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i'll show you how a real pro bends

Chapter Text

“BU-LLET-PROOF! BU-LLET-PROOF! BU-LLET-PROOF!”

 

Jimin leaned forward, resting his chin on his knuckles to further focus on the match. The cheering got louder with each new move and he felt his own heartbeat rise in tandem; the crowd favourites were one point from losing. They’d gotten too confident, too complacent, taking it slow and losing an entire zone in the process- with half a minute left on the clock, it would be near impossible for the Bulletproof Boys to come back. The thought disappointed Jimin- the young firebender on the team was, excuse the pun, really fucking hot. Jungkook was one of the reasons Jimin continued to sneak out to attend matches. In fact, over the course of the last season, he'd caught Jungkook staring back at him more often than he could count- his orange hair was eye catching, it was true, but Jimin had begun to wonder if the attraction was mutual.

 

His attention was drawn back to the game when Hoseok  started a volley of air strikes- lifting himself off the ground so that each punch of air would hit their opponents at an angle almost impossible to defend. The other team countered with a barrage of water bullets but Yoongi deflected these easily, protecting the airbender as he pushed the opposing team back. Distracted, the other team could never have seen Jungkook come around the side, launching three strong fire bombs at their chests. Two were pushed back one zone, and Jungkook decided to crack out a fire whip at the end, pushing the last member clear off the arena and into the water.

 

Jimin jumped in his seat, antsy as he glanced at the clock- there were ten seconds left. Clenching his fists in frustration, he watched as Hoseok, light on his feet,  began to spin an air tornado while Jungkook and Yoongi parried more attacks from the opposing team. Jimin watched, jealous of the way Hoseok moved so effortlessly. A prodigy, Jimin had known Hoseok from an early age and the airbender was, to date, the most talented he’d ever encountered in his life. The firebenders were getting nowhere with their two- on- two technique until Hoseok decided to help out. With five seconds left on the clock, he let out a shout turning the tornado onto the waterbender that Jungkook was battling. At the same time, Jungkook switched to a more attacking stance, directing a fire stream at the second player to join Yoongi’s own. Both players were launched clear off the arena, and not a moment too soon- the buzzer sounded almost immediately afterwards.

Slumped in his seat, Jimin sighed and looked up at the roof. When he looked back at the victors, he found Jungkook’s eyes on him. Maintaining direct eye contact, Jungkook winked before collecting his towel from the side of the ring.

 

Jimin wanted to wipe the smirk of his face.

 

He stood up and walked over to the exit, standing off to the side and watching as the referee declared the Bulletproof Boys victors. He didn't miss the way Jungkook subtly glanced back towards Jimin’s empty seat- he didn't miss the confused look on his face as he craned his neck to find the orange haired boy.

 

When Jungkook finally found him in the crowd again it was Jimin who smirked, pushing his hair back as he turned on his heel and left the stadium.

 

***

 

Min Yoongi was nothing without his savagery.  He could leave Hoseok here. He really could, he chanted  to himself as he continued to push through the clusters of drunk, dancing kids. Fuck Jung Hoseok, he thought as he climbed a chair, standing on his tiptoes to gain some vantage over the crowd.

 

Spotting the familiar mop of black hair, Yoongi jumped off the stool and quickened his steps. The airbender was, as usual, surrounded by a mass of admirers- both male and female- watching as he broke it down on the dance floor. Yoongi shook his head. He stalked up to the center of the circle, where Hoseokie was, for once, dancing with someone else.

 

“Show’s over, kids!”

 

“Yoongiii!” This shout came from the airbender, whose pronunciation was already suffering from having one too many drinks.

 

Rolling his eyes at the groaning coming from the circle, he pulled Hoseok off the other man. The man turned around, giving Yoongi pause. Dark eyebrows framed darker eyes, staring down at him in confusion. Offset by buttery blond hair, his sharp features were striking… handsome, Yoongi found himself thinking.

 

Blinking to clear his head, Yoongi announced, “Our precious airbender… has work tomorrow! Sorry guys, it's time for Hoseok to go home!”

 

“Ten more minutes pleease? I promise I’ll wake up tomorrow...”

Hoseok’s pleading was lost on Yoongi.

 

In the airbender’s ear, Yoongi murmured, “Think of the kids, Hoseokie. We gotta go now.”

Hoseok’s shoulders hunched , the fight leaving him. As a last call, he shouted to the crowd, “Time to booook… Bye  Taehyungiee! See y'all party people next time!”

 

The younger boy wrapped his arms around Yoongi’s waist, letting him lead them outside the warehouse and into his car.

 

The older boy helped belted Hoseok up and made a mental note to ask him about the cute blonde later.

 

***

 

The artificial lighting inside the train had Namjoon squinting. This late at night, he had more choice in seating than he was used to. The only other passengers were either professionals that, like him, had finished late, or drunk kids celebrating the start of summer- and with it, the start of the probending championship. He envied them. Once, he too had played hard and partied harder, spending the days with his team and his nights with his friends until the summer flashed by, leaving him to spend the spend the other nine months working and studying away at his desk.

 

These days his weeks and months bled together in gray monotony, the bleakness broken only by the joy he felt when he solved another case, fixed another problem, when another civilian thanked him. He’d always been too observant, had cared too much- he’d never be able to live in oblivion now that he’d been exposed to all the injustices and unfairness of the world. His duty was to protect people; there was no running from this.

 

It got awfully lonely, though. Eyes fixated on the head of pink hair sitting a few seats down, Namjoon sighed, leaning his head back. It wouldn’t hurt to have someone he could share his life with. A partner to light his days and warm his nights- that didn’t sound bad at all.

Chapter Text

 

 

Jungkook was buzzed.

 

Not on alcohol- not yet, anyway. Striding down the arena’s hallway to the locker room, his steps were controlled, confident. His hands tingled, chi overflowing. To take the edge off, Jungkook played with a spark, making it twist and jump through his fingertips- much to Yoongi’s dismay, the younger boy was prone to accidentally setting things on fire when his power proved too much to handle. Listening to the faded screams of the crowd- the same crowd that would scream his own name shortly- he wondered if the orange- haired boy would show up today. The number of matches he came to watch had increased recently and as a result, so had the quality of Jungkook’s bending. Ruefully, he shook his head- he had nothing to prove to any cute boys that watched his matches. Today was the day, he thought. Today he would finally talk to the orange-haired beauty.

 

After all, the boy would be easy to approach if he was already a fan. Right?

 

Reaching the end of the corridor, Jungkook pushed the door to the locker room open and was greeted by one of the most absurd sights he’d seen all month.

 

And he’d seen some shit.

 

Hoseok lay on the floor tenderly clutching his foot, his face a comical mix of pain and horror as he poured the contents of an entire water bottle over his ankle. Off to the side, a reddening Yoongi barked at a crying teenager. All three were decked out in full probending gear.

 

The spark dancing along Jungkook’s fingers winked out.

 

“I’ll pay for his treatment- I’ll pay for it all! I promise! I’m so sorry, I didn't know- I’m new to this- please don’t report us it was an honest mis-”

“Yoongi, leave him alone! The poor kid didn’t mean it and there's nothing we can do now except treat my ankle… come here now.”

 

Even wounded, Hoseok was the one placating Yoongi. Jungkook would have snorted if he hadn’t been so worried.

 

“Hobi… what happened? Are you okay?” The nickname the airbender used with his children slipped past Jungkook’s lips.

Hoseok just sighed, hanging his head as he explained, “I'm fine, kookie… me and Yoongi were doing light pre- match warm ups, I was in the air trying out this hectic new move, and all of a sudden an earth disk smashes into my foot-”

“Turns out, one of these  fresh earthbenders wasn't paying attention to anything else in the room- Ya! Kid! Elements are dangerous, have you even been trained-”

“Yoongi that’s enough! He said he was sorry, there's nothing more we can do-”

The young earthbender was sidelined, awkwardly watching as the pair continued to bicker.

 

Jungkook pinched the bridge of his nose, looking up towards the ceiling for strength.

“Hoseok…” he murmured. “Did you just try to heal yourself… by pouring water over your foot?”

“Kookie, better something than nothing. And we’ve called a healer already- hes an old friend.”

“And hopefully, he’ll be our new replacement,” Yoongi offered. “Hoseok’s officially out of commission and we can’t afford to lose this match by default. It’ll be good to have a waterbender on the team for once.”

A waterbender- that was new. They didn’t switch up team dynamics often. Uncomfortable, Jungkook shifted on his feet. “Are you guys sure? It’s hard enough when Namjoon comes to play with us, and we’ve known him since forever. This match is important… and we only have an hour to practice…”

“The way I see it, there's not much else we can do. I tried to ask Taehyung but he has a date- besides, I’ve known Jiminie for a long time. We can trust him.”

Yoongi froze. “Taehyung… has a date? Is this Taehyung blond?”

Hoseok narrowed his eyes. “Yeah, he is, but how do you know Taehyung?”

 

A soft knock sounded before Yoongi could answer, and a bell- like voice asked, “Hoseokiee?” The door opened partially, revealing an orange mop of hair.

 

Jungkook made a choked noise, falling flat on his ass. What were the fucking odds.

 

Jimin (the orange haired cutie? A fan? A waterbender? Hoseok’s friend?) spared him an amused glance before his attention was drawn to Hoseok, who was sporting a grin was so wide Jungkook reckoned he could fit an entire earth disk inside.

 

“JIMINIEEEEEE MY CUTIE LITTLE BRO COME HERE!”

Two red spots appeared on Jimin’s cheeks as he made his way over to Hoseok, where the airbender immediately wrapped his arms around the younger boy.

“Guys this is Jimin, the waterbending prodigy from my childhood days- Jimin, this is Yoongi and Jungkook- they’re both firebenders.”

“I know,” Jimin started shyly, “I’m a fan… Nice to finally meet you both!”

Yoongi simply nodded in greeting, while Jungkook blurted out, “I know!”

Three pairs of eyes regarded Jungkook curiously.

“What do you know?” Asked Hoseok slowly.

“That… that he’s a fan- I mean, I’ve seen him. Once or twice.” Jungkook’s voice trailed off, quieter with each word. “His hair… I couldn’t help it…”

Jimin could only blink, his cheeks reddening further. Changing the subject, he said, “I’m not that great at healing, I wasn’t trained- but you hurt your ankle? Why… Hoseok, why is your foot wet?”

 

***

 

“They don’t know what kind of bender Jimin is- we need to use that to our advantage-”

“Yall might as well just play with only two benders if you’re going to make him stand there until shit gets serious enough that he needs to jump in-”

“Guys! I learnt some new tricks after my dad- I mean, during my break… the waterbenders from the Northern Tribe have been doing some crazy stuff in isolation- I could show you if you want?”

 

Everyone nodded at that. Jungkook glanced at his watch for the twentieth time. They had thirty minutes, at most, until the match. Uneasy, he watched as Jimin made his way to the center of the room, eyes widening as the waterbender beckoned him forward.

 

“Hit me, kookie. Give me anything.”

 

Jungkook wished death on his perverted brain. Jimin looked extra small in a defensive crouch by himself; Jungkook was obsessed- there was no denying it. The firebender summoned a lazy firestream. And summoned it again. And summoned it once more. Panicking, Jungkook brought his hands in front of his face. Every time he tried to summon a stream, all that appeared were a couple of sparks, which then fizzled out after a few seconds. Looking closer, he saw that his hands were coated in a thin layer of mist. Dewdrops, like sweat, dripped down his fingers.

 

Yoongi had caught on and was grinning in approval. Hell, Jimin even had the gall to reach out and hi- five him while they watched the younger firebender struggle.

 

Jungkook narrowed his eyes. Turning to face the back of the room, he wiped his hands on his gear and hiding his activity from Jimin, sparked a flame. Satisfied, he grew the flame, nurtured it with his spirit and intent. As soon as it was ready, he snapped his body around, ready to give Jimin what was coming to him- except that he wasn't there.  

 

The sneaky fuck had moved, just like that day in the arena, just like that day in the arena, and now took advantage of Jungkook's confusion to surround his flame with hydrogen gas, slowly suffocating the flame.

 

But Jungkook had had enough. Gritting his teeth, he twisted out of position and began to advance towards Jimin. The older boy’s eyes widened in surprise. Splitting the flame between his hands, he started throwing fireballs. On the defence, Jimin dropped his flame suffocation to raise ice shield after ice shield. No longer limited, Jungkook’s flames grew in size; he finally felt he could breathe again. The ice daggers coming at him clinked away, useless. Only a foot away. As a last resort the waterbender released a wicked water stream right at his chest, causing Jungkook to lose balance- but not before he hooked his foot around Jimin’s own.

 

Wet. They fell to the ground in an inelegant heap, Jimin’s lips just a centimeter from the shell of Jungkook’s ear.

 

“That foot move was cheap.”

Jungkook shrugged. “It worked.”

“I’m on top though.” This came as a whisper, Jimin’s breath hot against his neck.

“Are you usually on top or…”

 

It was Jimin’s turn to shiver, his mouth opening and closing- how had jungkook not noticed his lips before? So soft, plump, close-

 

“Jimin, that was a solid effort.” Already thinking up a new strategy, Yoongi turned to Hoseok. “We won't need to play any tricks- we’ll just play a variation of what we normally do- hard and fast from the get go.”

 

Jungkook, still dripping wet, watched with dark eyes as Jimin rose, slowly slipping his body off Jungkook’s own.

 

He thought that was a swell idea.

 

***

 

“-IN OPPOSITION, WE HAVE THE FIERY NEWCOMERS, CROWD FAVOURITES AND WORTHY CHALLENGERS OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP POT: THE BANGTAN BOYS! WE HEAR TONIGHT THAT HOSEOK, THEIR STAR AIRBENDER, HAS BEEN INJURED…”

 

Jungkook picked up the groaning from the crowd and smiled, amused. More than half the tickets sold to their matches were bought by Hoseok’s fans, friends, and groupies- they’d just have to wait a few months until Hobi was back in the game. He wasn’t sure if Jimin would continue to fill in the whole time, and wasn’t sure what the effect of that would be on his sanity- but there was no time to think about that now. Their platform reached level with the arena, and Yoongi pulled them in for a huddle.

 

“This team’s young, inexperienced- they gave us a freebie this round. Jimin, you take the firebender on the end first. Shout if you need help. Bangtan Bangtan-”

“Bang Bangtan!” The cheer slipped past Jungkook’s lips almost instinctually.

 

He watched as Yoongi ruffled a confused Jimin’s hair and said, “It’s the bulletproof chant, kid. Welcome to our team.”

 

Jimin smiled back at Yoongi, bright and sweet.

 

Jungkook’s fists clenched.

 

The whistle sounded.

“RIGHT OFF THE BAT, WE SEE THE BULLETPROOF BOYS LEAVING NO SURPRISES AS THE WATERBENDER REVEALS HIMSELF, ENGAGING YUE LIN RIGHT AWAY! LOOK AT JIMIN GO, STRIKE AFTER STRIKE- BUT WHAT’S THIS? WHY CAN'T YUE LIN FIGHT BACK? FOLKS, I THINK HE MIGHT BE SICK!”

 

Jungkook smirked underneath his helmet. Who would’ve thought a regular cutie capable of pulling all these tricky moves? Now that he wasn’t battling Jimin himself, he could fully appreciate the grace and flow of his moves- even in probending gear, the waterbender’s  lines were mesmerizing-

 

“Oomf!”

 

Jungkook snapped out of it. He’s been so distracted he’d allowed the earthbender full freedom to advance, and now he was paying the price. Barely dodging the discs flying at him, Jungkook hit back hard with fireballs, overwhelming the earthbender with the speed of his attack.

 

BUZZ!

 

“FOLKS, ONCE AGAIN WE SEE THE REASON YOONGI OF THE BULLETPROOF BOYS WAS NICKNAMED THE TIGER BY HIS FANS! HE’S ON THE PROWL, HE’S ADVANCING AND KORI DOESN’T STAND A CHANCE! KORI SLIPS BACK INTO ZONE 2 AND-”

 

SPLASH!

 

“AND THAT'S IT FOR KORI THIS ROUND-”

 

Jungkook wasn't surprised at all- at least he’d get some help now that Yoongi was free.

 

“Jungkook!” Jimin’s voice rang out from the side of the arena, and Jungkook’s head swung around to see the waterbender launch stream after stream at his opponent- who had just fallen to the ground. Jimin’s streams weren’t strong enough- Jungkook waited until the opposing firebender stood back up and launched his own punches, a successive barrage of strikes that pushed the other firebender, slowly but surely, towards the back of the arena.

 

“SEEMS LIKE JUNGKOOK AND JIMIN HAVE SWAPPED- AND IT LOOKS LIKE A GOOD STRATEGY THE WAY YUE LIN CAN'T SEEM TO STAND HIS GROUND. HE’S WEAK FOLKS! OH- ZONE TWO GONE- OH- HE’S IN ZONE THREE AND-”

 

SPLASH!

“FOLKS THIS IS INCREDIBLE! THE BULLETPROOF BOYS LOOOVE KNOCKOUTS AND IT LOOKS LIKE THEY’LL GET ANOTHER ONE TONIGHT- OR WILL THEY? THERE'S TEN SECONDS LEFT ON THE CLOCK, WILL RIYU BE ABLE TO STAND HIS GROUND AGAINST THEIR THREE ON ONE APPROACH-”

 

Jungkook looked over to where Jimin was throwing ice daggers and water punches, generally distracting Riyu and impeding his sight. Every so often, the waterbender would throw in a harder strike and knock the earthbender back a few steps. He was about to end it, adding his fire to the mix when he was stopped by the look in Yoongi’s eye.

 

They both watched Jimin leap and twirl, watched the waterbender’s eyes harden as he struck again, and again, and again, giving the earthbender no time to recover until-

 

SPLASH!

 

“AMAZING! THE BULLETPROOF BOYS AND THE NEWCOMER HAVE PROVEN THEMSELVES ONCE AGAIN- WATCH THE CROWD GO WILD AT ONE OF THE FASTEST KNOCKOUTS THIS SEASON HAS SEEN! A HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS TO YOONGI, JIMIN AND JUNGKOOK WHO...”

 

***

 

“MY KIDS DID SO WELL! You all killed it out on the arena, seriously you guys were no joke-”

“I’m older than you, you raccoon goose-”

“Do you guys even need me at all? I mean Jimin’s the perfect replacement, I should just pack up my gear and store it away.”

At this, Jimin looked up from removing his own gear, staring at Hoseok with wide eyes.

“Hoseokie… I told you this was a one-time thing. At home- you know I can’t keep doing this, I’m not reliable.”

Hoseok sighed, hanging his head. Jungkook looked between the two of them, and then at Yoongi who seemed to be just as confused as he was. Gruff, Yoongi asked,

“What’s the matter, Jimin? You did well out there- it’s obvious that you love probending.”

Jungkook confirmed this with a slight nod, observing the reappearance of a blush on the waterbender’s cheeks. A praise kink. How precious. He filed this away for future use.

“I do, I really do love it but… my dad used to be an elder in the Northern Water Tribe and- he’s one of the more conservative types, you know?”

 

Jungkook did know. To this day, there were plenty of conservative folks, especially immigrants to Republic City, who thought probending was a mockery of what real bending was- that probending took the ancient art and gifts that had been handed down from generation to generation, and turned it into a joke. Little did they know- out in the arena, amidst the rounds and buzzers, that’s when new, cutting edge moves and strategy emerged. People drew inspiration from these moves for battle tactics, machinery and dance- this was the one sport that united the people of Republic City, locals, immigrants, the rich and poor- the arena was a melting pot inside the melting pot that was this city.

 

Yoongi was determined. “That sucks kid, but from what Jungkook said, it seems like you’re able to make it to heaps of these matches. If you love the sport enough, all you have to do is commit to practices and a few matches before Hoseok’s well again. No stress if you can’t make it- we can always ask Namjoon. Or Taehyung.”

 

“How do YOU know Taehyung??!!” This came from both Hoseok and Jimin, who stared at each other in shock.

"Wait," the waterbender said, shaking his head, "I didn't know you guys knew Taehyung?"

"Is this blond Taehyung?" Yoongi just couldn’t let go of this, could he?

"Yeah, he's blond right now but he won't be for long- he's my best friend, I can-"

"Bring him to our practices!"

Okay, Jungkook was confused. How did everyone know this Taehyung guy except him? There were more important issues to discuss right now, he thought as he shouted,  “We can discuss all this later! Jimin, are you in?”

 

Jungkook watched Jimin, saw the indecision play out on his face. Jimin looked up at him in the end, mouth set in a straight line and eyes glinting. Maintaining direct eye contact, he spoke loud enough for everyone to hear.

“I’m in.”

Chapter Text

A baby let out a piercing wail.

An old man launched into yet another sneezing fit.

In the corner, two women discussed rising cabbage prices about ten decibels louder than necessary.

He was sorry. Namjoon wanted OUT. Cradling his wrist, he mentally cursed Yoongi for forcing him to take a trip to the doctor’s in the middle of a business day. So what if he had a broken bone? Namjoon would gladly suffer if it meant that he wouldn’t have to spend another minute in this… waiting room from hell.

 

His wallowing in self pity was cut short by the sound of- what was it? It sounded very much like a man’s laugh, but also very much like a windshield wiper. Either way, it was more interesting than anything that had happened in the last half hour. Namjoon swung his head around to see a pink haired man, who seemed only to be slightly shorter than himself, lead a young woman out of his office.

 

“Thank you, Miss Aromdee. One of the nurses will call you when we get your results. Don’t come back too soon!”

 

The doctor, Namjoon assumed, was wearing a blindingly white smock which only served to accentuate the breadth of his shoulders. Around his neck was a stethoscope, but Namjoon suspected it was only for show. If his hunch was right, the doctor was a waterbender who wouldn’t need a stethoscope (or any other basic medical devices) to do his job.

 

The pink haired man consulted his clipboard for a second.

 

“Kim Namjoon?”

 

Fucking finally- letting out a sigh, he sprung up from his seat and made his way over to the doctor’s office. The doctor extended his hand and gave Namjoon a firm handshake.

 

“Good afternoon, my name’s Dr. Kim. Come in, take a seat…” His voice ran clear, pleasant.

 

Up close, Dr Kim’s face was handsome- perhaps one of the most classically handsome faces Namjoon had ever seen. What puzzled him was the office- although he hadn’t been to many, he knew that doctor’s offices were clinical, cold, sterile. This one was different. The walls were filled with illustrated medical posters, and well as children’s artwork- in the gaps that remained, someone (and Namjoon had a sneaking suspicion it was the doctor himself) had put up various shitty medicine puns. One read, “Statistically speaking, 9 out of 10 injections are in vein,” while another claimed, “I once heard a joke about amnesia, but I forgot how it goes.”

 

He snorted derisively, the corner of his lips twitching.

“Liking my puns are you?” This came from the doctor, who had swung around on his chair to face him.

“They’re quite something,” Namjoon deadpanned.

“You don't need to pretend to be so apathetic here. This is a safe space, no one will judge you- feel free to laugh at my top class humour.”

 

The doctor let out his windshield- wiper laughs and despite himself, Namjoon found himself smiling at his shameless antics- in this moment, his mood was lifted higher than it had been all week.

 

“So, what can I help you with today?”

“I think I may have sprained or fractured my wrist,” Namjoon explained.

“Oh wow, why didn’t you tell us before? The nurse could have given you some painkillers at least-”

“I had a couple painkillers before I came here, doctor,” He said wryly, “I knew the waiting time would be too long for me to hold out on my own.”

 

Dr Kim chuckled, turning Namjoon’s arm this way and that. He opened the flask at his side, and lifted water out. Namjoon was filled with a tingling sensation as the water encapsulated his wrist, flowing gently and holding it steady in the air.

 

“Before we put a cast on, do you mind answering a few questions? You’re a new patient so we need some basic information before we can proceed.”

 

“That’s fine,” Namjoon managed. He curse his voice for breaking on the second word.

 

“You put down your birthday, address, contact details  in the form with our receptionist right?”

“That’s right.”

“Are you a bender? If so, what bending do you have?”

“I’m an earthbender.”

“Your parents?”

“My mum’s a non- bender… my dad was probably an earthbender like me, but... we don't know for sure.”

The corners of Dr Kim's mouth turned down.

“I see… any allergies?”

“Not that I know of.”

“Have you had all of your childhood injections?”

“Yes.”

“Do you take flu shots?”

“I used to but… recently, I don't feel like they made a difference so… I stopped-”

“You’re telling me,  medical professional, that you don’t feel that injections work?”

“No?”

 

Dr Kim laughed- a more toned down one this time. The water pulled back from Namjoon’s wrist, dropping back into the flask .

 

“Alright, I have enough now to go and grab your cast- you’ve only fractured your bone. We’ll have to use a synthetic one for you and you’ll have it on for about three weeks. Could you just put your arm in this mould for me?”

 

Namjoon did as directed, slightly disgruntled at the prospect of having a cast on for more than a week. He had work that needed to be done, and it seemed this cast would only serve to increase his assistant's workload.

 

As the doctor left, shutting the door behind him, Namjoon breathed out sigh. Prior misgivings aside, he was pleased that the doctor was making fast progress. The pink- haired man was different from the healers he’d met before- he had  cheerful, free spirit that Namjoon didn’t get to see much of before. It was refreshing, he decided.

 

The door opened again.

“So… how’d you fracture your wrist in the first place?”

 

The earthbender cringed. It was only a matter of time, he thought, before any credibility he’d built up got washed down the drain.

 

“At the station, I got too excited-”

“Wait,” The doctor said, “You’re a police officer?”

Namjoon hesitated, eyes shifting.

“Well… police chief-”

“CHIEF?”THE police CHIEF?”

“Well, yeah, but I didn’t get injured on the field… You see, I got excited and our chairs… have wheels on them. I spun too fast and kicked the leg of my desk, and it sort of… collapsed on my arm I guess-”

Halfway through his story, the good doctor had begin to giggle. Namjoon could see that the waterbender was trying to hold his laughter in, but was unsuccessful for the most part.

 

“So one of the men responsible for the protection of this fine city… sustained a serious injury from a table??? I guess you could say…”

“Please don't-”

“You’re very prone to… DESKRUCTION!”

At this the doctor erupted into his full- blown windshield wiper cackles, his entire body shaking and face reddening ever so slightly.

 

Namjoon’s face reddened too as he hid it behind his hands. He let out the longest groan of his life. Peeking out from between his fingers, he found himself cracking his own grin as he watched one of the most beautiful men he’d seen dissolve into unrestrained laughter. He’s stopped registering the pain from his wrist a long while back.

 

***

 

Taehyung knew what was coming; he’d known as soon as that grandma had walked in, taken one look at Jimin, and melted.

 

“Tae Taaaeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

 

He was getting closer. There was no running away- resigned, Taehyung turned around with a sigh, calling out,

“It wasn't fair!”

 

Sporting an incredulous expression, Jimin himself popped out from behind the coat display as Taehyung added, “She had a soft spot for waterbenders, okay? She was gone the moment she saw your water tribe pendant, how was I even supposed to compete?”

 

He watched as Jimin’s eyes nearly rolled back into his head.

“Ohho! Poor Taetae, you think you have any right to complain? Do you even know how many sales you've made just because of the novelty of being an airbender? Huh?”

 

Taehyung watched with narrowed eyes as Jimin pulled a blackboard- no, THE blackboard- out from behind his back. Two sides had been drawn up, one labelled ‘Chimchim’ and one ‘Taetae’; his fists clenched as Jimin, excruciatingly slowly, made six tally marks on his side of the board.

 

“Six bags were sold, so six marks for me… Tae, does that sound right? Look i’m wearing out the chalk so fast, I don't think there’ll be enough to finish drawing my tallies up… when will you EVER-

 

“Yah Jiminie!”

 

Taehyung jumped on the waterbender, tackling him into the stacks of folded shirts.

“Don't get too excited, you’re not even that ahead! Your orange hair may have given you a boost but it’ll be you buying me drinks again this Friday just like the week before, and the week before that, and the wee-”

 

Taehyungs trash talk was cut short when the doorbell trilled, a nervous voice called out, “Hello?”, and Jimin made a choked noise from behind him.

 

***

 

The hot piece of ass that was Jeon Jungkook had been on Jimin’s mind more than he’d care to admit- however, he’d never expected to see him here, in the fine institution known as Dao’s Clothing Emporium. This was his sanctuary, his sacred workplace where all he had to do was charm pants (and other clothing items) onto people and make sure they kept coming back.

 

Beside him, Taehyung looked at Jungkook, then at him, then back at Jungkook.

“Is this the one you were talking about?”

 

Jimin knew Taehyung meant it to be a whisper but it turned out to be anything but- Jungkook snapped his head around and made eye contact. Walking forward, he looked at Jimin, and then Taehyung, and then back at Taehyung.

“Is this the one you were talking about?

Embarrassed, Jimin said, “Yeah- this is my best friend Taehyung, the one that everyone seems to know. Taehyung, this is Jungkook- one of my new teammates.”

 

They nodded at each other, Taehyung letting out a chirpy,

“Nice to meet you!”

Jungkook, inexplicably, scowled.

 

Jimin flashed a smile and put his charming-clothing-salesman-voice on, asking,

“So, Jungkook… how can I help you today?”

He wanted him gone. He needed the firebender’s muscles, dark eyes, and distracting smile out of the store if he was going to do any work today.

“Yes- I mean, I’m looking for probending gear. Hoseok told me you worked here so I came over…?”

The waterbender nodded in understanding and led the younger boy towards the back of the store.

“Right this way… Probending gear needs to fit properly for safety reasons so we can’t really stock any… Here are some of our new designs. Just choose your colours and cut, I’ll take your measurements, and we’ll send you the finished piece in about three days- is that okay?”

 

Jimin looked back to see Jungkook nod, gesturing to one of the simpler designs with broader lines. His mouth watered.

“You’re part of the bulletproof boys now. Are you telling me you don’t know your own team colours?” Jungkook asked.

 

Was that a challenge? Jimin took his tape measure out from his pocket and simpered,

“Jungkookie… I’ve been probending with Hoseok longer than you’ve been alive. I don't bleed red… I bleed red white and black.”

There was a long pause, the silence broken only by Jungkook’s loud guffaws. Still cracking up, the firebender shoved Jimin, saying,

“Seriously man, Jimin what was that? How can someone this attractive be this lame I mean-”

“Say that again- did you just call me attractive?”

Jungkook froze, eyes widening.

“Did I? Well like- thats- I-”

Jimin felt his grin growing as Jungkook continued stammering.

“I mean- tell me honestly,” the younger boy said, “Tell me you don't think I’m hot.”

 

Jimin’s grin disappeared, spots of pink colouring each cheek.

“I don’t,” He mumbled.

Jungkook shook his head, smirking.

“Next time, look me in the eyes when you say it.”

Jimin cleared his throat.

“Hold your arms out. Please.”

 

Even though he tried to avoid it, Jimin's arms brushed against the younger boy multiple times during the fitting. The firebender’s chest measurement was insane- and so was his upper arm, waist and hip- the waterbender could tell Jungkook was enjoying second of this ego stroking process. He bent down for the last measurement, the thigh, and Jimin honestly didn’t intend to feel a customer up. Truly. The air was thick with tension. He just used a little more pressure than necessary, his fingers lingering on Jungkook’s legs a little longer than necessary before he rose- only to find the firebender already staring down at him, eyes molten with want. Jimin’s mouth was dry, and judging by Jungkook’s shallow panting, his was too.

 

It was like a switch had been flipped; the air static. Jungkook took the pen and notepad from Jimin’s hands and threw them to the ground. Advancing, he caged Jimin in until the waterbender’s back hit a wall. Up close, he could see every eyelash on Jungkook’s chiseled face, every pore and every detail of his lips.  Jimin lifted his arms, burying his fingers in Jungkook’s soft hair and tugging back. At Jungkook’s shudder, Jimin got impossibly closer, aligning their bodies so that he could feel each and every muscle. Sparks flew between each part of their bodies that touched, lighting Jimin on fire.  Jungkook shifted and now Jimin could really feel him, half hard against his thigh. His tongue flicked out, tasting the area where Jimin’s neck met his shoulder. Jungkook followed this with his teeth, suckling and biting gently, sending electricity coursing through the older boy’s body. When the firebender blew on the swollen area, Jimin let out low, needy moan that reverberated through the both of them.

 

“Chim Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiim,” Came a loud, insistent, and completely unwelcome cry. Taehyung’s head popped out from behind the displays.

 

He and Jungkook sprang apart, the glee in Taehyung’s eyes putting Jimin on edge.

 

“WOW! I leave you alone for five minutes and this is what happens… Hmm, I wonder what happens when Dao, our employer, hears about this, an obvious breach of employee contract…”

Jimin couldn’t believe this.

 

He groaned in frustration. He’d been so close to the body that'd been playing on his mind for the better part of the last six months.

 

Leaning back, Jimin looked over at the younger boy who stared back at him, gaze hot enough to burn. The older boy's body thrummed with hunger, and he was sure Jungkook could see it in his eyes. He forced himself to look away.

 

“Tae, just tell me what you want,” He sighed.

 

Jungkook just looked on, the picture of exasperation.

“For now, nothing. Later on, though? Who knows! I just received a gift… that keeps on giving. Doesn’t it, Jungkook?”

At this, Taehyung turned, pinning his gaze on the slightly uneasy firebender.

“I can see why Yoongi likes you,” Jungkook said, rising to his feet and changing the topic,

“Are you coming to practice with us today?”

 

Taehyung, the bastard, pretended to consider.

“I was invited after all… Is Yoongi the other hot firebender on the team? Will he be there? Listen, if that man roasted me alive… I’d go crawling back for more. With pleas-”

Jungkook almost recoiled into another dimension.

“TAEHYUNG! Don’t talk about Yoongi like that I’m-”

“You’re the one that got a hickey from my best friend in the back of a clothing shop-”

 

Jimin found himself laughing despite himself- these two were getting on like a house on fire.

At the sound of his giggles, Jungkook stopped arguing to stare at him with… was that wonder in his eyes? The firebender blinked and it was gone.

 

“Yeah Tae, Yoongi will be there but didn’t you have a date with Fei yesterday?”

Taehyung shrugged.

“They all know I’m not exclusive. I tell them that straight up. Anyway, let’s go to the training together- as long as you two won’t start making out on the way-”

 

Taehyung’s tirade was interrupted by his own screams when Jimin and Jungkook both jumped on him, tackling him to the floor together.

Chapter Text

“Mrs Jindal’s baby is an airbender.”

 

Yoongi lay sprawled on the ground, eyes half- closed with his head resting in Hoseok’s lap.

“Hey Hobi?”

“Hmm?”

“I’ve… never…  been so uninterested in anything you’ve ever said before,” The firebender muttered apathetically.

Hoseok jostled Yoongi’s head with his knee.

“The baby’s dad has earthbending. Going back generations.”

“And?”

“Mrs. Jindal is also an earthbender. Going back generations.”

Yoongi’s eyes popped open. He spluttered,

“WHAT- How? Oh my god how do you know?”

“Did you forget that I literally teach all the airbender kids in this city?”

Yoongi paused.

“So… are Mr and Mrs Jindal okay?”

“I thought this was the least interesting thing I’ve ever said?” Hoseok asked, a smile colouring his voice.

Yoongi slapped Hoseok’s thigh.

“Shut up and tell me!”

 

Hoseok was good for this, Yoongi realised. The firebender hardly ever sat around, talking shit like this: it was hard to, when most people got on his nerves. The only other person he talked to at length anymore was Namjoon, and Namjoon was always working these days. Protecting the millions that lived in this city was no easy task. He could enjoy himself with Hoseok. Be himself.

 

Their banter died off when three pair of footsteps sounded, echoing off the concrete floors. Yoongi and Hoseok watched as Jungkook and his new friends walked into the practice stadium, talking over each other and being generally rowdy like the kids they were.

 

Yoongi glanced over at Hoseok, who watched them approach with a soft expression. It was weird, Yoongi thought, seeing these three interact. There was Jimin, who Hoseok adored and respected- after last week’s match, Yoongi totally understood why- Taehyung, who Hoseok knew from his airbending circles, and was probably related to in some way, and Jungkook. Where Yoongi and Namjoon had acted like Jungkook’s guardians, Hoseok had taken more of a big brother role. The kid had been through some serious shit, and although he’d only known Jimin and his hot best friend for a short while, the pair seemed to be hanging off every word he spoke. Despite himself, Yoongi found himself softening. Jungkook had never had close friends his own age- the noisy newcomers could do him a world of good.

 

Hoseok called out first,

“Jiminie! Welcome! Taehyung, this is Yoongi, Yoongi- Taehyung.”

 

A chorus of ‘Hey Hoseok! Hey Yoongi!’s reached them, Taehyung’s low baritone standing out from the other voices.

“Nice to meet you!”

 

Yoongi took in Taehyung’s earnest, boxy grin- who the fuck gave him the right to look so adorable - and the bandanna that pushed his buttery blonde hair up and off his forehead- again, who the fuck gave him the right to expose his forehead , making it hard for people to breathe  and shit- and grunted back in greeting.

 

He was, inexplicably, annoyed.

 

Beside him, Hoseok shook his head, muttering, “Rude,” under his breath before he called an official start to training.

“Alright guys, thanks for making it to our first practice of the season! A special thanks goes out to Jiminie and Taehyungie who agreed to sub- in because of my injuries. We’ll hopefully be able to sort a functioning team dynamic within the first two practices so we’re coordinated for matches, and then build on our teamwork from there.”

This was met with nods all around the circle.

“For today, yall will work in pairs to begin with and do a best of three match. I’ll be watching your games and use today to plan our next training sessions and lineups for the next matches. The losers shout the winners and I some bubble tea- cool?”

 

Yoongi chanted, “Cool,” along with the rest and turned to look at his options.

 

He did not have the stamina to battle Jungkook today. Jimin, also, would be a lot harder to defeat than he looked- Yoongi’s decided to let those two fight within themselves instead of stressing his own tired heart.

 

Not that he cared about the bubble tea- there was much more on the line today. His pride. Self- respect. Energy. Image in Taehyung’s eyes. Speaking of the easiest member to defeat- the pretty young airbender would be Yoongi’s best bet for an easy match.

 

***



It looked to Jungkook like Yoongi had picked Taehyung.

Fuck.

 

That left only one option for him: Jimin just stood there, looking back at him with his soft orange hair and pretty eyes.

Internally, Jungkook bid that bubble tea adieu and led the way to their practice mat.

 

When they’d arrived and settled into position, the fucker had the gall to give him that same little smirk, calling in that bell- like voice,

“Hit me, Koo- AAAAAHH!”

 

Jungkook had had enough- he’d cracked a fire whip to get the match over with. Too late, he realised that Jimin’s surprised and off- guard voice was low, guttural- nothing like the honey sweet voice he used in all other situations. He wondered which of these voices Jimin would eventually use when Jungkook finally got on top of him... what his moans and cries-

“Ooof!”

Ice disk after ice disk slammed into Jungkook’s belly, hard enough to push him back but not bruise.

Jimin’s face was smug as he advanced, a sly look in his eyes.

“The thing with fire whips, Kookie,” he sing songed, “Is that they get me going...” His voice got quieter with each step.

“I don’t know exactly what it is… maybe I just like it when someone’s on top of me... cracking the whip… tying me up...” His voice had dropped to a whisper, and Jungkook’s breathing had turned harsh, shallow. They were so close: Jungkook couldn’t tear his eyes off Jimin’s nose, his soft lips- this boy was sin incarnate, and Jungkook welcomed the temptation with open arms.

Except that that exposed his chest.

Which Jimin pushed, causing Jungkook to falter and take a step backwards, and off the mat.

 

Hoseok’s live commentary made him flinch.

“And that’s it for Jeon Jungkook, the lovestruck fool firebender from Bangtan. Who needs to firebend when you can just stand there and watch a pretty waterbender demolish you, amirite??”

Jungkook felt his ears turning red, hating the way he’d been shoved off the mat so fast.

“Again,” He all but growled.

 

Some pride could still be salvaged. When they were ready, Jungkook let out a firestream, directing it to Jimin. Careful to keep it under the one- second time limit for blasts, he hit Jimin over and over, giving the waterbender no time to try his flame suffocation tricks. Jimin dodged most attacks like a champ- twisting and leaping, he looked like a festival dancer that’d lost his way. No more tricks- this was what Jungkook did best. Speed and power. He could see Jimin tiring, see him realise that there’d be no winning this one. The waterbender executed one flip after the other, winding his body around the fire arcs Jungkook threw at him, and Jungkook saw his opening. While Jimin flew through the air, Jungkook pushed a quick two- punch firebomb at his stomach, and watched as the older boy was thrown back, off the mat.

 

Jimin’s body slammed onto the ground outside the padded mat area.

‘Good one,’ Jungkook berated himself, rushing over to the waterbender’s prone body.

“Jimin? Are you okay? I’m- I’m sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you-” He cursed his voice for breaking halfway through the sentence.

“Mm fine… you’re fine… Just winded. Give me a sec.” Jimin’s brows furrowed. “Wish I could heal myself- aah, just out of curiosity, have you ever been trained by Master Sihyuk?”

Sensing that it would take the waterbender a while to recover, Jungkook stretched out and lay himself down next to Jimin.

“Yeah, he was one of my first trainers- how do you know?”

The older boy took a couple deep breaths before replying.

“Your style… is like others that he’s trained. You’re more powerful, but there's… almost no mental strategy. You perform best when you’re extremely focussed, when you’re doing a pre planned routine you don't have to think about. Right?”

Jungkook’s eyes widened, shifting to look at Jimin through the corner of his eye.

“Yeah. Hobi says I need to learn how to improvise, to let go. Are you a festival dancer?”

The firebender watched, entranced as Jimin grinned, crinkling his eyes.

“I was. Best four years of my life. I can’t meet up with my tribe friends now that I’ve moved back to Republic City… but Taehyung’s more than enough to make up for it,” The orange- haired boy said fondly. “Why?”

Jungkook felt his filter disappearing into the open space.

“You moved like a performer, kind of like you put more effort into looking pretty than actually getting stuck into the game. That’s why it takes you so long to finish opponents off. And you just… have this grace…” Backtrack, backtrack, backtrack- “ANYWAYS, how come your dad lets you dance but not probend?”

Slightly miffed by the change in subject, Jimin shrugged.

“I’ve always lacked what Yoongi calls the killing instinct. When it comes down to it, I always have fun in the arena… I can’t really motivate myself to finish a team or player off as ruthlessly as Yoongi, or even you would, you feel?”

Jungkook just nodded.

“And my dad- it’s complicated. Dancing was originally a form of worship to the spirits. I mean, that’s how it all started, so he thinks it's okay. Besides, dancing is my first love- I fought for it. That’s how I met Hoseok, actually.”

 

“HEY LOVEBIRDS, WE DO NOT HAVE ALL DAY. ARE YALL GOING TO FINISH YOUR MATCH BEFORE THE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS START OR WHAT?”

Hoseok’s brash yell jolted the pair into action.

 

Scrambling to their feet, Jungkook and Jimin reclaimed their places at opposing ends of the mats. Something within the younger boy clenched when he saw the steely determination in Jimin’s eyes- Jungkook raised hit fists slowly, sinking into a ready stance.

 

***

 

Taehyung’s ass halted an inch above the floor, the airbender saving himself a split- second before he would’ve made contact with the ground and lost the match.

 

He bounced back, catching Yoongi’s chuckle of disbelief.

“You are the most infuriating little shit- I picked you so I could take it easy- why-”

Taehyung barely deflected a fire jab.

“Won't-”

Another jab.

“You-”

Taehyung smelled his arm hair burning.

“Quit!”

Taehyung stopped dodging, instead controlling the air currents around him. Each firebomb, ball and dagger thrown at him simply… deflected away. Satisfied, he shot a glance at Yoongi’s face to see him… smiling?

 

Taehyung stayed in his stance, confused. None of the fireballs were hitting him- he’d expected Yoongi to be frustrated, get riled up, maybe growl that sexy growl of his- but all the firebender did was walk all the way around Taehyung, and continue to throw fireballs at him.

 

If this was a cartoon, there would be a giant question mark on top of Taehyung’s head. Finally, Yoongi stopped all movement and crossed his arms. His smug voice carried all the way to the airbender,

“Look down.”

 

Taehyung looked down. And gawked at the floor. The floor. Without any padding. That he was standing on. What the everloving fuck. Somehow, Taehyung had stepped off the mats and onto the elimination area all on his own accord.

 

“Yoongi what the actual fuck- how the hell did you-”

 

The firebender’s eyes twinkled, and Taehyung was star struck.

 

“It’s not fair!” He managed to splutter. “You knew I was the weakest one, why would you purposely pick me in a one- on one-? I mean, how lazy could you get?!”

 

Ten minutes ago, Taehyung would’ve balked at the thought of speaking his informally to Yoongi (the legend, the god) like this. But he was done with these mind tricks, with being so far out of Yoongi’s league.

 

Yoongi’s rough voice still, however, didn’t fail to send tingles down Taehyung’s spine.

“If you’re going to be on this team,” He drawled, “You’re going to have to get used to it. I was supposed to be born as a rock. A rock. Or an earthbender that could shut himself into a rock. Laziness… breeds efficiency, darling.”

 

“Darling?” Somehow, that was the only word Taehyung’s brain had processed.

“Yes?” Yoongi shot back.

 

That smooth fucker. Taehyung cleared his throat. And smiled his best boxy smile, the one he knew could charm a temple monk out of his robes- don’t ask how Taehyung knew that- and asked,

“Could you teach me then? While Jiminie and Jungkook finish up? I need all the guidance I can get.”

 

Yoongi looked momentarily taken aback.

“Shouldn’t you learn from Hoseok? I mean, he’s an airbender so he’ll have the most insight…”

Taehyung stayed silent, pouting slightly.

“Okay! Dont- dont be sad, I can teach you the basics I guess.” Yoongi’s gruff monotone had turned panicked, and Taehyung have himself a mental high five.

“Start,” the firebender said, “By showing me your ready stance.”

 

Taehyung mimicked Yoongi, arms by his face and knees slightly bent.

The firebender came closer, tapping Taehyung’s knees and elbows.

“You’re an airbender, so you don’t need to sink into it so low- staying light on your feet will give you an advantage since you have a natural ability to… like… not fall over. Turn your body at a little bit of an angle so your body doesn’t present so much of a target to an attacker. You’ve never been taught any routines before, have you?”

Taehyung shook his head despondently. “Not really- I mean, I watch Hoseok sometimes…”

Yoongi sighed. “Darling, don’t look so beat up about it. We can teach you now, okay?”

 

The firebender guided Taehyung through one routine, and then another, and then made him practice over, and over and over. He showed the younger boy how to jump for more power- which Taehyung picked up immediately- and the correct posture- which took a considerably longer time. Somewhere between being taught how to breathe correctly, and how to roll back up off the floor, the airbender fully noticed the disappearance of the moody, angry firebending legend. Somewhere along the way, Yoongi had transformed into an attentive, albeit slightly yawny mentor.

 

Each gentle correction and soft spoken word commanded more and more of Taehyung’s attention. He didn’t even notice Jungkook and Jimin standing right behind him until the former cleared his throat- judging by Yoongi’s startled expression, the firebender had been similarly engaged.

 

“Who won?” Asked Yoongi, whose voice had shifted back into the apathetic drawl.

“I did,” Jungkook crowed triumphantly, slinging his arm around a disgruntled Jimin. “Jimin here owes me the biggest premium tea in Republic City. With jelly. And pearls. Popping ones, right Jiminie?

Poor Jiminie could only glower as they packed up and made their way outside the stadium, waiting for Hoseok to finish locking up.

Hopefully, Taehyung began, “Hey Yoongi?”

The firebender’s mammoth scarf covered his entire neck and chin. To Taehyung, he looked a lot like a baby sloth peeking it’s head out of it’s little tree nook. Until now, Taehyung had only been attracted. Now, he was endeared .

Yoongi turned to look at him, brows raised expectantly.

“I was thinking… not only for winning the match but as a thank you for teaching me- I mean both, really- I owe you a bubble tea. Much more. Than that- if you want, we can go and get some? Tonight?” Taehyung wanted to die. Behind them, he heard Hoseok, Jimin and Jungkook sniggering together, and he refocused his embarrassment into anger towards the bastards.

 

The tips of Yoongi’s exposed ears turned pink.

“Thanks Tae but you really don’t have to- I helped because I wanted to, not because of any reward. Besides, I have something I need to get to tonight. Rain check?”

 

How could one person be so gentle yet so gruff: a lesson in Min Yoongi.

 

“All good! That’s sweet! Next time, for sure…”

“For sure,” the firebender repeated quietly, turning away.

Taehyung considered keeping his dignity. Fuck it.

“Umm, darling?”

 

The older boy turned around, wary this time.

 

Taehyung blew him a flying kiss. Not any ordinary flying kiss though- after smooching the tips of his fingers, Taehyung blew a dozen mini heart shaped clouds towards Yoongi. One after the other, they all popped as they reached his cheeks. For a second, Taehyung was mortified at what he’d just done.

 

Yoongi looked dazed. Then, his lips curved upwards and stretched into the gummiest, purest smile Taehyung had seen in his 21 years of life. The firebender turned away, burying his face in his scarf in a vain attempt to hide it but to no avail.

 

Taehyung grinned as he heard the bastard trio catcalling and hollering at Yoongi’s receding back, the image of that angelic smile burned behind his eyelids.


Now that he’d seen it, he thought, there was no going back.

Chapter Text

The second time Jin saw the police chief was at, arguably, the most pompous and unnecessary birthday function he’d ever been to.

 

Some cabbage- yes, cabbage- businessman had thrown this party for his baby’s first birthday. At present, said baby was sat alone in her high chair, crying into a tiny piece of cake. Annoyed, Jin shook his head. Just as he was about to go over, he caught a glance of Namjoon and stopped in his tracks.

 

The tall, lanky earthbender had pulled up a seat next to the crying child, taken out his keys, and started to jingle them in front of her face while cooing. Jin watched with a grudging sense of respect as the baby got quieter and quieter, eventually hushing completely until both the little girl and the police chief wore matching grins. The baby reached out to poke one of the earthbender’s dimples, enchanted.

 

A piece of Jin’s heart- a larger piece than he’d care to admit- melted at their antics. Namjoon had seemed closed up, a little stressed at the clinic- and the doctor didn’t blame him. Over the years, the city had watched as the pressure of being police chief had proven too much for even the strongest men. Watching the giggling pair, Jin found himself glad that the earthbender had managed to retain a playful streak.

 

All of a sudden, the baby went still.

 

Sensing danger, so did Namjoon.

 

Her face crumpled and although Jin couldn’t hear it, he could imagine the piercing wail coming out of that tiny mouth all too well. Jin would’ve laughed at the panicked look that had taken over Namjoon’s face . Anyone could take care of a clean baby, he thought. It was when the shit hit the fan that most people found themselves backing out.

 

In all honesty, Jin found himself a little excited while approaching Namjoon’s table. There was something about the man that exuded power, authority, safety- like a moth to a flame, Jin couldn’t help being pulled in.

 

“Well, she looks like she’s having a bawl.”

Jin slapped himself mentally, cringing to the heavens and begging his brain to get it together.

 

He could do much better than that.

 

“Need to call in the infantry?”

 

Jin needn’t have worried.

Namjoon had buried his head in his oh- so- pretty hands from the waterbender’s very first line, which obviously meant the chief loved his jokes. He was just too afraid to show it in public.

 

Gesturing vaguely to the baby the earthbender groaned, “Please, doctor… help…”

 

The waterbender frowned.

“I told you to call me Jin didn’t I? And relax. Our precious baby’s just feeling a little dirty.”

 

Jin began cooing to the kid. “Haven’t you, baby? Yes! Who’s getting their nappies changed? You are! Look honey, my hair matches your dress!”

 

The doctor let out his classic windshield wiper laugh, catching Namjoon gawking out of the corner of his eye. His suit accentuated his height and proportions, and his light brown hair was parted to the side and off his forehead unlike when he’d visited the clinic. Then, the chief’s hair had been floppy and flat, giving him more of a boyish vibe. He was handsome, Jin thought, in this refined, classy styling.

 

“So, police chief, will you help me change this cutie’s nappy? You were there when she started crying so I’m sorry but-” Their eyes locked. “-there’s no getting out of this for you.”

 

Wryly, Namjoon replied, “I guess you leave me no choice. Lead the way, doc.”

 

***

 

Jimin would have given anything to wipe the the pout on Taehyung’s lips away.

 

Maybe not everything- actually, definitely not the sight before him. In front of him, arms crossed against that massive chest, stood Jeon Jungkook in skin tight exercise pants. Every muscle, every curve stood out in fantastic detail- if he wasn’t so dazed, Jimin would be embarrassed with himself for lifting a finger and spinning it around in the universal ‘turn around’ motion. Smirking, Jungkook rotated 360 degrees, giving Jimin a to- die- for view of the firebender’s butt cheeks. It was funny, the older boy thought, that it was Jungkook wearing those pants, but Jimin was the one feeling a tightness in his lower regions.

 

Out of the corner of his eye, he vaguely registered the yelling coming from the two airbenders in the room.

 

Taetae’s deep grumble sounded despondent. “What do you mean function ?”

 

Hoseok’s eyes rolled back into his head. “Taehyung I’ve told you a million times- Yoongi’s a working man, and working men need to attend parties sometimes.”

 

“But we-”

 

“They’re not like our parties Tae, they’re boring. Stuffy. Full of old rich men and no good alcohol.”

 

“Is Yoongi rich? I didn’t even know he did anything other than probending?”

Hoseok was nearing the end of his patience. “Tae just ask him yourself! You’ve only known him for like two seconds, maybe you should talk to him instead of just… blowing heart kisses.”

 

Jimin was just about to go talk intervene when Jungkook’s thighs- umm, Jungkook- began walking over. The smaller boy lifted his head just in time to catch Jungkook’s eyes as he whispered, “Stop staring.”

 

Jimin just rolled his eyes. Kids these days were truly something.

“Jungkookie, honey, your looks… are so much more attractive than your personality.” Jungkook spluttered, looking mildly offended but the older boy steamrolled on. “Hoseokieee,” He called, “What are we doing today?”

The team leader looked their way, eyes shifting between all three of his members. “Today, I’ll keep showing Tae moves that he can straighten out with Yoongi later. You guys can watch if you want, but it’s pretty basic- I’d prefer if you took initiative and sorted out the next… say, forty five minutes yourselves?”

 

Internally, Jimin grimaced. No structure meant free talk and free play, which meant no rules. Jungkook had been enough of a distraction just by himself- add that skintight gear into the mix, and you got one extremely unfocused Jimin. The waterbender could feel the burns he’d get on his skin already.

 

***

 

One trashed nappy, two blocked noses, and half an hour later Namjoon found himself sitting opposite Jin, chatting to the doctor while taking turns nursing the baby with a milk bottle. If you asked the chief how he found himself in this weirdly domestic situation, he would have no answer whatsoever. Namjoon decided not to dwell on the strangeness of the situation- just like that day in the clinic, he found himself able to relax as he leaned back and let his (metaphorical) hair down. Didn’t question it.

 

“So how’d you become interested in the whole justice side of things?”

Namjoon shrugged, about to give his standard, ‘everyone is equal’ short speech he’d memorised over the years. Something held him back- among the puns and the baby, he and Jin had developed a sort of easy camaraderie; he felt like he’d disrespect what they’d built by glossing over the truth.

“My family moved here from one of the smaller villages on the earth kingdom border… when we first got here, my dad didn’t know much and ended up getting trapped in a contract with the triads.”

It felt stuffy all of a sudden. Namjoon cleared his throat. “They made him work long days and nights with almost no pay: Ma had to pick up the slack, she actually started up her own metalworking business to make up for the loss of income. When we finally got enough money to pay dad’s contract off, my little brother got caught dealing in the same streets appa had just come off. He got put in jail for a few months… and in that time I just realised how cracked out justice system is, you feel? A good kid could’ve been helped out or put to good use in some other way… I felt that prison was a bit too unnecessary. I was a good kid at school, joined the academy even though my athletic skills were shit- turns out, my superiors valued my brains a lot more, and the rest is history.”

 

Namjoon grimaced- how’d he manage to pour his whole life story out to a friendly stranger. Said stranger was just looking at him with his mouth open. Boy, what a mouth. “I’m sorry,” the chief said with a laugh. “You totally didn’t need to hear all that at a baby’s party. I hope I haven’t scared you off.”

 

Jin closed his mouth. “Not- not at all. I didn’t… I didn’t know. Are your brother and parents okay?”

The earthbender finally smiled. “They’re doing well. Dad looks after the home, Ma still runs her business- she tried to teach me but as you saw at the clinic, it is in my nature to destroy, not create… baby bro’s happily married. He has two kids and I think more on the way. Anyway, enough about me. How’d you decide you were interested in medicine.”

 

Jin seemed to shake himself out of a trance. It was hard to concentrate, Namjoon thought, when you had the face of a regular prince staring back at you.

 

Those lips + those shoulders = one extremely attracted police chief.

 

“After hearing your story… I don’t know if it was me who made the decision anymore.” Jin looked a little confused, no longer the confident, chipper doctor he’d come to appreciate. Namjoon didn’t interrupt.

 

“I was always good at waterbending,  and taking care of people… my parents were healers so healing was always on the cards- people just liked me, I guess? I mean… I feel pretty guilty sometimes, like I’ve never had to work hard for things: just try my best, and an uncle or cousin would get me places. That’s how I got into med school. That’s why I was invited tonight. It’s a bit shameful, really.”

 

Namjoon paused. Cleared his throat. “The way I see it… people are born with different levels of advantage and it’s infuriating, of course, but it’s not really your fault- recognising your privilege and the ways in which you have it easier is the first step, and you’d be surprised at the number of people unwilling to admit that they’ve been born lucky. Now that you’ve acknowledged it what’re you going to do about it?”

 

Jin opened his mouth.

Namjoon said hastily, “Don’t tell me yet! Don’t let it be a hasty decision or something you just throw out there for fun- think about it for yourself. And Jin?”

“Yeah?”

“For what it’s worth, I don’t think your success is based completely off your family- your hard work, cheerful spirit, beautiful face- that’s all you.”

Jin’s head snapped up and he grinned. “Handsome face?”

Namjoon’s eyes popped out of his skull. “I said that out loud didn't I? Fuck-

“Hey chief! Watch your mouth in front of the wittle cutie baby, got it?” This was yelled dramatically as Jin snatched the child from the earthbender’s arms, rocking it and cooing to it a thousand times more annoyingly than necessary.

 

The loss of warmth in his arms was replaced by the fuzzy glow in Namjoon’s chest as he found himself chuckling along to the waterbender’s cringiest jokes thus far.

 

***

 

Jungkook regretted everything. He’d thought it was a good idea to ask Jimin for pointers on movement style to pass the time. He’d thought it was a good idea to wear these pants. This was a stupid, stupid, stupid idea. For ten minutes now, Jimin had just been sitting on a mat with his feet propped up, shouting suggestions that Jungkook knew had more to do with how his ass looked rather than improving his actual style. Case in point:

 

“Bend further down, Kookie… no, keep your back leg straight! Flex that- Oh, yes! Nice, babe!”

 

Jungkook felt like a fool. Two parts stupidity, one part humiliation. Who was he kidding.  One more part pride at being able to capture Jimin’s attention so effectively.

 

In any case, this needed to stop. When the older boy least expected it, Jungkook threw out coils of fire that snaked around Jimin’s trouser legs, and pulled. Jimin’s pants ripped without a sound, the bottoms falling to ashes, leaving the waterbender wearing the underwear sized remnants.

 

Jimin looked up slowly, holding Jungkook’s gaze until the younger boy looked away, nervous. Light as a cat, he jumped up off the mats and onto the main arena floor, moving towards the firebender like a leopard stalking its prey.

 

Jimin threw his hands up, and Jungkook suddenly felt cold. He pulled his arms apart, and Jungkook’s shirt tore open with a loud ripping noise, falling to the floor in two halves. The firebender was rooted in place, felt his upper body being devoured by Jimin’s eyes. The older boy stepped closer, raking his fingertips along Jungkook’s sides, back, the tautness of his abdomen until Jungkook was shivering but not from the cold, he felt feverish in fact-

 

Unable to take it any longer, Jungkook reached down and lifted Jimin up, bringing their chests flush against each other. Jimin wrapped his legs around Jungkook’s waist, rolling his hips oh so slowly, eliciting embarrassingly loud moans from the younger boy. Reaching up, Jungkook pulled their mouths together in what he hoped to be-

 

“OH MY GOD PARK JIMINIE-”

“OH MY GOD THE DISRESPECT IN MY PRACTICE STADIUM-”

 

Jimin pulled away so fast that he would’ve fallen had Jungkook not reached out his arms to catch the waterbender.

 

“Why are they not wearing any clothes-”

“I leave them alone for two minutes and this is what happens-”

 

Jungkook turned around, beyond pissed off as he heard the other two rapidly approaching on their air scooters.

 

They began making a fuss, crowing loudly and feeding off each other’s banter until Jimin put a stop to it. Frustrated at their prodding and questions, he turned to face them, yelling, “WE DIDNT EVEN FUCKING KISS ALRIGHT?!”

 

He then marched off and out the door- marched gracefully, if there was such a thing. When the airbenders looked at him, Jungkook just sighed in agreement before walking off to pack his gear.



Chapter Text

“What did you tell your parents?”

 

Taehyung propped his head up from between a nest of  pillows, watching Jimin from his  bed. The orange- haired boy hummed to himself, consulting both the mirror and the Taehyung while deciding on an outfit.

 

“I told them I was volunteering as a waterbending teacher in the evenings. That way I don’t have to keep explaining the random matches and trainings. I told them I was sleeping over at yours tonight though.” Jimin barely glanced at Taehyung as he asked (demanded?) the question, rooting around in the pile of junk on the floor instead. “That's okay, right?”

 

Tae slumped back down into his pillows.

“Jiminiee you’re only friends with me because my parents are chill with everything, I swear. You have to talk to them eventually- you know that, right? You’re a grown ass adult, they need to accept your  life choices.”

 

Jimin’s movements slowed, shoulders tensing.

“Taeee,” he groaned, “You know traditional parents don’t give a shit about how old their kids are. They live in republic city, but they still think like Northern tribesmen. I'm basically theirs until… like… until I get married, I guess.

 

The airbender’s face twisted in sympathy. His best friend had been dealt a pretty bad hand- how cracked do you have to be to put a curfew on a 21 year old?! The idea sent a shudder through the younger boy.

 

“Right now though, we have more important things to think about-”

Taehyung rolled his eyes, seeing where his best friend was going. He finished the sentence, saying,

“-like what to wear to make Jungkook wanna fuck you right then and there at the party-”

“TAE-”

“Don’t fucking deny it, Jiminie we all know what happens when you two go off to practice together. And trust me. Jungkook will wanna fuck you even if you wore a one- piece carrot costume to the party. ”

Taehyung was sitting up now- all the better to enjoy Jimin splutter and turn progressively more red.

“Taee,” The older whined, “We really haven’t even kissed, you know? I wasn’t lying that day. Like, when Hoseok first asked me to sub, I thought me and Jungkookie would fuck and that’d be it- but like, we didn’t, and I-”

“Did you… did our Jiminie catch… feelings?” Taehyung was laughing now, in equal parts shock and disbelief. His laughter was cut off, transitioning into shrieks as the waterbender jumped on top him, pushing him into the mattress.

“Not feelings! He’s just a good kid. A hard worker, you know?” Jimin sighed, leaning back and taking up half of Taehyung’s pillow. “It’s cute.”

Taehyung shifted, reluctantly making space for his clingy parasite of a best friend.

“You’re whipped, bro.”

Jimin’s head snapped to the side, taking Taehyung in with wide eyes.

“Look who’s fucking talking! What was that heart cloud shit you pulled last week, huh? You haven’t done that since, like… we were eight and you were trying to impress that swamp girl-”

Taehyung’s voice rose comically. “Min Yoongi is a god among humans! Who wouldn’t lose their shit around him?”

“Literally EVERYONE else!” Came Jimin’s heated response.

“Fine! Fine! No more talking about dreamy firebenders, okay?”

Simmering down,  the older boy hummed in agreement.

“And Jimin?” The airbender added, almost as an afterthought.

“Hmm?”

“Keep the shirt. Change into your leather pants though.”

 

***

 

The deep bass thrummed through Jungkook’s veins, begging him to let loose and move to the beat. He felt it in his throat, in his heartbeat. Earthbenders had constructed this club so that no sound escaped- all the music, singing and drum beats reflected off the walls and ceilings, becoming amplified and absorbed, but never escaping. Citizens were, indeed, baffled by the silent rock outcropping frequented exclusively by the youth of the city, but chose to let the matter go. All that went in came back out unhurt, and so the rock club ended up chalked up to simply being one of the many oddities of the diverse city.

 

The firebender inwardly cursed Hoseok for ditching, leaving him to dance with some randoms on the floor. Searching for familiar faces wasn’t doing him any good- he could barely make anything out amidst the flashy, neon lights of the party. Accepting defeat, Jungkook retraced his steps and found his way back to the bar where Yoongi sat with some older friends. The smaller boy had a series of shots lined up- one of which Jungkook stole, snatching and draining before Yoongi could do more than shoot him a dirty glare.

“Be careful, Kookie,” He smirked, “We all know how low your tolerance is.”

Jungkook snorted, fully aware that Yoongi was all bark and no bite.

“Isn’t it better? This way, my older brother pays less money to get me drunk.”

Scoffing but unable to hide a fond smile, Yoongi turned away. The younger boy looked out across the crowd once again, his eyes skimming over the mass of jumping bodies, and over the clusters around the bar until his attention was snagged by that familiar mop of orange hair.

 

Jungkook would be lying if he said he hadn’t been looking for it. Jimin’s hair seemed to glow in the dark, perfectly contrasting the darker clothes he was wearing.

 

The younger boy stayed where he was for a while, caught between needing to be closer and needing to catch his breath. Unable to get closer, unable to look away. How pathetic. That’s a bit how Jungkook felt around Jimin- Jimin, who had worked so hard to keep waterbending, to keep up with probending techniques and styles even when his parents disapproved- what had Jungkook done? Jungkook had only ever done probending. It was easy, it was fun; the firebender couldn’t remember the last time he’d had any conflict in his life that hadn’t been able to resolve itself in the arena.

 

He watched Jimin roll and pop his body with that Taehyung (Jungkook’s fists may or may not have clenched) and Hoseok (the snake).

 

Jimin looked up.

From across the floor, their eyes met.

 

Jungkook wasn’t quite sure what was in his own stare, but he suspected it was something similar to the older boy’s. Their eyes were locked, and the firebender watched as Jimin’s eyes darkened, the benign enjoyment in his glance shifting to arresting intensity.

 

The waterbender had given up moving in order to track Jungkook as the younger boy pushed off from the bar and made his way over.

The closer Jungkook got, the more affected he was. His heart beat faster. The older boy was wearing a fitted black blouse with a low neck, tucked into black leather. His collarbones were exposed, those oh- so- tight pants showing every muscle and exquisite curve of Jimin’s lower body. Funny, Jungkook thought, that Jimin wore a choker, but Jungkook was the one finding it hard to breathe.

 

Finally, they reached each other.

 

“Hi,” Was all that Jungkook could let out, high pitched and breathless.

“Hi,” Came the reply, Jimin’s lips turning up into a smile- not his angelic one, no… this smile was hungry and rough around the edges. He grabbed Jungkook’s hand, leading him back to the circle. Spotting them, Taehyung broke away from where he was dancing with Hoseok.

“Did you bring Yoongi!?”

Jungkook caught the general gist even if he couldn’t hear above the music.

“Yeah, he’s at the bar!”

Taehyung nodded happily, yelling, “Bye!” at Jimin before making his way away.

The firebender couldn’t say he was sad to see him go.

 

Jungkook found himself moving to the rhythm easily, like he’d always done. He found Jimin moving closer to him, twisting and popping his body around the younger boy. It was clear, Jungkook thought, that Jimin had definitely made the most of his time as a festival dancer for the water tribe- each move was flowing, effortless- comparable to Hoseok.

 

The music switched up, transitioning from pumping synth to something deeper, smoother, with a slower tempo. Emboldened by the music and the cheers that it elicited from the crowd, Jungkook pulled Jimin flush against him, sliding his hands down Jimin’s back before pausing for permission. Jimin’s gaze burned hot as he answered Jungkook’s unspoken question with a roll of his hips, rubbing his crotch against the firebender’s own.

 

Jungkook’s mouth went dry as he palmed Jimin’s ass, squeezing it the way he’d wanted to do ever since that very first day in the arena. Sparks flew between every part of their bodies that touched- their chests, thighs, hands- until the air itself seemed electrified, charged from the sexual tension that had left them both so frustrated for too long. Jimin was mouthing at the younger boy’s jawline, biting and nipping across to his ear. Jungkook shivered when the waterbender pulled on Jungkook’s earlobe with his teeth, when he felt Jimin’s soft lips sucking on the sensitive spot below right underneath- until he’d had enough.

 

Roughly, Jungkook carded his hands through that orange hair and pulled Jimin’s head back, finally, finally pulling their mouths together in a searing kiss. Lips moving against each other, Jungkook licked into the older boy, brushing the tip of his tongue against the roof of Jimin’s mouth. Jungkook gained immense satisfaction from the way Jimin melted, moaning into Jungkook’s mouth. He reciprocated by biting Jungkook’s lower lip, causing the younger boy to jerk up. Jungkook was getting aroused at an alarming rate- but even with Jimin’s hands moving up his arms, stroking his chest and back underneath his shirt, it wasn’t enough, never enough- the more they rubbed up against each other, the more friction Jungkook’s body craved until he was painfully hard in his pants.

 

They pushed apart from each other, gasping for breath.

“Wow,” Jimin breathed, the weakness in his voice corresponding directly to the weakness in Jungkook’s thighs.

“Wow,” Jungkook agreed, unable to form any other thoughts. “Need a drink?”

Jimin raised his brows, coming closer. “Jungkookie…” he whined, “I’m thirsty, but  for something else right now.”

 

***

 

Yoongi downed drink after drink, revelling in the chants and cheers coming from around the bar counter. Bills were shoved into his hands as he drained his last drink. He watched, mirth in his eyes, as the earthbender sitting opposite him coughed, spitting back his alcohol with three shots left. His celebration was cut short, however, by the pair of hands that wrapped around his eyes.

 

A low voice all but shouted in his ear, “That was so hot!”

Yoongi rolled his eyes, pulling the hands away from his head and tugging on them so that one very excited Taehyung fell into the firebender’s lap.

“Jungkook found Jimin?” He asked.

“Boy, did they find each other. I don’t wanna be near them when they do… whatever those two do.”

Yoongi nodded, finding himself in wholehearted agreement. He took in Taehyung’s strong eyebrows and nose, the boxy grin somehow giving him more happiness anything else had tonight. Distracted by Taehyung’s face, Yoongi hadn’t noticed the shout that’d gone up around the crowd.

 

“BODY SHOTS! BODY SHOTS! BODY SHOTS!”

 

Yoongi groaned, throwing his head back.

“You don’t like body shots!?” Came the disbelieving yell from Taehyung. “You’ve literally won all the drinking games so far!”

Yoongi quirked an eyebrow.

“You were watching?” Yoongi felt his cheeks heat up, cursed his pale skin for making blushes so obvious.

Tae looked away. “What… what if you did the body shot off me?”

Yoongi smirked. “Slow down there, big boy. I’m not sure you can handle it.”

This time, it was Taehyung who blushed.

“But I mean... if you’ve had a bath today, I'll consider.”

Taehyung looked up, boxy grin reappearing. He was saved from responding by the first pair to do a body shot- a girl had taken her top off, and was lying on the bar counter face up. Her partner sprinkled salt between the girl’s breasts and placed a lemon slice delicately in between her lips. The bartender bent the -strong by the look of it- alcohol into the girl’s belly button, some liquid overflowing and resting on her stomach. The crowd went wild, screaming as her partner lapped the drink up, licked the line of salt and sucked the lemon straight out of the girl’s mouth.

 

Taehyung looked on, mouth agape.

“You got this, kid?”

There was a glint in the airbender’s eyes that attracted Yoongi ten times more than he’d care to admit.

“Let’s go.”

 

Yoongi felt like he was floating, like none of this was real as Taehyung slipped off his shirt, revealing toned, tan skin and lay down on the counter. Yoongi found the salt shaker pushed into his hands, found Taehyung watching his with that same hunger. Maybe it was the drink, maybe it was Taehyung himself- Yoongi had never been so forward with anyone else, ever. He placed a hand on the waistband of Taehyung’s pants, holding the younger boy still as he made a line from just underneath his belly button, down his snail trail. He then took the lemon slice and threw it into the crowd, whipping them into a frenzy. Taehyung followed his movements, confusion evident in his eyes. Yoongi ignored it.

 

The bartender bent the alcohol towards Taehyung’s belly button, controlling the flow to a point. Dimly, Yoongi registered that the bartender must have been sober to a point to be able to control the liquid so well.

 

Wasting no time, he sucked at Taehyung’s belly button, causing Tae to jerk his hips up on the counter, then promptly licked a stripe down from his belly button towards his crotch. The airbender’s moan sent vibrations up Yoongi’s tongue. The firebender had thrown the lemon away- to get rid of the taste, he straddled Tae on the counter, bending down and locking their lips together in a frenzy of tongue and teeth. The crowd went wild.

 

***

 

Somewhere between the crush of the crowd and the roaring and cheers, Yoongi found himself separated from Taehyung. Surrounded by acquaintances wanting to make conversation, Yoongi gave up on trying to find the tall blond, instead catching up with old friends he hadn’t seen in a while: between probending and work, he rarely had a chance to get out and win all these drinking games like this.

 

Suddenly, Hoseok bounced into their circle, sparking a fresh wave of chatter. Before engaging in conversation, though, Hoseok came straight up to Yoongi, yelling, “Tae tae’s looking for you! He’s by the corner rooms, asking where you went!”

 

Yoongi got up embarrassingly fast. “Thanks!” He yelled back.

Bidding his friends goodbye, he set off, shoving through the crowd towards the booths in the corner. As he got further away from the crowd, the music faded into a low buzz, the crowd becoming more and more sparse. It still confused Yoongi as to how a flat room could have areas of lower volume- truly, an earthbending feat.

 

Yoongi turned the corner, and stopped in his tracks.

 

His humming cut off abruptly.

 

The small smile that’d been playing on his face slipped off.

 

There Taehyung stood, surrounded by a girl on either side. He stood, making out with one of them, running his hands all over her legs, her ass, while the other pressed up against him, licking at his collarbone, unbuttoning his shirt.

 

The sound of his footsteps alerted them to his presence. Taehyung looked up, breaking away from the girls slowly. The bastard had the audacity to smile.

 

Yoongi sneered, masking his hurt the only way he knew how. “Sorry to interrupt,” He spat out, before turning back around. The firebender barely made it three steps before a strong arm pulled at him, making him stop.

“Yoongi? Are you… are you okay?”

Yoongi scoffed. “Okay? What the fuck , Taehyung. If you weren’t interested in a relationship, you should’ve told me at the beginning. Instead of throwing your fucking heart clouds around.”

Taehyung covered his face with his hands.

“When will you guys let the heart clouds go!? And i am very much interested in a relationship!”

Yoongi couldn’t believe this. He cursed his heart for jumping at Tae’s words.

“What was that with those girls then?”

Taehyung laughed. “Hasn’t Hoseok explained how he dates to you? We- I- I do open relationships-”

Fuck .” Understanding and bitter truth dawned upon Yoongi. “I just have one question,” he said, crossing his arms and turning fully to Taehyung. “When you were with those girls… you were thinking of me, weren’t you?”

Taehyung gulped, shrinking back. “Yeah.”

Yoongi advanced. “Why then,” he growled, “Would you continue this open relationship thing?”

Taehyung looked to be at a loss for words. “Yoongi, it’s just how I am-”

“Save it,” Yoongi said bitterly. “I don’t care.”

The firebender turned around, walking away.

“I dont fuck children,” he called out. “Let me know when you grow up.”

 

***

 

Jimin pulled Jungkook through the crowd. No time for body shots, they’d do that later. No time for dancing, they could do that later. After Jungkook had almost burned Jimin’s shirt off, the waterbender had realised that they needed a room. Stat.

 

He kept his head down, feeling Jungkook’s warm palm in his until-

 

“JIMINIEE! JUNGKOOKIEE!”

 

Jimin cursed his orange hair. Why had he let Taehyung die it so bright? Hoseok had spotted them, and was calling them over- there was no getting out of it. From behind him, he heard Jungkook’s chuckle of disbelief.

 

“Jimin…” The firebender sighed, “Why does this always happen to us ?

 

Jimin looked back at the younger boy, his eyes conveying exasperation. They both knew they had no choice. Making their way over to a very drunk Hoseok and his friends (or better described, Jimin thought, as sycophants) they stood awkwardly while they waited for the airbender to make introductions.

 

“So guys, this is Jungkook, as I’m sure you all know… and this is Jimin! He’s the new waterbender on our team and he is killing it out on the arena! My boy just gets better and better each time-”

 

“Jimin? Park Jimin ??”

 

Fuck. Jimin knew that voice. Hated it, in fact. His heart stopped beating. He must have wobbled on his feet- Jungkook’s arm reached out to steady him, and Jimin turned around, laying his eyes on his most hated family member for the first time in two years.

 

“Susilo?” Jimin hated the way his voice cracked.

Susilo smirked, his pasty face twisting in fake politeness.

 

Hoseok and Jungkook looked between the two, confused.

“You two know each other?” Asked the airbender.

 

“Were… were cousins,” Jimin managed to say.

 

Susilo grinned, sensing weakness. Fuck, Jimin thought, this is all it took for his world to come crashing down. “Hoseok, did you say our Jimin was a waterbender on your probending team? That must be wrong… the last time I saw him, Jimin said he’d quit probending for good. Isn’t that right, Jimin?”

 

Jimin swallowed. “Circumstances… changed. Things came up- It wasn’t-”

“Anyway, Hoseok, it was nice catching up. I have to be going now- see you soon Jimin,” the bastard said ominously before turning his back and walking away.

 

As soon as he was gone, Jimin slumped against Jungkook, covering his head with his hands.

Worried, Jungkook asked, “Are you… okay? Who was that?”

All traces of lust had vanished from Jimin’s body, replaced by sheer panic. “He’s… he’s my cousin from the water tribe, except he’s even more conservative than my parents- he’s a snitch, a fucking snitch. I bet he’s on his way to my house right now to tell my parents oh my god I-”

Jungkook encircled Jimin with his arms, pulling the teary waterbender to his chest.

“Shhhhhh… It’s okay, it’s okay- I doubt he’ll go straight to your house, he’ll probably go to his own home first- can you blackmail him with anything?”

Jimin shook his head.

“He- he- he’s the straightest arrow in my family. I don’t know what I’m gonna do… you know my parents will kill me if they find out...”

Suddenly, Jimin pushed away from Jungkook. “Jungkookie… I have so many problems right now, I’m sorry, tonight won’t be happening. I don’t think we can continue any night, actually, until I sort my shit out… I’ve gotta go home. You can go have fun, live it up, fool around with someone else. I’m sorry I wasted you time.  I have to go now, I’m sorry-”

 

Jimin turned to leave, but was stopped by the firebender’s hand on his wrist.

“Jimin?” He began.

Jimin paused, looking back. His eyes shone with desolation and helplessness.

“I’ll wait for you.”

Jimin’s eyes widened. “What?”

“I’ll wait for you. For as long as it takes. Or for as long as you want. I’ll be here.”

Jimin’s demeanour softened. “Kookie… you don’t know what you’re getting into.” The older boy turned back, pressing a gentle kiss to Jungkook’s cheek. “Please… don’t wait.” With those words, and a rueful look in his eyes, Jimin turned back and headed for the exit.

 

***

 

Yoongi was in a Bad Mood. Why had this thing with That Airbender affected him so much? He’d seen the younger boy dancing with Hoseok on that very first night, he’d know about Hoseok’s relationships- why did it surprise him so much, then, that Taehyung was the same? The kid was endearing, of course, and he definitely had the right to go and do whatever he wanted to do with whoever he wanted to do it with. 

The problem lay in the fact that for some reason, Yoongi had expected to be the center of Taehyung’s world. The firebender had feelings- even though he really, badly wished he didn't. Would he feel right kissing tae, fucking him, letting him spend the night... with the knowledge that Tae was probably doing the same with someone else?

Probably not. And more than that the underlying insecurity- wasn't Yoongi good enough on his own?

Shaking his head to clear himself of these thoughts, the firebender stood up and made his way to the kitchen, gulping down water then filling another glass to help him with tomorrow's inevitable hangover.

 

A knock sounded on the door.

 

Yoongi paused. He wasn’t expecting anyone. At this time of night… perhaps it was Hoseok looking for refuge? Or maybe Namjoon, after a long night of work- come to think of it, the police chief hadn’t visited in a while. Yoongi chalked that up to the new doctor he’d met, the one he’d briefly seen with the chief at a recent gala.

 

The knock sounded louder this time.

 

Yoongi drew his robe tighter across his body and peeked out. What he saw through the peephole shocked, appalled him; so much so that it prompted the older boy to fling the door open and rush out to hold and comfort the sobbing orange- haired boy that sat on his doorstep. 

 

Chapter Text

Hoseok watched Jimin push food around his plate with an increased sense of worry.

“Jimin,” He said, noting the younger boy’s carefully shuttered expression, “Talk to us.”

 

Sitting on the other side of Jimin, Taehyung nodded.

The other airbender had only arrived five minutes ago- Hoseok had caught Taehyung lurking in the bushes outside Yoongi’s house, waiting for the firebender to leave before coming in. Hoseok  had shaken his head, but said nothing.

 

“Jiminiee... it’s been three days. We won’t make you do anything…” Taehyung swallowed. “Just- just talk to us?”

 

Jimin looked up from his french toast- which Yoongi had cooked up in a burst of motherly concern- deepening his frown. Hoseok took in the dark bags and red eyes on the waterbender’s face. Jimin was taking this a lot harder than anyone had expected. Hoseok took a sip of water, swallowing the guilt lumped in his throat. If only he and Yoongi hadn’t insisted, hadn’t pushed- if only he hadn’t been so drunk at the party- Jimin would still have a home.

 

When Jimin finally spoke, it was in a dead, raspy whisper that showed the other boys how little he’d used his voice as of late.

 

“My parents reacted exactly the way I said they would. Dad yelled. Told me I had to quit, that I had no other option.”

 

The waterbender paused, spooning another bite of french toast into his mouth. Hoseok leaned back slightly in relief.

 

“I told him that I did have another option… to leave. Mum cried. Dad kept yelling, telling me I was ungrateful, he’s raised me better, and-and-”

 

Jimin choked on a sob. Hoseok threw an arm around the smaller boy, rubbing small circles onto his back as Taehyung spoke out angrily,

 

“They always emotionally blackmail you like this! Jiminie, how many times have I told you- just because they’ve raised you, it doesn’t mean that they own your life! All parents work hard to raise their kids, they can’t dictate-”

“Taehyungie, you don’t get it! My parents moved here from the Northern water tribe for me! Me! They worked, saved up for a new house, sent me back to the tribe because I wanted to dance, gave me the best education, they’ve always given me the best!”

 

Jimin was breathing hard at this point.

“They only asked for one thing in return. That I shouldn’t probend. That I should become a healer. Or an engineer, or something…”

By this time, the self disgust was evident in his voice.

“But I couldn’t even give them that. So I ran. I didn’t want to put your parents in an uncomfortable situation- we’re family friends, you know? Hoseok showed me Yoongi’s house from the outside once… That’s the only place I thought I could go. Don't worry,” he tacked on with a grimace, “I’m going to move out soon, I have money saved up from the store and from dancing-”

 

This time, it was Hoseok that broke in. “-Jimin, no one’s asking you to move out. I can tell you that Yoongi definitely does not mind if you stay a while longer. And about your parents?”

 

The older boy heaved a sigh. “It’s true, they did a lot for you. But that’s not parenting. Parenting is showing love, and giving your child all the support you can, trusting them to make their own decisions about life… trust me man, I’ve seen it with my kids at school. What your parents did? They gave you the resources you needed to become a skilled, multi talented person. But the moment they started dictating what you should do, or the moment that they started giving you ultimatums? That’s not unconditional love anymore.”

 

A bitter, watery smile appeared on Jimin’s face.

 

“That being said,” Hoseok continued, “You should still talk to your parents, try and work it out- they’re so important to you, and you’re so important to them- You won’t be in the right headspace until you sort things out.”

 

At this, Jimin nodded. “Thanks, man,” He said in a lighter, albeit shaky voice, “I… yeah, I’ll wait it out maybe a few more days, see how it feels… Thanks you guys. For being here.” The smaller boy’s last few words were muffled as he was pushed to the floor and enveloped by the two airbenders.

 

Hoseok buried his face in Jimin’s hair, tightening his grip. The three of them stayed there, tangled in their web of comfort until the waterbender’s body stopped shaking.

 

***

 

Taehyung closed Yoongi’s front door gently and proceeded to put his shoes back on. He’d been pleasantly surprised at the warm, cutesy decor in the older firebender’s home. The inviting vibe given off by the brick townhouse matched Yoongi’s personality perfectly- at least, his personality around people that he liked. It’s not like he’d get a chance to witness it anytime soon, he thought, what with last Saturday night’s major screwup. Taehyung mentally smacked himself yet again.

 

“Hobi, where are we going?”

“You’ll see.”

Taehyung groaned out loud. “Are we just walking through this park for shits and giggles?”

“Nope,” Hoseok said, the popping sound of the word infuriating Taehyung just a little bit more.

 

The younger looked to the side at his best friend, who was smiling faintly at their banter. Taehyung found his mood lifted in response. It wasn’t the Park Jimin 1000 watt charm-your-pants-off smile, but it was a step in the right direction.

 

Hoseok’s next question broke his reverie. “Taehyung-ah, what’s the deal with you and Yoongi? You two were hitting it off when he was doing body shots off you-”

Jimin’s eyes bugged out. “ Tae you did body shots with Yoongi and you didn’t tell me??? What kind of best friend-”

Taehyung laughed, grabbing at Jimin’s hand to stop his tirade. “You weren’t in the right headspace! And I didn’t wanna get your hopes up. I fucked it all up so bad.”

 

At the older boys’ cajoling, Taehyung elaborated. “I didn’t know that he didn’t do open relationships like me and Hobi-”

“-you and me are the only ones that do open relationships, Tae what were you thinking-”

“-let me finish! I know I was wrong! These two girls came up to me… and like… I haven’t said no in so long… I think I forgot how.”

At this, Jimin and Hoseok snorted, falling over each other as they giggled uncontrollably. Tae scratched his head, whining,

“Guys! This is serious! I fucked up and I want another chance with Yoongi- It’s just-”

Jimin cut in. “-you haven’t said sorry in so long, you forgot how?”

The older boys began cackling again, hi- fiving each other as they danced down the lane.

 

A while later, Hoseok sobered up, calling out, “Taehyung?”

At Taehyung’s mumbled response, he said, “You better think of an apology fast. We’re going to see him, live in action.”

“What?” The younger boy was confused- no probending matches were scheduled for today. He would know- he was rostered onto the next one.

“You wanted to know what Yoongi does for a living right?”

“Yeah…”

“Well then, today’s your lucky day.”

Hoseok gestured to the large clearing up ahead, from which faint music could be heard.

 

No fucking way. In the distance, a small black-haired figure sat at a grand piano. He was accompanied by a singer, some woodwind… Taehyung was too far away to make any details out, but he knew .

 

His steps quickened.

 

Hoseok and Jimin’s shout went ignored- Taehyung’s long legged stride left them far behind as he finally made it, panting as he leaned against one of the seats.

 

Finally able to see Yoongi properly, Taehyung stared. And stared. The older boy was wearing a full black outfit- but no ratty practice t- shirts or ripped jeans. No, Yoongi was out there looking like a man in his black turtleneck and pantsuit. What sustained Taehyung’s attention, however, were the square framed glasses that sat on the firebender’s nose. Fuck , he thought, the glasses accentuated Yoongi’s already delicate features perfectly.

 

Tae Tae was goners.

 

A mild commotion off to the side broke him from his daze, and he craned his neck to see Jimin and Hoseok (as expected) with- was that- no.

 

It couldn’t be.

 

Was Hoseok greeting the police chief of Republic City? And who was the handsome pink haired man beside him?

 

Making his way over, he joined the group, linking arms with Hoseok in an unspoken question.

 

“Tae, you finally found us again- this is Namjoon. He’s a good friend and the-”

“- The police chief of Republic City!? Hoseok, you didn’t tell me you had friends in such high places-”

 

The chief chuckled, his voice almost as deep as Taehyung’s own. “I’m one of the chiefs,” He said with a smile, “And you can just call me Namjoon.”

 

Taehyung was starstruck. He watched Namjoon gesture to his companion, saying, “ And this is Jin. He’s a physician and healer… He’s my- uh, we’re-”

“-we’re dating,” Jin broke in.

 

Taehyung gawked at the fondness in Jin’s eyes, and the way Namjoon, one of the most respected and formidable men in the city, was reduced to an awkward, blushing teenager. As usual, without any filter he blurted out,

“You guys look good together.” He was rewarded with pink spots on both men’s cheeks, and a playful shove from Hoseok.

 

All five found seats together, settling in to watch the performance. Conversation flowed surprisingly well, with Hoseok and Jin carrying most of the talk. Jin’s focus shifted to Jimin after a while, who’d remained uncharacteristically quiet through the evening.

 

Taehyung tensed up, and felt Hoseok do the same. But they needn’t have worried: Jimin answered readily, his tone steady. Upon learning that Jimin was a waterbender, Jin demanded to sit next to him, and they spent the next ten minutes discussing the differences in the tribes, and healing techniques.

 

Taehyung zoned out after a while, opting to join Hoseok and Namjoon’s conversation instead. They were talking about security measures in place for youth and children- no thanks.

 

Taehyung rolled his eyes.

Adults.

 

***

 

Yoongi ran his fingers over the piano, testing, playful. The older crowd was in full attendance tonight, perhaps searching for entertainment to get them through the rest of the week. He wondered where Hoseok and Namjoon were in the crowd- the three didn’t usually get to spend time together and had thus made an unspoken pact to meet at every recital that Yoongi featured in. They all needed it, Yoongi thought, what with all the stress that came with being grown.

 

The seats were three quarters filled, and Yoongi knew from experience that people would be crowding the clearing, sitting on the grass or standing behind the seats by the time they finished playing. He signalled to the other musicians, watching the vocalist introduce the setlist.

 

She counted down… 5, 6,  7  ,   8.

 

Yoongi set his fingers free, giving them full control as they danced up and down the keys, fleeting at times and heavy, deliberate at others. He was angry, guilty. This hadn’t been a good week for him- and it showed in his music. Not in the sense that he got sloppy- never. It was more in the sense that the music told a story of pain, injustice, affection.

 

He’d always been good at this- at abstracting his feelings into notes, at dramatising them so that they spoke to every member of the audience. His pieces were original, soul- touching, as some would say. To that, Yoongi snorted. He was glad they’d never heard his very first pieces.

 

On and on, he played, manipulating the keys and his emotions, pouring himself out onto the piano until sweat poured out of him , until the vocalist faded off, until the crowd stood, until their clapping drowned out the white noise in his head.

 

He was satisfied.

 

Smiling faintly, bowing at compliments from the crowd, Yoongi began to pack up. He didn’t need to find his friends- they’d find him, as always.

 

The pianist enjoyed the post concert bliss, soaking up the sounds in the park until he was interrupted by that wholly cursed low tone.

 

“Yoongi?”

 

The firebender looked up to see Taehyung approach, sheepish, his hands in his pockets.

“You played fantastic tonight.”

Yoongi smirked. “I always do.”

Taehyung snorted, finally raising his eyes to meet Yoongi’s. “Yoongi, don't be like that… I- can things go back to the way they were?”

Yoongi stopped still. Back to the way they were? Was Taehyung asking him to forget about the whole open relationship thing?

“Are you asking me,” Yoongi said carefully, “To pretend like you’re not fucking anything that moves when you’re not with me?”

Taehyungs eyes widened in shock, his eyebrows almost shooting off his face.

“No, that’s not what I meant- that’s not even how open relationships work- wait!” He shouted as Yoongi moved to turn away, “ I’m bad at this… at apologising… ”

Yoongi cursed his heart for softening immediately and waited, silent.

“Yoongi, I came here to tell you… I was sorry for not being straight up with you from the start. I… fucked up. And I wanna say that. Like. I want to try.”

Yoongi’s lips quirked up.

“I want to try a serious relationship. Being exclusive. With you- if you want to! And even if you don’t anymore… I’d still want to. Try. So…” Taehyung trailed off, looking at Yoongi with the sweetest eyes, “Would you still be willing to date me?”

 

Yoongi couldn’t help it. Where did his stone cold persona go? He found himself grinning like an idiot, drawn back to Taehyung as helplessly as the first time. Taking two quick steps forward, he pushed the airbender away.

 

The younger boy stumbled back, mouth opening and closing comically.

Yoongi took two steps forward again, this time pulling Taehyung closer by his shirt and pressing their lips together softly, gently. At first. Yoongi moved to take his glasses off, but the airbender stopped him halfway.

“Could you leave those on? Please,” He whispered, “They’re so hot…”

Yoongi smiled against Taehyung’s neck. “You big fucking dork-”

 

“Oh… My… God… Hoseok, look what we have here!”

Yoongi stopped mouthing along Taehyung’s neck but stayed in the taller boy’s arms. He turned his head, surprised to hear Jimin being loud and obnoxious again- the little punk definitely hadn’t been this perky when Yoongi had left the house in the morning.

 

The crowing was picked up by Hoseok, and then Namjoon. Reluctantly, Yoongi stepped away to greet the whole group. The pink- haired man Yoongi had seen at the gala was with them- at Yoongi’s confused glance, Namjoon introduced them. Jin, surprisingly, picked up right where his boyfriend had left off.

“Yoongi,” He said, a twinkle in his eye, “You and Tae can have the night to yourselves if you want. I’m taking Jimin off your hands.”

“What?” Yoongi had come to care for the boy and- although he would never ever in a million years admit it- was starting to enjoy making home cooked meals for the both of them.

“Jin’s going to teach me to heal,” Came Jimin’s bright voice. “I didn’t want to impose- I did show up on your doorstep with no warning, didn’t I?”

Yoongi looked between the two, at a loss for words.

“After all,” Jin proclaimed, “Waterbenders with brightly coloured hair should stick together.”

Yoongi shook his head. “I guess the decision’s made then, huh?” He asked wryly. “Now that that’s done, can we get food? I’m fucking starving .”

 

Their group of six walked along, opting to actually find restaurants before deciding between them. Yoongi’s mood had lifted considerably- a great concert, the promise of great food, and mediocre company- what more could a firebender want in life?

 

“Hey Jimin,” Jin called out from the back.

Up ahead, Jimin slowed down. “What?”

“Why are pianos so hard to open?”

The corners of Jimin’s mouth turned up.

“Why?”

Yoongi braced himself.

“Because the keys are inside!”

Yoongi couldn’t deal. Sure, he respected Namjoon and the doctor and all, but this was just.

Namjoon kicked Yoongi’s shoe.

The firebender promptly laughed, loud and fake and long, the sound mixing with Jin’s guffaws and Jimin’s giggles to fill the otherwise empty street.

Chapter Text

This was the only evening Namjoon had gotten off all week.

On this day of rest, he somehow found himself at the arena juggling three water bottles, two containers of orange slices, and one extremely stressed doctor.

“Joonie, what are those lines on the floor?”

Namjoon turned his head to see Jin staring up at the earthbender in curiosity, blinking with his whole face in that cute way of his.

Who was he kidding. This night wouldn’t be so bad after all.

“They’re different zones. The kids have to try and knock their opponents back, one zone at a time, before they fall off the far end into the moat. At the end of a round, if both teams are still in the arena then the team that has lost the least amount of zones wins.”

“What if they’ve lost the same number of zones?”

“It’s a tie.”

“Ohhh…” Jin said quietly, craning his neck to see more of the arena. Namjoon could feel him fidgeting, shifting side to side and swinging his legs to release the nervous energy.

Smiling, he placed his hand on one of the older boy’s shoulders, rubbing in gentle circles. “Jin, they’ll be alright. The kids have got this! Didn’t we go down to see them practice the other day?”

Jin groaned. “This is the semi final, Joon! If they lose this match, they’re done. No more ranking, no more round robin system. Jiminie’s been practicing so hard for this. Yoongi’s not even playing today-”

“Do you really think Hoseok wouldn’t have taken him off if he didn’t think the team would benefit? Maybe Yoongi wouldn’t be as effective against them. Babe… Jin… look at me.”

Reluctantly, Jin turned his head to face the earthbender.

“The kids will be alright.”

 

***

 

The roaring of the crowd, the smell of sweat, the weight of padded gear on his shoulders.

Familiar, safe.

 

The absence of Hoseok and Yoongi, the flash of orange he caught before Jimin slid his helmet on, the high stakes of a semifinal match.

New, thrilling.

 

Taehyung’s deep voice came from beside him, the airbender striking up a conversation while adjusting his chest straps. “Before he dropped me off, Yoongi said to just-”

Jungkook rolled his eyes. “We get it. We get it, you have a happy and healthy relationship. Will you ever stop rubbing it in my face?”

Taehyung’s eyebrows rose and they stayed there, waiting.

Jungkook sighed. “I’m sorry. I’m just frustrated.”

Taehyung shook his head. “It’s okay man, I get it. If it helps,” The airbender said, gesturing to Jimin where the orange- haired boy was struggling to buckle his gear, “He’s just as frustrated as you. Go talk to him.”

 

Taehyung walked off with that push, sending the younger boy in Jimin’s direction.

Reluctantly, Jungkook made his way over. After that night at the rock disco, Jimin had maintained a steady distance from the younger boy during practices, dinners, and matches. Every time the firebender brought their relationship up, he was told to find someone else. To stop waiting, stop wasting his own time.

Every time this happened, Jungkook scoffed. As if he could ever settle for anyone else anymore. The young firebender was officially ruined.

“Need some help?” Jungkook called out.

Jimin turned, his rueful smile twisting Jungkook’s heart. One breath, two breaths.

“Yeah, thanks Koo- Jungkook.”

Jimin’s eyes snapped up to check if Jungkook had caught onto his slip up.

He had. The taller boy said nothing, opting instead to buckle Jimin’s arm cuffs up, one at a time.

Bending down, he made quick work of the calf and thigh shields- quicker work than he would’ve liked, before rising back up to see Jimin staring at him, eyes soft and lips slightly parted.

They stood there, together, staring silently before Jimin broke the spell. “You know the strategy for today?” His voice was raspy, several octaves lower than usual.

Jungkook nodded. “Let Tae do his thing. Break the Catgators’ formation. And then… take them out.”

Jimin ran a hand through his hair. “You think it’ll be easy?”

Jungkook smirked. “As pie.”

 

Jungkook shifted his attention to see Taehyung watching them from the back of the room. He gestured him over, and gathered the older boys into a group huddle. “Every member of this team has been bending for longer than we’ve been alive-”

“Those old farts will never know what hit them.” Taehyung quipped, causing Jimin to dissolve into a fit of giggles.

Jungkook was momentarily distracted by the crinkling of his eyes before saying, “No, guys, this team’s our biggest challenge so far. Let’s not get distracted, let’s give it our best, and show them that Hoseok’s the best damn captain in this whole city. Bangtan Bangtan?”

“BANG BANGTAN!” The boys shouted in unison.

Satisfied, Jungkook led the way to get into position.

 

***

Jungkook’s small gestures, his light touches- they were driving Jimin up the wall.

The arena, at least, would be the perfect place to let his tension out. In this familiar place of tension and action and rhythm, Jimin would find his way.

 

“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO THE FIRST SEMIFINAL OF THIS YEAR’S PROBENDING CHAMPIONSHIPS! TONIGHT, WE WITNESS A LEGENDARY MATCH! YOUTHFUL ZEST MEETS HONED SKILL IN THE BATTLE BETWEEN THE BULLETPROOF BOYS AND CAPITAL CITY CATGATORS- HERE WE ARE, STARTING IN THREE, TWO, ONE-”

 

The whistle screeched, and Jimin moved- not to attack, but, along with Jungkook, to form a wall of defence around his best friend. They’d watched the catgators’ last match and come to a conclusion: as a team, their defence was just too strong. The catgators worked like a well oiled machine, communicating with grunts and one syllable shouts. Yes, the bulletproof boys had chemistry, but they were nowhere near this level of cohesiveness. No matter. What they did have was endurance- and they’d make sure to use that to their advantage.

 

The catgators had a waterbender, which Jungkook was handling, and they had a firebender, which Jimin was handling. The problem was the huge- ass earthbender in the middle who was advancing, and advancing fast. The rocks were flying too fast and too hard and all of a sudden Jungkook let out a shout, throwing a flame ball at the earthbender to knock him back a few steps. Jimin eyes blew open even as he continued to parry and defend steadily. They weren't supposed to attack- conserving energy was the name of their game today.

 

“Taeeee!” The waterbender shouted. Any more waiting and the team would be blown back one, maybe two zones. “Now!”

 

Jimin and Jungkook leapt of of the way as Taehyung unleashed his mini tornado. The gust had to be short and powerful: if it ran longer than five seconds, Tae would be dealt a penalty and they'd have no chance of winning. Jimin and Jungkook began counting down to keep the airbender on track.

 

“FIVE, FOUR…”

 

The gust took the catgators by surprise, and their shock rendered them helpless against a mini tornado. They were corralled to one side of the arena, bunched up: with a tiny area between all members, they were virtually ineffective.

 

“THREE! TWO!”

 

The gust was now pushing the team back- the earthbender had lost a zone while the other two benders had lost two.

Jimin and Jungkook got into position, yelling in tandem, “ONE!”

 

Taehyung let up on his tornado, but continued to throw short, irregular air pushes at the opponents. His shots were weak, but their randomness threw the catgators off guard.

 

As soon as the tornado had let up, Jimin and Jungkook had gone to town while their opponents were still dazed- fireball on waterwall on firebomb on ice sheets to make them slip. One by one, the catgators were losing ground.

 

“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, AN AMAZING TURNAROUND FROM THE BULLETPROOF BOYS TONIGHT WHO WERE JUST A MILLISECOND AWAY FROM INCURRING PENALTY-”

 

SPLASH!

 

“THERE YOU GO, ONE DOWN AND-

 

SPLASH!

 

“THAT’S TWO! IT’S A TOUGH TIME FOR THAT LONESOME EARTHBENDER! LET’S SHOW HIM SOME LOVE, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN LET ME HEAR YOU SCREAM!”

 

The Earthbender was tiring, slowing- he wouldn’t last much longer. Jimin smirked as he looked at Jungkook out of the corner of his eyes- the firebender seemed to be thinking the same thing. Again, in unison they yelled, “TAE!” and leaped away.

Tae didn’t let them down- repetitive air punches landed on unpredictable parts of the earthbender’s body. The poor man had neither the energy nor the will to defend himself. Little by little, he was pushed back until Jimin decided to put him out of his misery- launching one final blast, the waterbender knocked him clear off the arena and into the water.

 

Spent, he collapsed on the floor amidst the cheers and commentary.

 

***

 

Jungkook’s fists clenched. Here he sat, in his locker room with his probending team, watching some random doctor feed random orange slices to his boyfriend- well, soon to be boyfriend anyway.

 

The doctor- Jin, as Jungkook had been told to call him- caught him staring and offered him a second box. “Have some, Jungkook! We brought some for everyone!” Dammit, Jin was so handsome, this was the guy Jimin was staying with, Jungkook bet Jimin had fallen in love with him already, that’s why he kept saying no… the young firebender accepted the box with a sigh.

 

“Jin, babe, pass Kookie the drink bottle too. He looks parched.”

 

Oh.

Jeon Jungkook really was an idiot.

 

They were sitting in a circle on the floor of the locker room, discussing the match and their plans while they waited for the showers to be freed up. Jungkook’s knees were touching Jimin’s but neither of them made any move to change that.

 

Currently, Jimin was explaining the match to Jin, giggling into the older waterbender as they joked about the events of the evening.

“When you and Jungkook left Taehyungie to deal with the earthbender all by himself I thought it was over! Tae was so tired, you guys are really mean-”

Jimin’s normally crescent shaped eyes widened as they met Jungkook’s.

“Jin’s right.” This came from Yoongi sitting opposite them, stroking Taehyung’s hair as he spoke, “Taehyung really did the most, I mean really killed it out there and you two made him deal with an entire extra person by himself! Jiminie, I expected better-”

“Hey! Jimin interjected, voice rising in disbelief as Taehyung snuggled closer to Yoongi, “Me and Jungkook just wanted to give Tae the opportunity to knock someone off the arena! It was his first play anyway, we thought we’d make it memorable!”

Amused, Jungkook watched Jimin’s eyes glint as he defended the two of them, watched Jimin’s hand creep higher and higher up his thigh as his argument got more and more animated.

He tried not to enjoy it too much.

He failed.

 

The next time Jimin made eye contact, Jungkook looked pointedly down at his thigh, where Jimin’s small hand still rested. The waterbender snatched his hand away as if burned, pink staining his cheeks as he stumbled over his next words.

Jungkook tried not to enjoy it too much.

He failed.

 

***

 

“... and he’s waiting for me so I gotta go okaybyeseeya!”

 

With that Kim Taehyung, the worst best friend Jimin had ever had, ran out of the shower room to see Yoongi again.

 

Jimin was left alone among the concrete walls, the only sound coming from where Jungkook was still in the shower. With nothing but his thoughts for company, Jimin reflected on tonight's match and how content he felt- he didn’t know if it was the exercise, or the friends, or the high of winning- it was all three, most likely- that marked a big improvement in the boy’s mental health. Gone was the constant anxiety and fear of being caught, the fear of not being good enough. He’d found a new family, one that doted on him and accepted him for who he really was.

Smiling, Jimin continued to dry himself, briefly rubbing his hair before tying the towel around his waist. Underwear on, he reached inside his bag for pants before he stopped, sensing a presence behind him.

Jimin turned, mouth drying up as he took in the sight of one extremely wet, extremely muscled firebender, following the movement of the younger boy’s throat as he swallowed.

They stood there for the longest time, chests heaving.

In the end, it was Jimin that broke first, that took the first step.

Suddenly, both boys stood a hairsbreadth  apart and Jimin could swear he felt sparks fly between them.

Like the day at the disco, at the shop, at practice: the air was charged, electric.

“Hi,” came a strangled whisper from Jungkook’s throat.

“Hey,” Jimin replied, boldly dragging his fingers up Jungkook’s chest to rest at his neck, gently playing with the hair on the back of the younger boy’s neck.

When Jimin looked up at Jungkook through his lashes, he found the firebender already staring back, with darkened eyes and a half- lidded gaze.

Their lips crashed together in a frenzy of teeth and tongue and spit. Jungkook moaned into Jimin’s mouth, low, needy, before picking him up, the waterbender’s legs winding around his hips. Jimin carded his fingers through Jungkook’s hair, dug his nails into that muscled back and lay bite marks all over his neck before sucking and laving at them. He ate Jungkook’s curses and groans right up, bringing their mouths together in yet another bruising kiss.

Somehow, Jimin’s back ended up hitting a wall, the coolness of the smooth concrete balancing Jimin’s flushed body.

“So beautiful… Jimin… you’re a fucking tease, you know that?” This was mumbled against the waterbender’s jaw as Jungkook ran his thumb over Jimin’s right nipple, watching it pebble, watching Jimin shudder.

“Kookie… you have no idea… how much I wanted this…” Jimin rolled his hips,  grinding his crotch against Jungkook’s until they were both moaning into each other, both fully hard and ready. At some point, their towels had slipped off, leaving their underwear as the last pieces of fabric separating them.

“Ahhhh… Jimin tell me you want-ahhh- exactly…”

Jimin opened his eyes to watch Jungkook’s reaction. “Kookie… I want you to fuck me, hard and good with that big cock… I want you to fuck my ass, I want to feel you inside me, feel you coming…”

Jungkook’s cock twitched, his whole body shivering as he caught Jimin’s lips with his again. He pressed the older boy into the wall, sucking Jimin's tongue and kneading his ass.

“I have condoms… do you… have lube?”

“I don’t carry lube around, you- ahh! You idiot…”

“Do you…”

“I don’t... do it… dry.”

“Fuck…”

“Not today, babe.”

Jungkook sighed in frustration, only to be cut off by Jimin kissing and sucking his way down the firebender’s body. The older boy palmed Jungkook through his underwear, making him hiss. Chuckling, Jimin mouthed at Jungkook’s cock through the underwear, fully enjoying the younger boy’s mewling, and the stain of precum that had soaked through the front of the material.

“Ahhhh- JIMIN- ahhh… please…”

Jimin smiled, still only softly mouthing and stroking Jungkook’s cock lightly through the cloth. “Please what, Jungkookie? What do you want me to do?”

“Please… suck me… I’m so fucking close- ahhh!”

Jungkook was put out of his misery as Jimin pulled his underwear down and sucked like there was no tomorrow- licking a wet, hot stripe along the side of the firebender’s cock, he engulfed the head entirely, hollowing his cheeks and fisting the length he couldn’t fit into his mouth. It was when he started playing with Jungkook’s balls that the younger boy finally lost it, pulling at Jimin’s hair, yelling a quick warning before he came, ropes of cum falling on Jimin’s neck and chest, more in his mouth.

Jimin barely had time to smirk before the younger boy picked him up again, this time laying them both down on a bench before kissing him, slow and languid. The firebender all but ripped Jimin’s underwear off before mixing his own cum with the precum already leaking from Jimin’s cock, using this to lubricate the older boy as he pumped his fist hard, fast, until Jimin was yelling his name… and then he slowed down.

“Jungkook! Please! Faster, give it to- ahhhh, Kookie I'm so close just fucking quit playing-”

Jungkook took Jimin’s mouth again, brushing his tongue over the roof of his mouth, the insides of his teeth until the older boy was a writhing mess. At that moment, Jungkook pushed one slick finger into Jimin, swallowing his gasp with a kiss, continuing to pump Jimin faster. Jungkook wiggled his finger around until he found that spot, that bundle of nerves that had Jimin whimpering and falling apart as he brushed it. Two more strokes, and it was over- Jimin came, loud and high- pitched, going limp in Jungkook’s arms as the younger boy stroked his hair and whispered sweet nothings into his ear.

 

“Jimin?”

The waterbender snuggled deeper into Jungkook’s chest. “Yeah?”

“Let’s hit the showers again.”

“Jungkookie… Jungkookie…Jungkookie...” Jimin shifted so that he was sitting up with his eyes closed again.

Jungkook watched in wonder as water droplets began to form on his skin and run down, taking sweat and all the other fluids on his body away. He even felt his hair being rinsed. The younger boy looked up to see Jimin grinning down at him while grabbing a towel.

“Jiminie… Jiminie… Jiminie…” Jungkook stopped the older boy, placing a hand on his thigh. It was the waterbender’s turn to watch with wide eyes as the water on his body evaporated gently, leaving his skin soft and flushed.

 

Jungkook got up slowly, grinning like a cat that had gotten the cream. “We make a good pair, don’t we?”

Jimin smirked, pulling the younger boy down to steal another kiss. “The fucking best.”

Chapter Text

“Daddy, could you please pass the salt?”

 

Taehyung pressed his lips together in a tight line to stop himself from grinning while he reached out to accept the salt shaker from his father.

He glanced opposite to see Yoongi’s hands fisted in the tablecloth, eyes narrowed and staring right back at him.

 

Taehyung was having sooo much fun.

 

It had all started when Taehyung let slip to his mum about his relationship- four weeks was perhaps the longest he'd ever been in a relationship for, and his parents weren’t about to let the opportunity slide. They’d invited Yoongi to dinner and, naturally (against Taehyung’s better wishes), Yoongi had agreed.

 

None of this was problematic. Taehyung loved his family, and he //intensely liked// Yoongi. The airbender had truly been eager for them all to meet- until the three adults decided to leave him out of all of their talk.

 

So what if Yoongi had a stable, substantial income and owned his own home? They only had a three year age gap, and Taehyung knew enough about politics to be a part of the conversation, thank you very much.

 

“Maybe if we had more non- bender representation on the councils, they wouldn’t feel as isolated and there wouldn’t be so many protests,” he broke in. “That was why the Equalists gained such a large following in the first place, you know. We didn’t listen to them.”

 

Everyone quieted, and then Yoongi’s low timbre filled the room, “I agree with Taehyungie actually, there’s been a historic bias against…”

 

Taehyung rolled his eyes as the other three picked up their conversation, once more excluding Taehyung. At least Yoongi took his side- more than what could be said for Jimin, who agreed with anything Taehyung’s parents said regardless of his true feelings. Over the years, Jimin had charmed them to the extent that Taehyung was sure his parents went on more lunch dates with the waterbender than their own son.

 

The airbender had never been one for boring dinners, but that was no matter. He knew how to spice it up.

 

He started with a breeze- gentle, it eddied around Yoongi only, lifting the hair at the back of his neck. Yoongi lifted his head up, searching for a door that could’ve let the draft in. Taehyung scratched his nose in an attempt to hide the smile playing about his lips. He couldn’t wait to tell Hoseok about this.

 

Deciding to take it up a notch, Taehyung traced circles on the dining cloth, conjuring up an equally tiny wind twister to dance along Yoongi’s neck, collarbone, jaw- any exposed skin, really.

 

Yoongi reached up to scratch, but ended up rubbing his neck, chest and jaw in an effort to mitigate the tickling. Eventually, he placed his hand back down in a herculean effort not to look weird in front of Taehyung’s parents.

 

The airbender’s chest was heaving, abs hurting from trying to control his laughter. Finally, he concentrated a light, tiny gust. To the older boy, it would feel like someone was blowing a hot breath right behind his earlobe: which Taehyung very well knew to be one of the most sensitive places on his whole body.

 

“... Because when you look at the public mentality in the earthbending colonies, why wouldn’t houses be getting more- ahhh- ahhhh - ex-expensive?”

 

Mr. Kim regarded Yoongi amusedly before launching into his own tirade about housing and the council’s plans. As soon as Taehyung’s dad was distracted, Yoongi shot the airbender a scorching glare, nostrils flared and eyebrows slanted in a way that said, “ Just wait ‘till I get my hands on you tonight.”

 

Involuntarily, Taehyung shuddered. Not to be outdone, the younger boy lifted his sausage to his mouth, rubbing it all over his lips before tonguing it, the finally engulfing the thick piece of meat. Not thicker though, Taehyung thought devilishly, than Yoongi’s own meat.

 

As if reading his mind, Yoongi’s eyes darkened.

 

***

 

Jimin stood outside the grey stone mansion, shaking and afraid. It was funny, he thought, that the closer he got, the more life seemed to leave him.

 

One month had been plenty of time, yet not nearly enough- sitting in Jin’s kitchen, surrounded by warmth and laughter, Jimin had finally gotten a taste of what it was like to have a home rather than a house, somewhere he loved to come back to every night.

Relaxed and comfortable.

 

There, he’d felt like he could face his parents again, finally gain some closure on this whole issue- but if the waterbender was being honest with himself, that wasn’t the main reason for him standing outside the ominous building.

 

JImin had a brother. A little brother called Ji Hyun, who was basically under house arrest. Jimin had gone to Jihyun’s school, talked to his friends and waited outside the tea shop he liked to frequent, but this was to no avail. Now that they’d lost a son, it seemed as though the Parks were doubling security measures, terrified of the same thing happening again.

 

Jimin shook his head before climbing up the stairs and knocking on the door, once, twice, thrice. Little did they know, he thought, that they were only pushing Jihyun away further.

 

The door cracked open and he spied two tired brown eyes through the gap. “Mrs. Silva?”

The elderly housekeeper rushed to open the door, taking Jimin’s face in her hands as she squeezed her eyes shut. “Our Jiminnie… you’re back, darling, you’re back…”

 

Jimin’s eyes stung, chest going tight. “Mrs. Silva… I’m sorry I didn’t-”

“Shhh- no!” The lady looked back at him with steel in her eyes. “Don’t be sorry for being happy, my dear. Never!”

 

Jimin chuckled wetly, breaking the embrace. Looking around the antechamber, he found it to be just as uninviting as when he’d left. His father had installed sconces, a fireplace, wooden floorboards all to make the home seem warmer. It hadn’t worked. How could it? When the residents of the house spoke in hushed whispers and there were no family photographs or paintings or knick knacks lying around- it felt unlived in.

 

Mrs. Silva hesitantly motioned towards the dining room. Heart thumping in his chest, Jimin made his way down the hallways.

 

He took a deep breath before turning into the doorway.

Time seemed to slow down. He saw his father, stoic and stiff, and his mother, who was staring down at her soup… and then Jihyun. Lovely Jihyun who was still growing into himself, clenching his hands around the cutlery. It was his younger brother that noticed the waterbender first. Pushing his chair back, he all but sprinted to the orange- haired boy, leaping into his arms as he screamed, “Jimin!”

Laughing, Jimin forgot about his parents as he carded his hands through Jihyun’s black locks. He turned them away from the dining table, making sure his younger brother’s eyes followed him as he tucked a small envelope into the pocket of Jihyun’s pants.

 

And not a moment too soon.

 

“Get away from him, Jihun. He’s not your brother anymore.”

Seeing the reluctance in his brother eyes, Jimin pushed himself away. He would not create trouble for the younger boy today.

 

“So, Jimin…” His father continued, “Are you here to ask for forgiveness? To beg? To be reinstated into the family?”

 

A hot buzzing filled Jimin’s ears.

“No.”

Jimin’s father stilled. “What?”

“No. I came to get my last belongings. And see my brother… and mother again.”

The waterbender turned to look at his mother, whose eyes were wet with unshed tears as she shook her head helplessly.

Jimin’s father started laughing, slow and scratchy. They were about the same height, Jimin and his dad, and at this moment he questioned why he’s been so terrified of the older man his entire life.

“I get it, Jimin,” he said, “You’re here… for money. You lasted, what? Not even a whole month?”

The orange- haired boy couldn’t believe his ears. “No!” He yelled, “I don’t want your dirty money! I have a job -”

“At a clothing store? You can’t survive on that! Not after you’ve had all of this,” Jimin’s dad sneered, gesturing to the rest of the house.

“All of this? All of what?” Jimin all but yelled, riding the wave of emotion. “You mean the constant fear, the abuse, the pressure, the rules? Yeah, dad, I’m doing pretty fucking great without all of this-”

“LANGUAGE-”

Jimin’s father moved forward, raising  his hand, but his mum caught it.

“Enough,” She said hoarsely. “Jimin… Just go.”

 

Jimin turned, glancing at Jihyun when he started to move.

 

“Jihyun…” came that awful voice, “Take one more step and you’ll be cut out forever, too.”

 

Jimin truly, truly hoped Jihyun would stay for the time being, take the time to read his note, come to a conclusion on his own.

 

It doesn’t have to be like this, he’d written. You deserve so much more.

 

He’d gone on to list down addresses: Jin’s, the shops, Namjoon’s, Yoongi’s… he’s even listed down a few telephone numbers although Jimin doubted his little brother even knew how to operate one. New technology and all.

 

He hoped to god that no one else found the envelope- especially because it also contained half of Jimin’s savings from the emporium. A lot of money, yet not enough for Jihyun to strike out on his own for long- he hadn’t been allowed to work, after all.

 

Mind racing, Jimin bounded up the steps to collect his stuff- which was already packed in two big carriers. How clean cut. Jimin didn’t even spare a glance for his old bedroom- he knew,= the bare walls would offer him nothing.

 

He just needed to get out. Slamming doors and running down steps, he made his footsteps heavy although his knees were weak. Jimin wanted his presence to be clear, now, so that this absence would be felt.

 

Running out the doors, he walked straight past the gate, past the fencing until he reached the bushery. Finally, his legs gave out.

 

The orange- haired boy collapsed, sobs wracking his body as hot tears hit the ground.

 

***

 

Jungkook was curled up on Jin’s couch when the door creaked open. He’d been waiting for two hours now, ears perked and listening for any sign of the dancer’s footsteps.

 

Before he could get up, however, the door closed and a warm body crashed into his. Jimin was trembling, his face buried in the crook of Jungkook’s neck, soft hair tickling his nose. The firebender wrapped his arms around Jimin, once again struck by just how delicate and fragile his body was off the arena.

 

Jungkook was floored. When Jimin’s small hands fisted in his shirt, the younger boy was jolted into moving- into stroking up and down Jimin’s back, smoothing circles over his shoulders, kissing the hot tears away. Anger consumed the firebender- but more than that, a fierce urge to protect the boy lying beside him.

 

So he stayed. Murmured sweet nothings into the waterbender’s ears, held him while he shivered, rocked him until his little sweet cake was snuggling instead of shuddering.

 

Finally, Jungkook allowed himself to get up off the couch, a fond smile appearing when he heard Jimin’s petulant whine from the couch.

“I went out and got a present for you, as a congratulations for making it through the day,” He called out as he made his way over to the fridge and pulled two bowls out.

Jimin lay where he was, pouting slightly. “I already have you, though?”

Jungkook’s face went red, and he hoped the dim lamplight would hide it- but any hope of this was lost when the waterbender erupted into pleased giggles. “What did you bring for me, Jeon Jungkookieee?”

Jungkook brought the bowls and spoons to the couch. “It’s completely new. You’ve never tried it before. It’s like… frozen sweet milk… they call it icecream.”

Jimin eyed the white dessert suspiciously. “I’m…  not convinced.”

Jungkook sighed. “Jimiiin! It’s supposed to cure moods. My friend Kim Mingyu, he works at the restaurant that made this. Please, Jimin? Try some?”

With this, he extended his spoon out towards the older boy- a big fucking mistake.

The way Jimin’s lips wrapped around the spoon, lapping up the dessert, the bit of cream smeared on his outer lip, the delighted little moan Jimin let out- it all went straight to Jungkook’s dick.

Now is not the time , he thought, for sexual thoughts about your emotionally vulnerable… friend? Boyfriend? Sex buddy? Whatver.

 

“... more!” Jimin was looking at him with an expectant expression.

Shaking his head, he replied, “What?”

Jimin threw his head back. “It’s really good, Kookie! Feed me more, pleaase?”

“Only if you tell me what went down tonight.”

 

Jungkook watched carefully as Jimin looked down, and then nodded hesitantly.

 

They sat like this for another hour, eating icecream, talking about Jimin’s family, and his brother - you guys are the same age, you’d be friends- and then they were cuddling again, talking about anything and everything else, icecream bowls discarded, forgotten.

 

Jungkook stroked his fingertips along the nape of Jimin’s neck until he dozed off in his arms, the creases between his brows finally smoothing, a relaxed look on the older boy’s tired face.

 

Only then did he lift the waterbender up bridal style, carrying him to his bedroom before depositing him on the bed. He stood there, taking in the sight of a curled- up Jimin among his assortment of pillows and felt himself melting.

 

Goddammit.

 

He leaned down one last time, pressing a kiss to Jimin’s cheek, whispering a tiny, “I love you,” before turning away.

 

A small, warm hand caught his before he could make it.

 

Jungkook turned back to see the waterbender staring up at him, eyes cracked open and a small smile on his lips. The older boy tugged at his hand, pulling him back down.

 

“Love you too, Jungkookie…” He whispered into the firebender’s ear.

The younger boy’s heart clenched, impossibly soft as he met Jimin’s soft, hopeful gaze in the dim moonlight.

“Will you stay tonight?”

 

***

 

Taehyung had barely finished knocking on Yoongi’s oak door when it opened and he was dragged in, then shoved against the wall.

 

Yoongi ran his hands all over Taehyung’s chest. “You fucking tease,” he all but growled.

Taehyung bit back a moan- he could probably get off to Yoongi’s voice, especially now, rough as it was, a needy quality to it- a neediness that was caused by him .

 

The knowledge gave him power.

 

“But my daddy was talking to my real daddy, and I was sooo bored. You know I don’t like to be bored!”

Yoongi’s hands, which had slipped under Taehyung’s shirt to stroke his sides, now came back out to pull their mouths together in a bruising kiss, twining their tongues together, biting Taehyung’s lower lip. It was all or nothing, Taehyung mused, with Yoongi. Either slow and sweet, or rough and punishing- and tonight, it looked like Taehyung would be getting the latter.

 

Not that he minded.

 

“Do you wanna know what it feels like to be teased? To have to control yourself?” The firebender asked, whispers deceptively gentle against Taehyung’s skin.

 

“Please…” Already, Taehyung was undone. He didn’t even know what he was begging for, goddamnit-

 

Too slow, too slow, they crashed together on the bed, clothes off and heaving. Yoongi pushed him away, opting to straddle the airbender instead. Taehyung rolled his hips up, stuttering when his dick rubbed against Yoongi’s, the friction eliciting a deep moan out of both of them.

 

Yoongi placed one of his big hands on Taehyung’s abdomen, stilling him. “Tae,” he murmured, “No more moving for you today.”

 

Taehyung’s dick twitched, bringing Yoongi’s signature smirk back onto his face. The older boy pinned Taehyung’s arms above his head, licking and suckling at the inside of his wrists. Taehyung shifted, looking for friction along any other parts of his body- until Yoongi touched his wrists with his fingertips.

 

Yoongi’s fingertips were hot . And by hot, Taehyung didn’t mean sexy- although they were- he meant hot as in temperature wise. As Yoongi’s fingers drummed along the inside of his wrist, stroking his delicate inner forearm and finding the inside of his elbow, Taehyung let out a broken moan, rutting his hips up for purchase- any type of purchase- before being pushed back down.

 

“You like that, baby?”

The younger boy took only a small amount of pride in the way Yoongi’s voice came out breathless- although Tae hadn’t even done anything yet. He could only nod shamelessly in response, not trusting his voice.

 

Yoongi moved his lips and his fingers up, up Taehyung’s bicep and along his collarbones, circling his neck and moving gently, too gently, down his chest.

“My baby has the prettiest collarbones,” came a reverent whisper as his lips ghosted, then suckled and bit, hot fingers still stroking up and down, drawing patterns on Taehyung’s lower abdomen.

“Ah- fuck - Yoongi how did you learn to do that -”

Everywhere Yoongi’s fingers had touched throbbed, tingled as his body was consumed in hot and cold flushes. His dick was fully, painfully erect.

“Yoongi- you- Yoongi please, I need you-”

Yoongi didn’t falter or change pace one bit.

“Does it hurt, baby?” He cooed, “Does it hurt not to have my dick inside you?”

“Yes- please, please, I’m sorry just fucking put your dick inside me-”

Yoongi moved to get the lube from his bedside, coating his fingers generously before he was stopped.

“Not your fingers, your dick! I stretched myself before, please! Now!”

Taehyung saw Yoongi’s delicate features narrow, saw the proud tilt to his head before the firebender slammed into Taehyung in one thrust. Their deep moans mingled together in the hot air.

Yoongi’s hands started moving once again, in tandem with his hips. The older boy had set an oh- so- slow pace, thrusting in and out almost leisurely. Taehyung was burning up as he rutted forward, desperate for more- but was stopped once again.

“Baby, darling, Tae… remember when I said no movement? I meant no more movement. Do you wanna come?”

An embarrassingly high pitched, “Yes-” resounded between them and Yoongi chuckled.

“What did we learn from today then, huh?”

As he asked the question, Yoongi’s hot fingers went to the backs of Taehyung’s knees, tracing patterns over the delicate skin before travelling down, down, attacking one foot at a time.

“Ahhhhh- fuck, Yoongi that feels so good, I need you faster I need you quick!”

“What did we learn?”

Yoongi started on Taehyung’s other foot, setting his nerves on fire again and again.

“We learnt- fuck - not to tease you- AHHH- in public- again- i’m sorry- Yoongi please-” After this point, Taehyung could only manage incoherent babbles but he bloody well hoped he got his point across- at this rate, Taehyung would melt into a puddle before ever coming.

 

Yoongi gripped his thighs tighter. It seemed like he’d gotten it. Shifting his body for a better angle, he began pounding into Taehyung in double time, hitting his prostate hard every- single- time.

 

“Are you going to come untouched for me, baby? You gonna come before I  touch your pretty dick? Do it loud. Come with me, show me how good you feel, Tae-”

 

Taehyung moaned loud, vocalising every single thrust, getting progressively more out of breath until he yelled in warning, seconds before coming onto Yoongi’s stomach, coming so hard he saw stars, feeling Yoongi thrust a couple more times before he, too, let out a guttural moan, coming in Taehyung’s asshole before collapsing on the bed beside him.

 

The firebender seemed to force himself up, collecting the wet towels- only the softest for my baby - proceeding to wipe them both down before coming back to cuddle.

 

Both of them were still panting as Taehyung brought the older boy in for a slow, sweet kiss.

 

“Maybe I should invite you over more often.”

 

***

 

“Hoseok will be all better by then though- we have this in the bag.”

“Hey, don’t you dare put this on me, Kim Taehyung-”

“He’s right though, you’re a fucking prodigy-”

“Of course you’re going to take your best friend’s side-”

 

Jin rolled his eyes, meeting Namjoon’s gaze with a knowing smile. Kids would be kids and all that- even though two of these kids were actually older than the police chief. Really, it never seemed that way.

 

Tired of their bickering, Jin called out from the dining table, “The meat’s done!”

It was almost comical to watch the shift in focus as three pairs of feet tumbled into the kitchen behind him, their big eyes hopeful and hungry.

It was Jungkook that noticed first. “Jin, it’s not even close to being done!”

Jin cackled. “Yeah I know, I just needed help setting the plates for the dinner table- put your energy to good use please, Jimin will show you where everything goes.”

 

He wanted to laugh again when they started complaining- suckers. Instead, he opted to lean behind his boyfriend, looping his arms around his neck to get a better view of what he was discussing with Hoseok and Yoongi.

 

They were scribbling away at a piece of paper, something that Jin suspected started out looking like a probending arena, turning into a mess of lines and arrows as the discussion got more heated.

 

“They’ll play with our heads-”

“We don’t need strength, we need patience- Jungkook can sit this one out.”

“He won’t like it,” Jin said.

Namjoon nodded. “Jungkookie won’t but… he’ll understand. This is the final, you know?”

Jin thought it was cute the way Namjoon got so heavily invested in this tournament even though he wasn’t playing- thought it was cute the way he looked up for some kind of approval in Jin’s eyes.

 

Jin just ruffled the earthbender’s hair. “So, you guys finalised a team or what?”

Hoseok grinned, leaning back in his chair. “Me, Yoongi… Jimin.”

Jin nodded approvingly- not that he knew anything about the sport. “Think you guys got a chance?”


This time, it was Yoongi who answered, his voice oozing confidence. “You fucking bet.”

Chapter Text

 

The first time Jimin had been knocked to the ground this evening, he’d laughed, excited at the challenge.

The second time, he’d laughed in disbelief.

The third, to mask his pain.

 

The boy had now lost count of the number of times he’d gone down, back slamming against the practice mats as the wind got knocked out of him- again, and again and again.

 

Dawon!” He screamed, having lost all patience, “ You’ll injure me before the match!”

 

The black- haired girl only laughed from where she stood, watching Jimin rise to his feet for the hundredth time. From this distance, she looked to Jimin exactly like her brother- only prettier. And prouder.

 

Two weeks ago, Hoseok had called Dawon back into Republic City as a favour. He’d told the team that she was their best bet going into the finals and Jimin agreed- the airbender’s sister had been employed by Republic City Probending to train regional teams. Of course, she and her equally gifted girlfriend had later dropped their jobs in favor of travelling, honing their skills by stopping in at every arena on their way.

 

Speaking of Dawon’s girlfriend: Jimin signalled for a break, turning to the side to watch the waterbender in the process of absolutely wrecking Yoongi. The other girl’s- Maura’s- hair still looked freshly made, not a single drop of sweat on her dark bangs.

 

Yoongi on the other hand lay panting on the floor, hair plastered to his forehead as a flush rose high on his cheeks.

 

Jin chose this exact moment to compound their humiliation by throwing grapes at them from the seated area. Jimin and Yoongi rolled their eyes, ready for the heckling that was about to come their way.

 

“Dawon just blew you out of the water, carrot- head! Get better!”

Against his best intentions, Jimin’s lips twitched. After all this time, he was still a sucker for Jin’s puns.

“And Min Yoongi you moved so slow, even my injured patients could’ve take you down that round- Hey Maura!”

“Yes?” She replied, accustomed to the banter after three hours of practice.

“Yoongi looks a little bit like a wilted plant right now-”

“You think he needs a little more watering?”

At Yoongi’s squawk of indignation, Maura’s bow shaped lips stretched up into a wide grin. Jimin internally cursed the existence of too- beautiful girls and their superior bending.

“Watch it-” Yoongi cut in, “You’re only a year older than me-”

“-So what? I’m still older than you, you-”

 

Jimin met Yoongi’s eyes, the pair coming to a silent agreement.

They both turned to watch the edges of Jin’s shirt catch on fire, grinning as loud yelps filled the stadium.

 

***

 

Jungkook sat on the ground just outside the practice mats, his right knee jumping up and down as he watched practice take place. He wanted to join, learn, and play but he couldn’t- not now, not until the final match was over and they’d won.

 

The team came first.

Jungkook believed it- really, he knew he was too impatient, a little too impulsive to play this round.

 

It was bloody hard, though, to sit still when the rest of the team was learning new things, trying new tricks,  bettering themselves while he was sidelined, left only with Taehyung to keep him company.

 

It wasn’t all that bad though- sometimes, you could learn by watching and that’s what the firebender intended to do. As Dawon and Maura demonstrated a routine, he saw how efficient their movements were and how mindful their mock battle was- purpose thrummed through them, apparent to any observer. When the time came, their bodies snapped into action and they moved around each other whip- fast. Powerful. Deadly. He’d like to look like that in the arena one day.

 

While the girls did their one-on-one thing with Hoseok and Yoongi, Jimin had been allocated floor space to practice his routines over and over and over again. Jungkook would've tired of the repetition in a few minutes, but he could tell that the meticulous nature of the exercise brought clarity and focus to the older boy.

 

The firebender watched his boy- yes , boyfriend- advance up the mat, working hard to perfect his technique and his stance.

Sweat dripped off of him, dampening his shirt and making it cling to his small waist. Jungkook almost entered a trance as he continued to stare at the lines of Jimin’s body, moving, as usual,  oh so smoothly. Eventually, the back arches and the slight body waves became all too much for him.

“Why does he need to move so sensually during his floor routine?” Murmured the younger boy.

Taehyung spared a single glance toward his best friend before returning his gaze to the other four on the mat- almost as if he’d already known what the younger boy was talking about. A slight shake of the head accompanied his words,

“He’s putting on a show for you, dumbass. You think he does any of that shit when you’re down there in the arena with him?”

“What?” Jungkook’s tongue caught in his throat. He hadn’t been able to look away from the orange- haired boy, it was true, but Jungkook hadn’t known it was intentional.

 

This definitely changed things.

 

The firebender sat up straighter, eyes boring into Jimin, gaze that much more piercing with the knowledge that the older boy’s actions were, in some part, all for him.

 

The older boy’s tongue made an appearance.

 

With one last leap, Jimin was done, finishing his routine strong before toppling over onto his arched back. He met Jungkook’s eyes, pushing his hair back before opening his legs.

 

Just a little.

A little too much.



Jungkook leaned back, maintaining eye contact. This definitely changed things.

 

***

 

Practice was over and Jimin was boneless.

“The routines were okay,” he called to Maura, “But can we go over the new techniques again tomorrow?”

 

The younger girl nodded, bouncing on her toes as she packed up. They chatted for a little while, hanging off of each other’s words and joking around. Jimin was glad he had the opportunity to train with another elite waterbender, and he could tell that Maura enjoyed teaching someone equally passionate as herself.

 

“Maw Maw!” The shout came from Dawon who stood impatiently across the arena, bags packed and foot tapping.

The summoned girl began packing markedly faster, shrugging on her leather jacket while she continued to chatter.

“It’s date night tonight,” She whispered cheekily, like she was sorry to leave Jimin- but not really. With a flick of her hair she was gone, short strides and swaying hips leading her to her girlfriend.

 

Jimin turned back the other way, lugging his bag with him all the way off the arena and down the stairs to the locker room. He pushed the door open only to come to a standstill, a sheepish smile forming on his face as he took in the sight of his firebender sitting on one of the benches, mouth parted, staring back at him with half- lidded eyes.

 

Jungkook rose, crowding Jimin back against the door. Gently, slowly- he removed Jimin’s bag from his shoulder. Took  Jimin’s right arm in his hand and lifted it, placing a soft kiss on the inside of his wrist, the inside of his elbow, the hollow between his collarbones. Jimin could feel Jungkook, already half- hard against him. He shivered. He’d done this- he’d been the one to rile Jungkook up, tease him while he trained down on the mats. You’d think he’d been with the younger boy long enough to know exactly how easily he was baited, how extraordinarily responsive he was- but, just like every time, Jimin was surprised. Flattered.

 

“I… I need to shower,” The older boy whispered, unwilling to break whatever spell had settled over his boyfriend.

Jungkook nuzzled further into Jimin’s neck. “What’s the point...” He murmured, teeth scraping against the side of the orange- haired boy’s neck, hard enough for Jimin to throw his head back in a wordless cry, but not hard enough to leave a mark- not yet. “... If we’re just gonna mess each other up later anyway?”

Jimin half- smiled against Jungkook, separating their bodies as he peppered kisses along the firebender’s jaw.

“You’re gonna fuck me-” kiss “-When I’m clean-” kiss, “So we know that every drop of sweat on my body,” kiss, “Was put there by you.”

Jungkook groaned, eyes closing as he let go of Jimin, arms sliding down his body as he stepped back. “Yeah. Okay.”

 

The ride home was unbearably tense.

The two of them piled into Jungkook’s engine all shallow breaths and fidgety hands, Jimin breathing provocations into Jungkook’s ear as the firebender drove faster than he should and they were lucky that the younger boy lived close by because honestly, Jimin hadn’t been sure that they’d make it home in one piece.

 

But they pulled up and as soon as Jungkook lifted the handbrake Jimin made a move, shoving the door open as if to leave but Jungkook held his wrist, wrenching him back into the car, causing the older boy to go slack. He forced the other to use that incredible strength as Jimin was pulled up and over the dashboard into the younger boy’s lap. A second’s pause was all it took for Jimin to place one palm on Jungkook’s heaving chest, to see the liquid want in his eyes reflected back in the firebender’s gaze.

 

And then they were kissing, and it was wet and hot and desperate and Jimin was whining into Jungkook’s mouth, hands fisting into the hair on the nape of the younger boy’s neck. He shivered again at Jungkook’s big, big hands as they hiked up his shirt, short nails scratching up and up along his stomach, his chest, finally coming to rest on the waistband of his pants. That stirring in the pit of Jimin’s stomach was back, coiling and rising with each brush of their tongues, each touch. Mouths still attached, Jimin reached back, hand scrabbling for purchase. He found the door handle, would’ve tumbled out as he pushed it open if it weren’t for Jungkook’s grip on his waist.

 

They stumbled across the lawn all loose hands and heavy breaths, Jungkook’s hands shaking as he pulled out his keys, fumbling with Jimin all over him, Jimin laving at the sensitive skin at the side of the younger boy’s neck, pulling on his earlobe with his teeth.

 

The door swung open- oak, Jimin vaguely registered- before it was kicked shut and suddenly, Jimin had the license to be as loud as he fucking wanted. Taking advantage of this, he slammed Jungkook into the wall, relishing the surprised exclamation the taller boy let out. Jimin surged forward, holding Jungkook’s chin still in one hand while he kissed him again, slower and filthier than before. Emboldened, Jungkook began whining too, letting out little breathy sounds whenever Jimin sucked on his tongue, or bit his lower lip- or palmed his dick through his trousers. At this, Jungkook let out a broken groan, throwing his head back onto the wall behind him to catch his breath.

 

And then they were moving again, Jimin pulling Jungkook along, the pair removing item after item of clothing until they tumbled onto the firebender’s bed, kicking the sheets off to make more space.

 

Jimin straddled Jungkook then pulled his mouth away, ignoring the younger boy’s whines and the way he chased after Jimin’s lips. Taking Jungkook’s arms, Jimin stretched them up, securing them to the headboard by fashioning a pair of ice cuffs.

 

At Jungkook’s jolt, he cooed,

“You won't feel too cold if you don’t move, baby,” running his fingers along the length of the younger boy’s arms. Jungkook moaned at the action, eyes dark and liquid.

Jimin scraped his teeth down the center of the firebender’s chest, smiling as he felt tremors run through the younger boy’s body. “You’re my baby . My bratty, sensitive baby. Aren’t you?”

At Jungkook’s terse nod, Jimin rolled one of his nipples between his finger and thumb. Jungkook’s entire body arched up off the bed, and Jimin grinned.

“My pretty baby and his pretty nipples.”

Jungkook only whined, needy and long, hips bucking up to gain some kind of friction.

Jimin knew better than to provide it to him.

The waterbender latched onto one of Jungkook’s nipples, suckling and laving while the pinched the other. He alternated between both brown buds before kissing Jungkook again, licking into his mouth while he continued to abuse his nipples.

 

Jimin looked down to see Jungkook’s dick extremely hard, leaking precome onto his toned stomach. Cooling his fingers, Jimin pressed them to the taller boy’s chest to soothe, giving him  short break while he reached down, playing with Jungkook’s balls.

 

“You’re so fucking hot like this and you know it. Don’t you? But it doesn’t matter anymore. Everyone knows. The smoking hot firebender from the Bangtan Boys- this dick-”

 

Jungkook’s hips jerked up when Jimin grabbed his cock, small hand wrapping around the thick base.

 

“- Is mine now. All mine.”

He continued stroking and rolling Jungkook’s balls in one of his hands when he resumed his attack on Jungkook’s nipples, drawing out a broken yell- just before the younger boy melted Jimin’s handcuffs off, grabbing Jimin’s hips and flipping them around all in one smooth movement.

 

Enough. You’re such a tease, Jimin. Always baiting me, leading me on. In public.”

 

Jungkook ran hot hands down the side of Jimin’s ribcage, up his hips, coming to a rest when they spanned the width of Jimin’s waist. He leaned forward and Jimin met him halfway, tongues rubbing up against each other, eliciting the deepest of sighs.

 

And then Jimin felt a shock.

And his hips stuttered as he let out a shout, back arching but Jungkook only smirked, continuing to run his hands all over Jimin’s body. Until they slipped underneath the older boy’s body, palming his ass cheeks before delivering another shock, short and sweet. Jimin’s insides melted until there was only heat and want, his brain close to short- circuiting itself.

 

“Jungkook, please, I need you-”

 

If anything, the look on Jungkook’s face only became more intense as his hands continued to wander, this time lifting Jimin’s thighs to expose his ass, running down to grip the back of Jimin’s knees.

 

“Beg.”

 

Another shock, and Jimin’s legs went boneless, would’ve flopped onto the mattress had Jungkook not been holding them in a vice grip. Jimin was still painfully hard, cock leaking precome onto his golden stomach.

Please, baby please, I need you so bad, need your fat cock in me now … Kookie I can’t wait any longer, I need you to fuck me hard-”

“Fuck,” came Jungkook’s whisper, the younger boy staring down at Jimin with wide eyes, taking in his messy hair, swollen lips and the flush on his body. The way it was arching, shamelessly rutting upwards to find friction- his control snapped.

 

The firebender reached across to his drawer, pulling out lube and a handful of condoms- dropping some in his haste- before they were snatched out of his hands by Jimin.

“Let me,” the older boy whispered, tearing open a condom packet with his teeth, rolling one on Jungkook’s cock before slathering lube on it rather generously. He then leaned back spreading his legs back so far Jungkook was afraid his eyes would roll back into his head. He watched Jimin pour more lube onto his fingers, watch them disappear into his ass one by one by one, watched the smaller boy throw his head back, making the most delicious noises Jungkook had ever had the pleasure of hearing.

 

Jungkook’s breathing had just steadied when Jimin fixed his half- lidded gaze on him, inviting the younger boy in.

 

Their moans mingled when Jungkook thrust in, shallow at first until Jimin wrapped both legs around him, digging his heels into his back, urging him on.

 

“Harder baby, harder, fuck me like you mean it-”

Jungkook cut the waterbender off with a kiss, tongue sliding in and out at the same tempo as his dick. Harder he went until he was pounding into Jimin, swallowing the older boy’s sobs as he fucked him into the mattress. They were both close, and Jimin wasn’t surprised- they’d been too on edge, had been drawing this little game out for far too long.

“Kookie, i'm close, so close, just- just like that-”

The coil in Jimin’s stomach pulled taut and then snapped, sending Jimin high into a blinding orgasm, body finally stilling, mind vaguely registering Jungkook’s own release and the way the taller boy collapsed on top of him, the weight comforting, safe.

 

The firebender nuzzled into Jimin, warm nose rubbing along the side of his neck. Jimin closed his eyes, content to lay like that until the stickiness registered, only made apparent by the cooling of their bodies. Jungkook pushed up, presumably disposing of the condom and picking up the sheets they’d tossed away so recklessly earlier. Jimin cracked one eye open to catch Jungkook staring at him.

“Jiminnie,” he started, doe eyes large, “Can you clean us like you did before?”

Jimin cracked a small smile. “Mmm,” he hummed, cleansing them both, enjoying the rush of hot air as Jungkook dried them down before making grabby hands at his boyfriend, urging him into cuddle position.

 

***

 

Jin clutched the box of oranges closer to his chest, the sturdiness of the container giving him some semblance of support as he watched the boys warm up down in the arena.

 

There was an hour left until the match started but the seats were full already, locals and non locals alike present to witness the end of this season’s tournament.

To his right Taehyung and Jungkook looked on, sporting expressions more serious than Jin had ever seen on their faces before. He reached over to ruffle Jungkook’s hair, the pair exchanging terse smiles before returning their attention to the arena.

A hand came to rest on Jin’s thigh. The doctor let out a shaky breath. Dropped his head on the sturdy shoulder to his left.

 

“They’ll be okay,” Namjoon murmured into his ear, stroking his hair as he talked. “They have Dawon and Maura and talent pouring out of their asses. They’re warming up now, look-”

Jin cracked an eye open, catching sight of Jimin’s sunset hair down in the arena. All three of them jogged in a line, heads together chattering among themselves. To the general public, the team didn’t seem nervous. The general public didn’t know that neither of them had slept all night. That out of the three of them, not one had been able to stomach more than a glass of milk for breakfast.

 

Jin took in the opposing team, the Laogai Lion Vultures,  watching them stretch, get a feel for the arena. There was no denying it- the vultures looked professional and seasoned and strong and-

 

he was doing it again. The doctor forced himself to relax his breathing and unclench his fists. Accepted the fact that his anxiety levels were likely to kill him sooner rather than later, and settled down to watch the match with a sigh.

 

***

 

To some, the arena was war. To others, passion.

To Hoseok, the arena was meditation.

 

One breath in, and one breath out, and so many plans of action but the best one- the best one would come to him as it always did, letting him play, neither faster nor slower than he needed to be, neither stronger or weaker than he needed to be.

 

Hoseok had already primed Jimin and Yoongi, set their mood and seen the steel in their eyes. He needn’t worry- they understood, like him, what it was to simply be. To wait and play, and hold the game lightly; no judgment, no fear, only focus.

 

The bell rang.

 

Hoseok blasted his firebender back, suffocating his flame at the same time. The firebender had no option but to dodge, again and again, moving slightly further back each time- but much too slowly. Especially when you considered the earth disks coming at him, flying at speeds of what felt like a mile a minute.

 

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Jimin defending him, deflecting these disks with water walls and ice shields and the like.

 

Time stretched on, and Hoseok saw the other team losing stamina. He saw it in the colour of the flame the other firebender produced ( or tried to, anyway) and in the frequency of earth disks coming towards him and Jimin.

What he didn’t see, however, was the opposing airbender sending a narrow gust towards Jimin- who was knocked out of place.

The next earth disk hit Hoseok in the stomach.

 

“-AND SHAO, THE VULTURE FIREBENDER TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION BY TWISTING OUT OF THAT DEATH GRIP HOSEOK HAD HIM IN! WHAT AN EXTRAORDINARY TURN OF EVENTS AND JIMIN FROM BANGTAN SEEMS TO BE IN A SPOT OF TROUBLE-”

 

Jimin was down a zone from the two- on- one attack and Hoseok had no time to turn and check on Yoongi- he imagined the firebender somewhere among the second and third zones.

 

All he could do was dodge and deflect, parry until-

 

The bell rang.

 

“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, A TENSE ROUND FOR THE AUDIENCE AND PLAYERS ALIKE! NO KNOCKOUTS, NO SWIMS IN THE MOAT SO FAR! THE VULTURES WIN THIS ROUND, EXPERIENCE TRUMPING YOUTH IN THE FIRST PART OF TONIGHT’S FINAL MATCH…”

 

Hoseok gathered the team. It was Yoongi who spoke though.

“If we don’t win this round, it’s over.”

JImin nodded, shuffling his feet- the airbender put his arm around him, knowing the younger boy was beating himself up about it inside.

“Yoongi, you take the airbender. Do what you did with Tae the other day at practice. Me and Jimin will handle the other two- let’s not worry about knockouts, yeah? Zone by zone. We can do this.”

“Hoseokie, you take the earthbender this time… she’s tiring, I don’t think she’ll be able to hold out for long.”

Hoseok nodded, glancing at his teammates’ sweaty, but set faces.

“Bangtan Bangtan?”

 

“Bang Bangtan!”

 

***

 

The bell was about to ring. Yoongi could afford no distractions.

Except one.

He glanced up to the stands, finding Taehyung’s face in a sea of banners and supporters. The airbender’s eyes were already trained on him, wide and bright- as if Taehyung could dredge up all the love and support in his heart, then physically manifest it in his gaze. Yoongi smiled up at him and the boy pumped his fist, mouthing words that had no way of being heard among the roaring crowd.

It didn’t matter.

Yoongi got the message anyway.

 

The bell dinged, and Yoongi sprang into action. Provoked the airbender with a simple fireball. He’d sparred with her in the previous match, getting a feel for her style, her speed, he tendencies. The trick, he thought, was to stay grounded.

 

Back and forth, their hits and misses and dodges, pushing and pulling in just the right way- until the airbender’s foot stepped over the wrong line.

 

BUZZ!

 

“WHAT’S THIS? IMAN FROM THE VULTURES HAS BEEN IN THE GAME FOR FAR TOO LONG TO BE MAKING ROOKIE ERRORS LIKE THIS-”

 

In the time it took the referee to award her a yellow card, Yoongi glanced over at Jimin and Hoseok- all the practice Jimin and Jungkook had put in together was apparent. The waterbender was handling the opposing firebender with ease, and had even knocked him back a zone. Quickly, Yoongi threw two fire rings towards the earthbender, pushing her back while giving Hoseok breathing time.

 

Fuck, the vultures were good.

The airbender- Iman- stepped back onto the arena with a vengeance. Yoongi saw the fire in her eyes all the way from where he stood.

He smirked. He, of all people, knew that fire could only take you so far- easy to light, easy to be blown out. It was steel, he thought, that carried you as far as you needed to go.

 

She spun, forming a tornado, but Yoongi kept interrupting- little rings, small scale fireballs, he even got a couple of lashes in before she turned the spinning column of air onto him.

 

There was no way he could get any attack in until she wore herself out- so he dodged, weaving back to the right, to the left, forward and then to the right again. Around and around until just as the air was slowing:

 

BUZZ!

 

“-WE ALL SAW THAT COMING FOLKS, OUR IMAN IS JUST NOT IN HER RIGHT MIND TODAY! REPEATING THE SAME MISTAKE TWICE JUST WON’T CUT IT! SHE’S DONE! IT’S A RED CARD FROM THE REFEREE AND ONE MAN DOWN FOR THE VULTURES!”

 

Yoongi glanced towards Jimin and Hoseok, who were still struggling to make progress. The firebender extended his arms, ready to help them out of their stalemate-

 

Just as the bell rang.

 

“ROUND TWO TO BANGTAN!”

 

***

 

Jimin poured the contents of his water bottle all over his head.

“Yoongi,” he crowed, “You’re a mother fucking genius!”

The firebender glanced up at this, all sheepish expression and flushed cheeks. Cute.

Hoseok joined in, patting his face and body down with a towel. “When I told him to do the Tae thing, I thought he’d push Iman back and knock her out! Not manage to give her a red card for the entire match!”

The airbender launched himself into Yoongi, sweat and all.

“Is this cheating, though? What we just did?” Jimin couldn’t help but raise the issue- he didn’t want to win, just to have his trophy (and cash) taken away because of any dumb rule.

“Nah,” Yoongi said, rolling his shoulders, “All I used to move him… was himself. I didn’t use mind control or any other wacky bending.”

 

Jimin nodded happily. “It’s way better now, Yoongi. Three against two. We have a way higher chance of winning, right?

“Yeah,” Hoseok said, “But don’t get too complacent. Knowing these guys, they’ll have a plan for round three. These aren't the probending finals for nothing, right?”

He did have a point. The vultures had been known to play dirty over their elite careers.

“Last push, guys! Let’s go! Bangtan Bangtan?”

“Bang Bangtan!”

 

Jimin shook his aching limbs out, swinging them around to warm himself up.

He could do it. He could do it. He could do it.

 

The bell dinged and immediately, a sickening crunch from his right. A loud cry. Yoongi was injured- that much Jimin knew- but how injured, where- more discs were being hurled at him, coming at the same speed- it was all Jimin could do to dodge and leap, not wanting to risk anything this round.

 

They’d thought the vultures were tiring. They’d been wrong. Out of the corner of his eye, Jimin saw Yoongi against the side of the arena clutching his shoulder. It was safe to say then, he thought, that the firebender was out of commission this round- a bloody breach of the rules, something the referee should’ve carded the vultures for. But hadn’t.

 

Turning his attention back to the earthbender, Jimin readied himself, dodging in an arc before throwing up an ice shield, using the shield to leap up and launch a volley of ice daggers. Jimin’s window of surprise was closing. Water blast after water blast, he pushed forward before the earthbender had a chance to regroup.

One zone. Water whip cracking. Jimin had blood on his arm from when a disc went by a little too close to comfort.

He loved it.

 

“THE PERFECT BALANCE BETWEEN POWER AND FLEXIBILITY, BANGTAN’S HOSEOK IS THE TEXTBOOK EXAMPLE OF AN ELITE BENDER! SOMEONE WE’LL BE SEEING A LOT MORE OF IN COMING YEARS-”

 

SPLASH!

 

Jimin breathed a sigh of relief, the extra burst of energy allowing him to push the earthbender back another zone. One more left. As Hoseok got closer, ready to join, Jimin sensed the opposing earthbender’s  desperation. A line of discs flew towards him. He dodged most, but got caught in both the side and knee.

 

Jimin went down.

And then scrambled back up- but by this time, Hoseok had taken over the only one sparring. They looked like celestial bodies, moving around the arena, circling, each attracted to the other’s gravitational pull.

 

Jimin knew. Joining now would disrupt everything. So he stood, ready if anything happened, watching as Hoseok went feral.

Because Jimin was watching so closely, he was able to predict the next moves- and he saw it coming.

Watched in horror and the earthbender aimed, strong and sharp and fast, right into Hoseok’s solar plexus.

 

“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WHOEVER LOSES A ZONE NEXT LOSES THE MATCH ALTOGETHER-”

 

Jimin’s mouth opened and he dropped into ready position as Hoseok went flying into the air, almost impossibly high- until he somersaulted, turning back the right way. He held his height for a few seconds, calling out- and Jimin understood. The waterbender dashed underneath him, unleashing a water stream simultaneous to an air blast from Hoseok.

 

Two different attacks from two different angles. Impossible to survive through.

 

SPLASH!

 

“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WHAT AN UNPREDICTABLE AND INTENSE FINAL MATCH! THAT EPIC MOVE FROM THE BANGTAN BOYS CONCLUDES ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR SEASONS OF ALL TIME! CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BANGTAN BOYS FOR THEIR FIRST EVER PROBENDING LEAGUE WIN!”

 

Amidst the roaring and music and confetti, Jimin sank to the ground.

 

And it didn’t seem real. Not when Hoseok hauled him up, or Yoongi wrapped one arm around him, face twisted into a grimace. Jin could take care of that later.

 

No, it didn’t feel real until the medal ceremony. When Jimin’s gaze locked on Jungkook in the stands. A reversal, of sorts.

 

Jungkook returned the gaze with shining eyes, tilting his head to the side to redirect Jimin’s attention. Jimin shifted his gaze to see a smaller figure pressed in close to Jungkook.

 

The small boy was stocky. His thick lips, small nose and crinkly eyes matched Jimin’s own.

 

Jimin broke into a toothy grin.