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6. “It’s an engagement blowjob.”

 

“You know,” Jimin says as he lays back against Jeongguk, the top three buttons of his shirt nowhere to be found. “We’re already married. You’re aware, right?”

Jeongguk hums, burying his nose in the dip of Jimin’s neck and leaving a tiny kiss. The hand he had under Jimin’s shirt comes out to hold Jimin’s left, a finger tracing over the the three diamonds on the ring in his fourth finger.

“I am very aware,” He replies, feeling the warm of Jimin’s breath hit his cheek. “Like it was yesterday.”

“That’s because it was yesterday, Guk.”

“Was it? It feels like we’ve been married for fifty years.”

Jimin nudges him with his elbow and rolls his eyes. He looks so gorgeous with his flushed cheeks and mussed hair. Jeongguk kind of wants to fuck him right there and then. “Keep that up and we won’t last the week.”

He snickers under his breath. “Are you talking about sex now?”

“Literally no one mentioned sex, what are you talking about?”

“Sex. With you.”

“Ugh, I hate you.”

“No you don’t,” Taehyung says, appearing out of nowhere and bursting the bubble that had settled comfortably around them. Suddenly they’re back in Seokjin’s huge apartment, suddenly the noise of the loud music is hitting their ears and the smell of alcohol and tobacco surrounding the room makes them gag for once. They’d completely forgotten they weren’t alone, and Jeongguk doesn’t know if it should be endearing or very troubling that they’ve been formally together and married for a day and they’re already so lost in each other.

Taehyung is bickering with Jimin as always while Jeongguk closes his eyes and rests his forehead against Jimin’s back. He catches a few curses, a few scattered reproaches like the ones from the day before, and then Taehyung’s gone as quickly as he came. Even though they’d apologized for making him cry—multiple apologies and multiple outbursts—Taehyung is still undoubtedly mad, and if Jeongguk is honest, he can’t fault him for it.

The last time he’d spoken with Taehyung he’d told him he was giving up, that Jimin clearly didn’t want to be with him and was still rejecting his feelings for Jeongguk. He knew it wasn’t healthy to try again when he knew Jimin wasn’t ready, and even though he’d had a long month of moping around the place and crying into Taehyung’s shirt, he’d been ready to move on. He wouldn’t stop loving Jimin, but he could live with having him as friend, however painful it would be, at least for a long while. It would’ve been okay, or so he’d hoped.

Taehyung had said, “Let me try to reason with him, he’s been all sad and grumpy as well. Even if you two don’t get together,” He’d paused. “You should still sort this out. Stop this nonsense or you’ll have to deal with Seokjin hyung next.”

And then the call had come, and then Jeongguk had been kneeling on the cold floor of a 24 hour Starbucks and Jimin had run away from him yet again with tears in his eyes. And then the ring in his finger, the kisses in the dead of night, almost morning, and they’d done something stupid but freeing at the same time…

And now this fucking party that neither of them wanted.

Jimin turns around slowly and Jeongguk realizes that oh yeah, his knees and legs are killing him a little bit and he can’t feel his ass or his back as he sits there on the cold floor. He pushes up and back again, trying to get comfortable as Jimin throws a leg over his lap and straddles him to they can face each other. When Jeongguk looks up, he’s greeted with Jimin’s lips stretched into a teasing smile, eyes curved into half moons as he rests his weight on Jeongguk’s thighs.

They must look like crazy teenagers as they sit there in the middle of a full-blown party, pretending like they’re alone in a room full of their friends who were practically dragged there by Taehyung when he’d announced they’d be having an engagement party to celebrate, since Jeongguk and Jimin are the worst friends ever.

“You look so good,” Jimin says and it sounds like a whisper in the noisy room. Someone’s changed the EDM to one of Yoongi’s songs and there are screams of delight all over the place.

Jeongguk cups Jimin’s cheek with his right hand. “I think you’re confusing me with you.”

“Oh my god, we’re already married,” Jimin tells him with a sigh, but Jeongguk can see the pink spots colouring his cheekbones deepen. “You don’t have to woo me.”

“You’re wrong, that’s precisely why I need to woo you. You threatened to divorce me just minutes ago.”

Jimin leans forward with a chuckle and rests his forehead against Jeongguk’s, knees sliding forward until their crotches are rubbing lightly. Jeongguk inhales sharply, the short friction has his thighs trembling.

“I’ve threatened to do worse,” Jimin says. They’re so close together that Jeongguk is struggling to look at him without going cross-eyed.

“Don’t I know it,” He replies, sliding both his hands down Jimin’s body until they settle on his waist. Jimin hums contentedly. “You said you’d bite my dick off the day we met.”

“Well, that’s what you get when you make a fuckboyish comment about my mouth and your cock.”

“It wasn’t me who said it, it was Taehyung!”

“So you say,” Jimin says and pecks him slightly. He whispers against his lips. “But don’t deny it turned you on.”

Jeongguk pulls him forward at the same moment Jimin threads his fingers through his hair and kisses him. Jimin’s told Jeongguk he tastes like rich vanilla and musk, and Jeongguk thinks Jimin tastes like peppermint. It’s refreshing and somehow spicy just like Jimin is, his tongue works wonders inside Jeongguk’s mouth pulling him in even further, making him lose what little control was keeping him from just pushing Jimin against the floor and devouring him.

It’s strange, how they can do this now and not be afraid of their friends finding out. It’s still surreal how everything has changed in such a short amount of time that Jeongguk feels like he’s got whiplash.

Jimin tugs at his hair and Jeongguk tilts his head back until it hits the wall with a thump, a hand glides down to hold the meat of Jimin’s thigh and squeezes. Jimin lets out a tiny moan against his mouth.

They separate with a pant, lips wet and faces warm. Jeongguk can feel Jimin’s cock hardening quickly against his own, and just like that the room is too suffocating and they need to get out.

Jimin surges forward and bites his lip. “Bathroom? For old times’ sake?”

Jeongguk laughs. “Are you gonna blow me?” He asks and bites at Jimin’s lip in retaliation. “According to Taehyung we’re not married cause he never heard us say ‘I do’. We’re still engaged, Jimin, this is inappropriate.”

“Why do you always bring up Taehyung?” Jimin tuts. “I’m here and willing to let you fuck my mouth.”

“So you are going to blow me.”

“Come on,” Jimin says with a wink and stands up slowly. He holds a hand out to Jeongguk and his smile is so gorgeous and Jeongguk is so in love. “It’ll be an engagement blowjob.”

When Jeongguk is leaning against the door and Jimin is looking up at him, mouth stretched around his cock and making him feel like he’s floating, he can’t help but think that they’ve made it. After all the ridiculous pain they went through for the past two years, they’re finally on the same page, they finally know what the other wants and they’re comfortable with each other. Jimin’s hooded eyes are whispering words of affection and Jeongguk is giving it back, caressing his hair, calling him pretty names and murmuring encouragements.

The worst has passed.




 

1. “The one with the highlighter orange hair?”

 

Jimin is drunk and grinding against some guy when Jeongguk sees him for the first time.

He’s a vision of tight leather pants and striped crop top, sweaty hair plastered to his forehead and silver rings all over his hands as he throws them in the air and pushes his ass against some dude’s clothed crotch.

Jeongguk’s entranced by him immediately, the girl that had been flirting with him for most of the night disappears from his mind and all he can see is him, swaying from side to side and dancing with so much energy and emotion that Jeongguk can’t help but follow his every move.

Namjoon plops himself next to Jeongguk with a huff and a beer in hand and tries to make conversation but fails. Soon after, the girl by Jeongguk’s side stands up and leaves with an annoyed little noise that Jeongguk barely registers. The guy in the crop top has turned slightly and Jeongguk can see his curvy waist and the beginning of his abs underneath the flimsy fabric.

“I see we’ve lost him,” A voice says to his side and it sounds familiar.

“Right?” Namjoon says from his left. “I tried talking to him but he didn’t reply.”

“So Jeongguk is the type to go a bit stupid over good ass, huh?” Of course, it’s Kim Taehyung, who has suspiciously become a semi permanent presence in Jeongguk’s life as of lately.

Jeongguk blinks and is brought back to the couch, Namjoon and Taehyung sitting on on either side. He can feel heat rapidly rising to his face.

“It’s Jimin,” Namjoon says, and it sounds like he’s shrugging. “We’ve all been like that for him.”

Taehyung snorts. “I wasn’t. Never ever. I don’t fuck people I don’t wanna date.”

“Ah yes, and of course you never wanted to date Jimin.”

“It’s more of a ‘I knew Jimin doesn’t date anyone and has terrible temper so I don’t wanna deal with him anyway’ situation.” Jeongguk turns his head sharply to look at Taehyung and finds him downing his can of beer.

His brain is slowly catching up with him when he asks, “Jimin?”

Taehyung raises his eyebrows at him and points towards the guy with the striped crop top. “Jimin. The one with the highlighter orange hair.”

Jeongguk’s head is still floating somewhere. “The one with the highlighter orange hair?”

“Jeonggukie, you okay?”

“Orange… hair?”

“Oh right,” Taehyung says. He squints his eyes as he looks at Jimin and then turns to look at Jeongguk again. “You can’t really tell in the darkness of the room, but yeah. Orange.”

Why is the fact that Jimin, aka leather pants aka striped croptop, has orange hair so important? Jeongguk has no idea, but that somehow makes him more interested in him. He narrows his eyes and tries to make out the colour of his hair. The party lights tint his damp hair in different colours, but when a rare illuminating white light breaks like lightning through the room, he notices a flash of auburn and suddenly Jimin is the most attractive person he’s ever seen.

His eyes slide down Jimin’s legs slowly, taking in every beautiful curve of his body. Jeongguk might’ve found a new interest.

“He’s gone.” Namjoon says, shaking his head.

“Well, better Jimin than any poor idiot wanting to actually date Guk,” Taehyung replies. “It’ll be fine, Jiminie likes sleeping around sometimes too.”

Jeongguk blinks. “Jiminie.”

“Oh god,” Taehyung sounds disgusted. “This is worse than I thought.”

Jeongguk doesn’t know exactly what Taehyung had made up in his mind, but the way he sighs in exasperation the rest of the night is enough. Jeongguk can’t seem to stop stealing glances in Jimin’s direction, not even when Jimin eventually slithers away from his dance partner towards the refreshments table to get a drink.

Taehyung stands up when he notices Jimin trying to pour himself a glassful of vodka and walks towards him to help. Jeongguk watches how Taehyung slides a hand around Jimin’s waist, just under his shirt, and hands him his drink. The way he leans down to whisper something in Jimin’s ear as he squeezes his waist has Jeongguk swallowing dry.

Just when he thinks he can’t take it anymore, he needs to at least introduce himself to this gorgeous guy that has taken over his thoughts for the night, Taehyung turns Jimin around and leads him towards the couch, making a beeline to where Jeongguk’s sitting with Namjoon.

Jimin approaches closer and Jeongguk can feel his heart beating faster and faster with every step they take in his direction. He can see the orange hair now, it’s darker and messier because of the sweat but it’s there, proud and beautiful, perfectly suited for Jimin who glides through the room instead of walking like a normal human being. The closer he gets, the more Jeongguk starts to wonder if this man is perhaps a vision of his alcohol addled mind.

But no, he’s very real, because soon enough he and Taehyung are standing right in front of him in all their glory. Jeongguk takes a quick look at Jimin’s plump lips and his hooded eyes and almost moans.

“I saw Mina by the door,” Taehyung tells Namjoon with a wink and a nod. “Better get going.”

“Duty calls,” Namjoon replies with a dimpled smile and then stumbles through the room in search of his girlfriend, leaving Jeongguk alone with Taehyung and Jimin. Jeongguk bites his lip and tries to breathe, there’s no way he’s making a fool of himself in front of either of them, no matter how pretty they both are, particularly Jimin…

“Can we…?” Taehyung asks with a wink, and Jeongguk immediately shuffles to the left to give them space. He almost panics when Taehyung shoves Jimin next to him, so close that their legs are touching, and then slides on Jimin’s other side, throwing an arm on the back of the couch.

Jeongguk feels his entire right side burning. Jimin’s skin is feverish to the touch when he accidentally nudges his forearm against Jeongguk’s, and the heavy scent of alcohol he’s wearing like perfume is intoxicating and slightly dizzying. His hair is wet and dark against his forehead, he looks like he just walked into the shower wearing clothes and make up and then jumped out a second later.

Jimin leans forward and covers his face with his hands. Jeongguk glances at the multiple rings on his fingers and hides a smile. It’s endearing, somehow.

“Jiminie, Jeonggukie,” Taehyung introduces them with a sly grin. Jeongguk glares at him behind Jimin’s head. “You two will get along perfectly.”

“I hate college parties,” Jimin says suddenly and Jeongguk almost jumps on his seat. “Why did I let you drag me here? Fucking bad friend.”

He has a melodic, pleasant voice, albeit husky, and his satoori is so strong that it’s doing things to Jeongguk. He has the sudden urge to close his legs tightly and look away, but he does neither. He doesn’t want to give Taehyung the satisfaction, that stupid knowing smirk on his lips is pissing him off already.

“You love dancing, though,” Taehyung points out. “You were having so much ‘fun’ with Jinyoung.”

“Jinyoung wants to fuck me,” Jimin replies, finally uncovering his face and turning to look at Taehyung. “I’m not stupid enough to do that again. He’ll want to date me.”

Taehyung shakes his head. “I’ll take you to a good party next time, okay? We’ll socialize for real, none of this flirting business. Anyway,” He then pokes Jimin in the arm. “Say hello to Jeonggukie, he wants your mouth on his cock.”

Jeongguk’s jaw drops to the floor in shock, he can feel a pang of anxiety in the pit of his stomach and he really wants to launch himself at Taehyung so he can punch that stupid grin off his face.

“N—No!” He manages to say. He can feel a bead of sweat rolling down his spine. “I didn’t—That’s not—.”

There’s always that moment in the movies where the main character sees their love interest for the first time and it’s all magical and soft, everything happens in slow motion, there’s a heartbeat that is skipped, and a rose coloured filter takes over the whole scene.

It’s nothing like that.

When Jimin finally looks at him his eyeshadow is smudged, there’s glitter scattered messily on his cheeks and the alcohol smell from before suddenly hits Jeongguk stronger than before, right in the face. He looks a mess, but somehow, despite how disheveled he looks, Jeongguk still finds him fascinating. Maybe it’s the look of defiance in his eyes, or the way that he’s clenching his hand, digging his silver adorned fingers into his thigh.

Maybe it’s the fact that Jimin yells at him “Wanna try? My teeth are pretty sharp, asshole!” And then lays his head back against the couch and falls asleep.

Taehyung is chuckling when he leans over Jimin’s body and hands Jeongguk a cigarette.

“Good luck,” He says and lets out the most sinister laugh Jeongguk has ever heard.

Jeongguk almost throws the lighter at his head.



 

 

1.5. And then there’s Jaebum’s wedding.

 

He attempts to flirt with Jimin and fails every time. Invitations for coffee, attempts at helping Jimin with his books at university, buying him snacks that he refuses. Sweet words and smiles. Nothing works.

And then there’s Jaebum’s wedding.

And then there’s the bathroom, sweaty clothes, the feeling of dizziness, and the weed he’d bought that had made him a little too brave. And then his fingers inside Jimin, and his cock thrusting relentlessly as Jimin pants into the mirror. Rough words and hands.

The look of lust in Jimin’s eyes and the taste of vodka on his tongue.

And then it becomes a thing.

 

 



7. have fun.

 

There are wonderful days, of course. Long nights cuddling in bed, kissing slowly and fucking fast, making love and pressing their scents into each other, imprinting the warmth of their hands and mouths into the other’s skin.

Jimin smiles a lot, makes his way into Jeongguk’s lap at least once per day and just breathes him in. They talk about stupid things like films and music and fight over the remote control (“We’re not watching Iron Man again!”); they bicker about Jimin stealing Jeongguk’s clothes and wearing them around the house when Jeongguk secretly loves it (“It’s expensive, you can’t just wear it around the house!” “It looks better on me.” Yes, it does.); and Jimin laughs at every bad joke Jeongguk makes and then tells him to stop learning those from Seokjin as he tries to control his giggles (“You say that but you’re the one laughing.”)

But just like their entire relationship before their impromptu wedding, their marriage becomes an issue soon enough. Jeongguk should’ve known when they decided to say fuck everything and got married; when they moved in together the very next day and started sharing the same space, that they would clash like they’ve always done before. But between kisses and soft giggles as they’d carried Jimin’s things and left them by the bed, between the moans and pants into each others mouths when they’d decided to christen the bed, Jeongguk had forgotten that oh yes, Jimin and him are very different and they don’t really know how the other lives.

Jeongguk has been living alone since he came to Seoul from Busan a few years ago, a privilege he’d been granted by his mostly well off family so he can live comfortably and without having to worry about the rent. He’s always been mostly a loner, so the prospect of having a large space to himself had been welcomed immediately and without much further ado.

He’s also a creature of routine: he wakes up at seven am, takes a quick shower and gets ready, prepares breakfast and then sits in front of the TV while he eats his food, and then drives to work. He follows the same steps six times a week and then spends Sunday cleaning his apartment, doing laundry, and running errands if he needs to. He likes to have a neat, clean place that can de-stress him from work as soon as he steps through the main door.

Jimin… he’s the complete opposite.

He teaches at a dance studio in Hongdae four times a week and then spends all his nights marathoning TV shows until very early in the morning. He skips breakfast so he can sleep for longer, and likes taking care of the apartment only once a month.

Jeongguk keeps repeating to himself that it’s not wrong, that it’s just a different lifestyle that had been working fine for Jimin for years. That doesn’t mean Jimin isn’t hardworking and dedicated, it just means that he isn’t used to Jeongguk’s way of living. In fact, the reason Jimin sleeps so much is because he’s tired from all the dancing he does, and he’s a perfectionist who spends hours trying to master a specific move.

These differences, however understandable, suddenly become too obvious as the days turn into weeks and then into months, quickly evolving from mere choices into issues.

Hence why Jeongguk and Jimin have their first stupid fight one day over laundry .

The day had started out fine, Jeongguk had woken up at his usual time, kissed a sleeping Jimin on the cheek and had left for work. The number of clients he’s been taking has increased recently, product of his hard work. His boss had put quite a few good words for him, thus winning him about ten new clients in the last month.

He’s sitting at his desk when he remembers he’d forgotten to do laundry the day before. Jimin had caged him against the bed and they’d had sex, slow and lazy, and then they’d fallen asleep right after, completely forgetting about his late night routine.

He looks at the towering pile of files next to his computer and sighs, already dreading having to look through his workload. He braces himself for another particularly tiring day and regrets not having the strength to push Jimin away for once. He’s going to be exhausted when he gets home but he’s still going to spent a good couple of hours doing the laundry, otherwise he won’t be able to sleep.

Halfway through the day, and two Redbulls later, Jeongguk has to admit defeat. It’s barely lunch and he already feels like death itself. He spends his lunch pushing his food around on his lunchbox and replying to messages he’d gotten through the morning. There are a couple from Seokjin, Namjoon and Yoongi, and a few dozen from Hoseok and Taehyung. Just as he’s replying to their group chat, he gets a notification of a message from Jimin:

 

Jimin | 2:09 PM

just woke up

class is cancelled today!!!!!

tae and I are having a movie marathon here

miss you!!

 

Jeongguk blinks at the messages and then glares at the time. It’s two pm. It’s two pm and Jimin just woke up, had his class cancelled and is now going to be spending all his day with Taehyung just laying around and watching Marvel while Jeongguk works his ass off. Alone.

Jeongguk stabs at a carrot on his lunchbox.

He knows it’s stupid. Jimin had come home at four am the day before because he’s getting ready for an important local showcase that he and his crew are participating in. He’s been stressed about it all week, and he’d even slept at the studio a few days before. It’s stupid to feel jealous and resentful when his husband is having a well deserved rest.

But that little nagging voice at the back of his mind is taking advantage of his fatigue and his uncomfortable deviation from routine. And it’s getting louder and bolder and yelling about how Jimin should help him out a little bit while he’s home and doing nothing.

He tries to fight against it by thinking about Jimin’s warmth and his kisses and how his smile brightens up Jeongguk’s day, but eventually the malicious voice wins, and Jeongguk slides his finger across the screen of his phone so he can reply.

 

Me | 2:11 PM

how great.

can you do the laundry though?

If its not a bother, of course

I’m having a tough day at work

miss you more

 

Jimin replies not even a minute later.

 

Jimin | 2:11 PM

huh

alright

sure

a ‘please’ would’ve been appreciated tho

have fun.

 

Jeongguk maybe slams the phone on the table.

The rest of the day is predictably terrible. Jimin’s dry message leaves him on edge, and by the end of his work hours he’s anticipating getting home so he can change into clean clothes, lay on clean sheets and get some sleep.

When he enters his apartment, however, he finds Jimin and Taehyung sprawled together on the floor, bags of chips and bowls of ramen scattered next to them as they stare at the TV, completely entranced. Jimin barely glances at Jeongguk and raises his eyebrows in acknowledgement when he closes the door behind him.

Wonderful. Just what he needed.

But he can talk to Jimin later, he thinks as he enters his bedroom, first he needs to get comfortable and cook himself something to eat and—

Oh.

Right.

He purses his lips and goes back into the living room, long strides pounding on the floor with anger.

“I thought I’d asked you to do the laundry?” He asks as soon as he catches sight of Jimin’s blond head.

Jimin sounds unimpressed. “You did.”

“Then why are there two basketfuls of dirty clothes by the door of our bedroom?”

“You told me to do it if it’s not a bother,” He says and finally turns to the side to fix Jeongguk with a cold stare. “And it is. So I just didn’t.”

Jeongguk must’ve made a strange noise because suddenly Taehyung is turning around, eyes wide as he stares at Jeongguk with his mouth hanging open.

“O…kay, time to fucking disappear,” He says and quickly puts his bag of snacks away, swaying a little bit as he stands up. His eyes volley between Jimin and Jeongguk. “Goodbye to you both. Idiots.”

Jeongguk nods at him in goodbye and sees the warning in Taehyung’s eyes, that little best friend advice he’s been given about Jimin multiple times pops into his head. Taehyung disappears through the main door and then Jimin and Jeongguk are alone in the middle of a mess of snacks and pillows. The movie still playing like background noise.

Jeongguk breaks eye contact with Jimin and shrugs off his blazer, carefully laying it on the arm of the couch. He can feel the electricity between them sparking, ready to burst into lighting. The silence between them is building it up even more.

He sighs and opens his mouth to speak but Jimin beats him to it.

“You could’ve said ‘please’ and I would’ve done it.” Jimin blurts out, his face a perfect mask of impassivity. “But you decided to be kinda rude.”

“No, you wouldn’t have,” Jeongguk says taking of his cufflinks and securing them in the pocket of his blazer. “Because you hate doing it.”

“I’m not that fucking terrible Jeongguk, I would’ve done it even if I hate it.” Jimin’s glaring. “How do you think I’ve survived so far? I didn’t have you there to do my laundry before.”

“Then why—?”

Jimin snaps.

“Because I’m tired and stressed out!” He yells, and Jeongguk watches his hand curl into a fist. “Because this fucking showcase is driving me insane and all I wanted was to have a peaceful day watching movies with my best friend!”

Jeongguk swallows, putting his hands on his hips. He’s not backing down, he’s also stressed and done with everything.

“Then you could’ve said ‘no’! But you said you’d do it!”

“If I’d said no you would’ve gotten even more mad at me!”

“That makes no sense—“

“I’m so tired and everything hurts and I can’t do the moves right!” Jimin screams and the second Jeongguk sees tears in his eyes he forgets about the damn laundry. “And you’re almost never here to spend time with me cause you’re always working!”

“Jimin—“

“You know what? Forget I said anything,” Jimin covers his face with his hands and sighs into them. Jeongguk watches his shoulders shake with contained tears. “Fucking forget it, just—“

Jeongguk has never hugged him so fast. He takes two steps towards Jimin, drops to the floor and wraps his arms around him just as Jimin starts to sob. He shushes him gently and kisses the top of his head. He smells like sweat and his hair is starting to get oily.

Jimin’s hands come around Jeongguk’s waist and Jeongguk climbs into his lap to hug him closer.

He lets Jimin cry for a while, occasionally kissing the side of his head and his cheeks, and murmurs soft words into his ear. He hasn’t seen him like in a while, this vulnerable and scared. He must be extremely anxious and exhausted if he is willing to let Jeongguk hold him while he cries. He’s usually the type to lock himself in the bathroom so he can let it all out and then calm himself down.

Eventually Jimin lets him go but doesn’t separate from him, just sits there breathing in so softly that Jeongguk thinks he’s fallen asleep at first. The slow pounding of his heart vibrates against Jeongguk’s body.

He gives Jimin a final squeeze and then carefully stands up, holding a hand out to him as soon as he’s on his feet.

“Let’s go take a shower,” He says and Jimin immediately takes his hand.

They shower together, helping each other lazily with the shampoo and the soap, their hands slow and heavy; they’re both tired even though it is the first day of the week. While Jeongguk is shampooing Jimin’s hair, massaging his scalp and helping him relax, he realizes that this is all so stupid. They’d fought like petty kids about something as mundane as laundry. Now that he’s under the scalding water, body clean and mind clear, he wishes he could go back in time so he can punch himself in the face.

You’re almost never here to spend time with me cause you’re always working!

Those words swirl around Jeongguk’s head like a cyclone and it makes him feel uneasy. He doesn’t know how to reply to that, he doesn’t know how to change that.

They get dressed in silence, never straying too far away from each other. Jeongguk helps Jimin put on one of Jeongguk’s impossibly large white shirts and Jimin hands him one of his own boxers to put on. Once they’re both in comfortable clothes, they stand in front of their open closet and just stare at their feet.

Jimin takes a deep breath and takes a step forward.

“Let’s go do the laundry,” He says, still not looking at Jeongguk. “I should’ve done it earlier.”

Jeongguk sighs and reaches with a hand to caress his cheek. “We’ll do the laundry together tomorrow, okay? Right now we’re both tired and we need to eat.”

“I ate with Tae.”

“Pringles isn’t food.” Jeongguk replies and then adds, “Instant ramen isn’t either.”

They hold hands as they cook something quick and then eat mostly in silence, just a few words here and there about the food and each other’s terrible day. They kiss goodnight and then go to sleep like always, with Jimin draped all over Jeongguk’s back like a koala and a quick peck to the back of his neck.

They don’t say “I’m sorry” or “I love you” and that’s their first mistake.

 

 

 


2. “You’re too nice sometimes, Guk.”

 

Taehyung had said, “Come on, it’s just a movie!” And Jeongguk had accepted like an idiot.

Because Taehyung hadn’t mentioned Jimin, and Jeongguk should’ve known better.

“Excuse me, why is he here?” Jimin asks as soon as Jeongguk crosses the main door of Seokjin’s apartment. He’s standing in the middle of a sea of pillows and blankets in the living room, no shoes on, hands on his hips and hair flipped away from his face. His lips are pursed so tightly that Jeongguk is surprised he was even able to talk.

“Cause he’s my friend, why else?” Taehyung is in the mood to die, it seems.

“Taehyung,” Jimin gives Jeongguk a side glance. “Why are you doing this?”

“I’m not doing anything, I just wanna hang out with all my friends at once. Get over it.”

“Since when is he your friend?”

Jeongguk clears his throat. “Um, I’m right here.”

Taehyung and Jimin ignore him. Fantastic.

“Since forever, Jiminie. I’ve been hanging out with him since Orientation.”

“That was two years ago.”

“Yeah, so since then.”

Jimin pinches the bridge of his nose. “You know what? Fine. Fucking fine. I’m not sitting next to him.”

And then he ends up sitting next to Jeongguk.

A glance around the room as they sit in front of Seokjin’s fancy, enormous TV confirms what Jeongguk had been suspecting: Seokjin, Namjoon, Taehyung, Hoseok and Yoongi, they’re all conspiring. The amused smiles they keep sending his way keep him distracted from the Avengers for the whole movie, and it gets so bad at one point that he has to escape to the bathroom to calm himself down.

When he comes back Jimin has lifted his feet onto Jeongguk’s spot and is looking at him with such a smug expression that something inside Jeongguk snaps. He walks towards Jimin and watches the smile slide off his face, he grabs Jimin’s calves, pushes them off the couch and then quickly sits on his spot once again.

Seokjin bursts out laughing from where he’s standing near the entrance to his kitchen, outrageous guffaws that get the others rushing to cover their smiles to stop themselves from doing the same.

Jimin glares at him, mouth hanging open and looking so offended he’s red in the face. Jeongguk wants to pinch his cheek.

“Don’t you dare touch me again,” He whispers. “I’ll slap you.”

“Then behave like an adult.” Jeongguk replies turning to look at the TV again. Hulk is throwing Loki around and he feels a pleasant buzz all over his body.

The promise of ‘just one movie’ dissolves in the form of Avengers 2 and soon enough Taehyung is calling for some take out and everyone is getting ready for round two of Marvel. Jimin quickly takes command of the remote control and sets up the movie with the Korean dub.

Jeongguk doesn’t know what sort of magic makes him so bold, but he stretches his arm in Jimin’s direction and snatches the remote from him. The look of pure indignation on Jimin’s face is worth it.

“W-What are you doing?” He hisses through his teeth.

“Dub?” Jeongguk asks the rest of his hyungs, incredulous. “You guys watch the dubbed version? What the hell?”

“We don’t,” Yoongi drawls from his comfortable place on Hoseok’s lap. “Jimin likes it for some reason and none of us wanna fight with him so we just let him.”

“I hate reading subtitles,” Jimin replies, glaring daggers into Yoongi’s head. “There’s no point.”

“Well, today Jeongguk is our guest, so he gets to choose.” Seokjin intervenes. Somehow it sounds slightly menacing and it gets Jimin tightlipped. “So be nice, Jiminie. We’ve watched this dubbed like ten times.”

Seokjin winks at Jeongguk and Jimin refuses to speak to any of them for the remainder of the night.

Jeongguk’s bickering with Jimin becomes a routine, something fun that changes from frowns and harsh words into playfulness and non-smiles that they pretend aren’t there. Jimin stops complaining about always being seated next to Jeongguk and just plops to his side on the couch every time they meet at Seokjin’s house. Sometimes they share the same order of take out and then team up against the others when their hyungs want to watch something one of them dislikes.

It’s not a friendship but it’s something close, they’re caught between labels and complicated scenarios. On the rare times Jimin doesn’t sit next to him they’ll exchange heated glances across the room, enticing lip bites and shy smiles and it drives Jeongguk crazy. He finds himself laughing at everything Jimin says and then refuses to accept it, he gets lost in the way Jimin runs his hand through his hair and grins at him.

It has Jeongguk praying for one of their friends to get married soon so they can have the excuse to kiss again.

As time rolls by, Jimin’s hair fades from bright orange to a soft ginger and then to blond. He tries a few temporary colours like pink and lilac but none of them stay for long. He’s chameleonic and Jeongguk loves how he looks with all of them.

“I’ve decided to leave it blond for now, I’m too lazy to keep dyeing it.” Jimin tells him one day when they’re on dishwashing duties. It’s turns out that seven adult men means lots of dirty dishes, and they’re almost done with the giant pile when Jimin decides to take a break from drying them. He throws the tea towel next to him on the counter. “Besides, I dance a lot and I just sweat it all off. I don’t have the money to go around paying for this.”

Jeongguk knows Jimin is very dedicated to his dancing, so he completely understands.

“I liked all the other colours,” Jeongguk shrugs, rinsing a plate. “When the pink faded a little bit it looked really good.”

Jimin crosses his arms and leans back on the counter next to him.

“I thought you liked the highlighter orange hair.”

Jeongguk groans. “Did Taehyung tell you that? I’m gonna kill him.”

Jimin snorts. “Actually, it was Namjoon hyung. But if you wanna kill Tae, I’ll help.”

“Murdering your best friend? Kinda terrible of you.” Jeongguk smiles at him.

Jimin smirks, the corner of his mouth curling upwards. “Only kinda?”

This has also changed: the flirting. Somehow their bickering had evolved into flirting the more they got to know each other. Jimin’s smirk is the same, but it’s his eyes what has changed. When before they would be glaring, completely hostile, now they’re mischievous and teasing. Jeongguk won’t complain about it one bit, he likes having Jimin’s eyes on him.

“Well, he’s kind of my best friend too,” Jeongguk tells him and Jimin narrows his eyes at him. “I need to feel a little bad about it.”

“You’re too nice sometimes, Guk.” Jimin tells him and slides closer. Jeongguk almost drops the plate in his hand when he hears the nickname. He feels his cheeks burning.

It’s… nice. It’s actually very nice.

He swallows and then stretches to the side, looking for the towel Jimin had been using to dry the dishes. In the process he ends up trapping Jimin between his body and the sink, their chests pressed up together and their crotches almost rubbing against each other.

Jimin gasps. They are so close that Jeongguk feels his intake of breath against his neck. His skin tingles, a shudder makes its way all over his body. He’s about to move away when he feels Jimin rest his hand on his hip, a barely there touch that feels impossibly heavy to Jeongguk. He closes his eyes and wills his rapidly growing boner to die down, he doesn’t want to deal with it for the rest of the night when he knows Taehyung will notice and make fun of him.

They listen to their friends discussing the movie outside, their laughter and bad jokes, and they stop breathing, afraid to make any noise. Hoseok could come in at any moment; Seokjin could just wander into the kitchen with a joke on the tip of his tongue; Namjoon could return for another beer. But they’re stuck, they can’t move.

Jeongguk faintly hears Jimin stifle a giggle but can’t really see him. He feels Jimin’s mouth just next to his jaw, his lips brush against the sharp bone and all the way to his Adam’s apple.

“Fuck,” Jimin mutters. “Why is no one getting married soon?”

 

 



8. “You smoke and I drink.”

 

The bottle of vodka welcomes Jeongguk with a loud clang when he trips over it as he steps inside his apartment.

“What the fuck?” He whispers. He watches the last few drops of the translucent liquid fall on the carpet with a frown.

“I was saving that,” Jimin says from where he’s lying on the floor. He’s in the middle of the living room cocooned by a bunch of pillows and blankets, phone in hand, eyes closed. “It’s fucking Smirnoff.”

“I can buy you Oval,” Jeongguk replies with a sigh and he hears Jimin snort. He throws his coat and bag on the couch and walks towards Jimin, making sure to walk around the numerous glasses Jimin had left around him. “Have you been drinking all day?” He asks, stepping over an unopened bottle of whiskey.

Jimin opens one eye and regards him, unimpressed. “No.”

“No? Then why are you lying there surrounded by alcohol?”

“Because I like it,” Jimin says, words slurring. “Because I’m tired and alcohol helps me sleep.”

“If you’re having trouble sleeping I can make you some tea—,”

“I don’t want fucking tea, Jeongguk,” There’s something in his tone that resonates within Jeongguk a bit strangely, a dangerous lilt in the way Jimin had said his name, not lovingly or softly like he usually does, but contrived and annoyed. “I just wanna get wasted, I’m allowed to.”

Jeongguk licks his lips. “I’m not saying you’re not.”

“No, that’s precisely what you’re saying,” Jimin mumbles, finally opening his eyes and staring straight into Jeongguk’s. “Am I too much of a drunk for you? Is that it?”

“Jimin, I’ve never said you’re a drunk—,”

Jimin sits up so fast that he goes crossed eyed for a second before he pierces Jeongguk with those eyes Jeongguk loves so much. “But you’ve thought about it!” He says. “You with your fancy friends and your dumb secretary…”

Ah, so it had bothered him. Jeongguk is usually not one to go to his job’s fancy parties, but his law firm had been celebrating a big client over the weekend and he’d been made to go. His boss had basically ordered him to attend, trying to convince him that doing so would help him get more contacts in the business.

Jimin, who is naturally more of a social butterfly at reunions than Jeongguk could ever be, had insisted on going with him. The result of the night had been an awkward encounter with Jeongguk’s very flirty secretary Heejin, who never seems to take no for an answer when it comes to Jeongguk.

“Are you jealous?” He asks tentatively, but something about the words taste strange to him. Jimin is many things, but jealous? He’s never been that.

Jimin raises his eyebrows. “Jealous? Of what?”

“Heejin.”

The look of shock on Jimin’s face is enough answer but he still replies. “Oh my god, you really don’t know why I’m angry, do you?” He scoffs. “Wow, okay then.”

Jeongguk tries to think of any moment when he’d done something to upset Jimin but comes up with nothing. He’d spent the evening talking to his colleagues, running from one side of the venue to the other so he could at least have a short conversation with everyone. After all, the purpose of the party was to make connections, he’d barely had time to talk to Jimin or say something other than work-related stuff—

Oh.

He’d completely ignored Jimin.

Well, fuck.

“The penny drops.” Jimin tells him and Jeongguk looks at him, horrified. Jimin sighs, his shoulders slump, defeated. He stands up slowly and picks up one of his half full glasses and wanders into the bedroom, leaving Jeongguk standing alone on the living room.

Jeongguk closes his eyes and remembers.

Jimin in the same suit he’d worn for Yoongi and Hoseok’s wedding, smiling brightly when they’d stood in front of the mirror, Jeongguk hugging him from behind and kissing his cheek lovingly. He’d looked so handsome and happy when they’d left, so ready to go out with Jeongguk for the first time in over a month. They’d both had an extremely busy March and they’d barely had time for themselves, much less for each other.

Those smiles and giggles had stopped the second they stepped inside the party. Jeongguk had taken a look at his coworkers and gone into lawyer mode, complete with stoic, polite smiles and boring small talk. He’d introduced Jimin to the first few people he’d talked to, but after Jimin disappeared to the bathroom he hadn’t introduced him to anyone else.

Jimin had mysteriously materialized by his side a few minutes after Jeongguk had announced they were leaving and he’d been quiet during the ride home, so quiet when they’d fallen into bed, exhausted and awkward, not knowing what to say.

Jeongguk had failed to notice the frown on his face.

Their first outing in so long, and it’d been terrible.

He reaches for his pack of cigarettes at the back of his jeans and pops one on his lips. The door of their bedroom is ajar; it’s calling his name. He bites the tail of the cigarette a little bit and then sighs.

Jimin’s sitting on his side of the bed, nursing his glass with both hands and staring straight ahead, outside the window. The late afternoon sun is hitting him square in the face, and he’s sun kissed and alluring. He looks up at Jeongguk when he pads inside, steps heavy, and then wordlessly throws him a lighter.

Jeongguk catches it mid air and mumbles a halfhearted thank you.

Jimin shrugs. “You smoke and I drink.”

They sit in front of the dying sun without talking until the stars start appearing in the sky.

 

 

 

3. “You know my type.”

 

“You seem cozy.”

Jeongguk hums. “I would be cozier if you cuddled with me.”

“Ha, that’s not happening,” Jimin whispers from his place on the couch, sandwiched in between a sleeping Yoongi and a snoring Hoseok and looking so small that Jeongguk wants to laugh at him just to piss him off a bit.

“But you look so warm in there,” He whines, and Jimin rolls his eyes at him. “I’m cold,” He nods to his left, where Seokjin is sleeping against the arm of the sofa, covered from head to toe by his comforter. “He stole it from me.”

The faint blue glow from the television hits Jimin’s face beautifully. He looks ethereal, like an otherworldly being, his eyes shining as he appraises Jeongguk with amusement. The movie is still playing, forgotten by five sleeping people and two others who have found something more interesting than superheroes and CGI-heavy action. Any other day Jeongguk would be staring at Iron Man fighting some bad guys, this day, however, he’s the one facing a threat.

Jimin and his everything. A threat.

“If you’re so cold then stand up, go to the room and get yourself a blanket,” Jimin says with raised eyebrows. His voice is no longer a whisper, it’s now low but clear. “I’m not your personal heater.”

“I wish you were a heater, you wouldn’t be mean to me then.”

“I’d find a way.”

Jeongguk sighs. He doesn’t doubt it for one second. “You just love teasing me.”

“You make the cutest faces when you’re annoyed,” Jimin says and Jeongguk feels himself blush. He stares at Jimin intently and notices the moment Jimin realizes what he’d said. His eyes open comically wide and his mouth parts in a perfect o.

It’s not often that Jeongguk sees him this soft and surprised so he takes it in. The way his full cheeks glow with the changing light, his tousled hair and his small nose. Jimin is unconventionally pretty, but all his features come together so beautifully to create him that it doesn’t matter. Jeongguk has been lucky enough to taste the pout of his lips, he knows the smoothness of Jimin’s cheek, has counted the dark eyelashes that fan out on top of his cheekbones when he sleeps. All these things that Jimin has shared with him make him feel powerful.

He makes an appreciative hum and Seokjin stirs to his side. Any other day Jeongguk would’ve woken him up on purpose just to bicker with him, but right there, with Park Jimin’s hooded eyes burning with unsaid things, he wants nothing more than to climb into Jimin’s lap and kiss him until they’re both breathless.

Jeongguk tries to speak but a loud groan at his feet makes him swallow his words. He and Jimin tense up and look down at Taehyung. He’s lying on his back, eyes closed and brows furrowed, as he tries to roll on his side again so he can curl up in a ball. Jeongguk shares a pointed look with Jimin, and then takes the pillow he’d stuck behind his head and leans down to give it to Taehyung, who takes it and immediately cuddles it, still asleep. He settles again, and they both sigh.

With the pillow gone, Jeongguk starts feeling even more uncomfortable than before. He hadn’t been lying when he’d told Jimin he was cold, and he really needs to stand up because his legs are killing him.

Jimin’s pretending to watch the movie when Jeongguk quietly rises to his feet and walks to Seokjin’s bedroom. He rummages around until he finds a blanket and throws it around his shoulders like a cape. He still feels cold.

Jeongguk returns to the living room and finds Jimin has relocated to the bar and is pouring himself a glass of vodka, trying to be as quiet as possible as he glances at their sleeping friends.

He catches Jimin’s eye across the room and nods towards the balcony, a silent invitation that Jimin accepts with a roll of his eyes.

When Jimin joins him Jeongguk’s already lit a cigarette, smoke swirling around him like flimsy clouds. Jimin has his half full glass in hand and takes a seat next to him on the small bench Jeongguk’s sitting in.

“Ugh, you’re still smoking,” Jimin says and yet he scoots closer to him. Jeongguk can feel him trembling. “I thought I’d told you how disgusting it is.”

Just to spite him, Jeongguk takes a long drag of the cigarette and smirks at him.

“Jeongguk, I’m fucking cold.”

“Why did you come out without a jacket?”

“Because you have a big, long…” Jimin pauses. “…blanket.”

“If you want to share then say it,” Jeongguk replies and blows the smoke again. Jimin snorts. “Use your words.”

“Fine, give me the damn blanket.”

“Oh?”

Jimin punches him on the arm. “ Share the damn blanket, Jeongguk.”

Jeongguk hums, trying to suppress a smile but does as told. He gently covers Jimin with the blanket as Jimin slides even closer until their thighs are pressed up together. It’s nice, Jeongguk thinks as Jimin holds his glass of vodka between both hands and takes sip, it’s so nice and surreal that he and Jimin are sharing a moment like this one.

They’re used to the fucking, the intense feelings and the moans, the pleasure and the risk, the danger of their whole affair. These quiet moments are few but precious, it makes Jeongguk think about holding Jimin’s hand, of intertwining their fingers and leaning down to kiss his forehead. It makes him think about leaving kisses on his skin in the morning, quiet I love yous in the early morning and hugs at breakfast…

Things that couples do. Jeongguk and Jimin aren’t together. Jimin probably doesn’t even like him.

The cigarette still isn’t enough.

He takes a last drag and throws it to the floor. He steps on it and takes out another one.

“Smoking is bad for you.” Jimin tells him, and he sounds stern.

Jeongguk taps Jimin’s glass with his forefinger. “So is alcohol.”

“Not in moderation,” Jimin points out and Jeongguk nods. “Besides, I’m pretty seasoned drinker.”

Jeongguk chuckles and hears Jimin reciprocate.

A short pause follows in which Jeongguk dedicates his time to his cigarette and Jimin hums a song under his breath. The subtle city lights bathe them the tiniest bit, just enough that they can look around Seokjin’s cute but small balcony. He notices the cactus he’d bought for him for his birthday adorning a corner and smiles. Jimin had actually been the one to suggest he buy that for him.

“So,” Jimin starts, looking at the foggy Seoul sky. “Jihyo’s wedding is soon. Well, three-months-soon.”

Jeongguk knows what he’s trying to say, it’s the next date for their secret rendezvous. It’s silly how thinking about it both excites him and gives him anxiety at the same time.

“About time she got married, she’s been engaged for years.” He replies. He plays with the cigarette in his hand for a little bit and then puts it between his lips again.

“The fact that she decided on a beach wedding is kinda exciting, isn’t it?” Jimin asks, eyes shining.

“Not really,” Jeongguk doesn’t want to give in so quickly, he’s going to tease him a little more. “I hate sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating—,”

“—and it gets everywhere.” Jimin finishes with a snort. “Do not quote Attack of the Clones at me.”

“Ugh, I forgot you’re a nerd too.”

“I love that you’re including yourself as a nerd too.”

“We’re in our mid twenties and we’re having weekly movie marathons,” Jeongguk reminds him. “And it’s almost always fantasy or Marvel.”

The corners of Jimin’s lips curl up slightly. “The fact that you separated Marvel from fantasy…”

“Listen, Iron Man is more than just a fantasy movie, it’s a character based story.” Jeongguk could write a long essay on why Tony Stark is the best character of all time, but he doesn’t want to descend into that level of fanboyism. He throws the cigarette on the floor and steps on it. He’s going to have to clean the balcony in a few hours or Seokjin will murder him.

“You’re just saying that cause you’re in love with Robert Downey Jr.” Jimin nudges him with an elbow. “You wanna marry him.”

Jeongguk thinks about the ring he’d seen online a few days ago and swallows hard. If only Jimin knew who he really wants to marry, if only he was aware of Jeongguk’s only option, the only person he’s ever considered.

Jimin seems to sense he’d somehow made him uncomfortable because his mouth pops open in distress and his eyes widen for a fraction of a second. Jeongguk just stares at him, biting his tongue so he doesn’t say anything stupid.

Jimin saves him. “Anyway,” He lets out a breath. “At first I thought you’d be a Thor kinda guy. Muscles and ego and what not.”

Ah yes, the comfortable bickering that has become their norm. Jeongguk is grateful for it.

“You do realize you’re talking about yourself,” Jeongguk tells him. Just to prove his point, he reaches with a finger and pokes Jimin’s clothed tummy, where his abs lay concealed under his shirt.

Jimin bats his hand away. “I like the Hulk.” He says with a pout.

“Oh,” Jeongguk waggles his eyebrows at him. “Size difference? Or is it the colour green?”

The look of pure disgust on Jimin’s face sends Jeongguk into a series of smoky giggles that have him falling against Jimin’s shoulder, getting closer to his now warm skin. He rests his forehead against Jimin’s jaw and chuckles, feeling heat envelop him from the tip of his fingers and all over his body.

Jimin has that effect on him, that pleasant warmth that makes him feel like they’re in a bubble. It’s wonderful and magical when they’re alone together until the bubble snaps when they’re not alone anymore. All those hook ups at weddings are like escapes from their reality, when they can give up this pretence that they dislike each other and can just bask in their affection. He thinks back to Jaebum’s wedding and makes a mental note to thank him, even if it’s random and he won’t understand.

He feels Jimin sag against him, his head leaning on top of Jeongguk’s, strands of bleached blond hair tickling Jeongguk’s forehead.

“It’s none of that,” Jimin says, voice quiet. “You know my type.”

The words wash over Jeongguk slowly, blood rushing to his cheeks and making him burn. Every single place where they’re touching feels hot, and not in the usual sort of sexual heat that is always sparking between them. He refuses to move, he refuses to give up this satisfying and refreshing sort of affection.

They stay like that for a while, just breathing in the cold air, lost in their thoughts.

When Jeongguk starts to drift off, he thinks he feels a soft kiss being pressed to his forehead.

Or maybe not.

 

 

 

3.5. “Great.”

 

“I’m surprised you’re calling me?”

“I have news.”

“Oh?”

“Yugyeom’s getting married.”

“Oh.”

“In about a month. Your invitation should arrive soon.”

“Great.” A small gasp. “I mean—Good for him.”

A chuckle. “Sure, that’s what you meant.”

 

 



9. “I’m leaving.”

 

Jimin is crying and Jeongguk is crying and it’s a mess.

“I can’t believe you!” Jeongguk yells at him, he can feel himself shaking. “I called you, multiple times a day for the whole week and you wouldn’t pick up!”

“I was busy, Jeongguk! The reason I stayed at the studio was so I could practice in peace, I didn’t want to talk to you!”

“I just wanted to know if you were okay,” Jeongguk spits through his teeth. He can feel his head pounding, the terrible headache he’s had all week is making him dizzy. “You wouldn’t even say good morning, or if you were eating or anything! I wasn’t calling you to talk for hours, Jimin. I just wanted to know if you were alive.”

“Then you could’ve popped in for a second,” Jimin’s full cheeks are scarlet red with suppressed fury and his eyes are swollen. “I was there all week, if you really cared so much you could’ve come and seen me.”

“I was working.”

“You’re always working!”

“Well, someone has to pay the goddamn bills!”

“Are you—?”

Jeongguk stops him. “No, don’t put words in my mouth. You know what I mean.”

“I hate you,” Jimin tells him, and even though Jeongguk knows that’s a blatant lie, the fact that he’d even uttered them out in the open pains him like nothing else. “I shouldn’t have married you, this is so fucking wrong.”

“Jimin,” Jeongguk surges forward and hugs him around the waist, hiding his face in his neck. Jimin fights him. “Jimin, don’t say that. Please, don’t say that.”

“Let—me—go!” Jimin’s sobbing and wetting his shirt but it doesn’t matter. “I need to fucking get out of here, this is killing us!”

Jeongguk shakes his head and holds him by the shoulders. Their foreheads are almost touching and they look at each other trying to find a reason, anything that they can hold on to so they don’t break even more.

Jimin seems to find something, because he scans all over Jeongguk’s face and then stops at his lips, jumping forward to plant a furious kiss that unravels them.

They walk in a tangled embrace towards the bedroom, almost tripping twice but not sparing a single second to anything that isn’t their hands, their lips on each other, their tongues fighting just like their words had a moment ago.

Jimin pushes Jeongguk onto the bed and Jeongguk immediately takes off his clothes and opens his legs, yanks the drawer of their night table open and throws the bottle of lube at him.  Jimin opens the cap and positions himself between his legs, leaning down to taste his lips in an angry kiss again while he pushes a finger in and prepares him.

It’s fast fucking and not making love. They’re both pent up and terribly heartbroken and the last three months have escalated into this battlefield. Jimin fucks into him and it’s not loving or arousing, neither of them are even that hard or into it, it’s just them putting every frustration into this one action that has always defined their relationship from the start.

They both pant and cry, a chaos of sweat, saliva and tears, and the absence of the word ‘baby’ that they always like to use when they’re together like this. Jimin comes inside Jeongguk with a grunt and then jerks him off until Jeongguk comes with a sob, painting both of their stomachs white. It’s the worst orgasm he’s ever had, it’s the worst sex he’s ever had in his life, and the fact that it’d been with Jimin makes him want to scream because it wasn’t supposed to be like this. He loves Jimin, maybe too much, and maybe it’s time they take some time.

Jimin kisses him on the cheek and down his neck, leaving a wet trail wherever his lips touch, but it doesn’t feel right. It feels forced, like he’s just following a damn routine. Jeongguk has learned to hate routines.

Jimin might be stubborn, but Jeongguk is impulsive.

“I’m leaving.” He says and Jimin freezes above him.

The rhythm of their breathing picks up again, just the slightest bit, and then Jimin rolls off of him until they’re side by side on the mattress.

Jeongguk nods to himself once and stands up, wincing a little bit when his feet touch the floor and he puts his weight on them. He feels like he’s been working out for hours, drained.

He glances at Jimin but he’s staring at the ceiling, and then picks up his clothes, taking a short trip to the bathroom to clean up and dress himself.

Packing a few items is like torture but he does it anyway. Jimin still isn’t looking at him, and he’s now turned on his side, away from the bathroom door and away from Jeongguk.

When he’s thrown a couple of boxers and shirts inside his bag and he’s starting to feel sick, Jeongguk hesitates at the door. Should he say something? Should he attempt to reason with Jimin right now or should he wait a while?

He thinks of what he wants and decides that he doesn’t want to say anything anymore. The words won’t help.

He leaves.

 

 

 

4. “You’re gonna end up crying on my Gucci shirts.”

 

The party is probably still going on somewhere in the grounds, but no amount of alcohol or food can take Jeongguk away from the god in the bed.

Jimin looks gorgeous against the silk sheets, the tan he’s gotten in the few days they’ve been staying at Jihyo’s beach house has turned him light golden. It’s like he’s glowing more than usual, his smiles are bigger and more radiant, his laugh is louder, and he’s in better spirits.

Lying there on his back, legs open just for Jeongguk, chest moving up and down with every quick, deep breath, he looks like a deity of beauty and desire.

“Fuck me,” Jimin says. A soft breath. “Jeongguk, please.”

“Baby, you’re so wet for me,” Jeongguk pushes two fingers inside Jimin now, he twists them a little and presses against Jimin’s sweet spot to see his eyes roll back into his head. That little word has Jimin mewling under him, and Jeongguk loves the effect it has on him. “God, Jimin.”

Jimin circles his hips, fucking himself on Jeongguk’s fingers and clenching around them with a whine. He’s looking at Jeongguk through his eyelashes, sweat rolling down the side of his face as he pants and moans little curses.

“I love having you like this,” Jeongguk voices, his left hand caresses Jimin’s ankle and pushes his legs up so he can have better access to his hole. “You’re so ready for me.”

“I’ve been ready for what feels like hours, just fuck me.” Jimin spits out, and Jeongguk replies by giving him a light smack on the thigh. “Jeongguk!”

Jeongguk chuckles and kisses his knee. He pushes at the back of Jimin’s thighs even more and just looks. So Jeongguk has a bit of a voyeurism kink and so does Jimin, so what? It’s not the kinkiest thing by far. A terribly uncomfortable conversation he’d had with Taehyung had taught him how vanilla he really is. Also he has a thing for Jimin’s ass, so combining those two things makes him extremely turned on by just taking his time to look .

They’ve been doing this for a little over a year now, and they know each other’s bodies like the palm of their hands by now. Every kink, every erogenous zone, every moan; Jimin knows everything about Jeongguk. And even though it should be terrifying, to be at the mercy of someone who knows how to make you weak, they both love it.

“Okay, fine,” Jeongguk says and leans down to lap at Jimin’s hole, broad licks over his puffy skin making Jimin squirm as he holds him down and squeezes his asscheeks.

There’s lube all over their skin, their sweat has mixed with the precum and Jimin’s little screams are driving Jeongguk crazy. He gives Jimin’s hole a last suck and palms his leaking cock, so ready to finally fuck Jimin breathless.

He teases the tip of his cock against Jimin’s ass and pushes the head inside the tiniest bit, holding the base of his cock so he doesn’t come right then and there.

“Come on, baby,” Jimin says, reaching with a hand so he can touch Jeongguk. He places his hand on Jeongguk’s hip and closes his fingers on the bone, pressing hard enough to make Jeongguk close his eyes and tighten his hold on his cock. Goddammit, Jimin never plays fair.

He finally pushes inside, inch by inch, taking in every trembling breath Jimin lets out and every change on the expression on his face to determine how slow or fast to go. He lets go of Jimin’s ass and lets him open his legs again, caging Jeongguk just like Jimin himself does. Jeongguk hisses when Jimin clenches around him, and he looks at how his hole stretches so deliciously for him. He thumbs where their bodies join, massaging the area gently, like a reverence.

“You always take me so well,” He says. “So fucking good.”

“Yeah?” Jimin pants, voice husky and dangerous. Jeongguk locks his eyes with his. “Yeah, baby? Nobody takes you like I do, right? Only me.”

His words send a wave of arousal through Jeongguk’s body so fast that it’s electrifying, heat rises to his cheeks so fast he feels like a deer caught in the headlights. He hadn’t expected Jimin to say something like that at all. So Jeongguk nods like an idiot because his mouth feels like cotton and he can’t even form the words. He wants to hide his face in Jimin’s neck to conceal his blush, he wants to leave hot kisses against his pulse.

They both groan once he’s seated fully inside. Jimin closes his legs around Jeongguk’s waist and pulls him forward until Jeongguk’s lying on top of him, chests sticking together and breaths mingling between their wet lips.

Jimin slides his arms around Jeongguk’s neck, tugs him down until their foreheads are touching and then kisses him. He thrusts his tongue inside his mouth at the same time Jeongguk rocks forward, slow, so damn slow, because he wants Jimin to let out those pretty noises he always makes.

Jimin rewards him with a quiet curse against his lips, a strangled, “Fuck,” and a breathy, “Baby, fuck me.”

Jeongguk holds braces himself with a hand next to Jimin’s head and another on the meat of his ass and thrusts again, harder this time, the slap of their skin echoing around the room like their own thunder. He silently thanks the universe for giving him the farthest room in the house.

The sounds coming out of Jimin’s mouth are sinful, the wet squelch of the lube and precum so obscene that Jeongguk can already feel himself close to coming. He concentrates on Jimin’s tongue, the way he’s tangling his fingers at the back of Jeongguk’s head, the tugs to his hair, Jimin’s peppermint cologne and the sickly sweet cherry lube all over their bodies.

He looks into Jimin’s eyes, fucks into him faster until Jimin’s trembling and rushing to cover his mouth with his hand to stop a scream. His eyes are wet, and he’s now opening his legs wide as he lays there and let’s Jeongguk do the work. Jeongguk pinches his asscheek and then spanks him once.

Jimin yelps into his hand.

“Your ass is taking me so well, baby,” Jeongguk says. He’s delirious by now, saying some stupid lines he’s heard on porn videos before. “Your hole’s stretched around me… so pretty.”

Jimin’s looking at him like he doesn’t know him, like he’s shocked by Jeongguk’s filthy words.

“I wish I could fill you up, would you like that?” He thrusts once, twice, and then another slap to Jimin’s thigh. A tear wets Jimin’s cheekbone. “Hmm, talk to me, please?”

Jimin surges forward and catches him by the shoulders, pushing their lips together again. “Yes, fill me up, come on, come on, come on—“

Jeongguk’s so warm and gone, he feels dizzy. Jimin’s clenching so hard around him and he knows he’s close. Jeongguk snakes a hand between them and gives Jimin’s neglected cock a few hard strokes, thumbing at the slit and pressing at the head to feel the wetness.

“Oh my god,” Jimin bites his lip and then licks at Jeongguk’s mole. He’s always liked to kiss the tiny freckle on Jeongguk’s lower lip. “Oh my god, I’m coming, fuck—“

The bliss explodes between them like a firework, their bodies entwined like a masterpiece, tangled together so tightly that Jeongguk doesn’t know if he’s trembling or if it’s Jimin who’s spasming under him. Jimin’s hole is still fluttering around him, like a ring of fire branding Jeongguk as his own, and its so intimate and arousing that Jeongguk can help but groan against Jimin’s collarbone. He bites at the thin skin until it’s purple and wonderful, more than a hickey: a love bite.

They fall against each other, resting and panting like they’ve run a marathon. Jimin’s sliding his hands down Jeongguk’s back towards his ass, stopping on his way to caress the dip of his muscles at the base. A happy hum escapes Jeongguk’s chest, and he litters gentle kisses down Jimin’s throat, mouths sweet words that he can’t say out loud.

Soon enough they’re moving away from their tight embrace. Jeongguk pulls out slowly, already feeling the blissfulness from before disappear into wariness. This is the moment he hates, the moment Jimin moves away from him, stands up and leaves. When they’re in bed they’re sweet and so into each other they forget that they’re supposed to just be friends who fuck at weddings.

Jimin rolls away from him and slowly sits up on the bed, hissing when his ass presses into the mattress. “It fucking hurts. And now I’m sticky.”

Jeongguk stares up at the ceiling. He flexes his fingers. “You wanted me to not use a condom.”

“Ugh, terrible decision. Remind me to not to do that again next time. Too messy.”

Next time. Is it bad that those words make Jeongguk smile?

He watches Jimin stand up and clean himself with Jeongguk’s shirt. Jeongguk doesn’t even tell him off, he just lets him do whatever he wants. He tries to ignore how that relates to more than just this moment.

Once Jimin’s wearing his crumpled suit again and has his tie hanging around his neck, he stands in the middle of the room and looks around, anywhere but at Jeongguk. Jeongguk observes him fondly from his place on the bed. He looks like a confused child, his brows furrowed into a cute frown.

“I’ll ah—,” Jimin clears his throat. He changes his weight from one foot to the other. “I’ll be seeing you… tomorrow.”

“Yeah,” Jeongguk replies. “Sure.”

“By the pool at ten?” Jimin asks, fidgeting with the bottom of his shirt. “Taehyung and the hyungs want to swim.”

“I’ll be there.”

“Right, so…” He sounds so uncomfortable Jeongguk wants nothing more than to get up and hug him until he melts against him. “I’ll go now.”

Jeongguk flashes him a forced smile and watches him waddle to the door. Jimin cracks it open and then stops, turning the slightest bit to look back at him, fringe covering his eyes as he stares at Jeongguk, who is still naked, barely concealed by the filthy sheets.

His voice is a mere whisper. “Goodnight, Guk.”

And then he’s gone, taking all the warm feelings from before with him.

Jeongguk lies on the bed and refuses to stand up. He takes the bottle of lube that’s resting by his side and throws it to the floor without looking where it lands. He suddenly feels slightly sick, his mouth feels dry and his fingers are itching to hold a cigarette. He’d smoked with Jimin on the bed once and it’d felt right, the company had helped to prevent the emptiness…

He swallows and lazily sits up, looking around the room for his pajama pants. He finds them lying underneath the shirt Jimin had used to clean himself, stained by sticky cum. Jeongguk puts them on quickly and throws himself on the bed again, trying to ignore how Jimin’s cologne is still floating all around the heated room.

There’s a knock on the door and Jeongguk jumps a little bit in surprise. He squashes down the feeling of hope immediately. It can’t be Jimin, Jimin always leaves and never comes back, not until the next time they’re kissing and rubbing against each other in desperation. At the next wedding.

The door opens in the second he’d spent panicking and then a familiar face appears through the gap. Jeongguk purses his lips and looks away with a sigh. Of course.

“I saw Jimin in the hallway,” Taehyung tells him, closing the door behind him. Jeongguk just hums and nods. He can already feel that ugly emptiness blossoming somewhere inside him, replacing the ecstasy from a few minutes ago rapidly.

The sound of slippers hitting the wooden floor and making his way towards him fill the room and then there’s a dip in the bed. Taehyung must know what Jimin and Jeongguk just did on that bed but he still doesn’t care. Jeongguk doesn’t know if he should be thanking the universe for giving him such a caring best friend or cursing at him for being disgusting and lying on top of dirty sheets.

For a few long minutes neither say anything, Jeongguk refuses to speak and Taehyung is conscious of how fragile he is at the moment, lying face up and trying to not feel used.

A good ten minutes later, Taehyung turns on his side and rests his cheek on his forearm. Jeongguk barely glances at him because he knows that if he looks straight into his eyes he’ll burst out crying. Taehyung has that sort of magic; he always knows more about how Jeongguk’s feeling than Jeongguk himself.

“You told me you were in love with him earlier,” He says, and his deep voice sounds like a judgement in Jeongguk’s dark, humid room. “I hope you two are on the same page with this.”

Jeongguk says nothing, he merely closes his eyes and breathes in. The soft peppermint is still impregnated on the sheets, and the artificial smell of the cherry lube is starting to give him a headache. The strange empty feeling in his stomach has settled into a anxious mess, and he knows that if he lets it consume him, he’ll panic.

He swallows, throat dry. “We are.” He replies.

Taehyung sighs. “You’re such a bad liar.”

He knows he is, and Jeongguk wishes he could just lie to himself like he’s been doing for so long. He’s fed himself this idea that Jimin does love him, at least a little bit, and that this situation of theirs isn’t just about sharing some pleasure and being naughty at weddings. But the truth is, Jeongguk’s never known where he stands with Jimin, he’s not even sure Jimin considers him a friend, he doesn’t know what Jimin even thinks of him.

The general idea Jimin had always had of Jeongguk was that he was an annoying player who liked flirting a bit too much, but would he still be thinking that after months and months of this arrangement of theirs? He’s never flirted with anyone in front of Jimin, he’s openly stated he’s single in his presence, and he’s tried to be more of his usual self instead of the overly confident persona he has around Yugyeom and co.

Jeongguk sighs. Does it even matter in the end? It’s not like he and Jimin have a future together, not even if Jeongguk can picture it so vividly in his head…

The peppermint is suddenly suffocating.

“Guk,” Taehyung mutters under his breath, very quiet. Jeongguk doesn’t open his eyes but he turns his head in his direction. “You’re gonna end up crying on my Gucci shirts.”

Any other day Jeongguk would’ve laughed, but as it turns out, lying there in cum stained pajama pants and feeling hopeless, he merely presses his lips together and closes his hands into fists.

He knows he will.

 

 

 

9.5. “On the dotted line, where else?”

 

“Where am I signing?”

“On the dotted line, where else?”

A pause. “I mean, where. As in, in what place. Do I need to go to the apartment?”

A distressed noise. “Oh.” The silence is killing him. “No, I’ll just—,”

“Jimin,” Jeongguk says. “Jimin, please.”

“What is it?” It’s hesitant but not angry or upset. Jeongguk counts it as a win.

“Can we talk?”

Again the dreaded silence. Jimin is usually impulsive and quick with his responses, so Jeongguk is hopeful, he’s praying to whoever can hear him that this is a sign that this isn’t over yet.

“What do you wanna talk about?”

“We can work this out, I just think we just need some time,” Jeongguk says, and he’s surprised at how composed he sounds. He’s even more confused by the calm that is spreading through him. “If you’re willing to work on us, if you think we have the tiniest chance, then please, talk to me.”

If Jimin says no again then Jeongguk will give up. It’ll hurt, it will certainly become a huge wound that will take a very long time to heal but he can’t let this happen again. Jimin keeps leaving and Jeongguk has forgiven him for his impulsiveness many times, it’s time for Jimin to settle the score and decide for himself. Jeongguk is tired of chasing after him, he just wants to be with him.

“I’ve been here all this time.” Jimin sighs.

 

 



10. “Do you love me?”

 

Jimin’s curled up in bed when Jeongguk enters the bedroom.

He’s a small, shaking lump in the middle of the mattress, blanket covering him up to his forehead so only a few tufts of messy black hair are visible. Taehyung had told him Jimin had dyed his hair, but Jeongguk still stops on his way in and stares for a little bit. It’s not bad, just a little disconcerting. Jimin has always kept him hair blond so he can dye it crazy colours whenever he wants. The black is a big change, it’s somehow fitting.

What he had expected was to find the bedroom a mess: clothes thrown everywhere, empty food containers and empty bottles of various alcoholic beverages littering the floor; but once again his husband surprises him. Everything is neat and in its place, just like how Jeongguk has always kept it.

“Did Namjoon hyung help you?” He asks, not concealing the shock in his voice.

Jimin doesn’t respond, he just turns on his back, blanket sliding off to reveal his eyes. He looks tired and his hair is wet, splayed on the pillow like a dark halo. He stares up at the ceiling and takes a deep breath, bottom lip caught under his teeth.

“I’m able to pick up after myself,” He says, and he sounds weirdly out of breath.

“I know you do, I was just asking—nevermind.”

Jimin sighs and takes a quick look at Jeongguk. “That wasn’t me being snarky, baby. I was just stating a fact.”

“Are you back to calling me that again?”

He hadn’t meant to sound so hurt and angry, after all, he’d come back to try and find a solution for their problems. But that word, that loving baby that has become a code, a disguised I love you for the two of them who aren’t fond of saying the phrase out loud all the time, it’d bring out those feelings of resentment that Jimin’s last words before he’d left had carved inside him.

Jimin merely turns away from him so he’s resting on his right side and curls up again. Jeongguk can see his eyebrows joining together in an anguished frown. “I’m sorry,” He says, “I just—I’m sorry, Jimin.”

He walks towards his side of the bed and sits down to take off his shoes and his jacket, throwing them haphazardly to the floor and not caring about cleanliness for the first time in months. He realizes, yet again, that perhaps he’d been too snappy and stressed out over nothing. He’d hurt Jimin and Jimin had hurt him over mundane, idiotic things like having a tidy room and waking up early. It all seems ridiculous now.

The quiet rustle of the sheets doesn’t disturb Jimin at all as Jeongguk lays down and gets closer to him slowly, like Jimin’s a scared animal and he has to be gentle in order to not startle him. He supposes the metaphor is accurate, because Jimin curls more into himself like a lazy cat and makes a distressed noise at the back of his throat. This is a side of Jimin that Jeongguk had discovered since they’d moved in together, how he’s actually all soft around the edges even when he pretends he’s not, and it contrasts so beautifully with how he’d behaved beforehand that Jeongguk is glad he’s able to see this now.

He turns on his side, and like a perfect puzzle piece, fits himself against Jimin’s back, passing and arm around his waist so he can cuddle him. Jimin doesn’t move, just lets Jeongguk hold him close. Jeongguk buries his nose in the back of Jimin’s neck and then kisses his shoulder, the mole just under his nape, and hums contentedly.

“I like the hair,” Jeongguk tells him. “It suits you.”

“You’ve barely seen me,” Jimin grumbles.

“You look good in anything.”

He hears Jimin sigh. “Seokjin hyung came by and saw my roots and then threatened to dye my hair black if I didn’t talk to you, so I told him to go ahead.”

Jeongguk hides a laugh. That’s such a Jimin thing to do, defying those who try to make him do something he doesn’t want to do. And it is also a very Seokjin thing to do to not back down and go through with his promise.

“It looks great,” He whispers into Jimin’s neck and then hugs him tries to reassure him. Or is it himself who’s trying to gain some reassurance? “It’s a good change.”

Silences are common with them, they’re always charged with silent words and fluttering emotions ready to fire up between them, but this one is different. The only other time they’d shared something like this had been when they’d finally confessed and poured their souls out early in the morning before they’d committed the error they are dealing with now.

Just like then, Jeongguk knows Jimin isn’t going to start. He needs to be pushed a little bit or he’ll remain stubbornly silent. He hums a random tune until he feels Jimin’s breathing slow down to a rhythmic lull, and takes a breath.

“Why are you so scared?” He mumbles, so softly that at first he doesn’t think Jimin had heard him when he does nothing but stay quiet.

Jeongguk tries to concentrate on his breathing, takes in the fact that he’s lying on his bed again after a week of crashing on Seokjin’s old couch. Taehyung had decided to not pick sides, and he was so mad at both of them that he’d refused to house Jeongguk and talk to Jimin until they reached a final decision. Thankfully for Jeongguk, Seokjin still has a soft spot for him.

He can tell by the absence of Jimin’s scent on the sheets that they’ve been freshly washed, the evidence of their last fuck erased from the bed. Jeongguk is grateful to have it gone and can’t help but think if maybe Jimin had done it bearing him in mind…

Just as he’s starting to entertain the idea, Jimin finally breaks the silence, his sweet voice muffled against the pillow and full of fear.

“I’ve never… dated people before.” He murmurs. Jeongguk knows this, he’s been aware of Jimin’s non existent dating history since the night they met. “I’ve… never been in love with anyone. I’ve fucked people but that’s it. I’ve lived alone most of my life, and I know this isn’t an excuse, but I guess I just don’t know how to share. Spaces, people, words. It’s always been easier to just leave. I have no idea how a marriage is supposed to work.”

His voice trembles on the last sentence and it takes every cell in Jeongguk’s body to not turn him around and smother him in kisses. Jimin is terrible at opening up about his feelings like this, the fact that he’s actually talking so candidly is precious enough.

Jeongguk bites his lip. “When we got married we signed a piece of paper, Jimin.” He pauses for a moment. Jimin remains still. “Forget about the word marriage for a little bit and let’s just think about us.” He closes his eyes and asks, “Do you love me?”

Jimin doesn’t hesitate, and it makes the tight knot in Jeongguk’s heart loosen in his chest. “Yes.” He says, and he sounds determined, more himself.

“Do you wanna be with me?”

“Yes, but—“

“But?”

A short silence, and then Jimin’s sighing and pushing his body back against Jeongguk, searching for his warmth. Jeongguk kisses his head. “I know I’m really difficult, I know I have issues—“

“We all have them.” Jeongguk replies. “Do you think I’m not fucking scared? Do you think I was thinking about paying the bills and our bad habits when I whipped out the ring? Of course not, I was just thinking that I love you.” One of Jimin’s hands places itself on top of Jeongguk’s. He interlaces their fingers, and Jeongguk feels the coldness their wedding rings. “Was our decision to get married wrong?”

Once again, Jimin doesn’t hesitate. “Yes.”

“Yes. Good, we both agree. Does that mean we’ve failed?”

“Yes.”

“I agree as well.” The relief, the immense feeling of hope making a home inside Jeongguk is so powerful that he can’t help but give Jimin a squeeze. They’re not over yet, there’s still a chance. “But the thing is, just like we got married really quickly now you wanna get divorced just as quick. And if there’s something I’ve learned out of all of this is that we’re terrible decision makers.”

Jimin bursts out laughing, his whole body shaking as his twinkling giggles fill the room. Jeongguk has barely even registered that Jimin just laughed because of something he said for the first time in weeks , when Jimin turns around in his arms. Their gazes meet, and Jeongguk notices the redness around Jimin’s eyes, the wetness clinging to his eyelashes. He looks so beautiful that Jeongguk wants to cry. He’d missed him so much.

Jimin knees him on the thigh. “Don’t make me laugh.”

“It’s part of my charm.” Jeongguk tells him with a roll of his eyes. This is purely them, this is grounding and real.

“Oh, please shut up.”

Jeongguk sneaks his hand under the sheets and under Jimin’s sweater so he can caress his skin. Small, soothing circles. “I talked to Yoongi hyung.”

Jimin looks scandalized. “You asked for advice from Yoongi hyung? Do you wanna die?”

“Can’t die yet, you still want to divorce me.”

“Keep joking like that and I’ll take half of your money with the divorce.”

Jeongguk tickles him a little bit and Jimin tries to escape. Of course Jeongguk doesn’t let him. “He said that we’re supposed to find a balance.” He draws stars on Jimin’s lower back. “Just like how Hoseok hyung is very cheerful and loud and Yoongi hyung is quieter and more serious. They make it work.”

Jimin sighs, a pout appearing on his pink lips. “The ‘you smoke and I drink’ scenario again.”

“Yes.”

“We… need to work on that.”

“Haven’t smoked at all this week.” Jeongguk tells him and it’s true. He’d made Seokjin promise to keep the cigarettes away from him and it’d worked.

“I just,” Jimin mumbles. “I wanna get better. I hate feeling like this. Sometimes I can’t control it and it makes me feel even worse.”

Jeongguk kisses his forehead. “We’ll do anything, okay? I just want you to be happy.”

They both stay silent for a few minutes, just taking in everything they’ve said so far. Jeongguk knows they’re going to have to work hard, they’ll have to make deals with each other so they can find the middle ground.

Jimin takes a look at his face and then burrows closer into Jeongguk’s space, throwing his arm around Jeongguk’s waist so they’re awkwardly hugging sideways. He pushes his head under Jeongguk’s chin and hides his face in his collarbones, just over his heart.

“You know when I realized I was in love with you?” He asks and Jeongguk’s heart goes wild. Jimin closes his hand into a fist in Jeongguk’s shirt. “We were all watching a movie, I think it was Iron Man for the thousandth time, and you were just sitting on the couch and I stared at you for five minutes straight. And then I just knew.”

Jeongguk’s throat is dry. “What?” He asks, breathless.

He feels a kiss on his neck. “That you were fucking cold.”

And Jeongguk remembers it perfectly, how Jimin and him had left their sleeping friends and they’d escaped outside so they could share a blanket and talk about nonsensical things. Such a simple moment, and yet so important. He doesn’t feel cold anymore.

He slides his hand up so he can cradle Jimin’s cheek and then looks down so he can look at his eyes. Jimin’s eyes are happy half moons, and his smile is so wide that Jeongguk can’t help the kiss he leans down to give him. It’s just a brush of lips, a reencounter of mouths that has both of them falling into each other like starving men. Jimin moves his lips slowly in a short kiss and then separates from Jeongguk so he can rest his forehead against his.

“I love you.” Jeongguk tells him.

“I love you.” Jimin laughs. “Taehyung is going to slap us.”

“We deserve it. I’ll literally put my cheek right in front of his face so he can slap me.”

“I can do it if you want.”

“Let’s not get kinky that fast.”

Jimin pecks him on the lips again. “I’ll do the fucking laundry whenever you want.”

Jeongguk nudges their noses together. “I’ll start coming home earlier everyday. And we’ll go out to do something nice every weekend.”

“Thank you for being the less stupid one of the both of us.”

“We were both pretty stupid. Thank you for letting me come back.”

“Well,” Jimin says and he leans forward to bite at Jeongguk’s lip. “It is your apartment after all.”

 



5. “It’s three am in the fucking morning and I love you.”

 

The girl by the register is trying to catch his eye but Jeongguk looks away. He’s trembling, the AC of the store and his thin shirt aren’t helping his nervousness. His hands feel clammy and cold, and he can already feel the last few sleepless days taking a toll on him. He hasn’t slept well for so long that it doesn’t feel weird at all, it’s more a permanent state at this point. The bags under his eyes, the dark shadow of his bad shave, his messy hair, all these things that he’s learned to care about for the sake of his job: completely forgotten.

But it doesn’t matter because after weeks of no contact and crying against Taehyung’s expensive shirts, Jimin had finally called him. Jimin, who remains possibly the most stubborn person Jeongguk has ever met, had actually rung him at almost three in the morning so they could meet.

Needless to say, Jeongguk is both in shock and extremely anxious about the situation. He can’t help but make up several scenarios where Jimin tells him they can’t even be friends, that Jeongguk’s feelings make him too uncomfortable and that he’d rather never see him again. And what is worse is the fact that Jeongguk knows he won’t hesitate to cry and beg Jimin to not disappear or the fact that those are the only sort of scenarios that he can see coming out of this conversation.

Either way, he can’t see this meeting having a positive outcome. Jimin had sounded too serious on the phone, so serious in fact that Jeongguk wonders if Taehyung had had something to do with it. He just hopes Jimin is doing this because he actually cares.

I want to apologise, he’d said, but Jeongguk isn’t sure what he wants to say sorry for. He can feel the cold metal of the ring, which he’d haphazardly ripped out of its tiny box and pocketed, pressing against his leg. It’s a reminder that his feelings for Jimin are this profound, that he hadn’t been just a fuck buddy for him, even if Jimin tried to ignore it. He’d had it with him at Hoseok and Yoongi’s wedding because he’s a romantic idiot, and even though he hadn’t been planning on proposing right then and there, he’d pushed it inside the pocket of his blazer as a good luck charm.

Because he’d been planning on taking Jimin aside that night, of kissing him softly and telling him I love you, please be with me.

The situation had been nothing but the opposite.

His phone vibrates and it’s a message from Taehyung. Call me later, please, please, please.

Taehyung worries, he always has, just like he has always been by Jeongguk’s side, repeating time and time again that he should take care of himself more, that Jimin isn’t the only man in the world and that it would be healthier for him to move on. All these things that Jeongguk knows but doesn’t want to think about.

Jeongguk closes his eyes and breathes, takes in the clear scent of the Starbucks and the faint smell of coffee. The ambient music is soft and relaxing, and the very quiet chatter of the only two people in the shop with him is good white noise to his distressed mind.

Whatever happens, he promises himself, he’ll be strong, he needs to move on and walk forward. He can’t stay pining after Jimin forever, not even if that’s exactly what he’ll probably do. He will at least lie to himself until the memory of Jimin’s skin, his smile and his voice have become just that, fucking memories.

He’ll always have those times when they fought for the remote control, the little banter about movies and popcorn, their secret smiles every time Seokjin cracked a bad joke, the little whispers about Taehyung…

Jimin comes in with a chime of the bell at the door, just like he does when he makes his way inside Jeongguk’s head. For a second, Jeongguk doesn’t recognize him, because he’s wearing a long, baggy hoodie that Jeongguk is sure belongs to Taehyung, and he has his face covered by a face mask.

He takes a quick look around the store and then his eyes land on Jeongguk. There’s neither a wince nor a ghost of recognition in his eyes, he simply makes a beeline towards where Jeongguk’s sitting and then slides into the empty seat right across from him.

The coffee that Jeongguk had bought for him earlier is already cold on the table in front of them; his hands are clammy and freezing as he tries to breathe in and out, in and out. Jimin just looks at his feet, hands shoved deep inside the front pocket of his hoodie.

A minute passes by without a single word. Jeongguk swallows the lump in his throat, feeling the anxiety that had been building up return with a vengeance. He glances at Jimin and notices the darkness under his eyes, his full eyelashes fluttering with every blink. He’s gorgeous, and Jeongguk loves him more than anything.

There was a time when Jeongguk was afraid of even flirting with Jimin, those few times they interacted before he started to hang out with the others more than his own faculty friends, and it’d been painful. Now looking at Jimin, looking defeated and nervous, socked feet fidgeting inside his slippers, he can’t help but think that maybe it’s time he takes the initiative again. He can’t let Jimin regret coming here, he needs to speak.

“I got you a vanilla latte,” He says, and Jimin moves his eyes from the floor to the Starbucks cup in front of him. “One shot, extra cream.”

Jimin closes his eyes and sighs, reaching for the mask on his face with a trembling hand. He pushes it under his chin and then leans forward to pick up his latte.

He takes a sip. “It’s cold.”

Jeongguk chuckles. “You took a damn long time.”

It’s like a dam has been opened when Jimin finally looks up at him and mutters, “I know.”

Jeongguk can feel himself flush with nervousness at having Jimin addressing him after a month. All those ideas he’d made up in his head had truly taken a toll on him. He thought he knew what he’d say, but sitting there and feeling so close and yet so far from Jimin, it’s like all purpose has left him.

Thankfully for him, Jimin seems to be ready.

“I owe you an apology,” He starts. He licks his bottom lip and takes a deep breath. “The way I acted, it was so fucked up. I just… panicked, I guess. I wasn’t ready for it.”

Jimin pauses, clutching the cup between both of his hands and resting them in his lap. He’s still looking into Jeongguk’s eyes, and he’s like a bright light that Jeongguk doesn’t want to look away from.

“It’s okay,” He replies. “I know it was a shock, I shouldn’t have—,”

“You’re right, you shouldn’t have,” Jimin says with a nod. “That still doesn’t mean you deserved what I did. You were being sweet and careful even though I was being so forceful—,” He looks away for a moment and lets Jeongguk breathe. He hadn’t realized he’d been holding his breath. “You were nothing but kind to me, you treated me well and you dealt with my stupid outbursts.”

“It wasn’t ‘dealing’ for me, you know?” Jeongguk has to let him know, Jimin needs to understand that Jeongguk gets him. “I know how you are, I’ve always known.”

“Then I don’t understand how you can stand me,” Jimin hangs his head and closes his eyes tightly, as if in pain. Jeongguk wants to jump next to him and encase him in his arms, he wants to whisper that it’ll be okay. “I’m so difficult and selfish and I lashed out at you like that.”

“Again,” Jeongguk whispers, trying to keep his voice gentle in case it somehow disrupts Jimin. “I know all that, hyung. It’s never felt like a job with you, and I’m not the easiest to deal with either. I know I kept pushing a little bit every time, and I forgot for a second there that we’re not… together like that.”

Jimin looks up at him through his eyelashes. “Let’s not lie to ourselves,” He says, owlishly blinking at Jeongguk. “I was also really into it, it wasn’t just you playing boyfriends.”

Jeongguk bites his lip. “We’re terrible at talking.”

“You’re not that bad,” Jimin shrugs, and there’s a new sweetness to the way he’s gazing at Jeongguk. “You at least tried.”

“You’re here and that’s what matters to me,” Jeongguk leans forward, pinning Jimin with what he hopes is an understanding gaze. “The fact that you called me… I’m just really glad you did, hyung. I was kind of going crazy.”

Jimin licks his lips. “I needed some time to think. I just created this idea in my head that what I felt for you was wrong and I didn’t deserve you. It kind of made it’s home in my mind for almost two years and it hurts like a bitch.”

A blossoming heat spreads through Jeongguk’s chest at his words. Jimin has feelings for him.

He feels out of breath. “What do you mean?”

Jimin blinks at him, looking startled by the sudden question. “About what?”

“Feelings.”

Jimin’s eyes widen and he looks caught off guard, like he hadn’t been expecting Jeongguk to catch on to that particular part of what he’d said. But of course Jeongguk noticed the subtle inflection of longing drenching Jimin’s words, he’s been looking for it for months, he’s been missing it for weeks like a lost limb. Jeongguk feels himself blushing the longer they remain staring at each other, The Jimin Effect never fails on him.

The couple who had been sitting a few tables away stands up and leaves, the chiming at the door breaking the tense silence between them. Jimin looks away and nods, a barely perceptible hum the only confirmation to Jeongguk’s silent question.

Maybe it’s the anxiety that had been eating at him for the past hour; maybe it’s the fact that Jimin is blushing too and he looks so beautiful even with the darkness under his eyes; maybe it’s the way Jimin’s nervously swaying his feet forward and backwards, afraid and jittery. Or maybe it’s just that Jeongguk has waited long enough.

Whatever the case, he suddenly finds himself kneeling next to Jimin on the floor of a late night Starbucks, holding his hand tightly in his own and trying to understand what Jimin isn’t saying.

“Oh my god, what are you doing?” Jimin hisses at him, covertly looking around the store. “Why are you on the floor? Come on, get up—.”

“Marry me.”

Layered over the soft café music, Jimin’s gasp and the sound of a coffee machine in the distance, the words ring as loud as if he had shouted them.

“W—What?”

Jeongguk refuses to back down. “Marry me. Please.”

“Jeongguk—,” Jimin hand is trembling. “Jeongguk, don’t joke like that.”

“I’m not joking, hyung,” He replies, and if he sounds a little bit desperate he doesn’t care. He needs Jimin to understand that he’s serious. “I swear to you, I’m not—.”

“No, you’re just saying that—you just—,” Jimin says and slides his hand out Jeongguk’s hold. He leaves his coffee on the table and jumps to his feet. Jeongguk sees the shock on his face, the incredulity in his eyes transforming into tears and then…

They both panic.

Jimin immediately runs out the store and Jeongguk runs after him, because apparently he’s finally tired of this game.

He catches up to Jimin just outside the store, bathed by the neon lights of the city and the beginning of the sunrise. He’s just standing there looking at Jeongguk, tears rolling down his eyes silently. He’d escaped but he’d still waited in the end, and that by itself says a lot.

“Baby,” Jeongguk says as he comes closer to him. “Jimin, please listen to me.”

Jimin just cries harder when Jeongguk hugs him. They must look like idiots standing in the middle of the street, crying their eyes out into each other’s shoulders but it doesn’t matter. Jeongguk will do anything to make Jimin feel better, because he fucking loves him. He loves him.

“Jimin,” Jeongguk tells him, squeezing him when a sob escapes Jimin’s mouth. He laughs a little bit. “Jimin, it’s three am in the fucking morning and I love you. Please marry me.”

“You fucking asshole!” Jimin sobs into his neck, hugging him back and tugging him closer. “You can’t just ask like that!”

“I’m serious!”

“No, you’re not! This is a terrible proposal!”

“Look,” Jeongguk kisses him on the jaw and then separates from Jimin so he can take out the ring out of his pocket. Jimin stares at him in confusion until he catches a flash of silver and then his wet eyes go so wide that it’s almost comical.

“You fucking—“

“Yes.”

“You really—“

“I did.”

Jimin eyes him warily. His cheeks are moist and rosy and his hair is a windswept mess but he looks adorable standing there in his huge hoodie and his slippers. This is the man Jeongguk wants to marry, angry and slightly short, temperamental but wonderful, just Jimin.

“Is it… real? Like, it is a real ring and I’m not hallucinating, right?” Jimin asks him, eyes unmoving from the palm of Jeongguk’s hand, where the silver band with diamonds Jeongguk had purchased lies on his skin.

“Will you marry me?” Jeongguk asks instead.

“Are you crazy? We haven’t even dated.”

“So what do you call two years of sleeping together and spending time doing what friends do while having feelings?”

Jimin bites his lip and takes a step forward. “Is it a trick question?”

“Jimin.”

Jimin sighs. “We can’t get married. We’re just confessing.”

“Excuse me, but so far the only one who has confessed something has been me.” Jeongguk points out. He takes a step towards Jimin and then they’re standing so close together that Jimin has to lift his head up the tiniest bit to look at Jeongguk. “I told you I love you and I haven’t heard a reply.” He cradles Jimin’s cheek with his left hand and caresses his cheekbone.

Jimin kisses his palm, very softly and barely there and then says, “We’re idiots.” With his other hand he takes the ring out of Jeongguk’s hand and then leans up to peck him on the lips. “Let’s go be idiots again.”

Somehow they get married and somehow they sign the papers with trembling hands and clumsy fingers. They’re dressed in their worst clothes (or in Jimin’s case, not even his own clothes), they look terrible after all the crying, but their smiles are so big when they leave hand in hand and take a taxi to a random hotel that it doesn’t matter.

Because when Jimin had put the pen down and Jeongguk had slid the ring into his finger, he’d said, “I love you.”

 

 



11. “Let’s get it.”

 

“Are you ready?”

“You’re asking that as if we’re getting married for the first time.”

“Well, Taehyung—,”

“Ugh.”

“He went through the trouble of organizing this wedding for us. I can’t believe you’re the one complaining now.”

“Okay, whatever. Let’s go, the quicker we do it, the quicker we can go to the airport.”

“Alright.”

“Let’s get it.”