The first time it happened, Seokjin almost had a heart attack.
Kim Namjoon, in Seokjin’s eyes, was the softest person in the universe. He cared for people, giggled cutely when someone praised him, and he tended to eat like a famished monster each time lunch rolled around. He wasn’t antisocial, but he wasn’t a social butterfly either. Namjoon preferred to keep to his friends, a tight knit group that the two of them were happy to associate with. They told eachother everything, from past breakups to the stressful projects college kept piling up on them. Namjoon especially, he confided in them constantly, not quite able to keep secrets like most people would expect. He liked talking, not for the reason of vanity, Seokjin was certainly guilty of that instead, but because he knew he was a terrible liar and talked his mind, sometimes resulting in spewing out secrets without intending to. It was a weakness, one Seokjin grew up with and there was no way, no absolute way Namjoon was able to hide anything from them.
Until now, with a guy who was short but made up with multiple piercings walking towards them. Class had just ended, the sun hanging low in the sky and Seokjin felt a shiver skitter down his spine. He wasn’t sure if it was from the chilliness or from the way Namjoon suddenly broke into a smile at the sight of the guy. He was wearing leather everything, a red lace choker wrapped around his neck. He had aviator glasses on, ones that very much added to his intimidating aspect. Seokjin wanted to turn around, to run the other way, but Namjoon’s cheery greeting towards the man stuck his feet in place, more terrified to leave this man with namjoon alone.
He looked like he’d devour Namjoon with one single glare, leaving his friend with doubts circling his mind for the rest of the night.
“Hey! Over here!!” That’s when Seokjin’s head snapped to look at Namjoon, waving his arm around wildly. He was beaming, like an overexcited teddy bear waiting for a treat. Seokjin stared, dumbfounded, as the man finally stopped in front of them and took of his glasses. His eyes were piercing, lined with eyeliner. He basically screamed the definition of bad boy, his looks sharp and menacing. His jeans were ripped, his combat boots looking like thousands of dollars. It was aggravating how well he fit into his attire, lips big and bottom lip sporting another piercing. Seokjin could see the intricate detail of the end of a tattoo curling around his hand, looking like delicate vines. He took one look at Seokjin, taking in his pink hoodie and pierced ear. He gave one single nod, winking for extra measure.
“Hey.” His voice was light, not the gruff, deepness Seokjin had been expecting. Seokjin’s voice caught in his throat and he tried to say something, anything, but the man grabbed Namjoon’s arm gently and pulled him away, off to a different direction.
The eldest’s head went into overdrive and he yelled out, “Don’t kidnap my friend!”
Namjoon laughter made his head hurt, not because of the twinkling it did, but because it only served to confuse him more. “Don’t worry about me, Seokjin! I’m fine! Go home without me!”
Namjoon disappeared from his sight then, leaving him befuddled. He took his phone out and urgently texted his friends, not sure what to do other than hope for the best.
(Namjoon came back home later that night, smiling goofily and Seokjin didn’t have the heart to break his mood with an endless drivel of questions.)
The second time had Hoseok effectively chilled to the bone.
They talked about the encounter for the next few days, Seokjin talking about not letting the man anywhere near Namjoon. “A bad influence, I can feel it.” Seokjin had stated while they were all in the living room for a meeting, Namjoon peacefully sleeping in his shared room with Taehyung. “He just took Namjoon and left. I don't even know his name, he just looked…shady.”
“It can't be that bad.” Hoseok had said, a handful of chips in his hand and half of his attention directed to the movie playing on the TV. He didn't think much about it, Seokjin was prone to being overdramatic. It wasn't like it was a bad thing for Namjoon to have other friends either, all of them had different friends scattered here and there. He believed it was just a kid who liked the leather style, there was no way they were actually going to make Namjoon turn into an out of control delinquent. Namjoon was all about pastel, flower crowns, and volunteering to clean up the beach every summer.
He was proved wrong, however, when he was out for his daily jog early one morning, halting suddenly at the sight of a leather clad man cornering Namjoon into an alleyway. He felt his heart drop, a million horrible scenarios coursing through his head. Hoseok yelled at himself for not believing and sped off to alleyway, which was on the opposite side of the park he was doing his laps at. Hoseok was almost being run over by a car twice in the process, cars honking at him and a few drivers swearing him off. He wasn't concerned about his own well being though, only about keeping Namjoon safe from the “shady guy”.
When he got there, he was met with the sight of Namjoon standing alone, paper crumpled up in his grip. He looked dazed, staring at the graffiti painted on the brick wall. Hoseok didn't spare it a second glance, missing the intricate detailing of Namjoon’s favorite flower and the lyrics to his next rap. He pulled Namjoon into a hug, cheek pressed into Namjoon’s fluffy blue sweater. He peaked around the vicinity, not finding the man anywhere. It prompted him to drag Namjoon out of there quickly, frowning and ready to fight the shady guy who clearly wanted something from his tall friend.
(Namjoon didn't say anything once they got home, rushing to his room to write the best lyrics Hoseok had ever heard. He forgot about getting answers, too busy jamming out to Namjoon’s strong voice.)
The third time happened when Taehyung was drunk out of his mind.
Namjoon was tasked to take care of him, Taehyung being a dead weight on his shoulder. It had been a bad idea to go to the bar altogether, mostly because Namjoon had homework waiting for him at home and Taehyung was a horrible drinker. He could get drunk off two shots, giggly and too lazy to move his body on his own. He couldn't lift his head up from Namjoon’s neck, the older practically sitting on his lap. His arms were snuggled around his waist, Taehyung becoming immensely more touchy feely when inebriated. He hummed every time Namjoon patted his hands, pliant under the puppy like youth.
Taehyung didn't think much about the shady guy at first either. It was only when Hoseok told them about his encounter that he became worried. Namjoon was a nice person by nature, so him being used by someone could happen. Granted, Namjoon wasn't a pushover, but with someone who looked like they stepped out of a biker gang, one could crumble. He vowed to keep a look out for the guy at the bar, even going as far as styling Namjoon up in his own clothes. The older male protested at first, mumbling about how bad he looked but Taehyung countered it by showering him in compliments. It effectively shut him up, a glow radiating from him that softened Taehyung’s heart.
Taehyung’s gaze wandered to the exit of the bar, lips almost pressed onto Namjoon’s neck. Being sober wasn't an option, the alcohol filling his empty stomach with a pleasant burn. His eyes widened a little bit when a man dressed in all black stepped in, eyes scanning the area before stopping at Taehyung and Namjoon.
Suddenly, Taehyung could feel the relaxation draining out of him. He cleared his throat, daring to look away. He didn't notice Namjoon tensing up in his lap, mind searching for a reason as to why the man was briskly stepping to their spot at the bar.
Someone cleared their throat in front of them and Taehyung looked up, silver hair encased in a sheen from the low lights hanging behind him and eyes burning a hole in his. The silence turned cold and Namjoon wiggled out of his lap, smiling sheepishly under the guy’s gaze.
“It's shady guy!” Taehyung mumbled, finally placing Seokjin and Hoseok’s description to the face. The male didn't say anything, a bemused smirk quirking his lips. His piercing gleaned, Taehyung mesmerized before he scrambled up with the grace of a newborn deer.
Namjoon was talking, fleeting mutterings and shady guy stepped close to listen to him, the music threatening to cancel his voice out. It was then that Taehyung remembered the music, the lasers coming out of the dance floor, and the motion sickness that accompanied his drunk escapades. He didn't think twice, wobbling up to Namjoon and stopping him mid sentence to roughly grasp at his shoulder. The shady guy let out an audible hiss at the action, lips twisting into a frown and he was probably going to call Taehyung out.
But then Taehyung threw up on Namjoon, leaving Taehyung in a swirl of being unconscious and conscious. He could recall someone heaving him onto their back, silky hair tickling his nose. He could remember Namjoon being shirtless for one second, then he blinked and Namjoon was wearing the shady guy’s leather jacket instead. He faintly remembered being pushed into a car, soft talking passing around him. At one point, his eyes opened and he saw the shady guy in only a tank top, all defined muscles and inked with tattoos. It was hot but scary, his drunken mind had supplied.
(The next morning, he woke up to Namjoon pouting at him, mad at him for throwing up. His pounding head didn't notice the tank top he was wearing, the same one the shady guy had been wearing the night before.)
The fourth time made Jungkook believe the guy was definitely in a gang.
The day had turned out innocently enough, grocery shopping with Namjoon always a necessity when the fridge was empty. He helped pick out what they needed and what the others wanted, the list long and inscribed with Seokjin’s neat handwriting. Namjoon went through every single thing, crossing them out with the pencil he had tucked behind his ear. Jungkook pushed the cart around, gazing longingly at the blueberries for a good amount of time before Namjoon gave in, smiling when Jungkook made a mad dash for them.
They rung everything up with the cashier and took the bags themselves, shooing off the boy who offered to take the bags to their car, one that they didn't have. Nonetheless, they exited out of the store, Jungkook holding more bags than Namjoon because he was stronger and frankly liked to show off. Namjoon teased him for this, praising his strength and whistling when Jungkook flexed. It brought a smile to his lips, observing the way Namjoon huffed out a laugh and rolled his eyes at his antics.
They were passing a seemingly peaceful block when they heard the crash and burn of an engine. Namjoon looked more alert, eyes settling on the mechanic shop. He looked wistful, eyes trained on what looked like a broken down motorcycle before he tore his gaze away and kept going. Jungkook raised an eyebrow at this and was about to ask, only for his voice to be drowned out by someone yelling out angrily, footsteps clattering the pavement loudly.
One second, Namjoon was standing there, confused. The next, he was on the ground, a surprised yelp escaping him as his ass met the sidewalk. The man who bumped into him was no other than shady guy, Jungkook’s passive aggressiveness rising. The guy smelled like smoke, the smell sticking to his jacket. He was irate, shown by scowl on his face. His cheek was decorated with a slash, fingerless gloves on his hands that reminded Jungkook of the days he used to fight a lot on the streets. The shady guy had always been a threat to him from day one, he didn't want Namjoon to turn into someone else. Namjoon was fine how he was, he was the kindest person Jungkook knew and no one was going to change that. He would pick a fight if needed, Namjoon would be protected under his watch, never to be associating with someone who could manipulate him easily, hurt him in more ways in one. Jungkook knew Namjoon would do the same for him, so he would return the favor tenfold.
An alarm set off in Jungkook’s head, the young male rushing to his friend’s side. The shady guy dropped to his knees in front of Namjoon, words too soft for Jungkook to hear. Either way, he was enraged with the guy, not hearing one apology escape him before he got up and ran off, leaving both of them on the sidewalk. He missed the way Namjoon clutched at his heart, a massive horde of furious albeit excited girls and boys running past them. He was too concerned with Namjoon having any injuries, checking him as safe before helping him off the street.
(Jungkook took all the bags from Namjoon after that, bitterness left on his tongue. It didn't let him talk, leaving Namjoon with a nervous hole in his heart.)
The fifth time it happened, Yoongi was close to fighting to keep Namjoon out of harm’s way.
The shady guy was now officially referred to as the shady guy, his name unknown to them. He was a mystery made up of smoke and leather, the opposite of Namjoon’s lavender candles and pastel. Yoongi could feel something off from him, not once thinking that maybe it was just his overprotectiveness when it came to Namjoon. Namjoon called him out on it every once in awhile, saying he could care for himself but didn't complain when Yoongi hovered around him. He admitted it was somewhat calming, Yoongi’s presence seemed to have that effect on everyone in their little group.
“Huh.” Yoongi muttered, cap on his head and straw in between his lips. Namjoon looked up from his homework and blinked, silently asking to elaborate. Yoongi didn't, eyes set on the dude who was walking towards them. He didn't go to the door, however, instead making a detour and sitting at an outside table, away from Namjoon's line of sight but not Yoongi’s. It made him believe it was some sick kind of stalking the guy was doing, finding Namjoon cute and using it as an excuse to tail him. Frowning at the thought, Yoongi quietly excused himself. Namjoon didn't look up, too absorbed into his material to even realize Yoongi got up from his seat.
“What do you want?” Yoongi asked gruffly, hands in his pockets. He stood in front of the table, the shady guy’s fingers playing with a napkin. The guy looked up, smirk set in place as he jumped out of his seat. He was the same height as Yoongi, combat boots giving him just a little more oomph to his stature.
“Excuse me?” He heard Yoongi, judging by the way his smirk grew. He was wearing a silk black blouse this time around, showing off his prominent collarbone and etchings of tattoo peeking out. He wore a slim choker, a simple star pendant dangling from it. Something about him screamed danger to Yoongi, the way he held himself and oozed of boisterous confidence that even Seokjin would have a struggle to override.
“Stop stalking Namjoon, asshole.” Yoongi spat, eyes narrowing at the way shady guy tipped his head back and laughed. It was light, matching his high voice.
“Namjoon is my friend. Am I not allowed to want to see him?” He asked, leaning forward threateningly.
“You're a bad influence.” Yoongi growled, brows furrowing. The shady guy looked surprised, but the feeling only lasted for a moment before he grinned devilishly. It somehow made him more attractive.
“Really? Tell me one bad thing Namjoon has done since you've seen me hanging around.” The shady guy challenged, eagerness in his tone.
“Well…” Yoongi trailed off, mind reeling. He couldn't think of anything, Namjoon hadn't done anything wrong. In fact, he was happier than normal, more animated and invested with doing things right.
Shady guy hummed, pleased. “That's what I thought.” He turned on his heel, throwing the other a goodbye over his shoulder.
“Don't worry, you'll know who I am soon enough!” He called out, stalking off, Yoongi puzzled.
(When he came back, Namjoon dived back into his books like he hadn't been watching. Yoongi failed to look up in time and see Namjoon’s mischievous smile.)
The sixth time they saw him, Namjoon introduced him to everyone as his boyfriend.
To put it lightly, everyone more or less collectively panicked.
“Shady guy is your boyfriend?”
“How the hell did you guys meet?”
“Since when has this started?”
“Why didn't you tell us sooner?”
“I almost picked a fight with him for nothing?”
Shady guy was actually named Park Jimin. He is twenty three years old and currently going to another university nearby. He’s the son of a big CEO and nephew of the owner of the mechanic shop in town. He visits the library a lot, where he met Namjoon, who had started working there. He's gone through many piercings and tattoos, many of which are on his torso. He used to be in a gang but left months ago, around the time he was making friends with Namjoon. His favorite hobbies include dancing and spending time with Namjoon.
“I'm sorry I didn't tell you guys sooner.” Namjoon looked away ruefully. Jimin was sitting next to him, hand on his thigh and the other one holding his hand. They looked cute together, Namjoon’s pastel fashion complementing the dark palette Jimin normally wore. He was wearing contacts this time around, blue eyes gazing at every single one of Namjoon’s friends before he blushed and looked away.
“I was the one who told him to not say anything. I wanted to see your expressions if you saw ‘bad boy’ Jimin around your cute friend.” He was smiling, lax and not at all like the smirks he wore when talking to the others when they first met him. Now that they were meeting him officially, they could see how utterly wrong they were. He was respectful, kept his hands where everyone could see them, and blushed at how embarrassing everything turned out to be. They soon realized how much he melted when he was around Namjoon, his smiled more and his laughter was more pronounced. His gaze was filled to the brim with love every time it was directed at Namjoon, as if he was getting lost in the colorful memories and thoughts Namjoon made up in his mind.
It was cute. Unbearably cute, all of them thought.
“Can I ask something?” Seokjin spoke up, everyone quieting down and Jimin nodded. “Where did you take Namjoon that first day?”
“Oh!” Jimin gasped. “I took him to an event happening at this small flower shop, I thought he would like it.” Namjoon nodded next to him, agreeing to the comment.
“What about the whole pushing Namjoon into an alleyway?” Hoseok frowned.
“Didn't you see the graffiti? He spray painted my favorite flowers and wrote down some words that are part of my rap!” Namjoon exclaimed, then blushed when Jimin grinned up at him. Hoseok mumbled about the legality of such a thing, but said no more.
“Did you give Namjoon your tank top that one night?” Taehyung spoke up.
“Yeah, luckily it was big enough. Couldn't really have him walking around with only a jacket.” Jimin shrugged.
“Okay, but what was that day where you crashed into Namjoon and left us hanging?” Jungkook jumped up, frowning.
“I was running away from paparazzi. Son of the CEO and all that.” Jimin sighed. “I'm lucky that my dad doesn't try to control what I do. I guess that's what happens when you have a reputation like his.”
Yoongi walked over to them and held out his hand, eyes cast downward. “Hey, uh, sorry about last time.”
“No, it's okay, Namjoon told me I shouldn't have come but I couldn't help myself.” Jimin took his hand, shaking it before letting go. “I just love seeing people's reactions towards me.”
“You're horrible.” Namjoon commented. Jimin shook his head, leaning in to press his forehead against his.
“I'm only horrible for you, baby.” Jimin grinned cheekily.
“Oh my god they're starting already.” Seokjin groaned, getting up from his seat. “I'm leaving, thanks for telling us!” The others trailed after him, not ready for the mushiness that always came out of couples.
“Should we go or…?” Namjoon whispered once the door of the apartment closed, leaving both of them alone. His skin tingled with the slow circles Jimin’s fingers kept grazing onto his arms, soothing and smooth.
“Nah, we can kill a few minutes before going to that movie you want to watch,” Jimin replied, his lips capturing Namjoon’s, the sweet aroma of candy hitting his senses as he wondered how he managed to win Namjoon over.