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i got all my stars aligned

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DATE NO. 1

 

Seokjin is so beautiful.

Jungkook gapes at him over his iced Americano and crosses his toes inside his sneakers.

So beautiful, and pursuing a PhD! A beautiful academic, Jungkook thinks dreamily. He's run out of other adjectives, but it doesn't matter. Seokjin is the one for him, he's sure of it.

Jungkook is in a daze the rest of the date, laughing a little too hard over Seokjin's joke about a cow (he didn't get it, but he has to be supportive of the love of his life), and wondering about what Seokjin's shoulders look like underneath his crisp collared shirt.

Seokjin seems to be having just as much fun as him, but Jungkook knows that isn't enough. When he notices Seokjin glancing at his wristwatch, he panics a little.

"I had a really great time, Seokjin-hyung," he says, chest tight and overflowing with love and lust for the gorgeous man currently shoving forkfuls of pasta into his mouth. "We should do this again real soon."

"Of course," Seokjin says. He checks the calendar on his phone. "I've several final papers lined up, so it can't be too soon... How about July third?"

"Sure." Jungkook doesn't bother checking his own calendar; he'll cancel anything for Kim Seokjin at this point. But he soon realizes it's a week from now, and his heart drops a little. The gap is too long, and Jungkook is sure there are dozens of other hot academics at Konkuk University who could sweep Seokjin off of his feet with their stupid research papers with annotations taking up half the page and their expertise on obscure Greco-Roman sculptures. Seokjin's fake cough manages to snap Jungkook out of his angry daydream about Seokjin's tryst with some equally beautiful, sexually experienced, and completely made-up PhD student.

"I have to get going," Seokjin says, standing up slowly. "Tell that brat Mingyu he finally managed to do something right by setting this up."

Jungkook jumps to his feet. "Definitely."

To his surprise, Seokjin gives him a little peck on the cheek. It's enough to make Jungkook weak in the knees, but he holds himself together. 

Sighing, he watches Seokjin's beautiful, broad figure leave the café.

"He's the one," Jungkook tells his coffee cup with a nod.

 

 

Jungkook retrieves crucial information about Seokjin from Mingyu. 

A Sagittarius and a Metal Monkey. Jungkook checks their horoscopes daily, first thing in the morning, sending Seokjin memes on days when the Sagittarius horoscope says ‘someone important will reach out to you.

Jungkook soon realizes that the paper likes to recycle fortunes after seeing the exact same fortune Seokjin had three days ago for his Virgo self.

Mingyu also recommends a fortune-teller just outside of the campus – someone calling themselves Monsieur Jack Kim. Jungkook schedules a reservation via a Google doc that Mingyu links him.

The place is on the residential second floor of a soondae shop. He rings the doorbell twice before he hears a sound like someone running, and the door opens on its own.

“Welcome,” he greets Jungkook with a deep, booming voice. He’s sitting on a purple velvet chair, a little breathless.

Monsieur Jack has a crystal ball with fumes that smell like lemongrass coming out of it.

He starts by showing Jungkook the assorted moles on his face and body as proof of his second sight, before finally reading his palm and telling him he would live an unnaturally long life that would culminate in a heart attack in a Finnish sauna (“a good way to go – trust me, I’ve seen much worse”).

Jungkook doesn’t care; all he wants to know if Seokjin is in his very near future.

“DOES SEOKJIN WANT ME OR NOT!” Jungkook shouts, jumping up from his seat.

Monsieur Jack gives him a disgusted stare. “Manners, please.”

Jungkook slumps back into the velvet plush chair.

“I can see a lot of things,” Monsieur Jack says thoughtfully. He leans closer to his crystal ball and takes a deep whiff of the lemongrass mist coming out of a hole in the center. “But I cannot see what is in his heart.”

Jungkook stares hard at the crystal ball and realizes it’s an aroma diffuser plugged into a socket behind the curtains.

Monsieur Jack charges him 70,000 won.

Jungkook rummages inside his backpack.

“We accept Visa and Mastercard,” Monsieur Jack says, turning off his diffuser.

 


 

DATE NO. 2

 

Jungkook is wearing a purple and yellow striped T-shirt—today's lucky colors for Virgo—and has twelve tiny pebbles in the back pocket of his jeans—today's lucky number for Virgo. They poke at his butt, but Jungkook considers it a small price to pay in exchange for Seokjin’s eternal love.

When Seokjin spots him in the café, he recoils a little at the sight of Jungkook's shirt but manages to recover quickly. Jungkook is really hot, hot enough to overpower the ridiculous outfit. 

The lucky colors and pebbles work; they set a third date. (And Seokjin gives Jungkook a quick kiss on the cheek again before they part ways at the subway exit.)

 

-

 

Shortly before their third date, Jungkook buys a love amulet from a wizened old man selling knick-knacks on a plastic blanket. The tiny amulet resembles a heart-shaped bean. The old man introduces himself as Augustus and tells him it’s a special volcanic rock from Daegu.

Jungkook notices short black hair peeking from behind the man’s nape; the rest of his hair is long and white.

“I’ll throw in a love potion just for you,” Augustus says, handing him a small bottle that looks like a tiny Red Bull.

“Are there even volcanoes in Dae—”

Jungkook is interrupted by a horrible fit of coughing from the old man.

“I—blech—wish I had, had that when I was—blechhh—your age! I lost my true love, my sun, light of my life, lost him to—”, he pauses for another coughing fit. “To some younger dancer, vile male vixen! Because I refused to buy—”

“It’s fine, it’s fine, I’ll buy it. Do you need a doctor?”

“NO! Leave me!” the old man screams.

Jungkook scratches his head and hands Augustus the money.

The old man packs up his wares using his plastic blanket and runs off like a perfectly agile 25-year-old.

 


 

DATE NO. 3

 

Seokjin and Jungkook’s third date rolls around—a dinner date! They meet at fancy restaurant downtown.

Jungkook is dressed up for the occasion, but under his suit is an ill-fitting tangerine tank top he bought at the kid’s section (the only section offering a variety of colors, it seems)—today’s lucky color for love for Virgos. His socks are cerulean blue, today’s lucky color for nothing in particular for Virgos. The love amulet-slash-bean necklace is tucked into his tank top, and the love potion is waiting in his messenger bag.

He arrives at the place first, fidgeting nervously and running to the toilet twice before Seokjin finally arrives.

Seokjin’s a sight to behold in his black blazer and white shirt and shockingly neon green socks, so gorgeous and effortless and breathtaking and broad and perfect that Jungkook chokes on the breadstick he’s chewing on.

“You, you l-look really good, hyung,” Jungkook stammers, eyes watering from holding back a cough.

“You’re not too bad yourself,” Seokjin gives him an awkward wink. If somebody chose this moment to stab Jungkook with a butter knife, he’d be completely fine with it.

When the food arrives, Jungkook stares open-mouthed at Seokjin, who’s cutting up his steak into three-inch squares and downing them with an assortment of sounds (“nyom”, “mmm”, and Jungkook’s favorite, “ahhh”).

Seokjin drops his napkin while sawing vigorously at a particularly tough part of the steak and ducks under the table to pick it up. Jungkook moves quickly, pouring the entire love potion into Seokjin’s wine glass.

The rest of the night goes pretty well. They talk about Seokjin’s dissertation about public reception of all-male casting for theater plays, Jungkook’s Overwatch and Japanese language goals for the summer, and Seokjin’s friend Yoongi’s ridiculous performance art called Old Man Regrets. (“He walks around campus dressed like a fucking hobo,” Seokjin explains.)

Jungkook has a feeling he’s met Yoongi before, but before he can think about it any further, Seokjin’s face turns paper-white.

“What’s wrong, hyung?”  

“I, uh, I think there’s something wrong with my stomach.”

The love potion! Oh my god, I’ve poisoned the love of my life! Jungkook panics.

Seokjin’s stomach cramps are so bad that he can’t stand up straight. He pays for both of them with his card and rushes home in a taxi, refusing Jungkook’s offer to go with him and apologizing profusely for having to end the night early. Jungkook feels petrified the entire time.

As soon as Jungkook gets home, he sends Seokjin a message.

im so sorry hyung! how are you feeling???

Thanks. I’m much better... Yoongi dropped by to give me an antacid

 

thats good!!

except for the food poisoning bit, tonight was really fun. i hope we can hang out again soon?

 

Of course! August 10?

There’s this movie I’ve been planning to watch

im free! lunch, then?

I’ll pick out a good restaurant. Hope I don’t get poisoned this time lol

lmaooo yeah dont worry hyung, ill try out all the food first to make sure

Nah, it’s fine I don’t want you to get poisoned either haha

(hearteyes emoji)(hearteyes emoji)

 

Seokjin doesn’t reply the rest of the night. Jungkook kicks uselessly at the blanket on the foot of his bed.

“Fucking hearteyes emoji, nice one, you fucking genius!”

 

-

 

The weatherman announces a blizzard on the week Seokjin and Jungkook scheduled sfor their fourth date.

A blizzard in the middle of August.

Jungkook will not stand for this, of course. He opens up a service posting page and finds a couple advertising rainmaking rituals.

He jumps into a taxi and asks the driver to step on it.

Jung-Park Acupuncture, 3F, the sign outside the building reads.

The taxi driver drives away, shaking his head. Jungkook runs up the stairs and into the New Age-y office on the third floor.

Jung and Park introduce themselves as having been married for a year. (“In Australia,” Jung explains, clasping Park’s hand. “They’re much more progressive over there.”) Jungkook wants to roll his eyes at the way the two keep looking at each other.

“I need to stop a blizzard. For my true love.”

The couple nod sympathetically.

Park asks him to put on a wooden necklace that makes rain sounds, while Jung puts on a record that sounds suspiciously like Drake instrumentals.

“A rain dance would take thirty, a sun dance maybe forty-five, but keeping away a blizzard is two hours, tops,” Park explains, lifting his arms and head to the east. Jungkook follows suit.

Afterwards, Jung and Park, probably taking pity on him, give him a 50% discount. Jungkook is grateful – the love amulet (with the free love potion) and the fortune-telling session had racked up more than a hundred thousand won.

“Good luck to you and your true love,” they wave to him from the doorway.

 

-

 

The blizzard comes, anyway.

Seokjin reschedules their date to five days later. People scream about global warming on the news. Jungkook, shivering and dressed in woolen long johns because the heating system is broken (he was going to get it fixed in the fall!), kicks at his sofa. He gives Jung-Park Acupuncture’s Facebook page a one-star rating.

That afternoon, after falling asleep on the sofa, he dreams of four hundred thousand won worth of frozen scallops getting delivered to his house. The delivery man is Seokjin. Jungkook has nothing to pay him with.

“I used it all up on you. Take me instead, hyung,” he says in the dream with dramatic flair, like a swooning lady from a black-and-white movie.

Seokjin snorts and hauls the crates of scallops back into his truck.

Jungkook wakes up covered in a sheen of sweat, despite the roaring blizzard outside. He searches up the meaning of scallops in dreams; they all say something about female sensuality. None of it make sense to him.

He spots a personalized dream interpretation service banner at the bottom of the page. It asks him to input his credit card details before they give him a voucher code and the number to call.

“RM Dream Readers. You can’t spell dream without RM!” A high-pitched male voice chirps.

“Hi, I’d like to have my dream interpreted,” Jungkook says in one breath.

“Just a second!”

Jungkook waits while someone fumbles around in the background.

“Hello, dreamer. Welcome to RM Dream Readers,” It’s the same voice, only deeper, but Jungkook can’t be bothered by that right now. “May I have your voucher number, please?”

“GV dash 10544.”

“Please give us a minute while we verify your code.” Jungkook hears a flurry of typing sounds, followed by the man making a strange buzzing sound. “Code verified. Thank you for choosing RM Dream Readers. Now, could you please share with me your dream in detail, starting from the very beginning?”

“I dreamt I got this huge delivery of fucking scallops, and the delivery man was the love of my life, but I had nothing to pay him with because I spent all my money trying to make sure he’d love me back and—”

A crackling sound. And then static. And then a busy dial tone.

“Hello? HELLO???”

Jungkook redials. Busy.

He tries for the next twenty minutes or so, but it never rings again. Groaning, he slumps into the sofa and screams into a cushion.

 


 

DATE NO. 4(????)

 

Jungkook wakes up to the ringing of his phone.

It’s Seokjin.

 

“Seokjin-hyung!”

“Jungkook?”

“Yes, hyung?”

“I’m outside your apartment—”

“You’re what?”

“I’m outside. I got your address from Mingyu.”

“You drove through a fucking blizzard?”

“I felt bad about rescheduling our date again, so, uh, yeah… I thought maybe you’d like to hang out or so—”

“Hyung, shut up, I’ll buzz you in before you freeze to death!”

 

Jungkook can’t believe he told Seokjin to shut up, but he thinks it’s probably just part two of his hypothermia-induced frozen scallop fever dream so he doesn’t worry too much about it. He scrambles to his keypad to let Seokjin in and runs down to the first floor.

Seokjin is standing in front of the elevator, snow in his hair and on his wide, wide shoulders. He has a giant paper bag with him.

“Nice outfit,” he tells Jungkook, who’s still in his woolen long johns.

“Oh, lord,” Jungkook looks down at himself and groans.

“It’s fine, silly. Come on, I brought some grilled scallops and potato chips.”

Jungkook freezes at the mention of scallops. Also, he isn’t wearing any of his lucky colors for Virgo, today of all days.

They take the elevator to the fourth floor.

“This is all a dream, right, hyung?”

“Huh? I don’t think so.” Seokjin reaches out and pinches Jungkook’s ear gently.

Jungkook blushes from head to toe. It’s not a fever dream.

Inside his apartment, Jungkook apologizes for the freezing temperature before running into his room to get changed. Seokjin takes out the food from the paper bag and pours two glasses of Coke for both of them.

“Hyung, you really didn’t have to come all the way here, you know.”

Seokjin laughs weakly, plopping down onto the couch. “I wanted to see you!”

“Really?”

“Yeah, and I brought a DVD.”

“Hyung, where’d you get grilled scallops in this weather?”

“Yoongi was supposed to sell them today for his stupid show but he forgot about the blizzard.”

Yoongi! That evil old man! Jungkook is racked with guilt again. He has to come clean to the love of his life.

“Listen, hyung, there’s something I need to tell you. About that terrible stomachache you had…”

“Jungkook, I told you not to worry about it—”

“No, hyung, it was my fault! I put a l-love potion in your wine when you weren’t looking.” Jungkook stands perfectly still in his shamrock green jogging pants and pink hoodie (a white one he accidentally mixed with the dark-colored laundry), today’s lucky colors, with three cotton buds in his pocket, today’s lucky number.

Seokjin looks at him, a mix of amusement and confusion on his face.

“I think… I think I bought it from your friend Yoongi. Hyung, I’m so sorry!” Jungkook’s voice cracks. “It’s just that I like you so much that I wanted to make sure you’d like me back, too. I went to this stupid fortune teller, I bought a love amulet from your scamming hobo friend, I even tried to drive away this”—Jungkook gestures to the window—“this fucking blizzard! I like you that much, hyung,” Jungkook starts crying, mostly out of relief.

His face is so red that Seokjin can barely stifle a giggle, which immediately makes him feel awful, because Jungkook looks so upset and vulnerable.

“I”—Jungkook sniffles—“I checked the horoscope every time we had a date just so I could wear my lucky colors—oh god, even this shit I’m wearing right now, this is so embarrassing…”

“Jungkook. Jungkook,” Seokjin says softly. “It’s okay.”

“NO! You think it’s funny,” he wails. “I have three Q-tips in my pocket because it’s today’s lucky number!”

Seokjin grabs the box of tissues on the coffee table. “I don’t think it’s funny. Sit down, please?”

Jungkook sits next to him and blows into a tissue. Seokjin stoops down a little to look him in the eye.

“You didn’t have to use a love potion on me, Kook. Do you think I’d keep scheduling dates with you and drive through a blizzard if I didn’t like you?” Seokjin hands him a glass of Coke. “I wasn’t going to tell you, but my horoscope told me not to put off something extremely important today.”

“You’re just saying that to make me feel better,” Jungkook chews at his lower lip sadly.

“You’re not the only dweeb who checks the horoscope, you know. The first thing I asked Mingyu after our date was your birthday, you silly Fire Ox Virgo.”

Jungkook tries his best to hold back a smile and concentrates on staring into his glass of Coke.

“Okay, maybe you’ll believe me if I show you my mustard yellow boxers. Today’s lucky color for Sagittarius, right? You can take a look if you want,” Seokjin says very seriously.

Jungkook finally lets out a small laugh and glances at Seokjin. “Really, hyung? On the fourth date? I’m not that easy, you know.”

“Is that so?”

“I like you so much, hyung.”

“I like you, too, Jungkook. A lot.”

“Do you forgive me for almost poisoning you?”

“Of course. We’ll have to clock Yoongi for that one of these days, though.”

 

They laugh quietly, the blizzard outside roaring away. 

The love amulet, lying forgotten on the wet kitchen counter for several days now, has sprouted a tiny leaf.