuckle falls from his lips. He had never felt less alone than he did in Osaka.

“I was with Jungkook.”

His parents don’t recognize the name. They wouldn’t recognize any name because Jimin has never mentioned any friends to them. He wants them to know Jungkook’s, though. He wants this name to be branded into their memory.

“The... boy you like?”

His mother looks nothing short of anxious. She’s afraid she’s overstepping the boundaries she’s never gotten close to before.

“Yeah,” agrees Jimin eventually. “The boy I like.”

He says it much more confidently than he believed he would. He’s never admitted anything quite like that before but it doesn’t taste entirely horrid on his tongue.

The sound of a ringing phone snaps him out of his thoughts and he recognizes the ringtone as his mother's. She looks at the phone across the table but she hesitates with reaching out for it.

Yesterday, he would’ve told his mother she should pick up the call – that he was fine – but now, he can’t get the words over his lips. Because he doesn’t want her to pick up the phone and he’s not fine.

“Honey?” His father takes the phone and waves it in the air, asking her if she wants it.

“Let it ring.” She dismisses the ringing phone and directs her eyes back on her son. “I’m in the middle of something important.”

Her eyes don’t leave him, instead, they seem to zoom in on him as if she fears he’ll disappear if she blinks. Her attention is undivided and Jimin isn’t used to it at all. This is totally unfamiliar to him.

“I can’t remember the last time I spoke to you where you didn’t have your earpiece in.”

The comment surprises his mother and even though she doesn’t move at all, Jimin feels as though he sees her curl in on herself.

“Both of you are always so busy and I tell myself I’m not pitiful enough to beg my parents to pay attention to me but I…” He feels a faint blush on his cheeks even though he doesn’t feel ashamed. “But I’m really pitiful these days so I might as well just go all the way.”

“Jimin-”

“Pay more attention to me.” He interrupts his father with urgency. “I don’t want money or a car or anything you can buy me. I just… I want to sit down and have a normal dinner with you every once in a while. Like- like a normal family.”

He can see how uncomfortable his words make his parents, but he doesn’t regret saying it regardless. Maybe tomorrow he’ll regret making these requests and cringe at how pitiful he was as he cried in his mother’s arms, but right now, he wants more.

“You’re right.” His father looks tense as he lifts his gaze to meet his son’s. He’s ashamed. That much is obvious. “I don’t think I really remember the last time we sat down to eat dinner together either.”

“We wanted to invite you over,” says his mother almost frantically. “We just… didn’t want you to feel obligated to come. We didn’t want to push you.”

It sounds like a bad excuse, but Jimin knows his mother is sincere. She’s been hesitant with him for years and he can’t blame the distance between them on her – or them – alone. He pulled away too.

“I wanna come,” he says. “I just… didn’t want to ask.” A shy blush overtakes his cheeks at his childlike words. Only kids would use that as reasoning but it’s the truth and he’s painfully honest today.

A sweet giggle falls from his mother’s lips and she raises her hand to hide her widening smile even though she has no reason to. Her smile is beautiful.

“I guess we’ve walked in circles around each other all this time, huh?”

The easiness of it all makes Jimin’s chest feel tight and he curses himself – and them – for pushing this off for so long. He curses his pride but also his parents’ dismissiveness. It shouldn’t be his responsibility to hold together their family but the glee in his heart outweighs the bitterness in his veins.

“We’re so sorry, son,” apologizes his father.

It makes Jimin’s stomach turn and twist with too many emotions because he’s never heard his father apologize to him before. He’s a proud man. He doesn’t like to admit it even when he’s at fault.

He wants to see more and he wants to hear more.

He wants to stay a little longer.

“Can I… can I sleep here tonight?”

His parents exchange funny glances, clearly caught by surprise by the question. It’s not the first time his parents have exchanged looks right in front of him, but this time, it doesn’t make him feel uncomfortable.

“Of course, son,” says his father eventually. “You don’t have to ask. This is your home too.”

His mother reaches out for his hand and squeezes it in a comforting manner only a mother can pull off as she catches his gaze and gives him a smile.

“Don’t ever forget that.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stepping onto campus grounds after spending the night at his parent’s house, feels like stepping into a new world. He feels on edge as if he’s been gone for too long and it leaves him vulnerable.

He hasn’t gone back to his dorm room yet. He hasn’t really gone anywhere. Instead, he’s been sitting under the oak tree and looking at the entrance to the dorms. He hasn’t seen many familiar faces and he doesn’t know what to feel about that.

He feels like he’s looking for someone, but he won’t do anything to search.

A boy he recognizes from his economic class passes by him and Jimin wiggles his nose in disgust as the boy turns his head and spits at the ground. No one else seems to notice but Jimin feels his entire body tingle with revulsion.

He makes a mental note to never sit close to him in class. The boy has always rubbed him the wrong way anyway.

He flinches in surprise as his phone starts ringing in his pocket and he hurries to pull it out before he attracts too much attention.

His mother is calling.

She hasn’t done that in months and had it been a few days ago, Jimin would’ve felt uncomfortable but now, he eagerly answers the call.

“Hi, mom.”

“Sweetheart.” His mother sounds delighted. It eases the tension in his body. “Have you arrived at your dorm?”

“Yeah,” he lies. “I’m back.”

He feels a little guilty about lying, for the first time in years. Things are really different now and he struggles with keeping up.

“I hope it’s not too soon,” says his mother. “But would you like to come over for dinner this weekend?” She sounds a little hesitant but it makes Jimin smile. “Whenever you can, of course!”

He can picture his mother’s expression on the other end of the line as she waits for a reply. She must be both anxious and excited.

“Sunday?”

He can almost feel the tension leaving his mother’s body through the phone. He hears a sigh of relief as well as the smile in her voice as she speaks again.

“Wonderful,” she says. “I can’t wait.”

He parts his lips to answer his mother – tell her that he can’t wait either – but something catches his eyes first and no words leave his lips.

Yoongi is making his way out of the dorms, books trapped in his arms and his eyes directed forward without looking anywhere else than where he’s going. He hasn’t potted him and Jimin doubts he will, but he feels his pulse quicken regardless. He’s not sure whether he hopes the boy passes him by or sees him at last.

Would he walk up to him if he saw him? Would he pretend he simply didn’t? Would he mention Jungkook? Would he act like nothing?

He wants to know, but he can’t give himself the final push.

He needs as a push.

He needs-

“Just one last thing.”

His mother’s voice in his ear gives him an unexpected fright and he nearly throws the phone across campus.

“Wha- what?”

He hears a faint giggle and wonders if his mother knew he had been distracted.

“You’re more than deserving of being liked back, sweetheart.”

The unexpected words make his body stiffen but not in an uncomfortable way. In surprise but also consolation. He wonders how loudly his heart must’ve been beating for his mother to hear him through the phone. Or maybe she just knew more than he thought she did.

A motherly instinct maybe.

“Give the boy a chance,” she continues. “And give yourself a chance too, sweetie.”

He bites down on his lower lip as he tries to digest the words filling his head. He hasn’t heard any motherly advice in years. He doesn’t know what to do about it. Instead, he awkwardly – and frantically – says goodbye to his mother and stuffs the phone down his pocket. It feels a little heavy all of a sudden.

His eyes find Yoongi again and the boy is getting further and further away. If he doesn’t get up soon, he’ll miss him.

Eventually, he disappears from Jimin’s sight. The choice was made for him but it feels him with regret and before he knows what he’s doing, he’s running after him.

He hadn’t wanted to make it seem intentional that he spotted Yoongi, but now it’s too late. He’s running after him. Nothing about that will look unintentional to anyone. He missed his chance at making it appear coincidental and know he has to deal with the sour taste on his tongue.

He calls the boy’s name when he’s a dozen feet away and Yoongi turns around frantically, clearly not expecting his name to be shouted in the middle of campus like this. His brows are furrowed in confusion as he takes a second to search for the source but even as he spots Jimin coming towards him, his expression doesn’t change.

Jimin wants to tell him he’s just as surprised as he is.

“Jimin?” The boy looks almost awkward about seeing him and they haven’t even exchanged any words yet. “What, uhm, what’s up?”

The polite tone throws Jimin for a loop and suddenly, he doesn’t know what to say. He feels himself choke on unsaid words and the air between them is growing awkward as the seconds tick by.

“I just…” He scratches his neck in an awkward manner while he fights back the urge to excuse himself and turn on his heel. “How’s Jungkook?”

It wasn’t the question Yoongi had expected to hear. That much is evident in his soft features.

“I, uhm, I told him I would call him but I don’t actually have his number and I felt like a Facebook message would be weird.” He chuckles unamused at his own awkwardness. “I haven’t seen him since he took me to the hospital so I was just worried that-”

“He’s okay,” interrupts Yoongi. “More or less, I guess.”

Worry shoots through his body and it leaves behind an uncomfortable sensation. He’s never been worried like this about anyone, least of all someone who is okay, more or less.

“What do you mean?”

Yoongi scratches his neck in an uncomfortable manner and irks Jimin to see him react like that when he’s the one who warrants his worry. If he didn’t want to explain, he should’ve said nothing. Or lied.

“You should ask Jungkook yourself,” says Yoongi at last. “It’s not my place to-”

“Is he mad at me?” It sounds pitiful. That wasn’t the intention. “It’s just… he wasn’t there when I got checked out at the hospital and he hasn’t tried to contact me at all.” A faint blush covers his cheeks as he diverts his gaze from Yoongi.

He sees no reason for Jungkook to harbor anger towards him right now, but the silence feels wrong after their conversation that night. Jungkook had confessed so persistently and now he’s deadly quiet.

“It’s not you.” Yoongi feels uncomfortable about his words but Jimin doesn’t feel guilty about pressuring him to speak. Maybe he should, but he doesn’t. “It’s the hospital. After the accident he… well, you know.”

Guilt overcomes him like a kick to his stomach and he feels ashamed for his self-centered thoughts. It didn’t use to bother him but everything is upside down when it comes to Jungkook.

“Oh.” He suddenly doesn’t want to talk to Yoongi anymore. “I didn’t even think of that.”

Without saying a proper goodbye or maybe a proper thank you, Jimin turns on his heel. He doesn’t know how to properly end this conversation that neither one of them appears to like very much. Yoongi is most likely grateful for an abrupt goodbye anyway.

“He really does like you.”

Jimin halts in his steps but doesn’t turn around just yet.

“To be honest, I tried to talk him out of it. I didn’t like you very much in the beginning.” The words aren’t surprising. Jimin didn’t exactly think that highly of Jungkook’s friends either. “But he really likes you so he wouldn’t budge.”

Finally, he turns on his heel to face Yoongi and it appears to make the boy slightly uncomfortable. Whether it’s the words he spoke or the fact that he’s being stared down is uncertain.

“He’s at the library,” continues Yoongi, even though Jimin had never asked for the boy’s whereabouts. “But you should hurry. He’s not good at staying concentrated for long so he’ll probably bail soon.”

Yoongi scratches his neck in an uncomfortable manner as a quiet chuckle leaves his lips. He appears to find the situation just as absurd as Jimin does. A week ago, these two had nothing in common, not even friendly feelings. Jungkook changed that just like he changes everything else Jimin had believed he had grown accustomed to.

“Thank you, Yoongi.” He tries his best to sound as sincere as he is. He’s not very good at it and Yoongi seems to see his struggle.

“Just don’t spread any more rumors about his underwear,” says Yoongi, a grin on his lips. “He’s more sensitive than he looks.”

“I’ve gathered that much,” replies Jimin. He’s amused by the boy’s words. Genuinely. “But don’t worry. I wanna… well, I guess I wanna treat him well.”

Yoongi appears to ponder over his words for a moment, maybe trying to judge them. Maybe trying to figure out if he believes them. They don't sound like Jimin, after all. But whatever he thinks of them, he doesn’t say it out loud.

“Hurry,” he says instead. “Or you’ll miss him.”

Yoongi tightens his grip on the books in his arm and takes a few steps back before he swings on his heel. He’s not in a hurry and somehow, that brings a smile to Jimin’s lips. For a second, he wonders if he should say goodbye, but the window of opportunity comes and goes too fast, and eventually, he swings on his heel as well.

He knows the way to the library better than he should considering he never visits it. People are never as quiet as they should be and the chairs are always worn-down and sticky.

His steps get more and more frantic the closer he gets to the library and once it’s within his sight, he’s nearly running. A minute ago, he didn’t fear he would miss Jungkook, but suddenly he feels rather anxious as if this is his last chance.

He swings around the corner of the library to get to the entrance, but before he can ever reach it, he collides with a firm chest. He bounces back and struggles with finding his foothold for a few seconds.

“Look where you’re going,” he hisses. He reaches out to push the person in front of him out of the way, but a hand curl around his wrist and hinders him from going anywhere.

“Where’re you going in such a hurry, Park Jimin?”

Chills run down his back at the familiar – and condescending – voice that speaks to him. He hasn’t heard it in such a long time, but it sounds just as harsh and horrible as he remembers it.

“Byungjoon.” He hopes his dismay is as evident in his voice as it is in his body. The boy’s smile is cocky and wicked and Jimin feels repulsed by the hand around his wrist. “Let go of me.”

He shakes his hand a few times and surprisingly, the boy lets go immediately. He raises both hands in surrender but the smirk on his lips doesn’t show defeat at all. He’s just as amused as he was the night of the party. It’s sickening.

“You’re not gonna answer me?”  Byungjoon cocks his head to the side in a condescending manner. “Aren’t you being a little rude, Park Jimin?”

Anger runs deep in Jimin’s veins, but he fights back the overwhelming urge to be snarky. He’s in a hurry.

“Don’t speak to me.” He pushes past Byungjoon and though the boy doesn’t move, he allows Jimin to shove him aside. Jimin’s steps are fast as he stalks towards the library, but Byungjoon is right on his heel.

“Come on,” calls the boy behind him, amusement evident in his voice. “Don’t be so high and mighty, I just wanna chat. For old times’ sake.” He comes up beside Jimin, making it look effortless to keep up with him even though he’s racing like a maniac.

He keeps his gaze forward, refusing to give Byungjoon a second of his attention, but the boy is relentless. He bumps his shoulder into Jimin in what can be assumed to be friendly banter, but Jimin is far from amused. They’re not friendly because they’re not even remotely friends.

“Don’t be like this, Jimin,” the boy continues. “We had fun together, didn’t we? I remember quite a lot of glorious moments between-”

“You’re really pathetic, you know?”

Catching Byungjoon off guard, Jimin swings on his heel to face the boy head-on and cutting him off mid-sentence. He takes great pleasure in seeing the momentarily distraught look on Byungjoon’s face. It’s a pity it’s only short-lived.

“It’s been a year yet you haven’t moved on.” He gets up into Byungjoon’s face, refusing to give him the upper hand at all. “Are you feeling lonely? No one wants to play with you?”

His voice is coated in venom, and gratification runs through his veins. He has wanted to tear Byungjoon a new one for a year, but he’s never quite had the courage. Right now, it’s overflowing.

“Is it because you miss my pretty little lips?” He licks his lips before he runs his thumb across them, pulling Byungjoon’s attention to them. “You haven’t had a good blow since me?”

The slight hesitation on Byungjoon’s face pleases Jimin deeply, but he has no interest in getting a reply, much less a snarky one, so he hurries to turn on his heel.

He’s not far from the library. Will Jungkook still be there? What if he isn’t?

“If I said I miss your pretty little lips,” shouts Byungjoon after him. “Will you get down on your knees for me?”

Refusing to answer Byungjoon’s vile words, Jimin raises his arm in the air and shows off his middle finger for everyone to see, but only for Byungjoon to feel.

“Why not?” The boy’s voice is rising little by little. “I heard you were whoring yourself out these days.”

Jimin’s steps come to an abrupt halt as the boy’s vile words reach him and he notices with dismay that he isn’t the only one they have reached. He feels several eyes on him as he looks around and even though the last thing, he wants is to look at Byungjoon’s smug face, he can’t fight the urge to turn around.

Byungjoon’s grin is even nastier than he has imagined and against his better judgment, he storms towards him, rage bubbling under his pale skin. He’s always been easily provoked, too prideful for turning the other cheek.

“What did you just say to me?”

Byungjoon doesn’t reply until Jimin stops a mere foot away from him and it appears the small proximity between them pleases him.

“I heard you were stuck in Osaka with Jeon Jungkook for a few days,” says Byungjoon. Involuntarily Jimin flinches at the words and the other boy takes great pleasure in his subconscious reaction.

“That doesn’t mean shit.”

“Of course, it does,” insist Byungjoon without hesitation. “You get stuck in Osaka with the same boy you gave your cute little ass to last year.”

The look he gives him is foul and Jimin shivers under the unpleasant gaze. It reminds him of that night and though he doesn’t feel as defeated and ridiculed as he did then, he still feels uncomfortable.

“Come on, Park Jimin,” continues Byungjoon. “Let me have a taste too.”

His bruised wrist throbs as he clenches both his fits, feeling his entire body shake with rage as he looks into Byungjoon’s wicked eyes. He shouldn’t let the boy get the better of him. He’s better than this. He’s trying to be better than this. But Byungjoon is ruining it and that only makes him hate him even more.

“You disgusting piece of shit,” he hisses. “You filthy son of a-”

“Jimin?”

He flinches at the calling of his name and at an embarrassing speed, he turns on his heel. It’s almost a little pitiful, but humiliation is the last thing on his mind as his eyes spot Jungkook no more than a few feet away from him.

The boy doesn’t look too shocked about running into him as he probably should. Did Yoongi tell him? Did he wait for him?

“I was… looking for you,” says Jimin at last. He’s more hesitant than he should be but it feels rather uncomfortable to be this close to Jungkook when he has so much, he wants to say to him.

“I was looking for you too.” The smile on Jungkook’s lips is warm as he looks at Jimin but once he throws a look over his shoulder at the boy behind him, his eyes darken. “So you could you fuck off, Byungjoon?”

Jungkook’s harsh words don’t seem to shake the boy at all, instead, he laughs amusedly. It’s a wicked laughter and it makes him so painfully punchable.

“What a cute boyfriend you’ve gotten yourself there, Park Jimin.”

“Stop saying my name.”

“It’s adorable, really.” Byungjoon doesn’t spare him much attention despite addressing him by name. Instead, he’s staring at Jungkook with those condescending eyes of his. Jimin feels surprisingly annoyed with being disregarded like this even though he doesn’t particularly desire Byungjoon’s attention.

He just desires being ignored even less.

“Was he good?”

The vague question catches both boys off guard, but it doesn’t take long for Jimin to understand the filthy intention behind it. It sickens him. The shamelessness makes him gag.

“What the hell are you-”

“I wasn’t talking to you.” Byungjoon is shameless as he interrupts Jimin. “I was talking to your boyfriend.” He says the word condescendingly but Jimin had expected nothing less.

He stuffs his hands down the pockets of his jeans and cocks his head to the side in a self-pleasing manner. He’s enjoying riling them up and he’s enjoying playing these ridiculous games.

“So was he good?” he asks again. “I wanna know what I should expect.”

Jungkook moves first.

In the blink of an eye, his fist is wrapped around the collar of Byungjoon’s shirt and he shakes him violently as he pulls him closer forcefully. Byungjoon only appears to be shocked for a second, then the smug smile is back. He looks at Jungkook with renewed interest and somehow, he even looks excited.

“You bastard,” hisses Jungkook. “What the fuck is wrong with you? Don’t you have a life, you filthy piece of shit?”

Byungjoon reaches up his hand and wraps it around Jungkook’s. He doesn’t appear to pull away his hand, instead, he’s merely touching him – toying with him.

“What’re you gonna do, Jungkook?” He’s mocking him. “Are you gonna hit me, tough guy? Do you think you have the balls for it?”

The words seem to spike anger in Jungkook, his knuckles turn white as he tightens his grip on Byungjoon’s collar, but even though he looks as though he wants to swing his fist, he doesn’t.

“Well, if you aren’t-” continues Byungjoon. “-then let go of me, will you? It’s a new shirt.”

He pats Jungkook’s hand like someone would pat a child and surprisingly enough, Jungkook’s grip on the boy loosens. He can’t hit him and he appears to know that.

“I always knew you were a fucking pussy,” chuckles Byungjoon.

Jungkook slowly releases his collar and the second he does, Byungjoon pushes him away. It’s a hard shove but he makes it look rather effortlessly.

“You two are a great pair,” the boy continues. “Both of you are so fucking pitiful it’s almost-”

Jimin’s fist collides with Byungjoon’s cheek before any of them are even aware of it.

The vile words he wanted to say never made it out, instead, he stumbles back several feet before he finds his foothold. The bruise on his cheek is already prominent and his split lip is leaking blood.

The boy’s face is twisted into a look of utter disbelief and it fills Jimin with unimaginable gratification. His hand throbs at the pain of colliding with Byungjoon’s cheekbone but he hopes the boy is hurting more.

He’s grateful for the fact that he didn’t fracture his dominant hand because, in the heat of the moment, it wouldn’t have stopped him.

“You’re fucking crazy!” screams Byungjoon. The boy’s eyes are comically wide and there’s no trace of cockiness on his face. It looks as though he had never smirked, to begin with. Rage burns brightly in the boy’s veins as he steps forward and grabs Jimin by his collar before he raises his arm and curls his fist.

Jimin flinches as the hand flies towards him but before it can hit him, Jungkook overpowers him. Within seconds, they’re all pushing and pulling at one another, none of them actually hitting each other but all of them wanting to.

“Let go of me, you son of a bitch!”

“Stop scratching me!”

“Stop pulling at my shirt!”

“Then fucking let go!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a sad sight.

Three 23-year-olds sitting side by side in the principal’s office, bruises and scratches covering their faces. None of them say a word as they look everywhere but at each other.

Jimin has been seated in the middle much to his dismay, but Byungjoon and Jungkook had, of course, been the hardest to separate in the heat of the fight.

“I can’t even begin to explain how disappointed I am with you all.” The principal looks even older than he is now that he’s angry. The wrinkles in his forehead are more prominent and his eyes look almost soulless.

He has always made Jimin uncomfortable, but now that he was angry, he looks intimidating.

“Fighting is one thing, but at the university?” He shakes his head as he rests his elbows on his desk and leans forward in an intimidating manner. “I thought the two of you would be more careful after your little stunt in Osaka.”

The principal gestures to Jimin and Jungkook and the former curls his toes in discomfort. He has never been scolded by any form of authority before. Hardly even by his parents. He doesn’t know how to react.

“Sir, we didn’t start anything,” says Jungkook. “We were just-”

“I heard that Mr. Park was the first to initiate violence, so tell me again how you didn’t start it.”

“He- he was provoked,” defends Jungkook. He’s fighting Jimin’s battle for him and it makes the boy uncomfortable. “Byungjoon was talking shit, it’s understandable that he wanted to-”

“There’s no excuse for violence,” interrupts the principal. He holds up his hand to silence Jungkook. “I ought to expel all three of you.” The man sounds nothing short of exhausted already. “But I have no desire to stain our institution’s reputation over some silly cockfight.”

An awkward silence spreads through the principal’s office and it irks Jimin to his very core. His bruised hand lies heavily in his lap. His knuckles are bruised but he hasn’t had the time to bandage them yet.

He can’t help but look at it with some sort of admiration. He has never before punched someone, much less to this extreme where his hand is bruised and bloody. Yet the adrenaline pumping in his blood is exhilarating.

“I will find a fitting punishment for the three of you,” says the principal at last. “Until then, stay out of trouble or I’ll give you my word you will all be expelled before you can ever swing a fist again.” His eyes are stern as he regards the boys but only for a second, then he dismisses them with a wave of his hand.

It’s a harsh treatment and though Jimin knows they don’t deserve sweetness; he hadn’t counted on this level of bitterness. Somehow, he had believed the principal would understand, but why would he when he was the one to punch first?

They walk in a straight line out of the principal’s office. Jungkook is right on his heel as they make their way down the hall. Byungjoon is almost running, clearly wanting to get away as fast as possible. He throws a look over his shoulder as he pushes open the door and it is far from pleasant. Annoyance is clear on his bruised face as he gives Jimin a taunting expression.

“I hope your face hurts like a bitch!” shouts Jimin after him, barely getting the words out before Byungjoon slips through the door and disappears. The words leave a pleasant taste on his tongue even though it can hardly be called a victory.

He doesn’t feel as though he has won at all, but somehow, he feels as though Byungjoon lost. That’s good enough for him.

“Jimin?”

Jungkook’s voice is so quiet it would’ve never been heard in a crowded hall. However, right now, they’re the only ones here. Even the smallest sound is audible.

“Can we… talk?”

Jungkook sounds unsure of his own request and the doubt only seems to magnify as Jimin turns around to look at him. There’re several feet between them but he can see all the worried lines on Jungkook’s face regardless. He sees him so clearly even at a distance.

“I understand if you don’t want to,” continues Jungkook. “I just left you at the hospital and I was too cowardly to even come looking for you afterward because I didn’t know how to fucking apologize for doing something so-”

“I wanna talk.”  He’s a bit more urgent as he interrupts Jungkook than he intended but the boy is talking nonsense. “I’m sick of these misunderstandings we continue to create all the time because we don’t just talk to each other.”

They’ve walked in circles around each other for so long. Pushing instead of pulling and accusing instead of explaining. He’s grown too accustomed to ignoring what he doesn’t like because talking it out takes too much effort and too much of his pride.

He didn’t want to confront his parents and he didn’t want to confront Jungkook because facing his insecurities is frightening, but now it’s costing him too much.

“I’m sick of arguing because truly, all I wanna do is just… talk to you.” A light blush overtakes his cheeks and wonders if Jungkook finds him silly right now. “And I don’t know why I wanna talk to you because you’re cocky, and you’re shameless and you tease me all the time.”

He can’t stop his own silliness even though he should. He would be mortified if someone were to overhear these ridiculous words, but even that fear can’t make him shut up.

“You’re actually fucking annoying,” he continues even though Jungkook certainly didn’t ask him to. “You continuously rub me the wrong way and make me do stupid, ridiculous things that I don’t even wanna do.”

It looks as though Jungkook wishes to defend himself but no excuse leaves his lips because Jimin is right and they both know it.

“There’s absolutely no logical reason for me to like you even a little bit.”

Jimin holds up his hands and shows Jungkook an almost none existing distance between his thumb and index finger to emphasize his point.

“But I do.” The confession feels equally liberating and humiliating. “I like you and I wanna keep liking you because I like liking you.”

Finally, Jungkook’s lips spread into a smile, and Jimin is so relieved he feels his legs shake under him. He hasn’t seen that smile of his for so long and at one point, he wondered if he never would again.

“I like liking you too.”

Jungkook uses the same childish words as he did, but they sound so much prettier on his lips. They don’t sound silly even though they definitely should.

“Not all the time,” he admits. “But I’ve never regretted liking you. Not even when you spread that rumor about me.”

Pink colors Jimin’s cheeks at the reminder and he feels embarrassed even though it’s so long ago. He didn’t regret it then, but he certainly does now.

“I only did that because you left me even though you promised to stay.” The words sound childish on his tongue and he feels silly. “I was being petty.”

He’s ashamed of his behavior, something he hasn’t experienced many times before. He didn’t feel shameful at all when he spread that rumor, he didn’t even feel sorry for Jungkook. The boy had deserved it, he was certain of that, so why should he have regrated it?

But now he can hardly think about it without feeling his gut turn uncomfortably. It feels foreign to him now as if it was someone else who did it, but Jimin bears the guilt of it.

“I left that morning because I saw Seokjin’s and Namjoon’s messages on your phone.”

Jungkook’s confession comes as a surprise and Jimin furrows his brows in confusion. Of all the explanations he could’ve been told, this was the last one he would’ve expected.

Park Jimin is doing charity work by doing Jeon Jungkook.

The words resonate in his mind for a few seconds before he recognizes them. He has never thought twice about them, not even when he read them the next morning on his dorm room floor all alone. At that time, they had merely annoyed him and amused him all the same.

He had never thought those silly, little texts made by his drunken friends in the dead of night, would’ve been capable of starting all of this trouble.

“I didn’t mean to snoop but we had the same phone back then and the texts were right there on your lock screen,” continues Jungkook. “I thought… for a second, I thought they were right and so I left. I left and then I regretted it and I came back but then… well, you know the rest.”

He scratches his neck in an awkward manner, but he maintains eye contact even though he clearly finds it uncomfortable.

“That’s why I left.”

Jungkook looks flustered. It appears he finds his own words silly and even though Jimin doesn’t, he understands. Because somehow it is a little silly. A few stupid texts were all it took to ruin everything and it’s quite clear Jungkook has been aware of the absurdity of that for so long.

“We need to stop looking at each other’s phones,” says Jimin at last. There’s a discreet smile on his lips because truly, he finds all of this so silly. “Nothing good seems to come from it.”

“We just need to talk it out instead,” says Jungkook. He’s smiling too, but it resembles relief more than amusement. “That’s why we keep messing up like this.”

The smile on his lips makes him look softer and suddenly, Jimin no longer finds it uncomfortable to be close to him. instead, he wants to get even closer. He wants to get so close that only he can because he wants to make sure he’s not imagining it all.

The first step is the toughest. He keeps his eyes on Jungkook to read his every reaction to his every step. He doesn’t want to come off too strong. They haven’t been consciously close since they woke up in the same bed in Osaka, legs, and arms entangled like lovers.

He wants them to go back to the feeling of lovers.

“You don’t have to be so cautious.” Jungkook’s voice is light and teasing as he cocks his head to the side in an endearing manner. “I miss you too.”

The words leave a blush on Jimin’s cheeks that he can’t hide. The words feel rough and soft all at once and the contradicting texture throws him for a loop. He turns his head away, hiding at least one of his pink cheeks from Jungkook’s gaze.

“Don’t rush me,” he mutters. “I’m trying to find the right tempo for us to-”

He doesn’t get to finish his words before Jungkook stalks towards him and Jimin feels his heart beat at the top of his throat as the boy comes closer until he is close enough to wrap his arms around him and pull him to his chest.

Jungkook’s embrace is desperate in a way it never has been before. He doesn’t suffocate him at all, but Jimin finds it hard to breathe for a little while.

“I’m sorry,” apologizes Jungkook insincerely. “But I’m too impatient to wait.”

Jimin wants to protest, maybe even scold him for being so impulsive and in such a rush, but he doesn’t have the heart to do so when Jungkook’s embrace feels this comforting. He wants more so how could he scold Jungkook for giving it to him?

He reaches up his arms and wraps them around Jungkook’s waist, clinging to him a little too blindly. If Jungkook were to fall through the floor, Jimin would without a doubt fall with him. He’s hanging onto him so tightly.

With his cheek pressed against Jungkook’s chest, he can hear the boy’s beating heart so loudly. He can’t hear anything else and so he’s caught off guard when Jungkook suddenly pulls him along, away from the man hall, and into a small, deserted hallway.

It takes a second for him to hear the footsteps that without a doubt caused Jungkook to pull them both into hiding.

Their bodies are pressed together, up against the wall and neither one of them makes a sound as they listen to the bypasser. Once the sound of footsteps disappears, the sound of quiet giggles replaces it.

“That was close,” whispers Jimin, despite having no reason to stay quiet. He doesn't fear getting caught, other people’s gazes matter so little to him, but he doesn't want to be interrupted. He doesn't want this moment between them to be taint by insignificant people.

He lifts his gaze to meet Jungkook’s, expecting him to be as amused as he is, but the boy’s gaze is focused on something else, it makes the lines on his forehead more prominent and his eyes less bright.

Before Jimin can lower his gaze to see what the boy is looking at, he feels Jungkook’s hand wrap around his broken wrist and he feels an uncomfortable tuck in his gut. He doesn’t like the guilt-ridden look in Jungkook’s eyes and he wishes he could hide it away altogether.

“I’m so sorry about the hospital.” Jungkook’s eyes roam over his white, spot-free cast around his wrist. He’s being ridiculously careful with it despite having no reason to. “I can’t even begin to apologize for how horrible I was to just-”

“It’s okay,” interrupts Jimin. “Yoongi explained it to me and… I’m the one who’s sorry.” It doesn’t feel as terrible apologizing to Jungkook as it does to everyone else. “I didn’t even think about the accident and I should’ve. I should’ve known.”

Jungkook’s fingers wrap around Jimin’s while his other hand travels up his arm until he can cup Jimin’s cheek. It’s much more soothing than he had believed it would be. The spark in Jungkook’s eyes looks like fondness and Jimin feels his throat tighten involuntarily.

He’s slightly amused as if he finds it endearing that Jimin is apologizing.

“Is Park Jimin apologizing to little old me?” Jungkook’s voice is light and teasing. He’s not being cruel in any way as he says his name. It sounds soft on his tongue. No one else makes his name sound like this. “Has the world ended?”

The teasing words are familiar as well as somewhat predictable. It doesn’t surprise him to be teased like this because this kind of teasing is Jungkook’s trademark.

“Do you not like it?” Jungkook’s brows furrow in puzzlement and though Jimin doesn’t mimic the expression, he feels just as puzzled, despite being the one to utter the words. “You said you like our silly banter and stupid arguments,” he continues. “Will you still like me even if we have less of those?”

It’s silly, truly, because fighting less shouldn’t be an issue in any relationship but Jimin no longer feels like the constantly defensive boy Jungkook came to know. He’s changed in Jungkook’s presence. Will the boy not like it?

“What?” The frown on Jungkook’s face melts away and amusement replaces it. “You think I’ll stop being in love with you if we fight less?

Jimin feels a little silly as he nods and Jungkook chuckles in amusement. The boy cups Jimin’s flushed face and with a fond smile on his lips, he pinches his cheeks and chuckles as Jimin hits his chest.

“I won’t stop being in love with you,” says Jungkook. “And I’m certain we won’t stop fighting either.” Jimin parts his lips to argue, but that impulsive reaction only confirms Jungkook’s words.

They’re still both stubborn as well as pushy. They will never stop pushing each other’s buttons and Jimin feels silly for thinking they wouldn’t.

“Now we’ll just make up with a kiss,” continues Jungkook. “Every time we argue, we’ll end it with a kiss.” The boy’s thumb runs across Jimin’s pink lips at a slow pace, giving him enough time to stick out his tongue and lick Jungkook’s finger in a teasing manner.

It’s disgusting and gross, because who knows how long it’s been since Jungkook washed his hands? But Jimin always cares less when it comes to Jungkook. Cares less about wearing his worn-down shirts, and cares less about lying next to him without showering, and, apparently, he also cares less about licking his fingers without knowing where they’ve been.

When it comes to Jungkook, everything else matters less.

“Then kiss me so we can make up,” says Jimin.

“But we didn’t argue.”

“Yes, we did.”

“No, we didn’t.”

The mischievous smile on Jungkook’s lips makes it obvious the boy knows what he’s doing but why should Jimin be bothered when he loves it so much? It’s ridiculous. No one has ever riled him up like Jungkook and though he used to hate the boy for it – loath him – he now loves him for it.

“Can’t you just kiss me anyway?” says Jimin with a pout. He reaches up his arms and wraps them around Jungkook’s neck, pulling him closer. “If you don’t, I might just go find someone else who-”

He doesn’t get to finish his ridiculous words, but he doesn’t mind. They don’t taste very good on his tongue anyway. Jungkook’s lips are much sweeter and it’s the only taste he wants.

It’s a silly kiss, nonetheless. Jungkook is trying too hard and Jimin wants too much and neither one of them breathes properly. They’re ridiculous in every way even as they kiss, but after all, they’re ridiculous regardless.

They’re ridiculously in love, in the most illogical way possible because truly, they shouldn’t work together at all. Where Jungkook’s edges are soft, Jimin’s are rough. Where Jungkook’s pokes are fiery, Jimin’s are icy.

They shouldn’t work, so how come they do?

“Do you wanna go to Busan with me this Christmas?”

The question comes out of nowhere but Jimin doesn’t doubt them regardless. The thought hasn’t crossed him before but now it’s stuck like chewing gum to the walls in his mind.

The trip was all about getting away. Away from Seoul, away from the familiar, and mostly, away from Jungkook. But now he doesn’t want to be away from Jungkook. Now he wants to be away with Jungkook.

“Hoseok, Namjoon, and Seokjin are coming too,” he continues. “And you can bring Taehyung and Yoongi if you want.”

He leans forward to press his forehead against Jungkook’s beating heart. He feels like he’s asking the boy out and it’s not something he’s done before. He has never really been asked out either. It’s a foreign world.

“I don’t wanna get away from you after all.” He runs his hands down Jungkook’s arms until he can wrap his hands around his. “So please come with me.”

He feels the vibrations in Jungkook’s chest before he hears the sweet sound of his chuckles. The vibrations flow through his body and he feels as though he’s laughing even though he isn’t making any noise.

“I don’t want you to get away from me either,” says Jungkook as he intertwines their fingers. He’s still being ridiculously careful with Jimin’s bruised hand. “I’ve finally caught you.”

Caught me,” repeats Jimin amused. “What am I? A Pokémon.

“One of the rarest,” replies Jungkook without missing a beat. “So I can never let you go again.” He untangles their intertwined fingers and instead, wraps his arms around him in an iron grip.

“I won’t be easily contained,” warns Jimin amusedly. “You’ll have to treat me really well.”

“I’ll treat you like a princess, how about that?”

Jimin rolls his eyes at Jungkook’s reply but he had expected as much. The look on in his eyes and the edge to his voice is second nature to Jungkook and Jimin has grown accustomed to it already. He can sense it coming and he can push it to the front if he so desires.

“I wouldn’t want you to treat me any other way,” replies Jimin. “You idiotic asshat.”

He was truly a fool for fearing the fiery spark would wither away. They will never stop riling each other up and they will never stop pushing each other to the edge.

However, they will never stop holding on to each other either.

And if they should one day fall over the edge, Jimin knows they’ll do that together too.

Chapter Text

It’s snowing rather heavily.

It isn’t supposed to snow today, but then again, it wasn’t supposed to snow yesterday either and the snowman outside is the proof that it did.

Jimin has never much enjoyed the snow. It is cold and wet and if he is to move around in it, he would have to dress himself in layers upon layers. It is too much of a hassle for something as silly as frozen water crystals.

Yet here he is, standing in the garden of his family cabin in Busan, watching his boyfriend building nothing less than an igloo.

Jimin hasn’t offered his assistance, nor does he plan on during it at all. He’s lazy, no doubt about that, and he finds no pleasure in moving around too much in the heavy coat he’s wearing. However, most of all, he just enjoys watching.

A half-done snowman stands beside the igloo as though he’s waiting for his home to be finished. He looks impatient somehow. Or maybe it’s just because he’s missing a nose.

Jungkook is grinning from ear to ear as he works on his igloo. A few strands of his hair are poking out from under his hat and the long coat his wearing covers more than just his chin. He’s nearly hidden away completely by the heavy layers he’s wearing to shield himself from the cold, but Jimin can see the bright grin on his face regardless.

How stunning he looks.

It annoys Jimin that his friend dares pull him away from this mesmerizing sight.

“Jimin!” Hoseok is calling with all his might from the barely open door to the cabin. “If you’re done building snowmen, come help me cut the vegetables!”

Jungkook hears the calling as clearly as Jimin does, even though he’s a little further away. For a second, his gaze shifts between Jimin and Hoseok in the door before it settles on the former completely.

He looks a little dejected with Jimin’s departure despite the fact that the boy has barely spoken to him, much less helped at all. Maybe he just liked that Jimin was watching as much as Jimin liked to watch.

“It’s an igloo!” he shouts without turning around to look at his best friend in the door. “We built a snowman yesterday.”

I did,” corrects Jungkook, not loud enough for Hoseok to hear, but the words were, of course, never meant for him. “You just sat over there, looking pretty the entire time.” He pointed to the snow-covered garden chair a few feet away and Jimin follows his finger. He has forgotten all about it. He hasn’t seated himself in it today.

Maybe it’s because it’s further away from Jungkook than the spot he’s currently occupying.

“I don’t like playing with snow,” mutters Jimin, just loud enough for Jungkook to hear him. “It’s cold and it soaks your gloves and I don’t wanna get it under my coat.”

He shivers as he speaks almost as if he can physically feel the words come to life on his body.

“But it’s fun,” says Jungkook, speaking as though that little detail cancels out everything else.

“Not fun enough.”

“You haven’t tried it.” At those words, Jungkook gets to his feet. He wipes away the snow on his knees and Jimin watches as it leaves behind wet stains on his pants. He doesn’t want wet stains on his pants so he doesn’t want to make an igloo.

His boyfriend steps closer until he’s within reach and once he is, he pulls Jimin’s hands out of his pocket so he can intertwine them with his own. The gloves they’re wearing are thick, so thick they can’t really feel each other. It’s like holding hands with a child.

“Before we go home, I want to play in the snow with you.”

“Like toddlers?” asks Jimin amusedly. He is being sarcastic but Jungkook nods in confirmation.

“Exactly like toddlers.”

Jungkook lets go of one of his hands in favor of reaching up to pull Jimin’s zipper down just enough for his face to be exposed completely to the winter cold. His cheeks must be flushed red and so must his nose. Jungkook pulls off the glove with the help of his teeth and Jimin would be lying if the sight wasn’t quite glorious.

He can feel – and see – Jungkook’s breath in the cold air as he comes even closer. He’s slightly disappointed when he feels the boy’s fingers on his face before his lips on his mouth.

Nonetheless, he’s definitely being cheeky.

“I don’t wanna be toddlers in the snow,” says Jimin. “But I won’t mind being adults in our bed.”

He knows Jungkook would never take him seriously in a cabin filled with their friends, but Jimin enjoys toying a little with him. Usually, he has quite an amusing reaction.

However, today, the reaction isn’t what he believed it would be.

“Okay.”

Jungkook curls his fingers around Jimin’s wrist before he pulls the boy along towards the entrance to the cabin. Hoseok is no longer standing there, waiting, but he’s not far away.

They’re dragging snow into the cabin like excited children running home after a snow day at school and even though Jimin is complaining and resisting every step of the way, he gets dragged along regardless.

Jungkook helps him get off his heavy coat and his snow-covered boots at a speed that makes Jimin dizzy.

“Jungkook, wait up, I-”

He never finishes any of his sentences, Jungkook finds a way to shut him up before he can every time.

Eventually, their coats are tossed and their boots are drying on the doormat and the two boys are rushing down the halls. They pass by the kitchen and Jimin faintly hears Hoseok call out for him, but Jungkook pulls him away before he can.

They reach the bedroom they share faster than Jimin had anticipated. It feels like they’re dancing a dance Jimin isn’t familiar with as Jungkook pulls him through the room until he trips over the edge of the bed and lands on the soft mattress.

Jungkook throws himself on top of him and Jimin is suddenly hyperaware of the fact that they’re not alone in this cabin at all.

“I was kidding!” yells Jimin as he starts pushing at Jungkook to get the boy off him. “I’m not having sex with you when our friends are right next-”

He realizes at a mortifyingly slow speed that Jungkook isn’t doing anything at all, but merely lying on top of him like dead weight. He also realizes that their door has not been shut either.

Hoseok’s head peeks out from the entrance to the kitchen down the hall and Jimin feels mortified as their eyes meet even though they’re quite far apart. The boy looks quite amused and Jimin feels quite embarrassed.

He hurries to divert his gaze from the hallway before he meets anyone else’s eyes. He feels Jungkook’s body vibrate as he laughs almost as if he knows that Jimin’s yelling attracted the attention of the others.

“You thought I dragged you here to have sex?” asks Jungkook. He’s chuckling as he teases him and he’s even playing innocent when everybody knows he isn’t. “Our friends are right next door, Jimin.”

He’s being painfully cheeky and Jimin reaches up his hand to cover his blushing cheeks. He had tried to be one to play a little prank on Jungkook yet in the end, he had been the one to get tricked.

“When you said you wanted to be adults in our bed,” continues Jungkook without being asked to elaborate. “I simply meant we could cuddle a little. Maybe take a nap together. Don’t adults nap?”

The vibrations of Jungkook’s chuckles continue to run through Jimin’s body and it makes his skin tickle and his heart race.

“It’s not funny,” says Jimin. He’s still hiding his blushing cheeks even though he has no reason to. Jungkook knows what expression covers his face. He knows it better than anyone.

“Of course, it is,” says Jungkook. He lifts his head up and rests his chin on Jimin’s chest. It’s not a flattering angle Jungkook has of his face, but the boy hasn’t tried to hide those sides of himself for a long time now. “It’s funny to see you dumbfounded, princess.”

“I’m not dumbfounded.”

“Not even a little bit?” asks Jungkook though they both know he has no reason to. He nuzzles his face into Jimin’s chest, tickling him without even knowing it.

It makes Jimin’s blush even deeper because it makes his pants tighten as well.

He should’ve known better than to believe Jungkook wouldn’t eventually get the upper hand and retaliate like this.

“Get off me, you pickled dick, you’re heavy.” He weakly pushes at Jungkook to get him off of him, but he doesn’t put much strength into it at all. “And you’re cold from being outside in the snow.”

“Then you should warm me up.” Jungkook tightens his grip around him instead of getting off. “That’s a boyfriend duty, you know?”

Jungkook raises his gaze to look up at Jimin – the angle can hardly be flattering, but the boy doesn’t look at him any differently than he always does.

“Boyfriend?” questions Jimin. He’s obviously teasing, but he makes sure not to make it obvious at all. “I think you’ve mistaken me with somebody else.” He tries to push at Jungkook’s chest once more – harder this time – but Jungkook still remains on top of him.

“I’m not,” says Jungkook. “There’s only one man in the entire world who answers to both Park Jimin and princess and that’s you.” He bumps his forehead against Jimin’s chest a few times. Pointlessly, if Jimin had to describe it, but it’s endearing nonetheless.

“I really hated that you called me princess any chance you got.” Against his own stubbornness, Jimin reaches out his arms and wraps them around the boy lying on top of him. He won’t be able to get off him like this, but he doesn’t let go regardless.

“And now?”

He doesn’t look down at Jungkook as he thinks over the words. Instead, he directs his gaze to the ceiling and caresses his boyfriend’s back. It’s a habit for him. A habit that would’ve been weird mere months ago, but now it would be even weirder not to do it.

Eventually, he looks down again but he doesn’t find Jungkook’s gaze, instead, he feels the boy’s lips on his own. It’s a sloppy kiss and it feels entirely unplanned.

“I was trying to kiss your chin.” Jungkook licks his lips as he gets onto his elbows. “But I can’t say I’m disappointed.” He leans closer and this time, the kiss is planned and perfected.

Jungkook sneaks his tongue in between Jimin’s slightly parted lips and Jimin nearly holds his breath as his boyfriend overwhelms him in every way possible with a little kiss.

“If I say I love it now,” mutters Jimin, his lips rubbing against Jungkook’s as he speaks. “You calling me a princess all the time. Would that make me some sort of weird, abnormal masochist?”

Jungkook blinks perplexed at the absurd question before he buries his face in his chest once more and chuckles loud enough for Hoseok to stick his head out from the kitchen once more. It’s a glorious sound and Jimin wants his friends to piss off so he’s the only one who’ll hear it.

This is his Jungkook and his Jungkook only.

“I love you so much, you know that?”

Jungkook’s chuckles die down as Jimin reaches out to push the boy’s hair out of his face so he can see him clearly. It’s not the first time he’s said so, but Jungkook’s heart still seems to skip a beat every time regardless. He adores it. He adores how obvious Jungkook is with his love even without saying a single word.

“I didn’t know you at first and then I disliked you for forcing me to eat chicken wings. Then I liked you and then I really hated you. Somehow I ended up liking you again because of some ridiculous trip to Osaka and then…”

“Then you hated me.” Jungkook sounds dissatisfied with his own words. However, he seems so sure of them as well.

“Then I loved you.

He grabs ahold of Jungkook’s cheeks – pinching him mercilessly as if he’s a child. As if they’re both children.

“I didn’t hate you,” he continues. “I wanted to, but I never actually did.”

He releases Jungkook’s cheeks, eyeing the tiny, red spots he leaves behind on his soft skin. He admires them for a moment. Admires the spots he can leave on the boy because Jungkook’s skin is only his to mark now.

“It would’ve been okay if you had hated me, you know.”

Jungkook crawls closer, definitely leaving behind bruises on Jimin’s sensitive body with his pointy elbows.

“I know,” replies Jimin. “But loving you just feels so much better.”

Heat rushes to Jungkook’s face at the soft words and a sideways grin spreads on his lips. He’s flattered, shy and happy all at once and it’s a beautiful expression. This was the expression Jimin had hoped to see on his face when he foolishly tried to tease him.

“I’m so fucking happy that asshole stole your plane ticket.” Jungkook’s voice is soft as silk despite the harsh words he speaks. He has that ability. The ability to make everything sound so soft in Jimin’s ears.

“I’m happy you were the one I bumped into at that party.” He curls a long strand of Jungkook’s dark hair around his finger. It’s grown so much in the last few months. He wonders how long it’ll get.

He tucks a little and smiles as Jungkook lets out a soft, quiet moan of contentedness. It feels special and Jimin thrives in the knowledge that he’s the only one hearing it.

How possessive he has become over some silly boy.

“I really wanna have sex with you right now.”

Jungkook’s voice is muffled as he presses his face into Jimin’s chest and the words vibrate through the boy’s body.

“Our friends are right next door, Jungkook,” teased Jimin. He mimics the boy’s tone from earlier and it gives him great satisfaction to hear his boyfriend groan.

“I’m, like, really horny right now,” begins Jungkook, sounding as though he’s explaining a heist of some sort. “So I’m guessing it’ll only take maybe 5 minutes for me to finish. 3 minutes if you blow me.”

Hope shines in Jungkook’s dark eyes and it’s an adorable sight. It doesn’t match the vulgar words at all. It’s too innocent and his intentions are too dirty.

“Well, then you better close the door if you-”

“Dinner time!”

Hoseok’s loud shouting cuts him off and judging by the edge in his voice, he’s being purposely loud. Jimin raises his gaze to spot his best friend’s eyes down the hall and he’s slightly mortified by the realization that they’ve been caught in the act.

Hoseok looks amused, Jungkook is disappointed and Jimin feels embarrassed.

Eventually, Hoseok retreats back into the kitchen and Jimin pushes at Jungkook’s chest and this time, the boy displeasingly rolls off of him. He takes his sweet time and groans as he does so.

Even the boy’s sounds of dissatisfaction are endearing in every way.

“It’s dinner time,” says Jimin, repeating Hoseok’s words but this time, they’re only for Jungkook.

“It’s annoying,” replies the boy.

“It’s still dinner time.”

Jimin leans in to grab Jungkook’s soft cheeks and presses a quick kiss to his pouting lips. It’s sloppy and wet but perfect nonetheless. He lingers a little longer than necessary, caressing the boy’s nose with his own in an affectionate manner.

Eventually, he breaks away and crawls off the bed to get to his feet. He reaches out his hand for Jungkook, and though the boy rolls his eyes and complains simultaneously, he takes it at last.

“Don’t be a baby,” scolds Jimin as he pulls Jungkook closer to himself. “Our friends spend a lot of time making dinner for us.”

A juvenile groan leaves Jungkook’s pouty lips as he leans forward to lay his head on Jimin’s shoulder like a tired toddler. It’s endearing and annoying all at once.

“Jimin?”

“Mm?”

“Will you blow me after dinner?”

“You’re the worst.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s snowing again by the time the clock strikes midnight.

Everything is already covered in several feet of snow but by morning, they might be completely buried. It’ll be impossible to go anywhere tomorrow, but the seven boys had hardly planned anything huge.

The fireplace is burning brightly and the soft sound of crackling flames fills the living room. The coffee table is overrun by bowls of snacks, empty and full beer cans, and a few bottles of red wine. It’s an odd combination, but they’re an odd group of friends.

“Can we just stay here?” Taehyung’s gentle voice fills the living room and he attracts the attention of every pair of eyes around him. He’s holding a can of beer in his hand but he has raised it to his lips in a long time. “Let’s not go back to Seoul on Sunday. Let’s just stay here and don’t go back to school ever again.”

Yoongi slaps the boy’s shoulder in a scolding manner, but he has no ill intentions. It’s endearing to see the two boys be so comfortable around each other. Jimin didn’t think Yoongi was really comfortable around anyone, but Taehyung is a different story. They’ve been friends longer than anyone else in this cabin.

“I have an exam on Tuesday,” mutters Yoongi. “I studied like crazy for it. I’m not missing it.”

“You study like crazy for everything,” teases Jungkook. “Even the most insignificant things. Like that third-grade science fair, no one but you cared about.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes at the boy’s comment as he tips the beer can in his hand and swallows a generous amount. It’s hard to tell whether he’s amused or annoyed.

Jimin doesn’t know him well enough to tell yet.

“I won, didn’t I?” replies the boy. “So it paid off.”

Yoongi’s tone is awfully nonchalant and it makes the other boys snicker in amusement. The living room is filled with gentle laughter and even though these voices were strangers to one another a few months ago, they sound like they’ve practiced their harmony for years.

“Well, I’m with Taehyung on this, nonetheless,” says Namjoon and raises his wine glass in the air as though he’s about to give a toast. “I wanna stay here too and never go back to school.”

“Me too,” agrees Seokjin as he nuzzles into Namjoon’s side and clings their wine glasses together. The action is nothing extraordinary and it’s nothing unusual either. The two boys have long ago crossed the line of friendship yet they have yet to cross the next line as well.

It’s amusing really, how desperately they refuse to cross the line yet everyone knows they will never go back either.

“Do you wanna stay?”

The words are whispered softly into Jimin’s ears. They are only spoken to him and no one else.

He turns his head around to look up at Jungkook from his comfortable spot on his lap. Jungkook’s hand is running through his hair gently as he looks down at him. There’s a warm smile on his lips that looks nothing less than endearing.

“Why do you wanna know?”

“Because if you wanna stay,” begins Jungkook. “I wanna stay too.”

His tone doesn’t give anything away. Whether he wants to stay or leave is unknown. All Jimin knows, is that whatever he says, the boy will agree with him.

“I don’t wanna stay,” he says.

Jungkook looks neither disappointed nor relieved. It was just a silly idea but there’s no doubt in Jimin’s mind that Jungkook would bring it to life if he wanted him to. He has always been larger than life itself.

“I’ve started to grow quite fond of home since I met you.”

He reaches up his hand and presses his palm to Jungkook’s cheek. It’s warm against his skin, no doubt because of the fireplace that burns brightly just a few feet away. It makes his fingertips tickle and his lips spread into a smile.

Does Jungkook find him endearing the same way he finds him?

The gentle way he looks at him makes it obvious he does.

“Jimin, is there more beer in the fridge?”

Seokjin is the one to pull his attention away from Jungkook. He throws a quick look in the boy’s direction before he looks back at the boy hovering over him. It’ll strain his neck to look at Seokjin for too long. Looking at Jungkook doesn’t hurt at all.

“Check yourself,” he mumbles.

“But I got beer last time. It’s your turn.”

“I don’t even drink beer,” he replies. “So I shouldn’t have to go get it at all.”

He crosses his arms over his chest as he gives Jungkook his undivided attention. He doesn’t want to get up from his spot on the boy’s lap. He can feel his warmth and he can see the black hears growing on his chin. They aren’t too prominent. He shaved just a day or two ago, but Jimin can see them because he’s so close to him.

“But you drink wine and I got the wine too,” argues Seokjin. He’s whining but Jimin knows the boy isn’t annoyed or upset. He’s just childish and Jimin isn’t bothered by that anymore.

“I’ll get us some more beer,” says Jungkook and pats Jimin’s stomach as a sign for him to get off his lap.

“I said no to get beers because it didn’t wanna move,” says Jimin. He doesn’t even prepare to move. “Don’t make me get up.” It’s a plea more than anything else as he flutters his long lashes and waits for Jungkook to surrender.

He doesn’t, however.

“It’s our turn to get beer,” replies Jungkook and pats his stomach again, this time a little less overbearingly. “So get your cute little ass off my lap.”

Jimin narrows his eyes at the boy hovering over him with dismay. He had surely believed Jungkook wouldn’t argue with him if he pleaded with him so sweetly.

“Namjoon can go get beer,” he says, still refusing to move. “He hasn’t gotten beer in a long time.”

“We haven’t gotten beer at all,” argues Jungkook. “Come on, we’ll go together.”

He rubs Jimin’s stomach once more before he starts to get up without allowing the boy in his lap to rise first. It makes Jimin groan with dismay as he unwillingly sits up so his boyfriend can get free of him. However, he doesn’t swing his legs over the edge of the couch to follow Jungkook and he has no intentions of doing so at all.

He doesn’t want to go get beer when he doesn’t even drink beer.

“I said we’ll do it together,” says Jungkook as he reaches out his hand for Jimin to take. It’s tempting but Jimin refrains from doing so. Instead, he lays down on his back, getting himself comfortable on the couch now that Jungkook’s lap is no longer available.

There’s a cheeky smile on his lips he can’t hide no matter how hard he tries. He doesn’t want to get beer, but somehow, he wants Jungkook to force him along regardless.

“Baby.” It supposed to sound like a warning but it doesn’t sound like that at all. It’s soft and sweet and painfully overbearing.

“You spoiled brat,” mutters Hoseok teasingly. There’s no hesitation in his voice as he speaks the words. A few months ago, there would’ve, but now they sound like a secret joke shared between the two of them. “You get Jungkook to do everything for you. Get beers, fetch your blanket, build snowmen.”

“Hey, he wants to get beer, I always share my blanket with him and I did help build that stupid snowman.” He cocks his head to the side to see Hoseok sitting on the other side of the coffee table, a half-eaten tangerine in his hands. “So beat it, Hoseok.”

The boy doesn’t reply, instead, he giggles amusedly as he directs his attention to the tangerine in his hands. It can hardly be called surrender when he didn’t believe he would win the argument in the first place.

“Well, I wanna get beers with you.”

The words are hardly said before Jungkook leans down to pick up his unwilling boyfriend and lift him into his arm like a newlywed bride. The boy doesn’t fight the grip but he does make it as difficult as possible. He doesn’t reach up his arms to wrap them around Jungkook’s neck, instead, he relaxes his body completely until he might as well be a heavy rag doll.

He offers Jungkook no help yet no fight.

“You think I can’t carry you like this?” Jungkook sounds amused. “Baby, you’ve made it difficult for me for months. This is nothing.”

“You like difficult.”

“Only if it’s you.”

The words bring a smile to Jimin’s lips and though he hadn’t planned to, he reaches up his arms and wraps them around Jungkook’s neck, allowing him to lift him from the couch and into his arms.

He likes it there, anyway.

“We’ll be back with beers in a minute,” announces Jungkook.

“No need to hurry,” calls Taehyung as the two lovers leave the living room. “Take your time.”

They can hear the snickers and giggles as they make their way through the cabin to the kitchen. It’s not a long walk, least of all for Jimin who doesn’t take a single step, but it’s long enough for the voices of their friends to fade completely behind them.

“I’ve gotten stronger since I started dating you,” mumbles Jungkook amusedly as they step into the kitchen. “With all of this carrying you around. I’m gaining tons of muscles.”

“You’re welcome,” replies Jimin even though he knows that the boy wasn’t speaking out of gratitude.

“We should get you a wheelchair.”

“Are you planning on pushing me around like a dying grandmother?”

“No.”

“Then suck it up.”

Jungkook shakes his head in amused disbelief even though Jimin is sure he predicted the answer. He knows him really well, after all. Better than most people. Maybe even better than all of the people.

Eventually, they stop in front of the fridge, yet Jungkook makes no move to put him down.

“Can you open the fridge?” he says and gestures towards the handle with his head. “Or would that be too much for you, princess?”

Jimin debates it for a second even though he isn’t in doubt at all. He’s merely being cheeky and even though Jungkook already knows that, he enjoys it regardless.

“I suppose I could help a little,” he says at last before he reaches out to open the fridge. The door is heavier than it should be, but he’s of course at a disadvantage when he’s lying in Jungkook’s arms. He has no wish to get down, though.

“Does your highness require assistance?” teases Jungkook. Jimin doesn’t verbally answer him instead he merely rolls his eyes and pulls a little harder until the fridge door opens for him.

He smiles pleased as the cold air from the fridge hits them both. It’s a sharp contrast to the warmth from the living room, but in there, there’s a flame burning, out here there’s no fire to hold them warm.

“Let’s see how many you can carry,” says Jungkook as he steps closer to the fridge. “I’m betting 7.”

7?” asks Jimin, feeling rather insulted. “I can carry at least 11.”

“Show me then,” says Jungkook. “Oh, mighty Hercules.”

Determined, Jimin reaches out both arms and pulls down the beers from the nearest shelf. He places them all on his stomach, building an unstable beer tower on himself that’s bound to collapse eventually. They feel cold against his stomach even though there’s a thick layer of wool between the cans and his bare skin. It makes him shiver, but he pays it no mind as he pulls out more beer from the fridge than he should.

“Careful, baby, you’re gonna drop them all at this rate,” says Jungkook as he steps closer to make it easier for the boy in his arms even though he should be on the opposing team at the moment.

“I’ve got it,” insists Jimin as he pulls out the eighth beer, followed by the ninth. He empties the shelf for beer and hurries onto the lower shelf as the fridge starts to bib alarmingly.

“You gotta hurry,” ushers Jungkook. “You’re running out of- hey, since when did we have carrots?

The question messes up Jimin’s focus and he stops fishing out beers in favor of looking for the carrots Jungkook so desperately mentioned.

“You said we didn’t have any carrots,” continues Jungkook. “My snowman is noseless because you said we didn’t have any carrots but they’re right there.” He’s incapable of pointing with Jimin in his arms, but he doesn’t have to for the boy to know that he’s indirectly pointing accusatorily at the pack of carrots on the second shelf.

“I didn’t think we had any,” defends Jimin. “They must’ve been hiding behind the beer.”

Truth be told, he hadn’t searched the fridge with great effort when Jungkook had asked him merely yesterday if there were any carrots in the fridge. He hadn’t felt too bad at the moment since the fridge was packed with beer, wine, and soda, but now that there were lying right before his nose, he felt a little guilty for not finding them sooner.

“Put down the beer and grab a carrot,” says Jungkook. “We gotta give Denny a nose.”

“You wanna do it now?

Even though he was told to put down the beer, Jimin holds onto it desperately, hoping Jungkook will change his mind. The fridge is still bibbing, but none of the boys appears to care.

“What’s wrong with now?”

“It’s late and cold and dark.”

“There’s plenty of lights outside.”

Jimin could surely argue against the boy some more, maybe even succeed in convincing him not to go outside, but somehow, he just doesn't.

Instead, he scrambles with putting the cold beers back into the bibbing fridge and when his arms are empty, he reaches into the plastic bag for a carrot.

“Get the biggest one,” says Jungkook. Excitement is evident in his voice. It sounds childlike in the most endearing way possible.

He can feel the boy’s eagerness through his entire body. He’s jumping just the slightest, making it even harder for the boy in his arm to reach the carrots, but Jimin doesn’t want to tell him to stop. He wants him to continue being this excited over something as silly as a carrot and noseless snowman.

Jimin barely pulls the carrot free from the bag before Jungkook us pulling away from the fridge, using his foot to close it and shut up the bibbing they’ve been hearing the past few minutes.

With childlike eagerness, he storms out of the kitchen with Jimin in his arms and down the hall towards the door. They race past the living room and their friends are quick to call out for them. They’re yelling question after question but the two lovers reply to none of them as they hurry down the hallway.

“You have to put me down if you want me to put on my clothes, you know,” teases Jimin when they reach the door.

The snow that covered their boots has long ago melted and small puddles of water lie everywhere on the floor. It’s dirty and messy and had Jimin not been high on Jungkook’s excitement, he would’ve cursed the boy for making such a mess in his parent’s cabin.

“You won’t run away if I put you down, right?” asks Jungkook. “Because if that’s the case, I’m not putting you down.”

He’s merely teasing him, there’s nothing more to it yet Jimin doesn't mimic his cheeky smile. Instead, he reaches up the carrot and with carefulness, he bobs the boy’s nose with the orange vegetable. It’s silly and juvenile, but just right regardless.

“I’m not running away,” he says. “If you absolutely have to go outside right now, when it’s late and dark and cold, just to give your stupid snowman a nose, I’ll come with you.”

He waves the carrot in the air, but Jungkook’s eyes don’t follow it at all. His gaze is solely on Jimin.

“Isn’t that what boyfriends are for?”

Jungkook says nothing for a while and Jimin is already leaning closer for the kiss he’s sure is coming. He’s impatient as he waits for Jungkook to lean down and press his lips to his, but the awaited kiss never comes.

Instead, Jungkook puts him down a bit rougher than Jimin had believed and he’s slightly perplexed as Jungkook rushes to put on his boots and his winter coat.

It’s not that he’s disappointed.

He just really wanted a kiss.

“Baby, you gotta put on some clothes. I don’t want you to freeze.”

Jungkook is already fully dressed by the time he hands Jimin his winter coat. His shoelaces are poorly tied and his coat is unzipped, but it appears he’s too eager to care for such things.

With the carrot still in his hand, Jimin puts on his winter coat and zips it all the way up. He slips into his boots, not bothering to tie them either even though he knows he should. He doesn’t want Jungkook to wait any longer.

The front door is pushed open and cold air seeps through Jimin’s winter coat. It’s much colder than earlier, but even as the complaint tickles his tongue, he says nothing. He doesn’t want to complain now.

“Where’re you guys going?”

Their friends are standing at the end of the hallway, observing them curiously from head to toe.

“We’re gonna give my snowman a nose!” calls Jungkook as he rushes out the door and down the steps to get to the snow-covered garden where he built his igloo and his noseless snowman.

Jimin’s gaze follows him with adoration until he’s all the way down the staircase. He doesn’t disappear in the dark thanks to the countless lights all around them, but even so, Jimin feels as though he’ll vanish if he doesn’t go to him right now.

“This wasn’t my idea,” he insists as he throws a quick look back at his friends before he hurries after Jungkook, closing the door behind him.

He jumps down the steps of the stairs until he reaches the ground and even then, he doesn’t stop skipping a few steps to reach his boyfriend faster. He’s impatient even though he has no reason to.

Jungkook is patting the snowman all over to secure his form when Jimin finally reaches him. He’s pressing together the snow and adjusting the scarf around his neck which they stole from Taehyung. The rocks he used for his mouth are no longer in a straight line but rather falling down, giving the snowman a frowny expression.

It’s almost as though he knows he’s missing his nose.

“Here.” Jimin holds out the carrot for Jungkook to take, but the boy doesn’t.

“You should do it,” he says.

“But it’s your snowman.”

“And if you do it, it’ll be your snowman too.”

Jungkook is insisting on his words as he stuffs his hands down his pockets to show he has no intention of taking the carrot from Jimin’s bare hands.

The sigh that leaves Jimin’s lips can be seen in the cold air as he steps closer to the snowman and reaches out the carrot. The snow is hard and he has to put all his strength into pressing the orange vegetable into the snowman’s face.

It doesn’t look like Jimin believed it would. The carrot is crooked and the snowman’s mouth is slowly falling off his face.

It’s an ugly snowman that stares back at him in the winter evening and even though he wanted no part in his creation, he feels his heart flutter regardless.

“Now it’s both of ours,” says Jungkook softly. He reaches out for Jimin’s hands and while he continues to speak, he fishes up a pair of gloves from his pockets. “I gave him a body, you gave him a nose, and together, we gave him life.”

Jungkook’s hands are warm against Jimin’s skin as he slips the gloves onto Jimin’s cold hands. He’s being delicate as he dresses his hands in the thick wool. Jimin remains silent as he watches his boyfriend put gloves on his hands, one glove at a time until his cold hands are hidden away from the cold winter air.

“That’s your gloves,” he mutters, but even so, he doesn’t take them off. “Now you’ll freeze.”

“Then you’ll just have to hold my hands so they won’t get cold.”

He intertwines their hands, Jimin’s covered in wool and Jungkook’s completely bare. It shouldn’t be possible, but Jimin can feel Jungkook’s warmth through the thick layer of wool that separates their skin. It makes him tighten his grip around the boy to ensure he won’t slip out of his grasp.

Jungkook’s smile widens at the tight grip and his dark eyes sparkle in the dim light from the cabin. His nose is already red from the cold and so are his cheeks. He looks younger than he is right now. It makes Jimin nostalgic even though he has never known a younger Jungkook.

All he knows is this Jungkook.

He doesn’t mind, though.

He adores this Jungkook.

“He’s not as pretty as I had hoped,” mumbles Jungkook and when Jimin follows his line of sight, he spots the snowman beside them. He looks miserable somehow, but it makes Jimin smile.

“You can make a prettier one tomorrow,” says Jimin. “Then he’ll get a best friend.”

Jungkook chuckles at the words. He bites down on his lower lip to stop himself, but he appears to be a little too amused.

“I’ve never seen two pretty best friends,” he mutters, more to himself than anyone else, but Jimin hears him loud and clear. “It’s always one of them gotta be-”

“Don’t you dare,” interrupts Jimin. “You juvenile teenager.” He pulls one of his hands free from Jungkook’s to hit the boy weakly on the chest. “You need to stop being on your phone so much.”

“Why? It’s funny.”

“It’s silly.”

“That’s why it’s funny.”

Jimin tries to pull his other hand free as well, but Jungkook is quick to tighten his grip, making it impossible for the smaller boy to pull away. Instead, he’s pulled closer until he’s trapped in his boyfriend’s warm embrace.

“You’re so childish,” he mumbles without meeting Jungkook’s gaze.

“And you’re so uptight.” He says the words endearingly even though they shouldn’t be complimentary at all. “So we make a good fit.”

“I’m not your babysitter.

“Thank god, for that,” mumbles Jungkook, his hot breath ghosting over Jimin’s cold nose. “Otherwise, it will be completely inappropriate if I kiss you.”

There’s a cheeky smile on his face as he looks down at Jimin’s plump lips. He looks eager and impatient, but Jimin is sure it’s nothing compared to the restlessness he feels.

He’s wanted to kiss him for a long time now.

He won’t let Jungkook beat him to it.

So instead of waiting for Jungkook to lean down, Jimin gets on his toes and reaches up his lips until he can crash them to his lover’s.

Their lips are cold but their tongues are hot as they lick their way into each other’s mouths. It feels even more intense now that the air around them is freezing cold. It makes it hotter than usual.

He can feel Jungkook’s hands wrap around his waist and pull him closer until they’re both suffocated by the huge winter coats that separate them. However, even then, they’re both too stubborn to pull apart voluntarily.

It appears it takes a snowball to the face to separate them.

Laughter surrounds them as snow drips down their flushed cheeks and when the boys unwillingly pull apart, their friends stand around them, fully dressed and fully armed with countless snowballs. The grins on their faces are impossible to miss and the eagerness in their moves is hard to ignore.

A few drops of melted snow are already running down Jimin’s throat and down his winter coat and he shivers even though he can hardly feel the cold. He wipes away the remaining snow from his cheek with his glove-covered hand as he hisses in annoyance.

“I said I don’t wanna play snowball fight,” he mumbles. “Getting wet isn’t fun, it’s just annoy-”

He doesn’t get to finish his complaint before another snowball flies his way. It hits him right above the chest and a few snowflakes land on his cheeks. He snaps his head in the direction of the snowball and finds his best friend staring back at him with a huge grin plastered across his lips.

“I’m not going home until you’ve thrown a snowball,” says Hoseok. “I wanna have a snowball fight with my best friend at least once before winter ends.”

Hoseok’s eyes are pleading as he regards him and though it’s nothing Jimin can’t withstand, he doesn’t want to.

“If my socks are wet when we get inside, I will personally-”

He doesn’t get to finish this sentence either before another snowball flies his way, however, this time, he doesn’t let it stun him. Instead, he bends down and fills both of his glove-covered hands with snow. He doesn’t take the time to form the snow into balls before he throws them in the direction of his best friend.

This way, he’ll surely hit someone.

Within seconds, the garden of his parent’s cabin is turned into a warzone. Snowballs are flying through the late winter air like cold bullets. Laughter, screams, and glee echoes all around them until every other sound size to even exist.

Adrenaline is pumping through Jimin’s veins as he engages himself in a deadly snowball fight, he had previously refused to partake in but now can’t escape.

But does he even want to?

His friends’ cheeks are flushed, their noses are red and their lips are stretched into bright smiles. Glee is written all over every single one of them as they run around like children, throwing and avoided snow as though their lives depended on it.

It’s chaotic but so, so exhilarating.

Eventually, Jimin finds Jungkook’s gaze across the garden. His eyes sparkle with joy, Jimin sees it clearly even though they’re far apart now. A snowball war is separating them from one another and yet Jimin feels so close to his lover he’s sure he could hold out his hand and touch him.

Jungkook reaches up his hand to zip down his jacket just enough for Jimin to see every inch of his beautiful face. He licks his lips and the action draws in Jimin’s attention. He watches Jungkook’s mouth intensely as the boy parts his lips.

He can’t hear him at all as he speaks. Laughter and joy drown out any other sound around them, but he can see his pink lips move with every syllable, even if he can’t hear him.

However, he doesn’t have to hear him to know what his lover is telling him.

He knows.

He just knows.

Not a single sound can be heard as Jimin returns the words. His lips form every syllable but no one would be able to hear him even if they stood right before him.

However, he prefers it that way.

These words are only for Jungkook.