"Your first pride parade?” Jimin asks when Jungkook finally works up the guts to sit next to him.
Jungkook wonders how Jimin guessed until Jimin nods to the single rainbow flag pin on the pocket of Jungkook's shirt. Ah, right. They laugh even though it's not very funny. Jungkook thinks this must be what angels sound like when they laugh.
"Guess I am pretty obvious." Jungkook grins sheepishly.
Jimin is even more stunning up close.
The man seems to be painted in glitter from every inch, head to toe. It should be gaudy, it should seem over the top. Jimin glimmers like a precious jewel instead. There are sequins all over his equally lavish apparel. Colorful rhinestones on his bottom lashes. Goodness, Jungkook found it difficult to even breathe sitting beside Jimin, but there wasn't anywhere else he would rather be.
"May I?" Jimin nodded to Jungkook's pin waiting for permission before he unclipped it and refastened properly.
Apparently, Jungkook had had it upside down the entire day.
"Well that's embarrassing." Jungkook's whole face was red.
"That's not what gave you away. Lots of people come to these parades without any symbolism at all." Jimin tapped the pin, grinning wide. "You seem out of your element, that's all. And you're just a kid."
Jungkook scoffed. "I'm not that young. We're the same age, I'm sure."
"I'm twenty-five." Jimin arched a brow.
"Twenty-three." Jungkook beamed. "See, not so different."
"And yet so very different." Jimin said, chuckling.
Jungkook didn't know why talking with Jimin felt so natural, so easy. More likely than not, Jimin carried most of the conversation. Jimin seemed to enjoy asking Jungkook questions about himself even though between the two of them, clearly Jimin had led a much more interesting life. Jungkook prattled away all the same. Telling Jimin about how he'd unintentionally been swept into a conga line early on during the parade. Bashfully admitting how much he did not know that he did not know until attending the festivities and talking with others in the community.
Jimin was positively engrossed in Jungkook's excitement. So much so that Jungkook wondered if maybe Jimin were reliving his own first-time through Jungkook. The attention, while very much desired, left Jungkook a bit winded. Every time he looked at Jimin, those piercing eyes were on his, studying Jungkook's every move like Jimin could see right through him.
"I have to know." Jungkook said. "Is there always so much walking? My legs are on fire."
Jimin burst into laughter, smacking Jungkook's shoulder. "You certainly wore the wrong shoes, Kookie."
Jungkook's entire brain short circuited then and anything he wanted to say died in his throat. And much to his dismay, Jimin definitely noticed because once again the empty train vibrated with his laughter. Jungkook didn't mind. His body tingled, his heart stuttered, and his tongue felt the way it always did when he had eaten too much pineapple.
"You have platforms on." Jungkook remarked, noticing Jimin's shoes for the first time.
"Ah, but it's not my first pride, young one." Jimin teased.
Jungkook wiped his sweaty palms on his jeans, laughing along with Jimin nervously. This was such bullshit. Jungkook tended to keep to himself, but he absolutely was not shy. Not until setting sights on Jimin, at least.
"Um, could I ask you something?" Jungkook mentally slapped himself for being less than suave.
But Jimin regarded Jungkook with a kind, sweet smile, propping his elbow on his knee as he hunched forward to stare at Jungkook. "I believe you just did, Kookie."
"Yeah." Jungkook agreed with a jittery laugh. There was that damn nickname again. "Can I take you out to dinner? Maybe?"
Honestly if a bolt of lightning struck Jungkook right now to put him out of his own awkward misery that would be perfect.
"And why would you want to do that?" Jimin inquired.
Was it their miniscule age gap? Perhaps all of Jimin's confidence or experience? Jungkook wished he could pinpoint exactly what it was that made Jimin seem so regal and refined.
"You're extremely gorgeous." Jungkook blurted out.
"Why thank you." Jimin responded before Jungkook had a chance to have a complete mental breakdown.
"A-and you've been so nice to me." Jungkook pushed along praying his face wasn't as red and hot as it felt. "I want to thank you."
Jimin's right brow lifted and Jungkook wanted to cry. "For fixing your upside down flag? You're adorable. You don't have to take me out."
"But I want to!" Jungkook rushed a bit too quickly, a pitch too high, and a tad too loud. Jimin's endearing smile never faded though. Jungkook licked his lips, flexed his fingers and tried again. "I would like to, Jimin. I know that I don't have to. But I would really like to take you to a meal sometime. If that's alright."
He could almost hear the wheels turning in Jimin's beautiful mind. The man was amused, though. There was a twinkle in his eyes and mischief dancing on his lips. Jungkook felt proud to be the reason for it.
"I have a rule about not being anyone's first gay experience. No matter how cute they are." Jimin spoke softly, cautious of how he worded what he wanted to say. He reached out to brush Jungkook's fringe from his eyes. "And you are very, very cute."
"I've done things." Jungkook argued lamely.
"Is that right?" Jimin asked.
For the first time in nearly an hour, they were silent. It didn't feel entirely uncomfortable, though. Not to Jungkook at least. He swayed his feet to the rhythm of the train and played with the tips of his fingers. Being rejected by Jimin oddly didn't feel as crushing as it should have. They'd had a good time talking and laughing with one another, but that didn't mean the electricity Jungkook felt would be the same for Jimin. And that was alright. Jungkook was grateful just to have had the experience.
"How is Saturday at 8:00pm?"
Jungkook whipped his head in Jimin's direction so fast he already felt a cramp forming in the back of his neck, but that didn't matter. He didn't mean to seem so eager or excited like a damn puppy dog, yet here Jungkook sat with his whole face lighting up grinning like he'd just won a million dollars. And if nothing else, it earned him one more of Jimin's glorious laughs.
"That would be wonderful." Jungkook agreed, nodding much too hard.
"Do you live around here?" Jimin asked while fishing out his phone.
"Not far at all. I'm the next stop actually." Jungkook informed.
Jimin peered quietly at Jungkook then. Jungkook wasn't sure what it meant or why Jimin folded his lips in to hide his smile. His attention was fixed instead on Jimin passing his phone into Jungkook's hands, new contact screen already open. Jungkook fumbled entering his name and number, nearly dropping Jimin's surprisingly simple phone twice. Good timing, he figured, when the train began to slow down and gradually come to a halt. Jimin stood suddenly, stretching and cracking several bones. Jungkook watched curiously until Jimin whirled around with a smile so radiant it robbed him entirely of his breath.
"This is my stop, too." Jimin said. "I'll text you, and I'll see you on Saturday. Right, Kookie?"
"Right, Jimin." Jungkook managed around the lump in his throat.
The beginning of a close friendship or something more, Jungkook did not know or care which. He only had a feeling that they were meant to cross paths. Saturday couldn't come soon enough.
That's all it was supposed to be.
They met on Wednesday. In a measly three days, Jungkook would be reunited with Jimin in the diner a few blocks down sipping piping hot coffee. Except time had been a complete and utter lie for Jungkook. Work seemed to drag on much longer than usual. His colleagues certainly noticed a shift in his attitude as well, asking if everything was alright or if he was going through something stressful. Jungkook politely declined to discuss his embarrassing internal mini tantrum over how long it was taking to see Jimin again.
It wasn't like they weren't texting each other during the night anyway. Jimin, as Jungkook found out, was an elementary school teacher. More specifically an art teacher. Jungkook nearly swooned thinking about Jimin with a dozen kids huddled around, pasting colored paper on plastic cups. During the daytime, Jimin stayed busy. At night, though, they texted until Jungkook fell asleep. Jungkook always slept first and it was beyond annoying. Jimin never minded and he made sure to send Jungkook a goodnight text.
"Do you want to put your order in, dear, or are you still waiting for your friend?" the waitress interrupted.
"Still waiting." Jungkook smiled. "I'll take a latte for now, please."
Alright, so maybe Jungkook had shown up half an hour early to pick out the best seat in the place.
More importantly Jungkook didn't want to arrive after Jimin and have something embarrassing happen on his way to the seat (like tripping and falling on his face, maybe). He really needed to slow down on the coffee, though. Jungkook wasn't opposed to the caffeinated beverage per say, it's just that he never bothered to order or drink it. If someone at work offered him a cup, he'd take it then probably nurse it for the rest of the day.
Having learned how much Jimin enjoyed coffee however got Jungkook thinking he ought to give it a fair chance. Jimin was delightfully nerdy about his coffee. Jimin had told Jungkook all about the different brands he'd tried on his quest for the perfect cup. Even admitted to keeping a journal in which he ranked various coffees and their flavor. So, since Jungkook was hardly a coffee connoisseur, he'd had three different cups at work this morning. This would be his fourth of the day. His nerves were jittery enough without adding anymore sugar or caffeine.
Jungkook practically jumped out of his body. He'd been so engrossed, probably grinning at his cup of water like a buffoon, he hadn't even noticed Jimin approaching. Jungkook met Jimin's eyes and held his breath. If Jimin insisted on rendering him entirely breathless like this each time they met, Jungkook would need to invest in a ventilator. This Jimin wasn't anything like the one Jungkook met on the train. Black slacks, loose fitting red hoodie and much simpler earrings. Not a single ounce of glitter anywhere that Jungkook see (an amazing feat by itself). Jimin’s hair had been styled and especially fancy the night they met, with bright bold colors streaked through. Now, Jimin’s healthy jet-black locks hung free of product framing Jimin’s face like a cherub. If Jimin wore any makeup, Jungkook couldn't tell beyond a very light smear of liner along his bottom lids. Jungkook's heart swelled and begged to burst upon notice of the specks and freckles dotting Jimin's nose and cheeks.
"Wow." Jungkook whispered.
"Quite a different appearance, isn't it?" Jimin chirped as he took his seat across from Jungkook.
"Yes. I mean no. That's not it." Jungkook shook his head.
Jimin scooted forward, bracing his arms on the table. "Oh? Then what is it?"
"It's just... I thought you were stunning the other night." Jungkook admitted impishly. "I had no idea you were so beautiful naturally."
Jimin laughed softly and when he did, he touched Jungkook's arm. "You don't have to charm me, I'm already on the date." Jimin teased.
"So it is a date?" Jungkook perked up.
"If you'd like it to be." Jimin shrugged, smiling impossibly bright.
Like Jungkook could ever say no to that.
He merely didn't want to impose or assume. After all, he'd only asked Jimin out for a meal. And sure, the implication hung in the air, but Jungkook would accept nothing more than a friendly bite to eat and a coffee with Jimin, too. This time, Jimin did most of the talking. Thank the stars for that. Jungkook got tongue tied anytime Jimin looked at him to participate or add to the conversation. Was it his imagination or could he actually hear the blood in his ears pulsing?
Perhaps downing a fifth coffee with Jimin might've been a mistake. Well worth it though. Jimin told him about his class, called them his kids. He shared a charming story about a little one proposing to him last year. Yeah, Jungkook could relate to that awestruck sensation, too. They touched on Jimin's experiences traveling to various pride events across the country a few years back. Jimin even opened up about being teargassed at a protest.
Fascinating. It was the only word to really describe Jimin both on an intellectual and appearance level.
Jimin swished the coffee in his mug around, staring pointedly. "Now be honest with me, Kook." Jungkook wanted to fucking preen. "How comfortable are you with your sexuality?"
"I've done stuff." Jungkook answered, presuming Jimin might be thinking about his rule again.
"What kind of stuff?" Jimin questioned, lacing his fingers together.
Jungkook gave him a look. "Are you asking me if I've sucked a dick?"
Jimin barely stifled a laugh. "I'm asking for anything you'd like to share."
"I'm not naïve." Jungkook clarified. "I've had my fair share of experimenting before I figured out who I am."
"You just seem so nervous." Jimin observed, resting his chin on his hands.
"You make me nervous." Jungkook conveyed, ears burning.
Jimin seemed genuinely surprised. "How?"
"You're the most attractive person I've ever known or seen in my entire life." Jungkook stated. And if he were being honest, he was delighted with the Jimin smiled because of him. "You're witty and wise. I want very much to get to know you better."
"I'd love to see you in your element, Jungkook. I could really fall for you." Jimin sighed softly.
"Does that mean I'll get a second date?" Jungkook hoped he didn't sound too enthusiastic. "I promise I'll be much cooler next time."
"You're already plenty adorable. And I like that I unnerve you." Jimin said, reaching across the table to finger Jungkook's sleeve. "Makes me think you are being authentic with me."
"You didn't say yes..." Jungkook noticed feeling entirely deflated.
"Jungkook, I like you. I think we could be amazing friends. There's so much I could teach you and show you." Jimin's eyes were shimmering. "But I meant what I said." He reached for Jungkook's folded hands then, caressing gently until Jungkook finally looked at him. "I could fall for you. Easily."
Jungkook forced down the nerves bubbling in this stomach, taking the initiative to intertwine their fingers. And oh my, those were certainly small fingers!
"Would that be so terrible?" Jungkook posed.
Jimin hummed. "I can think of a few worse fates."
Jungkook deduced that Jimin's experience more than likely went beyond being a few years older, seeing more places, and becoming self-aware sooner than Jungkook. Heartbreak could do damage, that much Jungkook knew for sure. It could leave nasty scars, too. That did not deter Jungkook. He squeezed Jimin's hands and they sat that way unmoving for a while. Whatever it was, whoever had done it, Jungkook hoped karma came around full circle sooner rather than later. Jungkook couldn't undo whatever had Jimin so apprehensive. But maybe they could mend together.
"Min?" Jungkook spoke tenderly as if he didn't want to shatter the comforting silence around them.
"Yes, Kookie?" Jimin tipped his head subtly, locks following his movement.
Jungkook hesitated for only a moment. "May I kiss you?"
The creases around Jimin's eyes folded when he smiled and his eyes threatened to disappear entirely.
"If you get any cuter, I'm going to explode." Jimin warned him.
"Consent is important." Jungkook expressed. "I don't ever want to make you uncomfortable."
For the first time, Jungkook was not the only one left speechless or holding his breath.
"I think kissing is more for date two or three." Jimin said, wiggling his fingers. "But if you'll meet me for breakfast in the morning, I could make an exception."
Jimin moved forward and slanted their lips together, grinning like a fool for making Jungkook a blubbering mess. Jungkook recovered quickly enough, sinking into the kiss tasting of cream, sugar, and something slightly bitter.
Jungkook supposed he liked coffee more than he'd thought after all. So long as it was on Jimin's lips, that is.
And what luck?
Jimin's kisses were in infinite supply.