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To be honest, Jungkook didn’t know what to expect in college but trying to squeeze through a thoroughly filled hallway while keeping his banana smoothie off everyone’s clothes was not one of them. He’d thought he’d have more problems finding classes or trying to stay awake in said classes, but not this. Definitely not this. He had no idea why it was so crowded until he managed to filter out some caveman-like yelling,

“Join track and you go home with a six-pack!”

Jungkook paused just for a moment, because he knew getting abs was something you couldn’t do overnight, only to realise that they were talking about another kind of six-pack. The kind of six-pack that got large congregations of eager students pumping their fists in the air and blocking the entire hallway which other students like him needed to pass through. Ducking under one such fist, Jungkook hugged his smoothie closer to his chest praying that it would survive this mob.

“Hey, you!”

Oh no. It was one of those times Jungkook knew he was being spoken to, but he really didn’t want to raise his head, so kept his head down and inched away as much as he could in this crowd.

“You, the one with the grey beanie and protein shake!” One of the guys handing out pack of beer shouted, this time pointing right at him.

Without knowing why he felt the need to correct him, Jungkook looked up,

“Uh, It’s not a protein shake-”

Right before he finished his sentence, all Jungkook saw was a blur of colours and then the next thing he knew was that he had been caught between two muscular track athletes. Their biceps were, frankly, uncomfortably wrapped around his shoulders and their added weight made his smoothie tip forward dangerously. Fumbling a little to straighten his cup, Jungkook peered at the two of them in shock while they beamed,

“Hey handsome, come join track! We’ll give you a six-pack!”

“Well, um…no thanks-”

Their hands were all up on his body in no time and Jungkook had to brace himself for the intrusion, but he was mostly worried about his smoothie. His cup had droplets of condensed water slipping down onto his shoe because of how long he’d been stuck in this hallway. He hated it when they got too diluted, he needed the lill beads of ice with each slurp.

“He’s already got abs bro, this is the kind of freshie we need!”

The pale state of his smoothie was what brought on the sudden spurt of bravery as Jungkook shrugged off both of their arms in a move that was distinctively years of judo, and scooted right under them before running away. Well, running away as much as he could while angling his body away from others. Not to forget, keeping his smoothie upright and firmly in his hands. Finally, there was a small clearing off to the corner and Jungkook surged on forward without looking back at the faint cries for him to return.

Only that it was a blind corner and Jungkook ended up knocking into someone else, right in the head.

The thing was, Jungkook had a solid weight to himself because he kept active and his head could really take a knock. So, while he was standing upright with his smoothie still safely tucked into his chest, the other person was halfway sprawled on the floor cradling his head in agony.

“Crap-I’m so sorry! Uh, are you alright- really really sorry-” Jungkook immediately bent down, leaving his smoothie on the floor, before hovering his arms around the stranger.

“Holy fuck dude, is your head made of granite!?” The stranger groaned, clutching at his head.

Bowing his head, Jungkook put his hands together in a show of apology but the stranger just rubbed his head,

“It’s okay man… I’ll live.”

“I’m still really sorry, uh, is there anything I can do to help err…sunbaenim?”

“Sunbae? Oh. You’re a freshie?”

Jungkook shook his head, big eyes blinking right up at the senior who tilted his head. With that, Jungkook was on the receiving end of a full body appraisal from the senior who kinda looked like a porcelain doll that was put in a kiln and brought to life. Strange, but true.

“You know what, could you help me carry this box back to our club room? My head hurts like a little-”

“Of course!”

Jungkook lifted the box of flyers without breaking a sweat while the mysterious senior grabbed his smoothie from the floor, and took a long sip,

“Mhmm, banana. Good choice.”

Once again, Jungkook didn’t know what to expect at college but a random senior drinking out of his smoothie straw was definitely not one of them. But given how a nice red bruise was starting to show on this senior’s forehead, he wasn’t going to complain. He just hefted the heavy box and followed the lean figure that guided him to the room, sticking as close to the wall as possible. The senior who was still gulping down his smoothie, not in the least bit saliva conscious, held open the door for him and Jungkook naturally went inside only to still. There were two pairs of eyes on him, and suddenly Jungkook felt like he was in a National Geographic documentary, with him being a preyed-on impala while these two strangers were the two lions which were definitely going to bite him in the spinal cord and paralyse him before dragging him off-

“…Who’s this?” The taller of the two spoke and cut Jungkook’s inner monologue abruptly.

“Oh right, meet freshie, he’s our newest member!” Smoothie stealing senior announced, only to go right back to sucking the last bits of the smoothie through the straw and making that distinctive noise reverberate in the room.

“What the fuck, Kim Taehyung. You don’t even know his name?” The other senior spoke with his eyes narrowed, ignoring the sounds the straw was making.

“Right…names, formalities, and all of that unnecessary baggage that we have in this fast-paced life-”

“We need to know his name, you dick.”

“So, what’s your name anyways, since Hoseok hyung wants to categorise you so badly.” The smoothie stealing senior known as Taehyung asked, all the while still sucking on his straw.

“Um- Jungkook, Jeon Jungkook.”

The room went awfully quiet for a moment as Taehyung threw his empty smoothie cup into the bin like basketball bank shot, before he proceeded to start clapping,

“Okay, hello Kookie. I call dibs on your nickname by the way.”

“Uh-”

“Right, ignore him. Have a seat Jungkook, I’m Namjoon or Joon for short. Call me whatever you want really. I’m the sitting president of the CSC-” The taller senior spoke out, giving Jungkook a polite smile.

“Wait…what’s a sitting president, is it different from a standing president?” Taehyung raised his hand up, looking like a model student.

“I’m going to just ignore that because we need to welcome our latest member to the club. Which I was doing, before you decided to interrupt.”

“Um, I’m not- I mean I never joined-” Jungkook mumbled softly, a little bit intimidated by the way Namjoon was sighing up at the wall and shaking his head.

It was Hoseok who managed to catch what he said,

“Did Tae force you?”

“Hey, I did no such thing!”

Jungkook really was going to answer him but it was at this moment that the door creaked open, and a slim figure snuck past him carrying a few important looking documents. Now, Jungkook was very aware of two things; the first being the pale blonde hair this new senior had and the next being the grey beanie that was perched over said hair. Why? Because his hair looked strangely soft even when bleached to death and also because Jungkook was a hundred and one percent sure he was wearing the same beanie himself. Jungkook didn’t realise he was staring until the said senior quietly handed Namjoon the documents and turned back toward the door, which Jungkook was still blocking while holding the box.

It was probably only a second or two at the most but, in that very moment, Jungkook knew he was screwed by the way his mind went completely blank when their eyes met. It felt so ridiculous, like all those romantic comedies he grew up watching and deeming as unrealistic although comically entertaining. But this was that trademark cliché moment where everything was moving in slow motion courtesy of movie magic. As soon as he appeared, he snuck right out of the room and Jungkook couldn’t stop himself from sniffing the remnants of a woody perfume that was not helping the crush he managed to get himself from barely looking at someone.

“Yoongi hyung?” Taehyung grinned, face barely an inch from Jungkook’s when he snapped back to reality from the dreamlike haze he was stuck in.

Yelping slightly, Jungkook shifted the box in his hands so that it didn’t fall and swallowed guiltily,

“Sorry sunbaenim, um… what?”

“I said Yoongi hyung, the one with the beanie just now- oh you’re wearing it too,”

Taehyung scrunched his nose and cooed,

“Matching beanies, how cute, aww.”

There were a lot of things Jungkook couldn’t control, and his ears going red when he was embarrassed or panicking were one of them. It didn’t help that his eyes were naturally already large to begin with, but bugged out even more when confronted like this.

“You’re totally joining, right?”  Blurted Taehyung, his grin turning into a smirk,

“Uh-”

“I mean you’ll get to see Yoongi hyung, who you obviously have a cru-”

“Yes! Yes, I am joining sunbaenim. Um, absolutely... wanted to join.”

Taehyung began to shoot him finger bullets, but his expressive hands were ignored by everyone in favour of giving Jungkook all the attention. Flashing impressive dimples, Namjoon came over,

“Put the box down Jungkook, and welcome to the CSC!”

 

Other than basically being coerced into joining for all the wrong reasons, there was also another problem because Jungkook had no idea what the hell CSC even stood for.  

 

 

Chapter Text

Jungkook had never been a bad student, not that he was a top student either, but sitting through a lecture and not understanding anything for a whole of two hours was honestly quite a traumatic experience. The fresh piece of paper laid unused and an equally blank word document was blinding him the longer he stared at it. Feeling a little alarmed, he bowed his head in greeting as the lecturer ended and promptly exited class before he could even run up to ask any questions. Not that it would have helped because he didn’t even understand what he didn’t know. Something about ethics, maybe. His phone buzzed on the table, and Jungkook picked it up sighing,

 

From: Taehyung sunbaenim

heYYY come to clubroom aft class!!1  

 

The sigh deepened a little as Jungkook packed his things up and shimmied through the narrow rows of the lecture theatre. Taehyung had practically blackmailed him to join the club the other day by almost shouting to the entire club that he had a crush on the senior with the beanie. Right, Yoongi sunbaenim. Suddenly feeling a lump in his throat, Jungkook swallowed nervously and his fingers fiddled with the snapback he wore today instead of the beanie. Honestly, Jungkook didn’t know why he didn’t just put his beanie on but a part of him didn’t know how to react if Yoongi somehow realised that they had the same beanie. He wasn’t ready for that kind of interaction to happen without him spontaneously imploding on himself. So that meant he had to wear his snapback to control his hair that he had slept on yesterday without blow drying. Only that, once in class earlier on, it seemed quite rude to have a cap on while the lecturer began his lesson.  Jungkook had turned it backwards just like fifteen other jocks in the lecture theatre, left with no choice unless he wanted to showcase his hair with a hideous cap indent. All in all,  he severely regretted his decision of wearing this navy snapback to school. Sticking close to the walls of the corridors, Jungkook kept his eyes glued onto his phone to check that he was going the right way by following a campus map. It was right then that he felt an arm wrap itself around his shoulders and he had to clamp down on his instincts to throw the person off his shoulder.

“Hey kiddo, you look lost.” Hoseok chirped, grinning at him and then glancing at the campus map Jungkook had opened on his phone screen.

“Oh, hi uh- Hoseok sunbaenim…?”

“No need to be so formal, call me hyung. Ah, it’s nice to have a freshie in our club.”

Jungkook returned the smile, although his ears were already heating up, ducking his head into his shoulders. He was thankful he didn’t have to rely on the map to find the club anymore but Hoseok’s overly friendly nature and the way he was sticking their bodies together was a little offsetting. But it seemed that Hoseok either didn’t realise or realised it but didn’t care, because he was dragging him along the hallways. Jungkook had spotted the familiar hallway of clubrooms but Hoseok was dragging him off to another corridor. Darting his eyes at the door sign and glancing back at the corridors he thought was the actual one to their club room, Jungkook wondered if his sense of direction was that horrible. Hoseok just knocked on the door in some fancy code, before the door unlocked automatically and he put just his head in and pulled Jungkook’s to follow,

“Park Jimin, come out, we gotta go over!”

Everything in the lab was too white and pristine for Jungkook’s liking, and the white coats weren’t helping with the situation because they just reminded him of the mean doctor who’d always miss his vein during shots. All the eyes glancing curiously at Jungkook were making him even more uncomfortable by the second and Jungkook just looked down at the floor and tried to slip out of Hoseok’s hold. But Hoseok only tightened his grip as a guy walked over and got locked in his other arm,

“Hey Jimin, you haven’t met our freshie right? This is Jungkook.”

Jimin blinked at him before bursting into a full-blown smile that hid his eyes away and made him look a million times friendlier than he did when he wasn’t smiling,

“Oh, Tae told me about you. I’m Jimin, hi!”

Bowing his head as best as he could, Jungkook mumbled back as he stole a quick glance at his dirty blonde hair that looked blow dried to perfection unlike his,

“Uh, hi... Jimin sunbaenim-”

“Oh god, just call us hyung kiddo. Please, Joon hates honorifics as it is.” Hoseok groaned before squeezing all of him through the door to the club room.

Almost instantly, Jungkook’s eyes scanned the room for the sight of a familiar beanie or pale blonde hair but was met with the laughter of Taehyung and Namjoon instead. Jungkook mentally chided himself for the way he was behaving, he shouldn’t be actively looking for Yoongi or wanting to, god he was so screwed.

“We’re here Joon ah! I brought the kids, you’re welcome.” Hoseok yelled as he finally released the two of them from his death grip and then jumped onto the sofa.

Jimin hopped up on a table next to Taehyung and took a chip out of the bag he was currently munching on,

“You’re right, he is cute.”

“Told ya so, I have good eyes.”

Taehyung waved at Jungkook who had found a corner by the sofa and managed to hide himself a little standing there. Laughing at something Hoseok said, Namjoon pointed to the lone figure hiding in the corner,

“So, I assume everyone has met Jungkook? He’s our freshie and latest member, so now we don’t have to worry about the recruitment.”

Jungkook briefly met everyone’s eyes on him and bowed out of sheer awkwardness of not knowing what else to do which Namjoon immediately shook off,

“No need for that. Go sit down and then I’ll start the briefing.”

Scooting over to the sofa and gingerly sitting down at the side where Hoseok’s socked feet were resting, Jungkook took a good look around the room. It was strangely homely, in its own way. The sofa he was sitting on wasn’t brand new or anything but it didn’t smell of mould or have any springs poking him. There was a large desk and cupboards off to the side Jungkook assumed was where important paperwork work was done. Behind the sofa and on the other side of the room, there were long benches along with loads of boxes which stacked up all along the walls. Jungkook turned his attention back on Namjoon who had a powerpoint prepared and was currently flashing a black and white picture of guys crammed into a small photobooth on the blank whiteboard,

“Welcome to the campus security club, or CSC for short, Jungkook. I just wanted to formally invite you in and give you a short briefing of what we do.”

“What a nerd, he even has a ppt.” Came the snickering from Hoseok who reached over his head to high-five Taehyung.

Jungkook smiled slightly, trying not to be overly wary of the way his hands were clamming up or how he was sure that one member was still not here- oh no, not this again. But in the midst of disassociating ten seconds into the presentation just as he had done this morning for his lecture, Jungkook realised something really off. What the hell was a campus security club-

“So, we basically are a club which oversees all of the university’s club and organisational activities done, whether it be the freshmen orientation camps or the dance recitals the many dance ensembles have at campus or out of campus.”

“Um-“ Jungkook croaked when he saw a list of all the clubs in the school flash on the next slide.

“Why? To ensure that everything they do agrees with our school’s moral code and ethics, and to make sure that it legally complies with our student conduct code. So, we basically give them the green light for their recruitment activities, budgets, their special shows, stuff like that.”

Jungkook’s brows flew up a little as he looked at all the flowcharts showing how they vetted club activities. Up till now, he had been really sceptical about what this club even did, and the copious amounts of boxes and paperwork lying everywhere wasn’t helping their image much but now this seemed to be something really important.

“Hyung, you were really thorough.” Jimin commented, giving Namjoon a thumbs up which Namjoon returned with an overly excited smile,

“I even have references.”

While Hoseok and Taehyung continued to mouth ‘nerd’ and cackle amongst themselves, Jungkook was wondering if Namjoon would go back to the first slide so he could take a closer look at the photo booth picture. It was too small and cramped to really spot anything in such a brief moment, but Jungkook was sure he saw six heads there. But looking around, he only saw four in the room. Not wanting to interrupt his presentation, Jungkook just kept his questions to himself and continued to listen as Namjoon showed him a detailed analysis of the college’s moral and ethics code. He swore he was listening, until the door opened and the person he had been longing to see the most slipped in without making a noise. Suddenly sitting upright, Jungkook hugged his bag to his chest before reaching up to fiddle with cap nervously. To his dismay, Jungkook felt his stomach drop because Yoongi was leaving right as quickly as he came.

“Thanks hyung!” Namjoon shouted mid-presentation as he went over to take the cups of drinks that Yoongi had placed on a table near the door.

Slumping back into the sofa, Jungkook tried not to look or feel too dejected that he hadn’t even managed to take a proper look at Yoongi this time. He barely even registered the colour of his shirt, maybe it had been black or was it navy? Speaking of navy, Jungkook fussed over his cap for the tenth time today before glancing up because he felt eyes on him. Taehyung was grinning right at him, eyes glinting all-knowingly as he chomped down on chips. Feeling his heart pump especially harder on its next beat, Jungkook quickly looked away trying not to wince outwardly at being caught. But he ended up making eye contact with Namjoon who was fumbling with the drinks,

“Oh crap, Yoongi hyung only bought four. Hey Jungkook ah, do you take caramel frappes? You can have mine.”

“Oh. Uh, hyung it’s alright. I don’t need a drink-”

“No way, which drink do you want? Come choose.”

Jungkook shook his hands in front of his chest, really not wanting to take someone else’s drink. He didn’t know why he was feeling so dejected when he knew Yoongi had no clue who he even was and couldn’t have possibly known what he liked to drink. But this meant that he didn’t even know he was joining the club, and somehow it was like a sucker punch to the stomach. In the midst of feeling his ears burn once again, a drink was shoved right into his face by Taehyung,

“Banana split frappe, hidden menu. You’ll like it, so have it.”

Just as he was about to refuse again, Taehyung leaned in closer and spoke in a low whisper,

“Yoongi hyung probably just forgot. He’s used to ordering four when it’s just us.”

With that, he dropped the drink into Jungkook’s hands before ruffling his head and going back to joining Jimin on the table who gave him a reassuring smile. Jungkook didn’t know whether it was how Taehyung knew that he was somehow feeling down by this or how Namjoon was also coming over and forcing him to try his caramel frappe that only highlighted that he was a stranger. The more they catered to him, the more Jungkook felt like a puzzle piece that was out of place. It was a given since he’d joined a group of club friends who had obviously spent a lot of time together, and he was the one who needed to catch up.  

But along with the loss of familiar Busan streets that he’d begun to long for, the laughter in the room was making him feel the uneasy jitters of having to start all over in a new place again.    

 

Chapter Text

There were two things Hoseok never understood about the world, with the first being how people could voluntarily sit through a horror movie. The second would be why anyone would enjoy exercising in general, but especially why anyone would be doing push-ups in front of the club room. This was why he stood at the corner staring bewildered at Jungkook, who had been steadily proving both his upper body and core strength for the last ten push-ups he had been doing. Hoseok was both amazed and horrified at the display of health he was watching when Taehyung’s voice popped in,

“Whatcha doin?”

“Seeing how many push-ups this kid can do.”

“Oooo fun, lemme go ask him.”

Before Hoseok could yank Taehyung back from ruining his plans, Taehyung had already skipped up to Jungkook and squatted to catch his attention,

“Hi kookie.”

A little taken aback, Jungkook’s arms gave way before he pushed himself off the ground and stood to greet him,

“Oh uh, hi sunbaenim-“

“He was just hitting fourty, dammit Tae!” Hoseok yelled as he joined them before eyeing Jungkook like he had grown a third arm,

“Why were you doing that anyways?”

“Doing-oh. Right, um, well. I didn’t know the code for the door and uh I was waiting…”

“Shit. Yeah, opps. It’s 0007 like James bond.” Taehyung grinned, opening the door with that very code and holding it for Jungkook who slipped in gratefully after Hoseok,

“James bond is 007, Yoongi hyung just said that to appease you man.”

For a moment, Jungkook really didn’t know if Taehyung was alright because his face totally dropped before he easily shrugged it off,

“At least he bothered to appease me, I’ll gladly take that.”

“Very true.” Hoseok chimed in, heading right for the boxes stacked across the room and searching through them.

It was almost like Jungkook was watching a ping pong match with the way his eyes went from one of them to the other, listening while a little lost at what was going on. Luckily Hoseok was struggling with checking inside the boxes, so he went over to grab a few from falling to try and be helpful. Taehyung on the other hand was looking inside the cabinets for whatever it was the both of them were finding for when he suddenly clapped his hands together,

“Oh yeah! There’s something you should probably know about Yoongi hyung, he doesn’t talk much.”

Turning to get a better look at Taehyung, Jungkook eyes widened,

“Wha-what?”

Snorting, Hoseok shook his head and threw the folder Taehyung was scourging for right at him,

“You mean he doesn’t talk at all.”

Taehyung and Hoseok turned to each other and burst out laughing in tandem about something Jungkook had no clue what about. Fumbling a little after getting jabbed by a corner of the file, Taehyung winced while looking through the contents,

“Hey Kookie, this gonna be a problem for you?”

“What- no, of course not-”

“Ooo what’s this about?” Hoseok intervened, wiggling his eyebrows dramatically

“Kook has a crush on Yoongi hyung, it’s cute.” Came the offhanded response from Taehyung who took a few papers out to be photocopied.

Completely going still, Jungkook swore he felt his heart stop and maybe he was even having a heart attack at the way his secret was so easily divulged. The stack of papers he had taken out of a box slipped between his fingers and went flying all across the room accompanied by Hoseok’s hollering,

“Crush on Yoongi hyung?! Oh my god, you are a gem- wow! You had to pick him of all people.”

Licking his lips, Jungkook shot Taehyung what he hoped was an angry look but knew just came off as completely frightened.

“Calm down, Hobi hyung would have figured it out sooner or later. I’m doing you a favour by telling him first.”

“Preach. I know everything here kiddo, you can’t hide anything from me. Especially not this crush you have, aww!”

Bending down to pick up the pieces of papers he managed to drop all over the floor, Jungkook prayed his blush wasn’t too obvious. But it only got worse when Hoseok came to pinch his cheeks while surprisingly also helping him pick up the papers,

“It’s okay, your secret is safe with me. So, what’s your plan to woo hyung? Is it the whole innocent bunny look you have working for you?’

“I uh- have no idea what you’re talking about Hoseok sunbae-“

“Hyung, call me hobi hyung.”

“Hobi…hyung.”

“That’s a good bunny.” Hoseok replied while patting Jungkook’s head.

Bowing as he took the papers Hoseok helped him collect, Jungkook shook his head and murmured,

“I, I uh- don’t even know if he knows I’m alive. Besides…I don’t know if he likes guys or if he already has a girlfriend or boyfriend- it’s really… stupid of me to even be like this.”

“That’s what we’re here for, aren’t we Tae?”

“What? Yes to whatever you said.” Taehyung replied distractedly as he tried to figure out the jam in the photocopier.

“Huh, come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen hyung date anyone. Guy or girl. Wow, that is weird.”

“It’s not weird, he’s busy and all serious about school. He’s boring-oops, no offense Kook.”

“None taken..? So, he’s…uh, not… not dating anyone?”

That was all it took for Hoseok to throw himself on Jungkook and pinch both his cheeks while cooing,

“Aww, look at you!”

Luckily Jungkook could hold Hoseok’s weight so he didn’t topple over, although he was shirking away from the cheek pinching and pulling. He couldn’t help but ask and now he wondered if he just got himself even more trouble. The whole day throughout classes, Jungkook kept thinking about how Taehyung had said that Yoongi didn’t date and somehow, it made Jungkook break out in a small smiles until he realised it had bad repercussions for him too. It was good that Yoongi wasn’t dating anyone else but that also meant that the chances he had to date him were also grossly low. But then again it felt like he was skipping steps because he wasn’t sure if Yoongi even knew about him. He could do it, he could introduce himself like any other normal human being. With that motto on repeat, Jungkook made sure to blow dry his hair before sleeping and even spent a solid thirty-two minutes to make sure every strand was in place the next morning. It got a lot of snickering from his brother, who made sure to give him a smug look in the kitchen as Jungkook gobbled down the congee set in front of him,

“Why the sudden importance in that head of hair?”

“Because hyung. Just because.”

“Who are you trying to impress hmm?”

Sticking out his tongue, Jungkook put the bowl in the sink and quickly grabbed his bag to dash out before Junghyun could stick him in a chokehold,

“I’ll wash it when I get home, promise!”

Just as Jungkook hopped onto the bus and found a cosy corner to hide in until his stop came, his phone gave an ominous chime,

 

From: Taehyung sunbaenim

Hey kook I know its errly but I needz ur helpz. I frogot a form and yoongi hyung will kill me so iffff you hav time….could u plz get it for me. It’s on the green file on the table, thx!!! Luv u 5eva~

 

If the congee was settling him into a slow food coma, now Jungkook was wide awake and more alert than ever. Mostly because the number of typos and weird chatting lingo required more neurons to decipher but also because of the specific name that was mentioned in the text. Something as simple as that was enough to get him to already feel excited to get to school and hope that this time he would be able to catch Yoongi for more than a brief second. Also, Taehyung was asking a favour which made him feel a little bit more part of the club although he knew he was technically picking up his crumbs for him. This time, he tested his memory and ended up getting to the club room with only having made two wrong turns which was a feat in itself. He pushed open the door wondering when he’d be able to get around campus without getting lost, only to feel his fingers cram around the metal handle because he found himself looking at Yoongi. He was standing at the table and staring at Jungkook, who remained frozen holding the door open and staring right back at him. It went on for at least three seconds before Jungkook felt his brain reboot and kick right back in, making him choke a little on his saliva as he let go of the door and bowed his head at the same time. It also caused the door to hit his head as it tried to close but he pointedly ignored it as he reminded himself of his motto; he was going to introduce himself.

“Um, good morning sunbaenim- I um, well. You well, oh- l, I am um- club, the club- wait should I be using sign language? Oh no, I didn’t learn it yet-”

As Jungkook felt both his ears and cheeks burn like he had dipped them in chilli sauce, his brain was completely malfunctioning and he was losing all control of his speech. To his horror, Yoongi was furrowing his brows before he tilted his head,

“What?”

That was all it took for Jungkook’s brain to go straight back to blank, as he now gaped at Yoongi’s voice. It was bad timing, but the low resonance of his voice was as appealing as everything else about him although he was not expecting a voice.

And then it hit him.

“Oh my god, Taehyung hyung and Hoseok hyung told me that- oh no, I-“ Jungkook rushed out in a breathy voice that almost made him seem like he was going to pass out any given second.

But Yoongi’s brows rose slightly,

“Wait, are you Jungkook?”

It took everything in Jungkook not to double over and clutch his abdomen like he had just been punched because all of the butterflies were having a rave party in there without his consent when he heard his name. Not trusting his own voice to work, Jungkook nodded meekly as he tried not to spontaneously implode on himself. Looking a little less wary, Yoongi grabbed the green file and then begun walking towards Jungkook,

“Listen, those two are just pulling your leg with whatever nonsense they fed you. And I have to run, so I’ll catch you later?”

As Yoongi passed by him, Jungkook wondered if the small smile he caught was actually reality or simply a figment of his imagination. Luckily his brain managed to work on auto pilot and Jungkook shifted enough to make way for Yoongi to use the door as he nodded and bowed his head again. He continued to stand there just staring at the empty room and the way his black boots contrasted with the wooden flooring until his legs gave way and he ended up sitting down with his hands covering his face. Nothing was really sinking in nor was he processing what had just happened for the longest time until he realised that he was late for his morning class. But even that didn’t matter, although he was extremely particular about being on time to all his classes and taking notes. Because not only did he stammer irreconcilably without managing to make even an inch of sense, he also managed to establish himself as the freshie who choked on his own saliva and hit his head on the door while bowing. Now he just wanted to dig a hole, crawl into it and preferably hide inside it forever but his phone chimed just as it did this morning,

From: Taehyung sunbaenim

Soooo how’d it gooooo ;))) i set u up haHA!!!

To: Taehyung sunbaenim

You lied to me that he can’t speak, and now he thinks I’m a freak.

From: Taehyung sunbaenim

WAT DA FUQ!!1 bro we dint meen it litretally!!

 

Pressing the heels of his palms to his eyes, Jungkook took a deep breath before standing up and prepping himself on how he was going to walk into lecture late. It was the worst start to the day because not only did he have to duck into a seat and get a pointed glare from his professor, his phone would also not stop ringing. Jungkook wasn’t going to pick it up because it was Taehyung but the guy seated next to him kept shooting him mixed concerned and annoyed looks, so he turned his phone off and just robotically copied down every word on the slide even though he still couldn’t really understand anything. It didn’t help that he already found this class on ethics confusing but Yoongi’s furrowed brows and guarded eyes when he went about stammering kept playing on replay in his head.

Nope, he was never gonna live it down.

He was the last one out of the lecture theatre as he walked as slowly as he could while gripping the straps of his canvas sling. He knew he was supposed to head to the clubroom for another briefing once he was done but his feet were refusing to turn left at the end of the hallway. Maybe this was a sign that he should just quit the club and maybe quit school too. Groaning internally, Jungkook sat down at one of the many benches off to the side, and put his bag down before planting his face right onto it. He wasn’t a quitter, he had never been and he didn’t want to become one now. Besides, he actually did want to join a club for the experience, but everything was becoming murky. Was this part of the freshmen bullying that was supposedly a given, something that he just had to deal with? Truth be told, Jungkook didn’t know how he felt about that. Maybe he was just making everything a big deal when it was nothing or maybe he just wished that he wasn’t pranked-

“Are you alright?” A now recognisable husky voice interrupted his thoughts.

His head sprung up so quickly that Yoongi leaned away a little as he hovered at Jungkook’s side. Blinking rapidly, Jungkook bowed his head to which Yoongi dismissed before putting a cup down on the bench,

“For you. Sorry that I forgot your drink the other time and also for missing your welcoming meeting. I’ve been busy lately and haven’t really been reading their stupid texts properly.”

Jungkook could only peer at Yoongi as he unconsciously took a deep breath in, getting a nice rush of the woody perfume that he was already addicted to. His hair was really bleached to a really pale blonde that looked so soft to the touch. Speaking of soft to the touch, Jungkook now could really see how smooth his skin was and how it must feel. Only through these thoughts did Jungkook realise he had totally zoned off and was just blatantly staring right at Yoongi with a blank expression. Jerking up and bumping his knee on the bench, he cleared his throat,

“It’s no- you don’t have to apologise sunbaenim! I uh- I’m Jeon Jungkook but you already know that-”

While attempting his best at speaking in proper sentences this time, Jungkook glanced off at the cup that was placed by his side and then realised that Yoongi had bought it for him to drink. Yoongi looked over and gestured towards it,

“I asked Tae what you liked and told him that if he lied about this I’d saw his dick off with a blunt knife, so I hope that you actually do like banana smoothies.”

Fumbling a little when Yoongi gently nudged the drink closer to him, Jungkook accepted it as his heart fluttered about in his chest,

“I do! I like it- a lot. Thank you, uh- so much.”

“Good. Now let’s go before they start playing around instead of doing work.”

Yoongi moved fluidly like he always did and Jungkook bumped his knee another time as he wrestled his body out of the bench to follow him as he walked through the hallways with ease. Why was it that he always had to protect his drinks, his bag, as well as his body whenever he had to walk through these hallways but Yoongi naturally got a clearing?College was unfair but he wasn’t going to complain. His heart was swelling up with warmth although the smoothie was rapidly freezing his hands as he held onto it. Jungkook couldn’t help but try his best to memorise the way Yoongi’s back looked like, eyes outlining the way the flannel shirt curved around shoulders. He didn’t know why he liked Yoongi so much to the point he even liked his back view, but Jungkook was beginning to suspect that he should stop using logic to explain his infatuation. Pushing the door, Yoongi held it open for Jungkook who quickly ducked in only to be met with grunting and yelling from the people already inside.

“Jungkookkkkk, sorryyyyyy!” Hoseok and Taehyung dragged each syllable out, their strained voices croaking right through Jungkook who turned towards the direction he heard it from.

Hoseok was holding a planking position, along with Taehyung by his side, much like Jungkook himself did as a way to train his core. Except that, the two were shaking noticeably as Jimin took turns sitting on their backs while using his phone. Pointing to them, Namjoon gave Jungkook a sympathetic look,

“I heard about what they did, so I’m making sure they learn their lesson.”

With that, Namjoon put on his glasses and pointed to the phone set on timer,

“Two more minutes then you’re both writing a detailed apology to Jungkook and Yoongi hyung.”

“I don’t want to read anything either of you write.” Yoongi chimed in, stepping over their stretched legs to get to the desk.

Truth be told, Jungkook didn’t really need for them to be punished like this and neither did he need an apology, but he wasn’t going to say anything when Namjoon was pointing at the two with a long ruler in order to keep them in form. Besides, he had a smoothie to enjoy which he sipped on delicately as he sat down at the end of the sofa.

“You also didn’t add Jungkookie into the group chat which was also why I’ve been finding it so weird that he doesn’t talk to us!” Jimin accused, moving on from sitting on Hoseok to Taehyung.

Huffing, Taehyung put his forehead on the floor,

“I forgot! I swear! Also we didn’t mean that hyung couldn’t actually talk, it just came out-“

“Serves you two right, that is offensive to every party involved you understand?” Namjoon chided, shaking his head as he used the ruler to nudge Taehyung’s forehead off the ground.

Yoongi swirled in his chair as he checked on the paperwork needing clearance,

“Did you guys even welcome him properly?”

“I gave him a presentation!”

“That’s great Joon, we all love your presentations but, does he know anything about us?”

Namjoon paused to think and Hoseok dropped his body to the ground exhausted before the timer chimed,

“Oh dear. Okay let’s play some ice breaking activities-”

“God no, Yoongi hyung please stop him.” Taehyung whined as he grabbed onto his stomach in pain.

“I think it’s a great idea.” Argued Jimin as he made his way over to where Jungkook was seated and joined him.

Shrugging, Yoongi put his papers back into the file and then motioned for Namjoon to start,

“Just introduce yourself.”

“Well, I’m a business major and philosophy minor, final year. And I think how we perceive the world is largely just a reflection of-“

“Okayy, that’s enough. I’m an Engineering major, final year.” Hoseok interrupted and then Taehyung followed,

“I’m a political science major, third year.”

“Bio, third year too.” Jimin smiled, holding up three fingers for double emphasis.

All heads turned to Yoongi who was filling in something on a document before looking up,

“Min Yoongi, architecture final year.”

Memorising everything as best as he could, Jungkook nodded to everyone before letting go of the straw he was chewing on,

“Jeon Jungkook, business first year. Um, nice to meet you all, sunbaenim-“

“He seriously needs to stop calling us that.” Hoseok grunted but then Namjoon perked up,

“Oh hey, we’re from the same major!”

Brightening up a little, Jungkook nodded and returned the high-five that Namjoon held out for him before going back to finishing his smoothie. He was having a tough time paying attention to everything when Yoongi was sitting right there, making him want to glance over every other moment.

“So, why’d you want to join us?”

Jungkook’s eyes shifted to Jimin, tongue a little semi-frozen from the smoothie as well as tied from not knowing what to say. Taehyung and Hoseok’s shoulders shook as they laughed quietly on the floor, shooting Jungkook a knowing look.

“Um, I-I just wanted to…join a club? And Taehyung-”

“Yeah, I forced him to join. Is everyone happy?” Taehyung rolled his eyes, although he was smiling.

In the midst of Namjoon frowning and letting out a sound of protest, Yoongi chuckled to himself,

“Well. Whatever it is, it’s good you joined.”

Jungkook tried not to stare, he really did, but he couldn’t help looking at Yoongi even as the rest fussed over him because he looked so much more approachable when he actually talked and acknowledged his presence.

“Oh yeah! We have one more member but he’s more of an honorary member. You’ll see him soon, I’m sure.” Namjoon finished up, passing Jungkook a folder as he sat next to him.

Now that was the last missing piece that had been bothering Jungkook because of the photobooth photo that had showed six people. Things made better sense now, and it really seemed like he was a proper part of the club with the cosy atmosphere. Taking the folder, Jungkook realised it contained all of the guidelines into the work that the club did as shown in the presentation the other days which was what Taehyung and Hoseok had been searching for earlier. He gratefully held onto it, eyes following detailed graphs and tables.

“So what role’s he gonna fill up Joon ah?” came the question from Hoseok that everyone was thinking about.

Putting an arm around both Taehyung and Hoseok as he settled onto the floor with them, Namjoon frowned in thought which really alarmed Jungkook. It seemed like he wasn’t actually needed by the reaction that everyone was giving but then again he wasn’t too sure if he understood how they even worked to say that in the first place. But Taehyung sprung up, pointing right at Yoongi with an overly enthusiastic expression,

“The legal paperwork! He could learn it from hyung since none of us do it to the standards he deems passable.”

Namjoon beamed, dimples distracting Jungkook for a moment from looking at Yoongi,

“That’d be great! Up for it, Jungkook?”

Without really knowing what he was signing up for again, Jungkook just nodded and peeked up at Yoongi who was still sitting at the chair. But this time he had to physically keep his eyes from darting away because Yoongi was looking right at him. Hoseok started clapping his hands and nodding solemnly which got everyone else to clap along too and Jungkook ducked his head in, feeling shy from all the attention he was getting. The chair made a sound as Yoongi got off, and Jungkook’s fingers tightened around the cup as he walked to the sofa with all of them,

“Well, welcome to our club Jungkook and I’ll be your mentor.”

Jungkook locked his jaw to prevent it from hanging wide open when Yoongi gave him a small smile along with a nod that he was sure was going to reappear in his dreams a couple of hundred times.

“Wow hyung, that was a much better welcoming than the one you gave him.” Taehyung sniped in, elbowing Namjoon’s ribs a little.

“I have to agree, sorry Joonie hyung.” Jimin joined in, giving his best puppy eyes.

Taehyung, Hoseok and Jimin ganged up to tickle Namjoon who was gasping for air on the floor by his feet, while Yoongi nudged them with his feet to break it up. Compared to a week ago, Jungkook didn’t feel like that much of a stranger seated at the sofa.

 

He toed his shoes off and brought his socked feet up as he thoroughly enjoyed the smoothie that Yoongi had bought, only for him.

 

Chapter Text

When Taehyung finally realised that the lecture had been over for a while and that he’d swatted away attempts to wake him up, he felt his blood run cold. Moving way too quickly for his liking, he fixed the shades he had on as he grabbed his tumbler of coffee and rushed down the stairs, almost tripping before brisk walking down the hallway. Halfway through, he broke into a jog that made his stomach roll with unease, gag reflex making him retch. Once he squeezed past the crowd, he opened the door and went right up to Yoongi to pass him an usb that was shaped like a pineapple. Groaning and willing himself not to throw up right there and then, Taehyung put a shaky hand up,

“I’m not late Yoongi hyung- I’m not-“

But another extremely nauseating round of retching had him getting up and running right out to the toilet as Hoseok wrinkled his nose in disgust. Yoongi just shook his head and continued sorting through the documents at the desk until Taehyung came back looking an ashen shade of the healthy tan he normally sported. Pointing a determined finger through the obvious state of unrest he was in, Taehyung spoke in the softest voice Jungkook had heard him use so far,

“I’m still not late, I just needed a toilet break.”

“Look over the appeal forms on open-water activities for freshmen week.”

“In two hours, I promise I will.”

Jungkook continued to watch as Taehyung went straight to the sofa to join Jimin who also sat there with the exact same shades and an oversized hoodie,

“I did not wake up feeling like p diddy, I just feel like shit.”

“What?” 

“The song…? Never mind, talking hurts.”

While Jimin blatantly ignored Taehyung’s presence, Jungkook took a quick look around the room, not too sure as to why they were both wearing shades because it wasn’t like there was any need to, especially when the windows were shut. But they both looked sick from as much of their faces that he could see with those huge shades covering them and he was a little worried,

“Um Hobi hyung?”

“Yes, bunny?”

Pausing a moment, Jungkook wondered why that nickname had stuck but chose to ignore it in favour of a more pressing concern,

“Are they uh, alright? Is it the sore eyes or something?”

Hoseok turned to look at Jungkook for a moment before bursting out laughing, clutching onto his stomach as Taehyung and Jimin groaned from the sofa,

“No, oh my god no! They’re hungover, and do not deserve any of your innocent worrying.”

Gazing back to the two at the sofa, Jungkook lips curled as he silently mouthed an ‘oh’. Taehyung grabbed his tumbler and took a sip before passing it to Jimin who could barely move without scowling. Jungkook went back to reading the guidelines that Namjoon had passed him earlier this week, trying to make as little noise as possible. Which was easy when he was actually really trying to digest all the material. There were a lot of rules and regulations that all these club and organisations had to adhere to, not to mention the standard of procedures that had to be followed. From getting permits to sell tickets to restrictions on venue selections as well as food and beverage prohibitions. Jungkook’s eyes widened dramatically when he saw all of the safety regulations that had to be met if a day camp was to be held and worse still, if it was overnight. Wow, he had no clue there were so many legal issues that could arise from carrying out a club activity wrongly. He’d always assumed it was all fun and games, not reports and permits.

Suddenly, Jungkook was reminded of something that had occurred around three weeks ago and the more he thought about it the more it seemed like he should bring it up. Looking up, Jungkook eyed Hoseok for a bit but he was busy typing away a new announcement for all the clubs who were going to be holding freshmen invitation camps in the coming weeks. Nope, Hoseok was friendly and all but he wasn’t going to bother him when he was busy, especially not when he was frowning so hard that lines were forming on his forehead. His next targets were Taehyung and Jimin who were lying on their sides on the sofa and looking like they were about an inch away from death. That left Jungkook with Yoongi, who was sorting through a huge pile of paperwork as he always was. Jungkook didn’t know why there was always a stack that Yoongi seemed to be perpetually busy with until now; all these requirements meant a lot of signing, permission slips, written notices and licences. Gathering whatever courage he had in him, Jungkook quietly made way over while nibbling on his bottom lip.

“Um, sunbaenim-“

Yoongi glanced up, arching his brow as Jungkook tried not to count all the eyelashes he could see,

“What is it, do you need help?“

“No! I mean, I’m still reading it but I understand the regulations and permits for now. The thing is uh-“

Patiently waiting, Yoongi capped his pen and slowly nodded his head as Jungkook picked at his shirt nervously before continuing,

“I think… I saw a club violating campus regulations. The one on how there is to be well um, no… no sale of alcohol on campus grounds unless with a liquor tax license and sale permit? I saw the track club giving out um… well, beer packs when they were getting freshmen to sign up.”

Playing with the pen between his fingers, Yoongi stared at it for a while before putting it down and getting up,

“You saw it?”

“Uh… well, yes. They were saying you’d get a six-pack if you joined.”

“Alright then.”

Opening a drawer and taking out a small booklet, Yoongi ripped a piece out before stamping it with blood red ink,

“Come with me.”

Jungkook didn’t need any further instructions, silently following behind Yoongi without asking anything. The slip of paper looked oddly terrorising between Yoongi’s fingers as he walked down the hallway and turned a corner into the athletic clubs’ stretch of rooms. Filling in this area into his mental map, Jungkook recognised the familiar smell of chalk, sweat, and shock-absorbing mats as he stayed behind Yoongi like a duckling. Abruptly turning, Yoongi knocked on an open door with the best poker face Jungkook had ever seen. One of the guys who was gathered in a circle stood up, looking a little startled,

“Yoongi sunbae, hi? Do you need something, I thought we sent the report on our budget expenditure yesterday.”

“That report needs to be redone but I’m not here for that,” Yoongi begun, crossing his arms before turning to look back at Jungkook,

“Do you recognise their faces?”

Turning from hiding behind Yoongi as best as he could, Jungkook looked through the bunch who were seated in a circle before nodding slightly at the two who were similarly trying to hide their faces just as he was. Sighing, Yoongi unfolded his arms and outstretched a hand holding the disciplinary slip to the president of the track club,

“Remind your runners that no alcohol can be handed out during club callouts.”

The president looked so genuinely horrified as he took the slip, turning to glare at the two that Yoongi was pointedly staring at,

“Sunbae, I didn’t know- I swear. I’m really sorry that it happened. You two come here and apologise now.”

The mentioned runners sheepishly stood up and rubbed at their necks as they bowed, but Yoongi just turned back to the president,

“I know your freshmen camp is coming up, so pull those two out and I’ll let this go with just the warning.”

The relief on the president’s face was immediate and so obvious that Jungkook was already feeling bad for snitching on the two,

“Thank you so much sunbae, really.”

“Yeah, this is Jungkook by the way. He’s our newest member, so you’ll be seeing him more instead of me now.”

“Oh, hi Jungkook! I’m Lee Jaehyun, president of the track club. Thanks for reporting these two, I really don’t advocate breaking the rules.”

“Uh-hi sunbaenim, nice to um meet you too and… you’re welcome?”

Jungkook’s eyes shifted between the two who were bowing in apology once again and Yoongi, who was furrowing his brows at them in return. It almost looked like he was warning those two in some silent language because they definitely looked scared out of their minds, and Jungkook just really wanted to go back to hiding behind him.

“Resend the budget report back by tomorrow, I’ll see you around.” With that, Yoongi turned to leave just and Jungkook took a second to lag behind because he had to bow to the president of the club before waddling after him.

“You don’t have to bow all the time you know.” 

“I uh- I was raised like that. It’s a habit.”

“Well, although you were raised well, quit bowing to me. I don’t particularly need it from you.”

Grinning to himself, Jungkook bounced on the heel of his feet as he now understood why Yoongi could comfortably walk through the crowded hallways. He naturally gave off an aura that calmly presented itself as ‘get the fuck out of my way’, and those that recognised him simply didn’t want to be on his bad side. It felt like having a superpower of some sort, because Jungkook wasn’t afraid of those two from the track club bothering him for being the whistle blower one bit. He really hoped he’d be able to carry out the job that Yoongi seemed to naturally excel at through intimidation and strict reinforcement of the school honour code one day. Just as Jungkook was about to turn back to the club room, Yoongi took a different turn and sent him skidding over,

“Mind doing me a favour?”

That’s how Jungkook found himself carrying three bags of food and drinks outside of the cafeteria, stomach rumbling when the smell of burgers tempted his appetite,

“Give the porridge to the two hungover idiots and share the burgers with Hobi. Sorry that I’m making you carry this, I’ve got to head over to my workshopping studio for a bit.”

Shaking his head fervently, Jungkook lifted the bags up and down to show that it wasn’t heavy,

“Not at all sunbaenim, I’ll deliver it. Thank you for the food!”

“Look at you talking without stammering, so you’re from Busan huh.”

Jungkook hadn’t even realised that he wasn’t feeling nervous around Yoongi until he had mentioned that and then his stomach clammed up immediately. He also hadn’t realised that he was alone with Yoongi for such a long period of time because of the disciplinary case that had to be handled, but it was hitting him in full force now. His ears burned, with his cheeks following right after as he fluttered his eyelids at Yoongi before jerking into a bow. But then he remembered that he wasn’t supposed to bow and awkwardly straightened his back as the bags jostled in his hands. Jungkook caught the sigh as well as the way Yoongi put his hand up in a brief wave before he vanished into the crowd, but it was the small smile that really made an impression. Barely there, in such a subtle manner that got Jungkook’s knees all weak. He wanted to sit down and stare into space for at least an hour but he had a favour to do, so he brought all the food back to the clubroom right to a whining Taehyung,

“Why is he always so up my ass all the time?”

“You know he doesn’t agree with the hardcore partying that you and Jimin do.”

“It’s not hardcore, we only go once in a fucking blue moon and we barely had like five shots.”

“You had eleven.” Jimin rebutted as he rubbed his temples and looked up at Jungkook,

“Oh hey, Jungkookie. Where’d you go?”

Putting the bags down and taking the separate containers out, Jungkook handed them over to Taehyung and Jimin who sat upright at the sight of food,

“Hi, uh… Yoongi sunbaenim went to his workshop studio but told me to give you all this.”

“Fuck, I take everything back. I love Yoongi hyung.” Taehyung muttered as he dug into the porridge.

Jimin let out a fake laugh that Hoseok rolled his eyes at before gratefully taking the burger that Jungkook handed him. Jungkook almost didn’t want to eat the burger that he was unwrapping in favour of keeping it as a keepsake of something Yoongi bought him but the growl his stomach let out decided otherwise. It was stupid to try and preserve the burger, so Jungkook neatly folded the wrapping paper that it came with and stuck it inside his pocket when the rest weren’t looking. He’d go home and keep it with the smoothie cup that he’d washed out and kept in the box below his bed. It was borderline creepy but Jungkook couldn’t throw it away, not when they came with the memories he never wanted to forget. Now, he had a new item in his collection that served as a good reminder of the how Yoongi had basically threatened the two runners to not try anything funny after this. Hiding a toothy grin behind his burger, Jungkook congratulated himself for managing not to stammer even though he hadn’t even realised it. What mattered was that Yoongi had pointed it out, and that meant he wasn’t as invisible to Yoongi as he had thought he was. Taehyung, who had been slurping down his porridge because his body finally decided that it wanted food, caught the way that Jungkook was smiling creepily to himself. Snorting a little, he pointed his spoon at him,

“Are Hobi hyung and I forgiven yet?”

Chewing on his burger, Jungkook looked down and mumbled,

“I wasn’t even that upset-“

“Yes you were, and I totally set you up with hyung so we better be even now.”

Jungkook tried to hide his shyness by sipping on his sprite but Taehyung and Hoseok only laughed at the way his cheeks were painted pink already. Jimin tilted his head, pausing on his porridge,

“Am I missing something?”

“Oh right, Jimin ah, he has a puppy crush on Yoongi hyung. A huge fucking one, I’m surprised you couldn’t tell.”

Looking a little taken aback, Jimin took off his shades and squinted,

“Really? Are you pranking me because I will cut your-”

“Yoongi hyung already threatened my dick, thank you very much. I’m not fucking with you, seriously. Kookie, tell him.”

Right on beat, Jungkook choked on his sprite but put it down and wiped his mouth while mumbling to himself. That reaction only fuelled further laughter from the other two, who were shaking their heads in unison. Jimin, on the other hand, swiped an imaginary zip across his lips,

“I’ll keep my mouth shut.”

Only managing to nod his head in thanks, Jungkook rubbed at his ears with his palms to try to get them to stop becoming so hot. But every time they brought this up, he could feel all the awkwardness seep into his bones and diffuse from his pores. Why couldn’t he just be smooth about it? Hoseok wiped the sauce off the corner of his mouth before nodding to Taehyung,

“I’m surprised you didn’t tell Jimin, he’s your fucking roomie man.”

“Hey, I’m not loose lipped.”

“Yes, you are.” Hoseok and Jimin rebutted in the driest tone.

While Taehyung shot the two an overly dramatic affronted look, Jungkook perked up,

“You two are uh-roommates?”

“Oh yeah, we are. Been since our freshmen year.”

“Oh, that’s nice.”

“Please, Jimin takes an hour to do his hair. You have no idea how much I suffer.”

“Tae likes to sing opera while he showers and hits every note wrongly.”

“Take that back!”

Hoseok rolled his eyes at the two who begun swatting at one another childishly while Jungkook inched away for his safety,

“Hobi hyung, uh-what about you?”

“I have a roommate too. You?”

“I live with um-my brother, he works in Seoul so he has an apartment here.”

The other two paused mid-swatting and turned to Jungkook,

“You aren’t from here?”

“Uh no. I’m from Busan. That’s actually why I talk like this, I mean with the stammering and the stuttering, it’s…it’s cause I’m shy but also … I have to correct my accent.”

Along with getting blinded by Jimin’s huge smile, he got a shock from the familiar tone he’d missed hearing so much,

“I’m from Busan too!”

“Kook, you don’t need to hide your accent. No one gives a fuck, and even if they did, you could just curse at them in that accent.” Taehyung said matter-of-factly, scowling a little.

Jungkook stretched his hand out to meet Jimin’s high-five, feeling his own cheeks hurt from smiling so much. He hadn’t realised that he’d been longing for a part of his hometown this much until the relief poured over him like a good monsoon shower,

“I couldn’t tell you were from Busan too Jimin hyung, you sound so…uh-“

“Like a Seoul person? So do you, by the way.”

“Really? My brother always says I still have a heavy accent.”

“Well, now you do.” Hoseok pointed out but quickly followed it up with a double thumbs up,

“But you also don’t sound like you’re going to piss your pants any second so, this is better.”

Scratching at his neck, Jungkook scrunched up his nose and joined in with the rest at laughing it off but he could really feel the uneasiness start to slip off his shoulders. He had realised how foreign he was feeling but didn’t realise that he didn’t have to. Gathering all the boxes into a bag to throw everything outside, Taehyung smirked,

“I’m from Daegu, same as Yoongi hyung. Don’t be jealous.”

Jungkook’s eyes widened,

“Oh wow. I couldn’t tell.”

“Of course not, we’re all Seoul people now.”

“Just wait till we start arguing, all the accents slip out then. I’m from Gwangju.”

The door opened then, and all of then turned to look at Namjoon who waltzed in with a new stack of papers. Jungkook only could watch as the other three locked eyes with one another before making finger hearts,

“The prince of Ilsan is here!”

Namjoon smiled at them a little puzzled and tried to return the finger heart only to drop his stack of papers over Jungkook’s head, whose neck craned in a painful angle as the papers fluttered all over and around him. Namjoon’s long limbs flailing around him accompanied his intense apologies,

“Sorry, so sorry! Oh no, one sheet escaped-please help me get that or Yoongi hyung will kill me.”

Laughing a little, Jungkook stretched out to grab that piece of paper from under the sofa and then remembered the question that had been bothering him,

“Uh, Hobi hyung and Namjoon hyung, why do you call Yoongi sunbaenim um…Yoongi hyung if you’re all in your final year?”

Pausing from rubbing Jungkook’s head, Namjoon gave Hoseok a confused look that they both shared before he suddenly snapped his fingers,

“Oh! It’s cause Yoongi hyung is actually a year older than us, he took a year off after his freshmen year.”

 

Jungkook didn’t quite understand why adding one more year to the three-year gap he had with Yoongi was so distressing, especially when he probably had no chance with him either way.

 

Chapter Text

By this point, Jungkook felt that he should have known that unexpected situations were all that college was serving up to him and yet, he still felt himself wondering how the hell he got himself into this predicament. He was currently stuck on a ledge off the east wing of the campus building, with barely enough space for his feet to balance himself on. Which was why the back of his shirt was damp with sweat as he looked down at the small crowd that had already crowded down below. Jungkook didn’t exactly have a fear of heights, so this was still manageable to him. He was worried about the attention and commotion that he was gathering because he really didn’t know how to explain how he got here. Well, he had an explanation, but he was sure he was going to get more than an earful for it. Namjoon was waving his arms frantically at him, looking so worried sick that Jungkook was already coming up with the first paragraph in his apology letter he was going to write him later. The sun was continuing to beat down his neck, making him more uncomfortably stuck in this heat as the minutes ticked by. Keeping the small bundle in his hands close to his stomach, Jungkook focused in on one of them squinting up at him against the harsh afternoon sun,

“Just jump!”

Now, that was the last thing he was expecting to hear, but also what he wanted to hear the most. 

If Jungkook had to trace back all the things that happened today that led to this, he knew it had started right in the club room itself. He had been sitting in class for a couple of hours, not really sure what his professor was going on about as usual, before making his way over to the club room. It had become a ritual of sorts that he had become accustomed to in the past month and a half. So he wasn’t really paying attention to the door he pushed open because he was mostly following his muscle memory. In retrospect, that would have been why he was put off his balance when he saw a stranger sprawled on the sofa. Almost immediately, Jungkook swung the door back close while muttering an apology before he blinked up at the mystery sticker that had been confusing him for a while now. It was pasted a little crooked on the door, and it read “(csc.exe)”. Now, Jungkook knew what 'csc' stood for but he had no idea about the second part. Was it supposed to be an abbreviated form of executive or something? He really didn’t know but he knew that he had to stop fixating on all the wrong things. He had opened the right door, because this was definitely the club room he knew. Slowly pushing the door open again, Jungkook eyed the stranger on the couch warily, noting the xbox controller he was holding and then looking at the Mario game that was being projected onto the whiteboard. The lump was already forming in his throat from not knowing what he was going to do with a stranger blatantly using their room for gaming purposes but he had to do something, he couldn’t just pretend that he didn’t see this. 

“Close the door, the ac is on.” The stranger ordered, sounding pretty irked.

His limbs moved before he could really think it through, and Jungkook found himself closing the door behind him as quickly stepped into the room. The stranger was still fully focused on playing his game, eyes never leaving the screen as his body swayed just like the car his player his was driving.
“Um.”

Jungkook's voice got his attention, and he glanced over with furrowed brows,

“Who're you?”

By all means, Jungkook really wanted to be the one asking that question, but he settled for peering confusedly at him. Without warning, the stranger pointed to him with a knowing look which caused his player’s car to spin out of control and then fall off the road. Smacking his forehead angrily, the stranger paused the game and slumped against the sofa,

 “You just made me lose a game, Jeon Jungkook.”

That sent some warning bells off in Jungkook’s head because this stranger used his name with too much familiarity to actually be a stranger. Divine intervention decided to help him because a black and white photo booth picture flashed in his head and suddenly he was very aware of who this was; the honorary member,

“Oh, uh. Sorry… Seokjin sunbaenim?”

“That is my name yeah, but lose the seok and sunbaenim. Everyone calls me Jin hyung.”

Now that was making a lot of sense especially because Jungkook remembered seeing the other members calling him Jin in the group chats. Bowing his head politely, Jungkook walked over to the table and got the papers he needed to pass to the student union. He wanted to get out of here as quickly as he could so he was pulling the door open in no time, only to pause mid-way when Jin’s voice filtered in,

“Hey, you’re the one taking over Yoongi right?”

Jungkook nodded, glancing at the paused game nervously to which Jin only tilted his head while narrowing his eyes,

“Huh. That’s strange-”

Before he could complete his sentence, something white leaped out of his lap, sprung towards the door and slipped out before Jungkook could even make out what it was. Jin abruptly stood up, console dropping to the floor in a clatter as he pointed horrified at the door,

“Mochi!”

Remaining completely frozen, Jungkook stared at the opening he’d created as he held the door open. Slowly shifting his eyes to meet Jin’s, Jungkook whispered worriedly,

“Did I just-“

“Grab the bunny!”

It was pretty strange how Jungkook moved to obey Jin’s orders for the second time without really knowing why, but he was sprinting down the corridor looking for a white rabbit right away. He saw its fluffy tail just in time before it disappeared into the next corner, but a fellow student on a skateboard came speeding down the corridor and right into them. Jungkook’s reflexes had him stepping away just in time to avoid crashing into him but he hadn’t managed to grab Jin with him. Unknown to him, Jin had his own set of moves which entailed of pushing the skateboarder roughly to the side with an annoyed huff without even looking back,

“No skating!”

Wincing on behalf of the utterly confused guy who laid spread out on the floor, Jungkook bowed his head quickly before running after Jin. But it was too late, they had both lost the rabbit and now were face to face with the zombie apocalypse of students who had ended their lectures and roamed the hallways lifelessly. Griping his hair, Jin's eyes bugged out,

“She’s gonna get trampled and die, great. Great!”

“Uh… I’m really sorry Jin hyung-“

Jin rubbed his temples, looking as stressed out as he could,

“I shouldn’t have let her out of the cage, she’s skittish around strangers.”

“She couldn’t have gotten that far, well, uh- we can look for her?”

“Yeah, yeah that sounds fairly easy- finding a small bunny in this crowd.”

Gulping nervously, Jungkook turned to look around intently for any sight of white fur because Jin frankly terrified him. It wasn’t like he was mean or anything but Jungkook didn’t know if he could be considered as nice either. He was part indifferent and part intimidating, much like how he’d felt about Yoongi when he first met him. Well, it wasn’t like he and Yoongi had become best friends over the few weeks either but Jin was intimidating in a completely different manner he didn’t know what to pinpoint as. Jungkook snuck a glance at Jin who was looking behind a bin only to be met by with a frown and narrowed eyes,

“I know I’m handsome but why’re you staring at me instead of looking for mochi?”

“Uh no! Sorry, I was just wondering why I’m only meeting you now...?”

“Cause I’m a grad student, knee deep in research work and grants. But I drop by now and then.”

“Um… I heard you and Yoongi hyung were the ones who created the club too, that’s really cool.”

“Well, yeah I guess we did. But it wasn’t really much of a club till we found the rest.”

“Can I well, ask… why you two created this club?”

“We didn’t like the previous club we were in.”

Jungkook didn’t press Jin for more because he seemed distracted and worried to death about his bunny, so it was a question for another time. Rather, he leaned over the railings to try and get an aerial view of the walkway below only to find his eyes darting over to a moving fluffy white ball that was scuttering across the rooftop of the connected greenhouse. Jumping over the railing and onto the rooftop of the greenhouse was clearly off bounds but Jungkook’s body was moving without much thought as he heaved himself up and over the railing with ease,

 “She’s here! Uh-mochi, I mean.”

Leaning against the railing, Jin could only watch with his breath held as Jungkook carefully threaded the rooftop. But mochi jerked away when he came close, slipping down the steep slope of the rooftop. Pushing himself down the slope without hesitating, Jungkook managed to stop himself from falling to his death only because he had a ledge to brace his feet against and stop in time. After finding his balance, Jungkook quickly grabbed the frightened bunny and held her close to his torso. Letting out a breath, Jungkook leaned away from the ledge as much as he could and instead braced himself against the concrete of the slanting roof. Jin’s voice seemed much further away than it did before,

“Are you crazy, is she okay?!”

“She is. Uh, I have a question though, Jin hyung.”

“What?!”

“Does she bite? Because I’m really scared of rabbits biting me-“

“That’s what you’re scared of?! Okay, don’t move. Let me get some help, just stay still.”

So Jungkook glanced down at mochi who had burrowed her head into his shirt, obviously frightened by everything that had happened. Jin hadn’t answered his question but it seemed like she didn’t bite so it was a relief. The sun was hot on his neck, drenching his back in sweat before he could make out Jin from the ground floor courtyard with an equally panicking Namjoon who flung him arms around,

“Jungkook! Are you okay, can you climb back up?”

Shaking his head, Jungkook glanced back up at the steep roof they slid off before looking back down,

“Nope hyung, it’s too steep.”

“Okay, don’t worry, I’m asking Hobi for help.”

“Hyung there’s no need, I’m pretty sure I can jump-”

“JEON JUNGKOOK, YOU DO NOT JUMP!” Jin screeched in a tone Jungkook didn’t know was humanly possible, positively making him stay in place.

Jungkook glanced back up the steep roof wondering if there was any possible way he could scale that after all. There was no way he was going to make it while holding mochi so that was a definite no. But if he jumped, he might get killed by Jin who looked close to strangling Namjoon who was still on the phone. The hot afternoon sun was beating down on his neck and making him sticky from sweat, causing a wave of worry to wash over him at how mochi must be faring in this heat. Hoseok and Taehyung appeared then, running closer to where Namjoon was waving his arms at. Jungkook focused in on Hoseok squinting up at him for a bit before saying something to Namjoon he couldn’t quite pick up. But then he squinted up at him, hands on his hip as he yelled,  

“Just jump!”

That was the last thing Jungkook had expected to hear from Hoseok but it was oddly relieving, because now he could stop standing at the ledge stupidly. But it got Namjoon and Jin protesting immediately, with Jin slapping the back of Hoseok’s head with a loud thud that Jungkook heard clearly. Scowling, Hoseok rubbed his head,

“Guys, even I can jump from that height! What the fuck- it’s just about a storey high- Jungkook just jump!”

Taehyung nodded, gauging the distance that Jungkook had to reach the ground before reaching his hand up to him,

“Yeah look, if he reaches down I can practically touch his hand.”

Deciding to take a move on before Namjoon and Jin could stop him, Jungkook bent down carefully and passed mochi to Taehyung who grabbed her before she could jump off to somewhere else. Once she was secured and passed over to Jin, Jungkook easily jumped to safety and landed softly on the grass. It was so anticlimactic that Jungkook felt his ears burn a little as he straightened himself out. Even Namjoon could only scratch his neck a little impishly,

“Okay, well, was it really not that high?”

“Yes hyung!” Hoseok chimed in while rolling his eyes at Jin who was currently cooing to mochi, 

“It’s high for her, she’s so traumatised. It’s alright baby, daddy’s here.”

Taehyung gagged at Jin’s words, and Jungkook just brushed his palms off while Namjoon patted his back,

“You sure you’re okay?”

“Yup hyung, completely. I told you- it really isn’t that high.”

Jungkook smiled at Namjoon and turned to start walking back to the club only to be met by mochi crinkling her nose at him barely an inch away from his face. He had to hold the yelp that threatened to escape past his lips, but then she was pulled away from his face by Jin who had held her there prior,

“She says thanks, and well… I do too. You saved her life.”

“Uh- well, um. It was no problem hyung.”

Jin went back to petting her and Hoseok draped an arm around Jungkook,

“Actually, I wouldn’t have dared to jump but thanks for doing it anyways. The ladder’s really heavy and I really didn’t wanna be the one dragging it here.”

Somehow Hoseok’s confession only made Jungkook laugh, at the pure absurdity of the situation but also because it really wasn’t high for him. He’d jumped off trees higher than that back in Busan, but he’d keep that information to himself. Taking a different turn than the rest of them, Jin waved,

“I’m off to my office first, I’m putting her back in her cage.”

Jungkook bowed while the rest waved, watching the way Namjoon hands slipped around Jin’s back and patted it before he joined the rest. If there was one thing he had noticed, it was that everyone in this club was touchy in one way or the other. He didn’t mind it, he’d gotten used to that from years of judo, but they constantly hugged or walked around with their hands on one another. The only exception Jungkook could think of was Yoongi and his point was proven when the door opened and Taehyung and Hoseok both pushed at one another to get to be the one who could sit in the chair only to stop when they realised that Yoongi was sitting in it. Jungkook was beginning to suspect that it was not just a chair but Yoongi's chair, because he really hadn’t seen anyone else in it ever. Ignoring the two who had started fighting for the entire sofa, Yoongi looked up from his papers at Jungkook and Namjoon,

“What were all of you up to?”

“Oh nothing hyung, we were just hanging out.” Namjoon chirped in before Jungkook could even think about what he could say.

“What.”

Trying not to laugh at Yoongi’s deadpan expression, Jungkook glanced at the way Namjoon was shaking his head as if signalling not to tell Yoongi what had happened. Since he was the one who was standing on the roof against all kind of rules, Jungkook decided to play along to save his ass as well. He tried to be as vague as he could without actually telling a full-blown lie,

“Um… we were just playing with Jin hyung’s rabbit.”

Yoongi looked a little confused but then he shrugged it off and went back to his papers much to Namjoon’s relief. After Namjoon mouthed ‘good one’ to Jungkook, Yoongi gestured for Jungkook to come over to his table with a hand. Eagerly waddling over, Jungkook stood by his desk and looked at the documents Yoongi was flipping through,

“This is done right but I need you to make sure you attach the photocopy of the bank details and not the original copy itself. We need to keep that in our records folder, yeah?”

The colour drained from Jungkook’s face almost instantly as he realised he had made a mistake in the paperwork given to him,

“I’m so sorry sunbaenim, I uh- was careless, I’m really-”

Jungkook was stumbling over his words as usual but this time, he started coughing a little and brought a hand up to cover his mouth. Yoongi shook his head slowly, not looking the least bit angry or annoyed at his mistake but looked up with concern when Jungkook started to clear his throat,

“Are you alright?”

Putting his other hand up, Jungkook turned his face away and managed to stop coughing,

“Uh- yup, I am… okay.”

Namjoon had looked over from where he’d been busy taking something out from his bag,

“Is the room dusty or something? I made them clean it last week though.”

Shaking his head, Jungkook took a step away from them and rubbed at his nose. Getting up from the chair, Yoongi grabbed his bottle of water and went over to him,

“Here, have some.”

Wondering if he should accept the bottle of water, Jungkook eyed it for a bit as he wiped at the tears that had gathered at the corner of his eyes. While Namjoon sniffed at the air in the room, Jungkook’s throat itched again and he gratefully took the offered bottle before he had to cough once more. The two who had given up trying to push each other off the sofa looked over at the sound, a little confused because it seemed like only Jungkook was affected by it. But then Namjoon made a small sound of triumph,

“Oh, I know.”

With that, he pointed his finger at Yoongi,

“Hyung, you smoked before coming here didn’t you?”

“Yeah?”

“That’s what’s making him cough like that, I can still smell it pretty strongly around here.”

Screwing the lid back on the bottle, Jungkook could only look a little stricken as Namjoon snickered knowingly. He really didn’t want that to be the reason, but he’d never taken well to the smell even if it was the lingering scent on someone’s clothes. Nibbling on his bottom lip, Jungkook stretched out both his hands holding Yoongi’s bottle to return it but Yoongi was looking like he’d committed an unforgivable sin with wide eyes and a soft gasp. Backing away from him, Yoongi pulled off his denim jacket and sniffed at it before groaning slightly and looking for some place to put it away. The back of the chair wouldn’t suffice so Yoongi ended up stuffing it into one of the drawers, shutting it with a loud thud. As Namjoon went over to open the windows in an attempt to air out the room, Yoongi snuck a few glances at Jungkook from where he was standing,

“Would a hot drink help your throat?”

Jungkook just stared at him blankly but Yoongi only got more worried, grabbing his wallet and dashing out before he could say anything. Hoseok and Taehyung fell off the sofa from laughing, clutching at their stomachs from the look on Yoongi’s face but Jungkook didn’t find it funny. Running after him, Jungkook awkwardly skidded off to his side,

“Sunbaenim! I don’t uh-need a hot drink.”

“I think I owe you at least that, and you should really stay away from me.”

“No! I mean, you don’t uh owe me…anything.”

Maintaining a good distance with him, Yoongi craned his neck in to try and sniff himself but to be honest he really couldn’t smell it because of how much he’d gotten used to the smell himself,

“Is the smell still here? I think it was mostly on my jacket.”

“It’s not as strong now.”

Jungkook hadn’t realised he’d followed Yoongi all the way to the coffee shop till Yoongi was gesturing to the board, 

“What would you like?”

“I really don’t need-”

But Yoongi just turned to the cashier and ordered anyways,

“One hot expresso and one hot chocolate please, thanks.”

Picking it up once it was done, Yoongi put the cup of hot chocolate in Jungkook’s hands without any room for discussion. Jungkook was feeling completely guilty for making Yoongi buy this but he had no other choice but to drink it now. Yoongi stopped at the stairway they had to take to go down a floor,

“We should sit here and have our drinks so they can air out the room for a while longer.”

“Sunbaenim-”

“Sit.”

Yoongi sat a few feet away from him, glancing at him worriedly while Jungkook sat down feeling like a completely spoilt child. Two weeks ago, he’d been feeling left out but now he was feeling horrible for how much the rest were catering to him,

“How did you know um… that I like hot chocolate, sunbaenim?”

“Wild guess. Also, you’re a kid and kids like hot chocolate.”

Jungkook wanted to complain indignantly that he was not a kid but the situation wasn’t helping and he really didn’t dare to say that to Yoongi so he settled for looking at his cup instead. Letting out a heavy sigh, Yoongi turned to him,

“I’m really sorry, I won’t smoke before coming to the club anymore.”

Jungkook really wanted to tell him not to smoke in the first place, but it seemed like too much of a heavy statement and one that he didn’t think he was close enough to say. It was bothering him incredibly, but he clamped down on it.


“Uh sunbaenim, it’s alright I just-sensitive nose and all, it’d pass.“ Jungkook stammered, gripping onto the cup of warm chocolate and instantly regretting his choice of words.

Now he just sounded like he didn’t care if Yoongi smoked his lungs to black dust while downplaying just how much the smell made him want to rip his nose out but to his surprise, Yoongi shook his head,


“I know I come off as a dick, but even I don’t want to be the one who gives you a coughing fit whenever you come for club.”

Jungkook tried to hide his wince by taking a large gulp of the hot chocolate even though it was scalding his tongue before mumbling incoherently,


“I don’t think you’re a …dick, sunbaenim.”
 
But Yoongi caught it anyways, staring sideways at Jungkook for a long moment before scrunching his nose slightly,

“Stop calling me that.”

Shifting his eyes to meet Yoongi’s, Jungkook used the back of his hand to wipe his mouth,

“Huh?”

“You call the rest hyung, even Jin hyung gets called that by you.”

The moment what Yoongi just mentioned registered, Jungkook found himself holding his breath. Yoongi had noticed the smallest things Jungkook had been doing, and that realisation was dawning way too heavily and significantly on him. He probably was overthinking this because Yoongi hadn’t even said or implied anything by it, but his brain was still wreaking pure havoc anyways. Trying to use the heat that spread out from the cup and to his hands as a form of grounding, Jungkook ducked his chin in shyly,

“Oh, that. Uh-well, I didn’t know if I could…do that.”

Now, Jungkook was beginning to realise that Yoongi had a habit of staring into his eyes whenever they spoke and it was honestly unnerving to maintain that eye contact. Which was why Jungkook rarely did, just as he was looking at his cup and praying that his ears weren’t flaming.

“You can.” Came the effortless reply from Yoongi.

His ears were definitely red, but Jungkook managed to glance up and catch Yoongi taking a sip of his black coffee. Now this was the type of smell that Jungkook liked on him, along with his woody cologne. The urgent need to somehow show his disapproval of his toxic habit was weighing too heavily on his mind, and as much as he didn’t want to over step boundaries, Jungkook couldn’t just say nothing. So he brushed his thumb against the cup, and remembered all the reassurance he got from the rest about just speaking without correcting his accent,

“Can I say something, hyung?”

The reaction from Yoongi was worth all the effort it took to gather the courage for Jungkook to do that because Yoongi’s brows rose with surprise before he let out a soft laugh,

“Yeah?”

“Try not to smoke too much? It’s just not healthy and I don’t want hyung to be sick.”

The soft laugh turned into a warm chuckle, one that Jungkook eagerly welcomed,

“I’ll try, promise.”

Oh god, Jungkook wanted to roll into a ball and squeeze his pillows until they were disfigured but he settled for biting down on his molars instead. He couldn’t believe this was actually happening, he couldn’t believe he was managing to hold this conversation with Yoongi without feeling like he was going to puke his lunch out. But his content giddiness came to a quick stop when Yoongi moved to stand up, only to sway a little and lurch forward dangerously. Luckily, Jungkook had sprung up to grab at Yoongi to stop him from tumbling down an entire flight of stairs, which would have guaranteed at least fractured bones and bruises for weeks. Although he had left his cup down on the floor, the coffee in the cup that Yoongi had been holding sploshed right onto his white shirt. Jungkook could only stand still, one hand around Yoongi’s wrist and the other on his shoulder as the burn settled into his chest and stomach. The utter terror on Yoongi’s face was instant, accompanied by a sharp flinch as he yanked his hand and cup of hot coffee away from him,

“Fuck- Jungkook, shit. Are you alright?!”

The pain wasn’t really registering to Jungkook, who quickly released Yoongi from his hold and blinked a few times to clear his head of how close him he just was. That was definitely bad for his imagination. Yoongi took the way he was spacing off the wrong way, reaching to pull the fabric of his shirt away from his skin to ease the burn and pain a little. Only then did Jungkook look down at Yoongi’s hand, and snapped out of his daze,

“Uh, I’m okay-”

“The fuck you are, I just spilled fucking burning hot coffee on you and you-shit.”

Shaking his head, Jungkook put his hands out in front of him trying to sound as believable as possible,

“It really doesn’t hurt that much!”

“There’s a first aid kit in the club, come.”

When Yoongi grabbed his sleeve and pulled him all the way to the club, Jungkook didn’t know how he continued to function before coming to the conclusion that his feet were just moving along by default. Well, he was being dragged so technically, there wasn’t much functioning for his body to do. Before he knew it, he was being pushed down to seat at the sofa as the rest crowded around him curiously. Pointing to his stained shirt, Hoseok grimaced,

“What the fuck?”

“I split coffee on him so take off his shirt.” 

Jungkook felt a little like a toy as he was manhandled by Hoseok but when the sticky shirt was off his chest, he did feel better. So he wasn’t complaining, even if he was feeling a little self-conscious. The way Taehyung wolf-whistled at his now fully exposed upper body was not helping,

“Kookie’s been hiding a hot bod over here, ooo la la.”

Nudging past him, Yoongi came over with a towel he poured water onto and quickly pressed it to his chest right where his skin had turned pink. Jungkook had to try very hard not to gulp too noticeably as he grabbed onto the towel to hold it himself, wiping the traces of black coffee off his skin as he did so,

“Uh I’m okay, it just stung a bit.”

“Wow hyung, first he almost fell to his death then you gave him an asthma attack and now a third-degree burn? Bravo.” Hoseok sarcastically exaggerated to which Yoongi shot him a confused look,

“He almost fell to his death?”

Namjoon made a cross with his hands behind Yoongi, shaking his head furiously at Hoseok whose brows flew up as he tried to salvage the situation,

“He …tripped at the courtyard!”

Completely ignoring Hoseok, Yoongi turned back to Jungkook,

“The first aid kit had a burn gel, or I could put on a cooling pad, maybe an ointment-“

Jungkook had never once thought he’d have to cut Yoongi off but he knew panic when saw it,

“Hyung, I’m really okay.”

At that, Yoongi stopped rummaging through the kit and slowly put it down on the arm rest of the sofa while Namjoon used his finger to pull at the towel to get a better look at the irritated skin,

“Yeah, it doesn’t look too bad. We can ice it if you want?”

"There's no need hyung, really."

Even after Jungkook had said that, Taehyung still took the towel away to wet it a little more before placing it back on his chest to ease the redness of his skin. Yoongi was hovering at the side with the first aid kit, and looking so apologetic that Jungkook felt the need to give him a smile to reassure him that he was really alright. But then Jungkook didn’t know if that was the truth either, because something was not sitting well with him. It wasn’t the fading sting from the hot coffee or the way that Taehyung was feeling up his arms, even though both of those were definitely uncomfortable to deal with. What was really bothering him was the familiarity of the smooth lines of bumps on Yoongi’s wrist he’d felt when he grabbed at him earlier.

 

Because Jungkook was sure he’d recognised those from years of washing the scar on his own cheek every day.

 

         

 

Chapter Text

Using both hands, Yoongi lifted up a bowling ball just to feel how heavy it actually was before plopping it back down immediately. These were far too heavy to be enjoyable, and the lighter balls were all taken so he went to sit at the chairs and grab his iced tea. It wasn’t like he couldn’t carry them, he just rather be comfortably sitting down and watching the kids enjoy themselves. Oh boy were they enjoying themselves, making such a big ruckus that even he himself wondered how the staff haven’t come over to ask them to shut the fuck up. The sound of the bowling pins getting knocked was bad enough, but the cheesy pop music blasting in the speakers above them along with Taehyung yelling out incorrect lyrics was making it all the nosier. Right then, Hoseok let out a war cry that sounded like he was suffering from severe constipation but also that his lifelong dream was to be an 80s rockstar. Hiding his chuckles by sipping on his tea, Yoongi glanced behind their booth to check if the staff were actually going to come over now. Becoming even more confused by the staff’s undisturbed faces, Yoongi turned back around only to get slightly shocked by Jungkook standing in front of him,

“Hyung! It’s your turn.”

“Oh hey- skip my turn?”

Jungkook’s beaming smile fell, making Yoongi feel like he had just ruined a kid’s day at Disneyland,

“What’s wrong, are you-is everything alright hyung?”

Shaking his head, Yoongi held his palm out to tell him that it was nothing but Jungkook was staring at his hand like there was something wrong with it. Glancing down to his own hand, Yoongi wondered if he was overthinking because it seemed like Jungkook was staring pointedly at his wrist, although it was covered by his shirt and jacket. Whether it was for good or bad, Jungkook’s staring was cut off by Jimin who had slung an arm around his neck,

“You have ten seconds left!”

Trying not to think about how Jungkook had to pull his eyes away from his hands and back to Jimin, Yoongi scrunched his nose up,

“You guys can use my turn to practice or something, I’m lazy to change shoes.”

“I call shots for this round!” Taehyung yelled from where he was polishing his ball for the tenth time, and Yoongi honestly wondered how he managed to hear their conversation.

Shrugging, Jimin gestured back to the lane and tugged Jungkook’s arm to get him to follow. Yoongi leaned back into his chair and watched as Hoseok pushed Taehyung just when he was about to throw his ball, making him skid forward and drop the ball right into the gutter. Completely ignoring the looks of annoyance the people at the next lane were throwing them, Hoseok dropped to the floor while clutching at his stomach from laughing too much.

“Do you think we can rip out his voice box?” Jin asked, looking like he was honestly considering it as he came to sit down with Yoongi with hands holding two plates of nachos.

Shooting him an incredulous look before looking down in thought, Yoongi reached for the platters of sausages and popcorn chicken that Namjoon was carrying,

“I’ll hold him down and you can go for it, hyung.”

Namjoon gave them a small wave before rushing off to join the rest, skidding a little and knocking his knee into the bowling ball dispenser. Yoongi wondered if Namjoon should even be allowed to play bowling, considering how he was flailing around with a ball that could really do some damage. As if reading his mind, Jin snorted while stuffing popcorn chicken into his mouth,

“He’s definitely a safety hazard so let’s get out of here before he manages to break anything.”

“Well, does almost breaking Jimin’s nose with the way he flung his ball backwards count?”

“Nah, he’s been saying he wanted an excuse to fix his nose for a while now anyways.”

Reaching out a hand to smack Jin’s arm, Yoongi quickly removed the straw from his mouth before he choked on it from the sudden burst of laughter that hit him. Jin held his poker face until his lips curled at the ends, and he reached over to grab a tissue for Yoongi. Thankful that none of the tea had gone up his nose, Yoongi let Jin dab at his mouth with a tissue while grabbing a nacho for himself. Another round of screaming ensued, this time from Jimin who lunged at Jungkook and wrapped his arms and legs around him in a celebratory ritual for getting a strike. What was surprising was how Jungkook was also grinning ear to ear, spinning Jimin around before putting him down.

“That new kid is weird, is he shy or not?”

“He has a name hyung, and he’s probably just shy with strangers.”

“Jeon Jungkook, I know.” Jin lamented, dragging out his syllables but conveniently keeping silent about how Jungkook was the one who rescued mochi from the roof because he was told to keep that to himself. Fondly watching them play, Yoongi nodded his head,

“It’s nice to see him start to come out of his shell, he’ll fit right in with Jimin and Tae.”

Grabbing a handful of nachos and then placing some sausages on them, Jin stuffed everything into his mouth in one bite,

“Why’d you leave out Hobi, he’s so childish that he’s basically one of them.”

Yoongi wanted to point right at Jin at the irony of the sentence as it was coming from him, but he had to catch the rolling bowling ball with his feet before it escaped out of sight. Wondering how it managed to get all the way here, Yoongi picked it up grudgingly and waddled over to the dispenser.

“Oh hyung, you’re playing!” Jungkook excitedly piped in.

Yoongi had barely any time to realise that it did seem like he was coming to play before Namjoon enthusiastically nudged him with too much force which sent him stumbling into the playing area. Well, one try couldn’t hurt and the sooner he let go of this ball the better he’d feel. Using both his hands, he tossed the ball between his legs before hearing everyone roaring with laughter. Laughing himself, Yoongi turned around with a smug look when he got a strike by pure luck. But a loud whistle cut the celebration short,

“Lane 5, guy with the beanie! No regular shoes on the bowling lanes!”

Oh now they finally had a problem, and it wasn’t even how Namjoon had almost thrown a ball at the display screens. Quickly scuttering out of the playing area, Yoongi put a hand up in apology. But that had been the last throw and everyone joined him back where Jin had eaten half of the snacks. Hoseok quickly took some of the food before it disappeared,

“Wow hyung, it was like watching a chicken laying an egg. True art.”

“Damn it hyung, couldn’t you have helped me? Now I owe everyone five bucks.” Taehyung grumbled as he snacked and Namjoon shook his head,

“You owe me ten cause you double betted against me.”

Realising that he unknowingly took someone’s turn, Yoongi guiltily glanced around,

“Shit, whose turn did I use up?”

Shuffling his feet a little, Jungkook finished chewing before shyly mumbling,

“Mine.”

“Crap sorry-”

“Don’t be, hyung. He won, and by so much.” Jimin rebutted a little sourly, glancing at the display screen that was still celebrating Jungkook as the winner.

Yoongi brows flew, impressed by the stark difference in their points but also mostly relieved that he hadn’t caused someone to lose. Stuffing the last nachos and sausages into Namjoon’s mouth, Jin dusted his hands and got up,

“Glad to know you kids had fun but we gotta go now, it’s about time we crash their party.”

While the rest went to change back into their usual shoes, Yoongi checked his phone for the time. Jin was right, it would be good to go bust the student unions’ freshmen party that he was sure wasn’t abiding by the rules the budget had come with. They had been here for a good hour and there was no sight of any of the members of the student union that Yoongi should have been seeing bowling as they wrote in their proposal. Snickering to himself, Yoongi wondered if they thought he really didn’t know the tricks they were trying to pull. Grabbing his dslr out of his bag, Yoongi got a good shot of the sparsely filled lanes that should have been packed with students. Making sure they hadn’t left anyone behind, Yoongi led the way through the back alleys of hongdae to the club he knew they really were at. Before they stopped at the entrance, Yoongi took his dslr and passed it over to Taehyung who hung it around his neck. Removing his glasses and running a hand through his hair, Namjoon changed his appearance in a second that Yoongi didn’t quite know how it was possible till now. Preparation all done, Yoongi went up to the bouncer, and gave him a small smile until he went from looking puzzled to pleasantly stunned,

“Yoongi! It’s been a while.”

“Hi Hyunwoo hyung, yeah it has. Well, we’re here on campus business so don’t worry about the club being held accountable.

“Well it should be, this place is still dodgy as fuck.”

With that, he removed the rope barrier and the rest trickled into the club without even being checked,

“You look good by the way.”

The small smile on Yoongi’s lips widened to a toothy grin before he followed the rest inside. Everything about the place was just like it was the last time he was here, with the red overhanging lights and the streaking blue ones. It was almost like time had stopped here because Yoongi was sure that he’d heard this playlist being played for the same crowd. Keeping an eye on Jungkook, Yoongi went over to the side near the bar where they all were looking at Namjoon, 

“Okay, so Tae and Jimin, you know what to do, go crazy with the camera. Hobi you go chat up some of the freshies and ask them if this is in fact their orientation welcoming. I’ll be checking the second floor and Yoongi and Jin hyung will be with the drinks.”

Hoseok started off with the hand piling, which Jungkook awkwardly included himself in as they huddled together, before Namjoon quickly looked over to the one without a task,

“Jungkook, you keep close to me. Let’s get them!”

“Hell yeah!” Everyone except Jungkook yelled back in tandem, and Yoongi couldn’t help but laugh a little at the lost look on his face before belatedly mumbling it as well.

The song that was playing was even worse than the of the noise pollution at the bowling alley and Yoongi caught himself questioning if this volume of music was even legal. He’d gotten so much more sensitive to sound that he wondered how he used to do this before. Inching away from a bunch of tipsy guys who were practically yelling at one another, Yoongi went over to where Jin had taken a glass out of one of their hands without even being noticed,

“I still don’t know how you do that.”

“What?” Jin yelled, just like those freshies, pointing to his ears and Yoongi just shook his head as the headache settled in.

There was no point trying to talk here, he’d forgotten. The smell of sweat and copious amounts of perfume and cologne mixing in only made his headache worse, and Yoongi tried to avoid looking at the streaking blue lights all over the place. Taking the glass from Jin, Yoongi swirled the cocktail around before bringing it up to his eye level and squinting,

“It looks weird, but I don’t think they’re spiked. We should still take a sample though.”

“What?! You need to speak louder!”

“I said, I don’t think they’re spiked, but we should still take a sample!”

Jin was squinting and tilting his head, and Yoongi knew he hadn’t quite caught it. Grabbing the small plastic tube he’d kept in his pocket for exactly this, Yoongi carefully poured a little into it for lab testing while Jin sniffed the drink,

“What the fuck is this even?”

Off to the corner Taehyung grinned as he slipped an arm around Jimin and used an overly qualified camera to take a selfie. The flash was ridiculously bright and should have attracted a lot of attention, but nobody seemed to care.

“I see our target.” Jimin sing songed, eyes turning into crescents as he tilted the direction that Taehyung was pointing his camera at with a finger.

Smile turning into a devious smirk, Taehyung closed an eye and looked through the viewfinder,

”Gotcha.”

This time, the flash caught the attention of the president of the student union mostly because it practically blinded him for a good three seconds as he blinked away the reappearing white circles. The moment he saw Taehyung grinning along with Jimin who was nodding his head along to the music, the colour in his face dropped. Looking around worriedly, the president of the student union only got more anxious when he saw Hoseok doing the macarena along with a few of the freshies who were excitedly following him. Jin on the other hand, shook his head and sighed at one of the worst attempts he’d ever seen at trying not to get caught by them, and looked over longingly at drinks he could be having. He watched Namjoon display his trademark dimples at a pleading student union president as he made his way down into the dance floor with Jungkook following closely behind. Leaning over to speak right into Yoongi’s ears,

“They caught him.”

Making sure the tube wasn’t leaking, Yoongi was putting it into a zip lock bag when it slipped from his hands and went rolling off on the floor. Shit, he needed that sample because it really looked weird to him. Going after the tube, Yoongi ended up in the midst of the dance floor as he squeezed between writhing bodies. Someone’s heels almost landed right on the tube but it luckily rolled away, and Yoongi took that as his last chance to get that before he lost it. He ended up on his knees, crawling on the floor and grabbing the tube tightly in his hand. A few girls were giving him dirty looks and holding their skirts against their legs like he was some pervert trying to upskirt them. So he quickly stood back up, trying to squeeze right back out to the bar before one of them slapped him. He ended up brushing against way too many bodies and the lights were right in his eyes, making everything appear in hues of red and blue that kept blacking out now and then. It was giving him a sense of loss of balance, as everyone’s hands thrown up in the air came in staggered frames instead of fluidly moving. Someone appeared right in front of him, and it took him a while to register Jin’s voice that barely could be heard through the horrible techno music,

“Yoongi, what the fuck are you doing!”

Shaking his head, Yoongi held up the tube in his hand but Jin’s face only got angrier,

“We can always get another sample, you almost got trampled!”

This time Jin’s voice was clearer, mostly because he was full out yelling and Yoongi winced as he leaned on the wall for some balance. His headache that had started out pretty harmless had worked its way up to a throbbing nightmare, and nothing about this club was helping it. He didn’t realise he was breathing strangely until he started to feel out of breath, and although he wished it was from having to crawl on the floor he knew it wasn’t. His chest began to tighten up uncomfortably, and it was getting harder to fight the urge to take deeper breaths although that didn’t help get the air into his lungs either. Cramming his eyes shut, Yoongi forced himself to count backwards from ten just like he always did when he felt this way. But the music was so loud it was drowning even his voice in his own head and the lights were creating flashes of shadows over his closed lids. As the beat of the song got faster, the throbbing that was gripping his head all the way down to his neck was also following along and Yoongi could almost taste the bile in his throat. Pushing himself away from the wall, Yoongi blindly made his way to the toilet at the next corner and ran into an empty stall as quickly as he could. Everything he had that day came out, and the sweet tea he had been drinking now tasted acidic.

His stomach heaved and heaved as the tears welled up in his eyes, both from the headache and the lack of air. The toilet stall spun and he fell himself slip a little before arms wrapped around his shoulders and held him upright. His first instinct was to flinch and pull away, making a keening sound as he backed up against the stall. But it was Jin who was kneeling down, eyebrows furrowed in obvious concern as he said something but Yoongi couldn’t hear it. In fact, he couldn’t hear anything but the sharp ringing in his ears that wouldn’t let up. Bringing his knees up to his chest, Yoongi clutched at his jeans for any kind of grounding he could get. But the moment his eyes closed, he only saw the same neon lights and people right up against one another on the dancefloor as he was crammed alongside them. Fuck, he needed to forget it, he needed to just let it go, but the image was stained in his memory permanently. A familiar voice kept saying his name, in a voice he still couldn’t forget and Yoongi’s fingers were digging into his jeans so hard that he was sure he was going to get bruises. But then Yoongi smelt Jin’s cologne, and he pulled his head from his knees to take a peak. Jin was on the floor in front of him,

“Yoongi, it’s me, it’s okay. Shh.”

It was like his lungs suddenly decided that they were going to function again because he finally got some of the air that he really needed. Yoongi let his chest heave as he leaned his head back, riding through the last waves of pain that the throbbing headache was giving him. Jin took the tissues and wiped his mouth for the second time this day, not even the least bit disgusted at the situation he was in. He could hear the bass of the song slowly replace the ringing in his ears and Yoongi opened his eyes and blinked to get them to focus. They sat there just staring at one another before Jin stretched his hand out to get him to stand. Yoongi took it gratefully, getting a good dose of vertigo when he stood up and stumbling to the sink for something to hold. Jin’s hand was warm on his back as  Yoongi turned the tap on and washed out his mouth repeatedly before washing his whole face. Some guy entered the toilet then but the pissed look Jin threw him got him turning right back around. Jin watched as Yoongi gripped the edge of the sink for dear life, and took a few more tissues from the dispenser to pass to him,

“You still get attacks?”

Yoongi was quiet as he wiped his face, avoiding looking at Jin until he knew he had to answer,

“I…I guess.”

 

But what they both didn’t know was that Jungkook had been standing at the blind spot next to the hand dryer, and he’d heard everything.

 

Chapter Text

Jimin and Taehyung had a lot in common, namely partying, falling asleep in classes and pulling pranks together. Another thing they also indulged in heavily was betting, and there was a lot of pride that went along with it. That would be the reason why Jimin was squinting at Jin, arms crossed and frown set on his lips,

“It’s on hyung, we’ll see who’s right.”

“I already know who’s right, it’s me, and you two losers can pass me five bucks each.”

“You’re real cocky. How about this, the winner gets to give out a punishment too.”

“You kids really like suffering huh, is it the new in thing?”

When the door opened and Yoongi strolled in, Jimin and Taehyung’s face fell in tandem while Jin cackled from where he laid sprawled on the couch,

“Told you that Yoongi walked faster!” 

The door opened once more and this time Hoseok skipped in, shooting questioning looks at how Jimin and Taehyung were glaring at him while opening up their wallets. Gleefully taking their money, Jin flaunted it to their faces,

“As for the punishment, swap shoes for the day.”

Jimin ran a hand through his hair, looking completely exasperated,

“Hobi hyung, couldn’t you have walked faster!?”

“Hey, don’t point fingers at me. I’m not the dumbass who betted with Jin hyung.”

Plopping down on the floor, Taehyung pulled off his sneakers, completely resigned with his fate,

“Take out your insoles Jimin ah, I can’t walk with them.”

 “I don’t wear insoles.”

“Dude, I live with you, I know everything.”

Jimin scowled, looking away before sitting down next to him to pull his shoes off and then grudgingly removing the insoles inside of them as well. Hoseok whistled at the height of the insoles, skilfully dodging one which was thrown at his face,

“How short are you actually?”

“I’m not short! Yoongi hyung and I are practically the same height.”

“So, you’re short as fuck then.” Yoongi piped in while still organising his papers, looking up briefly with a mischievous glint in his eyes.

Jungkook, who had been witness to everything that had been going on for the past five minutes, stayed seated next to Jin although he was stealing glances at how Yoongi was teasing Jimin. He had come earlier to look through the report Yoongi had sent him about the student union’s blatant disregard of the school’s regulations, paying close attention to specific clauses that were referred to make their points stronger. But now, his attention was stolen by Yoongi himself, and more specifically the way he was smiling softly to himself while Jimin pouted and angrily pulled Taehyung’s sneakers on. He had been finding himself lost in his thoughts a lot, ever since that day they had pulled off a surprise sneak attack on the student union’s orientation welcoming. It had been close to a week and a half since then, and he still didn’t know what he was supposed to do with everything that he had heard. Along with the fact that he knew Yoongi had panic attacks, Jungkook couldn’t help but connect it with the scars on Yoongi’s wrist as well as the break he'd taken after his first year that he had accidentally discovered prior to that. Was he supposed to bring it up, or was he supposed to continue to pretend that he didn’t know anything? Both options seemed to be terrible to him, especially when he already had this massive crush that made the whole situation even more worse than it already was. Noticing Jungkook staring at Yoongi, Jin nudged him with an elbow,

“Hey kiddo, did Yoongi do something wrong to you or something?”

“Wha-what! No hyung, it’s not that! I just uh- zoned out.”

“Hyung, stop bothering him and let him do his work. He’s the only one who does a decent job around here.”

“Ouch hyung, ouch.” Sniped Hoseok, putting a hand to his heart dramatically.

Gulping nervously, Jungkook looked back down at his laptop feeling the flutters in his stomach. Something as small as that got him going, and he had to pray really hard that his ears were not already turning pink. He put in effort into everything that Yoongi had asked him to do because he wanted to, but also because it was Yoongi who had asked. He really did want to be useful, but he also wanted to make a good impression of his work ethic. Jimin came over to where Jungkook was sitting, leaning closer to take a look at his screen and then nodding impressed,

“Everything sounds scary just like hyung would want.”

“So, are they going to get suspended?” Taehyung wondered out loud, still struggling with putting on Jimin’s shoes.

Chuckling to himself, Jin continued on with the papers he had to grade for the course he was a teaching assistant for,

“Yeah, if history repeats itself.”

Jungkook wanted to ask what he meant by that but one of the boxes that were stacked at the back of the room fell to the floor, making a loud noise that drowned all of their voices. Thoroughly startled, Jimin jumped in his seat before reaching for Jungkook’s arm to hold onto for safety but Hoseok beat him to it while yelling,

“Holy fuck!”

“I knew that was a safety hazard.” Yoongi muttered.

While everyone moved to clear the mess and figure out if it was safe to place the box where it had been, Jin arched his brow and put his hands on his hip,

“I’m telling you the boxes are perfectly stable, it’s the ghost that haunts this room that made it fall.”

There was a moment of silence where Jungkook glanced up, coincidentally meeting Yoongi’s eyes in the process and feeling his heart clench uncomfortably, but the moment was rudely cut short by Hoseok who immediately jumped behind Taehyung,

“What the fuck hyung, don’t say shit like that jokingly!

“Who said I’m joking, when will you kids realise that I’m always right?”

Sighing, Yoongi took the files that Jungkook had been collecting and put it back into the box,

“Hyung, cut it out with the haunted room thing. The rest of them are gonna get scared for real.”

“They should know the truth at least, the room’s really haunted guys.”

Jimin’s face lost a little colour as he looked at Jin, before taking a cautionary step away from the box along with Hoseok whose brows were deeply furrowed.

“Yeah so sometimes she acts up and makes things fall or moves stuff around.”

“She? Hyung, you’re starting to freak even me out.” Taehyung whispered, lifting the box with Jungkook and placing it back up.

“There’s only two things you need to remember, never be alone in the room after 10pm and don’t turn around if you hear a knocking sound.”

“…Why?”

“Because she’ll crawl out of the cupboard and get you!” Jin yelled, putting his hands out and running towards Hoseok who let out the shrillest screech humanly possible and jumped over the couch.

Tipping on his toes a little, Jungkook readjusted the box so that it was secure, not in the least bit affected by the commotion the rest were making. He turned around, only to startle a little at Yoongi who was right next to him, feeling around for any loosely stacked boxes,

“Sorry, I thought I should just make sure no other boxes fall.”

“So, is it the ghost or is it physics hyung?”

Yoongi let out an amused laugh, looking back at Hoseok who was still being terrorised by Jin,

“I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem like you’re afraid of ghosts.”

Grinning, Jungkook lifted a whole box off the top stack to place it on another column of boxes that looked sturdier,

“I’m more afraid of Jin hyung.”

“Is he bullying you? I told him not to-“

“No no! I was just kidding, he’s nice. I swear.”

“Jin hyung, nice? Now you’re lying through your ass Jeon Jungkook.”

Brushing the dust off his hands, Jungkook guiltily laughed along with Yoongi until his attention was brought to his wrist. He knew he shouldn’t be staring pointedly at it because Yoongi would probably catch on but he couldn’t help it. He wanted to confirm if the scars were really on his wrist, but he didn’t know why he wanted to or how he was supposed to. The more he thought about it, he never saw Yoongi wearing anything but a long sleeved shirt or a big jacket, everything that covered most of his skin. Maybe he could just ask-

“Hyung, I uh-“

“Sorry, give me a sec.”

Jungkook could only watch as Yoongi dug in his jacket pocket for his phone and then read the influx of messages that he was getting,

“Hyung, Joon wants us to come for the meeting too!”

“Alright, tell him we’ll be there in a bit.”

Busy typing his reply back to him, Yoongi hit send before turning back to Jungkook,

“Yeah, is something up?”

“Uh no. Don’t worry about it hyung, I just…nothing.”

Scrunching up his nose in a way that got Jungkook wanting to curl into a ball and scream, Yoongi tilted his head and studied him a little worriedly,

“You sure? You can ask me for anything, you know that right?”

Clenching down on his molars and quickly nodding his head, Jungkook gave Yoongi a brief smile,

“Of course.”

Yoongi brought a hand to lightly pat Jungkook’s arm before he left, and Jungkook slowly turned back to the boxes to pretend like he was still checking them so that he could cover his face and squeal silently. He didn’t know if his heart would be able to take it if Yoongi continued to be so nice to him, it was giving his irrational heart too much hope. His crush was getting way out of hand and there was nothing he could do, nor wanted to, to stop it. Gathering himself, Jungkook straightened out his expression and made sure he wasn’t creepily smiling to himself before turning back around only to catch the exact moment Taehyung’s bag fell from the table seemingly by itself.

“Oh hell no, jesus fuck.” Hoseok scrambled away from the table and grabbed for his own bag,

“I’m out of here, adios!”

Grabbing at the door, Hoseok yanked at it with way more strength needed before practically running out. Jungkook tried not to laugh, but he was failing miserably when his shoulders shook as he bent down to pick up Taehyung’s bag that nobody seemed to dare to touch. The door slammed opened, and Hoseok stalked in, his face devoid of all the fear it had ten seconds ago and instead replaced with anger,

“Okay, you two fuckers better own up to whatever you did!”

Jimin backed away from him, with Taehyung confusedly blinking at him while taking his bag from Jungkook,

“What did we do!?”

Reaching for Jimin’s ear and then yanking it all the way till he reached Taehyung, Hoseok twisted both their ears painfully at the same time,

“Owwww!”

“Why is there a police officer outside our hallway, what did you two do!”

“I didn’t do anything, it’s gotta be Jimin!” Taehyung yelled out, only to get a glare from Jimin,

“It’s not me, it’s definitely Tae!”

Wincing, Jungkook watched Hoseok lean closer to both of them and mutter a sentence containing a whole lot of vulgarities and some threats before it hit him. With a full body flinch, Jungkook ran outside, eyes wildly searching for the figure in uniform before feeling the horror truly drench him,

“Hyung!”

That voice was all it took for Junghyun to turn and raise a brow at Jungkook before letting out a huge sigh,

“I couldn’t get through to your phone at all, I tried calling a hundred times.”

Putting his hands together pleadingly, Jungkook groaned,

“I’m so sorry, it died and I didn’t bring my charger- I completely forgot I was supposed to meet you at the carpark hyung.”

“Well, I’m starving so can we go?”

“Yeah, one sec.”

Running back to the room, Jungkook haphazardly grabbed his laptop and stuffed it into his bag before rushing to grab the papers he needed to look over. The three of them were staring at him like he was the ghost and Jungkook could only give them an apologetic look,

“Sorry I need to go, I forgot I had to meet my brother today. I’ll come early tomorrow!”

If it was possible, Hoseok looked even more frightened than before,

“That was your brother?”

“Yeah hobi hyung. Oh! How rude of me, uh wait- let me introduce-”

Before any of them could stop him, Jungkook held the door open and motioned to Junghyun who was standing outside still waiting,

“Hyungs, this is my brother, Junghyun hyung.”

Junghyun bowed his head politely although he was caught off guard, peaking into the room a little before smiling at the rest. The three of them jumped up from the couch, standing with their hands at their backs before bowing in return. Their awfully rigid stance and overly polite mannerisms were making even Jungkook uncomfortable but he brushed it off,

“Hyung, this is Hoseok hyung, Taehyung hyung and Jimin hyung.”

“Ah I see, I heard about you guys before. Thank you for looking after my brother, but I’ll have to steal him for a bit now.”

“No problem, officer sir-officer of the law and all legal things-“ Taehyung mumbled, before Jimin slapped at his arm to get him to shut up.

Jungkook waved at the rest before shutting the door behind him and adjusting his back on his shoulder. He looked over at his brother for a bit before frowning a little,

“Did you have to come in full uniform? You don’t even usually wear it.”

“Hey, I had an award ceremony today, which you forgot about.”

“I’m sorry! I’m just busy with school and club- wait. Hyung, how did you know where the club was?”

Snickering to himself, Junghyun brought his phone out and showed Jungkook the gps tracker on it,

“You don’t think I’d let you roam about in Seoul without supervision, right?”

“Hyung! That’s crazy, why do you have a tracker on me- is it my phone?!”

“Not telling.”

While Jungkook gasped and tried to check if his phone was bugged, Junghyun unlocked the car door before getting in and rolling his eyes,

“You seriously think you can find it so easily?”

“You detectives are scary, and totally crazy.”

“Put your seatbelt on.”

Huffing, Jungkook fixed his seatbelt before opening his bag and looking for anything that could be a tracker in vain. Junghyun just shook his head as he drove out of the carpark,

“Speaking of crazy, I found your box of stalkerish stuff under your bed.”

Freezing from digging about in his bag, Jungkook’s eyes trailed over to him,

“What- oh no no, it’s like uh movie tickets you keep- stuff like that.”

“No, it’s creepy. What is it about?”

“Nothing-“

“Jeon Jungkook.”

“It’s just, I have this senior I really like- well, this senior bought those stuff… for me…I just-“

“So you’re keeping paper wrappers and plastic cups like a stalker?”

“It’s not like that- like he spilt coffee on my shirt and then we got closer, so I kinda wanna keep it as a token of sorts, something like that.”

The car was really quiet as it came to a stop at the traffic light and Junghyun was looking straight ahead at it, before he tapped his fingers on the steering wheel,

“You like a guy?”

 

Jungkook hadn’t realised that he had slipped up and outed himself, and now he rather be forced to be alone in the haunted club room than be stuck in this car with his brother.

 

Chapter Text

Growing up, Jungkook was always glued to Junghyun’s side whether it was running to the beach to play in the sand or kneeling next to him as punishment for staying out too long. They did everything together, and that was also why Jungkook constantly found himself feeling extremely lucky and blessed to have someone to share everything with. Well, that was the thing wasn’t it? Up till now, Jungkook didn’t have a problem sharing anything with him because even if it was embarrassing like the times he wet his bed as a child or when puberty hit and Jungkook found himself handwashing the sheets for a totally different reason, he never felt like he couldn’t tell Junghyun why. But this time was different. Jungkook didn’t understand why it was, and whether it really was different, but his blood had run cold just from one simple question. His mouth went dry, even swallowing didn’t help, and Jungkook tried to remind himself that breathing shouldn’t take this much effort. Junghyun turned at the next junction, still maintaining the silence between them that Jungkook hated, but it was the direction he was driving towards that prompted the next words out of his mouth,

“Hyung, can we go home? I rather talk about this there, just-“

“Sure.”

Instead of going to the bbq place to celebrate as initially planned, Junghyun turned the car into a u-turn and drove home. The silence was deafening to Jungkook, but it also let him think, something that he was also finding hard to do along with breathing. The answer to that question was simple, but getting it out wasn’t. Wondering if he should appreciate the silence between them as he got out of the car, Jungkook clutched his bag close to his chest and started to walk to the lift lobby. It was weird, not talking to Junghyun as they both stepped into the lift together. Peaking up, he tried to get a peak of his expression to gauge if he was upset or disgusted about what he just found out but Junghyun had one of the best poker faces Jungkook knew. Once inside, Junghyun went to put his keys at the hook by the door just as he always did before going to pour himself a glass of water. The mundane action was a little startling to Jungkook, as he put his bag in his room before coming out to sit next to Junghyun on the sofa,

“Uh-hyung, are you angry or something?”

“I’m not, I’m just waiting for you to talk.”

“Oh.”

Fiddling with the throw pillow, Jungkook took a deep breath before turning to look at him,

“There’s this senior I like, a guy. But I didn’t know- I mean, I didn’t know I liked guys before this. Actually I don’t know if I like guys in general-”

Jungkook stopped himself from speaking so that he could gather his thoughts and stop stuttering over everything so much. What was he even trying to say? Glancing up at the ceiling for a few moments, he calmed himself down a little,

“The thing is, I just like him.”

The weight that came with that sentence was kind of odd, but in a way that Jungkook welcomed because he had realised that his feelings for Yoongi were growing but he hadn’t had time to make some sort of sense of it. That was the truth about the way he felt about Yoongi, in it’s very essence. There wasn’t much reason to it, although Jungkook liked a lot of things about him. Junghyun nodded his head, brows slightly furrowed before he ran a hand through his hair. Waiting for a few seconds to pass, Jungkook played with his fingers,

“Are you…upset that I like a guy or-“

“No, I'm not upset. I’m just a little surprised I guess, and I … I’m mostly wondering why you didn’t tell me.”

“I…I mean, I didn’t think too much about it. I haven’t really liked someone until now.”

That got Junghyun to turn his head to look at Jungkook closely for a long while before he slowly nodded,

“Yeah, you’re right. I- This isn’t about me anyways.”

“I didn’t mean to keep it from you hyung, if that’s what you mean-“

Reaching for his glass of water, Junghyun sipped before shaking his head and offering it to Jungkook who immediately grabbed it and chugged the rest of it down. Jungkook didn’t notice but Junghyun huffed to himself as he watched him quench his thirst. After clearing his throat, Junghyun sat a little bit closer,

“I’m sorry if I came off like an ass or something but I just, I didn’t expect to hear that from you I guess. You’ve never had any type of interest in anyone before so I just…”

“It’s okay hyung, you only almost gave me a heart attack.”

With that, the awkward tension between them melted away almost as if it was never there to begin with because once Junghyun bent over laughing, Jungkook followed him like he always did. It was silly, but Jungkook still leaned into Junghyun’s side as the tears welled up in his eyes from laughing too much. He quickly wiped them away, worried that Junghyun would take them the wrong way. But Junghyun had caught it anyways, lips curling down as he leaned back against him,

“I know we don’t talk much cause I’m always at work and you have school. Then when you ask how work is, I can’t talk about it and I get that it’s frustrating.  But I still want you to feel like you can tell me anything, you know that right?”

For a moment Jungkook found himself feeling a strange sense of deja vu because Yoongi had said something similar to him earlier, but then he wondered if he always made others feel this way. Folding his knees against his chest, Jungkook nodded silently as he felt Junghyun put an arm around his shoulders,

“What’s this club you’re in again?”

“Just some welfare club, hyung.”

“Is that fun? I thought you’d join judo for sure.”

“I’ve had enough of getting thrown over shoulders, and it’s really fun.”

“Because of your sunbae?”

“Wha-hyung! He’s not my-my sunbae. Don’t say it like that!”

Locking him in a chokehold that looked a lot worse than it actually felt, Junghyun snickered,

“Look at how easily you get rattled, you must really like him huh.”

Pulling the arm around his neck away with a set of practised moves, Jungkook made a face,

“I’m going for a run.”

Junghyun only laughed at that, waving at him before getting up to go wash up,

“I’ll order in jajangmyeon, so don’t come back too late.”

After Junghyun disappeared off to go to his room, Jungkook went to get changed into some basketball shorts and running shoes so that he could go clear his head. He knew Junghyun was playing down how shocked he was, even if he wasn’t disgusted over the fact that he liked a guy. It was still strange to hear it, probably, since it wasn’t the norm. But Jungkook decided to count his blessings as he warmed up at his lift lobby before breaking into a slow jog. The fact that he liked a guy was still going to shock some people, unlike how easily Taehyung, Hoseok and Jimin had taken it. That was just something he had to deal with, Jungkook wasn’t too bothered by it personally but he knew his parents were at the very least going to react in the same manner Junghyun did. Whether or not they’d be as accepting and easy going about it after the initial shock was another question itself.

The night breeze was cool against his face and Jungkook had missed running near the ocean back at Busan because the smell of salt somehow made him feel less tired. Back here, he could only smell the slightest bit of petrol that seemed to stain the entire city. Turning into the small park, Jungkook hoped that he’d at least get the fresh smell that the trees and greenery could offer him. Following the running tracks, Jungkook sniffed a little but even the trees here lacked the earthiness that he was fond of. But the smell of cigarette smoke suddenly threw him off, making him cough that deep breath he took right out. A little annoyed, Jungkook glanced around to find out who was smoking in a park that was meant for exercise. It didn't take very long before he ended up glaring at one figure sitting at a bench alone, the tell tale orange glow at the end of the lit bud pinpointing him as the culprit. The lights were dim but Jungkook could recognise that face anywhere, especially given how much time he spent sneaking glances and staring at it. Perking up, Jungkook jogged over before plopping down next to him on the bench,

“Hi, hyung.”

From blankly looking up at the night sky, Yoongi’s eyes darted sideways a little bit too alertly to the figure that had suddenly appeared. But once he recognised Jungkook, the wary expression was replaced by a pleasantly surprised smile. It was short lived, because Yoongi quickly realised that he had a cigarette to his lips and was in the midst of taking a long drag of it. Turning his head in the opposite direction, Yoongi tried to blow the smoke away from Jungkook as much as he could before frantically putting the cigarette out on the side of the bench,

“Jungkook!”

Acting dumb, Jungkook glanced over at the bud Yoongi had put out,

“Were you smoking, hyung?”

“I was having my cheat stick, but yeah I probably …shouldn’t. You’re doing this on purpose aren’t you?”

Grinning wide, Jungkook shrugged his shoulders before he scrunched his nose up and coughed briefly,

“I’m just checking if you are close to quitting yet.”

Inching away a little further, Yoongi ducked his chin to smell his jacket before grimacing,

“What are you doing here at this time anyways?”

“I came out for a run at the park.”

“Ah. Right, of course you were. It somehow feels like you’re also taking a jab at me, though.”

Jungkook simply shrugged his shoulders again, but he couldn’t hide the flush on his cheeks that he hoped Yoongi would think was because of the exercise. It was stupid but Jungkook liked how Yoongi was reluctant to smoke around him even if it didn’t necessarily mean that Yoongi liked him back. It just showed him that Yoongi cared about him enough to not want to, and that was enough to get the butterflies free in his stomach. He was never one to ask for much anyways, he was happy with simple things,

“How about you, hyung?”

“I…came here to smoke, but I won’t do it anymore because an upright citizen is passive aggressively complaining.”

Giggling a little, Jungkook tried to occupy himself by stretching his arms,

“Do you live around here?”

“Yeah, just down the main road off to the left and a little further down the shops.”

“Ah, I know where that is! I live nearby, just on the other side, the turn after the convenience shop.”

“Wow, that’s not exactly nearby but you’re right. How did we not bump into one another?”

“I just moved here for college hyung, I’ve lived in Busan all my life.”

“Right, that makes sense.”

Yoongi glanced over concerned at Jungkook’s basketball shorts and thin shirt in the cold, and Jungkook felt the back of his neck warm up because of it. But Jungkook didn't look cold and Yoongi knew that exercising warmed your body up, even if he didn't know that from personal experience. Reaching down, Yoongi rummaged through a bag of groceries before pulling out a can of sweetened tea out,

“Do you like this?”

“I thought you were going to offer me beer, hyung.”

“Very funny, because the guy who smokes at the park also gives out beer to those who are exercising.”

Rolling his eyes, although he was still smiling, Yoongi cranked the can open and then offered it to Jungkook,

“Drink.”

Relishing in the coldness from the can, Jungkook took a few gulps before looking back at Yoongi. Once again, he was in long sleeves and a jacket although this time he was appropriately dressed for the weather. He really wanted to ask him about the scars on his wrist and his panic attack but seeing Yoongi this relaxed and comfortable was making it hard to. He had to either find another time or forget about it once and for all since he could barely ask him to quit smoking anyways, and that seemed miniscule compared to asking how his mental health was.

“You should get back, it’s getting late.” Yoongi suddenly spoke up, glancing at his phone.

“Thank you for the drink, uh- I can walk you back?”

Grabbing his bag and standing up, Yoongi raised a brow,

“I know I’m not as fit as you but I can handle the neighbourhood pervert.”

Jungkook had braced himself for the worst when Yoongi hadn’t looked like he’d take up his offer but the playful banter they had going was a pleasant shock. Finishing up his tea and throwing it into the bin, Jungkook got up himself,

“I'll take your word on that.”

“Get home safely, drop me a text.”

“You too, hyung. I will!”

Waiting until Yoongi turned and started walking, Jungkook threw a few air punches since he couldn’t scream in public. This was serious improvement because he wasn’t so nervous when he had to talk to Yoongi anymore, and now they were even on joking terms; it smelled like sweet success. Did Yoongi also say that he was fit? Now he was gonna add twenty more pushups to his daily quota, he could be way more fit than he was now. Jungkook had to abruptly stop himself from using the bench to work his triceps and pretend to be doing some weird form of stretching when Yoongi suddenly turned around and raised his voice,

“Earlier today, you wanted to ask me something?”

Caught off guard, Jungkook just rapidly shook his head. He would be lying if he said he wasn’t superstitious, and the ominous feeling he kept having about asking about the scars only deterred him further,

“It’s really nothing!”

Yoongi waved him off, turning back on his way home after that and this time Jungkook waited until he was gone to break into a sprint all the way back to his own house. Turns out that Yoongi was right because his house wasn’t exactly near the park, it was enough to get him somewhat winded when he finally got back home. But the adrenaline was still running in his veins, even after he had showered and stuffed his face with the jajangmyeon that Junghyun had ordered. He knew why, because it was the first time he was going to text Yoongi personally although he had his number saved from the group chat. He grabbed his phone and then dove for his bed after turning his lights off, opening up his chat boxes and nervously looking for Yoongi’s contact in his list. The glare from his phone was harsh, but it didn’t stop him from staring right at it while wondering what he was going to say.

To: Yoongi hyung

I’ve reached home safely hyung! Please stop smoking! I’m about to sleep, goodnight!

 

No, that seemed way too hyper with too many exclamation marks so Jungkook backspaced every letter and restarted.

To: Yoongi hyung

I’ve reached home safely hyung. Don’t smoke. I’m about to sleep, goodnight.

 

Wait, now it seemed too serious and almost like he was annoyed at him. Quickly deleting the entire box, Jungkook gnawed on his bottom lip as he tried to think of a better way to put his words.

To: Yoongi hyung

Hyung, I’ve reached home safely. Have a good night’s rest, see you tomorrow! (p.s: don’t finish that stick)

 

Narrowing his eyes, Jungkook wondered if this was neutral enough for him to say to Yoongi as just a junior in his club without sounding too strange. It seemed better than the previous too but he still wasn’t sure. Without warning, his door opened and Junghyun appeared,

“Are you sleeping already?”

The sudden action had Jungkook flinching and dropping his phone, which landed right on his face with a smacking sound. Junghyun only clicked his tongue and came over to feel Jungkook’s damp hair,

“You really should dry your hair first.”

Quickly grabbing his phone and holding it away from Junghyun, Jungkook peered at him,

“It’s fine, it’ll dry in a bit hyung.”

Scoffing, Junghyun pulled the blankets over Jungkook’s hands,

“I’ll let you get back to texting your crush, good night.”

Jungkook instinctively stretched out his leg to kick at Junghyun, who expertly avoided it,

“You don’t have to tuck me in, I’m not five.”

“You are to me.”

Glaring at Junghyun, Jungkook wanted to argue but realised that this was a losing fight so he just ended up sighing,

“Good night hyung.”

Once the door closed, Jungkook took his phone out from under the covers and unlocked the screen only to feel his stomach fall because he had somehow sent the last message he was drafting to Yoongi. It must have been when the phone had dropped on his face, damn it. Sitting up, Jungkook anxiously tapped on the screen wondering if he could delete it before it was read but his phone took this opportunity to lag on him. He kicked at his blanket and almost stood up but then his phone buzzed.

From: Yoongi hyung

Good night Jungkook ah, I’ll see you tomorrow. (p.s: I threw it away)

 

For a long while, Jungkook just stared at his screen before it shut off and he briskly turned it back on again. He didn’t know why he was so happy just seeing one message, but he couldn’t stop smiling to himself. Now he finally knew how Yoongi texted, and it was exactly like what he had guessed. But it got better, because Jungkook was sure Yoongi didn’t call him as casually and affectionately like this before.

 

 

Trying not to think of how it’d sound if he actually called him that in person, Jungkook dropped face down onto his pillow and willed himself to go to sleep.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Namjoon had always envied people who could effortlessly do things, and it could be something as simple as envying them for managing not to fumble at the cashier when receiving change. Why? Because that was his current situation, or to be more precisely worded as his current dilemma. The cashier had given him his change in both notes and coins, and his hands just couldn’t separate them without awkwardly flailing. To make matters worse, he ended up dropping a few coins that rolled in five different directions as if running away from his nightmare of indexterity. Letting out a small shout of surprise, Namjoon had bent down to quickly grab his change before the lunch crowd effectively either stomped or stole it. But that led to him hitting his head against the ridge of the counter and blooming orbs of white and red into his vision for a while. Just when he was about to give up and end up wailing on all fours on the cafeteria floor, a familiar voice urged him to open his eyes and hope that he hadn’t hit his head hard enough for a concussion,

“Hyung, are you alright!?”

Gratefully accepting Jungkook’s hand, Namjoon let himself be pulled up as he rubbed the sore spot at the side of his head,

“I’ll…live, I think.”

When Jungkook outstretched his hand to hand over the coins he had also managed to collect before rescuing him off the ground, Namjoon saw everything in rose tinted glasses,

“You caught them!”

The cashier who was still standing there, looking entirely unimpressed with the way the both of them were holding up the line, raised a brow before nudging the bag of food that Namjoon had yet to take. While Jungkook worriedly checked his head, Namjoon sheepishly laughed and took the bag before quickly moving out of the way so that the rest could order. One day he’d conquer the challenge of fitting both notes and coins gracefully into his wallet, just not today. He flashed a smile at Jungkook as they walked out of the crowd,

“Thanks Jungkook, are you having your lunch?”

“Yeah.”

“Alone?” Namjoon’s smile fell.

“Uh actually I’m waiting for Taehyung and Jimin hyung, don’t worry hyung!”

“Oh that’s good, have a good lunch with them. I’ll run off first!”

As Jungkook made his way back to his table, he couldn’t help but glance over his shoulder and peer at the figure that Namjoon was jogging off to. The cafeteria was crowded but his eyes were still sharp enough to catch Jin offering his drink to Namjoon as they walked out together. It wasn’t like that was weird or anything but he just hadn’t realised that they were close, especially giving how he thought it was Jin and Yoongi who were close instead. Maybe he was wrong, or maybe they were all close and he was thinking too much about this. Just then, while Jungkook was still glancing over his back at them, a weight settled into his lap,

“Is this seat taken?”

When he turned back, Jungkook was met with Jimin’s eye smile and barely concealed amused laughter. Inwardly thanking himself for not grabbing or pushing Jimin off his lap, Jungkook just laughed in return as he waited for Jimin to move. But he didn’t, rather he continued the cheesy act with a quick quirk of his brow as he brought both hands around Jungkook’s neck. Not knowing how to react or what to do, Jungkook just continued to laugh confusedly before Taehyung popped into view and promptly shoved Jimin off his lap,

“Dude, you’re heavy.”

“Hey!”

“Hi Kookie, did you wait long?”

“Nope, just got here hyung.”

“What were you so distracted by?” Jimin asked, grinning as he slipped into the seat next to him.

“Oh. I bumped into Namjoon hyung earlier, but he had to go off with Jin hyung I think.”

“Ah, the lovebirds.” Taehyung singsonged.

Now that made Jungkook pause from slurping his noodles because lovebirds had a meaning he hadn’t thought Namjoon and Jin shared. Glancing up at Taehyung, Jungkook continued to stare at him before it got Taehyung to look up from his own noodles,

“What? Jin and Joon hyung? C’mon man, you’re the last person I expect to be homophobic.”

“I’m not! I just- they’re together?”

“Yeah man, been since forever.”

Frowning, Jungkook wondered how he managed not to pick up on anything of that sort from all the times he saw them together. As he was trying to make sense of this new information, he remembered something crucial,

“Ah, I know what this is. You’re doing it again huh hyung?”

Noisily slurping his noodles, Taehyung looked over completely lost,

“Doing what?”

“You’re pranking me again aren’t you, first with Yoongi hyung being mute and now that Namjoon and Jin hyung are a couple.”

Jimin choked on his noodles, pulling away from his bowl and coughing off to the side until his eyes teared,

“Oh my god.”

Giving him a glass of water, Taehyung shook his head,

“Kook ah, you’re becoming a conspiracy theorist. Also, I didn’t say that Yoongi hyung was mute for fucks sake-”

“Sure hyung, I completely believe you.”

In tandem, both Taehyung and Jimin turned to look at one another disbelievingly before bursting out in laughter while Jungkook narrowed his eyes. He wasn’t gonna fall for another one of their pranks, and to be honest he was a little hurt that Jimin was joining in this time.

“Jungkook ah, he isn’t lying-”

“You know Jimin hyung, I expected this from Taehyung hyung but not you.”

While Jimin looked absolutely affronted, aided by the hand he dramatically put to his chest, Jungkook just smiled it off with a shrug. It was a friendly feud of sorts, and Jungkook was born competitive so he wasn’t going to lose. This time, he knew what to expect so his defense and offense were both up. After finishing up their bowls of noodles, the three made their way over to the room while still arguing,

“Oh my god, why the fuck would I lie about this?” Taehyung practically gasped with desperation.

“I don’t know, why did you say hyung was mute?”

“See Tae, this is why I said you need to tone down on the pranks.”

Snickering softly to himself, Jungkook reached up to adjust the cap that he’d worn to hide the messy black mop on his head before pushing the door open. He’d stopped wearing the grey beanie to school every since the first time he’d set into this room for reasons he quite didn’t understand himself, so he had to rely on the caps to keep his hair in check now. While he heard the two bickering behind him, Jungkook found himself focusing in on an envelop by the door that was strangely on the floor. Bending down to pick it up, he felt his heart beat pick up at the alarmingly striking red ink that was used to scribble on it; ‘get off your high horse’. Jungkook didn’t have a good feeling about this, so he held his breath as he deftly opened the enveloped and looked inside. There wasn’t anything like a cut off ear or a dismembered finger like he thought it was going to be, it only held a couple of photographs. Grabbing them out, Jungkook went through the photos, eyes focusing on each for a few seconds wondering what he was supposed to be looking at. The photographs were all of someone with pink hair that seemed harmless enough until Jungkook realised he was looking at Yoongi, just not the Yoongi that he recognised. His breath got caught somewhere between his lungs and windpipe as he took a closer look at the wide smiles that Yoongi was showing off, along with his pink hair as he took a swig out of a bottle. The way he was holding the photo right up to his face caught the other two’s attention,

“What’s that?”

Both Taehyung and Jimin came over to look at the photo he was holding before downright gawking and grabbing at the rest to look through themselves. Almost immediately Jimin exclaimed half excitedly and half in shock,

“Hyung doesn’t drink and- he used to party?!”

Taehyung was still looking at all the photos like he had just struck lottery,

“His hair is pink!”

The door opened, and Hoseok came in while removing his ear buds, confused at their gathering near the door until Taehyung put the picture up while beaming ear to ear.

“Holy fuck, is that Yoongi hyung?”

“Yes! I can’t believe he was a party animal, look at all the drinks he’s holding!”

It seemed like only Jungkook didn’t understand the excitement and bustle around the pictures because he was the only one with a grim expression as he looked at the envelop again,

“Is this supposed to be some kind of threat?”

It took a moment but the rest looked over, all having varied reactions to the words stained in red ink. It was Hoseok who Jungkook related the most with, especially given how his face went serious,

“Who sent that, that’s creepy.”

But Jimin scoffed,

“What kind of threat is that, isn’t hyung allowed to drink and go to parties?”

“Yeah, wow he was… totally hot. Is that makeup!?”

“Oh my god Tae, it is!”

The two continued to gush over the pictures but Hoseok came over to take a closer look at the envelop. Jungkook somehow had a bad feeling about this, even if the other two were brushing it off so easily probably because he knew about the scats on Yoongi’s wrist as well as the panic attack he had at the club. He didn’t want to be jumping to conclusions or conflating incidents, but it really seemed like whatever that had happened in Yoongi’s first year was seemingly the reason for them. The door opened again and Yoongi, Jin and Namjoon all strode in. Almost immediately, Taehyung waved the picture up next to his face,

“Yoongi hyung, why did you hide this from us?”

“Yeah, we even labelled you as boring!”

Jungkook watched closely as Yoongi took the photo handed to him, which was why he caught the way he had to carefully school his expressions and not show too much of a reaction outwardly. But Jungkook still could see the shock that Yoongi was masking so well, only because he’d spent the last few months constantly peeking at him. But Yoongi continued to mask it well, looking through the photos with an apparent poker face. When Jin caught sight of the contents of the photo, he did a big giveaway by looking up right at Yoongi alarmed but he was also quick to school his features, acting indifferent,

“Who found this, and where?”

“I did. And it was on the floor, near the door hyung.” Jungkook finally spoke up, after keeping silent all this while.

That got Yoongi to glance over to him, and Jungkook tried to stop his frown from turning deeper as he gestured to the envelop he was still holding,

“It was inside this.”

Looking just as disturbed as Hoseok had been, Namjoon grabbed the envelop to get a better look.

“Hyung, when was this, you look so cute!” Jimin giggled.

Ignoring him, Yoongi looked at the message on the envelop himself. The ominous feeling Jungkook had about the scars had returned back in full force, and he couldn’t help but fit all the pieces of the puzzle. These pictures definitely had something to do with the year Yoongi took off, and he had some confidence in that thought,

“We should do something hyung, it’s like a threat to you.”

Eyes sharply fixing onto Jungkook, Yoongi shook his head,

“No, it’s probably nothing.”

“It could be someone looking to harm you, hyung.”

“Even so, it’s nothing that hasn’t happened before. There are many people who hate the club, or me in particular.”

“Woah hyung, what?” Hoseok interrupted, eyes going wide,

“Shouldn’t we inform the school?”

“No, it just complicates things.”

“Hyung, how’s this even threatening? I mean you had a good time, so what?” Jimin stuck to his stand.

To Jungkook’s surprise, Jin nodded his head,

“Jimin’s right. It isn’t a threat, so let’s just drop this.”

While Hoseok didn’t look entirely convinced, he slowly nodded his head before going over to get the papers he needed from Yoongi. Jungkook really didn’t want to leave it at that, even if Jin was also shushing Namjoon from asking further questions. It wasn’t sitting well with him, and the bad feeling had manifested into a completely ominous one that he couldn’t shrug off,

“Isn’t it a threat? What if whoever sent this to us also sends one to the school’s administration, wouldn’t they think that Yoongi hyung shouldn’t be in the club?”

But Jimin tilted his head, simply not understanding,

“Why shouldn’t he? This was on his personal time before he joined the club even. It wasn’t like it was during club activities or that he was using school money to do this.”

Sighing, Yoongi raised his hand to stop Taehyung from jutting into the debate as well,

“Let’s not get over our heads, maybe this doesn’t even mean anything. If the school catches wind of this then and deems me unsuitable for the club, I’ll gladly step down.”

“Hyung!” Everyone but Jin yelled in complete sync, causing Yoongi to startle a little before rolling his eyes,

“People would think we were a drama club with the amount you guys exaggerate, it’s my last year anyways.”

Jin snatched the photos from Taehyung and Jimin before gesturing for Jungkook to hand over the envelop as well, who unwillingly gave it to him. He wanted to keep this, not for the collection he had at home because Junghyun had made him throw it out. He wanted it for the evidential value it had, so that he could really go about an investigation of some sort. The way Jungkook had wanted to brush off asking about the year Yoongi took off, the scar as well as the panic attack was long gone. Not when he had seen the way Yoongi’s jaw tightened and Jin’s overall wariness at the sight of these photos that gave away their real significance. And especially not when he saw a hand gripping onto Yoongi’s wrist a little too tightly in one of the pictures that somehow stood out to him.

Excusing himself with a mumble, Jungkook escaped out of the room to sit at the stairway and get some fresh air to think. Whether it was Junghyun’s influence or just his personality at play, he wasn’t able to dismiss it off as easily as Jin and Yoongi wanted him to. It probably wasn’t in his place to be involving himself in such matters, but he’d never been able to stand off to the side when he smelt foul play. He didn’t get why Yoongi and Jin were so eager to bury it up, even at the expense of his safety and getting harassed by whoever sent those photographs. It ran deeper than he initially thought it did, and he was going to get to the root of it.  As he was playing with his fingers, Yoongi appeared at the top of the stairway with a hand on his hip,

“There you are, are you skipping club already?”

“Uh- no hyung, just… thinking.”

“Stop thinking, it’s nothing. Come back in, we have the bowling club complaining about their budget cuts.”

For a long moment, Jungkook just looked at Yoongi wondering what exactly he was trying to hide from everyone. The intensity of his gaze must have gotten to Yoongi because he shifted his weight to his other foot uncomfortably, before deciding to cut the tense atmosphere by walking down the stairs and coming next to Jungkook. Reaching for the bill of his cap, Yoongi easily pulled it off his head in one fluid motion before sitting next to him,

“Maybe it’s the cap that’s making you a hot head.”

Jerking to the side a little, Jungkook blinked at Yoongi for a while before shaking his head and running a hand through his messy hair self-consciously,

“I’m not angry- I, uh. Sorry hyung if I’m acting up, I just don’t think we should let it be.”

“You’re actually really stubborn, aren’t you?”

Ducking his head a little, Jungkook glanced away from Yoongi as he felt his cheeks prickle with heat. Now he didn’t even have his cap to hide under, so it felt like he was really exposed. But it was the way that Yoongi’s hand gently ruffled his hair which really got the blush travelling all the way to his ears, because his touch was so soft and pleasant. But it was gone just as fast as it came, and Yoongi stood up brushing his jeans,

“If it becomes an issue, you get first dibs alright? For now, come help me deal with the bowling club.”

 

Jungkook didn’t know if his heart was aching at the special treatment he was getting or the sinking feeling that Yoongi really did see him as some kid he needed to console.

 

Chapter Text

Yoongi felt his body aching in a way that told him he had fallen asleep on the sofa once again. But his eyes were still burning and refusing to open, so he lay there for a bit contemplating if he had to wake up, slowly bringing his hand to push the strands of hair that were tickling his nose away. It was that simple action that got a surge of sudden panic to overwhelm him, because he couldn’t move his arm. There was something caught on his wrist that was trapping his hand above his head, and the tug he gave it didn’t help. The panic that was building up at a rate he couldn’t catch up with speeded and crashed into him like waves drowning his head under water. His eyes flew open, surely red, and he yanked his arm harder while tilting his head up to look at what was stuck on his wrist. He was met with the familiar faded fabric of Taehyung’s bag with plenty of keychains and accessories tied to it. In particular, Yoongi was staring at the long strips of ribbons because that’s what had gotten tangled around his wrist along with some keychain. Letting out a breath, Yoongi shut his eyes to try and convince himself that it wasn’t what he thought it was even if the feeling was eerily familiar to something he never wanted to remember.

But it seemed like the more he tried to avoid and suppress it, the more vivid it got. Instead of the darkness he wanted when he closed his eyes, Yoongi was met with the memory of a dimly lit room, with hues of neon red light. His breath got caught in his throat because the nausea that came with the memory was almost real enough to feel like the room was spinning just as it was back then. But it was the phantom feel of fingers tracing his wrist before hands larger than his gripped down on them and only continued to get tighter as he laid trapped on a bed that smelt like vodka and cologne. Yoongi couldn’t string up a sentence because his tongue felt too heavy on his mouth, just as it always did when he had one too many drinks. It was familiar, too familiar, and the face of the person settling over him was too. Those eyes, that mole, the way he leaned down to press his tongue over his jugular before licking his way up to his ear and whispering,

“Yoongi, you’ll be good right?”

Abruptly sitting up, Yoongi ended up yanking the strings of ribbons off Taehyung’s bag in the process and the keychain snapped off before it rattled off to the floor. Breathing hard, Yoongi glared at the ribbon on his wrist and practically scratched it off his hand before bringing his hands up to cover his face. He couldn’t think of anything that would drown out the way his heart was ramming inside his ribcage as cold sweat readily clung onto his shirt and neck. He hadn’t dreamt or seen that face in a while, and he was hoping he wouldn’t have to ever again.

“Hyung?” Jungkook’s soft voice interrupted, as he slowly came over from the work table, worry painting his face.

Yoongi looked up from his hands and tried his best to hide the way he was shaking slightly as he blinked dumbly at Jungkook, who stood at a distance away looking back at him. Shaking his head, Yoongi wanted to open his mouth and speak but nothing was coming out. He hated the part of having to explain why he was shaking for no reason, mouth dry even after swallowing. Thankfully, Jungkook stopped him from embarrassing himself further,

“I uh-I’ll go get you something warm.”

Instead of stopping him, Yoongi just kept quiet, mostly because he didn’t trust his voice to work and also because he really didn’t know what to say to him if it did. Cramming his eyes shut once more, he let out a breath of air like he’d usually do when he was smoking. The urge to put a stick between his lips was strong, but he knew it wasn’t actually helping him at all. Also, it didn’t help that he’d told Jungkook he’d cut down either. It was the last addiction he needed to quit, so he didn’t want to succumb back into it’s hold once again. After breathing in and out a few more times, Yoongi managed to at least slow his heart rate down. He scraped his blunt nails over his wrist in an attempt to get that lingering feel off his skin and kept repeating to himself that it wasn’t real. The door opened then, and Yoongi jumped a little, hiding his hand out of reflex before slumping in relief because it was only Jin,

“Yoongi, what happened? Jungkook called me and- you had another attack didn’t you?”

Blowing out another breath out of his mouth, Yoongi just looked up at the ceiling because now he couldn’t hide this from Jin either. As expected, Jin quickly made his way over to sit with him.

“Can I?” Jin asked, pointing to his wrist and Yoongi barely nodded his head before giving his hand over to him.

As Jin took his pulse, Yoongi could almost hear all the questions he wanted to ask but wasn’t. The silence between them was starting to become too heavy to handle so Yoongi chose to break it,

“My hand, it- it got caught on Tae’s bag and it just-it felt similar to back then.”

“Oh.”

Watching him closely for a while, Jin just continued to take his pulse before shaking his head,

“Still too fast.”

Yoongi knew it was, hell, he literally could feel each pump his heart was taking. But at least it had slowed down a little from earlier, not that he was going to tell Jin that.

“Yoongi ah, why are you still having these? Weren’t you seeing the doctor?”

There it was, the one question that Yoongi really didn’t want to hear because he knew it would bring him a whole new hell he had yet to experience. Hoping to avoid the question, Yoongi just continued to stare into space but Jin nudged his hand a little.

“I was…then I stopped.”

“Min Yoongi.”

“I know, hyung. But it really wasn’t helping, and I’m fine-”

“Fine? You call this fucking fine?”

Grimacing, Yoongi looked over when Jin’s tone got serious because there was definitely a lecture coming up. But his saviour came in the form of Jungkook holding a hot drink, shutting the door behind him softly. The lecture that Jin was going to give him was saved for another time because Jin knew better than to start speaking about things that only the two of them should know about.

“Hyung, I got you hot chocolate because uh- I don’t think you should drink caffeine now.”

Jungkook handed the cup over, which Yoongi took gratefully even though his hands were still shaking slightly.

“Look, he’s smarter than your ass.” Jin jabbed in, brows furrowed and Jungkook glanced over a little confused and scared.

“Thank you, I well, I-”

“I can leave if you’d like-”

“What? No, just- you don’t have to leave. Sit.”

Almost immediately, Jungkook plopped down on his other side as Yoongi took a tentative sip of his drink. It wasn’t bad, in fact maybe he should try drinking this more often even if it did seem like a kid’s drink. It also seemed like luck was on his side because Namjoon, along with the noisy three chose this moment to make their entrance, effectively stopping him from having to explain himself. But Jin gave him a pointed look before getting up to leave, which told him that he hadn’t completely escaped. But he’d take what he could get, so Yoongi just nodded back at him, silently agreeing to have a talk with him later.

“Hyung, can you tell Jungkook that you and Joon are dating please?” Taehyung whined, holding onto Jin’s arm and refusing to let go, to which Jin raised a brow,

“Why?”

“Cause he thinks I’m pulling some huge prank on him!”

“Tae, stop lying to the kid. It’s mean.”

Gasping in pure outrage, Taehyung’s eyes widened comically as Jin shrugged off his arm and instead quickly pecked Namjoon’s cheek, only to turn back towards Jungkook,

“We’re just friends.”

Taehyung looked like his head was going to burst from how well played he’d gotten, letting out a strangled groan as he gripped at his hair. Chuckling softly, Yoongi shook his head at Jin’s antics but he’d have to give it to him to be the mastermind of all mind games. If he didn’t know that Namjoon and him had been dating for three years now, he’d probably be really weirded out. Glancing over at Jungkook, Yoongi watched his confused expression turn even more lost after watching Namjoon giggle as Taehyung slid to the floor wailing. It was moments like this that Yoongi knew he’d miss the most when he had to graduate, and that was soon, so he really wanted to imprint it into his memory. But as he saw Jimin step over Taehyung’s body without another care for his current state of misery, Yoongi felt eyes on him. It was Jungkook, and it wasn’t the first time he’d caught him just staring at him but this time he knew the reason behind it. Turning to meet his gaze, Yoongi lowered his voice,

“I’m okay now.”

Jungkook looked a little taken aback at his words so Yoongi gave him a small smile, hoping that it’d sell his words a little more. It seemed to work because Jungkook returned it with a small smile of his own and Yoongi tilted his head a little,

“I didn’t realise I fell asleep earlier, sorry. Did you finish the rejection explanation to them?”

At that, Jungkook perked up and got up to get his laptop and papers to show him the work he’d done,

“I broke down their originally proposed amount to show them the significantly higher per capita budget they have compared with the rest of the clubs too.”

“Oh, making good use of that business degree I see. That’s great.”

Yoongi caught the smile that Jungkook was fighting hard to control and it made him smile too, he was feeling strangely proud of him. But if Jungkook was this happy over such a small comment, he probably should compliment him for being the most capable member in the club more often. It was the truth, anyways. Leaning back into the couch, Yoongi took the papers to look through the budget deficits that the bowling club has had over the past two years, wondering how they got the nerve to ask for even more this year.

“I get that they didn’t win any awards last year but … I don’t want them to think that’s why we won’t agree to a higher amount, hyung.”

“That is a reason, though.”

“But that’s not- I mean it shouldn’t be all about getting awards and being on lists, I don’t want them to lose their passion.”

Pursing his lips, Yoongi looked at just the amount required for additional hours of renting the lanes and knew that it wasn’t going to happen but Jungkook pressed on,

“Uh, if I propose to them to hold a fundraiser of their own accord, would that be okay?”

“Only if they adhere to our fundraising rules and guidelines, plus submit their proposal for approval asap.”

“I’ll take that!” Jungkook eagerly replied, looking a little too excited for something that wasn’t even concerning him.

It was the genuinely delighted look on his face that had Yoongi thinking about how the club could use someone with a bigger heart to reign the financial decisions. Using a hand to stifle a yawn, Yoongi continued flipping through the pages of club expenditures that he was going to need to somehow justify to the auditing department. It wasn’t going to be easy but he didn’t want the smile on Jungkook’s face to leave, so Yoongi was already coming up with excuses to the committee in his head. Finishing the hot chocolate Jungkook got him, Yoongi couldn’t help but wonder if it was making him even more sleepier than he had been earlier. As the words on the pages started to blur into an illegible mess, Yoongi decided to rest his eyes for a while.

“Everyone say kimchi!”  Taehyung announced as he held up a film camera to his eye and took a picture.

“Can you stop being such a hipster and just use your phone?” Hoseok retorted after smiling for the photo.

“Hey, I’m trying to prove whether there’s really a ghost in this room, hyung. I need a film camera for that.”

“What the fuck?”

“Yeah, you know, ghosts show up after you develop photos, it’s totally a thing. Say cheese again!”

This time Hoseok didn’t smile, but looked behind his back as he sat in Yoongi’s chair.

“Tae, that’s scary.” Jimin complained as he moved next to Jungkook, and his actions got Hoseok abandoning the chair in favour of squishing himself right next to him.

When the two of them came over to squeeze into the sofa, Jungkook found himself being pushed over to Yoongi’s side. Scrambling a little, Jungkook wanted to get up to give the rest more space, but he felt a weight on his shoulder that stopped him from doing so. He turned to see Yoongi fast asleep on his shoulder, while still holding onto the papers he had been looking through. His heart immediately threatened to shoot right out of his chest and flop about on the floor like a fish out of water, but Jungkook just tightened the hold he had on his laptop that was still on his lap. Quickly darting his eyes back to the alternative proposal he was supposed to be drafting, Jungkook tried not to think about the way he was hyper aware of the woody cologne Yoongi used as well as the fabric of his beanie that he could feel even through the shirt he was wearing. Well, mostly because he owned the exact beanie himself and knew exactly how it felt, but still. He wasn’t going to freak out and wake him up because that’s the last thing he wanted, especially when Yoongi looked as tired as he did. But Jimin looked over,

“Jungkookie, do you really think that there’s a ghost- is hyung sleeping?”

“Uh- yeah, he…he’s tired I think.”

Jimin’s apparent shock at the situation was a little bit more severe than Jungkook’s own,

“He doesn’t… uh, I think you should wake him up.”

“I don’t mind! It’s alright hyung, he isn’t heavy or anything.” Jungkook quickly butted in, whispering in a harsh tone.

Still looking a little unsettled, Jimin glanced over at Yoongi but Jungkook went back to the work he was supposed to be doing. Just then, Taehyung took another photo before lowering the camera from his face and giving Jungkook a sly look, accompanied with a thumbs-up. Pretending not to have seen that, Jungkook gnawed on his bottom lip while he tried to control just how happy he was at the current situation and it worked because it just looked like he was intensely concentrating on his work. Even after a whole hour and a half had passed, the weight of Yoongi’s head on his shoulder was a comfortable one and Jungkook hoped that his shoulder was as comfortable for Yoongi too. Although he wished that Yoongi could lean on him and sleep forever, Jungkook internally groaned when Yoongi stirred slowly before removing his head off his shoulder, a little dazed,

“Oh shit, did I sleep again- on you?”

“Um…yup. But it’s okay hyung! I finished the proposal for a fundraiser.”

“Fuck, I’m sorry.” Yoongi frowned deeply, looking at Jungkook’s shoulder that he had been sleeping on before rubbing at his eyes.

“I think you should rest hyung, you seem …tired.”

“So should you, it’s already ten.” Yoongi noted, taking a glance at his watch before looking at the rest who were spread out on the floor doing their respective work,

“Enough for today, go back to your dorms.”

“His highness is awake, now we have permission to leave!” came the cheeky response from Hoseok.

“Oh sweet freedom!” Taehyung copied along, snickering with Hoseok while Jimin just shook his head at their antics.

As Jungkook packed his stuff into his bag, Yoongi came over with his car keys in his hand,

“I’ll give you a ride, let’s go.”

“Oh! Uh, it’s okay hyung-“

“We live close by, it’s getting late and I want to.”

The last three words that Yoongi had uttered replayed in Jungkook’s brain for a while, and he had to physically stop himself from melting into a puddle of goo right there and then. Sighing, Taehyung held the door open for everyone,

“I wish Yoongi hyung would give me a ride too, must be nice.”

“You live on campus.” Jimin rebutted, rolling his eyes before waving goodbye to Jungkook and Yoongi,

“See you! Hyung, drive safely.”

Jungkook tried not to fumble too much with his bag when he walked with Yoongi to the carpark, before slipping into the passenger seat next to him. He knew he shouldn’t be staring, but he couldn’t help but gawk at Yoongi as turned the engine. It was like he was living out one of the million day dreams he had about situations just like this, he couldn’t believe this was actually happening.

“Jungkook?”

“Huh- Uh, yes?”

“Your seatbelt.”

Flinching, Jungkook grabbed for his seatbelt and snapped it in place as he felt his cheeks flush. There was something about Yoongi that he just found attractive, and at first he thought it was certain features like his eyes or his mouth but now he wasn’t so sure about that because it was everything. Even the way he was holding the steering wheel was attractive, which didn’t really make sense, but it did. That got Jungkook to focus on something else; the slightest bit of skin on his wrist that was showing. To be honest, he had been thinking of how to ask Yoongi about the scars, the panic attack he had at the club and now, the panic attack he just had earlier today. He knew he had to, especially with the threat that they had received recently, but he needed another way to approach it,

“Hyung, are you really alright?”

“Yeah, don’t worry I’m not gonna kill you.”

As if presenting his hand as evidence, Yoongi held it out to prove that they weren’t shaking anymore before placing it back on the wheel.

“No, I mean- are you really alright? The panic attack you had earlier seemed pretty bad.”

Jungkook held his breath after that, because now he had clearly conveyed the fact that he knew what had happened to Yoongi. He peaked over to get a sense of Yoongi’s reaction, so he caught the way he was schooling his face just like he did when he saw the threat.

“Yeah, it’s passed. Sorry for scaring you like that.”

“You didn’t scare me hyung, but I’m worried about you.”

The last bit had slipped out of Jungkook’s mouth without him really meaning to, but it was the truth. Yoongi was quiet as he drove, and Jungkook took the cue and turned to look out of the window, hoping that he hadn’t crossed a line. Within a few minutes, Jungkook found himself looking at a familiar convenience store before Yoongi’s voice broke the silence,

“Left turn here, right?”

“Ah yes! Then it’s just the apartment complex straight ahead, hyung.” Jungkook quickly provided his address, realising that he hadn’t really given proper directions to his house.

He expected Yoongi to stop before the gate but he pulled up all the way till the entrance to the lobby. He really didn’t have to, but Jungkook wasn’t going to complain so he gestured over at the drop off area before taking his seatbelt off and grabbing his bag,

“Thanks for the ride, hyung.”

“No problem, I told you I wanted to.”

“Then I’ll get going, get home safely too-”

“You know, don’t you?” Yoongi interrupted, staring right at him with a slight grimace,

“You knew to call Jin hyung.”

That was a vague sentence but somehow Jungkook knew what Yoongi meant, which was why the anxiety hit him in full force. Retracting the hand that had gone to open the door, Jungkook looked over at him. He had been scared this was going to happen, but at the same time he knew this was the only way he could ask about what had happened. It was his turn to go quiet, gathering his thoughts before nodding his head and mumbling,

“I was there when you had the attack at the club.”

Taking a deep breath to calm his nerves, Jungkook continued,

“Also, I …felt the scars on your hand when I grabbed you that time you almost fell down the flight of stairs.”

That finally got a reaction because Yoongi let out a chuckle, although it sounded bitter,

“No wonder you kept looking at my hands, I wasn’t imagining that.”

“I didn’t mean to stare, I swear. Also, I didn’t mean to follow you to the toilet at the club, Namjoon hyung asked me to check if you two were okay and I just-”

Bringing a hand to rub at his temple, Yoongi turned away from Jungkook and looked straight ahead at the security guard’s post,  

“I’m fine so-”

Maybe it was all the times that Jungkook failed to ask a simple question that spurred the sudden braveness because he shook his head imploringly, not letting this get dismissed,

“Hyung, I’m sorry, but you don’t seem fine.”

Jungkook knew he was really trying his luck here but he couldn’t stop himself from at least trying even though he saw Yoongi’s jaw clench,

“What happened during your first year that made you take a year off? And why are you and Jin hyung trying to cover up the picture threats? It’s connected, isn’t it?”

The continued silence he got in return was not only unnerving, but also frustrating, especially when all Jungkook wanted to do was help,

“Hyung, why does it feel like you’re hurting but you won’t let us in?”

Yoongi’s hands tightened around the steering wheel and his mouth was in a tight line before he turned to give Jungkook a painstakingly managed poker face that was becoming a common look of his,

“It’s getting late, you should get inside.”

It was a blatant smokescreen, and one that had Jungkook wanting to call out on it but he knew he had pushed too hard. His worst fears had literally manifested itself into reality, and Jungkook could only hold back the string of questions threatening to spew out. He didn’t know why it hurt so much to hear that from Yoongi, because technically he wasn’t obliged to say anything. Gripping onto his bag, Jungkook wordlessly bowed his head before turning to leave the car as fast as he could. The windy chill of the night hit his ears first, making him wish that he never substituted his beanie for caps. As he sat down at the side of the stairway to the lobby, Jungkook wondered why he had to keep having to deal with uncomfortable situations in cars.

 

He also couldn’t help but wonder if he just single-handedly managed to destroy everything he had built with Yoongi within the span of a few seconds.

 

 

Chapter Text

Jin smacked his arm for the tenth time this evening, scowling at the itchy red bumps that were all over his exposed skin,

“Whose fucking idea was it to have a barbeque in the middle of the woods?!”

Rolling his eyes and setting up the picnic mat that Jin had refused to help with, Hoseok shook his head,

“Firstly, we’re at a nature reserve and secondly, it was your boyfriend hyung.”

Crossing his arms and frowning harder, Jin adjusted himself on the rock that he was sitting at while the rest were hard at work. He didn’t know that the nature reserve would practically be like the actual wilderness when he’d accepted Namjoon’s suggestion to have a barbeque here. Now he just wished he had brought more mosquito repellent because it seemed like either the product was shit or the mosquitos were evolving. While he sprayed some more on his arms and neck, Jin caught Jungkook glancing over at them so he quickly chirped in,

“Boyfriend? Who?”

Smirking to himself, Jin leaned to one side to let Hoseok fix the mats into the ground so that the wind wouldn’t blow them away. When Hoseok rolled his eyes over the prank that he was still playing, Jin kicked him in the side with a little more force than he intended to but he brushed that aside to look for Taehyung’s reaction because that was the person he really was targeting. Strangely enough, Taehyung didn’t seem to be affected by it, and rather looked a little distracted as he levelled the ground in the middle with his boots for the campfire. Raising a brow, Jin watched him stomp,

“Kim Taehyung?”

That didn’t get a reply, so Jin reached to grab a small stone near his foot which he threw at his leg.

“Ow!” Came the yelp and Taehyung hopped on one foot and rubbed at his shin,

“What the fuck, hyung?”

“What are you spacing out for?”

“Oh. Nothing- I was just … trying to get the ground to be flat.”

“It’s as flat as your ass, so stop stomping on it stupidly.”

“My ass is not flat, thank you very much.” Taehyung sniped back, groping his own butt to prove his point before stepping away from his handy work.

Groaning as he stood up from securing all the mats, Hoseok gave the two of them a dirty look,

“We need to gather some wood and kindling for the fire, so can the three of you actually be helpful?”

Taehyung froze for a moment, pointing a finger at himself at then at Jin before realising that Hoseok was also including Yoongi who had been sitting next to Jin the whole time.

“Those two have been taking selfies for fifteen minutes, why aren’t you calling them out?” Yoongi retorted back, taking the mosquito repellent that Jin was hogging to spray his hands.

Putting his phone down from helping Jimin take pictures, Namjoon turned around with a cheery smile,

“This is so fun, isn’t it?”

It almost looked like Hoseok was about to strangle him but then a mat started to flap about in the wind so he quickly ran over to fix it. Watching him a little pitifully, Jimin went over to hook his arm around Jungkook,

“Jungkookie and I can go get the kindling!”

Before Jungkook could even nod his head, Taehyung came over and yanked Jimin over,

“Jimin and I will go get the kindling, Joon hyung and Kook can get the wood!”

With that, Taehyung pulled Jimin along to go off into the woods to get a bunch of dry sticks and twigs. Only after they were a good distance away from the rest did Taehyung let go of Jimin’s arm, still looking pretty distracted. With an amused chuckle, Jimin bent down to grab a few dry leaves,

“What was that about?”

“I should be asking you that.”

“Huh?”

Running a hand through his hair and then scratching at the base of his neck, Taehyung walked to and fro while Jimin was diligently collecting kindling. He finally stopped after a while, and just stood there and looked directly at him,

“Do you want to tell me anything, Jimin ah?”

Giving him a pointed glance, Jimin continued to grab dried out twigs,

“Do you have a bag or something? These are hard to hold.”

Letting out a breath, Taehyung came over and squatted down next to him to Jimin who was sorting out the length of the sticks and twigs. Instead of helping him, Taehyung reached into his jacket and pulled out a photo and put it over the kindling that Jimin had gathered. A little confused, Jimin stopped what he was doing before recognising the room that the photo was showing,

“Oh is this one of the photos you were taking that day to check for ghosts?”

“Yeah.”

“Shit, did you actually manage to photograph a ghost-”

“No. But, I shot something else.”

Bringing the photo closer, Jimin frowned as he scrutinised it and then looked back at Taehyung,

“What?”

Getting visibly more annoyed, Jimin’s eyes scanned the photo that showed the four of them on the couch that day, with Yoongi sleeping on Jungkook’s shoulder. He didn’t see a ghost, nor did he catch anything that looked out of the ordinary. In fact, it was actually a really nice photo,

“Tae, what the hell are you getting at?”

When Jimin looked back at Taehyung this time, he felt a little intimidated by the blank look he saw in return. Taehyung was just staring at him, black irises piercing all the way through, before he spoke without breaking eye contact,

“You like Jungkook, don’t you?”

That got Jimin to sway a little on his feet as he continued to squat on the floor, so he put a hand on the ground to stabilise himself. Wetting his lips and passing the photo back to Taehyung, Jimin waited a few seconds before nodding,

“How’d you find out?”

“Jimin, we’ve lived together for three years. I know everything, including the way you look at someone you like.”

With a small laugh, Jimin gathered all the kindling into the cradle of his arms and stood up,

“I used to think you were exaggerating when you said that but now I’ll take you more seriously.”

But after Jimin took a few steps, he realised that Taehyung wasn’t following so he stopped and looked back,

“Aren’t you coming?”

Looking back at Jimin like he was crazy, Taehyung lowered his voice,

“What the fuck are you doing liking him? It’s wrong!”

The way Taehyung was reacting surprised Jimin, who narrowed his eyes at the tone he was using,

“What do you mean? I just happen to like him-”

“He likes Yoongi hyung, you know that!”

With a sharp inhale, Jimin tilted his head,

“Yes, I do.”

“Are you fucking insane, why would you go and like someone who already likes someone else?!”

For a long moment, Jimin just stared back at Taehyung who was clearly distressed by the way he was already raising his voice. He hadn’t expected this from Taehyung, of all people, but here they were. Taking half of the kindling in his arms, Jimin nudged it into Taehyung’s hands for him to carry,

“Do you think I chose to do that?”

Taehyung opened his mouth to say something but it was cut short by Namjoon appearing at the clearing, picking up thicker branches of wood that Jungkook was carrying dutifully,

“Hey you two, isn’t this fun?”

Taehyung just stormed past him without saying anything, while Jimin gave him a forced smile before following suit. Making a face, Namjoon put a new branch over the ones that Jungkook was already holding,

“Some people are grumpy, but you’re enjoying this aren’t you?”

“Uh- yeah hyung, it’s fun.”

“What’s wrong with you too?”

“Huh-nothing! I’m fine-”

“You’ve been looking down the whole week, don’t think I haven’t noticed. Was it the exams? You know, I’ve been meaning to ask you if you needed any help.”

“Oh. The exams were … not easy. I don’t really get business ethics that much-”

“Why didn’t you say something? I can tutor you Jungkook.”

It was a simple gesture, but Jungkook couldn’t help but feel awfully touched. So much so that he was also embarrassed about not seeking help sooner, and his ears showed it by turning red. Nodding his head and giving him a grateful smile, Jungkook looked down at all the branches they had managed to gather,

“Thanks hyung, I’ll take you up on your offer. Also, I think we’ve got enough wood.”

Namjoon flashed him his huge grin, showing off his deep dimples that had Jungkook star struck for a second before he turned to walk back to the rest with him. Everyone was already there, and Jungkook bent down to dump all of the branches on the ground that Taehyung had been busily stomping on. He couldn’t help but wonder if he should just ask Namjoon if he was actually in fact dating Jin, and in retrospect that would be the reason why he didn’t catch the way Namjoon had taken a branch and swung around all of a sudden. It hit him right in his nose, and Namjoon should probably take up baseball because Jungkook felt the strength behind that swing immediately. Raising his hands to cradle his nose, Jungkook stumbled back a little and felt the stars explode behind his eyes as the pain spread from his nose and throbbed around his rest of his face.

“Oh my god!” Namjoon cried, dropping the branch and coming to Jungkook’s side only to hover around him awkwardly.

The pain was so startling that Jungkook couldn’t even feel that the blood was gushing down his nose until he saw his fingers stained red, making him wipe at nose and tilt his head back on instinct. Hoseok, Jimin and Taehyung all turned to watch in horror at what had happened and their voices all merged into a mesh of sound,

“Jesus fuck!”

“Holy shit.”

“Jungkook!”

Shaking his head, Jungkook took another step back as his world spun and the throbbing got worse, only to bump into someone. Quickly turning to look at who he bumped at, Jungkook almost felt his heart stop when he saw that it was Yoongi. Ever since the week before, Jungkook had been somewhat avoiding Yoongi in whatever ways he could. It was easy because club activities had been called off because of exams, but he was still very aware of the lack of interaction they had. He was pretty sure he had crossed a line by asking him all of those questions in the car that day, but he didn’t know how he was going to fix it. Yoongi had been really quiet, only talking to him about approving the fundraising proposal he had sent to the bowling club. In a way, Jungkook knew this was bound to happen but it hurt more than the bleeding nose he was sporting now.

Nudging Jungkook’s head straight, Yoongi held a whole bunch of tissues to his nose,

“Don’t tilt your head back, look down.”

Jungkook complied immediately, manoeuvred to sit down on the rock that Jin was previously at as Yoongi knelt in front of him, concerned eyes studying his face before checking on the blood that was still gushing out of his nose.

“Does he need to go to the hospital?” Jin asked, already holding his phone.

“It doesn’t look broken, but do you want to?” Yoongi asked Jungkook, as he gently got him to tilt his head down to make sure the blood didn’t run down his throat or windpipe.

Shaking his head, Jungkook made a noise of displeasure,

“No, I- I’ll be fine!”

“I’m so sorry, are you sure you’re alright?” Namjoon apologised, bending next to Yoongi to check on his condition.

Reaching over to pinch Jungkook’s nose, Yoongi frowned at the fresh blood trickling down,

“Someone go get the first aid kit from my car, I think it’s still in the trunk and someone else go get me water and ice.”

The crowd around Jungkook dispersed almost immediately, and Jungkook could feel his cheek heat up. Not just because of the proximity he had with Yoongi but also because he was utterly disgusted and embarrassed by the blood that was dripping out of his nose. Wanting to relief Yoongi of the burden of holding the tissues and pinching his nose, Jungkook reached up to do it on his own only to get a click of the tongue from Yoongi,

“Sit still.”

“Uh-”

“Use your mouth to breathe.”

“Hyung-”

“Does it hurt a lot?”

Moving a little to get a better look, Yoongi wiped a streak of blood on Jungkook’s jaw off and Jungkook felt his breath get caught. His fingers were so gentle and reassuring on his face, to the point that Jungkook was starting to think that getting hit on the nose by a branch wasn’t such a bad thing after all. The pure concentration on Yoongi’s face was doing strange things to Jungkook’s heart, and brain, and he’d like to think that was why he couldn’t help but keep thinking about the last time they had a decent conversation,

“Hyung, about the other time-”

“Are you seriously- stop talking.”

“I’m sorry if I was crossing a line, I didn’t mean to-”

Just then, Jimin came back with a cup of ice from the icebox, and Yoongi gestured for him to hold onto the tissues before he let go. With Taehyung opening a bottle of water, Yoongi washed his hands before grabbing an ice cube and popping it past Jungkook’s lips,

“No more talking. Press it to the top of your mouth.”

Looking around for some cloth of some sort, Yoongi ended up pulling off his plaid shirt and dumping the ice into it as a makeshift ice pack of some sort. Scrunching it close around the ice, Yoongi gently pressed it to the bridge of his nose as Jimin changed the bloodied tissues out for clean ones. Jungkook felt a little coddled by all the attention he was getting, especially when Taehyung and Hoseok started to rub his back soothingly.

“He’s gonna be alright, right?” Namjoon sighed, looking so worried that even Jungkook was starting to feel bad.

“Yeah, it should stop bleeding in a while. Don’t crowd him, the rest of you can go start the fire.”

“What- hyung! He’s dying-” Taehyung exclaimed, looking hurt.

“You’re all taking up his oxygen. At least go make him some food as consolation.”

That got Namjoon putting his hands together in another apology before nodding,

“What do you want first? The samgyeopsal?”

“Yes, please,” Jungkook grinned, putting up a thumb before sneakily stealing the tissues Jimin was holding,

“I’m really fine!”

A little reluctantly, everyone moved to go start the fire and start grilling the food. Jimin was the last to leave, watching Jungkook for a while longer before he went over to help the rest. Glancing up, Yoongi gestured to his tissues as he shifted the ice pack to the back of his neck,

“Is it still flowing?”

“Not really- it’s slowing down.”

Although the ice was cool on his neck, Yoongi’s hand on his back was comfortingly warm. It was wrong to be enjoying this as much as he was, but Jungkook wasn’t regretting a second of it,

“Hyung, you’d have made a good doctor. Why are you so good at this?”

Letting out an amused chuckle, Yoongi lifted the ice pack off his neck and brought it back to his nose,

“Someone in the club has to know first-aid, it’s a requirement.”

“I’m really sorry about your shirt-”

“It’s fine.”

“But-”

“Jungkook, it’s fine. A stupid shirt doesn’t matter right now, what matters is that you’re fine. Alright?”

Looking over at him, Jungkook nodded before making a face because there was definitely blood in his mouth as it tasted like rust and iron. But Yoongi stopped him from taking the bottle of water and gurgling,

“Don’t. We’ll wait at least five minutes more before we tilt your head back.”

“We?” Jungkook parroted a little cheekily, and Yoongi made a face in return,

“The first-aid training taught us to use that. Don’t even start with me.”

Although that brought a smile to Yoongi’s lips as well as Jungkook’s, it was short lived because Jungkook found himself looking at Yoongi’s hand as he was wringing out the water out of the ice pack before placing it back on his neck. Without really thinking it through, Jungkook reached over to Yoongi’s long sleeve and tugged it to cover the scars that were peeking through. It only occurred to him how uncomfortable that may have been for Yoongi after he had done it, getting a little help from the sharp flinch Yoongi involuntarily made. Pulling his hands away, Jungkook yelped softly before urgently turning to him,

“Sorry! I didn’t mean to-”

“You don’t mean to do a lot of things, huh?”

Biting his tongue, Jungkook internally groaned, wondering if he could hide his whole face with the tissues he was still holding to his nose. Every time things were going well, he just had to go and ruin it. He just couldn’t help it, not when those questions kept him awake at night and distracted during lectures. Not when those questions concerned Yoongi. He was worried, and he was worried sick about whatever that had happened for Yoongi to have those scars. He couldn’t just ignore it or pretend that he didn’t see something, it just wasn’t him to do that. But that left him always pushing into Yoongi even when he obviously had no right to, making their relationship strained.

Sighing, Yoongi took a look over at the bunch struggling to start a fire before pushing his sleeve up and letting his scars finally show in plain sight,

“I took a year off because I was spiralling out of control and took it out on myself,”

It was one thing to have felt them, and then gotten a glimpse of them, but seeing them up close in its entirety was a whole other thing. Holding his breath, Jungkook’s eyes stayed on the array of scars, unable to look away as Yoongi continued,

“And the club…the club was created because it felt like the only way I could get back some of the control in my life, to keep myself and everyone else safe.”

Lowering the tissues from his nose, Jungkook frowned slightly,

“Why, what happened?”

To which Yoongi just went quiet, looking away from him placing the ice pack on the bridge of his nose, and Jungkook felt like he did that almost as if he was trying to get him keep quiet and realised he’d overstepped once again. Clenching his fingers into a fist and then spreading them out, Jungkook let out a deep breath,

“Uh hyung, you don’t…take things out on yourself anymore, right?”

“No- no I don’t.”

“Oh, that’s good.”

Jungkook kept silent after that but you could practically hear the gears whirring in his head and Yoongi let out a soft sigh,

“Enough questions Jungkook ah, it’s bringing up bad luck. Look, you always seem to be getting hurt around us.”

But Jungkook continued to look down frowning as Yoongi covered his wrist up, only dropping it when Jin came over while holding the first aid kit,

“Sorry it took so long, the car’s parked really far out.”

Nodding it off, Yoongi just gestured to Jin,

“Hyung, go help the rest with the fire please, they’re hopeless.”

With a loud exhalation, Jin went over without much protest, already rolling up his sleeves and looking ready to bark orders. Putting down the ice pack, Yoongi went through the first aid kit before grabbing the saline spray he was looking for,

“You can go wash your mouth and nose out first.”

A little too eagerly, Jungkook grabbed the bottle of water and gurgled his mouth before clearing out his nose as well. Finally the taste of blood left his mouth and Jungkook could only feel a light throbbing from his nose to the back of his head, a million times better than before. Dumping out the last bits of ice in his shirt, Yoongi wrung it out again before handing it for Jungkook to wipe his face with.

“I’m really sorry about your shirt, hyung.”

“Hold your breath for a bit.” Yoongi deflected, shaking the saline bottle before spraying it up his nose.

It tickled and stung at the same time, making Jungkook wrinkle up his nose and shake his head once it was over. Laughing a little at the similarities Jungkook shared with a wet dog shaking water off its fur, Yoongi capped the spray and put it away. That got Jungkook glancing over at him a little startled, imprinting the look on Yoongi’s face into his memory. He loved that smile, but it was always so slight and short lived. A little tentatively, Jungkook gathered enough courage to ask in a soft voice,

“Hyung, are you really fine now?”

Yoongi caught Jungkook’s eyes as he looked up, reminding him of when he had a panic attack. Any other time, Yoongi would have brushed it off with a I’m fine or I’m alright but he couldn’t seem to roll those words off his tongue to someone who was looking at him with so much honestly in his eyes. So, he broke the eye contact and instead placed a hand on his head and ruffled his hair,

“Let’s go get you some food.”

Without much of another choice, Jungkook got up to follow Yoongi to the clearing where a small fire was steadily growing only thanks to Jin who strangely knew how to light a fire although he didn’t seem to want to help with anything else. He pressed his hands to his cheeks in a bidding attempt to will away the colour he knew was staining them because he shouldn’t read too much into Yoongi just playing with his hair.

“Feeling better?” Hoseok asked in a hopeful voice as he put the aluminium wrapped sweet potatoes in the pit.

With an embarrassed nod, Jungkook gave everyone a quick glance,

“I’m seriously okay- it’s nothing, just a small bump.”

That got a sarcastic huff from Jin who was placing the meat on the metal grill,

“Small bump my ass, you better go see a doctor if it bleeds again.”

“Yeah, you bled quite a bit.” Taehyung added in, brows furrowed as Jimin grabbed a packet of juice and handed it over to Jungkook,

“Tell us if it hurts, the hospital’s nearby.”

It was strange to have six people fussing and worrying over him, but it was familiar as well because it was just like have six more Junghyun’s with him. Popping the straw into the juice box, Jungkook was happy to put some much needed sugar back in his system. Carefully squeezing in between Jin and Hoseok, Namjoon gingerly sat down and crossed his long legs with utmost concentration,

“I wanted this to be a fun evening for all of us before we head off for our semester break, especially with this recent threat that Yoongi hyung got. So, I’m really sorry for ruining it like this.”

“It’s okay, Jungkook only almost died.” Jin shushed him, amused by Namjoon covering his face with his hands and hiding behind him.  

Taehyung reached into the ice box and took out the beer cans and started passing them down for everyone to have, still a little quieter than he was usually. Jungkook cranked one open before passing it to Yoongi, who peered back at him and then shook his head a little, pushing it back to Jungkook,

“I don’t drink.”

“Huh- oh.”

For a bit, Jungkook tried to recall how Jimin had slipped out that fact when they had discovered the photo threat at the club room. It was strange, especially when the photos had shown him drinking but there was probably good reason why he didn’t drink anymore. In fact, it was more like an important piece of information that he should be storing in his mental database of evidence. Letting out a gasp, Jimin covered his mouth with a hand before getting up to look in the ice box,

“Shit! I gave Jungkook your apple juice- Yoongi hyung, I’m so sorry.”

“Why is everyone apologising today, it’s getting really annoying.” Jin chided, grabbing a bottled water and tossing it over to Yoongi who caught it,

“Jin hyung’s right, can we just eat? This isn’t some apology fest.”

Dropping the straw out of his mouth, Jungkook pulled the juice box from his mouth and then guiltily looked at the chewed-up straw before making eye contact with Yoongi. Before he could even say anything, Yoongi held up a warning finger and effectively silenced any kind of grovelling that could have occurred. Jungkook settled for glimpsing at Yoongi’s side profile, softly illuminated by the campfire that had settled into a strong source of heat as the night wind started to weave its way into the setting sky. The swell in his chest told him that his crush wasn’t just a crush now, it was definitely a little more than just that.

 

But because Jungkook continued to watch Yoongi a little mesmerised, he didn’t realise that Jimin was looking at him the same way.

 

 

Chapter Text

There were a lot of things about Busan that Jungkook had missed to the point of actually feeling a physical ache in his chest, but it was the salty breeze that topped the list. There was something about it that kept Jungkook feeling contended and at peace with himself. It also made him not want to get up from the bed, even if his phone was blasting his alarm and on the verge of vibrating off the table. It wasn’t like his bed back at the apartment he shared with his brother was horrible, but nothing was quite like the one he couldn’t bear to leave now. Knowing very well what would happen if he was late to help at the restaurant, he got up and swiped at his phone. Somehow, the entire break had passed without him really knowing how, probably because he was helping out every day at the restaurant. It wasn’t like he hated it, because he really didn’t, and neither was it anything new to him since he’d been helping out since he could remember. Just that, it was the last day he had to mindlessly lay on his bed and just binge watch all of the shows he had been missing on before he had to go back to school.  

Making a quick work of washing up and changing into clothes that could pass off as presentable, Jungkook trudged down the stairs to enter the back entrance to the restaurant. When he saw the ingredients that his parents had been preparing since before the sun even rose, Jungkook decided to count his blessings and be grateful that at least he didn’t need to wake up that early. Bowing in wordless greeting to his mom in the kitchen and his dad setting the grills at the tables, Jungkook grabbed the cloth and wiped the tables down on auto-pilot. Without looking up, his dad gestured to the table he just finished with,

“Jungkook ah, you missed a spot.”

“Oh, sorry-”

“I was just teasing you, you don’t need to help out today. Go rest in your room.”

“It’s okay dad, I’ve got nothing to do. Besides, it’s Sunday and I know your crowd starts early.”

The thing was, it wasn’t like his parents forced him to work during his break or anything. In fact, they had said it was alright if he wanted to work elsewhere and actually earn some revenue for himself for once. But Jungkook couldn’t even begin to wrap his head around that concept, especially when he knew how difficult it was to manage a barbeque restaurant. On reflex, Jungkook bowed when the first customer walked in and showed him to his seat,

“Good morning sir, here’s the menu. Please let me know when you’re ready to order.”

Bowing before he left the customer to think about his order, Jungkook quickly wiped the last table before chucking the rag back into the kitchen.

“I’ll have set b, and a bottle of soju.”

Placing a cup of water in front of him, Jungkook nodded,

“It’d arrive in five minutes, please wait to be served.”

Jungkook used a few hand sings to signal to his dad this customer’s order, years of computing the menu system into easily understood non-verbal signs showing through. Heading back into the kitchen as there were no other customers yet, Jungkook went to grab a bottle of soju from the fridge. Usually he wouldn’t ever waste another second in the kitchen but this time he felt eyes on him so he looked up at his parents, who were eyeing him in a way he never had been subjected to. Arranging the sliced meat into a plate, his mom gave him an impressed nod,

“You’ve really gotten less shy, I guess going to that Seoul college really brought you out of your shell.”

Making a face, Jungkook scrunched up his nose and thought about just how much he still struggled,

“No ma, I’m still-”

“You’ve changed, she’s right. We’ve been watching you since the start of your break, and today you didn’t even stutter once when you talked to that man.”

A little confused, Jungkook tried to trace his own persona back to a few moments ago to try and decipher exactly what they seemed so impressed with,

“I mean, I don’t have to watch my accent here, so I shouldn’t really be stuttering?”

“You still used to.”

That got his ears to burn a little, and Jungkook shook his head and turned to leave the kitchen,

“You two are exaggerating.”

Trying not to think about their words too much, Jungkook went over to put the bottle of soju on the customer’s table and set up the grill before his dad came out with the plate of meat. But he couldn’t help but wonder just how badly he was doing this job previously if they could see such a big difference although he felt none. There was no time to continue being lost in his thoughts when a big family came through the door, making Jungkook effectively forget worrying about his stutter and anxiety and instead just make sure that that everyone got their food. It didn’t help that he had to run back and fro to the cashier whenever someone got up to pay, and amid all the chaos he had also forgotten something very important.

“The apron really suits you.” Came the compliment from a familiar voice, and in the midst of clearing a table, Jungkook swivelled around with wide eyes,

“Jimin hyung!”

Without any warning other than the huge grin on his face, Jimin lunged for a full-body hug and Jungkook didn’t even budge a little from the impact. Beaming just as wide as Jimin was, Jungkook wrapped his arms around him and squeezed before pulling away from the hug to look at his face,

“I’m so sorry, I totally forgot I was supposed to pick you up from the main road-”

“It’s fine, your shop is really easy to find!”

Feeling his cheeks already begin to hurt from smiling so much, Jungkook took a quick glance over at his mom who had walked over to the table and took the plates he had been clearing,

“Is this the friend you said was visiting?”

Putting on all his charms, and flashing her his best eye smile, Jimin bowed respectfully,

“Nice to meet you Mrs Jeon, I’m Park Jimin!”

“Oh what a nice voice you have, sit down and eat with Jungkook will you, Jimin?”

Jungkook looked around at customers who were still filling most of the shop and was ready to decline but he felt a hand clamp down on his shoulder, and his dad guided him to sit down,

“Thank you for looking after Jungkook, your meal is on us.”

Smile widening, Jimin shook his head well manneredly before going to sit opposite of Jungkook who was still glancing around the room to check if all of the other customers already got their food.

“You have your mom’s eyes and your dad’s smile, wow.” Jimin whispered, still glancing at his dad.

“Oh yeah, I’m really the blend of the two of them.”

Taking off his apron and folding it before placing it on the empty seat next to his, Jungkook looked up to see Jimin watching him with a hand on his cheek,

“You grew even more handsome during the break, what have they been feeding you?”

“Excessive amounts of oil and fat, hyung. I gained three pounds.”

Hiding his laugh behind his face, Jimin doubled over in laughter as Jungkook pouted and took the glasses of water and plates of meat his mom handed him. He watched Jimin tinker around with the grill before looking very lost at the dials, so he took over and set it on medium heat before he laid the meat out neatly,

“How have you been, hyung?”

“I’ve just been lazing around, and then I also worked at a bookshop.”

“Oh yeah I saw the pictures you posted, where is it exactly?”

“The one in Kukje.”

“Ah, that’s far.”

Since Jimin was distracted from tasting the kimchi, he didn’t notice the way that Jungkook’s parents were looking over at the both of them but Jungkook definitely did. Their amused smiles were brief but Jungkook knew what it was about. He’d never really had friends that he was this close with till now because he’d either always shadowed Junghyun and his circle of friends or hung out with his judo mates. Not that he wasn’t close with them, but he didn’t open up as much as he was with Jimin and the rest of the club members. It finally felt like he had his own friends, since those from judo were also technically Junghyun’s friends as well.

“Ah, you look like some model grilling meat.” Jimin lamented, scrolling past the filters to choose the best one as Jungkook put the perfectly grilled meat on his plate.

“I really don’t.” Jungkook commented back quickly before digging up his phone from his pocket to check the picture that Jimin had snapped of him and groaning internally because his hair was such a mess.

While Jimin scooted over to his side for a selfie, Jungkook tried to comb out the slight waves that he was sporting which he was going to blame on the salty air. It got the notifications of the group chat ringing right away.

 

Campus Strip Club (7 members)

Hobi hyung:  Is jk also on the menu?

Jin hyung:  You’re gonna get arrested for that

Namjoon hyung:  Wahhh i’m hungry now

Jin hyung:  Let’s go eat, my treat

Namjoon hyung:  Oki <3

Hobi hyung:  Gross

 

The banter that he had really come to miss was back like it never left once again and Jungkook couldn’t help the smile that wouldn’t leave his lips. But he wondered how Taehyung and Yoongi were doing in daegu, because they’d been really quiet about their trip. Yoongi he understood, but it was a little strange not to have Taehyung flooding the chats. At least they got a cute picture of his new family dog, Tan, and that was all Jungkook was gonna ask for. If he had a puppy that cute, he’d be missing from the chat too, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask,

“Hyung, is Tae hyung going back today too?”

“Huh- oh. I don’t know, maybe?”

Jimin kept quiet at that, just nodding slightly before checking whether Taehyung had read his messages and seeing that he had, but still hadn’t responded to any. Closing the chat, Jimin tried to ignore exactly how hurt he was by that. He knew the real reason behind why Taehyung had both been so quiet in the group chats whenever he was the one posting. They never really got to talk properly about the issue of him liking Jungkook before they each left for home, and that seemed to be a huge problem for Taehyung. Jimin didn’t understand why Taehyung had such a bad reaction to it, especially when he usually never had such fierce opinions about such things. It didn’t seem like him at all, and there was definitely something more to it, just that Jimin couldn’t seem to find out because Taehyung was set on ignoring him. It was almost ironic that his phone buzzed then,

 

From: Tae-Tae

Y r u with him?

 

To: Tae-Tae

Bcoz we both live in busan?? Dude wtf is wrong with u, why haven’t you been replying my msgs?

 

From being online, Taehyung went offline without another peep and Jimin had to hold himself back from physically rolling his eyes and wanting to throw his phone.

“Hyung? The food’s gonna go cold- do you not like it? I can go get something else-“

“No! I just- it’s nothing. Let’s eat!”

Putting his phone face down, Jimin shrugged off all the hurt and annoyance he was feeling and decided to just stuff his face with the delicious food that he’d been neglecting,

“It’s really good- wow. I’m gonna get my family to come here from now on, even if it’s an hour’s drive away.”

Jungkook shook his head laughing, and that was enough for Jimin to stop wondering about whether Taehyung was still mad about what he had found out. That was the effect that Jungkook had on him, as cheesy as it seemed. It reminded him of when Hoseok had dragged him over to his lab and he couldn’t help but notice how cute this new freshie was. Sure, at the beginning it was about his physical appearance because no matter how much Jungkook refuted, he was cute. Especially when he was sitting opposite him without his guard up, in his oversized black hoodie that only intensified his boyish charms. But now it had gone past that, because Jimin couldn’t help but like him for the shy kin-hearted boy that he was. People like Jungkook were hard to come by, and even when they did, they weren’t even half as genuine as he was.

By the time they finished, Jimin wanted to unbutton the top button of his pants because of how full he was. It was a good feeling though, especially when they had a three hour trip ahead of them. Leaning back on his chair, Jimin rubbed his stomach as he glanced around at the restaurant,

“Is your house nearby? We should leave soon for our train.”

“It’s right here, hyung.”

Tilting his head, Jimin looked around again very confusedly while Jungkook chuckled to himself before pointing a finger to the ceiling,

“It’s upstairs.”

“Oh!”

“I’ll go get my bag, and tell my parents we’re leaving.”

Jimin wanted to get up and follow him but he really couldn’t move an inch, so he sat there honestly wondering how Jungkook was in such good shape. Maybe this was why he did judo, and was always exercising. When Jungkook’s dad came over, Jimin somehow found the energy to get up to greet him, taking the bag of snacks he was handed,

“Have a safe trip back, and watch over him in school for me. It’s nice to know he has a friend back home too.”

“Thank you Mr Jeon, the food was really good! I even spoiled my diet.”

“You don’t need a diet.”

If Jungkook’s dad kept smiling at him, Jimin wasn’t sure if he could stop himself from melting into a puddle right there but he only continued,

“He’s really gotten less shy after going to college, thank you for helping him become more comfortable in his skin.”

Pausing for a moment, Jimin thought about when he first joined before nodding,

“We will.”

“Dad, we’ll be going now! We’re gonna be late-”

“Do you want some snacks for the trip?” Jungkook’s mom asked as she hobbled over with two big bags that Jungkook had the burden of carrying,

Leaning in to hug the both of them, Jungkook’s cheeks dusted a rosy pink because he knew Jimin was watching,

“I’ll be going then, see you for new year!”

Jungkook’s dad patted his shoulder before reaching over to Jimin and patting his arm as well, and Jimin felt his heart melt a little. They were a tight knitted family, Jimin could tell, and Jungkook’s mannerisms were making his chest swell.

“We really have to go now, bye!” Jungkook rushed through, yanking Jimin along with him as he jogged out of the shop and outside,

“Hyung, I know what you’re gonna say-“

“That you’re a good kid and it’s nice that you are close with your parents?”

Adjusting the bag strap across his torso, Jungkook ducked his head and then ran a hand through his hair and sniffed,

“I’m… glad you understand.”

It was a short walk to the ktx station, and Jungkook and Jimin claimed their tickets and found their way into the train without much of a hassle, which was a miracle in itself. It was nice not to go back alone, and Jimin watched as Jungkook looked through the snacks his dad had passed them,

“Do you want anything, hyung?”

“Oh god no, I’m already in food coma.”

“You can sleep hyung, I’ll wake you up.”

Taking that as a cue, Jimin scooted further down his seat and leaned his head down on Jungkook’s shoulder comfortably. If it bothered Jungkook, he didn’t show it and Jimin knew it was selfish to do this, but he really had wanted to ever since he had seen Yoongi sleeping on his shoulder that time in the club room. Was it jealousy or was it just wanting to know what it felt like? Jimin hoped it was the latter as looked through all the selfies they took earlier and revelled in the warm scent of Jungkook’s shampoo mixing with his soap. Both their text notifications went off in tandem, and Jimin looked at his screen,

 

Campus Strip Club (7 members)

Yoongi hyungie <3: Both the food and you two look good, get back safely.

 

Glancing up at Jungkook, Jimin watched the way his face practically lit up at the text, catching the softest hue of pink settling into his cheeks and ears. It reminded him of everything he was trying to escape from during this break, and it was the unwarranted wake up call back to reality. He knew that Jungkook liked Yoongi, it was a well-known fact, especially after Taehyung yelled it at his face in the woods. In a sense, Jimin could understand what he had meant about it being wrong to like Jungkook. But it didn’t feel fair to just give up on Jungkook just because he had a crush on someone else. Jimin was a fighter, he’d always been, and there was no way he was going to let this go without a fight. Nuzzling into Jungkook’s shoulder, Jimin shut his eyes and let himself bask in the warmth of this human heater.

 

Three hours passed much quicker than Jungkook ever thought it could, mostly because he was staring at the text Yoongi had sent for a long time. Technically, Yoongi hadn’t said he was handsome or anything but he did say they both looked good so Jungkook was just going to translate it as such. Maybe the messy haired look really did suit him, and he absentmindedly adjusted his bangs until he realised Jimin was still sleeping on his shoulder. Seeing the Seoul ktx station appearing in the near distance, Jungkook gently turned to tap on his shoulder,

“Hyung, we’ve arrived.”

Jimin didn’t nudge, so Jungkook tapped his shoulder again only to get a frown. A thought crossed his mind and Jungkook grabbed the string from his hoodie and tickled Jimin’s nose with it, thoroughly amused when Jimin sneezed awake,

“Wha- huh. Jungkook, that tickles!”

“You wouldn’t wake up hyung, we’re back.”

Looking out of the window, Jimin rubbed at his eyes before groaning and stretching, feeling his back ache a little. Before the crowd blocked all the exits, Jimin and Jungkook hopped off with their bags and breathed in the city air that really just smelled mostly like petrol. Checking his messages, Jungkook looked around for the exit,

“Hyung, how are you going back to the dorms? My brother’s fetching me so he can give you a ride if you want.”

“That’s alright, I have to go to the bank first.”

“Oh, then I’ll see you at club tomorrow hyung!”

With wide arms, Jungkook grabbed him in for a goodbye hug before waving and walking out to the main roads outside. As usual, Junghyun was early and Jungkook found himself jogging a little quickly to the car and hurriedly shutting the door behind him,

“Hyung, I said 6.30pm. It’s 6.13pm now.”

“Nice to see you too, Jungkook ah.”

Sticking out a tongue, Jungkook tossed his bags to the back seat,

“Mom sent me with five hundred pounds of the kimchi you kept bugging her to send over, seriously hyung just buy the one from the convenience shop.”

“It does not taste the same, and you know it.”

Grabbing the seatbelt and clicking it in before Junghyun complained, Jungkook sneaked another look at him,

“They miss you too, and they wanted me to remind you to get your leave early for the extended new year break.”

Humming, Junghyun turned at the intersection and Jungkook raised a brow in question,

“Are we going somewhere?”

“Yeah, to the supermarket. You reminded me that we needed to go grocery shopping.”

“Let me guess, you have been living off takeout for the whole duration I was gone.”

“Ditto.”

“Hyung! Can you think about your health?”

“Enough about me, how was the trip?”

“It was fine?”

Shifting his eyes over to look at Jungkook, Junghyun spoke without even using words because Jungkook knew what he meant,

“No hyung, I didn’t tell them that I currently like a senior who also happens to be a guy.”

“Okay good, not because I don’t want you to tell them but cause I think I should really be there as back up when you do.”

“Back up? Hyung, this isn’t a case you’re solving-”

“Oh yes it is, and it’s called my younger brother’s sexual revelation.”

“Oh god- eww!”

Chuckling, Junghyun drove into the carpark of the supermarket and parked without much of a hassle. Jungkook was a little jealous of his parking skills, even if he could park pretty well himself, it just wasn’t as smooth as when he did. Grabbing the shopping cart, Jungkook ignored the warning hum that Junghyun gave him and went straight for the sugary cereal section,

“It’s healthy, look, it says nutritious.”

“I think my three-month binge of takeout food was healthier than this.”

The cereal reminded Jungkook of the other thing he couldn’t live without, so he left the cart with his brother who was reading the nutritional information at the back of the cereal box to run off to the dairy section. It had taken him a while to get familiar with this huge supermarket, but now he practically had the blueprints imprinted on the back of his eyes. Grabbing two huge jugs of banana milk, Jungkook used them as barbells as he walked back to the cereal aisle. As he was approaching the shelf he knew he left Junghyun at, Jungkook found himself taking a second look because the back of this other person looked awfully familiar. It was the grey beanie that really got his brain to fully register that Yoongi was standing at the aisle as well. To say that he missed him would be a blatant understatement but that was all Jungkook could think about. The surge of excitement was almost the equivalent of a sugar rush, with his fingers tightening around the two jugs of milk he was still carrying like weights. But before his feet could quicken their pace to get to him, Jungkook’s eyes darted over to the person that Yoongi was talking with and felt his whole brain just blank out.

 

Because Yoongi was holding a box of cereal and talking to the last person Jungkook thought he ever would be; his brother.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

What Jungkook was looking at him now was proof that sitting through business law wasn’t the only thing that could completely dumbfound him. There were so many questions that rose to the surface, all at the same time, and he couldn’t even begin to arrange them sequentially. It was jarring to see the two people that he never thought he would see having what appeared to be a very casual chat in the middle of the cereal aisle at a supermarket. Only because the two of them were from very distinct and different parts of Jungkook’s life, which didn’t quite intersect. So, he stood completely still off to the side of the aisle as he continued to hold two huge jugs of milk in his hands and listened to Yoongi’s soft voice,

“They’re mixing smart pills and alcohol now?”

“Yeah, it’s not looking pretty. It’s really dangerous, especially taken together.”

“That’s not good, Jin hyung and I will try to get to the source.”

“Yeah, that-”

But Junghyun stopped mid-sentence, pausing for a moment before leaning to the side and checking if his feeling of someone eavesdropping was true. When he glanced over at the next aisle, he spotted Jungkook standing there awkwardly which relieved him more than it should. His cautious behaviour alerted Yoongi, and he turned to look behind his shoulder at whatever that had spooked Junghyun,

“Jungkook?”

That got a shocked look from Junghyun, who looked from Yoongi and then back to Jungkook,

“You two know each other?”

“Yoongi hyung-”

But it was Yoongi who seemed to piece things together, brows slightly furrowed as he glanced between the both of them,

“Ah, Jeon. Hyung, you’re Jungkook’s older brother.”

Junghyun made a soft sound of agreement before slowly nodding his head,

“And you’re the senior from Jungkook’s club activities, now it makes sense.”

Still standing there without really doing anything, Jungkook only jerked into action when Yoongi noticed the milk jugs he was lugging and reached to help,

“Hyung, it’s okay-uh did you have a good holiday?”

“Yeah, I did. You and Jimin looked like you had a good time too.”

“Ah, we can give Yoongi some of the kimchi you brought from home too. Would you like some?”

“That’s really alright-”

“I’ll bring it tomorrow!”

“He says he’ll bring it, so you have to take it now.” Junghyun quipped, smiling.

“Okay then, I’m thankful. I should get going first, I’ll see you at club Jungkook ah and hyung, I’ll see you soon.”

Junghyun waved to Yoongi, smile falling as he disappeared off to the cashier while Jungkook still continued to watch him. For a long moment, Junghyun just stood there leaning on the shopping cart and observing Jungkook, keeping absolutely silent. When Jungkook finally turned to look at him, the uneasiness on his face was clear as day,

“Hyung, why do you know Yoongi hyung?”

“How about I ask the questions first?”

“What’s there to ask-“

“Just some welfare club? You joined the csc and you didn’t tell me?”

“It is a welfare club!”

“Welfare clubs aren’t supposed to do dangerous things.”

“Hyung, I knew you’d react like this if I told you! Also, as far as I’m involved it really is a welfare club, I don’t do anything that dangerous-“ Jungkook rebutted, huffing before he stopped mid-sentence, just staring at his brother.

“Why did you stop?”

“Wait, hyung, how do you know the name of our club and why are you saying we do dangerous things?”

Looking down, Junghyun put the box of cereal he was holding into the cart before pushing it past him and moving on to get other necessities. Trying to tie everything together, Jungkook stalled for a while before hurrying his pace to catch up with his brother. He recognised the look that Junghyun had, and he knew he was hiding something that was related to his work. But Jungkook wasn’t dumb, he had a good idea of what was going on, even if his brother wasn’t going to tell him,

“Hyung, I’m not gonna quit so don’t even think of asking Yoongi hyung to get me to quit or something.”

Putting a loaf of bread into the cart, Junghyun looked up at him,

“So, it’s him, isn’t it?”

“Huh?”

“He’s the senior you like.”

Blinking back at him, Jungkook felt his ears burn as he slightly nodded his head. A small smile found its way onto Junghyun’s lips, and he let out low whistle. Ducking his head, Jungkook finally put the two jugs of milk into the cart before scratching at his neck and asking his unanswered question again,

“Why do you know Yoongi hyung?”

“Work.”

“And you can’t say more?”

“Bingo.”

“I’ll just ask Yoongi hyung then.”

“You should, it’s better if you hear it from him anyways.”

Frowning slightly, Jungkook grabbed a few boxes of cookies and dumped them into the cart before Junghyun could complain about it being unhealthy. While Yoongi was being vague about whatever happened in his past, Junghyun was being extremely shady about whatever work he had with him. It was connected, Jungkook definitely knew that but he needed specifics, he needed answers. Keeping his voice low, Junghyun stopped walking,

“Jungkook ah, I won’t ask you to quit but promise me one thing.”

“What is it hyung?”

“Be careful.”

“Careful writing reports? Sure, hyung. I will.”

It was a strange request, but Jungkook found himself nodding anyways. At least his brother wasn’t asking him to quit, probably because he knew better than to. Stubbornness ran in the family, so Junghyun would be very familiar with it. There was no point in forcing him to do something or to not, he was gonna do what he wanted to either way. But although he was set in making his own decision, Junghyun’s words kept replaying in his head over and over, like a broken record which led to a severe case of a restless night. Grabbing his phone, Jungkook decided to drop everyone a text,

Campus Strip Club (7 members)

You: Hi hyungs, I’m bringing kimchi for all of you tomorrow so please bring some bag or something, it’s kinda heavy!

Jimin hyung: yru up so late? but thank uuu ♡

Hobi hyung: hell yeah, thanks man

Jin hyung: go to sleep before I kill you all for interrupting my beauty sleep, but thanks kid

Taehyung hyung: oh shit evryone go2 sleep & thanks kookieeeee

 

Jungkook had to stifle a bark of laughter at Jin’s text, trying not to laugh and possibly wake Junghyun who was sleeping in the next room. Just as he was about to put his phone away, it chimed again and Jungkook wondered who on earth was that brave to continue bothering Jin. To his surprise, it was a private text message, and one from the person he really didn’t expect it from but wanted the most,

From: Yoongi hyung

Is it heavy, do you need me to fetch you to sch?

To: Yoongi hyung

It’s okay hyung, my brother is!

From: Yoongi hyung

Ah, right. You didn’t tell him you joined our club, did you?

To: Yoongi hyung

I did!!

From: Yoongi hyung

Rightt. Anyways, go to sleep, we can talk tmr. Thank you too, I’ve never had busan kimchi.

To: Yoongi hyung

You’re gonna love it, hyung. Goodnight! :)

From: Yoongi hyung

Goodnight Jungkook ah.

 

Grinning at his screen, Jungkook turned on his side to hide his smile in his pillow. His heart was squeezing dangerously and making him dizzy, but he wasn’t the least bit concerned. The uneasiness from earlier had completely disappeared, replaced by his soft giggles as he clutched his phone to his chest. It was stupid, but he was ridiculously happy just because Yoongi had chosen to drop him a private message asking whether he needed a ride. He would have readily accepted the offer if he didn’t know that Junghyun would tease him neverendingly about it. Besides, he didn’t want Yoongi’s car to end up smelling like kimchi, and boy was he right about that. Although the lids were tight, Jungkook could still smell the kimchi pretty strongly, which was why he made the decision to put them in the club room before going off to class. Opening the door with a code he now memorised purely on muscle memory, Jungkook used his back to hold the door open while he snuck in. The box was pretty big, and he probably brought way too much kimchi but there was no backing out now. Deducing that he shouldn’t put food on the floor, Jungkook put it on the desk only to gnaw on his lips in worry. This was Yoongi’s desk, and putting a huge box that took up almost all of the space on it wasn’t really a nice thing to do. Wondering if maybe he should put it on the sofa, Jungkook turned around to look at it only for his attention to get dragged elsewhere.

He found himself looking at the stacks of boxes at the back of the room, stacked up high in rows and columns. They were the dull brown they always had been, but now there were messy markings of bright red marker ink all over them. It was more than startling, and Jungkook held his breath as his eyes darted all over the boxes to read the message it spelled out,

‘Min Yoongi, I know everything.’

Jungkook felt the vein on his neck throb as his brain kicked in to grasp everything, eyes now zoning in onto the pictures that were taped haphazardly on some boxes. Swallowing heavily, his sneakers scrapped the floor as he quickly made his way to the back of the room to take a closer look. The pictures were all of Yoongi just like before, and all of a Yoongi he still couldn’t recognise easily. These pictures seemed to be a little more explicit and revealing this time round, because there was a lot more shots of alcohol bottles stacked in a row and even of one where Yoongi was taking a shot off someone’s navel. But those weren’t the things which were upsetting Jungkook as much as the smile that Yoongi had. It didn’t reach his eyes, especially since his eyes seemed clouded over without the warmth they usually possessed. Feeling himself unconsciously breathing harder, Jungkook reached for the photo closest to him and ripped them off the box. After taking the first one down, Jungkook went on auto pilot mode as he continued tearing every single one down. His fingers curled around one photo of someone lighting a cigarette for Yoongi, which was hanging off his lips. He didn’t know why it made him as upset as it did, but the next picture had a good answer for him. His hand froze mid air as he stared at the picture that he couldn’t seem to look away from. Some guy was kissing Yoongi with a hand wrapped around his neck, and Jungkook realised he recognised his hand from a photograph that they had received before.

Just then, the door opened, and Yoongi slipped inside eyeing the box on the table,

“Wow, it smells great.”

Flinching, Jungkook turned to look at him in the midst of hurriedly yanking the photo off the box. That got Yoongi to look over at him before his face slowly fell, and Jungkook could see the exact moment that the horror really registered. Staring back at Yoongi for a bit, Jungkook then went on to continue ripping the photos off the boxes with more force than necessary. Yoongi’s footsteps were loud as he walked over because neither of them were saying anything, so Jungkook also heard when a small gasp left his lips. Keeping his back to him, Jungkook didn’t let Yoongi’s eyes hover on the pictures as he continued to tear them off the boxes,

“You said I’d get first dibs if it became an issue, hyung.”

 

Turning around to meet his eyes, Jungkook crushed the pictures in his hand as Yoongi wordlessly stared back at him.

 

 

Chapter Text

The only thing Yoongi could focus on was pounding of his heart, so fast and strong that it felt like it could leap out of his mouth at any second. He swallowed, trying to soothe the way his throat was already closing up on him and making him feel like he couldn’t breathe that well. He knew this feeling, he knew it all too well, and he didn’t want to have a panic attack here so he clenched down on his molars and stared back at Jungkook. It didn’t help that his breathing was already becoming erratic, only made worse by the burn in his lungs that was screaming for oxygen. His glanced away when the light headedness began, eyes shifting to focus on the menacing words in red that seemed to be glaring at him. He wanted to think, it was his first instinct to try and piece this all together, but he was drawing a blank. As his hands began to tremble on cue and a faint buzzing noise started to numb him from his ears to temple, Yoongi turned his body away and trudged to the sofa where he sat down heavily. He knew Jungkook was watching, and as he pulled off his beanie and ran a hand through his hair, he could feel the cold sweat clinging onto his forehead. He wanted to think, he had to say something but it was just as it always was, nothing came out and his tongue felt heavy on his tongue. As he stared down at his feet just trying to focus on something, he heard Jungkook’s voice, a little insistent so he probably missed the first time he had asked,

“Hyung, should I call Jin hyung?”

Shaking his head quickly, Yoongi leaned forward to set his elbows on his knees before cradling his hands around his nose and breathing. He couldn’t keep doing this, he couldn’t keep running to Jin every time he had an attack. He had promised he was fine, and he thought he was but now he knew otherwise. Swallowing down the excess saliva and the threat of bile that was surging up to his throat, Yoongi shut his eyes and tried to count backwards from a hundred. Even through all of that, Yoongi knew that Jungkook had kneeled down next to him and taken his phone out. Sucking in a breath, Yoongi quickly reached out and grabbed onto Jungkook’s arm, and although he was obviously shaking, his grip was tight,

“D..Don’t.”

As his cold fingers stayed wrapped around Jungkook’s hand, Yoongi couldn’t help but find himself finally being able to focus on something. It was weird, but it was the very act of reaching out to grab Jungkook’s hand that got Yoongi able to start thinking and processing again, because he couldn’t help but wonder why he didn’t hesitate to touch him. Yoongi had never been a touchy person, but he especially refrained from any type of physical action with anyone after everything that had happened in his first year, which was why the action of him holding onto someone’s hand actually calming him down was so strange to him. For a long moment, Yoongi just let himself think about the absurdity of the situation as he felt his shaking slowly lessen to a tremble. When his throat wasn’t strangling itself, he finally sat up upright, blinking open his eyes and peering at Jungkook who still was kneeling at his side with his arm awkwardly held out for him to hold.

Yoongi knew he probably should let go, but he didn’t want to. It was like finding his grounding in the midst of all that chaos, something to hold onto when the waves pushed his head under the water. Instead of letting go, Yoongi just loosened his grip on Jungkook’s hand while he pulled it down to rest on his knee. It wasn’t turning any alarms on in his head, like it usually would even if he knew the person had no intention of harming him. While he continued to regulate his breathing, he saw Jungkook’s fingers curl around his hand gently before giving it a light squeeze,

“Are you okay hyung? Do you want water or- should I call Jin hyung now?”

Shaking his head once more, Yoongi turned to look at Jungkook, still feeling a little strange like he was on some strong painkiller or antidepressants. As quickly and strongly the panic attack had come, it had almost completely passed just as easily and Yoongi couldn’t help but think it was the hand he was clutching onto that was the reason why,

“N-No, I’m okay. I just- I need a few seconds.”

Jungkook didn’t push further once Yoongi spoke, and nodded while patiently waiting. Everything about this was so absurd and Yoongi thought he would start to feel uncomfortable with the way he was holding onto his hand, but the warmth only got more comforting. After a long minute, Yoongi finally let go of Jungkook’s hand, and slumped back to the sofa feeling so confused with the way he was feeling. Jungkook got up and came back with a bottle of water which Yoongi couldn’t appreciate more, taking short sips to soothe the dryness in his mouth. Capping the bottle, Yoongi handed it back,

“What the fuck.”

Looking to the back of the room, Jungkook sat next to Yoongi,

“Uh yeah hyung, I saw it when I came to the room to put the kimchi down-”

“No, I mean what the fuck. I never do that- your hand.”

Bringing his hand up, Jungkook looked at it puzzled as Yoongi struggled to string his words together,

“I don’t touch people like that.”

“Oh.” Jungkook whispered, putting his hand down as his cheeks reddened.

“I…I’m sorry for grabbing you like that and scaring you like that-”

“You didn’t scare me hyung, I’m just glad you’re okay. You are, right?”

“Yeah. I’m okay, promise. I’m just- a little freaked out, I guess. It usually takes longer for the attack to pass.”

“Maybe it’s cause my hand is warm? I think I read somewhere that it helps sometimes.”

Yoongi paused for a moment, checking that the trembling had completely passed,

“Yeah, but I also think it’s because it’s you.”

He really couldn’t think of another explanation for why he suddenly embraced a physical touch, seeing how he could still feel the comforting warmth around his hand,

“Thank you Jungkook ah.”

Yoongi turned to give him a small smile, and although he was feeling a little tired, it was a genuine one. He didn’t know what made this kid so special, but there was something about him that was different. Jungkook smiled back at him, his bunny teeth peeking out so adorably that it made Yoongi want to reach out and tweak his nose. It would have been nice to bask in this little pocket of happiness but Yoongi caught sight of the photographs that had been crushed a little by his feet,

“Whoever did this knows our room passcode, we need to change it asap.”

“I was thinking of that too, hyung are there any cctv’s here or outside?”

“No, the one for this corridor is a dummy.”

“What about the one at the staircase?”

“That should work, but I don’t want to involve the school’s administration in this.”

It was easy to notice Jungkook’s frustration, and Yoongi could understand where it was coming from. He’d be pissed if he was on the receiving end of such vague statements as well,

“Did your brother tell you anything?”

“No hyung, he doesn’t talk about work.”

Sighing, Yoongi reached for his beanie and held onto it before facing Jungkook,

“You’re right, this is probably a threat we should take seriously. But I can’t have the school digging up on this because they might shut the club down. I don’t mind them asking me to quit but I don’t want to jeopardise the club.”

Jungkook was struggling to follow, brows furrowed,

“Why would you be jeopardising the club?”

Bending down to pick up the photos, Yoongi briefly looked through some, frown unconsciously forming,

“Because the school doesn’t know I used to be like this, and with that kind of reputation, they wouldn’t approve of me being in a position to ensure that all the organisations and clubs in this school are abiding by the school’s standards.”

Jungkook was quiet as the information he was being given started to make sense, and Yoongi held out the photo of him drinking and taking shots,

“Remember when I told you that I took a year off because I was spiralling out of control and took it out on myself? Well, this was what the spiralling out of control looked like.”

“It…doesn’t look that bad?”

It was that kind of innocence that Yoongi knew made Jungkook different, which made him so comfortable to be around but at the same time it was making him think twice about everything he was going to tell him. Holding out another picture of him smoking, Yoongi felt the weight of his words on his tongue but it came out in a flat tone,

“I was an alcoholic, and I smoked close to a pack every other day.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah I couldn’t go a day without drinking, and when I drank, I binged. I got my stomach pumped at least three times to avoid alcohol poisoning. I was never really sober, I was either drunk or hungover. I was never in my right state of mind.”

Laughing a little at himself, Yoongi shook his head and smiled bitterly,

“Jin hyung and I used to be in the student union, and this is what it was like to be there. We abused our power, and we were constantly in clubs partying with the club budget that was supposed to be used for better things.”

Jungkook was hesitating, but he reached out and pointed to one of the photos which had Yoongi catching his breath as well,

“Who is he?”

He should have known that this face was going to haunt him as long as he continued to run from it, but it was still easier for him to avoid the problem till now. It was a decision he had to make with the answer he was going to give, but Yoongi knew Jungkook could easily find out if he really wanted to. Deciding it was better if he heard about this from his own mouth first, he took a deep breath and let it out before spilling everything out,

“The president of the student union, Park Jaehwan.”

It startled Jungkook, and Yoongi couldn’t help but laugh a little again as he realised just how screwed up the student union used to be,

“Yeah, the president was the one who really…advocated for this. Once you joined, you had to do all this to fit in, so the drinking and the smoking? I learnt from him. ”

“That’s horrible.”

“Yeah, and it didn’t help that I well, I liked him. A lot, at that. So, I really threw myself down the partying hole, I was a little more than out of control.”

“Oh. Were you two…like a couple?”

“Ah, no. Not like that, he liked fu-fooling around. I’m probably corrupting you with this but we were friends with benefits. He had a reputation and so did I, so it worked like that.”

“How did it work when you said you were barely sober, that doesn’t sound right.”

Yoongi had come to learn that Jungkook could be forward if he wanted to but hearing that was still a shock. He’d been trying to avoid that topic as much as he could, but Jungkook always paid attention to the small details,

“You think too highly of me, I was willing. Even with him, the fooling around, the partying and everything.”

“But he was abusing his power as the president of the student union, and the feelings you had for him. I don’t think you’d react like that if you were willing, hyung.”

“React like what?”

“That other time when your hand was caught in Tae hyung’s keychains and you had an attack. Or just today when you saw the pictures of him and had another one again. It’s him isn’t it, the part of your past that you didn’t want dug up.”

Looking down at the pictures, Yoongi used it as a cover to try and process just how he was supposed to answer that. It was really silly how he didn’t notice the uncanny way Jungkook always pieced things together like a detective until now, especially when he had no prior knowledge about any of this. Sensing his discomfort, Jungkook spoke in a low voice,

“Hyung, if you’re uncomfortable with telling me, you don’t have to.”

“Don’t give me that option when I’ve already spilled things I’ve never told anyone else before.”

Jungkook’s eyes were focused on him and Yoongi felt his heart throb painfully as he relieved the memories he wanted to forget. But he’d opened the pandora’s box, and there was no going back, so he spoke softly,

“I… wasn’t okay with just fooling around, but I couldn’t- He didn’t do dating and relationships, so I didn’t have a choice. He was a senior I really liked and respected…so I just, continued down that road. I’m not proud of it.”

“Hyung, can I ask you something really personal?”

“What’s more personal than what we’re already talking about?”

“Is Park Jaehwan the reason you don’t date?”

The next breath Yoongi took was sharp, and he could feel his jaw clenching as he clammed up uncomfortably. The gears in his head were whirring and he looked up to meet Jungkook’s eyes, holding his stare before he couldn’t help but look away. He didn’t know how to answer that, because he didn’t know the answer to that himself. It brought back memories that were still too fresh in his mind, a smile he’s been begging to forget and the mole at the corner of his eye that Yoongi remembered falling for all at once. Shaking his head, Yoongi’s eyes lingered on the photo of Jaehwan kissing him,

“How do you know that?”

“Hobi hyung and Tae hyung told me you didn’t date and I’m…guessing.”

“Let’s keep that story for another time, you have class soon don’t you?”

“I can skip, you haven’t told me why you left the student union-”

“No skipping, I’ll tell your brother.”

“Hyung! Not fair- wait, you also haven’t told me why you know my brother so well!”

“You’ve officially exhausted your question quota for the day so I’ll tell you another time, get to class.”

“But I-“

“I know you think I’m not gonna tell you anything ever again, and as much as I wish I could do that, I won’t. I’m worried about the rest of you guys getting dragged into this so I’m gonna need your help.”

“Pinky promise, hyung? I really want to catch whoever is threatening you like this too.”

Jungkook stretched out his hand with his pinky pointing out expectantly, waiting for him to link their fingers together in a sacred ritual and Yoongi couldn’t believe himself when he obliged easily with a chuckle. It was well worth it when Jungkook beamed, a little too happy from such a small thing and Yoongi hid the small smile it brought to his own lips by getting off the couch,

“I’m gonna go meet Jin hyung and tell him what happened first. When we meet for club later, we’ll talk about how we’re gonna step up our security here and what we’re gonna do about this situation.”

“Sounds good, I’m just glad you’re taking it seriously now.”

“Yeah, I only had to be slapped with the things I never wanted to see in my life again to realise this was a problem.”

With that, Yoongi checked his phone and gave Jungkook a pointed look because he was definitely going to be late for his class. He didn’t even have to say anything because Jungkook understood his silent chiding and grabbed his bag, giving the box of kimchi abandoned at the table a last look before joining him to leave together. They both walked in silence but before they had to go separate ways at the corridor, Jungkook stopped and turned to him,

“Hyung.”

Turning to look at him, Yoongi waited for him to speak, noticing the way he was grimacing a little and hesitating. But Jungkook ended up brushing away his hesitance and looking up at him with resolve,

“Thank you for telling me all of that, I know it couldn’t have been easy.”

Raising a brow, Yoongi shrugged it off,

“It’s fine, I’m just sorry you had to hear about and see that side of me.”

The hallway was unusually quiet, so the silence between them was heightened even more than it would have been. Yoongi tried to act nonchalant but the way that Jungkook’s stare pierced right into him was unnerving. When Jungkook finally spoke, it sounded like a prayer that he didn’t know he needed answered,

“You have nothing to be sorry about, hyung.”

Yoongi wanted to argue otherwise but Jungkook’s insistence was pretty persuasive and equally intriguing. He thought he’d be judged for everything he’d said but Jungkook wasn’t acting any differently than he usually was, which was something Yoongi hadn’t expected. Actually, Yoongi didn’t know what to expect from him, especially because he was a little difficult to predict. The one thing he did know was that he had to break the strange atmosphere somehow, so he reached out to ruffle his hair,

“You’re a good kid, so you should really be getting to class now.”

When Jungkook made a face at that, Yoongi laughed, shaking his head and turning to get to Jin’s office. It was easy to be around Jungkook, and Yoongi couldn’t remember the last time he was that comfortable telling anyone what he just did because he was sure there wasn’t.

 

Also, he didn’t realise that although he’s been saying he didn’t touch people, he’d been easily ruffling Jungkook’s hair for quite a while now.

 

 

Chapter Text

Taehyung knew that he couldn’t avoid Jimin forever, but right now he wished he could because he had no idea what to say or do. He had snuck into their room in the middle of the night, after delaying his trip back to seoul as much as he could without his parents suspecting anything. With the way he was hiding under his blanket, nervous about getting up and seeing Jimin on the bed across his, made it seem like a bad one-night stand. Glancing at the time that was showing on his phone screen, Taehyung finally gathered his courage and popped his head out. Right away his eyes met with Jimin’s, who was already dressed and sitting up on his bed. Taehyung’s stomach did a flip, anxiety and nausea increasing double fold as he forced himself to appear unaffected. Pushing his sheets aside, he pretended to scroll through his notifications as if he hadn’t already. His façade didn’t last long, because he flinched a little when Jimin spoke up,

“Don’t you have something to say to me?”

“What?”

Crossing his arms, Jimin tilted his head a little accusingly and frowned,

“Stop fucking around, you’ve been avoiding me ever since you found out that I like Jungkook.”

“How about you stop fucking around?” Taehyung sniped back, his nervousness dissipating into irritation and anger.

That rubbed Jimin off the wrong way immediately, and the way Taehyung was glaring at him wasn’t helping. The two of them had known one another for three years now but honestly, they both felt as it had been much longer. They had been through a lot together, they shared an overlapping circle of friends and most importantly, they were roomies. So when Taehyung used that tone with him, Jimin knew that it was on purpose, done in order to aggravate and incite a fight. Jimin had always thought of himself as the more rational one between the two of them so he took a moment to maintain his composure,

“What’s your problem with me liking Jungkook, Tae?”

“Everything? It’s wrong Jimin, I have no idea what the fuck you think you’re doing.”

“I’m not doing anything.”

Just like that, Taehyung felt the anger bubble up and rise from his chest because he was already feeling pissed. He couldn’t believe the words he kept hearing from Jimin over and over again as if he didn’t know what he was doing. He was sick of the way he was acting dumb,

“You know he likes Yoongi hyung and you’re still gonna do this? Can’t you back down?”

“Why should I-”

“Because he trusts you!” Taehyung yelled, his voice deeper and scratchier than usual because of sleep.

Of all the three years that they had shared this room, Taehyung had never screamed at him for even one thing. It was weird to hear his voice like this when the person he was looking at was Jimin, but here they were. Jimin looked equally as taken aback as Taehyung felt, and the flash of hurt on his face made Taehyung feel like someone had punched him in the chest but he couldn’t stop,

“What the fuck is Jungkook gonna do now huh?”

“He can choose whoever he wants to.”

“He’ll choose Yoongi hyung, a million fucking times over. Park Jimin, wake up.”

“Why are you so sure of that, do you even know if Yoongi hyung’s even open to dating anyone let alone liking him back?”

With a sharp gasp of air, Taehyung felt his whole body shake with the fury that was coursing through his veins. He hadn’t wanted this conversation to go this way, and in fact he didn’t even think he would need to have this conversation with his best friend. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing, and his tongue was sharp,

“That’s what we were fucking supposed to be helping him with!”

“Who said I wouldn’t help him!?” Jimin finally raised his voice in return, brows deeply furrowed.

“How are you gonna wholeheartedly help him with hyung when you have a crush on him, what the fuck are you even saying!”

That got Jimin to pause, tongue tied with what to say next and Taehyung huffed out a breath exasperatedly before running a hand through his hair. He didn’t know how Jimin thought this could work when he had feelings for him, because he sure knew that it couldn’t. The two of them continued to stare at one another through heavy breaths and Taehyung cut the silence after a long while, voice deceptively calm,

“Do you even know why he joined the club?”

Jimin sat on his bed, in complete silence and Taehyung could see the way he was clenching his jaws and trying to keep his features schooled. He knew this was going to hurt Jimin, but he couldn’t stop himself from saying it,

“He fell for hyung the second he saw him, I know because I was there.”

Looking away, Jimin blinked at the walls rapidly in an attempt to stop his eyes from tearing so much. The pain was so sharp, with such a good aim that it hit him right where it hurt the most and Taehyung wasn’t even done yet,

“Hell, I’m the one who threatened to tell hyung about his crush if he didn’t join.”

Jimin’s eyes were reddening as he slowly turned to look at hm, pulling in his bottom lip into his mouth to stop them from trembling so much. Taehyung could only stare right back at him, his breath coming out uneven as he felt the tears start to blur his own vision,

“It was me Jimin, I- I’m the one who…set him up. So, what the fuck am I supposed to do when my best friend tells me he likes this guy?”

Taking in a shaky breath, Jimin felt the first tear roll down his eyes and there was nothing he could do to stop the rest from following,

“I- anything but this, j-just say you’ll support me or- just be alright with-with it.”

Taehyung refused to let his tears drop, and he looked and dabbed at his eyes before shaking his head adamantly,

“I can’t, I…I won’t.” 

The quiet sob that Jimin let out affected Taehyung more than he let show, and Jimin had to let out a deep breath before he found his voice,

“W-Why?”

“Because Jungkook likes hyung and you’re just gonna get your heart broken.”

For a long moment, the two of them just stared at one another before Jimin used his sleeve to wipe at his eyes in vain. Grabbing his bag, he stormed out the door without another word and although Taehyung wanted to stop him, he didn’t. He blankly stared at Jimin’s empty bed before bringing his hands to cup his face, feeling sharp pains in his heart for things that weren’t even his business. He couldn’t take back whatever he had said, and the weight of their argument had fully settled into a hefty ache on his shoulders.

The ache continued to worsen throughout the day, as he dragged his feet out of the lecture room and walked to the clubroom. Jin had sent them all a text to come for club today, and Taehyung wondered if it wasn’t too late to turn back and go back to his dorm. But then he’d have to see Jimin as well, so neither of his options were really helping him. The frown that he’d gotten from earlier in the day had only deepened into a permanent scowl, and it got people asking questions but Taehyung didn’t feel like talking at all. So when Hoseok slipped an arm around his neck and pulled his head down a little, Taehyung really couldn’t give him the smile he usually did,

“Aww, someone’s in a bad mood. Hangover?”

There was no heat behind his glare, and Taehyung brushed Hoseok’s arm away before shaking his head. His apparent bad mood didn’t stop Hoseok from hooking his arm around his shoulders again, although he was gentler this time, and beaming,

“Totally hungover aren’t you? Don’t worry, as the best hyung in the world, I will give you my instant remedy.”

Digging around in his bag for a bit, Hoseok took out a packaged strip of honey before tearing it open with his mouth and sticking it into Taehyung’s mouth. Grimacing, Taehyung reached up to hold the long strip of honey, taking it out of his mouth,

“Please tell me you don’t have anything contagious.”

“Only my exuberance for the beauty of life!”

Rolling his eyes, Taehyung put the strip back in his mouth and felt a little bit of his frown melt away with the sweetness of the honey. He couldn’t help but wonder if this was actually a good hangover cure as Hoseok keyed in the code to the club room. But the door didn’t open and Hoseok looked a little conscious of himself as he tried to key it in again. It still didn’t work, but the door opened from the inside and the smell of kimchi was the first thing that hit the both of them. Slipping past Namjoon who held the door, Hoseok did grabby motions at the boxes of kimchi stacked on the table,

“Gimme!”

From where he was sitting on the table, Jungkook handed a box to Hoseok’s insistent hands with a smile. It wasn’t that his smile was forced or fake, it was just that it didn’t seem to quite meet his eyes. Hoseok didn’t know why yet someone else seemed to feeling under the weather, pouting a little and raising a brow. But he didn’t need Jungkook to answer him because when he turned to look at the rest gathered at the couch, the words in bright red ink on the boxes were enough clue. Yelping slightly, he bumped a little into Jungkook’s side and put a hand to his chest in reflex, his heart thrumming so hard in his ribcage as his brain pieced together the threat,

“Holy shit, did it- again?!”

“Yeah, hyung.” Jungkook murmured back as he dragged his eyes to look at what Hoseok was looking at as well.

While Hoseok’s worry lines started to show and he moved to go to the couch where the rest were at, Taehyung just stood where he was without saying a word. Jungkook studied him for a while before nudging him slightly,

“Hyung, are you alright?”

Taehyung still was staring at the scribbling on the boxes before he moved to lean against the table next to Jungkook. The loss of the playful glint in his eyes concerned Jungkook more than the bags under them, and he didn’t know what else to offer except for the kimchi he had brought. Taking them, Taehyung nodded his head slightly in thanks. Before Jungkook could ask him if he was alright once more, Namjoon interrupted them with a loud clap,

“Okay, so you guys can already see what happened. Someone is legitimately threatening Yoongi hyung, and they had access to our club room to be able to do this.”

“How the fuck did they get in?! Who knows our code, isn’t it only us?” Hoseok panicked, looking back at the door and then realising that the reason he couldn’t get in before was because the code had been changed.

Jimin’s voice was quiet when he spoke up,

“Actually…I remember last year when we needed the volunteering clubs to pass us their food permits and Taehyung and I gave them the code number because we weren’t on campus.”

Jin and Hoseok groaned in tandem, while Jimin met Taehyung’s eyes across the room. Jungkook only watched as Taehyung pulled a long face and pressed his lips together.

“Well, it really could be anyone and at least now we know it was long overdue to change our passcode. It’s 8293, so don’t let anyone else know about this.” Yoongi brushed off easily, and then stood up from where he was sitting on the couch,

“Listen, this person has been targeting me but I’m worried the rest of you might get involved. I don’t know what he is capable of, so I just want you guys to be careful of your safety for now.

“He? So it’s a dude?” Hoseok interrupted only for rest to roll their eyes, with Jin reaching out to smack him in the arm,

“It could be an alien for all we fucking know, can you focus here?”

Shaking his head and then patting his cheeks to set his mind straight, Hoseok gnawed on his bottom lip,

“How are we gonna catch him, like why is he threatening you?”

A little conflicted, Yoongi was stringing his thoughts together for a while before sighing,

“Long story short, Jin hyung and I were in the student union before and we did shady things. If the school finds out, I’ll get expelled from the club and that’s fine-”

Before he could continue, Hoseok yelled,

“Hyung!”

But Yoongi put a hand up to stop him,

“-that’s fine. I just don’t want them to shut the whole club down so we need to make sure the school doesn’t catch wind of this. Understand?”

“…How are we gonna catch this guy?” Jimin stressed, intertwining his fingers together on his knee.

Jungkook’s eyes darted to meet Yoongi’s then, and he quickly looked away so as not to bring unwarranted attention to himself. He knew he wasn’t supposed to let the others know, he knew he was dealing with private information. So even before Jin turned to give him a glance, he already knew to keep silent.

“We’ll deal with that, it’s probably someone from our past. What we need you guys to do is look out for anyone or anything strange. If you’re uncomfortable in any situation, call me, Joon or Yoongi. Don’t do anything stupid, you understand me?”

Everyone nodded together, and Jin narrowed his eyes at Jimin and Taehyung,

“Especially you two, don’t try anything.”

It was weird not to have Taehyung whining at such an accusation, because he only nodded his head seriously and looked down at his feet. Jungkook was really beginning to wonder if something was seriously up with him, but he couldn’t ask. He probably just had to give him some space, seeing how Taehyung had excused himself to go and collect some forms from the office soon after. Jungkook could understand that, especially with preoccupied he was with wanting the pictures he’d pulled off the boxes earlier. He was itching to get away and start piecing them together but for now he sat down in Yoongi’s chair, careful not to move the files and papers as he tended to their emails. He scrolled through so many budget complaints, feeling weary at the number of proposals he was going to have to read. Yoongi had warned him about this, because he’d given the bowling club some leniency with reaching their budget cap. Wondering if he’d made the right choice, Jungkook opened the first proposal and started reading. He couldn’t really concentrate, no surprise there, but as he was looking at the dance ensemble’s request for a bigger venue he felt a hand on his shoulder. He hummed first before he pulled his squinting eyes away from his screen and to whoever was touching him, only to jerk a little and blink frantically at how close Yoongi’s face was to his. Their proximity was making his palms sweat but Yoongi was focused on the words on the screen,

“We can’t allow them to change venues because it was advertised as a family event and children can’t enter clubs. They just want to have a party disguised as a dance competition, tell them no.”

“Oh-okay hyung. Got it.”

“Not gonna fight me on this one?”

Floundering a little, Jungkook’s eyes widened and felt a little wounded,

“Fight? Hyung, I’d never- I mean you know better-”

“I’m just teasing you, kid.”

That one word got Jungkook’s lips curling downwards, and Yoongi looked far too amused. Grumbling under his breath, Jungkook started drafting the reply for the dance ensemble,

“Hyung, I’m not a kid…why do you keep calling me that?”

“Cause you are one, and a good one at that.”

Jungkook wanted to argue, but all the words were lost on his tongue when Yoongi leaned impossibly closer and lowered his voice,

“You’re also probably as good as a detective as your brother so you can have these. I’ll make a list of suspects and we can piece things together with Jin hyung.”

Jungkook felt actual physical pain from the breath he inhaled because he only got reminded of how nice Yoongi’s cologne was. Hoping there was nothing showing on the exterior, Jungkook nodded quickly, taking the photos discreetly and slipping them into his bag quickly,

“Yeah, I was thinking of making a board- can I?”

Watching him for a bit, Yoongi smiled softly although Jungkook could tell just how tired he was from his eyes,

“Yeah go ahead, we need to catch this fucker before he starts going after you guys.”

The way Yoongi always seemed to put the rest of the club members’ safety and well being before his didn’t go unnoticed by Jungkook,

“We need to get him to apologise to you, hyung.”

Yoongi easily shrugged that off, patting him on the shoulder before turning to get back to the rest. Jungkook gazed at his back for a bit before he realised that Jimin was watching him from the couch. Feeling the burn from his ears spread to his cheeks, Jungkook ducked his head and gave him an embarrassed grin at being caught. He had to stop staring at Yoongi so much, it was a miracle he hadn’t gotten caught yet. Scratching at his neck nervously, he went back to drafting the email and wording his sentences as politely as he could.

 

Playing with his fingers uneasily, Jimin tried to swallow down the jealousy that he didn’t know was there.

 

Chapter Text

Smearing the back of the photos with glue, Jungkook pasted them up on the board one by one. Within no time, the huge corkboard on his wall was fully covered with the pictures he’d gotten as well as small notes containing his scribbling. He needed to arrange all the clues he had gathered in some form of visual representation so that the mess in his head could become a mess in his room. Although the arrangement appeared haphazard, there was a system to the chaos that only he knew. Taking one last photo of Yoongi, he pasted it right in the middle, frowning a little at the person with pink hair that he didn’t quite recognise. Well, even Yoongi had said that he was never in his right mind, so it wasn’t that strange to feel like that. It bothered Jungkook more than he thought it would, not because of what Yoongi had done in the past but because of this Park Jaehwan. He wanted to grab the permanent marker lying on his table and cross him out in all the pictures, but he knew better than to do that. Because well, Jungkook had a good feeling a lot of answers to his questions were gonna stem from this guy.

With a sigh, took a step back to look at the full picture. They’d gotten the first threat soon after they had busted the student union for having their orientation welcoming at a club, which seemed like a red light if not anything else. But then Jungkook remembered Yoongi issuing a warning slip to the track team for giving out alcohol in exchange for freshmen signing up. Just when he thought he could narrow it down to these two, Jungkook remembered how Yoongi had said that many people didn’t like him. This wasn’t gonna be easy, especially because Jungkook now understood what Yoongi had meant because of the plethora of complaint emails he’d gotten through a few days ago. Humming softly to himself, he took the marker to draw a huge question mark around Park Jaehwan which was the part of the board dedicated to the student union five years before. As he thought about this connection, Junghyun’s monotonous voice popped in,

“Should I be worried?”

“Hyung, you’re back? I made kimchi stew so you can bathe and eat up.”

Nodding in thanks, Junghyun frowned at the array of pictures,

“What’s going on?”

“Yoongi hyung’s been getting threats about his past from someone at school, I’m trying to get to the root of it.”

Jungkook turned to look at Junghyun when he stayed quiet and noticed him studying the pictures intently. He had a million questions he wanted to ask his brother but he knew he should hear it from Yoongi himself, so he bit on his tongue. Surprisingly, Junghyun spoke up,

“Is it serious?”

“Well, I mean I don’t like how this person is threatening Yoongi hyung but I don’t think his life is in danger if that’s what you mean.”

Nodding, Junghyun straightened out a photo before he turned to leave,

“I’ll leave it to you then.”

What was strange was that Junghyun had nothing else to say about the huge board full of pictures so Jungkook knew that he must have already known about this, which wasn’t that much of a surprise when they had already known one another. In fact, Jungkook was beginning to realise why and how they must have met and he sure hoped it was what he suspected. Because the longer he just stared at the board and thought about their unplanned rendezvous at the supermarket, the more irrational conclusions he found himself jumping to. Something similar along of the lines of meeting out of coincidence and falling for someone at first glance, much like how he and Yoongi met in the first place. His brain was even considering the possibility of them dating or worse still, having dated. Suddenly standing upright, Jungkook slapped both of his cheeks at the same time and shook his head fervently. He had to stop before he went too far down the rabbit’s hole, because his heart was pounding too hard for his liking. 

He didn’t know if it was the ominous board that stole his sleep or his own rush of frenzied thoughts about what Junghyun’s and Yoongi’s relationship was, but his eyes were red in the morning. He really needed answers, although they were partly for personal gains. To clear his head, he decided to walk to school even if it was a long walk because there was no way he wanted to be stuck in a car with Junghyun or in a crowded bus when his head was full of nonsense. Throughout breakfast, all he could even think about was that he had always known Junghyun was straight so there was no chance for his impetuous thoughts to even contain an inkling of truth. But who the hell was he to say that? So, he ran out the first chance he got, bracing the chill of the early morning in hopes that it froze all the stupid voices in his head as he made his way to school.

 

Yoongi found himself wondering what he was doing, sitting at the edge of a pool with his jeans rolled up so that he could dip his legs into the water. Then he remembered that this was Jin’s idea, and with the afternoon sun beating down on them, maybe it wasn’t a bad idea. They’d come to check on the swim team’s promise to halt their club activities for two weeks because of an incident regarding their safety procedures and Jin looked pleasantly surprised at the empty pools. Making an impressed face, he gave Yoongi the thumbs up,

“Guess some kids know how to listen.”

“Yeah, they’re not all bad hyung.”

Jin squinted his eyes and then gave a heart hearted sound of agreement which had Yoongi laughing in no time. He didn’t usually like pools but was nice to just have his feet in the water, it was soothing. Dipping his fingers into the water, Jin nodded once,

“The perk is that we get to use their pool to cool ourselves down a little.”

Humming in agreement, Yoongi copied the way that Jin was moving his feet in the water before Jin nudged him,

“Do you have a stick? I’m suddenly craving one.”

“I thought you quit? And you can’t smoke here-”

Rolling his eyes, Jin outstretched a hand,

“I’ll go over to the car park and one won’t kill me.”

Grabbing his bag that was off to the side with their shoes, Yoongi dug into it to look for the packet he usually just carried around. He didn’t smoke as often as he used to, but he’d always kept one just in case he had intense withdrawal symptoms. He took out the box and offered it to Jin who surprised him by putting one to his lips first and then another one between his own lips,

“Come with me, have your cheat stick.”

It brought back memories, because it was more like nostalgia even if it wasn’t a good habit to be nostalgic over,

“Gee, some kids taking those pills again worrying you that much?”

“Yeah, these fuckers are even mixing modafinil with alcohol and god knows what else. Those drugs are dangerous, Yoongi.”

“I know. Makes me wonder what other pills they’re taking.”

Jin’s frown only got more severe as he pondered over the possibilities, while Yoongi rummaged through his bag and jean pockets for his lighter. Just as he found his lighter in the depths of his bag, someone deftly plucked it from his fingers with one swift move. Startled, he turned to glare at whoever was pulling such a stunt only to come face to face with Jungkook. His glare just turned into a look of surprise, because he really hadn’t expected to run into him here. More so, he didn’t understand how Jungkook kept popping around whenever he was smoking or about to smoke, it was like he had some kinda radar or something.  To make things worse, it technically wasn’t even his fault but as he pulled the stick out of his mouth guiltily, he knew it wasn’t an excuse. Jin raised a brow, and then took the stick out from between his lips,

“What are you doing here? Also, can you give us back the lighter?”

Jungkook was clutching onto the lighter as he hesitantly nibbled on his bottom lip, and Yoongi wanted to chide Jin for his words but he stopped himself from interrupting when he saw the resolve in Jungkook’s eyes, watching fascinatedly as he casually replied with a small shrug of his shoulders,

“Nope, hyung. I can’t.”

That stunned Yoongi because Jin wasn’t exactly the easiest person to stand up to and he’d really thought that Jungkook was scared of him or something. Hell, he was sure all of them were still scared of Jin till now. Even Jin seemed taken aback, but before he could even say anything, Jungkook handed him a manila envelope,

“But I can give you this, Joon hyung asked me to make sure you got it.”

A second passed, and in that second Jin’s face went from nonchalant to annoyed and then purely horrified. It was comical because Jin immediately dropped his stick and darted his eyes around in search of the person mentioned, but he was nowhere to be found. Giggling a little, Jungkook tilted his head and Yoongi swore that he saw an evil glint in them,

“If you’re looking for him, he’s in a meeting now. But I could call him, I’m sure he would like to…join you two for a smoke?”

“Shush child, do not speak a word of this. I will buy your silence with any food you want for a week.”

It got Yoongi snorting and tipping his head back in laughter, and Jungkook only smiled widely till his front teeth stuck out a little,

“Deal, hyung!”

Cursing under his breath, Jin got up with the envelop and glared at Jungkook while walking away. Noticing the empty spot he left behind, Jungkook filled it by pushing his jeans up his calves and sitting down next to Yoongi. After a moment, he outstretched his palm out at Yoongi, who blinked back at him a little confused until he saw what he was gesturing at with a tilt of his chin. Yoongi passed the stick as well as his emergency pack over to him without hesitating.

“I wanna say that really isn’t what it looked like, but it’s just an overused excuse you wouldn’t buy right?”

“I would believe you.”

Looking up at him in surprise, Yoongi stared for a while as Jungkook gave him a small smile,

“But smoking is still bad, hyung.”

Groaning internally, Yoongi sighed and nodded his head in defeat, beating himself over the fact that he still kept a pack in his bag.

“If you could quit drinking, you can do this too.” Jungkook spoke, and his voice wasn’t berating but rather almost impossibly gentle.

“Ah yeah, you’re right. It’s about time anyways.”

Jungkook glanced over while Yoongi swayed his feet in the water back and forth,

“It’s also about time you told me how you know my brother, hyung. I’ve already jumped to tabloid worthy conclusions.”

Thoroughly amused, Yoongi turned to face him,

“Like what?”

Now Jungkook knew that he couldn’t just go ahead and say all of what had been on his mind so he just frowned a little as he wondered what he could say instead. But what came out was exactly what should have never,

“That you guys dated and broke up but are on good terms, cause you still speak to one another in the supermarket.”

The moment Jungkook heard himself say what he just did, he felt his heart thump right up into his mouth as he brought a hand up to cover it. It instantly made him want to throw up while also simultaneously digging a hole to bury himself in forever. But Yoongi didn’t seem as repulsed as he was, rather he got a more wholesome laugh of the one the shorter one Yoongi let out earlier. In fact, it was the first time that Jungkook had seen Yoongi really laugh, and it mesmerised him like anything else this man did. He tried not to stare too hard, but failed because it was honestly surprising to hear the boyish tinge in his voice that was accompanied by a flash of gums. Yoongi struggle to catch his breath, but he eventually did, although his cheeks were pink,

“Wow, you really- shit, you’re hilarious.”

“So, I’m wrong?”

“No, you’re dead on.”

Jungkook choked, he actually legitimately choked on his own saliva before realising that Yoongi had pulled a huge one on him. He was ready to enter a complete mental breakdown but luckily Yoongi’s laugh caught him just before he did. Yoongi was laughing so hard that he was tearing up a little, while Jungkook could only blankly gawk at him. He tried to gather back his control of his facial expressions, but his jaw stayed hanging as he wondered whether Yoongi was really playing him or whether he was actually telling the truth. Before he drove himself to madness, Yoongi put a hand out in defeat,

“I’m just messing with you.”

His mouth finally closed, although Jungkook was still finding it hard to get the knot in between his temples out. The confused and distrusting look on his face got Yoongi to shake in laugher as he pressed his lips together in an attempt not to laugh in his face,

“Seriously, I’m kidding.”

“Promise?”

“Yeah, I met your brother because he was doing a drug bust at the club I used to go to.”

“Oh. Uh- a drug bust?”

“Well yeah, I sort of…was a whistle blower I guess. Things were really getting out of control and I decided to help your brother instead of messing around with the student union.”

“…and Park Jaehwan.”

“Yeah-him too, actually…mostly him.”

Jungkook noticed how Yoongi was clamming up a little, caught off guard at the question so he decided to stop there for now,

“So, you and my brother worked together?”

“Yeah, something like that. It’s all anonymous tips in the end.”

Pausing for a moment, Jungkook mulled through everything that he had been piecing together on his board as he swung his leg back and fro in the water,

“Or I should say, work together. So that’s why Jin hyung and you oversaw the drinks in the club. You get samples for my brother, he sends it to the lab and you check if there’s drugs in the school clubs?”

The accuracy with what Jungkook just said was a little unnerving because Yoongi hadn’t really thought the newest edition to their club would be able to figure things out this quickly. Mostly because Jimin and Taehyung still knew nothing about what the rest of them did, so it was really something for Jungkook to dig deeper without really getting much help.

“Ah, I overheard you talking to my brother at the supermarket about some smart pill. I had a feeling, hyung.” Jungkook explained, flashing a brief smile at how appalled Yoongi was.

Perhaps he did get some help after all.

Humming, Yoongi nodded his head and continued to sway his legs to and fro,

“That isn’t part of the official club activities, so you won’t be-”

“I wanna help.” Jungkook interrupted insistently, blinking at Yoongi.

For the second time in a short span, Yoongi found himself really taken aback at Jungkook’s forwardness. Although Jungkook’s ears were beginning to turn pink as he looked down at his lap, Yoongi could still see the stubbornness shining through. If he didn’t know how to look, he would have completely mistaken it for just shyness. Chuckling, Yoongi shook his head,

“No kid. It’s not the normal stuff, it’s bad enough you were there at the club the other time. Besides, aren’t you trynna figure out who’s threatening me?”

There it was again, Jungkook’s was really starting to hate being called that,

“I am working on it- but I can also help with this!”

“I don’t want you to.”

It was Jungkook’s turn to be taken aback, as the words froze on the tip of his tongue and Yoongi could instantly see the hurt in his eyes. Shaking his head again for emphasis, Yoongi stopped swaying his legs,

“It’s dangerous and I will never allow that.”

This time, before Jungkook could rebut back, he was stopped by a weight all over his back. Lurching forward dangerously, Jungkook felt his balance tip before he righted himself with Hoseok clinging onto his back. Right on cue, there was a high pitched shrill right by his right ear,

“Jeon Jungkookie!”

On reflex, Yoongi had inched away because he had a bad feeling about this. Seeing this, Hoseok frowned and clung onto Jungkook tighter, hugging him deadly tight,

“Why didn’t you tell me you two were here? I was all alone in the room, Tae and Jimin are missing.”

“Well we’re going now.” Yoongi began but Hoseok wiggled his brows playfully,

Without any warning, Hoseok’s hand slipped into Jungkook’s pocket and pulled his phone out easily, placing it away from the water as Jungkook looked at him confused,

“Uh hyung-“

Before he could complete his sentence, Hoseok yanked him into the water with him yelling,

“Let’s take a dip!”

Jungkook who had been caught off guard easily went tumbling forward all the way into the water. It went up his nose first and he instinctively had reached out to stop himself from falling, but he realised what he had done too late. Lifting his head out of the water, gasping a little and wiping the water from his eyes, Jungkook felt his heart pound like crazy. Not because he was startled but because he immediately looked around for Yoongi who just rose up, coughing a little and scowling.

“Hyung! I’m so sorry! Oh my god, I didn’t mean to-“ Jungkook immediately started apologising, swimming over to him and flailing awkwardly.

Instead of lashing out at him, Yoongi grabbed Hoseok by his hair and yanked,

“You wanna die?”

Hoseok was both squawking in pain and snorting with laughter, as he whined and patted at Yoongi’s hand in a silent plea for him to let go,

“It wasn’t me, I didn’t push you hyung!”

“I know, but we shouldn’t be in the pool with our clothes.”

As Hoseok rubbed his hands together in apology, Jungkook only watched as Yoongi pushed his head under the water before giving it a good smack. Wincing on Hoseok’s behalf, Jungkook turned back to glance at where his phone was thrown and sighed in relief to see that Yoongi’s phone was on top of his bag. When he turned back to look at them, he saw Yoongi waddling over to the edge to prop his arms on. It was the first time he had ever seen him with his hair slicked back like that, and it wasn’t exactly good for his heart. How was it that he liked everything about this man?

“Great, my jeans are completely soaked.” Yoongi sighed, wiping the water from his temples away.

It took a moment longer than it should have for Jungkook to reply because he had been staring so intently,

“Ah- oh, I can go get you a change of clothes-”

“You’re soaking too.”

Jungkook belatedly remembered that he was also wearing jeans and did the only thing he could in this absurd situation by laughing. It must have been infectious because Yoongi joined in as well, after he pulled himself out of the water and sat on the edge. As Yoongi reached for his phone and fiddled with it, Jungkook took the opportunity to admire him further. Because of the baggy clothes Yoongi usually wore, he’d never been able to guess much about his body but the way the water had made everything cling onto his frame was giving him too much information. Snapping out of his thoughts, Jungkook slapped his cheeks lightly and berated himself. But the fact was that Yoongi’s white shirt had become translucent from the water, and it was probably revealing a lot more than Yoongi wanted to.

“Um- hyung? Uh your shirt, well-“ Jungkook mumbled, pointing at Yoongi’s chest and looking away almost immediately after.

“Huh-what, oh. Oh fuck, wow.”

Yoongi pulled the shirt away from sticking to his chest, staring down at his torso worriedly as he tried to gauge how bad it was. Without really thinking about it, Jungkook pulled his black tee over his head and wrenched the water out of it as much as he could before handing it over,

“You can wear this over your shirt, hyung.”

A little unsure, Yoongi looked at him for a while and Jungkook couldn’t help but feel a little self-conscious although he knew only his shoulders were visible,

“Remember when you ruined your shirt for my nosebleed?”

That got Yoongi smiling a little, and Jungkook caught the huff that came along with it. It seemed to work because Yoongi took it with a grateful bow of his head before he slipped it over his white shirt. Jungkook could see him relax almost immediately and that was worth the way Hoseok came over and slid his hands all over,

“Hot bod alert! Damn, I want abs like this too.”

Wrinkling his nose, Jungkook reached over and slipped his hands over Hoseok’s stomach,

“You have nice ones too.”

Mindful of the strength he was using, Jungkook began to wrestle with Hoseok as he shrieked into his ears once more. Yoongi watched for a while and took pity on Hoseok so he stood up after grabbing their things,

“Let’s get out of here before someone sees us.”

Jungkook enjoyed the way the older was squirming away from him way too much and fit in a last tickle before they swam to the edge and hefted themselves up. Hoseok was still panting from exertion as he wrung out his shirt and eyed Jungkook,

“Aren’t you putting your shirt back on? Are you shooting a commercial-oh.”

He stopped mid-sentence when he saw Yoongi looking at Jungkook, guilt written all over his face as his brows furrowed. Yoongi was already beginning to pull at the hem of the black shirt to return it but Jungkook waved it off quickly,

“It’s really okay! Just a short walk back.”

Sensing Yoongi’s reluctance, Hoseok intervened by giggling and slinging an arm around Jungkook’s shoulders in the way he always did. Except now, Jungkook had the pleasure of feeling wet clothes plastered to his side as Hoseok greasily announced,

“My escort has arrived, dripping wet at that.”

Jungkook’s nose twitched a little, but he laughed it off as they started walking back to their club room. Yoongi on the other hand threw Hoseok a pointed look and reprimanded him,

“Not funny, watch your words.”

“But look at him, hyung! Come on…”

Yoongi turned around and smacked Hoseok’s arm and forced him to quicken his pace, as Jungkook tried to hide his laughter. It wasn’t such a big deal to him because growing up with judo, he was in states of undress quite often. Not that he was entirely comfortable with it either, proven by how he quickly averted his gaze away from a group of girls who were looking at him very intrigued from a study table to the side. Shaking his head and letting out a low whistle, Hoseok lamented,

“If you look to your left, you will spot a clan of hyenas drooling at our impala.”

It brought back memories of when he first stepped into the club after offering to carry the boxes for Taehyung, and Jungkook was a little stumped that Hoseok also saw him as an impala. That initial bewilderment aside, Jungkoook could only keep his eyes on Yoongi’s back as he tried not to feel too embarrassed, and it was half working. It wasn’t too bad, he probably would feel shyer if it was Yoongi who was ogling him like that. Everything was going well until Yoongi reached behind and pulled him closer in an effort to hide his naked torso with his own body. Jungkook didn’t know how that was supposed to work since he was taller but Yoongi’s wide shoulders were somewhat doing the trick. He couldn’t help but stare blankly at the fair hand that was circled around his wrist as he prayed to every god he knew that Yoongi didn’t catch onto how fast his pulse was jumping. His head was reeling from so many things, but how much Yoongi was looking out for him emerged victorious. He sensed eyes on him but this time it was from Hoseok who was cheekily beaming at him while pointing his phone at them and taking what he knew was at least two hundred photos on burst mode.

 

It was odd how Yoongi holding his hand and keeping him close was making him more bashful than the eyes on him, but it was the truth.

 

Chapter Text

Yoongi didn’t know why his joints were hurting more than usual when he woke up, but the ache was bone deep. He looked blearily at the screen and then frowned at how it was brightly reporting that he had woken up at five in the afternoon. Rolling over to get off, he took a deep breath and wondered if he actually had to get up since he technically had no where to be. When his stomach growled angrily, he gave up and dragged himself out of his room and into the kitchen. All of last night, he had been unable to shut his eyes for longer than twenty minutes before he found himself awake for no particular reason. Or perhaps he would have liked to say that it was for no particular reason, or rather blame it on the stress of his graduation project. Truth was, he knew that neither of those were the real reason why. He had an inkling, probably a little more than that, for the sleepless and restless nights he’s been having lately. The thing was, he wanted to act like stuff like that didn’t bother him. Not anymore, he was supposed to be fine by now. It had been close to four years that those things had happened, so Yoongi found himself wondering why he was still suffering from this if time was supposed to heal everything.

Sighing, he tried not to think too much into it as he reached into his dryer and pulled out his laundry. Just as he was about to put into a basket for folding, he spotted a black shirt that strangely stood out. Not because it was black or anything like that, just that it wasn’t a long-sleeved shirt like he usually wore. He couldn’t remember the last time that he had worn a casual tee so he picked it up and inspected it. Oh, it was Jungkook’s. He’d brought the shirt home to wash it like a civilised person before he returned it to him. That had been close to a week ago, so Yoongi was beginning to worry if he did his laundry often enough. Seeing how he lived alone, maybe it wasn’t that strange. He folded the shirt and put it in a bag so that he could finally return it. Grabbing his phone from his pocket, he wondered why Jungkook hadn’t asked for it back as he looked through the group chat he’d missed by sleeping in so late. It was filled with the usual spams from Hoseok as well as Namjoon trying to remind everyone to complete their work on time. He scratched as his neck, while muttering a curse under his breath for forgetting to pass Jungkook back a shirt he so kindly offered. That day, it had been quite startling when Jungkook had recognised his discomfort of his skin showing so quickly. It made him wonder what else Jungkook already knew, because this kid seemed to know a whole lot more than he let on.

On cue, his stomach grumbled angrily once more and Yoongi knew he better offer it some food before it started to give him gastric cramps. As he was cooking ramyeon, his phone started chiming with notifications and he scrolled through,

From: Jin hyung

Wake the fuck up already.

 

Yoongi had to hold back a snort, and he rolled his eyes before replying,

To: Jin hyung

How did you know?

 

Shaking his head, Yoongi slipped his phone back into his pocket and turned off the stove before sitting down at the kitchen counter and eating right out of the pot. There was no reason to put his ramyeon in a separate bowl because that just added to the dishes he had to wash later. As he hungrily slurped hot noodles into his mouth, Yoongi glanced over at the bag with Jungkook’s shirt inside. There was a part of him that was worried about Jungkook having all those pictures especially since he had given express permission to even make a board. In retrospect, letting Junghyun’s younger brother do something like that didn’t seem like that bright of an idea. Yoongi didn’t really want his past being brought up, but the thought of the rest of the kids in the club being threatened the way he had been was worth the trouble. As much as he thought about it, he couldn’t really pinpoint one name for the suspect behind this fucking mess. Whoever it was, was either a stalker or someone who suspiciously knew too much about his past. It was in the midst of working through his thoughts that a familiar face kept popping up in his head. Pausing before putting his spoon into his mouth again, Yoongi glanced down at the half eaten bowl of noodles with furrowed brows. It had really been a while since such vivid memories had been returning to haunt him like this, and he didn’t know he was still so uncomfortable with them. Jin or even Jungkook probably thought that he was unaffected by everything, just like he wanted them to believe. Because it’s what he wanted to believe himself.

Tightening his grip on the spoon when a voice got louder in his head, yoongi tried to think of anything but him. It was hard, probably because the pictures had given his mind too much to work with. Jaehwan always had a nice smile, and yoongi couldn't say otherwise even now. Was it the smile or was it the mole at the corner of his eye that he fell for first? He couldn't remember, or maybe he didn't know, but what he knew was the feelings he had for him. Cramming his eyes shut, Yoongi told himself to stop going down this road because he knew it didn't end well. Jaehwan's laugh was soft, and it felt like he was chuckling right by his ear once again. He could feel everything, the hand at his neck and the breath ghosting over his lips. He always did that, always waited a moment before he snuck out his tongue and licked his way into his mouth. Too many memories of the way Jaehwan had kissed him was overlapping in his mind, from the softer pecks at the beginning to the ones that left bruises on his lips.

Somewhere along the way, Yoongi didn't know which was more like the senior that he fell for. He remembered the way he'd always stuck by Jaehwan’s side from the time he joined the club so it didn't take long for the older to realise that Yoongi had the hugest crush on him because he was that obvious about it. Yoongi couldn't remember the number of times he had stolen glances at him and thinking of ways to just spending time alone with him. He'd gotten the chance to, since Jaehwan seemed to favour him over the other juniors as well. In fact, Yoongi remembered the first time they'd kissed in painful detail. It had been at a party at the former basketball captain's house, and Yoongi could even recall the championship they had won the day before. He'd been sitting on the couch with some others from the club, with Jin mixing two drinks into his plastic cup just a few feet away. A weight settled into his left side all of a sudden and Yoongi turned to blink at the warmth before realising it was the senior he had been wishing to see all night.

"Oh sunbae! You're here, I didn't see you earlier-"

"Yeah I had to go settle some stuff. Why, were you looking for me?"

Yoongi's words had been caught in his throat, wondering if he had been too obvious. Just when he thought Jaehwan was gonna laugh it off, he instead leaned in closer and whispered into his ear,

"I actually only came for you."

Those words seemed like a line out of a song, so much so that Yoongi could only stare back at his senior without knowing what to say or do. It was Jaehwan’s smile that got his cheeks dusting pink almost immediately after, as the meaning behind the words finally set in. Sipping his drink, Yoongi hid his own smile, feeling his heart start fluttering. The fluttering only got worse when Jaehwan abruptly held onto his hand and tugged at him to get up and follow. Managing to balance the drink he was still carrying, Yoongi quickly got up to follow as a warm hand circled around his. Yoongi was vaguely aware of the wolf whistles from the bunch who were piled around the couch, and all of the cooing, but Jaehwan only flipped them the finger. He thought he had an idea of what was happening until Jaehwan brought them to the veranda instead. Looking around a little confused, Yoongi tilted his head before letting out a small sound of realisation,

"Did you want to smoke, sunbae?"

Grinning, jaehwan took out his pack and then pulled out a stick to offer to him as well,

"Want one?"

Nodding his head, Yoongi put the stick to his lips and he was going to fish out his lighter from his pocket but Jaehwan beat him to it by lighting his stick for him first. Just when he was going to take his first drag, Jaehwan moved in impossibly close and Yoongi froze in place. Bringing the tip of his stick to Yoongi's, Jaehwan lit it up without using his lighter. The thing that set all of the butterflies about in Yoongi's stomach was that Jaehwan was looking right at him when he did that. But it also made him impossibly shy, so Yoongi quickly looked away and blew the smoke out to hide the way he was feeling. Jaehwan's voice was low when he spoke,

"Sorry, did I make you uncomfortable?"

"No- you didn't sunbae. I was just a little... surprised."

"Yeah, you're cute when you blush."

Yoongi had been leaning against the railing of the veranda, looking out at the night sky but he pulled his eyes right back to him the second he heard that. It felt surreal, almost like this was some messed up joke or a dream that was gonna end soon because he'd always thought he wasn't his type. It was so sudden when Jaehwan moved in closer, trapping him against the railing with his hands with a brow cheekily raised,

"Did I get it wrong or do you like me?"

Jaehwan didn't really give him much time to respond, inching in all the way so that Yoongi instinctively shut his eyes. The stick was plucked out of his mouth before he could feel Jaehwan's breath on his lips. There was that pause for a moment before he pecked him softly, and Yoongi parted his lips to let him kiss him properly. It tasted like nicotine with a hint of vodka, like Jaehwan always did. At that time, Yoongi didn't know his kisses were like poison, that he shouldn't have let him in so easily. But he wasn't thinking with his head, he went blindly into it with his heart on his sleeve even though he'd heard rumours that Jaehwan didn't do relationships or dating. He only did fucking and friends with benefits, both of which came with terms written in small print. Yoongi hadn't read that properly, because he didn't quite know what he had gotten himself into. Party after party, Yoongi started to realise that a pattern had begun to form. Jaehwan was always stuck by his side, or maybe it was him who had stuck by his side. People had begun to associate them together, never really seeing one without the other. It had started off with subtle touches, like a hand grazing his shoulder at the back of the sofa to a more obvious form of contact, because Jaehwan soon always had his hand snugly wrapped around Yoongi's thigh. Everyone saw it, and everyone knew what it meant. At that time, Yoongi had liked it because it felt like Jaehwan was being possessive in a way he liked. Sometime in the early morning during the countless parties they went to, Jaehwan would always learn in whisper into his ear,

"Wanna go upstairs?"

Now this, Yoongi knew what it meant and he was okay with it. Or he thought he was, even as he fumbled up the stairs after having a drink too many. There was never a time that he hadn't had one too many drinks at party, always tipsy but never quite drunk. It was like being stuck in a limbo, not really knowing if you had full reign over your actions. In the centre of that limbo was Jaehwan pressing him against a door and pressing urgent wet kisses to his mouth. Yoongi had been more than happy to let him, letting himself be pushed to the bed that they both fell into giggling. It had been all fun and games, and it would be a lie if Yoongi said he didn't enjoy it. He enjoyed every second of it, because sex had been the only outlet for pent up frustrations and hormones back then. It was fine, because it was fun.

That's what he tried to tell himself as the months went by, and he found himself stuck in endless cycles of drinking and fucking till he lost track of time. He was downright skipping classes once this started, only really going for tests, exams and presentations. Everything was alright until he went to one party, and he distinctively remembered Jin looking past him as he handed him his drink once he’d arrived. It didn't take long after turning to look in the direction he was staring off at to know what the cause of it was. Jaehwan was kissing some girl, a senior he remembered seeing around school, and she was sprawled in his lap. That had been more disarming than he thought it would have been, and Yoongi quickly chugged the drink before taking another one in a vain attempt to calm the jealousy burning in his veins. They weren't exclusive, they weren't dating so it was fine that he was doing that. Yoongi remembered Jin glancing worriedly at him, and he appreciated it, but it just rubbed him off the wrong way. He didn't want him to feel pity for him, so he smiled and shrugged his shoulders, trying to play off how he actually felt.

He was fine, he was always fine because that's what he liked to tell himself. He was pulled to play drinking games by the others, and the more he drank the better he felt about his heart being all pathetic on him. It was easy to drown your sorrows with alcohol, but he hadn't known how difficult it would to stop later. He didn't care if Jaehwan wanted to kiss some girl, he could go do whatever the hell he wanted to as well. He was popular himself, so when a guy with cute dimples and a strong jaw flirted with him, he flirted back. Yoongi was the first one who kissed him, pulling him in with a hand to his cheek before bringing their bodies together. It felt like sweet revenge, and Yoongi didn't feel particularly bad about using him for it because he knew it didn't mean anything to either of them. At least, that's what he hoped as he sucked on his tongue and pressed their groins together. It was going great until someone started clearing their throat loudly next to them and Yoongi pulled away a little annoyed. That annoyance quickly disappeared when he saw Jaehwan watching the both of them a little amused,

"Sorry, I need to borrow Yoongi for a bit. Club stuff, yeah?"

The guy with the dimples and strong jaw easily laughed it off and let Yoongi go, leaving him to try to push back the fuzziness in his head. Jaehwan was smiling at him as usual but there was something underneath it that he could see even with all the alcohol in his system. The hand around his wrist was a little more insistent than it usually was and there was also more pressure. Yoongi wondered if there were going to be marks on it as he stumbled into the room after Jaehwan before being pressed against a bed. Vaguely wondering whose bed this was, Yoongi blinked up at him while trying his best to form words,

"Club stuff?"

When Jaehwan leaned down and kissed him roughly, scraping his lips with his teeth, Yoongi didn't stop him but he also didn't kiss back. So Jaehwan paused, breaking the kiss while Yoongi swiped a tongue over his throbbing lips and tasted blood. He licked his ear, voice playful as Yoongi stared up at the ceiling,

"You angry?"

The question had Yoongi softly laughing as he looked to the side and wondered where this neon red lighting was coming from,

"No, why would I be sunbae?"

The room felt like it was tilting or maybe even spinning a little when Jaehwan reached for his hand and pinned it to the bed,

"I dunno, you tell me."

The way he was acting dumb was pissing yoongi off a little and he half wanted to push him off of him and get out of here but gravity didn't seem to be on his side. He closed his eyes and let out a breath to try and get his bearings but Jaehwan started to nip at his neck before trailing his tongue down. He was doing what he knew got Yoongi riled, and it was working but Yoongi couldn't get the girl out of his mind. Almost as if Jaehwan could read his mind, he whispered as he pulled at Yoongi's belt,

"I think I've gotten addicted to you, I didn't feel anything when I kissed her."

It was stupid but Yoongi felt his resolve slip once he heard that, his heart betraying him over and over. It also didn't help that his dick betrayed him as well, with the eager sigh that left his lips once Jaehwan's tongue was wrapped around it. But Jaehwan was rough, proven by the marks that he'd left on his hips and thighs the next day. It was a strange feeling to see them in the mirror while showering, and Yoongi wondered if that was what stirred the conflicting feelings deep down inside. Because soon after, Yoongi had come to learn that Jaehwan would continue to be rough with him. It started to feel more painful than it did good, and Yoongi didn't know if everything was still great. But he still wanted Jaehwan's eyes on him, he wanted the love he craved to be returned, but he seemed to be looking in all the wrong places.

Copious amounts of alcohol and smoking through packs daily seemed bad enough, but it managed to get worse once pills started getting popped. Yoongi didn’t know why it was the sight of small white pills that set the alarms off in his head, because he didn’t seem to mind the other vices. Maybe it was the way everyone’s eyes seemed to glaze over as they laughed uncontrollably. He didn’t really want to put that in his body so he shook his head when Jaehwan offered it to him. It earned him a good laugh because Jaehwan shrugged and took it himself, downing it with a shot of vodka. The longer he stayed, the more Yoongi didn’t like it, and even the alcohol wasn’t helping him to loosen up. So, he got up, wanting to get away from all of this. But Jaehwan’s hand on his thigh tightened, and he pulled Yoongi into his lap and kept him there. The strength he was using was a little unnerving, and Yoongi couldn’t pull away even if he wanted to. That night would have been when the limbo Yoongi had enjoyed drifting through would shatter to pieces and unveil its ugly truth to him. Because for the first time, he didn’t want to be where he was and he didn’t want to drink whatever was in his cup anymore. Something was off, and Yoongi couldn’t help but wonder if it was only beer that was in his cup. He knew what it felt like to be tipsy, but this felt different, because Yoongi couldn’t really even think anymore. Everything seemed to float around him, and nothing he did made it better.

It was because of that complete lack of control over what he was doing or saying that Yoongi found himself back in some bedroom again. He didn’t want to let Jaehwan climb over his body and pull his shirt off, but his words were completely jumbled in his mouth. It was the stark difference between what alcohol did to him and what he was experiencing now that frightened the hell out of him. He couldn’t remember much about that day with all the details but Yoongi remembered the stretch when Jaehwan shoved into him without preparing him enough first. The pain jolted like prickling electricity up his spine and back, as he scrunched his eyes shut and tried not to let it overwhelm him. He didn't have time to really adjust because Jaehwan had plans of his own, pounding into him at a pace that had the bed rocking. It was all pain and no pleasure, made worse by the way Jaehwan was pushing his head down to the bed, fingers pulling on his pink strands roughly. He wanted to say something, he wanted to ask him to stop but nothing was coming out. There was only total and complete fear that was overwhelming him because of how he was pinned down and couldn't move. He bit on his bottom lip as he felt it tremble, praying that it would stop soon only to feel Jaehwan's breath on his ear before his head was yanked back,

“Yoongi, you’ll be good right?”

Quickly dropping the chopsticks and spoon he had been holding into his bowl of ramyeon, Yoongi pushed himself out of the chair and ran to the toilet as fast as he could. The overwhelming hunger he had been feeling earlier was now completely replaced by the worst nausea and reflux he'd felt in a long time. He almost didn't make it in time to the toilet bowl, and everything he ate came right out as he retched over and over again. It almost felt worse than it did back when he had alcohol withdrawals and was constantly vomiting everything out or even when he had thrown up in the toilet at the club before. The burn from his stomach, up to his throat, mouth and nose continued on as tears prickled at his eyes. He was heaving up so much that he almost couldn't breathe, and it didn't help that the anxiety that continued on from his memories was still there. Trying to get a hold of himself, Yoongi braced a hand against the toilet and tried to stop retching. The acid taste in his mouth helped a little, as he spit it out and counted backwards from twenty. He had to get a hold of himself, before he ended up losing it all.

As he slowly started to breathe a little better, he wiped his mouth and cringed at the mess he'd made. Taking a moment or two to gather himself, Yoongi got up shakily and flushed the toilet as he crinkled his nose at the smell. Everything was so disgusting that he immediately took a shower after washing his mouth out and brushing it. The water was so hot that it was scalding him a little but it was the one thing he could count on to help him when he felt like this. He glanced at his scars and looked away quickly, grabbing his loofah and scrapping the top layer of his skin right off with how hard he was washing himself. Everything felt dirty, he felt immensely dirty. He had gone through this before so he tried his best to stop before he started to cause abrasions on his skin, clenching down on his molars and trying to recall the promise he made to Jin.

He couldn't go back to that time in his life anyway, not only for Jin but also for his own sake. His stomach settled into an uneasy hum as he got dressed, and he drowned himself in long sleeves and pants before he took a deep breath. He was fine, he was going to be fine, he had to be. He couldn't keep breaking down and getting attacks every time he thought about Jaehwan. He didn't want to live that way, but he didn't know how to live without being affected as well. It felt like as long as he ran away from everything, nothing was going to change. It didn't matter if four years had passed and Yoongi was beginning to suspect that no amount of just time passing was going to fix all of this. Before he could get lost in his thoughts again, his phone puzzled from the pile of laundry he had on the floor. Picking it up, he saw that jin was calling so he quickly cleared his throat and prayed that he sounded normal.

"I asked you to wake up, not go back to sleep." Jin’s unimpressed voice came through from the other line and Yoongi was quick to reply,

"I’m awake hyung, I was taking a shower. Sorry."

"Oh. Okay then, I just wanted to tell you to go eat. You can't be sleeping in and skipping your meals, Yoongi ah."

"Yeah sorry hyung, I will. I'm gonna go eat now."

"Alright then, go and have a good meal. No ramyeon."

"Okay hyung, you have your dinner soon too."

Before he could cut the call, jin interjected quickly,

"Everything okay?"

Yoongi flinched a little, not really understanding how Jin could tell that he wasn't as fine as he made himself out to be. Keeping his voice as even as he could, Yoongi hummed,

"Just graduation stress hyung, don't worry."

"Okay go eat, I'll see you soon"

 

Yoongi hummed once more and then cut the call, feeling his hands shake a little as he wondered if his acting skills were deteriorating.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Getting out of his chair, Jungkook made sure to grab all his things off the table and dump them into his bag because he couldn’t afford to lose the notes Namjoon had so kindly given to him. The lecture was a million times easier to follow with them, hence the reason why he’d started calling it his holy grail cheat book. Was it really cheating? Jungkook didn’t quite know the answer to that but he’d rather not dwell on it too much. He needed all the help he could get, and that book was safely tucked in his bag. Right as he politely bowed to his professor as he passed him, he was stopped with a hand on his arm. Jungkook blinked once and turned to glance at his professor, a little taken aback as this had never once happened before. His professor gave him a friendly smile before pulling him aside,

“Jeon Jungkook, right? Namjoon told me that you didn’t really understand my lectures.”

In that moment, Jungkook felt like the blood had completely drained out of his face as he gulped back at him before slowly nodding. The wisest thing to do now seemed to be to admit to everything so Jungkook stood there clutching his bag with all his might, praying that he wasn’t about to get scolded.

“You know, my office is always open till five if you want me to explain things to you. It’s a foundation module so I rather you really understand it.” His professor continued, with a knowing glance to his bag, and Jungkook wondered if he knew he was holding onto Namjoon’s notes.

Wincing a little, Jungkook nodded his head and then sheepishly scratched at his neck,

“I’m uh- I think I understand it a little better thanks to Namjoon hyung but well-I’ll come to you if after I gather a note of all the things I didn’t understand, Professor Park.” 

It got a laugh out of his professor before he narrowed his eyes at Jungkook,

“Good, I better see you then.”

It was kind of strange for his professor to be speaking so casually with him but Jungkook returned his smile and quickly snuck away, wondering if he was always that friendly. If he’d known, he would have probably approached him sooner with all the millions of theories he had no idea about. But he was still startled with that surprise bomb dropped on him out of nowhere and it had him wishing he had gotten a heads up for it. Squeezing between hoards of people, Jungkook went over to where Namjoon had asked to meet him in a text he’d gotten this morning. Pouting slightly, Jungkook slipped next to him as he was ordering drinks at the café’s counter,

“Hyung, why did you tell Professor Park that I didn’t get his class?”

“Oh! Hey Jungkook, class ended already? Good timing, I got you a banana smoothie.”

“You’re avoiding my question!” Jungkook whined softly.

Paying the cashier, Namjoon looked a little distracted as he got handed back his change and Jungkook reached out to help him separate the coins from the notes even while sulking. Chuckling in thanks, Namjoon managed to put all his money into his wallet instead of dropping it all over the floor,

“Well, I was worried you were never gonna speak up so…I just told prof that you needed a lil nudging.”

“Are you that close with him?”

“Totally, he’s my project supervisor!”

Taking some of the drinks to help Namjoon, Jungkook continued to pout but it was coming off a little half hearted, especially when he was starting to feel really grateful and a little too spoiled.

“Your notes are really helpful already, hyung.” Jungkook piped in, following Namjoon.

“Really? I’m glad but the questions on the exams won’t be the same so it’s better if you learn it from prof too, don’t you think?”

Sighing, Jungkook thought of all the late nights he was gonna need to pull to get his grades together,

“You’re right, I’m really thankful to you hyung. Even though you’re so busy with your final year project, you’re still looking out for me.”

Namjoon reached out to ruffle his hair, the drinks in his paper bag wobbling dangerously as he did, and Jungkook couldn’t help but note how different it felt compared to when Yoongi did it.

“It’s nothing, don’t worry about it.”

His heart was always skipping a beat or two around Yoongi but it was so comfortably basking in the reliable warmth that Namjoon radiated. Not that Yoongi wasn’t reliable, but it was small signs like these that really had Jungkook knowing that what he felt for him wasn’t just platonic. It confused him a lot, and scared him a little, but more so than anything he knew he had to think about what he was going to do with all his feelings. He was about to do down the road of losing himself in his thoughts but then Namjoon took a different turn at the corridor and Jungkook’s sneakers made a screeching noise as he quickly turned to follow,

“Hyung, where are we going?”

“Oh! I wanted to give Jin hyung his drink, so I’m headed there, you can go first-”

“Can I come? I actually need to talk with Jin hyung too.”

That got Namjoon to turn and look at him with wider eyes, and Jungkook had to stop himself from smiling too much at his dumbfounded expression,

“Did something happen?”

“Nothing like that, hyung. I just well- it’s about the threats Yoongi hyung has been receiving, I just wanted to ask Jin hyung a few things.”

“Ah, that. Cool cool.”

With that, Namjoon went inside the graduate office with a code that he probably shouldn’t know and Jungkook kept close to him while sipping on his smoothie. Trying to memorise the door that Namjoon was unlocking with yet another code he probably shouldn’t know either, Jungkook peeked into Jin’s office. It was a surprise to see him wearing glasses and buried behind a mountain of papers that he was painstakingly marking, and Jungkook immediately felt tremendous sympathy for him because of how hard he was frowning at them. But as soon as Jin saw Namjoon holding his frappe with his dimples on full view, his frown quickly turned into a smile and Jungkook could only watch in a little disbelief as Jin made a cooing noise,

“Kim Namjoon, you’re the best.”

After taking a sip of his drink, Jin looked over to where Jungkook was taking in his office,

“Why hello there my favourite junior in the whole world, what brings you here?”

“I brought him along cause he says he needs to talk to you?” Namjoon replied instead of Jungkook,

“I’m just here to pass you your drink and grab some whiteboard pens.”

Jin looked a little stricken, carefully hiding it under a pretence of calmness as he took a break from grading introduction to psychology test papers and instead dug around for a box of markers. Just then, Namjoon’s phone notification went off and he took it out of his pocket after a small struggle,

From: Hobi hobi

joon, somethings wrong. tae and jimin r fighting again but this time it feels weird. wru?

 

Namjoon’s brows furrowed as he read the text, quickly replying,

To: Hobi Hobi

Meet at club, let’s talk.

 

He put his phone away to take the box of pens that Jin handed him,

“I’ll leave you two to talk then. See you both later!”

Jungkook was still looking at all the papers on Jin’s desk when the door closed, and Jin narrowed his eyes at him,

“You didn’t tell him about the smoking, did you?”

Darting his eyes from the papers, Jungkook’s eyes fluttered rapidly as he adamantly shook his head,

“Oh no. Hyung, I came here to talk about Park Jaehwan actually, but it looks like you’re busy so-”

Shaking his head, Jin motioned for Jungkook to take a seat on the chair across him before taking off his glasses and peering at him. Jungkook wasn’t exactly comfortable with the way he was being examined by Jin, but he wasn’t as anxious as he thought he’d be either. Leaning his head on his hand, Jin kept his voice even,

“It’s been a while since I’ve heard that name, what about him?”

Jungkook fished out his notepad, presenting Jin with a downscaled hand drawn rendition of the board he had mapped out at home,

“He was the reason the two of you left the student union, right?”

Taking a good look at all the connections and points written on the paper, Jin kept silent before finally glancing back at him,

“How much do you really know?”

Keeping silent, Jungkook just held Jin’s gaze not because he didn’t want to answer but because he himself didn’t know how to. He probably knew more than neither Yoongi or him thought he knew, but he also didn’t know a lot of things. Also, he didn’t know if he was crossing the line by asking Jin about these things, because he had no idea if Jin wanted to open up about this either. Nibbling on his lips, Jungkook found himself pondering over whether he was doing the right thing by coming to Jin. But Jin surprised him with his completely unbothered attitude, although it seemed like he was having a little battle with himself about how much information he was revealing. After a while, Jin rubbed his temples and traced the mind map with a finger,

“Yeah, he was the reason for us leaving. We didn’t agree with…the things he did.”

“The drugs?”

That got Jin’s hand to pause its motions on the paper before he continued on,

“That and other things.”

“Like the way he treated Yoongi hyung?”

Chuckling softly, Jin sat back in his chair,

“Yeah, he was bad for the student union and everyone. But he was especially bad for Yoongi.”

Jungkook nodded his head, understanding it completely because of the things Yoongi had told him about his relationship with him,

“Some of the union members must have hated you guys but they’ve all graduated already, haven’t they?”

“Yeah, the old student union is pretty much gone.”

“Does the new student union know about what happened?”

“Maybe, if they’re in touch with their alumni. It could be possible.”

He had a good picture of how things had gone down years ago now, but there was one thing he really wanted to ask Jin,

“Do you think he’s behind this?”

Even though Jungkook didn’t specify a name, Jin knew who he was referring to almost immediately. He tried not to roll his eyes as he shook his head,

“No. He’s not the type who cares enough to pull shit like this.”

Humming, Jungkook took the notepad that Jin passed back to him and he let his thoughts swirl around in his head. Jin studied him for a while before crossing his arms, very intrigued by the things Jungkook knew and the questions he was asking. That seemed like all the questions Jungkook had wanted to ask, and he put his notepad back into his bag looking ready to leave. Before he could, Jin piped in,

“By the way, your dinner is on me. Tonkatsu sound good?”

Blinking up completely puzzled, Jungkook was lost for a few moments before he remembered that Jin had made a deal with his silence about the whole smoking incident,

“Hyung, the week is over-”

“I know, do you want tonkatsu or something else?”

It completely caught Jungkook off guard, and he was suddenly feeling silly about feeling anxious about meeting Jin. He really was starting to feel spoilt but Jungkook slowly let his smile widen before he nodded excitedly, standing up and putting Jin’s chair back in place,

“Tonkatsu sounds great, hyung. Thank you!”

When Jungkook bowed and turned to leave, Jin couldn’t help but find something a little off. As intrigued as he was about the questions Jungkook had been asking, he also found the questions he wasn’t asking equally interesting. So, just as Jungkook was about to slip past the door, Jin interrupted him,

“Aren’t you gonna ask what happened to him when the student union got suspended for a year after we exposed everything and left?”

Jungkook paused, turning to look behind his back before shrugging his shoulders slightly,

“Nope hyung, I know he wouldn’t have gotten caught for anything.”

Raising a brow, Jin couldn’t help the fascinated smirk from slipping out,

“Why’s that?”

Holding Jin’s gaze as he sipped on his smoothie, Jungkook easily answered,

“Because Yoongi hyung would have protected him.”

Jin looked down and chuckled, thoroughly impressed as he reached for his glasses to get back to his stack of papers to go through, so Jungkook quietly left to let him get back to his work. To be honest, Jungkook had been quite certain about Yoongi’s past feelings for Jaehwan for a while now, especially after he had asked Yoongi about it himself. Everything about Park Jaehwan annoyed Jungkook, but it was especially the part where Yoongi had actual feelings for him that peeved him the most. In fact, just thinking about it was already causing the sleeping green monster to stir about and announce its presence to him loud and clear. He hated being envious in general, but he hated being envious of Park Jaehwan even more. Shaking his head to get himself to stop before he spiralled down, Jungkook was about to turn at the hallway to get to his next class early but a familiar head of hair caught his attention. It was strange because he was sure he had sat at that very bench a few months ago, and he knew it was never a good thing to be slumped over in it. Backtracking, Jungkook squinted at the sole person there before jogging over. It was the white lab coat that was by his head on the table that sealed the deal as Jungkook slipped in next to him and softly whispered,

“Jimin hyung, everything okay?

There was a moment of pure silence before Jimin slowly lifted his head up and focused his tired eyes on Jungkook, managing a small smile,

“Oh, hey. What are you doing here?”

“I was on my way to class but I thought I saw you- are you not feeling well?”

Squinting his eyes, Jimin furrowed his brows,

“How’d you know?”

“Cause this bench spells trouble.”

That got a laugh out of Jimin who shook his head and tried to play off his fatigue but Jungkook decided to look past his pretence, putting a hand to his forehead to check his temperature,

“Hyung, you’re a little warm. You probably have a fever.”

Jimin just looked at him for a while before he smiled again and Jungkook realised he recognised the loss of life in his eyes because he’d been seeing them in Taehyung recently as well. Frowning, Jungkook leaned down on the bench and put his head to it, mirroring Jimin,

“You should go back to your dorm and rest, hyung. You’re obviously not feeling well.”

Seconds passed as Jimin stared at Jungkook, before he shook his head and sighed,

“Yeah… I should, but I can’t. I have a test.”

Jungkook glanced over to the white lab coat and then grimaced,

“Oh. How about some medicine then?”

Jungkook sat up to open his bag and rummage through it, taking out a strip of paracetamol and blackcurrant juice box that he brandished over to Jimin like it was some gift. It seemed to get Jimin to show a real smile, mostly because he was absolutely perplexed at why Jungkook carried a mini pharmacy and convenience store in his bag. Choosing to overlook it, Jimin slowly got up and rubbed at his neck to ease the soreness a little,

“Thank you, Jungkook ah.”

Eyeing him warily, Jungkook watched him as he took the pills and sipped on the drink tiredly, wondering if he knew how bad his eye bags looked. As Jimin moved to get up, Jungkook took the coat and passed it over to him but he wasn’t sure if Jimin should go for the test, especially with the pinched expression that was a tell-tale sign of a raging headache. But it seemed like Jimin was adamant to get this test over, so he stopped himself from saying what he really wanted to and instead motioned to the juice,

“Make sure you drink it up hyung, it’ll make you feel better. If you need my help, just send me a text!”

Jimin knew he should have probably gotten a medical excuse but he couldn’t be bothered to go see a doctor now, especially with all the things on his mind. So, he just waved and turned to slowly walk back to his lab, wondering if there was even a one percent chance that he was going to be able to concentrate in the test later. Probably not, because now his head was filled with Jungkook and how caring he genuinely was. Even with the throbbing headache he was having, he felt better just by seeing Jungkook and hearing his voice. Their faces had been so close that all he had to do was lean in a little and he’d finally know how it felt like to kiss those lips, but he knew he couldn’t. That wouldn’t be fair to Jungkook, so he stopped himself from giving in to such urges.

Just as he arrived at the flight of stairs he needed to climb, Jimin tried to prepare himself for the pain he knew was inevitably coming only to freeze when he saw Taehyung leaning against the railing with his arms crossed. His brain went on overdrive to try and find an answer for Taehyung to be here, and then realised that this was the common staircase to the clubroom from many other blocks in the school. But of course, his luck was so bad that this was gonna happen to him anyways. The worst part of it was that they still weren’t on talking terms, so Jimin didn’t know what he was supposed to do. Darting his eyes away, Jimin side stepped around him to completely avoid him but Taehyung’s voice stopped him in his tracks,

“You’re really gonna do this?”

Flinching slightly, Jimin turned and glowered at him,

“What?”

“I saw you with Jungkook.”

Jimin wanted to laugh, and he knew it was absurd but everything about this situation was absurd. Right, that bench was directly opposite this flight of stairs, so Taehyung must have been watching them. Damn, Jungkook was right, that bench did spell trouble. His lips curled into a bitter scowl as he narrowed his eyes,

“I didn’t fucking do anything, am I not allowed to breathe the same air as him?”

The throbbing in his head was getting worse by the second and Jimin was starting to think that maybe skipping the test wouldn’t be a bad idea after all. Taehyung’s eyes were completely void of the warmth that they usually possessed, and it unnerved him a lot,

“I know what you’re thinking. Don’t be a fucking dick and ruin everything that you have with him and all of us, let it go.”

Jimin’s face changed from being outwardly angry to completely devoid of emotion, in just a few seconds. It scared him because of how easily he could hide all his rage beneath a mask of controlled and false calmness. But he couldn’t go back now, not when his eyes hardened to suit Taehyung’s as they pierced right through him. He’d had enough of this nonsense, and especially from the last person he wanted to hear it from. His jaw flexed as he bit on his molars, trying to distract himself from the sharp pain at his temples,

“You can’t tell me what I can or can’t do.”

Tilting his head, Taehyung’s own mask finally cracked as Jimin saw his conflicted emotions show on his face. Jimin wanted to reach out and strangle him or slap him but he just stood there as they had a stare off. After that seemed like a decade, Taehyung spoke in a soft voice that Jimin wished he didn’t use to say what he was about to,

“Jimin, I’m begging you. Don’t do this.”

The day only seemed to get worse for Jimin, who just wanted to get under his blankets and sleep this bad headache and fever off but he had a test to complete first. Not to mention, now he was fighting with his best friend yet again. Trying to ignore the way his heart felt like it was crippling up in his ribs from the way Taehyung was treating him, he turned to get to his lab before he was late,

“I’ll do what I want to and if I wanna confess, I will.”

He didn’t get to see Taehyung’s face after he said that, and frankly, he rather not. He didn’t think he could spend another second next to him without having to fight the tears that always seemed to be ready to spill. Everything about their friendship was falling apart and Jimin didn’t know if it was salvageable anymore.

 

Completely sure that he was gonna flunk his test now, Jimin rubbed at his eyes stubbornly as he climbed the stairs, not seeing the way Hoseok yanked Namjoon out of his sight and hid them both from view.

 

 

Chapter Text

Leaning against the wall, Jungkook just watched the student union from a distance as they took up a few benches while packing exam welfare packs. It wasn’t like he was spying or anything because he wasn’t paying attention to whether they were putting anything dubious in the bags. He was just trying to get a sense of how the student union was this year, wondering why they always seemed to be involved in unsavoury rumours. Was it passed down from the generations or something? Frowning slightly, Jungkook went through a mental montage of all the dirt he had dug up on the student union beginning with Park Jaehwan’s reign as the president. That probably was the worst the union had ever been, seeing how he corrupted it from the core by disregarding every school honour code. Smoking in non-smoking school grounds? Done. Buying booze with union money and reselling it to other school clubs? Done. Networking drugs into school clubs? Also done. At this point, Jungkook was left to wonder what it was that he didn’t do. He crossed his arms and stared at this year’s president, wondering if he was another replica of Park Jaehwan as well. Seeing as how they tried to lie to them about where their freshmen welcoming was going to be held and finding out that the drinks had been laced with smart pills, the apple probably didn’t fall far from the tree.

Jungkook crossed his arms, contemplating the possibility that the current student union could be behind the threats Yoongi had received. It irked him a lot, and his frown got deeper the more he thought about it. He’d narrowed it down pretty well, and even Jin had told him that if they had kept in touch with their alumni, it would be possible to know about Yoongi’s past. Thinking about them printing out pictures to blackmail Yoongi with it was already making his blood boil a bit, but something seemed off here. Why did they only put the pictures up in their club room, and why not blow it up everywhere in school? Jungkook had been going over that thought for the past few days, and he couldn’t help but notice that the threats also haven’t asked for any kind of ransom. Whoever had been threatening them was showcasing some strange behaviour that didn’t seem to make complete sense. As much sense as going down that path made, maybe the person behind the threats also had something to lose if they showed this to everyone. Perhaps someone from the student union who wouldn’t really want to exhibit this part of their clubs’ past to the whole school administration and students. All of his thoughts were going round and round in his head, without finding a general consensus which only worsened Jungkook’s mood. He hated feeling this useless and helpless, especially when all he wanted to do was catch whoever was threatening him and possibly kick him right across his jaw. His bad mood was even making him feel violent now, and that was a definite sign that this was vexing him more than it should. Well, since personal feelings were involved, it was kind of a given.

A couple of them who had noticed a figure in a black hoodie staring had begun to glance over uneasily, especially because Jungkook really had a mean glare going for him when he was musing. One of them accompanied by another stepped out, and Jungkook only continued to look at them as they approached him with the same frown he was wearing,

“What the fuck are ya lookin’ at?”

Under normal circumstances, he would have politely apologised and bowed for staring at them but his bad mood was really playing a pivotal role in the way he acted. Not changing his expression even the slightest bit, Jungkook studied the two guys who were cornering him. Seeing as how the student union still had students like this who openly instigated fights with exactly zero premise and went around bullying others, it really seemed possible that they could be behind the threats. Bothered by Jungkook’s lack of reaction, the same buff guy clicked his tongue and reached over to grab the front of his hoodie and pull it roughly,

“I asked what the fuck ya were lookin’ at!”

Because this guy had raised his voice, it caught the attention of a few others who all looked over worriedly, before their president looked up in complete horror and immediately stood up,

“What the hell are you- let go of him now!”

As the president struggled with getting his long legs out of the bench, the guy yanking on his hoodie glanced behind confusedly,

“But sunbae, he was standin’ here just starin’ at us like a creep!”

From the corner of his eye, Jungkook saw Hoseok walking over and breaking into a jog when he saw the situation he was in. Deciding to end this before it became an even bigger scene, Jungkook sighed and stopped leaning against the wall. With complete ease, he grabbed the buff guy’s wrist and easily pried his hand off with a practiced set of moves before twisting it ever so slightly and letting go. Shaking his hand and wincing in pain, the buff guy shot a furious look at him but he was stopped by their president before he could do anything else,

“You’re Jungkook from the csc right? Listen I’m really sorry for how my junior acted- it’s just a misunderstanding.”

In that moment, Jungkook recalled the track club’s president apologising to him as well and wondered why there seemed to be a pattern among the clubs. The usual members went around doing whatever they wanted, and then their presidents ran over to cover their asses with apologies only when they had messed with someone from the csc. He didn’t really want to accept that apology, so he shook his head and shrugged it off. Right then, Hoseok stepped between them and the worry lines on his forehead were the worst Jungkook’s ever seen,

“Shit, what the fuck- are you okay!?”

Nodding, Jungkook held onto Hoseok’s flailing arms and pulled them aside without really looking back at the rest,

“I’m fine, let’s go hyung.”

Hesitantly, Hoseok let Jungkook gently nudge him along but he turned around and narrowed his eyes at the guy who’d grabbed his hoodie,

“Touch him again and I’ll get you suspended, you fucking asshole.”

That brought the smallest of smiles to Jungkook’s lips even through his worsening mood, and Jungkook looked at him fondly. Hoseok was still inspecting him for any bruises, brushing his hoodie while straightening out the wrinkles and scowling so hard that it was starting to look funny,

“What the fuck is his problem?”

“I don’t know, I was just looking at them. Guess I rubbed him off the wrong way or something.”

“He better not have done anything, or I’m going back there and sticking my foot up his fucking ass I swear.”

Chuckling slightly, Jungkook rubbed his nose with his finger and felt his cheeks warm up from seeing how much Hoseok was worrying and fussing over him,

“I’m really alright hyung, but I would have loved to see that.”

“You’re gonna need to teach me whatever judo crap you know first, because that was cool as fuck.”

Turning to look at each other, the two of them broke out in laughter and Jungkook felt his bad mood slowly slip away the longer Hoseok’s beaming smile came his way. Speaking of bad moods, Jungkook thought he was supposed to be meeting Taehyung and Jimin to check out the bowling club’s fund raiser because that’s what he was doing waiting at the at the benches near the lobby. Sensing Jungkook’s confusion, Hoseok put up a hand,

“About that, yeah I thought it’d be better if I went with you instead, so I told them I’d do it.”

As they walked towards the open field where the bowling club had been given express permission to hold their baking sale, Jungkook grimaced slightly,

“Are they fighting hyung? They both have been avoiding one another at club too, and I haven’t seen them talk or smile for weeks.”

He wanted Hoseok to tell him that he was wrong but he only got an awkward laugh that was somewhat forced, so Jungkook knew he was right,

“Well…they fight all the time, don’t worry about it.”

Jungkook wanted to believe that but seeing as how even Hoseok didn’t sound like he believed himself, it was a little difficult to. Since Hoseok was avoiding the topic, he didn’t want to pry into it too much and make it worse than it already was. When they reached the bowling club’s bake sale, Hoseok immediately went over to buy some that were making him drool from a mile away,

“I want the most delicious ones, the ones with the biggest chocolate chips!”

Jungkook smiled at his antics, especially when his friendliness rubbed off on everyone who seemed more than happy to oblige to his strange demands. He looked around, checking that everyone handling food had gloves and that no one was selling anything that wasn’t previously agreed upon and given the green light to be sold. Well, if the cookies were laced with anything, Hoseok would be the evidence. Jungkook wished all the other clubs would behave as well as them, because it really wasn’t that hard to comply with rules that were there for everyone’s safety.

“I don’t recognise you, so you must be the junior who’s been replying my emails. Min sunbae told me about you and what you did.” A female voice interrupted his thoughts and Jungkook spun around to search for its owner.

He was met with a pleasant smile and a polite nod that he quickly returned, stumbling a little from the suddenness. Ah, this was the bowling club’s president, he hadn’t met her in person so he tried his best to ingrain her face into memory. Giving him two packs of cookies, she looked him in the eye,

“For you. Thank you for going out of your way to help us, I know you didn’t have to. I’m really thankful, Jeon sshi.“

“Just Jungkook is fine-” Jungkook quickly corrected, his ears heating up from how awkward he was feeling but to his relief, she just smiled and nodded,

“Take as many as you want, Jungkook.”  

Bowing in return, Jungkook hid his own smile behind the two packs of cookies he had graciously received. Hoseok was grinning ear to ear with his packs of cookies, and Jungkook showed off his own packs that he received which earned him an impressed nod. Truth was, he didn’t need the cookies because it already felt nice to know that his hard work had paid off and now the bowling club could get some funds from this bake sale that was looking promising from the long queue. Knowing that something he did ended up with a good result was fulfilling but hearing that Yoongi had been talking about it was like icing on the cake. He knew that he was gushing but he couldn’t help it, he really liked the fact that Yoongi was proud of him. It was silly, but such a simple thing begun to completely overpower his bad mood from earlier.

“Hey, everything’s all clear here so we’re good to go!” Hoseok patted Jungkook’s back before continuing,

“Get home safely, okay?”

“I will hyung, get back to your dorm safely too!”

Jungkook was intending to go home but he paused in his tracks off to the side wondering why he hadn’t seen Yoongi in a while. He knew that they all had their respective graduation projects to complete so they were busy but Yoongi was strangely silent even in the group chats. Not that he was that active either but Jungkook knew precisely how much he involved himself to notice a sudden absence which worried him slightly. He had wanted to text him plenty of times before, but he stopped himself from doing so because he really didn’t want to bother him. He was probably overthinking it but he felt like he needed some kind of reason or excuse to go meet him and these cookies seemed like they could work. Even if the cookies came off as a little flimsy to be a solid reason, he could probably make it work if he played it off really cool. Oh, who was he kidding, there was no way he could pull that off. With a heavy sigh, he turned to walk out of the main building but he stopped before making a left turn, recognising this stretch of buildings. Jin’s office was nearby, and Jungkook remembered it because he'd walked along the same stretch with Namjoon the other day. He glanced over at the packs of cookies in his hands and then turned to climb the stairs, easily trespassing with the code that he’d seen Namjoon use twice. Still knocking before he entered, Jungkook popped his head inside and was met with Jin buried around stacks of papers that seemed to have multiplied from the other time he was here. A little distracted, Jin glanced up only to take a double look and then tilt his head,

“Jungkook?”

Giving Jin a grin, Jungkook slipped in and brandished the pack of cookies which instantly made the whole office fill up with the heavenly scent of freshly baked goods. It was clearly a good idea to surprise him, seeing the tired slump of his shoulders and how menacing the pile of unmarked papers looked. Wincing a little at how sore his hand must be, Jungkook passed him the cookies,

“For you hyung, I just thought you might want some.”

Jin put his pen down, and Jungkook realised he was using his left hand to mark because there was a muscle patch on his right hand. He made a mental note to never rush his professors for his papers or complain about how long they took to return them as Jin’s befuddled look turned into a huge smile mimicking his own,

“Are you an angel or what? Thanks kid, I really appreciate it.”

Shaking his head, Jungkook laughed off the compliment,

“It’s nothing much hyung, I’ll let you get back to your papers then-“

But Jin leaned forward in his chair, reaching out and Jungkook paused mid-sentence to let him speak,

“Actually-are you free? Can you do me a favour?”

Jungkook could sense the reluctance in Jin’s tone so he eagerly shook his head, being more chirpy than usual,

“Sure, hyung! What is it?”

Even though Jungkook had easily agreed, Jin was hesitant, tightening his fingers around the cookies as he thought for a bit. But Jungkook’s smile and wide eyes won him over,

“If you have time and if it’s not too much trouble, can you visit Yoongi? He told me you two live quite close, so I need your help to check if he’s okay because I’m stuck with marking these and being in endless meetings.”

Jungkook had to try his absolute best not to freeze, but he was sure it peeked through. Before Jin took it as a bad sign, Jungkook nodded his head promptly and hoped his huge grin would cover it up as best as it could,

“Of course hyung, it’s no trouble! I was just wondering about Yoongi hyung too.”

While Jungkook was left to contemplate whether Jin knew about his not-so-secret crush, Jin let out a huge sigh of relief and put his hands together in a thanking gesture,

“Great, thanks kid. I owe you. I’ll text you his address.”

It was more like Jungkook owed Jin a favour because now he had the perfect excuse to see Yoongi. Giddily grinning, Jungkook bowed and snuck out of the room, carefully holding onto the pack of cookies he still had left. Good deeds were really paying off, and Jungkook’s had to control the giggles that were threatening to spill out as his phone chimed from the text Jin sent. Oh, Jungkook knew where that was, he’d jogged past that residence area more than a few times. He took the bus he always took home, unable to wipe the silly smile off his face which amused the bus driver immensely. Jungkook knew it was weird to be smiling so much but he really couldn’t help it, he’d missed seeing Yoongi so much that this felt like some gift wrapped present. Taking a detour from his usual route, Jungkook walked past the row of shops before turning into the residential area. Reading the text that Jin had sent once more, Jungkook checked the address and walked around a little before finding the right house. The posh exterior and large wooden gate was intimidating him a little, and he took an unsure step back before double checking the unit number. It was definitely the right house, so he gathered all of his courage with a breath and let it out to ease some of his nerves. A blind side mirror just off to the side caught his attention and he took the chance to check his reflection, ruffling up his hair and groaning when it wouldn’t fall the way he wanted it to. Because he was so occupied with twisting a couple of strands into place, he jumped a little at Yoongi’s low voice,

“Jungkook ah?”

 

Of all the times his name had been called today, this was the only one to unravel hypothetical butterflies in his stomach as he sheepishly turned around.

 

Chapter Text

Everybody embarrassed themselves sometime in their lives but Jungkook had an itching feeling that he oddly seemed to do that more so than others. It was one thing to be checking your reflection out in public, but it was another thing to be caught fixing your hair at a blind side mirror in front of your crush’s house. For a moment, Jungkook pondered over whether he should be calling Yoongi his crush or something else by now because this feeling that exploded from his chest and overwhelmed him whenever he saw the other was a sure signifier that it wasn’t just a crush. Feeling his cheeks heat up, Jungkook turned around to meet Yoongi peering at him a little confused as he stood outside his gate carrying grocery bags in both hands. At seeing his face and sheepish smile, Yoongi’s own expression softened up and Jungkook had to physically battle with himself not to let out a strangled sound at how cute he looked. He hadn’t really gotten the chance to see him in regular home clothes, and Jungkook couldn’t quite express how much he liked the grey jumper on him.

“Hi hyung, sorry to be uh- standing in front of your house like this but Jin hyung asked me to check up on you and-” Jungkook began, speaking a little faster than he usually did before digging around in his bag and pulling out the pack of cookies that were still warm,

 “-I wanted to give you this!”

Yoongi’s brows rose at the sight of the cookies, and his nose scrunched a tad bit as he smiled, although Jungkook could tell he looked a little worn out,

“Come on in first, it’s getting cold.”

Glancing over to the house, Jungkook’s eyes got comically large as they darted back to Yoongi,

“Oh! I don’t wanna intrude-”

“I live alone so you really aren’t intruding.”

With that, Yoongi turned to the passcode lock and put down the grocery bags on the floor to unlock his gate and door. Almost immediately Jungkook picked up the bags, making it look way easier than it actually was,

“I’ll help!”

“It’s alright, I can carry them-”

Yoongi looked slightly reluctant and reached out to take them, but Jungkook adamantly stepped back,

“I want to help, hyung.”

Knowing he wasn’t going to win this battle, Yoongi shook his head as he held open the gate for him,

“You’re really stubborn huh.”

Jungkook giggled as he slipped past him and into the house, instantly drawn to the plants and flowers that mapped out the pebbled walkway to the front door. Yoongi’s house was really pretty, and Jungkook made a mental note to get a photo of the pink roses that he caught sight of later. Yoongi once again held the door open for him and Jungkook easily slipped his sneakers off without the help of his hands, stepping inside and curiously looking around at the place Yoongi called home. Guiding Jungkook into the kitchen, Yoongi just pointed to the counter top,

“Leave the bags here and go sit down at the sofa, make yourself comfortable.”

Before Jungkook could refuse, Yoongi gently pushed him out of the kitchen with a hand to his lower back and effectively made his ears go pink. Quietly taking a few steps, Jungkook looked around the house and couldn’t help but notice that it looked like those model houses you only saw in magazines. His eyes immediately tried to scan around for family pictures, and he spotted one by the side near the tv so he quickly went over to steal a look. They seemed like a happy family, and Jungkook could right away tell that Yoongi got his eyes from his mom because she was really pretty too. He also seemed to have an older brother, but the sounds from the kitchen stopped him from prying further. He went to sit down gingerly on the sofa, placing his bag down by his feet as he looked sideways at the full glass panels showing the garden at the backyard.

“My parents are both architects, that’s why the house looks overdone.” Yoongi read his thoughts, placing down a pizza box that he was juggling two drinks over.

Taking the drink Yoongi offered him, Jungkook small a small sound of understanding before continuing,

“Oh no-your house is really beautiful, hyung.”

Yoongi rolled his eyes a little and Jungkook couldn’t control the laughter in time because he knew that Yoongi must get comments like that all the time,

“Don’t ever let my parents hear you, their ego is big enough.”

Taking a seat next to him, Yoongi opened up the pizza box and placed a piece on a plate for him,

“I had some leftover pizza that I reheated, if you don’t mind-”

Springing into action, Jungkook took the plate a little too excitedly,

“I absolutely don’t mind- I love pizza!”

Yoongi watched stunned, as Jungkook stuffed his mouth with the pizza, before his shoulders started shaking with laughter. Jungkook knew his ears, cheeks as well as the tip of his nose were all flaming now because once again he was embarrassing himself. But it seemed to work in his favour because Yoongi glanced up at him, still laughing a little as he put three more slices on his plate. Desperate to take the attention away from himself, Jungkook swallowed down a bite before pointing vaguely around him,

“You live alone in this big house, hyung?”

“Yeah, my parents work in the states and my older brother is married and lives in Japan, so I’m the only one in the house.” Yoongi hummed in return.

Filing the information into his mental cabinet, Jungkook wondered if there were any embarrassing baby photos here like he had back home. It seemed like there were none, so it was a little sad but that was alright. While chewing, Jungkook suddenly realised that this pizza was actually really delicious, especially with whatever sauce what on it. While he was battling with himself over whether he should ask Yoongi what pizza this was, he didn’t realise that Yoongi was blatantly watching him eat. So, when he finally looked at him, Jungkook’s heart skipped a bit and he tried to hide his nervousness with a smile while praying he wasn’t chewing obnoxiously or something. Oh god, that thought was making his palms sweaty-

“You eat really well, I should bring you to this bbq place with great lamb skewers.” Yoongi easily commented, not aware of the crisis Jungkook was having but having the power to instantly put an end to it.

Jungkook grinned, shaking his head and giving Yoongi a thumb up sign,

“I would love that, hyung.”

They finished up their pizza in comfortable silence after that, with Jungkook easily golfing down everything Yoongi put in his plate before they both went to wash the grease off their hands. Although he was full and sated, Jungkook’s stomach sank a little at the thought that now he probably should leave because he’d be overstaying his welcome. But Yoongi refiled his glass with more iced tea and gave it to him, sitting right back at the sofa so Jungkook clung onto it like it was a lifeline,

“Listen, I’m sorry Jin hyung forced you to come here. I’ll talk to him and tell him not to make you do-”

Very uncharacteristically, Jungkook cut him off,

“Jin hyung didn’t force me, I wanted to come.”

This close, Jungkook could really see the tired bags under Yoongi’s eyes and the way he was slumping into himself. He knew he wasn’t as close to Yoongi as Jin was, but he was worried all the same. Besides, he really did want to see his face and hear his voice too. Holding Yoongi’s gaze, Jungkook continued,

“You haven’t been to club or school in a while, is everything alright?”

There was silence between them again, and not that it was uncomfortable, but Yoongi’s stare was a little unsettling. Back when he didn’t know Yoongi this well, this stare used to be extremely daunting but now he knew that Yoongi was just thinking when he did it. So, he kept silent, giving him as much time as he needed and hoping that he wouldn’t brush it off. Yoongi had easily avoided answering his questions before, but Jungkook hadn’t bought the excuses thrown around so offhandedly. The seconds ticked by and Jungkook willed himself to keep still and silent, because he never wanted to force or rush him to tell him anything.

Breathing out heavily, Yoongi looked at the black screen of the tv and wondered what he should say. There was some truth to him telling Jin that it was just graduation stress that was making him feel this weary and down, because it was stressful. He really just wanted to keep to his story and repeat that line again, but his tongue refused to spin the words. He drew his eyes back to Jungkook, completely losing the front he was about to put up when he saw the genuine worry in his eyes. Brushing his nose with a hand, Yoongi let out a sigh and his low voice echoed,

“Why can’t I seem to lie to you?”

As expected, Jungkook only smiled in return, still patiently waiting for Yoongi to open up. Seeing how stubborn he was earlier, Yoongi suspected that Jungkook was willing to wait as long as it took without expecting anything in return. It was a trait he’d noticed early on in Jungkook, and it honestly it scared Yoongi because he knew he couldn’t hide from someone like that. And now, here they were, sitting down inches away from one another and Yoongi let the mask he’d been wearing for years to begin cracking,

“I’ve been having panic attacks and …something like nightmares, so I’m too exhausted to go to school.”

Jungkook’s eyes were fixed on him, and Yoongi could feel it, but there was no uncomfortable weight attached to them,

“Is it because of Park Jaehwan, hyung?”

Yoongi’s lips slowly curled up ironically at the mention of that name, and the taste of it was like burnt sugar on his tongue. At this stage, there was really no point concealing anything because Yoongi knew everything he’d wanted to erase over the past four years was already on the board that Jungkook’s been mapping. Running away had been his mode of escape at first, but now he knew that it didn’t last. Taking a sip of his tea, Yoongi nodded in reply, a little unnerved at how easily he was telling the truth. He watched as Jungkook sat there just looking right back at him, obviously upset by the scowl he had on. As much as he wished the silence would last, Yoongi knew it wasn’t a good thing that Jungkook hadn’t bombarded him with subsequent questions, because he now knew for a fact that Jungkook had everything figured out before he even appeared outside his house. So, when Jungkook’s turned to him with resolve deeply set in his eyes, Yoongi braced himself,

“What did he do to you?”

Blinking a few times, Yoongi tongue darted out to wet his lips,

“I did it to myself-”

Quick to cut him again, Jungkook shook his head,

“No,”

And before he continued on, he reached down for his bag and grabbed the picture of Jaehwan grabbing his wrist,

“I know you didn’t.”

That blindsided Yoongi completely, and his lips parted as he stared at the photos before Jungkook put it down, probably not wanting him to look at it in the first place. But Jungkook carried on, pointing to Yoongi’s covered wrist before checking off the points in his bulleted list,

“Those scars that you always wear long sleeves because of. The other hyungs don’t touch you, and they know you don’t like being touched. You had a panic attack when your hand was stuck in Taehyung hyung’s bag and also when you saw Park Jaehwan’s face. You told me you and him were friends with benefits and that’s how it worked, but you also said you were never sober,”

Pausing for a moment, Jungkook leaned towards him before resolutely shaking his head,

“None of those add up, so I know he did something.”

By now, Yoongi knew he shouldn’t be alarmed by the way Jungkook managed to see through all his excuses and piece together evidence like a seasoned detective but it still had him stumped into silence. Reeling mentally, Yoongi looked away and just blinked at the wall while trying really hard not to cross his arms. He ended up doing it anyways, knowing it was blatant defensiveness that he was projecting. Digging his fingers into his own arm, Yoongi tried to empty his head of all its thoughts. There were too many voices telling him to stand up and walk away, to keep hiding and running away like he always did. But he couldn't because the longer he felt Jungkook's presence next to him the less he felt like doing that, especially because he was so tired of it all. Swallowing down the nervousness, Yoongi whispered,

"Then why are you asking when you already know what happened?"

Jungkook's head jolted towards him, and Yoongi could clearly see the realisation dawning in stages as he pressed his lips together in a tight line. It felt awfully odd to be sitting here and talking about what happened just when he was throwing his guts out from the memory of it a while back, and Yoongi didn’t really know what to do. Jungkook shifted in his seat and he intertwined his fingers together, speaking just as softly as Yoongi was,

"Hyung, that's a serious thing called rape."

Yoongi thought he'd be more anxious, but his heart was eerily calm, and he didn't even feel like he was being cornered or swallowed up. But it was still difficult to get his head around that concept, especially when he felt like there was too much grey area to call what happened to him as rape. He hated it when the therapist called it that back then and he still hated it now. Clearly picking up on his thoughts, Jungkook frowned harder,

"If that happened to me, would you call it rape or just tell me to shrug it off? "

With raised brows, Yoongi looked at Jungkook both shocked and fascinated by that smart analogy. That suddenly got much bigger than he thought the issue was, but it also somehow made a lot of sense. If he put it like that, there was no way he’d agree with how he’d been approaching the whole incident. He slowly nodded his head in understanding although he really disliked labelling it as such, because Jungkook had a point. 

“Hyung, why didn’t you…report him?” Jungkook implored, his voice coming out strained.

Unfolding his arms, Yoongi leaned back on the sofa,

“Even if I did, who would have believed me?”

“My brother.” Jungkook easily answered.

Soft laughs escaped from his lips and Yoongi knew that they were self-depreciating and caustic as he ran his hands over his face,

“He said the same thing to me too. But I-”

Stopping mid-sentence because his heart was ramming too hard in his chest, Yoongi began to feel his throat closing in on him. But he wasn’t going to cry and he didn’t want to stop now, he just had to find the words and nothing sounded nice enough to say. That’s because the truth wasn’t pretty, it was shameful, grimy and nauseating. But Yoongi wanted to scrape the dirt off his past and let it all in the open, even if it meant dirtying his fingernails,

“I just hated myself for everything I let happen. You might not understand, but it was my fault too-and I couldn’t… I couldn’t do it.”

Jungkook knew he couldn’t even begin to fathom what Yoongi went through and exactly how much pain he was in, but the overwhelming hurt filling him up was crushing him from the inside. He could only watch as Yoongi lived through the memories he wanted to burn to ashes, and it was obvious how much it still affected him now.

“I hated myself so much I didn’t even want to help myself and…I didn’t want anything to happen to him so I just…” Yoongi murmured as he stared at a spot on the floor, trailing off near the end.

It was something Jungkook suspected and knew, but hearing it was still worse than he could have expected. He sat there, completely at a lost of words as he tried to keep up with everything he was hearing. It didn’t matter how well he could draw connections and guess the picture because hearing the truth from the person himself was so much more difficult. The both of them had already gone down the rabbit’s hole with how personal things have gotten, and Jungkook couldn’t help but want to continue. Knowing he was digging his own grave, Jungkook collected every brave cell in his body before speaking,

“Why did you protect him after everything he did to you?”

Yoongi’s eyes shifted and stayed staring right at him, and Jungkook thought for one moment that he’d finally overstepped. But Yoongi delivered his reply with absolute honesty, and it pierced right through him, 

“Because I was in love with him, even if I knew he wasn’t.”

In that moment, something intangible snapped and everything that Jungkook had been holding together came crashing down. From feeling choked up, Jungkook felt the tears well up in his eyes before he realised he was sitting there and crying. Jungkook’s head was still spinning with so many thoughts, it was all jumbled up and distorted to the point that there was no use trying to think. Everything was too painful, and Jungkook really wanted to kill Park Jaehwan for making Yoongi go through that.  That asshole didn’t deserve Yoongi’s love or any of his care, not even in the slightest bit. Jungkook wished he could reach and pull out any remnants of that vile prick’s hands on Yoongi, but he knew that it wasn’t possible. Now Jungkook could really confirm that Yoongi had liked Jaehwan as much as he liked him, and it was the worst feeling in the world. If his own chest was hurting this much, he had no idea how much Yoongi had been suffering while dealing with all of this. It made him buckle into himself as he covered his face, thoroughly embarrassed by the tears that wouldn’t stop as his lips trembled. It really felt like someone had taken a knife to his heart and was pulling it back and forth without a care. He didn’t know how he was supposed to just continue on living like nothing was wrong after Yoongi had just told him everything. It scared him how much he was crying, and the he felt hands shake as he forced them to hide his face. In the midst of this, Jungkook could still distinctively make out Yoongi’s warm hand on his back, even though he must have been taken aback by his sudden sobbing. When one of Yoongi’s hands gently pried his away, Jungkook wished that he didn’t have to show his red face to him but there was no judgement in Yoongi’s eyes as he leaned in and wiped at his cheeks,

“Don’t cry for someone like me.”

Looking at him through his clouded vision, Jungkook had to stop himself from telling Yoongi that he’d cry for him a thousand times over. His chest constricted, and he bit on his bottom lip to stop himself from crying all over again. The words were sitting right on the tip on his tongue, and it seemed like he was gonna spill everything about way he felt about Yoongi that he’d been keeping in for so long. The urge was so intense that Jungkook wondered for a moment if he should just blurt out all the secrets he’d been keeping to himself. He wanted Yoongi to know that he was worth loving, and that it was a right given to everyone regardless. But not like this, he didn’t want to be a crying mess when he confessed, so when Yoongi got up to grab some tissues he sprung up as well. He needed to get out of here before he couldn’t hold in his feelings for him and ended up making a whole mess out of everything. Swiping at his eyes harshly with his hands, Jungkook forced himself to stop crying by biting on his molars and then grabbed his bag,

“I-I should go hyung, I’m uh- disturbing you.”

Yoongi popped out of the kitchen with tissues but Jungkook was already walking to the door, adamantly looking down. His face was probably disgustingly red now, and he really wanted to just disappear, but he settled for pulling his hoodie up and covering a part of his face. Flustered, Yoongi quickly walked over, 

“What- no you’re not. Hey, are you alright?” 

Jungkook wanted to yell out what was actually on his mind, especially when Yoongi handed him the tissues worriedly, but he just shook his head instead.

“I can drive you back-” Yoongi tried once more, troubled by the way Jungkook was avoiding his eyes but Jungkook was quick to decline, hating the way his voice shook, 

“No.”

Wanting to try again, Yoongi bent to try and get Jungkook to look at him but he only stepped aside. Quickly ducking his head in farewell, Jungkook pressed a button he hoped would unlock the door and practically ran out the moment it did. He didn’t even stop to wear his shoes properly, just haphazardly slipping them out and breaking into a full run all the way to the gate. He didn’t know if it was unlocked so he did the first thing that came to his mind and heaved himself up and jumped it. He didn’t stop running all the way home after that, because he really wanted to get away. Some people were staring at him wondering why he was in such a hurry, and maybe he did look a little crazy, but he didn’t know what else to do. The tears were still springing up, and Jungkook only let them flow freely when he had stepped into his house.

 

Right now, he was so thankful that Junghyun had a late night at the station. He just didn't think he could handle his questions, especially because he had dropped to the floor with his back to the door. Bringing his knees up, Jungkook wept into them as his shoulders shook. His phone had been buzzing nonstop since he was run off, and Jungkook knew it was Yoongi calling which was exactly why he couldn’t pick up. Crying wasn’t usually this painful, and Jungkook clutched at his chest because he really had sprinted all the way here and now he was struggling for breaths through his sobs. The longer he cried, the angrier he got at himself and he began to rub at his face roughly until he stopped choking on his tears. His whole face was a mess, so much so that he found the energy to get up and go to the sink to splash his face with cold water. It helped to shock some of his sense back into his brain so Jungkook went straight to his room to bury his face into a towel before he dropped onto his bed.

 

He didn't know how he managed to make such a fool of himself by bawling his eyes out in front of Yoongi, the person who actually had the right and reason to cry. Why was he always embarrassing himself like that? To make everything worse, he had no idea how he was gonna digest everything that Yoongi had told him. The urge to grab Park Jaehwan and strangle him till he couldn't breathe anymore was so strong, but he knew that he couldn't go around committing murder. He was so angry at what had happened to Yoongi that he had immediately started crying, a habit he hated even more after what had just happened. Why was it that Yoongi had to suffer through all that while that asshole got out of everything scot-free? The anger was making his blood boil, and Jungkook covered his face with his hands to take a deep breath. Violence was never the way, he knew that all too well. Maybe if someone ran down Park Jaehwan with their car, that could be okay.

In the midst of his thoughts, his phone started to buzz with text notifications and Jungkook turned to grab it harder than he needed to.

 

From: Yoongi hyung

What happened, why did you run off like that and why aren’t you picking up my calls?

 

From: Yoongi hyung

Jungkook, are you okay? Reply please, I’m seriously worried.

 

From: Yoongi hyung

Kid, I’m begging you. Tell me you’re home or somewhere safe.

 

The influx of messages made him instantly guilty and he could tell just how distressed Yoongi must have been because of the not-so-little fiasco he just pulled. God, he was such an embarrassment. Nibbling on his bottom lip, Jungkook thought about what to say but his brain wasn't helping. Because he was taking some time to get to replying, his phone buzzed again,

 

From: Yoongi hyung

Jungkook ah, please, just please reply.

 

That message got to him, and it simultaneously made him feel absolutely horrible for making Yoongi this frazzled but it was also clenching at his heart because of how much he cared. This was bad, this was really bad. Shaking his head, Jungkook quickly typed whatever came to his mind before he completely chickened out,

 

To: Yoongi hyung

Hyung, I’m okay and I’m at home. Sorry for running, I just was embarrassed for crying like that.

 

Almost immediately, Jungkook got a reply,

 

From: Yoongi hyung

Thank god, you’re okay. Also, you didn’t embarrass yourself and I appreciate you coming over and listening.

 

To: Yoongi hyung

I should thank you for telling me everything. Sorry again, I’ll be okay tomorrow.

 

From: Yoongi hyung

Good, take your time. I’m sorry too, for making you cry. Get some rest.

 

Wanting to smack himself for the last text, Jungkook flung his phone to the side and threw air punches. Why was it that he was never able to say or do what he really wanted to, and now Yoongi was even apologising for making him cry. He really screwed it up bigtime. From the side, his phone buzzed again and Jungkook basically flew to his phone to check it. This was making him so nervous-oh it wasn’t Yoongi, it was Jimin. Not entirely sure why he was clearing his throat, Jungkook opened the message,

 

From: Jimin hyung

hey, r u asleep?

 

That was a strange message but Jungkook hummed in thought,

 

To: Jimin hyung

Nope hyung, what's up?

 

From: Jimin hyung

I need to ask u something, can u meet me for a bit @ the park u said u jog at?

 

Jungkook groaned, praying that his eyes had calmed down because he really didn’t want to look like someone who had just cried his eyes out,

 

To: Jimin hyung

Sure hyung, I'll be there in 15.

 

Although he wanted nothing more than to just lie in his bed and wallow about how lame he had acted in front of Yoongi, he knew Jimin had something important to talk with him about. It sounded serious, and Jungkook could only hope that it wasn't too bad. It seemed likely that it could be about that fight Jimin and Taehyung seemed to going through. Well, he was an excellent listening ear, so he wasn't gonna let him down now. Glancing at his reflection in his mirror, Jungkook adjusted his hoodie that he hoped would minutely cover his puffy eyes that were still kinda red. Well, at least now he was glad he hadn't taken a bath yet. He brisk walked to the park, looking around for where Jimin could be before seeing a lone figure on the swings. Jungkook couldn't lie, it was scary, but the closer he got to him the more familiar and less terrifying the lone figure got.

Jimin was sitting down with the sullen look he'd been wearing for a long time and Jungkook wished that the two of them would stop fighting already. He missed their weird antics, their playfulness and especially the way they managed to lighten the mood of the club. Everything seemed so serious and gloomy about the club, given that it had begun ever since the threats had started. Jungkook really wanted to get to the root of it and he was close, but he had to investigate just a little bit more. Shaking it off for now, Jungkook grabbed the chains of the swing and sat next to the one Jimin was in,

“Hi, Jimin hyung.”

Jolting a little, Jimin looked up and Jungkook immediately knew that something was totally off because Jimin’s smile looked completely forced. Either his eyes weren’t red anymore or Jimin was politely not pointing them out but Jungkook quickly forgot about his own worries when he could practically feel the anxiety seeping out of him in waves. Handing Jungkook an ice popsicle, Jimin put his hand up in a short wave,

“Hey Jungkookie, sorry to make you come out so late. Here, I bought you an ice cream to make up for it.”

Gladly accepting the popsicle, Jungkook tore into it as he shook his head,

“Don’t worry about it, hyung. Also, what did you want to talk about?”

Jimin’s expression faltered for a moment, as he seemed to be trying to maintain his smile but Jungkook could easily see through it. Yeah, this was definitely not going to be about anything good. Shifting in his swing, Jimin planted his feet on the ground before he looked up at the night sky and took a breath, 

“Well, what I’m gonna tell you is probably gonna shock you but I really need to. Is that alright?”

Nodding his head, Jungkook let Jimin go on, wondering how many bad things he was going to be hearing today. If Jimin told him that he and Taehyung had some huge fallout and were not friends anymore, he was ready to start babbling about the importance of fighting in friendships. There was no way he was going to let these two part ways without trying to help them patch things up. The pause from Jimin was long but then he turned to Jungkook and revealed what’s been on his mind for a long time with an even voice,

“I know you like Yoongi hyung, but I like you.”

Jungkook was caught so off guard that he just sat there biting into his popsicle, not even reacting to the words that had started to make sense in his head. It took a whole other moment for it to really become a coherent understanding of Jimin’s not so platonic feelings towards him. He stopped biting on his popsicle first before he tried to say something or anything in reply to the world’s most straightforward confession, but nothing was coming out. Luckily, Jimin didn’t appear to be done as he ran a hand through his hair in a nervous gesture,

“I also know it’s a lot to ask, but I just needed to know if you’re willing to date me.”

There was only the sound of the crickets between them after that, and Jungkook had never been this confounded in his life. The sentence kept repeating itself in his ears and everything was suspended like time had stopped, while he kept his breath held. That was saying a lot because just like how he embarrassed himself more than the average person, he was also more confused than the rest. He wasn’t even thinking about all the time they had spent together or trying to find the evidence for what Jimin had said, he just was at a blank. Feeling his lungs burn, Jungkook gulped before inhaling sharply and gaping at him,

“I uh-”

 But Jimin didn’t let him finish,

“Do me a favour? Think about it for a week and then give me your response, I’ll wait.”

 

Just like that, Jimin got up from the swings with the same haunting smile that Jungkook now recognised as what he used to disguise what he was really feeling. He could tell he was hurting Jimin with how he was reacting, because Jimin’s lips were trembling slightly. A part of him wanted to reach out and grab Jimin’s arm to ask him to stay and explain everything but he was still unable to move a muscle because he had no idea what to say. Nothing, just nothing because he was drawing absolute blanks. So, Jimin gave him the same small wave he did when he had arrived, before walking off out of the park without another word.

 

Jungkook just stared at Jimin’s back until he disappeared into the darkness, his popsicle dripping down his wrist and seeping into his sleeve.  

 

 

Chapter Text

The thing was, Jungkook had thought that he’d be completely worried and anxious over meeting Professor Park but that was the most uneventful tuition session he’d ever sat through. Thankfully he had paid attention and jotted down notes for all the questions he’d asked, which was a miracle in itself given how out of it he was actually feeling. He didn’t quite understand how he was coping so well, but the way he was currently trudging along the corridor made him suspect that he was zoning out pretty badly. It wasn’t like there was one or two things on his mind that was bothering him, it was so many things tangled together in an indiscernible blob. But the longer he thought about the things that had kept him up all night, the clearer they got. First off, he still hadn’t seen Yoongi ever since he ran off crying like some kindergartener. Next, he hadn’t known that Jimin had been crushing on him all this time which made things seriously awkward for the both of them because Jimin clearly knew he liked Yoongi. To make things worse, he couldn’t stop thinking about what Yoongi had told him because as much as people talked about how rape happened in this society, this was the first time he’d ever heard a personal experience. He was just so angry at the lax laws surrounding sexual harassment and abuse, only made worse with the stigma surrounding survivors. Then, just as he was trapped in his thoughts about what he was supposed to do while knowing this, he remembered that he had to give Jimin a reply to his question. It was because he kept thinking in circles like this that he’d completely disassociated earlier, nodding and studiously taking notes while finally understandings concepts he had no clue about ten minutes prior.

It freaked Jungkook out a little bit, only because he didn’t know he had it in him to absorb information like that but also because he didn’t understand how he was walking in school like the other day didn’t happen. He had no answers to any of his questions, which was probably why he was listening to well to Professor Park earlier too. All of last night, he’d been trying to think back to see what he missed with Jimin and how it had come to this. How did he miss such a huge thing that should have been so obviously there? He had no clue. Now, maybe now, he understood how Yoongi has been so oblivious to his own feelings even though he was the epitome of obviousness and gushing. Thinking of the confession he’d received and the one he had yet to do at the same time was making him so nauseous that he had to stand off to the side near the railings to settle his queasy stomach. Right now, he was on his way to club, but he hadn’t made up his mind on what to tell neither Yoongi or Jimin. His feet stopped moving once he had made the last turn at the corridor, and he stared at the familiar sticker on the door as his heart started to beat faster. He just wanted to think or even just prepare himself to face both of them in the room but the only thing he could do was wonder what the hell ‘csc.exe’ stood for. He’d been wondering about it for the longest time but time after time it slipped his mind to ask one of them, and now it was bugging him although it was the worst time to be thinking about this. Jungkook didn’t know how he sensed the need to step back as soon as he heard a soft noise, but he was glad he did because Hoseok had swung the door open, oblivious to his presence. Hoseok’s face dropped when he saw Jungkook, holding the door open without really saying anything but Jungkook couldn’t even spend another second thinking about what that was supposed to mean because Hoseok had this forced smile when he stepped to side and pat his shoulder,

“Lucky thing I didn’t swing the door in your face huh, see you around kid!”

Managing to catch the small wave Hoseok threw his direction, Jungkook felt the ominous feeling settle in as he caught the door with his foot.  He really didn’t want to go inside, but everyone inside had already heard Hoseok talking to him so he practically had no excuse. His eyes scanned the room the moment he stepped in, and it was almost comical to see who was in the club all at the same time because he’d been missing seeing his seniors for a while but this had to be some bad practical joke the universe was playing on him. The first person he locked eyes with was Yoongi, and Jungkook involuntarily swallowed as he forced himself to smile in return and pretend like there was nothing to be embarrassed by. Running out of someone’s house crying and then jumping their gate was totally cool, no biggie. When he looked away, feeling completely horrified, he managed to end up meeting Jimin’s eyes. His stomach immediately threatened to upheave the sandwich he had for lunch earlier, all while he forced the smile to remain on his lips. Jimin looked like he was having equal trouble acting like nothing had happened, made worse by the insane eyebags he was sporting as well as the way his tongue darted out nervously to wet his lips. Just when he thought things could not possibly get any worse, Taehyung stood there with the frown that just refused to leave. Not knowing where to look, Jungkook stared at his feet for a moment to gain his bearings. This wasn’t a huge deal, this was fine, it was totally alright-

“Jungkook ah, have you eaten?” Yoongi’s voice interrupted his thoughts, and Jungkook glanced back up quickly,

“Oh- I did hyung. I uh ate before…”

Mid-sentence, Jungkook found himself pointing to the door wanting to just make simple chit chat but the words melted on his tongue when Yoongi was this close to him and his cologne was all he could smell. He was so grateful that Yoongi wasn’t acting strangely around him although he had plenty reason to, and it only made his chest squeeze his heart precariously. He’d wanted to apologise to Yoongi the moment he saw him and then ask him how he was feeling too, but now he had to stop himself from blatantly staring at him and wondering how in the world he was this nice towards him. Wow, he had really missed him, and also his ridiculously pleasant cologne.

“-Before you went to see Professor Park?” Jin completed his sentence, looking thoroughly amused as he sat at the sofa with some documents.

Clearing his throat, Jungkook nodded and flashed a small smile in a bid to hide the way he was blushing slightly,

“Yeah hyung, how did you know?”

“Joon told me to make sure you didn’t turn up at club early because you’re supposed to be consulting him.”

Jungkook’s eyes widened comically and Yoongi looked just as surprised as him to hear that, but while he tried not to overthink this situation, Yoongi laughed at the way that everyone seemed to be babying him. Jungkook had to consciously try not to be too obvious in the way he was breathing in the air just to smell that woody scent over and over again, and maybe he was failing a bit because it sounded like he was sniffling. He glanced over at the different piles of papers that had notes with Yoongi’s handwriting on them at the table, wondering what this could be about since he had already cleared the issue with the swim team’s suspension. But he didn’t recognise the format of the forms as he picked it up, scanning the words and seeing the words ‘illegal substance’ and ‘substance abuse’ repeated throughout. Before he could read it properly, Yoongi’s hand covered his and easily took them from him,

“Oh, those aren’t for the club.”

“But hyung, it-”

“No, you’re not getting involved.”

When Jungkook wanted to protest, Yoongi raised a brow and stared right into his eyes which made both his resolve and knees weak. Jin watched the two of them, before shrugging his shoulders,

“Why not let him join us? I mean his brother’s a cop and I’m sure he can help us.”

Yoongi looked personally offended by Jin’s words, brows furrowing,

“No, hyung. This isn’t part of the official club duties.”

While Jin didn’t look too convinced, Yoongi sighed exasperatedly but Jungkook thought about this for a bit before asking,

“It’s about the ‘smart pills’ you two found in the student unions’ drinks that night, isn’t it?”

Jin was already nodding his head so when Yoongi tried to shake his head, it didn’t quite work as well as it could have. With Jin’s support, Jungkook tried once more,

“Are you going to find the supplier, hyung? I can help, I think I know the ones from the student union who are involved-”

“No.” Came the calm reply from Yoongi but Jin still didn’t look as resolute about not involving the rest,

“If we got Jimin and Tae to help, I think it could go smoother actually. They’re known to party and that could be beneficial.”

At the mention of the other two in the room, the both of them looked up from where they had sat down on the floor with stacks of papers. Jungkook wished he didn’t have to look up as well, because the queasy feeling from earlier returned in full force when he saw Jimin’s expression. That night at the swings flashed in his head, and now Jungkook could tell how out of character Jimin had been acting from the moment he’d arrived. But then again, how else was Jimin supposed to act around him when he knew about his feelings for Yoongi. Actually, the more he thought about it the more he realised how brave Jimin was to just sit down next to him and tell him to his face that he had feelings for him as well. Jungkook didn’t even think he could begin to understand the kind of guts it took to pull off something like that, even the aftermath was far from pretty.  

“We can’t involve the kids, hyung!” Yoongi groaned, cutting the silence that had fallen between them to which Jin just rolled his eyes,

“Okay fine, it’ll just be you and me then.”

“What party?” Jimin questioned, voice raspier than usual.

Putting up a finger to his own lips, Yoongi gestured it specifically towards Jin before dismissing the whole topic off by refusing to reply. Jungkook wanted to stay and overhear the conversation between them but he got shooed off by Yoongi,

“Go help them with the filing.”

Of all the things he could have been assigned to, Jungkook couldn’t believe he’d been asked to work with Taehyung and Jimin. The universe was definitely pulling a huge one on him, and he slowly walked over to where they had taken down some of the boxes that had been stacked at the back of the room. There was a pile of papers that needed to be filed, but they also had to find the right file to file them into, so it was a majorly tedious job. Not that Jungkook was complaining, because he was fine with whatever work he had to do. The thing that was bugging him was that the two of them still didn’t look like they had made up, so there was this continued tension and silent treatment. Usually Jimin would have already made this a way more fun activity that it was by cracking jokes and making it a game with Taehyung who always had a way to make boring work interesting, but now there was nothing. Gesturing to a pile of papers, Jimin tried to smile although he looked terribly weary about this whole ordeal as well,

“You can file these, Jungkook.”  

Jungkook nodded, and Taehyung just tossed Jungkook a hole puncher instead of teasing him about Yoongi as usual. Nothing was the same, and Jungkook was really feeling it as he sat between the two of them without a word to say as well. The only thing left to do was file the papers so Jungkook worked in silence as well, trying to focus on finding the files and not accidentally catching either of their eyes. So, the three of them sat there just sorting papers and opening boxes and files without the usual banter which caught the attention of both Jin and Yoongi. Looking back at them from the couch, Yoongi studied them for a while before silently asking Jin if he found the scene before them weird as well. Putting his hands up in a sign of not knowing, Jin went back to the papers he was looking through. Yoongi tilted his head, not wanting to dismiss this so easily as he narrowed his eyes at their continued uncomfortable silence,

“Did something happen between you three?”

His voice seemed to startle all three of them, who either jolted or darted their eyes to the direction of the sound. Jungkook was the one who looked the most alarmed, holding the piece of paper in between his fingers harder than he needed to. He really knew he shouldn’t, but he could help but look over right at Jimin the moment the words registered, and this whole catching people’s eyes was becoming a cliché he really needed to stop. Jimin looked almost just as startled as him, blinking away soon after with a clammed-up expression that he couldn’t hide as much as he tried to. Because Jungkook could still feel Yoongi’s gaze on all of them, he forced himself to shake his head, weaving in the lie as he filed the paper,

“Uh-nope, there’s nothing…going on?”

The moment it came out of his mouth, Jungkook found himself instantly regretting it because it didn’t even sound like he believed what he was saying himself. It was a blatant lie, and one that got Taehyung pausing from filing to gaze at him with a knowing look in his eye. Jungkook refused to look at any of them, just awkwardly laughing to himself as he quickly went over to check the other boxes. The guilt from the lie was weighing on him heavily as he went back to whatever he was doing and the silence that fell between them this one was twice as heavy as before. It almost was too much for Jungkook to bear until Jin and Yoongi got up with their bags, which was a clear signal that they were leaving. Before Jungkook could come up with another lie to escape this nightmarish situation, Jimin beat him to it after closing a box back up,

“I have to go now, I have a test. I’ll continue helping you guys later.”

Taehyung didn’t even spare him a glance while Jungkook eagerly nodded, internally sighing in relief at the fact that he didn’t have to tell another lie again,

“Good luck for your test, Jimin hyung.”

It was just a normal reply, and there was no need to even think about the words he said but Jungkook found himself wondering if he should have just said nothing when Jimin had to force a smile as he got up to join Jin and Yoongi who were already at the door. Worriedly, he stared at the door even after the three of them had left, his head filled with the thoughts he’d been running from. Jimin had asked him to think about his reply for a week so he was really doing it, just because it felt like the decent thing to do. He hoped he wasn’t giving him mixed signals or playing with his feelings because that was something he really didn’t want to be doing. Taehyung’s deep voice cut his thoughts almost immediately when he spoke for the first time that day,

“Jimin confessed to you, didn’t he?”

Jungkook looked up so quickly that he worried about whiplash for a second, because that one sentence from Taehyung was more daunting than it should have been. He didn’t know if it was because of the flat tone he used or the clear way he could tell just how pissed he was from just the way he spoke.  But he wasn’t that surprised, given how close these two were and how Taehyung always seemed to know everything that was going on about Jimin.

 “…Fuck, I tried to talk some sense into him, but he wouldn’t listen.” Taehyung groaned, holding his forehead with a hand.

Right, Taehyung always seemed to know everything that was going on about Jimin. Jungkook almost wanted to slap himself for not realising that Taehyung had obviously known about this long before he did. Now everything was really starting to make a whole lot of sense, especially with the tension between them and the long faces. Oh no, this wasn’t good, this really wasn’t good. Putting the papers to the side, Jungkook turned towards Taehyung to face him proper,

“Is this why you two have been…avoiding one another?”

There was no response from Taehyung, who continued to keep silent and just frown at the file in his hands as the seconds ticked on. Jungkook didn’t really need a reply because he knew that was highly likely the reason why, and he felt absolutely horrible for being part of the reasons why Taehyung had lost the playful spark in his eyes,

“Hyung, I’m sorry-”

“It’s not your fault.” Taehyung immediately stopped him, shaking his head.

Pausing for a moment, Jungkook tugged his bottom lip into his mouth as he anxiously wondered what he could say without making things worse than it already was. Judging from how quickly Taehyung cut him from apologising, it seemed like he really didn’t think he was the reason for their friendship falling apart. Even though Jungkook still felt the teeniest bit responsible for it, he took a chance and pleaded,

“Then… please don’t blame Jimin hyung either.”

That got Taehyung to finally look up at him, and it was as scary as it was whenever he wasn’t wearing his usual goofy smile. The intensity in his glare unnerved him so much so that Jungkook couldn’t help but look down and fiddle with the papers he knew he shouldn’t be folding or creasing. He had gotten so used to all their nice sides that he’d forgotten that they all had a side he hadn’t seen. After what seemed like a century, Jungkook felt Taehyung’s large hand ruffle his hair fondly before it rested on the back of his neck,

 “Don’t be too nice when you reject him and tell me if you need my help.”

It wasn’t an affirmation nor a smile he got, but Jungkook would gladly take this less pissed version of Taehyung in a heartbeat. He almost wanted to ask Taehyung how he was so sure about what he was going to tell Jimin, but he stopped himself when Taehyung turned to busy himself with the papers they still had to file. Right then, the way Taehyung’s long fingers shuffled the papers in and out of the boxes got Jungkook staring at them, suddenly stopping with the train of thought he had and finding himself thinking about a completely different issue at hand. The photo threats had been bothering him for the longest time because he couldn’t pin down the perpetrator with definite proof and evidence, but now it seemed like he had been looking in the wrong place. The first time it had been slipped underneath the door or so they guessed, and the second time it was glued to the boxes they currently were searching through for files. For this perpetrator to have gotten away with it both times, there was no way he hadn’t had known to do it at a timing when there had been no one in the club room. That had completely slipped his mind until now, and it was borderline dumbfounding because of how important such a small detail was. As much as people could observe the timings the members usually went for club, it was beginning to look like too much of a coincidence that both times the perpetrator had managed to slip in the threats when no one was there. It only got worse when Jungkook remembered how almost all of them did their course work in the club when they weren’t doing club work so it would be tough to sneak in exactly when there was no one inside. The realisation that it could have been an inside job dawned on him then, as he crumpled the paper between his fingers and bit on his lips hard enough to make it bleed. No, it couldn’t be or Jungkook just didn’t want to believe it because that meant that one of them would want to hurt Yoongi like this.

Forcing himself not to jump when Taehyung turned to walk past him, Jungkook fixated on the boxes that still had some red markings on them while his brain went on overdrive trying to both prove and refute the revelation that he’d just chanced upon. The nausea was back in full force, and Jungkook didn’t notice when he disassociated once more and just went into filing mode where he grabbed paper after paper on auto pilot. He hadn’t realised how efficient he was when the stacks started to disappear, and Taehyung had to go off for classes at some point as well. Unsure of how much time had passed, Jungkook put the last box where it belonged. The room was starting to feel suffocating, so he quickly grabbed his bag and practically ran out, making sure the door locked behind him. As fast as he walked, he couldn’t outrun the thoughts that swum back into his head the moment he didn’t have something to keep himself preoccupied with. He refused to believe that it was one of them who could have done this, because the pictures and the words that this person used to hurt Yoongi was awful. They were all a team, in fact they were more than just club members because Jungkook knew the bond he shared with all of them was real. He really didn’t want to believe this, it had to be one of the student union members.

While arguing with himself, Jungkook hadn’t realised he had walked all the way out of school and was now way past the bus stop he should have stopped at to take the bus home. The reason he had even stopped was because a drop of water had landed right on his nose, stopping him from walking before he looked up at the grey skies. Within a few seconds, that one drop had turned into a drizzle which had everyone running from the streets and into some form of shelter as they cursed at the fickle weather. Everyone but Jungkook, because he was just standing there in the middle of the walkway realising that he had actually walked all the way to the street where Yoongi lived.

People shot him strange looks as he continued to stand there, just staring at the street sign as the drizzle got heavier. At first, he wondered what in the world he was doing here but then knew that subconsciously he’d wanted to come here. He wasn’t someone who told lies usually, and the one he had told Yoongi was both eating at him and making him feel disgusting. Maybe it was a harmless lie, and there was a good reason for him telling it earlier because of the sticky situation they were in but Jungkook didn’t like it. Now it felt like he was hiding things from Yoongi and being dishonest with him. How was it that he was behaving this way towards Yoongi when Yoongi had done nothing but open up to him and be so raw and honest? As he thought about how much of a hypocrite he was being, Jungkook’s feet started moving and taking the same journey it had the other day when he had gone to visit him. It wasn’t like he had a plan or anything when he saw the same blind side mirror and rung the doorbell, he just knew he had to tell Yoongi the truth. Standing outside Yoongi’s gate, Jungkook hoped that Yoongi was actually home because he really hadn’t thought this through. There was just the sound of rainfall for a while but after a few moments, the gate opened and Yoongi appeared in front of him with a black umbrella,

“Jungkook? Why are you standing in the rain-”

There, luck was on his side for the first time and it wasn’t even for anything good. Almost immediately, Yoongi stepped forward to come closer and hover his umbrella over the both of them but Jungkook deliberately took a few steps back and put some distance between them,

“Hyung, just stand there please.”

The rain was beginning to get heavy at this point, and Jungkook just let himself get soaked as he stood there facing a confused Yoongi who looked like he was about to ignore his appeal. So, before he did that, Jungkook clenched and unclenched his fist to gather every ounce of courage to pull through with what he’d made up his mind to do,


“I’m sorry but I wasn’t telling the truth earlier, there is something going on.”

Jungkook was grateful that such an opener got Yoongi’s attention momentarily off from coming to him and rather on what he was implying. From trying to make sense of what Jungkook was saying, Yoongi went on to understanding that it was about his question earlier about the three of them. Not wanting to beat around the bush or even insert some context, Jungkook decided to just go with the first thing that popped into his head,

“The thing is, Jimin hyung told me he likes me-”

With that, Yoongi’s eyes widened as he started to process everything and fit the pieces together in his head. The rain was still pouring down, and Jungkook had to run a hand through his hair to push the wet strands off his face when it began to stick. It was cold, and as his socks were thoroughly soaked, but the only thing Jungkook could think about was how he still wasn’t telling the truth about this whole situation. A part of him was still terrified of letting his feelings be known but another part of him just needed to let Yoongi know what he had the right to. Not only was he feeling dishonest with himself as well as Yoongi, he was tired of hiding the feelings he knew weren’t going anywhere else anytime soon. The thing was, he’d wanted to confess in a hopelessly romantic way with flowers and a cute teddy bear that would have a pink heart stitched on its tummy. He’d been fantasising about the perfect confession that he now knew would never work out, and that realisation was hitting him hard. The way Jimin had confessed made so much sense in that very second, because Taehyung must have made him feel this guilty about liking him because everyone knew he had the longest crush on Yoongi.  Maybe Jimin had also wanted to tell him in another way, maybe also with flowers and a cute teddy bear but he didn’t feel like he had the right to do that. Jungkook almost wanted to laugh at himself for thinking that Jimin had so abruptly spilled everything to him, without a build-up or even an explanation. It wasn’t abrupt, it was far from abrupt because Jimin had probably been harbouring those feelings for him almost as long as he’d been doing the same for Yoongi so now the jar that had been almost completely filled and was about to overflow. There was no such thing as the perfect confession, even if there was probably a right and wrong time to be dumping such a thing on someone.

The rain chilling his cheeks and nose was a good wake up call to what Jungkook knew he had to go through with, because the uncomfortable cold got him out of his comfort zone. Yoongi’s lips were parted, and before he could step forward to once again try and cover him with his umbrella, Jungkook took yet another step back. He’d been so afraid of this moment, because he was so terrified of the reaction he’d get in return. But now, it didn’t feel right to have Yoongi telling him all the extremely personal details of his life not knowing about the additional reason he was so invested in helping him with his demons. The guilt that came with lying as well as the fact that he had to face reality and accept that a club member could really be behind the threats added up to become his breaking point. He couldn’t pretend that everything was alright anymore, because nothing was. So Jungkook took a breath, letting the drops of rain run down his face as he felt a strange calm wash over him before spilling the secret he’d been keeping for the longest time,

“-but I like you, hyung.” 

 

Jungkook couldn’t look away this time, catching the slightest flinch Yoongi involuntarily made before his fingers tightened around the handle of his umbrella.

 

 

Chapter Text

There had been many times in Yoongi’s life that he’d been stunned or taken aback, but this had reached a new level and that was saying something because he’d been involved in a fuck ton of shit before. Standing there, holding onto his umbrella like it was the only thing keeping him standing on his feet, Yoongi stared right at Jungkook. He was stuck just trying to register what he heard, wondering if his ears were playing tricks on him. What in the world had happened in the time that he hadn’t been in campus? He really wanted to think through everything more, but the rain was pouring down without a care, and Jungkook was still getting drenched. It wasn’t that Yoongi didn’t want to step forward and cover him with the umbrella for the third time now. It was just that he now knew why Jungkook had been so insistent with keeping a distance between them, and as much as Yoongi wanted him out of the rain he didn’t know if he should be doing that given what he just heard. So Yoongi took a breath before blinking at Jungkook,

“…What?”

Holding very still, Yoongi made sure to block out the noise of the rain when Jungkook darted out his tongue to wet his lips before speaking,

“Hyung, I’ve liked you since I joined the club, well before if we’re going to get technical.”

There was a pause there, and it was so heavy that Yoongi didn’t realise he was holding his breath along with it,

“I-”

But Jungkook shook his head before running a hand through his hair to wipe it back from falling onto his face again and cut him,

“I know, you don’t date. And I get it, I respect it. You don’t need to give me a response. ”

Yoongi didn’t know how many times he was gonna be dumbstruck and at such a complete loss for words, but it seemed to be all he could be doing. How was it so difficult to say even one word, or just to say anything at all? Looking at Jungkook was making his heart hurt in ways it hadn’t for a good while now, ever since he’d closed himself off to anyone. This junior who suddenly stumbled into the club and by extension, all their lives, with the most genuine smile and caring eyes that he’d seen. But now he was soaking wet head to toe, frowning slightly and Yoongi hated being the reason for that. He watched Jungkook swallow nervously, fingers wrenching the end of his shirt as he brought his eyes to look at him directly,

“I just thought you should know, I don’t want to keep things from you anymore.”

Right when he thought his heart was done hurting, this sent another wave of pain right there especially when Jungkook pressed his lips together in a forced smile. He was fighting the urge to step forward and cover him with his umbrella or just give him the damn umbrella already, but he couldn’t do either. With a slight bow, Jungkook’s heels turned swiftly and he was already walking out of the alley before Yoongi could say another word. It felt quite strange to watch Jungkook's back get smaller and smaller but that's all he could do. After staring at the brick wall across the street blankly for a while, Yoongi cursed under his breath, finally turning with his umbrella to get back inside. Every step was painfully heavy and Yoongi felt a weight settle over his shoulders and chest as his head strayed in every direction possible. Putting the umbrella away and closing the door behind him, Yoongi slipped in quietly but Jin still turned from where he was settled into the couch and raised a brow,

“Who was it?”

Glancing up, Yoongi hesitated for a moment before barely whispering,

“Jungkook.”

Jin stretched his neck to check if Jungkook was trudging along behind but frowned when he didn’t see anyone,

“Where’s the kid?”

Furrowing his brows, Yoongi felt the regret hit him when he muttered back,

“He left.”

Going back to where he had been sitting earlier, Yoongi ended up just staring blankly at Jin who raised a brow at him. The words were at the tip of his tongue and Yoongi thought about it for a second as he had two choices here. Either he lied and made up some story or he could just say what had actually happened. Deciding he was sick of hiding things from people as well, Yoongi decided to completely fuck it and spill,

“Jungkook just…confessed to me.”

Jin’s eyes widened so much that Yoongi could almost see his reflection in them as he put the papers he was holding away,

“The kid finally did it?!”

While Jin was looking both impressed and scandalised, Yoongi found himself frowning harder than he already was,

“Finally?”

Rolling his eyes, Jin then went on to shake his head,

“Everyone already knows he likes you, Yoongi ah. It’s been going on since forever.”

Only when Yoongi seemed to be genuinely shocked by that did Jin tone down on his sassiness and rather opted for a more sympathetic tone,

“You really didn’t know?”

“The fuck, no?” Yoongi replied easily, gnawing on his lips as he tried to think back on what he had missed.

But then he remembered the other piece of information that only made things worse,

“So, you knew that Jimin likes Jungkook too?”

At that, Jin managed to widen his eyes even further before making a strangled noise of sheer disbelief,

“Say what?”

“Yeah, apparently Jimin confessed to Jungkook who then came over and confessed to me.”

Rather than to say anything, Jin opted to cover his mouth with a hand before his shit eating grin came out because he was enjoying this drama too much. Yoongi wasn’t sharing even one percent of the enjoyment Jin was getting from this because the only thing running through his head was Jungkook standing there in the rain and how he just let him do that. Fuck, he should have done or said something. The guilt was eating away at him so much that he was clenching his fingers into a fist and making marks on his palms. Who the fuck lets someone stand in the rain to confess to you? The worst part was that Jungkook also had given him the easy way out by saying he didn’t need to reply. The nausea came to Yoongi in waves as he thought about how much that had to hurt but Jungkook did it anyways.

“So…do you like the kid?” Jin interrupted, nudging his elbow slightly.

Yoongi looked up expecting to see him still grinning ear to ear but there was none of that. Jin looked pretty serious, watching him as he waited for his answer and Yoongi couldn’t help but look away. He hadn’t really thought about Jungkook in that light because he hadn’t ever thought about looking at anyone in that light after Jaehwan. That name only made everything even more complicated than it was already, and Yoongi crammed his eyes shut and leaned his elbows on his knees when he remembered all the things that he’d told Jungkook. What the fuck had he done? He’d went and said all of that to someone who apparently had liked him for almost a whole year now. Yoongi couldn’t really grasp how much he must have hurt Jungkook with all the things he hadn’t thought about twice, but it still was making him want to seriously throw up. Rubbing his temples, Yoongi’s voice came out raspy,

“I don’t know.”

Shrugging his shoulders, Jin tilted his head,

“I think you do know though, you’ve always treated the kid differently.”

That had Yoongi looking up at him, wondering what he was getting at before it dawned on him. He hadn’t looked at the way he treated Jungkook with that lens but what Jin had said was true. There had been too many exceptions with the way he let Jungkook into his personal space and even the way he behaved with him, starting with how easily he let him touch him and spilled things he never told anyone else. His chest squeezed his lungs dangerously again and Yoongi really needed his anxiety to give him a break. He couldn’t be freaking out over this, that would be completely ridiculous. Or was it? All the times Jungkook blushed, with his bunny teeth peeking out through smiles flashed in his head and Yoongi really didn’t understand how he didn’t see it earlier. He’d always just thought that was how Jungkook was, but now he realised that was just how Jungkook was with him. He’d only been fuelling it with the way he’d been treating it in return, probably giving him lots of hope and mixed signals.

Wondering if he was really gonna throw up, Yoongi reached over to his glass of water to drink as Jin huffed in amusement at his realisation. But Yoongi didn’t know what the way he was treating Jungkook differently was actually supposed to mean. Was it that he just was fond of Jungkook as a junior or was it more than that? He’d been so against the idea of dating or anything that he hadn’t thought of it for the past four years now, so he’d gotten really rusty at this. In the midst of this freak out, he also remembered that while he was confused about his feelings towards Jungkook, there was someone who wasn't. At the back of his head, there was a voice that was asking for him to push Jimin and Jungkook together because they’d be a better combination in his eyes. But at the same time, doing such a selfish thing would really be scum after Jungkook had come straight to his face and told him that he liked him even though Jimin had given him an avenue to direct his feelings elsewhere. Who was he to ask someone to like or date someone else? But Jimin was a junior he held dear to his heart and now he didn’t know how to face him knowing what he did. Fuck, nothing was clear about this.

Jin put a gentle hand on his elbow, taking the glass from him,

“I’ll go get you some more water. Don’t think too much, just trust what your heart’s saying.”

Ever so grateful for that, Yoongi grabbed the papers that they were looking through on the information they had gathered on the smart pill distributors in campus but he couldn’t remember what he was supposed to be doing. He wanted to take Jin’s advice, but he didn’t know if he could trust his heart after what it got him into the last time. It didn’t help that the three of them were now tangled in the worst love triangle that Yoongi’s ever encountered, because he loved the both of them more than he dared to say out loud. Nothing seemed like the right thing to do, and so he sat there wondering how the club was supposed to continue on to the next year after the bunch of them graduate and leave the youngest three to take over. The three that could barely look at one another and exchange a few words. It seemed like everything was already falling apart, even before anything had started and Yoongi had no idea how to hold it together.

Jimin was having similar problems with holding himself together as he walked out of his lab not really knowing what he just did for the past hour. It had been test after test recently along with his final lab work so everything was pretty much a blur. Of course, the thing that happened with Jungkook was also affecting him pretty badly given how he barely could say one sentence to him earlier. He hadn't thought that things would get this awkward and heavy between all of them, which was exactly what Taehyung had kept warning him about. Somehow, in his mind, he thought it would go better than this. Now Jimin was caught thinking of what Jungkook was going to say and if anything was going on between him and Yoongi yet.

The constant headaches he'd been having decided to come for him once again and he rubbed his temples as he walked into the dorm building. All he wanted to do was get some rest after staying up all night for that test so when he opened the door to see people in his room, it was safe to say that he dreaded whatever was going on almost immediately. He looked over at Hoseok and Namjoon first and then just briefly at Taehyung as he pulled off his shoes, trying to bring himself to smile but he himself felt how faked it must have looked,

"Hey, hyungs."

Manoeuvring around them, Jimin tossed his bag at his table before going to grab some clothes for a quick shower.

"Hey Jimin, could you come here for a sec?" Hoseok chirped in, motioning for him with a hand.

Pausing from grabbing a towel, Jimin looked behind his back and slowly made his way to where the rest had gathered on Taehyung's bed. Just one look and Jimin already had a bad feeling about this, because the looks on Namjoon's and Hoseok's faces were bordering grim while trying to fake cheerfulness. It was downright plain uncomfortable. Glancing over at Taehyung once more, Jimin waited for someone to tell him what was going on. Luckily, Namjoon begun by speaking softly,

"So, we overheard you two talking the other day and we know about why you two are fighting."

Well that was a sentence that Jimin quite frankly expected to hear but he still found himself looking down and rubbing his temples. Nodding, Jimin tried to think of what to say but Namjoon continued on,

"It's not wrong or anything, at least I don't think so."

That got Jimin darting his eyes up, because he had expected everyone to react the same way that Taehyung had. Hoseok gave him a small smile, before he pressed his lips together in the way he always did whenever he had some bad news to tell,

"There's no easy way to ask this but we just were wondering if there was any way you misguidedly... blackmailed Yoongi hyung with those pictures?"

Jimin felt as well as heard the way his breath got caught in his throat the second after he heard that. Right away, he turned to stare at Taehyung because there was no way he thought he was behind this. But then Taehyung remained frowning before shrugging and looking away, and that sent the last pieces of whatever he was holding onto for sanity come crumbling down. With a pinched expression, Namjoon continued on,

"Could it have been because of jealousy or-"

Getting up, Jimin tried not to smile bitterly but he was failing miserably. This was the last straw, he couldn't believe that they actually thought he was the one behind all of the threats. His eyes were already tearing up, but he stubbornly held but the tears as pressed his lips together. Well, on one hand he understood why they were all looking at him pitifully because it did look like he had good motive to be behind this. A dry chuckle escaped from his lips and he just grabbed his bag from the floor.

"Jimin ah-" Namjoon begun and Hoseok parroted as they got off the bed to stop him.

But Jimin just turned to slip his boots back on while hiding his red eyes before he slammed the door behind him. So much for taking a shower and getting the rest he needed, there was no way he was going back there tonight.

 

Yoongi ended up just blankly staring at the ceiling after spending hours not really reading Jin's notes and information about how they were going to track down the smart drugs supplier. He couldn't stop thinking about Jungkook and repeating the words he said over and over again. He knew he should reply, even if he was given the out route, because he didn't want to brush this aside. The thought crossed his mind about why Jungkook didn't told him this earlier, but he probably didn't want to make things awkward between them. Yoongi wondered if it would be considered awkward and then remembered the three of them filing papers in complete silence.

Abruptly getting up from his couch, Yoongi furrowed his brows when he realised that Jimin and Taehyung were on bad terms because of this mess. Maybe the beginning to fixing everything was to go and get those two to stop their fights and try to make peace with one another. He glanced at the time on his phone before deciding he'd just go pay them a visit at their dorm even though it was definitely late. He didn't want this to drag on after everything he now knew. He knew Taehyung and Jimin pretty well, and he didn't want this to affect their grades especially when it was crunch time. So, he grabbed his wallet and keys, driving back to campus without another thought. He was being impulsive, he knew, but he felt that he had to be before he backed out and decided not to do anything at all. Slipping past the freshies who were hanging out at the lobby, Yoongi went right up to their room and gave the door three knocks. Yoongi expected it to take some time but Taehyung pulled the door open right away like he was waiting for someone,

"Yoongi hyung?"

Obviously, he hadn't been waiting for him so that could only mean one thing. Yoongi glanced over to the empty beds before turning back to Taehyung and sighing,

"Where's Jimin?"

"He- well uh, went to buy...."

"Cut the bullshit Kim Taehyung."

With a full body sigh, Taehyung rubbed at his eyes and Yoongi could really see the exhaustion behind them,

"I don't know. He sort of stormed off earlier and hasn't come back."

Things were definitely worse than Yoongi had thought, so he pulled out his phone and started spam calling Jimin. He didn't pick up the first three times but then it suddenly got through,

"Park Jimin, where are you?"

"He's busy, stop calling."

The unfamiliar irritated voice on the other end battling with the ridiculously loud music had Yoongi's full attention but then the call was cut, and he was left there feeling the most worried he'd been in a while. It must have showed on his face because Taehyung was copying the way he had begun frowning,

"What did he say?"

"Someone else picked up the call. Listen, which club do you guys go to usually? The siren?"

Yoongi saw the instant worry and anger flicker in Taehyung's eyes before he went inside their room to change into jeans grab a coat,

"I'm coming."

The both of them were silent throughout the ride, while Yoongi tried not to overthink and Taehyung kept dialling Jimin's number. Yoongi's fingers tightened on the steering wheel as his heart started to beat much faster than it needed to, and he couldn’t help but jump to the worst conclusions for whatever situation Jimin was in. The moment they arrived at the club, Taehyung blatantly took a back entry to the club, which Yoongi didn't know was possible because of the bouncers but he swiftly followed. There was no time to think or make a plan, and Yoongi knew that the look he shared with Taehyung as they entered into the club was an unspoken signal that their only objective was to find Jimin.

Yoongi didn't really think, because he didn't want to start recognising this scene again. Looking away from the flashing lights and making sure that he stuck close to the walls as much as he could, he dove in. The sweaty bodies were everywhere, but not the one he was looking for. The moment he saw the closed off second floor, Yoongi basically swung himself into the stairs and ducked under the pathetic no access red line. It was dodgy as he suspected, with the overbearing smell of alcohol wafting with cologne and god knew what else. The relief and panic hit him all at once when he saw Jimin slumped against some guy in a velvet booth filled with some other drunk college students. Locking his jaw, Yoongi easily marched over to them and reached for Jimin's arm,

"Get up."

Jimin took a moment to recognise him, and the tipsy smile he showed was only making him frown harder,

"Who- oh it's Yoongi hyung!"

Trying his best to maintain a neutral expression, Yoongi tugged at his arm again,

"We're leaving, get up"

"Y..Yoongi hyung- Jungkook likes you, did you know..?" Jimin slurred, and although he was smiling, there was only hurt in his eyes.

At that moment, Yoongi was really glad that Jungkook had already dropped that huge bomb on him earlier because he managed to hold his emotions in. Now he knew what this was about, and it was exactly about what he had suspected. Jimin looked dazedly at the him before whispering,

“Do…you also think I sent…t-the threats?”

"What? Wait, let's talk outside-"

"No I don't wanna- I wanna... drink and-"

This time when Yoongi tugged at Jimin's arm again, he was met with resistance in the form of that guy pulling Jimin back to him. The other drunk college kids at the table were peering at him, not quite sober enough to do anything. Narrowing his eyes, Yoongi zoned in on the hands the guy had around Jimin's thigh,

"Let go."

"Or what? Who the fuck are you anyways, Jimin said he wants to stay-" that one guy continued, slurring in his words as well.

Before Yoongi could fully make sense of what he was doing, he had grabbed the empty bottle of soju and flung it right at the asshole’s head. It shattered loudly, and Yoongi watched as the small pieces of glass fell all around him. While the rest shrieked and jerked away from it, Yoongi took the opportunity to grab Jimin and yank him right out of the booth. The small commotion had caught the attention of a few bouncers but Yoongi kept his grip on Jimin's wrist as tightly as he could. He could tell Jimin was having trouble keeping up with him because he was stumbling and flailing a little, but he continued tugging. Yoongi only let go when he was back outside, at the back entrance where Taehyung was waiting.

The moment he saw him, Taehyung's whole body lurched towards them but before he could say anything Jimin forcefully pulled his hand out of Yoongi's vice grip. He obviously had too much to drink, if the smell of hard liquor on him wasn't good enough a clue, but his speech was slightly clearer than before,

“What-fuck! Hyung, did you just- what the fuck-"

"I don't care about him. The one I'm concerned about is you, Jimin."

Obviously distressed, Jimin huffed and raised his hands up at the sky,

"Are you crazy!?"

"We're going back now, you can sober up in the car."

Shaking his head, Jimin squinted at Yoongi as he lost his balance and stumbled a little,

“No-No, I’m not-“

But when Yoongi reached for his arm once more, Jimin swatted it away angrily before completely exploding,

"Why the fuck do you even care?! I’m saying I want to drink till I pass out and I wanna fuck around-“

Taehyung flinched at what happened next, because of how suddenly Yoongi raised his hand and slapped Jimin across his cheek. The sound itself was enough for Taehyung to hold back a surprised yelp so when Jimin's entire face turned with the force of it, he could only dart his eyes between the two of them helplessly. After a moment, Jimin reached up to hold his cheek in what looked like pure disbelief and definite pain. There was only sheer anger in Yoongi's glare as he practically growled out,

“Do you even know what you’re saying right now?”

Jimin's chest heaved as the breaths he took got heavier and he pulled his bottom lip into his mouth. That slap seemed to have sobered him up quite a bit, as something like recognition flickered in his eyes. While Jimin looked away and tried to get a whole of himself, Yoongi found himself stepping back from him in what seemed to be him sobering up from that sudden blind rage as well. Not being able to bear this any longer, Taehyung went to step between them not really knowing what to do or say. To his luck, Yoongi dug into his pocket and placed his keys in his hand before muttering,

"Drive him back."

Without another word, Taehyung went to grab Jimin around his shoulders and gently guided him to where they had parked earlier. He shot Yoongi a few looks while walking but Yoongi just turned and let the wind chill sweep in and mess his bangs, not really caring about how he looked. The remnants of the sudden red that had clouded his reason was slowly slithering away the longer Yoongi stood there trying to even out his breathing. The cold wind was relentless, not caring that he was only wearing a thin long sleeve, raising goose bumps on his skin as the seconds passed. The more he felt like he was returning back to himself, the heavier the panic hit him. So, he ended up sitting on the sidewalk and burying his face in hands in an attempt to calm himself down.

 

His hand was stinging and throbbing, but it didn't hurt as much as realising what he had just done.

 

 

Chapter Text

There were papers all across the hall, arranged tediously in rows and columns by Jungkook for the past ten minutes. He obviously hadn't thought his confession through because not only was standing under the rain plain stupid, it also almost cost him everything that could be ruined by it in his bag. Armed with a hair dyer, he tried to salvage the running ink and wet pages as much as he could because they were all the notes he had taken from Professor Park. It also didn't help that he was already feeling slightly warm which came accompanied with some sneezes. Rearranging the towel on his head, Jungkook decided to use the hair dryer to dry his wet hair for a while to try and salvage the cold he was sure he already had as well. The room was a mess, and so was he. Well, to cut him some slack, he had just done the unthinkable by managing to finally tell Yoongi his feelings a couple of hours ago. He was feeling strangely calm, not really quite sure how to feel so he was going to avoid poking the bear while he could. The front door clicked open and Junghyun stepped inside, immediately freezing when he saw the sight before him. Instead of asking, he laughed while shaking his head, and inferred like the detective he was,

"Got caught in the rain?"

Jungkook nodded his head, putting the hair dryer back to drying the papers, 

"I'll wash our clothes and make dinner in a second-"

"It's fine, I'll do it. Dry your papers."

Stopping himself from getting up, Jungkook glanced back at all the papers and then realised all the notes he had on Yoongi, Jaehwan and the blackmailing incidents were also part of them. He knew Junghyun couldn't possibly read them from where he was, but he still wanted to grab them off the floor and possibly put them away for good. There was no point clinging on onto these notes now anyways, not after learning that he'd just been going in pointless circles trying to find the culprit when they could have been right under his nose this whole time. So, he started picking up the papers that were about his investigations to throw them away for good while Junghyun went into the kitchen with the laundry basket. There was silence for a while as Jungkook worked quietly, only to look up questioningly when Junghyun stood at the entrance of the kitchen with his arms crossed. He waited a few seconds for him to say something but when all he got was an extremely unnerving glare, he turned the hairdryer off,

"What is it, hyung?"

Junghyun only continued to stare him before slowly uncrossing his arms and then opening his fist to show the lighter he was holding in his palm,

"You tell me."

Right away, Jungkook jerked involuntarily and got up in a panicky way that he didn't even bother to hide. He hadn't realised that the lighter he practically stole from Yoongi had been in the pocket of one of his jeans all this time because he'd totally forgotten about it. His reaction got Junghyun frowning harder as he furrowed his brows, a tell-tale sign of when he was trying to contain his anger. There were a few rules and promises he had with Junghyun growing up and one that Junghyun took seriously was the no smoking rule. All Jungkook knew was that he was screwed if he didn't tell the truth now,  

"Uh- hyung, that's not mine. I swear-"

Junghyun narrowed his eyes at him and then Jungkook sighed and decided to spill without being vague,

"It's Yoongi hyung's, I took it away to get him to stop smoking."

It seemed like telling the truth always seemed to work because Jungkook turned the lighter in his hand to inspect it before the crinkles between his brows slowly evened out.

"It better be." Came the warning from Junghyun before he tossed the lighter over to Jungkook who grabbed it out of reflex,

"No smoking and no drugs, I know hyung-"

Junghyun walked over to place the towel back over his head,

"Good. Or else I’ll kill you.”

Holding his tongue on how a officer of the law probably shouldn’t be saying such threats, Jungkook rather chose to collect the papers on the investigation and bring them to the balcony. He knew he could just throw them in the trash but a part of him didn’t feel safe about disposing of the information scribbled all over these papers like that, which was why he grabbed an empty flower pot that Junghyun had bought to grow some basil instead. Flicking Yoongi’s lighter open, Jungkook let the flame spread across the papers steadily before dumping them in the pot to burn completely. In a way, watching everything burn to black before becoming ashes was therapeutic, and it mesmerised Jungkook. He wished he could burn everything about the blackmailing incident and also about Yoongi’s past this easily too, if only real life worked the same way. But he knew it wasn’t going to be this easy, because real life wasn’t just paper and writing. Covering the pot with another pot, Jungkook brushed his hands and got up from squatting before Junghyun got suspicious about what he was doing.

The next day, Jungkook woke up with a cold he knew he was going to have, even though he’d taken the pills that Junghyun had forced him to the night before. Sneezing in the kitchen, he took the mug that had been filled with brim with warm tea from Junghyun,

“You sure you wanna go for classes?”

Nodding his head, Jungkook winced as it throbbed angrily before sitting down in his chair and checking his phone again,

 

Campus Strip Club (7 members)

Yoongi hyung: Club meeting, 6pm. Everyone, please.

 

And that was why he knew he had to go. Besides, he also knew he had to do something else. Chugging the warm tea, Jungkook willed himself to gather every ounce of energy to make it through the day. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as bad as he thought he was going to be, or maybe it was the pills talking. Hoping the fever had gone down a little by now, Jungkook packed his bag slowly before walking out of class. He wasn’t feeling too bad, only that his head was still throbbing from this morning. Vowing to never stand under the rain like that again, Jungkook made his way to the bench to sit down and wait first. He’d almost wanted to catch a quick nap but Jimin slipped into the seat opposite of him right then, wearing a tired smile that Jungkook knew he also had on,

“Hi hyung.“

“Hey, sorry, did you wait long?”

“No, I just got here too.”

Clearing his throat, Jungkook tried not to play with his fingers nervously but he was failing miserably so he just let himself be. He needed to do this, he had to give Jimin his response. He’d thought this through, and it was now clearer than ever what his feelings were so he needed to be clear with Jimin as well. Taking a deep breath, Jungkook clenched his fist before deciding that he was going to do this,

“Jimin hyung, I uh-“

“I know.”

Jungkook paused, blinking confusedly as Jimin looked down and chuckled,

“I know what your reply is.”

Surprised, Jungkook stopped playing with his fingers and blinked at Jimin in a silent question, so Jimin continued,

“You said it yourself, this bench is never good news. Besides, you’ve only ever looked at Yoongi hyung this whole time.” 

This time it was Jungkook’s turn to look down at the wooden bench, feeling absolutely horrible about how Jimin already knew what his response was. God, this was hurting even for him. Nibbling on his lip, Jungkook wondered what he should say now, if he should even say anything but then Jimin pulled his hoodie down and he saw a bruise on his cheek. Now that he was really looking at Jimin properly, he could also see his bloodshot eyes and the tell-tale sign that he was having a hangover. But he had no idea how to put all of these together,

“What happened…hyung?”

Jimin smiled in response, playing it off before he ran a hand through his hand and looked at a bunch of students walking along the corridor. There was this distance between them that wasn’t there before and Jungkook hated it. He hated everything that had been happening for the past few weeks if he was going to be honest, because nothing was the way it had been. He didn’t want things to be like this, he really didn’t. Letting out a sigh, Jungkook felt his shoulders slump as gave up being awkward about this,

“Listen, I don’t want to lose you, and I don’t know if that’s selfish but I want us all to be friends and close like we were before any of this mess. Is that naïve of me, hyung?”

Darting his eyes back to Jungkook, Jimin looked at him for a while before shaking his head, looking like he was giving up pretending he was alright too,

“No. I get it, and …I think- no, i know that I want the same thing too.”

Glancing up, Jungkook met his eyes before he nodded and saw the first genuine smile from him in a long time.

“Let’s go to club, I think I’m going to be put on a stake and burnt.” Jimin muttered, reaching for his bag and getting up.

Jungkook got up as well, trying his best not to move too quickly for the sake of the throbbing headache that refused to go away,

“I think I’d like to join you then.”

Huffing, Jimin ignored the looks people were throwing him,

“Why, did you also get accused by Joon and Hobi hyung that you were the one blackmailing Yoongi hyung?”

Throwing away any attempt to not make sudden movements, Jungkook jerked his head around,

“Wha-what!? Wait- no you’re not the one. I know-hyung, it’s not you.”

Letting out a sigh, Jimin shrugged his shoulders, but his eyes were sincere when they met Jungkook’s,

“Thanks for believing it’s not me. I would never ever hurt hyung like that but- I guess Joon and Hobi hyung had reasons to suspect me- I just overreacted yesterday.”

“What happened yesterday?”

“I got mad that they thought I could be the blackmailer and then I went and got drunk with some guys. The finale was Yoongi hyung slapping me and Taehyung coming to my rescue afterwards.”

Jungkook completely stopped in his tracks, staring wide eyed at Jimin who skidded a little to a stop along with him. Did he just hear Jimin right, because it sounded like he said Yoongi hyung slapped him. Well, that explained the bruise but none of it made sense,

“Hyung, what the hell?”

Letting out a dry laugh, Jimin nodded and tugged Jungkook to continue walking,

“Don’t worry. Hyung didn’t slap me for nothing, I was…drunk and saying some stupid shit. I can't remember half of it and I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking, how am I gonna face him now?”

Turning to look at Jimin, Jungkook couldn’t believe the similar predicament they were both in before chuckling as well,

“Well hyung, we’re in the same boat. I don’t know how I’m gonna face hyung too, but I know I have to.”

Raising a brow in question, Jimin turned the corner,

“What did you do?”

“I confessed, and then I got rejected.”

 It was Jimin’s turn to freeze, his face losing all the sarcastic amusement it was showing up till now in a second. Jungkook simply shook his head in return, and it was his turn to smile it off,

“It’s fine hyung, I knew it-“

“Are you sure he rejected you?”

“Well um- He didn’t reply, and I told him not to. It’s uh-complicated.”

There was nothing but genuine sympathy in Jimin’s voice when he whispered next,

“I’m sorry.”

“I’m sorry too, hyung.” Jungkook whispered back.

Running a hand through his hair again, Jimin shook his head and shared a look with Jungkook. The both of them knew what this meant, and it really was like some sick joke the universe was playing on them. They both liked someone who didn’t like them back that way, so they both knew how much it hurt. It was something they shared in common now, and Jimin didn’t know if it was a good or bad thing. Reaching out for Jungkook’s arm, Jimin gave it a reassuring squeeze before they started to walk to club in silence. There wasn’t anything else to say, at least not now because the wounds they both had was still fresh. But it felt good to have someone next to you when you were going through something like this, so they both didn’t want this friendship to disappear as well. The only thing they could do now was help each other up and get through whatever this fucking mess was. The both of them were thinking on overdrive, so Jimin counted to three before opening the door and ushering Jungkook inside. They were met with the rest already inside, seated down on the couch and floor as Yoongi stood at the front of the room alone. Jungkook’s stomach plummeted to the ground when he saw Yoongi’s face and he had to look away almost immediately, hating how sensitive he was. They both joined Taehyung on the floor, and Yoongi spoke almost immediately after,

“Now that you’re all here, I’m going to start. The reason I called you all today for a meeting was for a private matter, of sorts.”

Jimin and Jungkook looked at one another right away, before looking away and wondering which one of them it was going to be about. But Yoongi surprised the both of them by continuing,

“I’m going to come clean about my past, because hiding it and not talking about it is obviously not working. Not for me and not for you guys either.”

Even though no one had been talking earlier, the room somehow managed to get even quieter almost as if everyone was holding the breaths.

“Jin hyung and I used to be in the student union, ages ago and we were the worst club you could imagine. We used funds to party and drink, and we did it all the time. At some point, there were drugs too. Yeah, drinking is fine but not when you binge drink and get alcohol poisoning. Or if you get addicted to drinking and find yourself not being able to function without a couple of vodka or soju shots in your system.”

Hoseok shifted uncomfortably then, looking over to Namjoon in a silent question about what was going on but Namjoon was solely focused on Yoongi,

“So I was an alcoholic, and it got so bad that I was never sober. To make everything worse, I was smoking at least a pack a day and I could never hold down a meal, so I was completely in the fucking worst of health.”

Yoongi crossed his arms then, and Jungkook could feel the lump in his throat growing bigger as the moments passed because he knew what was coming next. He couldn’t believe that Yoongi was so candidly talking about all of this when he knew how difficult it was for him, but he carried on,

“I- well. I thought drinking and partying was great, and trust me it was. I get it, it’s fun. But Taehyung and Jimin, the reason I’m saying any of this at all is because I don’t want you to be the same as me.”

Everyone else turned to look at Taehyung and Jimin at the same moment, and now it got clear why Yoongi was saying any of this. Jimin in particular was looking pale, and his mouth hung open slightly as he tried to work through this new information he had about Yoongi and his past.

“I fooled around a lot too, I fucked whoever I wanted and there’s that. But there are also people who will take advantage of the number of drinks you’ve had and maybe you’ve had one-night stands that ended perfectly fine. That’s great. But I don’t want you to have one that ends up…being rape, and I don’t-“

It looked like it had hurt Yoongi physically to say what he just did as he took a momentary pause, sucking in a sharp breath before whispering,

“I- don’t ever want you to go through that.”

Before Hoseok could hold the gasp that escaped his lips, the whole room heard it and Namjoon’s flinch had his foot digging into Jungkook’s back. But Jungkook only looked at Yoongi, unable to look away from the person who was trying his best to hold himself together right now. Yoongi was clearly not alright talking about this, and revealing what had happened to him but he had done it. Leaning back on the whiteboard, Yoongi exhaled and then tilted his head, looking pointedly at Jimin,

“So, please, don’t do that to yourself.”

Taehyung turned to look at Jimin whose lips were trembling as he just stared at Yoongi in shock. Now Taehyung knew why Yoongi had been against their partying and drinking right from the start, even if it seemed harmless. They knew that bad stuff happened, but they just thought it would never happen to them. But neither of them were going to argue with Yoongi on this, now that all the pictures of him that has threatening words smeared in red ink was finally making sense. They had known that Yoongi hyung didn’t drink alcohol but they had thought it was a personal preference, not because he used to have some alcohol problem. Neither of them knew what to say, and Hoseok and Namjoon didn’t seem to have any words either. Only Jungkook, who had already known about all of this, had an idea about what this whole talk was about. Yoongi didn’t want Taehyung and Jimin to end up like him, and that had been his worst fears from the beginning. The club was beginning to make sense, because it was Yoongi’s way of trying to save everyone else who could have ended up like him.

The first tear snuck its way down Jimin’s cheek, and he had to bite down on his molars to hold back the choked sob that was threatening to slip out. He couldn’t really think, because all of this was too much to process in one sitting. He had never once thought Yoongi had gone through something like this and there he was yesterday, doing everything he knew he shouldn’t have been doing. What the fuck was he even making such a big deal about getting drunk and fucking around for? He already knew Jungkook wasn’t going to look at him in the same way, he just couldn’t accept it. Everything about his fight with Taehyung to his outburst with his one sided feelings for Jungkook seemed outrageously stupid in this very moment. Because when he was sitting there trying his hardest to hold back the rest of the tears, looking at Yoongi who had bared everything for him to know, his actions seemed ridiculous. Deciding to end the silence that had fallen the room, Yoongi took cautious steps towards all of them but he was still looking at Jimin in particular. Glancing at the bruise on his cheek, Yoongi grabbed something from the table before he knelt down in front of him,

“I’m sorry for slapping you, I had no fucking right to do that.”

Jimin could only watch as Yoongi pasted a heat pad across his cheek with gentle fingers but that only made the sharp pain in his chest spread all over and make breathing twice as hard. Unable to hold himself back any longer, Jimin curled in on himself as he cried in earnest. His shoulders were shaking with every sob he let out, hiding his face with his hands out of shame and so many other emotions. Yoongi only remained kneeling, like he was still asking for forgiveness as he reached for Jimin’s head and cradled it to his chest in an attempt to comfort him. Jimin’s fingers were shaking terribly, but he adamantly clung onto the end of Yoongi’s shirt before Taehyung reached over and squeezed in hand in silent support. While Hoseok dug in his bag for tissues, Namjoon sat there just blankly staring at a spot on the floor looking like he was still processing everything. Jungkook on the other hand, sat where he was, darting his eyes around to look at all of them.

 

Because, in that moment, it suddenly became clear to him who the person behind the threats was.

 

 

Chapter Text

Yoongi couldn’t remember the last time he had done up his hair this way, styling it with some hair gel with the help of his blow dryer. Well, if that was shocking, then the subtle makeup that went with it was worse. But the longer he looked at himself in the mirror, the more familiar this face got but it wasn’t a welcoming sight. It was reminding him too much of the version of him he burnt to ashes and then burnt the ashes after. He forced his hand to stay steady as he pulled on his boots, looking up when Jin paraded into his room equally as dressed up as he was. Well, Jin looked like he hadn’t aged a day, so it really felt like they had gone back in time. Returning the smile Jin threw his way, Yoongi made sure to knot the laces tightly,

“Hey hyung, could you keep the kits?”

Eyeing the ripped jeans Yoongi had on, Jin nodded,

“Sure, but real talk- you look hella cute.”

Yoongi hid the laugh into his sleeve as he grabbed his camera and hid it into the front pocket of his oversized hoodie,

“You too hyung, been a while huh?”

“It’s been four years.” Jin replied in a dry tone as he shoved plastic test tubes and packets into his duffel bag.

Well, that was true. It had been four years since he’d dressed up like this to go to a club or some party and it was really strange to be reliving it like, because now he was a snitch. Deciding it was better to be a snitch than an addict, Yoongi grabbed his keys and walked out to the gate to leave. As the gate opened, Jin yelped and jumped back a little which had him colliding into Yoongi. Groaning a little and reaching up to cradle his nose that was throbbing from the sudden impact, Yoongi looked up to see what it was that had Jin so shocked. The hooded figure in all black did scare him, making him flinch slightly but he also was quick to recognise who it was but Jin beat him to it,

“Jesus-kid, what the hell?”

Tilting his head as he took a few steps from the opposite cobbled wall, Yoongi watched as his features slowly became slightly more illuminated by a nearby street light,

“Jungkook? What are you doing here so late? “

It was a weird way to be seeing him again, especially when the last time he had a conversation with Jungkook, it was with him confessing in the pouring rain. Jungkook came up to them and lowered the hood from his head and bowed in a silent apology,

“Uh- I was jogging nearby and…”

“It looked like you were waiting outside the house though.” Jin rebutted back, wiggling his brows at him.

Yoongi frowned at what Jin was insinuating and nudged him with his elbow and passed him his car keys to get him to go get the car ready first. As Jin walked off to the car at the side, Yoongi let out a sigh and turned to Jungkook who was still standing there in silence. It was a heavy silence between them, and Yoongi was really regretting not knowing what to say to him about the whole confession. He’d thought about it a lot and he really had meant to find a time to talk but the past few days had been completely hellishly busy. Trying not to behave too awkwardly, Yoongi shifted his weight onto his other foot,

“Did you want to speak with me?”

Jungkook’s fingers were twisting up the seam of his hoodie as he stood there a little at lost for words. Yoongi didn’t know why he was just staring at him like that until he belatedly remembered that he was all dressed up, and then let out a self-conscious laugh while vaguely gesturing to his face,

“Ah, this? We’re just trying to blend into the crowd-“

Halfway through the sentence, Yoongi realised he probably shouldn’t be telling Jungkook that they were going to go undercover at the club to catch those supplying modafinil to the student union. Jungkook’s eyes lit up, completely understanding everything in a moment and Yoongi groaned internally at his slip up,

“Hyung- wait, let me come along with you please-“

“No, I already told you it’s dangerous.”

There was a deep-set frown already on Jungkook’s lips and Yoongi had to shake his head to reaffirm his decision. To his luck, Jin took that moment to slowly drive the car up to where they were, effectively cutting the conversation. Trying not to feel too horrible from the hurt look Jungkook had on, Yoongi reached to pull Jungkook’s hoodie over his head to protect his neck and ears from the chill,

“I’m sorry, but I really can’t let you do this. Get back home and rest up.”

Avoiding looking at Jungkook’s brown eyes, Yoongi turned to get into the passenger seat while Jin rolled down his tinted window and waved at Jungkook,

“Bye kid, have fun burning calories!”

What Jin didn’t expect was for Jungkook to come right up to his window and brace his arms there to block him from leaving as he bent down into view. Leaning a little from the proximity, Jin peered at Jungkook wondering what was going on but Jungkook just spoke in a serious tone,

“Drive safely hyung and be careful.”

The latter part of the sentence was clearly directed at Yoongi who was putting on his seatbelt before nodding in response. Just like that, Jungkook left, and Jin rolled up the window still quite confused,

“He’s really a character huh? I still don’t get this kid Yoongi, he’s weird.”

“He’s different, not weird.”

Jin shot Yoongi an incredulous look before shaking his head and deciding it was better to leave the two of them be. He knew Jungkook had confessed and he was well aware of the way Yoongi treated him so differently, but he wasn’t going to keep pressing on with the subject if Yoongi didn’t want to. Instead, he just drove as Yoongi took out his camera and fiddled with the settings for a bit,

“So, the usual?” 

Nodding his head without looking up, Yoongi nodded and made sure that his camera was good to go. Jin and him had done this so many times that they already knew what each of their jobs was going to be even if they didn’t explicitly talk it out. That was one of the perks of working with someone for so long, it was like you already knew everything.

“Well, here’s to the last time we go undercover and probably our last activity as members of this club.” Jin sing songed, turning a right and winking at Yoongi.

That seemed to catch Yoongi off guard, because he blinked up at Jin before slowly nodding, a smile catching on,

“Huh you’re right, we’re both graduating. Last time huh?”

“Honest to god, I’m glad. We’re getting too old for this shit and it’s time the kids ran the place.”

Yoongi raised a brow in silent agreement, although he couldn’t help but worry about how the three of them were going to carry on without them. Not to mention, the strange relationship Jimin and Jungkook were going to have with the feisty Taehyung it the mix. Reminding himself to have a word with them before they officially handed the club over, Yoongi let out a deep sigh and let himself remember this moment. Once they were at the parking lot of the club, Yoongi hid his camera back into his hoodie and got out, watching Jin fix his hair against the strong wind. They kept close as they walked to the entrance, speaking in hushed voices,

“Hyung, we’ll split up. You blend in and remain on the lower deck and I’ll go up to the rooms after a while and see what I can find. Remember, we’re looking for the student union kids but there might be some others as well.”

Jin hummed, flashing his charming smile at the bouncer who easily let the two of them in once he caught sight of the cards Jin was holding. It still appalled Yoongi at the confidence Jin had to flash random name cards and it appalled him even more when this trick still worked with the bouncers. Once inside with the blaring music, Jin gave Yoongi’s hand a squeeze before going off in another direction,

“If anything happens, call me. If not, see you outside at the main entrance in an hour.”

Quickly squeezing himself in after a group of college kids that were way too excited about clubbing, Yoongi got himself into character. He needed to act like this was also his first time here, so he looked around for a familiar face to completely scam. A girl in pigtails fell for it as she beamed at him the moment he threw a smile her way,

“Hey! You came alone?”

“Hi, yeah. I don’t know where my friends are, I think I lost them.”

“That’s too bad! You can join us though, we’re from SNU. You?”

“Oh, me too.” Yoongi feigned utter surprise, eyes turning into pleasant crescents as he hoped his smile would blind the bunch of her friends who also turned around to welcome him.

And it worked, because everyone was eager to let him join in as they passed around drinks someone was handing them from the bar before squeezing to the dancing area. Yoongi continued to maintain his façade, catching the eye of the eye who was watching him a little longer just to get him wrapped around his finger. He may be a little rusty with all these tricks, but it seemed to be working, because that guy easily got a little flustered. Pretending to sip on the shot he was handed, Yoongi threw it into a random girl’s bag before placing the empty glass back on the bar top. Shuffling over to that guy who was eyeing him a little, Yoongi decided to hook the bait,

“Hey, can you fill me in on something? What’s the big deal about this place?”

The guy was staring at his lips for a bit before looking up and smiling, and Yoongi most definitely knew something was up with his behaviour only because he knew how to look for those cues,

“Well, it’s the place for things you want, if you want them.”

Leaning a little closer, Yoongi tried not to show his discomfort as he fluttered his lashes a bit,

“Things? You mean like…drugs?”

Almost immediately, the guy put a hand to Yoongi’s lips and laughed a little loopily,

“Shh, you can’t say those things out loud.”

Yoongi managed to push his fingers away without making it too apparent that he really wasn’t soliciting such contact but he needed answers so he sucked it up,

“Come on, help a friend out? I’m dying for a buzz.”

A moment or two passed before the guy dug out a coin that looked so normal if only not for the hole in the middle of it, and quickly snuck it into Yoongi’s hand,

“Go upstairs, the second room to the left. You’ll get in.”

Catching his eye once again, Yoongi smiled and leaned in closer so that he knew he’d be giving the guy all the wrong signs,

“Thanks, I’ll be back. Then we can go have some fun.”

Slipping off before he got kissed by said guy, Yoongi gave him another smile just for being such a sport and giving him exactly what he needed. Keeping the coin firmly in his hand, Yoongi squeezed between sweaty bodies and reminded himself to not get too struck by all the loud music and flashing lights. There was no room for any panic attacks today, and Yoongi had a goal he had to get to. It took him much longer than he thought to get to the second level, and then as he was looking around, he noticed a few black doors that were really off to the side. That had to be it, second to the left and masked really well. He got to the door, only to wonder how he was supposed to open it, because there was no handle or anything so he opted for knocking. Well, that did nothing. So, he frowned wondering why the guy only gave him some strange coin and horrible instructions on what to do with it. The lighting was really bad here so Yoongi had to really squint, causing him to dig around for his phone to use as a source of light. As luck would have it, his phone went tumbling from his hand, and he let out a soft curse as he bent down to try and find it. Just as he was fumbling around on the floor for it, he realised there was a small bump at the bottom of the door that looked very close to a coin slot in a vending machine. Looking around quickly, Yoongi took the coin and popped it through the slot and got genuinely awestruck when the door opened by an inch.

He basically crawled in, and the place was even worsely lit. He grabbed his dslr with one hand that was still hidden in the pocket of his hoodie, and made sure to stick to the walls as much as he could. There were a few people sitting in lounges together, and he kept himself as well hidden as he could because he had a feeling this was where the culprits were. But strangely enough, he wasn’t really recognising any of the faces that he caught every now and then thanks to some shifting ceiling lights. Just when he thought he could have gone into the wrong room, he saw a bunch of pills on the table to the side sitting on golden foil. Jesus, there was so many that was being passed around like sugar treats. Discreetly taking photos by holding the camera to his side, Yoongi hoped that he would be able to edit the brightness and contrasts levels enough to make the faces and heaps of pills clear since he couldn’t be using flash. He wanted to go behind this huge sofa but then someone tapped him on the shoulder and he quickly slipped the camera into his hoodie before turning around with a lost expression on. A waitress smiled at him, holding a tray full of the pills,

“Welcome to the golden room, please go ahead and take as many as you want. The drinks are at the back of the room.”

Smiling in return, Yoongi quickly grabbed a few and pretended to pop one into his mouth just so she’d get off his back. It worked, and she went on to continue her job, and Yoongi made quick work of easily stuffing as many pills as he could into his tight jean pockets. Just when he was about to turn and get out of this place, he heard some raucous laughter and yelling which sounded awfully familiar. Yoongi wanted to laugh along with them, because this turned out to be exactly what he thought it was. The student union was still the shadiest piece of shit club it had always been and now he didn’t see why they should continue on any longer. Shouldn’t be too hard to shut things down with this case. Hiding at the wall and kneeling down, Yoongi took a couple of shots of the president who had his feet in some girl’s lap and head in another. Seeing the pile of pills that were on their table, Yoongi now knew why they always seemed to have a steady supply at every event. Someone at this club was their supplier and didn’t seem to mind how many you took. Well, that coin had to be some kind of crazy payment but that aside, Yoongi needed to make sure he got out unnoticed. He was kind of crouching in a corner, so he backed up only to feel himself bump against something. Grimacing, he straightened his back and turned to apologise with the flirtiest smile he could manage,

“I’m sorry, it’s so dark- I just can’t see that well.”

The guy he bumped into shook his head,

“That’s no problem, but did you come alone? Which department are you from?”

“Uh- well, dance.”

“Oh hey, you can join us first.” He continued on, as Yoongi continued smiling only to realise that he recognised this guy.

This was that asshole who was seated next to Jimin in that club that he practically dragged him out of, so this was also the guy whose head he broke a glass of soju on. It was hard to not panic right away, but it seemed like he didn’t quite recognise Yoongi so he still had a chance. Laughing softly, Yoongi shook his head and just motioned for where he hoped the door was,

“I’ll just wait for the rest to get here first, but thanks.”

“Oh hey, don’t go. I’m Minwoo, you are?”

Yoongi was really dreading that reply so he had to continue smiling to fake his way through it, turning his body so he could somehow sneak away without being too rude,

“I’ll be back, I’m new so I should come back with the rest.”

Just when he thought he was going to slip away unnoticed, the guy now he knew was called Minwoo took a side step and got closer to him,

“But I feel like I’ve seen you before, which dance department are you from again?”

“Contemporary- but I should really go.”

Yoongi completely just turned this time, but he could feel Minwoo following him so he quickened his pace but it didn’t help that he had no idea where the door was. How the hell was this asshole seeing so well in this dimply lit place anyway?! Feeling his heart beat quicker, he tried to think as he oriented himself with the directions. To his dismay, Minwoo continued speaking,

“I know everyone from contemporary dance though- hey wait, I really know you, We’ve met.”

Yoongi shot him a brief smile and then felt around the walls blindly for what he hoped was the door. Thankfully there was a knob so Yoongi quickly slipped out and practically skidded out as quickly as he could. He didn’t stop once he was outside, jogging down the stairs and squeezing through people trying to balance their drinks in the midst of a mob as he frantically searched for the back exit. He needed to text Jin but he really needed to get out first. He didn’t know why he felt the need to glance behind his back but then he did, and then he saw Minwoo just a few meters away from him not looking too happy. Swallowing the curse that came out, Yoongi pushed past drunken dancing groups of people and pushed the door to the back exit quickly. It was such a relief to be greeted by the cold chilly wind and Yoongi looked around to remember which alley he was supposed to go through but then a hand grabbed his arm and swung him around. With wide eyes, Yoongi found himself looking right at Minwoo who he could now see had a large band aid at his temple,

“It’s you isn’t it- that guy who broke that glass on my head!”

Yoongi wanted to act dumb but it seemed like this guy was neither from their university nor did he really know who he was, so he just frowned,

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Stepping away, Yoongi turned to just start walking in any direction but Minwoo decided to get rough and grabbed his hoodie before pushing him against the wall,

 “What the fuck man, you broke a glass over my head!”

That effectively pissed Yoongi off, and he cut the whole act immediately and narrowed his eyes,

“You deserved it, stay away from Jimin.”

Minwoo huffed out a sound of utter disbelief, looking unsettled with the unbothered expression Yoongi had as he ran a hand through his hair,

“Fuck, you have a lot of nerve. Who the fuck are you to tell me-“

Yoongi completely ignored him, grabbing his hand and pulling it from his hoodie with more strength than he needed to. He slid past him and was about to get away but that guy wouldn’t let up, and yanked his hand roughly again. This time, all the motion had the camera in his hoodie pocket shifting, and Yoongi grabbed it before it slid out and fell so he couldn’t pull his arm away. Getting genuinely annoyed, Yoongi yanked his arm from his grip and glared,

“Fuck off.”

Just as Minwoo looked like he was about to grab his collar, the back door opened and the president of the student union stepped out, looking around frantically and spotting them almost immediately. Instead of grabbing Yoongi, Minwoo scoffed as he stepped back and looked at him,

“Finally you’re here! This was the asshole who broke the glass on-“

But the president was completely focused on Yoongi, the anxiety and horror so clearly showing on his face as he barely whispered,

“Yoongi sunbae.“

That was not what Minwoo was expecting, but Yoongi didn’t care, he was completely done with this student union president because he was as much of a liar and schemer as all the previous ones. Not wanting to hear any excuses, shook his head as he walked past him, finally free from Minwoo’s chasing. But then the president saw the camera that he had to stuff back into his hoodie pocket and got immediately horrified, arms flailing up as he came to stop Yoongi from walking away,

“Sunbae, it isn’t what it looks like I swear- we just- wait!”

“No.”

“What- hyung, wait you can’t do this- “

“I can, and I will.”

“Don’t do this-”

Scoffing, Yoongi clamped down on the urge to roll his eyes at the panicked state the student union president was. That sounded like the beginnings of a threat so Yoongi raised a brow and tilted his head,

“Or what?”

The president could only curse under his breath and bite on his lips nervously in response to that but then a burly figure turned the corner from the back alley,

“Or ‘ya puppy gets hurt!”

Both Yoongi and the student union president turned their heads sharply towards that loud voice and saw some buff guy with his arm around Jungkook’s neck in a headlock a few feet away. There was complete silence as everyone, even this random guy Minwoo who had ruined all of Yoongi’s plans, stared at one thing in particular –the sharp knife he had resting against the soft flesh at Jungkook’s neck.

 

Just like that, Yoongi felt all the fight in him wash away before his heart began to pound in fear.

 

 

Chapter Text

Panting for air, Jungkook slowed down a little as he reached the end of another street that he was sprinting through. His lungs were burning for air, but no amount of physical discomfort was blocking out the thoughts in his head. He didn’t know what he was supposed to do now that he figured out who the culprit behind the threats was, because he didn’t know if he was even right. Actually, scratch that, he was pretty damn sure he was right, which was why it was bothering him so much. What was making him so jittery was that he didn’t know what to do next. Even running through the cold night wasn’t clearing his head, and that usually did the trick. This was no good, especially when he could feel everything bubbling up in his chest and piling there. Wrapping his fingers around a lamppost, Jungkook found himself frowning as he leaned his head on the cold metal and tried to just think. He had two choices, he could either go right to Yoongi and spill everything he knew, or he could confront the culprit. The thing was, Jungkook was awfully stuck at the juncture of making this decision because he didn’t know which was the right thing to do. Groaning, Jungkook pushed himself from the lamppost and continued running at a speed that was burning his thigh muscles. He hated being the one that had to make this decision, especially when he was bad at making decisions to begin with.

As he continued running, he turned up the music in his earphones to drown out everything else. It was only after a while of aimlessly running that Jungkook abruptly came to a stop, soles skidding on the pavement as he blinked at his surroundings. Somehow, he had ran all the way to the street that Yoongi lived at and he hadn’t even realised it. This was the second time he’d wandered over like this, and the last time he did this, he ended up confessing. That was why he just stood there in the dark for a long time, not really functioning as well as he would like. Truth was, he wanted to move, to take a step and either run all the way back home or straight to Yoongi’s doorbell. But he still couldn’t make a decision, not even with the chilly wind biting at his nose and fingers. So, it was either a sign from above or just a sign when Yoongi’s gate opened at that very moment he was stuck in contemplation. When he saw Jin getting a fright and Yoongi peer at him confusedly, Jungkook pulled out his earpiece and removed his hood before coming on over,

“Uh- I was jogging nearby and…”

As he trailed off near the end, Jin interrupted him looking very amused,

“It looked like you were waiting outside the house though.”

The night had been going horribly enough with his brain barely working up till now, but it only got worse when Jin cornered him with that. Jungkook wanted to work up some excuse but he could only stare blankly at Jin as the wind tousled his hair about. Yoongi had obviously taken notice of his discomfort, chasing Jin away for his sake before asking,

“Did you want to speak with me?”

Pulling his eyes from following Jin’s disappearing back, Jungkook found himself gaping at Yoongi. From suspecting that he had some brain damage from his lack of ability to think, now Jungkook had to deal with a version of Yoongi he’d never seen before. This Yoongi was dressed differently with makeup that made his features even more feline than they usually were. Reaching down to his hoodie, Jungkook absentmindedly twisted his fingers in them as he tried not to openly gawk but he was doing a pretty horrible job at it.

“Ah, this? We’re just trying to blend into the crowd-” Yoongi laughed off after he’d taken notice of his blatant gaze, only to abruptly stop when he caught hold of what he had spilled.

As much as his brain liked to freeze on him, it also liked to spontaneously function at high speeds because that was all it took for Jungkook to realise what was going on here –the two of them were going to the drug bust, and Yoongi was all glammed up to go undercover. Not wasting a second, Jungkook took a step forward,

“Hyung- wait, let me come along with you please-”

But he was cut off almost immediately, and Yoongi’s voice didn’t hold any room for an argument,

“No, I already told you it’s dangerous.”

Jungkook found himself frowning then, and he knew it was showing very obviously on his face, but he couldn’t help it. It was exactly because it was dangerous that he wanted to come along, especially given with what he now knew. But he also knew that Yoongi wasn’t going to let him inch his way into this with his stubbornness, so he could only watch as he stepped closer and shook his head for emphasis. At this proximity, Jungkook could really tell how easily anyone in that club that they were going to go to would fall for him in less than a second and that made his stomach drop. While his thoughts went haywire, Yoongi reached towards him, pulling his hoodie back up and Jungkook could only cling on to the graze of his fingers on his cheeks for a fleeting moment,

“I’m sorry, but I really can’t let you do this. Get back home and rest up.”

He knew that was what he was supposed to do, but he had finally come to a decision for the first time this night. There was no way he was going to let Yoongi do something this dangerous, and so he had to act fast when Jin rolled up with the car in tow. Jogging over to where Jin was waving at him, Jungkook made sure he stopped the car for a while by propping his hands on the opened window,

“Drive safely hyung and be careful.”

While Jin inched away from him, Jungkook took the opportunity to discreetly slip his phone into the small compartment inside the car door. It seemed to be a success since Jin looked too confused to notice and Yoongi was too busy putting on his seatbelt. Letting them drive off, Jungkook held his ground until they were completely out of sight to break into the sprint that got him here in the first place. He needed to act quick, even more since his entire plan was contingent upon a huge assumption. His first instinct was to ask the other club members for help, but he had to bury that option as quick as it arose because he didn’t want to involve anyone else into this. He knew better than the rest that drugs were not a pretty business to be snooping around in. Hastily keying in his house code, Jungkook scrambled into his room and ransacked his drawers. The moment he saw it, he grabbed his old phone like it was treasure and Jungkook tried to even his breathing out as it resurrected back to life. Tapping the screen with more force than needed, Jungkook mentally thanked himself for memorising Junghyun’s number as he waited for the call to connect,

“C’mon, c’mon hyung- pick up, please pick up.”

The moment the line went through, Jungkook made a full body flinch at the familiar voice on the other line,

“Hello?”

“Hyung! you picked up, thank god.”

“Jungkook? Why are you using your old number?”

“Hyung, listen. Did you put a tracker in my phone?”

“What? Why- don’t try to take apart your phone-”

“Hyung- seriously. Please tell me you put a tracker in my phone.”

There was a pause on the other end and Jungkook crammed his eyes shut willing the universe to work with him for once. Right when he thought he was out of luck, he heard the very thing he needed to,

“I did.”

Making a victory fist, Jungkook scrambled for paper and a pen,

“Hyung, you need to tell me where it is.”

“What’s going on?”

Praying he was somewhat coherent, Jungkook tried his best to summarise everything,

“Yoongi hyung, drug bust, I need to stop it.”

There was silence on the line again and Jungkook held his breath before Junghyun continued,

“32-3 Itaewon-dong Yongsan-gu.”

Quickly scribbling it down, Jungkook let out a sigh of relief,

“Thanks hyung-”

“Wait, why do you sound so worried?”

“I just- bad feeling. That’s all I needed hyung, bye.”

“Jeon Jungkook-”

But Jungkook cut the call, feeling only slightly bad for doing it but he had a place to get to. Everything went by in a flurry of panic, as Jungkook jumped into a cab as quickly as he could and made his way over. The club was easy to notice, and Jungkook scanned the car pack he was dropped off in for Yoongi’s car and spotted it after a while. Well, they were definitely in there so now he had to find a way to get inside because there was no way in hell they were going to let him in with his jogging sweats. Keeping himself as inconspicuous as he could, Jungkook walked past the main entrance and looked around for any other way he could get in. There was a dark alley to the left, so he turned into it, noticing how it was horribly lit and genuinely looked like a place to get mugged.

Pressing his shoulders and ear to the wall, Jungkook could feel the thrum of the music as well as hear it as he continued to walk along the length of the wall. This was definitely the outside perimeters of the club, and there was also the tell-tale smell of cigarette smoke that was wafting around the area so Jungkook knew that there had to be a back entrance somewhere nearby. Peering into the darkness, Jungkook looked at the tall rock wall in front of him for all of five seconds before realising he could probably scale it. Dusting his hands on his sweats, he took a few steps back, and ran before throwing himself onto it and reaching for the edge to throw his body over. Dropping himself agilely into the other side of the alley, Jungkook straightened himself out only to glance up right at someone. It was an immediate reaction for both of them to register each other’s face and Jungkook could almost taste the sourness on his tongue. He didn’t know his name, but it was that buff guy who had grabbed his hoodie and was all up in his face for just looking at the student union packing exam welfare packs a while back. The guy put out his cigarette, and his voice was gruff when he spoke,

“What the fuck are ya doin’ here?”

Jungkook found himself getting irritated with just the way he spoke, and he knew he was glaring but he didn’t care. He was about to speak but then there was a sound nearby of a door slamming open and voices that made out an argument. His first instinct was to dart his eyes over to the sharp corner that was less than five steps away because he recognised one of those voices. But it didn’t seem like he was the only one who recognised them, because the buff guy let out a snicker,

“Ya guys are pesky snitches.”

Completely ignoring him, Jungkook tried to listen to what the voices were saying as he strode over. He knew he wouldn’t be getting past this guy that easily, so it was no surprise when the buff guy shifted his body weight and blocked his way entirely. Jungkook was about to grab his arm and hopefully break it but he stopped himself when he saw him reach for his back pocket and brandish a rather sharp looking knife. It got the warning lights in Jungkook’s head on instantly, and he kept his eyes on the weapon as he heard him speak,

“Don’t try your fancy moves, I’m not playin’ this time kid.”

It wasn’t that Jungkook was frightened by the knife or something along those lines, it was more alarming to him that this guy wasn’t afraid to use it against him. It also had him wondering if this reckless idiot even knew the charges that would be brought up against him if he harmed anyone with it because Jungkook sure did. In the midst of his contemplations, the voices around the corner got clearer and Jungkook could make out the president of the student union pleading,

“Don’t do this-”

He held his breath at that, but it was Yoongi’s voice in reply that had his stomach flipping,

“Or what?”

His brain was definitely back to working normally now because it took him less than a second to decide that it was better to have this obnoxious prick point a knife at him than Yoongi. He had to act rationally if he wanted Yoongi to get out of this without getting hurt, so he swallowed down his feelings and nerves. That was why he didn’t resist when muscular arms grabbed him around the throat and pushed him around the corner,

“Or ‘ya puppy gets hurt!”

The very second he met Yoongi’s eyes, Jungkook felt the heaviest dread settle on his shoulders because he could see his resolve completely slip away. Saying a silent apology in his head for the way the leverage was suddenly turned around, Jungkook tried his best to convey to Yoongi to not give in but it wasn’t working because he completely disregarded it.

“I’ll do what you want, put the knife away.” Yoongi calmly spoke, but Jungkook could tell exactly how rattled he was.

The president let out a sigh and then shook his head before reaching a hand out,

“Give me your camera.”

“If you let him go first.”

Anxiously staring at the camera that probably held all the evidence he had of their illegal activities, Jungkook spoke up even though he was aware he was testing how sharp the knife was,

“Hyung, I’m fine-”

“Let him go.” But Yoongi talked over him, still staring at the buff guy who tightened his grip and sniggered.

Trying his best not to reach up and break this guy’s nose already, Jungkook forced himself to keep still even though it was starting to make him physically hurt with the way Yoongi was looking at him. At that moment, the president of the student union muttered under his breath before completely losing his façade of being somewhat cultured and polite. It was as if he had two personalities, and he switched around with a scorn as he ruffled his hair in annoyance,

“Hey, do you really think you should be demanding things from me now?”

Cursing under his breath harshly, he gestured to the half-emptied bottles of soju littered around,

“Minwoo, pass me a bottle.”

The guy off to the side, who Jungkook had no clue as to who he was, did exactly that, and Jungkook could only watch as the president sauntered towards Yoongi with a finger pointed at him,

“I’ve heard a lot of shit about you, so why the fuck are you always looking down on us?”

Swirling the bottle in his hand, he brought it up to above Yoongi’s head and leaned in close to him. Yoongi just kept still, staring back at him and at the total change in his persona which reminded him so much of how Jaehwan used to be. One second they were charming and sweet even, and then the next it was abrasiveness and menacing words. It seemed to be a trait all of the student union presidents possessed, and figuring their continued lack of human decency, it wasn’t surprising to him at all.

“Take this as a warning and I’ll let your fucktoy go.” He spat out, shaking the bottle that he was still holding above Yoongi’s head.

Now Yoongi knew what he was going to do but he forced himself to keep still, refusing to move or do anything that was going to put Jungkook in danger. Jungkook, on the other hand, rustled in the buff guy’s hold, as his eyes grew larger at what he was looking at,

“Hyung-“

Yoongi darted his eyes to glare at Jungkook, in a silent attempt to beg him to not try anything. He kept their eyes locked up till he smelt the soju and then felt it soak his hair and dribble down his face. Somehow, it felt like the most insulting thing he could have done to him, even when this asshole probably didn’t know his relationship with alcohol. Or maybe he did and had a very twisted sense of humour just like Jaehwan did. Half of him wanted to part his lips and taste the soju that he was always craving and the other half of him wanted to throw up everything he had for dinner. But he bit down on his molars and kept counting in his head, bringing a hand to wipe the tempting alcohol off his lips. It was then that Yoongi noticed that Jungkook had gone absolutely still and usually that would be a good sign, but Yoongi felt a spike of fear hit him because he didn’t recognise that blank look in his eyes. He had a rising suspicion that it was concealed anger, and it was confirmed when Jungkook’s jaw clenched,

“You’re gonna regret that.”

With that, Jungkook swiftly moved to reach up and grab the knife on its cutting edge without hesitating. He pulled it away from his neck before twisting it and yanking it out of the guy’s grip, causing a stream of blood to drip down his palm. Taking advantage of the situation while everyone’s brain was still whirring, Jungkook grabbed and threw the burly guy over his shoulder before reaching for the back of his head and slamming it on the asphalt concrete. There was only total disbelief on Yoongi’s face as Jungkook looked up, because he honestly couldn’t recognise the person in front of him. Logically, he knew it was still Jungkook, but he had never seen him look this pissed off up till now. Jungkook wasn’t looking at Yoongi because he kept his eyes on the president of the student union, who was the first one who seemed to really process what was happening as he began to move. But Jungkook was faster, as he sprung forward and spun his body weight into a high kick right at his hand that was still holding the soju bottle over Yoongi’s head. That was what got Yoongi to react as he involuntarily flinched then, both from the sudden movement and the sound of the soju glass flying and breaking against a wall.

The second he opened his eyes, he realised he was crouching down at the side, right next to where the president had doubled over at the wall griping his arm. The sight of his wrist bent and dangling unnaturally had him squeamish but Yoongi immediately turned to look for Jungkook, his brain finally catching up with what just happened. There was drops of blood everywhere on the floor and even with the stench of alcohol strong on him, he could smell it. Instinctively, Yoongi reached for Jungkook but he was hurriedly pushed to the opened door at the back entrance of the club,

“Go!”

Yoongi’s head was reeling from the sudden movement so he stumbled past the door that Jungkook shoved him into, only to turn right back and yank at it once he got his footing. It was no use; the door was definitely jammed shut. Cursing under his breath when he realised what Jungkook had done, he stopped trying to futilely open this door and instead turned around to find the front door of the club. Ironically enough, he blended into the crowd seamlessly with smell of alcohol strong on his clothes, and no one was giving him a second look. But Yoongi was barely containing himself, especially when the adrenaline was peaking through the roof in some belated reaction to everything that had occurred in the past minute. He looked down at his hands and then noticed how hard they were shaking, which only got worse when he saw the blood stains on them.

Oh this was not good, this was seriously not good. The last time he had seen this much blood on him was back when he had put a cutting blade to himself in a vicious cycle of slicing his wrists in some attempt to make the pain on the inside hurt less. As soon as he thought about it, he could feel the skin near his scars prickle in almost a ticklish manner before it started to feel more like fanthom sharp pain. His world spun dangerously then, and he leaned against the wall to steady himself for a few moments. Gulping down the nausea that was steadily rising, Yoongi looked away and repeated to himself that this was Jungkook’s blood and not his because now was not the time for an attack. He couldn’t be falling over himself and pathetically crumbling when someone was literally bleeding out there because of him. With only that thought in his mind, he pushed through the mosh pit, elbowing and nudging anyone in his way without a care because he only had one thing he needed to do. He had to get back to Jungkook, he needed to make sure the kid was safe. The flashing lights coupled with the smell of alcohol were seriously making him want to kill somebody but Yoongi just shoved a guy who was blocking him extra hard before tripping over someone’s feet slightly. Why the fuck was the entrance so damn far, Yoongi felt like it was taking forever to get to the entrance and his heart was right in his mouth as the clubbing music pounded in his ears.

Not giving a damn about the bouncers, Yoongi used his whole bodyweight to push the door open and practically ran out into the front of the club. The cold wind was blowing right at his face, but Yoongi didn’t care. He just skidded the corner, trying to find the connected alleyway to the back entrance because that was all he could think about. As he was running, he suddenly was yanked back and he almost lost his balance from the strength of it. To his surprise, he was met with Jin who was yelling something at him but he couldn’t hear it, and frankly speaking, he didn’t want to. Twisting his arm in his grip, Yoongi tried to free himself but to no avail as Jin grabbed him by both his hands and then pulled even harder. Yoongi’s breaths were coming in short gasps now, and he could only look in the direction he should be running as he pounded against Jin’s chest. His head spun as Jin maneuvered him against the wall, and Yoongi almost wanted to smack Jin in the face for holding him back like this but he stopped when he saw Jin’s mouth move.

But shit, he couldn’t hear a thing.

Squeezing his eyes shut, Yoongi tried to get the spinning to stop and try to concentrate on getting himself together but all he heard was a high-pitched ringing sound. The image of the trail of blood dripping off Jungkook’s palm came flashing back at him, and he rubbed at his temples until he could somewhat make out Jin’s words,

“-to stop running!”

Yoongi took a deep breath, feeling a pounding headache begin before yelling right back,

“Jungkook! He’s there- I can’t let him-”

“The police are here, stop running!”

As the words sunk in, Yoongi realised that the ringing sound he couldn’t make out before was actually the sound of police sirens and his anxiety spiked,

“But he had a knife–”

“Min Yoongi, they’ve arrested them! You’re running the wrong way!”

Only that made Yoongi stop right in his tracks, his face falling as he took a proper breath of air. How long was he fucking stuck in that club, and when the fuck did the police arrive? Jin grabbed his hand then and then yanked him along the right direction that Yoongi had thought he was headed all along. Not only did he feel like a fucking idiot, he felt like the worst fucking idiot in the world. Regardless, his steps picked up when he saw the red and blue whirring lights and a couple of officers. The moment he spotted Jungkook leaning against the hood of a police car with a black cloth circled around his hand, he wanted to lunge right at him.

And so, he did.

The flurry of his motion got Jungkook’s attention and he turned to him with large eyes that were feigning innocence now. Because Jungkook knew what he had done, he’d practically locked Yoongi into a club full of intoxicated idiots who wouldn’t clear a path for him. Yoongi’s hand flung towards him and Jungkook half looked like he was expecting to get slapped but Yoongi only grabbed the back of his neck and pulled him into a bone crushing hug. His hands were still shaking horribly, but he refused to let him go so he tightened his hold on him. Yoongi swore his heart felt like it was going to just pound its way right through his chest as he took in the moment of feeling Jungkook’s warm flesh against him, because that meant that he was alive. Alive, and not dead because some fucker had stabbed him with a knife. It took a while, and Yoongi was barely aware of the hand that had come up to slowly pat his back, but he was somewhat functioning normal again. At least now he wasn’t hysterical and running in the wrong direction, he was breathing and thinking straight. Letting his death grip on Jungkook go, Yoongi pulled them apart and practically hissed,

“What the fuck were you thinking! Don’t you ever-”

And he had to take a sharp breath before continuing,

“-ever do that again.”

There was an apologetic look fixed on Jungkook’s face because he knew that Yoongi was still at some level angry with him, but he nodded in quick motions as his eyes searched Yoongi’s. Breaking off the eye contact, Yoongi reached around to look at the hand that was definitely still bleeding but Jungkook gently nudged it out of his hold,

“It’s just a scratch-”

That got Yoongi glaring back up at him, because that was far from just a scratch, only for Jungkook to lean in a little closer and speak in barely a whisper,

“Hyung, I’m sorry for letting him pour soju on you. Are you alright?”

The earnestness in Jungkook’s voice scared the living hell out of Yoongi from the very beginning, but especially more so now. He couldn’t believe the rubbish he was hearing from his mouth because he wasn’t the one who was bleeding and it wasn’t his fault for anything that asshole had done. Yet, at the same time, he didn’t know how to ignore how sincere Jungkook’s concern for him was because it was right there in his face. He was so at a loss for words that he just ended up staring at brown eyes, ones that were too kind and selfless for their own good. Yoongi knew his voice wasn’t going to work now, since he could feel himself getting choked up, so he went for wrapping his arms around Jungkook’s shoulders and crushing him in a hug again. This time he really could feel Jungkook hugging him back, as he leaned his head against his neck and focused on the beat of his strong pulse there. It was strange to feel this much comfort from another person, and another person’s physical touch at that, but here Yoongi was. Watching this from the side, Junghyun and Jin shared a knowing look while keeping silent and letting the two have their moment.

 

Because it was amid wailing police sirens that Yoongi realised, somewhere along the way, Jungkook had come to mean a lot more to him than he’d known.

 

Chapter Text

Jungkook remained seated in the chair, not the least bit nervous or unsettled by the situation he was currently in. That was saying quite a bit, seeing how he was currently across from a police officer who was meticulously typing out his statement of what had happened that night at the club. That night, three people had ended up with differing level of injuries if Jungkook included himself in the equation, so there were bound to be some questions. The thing was, Jungkook had been the one to quite seriously injure two of them at the scene so it should have made him at least slightly anxious, but he just calmly waited as the officer continued to type out some more information. The reason he wasn’t breaking out in sweat was mostly due to Junghyun, because he’d run through the story that he was going to have to tell down to every minute detail. That’s why Jungkook knew precisely what he had to say and what he was going to keep absolutely silent about. So, when the officer looked up at him and pointed at a photo, Jungkook was ready,

“So, this man had held you at knife point and was threatening your safety?”

Nodding his head, Jungkook took a glance at the photo,

“Yes, he seemed quite off so I was obeying his demands to keep still.”

“I see. And then what happened?”

“Then he dragged me to the sharp corner and threatened my friend that he would hurt me.”

“Your friend, Min Yoongi, who was with these two men, correct?” The officer continued, pointing to the photos of the president of the student union and the other guy Jungkook still had no clue about.

“Yes.”

“He wanted his camera, but then my friend wouldn’t give it so then this guy asked him to grab a soju glass. He emptied it over my friend’s head first so, I got worried that he was going to hurt him with it.”

The officer continued to type into his pc rapidly, and Jungkook ran the rest of the story by him,

“That’s when I had to first pull the knife away from my neck so that he couldn’t harm me before I threw him over my shoulder. Then I was worried the other guy was going to use the glass bottle as a weapon on my friend so I kicked it out of his hand.”

Pausing from typing, the officer looked up at him,

“Do you have some experience of self-defense?”

“I’ve learnt judo since I was four and along the way, I have also learnt other martial arts for self defense.”

“I see. So what happened next?”

“The police officers came shortly afterwards and I exited the scene with my brother to let them do their job.”

“You mentioned you had called him earlier, and was he one of the officers on the scene?”

“Yes, I was worried about my friend’s safety and the alleged drugs in that club.”

Typing in the last few words into his statement report, the officer then nodded his head and reached over to stop the recording on the device before loosening up his professionalism a little,

“Well, that would be all. Honestly Jungkook ah, this is just for formalities sake. Your statement reflects exactly what the cctv footage at the back of the club shows so I’m guessing everything will run smoothly from now. How’s your hand?”

Returning the smile with a small one of his own, Jungkook bowed his head to Junghyun’s college before gesturing to his hand,

“It’s really fine Changmin hyung, just a small scratch. Were the prints matched from the knife?”

“Like a piece of cake, thanks to you. But put your safety first next time, or else Junghyun might really kill you.”

Laughing a little worriedly, Jungkook nodded and bowed again before getting up to leave the police station wondering when he’d become such a good liar. He wasn’t actually telling a complete lie so that must have helped but it was still pretty amazing coming from him. Junghyun’s coaching had helped, but it was also the fact that he didn’t want to involve Yoongi into this by mentioning the work that both him and Jin did on the side. It probably wouldn’t be considered legal in any sense, and it’d complicate things way too much so Jungkook was alright with telling this white lie of sorts. So, he shook off any last strands of guilt as he walked back home, feeling the chill of the winter coming early. He had to remember to stop going out in thin layers from now on, since time was slipping past him so quickly. His first year had basically gone past him in a second, and he didn’t know how he was already done with all his final papers. Feeling a full body shudder envelop him, Jungkook quickly brushed those insanely difficult papers aside, not wanting to think about his results any time soon. He had some hopes because Namjoon had helped him more than he could have asked for, but the rest of it was going to depend purely on luck and whether he had written his student identification number correctly on the paper.

Rubbing his nose, Jungkook got in and out of his lift before walking to the door and keying in the passcode. Slipping in quickly, Jungkook relished in the warmth of the apartment, bending to pull off his boots.

“Jungkook, are you back? How did it go?” Junghyun yelled from inside and Jungkook nodded although he knew Junghyun couldn’t see it,

“Yeah, it was fine- by the way hyung, it’s already getting quite cold out.”

He had to tug a little harder on one of boot laces, stumbling off balance a little before steadying himself with a hand to the wall. That was when he realised there was an extra pair of shoes next to the ones he and Junghyun owned and it took him less than a second to know whose it was. Glancing up immediately, Jungkook found himself looking right at Yoongi who was sitting at the sofa looking quite amused from watching him trip around. Righting himself up, Jungkook felt the blood rush to his cheeks as he tried his best not to squeak,

“Hyung?”

Yoongi smiled softly at him before Junghyun came out of the kitchen carrying glasses of warm tea for all of them, thinking Jungkook was calling him,

“What?”

Jungkook looked between him and Yoongi, not really sure why his brain was having so much difficulty processing this until Junghyun let out his sly smirk and gestured to the guest,

“Ah, Yoongi came over to visit. Join us, sit down.”

At that, Jungkook knew he was screwed major because Junghyun was trying to play cupid without realising what the actuality of the situation was. He could have at least texted him to warn him but nope, this was his idea of playing with him. Wiping his sweaty palms on his jeans, Jungkook came over to sit next to Yoongi and fully process that he was indeed sitting on his couch, smelling as heavenly as he always did. Yoongi looked much more at place than him, reaching for his tea before turning to him,

“You just came from giving your statement?”

“Oh yup hyung, it went by really easily.”

Chuckling, Junghyun passed Jungkook his cup,

“Good, or else I’m gonna be giving Changmin more paper work.”

Yoongi darted his eyes up, grimacing slightly before putting his drink down and sitting upright. Bowing his head, Yoongi spoke in a low voice,

“Hyung, I’m really sorry for this whole mess. I also shouldn’t have involved Jungkook in this, and he even got himself hurt because of me. I don’t know what else to do other than apologise.”

Gulping his tea, Jungkook’s brow furrowed as he shook his head vehemently,

“It’s not your fault-”

Junghyun’s laugh interrupted him, and he looked pointedly at Yoongi,

“Yoongi ah, Jungkook’s right, it’s not your fault. I know how much of a stubborn brat he can be, and I’m also a hundred percent sure you didn’t willingly let him join in on the stint.”

Jungkook made a face at Junghyun before reiterating himself,

“You don’t need to apologise.”

Yoongi still looked quite conflicted, eyes drifting to the bandage around Jungkook’s palm but Junghyun continued on,

“I’m the one who should apologise, I shouldn’t be involving you or Jin in such potentially dangerous stints as much as you guys are an asset. For that, I’m actually grateful that Jungkook was there to make sure neither of you got seriously hurt. But no more, let the professionals do their job.”

At the mention of that compliment, Jungkook broke into his toothy smile sheepishly and Junghyun just fondly ruffled his hair. Watching the two of them, Yoongi felt the weight on his shoulders lift a little but he was still feeling bothered,

“Hyung, I don’t want either of those pricks anyway near Jungkook when he starts his new semester. I’ve already filed a formal complaint with the school, but I’ll go to the police if I need to as well.”

Eyes widening with mirth, Junghyun laughed again, sneaking glances at the stunned look on Jungkook’s face,

“Don’t worry, they’re looking at expulsion and criminal charges so Jungkook’s safe. Besides, I know it might be hard to believe but Jungkook can take care of himself.”

That was the first time Jungkook had heard those words out of Junghyun’s mouth himself, so he had to take a double look at him. Junghyun always been crazily protective and overbearing with him but he hadn’t known he had trusted him this much. It was nice to know, and Jungkook caught the sneaky wink he sent his way which had him seriously wondering if Junghyun was actually playing cupid right now. Oh god, he wanted to just melt into the couch and hide for the next few years but he couldn’t, so he turned to Yoongi,

“I’m really fine hyung, the wound isn’t as bad as it looks.”

The frown on Yoongi’s lips stayed, even as he reached over take out a whole first aid kit out of his bag and Jungkook knew Junghyun was trying extremely hard to stifle the laugh that was threatening to spill out any second now. But Jungkook could only see how worried Yoongi was when he spoke,

“Don’t tell me that it’s just a scratch, and you’re supposed to be cleaning it. Let me have a look.”

Scratching the back of his neck with his good hand, Jungkook glanced over at Junghyun for some back up or help but he got none of that as Junghyun took out his phone and pretended he had received some important text,

“Oh would you look at that, I need to drop by the station.”

That was such a blatant lie that Jungkook almost groaned, cringing internally at how horrible Junghyun was at playing cupid. But he had to blame himself at the end of the day because he hadn’t told him about confessing and then basically rejecting himself with the response he had given Yoongi. He had done this to himself, and now Junghyun was thoroughly enjoying himself, not knowing how much this was backfiring,

“Well, good luck with your final project and graduation. Let’s have dinner together sometime yeah?”

Just like that, Junghyun basically vanished out of the door and Jungkook could only pray that Yoongi didn’t catch onto his antics. Thankfully it seemed like Yoongi was oblivious to what had just happened but now the two of them were alone, in his apartment and Jungkook had no idea what he was supposed to do. It was like one of his daydreams had actually come true, but his heart was beginning to pound harder and harder so in an attempt to get himself together, his brain fixated on something else.

“Hyung, your final project- have you submitted it?” Jungkook asked, suddenly remembering that the final years were all actually horrifically busy at this time.

But Yoongi’s reply came out easy,

“Nope.”

Jungkook couldn’t believe what he was hearing as Yoongi just opened up the first aid kid and began taking out wound dressing equipment almost as if he didn’t have better things to be doing. When Yoongi reached for his bandaged hand, Jungkook jerked and stopped him,

“Hyung- what are you doing here, please go and submit your final work that you should really be doing-”

“I will, later. This is more important to me, so would you give me your hand?”

Still holding his hand away, Jungkook gaped at Yoongi, looking right at eyes that held their ground. At this proximity, Jungkook couldn’t help but remember the way that Yoongi had hugged him that night, twice. He hadn’t expected it, or even wished for it, so calling it some sort of fantasy fuelled miracle was nothing short of the truth. It might seem silly to anyone else that he was making such a deal about a hug, but given what he knew about Yoongi, it was a massive deal to him. If Jungkook was going to be completely honest, he couldn’t say that he hadn’t gone back to his imagination and relieved the feeling of Yoongi’s arms around him over and over. He didn’t know why Yoongi felt the need to do that, but he was ever so grateful. A part of him wanted to ask, but another part of him just wanted to take what he got, so he had kept everything to himself. The bad thing about that was that when he was close to Yoongi like he was now, there was an itching urge to reach out and touch. But Jungkook kept his hands to himself, until Yoongi took the bandaged one and laid it on his lap. Feeling his heart clench, Jungkook couldn’t look away from Yoongi’s hands as pushed the sleeves of his hoodie up,

“Hyung, I can do it myself. You don’t need to-”

Before he could argue further, Yoongi interrupted him all while still working on undressing his bandage,

“So, you can literally risk your life because of me but I can’t even clean a cut on your hand?”

Pulling his bottom lip into his mouth, Jungkook chewed on it, keeping silent as Yoongi peeled the protective gauze off and revealed the stitches. That got Yoongi to still as he crammed his eyes shut and then whispered,

“Shit, I’m really sorry.”

Hating how many times Yoongi was apologising and how hurt he looked, Jungkook reached out and held his hand to get him to look at him. It worked, and Yoongi didn’t seem to mind his touch so he lingered a little bit longer,

“It’s already healing, and it really doesn’t hurt that much. So, stop saying you’re sorry hyung because I don’t want to hear it from you.”

Reaching over for a cotton pad and antiseptic solution, Yoongi raised a brow,

“Doesn’t hurt that much? Well, this is definitely going to hurt.”

Jungkook smiled softly, shaking his head when Yoongi gently cleaned over the stiches because he was narrowing his eyes at him and searching for any signs of flinching or pain.

“No it doesn’t hurt, doctor min.” Jungkook whispered out playfully, giggling a little when Yoongi shot him a look,

“Not funny, you’re always getting hurt because of me.”

“Untrue, the other time was because of Joon hyung.” Jungkook continued in a teasing tone.

That finally got Yoongi to smile slightly, because Jungkook was already starting to laugh at the memory of Namjoon spinning around with that branch and almost breaking his nose. With a sigh, Yoongi continued on with his ministrations as Jungkook watched his side profile quite mesmerised. He realised the scars on Yoongi’s wrists were in full view but he didn’t seem to mind them, and it made him feel quite fortunate to know that Yoongi was comfortable enough with him now to be able to do that. As he sat there basking in his thoughts, the comfortable silence was ended by Yoongi who was applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly over the stitches,

“You know, your brother explained some things to me like you being able to find me using the tracker and slicing your hand so that the prints on the knife didn’t smudge.”

Blinking back to reality, Jungkook grimaced a little when he realised he sounded a little nuts but Yoongi just continued on,

“I’m not even going to comment on that, because I believe you had your reasons. But there's one thing I still don't get.”

Placing back a protective gauze over the wound, Yoongi unravelled a new roll of bandage and Jungkook had to consciously try not to think about how his hand was on Yoongi’s thigh because he knew had to listen. Jungkook couldn’t help but feel like he was doing a better job than the nurse when Yoongi started to rebandage his hand up, before he spoke up,

“How did you know it was going to turn out so bad?”

It was only one question but that was all it took for Jungkook to realise he was being backed into a corner. Shifting a little, Jungkook felt his heart start to thrum again and he gulped unconsciously, hoping he could lie as well as he did earlier,

“I just had a bad feeling, hyung.”

Yoongi secured the last end of it with an adhesive tape, checking to ensure it was tied at a comfortable pressure before he brought his full attention to Jungkook. He clearly hadn’t bought that lie, and Jungkook knew he wouldn’t be falling for any smokescreens when he dug again,

“Why did you have that hunch?”

Clearly uncomfortable, Jungkook went quiet as he looked down and Yoongi could almost hear the gears in his head go. Watching him very closely, Yoongi held Jungkook’s hand in his lightly,

“You’re not telling me something. What is it?”

Yoongi’s fingers around his hand got him looking up, and Jungkook found himself feeling the most conflicted he had as he tried to think and settle at a decision,

“I…It’s just that I don’t know if I should say this, especially now because-”

“It’s okay, just tell me. I’m sure it’s something important.” Yoongi urged him on, brushing a thumb over the bandage in a comforting manner.

Pulling his bottom lip in, Jungkook chewed on it again for what seemed like hours to Yoongi, before finally whispering,

“I had a bad feeling that night because of who you were with.”

That response was vague so Yoongi’s brows furrowed slightly, and he tilted his head in a silent question. He didn’t know why Jungkook was so hesitant with what he was going to say next until he heard it for himself,

 

“The person behind the threats, well- it was Jin hyung.”

 

 

Chapter Text

There was dead silence as Yoongi just stared at Jungkook’s face, completely blank, because his brain refused to process what he just heard. At first, Yoongi was just questioning himself whether he heard right, and when he was sure that he wasn’t hallucinating, he was tempted to ask Jungkook to repeat himself. Just as it was on the tip of his tongue, Yoongi stopped himself, brows furrowing as he took a breath and tried to get himself together. Jungkook was clearly able to read his utter confusion and apparent shock, and he looked a little reluctant as he slowly got up from the couch, disappearing into his room before returning with a small box. Yoongi was still having difficulty accepting that Jungkook was implying that it was Jin but thankfully, Jungkook was there to help as he spoke up in a soft voice, one that was solely comforting,

“Well, hyung- the first clue was really the timings and dates of the days the culprit placed the threats in the room. It was then that I knew it had to be an inside job because there was no way an outsider could know when there would be none of us inside, both times.”

With a short pause, Jungkook continued on after taking out a piece of cardboard and marker,

“I thought that I had already destroyed all the evidence by burning the pictures- but I went back to the clubroom and got this. Recognise it?”

Nodding slightly, Yoongi followed, reaching out to inspect the cardboard, which had part of the scribbles of threats on it and looked at the red marker,

“What about them?”

“Well, I belatedly recalled that these markers were taken by Joon hyung from Jin hyung, and then I recognised the writing.”

Jungkook locked eyes with Yoongi for a short moment before sighing,

“Jin hyung’s ambidextrous, isn’t he? I’m guessing this is his writing using his left hand. He was marking papers with it before, so that’s how I know.”

Flinching a little, Yoongi stared at the writing and reading it over and over again because Jungkook was right, Jin was ambidextrous but not many of them knew. The fact that he caught on to something like this and pieced it together shouldn’t come as a surprise since he’d seen many times how good of a detective Jungkook was, but it still was.

“I thought a lot about who knew about your past hyung, and after days of brainstorming, I realised whoever was doing this knew extensively about your past and was using it to hurt you but in a very particular way. “

Yoongi glanced up, tongue darting out to lick his lips as he waited for Jungkook to continue and he did,

“The culprit had all these incriminating pictures of you, but both times, he only showed it to us club members and never involved the student body or school administration. I thought that was strange, but now it makes sense, because Jin hyung never meant to expose all of this to anyone else. Only to people he knew he could trust to keep this a secret.”

Leaning closer to Yoongi, Jungkook found himself mirroring the way Yoongi was furrowing his brows,

“I remember asking Jin hyung if Park Jaehwan could have been behind the threats, but do you know what he replied me? He said he didn’t care enough to do something like this.”

That got a reaction out of Yoongi, who crammed his eyes shut and ran a hand roughly through his hair, breath coming out harsh. It was beginning to make a whole lot of sense to him too, so when Jungkook continued, he was really beginning to understand everything from his point of view,

“So, I think Jin hyung did this…to teach you some kind of lesson.”

Giving himself some time to fully absorb that, Yoongi found himself blinking up at Jungkook who remained extremely quiet. It was almost as if Jungkook thought that any sound he made now was going to cause Yoongi to crumble into pieces, especially with how mellow he kept his voice when he spoke,

“I’m sorry hyung, but you don’t have to believe me-”

Before Jungkook could say another word, Yoongi cut him sharply,

“No.”

Letting out a shaky breath, Yoongi shook his head to reaffirm himself,

“No, I believe you. It would be stupid not to. I’m just- I don’t know what to say.”

It looked like Jungkook was relieved by the response he heard, and Yoongi was beginning to feel instantly horrible for getting him caught up in this mess,

“Me neither, I was worried in the beginning but I didn’t want to make things between you two weird so I really didn’t know if I should tell you about this.”

“That’s why you were outside the house, you wanted to say something.” Yoongi put together belatedly, remembering the way Jungkook had been fidgeting uncomfortably in the cold that night.

Acknowledging that, Jungkook nodded quickly in succession as Yoongi winced. He was trying really up to put up a tough front but Jungkook could see how scattered this revelation had made him from the way his fingers were curled into fists. But Yoongi was adamant to just power through this, so he put the marker and cardboard back into the box,

“I just- thank you for finding out and telling me. I, well, I need to go talk to Jin hyung now-”

Taking the box, Jungkook just nodded once more as Yoongi moved to get up from the couch. Just as he was about to get up as well, he was stopped by a warm hand to his arm and he looked up to see Yoongi worriedly biting his lips. It reminded him that they hadn’t spoken about whatever this thing he could feel between them was, but he also knew it wasn’t the right timing, so he remained silent and let Yoongi speak,

“Jungkook ah, Jin hyung-he, well-he isn’t a bad person, I don’t know why the fuck he decided to do this, but I’ll go find out the reason. So, let’s keep this between us-”

“Of course, hyung. I understand.” Jungkook smiled softly, and for a short moment he saw Yoongi’s nervousness disappear as he returned it with one of his own.

With that, Yoongi got up, leaving his first aid kit on the table as he just took his bag and walked to the door. He turned around, wanting to say something to excuse himself but Jungkook just smiled once more as he stood near the couch and gave him a small wave. Yoongi didn’t know why that was so reassuring, but there was a high chance it was because Jungkook saved him the trouble of awkwardly saying something once more and silently showing him support. God, the kid really deserved an award for all of this. Brisk walking to his car, Yoongi pulled the door open with more force than necessary and got into it with a clear location in mind. As he maneuvered his way through the roads, he couldn’t help but go through all the kinds of conversations he could have with Jin once he saw him. None of them were looking pretty right now, and the anger bubbling up in his chest couldn’t cover up the hurt he was feeling.

So, he tried not to think about anything at all when he walked out of the car, to the elevator and right to a familiar door. The irony of knowing Jin’s passcode was hitting him now, and Yoongi realised that although he felt like his chest was about to implode, he wasn’t shaking like he usually would when he was having an attack. It was gratifying to know that he was handling such situations slightly better, and that was the only thought in his head the moment he stepped in and saw Jin lounging on the sofa watching tv. The anger and hurt that he’d been cultivating on the ride here that he thought would exponentially increase, strangely only did the opposite as Jin’s surprised eyes met his, 

“Yoongi? Did you say you were coming, did I forget-”

“What the fuck, hyung.”

Managing to somehow widen his eyes further, Jin sat himself upright and noticed the change in Yoongi’s usual demeanour,

“Shit, did I really forget. I mean, you’re welcome here anytime-“

Not even bothering to correct him, Yoongi spit out the only thing on his mind,

“The one behind the threats, it’s you isn’t it?”

Just like that, the entire atmosphere in the living room changed and Yoongi’s heart pounded twice as hard as he watched Jin’s face closely for a reaction. The second Jin’s confused look turned into a resigned acceptance, Yoongi took a sharp breath and turned his face as he felt his throat clam up. He had wanted to confront Jin, yell vulgarities and speak his mind, but now he didn’t know if he could. Confronting someone who was like a real brother to you for so many years was much harder and scarier than he’d given it credit for, and thoughts of backing out flooded his brain although he remained standing where he was. Trying not to gain a hold of his emotions, he repeated himself, in a softer voice this time which worked against him and revealed just how upset he was,

“What the fuck, hyung?”

Jin, to his horror, tilted his head before crossing his arms and letting a grin show,

“So, Jeon Jungkook found out and told you huh?”

Biting on his molars, Yoongi held everything in as he glared until Jin admitted to it with the grin still in place,

“Uh oh, you caught me.”

The way Jin was acting was making him want to pull out his hair but the thing was, Yoongi had known all this time of their friendship that Jin was exactly the type of person to pull something like this. Jin acted the way he wanted to and did the things he wanted to all the time, which had earned him a scary title even back to when they were still in the student union. In fact, Yoongi knew that the rest of the members in csc were probably still terrified of dealing directly with Jin. All except one of them now, since Jungkook had literally put himself directly in Jin’s line of fire by digging into this. It was that very reminder that had Yoongi standing his ground, mimicking the way Jin was crossing his arms before levelling out his voice carefully,

“Hyung, you have five seconds to explain yourself.”

At the tone of Yoongi’s voice, Jin put his hands up in surrender and shrugged,

“It’s simple. You were running from your past and kept saying you were fine when you weren’t, so I had to do something. Then I realised this new kid had a massive crush on you, which could be extremely useful so-”

Yoongi forced himself to keep still as all the puzzle pieces finally fit, and he whispered mostly to himself,

“You were pushing us together.”

Jin only smirked in response,

“I only laid out some bait, and it just seemed to work really well. You’re not the type to warm up to new people so easily but it seemed like you didn’t even need my help.”

“The fuck-you were toying with his feelings!”

Shrugging easily, Jin let out a huff,

“It worked didn’t it? The kid really managed to break down your walls.”

At that, Yoongi felt his blood run cold and he had to look away from Jin, but Jin continued on unaffected,

“Didn’t it also help you realise you couldn’t run from your problems, especially if you really wanted to help both yourself and the kids?”

Snapping his head back to him, Yoongi narrowed his eyes,

“You’re the worst, you could have just told me-”

With a brow raised, Jin interrupted him,

“And would you have listened? You didn’t tell me you were still having panic attacks and didn’t continue therapy.”

At the mention of that, Yoongi flinched back a little, the anger from earlier seeping out and being replaced with something he couldn’t quite identify. It felt like a mixture of hurt, betrayal and fear. Yoongi had always known Jin was a good manipulator, but this time he got to experience it for himself. He stared at Jin for a long while, feeling his lips begin to shake as Jin just let him, and the worst the worst part was wondering if Jin wasn’t entirely in the wrong. He knew it was sickening that Jin could make him feel this way, but the longer he thought about it, the more conflicted and the more he felt like Jin actually had a good excuse. He wasn’t ready to accept that so easily, so he finally spoke up,

“Jungkook agreed to keep this a secret so don’t tell anyone about this, the kids will never forgive you and Joon might break up with your ass.”

A small laugh escaped out of Jin’s lips,

“I’m alright with being the bad guy.”

That sentence should have irked Yoongi, but it only did the opposite and the fight in him seeped out as he turned to leave,

“But I’m not.”

His response seemed to get a reaction out of Jin at last, who lost the amused look he had on his face. But Yoongi didn’t stay a second longer, slamming the front door shut behind him as his feet quickly brought him out of the apartment complex. He’d expected his heart to be thrumming and for the anxiety to be hitting the roof but there was neither of that. What Yoongi was feeling was arguably way worse, because he was just proving to himself that Jin was right all along. He had been running from his past, and he’d also been lying to Jin about having recovered from everything. He couldn’t even stay mad at him past a minute, and it was pathetic how quickly he was accepting Jin’s reasoning behind basically threatening and blackmailing him. He knew it was wrong, he really did but it was because it was Jin that it didn’t feel that wrong. That seemed like another huge problem in itself but Yoongi knew deep down that Jin would never do this to him with a legitimate intention to harm him.

Driving all the way to school, Yoongi moved on auto pilot as he unlocked his boot and took out his wood model of an unnecessarily complicated building that had him smelling way too much glue for the past year. Looking at it was bringing him back to a time where he’d only been concentrating on getting the best grades and keeping everyone in the school clubs in line. It was ironic because it had been Jin who had pulled him out of that mess of alcoholism and being in a toxic relationship and gotten him to become an exemplary student. He had literally been the hand that had saved him from spiralling even further into the abyss he’d thought there was no escape from. Now here he was, almost graduating and having completed his final graduation project without any hiccups but Yoongi didn’t feel particularly accomplished as he hefted it to his supervisor’s studio. Maybe because it was dawning on him that although getting his grades back on track was important, he had other equally important things he still needed to confront. Placing his completed wood model at its designated spot seemed like a symbolic thing to do, because Yoongi had constructed that piece by piece just as he had done with getting himself together.

Without fussing any further, Yoongi quietly left after briefly smiling at his supervisor who was busy talking with the other students. It wasn’t that Yoongi didn’t like him, it was just that he really didn’t feel like making small talk right now. His head had started to throb, possibly from all insane things he had thrown at him today, and he was itching for a cigarette to ease it. But that same voice in his head that refused to let him stay angry at Jin reminded him of his promise with Jungkook, so he sighed heavily and turned to the café instead. He was planning on just ordering a black coffee to go but when he spotted two familiar heads in a booth to the side, he turned to look at the pastry display as well. Taking the plate of lemon tarts, Yoongi simply walked up to them and placed it on the table silently. Jimin and Taehyung looked up then, both equally surprised at the interruption but quickly recovering once they saw who it was,

“Yoongi hyung!”

It was refreshing to see the both of them on talking terms, as well as hearing their usual chirpy voices instead of the bitterness they had spitting at each other for a while now so Yoongi found himself mustering up a smile despite how he was feeling,

“Saw you two so I got this, have it too.”

“Aw, thanks hyung, love ya.” Taehyung mumbled as he bit into the tart with vigour and sent crumbs spraying everywhere.

Jimin wiped those crumbs up with a napkin, sending Yoongi his eye smile which had Yoongi already feeling slightly better. Glancing between the two, Yoongi took a sip of his coffee,

“You two done fighting?”

Ducking his head embarrassedly, Taehyung let Jimin wipe his mouth as he opted for just nodding this time and Yoongi chuckled. These two loved as hard as they fought, but it was comforting to know that they’d finally made up. Honestly, Yoongi had been worried sick about how the kids were going to keep the club running if Taehyung, Jimin and Jungkook were all on weird terms so now he could graduate with a peace of mind. Or some level of peace of mind. Trying not to pry too much into their affairs, Yoongi nodded and wanted to slip away but Taehyung grabbed his arm and pulled him into the booth. Almost immediately Jimin chastised him for it, pulling Taehyung’s hand off of his arm,

“Tae, how many times do I have to tell you not to touch hyung like that?”

Taehyung put his hands up, wide eyed and apologetic but Yoongi just shook it off,

“It’s fine, I’m alright with it now.”

They both looked stunned at that revelation, and Yoongi realised he had also surprised himself with it because of how it genuinely hadn’t troubled him. Such a small thing was what dawned upon him how much progress he’d made in a year, and more specifically, how much Jungkook had helped him with so many things. It seemed like life was just throwing him more and more reasons on why he couldn’t stay mad at Jin as well as reminding him of his feelings for Jungkook. Clearing his throat, Yoongi gestured to the laptop on the table as he changed the subject,

“What are you two up to?”

Jimin perked up, swallowing his bite fully before speaking,

“Oh! The graduation party hyung, we wanted to give all of you a farewell of some sorts.”

Yoongi nodded in response, and although he had just handed in his graduation project, he was really feeling the reality hit him.

“Well, Jungkook was supposed to be here but he said he had something important on so we’re starting on it first.” Taehyung added on, playing with his fork by twisting it around.

Right, Jungkook had been at the police station to give his statement before he’d stayed on to talk to him. Looking down at his drink, Yoongi watched the steam absentmindedly as he couldn’t stop thinking of what he’d wanted to tell Jungkook by coming over in the first place. Things had taken a turn from one question, and one thing had led to Jin confessing that he was the culprit behind the threats.

“Jin hyung said no bouquets unless it was a bouquet of steak and Hoseok hyung said he’s terrified of balloons so we’re definitely getting that. Do you want anything in particular, hyung?” Jimin lamented.

Oh dear, now Yoongi was really starting to feel the anxiety creep up. They were really graduating, there would be no more school and more importantly, there would be no club. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t realised this prior, there had been career talks and job applications but now a huge new problem was presenting his way. No more club meant he didn’t have the one thing that had connected him with Jungkook all this while, and the excuse he’d given himself for spending all this time with him. He didn’t know what he was supposed to do with his feelings now, especially after being so emotionally drained by the events from earlier today. His palms begin to sweat, and he got up abruptly, giving the two a practiced smile,

“Don’t get me anything, I’m alright.”

Before the two could stop him, Yoongi slipped away, wondering if he was bordering on a meltdown because of how many things he had to process in the last few hours. From being worried for Jungkook, he’d gotten completely dumbfounded before getting furious and then feeling miserably hurt. It’d been a lot, but that was the thing that had Yoongi really knowing that what he still couldn’t stop thinking about was truly important. He got right back into his car and drove off, because he didn’t need time to think this through. Deep down, he knew he could never blame Jin for what did, and that the way he felt about Jungkook wasn’t going to change no matter how long he waited. He needed to talk to someone, and that someone was always going to be Jin. They didn’t have a relationship like Jimin and Taehyung where they had to fight for months before making up, because they never had something become what they could call a fight. Yoongi couldn’t wait another second because it felt like he was wasting it, so he swallowed up his pride and pressed Jin’s pin number for the second time that day after he got back to his apartment. When he let himself in, Jin stood frozen at the entrance to the kitchen with a glass of wine in his hand, looking a little rattled than he had just a while ago when it seemed like nothing could bother him,

“Yoongi? You’re…back?”

The change in Jin’s attitude had Yoongi pausing for a bit, and Jin ran a hand through his hair before putting the glass down at the counter,

“Listen- did I go too far?”

Yoongi glanced off to the almost emptied glass of wine because he knew that Jin was always more honest with his feelings when he had some alcohol in his system, proving was just putting up a front earlier. His lack of response had Jin sighing loudly,

“I know what I did was harsh, but I-”

Still glancing at the wine glass, Yoongi decided to end Jin’s misery,

“You don’t have to explain.”

“What?”

Pondering on what bottle of wine Jin had, Yoongi reached over and took the glass and swirled it. Just like how he’d avoided buying a pack earlier thanks to Jungkook, the fact that he hadn’t crawled into some bar to chug down bottles was testament to everything Jin had done for him. Now, Jin was watching him warily as he held onto the glass but Yoongi walked over to the sink and poured it out,

“Do you remember when you had to lock me in the toilet so I didn’t relapse from sobriety?

“What- I well, yeah of course I do.”

Yoongi let out a chuckle and then grabbed the washing sponge,

“You know hyung, your methods were never really the softest approach. But it worked.”

Jin leaned against the counter, looking up at the wall with eyes that still remained as focused and steady as they always did. It was one of the things Yoongi envied about him, because alcohol never could really get to him as much as it did to him.

Jin rubbed at his temples when he was done staring at the ceiling,

“Yoongi ah, I’m-”

“Don’t apologise, because if you do then all of that was for nothing.” Yoongi cut him before he could say it and rinsed the glass meticulously.

Grabbing a rag from the side, Yoongi wiped the glass before placing it on the drying rack,  

“I don’t need to hear an apology. What I do need is your help, hyung.”

Even when he obviously wanted to ask a million questions, Jin opted for nodding his head to let him know he was listening before Yoongi turned to face him,

“I think I really do like him. What do I do?"

A moment or two passed, and Jin watched him both with a familiar look of fondness and pride that Yoongi remembered from when he’d reached a year without a drink. It wasn’t easy for Yoongi to admit his feelings, and Jin definitely knew that but now that he’d admitted it out in the open, the first step had been taken. Jin slowly moved to come stand next to him by the sink, and Yoongi grabbed a mug and filled it with warm water before dropping a tea bag into it.

"Well, now that you've stopped running from your past and feelings, you need to confront them.” Jin offered as advice after gratefully taking the mug from him.

Frowning slightly, Yoongi tilted his head,

"How?"

"Firstly, by telling him."

"But I don't want to drag him into the mess I haven't sorted out."

Jin sipped on his tea, eyes coming to meet Yoongi’s in a slight chastise,

"Now do you get why I asked you to see the shrink?"

 

Yoongi's stomach sank wondering if he had realised everything too late, because it seemed like he was running out of time with Jungkook.

 

 

Chapter Text

There was only mischief written on Taehyung’s face as he stood right in front of the door, holding what looked like ten party poppers in both his hands as he whispered harshly,

“Okay, standby!”

He’d been told that this was a bad idea by Jungkook at least a hundred times but he still held his ground stubbornly, because there was no way he was going to let this opportunity go. The familiar voices coming from the other side of the door got louder and Taehyung wiggled his toes as the adrenaline rushed through him, letting his boxy grin show the moment the door opened, before he pulled all of the poppers in one go. If the sound itself wasn’t enough to make a soul jump out of its body, the flying strips of colourful paper and smoke directed right at one’s face would. Hoseok flinched the hardest, reflexively hiding behind Namjoon as he screeched,

“What the fuck!”

Namjoon’s face turned from looking like he just got mugged to purely entertained when he realised what it was, but Jin just blinked once before turning on his heel. He was stopped with an arm on his shoulder from Namjoon, but Jimin took this momentarily lapse in their judgement to jump out from behind Taehyung and throw the entire box of glitter right at all of them. It got all of them in surprise, as expected, but it also got into all of their respiratory systems. Yoongi coughed the hardest as he closed the door behind him, peering at Jimin who was devilishly laughing at their misery,

“Surprise!”

When Jungkook made no movement to complete his job, Taehyung and Jimin both nudged him to force him to. Grimacing a little, Jungkook began to gently put neon pink party hats on their heads one by one looking overly apologetic for doing it. Hoseok was still clutching onto his heart and cursing under his breath while Jin deadpanned,

“Seriously? It’s not a surprise when you told us there was going to be a party.”

Jungkook held Jin’s gaze slightly longer than necessary, fighting the urge in wanting to ask him a million questions. It was strange to be standing less than a feet from him, after knowing what he now did. He couldn’t quite read Jin as well as he would have liked, because he’d never really understood the way he worked from the beginning. But he knew from the look in Jin’s eyes that met his without wavering that Jin didn’t feel intimidated or worried by the fact that he knew that he was the one behind the threats. After recent events, Jungkook had expected this, so he looked away to Yoongi in an attempt to stop himself from fixating. It worked, and his heart skipped a beat at the way Yoongi turned to sneeze because of the glitter floating all around the room that Jungkook was sure was a health hazard. Being extra careful, Jungkook put the party hat on top of Yoongi’s beanie, the same grey one he first saw on him before mouthing silently,

“Sorry.”

Yoongi took it in stride, laughing it off just as easily as Namjoon before he looked around at the room. There was a huge banner that spelt out ‘happy birthday’, but the word ‘birthday’ had been haphazardly crossed off and ‘graduation’ was scribbled above it. It had Hoseok choking on his spit, as he pointed to it in pure disbelief,

“Oh my god, that was the one we used for Jin hyung’s birthday last year-”

Sticking out his tongue, Taehyung ushered them to all sit down on the couch,

“We had a tight budget, what can I say?”

The four of them of the couch rumbled in laughter, even Jin seemed to have been sold by that and Taehyung just winked,

“I initially wanted to show you a video of all of your happy moments in club-”

“Please don’t.” Yoongi interrupted, looking amused and repelled at the same time.

Without a hitch, Taehyung carried on,

“Which Jungkook said you would object to, so we didn’t do that.”

Howling with laughter, Hoseok leaned forward as he wiped the tears that had gathered at the corners of his eyes. Jimin giggled along with him, grabbing their respective gifts from the table and bringing it over,

“So, we just got you each a bouquet to post with for the ‘gram.”

Yoongi sighed, because the kids had obviously not listened to his advice to not get him anything while Jin perked up. Just when Hoseok had gotten himself to stop laughing, he ended up heaving with laughter all over again when Jimin offered Jin a banquet; because it was made out of steak. Even Jin was stunned to silence as he accepted it, sniffing at it and taking an experimental bite.

“At csc, we deliver on our promises.” Taehyung smugly presented like a seasoned politician, and Jungkook couldn’t hold back on the laugh as he peered through the viewfinder and snapped pictures for memories’ sake.

Grabbing the personalised bouquets for the rest of them, Jimin gave Namjoon the daisies, Hoseok the sunflowers and Yoongi the peonies. It was an oddly touching feeling for the four of them as he held onto their bouquets and tried to dust the glitter that had gotten to it as well.

“Happy graduation hyungs!” The three youngest chimed in and none of the others could say that it didn’t pull on their heart strings in the slightest –Jin included.

Rather than to let them all bask in gratitude, Taehyung bent to reach behind the couch and pulled out a dozen helium balloons he’d kept hidden. It got an instant reaction from Hoseok who threw his bouquet aside without a care and leapt from the couch to get as far as he could from it,

“Oh hell nah!”

Cackling evilly, Taehyung split his balloons with Jimin as Hoseok ran out of the room without looking behind his back. Raising a hand in worry, Namjoon moved to get up and follow the two when they chased after him,

“Guys, don’t, he’s really terrified of balloons-”

Yoongi found himself shaking his head in disbelief, although the smile on his lips wouldn’t budge,

“Those two are spawns of satan, I swear.”

“Well, we did recruit them.” Jin easily replied,

Jin had no real reason to get out of the room but he gave Yoongi a lingering look before excusing himself without feeling the need to provide a cover for it. It got Jungkook’s attention, as he watched Jin saunter out, blatantly leaving the two of them alone in the room. It was moments like this that really had him wondering how he hadn’t realised that it was Jin behind the threats all along because he really should have seen it coming. Jin never really had felt the need to explain himself or his actions to anyone. Turning to look at Jungkook as Jin left, Yoongi noticed the slight frown he was sporting and let out a soft chuckle. He knew what Jin was signalling for him to do, but it was probably rubbing Jungkook off the wrong way. Jungkook wasn’t going to ask because he was a kid that was too understanding for his own good, but Yoongi knew it was eating away at him. The stares that lasted a second too long or the way he was giving off an aura of wariness had sold him out.

“He admitted to it, you were right.” Yoongi broke the silence, not bothering to provide any context because it wasn’t needed as he took off the party hat.

It had Jungkook’s eyes finally pulling away from the door, as they focused back on him. Jungkook didn’t seem shocked at the revelation because Yoongi knew he had long proven it to himself that it was Jin, but he didn’t seem triumphant about it either. Rather, his frown deepened,

“May I ask what his reason was?”

“Well, he said he did it so I would realise I wasn’t over that whole mess.”

Jungkook maintained the eye contact he held with Yoongi, and although he wasn’t explicitly expressing any kind of disdain, Yoongi caught it anyways,

“I know. I know it seems like he’s crazy but he’s… always been that way.”

This time, Jungkook narrowed his eyes and it got Yoongi to laugh softly,

“It must sound really fucking horrible to you, but I know Jin hyung. Or at least I like to think I do, and although I don’t agree with his methods, I can’t deny the results it brings. And he’s helped me in the past too, so many times I’ve lost count.”

“It sounds like you’ve already forgiven him, hyung.”

Yoongi let out a soft sigh, following it up with a small smile,

“And it sounds like you think I shouldn’t have.”

“Those panic attacks couldn’t have been fun.”

Pursing his lips together, Yoongi remained silent for a while as he juggled with his thoughts. He didn’t want to seem like he was giving Jin excuses for his behaviour by explaining this, but it felt like Jungkook deserved to know the real reason behind his actions. So, he leveled his voice before speaking,

“One of the first few things that I remembered after you told me everything was how he once had to lock me in my bathroom for a whole night even when I begged to be let out.”

Jungkook perked up, although his confusion was clear until Yoongi continued,

“I was craving a drink so badly although I was almost reaching a year of sobriety, all because we were eating at a restaurant and the table beside us had ordered six bottles of soju. So, Jin hyung zip tied me to the towel rack, locking me inside the toilet for six hours before he came in and drank a can of beer in front of me. Hell, he emptied the rest of the carton down one by one into the toilet over the rest of the night just to piss me off.”

“Back then, if Jin didn’t go to extreme means and if he wasn’t as hard on me as he had been, I would have caved in and probably died from alcohol poisoning. Or from slitting my wrists a little too deep the next day after feeling guilty for going back to drinking. The soft approach never really worked for me, you see.”

Looking down in contemplation, Jungkook remained quiet for a bit before he spoke up,

“Can I ask why?”

“I needed that slap in the face to realise that I couldn’t relapse back to drinking just because others were drinking around me, because I’d have to fight it every day for the rest of my life. Likewise, I needed this slap to the face to really prove to me that I wasn’t over everything like I thought I was.”

Yoongi sat sit as he thought about how easily he was talking about this with Jungkook, something that he had noticed earlier through all the times that Jungkook had gotten to peal his layers one by one. Still, it was quite something for him to feel so completely comfortable with the things he was revealing to him. His eyes traced Jungkook’s profile as he sat there, and Yoongi felt the urge to reach out and use his fingers to soothe away the furrow he had between his brows. Wanting to laugh at the irony of the situation, Yoongi kept his hands to himself as he let Jungkook process everything,

“Still think I shouldn’t forgive him?”

Intertwining his fingers together before pulling them apart, Jungkook turned to shift closer to Yoongi, his features softening up,

“It doesn’t matter what I think. Because, if you are clearly aware of what Jin hyung did and you still choose to let it go, I have to let it go as well.”

That had Yoongi blinking back at him in something akin to awe, because he had expected advice or a lecture but had received neither. Jungkook always had a way to really stun him with a lot of things, but this might knock it right out of the park. Shifting his eyes away from Jungkook’s, Yoongi tried not to think too much about the way his heart was squeezing in his chest and exposing the feelings he had for Jungkook that he knew he could no longer deny. He also didn’t even want to deny them any longer, especially not when Jungkook held this much trust and respect in his decisions. Nodding his head and clearing his throat in an attempt to try and normalise his voice, Yoongi turned back to him,  

“It might not be right, but it’s all I got. Thanks for understanding and helping to cover this mess up, I didn’t want to cause drama with the rest when we’re both graduating.”

Jungkook smiled, nodding his own head in return but there was a pained look in his brown eyes that wasn’t there earlier as he grabbed the camera hooked around his neck and stood up. Yoongi had only caught it because he’d learnt just as much about him as the other had. From the day Jungkook had told him that Jin was the one behind the threats till today, he hadn’t sent a single text or asked him a word about how it had went even though he probably had every right to. Yoongi had thought he was giving him space but maybe Jungkook was also avoiding something else as well; this graduation. Yoongi knew the feeling, he had been left feeling like he had run out of time with Jungkook as well for a while now as he battled with whether he should say anything about his feelings. Well, he had reached a decision now so instead of moving to the door like Jungkook had thought he would, Yoongi leaned against the back of the couch and crossed his arms,

“Can we talk?”

There was a hint of a flinch that Jungkook couldn’t quite mask as he tried to play it off cool and Yoongi could see the nervousness he was trying to hide as clear as the day. He could tell that Jungkook wasn’t looking forward to this conversation, but he carried on regardless,

“You know I’m really glad you joined, I’ve learnt so much from you.”

Jungkook kept a smile on his lips but it seemed like he was trying really hard to stop it from trembling. He also had to fight really hard to will the tears away because everything from the way Yoongi was looking at him to the way he was softening the tone of his voice felt like a goodbye coupled with a rejection, and he really didn’t want it to be. He’d been dreading this day and this very moment since the moment he had confessed, and now he had no choice but to face up to it, so he took a breath and tried to hold everything together,

“You’re the one who taught me things, hyung.”

“No, you did. And I’ll always be grateful, just as I am about your confession.”

His breath hitched, and Jungkook knew that he could no longer hide the fear because he was sure his eyes were giving him away. His throat clammed up, but he forced the smile on his lips to stay,

“Oh, hyung you don’t need to say anything about-”

Before he could say another word, Yoongi uncrossed his arms and took a step toward him,

“I do. Don’t brush off your feelings like that.”

This close, Jungkook had no choice but to look straight at him as he let out a shaky breath. There was no avoiding this or hoping that Yoongi would just conveniently forget about the way he had poured out his feelings to him, because Yoongi wasn’t going to let him. So, Jungkook wore his feelings on his sleeve and prepared himself for the rejection he thought he would definitely receive only to hear Yoongi pose him a question,

“Do you still like me after everything you know?”

The answer was immediate, even if he was caught off guard,

“Yes.”

“I thought a lot about whether I should tell you this and well, I think you deserve the truth.” Yoongi begun but cut himself short when he felt the nerves spring up, taking a moment to gather himself as he pulled through,

“I like you too, I have for a while now,”

Jungkook’s heart rammed in his chest, and he found himself holding his breath as his world seemed to stop spinning for a moment and tilted him off axis. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing, it was a feeling like none other which he knew he was never going to be able to describe with words.  

“-and with you, I realised I really would like to try.” Yoongi finished, reaching out to take Jungkook’s right hand in his, fingers gently brushing along the healed scar.

He felt the bumps beneath his own fingers, his lips curling downwards as he wondered how much it must have really hurt. For a long time, he’d hated the feeling of touching someone else but with Jungkook’s hands in his, things felt right like they always had been meant to be. Cliché, but true. The relief that came with letting Jungkook know the truth about the way he felt with him came hand in hand with dread, because everything came with a price. So, Yoongi let his eyes linger shut for a moment longer before blinking them open, preparing himself for what he knew he had to say,

“But the reason it took me so long to give you an answer is because the timing isn’t right- I need to get myself together first. I obviously am not as fine as I make myself out to be- and I just, I can’t ask you to wait for me until I’m ready to be in a relationship-”

There was absolutely nothing running in Jungkook’s mind because all of his attention and all of his entirety seemed to be fixed on Yoongi as he held onto his hand. This wasn’t the simple rejection he thought he was going to receive because Yoongi had just told him that the feeling was mutual, even if he was saying they couldn’t be together right away. Shaking his head, Jungkook tightened his fingers around Yoongi’s hand,

“You can, hyung. You really can.”

Jungkook watched as Yoongi’s eyes softened, accompanied with a bittersweet smile,

“I can’t do that to you. I don’t know how long it’d take, I’m going to the states for a bit to see my family and some practitioner.”

The news of Yoongi going overseas was a little startling but Jungkook managed to look past it, returning his bittersweet smile with one of his own,

“What if I want to wait?”

At that, Yoongi’s lips parted in surprise, eyes widening as they searched Jungkook’s own. Jungkook only quirked a brow in response, but before he could say anything the door opened and Namjoon stuck his head in,

“We’re all waiting on you two for the group pictures!”

From his angle, Namjoon couldn’t see they were holding hands or that they were having a moment so he snuck his head right back out, not realising he had interrupted something. Yoongi’s hands moved in his, and Jungkook thought that he had wanted to pull away but instead, Yoongi reached up and curled both his arms around his neck in a hug. Jungkook didn’t know if his heart would be able to handle the way it was squeezing so dangerously but he chose to ignore it in favour of slipping his arms around Yoongi’s middle and letting himself soak in the comfort it brought him. It was exactly the way he had felt when Yoongi had hugged him next to the wailing police sirens that night, and Jungkook had a good suspicion that this feeling was never going to leave as long as he was with him. Closing his eyes, Jungkook breathed in the cologne he’d gotten so accustomed to before Yoongi’s cheek pressed against his neck and he whispered,

“You deserve better than being asked to wait, I could never do that to you.”

Uncurling his arms from Jungkook’s neck, Yoongi stepped back before grabbing the beanie off his head and dusting some of the glitter that had stubbornly stuck onto it. Jungkook could see that Yoongi’s eyes had reddened as he reached forward and placed the beanie over his head, ruffling his hair in the process, 

“It looks better on you.”

Just like that, he turned away to leave and Jungkook had to stop himself from reaching out and grabbing his shirt even though he really wanted to. He opted for touching the beanie on his head as the door opened, not being able to tell Yoongi that he already had an exact same one back in his drawer at home.  

 

Jungkook also didn’t know how to tell him that he’d always be waiting, even if he didn’t ask him to.

 

Chapter Text

Breathing out a puff of air, Jungkook dug around in his pocket for his phone before taking a few steps back and snapping a shot of the evening sun setting over the calm sea. The photo brought a smile to his lips, along with the lingering taste of salt and rust that hung in the air in busan. The still frame of waves mid-crash reminded him of how things between Yoongi and him had been suspended in motion ever since that moment they had shared in the club room, almost as if there was no continuation. Trying to brush off the off-putting feeling that settled heavily on his chest, Jungkook kicked a stone off the pebbled road outside his family’s chicken restaurant, trying not to remind himself that while he was over here for the semester break, Yoongi had no more semester breaks. It wasn’t anything unexpected, he had known from the start that Yoongi would be graduating this year, but somehow the reality of separation wasn’t something he could prepare himself for.

The thing was, Jungkook had been adamant not to let distance be the reason that he and Yoongi grew apart because that would be a reason he would never readily accept. He knew that many people did, and that perhaps it was nature’s course but not on his watch. His feelings aside, Yoongi was still an important person in his life. It didn’t matter that Yoongi didn’t ask for him to wait for him or that nothing between them was exactly clear, because he just wanted Yoongi to chase after his own well-being and happiness first. Perhaps the timing between the both of them would never be right, or maybe there would be an instance in the future that brought them together but Jungkook had long realised that he didn’t want to keep dwelling on it, because there would be no right answer. Before he could continue his thoughts, Junghyun’s booming voice from inside the restaurant got him to jump a little,

“Yah, Jungkook ah, come back in, it’s getting cold!”

“Coming!” Jungkook yelled back on autopilot, fumbling with his phone as he turned away from his spot at the hill.

Skipping on the filters, Jungkook made a quick work sending the picture over while running back in before flipping the sign on the door over to closed. He turned around to see a table full of food as his mom filled up everyone’s bowls of rice. With a smile, he slid in next to Junghyun, wondering why it felt so nice to simply sit together and eat. It was the mundane things that he missed the most, like the smell of his mom’s kimchi stew or how his dad always burnt his tongue on it. He ate quietly, savouring the food he knew he would miss the second he was back in seoul as he listened to Junghyun’s work stories,

“Well, people with power and money still think they can get away with anything.”

“That’s never going to change.” His dad remarked with a raised brow, sharing the grimace on Junghyun’s face.

Placing more meat in Jungkook’s bowl, his mom narrowed her eyes at him,

“So you’re really not going to tell us how you got stitches on your palm, you thought I wouldn’t notice?”

Jungkook almost choked on the rice he was chewing but he managed to catch himself in time, glancing over nervously at Junghyun who looked just as startled as him,

“Uh- mom, I fell down-”

At the sound of his lies, she rolled her eyes and Junghyun had to try hard to stop himself from laughing at Jungkook’s misery before cutting in,

“It really wasn’t anything serious mom, you know how he likes running and jumping over things.”

Taking a sip of his water, Jungkook just watched Junghyun smoothly save him from explaining a horrifyingly complicated story and internally thanked him a million times. His dad shook his head, clicking his tongue,

“Be careful, alright? Your mom’s always gonna worry.”

“I will, sorry.”

Junghyun gave Jungkook a long look, and Jungkook almost wanted to ask him what he was trying to tell him before he realised that this was the cue for what he really had planned for this trip. He’d been so adamant about it that Junghyun had even made him promise that he’d wait for him to join them in busan before he said anything. Jungkook didn’t know if Junghyun just concerned or just overly nosy, but it was probably a mixture of both. Clearing his throat, Jungkook nodded to Junghyun as he straightened his spine and put his chopsticks down,

“Mom, Dad, while we’re on the topic of sharing stuff, I actually have something I wanted to tell the both of you.”

They both looked up, still eating as they waited for Jungkook to continue. Jungkook felt his phone buzz in his pocket as his palms got sweaty, and he itched to check it but he pushed it aside. He’d practiced countless times for this, he even had a speech he memorised with Junghyun so many times that he was pretty sure he could say it in his sleep. He was ready, he was prepared, but as his parents continued staring at him and waiting for him to speak, he lost all ability to. The worst part was that he couldn’t even remember the speech he’d been so confident about, and deafening sound of blood pumping in his ears wasn’t helping so he decided that there was no point in stalling anymore and blurted,

“I’m not straight.”

Junghyun seemed to be holding his breath alongside himself, probably wondering how in hell a ten minute speech had become three words. Wincing a little, Jungkook decided to just go with this new plan that had ruined all the rest. He didn’t even blink as he watched both his parents’ expressions closely for even the slightest tell but all he could see was genuine surprise on both their faces.

“What did you just say?” His dad asked, putting his utensils down and leaning forward a little.

Swallowing down his nerves and wiping his hands on his pants, Jungkook just nodded and managed to remember a part of his speech,

“I said I’m not straight, well- because I think gender or sex really doesn’t matter to me.”

It seemed like his dad had heard him right the first time, but it seemed like he didn’t want to because he crossed his arms and Jungkook felt his nerves triple in strength,

“Since when?”

Junghyun shifted in his chair at the hard tone of his voice, but Jungkook just took it in stride and met his dad’s eyes,

“Since last year, there’s… a sunbae I like, a guy.”

For a moment, Jungkook could swear the air got heavier, because breathing seemed so painful almost as if his lungs had collapsed in his chest. His dad was staring at him like he had grown an extra head, and Jungkook could only count the seconds as they passed while neither of them said a word. He felt a nudge on his side, and from his periphery vision he could see Junghyun glancing worriedly between the both of them. It wasn’t as if Jungkook didn’t want to speak, to say anything at all to cut this awful raincloud that had settled itself over them. It was that he couldn’t, because this is exactly what he was terrified of when he’d told Junghyun that he wanted to let his parents know. But there was no going back, and Jungkook wasn’t a stranger to telling the truth or breaking difficult news; he’d gotten enough training this past year. Just as he was about to speak, his dad simply got up without a word and Jungkook could only watch his back with widened eyes as he walked out of the main door.

It felt like something between getting slapped and getting his hand slashed open again, so Jungkook bit down on his molars to keep himself from breaking down. With a screech of his chair, Junghyun got up, muttering angrily under his breath as he chased after their father. To be fair, Jungkook had expected this because he never really knew where his father stood with anything that wasn’t heterosexuality. Jungkook didn’t mean to stereotype his own dad but he’d always been the epitome of masculinity with everything he preached about life in general. That was why Jungkook had been raised the way he was, growing up doing all kinds of sports and martial arts that were traditionally deemed masculine. The thing was, he had never once seen his dad to be an enforcer of toxic masculinity because that had never been who he was. It was confusing Jungkook more than anything else, so he let out a deep breath and looked up at his mom for answers. She had been awfully quiet this whole time but she simply smiled at him, just letting him be without bombarding him with a million questions. Her patience had always dumbfounded Jungkook, but today he appreciated it more than ever.

“Jungkook ah, your dad just needs some time. He’s always been that way, hmm?” His mom spoke in the soft voice she always did when she wanted to comfort him and Jungkook’s heart clenched,

“And what about you, mom?”

“Me? There’s nothing for me to accept, it’s your life and you have the right to live it the way you want to.”

Just like that, Jungkook felt his throat getting choked up as he pressed his lips together tightly. His mom reached over, wrapping her hand around his cold fingers before giving them a squeeze. The main door opened again, and Jungkook snapped his head towards it so quick he might have pulled a muscle, but he didn’t care. Junghyun had returned in tow with his dad, and they both were frowning. He didn’t want them fighting, in fact that was the last thing he wanted so he quickly moved to stand up and get between them before the yelling began. Strangely enough, his dad just stood across him with an eerily calm expression, but his eyes were piercing when he spoke,

“Since you were young, you’ve always wanted to try difficult things like judo or competitive swimming. I’ve never said no, I’ve never stopped you. You know why?”

Junghyun came over to stand protectively at his side, and Jungkook let their shoulders brush in a silent pact of solidarity before shaking his head slowly, not quite knowing where this was going.

“Because I knew Junghyun would catch you if you ever fell.” His dad answered, voice even and Jungkook’s gaze fell because he couldn’t help but agree with him on that.

He couldn’t even count the number of times Junghyun had been there to pour water over his scrapes or patch his wounds back together to make sure he was fine the next day.

“But this? Junghyun can’t help you, none of us really can-”

“That’s not true, your support would be helping.” Jungkook interrupted quietly, eyes still looking down at the chipped edge of a tile on the floor.

It seemed as if no one in the room expected him to speak up, because all of a sudden all eyes were on him. Jungkook didn’t even have to look because he could feel them, and maybe a year ago this would have scared him shitless, especially since he always avoided conflict or any kind of confrontation. But he couldn’t stay quiet and let his dad or anyone else assume things about him when he knew he could say his input. His mom nodded her head in support, gesturing to her husband in a way that showed she was siding clearly with her son, but his dad’s brows furrowed deeper,

“This is going to be such a difficult road Jungkook ah, people won’t accept it so easily and things will be-“

Interrupting him once again, Jungkook spoke just as softly as he did earlier,

“-twice as hard, I know.”

Finally looking up, Jungkook was both impressed and terrified at himself by the bravery he seemed to come to possess. But he was speaking the truth, from his heart, and if this wasn’t good enough for his dad, he didn’t know what was. His dad remained silent after that, for a good while, as he took a good long look before he shook his head,

“You’ve really changed.”

Trying to hold on to the courage he’d gathered, Jungkook swallowed down the lump in his throat not really wanting to know what his dad meant by that. But before his thoughts could drift off elsewhere, his dad continued,

“No-I guess you’ve just grown into an adult.”

That got his jaw to hang slightly, and Jungkook blinked at his dad up in surprise when he clapped his hand twice in a show of finality,

“Well then, who is it?“

It was Jungkook’s turn to furrow his brows, in pure confusion, because his dad’s breakneck speed of changing reactions and connotations got him feeling like he had a bad case of whiplash. Trying not to gape, Jungkook tried to piece everything together but a part of him was screaming in happiness because this was the dad he recognised. Sure, his dad had his moments, but he’d always been a carefree loving figure in his life. It seemed like his dad had thought he was a child that was still fumbling around unsure about everything, but he’d managed to convince him otherwise somehow. His mind was still reeling from how fast his dad seemed to accept everything, sending panicked looks to his mom who just laughed softly and shook her head. Well, she clearly knew his dad better than him. Raising a brow impatiently, his dad shrugged his shoulders,

“Is it Jimin, did he come back to busan for the break?”

That got Jungkook to reboot himself right back up, and he choked a little on his saliva in his attempt to correct him,

“Uh-no dad, it’s not Jimin hyung.”

“Who is it then? Are you two dating or what? Have you been hiding a relationship for the past year?”

The barrage of questions was a familiar sound, and this was something Jungkook knew he’d inherited from him as well. Feeling his chest loosen up a little, Jungkook dug his fingers into the chair behind him as his felt his cheeks and ears heat up in a tell-tale sign that they were probably pink,

“His name is Min Yoongi and uh- no we’re not…well, it’s kinda complicated, dad.”

“How so?”

“He knows my feelings for him, and actually he told me he likes me too. But things are well- they aren’t easy as you said but it’s about letting go of stuff…and actually, I can’t really speak on his behalf.”

Humming in thought, his dad leaned back against the cashier counter and tapped his ring finger against the edge as he took it all in,

“Has he had a tough past?”

It seemed like his dad wasn’t done shocking him almost close to death, but Jungkook managed to nod in response, genuinely perplexed at how quickly his dad caught on and gave him an out from explaining things in detail. The hugely comforting fact that his dad wasn’t the epitome of toxic masculinity was beginning to sink in and Jungkook really wanted to simply sit down and let himself digest everything, but his dad stopped tapping his finger against the counter and let out a loud sigh,

“Well, that’s a pity but I hope you two can work it out. It sounds like you really care about him.”

Jungkook’s knees almost give out from relief as he realised this was his dad’s way of giving his approval. It was such an overwhelming surge of emotions that for the second time today, he bit down on his molars to keep himself from giving in to the tears that were threatening to fall any second now. But he knew his eyes had glossed over, so he quickly brought his hands to wipe off the tears that he didn’t want to show. Before he turned away to hide his whole face, his dad moved quickly to close the distance between them and grab his head to pull him into a tight embrace. Jungkook really didn’t want to cry, but there was no stopping it once his hiccups started and he helplessly clung onto his dad’s shirt. It felt like ages since he had hugged his dad like this, and it simultaneously made him feel like a child as much as it did an adult. Breathing in his dad’s unique smell that was a mixture of chicken and laundry detergent, Jungkook let his voice calm him,

“I’m sorry for reacting the way I did, I should have hugged you first. But you should never feel like you need to hide anything from me, alright? You might not be the stuttering kid I thought needed protecting anymore, but you’ll always be my kid.”

Jungkook choked on the next sob, smiling through it as he felt his dad hug him harder and he heard Junghyun mutter exasperatedly,

“Was that so hard, dad?”

The next thing he knew, Junghyun and his mom had also joined in and he had the widest grin on his face as they squeezed him before letting him go. His mom took the chance to pipe in, her head tilted,

“Jungkook ah, isn’t what you described called being bi? As in you like both girls and boys?”

Her genuine interest in the topic caught Jungkook off-guard, and he wondered how and why she knew about this but Junghyun beat him to explain,

“Actually mom, for Jungkook’s case, I think it’s called pansexuality.”

Covering her mouth a little, she let out an excited squeak,

“Oh, I didn’t know about that!”

With that, the weight on his chest and shoulders eased up and he finally felt like he could breathe easier. Because now he wasn’t hiding anything from the people who mattered the most, and that was all that was important to him.

 

Bringing his hands to his face, Yoongi splashed it with water that was so cold it stung a little. But he repeated it once more before turning the tap shut, peering at himself in the mirror of the toilet he was in. Yoongi wondered if he should be giving himself a pep talk or something right now, because he could practically taste the anxiety that burned the roof of his mouth from his tongue. The ends of his fringe were damp, tickling his eyes as he continued to space out at his reflection. Thankfully his phone buzzed, and Yoongi glanced over at where it lay on the counter next to the sink to check what the notification was about.

 

Campus Strip Club (7 members)

Kook: For you, yoongi hyung :) /media attached/

His fingers left a trail of water across his screen as he opened the image Jungkook had sent to the group chat. It was silly how one simple photo was enough to get his brain to stop from overthinking and stressing so much, because now it was preoccupied with the sheer beauty of the sun setting over busan beach. Yoongi was also starting to wonder if Jungkook was secretly a photographer because the composition and quality of the pictures he took were simply no joke. Saving it right away, Yoongi scrolled through his gallery in an attempt to find a nice picture he’d taken of the snowy new york streets,

 

Campus Strip Club (7 members)

You: Busan is beautiful, it’s cold here /media attached/

Hobi: wow are they openly flirting now?

Jin hyung: looks like a scene out of a movie

Joon: Them flirting or the new york street?

Hobi: HAHAHAHA good one

Taetae: jk is that pic only for yoongi hyung?? qat abt us??

Jiminnie: yea n yoongi hyung, wat abt us??

You: It was for jungkook, but the rest of you can have it too

Hobi: holy shit.

Thankfully he was still alone in the toilet, so no one else could hear him chuckling to himself at their antics. Slipping his phone into his pocket, Yoongi grabbed a paper towel and dried his face as best he could, exhaling the remnants of his nerves out. He was already here; he was going to go through with it. He wanted to, for himself as much as it was for others or a specific person in mind. Walking out, he quickly made his way to the waiting room after giving the receptionist a tight smile. Although his resolve was newfound, he was still a bundle of nerves, fingers scratching at the frays in his jeans. The phone rang, and the receptionist picked it up and gave him a thumbs up, which had always been their little ritual to let him know that he could go in now. Scrapping his sneakers against the carpet, Yoongi took quick steps to the door on the left and knocked before entering. His psychiatrist smiled at him, gesturing him inside, her accent reminding him to speak in English,

“Hi Yoongi, come on in!”

He walked straight to the blue chair he’d found the most comfortable through his visits, sitting down without making a noise and giving her a small smile. She seemed to pick up on his nerves, her attentive eyes watching as he tried not to pick on the frays on his jeans he’d pulled out earlier,

“Not that I’m not glad to see you but why the urgent call?”

“Well, I haven’t told you something. Something important that’s connected to the other things, it’s- it’s actually the main reason I came to see you.”

“I would love to hear you out if you’re up to telling me about it.”

Yoongi wanted to continue, but his voice just felt trapped in his throat almost like he was swallowing it down unintentionally. He had a feeling this was going to happen, so he pried his fingers from his lap and grabbed the piece of paper he’d stuffed into his pocket for backup. So, his voice still wasn’t working too well when it came to this matter but there were other ways to convey what he wanted. Keeping it held tightly in his fingers, Yoongi reached out and put the paper on the armrest of his psychiatrist’s sofa. She looked a little amused, wiggling her eyebrows as she unfolded it to read its contents;

‘I was raped four years ago.’

It only took a second for her eyes to scan those words before darting up, and Yoongi felt the nausea hit him because the playfulness they held were fully replaced with unbridled concern. But he swallowed the nausea right back down, keeping still and allowing himself to accept the words he’d scribbled down on the paper as well.

 

There was no going back now, so Yoongi took a deep breath and prepared himself to explain everything in painful detail; because he really wanted her help.

 

Chapter Text

Frowning at the conclusion notes on the slide, Jungkook tried his best to write down as many specific points on this lecture about econometrics. He wasn’t as lost as he was during his first year but this was still a whole lot to process right back into the new semester after three months. But he didn’t feel too worried about not completely getting the concept right away, because now he knew that it was just part of the process. Glancing over at his watch, Jungkook scribbled the last of his professors’ words onto the paper before leaning over and grabbing his bag to stuff all his papers into. The lecture had dragged on for fifteen minutes, which surely meant that he was going to be late. Jungkook shifted to get up quickly, turning to trot down the stairs in the lecture theatre but he was stopped by a voice,

“Hey, wait-!”  

Abruptly turning back, Jungkook found himself looking up at a handsome face that he’d automatically associate with the popular kids in college. Jungkook surely didn’t know him, so the confusion on his face as he shifted his feet to balance his weight equally must have shown. Looking relieved to have caught his attention, the tall figure bent over to pick up a bike helmet from under his seat before holding it out with both hands,

“-you forgot this.”

Jungkook’s eyes widened, a sound of surprise escaping from his lips before he could stop himself as he reached forward to take his helmet that had completely slipped out his mind,

“Ah! Thank you, it would have been bad if I left this here.”

The guy just beamed at him, and Jungkook found himself drawn to the way his slightly crooked canines worked to make him seem even friendlier than he already was. Jungkook bowed his head in thanks before realising a few students were just blatantly staring at him now. He shifted his eyes to them, wondering what exactly had caused this reaction and felt slightly uneasy when a few eyes were quick to shift away from his. Thankfully, the same guy noticed his discomfort and briefly looked over his shoulder before breaking the awkwardness that had crept in,

“Oh, right! Would you like to join our group for the project? We need one more person.”

In a heartbeat, Jungkook nodded enthusiastically, seemingly won over by this guy’s smile as much as he was relieved that he didn’t have to go through the trouble of finding group mates to work with in the next few weeks. The tall and handsome guy returned his enthusiasm two folds with a victory fist before he quickly passed him his phone,

“Great! You can pass me your number and I’ll add you to our chat. I’m Kim Mingyu, by the way.”

Jungkook shifted to brace his helmet against his hip to reach over and take his phone to key in his details,

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Mingyu, I’m Jeon-”

“-Jungkook, I know. You’re in csc right? I’m in the bowling club, I’ve seen you a couple of times.”

That had Jungkook darting his eyes up, pausing from typing his name out, a little sheepish and panicked at not knowing who this stranger was while he clearly knew him. Wincing a little, Jungkook bowed his head slightly,

“Sorry, I’m not very good at socialising. Thanks for asking me to join your group.”

Mingyu tilted his head, a flash of confusion appearing in his eyes but that disappeared as quickly as it appeared while he took back his phone,

“Hey, no worries man! I would invite you to join us for dinner but it seems like you already have plans.”

Jungkook winced again, nodding to let Mingyu know that he had hit bullseye but the latter just easily laughed it off and waved his phone at him,

“You can join us the next time, see you soon!”

Waving back at him, Jungkook scooted down the stairs this time with his helmet firmly gripped in his left hand. The evening crowd in the hallways was ever present, but this year Jungkook knew the secret to squeezing between bodies in narrow passageways. Easily swerving past hockey sticks, Jungkook felt himself briefly wondering if he had ever seen Mingyu around, since he had a face that would have been difficult to forget. Truth was, he’d kept to himself and club so much in his first year that he legitimately hadn’t been actively making friends or remembering people’s names. He was really grateful for Mingyu getting him to join their group for that, especially since everyone else already seemed to have their own clique in every class he seemed to be in. He still didn’t understand people like Mingyu, who so easily made friends and talked with others, but boy was he glad for them. Making a mental reminder to treat him to something small, Jungkook turned the familiar corridor to club only to see two familiar figures standing outside the door. He’d recognised them immediately, smile already appearing on his lips as he got closer noticing their matching stumped expressions. Somehow, he already knew what was perplexing the both of them, probably from the way they kept stabbing the buttons on the door and frowning at the disappointing chime it emitted. Reaching from behind the both of their shoulders, Jungkook swiped his fingers gracefully across the electronic lock,

"We changed the code, remember?"

The door finally clicked open, and Jungkook held it open for them as he tried not laugh at their startled faces. Taehyung’s alarmed glare softened almost instantly, and Jungkook found his smile widening as Jimin put a hand to his chest before the both of them yelled in unison,

“Jungkook ah!”

“Hi!”

Jungkook quickly put his bag down, along with his helmet, because he knew what was coming next. Opening his arms wide, Jungkook felt his cheeks hurt from smiling so much when Taehyung took a few steps back before running and practically throwing himself at him. Arms secured firmly around his middle, Jungkook swung around him for a bit before giving him a squeeze and letting him down. His eyes shifted to Jimin, who had his trademark eye smile on as he stepped forward to grab him as well. The thing was, Jungkook had prepared himself for another spinning hug, but he only got a few brief pats on the back from him. Jungkook felt his smile drop slightly, because even if it was very slight, it felt like something had shifted between the both of them. It wasn’t like he was completely clueless as to why, but it still felt entirely out of place especially given how he’d thought they had talked things out between them. But before he could say anything, Taehyung let out a low whistle,

“Dude, you look fucking good man!”

Startled, Jungkook chuckled to cover up his embarrassment, and vaguely pointed to his hair,

“This? I just let it grow out -I’ve given up trying to straighten and style it out.”

From the side, Jimin gave him a good look over although he quickly looked away to the helmet to the side,

“I think it’s more than just your hair, probably the whole biker boy vibe you have going on.”

“Huh, I’m just finally allowed to ride in seoul so I just, wait- biker boy vibes?”

Taehyung snickered, making a picture frame with his hands,

“Mysterious and intimidating face, check. Leather jacket with black ensemble, check. Actual bike helmet, check.”

Jungkook found himself laughing at that, only because it was so silly and far-fetched since that was completely not him. Except that would probably explain the way the other students had been quietly staring at him in class earlier, probably thinking he was too cool for them or something. Walking over to open the windows and air out the room, Jungkook couldn’t help but notice how empty the room felt. It was exactly as they left it and he found himself from glancing over to the table off to the side, eyeing the empty chair that no one else but Yoongi sat on. Pulling his eyes away, Jungkook turned back to the two in the room and found himself catching Jimin’s eye. Just like earlier, Jimin was quick to look away from him and instead turned to try and stop Taehyung from attempting to pull the helmet over his head. Leaning against the table, Jungkook found himself just watching Taehyung’s antics for a while as he thought about the way Jimin was acting strange. Maybe this was Jimin’s way of getting over him or trying to put some space between them but it just felt wrong to him. His brain started whirring as he pondered on whether it was selfish of him to want Jimin to stop. A large part of the past year flashed through his mind, remembering Jimin and Taehyung’s horrible fight that got both of them looking completely exhausted and peeved. Damn, he really didn’t want to go through this again- he couldn’t waste the precious time he had with them. Easily making up his mind, Jungkook tilted his head before crossing his arms,

“Jimin hyung, you’re acting strange.”

It got Jimin freezing right where he was, looking completely like a deer caught in headlights and Taehyung’s observant eyes snapped up. In those following seconds, Jungkook wondered if he had just dropped a grenade on his foot when Taehyung stopped imitating riding a bike and sighed. Jimin looked caught between wanting to brush the whole thing off and explaining himself, and Jungkook only let out the breath he was holding when he chose the latter,

“I just- I didn’t want you to feel uncomfortable with me because…well, you know-maybe  a little space would be good.”

Taehyung deadpanned, looking just as done with Jimin as he sounded,

“He’s tripping cause he missed you and you look hot, and he doesn’t know how to process that without bringing up his past feelings for you and making it awkward. Kook, please tell him it’s stupid and end my suffering.”

Making a sound in the back of his throat, Jimin’s eyes bulged out and Jungkook held himself from laughing because it would be too mean of him. But Jimin frantically darted his eyes between Taehyung’s offhanded words and Jungkook’s lack of reaction before covering his face with his hands. Once Jungkook saw his chubby fingers shaking slightly, he pushed up from the table and went right to envelop him in a bear hug,

“Hyung, I thought we were cool so let’s not do this again. Please?”

Taehyung snorted at that, putting away Jungkook’s helmet before waddling over and joining in on the hug fest. Jimin’s hands slowly came to wrap around the both of them as he laughed shakily and Taehyung nudged all their heads together,

“It’s just the three of us this year, so we gotta stick tight.”

That tugged at a heartstring for Jungkook, and he simply leaned in closer and smelled both their shared shampoo that held a hint of coconut. He really wouldn’t give anything up for this, and if the hands gripping onto the fabric of his jacket were a sign, neither would the both of them. Just as Jungkook remembered to ask them to collect the kimchi his mom had sent over for them, the door to the club room suddenly slammed open and made all of them flinch in shock. He was the only one facing it, so he was the first to see Namjoon look a little startled from his own strength before Hoseok winked and strode in,

“Surprise, motherfuckers!”

Absolute silence followed after their grand entrance, and Jungkook could feel the two further burrow into his chest even after they’d realised who it was. Hoseok didn’t seem very impressed by their reaction or lack thereof, and narrowed his eyes,

"You know, you guys could look happier to see us."

Looking completely scandalised, Taehyung finally stopped hiding and stepped out all while looking at the two like they had committed crimes,

"The fuck?! Aren't you two supposed to have graduated, what are you doing here?"

"Joon’s doing his masters and taking jin hyung's position as the club supervisor. I, on the other hand, am still unemployed so I’m working at my prof’s lab till I get a proper job."

Jimin blinked in confusion, whispering to Taehyung,

"Supervisor? but I thought Jin hyung was our honourary member?"

"Wait hyungs- you two will still be with us then?" Jungkook blurted, appearing to be the only one excited by their presence.

Namjoon flashed his dimples at Jungkook,

"Well, not much, but we will try."

“That still completely ruins my touching words from earlier, gee thanks hyung.” Taehyung muttered, rolling his eyes for added effect.

Hoseok completely ignored him, going up to the whiteboard to grab the long ruler there before gesturing to Namjoon in a dramatically solemn manner,

"Enough with the small talk, we will now begin our knighting process."

It got Jungkook feeling absolutely lost, because he had no idea what that was supposed to mean and it only worsened when Taehyung and Jimin suddenly perked up and exchanged giggles. It felt like he was being left out of an inside joke, and Jungkook tilted his head when Namjoon went over to take the ruler from Hoseok and look between the three of them. Sharing an impish look, Taehyung and Jimin stepped away from Jungkook before doing their variation of the royal bow. Right then, it dawned on Jungkook what this ‘knighting process’ was supposed to be, and his heart jumped into his throat at the panic. Oh no- no, this couldn’t be it. Just as he was about to squeak in protest, Hoseok let out an evil cackle and lunged at Taehyung before tackling him down to kneel on the floor with his hands pulled behind his back,

“Have fun, Kim Taehyung!”

Eyes enlarged, Taehyung’s pupils darted around the room in a frenzy,

"What! No, no no no-"

But Namjoon swung the ruler, and Jungkook winced when it accidently knocked the side of Taehyung head before somewhat gently landing on both his shoulders,

"I now appoint you as the new president of csc, may you serve well!"

Taehyung let out a pained groan as he slumped to the ground and whimpered pathetically at the new title he was forcefully bestowed with. Both Jungkook and Jimin’s shoulders shook from laughing so hard, but Jimin also had to wipe at his eyes to get rid of the tears that had escaped. Hoseok brandished a sheet of paper from his bag before nudging at his foot playfully,

“Here’s your first task! Get your ass to the office submit this form before they close.”

Looking like a kicked puppy, Taehyung got to his feet and took the paper that had some very official looking stamp and signs from Namjoon and Jin. Dragging his feet the whole way, Taehyung tried to think of a million excuses he could give to try and get out of this but deep down he knew that Namjoon wasn’t going to change his mind after he had made it up. He’d been so sure that it was going to be Jungkook who’d be the next president of csc so this really had come as a surprise to him. It was strange how a simple title was already making him feel like he had to start acting more responsibly, seeing how he stopped dragging his feet and straightened out his back once he was near the registrar office. The front desk attendant looked up at him, looking slightly peeved that he had come right before closing time but managed to smile professionally,

“Can I help you?”

“Yes, sorry for coming so late but I just need to submit this form for our club renewal.”

She looked immensely relieved at that revelation, since it would be a quick work of him handing her the form and signing another one,

“Sure, which club are you from?”

“The csc.”

She paused from grabbing the other form for him to sign, her expression masked under several years of practice before she handed Taehyung a pen to sign the form. As Taehyung took the pen to sign his name and particulars in the new form, she reached into a drawer and took out a manila envelope that was pressed neatly,

“This letter would be for you.”

“Oh, thank you.” Taehyung politely returned as he took the envelop before bowing.

It seemed like that was all, and Taehyung wondered if being the president was simply just coming here to sign a few forms and collect letters. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as he thought it was. Walking out, he whistled a melody as he dug his long fingers into the seams to tear open the envelop since he had the authority to do so now. The melody stopped abruptly when he scanned the letter and saw a huge red stamp with equally daunting block red letters that spelt;

‘ATTENTION: DISCIPLINARY HEARING’

Going off to the side of the corridors, Taehyung straightened out the letter and re-read the title over five times to be absolutely positive that he was reading it right. He was. He could feel himself frowning as his eyes quickly scanned the rest of the letter, thousands of questions popping to his head the more he read on. It made no sense, especially since he had absolutely no idea what any of them could have possibly done to warrant such a letter. Running a hand through his hair, he gnawed on his bottom lip as he picked up his pace and sped up towards the club room. The paper crumpled a little under the pressure of his fingers as he pushed open the door to their room, ready to spill the news. But Hoseok beat him to it by screeching at the top of his lungs and running right into Jungkook’s personal space, who not only managed to catch him but also the phone that was shoved right into his face,

“He’s totally coming back early for you!”

Jungkook seemed to get flustered by that, unable to control the pink dusting his cheeks and ears as the seconds passed while he shook his head quickly,

“Uh no hyung, it’s for work-”

Reading the room quickly, Taehyung reached into his pocket to grab his phone and check what had possibly gotten such a reaction out of Hoseok;

 

Campus Strip Club (7 members)

Yoonie hyung: Trip cut short, I’ll be back on Friday. Dinner at my place, 7pm if you can make it.

Jiminnie: Is this also only 4 kook or all of us??

Hobi hyung: haHAHAhahahahAHAHAHAH!!

 

Although he had been frowning right outside the door, even Taehyung couldn’t control the grin that spread across his face from that. Everyone had been wondering when Yoongi was going to come back, especially since he hadn’t really given them a proper date that he was returning. It wasn’t too farfetched to say that some of them worried about him coming back, and this had been the best news in their group chat for a long while. Taehyung had been hoping for all of them to get together, and it seemed like Yoongi had been sharing the same sentiment. Slipping the letter into his jacket discreetly, Taehyung joined Namjoon on the couch as they watched Hoseok continue to tease Jungkook.

 

The letter was important but Taehyung decided it could wait, because it wasn’t as important as the reason behind Jungkook’s flushed cheeks.

 

Chapter Text

Rolling his shoulders to the front and back, Jungkook blinked wearily at the night sky that was devoid of any stars because of the light pollution in seoul. He didn’t know what exactly he was so tired from, it was just lectures and tutorials, but it seemed to drain so much of his energy. Although his body was telling him that he needed to get home and drop on his bed, Jungkook couldn’t keep his index finger from tapping lightly on his clutch. It was a habit of his whenever he was either anxious or excited and in this case, it was both. Placing his foot back in when the light turned green, he turned the familiar junction he’d long imprinted into his memory. The nerves only fully hit once he had to make his way up a cobbled street to the last house on the lane, slowing into a leisurely speed before completely stopping outside. He swung his legs off the bike and turned the ignition off as while tried to take deep breaths and slow the way his heart was seemingly pumping right in his throat.

Pulling his helmet off, Jungkook ruffled his hair and fussed at it for a while at the blind spot mirror that he knew he could always count on. It was already past eight, so he was definitely running late but he had good reason. Eyeing the street, he decided to leave his helmet propped on his seat since it was clearly a good neighbourhood. After the ruckus he went through with Taehyung and Jimin over his bike, he figured it’ll be better to just keep things low profile. Wiping his sweaty palms on his jeans, Jungkook let out a long breath and reached over to press on the doorbell. It was silent for a while before the intercom buzzed and he heard Hoseok’s barely contained laughter,

“The one who was actually invited has finally arrived, come on in!”

The gate unlocked right then, and Jungkook tried not to wince at the way everyone was suddenly teasing him very openly about Yoongi. It wasn’t as if he particularly minded it, he was more concerned with how Yoongi was taking all of this because it felt like a lot of pressure. Right, Yoongi, who was finally back from the states after what felt more like three years instead of three months. Jungkook’s stomach did what felt like a complete somersault, but he kept his eyes strictly on the stoned pathway to the door as he willed himself to function. His heart, his very traitorous heart, chose to pound faster and faster as he walked to the front door and by the time he was opening it, he was lightheaded from it all. He slipped inside quietly, pulling off his boots and jacket, already hearing Hoseok’s booming laugh from the entrance. The house had an open concept, so Jungkook was almost immediately in the living room area after a few steps and he saw the back of everyone’s head and some shoulders as they huddled over at the couch. Jin was the only one on the loveseat to the side, so he caught sight of him first.

Seeing Jin after all this time was strange, because the way he had made him feel uneasy and uncomfortable had numbed out a little. Jungkook still didn’t know exactly how he felt about him, but there was no animosity; not after he’d told Yoongi he’d drop it. He bowed his head out of habit, but Jin just waved it off and gestured for him to come over. That got the attention of everyone else, and Jungkook smiled at the rambunctious hollering from Taehyung and Hoseok that drowned out all the other greetings. Jungkook’s eyes were quick to scan all the faces in the room, but there was still one missing so he turned to look over his shoulder. He caught sight of someone turning from the kitchen island, and Jungkook felt a strong sense of déjà vu when his eyes met Yoongi’s.

It felt exactly the same as it did a year ago, when he’d first stumbled into the club room carrying a heavy box, and Jungkook found himself still hopelessly fixated on them. His heart squeezed in his chest, forcing him to hide the way he took a sharp breath as he held Yoongi’s gaze. The movie magic was still here, very much so alive, and Jungkook took the chance while time had slowed down to take in all the details of the face he’d missed so much. It seemed like nothing had changed, well except for one small detail; his hair was black. It suited him so much, and Jungkook wanted nothing more than to reach over and touch to feel if it was still as soft as it was even when he’d bleached it to death. Instead, he settled for smiling till his eyes turned into crescents,

“Hi, hyung.”

Yoongi stood there with a cooler that he’d gotten from the kitchen, feeling like he had just gotten all the air knocked out of his lungs. He didn’t know what to take in first; Jungkook’s thousand-kilowatt beam directed right at him or his completely new look. It threw Yoongi off not only because it was difficult to pry his eyes off, but also because Jungkook seemed to have settled into his skin. It was a good look on him, and Yoongi returned the smile with a soft one of his own,

“Hey.”

He put the cooler off to the side of the table, next to the copious boxes of fried chicken, burgers, pizza and jajamyeon. It looked like he was hosting for small army, and Yoongi figured that they somehow were his army so it checked out,

“Come, dig in.”

Jin immediately lunged for a drumstick that Hoseok had been eyeing as well, and Namjoon only watched as they started smacking each other although there were at least ten other drumstick pieces for them to take. Yoongi went to sit next to Jin, sneaking a glance at Jungkook who was passing the plates around. The rest already had been snacking so he disregarded them and reached over, fingers swiping two pieces of pizza onto Jungkook’s still empty plate,

“Eat first, you ended class late didn’t you?”

It wasn’t a big deal but Hoseok was fully intent on making it as dramatic as he could, feigning hurt with a whiny tone,

“Hyung, what about me? Hobi wants pizza too!”

“Use your own damn hands.”

Jimin bent over in laughter, catching his own plate just before it fell as he watched Hoseok flop over like he had just been shot in the chest. Yoongi simply frowned, fully ignoring him as Jungkook giggled to himself at the special treatment. That got Yoongi’s attention once more, and he found himself watching Jungkook’s full cheeks as he chewed on his pizza while sitting between Jimin and Taehyung.

“If you stare any harder, you might put a hole through his head.” Jin casually commented, and Yoongi turned to glare at him before grudgingly accepting the burger that was put into his hands,

“I wasn’t, I was simply looking-”

“Right.”

“I wasn’t staring!”

Taehyung’s head whipped over when Yoongi raised his voice, lips curling up into a smirk, and then he began elbowing Jungkook relentlessly,

“Hyung, he can’t shut up about your ordinary black hair either.”

Choking on his pizza, Jungkook’s eyes shot up at Yoongi before he quickly looked away and nudged Taehyung back. Yoongi fondly watched as a familiar pink stained his cheeks and ears, and he cleared his throat to save him from this embarrassment,

“So, how was everyone’s holiday?”

“It was good-” Namjoon began, only to be stopped by Hoseok stuffing noodles into his mouth to shut him up,

“No one cares. Moving on to things people here actually want to know, why are you back sooner than expected, hyung?”

Throwing Namjoon a worried glance, Yoongi just shrugged his shoulders,

“I got a job offer, and I didn’t need to spend so much time there so I came back. Why’s this hot news?”

“You sure it wasn’t because of another reason?”

Both Jimin and Taehyung were looking pointedly at Jungkook, who scratched at his neck sheepishly,

“Hobi hyung, I already told you…it’s not like that-”

“Ah, you know about the psychiatrist? Yeah, I was given the green light to head back earlier.” Yoongi cut in, completely missing what both Jungkook and Hoseok were actually talking about.

Hoseok, in fact, did not know about the psychiatrist so he just blinked owlishly at Yoongi before pretending to just go with whatever this was. Jungkook, on the other hand, definitely knew what Yoongi was talking about and it looked like he was holding himself back from asking more because the rest were around. Before the mood could get awkward, Jin interrupted by standing up and brandishing bottles from the cooler,

“Who wants one?”

“Me!” Taehyung piped in first, and Yoongi had an inkling he was trying to help get the attention away from the topic he’d just offhandedly dropped.

Frankly speaking, Yoongi already told this bunch more than anyone else knew about his past so telling them about his sessions wasn’t really gonna be hard. It seemed like he didn’t have to, not now anyways, not when Jin started popping open bottles with his car key. There was a bottle opener right there for him to use, but old habits die hard and Jin looked way too comfortable. Yoongi bent over and began passing the bottles along, although he was still confused by why everyone else seemed intent on avoiding the topic of him returning earlier all of a sudden when they had been harping on it just a minute ago. Namjoon grabbed a bottle from him before his face scrunched up and he almost dropped it, flailing his hands as he looked between the bottle being handed to him and piecing it together with Yoongi’s history with alcohol belatedly. His spazzing had the rest looking over, and they also caught on, so Yoongi sighed heavily as he pushed the bottle into Namjoon’s hand firmly,

“Don’t even start, you guys are allowed to drink. Just drink.”

Taehyung and Jimin exchanged nervous glances, while Jin nudged Namjoon’s ribs and muttered something he couldn’t overhear. Hoping to appear nonchalant, Yoongi grabbed his own iced tea and popped an ice cube into his mouth out of habit. He couldn’t help but wonder if they were always going to be walking on eggshells around him because of what they now knew. Just as he was about to nag at them, Taehyung stood up and used his soju bottle as a mic as he spoke,

“Fuck this- Yoongi hyung’s house, his rules. And now, as the current csc president, I declare game night!”

Yoongi smiled at his antics gratefully, looking away to hide the chuckle that escaped his lips only to find himself looking right at Jungkook for the millionth time this night. Well, Jungkook had also been staring right at him so whatever this was called between the two of them was definitely mutual. Pushing down the butterflies in his stomach, Yoongi raised a brow in silent question when he saw the glass of iced tea that Jungkook was nursing. He only got a shy smile in return, as Jungkook scrunched his nose up and shook his head. Sitting up a little, Yoongi wanted to grab a bottle from Jin and pass it over but Taehyung walked around the table and stopped him effectively. Smoothly fitting a whole drumstick into his mouth, Taehyung stripped it clean before speaking with his mouth still full,

“First game, never have I ever. Everyone’s hands up!”

With Taehyung’s legs fully blocking his view of Jungkook, Yoongi leaned back and put his hands up for Taehyung’s inspection as he went around and checked,

“Okay, Jin hyung, you start!”

“Never have I gotten arrested.”

“That was a low blow, hyung!” Jimin whined, folding his thumb in tandem with Taehyung and Hoseok before groaning into Jungkook’s shoulder.

Shaking his head, Yoongi turned to peer at Jin as they both folded a finger,

“Do you even know how to play this game?”

“I just want Tae to lose since he started this, loser gets clean up duty.” Jin casually remarked, and Taehyung shirked away from him.

Picking the pepperoni from the pizza, Namjoon hummed a melody as he looked around the room realising it was his turn,

“Never have I ever had a crush on my lab partner.”

“Wow, seriously, this motherfucker-” Hoseok raged, almost throwing himself off the sofa and lunging at Namjoon but then completely calming down before he folded his finger.

Yoongi watched, holding back his own laugh, as Jimin spun around and yanked at Hoseok’s arm,

“Oh my god, who!?”

Looking down at the melting ice cubes in his tea, Yoongi thought back to that period where all Hoseok could talk about was this mysterious lab partner. He came to club wearing this goofy smile and left with it, day in and day out. The peak of this campus romance was learning that she had a fiancé of six years, and also that this fiancé happened to be Namjoon’s cousin. Long story short, Namjoon had known from the very start and had a good time laughing at his expense. The kids didn’t need to know this blackmail material, so Yoongi kept his lips sealed, feeling Jin’s shoulder shaking from the look on Hoseok’s face likely thinking the same thing. Yoongi gnawed on his lips, weighing whether he should dig more into Hoseok’s failed love life or get revenge for him. Taking a sip of his tea, he turned to look right at Namjoon,

“Never have I ever chased someone in the same club as me-”

Before Yoongi could laugh in Namjoon’s face, courtesy of the shock that was showing, he saw the way Jungkook flinched and darted his eyes to him. He wasn’t the only one, because Jimin also completely froze as he hit his front teeth on the lip of the bottle. Shit, he wasn’t even supposed to know that, was he? Because Yoongi had been so focused on getting Namjoon back for the low blow he’d given Hoseok, he hadn’t realised that him calling Namjoon out for liking Jin wasn’t the only case this applied to. In fact, it seemed like he was being coy or maybe even a dick, but he certainly didn’t want to make either Jungkook or Jimin feel cornered. Gasping slightly, Yoongi quickly shook his head and pointed at Namjoon in an attempt to somehow explain the situation, before quickly adding on,

“-called Kim Seokjin.”

Luckily for him, Namjoon had lowered his index finger, but there was a knowing glint in his eyes as he looked away from both Jungkook and Jimin,

“Nice save, hyung.”

That glint in Namjoon’s eyes had Yoongi worried, because he didn’t know how much he knew, but Taehyung had been sipping on his drink watching the whole drama unfold too quietly, which was more worrisome. Yoongi looked at him in a silent plea to not add on to this because Jungkook was already hiding behind his drink, his ears burning red from where they peeked out of his hair. But Taehyung just wiggled his eyebrows suggestively and mock whispered in a low voice,

“Well I guess we’re doing this so- never have I ever stopped smoking because I cared about a junior in the same club as me.”

Yoongi slowly crammed his eyes shut, feeling the dread fully settle in because now he knew there was no stopping whatever this game night had turned into. He wasn’t embarrassed per se, because this thing between him and Jungkook was practically an open secret at this point. He definitely wasn’t going to deny it, because that would be downright stupid. He just had wanted to try and reduce the amount of teasing Jungkook had to receive from the rest since he always just accepted it like a good sport. The thing was, Yoongi wanted to figure out what he and Jungkook had between the two of them first, before they could involve the rest. But now, the pandora’s box was open and there was no closing it. So, Yoongi folded his second finger, noticing the way Jungkook had gone silent. His stomach flipped uncomfortably at the thought that he’d unintentionally hurt Jungkook with his reaction, fingers squeezing around his glass, but Hoseok reached over to yank at Jungkook obnoxiously,

“Wow, I wonder who?!”

As Jungkook was jostled, quite violently, Yoongi caught sight of the way he had pulled his bottom lip into his mouth to stop himself from smiling. It wasn’t working, especially not with the way his teeth peeked through when he couldn’t hold back a laugh, but he played it cool. Jin soundlessly folded a finger as well, grabbing another slice of pizza and placing it on Yoongi’s plate without attracting much attention to himself. Jimin took another swig from his bottle, pressing it to his lips as he looked around,

“Okay, let’s pause from this personal war cause I’m actually curious about this one,”

He paused to frown up at the ceiling before continuing,

“Never have I ever regretted my first hookup?”

Almost on cue, there was a chorus of groans and Jimin put his hands up in an apologetic manner,

“Sorry, are we keeping this pg or something-”

But then his mouth snapped shut when he found himself looking at Yoongi, a wave of nausea hitting the back of his throat at the realisation of the topic he’d steered the game into. He didn’t know if it was something he could talk about, and he didn’t want to make this night uncomfortable for Yoongi, especially after what he knew about his past. Right as he parted his lips to quickly take back his question, Yoongi casually shrugged his shoulders and folded his finger down,

“I think most people do, at least a little.”

Breathing in a sigh of relief, Jimin nodded at Yoongi as he folded his finger as well. As the rest seemed to be debating their answers, Yoongi turned and tipped his drink accusingly at Jin who rolled his eyes before folding yet another finger. He knew the story behind that, in all its glorious details, so there was no way he was going to let Jin lie his way out of this. One by one, everyone put down a finger and Jimin just gave them all a sympathising smile. Well, everyone but one person who continued to watch the rest shake off the memory of their first hook ups. It was Taehyung who picked up on it first and peered accusingly at Jungkook when he saw that he still had no fingers folded,

“Really, Kook? Even this one?”

Immediately, Jungkook felt all the eyes in the room on him and he shrank into himself as his cheeks burned,

“I uh- I haven’t had sex…yet.”

The moment it slipped out of mouth, Taehyung’s sneer completely disappeared along with all the playfulness he held. Because now his harmless teasing didn’t seem so harmless, especially since Jungkook was resolutely staring down at his iced tea looking absolutely mortified. Sitting up abruptly, Taehyung ran a hand through his hair anxiously,

“Fuck, I’m sorry- I didn’t mean to…uh-”

“That’s fine too, it’s not a big deal anyways.” Namjoon slipped in when Taehyung stammered, giving Jungkook a reassuring smile.

Yoongi remained quiet, just watching as Jungkook shook his head at Taehyung’s continuous babbles of apologies. He knew it had caught Jungkook off guard, judging from the way his fingers tightened around his glass but he was already laughing it off quite easily. In fact, Taehyung was the one who looked frazzled now as he pinched the bridge of his nose,

“I declare game night over, I forfeit. I’ll clean everything up, let’s just watch …some movie or something-”

“Great timing, I was about to lose. Where’s the remote?” Jin drawled, somehow managing to segue way out of the heavy air that had settled in.

It was quite a funny picture, because if Yoongi didn’t know Jungkook as well as he did, he would have never believed those words from his mouth. That was how the world worked; people made judgements and held assumptions from the way you looked. It was easy to assume that Jungkook was popular with girls, guys or both; whichever was his preference. He just looked like that type since he was good looking, his new look only dripping him in more confidence. But the fact that he was always so honest, painfully so, even if it came at the price of sticking out of the norm was what got Yoongi from the very beginning. Sure, Jungkook looked a little different because of his hair and clothes but nothing about his core self had actually changed. He still hid behind whatever object he could find when he got shy, fiddled with the hem of his shirt when he was nervous and had endless patience for the idiots he called his friends even when they called him out for ridiculous shit. Sucking on another cube of ice, Yoongi found himself confirming that the feelings he had for Jungkook were still as strong as they were before he left for the states. Maybe they were even stronger, something about the saying how distance makes the heart fonder?

Trying to hide his fond smile, Yoongi tossed the remote over to Jin who caught it and quickly turned on some movie that he’d actually been wanting to watch. He saw Hoseok reach over and smack the back of Taehyung’s head in retaliation even though he had apologised a million times, and he only felt glad that over the course a year Jungkook had become the baby of the club that everyone looked out for. He’d been worried for the club, but he figured Namjoon and Hoseok would keep everything on track, so he decided to keep silent and let them handle it. Leaning back into the couch, Yoongi couldn’t help but trail his eyes over to where Jungkook, Jimin and Taehyung had tangled their limbs as they huddled together to watch the movie. A part of him yearned for that as well, and he knew it was one of the things his psychiatrist had told him to note consciously.

“Call an ambulance, I can actually see the hole you put through his head.” Jin whispered right into his ear as he threw an arm around his shoulders and Yoongi shoved him away,

“Shut up, and go cuddle with Joon.”

“But I want to cuddle with you, yoonie boo.”

“Fuck, that’s disgusting-” Yoongi choked out, trying not to laugh but failing miserably when Jin pursed his lips obnoxiously.

After Hoseok had turned around to shush at them, Yoongi drew an imaginary zip across his lips to placate him before he leaned against Jin once more. After a while, Jin withdrew his hands from his shoulders to simply lean against him more comfortably, and Yoongi knew what he was doing even though it would seem ordinary to anyone else. Jin was checking on him, like he always did, without fully confronting him because he knew Yoongi didn’t like it. He initially kept it to himself knowing that Jin had his own methods but as the movie came to an end, he came to a decision to openly talk about it,

“You know hyung, you can ask instead of checking if I flinch when you touch me.” Yoongi murmured, keeping his eyes on the screen even when Jin turned to watch him quietly for a while before murmuring back,

“Everything go okay with the shrink?”

Yoongi made a face at Jin’s choice of words, especially since he was in the same line of work, but he shrugged it off,

“Yeah, I’ll share with you what she told me sometime.”

“You don’t have to, it’s confidential.”

“You’re the one who keeps secrets from me hyung, not the other way around.”

Jin stared at him for a moment before easily agreeing to the statement with approving nods,

“Speaking of secrets, give me one minute with your lover boy before you sweep in to save him.”

Yoongi glanced over to Jungkook, who had somehow managed to untangle himself and quietly sneak off in the direction of the kitchen. It worried Yoongi that Jin wanted to talk to him, but it was probably for good reason so he let Jin get up and trail after him without stopping him.

This house was basically Jin’s second home, and Jin proved it by slipping into the kitchen after Jungkook and hopping onto the kitchen aisle. In retrospect, it would have been a good idea to pretend to be looking for chips to make it seem like he wasn’t blatantly cornering Jungkook in the kitchen, but that wasn’t his style. So, when Jungkook heard a rustle and turned to look behind him, Jin swung his legs and raised a brow in greeting,

“Hey.”

“Oh, hi hyung.”

He expected Jungkook to be shifty and not want to hold a conversation with him but Jungkook had stopped and turned to face him, seemingly waiting for him to say what he wanted to. It impressed Jin, and he applauded him silently as he tipped his chin in his direction,

“Listen, thanks for keeping quiet about the whole fiasco and acting like you don’t hate my guts-”

“I don’t.”

Jin raised his brow higher, looking like he didn’t really believe him but Jungkook kept their eyes locked before repeating himself,

“I don’t hate you.”

“Jesus, you really- well, thanks I guess.”

“No need to thank me, it wasn’t any of my business to tell anyone.”

That got Jin at a complete loss of words, frowning before he opened his mouth to speak only to close it and stare blankly at Jungkook. This kid really had never once failed to surprise him, and always in a good way. It had all began with him helping to save mochi from plunging to her death from the second story roof, and here they were after a whole year. Jin absently scratched the back of his nape before remembering what he actually came here for and dug out a key from his jean pocket, sliding it over the counter to him,

“Here. I’m not even gonna bother to ask you not to tell Yoongi I gave you this, just tell him after you’ve had a chance to use it first.”

Jungkook picked up the key, looking at it curiously but then quickly chucking it into his own pocket when Yoongi slowly slipped into the kitchen, looking between the both of them warily,

“Everything… alright?”

That had Jin rolling his eyes, hopping off the counter before deadpanning,

“No, I stabbed Jungkook thrice but he didn’t bleed so now I’m wondering if he’s a mythical being.”

When Yoongi’s eyes widened in what looked like genuine fear, Jungkook’s lips curled up in amusement. With a nonchalant wave of the hand, Jin sidestepped Yoongi to return to the couch without another word. He’d always been good at exiting situations without much explanation so it didn’t quite bother the two as much as it should have.

“He didn’t actually stab you, did he?” Yoongi whispered in a low voice, not entirely sure if he was joking around but Jungkook bought it when he barked out a laugh,

“What- no!”

The way Jungkook’s eyes disappeared when he genuinely laughed had Yoongi forgetting about his worries that these two were in the kitchen alone. Leaning his hip against the counter, Yoongi realised it was the first time tonight, and in a long while, that he had Jungkook to himself without the rest yelling or fussing in the background. He’d come to terms with his feelings for Jungkook for a while now, but the intensity of the allure he felt towards him still managed to startle him. Noticing how Jungkook was holding his empty glass, Yoongi sighed before narrowing his eyes,

“Don’t think I haven’t noticed you not drinking soju, it better not be because of me. The rest are annoying enough, not you too.”

Jungkook laughed again, and boy did Yoongi miss the way his nose scrunched up whenever he did,

“Ah that- I didn’t drink cause I gotta ride back home, hyung.”

Yoongi looked equally as confused as Jungkook had been a moment ago, because he wasn’t too sure what he meant. Did he mean he needed to ride a bicycle back or maybe a skateboard? But before he could ask, Jungkook had taken his glass to the sink so Yoongi clicked his tongue,

“Tae’s on clean up duty so put that down and go back, they’re starting the next movie.”

Jungkook only shook his head in return, and the way his hair bounced got Yoongi momentarily distracted but he managed to catch sight of that trademark stubbornness that shone through. Knowing that it was a hopeless fight, Yoongi let Jungkook rinse his glass at the sink and tried to fight off the domestic fantasies it was spurring. He was in the midst of one when Jungkook put the glass away before drying his hands,

“Actually, I’ve got to leave. It’s getting late and if I’m not home by midnight, Junghyun hyung might kill me.”

Jungkook already looked too apologetic so Yoongi forced himself not to look too disappointed at the fact that he was leaving,

“Oh. Yeah, of course. Come, I’ll see you out.”

“Ah, that’s alright I’ll just-”

“Jeon Jungkook, I want to walk you out. I’m going to.”

When Jungkook’s eyes darted at him before he looked away bashfully, Yoongi gestured to the hall as he walked ahead and decided to interrupt the rest from the movie,

“He’s leaving first, say bye.”

Jimin swivelled his head around sounding like he was going to complain but then he saw Yoongi’s hand at the small of Jungkook’s back as he was accompanying him to the door and decided to swallow his words right back in. Giving Taehyung a knowing look, he simply joined in the rest of the indiscernible hollering,

“See you in school, get home safe!”

Hoseok snickered, but Namjoon leaned over and placed a hand over his mouth before he could say anything about the two sneaking off. Yoongi was honestly grateful for that as he held the door open for Jungkook who walked out after grabbing his coat off the rack. It was a cold night, and Yoongi watched Jungkook briskly put on his coat to combat the strong winds. After two steps, Yoongi decided he wasn’t going to just stay silent so he spoke up,

“Hey-”

But it seemed like Jungkook also had something to say at that very instance,

“Hyung-”

Both of them seemed to have startled each other, but Jungkook was the one who quickly nodded at Yoongi,

“You first.”

Deciding not to waste time arguing with Jungkook, Yoongi gave him a small smile before looking up at the night sky,

“Well, I just wanted to say…about earlier, the game? It’s okay not to have sexual experience-”

“Oh god, hyung! No- I regret it, let me go first-” Jungkook groaned, hands flying to cover his face.

“Wait, hear me out,” Came the quick counter from Yoongi, and he tugged at  Jungkook’s hand gently to get him to stop hiding his face,

“I know it sounds embarrassing and me bringing it up probably is but really, I just want you to know you have nothing to be ashamed about.”

Slowing his steps down to match Yoongi, Jungkook dropped his hands only to scratch at his nose self-consciously,

“Seems like there kinda is.”

The tinge of shame behind those words had Yoongi insistently shaking his head, keeping his voice clear and level,

“No, there really isn’t. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time or not wanting to, because it all depends on you. It doesn’t matter if people take one look at your face and assume things, you shouldn’t feel the need to give in to societal pressure and fit in with the rest.”

With a sigh, he reached over and let his fingers wrap around Jungkook’s forearm to get him to look him in the eye,

“Take my words for it, yeah?”

There was a pause, where Jungkook’s eyes softened and Yoongi knew he had understood the weight behind those words,

“Of course, hyung.”

“Promise?” Yoongi whispered, not caring if he seemed childish when he stretched out his pinky towards him.

Jungkook only grinned at that, easily linking their pinkies together,

“Promise.”

The boyish charm behind that grin had Yoongi wondering if it was possible to shield him from the harshness of this world as long as he could. He didn’t care if it seemed like a hopeless wish, he still wanted to try. Trying not to dwell on it too much, Yoongi drifted his eyes around the front garage as they reached the front gate,

“Where’s your ride?”

“Oh, outside.”

“Why didn’t you bring it in?” Yoongi chastised as he opened the gate, scowling at Jungkook’s over politeness.

With a hand holding the gate open, he looked around for a bicycle or skateboard only to be met by a gleaming black motorbike illuminated by the streetlamp,

“Fucking hell.”

A grimace had fully set in his face as he continued,

“This is why you didn’t drink, wait-does Junghyun hyung know about this?”

“He’s the one who picked it out for me.”

“So, he has you on a curfew but he lets you ride this death trap?!”

Jungkook only watched him in amusement as Yoongi continued to eye the bike like it was an evil monster. He’d been riding since he was sixteen, which was probably against the law but the busan countryside wasn’t too strict about enforcements especially since he rode to deliver chicken to the police chief countless times. But Yoongi didn’t need to know that, so Jungkook just laughed it off and let Yoongi inspect his bike as much as he wanted. He wanted to find a way to buy some more time with Yoongi, but he didn’t know what else to say or do when Yoongi turned around from his inspection and sighed in defeat. Jungkook continued to stand there, fiddling with his thumb, and Yoongi knew that something was up,

“Something wrong?”

Jungkook was gnawing on his lip again, until he took a breath in and huffed,

“Hyung, I don’t think I can sleep tonight if I don’t ask you this so I’m just going to.”

Yoongi held his breath at the chance of Jungkook bringing up their last conversation before he left. He wanted to talk about it too, he just didn’t know how to bring it up with the rest there, so he just signalled for Jungkook to continue by nodding. Jungkook’s brown eyes seemed to hold specks of gold, because of the warm lighting from the streetlamp, and his voice was impossibly soft when it interrupted the silence between them,

“How did your sessions go?”

It wasn’t what Yoongi thought this was going to be about, but he should have known. Even now, Jungkook was only thinking about him and it was almost impossible not feel his heart getting wrenched. Letting out a soft chuckle, Yoongi told the honest truth,

“It was difficult, but she’s really good. We talked- it got me dealing a lot better with many things.”

“That’s really great to hear, hyung. I’m really happy, you look good too- I mean you’ve always looked good, uh- what I mean is-”

“I know what you mean. You look really good too, nice jacket.”

Jungkook ducked his head, hair covering his eyes but nothing could cover the flush on his cheeks. He shifted his weight on his feet, scraping his boots against the asphalt before looking up,

“Hyung, can I hug you?”

Yoongi knew, in the back of his mind, why Jungkook felt the need to ask that question but it still felt absurd to him. After all these times he’d hugged Jungkook, that question felt a little unneeded. That was, until he realised that it was precisely the fact that he’d been the one to initiate all the physical touches that was the answer. It hadn’t even been two days since he was back but he was already ever so thankful for the notes he took during all his sessions with his psychiatrist because he sure as well wouldn’t have caught all these details before. As much as Yoongi wanted to just cross the small distance between them and grab him, or tell him that he didn’t need to ask, he just searched Jungkook’s eyes before tilting his head,

“Yeah, you can.”

Jungkook’s bunny teeth stuck out as he beamed, barely taking a step forward before he wrapped his arms around Yoongi’s shoulders and clung on tight. Yoongi tipped back a little from the weight pressed on him but he quickly brought his own hands to Jungkook’s back, feeling him squeeze a little. Stopping himself from even trying to think or rationalise his feelings, Yoongi simply breathed in the source of comfort he’d been longing for. Jungkook had dropped his head to his neck and usually that would have had alarms going off in his head, but Yoongi only felt his smile widen when he felt him bury his nose in his hair. It was Jungkook who rubbed his shoulder comfortingly before pulling his arms off, and Yoongi only stopped himself from grabbing at him since he knew he had to get home. Reaching up to brush a lock of hair off Jungkook’s eyes, Yoongi revelled in the remaining warmth of his embrace before he stepped back to let him grab his helmet,

“I really missed you.”

It seemed to have caught him off guard, as Jungkook darted his eyes up to look at Yoongi, lips parted in surprise,

“I really missed you too.”

It was nice to hear, and Yoongi knew it was the same for Jungkook, as they just stood there looking at each other outside the main gate close to midnight. He knew that they could probably just stand here for hours without saying a word so he awkwardly cleared his throat and gestured to the black helmet that had been forgotten about in Jungkook’s left hand,

“You’re gonna be late.”

Blinking twice before smiling sheepishly, Jungkook pulled on his helmet and Yoongi couldn’t help himself from stepping closer and knocking his knuckles on it thrice,

“Is this sturdy?”

“Very. Now please go back inside hyung, it’s cold.” Came the reply, but it was muffled.

The cold wasn’t really bothering Yoongi as much as the sound of the engine whirring, and he didn’t bother hiding his frown when Jungkook kicked up the side stand and swerved around. Now, Jungkook was completely unrecognisable and Yoongi continued to peer at him when he tilted his head and pointed a finger as a signal for him to get back inside. Yoongi just crossed his arms, shaking his head and tipping his chin for Jungkook to head down this slope. Two could play at this game, and when Jungkook continued to sit on his bike unwilling to move, Yoongi tapped at his own wrist reminding him about his curfew. He couldn’t see Jungkook’s face, but he didn’t need to because he could practically see the pout he was surely sporting. With a last wave, Jungkook swerved off and Yoongi tried not to flinch at the sound it made as he rode down the cobbled slope. It was probably fine, cars went at that speed too, but something about motorbikes just really unsettled him. Why in the world did Junghyun allow this, Yoongi had absolutely no idea. But as he stood in his driveway staring at an empty cobbled road, there was one thing he was really clear about;

 

He wasn’t just going to bring up his confession and ask Jungkook if he still liked him, he was going to fucking woo him.