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Impractical Magic

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  Jimin stares at his laptop blankly.

  Witchcraft.

  That’s all the prompt he’d been given for his Creative Writing assignment. His weird-ass professor had passed out a baseball cap filled with different writing prompts, and the entire class had taken turns drawing one from the hat. The catch is that whatever their prompt is has to have some truth to it.

  Jimin had drawn “Witchcraft”, and it would have been perfectly fine if he’d have been able to write something just from his imagination. Instead, he sits in front of his computer, scrolling through page after page of witchcraft and magic sites, trying to figure out what’s real and what’s nonsense.

  Jimin believes in magic. He grew up tagging along with his mother whenever she’d go to get her fortune read or her energy cleansed. His mother is an avid fan of the occult and magic, and to Jimin, it’s a normal part of his life. He believes in ghosts and spirits and the Law of Attraction. He’s even seen an old witch perform an exorcism once. It was fucking terrifying.

  The thing is that Jimin personally knows nothing about magic beyond what he’s seen from his mother’s go-to psychics and fortune tellers. Unfortunately, they’re all still back in Busan, so Jimin can’t ask his mother to take him to them.

  He leans back in his leather swivel chair with a sigh. The story is worth 40% of his final grade, and although he could just make shit up, his professor has an unnerving knowledge of…well, basically everything. Jimin wonders if the woman is a witch herself. There’s no way someone can know so much about everything. He fears she would know he’s making stuff up and dock his grade for it. He could just pick a few things from one of the many websites he’s looked through and hope it’s real, but that’s no fun. Jimin likes writing, and he wants to do a good job, with actual in-depth research.

  Jimin is rubbing his temples tiredly when the doorknob of the apartment jiggles, and a moment later, Taehyung, arms laden with books, pushes his way through the door.

  “Chim!” He chirps happily when he sees Jimin sitting at his small desk.

  “Hey, Tae,” Jimin waves half-heartedly at him, and his roommate frowns at him, immediately noting his mood.

  “What’s wrong?”

  Jimin sighs and begins spinning in slow circles on his chair. “I have to write a paper about witchcraft, and it has to have some truth to it. I can’t really find anything reliable online, so I don’t know what to do.”

  Taehyung purses his lips in thought and deposits his books on the kitchen table. “Can you call your mom? Maybe she’ll have an idea.”

  Jimin shrugs while be continues spinning. “I’ll probably end up doing that. It’s just all of her magic friends live in Busan, and she might not know anyone out here.”

  Taehyung hums and opens the fridge to grab a soda. He suddenly gasps and spins around to face Jimin, snapping his fingers as a big smile crosses his face. “I got it!”

  Jimin stops spinning and perks up. “What?”

  “If I remember correctly, Jungkook’s second cousin or something is a witch,” Taehyung tells him excitedly, and Jimin’s mouth pops open.

  “Really? Do you think he could arrange a meeting? I just need to sit down and ask a few questions, or maybe shadow her for a day.”

  “Him,” Taehyung corrects, and Jimin’s eyebrows shoot up. “And I’ll ask Kookie when I see him tonight.”

  Jimin grins and claps his hands, hoping Jungkook will be able to help him out.

 

 

 

  Jimin stands before a small, plain looking house. It’s white in color, the paint peeling and faded, with a cute sky blue front door. The grass is long and dark green, and ivy creeps up the sides of the house and tangles around the lattice arching over the door. There’s an ancient oak tree casting a shadow across a portion of the yard, leaves swaying in the breeze.

  Glancing down at the piece of paper in his hand where Jungkook had scribbled his cousin’s address, Jimin double checks once more;

 

11 Cherry Bell Lane

 

  Yep, it’s the correct house. Jimin tucks the paper into his back pocket and unlatches the white gate of the picket fence surrounding the house, feeling a little nervous. Jimin makes his way up the path and steps up to the blue front door, lifting his hand to knock three times.

  It’s silent for a few moments, and Jimin knocks again, frowning. Jungkook had said his cousin was expecting him.

  He hears clattering from inside and a muffled curse right at the same time that he knocks again. “I’m coming, give me a second!” A voice yells from within, and Jimin’s hand falls to his side.

  A moment later, there’s the sound of what sounds like multiple locks unlatching, and the door swings open with force. Jungkook’s cousin stands before him, looking at Jimin with narrowed eyes. Jimin is about to say hello, but the other man speaks first.

  “Are you the chicken guy?”

  Jimin blinks at him. “What?”

  “The chicken delivery guy,” he prompts, looking a little annoyed, and Jimin shakes his head slowly.

  “Uh, no. I’m Jungkook’s friend…he said you were expecting me…?”

  The man stares at him blankly for a second until his eyebrows shoot up and he glances down at his wrist watch. “Shit. Was that today?”

  Jimin doesn’t know what to do. This is not what he was expecting; the man standing before him is young and beautiful, probably only a few years older than Jimin himself. He’s wearing a rumpled “ACDC” t-shirt and ripped jeans. His hair is raven black and messy, as if he’d just woken up, sticking up in places like a little duck. His skin is ivory in color and beyond smooth, and his eyes are droopy with sleep while he regards Jimin suspiciously. He’s really cute in a grumpy cat sort of way, and Jimin is thrown for a loop.

  “Um, yeah,” Jimin says lamely, and holds out his hand. “I’m Park Jimin.”

  The young man takes his hand in his larger, paler one after a moment. His fingers are long and elegant, and his grip firm and warm. “Min Yoongi.”

  Jimin stands there awkwardly for a second until Yoongi steps aside. “Come in, I guess.”

  Jimin gives him a little bow and steps inside, looking around; the inside of Yoongi’s house isn’t anything special. There’s a living room to his right and a kitchen to his left, and across from him is a short hall that Jimin assumes leads to a bedroom or two and a bathroom.

  The interior walls are painted a light grey color, and the couch and love seat in front of the TV are dark maroon. In one corner of the living room is a black grand piano next to a window, which is framed by royal blue curtains. They are pulled aside to reveal some potted herbs on the windowsill to soak up the sunlight. The hardwood floors are dark and shiny, and Jimin quickly toes off his shoes so he doesn’t track anything onto it.

  The house is so unlike what Jimin was expecting. Whenever he’d gone with his mother to visit her fortune tellers, their houses had been darkened, curtains drawn to cast the mood. Candles of all colors and every size were placed on every surface, flickering ominously, and the thick smell of incense permeated the air and made Jimin cough. They’d sit on plush floor cushions around a small table covered in a black cloth across from the witch. There’d be a deck of ancient tarot cards and a beautiful, ornate crystal ball on the table, illuminated by black candles. The witch would wear flowing black robes and bright satin scarves tied around her head, rings on every hooked finger, looking mysterious in the low candlelight. She’d take Jimin’s mother’s hand in her own and trace along the lines of her palm, whispering her fortune in a hushed, reverent voice. The very energy of the house was prickly, ominous, a heaviness that settled over Jimin and made his body thrum.

  Yoongi’s house is just that; a house. There’s no candles in sight, nor the smell of incense, nor is there any strange, magical energy lingering in the air. It’s clean and neat and a little cozy, and perfectly normal.

  “Make yourself at home,” Yoongi says, and Jimin jumps a little, remembering Yoongi’s presence. He tugs the messenger bag hanging from his shoulder a little tighter, shuffling towards the living room Yoongi had nodded to.

  “Do want anything to drink?” Yoongi calls from the kitchen as Jimin sits down gingerly on the red couch. “I’m making tea.”

  “Uh, sure. Tea sounds good,” Jimin responds, rubbing at the soft velvet of the couch.

  He sits awkwardly for a few moments, not sure what to do with his body. Does he lean back into the couch? Would that be weird? Would he look too comfortable after being here only a few minutes? Would it be weird if he didn’t look relaxed?

  He’s still debating to himself when Yoongi walks out of the kitchen, two steaming mugs in his hands. He holds one out to Jimin, who takes it with a stiff little bow. “Thank you.”

  Yoongi smiles in acknowledgment and sinks into the red love seat across from Jimin with a sigh. Jimin glances down at the tea in the black Star Wars mug.

  “Is this magic tea?” He asks in a hushed voice, looking back up at Yoongi with wide eyes.

  Yoongi snorts and settles more comfortably into the seat. “It’s green tea from Walmart.”

  “Oh,” Jimin frowns.

  The women his mother had visited always served them magic tea. Sometimes it was to promote energy, or for good luck, or for sweet dreams. He always felt special drinking it.

  “So,” Yoongi begins, and Jimin looks back up at him. “What can I help you with? Jungkook said it was something to do with an assignment?”

  “Yeah, it’s for a creative writing paper. I picked the prompt ‘witchcraft’, but it has to have some elements of truth to it.”

  “So do you need me to answer questions or something? ” Yoongi asks, scratching at his cute nose. “I’m not sure I’m the best suited for this.”

  “Whatever you can do helps,” Jimin quickly assures him. He opens the flap of his messenger bag and pulls out a notebook and pen. “Can we start with a couple of questions?”

  Yoongi shrugs and takes a sip of his tea. Jimin takes it as a cue to continue. “Okay, so first of all, how long have you been practicing magic?” Jimin asks, reading the first question off the list he’d written down.

  Yoongi purses his lips in thought, and Jimin notices how pink and plush they are. “Uh, thirteen years?”

  Jimin is impressed, but he doesn’t say so. He just nods and writes down his answer. “How did you first get started?”

  “My mom. All the women on my mom’s side were witches. A couple of the men, too.”

  “So, you’re a hereditary witch?” Jimin looks at Yoongi in interest. Yoongi shrugs again.

  “I guess.”

  “Are you part of a coven?”

  Yoongi wrinkles his nose. “No way.”

  “O…kay,” Jimin says slowly. “So then you’re a solitary witch?”

  “Yep,” Yoongi says, popping the ‘P’, and Jimin shouldn’t find it as charming as he does.

  “What’s the most potent magical potion you’ve ever brewed?”

  Yoongi snorts a little at the word ‘brewed’. “Um…one time I made an energy potion for an acquaintance.”

  Jimin leans forward in interest. “What was in it, if I can ask?”

  Yoongi smacks his lips and narrows his eyes, as if he’s having a hard time remembering, and Jimin tries not to stare at his plump pink mouth. “Uh, it was dark roast black coffee mixed with half a Red Bull. I threw in some cloves for flavor.”

  Jimin stares at him for a second. “Coffee…and Red Bull.” Yoongi nods and takes another sip of his tea. “That’s a magic potion?”

  Yoongi quirks a brow at him. “It worked, didn’t it? He was bouncing off the walls for a week.”

  Jimin doesn’t have a response to that. He goes onto the next question. “What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done for the sake of your craft?”

  “Digging up a dead body to harvest its toes,” Yoongi says easily.

  Jimin blinks at him. “What.”

  Yoongi stares back. “What.

  “Uh…” Jimin isn’t sure he really wants to know, so he just keeps going. “Do you have a familiar?”

  Yoongi glances around at that question. “Yeah, actually. Michelle Pfeiffer. She’s around here somewhere.”

  Jimin can’t help the giggle that escapes him. “You named your familiar Michelle Pfeiffer?”

  Yoongi gives him a small smile, and Jimin feels his heart rate speed up a little at the sight of it. Yoongi’s wristwatch beeps just then, and he glances down at it before scowling.

  “Damn. I forgot I have to go do a house cleansing in a little bit.”

  “Oh. Okay,” Jimin tries not to let his disappointment show. He wants to ask Yoongi if he can come along, but he doesn’t want to intrude. He doesn’t know if his presence will mess up Yoongi’s magic.

  Yoongi stands up and looks at his watch again. “If you don’t have anything to do after this, you can come. If you want.”

  Jimin jumps to his feet with a gasp. “Really? I can?”

  Yoongi chuckles at him and moves to walk around him, reaching out to ruffle Jimin’s wheat blonde hair as he passes. Jimin ducks his head, feeling his cheeks heat up. “Just let me get my supplies. I’ll be out in a minute.”

  Yoongi disappears down the hall, and Jimin hoists his messenger bag up his shoulder while he waits, sliding his shoes back on. He pulls out his phone to check if he has any texts form Taehyung, humming under his breath.

  There’s a clattering behind him, and when Jimin turns around, there’s the ugliest squirrel he’s ever seen in his life sitting on the kitchen counter, staring at him. A fucking squirrel. When it notices Jimin looking at it, it pulls back its upper lip and hisses at him, and Jimin shrieks as he stumbles back.

  Yoongi comes out of the hall with a plastic grocery back in hand just then. He sighs in exasperation when his eyes land on the rabid creature growling at Jimin. “I see you’ve met Michelle.”

  Jimin turns to gape at him. He shakily points at the squirrel. “That’s Michelle Pfeiffer?”

  Yoongi laughs a little and reaches out a hand to stroke the squirrel. It—Michelle—is the most terrifying thing Jimin has ever seen; she’s about the size of a large burrito and has sharp, nasty little claws. One of her evil, beady eyes is blinded from a vicious looking scar. Her tail is a nub. An actual, literal nub. It looks like it was gnawed off by something—probably a dog.

  “Is she…rabid?” Jimin asks nervously, looking at Yoongi, who shrugs.

  “Probably.”

  Jesus Christ. What has he gotten himself into?

  Yoongi moves around Jimin to open up the fridge, reaching in and grabbing something. He pulls out a bowl of what looks like uncooked chicken. It’s red and raw and still a little bloody, and Jimin’s stomach churns. When Yoongi pulls off the plastic wrap and sets the bowl on the counter in front of Michelle, Jimin almost yelps.

  “What are you doing?” He squeaks, and Yoongi quirks an amused brow at him.

  “She only eats raw meat.”

  Jimin feels a little faint. He wonders if his grade is worth this.

  When Michelle grabs a hunk of bloody chicken in her clawed hands and begins chomping on it, Jimin turns away and groans nauseously. Yoongi chuckles and pats Jimin gently on the back. “You get used to it,” he says kindly. Jimin highly doubts that.

  They get going after that. Jimin waits while Yoongi locks his house up behind them, then they begin the short walk to the nearest bus stop.

  “How do you know Jungkook?” Yoongi asks curiously while they walk next to each other.

  “He’s dating Taehyung, my best friend,” Jimin replies, struggling to keep up with the strides of Yoongi’s longer legs. They’re the same height, but where Jimin’s legs are muscular and powerful, Yoongi’s are lean and long.

  “Ah, that’s right,” Yoongi nods. “He’s the spaz, right?”

  Jimin looks at Yoongi and giggles. “Did Kook say that?”

  “No, Jungkook’s mom did,” Yoongi says. “My aunt. She loves Taehyung, though. Just thinks he’s a spaz.”

  Jimin laughs harder, his hand coming up to cover his mouth delicately as peels of giggles escape him. “She’s not wrong.” 

  When Jimin glances over to see Yoongi staring at him strangely, he frowns in concern. “What is it?”

  Yoongi seems to shake himself, picking up his pace a little more. “Nothing,” he grunts, and Jimin hurries to catch up with him.

  They arrive at the bus stop right as the bus is pulling up. They take seats next to each other near the back, and Jimin tries to take a subtle peek inside Yoongi’s plastic grocery bag.

  “So, what’s a house cleansing?” He asks curiously after trying and failing to see inside.

  “I guess they think they have an angry spirit haunting their house or something,” Yoongi says, sounding bored. “I don’t feel like doing it, but people pay more for house visits, so who am I to say no?”

  Jimin doesn’t know how to respond, so he doesn’t say anything. Then his forehead creases and he looks at Yoongi when he realizes something. “Weren’t you waiting for a chicken delivery?”

  Yoongi goes still. “Shit.”

  Jimin tries not to laugh.

  They spend the ten minute bus ride talking. Jimin learns that Yoongi is an only child, that he’s played the piano since he was two, and that he found Michelle Pfeiffer stuck in a sewage drain, tail gnawed off and eye scratched out, and took her home. Yoongi learns that Jimin has danced all his life and wants to be a writer, that he has one younger brother, and that he’s been friends with Taehyung since they were four.

  Once they arrive at their stop and get off the bus, Yoongi leads Jimin down a side street of a fancy neighborhood. They stop outside a glistening white, three-story house, and Jimin blanches up at it.

  “This is it?” He asks in awe, and Yoongi smiles but doesn’t respond. He leads Jimin up the walkway and to the front door, turning the knob and swinging the door open.

  “I told them not to be here while I’m cleansing the house,” Yoongi says, noticing Jimin’s surprised expression. “I had them leave the door unlocked.”

  Jimin follows Yoongi inside and tries not to gape at the huge upper-class interior. Yoongi walks into the large, clean kitchen and drops his plastic bag onto the dining table carelessly. He walks over to the double-doored stainless steel fridge and plucks a can of soda out of it, holding it out to Jimin. “Want one?”

  Jimin shakes his head quickly. “No thanks.”

  Yoongi pops the tab open and takes a swig, and Jimin tries not to stare at the way his long, pale throat curves back to drink, looking soft and smooth, Adam’s apple bobbing.

  Once he’s drained half the can, Yoongi sets it on the counter and grabs the plastic bag he brought with him, and Jimin watches as he turns it upside down and upends it, wincing when all his supplies come tumbling out and clattering none-to-gently onto the table.

  Jimin takes in an array of the strangest combination of things he’s ever seen; there’s a half burned bundle of sage, over a dozen McDonald’s salt packets, a half melted, yellow taper candle, a pair of dice, a crusty looking composition notebook, a few weird charm-necklace things, a single used chopstick, a hunk of hard bread, a bottle of tobacco sauce, and even a pair of AA batteries.

  “Batteries?” Jimin stares at them on the table, and Yoongi follows his gaze absently. His eyebrows shoot up and he scoops the batteries into his palm.

  “Oh shit. I knew I put these somewhere.” Then he tucks them into his back jeans pocket and pats them contentedly. Jimin opens his mouth to say something, but nothing comes out, not really sure what Yoongi’s goal here is.

  Yoongi reaches out and snatches up one of the charm necklaces, and before Jimin can process what he’s doing, Yoongi is slipping it over Jimin’s head and around neck, where it comes to rest right over his heart.

  Jimin looks down at it and pales, the blood rushing from his body. “Is that…a toe?”

  Yoongi nods his head in affirmation, and Jimin feels dizzy. He slumps into one of the kitchen chairs and fans his face, pointedly not looking down at the grey, shriveled up thing hanging from a length of leather around his neck. The toenail is still attached, for fuck’s sake. “Why did you put it on me?”

  “It’s for protection,” Yoongi says, smiling at Jimin’s reaction in amusement. “Angry spirits can be assholes.”

  “So, it’s like…some sort of ancient tradition or something? An enchanted toe to protect from malevolent spirits?” Jimin asks, a little weakly.

  Yoongi shrugs. “It’s not enchanted or anything. I think spirits just think it’s gross, so they generally stay away from it.”

  Dear God.

  Is this what Yoongi had meant when he’d dug up a body for its toes? Jimin was really hoping that had been a joke.

  Jimin focuses on taking deep, calming breaths, trying to ignore the toe dangling around his neck. Yoongi reaches out and pats Jimin’s blonde hair comfortingly, and he feels himself relax a tiny bit, trying not to lean into the touch. “I know it’s weird at first, but you’ll get used to it.”

  The way Yoongi says it makes it seem like there will be more chances for Jimin to become accustomed to Yoongi’s oddness, and he’s not sure if that horrifies him or excites him.

  Yoongi suddenly grumbles and glares up at the ceiling, and a confused Jimin follows his gaze.

  “What?” He asks, not seeing anything other than the vaulted ceiling of the kitchen.

  “The bastard’s upstairs,” Yoongi huffs in annoyance, and Jimin’s eyes widen.

  “Wait, do you mean the angry spirit? You can sense it?”

  Yoongi give shim a confused look, as if the thought of anyone not being able to sense spirits is unheard of. “Of course.”

  “Right…” Jimin doesn’t really know what else to say. Thankfully, Yoongi plows ahead.

  He grabs the composition notebook off the table, a crappy, wrinkled thing that looks about ten years old. It’s been dog-eared about a hundred times over, looks like it’s been dropped in the garbage, rained on, and then run over by a car. There is what looks suspiciously like ranch dressing crusted onto the front cover, and Jimin wonders how it’s survived this long.

  “What is that?”

  Yoongi blinks up and him and then back down at the notebook. “It’s my Book of Shadows.”

  Jimin gapes. “But…but aren’t Books of Shadows supposed to be like…huge and ancient and leather-bound and…”

  “Not pieces of shit?” Yoongi finishes for him, looking amused with a twinkle in his eye. Jimin ducks his head in reprimand, but Yoongi just chuckles good-naturedly and flicks Jimin’s forehead gently. “They usually are, but I don’t really give a shit about all that. It’s functional and it works, and that’s good enough for me.”

  Jimin can’t really argue with that, so he stays silent. He stands up and peers over Yoongi's shoulder when the witch flicks the notebook open. He’s not sure if it’s written in a different language or if Yoongi’s handwriting is just god awful, because he can’t decipher anything.

  “What’s that?” He asks, pointing to a long list of mysterious looking writing. Yoongi narrows his eyes and peers close. Jimin almost snorts. Yoongi can’t even read his own handwriting.

  “Oh, it’s a grocery list,” Yoongi finally nods, his finger brushing over the date written in the corner. "From…2009. Apparently I needed a lot of spaghetti sauce.”

  At this point, Jimin is so lost. Yoongi is easily the strangest person he’s ever met. “Spaghetti sauce?”

  “Mmmm. Pixies love spaghetti sauce. I remember I had an infestation of them that year and had to buy their allegiance before they ate through the bathroom plumbing.”

  “…right.” Jimin feels like he’s in the Twilight Zone.

  Yoongi doesn’t seem to notice though, turning a couple of pages of the notebook. A pink rectangle of paper flutters out and Jimin grabs it before it can fall to the floor. He looks down at it and feels his eyebrows furrow.

  “A coupon for 20% off of a woman’s bikini wax?”

  Yoongi’s eyebrows shoot up and he takes the coupon from Jimin’s hand, looking interested. “Huh. Look at that. Cool.”

  Jimin just stands there as Yoongi turns a few pages and slides out another slip of paper, yellow this time. “Oh look. Here’s another coupon for diaper cream. Buy one get one 50% off.”

  Yoongi turns some more pages and pulls out another rectangle. “This one is for a free tube of toothpaste,” he says with interest, holding it out for Jimin to see. Jimin just stares down at it blankly, before Yoongi pulls it back and flips it over, looking for the expiration date. “I wonder if this one is still good…” he mutters to himself, looking deep in thought.

  And to think, Jimin’s morning started out so normal. He’s going to have to have a serious talk with Jungkook after this.

  “Why do you have all these coupons in your Book of Shadows?” Jimin asks, watching Yoongi continue to flip through the ratty, worn pages. The black-haired witch quirks a brow at him.

  “Why not?”

  Jimin doesn’t have a response to that. He’s become strangely speechless since meeting Yoongi. “What are you even looking for?” He says instead.

  At that, Yoongi pauses, and a look of intense confusion take up his pretty face. He stares down at the notebook and frowns. “You know…I don’t actually remember.”

  Jimin wants to face-palm.

  Yoongi shrugs noncommittally and carelessly tosses the Book of Shadows back on the table. It makes a loud ‘slap’ when it hits the wood, and Jimin winces. Yoongi plucks the bundle of sage off the table and hands it to Jimin, who takes it with wide eyes.

  “Do you think you can follow me around with that?”

  Jimin sucks in a breath and he feels fear shoot through him. “B-but the spirit—"

  Jimin falls silent when Yoongi reaches out to soothingly brush some of Jimin’s honey-colored hair away from his forehead, and he shivers at the touch. “It’s okay,” Yoongi says softly, looking Jimin in the eyes. “I won’t let anything hurt you.”

  Jimin’s heart picks up a rapid pace in his chest and his breath catches in his throat. It’s like Yoongi is staring straight into his soul. His stomach swoops and he feels a little faint at the intensity of the witch’s dark eyes.

  “Okay,” he all but whispers. The brilliant gummy smile Yoongi gives him almost stops his heart altogether. His face lights up and his eyes disappear and his pink lips stretch wide, and Jimin thinks he’ll do anything to see that smile.

  “Great,” Yoongi smiles at him, and Jimin can only gulp in response. Yoongi then proceeds to grab the packets of fast food salt and begin shoving them in all his available pockets. Jimin doesn’t even bother to ask what he’s doing.

  “Salt has protective and purifying properties,” Yoongi explains anyway, searching for a lighter amongst his pile of junk. He finds it and lights the sage in Jimin’s hand, and the pungent smoke immediately billows up and makes Jimin cough. He then hands Jimin the half burned candlestick, who takes it without question. He has no idea what it’s for, and he honestly doesn’t have it in him to ask. Jimin thinks maybe he’s becoming immune to Yoongi’s oddness. “I’ll be drawing the angry spirit out and warding the house towards any others who try to come in.”

  Jimin knows vaguely what he’s talking about. The time he’d witnessed the exorcism, he’d watched the witch walk the entire perimeter of the house, tossing salt as she went and uttering long beautiful spell rhymes. They’d flowed like water from her mouth, smooth and pleasing to the ear. She’d been eloquent and precise and dignified.

  Yoongi turns around, rips open a packet of salt, dumps it into his hand, and flings it with bodily force into the corner of the kitchen. “Leave, you piece of shit,” he commands loudly, and Jimin almost chokes on his own tongue.

  Yoongi begins walking, flinging salt as he goes, and Jimin has no choice but to follow after him with the burning sage and candlestick.

  “Fuck off, you fucker,” Yoongi mutters under his breath, throwing salt into each corner of the house, and Jimin almost wants to laugh. This is so weird.

  They make their way through the first floor of the house, Yoongi cursing the spirit out and scattering salt, and Jimin trying not to laugh behind him.

  The further up the stairs they get though, the weirder Jimin feels. The air seems to be sort of constricted, tight, and a shiver of unease tickles down his spine. He presses a little closer behind Yoongi, hoping that his nasty toe necklace protects him.

  When Yoongi stops outside a closed bedroom door, Jimin almost bumps into him. “He’s in there,” Yoongi announces, and Jimin’s body fills with fear. As if sensing it, Yoongi reaches out a hand behind him, his palm peppered with salt, and gently squeezes Jimin’s delicate wrist. He feels instantly better, and he wonders if maybe Yoongi is casting some sort of spell over him.

  “You can stay out here, if you want,” Yoongi tells him quietly, looking at him in soft concern, and Jimin gulps. It’s too late, unfortunately. His curiosity is piqued and he’s already too deeply invested. He shakes his head, and Yoongi watches him for a second longer before nodding.

  He holds out his hand, and Jimin stares at it blankly. “The candle,” Yoongi prompts gently, and Jimin mechanically deposits the melted taper candle in his palm.

  “What is it?” Jimin asks in a whisper. Yoongi twirls the yellow candle in his long fingers.

  “My wand,” he says, and Jimin blinks at him.

  “Your magic wand is a half melted candlestick?”

  “That, or the chopstick that was with my other stuff. It just depended on what I grabbed first. Once I used a carrot stick.”

  Somehow, that doesn’t even surprise him. Yoongi is probably the worst witch he’s ever met. And Jimin is completely charmed by him.

  “Ready?” Yoongi asks, and Jimin takes a deep, steadying breath, a cold sweat breaking out on the back of his neck. He nods shakily, and Yoongi flashes him a reassuring smile, glancing down at the charm around his neck. “Believe in the toe, Jiminie.”

  Jimin doesn’t have a chance to blush at the nickname before Yoongi is swinging the door open.

  Immediately, Jimin is cold. Freezing. He gasps in shock at the icy air that envelopes him, and he automatically moves closer to Yoongi, the smoking sage clasped tight in his hands.

  Yoongi is pointing his candle-wand at something on the other side of the bedroom, flinging another handful of salt in the same direction. “Get out of here, cocksucker!” Yoongi yells.

  There’s a strange inhaling sound, as if the air is being sucked inwards, and Jimin shivers, goosebumps breaking out across his entire body, an awful foreboding settling in his bones. Something shimmers in front of them, a weird flicker of the air, and Jimin sucks in a breath of fear.

  “I don’t think so, asshole,” Yoongi growls, and then he does some sort of complicated waving with his candle-wand. There’s a sinister sucking sound, and then the air seems to burst. Jimin doesn’t know how else to describe it. The air around them shatters like invisible glass, and he crouches behind Yoongi with a gasp.

  Then, just like that, it’s gone. The air temperature returns to normal, the strange tightness in the atmosphere lets up, and the goosebumps on Jimin’s skin fade.

  Yoongi lets out a long sigh and his shoulders slump as the tension leaves them. He sticks the candle in his back pocket and turns around to face Jimin. “Are you okay? Are you hurt?” Yoongi asks in concern, his hands fluttering over Jimin’s body but never touching.

  Jimin takes a deep, shaky breath and forces his tense body to relax a little. The sage in his hands has burned out and is now a black husk. He looks up at Yoongi’s worried face, and a breathless giggle escapes him.

  “Holy shit. Is this how every day is for you?”

  Yoongi looks relieved at his reaction. He flashes that beautiful gummy smile at Jimin, who melts a little inside. “This was a slow day, actually.”

  “Oh my god,” Jimin laughs with an awed shake of his head.

  Jimin and Yoongi make their way back downstairs, Yoongi patiently answering the barrage of Jimin’s amazed questions.

  “So, could you actually see it?”

  Yoongi nods, grabbing his soda from before and sliding into the seat next to Jimin at the table. “Sort of like a smoky outline. Usually the stronger and angrier the spirit is, the more clearly I can see them.”

  Jimin listens in silent awe, accepting the soda Yoongi slides towards him. He takes a sip and is swallowing when he realizes Yoongi lips have been on this. His lips. They’re practically kissing right now! Okay, not really, but the thought does bring forth a curious image;

  Him and Yoongi. Kissing.

  And he’s not bothered by it. Far from it.

  Jimin blushes and ducks his head before Yoongi can see his cheeks turning pink.

  “So…um, now what?” He asks, trying to distract himself from his thoughts. Yoongi leans back in his chair and lets out a tired sigh.

  “Now, I’m exhausted. Magic always takes it out of me. I’m gonna go home and sleep for a good two days.”

  Jimin smiles to himself and fiddles with Yoongi’s supplies on the table. He turns the stained, slightly gnawed on chopstick—Yoongi’s other wand—in his fingers absently.

  It’s silent for a few moments, but it’s comfortable. Jimin can see Yoongi’s cat eyes drooping, and he almost coos at how cute it is. “Should we head back now?” Jimin asks, and Yoongi blinks awake.

  “Yeah, that’s probably a good idea. Once I fall asleep it’s hard to wake me up, and I’m sure the owners don’t want to come home to a witch dead asleep at their table.”

  Jimin giggles and stands up, helping Yoongi scoop his magic junk back into the plastic grocery bag. Then they’re walking back down the street towards the bus stop, and Yoongi is becoming so tired that he keeps tripping on his own feet. By the time they ride the bus back to Yoongi’s house, Jimin is supporting most of his weight, thankful that years of dancing have made him strong.

  Jimin fishes Yoongi’s house keys out of his pocket and unlocks the door. Jimin guides Yoongi down the hall to what he assumes is his bedroom, and gently sets him down on the king sized bed. Yoongi looks so small and pale amidst the deep blue velvet of his bedspread. Yoongi hums in thanks when Jimin takes off his leather combat boots and sets them aside, pulling the covers back and guiding Yoongi inside.

  “You don’t have to do this, Jiminie,” Yoongi tries to protest, his voice growing heavy with sleep. Jimin waves him off and pulls the blankets up around him.

  “Don’t mention it, hyung,” he replies, feeling warm when Yoongi smiles at the honorific. Jimin almost turns into a puddle then and there when Yoongi curls up into a little ball and sandwiches his hands between his drawn up knees, letting out a content sigh.

  “I’ll let myself out,” Jimin says softly, and is turning away when a hand reaches out and grabs his wrist. He turns to see Yoongi blinking up at him with sleepy eyes.

  “I have a bunch of spells and stuff to catch up with on Friday,” Yoongi tells him. “You can come and watch. If you want. For research purposes.”

  Jimin’s chest blooms with warmth. “Yeah, okay. Sounds good.”

  Yoongi smiles happily and snuggles into his pillow. “Good,” he murmurs, and then he’s asleep. Jimin smiles and leaves Yoongi to his slumber.

  It’s evening out now, and Yoongi’s house is mostly dark. Somehow, Jimin finds his way to the door and slides his shoes on, bag over his shoulder. There’s a hissing sound from somewhere above him, and Jimin glances up to see Michelle Pfeiffer watching him with one beady eye from atop the fridge. He shivers under the evil look in her gaze and quickly makes his escape.

  On his whole way to the bus stop, Jimin has a soft smile on his face. He’s sitting on the bus, gazing out the window, when he realizes he hadn’t made a single note all day.

  He also realizes with a groan that he still has the toe hanging around his neck.

 

 

 

 

  “Hey, Kook,” Jimin greets when he gets home from classes the next day to see Taehyung and Jungkook cuddled up on the couch.

  “Chim Chim!” Jungkook chirps, smiling up at Jimin sweetly. “How did it go with Yoongi hyung?”

  Jimin settles down into the love seat across from the couch and regards Jungkook quietly. “It went good,” he says, and Jungkook grins. He goes back to nuzzling into Taehyung neck, the two of them giggling together. Jimin quirks a brow and laces his fingers together in his lap.

  “Hey, Kook?” Jungkook looks back at him in question. “Was there a little something you left out about Yoongi hyung?”

  Jungkook frowns at him in confusion for a moment, before his eyes widen in realization and he smiles sheepishly. “Ah. Yeah. Hyung is a little…eccentric.”

  “How eccentric?” Taehyung pipes up curiously.

  “He has a rabid pet squirrel that has one eye and only eats raw meat,” Jimin says, and both of their mouths drop open.

  “What?!” Taehyung yells.

  “You got to meet Michelle Pfeiffer?!” Jungkook exclaims at the same time, looking shell-shocked. At Jimin’s confused look, he shakes his head in awe. “That thing never, ever shows itself to anyone but Yoongi. I’ve been trying to catch a peek of it for years, hyung, years, and you just waltz in and she comes right out to say hi?”

  “She hissed at me,” Jimin waves his hands wildly. “I could see the evil hatred in her eye. Single, Kook. Only one eye.”

  “Wah,” Jungkook breathes, dropping back against the couch limply. “You’re so lucky.”

  Jimin shakes his head frantically, trying to get Jungkook to understand. “No, I’m not. That thing was terrifying. If Yoongi hadn’t come out of his room she might have jumped on me and mauled my face off.”

  Taehyung snickers. “Death by squirrel.” Jimin lobs a pillow at him.

  Jimin sinks back into the chair with a sigh and pulls out his phone when Taehyung and Jungkook resume their gross couple stuff.

  “Hey, hyung, is that a toe around your neck?”

Chapter Text

  Jimin takes the bus to Yoongi’s small, sweet neighborhood Friday afternoon. Walking along the sidewalk towards Yoongi’s house, Jimin feels a mixture of nervousness and excitement at seeing the witch again.

  Arriving in front of Yoongi’s house, Jimin lets himself through the little picket fence and walks up to the blue door, inhaling the scent of lavender growing from somewhere nearby as he goes. He stands in front of the front door for a second, his pulse suddenly a little more rapid than usual.

  “You can do this, Jimin,” he mutters to himself. Taking a deep breath, Jimin hikes his bag up his shoulder and knocks tentatively at the door.

  It swings open a few seconds later to reveal a sleepy looking Yoongi, adorned in plaid pajama pants and a plain white t-shirt, black hair fluffy and ruffled. He has his phone pressed to his ear, apparently in the middle of a conversation, but the second he sees Jimin, he grins wide and gestures him in. Jimin smiles back and steps inside, and the sweet scent of roses immediately hits him.

  Jimin’s eyes widen when he sees vases containing bouquets of roses on every possible surface of the kitchen. The counters, the table, the windowsills, the stovetop. They’re in every color imaginable, and Jimin inhales their almost overwhelming scent, staring around in awe. Yoongi takes Jimin gently by the wrist and leads him into the kitchen, phone still pressed to his ear. Jimin’s skin tingles at the contact as he follows willingly.

  “Mmm-hmmm. I see,” Yoongi hums into the phone, gesturing for Jimin to sit at the table. Yoongi crosses over to the fridge and pulls out a Coke, walking back and handing it to Jimin. He bows with a smile and pops it open to take a sip.

  “Well, I could make your son a love potion, Mrs. Lee. Or, he could try using this thing called deodorant,” Yoongi says into the phone, and Jimin chokes on his soda. A laugh bubbles up in his throat, and Jimin claps his hand over his mouth to stifle his giggles. Yoongi grins down at him and winks, and Jimin ducks his head, cheeks heating up. Then Yoongi cocks his head and he looks down at the floor, his eyebrows rising at something said on the other line.

  “Double, you say?” Yoongi hums, considering Mrs. Lee’s proposal for a moment. “I guess I can help you out.”

  Jimin giggles and watches Yoongi finish up the call. “Yes ma’am. It’ll be ready by Monday. Okay. Yes, you too. Bye now.”

  Yoongi hangs up his phone and sighs loudly. “God, old spinsters with no grandchildren are the worst,” Yoongi groans, dropping into the chair next to Jimin, and the blonde laughs. Yoongi seems to perk up at the sound and grins sweetly at him, and Jimin feels his heart speed up in his chest. “How are you, Jiminie?”

  "I’m good,” Jimin says a little shyly, feeling warm under Yoongi’s gaze. “Oh, before I forget,” Jimin reaches into his messenger bag and gingerly pulls out the toe necklace, holding it a good distance away from himself. “Here you go.”

  “Oh, damn,” Yoongi’s eyes widen and he takes the necklace, looking surprised. “I was wondering where that went.”

  Jimin has sort of gathered that Yoongi doesn’t have the best memory.

  Yoongi grins wickedly and holds the charm back out to Jimin, who leans away, nose wrinkled. “You sure you don’t want to keep it? I have more.”

  “Ah, no, that’s okay. Thanks, though,” he adds quickly, not wanting to offend Yoongi. The witch just chuckles, a twinkle in his eye, before he leans back and fucking lobs the necklace clear across the living room floor. “I’ll pick it up later.”

  “Uh,” Jimin watches it sail over the couch. “Won’t Michelle get it?”

  Yoongi’s eyes widen and his face pales. “Oh shit.”

  Jimin bites back his laughter when Yoongi shoots up from his chair and races after the necklace. From his seat at the table, Jimin can’t see anything, but he hears a sharp, “Michelle, no! Bad girl, no! Drop it!” then a loud hissing, and Jimin has to smother his laughter in both hands, his whole body wracking with the effort it takes to hold back.

  Yoongi appears a moment later, toe-charm clutched tight in his hand, looking a little worse for wear. “She’s the devil,” Yoongi grumbles after he drops down next to Jimin again, who’s laughter finally escapes him in peels of gleeful giggles.

  “Yeah, yeah, laugh it up,” Yoongi mutters, but he’s watching Jimin with a fond smile. It takes a while for Jimin to calm down, but Yoongi just waits patiently, his head cocked while he takes Jimin in, expression soft. Jimin blushes under the look and takes a sip of his Coke to give himself something to do.

  “So, what’s all this?” Jimin asks, glancing around at all the roses spilling out of the kitchen. Yoongi follows his gaze and smiles a little shyly, his cheeks turning a sweet baby pink.

  “Ah…they needed to be pruned.”

  Jimin decides shy Yoongi is the cutest thing he’s ever seen. “You grow roses?”

  “I grow everything,” Yoongi grumbles, sounding almost annoyed, and Jimin bites back a smile.

  “So, what are you doing today?” Jimin asks curiously, absently wiping at the condensation on his soda can.

  “A few readings and a protection spell,” Yoongi replies.

  Jimin’s eyes widen at Yoongi in awe. “You’re okay with letting me watch you do all that?”

  Yoongi just smiles at him. “As long as you want to watch it.”

  “Yes!” Jimin nods enthusiastically. “I definitely do!”

  “Cool,” Yoongi looks shy again, fiddling with a fallen rose petal from a vase on the table and not meeting Jimin’s eyes. He doesn’t say anything else, so Jimin gently prompts;

  “What are you starting with?”

  Yoongi perks up and smiles. “I guess we’ll start with the most recent.”

  “The love potion?” Jimin asks excitedly, and Yoongi nods with a chuckle.

  “The love potion. Come on.” Yoongi stands up and Jimin follows suit, and Yoongi leads him to the back door.

  When Jimin steps out into Yoongi’s backyard, he gasps.

  Yoongi wasn’t lying when he said he grows everything. The backyard consists entirely of flowers, with only little pebble pathways snaking through the plants here and there for walking. The setup is stunning and Jimin absently thinks Yoongi would make an incredible landscaper.

  He stares around, not sure what to look at first, taking it all in; there’s deep orange marigolds and bright pink Echinacea and dark purple lavender, the source of the smell from earlier. There are soft blue forget-me-nots and cheerful hollyhocks and hyacinths of all colors. Startling red poppies and dark green rosemary sway in the breeze.

  Spanning the entire far fence are rose bushes. Jimin can’t tell where one bush stops and another starts; they’ve all grown together and morphed into one giant bush. They’re practically bursting with every type and color of rose Jimin could ever imagine. Red and orange and yellow and white. Peach and deep maroon and every shade of pink that exists. Jasmine bushes line another side of the fence, and lilac bushes on the opposite side.

  The backyard is so filled with the sweet perfumes and fragrances of blooming flowers and the pungent, earthy scent of herbs that Jimin almost has a sensory overload.

  “Wow. This is incredible,” he breathes in pure awe, and Yoongi ducks his head, his cheeks turning pink at Jimin’s praise.

  “Thank you,” Yoongi says quietly.

  Jimin follows him when he sets off on one of the little pathways that leads towards the center of the garden. A mint plant brushes at Jimin’s legs and leaves its strong, pleasant scent on him as he passes.

  “Alright,” Yoongi stops in the middle of the garden. “I need one rose, a sprig of rosemary, three bay leaves, and some jasmine flowers.”

  “What do you want me to get?” Jimin asks, looking around at the sea of flowers.

  Yoongi, who is bending down to snap off a sprig of rosemary, nods towards the army of rose bushes. “You can pick out the rose.”

  Jimin frowns at the millions of roses up to choose from. “Just pick one? Any one?”

  Yoongi smiles at him softly, and Jimin feels tingly under the look. “Pick one that feels right.”

  That doesn’t exactly help, but Jimin shrugs and does as Yoongi said. He slowly walks the perimeter of the rose bushes, looking for an extra pretty one. It’s when he comes across one little rosebud that he stops.

  It’s only halfway to being fully bloomed, a light baby pink in color that reminds Jimin of Yoongi’s blushing cheeks. It’s small and delicate, and Jimin knows it’s the one. He plucks it with delicate care, being sure to avoid its tiny thorns, and carries it back to Yoongi, who is picking some jasmine flowers.

  “How about this one?” Jimin asks, holding the little bloom out for the witch to see. Yoongi peers down at it and a blinks a few times, looking a little surprised. Then he looks back up at Jimin with sparkling eyes.

  “It’s perfect, actually. I couldn’t have picked it better myself.” Jimin tries to bite back the happy smile that pulls at his lips at Yoongi’s praise.

  Once they have all their ingredients, they head back into the house, and Jimin watches Yoongi quite literally throw everything onto the island counter. Jimin winces when the delicate blooms of the plants smack against the granite. Jimin places his rose down gently beside them. Yoongi grabs a pot from under the counter and crosses over to the pantry to pull out one of those extra-large mason jars.

  “What’s that?” Jimin asks curiously, watching Yoongi unscrew the jar and pour some of the clear liquid into the pan.

  “Rainwater I collected during the last storm we had,” Yoongi replies, turning the stove on to a low setting while Jimin climbs up into one of island stools and tucks his legs under him.

  “So,” Jimin begins while Yoongi turns the flame on under the pot. “Aren’t love spells bad? Messing with someone’s free will, and all that?”

  Yoongi snorts and begins dropping in the ingredients he and Jimin had collected outside. “I don’t really care.”

  Jimin’s eyebrows shoot up in surprise. “You don’t care? But aren’t witches really strict about that kind of stuff?”

  Yoongi shrugs and sprinkles the jasmine blossoms into the water. “Most witches are, but I don’t really give a shit.”

  A huff of laughter escapes Jimin, and Yoongi quirks a brow at him. “What?”

  Jimin just smiles and blushes a little. “You’re just the strangest witch I’ve ever met.”

  Yoongi smiles back, soft and warm and beautiful, and Jimin’s heart skips. Yoongi’s gaze becomes a little too much after a moment, so Jimin drops his gaze to the counter and fiddles with his fingers. He’s not sure if he imagines it or not when Yoongi sighs quietly.

  Yoongi crosses over to the fridge and pulls out a juicy red apple, glancing at Jimin over his shoulder. “Can you get the vinegar, salt, and cinnamon from the pantry?” Jimin nods and hops off the stool to gather the supplies.

  He brings them all back to Yoongi at the stove, who has added all the other ingredients expect for the rose. “What’s the vinegar and salt for?” He asks, peering over Yoongi’s shoulder at the mixture bubbling in the pot.

  Yoongi takes the salt from Jimin and dumps in a good two tablespoons. “Mrs. Lee’s son was an asshole to me in high school, so if he wants a love potion, he’s damn well not going to enjoy it.”

  Jimin claps a hand over his mouth to stifle his laughter. “Hyung!”

  Yoongi grins and dumps in half the bottle of vinegar into the mixture, and Jimin’s eyes immediately begin burning at the intensity of it. Yoongi chuckles at the noise of disgusted exclamation Jimin makes, and stirs the potion together with a ladle.

  Yoongi opens a drawer and riffles through the heaps of seemingly useless stuff shoved inside. He makes a happy sound when he find what’s he’s looking for, and Jimin chuckles to himself when Yoongi pulls out the yellow candle-wand from last time. It’s even more melted since the last time Jimin saw it.

  Finally, Yoongi takes the rose Jimin picked and begins plucking each petal off one by one. He closes his eyes as he drops each one into the pot, and Jimin stays silent, not wanting to ruin whatever concentration Yoongi has while he works his magic. Once all the pink petals have fallen into the simmering concoction, Yoongi opens his eyes and points his candle-wand down at the potion.

  “Find love, fucker,” Yoongi commands sternly, and Jimin giggles.

  Jimin’s eyes widen when the air around the pot begins to shimmer with a faint pink energy. He leans in until his chin is practically resting on Yoongi shoulder, face slack in awe. The pot glows for a moment longer until it fades away, and the air goes back to normal.

  “Wah, daebak,” Jimin breathes, staring in amazement down at the foul smelling mixture.

  “You just witnessed the brewing of your first magical potion,” Yoongi says with a hint of pride, glancing to the side at Jimin. That’s when he becomes aware of how close they are, and his heart rate surges, cheeks turning pink in realization.

  Jimin doesn’t move right away, though. Yoongi’s body is warm and solid next to his, and the witch’s scent, like rosemary and sandalwood and faintly of campfire smoke, is soothing and comforting, and he finds himself relaxing into it. His whole body tingles and buzzes at Yoongi’s closeness, and it’s not unpleasant.

  Then Yoongi coughs a little awkwardly and steps back, and just like that, the spell (author’s note: pun not intended) is broken. Jimin’s face burns and he drops his gaze to the love potion, embarrassed but also thrilled to the bone.

  “So, um,” Yoongi clears his throat and stirs the mixture with a little too much force. “I’ll just bottle this and then I’ll start some readings, if you want to watch.”

  “Yes!” Jimin bursts with a little too much enthusiasm, and immediately turns even redder than before. “I mean…yes. Yeah. That sounds good.”

  Yoongi doesn’t seem to notice anything though, because he just nods and smiles and goes about bottling up the potion. Jimin finds himself being thankful that Yoongi is about as oblivious as one can get. And it’s so fucking cute Jimin could coo.

  Once Yoongi pours the love potion into a small mason jar and puts it in the fridge to cool, he leads Jimin down the hall and into the room opposite of the master bedroom that Jimin had taken him to last time.

  Though it’s nothing crazy, Jimin can immediately tell this is where Yoongi must do most of his magic; there are shelves lining each of the four walls, containing books upon books upon books. There seems to be a book for every single magical topic Jimin could ever imagine. There are a few candles on top of the bookshelves, some crystal clusters, and the occasional incense holder. Off to one side of the cozy room is a small, black velvet couch that looks so comfortable Jimin just wants to sink into it. The room is carpeted in pale beige, but a beautiful rug of woven blue and purple fabric covers most of the floor.

  Jimin’s gaze catches on something weird on one of the bookshelves; a small, very real alligator head about the size of a human foot. Its mouth is open to reveal rows of tiny, razor sharp teeth, and its eyes have been replaced with dark green glass marbles. Jimin gets the strange impression the alligator is grinning at him. Next to it sit a pair of dusty, worn brass knuckles, of all things.

  In the middle of the room is a small round floor table. It’s covered in a soft, crushed velvet cloth the color of deep twilight blue, and on the table sits a deck of tarot cards and a single black taper candle.

  The sun outside is beginning to fade, and it casts a warm orange glow into Yoongi’s little magic room. It smells faintly of some sweet incense, and as Jimin watches, Yoongi crosses the room and grabs a box of matches to light up a few incense cones. The heavy, intoxicating scent begins billowing into the room, and Jimin inhales deeply, enjoying the smell.

  “You can sit down if you want,” Yoongi nods at the couch, and Jimin doesn’t need to be asked twice. He skips across the woven rug and plops down onto the black velvet couch with a sigh of contentment.

  Jimin quietly watches Yoongi arrange and set up his tarot cards, settling down onto a colorful floor pillow, but Jimin’s eye keep being drawn to the alligator head beaming at him from the bookshelf. He can’t contain himself anymore, and finally points to it questioningly.

  “Hyung, what is that?” He asks, and a bemused Yoongi follows his finger.

  “Ah,” Yoongi smiles fondly when he sees what Jimin is talking about. “That’s Renaldo.”

  “Renaldo?” Jimin blinks, looking between the alligator head and Yoongi.

  Yoongi nods. “I found him in a thrift shop a few years ago and brought him home.” Jimin waits for Yoongi to elaborate further, but he just goes back to shuffling his tarot cards.

  “Any reason?” Jimin finally prompts in amused exasperation.

  Yoongi purses his lips in thought, pausing in his movements. “I thought he was pretty rad.”

  Jimin supposes that’s probably going to be the best answer he gets, so he just chuckles to himself and draws his legs up under him on the couch, settling in more comfortably. “What about the brass knuckles? Are they magic?”

  Yoongi glances up at the objects in question and shrugs. “They’re not enchanted or anything. I just like to do things the old fashioned way sometimes.”

  Jimin’s eyes widen and he really hopes Yoongi is kidding.

  Yoongi hums to himself as he lights the black candle and then reaches under the table to pull out a crappy, ripped, spiral-bound notebook. He sets it next to his tarot cards and pulls his phone out of his pocket, scrolling through it slowly.

  “What are you doing?” Jimin asks, watching Yoongi curiously.

  “I have a few tarot readings to do for some clients. They give me some major questions they want me to ask, and I write down the results to give them later,” Yoongi explains, opening the notebook and writing something with a pen on the subject line. Jimin makes a noise of understanding and grabs one of the black couch cushions, squishing it against his chest and resting his chin on the velvety material.

  When Yoongi starts the readings, Jimin stays quiet to let him concentrate. Yoongi sits crossed-legged at the table, holding the stack of cards in his hands while he mumbles a question under his breath, eyes closed, too quiet for Jimin to hear. Then he sets the cards down, cuts the deck a few times, then begins drawing them, placing them face up in different patterns and formations that Jimin can only wish to understand the meaning of. Yoongi takes a moment to quietly look the cards over before nodding to himself and scrawling down his findings. Then he gathers up the cards again and reshuffles them to repeat the process all over again. Jimin gets his phone out of his pocket, content to browse through it while Yoongi works.

  After a while, the comforting atmosphere of the room, the calming, soothing energy of it and the sweet smell of incense filling the small space make Jimin content and sleepy. It’s completely dark outside now, and the room is lit only by the single black candle on the table, the flame flickering happily and casting a cozy orange glow around them.

  Finally, Yoongi straightens and stretches his back with a big yawn. “I’m starving,” he all but whines when he looks over at Jimin. “Want to order pizza?”

  Jimin pops up straight on the couch and nods enthusiastically. Yoongi blows out the candle and stands up with an amusing cracking of his bones while Jimin hops off the couch.

  As he goes to pass the table, he glances down and pauses. A few of the tarot cards are still flipped over face up, and the first thing Jimin sees is cats. Cats dressed in old baroque clothing, gowns and corsets and petticoats, sitting on thrones and riding chariots and holding goblets.

  “Uh,” Jimin stares down at the tarot cards, and Yoongi pauses in his way to the door to look back at him questioningly. “Cats?”

  Yoongi grins and winks. “Cats.”

  Then he turns around and walks out of the room, leaving Jimin to sigh in fond exasperation after him. He supposes that’s the best answer he’s going to get. Somehow Yoongi’s choice in tarot decks fits him perfectly, and Jimin can’t help but smile to himself as he follows after the witch.

 

 

 

 

  While they wait for the pizza to arrive, Jimin keeps Yoongi company in the kitchen while he puts together a protection bottle for another client. Yoongi talks while he works, telling Jimin all about his childhood home in Daegu where the rest of his family-coven still lives. He tells Jimin about how he’d gotten out of there the second he’d turned eighteen, feeling so smothered by his traditional witch family—mostly sickly sweet aunts with a penchant for cheek pinching—that he’d fled the second he was able. They disapprove of his “don’t give a fuck” magic style, being stuffy old traditionalists, and he’s always clashed heads with them.

  Yoongi gathers together a variety of supplies while he talks; a small, round glass jar with a screw on lid, a lock of dark brown hair tied with a black ribbon, and the bottle of vinegar from before. Yoongi brings out an assortment of sharp objects; rusty nails and screws, pieces of broken glass and mirrors, bent pins and needles, a broken razor blade. There are even some dried rose thorns and a couple of scratchy brown burrs.

  Jimin watches in fascination while Yoongi holds each sharp object gingerly in the palm of his hand, pausing in his talking long enough to close his eyes and take a deep breath. Each material glimmers a fuzzy white before Yoongi drops them into the bottle, where they land with a loud ‘chink’.

  Once everything is in the bottle, Yoongi takes the lock of hair, holds it between both hands, and mumbles something in a language Jimin doesn’t understand. Then he drops the hair in amongst all the sharp objects in the bottle, un-pops the cap of the vinegar, and pours it in about halfway. Then Yoongi screws on the lid, lights a black candle, drips the wax over it to seal it all up, and goes right back to talking about his love of lamb skewers.

  They retire to the couch and put on the first Matrix movie while they wait for the pizza to arrive. When Jimin admits that the Matrix movies have always confused him, Yoongi patiently begins explaining the meaning to him, and Jimin watches and listens in awe. Suddenly everything makes a little more sense, and the movie becomes much more enjoyable to watch.

  When the doorbell rings, they pause the movie and Yoongi gets up to pay for the pizza, waving away Jimin’s protests about the payment. They take a few moments to get situated back on the couch before they play the movie again, pizza and drinks in hand.

  At one point, long after the pizza is gone, Michelle Pfeiffer jumps up on the coffee table in front of them, and Jimin squeaks and shrinks into Yoongi’s side without thinking. The witch chuckles and places a gentle hand on Jimin’s head, and when Yoongi guides Jimin to rest on his shoulder, he goes easily, heart jumping into his throat.

  Yoongi is warm and solid and smells like home and comfort, and the way he’s gently petting Jimin’s blonde hair soon has his eyelids drooping, growing drowsy despite the brutal action scene playing on the TV.

  He must’ve fallen asleep, because the next thing he knows, Yoongi is standing over him and gently shaking him awake. “Jiminie,” he says softly, and Jimin’s tired eyes flutter open, blinking around in confusion. The movie is over and the TV has been turned off, and Jimin wonders how long he’s been out.

  “What’s wrong?” He asks, voice thick with sleep. Yoongi smooths Jimin’s hair away from his forehead.

 “Nothing’s wrong,” he assures Jimin, who relaxes a little. “You just fell asleep.”

  “Oh. Sorry,” Jimin’s eyes widen, trying to sit up, but Yoongi presses him back down onto the red couch.

  “It’s okay,” Yoongi says, sitting down on the edge of the couch next to Jimin. “It’s too late for you to take the bus home, so just stay here for tonight.”

  Jimin gulps and stares up at Yoongi. “A-are you sure? Is that okay?”

  Yoongi nods and produces a warm wool blanket from somewhere. “Of course,” he spreads the blanket out on Jimin, who wraps his hands in the soft material and pulls it close around him. “I’ll just be down the hall. Let me know if you need anything, okay?”

  Jimin nods and watches Yoongi smile and stand up to leave. A thought occurs to Jimin and he gasps, his hand darting out to grab Yoongi’s wrist. The witch stops and looks down at him in concern. “What’s wrong?”

  “What about…Michelle?” Jimin whispers the last part, and Yoongi grins fondly at him.

  “She won’t bother you, don’t worry,” Yoongi says soothingly, and the calm surety of his voice has Jimin relaxing. He releases his grip on Yoongi’s wrist and tucks his arm back under the blanket.

  “Goodnight, hyung,” Jimin smiles sleepily up at Yoongi, whose face softens.

  “Goodnight, Jiminie.”

  Jimin is asleep before Yoongi has even exited the living room.

 

 

 


  Jimin pushes through his apartment door, smile on his face and messenger bag hiked over his shoulder. Jungkook and Taehyung are on the couch watching Iron Man—of course—and look up at him when he comes in.

  Jungkook takes in Jimin’s goofy smile and slight flush, and quirks an amused brow. “Were you with Yoongi hyung again?”

  The way he says it, as if insinuating something, makes Jimin bristle, an annoyed scowl replacing his smile. “Shut up.”

  Jimin had kept Yoongi company while he was pruning his garden that afternoon, conversation flowing easily and naturally between them. Yoongi had been wearing this giant floppy sun hat to protect his pale skin from the sun, and Jimin doesn’t think he’s ever seen anything cuter in his life. He’d followed Yoongi around the garden, holding a big woven basket for all the trimming Yoongi picked, inhaling the mixture of sweet and pungent scents of the herbs and flowers. Jimin’s chest buzzes with warmth and his heart speeds up when he remembers how Yoongi had taken a deep pink dahlia flower and tucked it behind Jimin’s ear with a satisfied smile before returning to his pruning. Jimin had been left blushing like an idiot and trying to hide his smile.

  Taehyung snickers next to his boyfriend and brings Jimin’s attention back. “How many times does that make it? Six? Seven?”

  “I said shut up,” Jimin snaps, cheeks aflame, but instead of looking reprimanded, his asshole friends only laugh gleefully.

  “Ooh,” Taehyung narrows his eyes at Jimin knowingly, who burns under his look. “Someone’s got a crush.”

  Face now flaming red, Jimin grits his teeth and stomps loudly down the hall to his room, slamming the door a little harder than necessary. He flops onto his bed with a groan, placing a hand on his cheek to feel the heat of his skin.

  It’s only once Jimin has his phone out and is browsing through Twitter that he realizes he never denied Taehyung’s accusation.

 

 

 

 

  Finals are rolling around, and they’re kicking Jimin’s ass. Even though he’s dead tired, he hasn’t slept in what feels like days, no matter how hard he tries. He’s grumpy and snappish, and his head seems to always be throbbing painfully. All he wants to do is curl up under his covers and take a week long nap and forget about everything for a while. Well, most things. A certain black-haired witch is something he wouldn’t mind remembering.

  Jimin knocks a little too loudly on the now familiar sky blue front door that day after classes have ended. A moment later, the door swings open to reveal Yoongi, wearing pajama pants, a black shirt, and a warm smile on his pretty face.

  Yoongi’s smile drops a little when he sees the look on Jimin’s face. “Jiminie?”

  Jimin brushes past Yoongi and breezes into the house, kicking his shoes off unceremoniously and belly-flopping onto the plush red couch. He buries his face in one of the cushions with a loud groan.

  Yoongi follows after him, expression a mixture of concern and amusement. “What’s wrong?”

  “Finals are killing me,” Jimin whines pitifully, voice muffled by the pillow. “I can’t sleep and I feel like death.”

  The couch dips when Yoongi sits on the edge of the couch next to Jimin and begins carding his slender fingers through Jimin’s blonde hair. He shivers at the wonder feeling of blunt nails scratching across his scalp, and he leans into Yoongi’s touch with a deep sigh, practically purring in contentment. They stay like this for a while, and Jimin’s eyes begin growing heavy under Yoongi’s ministrations.

  “You can’t sleep?” Yoongi asks after a moment of silence of stroking Jimin. The younger man nods into the pillow with a miserable whimper. Yoongi makes a humming sound before abruptly standing up, making Jimin whine loudly at the loss of Yoongi’s hand in his hair.

  “Wait here,” Yoongi says before Jimin has a chance to complain. He takes off into the kitchen, leaving Jimin to grumble in discontent and readjust on the couch more comfortably.

  He hears Yoongi moving around the kitchen for a while; cabinet doors open and close, drawers slide shut, and utensils clink. Jimin is vaguely curious about what he’s doing, but he’s too tired to get up and investigate.

  There’s a sinister hissing sound close by, and Jimin cracks an eye to see Michelle Pfeiffer crouching on the coffee table, glaring at him with her one good eye. Jimin rolls his eyes before closing them again and nuzzling further into the pillow. He’s quickly come to learn that Michelle is all bark and no bite, and that she’s about as scary as a jar of peanut butter.

  It seems like just a few seconds later when there are long fingers back in his hair, massaging across him scalp and making goosebumps prickle on Jimin’s body. He blinks his eyes open to see that the living room is significantly darker than it was a moment ago, the fading evening light, orange and heavy, filtering in through the curtains. Jimin looks up to see Yoongi sitting next to him while he brushes through his hair, a soft smile on his face as he gazes down at Jimin.

  “Hyung?” Jimin asks in confusion, his voice hoarse and his neck stiff.

  “You fell asleep. I didn’t want to wake you up,” Yoongi tells him gently, and Jimin’s eyebrows shoot up in surprise.

  “I did?” He struggles into a sitting position, a blanket that hadn’t been there before sliding down around his lap. Yoongi scoots aside to give him more room, his hand retracting from Jimin’s hair in the process.

  Jimin frowns at the loss and grabs Yoongi’s hand, placing it back on his blonde hair pointedly, face twisted into a pout. Yoongi laughs aloud at that, but thankfully resumes his stroking, and Jimin sighs contentedly and leans into Yoongi’s touch.

  “So needy,” Yoongi mumbles, but his voice is fond and warm, and Jimin smiles to himself, his stomach tickling with baby butterflies.

  When Yoongi’s hand trails lower, his fingertips tracing Jimin’s jaw so lightly he almost doesn’t feel it, Jimin goes still. His eyes flicker up and a tremor runs through him when his gaze meets Yoongi’s. The witch is closer than Jimin had thought, and he’s watching Jimin so softly that the younger man’s heart begins pounding wildly in his chest. When Yoongi’s gaze drops down to Jimin’s mouth, the swirling in his stomach becomes a full blown tornado. His own eyes flicker down to Yoongi’s lips, pale pink and curved and plush, and oh so soft looking.

  Without really thinking about it, Jimin begins leaning in, breath hitched and heart racing, his eyes locked on Yoongi’s mouth. And then Yoongi is leaning in as well, his fingers guiding Jimin’s face forward with the softest of touches.

  Their lips meet lightly, a barely there brush of warm flesh, tentative and testing, and it sends  electric shocks through Jimin’s body.

  They part almost immediately, and they both pull back to look at each other. Jimin’s blood pounds in his ears and his heart is going crazy inside his chest, breath fast and shallow. Yoongi looks dazed, a pretty pink flush high on his sharp cheekbones. Jimin sees Yoongi swallow before his eyes once again lock on the younger’s mouth, and Jimin feels frozen in time, body thrumming in anticipation. Yoongi’s other hand comes up to cup Jimin’s jaw, and then he’s once again guiding Jimin forward.

  Their lips meet with more sureness this time, though still slow and gentle. Yoongi’s lips are warm and so soft and taste faintly of honey and tea. Jasmine maybe. His senses are flooded with Yoongi, and he melts into the black-haired witch, his hands coming up to twist into Yoongi’s shirt.

  When Yoongi tips Jimin’s head back a little, the angle changes and his body lights up. Yoongi’s mouth glides against his own, smooth and a little wet, and Jimin sighs into it, tugging Yoongi closer by the grip he has on his shirt. Jimin wants more—needs more of Yoongi.

  Before it can get too heated though, Yoongi breaks the kiss with a little gasp that does more to Jimin than it should. He leans back a little but still keeps Jimin’s face cupped gently in his palms, his gaze sweeping over Jimin’s face with an expression akin to awe.

  “Wow,” Yoongi breathes quietly, and Jimin feels his cheeks lighting on fire, his whole body flushing with pleasure. Before Jimin can process what’s happening, Yoongi ducks back in to place a quick, light kiss on his lips again before releasing Jimin’s face and standing up. Jimin is left blinking up at him in a daze.

  “Did you want to order food or something?” Yoongi asks, a little shakily, and Jimin feels a little smug that he’s able to shake the witch up so much.

  Jimin glances at his wrist watch and sighs sadly. “Tae’s parents are in town tonight and I promised I’d have dinner with all of them.”

  Yoongi nods and runs a hand through his messy black hair. “Next time, then.”

  Jimin can’t help the flood of warmth he feels at the prospect of seeing Yoongi again. He always feels like that, but it’s extra intense now. “Yeah. Sounds good.”

  Yoongi walks Jimin to the door and leans against the wall while he pulls his shoes on. “How’s your paper coming?” He asks out of nowhere, and Jimin pauses his movements to look at him.

  “Paper?”

  “Your assignment for your writing class?” Yoongi prompts, cocking his head and giving Jimin an amused look.

  “Oh! Right! It’s coming along good,” Jimin nods quickly. There’s no way in hell he’s telling Yoongi he finished the assignment two weeks ago and is now using it as an excuse to be around the witch.

  “Cool,” Yoongi smiles at him, and Jimin’s body tingles. “Will you let me read it?”

  Jimin gives Yoongi a long, calculating look. “I’ll think about it,” he finally says, grinning when Yoongi whines petulantly.

  Shoes now on, Jimin steps towards the door, but stops when he remembers something. “Oh yeah,” he turns back to Yoongi. “What were you doing in the kitchen before I fell asleep?”

  For a second, Yoongi stares at him blankly. Then it must click because his face lights up and he snaps his fingers before running off into the kitchen, Jimin watching him go fondly.

  He comes back up with a little sandwich baggy filled with a mixture of herbs, holding it out to Jimin with a tentative smile. Jimin takes it curiously and peers closer at it before looking up at Yoongi in question.

  “Brew a tablespoon in one cup of boiling water before bed,” Yoongi says, nodding towards the baggy. “It should help you sleep.”

  Jimin looks from Yoongi, to the baggy, then back to Yoongi again. He snaps the bag open and gives an experimental sniff. He immediately recognizes the scent of mint, lavender, chamomile, and a few others he can’t quite place.

  Jimin’s lips pop open and he blinks rapidly at Yoongi. “You made me…magic tea?”

  Yoongi flashes him his gummy smile, and Jimin may or may not completely melt inside. ”Yes, Jiminie. I made you magic tea.”

  “Wow,” Jimin breathes, clutching the bag protectively to his chest. “Thank you, hyung!”

  Yoongi chuckles before stepping around Jimin to open the door. “You’re welcome.”

  Before Jimin turns to step out into the warm evening air, he glances up at Yoongi to see the older man already watching him with such a soft expression Jimin’s heart stutters. “Goodnight, hyung,” Jimin all but whispers, and his body tenses in anticipation when Yoongi inclines his head towards him.

  Their lips meet gently and sweetly and all too quickly. Jimin misses the warmth and softest of Yoongi’s lips the second that they part.

  “Goodnight, Jiminie,” Yoongi murmurs, placing a feather-light kiss on the tip of Jimin’s nose that has his toes curling and his heart racing.

 

 

 

 

  That night after he and Taehyung get back from dinner with his parents, Jimin follows Yoongi’s instructions and brews himself a cup of the tea. It’s sweet and minty and pleasant, and when Jimin lies down in bed, he falls into the deepest sleep he’s had in a while before he even hits the pillow.

Chapter Text

  Jimin is giggling at a picture Yoongi had texted him of Michelle Pfeiffer wearing a little paper top hat Yoongi had forced her into when Taehyung and Jungkook arrive at the apartment.

  “What are you laughing at?” Taehyung asks, skipping across the living room and plopping down next to Jimin. Before he can react, Taehyung plucks the phone from Jimin’s hand and squawks loudly when he looks down at it.

  “What the hell is that thing?!” Taehyung flails so violently that he almost smacks Jimin in the face.

  Curious, Jungkook sits down next to Taehyung and grabs the phone from him. “Holy shit! Is that Michelle Pfeiffer?”

  Jimin growls and snatches it back, shoving his phone containing the picture of a very pissed off and murderous looking Michelle Pfeiffer back into his pocket. Her one good eye is glaring death at the camera from under the paper hat, and her gnawed off stub tail is sticking straight up, hackles raised, and Jimin can practically hear her hissing.

  “Leave her alone,” he snaps at his friends, and Taehyung raises his hands in surrender.

  “Alright, Mr. Touchy. Calm down.”

  Jungkook raises a knowing brow at Jimin. “So you love Michelle now?”

  “I don’t love her, you brat,” Jimin rolls his eyes at Jungkook. “She’s just not as bad as I thought she was.”

  “Well then, since she’s his familiar and all, you must love Yoongi.”

  It’s not a question, and the annoyed response on Jimin’s tongue dies in abruptly. He stares at Jungkook with the widest eyes he’s ever had, his mouth falling open. His cheeks flush red and his body burns under Jungkook’s amused expression.

  He snaps his mouth shut, swallows thickly, and opens it back up to deny the accusation…

  …expect nothing comes out.

  That’s when Jimin realizes;

  Fuck. He’s in love with Min Yoongi.

  “Shit,” Jimin breathes, feeling suddenly dizzy.

  Taehyung and Jungkook cackle.

 

 

 

 

  With this newfound realization haunting him, Jimin goes about the next couple of days in a daze. He’s avoided seeing Yoongi, and although it’s harder than he could have thought possible, he feels like if he sees the witch now, he risks spilling his guts before he can stop himself. He has no idea if Yoongi feels the same way, and the thought of rejection—of losing Yoongi— absolutely terrifies him.

  He’s walking home from the dance studio a few nights later, hands shoved in the pockets of his big grey hoodie, head bowed as he scuffs along the sidewalk. The commercial area the studio is located in is mostly deserted, with only a few cars whizzing by here and there to break the silence of the night.

  Jimin is passing under a streetlamp when his phone begins ringing loudly, and he jumps about a foot in the air with a startled yelp. Heart racing in his throat, Jimin pulls his phone out of his pants pocket, and his stomach swoops when he sees Yoongi’s contact photo, a picture of him in his garden Jimin had gotten one day. He’s wearing that adorable floppy hat that Jimin has a special fondness for, flashing his gummy smile at Jimin, a dirty spade in one hand and a sprig of lavender in the other. Yoongi looks so happy and bright and beautiful in it, and it’s Jimin’s absolute favorite picture ever. It may or may not be his phone wallpaper too.

  Jimin bites his lip as he looks down at his phone, his thumb hovering over the answer button. Why is Yoongi calling him this late? Why is he calling at all? Usually they just text. Jimin knows he should ignore the call, but the desire to hear Yoongi’s familiar voice, deep and raspy and eternally sleepy, is so strong. Jimin hasn’t heard that voice in what feels like years, and he craves it.

  Making up his mind, Jimin is just about to answer the phone when the air around him suddenly drops rapidly in temperature. Confused, Jimin’s eyes widen when his breath billows out of his mouth in icy clouds.

  A few paces ahead of him, there’s a strange inhaling sound that Jimin remembers all too well. Goosebumps break out across his body and his stomach drops into his feet. It happens again, closer this time, the air around Jimin seeming to be sucked inwards, the sound sinister and foreboding, and Jimin’s blood runs cold.

  Something shimmers in front of him, the faintest outline of a body, and Jimin, who had frozen without even realizing it, stumbles back and sucks in a breath of terror. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Jimin is aware that his phone is still ringing shrilly.

  The step back he takes seems to set the spirit off, because with a horrifying, blood-curdling wail, it suddenly charges at Jimin.

  Jimin feels it more than sees it; the air bows in, as if being sucked in by a vacuum, and the streetlamp above him flickers ominously. There’s a strange rushing in his ears, and the hair on his arms stick up, prickly and uncomfortable. A deep, shuddering groan envelopes Jimin as the air around him seems to still.

  Somewhere amidst the fear clouding his mind, Jimin somehow forces himself to stumble back, tripping on his own feet and landing hard on his ass. The pain that jolts through his body does nothing to distract him from the spirit coming at him.

  In this moment Jimin realizes he’s about to die.

  He’s going to die and he’s never going to see Yoongi again. He’s never going to get to tell him how he feels.

  With a terrified whimper, Jimin squeezes his eyes shut and cradles his head in his arms. He can feel it. Any second now, the spirit will be on him.

  He’s cold, so cold. He’s never been so cold in his life.

  Then there’s a piercing scream, and Jimin cracks an eye open just in time to see the hazy outline of the spirit seem to hit some sort of invisible barrier an inch away from Jimin’s body. It rears back and wails, and then it’s…

  …simply gone.

  Jimin stares at the place the spirit had just been, eyes unseeing, mouth open, and heart about to pound out of his chest. The air around him returns to normal—warm but not hot, the hair on his arms lies down, and his goosebumps dissipate.

  His phone ringing again shocks Jimin out of his stupor. He looks around him wildly to see him phone lying on the sidewalk next to him. He must have dropped it at some point. Yoongi’s smiling face flashes up at him, and Jimin, body shaking something fierce, brings the phone up to his ear.

  “Jimin!” Yoongi shouts from the other end before Jimin has a chance to say anything. “Are you okay?! Where are you?!”

  “H-hyung,” Jimin whispers, his mind a little fuzzy.

  “What happened? Are you hurt?” Yoongi sounds frantic, and Jimin is vaguely confused. Why does Yoongi sound so panicked?

  “There…there was a…” Jimin can’t quite seem to get his words out.

  “Where are you?” Yoongi demands, and it takes Jimin a chance to process his words before he blinks around.

  “Uh…by the dance studio.”

  “I’m coming to get you,” Yoongi says, and on the other end, Jimin can hear a door opening.

  “N-no,” he shakes his head even though Yoongi can’t see him. “I’m nearby…I’ll come to you.”

  “Jimin.” Yoongi doesn’t sound happy.

  “I’m alright, hyung,” Jimin assures him breathily, shakily rising to his feet. He winces when his tailbone throbs painfully. “Really. I’ll be there in a little bit.”

  “Jimin,” Yoongi half begs, half sighs in exasperation. “Please be careful.”

  Despite his situation, Jimin’s chest blooms with warmth at the concern in Yoongi’s voice. “I’ll see you soon.”

  Then he hangs up and sucks in a deep, calming breath, smoothing down his rumpled clothes and brushing back his hair. He pushes down the fear and shock and instead focuses on the thought of seeing Yoongi as he begins walking.

 

 

 

 

  Jimin had barely even lifted his fist to knock on the familiar blue door when it swings open with force. Before he can process what’s happening, Yoongi pulls Jimin inside and slams the door shut behind him. Then his hands are gently but firmly cupping Jimin’s face, turning his face this way and that to look him over frantically.

  “Are you okay? Are you hurt?” Yoongi asks, voice panicked, eyes zeroed in on Jimin, scanning every inch of him for injuries.

  Jimin allows himself to be man-handled. Yoongi spins him around so he can check Jimin’s back and shoulders, before twisting him around again to once again check over his face and torso.

  The look on Yoongi’s face hurts Jimin’s heart; his face is chalky and pale, his lips are pulled tight, and his eyes are wide and filled with fear. His hands once again come up to cradle Jimin’s face, his eyes missing nothing. Yoongi seems even more freaked out than Jimin is.

  “Hyung,” Jimin says softly, one of his hands coming up to gently clutch Yoongi’s wrist where it cups his jaw. “I’m okay.”

  Their eyes meet and Jimin realizes how close their faces are. All he has to do is move in an inch or two and then they’d be kissing. But it’s Yoongi’s eyes that hold him captive; dark and worried and so, so intense that they leave Jimin breathless.

  He opens his mouth to say something, anything, to break the strange silence that’s fallen over them, when Yoongi pulls him into a crushing hug.

  Jimin lets out a surprised huff of breath, finding himself suddenly in Yoongi’s embrace. His face is tucked into the space between Yoongi’s neck and shoulder, and his arms come up to wrap around Jimin tightly and securely. On instinct, Jimin loosely loops his arms around Yoongi’s waist and allows himself to be drawn even closer. He melts into the embrace, Yoongi’s wonderful scent enveloping all his senses and helping him to calm down. His arms are strong and warm, and Jimin decides he’s never felt safer in his life than he does in this very moment.

  “I was so scared,” Yoongi whispers, his breath tickling Jimin’s hair. Jimin nuzzles further into Yoongi’s neck and lets the last of the tension seep away.

  “How did you know something was wrong?” Jimin asks, voice muffled from where he’s hiding against Yoongi.

  “I felt it,” the witch replies, sounding hoarse and raw, and Jimin squeezes his waist tighter comfortingly. “Tell me what happened.”

  So Jimin does. He tells Yoongi what happened, all while they’re still twined together. It should start becoming awkward, hugging for so long, but if anything, it gets even nicer and more relaxing each minute that goes by.

  Once Jimin finishes, Yoongi finally pulls away, much to his dismay. “Shit,” he mutters, staring at Jimin with wide eyes. “It must have been the spirit from the house. It saw you with me and came after you in revenge for getting kicked out.”

  Jimin nods solemnly, and Yoongi squeezes his eyes shut, looking pained. “This is all my fault. I should have never brought you with me that day. It was too dangerous.”

  “No, hyung!” Jimin exclaims, shaking his head vigorously. “It’s not your fault. You had no idea anything like this would happen.”

  Yoongi blinks his eyes open to peer are Jimin doubtfully. “I should have known. Spirits usually hold grudges for a long time. I should have thought about that before bringing you with me.”

  “Hyung,” Jimin sighs in exasperation, grabbing both of Yoongi’s hands and squeezing them in his own. “It’s not like you did it on purpose,” he points out, and Yoongi’s mouth twists. “Plus, I’m perfectly alright. It didn’t get me. So everything’s fine, alright?”

  Yoongi doesn’t look convinced, but Jimin doesn’t give him time to argue before he’s tugging Yoongi towards the kitchen by the hand. “Come on, I want some magic tea to help me calm down.” Yoongi chuckles and allows himself to be lead along.

  Jimin sits are the island while he watches Yoongi prepare the tea, having to reassure the witch multiple times that he is indeed, fine.

  “What I don’t get,” Jimin begins as Yoongi pours the sweet smelling tea into two mugs. “Is why the spirit left. It was just about to get me, but then it just disappeared.”

  Yoongi looks up at him and sort of grimace-smiles. “Ah. About that. Um, check your wallet.”

  Frowning in bemusement, Jimin slides off the chair to pull out his wallet from his back jeans pocket. He peers inside the wallet, and finding nothing but his cards and 10,000 won, he looks up at Yoongi questioningly.

  “Check the coin slot,” the black-haired man says, not quite meeting Jimin’s eyes. Obeying, though confused out of his mind, Jimin unzips the little slot and glances inside. He hardly ever uses cash, so the coins in his wallet haven’t been touched in probably months, lying forgotten in the little side slot. Nestled in amongst two quarters is something that is disturbingly familiar.

  Jimin’s face pales when he recognizes it, and he gapes up at Yoongi. “Hyung,” he all but whines. “Is that a pinky toe?”

  Yoongi smiles sheepishly at Jimin, who wrinkles up his nose in disgust and uses the very tips of his fingernails to pull out the grey, shriveled up thing, barely bigger than a pinto bean. It’s obviously a sister of the big toe necklace Yoongi loves so much, and Jimin wonders just how many toes Yoongi has hidden around.

  “When did you put this here?” He asks, holding the toe out at a distance and glaring at Yoongi, who ducks his head in reprimand.

  “When you were asleep the last time you were over,” he says, fiddling with his mug instead of meeting Jimin’s eyes.

  “Why?” Jimin prompts, trying not to shudder at the feeling of the toe in his hand.

  “I had a feeling you’d need it,” Yoongi says, finally looking up at Jimin. “I wasn’t sure what for or why, but I knew I needed to give it to you.”

  Jimin quirks a brow at Yoongi. “And you couldn’t have just given it to me like a normal person?”

  Yoongi fixes him with a look. “Would you have taken it if I had?”

  Jimin pauses. He looks from Yoongi, to the toe, and back to Yoongi. “Touché,” he finally grumbles, struggling to keep the scowl on his face when Yoongi smiles at him happily.

  “Will you keep it?” Yoongi asks hopefully, and Jimin lets out a longer-suffering sigh.

  “Hyung—"

  “Please? It’ll make me feel better to know you have it.” Yoongi fixes Jimin with the puppy eyes that make Jimin want to melt, and he already knows he’s lost.

  “Fine,” he sighs loudly, ignoring the grin that lights up Yoongi’s face when he shoves the little toe back into his wallet. He slides it back into his jeans pocket and rubs his eyes tiredly. “No more hiding severed body parts on my person, got it?”

  Yoongi nods quickly and flutters his eyelashes prettily. “Got it.”

  They both fall silent, and that’s when Jimin realizes they’re alone. Alone with only Jimin’s feelings for Yoongi and the possibility of rejection. Fuck.

  “Uh,” Jimin rubs at the back of his neck, looking anywhere but Yoongi. “I’m feeling better now, actually. I think I-I should probably…get going.”

  He moves to take a step out of the kitchen and towards the door when Yoongi’s next words stop him dead. “Did I do something wrong?”

  Jimin looks at him quickly to see Yoongi watching him with wide, hurt filled eyes. “Is-is this about the kiss?” Yoongi asks, his voice quiet and broken, and Jimin’s heart constricts painfully. “I’m sorry if it is…I just…I assumed, since you kissed me back…but—"

  “No!” Jimin interrupts before Yoongi can get in another word. He darts forward to snatch up one of Yoongi’s hands, bringing it up to place a firm kiss on the back of it, heart thundering and stomach swirling with butterflies. Yoongi stares at him in shock, mouth slack.

  “That’s not it at all, hyung,” Jimin says, cradling Yoongi’s hand against his chest. “It’s just…”

  Fuck, here goes nothing.

  “It’s just,” Jimin takes a deep breath before continuing, looking down at his feet. “I sort of realized I’m in love with you, and I don’t know how you feel about me, and I’m terrified that you don’t like me that way. And, I guess I was trying to stay away because I didn’t want to ruin what we have because of my stupid feelings.”

  The silence when Jimin finishes is deafening, and he swears the sound of his pounding heart can actually be heard in the kitchen. His stomach is twisted in knots, he’s flushed and sweaty and panicky, but he can’t bring himself to look at Yoongi.

  When Yoongi begins trying to loosen his hand from Jimin’s grip, he lets go immediately, thinking that Yoongi is trying to pull his hand back to get away from Jimin. His body jolts when that hand instead moves to cup his cheek, and Jimin’s eyes flash up to Yoongi, wide and confused.

  Yoongi is looking at him in such a way that Jimin feels his bones melt inside of his body; soft and gentle and so adoring it makes Jimin quake at the intensity of it.

  “Jiminie,” Yoongi begins in a quiet voice, his thumb brushing across Jimin’s cheekbone tenderly. “I’ve been in love with you from the moment I opened my door and asked if you were the chicken delivery guy.”

  Jimin isn’t sure he’s heard right, and only gapes at Yoongi. “You—what?”

  Yoongi brings his other hand up to Jimin’s face and takes a step forward until they’re almost nose-to-nose. “I love you too,” he murmurs as Jimin’s eyes flutter closed and Yoongi closes the distance.

  Then they’re kissing, hard and deep and full of unspoken passion. Jimin loops his arms around Yoongi’s shoulders and pulls his even closer, relishing in the feeling of Yoongi’s big hands sliding down his body to squeeze his hips, kneading and caressing. Yoongi’s lips are warm and plump and soft, and like last time, taste faintly of jasmine tea.

  They kiss like their lives depend on it, like they need each other to breathe, slow and deep and intoxicating, and Jimin is drowning. He licks at Yoongi’s bottom lip, and the witch readily opens up for him. Jimin has to bite back a moan at the electric touch of hot, wet tongue that sends heat coursing through his body.

  They kiss and kiss until they have to pull away to catch their breath. Jimin gasps in air, his head spinning both from lack of oxygen and the intensity of the kiss.

  “Whoa,” Jimin breathes, gazing at Yoongi in awe. The witch looks just as dazed as Jimin feels; his cheeks are flushed pink, his breath is hitched, lips swollen red, and his eyes are wild and bright as they stare back at Jimin.

  “Yeah,” Yoongi chuckles breathlessly. “Whoa.”

  Yoongi nuzzles his way into Jimin’s neck and lets out a content sigh against the skin of his throat that makes Jimin tingle. He wraps his arms around Yoongi’s slender frame and draws him closer, if that’s even possible. He buries his nose in Yoongi’s soft black hair, the faint scent of campfire smoke and rosemary enveloping him at the action.

  “So,” Jimin whispers into the silence of the kitchen. “You love me?”

  Yoongi nods into Jimin’s neck, effectively burying himself deeper, and places a kiss just under Jimin’s ear that makes him shiver. “Yes. And you love me?”

  Jimin’s arms squeeze tighter around Yoongi, desperate to be as close as possible. “Yes.”

  Yoongi’s eyelashes flutter against Jimin’s skin. “Despite my...eccentricities?” He murmurs quietly, and Jimin rubs a hand down Yoongi’s back soothingly.

  “Because of your eccentricities,” Jimin corrects him gently, and his heart soars when he feels Yoongi smile against his neck.

  “Did you want to stay the night?” Yoongi asks, finally pulling away enough to look Jimin in the eye. The blonde nods eagerly, but then pauses and pins Yoongi with a stern look.

  “But no funny business. I have classes in the morning.”

  Yoongi snorts and grabs Jimin by the hand, leading him towards the bedroom, tea forgotten. “Please. I want to sleep, thank you very much. Even my love for you doesn’t compare to my love of sleep.”

  Jimin scoffs as he’s allows himself to be tugged along. “How romantic.”

  They fall asleep in Yoongi’s warm bed, curled around each other, lulled to sleep by the sound of the other’s soft breathing.

 

 

 

 

  Jimin ends up getting one of the highest grades he’s ever gotten before on his “witchcraft” inspired writing assignment. Yoongi pesters him nonstop until Jimin finally gives up and lets him read it.

  Jimin waits in bated breath while Yoongi reads it, sitting cross-legged on Yoongi’s bed next to him and trying to distract himself from his impatience. Finally, Yoongi looks up at him, and Jimin is shocked to his core when he sees tears swimming in Yoongi’s eyes.

  “Is-is the main character inspired by me?” Yoongi asks shakily, and Jimin nods, not sure how to handle this. Yoongi looks down at the paper again before back to Jimin. “You…called me beautiful and charming and talented,” he whispers. “Or, the character, at least.”

  Jimin cocks his head and observes Yoongi gently. “Because you are.”

  Yoongi makes a soft strangled sound before launching himself at Jimin, who squeals loudly in surprise. He tackles the blonde onto the bouncing bed and drapes his full weight on top of him, trapping Jimin there as Yoongi begins raining kisses onto his face.

  “Hyung!” Jimin shrieks in laughter, trying to escape Yoongi’s clutches.

  “I love you, I love you, I love you,” Yoongi murmurs in between kisses. Jimin’s stomach swoops and his heart does the rumba in his chest at those words, his whole body filling with warmth. He wraps his arms around Yoongi and hugs him close, nuzzling into the witch’s neck with a happy sigh.

  An angry hissing interrupts them, and both men lift their heads to see Michelle Pfeiffer glaring at them from on top of Yoongi’s dresser, her one good eye blazing and her nub tail sticking straight up.

  “Oh, fuck off,” Jimin glares back at her, his arms tightening around Yoongi possessively. “He’s mine.”

  Yoongi laughs and dives in for a kiss that Jimin happily meets.