Jimin is tired.
Not stayed-up-too-late-watching-Netflix tired but bone-deep, got-four-hours-of-sleep-total-in-the-past-three-days, want-to-pass-out-for-48-hours exhausted. He dreamed of his down comforter the entire taxi ride back from the office. Now that he’s home he barely manages to keep his eyes open long enough to change clothes and brush his teeth before crawling beneath his duvet.
On Wednesday his boss announced that the deadline for their company’s latest video game project had moved up drastically and that Jimin and Jeongguk needed to have the designs for the game art finalized by Saturday morning. And just like that, the rest of Jimin’s week turned into a blur of never-ending work and too many cups of coffee. They only got the last layers merged and files dropped into the company shared drive at 3 a.m.
Now, the clock by his phone reads 4 a.m. and finally, at long last, he lets himself drift into the sweet release of sleep.
When he’s pulled out of sleep by someone knocking on his door barely five hours later, his first lucid thought is that he’s going to kill whoever is on the other side of the door.
At first he thinks the knocking is just part of the dream he’s having, a half-nightmare where he’s dressed like the main character from the game project and running around collecting fallen stars. But the knocking continues, in obnoxious starts and stops, until Jimin is no longer in dreamland but in his own bedroom—very much, and very regrettably, awake.
Jimin groans. He rolls over, buries his face back into his pillow, and tries valiantly to ignore the knocking. He even pulls his comforter over his head, hoping it will muffle the sound. It doesn’t. The knocking continues relentlessly. He resists until it feels like the person is knocking not on the door but on the inside of Jimin’s skull, then growls and throws off his comforter.
“Fucking fine,” he snarls, rolling off his futon and standing so quickly his head spins. He stumbles forward and grabs the wall for support. His eyes feel like someone poured sand into them before gluing them shut. He can barely manage to open his eyelids more than a crack, and careens through his living-area-slash-bedroom unable to see much more than blurry colored blobs. He totters down the narrow hallway, past his bathroom and the sad excuse for a kitchen, muttering a mantra of I’m coming, fuck, fucking hell.
When he finally reaches the entryway, Jimin jams his feet into plastic slippers, jabs the button to disengage the automatic lock, and yanks the door open.
“What—” he starts to say, only to have the expletives he intended to follow up with die on his tongue.
There’s a guy standing on the other side of the door. Not just any guy, but, Jimin realizes with sinking dread as he tilts his head back slightly to get a good look at his face, a tall, handsome guy. He has features fit for the front of a magazine—long lashes, a perfectly sculpted nose, and expressive eyebrows—all of which Jimin can see clearly because the guy’s hair is pulled back from his forehead and tucked under an honest-to-god beret.
He’s wearing a beret, and making it look good, and Jimin is not nearly awake enough to deal with it.
“Oh,” Beret Guy says, looking just every bit as startled as Jimin feels. His tongue darts out across his lips. “You’re not— there isn’t a Jung Hoseok living here, is there?”
Jimin squints. “No?” He doesn’t really mean for it to come out as a question, but he’s still, like, 90% asleep and utterly baffled. He’s pretty sure he’s never even met anyone named Jung Hoseok before in his entire life.
“Oh,” Beret Guy says again. “But isn’t this—” he unlocks his phone and checks something, then glances up at the number on Jimin’s door. His face goes through an interesting transformation: realization to horror to embarrassment.
“This is 1325,” he says slowly. Jimin nods, and the guy gives him a sheepish grin. “I’m so sorry, my friend is in 1235.”
“Ah,” Jimin says, because he can’t think of a single other thing to say. The hall lights are too bright, harsh on his eyes. He runs his fingers through his hair. The strands, still stiff with product from the day before, stand on end.
“I’m really, really sorry,” the guy says, eyes wide and distinctive brows pulled together in concern. “Shit, I woke you up, didn’t I?”
Jimin opens his mouth to say yes, you did, fuck you very much, only to stop short—because Beret Guy is staring at him with puppy-dog eyes, looking absolutely and genuinely apologetic.
“S’fine,” Jimin finds himself mumbling, even though it’s really not, because he can’t quite bring himself to yell at someone who looks so... sincerely contrite. Even when sleep deprived he isn’t a complete asshole.
That being said, he’s also not nearly as diplomatic as fully-awake Jimin. Beret Guy opens his mouth to say something more, but Jimin beats him to it.
“Bye, then,” he says, and shuts the door in the guy’s face.
It’s not his smoothest move ever, but Jimin doesn’t take any time to dwell on it. He totters back to his futon and collapses face first onto it. Doesn’t even bother to get under the covers, just burrows into his pillow. He has a solid seven hours left until Jeongguk comes over for their customary post-deadline-junk-food-and-movie night, and he plans to sleep for at least six of those.
Except once he lies down, sleep doesn’t come.
Jimin lies there, feeling tired enough to sleep for a year, and can’t even manage to doze. He rolls over. Struggles under his blankets. Kicks them halfway off again. Rolls over onto his other side. Briefly lies on his back before giving up and flopping onto his stomach. He lets out a prolonged whine and petulantly kicks his feet before starfishing out.
“Aughhh,” he groans into his pillow. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t help.
Maybe an hour passes, or maybe it’s only five minutes. Jimin isn’t sure. It feels like a fucking lifetime, but even so sleep continues to elude him.
And then, someone knocks on the door.
“What the fuck,” Jimin says.
The knock is quieter this time, more polite than the banging that had originally woken him up. One knock, two, a pause, and then two more knocks. Jimin considers ignoring it, then decides: fuck it. He’s already awake. Might as well see who else has decided to use his door as a drum set at 9 a.m. on a Saturday.
He hauls himself back out of bed and, once again, stumbles through his apartment. Steps back into his plastic slippers, pulls the door open.
“Can I help you?” Jimin asks in his most unimpressed voice— the one that will intimidate even Jeongguk.
He immediately regrets his tone. Because on the other side of the door stands Beret Guy, and whereas before he had looked surprised when Jimin opened the door, this time he looks… nervous. He startles at Jimin’s words, mouth hanging open slightly.
“Um,” he says. “I’m really sorry to bother you— I mean bother you again— I mean, I just felt really bad? About waking you up.”
He fidgets with something in his hands before abruptly holding it out. Jimin blinks at him, then automatically reaches out to take whatever it is. He glances down. He’s now holding a box of Ferrero Rocher, with a receipt from the convenience store on the first floor of Jimin’s building wrapped around it. The receipt is taped in place, and there are two sentences scrawled onto it in sharpie:
I’m really sorry for waking you up :( Please let me know if I can make it up to you!!
Followed by “Kim Taehyung” and a phone number.
“—looked the best out of the chocolates, I hope you don’t mind,” Taehyung is saying. Jimin nods along, but he’s barely listening. Blood whooshes loudly in his ears as he stares dumbly at the box of chocolates in his hands. Truthfully, he hates hazelnut flavoring. But the fact that this guy went out and bought the most expensive chocolates at the convenience store, just because he got the wrong door, just because he felt bad about waking Jimin up, is—
It’s sweet. Unexpected, and sweet.
“Thank you,” Jimin says, finally looking up. He smiles. “That was really kind of you.”
Taehyung’s eyes are wide and he looks—well, still ridiculously cute, even with that beret. His eyebrows are raised, like he can’t quite believe Jimin isn’t biting his head off. Which, considering how Jimin had answered the door, is pretty fair.
Taehyung clears his throat. “You’re welcome,” he says. “I hope you get some more sleep.”
He speaks with a sort of gravity, as if he sincerely wishes for Jimin’s peaceful slumber. Then he bows—almost a full 90 degrees—and all but runs down the hall.
Jimin can only stand there, gaping like a fish, as he watches Taehyung disappear around the doorway into the stairwell. His feet remain rooted to the spot until long after the echo of footsteps fades. And then slowly, slowly he walks back into his apartment. Shuts his door. Kicks off his shoes. Stares at himself in the mirror he has hanging over the back of his bathroom door.
He looks like shit. He has severe bedhead and the beginnings of stubble on his chin. The circles under his eyes are so dark they look like bruises. He’s wearing a garish freebie t-shirt with a cute cartoon dog in a yellow hoodie that he designed for a puzzle game last year. The whole morning feels surreal, and he’s half-convinced he hallucinated it all—there’s no way a gorgeous guy just came to his door twice and gave him chocolate while he was looking like this—but no, when he looks down, the box of chocolates with Kim Taehyung’s phone number scrawled on it is still in his hands.
Jimin drags himself away from the mirror and shuffles back into the living room. He sets the chocolates down carefully on his desk before once more faceplanting on to his futon. He can think about the chocolates and the phone number and Kim Taehyung later, when his brain doesn’t feel quite so much like mush. For now, he closes his eyes and finally, finally falls back into blessed sleep.
Everything is ready, and Jimin is about to flop down on the couch and wait for Jeongguk to arrive when he spots the chocolates sitting on his desk.
“Shit,” he says, hurrying over to pick them up. He’d almost convinced himself the whole thing had been weird dream, the culmination of too much work on too little sleep. But here the chocolates are and there Taehyung’s number is and Jimin knows with absolute certainty that if Jeongguk spots this he will never let Jimin live it down.
They’re not safe on the desk— Jeongguk has hawk eyes and a weird sixth sense for spotting anything that might provide teasing material or be edible. The cupboards and fridge are also both out of the question, as Jeongguk will definitely be perusing them.
Someone starts banging on the door for the third time today, and Jimin panics. He looks around wildly before rushing over to his dresser and yanking his sock drawer open. He shoves the chocolates in, slams the drawer shut, and then jogs over to the door.
Jeongguk, infuriatingly, does not look like he just spent the last three days utterly sleep deprived and working overtime. He looks like he’s never been tired a day in his life, bangs falling into his eyes and swimming in his favorite oversized black hoodie. When he sees Jimin—hair still tousled from his shower and dark circles stubbornly remaining under his eyes—he grins.
“Oh, fuck off,” Jimin gripes as he steps back to let Jeongguk inside.
“Got any snacks?” Jeongguk says in reply, grinning wider.
They start off watching an action film, because Jimin loses three games of rock paper scissors in a row. Jeongguk raids all the snacks from Jimin’s cupboards, and Jimin complains but gives him the lion’s share of everything anyway. Then the pizza arrives and they squabble over that instead.
All in all, it’s a typical and thoroughly satisfying movie night.
Jimin finagles his way into choosing the second movie, and sometime in the middle of Hilary Duff’s “A Cinderella Story” Jeongguk whines, “You’re hogging the blanket.”
Jimin scoffs, although it’s absolutely true. He’s a habitual blanket-hog. He has the majority of his comforter wrapped around himself, leaving Jeongguk less than a third of it. Jeongguk’s feet stick out from under the edge rather comically.
“If it bothers you, bring your own next time,” Jimin says primly.
“But my feet are cold now.”
Jimin rolls his eyes. “Then put on some socks. You know where they live.”
“Your clothes are always too small for me, though,” Jeongguk says, even has he reluctantly stands. Jimin pointedly ignores him and turns back to the movie. Sam has just made her big entrance at the Halloween Homecoming dance, and Jimin leans forward with a happy sigh.
“Was it the middle drawer or the top drawer?” Jeongguk asks.
“Top one,” Jimin says without looking away from the screen.
The sound of a drawer pulling out slams Jimin back to his senses.
The sock drawer.
“WAIT!” Jimin yells, lunging off the couch. His foot gets caught in the blanket and he trips, only just managing to catch himself before taking a nosedive into the floor.
Jeongguk, one hand still on the partially-open drawer, freezes like a deer in the headlights.
“What?” he asks. “Is there something wrong? Or,” his voice drops and his surprised expression transforms into a smirk, “are you hiding something? It’s okay, I already know about your dildo collection. You don’t have to worry about that.”
“No,” Jimin says weakly. “It’s… just.”
Jeongguk’s smirk fades into something more serious, something genuinely concerned, and Jimin sighs. He knows Jeongguk will drop it if he asks him to, but it’s not like the chocolate is anything bad, and he doesn’t want Jeongguk to worry. He can deal with some teasing.
“Never mind,” Jimin says, waving a hand vaguely. “Go ahead and get some socks.”
Jeongguk gives Jimin a weird look, but obligingly turns back to the drawer. He goes quiet for a moment, presumably spotting the chocolates and note, then spins around to look at Jimin with furrowed eyebrows.
“You were hiding… chocolate?”
Jimin’s heart stutters. He knows Taehyung’s note should be there, right on top of the box, and that Jeongguk would have mentioned that first if he’d seen it. Did he put the chocolates in upside down? Did the note fall off? Maybe, if Jimin explains away the chocolate Jeongguk will leave it be and not see that Jimin got some guy’s phone number.
“Yeah, well,” he says, words feeling sticky in his throat. “I didn’t want you eating it. You always clean out my cupboards.”
“But hyung, you don’t even like Ferrero Rocher.” Jeongguk picks the box and Jimin’s heart stops. “What’s this?” Jeongguk muses, picking up what looks like— yup, that’s the receipt.
Jimin’s hopes evaporate.
“Hyung.” Jeongguk looks up, face a mix of amused and perplexed. “What the hell?”
Jimin crawls back up onto the couch and flops backward onto the cushions. “Come sit,” he says, resigned, and pats the space next to him. “I’ll explain.”
Jimin groans and slumps over sideways across Jeongguk’s lap.
“What would I even say? ‘Hi, sorry for being a grump and slamming my door in your face’?”
“You could thank him for the chocolate.”
There’s rustling, then telltale sound of tape peeling away from plastic. Jimin is upright in a flash. He snatches the box of chocolates from Jeongguk.
“Keep your grubby hands off my chocolate!”
Jeongguk pouts. “It’s not like you’re going to eat them anyway. If no one eats them it’s a waste!”
“Too bad,” Jimin says. “They’re my chocolates.”
He glances down at the box and rubs his thumb along the label. Maybe it’s a bit silly to feel possessive over the chocolates, but this kind of thing doesn’t just… happen. Not in real life, and especially not to Jimin. He isn’t the hero in some drama, or the protagonist in one of the games he designs for.
Taehyung’s note sits on the table, next to Jimin’s laptop and the abandoned movie. He could swear it’s staring at him. He’s not sure how, given receipts don’t have eyes, but it is.
Jimin bites his lip. Because the thing is, this isn’t a drama, and Jimin isn’t sure what he’s supposed to do. He’s good at reading situations, good at reading people, but he’d been mostly asleep during his entire interaction with Taehyung. When he thinks back on it, everything feels wavy and distorted, like a dream that poorly mimics reality.
“Do you think he, you know… actually wants me to text him?”
Jeongguk gives Jimin an incredulous look.
“Hyung,” he says. “You opened the door with bedhead and yelled at him, and this guy went out, bought you overpriced chocolate, and gave you his number. I think it’s safe to say he wants you to text him. And maybe kiss him, or—”
“Okay,” Jimin says loudly. His face is warm, has been warm ever since Jeongguk found the chocolates. “Fine, look.” He pulls out his phone. “I’m texting him right now.”
Jimin unlocks his phone and, with exaggerated motions, leans over to read the number on the note and type it into his phone. Then he settles back onto the couch and stares at the blank draft message.
“Shit,” he mutters.
“You should probably start by introducing yourself,” Jeongguk says. He leans over and rests his chin on Jimin’s shoulder so that he can peer at the phone screen.
“Right,” Jimin says. He bites his lip, and types:
Hi! This is Jimin, the guy from unit 1325
Thanks again for the chocolate ^^
He stares at his phone. That’s too short, isn’t it? Too abrupt, too awkward. But what else is there to say? His fingers hover over the keyboard for a second before he quickly presses send.
He then throws his phone down onto the couch cushions, buries his face in his hands, and lets out a muffled screech. Jeongguk pats his thigh and grins brightly.
“Achievement unlocked!” Jeongguk says. “All you can do now is—”
Jimin’s phone buzzes.
“—wait. Well, that was fast.”
Carefully, as if it might bite him, Jimin reaches out and picks up his phone. Sure enough, he has a text message from Taehyung. Jimin stares at the screen. His phone buzzes again, and then a third time.
“You gonna check that?” Jeongguk asks, chin still on Jimin’s shoulder.
“You’re a shit, you know that?” Jimin complains, but unlocks his phone.
omg hi!!!! you actually texted me!! i hope you like the chocolate and i’m really sorry again for waking you up :((( i hope you got some more sleep!!
it's nice to meet you jimin! or well. we met, but like i didn’t say it then, so i’ll say it now!! i’m taehyung btw :D
i mean i guess you probably know that because i wrote it on the note? but it feels right to introduce myself properly this time haha
Jimin reads the messages, and then rereads them. He breaks into a smile. The way Taehyung types is cute, a bit at odds with his intimidating runway model looks but more in line with the glimpse Jimin had gotten of his personality. Jimin is endeared. Charmed, even.
“Dude,” Jeongguk says. “He totally wants to kiss you.”
Jimin shoves him off the couch.
They text on-and-off through the rest of the movie, and then through Jeongguk ordering more food (jokbal, this time) and putting on the third movie of the night. They’re still chatting when Jeongguk calls it a night and heads out.
And when Jimin goes to bed that night, it’s with plans made with Taehyung for a date the next day.
1 year later
He doesn’t know why he’s so apprehensive. He could wear the same pajamas he’d been wearing the first day he and Taehyung met, and Taehyung would call him beautiful and shower him with kisses. But this isn’t just any date, it’s their first anniversary. Jimin doesn’t just want to look good, he wants to look his absolute best.
He sighs and fights the urge to run his fingers through his hair. He still hasn’t achieved quite the effect he was going for, which was along the lines of careless James Dean charm. Or something. A button-up shirt with the top few buttons undone, tucked into tight jeans that hug his hips and highlight his ass.
Something feels off, though. Had he overdone it? Should he have left off the choker, toned down his eye makeup, chosen a different shirt? Jimin frowns at his reflection. He doesn’t have time to change again, Taehyung should be here any—
There’s a knock on the door.
Jimin’s heart leaps into his throat. He chokes out a coming and dashes to the couch. He grabs his phone and wallet, then sprints back down the hallway. He stuffs his feet into his favorite pair of black loafers and pulls the door open.
It’s funny how much things can change in just a year. This time, when he opens the door the person on the other side isn’t a handsome stranger, someone Jimin may never have met if not for some mixed up numbers. Now, Jimin is met with the bright smile of his handsome boyfriend.
“Hey, stranger,” Taehyung greets him anyway, because he’s a nerd. His eyes flicker down, taking in Jimin’s outfit. “You look good.”
“Thanks, so do you.” Jimin means for the words to be casual, confident and flirty, but instead they come out a little shy. Taehyung does look good, in wide-leg pants and a sweater that looks soft and expensive— and that same damn beret from the day they met. It looks just as infuriatingly good on him now as it did back then. Jimin bites back a smile.
“Happy anniversary,” Taehyung says, darting in to kiss Jimin’s cheek, and then holds something out. “I wanted to give you your present before we head out.”
Jimin shoots Taehyung an inquisitive look and takes the gift. He looks down. In his hands is a heart-shaped box of Ferrero Rochers. There’s a sticky note on the lid, with For my sweetheart written on it in that same scrawl from the note Jimin still keeps in his sock drawer.
A lump forms in Jimin’s throat. It’s a lovely gift, sweet and sentimental, but—
“Tae,” he says, heart heavy, an apology ready on his lips.
“It’s okay,” Taehyung says, waving him off. “I know you said you don’t actually like hazelnut, so I ate the Ferrero Rochers already.”
Jimin blinks and huffs out an incredulous laugh. “Thank you?”
“Go on, open it and take a look,” Taehyung says with a grin.
Jimin carefully pries the lid off and takes one of the foil balls out. Whatever is inside, Taehyung has painstakingly rewrapped the original foil around it, right down to sticking the label in place. Jimin frowns, curious and concentrated, and hands the box back to Taehyung so he can unwrap the foil.
Nestled inside is a chocolate, coated in white powdered sugar. Jimin pops it in his mouth.
“Oh,” he says, eyes widening in surprise.
It’s a champagne truffle. The flavor bursts on his tongue, smooth and divine and not at all what he was expecting.
“Do you like it?” Taehyung asks, earnest and hopeful.
“I love it,” Jimin says. He swallows, then reaches out to place a gentle hand on Taehyung’s jaw. He guides him down gives him a quick peck on his lips. “Thank you.”
Taehyung positively glows.
“I asked Jin hyung for a recommendation,” he says, proud and happy. “He promised me you’d like these.”
Jimin laughs. “Of course your brother would have good taste.” He kisses Taehyung once more before pulling away and taking the chocolates from his hands. “I’m just going to put these inside, and then we can head out.”
It doesn’t take long at all for Jimin to pop inside and put the chocolates on the counter. He pauses, debating whether or not he wants to pull his gift for Taehyung—a necklace with a tiger pendant—out of his wallet now to complete the exchange. No, he decides. He’ll wait to give it to Taehyung after dinner, like he’d planned.
When he comes back out, Taehyung is waiting with his hands in his pockets. He smiles as soon as he sees Jimin, and Jimin smiles back. He frees one of Taehyung’s hands and wraps the fingers around his own. Taehyung’s hands are warm, calloused but gentle.
“Come on,” he says, grinning and tugging on Taehyung’s hand. “Let’s go.”