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Teen Angst (With a Body Count)

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Park Jimin wasn’t sure whether to feel morose or elated. On one hand, it was his senior year. He was finally at the end, so close to freedom that the thought often times brought tears of relief to the corners of his eyes.

On the other hand, he still had 9 months to go of being shoved around in the halls and pulling all-nighters to finish group projects where he did all the work. Either way, he really hated high school.

Dear Diary
Senior year really makes you think about things. About the people you’ve grown up with, the ones that you have come to know probably too much about. And looking back, comparing then to now, I can’t help but ask myself, what happened to everyone? We used to be so innocent, so bright-eyed and hopeful. We actually cared about each other. No one used to worry about labels or status. But now, it’s all different.

He walks quickly, crossing the campus with his head down and shoulders hunched in an attempt to make himself even smaller than he already is. Over the years he’s become an expert at staying out of the public eye. In this place, any attention was bad attention. Unless you were a Kim.

The movies portray high school as the best years of our youth, a time of finding ourselves and making memories that’ll last forever. But really, it’s Hell. It’s kill or be killed, predator and prey. And most of us are the prey. There is no escaping the hungry eyes of our peers, one small mistake and they will eat us alive.

The Kims are the only exception. They stand above it all.

The Kims are what everyone aspires to be. They’re at the very top of the food chain; simply making eye contact with one of the Kims could be considered the highlight of one’s entire existence. The Kims– Kim Seokjin, Kim Namjoon, and Kim Taehyung– are basically royalty at Bom High School. They make Jimin feel both sick to his stomach, and extremely envious.

Kim Taehyung is Student Body President. He isn’t particularly smart or studious, but he’s rich. His parents have their own fashion company, and he only ever wears clothes from their latest line.

Kim Namjoon runs the school yearbook. He might not have a memorable personality, or any talents to speak of, but he does have dimples deep enough to swim in. That was enough for most people.

And then there is Kim Seokjin. He is a major dick. But with a jawline so sharp it can cut diamond, and a temper hot enough to scold, there is no questioning who runs the pack.

The Kims are a force to be reckoned with. They are the most beautiful, best dressed, most respected people in all of Bom High. They are also vile and heartless, and live without a shred of care for those around them.

But, at the same time, I’d give anything to be them.

As Jimin narrowly slides through the school’s entrance doors before they slam shut, he takes in his all too familiar surroundings.

There is a group of girls just to the left of him embracing and sobbing all at once, as if they’ve just returned from a war and haven’t seen each other in years.

Further down the hall, some football players are guffawing loudly as they trip a student that’s holding a handful of textbooks. At the head of the pack is quarterback Jackson Wang, and his best friend plus linebacker Mark Tuan.

It’s all very cliché, but none of it is a new occurrence. The routine has been the same for all the other first days of school too. The thought that this was the last first day of high school Jimin would see makes him feel something odd and uncomfortable deep down.

The feeling suddenly overwhelms him, and he begins to feel cramped, like he can’t catch his breath while being surrounded by all these people.

Shoving through the crowd, Jimin stumbles into the bathroom, locking himself in the very last stall of the currently isolated space. He leans against the wall and takes a few deep breaths, allowing himself some respite from the momentary panic he’d just been experiencing. His phone chimes, and he withdraws it from his pocket to read the new message.

From: Hobi :D
Will u give me an award if I’m still alive by the time June comes around?

Jimin smiles slightly at the message. Hoseok has been his best friend since childhood. He has a heart of gold and a grin to rival sunshine.

Unfortunately, Hoseok’s unwavering kindness and optimism are usually mistaken for weakness and vulnerability, and he oftentimes faces the brunt of his classmates’ cruelty. More specifically that of Jackson and Mark.

It isn’t fair, but there is nothing that can be done about it. It’s just another reason for Jimin to hate this place and everyone in it.

To: Hobi :D
If either of us make it that far, I’ll buy us matching trophies

For a few seconds, Jimin’s only company is the telltale three dots that signal an incoming text.

From: Hobi :D
Works for me !!
Where are you btw? I wanna walk to first period together

Jimin is about to reply when the bathroom door slams open with so much force that it collides with the tile wall, and he is so startled that he almost drops his cell in the toilet.

Shortly after the dramatic entrance, voices reach his ears.

“–not gonna call him back?” A deep, soothing voice questions.

“Someone with less sex drive than a hospice patient doesn’t deserve a call back, Taehyung,” Another voice sneers. “Plus, his eyes are too far apart. It’s creepy.”

Jimin’s heart threatens to burst out of his chest when he recognizes whom the voices belong to. Kim Taehyung and Kim Seokjin.

“But I thought you said he was so pretty that he was almost worth more than your entire blazer collection,” A third voice sounds, and it can only belong to the last member of the group, Kim Namjoon.

“Well I changed my mind! Am I not allowed to do that?” Seokjin snaps, and Jimin can hear the sound of his palms slapping the sink in frustration.

He peeks through the crack in the stall door to see the others.

“No. Sorry, hyung.” Namjoon lowers his head in shame.

Jimin’s breath catches in his throat. He’s never been this close to the Kims before. He feels a little weird about basically studying them, but can’t help himself.

Taehyung is sitting on the counter, leaning close to the mirror as he fixes his already perfect hair. He’s dyed it a striking blonde over the summer. One of his legs are folded up in front of him, while the other dangles loosely. He’s wearing shoes that look more expensive than Jimin’s entire outfit.

Namjoon’s skin is so clear it’s basically sparkling in the florescent lighting. He’s handsome even now, when he’s frowning, but Jimin feels as if he shouldn’t have a reason to. Someone as beautiful as Kim Namjoon should only ever be smiling.

Seokjin looks just as intimidating as everyone says he is, with his incredibly broad shoulders and a scowl that somehow is both scary and sexy all at once. His lips are full and he has not a hair out of place on his head, nor does he have a single wrinkle in his red polo shirt, the one that matches his trademarked watch that Jimin has heard is engraved with the words Nappeun Nyeon – “Bad Bitch”.

Jimin’s skin prickles at the tension in the room, suddenly feeling like he’s intruding on a private moment as Seokjin continues to stare down Namjoon like the boy has just insulted his mother. The bell rings, but no one makes a move. Not the Kims because they don’t care, and not Jimin because he’s too afraid to reveal himself and get caught eavesdropping.

“That shirt looks a bit tight on you, Joon. Have you gained weight?” Seokjin finally speaks, his face now smoothed out and tone that of a concerned friend. The question makes Jimin’s stomach turn.

Taehyung looks back at his friends with a furrowed brow, lips parted slightly like he wants to say something but knows better. Namjoon’s arms wrap around his midsection self-consciously as he replies.

“I don’t think so, I–”

“I think you have. Might want to do something about that, yeah?” Seokjin interrupts.

Namjoon immediately turns and enters a nearby stall, and all is silent for a moment before the sound of retching can be heard. Looking satisfied, Seokjin turns to the mirror so he can search himself for imperfections. It’s clear that he won’t find any, and he only uses this as an excuse to check himself out.

The bathroom door opens once more, and Professor Sejin strolls in with a triumphant smirk on his face.

“Well if it isn’t Kim Seokjin and Kim Taehyung,” He says as way of greeting. His next words are interrupted by the sound of gagging coming from Namjoon’s stall.

Professor Sejin’s expression sours at the noise. “And Kim Namjoon. You must have been too distracted by the vomiting to have heard the bell. All three of you are late for class.”

Jimin’s eyes widen, and he rushes to find a pen and a loose piece of paper, trying to stay as quiet as possible as he begins writing.

“Professor, we’re only helping Namjoon,” Seokjin explains sweetly. He leans closer to the man as he whispers, “He’s a little nervous about his senior year.”

Namjoon steps out of the stall gingerly, heading to the sink to rinse his mouth, and Taehyung rubs his back sympathetically.

“I can understand your reasoning of course, but I cannot ignore the lack of a hall pass. I’m afraid I have to give the three of you detention,” Says Professor Sejin.

Jimin takes this moment to burst out of his stall in a rather obnoxious manner, stumbling over himself as he hands Professor Sejin the excuse note he’d just written.

“Actually! The four of us are out on a hall pass for yearbook committee,” Jimin says, praying that he had done a good enough job forging the yearbook advisor’s signature.

Professor Sejin’s face goes blank as he reads over the note, his eyes losing their slight glimmer and his lips pressing together. “I see,” he mumbles, handing the note back to Jimin. “Well, don’t just stand around. Get where you need to be.”

He leaves, his heavy footsteps just short of stomping, and Jimin sighs in relief. Then he remembers he has an audience, and he tenses.

“Who are you?” Seokjin asks accusingly.

Jimin whips around to face the trio, heart fluttering like a hummingbird’s wings.

“I’m– uh– um–” Jimin stutters, suddenly unable to speak the language he’s been speaking all his life.

“Is he okay? He looks pale,” Taehyung not-so-quietly whispers to Namjoon, who shrugs.

“Jimin! I’m Park Jimin. Yeah.” Jimin nods once, internally grimacing at his awkwardness.

Taehyung snatches the fake hall pass out of Jimin’s hand, showing it to the other two. Seokjin looks over it appreciatively.

“This forgery is excellent, I’ll give you that. But why help us?” Seokjin questions.

“I want a favor,” Jimin says before he can stop himself.

The Kims’ expressions collectively harden at this, and Jimin gulps. He knows he has to choose his next words carefully.

“What kind of favor?” Seokjin growls.

“I want to sit at your table during lunch. Just for today! You don’t even have to acknowledge me. If people see me hanging out with you, they might treat me with a bit more respect.” His voice gets smaller as he continues, and by the time he’s done, it’s nearly inaudible.

His stomach drops when the Kims laugh as if he’s just told them the funniest joke they’ve ever heard.

“I can write you more hall passes if you agree! Absent notes too,” Jimin tries, doing his best to keep the desperation out of his voice.

And then Seokjin is in his face, eyes scrutinizing and fingers lightly grazing his cheekbones. Jimin is too petrified to so much as blink. Seokjin smells like vanilla and lavender.

“You might be a little too short for my tastes, but you do have remarkably good bone structure,” Seokjin compliments, breath ghosting over Jimin’s skin.

“Th-thanks?” Jimin nearly jumps out of his skin when he feels someone grab hold of the side of his head, tilting it slightly.

“And you have really nice earlobes,” Taehyung mutters, lightly massaging the cartilage. Seokjin smacks his fingers away.

“You could always lose a few pounds, though,” Says Namjoon, still standing an arm’s length away.

Seokjin finally takes a few steps back, and Taehyung follows suit. The Kims cross their arms all at the same time, making Jimin wonder if they’d rehearsed such a move.

“What do you say you meet us here after school, and we go buy you a new wardrobe?” Seokjin offers, but somehow he makes it sound like a command.

“Why?” Jimin asks.

“We can’t exactly have you walking around with us while wearing ratty clothes like that, can we?” Taehyung giggles, and Jimin thinks it might just be the nicest sound he’s ever heard. He lets the comment on his state of dress slide.

Jimin’s jaw drops. “You–you want to walk around with me?”

Seokjin rolls his eyes. “Obviously. We wouldn’t still be here otherwise.”

“Yes! Yes I’d love to!” Jimin exclaims, blushing in embarrassment at his volume.

“Then it’s settled. Be here right after school. Don’t be late,” Seokjin emphasizes, and then the Kims exit the bathroom in single file. Taehyung winks at Jimin on his way out.

Jimin’s legs feel like jelly, but he manages to keep himself upright and leaves shortly after the others do.

He walks to class in a haze. He doesn’t register the lecture his teacher gives him for being late, nor does he realize that he still hasn’t replied to Hoseok’s last message.

Chapter Text

A month passes, and Jimin decides it’s probably the best month of his life.

He goes everywhere with the Kims; has even been invited to each of their houses on multiple occasions. People look at him with admiration, and sometimes jealousy, in their eyes. Everyone wants to sit with him in class, and he never has to wait in line during lunch.

Although, he can’t say that he’s actually been able to eat lunch all that often since becoming friends with the Kims. He’s always too busy walking around the cafeteria with Seokjin, asking people to participate in lunch polls, or keeping watch for campus monitors while Taehyung and his boyfriend dry hump each other behind the bleachers.

On particularly unlucky days he’s in the bathroom with Namjoon, lending a helping hand (or an index finger) to make it easier for the Kim to throw up. Jimin hates it. Not just because it’s disgusting, but because he knows it’s not healthy for Namjoon. He knows what this is, he’d seen the videos in Health Class back when he was a freshman, and he’s aware that his friend has a problem. But, whenever he tries to talk to Namjoon about it, he’s always shut down.

“Don’t worry about me, Jiminie,” Namjoon will say. “This is just something I have to do.”

Jimin never agrees with this, but he lets it go every time.

Today is one of his free days. These are the days where he isn’t obligated to tag along with the Kims, for they’re all busy doing whatever they do when they’re not already busy being attached by the hip. On these days, time passes slower, and that’s not a bad thing.

Being with the Kims is exhilarating. He gets to feel special and powerful, and walking down the halls with them is like walking on a catwalk or a red carpet. At the same time though, it’s incredibly exhausting.

Everyone’s eyes are on him when he’s around the Kims. It’s like they all want a bite out of him, and they’re always ready to pounce. He’s held at an extremely high standard then; has to hold his head high at all times. He can’t slouch, or walk too heavily, or breathe too loud. He has to be perfect. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.

Still, though, he needs a break every now and then.

And so, he treasures his free days. He gets to be himself on free days. These are the times when he’s not constrained by the strict rules that the Kims have written out for him. Literally– Namjoon hand wrote a list and personally hung it up in Jimin’s locker so he wouldn’t forget them.

The best thing about free days though, is that these are the days where he gets to hang out with Hoseok. He misses his best friend. He doesn’t have the time to be with him on weekends because the Kims are always dragging him to parties or on shopping sprees, and he only has two classes this year with the other boy. Even then, he never gets the chance to sit next to Hoseok because he’s already being pulled away to sit with Seokjin, Taehyung, or Namjoon.

But he doesn’t have to worry about any of that on his free days. And for that he’s grateful.

Right now it’s lunch, and the weather is nice so Jimin is sitting in the courtyard of the school as he waits for Hoseok to show. His face is upturned to the sun, his eyes closed as he lets the warmth wash over his skin.

There are a few other students sitting on the grass as well, but they’re all too far away to hold a conversation with. Jimin doesn’t mind. He’s not here for them.

His peaceful state of mind is shattered when someone tackles him and engulfs him in a bear hug, and his eyes shoot open as he’s forced to lay flat on the ground. Hoseok’s exuberant laughter fills his ears, and Jimin grins as he moves to return the hug.

“Minnie! How was your day?” Hoseok asks as he pulls away and plops down next to his friend. He listens intently to Jimin’s response as he unwraps his meal.

“It was nice, but it’s even better now that I’m with you,” Jimin says, and he knows he sounds corny but he can’t help himself. He means every word.

Hoseok shoves him playfully, and Jimin retaliates by laying his head on his friend’s lap. He inhales deeply, staring up at Hoseok with a contented smile. He’s truly missed this.

He opens his mouth, and Hoseok obligingly feeds him a grape. He hums appreciatively.

“Look at you today, all dressed up like you’re going to a photoshoot,” Hoseok teases, lightly tugging on the sleeve of Jimin’s blue blazer that rests over a white V-neck. While Jimin doesn’t exactly have to be around the Kims on his free days, he still has to dress the part. Can’t let people think it’s all an act, even though it kind of is.

“Maybe I am, you never know. The Kims never cease to surprise,” Jimin tells Hoseok, who feeds him another grape while he chews on his own sandwich.

“You have me there,” Hoseok starts, “I still can’t believe they got you to wear chokers. I mean, you look great in them, but that’s not the point.”

Jimin smiles his crescent-eyed smile at the compliment. “Thanks, Hyung. What can I say, when I really care about something I go all in.”

Hoseok’s smile lessens somewhat at that, turning into something a bit rueful as he says, “Yeah, no kidding. I haven’t talked to you in weeks. You haven’t been answering my texts, either.”

Jimin sits up and stares into his friend’s eyes. His expression is apologetic. “I’m really sorry, it’s not that I haven’t tried. I’m just so busy with–”

“With the Kims. Believe me. I know,” Hoseok finishes for him with a bitter laugh. He looks down at his hands that are now in his lap as he intertwines his fingers anxiously, sandwich placed off to the side.

Jimin catches Hoseok’s hands in his own, and moves his head until they make eye contact.

“I will make it up to you, Hobi. I promise,” He says. Then, “I won’t abandon you.”

Hoseok’s lips tick upward a little as Jimin says this. He nods, grasping tightly onto the hands holding his. Jimin squeezes back just as hard, and the somber mood fades away just like that.

“So, tell me. What have I been missing out on in the life of Jung Hoseok, hm?” Jimin asks, and delights in the way Hoseok’s eyes light up at the question.

Hoseok jumps into what Jimin calls his “story-mode”, and Jimin listens eagerly to every excited word that comes from his best friend’s mouth.

Yes, he thinks to himself. This really is the best part of his free days.

 

Jimin is tired. It’s been a week since his lunch with Hoseok, and a long week at that. He had three AP tests to study for (he may be friends with the Kims but he draws the line at cheating in his academics using the answer keys Namjoon “finds”), and a six page essay to write about some mindless dynasty from like a thousand years ago that sacrificed virgin girls because they were crazy.

Plus, last night he and the Kims went to what he was told was going to be a small gathering, but ended up being just another place for the three boys to get blackout drunk, and for Jimin to be the designated driver.

Again.

He is such a good friend. In fact, he didn’t once doze off while being kept up by Taehyung’s drunk rambling over the phone until three in the morning.

Park Jimin is a saint, and he damn well knows it, too.

And so, today he is tired. He usually has immense control over his temper, and enough patience to go around, but today things are different. His jeans are too tight, his choker is itchy, and he can barely keep his eyes open– forgive him if he decides to skip out on helping Seokjin with today’s lunch poll.

It’s all of this that causes him to react so aggressively when Taehyung drags him by the shoulders up from where he’s sat on the stairs. It’s not really his fault when he smacks his mischievous friend in the nose, or when he flails so hard that he falls right into Namjoon’s chest and nearly knocks the both of them on their asses.

“Jesus, Jimin! What’s your problem?” Taehyung shouts, holding his nose gingerly. It’s not bleeding, but Jimin still knows that it can’t feel pleasant. He cringes.

“I’m sorry, Tae. I’m just really out of it. What do you need?” Jimin asks.

“Seokjin is mad at you for ditching him. He wants you in the cafeteria, like, now,” Taehyung explains, eyes wide with worry. It never ends well for anybody when Seokjin gets angry. “Back me up, Joonie.”

Namjoon nods his assent as he says, “Yeah, he really wants to talk to you, Jimin. You might want to hurry.”

Jimin huffs, but does as he’s told, the other two following close behind.

When they enter through the double doors, the first thing Jimin notices is a boy he’s never seen before. The boy is lounging across the room, directly in Jimin’s line of sight. His raven hair is unkempt and falling into his face, and his dark eyes are big like a doe’s. His stare is intense, and it makes Jimin’s skin feel tingly.

He’s swathed in a big black coat, and he’s got his booted feet propped up on the table. He looks to have been previously focused on picking the dirt from underneath his nails, but stopped when Jimin walked in. They make eye contact for a brief moment, and Jimin’s breath stills in his chest.

This mysterious boy is one of the most beautiful boys he’s ever laid eyes on.

The second thing Jimin notices is Seokjin. A very pissed off Seokjin, to be more specific. Said boy is standing against a column, toned arms crossed and foot tapping incessantly on the linoleum flooring. The glare he sends Jimin’s way is withering.

He pushes off the column and stalks over to the three boys– Jimin, Namjoon, and Taehyung– and growls, “Where have you been, Jimin?”

“I was in the hallway working on–” Jimin begins to explain, but he knows it’s worthless. It’s nearly impossible to reason with Kim Seokjin, especially when he’s like this.

“Forget it! It doesn’t even matter!” Seokjin interrupts. “I need you to do something for me.”

He takes a clipboard out from under his arm and hands it to Jimin. On it is a blank sheet of paper with a pen attached.

“I need you to write a note in Jackson Wang’s handwriting inviting Horseok over there to his party on Friday.”

Jimin’s stomach drops to his feet. He prays he heard wrong, but his hopes are crushed when Seokjin points to an oblivious Hoseok, who is currently standing in line for food with an empty lunch tray in hand.

Hoseok, who is incredibly sensitive and fragile at heart.

Hoseok, who has never done one bad thing to anyone ever.

Hoseok, Jimin’s best friend in the entire world.

Hoseok, who’s been crushing on Jackson Wang since Kindergarten.

“I can’t,” says a despairing Jimin. “I’ll do anything else, really. Anything but that.”

Seokjin smiles smugly. “But you see, I don’t want anything else, Jiminie.”

Jimin’s eyes dart from Hoseok to Seokjin multiple times in only a few seconds, and then they get caught on the mysterious boy in black from across the room. The boy that is still staring at him. He forces his gaze back to Seokjin.

“Please, hyung,” he begs, “don’t do this.”

Seokjin sighs in mock disappointment, shaking his head slightly. He walks around Jimin in a full circle, eyeing him up and down coldly. Then he stops in front of him again, and leans close to whisper in his ear.

“If you don’t do it, I’ll get someone else to do much worse.”

Jimin’s eyes widen in horror as Seokjin goes into detail about all the things he can do to Hoseok. About all the things he can get other people to do to Hoseok. He feels like crying as he looks over to the sunny-eyed boy.

Jimin doesn’t want to believe that someone like Seokjin would do any of the things he’s threatening to, whether he has the power to or not. But in the past month that he’s gotten to know the head Kim, he is positive that Seokjin is dead serious.

He settles on the fact that he has to do this, for Hoseok’s sake, even if this isn’t exactly a good deed either. Hoseok will be hurt by this, there is no doubting that, but at least he’ll be safe.

Seokjin pulls back, and Jimin nods.

“Fine. I’ll do it.”

Seokjin’s responding grin is wicked and malicious. Jimin feels ill.

“Wonderful! Namjoon bend over, Jimin needs something to write on.”

Namjoon does so, and Jimin numbly writes out what Seokjin relays to him. The words are flirty, just slight of vulgar, but Jimin writes it all down anyway. He feels cold as he watches Taehyung strut over to where Hoseok is now walking to find a seat, as he sneakily places the note onto Hoseok’s tray, and then slips away unnoticed.

“Remember, Jimin,” says Seokjin, “I own this school, and everyone in it. Even you. So don’t test me.”

Jimin is a good person. He’s loyal, and caring, and he’s always been the one to go to when in need.

But now, as he watches Hoseok unravel the planted note, Jimin wonders if he’s as good of a friend as he’d originally thought.

Chapter Text

That night, Jimin’s phone blows up with a series of texts from Hoseok.

From: Hobi :D
JIIIMMIIIINN
JIMIN HOLY SHIT YOU WONT BELIEVE
GUESS W H AT I GOT AT LUNCH TODAYY
JACKSON FUcKiNg WANG LEFT A NOTE ON MY LUNCH TRAY INVITING ME TO A PARTY
JFKSSPSPFPGPYMYNTKTOWPA I CANT BREATHE
I TOLD YOU HE LIKES ME I TOL DY OUUUU

Jimin reads them all. He swallows the bile rising in his throat, and texts back.

To: Hobi :D
Omg that’s great!!!!
I’m so happy for you, hyung

He falls asleep after quite some time of tossing and turning, guilt filling him to the brim. For the first time in a month, he regrets ever getting involved with the Kims.

 

The rest of the week passes by in an alternating blur of regret and fake smiles, and come Friday morning Jimin seriously considers staying home sick. His problem, though, is that he’s only sick of himself. And there’s no cure for that.

The Kims track him down at the front of the school and he finds himself sandwiched between Seokjin and Taehyung as they enter the building, with Namjoon on the other side of Tae. He doesn’t have the energy to keep his eyes from drifting down to his perfectly shined shoes, but Seokjin pushes his chin up with a single finger and says:

“Why so glum, Jimin? It’s Friday. The party’s tonight!”

Jimin wants to snap at Seokjin, say that he knows exactly why he’s upset, but he refrains. There’s no point in fighting.

“Bad night,” Jimin tells him instead, and it’s not even a lie. He’s been having a lot of bad nights lately.

The Kims nod in understanding, and when the bell rings, they all go their separate ways to first period; he and Namjoon walk side by side to their shared class.

They have Calculus first, and Jimin shares this class with Hoseok as well. Namjoon usually goes off to sit with someone willing to let him copy all of the answers, leaving Jimin to be swept up by someone else’s grabby hands, but today is different.

Hoseok is there early, and he’s practically bouncing in his seat when he catches sight of Jimin. He opens his mouth to call out to his friend, and Jimin would be running over if the circumstances were different.

But right now, he pretends to not even notice Hoseok’s presence, and sticks by Namjoon’s side. The two of them sit in the back, passing Hoseok by completely. Jimin ignores the hurt expression that grazes over Hoseok’s face– the way his friend’s nose scrunches in offense and confusion, and his shoulders droop the slightest bit.

It’s not that Jimin doesn’t want to sit with Hoseok. It’s that he physically can’t. If he did, the guilt would consume him and he’d crack like an egg. He hates lying to his friend, and playing along while Hoseok raves on about how he actually has a chance with Jackson definitely counts as lying.

Jimin hates what he’s become, and no amount of trying to tell himself that what he did was the best course of action can convince him otherwise. He is surely going to Hell for this.

Lunch comes around, and this time Jimin knows better than to not show up for Seokjin. Today’s question is about an alien apocalypse and what one’s course of action will be, and Jimin wonders where Seokjin gets his ideas. Maybe he thinks them up while drunk.

Jimin walks leisurely around the cafeteria, going from table to table and asking the poll question on autopilot. He makes minimal small talk with the students he stops by, and skips over Hoseok’s table altogether. He thinks he’s just about finished with his interviewing when Taehyung sidles up to him, smirk in full force and eyes shining.

“I think you have an admirer~” The blonde boy sings, eyes trailing over to a table in the corner of the cafeteria.

Jimin follows his line of sight, and sees the boy with the big eyes and messy hair sitting there. Once again, the boy is staring right at him. He doesn’t look away when Jimin catches him, either.

“How can you tell he’s not just bored?” Jimin asks, breaking eye contact with the mysterious teen in favor of looking at Taehyung instead.

Taehyung scoffs. “C’mon, Jimin. He has been ogling your ass the entire time you’ve been up and about. Believe me, I know what that look means. He’s so DTF.”

Jimin feels heat rush to his face at the Kim’s words. He quickly looks back to the boy in question, breath stuttering when he sees that the boy is still staring. It should be creepy, he knows, but for some reason it isn’t. It’s more endearing than anything.

Taehyung lightly shoves Jimin towards the boy, and Jimin stumbles before catching himself. He gives Taehyung a scandalized look that asks, ”Are you sure about this?” and Taehyung just gives him a thumbs up and a wink before walking away.

Jimin makes his way over to the boy, and he notices that he’s once again wearing that long black coat from the first time he’d noticed him. It’s about two sizes too large, but somehow he pulls it off.

“Hi,” Jimin says shyly when he gets close enough to the other. The smile he gets in return is dazzling.

“Hey there. What brings you over?” The boy’s voice is quiet but steady, confident but careful all at once. Jimin has to stop himself from swooning outright.

Jimin looks down at the clipboard in his hands. “I was wondering if you wanted to participate in today’s lunch poll? Fair warning, the question is a little dumb,” he tells the boy.

The boy chuckles. “Nah, don’t say that. There are no dumb questions, after all.”

Jimin smiles cheekily as he reads off, “You’ve just received 5 million won from an unknown source, and that same day aliens land on the Earth and tell humanity that they’re gonna blow up the world in two days. What do you do?”

The boy considers this for a moment, tongue sticking to the inside of his cheek. Jimin finds it adorable.

“Okay. That’s the dumbest question I’ve ever heard,” the boy finally replies, and Jimin laughs a little too hard. But, the other boy smiles brightly when he does, so Jimin doesn’t beat himself up about it.

The moment is ruined when Jimin is dragged away from the boy by Jackson and Mark, and then he’s surrounded by them and the Kims.

“Jimin, is that freak giving you a hard time?” Jackson demands, glaring at the boy whose gaze is settled on the group. Said boy’s expression is cool, his lips thin and eyes narrowed.

“What? No! We were just talking–” Jimin tries to explain.

Mark makes a noise of disgust. “You shouldn’t be forced to talk to the scum of the school. Don’t worry, Jackson and I have your back!” He exclaims. Jimin is less than reassured.

The two football players turn on their heels and stomp over to the boy that Jimin still doesn’t know the name of, and fear claws its way up Jimin’s throat. He tries to run after them, but is held back by Namjoon’s hands on his chest.

“Namjoon, you don’t understand! They’ll beat him half to death! He didn’t even do anything!” Jimin cries, struggling, but is left unanswered and hopeless.

He watches as Jackson hauls the mysterious but polite boy up by the lapels of his long coat, as he gets in his face and snarls at him like a beast. Mark is standing just to the side his friend, body tense and visibly thrumming in anticipation of a beat down.

Jimin doesn’t want to see the ensuing fight, if it can even be called that. It’s not at all a fair match, the boy is outnumbered, and by blood-lusting jocks no less. But he can’t bring himself to turn away, or even shut his eyes. He’s frozen.

He’s shocked that the boy hasn’t yet been reduced to nothing but a pile of snivels and dark clothes, that he isn’t begging to be spared. In fact, he doesn’t look scared at all. He’s completely composed. He looks sort of excited, even. Then, to everyone’s surprise, he starts to laugh.

Jimin wants to scream, because surely this guy is insane. He’s only making things worse! Does he have a death wish?

Jackson and Mark scowl at the laughing boy, and Jackson shakes him harshly. The boy goes silent.

And then the unthinkable happens.

The boy head butts Jackson with all his might, and there is a sickening crack as their foreheads collide. Jackson goes down, relinquishing his hold on the other, but the fight has only just begun.

Mark throws a punch without thinking. It’s sloppy and uncoordinated, so the boy ducks out of the way with ease. He grabs Mark by the back of the neck and shoves his knee up into the athlete’s stomach with a grunt. All of the breath rushes out of Mark, and he doubles over, giving the boy the chance to slam his elbow into the sensitive part of his spine.

The tables have turned, both Jackson and Mark are getting their asses handed to them by a nobody that’s half their size, and the students in the cafeteria are loving it. People are standing on tables and screaming, crowding around the three boys, cheering as the nameless boy remains upright and unyielding on his attack.

Jackson is on the ground once more after only a brief time of being back on his own two feet, and he scrambles to grab his enemy’s ankle to drag him down as well. He’s successful, but not for long. He receives a hard kick to the face for his efforts, and blood immediately begins pouring out of his nose.

Namjoon has long since released Jimin from his hold, but Jimin is still rooted to the spot as he watches the fight in awe.

Mark grabs the boy from behind, wrapping his big arms around his waist and trapping the other’s to his sides. But the boy is undeterred, and he pushes off the floor using the seat at a lunch table to throw Mark off balance. The two of them crash to the ground, Mark landing on his back as he inadvertently cushions the other’s fall.

The football player is clearly winded, disorientation clouding his features from the way his head had smacked against the linoleum. But the boy leaves him no time to recover, and straddles him as he yanks Mark’s head up by the hair and slams it back down onto the floor. Once, twice, three times until Mark is officially out cold.

Jackson is still conscious, but he’s already surrendered, too occupied nursing his bleeding and bruising face.

The boy stands, chest heaving, glowering down at his fallen assailants. He pays no mind to the jeering crowd of spectators, not even when campus security takes him by the arms and drag him out of the cafeteria, two others doing the same to a hunched over Jackson and an unconscious Mark.

Teachers are ushering everyone back to their seats, shouting over the commotion in an attempt to settle the adrenaline-filled crowd. Jimin doesn’t argue as he’s pushed into a seat by someone he doesn’t recognize, he’s too focused on the doors that the mysterious boy has just been forced to exit through.

“Holy shit,” He breathes.

Jimin thinks he might be in love.

Chapter Text

The rest of the school day Jimin spends consoling Taehyung. The boy had nearly burst into tears after lunch, and Jimin had to talk him out of ditching the rest of his classes in favor of camping out in the Nurse’s office to be with Mark.

“He’s gonna be fine, Taetae. Don’t beat yourself up about it,” Jimin soothes, internally cringing at his choice of words.

Word had spread around school pretty quickly that Jackson and Mark’s injuries weren’t too serious. Mark had a bad concussion and wouldn’t be able to play football for the next three weeks, but it wasn’t life threatening. Jackson’s nose was just bruised. Nothing was broken, and it would heal with time and lots of ice.

The excitement from the fight died down quite a bit after that. Jimin was appalled by the fact that people were disappointed instead of relieved that the two football players weren’t severely injured.

Jimin gets a ride home from Seokjin, and as usual he’s in the back with Namjoon, while Taehyung is in the passenger seat. The latter boy’s mood had drastically improved after he heard that Mark wasn’t as hurt as everyone had previously thought.

“I’m thinking about wearing my shirt with the gold hem. Oh, and my Timberlands!” Taehyung rattles off.

“If you wear Timberlands to this party, Tae, I will drown you in the locker room showers,” Seokjin replies, still staring straight ahead.

Taehyung makes a defeated noise in the back of his throat, but recovers quickly enough and he turns all the way around to face the boys sitting in the backseat, his seatbelt straining from the awkward position.

“What do you think, Jimin?” He asks.

Jimin startles, eyes taking a moment to focus on his friend after staring at the passing scenery outside his window for so long. “What’d you say?”

Taehyung repeats himself, this time adding Seokjin’s opinion on the matter. Jimin catches Seokjin’s eyes in the rearview mirror. The older boy’s gaze is just daring him to go against his word.

“If Jin-hyung says it’s a bad idea, then you should probably go with something else, Tae. Maybe those black ones with the high soles?” Jimin offers, and Taehyung jumps at the suggestion.

“That’s a good idea! You’re so smart, Jimin-ah!” He exclaims.

“Maybe wear a dark shirt too, ‘cause what if you spill your drink on yourself?” Namjoon adds, only to snap his jaw shut when Seokjin laughs sharply.

“The only one of us stupid enough to spill on ourselves while in a drunken stupor is you, Namjoon,” He cruelly points out.

“Yeah. You’re probably right,” Namjoon mumbles, shoulders hunching into himself ever so slightly.

Taehyung and Jimin give him dual pitying looks, but say nothing as the drive continues. The conversation ends there, and someone turns on the radio to fill the silence.

Seokjin pulls into the driveway of Jimin’s home a few minutes later, reminding him to be ready by eight because they’re driving to the party together. Jimin says his goodbyes, and walks inside only to go straight to the patio in the backyard, where his parents are sat at a small stone table.

This is yet another part of Jimin’s daily routine. Go to school, hang with the Kims, get treated like an idol, get a ride home from one of the Kims, and sit outside with his parents for a bit.

“There you are, Jimin! Sit down for a minute or two. How was your day?” Greets his father as Jimin takes a seat at the round table. Jimin’s dad has the day’s newspaper in front of him, fingers still gripping the edges for he’d been reading it right up until Jimin walked outside.

“It was nothing special,” Jimin dismisses with a shrug.

His mother is typing on her laptop as she asks, “Sweetie, isn’t homecoming soon? Met anyone worth going with yet?”

Jimin smiles shyly as he thinks back to the nameless boy from lunchtime. “Maybe. There’s this cute new kid at school.”

His mother glances at him and smiles at his words.

“Would someone remind me why I read these damn papers? It’s always the same story,” Jimin’s father questions.

“It’s because you’re an idiot,” Jimin tells him with a smile.

His dad’s eyebrows rise a little, and he muses, “Oh, right. I forgot.”

His mom laughs lightly at their antics. “You two.”

For another moment Jimin sits in companionable quiet with his family. Then he moves to stand.

“Well, thanks for the chat but I have to start getting ready for the party tonight,” He explains before retreating back inside, and up to his room.

 

When Seokjin picks him up, he doesn’t bother getting out of the car to knock on the door. Instead he just honks his car horn loudly to signal his arrival. Jimin runs outside, hurrying into the passenger seat as he breathily apologizes for not being faster. He isn’t late, but he figures that he should apologize anyway, just in case Seokjin is in a Blame Everyone For Nothing mood.

He chooses right, because as soon as he says it Seokjin goes, “Whatever, just hurry up at the store so we can get to Jackson’s place before all the good drinks are taken.”

Jimin rushes into 7/11 as soon as Seokjin turns off the engine, and almost slams into someone in the process. Thankfully, the other person steadies him by grasping his shoulders firmly just before they collide.

“Oh my God! I’m so sorry!” Jimin gasps, looking up to see the person. His mouth goes dry as he recognizes the familiar face.

It’s the boy from lunch, doe eyes and all. Jimin blushes at the look the boy is giving him. He’s smirking, eyes roaming Jimin’s person appreciatively. Jimin is always dressed up nowadays, but tonight he may have gone a bit overboard.

He’s wearing a loose, dark blue button up with white on the lapels and trim around the breast pockets. His jeans are tighter than he’ll ever admit, but they look great on him so he ignores the minor discomfort they provide. He’s brushed his bangs forward to cover his entire forehead, stopping just above his coal-colored eyes. He may or may not have stolen his mother’s highlight to apply to his own cheekbones.

“Um...hi,” Jimin says softly, struggling to maintain eye contact when all he wants to do is collapse in the boy’s arms.

“Hey there. What brings you here?” The boy replies, and Jimin feels a sense of Dejá Vu at his words.

“Oh, my friend wants corn nuts. He’s in the car outside.” Jimin gestures to the window, where Seokjin can be seen glaring impatiently at the two of them from where he sits inside his vehicle.

The boy nods as his eyes follow where Jimin’s finger is pointing. “I see.” He’s still got his hands on Jimin’s shoulders, and when he notices that this makes the shorter boy flustered, he grins a little before stepping back.

“Not that I don’t enjoy seeing you, but can’t he just get his own corn nuts?” He asks, making a beeline for the slushy dispenser at the back of the store.

Jimin’s heart rate quickens as he follows behind. The other boy enjoys seeing him?

“I don’t mind,” Jimin whispers, tugging at his ear nervously. “I, uh, I never caught your name, by the way.”

“That’s because I never threw it.” The other boy says, friendly demeanor suddenly gone and face stoic.

Jimin feels like ice has just been poured into his veins. Has he been reading this all wrong? Does he bother the other boy? But then the taller boy just laughs, a stunning grin splitting his face.

“Nah, I’m just giving you a hard time. The name’s Jeon Jungkook, but you can call me JK,” the other boy finally introduces himself.

“Park Jimin.”

“Cute name. No, really,” JK comments when Jimin’s lip purse in offense, “I like it. It fits. Want a slushy?”

Jimin politely declines, but JK persists. “C’mon, they’re the best. You can’t go wrong with them. I’ll pay.”

“Why do you like them so much?” Jimin inquires instead of agreeing or denying the offer.

JK gets a distant look in his eyes as he answers, “It’s this place. 7/11 is my only constant no matter where I go. I move around a ton, so it’s pointless to get attached. But it’s different here. Wherever I am– Gwacheon, Daegu, Gwangju, Busan– I can always come here and know that nothing will change. Every one of these places is the same. It means something to me.”

“Why do you move so much?” Jimin blurts, snapping JK out of his reverie.

“What? Oh, it’s my dad’s job. He owns a deconstruction company so he’s always got something to blow up somewhere else,” JK explains.

Jimin’s brows furrow. “Deconstruction?” He pauses as understanding comes over him. “You said your name was Jeon Jungkook? As in Jeon like, Jarring Jeon’s Deconstruction? Is he your dad?”

JK nods. “The one and only.” He slurps loud and long at his slushy, completely uncaring of the noise. He crosses his eyes at Jimin, making the boy laugh.

“You sure you don’t want one?” JK extends the hand holding his slushy, offering Jimin a sip.

“Are you gonna keep asking until I say yes?” Jimin asks with a smile.

“Yes,” JK says simply.

“Then how can I refuse?”

When JK grabs a cup and asks what flavor Jimin wants, he answers with cherry. Jimin pays for the corn nuts he’d originally come here for, and they sit on the counter for a while, drinking their respected beverages in a comfortable silence.

“So tell me. Why are you hanging out with that asshole?” JK asks suddenly.

Jimin thinks for a second before replying. “I used to think I knew, but now I’m not so sure,” He sighs.

“Hm. I guess I can understand that, however ominous it may be.” JK’s expression is considerate, like he knows exactly where Jimin is coming from. It’s nice.

“I mean, he’s not as bad as you think. Sure, he has his moments, but that’s just a thing people do,” Jimin continues, not wanting to throw Seokjin completely under the bus.

“He seems to have quite a lot of moments, if you ask me,” JK responds pointedly, and Jimin’s shoulders slump.

“Yeah.”

Both their heads shoot up at the sound of a car horn being drawn out to the point of intense irritation. Seokjin has got half his body hanging out of the driver’s side window now, shouting words that can’t be heard over the horn he is slamming his palm into. Jimin winces.

“The king awaits,” He tells JK apologetically, but the other boy just waves him off.

“Not your fault. I’ll catch you later, Jimin. Good luck with the fire breathing dragon over there,” JK says, and Jimin laughs one more time before exiting the store.

He braces himself for the scolding of a lifetime when he gets into the car, but is surprised when Seokjin is completely quiet. He almost asks, but is intercepted when Seokjin yanks the still half-full slushy from Jimin’s hands and chucks it out the car window. He peels out of the parking lot with the squealing of tires.

Jimin should have known better than to think he’d get off the hook so easily.

Chapter Text

Dear Diary
I want to kill, and you have to believe that it’s not only for my own benefit. It’s not just because of what’s happened to me personally, you have to understand that.

The car pulls up to the large house, and Jimin can already feel a headache building behind his eyes. The music is blaring, and when he steps out of the car he can feel it vibrating in his chest. Seokjin takes the lead and pushes open the unlocked front door, and they enter the house together.

All of Jimin’s senses are immediately overwhelmed by what greets him inside. The majority of teens in the entrance hall are already stumbling around drunkenly, and his nose burns from the overbearing smell of take out and weed. Seokjin has a grip on his forearm as they walk into the spacious living room, where people are sprawled out on the wooden floor eating Jell-O shots off of each other.

It’s barely 9 o’clock.

Among the chaos, Jimin spots Mark and Taehyung on the couch. Going off the sight of the two boys sucking face, Jimin surmises that Mark isn’t hurting all that much anymore. Strangely, the thought makes the corners of his mouth droop a little.

God, I can’t even put it into words! But there’s something I know for certain that no one else on this godforsaken planet does. Not my parents, not my teachers, not the student body, only me. I understand that I must put an end to Kim Seokjin’s reign of terror.

“Don’t look so dead, Jimin. At least pretend to have fun,” Seokjin mutters in Jimin’s ear, and suddenly there’s a drink in both of his hands. He passes one to Jimin, giving him an expectant look.

Jimin stares down at the cup in his grasp. The liquid is dark and bubbles are sporadically rising to the surface.

He doesn’t usually drink at parties. He can’t, because then he’d have to leave it up to one of the Kims to drive them all home, and everyone knows that a drunk Kim is a dangerous Kim.

But, he thinks he deserves a break today. It’s been a stressful week, and Jimin is almost certain that if he doesn’t get at least a little bit tipsy tonight, he might just pull his hair out. He downs the drink in one go, and his head swims.

“There you go!” Seokjin cheers, giving Jimin a Cheshire grin. He immediately hands Jimin another cup, taking the empty one and trashing it. Jimin briefly considers if he’s pulling the drinks out of his ass– they’re appearing so quickly and seemingly out of nowhere.

Jimin loses track of time faster than he expects to. The pulsing music becomes less of a problem the more he drinks, instead being relegated to a fuzzy hum in the back of his head. Jimin is grateful for this. He sticks by Seokjin the entire time, not having the willpower to mingle with any of his other peers, and he doubts that he’d be able to pull Taehyung from Mark’s side even if he tried to.

Hoseok was the best friend I could have ever asked for, and I don’t know why I ever thought I needed more than him. I can’t believe that I ditched him for a bunch of rich pricks with the brain capacity of walnuts, and a handful of drunk sleeze-bags. What was I thinking?!

A boy Jimin doesn’t recognize brushes shoulders with him unexpectedly, making him stumble and spill some of the contents of his topped off drink onto the floor. The boy is much taller than he is, so he has to crane his neck to see the other’s features. He is mesmerized by the sight of sharp features and a wicked-handsome smile.

“Hey Jimin, looking good tonight,” the boy purrs, his eyes wandering down Jimin’s form unabashedly.

Sober Jimin would have blushed and looked down at his feet at the compliment. But Halfway-Drunk Jimin just makes an unintelligible noise that makes him sound like he’s been punched in the stomach.

The conversation comes to an end before it even really begins when Seokjin pulls Jimin away from the boy, nearly hissing in disdain.

“He said I looked good,” Jimin giggles into his drink as he takes another sip.

“Yes, yes, you’re beautiful. Now let’s go. Trust me, you don’t want to get involved with Hyungwon. He just wants you for your body. I speak from experience,” Seokjin explains as they make their way through the crowded halls.

“Isn’t that what all people want you for, though?” Jimin asks dumbly, brain too fuzzy to keep his thoughts to himself.

Thankfully, Seokjin is equally as out of it, so he doesn’t even dig his nails into Jimin’s bicep when he tightens his grip. “Watch what you say, Jimin.”

Seokjin and Jimin push through a group of teens to get into the kitchen and dining room. The counters are littered with food containers and drinks that no doubt have high amounts of alcohol in them.

The Kims aren’t respected, they’re feared, and I’m ashamed of myself for thinking that those two things were one and the same. I’ve become the worst version of me, and I have no idea how to fix the mess I’ve made. I dug my own social grave without even realizing it until the dirt was already caving back in on me. I was too distracted by the glamorous life of being a Kim, of feeling like royalty in the hallways to notice that I was ruining the only chance I had at being genuinely happy.

There is a crowd around the dining table, where a game of beer pong is playing out. By the refrigerator a few girls are passing around a bong. None of those things really draw Jimin’s attention, though, because when he walks in, his eyes zero in on Namjoon leaning against the sink. Next to him is Jackson Wang.

Jackson is practically draped over Namjoon, lips pressed to his ear and hands caressing just about everywhere. Namjoon is trying to shrink away, but Jackson’s arms are tight around his waist as they keep him in place. He seems to be saying something to the Kim, and from the look on Namjoon’s face, it is nothing appealing.

If Jimin had been somebody else, someone like JK, he would charge into the situation and shove Jackson away. Maybe he would punch Jackson hard enough that his nose would actually break this time. However, Jimin is not nearly as confrontational of a person.

He instead speeds over to the two boys and cries out, “Jackson! I just saw some Freshman trying to climb over the pool fence!”

Jackson and Namjoon’s eyes snap to Jimin, the former’s jaw clenching at his words.

“I fucking hate Freshman!” Jackson fumes, running off into the yard to search for the non-existent ninth graders.

Jimin expects Namjoon to sag in relief and thank him for cutting in, but to his surprise, the exact opposite occurs. Namjoon shoots him a withering look, one Jimin has never seen on his face before. It scares him a little bit.

“I didn’t ask for your help, Jimin. Stay out of my business next time!” Namjoon snaps, bodily shoving Jimin and pushing through the swarms of people.

Jimin chases after him, but Namjoon is fast, and he easily blends into the rest of the party goers. Jimin sighs in defeat. He looks around and realizes he’s lost Seokjin as well. He walks back into the entrance hall, and stops short at what he sees.

Killing Seokjin and freeing Bom High School from his sinister clutches would be the equivalent to ending a third World War. It would be just as difficult, too. I fear that Seokjin is like a Hydra from Greek mythology. If I cut off his head, will two more grow in his place?

Just walking in is Hoseok, eyes wide and dressed nicer than Jimin has ever seen him. They lock eyes, and Hoseok smiles brightly.

“Jimin!” Hoseok calls, but Jimin just responds by pulling his friend into a less populated area of the house, closer to the stairs.

“You need to leave,” Jimin commands, hands holding onto Hoseok’s shoulders. Hoseok’s face turns sour, and he pulls back.

“What do you mean? I just got here!”

“I’ll explain later– just. Go. I’m serious, you shouldn’t be here.”

Hoseok scoffs. “I’m sorry, but since when did you make the guest list for someone else’s party? Did you forget the part where Jackson invited me?”

Jimin groans in frustration. “You don’t understand, Hobi, listen–”

“No, Jimin! I understand just fine!” Hoseok shouts. “You don’t want me here! You’re embarrassed to be seen hanging out with stupid Jung Horseok because you’re friends with the Kims now! Because I’m not cool enough! That’s why you’ve been ignoring me at school, right?”

At this point, Hoseok’s eyes are shining with unshed tears, and Jimin’s heart sinks. Everything is going wrong tonight.

“No, that’s not what it is I–” But Hoseok doesn’t let Jimin finish.

“Whatever, Jimin. You know if you didn’t want to be around me anymore, you should’ve just told me. At least then I would’ve been able to respect you.” Hoseok steps around him, and when Jimin turns he sees Jackson approaching.

“Where the hell are those Freshman?” He sighs.

Jimin can only stand there and watch as his nightmare comes true.

“Jackson, hey! Cool party. Thanks for inviting me,” Hoseok tells Jackson, grinning from ear to ear.

Jackson just stares at him in confusion and slight surprise. “Uh...I didn’t?”

Hoseok laughs lightly, but Jimin can tell he is forcing it. “Yeah you did. You wrote me that note, remember? You said you felt something between us...”

Jackson bursts into laughter, startling Hoseok enough that he steps away slightly.

Felt something between us? Are you nuts? I can’t stand you! You ever thought that maybe if you weren’t such a freak, people wouldn’t hate you so much?”

Jackson shoves Hoseok away then, and stalks off to continue his fruitless search.

Tears are running freely down Hoseok’s cheeks now, and he darts out the front door in humiliation. Jimin calls out his name, making a move to follow, but then Seokjin steps in his way.

“Leave it, Jimin. It’s done,” he says.

Jimin doesn’t listen, and tries to go around him, but then Seokjin is grabbing onto him to keep him from fleeing. Mind a mess of alcohol and distress, Jimin does the unthinkable.

He smacks Seokjin hard across the face.

Seokjin’s body twists with the force of the slap, but all too soon he’s recovered and is jabbing a finger into Jimin’s chest. Jimin’s back hits a wall, and the people around them stare at the confrontation in earnest.

“Who the fuck do you think you are?” Seokjin barks. “Have you forgotten just who exactly got you to where you are today? You were nothing before me! You were a nobody!”

Jimin’s stomach rolls urgently, and his eyes widen. “Seokjin I don’t feel so good–”

“I’m not finished! You think you can just waltz in here like you own the place, toss me to the side? Have you gone fucking brain dead?” Seokjin continues, nothing but malice in his eyes.

Jimin’s breathing starts to speed up, bile rising in his throat, and he can’t hold it in anymore. He doubles over and throws up in the space between him and Seokjin’s feet, a little getting onto the Kim’s trousers.

Seokjin shrieks in fury, but Jimin just stumbles away and out of the house. Seokjin darts after him.

I know better than anybody that tomorrow, I’ll probably go right back to sucking up to Seokjin. If he’ll even forgive me for what I’ve done. Because not even I am strong enough to stop him from conquering the entire student body. It is far too late now to even attempt to defeat him. Trying to challenge him would be suicide.

“Monday morning you are done for! You’ll be worse than the nerds, nobody is gonna want to even be near you! I’ll tell everyone about this little stunt you pulled! I suggest you start packing your bags!” Seokjin yells after Jimin.

Jimin doesn’t even spare him a glance as he gives Seokjin the finger, and receives a litany of profanities shouted at his back. On the inside, though, he’s screaming. What has he done?

But, I can still dream. Tonight, allow me this one pleasure. Let me fantasize about a world where school isn’t Hell on Earth. A world without Kim Seokjin.

Chapter Text

Jimin really didn’t think this night through. This becomes obvious as he continues to suffer through his really long walk home.

It isn’t really his fault, though. How was he to know that everything would blow up in his face in the span of five minutes? He isn’t psychic, he couldn’t have predicted his fight with Seokjin, nor the horrible fiasco that was Hoseok’s brief stay at Jackson’s party.

Sure, he either instigated or participated in those events, but those reasons don’t justify his current predicament– i.e. him stumbling on the side of a barely lit road, alone and exhausted, with a phone that has no service. Just because he gave his best friend a fake invite to his longtime crush’s party, and stood idly by watching as said best friend got publicly humiliated, does not mean he deserves this severe of a punishment.

 

Okay.

Maybe he deserves it a little.

 

Jimin huffs dejectedly. He really has messed up. It’s going to take at least another hour to get home, if he doesn’t pass out first. He still feels a little ill, his stomach slightly churning as he replays the night’s events in his mind. God, he is a horrible person, isn’t he? He should have just told Hoseok right away that he’d forged the invite. Maybe then this whole thing could have been avoided. Maybe then he’d have a ride home.

He realizes that not only is he a horrible person, but he’s also a total idiot. Even if the night had ended on a better note, who was going to drive him home? Seokjin? The leader of the Kims had been drunk off his ass just like everybody else at the party.

Jimin falters in his step when he hears the sound of a motorcycle driving down the road, in his direction. The street has been otherwise completely deserted save for himself for the past half hour, and now that Jimin is really paying attention, the motorcycle seems to be slowing down the closer it gets to him.

Fuck. Jimin doesn’t want to know how this turns out. He’s seen enough horror movies to know that a lone vehicle driving on an abandoned road in the dead of night is a death trap. He breaks into a run, which is actually more of a disjointed, bumbling jog given his less than sober state. His breathing picks up as he moves, trying his hardest to put one foot in front of other without getting caught on a tree root or stone.

As expected, however, the day continues to be an utter disaster. Neither fate nor luck are on his side at the moment, so Jimin doesn’t make it far before he trips over his own clumsy, drunken feet and collapses to the dirt below. He groans pathetically and covers his head with his arms as the motorcycle finally catches up to him and rolls to a stop.

This is it, Jimin thinks. This is day he dies. Or worse, the day he gets abducted and sold into whatever horrifying human trafficking ring this guy is no doubt a part of. His only regret is that he never got to apologize to Hoseok.

“Please,” He whimpers as he hears heavy, boot-clad feet approach his shaking form. He keeps his hands securely over his head. “You don’t want me. I cry– a lot!”

He is mildly irritated by the person’s amused laughter following his words. What kind of sick son of a bitch finds his terror funny?

“Jimin, get up. It’s just me,” A familiar voice says. Jimin shoots up immediately, turning to face the other.

He meets eyes with JK, taking in his round eyes and plush bottom lip before he heavily sighs in relief.

“God, JK! I thought you were a psychopath about to kidnap me!” Jimin exclaims, and he stands after accepting the hand JK offers him.

“Well, fortunately for you, it’s only me,” JK says with a smirk, the mirth in his eyes visible even in the dim light of the street lamps. “Why are you walking home all alone?”

Jimin looks down at his and JK’s interlocked hands, once again falling victim to an intense feeling of Dejá Vu brought on by the beautiful boy in front of him. Except this time, he doesn’t pull away.

“I went to a party, and it was a mess. A total disaster, actually,” Jimin explains with a frown. “All of my friends hate me now.”

Now that he’s saying it out loud, Jimin finally starts to understand how truly screwed he is. At first, the alcohol in his system allowed him to just deny the reality of the situation. But there’s no avoiding it now.

He can’t help the tears that begin to well in his eyes at the thought of never again spending the night at Hoseok’s place, never again laughing together over an inside joke that’s years old.

JK must notice the sorrow beginning to overtake Jimin, because he releases the other boy’s hand only to bring both of his own up to Jimin’s face. He gently places his palms on Jimin’s round cheeks, and caresses the skin just under his watery eyes. The whole thing is awfully intimate, and Jimin’s heart flutters weakly.

“Hey, Jimin-ah, don’t cry. I don’t hate you, okay?” JK’s voice is so genuine and soft; Jimin can’t resist leaning into the feeling of his feather light touch.

“How about I give you a ride home, yeah? It’s not safe for someone as good looking as you to be roaming around at night,” JK suggests, and Jimin’s cheeks flush. He knows that JK can feel the heat suddenly flooding his face from the way that the other grins.

Jimin follows JK to his motorcycle and accepts the helmet extended in his direction. When he asks why JK already has two helmets, he just receives another smirk.

 

 

The two of them make it to Jimin’s house about 30 minutes later, thanks to Jimin squeaking out the directions as he clutched onto JK for dear life. Motorcycles move really fast, okay?

Jimin thanks JK politely, returning the borrowed helmet before opening the front door and stepping inside. His parents are sitting on the sofa, his mother still typing away on her laptop while his father struggles to complete a crossword puzzle. They greet him airily when they hear him enter the living room, but neither of them make an effort to start a conversation. Jimin isn’t surprised by this.

He treads sluggishly up the stairs and into his bedroom, closing the door carefully before turning around. He chokes back a scream at what he sees. JK, pushing up his window and stepping through it to stand inside his room. He looks incredibly innocent and young, despite the fact that he is currently breaking and entering.

At a loss for words, Jimin just stares with shocked, wide eyes. He registers in the back of his mind that his mouth is hanging open, but he’s too paralyzed to even consider trying to close it.

He only remembers how to form words when JK approaches him, getting so close that he can see each individual lash upon the boy’s eyelids.

“What are you doing in here?” Jimin whisper shouts. He’s doing his best to cover up his alarm with indignation, but JK just continues to look at him with a childlike naivety.

“You forgot to kiss me goodnight,” JK breathes, and Jimin’s face shifts into an expression of bewilderment.

Before he can even bother to get out another word, JK places one hand on the back of Jimin’s neck and pulls him in for a chaste kiss.

Jimin stiffens as he feels JK’s velvety lips on his own. He has absolutely no idea how to react. He doesn’t know how to move, or where to put his hands, but he doesn’t want to push JK away, either. JK seems to catch onto his reservations, thankfully. He takes Jimin’s hands and positions them to wrap around his neck, while he places his own on Jimin’s hips.

Jimin slowly starts to return the kiss, and JK takes this as an invitation to add a bit more pressure. He tilts his head and tangles one of his hands in the hair at the nape of Jimin’s neck, tugging ever so slightly. An embarrassing noise escapes Jimin, and he can feel JK’s grin against his mouth.

He feels a tongue cautiously try to push open his lips, and he gives in, parting them fully. He exhales sharply out of his nose at the new sensation of somebody else’s tongue exploring his mouth.

JK begins to guide Jimin backwards, pushing lightly until the back of Jimin’s knees make contact with his mattress. Then, to Jimin’s surprise, JK breaks the kiss to lift him and place Jimin fully on the bed before climbing on top of him. Then he leans down to trail kisses all over Jimin’s jawline, moving to create a path along the pale expanse of his throat.

Jimin’s breaths are heavy and loud, paired with occasional whimpers. But neither of them mind, not while JK is sucking a hickey into the junction between Jimin’s neck and shoulder. Jimin is tightly grasping JK’s signature black coat, gasps falling from his lips as JK continues on with his ministrations.

When JK straddles him and begins unbuttoning Jimin’s shirt, Jimin is forcefully pulled from the bliss he is experiencing. A sudden wave of self-consciousness crashes over him.

“Wait, wait, wait!” He exclaims, and JK immediately pauses in his actions.

“What’s wrong?” He asks, and Jimin can see the concern in his expression.

Jimin laughs nervously. “Are we sure this is a good idea? I mean, it’s not that I don’t love what you are doing right now, or that I don’t like you, how can I not like you? You are really, really attractive–” Jimin rambles, “–but like, we just met! I barely know anything about you!”

The longer Jimin speaks, the wider JK’s grin becomes. When he’s finally finished, JK is downright leering. There is a glint in his eyes as he gracefully drags his fingers down Jimin’s semi-clothed chest, moving lower still and grazing the front of his jeans before he stops to squeeze Jimin’s thigh. Then he experimentally rolls his hips down, drawing a guttural moan from between Jimin’s lips.

The last thing Jimin can clearly recall is JK’s sultry voice whispering:

“Then what do you say we get to know each other a little better, hm?”

Chapter Text

Jimin wakes to the sound of soft snoring and a dog yipping happily outside. Sunlight peaks through his drawn blinds, illuminating diagonal columns of dust that swirl together mindlessly. There is a light breeze outside, and Jimin can hear the musical sounds of his neighbor’s wind chimes. For a wonderful moment, nothing exists save for his immediate surroundings.

His body and everything it touches feels muted and heavy, like he’s underwater. He registers that he’s not wearing any clothes, but that’s not much of a concern because he’s wrapped up in the warmth of another’s limbs. Jimin blinks the sleep from his eyes, gazing around his room contentedly. His eyes settle upon the soft features of his bedmate.

Then, he remembers.

The peaceful aura that had previously been enveloping Jimin falls out from underneath him, giving way to an unforgiving, agonizing ache in Jimin’s everything. Suddenly the dog outside is snarling right into Jimin’s ear, and the sunlight is so bright it’s piercing his retinas like razors. Jimin groans and curls into himself, accidentally removing himself from the comforting hold of JK’s arms. He groans again, because now he’s cold.

“I want to die,” he grumbles, wincing at the sound of his sleep-heavy rasp of a voice.

The sleeping body next to him shifts, steadily joining Jimin in the land of the conscious. JK sighs and scoots closer to Jimin, hugging him again and pressing his lips to the shell of Jimin’s ear before whispering, “Was I that bad?”

Jimin can’t hold back the childish giggle that is brought on by the feeling of JK’s tickling breath on the side of his face. But it’s only a momentary reprieve from the pain that shudders through him, and all too quickly Jimin is tossed back into what is unmistakably the hangover to rival all hangovers. At least, that’s how it feels to him. He’s never actually had one before.

JK sits up to look him over inquisitively, before he smiles sympathetically. “First time having a hangover?”

Jimin looks up at him from where he is trying and failing to suffocate himself with his own hands, pouty lips on full display.

“First time getting drunk, first time having a hangover, first time...” Jimin trails off, blushing slightly at the implication in his words.

JK catches on soon enough, and he smirks. “Oh really?” He asks, bending down to teasingly run his lips under Jimin’s jawline. “Did you enjoy yourself?”

Jimin huffs, tilting his head to give JK better access to his neck. “I think you already know the answer to that question.”

“Maybe, maybe not,” JK responds in between gentle kisses, “Or maybe I just want to hear you say it.”

Jimin rolls his eyes at the other’s antics, but still relents. “Thank you, Jeon Jungkook, for making my first time incredible.”

JK frowns slightly at the use of his full name, but nonetheless answers back, “It’s no problem. The pleasure was all mine.” He smiles at his own pun, and Jimin admires the youthful features of his...boyfriend? Is that what he is now?

“Does this mean we’re dating?” He asks JK.

JK sits up again, poking the inside of his cheek with his tongue as he thinks it over. “Depends. Do you want this to mean we’re dating?”

Jimin nods frantically, internally scolding himself as his body retaliates and his headache returns with a new vigor. He shuts his eyes against the pain. JK hums empathetically, and runs his fingers through Jimin’s messy dark locks.

“Does my boyfriend want me to get him some aspirin?” He coos, and Jimin grunts in affirmation.

JK stands, pulling on a pair of boxers from the pile of clothing that resides on Jimin’s bedroom floor. He goes downstairs after Jimin tells him where to find the medicine cabinet, mindful of the noise he creates. Not because he’s afraid of being caught, but because he doesn’t want to worsen Jimin’s headache. Both of Jimin’s parents have already gone off to work.

He returns not long after, this time carrying a glass of water and two aspirin in his hand. Jimin, now also clad in last night’s underwear, rises and gratefully takes the offered objects. He swallows down the pills in one go.

Jimin sighs and sets the glass down on his bedside table. He stands and walks over to his dresser to take out a fresh set of clothes.

“Got somewhere to be?” JK inquires as he begins to dress as well.

Jimin’s expression is sour as he replies, “I have to go to Seokjin’s house so I can kiss up to him. If I offer to be his slave for the weekend, hopefully he’ll let me off the hook.”

“I’ll go with you.”

Jimin turns, clothing in hand, to stare in shock at his boyfriend.

“Why?” He asks.

JK shrugs nonchalantly, as if his reasoning is obvious. “You need a ride anyway, don’t you?”

Jimin grins, a warm feeling spreading through him at JK’s kind gesture.

“Okay,” he agrees, “If you really want to.”

As Jimin begins to dress, JK stretches out on the bed and says his next words with a smirk.

“Besides, I have a few ideas on how to get back at that tool for all the shit he’s done to you.”

 

 

When the pair arrive at Seokjin’s house, it is still early. The street is quiet, only a few joggers passing by without much notice of their surroundings. There is no one to witness Jimin and JK sneaking into the Kim family’s home through the back.

Jimin knows that the six-foot, white gate leading into the spacious garden is never locked. And even if it is, the Kims had shown him that if he slowly tilts the knob upwards, the door swings right open. That bit of knowledge, while helpful, isn’t necessary today. Jimin and JK just walk right in.

Jimin leads the way and soundlessly slides open the glass door. They step inside and looked around. No one seems to be present.

“Are you sure he’s even here?” JK questions, following Jimin into the kitchen and opening cabinets to find the cups.

“Believe me, Seokjin passes on the weekend trip to Halmeoni’s even when he doesn’t have a hangover.” Jimin opens the fridge, looking over its contents as he considers what to use for his revenge plot.

“What do you think? Milk and orange juice, or hot sauce and cola?” Jimin looks over his shoulder at JK, and sees him shuffling through the cabinet under the sink.

JK straightens, holding up a bottle of Drain-A-Matic with a proud smile. “How about this instead?”

Jimin pauses, taken aback by what JK is suggesting. He forces a chuckle, trying to brush off JK’s dark sense of humor.

“Don’t be an asshole. That’ll kill him,” he says.

JK’s smile drops, and his eyes seem to darken as he stares at Jimin. His fingers tighten just slightly around the bottle he has in his grasp, showing off the muscles and veins in his hands. Jimin gulps minimally, doing his best not to tense up. He breaks eye contact after a few seconds.

“Hot sauce and cola it is!” Jimin calls, desperately needing to lighten the atmosphere.

He pulls the said objects out of the refrigerator and goes to stand next to JK. JK has already retrieved his own glass cup, though, and has started to pour the blue fluid into it. Jimin reaches up to grab a red mug from the cabinet that is still open above.

“Should we put salt in it to add an extra kick?” He muses aloud as he concocts his own drink.

JK huffs frustratedly, and all but slams the bottle he’s holding onto the counter. “Would you stop? I’m telling you we should go with big blue here.” He motions to his full cup.

“You’re being ridiculous!” Jimin struggles to find words. “Besides, Seokjin’s not an idiot. He’d never drink anything that looks like that!”

JK seems to agree with the point Jimin is making, and for a moment the shorter boy is relieved. But then JK just gets another red mug and pours the contents of his glass into the other.

“Then we’ll put it in here. See, no worries, he won’t even know what he’s drinking!” JK explains.

Jimin closes his eyes and clenches his jaw. He takes a few breaths to keep himself from shouting, he doesn’t want to wake Seokjin just yet. He opens his eyes again and stares hard at JK. Jimin knows he’s never been the type to intimidate others, his features are too boyish to do so effectively.

So he hopes his voice is stern enough to do the job when says, “Stop it. We’re not giving him that shit.” He stares up at JK with his shoulders back in an attempt to make himself seem just that much taller.

JK blinks a few times before his shoulders droop. He looks down at his feet. “You’re right, I’m sorry.”

Jimin smiles softly, tilting JK’s chin up with his index finger. “Don’t worry about it. I forgive you.” He leans in for a kiss and JK responds eagerly.

The kiss only breaks when Jimin feels JK push a mug into his lax hand that is resting on the countertop. He wraps his fingers around the handle and pulls back. JK is looking down at him with a sly grin on his face. He places a cover over the mug in Jimin’s hands and takes a step towards the stairway.

“After you,” JK drawls. Jimin leads the way once more and the two of them creep up the carpeted steps, stopping outside of Seokjin’s bedroom door.

Jimin knocks lightly, not really expecting a response. “Seokjin-ssi? It’s Jimin.”

He knocks twice more in quick but soft motions, before he quietly twists the door knob and pushes his way inside. He sticks his head in the room first, observing his surroundings with caution.

Seokjin is sprawled out on his canopy bed, which has white sheets and a red duvet to match the curtains hanging over the mattress. The room is dim, the window coverings dark enough to let only the barest amount of light in. But the walls are white, so they reflect what little illumination the room is granted.

There’s a vanity mirror in the right corner of the room, and Jimin can see his and JK’s reflections in the large rectangular glass. Directly across from the foot of the bed is a clear glass table, adorned with men’s fashion magazines and a small vase of roses. Seokjin has a walk-in closet with two doors that open outwards, and Jimin knows that on the inside of those doors are polaroids and professionally taken photographs of Seokjin and the other Kims.

Decorative lights are strung around the upper half of the walls. Unusually, they are powered off. But Seokjin always turns them on when he is in the room. Jimin had questioned why that was during those first few weeks of friendship, and Seokjin had said, “It allows visitors to see how gorgeous I am even while I’m unconscious.

Jimin knows that’s just an excuse to hide the fact that Seokjin is afraid of the dark. But the Kim must’ve been too drunk last night to bother turning the lights on.

Seokjin’s eyes are obscured by a black sleeping mask, but his deep breathing makes it clear that he is still resting. His candy striped pajamas are rumpled and the shirt is unbuttoned, exposing his defined collar bones and smooth chest. He’s lying on his back, limbs askew and lips parted slightly.

“Seokjin~” Jimin says a little louder than before, he doesn’t want to have to shake the boy awake.

JK seems to be out of patience, because he clears his throat loudly enough to startle even Jimin. The latter jumps a bit, and the liquid in his mug sloshes around, but the cover remains in place.

Seokjin snorts lightly, tensing for a moment because of his rude awakening. He brings his hands up to remove his mask at a painstakingly slow pace, a pace only a true dramatic can pull off, and blinks several times as his eyes struggle to focus. Then he recognizes Jimin’s face in front of him, and the smile he gives is shark-like.

“Well if it isn’t Jiminie Cricket.” Seokjin sits up enough to lean back on his hands. His eyes dart to the left and settle on JK. “Oh, and you brought your emo plaything too!”

Jimin grimaces at the teasing lilt in Seokjin’s tone. He knows that voice promises anything but sweetness and understanding. It’s condescending, and it sickens Jimin. He’s only heard it a handful of times before, one instance being when he forced Jimin into writing the fake invitation by threatening Hoseok.

“Why are you here?” Seokjin asks, eyes falsely wide and innocent.

“I’m here to apologize for last night. We were both drunk and things happened that we didn’t mean to do, and I’m sorry for the way I acted.” Jimin said, only half sincere in his words.

Seokjin didn’t look very convinced. “Is that so?” He deadpans. Jimin nods, his shoulders hunched up to his ears in an effort to make himself look smaller.

He wanted Seokjin to think of him as submissive so Seokjin’s superiority complex would flare up, and he’d ultimately forgive Jimin’s actions.

“Well, if you’re really gonna try and win me over, I want to see you beg. On your knees.”

Jimin chokes on his own breath. “W-what?”

Seokjin rolls his eyes exaggeratedly. He pushes himself up off the bed and rises to his full height. “Oh come on. I doubt it’s a position you’re unfamiliar with, given you brought Death Note along with you,” He sneers. “If you want me to forgive you, then get on your goddamn knees.”

Jimin ducks his head, about to do as he was told when JK suddenly takes the mug from his hands and holds it out to Seokjin.

“Jimin knew you’d have a hangover so he called me and I helped whip up this cure. It’s a family recipe,” JK adds, using his doe eyes to his advantage so he looks less threatening.

Seokjin narrows his eyes. “What, did you spit in it or something? You really think I’m dumb enough to drink that?” He walks closer to JK even as he refuses the boy’s offer.

JK sighs, pulling back, feigning disappointment. “I should’ve known this stuff would be too intense for him, Jimin. My bad.”

Seokjin’s eyes flash in anger, he’s probably offended that JK dared to question his resolve. Jimin figures that’s what JK was anticipating, though, as he doesn’t refuse when Seokjin snatches up the mug.

“Are you trying to call me weak?” Seokjin scoffs, ripping the cover off the mug and chugging its contents. Jimin holds back a cheer of victory.

Then Seokjin gags. At first, Jimin smiles, thinking the taste must’ve been especially repulsive, but then Seokjin doesn’t stop.

The mug falls to the ground as Seokjin starts to make choking noises, mouth agape, and Jimin sees that his teeth are stained blue. Horror dawns on Jimin as Seokjin stumbles forward, hacking and coughing violently, fingers scrabbling at his throat uselessly.

Seokjin looks like he’s trying to call out, his eyes are watering and he keeps trying to form words, but he’s unsuccessful. As he continues to cough, looking more and more manic as the seconds pass, his body seizes and jolts uncontrollably. Then abruptly, his struggling stops, and Seokjin collapses on top of his glass table. The furniture shatters on impact.

He doesn’t move again.

Both Jimin and JK are frozen for a solid minute before Jimin crouches down to look at the face of a too-still Seokjin. He gasps at what he sees.

Speckles of bright blood spatter the Kim’s lips, a thin trail of it streaming from the corner of his wide open mouth and collecting in a tiny puddle on the ground. Seokjin’s unseeing eyes are peering right at Jimin, and the absolute blankness within them is chilling. There’s no malice or cruel joy, no mirthful shine. Only total nothingness resides in the boy’s midnight black orbs.

Seokjin’s arms are trapped beneath his body because of the position he’d been in when he fell. His hands are limp, but they still look to be reaching for his throat. His painful meeting with death is on display for all to see, forever frozen in time.

JK kneels down next to Jimin to look at Seokjin as well. He runs his hands through his hair, tugging at the ends before dropping his arms back down to his sides.

“Oh my god,” Jimin breathes, “We killed Kim Seokjin.”

JK tries to ease the panic he can see rising in Jimin. “I mean, it’s not like we forced him to drink–”

“WE KILLED KIM SEOKJIN!” Jimin explodes.

“WHY ARE YOU FREAKING OUT?!” JK jumps up and away from Seokjin’s corpse, beginning to pace.

“He was my friend!” Jimin stands as well, eyes wild and hands scratching down his face.

“You hated him!” JK responds just as loudly.

Jimin’s pitch rises as he says, “That doesn’t mean I wanted him to fucking die!”

JK throws his hands up in a well too bad kind of motion as he continues to pace around the room. He steps over Seokjin’s body without care, and glass crunches under his boots.

All the thoughts racing through Jimin’s mind come to a crashing halt as a realization comes to him. “You... you gave me the wrong mug on purpose. You wanted this to happen! You made sure of it!” Jimin shoves at JK’s chest.

JK staggers backwards, yelling, “Well fuck it if he can’t take a joke, Jimin!”

Jimin’s face twists in rage and disgust. “This is not a joke, JK! This is murder!” Jimin’s head falls into his hands as he breathes out, “Oh God,” over and over again.

JK tries to pull Jimin’s arms down, but the panicking boy won’t budge. “Jesus shit, we’re going to prison. My life is over. I’m never going to college.” Jimin says, almost to the point of hysterical tears.

“Jimin, calm down okay? We’re gonna be fine! Let’s just–” JK looks around the room and his eyes settle on a pen that rests on the vanity. He walks backwards to the mirror, dragging a hyperventilating Jimin along with him.

“What if we made this, like, a suicide thing? You can do Seokjin’s handwriting as well as your own, can’t you?” Jimin sits on the bench in front of the mirror, teary eyes looking up at JK as he speaks.

“Can’t you?” JK repeats. Jimin nods silently.

JK looks at him expectantly, and Jimin sluggishly goes into action. He opens one of the many drawers in the vanity and finds where Seokjin keeps his notepad. He picks up the pen on the vanity and poises it over the paper, waiting.

“Okay, um, this is Seokjin’s final statement to the world right? So start by saying, ‘You’re probably shocked by what I’ve done’ or something,” JK suggests.

Jimin starts to write, speaking aloud as he adds his own words. “ ‘But this was my only way out of the hell I knew my life to be. Everyone thinks that because I had popularity and beauty, I had it all. But no one understood that I was still human. I had feelings just like everybody else.’ ”

JK nods along with him, and when Jimin comes to a stop, he says, “ ‘None of you knew who I really was. And I die knowing that none of you cared to learn the truth.’ ”

Jimin signs the bottom of the note with Seokjin’s signature, characters sharp and precise.

“That’s good,” He compliments, looking over his shoulder at JK. “Have you done this before?”

The words were said in an attempt to release the tension of the moment. A joke in a time where one was desperately needed. But Jimin receives only silence in return.

The heavy weight of JK’s gaze makes Jimin’s stomach turn, and for the first time he wonders if meeting JK was a mistake.

Chapter Text

The last two hours of school are cancelled that Monday, in light of Seokjin’s death. Everywhere Jimin goes, he hears whispers and rumors about what happened. The stories get more ridiculous throughout the day.

At one point, he thinks he overhears a group of sophomore girls theorizing that Seokjin actually faked his death, and ran away to the States to have a new life. It’s all so surreal, but at the same time Jimin doesn’t expect anything less.

Because of the shortened day, Jimin’s last class is gym, which he shares with the two remaining Kims. The three of them are in the locker room, changing out of their gym uniforms when Taehyung suddenly cries out, “It’s not fair! Why is this happening to us? We should get the whole week off, not just the last two classes.”

Jimin looks over at the tormented boy, who growls in frustration when he can’t find the hole to put his head through in his sweater. Jimin steps over the bench in between them to come to his aid. Nearby, Namjoon is sitting down, already dressed, looking none for the worse despite the fact that one of his best friends just died.

He is inhaling a box of chicken wings, barely stopping to swallow as he tells Taehyung, “Talk to the school board or something, then.”

Jimin looks at the Kim quizzically. He’s never seen Namjoon look so at ease. Usually he’s timid when it’s just their group watching. He’s grown used to seeing Namjoon trying to shrink into himself, afraid to speak out. The Kim Namjoon that Jimin knows is nothing like the one he sees right now.

“Careful there, Joon, you might just be digesting food for once,” Jimin comments.

Namjoon turns away from them, unfazed, and continues his meal.

“What happened to your urge to purge, huh?” Taehyung questions, and has to duck as Namjoon tosses a stripped chicken bone over his shoulder, nearly smacking the blonde in the face.

“Man, fuck that,” Namjoon replies offhandedly.

As they leave the locker room, Jimin is stopped by a hand on his arm. He turns, and to his surprise, he comes face to face with Hoseok. The taller boy is wearing a guilty expression. Jimin can’t think of a single reason for why that is, after all, he’s not the one that killed the most popular boy in school.

Jimin tells Taehyung and Namjoon to go on without him, saying he’ll meet up with them later. They walk off without another word.

Once the two former best friends are alone in the hallway, Hoseok speaks. “I’m sorry,” he says, his voice sounding raw and shaky.

“For what?” Jimin asks in genuine confusion. Hoseok pouts, looking down at his shoes.

“For everything! I’m sorry for yelling at you at the party when you were just trying to help. I was only thinking about how I felt, how mad I was that you were avoiding me. And–and I accused you of things instead of trying to listen to your side. And n–now Seokjin is gone, and I’m making this about me when y-you’re the one that lost somebody!” Hoseok is openly crying at this point, and all Jimin wants to do is scream for hours on end. He pulls Hoseok into a tight embrace, the older boy melting into his touch.

“I’m so sorry, Jimin. Please forgive me, I don’t think I can do this if you hate me I–”

Jimin shushes Hoseok, hugging him tighter as he whispers, “It’s okay, there’s nothing to be sorry for. I should be the one apologizing for ignoring you. I’m sorry I let you down, Hoseokie.”

The two of them stand there for a little while longer, parting only after Hoseok’s tears dwindle down into sniffles. Jimin leaves his friend with the promise that they will hang out later on in the week.

JK is waiting in the parking lot on his motorcycle, and he gives Jimin a questioning look when the boy gets close enough to start a conversation. Jimin sits behind JK and puts on the helmet that is handed to him.

“Just one of those days,” He sighs.

 

 

“Seokjin and I grew up together, we had so many plans for the future. It’s still hard to understand that I’m not going to see him tomorrow at school, or any other day, you know?”

Taehyung’s somber voice makes Jimin’s stomach twist, and he switches the channel away from the news interview. Taehyung’s image is replaced with one of a short boy with pastel blue hair, leaning against a tree and speaking into the mic that was being held out to him.

Jimin recognizes this boy to be Min Yoongi. He’s in Jimin’s Science class, a class he used to share with Seokjin.

“Seokjin and I used to go out. He dumped me and told me that I was ‘too boring of a person.’ Now I know though, it wasn’t my fault. Seokjin was suffering, he was miserable, and nothing in his life could satisfy him. I remember one time we went to the carnival together and I won him a–”

Jimin rolls his eyes. “What an asshole,” He murmurs, changing the channel once more.

He is sitting on the couch in JK’s living room, pressed against his boyfriend’s side as they try and decide what to watch. All they keep coming across are local news channels, every one of them relaying the same story.

The next channel that they flip to is just as bad as the one before. Another news station interviewing one of Seokjin’s classmates, this time a girl with strawberry blonde hair. Jimin thinks her name is Seulgi.

“He was always the type of guy that lit up the room. Every day I looked forward to seeing him, I don’t think school will be the same without him.”

Jimin scoffs. “What the hell are you talking about? You hated each other!” Frustrated, he turns the television off.

JK wraps his arm around Jimin, sighing lightly. “Looks like Kim Seokjin’s more popular in death than he was in life, huh?”

Jimin shakes his head, burying his face in JK’s shoulder. “I can’t stand it. Everybody at school is acting like their family member just died. They’re all such frauds!”

JK pats his head sympathetically.

Suddenly, an older man that strikingly resembles JK enters the room with an agitated look on his face. He passes the two teens and crosses the living room, heading to the adjoined kitchen to retrieve a beer from the refrigerator. He sits at the small kitchen table and looks over at JK and Jimin.

“Oh, hey Son, I didn’t hear you come in,” JK teases dryly. The man looks over to him with a rough smile.

“Hey Appa, how was work today? Just miserable, thanks for asking. Those old bitches won’t let us terminate that rat invested shack they call a hotel. It’s a part of the city’s history, or some shit,” The man, whom Jimin finally recognizes to be JK’s father, replies bitterly.

“Same thing happened in Daegu. Remember fucking Daegu?” Mr. Jeon continues.

JK nods, humming in affirmation. “The one with the grapes, right?”

“Yeah. ‘Save the memorial orchard society.’ Dumb fucks,” Mr. Jeon scoffs.

“You sure showed them, didn’t you?”

The comment should be cheeky, maybe a bit prideful, but it only comes across as empty as JK says it.

The atmosphere in the room is tense, even through the false sense of familial closeness. JK’s body is rigid against Jimin’s; the lines of Mr. Jeon’s face a little too tight. It feels as if at any moment, a fight could break out.

Mr. Jeon smiles wickedly. “Damn straight.” He waits for a moment, and when the silence continues he says, “Jeez, Appa, I almost forgot to introduce my boyfriend!”

“Right. Jimin, this is my Appa. Appa, this is Jimin.” JK says in a bored tone.

Jimin smiles and nods politely at Mr. Jeon, who returns the gesture. But Jimin is still yet to be reassured.

“Son, why don’t you invite Jimin to stay for dinner?” JK asks.

Jimin tries not to tense at the thought of staying in this house with the two of them for much longer. He’s never been good in awkward situations such as this, friendship with the Kims not doing much to change this fact. Jimin stands slowly.

“I wish I could, but my Eomma is cooking my favorite meal tonight. Kimchi jjigae, lots of seasoning,” Jimin explains, even though it’s a total lie.

JK smiles, but there’s something bitter in his eyes. “That’s sweet.” His words hold a false sense of sentiment to them.

He turns to look at his dad, his smile falling. “Last time I saw my Eomma was when she was waving at me from a library window back in Gwacheon. Isn’t that right, Appa?”

Mr. Jeon takes a long sip of his beer, staring coldly at JK. Jimin represses a shiver.

“That’s right....Son.”

 

 

Jimin gets home, feeling exhausted and still slightly perturbed from his encounter with the Jeon family. Still, he heads right through the house and steps outside onto the patio.

Once again, his parents are sitting at the stone table in the yard. His mother is hunched over her laptop as per usual, while his father is laid back, smoking a cigarette.
He looks over at the sound of the glass door sliding open, and he smiles at his son.

“There you are, Jimin! Sit down for a minute or two,” He tells Jimin.

Jimin complies, sighing. His family has this routine every day, practically, and so far it’s been a comfortable exchange. It was just their way of doing things, acting close when in reality they don’t really have time for one another. It’s never bothered Jimin before.

But today is different. Jimin feels like a hypocrite, he said everyone at his school were fake, but here he is, being just as superficial. It leaves a bad taste in his mouth.

“How was your day? What with your friend’s suicide and all,” Jimin’s father asks.

“It was nothing special. Everyone’s a little down, I guess,” Jimin replies, leaning forward to prop his head up on his palm while his arm rests on the tabletop.

Jimin’s mother stops typing for a moment, and she says, “It’s such a terrible thing to have happened. I’m sorry, sweetie.”

Jimin gives her a weak smile in thanks. She returns to her laptop, continuing to speak.

“So, will we ever get to meet this ‘cute new kid’ and possible homecoming contender?” She asks.

Jimin shrugs in response, mind thinking back to JK’s face when he’d spoken to his dad. He wants to believe that his relationship with his own parents is different, that maybe he’s even the littlest bit more comfortable around his family. But Jimin can’t lie to himself.

Jimin’s father groans, looking down at his cigarette in dismay. “Would someone remind me why I smoke these damn things?”

As uncomfortable as the realization is that he is an outsider in his own family, Jimin doesn’t go off script and he replies, “It’s because you’re an idiot.”

His father responds in kind. “Oh yeah, that’s it,” He says, and takes another drag.

Jimin’s mother laughs softly. “You two,” She says.

Unable to take another minute of sitting here, having a pre-planned conversation that’s been repeated for so many years it’s long ago lost its meaning, Jimin pushes his chair away from the table his family lounges at.

“Well, thanks for the chat. But I have to start getting ready for Seokjin’s funeral,” He excuses himself, and goes back inside his house. His parents say nothing as he leaves.

 

 

Seokjin had been well renowned in school, so Jimin is not surprised when the funeral is packed. All of the pews are filled with adults and teens alike, dressed in dark clothing and heads hung in mourning.

Jimin sits in the front with Namjoon and Taehyung. The latter has a steady but silent stream of tears cascading down his cheeks, and Namjoon’s face is stoic. He has not moved since the ceremony started. They all listen politely as Seokjin’s mother gives a heartfelt eulogy, and then afterwards they all stand to, one at a time, pray next to Seokjin’s open casket.

Seokjin’s body lays peacefully, beautiful even though Jimin knows his death was anything but. They dressed him in a deep red suit with a black dress shirt. Jimin wants to throw up when he looks down at the boy.

All he can think about while he kneels there is the way Seokjin’s face had looked while he choked to death on the poison Jimin had inadvertently given him. Needless to say, his turn doesn’t last for very long.

When the ceremony is over, Taehyung trails after Jimin out into the chilly evening. Namjoon elected to stay behind in the church, saying he needed a little more time to say goodbye.

“So Jimin, what are you doing tomorrow night?” Taehyung asks Jimin as they walk.

Jimin shrugs, saying, “Don’t know. Probably gonna watch TV or something. Why?”

Taehyung stops, and Jimin does as well. The former shuffles his feet, eyes darting between Jimin’s face and the ground. It’s obvious that he’s nervous for what he’s about to say.

“Well, Mark asked me out for tomorrow, but he wants to double with Jackson. Thing is, Jackson doesn’t have a date,” Taehyung explains.

Jimin sighs. “Tae, you know I have a thing going on with JK. You can’t just ask me to–”

“I know!” Taehyung rushes out, reaching up to anxiously twist a strand of his hair between his fingers. He looks defeated. “Seokjin was supposed to come along, we’ve been planning this for a few weeks. But now...you know...”

Jimin’s heart falls at the Kim’s words. For the umpteenth time in the past few days, guilt overcomes Jimin’s conscience. He looks at Taehyung, whose eyes are still red from all the crying he’s done lately. Even though Seokjin had been a terrible person, it is clear that Taehyung still cared for him.

It is because of Jimin that Taehyung is feeling this way.

“Okay. But only as long as it’s not one of those nights where all they want to do is get drunk and vandalize stuff, got it?” Jimin acquiesces.

Taehyung smiles a bright rectangular smile, and he hugs Jimin tightly. “Thank you, Jimin! Don’t worry, Mark and Jackson have really mellowed out since JK beat the shit out of them. It’ll be fun!”

Jimin hugs him back, and decides not to hold his breath despite Taehyung’s promises.

 

 

The next day at school, everyone seems to have moved on from Seokjin’s death. It’s no longer a tragedy, but another juicy story to talk about during lunchtime gossip. There are no more tears shed for the Kim, real or otherwise.

Jackson is the only one in their group that has a car, now that Seokjin is no longer a source for a ride, so he drives Taehyung and Jimin to their individual homes. The date isn’t supposed to be until seven-thirty.

When Jimin is picked up at the designated time, Taehyung is already in the backseat. He is dressed nicely just like Jimin is, but Jackson and Mark are wearing their letterman’s jackets. That’s the first sign that this night is going to be a disaster.

The second sign is when Jackson drives away from the city where all the nice restaurants and movie theaters are. Jimin side eyes Taehyung, and the blonde just looks at him sheepishly.

The car stops in the lot of a children’s park. Only three street lamps light up the area, poorly illuminating a sad playground and a wide grassy hill. Most of the area is cast in shadow. The slight breeze makes the swings shift ever so slowly, creaking with every push forward. The atmosphere is undeniably creepy.

The four of them get out of the car, Jackson and Mark visibly more excited than their respective dates. Jimin is already regretting not coming up with a last minute excuse to get himself out of this. He sees that Jackson is carrying a pack of beer in his hand, while Mark has two cans of spray paint, and he internally groans.

Taehyung looks equally as out of place. They look at each other, grimacing. Taehyung shrugs apologetically, and Jimin huffs. Jackson and Mark lead the way up the hill, sit down, and the both of them immediately crack open their own beer bottles.

Jimin and Taehyung sit as well. Jimin doesn’t make a move to get a drink, but Taehyung grabs one while muttering a quiet “Fuck it.”

Thirty minutes pass of Mark and Jackson trying to impress their dates by retelling their latest escapade in tormenting a nerdy classmate of theirs. Taehyung looks engaged, or at least he’s pretending to be. Jimin is silent.

The next half hour goes by, and the boys around Jimin are considerably more intoxicated. Mark and Jackson have moved on to deliberating what vulgar word they’re going to spray paint on the park bathroom’s doors.

As miserable as he is, Jimin doesn’t want to bail on Taehyung when the boy had been so excited to go on this date. He knows Taehyung is almost as uncomfortable as he is, but for some reason decides to play along as if he is enjoying himself. Jimin surmises that’s just the Kim way: fake it until you make it.

He calls it quits when Mark pounces on his boyfriend, and the two start to have a heavy make out session in the grass. When Mark begins unbuckling Taehyung’s belt, Jimin stands to leave. He would much rather walk home than watch the two boys have sex in the middle of a park.

A hand wraps around Jimin’s ankle, and he stumbles. Looking down, he sees Jackson sprawled out on the grass, his eyes only half open. He looks absolutely wasted.

“C’mon Jim’n~” The football player slurs. “I’ve got that need. Right...here...” Jackson uses the hand not holding onto Jimin to grab his crotch, and Jimin’s nose scrunches up in disgust.

He kicks Jackson’s hand off of him, and makes his way down the hill. “In your dreams, asshole,” He retorts.

He reaches the edge of the park, about to step onto the tarmac of the parking lot, when he hears a quiet voice say, “What the hell is this?”

Through the dark, Jimin recognizes JK’s hurt expression. His lips are set in a slight pout, eyes bloodshot and brows furrowed. Jimin chooses not to question why JK is standing before him, or how he knew Jimin would be there at the park. It’s not like this is the first time.

Jimin sighs, looking forlornly into JK’s eyes. “It was just a favor for Taehyung. A double date,” He explains.

“Those fucking Kims are getting on my nerves, Jimin,” JK growls. Jimin steps back at the cold fury in his boyfriend’s tone.

JK takes a deep breath, and smoke comes out of his mouth as he exhales. That’s when Jimin notices the lit cigarette in his hand. He never knew JK smoked.

“Sorry, I’m just....a little off tonight. So many high schools and yet the only thing different is my locker combination,” Says JK. Jimin takes the few steps to close the space between them, and grabs JK’s free hand.

He lightly kisses JK on his forehead, and carefully takes the cigarette from between his fingertips. JK doesn’t argue as Jimin drops the cigarette onto the ground and puts it out with his shoe.

JK smiles softly. “Our love is God, Jimin,” He whispers.

Nodding in agreement, Jimin kisses JK on the corner of his mouth and then says, “Let’s go get a slushy, yeah?”

The two of them mount JK’s motorcycle, and drive off, leaving the park far behind without another thought.

Chapter Text

When Jimin walks into school on Wednesday morning, he can immediately tell that something is off. As per usual, people turn to look at him. But their stares are not the normal ones of admiration, nor of envy. The students in the hall look at him and smirk, then they turn to their friends and whisper. Almost as if everybody is in on a secret except for him.

The only people that aren’t paying attention to him are the two remaining Kims, Taehyung and Namjoon, and that’s because they are busy rifling through Seokjin’s former locker. Well, Namjoon is, at least. Taehyung is more just leaning heavily against the locker next to Seokjin’s, the fingers of his right hand massaging his temples.

Jimin approaches them, stopping behind Taehyung, and if he looks down the loose collar of the blonde boy’s shirt, he can see a ring of hickeys decorating his throat.

“What are you doing?” Jimin asks the two, trying to keep his voice low so as to not irritate Taehyung’s obvious hangover.

Namjoon spares a quick glance at Jimin before going back to his task, which looks to be shoveling the contents of Seokjin’s locker into a cardboard box in a none too gentle manner.

“The principal wants us to clear out Seokjin’s locker. Apparently it’s more respectful if we do it because we were his closest friends or something,” Namjoon explains disinterestedly.

Jimin looks over at Taehyung, who looks downright miserable. The boy’s eyes are squeezed shut and his mouth is set in a grimace. Jimin rubs his back soothingly. Taehyung cracks his eyes open and gives Jimin a look of thanks.

Namjoon slows to a stop as he catches sight of something particularly interesting in the locker. He reaches in and pulls out an all too familiar red watch. There’s a glint in his eye as he looks down at the accessory. Jimin suddenly feels ill.

“Is that Seokjin’s watch?” Jimin asks pointlessly, the three of them already know the answer.

Namjoon nods silently, placing the box that holds the rest of Seokjin’s things on the floor. He pushes up his left sleeve and starts to wrap the watch around his thin wrist.

“Hey that’s not yours–” Taehyung begins weakly, and Namjoon looks at him with a hard glare.

“Shut up, Taehyung. It’s not like Seokjin’s gonna be needing the damn thing. He’s dead, remember?” Namjoon hisses.

Taehyung bites his bottom lip, eyes moving downcast to stare at his feet. Jimin looks at Namjoon’s cold expression, trying to understand what is happening. What ever happened to the hesitant, curious Namjoon that Jimin thought he knew so well?

“Quit gawking, Jimin. You’re needed elsewhere.” Namjoon goes back to clearing the locker as he speaks.

“Where?” Jimin asks, snapping out of his stupor of self-reflection.

“The Publications classroom. They want a quote from you for Seokjin’s memorial page that they’re putting in the yearbook,” Namjoon tells him offhandedly.

Jimin nods, giving Taehyung a careful look. He doesn’t want to leave the Kim alone with Namjoon, whom might as well be possessed by Seokjin given the way he’s acting. But there’s nothing more he can do here, so he leaves the two alone. He tries to keep his head down, telling himself not to react to the mocking laughter and judgmental eyes of his peers.

He walks into the Publications classroom to find Min Yoongi arguing with a yearbook staff member. The girl is apologizing to Yoongi, but she doesn’t seem to be giving in to his demands, and Yoongi isn’t happy about it. They both stop talking when they notice Jimin.

“Uh, I heard you wanted a quote from me?” Jimin states, walking further into the room to see the pictures sprawled out on the work desk in front of the two.

The girl’s eyes are sad when they look at Jimin, and in a soothing voice she says, “Don’t worry about that, Jimin. Just sit down.” She guides a confused Jimin into a chair.

“Seokjin’s death must’ve hit you pretty hard, huh? I know it must be tough dealing with something like that, but I want you to know that I’m here for you,” The girl reassures, and Jimin shifts awkwardly. He feels a little bad, considering he doesn’t even know the girl’s name.

“Thanks?”

The girl smiles. “I just don’t want you to make another decision that you might regret, because you can always just talk to me instead.”

Jimin narrows his eyes in confusion. “What do you mean, ‘another decision’?” He asks, and the girl looks hesitant to explain.

Yoongi scoffs, drawing the attention of both Jimin and the girl. “Way to beat around the bush, Mina.” He tells the girl, and she looks away in shame. Yoongi wraps his hand around Jimin’s elbow, helping him stand. “C’mon, Jimin, let’s talk outside.”

They leave the classroom and Mina stares after them in pity, which puts Jimin even more on edge. Why is everybody in the loop but him?

“Yoongi-ssi, what is going on?” Jimin insists once the two are standing outside the classroom.

Yoongi sighs, and bites at his thumb nail as he carefully chooses his words. After a moment, he leans close and whispers, “Rumor is going around school about the double date you had with Jackson and Mark last night.”

That doesn’t clear anything up for Jimin, though, so he gives Yoongi an expectant look. The boy continues. “I don’t usually listen to imbeciles like Jackson Wang, but he and Mark were pretty detailed when they told everybody that you let them– and I quote– ‘hit it from both ends at once’.”

Jimin’s face scrunches up in revulsion, and he feels the need to vomit at the mental image Yoongi’s words give him.

“That’s disgusting! You don’t actually believe them, do you?” Jimin exclaims, uncaring of the dirty looks he receives from other students in the hall.

Yoongi crosses his arms and shrugs. “I don’t think it’s true, because you just don’t seem the type. But as for everyone else, they’re more prone to believe any gossip they can get their hands on,” He admits.

Jimin can feel a headache coming on. The bell rings, and Yoongi leaves him alone. Jimin walks to his first period class, and doesn’t bother sitting down before asking his professor for a pass to the nurse. He feels faint, and the stares he can feel on the back of his neck only make it worse.

It takes all of Jimin’s willpower not to collapse in the middle of the hallway and have a panic attack. He decides then that he can’t stay in this building for a moment longer, and pulls out his phone.

To: JK
Can we get out of here? I’m not in the mood.

The reply is almost instantaneous, which doesn’t surprise Jimin. JK isn’t one to pay attention much in class, anyway.

From: JK
Ofc, where to?

To: JK
Anywhere.

Jimin just knows JK is smiling when he reads his next message.

From: JK
Be in the parking lot in 5.

 

 

They leave school and spend the better half of two hours at the movie theater. Then, they drive to the park and JK buys bread to throw at the ducks in the small pond. They go on like this for a while, spending time together doing all of the cliche things that couples do in romance movie montages. All of it builds up a giddiness within Jimin, his senses filled with the euphoria he’s experienced throughout the day.

This is probably why he is so easily persuaded by JK to call Jackson, once they get to Jimin’s house. The couple is laid out on Jimin’s bed, with Jimin resting his cheek on JK’s chest while the other’s fingers are tangled in his hair.

Jackson picks up on the second ring, answering with a cautious (if not guilty), “Hello?

After being friends with the Kims for so long, Jimin has become a master at speaking with a flirtatious tone. He’s never had to use the skill before this, though.

“Hey, Jackson. I know this is unexpected, but I just couldn’t help myself,” Jimin begins.

There is only silence on the other line, and Jimin pauses awkwardly. He looks to JK for help, and the boy nods in encouragment.

“Anyway, I’m going to be honest with you and say that it’s always been a fantasy of mine to have two guys at once. So I was wondering if you wanted all those things you’ve been saying to really happen, you know?” Jimin cringes at his own words, and reaches back to flick JK in the forehead when he hears the boy trying to stifle his laughter.

Jackson’s breath audibly hitches, and Jimin smiles victoriously. “I mean... yeah. Yeah, definitely. Where, uh, when? I mean, what time?” Jackson stutters.

Jimin pretends to think it over for a bit before replying, “I was thinking in the woods behind the school? At dawn?”

Jackson’s affirming response is just short of being loud enough to shatter Jimin’s ear drum, but he pretends not to be bothered.

“Don’t forget to bring Mark~” Jimin says as way of parting, and then abruptly hangs up.

Once the line is disconnected, both JK and Jimin burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter. After a few minutes, they calm down enough to think with clear heads. Now that the first step of their revenge plot is checked off, the real preparation can begin. The two boys separate, spreading out on the bed so they can work.

There are two handguns on Jimin’s bed, and lined up next to them are several bullets. Jimin and JK pick up one gun each, and begin to load them with extreme care. Off to the side is a paper filled out in Jackson’s handwriting, as well as both his and Mark’s signatures.

“So, why am I writing a suicide note if we’re just shooting them with blanks?” Jimin inquires as he goes about inserting the bullets into the gun’s cartridge.

That was another thing they did today. JK showed Jimin how to load and hold a gun.

JK looks up at his boyfriend, deft hands expertly handling the weapon.

“Because we’re not going to be using blanks this time,” He says, not backtracking even when Jimin glares at him.

“No way! If you think I’m going to kill them, you can forget it!” Jimin throws down the gun in his hand, and moves to stand from his position on the bed, but JK stops him with a firm grip on his bicep.

“Wait a second, hear me out! Do you take German?” JK asks, and Jimin’s eyes narrow in both suspicion and curiosity.

“No, I take Japanese. Why?” Jimin responds, slowly sitting back down.

JK does a little head tilt before straightening again, a nervous grin on his face. It’s a habit of his that Jimin has picked up on lately.

“Well, these are what the Germans call Ich Lüge bullets. My grandfather got a hold of a bunch of them back in World War II,” JK explains. “They’re basically tranquilizers, but higher tech. They break the surface of the skin just enough to cause a little blood, but no damage bad enough to permanently injure.”

Jimin nods along in understanding. “So, if we shoot Jackson and Mark with these, it’ll look like they’ve been shot and killed, but they’ll actually just be unconscious and bleeding?”

JK’s smile widens, and he nods quickly. Once he notices that Jimin is back on board, he stands, pointing the gun at the wall in a modeling gesture.

“All we gotta do is shoot Jackson and Mark, make it look like they shot each other, and then when they wake up their reputations will be trashed. They’ll be nothing but a joke, and the note’s the punchline!” JK rambles excitedly, his eyes alight with a childish sort of glee.

“Speaking of,” Jimin comments, “how about I read it to you aloud so you can praise me on my amazing work?” JK signals with his hand that’s not holding the gun for Jimin to continue.

Clearing his throat, Jimin picks up the note and relays what is written. “ ‘Mark and I died because we were tired of hiding our love behind Mark’s relationship with Kim Taehyung. We knew that going behind the Kims’ backs would only end poorly, and we’d rather die than face their wrath. The control they have over Bom High is that of a dictatorship, and if we were found out, our lives would be ruined anyway. Our love for each other would be twisted into something unrecognizable, and we feel that that is a crime worse than even death itself.’ ”

When he is finished, Jimin stares up at JK with wide, searching eyes. JK looks satisfied, and he pulls a grocery bag from the floor onto the bed in front of him.

“Let’s take a look at some of the Secret Love Affair artifacts that I got to plant at the scene, yeah?” He suggests, to which Jimin nods.

JK pulls out the objects one at a time, describing them as he goes. “Alright. I’ve got a picnic blanket, a box of chocolates–” said box is in the shape of a heart, “–and a Happy Anniversary card because why the fuck not.” JK stops, looking at Jimin with a mischievous expression.

“Now, to really sell it, I’ve got sparkling cider. People drink that at picnic dates, don’t they?”

Jimin giggles at his boyfriend’s antics, eyes roaming over his features. JK is undoubtedly a beautiful man. His large eyes are sparkling, his nose is round and practically invites anyone that looks upon him to tap it, and his smile is both seductive and adorable– what with his bunny teeth and plush bottom lip.

“You are so smart, JK.” Jimin leans forward and JK leans down, the two of them meeting in the middle for a heated kiss.

Tomorrow, Jimin thinks to himself as JK pins him onto the mattress, Bom High’s elite gets a wakeup call that won’t be soon forgotten.

 

 

As planned, Jimin is in the woods at dawn. This early in the morning, a slight chill sifts through the air, rustling the trees ever so gently. It’s just a hint of what this November has in store. Jimin’s chest burns when he takes a deep breath, and the cold creeps into his lungs before going back out again.

Readjusting the gun in the waistband of his jeans, Jimin spares a glance into the cluster of trees just behind him. He knows this is where JK is hiding out, gun in hand. His boyfriend does not make a sound, nor does he peek out from his hiding place. Mark and Jackson should be here any minute.

Less than five minutes later, said boys appear just as promised. Their cheeks are flushed, but Jimin knows it’s not from the cold. They look to be just barely holding back from jumping him right then, and Jimin is somewhat impressed by their restraint.

Jackson speaks first. “So, do we just whip it out or what?” He asks, courtesy completely forgotten in the moment.

Jimin grins provocatively. “Now, Jackson, be patient. Before we do anything, I want the both of you to strip.” His voice is quiet, as if he doesn’t want to disturb the nature around them.

“Oh, good idea,” Jackson mumbles, and Mark shoves him roughly before they start to comply with their instructions.

When the two boys are in nothing but their boxers, Mark asks Jimin, “What about you?”

Jimin is prepared for this question, and he answers in a faux-anxious tone, “Well, I was hoping that you two could maybe... rip my clothes off?”

Jackson and Mark freeze, then their faces split apart in matching grins. Their expressions are reminiscent of excited puppies, Jimin muses to himself.

“On the count of three,” Jimin starts. Mark and Jackson are already tense, ready to go at the drop of a hat.

“One,” Jimin can’t hold back his smirk at this point, “two–”

It is at this moment that JK reveals himself, stepping out from the cover of the trees, gun at the ready.

“Three,” he finishes, and fires at Mark.

Jimin follows suit by ripping his own gun out from its hiding place, quickly taking aim at Jackson before pulling the trigger. He misses by a hair, but JK’s shot is dead on. Mark collapses into the patchy grass below him, blood spurting from his jugular.

Jackson isn’t a complete idiot, and so as soon as he realizes he is unharmed, he runs. JK sprints after him without another word. Jimin laughs happily, and approaches Mark.

But Mark isn’t unconscious like Jimin expects him to be. Instead, he’s emitting wet gasps, body twitching on the ground as blood continues to flow out of his wound. And it’s a lot of blood, Jimin realizes. Too much of it, in fact. Jimin drops to his knees next to Mark, who looks up at him with agonized eyes.

Jimin lightly shakes the boy by his shoulder, calling, “Mark? Come on, it’s just a joke. Mark!”

But Mark does not respond, and Jimin watches with dread pooling in his stomach as the linebacker’s gasps eventually cease, and he stops moving completely. His dull eyes stare up at the still lightening sky, and in the silence, a sob rips its way out of Jimin.

For a minute or two, the only sound in the woods is Jimin’s heart pounding in his ears, all other noise blocked out in the midst of his panic. Mark is dead. Another person is dead, and even if Jimin wasn’t the one to land the shot, the blood is still on his hands.

Eventually, Jimin picks up on the sound of two pairs of feet running closer. Jackson is first, circling back by mistake in his desperate attempt to get away from his best friend’s murderers. JK comes next, looking furious enough that even Jimin is scared.

Jackson slides to a stop, terror evident on his face as he tries and fails to get his body to move.

“Now!” JK shouts at Jimin, and the latter doesn’t know what to do other than listen. If he doesn’t act, then JK will.

Jimin points the gun that is still in his hand at Jackson, and fires. His body is jostled by the kickback of the gun, and he shuts his eyes so he doesn’t have to see Jackson as he drops dead. But he can’t ignore the dull thump of a body as it hits the ground.

The gunshot echoes for a few long seconds. Jimin doesn’t open his eyes until he feels a familiar hand on his shoulder. He looks up at JK with tears in his eyes.

JK says nothing, he makes no move to do so, and all Jimin can do is ask him one question.

“What the fuck have we done?”

Chapter Text

Jimin is in a state of shock as JK walks around him, wiping the guns of their prints and planting them on the dead bodies of Jackson and Mark. He is silent as JK lays down the picnic blanket, sets out the box of chocolates and the champagne, and carefully lifts the corpses one at a time to lay on opposite sides of the display.

Jimin watches him, and vaguely considers screaming for help. But the thought is fleeting, for he knows that it is hopeless. Even if someone does hear him, Jimin is just as much a criminal as his boyfriend.

With Seokjin, he could deny the fact that he took part in the boy’s murder. JK had tricked him, so Seokjin’s death couldn’t be his fault. But now, Jimin has no choice but to face facts.

He killed somebody. He shot Jackson point blank, while the other boy was scared and defenseless.

JK pulls Jimin to his feet, holding the shorter boy close to his body as they walk to JK’s motorcycle that is parked at the edge of the woods. Jimin leans his head on JK’s shoulder as they drive to school, arms wrapped tightly around him even if being this close to JK makes him a little nervous now.

He manages to keep it together until they pull up in front of the school. Jimin takes off his helmet as JK does the same, and then subsequently starts bawling. Luckily, the parking lot is relatively empty due to the early hour. But JK wastes no time in dragging Jimin to the men’s bathroom, and nearly throwing him against the wall inside.

JK checks every stall to make sure they are void of people, before locking himself and a shaking Jimin in the handicap stall. Jimin lets himself be pulled into JK’s lap as he cries. JK is quiet as Jimin soaks the sleeve of his dark jacket with his tears.

Ich Lüge bullets,” Jimin spits out as his tears continue to flow. “I’m so stupid!”

JK grabs Jimin’s chin and tilts it upwards so their eyes meet. He sighs, staring at his boyfriend’s grief-stricken face.

“You’re not an idiot, Jimin. You believed it because you wanted to believe it. Your true feelings were too hard for you to face so you let yourself be fooled,” JK says apathetically. His words startle Jimin enough to make the boy stop crying.

Jimin’s expression morphs into one of outrage. He tries to crawl out of JK’s lap, but is held securely in place.

Still, Jimin shouts, “I did not want them dead!”

JK laughs in astonishment at Jimin’s words of denial. “I can’t believe this. You did too!”

“I did not!” Jimin retaliates petulantly.

“Did too!”

“Did not!”

“Did too!”

They continue on with their childish argument of back and forth for a good ten extra seconds, and the surreality of it all causes a smile to creep onto Jimin’s face. Eventually, he is forced to surrender as he is overcome with giggles, his distress being pushed from the forefront of his mind.

JK relaxes as Jimin laughs, and he affectionately runs his fingers through Jimin’s hair.

He leans forward to whisper into Jimin’s ear. “Let’s be real, Jimin. Jackson and Mark had nothing to offer this world but swirlies and dick jokes. We did everybody a favor.”

Jimin acquiesces with a nod, then hugs JK loosely. He is suddenly hit with a bout of exhaustion, now that the adrenaline and numbness of the morning’s events have passed.

Some time later, the boys separate and stand up, then head into the hallways that are now steadily filling with students. It’s only a few minutes before the first bell is supposed to ring when an announcement comes over the intercom.

Students, this is your principal. It has come to my attention that another tragedy has occurred within our school. Star student athletes Jackson Wang and Mark Tuan have unfortunately taken part in a double suicide. In order to mourn the loss of the two boys, school has been cancelled for the day. Regular classes shall pick up tomorrow morning. You are all dismissed.” A voice rings out, completely void of any emotion.

For a moment, the halls are quiet as everyone collectively tries to process the onslaught of information. Then, students start shouting over one another, trying to find out more about Jackson and Mark’s deaths. Some are putting their belongings back into their lockers, and others are making a dash for the exit as they whoop in excitement.

As Jimin looks around, he notices that no one seems to be truly upset about the news. His conscience settles at this realization, and he and JK walk out of the building hand in hand.

 

 

Friday afternoon, Jimin finds himself in a similar position that he’d been in on Monday. He is sitting in a church, wearing black, and his attention is on another parent that is once again crying over their dead child. Jimin doesn’t feel nearly as bad as he should, though, not while JK is next to him whispering crude remarks into his ear.

Jackson and Mark’s parents chose to have a joint funeral, and now Jackson’s father is being comforted by Mark’s as he struggles through his prepared eulogy. The church is just as full as it was during Seokjin’s service. Except this time, the effect that death leaves on people doesn’t seem to have hit just yet, the most recent “suicides” too close to the first.

JK mutters a particularly dry one-liner, and Jimin snorts before he can help it. JK smirks, and Jimin feels his face flush as an embarrassed grin spreads across his face. His smile drops, though, when he sees Taehyung turn around to look at them from where he sits in one of the front pews.

JK turns away awkwardly, but Jimin’s gaze is locked on Taehyung. The boy looks absolutely destroyed. His eyes are bloodshot and his lips are bitten raw, cheeks wet with tears just like they had been on Monday.

And that’s when Jimin remembers that Taehyung was dating Mark. Despite the fact that the football player had been a bully and an airhead, he’d also been Taehyung’s boyfriend. Taehyung might have even loved him. And now Mark is dead.

Taehyung has lost two people in just a single week, and Jimin is the one that took them from him.

 

 

Dear Diary,
I’m torn between feeling invincible and feeling hopeless. Three of the most popular people in school are dead, but the aftermath isn’t full of grief and mourning. Everybody’s sad, but it’s not the type of sad you’d imagine.

It’s like that quote, the one that says the best thing an artist can do is die. It’s almost as if Seokjin, Jackson, and Mark are better people in death, ones that actually deserve sympathy. It makes me uncomfortable.

I used to think that I was a good person, but since I’ve been with JK, the way I view myself has been put into question. When I’m with him, I do unspeakable things. It makes me wonder, are we going to homecoming or to hell?

A knock at his front door distracts Jimin from his writing. It’s Saturday morning, and his parents have long already gone to work. Jimin sighs, stands from his desk chair, and walks downstairs to answer the door.

He’s barely opened the door when Hoseok pushes his way inside the house, looking like he ran the whole way here. Knowing his best friend, Jimin guesses he probably did. Hoseok’s clothes are wrinkled and his hair is in its naturally curly state, meaning the boy had been in enough of a rush that he hadn’t bothered to straighten it.

“Jimin! I need your help!” Hoseok gasps out, hunching over to rest his palms on his knees as he tries to catch his breath.

“Hoseok, what’s wrong, what happened?” Jimin exclaims, panic rising within him at the sight of his friend.

When Hoseok finally manages to breathe properly, he straightens and grabs Jimin by the shoulders. His eyes are the widest Jimin has ever seen them. He looks scared.

“I think Jackson and Mark were murdered,” Hoseok whispers, like he’s worried something bad will happen if someone were to overhear, like there’s anyone even around to do so.

Still, Jimin’s breath stutters at Hoseok words.

“W-what are you talking about? They found a suicide note!” Jimin reminds, pulling a nervous Hoseok into the living room and onto the couch.

“It was a fake! It’s a real possibility, I mean, you forge stuff all the time, don’t you?” Hosoek insists. His body is visibly thrumming with anxiety, and his eyes keep darting around in suspicion.

He leans close to Jimin, a grave expression on his face. “I know you don’t want to hear this, but I think it was JK.”

Jimin’s mouth is unnaturally dry as his entire body goes cold. “Why would you think that?” He asks.

How did Hoseok know so much? And didn’t he understand how dangerous this knowledge could be?

Hoseok is prepared for Jimin’s question, and he replies, “Don’t you remember how he went after them in the lunchroom?”

Jimin thinks back to the fight between the three boys, although he could hardly call it that. Not with the way JK had so brutally defeated Jackson and Mark. He had been unrelenting. To anyone else, it probably looked like a psychotic break.

“I was hoping you could give me his locker combination, so I could look inside. Please, Jimin!”

“No way! Do you know how crazy you sound? This theory of yours is completely unfounded!” Jimin doesn’t know what to do other than deny everything Hoseok is saying. He can’t let his best friend be dragged into this, he wouldn’t be able to handle it.

But despite his efforts, Hoseok isn’t convinced. He jumps up from the couch and begins to pace back and forth, rambling on as if Jimin isn’t even there.

“I don’t care what the note said, Mark wasn’t cheating on Kim Taehyung with Jackson! Jackson wasn’t in love with him! I’d bet my life on it!”

Jimin gets up too, grabbing Hoseok’s hand to stop his movements. “Hobi, Jackson and Mark killed each other. They were together, why would you think anything different?”

Hoseok tears himself out of Jimin’s hold, shouting, “Because Jackson kissed me! On the soccer field!”

Jimin’s hectic thoughts slam to a sudden halt. That kiss had been so long ago, why did Hoseok still care about it? “Hoseok, that was in kindergarten.”

“My heart knows the truth, Jimin! Why would Jackson write me that note if he didn’t still feel something?” Hoseok continues to pace, and Jimin’s heart pounds wildly.

“Hoseok, please, listen to me–” Jimin reaches out again, but Hoseok dodges him, making a beeline for the front door.

“If you won’t believe me, then I’m just going to confront JK myself!”

There’s no more time. Nothing Jimin can say will stop Hoseok from his mission, a mission that will probably end up with him dead by JK’s hand. Jimin doesn’t know what to do.

So he laughs.

Hoseok stumbles to a stop at the abrupt change in the atmosphere. He warily turns to look back at Jimin. In a millisecond, the commotion that was just the two boys’ conversation is cut short.

“You never cease to amaze me, Hoseok. Really,” Jimin patronizes. He crosses his arms with a devious smirk on his face.

“What do you mean?” Hosoek asks, his voice soft and cautious.

“Jackson didn’t write you that love note. I did.” Jimin slowly approaches Hoseok, confidence dripping off of him. But it’s not genuine.

“No,” Hoseok denies.

Yeah. The Kims put me up to it. The entire school was in on the joke,” Jimin goes on, body language completely betraying how disgusted he feels inside.

“And guess what? Nobody laughed harder than Jackson.”

Hoseok looks like he’s seconds away from collapsing right there on Jimin’s living room floor, but Jimin knows regardless that he has to keep talking.

“He wasn’t in love with you, Hoseok. He was a dick. He’s dead.” Jimin forces himself to roll his eyes. “Get over it.”

For a brief moment, the two boys are caught in a state of limbo. Jimin is still smirking, even though all he wants to do is hug Hoseok and apologize until his voice gives out. And Hoseok, he looks completely crushed.

Then, as if the life suddenly rushed back into the room, a flurry of motion engulfs the two boys. Hoseok yanks open the front door and sprints down the road, followed by Jimin slamming the door shut behind him.

The sound echoes in the empty house for a few seconds, and it feels almost like the universe is laughing at Jimin. That’s all it takes for him to fall apart completely.

Sliding down to the floor, Jimin drops his head into his hands, and cries.

Chapter Text

Monday afternoon, the last class of the day is interrupted by an announcement over the intercom.

Students, please excuse this interruption of your regularly scheduled classes. At this time we will be having an impromptu assembly in the gym, held by Professor Sejin. Teachers, please escort your students to the gym in an orderly manner. Thank you.” A female voice declares pleasantly.

Jimin’s history class (a class that he shares with Hoseok, who didn’t come to school that day) does not hesitate to crowd around the door in their excitement to get out of learning for any reason at all.

When he enters the gym, Jimin is bombarded with a multitude of bright, colorful signs pinned up on every wall. The signs all read a series of different inspirational quotes. A peppy song is blasting from two speakers set in front of an overjoyed Professor Sejin, who is standing at a podium in the center of the gym floor. Behind him hangs a rainbow banner, painted with the words A NEW HAPPINESS.

There are two camera crews on either side of the gym, equipped with large microphones and heavy cameras being held on the shoulders of tired looking men and women.

The student council sits on foldable chairs on either side of Professor Sejin. Taehyung, as the student body president, is directly to the Professor’s right. All of the council officers look uncomfortable or just plain bored.

Once everyone has been seated, Professor Sejin taps the mic that rests on the podium to grab the attention of all the chattering students and confused staff. The sound of screeching feedback cuts through the air, and Jimin along with many others wince and cover their ears.

“Welcome, students and staff of Bom High!” Professor Sejin greets, choosing to ignore the technical difficulty from moments prior. “Please pay no mind to the cameras set up around the gym, this assembly is not about them. No, it is about you, all of you students that are suffering from hardships!”

Jimin holds back a groan. So that’s what this is all about– exploiting the school’s flaws and tragedies to get publicity. Professor Sejin has always been the type of person to crave attention and control, but this is a bit extreme, Jimin thinks.

“Kim Seokjin, Jackson Wang, Mark Tuan. These are the names of our beloved friends and classmates that believed their lives were not worth living. They couldn’t achieve the happiness we all desire as human beings, and that is the true injustice here. I am here to remind you all that we can achieve that happiness through each other!”

Jimin startles when the girl sitting next to him jumps up. She hurriedly walks to the other end of the row they sit on, and he stares after her in confusion. That is, until Namjoon takes her place. The Kim’s menacing scowl is replaced by a bemused expression as he leans over to speak to Jimin.

“Looks like Professor Sejin is on another one of his many crusades, huh?” Namjoon comments. Jimin nods miserably, eyes glued to the spectacle before him.

Suddenly, Professor Sejin removes the mic from its holder, jumps off the podium and stands next to the student body’s historian, Min Yoongi. The boy jerks, eyes going wide, and Jimin realizes he must’ve been dozing in his chair. Professor Sejin grasps Yoongi’s hand and pulls him to his feet, much to the other’s distaste.

“Today, I say we all take a collective step in the direction of acceptance and togetherness! We need to remind this school and everyone in our community who we are, and what our reason is for being in this world!” Professor Sejin exclaims, raising his and Yoongi’s joined hands. Yoongi just lets it happen, no effort on his part and arm boneless in his teacher’s hold.

The camera crews are loving it. Surprisingly enough, so are the majority of students. Some are starting to stand as well, their hands joined with their friends’ as they cheer for the cameras, hoping to be featured in the segment that will no doubt be airing on local news stations later that evening.

Jimin watches as Professor Sejin walks around the gym, rallying the students into acting excited and unified. It’s all a show, one that won’t last after the cameras turn off. Tomorrow morning, everyone will be back to criticizing each other and limiting their interactions to their social classes only.

If Professor Sejin wants to really change Bom High, he’s going to have to work a lot harder than this.

 

 

Jimin collapses onto the sofa in JK’s living room with much more force than necessary, but he can’t be bothered. He’s too frustrated to care about a matter so trivial as his boyfriend’s furniture.

“Can you believe Professor Sejin?” Jimin bemoans, continuing to whine even as the radio JK is fiddling with plays over his voice. “It was a complete mess! That entire school is made up of brainless followers, and it’s despicable.”

JK finally finds a station that he seems to like, because he sits next to Jimin on the couch and leans back with a satisfied smile.

“I don’t know what you’re so upset about, Jimin. What the Professor did was great! That assembly proves that our work is paying off!” JK turns to Jimin with a triumphant expression. “We’re scaring people into being decent human beings!”

JK tries to pull Jimin in for a kiss, but Jimin shoves him away and crosses his arms. JK scowls and opens his mouth to say something, but at the same moment his father walks into the room, effectively ending the conversation between the two teens.

Mr. Jeon wears a haughty expression on his face, his footsteps exaggerated and gait exuding confidence. In his hand is a blank disk inside a plastic case. It surely doesn’t look like anything special, but with the way Mr. Jeon is holding it, it might as well be a precious diamond.

“What’s got you so excited, Son?” JK inquiries teasingly, but his voice is strained.

Mr. Jeon doesn’t even look at JK, he’s too busy inserting the disk into the DVD player that is connected to the television.

“We beat the bitches.” Mr. Jeon’s voice is low, and when he stands up to grab the remote from off the coffee table, Jimin can see a glassy tint to his eyes. If the idea didn’t disgust him so much, Jimin might actually admit that Mr. Jeon looks aroused.

Jimin knows then that he needs to take at least three showers that night.

The television flickers to life, and the screen is paused on an image of a brick building. The building is multiple stories high, but that’s all it has going for it. The whole place looks to be falling apart– there’s cardboard over missing windows, and the brick that might’ve once been a shiny red is now caked in dirt and who knows what else. Jimin can’t even read the name of the building, the sign too vandalized to make out anything legible.

Mr. Jeon chuckles darkly to himself. “The judge told them to get fucked and go die.”

He presses ‘play’ on the remote, and the three of them watch with differing levels of enthusiasm as the building gradually implodes on itself.

“I put a Norwegian in the boiler room,” Mr. Jeon explains. “And then when that blew, it set off the pack of thermals I left upstairs.”

The camera filming shakes with the force of the explosion, and the video ends once the camera lens is covered with dust and ash.

Mr. Jeon is happier than Jimin has ever seen him. There’s a blissed out look on his face as he continues staring at the television, even as the video stops playing and the screen goes black. JK isn’t as happy, but there’s a glimmer in his eyes that makes Jimin both relieved and disappointed he can’t read minds. His boyfriend looks enlightened.

Jimin, on the other hand, is horrified. He doesn’t understand how people can be so happy about destruction. What goes on inside the heads of the Jeon boys? Jimin’s not sure that he truly wants to know.

Mr. Jeon removes the disk from the player and puts it back in its case. He brings the plastic to his face and inhales deeply. Jimin looks on in poorly hidden discomfort.

“What a blessed time to be alive,” Mr. Jeon mutters, and then leaves the two teens alone by walking down the hall.

Jimin looks over at JK, whose eyes are following his father’s exit. JK relaxes once the slam of a bedroom door sounds out.

“Do you actually like your Appa?” Jimin asks cautiously.

JK shrugs, leaning over the arm of the couch to grab a picture frame off the small table where a lamp rests. He settles back down next to Jimin, holding the picture frame gently in his hands. Jimin looks down at it, pressed up against JK’s side.

The photograph is of a young woman on a beach. She has long, black hair that contrasts beautifully from the blue sky behind her. Her eyes are squeezed shut as she smiles widely at the camera, and her arms are stretched above her head as she waves with both hands. Her blouse is rippling from a strong breeze that must’ve been present at the time the picture was taken.

“I liked my Eomma,” JK whispers somberly. “They said her death was an accident, but she knew what was gonna happen.”

JK looks at Jimin and sees that his eyebrows are furrowed in a silent question. He looks back at the photograph as he speaks. “She walked into a library two minutes before my dad blew it up. I was too young to understand what she was doing, or why she was doing it.”

A teardrop falls onto the glass of the picture frame, and JK wipes it away before letting his grip go lax on the photograph. He looks up but stares at nothing as he recalls the events of his mother’s death.

“She waved at me one last time, and I waved back because why wouldn’t I, you know? And then.... boom.”

Jimin is silent. There’s nothing he can really say, nothing that he isn’t sure JK’s already heard a million times before. Instead, he just caresses the hair on the back of his boyfriend’s head. JK’s shoulders droop, and he leans into Jimin’s touch.

It should be a touching, calm moment between the two. And at first, it is. Until JK snaps up from the couch and retrieves a gun from one of the many pockets on his trench coat, abruptly shooting the lightly playing radio point blank. He cackles as it blows to pieces and sparks fly from the broken machinery.

How many guns does JK have? Jimin wonders this as his heart races from the unexpected movement. JK pays him no mind, too caught up in his own world of madness.

“That’s it! We’re breaking up!” Jimin exclaims, pushing himself up from the sofa with a huff.

He starts to walk away, but doesn’t get far before JK grips his bicep with a bruising force. He harshly tugs Jimin back onto the couch. JK hovers over him, all traces of laughter gone from his face.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing, Jimin? All of a sudden you’re a saint, too squeamish to even be near a gun? You can’t bring them back!” JK shouts vehemently.

Jimin glares up at JK. “I’m not trying to bring anybody back but myself! I’m done with this Bonnie and Clyde bullshit!” Jimin tries to get up again, but JK grabs him by the hair and forces his head back.

Jimin’s gasp of pain is swallowed by JK’s mouth as their lips connect in a rough kiss. Their teeth clash together, the passion and love that is usually in all of their kisses nowhere to be found in this one.

JK does all the work. His eyes are closed tightly, and his strong arms hold Jimin’s shorter form in an unrelenting embrace. Jimin works his arms free and shoves JK as hard as he can, crawling off the couch and darting across the living room as JK recovers on the ground.

When JK looks up at Jimin, desperation paints every crevice of his face. But Jimin doesn’t let himself fall for the other’s beseeching eyes. Underneath that innocent gaze is an unpredictable predator, a fact Jimin now knows all too well.

“And to think at one point I actually thought you were cool! You’re not cool, JK, you’re nuts!” Jimin yells. He takes a step back as JK shuffles forward, making to drag himself up from the floor.

“Don’t talk to me anymore, got it? Don’t even come to school if you’re gonna act like this! Just... stay home and blow up a couple TV’s or something. I don’t care, just stay away from me!”

With that, Jimin stomps out of JK’s house and down his driveway, yanking the door shut behind him. He ignores the sound of crashing objects and anguished screaming coming from inside the house, and turns the corner onto the next street.

Chapter Text

Jung Hoseok, contrary to popular belief, isn’t all that different from the rest of the students at his high school. He procrastinates on homework and doesn’t always get along with his family. He gets nervous during tests and stresses over what he should do after he graduates. He has many fears, and just like everybody else, he has dreams.

The only difference is that he has no one to share them with.

At one point in time, he might’ve had Park Jimin. But inevitably, he left Hoseok as well. Nobody ever stuck around for long.

Certain people are just meant to be alone, and Hoseok supposes that he is one of those people. That doesn’t make it any easier to accept.

“It gets better eventually,” is often a phrase his parents tell him when he comes home crying after another day of being pushed around by the kids in his classes. “Sometimes people can be cruel. But good things always come to those who wait.”

But Hoseok is tired of waiting. He’s tired of caring for people that only betray him in the end. He’s tired of being put on the sidelines simply because nobody around him wants to give him the time of day.

When he was younger, things were different. In Kindergarten, his classmates had liked him. They all used to turn to him when they needed someone to make them laugh. He misses that, misses being laughed with and not at.

There was even a moment in time when Jackson and Hoseok were friends. That was when everyone had been too young to understand the significance of cliques, and social status was a subject too complex for their naive little minds.

Once during recess, Hoseok and Jackson had been on the same soccer team. They scored the winning goal, and in their childish excitement, Jackson had run over to Hoseok and kissed him. It was weak, fleeting, and barely even there. But it had happened nonetheless. It was the happiest moment of Hoseok’s life.

Then first grade came around, and Hoseok’s two front teeth grew in. On the first day of school, Jackson came up with a funny nickname for him: Horseok. Most of his friends didn’t want to be around him after that– afraid that they would receive a name of their own. Jimin had been the only one to not give up on him.

But now, Hoseok finds himself officially alone. As he walks down the road, head down and hands tucked into his pockets, he can’t say he’s surprised. Hurt, maybe, but not surprised.

It’s late, probably too late for him to be out wandering. But then again, it’s not like it matters anyway. No one is going to miss him while he’s gone, because no one wants him around in the first place.

Even if they did, why should Hoseok have to abide by everybody else’s rules? Why can’t he ever live the way he wants to? He just wants to be happy. It’s no fun waking up every morning and knowing that the day will be full of nothing but loneliness and torment at the hands of others.

Hoseok can feel the tears flowing down his face, but he makes no effort to stop them. He’s done with hiding his true emotions, done with trapping them inside himself out of fear that he will be ridiculed even more than he already is. Because he’s not afraid anymore. And hopefully, if things go as planned, he’ll never be afraid again.

The bridge he’s traveling down is raised above a patch of land that’s been sectioned off for a construction project that hasn’t yet begun. It’s just dirt right now, the lake that’d formerly been there long past drained. When he looks down at it, he can’t see much of anything due to the poor illumination of the street lamps. Still, his head swims from leaning so over the railing at such a height.

The bridge is absent of people excluding Hoseok, which is perfect for what he’s about to do. There’s no one here to stop him, and he doubts anyone would if there were. He’s ready, this he is sure of, but there’s still something holding him back. There’s still one thing he has to do.

Hoseok slowly removes his cellphone from his jacket pocket, and presses the on button. He squints at the sudden brightness, unlocking the device and going to his contacts. He scrolls through the pitifully short list of names before he settles on an all too familiar one. Hitting the call button, he presses the phone to his ear with a shaky hand.

One... two... eight rings go by and the hopelessness in Hoseok’s chest rises with every one of them. At the end of the eighth ring, the automatic voicemail begins to play.

Hey, it’s Jimin. Sorry I couldn’t get to the phone in time, call back later or just leave a message and I’ll get back to you when I can!

A single choked sob rips its way out from Hoseok’s throat, and he hangs up as a robotic female voice starts explaining how to leave a voicemail. He lets his arm fall limp at his side, dropping his phone onto the concrete. He doesn’t react to the sound of the glass screen shattering.

Taking a deep breath to center himself, Hoseok places one hand on the nearby lamp post and the other on the bridge railing to hoist himself up. He carefully gets on top of the thick metal bar, tears blurring his vision as he straightens and stares down into the darkness below him.

He tilts his head back so he can look at the moon and stars one last time. They shimmer back at him, and a pleased smile crosses Hoseok’s face.

Stretching his arms out at his sides like he’s a gymnast on a balance beam, Hoseok closes his eyes. He inhales the cool midnight air, then gradually lets it exit his lungs.

Then he lifts one foot, and steps off the railing.