Left on Mute - Chapter 6 - xxmarvian - 방탄소년단 | Bangtan Boys (2024)

Chapter Text

“I’m not sure which is worse: intense feeling, or absence of it.” — Margaret Artwood.

Total number of phone calls: 473

Jungkook hardly took off the ring Jimin gave him as a Christmas present. It was silver and shiny, and it fit well with the rest of his clothes and jewellery. It was yet another thing Jimin took his time to get and engrave for him as his initials ‘JJK’ remained on the inside of the ring, written in the very same italic as his lighter.

As the new year had already begun, Koo was surprised when Jimin continued calling, pretending like nothing had happened, as if the pre-graduation party never existed.

Jungkook hated the fact they couldn’t talk and he often fell victim to the guilt of his own mistakes, both angry and sad for crossing the boundary of the phone calls to satisfy his selfish feelings for the younger.

“The museum manager was incredibly nice.” Jimin continued, panting quietly as he was walking through the snow. Jungkook was stuck in the break room of his office, staring out of the window as he waited for his coffee to disperse from the coffee machine.

He’d come to work somewhat earlier and as HR was holding a meeting with his supervisor, he didn’t have much to do except wait around and listen to Jimin on the phone.

“She said she really liked me and would contact me soon about the job duties, salary and available collaborations with their affiliated art studios. They’ve already closed applications, so I should receive a call or an email before the end of the month, I think.” He huffed and slurped from his drink before he continued.

“Mm, I was actually very surprised they were willing to get me, although I haven’t yet graduated and I’m just entering my senior year. I know my grades are good and I get high scores for my projects, but I didn’t think that could lend me such a good opportunity, you know?”

Jungkook shook his head with a smile. “You’re doubting yourself once again, little one.”

“I have another job interview that I’m going to right now, and on Thursday and Friday as well. For late January, that already seems too many things at once. Aaaah, and I still haven’t signed for my 3rd semester courses, and the signup link is already out! I completely forgot about that. I was supposed to get into a group with Mina for the History of Pottery seminars, but I don’t know if there are any places left in that particular slot… Oh, what do I do…”

“Jungkook-sshi.” A voice startled him from behind.

He saw one of his seniors walking in, holding a thick blue folded and a laptop. Koo quickly bowed and pointed at his phone to indicate he was busy. The man, Dong Youngbae, quickly took the hint and waved him off. “Come to my desk when you’re done.”

Jungkook nodded attentively before his ears dragged back to Jimin who was still rambling about his pottery course. Koo knew it wasn’t mandatory to attend, the younger had already made it clear the first time he talked about it, but hearing him pout and protest over being late for signup made Jungkook smile foolishly.

“Cute.”

“… Talk to the professor and I’m sure we’ll find a solution to it. I’ve heard from Young that another professor is planning to put one of my art projects in the next student exhibition, but I… I don’t know. There’s nothing concrete yet.” Jimin laughed to himself. “Ha-ha, concrete, got it?”

It took a moment for Jungkook to get the joke, but as he did, Jimin was already moving onto something different.

“Goodness, little one.”

“While I’m at it, I should probably send an email to my Fine Arts professor who said he’ll give me last year’s assignment problems for our finals for 3rd year. Goodness, it’s so crazy I’m graduating at the end of the year! Wait… aren’t you graduating too, hyung? You have for 4 years of studying, right? Ah, yes, yes. It’s different there.”

Jungkook shook his head and sighed. His coffee was ready and he put a lid over the top to prevent it from spilling. One coffee drop on one of the company’s computers and he’ll be a goner.

“Young said we should start planning for a pre-graduation party already, but I think it’s too early for that.”

Pre-graduation party. How easily it rolled off Jimin’s tongue, like it held no meaning whatsoever.

Or maybe it didn’t for him. Maybe it was just Jungkook that kept thinking of that night over and over again.

Sometimes, it would end up with him crying but mostly, it would be him and his co*ck over one of the pillows, desperately trying to feel familiar friction that aroused him so deeply when he was still with Jimin. He couldn’t achieve it, not with a pillow at least, but his needs overlapped with his rationality and more often than not, he’d cum with Jimin’s name in his mouth, muffled by his hand, so he doesn’t wake up the neighbours.

“Anyways, anyways. I’m getting in the subway, so let’s talk later, hyung. Good luck at your job today!”

Click.

Damn it, how much he wished to see Jimin again.

— x —

“Yeah, I’m planning to stay at my girlfriend’s a bit longer, so I don’t know when I’ll be back to Busan exactly.” Taehyung rolled his body on the bed and raised the phone over his head. Jungkook had left his own on his desk, camera pointing directly at him as he was going through his paperwork for work tomorrow morning.

“Which one of the seven you have?” Koo jokingly responded, gaining himself a grunt and short-lived laughter.

It was true, though. Taehyung was changing girlfriends faster than Jungkook could keep up and as he’d settled on another internship in Japan, it had become even harder to get a glimpse of what his life had become. They didn’t talk a lot anymore, but Taehyung texted every once in a while to make sure his best friend was still there and alive.

Incredibly considerable of him and not at all condescending.

“You’re very funny.” Taehyung stood up as a ring was heard on the door. “I’m talking about Sana, obviously. That’s probably her on the door as well. We’ll be going out to see some dumb movie she and her friends picked up, and I couldn’t say no, ‘cause it’s a triple date or something.”

Koo whistled. “You’ve made yourself busy over there.”

“As if.” He opened the door and smiled towards his girlfriend, giving her a quick peck on the lips. They exchanged a few words in Japanese and Sana appeared on camera, waving her hands towards Jungkook.

On top of his screen though, he saw another number calling and he unconsciously smiled.

Calling Park Jimin…

“Don’t look at my girlfriend like this, man.” Taehyung scolded him. Jungkook’s smile dropped and he took the phone in his hands.

“Now that she’s home, I’m hanging up. Text me when you can, Tae.” Koo told him and hung up without waiting for his best friend’s response.

Moment later, Jimin’s soft-spoken voice rung through his ears and Jungkook’s shoulders visibly relaxed. His smile returned and he turned himself away from the documents to keep his attention onto the younger.

It was the second time he called him today – once in the grocery store to talk about marmalade and now. He wondered what it would be this time.

“Hyung, this is serious. Have you ever heard of a marmalade co*cktail?”

Oh, Goodness.

— x —

The line freed and Jungkook sighed with relief.

“It’s crazy how people can be so frustrating that I’m contemplating company infringement.”

Jungkook had just finished work, walking towards the bus stop. The weather wasn’t the nicest, so he pushed his beanie down and continued ahead. He couldn’t wait to go home and crack a beer open.

“I feel like I’m going crazy in here, is it just me? I mean, I know it’s not, because my colleagues are also complaining. We’ve got a new head of the Security Department, and even my supervisor isn’t too happy with him. He’s such a…”

Jungkook groaned quietly.

Nitpick. If I don’t do the code in the same sequence he does it, he’ll make it his number one priority to complain on our weekly meetings about it. And I know from Dong-nim that on his first monthly check-up with the other supervisors, he also told them that we’re unorganised? Like…” He laughed in disbelief.

“You come in, you’re not even through your first trimester and you already want to de- and reconstruct our whole department schedule? Like what’s next? I’ll be working on programming commercial-use computers? Do you realise how stupid this sounds? We’re in the Security Department. What’s so unorganised about security, goddamn it?”

Jungkook shook his head, trying to calm himself down. “If he keeps messing around, I feel like a rebellion is going to form in the office. It’s not normal for Management and Accounting to come to us and say they can’t enter their database just because he told us to strengthen the security and forgot to tell the other departments about it.”

The bus came and Jungkook hopped on it, letting out a deep sigh as he sat down. “I’m in the bus now, little one. Later.”

Click.

And f*ck, Jungkook, not again… That was a becoming a nasty habit that he wasn’t yet ready to let go.

— x —

Hoseok leaned himself on the table and sighed deeply, pushing his laptop back.

“I miss him.”

Jungkook and Jihyo raised their heads simultaneously, then looked at each other and back at Hoseok. It’s been the fourth time in the span of 30 minutes that Hoseok had said that and at this point, both of them were losing focus over the lovesickness that had overtaken their friend. Jihyo groaned quietly and pushed her laptop screen down, so she could see him better.

“There’s nothing wrong to call and apologise, you know that, right?” She prompted, hands tightly pressed in one another over the table.

“I have nothing to apologise for.” Hoseok immediately retorted with a shake of his head. “It wasn’t my fault he messed up my order.”

“You’re being childish.” Jungkook grimaced. “It was just a cheeseburger.”

“Uh, yeah, exactly! And he forgot my fries!” Hoseok exclaimed rather passionately. “He knows I love fries and he forgot to get them! I had to go and buy them for myself, because he got mad at me and threw me out of his car!”

“He’s not your butler, Seok-ah.” Jihyo furrowed her eyebrows. “And you kind of sound like a douchebag right now.”

“I… I’m not! What’s so wrong about expecting from your partner the bare minimum!” Hoseok groaned and angrily sipped from his water bottle. “This is ridiculous.”

“It is.” Jungkook agreed shortly. “All your fights are.”

“We don’t fight.” Hoseok crunched his nose.

“Aha, sure.” Jihyo rolled her eyes and returned to her essay.

She’s been writing it for nearly a week and yet, she still wasn’t done. Sadly, neither of them could help her. Computer techs against philosophy had no chance of winning.

“And I’m an apple, Hoseok-ah, and I’m currently hanging from a tree in Trinidad.”

“Please, if you were to be some fruit, you’d be a mango at best.” Hoseok snickered.

“That was a compliment, because mangos are one of the best fruits out of—”

“Oh no, no. This is so not true, because there are also bananas and peaches, and…”

“How are peaches better than mango!”

“Oh, they’re definitely better than mango.”

“Since wh—“

“And the point of this conversation is?” Jungkook interrupted them the very same moment his phone rang. He glanced at it and so did Hoseok, and before he could say anything, his friend was already groaning and pouting in his place.

“Why can I not get a call from him already?” He whined, making Jihyo reach through the table and hit his head with her notebook.

“Get it together, peach lover.”

“I’m more of a banana type of person, but…” He gained himself another hit on the head.

“Gross.”

Jungkook stood from his place and took the phone with himself. “I’ll be right back.”

— x —

Jimin’s call came whilst Jungkook was lifting in the gym. He had his headphones on, hair tie pushing his locks away from his sweaty face. Jungkook forced the bar up, then let it press to his chest before he lifted it again and safely put it back on its place.

“Hyung!” Jungkook heard immediately after he answered. He tapped the towel over his forehead and sighed deeply.

What was it this time? High score on yet another sculpture? Winning an origami competition? Getting a new sweater?

“I got the job!”

Jungkook raised his eyebrows and a smile soon approached his lips. “Which one of all?”

“Well, the jobs, actually.” Jimin corrected himself. “You know all those jobs I applied to back in January? Well, they finally got back to me and I got accepted to 3 of the positions! I’m… Can you believe it? I’m so… Ah!”

Jimin’s soft, yet loud yell made Jungkook laugh.

“I still haven’t decided which one to take since all of them are amazing and I just… I can’t pick yet.” The grin the younger had was prevalent in each word he spoke and Jungkook felt warmth spreading through his chest.

There were many things he wanted to say to Jimin. He wanted to hug him and congratulate him, to take his locks away from his face and kiss it. He wanted to see his excitement, to smile with him and celebrate, and…

Jungkook rolled the ring between his fingertips. He’d put it on a chain around his neck as he quickly realised having a ring on his finger wasn’t the most convenient thing when going to the gym. He didn’t care if people were to see it and assume things. Actually, that was much better. Better they knew he wasn’t searching for anything.

It was foolish, Jungkook knew. After all, he and Jimin weren’t together, were never a thing and yet… Somehow, he wished for it to happen. After their night together, he knew there wasn’t anyone with whom he’d fall in love, at least not until Jimin left his life and that was not an option.

Even if it hurt, even if he didn't get the man, Jungkook was okay with only hearing him through the phone.

“I’ll need a bit more time to make my choice and I’ll probably discuss it with my mom and my friends, but I… You’re…” Jimin quietly screamed again.

How could someone be this adorable?

“You know…You’re actually the first one to know this. I, I wanted… Well…” He laughed shortly. “You’re here with me always, so… I thought it was only right you knew before anyone else.”

Jungkook crunched himself over the bench and hid his face in his palms. He couldn’t stop smiling.

“I’m proud of you, little one.” Koo said ever so quietly.

“And catch that! I don’t know if I told you, but two of the jobs offer a business car and now that I think about it, I’ll probably shoot for one of them. It’s been really hard to go around with public transport recently since I’m always having something on me. If I get a car, I’ll finally manage to also drive my sculptures and art wherever they need to be. Or… Ineed to be.”

“Car sounds nice.” Jungkook agreed and threw his head back, taking a deep breath in. He couldn’t hide himself forever and he needed to finish the set before he got a shower and went home.

“I’ll see, though. And… I’ll tell you when I make my choice.” Jimin’s voice quieted in the end. “I’ll talk to you later, hyung. Have a great day!”

Click.

Jungkook fell back under the bar. One more set to go.

— x —

“Morning.” Jungkook said as he yawned and stood from the bed.

It was barely 7 in the morning, but he already had a busy schedule until late at night, so he doubted he’ll be able to call Jimin again through the day.

“I’m sorry for the early call. I hope you weren’t sleeping. I was, though. Until now.” He scratched his belly tiredly and went to the kitchen to get his coffee machine going.

The dishes from last night were left unwashed, but his coffee cup to-go was nowhere to be seen. He probably forgot to unpack it yesterday and left it at his desk back in the office.

“Great. Guess I’ll be drinking my coffee at home…”

Koo fixed a ceramic cup under the dispenser and left it to fill with coffee as he approached the bathroom. “Anyways. I’m calling a bit early, because my whole day’s packed with so much bullsh*t, I might not be able to do it later. I have a morning class from 9, then I have to meet with my supervisor about the thesis, and then I’m off to work where we’ll be drinking tonight.”

He pressed the phone between his shoulder and ear, and put toothpaste over his brush.

“Now that I think about it, I might actually call you, so you could “pick me up” from the party. I like my colleagues to an extent, but I’m just not big on parties, you know. But mmm…” He spat some of the paste out. “Yeah. I’m jam-packed for the day, not in the best way.”

Jungkook kept brushing his teeth silently, letting him hear the emptiness on the other side of the phone. It felt relaxing. More than relaxing, actually. It eased him, made him just a bit happier. If he had a bit more luck, that would mean he’ll also be able to hear Jimin today. And if he didn’t, Koo knew he would call him again tomorrow.

They rarely spend a day without each other since the new year began. Sometimes they called once a day, other times twice, thrice.

The times where neither of them would call was when were too busy and yet ironically, they always alerted each other about it. A simple ‘I’ll be busy today and tomorrow’ was enough to let them know not to interrupt with calls, but they’d always recap later. They always made sure the other knew about their day.

“Anyways…” Jungkook turned the faucet off and came back to the kitchen. “Hoseok hyung’s been blowing up my phone lately. It’s always ‘Yoongi this, Yoongi that’ and sometimes, I Yoongi don’t care, you know?”

He furrowed his brows. He felt like he’d heard that before.

“They’ve been fighting for the smallest things and if they try to make me the middleman, I’d just call you and avoid it altogether.” He laughed, taking the coffee off the machine. He sat himself on the couch and yawned. “Always works, doesn’t it? Though, to be frank with you, Yoongi hyung wouldn’t really do that, because…”

“Cheers!” The group yelled again and Jungkook politely raised his cup as well. He was starting to get a bit too dizzy from the amount of alcohol his colleagues forced him to drink, hardly keeping his eyes open at the busy table.

“Let’s get it!” Another one cheered, raising himself to get to the stage.

The karaoke room they rented was large and dimmed, holding nearly 20 people across four small tables. His colleagues were taking turns to play different songs, many joining to sing along if they knew the tracks. Jungkook’s ears were drumming painfully as they kept increasing the volume or screaming into the microphones.

Everything was going great with the exception that Jungkook was squeezed between two very, very touchy women from the Management department.

“And it’s hard to see you around, isn’t that right?” One of them prompted, yet Koo was so lost in the commotion, he could barely keep track of their conversation. “Being a part-time intern, you still have a lot on your plate, especially with university, so it’s understandable, but…”

“Mm.” Jungkook nodded absent-mindedly. His head felt dizzier by the shot he took, but he was quick to sober up as the other girl pressed her hand over his shoulder. He didn’t like that closure.

“You should join us more often, Jungkook-sshi.” She smiled softly. “Fridays are always fun with us.”

Koo grimaced, but forced a smile back as he shuffled away. “That’s very nice of you, noona. I have to go the bathroom, though. If you’ll excuse me…”

He stood from his place and moved through the group of people who greeted and patted him drunkenly. Jungkook lost balance a few times and they all laughed, making him even more overwhelmed. He escaped into the hallway and held himself for the wall, trying to find his way to the exit.

“Oh? Jungkook-sshi, are you leaving?” Dong Youngbae noticed him just as he was leaving the bathroom. The man looked fresh and sober, and Jungkook bowed lightly when he approached.

“I’m not feeling well.” He replied, trying hard not to slur his words in the process. “I think I’ll just go home earlier.”

“That’s okay.” He patted his shoulder firmly, forcing him to stumble in his place once again.

Dong Youngbae gasped and managed to save Jungkook before his ass felt the floor beneath. “Wow, you’ve drunk quite a bit, Jungkook-sshi. Do you need a ride home? I’m by car tonight.”

Jungkook shook his head. “No, I’ll just… My partner is going to take me.”

“Ah, let me take you to the exit, then.” Dong Youngbae smiled.

“Thank you, Dong-nim.”

The two of them walked towards the reception desk and Jungkook got his things from the lady before they got outside. The weather was warming up and the cherry blossoms had already bloomed all over Seoul. He always liked spring for that reason. The beauty of new life, new beginnings.

“I figured you might have a girlfriend, Jungkook-sshi.” Youngbae said and lit up cigarette.

“Sorry?” He raised eyebrows. The man pointed towards his chest.

“The ring.” He decided to specify. “It’s a promise ring, isn’t it?”

Jungkook instinctively reached to touch the chain around his neck. He never thought of Jimin’s gift as a promise ring, although he sure wished other people perceived it as such. He simply didn’t want to bring his hopes up because after all, what did it promise? What meaning did it hold?

He feared finding out.

“I guess.” Koo breathed a chuckle.

“Oh, sorry. Do you smoke? I lit up without asking.” Youngbae offered his pack of cigarettes, but Jungkook waved his hand, his whole body leaning on one side.

“I’m trying to quit them.”

Youngbae held him again. “That’s good. Youngsters like you shouldn’t get into smoking any time soon.”

Jungkook laughed. “I’m not that young.”

“Well, surely you’re not my age.” The man scoffed back. “Did you call your girlfriend yet? I don’t want to leave you like this.”

Koo forced a smile. Even if he called, nothing would happen. Even if he asked, Jimin wouldn’t come. Why would he?

“Dong-nim. You can go back, I’ll be okay.” He assured him, forcing his body straight.

“Are you sure?” Youngbae took another drag from his cigarette. “You don’t seem so okay to me.”

“She should be here in about 10 to 20 minutes, so please.” He bowed as low as he could. Youngbae hesitantly nodded before pushing his cigarette into the tall ashtray nearby.

“Well, then… Make sure you get home safe and I’ll see you on Monday, Jungkook-sshi.”

“Thank you, Dong-nim.”

And with that, he was left all alone. Jungkook waited for a bit in front of the karaoke, attempting to collect himself and find his way towards any public transport that could get him home.

He was alone and drunk. He could call Yoongi or Seokjin as the two had cars, but it was too late to bother them. Jihyo had a motorcycle and as far as he knew, she worked until late tonight, so it was a possibility she could take him home. Then again, he didn’t want to ask her such thing and he truly doubted he’d be able to stay on the bike for long before falling off it.

The phone found its way in his hand and he pressed it close to his ear. The beep drowsed him, but when it stopped, he smiled.

“You’re still awake.” He murmured, steps heavy and mundane. “I hope you didn’t stay up just because I said I might call in the evening.”

Jungkook closed his eyes as his pace slowed down. “Little one… I think… I need a ride home… I’m in Hongdae right now, near the metro station… The party was weird… It was to welcome the new head of the department, Hell-nim… And a few more from the office came, and…”

He walked and talked until he neared the entrance of Hongdae station and sat on a random bench nearby, a few streets from the karaoke.

Even if he tried, there was no way he’d be able to get down the stairs and drag himself inside the station. Jungkook knew he had to call a cab, but he didn’t want to hang up. He wanted Jimin with him.

Jimin, Koo knew, wasn’t going to come. He got a car after accepting one of the job offers, but… Why would he come for him? They just talked. They filled the blank space in their lives with each other, but they weren’t lovers. They weren’t even friends. Why would he come?

The minutes of the call kept growing, sometimes due to silence, other times because Jungkook rambled. He didn’t know what he talked about. He simply knew he wanted to keep Jimin just a little longer. For himself.

“Are you there?” Jungkook asked before laughing to himself. His head had fallen onto his bag, his whole body resting over the bench. A few people walked near him, but all of them ignored him since after all, it was Friday. There were many drunk people like him on the streets.

“Maybe you’ve fallen asleep. I don’t blame you. I think I might fall asleep as well. Ironically, this bench feels nice.”

Cars dashed by on the street near him.

“I shouldn’t have drunk so much. The only time it’s been worse than now was when I met Seokjin hyung.” He giggled. “But I had Hoseok and Yoongi hyung with me, and now it’s just me.”

One, two, three cars passed by.

“The weather's great, though.” Koo hummed. “At least I’m not cold.”

One, two, three cars… One, two, three… One…

One car only. Jungkook shortly glanced at it. It was an older model Toyota in a deep shade of grey with a few yellow lines that accentuated its doors. The car stopped by the bus stop nearby and he heard the driver’s door shut before a familiar figure approached. Koo squeezed his eyes to see better, but once the man approached, his heart nearly dropped.

Jungkook furrowed his eyebrows. Just why…

“Are you okay, hyung?” Jimin’s worried voice reached to him and he placed his hand over his cheek. Koo put the phone over his chest.

“Why…” He barely managed to ask. Jimin shook his head. His hair looked messy, as if he’d just gone out of bed, and was dressed in his long brown coat, underneath which had just a shirt and long trousers. He probably put something on quickly before going out, but… Why?

“You asked me, didn’t you?” The younger gave him a short smile and gently moved his hand behind his neck, so he could sit him up. “I know the weather’s good, but you can’t stay here, hyung. You might catch a cold.”

Koo stared at him in attempt to figure out if he was truly real or not. He reached forward and let his palm lean onto Jimin’s cheek, just the same way he did earlier. The younger’s eyes widened, but he didn’t move away.

“How much did you drink?” Jimin asked. “Can you stand up?”

It felt real, but maybe it wasn’t. Why would he come?

They were nothing to each other.

“I didn’t think you’d…” Koo began, but Jimin put his hand over his and held it tight.

“Let’s go to my car, hyung.” He told him, his shoulder already holding Jungkook’s bag. Jimin raised him and Koo slightly wobbled, yet he still stood and held himself on his feet. He didn’t protest, following Jimin who opened the passenger seat and settled him in.

Inside the car was warm and over the ventilator stood Jimin’s phone, and the call was still rolling.

Love

22:59

Jimin sat on the other side of the car and put his bag on the backseat before he reached under the seat and a took a big bottle of water.

“Hyung.” He opened the cap and gave the water to him. Jungkook’s eyes were still focused on the lit-up screen. The younger noticed and quickly ended the call, eyes frantically looking anywhere, but Jungkook. “I, um… Your… Your place. We’re going to your place, right?”

“Why did you come?” Jungkook asked whilst he held the open bottle. The cap was in his hand and he placed it back on top. Drinking water was the last thing he wanted to do right now.

“I, I came because you… I…” Jimin’s voice quieted. “I couldn’t leave you on the streets.”

“But why?” He pressed on.

“Hyung…” The younger bit his lips back, eyebrows furrowed with something that combined both worry and panic. His hands roamed around the steering wheel, holding it first up, then down and he let his body fall on the back of the seat before closing his eyes.

“Just because we’re not a thing doesn’t mean I’ll abandon you. I’m sorry if I crossed the line with this, but I thought… I thought that as long as I don’t answer you, I’d still keep the deal. As long as… As long as we’re muted, I thought… It’ll be okay… to come…”

It was hard to hold back when Jungkook heard this. His instincts ran faster than his rationality and Koo pulled Jimin’s coat, then took his face between his fingers and connected their lips together. He expected the younger to keep his lips sealed and push him back, yet he accepted his kiss and deepened it, and his hand found its way over his neck, pressing him in and closer.

How much time had passed since they began kissing, Jungkook didn’t know. Everything blurred when he was with Jimin, nothing truly mattered. Koo moved his lips against his, slow and even sloppy, his tongue caressing Jimin’s in attempt to feel it once again like he did that night.

“H-hyung…” His little one panted in his mouth, sounding almost like a moan that made Jimin’s ears flush with embarrassment. “Home.”

Jungkook nodded absently.

“Home.” He repeated. “Come home with me.”

Kiss after kiss after kiss. Everything felt familiar, but foreign. Jimin drove Jungkook to his place and he agreed to stay over. ‘Nothing more’, he said but it was something Jungkook couldn’t keep, not when he had him between his arms again.

He kissed him more in the car, then in the elevator, then at the entrance and inside, and he finally pinned him against the front door, cold fingers raising his shirt to embrace his waist. Jimin moaned, his body reactive to every caress it ever received.

“We said nothing more, hyung.” He said between their kisses, ones Jimin hardly got enough of. Despite his words, he kept pulling Jungkook in as his hand was deep into his long hair, dictating every kiss, every move. Koo didn’t mind that and quite the opposite — he fell in love with Jimin’s rough motions and he wondered how much he could push his boundaries.

“Only this once.” Jungkook whispered before their tongues intertwined.

Hot mess, both of them. Koo unzipped Jimin’s trousers and fondled his length, weakening his thighs. His fingertips found their way to Jimin’s nipple and he playfully began twisting them. Jimin lost his ability to breath and his lips parted, but he pulled Jungkook’s hair to kiss his skin instead. No complaints, not at all. Koo complied and sucked on his neck.

Hickey after another, until the collar of his shirt had loosened by the force with which Jungkook was pulling it down.

“You’re already wet, little one.” He prompted as he was palming Jimin’s co*ck. “May I?”

Jimin barely nodded and Koo landed one last kiss on his lips before his knees hit the floor. The younger’s eyes widened and he also tried to kneel, but Jungkook’s hand forced him to stay still. “Hyung, wait— That’s not what I meant.”

“But I did.” Jungkook looked him from underneath his eyebrows and pulled his pants and underwear at the same time. Jimin’s hardening co*ck fell forward and caressed Jungkook’s cheek. Above, Jimin was flushing with embarrassment, holding his face in his palms.

“Look at me.” Koo told him.

Jimin shook his head. Jungkook reached and pulled one of his hands down as he buried it back into his locks. He ran his tongue over Jimin’s length, hunger so insatiable, he thought he’d devour him whole.

“Pull my hair, little one.” He begged. “I love it when you do that.”

Koo tasted Jimin’s head at the top of his tongue, then took it into his mouth and unclenched his jaw to take him in completely.

Ah…” His little one gasped and his fingers clenched onto his hair. Jungkook’s own pants were tight from arousal, his own co*ck pressing against them and begging, pleading to be let out and touched.

He kept working on Jimin’s co*ck, and with each time, Jungkook took him deeper and deeper. Jimin was breathing heavy and watching from above while Koo’s cheeks swell. The younger wasn’t very big and it made it easier to take him whole as his dick barely glazed the back of his throat. Rhythmic thrusts back and forth, and Jimin had already gotten a hang of his hair, moving his head just the way he wanted it.

Goddamn it, that was hot.

Muffled moans and vocal whimpers filled the small hallway and Jimin’s hips began thrusting into his mouth, desperation prevalent in his loudening voice. The ends of Jungkook’s eyes watered. He wanted to praise him, to tell him how beautiful he was from below, how well he was using him for his own desires.

“Hyung… Hyung…” He panted and his eyes squeezed shut as he pushed his head back. “I’m cl-close.”

This encouraged Jungkook to work him harder, sucking on his co*ck and pursing his lips forward whilst Jimin controlled his movements. His boxers were wet with precum and with his free hand, Koo unzipped his pants and let his co*ck seep through the hem of his underwear. Stroking it lightly, he let pleasure overtake him and his moans vibrated through Jimin’s length, making his thighs weaker and weaker.

“I’ll cum, hyung, take it… Take it out.” Jimin whined and tried to pull his head back, but Jungkook held his ground as much as possible. With glassy from tears eyes, he silently begged his little one to finish in his mouth and one glance down, Jimin understood there was no getting out of it.

Thrusting to the very back of his throat, Jimin’s co*ck kept scratching its wall until he climaxed, cries and moans rolling out of his lips like symphony. Jungkook felt the pulsation around his mouth and he gulped as much as possible before he took his mouth out. Cum stained it and rolled down his chin, and Koo gasped for air.

Jimin stared down in bewilderment and euphoria. He got his hand off Koo’s hair and closed his eyes again, pulling his pants back up.

“Goodness…” He whispered to himself. “Are you… Are you okay, hyung? Do you need to rinse your mouth? Does your throat hurt too much? Just why…? Why’d you… Why’d you swallow it?”

Jungkook’s eyelids fluttered and he smiled breathlessly. His tongue rolled over his lips and he gathered the rest of the silky liquid, licking his thumb clean. “I wanted to know how you tasted, little one. And I think I finally got it.”

“What about you…?” Jimin leaned down as his eyes stared in panic towards Koo’s rock-hard co*ck. Jungkook had released it long before its due-time and he was paying for it, as his length was hurting him more than it should’ve.

“I might need to finish it in the bathroom.” Jungkook laughed and stood up. The blowj*b nearly cleared his drunkness, yet he still tottered to the side before Jimin held him more securely.

“I… I want to help you, hyung.” Jimin said quietly. Koo shook his head.

“I like it.” Koo assured him and in a moment of sincere softness, he leaned to kiss his cheek. “I like it when you pull my hair, little one and I like the pain now too.”

Jimin looked at him insecurely. There was a shadow of worry that ran through his face, but Koo shook his head and kissed his other cheek in response. “Trust me, I’m alright.”

Jungkook let go and looked towards the rest of his apartment. It wasn’t the cleanest and he was sure he hadn’t fixed his bed covers since the morning, but he was willing to let it go.

“You can, uh… You can go shower first.” Koo suggested. “I’ll fix the bed for you and bring you some clean clothes for the night.”

“Hyung, I can’t sleep in your bed.” The younger protested. “I’ll take the sofa, so I don’t bother you.”

“You’ll bother me if you don’t take the bed.” Jungkook rasped out, his tone hasher than before. Jimin flinched and quickly nodded, head suddenly down.

“Okay… I’m sorry…”

Jungkook sighed. “Just take it. It’s more comfortable anyways. I was supposed to buy a double bed a few years ago, but I keep forgetting. Let me show you the bathroom now and how to turn the shower.”

It’s been a while since Jungkook had slept on the couch instead of his own bed. Last time he did it was around New Year where he skipped on Hoseok’s invitation to spend it at a party and instead, he watched movies, drank beer and dozed off on reality TV. His current reason was much more valid (and inevitable), but it didn’t stop him from rolling around and fixing his flat pillow every once in a while.

Nearly two hours since his first attempt to fall asleep, Koo heard the creek of a door and almost silent steps that approached him. His yawned and turned himself to the sound.

“Jimin?” His low voice called.

“I…” Jimin held his blanket over his forearm, eyes shuffling away from Jungkook. “I can’t sleep… I don’t sleep well in unfamiliar places and I was wondering if it’ll be okay to… You know…”

Jungkook quickly caught onto his words and nodded. He pushed his whole body to the back of the couch and gave Jimin space to squeeze in. The younger took the offer and moment later, the two of them were laying on the small couch together whilst facing each other.

“I told you I should’ve taken the sofa.” Jimin murmured under his nose. Jungkook scoffed.

“As if I’d let my guest sleep on this thing.” He remarked. His hand was awkwardly sitting over his hip, not very sure whether he should embrace Jimin or not. Jimin too, wasn’t very sure what to do with his own and he’d let them stay crossed between the two of them, as if that’ll make him sleep any better.

“I am now, aren’t I?” Jimin quirked with a small smile.

“Not yet.” Koo sighed and yawned. “But I hope you get better sleep now.”

“I’ll try.” He hummed and let his eyelids fall in front of his eyes. After a few minutes, his head tilted forward and nearly fell on Jungkook’s chest.

Jungkook silently watched Jimin next to him. He looked so calm and fragile, so untouched by the world that was once throwing knives and rocks at him. Not realising it, Koo had been protecting him from it every time he was called, every time he was asked to stay on the line with Jimin.

It wasn’t hard for Jungkook to relax and embrace Jimin. His arm slowly dug underneath his neck whilst the other wrapped around his arm and he brought him closer. Unconsciously, Jimin accepted the hug and wrapped his own hand around his. He nuzzled his nose into his chest and raised his head in order to keep breathing properly.

How lovely would it be to wake up like this tomorrow? Jungkook kissed his forehead ever so gently and finally allowed himself to fall asleep as well.

“Good morning, hyung.”

It was the first time in a while Jungkook had heard those words so clearly. The phone didn’t do justice to Jimin’s beautiful voice and Koo raised his head from the covers to find him. His words didn’t come from next to him though, but from the kitchen instead.

And God, the smell intoxicated him. Jungkook sat on the edge of the couch, his lips parting in a big loud yawn as he rubbed the sleepiness off his eyes.

“Morning…”

His eyes roamed towards Jimin. The younger was still dressed in the clothes Jungkook gave him the night prior, a loose black tee and some shorts, as his apartment often heated up throughout the night. Jimin had an apron around himself and he was leaning over the stoves to check something inside a pot.

“What time is it?” He said and continued rubbing his face, trying to get rid of the massive headache that was threatening to knock him back unconscious.

“You can sleep a bit more if you want.” Jimin responded. “It’s not 9 yet.”

Jungkook sighed and shook his head. Even if he wanted to, he wouldn’t have done it. His body was now fully awake and alert, especially with having another person in his apartment.

“And you’re still here.” Koo replied shortly. Jimin glanced towards him, then back around the kitchen. Even from distance, he could see that his ears were starting to redden.

“I… I couldn’t leave.” He admitted. “It didn’t feel right.”

There was nothing to respond to that. Jungkook stood up and approached the younger. Jimin edged up, but Koo simply looked at him and got a water bottle out of the fridge at the beginning of his open kitchen.

“What’re you cooking, then?” He nodded towards the stove once he drowned his dry throat with water.

“It’s, uh… Hangover soup, some rice and whatever I could find in the refrigerator. I hope you don’t mind that I used some of the products inside.” He smiled apologetically.

“That’s the nicest thing someone had done to me after a night drinking.” Jungkook admitted, giving him a short, yet genuine smile. That seemed to have calmed the younger and he nodded with reassurance. He took a spoon out and took some from the soup before he raised it for Jungkook to try.

“Oh? Mm… It’s good.” He agreed. “I’d eat the sh*t out of it.”

Jimin laughed. “That’s the plan, honestly.”

Jungkook looked around. It wasn’t only that he made breakfast, but he also cleaned the dishes and left a cup at the coffee machine for when he woke up. His coffee maker was pretty loud and Jimin must’ve known it already to have not started it before he woke up.

“Do you want coffee?” Koo interrupted his own thoughts and Jimin nodded. “With creamer.”

His little one laughed and nodded again. He already knew that much about Jimin. It wasn’t once or twice he’d heard him order from a coffee shop and Jungkook already knew what he liked most.

The coffee machine started and Koo ruffled Jimin’s hair on his way to the bathroom. “Thank you, little one.”

He returned with a toothbrush in his mouth and sat over one of the two stools that he had by the kitchen bar. Jungkook rarely used them, as he preferred to sit in front of the TV or by his course books whilst he ate.

Now though, he had entertainment and he wouldn’t miss the opportunity to have Jimin all on show.

The two stood in silence. Jimin was going around the small kitchen, either washing newly dirtied dishes or looking at the coffee machine, whilst Jungkook casually brushed his teeth and watched. Many things went through his head that time, yet one single question had him on a chokehold from which he couldn’t save himself.

Jungkook left again to rinse his mouth and returned to his very same place, leaning his throbbing head onto the palm of his hand.

“So… What’s next?”

Another silence settled. Jimin’s movements slowed and he tried to look anywhere, but Jungkook as he attempted to find an answer to his question. Truthfully, even Koo didn’t know it. What would happen next was a complete mystery to him, but what he feared most was for the answer to be…

Nothing.

“We slept together twice.” Jungkook decided to say, making Jimin’s shoulders stiffen over the stove. “What… What do we call this now?”

Jimin barely gave him a chuckle. “What do you think, hyung?” He asked back and his eyes slowly made their way to Jungkook’s.

“It’s still fake, isn’t it?”

The answer took him off-guard. Not only that, but it made his heartbeat faster, his head thump harder. If it was all fake, then… What was actually real between them? Did Jimin ever felt the same way he did? Was everything they talked about nothing? If none of it was genuine, if it was all a part of their deal, then why…

“We were there when we needed each other, so we should be… We should be good, right?” Jimin forced another smile at him. “We didn’t break our deal.”

The deal. That damn stupid deal.

“Was this a mistake?” Jungkook asked back, unrecognisably small and quiet. Jimin’s eyes widened and he shook his head hardly.

“I don’t think so! I don’t… I don’t think so.” He took the soup off the stove. “I didn’t— We both agreed to it and I liked it. I didn’t mind having you like this, but the first time, it just surprised me. I didn’t think we’d go that far and I panicked, and left, and for that, I’m… I’m sorry.”

Jungkook didn’t know he held his breath until he heard his words. Somehow, that knowledge eased him. It felt comforting to know he didn’t do anything wrong back then and that… Jimin liked it. And he liked spending time with him like this.

It wasn’t breaking their deal.

“Then, should we do it again?” Jungkook suggested, hands suddenly crossed over the counter. “If it’s still fake, that means… We can do whatever we want.”

How foolish was such a suggestion? How did Jungkook get to the point of asking for his fake lover’s true affection? It sounded completely mental, truly crazy.

There was no immediate response from the younger, not even a single expression that would indicate what the answer might be. It felt like Jungkook’s heartbeat was the only thing present in the quiet room with no words exchanged.

Like they were both on mute.

“I…” Jimin breathed a smile as he poured the soup in a smaller bowl. He put it in front of Jungkook, then he went by the rice cooker and gave him another one. Then, he added some kimchi and fresh sprouts, and went to the sink to wash the rest of the dirty cutlery. “Give me some time to think about it. I don’t think I can answer something like this just yet…”

Jungkook forced himself to nod. But of course. What did he expect?

“Thank you for the meal.” Koo said instead and silently began eating.

He hated how good rejection tasted.

— x —

“What’s up with him?” Yoongi furrowed his brows immediately after he joined them on the picnic table. Hoseok gave him some space and sipped from his coffee.

“He got rejected.” Hoseok responded with a sigh. Jungkook didn’t look up from his laptop. He had his headphones over his head, yet they weren’t playing anything. He wasn’t in the mood for music anyways.

“Oh.” Yoongi said. “By Jimin?”

“Who else?“ The other replied sarcastically, gaining himself Yoongi’s eye roll. “He said he’ll be working on his thesis, but I think he’s just trying to avoid talking about it.”

“How did it happen, though? Did he really confess?” Yoongi leaned himself on the table and momentarily glanced at Koo who shot his eyes right back. The older smiled lightly and Jungkook returned to smashing his keyboard into the nothingness.

“No, but… I don’t actually know. Said something about the deal and that’s about it.”

Out of everything Hoseok said so far, he was right about one thing — he didn’t want to talk about it. It was enough of a frustration that he had to hear Jimin’s voice nearly every day, yet the decision from ‘I’ll think about it’ still hadn’t come. Nearly a month later, there was nothing.

It wasn’t like he anticipated anything to ever happen, anyways. It was a complete miracle they f*cked once, let alone twice, even though the second one was a mere blowj*b at the doorway and Jungkook begged for it while drunk. It was a pathetic situation, not that he regretted it, but that didn’t hurt his ego any less.

Hoseok and Yoongi kept talking for a while, exchanging theories of what might’ve happened before Jungkook took off his headphones and sighed deeply to get their attention.

“Would you guys stop already?” He asked harshly. “He didn’t reject me. He said he’ll think about it and this is notrejection.”

The two looked at each other for a moment.

“Well, to be honest…” Hoseok bit his lips back and Yoongi hit his shoulder.

“We trust you. From what I heard, Jimin isn’t someone who’d hide and wait things out anyways.”

Jungkook made a grimace. “And where did you hear that from?”

Yoongi shortly glanced at Hoseok, then back at Jungkook. “Jin hyung’s best friend used to be his boyfriend, remember?”

Goddamn it. Kim Namjoon.

“Yoongi-ah.” Hoseok’s voice lowered. It was clear neither him nor Jungkook were pleased with that response. Yoongi raised his hands in the air and crossed them in front of his chest as he pushed his body back on the bench.

“I’m just saying. It’s not that I willingly went to Namjoon and asked him about Jimin. It just came up when we were drinking.”

“You were out drinking with them?” Hoseok asked, his words filled with both disbelief and emerging anger.

No matter how many questions Koo wanted to ask Yoongi, he looked like he had a bigger problem than that.

“Don’t start again, Seok-ah.” Yoongi exasperatedly sighed. “I have my own friends and there’s nothing wrong with going out with them when you’re not around.”

“Well, that’s not the point.” Hoseok furrowed his eyebrows and turned his body to Yoongi. “We already talked about it.”

“Yes, and exactly because we talked about, there’s not need to…”

Jungkook put his headphones back on and this time, he finally decided to play some music. It wasn’t his business and neither was he in the mood to know what exactly was going on behind the scenes of his friends’ relationship.

At least not until they involve him in it.

— x —

It was late Thursday night. Too late for that matter. Jungkook rarely stayed passed midnight, mainly because he had lectures early in the morning or work that he had to prepare for through the day. Thankfully, this Friday was a holiday and he got the day off from both coursework and his computer. It was true peace he hadn’t experienced in a while.

With some popcorn and beer, Jungkook was lazing on the couch by the TV, scrolling through the dramas he could watch or replay. He hadn’t caught up to anything new recently and it was even harder to keep track of episodes that were coming out weekly instead of already being available to watch. He was never a fan of ongoing series although he had to admit, him and Taehyung were once hooked up on a webtoon that came out every Friday, just the same as this one. Now he wondered, was this webtoon finished already?

Knock, knock.

Jungkook furrowed his eyebrows and looked at the clock. This was bizarre. Who would come to this door at 1 in the morning? He stood up from his place and pushed his slippers towards the door, looking through his door-cam to see who the intruder might be.

It wasn’t even a second later that Jungkook’s heartbeat increased and he unlocked the door, eyes wide open towards Park Jimin.

“Little one?” The nickname escaped unconsciously. The younger was panting ever so slightly, his chest rising as if he was running until now. “What are you doing here?”

Jimin’s eyes nearly filled with tears. “I… I didn’t know where else to go.”

His broken words pierced him deeply and Koo simply nodded, letting Jimin find his way between his arms. Jungkook closed the door and held him tight, cooing soft words into his hair. Jimin didn’t cry, but he felt desperate to his touch, needing him closer and closer until their lips finally collided again.

The kisses were soft at first, perky even. They continued to deepen, to become more sensual, hot and needy, and before Jungkook knew it, they were already undressing on their way to the bedroom. Jimin was pushing him back and cloth by cloth, they began exploring each other’s naked skin under their fingertips.

Hairs fell messy over their eyes, pushed back by the desire to see each other’s faces, to memorise each other’s features, each other’s lustful stares. Jimin saddled Jungkook, his legs spread wide around Koo’s body and as he held him close, Jimin whispered:

“Let’s do it. Let’s keep going.”

— x —

“Good morning, hyung!” Jungkook heard on the phone. He yawned and turned himself around, digging his nose back into the covers.

“Mornin’…”

“Today’s a very exciting day! Do you know where I’m driving to?” Jimin prompted. Koo smiled.

“You told me already.” He murmured to himself and left his phone on speaker whilst he forced himself not to fall back asleep. It’s been a week since Jimin left, yet the covers still smelled like him.

“Well, I don’t know if you guessed it or not, but I’m heading to meet with one of our guest sculptors that will be presenting her pieces in the museum!” He exclaimed happily.

“At first, I wasn’t really sure whether I should take the job, because it isn’t something that is really about… you know, myart. But now that I actually have the opportunity to learn from the best, I think it’s going to be a great learning experience before I finally get a hold of my personal style and expression.”

“You’re already doing great.” Jungkook grunted and forced himself up.

If Jimin called in the morning, that meant it was already time to get up. He noticed his little one always called between 8 and 9, depending on whether he had lectures or was going to work. Sometimes, it would be neither and if that was the case, Jungkook had to rely on his nifty old clock by his nightstand and it was the most annoying alarm in the world. At least it woke him up, but he truly preferred Jimin’s voice over any other waking device.

“The exhibition will be staying for about half a year and it’ll be up for auction afterwards. Anything that wasn’t purchased, I think we’ll distribute among our partnering museums, but that’s still up for debate. The sculptor is very popular, so no doubt her work would be sold the moment people see it. That is, rich people who have enough room in their houses for a whole sculpture.”

Jungkook laughed on his way to the bathroom. “Sure, sure. All kinds of people in the world, there are.”

Jimin’s voice continued speaking from the bedroom. “I might call you when I finish work tonight, but I honestly don’t know when we’ll be done and I also promised Young to come out of my hole, as he likes to call my apartment, and grab drinks with him. I might, but I still haven’t decided because I’ll probably feel dead when I come back.”

“Drink in moderation.” He mumbled through the toothpaste and spat it in the sink.

“We’ll see, though. I definitely have to catch up with everyone, not only Young. Oh, wait. My boss is calling. Talk to you later, hyung!”

Click.

Jungkook smiled softly. “Cute.”

— x —

“And then…?” Jimin furrowed his eyebrows. Jungkook laughed and took the puzzle out of his hands.

“Look, you put the hoop through here first, so you can untangle that part…”

The sun shone through Jungkook’s bedroom windows, embracing their naked bodies that had cozied under the white covers. Koo had placed an arm under Jimin’s neck whilst the younger had embraced his naked chest completely. The small puzzle was raised over their heads and as Jungkook explained to him how it worked, Jimin yelped.

“But that’s how I did it!” He complained. The hoop popped out of the multiple knots and curves of the puzzle and Jimin took it between his fingers with a sigh. “I’m terrible at those.”

“I have like, 20 more of those in my desk cabinet.” Jungkook grinned. “So, you have 20 more trials.”

“Why’d you have that many?” His little one looked at him and Jungkook leaned to kiss his lips.

“Friends usually give them to me for my birthday.” Jungkook replied and placed the hoop inside the puzzle. Jimin stared just as attentively as before. “My first year, I jokingly told everyone that I liked mind puzzles, so they kept buying them for me around holidays, including jigsaws too, and now I even have doubles of some.”

“You have jigsaws?” Jimin’s eyes lit up and he quickly jumped up on the bed. “Let’s solve one! What do you have?”

“Didn’t you just say you were terrible at them?” Jungkook quirked a brow and Jimin rolled his eyes, already uncovering both of them.

“I’m bad at mind puzzles, but jigsaws are great.” He corrected him as he sloppily put his underwear back on.

Jungkook stared at him with a smile. The man’s skin was covered in love bites, some reaching the deep shades of purple whilst other looked like simple prints of Koo’s teeth on him. Jimin reached and put on one of Jungkook’s shirt that fell to the middle of his thighs. They too, had a few scratches from whenever Koo dug his nails a bit too hard into them.

“You know, you looked great without my shirt on, but now I think I like you even more. If you just take off the underwear, I think we can go another round just like this.”

Jimin grimaced, waving his hand before his face. “Focus, hyung! Where are your jigsaws?”

No matter how much time they spent together, Jimin still wasn’t used to compliments and it showed in the redness that covered his ears. Jungkook loved biting them and feeling the hotness between his lips. He never knew how such a simple bodily reaction could drive him so crazy.

“Under the TV, little one.” Koo yelled as Jimin disappeared from sight. He heard rustling and muted noises, and Jungkook fell back in the sheets with a foolish grin on his lips.

Nearly two months had passed since they began seeing each other like this. At first, just like with their phone calls, it was awkward. As they couldn’t talk or arrange a time for themselves, they relied on cut conversations where the other would mention when they were free and the other would agree into another call if that worked for them. Eventually though, it’d gotten easier and easier, and now they made sure to coordinate only when they were together.

Weekends when they were both free, they spent them together, sometimes going out for lunch or grocery shopping, or watching a movie, but in the end, they always ended in each other’s embrace. It was a matter of time before one craved the other. Starting with simple touches and soft kisses, the hunger prevailed and they were breathing heavily moments later, with what felt like too long before they could feel the friction between their painted with hickies bodies.

Neither of them needed softness in those moments. Kissing and biting, rubbing, pushing and pulling. It was messy and they loved it. And out of everything, what Jungkook loved most was that he had Jimin for himself. Despite everything about them fake, the love Koo gave to him was genuine, realer than any material possession he ever had.

“Hyung! Are you coming?” Jimin yelled from the living room.

“Coming.” Koo said back and jumped out of the bed.

All he needed was one pair of boxers and he walked out of the bedroom, straight towards the younger. He leaned in and pulled his chin up, connecting their lips together. Smiles were exchanged in between them and Jimin giggled as he pushed Jungkook’s curtain hair away, so he could see him better. There, Jungkook was smiling even more.

“So, what are solving?”

— x —

“This is not— That’s not the point!” Hoseok yelled. Yoongi had crossed his hands in front of his chest, his lips sealed tightly whilst he listened to his boyfriend. Jungkook was sitting on the couch in Hoseok’s apartment, listening quietly whilst the couple argued.

He wasn’t in the best position. Jungkook was closer with Hoseok and if it wasn’t for Taehyung, he might even consider him his best friend, his closest mate ever since university started. On the other hand though, he supported Yoongi more. At least from what he heard, Hoseok was throwing baseless accusations out of jealousy that Koo didn’t even know he had in him.

“I told you I don’t like it when you hang out with him and you told me okay, but then you go behind my back to meet with him anyways? Do you realise how f*cked up that sounds, Yoongi?” Hoseok threw his hands away, pointing towards the man that wasn’t even in the room.

And by ‘the man’, Hoseok really meant Kim Seokjin. For some reason, the man was a hot debate between the two. They were always vague why Seokjin was so discussed whenever Yoongi spoke of him. Vague, yet clear enough that Hoseok had a personal agenda to not accept their friendship, no matter how many times Yoongi had told him they were only hanging out.

He made sure to tell him they were only out as friends.

“I don’t tell you because you react like the whole sky had trashed on the ground. You hate the fact I have friendships that don’t concern you and moreover, friendships you can’t control!” Yoongi shot right back, his tongue sharp like a snake.

Jungkook raised eyebrows. He wasn’t sure whether he should intervene or not, but by the colour of Hoseok’s face, he looked like he was about to explode and that was never a good sign.

“Hyung.” Koo called and finally stood up. “Let’s calm down, okay?”

“I told you, you can hang out with whoever you want, but not him.” Hoseok completely ignored Jungkook and came closer to Yoongi. Yoongi took a step back, eyes wide yet angry, and Koo placed a hand at Hoseok’s shoulder, pushing his friend to stay in one place.

“That’s enough.”

“Why do you hate him so much?” Yoongi groaned.

It was unusual to see Yoongi so expressive and loud, particularly because the man was always calm and collected, rarely raising his tone, even if something had gone horribly wrong.

“We’ve been at it for months, Hoseok and you’re acting like a child! Why don’t you hate Namjoon or Eunwoo, or even Jihoon? They spend way more time with me than Jin hyung!”

“Because neither of them f*cked you like this son of a bitch, that’s why!”

The whole room suddenly fell silent. Jungkook furrowed his eyebrows and slowly moved back, his eyes gazing towards Yoongi. The man no longer looked angry, but rather confused and scared, even panicked if he could guess by the light wrinkles that stretched next to his eyes.

“What are you talking about?”

“Don’t pretend like you don’t know.” Hoseok laughed and turned around, trying to recollect himself. “Hyunwoo told me all about it. He saw you two talking on his pre-graduation party and thought you were hooking up again.”

Again.

“This is ridiculous.” Yoongi shook his head and walked passed Hoseok towards the exit. Hoseok took him for the arm sharply.

“Don’t lie.”

Yoongi thrusted his hand away.

“I never cheated on you.” He hissed then. “Whatever Hyunwoo saw or told you is not true. It was one night and you and I had broken up. Remember, Hoseok? We fought about the very same f*cking thing, just not about Jin hyung, but Kihyun instead. And back then I told you the same thing — I didn’t cheat on you. Just because I’m still friends with my exes doesn’t automatically mean I’m having a goddamn affair behind your back!”

“So you admit you still slept with him.” Hoseok demanded.

“Is that your only argument for hating him? Because I slept with someone that wasn’t you?” Yoongi snapped. “With someone when we weren’t even together? You have absolutely no authority over me, and if you don’t have it in you to trust me that I’m not going to cheat on you, then what are you even doing with me?”

“Hyung…” Jungkook barely managed to muster.

“Why are you wasting your time with a f*cking cheater, huh?” Yoongi’s sour smile expanded and he threw his hands away. He ducked his body towards the coffee table, took his tobacco case and turned away. “Now if you f*cking excuse me, I’m out for a smoke. I’m done with this conversation and when I come back, I expect you to be too.”

“You can’t walk out of this, Yoongi!” Hoseok yelled after him, but Yoongi simply gave him a middle finger, put on his shoes and left the apartment with a thud. Hoseok groaned and sat on the couch, collided fists pressing against his forehead. “For f*ck’s sake.”

“Seok-ah.” Jungkook stood against him, glancing back and forth from the door.

The situation was way messier than he’d imagined and although cheating was already something he had on his mind, he never truly considered Yoongi and Hoseok, the perfect couple that they already are, would be dealing with something like this.

Koo sighed and placed his hands in the pockets of his jacket. “I’ll go talk to him.”

“Whatever.” Hoseok dismissed and reached for Jungkook’s beer that he’d cracked open right before their argument began.

Jungkook clumsily squeezed his shoes on and dashed out to search for the older. Hoseok had a balcony, but Yoongi had purposefully left, so he didn’t have to talk anymore. He found him in the garden of the building instead, hidden right below the balconies.

“Hyung—” He began, but was quickly interrupted.

“I don’t want to hear it, Jungkook.”

“You don’t know what I was going to say.” Jungkook crunched his nose.

“I know it already, you think I don’t?” He rasped out. “You’re on Hoseok’s side.”

“I’m not on anyone’s side.” Koo sighed and leaned his back onto the cold brick wall next to his friend. “Can I have a cigarette?”

“Whatever.”

Jungkook’s lips curled up. Despite angry and separated, they talked the very same way. Yoongi gave him his own cigarette and began rolling himself another one.

“Thanks.”

“I don’t care what people say about my friends, you know?” Yoongi began as his long pianist fingers carefully pressed the tobacco inside the paper.

“With whom I hang out isn’t their business and just because Hoseok is jealous and thinks I screw around with everybody isn’t my concern either. We’ve had so. Many. Discussions with him. I talked with my friends to assure nothing is happening, I took all the precautionary measures to be sure that…”

Yoongi pushed his head onto the wall, cigarette already between his lips. He was slightly shaking his head, with eyes that stared somewhere in the distant dark sky.

“It happened once with Seokjin…” He finished shortly before the lighter burnt the tip of his cigarette.

“You don’t need to explain yourself to me, hyung.” Koo assured.

“It’s not about that. I just… I never thought he’d ever think me like that. I would never cheat on him, I love him. I love him deeply, but if this continues,” he pursed his lips tightly, “I see no future for us.”

His eyes fell to the ground beneath his feet. Jungkook could hear the pain in his voice, the sadness with which he spoke those words. He didn’t want to lose his lover and yet, they kept pushing each other away in ways so insignificant, it was nothing short of ridiculous.

“You have to make compromises.” Jungkook said gently.

“I don’t want to pick between my boyfriend and my friends.” Yoongi retorted harshly.

“I didn’t mean just you. I meant the two of you. There has to be some type of a middle ground that you guys can reach, so it isn’t a problem anymore.”

“Jungkook, he’s been like this since we started.” His shoulders relaxed, but his voice was just as strained as before. “I’m trying to be patient with him, I’m trying not to judge. He’s jealous, I get it, and I get that I’m not the most trustworthy person either.”

“Why would you say that?” Koo asked with confusion.

To him, Yoongi had always been the elegant type, the always presentable one. He was a smart man and it shone through his grades and his work, and his speech and knowledge. If there was anyone that could talk about anything, it was him. If you wanted someone to keep a secret, that would be him also. He was the most trustworthy person Jungkook could think of.

“I…” The older breathed a chuckle, his eyes suddenly to the ground. “I f*cked around a lot when I was younger. I’m not proud of it, but I wouldn’t…”

He shook his head again. “I don’t want to turn the time back. I cared for every single person I’ve been with, but Hoseok sees that as a way of projecting his sh*t relationships onto me. It’s not going to happen. If not Jin hyung, then it’ll be another one to blame.”

“He’ll always find a villain and even if he doesn’t mean to, he makes me a villain too and I… I don’t believe myself to be one.” Yoongi weakly smiled. “If you were in that situation, Jungkook, what would you do?”

Koo’s mouth dried.

He never had a boyfriend for whom to sacrifice himself and his friendships around him. If Jimin became his boyfriend eventually, then Jungkook would be put in the very same situation with him and Taehyung, and it was… No matter how much he liked Jimin and no matter how rarely he spoke to Tae anymore, there was still a piece of him that wished to remain close with his best friend.

Everyone knew about his hom*osexuality at that point. His family and close friends, some of his outer circle too, yet nobody from Busan. He made sure nobody found out before he told them and truth was, he didn’t even know if he was ever going to do that.

Playing in a limbo between Jimin and Taehyung, it was a tricky game. He wanted, needed Jimin close and could have him just at arm’s length if he simply called and asked for him.

His heart longed to see the man and bury his nose into the crook of his neck, and feel his aroma spread and cover his bedsheets for days to come. He adored every piece of his skin, every groove of his body. It was an irrational need, one for which Jungkook was ready to go to war for.

Then again, how far did that desire go and how long would it be before it reached Taehyung’s ears?

“I don’t know.” Jungkook finally admitted to Yoongi. “I don’t have to think about this yet.”

“Yeah well,” Yoongi shrugged, “I didn’t think I’d have to do that either and now here we are…”

They stood in silence for a while, letting their cigarettes burn before Yoongi lit another one. He was a heavy smoker, a chimney that lit one cigarette after another if he was let to. It wasn’t healthy and Yoongi was one of the reasons Jungkook had decided to stop altogether. The man had a hunger so insatiable for nicotine, it often blinded his senses completely and he’d often ditch them altogether, even if it was for a single cigarette. Jungkook didn’t want this to happen to him.

“Let’s get back.” Yoongi sighed deeply as his second cigarette burnt in the ashtray.

“You go ahead, I need to call someone.” Jungkook forced a smile.

“You’re telling Jimin all about it, aren’t you?” Yoongi asked irritably.

Koo breathed out a laugher, yet his side slightly pinked because of it. “Not really. I just want to hear his voice for a bit.”

“You’re screwed, man.” The older patted his shoulder gently. “Just make sure you get out alive in the end.”

Jungkook looked down at his phone and shot a quick call before cancelling it. They sometimes did that when they needed the other one to call and allegedly save them from something. That’s what Jimin did back at the bar and at a few more crowded places, and it worked. It worked and they’ve used it ever since.

“Hey, hyung!” Jimin said cheerfully. “I don’t have a lot of time, because I’m with the Origami club right now, but I hope you’re doing well. We’re uh… We’re currently doing boat decoration, right, hyung?”

Jimin’s voice distanced for a moment. “Yeah. Boats which we’ll make into garlands. We’ve agreed to help out a local school with decorating elementary school classrooms and even Namjoon hyung joined in, because of the workload. Say hi, hyung!”

Kim Namjoon’s deep laughter echoed in the background, but a few more voices cheered alongside him, muffling Jimin’s giggle. Koo’s smile slowly faded.

If he asked Jimin to stop being friends with Namjoon, would he do it…?

“Anyways, we’re doing boats, we’re doing flowers and some animals, and wait… Is that…? Hyung—!”

“That’s a chick.” Namjoon added right behind him.

“Hm.” Jungkook could hear the furrowing of Jimin’s eyebrows. “Doesn’t look like a woman to me, though…”

More laughter emerged and Jimin yelped when Namjoon playfully slapped him. “A chick with break and feathers, dummy.”

“Well, elaborate! And don’t hit me like that…” Jimin pouted, but his smile quickly returned again. “Anyways. If you know anyone who’s good with origami, hyung, can you please tell me next time? I think we’re going to need a lot more people for that project.”

Jungkook closed his eyes. He didn’t want to think about Kim Namjoon and Jimin in the same room together. His imagination played tricks with him and more often than not, it ended with him, getting hurt by his own mind games.

“I hope everything’s alright with you now, but you’re still in trouble, shoot me another call. I think my group mates won’t mind you.”

“Jimin-ah, is that your new boyfriend?” He heard someone ask.

“Talk to you later, hyung! And no, what are you t—”

Click.

For some reason, Jimin’s last words hurt a lot more than they should’ve.

— x —

Jimin had taken Jungkook with the car and now they were walking down the shopping district as they had just finished with Koo’s grocery list. Jungkook had a plastic bag in his fist, whilst the rest was over Jimin’s shoulder in a tote bag he found in his car. It was a gift from Lee Seokmin, one of the younger’s friends who was studying fashion and as far as Jungkook knew, he had many more of these in case anyone needed it.

Rather though, in case anyone was willing to give his small business free publicity.

“Hyung, look!” Jimin rushed towards one of the windows and Koo joined a second later.

It was a jewellery store with many rings, earrings and necklaces presented on show. Jimin pointed somewhere in the middle and Jungkook took a glimpse of a thin golden bracelet, covered with a few flowers around it.

“I’ve been looking at it for ages.”

Koo quirked a brow at that. “Is that so?”

“It’s a set with some earrings and a necklace, but I don’t really like the necklace.” Jimin scoffed. “The earrings are okay, I guess, but the bracelet… Goodness, look how pretty it is.”

Jungkook looked at Jimin’s smile and shiny eyes, and his own expression softened as he nodded shortly. “How pretty, indeed.”

Jimin looked at Koo, then smiled more and turned back to the window. “This is actually the store from which I got your ring. They take custom orders and even managed to put the same font as the one on your lighter. They thought I’m buying a promise ring for my girlfriend and I panicked, and almost bought one for myself as well.” He laughed more.

“Well, why didn’t you?”

“Ah…” Jimin’s eyes slightly widened. “Well, you know… I didn’t think it’s very appropriate. Besides, why would I… You know… Why would I wear something with my own initials on it that I bought? If it was a gift, maybe, but… Well… Anyways…”

Jimin turned himself on his heels and rushed away, trying to distract himself with yet another showcase, this time of swimsuits and summer wears. Jungkook shot one last glance towards the jewellery store, then finally followed along.

They walked around like this for a while, stopping to admire the new summer collections and some street food that they ended up buying for themselves for later. ‘Movie night’ was what they agreed to and since they already had beer and soju, it was only right that they get some food as well.

Thirty minutes later, they’d already unpacked and undressed, and Jimin had cuddled himself into Jungkook’s chest, body leaning over him whole as their attention was onto the TV screen. At least, Jungkook’s was.

“And why is it a scary movie again?” Jimin hummed with displease whilst his he held the throat of the soju bottle tightly. Jungkook was resting over the couch’s arm, one hand gently playing with Jimin’s hair in the meantime. Over the months, the younger had dyed it a few more times and currently, in was a light shade of pink that Jungkook himself did in their small bathroom.

“You said you wanted something different.” Koo replied and took a bite out of the chicken before drowning it with beer. “Here you go something different.”

“Goodness.” He pouted in his chest. “People in scary movies are stupid. Just lock your doors, stay together and hold a knife for protection. What’s so hard about that?”

“If that happened though, there wouldn’t be a movie at all.” Jungkook hummed. “It’s not fun that way.”

“Are you having fun on this?” Jimin pointed at the TV in disbelief. Koo laughed.

“Sometimes. Whenever I’m watching scary movies with friends, we’d always make it a drinking game.” He settled himself better. “We’ll all make a list of who we think will die first and if you’re wrong, you drink. It’s fun, though some of my friends have very low tolerance to alcohol and quickly knock themselves out after the first couple murders.”

“Interesting.” The younger hummed with agreement. “When I’m with friends, we usually play art games. Like, we’ll draw a random line on a piece of paper, and then take turns to draw whatever we think that line could be. In the end, we all rate the final results and based on a system Young invented, we drink.”

“That sounds fun too.” He chuckled. “Imagine it with computer engineers, though. That sh*t wouldn’t fly there. I doubt any of us have touched a pen in years.”

“No way!” Jimin’s eyes widened as he looked at him

“Metaphorically speaking.” Koo leaned and gave him a kiss. “But what I mean is that we’re not the most imaginative people. I know I’m not. If you give me a scribbled line, I’d write binary code on it.”

Jimin rolled his eyes. “You absolutely won’t. I won’t let you do that.”

“And who are you to tell me what to do, huh?” Jungkook kissed his face more. The younger gladly accepted them, laughing and replying to each one he could as he tried not to spill the soju over themselves.

“I’m your fake boyfriend, of course.” He turned himself around and wrapped his hands around Jungkook’s neck. Jimin kissed his lips and the two quickly deepened it, tongues playing around with the alcohol they tasted on each other. Jungkook put Jimin’s soju away and pressed his arms around his waist to pull him better over his body.

Kisses, kisses, kisses. God, how good it felt to have Jimin like this. It was hard not to get addicted to his soft moans and needy tongue, to his roaming hands and lithe body. As the seasons progressed and their meetings became more frequent, Jimin had grown more and more comfortable with the idea of taking charge and asking for whatever he wanted. Jungkook encouraged him a lot and it wasn’t once or twice they talked of their interests in bed.

At first, Jimin always let Jungkook take the lead. It was something he’d learnt from Kim Namjoon as the older man enjoyed being dominant, getting a hold of his body and the way things went. Jungkook was never like that.

Even with Wong Yukhei, they often switched and liked both sides of the dynamic, and more often than not, the heat that came with their sex was a question of who will overtake the other first, not who will f*ck the other that very same night.

Whether Jungkook wanted to admit it or not, Yukhei taught him that receiving felt as equally amazing as giving, and he let his desires slip towards Jimin as well.

Pulling his hair was one of Jungkook’s heavy turn-ons as he’d began growing it just so people could get better hold of him. Jimin, on the other hand, loved when Koo played with his nipples or left marks, and he melted whenever he did both at the same time.

They were a bit careless the first few times and Jimin had to wear turtlenecks and polos just to hide the pallet of colours Jungkook had painted over his neck and collarbones.

With time though, they both learnt to use their weaknesses to their advantage. It made everything exciting and more pleasurable, and the aftercare they gave each other afterwards was nothing short of calm and assuring. As Jimin played with his hair and Jungkook caressed his skin, their late-night conversations eased them into talking about everything and nothing.

Soon, it were no longer one-sided monologues over the phone, but discussions and debates, and even heated arguments of who was more or less right than the other. And no, they didn’t fight. Jimin, like Koo already knew, was never confrontational. Even when disputes happened or someone got upset, Jimin didn’t like raising his voice and more often than not, he’d agree and close himself up in attempt to prevent further damage.

That coping mechanism, alongside his stuttering, struck Jungkook as both bothersome and worrying, but he wasn’t in his right to ask questions. He’d simply go and hug him, and the initial frustration that had built into him would dissipate once Jimin finally told his own truth.

They didn’t fight. Maybe it was something they learnt over the years of not speaking to each other. They knew to listen carefully, to consider each other’s perspective and though not always true, it was theirs and it was their reality.

“Little one, would you do me the honour?” Jungkook spoke between their kisses as he pushed his hips against Jimin’s. Their hard lengths touched and Jimin’s smile widened as he nodded.

Without questions, his fingertips rolled down to the hem of his pants, but instead of pulling it down, he ran his palm over his hardened co*ck and pressed harder. Jungkook groaned.

“Definitely not what I meant, but works.” He closed his eyes and moved against the younger’s palm to his rhythm.

“I know what you meant, I just want to play around.” His little one replied, getting a deep laughter out of Jungkook’s lungs.

“We’ll see when you start begging for it.” Koo planted another kiss on his lips before playfully sucking onto his neck. The younger whimpered weakly, yet he was quick to move away whilst his fingers slipped under Jungkook’s waistband.

“You’re no fun.” He pouted. Koo complied and raised his hips, just to feel his co*ck rubbing against Jimin’s stomach. His shirt had raised from the friction and Jungkook reached inside of it to uncover his nipple.

“So, what is it tonight?” Jungkook prompted, rolling his fingers over his weak zone. Jimin bit his lips back to suppress a moan. “Do we just jerk off or are you getting up to grab the condoms from the bedroom?”

Jimin opened his lips right as a loud-pitched scream from the TV startled both of them. The younger jumped and Jungkook raised his eyebrows at the screen. There was a short moment of silence between the two as they watched the woman in the movie get brutally hammered against a wall before falling on the floor and sobbing. Jimin and Jungkook looked at each other and they bursted out laughing, smiles wide over their lips.

“Goodness.” Jungkook shook his head as Jimin hid in the crook of his neck.

“That scared me to death.” His little one giggled through groans. Koo kissed the side of his head assuringly.

“I didn’t plan for this when we were picking the movie, I promise.”

Jimin pressed his lips against his neck, then shuffled himself again and finally stood up. “I’ll go get the condoms.”

As Jimin’s figure disappeared, Jungkook got his beer from the coffee table and took a long sip. His co*ck was throbbing out of his pants, yet his lips were curled up in a smile that already anticipated Jimin’s return. He ran his fingers through his hair and stretched, and Jimin raised the condoms and lube in the air as he entered the room again.

Jimin shuffled his pants down before he leaned down and gave another kiss to Jungkook. Koo’s eyes slowly draped drown to his body and his brows shot up.

“Lingerie?”

The sides of Jimin’s face reddened. The underwear was light and see-through, with a white mesh that covered the front and what also seemed the back as well. Jimin’s co*ck seeped through the top of its thin waistband, as the lingerie was too small and feminine to consider its possible male demographic. “Since it’s getting hotter, it’s a bit… You know…”

“And it's not just for me?” Jungkook pulled his bare thighs to himself, wrapping them around his hips. Jimin sat on top of him, his eyes looking down to Jungkook’s thick co*ck that rubbed against his own. Koo cupped his cheeks and raised his brows even further when he noticed the cut that was made on its back. It opened Jimin’s ass nicely and Jungkook smiled even more. “It’s a little too perfect, little one.”

Jimin flushed and leaned to kiss him again, so Koo didn’t have to look at him further. That wasn't something he really liked, but he let that slide and hugged Jimin’s ass under the lingerie, spreading it ever so teasingly. The younger pressed the lube and condoms against Koo’s chest and Jungkook took the lubricant, pouring a good amount of it over his fingers.

“I apologise in advance for the lingerie, but there’s no taking it off now.” Koo hand found its way between Jimin’s cheeks and he caressed his hole before he thrusted a finger inside, then second. It was surprisingly looser and it made Jungkook’s lips smile even further. “And you already stretched yourself, didn’t you? That’s why you were so eager to get the condoms.”

Ah…” His little one panted and leaned down, giving Koo more freedom to thrust deeper. He lubricated his rim well, pushing and pulling a couple of times to make sure everything was prepared properly.

In the end, he added a third finger as well, and the excessive lubricant wetted Jimin’s lingerie from behind, nearly dripping down to Jungkook’s pulsating co*ck. The younger’s ears were red and he bit them playfully as he let him go and pressed the condom down his length, embracing it with the rest of the lube that was left on his hand.

“Move closer, little one.” He prompted. Jimin listened and with whatever space there was left on the couch, he looked behind himself and positioned Koo’s dick right in the cut heart of his lingerie. “That’s it. You feeling comfortable?”

Jimin nodded. With one hand over his waist and another stretching his cheek, Jungkook pushed him down, watching as his co*ck disappeared inside his little one.

Nngh…” Jimin sucked his breath and gripped onto Koo’s shoulder for stability. Jungkook’s eyelids fluttered.

“f*ck.” He pushed his head back, letting the immediate pleasure overtake him. It was burning hot inside and as Jimin sunk to the bottom of his stem, he was already losing his ability to speak. He could see it on his face, the sensation felt too good to be explained with words.

“Can you… can you move?” Jungkook asked, holding the younger stable in his place on top. Jimin nodded and kissed him sloppily. His hips lifted slowly, then pushed down and repeated until he finally found an appropriate pace.

Having Jimin do the work intoxicated Jungkook to no avail. Watching him slide up and down, his thighs shaking with the stimulation, it made his heartbeat shoot to the sky and back through his veins.

Again and again, Jimin let the bottom of his stem stretch him and the tip of his co*ck to hit every soft spot that was inside of him. His whimpers muffled the screams on the TV and Jungkook gripped onto his waist tightly. His cheeks were starting to flush as well and he began thrusting his hips against Jimin’s movements, chasing the climax that was nearing with each push inside.

“H-hyung…” Jimin moaned. “I c-can’t… any long-ger… Please…”

“A bit more, baby.” He panted back. His little’s one co*ck covered its lingerie in precum and the friction made him weaken into his arms. Jungkook gritted his teeth, his humps growing harder and stronger as Jimin forced his fingers around his shirt for stability.

Right before Jungkook’s climax, Jimin’s cum shot and covered Koo’s shirt, reaching all the way to his face. It wasn’t even a few thrusts later that Jungkook sunk him to the very bottom of his co*ck and it pulsated as the silky liquid filled the condom.

The two of them were breathing heavily, bodies exhausted by the amount of work they’d done until now. Jimin’s grip relaxed and he looked up to Jungkook who was removing his cum off his cheek.

“Goodness, I’m so sorry, hyung.” He leaned forward and with the end of his shirt reached to clean it away. Jungkook smiled and pulled him for the neck, so he could land a kiss on his lips.

“It’s just a face. I’m more worried how we’re going to clean this mesh now that we’ve soaked it with whatever liquid there is.”

Jimin’s worried expression dissipated and he hid his laughter behind his hand. “It’s just lingerie.” He prompted back and leaned to place his head over his chest again. He sighed deeply.

“Give me a moment, though. My thighs are exhausted.”

Jungkook removed the hair off his face and kissed his forehead. “You did wonderful, my little one. And look, we’re nearly at the end of the movie.”

The two turned their attention at the TV before they laughed more. Now that this was out of their systems, they had the rest of the night to do whatever they wanted.

— x —

“I’m going to Busan for the week.” Jungkook announced as he shut the door to his apartment. Jimin turned his attention away from his tablet and looked at him with raised eyebrows.

“Really?”

Jungkook took his shoes off and entered, placing his backpack at the end of the couch. He removed his jacket and unbuckled his belt, falling next to the younger before leaning his head onto his lap. Jimin’s fingers quickly found their way to his hair and caressed him with a light smile that covered his lips.

This whole summer, they’ve been growing closer and closer. Jungkook finally told Jimin his apartment password and he began visiting weekly, sometimes with an excuse, but mostly not. Some of his clothing also laid within Jungkook’s drawers, particularly underwear that nearly always found its way to his laundry at random points of the week.

It was comfortable. The silence on the phone and the presence in his apartment. Despite meeting so often, they didn’t stop calling. Once or twice a day, but also none whenever they knew they’d be seeing each other at the end of their weekday. Jungkook learnt to buy more groceries and clean more often, as Jimin took hold of the cooking and trash if Jungkook had forgotten in the morning.

They lived in their own little world with nobody to bother them. Separate lives that collided every week to save each other from the troubles their shoulders had gathered. It was nothing short of ecstatic, nothing far from euphoric. To hold and be held.

To love and be loved.

The lines of what they considered boundaries were starting to blur and maybe, they were already long gone, yet the fear that they were still there remained. Jungkook already considered his odds. Each and every week with Jimin, it felt like a breath of fresh air. In between writing his thesis and handling his part-time job, there was rarely time where he could relax on his own, unwatched by his friends who themselves were under a constant threat from stress and nerves.

Only with Jimin was where it felt right.

“I haven’t gone there all summer and Mom wants to spend some time with me on my birthday, so I decided to call in sick and visit her.” Jungkook explained whilst Jimin was waving his sweaty face with his tablet. August heatwaves were hitting Seoul very hard this year and he was grateful that he’ll be able to get away for a while at the seaside. “Thanks.”

“That’s good news.” Jimin smiled. “Are you planning a vacation with her?”

Koo shook his head. “We were thinking about it, but since Dad will be back on the 30th, we decided against it. I think I’ll go meet with my group and see how they’re doing, but… I don’t know, I still haven’t decided.”

“And hyung…?” Jimin prompted, voice suddenly quieter.

Things weren’t going great for Jimin when it came to his family. Or rather, they were just the same as he’d left them when he moved the Seoul three years ago. They didn’t really talk about Taehyung, mainly because it wasn’t something that felt relevant or necessary. Jimin was also vague about their parents, speaking of them only when he had to and nothing more.

Jimin didn’t visit often either. Only for holidays and special events as Taehyung’s mother required him to be there, but if he returned to Busan, Jungkook knew he stayed over at Yuno’s and avoided going out altogether. Even with Taehyung’s trips to Japan every once in a while, it seemed like Jimin wasn’t willing to get back to that household and secretly, Jungkook understood why.

There was no place for him there after all. The life he’d created in Seoul and the person he’d become, he had to abandon it in order to appease to his father, a man who never seemed pleased with how much his son had achieved.

“No sure yet.” Jungkook hummed in response. “He said he should be back from Japan, but nothing is certain.”

“I hope you two manage to see each other.” Jimin forced a smile and slowly put his tablet down. “Are you travelling over the weekend?”

“I’m going Sunday to Saturday, but I might be back on Friday, because my program is organising a farewell for the seniors.”

“So, you’ll be having two celebrations at once. Sounds exciting.” His little one caressed his cheek before patting it gently. “Go get a shower now, though. You covered my fingers in sweat.”

“And you’re not joining? Shame.” Jimin rolled his eyes and Jungkook gave him a short kiss before he stood back up.

“I’ll be going in a bit, so even if I wanted, I wouldn’t be able to.” The younger said after him. “Work called.”

Jungkook nodded and closed the door to the bathroom before he stripped and turned on the shower. Busan… He wasn’t sure what expected him there anymore.

— x —

The whole day, Jungkook’s phone was blowing up with ‘Happy Birthday’ messages. He tried to respond to all of them and as the evening came along, there was only a single person that hadn’t congratulated him yet. Every year without a fail and yet, it was this one where Jimin hadn’t called him.

“What’s wrong, my dear?” His mom prompted as she lightly tapped her lips with the napkin by the side. “You’ve barely touched your food tonight.”

He and his parents had gone out for dinner in one of the restaurants by the coast. It had a beautiful view with an open balcony on which they sat and stared at the sea. To say the least, Jungkook was distracted. His hands itched to take the phone in his hands and check his messages, to see if by any chance – despite not letting go of his phone whole day – he might’ve missed Jimin and his birthday call.

Alas, he hadn’t and he line was empty.

“I don’t feel in the mood to eat much.” Jungkook shrugged with his shoulders and looked towards his plate. There was a pathetic, unappetising excuse of a salad in front of him, alongside a few plates with side dishes and a bigger one in which the main course was placed.

“Maybe he’s not very excited to be in his mid-20’s, Minyoung-ah. I get him.” His dad took some of his noodled between his chopsticks and slurped them. “When I was his age, I was a dropout living with his grandparents! It wasn’t an ideal situation.”

“And now you’re half-homeless, rolling in lion dens and drinking from rivers for sustenance. You’re not much different.” She scoffed, shaking his head. He looked at her with raised eyebrows, then she looked back and soon the two of them grinned at each other, hiding their smiles away with quiet giggles under their breaths.

“At least someone knows me well, right, son?” He quirked and grabbed the kimchi away from him. Jungkook chuckled lightly.

His mother’s sense of humour was always of a cruder kind and Koo often saw her tune it down for those who wouldn’t understand. His father though, never minded it. Rather, he encouraged her as not once had he told him he found his mother’s humour as charming as it used to be when they first met.

“I hope you find yourself a man who can put you in your place like this.”

His mom hit his shoulder. “He’ll be that man. Why search another one?” She leaned herself closer. “Honey, find your mother someone sweet and caring. I want my future son-in-law to be as gentle as a cherry blossom.”

Jungkook’s lips curled. Jimin was just as how his mother explained it — as gentle as a cherry blossom.

“I think you’re still clinging on the idea it might be a girl, Mom.” Jungkook prompted subtly and she shook her head with disagreement.

“Nothing like that! Tell me, have you ever seen a more supportive mother than me?” She pointed her finger at him. “I think not. I let your father run with the animals all year! My gay son can’t defeat me! I was shaken when you first told me. I was, but who am I to judge in the end?”

“Your mom’s right.” His dad joined it. “It is what it is.”

“Thanks, guys.” Jungkook nodded a few times awkwardly. He knew they were still getting used to the idea of… Him, liking other men, though he would’ve appreciated better jokes and commentary than that.

“Omo, on that topic.” Mom leaned in again. “Do you remember, my dear, when we were still living at our old house near Taehyung’s? And there was this family down the road with two little brothers around your age? Well, I met with their mom recently and turned out that one of them…”

“Oh God, Mom. No.” Jungkook shook his head with a groan and placed his fingers over his forehead. “Don’t— Don’t be a wingman. Please.”

“I’m only suggesting!” She exclaimed near offended. “I didn’t say anything about you, but couldn’t I at least try and take care of my son’s needs?”

“What needs are you covering, honey, exactly?” His father grimaced alongside Jungkook. Koo’s sides flushed even further.

“Dad— Don’t finish that.”

“Those are normal bodily functions!”

“This is painfully weird.” Jungkook cut him off. “I’m not talking about that with my parents.”

“Jeon Jungkook, I am a woman who’s seen countless couples in my life.” Mom began, pushing her hair back dramatically. “Do you not think I haven’t seen enough yet? There have been Koreans, and Chinese, and Westerners too that have come to me with the oddest requests, especially for their honeymoon!”

“I know.” He sighed deeply. “I’ve been there… For a while.”

“Me too, son. Me too…” Dad shook his head, exhaustion prevalent in his words. “I’d say my job is hard, but you mother deals with people and you know what I think about them. Animals with brains!” He whistled and whispered after.

“Scary sh*t.”

“Jeon Seungmo!” She hit her husband behind his neck. “Manners! I might be an animal with a brain, but at least I have enough to assure I don’t act like one. Now sit straight.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He listened and put his foot down from the chair. Despite the embarrassment they brought him, his parents never failed to entertain him and make him smile. They were the loveliest, oddest couple he’d ever gotten the pleasure to know.

Koo glanced at his phone again. Still no call, nothing. And the night kept on.

“Good night.” Jungkook closed the door to his bedroom and locked it before throwing himself on his undone covers. Sleeping in his teenager bed brought old memories to him, many he had to admit were cornier and more cringey than pleasurable to ever revisit. He turned around and closed his eyes, exhaling deeply in attempt to relax.

It was going to strike midnight in a couple of minutes. And in a couple of minutes, Jungkook’s birthday was to be over. He’d never felt so disappointed before. So disappointed to the point it made him want to hide in his pillows and cry.

All the years Jimin had called and it was the first one he didn’t. They didn’t text, they never did and yet, he secretly wished that even a single message he could’ve sent to wish him well on his birthday. A single…

Phone buzz.

Calling Park Jimin…

Jungkook had never answer a phone call as quickly as he did that one. His breath hitched and his heartbeat increased, and Koo muted himself as he waited to hear the voice he was so desperate to talk to him all day.

“Hi, hyung!” Jimin smiled in the microphone. “I know this phone call is long due and I could’ve picked a better time to call you, and I hope I didn’t wake you up or anything, but… Happy Birthday.”

A stupidly big smile covered Jungkook’s lips. After waiting since the hour he woke up, his shoulders finally relaxed and his mind eased. He didn’t care about anyone else congratulating him. He’d rather celebrate something else than his own stupid birthday, but when those words rolled out of Jimin’s lips, he hadn’t felt happier to have heard them.

“I was out until now, because…” Jimin breathed a short laugh. “I was rushing around to get you presents.”

f*ck.

“I hope you don’t mind, but I came tonight to your place. I know you’ll be back the day after tomorrow, so I thought I’d spend Friday here since I… Well, I don’t actually know why. I feel like I’ve grown comfortable with coming to your place at this point.” He giggled.

“I don’t have any work tomorrow thankfully, so I might lazy around and then go home. We still haven’t agreed when we’ll meet again and I doubt it’ll be this week, but… Let me know. You already know my schedule anyways, so whatever time is comfortable for you.”

Jungkook closed his eyes. Jimin in his apartment, as if waiting for him to come home.

“Anyways, I got a bit distracted. I wish you hyung… All the best, first of all. I wish you to keep growing at your workplace and I wish you success on your thesis defence. I’m sure you’ll do great once the time approaches. Also, I’m wishing you luck and happiness, and I wish one day to…” The line fell silent for a moment.

“Actually, scratch that. I hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration and I can’t wait for you to come back and tell me about your trip to Busan! You must’ve had plenty of fun with seeing everyone again.”

The clock struck midnight.

“Rest well now and I’ll see you soon, hyung. Good night.”

Click.

From the moment Jimin ended the call, Jungkook already made up his mind — he was going home today.

— x —

It wasn’t unusual that whenever Jungkook came back to Seoul, he’d be carrying double the amount of luggage than he’d went with. In this case, it was triple. His mother didn’t miss the chance to pack extra food for him and his father also gave him some gifts he’d gathered from his last trip around South America for him.

‘Give some to friends too, don’t be stingy’, said his dad once Jungkook uncovered the many sweets and useless gadgets that he’d messily placed all inside the bag. Mom went through them and organised them for him of course, and she freed space for a couple more things she gave him right before departure.

So, about 3 hours later, Jungkook was unlocking his apartment door, back breaking in sweat from the backpack on his back and the heavy bags his father gave packed for him.

Directly as he came in, the sweet aroma of chocolate hit his nostrils. He smelled jam and flowers too, and a small yelp escaped from Jimin’s throat as he jumped out of the kitchen to see who it was.

He was wearing his apron, him being the only one who ever used it, and his pink hair was pushed back in a small ponytail that tried to gather his locks away from his eyes. His hands were covered in flour and he had a few dirty spots of chocolate on his face, Jungkook unsure how he even got them there in the first place.

Even when he looked messy, Jimin was like the most beautiful person on Earth.

“I’m back.” Jungkook couldn’t hold his smile back. Jimin’s lips were open widely, eyes big in disbelief.

“But what are you… what are you doing here?” He asked quietly. “You were supposed to come on Saturday.”

Jungkook shrugged as he left his things on the floor and took off his shoes. “Plans change, don’t they?” He entered the hallway and spread his arms to pull Jimin into a hug. The younger yelped and jumped back.

“Let me clean first.” He ran inside the kitchen and cleaned his hands in the sink, then wiped them into his apron and took it off.

“My hands are giving up.” Jungkook complained. A smile appeared big on Jimin’s lips and he leaped forward, wrapping his arms around Koo’s neck.

“Welcome back, hyung.”

Koo chuckled before he leaned to kiss his little one. Jimin responded and held Jungkook’s face with his wet hand until they drew away.

“From what I see, it wasn’t just to spend your Friday in peace, huh?” He teased the younger as his eyes looked around. The kitchen was a mess he hadn’t seen before, yet the rest of the apartment was clean and refreshed. The windows were open and the living room looked vacuumed, and he saw a bunch of fresh flowers gathered in a big vase in the middle of his coffee table.

Not only that, but there were also multicoloured paper laying around it, and a small black box that was hidden by the origami pieces that were still in the process of making.

“I, uhm…” Jimin stumbled. “I tried to make things nice for when you’re back.”

Koo hummed, unable to take the smile off his lips. “You even did the laundry. I can smell the detergent.”

Jimin nodded shortly, his eyes now facing down to his hands that pressed against his chest. “I’m sorry everything is such a mess… I really didn’t think you’d be back so soon.”

“Hey.” Jungkook tilted his head and gently lifted Jimin’s chin up. “There is nothing to apologise for. You were planning a surprise for me, right?”

His little one hummed shyly.

“You’re amazing, Jimin-ah. Really.”

The light that came into Jimin’s eyes almost melted him. He looked so happy and innocent, with a child-light spark that Jungkook wished to hold for himself forever. Koo connected their lips again, kiss soft and sensual, full of all the words he couldn’t express towards the younger.

So many words and yet just three were rolling on the tip of his tongue.

“I…” Jungkook sigh, letting their foreheads touch together. “Look, I…”

Could he even dare saying it? It felt so easy, the easiest 3 words he could say, even though they were not enough to let Jimin know how much he adored him.

“I…”

“Yes…?” Jimin whispered.

Jungkook squeezed his eyes shut. He couldn’t… He didn’t dare.

“I have some things… That my mom packed for me.” Koo released his breath slowly and moved away. “And some have to go in the fridge.”

“Oh. Of course.” Jimin gave him a smile. He passed him and moved the two bags towards the kitchen. “Do you need a shower? I’ll fix the packages and maybe, you can come help me later?”

“Of course.” Koo smiled assuringly. “Of course I’ll help.”

— x —

“Are you actually going to do it?” Hoseok stared in disbelief as he held the small white box into his hands. “On his birthday party?”

Jungkook nodded. He already planned everything.

“Do you think he’ll even agree?” Yoongi had leaned as well, staring at the engraved ring that cozied itself in its pillow inside.

“I don’t know.” He admitted, yet he didn’t let his insecurity bring his mood down. “We’ll have to wait and see.”

“That’s… That’s wonderful! You’re finally breaking the deal, Jungkook-ah!” Hoseok jumped onto him happily. Jungkook fell down on the couch with a groan. “You’ll finally have yourself a real boyfriend! Would you look at that!”

If Koo had to be honest, that thought terrified him. It was just as exciting as it was frightening, but when he saw Jimin in his apartment, preparing a small birthday celebration with flowers and home-baked pastries and even a small handmade cake, he knew from that very moment he wanted to break their deal and make him his.

It was a risky move, a dangerous one if he had to consider Taehyung and Jimin’s family as well. His and Jungkook’s parents were close friends and as far as Koo knew, they met every once in a while to catch up and have some coffee.

If his parents knew about him and Jimin, then there would be no doubt Taehyung and his family would too.

“Are you even invited?” Yoongi interrupted them. “When’s the party?”

Jungkook rolled his eyes. “It’s this Saturday. I already know some of his friends, so if they’re invited, so am I. I’ll probably take him out of the restaurant to give him the gift and ask him out properly.” He sighed. “Is it too much, though? I wonder if breaking the deal on his birthday is a good idea.”

“He’s clearly into you, Jungkook-ah.” Yoongi said and sat by their side as well. “I saw the way he looked at you, even before you guys started hooking up. You’ll be fine.”

“Let’s hope so.” Koo smiled and took the ring from Hoseok’s grip. His eyes glazed at it momentarily before he closed it and put it back into his bag, zipping it securely. He couldn’t allow himself to lose it, even if his life depended on it now.

— x —

Jungkook pulled Jimin deeper into the kiss, his body pressing him against the side of their car. Koo smiled and his thumb caressed his cheek as he continued taking more and more of him. They’d agreed to go to his birthday party together. Jimin took his time to prepare, but as their little fun escalated in Jungkook’s apartment, they were now 30 minutes late and still not out of the parking lot of the restaurant.

“Hyung.” Jimin giggled whilst Jungkook was kissing his neck. “Come on, we have to go.”

“Just a bit more.” He murmured in the crook of his shoulder.

“We can’t.” The younger shook his head and pulled his hair back. Koo gasped and breathed a smile. Oh, he didn’t handle this well. “The guests are waiting.”

“And I’ll force them to wait more.” He joked. “You’re the star of the party, you have to be fashionably late.”

“40 minutes isn’t fashionably late, it’s rude.” Jimin rolled his eyes and slipped away from Jungkook’s embrace. He locked the car, then took Koo’s hand and pulled them towards the main road. “You’ll be driving tonight, right?”

Koo nodded. “Enjoy the party. I’ll make sure to take you home.”

“Thank you.” Jimin placed one last kiss by the restaurant and let him go, entering with a bow.

To say the least, the crowd inside erupted when they saw the birthday boy join them. Some people raised their already filled glasses, whilst others leaped to hug him and ruffle his hair in a congratulatory manner. His name was yelled from every part of the small restaurant and for the first time, Jungkook truly wondered what Jimin meant by ‘a small group of friends’.

Everyone inside seemed to know him. It was a celebration as big as his seniors’ joint graduation party and as Jungkook leaned back to stare at him, memories from his younger years started to emerge in his head. How did a shy boy with no friends in high school turned become such a confident man, loved and adored by many? It bewildered Jungkook, but also warmed his heart to know he’d finally found his place among a crowd that truly accepted him for who he is.

“Park. Ji. Min!” Someone yelled and threw himself on his back, making him groan with pain as his legs bent under the additional weight. The man kissed his cheek soundly, then hopped down and smiled brightly. “Happy Birthday, sugar pie!”

His hands stretched forward and Jimin gasped by taking the present into his hands.

“Is that what I think it is?” He looked at him, then back inside the bag. “Young-ah.”

“It’s a shared present with me and Mina. She once again apologised she couldn’t come, but you know how it is.” Kwon Soonyoung shrugged and smiled more. “Happy Birthday once again.”

Jimin continued to receive presents like this for a while. Jungkook heard familiar and unfamiliar names, and the presents began stacking until Jimin had to put them on another table as he didn’t have space in his arms to hold them anymore.

“Thank you, guys.” Jimin hid his pink face into the palms of his hands and the bracelet Jungkook gave him this morning shone around his thin wrist. It didn’t matter how many presents he got as long he wore the one Koo gave him.

“Let’s drink!” Someone yelled and the crowd cheered, soon to push a big glass of beer between Jimin’s hands.

“Uh, well… Cheers!” He raised it and his eyes dragged towards Jungkook who had crossed his hands by the entrance door. Jimin smiled and gave him a small personal cheer before he drank from the beer and began attending to the tables.

Heul… You must be someone special.” Jungkook heard a voice right beside him. He jumped with surprise and found the man from earlier staring directly at him. He was short, yet with a devilish spark in his eyes that nearly freaked him out at first glance.

“Hi.” Koo bowed lightly. “You must be Kwon Soonyoung.”

Heul…” Soonyoung eyed him from top to bottom. “You truly are someone special.” He thought for a little bit, then clicked with his fingers and pointed at him. “Jungkook hyung.”

He raised his brows. “That’s right.”

“Jiminie told me a lot about you.” He quirked a proud smile. “Come, sit! Have a drink with us.”

“I’m driving Jimin tonight.” He refused politely, but followed and sat down at the edge of a long table where he was able to see Jimin and the rest of the restaurant.

It seemed like his little one was still on his feet, going around and cheering himself with people around the different tables. His smile never faded away and he saw a few more emotions pass through his face, anywhere from happiness to disbelief whilst his friends talked to him.

Much of the time at the restaurant blurred for Jungkook. It wasn’t because he got pressured into drinking, but because his full attention was on his little one and the idea of how exactly to pull him out and break their deal. It seemed like there was no escape from the murder of crows that perked themselves around the birthday boy. Always someone to join in and take him away, and it was hard to get a hold of his attention when there were ten more that wanted it as well.

As Jungkook was leaving the bathroom, he silently recited the words he wanted to tell the younger. He’d first take him to the side, ask if he’d join him for a smoke or to get something from his car. Then, he’d tell him he had one more present for him, and a question he’d been meaning to ask for a while. The box would appear in his hand and as he opens it, he’d shoot for it.

‘Let’s break the d—’

“Jimin-ah! Finally.” Jungkook heard a familiar voice approach. He pulled back. “I haven’t been able to talk to you all night.”

“Joon hyung!” Jimin’s voice heightened and he wrapped himself around the man’s tall frame, brought into a warm hug by the older. Koo clenched his teeth.

“So, how do you feel so far?” Kim Namjoon fixed Jimin’s hair back to its place.

“The party’s wonderful. I truly can’t believe so many people responded to my invitation.” Jimin laughed, hiding himself behind the back of his palm. “Thank you for joining as well. It truly means a lot.”

“Of course.” He playfully pushed flicked his nose. “You know I’m always here for you. But I see you’re drinking tonight? Does that mean you need a driver home?”

Jimin narrowed his brows at him and shook his head. “Jungkook hyung agreed to drive me home, so I’d be free to drink. Enjoy yourself too and let me know if you need a ride yourself.”

“Oh, Jungkook? As in…?” Namjoon didn’t finish the sentence, but Jimin quickly nodded and looked away into the crowd. Jungkook’s heart started beating faster.

What was he doing, stalking other people’s conversations like that?

“So you’re finally together.” The older man continued. Jimin gasped and looked at him with surprise before violently shaking his head.

“I… You know what I think of that, hyung.” He sighed, voice quieting down a notch. “It’s just not going to happen. It’s nothing like this.”

The statement clenched around Jungkook’s throat in a chokehold. His body weakened and he slowly pushed himself on the back of the wall that separated the entrance to the bathrooms and the main restaurant area. Koo tightened the grip around the white box and he pushed it deep inside his pocket.

“You and your definitive statements always…” Namjoon shook his head. “You know that you have to—”

Someone called Jimin that very same moment and he excused himself in front of the older before walking towards the other side of the restaurant.

Collect yourself, Jungkook.’ He said to himself harshly, attempting to stop his chest from aching too painfully. ‘This is what happens when you expect too much.’

Jungkook closed his eyes for a moment and inhaled deeply. There was no time for crying and self-pity. It was a happy celebration for Jimin, a happy celebration.

One breath, two and three. Koo pushed himself off the wall and walked back into the restaurant, finding his way to Jimin.

“Jimin-ah.” He called as calmly as he could. Jimin immediately noticed him and his smile widened as he patted someone on the back and walked up to him.

“Hey! How’s it going?” The younger gently placed his hand over his bicep, but Koo pushed back, so he wasn’t touched. Jimin’s smile slowly dropped.

“I was thinking I could bring the presents to the car if you want.”

“Oh, uhm…” He searched for the key around his pockets before he gave it to Jungkook. “Thank you, hyung. Is everyth—”

“Enjoy the party.” Jungkook said back and without another word, he turned his back and quickly disappear out of the restaurant.

Koo only allowed himself to show emotion when he found his way to the car. As he opened the trunk and put some of the presents inside, he sat on the edge of it and slowly, his shoulders relaxed, emptiness overtaking his body completely.

What did he expect? Jimin was right, after all. They’ll not going to happen. Who was Jungkook to assume it could be any different? All the months they spent together, all the nights they slept in one bed, they hugged, they kissed, they caressed each other’s skin.

It was all fake.

And Jungkook was a fool to think anything had changed since the beginning.

Road, rear-view mirror, then side mirror and back on the road. Evening driving had always been one of Jungkook’s favourite things. He remembered the summers where he was in Busan, with Taehyung and everyone else getting in Minseo dad’s car and they’d drive down the empty beaten roads that connected the main city to the small villages. He was able to feel the wind through the open hood of the car and everyone had raised their hands to feel it rushing through their fingers when he sped up just a little more.

This was the city though, and Jungkook wasn’t driving for fun. At least, not to the extent one would call this ride ‘fun’. Jimin was resting on the passenger seat, his eyes glistering through the window as a small smile had painted his lips. He looked almost melancholic, as if he wasn’t really there, but daydreaming instead.

Jungkook squeezed the steering wheel momentarily. His conversation with Kim Namjoon kept replaying in his head over and over, like a broken record that he couldn’t reach and turn off. The way Jimin said it so surely, and to a man with whom he spent nearly a year together. Namjoon might’ve been the only person who knew Jimin as well as him and the thought infuriated him. Every time he saw them together, he had to go away, to cool off before he wanted to do something that he knew he’d regret.

The rest of the party night remained just as cheerful as one would imagine, though. Jungkook met a few more of Jimin’s well-known friends and found some computer techs with whom he exchanged numbers. Koo did his best to avoid Jimin throughout the night and it felt like it worked, and that the younger took the hint until it was time to go.

“Did you like the party?” Jungkook finally ripped through the silence between them. Jimin turned himself, eyes wide with surprise before he smiled and nodded shortly.

“I did. I’m very happy I got to see everyone who came.” The younger stared into the distance again. “There were even some friends from my first year that we don’t really talk anymore, but they still responded to my invitation and came. It feels… Ah… I felt warm inside all night.”

Jungkook nodded and turned a corner. “That’s good.”

“Did you have fun, hyung…?” Jimin asked back.

Fun… It wasn’t very fun to hear the person he was in love with didn’t want him back. It didn’t feel great to see him be close with everyone else but him, to hug and kiss everyone else but him.

“I finally met with Soonyoung.” Jungkook averted the question. “He gave me a few cigarettes.”

“How do you like him?” Jimin giggled in his palm. “I know he’s a lot to take in at first, but…”

“He’s a good friend.” Koo nodded. “You have many good people around you, Jimin.”

The smile once again faded on Jimin’s face. There was some confusion in his furrowed eyebrows and words he tried to form, but didn’t come out. Jungkook tried to keep his face as neutral as possible, staring at the road to the best of his abilities. Yet, he couldn’t not catch the way Jimin looked down and began playing with his bracelet.

This morning when Jungkook gave it to him, Jimin cried happy tears. He embraced his shoulders and raised himself on his toes, thanking Koo again and again until Jungkook had to shut him up with kisses and soft cooing.

This morning, it truly seemed like things were only looking up. Until they weren’t.

“Hyung, did…” Jimin hesitated. “Did something happen tonight?”

‘You rejected me.’

“What do you mean?” Jungkook licked his lips.

“I don’t know…” His voice quieted. The smile that once rested on his lips was no longer there. “You seem colder… in a sense…”

From the street, Jungkook could already see Jimin’s apartment building. Short, four-story building in the jigsaw streets from the roadway.

‘You and I shouldn’t be together, you said.’

Jungkook parked near the entrance and turned off the car. His heart ached in a way he never imagined one could. A deep, ripping pain that made him wish he didn’t have skin nor heartbeat. Jungkook itched to cup Jimin’s face and bring him in, to seal their lips together and pour all his love out, so Jimin knew how much he meant to him.

But this was not the reality in which they lived. Not the reality they picked for each other.

“Let’s stop meeting for a while.” Jungkook said at last. He needed distance. He needed to stop those feelings from overflowing, from overtaking and ruling every decision he made. He needed to kill them or else, he will be the one killed.

“What…?”

“We’re both busy with graduation and work, and I think it will be for the best to—”

“Okay.” Jimin whispered barely. Jungkook’s heart thumped.

“Okay?” He repeated, almost as if he didn’t want to hear him the first time.

Jimin closed his eyes and sniffed back, pushing his head onto his backseat. “I don’t… I don’t want to do that, but…”

‘Stop me, then.’

“If hyung doesn’t want it anymore, I don’t…”

‘I want it. I want you.’

“I understand…” Jimin nodded at last and smiled. “We’re just using each other, right? That was the deal.”

Jungkook’s throat tightened. ‘No.’

“Thank you for driving me home. Let’s talk again tomorrow, hyung.”

He didn’t want to go. He didn’t want to leave. This was… It was a mistake, he didn’t actually mean it. He wanted to stay.

“Yeah.” Jungkook forced out of his lips. “Later.”

He left the car and passed the street, then hid out of sight and for the first time since Christmas, he couldn’t stop the tears that now mourned his foolishness.

— x —

“What’s up with him?” Hoseok sat on the free space next to Yoongi at the cafe. Jungkook closed his eyes and sunk deeper in the armchair.

“He got rejected.” Yoongi hummed as he stared at his phone.

“Again?” Hoseok groaned. “Did he at least offer the ring or…?”

“I didn’t give it at all.” Jungkook decided to interrupt the dejavu he was having with their conversation. “And I didn’t get rejected. I was the one to cut things off.”

“Oh.” Hoseok looked at him with surprise. “Like… Permanently?”

“I doubt that.” Yoongi sipped from his coffee and put his phone down. “If it did, then we wouldn’t see his face until his next birthday. Maybe even that is pushing it.”

“Very funny.” Koo replied dryly. “I heard him say we’re not going to happen, so I ended things before any of us got hurt.”

“So, you did get rejected.”

No.” He cut off sharply. “It was for the best.”

Yoongi leaned his cheek onto his cold coffee, eyes looking at him with pity. “Even you didn’t believe yourself when you said that.”

“Besides, when did you even hear?” Hoseok mused. “It’s not like he’s going around, telling everyone he hates your guts or something.”

“He was talking with Namjoon and it came up.” Jungkook shook his head. “Why would he lie to his ex-boyfriend?”

“Maybe he still likes him?” Hoseok thought, but got hit by Yoongi harshly.

“What moron would still like his ex and then make a whole birthday surprise for his situationship?” The older retorted. “Be more realistic.”

“You think he still likes Namjoon?”

Yoongi hit Hoseok again. “Now would you look at that? He’s going to cry. Great job, Jeong Hoseok.”

“I didn’t say I was correct!” Hoseok said in a panic. “I’m almost always wrong, Koo-ah, so I’m definitely wrong here too, okay? Don’t listen to me.”

“Hoseok’s right. I mean, he’s right that he’s wrong.” Yoongi narrowed his brows. “I can ask Namjoon for you, how about that?”

Jungkook grimaced. “Ask him what? If his ex-boyfriend is still in him? Please.”

Despite how ridiculous it sounded and despite how much more Jungkook didn’t want to go to Namjoon for help, the idea didn’t sound so bad in his head. Secretly, we wished to know what they thought about each other, what Namjoon thought of Jimin.

“You’re old enough not to play hard to get, Jungkook.” Yoongi took the phone back in his hands and sighed. “Besides, I don’t want to see you looking like an absolute trashcan when we’re out like this.”

Koo looked down to himself. He didn’t wear anything that was out of ordinary for him. Maybe his hoodie was a bit old and unwashed, sure, and his pants weren’t in their most ironed condition, okay, and he might be hiding his oily hair under a beanie, whatever, but…

It wasn’t so bad, was it?

“Anyways. I’ll be going now.” Yoongi stood up and began putting on his coat.

“Woah, woah, woah!” Hoseok immediately protested. “But I just came!”

“Enjoy your date with Jungkook, then.” He replied unbothered and patted Koo on his way out. “And you? Cheer up. I’ll report later.”

Jungkook finally managed to smile. Maybe his week wouldn’t be so terrible, after all.

— x —

“The exhibition is going great.” Jimin said on the phone. Jungkook pulled the covers closer to him head.

For the first time in a while, he didn’t feel like going out of bed. Those three weeks actually, he wasn’t in the mood to do anything, but sleep and work. He abandoned the gym completely and stopped cleaning around the house. He skipped invitations to go out or study together. He forgot to respond to people’s messages and stopped joining his colleagues for lunch.

These three weeks, Jungkook truly felt like the trashcan Yoongi named him as.

It was only him, work and Jimin’s calls, but even they didn’t fill the emptiness Jungkook felt was gaping in his chest. The double bed that he and Jimin built in the summer was cold and empty and wide, and no amount of unfolded laundry was able to fill it enough, so he didn’t feel so alone.

“Today we sold another three sculptures, this time for a hotel that will be renovating their garden in the spring.” Jimin’s voice echoed from the other side of the bed. “The managers keep calling us to work through the weekends and I’m getting a bit tired from it, but my boss said it’ll only be until the Christmas holidays. Then, we’re closing until Seollal, which means I’ll have enough time to prepare for my defence in February. So, it might be a bit hectic right now, but things are looking up, I think.”

Jungkook rubbed his eyes and yawned. The sun had already set down and he still hadn’t eaten anything.

“I’ll be back in Busan on the 17th.” The younger hummed softly. “My father and I planned to go to my grandparents first and then get back to celebrate with hyung and his mother. I don’t really visit my grandparents when I’m in Busan, so I’m happy my father suggested it. I wish I could stay with them for Christmas, but they usually spend it with friends and I don’t think I’ll be able to endure a seven-hour Mahjong tournament.”

Jungkook chuckled softly. “I wouldn’t mind that. Mahjong sounds nice.”

“Are you going home as well? You’re probably already planning to go to the villa with your dad. If you’re perhaps around Busan before that, maybe we could hang out… sometime…” Jimin quieted. “Or… Or maybe not… Anyways… I hope you’re doing well, hyung. Talk to you later.”

Click.

As the silence once again overtook Jungkook’s apartment, he dug his face into the pillows of his bed and closed his eyes. He wanted to see him. He wanted to see Jimin so badly.

— x —

His mother gasped once he saw him. She pressed her hands against his cheeks and he nearly melted in them. “My darling boy! You’re skin and bones, honey! What happened!”

“Hormones.” Jungkook smiled and looked to his father who waved from behind her. He was wearing some khakis and a loose shirt, yet Koo knew those were the only things that he hadn’t yet packed for their trip. When it came to skiing, he was always first in line.

“Come in, come in.” Mom patted his shoulder. “Let me prepare some dinner. You travelled so late, you must be starving.”

Jungkook would normally take the early morning train, but just like the month prior, he preferred to sleep in and skip it for a later one.

“Thanks, Mom.” He took off his shoes and left his suitcase at the door as he placed his slippers and went in. Nothing had changed, though he did see some new pictures his mother had hung on the walls around his father’s photographs.

“How was the travel, son?” His dad followed and sat by his side on the dining table. Jungkook shrugged.

“I slept in.” Koo admitted.

“Too much sleep is bad for your health!” Mom yelled from the kitchen. “Maybe that’s why you also have bags under your eyes, sweetheart.”

She came back with two big bowls of curry rice and placed them in front of the two men. She followed with a few more side dishes and finally sat down with a cup of tea between her fingers.

“I started working full-time recently.” He mused back. “I’m just not used to that yet.”

It wasn’t entirely a lie. Jungkook got offered a full-time position all the way back in October and he’d been working overtime as well, just to numb the nothingness that had enveloped his lifestyle since he last talked with Jimin. And the fact he’d let go of himself… Well, it was a part of his ‘Jimin’ situation.

“Some snowboarding would take you right out of your worries, son.” Dad said once he swallowed a piece of kimchi. “Also, Minyoung-ah, give your kid some more rice. His cheeks have hollowed!”

“Stop exaggerating, Dad.” Jungkook laughed, shaking his head. “I’m fine, really.”

His mom sipped from her tea before nodding. Her features eased. “At least you’ll be able to fit into your high school clothes again. I was thinking of recycling them, but this turned much better than expected.”

“Is that what you did with my wardrobe?” His dad furrowed his brows. “No wonder I cannot find my favourite Metallica shirt.”

“This old thing? Seungmo-yah, it wasn’t even for donation, it was straight for the waste-bin!”

“Did you actually throw out my Metallica shirt?”

“Of course! Well… Not, but…”

Their conversation drowned in the background as Jungkook played with his food.

He missed talking to Jimin like this. He missed watching him cook and helping him cut vegetables. He missed wrapping his hands around his waist and resting his chin over his shoulder before placing kisses on his neck, his cheeks, his lips. He just missed him so desperately, he felt hopeless. Hopeless and lost, and defeated.

Although Yoongi asked Kim Namjoon about Jimin, it led to nowhere. ‘I don’t know anything,’ he’d said. How true was that, Jungkook couldn’t judge, but it didn’t help him. It didn’t help with the overthinking, it didn’t help with his despair or stopping the tears that rolled down each time he couldn’t bear with his loneliness.

And he didn’t know how hard he tried to hold them through sleeping and overworking, until he was left to face his thoughts on his own.

“Omo.” His mom’s words died down and his parents looked at him with both surprise and worry.

Jungkook had leaned over the half-eaten bowl of rice, his tears gushing out in silent ripples that wetted his cheeks and slid from his chin over the dining table.

“I’m sorry.” Jungkook wiped them off in his shirt and stood up. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

His dad nervously looked at his wife, before Jungkook’s mom stood up and took Jungkook into her embrace. Koo didn’t respond at first and kept trying to wash the tears away in his sleeve before she cooed and gently began caressing his overgrown hair.

“If that’s what I think it is, my dear…” Mom spoke with a sad smile on her lips. “Then my overcooked rice isn’t going to help you. Broken hearts, my darling boy, are fixed with ice cream.”

— x —

“That was your best slide yet!” Dad yelled, throwing his hands in the air as Jungkook scrapped the snow to stop by his side. “Goddamn it, that’s what I call an awesome ski track!”

“Not so bad, huh?” Jungkook smiled proudly as he glanced back. It felt like forever since he felt the snow under his board and even longer since he felt so happy and refreshed.

“Let’s go up again and take the other side.” His dad slid his skis towards the lift a couple hundred meters away from them. “We’ll see if you’ll be able to catch me with that plank of yours next time.”

He stuck out his tongue and Jungkook laughed loudly.

“Eat my snow, old man.” He followed with his snowboard, sliding past him in what the older only took as a challenge.

“Consider yourself already beaten!”

Jungkook dropped on the couch with a wide grin spread over his lips. He felt tired, sweaty and giddy, so so giddy. “Then, my dad tried to take me from the right, but right as he was about to pass me, a tree appeared out of nowhere and nearly knocked him out!”

“I was not knocked out. I passed it like a pro.” Dad yelled as he was leaving for the bathroom. Koo waved his gloves at him and shook his head.

The line on the other side of the phone remained silent, but he finally felt good. Finally, he could talk to Jimin and not feel the dread that loomed over his head every time he wanted to call and tell him of his day.

Thank you, Mom and Dad.

“It felt great. I think it’s 6 on 7 so far, but we still have four more days to go and who knows? Maybe he’ll manage to beat me.”

“Such a close call, though.” His old man ran half-naked across the villa. “Especially the last two runs.”

“What are you doing, Dad! Close the blinds first!”

“I’ve been seen by everything in nature, some neighbour peeping doesn’t scare me.” He waved his toothbrush and shampoo in his hand. “Got ‘em.”

“Jesus Christ.” Jungkook stood up and left his phone on the living room table. “If I don’t do that, you might as well leave yourself all on show for Mrs. Kang.”

Click.

— x —

Jungkook tapped the ash off his cigarette. The music was blasting in his headphones, his head gently moving with the beat. He’d been waiting nearly 30 minutes for Taehyung to open the front door and he was starting to lose his patience. If only Jungkook got himself a key all those years ago, maybe that wouldn’t have kept happening. It was also cold and wet, and his not-so-waterproof boots weren’t exactly happy to be sitting in a half-melted pile of snow at the eve of New Year.

His fingers slid through his phone and he called his best friend one more time before the front door slammed open and he saw Taehyung waving at him furiously. Jungkook took one last drag from his cigarette and tapped it in the pavement, threw it in the canal nearby and dashed towards him.

“What took you so f*cking long?” Koo hit his shoulder before a quick smile appeared on his lips and he hugged him dearly. “Happy belated birthday, Taehyung-ah.”

“You’re the first to come, man. I was still in the shower.”

“Clearly.” Jungkook ruffled his wet locks and went inside, thrusting the snow off his boots. The house was warm and welcoming, and Jungkook placed the coat on the hanger as he walked after Taehyung. “Here. Catch.”

Taehyung turned around and sloppily caught a big, wrapped box. “Holy sh*t, that’s kinda heavy.”

“I have wine from my parents. They say hi, by the way.” Koo took his hat off and the two of them entered the living room. There were garlands all around the curtains, with balloons on the floor and a lot, a lot of liquor.

“Oh, sick! I’ve been wanting these headphones since forever!” He heard Taehyung yelling as he finally opened his present. Tae wrapped his hands around Jungkook’s shoulders and shuffled his pushed back hair all around.

“dickhe*d.” Koo showed him a middle finger, making Taehyung laugh loudly.

“I’m taking this for myself, thank you very much.” He waved the box around. “Minseo and Nayeon will be coming around 11, by the way. Min texted me to say they’re still at his house, but the rest should be here around 10 or something. You can wait here, I’ll just go blow my hair real quick and I’ll be back. There are beers, soju and liquor. Wine too, now that you brought some. Feel free to open whatever you like.”

Taehyung disappeared up to the second floor and Jungkook pushed his hair back in a ponytail. He was thinking of cutting his hair after he came back from the mountains, but oddly enough, his mom was strongly against that idea. So for now, it was going to stay like this.

Koo plopped himself on the couch and cracked a beer open as he began scrolling through his phone. It was nearing 9, which meant he and Taehyung had all the time in the world to talk and catch up before the rest appeared. When he came for his own birthday, they weren’t able to meet since he was once again gone for Japan, but it was for the best. He didn’t mind waiting longer as frankly, he wasn’t in a rush to meet with his best friend again.

After months spent with Jimin, the idea to talk to Taehyung so casually again felt nearly foreign to him. He looked at his best friend and heard all the mean things he once said about his step-brother. He saw Tae smiling and he imagined the judging side eyes and ignorant eye rolls he’d thrown at the younger over the years.

Now that both him and Jimin had come out to the world, having to keep their secret in the only place they couldn’t admit it felt nothing short of insane. It wasn’t that Jungkook changed because he left the Busan. It wasn’t that Jimin changed when he came back to Seoul.

They didn’t change because they liked men, but as he was sitting and waiting for Taehyung to reappear, he already felt the pressure of the household weighing on his shoulders. The silence was more deafening than anything he’d ever heard when speaking with the younger on the phone.

Was it just the two of them here, though…?

Jungkook slowly put his phone down. Even though there’ve been times where Koo had nearly lived here, he’d never been to Jimin’s room. It was down the hall, the furthest away from anyone else’s and where Jungkook knew were the guest bedrooms. He wondered, was Jimin staying home for New Year?

Curiosity overtook him. Koo stood from his place and went up the stairs, then stopped at the small crossroad of halls and instead of heading to the left, he quietly walked towards the right side of the house. It was much quieter than he remembered it. Each door looked the same and each one of them as if abandoned as the doorknobs looked dusty and unused.

One door after the other, Jungkook peaked inside and closed them right up.

One, two, three…

As he approached the last door, he felt his palm sweating up. Jungkook leaned in attempt to hear if there was any noise coming from it. When he couldn’t hear anything, he pushed the doorknob down and went inside.

The room felt completely different from the rest of the house. Unlike Taehyung’s bedroom that was bright and nearly empty, Jimin’s was cluttered and tight. The size was about the same, but the curtains were pulled and the walls looked half-painted, with wallpapers ripped on one place whilst they were left on others. The floor was stained with white paint, possibly left from when they were doing the ceiling, and there was small rug under the single bed that was pushed in the middle of the wall.

Everything would’ve looked grim and unfinished, like they had forced the younger into a room they didn’t want to fix just for the sake of it. It would’ve looked terrible, yet there were also shelves upon shelves with pottery and statuettes, with action figures and books, and comics, and manga. He saw cloth racks from the door to the wall, and a sewing station right between the bed and the clothes. There were also posters of pop singers and rock bands, and origami that Jimin had placed at whatever available spot he found. By the closed curtains of the window stood a long table, where once sat anything from student books to art materials and more.

But what pulled Jungkook’s eyes the most, was the man that sat on a small stool in the middle of the room, with a dirty apron around his waist and a pottery wheel that spun a small block of brown clay continuously. Jimin’s hands were working it slowly, moulding it between his fingertips in a shape Jungkook would name as a bowl. Jimin squeezed some more water from the small bucket that was by his knee and he leaned again to fix one of the edges better.

Headphones over his head, it took a moment for the younger to realise there was someone else in the room. As his eyes sharply dragged up, as he instinctively raised his hand to protect himself, as he put it down and his gaze widened, Park Jimin took a cut breath in, wiped his hands in the apron, stood up and took his headphones off.

“Hyung.” Jimin called and Jungkook’s eyes immediately softened. His grip on the knob loosened and he pushed his hand behind his back, rubbing his neck nervously.

“I…” He turned around soon after. “Sorry.”

“You…!” Jimin’s hand reached towards Koo. Jungkook’s heart jumped and he turned around, brows raised in anticipation. Jimin’s ears flushed and he looked down as he stepped off the lever that made the wheel stop. “You’ve… You’ve lost a bit of weight.”

Jungkook blinked with confusion, then chuckled and nodded. “I’ve been hearing that a lot recently.”

“Are you… Have you been okay?” Jimin shyly raised his gaze back to him. “Did you have fun with your dad?”

Jungkook looked towards the hallway, then took a step forward and went inside, closing the door after himself. Whether it was the right move or not, he wasn’t sure.

“I had fun.” A gentle smile appeared on his lips. It’s been over two months since the two of them properly talked. “The last day was the most intense and dad ended up spraining in wrist after he tried catching another tree mid-slide.”

“Oh, no.” Jimin gasped. “Is he okay now?”

Koo hummed. “Yeah. We put some snow on it and it was as good as new. Though, he did make me drive back home.”

“That’s good.” The sides of Jimin’s lips raised. “You like driving.”

Jungkook nodded shortly. There was an awkward silence for a couple seconds, Jungkook thinking of every way possible to make him talk more. He’d always had him on the phone, but to hear his voice in real life made the butterflies in his stomach buzz even harder.

“So… What are you making?”

Jimin looked down to his pottery wheel and back to Jungkook. “O-oh… Nothing, really. I was just playing around to pass time.”

“Are you joining us tonight?” Jungkook asked.

“No.” The younger shot faster than he could think, then repeated it more softly. “No. I’d just be in my room.”

“Are you not coming for the countdown?” He kept on. “For—”

“Jungkook!” Taehyung yelled from downstairs. Koo mentally cursed. He’d completely forgotten about him.

“Go.” Jimin said with a small smile. “Have fun tonight, hyung.”

“Jeon Jungkook!” Taehyung continued. “You in the bathroom?”

“Y-yeah.” Jungkook managed to reply before shutting the door to Jimin’s room close. He pushed himself against it and exhaled shakily.

Jimin looked just as beautiful as the day he saw him last.

“Come on, come on.” Nayeon pulled everyone closer and raised her phone up in the air. “Cheese!”

Minseo wrapped his hands around her whilst everyone else posed around. Taehyung had pulled Jungkook to himself, whilst Jeongyeon and Younghyun had knelt below them. As Nayeon clicked a few pictures, they all sighed and sat back on their places.

Younghyun rested his head on the back of the couch and sighed deeply. “Can you believe it, guys? We’re all 25 now.”

God, don’t remind me.” Jeongyeon scoffed, pressing her lips against the throat of the soju bottle. “I feel old.”

“Life’s yet to be in front of us, guys!” Taehyung chimed encouragingly. He was always halfway to a blackout and it wasn’t a surprise he could barely stand on his feet without wobbling.

It was almost midnight, though. Jungkook would’ve done the same if he was in the mood for it.

“You say it because you just turned 25.” Minseo groaned. “And I’ve been here for a while.”

Nayeon leaned and kissed his cheek perkily. “Our handsome oldest.”

“Come on, guys.” Taehyung prompted, sitting down in the middle of the couch as he focused onto the clock in front of the TV. “I want wishes for next year! What do you guys want to do next?”

“I want to land a lead role in a romance drama.” Nayeon started first. “With someone handsome!”

“Get into a good law firm.“ Younghyun said next, tilting his head over the arm of the couch. “I want everything with my thesis defence to go right and finally practice law as criminal defence attorney.”

The clock kept ticking down hypnotically. Jungkook’s throat was starting to tighten.

“Nothing.” Jeongyeon shrugged. “I mean, maybe open my own aesthetician studio? That sounds fun, doesn’t it?”

“Move out of my parents.” Minseo overtook her. “Get a place with Nayeon and settle.”

Her smile widened when she heard that and she leaned to kiss him deeply.

“What about you, Koo?” Taehyung prompted as he looked above himself.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

“I…”

‘Jimin. I want to be with Jimin.’

“What about you, Tae?” He shot back and thankfully, Taehyung was too drunk to argue. He stretched himself high and hummed loudly.

“Finally move to Japan?” Taehyung asked himself thoughtfully. Everyone exclaimed happily.

“Finally and officially!”

“Our Japanese boy!”

“I’ll be right back.” Jungkook murmured under his breath.

The clock kept counting down. 20, 19, 18…

Jungkook walked away from everyone and quietly walked up the stairs to the second floor.

17, 16, 15, 14…

He turned right at the crossed hallway and passed the 3 empty rooms before he once again found himself in front of Jimin’s door. He pressed the knob down and entered.

13, 12, 11…

Jimin had pushed his desk to the side, standing by his large open window. The fireworks had already begun.

“Jimin-ah.”

10, 9…

“Hyung?” Jimin raised his eyebrows high when he saw him. Jungkook walked towards him. “Why are you here? Aren’t you supposed to be with everyone downstairs?”

8, 7, 6, 5…

Jungkook cut the distance between them and let his hands embrace Jimin’s waist gently.

4…

Jimin’s eyes widened and Jungkook took his chin between his fingers, lifting it up to him.

3…

Jimin placed his hands around Jungkook. His heart was beating just as fast as his.

2…

Jungkook leaned in and connected their lips together, melting into the kiss that Jimin so readily accepted.

1…

The cheerful voices of everyone in the living room faded out and fireworks exploded in the midnight sky, marking the beginning of the new year. Jungkook moved his lips against Jimin’s, letting his selfishness get the best of him.

He never wanted anyone as badly as he wanted Jimin. He needed him, breathed him each time he called him, each time he looked at him. Jungkook wasn’t ready to give him up. Not now, nor ever.

Koo slowly pulled himself away, their foreheads placed against one another’s. He didn’t know how long they’ve kissed, how long Koo had been absent from his group, but it didn’t matter. He wanted that kiss so badly, he was ready to risk everything for it.

“Happy New Year, little one.”

He was ready to risk everything for Jimin.

Left on Mute - Chapter 6 - xxmarvian - 방탄소년단 | Bangtan Boys (2024)
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