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You Don't Have to Understand

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“I’m not sleeping alone tonight, there’s no way. Nope. No no, I can’t. Jimin, I can’t.” Taehyung babbles, eyes wide as he stares at the laptop screen, and clutches onto Jimin just a little too tightly.

“Ow – Ouch Tae,” Jimin hisses, making a move to pry his friend’s fingers from his arm, but he ends up squeezing Taehyung’s wrist instead, all in an attempt to quell his own rising fears. Sadly, it doesn't help.

Jimin and Taehyung both loved horror movies, but just because they loved them, didn’t mean that they weren’t incredibly sensitive to all things scary. In short, they were big babies, and they had an uncanny ability to freak themselves out. Scary movies were simultaneously the best, and the worst thing for the two.

Sometimes, the things you love the most can hurt you the most.

“Oh my god, why’d I agree to watch this, I have a test tomorrow, oh my god. I’m not gonna be able to sleep, oh my god. Did you see that, Tae? Oh my god.”

And so, the remainder of the movie was watched in such a fashion. Why are we watching this? I’m never doing this again. Ew, did you see that? And of course, there was a fair few holy fucks, and fuck thats sprinkled in there, and even the occasional fucking fuck that’s so fucking wrong no fucking way ohmygod what the actual fucking fuck just fucking happened.

And, because it’s Kim Taehyung and Park Jimin, even when the movie ended, it was only the beginning of their problems.

“Seriously, why do they do this? Why do they make the credits so scary, I mean come on.” Taehyung’s practically whining at this point, eyes still fixed on the laptop, butt still glued to the couch, and hands still gripping onto Jimin for dear life. Currently, the only light in their dorm came from the laptop screen, but it didn’t offer much comfort.

The faint light only casts menacing shadows on the walls, which maybe wouldn’t have been so scary if the music that played during the closing credits didn’t sound like it came straight from Satan’s own private orchestra.

“Turn on the light,” Jimin urges, nudging his friend. “Why’s the music getting louder? Turn on the light, Tae.”

“Why don’t you shut off the laptop - this creepy ass music is freaking me out.” Taehyung counters, returning the gesture, and elbowing Jimin as if to encourage him to get up. He was a supportive friend - always had been.

“I’ll shut off the laptop if you turn on the light.”

“I’ll turn on the light if you shut the laptop.”

Neither of them moved. The laptop sitting on the coffee table seemed to be too far away, and Jimin did not want to be the one to get off the couch first. To Taehyung, getting up to find the light switch was out of the question. Trying to find a light switch in the dark was just inviting a demon to snatch you up.

The sinister music grows more frantic, and whatever hellish instrument is being played makes Jimin want to plug his ears before they started bleeding.

“What even is this – what are they playing? Are they playing the violin with a table saw? It’s getting worse, Jimin please just shut off the laptop before I piss my pants.” Taehyung’s practically yelling at this point in order to be heard over the music, and he grips Jimin’s arm tightly, fingers pressing deeper into his skin as the music becomes more frenzied.

Jimin really doesn’t want to get up. In fact, he’s so scared of getting up that he’s considering just pushing Taehyung off the couch, and using him as a sacrifice to whatever creature may be lurking in their apartment. Now, that said a lot about just how scared he was, because he fucking loved Taehyung, and it would suck if he got eaten. Plus, the emotional scarring from watching your best friend getting gobbled up would be a whole other thing to deal with, and Jimin doesn’t know if he’s ready to deal with that just yet.

And that is why Jimin decided he had to shut off the laptop – for Taehyung.

He takes a deep breath in, and slowly rakes his fingers through his soft blonde hair in an attempt to calm himself. This couldn’t go on forever. Something had to be done. He had a test tomorrow, and no stupid movie was going to prevent him from writing it.

Not stopping to second guess himself, Jimin springs up from the couch. He takes two (yes, only two) steps to the coffee table, closes the laptop, and successfully silences the horrendous music while simultaneously plunging the entire room into complete and utter darkness.

Fuck. This was so much worse.

“Tae, turn on the light!” Jimin screams, whatever sliver of courage he had summoned, gone, just like that. He almost trips over himself as he scurries back to the couch; back to sanctuary.

“I can’t! It’s too dark, oh my god I’m so scared,” Taehyung tries to latch onto Jimin, but Jimin is having none of it.

“You dick stick – I shut off the laptop, so you have to turn on the light!”

“I don’t wanna get up, it’s so dark in here!”

They were full on screaming at each other, nothing but sheer panic and terror in each of their voices. Taehyung kept crying about how dark it was, and Jimin agreed, because yeah, it was fucking dark. But he was getting really fed up. They couldn’t stay stranded and scared on the couch all night.

“I know it’s dark! That’s why you need to turn on a li-” Jimin’s voice is cut off by the sound of knocking, and the sudden noise makes both boys screech; hitting notes they’d never hit before.

“What’s going on?” Taehyung grabs at Jimin’s hoodie, and Jimin nearly crawls onto Taehyung’s lap.

And then, there was the knocking again, and this time, it was louder.

“Taehyung? Jimin? Come on, Open up. What are you doing in there?”

The boys in question look at each other, then at the door, and even though they had just been clinging to the couch as if it was a lifeline, now they’re racing to the door as if it’s the Holy Grail. The voice on the other side of the door was a voice they recognized, and with the way Jimin and Taehyung were acting, it might as well have been the voice of God himself.

“Namjoon!” They both call out, relief flooding through their bodies and chasing away the last traces of fear. Jimin reaches the door first, flinging it open to welcome the hallway light that spilled into their room. And of course, he welcomed Namjoon, who appeared utterly dumbfounded as Jimin and Taehyung both throw their arms around him.

“Woah - what are you doing? And why’s it so dark in your apartment?” The oldest questions, allowing Jimin and Taehyung to hug him until he starts to wonder if they’re actually trying to suffocate him. Mildly concerned, he gently pushes them away.

“W-we were watching a scary movie and then it ended, but it didn’t really end because the music at the end was so scary and then we shut it off and it was so dark, and oh my god.” Taehyung pauses for a moment to catch his breath, before simply concluding with, “that was scary.”

“Ah, I see…” Namjoon murmurs, and even though he kind of wants to laugh at how ridiculous his two friends are (seriously, who else could make a horror movie into this big of an affair), he remains serious. He is an RA after all, and he had to do his job.

“Do you guys know what time it is?” Namjoon questions, but neither Jimin nor Taehyung answer. They simply lower their gazes, realizing that they were in trouble, and that Namjoon didn’t just show up because he knew the state of emergency they’d been in.

“It’s nearly two hours past quiet hours. I received a lot of complaints about how noisy you guys were being. I really don’t want to have to write you up, but this is the third time it’s happened…” He sighs, and shakes his head. “This is your last warning. Got it?”

The two younger boys nod earnestly, and Jimin finally finds the courage to look up at Namjoon. “Sorry, hyung. This’ll be the last time. Promise.”

“It better be.” Namjoon sighs again, because damn, being an RA could be exhausting (especially when you had Jimin and Taehyung on your floor). “Now get some sleep. Jimin, weren’t you complaining earlier today about how you have a huge test tomorrow?”

Jimin nods again, and replies in a contrite tone, “yeah, I do.”

“Well…good luck on it.” The eldest finally smiles, just enough to ease the tense atmosphere.

“Thanks, hyung.” Jimin smiles back, finding himself relaxing just from that small smile from the other.

“You’re welcome.” Namjoon fixes the pair with a pointed stare. “Now both of you, go to sleep.”

Taehyung nods emphatically, and throws an arm around Jimin’s shoulders. “Will do, we promise!” He flashes a grin Namjoon’s way, “night hyung - you’re the best! Sweet dreams!”

With a small nod in parting, Namjoon leaves, and only then does Taehyung finally flick on the light switch.

“Good thing Namjoon is an RA. Or else we’d be in some serious shit.” He points out, making his way to the kitchen to grab a glass of water. All that screaming really made him thirsty.

“No kidding…” Jimin trails slowly behind, but then glances to his bedroom door. Damn, he was tired. A little jittery, yeah. But so, so tired. “I’d better head to bed. I’ll leave my door unlocked so you can come in if you want.” He says, knowing that neither of them wanted to sleep alone after that movie.

Taehyung smiles, thankful for Jimin’s offer. Though, he would’ve crawled in with him even if he hadn’t offered. “Alright, I’ll be in after I change. That is the last time we watch Insidious, by the way.”

“Tae, you literally say that after every time we watch it.”

“Yeah but this time I mean it.”

And just like that, they’re giggling, Jimin throwing his head back in a fit of laughter, and Taehyung showing off his wide, boxy grin. There wasn’t much that was better than sharing a dorm with your best friend. To Jimin, the only thing better than sharing a dorm with your best friend was having Taehyung as a best friend. To Taehyung, the only thing better was having Jimin as a best friend.

They’d been inseparable since they met in elementary school, and they shared a friendship unlike any other. Even their closest friends; Jin, Yoongi, Namjoon, and Hoseok, all agreed that what Jimin and Taehyng had was… special. No, not just special. Unique. Or… perhaps another word for it could be… odd.

After all, there weren’t many people who could say they have sex with their best friend, and that it isn’t awkward afterwards. Jimin and Taehyung aren’t friends with benefits by any means, and they would never refer to their relationship as that. No, they were something else. They were best friends, and they sometimes had sex. But only sometimes.

No one else really understood how it worked, no one knew how there were no complications when it came to a friendship like that. But, for Jimin and Taehyung, it just worked. They loved each other as best friends, and nothing more than that. To them, it would be just weird to date, or to see the other in a romantic way. No one else understood, but it was okay, because no one else had to understand.

The only people who needed to understand were Jimin and Taehyung, and they both understand just fine.

Chapter Text

Jimin wakes up the next morning with a headache. His alarm, which seemed to be of an even more obnoxious pitch than usual, doesn't exactly help. It was all probably because he’d only gotten about 4 hours of sleep that night, since he and Taehyung kept freaking themselves out.

It was truly a wonder he got any sleep at all.

“What was that noise?”

“Did you hear that?”

“Oh my god, look over there, doesn’t it look like that spot’s getting darker?”

“Holy shit I think a demon just touched my foot.”

“Tae, that was me."

“What the fuck, why are your toenails so long, they feel like claws.”

“What are you talking about, they aren’t even long.”

“Well then it was a demon, unless you have talons for toenails.”

Yeah, they were ridiculous.

Jimin groans, and glances over to Taehyung, who was unsurprisingly still fast asleep. The lucky bastard didn’t have to be up for another couple hours. What a jerk. Silently cursing his best friend for having the audacity to suggest watching Insidious last night (it’s not like Jimin could have turned down the offer, that would just be silly), the blonde forces himself to sit up. It was a good thing tomorrow was Friday, because Jimin had a feeling that it would take another couple nights to get over the movie, and to return to his regular sleep schedule. Stupid movie.

Not bothering to stifle a yawn, Jimin finally grabs his phone, and silences the alarm. The sound of silence is what wakes Kim Taehyung up. Of course. “Mm?” He peeks his eyes open halfway, looks at Jimin, then closes them again. “Morning. You heading out?”

Jimin reaches his hands above his head, stretching his arms high in an attempt to shake away the sleep. “Yeah. Jin hyung has a test today too, so we agreed to meet up early and study together.” Even though Jimin was jealous that he couldn’t stay in bed and sleep a little longer while his friend could, he couldn’t help but smile. He had the cutest best friend ever. Taehyung’s hair was a mess, with chestnut brown tresses sticking up every which way, and the way he cocooned himself inside the blanket was oh so endearing.

As Jimin half admires and half curses his sleepy friend (seriously, he’d do anything to go back to sleep too), Taehyung reaches out, and gives Jimin’s leg a gentle pat. “Good luck. Ace it.”

“I’ll need all the luck I can get. Hopefully I don’t have flashbacks from last night while I’m trying to write the test.” Jimin muses, finally making himself get out of bed. He walks over to his dresser and grabs some clothes, changing while Taehyung rolls over.

“Hey, so I know this is out of the blue…” Taehyung is cut off momentarily by his own yawn, “but do you maybe wanna have sex tonight? I was gonna ask last night, but I was too freaked out to get freaky, if you know what I mean.” Taehyung’s eyes are still closed when he asks, and Jimin snickers, walking back over to the bed once he’s dressed, just so he can flick the other boy in the forehead.

“Yeah, sure. When’s the last time you got laid?” They had only started having sex the summer after their senior year in high school, and it was never about having sex just for the sake of having sex. It was different. When they had sex with each other, they never felt shitty afterwards, because they never felt like they were an object being used. They valued each other as people, not as a means of getting off.

Sure, they both liked, and engaged in, casual sex with other people too. But when neither of them wanted to have meaningless sex with a stranger, they had each other. Maybe it was weird, and maybe something like that would never work with another pair of best friends. With Jimin and Taehyung though, it just made sense. Besides, it’s not like they had sex all the time. First and foremost, they were friends, and they both knew that. Their friendship was based off of so much more than sex, so what was the point in fucking all the time if they didn’t have to?

“Umm…last time was like more than a month ago - with that random dude from the club.” Recalling the memory from that night, Taehyung finally opens his eyes. “I mean, he definitely turned me off of sex for a while.”

“I remember that,” Jimin laughs, his attention still fully on Taehyung, even as he leaves his bedroom so that he can wash up. “You bitched about it for like a solid two weeks.” He calls from the bathroom.

“Well can you blame me? I mean, he took me to his parents’ house. But did I know that? Nope. So, was I trying to be quiet? Nope. Meanwhile he’s just got this blank expression and is literally not making one sound. Not a peep Jimin, not a single peep did this dude let out while I fucked him into the mattress. And the dolls – he had so many dolls. All of them just watching me, like what was that about? I bitched about him for a solid two weeks, because I couldn’t sleep after all that for a solid two weeks.”

“You say it like it was the creepiest thing ever, but you still finished.”

“Shut up, I was drunk and horny… Oh my god, and then his mom knocks on the door and asks me to leave. Sweet lady, super nice, she even had the decency to wait until we were done. But it was so awkward.” Taehyung shakes his head, and sinks deeper into the mattress, as if recounting the story had exhausted him. “Anyway, when’s the last time you got some?”

Jimin returns to his bedroom, toothbrush in his mouth, and thankfully, feeling a bit more awake. “Hmm… I guess close to a month for me too. When I still had a thing with Taeyong.”

“Ah yes, before you realized that he was a dick, like your friends kept telling you all along. Yoongi was so pissed when you guys kept fucking, even after we had that intervention with you.”

“Hey, we all make mistakes,” Jimin mumbles around the toothbrush, and then heads to the bathroom to spit. “The only reason you didn’t like him was because he didn’t laugh at your jokes when you met him.”

“Do I need any other reason?”

Jimin returns to his bedroom, laughing. “I guess not. Anyway, I gotta go. See you later?” He grabs his backpack, and slings it over his shoulder.

“Yeah, you gonna be at lunch with everyone?”

“Jin hyung said he’d buy me food since I’m studying with him early, so yeah.”

“What? Luckyyy. Sneak something for me?” Taehyung tries to appeal to Jimin by smiling sweetly.

“Mm, maybe. Probably won’t though.”

“What? Why so rude?”

“Payback for you making me watch that movie.” Jimin quips.

“Make? Make? Oh Jimin, I didn’t make you do anything. You loved it.”

“You know what else I love?” Jimin pauses, and fixes Taehyung with an exaggeratedly sweet stare. “You.”

“Bro,” Taehyung gasps, dramatically slapping a hand over his own heart as if he’d been shot, and the smile that Jimin gives him lights up his face.

“Bro.”

---

 

“No,” Jin says, and slaps Taehyung’s hand away – a hand that had been blatantly trying to steal fries from Jimin’s plate.

“Ow – what was that for?” Taehyung whines, rubbing the back of his hand, and pouting in Jin’s direction.

“Those fries are for Jimin. If you come study with me early in the morning, maybe I’ll buy you fries too.” The eldest explains, meanwhile Jimin just smiles innocently at Taehyung from across the table, and gives his shoulders a shrug as if to say “what do you want me to do?”

“So… if I come study with you early one morning will you buy me fries?” Taehyung asks, hope evident in his voice.

 “No.” Jin replies immediately, as if he’d been expecting that question. “I can’t just go around buying whoever studies with me food – I know I’m handsome, but do I look like I’m made of money?”

“Your parents probably sleep on a mattress stuffed with money, what are you talking about.” Yoongi murmurs, and Taehyung’s expression brightens, glad he seemed to have someone on his side.

“My parents may have money…but still, do I look like I’m made of money? You know what, don’t answer that. I probably do.”

“I mean you do dress pretty nicely,” Hoseok muses, offering Taehyung a few fries from his own plate, which was a gesture happily accepted by the younger.

“At least someone here has a heart. Can’t say the same for you two,” Taehyung narrows his eyes at Jimin and Jin, but Jimin simply carries on eating the free fries he’d earned, a smug smile painted on his face. 

“I do have a heart. It’s just not made of gold. And thank you Hoseok, glad someone around here appreciates my sense of fashion.” Jin looks satisfied, and reaches across the table to shake Hoseok’s hand.

“I appreciate it, but I just never say anything about it, because I don’t want your ego to get even bigger than it already is.” Jimin hums, apparently momentarily forgetting where his fries had come from.

“Park Jimin, I gave you those fries, I can take them away from you too.” Jin warns, and that was all it took to shut Jimin up.

“Frankly, I’m surprised you two are so lively right now,” Namjoon says, nodding to Taehyung and Jimin. “Thought you would’ve headed back to your dorm for a nap instead of coming for lunch.”

“Why? Could you hear them fucking last night?” Yoongi questions in a way that suggested he wouldn’t be at all surprised if that was indeed the case.

“Oh come on – while I’m eating?” Hoseok sighs, pushing his plate away, and Taehyung takes that as an invitation to finish off his scraps.

“What, you know they do it.” Jin shrugs.

“Yeah, but they’re like, my little brothers. So cute and innocent…” Sure, Hoseok knew that Jimin and Taehyung had sex, but that didn’t mean he wanted to think about two of his good friends getting it on.

“Hah – innocent? Didn’t Jimin tell you about what he and Taeyong did? Guess where they-” Taehyung’s words were cut off, and he grimaces from the not-so-subtle kick that Jimin had delivered to his shin.

Jin pauses a moment to think, and then his eyes brighten, “ah, are you talking about that time where they-” Jimin jabs his elbow into Jin’s side, but only earns himself an elbow right back.

“What do you think you’re doing - don’t elbow me, I’m older than you. You can’t just go around elbowing your hyungs – especially not when they give you free food. Where are your manners, really.” He may have been the oldest, but he didn’t act like it most of the time.

 “Jimin doesn’t tell Hoseok about his sex stories, remember?” Yoongi points out as he leans back in his chair, evidently amused by their antics. “Too explicit.”

 “What, you want to hear them? You want to hear about how our babies do…things.” Hoseok questions, appearing to be horrified that everyone else seemed to want to hear about the sex lives of the two youngest ones in their friend group. He would much rather continue living under the illusion that Jimin and Taehyung were adorable, pure little angels who didn’t even know what sex was.

“I never said I wanted to hear about it. It’s not like I beg them to dish or anything. But you should hear some of the stories they have. Like that time Taehyung was with the dude with the doll fetish.” Yoongi shakes his head, snickering.

“Hey – that sounds weird. I mean, it was weird, but not as weird as you’re making it sound. We didn’t do anything with the dolls. They just watched.” Taehyung corrects, and before he continues on, Hoseok presses his palms against his ears in order to block out whatever vulgarity ensued.

“Not listening, nope,” he starts to hum to himself, a happy tune proclaiming the merits of innocence and youth, and one that successfully prevents him from hearing the rest of Taehyung’s story.

 “Anyway,” Namjoon finally brings everyone’s attention back to him, reaching out to pull Hoseok’s hands away from his ears to let him know that it was safe to listen again. “They were watching a movie.” Hoseok seems to be relieved by those words, and listens to the rest of what Namjoon had to say without fear. “I had to knock on their door and tell them to stop screaming. I’ve never had so many noise complaints to deal with - not even when someone’s throwing a party. You guys are lucky I came to get you instead of Junmyeon.” Junmyeon, the other RA who lived with Namjoon, wasn’t a bad guy by any means. In fact, everyone really liked him, but he wouldn’t have simply let Jimin and Taehyung off with a warning – not considering this wasn’t the first time they had to be told to quiet down.

“Yeah, you’re right…especially since Jimin literally broke one of his best friends.” Taehyung says, absentmindedly picking at the leftover food on Hoseok’s plate.

“Hey– I did not! It was an accident. We were having a dance off – we were both drunk out of our minds…it’s not my fault Kai ended up falling off the table and breaking his ankle…” Jimin lowers his gaze and picks at the fraying ends of his sweater. He felt bad about the whole situation still, and always felt a pang of guilt when he saw Kai walking down the hallway with his crutches. That was the last time Jimin would ever challenge anyone to a drunk dance off.

Noticing that he may have accidentally mentioned something he shouldn’t have, Taehyung gently nudges Jimin underneath the table as if to apologize. Jimin perks up a bit at that, and nudges him back to reassure him that he was okay.

“Wait, a movie? Don’t tell me you guys were watching Insidious again,” Yoongi says, redirecting everyone’s attention once again. “I should’ve known. Jimin texted me at like three in the morning asking for calming piano music suggestions.”

“Yeah, and you didn’t even reply, you jerk.”

Yoongi just shrugs.

“Are you kidding? Don’t you guys ever get sick of that movie?” Jin questions, eyes wide as if he had been personally offended. Hoseok’s just laughing, bright and chipper, because Jimin and Taehyung being so scared that their screams woke up their whole floor sounded extremely pure and adorable.

From there, the conversation turns into Jimin and Taehyung defending their choice of movie, and everyone else attacking them mercilessly. Well, everyone except for Hoseok. He was just happy his babies were acting like babies.

 

---

 

Jimin gets back to the dorm room later that evening, having spent most of his time after his classes in the library. It was only just over a month into the semester, but there was always something to study for, always readings to do, and notes to take. Jimin hated feeling like he was lagging behind, so he always made sure he was caught up on his work. It let him breathe easier.

“Hey,” Taehyung greets from where he sat at the table, his eyes leaving his laptop screen just for a moment so he can smile at Jimin. “I’m just gonna finish this up quick, then let’s make some food. I’m starving.” Taehyung may not have been as studious as Jimin, but he still always managed to get his work done (he’d been putting off this particular assignment for a couple weeks, and it was literally due at midnight that night). Jimin never understood how his friend could live like that.

“Just take your time, Tae. I’ll make us some ramen.” He offers, happy to help in any way that he could – even if it was just a little thing like making dinner.

“Living with you has its perks,” Taehyung teases, though he really is grateful for the gesture. Now he could take some time to hopefully make his paper a little less shitty.

As he shuffles around the kitchen, Jimin mumbles something about poisoning Taehyung’s ramen, but he doesn’t say much else after that. He just lets his friend do his work, and focuses on making them dinner.

They eat when Taehyung claims that he’s done his assignment (Jimin doesn’t really think he’s done, he thinks Taehyung just wants to eat, but he still serves him a bowl anyway), and after dinner, Taehyung takes it upon himself to do the dishes, since Jimin had been nice enough to cook.

“Hey, what are you doing tomorrow? It’s the weekend, and I wanna go to the club. We haven’t been out in forever.” Taehyung says, back turned to Jimin as he washes the dishes.

“What do you mean? We literally went out last weekend, Tae.” Jimin shakes his head and laughs. “Or were you too drunk to remember?”

“No, I remember – but that was a house party. Clubs are completely different, they’re not the same at all. Different vibes.”

“If you say so…should I text Jin hyung and ask him to DD for us?” Jimin picks up his phone, looking to Taehyung for his answer.

“You can ask him, but I think he’ll wanna come out with us instead,” Taehyung wipes his hands dry, and then pulls his phone out of his pocket. “I’ll text the group chat.” He sits across from Jimin at the table, typing away on his phone.

 

[To: Jin, Yoongi, Namjoon, Hoseok, Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Taehyung: Any of you losers staying in tomorrow night?

 

He grins at his phone screen, and barely even has to wait a full five seconds before he gets a reply.

 

[To: Jin, Yoongi, Namjoon, Hoseok, Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Jin: Just because this is over text doesn’t mean you can be so damn cheeky

Hoseok: Are you guys going out dancing??

Hoseok: I’m coming :) :) :)

Jin: Don’t condone his blatant lack of respect

Taehyung: Loser-hyung is offended

Jin: You’re walking down a very dangerous road

Taehyung: I like to live on the edge

Jimin: That’s why you submitted your paper four hours before it was due

Yoongi: Only Jimin would classify that as living on the edge

Jimin: Sorry for wanting to live a long and prosperous life

Yoongi: Yeah, can’t relate

Hoseok: Well that was DARK :) :) 

Jin: Like Taehyung’s future

Jimin: HAHAHAHAH

Taehyung: WTFFFF why do you hate me today :(

Jin: It isn’t just today

Hoseok: :

Yoongi: Yeah Jin, who pissed in your kimchi

Jin: School’s ripping me a new one and I’m taking my anger out on my friends, let me cope my way. I don’t tell you how to do your job.

Taehyung: …But it isn’t your job

Jin: I should’ve slapped your hand harder today at lunch

Jimin: Sooo does that mean you can’t go out, Jin?

Jin: Yes. I must stay in and slave away at my assignments. Can’t afford to be hungover and lose a day of productivity.

Jimin: Sooo will you DD? Pretty please, I’ll make it worth your while ;)

Yoongi: What the fuck

Jin: Food?

Jimin: Food.

Jin: Alright fine. Who else is coming?

Hoseok: I am!

Taehyung: Meeeeee

Yoongi: Eh what the hell. I’m in.

Taehyung: RA-hyung?

Hoseok: He’s probably studying

Taehyung: What a Role Model™

Taehyung: RM Hyung

Taehyung: Why aren’t any of you other hyungs studying jeez

Jin: Kim Taehyung do you want a ride or not

Taehyung: Yes. I realize my mistake, and sincerely regret my words. To all who I have offended, I am deeply sorry.

Jimin: Then why are you laughing right now

Taehyung: Jimin shut up

 

They text like that for a while longer before the chat dies down, and Jimin decides to put his phone off to the side. He was starting to get tired, so if Taehyung still wanted to have sex, Jimin thought they should probably do it soon. “Tae,” he hums, prompting the other to glance up from his phone screen.

“Hm? Sorry I was just texting - Namjoon just replied, he can’t go out either. Too much to study for apparently.” Taehyung turns his attention back to his phone, still texting someone. Judging by the look on his face, he was antagonizing Jin.

“Tae,” Jimin tries again, this time nudging him with his foot. This succeeds in getting his friend’s full attention, and he puts his phone down while cocking his head to the side.

“What’s up?”

Jimin raises an eyebrow as if that alone was enough to clue him in (which it should’ve been), but when he was only met with a confused stare, he sighs and rolls his eyes. “Do you still wanna have sex tonight or not?”

Taehyung’s expression immediately changes, his eyes lighting up and an excited smile forming on his lips, and if that wasn’t enough of an indicator, he nods his head fervently too. “Yes – if you’re still up for it, I mean.”

“Rock paper scissors? Winner gets to pick top or bottom.” Jimin holds out his hand, ready.

“Fine, then loser gets to pick whose room.”

“What? No, that’s not fair, we did it at my place last time. It’s your bed’s turn.”

“Jimin that was like two months ago. We gotta start fresh.”

“Fine, whatever. Let’s go.”

“Prepare to get destroyed – and I’m not just talking about at rock paper scissors.”

“Oh my god, Tae.”

 

Chapter Text

It was Friday night – officially the weekend, and the group of friends were gathered at Jin’s off campus apartment. Namjoon was there too; he and Jin decided to study together while the others went out, but at the moment, there was certainly no studying getting done.

Yoongi, Hoesok, Jimin, and Taehyung, were getting their pre-drink on, so it was pretty much impossible not to pay attention to them. 

"Another round of drinks, bartender,” Jimin grins at Namjoon, and waves his hand in the air dismissively. “Make it a double.” He was already pretty damn drunk, and was at the stage where anything and everything made him giggle.

So, when Taehyung sidles on over to him and leans against the kitchen counter with a dopey smile on his face, Jimin is already giggling before he says anything.

“Hey. You come here often?” Taehyung is still smiling at Jimin, eyes half closed in an attempt to hit him with a seductive stare. He just ends up looking a little sleepy. “Lemme buy you a drink.”

Jimin is laughing so hard that he’s nearly squeaking, but that laughter is quick to die down once Namjoon speaks.

“I don’t think either of you need another drink right now. Why don’t you slow down, Jin’s not driving you to the club for another couple hours.” He points out, and while he did find his drunk friends to be quite entertaining, he still had to look out for them.

“What? Are you - are you cutting us off?” Jimin pouts. “Hyung, the whole point of drinking here is so we can drink as much as we want, so we don’t have to pay for drinks at the club. Drinks are expensive.”

Taehyung also finds the whole situation to be quite unfair, and he makes it known by stomping his feet in a manner that was more adorable than intimidating. “Bartender hyunggggg.”

The two younger ones are relentless, and continue in their efforts to convince Namjoon that they could handle another drink just fine, and that their words weren’t slurring because they were drunk, they were slurring because they wanted them to slur.

Namjoon isn’t quite as gullible as drunk Jimin and Taehyung seem to think he is.

The commotion attracts Yoongi’s attention, and he gets up from the couch where he had been having a debate with Jin and Hoseok regarding whether or not a hot dog was a sandwich (it obviously wasn’t, who the fuck would honestly say otherwise?).

“What are you guys whining about now? And if it has anything to do with what constitutes a sandwich, I don’t wanna hear it.” Yoongi remarks, drink in hand, but much more composed than Jimin and Taehyung.

“Hyung!” Jimin flings his arms around Yoongi, and Yoongi takes it, seemingly unfazed, merely holding his drink away from himself to avoid any spillage. “Namjoon won’t let us have another drink.” Jimin does his best to appeal to Yoongi by giving him his signature puppy dog eyes, because in Jimin’s drunk mind, no one could resist that. Not even Min Yoongi. “Will you make me one? Please?”

Namjoon and Yoongi share a look, and Taehyung notices it.

“Jimin! Back away from him – they’re conspiring against us,” Taehyung grabs Jimin’s wrist, and pulls him away from Yoongi. “They’re gonna make us drink water or something – they’re trying to sober us up! Don’t listen to them!”

Jimin appears hurt by the notion of being betrayed like that, and he is quick to cling on to Taehyung instead. How could their hyungs be so cruel?

“Would having a shot of water really be that bad?” Namjoon asks, trying and failing to keep his lips from curling upwards in amusement.

Taehyung gasps, “are – are you kidding? Giving us water when we ask for alcohol?” He holds Jimin to his chest as if he was trying to shield him from the horrors of the world. “Where are your morals? That’s like asking for Coke and getting Pepsi.”

Yoongi snickers, and tries to get a word in, “I don’t know if it’s-”

“-It is! It is like that,” Taehyung cuts him off before anything else can be said, not willing to hear whatever blasphemy was about to be spoken.  “Come on Jimin. Let’s go.” And with that, the pair clumsily make their way to the couch, hugging one another the whole way.

“You guys aren’t even going to make it to the club, are you?” Jin sighs, and he motions for Hoseok to move over so they can make room on the couch.

 Jimin and Taehyung flop down next to them, giggling as Jimin somehow ends up perched on top of Taehyung’s chest.

“What’re you saying, Jin-hyung? Believe in us. Believe, and you can achieve. I’m sober as a jug,” Jimin slurs, a self-satisfied smile surfacing on his lips.

“It’s a judge. Sober as a judge, Jimin.” Jin sighs, and mutters something about how kids shouldn’t be allowed to drink.

Hoseok just laughs, “sober as a jug of jungle juice, maybe.” Sure, he was pretty tipsy himself, but Jimin and Taehyung were on another level.

“I believe in us. M’ not even drunk,” Taehyung sits up suddenly, nearly dumping Jimin onto the floor, but even in his drunken state, he somehow manages to wrap his arms around his waist and pull him onto his lap instead. “See? Could a drunk person do that?”

Jimin shakes his head enthusiastically, and since his head feels so light at the moment, he keeps shaking it for longer than any sober (or sane) person should.

“Nuh-uh. A drunk person could not do that. And do I look drunk to you?” He lazily drapes his arms over Taehyung’s shoulders, and leans down so their foreheads are pressed together. He pries his eyes open with his fingers, making them as wide as he can, so that Taehyung can properly examine them, and testify that he was indeed sober.

“Oh my god, you guys better not do anything kinky on my couch.” Jin grumbles, grabbing Jimin’s arm to pull him off of Taehyung.

“W-what?!” Hoseok nearly spits out his drink.

“Ew, Jin-hyung,” Jimin scrunches up his nose, but allows himself to be pulled away from Taehyung. “We had sex yesterday.”

“Guys please,” Hoseok groans, but it was too late. The illusion of purity was shattered for the time being. He gets up to make himself a stronger drink.

“Yeah! It would be weird to do it again tonight.” Taehyung adds as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. He’s about to say something else, until he notices Hoseok getting up to make a drink.

Taehyung gets up, and follows behind him nonchalantly, figuring that if anyone would cave in and let him have another drink, it would be Hoseok.

Yoongi takes up Taehyung’s spot on the couch, and plops down next to Jimin. “Yeah… that would just be weird. Preposterous, even.” He deadpans, and everyone besides Jimin and Taehyung chuckle.

They didn’t understand those two, and they knew they never would.

Those two had their own little world with their own rules, and understanding all of it would probably be impossible, so they didn’t try to. They just went with the flow, because that was all they could do.

“It would be,” Jimin whines. “Taehyung’s not my boyfriend, ew.”

“I know, I know.” Yoongi murmurs, patting the top of Jimin’s head. “I was just teasing.”

Jimin sighs, and stays silent for a moment, his head lolling to the side, and finding Jin’s shoulder. “I think I want a boyfriend.” He mumbles.

The alcohol had officially taken over

Jin and Yoongi stare at each other, wide eyed, and Yoongi raises his hand, snapping his fingers in the air. “Somebody, get this kid some water, stat.”

"Hyung nooo.”

“I can’t believe that Jimin – the Park Jimin – is talking about wanting a boyfriend. Somebody write this down, document this occasion.” Jin looks around, perhaps trying to find a stenographer.

“Why – why’re you guys being so mean to me?” Jimin pouts, head still resting on Jin’s shoulder. He really didn’t understand why his friends were making this into such a big deal. 

“Jimin, you bring up how you want to be single forever at least once a week.” Yoongi points out.

“At least,” Jin nods.

“That’s because everyone’s an asshole, and I can’t find anyone I actually like." Jimin huffs, "I’m gonna be alone forever.” Jin takes that as his cue to get up and get Jimin some water.

It was going to be a long night if Jimin was already whining about needing a boyfriend.

With Jin momentarily gone, Jimin leans his head against Yoongi instead. His shoulder was a bit bonier, but it would do just fine. “Hyung, what’s wrong with me?”

It’s not like Jimin didn’t have anyone interested in him –  if he really wanted a boyfriend, he could have one. The problem was, Jimin was pretty damn picky, and he didn't want just anyone.

The problem was, Jimin was amazing, and so he deserved someone amazing.

The problem was, Jimin was convinced that he already knew the only amazing people left in the world, and they were all his best friends.

Too bad he couldn’t date his best friends.

Yoongi sighs. It was too early in the night to be dealing with this. Still, he didn’t want Jimin to have a shitty night – he had to cheer him up.

“Nothing’s wrong with you, Jimin. You’re just…selective. And hey, that’s not a bad thing. Just means you’re careful about who you wanna give your time to. Trust me. You’re a catch. Someone like you doesn’t stay single unless they have a good reason for it.”

“A... a catch?” Jimin murmurs, lifting his head just slightly so Yoongi could see the quizzical look on his face.

“Yeah,” the older chuckles, “a catch. You know, like if someone was fishing and they caught you, they wouldn’t throw you back in the water.”

Jimin tilts his head to the side. “So…I’m a fish? You’re calling me a nice fish?” He was genuinely curious, genuinely wanting to get to the bottom of this, as if figuring out what kind of fish he was would somehow tell him why he was single, and how he could get a boyfriend.

Drunk Jimin was so adorable, but could also be so annoying. Yoongi loves him anyway.

“Yes, Jimin, you’re a nice fish. A big fish. Like I said, a catch.”

“Well…” Jimin’s sitting up straight now, facing Yoongi. “What kind of fish? Like, a salmon? Tuna?”

Yoongi is starting to love him a little less.

Thankfully, Jin arrives right then with Jimin’s water, and it distracts him from the whole fish conversation.

“Hyung, I don’t want water.”

Jin holds the glass out to him, stern. “I’m the one driving you tonight. No water, no ride. Look - Taehyung’s even drinking water now,” Jin points to the kitchen.

“He made me do it, Jimin, they threatened me!” Taehyung calls from where he stands, surrounded by Hoseok and Namjoon, who seemed to be encouraging the youngest to drink the rest of his water.

Jimin looks to his friend, then back at Jin. He takes the glass of water. “Fine.”

---

“A pineapple!”

“Taehyung, we’ve already established that it’s an animal.” Yoongi snorts, half-heartedly wishing that Taehyung wasn’t on his team. This was charades – a cutthroat competition, and having Taehyung on his team gave him a significant disadvantage.

“Oh – right, um...” Taehyung squints at Namjoon, and tries to decipher what the hell he was acting out. “A… a whale – no wait, a banana!”

“Is a banana an animal - he’s not a fucking fruit!” Yoongi snaps, and everyone else laughs.

Jimin, Hoseok, and Jin, are jumping up and down, taunting Taehyung and Yoongi from the sidelines, and trying to keep them from guessing the correct answer.

“It’s a… one of those things - it’s a.” A grin splits Taehyung’s face, and he points his finger excitedly. “One of those things – that dinosaur that isn’t extinct! A – a giraffe!”

Namjoon immediately stops acting. Part of it is because Taehyung had guessed correctly, but even if that wasn’t the right answer, Namjoon wouldn’t have been able to continue acting. He was laughing way too hard.

Who refers to a giraffe as that dinosaur that isn’t exctinct?

Only Kim Taehyung.

Everyone’s in hysterics, but no one’s laughing harder than Jimin is. Taehyung had always had the ability to make him completely lose himself in a fit of laughter.

It was later on in the night, and Jimin had forgotten all about wanting a boyfriend. He and Taehyung had been drinking water under the supervision of their hyungs, and they had eventually been permitted to drink alcohol again, since they had been compliant, and had settled down quite a bit.

But now, they’re as drunk as they had been before, and everyone’s having a good time, and Jimin’s happy.

He feels so, so happy, and he doesn’t need anyone else, because he has his friends. At least, that’s what he tells himself.

And, before he even knew it, it was almost time for them to leave.

 “Alright kids, we’re leaving in five. Make sure you have everything – and go pee, even if you don’t think you have to go.” Jin announces once the laughter had died down, and he fixes Taehyung with a pointed stare, “especially you.” 

“When you gotta go you gotta go,” Taehyung hums, wagging a finger in Jin’s direction as if he was teaching him a valuable life lesson.

“Yeah well, I’m not letting you pee out of my car this time,” Jin warns, and even in Taehyung’s drunken state, he knows this was something that simply shouldn’t be debated.

“Yeah,” Jimin hiccups, the same smile he’d been wearing pretty much all night still prominent as ever. “Listen to mom. No peeing out of moving vehicles.”

Jimin felt good – he felt like he was on top of the world, and now all he wanted to do was get lost in the music and dance with his friends.

Tonight, was bound to be amazing. He could feel it.

After everyone had gone to the bathroom and collected their belongings, they stumble out of Jin’s apartment building, and squeeze into his car. Yoongi sat up front, while Hoseok sat in the back in between Taehyung and Jimin. Namjoon stays in Jin’s apartment, since there was no room for him in the car, and no real need for him to accompany them anyway.

“Are you ready to partayyyyy?” Taehyung whoops over the clicking of everyone’s seatbelts. “Turn up!”

“I wanna dance so bad,” Jimin squirms in his seat, and this prompts Hoseok to launch into an awful rendition of “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga. Taehyung and Jimin are quick to join in, and they haven’t even pulled out onto the street yet, but Jin already knew it was going to be a long, long car ride.

“I’m not drunk enough for this. Where’s your aux cord?” Yoongi murmurs, and Jin hands it to him wordlessly.

 Yoongi plugs in his phone, turns up the volume as loud as Jin would let him, and plays a song to drown out the three in the back. Of course, this just makes them go wild, but Yoongi doesn’t really care, not as long as he can’t hear them.

At some point during the car ride, Jimin leans forward and tugs at Yoongi’s shirt, grabbing his attention and motioning for him to turn the music down.

“Jin-hyung,” he says once he can be heard over the music, his voice carrying a bubbly lilt. “Will you take us through a drive-thru when you pick us up? I’ll buy you something,” he bats his eyelashes sweetly. Jin sees it in the rear-view mirror, and he can’t help but laugh.

“Food! I want a burger – oh my god, please hyung.” Taehyung clasps his hands together, “please please please.”

“I just want Sprite,” Hoseok hums dreamily, and even though he’s excited to go out dancing, it seems he’s already looking forward to the drive back.

Jin sighs, “aish, so needy. Fine. But you guys better be out when I come to pick you up. Don’t make me wait.”

They all nod earnestly, promising to be outside, ready for him the second he pulled up.

---

Jimin didn’t know how many more drinks he’d had at the club, he had no idea where his friends were, and he most certainly did not know what time it was.

All he knew was that he was currently pushed up against a wall, making out with some really hot dude, and it felt really damn good. He has his arms wrapped around the guy’s neck, and his body pressed flush against him.

Their kisses are hungry, and pretty damn sloppy, but Jimin was so caught up in the heat of the moment, and he had no shame in admitting that he enjoyed every sloppy second.

The only thing Jimin loved more, was when the guy pressed his lips against his ear to ask if he could take him home.

Yeah, he sure could.

In that moment, hooking up seemed like a really good idea. Not only would it be fun, but it seemed like a sure-fire way to expel any pesky thoughts about wanting a boyfriend, because this was just casual sex. 

He didn't need anything else, at least, that's what he kept telling himself.

“Follow me,” Jimin smiles coyly, and takes the guy’s hand, eagerly tugging him through the crowd.

It’s not like he could just leave without telling his friends first.

It doesn’t take long for Jimin to spot the other three – Taehyung’s deep voice was distinct even in the midst of the loud music; his whooping and hollering drawing his attention.

Both him and Yoongi were jumping up and down, hyping up Hoseok, who was putting his best dance moves on display for everyone that was beginning to form a circle around him.

For a fleeting moment, Jimin wants to stay and dance with them; to submit himself to the flashing lights, and to surrender himself to the music that's so loud that he can feel the bass vibrating through him. He wants to throw his head back and let his eyelids fall shut, to listen to the music with his body, and to let the last tequila shots he'd had take full hold of him.

But then he feels the guy squeezing his hand, and the only thing he wants now is to get out of there and get into bed with him.

“Tae!” Jimin grabs his friend’s attention, and the minute Taehyung sees him, he’s smiling even wider, and rushing over to greet him.

“Jimin! What’s up? Where’s that dude? We left you cause’ it looked like you were having fun with – oh,” he finally spots the guy Jimin’s holding hands with, and he wiggles his eyebrows suggestively. “Hello there.”

“Stop,” Jimin giggles, playfully slapping Taehyung’s chest. He can’t find it in himself to feel embarrassed though, not when he’s this drunk and this horny. “I’m gonna go back to his place, okay? I’ll see you in the morning!” 

“Wait wait wait.” Taehyung’s smile falters, and Jimin snorts at the facial expression that replaces it.

Taehyung was drunk, obviously drunk, so the serious façade that he was trying to put on just looked comical.

“Lemme talk to him first,” Taehyung announces in a voice that was even deeper than usual - was he trying to be intimidating?

Jimin just thinks it’s hilarious.    

Before Jimin can say anything though, Taehyung is guiding the guy Jimin wants to go home with off to the side, so that they can have a very serious (and very drunk) conversation.

The talk doesn’t last very long, and when the other two return to Jimin, neither of them are frowning, or bruised and bloody.

Jimin takes that as a good sign.

“Alright, you can go. Have fun – see you tomorrow!” Taehyung grins, and then throws a wink Jimin’s way. “Go get 'em, tiger.”

 

Outside of the club as they wait for a cab (and take a break from another make out session), the guy tells Jimin that Taehyung had been interviewing him – apparently to see whether or not he was someone who could be trusted.

Of course Taehyung had been looking out for him. He always did.

“You have good friends, you know.”

Jimin smiles, and simply answers, “I know.”

Chapter Text

Jimin decides that he has officially hit a new low. Sure, he’s had his occasional one-night stands, and sure, this isn’t the first time he’s had to make the walk of shame back to his dorm room.

However, this is certainly the first time he has downloaded Tinder during the walk back to his dorm, just so he can start looking for another hookup.

Jimin’s not new to Tinder – he’d made an account a while back, but then deleted the app after realizing that he would probably never find a boyfriend on it, because all the guys he went on dates with were just not what he was looking for. Like, at all.

This time around, Jimin’s not looking to go on dates, though. He just really wants sex. He’d pretty much given up on getting a boyfriend.

He doesn’t exactly know what brought on his sudden desire to look for random hookups, maybe it’s because he had a lot of fun last night, and is just still really horny. Maybe he’s stressed about school, and just wants to fuck the stress away. Maybe it’s because despite having a lot of fun last night, with his friends, and with the guy he’d gone back with, he still feels…empty.

Whatever the case, Jimin’s already got 4 matches by the time he makes it home.

Yeah, an all-time low.

“Jimin?” Taehyung calls upon hearing the door open, but he doesn’t move from his spot on the couch. “Oh my god, I’m so hungover, holy shit. I feel like ass.”

Jimin’s not exactly feeling great either, but he certainly seemed to be in better shape than his friend. “Jeez, Tae. What happened to you?” He laughs faintly, though he’s mildly concerned. He’s never seen Taehyung look so…awful.

Granted, to Jimin, Taehyung always looked good, always looked adorable, because his best friend was just goddamn beautiful, okay.

But right now, Taehyung just looked rough.

“The alcohol, Jimin. The alcohol hit me hard. Yoongi texted me this morning. Apparently, Jin literally had to come into the club and drag me out - I could barely walk. I stayed over at his place last night so he could make sure I didn’t die. He dropped me back off here like half an hour ago.”

Jimin’s eyebrows furrow in concern, and he immediately goes to the kitchen to get Taehyung some water. “What the hell, Tae? You should’ve been more careful.” He comes back with a glass for his friend, who accepts it gratefully. “Are you okay? Did something happen after I left? Want me to go to the vending machine and grab you a Gatorade or something?”

Taehyung waves his hand in the air, and finishes his water before replying. “No, no, I’m good. Well, maybe a Gatorade would be nice…but seriously, nothing happened. I guess I just lost track of how many drinks I had… I tried to keep up with Yoongi, and we all know that’s a bad idea.” He shrugs it off, and tries to sit up, but Jimin gently pushes him back down.

“I should’ve stayed – that way we could’ve blacked out together.”

“No way, I would’ve felt bad if you stayed – that guy you went home with was so hot,” Taehyung finally cracks a smile. “Tell me everything.”

“Okay, okay I will. But let me go to the vending machine first. I’ll tell you when I get back.” Jimin smiles excitedly, eager to tell his best friend all about what happened last night.

When he returns with a Gatorade, the two decide to move their conversation to Taehyung’s room, so that they can both rest their hungover bodies in bed.

Jimin tells Taehyung everything – not leaving out a single detail, and his friend listens intently, giving the best reactions, just like he always did.

By the time Jimin is done reporting the events that unfolded last night, Taehyung’s grinning from ear to ear. “Did you get his number – are you gonna see him again?”

Jimin wrinkles his nose, and stares up at the ceiling. “No…I mean, I had a lot of fun-”

“-Sure sounded like it-”

“-But I think it’s better if that was just a one-time thing with him, you know?”

 “If he’s as good in bed as you say he is, then I don’t really see the problem with seeing him again.” Taehyung readjusts, so that he’s lying on his back, too. “But I guess you must have a good reason for only wanting to see him once.”

“I’m just not looking for anything serious – not that I’m saying it’ll turn into anything serious if I do hook up with him again. I just…I don’t know. Can’t see myself dating him.”

Honestly, what was even the point of going back to the same person again and again if you didn’t even like them, or couldn’t see yourself liking them in the future? Wasn’t it better to just explore other people, to try out different things instead of limiting yourself to having a steady fuck buddy?

Jimin had tried being just fuck buddies with Taeyong, and that really didn’t work out for him. There wasn’t an issue with it until Jimin started thinking that maybe he had feelings for the guy, and maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to actually date him instead of just fucking him.

In the end, Taeyong wasn’t looking for a relationship, and things between them didn’t really end on a good note.

Looking back on it now, Jimin doesn’t even know what he saw in him, or why he thought he could actually date him. There just wasn’t anything there – no spark, no real interest.

Jimin realized that he didn’t want to date him because he liked him, he wanted to date him because he wanted to like him.

Jimin wanted to like someone – anyone – because it had been so long since he found someone that he genuinely liked.

And the thing is, Jimin likes liking people. He likes to be affectionate with other people, he likes doting on them, and making them feel good. He likes seeing other people smile because of him – he likes knowing that he is the reason for the people he cared about to smile.

Jimin gets off on seeing the people he loves happy.

But, since there is no one he is currently romantically interested in (and he doubted there ever would be at this point), he figures there’s nothing wrong with getting off how university students usually get off.

Meaningless sex.

Sex with people who didn’t care about him, because he didn’t need anyone else to care about him.

He had his friends, wasn’t that enough?

“Jimin,” Taehyung chuckles softly, pulling him from his thoughts, “you met the guy at a club, fucked, then came home. Of course you can’t see yourself dating him, you don’t even know him.”

“But I don’t wanna get to know him, that’s the thing. I just wasn’t feeling it.” He shoves his face into the pillow, and lets out a heavy, drawn out sigh.

“Are you scared to get attached?”

Jimin isn’t scared to get attached, in fact, he thinks that maybe he kind of wants to get attached to someone.

Too bad there isn’t anyone worth getting attached to.

Taehyung rolls over onto his side again so that he can look at his friend. “You haven’t had a boyfriend since high school, maybe you’re scared to put yourself out there again.”

“I’m not scared, Tae. I just don’t really want a boyfriend – I don’t need one.” He says, his voice muffled in the pillow.

If Jimin was being honest with himself, he would admit that he wanted to find someone special, and that he wanted to have a future with someone special.

But Jimin isn’t being honest with himself.

He’s telling himself that he doesn’t want anyone else, and the only honest part about it is the reason why he’s telling himself that.

It’s because he genuinely doesn’t think there’s anyone out there for him.

He isn’t interested in anyone, didn’t feel a connection with anyone he met, and he had pretty much accepted the fact that he was going to die alone.

It sounded dramatic, and Jimin is aware of that, but he still can’t stop himself from thinking it.

Maybe everyone in the world is just shitty, or maybe he has unreasonably high standards. Either way, Jimin doesn’t get his hopes up when it comes to finding a boyfriend. He peeks up at his friend, and tries to offer him a reassuring smile so that he would drop the subject.

Anyway, why need a boyfriend when he has Taehyung?

He has Taehyung, who’s currently watching him with a curious expression on his face, and Jimin wonders if his friend can see right through him. If he can, he doesn’t say anything to Jimin about it.

“You’re right. You’re a strong, independent man. Plus, you have me.” Taehyung’s words earn a playful shove from Jimin, and they’re enough to chase away whatever worries he’d had when it came to whether or not Taehyung could tell he was hiding something.

The last thing Jimin wants is for his friend to worry about him.

The second last thing Jimin wants right then, is for Taehyung to grab his phone right out of his hands after seeing the screen lighting up with a bunch of messages - too bad Taehyung does it anyway.

“Hah – I knew you were still talking to that guy!” Taehyung grins, triumphantly holding up Jimin’s phone, and teasingly pushing him away when he tries to take it back. “Park Jimin, you’ve been caught in a lie.” His playful attitude is quick to disappear once he actually reads where the notifications are from.

Jimin internally groans as Taehyung stares at his phone.

“Tinder? You’re on Tinder again?”

 “Tae, give it,” Jimin mutters, stealing his phone back. “I didn’t lie to you – it’s not the guy from last night.” He places his phone face down on the bedside table, just out of Taehyung’s reach. “What’s the big deal? You still have Tinder, too.”

Taehyung reaches for the Gatorade bottle, and shrugs in an attempt to appear nonchalant. “It’s not a big deal. It’s just that you literally just told me you don’t want a boyfriend, but now you’re on Tinder… I didn’t know you downloaded it again, that’s all.”

“I only downloaded it today… and I’m not looking for a husband on here or anything. Just a hookup.” The blonde mumbles his last words, making a conscious effort not to look at his friend. Yeah, he knew that it looked kinda shitty to be talking with four guys after just getting back from a one-night stand, but so what?

He never judged Taehyung for talking to guys on Tinder. Then again, Taehyung rarely uses the app, and the majority of guys Taehyung had been with were ones that he had met in person beforehand, because he’s just so damn sociable and so damn likeable, and he never seemed to have any problems with finding people that he liked.

Jimin feels a twinge of jealousy, but he tries to push it down the moment he notices it surfacing.

“Well just be careful on there.” Taehyung says, trying to ease the thickening air around them. “Some people are real assholes.” He pauses for a second, just enough for his eyes to suddenly light up. “Oh! I almost forgot to show you,” Taehyung’s grin is back as he takes out his phone, and pulls up his camera roll. “I found these this morning.”

And just like that, the air is lighter, and the mood is lifted, and Jimin and Taehyung are laughing at videos on his phone.

Taehyung’s drunken self had documented a good portion of the night, and he managed to capture some rare footage of an extremely drunk Yoongi dancing in a way that Jimin had never seen him dance before. 

Just look at those hips go.

Taehyung sends the video to the group chat, and Jimin and Taehyung spend the rest of the afternoon lazing around, harassing their hyungs.

---

It’s later that night, and Jimin and Taehyung have successfully wasted the whole day napping and watching Netflix in bed. It was only right to recover from a hangover in such a way, after all.

They’re in the middle of watching another episode of Friends (they’d both already seen it about a hundred times), when Jimin suddenly gets up.

“I’m gonna take a shower,” he announces, stuffing his phone in his back pocket.

Taehyung cocks his head to the side, and sits up with a pout. “What? You had all day to shower, why are you showering now? I thought we were gonna start a movie.”

Gently nibbling at his lower lip, Jimin contemplates how exactly he is going to tell Taehyung that he isn’t going to be able to watch a movie, because he’s planning on meeting up with some random dude from Tinder.

It’s not like he can just lie.

“Yeah, um…I’m actually kinda meeting someone in a bit. I’ll be home later tonight, though. We can watch a movie when I get back?”

Taehyung frowns at his friend, and Jimin glances off to the side as if he’d just been scolded, but in his heart, he knows that he deserves to be frowned at.

Jimin never ever blew Taehyung off – especially not for some random from Tinder that he’d just started talking to.

Taehyung deserves better, and Jimin knows that.

He feels even worse once he hears the words that he knows Taehyung’s only saying for his own sake, so that he doesn’t feel guilty or embarrassed about leaving. “I’ll probably be in deep, REM sleep by the time you get back, but have fun, okay? Give it your all, one hundred and ten percent - leave it all on the floor - or the bed, wherever you guys end up. I’ll see you tomorrow, kay?”

Jimin doesn’t deserve Taehyung.

He glances up just to see that Taehyung’s now smiling, smiling even though his best friend is ditching him for someone who he doesn’t even know.

Jimin returns the smile, but it feels too forced for him to keep it on for very long. “Thanks, Tae…Let’s do something tomorrow?” Making plans with Taehyung isn’t going to negate the fact that he’s leaving him now, but it would be shitty not to try to make up for it, right?

“Just as long as that something doesn’t involve any physical activity. I have a feeling this hangover is gonna be a two-day affair.” Taehyung replies, sprawling out on the bed now that he had significantly more room with Jimin out of it.

“Noted.” Jimin watches his friend for a moment longer before simply nodding in parting, and then, he goes to get ready for his date. If you can even call it a date.

The “date” goes just fine.

They meet up, talk for a bit, have sex, and then Jimin leaves. It’s exactly what he had expected to happen – it’s what he wanted to happen. It was fun, it felt great in the moment, and he kept telling himself that it was all just fine.

But, if it was fine, then why did he still feel like he was running on empty?

Why did he take the long way to get back to his dorm? Why does he want to keep walking and walking until there’s nowhere left to walk to?

Jimin can’t understand why the fuck he feels so low, but he doesn’t want to think about it, doesn’t want to waste energy racking his brain.

Dwelling on it is just disheartening, annoying, even.

Not being able to understand your own thoughts and feelings was frustrating.

So, Jimin goes on Tinder.

If that isn’t a distraction from his thoughts, then he doesn’t know what is.

---

Sunday seems to be the longest day of the week, and Jimin’s grateful when night finally comes, just so he can retreat to the solitude of his room without raising any suspicion. He doesn’t want to worry Taehyung; he doesn’t want his friend to think that there’s something wrong with him, even though there certainly is.

 

Taehyung has noticed, though – how could he not?

They had spent the day hanging out with a few other people from their floor, but Jimin had seemed detached, like he was off in his own world, and had forgotten to invite his friends to come with him.

There was obviously something wrong with Jimin, but Taehyung didn’t ask about it all day, because he didn’t want to upset him by calling him out for acting weird.

Taehyung had texted his hyungs about it last night when Jimin was out meeting up with whoever the hell he had found on Tinder.

They all gave their opinions; Namjoon and Jin telling Taehyung to confront him, while Yoongi figured that Jimin must’ve been going through some shit, and he needed time to figure out whatever it was that needed figuring out. Hoseok just suggested trying to cheer him up, and doing little favours for him to make him feel better.

Taehyung had decided to listen to both Yoongi and Hoseok’s advice thus far.

But now it’s only a little past 7 o’clock at night, and Jimin’s already saying good night to him.

Taehyung can’t ignore it for any longer.

 

“Jimin?”

Jimin stops at the sound of Taehyung’s voice, hand already on the handle of his bedroom door.

Fuck, he had been so close to getting through the whole day without this.  

Making a conscious effort to smile, Jimin turns around to face his friend. “Yeah, what’s up?” It’s weird to have to force a smile like this – Jimin doesn’t think he’s ever had to actually think about smiling. For Jimin, smiling was as natural as breathing. Now it just feels foreign to him.

“Um…can we talk?” Taehyung hesitates for a moment, and Jimin almost wants to take that moment to sneak into his room and avoid whatever is about to come next. Though, he manages to stay put to hear whatever his friend had to say. “Listen, I um…” Taehyung sighs, perhaps taking a moment to wish he were a bit more eloquent, but he manages to carry on all the same. “Is everything okay? I mean, you’re not really acting like yourself. You usually tell me everything, and I know something’s up, but you haven’t said anything about it, so I’m kinda confused.”

He’s talking quickly, not giving Jimin a chance to say anything until he’s said all that’s on his mind. “You’ve just never really been the type to sleep around. And I guess you haven’t seen anyone tonight, so that’s good – you know, since it’s the Lord’s day and everything – but still, I’m getting pretty worried about my best friend.”

After Taehyung finishes, Jimin remains silent, unsure of what to say. A part of him wants to yell at Taehyung and tell him to mind his own business. A part of him wants to break down sobbing and begging for the comfort of his best friend. A part of him wants to brush Taehyung off completely, and a part of him even wants to fucking laugh (because seriously, only Taehyung would mention the Lord’s day in a conversation like this).

He doesn’t understand how he’s feeling, so how can Taehyung ever begin to understand?

His mind and body are pulling him in so many different directions, and he has no idea what to do, and no idea what to say.

So, when Jimin finally speaks, it’s only for the sake of saying something.

“You’re being silly. It’s been two people, Tae. Two. I really don’t think that counts as sleeping around.”

“Yeah, well two in the last two days – you’ve never done that before.” Taehyung’s quick to point out.

“I’m fine, and you’re making this into way bigger of a deal than it needs to be. What’s up with you?” He feels bad for turning the conversation around to make it seem like Taehyung’s the one who isn’t acting like himself, so Jimin tries to make amends by adding, “I’m just really tired right now. I have an early class tomorrow, so I’ll see you in the morning.” He’s smiling again, but it’s a smile that’s drained of all warmth, and doesn’t make his eyes light up and smile with him.

Needless to say, this whole conversation does nothing to put Taehyung’s mind at ease.

---

It’s Monday, and nothing’s better.

Jimin still hangs out with his friends, still eats lunch with everyone, but he doesn’t feel any better. If anything, he feels worse.

So, in an effort to feel better, he goes out again.

It’s another guy that he’s never met before, and will likely never talk to again.

 

Taehyung isn’t happy about it, but only shows his disapproval in implicit ways.

 

[To: Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Taehyung: Where are you?

Jimin: Out with someone, be back in a bit!

Taehyung: Dude, it’s a MONDAY NIGHT.

Jimin: I already finished all my homework!

Taehyung: I mean that’s not the point. Even if you’re done your homework you’re still getting a D.

Jimin: Hopefully it’s a D+

 

Tuesday comes and goes, and Jimin doesn’t meet up with any strangers, and he and Taehyung even watch a movie together that night.

Taehyung is hopeful that it’s a good sign – and that Jimin had finally pulled his head out of his ass and realized what he’d been doing,

 

But then, it’s Wednesday.

It’s Wednesday evening, and the six friends are all gathered in Yoongi and Hoseok’s dorm room, chatting and finishing up homework while the TV provides a bit of background noise.

“You two just wait until your third year,” Jin mutters, books laid out in front of him at the table, and a highlighter in his hand. He’s looking at Jimin and Taehyung, who both seem curious as they watch the eldest. “You second year students don’t know how good you have it.”

“Hyung,” Taehyung laughs from where he sits on the couch, and turns around to fully face Jin. “Don’t you say that every year? Last year you were complaining about how hard second year was, and how second year was gonna hit us like a wall.”

“I think he said it was gonna hit us like the Great Wall of China, actually,” Jimin murmurs. He’s not feeling better by any means, but he’s pretending to be okay, because he doesn’t want to have another run-in with Taehyung.

He hates arguing. Besides, even if Taehyung were to ask him what was wrong, Jimin wouldn’t be able to tell him, because he doesn’t know.

He doesn’t know what’s going on, he doesn’t know why he’s suddenly jumping at every chance he gets to hook up with a stranger.

He isn’t acting like himself, and if there’s one thing he knows, it’s that.

But he can’t stop.

“Ah, to be a kid, again. It’s like I can still taste the last dregs of youth.” Yoongi says, looking up at the ceiling in reverie.

Taehyung snickers, “I don’t think you were ever a kid.” His words earn an encouraging slap form from Hoseok.

“I think the reason I get along with him so well is because he reminds me of my Grandfather.” Hoseok adds, prompting him and Taehyung to burst into a fit of giggles.

Yoongi shoots a glare in Hoseok’s direction. “My own roommate, betrayed me.” But then, Namjoon starts to make a few questionable noises, and Yoongi has to glare at him instead.

“I’m sorry,” Namjoon waves his hand, “it’s really not that funny.” His laughter said otherwise.

It’s in moments like these that Jimin usually feels the happiest, and usually laughs the loudest; when they’re goofing around and teasing one another, and just being themselves. These had always been his favourite moments with his friends, but this time, he can’t bring himself to laugh like he normally did.

He has to fake it– he makes himself smile and laugh, so that no one asks what his problem is. If anyone did ask, he’d probably just end up laughing – genuinely laughing – and saying that he has no idea.

He wonders when he’ll start to feel better, or if he’ll even start to feel better.

All he can do is hope that this is some sort of weird phase he’s going through.

“Jimin?”

He looks up from where he’d been staring for the last minute or so, his gaze falling on Taehyung, who had just called his name.

“Yeah?’ Jimin clears his throat, and acts as if he hadn't just been totally zoned out. “What’s up?”

Everyone’s looking at him expectantly, so Jimin doubles his efforts when it comes to making himself smile.

“We were just talking about your birthday,” Taehyung’s voice is bright, and Jimin figures that he’d succeeded in putting on his facade, because his best friend is all smiles and excitement.

Too bad Jimin doesn’t feel the same way.

He had completely forgotten that his own birthday was that weekend. Fuck, he really wished it wasn’t.

Faking a smile for a whole night of celebration sounded incredibly exhausting.

Unaware of Jimin’s inner turmoil, Taehyung carries on enthusiastically. “What do you wanna do? We could bar hop? Clubbing?”

“I don’t know…I don’t really wanna do anything big.” Jimin murmurs, bringing his knees up to his chest. He couldn’t say he didn’t want to do anything – that would just look suspicious.

“Well we have to do something,” Hoseok hums, and everyone else nods in agreement. “What about karaoke? Dancing?”

“I don’t really feel like going out drinking or anything. I have a lot of homework I should do this weekend.” Jimin says.

Yeah, that sounded like as good of an excuse as any.

“We could just go out and eat,” Jin suggests with a shrug.

Yoongi smirks, and nods to the eldest, “You know that this is Jimin’s birthday, not yours.”

“I was just suggesting!”

“I don’t know,” Jimin says again, and he suddenly feels like those are the only words in his vocabulary. He doesn’t know why he feels so goddamn low, doesn’t know why he’s pushing his friends away, doesn’t know how to make it stop.

He feels like he doesn’t know anything.

“Why don’t we just stay in?” Namjoon’s gentle suggestion is a welcome one, “we could stay in your dorm room, order some food, watch a movie. Just hang out. It doesn’t have to be anything big if you don’t want it to be.”

Jimin nearly sighs with relief. Thank god Namjoon was there.

“Yeah, sounds good. I’m totally okay with that,” Jimin nods, feeling a bit better now that he’d be able to just stay in his own dorm, and then have his friends leave whenever he wanted them to by telling them he had to do some homework.

He feels like an asshole, since that’s the first thing he’s been happy about in a while.

“You know what I admire about Jimin? It’s that size doesn’t matter to him,” Yoongi muses, kicking his feet up on the coffee table. “Who even said birthdays have to be a big deal? He’s just fine with having a small little gathering – so noble of him, really.”

“Yeah, plus he has sex with Taehyung, so that’s how we really know size must not matter to him,” Jin adds, evidently only teasing, and the way he laughs after his own words makes it known that he thinks he’s incredibly funny.

Hyung– why me? I’ve only ever been kind to you.” Taehyung whines, and just like that, everyone’s laughing at the expense of poor Kim Taehyung.

Well, everyone except for Jimin.

Jimin is too busy reading the message he’d just received to pay much attention to what’s going on around him.

“Ah,” he hops up from the couch, staring down at his phone, and no one’s laughing anymore, but everyone’s looking at him now. “I um…I gotta go.”

Hoseok stands up too, and throws an arm over Jimin’s shoulders. “What’s the rush? We still have to plan your birthday - what kind of cake do you want?”

Jimin shifts his weight from foot to foot, obviously uncomfortable.

“I just have to be somewhere right now.” He shakes off Hoseok, and immediately regrets it when he notices the way his smile falters.

How is he supposed to tell his friends that he’s ditching them for a quick fuck?

“Jimin?” Taehyung frowns, “now?”

Jimin can feel heat blooming over his cheeks, because all eyes are on him, and everyone knows. He doesn’t know how they know, but he knows that they’re fully aware of why he’s leaving.

“Why does it matter?” He’s embarrassed, but tries to keep his voice level.

“You know what?” Taehyung shakes his head, “it doesn’t matter. Do whatever you want.” He can’t keep the bite out of his voice, and it nearly makes Jimin flinch.

“Guys…” Namjoon murmurs, attempting to keep the exchange civil, and it works, because Jimin doesn’t say anything else.

He just turns and leaves, because he’s not only humiliated, but he’s angry, too.

Maybe Taehyung had every right to be worried about him, but so what? Didn’t Jimin have every right to live his life however the fuck he wanted?

Jimin doesn’t know who’s right, and who’s wrong, so he tries to forget about his worries by fucking them away with a stranger. It works to a certain extent.

It works, until he’s back in his own dorm room, alone, and wondering why he’s chasing his friends away.

He knows that he isn’t being a good friend, and frankly, he doesn’t even feel like he’s being a good human being in general. He feels like shit, but he can’t tell anyone.

How is he supposed to tell his friends?

How is he supposed to tell them everything that he’s feeling, when he can’t even begin to explain it to himself?

Is all of this going back to the whole boyfriend thing? Was this really just about wanting a boyfriend?

No, it couldn’t be.

Jimin had never felt this way – whatever this way even was. There had been times when he thought having a boyfriend would be nice, but this was different. This wasn’t a fleeting thought of oh, it would be nice to be in a relationship.

If he wanted a relationship, he wouldn’t be sleeping around, right?

This is a different feeling, it’s the unmistakable feeling that something is missing in his life. What’s missing, he doesn’t know, nor does he have any idea where to begin looking for whatever the fuck is missing. He’s stuck with nowhere to go.

What is this unsettling feeling pooling at the bottom of his stomach? Why is there this overwhelming feeling of loneliness, when he has the best friends in the whole world, and no reason to feel lonely?

Jimin doesn’t understand, so he decides to just go to sleep.

---

On Thursday night, Jimin’s gone again, and Taehyung doesn’t know where he is, but he knows what he’s doing.

In that particular moment, Taehyung is also aware that his decision to watch a scary movie alone had been a horrible, horrible idea. Now he’s alone in the dark of his bedroom, and he thinks he hears noises, and his imagination is running wild.

 

[To: Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Taehyung: Jimin?

Taehyung: Jimin are you home???

Taehyung: I think I hear noises oh my god I’m so scared

Taehyung: This is why I said we should invest a baseball bat

Taehyung: It sounds like there’s scratching at my door or something holy shit

Taehyung: THIS IS NOT A DRILL REPEAT THIS IS NOT A DRILL

Taehyung: Jimin I’m actually so scared rn

Taehyung: Jimin please

Taehyung: Jimin?

 

Taehyung doesn’t even get a reply that night.

 

  

Chapter Text

 

 

[To: Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Jimin: sorry Tae, was busy

Jimin: <3

 

Jimin sends his reply the next morning, and only adds the heart in as an afterthought, as if sending that heart would be enough to negate the fact that he had ignored his best friend all night.

Yeah, Jimin had been busy.

Busy hooking up and then feeling sorry for himself afterwards.

Busy dreading Saturday, and debating whether or not he should come up with an excuse explaining why he can’t hang out with his best friends on his own birthday.

At this point, his birthday seems like it’s more for his friends than it is for himself.

In the end, Jimin decides against making up an excuse. That would be just going too far. If he didn’t celebrate his birthday, then his friends would definitely think there’s something wrong.

---

Jimin usually loved birthdays. He loved the cake, he loved the decorations, he loved getting showered in attention and affection by the people he cared about the most. He loved laughing with his closest friends, and he especially loved that ever since elementary school, every year always seemed to be a bit more special, because every year was another year that he got to spend his birthday with Kim Taehyung.

This year, Jimin just loves that his birthday celebration is a low-key affair.

He loves that he can suggest watching three movies in a row so that he doesn’t have to talk much at all, and no one can protest because it’s his birthday, so they have to let him watch all the movies that he wants. He loves that his friends all chipped in to get him one present (it’s a new jean jacket, one that Taehyung had noticed he’d been eyeing since the summer), so that he doesn’t have to react to five individual presents.

The best part about all day though, is when Jimin looks at the clock after his friends have left, and he realizes that it’s officially not his birthday anymore.

Thank god he had survived that.

Jimin barely sees any of his friends for the rest of that weekend, because he’s out doing his own thing.

Taehyung misses his best friend, but he’s scared that if he tries to talk to him, they’ll just end up fighting.

So no one says anything.

And suddenly, the weekend is over, and it’s a new week, but nothing much has changed.

Taehyung is still scared that he’s losing his best friend, and everyone’s wondering what has gotten into Jimin.

Even Jimin’s wondering why he’s being the way he’s being.

He knows that it isn’t good for him, or anybody really, but he just can’t stop.

Something had to give.

---

It’s Friday again; two weeks since Jimin had started spiralling out of control. Jimin, Taehyung, Yoongi, and Namjoon are drinking in the younger two's dorm room –  just something casual, because they didn’t really feel like getting obliterated that night.

Well, except for Jimin.

Jimin wanted to go out, but when Namjoon suggested this instead, he couldn’t just say no, I wanna go out and get hammered so I can forget about everything and have sex with another stranger even though I know it’s a bad idea.

That would just look bad.

In Jimin’s mind, occasionally hanging out with his friends is the only way to ensure that they don’t bring up his questionable behaviour, or try to stage an intervention with him or something.

If he avoided them too much, they were bound to confront him.

Little did Jimin know, this was a confrontation in disguise.

“This beer is disgusting,” Yoongi grimaces. “Last time I buy clearance beer,” he sets the can off to the side, and then nods at Jimin. “What’re you drinking?” Before the younger can answer, Yoongi’s taking the cup from him, and stealing a sip of his drink. His expression tells everyone that whatever is in that cup is worse than the beer. “Holy shit – what is that?”

Jimin takes his cup back, and holds it to his chest as if to protect it from anyone else who dared to take a sip. His eyes are glazed over, and there’s a languid smile on his lips. Jimin’s currently the only drunk one at the moment. “It’s just vodka and cranberry juice,” he giggles, watching Yoongi over the rim of his cup as he drinks. “Mmm.”

“There’s cranberry juice in there? Could’ve fooled me,” Yoongi mutters, crossing his arms over his chest.

Despite the fact that Jimin is obviously drunk, Taehyung’s actually less worried about him now than he had been all week.

Right now, Jimin actually looks happy – and maybe it’s only because of the alcohol, but at least he’s smiling. This is tipsy Jimin. Taehyung actually knows tipsy Jimin.

“I thought we all agreed on no heavy drinking tonight,” Namjoon looks to Jimin, but the blonde merely flashes him a dopey grin.

“You didn’t make me sign a contract. I can do whatever I want.” Jimin apparently thinks he’s just said something incredibly funny, because he leans forward over the table and starts laughing. “Right, Tae? Remember when you said I could do whatever I want?”

Taehyung’s jaw clenches, but he doesn’t say anything. 

“You don’t remember? ‘Cause you said that to me, I remember,” Jimin continues proudly, blissfully unaware of the tension he had just created. 

“You can’t do whatever you want – you know what you can’t do?” Yoongi raises an eyebrow challengingly as he watches the blonde, “You can’t touch your elbow with your tongue.” His words successfully steer the conversation clear of wherever the hell it had just been headed, because now Jimin’s busy rolling up his sleeve.

"Wanna bet? Can't tell me what I can't do..." Jimin narrows his eyes, determined, and then occupies himself with trying (and failing) to touch his elbow with his tongue.

“Ah, Park Jimin, never one to turn down a challenge.” Namjoon nods as he watches the younger. “You know, you’re almost there. Might actually make it.”

Taehyung perks up a bit as he watches the spectacle, and joins in to encourage his friend. “Jimin if you can do it, I’ll cook your dinner for the next three nights."

“Mm, no." Jimin replies instantly. "I don’t want your cooking, you always burn everything.” His words are a little difficult to understand, since his tongue is still sticking out as he speaks.

“You know, he has a point. Offer something useful. Like your soul.” Yoongi suggests, drawing out a bout of laughter from the others.

Taehyung grins, and raises his can of beer. “can offer up my soul. Too bad you don’t have a soul to offer up.”

“Tae!” Jimin squeaks delightedly, and a smile lights up his face. “You can’t – you can’t just say that to Min Yoongi.”

“When Taehyung’s right, he’s right.” Namjoon muses, raising his own can as well, so that he and Taehyung cheers.

“I can’t,” Jimin hiccups suddenly, pulling his sleeve back down. “I can’t do this thing anymore. I’m tired,” he gives up, and slumps back in his seat. He’s still smiling, still appearing to be in a happy, drunken stupor. “I’m tired.” He repeats, and everyone’s chuckling, watching him. “I’m so tired – you know what else I’m tired of?” He’s sitting up straight now, laughing. “Everything! I’m so tired of everything!”

Jimin’s the only one smiling now.

“Jimin,” Taehyung murmurs as his eyes fill with concern, but Jimin doesn’t notice it, doesn’t notice anything. He doesn’t even notice the tears that have pooled in his own eyes, not even once they start trailing down his cheeks, even in the midst of one of the brightest smiles he’s had all week.

“What’s the point – what’s the point of this? What’s the point of anything? Why is everything so fucking hard? Why can’t it all just be simple? Why does it have to be like this?” By the time Jimin’s done choking out his last words, he’s sobbing, and there isn’t a trace of a smile left on his face. “I don’t know what to do," he leans to the side, and he clings to Namjoon, because Namjoon is right there, and he just needs to hold on to something. "I don’t know what to do.” 

Taehyung’s eyes widen, and he immediately jumps up to try to help, to try to figure out what’s happening, but Yoongi stops him.

 “What the hell are you doing?” Taehyung frowns as Yoongi grabs his arm. “Hyung,” he protests, trying to free himself from the other’s grip once he starts being pulled away from Jimin, and then out of the room. “What the hell – what’s wrong with you? Jimin’s crying. What are you doing?”

Yoongi doesn’t turn around, he doesn’t stop to look at Taehyung, he just keeps dragging him down the hall. “You can come to my room for a while. Just let Namjoon handle this, okay? I know you’re worried, and I know you care about Jimin, but just leave them alone for a bit.”

“But…why? Why can’t I be there too?” Taehyung frowns.

“Like I said, let Namjoon take care of it. You trust him, don’t you?”

Taehyung trusts Namjoon, but still. Why did it have to be like this? Why couldn’t he help Jimin too?

 --- 

It takes a lot of back rubbing, and a lot of water drinking before Jimin finally calms down, and by the time he pulls away from Namjoon, he’s actually sober.

He probably cried out all the alcohol.

“Hyung,” he sniffles, and reaches out to straighten Namjoon’s clothes. “I’m sorry.” Namjoon’s shirt is wrinkled - wet with tears and snot, but he waves his hand as if he doesn’t even care.

“Don’t worry about it. Stay here, I’ll be right back.” Namjoon stands up to get a wad of toilet paper for Jimin (they’re university students, they can’t afford the luxury of Kleenex). “Here.”

Jimin accepts it with a weak smile, and wipes his nose. His head is pounding, his lips feel chapped, his face is puffy, his eyes are red, and his throat is raw.

He’s a mess.

“I’m sorry,” he repeats before taking another drink of water. For some reason, the water stings more than the vodka had.

Sobering up and facing reality isn’t fun.

“Jimin…it’s fine,” Namjoon places his hand on the younger’s back, and leaves it there, and Jimin is thankful for the warmth of his palm. “But you know, we have to talk about it. You know I’m not going to pretend none of this happened, right?”

“I know,” Jimin mumbles, staring down at the table to avoid the other’s eyes. “It’s just that…” He swallows the lump in his throat, attempting to fend off the tears that threatened to fall again. Frankly, he’s a bit surprised that he still has any tears left in him.

The older waits a moment to give Jimin a chance to say something more, but when he doesn’t, he speaks up instead. “It’s just that what, hm? We’ve all been worried about you, you know. What’s on your mind?” Namjoon’s tone is gentle, and unobtrusive.

“I just…” Jimin’s voice shakes, and he hates feeling so vulnerable in front of someone else. He hates that he's crying so much over something so stupid, and he briefly wonders if Namjoon will just start laughing at him when he tells him his worries. In the end, Jimin manages to push the rest of his words out, with all of his concerns spilling over as easily as his tears had.

“I feel so lost. I feel so lost, and so empty… and I have no idea why – I don’t understand. I don’t get it. I don’t understand why I feel so sad, I don’t get what’s happening to me. I feel like I don’t even know who I am anymore.” A few tears roll down Jimin’s cheeks, but he makes no move to wipe them away. He may be crying, but already, he feels lighter. Already, it feels like a weight has been lifted from his shoulders, and maybe he’s still sad and confused, but it feels good to finally talk to someone.

“You feel empty, hey?” Namjoon nods, and silently rubs circles over Jimin’s back for a moment or so before he speaks again. “I’m going to tell you what I think. I may be right, and I may be wrong, but I just want you to listen. Okay?”

Jimin nods, and wipes his cheeks dry. He’d gladly listen to anything and everything Namjoon had to say to him. He folds his arms on the table, and rests his head on them, looking up at the older expectantly. All Jimin wants right then is to listen to his soothing voice, and to feel the comforting touch of his hand on his back as he offers his advice.

“You feel empty, right? You started feeling empty, so you started looking for ways to fill yourself up – to feel less empty. You started seeking the comfort of strangers, because you thought it would help you feel whole.” Namjoon watches Jimin carefully, and Jimin nods his head, letting him know he’s listening, and that it’s okay for him to continue. “But maybe, you’re not meant to have meaningless sex. Maybe, it’s not for you. The more you have these casual hookups, the worse you feel, because it isn’t what you’re really looking for. It isn’t what you need.”

Jimin stays silent, drinking in every word Namjoon says, and committing every syllable to memory.

“Say you’re really, really thirsty.” Namjoon seems to have found some sort of rhythm now, and he speaks so intelligently, so clearly, and is so relaxed that Jimin’s not sure how he came up with this all on the spot. “You haven’t had anything to drink in days, and it’s really, really hot outside. Say someone hands you two bottles; one is a bottle of Coke, and the other is a bottle of water, but you can only drink one. You may be tempted to drink the Coke, but you know the water is better for you, and you know you should drink the water instead. You might really like Coke, but you know you need water to survive.”

Jimin can’t stop a weak smile from tugging at his lips, “are you really comparing cock to Coke?”

“It’s an analogy, Jimin.”

“Right, sorry - I’d take the water.”

Namjoon nods, satisfied. But he isn’t done. “Now, you’re having a lot of casual sex, but you know it isn’t good for you. You’re choosing the Coke over the water, even though it just leaves you feeling more and more thirsty.”

Jimin’s silent, and he feels a certain sense of calm wash over him. But then, Namjoon adds in, “you’re trying to fit a square peg into a round hole,” and Jimin can’t keep quiet anymore.

“What the hell, how are you so good – how do you come up with-”

“-Shh, I’m not done.”

“Sorry – please carry on.”

 “Jimin, this is what I think. You never said why you felt so empty in the first place, but I think that maybe, you want to be loved. Maybe you want a significant other, and if you do, I can tell you right now that you’re looking in the wrong place. Whoever you’re meant to end up with, isn’t someone you’re going to meet by having a random hook up. I know that you value yourself, and other people more than that. I know that. So just be patient.”

How did Namjoon know exactly what he needed to hear? Jimin exhales slowly, as if he’s trying to expel all of his anxieties. He feels a lot better already, but he still has some lingering worries.

“When you say it all like that, it makes sense, and I understand. In my heart, I know I’m young, and I know I have time to find someone, but I still can’t help but feel like time’s running out. And I just…I really wanna be with someone when I’m older, and get married and all that, you know?”

Namjoon shakes his head, and he can’t help but smile. “You know, you remind me a lot of Blanche Dubois.”

“Blanched what?” Jimin questions.

Namjoon chuckles softly, “Blanche Dubois. A character from A Streetcar Named Desire? You know, the famous play?”

Jimin stares blankly.

“Really? You’ve never heard of it? It’s a great play, you should read it. I thought everyone had to read it in school.”

Hyung.”

“Right. Anyway, my point is, that you think that you’re some old man who’s running out of time to find someone to settle down with. In reality, you’re a second-year university student, who has all the time in the world. The problem is, you’re wasting the time you have on meaningless things.”

“I know that you’re right…but I don’t know what to do to stop feeling like this. And I feel so desperate and pathetic for wanting to be with someone this badly.” Jimin murmurs, absentmindedly tapping the glass of water in front of him. For so long he had convinced himself that he didn’t need a relationship, and the fact that he felt so lost just because he had been wanting a boyfriend made him feel incredibly weak.

“You’re not desperate, or pathetic, Jimin. Everyone wants to be loved.”

“But…” Jimin sighs, and buries his face in the crook of his arm. “I don’t want to have to depend on anyone else for happiness. I don’t want to need someone else’s validation to feel good. Why can’t I just be happy without a boyfriend? I mean, I have you guys, so why do I even need someone else? It’s not like I’m unhappy with my friends.”

For the first time in a while, Namjoon hesitates, and Jimin almost starts to think that for once in his life, Namjoon didn’t have the answer. Jimin should have known not to underestimate him, though. Namjoon always had an answer.

“I think that you’re someone who needs to love other people.” The older begins, “maybe you don’t necessarily feel an overwhelming desire to be loved, but maybe you feel an overwhelming desire to love. I think you have a lot of love to give, and maybe that’s how you’re ultimately going to feel whole, and good about yourself. By loving the right person.”

Jimin slowly lifts his head, and he smiles feebly.  “I don’t know, hyung. I think you’re overestimating me. I don’t know if I’m that good of a person…”

“Well I do.” Namjoon replies, not even having to pause to think about his answer. “I know you’re that good of a person, I know how selfless you are.”

Jimin’s eyes are bright again, and he smiles with more conviction than before. 

If Namjoon really thinks that way, then maybe it's true.

Namjoon watches him fondly, and ruffles his hair. “Be patient, Jimin. Let nature take its course – don’t try to force anything. You’re a beautiful person, inside and out, and you are going to find someone. You just have to wait. And, when that person comes, they’re going to feel so lucky that they’re the one who gets to be loved by Park Jimin.”

Jimin wants to cry again, but it’s for a whole different reason this time. He really did have the best friends in the world. Namjoon had somehow managed to make his most troubling thoughts seem insignificant, and Jimin doesn’t even know how to express how grateful he is.  

 “I can’t believe you said that…That last part was so cheesy, hyung, it was awful…” Despite his words, Jimin sits up, and pulls Namjoon in for a hug. “Thank you. I mean it.” Jimin’s full on beaming now, and he squeezes his eyes shut just as he squeezes Namjoon tight. “Thank you.”

---

Namjoon stays with Jimin for a couple hours more, and they spend their time talking about things that aren’t so serious while watching a bit of Netflix, and Jimin feels so light that it’s like he can walk on air.

Not all of his problems were magically solved, but at least now he knows how to avoid making his problems worse. At least he isn’t going to chase meaningless things anymore. What he decides he should focus on is school, and his friends, because fuck, he had missed his friends.

Like Namjoon had said, his time would come, he just had to wait.

It’s only when Taehyung finally comes back that Namjoon gets up to leave.

After all, it’s late, and Jimin’s starting to get a little tired anyway.

After saying goodbye, and once again thanking Namjoon profusely, Jimin fixes his attention on Taehyung.

They’re alone now, and all Jimin wants to do is hug Taehyung and tell him all Namjoon had said, and to tell him that he’s actually okay. He doesn’t get a chance to say anything though, not before Taehyung does.

“What the hell was that all about?” Taehyung demands.

Jimin’s smile is quick to fade once he actually gets a good look at his friend. Was Taehyung angry at him?  Frowning, Jimin readjusts his position on the couch so that he’s fully turned towards the other.  “What’re you-”

“-When I was trying to be there for you, when I was trying to be a good friend, you just brushed me off. But you’re okay with telling Namjoon everything - that’s not a problem for you.” Taehyung cuts him off before he can even get a word in, and Jimin’s more surprised by the anger in Taehyung’s voice than anything else. He’s never heard Taehyung sound so upset.

“Tae, Let me-”

“-I kept my mouth shut! When you were whoring around, I didn’t tell you that you were being an idiot, or that you were gonna get hurt, because I thought you were gonna come to me! I thought I was your best friend, and I thought you could tell me everything. I know that you don’t even like meaningless sex that much – neither do I! That’s one of the reasons why you and I can have sex – so we can do it without feeling like it doesn’t mean anything!”

Jimin’s taken aback by Taehyung’s rising intensity, and doesn’t quite know how to react to it. What he does know, is that he’s confused, and he’s being yelled at, and he doesn’t like it at all.

“So what? You – you wish I would’ve gone to you for sex instead?” Jimin questions, honestly struggling to figure out what Taehyung is trying to say to him. Though, it doesn’t take very long for Jimin’s own irritation to override his bewilderment, and his frown turns into a glare.

“Because I would never do that.” Jimin says, watching the other with a level stare, as if he’s trying to drill his words into Taehyung’s brain. “I would never ever just use you for sex. When we have sex, it’s not just about using each other. At least, I never thought it was. Is that what you think? I’m just someone you can fuck when you’re too lazy to find someone else?”

Taehyung shakes his head immediately, but the quick response does nothing to suppress Jimin’s mounting annoyance. “Fuck no, I never thought of it like that, Jimin. I’m not jealous you weren’t having sex with me, I just don’t know why you couldn’t tell me what was wrong!”

Frustrated, Jimin shoves his hair back, and forces out a shaky sigh. The reason he hadn’t told Taheyung, was because he didn’t want to burden him with his thoughts, when his thoughts had been too complex for even him to understand.

It’s not like Jimin had exactly planned on telling Namjoon everything either, but he’s honestly glad it worked out that way, because Namjoon always gave the best advice - not that that means he doesn’t value Taehyung’s advice.

However, he’s far too worked up to explain all of that at the moment.

“Because I didn’t want you to worry!” Jimin snaps instead.

Taehyung forces out a laugh, but it’s devoid of all humour. “Well, not telling me made me worry even more, so congratulations, you fucked up.”

Jimin wants to laugh right back at him just to spite him.

With his own temper growing increasingly difficult to keep in check, he stands up from the couch, and points an accusing finger at Taehyung. “I know I fucked up, but you know what else is fucked up? The fact that you can’t be happy for me now that I’m feeling better. So what if you’re not the one to pull me out of my slump? Do you have to be the one every time? Are you that fucking insecure?”

“I’m not saying that at all, you’re twisting my words. I just don’t get why you couldn’t come to me for help!” Frustration drips from Taehyung’s words, and even if Jimin had been blind, and unable to see the deep-set scowl on his friend’s face, there would be no mistaking that Kim Taehyung is absolutely pissed.

Jimin’s staring at Taehyung though, staring as the scowl on his face fades, and as an unreadable expression flashes across it instead. He keeps staring, silent, even as Taehyung says, “you know what, never mind. I’m done. I’m going to bed.”

And then, Jimin stares at Taehyung’s back as he retreats to his room, leaving him standing there alone.

Had Taehyung really just left in the middle of an argument? Had he really left Jimin there, pissed off and hurt, and with nothing resolved?

Is Taehyung really going to go to bed with so much anger and negativity hanging in the air?

Jimin can’t believe how childish, and absolutely maddening Taheyung is acting. He can’t even believe that their argument had escalated to such a point. Sure, they’d fought in the past, but never like this.

With hot tears spurred on by nothing but sheer rage pricking the backs of his eyes, Jimin locks himself in his own room, making sure that he slams the door so that Taehyung can hear it.

He paces his room, silently seething, and he’s unable to even sit down, so how the hell is he supposed to try to sleep? 

How can he push this to the back of his mind, how can he ignore it like Taehyung seemed to be doing?

Taehyung may have been done with fighting, but Jimin isn’t. He picks up his phone.

 

[To: Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Jimin: Really mature of you, storming off like that, but why should I have expected anything else from you. Grow the fuck up

Jimin: The only reason I didn’t tell you anything was because I didn’t want you to fucking worry about me

Jimin: I don’t get why that’s so fucking hard for you to understand

 

 

It only takes a couple minutes before Jimin gets a response, but those couple minutes were more than enough to amplify his irritation.

He starts typing out a reply the second he reads what Taehyung had texted.

 

[To: Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Taehyung: Ok. So next time I have a problem and you ask whats wrong

Taehyung: I’m just not gonna tell you. Because you know, even though youre my best friend I dont have to give a shit about you apparently

Jimin: ARE YOU ACTUALLY STUPID? I DO GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU

Taehyung: I was SO fucking worried about you I could hardly sleep at night! If you cared about me you wouldn’t have made me worry like that.

Jimin: I was going through some shit

Taehyung: Obviously

Jimin: I just felt alone

Taehyung: For no reason because I was right fucking there for you!

 

Jimin wants to pull his hair out, he wants to kick something, he wants to open up his window and scream out into the air; he wants to do anything to let some steam off, because right now he feels like his temper is going to fucking boil over.

Why did Taehyung have to be so goddamn infuriating?

This texting thing isn’t working for Jimin anymore. He’s mad, beyond mad, and can’t just fight in silence over text.

It isn’t enough.

“It’s not just about you!” Jimin slams the wall with an open hand, knowing Taehyung’s bedroom is right next to his, and that the walls are paper thin. He knows Taehyung can hear him, he knows that he can hear as his anger finally peaks. “You aren’t the only fucking thing that I need in my life!”

It’s silent now, save for the sound of Jimin’s ragged breathing. He knows that Taehyung heard, so why isn’t he saying anything? Taehyung’s silence only makes Jimin clench his fists as a fresh wave of anger washes over him, and he pounds the wall again.

It’s quiet for a few more seconds before his phone finally gives a soft ding.

 

[To: Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Taehyung: so i’m not good enough for you.

  

It surprises Jimin just how quickly his elevated rage drains from his body. While mere seconds earlier he had felt white hot heat searing through him, now he feels ice cold. It feels as if there’s a block of ice sitting in his chest, and it’s so uncomfortable, makes his chest feel so tight, and he wants nothing more than for it to melt.

He had only said those words to Taehyung out of spite, but he hadn’t given them much thought. He had been consumed with anger, and had lost himself in the heat of the moment. Now he’s just full of panic as the realization of what he had said sinks in.

It isn’t true.

Taehyung is more than enough, and he’d always been more than enough.

 

[To: Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Jimin: That’s not what I meant Tae

Taehyung: yeah it is. i’m not enough. your best friend isn’t enough so you have to go around fucking a bunch of random people.

Taehyung: makes sense lol

Jimin: You’re being a dick. Hear me out, that’s really not what I meant. I just got upset and I said the first thing that popped into my mind

Taehyung: Nah. I think I’m gonna go to bed. Have a good night. Glad you’re feeling better lol.

 

Jimin would have gladly taken being slapped in the face by Taehyung over being subjected to this passive aggressive side of him. 

Now he doesn't feel so sorry for Taehyung anymore.

Now, Jimin has officially had enough of this roller coaster of emotions he'd been on all night.

Now Taehyung is actually just a jerk, and he's pushing Jimin so dangerously close to the edge that Jimin takes the liberty of just jumping off of it himself. 

Heat bubbling within him once more, he leaves his bedroom, and doesn't even think twice when he stops right outside of Taehyung's room, and bangs his fist on the door.

"I'm not fucking fighting with you over text anymore!" Jimin pounds the door again, "get out here, and say whatever the hell you need to say!" 

And suddenly, there's more knocking, but it's not coming from Jimin this time. It's not even coming from Taehyung. 

There’s knocking at Jimin and Taehyung’s door, and it’s insistent knocking that demands their attention. When the knocking doesn’t seem to be enough, and when someone calls out their names, Jimin recognizes the voice all right, but it isn’t Namjoon this time.

It’s their other RA, Junmyeon.

“Guys, open up.”

Yeah. They had been pretty loud, hadn’t they?

 

Chapter Text

“Just talk to him – it’s been two whole days. You guys can barely go an hour without whining about how much you miss each other.” Jin says, very clearly addressing Jimin, and Jimin is well aware of that, along with the fact that Jin is staring directly at him.

However, Jimin remains exactly as is; his head down and his eyes glued to some random page of his psychology textbook. He’s currently pretending to study, and actively trying to ignore Jin and his attempts to reason with him.

What he doesn’t want right now, is a lecture from his friends. The only reason he had agreed to meet up with Jin and Yoongi was so he could get away from his dorm room, and eliminate the risk of running into Taehyung there.

When Jimin doesn’t give a sign indicating that he had heard Jin, the older reaches across the table to take away his textbook.

Only then does Jimin give a reaction, and he looks up, pouting. “What gives? Aren’t you the one always encouraging me to be a good student?” He crosses his arms indignantly, though he can’t really be upset that Jin had interrupted him, because it’s not as if he was actually doing anything productive.

He’d been staring at the same page of his book for the last twenty or so minutes, with his mind wandering far beyond the walls of the library where he sits with his two older friends.  

All Jimin can think about is Taehyung,

They haven’t spoken since the night of their fight, and Jimin doesn’t know if they’ll ever speak again. They haven’t ever been in a serious fight like this before, so he has no idea how to go about resolving it.

He doesn’t even know if they can resolve it, and that’s the most frightening thing to Jimin.

“He’s right,” Yoongi pipes up, pushing his own notebook off to the side in favour of paying attention to the younger. “You and Taehyung need to talk. You can’t avoid each other forever.”

“Yeah we can.” Jimin mumbles, averting his gaze from the older two. They’ve avoided each other just fine so far, so what’s stopping them from continuing the trend of avoidance? “Besides,” he slumps farther down in his chair, “I think Taehyung’s gonna put in a request to find a new roommate, anyway.”

“You’re kidding, right?” Yoongi questions incredulously, staring at the younger in a way that suggests he thinks Jimin has officially lost his mind. “You guys are fucking best friends forever or whatever that shit is. Soulmates. You’re practically one person, do you really think he’s going to go that far?”

Jimin keeps his head lowered, and absentmindedly begins picking at the corners of a page of loose-leaf. He really doesn’t think it’s that outrageous to assume that Taehyung no longer wants anything to do with him – not after everything that had been said. “You weren’t there that night.” He replies simply.

“Was it really that bad? I can’t even imagine you two fighting at all. Unless you’re fighting about who loves the other more.” Jin admits as he slides the papers Jimin had been playing with out of his reach.

With nothing left in front of him to divert his attention from Jin and Yoongi, he finally glances up at the other two, and rolls his eyes. He doesn’t feel like talking about the fight. Being forced to relive that hostile atmosphere was one of the least appealing things Jimin could think of at the moment.

Not only had he and Taehyung fought with each other, but on the night of their fight, they had gotten into some pretty serious trouble from Junmyeon, too. Apparently, people had heard them yelling (it was hard not to), and unsurprisingly, the university doesn’t tolerate fighting.

If there’s one silver lining from the whole night, it’s that their fighting totally overshadowed the fact that he and Taehyung should be written up for another noise complaint.

That little detail isn’t positive enough to make Jimin feel any better, though.

Junmyeon had given them a nice long talk regarding the school’s policy when it comes to violence, and humiliatingly enough, he’d even suggested going to some stupid couples counselling session. He and Taehyung had both vehemently denied being a couple (they were barely even friends at that point), but still, they had been given a form that they were supposed to fill out together.

He had looked over it alone, but not with Taehyung.

The form consisted of questions that were supposed to help them resolve their issues in a civil manner.

Why did the fight start? What aggravated the fight? How could the fight have been prevented? In the future, what will you do to avoid another conflict the next time there is an issue?

And then, there was the second form that Junmyeon had given to each of them.

The transfer request form. Or, the terminate–your-friendship-with-your-best-friend-in-the- whole-entire-world form.

Jimin is almost certain that Taehyung is going to fill that out.

He can still remember the look on his friend’s face when Junmyeon handed them each the paper while saying: “if either of you feel unsafe in your existing living situation, don’t hesitate to fill out this sheet. You don’t have to stay in your current dorm if you think it will affect you negatively in the future.”

Taehyung had seemed like he was actually considering it.

Safety is a priority for the university.

Too bad minding their own damn business isn’t a priority.

This was being made into so much of a bigger issue than it should have been – why couldn’t him and Taehyung just ignore each other peacefully and not have anyone else interfere?

Why did Junmyeon have to give them that stupid roommate transfer form?

Why were they giving Taehyung the perfect chance to leave him?

Jimin swallows thickly, and hangs his head once again, this time only to blankly stare at the tabletop.

What if Taehyung really did request to be moved? What then? Sure, Jimin is still a little mad at him, but that doesn’t mean he wants Taehyung to move out. If Taehyung leaves, then isn’t that officially ending their friendship?

“Jimin…” Jin taps the blonde’s arm, bringing him back to reality once again. “I know you miss him. And I bet he misses you too. If you two end your friendship, then I will officially give up all hope I have for humanity.”

“Yeah. If Kim Taehyung and Park Jimin can’t make it, no one can.” Yoongi adds, nudging Jimin’s foot underneath the table as if to offer some form of reassurance.

While Jimin appreciates the older two and their attempt to make him feel better, his worries are still just as prominent as ever. In theory, apologizing and making up seems easy, but his friends have no idea of the gravity of the situation.

They have no idea about the words he’d said. His words had hurt Taehyung, and Jimin honestly wouldn’t blame Taehyung if he decides he doesn’t want to be friends with someone who hurt him like that.

Jimin lifts his head, putting the frown he’d been wearing pretty much since the fight on full display. “I just…what if he doesn’t want to make up? I think I really fucked up.” He buries his face in his hands, attempting to hide just how upset he really is.

Jimin is shit at hide and seek.

“Then why don’t you ask him?” Yoongi asks as he gently pulls the other’s hands away from his face, and Jimin doesn’t bother to resist. “Why don’t you make the first move?”

The first move?

Why should he have to make the first move when Taehyung had been the one to instigate the fight in the first place?

Why should he make the first move when it had been Taehyung who aggravated the fight by walking out on him?

Jimin’s pout turns into something more akin to a scowl, and he’s quick to reply with, “because he really hurt me, and he should apologize first.”

Leaning back in his seat, Yoongi lets out a half amused, half disbelieving chuckle. “You’re actually one of the most stubborn people I know.” He shakes his head as he watches Jimin, and Jimin hates how the guy can scold him with just one look.

“Says you.” The younger retorts reflexively.

“Watch it, kid.”

Jimin glances off to the side, admonished.

He misses Taehyung. He misses Taehyung a lot.

He misses Taehyung so much that it fucking aches.

The two hadn’t really been themselves around each other ever since Jimin had gone home with that guy from the club – and that had been just over two weeks ago. Now, even though Jimin finally feels better about himself and his whole situation thanks to his talk with Namjoon, he’s in a fight with his best friend, and it fucking sucked.

Jimin knows that he had said some pretty nasty things, but he only said it all after Taehyung had started attacking him for spilling his guts to Namjoon.

In Jimin’s mind, if Taehyung doesn’t come up to him first to tell him he’s sorry and that he misses him, then it’s a sign that Taehyung just doesn’t want to be his friend anymore, and Jimin would somehow have to accept that.

“Jimin, I just want you to be happy again, I feel like I haven’t seen you smile in forever, and it’s starting to get kind of weird.” Jin admits, his tone turning rather theatrical. Jimin watches the eldest cautiously, unsure of what sort of turn this is about to take. “Park Jimin not smiling is like the sun not shining, like a flower not blooming, like world not turning-”

“-Like calling a hot dog a sandwich.” Yoongi cuts in. “It just doesn’t make sense.”

“Are you really going on about that again? I can give you reasons – multiple reasons - as to why a hot dog is in fact a sandwich. You really don’t want to argue with me on this one.” Jin’s now glaring at Yoongi, so he doesn’t see the way Jimin’s lips quirk up in a faint smile.

Yoongi looks down at his hand, putting on a show of casually examining his fingernails. “This isn’t about you, we’re talking about Jimin, here.” He remarks offhandedly.

“Are you serious? I know this isn’t about me – I never said it was about me, you’re the one who brought the hot dog thing up, don’t try to frame me as the bad guy.” Jin’s voice is growing increasingly loud, and he earns a few dirty looks from the people in the library who are actually trying to study.  

Entertained, Jimin silently observes him, and watches as his face turns red, and a vein on his neck sticks out, just like it always did whenever he’s frustrated.

Jimin hides his smile behind his hand, muffles a laugh, and Yoongi throws a discreet wink his way.

Yup. He has the best friends in the world.

“Anyway, ignore that guy,” Jin waves his hand in Yoongi’s general direction, and focuses on Jimin instead. “My point is, I just want you to cheer up.” He pulls out his phone, “want me to show you a picture of you smiling so you remember what it looks like?”

“Hyung,” Jimin groans, but it’s too late. Jin has already pulled up a photo of them together. It’s a picture from the summer; he and Jin are posing with ice cream cones, and Jimin remembers this photo in particular because seconds after it had been taken, Jin spilled his ice cream down the front of his shirt, and then complained about it for the rest of the day.

Jimin had said it had been a sign that Jin should stop being so vain. After all, the picture of 'them' is practically just a picture of Jin. Jimin’s only half in the shot, not enough to see his eyes, but just enough so you can see that at least one half of his mouth is smiling.

“Isn’t this a good picture of us? Well... of me?” Jin muses. Apparently, he hadn’t listened to Jimin’s suggestion regarding his vanity.

Yoongi snorts in amusement.

Hyung.” Jimin repeats, shaking his head as a delicate smile graces his lips. “You’re really shameless, you know that?”

That was one of Jin’s best qualities, actually. Well, that and –

“I know what you can do to cheer me up,” Jimin suddenly perks up. He hums sweetly and reaches across the table, putting on a carefully constructed act of innocence as he plays with the sleeve of Jin’s shirt. Jimin knows that he has a significant advantage at the moment, considering Jin just wants to make him feel better.  “If you cook for me.”

Cooking, was Jin’s next best quality.

“And who’s the shameless one now?” Yoongi raises an eyebrow, but Jimin ignores him, and keeps up his little act.

He may still be upset, but his friends are helping to distract him from his worries. Jimin’s slowly starting to feel a bit better, and even if it is only a little bit, at least it’s still an improvement. Having Jin cook for him would probably make him feel a lot better, though.

“Please?” the blonde lays his head on the table, fixing Jin with a soft gaze. “You haven’t cooked for me in forever.”

“That’s because I have no time to cook anything decent – nor do I have the resources.” Jin admits, purposefully avoiding Jimin’s eyes by going on his phone instead. “To cook you anything decent, I would need way more than the stale cereal and instant rice I have at my place.”

Jin keeps muttering about not having enough room in his apartment, not having the proper finances, and not having all the necessary tools, (whatever that meant) and Jimin is just about to give up on him when Jin suddenly lets out a dramatic gasp.

“Park Jimin.” The eldest looks up from his phone, and fixes Jimin with a sombre stare. “Do you believe in fate?”

“Fate?” Jimin sits up, eyebrows furrowing in confusion, because what the actual hell is Jin talking about now?

Instead of waiting for an answer, Jin simply turns his phone towards the younger, so that he can read what had elicited such an extreme response.

“A cooking demonstration?” Jimin reads the first few lines of the bulletin on the school’s website before looking to Jin for clarification. “What’s that?”

“Basically, it’s like a cooking class-”

“-But you already know how to cook,” Yoongi murmurs, leaning in closer so he can read the post himself. Jin ignores him.

“It’s like a cooking class, and the school will be providing all of the ingredients. Looks like there’s some pretty expensive dishes on the menu, and it says we’ll learn how to make three in total.” Jin looks back and forth between Yoongi and Jimin, almost as if he’s waiting for them to verify that it’s real, and it isn’t a dream. “When’s the next time I’ll get the opportunity to cook in a professional kitchen, with prime ingredients, and everything I could possibly need at my disposal? Not to mention it’s free.” He takes his phone back, smiling. “All I have to do is sign up, and I’m in.”

“Well what are you waiting for? You have a date with fate. Sign up.” Yoongi encourages.

“Oh, I will – the class is tomorrow night.” Jin reaches across the table to comfortingly pat Jimin’s hand. “I’ll bring you back everything I make, don’t worry. And if that can’t cheer you up, then nothing will.”

“Thanks, hyung.” Jimin smiles sweetly, and the other two seem to be relieved to see that familiar smile.

 It’s not as if Jimin genuinely thinks this will somehow fix his problems, but at least it would be something to look forward to. All he really has to look forward to now is an empty dorm room.

“You’re welcome. Now let this be a lesson to you, Jimin, never turn down fate, especially when it comes knocking on your door.” Jin suddenly turns into a lecturer, and Jimin has to resist the urge to roll his eyes. “Seize the opportunity, especially if it seems too good to be true, never doubt things like that.”

Honestly, Jimin doesn’t really believe in fate, but it’s only because he doesn’t exactly have a good reason to believe in it. Stuff just happens, and he doesn’t think there’s a need to bring in an overarching theme of fate to explain why things turn out the way they do. Though, instead of saying any of that, he just nods his head, and says, “got it.”

“Good.” Jin nods, and his smile suddenly fades. “Now get to studying, you have a midterm coming up, and I don’t want to hear you whining about feeling unprepared.”

 

---

 

 

[To: Jin, Jimin]

 

Jin: Did you make up with Taehyung yet?

Jimin: No.

Jin: What if I told you I’m not going to the cooking thing tonight if you don’t make up with him?

Jimin: I would say I know you’re gonna go anyway, because you love cooking and you’ve been excited about it all day yesterday and all day today

Jin: Fair.

Jin: What if I told you I’m gonna go, but I won’t bring you back the food unless you make up with Taehyung?

Jimin: I wouldn’t say anything.

Jimin: I’d just be really really sad because you would have gotten my hopes up for no reason and then crushed them which would only make me feel even more hurt and betrayed than I already feel

Jin: Fine.

Jimin: Have fun at the thingy! Bring me back something good <3

Jin: I’ll bring you back something you’ll love. I cook with my heart.

Jimin: Thank youuu, you’re the best. Still on for studying tomorrow?

Jin: Of course. I’m trapped in a perpetual cycle of studying. This cooking is gonna be the only thing that keeps me sane

Jimin: You’re welcome

Jin: You’re welcome??? You aren’t the one that found it, you aren’t the one that created the event, you aren’t even the one cooking I’m the one cooking for your own benefit

Jin: Gotta go or I’ll be late

Jimin: Yeah don’t be late for your date with fate!

Jimin: Can’t wait until tomorrow

 

Jimin puts his phone down, and stares up at his bedroom ceiling. He can hear Taehyung shuffling around their kitchen, probably looking for a late-night snack or something.

He almost wants to go out there just to see him, because it feels like he hasn’t even looked at Taheyung in forever.

He misses his face, and his voice, and his smile, and his laugh.

He misses the way Taehyung makes him smile and laugh.

Though, Jimin’s scared that if he does go out there, he’ll see nothing but resentment in Taehyung’s eyes.

Frowning to himself, Jimin rolls over, and pulls his covers up to his chin.

Tomorrow will be a new day, and maybe tomorrow will be better. He’d get to eat Jin’s cooking, so that’s already a positive.

Maybe tomorrow Taehyung will apologize, too.

Jimin falls asleep, hoping that tomorrow will be a day where he can smile more.

 

---

  

 

[To: Jin, Jimin]

 

 

Jimin: Hey I’m heading over to your place now, that okay?

Jin: Sounds good, my door’s unlocked. Oh by the way, someone I met last night at the cooking thing is gonna be here studying with us too

Jimin: Aww you made a friend?

Jin: I feel sorry for the guy. If he’s as bad at school as he is at cooking then he’s in a lot of trouble

Jimin: You’re so mean!!!

Jin: Just stating facts. Plus he’s in his second year like you. Maybe he’s in one of your classes

Jin: You okay with him coming? Not like it matters if you aren’t okay with it, he’s already here

Jimin: Well I’m fine with it anyway

Jimin: I’m just gonna stop and grab a coffee first. Want one?

Jin: Yes please. Extra large.

Jimin: Extra large? It’s been one of those days, huh?

Jimin: Does your friend want a coffee?

Jin: One sec I’ll ask

Jin: No. He says he doesn’t drink coffee.

 

 

Chapter Text

With the tray of hot drinks in his hands, Jimin slowly makes his way up the stairs to Jin’s apartment. The elevator had taken too long, and Jimin doesn’t have much patience at the moment. He’s still mulling over the current situation between him and Taehyung, and still worrying that his best friend no longer wants anything to do with him.

Earlier, Jimin had told Jin that he was fine with him bringing along a friend to study with them, but now, as Jimin nears Jin’s apartment door, he vaguely wishes that he hadn’t invited anyone else.

It’s not that Jimin has anything against Jin’s friend – how could he, he doesn’t even know the guy. But now, he would have to put up a front, and hide how upset he is about Taehyung, because he doesn’t want to appear all sad in front of a stranger.

Then again, maybe it’s best if Jimin has to pretend like everything’s fine, and like he doesn’t miss his best friend – maybe that will prove to be a sufficient distraction for him. Maybe it will make him feel better.

“I’m not saying there’s no hope for you, don’t try to make me sound like a bad guy, I’m just saying that your skills in the kitchen are unlike anything I’ve seen in all my years.”

Jimin is jerked from his own thoughts by the sound of Jin’s voice. He can hear his older friend quite clearly, even though he’s standing just outside of his apartment door.

Jin’s tone is a familiar one, and by the way it sounds as if he’s squeezing out all the air in his lungs so that he can push out his words, he knows that Jin is pretty riled up.

Jimin can already envision how red Jin’s face must be at the moment, though he can’t quite envision what exactly has him so annoyed. Intrigued, he presses his ear to the door to listen to whatever the hell is happening in Jin's apartment.

The next voice that he hears isn’t one that he recognizes, so Jimin can only assume that it belongs to Jin’s new friend - the guy that he had met yesterday at the cooking demonstration.

“I mean, I guess that’s really saying something, ‘cause you’ve been around for lot of years, hyung.”

Did Jimin really just hear that? Is this guy really already teasing Jin? Jimin has never spoken to this person in his life, but he can already tell that whoever he is, and wherever he came from, he’s going to get along with him and the rest of their friends, just fine.

“Are you seriously calling me old? I invite you into my home, invite you to eat my food, and this is how you treat me? Where are you getting all this boldness from, because it certainly isn’t stemming from your cooking abilities.”

“Guess it’s just something I was born with.”

Even though Jimin can’t see who Jin’s talking with, he can hear the smug smile that he must be wearing; he sounds far too cocky for there not to be at least a hint of a smirk on his face.

“I hope it’s something you were born with, and that your mother didn’t teach you to behave like this. It’s just too bad you weren’t born with manners.” Jin’s words make Jimin chuckle softly.

“Oh, I was born with manners, but I can choose when to use them.” The other voice says.

Jimin is delighted to find out that today, he won’t have to pretend to smile after all.

He’s already smiling, already teeming with curious excitement to meet this guy, because he knows that they’re going to have a lot of fun with Jin.

Although he's is thoroughly enjoying himself, and although he could probably stay in the hallway for a while, content with his cheek pressed against the door as he listens to the playful bickering going on inside, he eventually decides that it’s a little weird for him to be eavesdropping like this.

Besides, he wants to get in on this whole hyung-harrassing thing too, because although Jin’s friend sounds like he has pretty much perfected the art of it, there is always room for improvement.

And Jimin is always happy to help.

“Oh Jin-hyung,” Jimin calls out in a singsong voice, finally opening the door, and letting himself into the apartment.

 

Jimin can hear Jin sigh with relief, prompting him to sport a playful smile.

“Oh thank god, Jimin, you could not have come at a better time. Help me - I need this coffee.” Jin beckons Jimin to come over quickly, but the blonde is inspired by the teasing that he’d just overheard, and he wants to get in on it himself.

He stares Jin straight in the eyes as he takes deliberately slow strides towards the table, taking a couple steps forward, only to retreat a step or two back in turn. He’s having so much fun toying with the eldest as he tauntingly holds the tray of drinks in front of himself, that he completely forgets Jin’s friend is even there.

“Not you too.” Jin throws his head back in an exaggerated show of frustration, which only makes Jimin laugh cheerfully. “I’m starting to think that bringing both of you here was a very bad decision on my part.”

“Sorry, hyung.” Jimin says, but his facial expression reveals that he’s anything but contrite.

“Yeah, really seems like you are.” Jin mutters, waving his hand in the air. “Jeon Jungkook, Park Jimin. Park Jimin, Jeon Jungkook.” He introduces the two dismissively, as he’s now too preoccupied with getting his caffeine fix.

Only then does Jimin finally turn to face Jin’s friend, who had mysteriously fallen completely silent the moment he had stepped into the room. Jimin wonders where that smug attitude that had been in place a minute ago has gone to.

“Hey,” Jimin greets him with a smile, figuring that a smile would warm the other up to him (smiling always warmed Jimin up), and chase away any awkwardness he may feel from meeting someone new.

The awkwardness ebbs away, but it’s replaced by something else.

Jimin certainly hadn’t expected to see a shy smile on Jungkook’s face as he returns the “hey,” and nods at him.

He almost wants to look around the apartment to see if there is someone else hiding in there, because Jimin has no idea how this guy in front of him had been the one who was speaking to Jin in a voice that dripped cockiness just moments prior.

Though, Jimin doesn’t consider the shyness to be a bad thing; it’s just very unexpected. Jimin had just thought that Jungkook would exude a bit more confidence, since he seemed to have no shortage of it while he talked with Jin.

It all only makes the shy smile that Jimin now sees on his face even cuter.

After looking more closely at him, he can see that although dark, Jungkook’s eyes are bright and alert, and there’s a certain gleam in them that lets him know that the guy’s not really as timid and reserved as he’s currently coming across.

Jimin briefly wonders how long it’ll take for Jungkook to feel comfortable enough around him to shed this shy front.

He hopes it won’t take too long, because he may know what Jungkook sounds like when he's talking all big and cocky, but Jimin want to know what he looks like when he's talking like that, too.

Luckily, he has a little something that will hopefully get the guy to relax a bit.

“Oh, I almost forgot,” Jimin says, his eyes lighting up, “I got something for you too." He sits across from Jungkook, sets the other cup in front of him, and watches him expectantly.

However, Jimin’s excitement stutters when he doesn’t notice Jungkook’s eyes lighting up along with his own.

Instead, Jungkook looks down at the cup Jimin had placed before him, and rubs the back of his neck. “Um, I’m sorry,” Jungkook speaks up hesitantly, “I thought Jin-hyung told you, but I don’t really drink coffee.” The sheepish smile that’s on his face makes Jimin want to reach out and pinch his cheeks.

Thankfully, he has some self-restraint.

“Don’t worry about it.” The blonde laughs, “it’s just hot chocolate, I promise. No coffee. I guess I should’ve checked if you like hot chocolate though.” Jimin brings his own cup up to his lips, smiling faintly. “You don’t have to drink it if you don’t like it.” He pauses for a moment, looking at Jungkook over the lid of the cup before adding, “it’ll only hurt my feelings a little bit.”

Jimin is of course, only teasing Jungkook at the moment. However, the way that Jungkook’s eyes widen, and the way his hand immediately reaches out to take the hot chocolate, like he’d rather be shot than hurt Jimin’s feelings, makes him wonder if Jungkook had known he’d been kidding.

Either way, it's rather amusing.

"No – no, I like hot chocolate. I do.” Jungkook nods enthusiastically, making his fluffy dark hair bounce on the top of his head with each nod. “Thank you.”

Jimin can’t seem to wipe the smile off his face as he watches Jungkook take a careful sip, and when he hears a quiet hum of approval from the other, he feels warmth diffusing through his chest as if he himself had just been the one to take a drink of the hot chocolate.

“Ah, that’s our Jimin. Such a nice guy,” Jin muses, ruffling up Jimin’s hair.

Jimin tries to dodge the hand, but when he's unsuccessful, he bats it away instead. “Hyung,” he mutters, “it's no big deal. Anyone would’ve done the same. . .”  He begins methodically combing his fingers through his hair in an attempt to tame it once more, and his eyes land on Jungkook as he does so.

The second their eyes meet, Jungkook averts his gaze as if he had just been caught staring (which he totally had been).

Once again, Jimin can’t help but feel rather curious about the shy kid being presented in front of him.

Jungkook had met Jin last night, so they’d obviously known each other longer than Jimin had known him. Still, the guy had sounded pretty damn comfortable talking with Jin, so Jimin had just assumed he was naturally outgoing.

However, from what he can currently observe, the guy isn’t very outgoing at all, but again, Jimin doesn't consider it to be a negative. 

It only means that he's now determined to break Jungkook out of his shell, and to make him just as comfortable around him as he is around Jin. If Jungkook had been talkative, and full of wide smiles and lively gestures, then there really wouldn’t be much need for Jimin to be interested in getting to know him more.

Jimin is glad that Jungkook is a little shy, because it makes him all the more curious about him. He wonders if he's this shy around everyone he meets for the first time, and wonders how he had acted upon meeting Jin. Is there something in particular making Jungkook shy? Jimin knows that Jin is easy to get along with, and that he makes friends easily, but Jimin doesn't exactly consider himself to be intimidating. Still, maybe Jungkook finds him intimidating somehow? Is that why he's being so quiet?

“Anyway, I didn’t gather us all here today to goof around.” The eldest suddenly says, adopting a rather serious tone, and effectively pulling Jimin from his thoughts. “We’re here to study.”

Earlier that day, Jimin had been fully prepared for, and fine with, coming to Jin’s place to study for a few hours. However, now that he's met Jungkook, Jimin figures that studying can take a seat on the back burner.

Sitting in silence and studying isn’t going to get Jungkook to warm up to him.

“I came here to eat, actually,” Jimin hums playfully, propping his elbow up on the table, and resting his chin in his hand as he watches Jin. Jimin decides that if he can’t bond with Jungkook over their mutual keenness for teasing the eldest, then they can’t bond over anything at all. “Did you really trick me into coming here? Did you lure me like a lamb to the slaughter by offering me food?”

Jin scoffs, and nudges Jimin. “You’re hardly a lamb – you’re the last person I would ever call innocent.”

Jin's bout of playful laughter is quick to cease once Jimin kicks him underneath the table.

Hopefully, the kick would serve it's purpose, and would deter him from making another one of those easily misconstrued remarks.

After all, Jimin’s trying to get Jungkook to warm up to him, not scare him away.

Hyung,” Jimin warns sweetly, fixing Jin with a telling look, just in case his kick hadn’t quite delivered the message. Jin scowls at him as he rubs his leg, but Jimin pays no mind to it, because he's too preoccupied with demonstrating to Jungkook the fact that he's pretty good at teasing Jin himself.  “You told me you were gonna let me have the food you made... did you really lie to me?” Jimin tilts his head innocently, waiting on a reply, almost like he's challenging Jin to refute him. Though, when Jungkook speaks up instead, he's all the more pleased. 

“I uh,” Jungkook clears his throat, and glances at Jimin tentatively. “I only came here to eat, too. Kind of rude of you to deceive us like this, Jin-hyung.”

Maybe it wouldn’t take long for Jungkook to come out of his shell, after all.

“Are you guys crazy? I explicitly told both of you that we were going to study first, and then eat afterwards, do you have no shame?” Jin demands, waving his hand wildly.

“Jin-hyung, don’t make us study,” Jimin sticks his lower lip out, pouting in an effort to appeal to the oldest. He’s already well aware that he has no shame at this point, especially not now when he’s doing his best to put on a bit of a show for Jungkook. “Please? Pretty please?” He flutters his eyelashes to really sell the point, and Jin sighs in disbelief.

“Jimin, when has saying pretty please ever actually gotten you what you wanted?”

“Honestly,” Jimin hums thoughtfully, “more often than you would think.”

“I believe that.” Jungkook deadpans, and the second the words have left his mouth, his eyes are widening as if he had only realized what those words implied after saying them out loud.

Caught off guard, Jimin finds himself simply staring at Jungkook with his mouth slightly open. Had Jungkook just implied that he was cute? Or, if not cute, hadn’t he at least, in some way, admitted that he found Jimin appealing?

Jimin has a sneaking suspicion that his assumptions are correct when he thinks he notices a subtle pink colour on Jungkook’s cheeks that hadn’t been there earlier. Then again, maybe it's just wishful thinking. Maybe he's not blushing at all, and Jimin just wants to see him blush a little, because he doesn’t know for sure if Jungkook thinks he’s cute, but  Jimin definitely thinks that Jungkook is cute.

"Oh?" Jin questions as he leans forward, evidently amused by the little slip up.“And what exactly do you mean by that, Kookie?” 

Jungkook looks around like the answer to Jin's question is hiding somewhere in the apartment, and Jimin takes the opportunity to shoot the older a half-hearted glare, telling him not to embarrass the poor guy. Honestly though, Jimin kind of wants to hear his explanation, too.

He can’t help but feel a tug of curiosity as he focuses his attention back on Jungkook.

Why did he sort of want him to admit that he thinks he’s cute?

“Well…” Jungkook begins, and to Jimin’s dismay, he’s still avoiding eye contact.

Jimin wishes that the guy would just look at him, so he can see what kind of glimmer is lighting up those deep, dark eyes now.

“I just mean that I can see why he gets what he wants.” Jungkook finishes with an unconvincing shrug, and because it had been so unconvincing, Jin won’t let him off the hook.

“Can you? That’s not a good sign. You know, you’re gonna be in a lot of trouble if you start letting Park Jimin have whatever he wants – he’s pretty damn needy.”

“Hey,” Jimin frowns, and lightly slaps Jin’s arm. Sure, he knows he can be a little needy at times, but that doesn't mean he wants Jungkook to think he has dependency issues or something. “I’m not even needy! You’re just a pushover so you’re the one I go to the most when I need something.” As soon as he’s spoken, Jimin bows his head, and a smile breaks out over his face in anticipation of Jin’s response.

He already knows his words have earned a (very comical) earful.

“You think I’m a pushover? Is that so? Then you just use me for getting what you want? Is that why you always want to study with me? Is that all I am to you?” Jin’s head is shaking rapidly as he questions the other, and just like Jimin had predicted, he ends up losing himself to his amusement, and laughter bubbles up from his chest.

Maybe Jimin is sadistic in some sort of way, because for some reason, seeing Jin frustrated because of him always manages to put a smile on his face. “Hyung, I''m sorry,” Jimin tries to speak, but his words are rather distorted due to his laughing. “I’m kidding, you’re more than that.” He places a hand on Jin’s shoulder, and squeezes apologetically. “You’re great. One of a kind.” He finally manages to collect himself, and while Jin mutters indistinctly, he lifts his head and wipes at his eyes.

At least today he’s not crying out of sadness.

He hasn’t even had a bite of Jin’s food, and yet the day is already shaping up to be far better than he had expected.

Amusement still twinkling in his eyes, Jimin directs his attention to Jungkook, and is happy to see a faint smile lingering on his lips, perhaps in place from watching the other two.

Jimin briefly wonders what Jungkook looks like with a full-on smile, but he tries not to give the thought too much attention at the moment.

Baby steps, right?

“So Jungkook,” Jimin says, his palms feeling pleasantly warm as he holds his coffee cup with both hands. “You’re in your second year too, right?”

“He is, but he’s a year younger than you, which explains why he’s such a child, and doesn’t even like coffee.” Jin answers for him, but the blonde carries on as if he hasn’t heard.

“What classes are you in this semester? I wonder if we have any together.”  Jimin really hopes that they’re in at least one of the same classes – he doesn’t know Jungkook very well yet, but he’s already confident that he’s a nice kid, and that they’ll get along.

Plus, he isn’t so bad on the eyes, so that’s always a positive.

“Well…” Jungkook’s gaze shifts between the older two, before his eyes finally come to settle just on Jimin. “We are, actually.” He replies hesitantly, and earns yet another startled stare from the blonde.

This kid is full of surprises.

How does he already know they have a class together?

Before Jimin can even open his mouth to ask, Jungkook is rushing to add on to his statement, like he’s afraid of giving Jimin a chance to say anything at all, and his tongue is nearly tripping on his words as he speaks.

Now, Jimin can verify with the utmost certainty that Jungkook is currently blushing.

Cute.

“We’re in the same psych class,” Jungkook starts, “with professor Kang. I always sit at the very back of class, and you always sit up at the very front, so I’ve seen you around before, but you probably haven’t ever seen me.” His eyes are still wide, and his shoulders are tense as he looks for Jimin's reaction.

Jimin blinks once, twice, opens his mouth to say something, but then keeps silent. He’s trying to process what Jungkook has just said.

The guy’s right. Jimin does always sit at the front in that class, and he always gets to class relatively early, so it makes sense that he would never have noticed Jungkook if Jungkook always came through the back doors. Besides, the lecture hall is fairly big, so Jimin isn’t surprised he hasn’t seen the guy before.

However, Jimin is surprised that Jungkook has not only seen him, but has also recognized him.

He doesn’t know if it’s appropriate to feel flattered at the moment, because this may not even mean anything. It may only mean that Jungkook sits at the back, and since sitting at the back gives him a good view of literally everyone in front of him, he was bound to have at least seen Jimin once. It's that simple.

Even so, even if it doesn’t mean anything significant, even if it means nothing at all, Jimin feels his heart flutter. 

“Really?” He tries to ignore the heat spreading over his own cheeks, because this is no time to feel all flustered, especially since Jungkook recognizing him from class probably doesn’t even mean anything. “Well… we should sit together next class, then.” 

Jungkook lets out a long sigh, like he’d been holding his breath up until then. “Yeah, okay. Yeah, we should. Sounds good.”

“See, Jimin? Told you I’d bring you back something you’d like,” Jin says, playfully slapping Jimin on the back, but again, Jimin chooses to ignore him.

He’s too overcome with excitement over the fact that he has a buddy to sit with in psych now – it’s one of the only classes where he doesn’t have a friend to sit beside.

Clasping his hands together, Jimin leans forward, and starts talking enthusiastically.

Making new friends is always fun.

“Have you started studying for the midterm next week? I only just started a couple days ago, and I’m kinda stressing about it. But I think it’ll be okay as long as I re-read the chapters.”

Judging by the sudden bleakness on Jungkook’s face, he hasn’t even cracked open the textbook.

“Midterm?” Jungkook stares at Jimin blankly. “You mean that’s next week? I thought it was two weeks from now.” Any hint of pink that may have been visible on Jungkook’s face is now gone, and Jimin doesn’t know whether to laugh, or to be concerned about how pale he is.

Deciding that he should be at least mildly concerned, he waves his hand like it's no big deal. “Hey, don’t worry about it.” He says, even though internally, he’s freaking out for the poor guy. Jimin always liked to get a head start on studying, so he can’t even imagine how he’d feel in Jungkook’s position. “You have me to help you now,” he smiles, because fuck, the guy really looks like he can use a smile. “We can study together - I used to be a tutor in high school.”

“Really?” Jungkook looks like he expects Jimin to say just kidding, you’re on your own, but when Jimin gives a reassuring nod instead, he slumps back in his seat with a sigh. “Oh my god, thank you so much – I don’t even know where to start studying.”

For some strange reason, Jimin really likes it when Jungkook says thank you. He really likes how genuine he seems when he says it, and he likes the relieved little smile on his face, and Jimin finds himself thinking that he wants to do anything he can for Jungkook, just so he can hear him say thank you again.

Then again, even if Jungkook didn’t thank him, Jimin thinks he’d still help him.

Jimin thinks that maybe, Jungkook is someone worth helping.

“What did I tell you, Jimin? Fate – fate that I went to that cooking demonstration and that I met Jungkook. It’s your destiny to help him out with this test and make sure he doesn’t flunk. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure I deserve some credit here.” Jin announces, looking off into the distance in an incredibly melodramatic manner.

“Is he always like this?” Jungkook questions cautiously, like he’s afraid to know the answer.

Jimin nods. Jin is so ridiculously over the top sometimes, but that’s exactly why Jimin loves him so much. “Always. Haven’t you already noticed?”

“I mean, I have, but I was sort of holding on to the hope that it wasn’t true.” Jungkook admits.

“Nope, this is Jin-hyung for you, in all his glory.” Jimin smiles, and is delighted when Jungkook actually holds his gaze and smiles back at him. His eyes seem brighter now than they had been before, and Jimin takes it as another sign that he’d gotten Jungkook to warm up. In turn, Jimin feels that much warmer, too.

“Stop talking about me like I’m not here – you know I can hear everything you say, right?” Jin scolds, and Jimin doesn’t hesitate to take the golden opportunity that the eldest had so graciously presented.

Sometimes, it's like Jin's asking to get teased.

“Did you hear that, Jungkook?” Jimin tilts his head, furrowing his eyebrows to feign puzzlement. He looks around the room to try and find the source of whatever noise he’d just heard, and has to consciously stop himself from grinning when Jungkook catches on, and plays along seamlessly.

“You heard something? I didn’t hear anything - maybe the window’s open and you heard something from outside?” Jungkook and Jimin exchange smiles once again.

Now, Jimin can definitely see how the Jungkook in front of him had been the one he’d heard pestering Jin earlier. There’s a certain smugness in the way his lips quirk upwards; one side higher than the other, and there’s a spirited flicker in his eyes.

Jimin can’t help but feel satisfied that he had finally gotten to see this smug side of him.

Jin sighs loudly, “you know I’m older than you – you know this is my apartment, you’re in my apartment. How do you guys live with yourselves, really. Unbelievable.”

Unable to conceal his amusement any longer, Jimin lets his head fall back as he laughs, and it feels really good to laugh; Jimin has always loved laughing.

This time though, laughing seems to feel even better, because he can hear Jungkook snickering along with him.

Jungkook sounds cute when he snickers like that – he looks cute when he snickers like that, and Jimin can’t help but feel a little greedy now. Now he wants to hear how Jungkook sounds when he’s full out laughing, he wants to see what Jungkook looks like with uncontainable happiness etched into his features.

Though, Jimin decides that this moment is perfectly fine for now, and he’s content with his small victory of at least getting to this point with him.

It had been relatively easy, and enjoyable, to coax out this side of him, and Jimin wonders how much fun it’ll be to get to see all of his other sides, too. More than that, he hopes that he'll be able to bring out a few new sides of him.

Once again, Jin interrupts his thoughts and his laughter, and abruptly brings Jimin back to his senses with the distinct click of a camera going off.

Immediately turning his head to look at the eldest, he furrows his eyebrows in confusion, though there’s still traces of laughter evident on his face. Sure enough, Jin’s holding up his phone. “Did you…” Jimin hesitates, unsure if he should feel perplexed or amused. “Did you just take a picture of me?”

“Yes.” Jin answers simply. “This is a noteworthy occasion – it’s the first time I’ve seen you smile like that in a while.”

“This hyung really has no boundaries, does he?” Jungkook questions, watching Jin as if he were examining some fascinating new specimen.

Jimin grins and shakes his head. “None.”

“Hey, you should be honoured that I’m trying to get rid of those boundaries – you should be honoured you can relate to your older friend like this.”

Jungkook snickers again, “Honoured isn’t the word I would use…I’m kind of impressed, though. He does try pretty hard, doesn’t he?”

“The hardest. That’s why we call him Jin instead of Seokjin.” Jimin replies, and while he had previously been watching Jin fondly, now he’s preoccupied with watching as Jungkook takes another sip of his hot chocolate.

It’s not as if Jimin had made the hot chocolate himself, and he hadn’t gone out of his way to go somewhere special to get that hot chocolate, nor did he ask the barista to make the hot chocolate in some fancy way. 

Yet, watching Jungkook enjoy the drink makes Jimin feel content in some unexplainable way, and he knows that feeling all warm and fuzzy inside is definitely not a warranted reaction to watching someone drink fucking hot chocolate.  

Still, he can’t deny that this feeling is just…nice.

“Seokjin is too formal," Jin says easily. "Seokjin is what my parents calls me.” He leans back in his chair, and assumes a posture that would prevent anyone who sees it from calling him formal.

In that moment in particular, Jimin is glad that Jin is there, because if he hadn't been, then Jimin would probably have ended up smiling and watching Jungkook take little sips of his hot chocolate for far longer than what is socially acceptable.

Jungkook hesitates for a moment, and then cocks his head to the side as he looks to Jin. “Is it really that formal though? It’s just your name."

”Just go with it,” Jimin laughs.

 ---

 

That day, they don't study at all. Jimin and Jungkook succeeded in distracting the eldest until it was about time for dinner, and by that point they were all pretty hungry, so they had to eat.

Jimin may not have studied, but he certainly wouldn’t call the day unproductive.

He learned quite a bit about Jungkook.

He now knows that Jungkook lives in the apartments right across the street from Jin, and that he doesn’t have any roommates. He now knows that the reason why Jungkook had signed up for the cooking demonstration, was because he had lost a bet with his friends.

He now even knows Jungkook’s phone number.

Not only that, but Jimin also learns that Jungkook has the most adorable way of munching on his food, and he learns that Jungkook is probably the cutest when he scrunches up his nose when he thinks something’s funny. Most importantly though, Jimin learns that he really really wants to keep learning more about Jungkook.

 

At the end of the day, when Jimin’s walking back to his dorm, his cheeks are sore from smiling, and his heart is light. All he wants to do is tell Taehyung that he had made a new friend, and he's so excited about it, because he thinks that Taehyung will really like Jungkook, too.

But then, Jimin remembers that he can’t tell Taehyung any of that. He can’t even talk to Taehyung at all.

Suddenly, Jimin’s heart doesn’t feel so light. The only thing that makes him feel a little better is when he walks into their dorm room, and he sees that Taehyung’s belongings are all still there, meaning he hadn’t moved out.

Yet.

With a shaky sigh, Jimin retreats to his bedroom, finding it difficult to adjust to coming down from such an incredible high.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Jimin: Liar.

Jungkook: Woah, that’s a pretty serious accusation

Jimin: You agreed to sitting with me in class, yet I don’t see you. And to think I actually trusted you.

Jungkook: I’m sitting where I always sit, and yet you didn’t even try to find me. Kinda rude of you if you ask me

 

Jimin grins down at his phone, but does his best to conceal it when he turns to look over his shoulder. He doesn’t want Jungkook to think he’s too eager or anything.

Class is almost about to start, so there are only a few stragglers left coming in to find seats, and it doesn’t take Jimin very long to spot Jungkook after scanning the back of the room.

The guy had already been staring at Jimin, and the moment their eyes meet, he lifts his hand and offers a little wave. This time, Jimin allows himself to openly smile as he waves back.

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Jimin: Come up to the front!

Jungkook: Why don’t you come to the back?

Jungkook: Take a walk on the wild side

Jimin: You can barely even see the board all the way back there

Jungkook: Actually, I can see just fine. Maybe you need your eyes checked

Jimin: And you need your pride checked. Swallow it and come sit next to me

Jungkook: But I saved a spot back here just for you

 

Once again, Jimin turns to where Jungkook’s sitting, and the younger motions to the empty seat next to him.

Even from all the way at the front of the class, Jimin can see the cocky little smile playing on his face. As much as he likes that smile of Jungkook’s, and as much as he’d like to see it up close, Jimin isn’t about to give in and let him win.

Besides, it just so happens that Jimin has also saved a spot right up front, just for Jungkook.

In the midst of typing out a response persuading Jungkook to get his ass to the front of the class, the sound of their prof’s voice interrupts him, signalling that the lecture has started.

Looks like he’s not going to be able to sit next to Jungkook this class, after all.  

Honestly, Jimin’s only a little disappointed about it. How can he be too upset when Jungkook had been sweet enough to reserve him a seat at the back?

Next class, Jimin would be sure to fill that empty chair beside him.

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Jimin: You’re sitting with me next class whether you like it or not

Jungkook: Promise?

 

 

Jimin’s thankful that he’s facing the front of the room, so Jungkook can’t see the stupid grin he’s currently wearing. How can Jungkook make him feel so damn giddy just by texting a single word? Jimin doesn’t exactly understand, but he’s not about to question it right now.

He does his best to compose himself, and puts his phone in his lap so he can text more discreetly.

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Jimin: What are you doing after class?

Jungkook: Nothing planned, why?

Jimin: I was gonna ask Jin-hyung to go for lunch, wanna come?

Jungkook: I’m down

Jungkook: Now put your phone away, jeez. For someone who likes sitting at the very front, you sure text a lot during class. No respect for professor Kang at all.

Jimin: You’re actually so annoying

Jungkook: You don’t even know the half of it

 

 

Jimin decides that that’s enough texting for the time being. Anymore of it and people would probably start to wonder what the hell is wrong with him, and why the hell he’s smiling like a maniac down at his crotch. He sets his phone face down on the desk, and turns his attention to the lecture.

Or, at least he pretends to turn his attention to the lecture.

In reality, he spends most of the class wondering if Jungkook is watching him, and trying not to think too much about how he had saved a seat just for him.

 

When class is over, Jimin meets Jungkook outside the lecture hall, and they walk together to an on-campus café. Even though it’s just the two of them, he doesn’t feel any awkwardness, which genuinely surprises him.

He had assumed there would be a fair amount of uncertainty between them considering the only other time they’d spoken had been when Jin was present (of course they’d texted, but Jimin knows that texting is not the same as talking in person).

Right now, Jimin feels strangely comfortable, though. It’s not as if he and Jungkook are talking nonstop, and there are the occasional lapses in their conversation. Jungkook still shows traces of his shy self, but those traces are sprinkled in amongst his more spirited and playful side. But, even when they both fall quiet, and even when neither of them quite knows what to say next, Jimin doesn’t find it awkward at all.

He is pleasantly surprised to find out that he and Jungkook get along just fine, all on their own.

 

Despite inviting Jin along, in the end, they eat alone. Jin texted saying that he’d be running a little late, and both Jimin and Jungkook were too hungry, and too impatient to wait for him.  

Admittedly, Jimin is kind of glad that it’s just the two of them, because it gives him a chance to get to know Jungkook better.

Over lunch, he learns that Jungkook doesn’t exactly know what he wants to do after graduating, so he’s finding it a little difficult to stay motivated with no clear goal in mind. He’s taking a bunch of general courses, and hoping that along the way something he learns will spark his interest, and will help him figure out what he wants to do with his life.

As Jungkook had pointed out (in an endearingly humble manner), he’d always been good at almost everything all throughout middle school and high school, so coming in to university, he had just assumed that he was fine, and that he had a lot of time to figure things out.

However, now that Jungkook’s in his second year, he’s starting to feel a little lost, and like he’s running out of time.

Jimin can empathize with him on that, even though he himself had been feeling lost and pressured for time for a whole different reason. Nonetheless, he’s more than willing to offer similar advice to what Namjoon had given him, and thankfully, it seems to ease Jungkook’s mind.

Jimin had already figured out that he likes helping Jungkook, and so it even feels good to offer him little pieces of guidance. And now, Jimin feels like he may have gotten himself into a little bit of trouble. After watching Jungkook don a grateful smile, and after seeing the worry leave his face, all Jimin wants to do is tell him to come to him with anything and everything that may be troubling him. Though, he knows they aren’t quite close enough for that yet.

They’d only just met, and yet, Jimin doesn’t want to see Jungkook worry.

Even though Jimin had previously thought that he wanted to see every side of Jungkook, now he knows that isn’t true. He doesn’t want to see all the sides of Jungkook. In fact, Jimin wants to do his best to ensure that he would never have to see the sad side of Jungkook.

All Jimin wants is for Jungkook to smile, because Jungkook has such a good smile. It’s one of those smiles that makes you want to smile along with him, or just at him, because he’s really that cute and his smile is really that nice. Jimin has never had difficulty smiling, but with Jungkook, smiling still seems to be that much easier. 

Yeah, he’s definitely in trouble.

Aside from when they’d talked about school, and when Jimin had offered some words of advice, they’d spent the majority of their lunch joking around, and not really talking about anything in particular.

Jimin finds out that he and Jungkook can go off on tangents without thinking twice; it’s just that easy to get along with him, and he’s having fun exploring a goofier side to Jungkook.

 

When they’ve both finished their food, Jin’s still nowhere to be seen, so they stay seated at the table to wait for the eldest. And of course, to talk some more.

“You know,” Jungkook begins, but he cuts himself off so that he can thank their server when she comes over to clear the plates from the table.

Even that simple gesture from Jungkook makes a smile surface on Jimin’s face. It makes him think that Jungkook is a good person, and that he only deserves good things, which are thoughts that simultaneously give rise to a feeling of elation and fear.

Jimin is happy, because now he’s that much more certain that Jungkook is actually a good guy. He’s afraid, because why should he care so much about something as trivial as thanking the waitress? Don’t most people do that? It’s not as if Jungkook had just performed a miracle and saved her life or something - there was really nothing remarkable about it at all.

Is he reading too much into things? Jimin’s worried that he’s jumping at every opportunity to paint Jungkook as a good person. Does he want so badly to believe that Jungkook is good, so he’s looking for any little thing about him to use as evidence that he really is good?

A little while ago, Jimin had been convinced that there weren’t any decent people left in the world, and that there wasn’t anyone else worth getting close to. After his talk with Namjoon, he had pretty much discarded those thoughts, as he realized they were far too pessimistic, and too absolute.

Now, Jimin’s apprehensive. What if he wants so badly to connect with someone that he’s projecting his desires onto Jungkook? What if he just wants to believe that he’s a good person, even if he’s not?

They’d only just met after all, so why does Jimin already feel so comfortable around him, and why does he want to make him smile so badly? Why does it feel so good to see him smile?

“I haven’t ever eaten here before,” Jungkook starts again, disrupting Jimin’s thoughts, “but I think I’m gonna start coming here more often – that was so good.”

After realizing that the other’s attention is focused on him, Jimin smiles habitually, and does his best to pretend like he isn’t having an internal crisis.

Maybe he’s worried for nothing, and maybe he’s overthinking things.

Besides, he can’t deny that talking with Jungkook is easy, and thus far, there haven’t been any red flags with him. There’s no reason to doubt Jungkook, so why make up a reason?

The worries in his mind are worries that he wants to dismiss, and he figures that the only way to know what sort of person Jungkook really is, is by talking with him like he’d been doing all afternoon.  

“Really, you’ve never been here?”  He finds it easy to forget about his doubts when he’s looking at Junkook’s bright, attentive eyes. Jungkook’s eyes are so big and so clear, leaving no room for even a trace of deceit. With his anxieties melting away into a pleasantly warm pool at the bottom of his stomach, Jimin smiles. “I find that hard to believe. I mean, if you’re as bad at cooking as Jin-hyung says you are, you must eat out all the time.” He teases.

Jungkook relaxes against the booth, and waves his hand dismissively. “I’m not that bad, okay? It’s all part of a strategy.” The corner of his mouth twitches upwards, and tugs at Jimin’s curiosity.

Sitting up a little straighter, he raises an eyebrow, intrigued. “Go on.”

“You see,” Jungkook says, leaning forward like he’s sharing top-secret information, and he doesn’t want anyone else to overhear it. “If I happen to look all helpless, and if I look like I’m a bad cook, then a skilled cook will have mercy on me, and do everything for me.” There’s a certain self-satisfied gleam in his eyes, which Jimin finds comical.

Did the guy think he’d unlocked the secrets of the universe or something?

Jimin doesn’t exactly know what kind of strategy Jungkook is employing, but if anything, it’s an amusing one, that’s for sure. Still, he narrows his eyes skeptically, “so…you purposely made it seem like you were a bad cook, so that someone else would help you?”

“Exactly.”

“Doesn’t that just mean you’re lazy?” Jimin laughs.

“No, it means I’m manipulative. Big difference.”

“Oh?” Jimin crosses his arms, his voice maintaining a playful lilt. “You’re manipulative? So, does that mean I should be careful of you?” He’s almost certain that if Jungkook really is manipulative, he wouldn’t go around bragging about it. He’s positive that Jungkook’s words were meant as a joke, and nothing else.

Though, he’s curious to see how the younger will respond. Just seconds before, the atmosphere had been playful and lively, but now, as Jungkook stares at Jimin with wide eyes, the light-heartedness evaporates.

Jungkook’s facial expression looks identical to the one he’d been wearing when he first let slip that he knew Jimin was from his psychology class. He looks like he’d just said something that he regrets.

There’s a certain tension in the air, but Jimin doesn’t know what it’s for. He had only been teasing Jungkook, and Jungkook is certainly no stranger to teasing, as they’d been doing it back and forth all afternoon. So, what’s with this sudden rigidness? Why can’t Jungkook shoot back a teasing remark of his own?

Before Jimin can ask Jungkook what the look on his face is for, and before Jungkook can say anything at all, Jin finally shows up at their table.

Impeccable timing.

“Sorry I’m late,” Jin says breathlessly. “I had to talk to my prof about an assignment. I got here as quick as I could.” He notices the bare tabletop and smiles. “You guys waited for me? Ah, now that’s true friendship, I knew I could count on you.” He reaches out for a handshake, but instead of extending his hand, Jimin offers him the menu.

“Well… we actually didn’t wait for you.” The blonde smiles guiltily, “you were taking a long time, so we ate without you. Sorry, hyung.” He slides over in the booth, and makes room for the eldest.

Jin stares blankly at Jimin for a moment before snatching the menu from him. “Of course.”

 

Eventually, with the help of Jin, the playfulness seeps back into the air around them, and Jimin completely forgets about the situation surrounding Jungkook’s comment.

Now, the three of them are immersed in lively chatter, and every now and then, Jimin sneaks a bite or two of Jin’s food. Jin complains about it, calls Jimin relentless and greedy, because: “you already ate without me, now you’re stealing my food? Unbelievable.”

In response, Jimin just shrugs innocently, and then flashes Jungkook a taunting little smile, like he’s challenging him to pester Jin, too.

Today, Jimin learns that Jeon Jungkook doesn’t shy away from challenges.

Jungkook, being the little brat he is, manages to drink Jin’s entire glass of Coke, plus his refill, and he somehow succeeds in doing it all without Jin even noticing. Jin realizes what’s happened when he reaches for his drink to wash his food down, only to find two empty glasses in front of him.

Unsurprisingly, the eldest gives both Jimin and Jungkook a good scolding.

Naturally, neither of them can contain their laughter during it.

 

Once he is finished eating, and the only thing left on the table is their glasses of water, Jin slaps his hand down out of nowhere, startling the other two. "Ah, Jungkook, I've been meaning to ask you something." Jin flashes Jungkook a smile, and Jimin furrows his brows, wondering what the hell Jin is about to say, because the way the eldest is smiling somehow puts him on edge. “What are your plans for this weekend? What are you doing for Halloween?”

Oh.

Truthfully, Jimin had forgotten all about Halloween. He’d been so preoccupied with his fight with Taehyung, and then with meeting Jungkook, that it had totally slipped his mind. However, after Jin’s mentioned it, now it’s the only thing he can think about. He wonders if Jungkook is going out.

Curious, he watches the youngest, trying to appear nonchalant as he takes a sip of his water.

Jungkook gets this strange look on his face, and it’s one that Jimin hasn’t seen before – it’s like he’d been waiting for Jin to ask. No, it's like he’s glad Jin asked. “Nothing too big. I’m getting together with some of my friends to pre-game, then I think we’re gonna head to a club after.” Jungkook pauses, and even though he directs his next question to both Jin and Jimin, he’s only looking at Jimin. “What about you guys?”

Suddenly, Jimin is very interested in Halloween again. He wonders what sort of silly smile Jungkook will wear when he has some alcohol in his system.

Jin gestures to Jimin, and replies for the both of them. “We’re doing pretty much the same thing. I was gonna invite you, but if you’re doing your own thing before you go out, then we can just meet you at the club if you want? Jimin has some great dance moves, you know.”

Jimin splutters, choking on his water. "Wha - hyung!" He covers his mouth with his hand as water trickles down his chin, attempting to save himself from any additional embarrassment. Not only is he already sufficiently flustered from Jin’s comment, but when he glances at Jungkook to gauge the damage he’d incurred, Jungkook is smirking, and that damn smirk causes heat to blossom over his cheeks.

Jimin turns his head to glare at Jin, because he’d take having Jungkook believe that he’s red with annoyance over having him think that he’s flustered because of that smirk of his.

The kid’s already far too cocky for his own good, and Jimin doesn’t want to feed into it. If Jungkook thinks he has some sort of power over him, then it’s game over.

“What, it’s true. You’re a good dancer.” Jin says, far too casual for Jimin’s liking. “I can brag about my friends, can’t I? You don’t brag about yourself, so someone else has to.” He adds, handing over a napkin.

“No one has to brag about anyone, I’m perfectly happy with listening to you brag about yourself.” Jimin grumbles, keeping his head down as he wipes his face with the napkin Jin had given. It’s not that Jimin particularly cares if people know that he used to dance, but he’s rather modest when it comes to talking about it, and he always had been. Besides, the way Jin had brought it up made it seem like he’s more well versed in dirty dancing in dingy clubs than anything else, and that’s not exactly the impression that Jimin wants to give off.

“You’re a dancer?” Jungkook interjects.

Jimin, being stupid, looks up at him only to see that same blush inducing look on his face. Jimin wishes he hadn’t looked up. He wishes Jungkook was still all shy like he’d been when they’d first met, so he couldn’t fluster him like this.

He considers dipping his napkin in his water and dabbing his cheeks with it, because damn, his face feels hot, and overheating in front of Jungkook is one of the last things he wants to do. Instead, he lowers his head again and pretends to wipe up water from the table, so that Jungkook can’t turn him an even deeper shade of red. “I’m not a dancer. I used to dance when I was younger, and then I used to teach some lessons, but I haven’t been keeping it up since I started university. I mean I still love it, but I don’t have much time for it.”

Jin watches Jimin in silence for a few seconds before nodding at Jungkook, “so what does that sound like to you, Jungkook?”

“Sounds like he’s a dancer.” The youngest answers playfully.

Jimin rolls his eyes, well aware that there’s no way he can win whatever game of teasing that may ensue, since he’s currently outnumbered. So, while Jin’s busy laughing, he tries changing the subject.

“Well I think it would be really fun if we meet up.” Jimin finally looks at Jungkook again, which was probably another mistake on his part, because when Jungkook smiles back, he feels his cheeks grow warm like the blush never left.  “I mean, if all of us meet up. Not just us two.” He adds hastily, “we still have to introduce you to everyone else, you know.” Even though he’s a little flustered at the moment, and even though he should probably just keep quiet and stop looking at Jungkook, Jimin’s also incredibly excited over the prospect of introducing his other friends to him. Thankfully, his excitement is working to overshadow his embarrassment.

“Everyone else?” Jungkook’s eyebrows knit together, and Jimin grins.

“Yeah, everyone else. There’s me, Jin-hyung, Yoongi-hyung, Namjoon-hyung, Hoseok-hyung, and-” Jimin hesitates, his enthusiasm wavering. “And Taehyung.” Even just saying his best friend’s name sends a dull ache straight through Jimin’s chest. He swallows, and takes an interest in his water, stirring his straw around the glass like he’s hoping for the sound of the ice cubes clinking together to fill in the silence.

Would he even get to spend Halloween with Taehyung? Would he and Taehyung have to somehow divide their friends to see who hangs out with who? Jimin doesn’t want to have to make anyone choose between them, but he knows that they all can’t party together if he and Taehyung haven’t apologized yet. Not only that, but all six of them had planned on doing a group costume, so how was that even supposed to work?

Jin seems to have picked up on the reason for Jimin’s change in mood, because he doesn’t question it in front of Jungkook, but instead, fills the silence himself.

“We’re a bit dysfunctional, but it works.” Jin motions towards the youngest. “I’m sure you’ll fit in just fine.”

Jimin can feel Jungkook’s eyes on him, and he knows that he’s bound to raise some suspicions by keeping quiet, and if he keeps his gaze diverted for much longer. He raises his head and nods, trying to resume his cheery attitude. “Everyone’s super nice, I know you’ll get along with them.” At least he can say his words with conviction, because he truly does believe them.

Jungkook is great, his friends are great, Jimin’s sure they’ll all get along just great.

“Sounds like fun to me.” Jungkook muses, “are all the of them like Jin-hyung?”

Jin scoffs, “and what’s that supposed to mean? If they were all like me you’d be too overwhelmed by the sheer amount of perfection, you wouldn’t be able to handle it.”

“Damn right I wouldn’t be able to handle it.” Jungkook snickers.  

Jimin smiles faintly, momentarily eased by the familiar bickering going on in front of him. “Don’t worry. Everyone has their own…unique personalities. It won’t take you long to find out.”

“Can’t wait.”  Jungkook murmurs, holding Jimin’s gaze.

There’s something so genuine and so earnest in Jungkook, that Jimin can’t help but adopt those same feelings as his own, and he feels a flare of anticipation. “Neither can I.” Now, he’s busy thinking about how the weekend is going to go, how much fun they’re all going to have, and how everyone is going to absolutely adore Jungkook.

Jin launches into an animated recounting of last year’s Halloween, and Jimin’s beginning to grow even more excited, and he’s nodding along enthusiastically, and even grinning, until he hears something that has excitement waning and has him feeling like he’s forgotten how to smile altogether.

At the sound of a familiar laugh, Jimin immediately turns his head in the direction it had come from, and is just in time to see Taehyung walking by the café.

Taehyung is laughing as he walks with his friend, Minho, and fuck, that laugh sounds so good. Jimin had always thought that Taehyung had such an amazing laugh. Though, no matter how good his friend’s laughter sounds, right now, it just makes Jimin's heart hurt.

Is Taehyung happy without him? Does he even care that they’re in a fight? He watches his best friend walk until he can’t see him anymore, and even then, he stares in the direction he had gone.

Jimin can’t hide his frown.

He’s sick of feeling excited over Jungkook one second, only to be reminded that his best friend probably hates his guts the next.

He feels guilty that he can even laugh or smile at all without Taehyung; it suddenly doesn’t feel right to be having fun with Jungkook and Jin when he can’t be happy with Taehyung. So, why could Taehyung be happy without him?

Without looking at the other two, Jimin gets up from the table, and grabs his backpack. “I gotta go.” He murmurs. There had been times when Jimin could fake a smile and pretend to laugh, but right now, he doesn’t think he can act that well. His heart feels too heavy, and he doesn’t want to be around anyone at all.

“What’s up? What’s the matter?” Jin asks, obviously confused about Jimin’s sudden announcement.

Not wanting to cause a scene, Jimin looks at Jin, and murmurs a soft “hyung,” hoping that his disheartened expression would clue him in.

He can't talk about this in front of Jungkook. Hell, he can barely talk about it in front of his other friends. He knows what they'll tell him, he knows that they'll tell him to stop moping and just apologize already. Though, it's not that simple. They don't understand the fear that Jimin harbours, they don't know how terrified he is of Taehyung flat out rejecting him.

Jungkook clears his throat, “you okay, Jimin-hyung?” Even though Jimin isn’t looking at the younger, he can hear the concern in his voice, which honestly just makes him feel even worse.

He doesn’t want Jungkook worrying about him.

“I’m fine, I just forgot I have to do something.” Jimin replies, “school stuff.”

Vague enough.

“Alright, well text me if you need help. With anything.” Jin says with a meaningful stare, and Jimin nods in understanding.

 “I’ll see you guys later.” Without even sparing a glance in Jungkook’s direction, the blonde leaves the café, head down, and walking fast.

  

Jimin wants to apologize to Taehyung.

Previously, he had thought it only right for Taehyung to apologize first, since he thought Taehyung had started the whole fight.

However, as of now, Jimin doesn’t even know who had started it. What he does know, is that everything he said to Taehyung was hurtful, and untrue, and that Taehyung didn’t deserve any of it.

Just because Jimin knows that, doesn’t change anything, though. He still said what he’d said, and there’s no going back.

Jimin wants to apologize to Taehyung.

Now, he’s too scared to do it. He’s too afraid that Taehyung won’t accept his apology.

And even if Jimin isn’t thinking clearly, even if he’s being foolish, he still decides to wait it out, holding on to the hope that Taehyung will apologize first.

That way, there’s no risk of Taehyung turning him down.

 

---

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Jungkook: Hey

Jimin: Hi

Jungkook: Just wanted to see if you’re okay

Jungkook: I mean if you got your school stuff sorted out

Jimin: Yeah, I did. Thank you

Jungkook: For sure

Jungkook: Sooo about earlier today, I just wanna clear some stuff up about the whole manipulation thing lol

Jungkook: I would never manipulate you

Jungkook: Or anyone, I’m not that kind of person

 

Jimin already feels bad about earlier that afternoon, and how he had left so suddenly. Did Jungkook think that his comment had been the reason for him leaving? Now, Jimin feels a new wave of guilt wash over him.

The last thing he wants is for Jungkook to get the wrong idea, and to think he’s upset with him.

He wants to make sure that the younger doesn’t blame himself for the way he left, because he actually likes Jungkook. He still only wants to make him smile, and if Jungkook’s worrying about him, then that means he’s not smiling.

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

 

Jimin: Don’t worry about it, I know you were just joking. It’s seriously all good

Jimin: Hey do you wanna study tomorrow? We can meet in the library when we’re done our classes?

Jungkook: Oh my god please. I need to start looking at the material for the midterm

Jimin: You still haven’t started?!?!

Jungkook: I’m awful, aren’t I?

Jimin: The worst

Jungkook: Good thing I’m getting help from the best then

Jungkook: I mean cuz Jin-hyung said you’re really smart and stuff.

Jimin: Oh yeah? Did he say anything else about me?

Jungkook: Nothing that I didn’t already figure out for myself

Jimin: What? Like what?! What do you mean?

Jungkook: Ehh, not really important

Jimin: Please don’t do this to me

Jungkook: Don’t do what? No idea what you’re talking about

 

Jimin smiles, but it’s accompanied by a pang of guilt.

Still smiling, even though he’s still fighting with the person he cares about the most.

He hates how high Jungkook can suddenly lift him up, only so that he can fall that much farther when he thinks about Taehyung.

Still, even though he misses Taehyung with everything he has, Jimin can’t deny that those few seconds of flying make him feel some type of way.

 

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Jimin: You’re actually so annoying

Jungkook: You already said that to me today

Jimin: Get used to it. I’ll probably say it to you every day for the rest of your life.

Jungkook: Promise?

 

 

Chapter Text

With his head full of nagging worries and frustrating conflictions, Jimin keeps his eyes fixated on his feet as he walks to the library. He’s glad that the autumn air is cool, and that there’s a soft breeze, so that he can have his jacket zipped all the way up to his chin, and so he can keep his head down so that no one can see his face.

He had promised to study with Jungkook, and he genuinely wants to help him out, because he knows the guy’s stressing about the upcoming test.

However, Jimin isn’t in the mood to talk with anyone right now, or to even see anyone. He wishes he could be excited about hanging out with Jungkook, but he knows that he’ll only end up feeling guilty about it afterwards.

The only person he really wants to see is Taehyung. The only person he wants to smile and laugh around right then, is Taehyung.

Jimin had barely gotten any sleep last night. He had stayed up late texting Jungkook, and then even after Jungkook had gone to bed, he had stayed up even later thinking about Taehyung. At some point during the night, Jimin had finally decided that he has to be the one to apologize, because waiting around is fucking killing him.

He’s still incredibly scared to go to him first; still afraid that Taehyung won’t accept his apology, but even if that happens, at least Jimin would know. At least he would know where Taehyung’s head is at, because not knowing is downright exhausting. 

Though, even with his mind made up, Jimin doesn’t know how to approach his best friend. Is he supposed to text him first as a way of easing into it, or is that too impersonal? Is he supposed to sit at the table in their dorm room and wait for him to come home, or is that too confrontational? 

Jimin wants to apologize, but he wants to do it right. If he doesn’t make his apology perfect, and if he doesn’t right all of his wrongs, then why should Taehyung even consider accepting him?

There are so many scenarios playing out in his head, and so many different negative outcomes mingling together to overshadow the only outcome he should really be thinking about. All he should care about is forgiveness, all he should focus on is the hope that he can have his best friend back, right?

Kim Taehyung is Jimin’s whole world, and without him, he doesn’t even want to be happy. He loves who he is with Taehyung, he loves how Taehyung makes him feel, and he misses it all so much that it’s the only thing he can seem to focus on.

Jimin is so lost in his own mind that he’s completely oblivious to everything else going on around him. The world around him seems insignificant at the moment, as he’s only concentrating on the world inside his head.

He’s so wrapped up in his own thoughts that he doesn’t even notice that someone is sprinting down the sidewalk, and barreling straight towards him. 

It’s only when the other person collides with him that he's forced to become aware of his surroundings.

The collision knocks Jimin off his feet, and with nothing but his ass to break the fall, he hits the ground with a grunt.

The first thing he becomes aware of is the scholarly realization that wow, falling on the cement hurts.

The second thing he becomes aware of, is that the reason he is currently on the ground is because another human just ran into him.

Jimin isn’t totally sure if the accident had been his own fault for staring at the ground, or if had been the carelessness of the other person, but he’s still quick to say “sorry” as he gets to his feet and brushes himself off, keeping his head bowed to hide the way he’s wincing.

He’s definitely going to have a bruised tailbone.

“Oh my god, oh my god, I’m so sorry, are you okay?” The other person babbles, “I didn’t see you there, I was trying to catch the bus, and I wasn’t paying attention, and oh my god are you okay?”

And that’s when Jimin realizes a third thing. The voice belongs to Kim Taehyung.

Well, at least they had finally apologized to each other.

He finally looks up, and even though he knows for a fact that it’s Taehyung who he’ll see standing before him, he still stares at him with wide eyes just to confirm what he already knows.

“Jimin?” Taehyung murmurs, and the blonde can only assume that Taehyung is mirroring his own expression, because he looks just as stunned as Jimin feels.

Taehyung’s standing in front of him, and his cheeks are rosy from running, and his hair is a mess from the wind, and somehow, even though right now Jimin is closer to Taehyung than he had been in a while, he misses him even more.

After hours and hours of conjuring up situations in his mind, this is definitely not a scenario that Jimin had ever imagined. “Tae.” He blinks at his friend, finding it difficult to come up with anything to say. He hadn’t hit his head on the ground, but he might as well be concussed with how eloquent he currently feels.

He stares at Taehyung, and even though sorry is on the tip of his tongue, he can’t seem to say it.

Sorry isn’t enough. Sorry doesn’t even begin to explain how awful Jimin feels, or how horribly he had messed up. And even as he looks at his best friend, and even though he finds nothing even close to resentment in his soft brown eyes, he’s still so scared of rejection.

Even though Taehyung gives no indication that he’s offended by his presence, Jimin is apprehensive. Why isn’t Taehyung looking at him like he hates him?

Once again, everything else around Jimin seems to disappear, but this time he’s not trapped in his own head. Instead, he’s lost in the inviting warmth of his best friend’s eyes, and wondering why he’s looking at him with such warmth when he has every reason to fix him with a cold stare. Still, Jimin remains frozen despite the warm, wanting to say so many different things that in the end nothing at all comes out.

When it’s Taehyung who opens his mouth first to speak, he’s reminded that he really doesn’t deserve him.  “Are you okay?”

Is he okay? Jimin almost wants to ask in what way? Because physically, his ass hurt from falling, and emotionally, his heart hurt from fighting.

Either way, he’s not doing too hot. Either way, he wants nothing more than for their stupid fight to be over.

Swallowing the lump in his throat, Jimin tries to collect his thoughts, and to bring order to the chaos that is his mind, so that he can say everything that he needs to say. He has Taehyung in front of him, and he has the perfect opportunity to apologize. If this is his one and only chance to get Taehyung back, then he has to take it. He has to fight for his best friend, because he can’t lose him.

Jimin’s eyes sweep over his friend’s face, soaking in every familiar detail. “No. No, I’m not okay.” He hopes that the sincerity in his heart is reaching his voice, because right now he’s so nervous that he can barely even hear himself speak. “Tae I’m so, so sorry.” It isn’t hard to say the words, but Jimin still feels like it’s nowhere close to enough. He could stand there saying sorry for hours and hours on end, and he still wouldn’t feel great about it, because Taehyung deserves so much more than sorry.

“I love you so much, and I miss you so fucking much.” Jimin pushes out a shaky breath, and all of his words come spilling out at once. “Everything I said to you was awful, and none of it is true. You’re more than enough for me, Tae. You’re literally everything I could ever need, I can’t ask for anything more.” He shakes his head, feeling a sharp stab of worry over the notion of Taehyung thinking less of himself because of the thoughtless words that had been thrown at him during the fight. “I’m so sorry - you’re my best friend, and I don’t know what I would do without you. You didn’t deserve any of the shit I put you through.”

Jimin frowns, recalling the events from the night of their fight. Why had it taken him so long to apologize? Why hadn’t he just done it sooner? What if Taehyung can’t forgive him now, but would have if only he’d apologized sooner? He hates his own pride, and wants to extinguish it forever. Hell, he’s fully prepared to get on his fucking knees and beg for forgiveness at this point. There should’ve been no room for his own selfish pride when it involved gambling with his best friend.

“And, I’m sorry that it took me so long to apologize.” He has to be honest, doesn’t even consider lying to Taehyung. “At first, I blamed you for starting the fight, so I thought you should apologize first, but I was just being stupid. It was my fault, and I was so wrong.”

Jimin hesitates before saying his next words, and he nearly grimaces as he says them. “I completely understand if you can’t forgive me,” he desperately hopes that Taehyung can, “but just know that I love you, and I’m so sorry.”

Of course, it’s a relief that he finally put everything out there, but Jimin can’t breathe easy, not while he’s still waiting for his friend’s response. Jimin can’t remember ever feeling so vulnerable, or so utterly afraid.

The scariest thing in the whole entire world would be losing Taehyung. Losing a friend like Taehyung isn’t something that a person can just get over.

“Jimin,” Taehyung starts, and even having his friend say his name like that, in such a calm way, helps soothe Jimin’s racing heart. “Of course I forgive you, are you crazy? You know that I love you, you know you’re my best friend.”

Taehyung pauses, shoving his hands in his pockets and shifting his gaze so that he’s now looking down at his feet. “I’m not saying that what you said wasn’t mean, or that how you acted wasn’t hurtful. It really upset me, especially because the whole time I just wanted to make sure you were okay.” He looks up at Jimin and nods firmly. “But I forgive you. I can’t imagine my life without you in it. And the only reason I didn’t come to you first was because I wanted to give you space…I didn’t want to make you even more mad.”

Even though Jimin should be overwhelmed with happiness over the fact that Taehyung had just forgiven him, he still can’t shake the lingering feeling of helplessness. If he could go back and change what he had said, then he would. He doesn’t want to stain all the beautiful memories he’d made with Taehyung, he doesn’t want to tarnish their friendship in any way, or make Taehyung feel apprehensive about himself because of what he’d said to him.

Jimin apologizes again. He says he’s sorry and that he doesn’t deserve Taehyung, and that he cares about him so much and never wants to hurt him ever again, but Taehyung just shakes his head, and says that he understands.

“You know I’m always here for you, right?’ Taehyung’s talking again, in a voice so soft and so sincere that it makes Jimin want to bury his face in his chest and just cry. “Even if you think I can’t help you, and even if you think I’m lacking, I can still listen to you. I may not be able to give you the best advice, or tell you what to do, but I will always be here to listen. Always.”

And Kim Taehyung, being the most beautiful person Jimin knows, actually smiles.

Jimin can’t take it anymore. He can’t hold back. He flings himself at his best friend, throwing his arms around him to pull him in tight. When he feels Taehyung hugging him back just as fiercely, he finally breaks out into a smile.

It’s a little hard for Jimin to breathe with the way the other is squeezing him, but Jimin doesn’t think that death by Taehyung’s affection is a bad way to go.

“Tae,” he murmurs, “you know that you’re perfect, right? You know that there’s no one else like you, and that you don’t lack anything. You know there’s no one else I would rather call my best friend.”

Taehyung doesn’t reply, he just hugs Jimin tighter, which Jimin didn’t even think was possible, but there they are, suffocating each other in an embrace.

They’re a sight to see; hugging so openly and so passionately right in the middle of campus, but they don’t care who watches. They’re in their own little world, it’s just Park Jimin and Kim Taehyung, and no one else needs to understand.

 

As all good things must come to an end, they eventually let go of each other, and decide to move to a nearby bench to sit. There, they talk it out. Jimin tells Taehyung all about how he’d been feeling in the days prior to the fight, all about his talk with Namjoon, and they discuss where their misunderstandings came from, and why things happened the way they happened.

In the end, they agree that neither of them handled the situation in the best way.

In the end, they understand each other, and that’s one of the things Jimin loves best about his friendship with Taehyung.

They both always seem to understand.

 

They remain sitting on the bench near the bus stop, huddled close together like they’re scared to be too far apart, and Jimin can’t wipe the smile off his face – not that he tries to.

It finally feels good to smile again.

“Where were you going in such a hurry, anyway? My ass kills.” Jimin muses, reaching out to brush away a few stray hairs out of Taehyung’s eyes.

Looking back on it, Taehyung must have been running pretty damn fast to knock Jimin down the way he did. He didn’t even think Taehyung was capable of running like that.

Taehyung smiles apologetically, “yeah, you should probably ice that when we get home. I was trying to catch the bus to get to the grocery store, though. We’re out of dish soap and rice, you know.”

“Wait what?” Jimin asks with wide eyes, “you noticed that we’re out of dish soap – you actually washed dishes?”

“Well we were in a fight, so I had to do my dishes on my own. Do you think I just ate out of my hands the whole time? I’m not an animal, Jimin.”

It’s not as if Taehyung never did his own dishes, but the majority of the time, Jimin ended up doing them for him since he didn’t like having a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. He doesn’t mind doing them though, because Taehyung always thanks him for it.

“My baby’s so grown up,” Jimin coos, gently pinching his friend’s cheek. When Taehyung giggles in response and playfully shoves him, Jimin’s smile somehow widens. He had missed this a lot.

“Can we snuggle tonight?” Jimin asks hopefully, already looking forward to catching up on all of the cuddles he had missed out on while they had been avoiding one another. He rests his head on the other’s shoulder, feeling warmer than ever despite the cool air.

“And watch movies.” Taehyung adds as he rests his cheek on the top of Jimin’s head.

“And make popcorn?” Jimin decides that he can’t really wait for that night to cuddle, so he takes it upon himself to wrap his arms around Taehyung’s middle right then and there.

“And hot chocolate?”

"And burn those roommate transfer forms?”

“I threw mine out right after we got them.” Taehyung admits with a shameless grin.

Jimin loves Kim Taehyung, and he lets him know it by squeezing him tight, and of course, by telling him over and over again. No one else can make Jimin feel as safe, and as warm, and as loved as Taehyung makes him feel, and he wants to do everything he can to make sure Taehyung feels just as special.

They remain seated on the bench, keeping one another warm in the midst of the chilly autumn breeze, relaxed as they share smiles and indulge in laughter whenever they possibly can.

It’s only when Jimin’s butt really starts hurting that he decides it would be best if they get up. Getting dumped on his tailbone hadn’t felt so great, and the wooden bench they’re currently sitting on isn’t doing much to grant him any sort of comfort. He wants pillows, and blankets, and to watch movies with Taehyung.

“Let’s get the groceries now and get it over with. That way we can have the rest of the day to watch movies.” Jimin suggests, lifting his head just enough so he can look at his friend. “When I’m done with you, you’re never gonna wanna cuddle ever again.” He warns, though he doesn’t seem to have any intentions of letting go of Taehyung, or of getting up from the bench.

“Oh, you’re so on.” Taehyung’s shoulders shake as he chuckles. “I’m gonna snuggle you so hard.” He nudges Jimin, encouraging him to get up. “Lead the way.”

“You get up first.” The blonde smiles, fully prepared for the bout of playful bickering that would no doubt follow.

Though, he’s momentarily distracted when he feels his phone vibrating a few times in quick succession. Frowning, he takes his phone out of his pocket.

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Jungkook: Where are you?

Jungkook: Did I get the days mixed up or something?

Jungkook: Cuz we both know I’m really good at mixing up days of important events

 

 

Shit.

He’d forgotten about meeting up with Jungkook.

Even though he feels bad for making him wait, Jimin’s excitement totally overrides his sense of guilt.

He needs to introduce Taehyung to Jungkook. His bruised tailbone is now the last thing on his mind, because all he can think about is how much Taehyung is going to like Jungkook.

“Tae,” Jimin is beaming, full of bubbly energy as he jumps up, and grabs his friend’s hand. “Forget about groceries right now, we can go later. Let’s go to the library.”

"Library? But Jimi -”

“Come on. There’s someone I want you to meet."

 

On the way to the library, Jimin fills Taehyung in on everything about Jungkook. Well, everything he knows about Jungkook, anyway. After Jimin’s done telling his friend all about him, he realizes that he actually doesn’t know as much about Jungkook as he thought he did.

Jimin promises himself to double his efforts when it comes to getting to know the guy more.

 

“Jungkook!” Jimin’s in the library, but he certainly isn’t using his library manners. At the moment, he’s far too excited to be concerned with the volume of his voice.

When Jungkook looks up from his phone, Jimin waves at him, but his enthusiastic attitude stutters when he notices the uncertain smile that the younger is wearing. Why did Jungkook wave back hesitantly, and why does he look just as, if not more, tentative than he had when he met him for the first time?

Why does it now seem like Jimin’s back at square one with him?

“That’s him?” Taehyung’s voice from beside him startles Jimin from his thoughts.

Of course.

He’s currently tugging Taehyung along by the sleeve.

He hadn’t even told Jungkook that he’s bringing Taehyung, because he’d been so eager about getting them to finally meet, so he hadn’t even thought about giving Jungkook a heads up.

Jimin figures that it’ll take a bit of time for him to warm up to Taehyung, just like it had taken him time to warm up to him.

That’s okay, though. Jimin doesn’t mind in the slightest, because he knows that once they’re all comfortable around each other, it’ll all be fine, and he’s certain that there will be no shortage of smiles between the three of them.

“Hey,” Jimin and Taehyung stop at the table where Jungkook sits, and Jimin can hardly contain himself. “This is Kim Taehyung – he’s my best friend. I’ve known him since elementary school.” He resists the urge to tell Jungkook how amazing Taehyung is, and how funny he is, and how much he loves him, and how he doesn’t know what he would do without him.

It won’t take Jungkook very long to discover just how amazing Taehyung is, all on his own.

He watches as his friend greets Jungkook enthusiastically, wearing that adorable grin of his as he shakes his hand (Jimin had missed that grin so much), and he can’t help but feel a bit proud at the moment.

Everyone needs a Kim Taehyung in their life, and Jimin is more than happy to share the brightest light in his life with someone who might need a bright light, too.

Jungkook is quiet as he greets Taehyung, and even though Jimin kind of wishes that he can fast forward, and just skip to the part where they’re all best friends, he’s also perfectly okay with this.

This is Jungkook. Jungkook is shy when he meets people for the first time, and adopts the cutest little smile when he’s introduced to someone new. He’s cautious about what to do and what to say, but is curious when it comes to testing out the waters. He’s just working himself up to the point where he’s comfortable enough to show the other sides of himself, and Jimin doesn’t want to rush him, doesn’t want to push him into the water if he’s not ready.

Taehyung on the other hand, is all smiles and infectious energy. He’s outgoing and talkative, and has a talent for making sure there’s no awkward silences, or breaks in conversation when he meets someone new. Taehyung is a social butterfly, and Jimin isn’t at all worried about whether or not Jungkook will like him - he knows that he’ll like him.

How could anyone not like Kim Taehyung?

Jimin pulls up a chair and sits next to Jungkook while Taehyung takes the seat across from them.

The reason they’re even there in the first place is because Jimin had promised to help Jungkook study for their midterm, but he doesn’t want to suggest studying just yet. He doesn’t want to interrupt Taehyung, who had just started up a conversation with the other.

Honestly, the conversation is quite one sided, with Taehyung asking questions to get to know Jungkook, and Jungkook mostly giving responses consisting of only a few words - not that it mattered how long the response was when talking with Taehyung.

Taehyung didn’t have any trouble with picking apart even the shortest answers, and elaborating on the most minor details.

Jimin watches their exchange with a look resembling that of a proud parent watching their child receive an award.

Taehyung’s warm smile is prominent throughout the conversation, and when Jungkook speaks, even though he never really says much, Taehyung always looks like he’s listening intently, like he values every single one of his words.

Jungkook nods a lot to all that Taehyung has to say, and the shy quirk of his lips never quite evolves into anything less reserved. He appears relieved when Taehyung fills in the gaps of their conversation, and Jimin notices how he keeps glancing his way as if to make sure he’s still there.

Both Taehyung and Jungkook are way too adorable.

 

Somewhere along the way, Taehyung had somehow started talking about how he had dressed up as a smurf for a costume party, and Jimin is actually in physical pain from how hard he’s laughing at the memory of it.

“Have you ever thought of dressing up as a smurf, Jungkook?” Taehyung questions in a tone far too serious for a memory that is so entertaining that it has Jimin squeaking out his laughter.

“I uh, can’t say I have.” Jungkook admits with a short, breathy chuckle. He glances over at Jimin, appearing simultaneously bewildered and entertained, and Jimin just tilts his head back and laughs up at the ceiling.

“Good. Don’t do it,” Taehyung warns, “everything I touched turned blue. I shit blue for a week – let me tell you, food colouring is a powerful, powerful thing.”

Jimin shakes his head, holding his stomach, “he’s right. Everyone knew who he made out with that night, because they had blue stains all over their faces.” His laughter finally dies down, but the evidence of his amusement lingers on his face.

“Honestly, I’ve never made out with more people in one night than on the night I dressed up as a smurf. Now that’s alarming. I mean, what does that say about our society?” Taehyung questions, raising his eyebrows.

“Tae, oh my god.” Jimin snorts, “that was also the most drunk I’ve ever seen you. There are other variables at play here, besides you being dressed up like a smurf.”

From there, Jimin and Taehyung delve into an incredibly stupid, albeit terribly amusing, argument in regards to why Taehyung had gotten so much action on that particular night.

Jimin hasn’t ever really noticed just how many inside jokes he and Taehyung have, or how much he touches Taehyung when he’s talking, or how much they actually laugh when they’re together.

All of those had never really been things that Jimin considered, because they were all just part of his friendship with Taehyung, and over the years it had all become so natural that he never gave much thought to it.

However, now Jimin is very much aware of it all, and he’s also very aware of the fact that they’re probably excluding Jungkook.

He mentally kicks himself, and looks at the youngest for the first time in a while.

Jimin had felt so giddy, and so happy to finally joke around with Taehyung again, that he had nearly forgotten all about the other. He’d been so focused on Taehyung that he hadn’t noticed the strained smile on Jungkook’s face, or the way his eyes kept flicking back and forth between the other two as if he was nervous, and unsure whether or not he should try to contribute to their conversation.

Jimin feels bad, and immediately tries to remedy things.  “Now I remember why I always study with Jin-hyung and not you. You’re way too good at distracting me.”

“I’m a man of many talents,” Taehyung shrugs, leaning back in his chair.

Jimin rolls his eyes, smiling. Well, he’s certainly not wrong.

Even though he would love to keep goofing off, and for Taehyung to distract him a bit more, he knows he has an obligation to Jungkook.

Grabbing his notes from his bag, Jimin turns to look at the youngest. “Let’s study. You didn’t think I was gonna forget all about it, right? I’m not as easy as Jin-hyung you know,”

“I kind of already figured.” Jungkook admits, flipping open his textbook when he notices that Jimin actually intends to study. “I mean, you do sit at the front of the class, so.”

Catching a familiar glint in Jungkook’s eyes, Jimin temporarily forgets about the studying, and is distracted by his own interest. “What’s wrong with sitting at the front of the class?” He asks, tilting his head to the side.

Jungkook shakes his head, amused. “Nothing’s wrong with it. It just says a lot about a person, that’s all.”

“What exactly does it say about me, then?” He knows that Jungkook is teasing. He knows by the crooked smile on his face, and by the light in his eyes that he’s just fishing for some sort of reaction.

And, as much as Jimin doesn’t want to give him a reaction, and as much as he wishes he can just ignore it, he can’t help but feel pulled by his curiosity.

“You know, he actually has a point.” Taehyung joins in, grinning. “I’ve known you for quite a while, so the reason you sit up front definitely makes sense.”

With his interest sufficiently piqued, Jimin furrows his brows. “What are you talking about?”

Taehyung and Jungkook look at each other, and share a knowing smile.

Note to self, if you want Jeon Jungkook to loosen up, get him to either annoy or tease someone.

Part of Jimin wants to clap his hands in celebration, because oh my god, Jungkook had finally revealed more than a shy smile to Taehyung, and it seems like they’re actually getting along.

However, Jimin can’t bring himself to celebrate just yet, because he’s currently the subject of the teasing, and his curiosity is only growing. “What does it say about me, Tae?”

“Oh you know,” Taehyung hums dismissively, like the topic isn’t nearly as important as Jimin seems to think it is (which it really isn’t).

“Yeah, it’s really not hard to figure out, Jimin-hyung. You’re smart.” Jungkook’s grinning so smugly that it almost feels taunting, but Jimin doesn’t feel threatened. Maybe a little flustered, but certainly not threatened.

Guys.” Jimin pouts, looking back and forth between the two. “Oh my god, is this how Jin-hyung feels all the time? I feel so bad for him.” Now, Jimin will think twice when it comes to harassing Jin. He’ll still do it of course, but now he’ll just think about it a bit more.

He waits for one of them to offer up some sort of explanation, or to at least just drop the whole act of teasing, but both of them are relentless. They both maintain their smiles of superiority, and Jimin wishes they didn’t have such a big advantage. It’s two versus one, after all, and that's just not playing fair.

“Come on, please?” He whines, even trying out his signature puppy dog look that could (sometimes) even make Min Yoongi cave. However, Taehyung and Jungkook seem to be far too pleased with how things are currently going, and they don’t seem to be any closer to giving in.

Maybe, he would have to resort to a different tactic. Maybe, he had a little something that could put Jungkook at a bit of a disadvantage. Smiling innocently, Jimin cocks his head to the side and fixes his eyes on the youngest, murmuring a soft and sweet, “pretty please?”

Initially, Jimin is more than satisfied with the effect his words seem to have. He relishes the way Jungkook’s eyes widen, and how quickly his smugness falters. For a moment, Jimin thinks that maybe, he’s finally the one flustering Jungkook.

That is, until a smirk creeps back onto his face, and he responds with, “you know you’re just proving my theory, here.”

The kid bounces back way too fast.

Is this flirting? Jimin doesn’t know if this is flirting, or if it’s just Jungkook being a shameless, teasing brat. Either way, Jimin’s blushing, and struggling to come up with words. What’s he talking about? Jimin’s not even sure if Jungkook has any sort of theory, in fact, he’s fairly certain that he just made up the whole sitting at the front says a lot about a person thing to get a rise out of him.

So why is Jimin still so intent on getting an answer, even if there probably isn’t one?

Doing his best to compose himself, he crosses his arms over his chest and pretends like his face isn’t an obvious shade of pink, because he does not want to give Jungkook the satisfaction of thinking he’d somehow won. “Oh?” He keeps his voice level in an effort to appear unbothered. “Does where someone sits in class really say that much about them?”

“It says a lot,” Jungkook replies, holding Jimin’s gaze.

He leans in closer, matching the other’s resolve despite the way his heart is currently flopping around in his chest like a fish out of water. “Then what does sitting at the back say about you?” Jimin flips the question around on him, and now it’s his turn to flaunt a teasing smile of his own.

Jungkook takes it though, doesn’t even miss a beat. “Wouldn’t you like to know.” He fires back easily.

Jimin is struck with the realization that yeah, he really would like to know. In fact, he’d like to know everything about Jungkook, whether or not it’s related to where he sits in class. Like what’s his favourite song? What’s his favourite season? How does he like his eggs in the morning?

“You know what I’d like to know? How either of you get anything done if this is how you usually study.” Taehyung says, his voice snapping Jimin out of whatever trance Jungkook had put him in, “not that I’m judging - please carry on.”

The second that he looks at Taehyung and notices the grin on his face, Jimin bursts out laughing. The fact that Taehyung had sat in silence watching that entire exchange is far too humorous to ignore, and when his friend starts laughing with him, it makes Jimin laugh that much harder.

Jungkook’s not laughing along with them, but he’s smiling wide with his nose all scrunched up, and the light in his eyes is dancing, and Jimin feels just as amazing as he expected he would feel with the three of them finally all together.

He's already looking forward to everything that would no doubt come.

---

A couple hours later, Jimin and Taehyung are walking out of the library together, parting ways with Jungkook. Surprisingly, they actually managed to get quite a lot of work done once they finally buckled down. Jimin learns that Jungkook is actually quite bright, and keen to learn. They agreed to get together to study again the following day.

Studying is a lot more fun with Jungkook – Jimin would gladly study all day every day if it’s with him.

“So…what do you think of Jungkook?” Jimin asks once he and Taehyung are outside, enveloped in the autumn air once again. Even just saying the other’s name is enough to bring a smile to his face.

“I like him – he seems really cool.” Taehyung pauses, just long enough for a teasing smile to form on his lips. “Kind of a flirt, too.”

Jimin’s breath catches in his throat. “Really?” He clears his voice, “You…you think he was flirting with you?” He hadn’t thought that Jungkook had been flirting with Taehyung, but maybe he just hadn’t noticed. Maybe he was oblivious to those kinds of things, or maybe if it was happening, he didn’t want to notice.

Taehyung just keeps smiling, looking straight ahead. “No. With you.”

This time, Jimin’s breath catches for a whole other reason. “What? No. No, he wasn’t…”

“If you say so, Jimin.”

 

---

 

[To: Jin, Yoongi, Namjoon, Hoseok, Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Jimin: Will someone please tell Tae that dish soap is NOT the same thing as dishwasher detergent

Taehyung: It’s the same thing!!! They both wash your dishes wtf it’s different names for the same thing

Hoseok: Do I have to pick sides? Are you guys still fighting? Is this adding on to the fight? I’m confused

Namjoon: You guys made up, right?

Taehyung: Of course we made up, who dares underestimate the love of Park Jimin and Kim Taehyung?

Yoongi: Finally

Jin: See Jimin I told you he missed you as much as you missed him

Taehyung: You missed me? HAH loser

Jimin: LOL at least I don’t think dish soap is synonymous with dish detergent

Taehyung: Guys help me out here

Yoongi: I’m staying out of this. Would’ve had your back if you were on the right side of the “is a hot dog a sandwich” debate though

Jin: Why are you still talking about that?!?

Hoseok: I know, right? Try living with him : )

Jimin: Namjoon-hyung. Please tell Tae.

Namjoon: Why me?

Jimin: Cuz you’re the smartest

Jin: I’m the oldest, why didn’t you ask me to tell him?

Yoongi: We all know why

Taehyung: lol yeah even I know why

Jin: I’m never having kids.

Jimin: Namjoon-hyung pleaaaase

Namjoon: Fine. Sorry Taehyung, I’m afraid Jimin’s right

Taehyung: How??? It’s the same!?

Jimin: Tae it’s literally called dishWASHER detergent. We don’t even have a dishwasher!!

Taehyung: Well when I wash the dishes, don’t I become the dish washer?

Namjoon: You really should’ve taken that intro level philosophy course, you would’ve loved it

Yoongi: Ah yes, the world is finally back to normal

Hoseok: I really missed this : )

 

Chapter Text

 

The next time he has class with Jungkook, Jimin is prepared. He makes sure to get to class even earlier than usual, and he chooses to sit at the back, in the general area where Jungkook had sat last time. With his backpack on the empty chair beside him, Jimin secures a seat for the other, and waits.

Although he tries not to stare too much, his eyes naturally keep wandering to the back door, and his heart practically leaps in his chest every time the door opens. This only ends in him feeling a little embarrassed about how excited he had gotten; embarrassed about the smile that lights up his face whenever someone walks through the door, because so far none of those people have been Jungkook.

Seats start filling up as more and more people start filing in, but Jungkook still hasn’t shown up. The lecture is about to start, so where is he?

Jimin waits another minute or so before he finally checks his phone, but there aren’t any messages from him, either. He should probably check up on him, make sure the guy’s okay.

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Jimin: Hey where are you? Are you sick or something?

Jungkook: Me?? Where are YOU

Jimin: Ummm in class

Jungkook: No you aren’t

Jimin: I’m pretty sure I am

Jungkook: Wtf where

Jimin: At the back?

Jungkook: Oh my god no you aren’t. No way.

Jimin: Again, I’m pretty sure I am

Jungkook: I’m at the front.

 

No way indeed.

Jimin immediately looks up from his phone, and he easily spots Jungkook, because he’s sitting at the very front, exactly where Jimin usually sits.

Their eyes meet, and Jungkook lifts his hand in the subtlest of waves. Why did it feel like Jungook was getting cuter every day? Jimin laughs to himself as he waves back.

Of course he hadn’t noticed Jungkook – he’d been so fixated on the back doors, and so certain that he was about to walk through them that he hadn’t bothered to look anywhere else.

The lecture starts before either of them can get up and move, but Jimin isn’t disappointed. Sure, he wishes he was sitting with Jungkook, but how can he be upset when the guy had stepped out of his comfort zone, and sat all the way at the front, just for him?

Not only that, but Jungkook must have gotten to class pretty damn early, because the front seats always fill up the fastest.

Jimin smiles throughout the whole lecture, and finds it hard to concentrate on anything except for the back of Jungkook’s head.

He wonders if Jungkook does the same thing when he sits back here, too.

---

So far, Jimin has been having a good day. Today has so far been filled with nothing but smiles and excitement, and he’s looking forward to all the other good things that were sure to come that day.

He and Taehyung had gone for breakfast together that morning, Jungkook had been all cute and had sat all the way at the front of the class for him, he just got the grades back from one of his papers and he had totally aced it, and later that night, he’d get to go out with Jungkook and introduce him to his friends for Halloween. How can Jimin not be happy? How can he not radiate bright energy when he has every reason to smile?

As of now, he’s heading to the library to meet with Jin and Jungkook for a bit of studying before the weekend finally hits, because he knows for a fact that tomorrow will be a write-off.

Studying hungover is certainly not on his to-do list. In fact, there’s not much on his to-do list besides drinking and having a good time with his friends, and hopefully all of that can be accomplished without making a fool of himself in front of Jungkook.

Jimin finds the table where Jin and Jungkook are seated, and he grins at the eldest when he looks his way. Jungkook’s head is down, and he has his earphones in, seemingly absorbed in whatever chapter of the textbook he’s currently reading.

“Why do you look so happy today?” Jin asks as soon as Jimin is close enough to hear his whispered question, “you and Taehyung have makeup sex?”

In retrospect, the day had been going far too well for something like this not to happen.

Eyes widening, Jimin stares at Jin, and only stops himself from slapping his shoulder because he doesn’t want to draw attention to himself in case Jungkook had by some miracle, not heard the comment. His head is still down, after all, like he hadn’t even noticed Jimin showing up.

“You know we don’t do that sort of thing,” Jimin murmurs, eyes nervously flitting over Jungkook.

He wouldn’t have minded Jin’s teasing if it had just been the two of them – his friends always teased him and Taehyung, and because they were all so close, it was fine. Because they all had some sort of idea about what their relationship was actually like, the teasing didn’t really matter.

The thing is, it isn’t just the two of them - it’s not just Jimin and Jin in the library. Jungkook is sitting at the table, and Jimin isn’t ready to tell him all the details about his relationship with Taehyung. Despite how comfortable he already feels around him, he’s not quite at the point where he’s wanting to reveal the one thing that no one else will ever understand.

Too bad Jin hadn’t thought of that.

Jimin jerks his head in Jungkook’s direction, reminding him that they aren’t alone, but Jin waves his hand in the air like he isn’t bothered at all.

“Relax,” the oldest says, “he’s been listening to music and studying since we got here. He hasn’t lifted his head this whole time. I think he’s turning over a new leaf, it’s a miracle.”

Jimin thinks that the real miracle is that Jungkook hadn’t heard Jin’s comment. The real miracle is that he can actually get to know Jungkook a little better before he tells him about Taehyung, so that he can tell him on his own terms.

“Actually,” Jungkook speaks up suddenly, a guilty smile on his face as he raises his head.

That’s when Jimin stops believing in miracles.

Jungkook acknowledges Jimin’s presence for the first time since he had showed up at the table, but Jimin can’t bring himself to return the smile that the other had offered. “I’m uh…I actually wasn’t listening to any music.” The youngest admits.

Jimin feels his stomach drop.

“What? What do you mean, why do you have your earphones in then?” Jin demands, pointing an accusing finger at him. “You were just pretending this whole time?”

“Well I didn’t want to talk to you - I actually wanted to try to study.” Jungkook replies simply, removing his earphones. “I never told you I was listening to music, did I?”

Jin leans back in his seat, apparently floored by Jungkook’s response. “Well when someone has earphones in, one generally assumes – wait what do you mean you didn’t want to talk to me? We’re studying, when have ever been the one to disrupt your studying? You really didn’t have to go that far.”

The two continue to bicker amongst each other, but Jimin isn’t paying attention to them anymore. His thoughts are all jumbled, and he has a knot in his stomach that he just can’t ignore. It’s an unfamiliar feeling to Jimin, because he usually has no reservations when it comes to telling others about Taehyung. He’s not ashamed about it – how could he ever be ashamed about anything to do with his best friend?

It isn’t a feeling of shame that currently has Jimin slumping down in the chair across from Jungkook. He’s not embarrassed, he’s just worried. He’s worried that Jungkook won’t understand.

Jimin hadn’t been aware of the words that were being said around him, or who was even talking, but he notices when the talking stops, and when silence envelopes them.

Now, both Jin and Jungkook are looking at Jimin, each with a different expression. Jungkook is watching him curiously, or maybe even expectantly – maybe he’s waiting for Jimin to either confirm or deny Jin’s words.

On the other hand, Jin just seems apologetic. His eyes are full of remorse, and Jimin can be thankful about one thing: at least Jin knows he’d fucked up.

He knows that Jin hadn’t told Jungkook on purpose, so he can’t be that upset with him. Still, it’s not easy to rid himself of the frown he’s wearing, not when there’s such an unsettling feeling deep in his stomach.

Now, he would have to try to explain the unexplainable to Jungkook, whom he hadn’t even known that long, and whom he may or may not have a bit of a crush on.

“I just remembered,” Jin pipes up, “I have to make a call.” He grabs his phone, and stands up so abruptly that he almost knocks his chair over. “Very important business, please excuse me,” and with that, he’s hurrying away, leaving Jimin and Jungkook alone at the table.

It’s probably best to talk to Jungkook alone at this point anyway, so Jimin is thankful that Jin had given them a bit of space. At least now Jungkook would be able to talk freely without being worried about what Jin may think.

Even long after Jin is out of sight, the silence persists, but Jimin doesn’t know how to break it. What if Jungkook doesn’t even care, what if he doesn’t even bother to ask about what Jin had meant?

Jimin absentmindedly chews at his lower lip, struggling to come up with something to say as a way of breaching the subject. He would just look stupid if he brings it up if Jungkook doesn’t even want to talk about it.

“So,” in the end, Jungkook is the first to speak up. “I didn’t know that you and Taehyung-hyung were dating.” He taps his pen against the table, trying too hard to act casual, and Jimin can see right through him.

Jimin adds flicking Jin on the forehead to his to-do list. “We aren’t dating,” he corrects, “if we were dating, I would’ve introduced him as my boyfriend, not as my best friend.” He sits up a little straighter, bracing himself for all the questions that were sure to follow.

“Well then why did Jin-hyung say…” Jungkook pauses and nods, his mouth forming an O. “So you’re friends with benefits, then.”

Jimin is used to people not understanding his relationship with Taehyung. He has grown accustomed to it, and has accepted the fact that no one would ever get it, and that was fine. Everyone else could just mind their own business, and get over the fact that he sometimes has sex with his best friend. This isn’t the first time he’s had to try to explain it, and he knows it won’t be the last.

However, this is the first time Jimin has ever felt even a hint of desperation in this kind of situation.

He just wants Jungkook to understand.

“No, we aren’t like that – we aren’t friends with benefits.”

“But you guys have sex, and you’re friends?”

Jimin hesitates, knowing where this is going, “well yeah, but he’s my best friend - ”

The younger smiles jokingly, “okay…so best friends with benefits?”

Jungkook has successfully made it to the list of people that Jimin currently wants to flick on the forehead. He knows that Jungkook only smiled in an effort to lighten the mood, and to bring about the playful atmosphere that they were both used to when they were together. Jimin doesn’t take bait, though.

Even though they hadn’t ever been quite this serious around one another, Jimin doesn’t find himself wanting to run back to the comfort of teasing and joking with Jungkook.

“We only have sex sometimes, okay? It’s not like we do it every night – he’s my best friend before anything else. That’s it.”

“Well…how does it work?” Judging by the frown of confusion Jungkook is now wearing, he has apparently given up on trying to bring lightheartedness to the conversation.

“It just works – we both know how we feel about each other, we’re friends.” Jimin is so invested in his mission to make his relationship with Taehyung clear to Jungkook, that he can’t even find it in himself to feel embarrassed or shy that they’re currently talking about his sex life.

Jungkook shakes his head quickly, “I mean, how does it work - like, are you guys exclusive?”

“How would we be exclusive if we aren’t even dating in the first place?”

“So then what if one of you gets in a relationship? I don’t know how many people would be okay with…that.”

“If one of us is dating someone else, then we don’t have sex, it’s that simple. If we did, it would be cheating, and that’s so wrong.”

“Well I’m glad we’re on the same page when it comes to the whole cheating thing.”

At least Jungkook seemed to understand one thing.

Jimin almost feels offended that Jungkook even entertained the notion that he would have sex with Taehyung even if one of them was dating someone else. He almost feels offended that Jungkook just can’t seem to accept what he’s telling him, it almost feels like he doesn’t even want to understand it.

The younger watches Jimin carefully, and with the way he’s still holding his pen with his notebook in front of him, it looks like he’s about to take notes. If it would help him make sense of this whole thing, Jimin wouldn’t mind it in the slightest. “So you’re both single, and you guys have sex sometimes, but you aren’t dating, and you aren’t friends with benefits…”

“Look, I don’t have some uncontrollable sexual attraction to Taehyung – we can keep our hands off each other just fine. I don’t see him in a sexual way.”

“You don’t see him in a sexual way, but you guys fuck?” Jungkook chuckles breathily, “this is more confusing than psych.”

Jimin can feel his frustrations growing, but he does his best to keep himself in check. He doesn’t blame Jungkook for not understanding, but Jimin is doing his absolute best to explain it, and he doesn’t feel like Jungkook is taking it seriously.

“Just forget it, okay? It’s not that important.” It’s only important if Jungkook wants it to be important – it’s only a big deal if Jungkook wants it to be a big deal. What he does with Taehyung should only matter to Jungkook if Jungkook is interested in him, right? So should he be happy about all these questions? Should he be happy that Jungkook seems to actually be interested? Or should he be upset that all of these questions mean that it still doesn’t make sense to him?

“Wait, Jimin-hyung.” Jungkook murmurs, rubbing the back of his neck. “Sorry - I didn’t mean to offend you. And hey, I’m definitely not judging you for it. I’ve just never heard anything like this, that’s all. It’s cool that you guys can be that close without it getting weird.”

Jimin doesn’t know why he thinks that everything will be okay, just because Jungkook said that. He doesn’t know why he trusts him so easily, or why he’s relieved by those words alone.

Jimin should know better.

“It’s okay,” he pauses, and starts to take his books out of his backpack so he has an excuse not to look at Jungkook as he speaks. “Like I said…if I’m interested in someone, or if Taehyung is interested in someone, then we don’t have sex. We can date other people, and it’s not weird. If either of us likes someone else, then we don’t have sex with each other… I can like other people.”

At this point, he might as well just invest in a flashy neon sign that says I like you. It probably would’ve been subtler.

“Alright. Good to know.” 

Jimin glances up at the perfect moment to take notice of Jungkook, who is not watching him with a cocky smirk or a blush provoking smile, but who is deliberately avoiding eye contact and grinning down at his textbook in a way so adorable that it has Jimin’s heart skipping several beats.

Maybe Jungkook could get a matching sign that says I like you too.

Jimin sucks his lower lip between his teeth to hide his smile. “So, what chapter were you on?”

 ---

“Tae…” Jimin sighs, “I told you, you should’ve eaten more today. And you really shouldn’t have mixed all that liquor.” He rubs Taehyung’s back, comforting him as he leans forward and retches.

Jimin is currently sitting on the edge of the bathtub, and poor Taehyung is currently kneeling on the bathroom floor with his head in the toilet, puking up whatever alcohol he’d consumed that night.

“I couldn’t back out of stack cup – I’m not a coward.” Taehyung mumbles, lifting his just head enough so that Jimin can see the trail of spit running down his chin.

Jimin shakes his head, smiling faintly. “I know you aren’t a coward,” he gently wipes at his friend’s face with a wad of toilet paper. “But we both know that you lose every time we play it.”

“If I wanted a scolding, I would ask you to invite Jin in here.” Taehyung says, watching Jimin through droopy eyes. “Comfort me. I’m a mess – and not even a hot mess.”

They hadn’t even made it out of their dorm room that night. The six of them had gathered in the younger two’s dorm like they had planned to, they had been having fun drinking like they had planned to, but then Taehyung ended up getting sick, which was definitely something no one had planned.

Jimin can hear everyone else bickering in the kitchen.

 

“Maybe Taehyung’s only pretending to be sick because he lost the bet and had to be Snow White.”

“Our costume is ruined – now we’re just gonna look stupid.”

“We looked stupid before.”

“He’s not wrong. There was never even seven of us dwarves to begin with.”

“Whose turn was it to pick the group costume, anyway?”

“Hoseok’s.”

“Right. How could I have forgotten.”

“What? What’s wrong with it? I think it’s funny!”

“Well now we don’t have our Snow White, and Jimin’s probably gonna stay in with him so we lost a dwarf, too. It’s literally just going to be the four dwarves. Does that sound right to you?”

  

“Oh my god,” Taehyung groans, his voice echoing in the toilet. “I really don’t feel like a Disney princess right now.”

Jimin knows what it’s like to spend all night hugging the toilet on the cold bathroom floor, he’s pretty sure that everyone’s been there at some point. It’s not exactly fun, so of course he wants to do everything he can to make Taehyung’s situation a little more bearable.

He pats his back, offers a little smile. “Well at least you’re still just as pretty as one.” Right now, the situation isn’t exactly funny, because he feels bad for Taehyung and the sorry state that he’s in. Still, Jimin knows this will be something to laugh at in the future. “Can you drink some water for me?”

“Jiminie,” Taehyung mumbles, “you know I’d do anything for you, but right now I can’t drink water. It’ll just come back up. And I don’t want it to come back up.”

“Fine…but you’re gonna have to try to drink some in a bit, okay?”

“Kay.” Taehyung tilts his head, showing off a pout. “Take me out of my dress, dwarf. This is humiliating.”

Arching his eyebrows, Jimin stands up. “You know what else is humiliating? Being called a dwarf. Just because you’re sick doesn’t give you an excuse to make comments about my height - or lack thereof.”

Taehyung blinks at Jimin, a dopey grin slowly spreading across his face. “Have you looked in a mirror lately?”

Jimin looks down at his costume, remembers he’s actually dressed as a dwarf at the moment. “Touché.” He mutters.

Although intoxicated, Taehyung is thankfully compliant, so it doesn’t take that much effort to get him out of his costume.

Luckily, Jimin hadn’t been drinking as heavily as everyone else had been, since he wanted to actually be coherent when he met up with Jungkook. He had been a little tipsy for sure, but after seeing Taehyung in distress, he sobered right up.

 

"Guys, the cab’s here.”

“Let’s just go, who cares. Everyone’s gonna be too sloshed to notice our awful costume anyway.”

"That’s the spirit!”

 

Namjoon knocks on the door, and peeks his head into the bathroom, “hey we’re heading out now, are you staying here with Taehyung?”

No way is Jimin about to leave his best friend all alone on one of the most exciting nights of the year, even if they couldn’t exactly celebrate it. He nods firmly, “yeah don’t worry about us, I can handle him. Have fun! Take lots of pictures!” 

“Hyung,” Taehyung turns to look at Namjoon, his eyes pleading. “You gotta dance for us. Bust out your moves - show everyone your true self. Please. You owe it to me.”

Jimin snorts in amusement, already visualizing Namjoon throwing caution to the wind and going absolutely wild.

Since Namjoon is an RA, it isn’t that often that he actually gets to go out drinking, so Jimin’s a little disappointed that he’ll miss out on some rare, drunken antics from him.

He’d have to make sure to text Hoseok and ask him to take some videos.

“Alright, Taehyung.” Namjoon laughs, “just for you.”

 

Everyone calls out their goodbyes, telling Jimin to take care of Taehyung, and telling Taehyung to sleep it off, and to feel better soon. Even once they’ve left, Jimin can hear them squabbling all the way to the elevator.

Taehyung tugs at Jimin's sleeve, groaning. “Go with them, I feel bad for making you miss out.”

“Are you kidding?” Jimin questions. “You know you would do the same thing for me if I was the one puking.” He removes the red ribbon from ribbon from Taehyung’s hair, and smiles teasingly. “Besides, this way we can have a horror movie marathon. If you’re up for it, I mean.”

“You know I’m up for it – I’m not a coward.” Taehyung stops for a second to think, a deep frown forming on his face in the process. “But you were so excited to see Jungkook, and to introduce him to everyone. I feel bad, oh my god I ruined it.”

Yeah, Jimin had been excited to meet up with him, but so what? He’s not about to leave his best friend with his head in the toilet, just so he can go out and get drunk with Jungkook.

“Tae, the only thing you ruined is your liver. Don’t worry - there’s gonna be plenty of other chances to party with him.” Jimin isn’t worried that this night will be the only night where he and Jungkook can go out – Jungkook will most certainly get an invitation every single time.

He should probably let him know that he can’t come out on this particular night, though.

 

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Jimin: Hey, I can't make it out tonight

Jimin: But have fun, okay? Jin-hyung will still be there so he’ll introduce you to everyone!

Jungkook: What why aren’t you coming?

Jimin: I’m staying in with Tae, sorry

Jungkook: Ah

Jungkook: lol why are you sorry

Jimin: Because I really wanted to come, and I told you I was coming!

 

What did he mean? Why are you sorry?

Why wouldn’t he be sorry? They’d been texting pretty much all day, talking about that night, and Jimin was pretty sure Jungkook had been just as excited as he was, so he assumed that telling him that he can’t go out would be a bit of a let-down.

Maybe not.

“What – what’s wrong? Why d’you look all frowny? What?” Taehyung questions rapidly, which naturally prompts Jimin to sport a smile in order to curb his friend’s worries.

"Nothing." He puts his phone down, and turns his attention back to the more important matter at the moment. “I’ll be right back, let me just change and get my laptop. We can watch movies in here until you feel good enough to move to your bed.”

"You’re the best.”

“Try to drink some water now.”

“You’re the worst.”

 

When Taehyung claims that he’s finally done puking for the night, they head to his bedroom for a far more comfortable movie watching experience. Jimin makes sure that his friend is looked after. He makes sure there’s a garbage can right next to the bed just in case he can’t make it to the toilet, makes sure he has plenty of water, and even manages to get him to eat a few crackers.

At some point during the second horror movie of the night, Taehyung falls asleep, and looks so incredibly adorable snoozing away that Jimin decides he needs to take a picture of him.

After realizing he had left his phone in the bathroom, he carefully slides out of bed to make sure that he doesn’t wake Taehyung, even though the guy could probably sleep through an earthquake at this point.

 

Once he gets his phone back, Jimin sees that he has a number of text messages, and they’re all from Jungkook. He stands in the bathroom, grinning down at his phone as he begins to read the texts.

Though, the more he reads, the more his smile fades.

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Jungkook: Jimin

Jungkook: Jimin ssi

Jungkook: your friedns are so fnny wtf

Jungkook: im hving a lot of fun

Jungkook: probably not as much fun as yuore having with taehung tho

Jungkook: hahahsjhshah I meant Taehyung but taehung is funny cuz like youd know if hes hung

Jungkook: cuz you guys fuck

Jungkook: k gotta go wreck my liver more

Jungkook: good talk

Jungkook: we should do this again somet ime

  

Jimin rereads the messages again and again, hoping that he’d read something he had missed the first time – something that would make the texts sound a little less harsh.

He knows that Jungkook is drunk, and he knows that he’s probably not trying to sound like a dick, so Jimin can’t be angry with him.

He’s not angry, but his heart is still sinking. Is Jungkook not okay with his friendship with Taehyung?

Is he jealous? Jimin doesn’t want to be too presumptuous, doesn’t want to assume one thing, only to be totally wrong about it. Whatever the case, whatever Jungkook is feeling, Jimin doesn’t know for sure. All he knows is that he doesn’t feel so good himself.

Even so, he wants to make sure that Jungkook is alright.

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Jimin: I’m glad you’re having fun. Be careful okay? Text me if you need anything!

Jungkook: Dont worry about me lol. Don’t wanna take u frm Taehyung

 

He decides not to text Jungkook anymore that night.

Jungkook is drunk, and he doesn’t like the idea of getting into a fight with him – not if it can easily be avoided by simply not texting him back.

Seems like Jimin would just have to wait for tomorrow when Jungkook is sober to confront him about it.

Having to wait all night isn’t exactly easy, though, not when he's riddled with worry.

It takes him a while, but eventually, Jimin manages to fall asleep, and he falls asleep next to Taehyung; his best friend whom he won’t give up for anything.

 

Chapter Text

Jimin’s head is down as he stares into his coffee cup, stirring around the cream and sugar for an unnecessarily long period of time.

Needless to say, he’s a little preoccupied at the moment.

He had texted Jungkook that morning and asked if he wanted to grab something to eat, and Jungkook agreed to it, though he hadn’t replied until later in the afternoon.

Even though he had suggested getting something to eat, Jimin isn’t hungry at all.

In fact, it almost feels as if he’s the one suffering from a hangover. His stomach is churning and no matter how much water he drinks, his mouth still feels dry.

Jimin’s not hungover, but he still feels like shit, his head is still pounding because of all the thoughts jumping around in his brain, all of them vying for his attention. 

He’s waiting for Jungkook, sitting at a table in a cozy little café near the guy’s apartment building (he didn’t want to make the one who was actually hungover walk too far), he’s wondering what those drunk texts had been about last night (seriously what the hell), he’s still stirring his coffee (like some sort of madman), he had ordered a smoothie for Jungkook for when he got there (smoothies and hangovers go well together), but now he’s second guessing himself (what flavour did Jungkook like? He hopes it’s strawberry banana but what if it’s mango? Blueberry?), he had already drank four cups of coffee that day (he’s feeling a little jittery), and oh my god where the fuck is Jungkook?

Jimin forces himself to stop stirring his coffee, puts the spoon down and takes in a deep breath.

Back away from the spoon, Jimin. Back away, and nobody gets hurt.

God, he really doesn’t need any more caffeine right now.

What he needs is for Jungkook to hurry the fuck up and get to the fucking café already.

What he needs is to get this shit sorted out, because leaving it alone definitely isn’t going to solve anything. Leaving it alone isn’t going to make his chest feel any less tight, or make his frown any less severe.

Maybe this had partially been his own fault. Maybe he should have been clearer about what staying in with Taehyung meant, maybe he should have told Jungkook exactly why he was staying in.

Then again, isn’t it also Jungkook’s fault for jumping to conclusions? Why would he automatically assume that Jimin stayed home just to have sex?

He can’t help but feel mildly offended about such an assumption, and he thinks that his feelings are completely justified. He has every right to feel hurt, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s angry at Jungkook.

Honestly, he feels awful that Jungkook thinks he blew him off for Taehyung - obviously Jungkook had felt like he’s just some second choice.

Jimin gets that, he understands that, he knows why Jungkook had been upset.

Then again, it’s not as if they were together, so Jimin hadn’t done anything wrong. Even if they were together, Jimin wouldn’t have done anything wrong – all he did was stay home to take care of his sick friend.

No, Jimin and Jungkook aren’t together, but it’s not like there’s nothing between them, either. They flirt, they’d hinted at having feelings for each other, and maybe that’s why Jimin finds the whole situation so frustrating.

If Jungkook actually wanted to date him, if he is actually jealous, then why didn’t he just ask Jimin out?

Jungkook has no right to be upset, does he?

He’s probably gonna be upset about that strawberry banana smoothie too – should’ve gone with the blueberry.

Shut up, Jimin.

Sorry, Jimin.

Yeah, he definitely shouldn’t drink any more coffee.

 

When Jungkook finally shows up, Jimin has moved on from having an internal crisis regarding what kind of smoothie he would like best, to having an internal crisis regarding how the hell he can still look so good with a hangover.

Why doesn’t the guy look like shit with those bags under his eyes? Why is his messy hair still perfect? Why doesn’t he look like a walking corpse even though there’s literally no colour on his face?

Jungkook sits across from Jimin at the table, and even though Jimin had been impatiently waiting for him, hoping for him to get there quick, he has no idea what to even say now that he’s actually there.

It’s tense to say the least.

There’s strained smiles and terse nods, and it’s just plain awkward.

How is he even supposed to address the drunken texts? He can’t just start accusing Jungkook of being jealous the second that he sits down.

In an effort to ease the terribly arid atmosphere, Jimin clears his throat, nods at Jungkook. “I got you a smoothie.”

Baby steps.

Jungkook half smiles and returns the nod. “Thanks… Sorry if I kept you waiting.”

The blonde waves his hand dismissively, assures him he hadn’t been waiting that long (just long enough to suffer more than one existential crisis). 

He watches as Jungkook takes a sip of the smoothie, has flashbacks to when he first met him and had bought him that hot chocolate – before things got complicated.

Those were the days.

“This is really good.” Jungkook says, pointing at his glass and commenting on how he really likes strawberry banana smoothies.

“Oh – I’m glad.” Good job, Jimin.

Thanks, Jimin.

And then, there’s silence again.

Jungkook looks out the window and Jimin looks into his coffee, has to resist the urge to start stirring it again.

If you start stirring you won’t be able to stop, Jimin.

I know, Jimin.

Also you should never have this much caffeine ever again, you’re talking to yourself and that’s really weird.

You’re weird.

Hah good one.

The silence drags on for a while longer before Jimin finally decides that it’s far too suffocating, and he needs to start talking to Jungkook instead of himself. “So… how are you feeling?” What a brilliant conversation starter.

Jungkook finally risks a glance at the other. “Extremely hungover.” He replies carefully.

“Rough night?” Jimin raises an eyebrow, but tries not to get too ahead of himself, tries to act like there’s not too much caffeine circulating through his body, even though he really just wants to dive into an interrogation – he’s already guzzled enough coffee to be considered a cop, right?

Need to pick up the slack when it comes to the donut eating.

“Wasn’t so bad…” Jungkook trails off, starts to fiddle with the packets of sugar on the table. “Look, I’m sorry about last night, I was kinda drunk. I don’t know what those texts were about, but they were totally uncalled for.”

Jimin doesn’t know what he expected, doesn’t know why he thought that there would be so much more to it than Jungkook saying sorry, and using his drunkenness as an excuse.

He bites the inside of his cheek, keeps himself from saying something too hastily. What he really wants to tell Jungkook is that his intoxication isn’t an explanation. Jimin knows there’s more to it than just drunkenness, he knows there’s some other underlying issue, but he doesn’t want to assume what that issue is.

If he were to assume, then isn’t he doing the exact same thing that Jungkook had done last night?

“And I guess I was a little bummed that you didn’t come out.” The younger continues, “but it’s okay, don’t feel bad about it.” He smiles, but Jimin can tell that it’s forced. “I had a great night, it was super fun. Your friends are really something else.”

“I told you they were a lot to handle,” Jimin believes that Jungkook had fun with his friends - he believes that that part of the night had been good for him. However, he isn’t so easily swayed that the night had been nothing but rainbows and sunshine.

“They weren’t so bad…anyway how was your night?” He hesitates, stirs his straw around in his smoothie. “How’s Taehyung?” There’s a mocking lilt to his voice now, and it eats away at whatever self-restraint Jimin had been using to keep himself in check.

There’s something about the look on Jungkook’s face - it seems almost jeering, and it coaxes Jimin’s irritation out of hiding.

“My night?” He begins, fixing the other with a steady stare, “my night was pretty shitty, actually.”

“What?” Eyes widening to show that Jimin had suddenly earned his undivided attention, Jungkook leans forward slightly. “What do you mean? Why? What happened?”

Why did the guy seem almost excited? Jimin sets his jaw, tries to push down his mounting sense of annoyance.

“Well for starters, I spent all night taking care of Taehyung, and I don’t know, he was in pretty bad shape. It’s not really fun watching your best friend violently vomiting.” He watches realization wash over Jungkook’s face, but he doesn’t stop to relish it. “And then I read your texts, and that didn’t exactly make me feel so great, either.”

“What? He - he was sick?” Jungkook stutters.

“Yeah. He started feeling shitty right before the cab showed up. He’s totally fine now, though. When I left the dorm, he was heading over to Yoongi- hyung and Hoseok-hyung’s to check on them.”

The younger casts his guilty gaze to the side, avoiding looking at Jimin. “That’s good - I’m glad he’s okay.”

Jimin could leave it at that. If he wanted to, he could just ignore the fact that Jungkook thought he abandoned him just to fuck Taehyung. He could just accept Jungkook’s apology, ignore the fact that he’s jealous and that he’s probably only glad that Taehyung is okay because they didn’t fuck last night as he had so wrongly assumed.

However, ignoring that wasn’t going to get him anywhere.

“You really thought I didn’t go out just so that I could have sex?” He lays it out on the table, leaves no room for any misunderstandings.

Jungkook immediately lifts his head, taken aback by Jimin’s bluntness. “Well…I don’t know – what was I supposed to think?”

“Literally anything else.” There were countless other reasons why he could’ve stayed in. “I told you, we don’t have sex all the time – it’s not like we do it whenever we’re alone together.”

“But you do have sex. So how was I supposed to know that this time wasn’t one of those times?” Jungkook takes on a defensive tone, causing Jimin to frown.

“Well if you think that lowly of me, if you think I’d blow you off just to have sex then I guess your logic makes perfect sense.”

Jungkook knits his brows, and when he speaks, his voice is soft. “I don’t think lowly of you at all…”

Jimin catches himself, thinks maybe he was being a bit too harsh.

“I’m sorry.” The younger murmurs, “I guess I’m just finding it hard to wrap my head around how your whole friendship with him works. I shouldn’t have assumed, though.”

He knows that Jungkook really is sorry, because he can hear it in his voice, and can see the sincerity on his face.

But Jimin should still know better.

He should still know that even if Jungkook feels bad, even if he’s sorry, this talk wasn’t enough. This talk didn’t touch on everything it should have touched on, there was no mention of feelings or jealousy.

And yet, he’s still a sucker for Jungkook’s smile. He just wants to see Jungkook smile, and wants to put this whole episode behind them so they can move forward.

If Jimin didn’t like Jungkook’s smile so much, if Jungkook wasn’t so goddamn cute, then he wouldn’t leave it at that.

But Jungkook is, so Jimin does.

“You don’t have to get it. The only thing you really have to remember is that if I like – or if Taehyung likes – someone else, we aren’t going to have sex with each other.”

If Jungkook still doesn’t get that he likes him at this point, maybe Jimin should stop trying to help him study for the midterm.

Because if Jungkook doesn’t get this, then he’s really a lost cause.

He doesn’t want to look at him, because he knows if he looks at him while he says his next words, he’ll just end up feeling flustered, and maybe even earn a bit of color on his cheeks.

Even so, even though Jimin doesn’t want to look at Jungkook as he talks, he forces himself to. “I really wanted to come out last night, you have no idea how excited I was.” He notices the corner of Jungkook’s lip quirking up, sees how he tries to hide his adorable little smile.

Too bad that little smile is all it takes for Jimin to assume that Jungkook actually understands.

“The midterm is coming up really soon though, so if you thought last night was gonna be the only other night to hang out, you were so wrong.” Jimin leans over the table, feeling a little daring, encouraged by the hopeful glimmer in the other’s eyes. “You and me, in the library. Studying. Every day until the test. I’m gonna make sure you ace it.”

Jungkook rises to the challenge, locks eyes with Jimin. “Bring it on.”

 ---

Over the course of the next few days, Jimin sees Jungkook a lot– exactly like he had promised. They finally sit together in class, and they come to a compromise, choosing to sit near the middle.

Jungkook is quite the distraction during lectures, with his knee always bouncing and his pencil always tapping, but Jimin doesn’t find it annoying at all; they’re just little habits that Jungkook has, and it doesn’t take Jimin long to get used to them.

 

They meet up every day after their classes to study for the upcoming midterm, spending hours and hours in the library. He’s certainly not upset about getting to spend time with Jungkook, but a part of him wishes that their time together wasn’t always limited to the confines of the library or the classroom.

He likes Jungkook a lot.

He likes him so much that he even starts getting nervous about the midterm.

He’s nervous that once it’s over, he won’t’ see Jungkook anymore. What if they’re only study buddies?

After they’ve written the midterm, will they part ways until the next exam comes around? Jimin doesn’t want to just study with Jungkook. He wants to go on walks with him, to watch movies with him – he would be fine hanging out with Jungkook anywhere and everywhere, any day and any time.

When the day of the midterm finally comes around, Jimin realizes that he had no reason to be worried.

After handing in his exam and leaving the lecture hall, he finds Jungkook standing outside the doors, waiting for him with a grin on his face.

“Wanna grab lunch?”

Apparently, Jungkook didn’t have any intentions of being just study buddies, either.

 

Jungkook has the brightest smile, the most expressive eyes, and a laugh that makes Jimin want to join in and laugh right along with him every time he hears it. Jungkook is also the biggest brat that Jimin knows, and is so damn good at getting him flustered that if making someone blush was an Olympic sport, Jungkook would take home the gold.

There are countless little things about Jungkook that Jimin finds charming, in fact, there are way too many things. So, somewhere along the way, he gives up on trying to identify every single thing that he likes about Jungkook, and he opts to just say that he likes Jungkook.

Period.

The more often they hang out with one another, the more Jimin realizes how infatuated he actually is, but even so, he constantly reminds himself not to rush.

He likes Jungkook, and he wants to enjoy it. He wants to enjoy the flushed cheeks and the nervous fluttering of his heart. He wants to enjoy the warmth that spreads throughout his body whenever he makes Jungkook laugh. He wants to enjoy the array of smiles Jungkook has to offer; from smug smirks to the shy and sweet curving of his lips.

There’s no rush.

Liking Jungkook feels good all on its own. For now, he’s content to just enjoy Jeon Jungkook, exactly as he is.

---

The first time he gets to drink with Jungkook, they’re at a house party.

Taehyung is there too, being his usual social self, going around greeting everyone he knows (which is pretty much everyone there), and he ends up getting dragged into a match of beer pong while Jimin and Jungkook find themselves together on the couch.

They’re at a party, but Jimin couldn’t care less about the drinking games or about the music. All he’s doing is sitting there, sitting next to Jungkook and talking, and that’s all he wants to do.

He could sit there all night, feeling light headed and giddy with Jungkook, unsure of how much of the light headedness can be attributed to the alcohol and how much of it can be attributed to Jungkook.

Jungkook’s alcohol induced smile is even cuter than his regular smile – or maybe Jimin just thinks that because of the alcohol in his own system. Whatever the case, Jungkook is adorable; he giggles when he’s drunk, has a permanent lopsided smile, and everything he does affects Jimin in the best of ways.

They spend their time talking about pointless things as they drink, silly things that make Jimin realize how weird Jungkook actually is, which only makes him like the guy that much more.

At some point during the night, Jimin’s curiosity gets the better of him, and he just has to ask Jungkook a question that had been on his mind since he met him. “How did you recognize me from psych?” His courage to ask the question can definitely be attributed to the alcohol.

Thank you, sugary vodka coolers.

Jungkook had just been about to take a sip of his drink, and with the cup still at his mouth, he blinks at the blonde as if he had just spoken a foreign language. “Huh?”

Jimin repeats his question, speaking slowly and clearly to ensure that he hears.

Even though he had heard the first time anyway, Jungkook acts as if he’s only understanding the inquiry now. He lowers his cup, considers Jimin for a moment before speaking. “Well you know…because you have blonde hair.” He shrugs a shoulder, motions to Jimin’s head as if to remind him, just in case he had forgotten.

Even though he has been drinking, Jimin hasn’t forgotten about the fact that he’d dyed his hair blonde, and he isn’t about to let Jungkook get away with such an unconvincing explanation either. “I’m not the only one with blonde hair.”

“And maybe you’re kind of distracting during class.” Suddenly, Jungkook is smiling mischievously, dark eyes glittering. 

Though, Jimin only focuses on his words, doesn’t pay attention to his expression. He tries not to look too pleased, stops himself from grinning too widely - even though Jungkook had just called him a distraction. That was a good thing, right? That means Jungkook found him eye catching, right? Jungkook thinks he’s attractive, right?

Wanting to get the truth from him without appearing too obvious, Jimin clasps his hands together as if he’s a kindergartner modelling self-control. He tilts his head to the side as he studies the younger. “How so?”

He expects Jungkook to say something suave, or to get all shy and compliment him – could be something on either end of the spectrum, he’s never really sure what it’ll be when it comes to Jungkook.

“You push your hand through your hair all the time – like so much. Hard to focus on the lecture with all of this,” Jungkook proceeds to push his own hair back dramatically, mouth open as he strikes a pose.

Jimin likes this way better than suave words and shy compliments.

“I do not do that.” He stifles a laugh, and playfully shoves Jungkook.

The younger imitates his hair pushing habit again, and this time Jimin bursts out laughing. “I do not look like that, oh my god. You’re exaggerating.”

“Show me how you do it then.” Jungkook taunts.

He feels a little shy with Jungkook watching him so intently, but Jimin complies all the same, raking his fingers through his hair just like he always did.

“Oh yeah, my bad.” Jungkook quickly amends, setting his drink down so that he can do an even more ridiculous impersonation. This time, he uses both hands, and bites his lower lip in an over exaggerated, and incredibly amusing mockery of seduction.

This time, they both end up losing themselves in their laughter.

When they’ve collected themselves, Jimin is determined to give the guy a taste of his own medicine. “You know, you have habits too.” He says, falling silent soon after as he tries to think of some of Jungkook’s habits.

Though, he can’t think about much right now, because his head feels light and his whole body is effervescing with bubbly energy, and he can’t think about anything except for how good he currently feels.

Jungkook doesn’t miss an opportunity to tease, doesn’t let Jimin’s silence slide. “Can’t think of any more?” He dons a proud smile. “Well I’ll tell you another of your habits, then. Whenever you laugh your whole body like lurches forward. You crumble in on yourself or something – like you’re possessed.”

Jimin’s eyes crinkle as he giggles, “yeah possessed by pure joy and happiness.”

“I like it. Must be a dancer thing.” Without waiting for Jimin to voice his confusion, Jungkook jerks forward abruptly, his hands reaching out as if to grasp some non-existent object floating in the air in front of him.

Jimin stares at the display, mouth hanging open slightly. “What was that?”

“It’s exactly how you laugh – interpretative laughing…interpretive dance-laughing….”

Jimin’s chest touches his knees as he leans forward in another fit of laughter.

“See?” Jungkook claps his hands in victory, “Same thing!”

 

Jin picks Taehyung, Jimin, and Jungkook up from the party at the end of the night.

The three of them convince the eldest to stop and get food on the way home (it’s hard to say no to three drunk and hungry university students), and they find themselves in an empty pizza parlour at one in the morning, sitting at a table and happily chowing down.

The three younger ones are drunk and tired now; eyelids all droopy, smiles all lazy, and words all slurred (Jin thinks they’re considerably more tolerable in this intoxicated state).

“Jungkook – Kookie,” Jimin mumbles, holding out a slice of his pizza. “You gotta try this. Have some of mine. S’really good.”

Jungkook leans forward, takes a bite of the piece Jimin had offered and nods once in firm approval.

“Try mine.” He offers his own slice to Jimin.

The blonde takes a bite, chews it a couple times before the flavour sinks in, and then he proceeds to shamelessly spit it out onto his plate. “What is that?” He shakes his head, face all scrunched up. “Is that all meat?”

Jungkook examines his slice of pizza, narrowing his eyes as he studies it. “Pretty much, yeah.”

“You’re gross.”

“You the one that just spit out their food.”

Jimin grins and lays his head on the table. “What’s your point?”

“Yeah,” Taehyung pipes up, “that was totally not classy.” He turns to Jin, mouth stuffed full of pizza as he lifts a slice up, “ hyung, your turn. Try some of mine.” In Taehyung’s drunken state, it’s rather hard for him to gauge where the other’s mouth is, so when he tries to feed him, he ends up missing the target, and smears pizza sauce all over Jin’s cheek instead.

"Kim Taehyung..." The unamused expression on Jin’s face doesn’t last long, and within seconds, all four of them are filling the pizza parlour with laughter.

Jimin squeezes his eyes shut when he laughs and he can’t see anything, but that’s okay because he doesn’t need to see anything right now. Everyone’s laughter is mixing together so perfectly, and he’s content with just hearing the sound.

 

Even when he’s finally home, ready to pass out in his own bed, all Jimin can think about is Jungkook.

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Jimin: nighty night Kookiee. Sleep tight

Jungkook: goodnigh Jimin ssi

---

He sees Jungkook every day. Over the course of the next few weeks, he wakes up excited every morning because every day was another day he would get to see Jungkook smile.

Although they talk every day, there is never a mention of feelings.

Although they watch movies together, go to cafes together, there is never mention of a date.

Although they aren’t shy about teasing, and giving one another a playful little slap or shove, there is no hand holding.

They aren’t dating, they aren’t together, and even though Jimin loves every second he spends with Jungkook, he’s starting to hate how every second spent with him doesn’t seem to bring him any closer to being with him.

There are times when he thinks that maybe Jungkook’s eyes are lingering on his lips a little too long, and that maybe when Jungkook’s hand brushes against his own he’ll decide to hold on and lace their fingers together.

But nothing ever happens.

Maybe Jungkook is waiting for Jimin to make a move, while Jimin is waiting for Jungkook to make a move. Maybe they’re both being childish, both avoiding the obvious and neglecting to bring their feelings to light.

It was only a matter of time before there was another problem.

It could only go on for so long before something had to give.

It only takes one night for Jimin to realize that he and Jungkook actually hadn’t resolved anything after their first conflict on Halloween.

 ---

It’s another typical weekend, and Saturday night started out just fine.

Taehyung, Jimin, Jungkook and Hoseok decided they wanted to go out clubbing, and Jin offered to drive.

They had a few drinks at Jin’s apartment, got a nice buzz going before they piled into Jin’s car. Taehyung sat up front, and Jimin took the middle seat in the back in between Jungkook and Hoseok.

Jimin spends the entire car ride with his leg pressed against Jungkook’s, and with Jungkook pressing back against him. While the others in the car get lost in their own conversation, Jimin gets lost in Jungkook’s smile.

 

When they’re at the club bathed in flashy lights, and when music that’s too loud fills the air that’s too hot, Jimin is having fun – so much fun.

He doesn’t dance provocatively, doesn’t try to put on a show to catch anyone’s attention. He just dances without caring about anyone else, lets himself really let go so he can really enjoy this with Jungkook.

He likes Jungkook even more now, likes that Jungkook doesn’t try to show off either, likes how Jungkook is comfortable dancing as Jeon Jungkook.

Everything is good. Everything is amazing, everything is a reason to smile and an excuse to laugh.

And then Jungkook says he’s going to get another drink, asks if Jimin wants one too.

He does.

So Jungkook smiles and says he’ll be right back, leaves Jimin with Taehyung and Hoseok, and Jimin still thinks that everything is good, because everything is still good.

And because it’s still good, Jimin starts dancing with Taehyung and Hoseok while he waits for Jungkook to return.

Because he really loves to dance, because he’s dancing with his friends like he always dances with them whenever they go out, and because he’s having so much fun he doesn’t realize that everything suddenly isn’t good anymore.

It isn’t good when he notices Hoseok’s comically animated facial expressions as he dances, because when Jimin throws his head back and laughs, he has to lean against Taehyung to steady himself.

It isn’t good because that’s when he notices Jungkook.

Jungkook isn’t holding any drinks, and he isn’t looking at him and smiling. In fact, Jimin doesn’t know what facial expression Jungkook is wearing, because he has his back turned to him and is walking away.

Where is he going?

“Jungkook!” Jimin calls, but his voice is drowned out by the music. There’s still a faint smile on his own lips, because he’s still unsure of where exactly Jungkook is headed and why, only assuming the guy had gotten all muddled up in his drunken state and had forgotten where he left everyone else.

He pushes through the crowd, and earns a few elbows in return before he’s finally close enough to Jungkook to get his attention.

When he finally catches up to him, he reaches out and grabs him by the wrist, prompting him to turn around.

Jimin had expected Jungkook’s eyes to light up, had expected him to break out into a grin. So, when he’s met with a blank stare instead, it causes him to freeze. There’s no light reflecting in Jungkook’s eyes anymore, even though they had been brimming with liveliness just minutes ago - before he had left to get drinks. What happened?

“Hey,” Jimin furrows his brows apprehensively, gently guides the other off to the side so that it’s easier to talk. “Where are you going?”

“Home.” Jungkook snaps, slipping free of Jimin’s hold.

They’re standing close together and are already pretty much yelling at each other just so they can be heard over the music, but just because they’re talking loudly doesn’t mean there has to be any hint of bitterness in Jungkook’s voice.

Yet, there is.

“What, why?” Jimin shakes his head, tries to block out everything else around him. The lights and the noise are too much now, they just feel dizzying and they certainly don’t help in bringing any clarity to the situation. “Jin-hyung’s not gonna pick us up for a while, still. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.”

Growing increasingly uneasy, Jimin shifts his weight from foot to foot, crosses his arms over his chest as if to protect himself from the bite in Jungkook’s voice. “You’re obviously not fine.” His expression is soft, borders on pleading. He just wants to figure out what’s going on. When Jungkook left to get drinks, he had smiled at Jimin before walking away and things had been fine. And now he’s suddenly trying to leave, had tried to go home without even telling anyone. “What happened?”

“Nothing. Seriously, don’t mind me. Don’t wanna ruin your night.” He gestures towards the mass of dancing bodies. “Looks like you were having fun over there, so.”

Did Jungkook want to leave because of that – because he’d seen him dancing? Because he’d seen him dancing with Taehyung? He’d been dancing with Hoseok too, not only Taehyung. He’d been dancing with them like he normally did – in a way that wasn’t suggestive in the slightest.

“Jungkook,” Jimin swallows, tries to keep his anxiety down. He’s not about to get into a fight with Jungkook, not when they’ve both been drinking, not in the club. He tries not to think about the fact that the younger is jealous, tries to ignore that he’s jealous because of Taehyung and that they had fought about this before and it feels like they’re going to keep fighting about it again and again. “I’m not letting you pay for a cab when Jin can easily come get us. Let me phone him, I’ll ask him to come early.”

Jungkook shakes his head, “don’t. Just let me go home, okay? I can manage fine by myself.”

“I’m not letting you leave alone.”

“Why the hell not?”

Because he likes Jungkook, because he cares about him, because he wants to make sure that he’s safe. “Because that’s not what friends do!” They were friends, right? Even if Jimin doesn’t want to just be friends with Jungkook, even if he wants something more, they’re still only friends.

Jungkook laughs humourlessly, nearly making Jimin flinch. “Please. You’re the last person I would ever listen to when it comes to what friends should and shouldn’t do.”

Jimin falls silent, lets Jungkook’s words hang in the air, unable to come up with a response.

He doesn’t even have to ask what Jungkook means. He knows what he meant, Jungkook doesn’t even need to say it.

Jimin gets it, feels the sting of that statement and the implications that it carries, thinks about how Jungkook had just called his relationship with Taehyung wrong.

It doesn’t make him angry, but he wishes it did. He wishes he could feel as angry as Jungkook looks, wishes he wanted to yell instead of cry.

“Let me call Jin-hyung.” Jimin says, his voice considerably softer than it had been before.

Now all he wants to do is go home, too.

This time, Jungkook doesn’t protest. He just crosses his arms over his chest, and gives up on trying to leave by himself. “Whatever.”

 

Jimin collects Taehyung and Hoseok, and for once he can’t be entertained by his friend’s drunken babbling.

The car ride home feels long, and it’s a stark contrast to the ride to the club.

Taehyung sits up front again, talks non-stop to Jin, and Jimin sits in the back with Jungkook and Hoseok. He sits in the middle again, Hoseok on one side practically passed out already, and Jungkook on his other side, pressing himself close to the window like he’s afraid of even touching Jimin.

Why is it so up and down with him? How can he go from thinking that Jungkook likes him and that he maybe even wants to date him, only for this to happen?

Why did it feel like they were in a relationship, and yet at the same time, not?

They fight like they’re dating, fight like there’s something to be upset about when there isn’t, because they aren’t dating, because he isn’t Jungkook’s and Jungkook isn’t his.

So what does Jungkook want? What has him so upset, what pushed him over the edge, because Jimin has no fucking clue what is going on in that head of his.

They’re fine until they aren’t. Everything is good until Jungkook suddenly decides that it’s not.

It’s not fair, whatever they are, whatever relationship they have isn’t fair to either of them.

They go from one extreme to the other - forget about any transition period.

When he’s high he’s so fucking high, and when he’s low he’s practically in the fucking ground, buried in confusion and worry.

Jimin doesn’t understand.

Jungkook is the first person that he has liked in a long time – is the first person that he has wanted to be with in a long time.

They’d never explicitly said I like you, but isn’t it obvious?

 

When he’s finally back in his dorm, when he’s finally laying in his bed, he finally remembers how much it can hurt to like someone.

 

Chapter Text

Jungkook is completely and utterly fucked – and not in a good way.

He screwed himself over – he did something exceptionally awful last night, and has no one to blame for this shitty situation except for himself.

Then again, maybe it’s Jimin’s fault. Maybe it’s Jimin’s fault for being Jimin.

 

The first time Jungkook had ever seen Jimin had been in the very first psychology class of the semester, which also happened to be the very first day that he had ever been truly grateful for his 20/20 vision.

Jungkook thought that Jimin was pretty damn cute with his bouncy blonde hair and his oversized sweater. Thank you mom and dad for these eyes which allow me to see the cute blonde guy who sits at the front, and it didn’t take long for psychology to become his favourite class. Psychology soon became informally dubbed “the class with the cute blonde in the first row.”

Creepy? Maybe a little.

But Jungkook is allowed to admire, right? Everyone is free to admire nice things from afar, and he was definitely respecting the “look but don’t touch” rule, as if he was in a fucking museum or art gallery (because Park Jimin is fucking art), and when he was admiring him from afar, everything about it was fine.

And then when Jimin showed up at Jin’s apartment that one day… well that wasn’t fine. Like, at all.

When Jin said that his friend was coming over, Jungkook had expected his friend to be some regular, random dude who wouldn’t make his heart pump uncomfortably fast or the blood thrum in his ears.

But no.

Jin’s friend was the blonde from psych, and that’s why it wasn’t fine.

It wasn’t fine because the cute blonde was literally right there in front of him and yeah, Jungkook had always thought he was attractive, but when he saw him up close?

Oh my god.

Jungkook is adamant that there should be a picture of Jimin next to “cute” in the dictionary – no, Jimin transcends cute.

Despite all that, despite getting the shock of his life when Jimin walked into Jin’s apartment, Jungkook somehow kept his cool, and reminded himself that Jimin is just some guy from class, and he told himself that because Jimin had obviously been blessed by the gods with an abundance of adorableness, that there was no way he could have a good personality, too.

That just wouldn’t be fair.

But then again, life isn’t fair, is it?

When Jungkook found out about Jimin’s personality, when he found out that Jimin is the total package – that Jimin is literally all that and a bag of chips – he also realized that he himself was (for lack of better words), so fucking fucked.

He started crushing on Jimin the day he met him.

After all, how can Jungkook not like Jimin? How can he not like Jimin when Jimin smiles the way he smiles, or laughs the way he laughs, or just is the way he is?

How can he not like Jimin when Jimin is literally the cutest, sweetest, most gorgeous person that he has ever met?

Park Jimin is a literal angel… an angel who has sex with their best friend.

Yeah, okay so there was that little problem.

And that little problem is why Jungkook is currently in this exceedingly shitty situation.

That is why at 4 o’clock on Sunday afternoon, Jungkook is still lying in bed, still dealing with the worst hangover of his entire life, and still wallowing in regrets.

It’s December, so should he be concerned about final exams? Probably.

Should he be thinking about what to get his parents for Christmas? Maybe.

Is he currently worried about the fact that he fucked everything up with Jimin? Absolutely – one hundred fucking percent.

Usually when he’s beating himself up over something stupid that he did (which happens more often than he cared to admit), he gets over it pretty fast.

He can get over most things easily enough, because Jeon Jungkook is a man, and so he tells himself to be a man and just tough it out and face his problems like a man: rub some dirt in it, Jungkook, man up.

However, right now, he can’t say any such thing to himself, because he feels pretty fucking pathetic at the moment and totally not manly.

He feels like a little kid that just fell off their bike right when they thought they were getting the hang of riding it. He can’t just “rub some dirt in it” and get over it.

He needs to tend to his scratches, and he needs Spider-Man Band-Aids and Polysporin, and for his mom to kiss it better.

That is how fucking pathetic and not manly he feels.

That is how completely and utterly fucked Jungkook currently is.

The thing is, he’s pretty sure that Jimin likes him. Or at least, he’s pretty sure that Jimin used to like him.

After last night, there’s a good chance that Jimin hates him now – which would be totally understandable.

Jimin may hate him, and that really fucking sucks because Jungkook certainly does not hate Jimin.

Jungkook doesn’t hate Jimin, nor does he hate Taehyung, but he really hates himself right now.

He can’t believe what he said last night, he can’t believe how he acted, and just thinking about it causes a surge of shame to wash over him.

As much as he wishes he could put the blame on someone else (maybe an evil twin who is hell-bent on ruining his life), Jungkook knows that at the end of the day, all the blame falls on himself.

It’s not Jimin’s fault, it’s not Taehyung’s fault, it’s not his non-existent evil twin’s fault. It’s all his own fault for being an idiot.

The thing is, Jungkook has nothing against Taehyung. Taehyung is great – he’s really funny and really nice.

Taehyung also has had sex with Jimin, and he lives with Jimin, and he’s way closer to Jimin than I’ll probably ever be.

So, there was that.

Still, that doesn’t mean he detests the guy or wishes any ill upon him – he’s just a little scared that Jimin will always think that Taehyung is better than him.

And since Jungkook is so brilliant at dealing with his emotions, when he’s scared about stuff like that, he decides to use anger as a defense mechanism and he takes his anger out on the person that he likes.

Because that makes sense, apparently.

When he’s sober there’s no problem. When he’s sober he can hang out with Jimin and Taehyung, and they all get along fine, and there’s no problem because the three of them are all very close to “extremely fucking weird” on the “fucking weird” spectrum.

And then he gets drunk and sees Jimin and Taehyung having fun together and he turns into a giant dickwad.

If only he wasn’t a typical university student. If only he didn’t have a brain hardwired for thinking too little and drinking too much. If he didn’t get drunk, then he wouldn’t have any problems, right? If he just steered clear of the liquor, he would never have fought with Jimin, right?

Then again, drunk actions are sober thoughts.

Jungkook knows that it’s not just the alcohol. He knows there’s a reason why he tried to leave last night, and that the alcohol only acted as some sort of catalyst which brought all of his hidden worries and insecurities to the surface.

He’s fine with everything when he’s sober.

And then he gets drunk and sees Jimin and Taehyung together and his stupid drunk self sees Jimin laughing with Taehyung and he starts thinking about how happy Jimin looks and how Jimin probably doesn’t even need him in his life because he has Taehyung and he starts thinking about stupid things and then he just gets upset and blows up at Jimin and ruins everything.

He had ruined everything, and he’s still in the process of ruining everything, because he hasn’t even texted Jimin all day.

Jungkook really has no idea how to deal with feelings.

Obviously, he should apologize, but he doubts that Jimin will accept it.

And honestly, why should he accept it?

Why should Jimin believe Jungkook when Jungkook had apologized on Halloween, only to go and do the same thing last night; he goes and gets angry at Jimin for doing nothing wrong.

He can’t be mad at Jimin for being friends with Taehyung, that would just be stupid.

He’s not mad, he’s just… he doesn’t even fucking know what he is.

Jungkook wants to let his guard down and fully immerse himself in Jimin’s world, and to just trust that Jimin likes him and that they can be together and that there won’t be any problems at all. Though, he can’t seem to shake his worries. What if Taehyung is the one who always comes first?

It’s not that far-fetched of a concern considering how close Jimin and Taehyung are.

Jungkook is scared that if he takes the plunge, then he’ll end up stranded in open waters with no lifejacket, and with nowhere to go but the very bottom of the ocean floor.

And drowning doesn’t sound very fun.

Sure, Jimin keeps saying that he’s not going to have sex with Taehyung if he likes someone else, and sure, Jungkook believes him. He believes that Jimin can like other people, and that if he likes someone else, then he won’t have sex with Taehyung.

But Jungkook doesn’t understand how. How can he want to have sex with Taehyung, yet not see him as anything but his best friend? How can he not feel any romantic attachment to Taehyung at all, but still love him and still fuck him?

How do they do it without getting feelings involved?

It makes no sense – if everyone could do that, then everyone would be having sex with their best friend like it’s no problem, right?

Jungkook takes a second to imagine trying to get intimate with Yugyeom, which only causes him to gag and get the sudden urge to rinse out his mouth (and eyes) with Listerine.

No fucking way. Not a chance.

So how do Jimin and Taehyung do it?

It’s an anomaly, and a true testament to how unique their friendship must be.

Though, no matter how strange it is, no matter how confusing it may be, the fact remains that he likes Jimin, and he doesn’t think he’s going to stop liking him any time soon – and he doesn’t want to stop. He doesn’t want to stop, because he wants Jimin to like him back, because he wants to be with Jimin.

He has to apologize, has to make sure Jimin knows how sorry he is, and how awful he feels about last night.

Apologizing in person is better, right? 

It’s okay that he hasn’t texted Jimin all day, because he’s going to talk to him face to face tomorrow, right?

He’s not adding fuel to the fire, is he? Because Jungkook is certainly not a trained firefighter, and he really has no idea how he’s going to control the flames if they start getting out of control.

Then again, maybe they’re already out of control. Maybe he’s already burning and he doesn’t even know it.

Maybe he’ll wake up tomorrow morning as a pile of ashes.

Jungkook lays in bed for the rest of the night, with nothing but those lovely thoughts rocking him to sleep.

---

The following morning, Jungkook wakes up to find that he hasn’t spontaneously combusted in the middle of the night, but he has seemingly developed an issue with walking properly instead.

Since psychology had always been his favourite class this semester, it feels strange to walk through the doors to the lecture hall with an impending sense of dread. Usually he goes to class looking forward to getting to see Jimin, but now the very idea of seeing Jimin makes his knees weak – and not in a cute nervous schoolgirl way where you feel like you’re about to melt because your crush just looked at you and oh my god he’s so dreamy that you may faint.

No, Jungkook is nervous and weak in the knees and feels like he’s going to collapse in a fashion lacking any and all elegance, and probably smash his face on a desk or something and lose his two front teeth.

And get a bloody nose.

And a concussion.

Yeah, it’s that kind of weak-kneed situation.

The second Jungkook steps into the lecture hall, his eyes immediately fall on Jimin, just like they always did. This time, he doesn’t smile when he sees him, though.

Jimin is sitting alone, sitting in his usual spot in the first row, and he’s staring at the board in front of him vacantly.

It wouldn’t look quite as odd if their prof was already up there teaching, or if there was actually something written on the board, but class hasn’t even started and the board is as blank as Jimin’s expression.

This is bad.

With his heart beating so hard that it feels like it’s trying to escape its bodily prison, Jungkook makes his way to the front, eyes trained on the blonde, and worry clawing at his throat to make it feel uncomfortably dry.

Maybe it would be best if his heart did just leap out of his chest – end his suffering now.

Relax, Jungkook. Deep breaths.

Even as he approaches him, Jimin takes no note, seems completely oblivious to the fact that Jungkook is heading straight towards him.

This is really bad.

Jungkook finally comes to a stop when he’s standing next to the other, places his hand on the back of the chair beside him, and awkwardly clears his throat as if to make his presence known.

Only then does Jimin move, but he turns only slightly, and keeps his elbow propped up on the desk and his head resting in his hand as he sweeps his eyes over Jungkook in silence.

“Hey.” Jungkook carefully pulls the chair back, hopes he’ll somehow feel better when he’s not standing. “Can I sit here?”

The blonde shrugs indifferently, but he doesn’t talk.

His refusal to say anything speaks volumes.   

He sits down next to Jimin, eyes still glued to him, and the look on the blonde’s face makes Jungkook feel like someone just threw a basketball at his stomach and knocked all the wind out of him.

He had never seen Jimin look like this, had never wanted to see him look like this, and he feels so terrible knowing that he’s the reason for Jimin to look such a way.

He’s used to seeing Jimin wearing smiles so bright that they could rival the sun, is used to feeling a vivacity that is so distinctly Jimin that it’s clear he’s being totally and completely authentic.

Jimin doesn’t try to be good, Jimin just is good; he’s just his warm and bubbly self and it’s so enchanting, and it’s the reason why Jungkook smiles so much around him.

But right now, Jimin looks drained of all energy.

Now, Jimin is sitting with his chin in his hand, and is staring straight ahead at the board as the sound of students chattering before the lecture fills the air around them.

Jimin’s silence is deafening – terrifying, even. 

In fact, Jungkook has never felt so scared in his entire life – not even when he lost his mom in Costco when he was four years old, and that had been really fucking scary.

Though, he knows that he needs to talk despite his fear, he needs to push his fear to the side and fix things.

He needs to make this right.

Jungkook turns his body to fully face Jimin, and starts to tap his pencil against the table out of nervousness. “Hey, Jimin-hyung?” Jungkook knows he should’ve texted him last night, knows he made everything so much worse by waiting until now to say anything, and now he has to deal with all of his stupid mistakes at once. “Can we talk?”

Jimin turns to look at him, but his expression remains the same; his face is still missing his smile.

“Talk?” Jimin echoes levelly. “Do you wanna talk to me like how you talked to me Saturday night? Do you wanna talk to me and tell me how fucked up I am for being friends with Taehyung?” His voice wavers, but he carries on. “Because if that’s what you mean by talk, Jungkook, then no. We can’t talk.”

Jungkook deserves that. He deserves the sting he feels from those words, and the sting he feels from the knowledge that what he had said on Saturday cut Jimin deeply.

He frowns, has to resist the urge to turn away. Fuck, he feels so selfish. He wants to look away because he doesn’t want to see Jimin’s sad eyes, because seeing Jimin look so dejected is making him feel so upset, and it’s an awful feeling, and he doesn’t want to feel like this ever again.

“That’s not what I mean.” Jungkook murmurs, finding it a little hard to breathe properly, feeling like he’d just jumped into a glacial lake and had all the breath stolen from his body by icy cold fingers.

He’s almost certain Jimin hates him now.

He still has to say sorry, though, because he won’t be able to ever breathe right if he doesn’t apologize. “I’m such an idiot.” He expects Jimin to agree with him, expects him to say no fucking shit, but Jimin doesn’t even say anything.

Jimin is the warmest, most vibrant person that Jungkook knows, which is why it’s so unnerving to see all of that liveliness gone.

Jungkook starts tapping his pencil faster, grows increasingly anxious. “I fucked up. I messed up, and I’m really fucking sorry.” He’s answered with silence, and is struck with the fear that Jimin might not ever speak to him again. “I was so drunk-” He cuts himself off, winces at his own words. This isn’t the first time he had used his drunkenness as an excuse, and he knows it isn’t a sufficient explanation.

“Never mind, that doesn’t matter. I know that what I said to you was wrong, and I didn’t mean it. I don’t think that your friendship with Taehyung is fucked up.” He draws in a deep breath to say more, to let it all out and say everything that’s on his mind, and that’s exactly when their prof starts talking.

Life really isn’t fair, is it?

The lecture begins, and all the students fall quiet to listen.

But Jungkook isn’t done. Jungkook can’t go through a whole lecture sitting in silence next to Jimin when he still has so much more to say.

So he keeps talking.

“Hyung,” he whispers, still looking only at Jimin, even though Jimin is looking only at their prof as he speaks. “I wasn’t mad at you or Taehyung. I was just…” Jealous. He was just jealous.

Jungkook shakes his head, keeps talking, keeps ignoring the fact that they’re in the middle of a lecture. “You – you mean a lot to me, okay?” He notices a change in the other’s expression, notices his eyes quickly flit over him.

Jungkook’s heart is pounding even harder now, and his hands are so sweaty that it feels like his pencil is going to slip out of his hold and go flying across the room if he keeps up his incessant tapping.

He has to keep talking though, because if words aren’t coming out of his mouth, then it’ll probably be vomit instead, because he’s so nervous right now he feels like he may hurl.

“You make me smile a lot – and sometimes it’s kind of annoying because when I’m texting you and I’m around my friends they’re always teasing me and stuff and laughing at me because I can’t stop smiling whenever you text me and it’s embarrassing sometimes – but I’m not mad about it.”

Jimin turns his head a little now, looks at Jungkook, studies him with more curiosity than disinterest. 

Jungkook feels his heart stutter, wonders if maybe this is it and if he’s finally going into cardiac arrest. “Jimin-hyung, I’m so sor-”

“Excuse me?” Jungkook hadn’t been paying attention to anything that their prof had been saying up until now. But now, their prof is standing right in front of Jungkook, looming over him as he speaks, so he’s a little hard to ignore. “Is my lecture interrupting you?”

Sometimes Jungkook is surprised by his own boldness. He’d always been a little cheeky, always been a bit of a trouble-maker throughout school, but he’d never exactly done something like this.

Maybe he’s only feeling so confident because he has Jimin looking at him now, maybe he’s just doing this out of desperation to sort out the mess he had created, and to let Jimin know how much he means to him.

Whatever the case, Jungkook doesn’t hesitate to start gathering his belongings. “Actually, yeah.” Jungkook stands up, looks down at Jimin with his eyes pleading, and with every fibre of his being begging for a chance that he knows he doesn’t deserve. “I’m in the middle of something really important right now.” He nods towards the doors, hopes that Jimin will give him the chance that he so desperately needs.

At the moment, he couldn’t care less about the fact that he’s making a scene in front of the whole class, because all he can focus on is Jimin.

No one else matters.

Jimin is staring up at him with wide eyes, and his full lips are parted slightly in surprise. 

For a split second, Jungkook is afraid that Jimin will turn away and ignore him, and just let him make a fool of himself alone. For a second, Jungkook thinks that this is really it, and that Jimin is done with him.

And then, Jimin starts packing up his things. He grabs his backpack, glances at their prof, and speaks timidly with his head bowed. “Sorry, sir.”

And then he follows Jungkook out of the lecture hall.

 

They roam the halls in silence for a while, and Jungkook scrambles to try to fully process what had just happened. He just told off their prof in front of the whole class – he just basically told the whole class that Jimin is important to him, and Jimin didn’t even leave him hang out to dry.

Even though Jimin still isn’t smiling as they walk, and even though he’s still keeping his expression relatively neutral, Jungkook is hopeful.

At least Jimin is here with him, at least he’s giving him a chance and willing to hear him out. That’s really all Jungkook can ask for.

They finally find somewhere to sit; a couple comfy chairs near a big window, and while Jungkook tries to once again calm himself down so he can talk, Jimin looks outside and watches the snow gently falling to the ground.

Jungkook tells Jimin about what happened when he left to get drinks on Saturday night, about how upset he got when he saw him and Taehyung dancing together. He tells Jimin that he felt like he wouldn’t even miss him if he left, but he doesn’t dare mention jealousy, doesn’t want Jimin to think that he’s some psycho. After all, it’s not as if they were dating.

Jimin can get as touchy as he wants with Taehyung – or with anybody for that matter. It’s not as if he swore his loyalty to Jungkook or anything.

Jungkook has to remember that Jimin isn’t his.

When the younger finally finishes and concludes with a simple: I’m really sorry, Jimin finally turns to Jungkook, and Jungkook can finally see that his gaze is no longer empty. The sunlight streaming in through the window catches and reflects in Jimin’s eyes, making them dance like the snowflakes outside.

His gaze eases Jungkook’s muddled mind and wraps him in a comfort that only Jimin’s sweet stare can give.

“I don’t really know what you want me to say, Jungkook.” The blonde admits quietly, almost contritely. “I’ve tried to get you to understand – I’ve been completely honest with you when it comes to Taehyung. He’s my best friend and I love him to death, and that’s not going to change. He’ll always be my best friend.”

“I know.” Jungkook assures hastily. “I just started thinking about how close you are with him, and how long you’ve known him for, and I don’t know, I was just...” Jealous. He was just jealous.

“Well so what?” Jimin shakes his head. “I’ve known Jin-hyung longer than I’ve known you, I’m closer with him than I am with you – I even saw him naked once.”

Jungkook wrinkles his nose, contorts his face. “What?”

The beginnings of a smile tug at the corners of Jimin’s lips. “Yup. In the summer, he got super drunk and went streaking in the park. Watching a naked guy run almost turned me straight.”

“I literally could’ve lived my whole life without that mental image.”

“If I had to be scarred by it, so do you.”

Jungkook snorts in amusement, and when he sees Jimin watching him with a smile, he can’t help but mirror that smile.

Even though he’s a little put off by the thought of a naked drunk Jin, Jungkook can’t help but feel content.

Hadn’t Jimin just said that it didn’t matter how long they’ve known each other for, or how close he thinks they are –  hadn’t he basically said that he likes Jungkook anyway?

“Jungkook, Taehyung isn’t going anywhere.” Jimin’s eyes are soft and inviting, and he’s looking at Jungkook so intently that he finds himself just wanting to get lost in those pretty eyes forever. “And I really hope that you don’t go anywhere, either.”

It’s a real struggle for Jungkook to stop himself from grinning like a maniac. It’s a real miracle that his heart is somehow still working in spite of its erratic pumping.

Jimin wants him in his life, and it doesn’t sound like he has any intentions of leaving him behind.

Jungkook is the one who had been running away when he had no reason to, when Jimin had stayed right there waiting for him. Jungkook had been the one fleeing, even though there’s nowhere else that he wants to go.

There’s nowhere else he’d rather be.

From there, they start talking just like they had always talked, and Jimin starts smiling just like he always smiles. Things feel the same as they had before Saturday night – no, they feel better. They feel better, because now Jungkook is that much more certain that Jimin likes him.

Everything is good again, Jungkook feels warmer than he ever has in December, and when Jimin admits something in the midst of their playful banter, Jungkook knows the day is about to get even better.

 

“I feel kinda bad,” The blonde murmurs as he lowers his head and starts to absentmindedly pick at the sleeve of his sweater. “That was the first class that I’ve ever skipped.”

That little revelation doesn’t surprise Jungkook in the slightest. He’s not shocked by the confession, but he is certainly pleased by how damn adorable of a confession it was. “Oh?” He raises his brows, can’t hide his self-assured smile. “Well it’s not gonna be your last.”

Jimin glances at him warily, tilts his head to the side. “What do you mean?”

“Let’s go see a movie.” The younger stands up, slings his backpack over his shoulder, and watches Jimin expectantly. Spending the rest of the day with Jimin sounds better than spending the rest of the day in classes.

Spending the rest of the day with Jimin sounds better than everything, really.

Now? Jungkook, I still have two other classes today.”

“It’s the end of the semester, they’re probably just doing review. Doubt there’s any new material to teach.”

Jimin shakes his head, and fixes the other with a smile that chases away his lingering worries. “You’re actually so annoying.”

“You don’t even know the half of it.” Jungkook grins.

 

They end up going to a movie theatre downtown – it’s an older theatre that usually plays older movies, and they just so happen to be showing Christmas classics today.

It’s Monday afternoon, so the place isn’t busy at all, and Jimin and Jungkook are the only two in the whole theatre.

Because they’re the only two, they put their feet up on the seats in front of them, and they don’t have to whisper whenever they want to say something.

Jimin makes a lot of little comments as they watch the movie, with all of them mostly revolving around Christmas and his memories from when he was a kid.

Jungkook finds himself thinking about how adorable Jimin must’ve been on Christmas mornings.

Hell, Jimin’s probably still fucking adorable on Christmas mornings.

During the movie, they goof around a lot. They throw popcorn up in the air, have competitions to see who can catch the most in their mouths, which eventually turns into them just throwing it at each other and making a really big mess.

Jungkook doesn’t understand how Jimin makes everything better, how he can make his smile wider and his laughter louder and his world brighter. He didn’t know that someone could have such an effect on him, didn’t know what he had been missing out on this whole time.

In the past, he had dated other people, and of course he had enjoyed the dating, and yeah, his past relationships made him feel good.

But right now, he isn’t even dating Jimin, and yet he feels better than he ever felt before.

He didn’t know it was possible to feel this.

When the movie is over and when Jungkook gets up to leave, Jimin stops him and makes sure that they clean up all the popcorn they’d thrown, and Jungkook is once again taken by just how amazing Jimin really is.

A literal angel.

 

The bus ride to the theatre only took about fifteen minutes, but they don’t take the bus back. Instead, they decide to walk.

It lengthens their time together.

On their walk, Jungkook enjoys the wintry air, the pale blue sky, and the snow dusted ground, but most importantly he enjoys Jimin.

Jimin’s cheeks get all rosy and the tip of his nose turns red, and he’s wearing a beanie and mittens, and he’s the cutest person in the whole entire world.

At the end of the day, Jungkook isn’t sure if his cheeks are numb from the cold or if they’re numb from smiling so much.

---

Jungkook and Jimin keep hanging out like usual. They hang out one on one, and they hang out with Jin, Yoongi, Namjoon, Hoseok, and Taehyung.

And everything is fine.

Jin starts bugging Jungkook even more than usual, keeps texting him and asking how Jimin is, asking how the movies were, asking when he’s going to get a wedding invitation.

Of course, Jungkook pretends like he isn’t fazed by Jin’s teasing, pretends like it’s just annoying and nothing else.

In reality, it’s not annoying in the slightest. In reality, it’s actually pretty fucking great.

It’s great, because it means that Jimin must talk about him. Jimin must have told Jin all about the movies, meaning he must have been so excited and so happy about it that he just had to gush.

The thought of Jimin getting all smiley and cute as he talks to Jin about him makes Jungkook fucking giddy.

Like, schoolgirl giddy.

 ---

It’s now been a week since they skipped a full day of classes to go to the movies, meaning it’s been another week full of Park Jimin’s sunny smiles.

It’s been one of the hardest weeks of Jungkook’s life – Jungkook has had to keep himself in check for a whole goddamn week.

He doesn’t kiss Jimin, even though he wants to know what that pretty smile of his tastes like.

He doesn’t hold his hand, even though he wants to know what Jimin’s cute little fingers look like when they’re entwined with his own.

He doesn’t tell Jimin he likes him, even though he wants to know what sort of expression will light up his face.

He doesn’t do any of that, and Jimin doesn’t do any of that either.

If Jimin does like him, if Jimin wants to be with him, then why doesn’t Jimin ask him out?

Maybe he’s waiting for the right time.

He really likes Jimin, and his feelings are definitely not about to change, and he’s fairly certain that Jimin likes him back.

But feelings can change. You like someone until you don’t.

You don’t like someone until you do.

Maybe Jimin’s still not totally sure how he feels about Taehyung.

Jungkook pushes that thought away the second it surfaces, shoves it to the back of his mind and into the darkest corner of his brain.

He can’t think like that. Jimin and Taehyung are friends, and that’s it.

They’re best friends, and they sometimes have sex, and that’s it.

That’s it.

That’s it, and Jungkook still doesn’t understand.

 

Chapter Text

 

Jimin doesn’t understand.

He doesn’t understand why the more he hangs out with Jungkook, the more he seems to miss him. Even when he’s with Jungkook and spending time with him, whether they’re in class, or the library, or getting food, or hanging out and watching movies back at his apartment, it never feels like it’s enough.

Wherever they are and whatever they’re doing, Jimin misses Jungkook even when he’s with him.

And it doesn’t make sense.

How can he miss him if he isn’t gone?

It may just be that he feels like he’s missing out on something, and maybe he feels like he’s missing out on actually having Jungkook – on actually being with him.

Then again, is it even possible to miss something that you never had in the first place?

The most frustrating part about it all is that Jimin really has nothing to complain about, because there’s nothing wrong.

He has Jungkook in his life, and things between them are really good.

He has Jungkook’s smile, and he feels so lucky that he’s the person who gets to see that smile the most.

He has Jungkook’s gaze, and he loves looking into those deep eyes that never seem to stop flickering with some sort of lively light.

He has Jungkook, yet he doesn’t have him.

He’s Jungkook’s friend, yet they aren’t just friends, because there’s obviously so much more between them.

So what is he to Jungkook?

Jimin doesn’t want to complain, because if he complains, then he’s selfish. Everything about Jungkook is wonderful, everything about Jungkook makes his days better and his nights brighter.

How can he complain when there isn’t anything wrong?

Is he going to complain about the fact that they aren’t dating? Is he going to complain because Jungkook isn’t his boyfriend? If he does that, then he’s just greedy.

Jimin knows that wanting more is greedy of him, but he can’t help it.

They’ve danced around the subject of feelings so many times, but the dancing is starting to get exhausting, and time only makes Jimin like Jungkook that much more, which in turn only makes his frustrations grow that much more.

He wants to be with Jungkook, but he can tell that there’s something holding the guy back – why else haven’t they moved beyond the teasing remarks and flirty touches?

Why can he spend all day talking to Jungkook, all night texting him, and still want more?

He feels so selfish, wishes he wasn’t so greedy.

He wants more of Jungkook, wants everything that he’s willing to give him… and maybe that’s just it. Maybe that’s the problem.

Maybe Jungkook is only willing to give this much of himself. Maybe Jimin would have to accept that, maybe he would have to come to terms with the possibility that they would always be just friends.

Just friends who flirt, just friends who obliviously have feelings for each other. Just friends who aren’t just friends, and who will forever be caught up in this dance that has no end.

It feels like he’s dancing with no music; they’re dancing on and on endlessly, because nothing will ever seem to cue the end of their performance.

The silent dance burns Jimin, brands him with a desire for more, and stings him with the thought that this may be as far as things go with Jungkook.

When Jungkook took him to the movies last week, Jimin thought that at the end of the day, he would’ve mentioned something about it being a date, but he didn’t.

Jungkook didn’t give any indication that their relationship had progressed beyond where it had been before their fight at the club, but Jimin sure feels like things had changed a little.

Things felt different after Jungkook apologized, and things felt different after they talked about the fight. After talking about it, he felt closer to Jungkook than ever before, and felt more infatuated with him than ever before.

But did things feel different to Jungkook? Did Jungkook feel closer to Jimin, did he feel a deeper affection for him?

Jimin had told Jungkook that he doesn’t want him to go anywhere, but that doesn’t mean he hopes for things to stay exactly as they are.

He wants more.

He wants more, and he’s scared, because he has never fallen for anyone this hard.

No one else has ever been so worth Jimin’s time – no one else has ever inspired such fierce feelings within him.

Jimin only wants good things to happen to Jungkook, he wants his life to be filled with nothing but smiles, because it would be a damn shame if Jungkook isn’t showing his adorable smile to the rest of the world.

He’s drawn to Jungkook in every way. His whole body reacts to his every touch, and even though Jungkook’s touches never linger on his skin for more than a few seconds, the effects of his touches make their mark on Jimin. He feels Jungkook’s fingers on his skin even after he’s pulled away, feels an ache of longing in his chest that lasts for far longer than any of their little touches ever have.

Jimin is afraid that he’ll always feel like he’s chasing, always chasing the source of that longing, but never being able to sate his thirst.

He wants Jungkook to know how much he likes him, wants to shower him in all of his warmth, to be with him through all of his struggles, and make sure that at the end of his hardest days, there’s a smile on his face.

Jimin has so much to give; there’s so much affection and fondness pent-up inside that he feels like he’s going to explode.

Yet, he has to keep all of his feelings stuffed down, has to keep himself under control, because he doesn’t want to ruin things with Jungkook.

There’s obviously a reason for him to hold back, and Jimin doesn’t want to put any sort of pressure on him if he’s not ready for anything more.

If Jungkook isn’t ready to take things any further, then Jimin has to respect that.

If the thing holding Jungkook back is his own personal issues when it comes to commitment or relationships, then Jimin wouldn’t want to make him uncomfortable by overstepping the boundaries.

If the thing holding Jungkook back is fear that his feelings won’t be reciprocated, then Jimin is determined to do any and every little thing he can for him, and to let him know that he is special, that he is important, and that he is liked so, so much.

And if that thing holding Jungkook back is Taehyung… well then that fucking hurts.

It hurts, because Taehyung is Jimin’s whole world. Taehyung is Jimin’s everything, and he loves Kim Taehyung with his whole heart and all of his soul.

Taehyung isn’t going anywhere, and if Jungkook can’t accept his relationship with Taehyung, then there isn’t much Jimin can do.

He can’t force Jungkook to accept it, and if their friendship makes Jungkook feel uncomfortable, then that’s that.

Of course, the thought of such a thing upsets Jimin, makes his heart feel constricted and his throat feel tight. It pains Jimin to think that Jungkook, the only person he wants to like – the only person he wants to give his heart to – can’t accept his heart just because it’s already brimming with so much love for Taehyung.

But Jimin still has so much love to give.

It will never be only Taehyung, and it will never be only Jungkook.

He cares for them both so deeply, adores them both in their own ways, and wants nothing but happiness to rain down on both of them.

Jimin desperately hopes that Jungkook isn’t holding back because of Taehyung, he hopes that after their fight Jungkook sees that Taehyung is his best friend who he loves, but there are no romantic feelings attached to that type of love.

He needs to know what’s up with Jungkook, because it’s maddening to see him every day, because all he wants is to smother him in all of his attention and affection, but he can’t.

Everything about Jungkook is challenging.

And everything about Jungkook is amazing and captivating and beautiful and perfect and so, so frustrating.

Jimin wonders how long he can keep this up, wonders if he can keep running and running when there’s no sign of a finish line.

He wonders if he can keep dancing and dancing when there’s no music to ever tell him to stop.

It’s exhausting to even think about.

However, Jimin knows that he’s not alone, he knows that he doesn’t have to keep all of his concerns bottled up.

When Jimin’s own thoughts get too loud, and when he feels like he’s drowning in his own senseless worries, he always has someone to go to.

He can always talk to Kim Taehyung.

Always.

 ---

If Jimin had a diary, he would definitely write all about today in it, would definitely fill up pages and pages with all of his thoughts and feelings regarding the happenings of this particular day.

Since classes are officially done for the semester and all that’s left to do is study for finals, Jimin has found himself spending the majority of his newfound free time with Jungkook – because how else would he rather spend his time?

Hanging out with Jungkook nowadays is amazing, makes Jimin deliriously happy and inexplicably warm, makes his whole being hum with the thrill of being enamoured, and everything about it is torture.

Pure torture.

In the moments when he’s high on Jungkook’s smiles, Jimin wants nothing more than to hug him, to kiss him, and to just wrap him up in his warmth and make sure he knows how important he is to him.

But Jimin can’t do that, and it sucks.

It sucks a lot.

In fact, today was particularly torturous, because today Jimin got to touch Jungkook for more than a few seconds, and he liked it.

He liked it a lot.

Jungkook had been complaining about how sore his neck was, so when they were taking a break from studying and watching TV, Jimin had been quick to offer to give him a massage.

Jungkook eventually agreed to it, and Jimin has never liked giving a massage to someone so much in his entire life.

It wasn’t weird at all – didn’t feel too intimate or like he was crossing some sort of line. It wasn’t awkward.

It made Jimin feel really good, which is a little weird considering all he was doing was giving Jungkook’s neck and shoulders a bit of a rub.

Then again, helping Jungkook is the most rewarding thing in the whole entire world, so naturally, the knowledge that he’s alleviating some of the guy’s discomfort had Jimin absolutely thrilled.

If he had a diary, he would write all about Jungkook’s cute snickering during it: “you know you really don’t need to do this, hyung, it’s not that serious,” and all about how his playful little remarks:“you should really set up in the library and start charging people for massages. Earn some extra cash to fuel your caffeine addiction.”

And of course, he would write about all the warm fuzzies that he himself felt during it, and he’d reflect on how fucking strange it is to feel such away when it comes to what the rest of the world would see as a meaningless massage.

Jimin doesn’t have a diary to write in.

But he does have a Taehyung.

At the end of the long and delightfully frustrating day, Jimin arrives back at his dorm, walks in as if on autopilot, and heads straight for Taehyung’s bedroom.

He doesn’t knock, doesn’t announce his arrival, just marches right into his room, and proceeds to flop down on the bed right next to his best friend.

“Tae.” Jimin stares up at the ceiling, his lungs deflating as he pushes out a heavy sigh. “What am I supposed to do?”

Taehyung had been laying on his stomach, mindlessly scrolling through his phone, but the second Jimin came in, his attention immediately turned to him instead. He smiles knowingly, tosses his phone to the side as he watches the other. “Jungkook?”

Jimin grunts in response, spreads out like a starfish on Taehyung’s bed to demonstrate just how utterly defeated he feels. “It’s so frustrating being around him now – I can’t take it anymore.”

He turns his head to look at Taehyung, conveys nothing but absolute seriousness as he continues.

“I’m at a scary point, Tae. I’m at the point where I literally just wanna rub my face all over his – and that’s really fucking weird.” Jimin can honestly say he has never felt an overwhelming desire to have his face all smooshed up against someone else’s just to show them how much he likes them and how fucking cute he thinks they are.

He feels like he’s going crazy.

“What,” Taehyung gasps dramatically. “You mean you guys haven’t gotten to face rubbing yet? But that’s the best part.” He grins teasingly, but Jimin can’t even find it in himself to laugh. It’s not funny because Jimin is at such a low point that a good round of face rubbing would probably feel as good as sex (maybe even better than it).

With his lower lip naturally jutting out, Jimin groans. “I wanna be with him, and I want him to ask me out so bad, and I can’t take it anymore. I literally can’t.” He sits up suddenly, shakes his head. “Do you know how awful it is watching a movie with him, and not being able to wrap my arms around him or bury my face in his neck or squeeze his cheeks or anything?”

Taehyung considers Jimin for a moment, rubs his chin as if he’s in deep thought. “Is it as awful as when someone eats the leftovers that you’ve been saving all for yourself?”

Jimin fixes him with a sombre stare. “Worse.”

“Okay, good to know.” Taehyung nods his head, seemingly satisfied with the answer. “Because I ate the leftover food from the restaurant that you were saving in the fridge.”

Despite the fact that he’s having an internal crisis over Jungkook, Taehyung is still able to bring a smile to his face, and he make Jimin’s frown disappear as if it had never been there in the first place. “Tae,” he chuckles softly, “I’m serious.”

“So am I. I legit ate all your leftovers.”

Jimin really doesn’t care about the food, because the issue involving Jungkook is still the thing weighing most heavily on his mind. Besides, Taehyung is way too adorable for Jimin to actually get upset with him over something so silly.Oh well, my baby’s a growing boy. Gotta eat.” He shakes his head, reaches out to ruffle his friend’s hair.

Taehyung doesn’t even bother trying to dodge Jimin’s hand when he reaches out to him, and he lets Jimin tousle his hair however he pleases. “Yeah, sorry about that – I’ll make it up to you…one day.” He rolls over onto his side, propping an elbow up and resting his head in his hand. “What’s up, though? Something happen today with Kookie?”

“No,” Jimin murmurs, hugging a pillow to his chest. “I mean, not really. I gave him a massage-"

“Massage?” Taehyung perks up, wiggles his eyebrows suggestively, and earns a half-hearted slap from Jimin in the process.

“He was complaining about how much his neck hurts because of all the studying we’ve been doing lately, so I offered to give him a massage.” Jimin holds the pillow tighter, a faint smile playing at his lips.  “And… it felt really good. Like, it made me feel really good to -”

“Mm, imagine how he fel-”

“Don’t make it weird.” Jimin interjects, stifling a laugh. No matter the situation, no matter how upset he may feel, Taehyung somehow always manages to lighten his load. “Anyway,” the blonde continues, “I just really like helping him, and I really like making him feel good, and knowing that he’s smiling because of me. And I want to do more for him, you know? I want him to know how much I like him.”

Jimin’s smile slowly fades, and turns into something more akin to a grimace. “I’m going to explode – I’m actually going to explode. Feel my forehead. Do I feel warm to you? I think I’m overheating. Oh my god I’m having a stroke.” Jimin grabs Taehyung’s hand, forces him to feel his face to see if he has some sort of fever (which he doesn’t).

He doesn’t know how much more can he take before he breaks.

“Jimin,” Taehyung snickers, playfully tapping his forehead a few times with the back of his hand.   “I’ve literally been telling you since day one to ask him out.”

“It’s not that simple.” Jimin whines. “He’s holding back but I don’t know why – I’ve made it painfully clear that I like him.”

“Look, I know this whole thing is hard for you, but honestly, it’s really frustrating for me, too. Do you know how hard it is for me – for all of us – to hang out around you two now? The romantic tension, Jimin – it’s suffocating.”

Jimin opens his mouth to reply, but is cut off by Taehyung, who apparently isn’t done talking about just how dire of a situation everyone else is in because of him and Jungkook.

“Yoongi-hyung even suggested locking you two in a room together until one of you finally asks the other out. I’ll have you know that I was against the idea, and said that it was stupid and totally not humane…I suggested we host a surprise party for you two.”

“Surprise party?”

“Well, an engagement party. A surprise engagement party – you guys could just bypass the dating and go straight to the marrying, I mean, seriously. You think you’re frustrated? How do you think I feel? Do you know how hard it is for me when you come home smiling like you’ve never smiled before, and then I ask for all the juicy details, and you proceed to tell me that all you did was study with him? Or that he touched your leg for one and a half seconds instead of just one? Do you have any idea how hard that is for me, Jimin?”

Jimin snorts, rolls his eyes at his friend’s silliness. “I’m so sorry. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through.”

“You have no idea.” Taehyung’s playfulness subsides slightly, and he adopts a more serious tone. “But in all honesty, I think you should just ask him out. I know you’re worried about it, but you really shouldn’t be. Have you seen the way the guy looks at you? There’s a word to describe that, Jimin, and it is smitten.”

“But Tae-”

“You like Jungkook, and Jungkook likes you. It’s basic math, really.”

Not bothering to hide his confusion, Jimin wrinkles his nose as his frown deepens. “What does math have anything to do with this? Math is easy – math makes sense. Jungkook doesn’t.”

“Oh, is that so?” Taehyung hums, “then I’m sure you’ll appreciate the simplicity of this equation.” He looks Jimin straight in the eyes, puts the amusement twinkling in his own on full display.  “Jeon Jungkook plus Park Jimin,” he pauses for dramatic effect, “equals,” and to finish off the fabricated mathematical formula, he mouths love as he draws a heart in the air.

“Tae,” Jimin lifts the pillow up, hits Taehyung on the top of the head with it. “You eat my leftover food and this is how you treat me?” 

“Okay, okay.” He relents, laughing softly as he sits up. “I’ll be serious. I seriously think that you should ask Jungkook out. And if there is something that’s holding him back, well then at least you’ll know. At least asking him out will bring you closer to finding out a way to fix whatever needs to be fixed.” Taehyung pauses, his expression suddenly darkening as he leans in towards Jimin. “For real, ask him out. Do it. You gotta ask him out first, though. You have to be the one to do it first. Make the first move.”

Jimin narrows his eyes. “You made a bet, didn’t you?”

Taehyung doesn’t even bother denying it, and has no reservations when it comes to telling Jimin all about it. “Jin-hyung says Jungkook will ask you out first, but my money’s on you making the first move. My Jimin’s a go-getter.”

Once again, Jimin finds himself laughing as he watches Taehyung. “What did I do in my past life to deserve such a supportive friend?”

“I don’t know, but it must’ve been something really really good. Like saving a box of kittens from a fire.”

“To wind up with a best friend like you, I must’ve saved all the kittens in the world.”

---

Since his talk with Taehyung, Jimin admittedly started feeling better about the whole Jungkook situation, even though they’re still just friends, and even though he still doesn’t know what has Jungkook hesitating.

Since talking things over with Taehyung, Jimin’s days no longer end in exasperation.

Now, hanging out with Jungkook feels a little more special, feels a little bit different.

Lately, hanging out with him brings about a certain sense of ease in which Jimin finds himself fully enjoying every little thing about Jungkook. In these moments of ease, he finds more to like about him, recognizes more of his cute habits and picks up on more of his tendencies.

Since his talk with Taehyung, he realized that he had no reason to feel frustrated, because he has the power to ask Jungkook out any time he wants to. It’s not as if Jungkook is slipping away from him, it’s not as if there’s any real rush.

Of course, he still wants to be with Jungkook, and of course he would rather be with him sooner than later, but Jimin wants to wait for the right time to ask. He wants to make everything about his relationship with Jungkook perfect, because Jungkook is so, so special to him.

He doesn’t want to ask Jungkook out suddenly and randomly spring the question on him out of nowhere, or to give off the impression that it’s spurred on by some sort of desperation.

In all honesty, waiting for the perfect time won’t be hard, because Jeon Jungkook is worth the wait.

---

Exams are almost coming to an end, meaning winter break is within reach.

Tonight, Jimin is studying with Jungkook in his apartment, just like they’d been doing for the past couple nights. They had already written their psychology final, and since they aren’t in any other classes together, Jimin can’t exactly help Jungkook with whatever class he happens to be studying for at the moment.

So they sit in silence, positioned across from one another at the table, both of them with their heads down and noses in a textbook.

They steal glances at each other every now and then when the other isn’t looking, and with each glance he risks, Jimin finds it harder and harder to concentrate.

There’s something different about tonight. Something feels unusual, but Jimin doesn’t know why it feels such a way. This feeling of unfamiliarity doesn’t breed apprehension or worry, and doesn’t have Jimin’s stomach in nervous knots.

There just seems to be something about tonight that makes Jungkook even more irresistible. It might be his quiet determination and his slightly furrowed brows as he studies. It might be how Jimin can hear his gentle breathing as he focuses on reading. He doesn’t know exactly what it is, but whatever it is that’s in the air, it has Jimin feel like he’s flying.

Though, he knows that he’s not flying – he knows that he’s falling.

He knows he’s falling for Jungkook.

Jimin doesn’t feel like he’s running anymore – it feels like he’s already at the finish line, and he doesn’t feel like he’s dancing in silence anymore, because there’s static humming in the air like some sort of music, and the gentle electricity makes his whole body tingle.

It feels like the calm before the storm; it’s like standing outside on a hot summer evening and watching as flat, dark clouds roll in with the promise of lightening.

However, this storm doesn’t feel threatening.

This storm instills a certain sense of serenity, and it lulls Jimin’s heart and makes him feel heavy – but it’s not a negative feeling of heaviness; it isn’t heavy in the sense that it feels like something is weighing him down.

Instead, Jimin feels like Jungkook’s very presence is seeping into the air around him, and settling into his skin.

He’s relaxed, doesn’t feel like he has to say anything or do anything, feels like he can just sit there quietly, letting his eyes wander over Jungkook every now and then as they study, drinking in his silence so that his limbs feel heavy and his head feels light as if he’s drunk on him.

In this serene state, Jimin loses track of all time, and it’s only when his gaze drifts from Jungkook to the window that he realizes how long they’ve actually been studying for.

Now, the sky is completely dark. He can see that it’s snowing lightly, and the outside world looks so enticing with the twinkling Christmas lights and the sparkling snowflakes that Jimin can’t help but feel drawn to it.

“Hey, Jungkook?” He murmurs softly as if not to startle the other, and he smiles when Jungkook lifts his head and looks at him with eyes sweet as honey.

“What’s up?” He asks, his curiosity showing as he tilts his head.

Jimin speaks easily, words coming out a little slowly so he can spend more time sweeping his eyes over Jungkook’s features. “Wanna go for a walk? I need to stretch my legs.”

The younger glances towards the window, nods his head. “Let’s go.” He smiles, “make sure you bundle up, though. It looks pretty cold outside.”

For Jungkook’s sake, Jimin assures him that he’ll layer up, but he doesn’t really think he’ll be in danger of getting too cold. Jimin thinks that he’ll have no choice but to feel warm if he’s walking next to Jungkook.

 

Outside, silence settles around them, and once again, Jimin finds it more pleasant than anything.

They start walking, and Jimin has no destination in mind, no plans on where to turn or when; he’s just going wherever Jungkook goes…and maybe Jungkook is just going wherever Jimin goes.

In the company of the cold night air, their seemingly aimless walking leads them to a park, and they end up following a path that circles around a big frozen pond.

Earlier, Jungkook had told Jimin to bundle up, and wouldn’t even let him leave the apartment until he saw that he had mittens and a scarf to wear.

And even though Jungkook had been adamant about making sure Jimin is warm, he himself is only wearing a winter jacket. No gloves, no hat, no scarf – it’s just a jacket for Jungkook, and Jimin finds even that about him endearing.

He knows Jungkook won’t dare admit that he’s cold while he’s outside, even if he’s actually freezing.

Jungkook is way too stubborn, way too cute.

Jimin sneaks a peek at him out of the corner of his eye, sees that he has his hands shoved in his pockets and his head down, and he’s watching his feet as he walks.

He wonders what Jungkook is thinking about, wonders what has him so distracted when there’s so much to see all around them.

The trees and the lampposts in the park are all strung up with Christmas lights, and they bathe the white world in colour.

Snowflakes gingerly flutter in the air, dance in the glow of the lights, and the twinkling scene is so enthralling that it has Jimin just wanting to stand there and take everything in. He feels at peace, is comforted by the sound of Jungkook’s footsteps crunching like sugar in the snow next to him, and is in love with the stillness of the winter world around them.

He comes to a sudden stop in the middle of the path, tilts his head back to look up at the sky, and finds himself captivated by the sight above.

When Jimin looks up, he can’t distinguish the snow from the stars, can’t tell if the heavens are showering the earth in constellations, or if the tiny glittering diamonds falling to the frozen ground are really just snowflakes after all.

He can’t distinguish the snow from the stars, and he can’t distinguish where his feelings for Jungkook started, and where they end.

His feelings are just there, as if they had always been there, and as if they always would be there. Like stars turning to snowflakes, and snowflakes turning to stars, Jimin’s feelings for Jungkook can’t be defined or traced.

He doesn’t know which is a snowflake and which is a star.

All he knows is that he’s falling like those snowflakes, falling like those stars, and he would gladly spend forever just falling and falling for Jungkook.

Because no one else is worth falling for.

“It’s...” Jimin’s eyes are full of wonderment, and his voice is soft as the sparkling snow. “It’s so pretty, isn’t it?” He smiles, glances over at Jungkook, and then nods up at the sky. “Look up. It looks like the snowflakes are falling stars.”

He’s mesmerized once again as he turns his eyes towards the sky, and is nearly left breathless from the beauty of the wintry wonderland.

It’s so enchanting, so lovely to have the pretty world around him mixing with his feelings for Jungkook so that they all blur together to make him feel like he’s in some sort of dream.

He feels too happy, feels too content for this to be real.

“I don’t want to look up.” Jungkook says after a moment, his voice coming out as a near whisper, and it even shakes slightly.

The strange tone is enough to make Jimin forget about everything else, and he returns to reality with curiosity as his guide. When he looks at Jungkook, he finds himself breathless for a whole different reason. “Why not?” His own voice trembles, and he finds that he can barely even speak.

Jungkook is staring at him intensely, in a way that makes it clear that Jimin is currently the only object of his attention – he's watching Jimin and only Jimin. His eyes are deep enough to match the colour of the night sky, and the lights reflecting in them are the stars, and Jimin finds himself lost in space – lost in the galaxy of Jungkook’s eyes.

The gaze is enough to make the cold air catch in Jimin’s throat, and for heat to blossom across his cheeks.

There were stars made of snow falling all around them, and the ground is covered in a white blanket that sparkles like pearls underneath the soft glow of the moon, and the air is crisp and Jimin can taste the cold, can taste the delicate shards of ice in the air, and Christmas lights are shining and setting the wintry world aglow, bathing everything in colour and brilliance to take away the dark of night.

There is so much to see all around them – so much beauty.

And Jungkook is only looking at Jimin.

“If I look up at the sky,” Jungkook talks slowly, his voice low as he steps closer, eyes staying fixed on Jimin’s. “If I look up at the sky, I won’t be able to see you.”

And now, Jimin feels like he’s dreaming all over again, but he hopes to god that this is real.

Jimin is just watching, just feeling, because that’s all he can do.

All he can do is watch as Jungkook draws closer, watch as he reaches out to him and cups his cheek with his hand. All he can do is feel as a blush spreads across his own face, feel the heat of it contrasting with the cold of Jungkook’s palm, and now it’s like the heat and the cold are playing a game of chase.

Jimin feels hot and cold all over, feels the heat from Jungkook’s stare cutting through the cold air around him, feels lighter than the cold snowflakes tickling his skin, and it all feels so good.

Jungkook is standing right there, is standing right in front of him, looking so good, looking so damn perfect in this frosted wonderland, and nothing else matters anymore. There’s no room for worry or fear, no room for caution or shyness.

There’s only room for Jungkook.

“Kiss me.” Jimin can barely hear his own voice, and he doesn’t even think that Jungkook heard him either. He thinks that Jungkook had already been leaning in, had already been seeking the heat of his lips, but why does it matter whether or not he had heard?

All that matters is that he’s finally kissing him.

Jungkook’s lips are soft and warm, and Jimin finds himself melting in the middle of winter. His eyelids flutter shut as he surrenders to the sweet kiss, and he places his hand over Jungkook’s wrist as if to keep him there, to keep him delicately holding his face, and to keep him gently working his lips against his own.

He knows that his own heart is beating, because he can hear it, and he can feel it pounding against his chest in a fluttered frenzy, but he isn’t breathing.

His heart is beating but he’s not breathing, and he feels so alive and he can never remember ever feeling anything so perfect in his whole entire life.

With the way Jungkook is kissing him, Jimin feels as if his lips are the only lips that he’s ever known. Everything about the kiss just feels so right, everything about it was worth the wait, and Jimin realizes that Jungkook’s lips are the only lips he ever wants to know.

He knows that nothing else – that no one else – can ever sweep him away like this, he knows that he only wants to get swept away by Jungkook.

He’s falling yet again, falling in a way he never thought he would fall, and in the kiss, he finds something that he never thought he would find.

It’s not spring, there’s no sun to shining warm golden rays to coax out flowers, there’s no blossoms budding on the trees. It’s not spring, but it’s still so warm. It’s not spring, but the whole world is blooming with life, just like his heart is blooming for Jungkook.

Only when the burning in his lungs rivals the burning in his cheeks does Jimin pull away, just enough for air to flood back into his body, and to give himself time to remember how to breathe.

He keeps his eyes closed with his forehead pressed against Jungkook’s, and their breaths mingle together in the cold air to create a fine cloud of mist around their faces.

“You’re so fucking pretty.” Jungkook murmurs, unintentionally thwarting Jimin’s attempts to breathe properly.

He opens his eyes upon hearing those words, his blush deepening while his heart stutters as he realizes that Jungkook had been watching him while he’d been trying to collect himself.

With Jungkook looking at him with those bright, beautiful eyes, Jimin feels like he may melt a hole straight through the frozen ground.

“Jungkook,” Jimin swallows, pushes out a shaky breath. “You’re…” He trails off, doesn’t know what to say next. There’s so much he wants to say. It’s as if the kiss acted as an invitation – an invitation to finally let his feelings out, to finally tell Jungkook how much he likes him and how much he wants to be with him, and how amazing he thinks he is and how he has never felt this way about anyone in his life, and how he never wants to feel this way about anyone else ever again.

There’s just too much to say, so instead, Jimin doesn’t say anything.

He just closes the distance between them, and chases after Jungkook’s lips.

There’s not even a trace of desperation or a hint of lustful desire, but in the kiss, Jimin can still feel just how much Jungkook must like him, can still feel how deeply Jungkook must care for him.

Jungkook takes his face with both hands now, and kisses Jimin in a way that makes him see stars, and it’s gentle and sweet and so, so perfect.

When they break away this time, Jimin allows himself to admire Jungkook fully. They remain standing close together like it would be a crime to be too far apart, and Jungkook is still holding his face, is breathing heavy as he looks down at Jimin.

The Christmas lights flatter the younger’s features, they make his lips look redder, his skin look softer, and his eyes look glossier.

And once again, Jimin finds himself falling for Jungkook in a way he never thought he could fall.

“Jungkook,” he mumbles, suddenly struck with an overwhelming need to actually tell him exactly how he feels, because even this isn’t enough.

Even a kiss doesn’t say everything, no matter how amazing it was, or how much he loved it, the kiss wasn’t enough.

He doesn’t want there to be any misunderstandings, doesn’t want any excuses or any opportunity to plead ignorance in the future.

He’s done with the subtleties and the insinuations – he needs Jungkook to know the truth.

“I like you,” Jimin wets his lips, his mouth feeling dry as his nerves finally catch up to him. “I like you so, so much.” He squeezes Jungkook’s wrist, keeps talking despite how nervous he is. “I wanna hold your hand and cuddle with you, and I wanna go on dates with you – I want to be with you.”

Jimin had thought that finally saying it all out loud would bring a sense of relief, but it’s not relief that washes over him in the moment.

It’s fear.

They lapse into silence as Jungkook watches him, and with his lips parted slightly and the beginnings of a frown creasing his forehead, he shakes his head. “I like you too, Jimin. I like you, and I want all of that, too.” He finally takes his hands away from the other’s face, lets his arms hang at his sides. “But…” Jungkook trails off, casts his gaze elsewhere.

“But what?” Jimin pleads, body tensing as the cold starts to overpower the warmth, and he has to fight off the sudden urge to shiver. He begs with his eyes, wants so badly to know what that but had been about.

He wonders what’s wrong, wonders if they’ll be able to fix whatever needs to be fixed, because they need to fix it – because he needs Jungkook.

Jungkook stays quiet, and the silence that settles around them now is nowhere near the comforting silence that had accompanied them at the beginning of their walk. He opens his mouth at one point to say something, but then closes it again before simply taking half a step back.

Jungkook’s subtle retreat nearly has Jimin wincing. “What’s wrong?” He asks, unable to keep the worry out of his voice or off of his face.

“It’s just…” Jungkook pushes out a breath, lets it hang in the air around him. “Nothing’s wrong, I want to be with you.” He shakes his head again as if he’s trying to shake some sense into himself.

Despite Jungkook’s frown, despite how conflicted he looks and how much he’s hesitating, Jimin still hopes for something good. He still prays that Jungkook’s words won’t cut him like a shard of ice, still dares to hope that something good will happen, because he only wants there to be good things.

It’s dangerous to want something so desperately, and it’s easy to get caught up in the moment, and swept away by the undertow of emotions. When you want something so desperately, you may not even realize that you’re in a riptide, and getting dragged out to sea.

Emotions are beautiful, and emotions are dangerous.

So when Jungkook’s gaze finally settles on Jimin again, and when the frown he had been wearing fades away only to be replaced by a smile, Jimin doesn’t even think twice. He doesn’t even question what the frown had been for, because the smile is all that matters.

Because if Jungkook is smiling, then Jimin is smiling.

Because Jungkook is so good at smiling, and Jimin is so good at losing himself in that smile.

Because it’s a real smile – it’s a genuine, Jungkook smile. It’s a smile that promises the good things that Jimin had been hoping for, and it lets Jimin know that whatever Jungkook is about to say next is the truth.

But sometimes the truth can be blinding.

Sometimes, truth is still partnered with deceit.

Sometimes, one beautiful truth is the same thing as one pretty lie.

“But,” Jungkook begins, his expression soft and his eyes tender as he reaches out to carefully sweep away the stray hairs from Jimin’s eyes. “I don’t want to just hold your hand, or just cuddle, or just go on dates.” His voice is enough to cause heat to flood over Jimin once more. “I want you to be mine.”

And that's all Jimin needs. It’s all he wanted to hear.

Jimin is more than ready to put everything else behind them, and to move forward with Jungkook. No more hiding their feelings for each other, no more endless dancing, and no more senseless running.

He's taking what Jungkook is giving, and letting all of his worries dissolve away just like how winter melts into spring.

“Then be mine.” Jimin says, glancing at Jungkook’s bare hands, and suddenly realizing how cold they must be. He takes the younger’s hands in his own, hopes to warm them up in his mittens.

Jungkook watches in silence, allows Jimin to rub warmth back into his fingers, and a sweet smile quirks his lips when Jimin brings Jungkook’s hands up to his lips, and blows hot air over them.

The blonde delicately squeezes his hands, holds them tight in his own, and puts his enamoured smile on full display. “Be mine, because I’m already yours.”

 

When they go back to Jungkook’s apartment, they don’t study.

Instead, they share gentle kisses and exchange telling smiles – smiles that reveal nothing but fondness for one another.

They make plans for over the break when exams are done; they plan to go on real dates, plan to go ice skating and Christmas shopping, to add cuddling into their movie watching and hand holding into their walking.

Jimin is excited about it all, is excited about everything that is to come.

Christmas had always been Jimin’s favourite holiday, and this year is no exception.

This year, Christmas just happened to come a little early, and he just so happened to get the best present.

Just months ago, Jimin had been convinced that there wasn’t anyone out there for him. He felt empty, and had resorted to seeking the comfort of strangers to make himself feel whole, because he didn’t think he would ever find what he was looking for.

But now, he knows that he actually hadn’t been empty at all.

In fact, he had been full, he had been overflowing with a desire to give his heart to someone, and a yearning to be a light for someone special.

He wants to be Jungkook’s light more than anything else, and Jimin has never felt better, has never felt more complete than he does now that he knows what he is to Jungkook.

Tonight, they finally admitted their feelings for one another.

Tonight, they put a label on their relationship, and sure, Jimin became Jungkook’s boyfriend.

But more importantly, he’s Jungkook’s light.

That’s all Jimin ever really wanted.

 ---

 

[To: Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Jimin: Tae

Jimin Tae

Jimin:  TAeeeeee

Jimin: I know you’re in the library right now and I know you’re probably busy but I have to tell you something because it’s really great and I wanna tell you in person but I can’t wait for you to get back home so I have to tell you now

Jimin: We kissed.

Jimin: A lot.

Jimin: And we’re official now?!? Like it happened so fast holy shit Tae it happened

Taehyung: OH MY FUCK

Taehyung: JIMIN

Taehyung: JIMIN

Taehyung: JIMIN

Taehyung: I’m coming home right now

Jimin: Nooooo I don’t wanna interrupt your studying

Taehyung: LOL FUCK STUDYING

Taehyung: POP THE CHAMPAGNE. Wait we don’t have champagne do we

Taehyung: POP THE BANANA MILK!! POUR UP

Taehyung: This is the greatest moment of my life oh my god

Taehyung: Don’t even worry btw me and Jin-hyung already talked and we agreed we can both be the best man. I mean we all know I’m the real best man here, but I don’t wanna argue with him about it. He just feels all entitled cuz he’s the one who introduced you to Jungkook

Jimin: You already planned my wedding?!?

Taehyung: DUH

Taehyung: Like I said, me and Jin-hyung are the best men… best men? Best mans? Idk anyway we’re that. And then Namjoon-hyung and Hoseok-hyung are the ring bearers and Yoongi- hyung’s the flower girl… he’s not that happy about it but I’m sure he’ll warm up to the idea if you give him time.

Taehyung: I told him he doesn’t have to wear a dress if he doesn’t want to.

Jimin: HAHAHAHAHA OH MY GOD

Jimin: You’re actually ridiculous, you know that?

Taehyung: Ridiculously happy for my best friend

Jimin: Kim Taehyung, I fucking love the shit out of you

Taehyung: And I shitting love the fuck out of you, Park Jimin

Taehyung: Soooo is he a good kisser?

Jimin: I’ll tell you everything when you get home

Taehyung: I CANT WAIT THAT LONG JIMIN, I HAVE NEEDS

Jimin: Patience is a virtue

Taehyung: Ugh how can you be so cruel, I don’t understanddddd

Jimin: You don’t have to understand

 

Chapter Text

 

Christmas came and went far too fast, leaving Jimin feeling like he didn’t even have much of a break at all. It seemed that as soon as exams were over, he went home to visit his family, only to suddenly find himself back at school for the start of a new semester.

It’s strange to think that he nearly had three full weeks of a break, and he knows for a fact that time had never passed so quickly for him.

And even though he wishes the break was longer, and he wishes he didn’t have to go back to school, he can’t be upset about the reason why time seemed to fly by. He knows exactly why it felt like someone had pressed fast forward on his life.

Jeon Jungkook does funny things to time. When Jimin is with Jungkook, he loses track of everything.

Jimin had been led to believe by all the terrible works of romance the media mass produces that when you find someone special, time comes to a grinding halt.

But that isn’t true at all.

The clocks never seem more alive than when he’s with Jungkook.

Time is constantly changing, constantly passing everyone by, and the sun is always moving across the sky, but no matter where the sun is, whether it’s awake or sleeping, and no matter how many more seconds have passed him by, Jimin’s feelings for Jungkook remain a fixed point in this ever-changing world.

His feelings grow stronger, but they never fade; he never gets tired of Jungkook, never feels like he’s wasting life’s precious seconds on him.

Christmas break had been short, yes, but it had also been nothing short of magical.

When Jimin wasn’t visiting with his family, he was with Jungkook.

Jungkook was Jimin’s partner for the Christmas bake off the group of friends always hold at Jin’s as a tradition, Jungkook was Jimin’s first ice skating date, Jungkook was all Jimin could talk about during Christmas dinner with his family, Jungkook was the one he watched the fireworks with on New Year’s Eve, and Jungkook was Jimin’s first kiss to bring in the new year.

Jungkook was the one for everything, and Jimin wouldn’t have it any other way.

Even though Jimin isn’t exactly excited to start the new semester and go back to all the studying and assignments, he’s still looking forward to getting to see Taehyung every day again, and of course, to seeing Jungkook and his other friends more often, too.

With the new semester comes new classes, and this time around, he doesn’t have any classes with Jungkook, but he does have a couple with Taehyung, so he’s certainly not complaining about that.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jimin is unfortunately stuck with two early morning classes back to back, so every Tuesday and Thursday he has to run from a lecture on one side of campus all the way to the opposite side so he can make it to his next lecture.

Those mornings should really be his least favourite mornings considering how rushed they are, but funnily enough, they end up being his favourites.

Every hectic Tuesday and Thursday morning, Jungkook always meets up with him when he’s hurrying off to his next class, and he always has a coffee in hand, waiting just for Jimin.

Jimin can’t ever stop to talk, never has a chance to say much to him, but he always makes sure he thanks Jungkook with a kiss as he takes the coffee, and he most definitely makes sure to spare a second or two to soak up that pleased little smile of his afterwards.

The coffee is a sweet gesture, and Jimin is definitely appreciative of it, but Jungkook’s smile works as good as any caffeine.

It seems like every day, Jungkook is finding more and more ways to make Jimin fall even harder for him.

Everything about their relationship is good – so good that Jimin is convinced that having a bad day is now impossible. It feels like all the bad days are in the past, and that there will only be good things from here on out.

He loves everything about Jungkook – loves everything about them.

He loves kissing Jungkook, loves to kiss him silly and shower him in countless little kisses until they’re both giggling and smiling too much to keep going.

He loves when Jungkook kisses him on the forehead before he wraps his arms around him to give him a squeeze that’s just a little too tight for comfort, yet still somehow feels like one of the most comforting things in the world.

He loves when they share slow kisses, loves when he feels like he could just fall right into Jungkook as lips as soft as his touches press against him to leave him lightheaded and breathless.

Jeon Jungkook became such a natural, integral part of Jimin’s life, and he finds it hard to believe there was ever a time when he wasn’t there.

---

It’s almost a month into the new semester, and Jimin is sitting on the couch in Jungkook’s apartment, which had practically become his second home. He’s totally relaxed as they lounge around together, talking about nothing in particular, and simply enjoying one another’s company.

Moments like these always make Jimin feel a certain way, always make his heart feel heavy with contentedness, always makes his smile reach his eyes to reveal nothing but absolute fondness.

It’s in the lazy little moments like these where Jimin feels the most at ease, so when he notices the fading light of day filtering in through the window and bathing the room in gold, the only thought on his mind is taking in the last of the sun’s rays with Jungkook.

Even after all the things they’d done with one another, they haven’t ever watched the sunset together. It may be a sappy thing to do, but the sunset is pretty, and Jungkook is cute, and Jimin is suddenly taken by the thought of getting to watch the sun fade into a golden haze with his boyfriend.

Smiling, the blonde hops to his feet, and tugs at Jungkook’s arm. “Let’s turn the couch around,” he sees the quizzical look on Jungkook’s face and continues. “Let’s turn it to face the window so we can watch the sunset.”

“You want to watch the sunset?” Jungkook raises his eyebrows, a smile finding its way to his face as he stares at Jimin. “I’m no English major, but I do believe this is what they call a cliché.” Despite his words and how cliché he may think it is, he still helps Jimin move the couch, and once they’ve successfully positioned it, he pulls Jimin back down to sit with him again. Though, even with Jungkook bringing him in close to his side, Jimin’s thoughts start roaming farther than they really should.

This was a cliché, wasn’t it?

He and Jungkook aren’t the most romantic of couples, at least, not in a traditionally romantic way. They like being goofy, like joking around and teasing each other, and maybe Jungkook isn’t the type to want to sit in silence just to watch the sun set like it did every other day.

Jimin nibbles at his lower lip, wonders if maybe this really is too sappy of a thing to do. It’s not as if he had been dying to watch the sunset with Jungkook or anything, it’s not like he has some sort of list with all of the things he wants to do with him. Jimin doesn’t want them to be that couple.

He doesn’t have any sort of plan when it comes to his relationship with Jungkook – he’s perfectly happy taking things as they come, and enjoying every single unplanned moment with him. When it comes to Jungkook, each and every moment of spontaneity is so wonderful that he has no problems with letting nature take its course, and simply siting back and seeing where things take them.

There’s nothing artificial or fabricated about their relationship.

He just thought the sunset looked pretty and he wanted to watch it, but maybe it was just a little too cheesy of a thing for Jungkook.

“Not gonna lie, sometimes when I think about all the cute stuff we do, it makes me wanna puke – and this is pretty high up there when it comes to cuteness.” The younger says, successfully disturbing Jimin from his thoughts, while simultaneously adding to his worries.

Puking generally doesn’t have a positive connotation.

Sitting up, Jimin shakes his head. “We don’t hav-”

“But Jimin, you’re someone worth puking for.”

He stares at Jungkook as those words settle in, blinking as silence fills the air around them.

Maybe they aren’t the type to go out of their way to incorporate flamboyant acts of romance into their relationship, but they are this. And this is why Jungkook is perfect. He’s perfect because he’s insanely adorable and says the most weirdly endearing things without even knowing it.

Jungkook is just odd. And Jimin loves it so much.

“Yeah, but all the cute stuff we do gets cancelled out when you say weird things like that. So it’s a good balance.” Jimin points out.

“Weird? I thought it was pretty romantic, don’t know what you’re talking about.” Jungkook teases, draping an arm around Jimin’s shoulder to pull him in closer, and Jimin doesn’t hesitate to snuggle up to the other, loosely wrapping his arms around his torso. 

“I would love to know what goes on inside your head sometimes.” He murmurs.

“So, would I, because I actually have no clue what’s going on in there half the time… okay, majority of the time.” Jungkook pauses, just long enough to look down at Jimin and get his attention so he can fix him with an amused stare. “Would love to know what goes on in your head, too. Watching the sunset?” He scoffs, though the wide smile he’s wearing reveals his teasing intent. “Didn’t know you were like that, Jimin.”

In response, Jimin rolls his eyes, and elbows Jungkook in the side because he certainly deserves it. He knows that Jungkook is only playing around, and his words don’t make Jimin feel offended or upset. Though, he does feel himself growing a little self-conscious, because even though Jungkook isn’t exactly complaining about watching the sunset, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually something he wants to do.

In fact, the more Jimin thinks about it, the more the whole thing sounds like a bad scene from some romance novel that lonely middle-aged women read, and he feels bad for forcing Jungkook to sit through it.

“We don’t have to watch it – let’s do something else.” Jimin grabs the remote and holds it out for Jungkook, encouraging him to put an end to the embarrassment that he currently feels.

“What?” Jungkook takes the remote, only to set it back down out of Jimin’s reach. “Do something else, and miss the sunset? I don’t think so.”

“Jungkook, we don’t have to. Let’s watch a -”

“Shh,” Jungkook waves his hand to hush Jimin. “It’s starting.” He points out the window, pretends that he’s an enthusiastic movie-goer, who doesn’t want to miss even a second of the opening scene.

Laughing quietly, Jimin finds himself sinking into the warmth of Jungkook’s side once again. There’s never much time for Jimin to feel overly embarrassed when he’s around Jungkook – no matter what, Jungkook always manages to put his mind at ease, always makes sure that Jimin is nothing but comfortable.

With a soft smile gracing his lips, Jimin rests his chin on the younger’s shoulder, speaks with a playful lilt. “Are you sure? You know, we ca-”

“Sh – I can’t hear it.” Jungkook scolds, and Jimin has to hide his face in the other’s shoulder to stifle his giggling.

Silence soon settles around them, though traces of laughter linger on Jimin’s face.

The sun is now hanging low in the sky like it’s suspended by the weakest of threads, and Jimin and Jungkook watch as the thread gives way, lowering the sun ever so slowly so that it hides behind the tall buildings.

The sky blushes with colour as if it’s embarrassed that the sun is leaving, and Jimin starts to think that he has never seen such a pretty sunset. Then again, it probably only seems so pretty because of who he’s watching it with. The sun rises and sets every day, and there was never really anything that Jimin found particularly extraordinary about it. But right now, watching such an ordinary event with Jungkook makes it feel special.

Being with Jungkook is as natural as the sun setting.

In the sky, purple and blue fade into orange and yellow, and all the colours leak into each other like a watercolour painting. The looming grey buildings of the cityscape make the sunset even prettier, they offer a contrast and they remind Jimin that there is artificiality in the natural world.

Even after all the time he spends with Jungkook, Jimin constantly finds himself in situations in which his feelings for him somehow grow even deeper; situations that remind him how natural being with him feels.

Jungkook is the most fascinating person that Jimin knows.

Jungkook is always playing around, never really likes to take life too seriously, and he makes sure that Jimin is always smiling. And yet, even though Jungkook has a certain keenness for adding laughter into their time together, he can still be incredibly serious.

Their time together consists of more laughing than anything – no sincere speeches regarding how much they care for one another, and honestly things like that make the both of them cringe. But they still have this, still have countless little sweet moments in which sincerity is felt more than it is heard.

And as silly as Jungkook is, and even though Jimin knows he doesn’t like taking life too seriously, moments like these remind Jimin of how profound Jungkook is. Jungkook is still very much like a little kid, he still finds awe in so many little things, still shows a childlike curiosity, and it’s the most endearing thing about him.

He had been teasing about the sunset, but now he’s watching it with big attentive eyes filled with wonder.

Jungkook is someone who appreciates the little things, he points out the details in movies that Jimin misses, and one of the things that Jimin likes most about Jungkook is how he realizes how insignificant he is in this big world.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Jungkook likes acting cocky, likes talking big, but it’s all in the name of playfulness.

Jungkook knows that he doesn’t know everything, and he knows there’s so much out there to see and explore.

And even though Jungkook is good at pretty much everything he does or tries, he remains the humblest person Jimin knows.

It’s such an attractive trait, and it will always remind Jimin of how good Jungkook is.

Everything about their relationship is natural, and if there is artificiality, well then Jimin can’t see it.

Maybe the only reason Jimin sees the artificiality in the real world is because when the sun dips low in the sky, it comes face to face with the ugly grey buildings of the world.

But when the sun is high, when it’s surrounded by nothing but an open blue sky, he can’t see that artificiality.

Maybe some things have to fall just so that other things can be seen.

Even though the sun is always shining, even though it’s always lighting the world, it never draws so much attention to the artificial world as it does when it’s low in the sky.

And yet, even when it does sink low, why think about the ugly grey when you can focus on the striking colours that inspire feelings of wonder?

Why look at the buildings when you can look at the sky stained with traces of the sun?

There’s so much beauty in the world, and Jimin would rather spend his time focusing on the beauty instead of focusing on the parts that aren’t so pretty.

It’s just so easy to get swept away with the pretty things in life.

 

Even long after the sun has set, Jimin and Jungkook remain quiet, watching as the sky grows darker, and pressing up closer to one another as if they’re trying to give something to each other; to give back the heat that the sun took with it when it set.

Jimin likes these sweet silences with Jungkook, but his voice is even sweeter than the sound of silence.

And when they finally do break their silence, when they finally start talking again, they don’t stop talking for the whole night. They stay on the couch all night, talking about anything and everything until his throat is dry and his voice is hoarse.

Jimin always knew that time had a habit of passing by so much more easily with Jungkook, but he never fully realized Jungkook’s effects on time until this particular moment.

It seemed like just moments ago they had been watching the sun set together, and now, they’re about to watch the sun rise.

Jimin doesn’t feel tired in the slightest, yet they had somehow stayed up all night, had seen the sky fading to black only so that it can turn light once more as the rising sun brings with it the promise of another amazing day with Jungkook.

Jungkook makes time elusive.

Jungkook makes Jimin happy – it's a simple statement, but it’s still one of the most beautiful truths in Jimin’s life.

Jungkook makes him happy in the most perfect and complete of ways.

This type of happy isn’t a superficial, fleeting feeling. It isn’t a single moment of happiness, it’s not one of those moments that everyone in the world chases after and then lives out, only to go on chasing that next feeling of happiness like an addict searching for their next fix.

The happiness that Jimin feels is a sure thing; it’s as sure as the sun setting only so that it can rise again. Maybe the colours in the sky change, and maybe the moon sometimes replaces the sun, but the sun will still always be there.

With Jungkook, Jimin feels safe, feels a sense of security whenever he’s laughing and smiling, because he knows there will always be more laughter and more smiles to come.

People are always looking for happiness, and are so focused on their goal of being happy, that they never really stop to think if they are happy. For most people, happiness is a thing in the future, something they’re always looking forward to, and because of that, they miss out on living in the present, miss out on the happiness of the here and now.

But not Jimin.

Jungkook makes Jimin happy, and he knows he’ll forever be living out his happiest life if he’s with Jungkook.

---

The thing that makes their relationship even more enjoyable than he ever thought possible, is the fact that everyone gets along so well.

There’s no drama, no jealousy, and the six people Jimin cares for the most can all hang out and have fun together, and he knows that any time the seven of them are all together, his stomach will be sore from laughing at the end of the day.

Everyone likes Jungkook, and Jungkook doesn’t seem to have a problem with anyone, and because of that, Jimin doesn’t bother worrying.

Because things are so good now, Jimin doesn’t look into the past or think on everything that happened leading up to their relationship – it’s as if he had completely forgotten about all of those little incidences with Jungkook.

Because the past is the past.

Because he’s happy living in the present, and nothing else really matters.

Only good things are happening, and Jimin has no reason to believe that the good things will ever stop coming.

So Jimin indulges in that happiness, believes that it’s as boundless as the sea, and every day a new reason to dote on Jungkook washes up on shore.

They’re still in the early stages of the relationship, and still looking at the world through rose coloured glasses, but Jimin doesn’t know it. He just thinks the world looks a little different now that he’s with Jungkook, just thinks the world is painted a pretty colour after finding someone as amazing as Jungkook.

They’re still at the start of their relationship; still having fun exploring what makes the other blushing and breathy, and as a result, they’re touching more often than not. They don’t do it obnoxiously, don’t flaunt their relationship in public, but when they’re alone, they have a hard time keeping their hands to themselves.

In fact, they can’t even keep their hands to themselves for a game of laser tag.

 

Jungkook had been the one to suggest going laser tagging when the seven friends had all been hanging out, talking about how they should go out and do something that doesn't involve studying (everyone's already pretty fed up with the work load of the new semester). So they agree to try out laser tag, and the only one who had been hesitant of it had been Yoongi, because: "that sounds like a lot of running."  He joins them anyway.

Jimin and Jungkook end up on a team with Namjoon, along with a few strangers to even out the teams and make them bigger. The opposite team consists of Jin, Yoongi, Hoseok, and Taehyung working alongside a few other random people.

And it's game on.

Of course, since they’re on the same team, Jimin and Jungkook stick close together, with Jimin simply following Jungkook around and taking his direction since he had been laser tagging there before.

It's still early on in the game when Jungkook leads Jimin up to the watch tower (the most secluded place in the whole arena), where it’s easy to see everything going on below, meaning it’s easy to pick opponents off. The entrance to the stairwell up to the tower is fairly difficult to find, and Jungkook had only known about it since he’s already familiar with the layout of the arena. Even though they're in a good position to shoot anyone they see, their only target is Jin, and they find their entertainment in hiding out and shooting at the eldest whenever they have a chance. The look of confusion on Jin’s face coupled with the way he wildly spins around every time he had been shot sends both Jungkook and Jimin into hysterics.

However, the amusement derived from picking on Jin lasts only for a while, and when it loses most of it's novelty, Jungkook takes it upon himself to initiate a brand new mission.

“You think anyone’s gonna come up here?” Jungkook asks in a tone that Jimin knows all too well; it’s one in which he shows off an air of nonchalance far too blatantly and exaggeratedly for it to be considered anything close to nonchalant. He shuffles closer to Jimin, who is kneeling on the ground, peeking his head through the little opening as he scans the area below, and neglecting to give Jungkook the attention that he's clearly looking for.  

The blonde watches Jungkook out of the corner of his eye, feigning innocence. “I don’t know.” Jimin hums, “everyone’s still down there, and I don’t think they’ve figured out how to get up here yet.” He tries to stop a smile from surfacing when he feels one tugging at his lips as Jungkook leans against him. “You worried someone will find us?”

“Not at all.” Jungkook replies easily. “I don’t think anyone will come up here.” Jimin can practically hear Jungkook’s smirk, and it's far too tempting not to look, because Jungkook's smirk is not something that Jimin will ever get tired of looking at.

When he finally turns his head, he can clearly see the smug upturning of Jungkook’s lips. The black lights in the arena certainly aren’t very flattering, but Jimin still finds Jungkook just as irresistible as ever.

“You’re actually the least subtle person I know,” Jimin teases with a breathy laugh. He inches backwards as he watches Jungkook, his own eyes holding a certain coyness, and he only stops when he’s sitting with his back resting against the wall. When he beckons Jungkook over, it’s apparent that he’s not bothering with being subtle either.

Jimin isn’t exactly into PDA, but it’s not as if they’re in view of anyone at the moment, so giving in and having a bit of fun with his boyfriend didn’t seem like the worst of ideas.

“Who said I was trying to be subtle?” Jungkook grins, crawling forward and closing the space between them, stopping once he’s right in front of Jimin. “Why bother with subtleties when this is how you react without them?”

Jimin supposes he can’t really argue with that one – there’s nothing subtle about Jungkook. There’s nothing subtle about the way his mouth teases with a smirk, and there’s certainly not anything subtle about the way his eyes flirt as he stares at his lips. It’s not subtle, but it still makes Jimin move.

All Jungkook has to do is give a single look, and it sends Jimin’s mind wandering and has his body moving before he has even fully registered what’s going on.

Leaning in, Jungkook minimizes the distance between them, has Jimin pressing his back more firmly against the wall, only so Jungkook can bring himself in that much closer. “Anyway,” the younger says with a taunting quirk of his brow, “you don’t seem to have any complaints about it.”

Heart fluttering in that delightfully addicting way it does whenever Jungkook draws in close, and whenever he looks at him the way he’s looking at him right now, Jimin spreads his legs so that Jungkook can sit in between them. “You’re too cocky,” he murmurs, teasingly brushing his smiling lips against Jungkook’s, but the teasing doesn’t last very long, and soon, he gives up in favour of going after a firmer kiss.

It’s a little challenging considering the laser tagging equipment they’re currently wearing, and Jimin finds it annoying not being able to press himself any closer to Jungkook, but that doesn’t stop them from sharing eager little kisses in the dark of the laser tag arena.

It doesn’t really matter where he is when he’s kissing Jungkook, because no matter what, he always ends up completely forgetting about his surroundings anyway. Jungkook’s kisses seem to strip away all of his most basic abilities and most rational thoughts so that he’s only left with the ability to feel.

Maybe it’s a good thing that their equipment is offering some sort of barrier between them, because Jimin wouldn’t want to get too carried away in the middle of a fucking game of laser tag.

He smiles into the kiss, playfully tugs at the hem of Jungkook’s shirt as if to bring him closer, even though they’re already as close as physically possible considering their equipment. Heat spreads through his body as Jungkook takes his chin between his fingers, tilts his head to the side and -

“Hah!”

The unexpected voice startles Jimin, causing him to jump, which in turn causes his teeth to knock into Jungkook’s in the rush to pull away from him. The younger curses under his breath, and Jimin doesn’t hesitate to shove him away as if there was still a chance that whoever stumbled upon them hadn’t actually seen what they were doing. Though, Jimin looks far too guilty, resembles a deer caught in the headlights as he looks up at their intruder, and it’s completely obvious that laser tag hadn’t been his sole focus.

When he sees that the one who had interrupted is none other than Jin, Jimin wants nothing more than to hide his face in his hands, especially considering the look of disbelief that the older is wearing.

“Are you kidding?” Jin demands, waving his gun wildly. “You guys can’t keep your hands off each other for a game of laser tag? It’s one game – one game. Are you two still in high school?”

“It’s not what it looks like,” Jimin is quick to say, and he’s glad that laser tag is played in the dark so that his flushed face isn’t as apparent. He holds his hands up in surrender, and moves to kneel down in front of Jin. “Don’t shoot, please.” What other choice did he have? Reminding Jin of the game would hopefully make him forget all about the fact that he had just walked in on him making out with Jungkook.

“Save it. I know what I saw.” Jin narrows his eyes, lifting his gun to point it threateningly at the other two. “But you know what? I’m feeling generous today...I’ll only kill one of you.” He pauses just to cross his arms and adopt more of a curious expression. “Or is your bond so strong that you’d rather die than live without the other?”

Jungkook snorts underneath his breath, “gay.”

“What was that, Jungkook?” Jin questions.

“I said hey – hey, don’t do it. You don’t wanna do anything you’ll regret later.” Jungkook says hastily, following Jimin’s lead, moving slowly as if not to provoke Jin, and kneeling down in front of him.

Seemingly pleased with the other's show of submission, Jin nods his head. “I’m a merciful god.” He begins, speaking as if he’s reciting lines from a play. “I’ll give you both a chance to plead your case. Why should I spare you?”

Jungkook doesn’t even hesitate, he speaks up as soon as the words had left Jin’s mouth, like he had been waiting all night to sell Jimin out. “I’m still so young – I have so much left to live for.” He jerks his head in Jimin’s direction, “kill Jimin, he’s short and weak. Natural selection should’ve already taken him out by now.”

“Hey!” Jimin scowls, betrayal written on his face as he stares at his boyfriend. “I’m not weak.” He turns back to Jin, pointing a condemning finger at Jungkook. “Kill Jungkook, he’s a dick.”

Jin throws his head back and laughs like he’s auditioning for the roll of an evil villain, and if Jimin wasn’t so busy considering whether or not he should abandon his team and join forces with Jin just so he can screw over Jungkook, he probably would’ve burst out laughing with him (because Jin is just so wonderfully ridiculous).

“Well well well, seems to be some trouble in paradise, hm?” Jin says, pacing back and forth in front of the younger two, obviously loving the power that he has in this incredibly serious and life-altering game of laser tag. “There’s only one way to solve this.” He motions towards Jimin and Jungkook, blasé despite the fact that he’s talking about who he’s going to kill. “Rock paper scissors. Loser dies. Winner watches. Happy endings all around.”

Honestly, Jimin is fully prepared to launch into this game of rock paper scissors and to have Jungkook die right before his eyes to atone for his comment, but before he can even turn towards him to play, Namjoon appears in the entrance to the stairway, right behind a blissfully unaware Jin.

Namjoon is huffing from climbing up the flight of stairs, but his tiredness doesn’t impede his loyalty to his teammates, and he aims his gun and shoots Jin right in the back, which renders the eldest both speechless and useless considering he now has to wait a few seconds before he can use his own gun.

Jin turns around immediately, frustration as evident in his voice as it is on his face as he comes face to face with the younger two’s saviour. “What the - how did you find me?”

“You have a very distinct maniacal laugh!” Namjoon shouts over his shoulder as he makes his getaway with both Jungkook and Jimin laughing at his side.

"Bye hung," they call in unison.

“Low blow, really Namjoon – shooting someone in the back? Where’s your sense of justice?” Jin’s exasperated cry echoes throughout the arena, and the three escapees are laughing so hard that they have to stop running just so they can catch their breath.

 

“I don’t know how we ended up winning.” Namjoon admits once the group of friends had all met up after the game, ridding themselves of their equipment so they can turn it back in. “I couldn’t even find Jimin and Jungkook for more than half of it.”

“That’s because they were up in the watch tower the whole game, sniping me and canoodling.” Jin says scornfully.

“Who the hell says canoodling?” Jungkook murmurs.

Taehyung leans over, “generation gap.” He whispers.

Hoseok shakes his head, eyes Taehyung as he walks by him to hand in his equipment. “We lost because Taehyung kept shooting me even though we were on the same team.”

“You kept sneaking up on me and scaring me!” Taehyung defends. “Shoot first, ask questions later.”

“I was walking beside you the entire time, when did I ever sneak up on you?” Hoseok counters.

“Well sometimes I forgot you were beside me, okay?”

“Can’t we just go see a movie next time?” Yoongi mutters. “Running. So much running.”

 “You have to keep your body moving if you want your brittle bones to work when you’re older.” Jin points out.

Jungkook grins, doesn’t dare miss out on the opportunity to tease. “Yeah, listen to Jin-hyung. He has a lot of experience at being old.”

“And cranky.” Taehyung adds, eliciting a heavy sigh from Jin, followed by a lecture on the importance of respecting one’s elders.

 

---

 

His first month as Jungkook’s boyfriend seemed like the shortest month of Jimin’s life, yet it proved to be the most enjoyable month of his life.

Everyone gets along so well.

And everything is fine.

 

 

[To: Jin, Yoongi, Namjoon, Hoseok, Jimin, Taehyung, Jungkook]

 

 

Jimin: Guys guess what hahaha

Jungkook: JIMIN DONT

Jungkook: YOU BETTER NOT

Jimin: Jungkook is scared of microwaves hahahah

Jungkook: …

Jin: Why does that not surprise me?

Yoongi: Wait what

Yoongi: Always knew you were a weirdo

Jungkook: I’m not scared okay?!

Jungkook: It’s not like I scream whenever I see one! I even own one…I just think they have certain attributes that make them slightly unsettling

Namjoon: Jungkook, I know a few people who are doing their PhDs in psychology. They would probably really love to talk to you. Can I pass on your phone number to them?

Jungkook: I’m not an experiment!

Hoseok: I’m sure he has a very good reason for being scared of microwaves…

Jin: Simple minds are easily threatened

Jungkook: Jimin you’re actually gonna wish you never did this

Jungkook: You have no idea what’s coming

Jimin: Should I be scared?

Jungkook: Very.

Jin: I thought we agreed no coupley stuff on the group chat

Taehyung: But they’re so cuteeeee

Taehyung: Anyway, Jimin I don’t think you have any reason to be scared. Kinda hard to take a guy who’s afraid of a microwave seriously

Jungkook: Is no one on my side?! No one’s gonna defend me? I bet you’re all scared of something weird. Admit it, cowards.

Yoongi: I’ll be on your side if you’re on mine.

Jungkook: ?

Hoseok: Here we go again :))

Jin: DON’T YOU DARE SAY ANYTHING ABOUT HOT DOGS AND  SANDWICHES

Namjoon: I have to agree… can’t we move on to a different, more meaningful debate?

Taehyung: Yeah! Like how would a dog wear pants? Just the hind legs in the pants? All four of the legs in the pants!?

Namjoon: Why are we like this?

 

Chapter Text

“Jimin – Jimin, wake up.” Jungkook’s voice is soft, too soft to give Jimin a valid reason to actually open his eyes. He has absolutely no desire to wake up right now.

Jimin can tell that sunlight is streaming in through the window, because even with his eyes closed, it’s just a little too bright in the room. Jungkook must’ve rolled up the blinds, and Jimin has no idea why he’s trying so hard to pull him from his slumber, and no idea how Jungkook is even up before him – Jungkook is never the first one up.

With his mind still fogged with sleep, Jimin decides to just ignore Jungkook, and hope that he’ll eventually give up, lay back down next to him, and fall right back asleep with him. The guy may have thought that opening up the blinds would help in waking him, but it actually does quite the opposite.

The warmth from those golden rays make Jimin want to curl up like a lazy cat bathing in the sun, and sleep forever. Not only that, but Jungkook’s bed is way more comfortable than the bed in his own dorm, and the softness of it combines with the warmth of the sun to make Jimin never want to open his eyes.

“Jimin,” Jungkook tries again, and this time he adds in a bit more effort by gently shaking him. “I know you’re up, come on.”

Now, the shaking isn’t so easy of a thing to ignore, but Jimin is still trying his hardest to play dead in the hopes that Jungkook will take a hint and just let him sleep for a few more minutes.

Or hours.

Truthfully, it’s not just the sun and the bed that make Jimin want to stay asleep – it’s the fact that he’s really fucking tired from all the fucking they’d done the night before. He doesn’t know how Jungkook is even awake right now considering how late they’d stayed up. Jimin doesn’t even know what time it is, but judging by his own exhaustion, he figures that it’s still early in the morning, and so saying in dreamland for a couple more hours seemed like a perfectly acceptable thing to do – especially on a Sunday morning.

“If you don’t get up, I’m gonna be forced to do something you won’t like.” Jungkook says sweetly, despite his words being a threat.

It’s obvious that simply ignoring him and pretending to be asleep isn’t working, but that certainly doesn’t deter a stubborn and sleepy Jimin. Eyes still closed, he stretches his arms out, trying to feel for Jungkook. “Come back to bed,” he mumbles, full lips pouting when his blind search proves unsuccessful. “S’too early.”

“Early? I bet you’ve never slept in this late in your life.”

“Mm.”

“Jimin,” he hears Jungkook chuckle softly, and he starts to think that maybe he’s winning him over and he’ll finally lay back down with him. “It’s almost noon. Wake up, or you’re not gonna like what happens next.” Now that didn’t sound very promising, but in Jimin’s sleepy state, he’s still hopeful that he won’t follow through with his threat.

“Mm.”

The next minute or so is a minute full of nothing but silence, and Jimin takes it as a sign that he had won. And then, just when he starts drifting off again, his pillow is ruthlessly yanked out from underneath him, only for Jungkook to whack him on the top of the head with it.

Now that wakes Jimin right up.

Eyes opening so that he can blearily take in the scene, the blonde sits up with a groan. He blinks at Jungkook, sees the shit-eating grin on his face as he holds the pillow that he had just smacked him with.

“Good morning, sunshine.” Jungkook says, voice lilting playfully.

“What’s good about getting a pillow to the face?” Jimin murmurs, fingers combing through his messy head of hair. “What was that for?”

“I gave you a fair warning!”

Jimin grunts in response, and flops back down onto the bed, pulling the covers up to his chin like he plans on making a nest there and living in it forever. “You could’ve like, I don’t know. Kissed me or something.”

“That wouldn’t have been as effective as the pillow.”

“Would’ve been nicer…How are you already awake and dressed?” He peeks up at Jungkook through half closed eyes, and breathes out a heavy sigh. “I’m tired.” Jimin is still shirtless, is still just wearing a pair of Jungkook’s shorts, and he has no intention to get dressed any time soon. He doesn’t have the energy for it.

“Not my fault you wanted to go another round…and another.”

“And another.” Jimin mumbles. He’s certainly not complaining about last night, but still. Why couldn’t Jungkook just let him sleep for a while longer? What was so urgent that he had to resort to hitting him with a pillow to wake him up? “Why are you so eager to get me up, anyway?” Jimin rolls over onto his side, bats his eyelashes at Jungkook as the first teasing smile of the day plays at his lips. “You miss me?”

“I lose no matter how I answer that, so I’m not gonna.” Jungkook answers simply, and now that he’s a bit more awake, Jimin can see that his eyes are bright with excitement. “I woke you up, because I have something for you.”

“Oh?”

“Wait here – I’ll be right back.” He takes a few steps towards the door, but then suddenly turns back around as if to make sure Jimin was still there. “Just wait.”  

“Okay, okay. Don’t worry.” It’s not like Jimin has any plans to jump up and go sprinting out the door. Smiling faintly as he watches Jungkook hurry out of the room, the blonde props himself up on an elbow, curious eyes fixed on the doorway as he waits for him to get back. One of the things that he loves about their relationship is that he always wakes up just as happy as he had been when he fell asleep.

Jimin loves…it. He loves mornings with Jungkook. He loves the lazy smiles and Jungkook’s messy hair, loves when Jungkook mumbles about random things when he’s still half asleep – all of which were things that mornings with Jungkook usually consisted of.

Though, they haven’t ever had a morning like this before. Jimin has never woken up after Jungkook, and Jungkook has never woken up early just to do something sweet for him.

This wasn’t a typical morning with Jungkook, but Jimin loves it all the same. How can he not?

When he returns, Jungkook is holding a plate of food, and wearing the most adorable smile on his face – a smile so pure that he ends up looking like a little kid who’s proudly showing off a picture they’d painted for their parents.

“Are you serious?” Breakfast in bed? Jimin grins, and doesn’t hesitate to sit up, feeling energized by that cute smile of Jungkook’s. Jimin loves…it. He loves how sweet Jungkook is.

“Here – sorry it’s a little messy.” Jungkook gives the plate to Jimin, speaking hurriedly. “I kinda fucked up when I flipped the eggs. It should still taste good, though – I hope it tastes good. I didn’t try it yet, I should’ve tried it, shit.”

“Jungkook,” Jimin laughs, bright and warm as the late morning sun. “It’s fine, I’m sure it’ll be good.” He goes quiet, takes a few seconds to simply admire Jungkook, to admire his smooth skin and pretty eyes and eager smile. His own heart flutters, flutters just like it had when he had first been getting to know Jungkook, and all of the smiles that he had to offer. He loves…it. He loves the feeling of it. “Thank you.”

Jungkook was right – the omelette is a little messy, and the bacon looks a little overdone, but the toast looks perfect, and there’s a ketchup smiley face on the plate, and Jimin would still eat everything even if it was all burnt to a crisp, because he never wants to be the one to wipe that beautiful smile off of Jungkoook's face.

He hadn’t ever made anything for Jimin besides instant noodles, even though he’s always quick to claim how brilliant of a chef he is whenever Jin happens to mention how much of a wreck he had been in the kitchen when they first met. Jimin is excited to finally try some of his boyfriend’s cooking, and with the way Jungkook is sitting on the edge of the bed and watching him closely, it’s obvious he’s pretty eager for Jimin to take a bite, too.

And Jimin is never one to disappoint.

With the younger nodding his head encouragingly, he takes his first bite. Honestly, Jungkook’s cooking isn’t the best thing that Jimin’s ever tasted – it’s not as if his eyes had been opened to a whole new world of flavour. It’s not amazing, but it’s perfect. Objectively, Jin is still the better cook, but Jimin isn’t ever going to admit that to either of them. This breakfast is perfect, because Jungkook made it just for him, and Jimin wouldn’t want to eat anyone else’s breakfast.

He hums in approval, and is delighted when Jungkook perks up a bit more, seeming both relieved and pleased.

“You should really cook for me more often. I hope you know that this just raised my expectations of you.” Jimin teases. “Are you sure I can eat it here, though – I can always go to the table. I don’t wanna make a mess or anything.” He looks around the bed, tries to see if he had already left a mess of crumbs.

“Jimin,” Jungkook snorts, “I’m pretty sure you’ve already made plenty of messes in my bed.” His expression suddenly turns serious, and he appears deep in thought for a moment. “I should probably wash my sheets, huh?”

“When’s the last time you washed them?” Jimin asks, taking a bite of toast.

“Beginning of the school year.”

“Wha –” Jimin coughs, nearly choking on his mouthful. “That’s gross – do you know how many times we’ve had sex in this bed?”

“Too many to count,” Jungkook grins, obviously not even slightly turned off by the state of his sheets.

“And you never thought about washing them?” Jimin sets the plate on the bedside table, suddenly doesn’t feel like eating in the bed anymore. “We’re washing them today.” He gets up, and grabs one of Jungkook’s t-shirts from off the floor to throw on. “And I’m eating in your kitchen.”

He’s just about to walk out of the room with his breakfast when he notices the strange look that Jungkook is watching him with. He pauses, tilts his head in a silent request for an explanation.

Jungkook’s smile is as greasy as his words. “If you’re worried about how dirty my sheets are, you probably don’t wanna be wearing that shirt.”

Jimin decides to just change into his own clothes. He also decides that he's going to have to clean every article of clothing that Jungkook owns, just to be safe.

Once he’s dressed, and once they’re both sitting at the table, Jungkook is still wearing that same grin, and he’s still watching Jimin with an amused stare.

What was that look for? Jimin narrows his eyes suspiciously. “What?” He asks, hesitating with a forkful of omelette halfway to his mouth. “You didn’t poison this, did you?”

Laughing, Jungkook shakes his head. “No…I just think it’s funny how put off you are by my bedsheets when you’re the one who always begs me to come all over your-”

Jimin shuts Jungkook up by shovelling the fork into his mouth instead of his own. “Okay, okay.” He holds up his hands in defeat. “Fair. But you know, take showers regularly. And your bedsheets don’t.”

“Still your fault for most of the messes.”

Instead of replying right away, Jimin rolls his eyes, and gets up to make himself a cup of coffee, because he's really going to need one if Jungkook thinks he can argue with him about who the messier one is. Jungkook hadn’t miraculously developed a taste for coffee, but since Jimin spends quite a few of his mornings at his place now, he started keeping some instant coffee around. Instant coffee isn’t exactly his first choice in terms of taste, but it was a source of caffeine, so Jimin can’t complain. “It’s not my fault you never wanna sex back at my place – somewhere that actually has clean sheets.” He points out, back turned to Jungkook as he sets the kettle to boil.

“Sorry for not wanting your roommate to hear.” Jungkook mutters. He stabs a piece of bacon, stares at it for a moment in silence before he simply sets the fork down on the plate. “Then again, it’s not like he hasn’t heard it all before.”

Jimin tenses up, unsure of how he’s supposed to react to that, unsure if he had even heard him right. What the fuck is that supposed to mean? He forgets all about his coffee, and when he turns around, he sees that all of the playfulness had left Jungkook’s face, just like it had fled the atmosphere. Was that meant to be a spiteful comment directed at Taehyung? There hadn’t been any real bite in Jungkook’s tone, but the words alone don’t sit right with Jimin.

“Taehyung isn’t always home,” Jimin says, crossing his arms over his chest. “Why can’t we have sex there when he isn’t home?” He takes on a defensive stance, gearing up for an argument, even though he really doesn’t want a fight. But, the more he thinks about Jungkook’s words, the more offended he feels.

“I never said we couldn’t.”

“Then why don’t we ever do it?”

Jungkook furrows his brows, stares at Jimin with an expression reminiscent of confusion. “Look, if it’s that big of a deal for you to bang in your own bed, then fine. We can do it at yours next time.”

“I never said it was a big deal,” Jimin corrects, finding it too hard to keep his own frown from deepening, so he simply doesn’t bother trying to conceal it. “I’m just saying don’t complain about us always having sex here when you never want to do it at my dorm.”

“I wasn’t the one complaining – when did I ever complain?” Jungkook snaps. “You’re the one complaining about how dirty my sheets are.”

Jimin hesitates, because he can’t deny that there’s truth in Jungkook’s words. Maybe Jungkook hadn’t complained, but he still did what he did, whatever the fuck that was. “Well fine then, but you made a pretty bitter and rude comment –”

“Bitter and rude?” Jungkook forces out a laugh. “Don’t think I did, but whatever. Take my comment however you want to.”

“I’m taking it exactly how you gave it to me.” Jimin retorts, more on edge than ever. How the hell is Jungkook going to sit there and deny making a rude comment? How is he going to pretend like he did nothing wrong?

Jimin wants to know why he said it, and he wants to know why he thinks he can get away with playing innocent, but Jungkook doesn’t give him a reply. He just stands up and leaves Jimin in the kitchen, disappearing into his room for only a moment before he comes back out with his jacket in his hand.

Jimin takes an involuntary step towards him, feels his heart starting to sink into his stomach. Why did if feel like Jungkook always ran away whenever there was a problem? At least, he ran away when they fought in the past – when they had fought before they even started dating. He ran away back then, and now he looks like he’s about to run off again, and it feels like nothing much has changed since then. “Where are you going?”

“I told you yesterday, I’m hanging out with Yugyeom today.” The younger replies flatly, though he doesn’t head straight for the door. Instead, he tosses his jacket onto the couch, and then walks back into the kitchen, coolly brushing by Jimin as he clears the plate from the table.

This time, Jimin takes a step back. “Yeah, but I thought that wasn’t until later…”

Jungkook isn’t even looking at him, he’s just busying himself with putting all the dishes in the sink, seemingly eager to clean up so that he can just get out of there. “Why does it matter?” He mutters. “You told me that you have that group project to do with Taehyung today, so.”

Jimin is no longer frowning out of anger or annoyance, rather, he’s frowning out of worry as a familiar feeling of anxiousness flares up within him. And fuck, he wishes it would go away. He thought that they were over this. He sees how well Jungkook and Taehyung get along, and he thought that all the stupid fighting was in the past, and that nothing bad could ever touch them.

But this feels just as awful as it did before they were together, his stomach is twisting uncomfortably, and once again he’s not sure what’s going on in Jungkook’s head.

It’s scary not knowing.

The guy looks like he’s pretty much ready to go, meaning he’s either going to kick him out of his apartment, or just leave him there alone.

Jimin isn’t sure which is worse.

It scares Jimin that things can go from good to bad so quickly. How can they be completely fine, how can they be smiling and joking around together just seconds before they’re in an argument? It doesn’t make sense – Jimin doesn’t understand.

“Jungkook.” He shakes his head, hopes this isn’t going to turn into something worse, but considering the fact that Jungkook still has his back to him, Jimin’s worries start to override his hopes. “Don’t do this again.”

“Do what?”

The sudden whistling of the kettle cuts through the air, and forces Jimin to look away from him as he turns to remove it from the stove. He knows Jungkook isn’t dumb, he knows that he’s fully aware of the animosity hanging in the air, and the reason why it’s so prevalent. “You know what.”

“I’m not doing anything,” he finally faces Jimin, finally levels him with the stony stare he had been hiding. “You’re the one snapping at me for no reason.”

“When did I ever –”

“The second I mention Taehyung, you go all defense mode and think I’m attacking you guys or something.”

“That’s not true!” Jimin blurts out, but he catches himself just as quickly as he had spoken. Maybe Jungkook was right. Maybe it was true. Maybe Jungkook hadn’t meant anything malicious at all. Maybe he had been the one to start the fight for no reason. He assumed Jungkook’s comment was a jab at his relationship with Taehyung, and he had no idea how fucking uptight he had been about the whole thing until now. To jump at Jungkook’s throat the way he did, he must’ve been wound up so tightly that it was only a matter of time before he snapped. It’s as if he had expected Jungkook to say something wrong, like he had been unconsciously anticipating something like this to happen.

But Jungkook didn’t say anything wrong…did he? Is Jimin just hypersensitive to things when they involve Taehyung?

“I just…” Jimin sucks in a sharp breath, feels all the worries he didn’t know he had been holding in until now start to pound against his chest, begging to be let out. “I want us all to get along. I just don’t want us to have any problems. I care about you so much, Jungkook and I’m –” He lowers his head, presses the heels of his hands into his eyes. This is the first time he had felt this level of worry since he and Jungkook got together, and he had been so fucking happy without it that it now feels worse than ever. He remembers how awful he felt during those few times they fought in the past, and he never wants to go back there again. They hadn’t even been in a relationship when they had fought last – there hadn’t ever been anything to lose. Now, Jimin has everything to lose.

With his head still down and his thoughts still running rampant, he hears Jungkook’s footsteps approaching, and then he feels his arms wrap around him. Jimin doesn’t resist.

“Jimin, hey,” Jungkook speaks quietly, and Jimin knows that if he were to pull away and look up at him, there would be nothing but softness in his eyes.

“I don’t want you to hate Taehyung,” Jimin’s own voice is a near whisper, and is less like a statement and more like a plea.

“I don’t hate him,” and there’s nothing in Jungkook’s tone that would lead Jimin to believe otherwise. Jungkook is telling the truth. “All I meant is that you have a roommate, and I don’t. There’s more privacy here – we can be as loud as we want here. That’s all that I meant, Jimin.”

Staying silent, Jimin considers the reason they had started arguing in the first place. Jungkook had said something that rubbed him the wrong way, sure. But if he misinterpreted it, then it was his own fault for the fight, not Jungkook’s. “Sorry.” He breathes out.

“For what?” Jungkook’s arms tighten around Jimin, envelope him in warmth and security, and Jimin loves...it. He loves how safe he feels. “We’re fighting about dirty sheets, I think it’s a sign we don’t have anything else to fight about – that’s a good thing.” He adds. “What are we gonna fight about next time? What side of the bed we sleep on? Who gets to eat the last dumpling?”

Jimin presses his forehead against Jungkook’s chest, a weak laugh pushing past his lips. “We already fight about who gets to eat the last dumpling.”

“Oh my god, you’re right. We should go to couples counselling – we’re out of control.”

This had been their first little slip up – their first argument as a couple, and Jimin doesn’t want to give too much thought to it. Couples fight all the time, he should expect it. And sure, their argument had started so quickly, had sprung up with no warning, but then as soon as it had started it stopped, and the good overwhelmingly outweighs the bad. Just like in the past, all he wants to do is move on from this.

To move forward with Jungkook.

“You don’t have a roommate, but the guy in the apartment below you really hates us.”

“Yeah, well he’s probably some grumpy old man who hasn’t had any action in a while – he’s jealous.”

Smiling faintly, Jimin allows the familiar lightheartedness to chase away his troublesome thoughts. Maybe he had made a big deal out of nothing – maybe he had jumped to conclusions, and maybe he’s a little paranoid about things when they concern Taehyung, because of what had happened in the past.

But the past is the past, and he and Jungkook are together now, and they’re happy. Jimin thinks that he shouldn’t be so quick to worry. He should just trust Jungkook, trust their relationship.

The hostility that had been there is now gone like it had never even showed up in the first place, and Jimin is left with a sense of surety instead. Their little slip up had been just that – a little slip up, a little argument that they were able to get over without any real difficulty. It assures Jimin that they’re stable, and tells him that little fights like these won’t ruin them.

He finally pulls away, lets his hand linger on Jungkook’s waist for a moment before he goes about making his coffee again, in what has proven to be the most unnecessarily long process in the history of instant coffee making.  “Are you leaving right away?” He asks casually, while making it known that he hopes he isn’t still planning on heading out so soon.

Jungkook glances towards the door, and when his eyes find Jimin again, he’s smiling. “I’m not in a rush. I’ll go after you leave.”

With a satisfied hum, Jimin hoists himself up onto the counter, legs gently swinging as he sits. “Good.” He lifts his cup up to his mouth, hides his smile even though he can’t hide the way his eyes light up coyly. “Because you know, when I’m done my coffee, I’m probably gonna have a lot of energy.”

“Oh?” Jungkook stands in front of Jimin, eyebrows raised challengingly. “Even in my dirty bed?” He rests his hands on Jimin’s thighs, shows off his smile, and Jimin loves…it. He just loves it all.

“One more time won’t hurt.”

 ---

He and Jungkook are unbreakable, at least, that’s what Jimin thinks. Their relationship hasn’t ever been seriously tested, and so Jimin has no real reason to worry, no reason to doubt the strength of their relationship. When they do get into arguments, it’s over trivial little things, and they don’t prove to be a real reason to worry.

Jungkook continuously proves to be one of the sweetest souls that Jimin knows, he keeps showing how pure his heart is, and each day Jimin falls for it more and more. He loves Jungkook’s heart.

Jungkook’s heart is incapable of hatred, incapable of malice. He knows Jungkook doesn’t hate Taehyung, because he sees the way they interact with one another, and he had believed him when he said that he didn’t hate him.

Jungkook doesn’t hate Taehyung.

And because there isn’t hatred in Jungkook’s heart, Jimin believes that everything is good, and that there's no reason to worry.

But Jimin and Jungkook are both so blinded by each other’s smiles that it’s all they seek out, all they focus on.

 

Jungkook wants nothing more than for Jimin to smile.

 

Jimin wants nothing more than for Jungkook to smile.

 

And it’s a very dangerous thing.

It’s a very dangerous thing to hide your own feelings just for the sake of someone else’s smile.

---

 “Jimin-ssi!” Jungkook says for the umpteenth time that night, which in turn has Jimin doubled over in laughter for the umpteenth time that night.

“Stop! I’m gonna – I’m gonna pee!” Jimin squeaks out between giggles, and he’s laughing so hard that he nearly falls right off the couch.

“Lucky for you I have a bathroom, just for that very problem.” Jungkook makes a grand gesture in the direction of his bathroom as if it was Jimin’s first time in his apartment, and he keeps talking in that funny, exaggerated voice as if he’s some sort of announcer on the sports channel. “To your left, Jimin-ssi! No,” he shakes his head firmly when Jimin sits up and turns to his right. “Other left – your, your other left.”

At the moment, they’re both incredibly intoxicated.

It’s Friday night, and they had gone out to the bar with a group of friends, and then the two of them had decided to polish off a few bottles of soju back at Jungkook’s place, because why the hell not?

Now, Jimin is so drunk he doesn’t even know which is his left and which is his right. Now, his face feels like it’s going to fall off from all the excessive laughing and smiling. Now, his heart feels just as full as his bladder (which is really saying something).

“I really gotta go,” Jimin slurs, forcing himself to get up so he can start his clumsy journey to the bathroom.

Jungkook stands up too, lagging behind Jimin just a few steps. “May I offer you my assistance?” He flashes a silly smile, eyebrows shooting up suggestively.

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Assisting me in the bathroom.” Jimin snickers.

“I can hold it for you while you pee.”

“Ew – Jungkook, no!” Jimin nearly falls over, has to stop to hold onto the wall to steady himself when he’s thrown into another fit of laughter. “Do you want me to pee on your carpet? Stop making me laugh!”

Jungkook claps his hands, giggles in the cute way he always does when he’s drunk, obviously finding himself far too funny to ignore.

Jimin loves it.

 

When he returns from the bathroom (he had managed to do his business without the aid of his suspiciously helpful boyfriend), he finds that said boyfriend is currently sitting slouched on the couch, legs spread wide and eyes half open with a dopey grin fixed proudly on his face. His gaze seems a little unfocused, and Jimin is just starting to wonder if he had somehow fallen asleep with his eyes open when he suddenly says “dance,” while making a vague gesture – a gesture Jimin can only assume had meant dance.

The sudden request catches him off guard, and considering how drunk he currently is, Jimin's ability to dance is pretty much non-existent. If he tries to dance, he’ll probably end up looking as graceless as he feels, and resemble a limp noodle flapping in the wind or something.

And he doesn’t want to look like a limp noodle flapping in the wind.

“Dance?” Jimin repeats underneath his breath, as if he’s testing out a foreign word.

Because of the alcohol, and because of the way Jungkook is sitting, Jimin assumes that what he wants is a lap dance, but honestly, Jimin doesn’t have the energy for it. And he doesn’t want to do it, either. He doesn’t want this to turn into something else, doesn’t want this to lead to sex, because drunk sex isn’t really all that special. All he wants to do is sit on the couch and giggle with Jungkook, and talk about stupid things, and make weird noises with him (because Jimin thinks that’s really funny when he’s drunk).

But if Jungkook wants something else, if Jungkook is asking for a lap dance, then Jimin would try his best to deliver – even though he’s fairly certain that there’s no possible way he can be even remotely sexy given his clumsy, intoxicated state. Though, Jimin always did like challenging himself.

Step one: acquire target. There’s nothing alluring about the way he’s looking at Jungkook, and while he thinks he’s hitting him with a smoldering stare, he’s really just squinting at him as if he’s looking directly at the sun and in danger of losing his eyesight. Good, yeah okay. Good one.

Drunk Jimin doesn’t know any better. Step two: climb on…is that step two? What am I even trying to do – right. Lap dance. Sexy. Right. Be sexy.

No, he hadn’t purchased a book on the art of lap dances, and no, he hadn’t received an education in the field of lap dancing, either. He’s making up the steps as he goes, and with the help of the alcohol, he fools himself into thinking that he’s actually doing a good job of it.

Even though the world feels like it’s tilting severely, and like the god of gravity is actively trying to make him fall over, Jimin still manages to successfully wobble his way to Jungkook. And, because he’s set on putting on a show that Jungkook won’t forget (and because he doesn’t really feel like standing anymore), he sits himself down, straddling Jungkook’s thigh. He’s fairly certain that he had skipped a few steps, but it’s too late to turn back now.

Step three: do something with your hips or something – something sexy. Yeah. He knows exactly what he wants to do, knows how he’s supposed to move, but his body and his mind seem to be in disagreement at the moment, and he can’t quite move in the way he wants to. The end result isn’t what he intended it to be at all.

His ‘dance’ only lasts a few seconds before he realizes that he should just stop trying, because in those few seconds all he manages to do is look like he’s trying to dry hump Jungkook’s leg, which is precisely as sexy as it sounds. Abort mission, repeat, abort mission.

“Wh-what’re you doing?” Jungkook snorts, “Jimin, wh–” He cuts himself off, head lolling to the side as his whole body shakes with laughter.

Usually, when Jungkook laughs, Jimin laughs too, but right now he can’t bring himself to laugh.

Instead of laughing, his face flushes, and he groans feebly as if to vent the frustration he feels from not being able to do what he had wanted to do.

It’s not that he’s embarrassed about looking a little silly in front of Jungkook (they had already been exposed to countless silly and unflattering sides of each other at this point in their relationship), but he is a little embarrassed that he was unable do what he thought Jungkook had wanted him to do. He rests his head on the other’s shoulder, hides the redness of his face, which no longer has anything to do with the alcohol. “Dancing…” he mumbles.

“Ah – Jimin!” Jungkook calls out as if he’s scolding, but it’s in an exaggerated manner, and his eyes are smiling, so he knows that Jungkook isn’t actually about to tell him off for the quality of his lap dance – if it can even be called a lap dance. “Oh my god, that’s not what I meant.” He's still laughing as he pats Jimin on the butt, encouraging him to get up. “You’re supposed to dance with me.”

With his mouth hanging open to show that Jungkook’s explanation hadn’t brought any clarity to the situation, Jimin slides off of him. Though, he doesn’t stand up when Jungkook does, not even when he motions for him to, because he’s still a little too overwhelmed by confusion and soju to understand exactly what Jungkook is asking for.

“Okay,” Jimin raises his hand as if he’s a student asking their teacher a question. “Gonna be really honest here, Jungkook. I’m lost.”

Jungkook seems to have more balance than Jimin does, because when he answers by grabbing onto Jimin’s hands to pull him up, he only sways a little bit when the blonde falls right into him. Jimin barely even has time to register what's going on, can only stand up because Jungkook is holding him up, and then, just to make Jimin even more perplexed, Jungkook suddenly decides to start spinning.

The alcohol from that night already had him feeling like he was on a fucking merry-go-round, but now, Jimin feels like he’s floating off in another fucking dimension.

Jungkook keeps spinning them around and around, seems to go faster and faster with each turn, and Jimin doesn’t understand what’s going on. He doesn’t know why they’re doing this, doesn’t know where Jungkook’s sudden desire to make them even dizzier than they already were had come from, but he doesn’t get a chance to question it. And the thing is, he doesn’t really want to question it – because even though he doesn’t understand what they’re doing or why, it’s not like he has to understand it.

He doesn’t have to do anything at all, so he just lets his head fall back, gives in to the alcohol and the twirling, and laughs. Jungkook and the alcohol take over his senses, and he voluntarily gives up whatever control he had left. 

He has his eyes shut tight, but even then, he feels like he can still see colours, still feels like he can see the world whizzing by as Jungkook holds him tight and spins. There’s a vague thought in the back of his mind, the thought that they probably look insane, and honestly, Jimin does feel like he’s going out of his mind a little bit, but it’s okay. It’s okay, because it’s Jungkook who’s driving him crazy.

Jimin tries to talk, tries to say that this isn’t exactly the dancing that he was used to, but he’s laughing way too hard to say anything at all. Besides, Jungkook is giggling so loudly that he probably wouldn’t even hear him even if he did say something. Jungkook’s laugh is as bubbly as champagne, and Jimin feels lighter than those bubbles, feels nothing but pure, unadulterated happiness in this moment.

Happiness feels good – Jungkook feels good. When he’s with Jungkook, the stupidest and littlest of things seem funny. Jungkook spins the world in his own way, spins it so that happiness can be found in every little thing.

And now, not only does Jimin not know which way is left and which way is right, but now he’s so dizzy that he isn’t even sure which way is up and which way is down. All he knows is that all ways lead to Jungkook. No matter where he is, he knows that in the end, it’ll always be Jungkook, because there’s no one else. There’s no other way that he would rather go.

Even once they’ve stopped spinning, Jimin doesn’t realize it. Behind his eyelids, pretty colours mingle and dissolve into one another, and even if he’s blind right now, everything seems so beautiful.

So he doesn’t worry.

Jimin doesn’t notice that they’ve stopped spinning until he opens his eyes. When he opens them, he finds that they’re just standing there, just drunkenly swaying. Jungkook’s arms are wrapped around Jimin, and Jimin’s arms are around Jungkook. They hold on to one another for balance, even though they’re both equally dazed and dizzy. There’s no spinning anymore, and there’s no more laughing. Everything somehow seems calm, everything seems still despite the way they’re rocking back and forth; it’s all just idle swaying, and the gentle rising and falling of their chests as they catch their breath.

He looks up at Jungkook, and nearly melts when he sees him smile to make those pretty doe eyes of his crinkle with affection. Jimin’s heart stutters only so it can start to beat faster, and his mind doesn’t have time to catch up to it. His heart is doing all the work, is feeling so fiercely and telling his head something that should probably really scare him, but it makes him smile instead.

He isn’t scared in the slightest.

His brain is a fuzzy mess from all the spinning and soju, but he still has one very clear thought in his mind.

He loves Jeon Jungkook.

Jimin has never really been in love with anyone before, but he has a feeling that being in love is a lot like being drunk. He has a feeling that love can override your senses, can overwhelm every other emotion. He has a feeling that the heart can easily take over the head, so that the thing in control is no longer your brain, but love instead. Deep, intoxicating love.

And Jimin is falling right into it.

He knows that he loves Jungkook, but he knows better than to say it in this moment. He needs to say it when he’s sober.

“Why’re you smiling?” Jungkook’s soft words pull Jimin from his thoughts, and of course, his question only makes his smile grow.

“Nothing.” He replies quietly, and even though he doesn’t tell Jungkook exactly why he’s smiling, the look on his face says the secret for him. “Why’re you smiling?”

Jungkook shakes his head, stares at Jimin with eyes that are just as sweet as the way that his lips delicately curve upwards. “Nothing.”

Jimin has a feeling that he knows Jungkook’s secret, too.

He rests his cheek against Jungkook’s chest, and closes his eyes as they sway back and forth, their heartbeats being the lullaby as they rock one another not into a deep slumber, but into a deep love instead.

 

Chapter Text

I love you.

Jimin says those words every time he looks at Jungkook. He says them whenever he smiles, whenever Jungkook is looking right at him, and whenever he’s looking off somewhere else.

He says them, and he really means them. He really loves Jungkook in a way that he didn’t know he could ever love.

Jimin says it all the time, but there’s a catch. The thing is, he only ever says it in his head – he hasn’t actually said those words out loud yet.

It’s only been a few days since he realized that he was in love with Jungkook, but the realization of how much he loves him isn’t as scary as he thought it would be. And maybe it isn’t so scary because maybe deep down, he already knew that he loved him, long before he ever admitted it to himself. He thought that falling in love would be scary, because in theory, it should be scary. It should be scary to open yourself up like that, it should be terrifying to give someone who is just as imperfect as yourself your heart, and risk having that heart shattered into a million pieces.

It would make sense if he was a little scared, but he’s not. He’s calm, has never felt surer of something in his life. He’s not scared that Jungkook will hurt him, because even if in the end they don’t work out, even if in the end they aren’t together, everything will have been worth the heartbreak. In the end, even if he experiences all the feelings known to man; even if he experiences the world’s highest highs and lowest lows, it’ll all be worth it, because all of those feelings will have been feelings inspired by Jungkook.

Jungkook is good, and he’s worth everything.

Some of the happiest moments of his life have been spent with Jungkook at his side, so even if they aren’t together at the end, they still have the moments of the here and now, and they’re moments that Jimin wouldn’t dare waste.

 

“A flower?” Jungkook is asking a question, though there’s a certainty in his tone that suggests he thinks he already knows the answer.

“No,” Jimin hums softly. “But you’re kinda close.”

“Draw it again?”

Jimin complies, smiling as he does so. He draws the symbol he had drawn before, using Jungkook’s back as his canvas. He traces his index finger over the fabric of Jungkook’s soft cotton t-shirt, draws the picture that Jungkook had mistaken for a flower, and then waits patiently for his next guess.

“Ah,” Jungkook perks up, and even though he has his back turned to Jimin so that he can’t see his face, Jimin is certain there’s a look of triumph on it. “It’s the sun.”

“You got it.”

“Too easy.”

The blonde rolls his eyes, but there’s nothing to show in them except for affection. He refrains from saying that it must not have been that easy if he guessed a flower on his first try. He’ll let Jungkook have his little moment of glory for now, he’ll let him think he’s an expert at this silly little game.

It’s a simple game, really. They take turns drawing pictures on each other’s backs, and then they guess what the other had drawn. They don’t really keep score, so maybe calling it a game isn’t so accurate. The game is more about soft touches and quiet words, more about relaxing in bed, and enjoying the sound of each other’s voices.

Gentle moments like these make Jimin feel light, almost as if he’s in a dreamlike state, and he could float away if he closed his eyes. Usually, people find dreams to be much more appealing than reality, but not Jimin.

Jimin finds himself never wanting to go to sleep, never wanting to dream, because he never wants to miss out on a second of his reality with Jungkook.

“One more, and then your turn.” Jungkook’s voice serves as a lovely reminder; it reminds Jimin that he’s not sleeping – he’s not dreaming up all of these wonderful things with his own boundless imagination. He’s awake right now, and even if Jungkook seems like a beautiful dream, he’s real.

They’re real.

Jimin is awake, Jimin is lucid, and Jimin is in love with Jungkook.

He wipes his palm over Jungkook’s back as if to erase the sun he had just drawn. “Okay,” his teeth dig into his own lower lip, gently biting, trying to force his heart to calm down it’s not so gentle beating. “I’m gonna write something this time, though. And you have to guess what it says.” It’s not that his heart is beating so fast because he’s afraid. He’s so many things right now, but he’s not afraid.

“Okay.”

I love you. Jimin moves his finger slowly as he writes each letter, tracing the words on Jungkook’s back as he says them in his head. He’s nervous, but he isn’t afraid. His finger trembles and his palms sweat, but he isn’t afraid. His mouth feels dry and his lungs just can’t seem to get enough air, but he has no urge to run away. He’s brimming with a nervous excitement that has his face feeling hot and his heart pounding hard. And through it all, he’s smiling.

“I’m…” Jungkook trails off, and Jimin can tell that he’s thinking hard. “Can you write it again for me?”

I love you. After writing it for the second time, Jungkook doesn’t say anything for a while. He remains as silent as he is still, but Jimin doesn’t mind it, and he doesn’t grow anxious in the midst of the quietness. He had learned a long time ago that silences with Jungkook can be just as comforting as soothing words.

“I don’t know...” Jungkook finally murmurs, in a tone just as tentative as he had spoken in when they first met.

And now is a time for words, not silence. When Jimin speaks, his own voice is barely above a whisper. “Turn around, and I’ll tell you.”

Jungkook turns slowly, and Jimin’s eyes crinkle at the corners when he finally sees his face. Jungkook’s lips are parted ever so slightly, and there’s a light pink colour dusting his cheeks. His eyes are big and deep, and when Jimin looks at them he falls right into them. It’s comforting and warm in Jungkook’s eyes, and he feels more comfortable underneath his soft gaze than he would feel if he was just alone underneath the light of the moon.  

It’s more comfortable being with him than without him.

They’re laying down face to face, sharing one pillow, and Jimin’s senses are flooded with Jungkook. Jungkook’s hair is still a little damp from his shower, and he can smell the pleasant scent of soap on his skin. He can feel the heat radiating from his body, he can see the upward twitching of his lips, he can hear his gentle breathing, and he can taste the sweet curiosity on his breath.

Jimin reaches out, his fingers grazing the other’s cheek, and he smiles when he speaks, because smiling is just as natural as saying those words are. “I love you.” The words are light on his tongue, and fall from his lips so effortlessly. Saying it out loud is different than saying it in his head. It’s thrilling, gives him a sort of rush, and even feels a little addicting. He wants to say it again and again but he doesn’t get the chance to.

When he opens his mouth to say it again, Jungkook kisses him, stealing his words away, and he takes his breath while he’s at it, too.

When he kisses him, Jimin no longer knows where he is, but he knows that he’s in love, so nothing really matters. Nothing really matters because with each press of Jungkook’s lips, he becomes more and more sure that this is where he’s supposed to be. This moment, here and now, wherever he may be, it doesn’t matter, because he’s with Jungkook.

“I love you too.” Jungkook mumbles against his lips, and the words taste as sweet as they sound, and inspire a feeling that Jimin has never felt before.

His heart doesn’t feel full, rather, his whole chest feels full. His whole chest is warm, like his heart had just burst so that everything in it – all of his love – just spilled out into his body to make him feel alight with love.

They pull apart, eager to breathe in each other’s air as if they can only be sustained by the breath of one another. They’re both smiling, smiling big and blinding, and even though Jimin has never been in love before, he knows that this is exactly what love is supposed to be.

It feels like a dream, but Jimin has never felt more awake in his entire life.

“I knew what you wrote, by the way,” Jungkook grins uncontrollably, like he just can’t contain his emotions. “I just wanted to hear you say it first. So I kinda won.”

“You’re actually so annoying – not everything is a competition.” Jimin says, but there’s so much fondness evident on his face that it’s clear he doesn’t consider Jungkook to be annoying in the slightest.

The younger laughs, eyes dripping with affection as he watches Jimin. “That really reminds me of something.”

“What?” The blonde asks, his smile never faltering, and it’s planted so firmly on his face that he doesn’t think it’ll ever be able to come off. He doesn’t mind if it stays there forever.

“When we first started talking, you said, and I quote: ‘you’re actually so annoying’ to me, and then you said you were gonna say that to me every day for the rest of my life.” Jungkook raises his eyebrows, leaning in. “You didn’t follow through with your threat.”

“You’re right…” Jimin muses, closing the remaining distance between them so that their noses are touching and their lips are nearly brushing. “But I think that I just found something that I’d rather say to you every day for the rest of your life.”

“Promise?”

---

They’re in love, and they aren’t shy about saying it. It’s only been a couple weeks since they had first said it to one another, but the past two weeks have been filled with so much of this:

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

 

And a bit of:

“You used all the hot water – the shower is freezing!”

“Love you!”

 

Even some:

“I thought you loved me.”

“I do!”

“You made me go bankrupt!”

“Monopoly isn’t a game of love.”

 

And of course, there was this:

“Jimin, it’s almost four in the morning, and you called me to tell me you think that there’s a what in your room?”

“A demon. There’s a demon in our dorm room.”

“You and Taehyung-hyung really need to stop watching scary movies on school nights.”

“I would’ve phoned Yoongi-hyung but he gets really mad when we phone him.”

“Gee, I wonder why.”

“Love you.”

“Love you too.”

 

And everything had been fine. Their lives continued as usual, they hung out whenever they could, they laughed and smiled far more often than the average person, and neither of them ever missed out on an opportunity to show the other how deep their affection runs.

Everything was fine, and there was no reason for Jimin to think that there was something wrong, because there wasn’t anything wrong. There wasn’t anything wrong, and they loved each other, and there was no reason to worry.

At least, it was like that for a little while.

It was fine until it wasn’t.

---

“Jungkook?” Jimin tries again, says his name for a third time, but Jungkook still doesn’t move, still doesn’t give any sign suggesting that he actually heard Jimin. “Hey – Jungkook?” This time, he waves his hand in front of his face, laughing softly when the younger finally snaps out of it and focuses on him again.

“Huh – sorry, I kinda zoned out there.” Jungkook shakes his head, eyes finding Jimin’s. “What were we talking about again?”

To say that Jungkook had ‘kinda zoned out,’ would be an incredible understatement. It was like his system had short-circuited, and randomly decided to shut down during lunch with Jimin, and it had taken the blonde a good minute or so to reboot him.

Admittedly, it had been a rather comical sight to see; Jungkook’s mouth hanging open slightly (Jimin was almost certain he was about to start drooling), his eyes glazed and unfocused as he stared off into a realm far off from where he and Jimin were currently sitting in the cafeteria. He should’ve taken a picture of him when he had the chance.

Propping his elbow up on the table, Jimin leans his head against his hand, amused. “Well was trying to make plans for this weekend. And you were on a journey to another dimension, so you were basically just nodding and going along with everything I said.” He smiles mischievously, “not only did you agree on taking me to Disneyland, but you also agreed to foot the bill – didn’t know you were so generous.”

Jungkook half smiles, pushing air through his nose in what Jimin can only assume had been some form of laughter. “Me neither…didn’t know I was rich enough to take us to Disneyland, either.” He casts his gaze off to the side, and Jimin can tell his mind is wandering just as his eyes were doing.

What’s he so preoccupied with? He hadn’t said that there was something bothering him, but people don’t just zone out like that for no reason. And now that he thinks about it, Jungkook had been zoning out like that a lot lately, but Jimin had just brushed it off, had just assumed that Jungkook was tired or something.

He doesn’t know if it’s appropriate to feel worried, but the more he thinks about it, the more he realizes just how out of sorts Jungkook had been acting lately, and even if it’s not appropriate to feel worried right now, he’s still starting to feel pretty fucking uneasy.

The changes in Jungkook had been subtle, but noticeable all the same, and Jimin can’t believe that he’s only giving thought to them now. Jungkook had started smiling a little less, he didn’t talk as much now, and his stares had been more blank than lively lately. There was definitely something going on with him.

“You okay?” He gently nudges Jungkook’s foot underneath the table. “You’ve been kinda spacey lately.” Jimin feels guilty that he’s only asking about it now. It’s only been a couple of days since his sudden shift in behaviour, but still. Jimin should’ve asked the second he noticed it.

Sitting up straighter, Jungkook places a hand over his chest as if he had just been deeply offended. “Me? Spacey?” He gasps. “Never. I’m in full control of my cognitive processes.”

Honestly, Jimin had expected a response like that. He had expected Jungkook to play it off and say that there wasn’t anything wrong, so he doesn’t know why it stings so badly to actually hear those words from him. Maybe it’s because he knows that it’s not the truth.

“Are you?” Jimin decides to humour Jungkook, and give him a chance to admit that there really is something on his mind. “So does that mean we’re going to Disneyland?”

“You in the mood to rob a bank?”

“Not at the moment.”

“Then we’ll have to put Disneyland on hold.”

They lapse into silence, and Jimin wonders why he’s not laughing when he knows he should be. Why aren’t either of them smiling like they usually do when they’re talking about silly things like this? And why isn’t Jungkook telling him what’s wrong?

He taps the plastic lid on his soda cup, makes sure that Jungkook is looking at him before speaking again. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Jimin,” Jungkook smiles, but not the way he usually smiles. “I’m fine.”

But everything’s isn’t fine, and Jimin knows it isn’t.

 ---

That weekend, Jimin and Jungkook hang out like they hang out every weekend, but it didn’t feel like every other weekend.

Jungkook is still acting distant, and still pretending like there’s nothing wrong. He always said the same thing, always said that he was fine, so somewhere along the way, Jimin stopped asking what was wrong, because he already knew what Jungkook’s answer would be.

Somewhere along the way, Jimin became an actor, too –  he tried acting like Jungkook acted, and pretended like there wasn’t anything wrong.

What else could Jimin do? What else could he do if Jungkook always brushed him off, and made him feel like he’s the crazy one for asking what was up with him?

The only thing he can think to do is carry on like normal, because if he started getting all pissy with Jungkook, then it would end in a fight – and that’s the last thing that Jimin wants.

 

But it’s so hard to act unbothered when all that Jungkook gives him are reasons to feel bothered.

 

 

 [To: Jimin, Jungkook]

Sunday

3:20pm

Jimin: Did I leave my textbook at your place?

Jungkook: Don’t know, I’ll check when I get home

Jimin: Thanks cuz I’m kinda stressing because if I lose that textbook it’s literally 120$ down the drain and I can’t afford that

7:03pm

Jungkook: Ya, it’s here

Jimin: Thank god

Jimin: Can you bring it to me tomorrow?

Jungkook: Idk if I can

Jimin: I mean, I know it’s kind of a heavy book but you’re pretty strong

Jimin: I believe in you

Jungkook: No seriously, I don’t think I’m gonna be at the school tomorrow

Jimin: What why?

Jungkook: Feeling sick

Jimin: Really? Are you okay? Do you need me to bring you anything? I can come over and make you soup or something. Is it the flu? A cold?

Jungkook: It’s not a big deal, I think I just need to sleep it off

Jimin: Are you sure? If I come over I’ll let you rest and stuff, I’ll just do my homework while you sleep

Jungkook: I’m fine, you don’t have to come over

Jimin: ok

 

Jimin loves him, and he only wants the best for him. So he wants Jungkook to know that he cares, and that he’s there for him. He’s not going to give up and just leave him alone.

 

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Monday

8:10am

Jimin: Hey how are you feeling? I can come over after my classes if you want me to

1:02pm

Jungkook: I actually feel way better now, just needed to rest

Jimin: Good cuz I kinda missed you today

Jimin: Only a little tho

1:50pm

Jimin: So do you want me to come over?

3:55pm

Jimin: My last class just ended, I’m either gonna walk home or over to your place so let me know if you wanna hang out

4:15pm

Jimin: Last chance

Jimin: I’ll take that as a no then

6:18pm

Jimin: Are you dead?

Jimin: Cuz it would kinda suck if you died, I’d be a little sad ngl

Jimin: Jungkook?

8:32pm

Jimin: Holy shit are you actually dead?

Jimin: Please text me

9:33pm

Jungkook: Not dead

Jimin: Wtf why’d it take you so long to reply?!?

Jungkook: Sorry

 

Jimin wonders if he’s overreacting again. Is he making this into something it’s not? Is he imagining that there’s something seriously wrong when there isn’t?

 

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Tuesday

6:27pm

Jimin: Hey why didn’t you come to Jin-hyung’s, we all missed you

Jungkook: Didn’t feel like it

Jimin: Okay?

Jimin: Are you still sick?

Jungkook: Nah, I’ll see you tomorrow ok?

Jimin: Alright.

 

And now it feels like Jungkook is avoiding him.

Now, he only gets to see Jungkook in between classes, so they never really have time to talk. They don’t talk much, but when Jimin tells him he loves him, Jungkook still says it back.

So if Jungkook still loves him, then what’s this all about?

 ---

“Jimin?” He hears Taehyung’s voice, but it seems distorted like he’s hearing it from underwater, and it blends in with the indistinct chattering of the hungry students in the cafeteria.  Jimin is currently lost in his own thoughts, completely zoned out as he stares down at his empty plate. Had he already eaten? When did he finish his food? Had he really been that preoccupied with his own thoughts that he didn’t even remember eating? Had he even talked to Taehyung? He doesn’t really remember saying anything.

He has no more food to eat, so he gnaws on his bottom lip instead, just as worry gnaws at his stomach.

“Jimin – earth to Jimin.” Only when Taehyung snaps his fingers in front of his face does Jimin look up, refocusing on his friend’s amused expression. “Nice of you to join me.” Taehyung smiles teasingly.

“Sorry, I totally zoned out for a second there.” Great, now he’s turning into a fucking space cadet, just like Jungkook. He can't help it, though – he's so confused about what's going on with him, and so worried about him, too. It's all he can think about.

“I noticed.” Taehyung assures. “What’s on your mind?” He leans forward, hesitating before taking a sip from his straw. “Jungkook still acting weird?”

Jimin sighs, drumming his fingers on the table. “Well, if by that you mean is he still texting me way less and never wanting to hang out and just avoiding me in general, then yeah. He’s still acting weird.” It's the same thing over and over – every time Jimin asks what’s wrong, Jungkook says that he’s fine and that there isn’t anything wrong at all, which Jimin knows is complete and utter bullshit.

Jungkook doesn’t seem to have time for anything anymore, and Jimin isn’t exactly sure what had suddenly changed. They hadn’t gotten into any arguments in the days leading up to his strange behaviour. Nothing changed between them.

So what changed with Jungkook?

Jimin draws in a deep breath, holds it for a moment before letting it out in a heavy sigh. “I’m really worried about him. He won’t tell me anything – he barely even talks to me.” He’s worried about Jungkook, sure. But he’s worried about their relationship, too. After all, isn’t it only natural for him to worry about it? He doesn’t think that Jungkook is going to suddenly end things between them, he has more faith in their relationship than to believe that all of this was because Jungkook wants to break up. But still. He doesn’t understand why he’s acting up, and that’s really fucking scary.

“Invite him for lunch.” Taehyung suggests. 

“He’s not gonna want to come.”

“Well how will you know if you don’t ask?”

Jimin relents, pulling out his phone. Taehyung was right.

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Wednesday

12:34pm

Jimin: Wanna meet up with me and Tae for lunch?

Jungkook: Sorry, I can’t

Jimin: Busy?

Jungkook: Yeah

Jimin: Nice.

Jungkook: Sorry

 

“Well…” Taehyung raises his eyebrows expectantly. “What did he say?”

Biting inside of his cheek, he hands his phone over to Taehyung so he can read the conversation, which played out exactly like Jimin had expected it to.

“Jimin.” Taehyung deadpans. “You sound fucking soulless – like a cold-hearted killer. You sound as cold as Yoongi-hyung when we wake him up from his sacred slumber.”

“I don’t sound that cold…” He murmurs, eyes darting to the side. Okay, so maybe Taehyung was right. Maybe he did sound a little harsh. But his concern for Jungkook starts to mix with his fear about the state of their relationship, and it results in a feeling of frustration. “I can’t help it – he’s not exactly being a ray of fucking sunshine.” He’s worried about Jungkook, he loves and cares about him so fucking much, but it’s annoying when the guy won’t admit there’s something bothering him. How can he help him if he doesn’t even want help?

“Well you’re not making the situation any better. You can’t control how Kookie acts, but you can control how you act.” Taehyung points out, and Jimin briefly wonders when his best friend became so damn wise.

“Have you been hanging out with Namjoon-hyung more often?”

“What, you think I can’t say something enlightening without the help of him?” His friend asks, crossing his arms over his chest. “He didn’t have anything to do with it.” Taehyung pauses, giving time for his wry smile to grow. “I read it in a fortune cookie a couple days ago. You’re getting relationship advice from a food item, congratulations.”

Laughing, Jimin tells Taehyung how much of a dork he is, and how much he loves him for it. And, with encouragement from his best friend, he texts Jungkook again.

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Wednesday

12:49pm

Jimin: If you aren’t busy later tonight, want to come over?

Jungkook: For sure, I’ll text you and let you know if anything changes

 

With an excited smile, Jimin shows off the conversation, the conversation where Jungkook finally agrees to hang out. “He’s gonna come over for a bit tonight.”

“See?” Taehyung grins, leaning back in his seat. “Fortune cookies are never wrong.”

Jimin can relax for the rest of lunch, and even for the rest of the day, under the illusion that things will finally start getting better.

 

When evening rolls around, it’s apparent that nothing has changed, though.

 

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Wednesday 

5:36pm

Jimin: Hey are you still coming over?

7:15pm

Jimin: So I’ll take that as a no?

8:53pm

Jungkook: Sorry, I can’t tonight

Jimin: Ya I figured.

Jimin: Thanks for the heads up.

 

Jimin is trying, he’s trying so fucking hard to keep his cool, but it’s nearly impossible now. All Jungkook ever says is sorry. He never has much of an excuse, and it’s almost offensive that he doesn’t even come up with one. Jungkook doesn’t even care, he just says sorry and says he’s busy, and Jimin would rather have him come up with some fucking elaborate lie. He hates how indifferent Jungkook is, and he hates how stubborn he is. He hates so many things about Jungkook right now, but he still loves him so fucking much, and that’s why it’s so fucking hard. Why won’t Jungkook just tell him what’s wrong?

The nagging voice in the back of his mind tells him that this is about Taehyung. It says that this has to do with Taehyung, because whenever there’s a problem, it always seems to somehow involve Taehyung.

But Jimin doesn’t want to think such a thing, and he feels guilty for even entertaining the thought. After all, there’s absolutely no reason for Jungkook to be jealous – nothing had happened, nothing at all had changed in their relationship, Jungkook started acting weird so suddenly, and there isn’t any event that Jimin can look back on and attribute his sudden change in behaviour to.

All he can do is keep trying, keep putting in effort, even if Jungkook isn't putting any in himself.

 

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Thursday

4:44pm

Jimin: What are you doing? Me and Jin-hyung are in the library if you want to meet up with us

Jungkook: Can’t, I have to work on an assignment

Jimin: lol isn’t that the point of going to the library?

5:05pm

Jimin: Jungkook is something wrong?

Jungkook: I just can’t today, I’m sorry

Jimin: Ya what’s new.

Jungkook: Look, I’m sorry. Do you maybe want to come over later though?

Jimin: You’re too busy to work on your assignment in the library, but not too busy to hang out with me later?

Jimin: Don’t really get how that works

Jungkook: So is that a no?

Jimin: Ya.

Jungkook: You’re gonna spend all day in the library?

Jimin: Ya.

Jungkook: Cool. Have fun

Jimin: Thanks I will

 

As much as Jimin doesn’t want to be petty, as much as he wishes he could remain calm, he’s only human. He’s only human, and he can only take so much before he breaks, and he can’t keep waiting it out, pretending like he isn’t pissed when he is, and when he has absolutely every right to be.

That night, he can’t sleep.

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Friday

2:18am

Jungkook: You still up?

Jimin: Ya

Jungkook: You still at the library?

Jimin: The library is closed, Jungkook

Jungkook: I know

Jimin: What’s going on with you? And don’t you dare say nothing, because you’ve been avoiding me all week and you’re an idiot if you think I haven’t noticed

Jungkook: I haven’t been avoiding you

Jimin: Bullshit

Jungkook: Just never mind

Jimin: Never mind?

Jungkook: I’m fine, I’m just tired

Jungkook: You should get some sleep, you have an early class today

Jimin: You really think I’m gonna be able to go to sleep after this?

Jimin: Tell me what’s wrong

Jungkook: You wouldn’t understand

Jimin: Understand what? How the hell am I supposed to understand anything if you don’t fucking tell me?

Jungkook: I shouldn’t have said anything, just forget it

Jimin: Are you serious? Why’d you even text me in the first place then? You’re actually starting to worry me

Jimin: I’m coming over

Jungkook: Don’t

Jimin: Why not?

Jungkook: Because I’m fucking fine!

 

Jungkook isn’t fucking fine, and Jimin isn’t fucking fine. He’s fed up with Jungkook, and he’s hurt that he’s still trying to hide from him. They’re together, they’re in a relationship – they’re in love.

The fact that Jungkook won’t tell him anything scares the shit out of him, because even though Jimin thinks they’re solid, even if he doesn’t think that Jungkook will end things out of the blue, there’s still the lingering worry that it will happen.

Jungkook told him not to come over, but Jimin has to. Sure, it’s pretty fucking late, and sure, it’s dark out and the walk won’t be very pleasant, but it’ll be more pleasant than staying at home and torturing himself with his own negative thoughts. It’s nearly three in the morning, and Jimin is exhausted and wired all at once, but he needs to talk to Jungkook.

There’s no way that he can ignore this now.

Chapter Text

Jimin’s POV

 

“I told you not to come,” Jungkook murmurs, but he still opens the door wide and moves aside to let Jimin in. Just by looking at his face, Jimin can easily tell that he isn’t angry that he came. Jungkook isn’t mad, but Jimin doesn’t know what he is – he can’t read him. Even though all of the lights in his apartment are on, Jungkook’s face still seems to be hidden in the shadows, and Jimin is getting really sick of trying to piece together the puzzle that is Jungkook.

“Yeah, well we don’t always get what we want, do we?” The blonde replies unflinchingly, brushing past Jungkook as he steps inside. The walk over did absolutely nothing to ease Jimin’s mind, if anything, it only amplified his worries. On his way to Jungkook’s, the cold air and the dark sky did nothing to offer any sort of comfort – it all only made this ridiculous situation even more real. This was really happening, even though it really shouldn’t be. It should never have come down to this.

Jimin shouldn’t have had to walk to Jungkook’s apartment when it was nearly three in the morning, things should never have escalated to this point; to the point where Jimin feels like this is his only option – his last chance to fix the things he doesn’t even know are broken, or in need of fixing. If Jungkook had only swallowed his pride, if only he had stopped hiding behind a fake smile and blatant lies, then Jimin wouldn’t have resorted to this.

He thought their relationship was built on stone, but now he’s starting to think that it was built on sand this whole time. It’s as if they’re finally sinking, and the sand is pulling him down and suffocating him, but he doesn’t know why it’s happening. He knows it’s happening because he can feel it, because his anxious heart won’t slow down it’s beating, and his troubled mind won’t stop it’s incessant worrying. But why? What did he do wrong?

“But it’s late, Jimin. You really shouldn’t have walked all the way here. We could’ve talked later in the day or something.” Jungkook says, like he actually cares about Jimin’s sleep schedule. But if he did care, he would’ve admitted what was going on right from the start.

“Oh really? We could’ve talked about it later?” Jimin raises his eyebrows, unable to believe that those words just came out of Jungkook’s mouth. “You think I believe that we could’ve talked later, when you’ve been avoiding me all week, and when you barely even give me a chance to fucking see you, let alone talk to you.” He crosses his arms over his chest, eyes fixated on Jungkook, making it clear that he’s not in the mood to play any sort of game, even though it really seems like Jungkook is treating this whole thing like a game – he doesn’t seem to be taking it seriously at all.

Jungkook is now sitting on the couch, and for some reason, that really ticks Jimin off. He’s sitting down, like this is some leisurely matter, he’s sitting even though Jimin is standing, almost as if he’s trying to make it seem like Jimin is some sort of interrogator, while he’s just an innocent victim. And even if it isn’t Jungkook’s intention to make it seem that way, even if he’s just sitting because he wants to sit, it still gets under Jimin’s skin. Jimin wants Jungkook to stand up, he wants him to stand in front of him and talk to him face to face, like he actually fucking cares.

“Sorry you felt like that, but I’ve just been really busy lately.” Jungkook is already trying to dodge the spotlight that Jimin is shining on him, and the guy even has the audacity to throw a forced smile his way. “I’m fine. It’s late, and you have an early class tomorrow, and –”

“I don’t care about my class tomorrow, Jungkook.” I’m fine; those words grate on Jimin’s nerves like nails on a chalkboard. How long will Jungkook keep this up? He’s caught, so why doesn’t he just fucking surrender? Desperate eyes searching his face for an answer, Jimin takes a step closer to the couch. “I care about you. I care about you, and I care about why you’re ignoring me, and why you don’t even want to see me anymore.”

“I do want to.” Jungkook’s response is so quick that Jimin almost believes him.

“Well it really doesn’t seem like it.”

Eyebrows drawing together, Jungkook takes a sudden interest in his own hands, and he stares down at them instead of meeting the other’s steady gaze. “Well I do.” He murmurs, but Jimin can’t find it in himself to feel any sort of relief from those words alone. Because even if Jungkook means those words, it doesn’t explain why he’s been acting the way he’s been acting.

“Then why have you been avoiding me?”

“I haven’t –”

“Stop!” Jimin rakes both of his hands through his hair, exasperated beyond belief. “Stop denying it, stop telling me you’re fine, stop being so fucking stubborn, because I’m done with it.” He tried playing nice, he had asked so many damn times what was wrong, had shown nothing but concern for him, and every time Jungkook played it off like it was nothing. And now, Jimin can’t play nice anymore. When high tensions mix with good intentions, it isn’t a very pretty sight. “I’m done.” He notices the way that Jungkook flinches as if the words had slapped him in the face, and the guy finally, finally looks like he’s taking this seriously. But did Jimin really have to threaten their relationship for him to take it seriously?

“Jimin, I didn’t know you felt like –”

“If you think that you can just hide things from me, and if you think you can get away with refusing to tell me what the fuck is going on, then I really don’t think we can be together.” He really shouldn’t have had to say that, because things never should have gotten this bad, but this really seems like the only way he can get through to Jungkook. He doesn’t want their relationship to be over, but he’s just so fed up with everything, and so genuinely astounded that Jungkook seems to think that saying he’s fine when he’s clearly not is a sufficient response, and a reason for them to move on like nothing is wrong. “I don’t know why you’re acting the way you’re acting, I don’t know what I did wrong, and I really don’t think that a relationship can work if a person feels this insecure in it.” That was the word. Insecure. Jungkook’s change in behaviour made Jimin feel insecure. He doesn’t know if he had done something to trigger the change, he doesn’t know whether or not Jungkook’s behaviour meant that their relationship was teetering on the edge of collapse, or if their relationship was actually fine, and Jungkook was dealing with some sort of personal problem. Jimin doesn’t know anything, and because of that, he’s insecure. Because of that, he feels like he’s losing his fucking mind.

“I swear, I never meant to make you feel that way. And I know that I’ve been acting weird lately, but…” Jungkook trails off as he bows his head, hiding his face as if he finally understands that there’s no way around this.

This is good, Jungkook is acknowledging his uncharacteristic behaviour, he’s no longer denying it – they’re getting somewhere. It’s good, but Jimin can’t feel happy about it – not when Jungkook looks the way he looks. “But what?” Jimin’s voice softens as he studies him, and his frustration is quick to evaporate into the air, leaving him feeling strangely empty instead. There’s something about this moment that makes Jungkook seem so small. There’s something about the way he’s sitting with his shoulders slumped, and there’s something about the way he’s refusing to make eye contact that makes him look defeated. Jimin takes another step towards him, concern rising within as Jungkook show off a side that he has never seen before. “What’s wrong?”

“I honestly thought that not telling you would be fine, I never meant to make you feel shitty.” The younger doesn’t even lift his head when he talks, and Jimin is honestly thankful for that. If Jungkook did look up at him, Jimin doesn’t think he’d be able to handle seeing the emotion on face. He can’t see Jungkook’s eyes, but he knows for a fact that there’s sadness in them, because his voice sounds broken, and there’s no possible way that that brokenness wouldn’t translate into eyes.

Then again, even though Jungkook isn’t looking at him, Jimin can’t handle it. It pains him to see the person that he loves so much so hurt. It’s awful to see Jungkook look this way, to see him all hunched over with his head dipped so low that it’s nearly between his legs, like he’s being weighed down by countless unspoken worries. This is a sight Jimin never wanted to see.

With worry gripping him tight, Jimin’s mouth twitches into a frown. Why was Jungkook so upset? Why did he look so dejected? What happened to him? “Jungkook?” Did someone do something to him? Did he do something to someone else? Why had he hidden this for so long? Was it really something that awful? Why isn’t Jungkook saying anything? Why is he so quiet? The air is so thick with tension that Jimin is finding it a little hard to breathe, and he knows he won’t be able to breathe right until he gets the truth out. He opens his mouth to speak, to beg for an explanation, but he finds himself being cut off.

“I just don’t know what I’m doing!” Jungkook blurts out, words tumbling from his mouth as if a dam had just burst, so that everything on the other side comes spilling out at all once. “I’m so fucking jealous of you.”

The statement causes Jimin to freeze, his blood turning to ice, his heart stopping as soon as he hears jealous roll off Jungkook’s tongue. This is what he had always expected, right? It always came down to jealousy, didn’t it? It’s what he had expected, but also what he never wanted to hear. Jungkook is jealous. He’s jealous, and he just admitted it, so then that was that, wasn’t it? He’s jealous, and he’s jealous of… No. This isn’t what Jimin had always expected at all. Jungkook said he was jealous, but he said he was jealous of him? He’s jealous of me? No, this isn’t what Jimin thought it would be, and he finds himself scrambling to understand in the midst of this newfound confusion.

“I’m jealous of you, and of Taehyung-hyung, and of Hoseok-hyung, and Yoongi-hyung, and of Namjoon-hyung and Jin-hyung – and of all my friends too.”

Jealous? Jealous of all of them? But why? Jimin remains stock-still, only capable of staring helplessly. He doesn’t know what to say or what to do, because he’s more confused than ever before. Nothing made sense, nothing that Jungkook said made any sense to Jimin, he didn’t understand one word of it, but Jungkook doesn’t leave him room to ask for clarification, because he keeps talking like he’s afraid to stop, and he lets out all of the worries that he had been so intent on keeping to himself.

“You all know what you’re doing with your lives, and I don’t. I’m so fucking lost.” Jungkook raises his head only then, and Jimin can see that he’s on the verge of tears, and there’s a sharp edge of frustration in his voice, though it’s not directed at anyone in particular. If it is directed at someone, it’s only directed at himself. “I’m almost done my second year of university – I’m basically halfway to a degree, and I don’t even know what I’m doing.” He throws his hands in the air in a sign of defeat, and Jimin knows all too well about the look of hopelessness that’s currently on his face. Jimin knows what feeling lost is like. “And my parents are paying so much money for me to be here, and I don’t want it to go to waste, but it probably fucking will. I feel like I’m here just to be here, I don’t know what I’m working towards, I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Jungkook’s voice cracks at the end of his sentence, and it snaps Jimin out of his stupor, and before Jungkook can say anything more, Jimin is at his side and pulling him into his arms before his aching heart even has time to beat again. He says his name softly, blinking away his own tears as he guides Jungkook’s head to his chest, and lets him rest his weary body against his own. He had no idea that Jungkook had been tearing himself up over this, and even though there was no possible way he could’ve known about it, Jimin still feels guilty for not seeing it.

Jungkook makes it a point to hide his weaknesses, he only wants other people to see good sides of himself, Jimin knows that, and it hurts him to think that he had been dealing with this all on his own.

“I know we talked about this a while ago,” Jungkook sounds tired, like he’s ready to give up. “I know you told me not to rush, and to be patient, but I’ve been doing that, and I’m still just as lost as I was before.”

Jimin remembers that. He remembers when he first started getting to know Jungkook, and how they talked about school, and Jungkook had talked about finding it hard to keep motivated without a clear goal. And now, Jungkook still doesn’t have a goal, and he feels pressured to find some sort of purpose.

“I’ve always been good at everything,” Jungkook continues, his voice hoarse. “And I know that makes me sound like a cocky asshole, but it’s true. I could get by just coasting through school and life, because I never had to try that hard, and so I never thought about the future. I never thought about what I actually liked, or what I actually wanted to do, because I just assumed I could do anything. And now I don’t fucking know what I want to do.”

Jimin can feel Jungkook shaking, can feel all of his deepest fears rising to the surface so that they spill over and make his body tremble. And once again, Jimin feels like crying himself, because he doesn’t really know what to say to Jungkook. He wants to help him, he wants to wash away all of his fears and tell him that it’s going to be okay, but he can’t do that. His words won’t be enough, and it hurts to know that he probably can’t help Jungkook – he can’t tell him what to do, or give him a clear path to follow. All he can do is hold him, and let him know that he’s there for him. It’s not much, but at least it’s something.

“I know you feel like you’re alone,” Jimin speaks quietly, carefully combing his fingers through Jungkook’s soft hair. “But I promise you, Jungkook. You aren’t alone, and you’re not the only one who feels lost.” He can’t tell Jungkook what to do, but he can be with him through every step of the way, can still support him on whatever road he decides to travel, even if he hasn’t picked what road to take yet. Wherever he goes, Jimin will follow. “Not everyone here knows exactly what they want to do. So many people are still unsure about what they want.”

“I know.” Jungkook breathes out a shaky sigh, causing his whole body to shudder. “I know I’m not the only one, but it all just feels like a lot right now…sorry.”

“You don’t have to be sorry.”

“No, I’m sorry. I didn’t want to tell you, because you have your own shit to deal with, and I didn’t want to drag you into this, because it’s my problem, not yours. I didn’t want you to worry about me, but I only ended up making you feel like shit, and making you worry about me anyway, and I never meant to do that, I just thought that it would be fine if –”

“Jungkook, it’s okay,” Jimin assures unhesitatingly. “I know why you didn’t tell me. Trust me, I get it. It’s okay.” He had done the same thing to Taehyung at the beginning of the semester – he had refused to come to him with his own problems because he thought it would be better that way. Condemning Jungkook for what he did would be hypocritical of him. Jimin understands Jungkook completely, but he wants Jungkook to understand, too. “But I love you, and all I want is for you to be happy. You can’t hide things from me anymore, okay?” He rests his chin on top of the younger’s head, enveloping him in his warmth, wanting nothing more than to protect him from the pains and stresses that life so easily brings.

“I want you to be happy too.” Jungkook mumbles. “That’s why I thought it was better if I didn’t tell you.”

A faint smile plays at the corner of Jimin’s mouth, but it doesn’t turn into anything more than that. They really would do anything for each other, wouldn’t they? Even if it means hiding their own pain. Jimin isn’t quite sure whether that’s good or bad, but he’s certain that whatever it is, they can make it work. “If you really want to make me happy, then tell me when there’s something bothering you. Tell me when you have a problem, tell me when you feel alone. I want you to tell me everything.” Nothing would make Jimin happier than being the light that Jungkook needs. And, even if he can’t fix every problem he has, he can still be there for him. “I’m with you through it all. No matter what, Jungkook. I’m here for you.”

Jungkook’s grip on Jimin tightens. “I know you are.” He nestles his head against Jimin, his soft breath tickling his neck, and Jimin holds him close, like he never wants to let him go.

Jimin would do anything for Jungkook, he would go to the ends of the earth just to see him smile. “And you know what,” he perks up, finding a renewed sense of energy now that sadness is no longer clouding his view. He’s determined now, determined to pull Jungkook out of his slump, and to be his guiding light. “I think the university is having a career fair soon, they usually have them when the end of the semester is coming up. We can check it out, talk to some people there. I’m not saying you’ll magically figure out what you want to do there, but it might be a good start. You might get some ideas. There’s career counsellors on campus, too – did you know that?” They’ll work through this together, he’ll be with Jungkook every step of the way.

“No, I didn’t.” The younger admits. He clears his throat, taking a moment for himself before he speaks again. “But what if…” There’s hesitation in his voice, almost as if he’s afraid of breaching the topic. “Sometimes I wonder if I should take a semester off. Or maybe even take a year off.” Jungkook shifts, readjusting his position so that he can properly look up at Jimin. “Do you think that it would be a bad idea if I did?”

Taking time off school? Jimin hadn’t ever considered doing such a thing himself, but he’s someone who knows what he has to do, and he wants to do it all as efficiently and timely as possible. He feels like taking time off would only put him a step behind. Though, just because he never thought about doing it himself, doesn’t mean he thinks it’s a bad idea for everyone. He knows why Jungkook seemed so reluctant to bring it up, he knows why he asked if he thought it would be a bad idea. If Jungkook did decide to take a break, then that means they wouldn’t get to see each other as often. If Jungkook moved back home, it means they’d have to go long distance during the school year, which would suck, but if it’s what Jungkook wanted to do, then Jimin would support him wholeheartedly.

“You have to do what feels right for you.” Jimin says, delicately sweeping a few stray strands of hair from Jungkook’s eyes. “If you think you need to take time off to figure things out, then you should do it.”

“I don’t know if I really want to. I was just thinking about it.”

“And I’ll be here no matter what you decide.”

Jimin wants to help Jungkook find his way. He wants to be his light; the northern star that he can look to whenever he’s lost.

 

They stay up for hours talking it over. Jungkook doesn’t make any decisions about his future right then, and he still has no idea what he’s going to do, but at least he has Jimin, who’ll be with him no matter what. They agree to go to the career fair and the career counsellor together, they agree on dedicating the upcoming weekend to researching different careers, just to give Jungkook some ideas.

And since it’s incredibly late (or early, depending on how you look at it), they agree on skipping their classes that day, and spending the day together – a day where they can both finally relax and finally rest, and finally enjoy each other’s company again.

 

Jungkook didn’t want to worry Jimin. Jungkook was fully prepared to go to the grave with all of that bottled up inside of him, and maybe that should make Jimin a little wary. Jungkook is someone who is used to keeping their problems hidden, stuffed down.

Maybe it should be a red flag for Jimin, but he doesn’t take it as one. He’s too focused on making sure that Jungkook is okay, and on being the light that he always wanted to be for him.

---

Things fall back into place like they had never fallen out of it. They’re back to copious doses of smiles and laughs, and Jimin is glad, so so glad, to see Jungkook smiling again.

Not all of Jungkook’s worries had suddenly disappeared, he doesn’t suddenly know what he’s doing, but at least he now has some resources, and different avenues to take when it comes to finding out what he wants to do with his life.

Jimin and Jungkook are working through it together, and they’re solid. If anything, the whole ordeal only gave Jimin a renewed sense of trust in their relationship. They can make it through anything, they can navigate their way to shore even in the wildest of storms. Maybe they’re built on stone, after all.

With Jungkook, things are all good.

Unfortunately, Jimin can’t say that things are all good with Taehyung.

Jungkook had taken his turn being stressed out about school, and now, it seems like it’s Taehyung’s turn to be stressed.

It’s that point in the semester where everyone seems to be suffering some sort of identity crisis, and when the stress of university hits, well fuck. It hits hard. And this semester, it seems to be hitting Kim Taehyung even harder than usual, which is saying a lot.

It’s always easy to tell when Taehyung is stressed out. Jimin knows exactly what Taehyung is like when he’s stressed; he paces around their dorm, talks more than usual (and more quickly than usual), and he watches a lot of cat videos on Youtube.

Plus, he says a lot of stuff like: holy shit I’m so fucking stressed – I’m losing hair. Oh my god, I’m shedding, Jimin I’m gonna go bald.

Jimin feels awful seeing his best friend in such a state, and so he always does everything he can to help reduce Taehyung’s stress. He makes sure that Taehyung uses his study time effectively, but he also makes sure that Taehyung is actually taking breaks, and he schedules movie dates with him, and he forces him to go on walks with him.

Honestly, Jimin is just thankful that they’re in two classes together so that he can study with him, and help him out so that he isn’t so overwhelmed with everything. Taehyung isn’t dumb by any means – he just has a habit of procrastinating, and as a result, he usually rushes through papers and assignments, and crams for tests the night before. Now, poor Taehyung’s grades are starting to slip a little more than he would like them to slip, and he’s in a panic to get them back up before finals roll around.

And, because of Taehyung’s inner turmoil, Jimin is on call, and at his side whenever he needs him, offering words of encouragement, and reminding him that taking breaks are necessary if he doesn’t want to explode.

Jimin loves being there with Taehyung when he needs him, and sometimes, that means he can’t always be with Jungkook.

 ---

Jimin rolls over onto his side to face Jungkook, a delicate smile curling his lips when he sees that his eyes are still closed, and he hasn’t woken up yet. They had fallen asleep watching a movie in bed, and as usual, Jimin was the first one to wake up from their little nap. He arches his back off the mattress with a groan, and reaches his arms high above his head in an attempt to stretch away the lingering grogginess. It was nearly dinner time, and even though Jimin would love to laze around in bed, he’s starting to get pretty hungry. He and Jungkook hadn’t planned on napping, but they had planned on grabbing a bite to eat together.

Sitting up, Jimin reaches for the neglected laptop sitting between them, and moves it out of the way so that he can press himself close to Jungkook, clinging on to him like a koala. “Jungkook,” he kisses his shoulder, and then, since he wasn’t satisfied with just one kiss, he leaves a trail of kisses all the way up his neck before pressing a final one just below his ear. He stifles a laugh when Jungkook breathes out a dreamy sigh, and tilts his head to the side as if to give Jimin more room to work with. “Let’s get up,” the blonde murmurs. “I’m hungry.” His voice is sweet and coaxing as he teases Jungkook’s soft skin by brushing his lips over it as he talks. “I wanna get food.”

“Food?” Jungkook mumbles, eyelids fluttering open. Of course. Jimin should’ve known that that one word was all he had to say to actually wake the guy up.

Smiling to himself, Jimin starts peppering kisses all over his sleepy boyfriend’s face, making sure to cover his nose, cheeks, and forehead with them.

“If you really wanna get up, stop doing that.” The younger warns with a languid smile, evidently pleased by all the affection he was currently receiving.

Humming innocently, Jimin pecks his lips in an act of defiance. “You want me to stop?” He asks, and just because he’s feeling particularly playful at the moment, he hooks his fingers in Jungkook’s belt loops. “Stop doing what?”

“Are you hungry or not?” Jungkook questions, pushing up Jimin’s shirt, his fingers following along the curve of his back, causing Jimin to momentarily forget that he was in the middle of trying to get them out the door and to a restaurant. With thoughts of Jungkook taking over his mind, Jimin arches into the touch.

“Mm, very,” he assures, an openly flirtatious gleam in his eye to match the lilt in his voice. And, when he notices the way that Jungkook is staring his lips, it becomes very apparent to Jimin that neither of them are thinking about food at the moment. He has the urge to shiver, even though it’s anything but cold underneath the heat of Jungkook’s stare.

“Yeah?” Jungkook leans in, his hot breath making Jimin’s mind feel a little fuzzy, and he can practically taste his smirk. “Hungry for what?”

Now, this certainly hadn’t been what Jimin was planning on. He really was hungry, he really did want to get food. But the thing is, with Jungkook, it’s very easy to get distracted, and now, food is the last thing on his mind. Gently tugging at Jungkook’s belt loops, Jimin makes a point of slowly running his tongue over his own upper lip. "You know what,” he says with a rather demure smile, caught in a tug of war game with his want to keep up his little façade of innocence, and his want to just drop it entirely and dive right in.

“But I like hearing you say it.” Jungkook counters, his low tone of voice melting Jimin, and making him a lightheaded mess.

Naturally pressing himself more firmly against Jungkook’s warmth, Jimin’s mouth falls open slightly, airy breaths escaping when Jungkook grabs his hips and presses them against his own. He squeezes Jungkook’s arm, lashes fluttering as he feels his lips brush against his neck, surrendering to the heat flooding his body, and just when he’s about to talk, just when Jimin’s mouth finally catches up to his mind, he hears his phone dinging wildly, alerting him that he had just received a string of rapid text messages.

Jimin immediately lunges for his phone, because there’s only one person who ever texts him like that, and that one person is someone he’ll never ignore.

 

 

[To: Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Taehyung: Are you busy? I’m in the library and I think I can hear colours?

Taehyung: This isn’t normal, is it? I’m freaking out

Taehyung: Code red, I repeat, code red

Taehyung: Red sounds like this btw BOMP BOMP BOMP BOMP BOMP

Taehyung: Like just think of your phone alarm. Well not your phone alarm specifically because that sound isn’t the alarm you use because the alarm you use is a nice bell xylophoney sound but anyway you know how you can set your phone alarm to alarm? Like the alarm is literally called alarm, that’s the sound. It’s called alarm and it’s a terrible sound. Are you with me here, Jimin?

Taehyung: My point is red sounds awful and I think I’m dying

 

“Shit…” Jimin mutters underneath his breath. He types out a quick reply, telling Taehyung that he’s on his way, and doesn’t even think twice before hopping out of bed to collect his things.

“What’s up?” A messy haired Jungkook sits up, confusion written all over his face as he watches Jimin throw on his jacket. “What happened? Everything okay?”

“It’s fine.” Jimin hurries back over to Jungkook’s side of the bed, slinging his backpack over his shoulder. He feels bad about having to leave so suddenly, but Taehyung really sounded like he needed help. “I’m sorry, but I gotta go.” He hesitates as he thinks about the texts he had just received. Despite his concern for his friend, he can’t help but smile faintly. Those texts were really something else – Taehyung certainly had a way with words. “Tae needs help. It’s a code red, apparently.”

“Code red?” Jungkook lifts his brows. “What does that even mean? He must be having a lot of code reds, because you’ve been helping him a lot lately.”

It’s true, Jimin has been helping Taehyung out a lot, which means he has a little less time to spend with Jungkook than usual, but he still gets to hang out with him every day – it’s not like they never see each other. So what if he’s helping Taehyung? Taehyung is his best friend, and he would do absolutely anything for him.

“Well we’re in two of the same classes this semester, and I like doing my homework with him.” Jimin shrugs, not seeing the harm in what he was doing – because there wasn’t any harm in it at all. “And he’s super stressed right now, he really needs me.” He leans down, bringing himself face to face with Jungkook, and shows off a teasing smile. “You can’t blame Tae for wanting to study with me. You know how good of a study partner I am. Don’t you remember how much we studied together last semester?”

“Yeah, but all the studying was basically just an excuse for us to hang out.”

Jimin certainly can’t refute that. All of the studying was practically a ploy to get to know Jungkook better, and hey. It really worked out for them in the end. “Tae was always super suspicious about it.” He covers his mouth, laughing softly. “He literally thought that we were hooking up every time I told him I was going to study with you.” Jimin remembers the way that Taehyung would grin at him, or wink at him, whenever he left the dorm saying that he was off to study with Jungkook.

“He did?” Eyes widening, Jungkook sits up straighter. “Was he mad?”

“Mad?” Jimin repeats, amusement twinkling in his eyes. “Why would he be mad about it?”

“No reason.”

“I mean, I guess he was mad that we literally only studied, and nothing else ever happened.”

“Yeah, because you were too shy to make a move.”

“Me?” Jimin points to himself, gaping. “What about you? You didn’t make a move, either.”

“But not because I was shy. I was afraid of tainting your innocence.” They both laugh at the statement, fully aware that there wasn’t much truth to the words. Jimin had been reluctant to make a move because he didn’t want to rush things, or pressure Jungkook. And Jungkook didn’t make a move because…well, Jimin’s actually not quite sure why he had been so hesitant to make a move. Was it because he didn’t want to rush things, too? Or had it been because of some other factor?

Jungkook suddenly reaches out, arms wrapping around Jimin’s waist, drawing him in closer so that his shins meet with the edge of the bed. He looks up at the blonde, his gaze as soft as his voice. “Stay?”

"Jungkook..." With a pout gracing his lips, it’s clear that Jimin really does wish that he could stay – he’s not happy about leaving. But Taehyung needs him. “I can’t…really have to go.” As if to make up for the fact that he’s cancelling their night together, he offers Jungkook a series of apologetic kisses, scattering them all over his face. He really does feel guilty for having to bail, but surely Jungkook would understand. Anyone would do the same thing for their own best friend. When he pulls back from his merciless attack of affection, Jimin can see the effect his little kisses had on him, and Jungkook is wearing an adorably soft smile. “We can get food tomorrow, deal?”

Actual food? Or…” Jungkook cocks a brow, and grins when Jimin flicks him on the forehead. “Okay, okay. Text me and let me know when you get back home…and uh.” Jungkook pauses, rubbing the back of his neck. “Tell Taehyung good luck. With his code red.”

Smiling at Jungkook’s sweetness, Jimin nods his head firmly. “Will do.” And, after giving Jungkook one more kiss just to make up for the flick, he hurries off to meet with Taehyung.

 

---

Jungkook’s POV

 

It all started in the library last semester, when Jin made a big oopsie and accidentally revealed that Jimin and Taehyung occasionally had sex– which was something that Jungkook was certain that no one could ever fathom. Seriously, hadn’t Jimin ever seen any romantic comedy? Didn’t he know that friends can’t have sex and stay just friends? Then again, Jimin and Taehyung aren’t just friends. They’re best friends, which really seemed so much worse than just being friends and having sex.

Jungkook figures he should be grateful for Jin and his big mouth for letting the secret slip. Would Jimin even have told me about it if Jin hadn’t mentioned it? No, no. Jimin definitely would’ve told him about it, because Jimin is actually a good person. Jimin would’ve told him…eventually.

Anyway, after learning that little detail about Jimin and Taehyung’s relationship, Jungkook managed to look past it all. He shoved his worries to the side, and he put all of his faith in Jimin, because he knows Jimin is the most pure and wonderful human being on the earth, and he knows he would never do anything to intentionally hurt him. In his heart, he knows that. And yet, his mind…well, his mind isn’t so easily convinced.

Sometimes, Jungkook hates his own mind.

But still, Jungkook had been dealing with it all really well, like, really fucking well. Like, so well he thinks he deserves a pat on the back. He dove into his relationship with Jimin, and submersed himself in the happiest moments of his life, and he has absolutely no regrets about it. He loves Jimin more than he ever has ever loved anyone, and knowing that Jimin loves him back is the best feeling in the whole entire world.

Jungkook had been doing really well with the whole I used to have sex with my best friend thing.

He had been doing really well not worrying about Taehyung and the plotline of every awful romantic comedy ever made, that is, until Taehyung started getting super stressed about school, and needing Jimin at his side every second of every day.

Okay, so the guy didn’t need Jimin that often, but still. It was way more often than usual.

And, just like Jungkook’s worries when it came to Jimin and Taehyung had started in the library, those worries slowly started to resurface in no other place than the library.

How fitting.

The thoughts he always tried so hard not to think were coming back, but guess what? It’s okay, because Jungkook can still repress those thoughts like he had been doing all this time. In fact, he’s determined to do just that, because Jeon Jungkook never backs down from challenges.

 

“Oh my god, you were so fucking cute.” Jungkook coos, extending his arm, and holding Jimin’s phone out of his reach as he looks through the pictures on it. Baby pictures, to be exact.

Were? Aren’t you supposed to say you are cute? Not you were cute?”

It all started when Jungkook said he was bored (studying in the library was really fucking boring, in case you didn’t know), and Jimin came to the rescue, asking if he wanted to see his baby pictures to relieve him of his boredom. And of course, Jungkook’s answer was an emphatic yes.

“Your hands didn’t even grow since you were a baby.” Jungkook says, the realization causing him to throw his head back in amusement.

“Shut up,” Jimin laughs, eventually giving up on trying to get his phone back. He simply rests his head on his hand, watching as Jungkook scrolls through the pictures on his phone, a smile on his face all the while.

It was all fine and dandy until Jungkook stumbled across a picture of Taehyung. A sleeping Taehyung, to be exact. Jungkook can’t help but wonder if Jimin had taken that picture after they…Clearing his throat, he slides the phone across the table, back to Jimin. “You’re kind of a creep.” He chuckles weakly, playing it off like the picture only made him think that his boyfriend was some creepy stalker, and not that he thought Jimin had a habit of taking pictures of Taehyung after every time they had sex. How many times had they even had sex? Jimin had always said they never did it that much, but still. How much was that much? And why did they even do it in the first place if they were best friends? It literally makes no sense, there’s no logical way that – Jungkook shuts down those thoughts, upset that after keeping them at bay for so long, they were suddenly resurfacing.

Jimin initially furrows his brows in response to Jungkook’s words, but when he sees the picture he had been talking about, a smile breaks out over his face instead. “I couldn’t help it.” His eyes are full of fondness as he looks at the picture, and his voice is dripping with affection. “Look how cute he is.” Jimin doesn’t even appear fazed by Jungkook’s comment, he seemed to take it as a joke, and nothing more than that, which is exactly how Jungkook wanted him to take it.

So why doesn’t he feel good about it? Why doesn’t he feel good about the way Jimin is talking about Taehyung?

Maybe it’s because Jungkook wants to be the one to make Jimin laugh, and to make Jimin smile. He wants to be the one.

But there are billions of stars in the sky, aren't there? There’s billions of stars, and even though Jungkook wants to shine the brightest for Jimin, what if there’s always that one star that just so happens to always shine a little bit brighter than him?

Jimin is the brightest light in Jungkook’s life, he’s helping him figure out what he wants to do with his future, he can make him smile and laugh like no one else, he comforts him in a way no one else can ever comfort him, Jimin understands him.

Jimin is the brightest light in his life, but…who’s the brightest light in Jimin’s life?

“I have a whole photo album of him on here,” Jimin continues happily, his eyes fixed on the phone as he scrolls through what Jungkook can only assume are more pictures of Taehyung. “Not just pictures of him sleeping, though.” He turns the screen to show Jungkook a picture of Taehyung stuffing his mouth with food, and making a less than flattering face while doing so, and it’s clear he had been caught off guard when the picture had been taken. The smile on the blonde’s face only widens as he goes on to the next one, which is a picture of both Jimin and Taehyung this time.  Taehyung is dressed up in a…is that a Snow White costume? And he’s throwing up a peace sign and his eyes are glazed over and he’s obviously extremely wasted, and Jimin is dressed up in a costume, too. Right, Halloween. And he has his arm around Taehyung, probably steadying him and making sure he doesn’t fall over, and he’s showing off a big open-mouthed smile, and Jungkook can practically hear his laughter coming through picture. “I look at them when I’m sad.” Jimin says.

And that was just the icing on the cake.

Why doesn’t it feel good to hear Jimin say that? Jungkook should be so fucking happy that Jimin has a friend like Taehyung, a friend who makes him smile like that.

But then, Jungkook stars to wander. Does Jimin talk about me like that? Does he smile like that when he talks about me? And, even if he does, is that even a good thing? Is it even good if Jimin smiles about his boyfriend the same way he smiles about his best friend? Does it even mean anything?

Jungkook tenses up, remembering what Jimin had said about feeling insecure, about how a relationship can’t work if someone feels insecure in it. Is that what Jungkook is? Insecure?

They’re best friends, just best friends. Jungkook knows that. So why is there a twinge of bitterness in this moment? Why does he feel coldness starting to creep up his spine?

“Look!” Jimin’s bubbly voice snaps Jungkook out of his thoughts. And then, just like that, the bitterness turns to sweetness and the ice melts so that he feels nothing but warmth. Jimin is beaming, putting the sun to shame with that smile of his, and he’s showing off a picture of Jungkook this time, a picture that had obviously been taken while he was in the middle of a yawn. It was really terrible picture of him, but it doesn’t bother Jungkook to see it. He has plenty of embarrassing pictures of Jimin.

“Do you really wanna start with me?” Jungkook asks challengingly, taking out his own phone. “Do you wanna see some of the pictures I have of you?”

“No!” Jimin reaches out in an attempt to snatch the phone away, but he’s too slow. In the end, he resorts to simply holding his hands up in surrender. “Okay, okay, you win. I don’t wanna see them. Have mercy on me, and my abundance of chins.”

Jungkook hums calmly as he looks through his pictures, taking an incredible amount of joy in teasing Jimin. “One time I counted them all. You were up to twelve chins, Jimin. Twelve. That’s gotta be a world record or something.”

“Okay, there’s no way there was twelve.”

And just like that, it’s all smiles and laughs again.

The good always seems to have a way of outweighing the bad, and Jungkook is happy. So what if his jealousy is rearing its ugly head again? He dealt with it before and he can deal with it now, right? He just has to make sure Jimin doesn’t see it, that’s all.

Even if he’s neglecting his worries, even if there’s the occasional doubt knocking on the door, asking to be let in, Jungkook is happy with Jimin, and Jimin is happy with him.

And that’s all that Jungkook ever wanted. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do to make Jimin smile.

 

Chapter Text

“Stop smiling at me like that.” Jimin mumbles around his toothbrush, glaring at Jungkook in the mirror as they stand side by side, brushing their teeth. He stares him down, inadvertently beginning to brush harder when he notices the gloating look in his eyes.

Unaffected by Jimin’s lack of warmth, Jungkook takes his toothbrush out of his mouth, toothpaste clinging to the corners of his lips as they widen into a grin. “I really can’t help it.”  

“Well stop.”

“Then stop being so grumpy,” Jungkook doesn’t even attempt to hide his amusement, much to Jimin’s dismay. Even after he rinses his mouth and wipes his face, that satisfied smile remains stuck there like glue.

“I’m not grumpy.” The blonde says, even though the way that he’s aggressively brushing his teeth doesn’t exactly support his claims.

“You’re gonna make your gums bleed.”

“What are you, my dentist?” Jimin’s quip sends Jungkook over the edge so that his smiling turns into a fit of laughter, and the sound of it is so infectious that it even has Jimin’s own lips twitching upwards despite the little mood he’s currently in.

Jungkook’s laugh can brighten anyone’s mood.

Jimin leans forward, spitting into the sink, and when he straightens up again, there’s a reluctant smile on his face. “Ass.” He isn’t mad at Jungkook in the slightest – he isn’t mad at anyone at all.

He’s only mad at the stupid bowling pins for not falling over for him.

They had gone bowling that night (Jungkook suggested it, Jimin doesn’t know why he agreed to it), and Jimin had lost, which he honestly expected, but he didn’t expect to lose as awfully as he did. Jungkook crushed him, wiped the floor with him, showed absolutely no mercy.

The game was rigged – at least, that’s what Jimin says to make himself feel better.

“Why are you so good at everything – you couldn’t even let me win one round? Just one, that’s all you had to give me.” He whines, and Jungkook apparently takes it as a reason to laugh even harder. Rolling his eyes despite the affectionate smile on his face, Jimin grabs the mouthwash, quieting down as he swishes it around his mouth, allowing the sound of his boyfriend’s laughter fill the air.

If his own misery made Jungkook happy, then so be it. If Jungkook wasn’t so damn cute when he laughed; if he didn’t scrunch up his whole face, if it didn’t hold his stomach, if his eyes didn’t twinkle, then Jimin wouldn’t be so willing to let it slide.  

But Jimin is in love with Jungkook and his laugh, so he doesn’t mind at all.

“You’re gifted in other areas.” The younger says once he had calmed down. “Just not in the bowling department…Or the height department.”

Okay, now Jimin minded that a little, and Jungkook’s fresh surge smugness gives him the urge to spit out his mouthwash at him. Instead, he just narrows his eyes and spits into the sink like a civilized human being. “Did you really have to stoop that low?”

Bad choice of words.

Jungkook’s entire face lights up, and Jimin knows exactly what he’s about to say, he knows that he just gave Jungkook the perfect opportunity to make another comment regarding his height. He doesn’t’ want to give Jungkook another reason to get cocky. And so, in order to stop him from saying anything else, Jimin stands on his tiptoes, and plants a kiss right on Jungkook’s smiling lips.

And that shuts Jungkook right up.

 

After changing into a pair of sweatpants and a loose-fitting t-shirt – suitable attire for the all the laziness they had planned for the rest of the night – Jimin finds himself in Jungkook’s bed, curled up next to him underneath the blankets, laptop open and with some random movie playing, and feeling as content as ever.

It’s only a little bit past seven o’clock, but they’re both tired from spending the entire day together, and Jimin has absolutely no issue with retiring a little earlier than usual. Jungkook doesn’t seem to have any problem with it, either. When he notices him yawning, Jimin briefly thinks about how they’re acting like an old married couple; all tuckered out and ready for bed so early. The thought of it makes him smile.

He absentmindedly traces his fingertips over Jungkook’s forearm, half paying attention to the movie, but mostly just thinking about Jungkook, and how much he loves him. The way his chest gently rises and falls with each breath, the comfort he feels when he’s next to him, the firmness of his body and the softness of his touch. It’s like everything that Jungkook does is tailored to suit him perfectly. Jimin knows that no one is perfect, but he has a feeling that Jungkook is perfect for him. They fit together so seamlessly, he has absolutely no doubts that what they have can endure anything. He can’t see himself ever not being with Jungkook; the concept of not being with him feels more foreign than anything else.

Life may be fickle – love may be fickle, but Jimin knows that they aren’t.

Their love is meant to last.

“You know, maybe that’s what I should do.” Jungkook’s voice draws Jimin from his reverie. “Drop out of school and pursue a career in bowling.” And his words indicate that he hadn’t been paying much attention to the movie, either. Jungkook is kidding, Jimin knows that. He’s kidding, but Jimin still brings an element of seriousness into it. He wonders if Jungkook had come any closer to finding out what he really does want to pursue as a career.

“Have you thought any more about it?” Jimin asks softly. “About what you want to do?” Jungkook had been putting a lot of effort trying in to figuring his life out. He had visited the career counsellor a couple times, and they even went to the career fair together. Jungkook still has his worries about the future, he still finds himself in times of stress, and as far as Jimin knows, he still doesn’t know what he wants to do. But at least now he tells Jimin about when he’s feeling particularly down about it.

And Jimin couldn’t be happier about that.

“Actually…I’ve been thinking about it a lot, lately.” Jungkook admits, and the timid smile that surfaces sparks Jimin’s curiosity.

“Really?” The blonde readjusts his position, sitting up straighter so that he can face Jungkook and give him his undivided attention. “Do you think that you know?” Jimin tries his best not to let his eagerness overtake him, but it’s a little hard not to get too excited, because he really can’t wait for the day when Jungkook tells him that he’s finally found out what he wants to do. So, when Jungkook shakes his head, Jimin can’t help but feel a little disappointed.

“Not yet, no…But I think I figured something out.”

“What do you mean?” Jimin tilts his head to the side, unsure of what that strange look on Jungkook’s face was for.

“I want to do something that I love, and that I’m passionate about. That’s still really important to me.” Jungkook glances off to the side in a rather shy display of emotion. “I really want that…but maybe it’s not the most important thing in the world.”

Jimin finds himself leaning forward slightly, as if he’s being drawn to Jungkook and his words. He has absolutely no idea what he’s about to say next, but he knows, he knows Jungkook. He knows the tone of his voice and the pureness of his heart, and he knows that whatever is about to be said next is going to be another reason for him to smile.

Jungkook lifts his head, fixes Jimin with eyes that say more than words ever could. “I guess what I’m trying to say is that I still don’t know what I want to do, but I know that I want to be with you no matter what I’m doing. And that makes everything seem a lot less scary.”

But Jimin still loves hearing those words.

Just when he thinks there’s no possible way that he can love Jungkook any more, he goes and says something adorable like this, and he makes Jimin’s heart feel like it’s swelling in size. Jimin opens his mouth just to say Jungkook’s name, just to say the only thing that’s on his mind, but he cuts himself off when he closes what little distance had been left between them to meet his lips.

Jimin’s kiss says more than words could ever say.

Jungkook kisses him back, and his lips are soft, and he tastes like mint, and all other thoughts in Jimin’s mind dissolve away so that the only thing left is Jungkook and his sweet kisses. And the more they kiss, the more lightheaded Jimin gets, and before he even knows it, he’s smiling so wide that he can’t even keep kissing him.

Though, Jungkook doesn’t seem to mind. He kisses the corner of Jimin’s smiling mouth, kisses him all over his face, and Jimin starts laughing, even though he kind of feels like crying, too. He doesn’t know how he found this, he doesn’t know how he got so fucking lucky, he doesn’t know what he did to deserve Jeon Jungkook.

Jimin doesn’t understand. But maybe that’s okay.

Now, Jimin doesn’t feel so tired anymore. He’s too hopped up on affection, and he feels like he could stay up all night just admiring Jungkook, just listening to his voice, and just talking to him, even though they had been talking to each other all day.

There are some things in life that Jimin won’t ever grow tired of, and Jeon Jungkook is one of those things.

When they settle down again, Jungkook is sporting a crooked grin, looking incredibly pleased, and he says one of the most Jungkook things to say in a moment like this.

It makes Jimin love him even more.

“I’m gonna go get a snack – I’ll be right back.” He announces, jumping out of bed with a noticeable spring in his step.

“You just brushed your teeth,” Jimin laughs airily.

“So you don’t want a snack?” 

“I never said that. Can you bring me a drink, too? Please?”

The second that Jungkook leaves the bedroom, Jimin is burying his face in the pillow, grinning, unable to contain himself. He grins so wide that it actually hurts, but he can’t stop. They’d been dating for months already, but Jungkook still makes him feel insanely giddy, still gives him those butterflies that he felt when he first started liking him.

Jungkook drives him crazy in the best of ways.

Really, the only thing that could possibly make the night any better would be telling Taehyung all about it. He reaches for his phone, eager to text his best friend about how amazing Jungkook is. Funnily enough, he finds out that he already has a few missed messages from Taehyung.

Apparently, Taehyung’s night wasn’t going as great as Jimin’s – he’s dealing with a bit of a problem. A problem that has Jimin squeaking out another round of laughter.

 

 

[To: Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Taehyung: I need to get laid

Taehyung: ASAP

Taehyung: I was walking out of the library and I dropped my pencil. There was a hot dude sitting at a table nearby. I literally looked him dead in the eye and fucking slut dropped down to get that pencil. Like who am I? Is that what my life has come to? Slut dropping in public places in front of strangers? Was he even into guys? Probably not.

 

Jimin would just have to wait to tell Taehyung all about how cute Jungkook is – it’ll be better to tell him about it in person, anyway. For now, he’s more than happy to text Taehyung about his problem instead.

 

[To: Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Jimin: Well if he wasn’t into guys before, he probably is after seeing you do that

Taehyung: Ok that made me feel a little better.

Taehyung: You should blow some more smoke up my ass cuz that’s the closest thing to any action I’m gonna get

Jimin: gdfisbjd s TAE OH MY GOD

 

Yeah, that was Kim Taehyung. His best friend.

“What’re you laughing at?” Jungkook returns with his arms full of goodies, and he looks just as happy as he looked when he had left.

“Nothing,” Jimin shakes his head, but when Taehyung texts him again to express just how desperately he needed to get laid, he can’t contain his amusement.

“What?” Jungkook sets the drinks and snacks on the bedside table, eyeing Jimin with a quizzical smile. He even lets out a faint chuckle of his own, obviously entertained by the sight of Jimin giggling.

“It’s just Tae.” Jimin bites his lip as if to fend off his smile, to keep it from splitting his face right in half. “He’s…” He hesitates a moment, debating whether or not he should tell Jungkook about his friend’s personal issue. Then again, when it came to Taehyung, there were no personal issues. The guy was an open book, surely he wouldn’t mind if he told Jungkook about it. “He’s kind of sexually frustrated right now.”

Jimin’s the only one smiling now.

Jungkook presses his lips together, settling back into bed. “Oh?”

“Apparently he needs to get laid. Like, really badly.”

“And he thinks that you can help him out with that?”  

“Maybe,” Jimin shrugs, too busy grinning at his phone to notice the fact that Jungkook didn’t find this nearly as funny as he did.

“Maybe?” Jungkook repeats. “What does he expect you to do about it? Why’s he even texting you about that in the first place?”

“I dunno – he’s my best friend. We tell each other everything.” The blonde points out, blissfully unaware of the harm that his harmless texting was doing. He doesn’t notice Jungkook’s frown, doesn’t notice that the more he smiles down at his phone, the more severe Jungkook’s frown becomes. He’s blissfully unaware of it all, that is, until it’s silent for just a little too long, and he looks up to see that Jungkook is definitely not happy anymore.

Jimin suddenly becomes very aware that this whole situation can very easily be misconstrued. He feels a rush of panic flooding his system, because he doesn’t want Jungkook to think that Taehyung is trying to get with him. More than that, Jimin doesn’t want Jungkook to think that if Taehyung really was trying to pull something, that he would think it’s funny and go along with it. Before he even knows it, he’s rushing to defend himself, as if he had been caught doing something wrong, even though he hadn’t been.

“He’s not asking me if I wanna fuck.” Jimin says quickly, eyes going wide. He hands his phone to Jungkook without a second thought, giving him a chance to read the messages. Did Jungkook actually think that Taehyung would do something like that? And did he actually think that Jimin would entertain the idea if Taehyung did do something like that?

“Never said he was.” Jungkook doesn’t even spare a glance at the phone. He tosses it back just as readily as Jimin had given it.

Jimin’s panic ebbs away, but the irritation that follows it isn’t exactly a welcome replacement. So that was how Jungkook was going to play it. He was going to act like he hadn’t been bothered in the slightest, he was going to make it seem like Jimin was making a big deal out of nothing. He was going to act like Jimin’s looking for something that isn’t there, and blaming him for something he didn’t do.

All of these thoughts are at the forefront of Jimin’s mind, but he keeps himself from saying any it, because there’s another thought in the back, nagging him. What if he really was doing all of that? What if he was making a big deal out of nothing again, what if he was blaming Jungkook for assuming things that he didn’t actually assume? Jimin isn’t sure about anything anymore. He isn’t sure if the frown he’s seeing on Jungkook’s face is spurred on by confusion or annoyance.

“I just don’t understand why he needs to tell you how badly he wants to have sex.”

Was Jungkook just confused about why Taehyung was texting him that? Or was he actually annoyed that Taehyung had texted him that? Jimin doesn’t know. What he does know, is that it would be so easy to turn this whole thing around, to rid the air of the current tension, and to move on. He doesn’t want to argue. This is another stupid little hiccup, they always seem to have these, and it always turns out to be something that can easily be disregarded. They had done this all before, and they can do it all again.

But is it always a good idea to charge forward? Is it always a good thing to move on without looking back?

Who knows.

“He tells me everything – even some stuff I don’t wanna know.” Jimin doesn’t want their night to be ruined. He doesn’t want Jungkook to feel like he’s attacking him. He doesn’t want to be so on edge whenever things concerning Taehyung happen to pop up. He wants to forget it all. “And I tell Taehyung everything, too.” He shouldn’t have to worry, and Jungkook shouldn’t have to worry. They have nothing to worry about.

Jimin gently digs his teeth into his lower lip, trying to hide the way they lift at the corners. “I talk to Taehyung about you all the time. He knows how good you are to me…I can’t help it.” It’s only Jungkook. He crawls into his lap, delighted when he recognizes a certain flicker in those eyes of his.

“Jimin…” Jungkook watches him, lips slightly parted.

There’s no reason to worry.

“You make me feel really, really good.” Jimin cocks his head to the side, watching Jungkook with innocent eyes that betray his not so innocent actions. “Don’t you talk about me with your friends?” He rolls his hips forward ever so slightly, and it’s so subtle of a movement that it could’ve been mistaken for an accident if Jungkook didn’t know him any better. “Do you tell them how good I am?” Encouraged by the firm hold Jungkook has on his hips, Jimin leans in, full lips skimming over his neck as he speaks in a voice light as air. “Do you tell them how good I am for you?” He wants Jungkook to know that it’s him, it’s only him that he feels these feelings for. No one else. “You know I love being good for you.”

And Jungkook takes it, seems to understand that who he wants is him, that he's only giving himself to him. “God, Jimin.” His words come out as a near whisper, all husky and low, but Jimin doesn’t have time to relish how hot he sounds, because the next thing he knows, he’s lying flat on his back, with Jungkook above him, melting him with that fucking smirk on his oh-so-kissable mouth. “You’re fucking shameless, you know that?”

Jimin wants to kiss him, he really wants to kiss him, but he doesn’t. Instead, he lifts his head, just so he can nip at Jungkook’s lower lip, and live up to his definition of shameless. “Don’t you like that about me?”

“I like a lot of things about you.”

Wrapping his legs around Jungkook’s waist, Jimin pulls him closer, seeking out that firm press of his body, chasing after his familiar heat. “Really?” His breath catches in his throat when Jungkook presses down to meet his hips. “Can you show me what else you like about me?” He lilts, smiling sweetly.

“Fuck, Jimin.”

 ---

 

Jimin and Jungkook are so used to distracting themselves from their problems that they’re actually starting to believe that it’s a way of dealing with their problems.

There's no one to tell them that living like that can't ever work.

 

 

[To: Jimin, Taehyung]

 

Taehyung: I’m getting some dick tonigt so don’t wait up for meee

Taehyung:  Jin is gona set me uo with his friend plz pray hes cute

Taehyung: plz pray hes nothing like Jin

 

Another weekend, and another drunk Taehyung.

Jimin sighs softly, worry creasing his brow. It’s the second weekend in a row that Taehyung had gone out drinking without him, and Jimin doesn’t like it one bit. It’s not that he minds if Taehyung goes out without him, it’s just that the guy’s still stressed out about school, and finals aren't that far away, and drunkenness coupled with stress can lead to very bad decisions.

He knows that Taehyung is out with Hoseok and Jin – he knows that he’s in good hands. And yet, he can’t help but feel worried. 

“What’s wrong?” Jungkook gently nudges his side, obviously picking up on his mood.

Jimin and Jungkook were having a far less eventful night than Taehyung seemed to be having. They had been spending all night on the couch, watching movies back at Jimin’s dorm, which was fine. Jimin had been having a really good night with Jungkook, there wasn’t anything wrong at all, and yet, a part of him wishes that he had gone out, just to keep an eye on Taehyung to make sure he doesn't do anything he’ll come to regret later on.

Instead, he’s sitting at home, checking his phone every five minutes for updates on how he’s doing.

“Wanna pick a different movie?” Jungkook asks, eyes gleaming playfully. “I told you that you were gonna cry if we watched Titanic – and you’ve already seen it like, a hundred times.”

Managing a weak laugh, Jimin shakes his head. He feels bad for being so preoccupied, because he wants to enjoy his night with Jungkook. “It’s not the movie.” He hugs his knees to his chest as if it would prevent him from fretting so much. Though, it doesn’t seem to be working. Jimin holds himself a little tighter. Maybe talking about it would help. “Tae’s trying to go home with someone.”

Jungkook lifts a brow. “Isn’t that a good thing?” He angles himself to fully face Jimin, his playfulness quickly subsiding. “Wasn’t he just talking about how badly he needs to get laid last week?”

“Yeah.” Jimin murmurs, resting his chin on his knee. If he was with Taehyung it would be different. He would be out there trying to find a decent guy for him to hook up with, and he wouldn’t be so worried. But he’s not with Taehyung. “I kinda hope he doesn’t try to go home with anyone, though.”

“Why?” There’s an undeniable edge in Jungkook’s voice, and he presses his tongue against the inside of his cheek. “You don’t want him having sex with someone else?”

“It’s not that. I just wanna know who he goes home with.” That’s how they had always been when they went out together – they always looked after one another. Taehyung made sure Jimin didn’t get with any douchebags, and Jimin did the same for him. It was always that way.

“Taehyung’s a big boy. He can handle himself. Besides, isn’t he with Jin-hyung?”

“And Hoseok-hyung.”

“See? He’ll be fine.” The younger says, not seeming to spare much sympathy for Jimin’s concerns. “Let him have some fun.”

“I know,” because Jimin does know. He’s not trying to control Taehyung at all, and he does want him to have fun. “But he’s been so stressed out about school lately, and now he’s out getting plastered, and he’s probably gonna end up drinking way more than he should.” Jimin is very much aware that he’s worrying about Taehyung a little more than he probably should, but he cares about his best friend so fucking much that he just can’t help it. Taehyung deserves the whole entire world.

Jungkook doesn’t seem very convinced, though. It doesn’t seem like he considers Jimin’s worries to be warranted.

He looks away from Jungkook, and looks back at the movie. “Never mind. You’re right.” But Jimin only says it because he doesn’t think that continuing to talk with Jungkook about it will relieve him of his worries.

Jimin doesn’t stop worrying for the whole movie. In fact, he and Jungkook are now nearly finished their second movie of the night, and Jimin is still incessantly checking his phone for updates.

Jungkook looks over every time Jimin picks up his phone, casting sidelong glances his way, and his tenseness would be obvious to Jimin if he wasn’t so absorbed in his own thoughts at the moment. It doesn’t take very long for the silent simmering to come to more of a boil.

Taehyung hasn’t texted him back in a while. And now, Jimin’s concern is reaching its peak, and he’s starting to wonder if maybe Taehyung already left the club with someone, which would be fine, but he still wants to text Jin and ask him for an update. 

“Why didn’t you just go out with him instead?” Jungkook's blunt words interrupt Jimin's train of thought. 

He blinks in silence, staring at Jungkook, nearly speechless in response to the sudden outburst.  “What?”

“You’ve been on your phone this whole time, go out with him instead of hanging out with me next time.” Jungkook shrugs, acting as if he’s completely unaffected by it, but his tone of voice belies his indifferent gesture.

Again? This was really happening again?

Jimin tosses his phone to the side, pressing his fingertips against his temple. He was so not in the mood to deal with this right now.  

No, he wasn’t in the mood to deal with this ever. But lately, they had been going through this more often than usual. They had been having so many stupid arguments, and Jimin’s not sure if they’re both on edge because finals were fast approaching and everyone and their mother was stressed out, or if this whole unnecessary arguing thing would be going on for the rest of their relationship. Honestly, the latter sounded exhausting.

“I’m hanging out with you because I want to hang out with you, Jungkook.” He sounds tired, because he is tired.

“Kinda seems like you’re a lot more invested in who Taehyung is fucking right now.”

Jimin sucks in a sharp breath, and holds it in for a moment in an attempt to keep himself from speaking rashly. He doesn’t want a fight, he doesn’t want to let Jungkook’s words get to him, he doesn’t want to think about what they might entail. Because Jimin refuses to believe that after all this time, that even after everything they’ve been through, that Jungkook still doesn’t understand that Kim Taehyung will never be anything other than his best friend. Jimin doesn’t even want to consider the possibility that Jungkook doesn’t understand that.

“I just want to make sure he’s not hooking up with some creep – I don’t care if he has sex with someone else.” Jimin keeps his voice level, tries to keep the exchange civil so that neither of them says something they’ll end up regretting later. “I’m sorry, okay?” He isn’t sorry about caring about his best friend, or about wanting to make sure that he’s safe. He's sorry that they always argue, and he just wants it to stop. Maybe he shouldn’t have been so blatantly absent while he was supposed to be hanging out with Jungkook. He would probably be mad if Jungkook spent all night texting someone else, too. “I’ll put my phone away for the rest of the night –”

“Jimin, that’s not what I want, I’m not going to force you to put your phone away.”

“Then what do you want me–”

“Nothing – I don’t want you to do anything. I didn’t mean for it to sound like that.”

The truth is, Jimin has never argued with anyone as much as he has argued with Jungkook. But the thing is, every argument is insignificant, at least, they play it off like it is; it’s insignificant because they make it insignificant. They play it off like all their arguments hold no correlation, and somewhere along the way, they came to the unspoken agreement to neglect what is right in front of their eyes. They don’t even consider the possibility that all their arguments are building up to form one looming mass that’s on the brink of toppling over and suffocating both of them.  

Jimin follows Jungkook, and Jungkook follows Jimin. The problem is, they’re both going in circles.

Jimin argues with Jungkook more than anyone else, sure. But he also makes up with him more than anyone else, and that has to count for something, right?

“I shouldn’t have said that.” Jungkook says his piece.

“I shouldn’t have been on my phone so much.” And Jimin says his.

They apologize, and they move on.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

It’s the same thing over and over, but it’s okay because there isn’t an alternative. Because how else is Jimin going to make sure that Jungkook is smiling?

Things are fine again.

And when Taehyung comes back home, things get even better.

 

It’s around one-thirty in the morning when the door swings open, and a drunk Taehyung stumbles in. His face is all flushed and his grin is all lopsided, and he’s all alone.

Jimin breathes out a sigh of relief.

There was no reason to worry.

“Jiminie – Kookie!” Taehyung exclaims, whole face brightening as he ambles over to greet them. “I missed you guys tonight – d’you know how drunk Jin-hyung got? You should’ve been there, you should’ve seen him. Wait, you can see him, ‘cause I took pictures.” Taehyung plops down on the couch in between the other two, and Jimin and Jungkook share a smile as they listen to Taehyung blab on. “Phones are great, like best thing since sliced bread. Well, unless you’re gluten intolerant, then sliced bread isn’t so great. Anyway, look at Jin-hyung! He looks so ugly in this picture.”

And that’s why Jimin thinks there isn’t a reason to worry – because of Jungkook’s smile.

He knows how much Taehyung likes Jungkook, because Taehyung always tells him how much he likes him. And even though Jungkook isn’t as open about his feelings when it comes to Taehyung, Jimin knows that he doesn’t hate Taehyung, because Jungkook holds no resentment, and no hostility in his smile.

So why should Jimin worry about Jungkook hating him when he doesn’t hate him?

There’s no hate, but Jimin doesn’t look too deep, doesn’t dig to figure out what the real problem is. They’re all getting along, they always get along when they’re together. So Jimin doesn’t even understand how there can be a problem. Maybe there really isn’t a problem.

Jimin is really good at lying to himself.

 

While Taehyung had been extremely chatty when he first arrived, it isn’t long after proudly showing off his pictures from that night that his liveliness diminishes. Soon enough, Taehyung is fast asleep, using Jimin’s shoulder as a pillow, and he’s snoring softly, and Jimin’s heart practically melts. He had the cutest best friend. Ever.

Honestly, Jimin is a little envious of him right now, because he’s pretty damn tired too, and more than ready to pass out himself. But first, he has to make sure that Taehyung is all tucked in and cozy in his own bed. “Jungkook?” The younger looks Jimin’s way the second his name had been spoken, big attentive eyes showing that he didn’t feel quite as tired as Jimin did at the moment. “I’m gonna put him to bed,” he nods to Taehyung, as if it wasn’t already obvious who he had been talking about. “I’ll be right back, okay?”

Jungkook’s eyes shift from Jimin to Taehyung uncertainly. He clears his throat, and his eyes fall on Jimin once more. “Yeah, okay…Do you want me to get him a Gatorade or something? I saw some in the vending machine in the hallway.” He points, making a vague gesture towards the door.

And now Jimin is in a bit of a predicament.

He has his adorable best friend snoozing on his shoulder, and he has his adorable boyfriend offering to do something incredibly sweet for him, and his poor heart really can’t take it all at once. “Yes please.” He looks Jungkook, and finds himself in some sort of trance as he watches him wordlessly grab his wallet and head to the door. There isn’t a bad bone in Jungkook’s body. Jungkook could never hurt anyone, and Jimin is certain about him, he’s certain about them. “Jungkook.” He stops him before he can leave. “Thank you.”

And Jungkook flashes a shy smile before heading out the door, saying that it’s no big deal and that he’ll be back soon, and Jimin’s whole being is saturated with love.   

Jungkook comes back and gives Taehyung a Gatorade.

Jimin gives Taehyung a piggyback ride to his bedroom.

Jungkook waits on the couch for Jimin to come back.

Jimin sits with Taehyung in bed, waiting for him to fall asleep.

He thought that Taehyung would be out cold by now, but ironically enough, the little trip to his own bed seemed to give him a renewed sense of energy. Maybe it was the Gatorade.

We should’ve known not to give kids sugary drinks before bed.

Taehyung babbles on for a while, and even though he’s lying in bed with his eyes closed, his mouth keeps going. Jimin doesn’t mind it at all.

From what Jimin gathered from Taehyung’s drunken rant, his night had actually been really fun. It had been full of overzealous dancing and overpriced shots – shots which Taehyung indulged in because Jin ended up buying them all (Jin is surprisingly generous when he’s drunk). According to Taehyung, the only thing that sucked about the night was the fact that Jin’s friend turned out to be way too similar to Jin for his liking, and to use Taehyung’s exact words: “I would rather have sex with my own dirty sock than bone someone who reminds me of Jin-hyung.” Jimin doesn’t blame him.

Taehyung talks and talks, he talks about the night, he talks about how great Jungkook is and how he can’t wait for Jimin to marry him, he talks about the most recent movie he saw, the most recent chapter he read in his textbook – Taehyung talks about everything.

Jimin stays with Taehyung until the guy talks himself to sleep.

Getting Taehyung to bed hadn’t been all that challenging, but Jimin had been tired even before it, and now, he’s exhausted. All he wants to do is snuggle up with Jungkook, close his eyes and fall asleep, too.

When he sneaks out of Taehyung’s room (even though there had been no need to sneak, because Taehyung was out like a light), Jimin finds that Jungkook is still sitting on the couch, waiting up for him. “He’s finally asleep.” The blonde announces with a heavy sigh. He flops down on the couch, taking up the rest of the space.

“Finally?” Jungkook snickers.

Jimin smiles lazily. “Finally.” He rests his head on Jungkook’s lap, and already feels like he’s about to drift off to sleep. Jungkook’s gaze is gentle as he threads his fingers through Jimin’s hair, carefully combing through it, and his touch proves to be equally as gentle. Jimin looks up at Jungkook, and Jungkook looks down at Jimin, and the calm silence that settles around them mixes with his fatigue and sentimentality, and he loses himself in the tenderness of Jungkook's eyes, and speaks before he even really knows what he’s saying. “Is this what it’s gonna feel like when we have kids?”

Oh god. No.

That came out all wrong – he didn’t mean it like that at all.

Cheeks blooming with colour, Jimin sits straight up, stiff as a board. He’s the one who said those words, they came out of his mouth, and yet he’s probably just as shocked as Jungkook is, because he did not mean to say it like that. Had the fumes from Taehyung’s night of drinking somehow diffused into his own bloodstream? Was that possible? Was he experiencing second –hand intoxication? It’s the only explanation Jimin has for it.

“I - I didn’t mean it like that.” The blonde stammers, feeling far more awake than he would like to feel at the moment. “I just meant I was really tired – like, taking care of Tae made me super tired, and that’s probably how it’s gonna be if we have kids.” That didn’t sound right either, did it? His eyes somehow find a way to widen even further. “And I don’t mean when we have a kid and raise it collectively. I just meant in general, like this is probably how parents feel in general. Tired.” Did that make sense? Probably not.

Jimin doesn’t want a kid right now, he doesn’t want Jungkook to think that he’s ready to settle down and get married and do all that scary grown up stuff. He is not ready for that in any way, shape, or form. But… he does want that eventually. Is that something that Jungkook wants eventually, too?

Jimin glances down at his lap. “Do you…” He already has one foot in his mouth, why not make it two? “Do you want kids when you’re older? Do you think you’d ever adopt?” If his face wasn’t red before, well it sure as hell is now. He can’t even believe he just said that, why had he said that? Was it weird? Was it going to make Jungkook uncomfortable?

Oh my god, he’s probably so uncomfortable. Jimin mentally slaps himself, and tries to come up with a way to backtrack, but his last question had been pretty damning, and there’s no way he can try to explain that away. He shakes his head, “you don’t have to answer tha–”

“I guess I do.” Jungkook starts off cautiously, but the fact that he’s talking at all is enough to send a wave of relief washing over Jimin. “But it’s not something that I really think about that much. I mean, I don’t wanna have any until I’m way older.” He pauses, and when he speaks next, Jimin can hear the smile in his voice. “Like, I’m talking even older than Jin-hyung.”

He meets the other’s gaze, and finds not one trace of judgement there. Jungkook is looking at him in that same way he always looks at him, with those bright eyes of his brimming with warmth and flickering with amusement. Jimin wants Jungkook to look at him like that forever.

He knows that no one else will ever look at him like that. And he doesn’t want anyone else to look at him like that.

It’s only Jungkook.

What they have is meant to last, Jimin is sure of that. He doesn’t know what the future will bring, but he knows that if he’s with Jungkook, he’ll be happy. And he is with Jungkook. He’s with him right now, so he should focus on how he feels now, because he is so, so happy. Jimin’s never-ending fondness shows itself in a delicate smile, and even though his cheeks are still tinted a light pink, he feels more at ease than ever. “Okay, so kids are far down the line for you…but what are your thoughts on dogs?”

“Dogs?” Jungkook drapes an arm over his shoulders, considering the question. “I like dogs, dogs are nice…but if we ever get one, I get to name it.”

“What, why?” Jimin murmurs, relaxing against Jungkook’s side. “That’s not fair.”

“Because you would name it something stupid, like Fluffy. Or Spot.”

“You literally told me you named your fish, Fish.”

“I was in Kindergarten!”

It isn’t long before the effects of the long night take its toll, and they both end up surrendering to sleep. They fall asleep on the couch together, mumbling about suitable names for pets. They don’t have a blanket, they don’t have any pillows, and they’re both sleeping in a rather awkward positon that will surely lead to stiff necks and sore backs in the morning.

It’s one of the best sleeps that Jimin has ever had.

 

Chapter Text

Jimin had spent the majority of the day with Taehyung, which was totally fine, and was something they had both planned on doing. However, the reason that they were supposed to spend the day together was because they had a group assignment due at the end of the week, and the time they spent together was meant to be time dedicated to working diligently on said assignment – that’s what Jimin had planned.

But things don’t always go according to plan.

Jimin and Taehyung’s day had been anything but productive (unless you consider watching four straight hours of Youtube productive), but Jimin’s brain is so fried from all of his other assignments from all of his other classes, and from all of the prepping he’d been doing for finals, and he couldn’t even bring himself to care about the fact that they were neglecting their project completely.

The two hadn’t even left their room all day; they had stayed holed up in their dorm, sprawled out on the couch, papers and textbooks spread out around them, giving off the illusion that they were at least somewhat studious. In reality, they’re watching an alarming amount of animal videos.

“I think we should get a hedgehog,” Taehyung mumbles, eyes glued to his phone, looking ironically exhausted from all the nothing they had been doing that day.

“A hedgehog?” Jimin glances over, sees that Taehyung is in the middle of watching yet another Instagram video of (you guessed it) hedgehogs. “What about turtles?” He scoots closer to his friend, trying to get a better look. “An hour ago, you were talking about turtles.”

“You can’t really walk a turtle.”

“You can walk a hedgehog?”

“When we get one we can try.” Taehyung replies, not missing a beat.

Jimin tilts his head back, laughing up at the ceiling. They aren’t serious about getting a pet, even though they’d been talking about it for hours, thinking about all the little critters they could smuggle into their dorm room, and wondering what poor RA Namjoon would do if he found out they were keeping a pet in the dorms.

It was certainly something entertaining for them to consider, and it served as an excellent distraction – a perfect tool of procrastination.

“I’ll search up hedgehog breeders in the area,” Jimin says, earning a smile of approval from Taehyung, who was always happy to have his friend play along with him.

“Run a background check on them – make sure they’re good, honest people.”

“Background check? Do we have the resources for that?”

“Just give me their names and I’ll stalk them on Facebook.”

Jimin snorts, endlessly amused by their dedication to procrastination. It’s not like he’s particularly proud of the fact that they’re slacking off, and usually he’s the one scolding Taehyung and telling him to focus. But right now, he can’t be bothered. School projects are rough, and researching hedgehogs for no reason is infinitely more appealing than actually doing work.

So that’s that.

And Jimin is absorbed in his meaningless pet research, is taking it as seriously as he should take his schoolwork, is conducting it as thoroughly as he can, and is passing on all the relevant information to Taehyung. It’s a good thing that they already had all their pens and notebooks out and at the ready for their assignment, because it’s really coming in handy right now as Taehyung jots down notes on the pros and cons of various breeds of hedgehogs.

However, there is one particular thing of interest that pops up on Jimin’s phone, and succeeds in distracting him, making him forget all about his research, and causing his lips stretch into a smile.

 

[To: Jimin, Jungkook]

 

Jungkook: Hey, what are you doing right now? I’m on campus, I’ve been in the library all day and I really need a break

 

Pets may be cute, but…so is Jungkook.

“Tae,” Jimin hums cheerily as he sits up, hardly able to contain the excitement bubbling to the surface. He passes his phone to Taehyung, who initially appears to be extremely confused when he sees that Jimin is showing him text messages, and not information surrounding hedgehogs. Though, it only takes a second for understanding to wash over his friend’s face.

“Oh?” Taehyung smiles slyly as he eyes Jimin, “a break?” When he wiggles his eyebrows, Jimin playfully shoves him.

“I really don’t think it’s that kind of break,” He muses, watching his friend fondly. “Anyway, would you be mad if I go?”

“Yes, Jimin. I’m going to hold it against you if you leave in the middle of this monumentally important moment.” Taehyung shakes his head, bright as ever. “Go – we need a break, anyway.”

“Tae,” He laughs, “we literally did nothing all day.”

“Yeah, and it was exhausting,” the other grins, gently nudging Jimin. “Seriously, go. I know we said we were gonna finish the project today, but I really don’t think either of us are in the mood for it. We can work on it tomorrow, I don’t have anything else going on.”

“Are you sure?” Jimin is already standing up from the couch, keeping his eyes on Taehyung, even as he makes his way to the closet to grab his jacket. Their assignment isn’t due until the end of the week, they have plenty of time to finish it, so it’s not like they’ll be in any serious trouble if they end up doing it tomorrow instead of today. Not only that, but he knows Taehyung won’t mind if he goes to hang out with Jungkook for a while. Admittedly, even though Jimin had been having a lot of fun hanging out all day at home with Taehyung, he’s feeling a little restless from spending all day inside, so of course he’s jumping at the prospect of getting to go out and see his boyfriend.

“Positive.” Taehyung nods in affirmation. And that’s the best thing about Taehyung, he always seems to understand. “Now go,” he waves his hand, shooing Jimin out the door. “And tell Jungkook I say hi!”

 

It’s not as if Jimin hadn’t seen Jungkook in a long time, it’s not as if they had both been outrageously busy and unable to meet up with one another lately – he had hung out with Jungkook just a couple days ago. And yet, when Jimin sees him sitting in their usual booth at the on-campus café, waiting for him, a smile takes over his face, and he has to resist the urge to go skipping on over to him.

Every day Jimin loves him even more, just because Jungkook is who he is – just because Jungkook is Jungkook. No matter how often they may see each other, the feeling of excitement that surfaces whenever he’s with Jungkook never fades, and it’s like his heart had been conditioned to beat faster and love harder just by looking at him.

They greet one another with a brief hug and an affectionate squeeze, and he slides into the booth and sits across from Jungkook, soaks up his adorable little grin, and thanks him for ordering a latte for him.

But Jimin doesn’t tell Jungkook that Taehyung says hi.

Jimin doesn’t say anything about Taehyung at all. Honestly, Jimin’s been doing that a lot, lately; he’s been monitoring how much he talks about Taehyung, and recently, he had been pretty much neglecting to bring him up all together.

Everything about last week had put him on edge, from his argument with Jungkook when he told him about Taehyung saying how he needed to get laid, to their argument that arose when he talked about how Taehyung had been planning on going home with someone else.

Jimin decided that if he didn’t bring Taehyung up, if they didn’t talk about him, then they wouldn’t get into any more stupid arguments, and so far, it had been working just fine. Of course, he’s not happy about the whole thing, he’s not happy that he feels like he has to walk on eggshells around Jungkook when it comes to things regarding his own best friend, but Jimin keeps telling himself that this is only temporary.

He tells himself that this is a momentary fix, and that he won’t have to keep it up forever, he tells himself that everything will work out in the end, and that there isn’t anything he should really worry about. When he and Jungkook are together, when they’re with each other and not fighting, they’re unimaginably happy. And Jimin wouldn’t trade that happiness for anything.

But if he keeps pushing the problem down, if he keeps turning a blind eye to the issue, the issue won’t magically go away.

So why does he keep doing it?

 

“You have no idea how badly I needed this.” Jungkook’s shoulders shake as a short little laugh pushes past his lips, “I was in the library all day, Jimin. It was awful. Jin-hyung wouldn’t even let me leave until I showed him that I was finished taking notes on at least four chapters.” He lifts his cup, pausing just before the rim meets his lips. “What about you? What did you do today?”

Jimin hesitates, keeps his mouth shut, even though under normal circumstances he would happily launch into an enthusiastic recounting of how he and Taehyung successfully wasted the day away watching Youtube and scrolling through Instagram and taking stupid personality quizzes online and researching hedgehogs and doing anything and everything that wasn’t their project. He doesn’t feel like he can say that, though. At least, not without sacrificing their smiles and trading them for a bit of tenseness instead. His eyes stray from Jungkook, and he ends up staring down at his latte, feigning a deep interest in the cute heart design in the top layer of foam. It’s not exactly nice to feel like he has to watch what he says like this, but it’s a short-term fix, he won’t have to do this all the time. Right?

“Nothing,” is what Jimin ends up saying. “Sounds like you had a more exciting day than me.” He’s not really lying, is he? He and Taehyung had been doing a whole lot of nothing all day. Still, his own reply tastes bitter on his tongue. He takes a sip of the latte, hoping to wash the bitterness down.

“Nothing?” Jungkook repeats, sounding more skeptical than Jimin would have hoped for, so Jimin sips his drink slowly, taking his sweet time, holding on to the hope that if he takes long enough, the skepticism would disappear. “You’re telling me you didn’t do anything – you didn’t even study? No way I believe that.” At least he sounds amused, too, and not solely skeptical.

But the skepticism is all Jimin can really focus on.  

He hates how guilty he feels, because he really has no reason to feel guilty, because he did absolutely nothing wrong. He didn’t even technically lie to Jungkook –  he just withheld some of the truth from him, and it’s not like the truth was even bad in any way. Jimin sets his cup down, and the cute heart design doesn’t really look like a heart now, so he can’t even admire how it looks anymore. He still pretends to, though. Still pretends like he thinks the warped latte art he's currently looking at is particularly pretty. “Nope, no studying.” And why does he sound suspicious to his own ears, even though he’s actually telling the truth?

“I literally stayed home all day,” Jimin carries on, trying to make up for how unnatural his previous statement sounded. “So I was really happy when you texted, I really missed you.” Again, his words are the truth, but why did it all sound so fake? Why is he in this state of disarray again? They aren’t fighting, they aren’t in a stupid argument about Taehyung, so why does it always come back to this? Why is there always this sense of unease that seems to lie beneath the surface? Even when he doesn’t feel it, no, even when he pretends not to feel it, it’s always there. How long can he ignore it?

How long can they ignore it?

Straightening his back while keeping his head down, resolutely avoiding eye contact, Jimin begins to tap the side of his cup, but the second he becomes aware of his fidgeting, he forces himself to stop. He can’t blame the fidgeting on a caffeine high, because he hadn’t drunk enough of his latte to get one just yet. Maybe he should chug the rest of his drink, just so he has an excuse to nervously shift, because Jungkook knows how twitchy he gets when he’s had too much caffeine. And Jungkook always thinks it’s funny when I drink too much coffee and get all fidgety, and maybe if I chug this latte and order another one with an extra espresso shot we can laugh at my caffeine induced fidgeting and things won’t feel so tense, even though they shouldn’t feel so tense because there’s literally nothing wrong –

“Did something happen with you and Taehyung?” 

Now there was something wrong.

Head snapping up so that he can see Jungkook’s unsmiling face, Jimin only has time to register his solemn gaze. Other than that, he's at a complete and utter loss.

Jungkook’s question came out with absolutely no warning, and Jimin has absolutely no idea how to respond. While he’s seriously struggling to come up with something at least marginally more intelligent than huh to say, confusion and panic are working against him, causing his mind go blank.

Jungkook seems curious – genuinely curious, like he genuinely wants to know if something happened between him and Taehyung. It’s a bit of a slap in the face, which is maybe why Jimin’s mind is reeling. Is Jungkook accusing him of something? And what does something even mean? Something can mean a lot of things, something is anything, really. So how is he even supposed to answer such a vague question? Not to mention, it was a pretty loaded question. 

“What?” Jimin finally manages, unable to stop an incredulous laugh from bubbling out, because what the actual hell was Jungkook getting at? “I don’t – what are you talking about?” He didn’t even mention Taehyung, and this still happened. He’s scared to talk about Taehyung, because he’s afraid Jungkook will get upset, and he didn’t talk about Taehyung, but Jungkook still somehow got upset. Jungkook still brought him up, still asked if something happened between them, and Jimin doesn’t know what to fucking do anymore.

He can’t seem to win, no matter what he does.

“I don’t know.” Jungkook murmurs, shifting in his seat. “You haven’t really talked about him much lately. Or at all, really.” He shrugs, “and I guess I just assumed that you guys would’ve been hanging out today, but –”

“We were!” Jimin cuts him off, but fuck, he really wishes he could’ve just kept his mouth shut. He notices the way Jungkook’s brow twitches, his annoyance now unmistakable. This looked bad, didn’t it? Now it looks like he purposely hid the fact that he had been with Taehyung (which he sort of did do). He shot himself in the foot, and now he literally wants to shoot himself in the foot.

“So you were with Taehyung today?” Jungkook says slowly, and it’s obvious that he knows the answer to the question now, but he still waits for Jimin to nod and mumble a yes before he continues. “So you lied to me about what you were doing today?”

“No,” Jimin shakes his head automatically, not willing to say that he had lied, because lie sounds so harsh. He didn’t lie, he just hid a part of the truth.

And that’s what they’ve both been doing since they met each other, isn’t it?

Old habits die hard.

“It wasn’t a lie,” Jimin adds with a frown, even though he’s not quite sure if he has any right to frown in this situation. “We didn’t do anything – we did nothing all day.”

“Then why couldn’t you even tell me you were with him? Why haven’t you even mentioned him all week?” There’s no denying the edge of accusation in Jungkook’s tone now, but Jimin is glad they both seem to be aware that they’re in a very public place at the moment, and so they haven’t raised their voices to draw any unwanted attention to themselves.

And yet, the quiet, biting words still seem to sting just as much as any loud ones would. Is it bad that he’s so used to fighting with Jungkook that it doesn’t scare him anymore? Is it bad that there’s a sting, but there’s no real fear? Is it bad that even though he hates the fighting, even though it hurts, and even though he knows it isn’t good, deep down he knows that this will all amount to nothing? Because they always get over it. Because it always goes away, so he’s not scared about the idea of them breaking up, because this is as routine of a thing as brushing their teeth.

He’s not even thinking that one day the dam will burst, and the ensuing flood will demolish everything in sight. Because he just thinks that each little fight amounts to nothing. Jimin doesn’t think there’s any build up, because once a fight is over, it just disappears, it vanishes without a trace, because they make it vanish without a trace. How can you be scared of a dam bursting if you don’t think there’s even any water on the other side?

Because why would you focus on the bad when there’s so much good?

“Because I just didn’t,” Jimin hisses, “I didn’t know that there was a quota on how much I mention Taehyung.” If he talks about Taehyung, Jungkook might get upset. If he doesn’t talk about Taehyung, Jungkook might get upset. So now what?

Jungkook tips his head back slightly, staring up at the ceiling, clearly making an effort to keep himself in check. When he finally looks back at Jimin, he speaks in a hushed tone, and compensates for the low volume by leaning forward slightly over the table. “I’m not saying there is.” His words are staccato. “But I’m really struggling to understand why you couldn’t tell me you were with him.”

In turn, Jimin leans in closer himself, nearly spitting out his own words. “I didn’t mention him because I didn’t mention him – do you want me to talk about him all the time?” Even in Jimin’s own head, he knows Jungkook has a reason to be upset, because if Jungkook did the same thing to him, if he said he didn’t do anything all day and then later revealed he had actually been hanging out with his friend, he would probably get a little upset, too.

But at this point, arguing seems like the natural thing to do.

“No,” there’s a twitch of a smile on Jungkook’s face, but it lacks all warmth, and is just as distorted as that design in Jimin’s latte. “I just want to know what happened with –”

“Nothing happened!” Jimin’s the first one to finally raise his voice passed the suitable level for the schools on campus café, but then again, it’s finals season and students do a lot of weird shit, so maybe his brief little outburst would be excusable. He collects himself, or at least, he tries to, and he places his palms flat on the table as if to ground himself. “Jungkook.” The blonde begins, caking on a fake smile, and adopting a tone as artificially sweet as the Sweet ‘N Low packets on the table. “I didn’t mention Taehyung, because I didn’t think there was a need to mention Taehyung. Nothing happened with me and Taehyung, we watched Youtube videos, and browsed our social media accounts together. In the future, when you ask what I did during the day, I will be sure to leave absolutely nothing out, because now I know how invested you are in me, and how much you love hearing about all the boring, insignificant details of my life.”

“Jimin.” Jungkook matches his syrupy tone, smile equally as synthetic. “While I would love to hear all the boring, insignificant details of your life, I would much rather you just be honest with me. I would love it if you didn’t intentionally hide things from me, only to blow up at me under the guise of innocence after I find out that you’ve been hiding something.”

Well when Jungkook puts it that way, it all sounds pretty shitty, doesn't it?

Fabricated smile faltering, Jimin glances off to the side like a child who had just been scolded. Jungkook was right, Jungkook had every reason to be upset. Did Jimin have any reason at all to be upset? If he wanted to, he could try to come up with another way to justify his actions, but doing that would only perpetuate the fighting, and he’s so fucking done with fighting. “Your question just caught me off guard.” He mumbles, because he isn’t exactly sure how else to reply. “And I thought that you were…I don’t know. Accusing me of doing something.” Of doing something with Taehyung, to be exact, but Jimin is still wary about even using his name now.

“I don’t really understand why.” The younger mutters, crossing his arms over his chest, and Jimin’s gaze falls on him once more. The air is clearing, storm clouds are leaving. The sun is poking through. “You tell me to come to you if I’m upset, you tell me to come to you with my problems. And I just wanted you to know that you can come to me with yours, too.” Jungkook gnaws at his lower lip, and looks down at his own hands as he busies himself with picking at his nails. “You didn’t talk about him for a while…so I thought maybe you guys had a fight or something, I don’t know. Just wanted to make sure you were okay.”

Jimin hates himself. He really, truly hates himself in this moment. His brows pull together, guilt weighing heavily on his shoulders, causing them to slump. If Jungkook was telling the truth, if he was only concerned for Jimin, and only asking if he and Taehyung had a falling out when he asked if something had happened between them, then Jimin doesn’t even know how to begin to reconcile. He had jumped to conclusions again, fuck he does that a lot, doesn’t he? And if he says sorry, well he really is sorry, but he always says sorry. Does it even mean anything anymore?

“Jungkook, I’m sorry. I'm really, really sorry.” He still has to say it. “I don’t know why I always do this, I shouldn’t have–”

“It’s fine.” Jungkook sneaks a glance at Jimin, then looks away just as quickly, like he has something to hide too. 

“No, it’s not fine, I’m sorry, and I –”

“Jimin, don’t be. It’s okay.” Jungkook says, like they had both been at fault, like they both have a reason to be sorry, like they both told a half truth in order to hide something else. But Jungkook doesn’t have anything to be sorry for, does he? Had he done something wrong? He raises his head after another moment, and when he smiles now, it brings back all the warmth that their fight had stolen away. It’s as easy as that. It shouldn't be as easy as that. “I care about you. I love you. A lot. You can talk to me about your problems, that's all I really wanted to say.”

Is that what they were fighting about? Fighting because Jimin had misinterpreted Jungkook’s question, fighting when Jungkook’s intentions had simply been to make sure that he was okay? Was that really what it was all about? How do things always manage to get so damn twisted? Jimin doesn’t quite understand, but what he does understand is Jungkook’s love. Because that’s real, and maybe that’s why when they fight, he’s not afraid. Their love can withstand anything.

But is love enough?

“I know I can.” Jimin returns the smile, whole body softening in the midst of Jungkook’s reassuring warmth. “And I will, I promise.”

Jimin always tells Jungkook he's there for him, and Jungkook tells Jimin he's there for him. They both want to be there for the other when they're upset, or if they have a problem, and yet they're both neglecting the biggest problem of all in their relationship.

“Good. Because you’ve already seen me cry and have a mental breakdown, so now I need to see you cry and have a mental breakdown. Just so we’re even.” Jungkook doesn’t even need to say that he loves Jimin, because Jimin can see that love so clearly on his face. But Jungkook voices it anyway, and Jimin loves it all the same. “Plus, I love you, and value you as a person, and I want to be there for you when you need someone.”

Jimin knows that. He knows Jungkook cares for him, he knows they care for one another so deeply, and he knows that he has Jungkook there with him no matter what, and it’s so comforting to know he has someone like him to depend on. Jungkook would do anything for him, Jimin knows that. And he’s so lucky to have him.

“I love you so fucking much, Jeon Jungkook.” Jimin shakes his head, smile widening, conveying just how deeply his affection runs. “And if we weren’t in public right now, I would kiss you. So hard.”

“There’s a bathroom over there.” Jungkook points in the general direction of the restroom, teasing grin on his face coaxing out Jimin’s laughter.

Happy. This is the way they should always be. Happy and laughing and bright and bubbly.

They bring out the best in one another, there’s no denying that. But what if they also bring out the worst?

Their drinks are cold now, but their smiles are warm, and that’s really all that matters. It’s late afternoon, and Jimin isn’t ready to go home just yet, because he’s intent on making up for the time they had spent fighting; he’s determined to go home with more good memories than bad.

So when they finish up in the café, they decide to take advantage of the warm weather, and they decide to go on a walk.

 

They walk side by side, holding hands, taking the same route they had taken before. They follow the path around that big pond, only that pond isn’t frozen anymore. They retrace the steps they treaded in the winter, when the snowflakes mingled with the stars, when they had their first kiss, when Jimin became Jungkook’s, and when Jungkook became Jimin's. This is the same place, but it looks so different now.

There’s no more snow, no more blanket to cover the ground in white. Instead, it’s spring, and the world is in full bloom. Flower petals replace the snowflakes fluttering in the air, and there isn’t the cold bite of wind, instead, the pleasant fragrance of blossoms rides on a gentle breeze. It’s spring and the world is blushing a soft pink, and the sun’s golden rays almost feel as warm as Jimin’s heart, almost feel as good as Jungkook’s hand in his own.

It’s spring, and it’s pretty and sweet, and everything is new.

Jimin and Jungkook share a kiss in the park, and even though they had already shared countless little kisses before, this one feels just as new as all the others do. His time with Jungkook never grows old, and all of Jimin’s worries melt away as easily as the snow had.

It’s spring, and it’s lovely, but they talk about summer. Finals are nearly there, and then before they know it, it will be summer, and it will be another season that Jimin gets to spend with Jungkook. It’ll be summer, and there are so many things Jimin wants to do with Jungkook when the semester is over.

He’s excited for the longer days and spending most of his time outside, for the nights that stay hot even long after the sun has set, for ice cream dates, for not having to worry about school so that he can pour his whole heart into Jungkook.

He's excited to hang out with Jungkook and his closest friends, he's excited for the memories that the seven of them will make together; for the laughter that leaves him breathless and the smiling that leaves his cheeks aching. He's excited for everything, because new seasons bring new experiences, and he wants to experience it all with Jungkook.

Seasons change, the sun rises and sets, the moon waxes and wanes.

It all comes back full circle; around and around they go.

Seasons change. But they won’t.

 

Chapter Text

It’s nearly the end of another school year. Classes are officially done for the semester, and finals are already starting next week. For Jimin, this time of the year is always fraught with stress and studying, but there’s something just a little different about finals season this particular year. It’s still stressful, there’s no denying that, but this year he has something that helps him cope with all the strain, making it more manageable.

It wouldn’t even be that much of a stretch to say that Jeon Jungkook makes finals season somehow enjoyable. 

 

Jimin opens his eyes to a new morning, waking up in a room that had naturally become just as familiar as his own. Everything about this place was comforting. Everything about it felt like home, and even though this room is a bit of a mess, even though Jimin wouldn’t be able to tolerate it if it was his own room, this room was distinctly Jungkook, and that’s why Jimin finds everything about it so endearing. 

The pile of dirty clothes that Jungkook always leaves behind the door, the textbooks and notebooks haphazardly stacked on his desk next to granola bars wrappers and empty water bottles, the random assortment of candles Jungkook had bought when Jimin mentioned how his room was starting to smell like sweat and sex, the drawers to his dresser that always stayed half open and never fully closed; it was all Jungkook. And Jimin loves every single piece of him.

He lets his eyelids fall shut again, allowing himself to sink deeper into the mattress that had already memorized the curve and shape of his own body, and he listens to the sound of Jungkook’s gentle breathing. Lazy mornings are always the best. Mornings where they wake up and cuddle, only to fall back asleep for a while longer after growing sleepy in the warmth of one another’s arms, mornings where they spend hours beneath the sheets, sharing silly musings from minds that are still half-asleep – those mornings are mornings that Jimin wouldn’t trade for anything.

He wishes that this particular morning could be one of those mornings, he wishes that he could close his eyes as he curls up at Jungkook’s side, and submit to the lingering drowsiness – too bad it was finals season and he couldn’t afford such a luxury.

Opening his eyes once more, Jimin makes sure to let out an unnecessarily loud sigh as he stretches, hoping to wake up his boyfriend in the process. “Morning,” he hums as he sprawls out across the bed, playfully throwing his leg over Jungkook’s body.

“No.” Comes Jungkook’s immediate response, voice muffled as he shoves his face into his pillow.

“Jungkook,” Jimin smiles lazily, and because his leg hadn’t seemed to faze him, he decides to just wrap his whole body around Jungkook instead. “The deal was that I stay overnight,” he spares no mercy as he clings onto the other, squeezing him with both his arms and his legs, “and you come to the library with me in the morning.”

“But you staying overnight was actually fun.” Jungkook groans, words coming out just slightly strained thanks to how tightly Jimin was currently hugging him. “The library isn’t fun – and if you think that you cuddling me like this is gonna make me want to get out of bed, you’re so wrong.”

“This isn’t cuddling – I’m trying to cut off your air supply.”

“That’s just aggressive cuddling.”

Jimin finally lets go, laughter bubbling up from his chest. He shakes his head. “What am I going to do with you, Jeon Jungkook?” With fondness as evident in his eyes as it is in his voice, he retreats to his own side of the bed. “We have to get up, you know.” Does he want to get up? No. But if Jimin doesn’t force them to get up now, then they’ll stay there all day, because Jungkook would easily spend a full twenty-four hours in bed if Jimin didn’t make him move.

“I know,” the younger finally pulls his face out of his pillow, and when he opens his eyes to look at Jimin, they’re still glazed with sleep. “Just twenty more minutes? Please?”

And how is Jimin supposed to resist that? How is he supposed to resist Jungkook when he’s wearing that pout, how is he supposed to resist those sleepy doe eyes of his, how is he supposed to say no when there’s that tuft of dark hair sticking up adorably at the back of his head? Pressing his lips together in order to hide his smile so that Jungkook doesn’t think he has total power over him, Jimin relents. “Alright, fine. I’m gonna go take a shower then, and I’ll come back in twenty…” He trails off when Jungkook drapes his arm over his waist and draws him in closer.

“I want twenty minutes with you.”

Jimin wouldn’t be able to hide his smile now, not even if he tried. Certainly not with the sweetness of Jungkook’s words, and certainly not with the sweetness in his stare. “Okay.” He murmurs softly, but before he allows himself to snuggle up to Jungkook and throw away whatever willpower he had left, he’s sitting up and reaching for his phone. “But I’m setting an alarm for twenty minutes.” Not setting an alarm would just be irresponsible of him, really. Not setting an alarm would be equivalent to signing the whole day away.

“Wait – thirty.” Jungkook perks up, “thirty minutes, final offer.”

Jimin raises an eyebrow, simultaneously amazed and amused by his confidence. “You’re not in any position to be bargaining.”

“Twenty-five?”

“Fine.” The first grin of the day breaks out over Jungkook’s face, and Jimin is happy knowing that it’s just the first of many. He ends up setting the alarm to go off after twenty-six minutes instead. He can’t resist even a single minute more with Jungkook.

“Rest is important, you know. Just as important as studying – maybe even more important.” The younger states matter-of-factly, his body seeming to ease when Jimin lays back down, pressed against him once more.

“Mm, I’m sure it is.” Jimin murmurs compliantly, resting his head on Jungkook’s chest, like he’s trying to listen for his heartbeat. Silence follows his words, and he relaxes in the wake of it. Everything is soft and warm, from the sunlight filtering in through the window, to Jungkook’s delicate touch as he sweeps his thumb over his hip, over and over again. These things are so familiar, and yet it somehow still feels so different.

He feels more loved than he’s ever felt before.

“I can’t wait until finals – until the semester is over, so we can have this all the time.” And yet, those words that Jungkook says to break the silence makes Jimin feel that much more loved. “You know, my lease on this apartment doesn’t end for another month after the semester is over.” Jungkook tilts his head down to meets Jimin’s eyes, and he smiles. “If you want, we can stay here for a few days…maybe even a week.”

Jimin doesn’t even have to think twice about it. “Yeah,” he nods eagerly, “I’d like that.” It can be just the two of them together, no impending schoolwork, no deadlines, no worries. It can just be the two of them in their own little world, free to indulge in one another’s presence as they please. And while Jimin is excited about that, and while he wants now more than ever to be done with school, there is one thing coming to mind that has him a little more nervous than excited.

He readjusts his position so that he can get a better look at Jungkook’s face, propping himself up on an elbow. “Since we’re kind of on the topic already…there’s something I should tell you.”

“Yeah?” Jungkook asks, curiosity creasing his brow. “What’s up?”

Absentmindedly tapping his fingers against Jungkook’s chest, Jimin nibbles at his lower lip, taking a moment to consider how he should say this. Might as well just go for it, right? “So, I was on the phone with my mom the other day.” He pauses. He knows that what he’s about to tell Jungkook is good, so he should be excited about it, but it’s also rather nerve-wracking. He’s not sure if Jungkook is exactly ready for this just yet, but he still has to tell him anyway. The keen flicker in those eyes of his encourages Jimin, and he carries on, though there’s caution lacing his tone. “And she told me that I should invite you over for dinner sometime when the semester’s over.”

“Did she?” Jungkook’s smile is bright and reassuring, but Jimin is still rushing to further clarify.

“I totally get it if you don’t want to do that yet – meeting parents is really scary.”

“Terrifying,” despite his words, Jungkook doesn’t look to be terrified at all – he seems to be more happy than scared. “But obviously I’ll come – I’m gonna have to meet them sooner or later, right?”

Jimin relaxes at those words, gaze sweeping over every last adorable detail of Jungkook’s face. “She’s really excited to meet you – she asked me what you like to eat so she can start planning it.”

“And what did you tell her?” Jungkook leans in closer, eyes dripping with affection.

“I told her that you eat everything.”

“You know me so well.” He reaches out to bring Jimin in for a kiss, but Jimin’s hand on his chest stops him.

“What happened to resting?” The blonde taunts with a smile.

“You’re right, we should totally rest.” The younger says sarcastically. “Finals are coming, and that means a lot of all-nighters – and not the fun kind.”

“You don’t think that studying with me is fun?”

Jungkook grins, “there are about a thousand other things that I would much rather be doing with you all night.”

“Yeah?” Jimin teases. “Like what?”  And this time, he doesn’t resist when Jungkook pulls him in. When he kisses Jungkook, everything feels right, and there’s not a single thing out of place. He doesn’t have a care in the world, it’s just Jimin and Jungkook, just two people who love each other, and there isn’t much else that matters.

Their kisses are soft and slow, they know one another’s lips so well that even these lazy morning kisses are synced in perfect harmony. He doesn’t have to think about anything, all he has to do is close his eyes and kiss Jungkook, and the world falls away so that the only thing left is a happiness so pure and so real, that he doesn’t quite know how it can be real. He doesn’t understand. But maybe that’s okay.

 

The sound of the alarm going off genuinely startles Jimin, shattering the dreamlike state he had been immersed in, and interrupting what had thus far been a perfectly relaxing morning. Even though he wants to stay in bed now more than ever, he needs to take responsibility for them and their studies. Someone has to.

“I think our time’s up,” Jimin muses with an airy sigh, and he gives Jungkook’s hair a gentle tug as if to get his attention, because he’s still languidly trailing his lips over Jimin’s neck, ignoring the alarm, and leaving a random kiss every now and then.

“I don’t hear anything.” Jungkook mumbles against his skin. “All I can hear is my heart beating for you.”

"You’re spending too much time with Jin-hyung.” And even though he’s amused (especially when he finally separates from Jungkook and sees a silly smile on his face), he has to take charge. He reaches over and grabs his phone, silencing the alarm.

In the quiet that soon settles around them, Jimin stares at Jungkook, and Jungkook stares at Jimin. There’s nothing but absolute silence for another few moments. That's really all it takes.

Jimin gives in. “Ten more minutes, Jeon Jungkook. Ten more minutes, and that’s it.”

Showing off a smug smile – that same smug smile that Jimin saw on the very first day he met him – Jungkook sits up, chasing after his lips. “We’ll see.”

 ---

The remainder of the week had been filled with studying, excessive coffee drinking, and trying (and often failing) to ignore Jungkook’s attempts to distract him from his work.

And now it was Friday.

It was the last Friday before exams finally started up, meaning it was pretty much the last acceptable day to get absolutely shit-faced. And school in general is always a good excuse to get shit-faced, so finals were an extra good excuse.

Though, Jimin didn’t really feel like drinking that night. He happened to have an exam on Monday, and even though he would still have a good couple of days to recover from his hangover if he drank, he doesn’t want to risk it, and since he wasn’t going to be drinking, Jungkook decided not to drink, either.

And even though they would be steering clear of the alcohol that night, they weren’t about to miss out on all of the fun, so they still end up going out with everyone else.

Jimin, Jungkook, Taehyung, Jin, Yoongi, Hoseok, and Namjoon all piled into a cab and headed off to the club (intoxicated Jin must be charming in some way that Jimin doesn’t understand, because he managed to convince the cab driver to let all seven of them in, even though he was breaking the law by having more passengers than seat belts). Or maybe it was the twenty that Jin slipped him that had been charming.

The cab ride had been an adventure, as per usual. Yoongi sat up front with the driver, Namjoon and Jin sat in the middle two seats, leaving the other four crammed together in the back. Jimin and Jungkook, the only sober ones, were sandwiched in between Hoseok and Taehyung, both of whom were acting as the radio, and belting out any song that happened to come to their minds. Namjoon and Jin tried to quiet them down, but their slurred scolding didn’t seem to have any effect on them.

It was an awfully loud ride. Jimin was laughing every second of the way.

 

It's not long before they’re immersed in a crowd of students, who were all trying to drink their stress away. Clubbing is a lot more enjoyable when you're drinking, but Jimin is still set on having a good time sober. While his five drunk friends head to the bar for another round of drinks, courtesy of Jin, Jimin leads Jungkook to the dancefloor.

“Dancing?” The younger calls out from behind him, and when he tugs on Jimin’s hand to signal him to stop, the blonde turns around. “I’m not drunk – I seriously can’t dance when I’m sober.”

Jimin doesn’t buy it. “Sure you can,” he grins, squeezing Jungkook’s hand. “I’ll show you.” The obnoxiously loud music is less tolerable when you’re sober, but as Jimin weaves through the mass of dancing bodies, he’s quite thankful that he’s sober. He’s thankful that he’s sober, because sober Jimin can recognize the people that he should stay far away from.

There’s this one guy in particular that catches Jimin’s attention, and certainly not in a good way. He’s wearing a white button-up shirt, and at first glance he looks normal enough leaning against the wall, hands shoved into his pockets. The guy looks normal until he notices the way that his shifty eyes are lecherously ogling the asses of the other people dancing nearby him.

Clubbing is a lot less pleasant when there are people like that around.

He leads Jungkook far away from that shifty eyed guy, and once he’d found a suitable spot, he turns to face his boyfriend, who’s glancing around hesitantly.

Jimin can’t help but find his uncertainty to be cute, but he’s determined to get Jungkook to loosen up, to get him to forget about everyone else and to have one last fun night out before finals. “Come on,” even if the music is a little too loud for sober ears, Jimin still throws himself into the middle of it. He throws a hand in the air, feels the bass pulsing in his veins, feels the stuffy air wrap around him, and he focuses on Jungkook. He rolls his hips as he watches him, watches the coloured lights wash over his face, watches as his stiff shoulders start to relax.

“Jimin, I’m not as good –”

“It’s okay!” He takes his hand, “everyone else is drunk, who cares. Just dance with me.” And Jimin keeps dancing, keeps moving and keeps smiling until Jungkook is comfortable enough to join in with him.

Jimin hasn’t had one sip of alcohol, he isn’t drunk, so he lets Jungkook take over his senses instead.

He gets drunk on Jungkook’s adorable smile as he starts bouncing up and down with the music, starts getting giddy when Jungkook starts really feeling himself and starts dancing in an over-dramatically sexy manner; a mockery of the intoxicated guys and girls who all seem to be dancing in the hopes of attracting a mate.

Jimin and Jungkook dance and they giggle, they giggle more than they probably do after they’ve actually been drinking, and Jimin feels so bubbly and light and so, so in love.

The other five join them after a while, and pretty soon they’re all dancing together, getting really rowdy and pissing off everyone else in their general vicinity. Jin and Namjoon throw their limbs around like nobody’s business, Taehyung is hopping up and down as he lifts Yoongi’s arms high above his head, holding them up in the air and trying to make him to jump along with him, Hoseok is off in his own little world, and Jimin is doubled over, leaning against Jungkook and laughing at it all.

He has the best friends, the best boyfriend, and his heart is heavy with love.

This is that sense of completeness – that feeling of wholeness that he had been searching for. And it’s more perfect than he ever could have imagined.

 

Jimin and Jungkook aren’t quite able to match the energy and fervour of their drunk friends, and it’s not long before they’re excusing themselves, and heading off to search for somewhere to sit so that they can take a break from the dancing.

They find an empty table near the bar, and Jimin is pleased when he notices that he still has a pretty good view of his friends and their lively dancing. Though, he doesn’t pay too much attention to them, not when he has Jungkook right in front of him.

“So,” Jungkook rests his elbow on the table, mouth curving into a smile as nods to Jimin. “You come here often?” Naturally, the comment has Jimin throwing his head back and laughing up at the ceiling.

“You’re really lucky we didn’t meet in a club.”

They spend a while like that, sitting close together, knees touching as they chat, talking about meaningless things as if they really were drunk. It’s trivial banter, and Jimin never gets bored of it; he could spend all day and all night talking about nothing with Jungkook.

 

It’s far too loud in the club, and the strobing lights are distracting, and there’s the distinct scent of sweaty university students hanging low in the air, and despite it all, Jimin is having a really good time with Jungkook. He hopes Jungkook feels the same, though.

Leaning in, the blonde adopts a more serious tone, contrasting with the playful one he had been using earlier. “Are you good – you having fun? Or do you wanna leave?” Jimin wouldn't be upset if he decided that he wanted to go home – he just wants to make sure Jungkook is having a good time.

“I’m having a lot more fun than I expected to have sober.” Jungkook admits, lopsided grin taking over his face. “You looked really good when you were dancing.”

“Oh, did I?” Jimin rolls his eyes in response to the comment, but he can’t conceal his smile, not when it’s making his eyes crinkle at the corners. “Is that your go-to pick-up line?” He can’t help but feel a twinge of curiosity the more he thinks about it. “Is that what you would say to me if we met here?”

“Depends on how drunk I was.” Jungkook shrugs, smiling as he considers the question. “If I was super drunk I would probably go up to you and say something straightforward and embarrassing like, you’re hot as fuck, wanna come home with me? And if I was only a little drunk…well I probably wouldn’t say anything to you.”

“What, why?”

“Because you’re intimidating when you dance.” He laughs, “you dance like you own the whole club. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hot as hell, but if I didn’t know you and I saw you dancing like that, I’d probably be too scared to go up to you.”

“Oh.” Jimin quiets down, cheeks heating up, and it has nothing to do with the hot, stale air of the club. He glances off to the side, trying to hide the way his lips lift at the corners, and fuck he’s amazed that even after all this time, Jungkook can still make him a flustered mess.

“Are you – oh my god, are you blushing? I know it’s kinda dark in here but I’m pretty sure you’re blushing.” Jungkook leans in closer, smirking as he studies Jimin’s face.

“Am not,” Jimin says adamantly, but he’s still looking off somewhere else, avoiding eye contact and trying not to smile, and it’s very clear that he really is blushing.  

“You’re so cute, oh my god –”

“I’m gonna go get us some water,” Jimin announces abruptly, because the alternative would be sitting there with his hands covering his face while his boyfriend ruthlessly teases and compliments him. And Jungkook is cocky enough as it is, he doesn’t want to feed into it and make him even more cocky. So Jimin hops up from his seat and heads over to the bar, and even with his back turned to him as he walks away, he can hear Jungkook laughing.

Fuck, he loves him so much.

He stands at the bar, patiently waiting for the bartender to come over, minding his own business as he thinks about Jungkook and how fun the rest of the night is sure to be, and that’s when that guy from the dancefloor – that same shifty eyed guy in the white button-up – pushes by him, waving the bartender over and demanding his attention.

What a dick. Jimin rolls his eyes but doesn’t say anything, because he isn’t stupid, and he isn’t about to pick a fight with some random dude in a club. He tolerates the rudeness, crossing his arms over his chest as he watches the exchange in front of him.

“What are you drinking tonight, buddy?” The bartender asks White Button-up.

“Not drinking tonight. Can I get a water?” Comes his toneless reply, and after a moment he adds, “and a Blue Hawaiian.”

Jimin has to resist the urge to laugh when he sees the dubious expression on the bartender’s face as stares at the guy who had just ordered an alcoholic beverage after saying that he wasn’t drinking.

“It’s not for me.” White Button-up clarifies.

Wait. So the guy really wasn’t drinking that night? He was sober, and had still been standing around on the dancefloor, gawking at all of the blatantly drunk people dancing? What a creep.

Shifty eyed guy takes his drinks and leaves after paying, sipping on his water, and holding the Blue Hawaiian in his other hand, cocktail umbrella clinking around in the glass. Jimin feels sorry for whoever that Blue Hawaiian is for.

Though, he tries not to spend much time dwelling on it, because if he does, he'll end up in a bad mood for the rest of the night. He finally gets a chance to order a couple waters, and by the time he’s walking back to Jungkook, he forgets all about the shifty eyed guy in the white button-up. 

Jeon Jungkook does a pretty good job of stealing away all of his attention, and distracting him from pretty much everything else. When Jimin comes back to the table with their water, Jungkook picks up right where he left off, and comments on how the colour never really left Jimin’s cheeks.

Of course, Jimin denies the fact that he’s blushing altogether, and he takes his time sipping his water while he avoids looking at Jungkook. He lets his eyes wander, pretends he’s busy taking in his surroundings, and tries to ignore Jungkook’s teasing comments, all of which succeed in making him flush a deeper shade of pink. And it was all fine and his heart was fluttering and his smile was showing until something on the dance floor catches his attention.

Oh my god. Jimin feels his stomach drop, and he really hopes that his eyes were just playing tricks on him right now, and he wasn't actually seeing what he was seeing. He squints as if to get a better look at what was going on over, and fuck, there's no denying what he sees.

Kim Taehyung, his best friend, was out there on the dancefloor, actually dancing with that asshole in the white button-up. Not only that, but Taehyung has a drink in his hand, and even from this distance, Jimin can clearly see that the drink Taehyung is sipping on is blue, and if that didn’t already confirm his suspicions, well there was one of those stupid little umbrellas in the drink, too. It’s a fucking Blue Hawaiian.

No way.

But it’s fine. It’s fine, because this doesn’t mean anything, it only means that Taehyung just got himself a free drink, so good for him. Jimin doesn’t want to react, because if he reacts at all he’s afraid he’ll overreact, and Jungkook is here, and if he sees that Jimin is making a big deal about someone dancing with Taehyung, then this will all get really messy really quick, and Jimin doesn’t want to deal with messy.

Maybe this isn’t so bad – it’s not like Taehyung is alone. Jimin’s not exactly sure where his other friends are at the moment, but they can’t be too far away, right?

Relax. Tae has Jin, Namjoon, Yoongi, and Hoseok – 

Jimin’s phone lights up.

 [To: Jin, Jimin]

 

Jin: Heywe didn’t want to stay out tooooo late

Jin: Don’t u dare say it has something to do with my age

Jin: The rest of us are gonna cab back but Taehyung rlly wanted to stay, that ok?

 

Well fuck.

“What’s wrong?” Jungkook frowns, obviously concerned by the alarm that had suddenly crossed over Jimin’s face.

“It’s nothing,” Jimin shakes his head, trying to push his concern down. He texts Jin back quickly, telling him to get home safe and that he would take care of Taehyung. “Everyone else went home already, but Tae wanted to stay, so.” He nods in the direction of the dancefloor. “He’s still here.” Taehyung is still there, and he’s still dancing with that guy, and Jimin is trying so fucking hard not to show how worried he is. All he wants to do is march on over there, and tell that creep to keep his paws off his best friend, but Jimin knows where that will get him.

It’ll land him in an argument with Jungkook, and they had been having such a good night, no, they had been having such a good week, and he doesn’t want to ruin it.

“Ah.” Jungkook nods in understanding, “guess I’m not that surprised the rest of them left already.” His eyes flicker mischievously as he takes out his phone, and judging by the look on his face, he was doing exactly what Jin had told Jimin not to do, and was teasing him about leaving early.

This was fine, right? Even though Taehyung was dancing with the shifty eyed creep, at least Jimin could keep his eyes on them, and at least he could see what they were doing. When Jungkook puts his phone down, he and Jimin start talking again, and everything is more or less fine, because Jimin keeps sneaking glances over Jungkook’s shoulder, keeps checking up on Taehyung. He can still look after his best friend even from this distance.

Everything was fine.

Everything was fine until Taehyung came waltzing on over to them.

 

“Guys, guys, guys.” Taehyung slurs as he approaches the table Jimin and Jungkook were seated at. He picks up the glass in front of Jimin and downs the remaining water in it. “I’m gonna go home–”

Thank god. Jimin sighs, relieved. “Okay, I’ll call a cab–”

“With that guy.” Taehyung finishes, drunken grin prominent as he points towards that guy. The guy in the white button-up. The creep who is currently standing near the wall, seemingly wary of accompanying Taehyung to the table where his coherent friends were.

If that doesn’t scream suspicious, then Jimin doesn’t know what does.

“No.” The word reflexively leaves his lips, but Jimin doesn’t take it back, nor does he wear some sorry expression to make it seem like he regrets saying it. Taehyung was obviously drunk – anyone could see that, and there’s no way Jimin is letting him go home with that guy.

“What?” Taehyung’s smile is quick to fade, “why not?”

“Yeah, Jimin.” And there’s certainly no trace of a smile on Jungkook’s face as he speaks. “Why not?” But fuck, there’s a bite in his tone.

Jimin draws in a shaky breath, really wishes they weren’t in a loud club right now, really wishes he could calm down, really just wishes this wasn’t fucking happening.

“Loosen up,” Jungkook says, even though now he seems to be just as tense as Jimin. “Let him have some fun.”

“Yeah,” Taehyung whines, “listen to Kookie.”

Jimin shoots a glare Jungkook’s way, silently scolding him. Great, now he seemed like the bad guy. Now Taehyung and Jungkook were both pressuring him, and Jimin doesn’t know how he’s supposed to cope with all of this pressure. If he doesn’t let Taehyung go, Jungkook will blow up at him, he knows that. But he can’t let Taehyung go – what kind of friend would he be if he let him go just so he could avoid an argument with his boyfriend?  

“Tae,” Jimin says levelly, doing his best not to show just how upset he really is. “Can you just give us a minute? I need to talk to Jungkook about something.”

His friend doesn’t seem to be too happy, but he still mumbles fine and then wanders off, leaving Jimin and Jungkook alone. The second Taehyung is gone, Jungkook is leaning over the table, and it’s clear that he’s not playing any games. Jimin can see the accusation on his face, can see the irritation as clear as day.

“What the fuck is the big deal? Why aren’t you letting him go?” Jungkook demands. “You told me before that you don’t like him going home with someone if you don’t know who it is – so what’s this? You can see who he’s going with, you’re right fucking here with him, and you still don’t want him to go?”

Jimin wasn’t angry before. He was hurt that Jungkook hadn’t taken his side, was hurt when Jungkook made it seem like he was holding Taehyung back from having fun, but he wasn’t angry up until now. He wasn’t angry until Jungkook threw those words at him. And now, he finds himself matching Jungkook’s temper. “Have you been watching that guy? Because I have been! He’s not even drunk, he hasn’t even been drinking. I’m not letting Taehyung go –”

“Just admit that you don’t want Taehyung fucking someone else!”

Stunned by the venom with which Jungkook said those words, Jimin stares, wide eyed. “How can you say that? How can you even think that?” His voice is soft at first, but the second the shock wears off, he’s slammed with a wall of heat, his frustration getting the best of him. “I’m not going to admit something that isn’t fucking true!”

“Yeah?” The younger stares Jimin dead in the eye. “Would you even admit something that is true?”

This can’t seriously be happening. Jimin blinks in disbelief. “Are you fucking kidding me? You’re pissed at me because I don’t want my friend to go home with someone who’ll take advantage of him?” He wishes they had been drinking that night. He wishes they were drunk so that they could blame the fighting on the alcohol. But there’s no alcohol to blame.

This is just them.

“Fuck, Jimin – it’s not just that.” Jungkook’s voice is raw, desperate. “It’s everything,” he throws his hands up in the air. “It’s fucking everything else!”

Jimin doesn’t know what that means. He doesn’t know what Jungkook means, but he knows that it isn’t good. He doesn’t know what Jungkook means, he doesn’t know where this is going, but he knows that when he looks around again, when he realizes he hadn’t been keeping track of Taehyung while he and Jungkook had been yelling at each other, Taehyung had walked away and now he wasn’t anywhere in sight.

“Tae?” Jimin stands up from the table, heart thumping as loud as the bass. “Where’s Tae?”

“Jimin–” But Jimin doesn’t even hear Jungkook calling to him.

He walks off as if he’s in some sort of trance, caught in the wave of panic crashing into him. There’s panic over Taehyung and there’s panic over Jungkook and the heat that had been in his glare and the anger that oozed from his words, and all of his fears are mixing together, overwhelming Jimin so that he can barely even think.

He can’t think clearly, can barely even see clearly as his head swivels wildly, searching for his friend. Jimin is scared, he’s so fucking scared about Taehyung, and about Jungkook. He’s scared about what’s going to happen, what did Jungkook mean? Everything else?

And where the fuck is –

Jimin catches sight of Taehyung standing in line at coat check, but his relief doesn’t last more than a second; it flees as soon as he sees that he’s standing alongside the guy in the white button-up. Now, Jimin is working on autopilot, is rushing on over to them, and is grabbing Taehyung by the wrist before he even knows what he’s doing. He just has to get him out of there. “Tae,” he pulls his friend out of line, “just come back with me and Jungkook.”

“What the fuck is your problem?” White Button-up speaks before Taehyung gets the chance to, and Jimin has never wanted to punch someone so badly.

My problem?” Jimin repeats, eyes going wide. The sober guy preying on his drunk friend was asking what his problem was?  “What the fuck is your problem?” He spits. “Leave my friend alone –”

The next thing Jimin knows, he’s being forcefully shoved back by the stranger, and he doesn't know how he does it, but he somehow manages to keep himself from falling over, even though he was pretty much shutting down with shock. He hears Taehyung yelling at the guy, telling him not to push his friend, and before Jimin can say anything else, before he can even react, Jungkook is there.

Jungkook is standing at his side, and so is Taehyung now, and Jimin almost starts to believe that they can salvage this whole mess. Maybe things will be okay. They'll leave the club and this stranger behind, go home, and it'll all be fine.

Jungkook points a finger at the stranger’s chest, lip curling into a snarl. “Don’t you dare fucking touch him,” he warns, and for some reason, those protective words comfort Jimin. He really lets himself believe that everything is going to be alright.

But he can’t live in that fantasy for long. 

White Button-up sneers. “Why, he your boyfriend?” The guy looks at Jungkook, looks back and forth between Taehyung and Jimin, and when his stare settles on Jungkook again, he smirks. “Hate to break it to you buddy, but it looks like your boyfriend has his eye on someone else.”

And that’s when Jungkook finally snaps. He lunges forward, and in one split second everything descends into chaos. White Button-up doesn’t stand down when Jungkook makes a grab for him, and Jimin finds himself clinging onto Jungkook’s waist, desperately trying to separate the two.

“Jungkook, don’t!” He urges, wanting to pull him away, wanting to prevent this from escalating any further, to stop it all before someone gets seriously hurt. All the commotion has attracted quite the crowd, and it’s messy and there’s yelling and swearing coming from all directions, and there are people pointing and staring, and it doesn’t take long for someone to finally step in and grab White Button-up, yanking him away from Jungkook.

Jimin had been anticipating some sort of physical hurt from this whole mess. The hurt that he’s met with doesn’t turn out to be physical at all, though.

Jungkook slips free of Jimin’s hold, but no violence ensues. His jaw is clenched, vexation radiates from his very being, and even though there’s no one holding him back anymore, Jungkook doesn’t try to go after anyone. He doesn’t try to fight. The second that Jungkook jerks himself out of Jimin’s grasp, he’s heading straight for the exit. He doesn’t even look back.

He’s running away again. Why does he always run away?

“Jungkook!” Jimin's legs are still shaky, but he doesn’t hesitate to chase after him, carelessly bumping into bodies and earning dirty looks from strangers, but he’s not paying attention to anyone else, he’s only focused on the one who’s walking away from him. His heart sinks with every step, the distance between them never lessening, because with each step Jimin takes towards him, Jungkook is taking those same steps away. “Jungkook, wait!” He calls out again, leaving the madness of the club behind and following Jungkook out into the night.

Outside, it’s quiet. Outside, there’s no more loud music but his ears are still ringing. Outside, the air is fresh and cool, but why does it still feel so damn suffocating? “Just stop – where are you going?”

“Home,” Jungkook answers without breaking his stride, not even sparing a single glance over his shoulder.

It had been almost uncomfortably hot inside the club, but now Jimin is nearly shivering, is drained of all heat as cool wind ruffles his hair, making him wish that he was wearing more than just jeans and a t-shirt. He folds his arms over his chest, hugging himself as if to warm himself, but he's not cold because he's outside. The chill running through him is internal. “Jungkook, stop!” He pleads, desperation taking over. “Why are you running away from me? Why do you always do this?”

“Because that’s what I fucking do! I run away, and you hate that about me, and I guess that’s just another reason why we can’t be together!”

Only then does Jimin’s pace falter. He comes to a halt in the middle of the sidewalk, frozen as he lets Jungkook’s words sink in. “What do you...” His voice trembles, but he still somehow manages to push his words out so that they can reach Jungkook. “What do you mean?”

“I mean I can’t fucking do this anymore!” The younger finally turns around, but when Jimin sees the icy look in his eyes, he wishes that that he hadn’t. “I can’t do this anymore, Jimin – I can’t keep pretending like this,” he’s walking towards him now, and Jimin has to resist the urge to step back, has to resist the urge to turn and walk away himself. Because he doesn’t want to hear this. “I can’t keep pretending like this is all fine, because it’s not fucking fine. I can’t keep tearing myself up over this, I can’t keep waiting around for the day that Taehyung tells you that he loves you – when you realize you love him more than me.”

No, no. This isn’t another routine argument. This is their emotions reaching a crescendo. This is the truth coming out; no more pretty lie to overshadow it. Even from the very beginning, this was the only way it could ever end.

Jimin chokes back a sob, Jungkook’s words cutting him like shards of glass, and he feels that glass in his lungs, feels a sharp pain every time he breathes. “That day won’t ever come – he’s my friend, Jungkook. He’s my best friend, and that’s it!” How can Jungkook even say that? How can he sound so sure about something that will never happen? Had Jimin done something wrong, had he not shown Jungkook just how much he loves him? Had he not been good enough to Jungkook?

“Yeah, you’re friends until you’re not.” Jungkook stops once he’s an arm’s length away from Jimin. There’s ice in his eyes, but if that ice melts, there would be nothing but pain to show underneath. “You’re best friends who have sex, and I don’t fucking understand. How can you think that can ever work?”

“I want to be with you,” Jimin emphasizes, voice ragged, the jagged edges slicing his tongue. “I want to be with you, no one else – I don’t love him the way I love you, and I never will!” It’s only Jungkook. It will always only be Jungkook.

“You don’t know that – you don’t know that he won’t ever feel that way about you.”

“Yes I fucking do!” Exasperation taking over, he shoves his hands through his hair. How can he make Jungkook understand? What is he supposed to do? “It’s never going to be like that!” Had it always been this? Were all their problems caused by Jungkook’s failure to understand, or was it more than that?

It’s Jimin’s own fault for not confronting Jungkook about it. It’s Jungkook’s fault for not saying anything about it. They’re both at fault for ignoring it all.

“Why are you even upset, huh?” Jungkook’s voice cracks, nearly becomes as broken as the look on his face.  “You know, because even if we aren’t together, we can still fuck, right?” He’s mocking Jimin now, but it seems like the words coming from his own mouth hurt him just as much as they hurt Jimin. “Or would that be too weird for you? Fucking an ex would be just weird, right? That’s off limits, but fucking your best friend isn’t.”

Jungkook said all that to demean him, to hurt him. And it fucking worked. But who’s really the one with the fucked up moral compass now? Tears pool in Jimin’s eyes; frustration and pain coalescing so that his vison grows blurry. “You’re an asshole, Jeon Jungkook.” An ex? His lower lip quivers, but whether it’s out of sheer anger or sheer sadness he doesn’t know. Maybe it’s from both. “Fuck you. How could you even fucking say that?” Jungkook winces at that, but even if his own words wounded Jungkook as much as Jungkook’s words wounded him, it doesn’t make Jimin feel any better.

How did it come to this, how did the air become so acrid that Jimin can practically taste it? Where did all this cruelty come from, and when did they start hurting each other more than helping?

Jungkook turns his head, directing his gaze elsewhere. There’s silence between them, even though the world around them is anything but quiet. Jimin can still hear the faint thud of the bass coming from the club, he can hear the indistinct chatter of drunk students wandering around looking for a ride home, he can hear traffic – there’s honking in the distance and the sound of squeaky breaks. The air is as polluted with noise as it is with tension. Yet it still seems so silent.

Jungkook shifts his weight from foot to foot, head tilted down. “Jimin, I didn’t…” He speaks softly now, like he wishes he could take back the harsh things he said. But there’s no taking back anything now. There’s no stepping away from the ledge, because they’ve already jumped off. When Jungkook finally meets his eyes again, Jimin sees that they’re glossy with tears.

They still look so pretty.

“I love you, Jimin.” Those words coming from Jungkook’s lips had never sounded so agonizingly resolute. “But I can’t do this anymore.” And then, Jungkook turns his back to him one last time. And Jimin watches him walk away.

Jungkook doesn’t take Jimin’s heart with him when he turns and leaves, and he didn’t rip it out of his chest or smash it to pieces. That’s not what heartbreak is.

Jimin still has his heart, it’s still beating in his chest, it’s still there and it’s still brimming with love for the person he can’t have, and his heart’s not gone but it’s so fucking heavy, and it hurts so fucking much but it’s still there. He wishes it wasn’t.

Jimin stands in the middle of the sidewalk, numb. Hot tears stain his cheeks as everything that he had been holding in finally spills over. He rakes his hands through his hair again, stands there staring after Jungkook, staring after everything that he just lost. “Jungkook.” Jimin begs, but he can’t seem to raise his voice above a whisper.

He wonders where Jungkook is even going, because home is too far away for him to walk to, and Jimin doesn’t think that he even called a cab for himself. It feels like Jungkook is walking away just to get away from him. And even after everything that just happened, Jimin still cares about Jungkook so much, still loves him so much. He wants him to be safe.

Jimin tries calling out to him again, louder, but saying Jungkook’s name just burns his throat. And even if Jungkook had heard him this time, he still doesn’t turn – Jimin can’t see his face, and it’s a little hard for him to breathe when he realizes that even if he does see his face again, his face won’t light up with that adorable smile of his. He won’t get to see his pretty eyes shine again, because there’s no coming back from this. Because they can’t get back together. Because if Jungkook doesn’t understand, then what is Jimin supposed to do?

They can’t get back together, Jimin knows that. This isn’t some little fight, this isn’t an insignificant argument. This is the end.

There’s no coming back from this, because Jungkook is right; they can’t be together. Nothing will change, it’ll be the same thing over and over again, it’ll be the same maddening arguments and the same pitiful efforts to fix something that’s broken beyond repair.

Jimin looks up at the sky, he looks up into that black canvas, and he can’t see any stars. There are no stars, and there certainly aren’t any snowflakes. Where are they now? He wishes it was still winter.

Spring isn’t anything special, spring just melted all the snow. Spring isn’t pretty; it’s all mud and rain, and Jimin longs for the snow, longs for that sparkling white blanket to come down and hide all the things that he was too scared to look at. But spring always comes.

He should’ve known that.

He stares up towards the heavens, searching for stars, searching for something that isn’t there, and he opens his mouth as if to say something, but no sound comes out. Nothing at all comes out. And nothing comes in, either. He can’t breathe.

He and Jungkook had never been strong. They were never strong, they were stupid. They weren’t invincible, untouchable, or unbreakable. They were broken all along.

And now Jimin can hardly breathe, and his throat is on fire and there’s ice in his blood and tears in his eyes, and he wants to just sit on the sidewalk and bury his face in his hands and fucking cry, but he won’t let himself do that because there are still people around and he needs to find Taehyung oh my god, Tae, where’s Tae, and fuck he needs to make sure that Taehyung’s okay but his lungs just won’t seem to work and he can’t breathe, and oh god, oh god, he wishes he could just fucking breathe.

Is it strange that Jungkook’s messy bedroom comes to his mind now? Is it odd that even in the midst of all of this pain, what he thinks about is Jungkook’s room? That room holds so many memories; it’s the room where they had shared so many kisses, and where they had lost themselves in so much laughter, it’s the room where they had sex together for the first time, the room where they said I love you for the first time – it all happened in there. Jimin had grown so used to waking up in that room, and now it’s gone, just like that.

It’s all gone, and he can’t do anything about it.

Jimin wipes at his cheeks, air finally flooding into his lungs, and he greedily drinks it in, wants to drown in it instead of the tears, but the tears keep falling; they don’t seem to care that he wants to stop crying, or that he needs to pull himself together and find Taehyung.

He just wants it all to stop. Turn it off, fucking turn it off. Ignore it like you ignored every fucking problem. Ignore it like you ignored everything else for Jungkook. But he can’t.

 

He finds Taehyung without any trouble.

Taehyung had been waiting inside, right near the doors, and he’s the one rushing over as soon as he sees Jimin.

“Jimin! Are you okay? That was crazy, holy shit. That guy got kicked out, though, thank god. He’s so stupid, he tried to pick a fight with the bouncer. I should’ve listened to you but… Jimin? Jimin why are you crying? What’s wrong?”

He’s can’t tell Taehyung what happened, not when he’s drunk, because he doesn’t know how he’ll react to it. “It’s nothing, Tae. Just a little overwhelmed by everything.” Jimin is barely managing to hold himself together as it is. He knows that if he talks about it, he’ll only end up breaking down completely, and he can’t do that, not now. “What about you, are you okay? You didn’t get hurt, did you?”

“I’m fine – you’re the one that got pushed.” Taehyung frowns, looking around. “Where’s Kookie?”

“He went outside to cool down.”

“Oh. Well wanna go wait outside with him? When’s he coming back?”

And Jimin smiles, but smiling has never felt so awful. If smiling is going to feel like this from now on, well then he never wants to smile again.

Jimin shakes his head and forces himself to smile all the same, even as a steady stream of tears streaks down his face. He smiles, tastes the salt in his mouth and feels the sting in his heart, pretends like his whole world hadn’t just slipped through his fingers. “I don’t think he’s coming back, Tae.”

 

Chapter Text

Jimin doesn’t sleep at all that night – how is he supposed to sleep after everything that happened?  He stays up all night with his face in his pillow, like he’s afraid of waking up Taehyung with his sobbing, even though Taehyung was already passed out in his own bedroom.

Jimin spends all night alone with his thoughts, just thinking, just crying. 

Where did it all go wrong? Jimin had woken up that morning next to Jungkook, and there had been a smile on his face before he even opened his eyes, because a new day with Jungkook was always a reason to smile.

And now he’s lying in his own bed, and there’s tears instead of smiles, and he misses Jungkook’s warmth more than the sky misses the sun at night. That morning, he woke up with all of Jungkook, and now he doesn’t even have a single piece of him.

Even so, Jimin doesn’t feel hollow; there isn’t a sense of emptiness threatening to swallow him whole. No, he still feels full.

His chest is tight, feels like something is about to burst, feels like he’s on the brink of exploding, and he wishes that whatever was inside would just blow up so he wouldn’t have to deal with this tightness in his chest.

He loves Jungkook so much, but all of that love is useless now, and where is it all supposed to go? What’s he supposed to do with it, because the same heart that was full of love that morning is the very same heart that he has now. So what’s he supposed to do? How did it even come to this?

Did it all go wrong the moment they shared their first kiss – on one of the happiest days of Jimin’s life? Should they have even been together in the first place?

If Jungkook had been honest from the very beginning, they never would have dated. They never would have gotten together, and they never would have found themselves in this mess. And that’s the most painful thought of them all. We never should have been together.

They got together anyway. They dated, they fell in love, and Jimin was happy with Jungkook, god he was so fucking happy. But still.

If Jungkook was honest, if Jimin didn’t close his eyes and pretend not to see the problem, then they never would have dated and it never would have ended with this.

Now, Jimin knows what boundless happiness feels like, now, Jimin knows what love is. And now he knows exactly what he’ll never have again. Because all along, it was all only Jungkook, it could all only ever be Jungkook.

They did everything for each other, and nothing for themselves. Maybe that was where it all went wrong. Maybe they loved too much.

 

It takes everything in him not to go straight to Taehyung’s room the second that he notices the sun beginning to rise. Jimin needs his best friend – he can’t cry alone anymore, he needs to tell Taehyung all that had happened, he needs his friend’s soothing voice and he needs his comforting embrace, he needs to let everything out because he can’t deal with it all on his own anymore.

Taehyung is the only one who can comfort him, Taehyung had seen him cry more than anyone else, Taehyung is always there for him no matter what.

But Jimin makes himself wait. He forces himself to wait, because Taehyung had been drinking the night before and he’ll probably be hungover, and he can’t just march into his room at the crack of dawn, wake him up, and collapse onto his bed in a pile of tears.

It’s nearly noon when Jimin finally leaves his tear stained pillow behind, and crawls into bed with Taehyung instead.

Jimin clings onto his best friend, and he finally allows himself to truly let go. His sobs are loud, his body is racked with them, and it’s an ugly sound but Taehyung still holds him close and he still lets Jimin’s tears soak through his shirt.

In between broken sobs, he somehow manages to tell Taehyung what happened last night, and he eventually tells him about everything; about all the little fights he and Jungkook had been in, about all of their stupid arguments.

And when he tells him about it all, it’s not just Jimin who cries.

 

“I’m so sorry.” Taehyung whispers, obviously struggling to keep his own voice from shaking. “If I knew, then I wouldn’t have –”

“It’s not your fault, Tae.” Jimin hiccups, feeling a fresh wound opening at the very thought of Taehyung blaming himself for this. This is exactly what he didn’t want, he didn’t want Taehyung to feel like he was responsible for any part of it, because it isn’t anywhere near Taehyung’s fault. Taehyung did nothing wrong, and it hurts Jimin to think that his best friend feels even the slightest pang of guilt.

“I didn’t know that you guys –” Taehyung cuts himself off, shaking his head. “I didn’t know that I was –”

“Don’t.” Jimin lifts his head, pulls his face away from where it had been buried in Taehyung’s shoulder. “Don’t think that this is your fault in any way, don’t think that you’re the reason for this, because it isn’t you.”  

He sees the redness in Taehyung’s eyes, notices the drying track on his cheek, and all of Jimin’s heartache and all of his sadness doubles, slamming into him with a newfound force. He shakes his head, and even as tears relentlessly fall from his own eyes, he reaches out, wipes away the single tear that comes streaking down Taehyung’s face. “You didn’t do anything wrong, Tae.”

“What if I talk to him?” Taehyung swallows, and Jimin knows that he’s doing his absolute best to keep himself together for him. “You guys shouldn’t break up because of m–”

“No,” Jimin shuts him down before he can finish the sentence, not even wanting to give him a chance to entertain the thought.

“But you love Jungkook, and – and he loves you. And I know you guys are meant to be with each other, I know. Let me talk to him.”

“But this isn’t your mess.” Jimin sniffles, wiping his nose with the back of his hand. He can’t let Taehyung get involved in this – he’s not going to let his best friend get caught in the middle of it all, not when he didn’t do anything wrong. “You can’t.” Nothing more can be done, nothing more can be said. Jungkook isn’t his anymore, and there’s nothing that can change that.

“But Jimin–”

“Please, Tae.” He won’t let him go through that for him, won’t let him try to clean up a mess that he didn’t even make.

It’s not Taehyung’s fault, and honestly, Jimin is starting to question if this was even his own fault. Maybe it’s not even Jungkook’s fault either. Maybe it’s nobody’s fault. Maybe all of this is fate’s fault. Maybe it’s fate’s fault for playing such a cruel joke, for giving Jimin a taste of Jungkook; a taste of something he will forever find himself feeling lost without. All along he thought they were fated to be together, but it turns out they were only fated to end.

Jimin watches his friend, half-heartedly wishing that Taehyung wasn’t so kind and pure, because he doesn’t want him to hurt, too. The world doesn’t deserve someone as good as Kim Taehyung. “Please, please don’t,” Jimin begs, his words carried out on his trembling breath.

"Then what?" Taehyung shrugs his shoulders helplessly, eyes desperately searching Jimin’s face for an answer. “Then what can I do?”

Jimin lowers his head and squeezes his eyes shut, the tears that had been clinging to his lashes falling, staining the sheets beneath him. “Just don’t leave me too.”

 ---

The majority of the weekend was spent struggling to study through a veil of tears. Needless to say, Jimin finds it hard to concentrate on anything that isn’t Jungkook.

He doesn’t think that he did too well on his exam on Monday.

Taehyung is always there for him, always lends a shoulder for Jimin to cry on whenever the tears start to randomly sneak up on him, he always does his best to make Jimin feel better, and everything he does always reminds Jimin of how lucky he is to have a friend like him.

His friends are trying to cheer him up in their own ways, and even though Jimin cries more readily than he smiles now, they’re all are helping him more than they’ll probably ever know. He’s so thankful that he has them.

--- 

[To: Hoseok, Jimin]

 

Hoseok: Hey Jimin you should come over :)

Hoseok: Yoongi isn’t home rn and that means we can listen to music while we study

Hoseok: Which also means spontaneous dance breaks

Jimin: I kinda just wanna study in my room

Hoseok: You need a change in scenery!

Jimin: Hyung, your dorm has the exact same layout as mine

Hoseok: But I’m in this one :)

Jimin: I’ll be over in a few

 ---

[To: Yoongi, Jimin]

 

Yoongi: Come to the music room with me

Jimin: What's up?

Yoongi: There’s a new piece I’ve been working on, I wanna show it to you on the piano

Jimin: Ok. But my eyes are all puffy and red and I look like a disease right now

Yoongi: That’s how I look on a good day

---

Before Jimin even knows it, it’s Friday again. It’s been a whole week since it all happened; he had already finished three exams, and now he only has two more next week, and then he’ll be done. He’ll be done with the studying, done with the stress, and with any luck he’ll be done with the crying, because it’s all getting really fucking exhausting.

Jimin hasn’t seen Jungkook since they broke up, hasn’t even heard anything from him since that night. He doesn’t expect them to get back together, but he thought that Jungkook would’ve at least texted him by now, and even if it was just a text saying sorry and nothing else, well Jimin wouldn’t mind.

But Jungkook doesn’t text him. And maybe it’s better that way.  

He wishes that he was over it already, but he’s not, of course he’s fucking not. Everything is still fresh, his wounds are still weeping, and there are still times when he just wants to lock himself in his room and cry.

He doesn’t let himself do that, though. He still hurts, he still cries, but at least he’s not crying so much anymore. At least now he can say Jungkook’s name without dissolving into a puddle of tears.

 

Jimin knew that agreeing to go to the library with Jin and Namjoon didn’t only mean agreeing to an afternoon of studying. He knew that it also meant agreeing to talking about Jungkook with them, so he isn’t at all surprised when Namjoon approaches the subject during their break. Jimin is, however, surprised by how much it still stings to talk about. He didn’t think it would still hurt this much.

 

“Nothing will get resolved if you don’t confront him about it, Jimin.” Namjoon says delicately, his words earning a nod of approval from Jin.

They both sit across from him, and Jimin knows that his friends mean well, but at the moment, it feels a bit like they’re staging an intervention. He knows that talking about it with them won’t change anything, he knows it won’t make him feel better, but maybe talking about it will help them feel better somehow.

Jimin leans his head on his hand, elbow propped up on the table. “Nothing will get resolved even if we do talk about it.” He murmurs. If Jungkook doesn’t understand, then Jungkook doesn’t understand. He didn’t understand before, he doesn’t understand now, and he won’t magically understand in the future.

“We’ll just keep hurting each other, and I don’t want to hurt him anymore. I love him, but I’m not gonna let us get back together just so that we can keep making the same mistakes.” Jimin hesitates, and he would rather swallow down his next words than have them taint his tongue. “Some people just shouldn’t be together.” But he says them anyway.

Namjoon opens his mouth as if to protest, but he soon grows solemn. “You’re right.” This time, he earns a kick from Jin instead.

“And some people should be together.” Jin ignores the surprised yelp that Namjoon lets out, giving his attention to Jimin instead. “Even though you and Jungkook are both brats, and even though your mutual hobby turns out to be annoying me – your eldest, and therefore wisest friend – beyond what is socially acceptable, I can’t deny that you two are…” Jin trails off, presumably trying to come up with a suitable word to describe the pair.

“A product of divine providence?” Namjoon offers.

“I was going to say cute, but sure, let’s go with that.”

A faint smile plays at the corner of Jimin’s mouth when he hears those words. He and Jungkook had been pretty cute together, hadn’t they? Of course they were cute, because Jungkook was cute. Jungkook’s cute smile, his cute giggle, his cute good morning kisses…his cute everything. Jimin misses him. He misses it all so much.

Half of Jimin wishes that he never met Jungkook, wishes he never dated him, wishes he never fell for the way that he smiled. But the other half of him is so fucking glad to have met Jungkook, and he would never trade any of those smiles that they shared, would never give up any of those beautiful memories for anything.

Sure, Jungkook said some ugly things to him, and yeah, his words fucking hurt, and Jimin isn’t about to just forget it all and forgive him. But people say things in the heat of the moment, Jimin knows that; he had done it before. He doesn’t forgive Jungkook, but he understands him.  

“Jungkook came over to my place the other day to study,” Jin carries on, his voice keeping Jimin’s thoughts from wandering too far. “And I can tell that he’s…” There’s a brief delay before he starts up again.  “Look, I’m not saying he looked wonderful before, but let’s just say that right now he’s looking sub-par.” Jin’s eyes soften as he watches Jimin. “I can tell that he’s really broken up about it.”

And Jimin doesn’t doubt Jin’s words. What Jin said doesn’t shock him at all, and it doesn’t make him feel any differently about the situation, either. He never once doubted that Jungkook loved him, he knows that Jungkook loves him, which is why this whole thing is so fucking hard. 

They love each other, and they only want what’s best for each other. They only want to help each other, but in the end, they only ended up hurting each other. And that’s why it’s so fucking hard. 

Jimin loved loving Jungkook.

Jungkook isn’t a bad person, he’s still so good, he’s still so wonderful, and Jimin wishes that he was a monster so he could demonize him and move on; so he could say that he’s better off without him, and that he’s a jerk and he feels sorry for whoever his next victim is.

But Jimin can’t say that, because it’s not true. He knows who Jungkook is. The Jungkook that left him all alone on the sidewalk that night is the Jungkook that smiled shyly at him the first day they met in Jin’s apartment.

Jimin nearly winces as he feels his stomach twisting, another knot beginning to form. “Hyung, I really appreciate you, and I know that you want us to get back together.” He digs his teeth into his lower lip, hoping for the physical pain to distract him from the other pain that he feels. “And I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to get back together with him.” Those awful feelings are starting to resurface, and there’s a lump in his throat that he tries so hard to swallow down. “But I don’t want to hurt him anymore. And I know he doesn’t want to hurt me.”

Fuck, he doesn’t want to cry anymore. He thought he could at least talk about it all without crying, but he can feel tears pricking the backs of his eyes, and he’s doing his best to blink them away. Will he ever be able to talk about it without feeling like this? Will he ever get over it? The scariest thing is that Jimin is pretty sure he already knows the answer. He doesn’t think he’ll ever get over Jungkook.

Jin sighs, leaning back in his seat. “Jimin, you can’t just –”

“Hyung.” Jimin looks at him, eyes pleading. “Can we not talk about this right now? I’m sorry, but I…” He wishes he was over it. “Please.” But he’s not.

No one presses him any further.

Namjoon, Jin, and Jimin spend the rest of the afternoon just studying.

 

All Jimin wants is for it to be done. He wants to go home, to leave the university behind. He wants it to be Summer already, he needs a new season, because he’s really grown to hate Spring.

But then again…Jungkook was supposed to be part of his summer. His Summer was supposed to be spent with his best friends and with Jungkook, he was supposed to make new memories with all of them. Jungkook was supposed to be with him in the Summer; when the hot days melted into warm nights – Jungkook was supposed to be with him through it all.  

And now, Jimin can’t even be excited for Summer.

What the hell do I even have to look forward to?

  ---

Jungkook's POV

 

A week.

It’s been an entire week since Jungkook last saw Jimin’s smile. Even though he’s in love with every single piece that makes up Jimin, his smile had always been one of his favourite things about him. From the moment that Jungkook met him, he had been taken by his smile.

No one smiles like Jimin smiles. When Jimin smiles, the whole world smiles with him. When he smiles, you forget all about the sun, and you find yourself orbiting Park Jimin instead.

It’s cold living in the absence of those sunny smiles, and Jungkook has a feeling that it’ll be hard for him to ever feel warm again. Living without the sun is easy – living without Park Jimin is hard. He would gladly spend forever in a perpetual state of night if it meant that he could at least be with Jimin. But he can’t be with him.

He misses Jimin. He misses Jimin so fucking much. He misses him, and he needs him, and he can’t have him.

 

Jungkook checks his phone.11:37pm. He lays his head down on the table, using his textbook as a makeshift pillow. Fuck. He hadn’t accomplished anything today, unless you consider sitting around and staring into space all day an accomplishment, but he’s been doing that pretty much all week, so it’s not exactly a new achievement for him.

He has all of his notes laid out in front of him, has his textbook open, has all the necessary things he needs in order to study, except the will to do so.

There’s so much shit he has to do, so much cramming he needs to get done in preparation for his upcoming tests, and he’s so fucking tired, but he can’t even think about sleeping right now. He needs to study, because he’s fairly certain that he had already flunked two of his exams earlier that week, and he already feels awful enough as it is – he doesn’t want to feel even worse about himself by neglecting to study altogether, and then failing the rest of his finals as a result of it.

He had been drained of all energy and lacking all motivation lately, spending his days as if he’s drifting out at sea; lost, and just going wherever the tide takes him. Considering everything that had happened, it’s really not surprising that he feels this way, but it’s really shitty that this general sense of debilitation had to hit during finals.  

Yeah, he had been tired all week, but right now, he’s fucking exhausted, and it’s 11:37pm but he really needs to study, because he can’t waste any more time moping around and feeling sorry for himself. If Jimin were here, he would be encouraging him to study, would be saying things like: if you study for two hours straight, I’ll give you a surprise, or I’ll pay for your dinner if you actually study, but the most motivating one of them all was always I’m not gonna smile until I see that you’re actually doing something. But Jimin isn’t here. And that’s the problem.

Jungkook presses the heels of his hands into his eyes, rubbing them as if to rid himself of his drowsiness. God, he just needs something, anything to wake him up. He needs to wake up, he needs to concentrate, he needs to stop thinking about Jimin so damn much.

He slowly lifts his head, eyes lazily wandering, absentmindedly searching his surroundings before his gaze finally settles on his kitchen cupboards. Fuck it.

 

The smell of instant coffee soon fills his apartment.

Had he spontaneously developed a fondness for coffee? No. But he needs to take responsibility for his G.P.A, and he needs to not sleep, and desperate times call for desperate measures, and Jimin had just recently restocked his coffee supply, so really if Jungkook didn’t use it then it would all just go to waste.

And now his apartment smells like mornings with Jimin.

If Jungkook were to let himself close his eyes and just breathe in, if he were to let himself forget about everything that happened a week ago, then he would think that this was just another morning with Jimin. If he closed his eyes, he would see Jimin sitting up there on the kitchen counter, holding his cup of coffee with both hands, swinging his legs, and smiling.

Jungkook doesn’t want to close his eyes, he doesn’t want to imagine all of that and make his heart hurt any more than it already does, but he still sees it all anyway, even with his eyes open. Jimin used to fill his apartment with the smell of coffee and with the sound of bubbly laughter, and Jungkook wishes that he could just forget about it all because he really needs to concentrate on other things right now.

He shakes his head, tries to snap himself out of it, tries to distract himself by focusing his attention on how to make his coffee drinking experience as tolerable as possible instead.

Since he doesn’t have any milk (any unexpired milk, that is), Jungkook dumps an alarming amount of sugar into his cup in an effort to make it taste as least coffee-like as possible. He stands in the kitchen, staring into his coffee as he stirs the sugar in, hoping that he’ll end up tasting something sweet even though he knows he’ll only be met with bitterness.  

Jungkook lifts the cup up to his lips, breathes in the scent, breathes in the closest thing to Jimin that he has, and he takes a sip. Yup. It still tastes like a stale gym sock. He grimaces, letting what was left in his mouth dribble back into the cup.

How does Jimin drink this stuff?

He instinctively pulls his phone out, has every intention to text Jimin and tease him about his tastes. And then, just as soon as Jungkook had taken his phone out, he realizes what he’s doing and is shoving it back into his pocket.

Truthfully, Jungkook can’t even count how many times he had picked up his phone only to stare at Jimin’s contact picture for a solid minute or so before just putting it away. He wants to say that he’s sorry so bad, but he never ends up texting him. What would saying sorry even do at this point?

He’s sorry, he hates himself for hurting Jimin, wants to cry when he remembers the pain that had been in his eyes, but saying sorry isn’t going to do anything. It would be putting a band-aid on a bullet wound, but they’ll just keep bleeding out.

He isn’t upset at Jimin for protecting his friend, and he knows now that Jimin’s concern for Taehyung that night had had been completely justified. He isn’t mad at Jimin for doing that, it’s just that everything that Jungkook had been holding in erupted in a torrent of emotion that night, and he lost himself in it, and handled the whole situation in the worst way he probably could have handled it.

Jungkook regrets how it ended, but he doesn’t regret that it ended. Because he had been telling the truth when he said that he couldn’t do it anymore, he couldn’t keep pretending like he understood, couldn’t keep pretending like he was fine when he wasn’t.

Jungkook is sorry. He’s so fucking sorry, but they can’t be together. Jimin still has all of his love, Park Jimin is still the brightest star in the sky – he’s the sun – he’s still the best person that Jungkook knows, he’s probably the best person in the world, and he really wishes that it didn’t have to be this way.

But it has to be this way. Because Jungkook just doesn’t fucking understand. No matter how he sees it, no matter how he tries to spin it, Jimin and Taehyung’s relationship just doesn’t make sense to him. It doesn’t add up.

He had been driving himself crazy trying to understand it all, and every time he was only left with a steady sense of frustration, and absolutely no clarity.

Everything he had been holding in – all the things that he tried so hard to keep buried deep within – all came bubbling up to the surface at once, and that’s why he blew up at Jimin, that’s why they broke up, that’s why they can’t be together. 

What's the alternative? He doesn’t want to fight with Jimin all the time, he knows that all the arguing they had been doing when they were together was so wrong, and he let it drag on probably longer than he should have. They had to break up, because what else was Jungkook supposed to do? Was he supposed to stay up every night wondering why Jimin and Taehyung ever got into that sort of relationship in the first place?

No, it’s not even that – he doesn’t care about the why. He cares about the how. How do they do it without feeling anything for each other? How can that ever work? He doesn’t understand, and he’s sick of trying to understand. He’s sick of spending his time dwelling on it, sick of worrying about Jimin one day realizing that he wants Taehyung more than he wants him, because it’s only a matter of time before that happens, right?

Right?

Trying to understand had just been mentally taxing, and he can’t be in a relationship where he’s constantly feeling like he’s trying to piece together an unsolvable puzzle.

There isn’t anything wrong with Jimin, he’s still convinced that Jimin is perfect for him, still certain that there will never be anyone that he loves more than Jimin. It’s not Jimin that’s the problem; it’s the entire situation in general.

And that’s why it’s so hard.

Jungkook stares into his cup. Even though he hates the lingering taste of coffee in his mouth right now, this is the closest that he’s felt to Jimin since he last saw him, and he hates the taste in his mouth but he loves everything that the taste reminds him of, because he fucking loves Jimin.

He only ended up hurting the person he never wanted to hurt; the person that he would do anything for. All he ever wanted to do was make Jimin smile, but…maybe he’s just not the one who can do that. Maybe he’s not the one for Jimin, even though Jimin is the one for him.

Jungkook dumps the rest of the coffee into the sink. He misses Jimin, but he can’t be with him. And that’s just the way it has to be. No one ever told him that life was fair, so why should he expect it to be?

He ends up going to sleep instead of studying, because he doesn’t have to think when he’s asleep.

It’s nice not having to think.

 

Chapter Text

 

This whole studying thing really isn’t working for him right now.

Jimin pushes his notes off to the side and pulls his laptop out of his bag instead, pretending to be completely oblivious to the way Jin is suspiciously eyeing him from where’s he’s sitting on the opposite side of the table. He had only been at Jin’s place for about an hour so far, but he had been studying for pretty much that whole hour, so that warrants some sort of break, right?

Doing his best to appear as casual as possible, Jimin plugs his earbuds in, hoping that Jin thinks he’s pulling up some lecture slides online, when in reality, he’s browsing Netflix.

Recently, Jimin’s studying habits have been on a bit of a decline, which is of course completely understandable.

His rough week ended with a rough weekend, so finishing off his Sunday evening with some mindless Netflix watching instead of using his brain and actually studying was a far more appealing option. The only thing that he wants to have to think about right now is what show he’s going to watch.

“Jimin?” Jin sets his pen down and folds his arms across his chest, his tone equally as doubtful as the look on his face.

Removing a single earbud, Jimin lifts his head, innocently blinking at his older friend. “Yes, hyung?”

“What are you doing?”

“Watching a video.” He’s not lying. “My prof said some of the stuff from it might be on the final.” Now he’s lying. But if Jin knew what he was actually doing, he would probably scold him and confiscate his laptop – or something else that would force him to be a good student and totally ruin his attempts to be lazy.

“What video?”

Jimin blanks, “an educational one?” And after receiving such an unconvincing response, it’s only natural that Jin reaches across the table, tilting the screen so that he can see exactly what Jimin had been up to.

“Netflix?” The elder recoils, staring at Jimin in a way that would suggest he had just been deeply offended by his actions. “I invite you here to study, I invite you here so that you can better yourself, so that you can achieve all you hope to achieve on your finals, and this is how you repay me?”

“It’s not what it looks like.”

“Oh? Then what exactly is it?”

“It’s…” It’s exactly what it looks like – Jimin had been caught red-handed. He unplugs his earbuds, places them off to the side. “It’s me being mindful of you, my dear friend, and extending a Netflix invitation to you, because you’ve been working so incredibly hard lately.” When all else fails, flattering Jin in some way was always a good fallback.

Jin thinks about that for a moment, nodding his head slowly. “I have been working pretty hard, haven’t I?”

With his hopes beginning to rise, Jimin moves his laptop, positioning it so that they can both have a clear view of the screen. “So…you wanna watch something with me?”

“No. Ask me again in a few hours – now put that away and start studying. Don’t you have a final tomorrow?”

Defeated, Jimin slouches in his seat. “Yeah.” One final tomorrow, then one on Thursday, and then he’s done. He’ll be done, and then he can go home and see his parents…and try to explain to his mom why Jungkook won’t be coming over for dinner any time soon. Or ever. Great. He had completely forgotten that Jungkook was supposed to meet his parents.

Jimin doesn’t think that Thursday is a day that he should be looking forward to anymore. Realistically, he should be more excited for Thursday than for any other day of the week, but he’s finding himself looking forward to Wednesday even more.

Wednesday is Jungkook’s last exam. Even though Jimin hasn’t seen him even once since they broke up, he’s still a little anxious every time he’s walking through the school, because he really doesn’t want to see Jungkook.

No, that isn’t quite true. He wants to see Jungkook because he misses his face, but he can’t see him. He’s scared that if he sees him, he’ll just go running back to him – he has absolutely no idea how he’ll react if they happen to bump into each other.

And that’s why he’s looking forward to Wednesday – because he doubts that Jungkook will even step foot on campus after he’s finished with his finals, and that means there will be even a less of a chance that he’ll run into him. Not seeing him is probably both the best and the worst thing for Jimin.

He glances at Jin, suddenly aware that he had been staring off into space for longer than he would have liked to while his thoughts drifted to Jungkook (just like they always did nowadays). If he’s not actually focused on something, then his mind automatically wanders to him, like it’s running on some sort of default setting. He really wishes it would just stop doing that.

In an effort to keep down those unpleasant feelings that seem to always linger just below the surface, he tries to divert his thoughts by focusing his attention on persuading Jin to take a break with him. “Are you sure you don’t want to watch a show? I’ll let you pick any one you want.” Jimin tempts, calmly sliding the laptop closer to him.

“How thoughtful of you,” Jin lets out a short laugh, shaking his head. “You’re not usually this difficult when it comes to studying, what happened to you? You’re turning into Jungkook.” The amused expression that Jin had been wearing fades as soon as that name leaves his lips.

Jimin would probably laugh if the break-up wasn’t still so fresh, because really, it’s not like Jungkook’s name was a forbidden word now. He somehow finds it in himself to lift up the corners of his mouth in a rather sad rendition of a smile. “Hyung, you can say his name, we can talk about him. I know I was crying a lot this week, but you can say Jungkook– I’m not that much of a mess.” Jimin considers his own words for a moment. “I mean, sometimes I am – it depends on the day, really.”

He’s only trying to make light of the situation, because it already feels like there’s so much weight pressing down on him; he’s still suffering from the aftershocks of having his world fall apart, and having all the pieces come crumbling down on top of him. The atmosphere doesn’t need to be any heavier than it already is.

“I know that you aren’t.” Jin assures quickly, but he quiets down soon after, and judging bu his change in demeanour, Jimin is fairly certain that he knows what’s coming next. Jin leans forward slightly, resting his arms on the table. “You guys still haven’t even texted each other?”

“No.” Even though he had said it was fine if Jin said Jungkook’s name, and he even though he said it was fine if they talked about him, he didn’t think that Jin would take it as an invitation to actually talk about him.

Then again, Jin wasn’t only his friend. He was Jungkook’s friend, too – Jungkook was probably the closest with Jin out of everyone else in their friend group, and he knows that Jin cares about them both. So that’s why Jimin doesn’t brush him off immediately, even though he knows that whatever conversation they’re about to have will get them nowhere.

“Haven’t texted him,” Jimin says, tapping his fingers on the table, an unexpected wave of jitteriness washing over him. “Haven’t talked to him, haven’t seen him.” He wonders how long this little talk will last for.

“Well, you already know that I’ve seen him. And I tried talking about it with him too, but he always gets upset whenever I bring it up.”

“Relatable.”

Jin blinks, looking to be at least half amused by Jimin’s reply. “Did you really just…never mind.” He sighs, “look, I know you don’t like talking about it, but as your friend, it’s my job to make sure that you’re okay.”

“I know.”

“I don’t know everything that happened between you and Jungkook, and I’m not going to ask for every detail. I only know what you already told me, and what he told me, and I guess I’m just filling in the gaps myself. So, I could be totally wrong here – which would be shocking, I know.” Jin points to himself, “me? Wrong? Unheard of.”

Despite the general sense of gloominess that Jimin had pretty much adopted as his own since the break-up, he can’t help but crack a slight smile. “I’m listening.” And he is, even though he knows that nothing Jin says will make a difference. He has to at least listen though, because he would feel bad if he shut him down completely.

“I think that Jungkook was scared of losing you, so he ended things before he could actually lose you. Which seems counterproductive, I know, but it’s Jungkook we’re talking about here. Maybe he thought that it would be better to end things now, so he can save himself the heartbreak in the future. He thinks that no matter what, you’re going to end up with Taehyung.”

That was definitely part of it, but Jimin already knew all of that. Jungkook doesn’t understand his relationship with his best friend, and since he thought that it was only a matter of time before him and Taehyung got together, he probably thought that it would be best to end things sooner rather than later.

Sure, it makes sense, but it’s still shitty.  

“I’m not saying that whatever happened between you and Jungkook wasn’t serious,” Jin carries on, “because like I said, at the end of the day, I don’t know everything that went down. And I’m not saying that it wasn’t a big deal, because I can see how hurt both of you are. I know it’s serious, I know it’s a big deal. But maybe you think it’s bigger than it really is. I know that you and Taehyung won’t ever be romantically involved–”

“But Jungkook doesn’t get it.”

“No one does.” Jin shrugs. “I just know that you and Taehyung aren’t like that.”

“Yeah, and Jungkook doesn’t know. He can’t be with me because of it, because he thinks that one day I’ll wake up and randomly realize that I like Taehyung more than I like him.” Jimin’s leg starts bouncing, unease beginning to claw its way to the surface.

“And I tried to tell him that it won’t ever happen, I told him how much I love him, I told him I love Taehyung as a best friend and nothing else, but he still doesn’t get it, and there’s nothing else I can do about it. My friendship with Taehyung was hurting him, and I’m never going to stop being friends with Taehyung, so what else are we supposed to do?”

“That’s why you’re here. So I can help you guys figure it out.” Jin answers simply, leaning back in his seat.

What? “Help us figure it out?” Jimin freezes, hoping that Jin wasn’t insinuating what he thinks he’s insinuating. “Hyung…please tell me that you didn’t ask Jungkook to come here.” No. No, he doesn’t want to do this. He can’t do this, not now, not ever.

“What would you do if I told you that I invited him over?”

Jimin doesn’t even know what to do. He’s so worried over the mere thought of seeing Jungkook, because he genuinely has no idea what he’ll do when he sees him. He doesn’t even know what he would say if he sees him. What is there to say? What is there to say except for I love you, and I’m sorry? Those are really the only things that come to mind, because they’re true.

He loves him, and he’s sorry, but that’s it. That’s all, because he knows that there is nothing else he can say to Jungkook to make him change his mind. Jimin saw the resolve in his eyes that night, and even though the resolve had been mixed in with his tears, it was still there all the same.

Jungkook is done with being hurt, and Jimin is done with hurting him.

Everything in Jimin still wants Jungkook, every fibre of his being is still yearning for him, and he’s scared that if he sees him, he’ll just break down and cry over everything he can’t ever have again.

Even worse, what if he ends up running to him? What if he goes to him and wraps his arms around him, and what if he just clings to him? He misses the feeling of Jungkook’s body against his own, and he wants so desperately to be wrapped up in his arms again; to be enveloped in that warm embrace that always made him feel more secure than anything else in this world. But he can't let himself do that. 

Glancing towards the door, Jimin shakes his head, panic swelling within. “No, I can’t see him. I seriously can’t see him.” He turns to look at Jin, then immediately looks back at the door. “When’s he coming? I don’t want to be here if he’s coming over.”

“Jimin –”

“If I see him, then I’ll just go back to him, because I love him – I love him so much.” Jimin nearly chokes on a sob, unaware of where it even came from, and he’s suddenly finding it difficult to see in the midst of an unexpected onslaught of tears. “But I can’t be with him anymore, and nothing I can say to him will ever change that.” He’s talking fast, barely even giving himself time to breathe, not even paying attention to the worry that had crossed Jin’s face.

All he can focus on is the ache deep in his chest. Jimin doesn’t even try to hide his own face, because there’s no point hiding how upset he is when the evidence of his brokenness can be heard so clearly in his words. “My friendship with Taehyung was hurting him, and I never wanted to hurt him, and I don’t fucking know what to do, because I can’t lose Taehyung and I can’t lose Jungkook and I – I don’t know what to do anymore.”

Jimin can’t even do anything, and that’s the worst part of it all. Nothing can be done about any of it. “I’m not gonna just stop being friends with Taehyung, because I need him, but I need Jungkook too, so what am I supposed to do?” He places his hands on top of his head, breathing heavy as a flurry of conflicting and heart-wrenching emotions tears through him. “I don’t know what to do.”

Jimin, I–”

“I love him so much, hyung.” Jimin can barely even find his own voice, he’s lost in his mind, and he’s feeling so fucking low again; like everything is crashing into him all over again. He had said this all in his head before, had thought these same thoughts time and time again, but saying it out loud is so much worse, because saying it out loud makes it so much more real.

Before all of this, he had been heartbroken; he had been hurting so much, and he never wants to feel that way ever again. But even so, feeling that would be better than what he feels now. Because right now, he’s fucking shattered.

Saying that he and Jungkook won’t get back together, and saying that they’re over is one thing. But actually realizing it? That’s an entirely different story. 

“I’m not mad at him, I don’t hate him, I only want him to be happy, I only ever want good things to happen to him, but I’m not a good thing.” Jimin tilts his head back as if to stop the flow of tears, but it’s useless. He stares up at the ceiling, watching his world blur right before his eyes; tears clouding his vision as Jungkook clouds his mind. “I’m not good for him.” 

Why did it have to be this way?

Jimin doesn’t understand how life can be so fucking unfair – he wants to make Jungkook smile, he wants to make Jungkook laugh, he wants to be his light; because doing that always made him so, so happy. But he can’t do any of that anymore.

It’s not fair. “I can’t see him, I can’t talk to him, because it’ll just make everything so much harder.” He hangs his head after realizing that the tears will fall no matter what he does, and despite his efforts, he can’t keep his lower lip from trembling. “And it’s already so fucking hard.” He kept telling himself and everyone else that their relationship was over, that they weren’t getting back together, and it had always pained him to say it, but now it’s so much worse.

Now, it’s hitting him full force. Now, he’s painfully aware that he won’t be able to hold Jungkook ever again, he won’t get to make him smile, he’ll never see him scrunch up his nose when he’s giggling. He won’t see Jungkook. Period.

Because he can’t.

“Jimin,” Jin murmurs, “Jungkook –”

“I can’t be here right now.” He can’t see him, not now, not ever. Whatever it is that Jin has to say, Jimin doesn’t want to hear it, because he needs to get out of there. Frantically wiping his cheeks with the back of his hand as if to get rid of the evidence that he had been crying again, he stands abruptly, only to start grabbing his notes and then carelessly shoving them into his backpack.

“I have to go.” All he wants to do is run back to Jungkook, and maybe if he did run back to him, Jungkook would welcome him with open arms. Maybe they’d hug and say sorry, maybe they’d put everything behind them and move on together, just like they always did in the past.

But what would that even accomplish? Who would it help? They can’t be together just for the sake of being together.

I can’t be here, I can’t see him.

Jimin reaches for his laptop, only thinking about leaving as quickly as he can, only hoping that he doesn’t run into Jungkook on the way out, but he instantly stops when Jin places his hand over his own, and fixes him with an expression that roots him to the spot.

“Jungkook isn’t coming, Jimin.” Jin says slowly, his concern showing in his eyes.

Jimin stares in silence, those words taking a moment or two before they sink in, and when they finally do, they offer some sort of numbing effect. “H-he’s not?” He watches Jin shake his head, and with that confirmation, Jimin falls back into his chair, exhaustion rapidly taking over to replace his heightened emotions.

He’s relieved, but why does he still feel so disappointed? He didn’t want to see Jungkook, and yet he still wishes that he was coming. Nothing makes sense anymore.

Are they two people who should be together, but can’t be together? Or are they two people who can be together, but shouldn’t be? Jimin doesn’t know. He feels like he doesn’t know anything anymore, and this overwhelming sense of helplessness is so alarmingly similar to how he felt near the beginning of the school year; before he even met Jungkook, and when he was chasing after meaningless things.

Jimin feels so lost.

When he met Jungkook, he thought that he had finally found his way, but now here he is, feeling more lost than ever before. When he had been with Jungkook, every road always seemed to lead straight back to him, and now Jimin feels like he doesn't even have a single road to follow. Where's he supposed to go?

After seeing that Jimin had calmed down, Jin carefully takes his hand away. “I didn’t actually invite him here without asking you. I wouldn’t do that.”

Jimin’s shoulders shake, and since all of senses are now completely spent, and he doesn’t even know what to feel anymore, the sound of his laughter mingles with the sound of his crying to create a strangled noise in the back of his throat. “Yes you would.”

“You’re right, I totally would. But I didn’t, I promise.”

Jin never actually said that Jungkook was coming, but the simple thought of it had been enough to make Jimin lose his mind. He dips his head, staring down at his lap, seemingly dazed from his own outpouring of emotion. He didn’t even know he had been wound up so tightly, didn’t even know he had all of that in him.

“You still in the mood for Netflix?” Jin questions softly, and Jimin is thankful that he’s giving him some space, and not over there hugging him or patting his back and telling him that everything will be okay. He doesn’t want to feel weaker than he already does.

Jimin keeps his head lowered, his hair falling in front of his face, obscuring his eyes as he wipes them dry. “Yeah.”

They had only broken up a little over a week ago, it hadn’t been very long at all, and Jimin keeps trying to tell himself that he only hurts this deeply because it’s all still so new, he keeps telling himself this is temporary, and that he won’t feel this way in a month’s time.

But what if he does?

He needs Taehyung, and he needs Jungkook. Why can’t he just have them both? Why can’t he love his best friend, and why can’t he love Jungkook? It’s not the same type of love, and it won’t ever be.

Jimin is at his happiest when he’s showing the people that he cares about just how much he loves them. So… maybe if he looks at this all in a different way, he really should be happy after all.

Staying away from Jungkook shows just how much he loves him, doesn’t it? It shows how much he cares, because he doesn’t want to cause Jungkook any pain by being around him.

Is distancing himself just a way of expressing his love for Jungkook? If it is, then he should be happy, right?

Maybe if he says it enough, he'll actually start to believe it. 

“What do you feel like watching?” Jin asks, and he soon starts listing off a few random movie titles, just to give him some ideas, but the last thing that Jimin is thinking about is what sort of movie he’s in the mood for. “You hungry? Wanna order some food?”

“Yeah, sure.” But Jimin’s not hungry. He’s not really anything anymore.

 

Chapter Text

Jungkook needs to get up.

He needs to force himself to get off this stupid couch, because he had been spending an unhealthy amount of time laying on it.  

Does Jungkook have an exam tomorrow? Yes. Is he spending his Sunday evening being a good student and actually studying for it? What do you think?

He wants to do well on his exams, and he hasn’t even left his apartment all day (or all weekend for that matter), so he really shouldn’t have an excuse not to study.  

And yet, Jungkook hasn’t even cracked open a single textbook today, and is still laying on the couch in the exact same position he had been in three hours ago.

This whole thing was getting out of hand.

Of course he misses Jimin and of course he’s upset, but he needs to learn how to deal with it and move on, and he needs to learn how to do it quick, because he can’t keep wasting his days away like this.

He needs some sort of distraction.

Studying is out of the question right now, but he figures he should at least get up and move around a bit, maybe do some jumping jacks or some push-ups…hell, maybe he should do some yoga to de-stress.

Pfft, yeah right.

He's not about to do yoga, but he should really do something. Jungkook heaves himself off the couch with a groan, and his body protests against his sudden upright position by giving him quite a nasty head rush.

I try to move around to get some blood pumping and this is how my body repays me? The ultimate betrayal.

Yeah, he talks to himself more often than usual now, too.

He stands still for a minute or two, like he’s trying to get his bearings as if he hadn’t been living in this apartment for two whole semesters. Then again, it might not be that strange if he doesn’t recognize his own apartment. It's a bit of a disaster zone at the moment, and even though he had never been one to keep his apartment spotless or anything, it never quite got this messy.

Maybe he should clean a little…or maybe he should just start packing up.

Technically, he doesn’t have to move out until next month, but he might as well start packing now, because as soon as he’s done his last final on Wednesday, he’s planning on getting the hell out of there.

There’s not really a reason for him to stay for any longer than he has to.

This apartment only reminds him of Jimin, and he would really like to stop being reminded of Jimin so that he can actually do something useful with his time, and yet he’s still spending his whole weekend locked up in the very place that reminds him of Jimin the most.

He’s aware that it’s a little counterproductive, but despite it all, there isn’t really anywhere else he wants to be. Yes, his apartment reminds him of Jimin, and it’s both annoying and comforting all at once.

It’s fucking confusing, okay?

Sighing as he thinks about the tedious task awaiting him, Jungkook heads to his room, dragging his feet. What can I pack?

Moving in had been a hassle, but moving out? Moving out is always so much worse. He had accumulated so much random shit during the school year, and now he has way more stuff than he even came there with.

And not only will he have to pack, but he’s actually going to have to clean his apartment before he moves out – like vacuuming and dusting and all that shit.

He’s stressed just thinking about it, but hey, it’s still better than sitting down and staring at a textbook. Right now, he should just focus on gathering up all the stuff that he doesn’t need so that he can make the whole packing thing a bit easier on himself.

What don't I need any more? It only takes a moment of looking around his terribly untidy bedroom before his eyes fall on the candles.

The candles he bought because he and Jimin had been spending a ridiculous amount of time in his bedroom, which had admittedly caused the room to smell a little unpleasant – even though the hours spent in that room with Jimin had been anything but unpleasant.

Jungkook walks over to his dresser, picks up one of the candles, and is unable to stop himself from smiling when he reads the label.

**

“Classic Vanilla?” Jungkook raises his eyebrows, the beginnings of a smirk quirking his lips. “I don’t know, Jimin. I mean, the whole reason we’re getting these candles in the first place is because we’re anything but vanilla.”

“Jungkook!” Jimin’s eyes widen as he turns his head, wildly looking around the aisle to make sure that no one else was around to hear the comment. “You can’t just say that in public,” despite his scolding tone, there’s a smile on his face.

“Right, sorry. I’ll save it for the bedroom.”

Jimin shakes his head, ignoring Jungkook’s teasing as he reaches for another candle. “What about this one? Sunset Ocean Breeze.” Jimin says, holding it up for him to sniff.

Jungkook leans down to smell it, and he immediately recoils. “It smells like a chemical burn,” he scrunches up his nose, seriously regretting taking such a big whiff of the thing.

“A what?” Jimin throws his head back, nearly choking on his own laughter.

“It does!” Jungkook can’t help but join in, because Jimin just looks so cute damn when he’s laughing like that. It would be a sin to let him laugh alone.

“Whose job is it to come up with these names?” Jungkook muses as he scans the shelves. “And how can I land that job? Look at this one – Whimsical Twilight Forest After Rainfall.

“Mm, they are oddly specific, aren’t they?”

They spend far longer shopping for candles than they probably should have, but Jungkook doesn’t mind in the slightest. Candle shopping could easily become his new favourite pastime if he’s doing it with Jimin.

Jimin always proves that even the littlest, simplest things can be the best things.

“Hey Jimin, what about this one?” Jungkook’s devilish grin is unmistakable as he proudly holds out a candle for him to see. “I think it suits you.” When Jimin reads the name, he slaps Jungkook’s shoulder, and then just like that, they’re both losing themselves in a fit of laughter in the middle of aisle 4.

Shortcake.

**

Jungkook shakes his head as if doing so would rid himself of the memory, because he definitely does not need to be thinking about that right now. Fuck. Jeon Jungkook is seriously standing all alone in his bedroom, getting sentimental over candles.

What has Jimin done to him? Or maybe the better question is: what hasn’t Jimin done to him?

Swallowing thickly, he sets the candle down exactly where he found it.

Okay, so maybe packing wasn’t such a good idea after all. Packing would be a lot more tolerable if he had someone there to help him, but the only person he would want to help him right now is Jimin, but he can’t just ask Jimin to come over because they’re not together anymore and Jimin probably never even wants to see him again, and how can he just call him up now and say 'hey wanna come over and help me move out,' when he literally hadn’t said one word to him since they broke up?

It’s too late to talk to Jimin; too much time had passed without a single text message, and any attempt to reach out now would just be pointless.

Jungkook’s throat suddenly feels uncomfortably dry, and there’s that dull ache back in his chest like it never really left, and now he can confirm with the utmost certainty that packing had truly been an awful, awful idea.

He can’t study, he can’t pack – what the hell can he do?

Jungkook turns to leave his room, and as if on cue, his stomach growls, reminding him that he hadn’t eaten anything all day.

Hungry; perhaps the most intellectual thought that he’s had all day. That’s what he can do. Eat. Jeon Jungkook can always eat.

He pulls his phone out of his pocket. He knows that he can’t stay in his apartment forever – he can’t avoid the world forever. He knows that he’ll have to suck it up and partake in some basic human interaction at some point.

And that’s why he’s using his phone to order an extra-large cheese pizza for dinner – so that he can talk to the delivery guy and not feel so isolated from the rest of the world (not because he’s too lazy to actually make food for himself, and definitely not because he’s miserable right now and thinks that eating pizza will somehow make him feel better. That would just be silly).

According to his phone, his pizza will be there in forty to fifty minutes, and with any luck that means that in forty to fifty minutes, he’ll start feeling a little better.

He hopes that he will. But he knows that he won’t.

With a heavy heart, Jungkook leaves his bedroom behind, and retreats back to the couch instead. Unlike his stupid bedroom full of all those stupid memories, his couch had never betrayed him…yet.

As he slouches against the cushions, Jungkook makes an effort to think about things that aren’t Jimin. He tries to just think about himself.

He has a lot of shit to figure out, like what the hell is he even doing with his life?

Maybe he should take a semester off, and not come back for the fall term after summer break. After all, he still doesn’t know what he wants to do, doesn’t know what he would even use his degree for after he gets it, and if he’s not even going to be with Jimin, then coming back to the university in the fall would just suck even more.

Sure, he still has his friends here, and yeah, he’s going to miss them, but taking a break from school might really help him.

Maybe it would help him come to terms with everything, and maybe it would help him forget about –

The sound of knocking interrupts his thoughts, and he immediately jolts himself into an upright position, head whipping around to look at the door. Already?

Either he had been daydreaming for way longer than he thought he had been, or the pizza guy was just keen. Whatever the case, Jungkook certainly isn’t complaining. Unlike when he had been getting up with the intent to start packing, he finds that it’s a lot easier to get off the couch when he knows that there’s pizza waiting for him on the other side of the door.

At least, he thought there would be a pizza waiting for him. But what Jungkook sees when he answers the door isn’t what he had been expecting.

Like, at all.

“Taehyung?” Jungkook blurts out, somehow managing to keep his jaw from hitting the floor.

“Hey.” Taehyung smiles uncertainly, and Jungkook can only blink in response. “Um…is it okay if I come in?”

Jungkook just stands there, paralyzed, apparently forgetting that he’s a university student and more than capable of using words to formulate an actual sentence.

But who can really blame him? He expected pizza – not Kim Taehyung.

Not Kim Taehyung, who’s standing there with a smile on his face, and even though the smile is a rather faint one, it’s a smile all the same.

Shouldn’t Taehyung be glaring at him, because he broke his best friend’s heart? Shouldn’t he be scowling at him, and maybe even brandishing some sort of weapon – like maybe a pillow, or fuck, a loaf of bread (because Jungkook knows that Taehyung is way too nice to ever use an actual weapon, and too nice to ever actually hurt someone).  

But no, it’s just Taehyung there, there’s no pillow and no loaf of bread, even though Jungkook kind of wishes he had a loaf of bread on him, because he’s really fucking hungry.

He really shouldn’t be thinking about food right now. Jungkook mentally slaps himself, because now isn’t the time to be thinking about how hungry he is.

What is it a time to think about, though? Jungkook doesn’t know, and his brain is scrambling to make sense of everything, because what the actual fuck is going on?

All he knows is that Taehyung just asked if he could come inside, and he should probably respond to him.

He clears his throat, pretending like his heart isn’t pumping wildly and his brain isn’t about to explode from shock. “Uh, yeah. Yeah, sure.” He moves aside and opens the door wider, allowing Taehyung to step in.

“Thanks.”

What else was Jungkook supposed to do? Say no and shut the door in his face? He doesn’t have a clue about what to do in this situation, but he has a fairly good idea of what not to do. He’s not going to turn Taehyung away, because that would just be rude, and contrary to Jin’s belief, Jungkook’s mother did raise him with some manners.

After Taehyung had stepped inside, Jungkook closes the door slowly, as if doing so would somehow give him adequate time to figure out what he’s supposed to do. He doesn’t know what to do or say, and he suddenly finds himself feeling like he’s a guest in his own apartment – but it’s not because Taehyung is acting like he owns the place – the guy looks just as nervous as Jungkook feels.

Why was Taehyung there? Even though the atmosphere is rather awkward and a little tense, it’s not hostile in the slightest, and it’s obvious that Taehyung didn’t show up to yell at him or anything like that. So why did he come?

Oh my god, Jimin. Is Jimin okay?  Jungkook’s heart stutters in his chest. Did something happen to Jimin? What if Jimin fell down the stairs or something, because he’s really fucking clumsy and he would totally do that, or what if he got hit by a bus or –

“So…I don’t really know where to start.” Thankfully, Taehyung’s voice snaps Jungkook out of it, and stops his imagination from running any further than it already had. “I mean, I honestly thought that you guys would be back together by now, but you’re not, and I know this really isn’t my place to meddle and Jimin would kill me if he knew I was here, but I have to do something about this because I can’t just sit around and pretend like everything is fine, because it’s not fine.” Taehyung’s rambling confirms Jungkook’s suspicions, and lets him know that he’s definitely as nervous as he is himself.

Okay…so Jimin didn’t even know that Taehyung was there? So Jimin isn’t hurt, and Jimin hadn’t sent him over? Jungkook is officially even more lost than he was before, and is still stunned into silence, just standing there and watching as Taehyung begins to pace back and forth.  

“I know that you two love each other,” Taehyung talks with his head down, staring at his feet as he walks. “I know you’re meant to be together, and it would be a shame if the reason you aren’t together is because of me.”

Jungkook frowns. Taehyung wasn’t the reason they weren’t together. Well…it kind of was because of Taehyung, but then again, not at all, really.

It’s fucking confusing, okay?

Yes, if Taehyung wasn’t around then Jungkook and Jimin wouldn’t have been in any fights surrounding him, and they never would have broken-up, but then again Taehyung isn’t the sole reason.

It wasn’t just Taehyung; it was the way that the situation was dealt with. It was the hiding of feelings and the refusal to ever admit that there was a problem, it was the fact that they only ever wanted to show each other their smiles and never their frowns, and it’s the fact that Jungkook knows that he’ll never understand Jimin’s relationship with Taehyung, and he’ll only drive himself crazy trying to understand.

It’s all of it.

“It’s not because of you,” Jungkook says, coming off a little more defensive than he had intended to.

Taehyung stops his pacing, soft eyes resting on Jungkook. “That’s what Jimin said, too.”

Finding that it’s a little hard to meet Taehyung’s gaze at the moment, Jungkook decides to look down at his feet instead. He doesn’t blame Taehyung for it at all, and honestly, he feels a little guilty that Taehyung thinks he’s involved in it.

This is just between him and Jimin…right?

“I know that I’m not the only reason,” Taehyung adds, “but I also know that you and Jimin are both too nice to ever say that I’m part of it.”

Honestly, Jungkook had never even thought about how Taehyung would feel about the whole thing. Until now, he had never considered the possibility that Taehyung would think of himself as part of the reason for the break-up, and he certainly never once thought that the break-up would affect Taehyung negatively.

Why should he be negatively affected by it? Shouldn’t it be some sort of blessing in disguise for the guy? 

“I guess maybe coming here was a bit selfish of me, really.” When Taehyung continues, Jungkook risks a glance, and somehow manages to maintain eye contact with him this time. “Maybe coming here was more for me than it was for anyone else, because I know that I won’t be able to sleep at night if I don’t talk to you about it.”

Now that didn’t sound too promising, but then again, what did Jungkook expect? It's not like he thought Taehyung would come there bearing gifts and good news. He sucks in a deep breath, making one last attempt to calm his nerves, and he braces himself for impact. Is this where Taehyung admits that he loves Jimin?

“I didn’t come here to tell you what to do…I just came here to tell you the truth.” Taehyung says, and even though his gaze is nowhere near cold, Jungkook doesn’t feel anywhere near warm.

Jungkook crosses his arms over his chest, feeling a little self-conscious, and unsure of what he's supposed to do with his hands. “Okay…” 

Here we go. Here’s where Taehyung says that he’s sorry for causing trouble, but he’s in love with Jimin and they’re going to be together and live happily ever after. And maybe it would be best if Jungkook did hear that coming straight from Taehyung’s mouth, because at least he would be able to understand that.

At least then he would be able to stop torturing himself with the what ifs, and with the questions about how they do it without getting feelings involved, because if Taehyung admits his feelings for Jimin then Jungkook would have his answer: they don’t do it without getting feelings involved.

And he would be able to understand that perfectly fine.

“When you and Jimin first started dating…I’m not going to lie, it was kind of hard for me to get used to.” Taehyung starts pacing again, and Jungkook can tell by the way his brow is creasing that there’s a lot on his mind, and that he’s speaking sincerely from the heart.

Though, that sincerity only stings, because Jungkook isn’t sure if he’s ready to hear Taehyung talking about how he really feels about Jimin. Even so, he remains quiet and allows Taehyung to speak freely.

He may not want to hear this, but he probably needs to.

“I guess I never realized just how much time me and Jimin used to spend together until he started spending a lot of his time with you.” Even though those words could easily sound so bitter, there’s not even the slightest trace of venom in Taehyung’s tone.

Taehyung doesn’t sound jealous at all, and that only perplexes Jungkook even further. Where was this going?

“It was weird for me, because I was so used to having him by my side all the time – but it didn’t make me upset when Jimin started spending more time with you, because I saw how happy he was. And if Jimin’s happy, then I’m happy.”

Jungkook had never thought about that. He never thought about how any of that would feel for Taehyung.

“I wasn’t upset…it just took me a while to get used to not having him around all the time. And maybe that sounds a little pathetic, but it's true. And as weird as it may sound, not having him around so much helped me realize that I don’t have to be so dependent on him. Don’t get me wrong, I still depend on him a lot, and I always will, but I think that I learned to be more independent when you guys started dating.”

Jungkook always knew that Jimin and Taehyung were best friends, and it was always obvious how close they were with each other, and yet for some reason he never once thought about Taehyung needing to get adjusted to not having Jimin around so often.

Jungkook's eyebrows draw together as he thinks about all the time he and Jimin had spent together, thinks about how all the time that he had spent with Jimin had been time that Jimin hadn’t been spending with Taehyung. He thinks about that one instance where they had been hanging out together, and how quickly Jimin left when Taehyung texted him about his code red or whatever.

 Jungkook remembers that instance clearly, remembers how upset he had been when Jimin left that night.

And now, Jungkook wonders just how many instances there had been in which Taehyung didn’t call or text Jimin even when he really wanted to.

Jungkook never thought about any of that before.

“Near the beginning of last semester, me and Jimin got in a really big fight, and he said something that really hurt me at first.  He said that I’m not the only thing he needs in his life. And I know that sounds kind of harsh and I know he didn’t mean for it to sound so harsh, and I know he said it all in the heat of the moment, and – ” Taehyung comes to an abrupt halt, holding his head as if to steady himself, “woah, I’m getting dizzy.”

It’s not surprising that Taehyung was starting to get dizzy considering the way he had been pacing back and forth, and the way that he had been talking so fast that he barely even had time to breathe. That's not surprising, but his words certainly are; they're making Jungkook think about things he never even considered.

“Do you…” Jungkook pauses, watching Taehyung squinting, seemingly trying to blink away his sense of vertigo. “Do you wanna sit?” He gestures towards the table, and when he receives a nod from the other, he finally moves from where he had been standing since letting Taehyung inside.

If Jungkook wasn’t so absorbed with hearing all that Taehyung had to say, and if his mind wasn’t reeling from all of the information coming in, then he would probably feel a little embarrassed about the sorry state that his apartment is in.

But Jungkook doesn’t care about that. Even though he’s still a little scared about what he may end up hearing from Taehyung, he knows that he needs to hear it all. He can’t cover his ears to this like he had covered his eyes when he and Jimin had been together. He can’t run away, he can’t ignore it, he can't pretend this isn't happening. 

Jungkook thought that this story only had two sides; his own, and Jimin’s. But maybe there are three sides to every story. And if there is a third side, well he needs to hear it.

Maybe hearing it will help him come to terms with the break-up, maybe it’ll somehow make it all easier, because that’s all that Jungkook can really hope for. He wants his memories with Jimin to leave him smiling, he wants them to make him happy.

It would be a shame if their best memories together left him with a sense of sorrow.

“Where was I?” Taehyung murmurs, glancing up at the ceiling in thought as Jungkook unceremoniously shoves his books and papers to the side, clearing a space at the table for them. “Oh right, the fight.”

They sit across from one another, and given the close proximity, Jungkook has to make a conscious effort to actually look at Taehyung when he’s speaking. But it's hard to look at him –  Jungkook isn’t used to opening up like this, and even though technically Taehyung is the one opening up and doing all of the talking at the moment, Jungkook still feels pretty damn vulnerable.

Oddly enough, he doesn’t feel uncomfortable, though. Taehyung did alway have a talent for making people feel comfortable.

“When Jimin said that I wasn’t the only thing he needs in his life, I was hurt at first, and I thought it meant that I wasn’t good enough of a friend for him. But the more I thought about it, I realized that what he said might be true." Taehyung shrugs in a way that suggests he had figured this all out a while ago. "I’m not the only thing he needs in his life, and he’s not the only thing I need in my life.”

Okay, so that’s not what Jungkook expected to hear, but he figures that Taehyung’s words have some merit. There were a lot of things that people need: food, water, shelter, clothes, food –

“I do need Jimin, he’s my best friend and I don’t know what I would do without him, but I know that he’s not the only thing I need.” Taehyung trails off, offering Jungkook a smile amidst the silence that settles around them. “And Jimin…well I know I’m speaking for him when I say this, so even though it’s true it might not mean much to you right now. But I know he needs you in his life too, Jungkook.”

Only now does Jungkook cast his gaze to the side.

He wishes that he was still standing by the door, he wishes Taehyung was still pacing his apartment, because hearing that from Taehyung and thinking all of these thoughts while he’s sitting right across from him is just so personal. It’s so real, and he doesn’t want Taehyung to see the pain in his eyes.

Jungkook needs Jimin too, he needs him and his warm smiles, and he wants every piece of him, because he just doesn’t feel right without him. But even if they need each other, does that mean they can be with each other?

He’s not the best at expressing his feelings even to the people that he’s closest with – hell, he couldn’t even talk about this with Jin, so talking about it all with Taehyung? Well, it’s really difficult for Jungkook to do.

And that’s why he’s so glad that Taehyung is taking the lead. Taehyung keeps talking, and doesn’t pressure him for an answer, he doesn’t stare at him like he expects him to speak.

It’s like Taehyung understands.

“Jimin is…” Taehyung sighs softly, “Jimin is a person who takes care of the people that he loves. He’s someone that people can always rely on, and I admire that a lot about him. The second he hears that someone he cares about is having a hard time, he’ll drop whatever he’s doing to make sure they’re okay. I don’t really understand how he lives like that, and I sometimes wonder if he ever gets tired living like that…but that’s just who Jimin is.”

Taehyung tilts his head to the side, “I think that Jimin’s biggest strength is his heart, but I think that maybe it’s his biggest weakness, too. I don’t know how he can be that selfless, and I think maybe sometimes he’s too selfless.”

And Taehyung’s right. That is Jimin.

A person who takes care of the people that he loves. Jungkook shifts in his seat, eyes fixated on the table as he loses himself in thought.

He thinks about how Jimin stayed in on Halloween to look after Taehyung, he thinks about the time Jimin left him for Taehyung when they had been hanging out, thinks about how worried Jimin had been when Taehyung was at the club with Jin and Hoseok, thinks about how fiercely Jimin had protected Taehyung on the night of the break-up, thinks about how Jimin always talked about Taehyung with such fondness. He thinks about all the things that Jimin had ever done to show just how much he loves Taehyung; to show just how far he would go for him.

And then, Jungkook thinks about all the things that Jimin did for him. He thinks back to before they even started dating, thinks about how much time Jimin was willing to give up to help him study for their tests. He thinks back to when he had been keeping all of his worries about school bottled up and hidden inside, thinks about how worried Jimin had been and how he was always asking what was wrong, and how he constantly tried to make plans with him even when all Jungkook did was brush him off.

He thinks about how Jimin had walked over to his apartment when it was nearly three in the morning just to check on him, he thinks about how Jimin had skipped all of his classes the next day just to stay with him and make sure he was okay. He thinks about the countless hours that Jimin spent with him, dedicated to browsing careers and looking more closely into the programs that the university offered to help him figure out his life.

He thinks about how Jimin chased after him on the night they broke up, even when Jungkook was running away, even when he had his back to him, Jimin chased him.

He thinks about it all, thinks about the countless other things that Jimin did for him, even when he didn’t have to do any of it.

That’s Jimin. That’s Jimin and his big heart. That’s Jimin and his big, beautiful, flawed heart. Jimin might be someone who spreads himself too thin. He’s someone that wants to give everything to the people that he loves, and yes he’s selfless, but there is such a thing as being too selfless.

But like Taehyung said, that’s just who Jimin is. Jimin will drop whatever he’s doing just to help the people that he cares about.

And all this time, Jungkook thought that he was sharing Jimin with Taehyung. But what of that’s not true?

What if they never shared Jimin at all, what if they both always had all of Jimin?

“That’s Jimin.” Taehyung says, his voice prompting Jungkook to raise his head, and when he does, he notices that Taehyung's smile is more tentative than it had been before. “My relationship with Jimin…well it’s a bit more complicated than that, and it’s really hard to explain.” He furrows his eyebrows, “I don’t even think I can explain it.” 

“I think that it isn’t something that can be explained, I think it’s something that I just know. I know that I won’t ever be the one for Jimin, and I know that he won’t ever be the one for me." Taehyung's face relaxes now, as if he's comforted by his own words. "He’s my best friend and I don’t know what I would do without him, but I won't ever see him as anything more than my best friend. And I do love him, but not in the way that you love him.”

Jungkook can’t even open his mouth or bring himself to say a single thing, not that he had really been talking at all since Taehyung showed up, not that he even wants to talk right now.

All he wants to do is listen.

He never thought he would ever be hearing this from Taehyung. He never knew he needed to hear it.

“What me and Jimin have, well it’s special… no one really understands it. And honestly, I don’t even think that I understand it. I don’t understand how I have a friend like Jimin, I don’t understand how I got so lucky.” Taehyung looks down at his lap, but even so, Jungkook can see the soft smile on his face. “There are a lot of things that I don’t understand…but I don’t waste my time trying to understand. And maybe you don’t have to understand, Jungkook.”

Taehyung is watching Jungkook again, is watching him like he knows exactly what he’s going through, even though he had just claimed to not understand much. Jungkook thinks that maybe, Taehyung understands a lot more than he gives himself credit for.

“I think that maybe, understanding isn’t everything.” Taehyung continues carefully, like he wants to make sure every syllable rolling off his tongue is said clearly and consicely. “I think that people today are too hung up on understanding. I think that maybe, we spend too much time trying to understand, so we miss out on actually living. I think some people waste their lives trying to understand things that they never will.”

“And honestly, I think that life would be kind of boring if we understood everything.” Taehyung leans forward slightly, and Jungkook can tell that he really believes what he’s saying; that he’s passionate about his own words. “I mean, what would there be to wonder about? Where would our sense of wonder even be?” And Jungkook doesn’t have an answer to that question. Because maybe Taehyung is right.

“Like, why is Jin-hyung the way he is?” Taehyung points out, “I don’t know, he just is who he is. He's just...that.” There's a beat of silence before a curious smile takes over Taehyung's face, and he lifts his hand above his head, making a grand sweeping gesture in the air. “And what about the sky? Who made the stars and the moon? I don’t know, I just know that they’re pretty, and I like looking at them." He shakes his head, "I don’t understand, but I think there’s more to life than just understanding.”

Jungkook doesn’t know how he can feel a sense of comfort from hearing someone admit that they don’t understand a lot of things about this life.

But he feels comforted all the same.

He had been tearing himself up over Jimin and Taehyung’s relationship; trying to solve it like it was some sort of mathematical equation. But life isn’t so simple.

Life isn’t some mathematical equation where you can just plug in a formula and get an answer.

What if Taehyung is right? What if he really doesn’t need to understand it? He thought that in the end, it all came down to understanding…but what if it all comes down to not understanding?

“I’m not gonna force you to talk to Jimin, and I’m not gonna hate you if you don’t.” And once again, Jungkook is surprised by Taehyung’s words. How can Taehyung be so goddamn nice? How can he be so nice when Jungkook had been the one to hurt his best friend? Jungkook doesn't think he really deserves such kind treatment from Taehyung. “I just…" Taehyung sighs heavily. "I had to get that all off my chest.”

Not once had Taehyung accused him of doing something wrong, not once did he raise his voice, and not once did he look at him with any amount of resentment in those soft brown eyes of his. 

“All I ask, is that if you do go to him, if you do talk to him, know how you feel. I mean, really know.” Taehyung’s still smiling, but it’s a rather sad smile now. And, as if it wasn’t already obvious enough, well his next words make it perfectly clear that he cares about Jimin just as much as Jimin cares about him. “Don’t go to him just to go to him, don’t forget everything just because you love him, don’t say sorry just because you care about him. Don’t jump back into it if it’s all just going to end the same way.”

Jungkook had barely even spoken this entire time, but it had been okay because Taehyung had so much to say to him. And now, it’s finally Jungkook’s turn to talk, but his mind is a mess and he’s drawing a blank.

There’s so much to think about now, and there are so many emotions flaring up within him, each of them battling to take the lead.

Jungkook doesn’t even know how he feels right now. It's not as if everything had been magically solved, and things still aren't anywhere near okay. But there's a chance that things can get better. 

He doesn’t know what the future has in store for him and Jimin. He doesn’t know if they’ll be able to put all of their broken pieces back together, he doesn’t know what Jimin is feeling right now, or what Jimin even thinks about him. He doesn’t know a lot of things, and it’s still fucking scary not knowing.

But what’s even scarier than not knowing, is having a chance to fix things, and not taking that chance.

Jungkook may not understand a lot of things, but he does understand one very important thing: he loves Park Jimin.

He loves Park Jimin, and he wants him in his life, and even if they can’t ever go back to the way they were before, he doesn’t care. He needs him in his life in some way. He loves Park Jimin, and he’s thankful that Jimin has a friend like Kim Taehyung.

Everyone should have a friend like Taehyung.

Jungkook clears his throat, realizing that he should say something before Taehyung starts to think that he had been talking to a wall this whole time. A thank you of some sort is definitely in order, even though saying thanks is far too simple of a reply after everything that Taehyung had said to him. No, after everything that Taehyung had done for him.

So again, Jungkook isn’t sure of what to say.

He doesn’t want to say something too simple, because he doesn’t want Taehyung to think he’s ungrateful, but he doesn’t want to say something too elaborate, because he doesn’t want it to sound contrived, but he really needs to say something, and fuck why are words so hard?

For the second time that night, Jungkook finds himself nearly jumping from his seat, startled by knocking at his door. He had completely forgotten about the pizza.  

Taehyung glances at him curiously, and Jungkook offers an apologetic smile before saying, “ah – sorry, just one sec,” and he excuses himself from the table to answer the door.

He can’t even be upset that the pizza guy had interrupted them, because it’s not like Jungkook was even capable of forming a coherent sentence to thank Taehyung.

God, why did he have to be so awkward?

After paying for the pizza, he finds himself standing by the door in the exact same spot he had been standing in when Taehyung first showed up that night.

The only difference is that now he’s a little embarrassed to be holding an extra-large pizza that he had definitely intended on eating all by himself. He shifts his weight from foot to foot, looking down at the pizza box in his hand, then back to Taehyung.

He isn’t sure how to tell Taehyung how he feels about everything he said, and he has no idea how to even begin to express his appreciation. But sometimes, actions speak louder than words, and god knows that Jungkook is really struggling with words.

“So…are you hungry?” Jungkook starts slowly, rubbing the back of his neck. “I ordered an extra-large pizza, but I don’t think I can finish it all by myself.” He hesitates for a moment, only to trip on his next words as he rushes to clarify. “U-unless you have somewhere to be or something, like if you have to go I totally understand. Don’t feel obligated to stay or anything, I just –”

“I’m starving,” Taehyung grins. “And I’m always in the mood for pizza.”

Jungkook’s shoulders relax, and a wave of relief washes over him. Though, that relief doesn’t last very long –  it vanishes just as soon as he realizes that all of his plates (all two of them) are currently in the sink. “Uh…are you okay if we don’t use plates?” He may not be the best host, “and are you okay with water? I don’t really have anything else to drink right now…” But at least he’s trying.

“Are you kidding?” Taehyung laughs softly, “why dirty a perfectly good dish when you can use your hands? And water’s great, thanks.”

Jungkook can’t help but smile as he brings the pizza over. Jimin had never fully grasped the concept of being a lazy university student, but it looks like Taehyung has it down pat. He sets the box down on the table, then grabs a bottle of water from the fridge for Taehyung.

He's glad that Taehyung doesn't press him about Jimin, glad that he doesn't ask him what he's going to do now. Jungkook doesn't even know what he's going to do, because he still needs time to process everything. There are so many things that his talk with Taehyung had given him to think about, and Jungkook is definitely going to be spending a lot of time thinking about it all, there’s no question about that.

But it looks like Taehyung isn’t quite done with giving him things to think about.

“Hey, speaking of dishes,” Taehyung waits for Jungkook to sit back down before continuing. “Did you know that dish soap and dishwasher detergent are completely different things?”

Jungkook had been reaching for a slice of pizza, but after hearing those words he freezes, his hand hovering over the box. “What?” He stares at Taehyung, wide eyed. “I thought that they were the same thing?”

“That’s what I thought!”

 

Chapter Text

Finally.

Jimin walks to the front of the lecture hall, turning in his last exam. And just like that, he’s finally done.

The semester is finally over, and hopefully that means that he can finally breathe a little easier. He doesn’t think he did particularly well on any of his exams, but he doesn’t care. The only thing that matters is the fact that it’s all finally done with, and that means that there’s one less thing to worry about.

And yet, even as he heads for the doors, he can’t find it in himself to feel excited. Because even though another semester has come to an end, even though he no longer has to stress about studying, even though he’ll get to go home now, there’s still something that feels so wrong. There’s still something keeping him from feeling relieved on his way out.

He still doesn’t have Jungkook.

For some reason, Jimin thought that once his exams were done with, it would somehow make everything easier. He should’ve known that that had just been wishful thinking, though. Even now, his mind is already wandering to Jungkook. Jimin wonders what he’s doing. He wonders if he’s busy packing – or maybe he’s already home by now. Who knows. 

Lately, Jimin had been thinking a lot about everything. Even though he still believes that avoiding Jungkook would be the best way to deal with things, he wouldn’t feel right cutting him out of his life completely, because Jungkook had become such a big part of his life during the time that they had been together.

Jungkook had become so important to him, and Jimin wants to at least apologize, to tell him that he’s sorry for hurting him, and that he’s sorry for lying to him.

Something that Jimin had realized over these last few days was that he had lied to Jungkook throughout their entire relationship. From the very beginning, he had lied to him, and he had lied to himself. Things could have been so different if he had just been honest, but he chose to lie instead, and there’s nothing he can do now to change that.

He should text him at some point, just to say sorry. Then again, a simple text to Jungkook wouldn’t feel right considering how much he had loved him, and how much he had cared about him. No, considering how much he still loves him and how much he still cares about him.

With his head down, Jimin exits the lecture hall, watching his feet as he walks. Even though a text message might seem rather impersonal, it’s better than nothing. But what if Jungkook doesn’t even reply? What if he’s still pissed, or what if he blocked my number or something?  Jimin shakes his head, dispelling those thoughts. Jungkook wouldn’t do that… But what would Jungkook do?

Fuck, he wishes he could stop torturing himself with these never-ending questions.

He’s officially done his semester, he doesn't have to think about school, but his head still hurts because he still has Jungkook to worry about, and his summer is going to turn out to be really shitty if he doesn’t get this whole thing sorted out and –

“Jimin, wait up!”

Jimin stops dead in his tracks. And just like that, all of his thoughts and all of his worries flee his mind.

He knows that voice. Jungkook’s voice sounds just as good as it had always sounded. Having Jungkook say his name feels just as good as it had always felt. 

Jimin had missed everything about Jungkook. Everything; from the way he said his name to the way he laughed, from his smiles and even to his frowns. From Jungkook's head to his toes, Jimin had missed it all.

With his breath already catching in his throat, and with his aching heart struggling to find a steady pace, Jimin turns around, and he sees Jungkook for the first time since the night they broke up.

Even though the thought of seeing Jungkook again always made him want to run and hide, Jimin can’t bring himself to move a single muscle. There’s absolutely nothing in him now that wants to turn around and run away.

He had been scared to see Jungkook again, but Jimin can’t deny that seeing him now feels good. It feels good to see Jungkook, just to see that he’s okay, just to see that he’s still Jungkook.

Jungkook is standing there, and he’s looking at him with bright eyes that Jimin knows so well, with those same eyes that he fell in love with, and with those same eyes he knows he’ll love forever.

And even if he can’t ever have Jungkook again, even though they may not be together, it won’t change the fact that Jungkook’s eyes are his favourite eyes in the whole world, and Jimin is so glad that the sparkle never left them.

He’d feel like a criminal if he had been the one to take away that light.

While Jimin’s lips are parted as if he’s ready to say something, he’s finding it hard to even make a sound at this point. Jungkook wasn’t supposed to be around anymore, he wasn’t supposed to see Jungkook for a long time – why is Jungkook even still here – they were eventually supposed to text each other and apologize, but that was supposed to be the extent of their interaction.

At least, that’s what Jimin had worked out in his head, but maybe it’s best that things didn’t happen the way he assumed that they would. Maybe this will give them both some sort of closure, and even though closure would signal the final chapter to their story, it’s probably what they both need. The mere thought of closure stings, but Jimin will grit his teeth and endure it. 

Even if it may hurt, closure is probably healthy.

Jungkook takes a few steps closer, maybe because he realizes that Jimin isn’t capable of moving at the moment, and he’s wearing a delicate smile that borders on bashful, and Jimin is so painfully aware that this is Jeon Jungkook, who’s shy and cocky all at once, who can make him smile and laugh like no one else, and who is the only one who can break his heart and reduce him to nothing more than a puddle of tears.

It’s all Jungkook, and even after everything that happened, Jimin is so thankful that Jungkook is Jungkook.

“Jimin…is it okay if we talk?” Jungkook asks, his unwavering gaze contrasting with the tentative way he’s speaking. “I know this is kinda random, and I’d understand if you don’t want to talk…but I need to talk to you.”

He's right, it is random, but so what? If Jungkook wants to talk, then Jimin won’t run away. If Jungkook needs to say something to him, then Jimin will stay quiet and let him say it all. Even if this is only a step Jungkook is taking so that he can move on, even though this might just be a part of Jungkook’s healing process, Jimin doesn’t care.

If Jungkook needs to talk to him so that he can feel better, then Jimin won’t dare ignore him.

“Yeah,” when Jimin finally finds his voice, he can't keep it from shaking. Whenever his friends had encouraged him to talk with Jungkook after the break-up, he had refused, and had been adamant that talking wouldn’t fix anything. Talking might not necessarily fix anything, but it might be therapeutic in some way. He clears his throat, tries to ignore how much it hurts to think about Jungkook moving on from him. It's probably for the best. “I really need to talk to you, too.” He needs to talk to him, to apologize to him, to let him know that he had wronged him, and that he didn’t do anything to deserve any of it.

The corners of Jungkook’s lips lift so that he’s smiling just a bit wider now, as if he’s relieved by Jimin’s words, and at the sight of it, Jimin finds himself wanting to smile too. 

Jungkook had always been so damn cute.

“Do you wanna go for a walk maybe?" There’s a beat of silence before Jungkook nods towards the window. "It’s really nice outside.”

Jimin nods without thinking twice. “Okay.”

They walk side by side, falling into an easy stride, and even though they both said they wanted to talk, neither of them speak. Jimin still thinks that these silences with Jungkook are some of the most comforting things in the world, though, so he doesn't mind.

The school is pretty much empty at this point; most students are finished with their exams now, and those who weren't were likely in the library. The lack of bustling bodies gives Jimin the sense that he and Jungkook are the only two people in the world.

And even as they walk through corridors, it feels like nothing had changed, but Jimin knows that's not true at all. So many things had changed, and yet here Jimin is, walking beside Jungkook like he had done so many times before, feeling just as natural as he always felt.

Maybe his mind is going a million miles a minute, and maybe his heart is set on racing it, but he still somehow feels at ease.

He's somehow calm in spite of it all, even though he knows that this is just the start of the end. Because after this talk, after they let it all out and after they have nothing else to say, then they’ll go their separate ways.

Maybe that’s why they’re silent. Maybe they’re silent because the sooner they start talking, the sooner it will all stop.

It’s only when they finally step outside into the sunshine that Jimin risks a glance up at Jungkook, and he finds that he's watching his feet as he walks, deep in thought, seemingly lost in his own mind. There’s a gentle breeze that ruffles Jungkook’s dark hair as it passes on by, and Jimin finds himself wanting to reach out and do what the wind had done; to thread his fingers through Jungkook’s hair like he had done so many times before.

He doesn’t let himself do that, though.

He simply watches Jungkook, sweeps his eyes over his face, thinks about how beautiful he is and how much he means to him, and about how he wishes he never fucked everything up and hurt him, but Jimin knows the truth now and the truth is that he messed up, and they just shouldn’t be with each other anymore, and before Jimin even knows it, he’s opening his mouth and “I’m sorry," slips out. 

Frankly, Jimin wouldn’t have been surprised if Jungkook hadn’t heard those softly spoken words, but when he turns his head so that their eyes meet, it’s obvious he had. Both of them come to a stop in the middle of the sidewalk, simply watching one another in silence.

There’s so much more to say besides sorry, but sorry is as good of a place to start as any. He allows his words to hang in the air, allows more time to pass between them without anything else being said, but when it’s quiet for a little too long, and when Jimin decides that he should further explain himself, Jungkook interrupts him.

“I was supposed to say it first.” And it’s such a Jungkook thing to say.

Jimin wants to laugh, but he’s afraid that if he laughs he’ll end up crying instead, because lately, his emotions haven’t really been the most stable.

He doesn’t laugh, but a faint smile surfaces instead. He’s glad that they’re finally apologizing, and he’s glad that they’re doing it in person, because Jungkook deserves a face to face apology.

“I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I want to say, and I know what I want to say. I know how I feel.” Jungkook draws in a deep breath, and when he lets it out, there’s a frown on his face.  “But I don’t know how to even begin to explain it all to you.”

Even if Jungkook hadn’t admitted that out loud, Jimin knows Jungkook, and he would have easily been able to tell just from the look on his face that he’s having a hard time putting his thoughts into words.

Truthfully, Jimin is struggling with the very same thing at the moment. He had so much time to think things through and to sort out what he wanted to say, but thinking about it in your head is so different from the real thing.

This isn’t a hypothetical scenario – this is real, Jimin is actually standing close enough to reach out and touch Jungkook, and it’s not easy for him to hold back.

He’s next to Jungkook, and he still wants nothing more than to wrap his arms around him, to feel the familiar warmth that only Jungkook’s embrace can give, but holding on to him like that would just be selfish.

He doesn’t want them to get back together just so that they can keep making the same mistakes. The only thing they can really do is talk it out and apologize.

“It’s okay,” Jimin assures softly. They don’t have to rush, they just have to make sure that when they speak, they speak from the heart. He hesitates before gesturing on ahead in the general direction that they had been going. “We can keep walking if you want. And then when one of us has something to say, we can just say it.”

“Okay.”

They start again, and Jimin doesn’t know exactly where they’re walking to, but even so, he would walk until he runs out of road if he’s walking with Jungkook. He’d walk with him wherever, and he’d walk with him for as long as it takes for them to make things right, so that their last memories with one another are good instead of bad.

Because the last time he had seen Jungkook, it had been so, so bad.

Instead of looking down at his feet, Jimin keeps his head up as they walk, wanting to look at the world around him, wanting to admire spring, because this is the first time in a while that he had actually enjoyed the warmth of spring.

With his head up, it’s doesn't take long for Jimin to notice that if they keep walking this way, they'll end up in the very same park where they had shared their very first kiss.

Everything really does come back full circle, doesn’t it?  

Jimin looks down at the pavement now, flooded with memories from the night of their first kiss; the night that had just been the beginning of the end. He remembers the way Jungkook had looked at him before kissing him, and the way he looked at him after kissing him. He still remembers that breathless, fluttery feeling in his chest, and the way his smile refused to leave his face for the rest of the night.

And Jimin thinks about all the kisses they shared between then and now, and how precious each one had been, and he wishes that he could still kiss Jungkook, he wishes that things had turned out differently. 

“I’m just…I’m sorry, Jimin. I’m sorry for leaving you the way that I left you.” Jungkook starts, apparently not content with walking in silence anymore, his voice pulling Jimin from his thoughts. “And I’m sorry that I never even texted you after it all happened.”

Everything about the break-up had been painful, and the way Jungkook had turned his back to him and walked away that night had cut Jimin deeply. He’s thankful that Jungkook is apologizing for it, and Jimin forgives him.

But they’re both at fault. “I didn’t text you either, though.” Jimin points out. They were both to blame, and there had been a time when Jimin thought about blaming fate for it all, but blaming fate would be a cowardly cop-out.

They’re both to blame, both of their hands are stained, they’re both complicit in the fall of their relationship, and there’s no pleading innocence. Jimin knows that.

Jimin knows that, and he knows that there are so many other things that he has to be sorry for.

And apparently, Jungkook had a lot of things that he’s sorry for, too.

“And I’m sorry for blowing up at you the way I did. What I said to you…what I said about you and Taehyung, I only said because I was hurt.” Jungkook winces as if his wounds are re-opening, and Jimin has to resist the urge to take his hand in his own to offer a reassuring squeeze. “I shouldn’t have done that, I wish I didn’t do that. I never wanted to hurt you, Jimin, and what I said, and what I did was wrong.”

Jimin slows down until he’s standing in the middle of the path, and he has to swallow his own words, has to stop himself from saying it’s okay, because it's not okay.

The way that Jungkook put down his relationship with Taehyung wasn’t okay at all. It’s not okay, and it will never be okay for anyone to attack his friendship with Taehyung like that, but even if it’s not okay, Jimin forgives Jungkook, doesn't hold anything against him.

It’s obvious that Jungkook regrets what he had done, and not only does he regret it, but Jimin can see that he’s genuinely sorry about it too.

Soon enough, the two of them are standing still, an arm’s length apart, just watching each other as the world around them continues to move. There are other people out enjoying the weather, enjoying not having to wear a coat because the chill of winter is gone for good, enjoying the birdsong and the puffy white clouds lazily moving across the pretty blue sky, enjoying the warmth of the sun and the sweetness of the blooming blossoms.

But Jimin is just enjoying this moment with Jungkook. He’s just enjoying that he can see him, that he can talk to him, and that they’re letting each other know they’re sorry.

“Let’s sit down,” he suggests softly. He leads Jungkook to a park bench, wanting to sit and face him, to give him all of his attention, wanting to show him everything in his own eyes, and wanting to see everything in Jungkook’s eyes.

No more hiding.

They sit, bodies angled so that they’re facing one another instead of the pond, instead of the trees, instead of everything else around them. It’s just Jimin and Jungkook, just two people owning up to their mistakes, just two people who want to make things right.

“It's just that everything I’d been holding in came out, and I couldn’t stop it." Jungkook shakes his head, picking up right where he left off. "I was wound up so tight, and I snapped, and I snapped at you and Taehyung and I made it seem like you two were the only problem, but that’s not true.” Shame stains Jungkook’s features, and Jimin wishes he could wipe that shame away.

“I never told you that I was upset,” Jungkook carries on, his leg bouncing out of habit, just like it always did during lectures, “or that there was something bothering me when it came to your relationship with Taehyung. I never told you any of that, but I should’ve. And I shouldn’t have–”

“But I never should have let it get to that point, Jungkook.” Jimin cuts in, hoping that he can keep whatever tears he may have left at bay long enough so that he can tell Jungkook his own side. “It’s not all your fault.” He’s not willing to let Jungkook think that he had been the biggest problem in their relationship. 

They’re both speaking the truth now, they’re not hiding anything anymore, and maybe it’s scary to tell the truth, and maybe it’s hard to admit to being wrong, and to acknowledge the darker parts of yourself.

All Jimin ever wanted was to be Jungkook’s light, and he tried so hard to be that light, he tried so hard that he ignored all the other parts of himself, and pretended like he was all light and no dark. But where there’s light, there’s shadow.

And Jimin isn’t going to pretend like there isn’t one anymore.

“A part of me always knew that you were never really okay with me and Taehyung.” Jimin looks at his hands, absentmindedly picks at a fingernail. There were so many things that he had done wrong, and since he can’t go back and change any of it, all he can do is own up to it now. “But when we first started to get to know each other, I pushed it aside. And then when we started dating, I liked you so much, and I wanted to be with you so bad, so I ignored it.”

Despite his own sense of shame, he looks up at Jungkook now, sees that he’s watching him with bright attentive eyes, and when he sees those eyes, he wonders how he was ever able to lie to him in the first place. He never wants to do anything to betray Jungkook's trust. “And when things between us started getting more serious, it only made me want to ignore it that much more. I wanted to believe that everything was okay, so I kept telling myself that everything was okay, because I wanted us to work. But I never should have done that. I ignored how you felt, and I lied to you, Jungkook. And I’m sorry.”

He had lied to Jungkook, and he had lied to himself. He lied and acted like there wasn’t anything wrong when deep down he knew there was. That may have been a lie, but that doesn’t mean that nothing about their relationship was real.

“I don’t want you to think that means that it was all a lie. I was so happy with you, Jungkook.” There may be a smile on Jimin’s face now, but there’s not a trace of joy in it. “You made me so happy, and you made me laugh so much, and I cared about you so much, and I loved you so much.” He trails off, giving himself time to breathe, afraid that his next words will get stuck on the way out. “I still care about you.” He swallows the lump in his throat, lowering his head. “I still love you.”

He still loves him, but they still can’t be together. And now Jungkook will say I love you backand it’ll be bittersweet and hard to hear but Jimin will still love hearing it anyway, and maybe they’ll say sorry a few more times, and then they’ll part ways for the summer, and maybe they’ll see each other in the fall when another semester rolls around, and that’ll be it.

That’ll be it, because there’s nothing more that can happen.

Jungkook lowers his own head now so that it’s level with Jimin’s, and he leans in a little closer, just enough so that Jimin can see him from the corner of his eye.

“Jimin,” he starts quietly, and Jimin doesn’t have to look to know that there’s not a happy smile on Jungkook’s face, either. “I still love you, too," and Jimin loves hearing Jungkook say that just as much as he had expected to, “and I want to be with you.”

But Jimin didn’t anticipate hearing those last words.

When he lets his eyes fall on Jungkook, there’s no smile that he sees, but there’s a spark of hope shining in his eyes. Jimin wishes there wasn't.

He wishes there wasn’t that light in Jungkook's eyes, because now he has to put that light out.

“I want to be with you, too." He can't lie, "I want to be with you so bad.” Jimin tilts his head back, dry throat making it difficult to push out his words. “But I… we can’t.” Just because you want something, doesn't mean that you should have it.Jimin knew that speaking the truth didn’t always feel good – that’s why he had avoided speaking it for so long. It may hurt, but speaking the truth is the right thing to do.

“If being with me was making you feel insecure, and if my relationship with Taeyung was upsetting you, then we shouldn’t be together. Because at the end of the day,"  Jimin quiets down, shaking his head sadly, “nothing really changed.”

Sure, they’re talking now, and they’re admitting where they went wrong and owning up to their mistakes, and it’s what they needed to do, and Jimin is thankful that they’re doing it.

But Jimin is still best friends with Taehyung. Jimin and Taehyung still have the history that they have, they’re best friends and they used to have sex, and that didn’t magically change. And if Jungkook wasn’t okay with it before, if he didn’t accept it before, then why is he suddenly going to accept it now?

“But something did change.” Jungkook says in earnest.

“I wish that it did,” Jimin murmurs, “but you can’t just wake up one day and suddenly decide that you’re–”

“But when I talked with Taehyung –”

What?  Jimin’s eyes widen, mirroring the startled expression that had taken over Jungkook’s face. He blinks, wondering if he really heard that right. “You – you talked to Tae?’

“He came to talk to me Sunday night, and I wanted to wait until you were done with your finals and until I got all my own shit sorted out before I talked to you,” Jungkook admits in a rush, obviously taking the shock on Jimin’s face as a negative. “But please don’t be mad at Taehyung, I know you didn’t ask him to talk to me or anything, but I’m really glad that he did.”

Jimin may be in shock, but he isn’t mad. How can he be mad at Taehyung for trying to help? He asked him not to go to Jungkook, but Jimin should’ve known that Taehyung would go to him anyway. He shouldn’t be surprised at all, because Taehyung would do anything for him, Jimin knows that. What Jimin doesn’t know, is what Taehyung said to Jungkook.

He doesn’t know if he should stomp out the flicker of hope in his own chest before it gets too big. He doesn't know what all of this means for them. Did it really change things?

“He talked to me about a lot of things…he helped me with a lot of things.” Jungkook seems to have calmed down now, and appears to be more thoughtful than worried. “When we were together, there were times when I felt like you were choosing Taehyung over me. I focused on everything that you did for Taehyung, and I forgot about everything you ever did for me. I saw the way you looked after him, and I guess I thought that it meant something that it didn’t.”

Jungkook cocks his head as he looks at Jimin, shows off a delicate smile. “But you’re just so…you’re so good, Jimin. You’re selfless, and you care about other people, and you don’t just do things for Taehyung, and you don’t just do things for me. You’re just good. And that’s just who you are.”

“I’m…” Nibbling at his lower lip, Jimin goes silent. Is he really that good? If he was, then he would have paid more attention to how Jungkook felt, he would have acknowledged that what he was doing was upsetting Jungkook, and he should have done something about it.

Jimin doesn’t think he deserves this kind of praise, not after everything he had done. He makes an effort to be good to the people he cares about, and of course he would do anything for the people that he loves. But the truth is, he still messes up a lot.

“I’m really not, though.” Jimin frowns. “I’m not as selfless as you think I am. I was so caught up in trying to make us work that I ignored how you felt about me and Taehyung.”

“But I never told you anything was bothering me.”

“But I still knew, and I still should’ve tried harder to make you understand –”

“And I still should’ve done a lot of things – we both should’ve. So many things should have been different.”

Jimin nods slowly, wrapping his arms around his middle, holding his stomach as if to calm the swell of emotion.

“And yeah, I never understood your relationship with Taehyung…and honestly, I still don’t think I understand it completely. I know that I would never be able to do what you guys do –  I would never be able to have sex with someone who’s that close to me, and then go back to being just best friends with them. I could never do that.”

Jimin's heart sinks. He still doesn’t know how to explain it. Even after all this time, he has no idea how to make someone understand his relationship with Taehyung, and it's so frustrating because all he wants is for Jungkook to understand, but it's not his fault if he doesn't. Jimin can't blame him for not understanding.

“When me and Tae would have sex…we didn’t feel like we were being used by someone just to get off.” Jimin begins hesitantly, eyebrows furrowing. “We don’t use each other for sex, because we’re best friends, and our friendship isn’t about sex at all. And I know that my friendship with Taehyung isn't necessarily…. normal.”

Jimin knew there would be people who thought it was weird, he knew there would be a lot of people who misunderstood, but he had grown used to it.

“I knew not everyone was having sex with their best friend, but I never cared about what other people thought until I met you, because there was no one I ever liked as much as I liked you. I never really had to explain it to anyone else, and I think I’m doing a really shitty job at explaining it now, but I don’t know how else to, all I know is that he’s my best friend and I only love him as a best friend.” Jimin shrugs, at a loss for what to say next, not knowing what else to do, only wishing that he could get Jungkook to see the truth.

“But Jimin, just because –”

“It’s like trying to explain why I love you. I love you because I love everything that you are, I love you because you’re you, and I don’t understand how I love you so much, because I never even thought that I could love this hard. But I just do.”

A soft smile graces Jungkook’s lips, and when he talks, his tone is equally as soft. “Just because I could never do what you and Taehyung do, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Just because I don’t ever think it could work for me, doesn’t mean it can’t work for you guys. There are so many people in this world, and everyone’s living different from the way I live, and just because it’s different, doesn’t mean it’s bad, and it doesn't mean it doesn't work.”

Jimin never knew that he needed to hear Jungkook say all that, he never realized just how much he needed to know that Jungkook accepted him and Taehyung and their unique friendship, but right now Jimin feels like he’s about to cry, and it’s clear that he had needed this so, so badly.

“I know how much Taehyung cares about you, and I know how much he loves you, and I know how much you care about him, and I know how much you love him. I know you guys rely on each other, and I know you always will.”

Jimin doesn’t know how Taehyung did it. He doesn’t know what Taehyung said to Jungkook for him say all of this – for him to realize all of this. But Jimin, like always, is so fucking thankful for Kim Taehyung.

“And I know you love me, Jimin. I know you love me and I know it’s different from the way you love him, and I know that I trust you, and I know I don’t understand everything, but I think I understand everything that I need to for right now.”

“Jungkook…” That flicker of hope is turning into more of a flame, and even though he’s not in Jungkook’s arms, Jimin is warm.

“I want to be with you, but if you can’t...” Jungkook pauses, pushing out a shaky breath. “If you can’t be with me, if we can only be friends, or even if we just go back to being study buddies, then that's okay. I just need you in my life.”

Jimin shakes his head. "I can’t just be your friend.” He’s warm and he’s in love, and everything he thought he knew is turning out to be wrong. He never thought there was a chance for them to mend things like this, he never even dared to hope that they could get back together again, because he thought they had reached the end.

But maybe this was just the beginning. 

“I love you, Jungkook.” He says, finding himself relaxing in the wake of Jungkook’s familiar gaze, and he wants nothing more than to fall right into it. “And I can’t just push that aside.”

There’s honest adoration in Jungkook’s eyes, and it softens his features and melts Jimin’s heart so that there’s nothing but liquid love flowing through him. “Then let’s try again.”

So many things had changed, and yet so many things had stayed the same. Their love is still there as if it had always been there and as if it would always be there, and Jeon Jungkook is still the first person Jimin ever fell in love with, and he’s still the only person he ever wants to be in love with, and none of that had changed.

But they understand each other more now than they ever had before.

Jimin thinks about all the fighting and about all the stupid lies, and he never wants to go through any of that ever again, and he would never forgive himself if he let those same things happen. He wants to try again. He wants to prove that even though they aren’t unbreakable, even though they can both bend and they can both break, it doesn’t mean that they’re unfixable.

“Promise me.” Jimin reaches out carefully, reaches out to finally touch Jungkook, and he holds his face in both his hands. He leans forward so that their foreheads are nearly touching, so that he can feel Jungkook’s breath on his lips and so that they’re both looking into one another’s eyes, so that there’s no room to hide a single thing.

“Promise me that you’ll tell me if you ever feel unsure about anything. Promise me that there’s no more secrets, no more lying, no more running away.” Jimin sweeps his thumbs over Jungkook’s cheekbones, feels Jungkook’s love burning right through him, and he wants him know that he’ll never do anything ever again to betray that love. “Because I promise, Jungkook, that I’ll never hide anything from you, and I’ll never get upset if you tell me the truth. No matter what it is.”

Nothing can be all good, and Jimin had been wrong for believing that their relationship could be as pure and perfect as the first snowfall of winter. They aren’t perfect and they won't ever be. They’ll have their ups and downs, and it’ll all be okay, because all of it is them.

The good and the bad; it’s all Jimin and it's all Jungkook, and they can get through it all together.

Jungkook’s eyelids fall shut as he rests his forehead against Jimin’s, like he's finally at ease, and when he opens his eyes again and whispers, “I promise,” he shows off a smile so sweet that nothing in this world would be able to hold Jimin back now.

And just like that, Jimin is finally in Jungkook’s arms again. They’re holding on to each other, wrapped up tight in a fierce embrace, and Jimin has never felt more certain about anything in his life. He never wants to do anything to mess this up again, and he knows he would be so stupid to let this go.

They remain pressed against one another so that it’s hard to breathe, but they’re happy as long as it’s each other that they’re breathing in.

Jimin and Jungkook pretty much claim that bench as their own, and the time spent there is time they wouldn’t want to spend anywhere else. There isn’t anywhere else that Jimin would rather be, and maybe not all of their issues had been magically solved, and he knows that there will be more bumps in the road ahead, but that’s okay.

It hadn’t been easy to get to this point, in fact, it had been fucking painful to get to this moment with Jungkook. But then again, nothing worth having ever came easily. 

It had all been worth it, all the tears and all the heartache had been worth it, because all of this came out of it. Now he can have Jungkook, all of Jungkook, and now he can give Jungkook all of himself; the good sides and the bad. 

There’s still more things to talk about, still more things that they need to get sorted, but right now, they can enjoy the simplicity of having each other.

 

“Hey, Jimin?” Jungkook ventures, speaking up for the first time in a while. “About the whole no lying thing…what if we're planning a surprise or something? Or what if you ask me if something that you’re wearing is ugly but I don’t wanna hurt your feelings and say that yeah, what you’re wearing is kind of ugly.”

Jimin lifts his head from Jungkook’s shoulder, amused. “I think if we’re planning a surprise for each other, it’s fine…” He trails off, his smile faltering. “Wait, when have I ever worn something that you thought was ugly?”

“Never.” Jungkook replies a little too quickly.

“Jungkook!” Jimin protests, but he's unable to keep himself from laughing when Jungkook guides his head to his shoulder again, practically forcing him to lay it there.

“Shh,” the younger murmurs, “not important.”

“When’s the last time I told you that you were annoying?”

“You know,” Jungkook glances up at the sky, “hasn’t been for a while…I think I’m due for one of those.”

Jimin nestles his head against Jungkook’s shoulder. "You’re actually so annoying.” His arms naturally circle around him, keen on giving just as much warmth as Jungkook always gave him. “And I love you.”

They can enjoy each other, they can enjoy this pretty spring day, and they can enjoy the fact that even though things already feel so good, everything will only get better.

They can only go up from here… Kim Taehyung had always been so good at lifting people up.

Jimin smiles, and smiling has never felt so good. Sitting on that park bench with Jungkook, Jimin falls in love with smiling all over again.

 

Chapter Text

Jimin is awake, but he doesn’t open his eyes just yet. It’s another morning, but on this particular morning, he doesn’t have anywhere to be, and there isn't anything that he has to do.

Tomorrow, Taehyung’s cousin was supposed to drive down to help them move out of the dorms, and Jin was going to help Jungkook move all of his stuff back home. But that would all be tomorrow.

Today, there’s not a single thing in the world that Jimin has to worry about, and if he wanted to, he could spend all day just laying around in bed.

He has Jungkook sleeping right next to him, he has Jungkook’s arm draped over his waist, he has Jungkook giving him that familiar sense of comfort that his mere presence always gives, so why would Jimin ever want to leave from where he is right now?

A smile plays at the corner of his lips, Jungkook’s chest brushing against his back ever so slightly every time he breathes in. Mornings with Jungkook will forever be one of Jimin’s favourite things. Mornings are always something to look forward to, but then again…nights are something to look forward to, too. And Jimin can’t forget about afternoons with Jungkook, either.

Everything with Jungkook was something to look forward to.

Jimin peeks his eyelids open now, blinking into the soft light of Jungkook’s bedroom. This room looked so different now, with most traces of Jungkook all stored away in boxes and bags. Jungkook had already packed up most of his belongings, and was pretty much ready to move out, but he still had his bed, and he still had pillows and a blanket, and that was all that Jimin and Jungkook really needed.

The apartment is practically empty, and yet, even after spending so much time in this apartment when it had been all messy and full of random things, this is the most whole that Jimin has ever felt being there.

It has nothing at all to do with the apartment, and it has absolutely everything to do with Jungkook. This is the last day that they’d get to spend there, and sure, Jimin might miss this place a little, and he might miss not getting to wake up next to Jungkook in the summer, but he isn’t worried.

In the summer, there would be so many more other things to look forward to, so many other little routines that they’d make their own, and Jimin is excited for all of the new things to come.

He exhales slowly, contentedly, feeling Jungkook’s gentle breaths tickling the nape of his neck, and he’s happy to sink deeper into the warmth of Jungkook’s side. Little moments like these are so special to him, and now that he finally has Jungkook back, he’s going to be sure to treasure them more than he ever had before, because Jungkook is so, so special.

He won’t let a single moment with him go to waste. Jimin places his hand over Jungkook’s, finds himself delicately stroking his thumb over his knuckles. Jungkook is so important to him, and as he absentmindedly brushes his fingers across his skin, Jimin finds himself overwhelmed with a sense of happiness, overwhelmed with love.

Jimin is so, so lucky.

“Hm?” Jungkook begins to stir, and in his sleepy state, pulls Jimin closer to himself so that his back presses against the front of his body. “Is it time?” He mumbles, voice thick with sleep. “S’time to get up?”

It hadn’t been Jimin’s intention to wake Jungkook, and even though he feels a little bit guilty for disturbing his sleep, he can’t deny how much he had liked the way Jungkook had pulled him in so that he could hold him closer. Jungkook, as always, was way too cute.

“You don’t have to get up.” Jimin says softly. “I didn’t mean to wake you up.” Wanting to see Jungkook’s adorable face, Jimin rolls over to face him, his smile widening when he notices the way that Jungkook is squinting as his eyes adjust to the morning light.

Unable to resist, Jimin leans in, delicately pressing his lips against his forehead. “Go back to bed.”

“Huh?” Jungkook murmurs, his gaze gradually becoming more focused. “What’re you talking about? I think I’m still asleep…there’s no way I’m awake right now.” A lopsided grin takes over his face, and he sighs airily. “Park Jimin telling me to go back to bed? I must be dreaming.”

Jimin’s eyes crinkle as he laughs. “Hard to believe, isn’t it?” Usually he would be the one trying to convince Jungkook to get up, but today, there isn’t any reason for them to get out of bed. There’s no rush, and there’s no responsibilities. “But no,” he brushes a few stray hairs away from Jungkook’s face, “you’re not dreaming.”

“I’m not? So,” Jungkook is definitely fully awake now – Jimin can tell by the way his eyes light up. “Then that means, since exams are done and all…No library?”

“No,” Jimin shakes his head, amused.

“No studying?”

“Nope.”

Jungkook cocks a brow, matching the way his mouth lifts at the corner. “Nothing?”

“Nothing.” Jimin repeats, hiking his leg up onto Jungkook’s hip, just to bring himself even closer to him. He can never get enough of Jungkook. “We don’t have to get up.”

Jungkook leans in, eyes locked on Jimin’s, playful smile on full display. “I’ve never wanted you more than I do now.”

“Oh?” Despite how entertaining he finds Jungkook’s teasing little revelation, Jimin manages to hold back his laugh. He leans in to press his lips against Jungkook’s ear, more than ready to play along. “We can sleep in as long as we want. We can stay in bed all day.”

“Oh, that’s hot.” Jungkook encourages, and Jimin can tell that he’s trying not to laugh, too.

“No more lectures, no more homework.” He does his best to keep up this little façade, but it’s certainly not an easy feat, especially not when Jungkook suddenly rolls him over onto his back, and practically pins him down to the mattress. So, to keep himself from smiling, Jimin is forced to press his lips together.

“Fuck, tell me more.”

“Yeah?” Jimin raises his eyebrows. “You like that?” He’s not going to last much longer, can already feel a giggle bubbling up in his chest. “You know what we can do?” He pauses for dramatic effect, “we can burn your notes if you want.”

“Damn, Jimin.” Jungkook snorts, fondness etched into his every feature as he looks down at him. “You really know how to turn me on.”

The both of them laugh freely now, not bothering with containing their amusement any longer. And, because Jungkook is just so cute when he’s snickering like that, Jimin can’t resist when it comes to closing the space between them, and soon, his own smiling lips meet Jungkook’s in a chaste kiss. 

When he pulls back it’s only for a moment, just so he can look at Jungkook and admire him, and seconds later he’s helping himself to another kiss. Jimin kisses him again and again, and even though each of those little kisses are simply short and sweet, the brevity of them does nothing to hinder the love that they’re delivered with.

Jungkook lays back down beside Jimin so that they’re facing one another again, and they spend the morning talking about nothing in particular, just about random little things, and yet no matter what they end up talking about, the topic of conversation somehow always manages to reveal the deep affection that they feel for each other in one way or another.

They spend their morning like that; lazing around in bed, messing up the sheets and laughing, soaking up one another’s smiles the same way that they soak up the sunlight streaming in through the window.

Even though they don’t have anywhere to be, and even though they could sleep away the whole day if they wanted to, they don’t end up going back to sleep. Why would Jimin want to close his eyes and go back to bed when he could stay awake with Jungkook, just looking at him, just laughing with him, just talking to him.

Why go back to sleep when he has Jungkook just being Jungkook? Why go back to sleep when his reality is lovelier than even the prettiest of dreams?

 ---

Spring soon passes, and Jimin welcomes the new season with open arms. Summer is everything that he had been looking forward to, and at the same time, so much more than he could have hoped for. Jimin and Jungkook blaze as hot as the summer sun; Jungkook lights up Jimin’s life, sets his world aflame with love, real love.

Love that won’t fizzle out and die with the changing seasons, love that will withstand even the harshest of winters. He trusts this love. 

It may still just be the start of summer, but summer had already brought so many good things; Jungkook finally thinks that he knows what he really wants to study in school. It turns out that Taehyung’s cousin is a physical therapy assistant, and while Jungkook had been helping Jimin with moving out of the dorms, he’d been particularly intrigued when they’d been talking about his job.

When Jungkook started asking some questions and showing his curiosity, Taehyung’s cousin suggested that he stop by the office one day to check things out and talk to him about it a bit more. Ever since that day, Jungkook has felt as if he’s on the right track – he thinks he wants to go into sports therapy, and he’ll switch programs for the fall semester.

Jimin couldn’t be happier that he’d finally found something.

So many amazing things had already happened, and Jimin knows there will be so many more amazing things to come. After all, he’s surrounded by the most amazing people in the whole entire world, so he never has to look very hard to find something good.

 

Jimin stretches out his legs, sitting next to Jungkook underneath a seamless blue sky. The smell of freshly cut grass mingles with the fragrant summer flowers, and the heat from the late afternoon sun only makes the scent seem that much sweeter. There’s a soft breeze that drifts on through every now and then; gentle enough so that it’s only ever felt as a tickle on Jimin’s skin, just to remind him that it's there.

It would be a perfectly tranquil day if it weren’t for the sounds of his friends screaming to shatter the serenity of it all.

While Jimin and Jungkook sit beside one another on the grass, minding their own business, Hoseok and Namjoon are currently at war with Taehyung and Jin – a war involving a garden hose and buckets filled with water. Yoongi is sitting off to the side in the shade, observing the water fight taking place, content with just watching, and content with knowing that no one would dare spray him with a single drop.    

It may not be a tranquil day per se, but Jimin doesn’t mind how loud his friends are. He loves the sound of them laughing more than he could ever love a perfectly tranquil day.

“Hey, I almost forgot to ask you.” Jimin bumps gently bumps his shoulder against Jungkook’s side, momentarily shifting his attention away from the excitement unfolding on the other side of the yard. “What are you doing on Sunday? My mom invited you over for dinner again.” He smiles when he notices the shy quirk of Jungkook’s lips. “She honestly loves you.”

“I still don’t get why.” Jungkook says, letting out a short, breathy chuckle. “I was awkward as fuck.”

“You were adorable.” Jimin corrects. Sure, Jungkook had been a little timid, but that was to be expected considering he was meeting his parents for the first time. Jimin thought that the way Jungkook acted had been incredibly endearing.

“When you left, my mom kept going on and on about you, and how you seemed like such a nice boy. Even my dad couldn’t stop talking about how polite you were.” Jimin hadn’t been surprised that his parents liked Jungkook, but it was still nice to hear them say those things, and to have them recognize how good Jungkook really was.  

“Really?” Jungkook murmurs, unable to keep the satisfied look off his face after he’d heard the praise. “I guess now it’s your turn to meet my parents.” He picks a piece of grass, absentmindedly twirling it between his fingers. “But you’re not allowed over until I find and destroy all of the embarrassing photos from my childhood.”

Jimin tilts his head back, laughing up at the sky. “You’re actually ridiculous.”

“I thought I was annoying.” Jungkook grins.

“You’re both.”

“And yet you still love me.”

Jimin leans his head on Jungkook’s shoulder, batting his eyelashes as he looks up at him. “With all of my heart,” he hums, wanting nothing more than to tease Jungkook with his over the top declaration of affection.

“Wow,” Jungkook snorts, “that was sappy as hell.”

“Maybe,” Jimin shrugs, smiling sweetly. “But you still loved it.”

With those pretty eyes of his shining, Jungkook leans in. “With all of my heart.”

And when Jungkook closes the remaining space between them, Jimin’s own heart flutters in his chest. He lets his eyelids fall shut, feels the heat of the summer sun beating down on him, feels the softness of Jungkook’s lips against his own, forgets about everything else around him as he tilts his head and smiles into the kiss.

Despite all of the disorder around them, despite the shrill cries coming from his friends, and despite all of their obnoxious laughing, Jimin is at ease, feels a certain sense of calm. He has everything he needs – everyone he needs – with him right here on this beautiful day.

It’s perfect, and he couldn’t ask for anything more.

And one second his eyes are closed and he’s tasting summer on Jungkook’s lips, and then the next second he and Jungkook are abruptly pulling away from one another, gasping in surprise, cold water drenching the both of them.

Still catching up from the shock of the cold water, Jimin pushes his wet hair out of his face, and he can hear Jin’s distinct laughter coming from behind them, doesn’t even need to look back to know that he’s the one who had just dumped the bucket on their heads.

“Sorry,” Jin sings, and is clearly anything but sorry. “You guys were getting a little too steamy – looked like you could use some cooling down.”

“I told him not to do it!” Taehyung calls out, “I told him to let you two have your moment, but he wouldn’t listen.”

“They’re at my house,” Jin points out.

“Technically,” Taehyung holds up a finger, “this is your parent’s house.”

“This is my house,” the eldest carries on, unfazed. “And as long as you’re on my property, you’ll respect my rules. Rule number one: no making out on the premises.”

“We were barely even making out,” Jungkook protests, wringing the water from his shirt.

Jin blinks, “okay, no lip touching.”

Jin’s sudden attack hadn’t necessarily been pleasant, but it did absolutely nothing to dampen Jimin’s mood – it won’t take very long for them to dry in the sun. He turns his head to look at Jin, laughing softly. “You mean kissing, hyung?”

“I know what I said.”

“Yeah?” Jungkook says, raising his eyebrows, and Jimin knows that look on his face. He knows exactly what’s about to happen next. “Do you know that you’re dead?”

“What do you…” Jin trails off, his smile quick to fade as Jungkook slowly gets to his feet. “Jeon Jungkook, remember that I’m older than you, don’t you dare–”

Jungkook takes a single step, and with that, Jin is throwing the empty bucket on the ground, and running for his life.

Taehyung and Jungkook join forces with Namjoon and Hoseok to exact their revenge on Jin, and all four of them end up chasing after him, determined in their mission to douse him with water.

Jimin just sits on the grass, smiling bright enough to rival the sun, and his heart feels just as warm as those golden rays showering down on him. He watches fondly as the five of them run around, and as Yoongi remains unbothered in the comfort of the shade, his own amusement showing as he takes in the scene playing out in front of them.

Poor Jin.

Moments like these are so precious, and Jimin knows he’ll cherish the memories they’re making forever. He knows that no matter what may happen down the road, no matter what pains and stresses life may throw his way, he’ll have this.

Not everything will always be this lovely – life won’t always be this sweet – Jimin knows that.

And even though he and Jungkook are together again, Jimin knows that doesn’t mean that they won’t ever have any problems ever again. Jungkook will do things that Jimin won’t like, and Jimin will do things that Jungkook won’t like. They’ll get on each other’s nerves, they’ll bicker and they’ll fight, and they’ll fuck up.

But they won’t hide from each other anymore.

They aren’t perfect, they’ll make mistakes, but Jimin knows where they missed the mark the first time, and he would be out of his mind to want to go through all of that again. He knows where they went wrong.

Even though sometimes it’s scary to tell the truth, even though it can be scary to show Jungkook all the sides of himself, Jimin is set on facing his fears.

He’ll show Jungkook everything, the good and the bad, the smiles and the frowns, and he trusts Jungkook, and knows that he’ll do the same.

That’s how love works.

Jimin likes to think that he has a better understanding of what love really is now. Love isn’t about ignoring flaws, it’s not about closing your eyes and pretending not to see the parts that aren’t so pretty. Love isn’t about skimming over imperfections and just hoping for better days.

That’s not how love works.

Jimin doesn’t understand how he can love so deeply, he doesn’t understand how he never seems to run out of love, and he definitely doesn’t understand what he did to deserve the friends he has, or what he did to deserve Jungkook.

He doesn’t understand it, but he’s so grateful to be loved by the people that he’s loved by, and he’s so thankful that he can give all of his love to people who are worth all of his love. He’s surrounded by the best people in the world, and he never wants to do anything to risk losing any of them.

Jimin is so, so lucky.

And he understands that perfectly fine.