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February

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- milk
- mushrooms
- ask jin about 'february'?

Chapter Text

Chapter 1 - Choux à la crème

Each page of the calendar features different scantily clad (if clad at all), beautiful, youthful men in suggestive or playful poses. There’s a clear theme, depending on the month.

Namjoon never wanted this calendar - in fact, it was given to him by his friend, Seokjin (who recently acquired a Michelin star at his aptly named restaurant, Jin's) after he told Namjoon he was dating a pinup model and Namjoon raised his eyebrows. Apparently, he looked judgmental as he did it, because Seokjin went on a spiel about how Namjoon should step outside of his box once in a while. (“Check out June and tell me I’m not the luckiest guy on this planet.”)

He sits at his desk and flips through the calendar: it is clearly marketed towards gay men. He stops at June.

It’s a bird’s eye view of a very leggy, tanned, blond model at the beach, lying on his stomach on a towel near the water. His hot-pink bikini lies in stringy parts around him, and a discarded bottle of sunscreen leaks out white cream next to him. He’s completely naked, save for a small pink towel he seems to have strategically placed on his backside. It’s not doing much to cover his bare ass, because a small black-and-tan Pomeranian has the edge of it between its teeth, tugging back. The model looks over his shoulder, his fat lips open in surprise. Cute.

He flips through a few pages near the end.

October is a gorgeous man in an oversized firefighter jacket, and a yellow fire-hat, wearing only a very small pair of red, tight shorts. He’s holding a yellow hose positioned between his legs, looking down at the water leaking from it with a 'confused' expression on his face. There’s a jack-o-lantern on the ground next to his boots.

December features a man in a green onesie with the butt-flap hanging open as he peers playfully around the doorway. He watches a blurry visage of Santa Claus placing presents under a Christmas tree. His bubble-butt is on full display. 

Sure, this is all very sexy, but it's not doing much for Namjoon.

Namjoon squints through his glasses at the calendar page. He’s on February now. The image for this specific month is Valentine’s themed. The model is the most stunning yet, and he lies in the middle of a large pink beanbag-chair, his face turned to the side, forlorn. He’s wearing a red, tight, cozy turtleneck, but at the center, a heart-shape has been carved out of the fabric, exposing a patch of his skin. He has particularly prominent pecs, he looks almost like he has subtle cleavage. One arm lies off the side of the beanbag chair, touching at a rotary phone (he’s clearly waiting for a call from a lover), and his other hand holds a chocolate morsel close to his face, the half-empty heart-shaped box lying to his side. There are unopened Valentine’s letters strewn out around him.

It takes a while for Namjoon to take in all the details, and at first he doesn’t react much to the photograph. Then his eyes focus on the subject’s face. The model looks young, with smooth skin and dark brown hair. His nose is slightly large and has a unique shape – it’s sloped slightly downwards - his lips, small in contrast, are puckered in a sad, sour pout. There are chocolate stains close to his mouth, and he notices tears staining his cheeks.

E.M Forester’s novel Maurice (a tale about a homosexual attempting to find love in the early 20th century, Namjoon read it in college) lies open against his hips. Namjoon finally takes in the lower half of the model’s body: his knees are pulled up, toes pointed, exposing his ass beneath the plaid skirt which is lifted up carelessly. He’s wearing white panties – the frilly kind, a generous strip of it is exposed between his ass cheeks.

He doesn’t spend too much time on the ass because his eyes are yanked back up to the young man’s face.

There’s something about the expression, there’s something about his face.

The model is stunning, but in an understated way. He’s a beacon of normalcy placed at the center of the most excessively manufactured photograph Namjoon has ever seen. Namjoon can’t stop staring. He feels oddly ill for a moment, then considers: why does he look so sad? It’s just a photograph, but there’s something so realistically bitter about the model’s face; surely, he isn’t just acting. He wants to reach his arms into the photo and pick him out of it, to ask him whether he’s really sad or whether he’s pretending.

Namjoon feels his cheeks burn. Why is he so worked up over this ridiculous photograph?

He adjusts his glasses and leans in towards the calendar again, staring at the model’s brown eyes, at the sheen to his high cheekbones, his chocolate stained mouth. His face is ridiculously delicate, but his body looks thick and well-fed, he-

That’s enough.

The thoughts disappear as soon as they appear and Namjoon closes the calendar, pushing it aside on his desk, slowly coming to the haunting realization that he’s hard.

Naturally, he isn’t going to tell Seokjin any of this over dinner tonight.

“So, did the calendar get you hard?”

Namjoon looks up with wide eyes, his fork hovering over his dish.

Seokjin is leaning back against the restaurant chair, still in his chef’s outfit, the hat lying on the table in front of him. He’s holding a glass of wine against his lips. “The calendar I got you, it was hot right?”

Namjoon slides the contents of the fork into his mouth immediately to capture some time. He chews and shakes his head, smiling because this is funny, right, Seokjin just asked a funny question.

“No,” Namjoon lies, wiping at the side of his mouth with a napkin.

“Really?” Seokjin looks annoyed. “But it’s like that weird kind-of-highbrow kind-of-not shit that you’re into.”

“I’m not into highbrow shit. Shit is shit, I don’t discriminate,” Namjoon says, lifting his own glass to his mouth. “That’s why I’m eating here.”

Seokjin takes a moment to let what Namjoon said settle in, and he extends his index out, pointing at him. “Funny. Just wait until the poison kicks in.”

It’s 10pm and Seokjin’s restaurant is technically closed – Namjoon typically shows up around this time on Fridays so they can drink together and chat.

Once upon a time, Namjoon wanted to be a chef. He then realized he was much better at describing food than creating it, and while it hurt for a while he now finds himself the author of a very popular food review blog on the internet. He has over a million subscribers and features regularly in several media outlets - even on a few documentaries about food.

He figures his brand works because while he’s considered a ‘respectable’ critic, he likes to have fun with food. He once reviewed a cake with marijuana used as one of its integral ingredients - this specific article went viral. He wrote it while he was high on the cake.

Namjoon met Seokjin after falling in love with his restaurant. He considers Seokjin to be the kind of chef that inspires him and maybe brings back some of that initial fire to try the craft again. He shares Namjoon’s opinion about the nature of food, and is unafraid to feature items like burgers or milkshakes at his restaurant, Jin's – something that is not common practice with Michelin Star chefs in the world. Seokjin doesn’t seem to care about reputation, and this mindset really works out in his favour.

Seokjin does like to pry, though - it's one of his not-so-positive traits.

Then again, Seokjin knows Namjoon and the way his brain works, sometimes better than Namjoon knows himself.

“There are men everywhere. Attractive men,“ Seokjin continues.

“What the fuck does have to do with the calendar?”

“It doesn’t, I’m saying you need to kick back and relax a little, have some fun, you know? Relationships don’t have to be so scary.” Seokjin tries to sip at his glass again but it’s empty. Namjoon reaches out with the bottle to pour him more. Namjoon wonders how obvious he has been that he's feeling lonely.

“Have you ever told the person that you’re dating that your relationship isn’t serious?”

“Who said anything about dating? That's the last thing you need right now."

Seokjin is referring to Namjoon's recent break up.

Namjoon has a habit of calling things before they happen - not that he does it on purpose, it's just a reaction in his brain. Seokjin thinks he's 'scared of being happy if it happens to easily so you look for reasons to end the feeling'. Namjoon remembers this description fully because he thinks it's hauntingly accurate.

Hoseok, on the other hand, the manager of his favourite produce market, thinks Namjoon is psychic; however, that conclusion had followed from Namjoon successfully identifying a rash on Hoseok's shin. If Hoseok knew the extent of Namjoon's strange instinctual convictions, he'd probably be a lot more impressed.

His last relationship ended after three strikes. Namjoon's career took off about half a year ago, and that change took a toll on his ability to be a boyfriend. It didn't help that Namjoon wasn't in love with his ex anymore, he just couldn't get away. There was no other rational explanation for holding on a rotting relationship other than his own reluctance to abandon what was easy for him. This lack of a true motive made it hard for Namjoon to try very hard. Now that he looks back on it, it must have been terrible for his ex-boyfriend. He regrets it.

So, after the two strikes, he was already on thin ice when it happened: he fell asleep at the airport and missed his boarding to their anniversary dinner in another province. They had been planning it for weeks; he was overworked, but it was no excuse. While he slept through his flight leaving without him, he had a dream that he was running towards a door but the second he got there, it slammed shut in his face. This then happened repeatedly until he woke up with a start and the sound of the door slamming became the sound of a bored child kicking at the back of his chair at the gate.

After that initial phone call during which Namjoon let him know what had happened - he was then abruptly hung up on - his ex screened his corresponding calls and wouldn't respond to any texts. A normal person would take this as a sign to stop and move on, but Namjoon becomes resilient when he catastrophically fails.

He paid almost double the initial ticket to get on the next plane. He thought he could get there and figure everything out but when he got to the hotel it was 3am. His boyfriend opened the door, took one look at him, the hastily bought flowers in his hands, the pathetic expression on his face, and slammed the door just like in his dream. 

Still, Namjoon clings to humour. “If I tell you I liked the calendar will you stop trying to involve yourself in my sex life?”

“Look, I’m just saying you’ve got a well, okay? We all do. Like, filled with water. And you’ve been taking out a lot of water recently but then you’re not doing anything with the water, you’re just pouring it on the ground,” Seokjin continues, the contents of his glass swishing around as he leans in on his chef’s hat. “And once the water’s all out, then what’s the point of the well? It’s empty. You’ve got an empty well.”

“Right,” Namjoon humors him. “And I keep pulling out the bucket but-“

“Less water each time, yeah. What do you think?”

Namjoon nods. “I think you just broke the record for the longest analogy in the history of the world.”

“My well overflow-eth.”

“You’re a catch.”

“So, what’d you think about June? Can you believe I’m having sex with that?” Seokjin asks, his voice hushed, like he’s in quiet awe of his own ability to land beautiful people. Honestly, it’s not that surprising.

“He was cute, good catch,” Namjoon says, patting at the residue truffle oil left on the plate with a piece of bread.

“Taehyung knows a lot of the guys in that thing,” Seokjin says, letting out a little belch. "I'm sure he could hook you up with one of the single ones. You know, if you wanna have fun."

Namjoon bites down hard on the inside of his cheek accidentally. The hopeless romantic in him wants to yell ‘February’ but his more logical lobe clings to the word ‘No’.

Seokjin continues when Namjoon just stares at him: "You know, fun. It's a noun. It means, like, enjoying a situation or event."

“I appreciate the charitable gesture,” Namjoon says, stuffing more bread into his mouth so he doesn’t have to talk as fast. "But I'm okay."

Namjoon cabs home around 12:30am.

He was initially planning on finishing this review tomorrow morning, but he'd rather do most of it now so he can sleep in. 

He steps to his pantry and takes out a bottle of 2007 Prager Grüner, pouring himself a hefty glass.

He sits down at his laptop and yawns. The aesthetic of the restaurant in question was a little pretentious. The labyrinth-like lobby ensured guests were in a state of confusion before they even sat down. The appetizer was quite delicious, but Namjoon barely remembers it because the main was a nightmare. The chef had tried to make some sort of dramatic opposite-dish where things you'd expect to be sweet were savory and vice versa. The worst part was the swollen, water-soaked beets lay at the side of the plate, and their texture was off-putting. They were also almost entirely tasteless, though full of water: it was like biting into a breast implant. 

Namjoon finishes the entry with a positive note, because he realizes the rest of it is quite unenthusiastic. He doesn't like to end reviews on a single note of either positive or negative. It’s possible to have good food at a bad restaurant, and vice versa. There are bad qualities in good things, much like everything else in this world. 

Namjoon lies in bed that night thinking about his metaphorical well.

His well isn’t empty. While he takes his career seriously, he’s still a highly romantic person and he doesn't let his job overshadow other things in life that he wants. Sure, maybe his weird instincts sometimes doom relationships - he could work on that. He's just buried in his thoughts and oftentimes those thoughts aren't necessarily pleasant.

He closes his eyes, breathing slowly, counting each exhale. This technique helps quickly empty his mind. He’s trying to drift to sleep amidst his lack of thoughts but the inside of his lids keep displaying random shapes and colours: red, flashes of pink, hearts.

Namjoon swallows and his hand crawls towards the front of his pajama pants. Maybe he needs to jerk off a little, this usually helps him clear his mind. He reaches into his underwear and takes hold of his dick. He strokes it slowly, squeezing his eyes shut, the lights beneath his lids flashing even brighter.

He thinks of hearts: boxes in the shape of hearts, chocolates in the shape of hearts. A fuzzy red sweater with a heart missing from the center, smooth skin. Chocolate stained lips, thick unmarked thighs, brown eyes, dark brows. Socked feet digging into Namjoon’s lower back, Adam’s Apple bobbing.

He groans when he cums, rolling over onto his side to wind down before cleaning himself off.

Maybe he should ask Seokjin about February.

Namjoon’s next week is incredibly busy and he doesn’t get a chance to talk to Seokjin.

It’s too late to schedule something this week because the chef is on a trip to a restaurant in Newark so it’s his turn to be away. He took Taehyung with him, which seems kind of serious. Seokjin isn't typically enthusiastic about letting people into his life too fast.

Seokjin being overseas is a better excuse for being busy than Namjoon’s “I was at my desk writing a review that I’ve been avoiding for weeks”. Still, Seokjin is so unbelievably laid-back with this friendship stuff that Namjoon knows he probably feels worse about it than his friend ever will.

He manages to get the review done at about half-past-7pm and while he can’t see Seokjin, he reckons the next best thing he can do is eat at his restaurant like a good patron. The sous-chef, Min Yoongi, has put together an extravagant menu in his wake, and the restaurant is quite packed.

Namjoon is spooning truffle garnished risotto into his mouth when his eyes catch on a figure sitting at a table in front of him: it’s his Valentine’s model, the one from the calendar.

Namjoon used to strongly believe in the concept of determinism when he was younger, but as he got older he slowly let it go. Now, he’s less likely to believe "I dreamed about my boyfriend breaking up with me and it happened" or “I jacked off to a model a little while ago night and today he’s sitting in front of me at a restaurant”, or anything involving a butterfly flapping its wings sparking some sort of event in some far away area of the globe – but this is weird. In fact, it’s so weird, Namjoon almost convinces himself the man sitting over there isn’t really the model from the calendar. He blinks through his glasses.

He’s sitting with someone, an older man. But Namjoon isn’t paying any attention the young man’s date; in fact, the anonymous figure remains firmly in his peripherals as he focuses on February, who appears to be sucking on the end of a lobster tail. The meat separates from the shell and he slurps it into his mouth, his lower lip shining with residual butter. Once he gets a taste of the lobster in his mouth he closes his eyes almost sensually, his shoulders sagging. Namjoon isn’t trained in lip reading, but he makes out a ‘so good’ as the young man rolls his eyes playfully.

Namjoon finally rips his gaze away from the man’s mouth and takes in the rest of him: he’s wearing a black t-shirt and his dark grey leather jacket hangs from the back of his chair. He leans in with his elbows on the table, not making a move to eat with much etiquette, he’s telling the man something. When he leans back, Namjoon sees the date's shoulders moving (he’s probably laughing, but Namjoon refuses to look away from the model). His dark brown eyes are shining as he grins at the man.

He has big, white front-teeth, and he reaches up with a finger to rub lightly at the side of his canine before picking up a crawfish with the same hand. He doesn’t bother to take the skin off, his wet lips opening to take in the entire doomed animal, down to its tail, which he tosses into a mountain of discarded shells.

It's really him.

Namjoon feels as though he’s being hypnotized by some sort of powerful wizard as he watches the young man eat. He finally has the urge to look at the man the model is dining with. He’s very well dressed, even at this distance. His plate is empty and he doesn’t give off the impression that he will be ordering more food – at least for himself. The model’s side of the table is filled with empty plates, cutlery and scraps.

The waiter suddenly appears with dessert, a single plate of chocolate banana fondue (one of Namjoon’s favourites at this particular restaurant). The date laughs as the model licks his lips at the sweets in front of him. He pokes his fork into the sugary pile and lifts a chunk to his mouth, his pink tongue visible for only a second before he closes his lips around the utensil, sliding the contents into his mouth. He chews with his mouth closed, but that first open-bite - to get it all in - exposes the food in his mouth for a small moment – white and creamy and sweet. Namjoon tears his eyes away back down into his plate.

He should go to the restroom and splash some water on his face before he gets to the point where he has to hide an erection at a five-star restaurant.

Namjoon stands up and makes his way to the washroom in a fashion which probably looks like some sort of fairy-tale giant lumbering away to die after a mortal wound. The halls along the way are lined with water fixtures, little waterfalls from the wall. He supposes it’s meant to mask the sound of pissing.

He’s leaning down into the sink collecting himself when he hears the door swing open. Someone has clearly walked in so he tries to look a little less like he’s desperately trying to splash himself back to reality and more like he’s just wiping his mouth. He looks through the mirror and sees the young man’s back as he faces the urinal against the other side of the wall.

This would happen. Butterflies and determinism, or whatever. He stands up straight to grab some paper towels and looks up to see the man making his way over to the sinks.

He smiles at Namjoon and he feels his heart sink in his chest. He leans in and waves at the sensor to turn on the tap, doing the same at the soap dispenser.

The young man brings with him a strong scent of artificial strawberries. It’s definitely a perfume or some sort of lotion – whatever it is, it seems to slightly go against what Namjoon might have expected him to smell like after seeing his choice of outfit tonight.

He notices a small, black, loose collar resting at the base of his throat. Namjoon sees the model glancing up at him through the mirror, pausing a moment before starting to talk.

“Fancy restaurant, huh?” he says shyly, and Namjoon nods, smiling down into the paper towels in his hands. Was he making obvious he was staring?

“Yeah.”

“These washrooms,” the man muses, rolling his eyes. His voice is soft and lyrical. “They’re super intense.”

“It’s so you feel like you’re pissing in a tropical rainforest, I guess,” Namjoon mumbles; the young man’s laugh is throaty.

He’s wiping his hands now too, and he straightens up to face Namjoon. “You… look familiar.”

“I do?” Namjoon blanches as he looks down at him - he's quite close. How?

“Yeah, I don’t know from where, though,” the model tilts his head to the side. His eyes are even browner and more beautiful this close. He notices his earrings are dangling tiny metallic pink hoops, and it does something weird to Namjoon’s stomach. His nostrils burn from his sweet scent; he uses every ounce of will in his body not to stare directly at his mouth.

“I eat a lot,” Namjoon says. “Maybe you’ve seen me around here.”

“There’s no way you eat more than I do,” the man says, and Namjoon does it: he looks at his mouth. There’s a tiny bit of whiteish fondue stuck to the side of his small but full bottom lip. His mouth is red and slightly wine-stained, the speck is so fucking noticeable it's driving Namjoon mad.

Once he clues into what he’s doing it’s too late: he’s reaching out to the man’s face like they’re old friends. “You, uh. You have something…”

“Hm?”

“Here. On, uh. Your mouth,” Namjoon continues, his hand hesitating, but the young man sort of juts his chin out, waiting, and Namjoon quickly rubs it off with his thumb, barely feeling the skin underneath.

He feels completely humiliated. “It was just there. On the corner of your mouth.”

“Thanks,” the man says brightly, and his eyes wandering down to Namjoon’s dress-shirt then down at the floor before looking up at his face again. “Nice shoes,” he says.

“Thanks,” Namjoon echoes, and the young man is already making his way out of the washroom.

He jerked off to a photo of this guy last night, and now he’s wiping remnants of food from the side of his mouth in a restaurant toilet.

Namjoon wonders for a moment if this just might be an elaborate prank set up by Seokjin. It’s not entirely separated from the truth for Seokjin to take a joke to this extent.  But how would he know? Namjoon only sat with Seokjin once after receiving the calendar, and at no point did he bring up being specifically attracted to one of the models in it, even after Seokjin suggested it.

He’s almost happy the young man is on a date, because at least he has an excuse for his own psyche that he didn’t try to ask him out right then and there in the washroom. At the same time, he’s somewhat devastated.

He trails back to his seat silently and sits down, noticing the young man starting to slip his jacket back on as his date pays for their meal using a black credit card. He has a toothpick hanging from his mouth and before Namjoon can look away, he locks eyes with him.

His bangs have a small part above his eyebrow, and they curl slightly inward in that fashionable way without looking like he spent much time on himself at all. He slides the toothpick from side to side using his tongue and smiles at Namjoon as his date talks pleasantly to the waiter.

Namjoon can’t look away; in fact, his eyes shamelessly wander down to the young man’s mouth again and stay there for a good few seconds before he returns his attention to the glass of wine on his own table, adjusting his glasses. This is make-believe. Namjoon would never blatantly look at someone like this.

The couple stands from their table and begins to make their way out. Namjoon manages to see the date’s face as he walks over first. He’s not very attractive. This might be Namjoon’s own slight envy rearing its ugly head, but he can’t help it. The man’s Rolex glints as he reaches up to adjust his tie. Ah.

Trailing behind him, the model, the young man, his own February from the calendar, slips Namjoon a smile and discreetly reaches his hand out, dropping a folded white napkin onto Namjoon’s empty plate in one deft motion.

Namjoon stares at him as he walks by, expressionless (except maybe a slight hint of surprise), and the young man winks – he's not very good at it – as he leaves his line of vision.

Namjoon hears the hostess chat with them before everything fades into the gentle chatter happening around him.

He stares down at the napkin on his plate, his hands folded on the table in front of him. He’s so deep in thought staring at the thing, that he doesn’t notice the waiter swing by, extending his hand out to take his plate.

“No!!” Namjoon all but yells in fear and the waiter flinches.

“Sir?”

“Sorry, I’m. I’m not finished,” Namjoon continues, softening his voice when a few people look over.

“Oh, that’s not a problem, sir. I’ll come round again to check for your desert,” the waiter nods slightly.

“Actually,” Namjoon says. “Actually, I’m okay. I think I’ll take it to-go, if possible.”

Namjoon knows Seokjin is one of the few high-end restaurants that does to-go options: it’s one of his biggest sources of revenue.

When the waiter leaves, Namjoon reaches out his hand to touch the napkin, thinking maybe it’s just trash. Maybe he just put it there to remind Namjoon that he was staring shamelessly, to suggest that he should not have been looking in the first place, that he doesn't have a chance.

He prods the side of the napkin and it topples over, its fold splayed open, showcasing a small, scrawled phone number and a name:

Jeongguk

He touches his index finger against the ink and drags it across the napkin before swiftly picking it up and pocketing it.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2 - Soufflé

 

From: anon_3726@zmail.com

Subject: FUCK YOU!!!!!

To: (You) kim.namjoon@jooneats.com

HI NAMJOON @ NAMJOONEATS
I recently read your review abou t my dad's restaurant in your stupid food blog and I want to tell you that you're a fucking pretensius asshole.
what give syou the right to trash talk a restaurant???? do you have a degree in FOOD?? NO PROBABLY NOT YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE
you can't even write well you suck gfet a better hobby you stupid idiot fuck ou

yours,

anonymous hater (ONE OF MANY YOU FUCKER)

 

FUCK YOU

 

Namjoon is good at dissociating for small lengths of time, and when he gets home that night, he doesn’t think about Jeongguk. In fact, he has a very nice evening to himself. He gets half of his review done (he’ll finish the rest tomorrow), calls a few clients, and goes to his favourite market to buy ingredients for a dinner he’s planning on making. He hasn’t tried to cook himself a nice meal in a while, and while he’d be too embarrassed to try for anyone else, he believes he’s his own best victim.

He sleeps well (no dreams) and wakes up before his alarm, feeling refreshed.

He makes himself a light breakfast: scrambled eggs, brown toast, and some fruits. He slices through a strawberry and pauses, staring down. The slight, sweet scent wafts up for a moment, barely tickling his nose. He slices a few more pieces then leans down into the table, his nose close to the fruit, breathing in deeply.

He decides he doesn’t feel like strawberries anymore, and eats the rest of his breakfast quickly, sliding back into his work-chair with a mug of coffee.

He works on the review for forty minutes. After, he reads through some of his emails. (He has hate mail this morning, usually pretty rare, but it happens. He saves them in a folder for Seokjin, who enjoys reading them out loud during dinner.)

For some God forsaken reason, he can’t stop smelling strawberries. Did he wash the plate he cut them up in?

He sighs and stands up, trudging back into his kitchen with his coffee mug in his hand – there’s no plate on the table with any excess fruit. Making his way back into the room, he pauses next to his hallway closet and pokes his hand inside, patting against the breast-pocket of his blazer. He reaches inside and pulls out the napkin with the model's number on it. He almost hates that he has a name to a face now: Jeongguk.

When he gets back to his work-desk, he places the napkin on the table next to him as he works, and it lies open, the numbers presented plainly to him.  


Every now and then he’ll glance over and look at it, thinking. He hears the large clock in his living room ticking. Generally, he’ll put music on as he works, but he has so much going on in his brain right now that he doesn’t think it can handle an extra element.

The trickle of the feeling that Seokjin has masterminded this entire situation from Newark begins again. He continues typing.

The dessert was the best part of the experience – in fact, skip the meal and ask for the cake menu.

Namjoon watches the blinking text-cursor on his screen for a few seconds then pushes his chair back and reaches into his desk to pull out the calendar photo - he has detached it from the rest of the thing. He pulls a coin out of his pocket.

This is getting embarrassing. Since he's starting to feel like coincidence isn't a rational explanation anymore, and since that thought terrifies him, he might as well introduce chance back into his life.

Heads or Tails. Heads, he texts Jeonguk; Tails, he throws the photo out and never thinks about it again.

He flips the coin and claps it down on the back of hand and waits a moment before uncovering it and looking down.

He sighs and grabs his phone from his desk.  

Today 1:25 PM
Hi

He could have come up with something else, but he is genuinely exasperated with himself. Namjoon is used to being enamored with someone fast and while he's hyper-aware of this fact, he's not ready to change.

Even in this situation, though, Namjoon's not exactly the type to have one-night stands. Clearly, Jeongguk didn't leave his number because he wants to hold hands and walk by the beach, and yet...

Today 1:25 PM
Hi

hey!

guy from the restaurant?

He really wishes Jeongguk didn’t respond so fast to that initial text.

Yup

my name's Namjoon

Are you surprised I'm texting you?

not really lol

i figured out where i've seen you from

oh?

netflix documentary

about food

you're a critic

That's embarrassing

Should he tell him? Should he tell Jeongguk that he knows him from the pinup photograph? Namjoon glances down at his drawer like the torn-out page from the calendar can read his thoughts.

you look even better in person :)

Namjoon decides if Jeongguk can be this forthcoming over text, so can he.

The man you were with, was he your date?

would you sstop texting me if I said yes?

Yes

haha you're kinda dramatic huh

I don't like hurting people...

cute

it was a date

but that's all..just a date

i didn't like him

i saw another menu item i liked more lol

Wow

do you see people like menu items?

sometimes. does that turn you off?? :(

Namjoon thinks for a moment.

No for some reason it doesn’t

why did you text me

do you think I'm sexy

Namjoon stares at the texts, and his heart beating so fast it’s on the verge of cracking his ribs. He wants to throw his phone out the window. He wants to run out of his own apartment.

Yeah I do

but I don't know if that's why I texted you

sooo do you wanna meet up or not?

He got this far. He flipped a fucking coin. His brain is sending off alarm signals but he's already typing up an affirmative response.

This entire exchange is happening fast. The kind of fast he might have on a hookup app. It’s obvious Jeongguk wants to have sex and the thought makes Namjoon’s stomach twist around itself. His brain is a strange jumble of strawberries, red fuzzy sweaters, and crawfish.

I do

cool how's this saturday?

Sure
what time?

Namjoon knows he has a brunch with Seokjin on Sunday at 12pm, the next day, but that shouldn’t be an issue. Not if this is what it is.

hows 6pm?

at that cute little bakery across the street from Jin's

Across from the restaurant they met at. Across from the restaurant at which Namjoon was first given the calendar, inside which he first saw Jeongguk's photo. Namjoon could add several more layers to this, but it psyches him out so he doesn't. He still thinks that's maybe too close to Seokjin’s turf for comfort – what if someone he knows sees him?

The thought is embarrassing, it's like he’s treating meeting up with Jeongguk as though it’s something he should be ashamed of, knowing full well he he's an adult, and this is what adult's often do.

The text conversation is matter-of-fact enough, like they’re making some sort of deal. Namjoon has used one or two dating apps before, and he’s experienced this level of casual-ness before, so it’s nothing new but it also feels like digging up the past.

Even at that time, he was never this infatuated before he met the person, and he definitely never jerked himself off to their photo before meeting them. That’s probably a level of creepy he shouldn’t mentally dwell on.   

 

The rest of the week rolls by quickly. He thinks about Jeongguk often, but he stops himself from looking at the calendar photo or jerking off to him in the shower.

That's not something feel accomplished about, you morally bereft maniac.

On Friday, he has an awkward encounter with a woman on the street. He doesn't get a lot of these, in fact he could probably count on two hands the amount of people who have ever recognized him in public. In fact, the idea that Jeongguk recognized him from the food documentary was surprising enough, but at the time the feeling clouded by anticipation, and it only settles now as he walks away after signing the back of a phone-case for a middle-aged woman. She had her fat chihuahua tightly tucked under her armpit and it viciously barked at him throughout the entire encounter.

When Saturday finally rears its head, Namjoon suddenly realizes that he's actually quite nervous about this. He's nervous about everything, generally, but this is especially concerning. He doesn't have much experience on dates with such obvious destination points. 

He enters the cafe and immediately sees Jeongguk, sitting at a table in the corner. His eyes immediately lock onto him as he’s leaning back in his chair, scrolling through his phone. He’s wearing tight black jeans and a white dress-shirt with the buttons at the bottom undone. The sleeves gape open when he reaches up to scratch at the back of his head. His shoes are a particularly worn-out pair of black creepers, with the laces on the left shoe undone, pooled on the floor next to his tapping foot.

He looks exactly like how someone who doesn’t care about dressing formally might look like after being repeatedly told by peers that he should attempt to dress up formally. He looks like he gave in, but only because he has to, not because he cares. Fire-drill mentality.

Namjoon loves this, he’s already smirking when he makes his way up to the table, and when Jeongguk looks up to see him, he morphs the playful smile into something a little less creepy.

“Hi,” he says, pulling out the chair on the other end. “You’re here early.”

Jeongguk sits up, dropping his phone down on the table. “I was just so excited,” he says and waits, like he’s poised to make a joke. 

Namjoon humors him, because he’s fucking cute. “To see me again?"

“No, about the donuts. They’re so damn good here,” he says, betraying his shyness but still pleased with himself.

He looks so damn kissable this close, smiling, fiddling in his chair. His arms are extended down by his sides - Namjoon thinks he’s maybe sitting on them out of habit. He can smell his strawberry scent over the table, this time mixed with some other notes, stronger, but too sweet to be cologne. Namjoon prefers the strawberries on their own, but the mixture is fascinating. His black hair is shining like licorice, and his skin is lighter in hue than Namjoon's but not to the point where it's striking, in fact, the subtle warmth is surprising this close.

He can’t do anything but let him take that joke. Namjoon puts his hand over his heart, trying to look like he’s slightly wounded by it.

“I’m kidding,” Jeongguk says, and Namjoon really loves the register of his voice. "Have you been here before?"

Very quickly, he feels his nerves building in his throat again and he swallows them down. "A few times, yeah. It's cute."

"I love the donuts here. They're the best." Jeongguk doesn't seem very good at sustaining eye-contact with too long, but Namjoon also suffers from this affliction so he could just be glancing up at the wrong times.

"I can't remember the last time I had a donut, to be honest," Namjoon says, peering down at the little aesthetic menu on the table.

Jeongguk parts his lips in surprise and the inside of his mouth is dark, red-velvet. “That's fucking depressing.'

"Help me, then," Namjoon says, placing his index finger on the menu and pushing it across the table towards Jeongguk.

Jeongguk shakes his head, scoffing, and slams his own hand on the menu to slide it back.

"I’m not gonna recommend food to someone whose job is critiquing it.”

Namjoon pushes the menu back again. “Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not that picky.”

Jeongguk makes a distrustful face. “Isn’t that your whole identity?”

“I’d like to think my identity isn’t attached to my job,” Namjoon answers, and Jeongguk’s mouth slightly gapes and he leans into the table, his dark brown eyes sparkling.

“That’s really smart.”

He sounds so serious, it comes off as a joke, Namjoon has no idea how to react to that. Jeongguk quickly realizes the menu is still sitting in front of him, so he pushes it back towards Namjoon again in defiance.

“Is this strawberry filled?” Namjoon asks, pointing to a particular model of donut on the little menu.

Jeongguk nods. “You like strawberries?”

“Love them.”

Jeongguk smiles, pulling his hands out from under his ass and fiddling with his hanging sleeves.  “Me too.”

They both order a donut (although Namjoon is almost certain Jeongguk already had a few before he got here), and Namjoon realizes that the way Jeongguk was eating at the restaurant really wasn’t any sort of sensuous display: it's real.

It’s not necessarily a sexy way of eating, he just looks so madly in love with what he’s putting into his mouth and happens to be so attractive doing it that Namjoon can’t help but make the connection.

Namjoon can tell he’s trying not to lick his fingers after bites, wiping them on the little napkin on the table after unconsciously bringing his hand to his mouth and mentally reprimanding himself over it.

“So, what do you do?” Namjoon asks and then has a moment of panic to himself when he thinks about whether or not he should tell Jeongguk he’s seen him before in the pinup calendar.

(Obviously, he’d leave out the part where he came all over himself in bed touching his dick to the thought of him.)

“I’m a model, but I’d like to move into photography at some point down the line,” he says, forgetting that he wasn’t going to lick his fingers. He sucks some jelly off his thumb, then squints. “You didn’t know that? I mean, that I model?” He's clearly used to people Googling him before dates.

Namjoon isn’t very good at lying, so he doesn’t try to. “I did. I mean, I’ve seen you before,” he says, avoiding eye-contact like a guilty pet.

“Oh, so you were just asking to be polite,” Jeongguk says, grinning, and Namjoon looks at his shiny white teeth, then up into his eyes momentarily.

“I guess so.”

“Where did you see my photo?” Jeongguk asks, then continues. “You know, that’s weird. I saw you in that food documentary on Netflix. We’ve both seen each other somehow. Small world.”

Very, very small world, yes.

Namjoon is having trouble crossing his long legs under this tiny table, but he somehow manages. “It was in some calendar my friend gave me. He’s actually the owner of Jin’s.” Is he beginning to venture into dangerous territory? He feels like he needs to get this all out in the open as soon as he can before it's too late.

“I know him!” Jeongguk says, and Namjoon is suddenly filled with dread. Oh god, has Seokjin slept with this guy before? Has he gone through the entire fucking calendar?

“You do?”

“Well, I don't personally know him, but my friend is sleeping with him, I think,” Jeongguk nods and Namjoon’s tension slowly fades. Everything is coming together the way it was supposed to. Everything is connected. “What was I wearing? I shoot a lot of calendars,” Jeongguk continues, taking another bite of his donut, the white powder stuck to the side of his mouth. His eyes are still brown, but they're almost darker in hue now after that playful question, 70% cacao.

Namjoon blanches. He takes a sip of his tea, feeling like he dug himself into this hole.

“I don't know. Some Valentine's get-up,” he mumbles, finally making eye-contact. Jeongguk raises his brows as he chews. “You were February.”

“Oh, I remember that one,” he scrunches his nose, picking up his hot-chocolate to sip at.

Namjoon nods, slightly uncomfortable because he knows if he starts talking about how affected he was after he saw that photograph, he won’t be able to stop.

Jeongguk seems disappointed with this reaction, his shoulders sag. Namjoon doesn’t like letting people down, especially when they’re this attractive – at the same time, he doesn’t trust himself with words in these situations.

"So your blog... it's really popular, huh," Jeongguk says, licking some sugar from the corner of his lips. Namjoon doesn't typically enjoy statements like that because they beg the question:

"Is it?" He turns his cup in slow circles on his saucer. "I have a few loyal readers."

Jeongguk raises his eyebrows, speaking through his chews with his palm pressed against his mouth. "You don't have to be modest."

"I'm sure I don't have as many fans as you do," Namjoon says, attempting to move the conversation back to Jeongguk.

He laughs a little, his teeth prominent. "But you're not a fan." Jeongguk stresses the pronoun. 

"Well, I'm here," Namjoon replies, peering at Jeongguk sheepishly from the top of his glasses. "So, I guess I am a fan."

Jeongguk grins and shrugs his shoulders. Namjoon is starting to notice his little habits and they've only sat together for less than half an hour.

He's not typically a carnal person, but he can't stop thinking about how soft Jeongguk's neck looks, or stop wondering how warm it might taste feel under his lips. He breaks his gaze, distracted by the little flickering shadows of Jeongguk's earrings cast on the skin below his ear. It was a lost cause for Namjoon to entertain the idea that he might be able to pretend he wasn't completely enamored with Jeongguk from the second he saw his photo.

Jeongguk doesn't seem to notice or be bothered by these clear failures at discretion occurring across from him, he's quite relaxed with his pastry and drink.

They small-talk throughout the rest of their drinks, and Namjoon pays for the bill even though Jeongguk reaches for his wallet. He feels slightly like a creep, so he thinks paying for treats might be a good way to make up for it. After he pays he thinks maybe that could also work against him.

Standing outside the café, trying to think about what to say next, he has the thought that the particular failure wasn’t that he was being creepy, it was that he wasn’t being creepy enough – or, at least, inquisitive enough. Jeongguk clearly wanted to meet him under the pretext that the date would be ending in sex. It was meant to be a hookup, and Namjoon wasn't very good at making it seem like he was attracted to him at all. In fact, he’s fairly certain Jeongguk was gauging how attracted Namjoon was to him by asking him to tell him what he liked about the photo, and-

“Hey,” Jeongguk says, and Namjoon snaps out of his thoughts.

“Yeah?”

Jeongguk reaches up to curl his fingers behind Namjoon’s neck, craning his neck to kiss him on the lips, not particularly hard, but there’s nothing soft about it either. It’s a wet kiss, and it tastes like jelly donuts with powdered sugar, and when Jeongguk pulls away Namjoon’s eyes are still closed, his hand still up, poised in the shape of Jeongguk’s cheek.

When he opens his eyes, Jeongguk is reaching into his jacket for something. He pulls out a set of car-keys just as Namjoon relaxes his posture, still speechless.

That was completely unexpected. Namjoon isn't used to this.

“You're coming over, right?"

“Yeah. Yes. Yeah, I’d love to,” Namjoon says, slightly breathless.

“I drove here, what about you?”

“I walked,” Namjoon's voice-box is being controlled externally by some nervous phantom.

“My ride’s over there,” Jeongguk says as he starts to walk, reaching into his pocket. “Gum?”

“I’m okay,” Namjoon says, quickening his pace when he starts being able to give proper instructions to his limbs again. “Wait,” he starts when they get to the other side of the crosswalk.

“Yeah?”

“The photo. You were wearing a fuzzy red sweater, with a heart shape of fabric cut out of the chest. Plaid skirt. It was pulled up and you were wearing white...underwear. You had chocolate stains around your mouth, you looked really, really sad. You had a hand pressed to a phone, lying on some beanbag chair. There were letters all around you.”

Jeongguk blinks at him, his mouth parted, the piece of half-chewed gum slightly visible on his tongue. “Oh."

Namjoon licks his lips after all of that. “Well, that’s all out in the open now.”

Jeongguk’s look of surprise slowly seeps into happiness before becoming unreadable. “You’re really perceptive.”

“It’s a curse.”

Jeongguk presses his fob and Namjoon’s heart sinks when he sees Jeongguk’s car.

It’s a cramped little low-riding Mustang. He curls his long legs up like he’s sitting in a clown-car and makes no remarks.

“Maybe I still have that Valentine's get-up,” Jeongguk teases as he starts the car, the seats heating up immediately like he had that setting on default. “Got some other funny ones too.”

“I think you and I might have some disagreements about what we consider funny,” Namjoon responds, his heart in his throat. He glances over at Jeongguk, who has a blank expression on his face as he pulls out of the parking spot, loudly chewing on his piece of gum, his mouth slack after each chomp. Namjoon loves the way his jaw clenches as he works the rubber piece in his mouth.

 

The ride is fast, and Namjoon hasn't even fully considered the fact that he's really going to his apartment before they actually pull up in front of it. It's actually pretty close to Namjoon’s own apartment, probably only about a ten-minute drive away. “Thank you for riding the Jeongguk-Express. Please remove your arms and legs from my vehicle,” he says, opening his car door and laughing as he watches Namjoon struggle to climb out. "If you can."

“Genuinely, why did you get this car?” Namjoon asks, reaching up to push back his disheveled bangs.

Jeongguk shrugs, locking the doors with a honk. “Because it goes fast.”  

They make their way upstairs and Jeongguk unlocks his door then turns around to press his back against it, quite close to Namjoon. His chest rises and falls slightly and Namjoon can’t help glance down at his tight white t-shirt. He smells warmer now, like his own scent has mixed with whatever perfume he had put on earlier. He smells sweeter than sugar. Namjoon feels his nervousness slowly fading, replaced with something more potent.

“Word of warning. Kinda messy,” Jeongguk says bashfully, tilting his head to the side and clacking his gum again.

Namjoon wants to lean in and kiss him right there but he just nods. “The apartment or you?”

“Both,” Jeongguk says, twisting the knob and turning around to push the door open. 

The apartment is spacious and, yes, a little messy, with clothes lying on almost every chair Namjoon can spot. There’s a gym bag next to the door, and several pairs of dirt-stained running shoes.

“That stuff’s…ignore that stuff,” Jeongguk says, grabbing Namjoon’s arms and pushing him further into the apartment when he catches him staring.

“I’m not judging, I’m just observing.”

“That’s what people who judge say,” Jeongguk says pushing him until he’s at the couch. “Sit.”

Namjoon sits and looks up at him, feeling hot in his big pea-coat. “This is a nice place, though. Honestly.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty nice,” Jeongguk says and follows Namjoon’s eyeline to the bookshelf behind him. There are numerous box of chocolates, a pair of pink fuzzy handcuffs, a crimson, glittery red dildo, and several other sensual items.

“Gifts,” Jeongguk says, noticing him staring. “From people who liked my pinup stuff,” he elaborates, stepping close to Namjoon on the couch. He reaches down to scratch at his bare knee through the hole in his pants. “I don’t remember you sending me anything. I mean, unless it was anonymous.”

“I’ve only seen that one photo,” Namjoon admits. "I'm not a fan, remember?"

He was trying to make a joke but it doesn't seem to have the kind of effect he was hoping for.

“Oh,” Jeongguk steps towards him again, sliding a knee between Namjoon’s thighs, nudging his legs apart. “That photo's all it took, huh?”

“Well, I mean, yeah. But,” Namjoon says staring at this bare knee then at his firm thigh above it, “you seemed…upset. You looked really sad in the photo. I wanted to hold you, mostly.”

Jeongguk laughs and Namjoon regrets saying any of this immediately.

“You wanted to hold me?”

Namjoon shrugs, he can't back out of what he's said now. 

“Okay,” Jeongguk continues, after a moment, and climbs onto Namjoon’s lap. “So hold me.”

Namjoon stares at Jeongguk as he straddles him on the couch, facing him, his hands on Namjoon’s shoulders, waiting. This is what he came here for, after all.

Namjoon raises a tentative hand and presses it against Jeongguk’s waist: it’s firm and so warm. He squeezes and raises his other hand to the other side, doing the same. He flattens his palms against him then slowly moves his hand up his back, feeling his musculature through the thin dress-shirt, pulling him down closer.

Jeongguk moves his face towards Namjoon’s and waits, strands of hair entering his line of vision. Before Namjoon realizes, they’re kissing. Jeongguk’s mouth is commanding and hot, sweeter than it was before. Namjoon’s hands travel down to his thighs, hard beneath his tight jeans.

“Do you have a bedroom?” Namjoon suddenly asks into the kiss and Jeongguk snorts.

“Yeah, I do.”

“Show it to me,” Namjoon shifts forward on the couch and Jeongguk leans back, his chest straining against the white shirt again.

“You gonna try and lift me, big guy?”

“I could try, but I’d rather not embarrass myself this early into meeting you,” Namjoon says and Jeongguk laughs again.

Jeongguk leads him to his room and shoves him (with considerable strength) down on the bed. “My cave,” he says, stretching his arms out. There’s a closet with the door slid way open, showcasing mostly monochromatic clothing. He has two monitors and a glowing, rainbow keyboard. There isn’t much decoration except one framed poster on his wall of Jeongguk in what looks like some sort of outtake from a pinup shot. He's wet, in torn jeans and an open shirt, on top of an old car he appears to be trying to wash.

Namjoon has a hard time looking away.

“That you?” He asks, adjusting himself on the bed.

“Yeah,” Jeongguk makes a face. “Is it weird to have a big, framed photo of myself in my room? People have told me that before. I just like the photo.”

“No. No, you're gorgeous,” Namjoon says breathlessly, even though that doesn't really have anything to do with the question of it being 'weird'. He's urged back to reality when he hears the jangle of a belt and looks over to see Jeongguk unbuttoning his shirt. Namjoon’s eyes immediately drop down to his chest, then down to his stomach. He must look stupid, because Jeongguk laughs as he comes over, but it’s the kind of laugh that seems entirely self-aware.

He crawls on the bed, over Namjoon, his hands on either side. The closer Jeongguk gets, the more obvious his scent becomes: vanilla on his breath (wasn't the gum peppermint?) and that same fucking strawberry mist that’s been haunting him since they met in the washroom at Jin's.

Namjoon raises a hand and touches Jeongguk’s cheek, his fingers feeling around the back of his neck, pulling his face down into a kiss. Jeongguk is eager, his knee wedging into Namjoon’s crotch again, hard. He wasn’t prepared for that sudden contact so he flinches slightly, but acquiesces because Jeongguk is on a mission, clearly.

“You’re young for a food critic,” Jeongguk says trying to lean back a little. Namjoon is too busy savoring the taste Jeongguk’s mouth to respond or relinquish his grip. He’s never been this hard in his life, he’s never been with someone so perfect looking, he doesn’t know how to engage properly.

Jeongguk seems a little shy, suddenly, when Namjoon doesn’t respond. “You okay?"

“I’m distracted.”

“By what?”

“By you.”

“I’m distracting you from me? How’s that possible?”

“I don’t know. Nothing about you seems possible, to be honest,” Namjoon murmurs and Jeongguk likes that one so he smirks a little.

They make-out for a good twenty minutes, on their sides now, their limbs tangled. Jeongguk’s jeans are tugged down and he’s wearing a pair of very decisive pink panties – the kind you might see in a lingerie catalog. Namjoon keeps staring and Jeongguk breaks the kiss and brings a hand down to his crotch, his mouth wet.

“You like’m?” He lightly presses his fingers against his dick, barely clothed by the fabric. He clearly wore these on purpose. The contrast between what Namjoon sees and what he might conventionally expect to see under the black and white outfit makes the back of his neck tingle.

Similarly, Namjoon can’t properly deal with the sight of Jeongguk’s hard stomach above the silky band of his pink panties. He doesn't realize he's doing it, but he reaches out and presses his own hand over Jeongguk’s.

“I love them,” Namjoon responds, late, and Jeongguk moans as Namjoon’s hand presses over Jeongguk's, cupping his dick up against his lower abdomen. “What do you want me to do?” Namjoon asks, pressing a small kiss to the side of Jeongguk’s neck.

Jeongguk pauses momentarily, his mouth still parted from his moan. “What do I want you to do?”

“Yeah.”

Jeongguk shrugs like no one has asked him that before, moving his hips forward so his dick presses against Namjoon’s palm again. “Just touch me.”

Namjoon moves so he’s on top now, his own knee wedging between Jeongguk’s legs. He grabs the sides of his jeans and tugs them down, careful to leave the panties on.

He can’t keep his mouth away from Jeongguk’s lips, so he kisses him again, keeping their lips locked as he pushes his hand down the hem of Jeongguk’s underwear, grabbing at his dick.

Jeongguk moans against Namjoon’s lips, pushing his head back against the blankets, his arms reaching up to run through his own hair as Namjoon moves his hand. He works his wrist carefully, his fingers wrapped fully around Jeongguk’s fat dick, wet with precum. He rolls his palm against the head and Jeongguk grabs at his wrists. “Fuck.”

Jeongguk’s breathing is fast and choppy now, his chest heaving, eyes closed tight. He wasn’t going to do this, but his face is far too close to Jeongguk’s chest right now to resist: he presses his mouth against his nipple and Jeongguk’s breath hitches.

“I’m gonna cum if you do that.”

“That’s a good outcome,” Namjoon breathes against his chest then continues to lick, his hand moving faster. He could write a persuasive essay about the taste of Jeongguk nipples.

“You’re. You’re so hot,” Jeongguk moans and Namjoon has never been so pleased with a compliment in his entire life. And then Jeongguk keeps going, his hand moving down to grab at Namjoon’s cock over his pants. “Fuck me with your big dick.”

Namjoon has to physically bite the inside of his own cheek. Typically, a porny comment like that might make him laugh, but Jeongguk sounds so completely serious it just makes Namjoon grow harder and more assertive. This is a new psychological low. There has got to be buried baggage attached to this feeling. He'll think about that later.

He helps Jeongguk’s uncoordinated fingers deal with his pants, still stuck along his thick thighs, tugging them down and off. Jeongguk finally takes his other hand out of his hair and pulls a condom from under his pillow like it was a gift left by the tooth-fairy. He reaches out and grabs the base of Namjoon’s cock, and Namjoon might just be imagining things but Jeongguk actually licks his lips as he looks at it.

Namjoon clumsily helps pull the rubber down on his dick, leaning in again to kiss Jeongguk, rolling his hips, feeling Jeongukk’s cock pressing against his own. He doesn’t usually kiss this much during sex, but he can’t help it, Jeongguk tastes so good, he moves perfectly in tune with Namjoon, and he has literally never touched a body as perfect as his. He hopes he’s not being too weird.

Jeongguk's humping is becoming more erratic.

“Lube,” Namjoon murmurs.

Jeongguk reaches on his bedside table and that’s when Namjoon sees the bottle for the first time: it's a tube of strawberry lubricant. He brings the tube to his nose and smells it, enjoying the way Jeongguk stares at him expectantly.

Namjoon coats his own dick and moves his hand down, rubbing the liquid against Jeongguk’s crack, and he shivers at the sensation, laughing then going silent when Namjoon starts to push his finger inside.

"Big f-fingers," Jeongguk mumbles quietly, spreading his legs as Namjoon starts to work him open, leaning over to kiss him again.

Jeongguk is incredibly tight around his fingers, and Namjoon's wondering if he's clenching because he enjoys the sensation. By the third finger, Jeongguk is moving his hips up into the rhythm. When Namjoon eventually removes his fingers from Jeongguk's hole, he makes a choked sound. He stares down at the mess of lube he's made and Jeongguk appears to be shameless, his knees hiked up, legs still spread - waiting.

"Come on," he mumbles and Namjoon wants to warn him not to rush him through this incredible experience, but he finds himself at a loss for words.

He barely has to position his dick on account of how hard he is.

He hooks Jeongguk’s knees over his shoulders and moves his hips forward, slowly, feeling his dick sliding inside. Jeongguk is hot and tight, and he groans, pressing his hand below Namjoon’s belly-button.

“That okay?” Namjoon winces, feeling the impossible heat around himself.

“Go fast,” Jeongguk says, his eyes sparkling even brighter than they did in the café, the low lights of his room reflecting white like marshmallows floating in hot chocolate. He presses his hands against Namjoon’s chest as he quickens his pace, his mouth closed tight, looking like he’s actively trying not to make sounds.

Namjoon has to start thinking about war and famine in order not to cum within the first minute - he’s really struggling. He keeps his mouth locked on some part of Jeongguk throughout – his lips, his neck, his chest - and while he’d love to see Jeongguk’s asshole again, to finger him some more, or even just prop Jeongguk in a different position, he really can’t stop to switch things up.

Jeongguk is beginning to mumble things, panting, and either he’s an amazing pretender or he’s loving this as much as Namjoon is. He moves his hands up to Namjoon’s hair, arching his back, trying to get a more effective angle going.

He eventually finds one, whimpering, his fingers curling in Namjoon’s hair so hard he might have taken some strands out accidentally. The sting gives Namjoon a surge of energy and he changes up from rolling his hips, to slamming down into the angle Jeongguk constructed and it seems to be the right thing to do because Jeongguk lets go of Namjoon’s hair and grabs the blankets instead, his eyes closed, mouth open.

Namjoon wants cum so bad, but he also doesn’t want to let Jeongguk down. Jeongguk seems like the kind of person who is often let down during sex. He thinks he’s hitting his prostate, and he’s jerking him off as he fucks him, and while Namjoon is doing this to get Jeongguk off, he thinks it’s mostly getting himself off instead. Jeongguk keeps humping up into Namjoon’s hand as he fucks him.

Namjoon makes a mental note that this is peak of his sex life.

Wait, is this it?

Will this be the only time they have sex?

They texted to meet, because they wanted to have sex, and now they’re having sex, so it’s over after this. Oh God. It's too soon.

When he slows down his pace, the act draws an annoyed sound from Jeongguk. "Don't."

Namjoon pants, reaching up to pat at his wet brow with the back of his hand. “I don’t want it to end.” He wasn't supposed to say that out loud.

Jeongguk laughs and it makes his mouth look even more inviting than it already does, so Namjoon kisses him again. He’s definitely kissing too much.

Jeongguk doesn’t seem to mind, he kisses him back, pressing his hands back into Namjoon’s chest, dragging them down to his ribs, clawing into the divots. “Fine,” he says. “Fuck me slow, then.”

That statement ironically just pushes Namjoon way too close.

“Tell me when you’re close,” Jeongguk continues against Namjoon’s ears and he nods even though he's already over the edge and dangling, on his own planet right now, moving at his own pace, his face buried in Jeongguk’s neck.

He’s literally never felt this consumed during sex, but that could just mean he has never had good sex in his life. This is missionary, so what does that say about Namjoon?

Jeongguk is moving his entire body with Namjoon’s thrusts, gripping Namjoon’s hip with one hand, his other tangled in Namjoon’s hair, helping press his face into his collarbone.

“I’m…”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Namjoon somehow grunts, using every ounce of strength in his body not to kiss Jeongguk again as he’s cumming.

Namjoon’s vision goes white, and when he realizes what’s happening he sees Jeongguk cumming all over his hand too, he’s grabbing Namjoon’s biceps, eyes fluttering closed.

Did they...cum at the same time? Doesn't that only happen in movies?

Namjoon is too fucked out to comment on that so he lets himself deflate slowly next to Jeongguk, listening to the sound of their loud breathing and his own heartbeat.

“You okay?” Jeongguk asks in his small voice, and Namjoon feels him curling over and pressing his wet stomach against his arm.

He lifts his face from the pillow. “I’m better than I’ve ever been,” he croaks.

Jeongguk laughs. “You know that was really great. You’re a good fuck.”

“Am I? I don’t remember what I was doing, only how good you felt,” Namjoon mumbles into the pillow then rolls over onto his back.

Jeongguk swings his leg over to straddle him, his stomach is still wet with his own cum. This is the sort of guy who could probably be converted into some sort of Viagra pill. “I barely know you but I like how you talk.”

“How’s that?”

Jeongguk shrugs, trailing his hands down Namjoon’s chest, the globes of his ass resting comfortably on the top of Namjoon’s naked thighs. “The way you say things. It’s nice.”

Is Jeongguk this sweet to every guy he takes home to fuck?

Namjoon lifts his hands, pressing them against Jeongguk’s ass, squeezing slightly. He pinches a cheek, hard.

Jeongguk yelps.

“Okay, good. You’re real, this is real.”

“You’re weird,” Jeongguk grins, lifting back off onto the bed, sitting comfortably. He grabs his blanket and rubs at his stomach with it.

Namjoon is quick to crawl out of the bed when Jeongguk spaces out, lying on his back now, scrolling through his phone as he yawns. He wasn’t this tired right after they had sex, but he seems to be winding down now after they laid in silence for a few minutes. He looks so soft lying there in the middle of his sex infused bed, his black hair sinking into his soft pillow, his chest slowly rising and falling as he breathes.

He wants to roll back on top of him, kiss him again. He reprimands himself for the thought.

Jeongguk finally clues in when he looks up and sees Namjoon slipping his briefs back on, he sits up groggily. “You’re going?”

“I have a lot of work to do,” Namjoon says, and it’s not really a lie, but he’s regretting this moment anyway because he really does want to spend time with this beautiful person for a little longer.

“Oh,” Jeongguk says, picking at his lip shyly. “Okay, cool. Do you wanna do this again sometime?" He smiles, standing up on his bed, fully naked, not shy about any of that.

Namjoon would love nothing more than to do this again. His well isn't empty.

No, that sounded weird in his head, he's going to set that metaphor aside. Seokjin isn't good at metaphors. 

He thinks again of Seokjin and how he basically spoke this entire sexual escape into reality by suggesting it. 

"Like, meet again? For sex?" 

Jeongguk looks uncomfortable. "I mean. When you say it like that, it makes it sound like it's not normal."

"Sorry." Namjoon scratches at the back of his head. "I'd love to fuck you again, yeah."

That seems to clear the air pretty quickly because Jeongguk smiles. "Cool. You have my number. Text me."

"I will," Namjoon smiles and then moves his hands to his thighs and stops, suddenly remembering he isn't wearing his pants.

"Did you just try to put your hands in your pockets?" Jeongguk asks, staring down at his legs, trying not to laugh.

"Yup."

As Namjoon takes the 10 minute, scenic walk-of-shame back home, he thinks about how this situation seemingly dropped into his lap. He isn't used to this sort of expectancy, and typically he might be afraid of the change, but he seems particularly at peace with the way things have worked out. For now, at least.

Namjoon isn't sure how serious Jeongguk was about meeting up again, and although Namjoon's body is still buzzing with the after-effects of the sex, he thinks maybe he got it out of his system, and it shouldn't matter either way.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 3 - Kouign-amann  

 

It's supposedly the fattiest pastry in Europe - this is a very high honor. It's the kind of thing that rolls around the cusp of sweet and salty, rich and light. It's decadent, buttery, and makes you wonder if the immaculate flattened sphere could impersonate all three meals of the day. Little bakery, Chimmy's, proves that food exists to work in your favor, not the other way around. You can hardly see the chef, Park Jimin, over the counter, just a shock of black hair moving fast across the goods, but you can taste his love in each of the individual pastries: yesterday, it was the Kouign-amann, but tomorrow it could be something else.

Namjoon leans back from his laptop, frowning. 

You can taste his love. 

That sounds a little off.

He has Jeongguk on his mind, and as a result of this he feels like he's leaking hormones all over his reviews. Then again, he's probably just hyper-aware of his emotions.

Seokjin is absolutely glowing when they meet for brunch and Namjoon has the feeling it has to do with the amount of sex he’s been having with his model boyfriend.

He’s surprised because Seokjin has been on a work-trip until the day before, so they must have crammed it all into one evening.

Why is Namjoon thinking about his best friend fucking his boyfriend?

“Not a fan of the linguine?”

Namjoon looks up from his plate. “It’s great. I was just…thinking.”

Seokjin takes a sip of his pineapple juice. “That's never good. What’d you do?”

Namjoon stares up at him. “I did…a thing.”

Seokjin puts down his knife and fork and sighs, folding his napkin and tossing it on the table. He leans back with his arms crossed, waiting, like Namjoon is meant to explain poor grades on his report card.

“The calendar,” Namjoon says taking a bite of his pasta. “I uh. I enjoyed it. A lot more than I thought I would."

"What does that even mean? Did you roll the calendar up and fuck yourself with it?"

"You know, for someone who owns such a beautiful restaurant, you really don't care about the volume you use when talking about choice subjects."

"Maybe if you weren't so fucking vague all the time."

"I met one of the models in it," Namjoon interrupts before Seokjin can keep skewering him.

Seokjin stares at him. “What?”

Is it just Namjoon, or is the restaurant suddenly quiet? He feels like he’s speaking into a microphone. “It’s actually weird how it happened. I first saw him in the calendar, and then I saw him at your restaurant, while you were away. And then he left his number on a napkin. Then we met up.”

Seokjin’s eyes are slightly bulging. “I’m guessing you’ve skipped some steps in that story.”

“You’d be surprised. Not much else happened. I saw him in the washroom and made a fool out of myself and suddenly he’s giving me his number.”

“I can’t believe this,” Seokjin says, his mouth slowly turning into a wider and wider smile. “This isn’t the kind of shit that happens in real life this is like...fiction. I was supposed to be the middle-man. Who is he?”

"He was February in the calendar. And you weren't supposed to be anything. You 'offered' to be the middle-man."

“What happened? Did you guys fuck?” Seokjin asks, louder still.

Namjoon shushes him. “We, uh. Did things together, yeah. There was some sex involved.”

“Holy shit,” Seokjin says, pressing a hand to his head. “This is fantastic, this is great. Was he good in bed?”

Was he good in bed? Namjoon almost laughs out loud at the thought, like it’s the stupidest question ever asked of him. He could write a review about that sex, complete with the post-coital blowjob, but instead, he decides not to be dramatic and just tell him as objectively as he can.

“It was the best sex I’ve ever had.”

Seokjin just shakes his head in disbelief. “You fucking slut. I don’t even remember what February looked like, do you have a photo with you?”

Namjoon shakes his head. “His name is Jeongguk.”

“Last name?”

“Jeon.”

Seokjin pulls out his phone immediately and starts to tap away.

“What are you doing?”

“Googling him.”

“No. No don’t do that,” Namjoon says, reaching out, but Seokjin leans back in his seat with the phone up to his face.

“Oh. Oh yeah, I’ve seen him before. Cute face. Looks kinda buff, though. I like when things jiggle.”

“He’s perfect looking,” Namjoon says, not entirely on the same page, suddenly remembering how fucking overwhelmed he was when he saw Jeongguk without clothes. “He’s the most exquisite looking human I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Seokjin peers over his phone, his thick eyebrows arched. “I hope you didn’t say that to him in that same tone of voice."

Namjoon frowns. “Why?”

“I got chills. You sound like you collect skin.”

“Anyway,” Namjoon says, slightly curious to see what sort of photos Seokjin is scrolling through, but simultaneously promising himself that he is not going to Google Jeongguk later. “I didn’t think we were going to meet again, but I’m supposed to text him to schedule another

(Meet-up?

Hang-out?)

date.” It wasn’t in the list of options, but it seemed like the most natural.

Seokjin nods slowly. “Well, keep it casual, then. This has great butt-buddy potential. Don’t scare him. Don’t do anything excessive.”

“Who do you think I am?”

Seokjin grimaces. “I mean, you had that book of erotic letters“

“I can’t believe I have to reassure you of this, but I’m not going to write erotic letters for someone I’m having casual sex with- Hi sir, no thanks, I think we’re good,” Namjoon interrupts himself when a waiter suddenly swoops by to ask if they’d like more drinks.

Seokjin holds his palms up in defeat and leans back in his chair.

"I don't know if I'm going to text him back."

"What? Why? He's gorgeous."

"He's too gorgeous. He's like, the kind of gorgeous I get overly enamored with."

Seokjin waits for a moment before beginning, slowly, like Namjoon needs all sorts of help. "Isn't that a good thing? You think ghosting him is a better option?"

Namjoon doesn't exactly know what the better option is, but his usual intuitive functions have been out of service recently. He wasn't expecting to still be thinking about Jeongguk after having sex with him.

 

 

It has been three days now, since Namjoon and Jeongguk did the deed. Seokjin has only voiced his exasperation once over Namjoon not immediately texting him back for round two ("You have to text right away to get the ball rolling, otherwise it sounds like you're uninterested on making it a thing.") and it's almost worse than if he were to pester Namjoon about it. It's something when you give up on yourself, but it carries more weight when your own friends throw in the towel,

Hoseok, the manager at his favourite local supermarket, isn't much help either. They’ve been friendly for several years, and while Namjoon doesn’t enjoy talking about the minute details of his life, Hoseok has this way of dragging information out of him that he thinks might have professional implications. He should work for the government.

He hasn’t seen Hoseok in a long time though, since he got promoted to head office, he’s mostly just invited back to make sure everything is running properly.

“What about you, how’s life?” Hoseok asks, straightening out a watermelon as he trails behind Namjoon.

“Ah, you know. Same old. Working on reviews, eating, nothing special,” Namjoon places several limes into his basket and turns around to face Hoseok, who now leans against the corner of a display stand mounted entirely of perfectly shaped lemons. He’s smiling widely, like he’s waiting for more.

When Namjoon doesn’t say more, he continues. “You still seeing that guy? The, uh, the guy with the mustache. The one who wore a lot of plaid.”

“Nope.” Namjoon doesn’t really want to remember that relationship. He thinks of the door slamming in his face, the child kicking his chair at the airport, the flowers in the garbage can.

“You know, I think he was a real nice guy. Super friendly, super kind. He definitely seemed-“

“I’m seeing someone else,” Namjoon says, putting an apple into his basket even though he really has enough at his apartment.

Hoseok stares at him for a moment before his mouth winds down into a little O, his eyes wide. “Are you? Well, that’s great. That’s awesome. I’ve missed so much! How long?”

Well, he lied. He can't backtrack. He just really doesn’t want to hear Hoseok go on about someone Namjoon doesn’t have the fondest memories about.

“Well, it’s uh,” Namjoon says, touching the sides of his glasses as though it’d buy him time. “It's...we’re not...dating.” Good luck digging yourself out of this one, you loser.

“Oh, I see, just a hook-up thing, that’s great too.” Hoseok reaches over to quickly tie an employee's loosened apron as they walk buy. “I could never do that.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah,” Hoseok sighs dramatically leaning against a new display stand, this time of eggplants. “I’m a stage-five clinger.”

“What’s that?” Namjoon asks, amused.

“You know, I’d just keep texting and bothering them for dates until they got sick of me,” Hoseok says, smiling sadly, polishing the side of a massive eggplant with his sleeve.

Namjoon never considered that to even be a thing, but he does now.

He has a mini crisis after Hoseok leaves to go help a cashier and stares into his mixed up basket of fruits and veggies. 

He doesn't realize he has zoned out until an older gentleman loudly clears his throat and he realizes he's been standing in the middle of the produce aisle holding a sizable zucchini in his hands.

"Sorry, sir."   

 

 

Namjoon is drinking a ginger smoothie and watching Planet Earth when his phone vibrates. It's Seokjin, which is strange because it's Saturday and Seokjin has warned Namjoon that on Saturdays he does not come up for air from Taehyung's asscrack. 

Today 7:42 PM
hey
come have dinner with me

Well, that's weird. Maybe they had a fight?

Aren't you with taehyung?
yea he wants to meet you

This relationship seems more serious than Namjoon initially thought, and he considers how rare it is for Seokjin to even suggest he meet someone he's seeing this soon into their relationship.

On the drive there, Namjoon realizes he hasn't shaved in two days or changed out of his outfit from earlier today when he went to both a grocery market and a fish market; this might not exactly be the best first impression. He's too close to turn back now, though, so he decides he'll pretend he was just really busy.

As he walks into the restaurant, he looks down at his phone to see if Seokjin texted him where they're sitting exactly, and instead he sees a string of frantic text messages:

oh nO
😱😱😱😱😱
the guy you fucked is here
tae asked me if he could bring a friend
I said yes
and then I did the same
it didnt even cross my mind it could be him
hope you're not already driving here
this'll be awkward lol
joon
I AM HOPING YOU CHECK YOUR PHONE
BEFORE YOU WALK IN
KIM NAMJOON
YOU CAN NOT BE MAD AT ME ABOUT THIS
you just walked in
they saw you
it's too late 🙃

Namjoon looks up from his phone, directly at the table across the restaurant where they usually sit, and makes eye-contact with a extremely panicked looking Seokjin. He shifts his gaze slightly, and looks into the chocolate brown eyes of Jeongguk, who leans casually over the back of his chair, turned slightly to look at him.

Well, there's no turning back now.

The closer he gets, he sees Taehyung, who was initially slightly hidden by Jeongguk. He's happily talking about something to Seokjin, even though he isn't paying much attention after seeing Namjoon.

Taehyung is wearing a white drapey cashmere sweater and blue denim jeans, his wrists have expensive looking bracelets dangling from them. Namjoon wonders if Seokjin bought any of those for him. He wouldn’t be surprised.

"Well, well, well, look what the cat dragged in," Seokjin says like he had no idea Namjoon would be joining them, his voice betraying his nervousness.

"I vaguely recall you inviting me twenty minutes ago," Namjoon says then looks down at Jeongguk, who looks up at him, smiling. 

"Nice to meet you," Taehyung says reaching across the table to shake Namjoon's hand.

"You too," he says, then extends his hand out to Jeongguk who takes it, smirking.

"That's my friend Jeongguk," Taehyung chirps but Jeongguk is quick to add his own bit:

"We've met." He squeezes Namjoon's hand. "Nice to see you again."

"Yeah, you too," Namjoon says, and he's not very good at acting so this might look incredibly inauthentic.

"I've heard a lot about you!" Taehyung continues.

Taehyung is larger in person than Namjoon would have guessed from the photos Seokjin forced him to look at. He has a very warm energy and way with his big eyes that demands attention.

"Uh oh," Namjoon says and Seokjin waves his hand dismissively, slightly less spooked than he was earlier, sensing Namjoon's calm demeanor. Sometimes panic takes longer to have an effect on Namjoon. "What did you hear him say about me?"

“I heard you review restaurants,” Taehyung continues, wiping at the side of his mouth with his knuckle.

“Well, that's accurate,” Namjoon says, glancing over at Seokjin, concerned. "Anything else?"

“Yeah,” Taehyung says, smiling. “He says you’re awkward and you can’t cook.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful,” Namjoon says as Seokjin squawks. 

Taehyung looks like he’s absolutely enjoying creating this cloud of chaos. “He also said you’re his best friend and that he always wants you to be happy."

“See,” Seokjin says, suddenly satisfied, leaning back in his chair. “Friend of the fucking year over here,” he stabs at his chest with his thumb as Namjoon stares at him, bemused.

“He cried while he was telling me how much he likes you,” Taehyung continues, licking the the side of his spoon.

“That’s enough, babe. Thanks.”

Taehyung peers at Jeongguk, frowning slightly, then turns to Seokjin and begins a conversation with only him, as though he's purposely creating room for Jeongguk and Namjoon to talk. Does...Taehyung know about Namjoon? From Jeongguk or Seokjin?

"Good spaghetti?" Is all Namjoon can manage when he glances over at Jeongguk again.

Jeongguk looks up at him, his eyes slightly unreadable. "Delicious."

Namjoon runs his finger over the napkin in front of him, remembering the feeling of indents on the one Jeongguk wrote his number on at this same restaurant.

The two men are both attractive but in such different ways, it’s fascinating. Taehyung is the kind of intimidating beauty Namjoon might avert his eyes from in public, whereas Jeongguk has a more - and Namjoon hates to think this - boy-next-door appeal that grows on you like a virus. Or at least, that’s what it feels like. His features on their own aren’t particularly miraculous, but put together like this seem to hit a very particular chord that makes Namjoon’s heart sink.

Namjoon is trying to keep up with the conversations, but he can’t help staring up at Jeongguk every so often. He seems to have completely tuned everyone at the table out, focusing solely on his spaghetti.

He’s curling massive chunks of pasta around his fork with lightning speed. He chews with his mouth closed, but he has so much in there he appears to be struggling at times.

Namjoon is focusing so hard on watching him eat, the promptness with which he looks away is suffering. Finally, he just stops trying to avert his eyes altogether. Seokjin must have noticed because Namjoon feels him step on his foot under the table; he barely registers it. He thinks about how Jeongguk was naked underneath him, with his legs wrapped around his waist. About the way his black hair looked splayed out on his pillow like that, his mouth open, making desperate noises.

And here he is now, lips stained with tomato sauce, fork-fulls of pasta in his mouth. He’s a 180 from what Namjoon was first drawn to in the calendar, but for some reason he’s completely hypnotized all over again.

Jeongguk catches Namjoon’s eyes at some point as Taehyung chats in the background, and he smiles, reaching down to pick his napkin up and press it against his mouth.

Namjoon smiles back, finally realizing he’s been staring a little too intently.

“You sure love food, huh,” Seokjin says and Jeongguk looks at him, swallowing the bite in his mouth, slightly embarrassed. "Hey, it's a good thing. I mean you seem like you genuinely enjoy food, like me."

Jeongguk shrugs. “Depends what kind of food.”

“He eats everything,” Taehyung chips in. “I mean, so do I, but he manages more than me.”

"Hey, this is top quality food, don't cheapen it by saying he eats everything," Seokjin says defensively, pointing at Jeongguk's plate.

Jeongguk grins. "It's slightly better than the usual everything I eat."

"Have you reviewed his restaurant before?" Taehyung asks Namjoon, settling his chin in his palm, his elbow on the table.

"Yeah, it was a glowing review," Seokjin answers before Namjoon. This is his absolute favourite topic.

"He's not wrong," Namjoon mumbles, not necessarily wanting to compliment Seokjin after he inadvertently placed him in this uncomfortable situation.

Namjoon doesn't get much to eat, only a small slice of tiramisu (his favourite dessert recipe of Seokjin's). They make small-talk and Jeongguk is typically quiet unless someone asks him a question. Namjoon can't tell if that's just the way he is, or if he doesn't want to be here. 

He's on his last bite when Jeongguk nudges Namjoon's knee with his own. When Namjoon makes eye-contact with him he gestures with his head, signalling that they should leave. Namjoon is surprised but completely on board with that idea, unable to think of anything else.

"Well, that was fantastic, but I should probably get going," Namjoon says as he stands up, as subtly as he can. He sees Taehyung look over at Jeongguk again.

Jeongguk gets up as well. "Me too, have lots to do tonight."

"You. You do, huh. Cool, no problem, cool," Seokjin says, his eyes darting from Namjoon to Jeongguk then back again in a fashion that screams anything but 'cool'.

"Compliments to the chef," Jeongguk says softly and Seokjin tsks.

"Put that away," he gestures to Jeongguk, who has pulled out his wallet. "Compliments of the chef."

Jeongguk thanks him shyly while Taehyung begins to go off about how kind and giving and whatever the fuck else Seokjin is as the two of them leave. He can tell they genuinely enjoy each other's presence, and it's both sweet and slightly scary. He doesn't think he's ever seen Seokjin this casual or willing to share a date he's on, he's generally a one-on-one sort of guy, so the fact that he seemed so relaxed tonight really sells the point that he's very comfortable with Taehyung.

"It was nice seeing you again," Namjoon says, as they walk outside.

"Yeah, you too."

"Wasn't, uh. Expecting to see you here."

"Me neither."

"Weird how things work out, huh." Namjoon just sounds like a fucking idiot at this point, not entirely sure how to segue in to what he wants to discuss.

Jeongguk stops, turning to look at him. His eyes are so round, even in their relaxed state. His cheeks are full of colour thanks to the full meal he just had, and Namjoon is surprised he can see their hue in the darkness. He can also see the points on his lips that the air has dried out and the parts that are still wet. He's so focused on what he looks like, he barely hears what Jeongguk says:

"Was the sex that bad?"

"What?"

Jeongguk smiles like he's about to make a controversial joke. "The sex we had. You never texted, so I assumed it sucked."

Namjoon shakes his head, dumbfounded. "No. Jesus, no of course not. You're perfect. You're gorgeous. I'd love to have sex with you again. A lot of times."

Jeongguk grins. "Really? Didn't seem that way. I mean, it's fine. You just seemed like you had fun, so..."

"I got nervous. I haven't done this casual sex thing in years."

"You're nervous about casual sex."

"Incredibly."

Jeongguk nods slowly, squinting like he's trying to figure Namjoon's position out before continuing. "Well, I guess I'll catch you later."

"Wait," Namjoon almost reaches out to stop him when Jeongguk makes a move to walk away. "Do you want to...come over for a drink?"

Jeongguk shoves his hands in his pockets. "A drink? I have a shoot really early tomorrow, did you want to fuck me?"

Namjoon takes a moment to recover from how unceremoniously Jeongguk just asked that.

"I mean, I wouldn't be opposed to the idea."

Jeongguk laughs then goes quiet again, slightly serious. "I can't tonight. But you could always text me," he adds, raising an eyebrow.

"I will. I promise. Whether you care or not."

Jeongguk shrugs like he doesn't, but he's smiling like he does.

There's a small inch of silence, and Namjoon fills it. "You know, it's funny that both our friends are dating, seems kinda...I don't know."

"Coincidental?" Jeongguk asks, looking at him.

"Yeah."

 

 

So, that review...

A few days after Namjoon and Jeongguk's sex-soaked evening, during his afternoon walk, Namjoon was shocked to find a small little bakery nestled between a butcher shop and a nail-salon. It was such a strange location, that Namjoon had simply walked past it for years since he moved to the city. After finally noticing it, he decided to go inside and was completely blown away by the contrast of colours from the exterior and interior. The smells too, the way they wafted throughout the bakery but not outside in the smelly streets - this was a crime.

He was immediately drawn to the bright colours surrounding the displays. Everything was pristine and white, showcasing the colours, shapes, and textures in the pastries. The walls had several soft abstract paintings done in pastels, subdued. The decor and overall aesthetic in the shop looked very calculated but open at the same time and Namjoon was intrigued. He was also confused by how quiet it was, especially at the time he initially appeared.

He had a cappuccino and Kouign-amann. It was so delicious, he stopped chewing mid-way through and just stared down at the thing like it was cursed. The baker, Jimin, a cute little guy, rounded the corner. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm great. This is...really damn good," Namjoon says, pointing with his fork. The man was wearing a name-tag that said 'Park Jimin, Pastry Chef'.

Jimin's face had changed from fear to almost annoyance. "Oh. You scared me, Jesus. Thought you bit into a rock or something."

He reckoned this bakery probably didn't get a lot of business, considering the location. The chef (and owner, he learned after a few questions about the shop) was sweet but slightly fidgety, like he was worried Namjoon was just being nice about the pastry when he really thought it was disgusting.

When Namjoon got home that evening, he immediately wrote a review about the small little pastry he had. It was 2 pages long. Some readers were confused, others found it funny, but a lot were intrigued - as they should be. It's hard to gather that much attention through one bite of a pastry that doesn't even require too many ingredients.

This morning, a week later, Namjoon feels an urge return. 

It's 8am. He couldn't sleep last night when he got back from the restaurant. He decides this morning (after the embarrassing re-encounter) that he was going to text Jeongguk because yes, his attraction is choking the life out of him and Jeongguk's face outside the restaurant was a shade of dispirited Namjoon really doesn't want to have to remember. To think someone like him, could make someone like Jeongguk look that upset about not getting a text back seems ridiculous. In fact, it's so ridiculous, he had to have been acting.

Still, Namjoon is easy when he finds someone this attractive. He can't help but play by their rules and discard his own.

"Hi there, I'll be with you in a second," comes Jimin's disembodied voice from the back of the little shop. The sound of a cooking timer is going off and the whole place smells incredibly sweet.

"Take your time," Namjoon says to no one in particular, bending over the glass displays to stare at the pastries inside. They clearly haven't all been assembled yet. Several people are sitting and eating pastries, Namjoon notices, and he hears the sound of a phone ringing from the kitchen.

Jimin finally pops out and his eyes become wide. "Oh my god. It's you!"

"Me?"

"Yeah!" Jimin hops out from behind the counter and walks up to him, looking like he's about to maybe hug him but then thinks better of himself. "You wrote that review, right? On your food blog"?"

"Oh, yeah, that's me," Namjoon says, smiling.

"I recognized you from the photo," Jimin shakes his head in disbelief. "You have no idea, this last week has been so busy. Ever since your review, people have been calling in for orders constantly, I have to start at 3am to keep up with them all. I had three hours of sleep for the last 5 days."

Well that was a turn of events. "God...I'm so sorry," Namjoon says, suddenly horrified.

"No! It's fucking amazing! I love it," Jimin responds, smiling shyly. "Honestly, thank you so much for writing that. This place was not doing well since opening. Before you came..." Jimin looks like he's struggling over whether he should say this next part or not: "I barely made the last rent payment."

Namjoon feels his heart drop at the idea. It's a horrible feeling to put all your hopes in dreams into something, only to have it fall apart. He really hopes the business will keep up if that's what Jimin really wants - he'd hate for this to turn into some sort of little fad and then fade away. He tries to communicate this sentiment and Jimin's eyes are slightly glassy throughout, so he changes the subject fast:

"Who else do you have in the kitchen with you?" Namjoon asks, peering. "You look like you might need more hands."

"Just me," Jimin says, manic.

"Damn, well I'd offer to help but-" I can't bake, I can't cook, in fact, I can't do anything in the kitchen. Ironic, isn't it? Thankfully, Jimin interrupts before he can get to that.

"No, you're amazing. You've done enough already," Jimin says, his eyes wandering to take in the rest of Namjoon's appearance. "You look young for a food critic." There's that sentiment again.

"You look young for a pastry chef," Namjoon notes immediately after.

Namjoon refuses to take his pastries for free. There have been occasions where chefs feel the need to give him things because of his kind reviews, but he has never accepted one of these tokens - in his line of work, that'd be considered a bribe. A sweet, delicious bribe, that Namjoon would much rather willingly pay for. Still, Jimin runs to the bag to prepare the box and he's sure he's probably slipped some other things in there.

"You know," Jimin says, while Namjoon is folding his wallet away. He's perched over the counter, his chin in his palm. "It's funny that you just happened to walk by the week all that shit was going down for me. Well, I guess not funny...what do you call that..."

"Coincidental," Namjoon says, practiced.

When he gets home, he opens his packaged goods. There are several kouign-amann's and some cream puffs that he paid for, and then a small, round strawberry shortcake with the tiny words "THANK YOU" written on it in cursive icing. He smiles down at the cake.

Strawberry shortcake.

Namjoon doesn't realize, but he's picked up the slice of cake and has already bitten into the side of it. The creamy texture is perfectly balanced with the body of the cake, and it combines in a fruity marriage in his mouth, smearing the top of his lip with white. God, it's so fucking good.

When he finishes chewing he wipes his mouth and pulls his phone out of his pocket. You know what? 

Today 10:27 AM
Hey

He gets up and goes to take a shower after sending the text. It's only 10am, but he feels intensely tired as he's soaping himself. He draws lines with his finger in the shower glass's condensation and notices his phone notification light beaming from counter next to the sink. He finds himself thinking about Jimin again, hoping his shop's popularity doesn't fizzle out, and that he'll make it big like Seokjin did. He knows it's rare, but there's no loss in hoping.

oh look who it is
did you finally miss me 🍓

Namjoon stares down at his phone, one hand holding a towel against his hips. He squints, because he doesn't have his glasses on, and he's bent so far over his phone, water droplets fall from his nose onto the screen. 

 

 

They decide to meet at 5pm, and when Namjoon gets there Jeongguk advises him over text to wait outside for a bit, since he's gone to the shop to by some groceries.

There's a small dog tied outside the fence, so Namjoon crouches to play with it a while. 

"Careful. That dog is, like, vicious."

"What?" Namjoon stands up, not having expect Jeongguk to appear to wordlessly.

He stares at him, and like the last few times, forgets how to speak for a small while. He's wearing a black denim coat over a black tee, and for some reason Namjoon is completely turned on by it. "Did I scare you?"

"No, I'm big." Namjoon stands on his toes to loom over him.

Jeongguk laughs and sees Namjoon glance down at his shopping bag. "Orange juice."

"You went to the grocery store for orange juice," Namjoon repeats, quizzically.

"I fucking love orange juice," Jeongguk says, like he's defending its honour. "Kay, let's go up."

They pause on the stairway and Namjoon quickly averts his eyes from Jeongguk's ass and thighs in denim before he turns to face him. "Did you text me back because I made you feel sorry for me?"

"Of course not," Namjoon says, incredulous. "I texted you back because I couldn't stop thinking about you. It was bound to happen whether I bumped into you again or not."

Jeongguk squints. "I'll know if you're lying." He turns back and they start walking again.

"How would you know?"

"Dicks feel different. You know, hesitant boners. Different."

Namjoon almost doubles over in laughter on the stairs. Jeongguk peers back when Namjoon doesn't respond and smiles at him.

“So you and Jin. You guys are best friends?” Jeongguk asks, keying them into his apartment.

“Yeah, I’ve known him for a long time.”

“That’s cool,” he says, throwing his keys on the counter and pulls the carton of juice out of the bag. “Want some?”

“I’m okay,” Namjoon says, watching him drink, amused.

Jeongguk closes the fridge with his foot then shrugs his jacket off, tossing it on a kitchen chair. He reaches out for Namjoon’s hand and Namjoon takes it, following him to his room.

"You know, I thought about that fuck. I feel like it was a let down." Jeongguk says, his hands on his waist. The shirt stretches across his chest when he stands like this. 

“A let down?”

“Yeah, I mean. I was pretty tired that day, so I don’t think I performed well. I know you said that's not why you didn't text back, but I wanna make it up to you.”

Namjoon can’t believe his fucking ears. “I’m going to say something, and I truly hope you don’t think of me any less for it, but that was the, uh. It was best sex I’ve ever had in my life.”

Jeongguk stares for a moment and then looks genuinely heartbroken for him. It’s horrible.

“There are so many things I wanna say, but…my main point is,” Jeongguk says turning around and opening his closet. Namjoon sees a few colors, but it’s mostly black and white, very subdued. “This closet is the sex we had.”

“Bland?”

“Asshole. And no. It was fine,” Jeongguk says, leaning against the closet door and biting his lower lip. “But it wasn’t interesting.”

“Ahh," Namjoon humours, waiting for him to finish.

Jeongguk turns back to his closet, rolling the second door open.

 

There’s a burst of colour, of glitter – the loudest array of textures Namjoon has seen. It’s his pinup closet, evidently. It stands out like a gem.

Namjoon keeps his gaze fixed in the closet and sits up properly on the bed. “Point made."

Jeongguk pulls a tube of lipbalm out of his pocket and applies it as he gazes at the closet, pondering. “Which one, which one.” He pulls out a hanger with a little officer uniform hanging from it.

Namjoon wants to tell him to just come over because he can’t take this anymore, but at the same time he’s enjoying Jeongguk thinking out loud and presenting him outfits, waiting to see the reaction on Namjoon’s face.

He seems elated every time Namjoon murmurs something or smiles. He’s glad Jeongguk looks pleased because he feels intensely shy right now, having someone this attractive picking out sinful clothes to wear for him.

Namjoon argues with his own mind not to yell out ‘Valentine’, choosing instead to focus on his half-hard dick just sitting here on the bed. He’s somewhat impressed with himself and how mature he is being in spite of his arousal.

“Oh! Wow, I’m an idiot, right, you were horny for the Valentine’s one,” Jeongguk suddenly says, tossing the three outfits in his hand onto his already overflowing desk-chair. Did Namjoon say that aloud? “Did you like it because there was food in the photo?” Jeongguk continues, rummaging through the closet.

“You looked incredible,” Namjoon says and feels slightly stupid but Jeongguk leans back from the closet and grins.

“I meant the chocolates.”

“Those were alright,” Namjoon watches him pull out a hanger and yes, he’s immediately pinged with the feeling from before. The little red sweater, the plaid skirt folded underneath. “Oh.”

Jeongguk wanders over to the bed holding the hanger out and reaches out a finger to poke through the missing heart-shaped hole at the center of the sweater. “It’s 'cos of this isn’t it.”

“You’re kind of killing me right now,” Namjoon breathes, feeling hot under his shirt.

“This was an annoying shoot, actually,” Jeongguk continues anyway. “I was in a bad mood.”

“I could tell. Why?"

"It's stupid," Jeongguk says, but his face communicates otherwise. “Hang on, give me a minute. Lie down and relax.” He turns around to run into the toilet.

Namjoon lies down, but he doesn’t relax. He can’t relax. He’s staring at the ceiling trying to imagine how he went from seeing Jeongguk in a photo to lying on his duvet, waiting to have sex with him a second time after pretty much ghosting him for a week.

After a few minutes of Namjoon having mini nerve-attacks about whether or not he can perform adequately after having Jeongguk set the bar so high, he hears a little rap against the door.

“Close your eyes!” Jeongguk shouts from the other side.

“Alright.”

“Are they closed?”

“Yup.”

He hears the door creak open and the sound of feet padding against the hardwood color to the bed. The mattress dips and within seconds he feels two warm hands pressed against each of his thighs, slowly crawling up. Namjoon flinches at the feeling and hears Jeongguk chuckle from above him.

“Open them.”

Namjoon opens his eyes and Jeongguk is kneeling between his legs, his skirt high up on his thighs, and the second Namjoon sees the skin on his thighs, he can’t help but reach out and press his hands against them before he even takes anything else into account. "Tada."

 

“Wow,” he mumbles, because it’s all he can manage, and he lets his eyes finally roam up. Jeongguk is watching his face patiently, smiling, his red fuzzy sweater a stark contrast to his skin. Namjoon stares at his own hands, darker against Jeongguk’s thighs, squeezing. “You look…amazing like this. You look amazing in anything you wear."

“I have some different tastes."

“They're all valid,” Namjoon murmurs, his hands traveling up, slipping under the hem of his skirt experimentally, not too bold – he glances up. “Can I?”

“Be my guest,” Jeongguk swings a socked leg over Namjoon’s thigh and then does the same with the other, straddling him. “Is this what you like?”

Namjoon’s hands continue to travel up Jeongguk’s thighs, underneath the skirt, gripping his bare waist. It’s so firm and small, Namjoon first believed he might have been wearing some kind of corset under the sweater. “I do like this, yeah.”

Jeongguk rolls his hips. “You have no idea how uncomfortable this fucking sweater is.”

“Don’t take it off.”

Jeongguk huffs and rolls off onto his own back. “Scratch me.”

“Hm?”

“The sweater makes me itch. Gimme a good scratch.”

Namjoon laughs and gets up, his turn to straddle; he adjusts his crotch, drawing a playful smirk from Jeongguk.

Jeongguk reaches out and grabs Namjoon’s hands, bringing them to his chest, placing them there like how one might do with a pair of breasts. This should be funny, but it isn’t.

Namjoon squeezes, kneading, and Jeongguk closes his eyes. “That’s not scratching.”

“I suppose it isn’t,” Namjoon mutters, feeling a drop of sweat trickle down the side of his brow. He drags his hands down Jeongguk’s torso, then back up, slowly.

“Neither is that. Use your nails.”

“I don’t have the sort of nails you’re looking for, Jeongguk.”

“Eugh.” Jeongguk throws an arm over his eyes like he’s a fainting maiden from a story-book. “Then hurry and fuck me so I can focus on something other than how itchy this thing is.”

Namjoon furrows his brows. “Is this how whiny you were during the photoshoot?”

“I focus best when I’m anxious. I’m not anxious right now,” Jeongguk says, removing his arm. He arches slightly off the bed and Namjoon is staring down at the heart-shaped patch of skin at the center of his chest again. He wonders how it tastes. He wonders if it tastes as good as Jeongguk smells.

He leans down and places a slow kiss at the center of it, inhaling the scent of artificial strawberries. He feels Jeongguk’s fingers crawl through Namjoon’s hair. “That’s nice, I like that,” he says.”

Like before, Namjoon is already lamenting when this ends and it hasn’t even begun.

He places another kiss, slightly open-mouthed now, and Jeongguk arches again. Namjoon experimentally pushes his tongue out against the skin, a small lick. Jeongguk’s fingers clench in his hair, so he does it again, his tongue flatter now, flush against his skin. He drags his tongue from the bottom of the heart to the top, slow. Jeongguk groans, his hips bucking under Namjoon.

“You taste like fruit,” Namjoon says.

Jeongguk moans, his hips moving at a rhythmic pace, his plaid skirt pooled up at his waist now. His panties do a terrible job hiding his dick, and the tip pokes out of the top, gleaming. 

Namjoon buries his face back down into Jeongguk’s chest, feeling more confident than earlier. He wants to swallow him whole.

Jeongguk grinds up against his crotch and Namjoon can’t take it anymore, he reaches down and places a hand against Jeongguk’s dick, over the panties. He quickly deteriorates into a blubbering mess, and Namjoon can’t make out any words through his whimpering.

Namjoon can't help it, pressing his mouth against Jeongguk’s, his tongue shoving through his lips, more assertive than he usually is during sex. For some reason he feels like he’s on heavy drugs. He had planned on not kissing as much this time, but that's not an option.

Jeongguk seems to want nothing more, humping into Namjoon’s hand. “P-p…”

Namjoon tugs Jeongguk's underwear down his legs, far enough so he can duck under the band, Jeongguk’s legs hooked over his shoulders now. He’s incredibly flexible and Namjoon is not surprised. He’s fumbling with his belt and Jeongguk is reaching out blindly against his bedside table, knocking down all sorts of things.

“Grab the lube,” he pants and Namjoon’s reaches out to grab the first tube he can see as Jeongguk wildly works his fingers at Namjoon’s belt loop. He manages to free Namjoon’s dick from his pants and he grabs at it awkwardly from this angle, with his thighs pressed far up against his own chest. “Oh fuck. Your dick,” he says, sounding almost feral.

Namjoon uncaps the lube and tosses it on the bed next to his knee, stroking at his dick as Jeongguk tears open a condom packet with his teeth. He spits the top of the wrapper out, deftly, skilled, and Namjoon wants to taste his mouth again, entirely forgetting about the kissing thing again.  If they could call this kissing: Namjoon feels like he’s pretty much just sliding his tongue in and around Jeongguk’s mouth and Jeongguk is lying there panting, letting him get the taste he obviously desperately needs. He finally shifts back and takes the condom from Jeongguk’s wet fingers, bringing it to the tip of his dick and rolling it down as Jeongguk humps into his own hand, waiting.

“Lube,” he reminds, his forehead shining, his sweater looking like it’s on the verge of ripping. “A lot.”

Namjoon feels his head throbbing and realizes he’s still wearing his own shirt. He reaches down to tug it off. He sees Jeongguk’s eyes graze over his body, his hips humping up as if it were a reaction to the sight. He reaches down between Jeongguk's legs and presses a large amount of lube against his ass crack. Slowly pressing his index inwards.

Jeongguk shifts his hips up impatiently and Namjoon's finger slips inside. He barely gets a reaction from that, Jeongguk clearly continuously wants more. He fingers him for while, trying not to kiss him, but as he's bending over him like this Jeongguk moves his head and presses his mouth to Namjoon's neck, sucking at his throat while Namjoon works his fingers beneath him. This might leave a mark, and he doesn't fucking care.

“Legs up higher,” he says after a while and Jeongguk obeys immediately, moving his legs up the highest they can go, reaching around his thighs with his arms to hold them open. The panties are stretched beyond their physical capability at this point, down to his ankles – or rather, high up around his ankles.

Namjoon gets one glimpse of Jeongguk’s lube covered asshole and he nearly loses his fucking mind.

“I have to...” Namjoon says and Jeongguk just nods, like he not only knows and is okay with what Namjoon is about to do. “I need to-“ he bends down and presses his tongue against Jeongguk’s hole.

The lube isn’t just strawberry scented, but strawberry flavoured too. It tastes like cake.

It does something to Namjoon and he’s not entire sure if his entire psyche is present inside him or if he’s displaced some of it outside of his body. He’s slurping louder than should be acceptable and Jeongguk is groaning above him on the pillow, reaching down with his hands to spread his cheeks wide.

“S-so good. So good,” Jeongguk sobs, tugging at his dick underneath the hem of the skirt.

Namjoon is tongue-fucking Jeongguk with some sort of super-human skill he wasn’t aware he had and Jeongguk is basically delirious. Namjoon can’t focus on much, but with his last ounce of reason he decides he wants to fuck him the rest of the way.

He gets up suddenly, grabbing the panties from around Jeongguk’s ankles and yanking them off and onto the ground. He clutches his thighs and presses his legs down towards the blankets on either side of him instead of up against his shoulders. He positions his dick, harder than it has been in his life, against Jeongguk’s hole.

“I know you’re not into missionary but-“

“Hurry the fuck up. Hurry up, hurry. Fuck exciting sex, just. The whole thing. H-”

Namjoon shoves in hard and Jeongguk gasps into his own words, grabbing at the sheets, his eyes wide open for a moment then half-lidded. 

The sensation is nearly over-powering but Namjoon gets off on visuals, and watching the almost sleepy expression on Jeongguk’s face as he fucks him hard and deep is visually as good as it feels.

“You’re. So. Perfect,” Namjoon grits as he fucks him and Jeongguk doesn’t even respond or make a sound, his fingers digging deep into the sheets, his eyes spaced out completely. Namjoon reaches down to pull the fuzzy, itchy sweater up to Jeongguk’s chest. The skirt is high-waisted, so he doesn’t get to watch his stomach tense as much as he’s like, but seeing his dick bob wildly under the hem is almost better. Jeongguk reaches towards his own dick and Namjoon stops him, grabbing his wrist, feeling brave.

Jeongguk sobs as Namjoon reaches to grab both his wrists and pin his hands up against the pillow.

Since he’s clearly living out his fantasy right now, it means he doesn’t have to feel shame yet.

“Can you cum like this?”

Jeongguk nods wildly, his eyebrows coming down, his mouth open, squeezing out small strained sounds as he concentrates on the sensation. He’s practically drooling from the side of his lips and when Namjoon reaches to wipe it Jeongguk opens his mouth wide instead.

Namjoon stares into the cavern of his mouth and forgets what he was even planning on doing. He brings his index finger up towards Jeongguk’s face, pressing it against his bottom lip and slowly sliding it into his mouth as he fucks him harder and harder.

He has his index finger in all the way, pressing down on Jeongguk’s tongue, and his lips close around Namjoon’s finger, sucking his digit in tight. Namjoon nearly cums right then.

Jeongguk suckles on his finger like it’s a lollipop, his tongue circling around it, breathing loudly through his nose, and when Namjoon inches his middle finger up too, he opens his mouth wide again, asking for both with his large brown eyes.

Namjoon is fucking Jeongguk so hard he’s practically bouncing off the bed with every thrust. His index and middle fingers are shoved deep into his mouth, up to his knuckles, and he feels the back of Jeongguk’s throat. He doesn’t gag, not even once. He’s blowing Namjoon’s fingers as he gets fucked. His eyes are leaking tears at this point, and Namjoon thinks briefly of the photo from the calendar spread. Namjoon doesn’t think he’s himself right now, he doesn’t think he ever thought it was possible that he’d have this kind of sex without feeling some shame, but here he is.

“You…” he says as Jeongguk looks up at him with teary eyes. “You okay?” he grits out as he moves, slowing down his pace, sliding his fingers out of Jeongguk’s slack mouth.

He nods, his cheeks pink. “I’m trying t-…I’m trying.”

“Forget about that, I was just-” Namjoon, says, reaching up to take Jeongguk’s dick, but Jeongguk wildly swats his hand away.

“No, I can,” he says, his mouth shining.

Namjoon feels his heart seize at this, and he leans in to kiss him, his little sounds growing in desperation as he attempts to squeeze out an orgasm.

“You’re so fucking gorgeous,” Namjoon pants against his mouth and Jeongguk squeezes his eyes shut.

“I’m cumming.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah, I’m-“

He shudders violently, wordlessly, his head pressed back against the pillow, his eyes rolling back like he’s on a different plane of existence. Namjoon leans back as he fucks him, watching ropes of cum shoot from Jeongguk’s dick. His body is so tense and Namjoon’s dick feels so squeezed inside Jeongguk’s ass he can barely move it. He groans, watching more cum leak from Jeongguk’s dick with every short thrust.

The fluid lies slick against Jeongguk’s upper stomach and sweater, like it’s some sort of decorative frosting. Namjoon cums there in the condom, pressing his mouth against Jeongguk’s, neither of them having the energy needed for fully formed kisses. Jeongguk is clutching him, his body still shivering with post-orgasm tremors.

Namjoon rolls onto his back and doesn’t remember anything until he wakes up a little while later later.

They’re both fully naked now, the blanket curled up around Namjoon’s midsection. Jeongguk is sleeping on his stomach next to him without a blanket, snoring slightly. His skin on his back and ass is so unmarked and perfect looking, Namjoon sits up in bed unsteadily to stare at him.

He doesn’t remember falling asleep, he doesn’t remember anything happening after the sex. This is probably what it feels like to have an out-of-body experience. He panics, hoping he didn't inadvertently stay the night.

Jeongguk’s eyes flutter and he slurps up some of the drool that was beginning to droop out of his mouth. He pushes himself up on his elbows, his hair standing up straight. He mumbles something.

“What?” Namjoon asks, reaching out and patting at Jeongguk’s hair, trying to flatten it back down.

“Better than the first time,” he murmurs and rolls onto his back, scratching at this chest.

Namjoon leans back against the bedpost. “I’m going to be honest, that was some shit I’ve never done before.”

“You’ve never eaten ass before? Could have fooled me.”

“I mean just, all of it,” Namjoon corrects, reaching down to pick the skirt off the ground. 

Jeongguk takes it from him and spreading it out on the bed in front of him. “Did I look better than I did in the photo or worse?” he yawns.

“You’re the most exquisite human I’ve ever seen,” Namjoon says, like it was rehearsed.

Jeongguk looks over at him. “Huh?"

Maybe Seokjin was right about that sounding creepy. Still, Namjoon feels particularly drugged after that sexual session.

He turns his head to look back at Jeongguk, rehashing: “You’re seriously the most perfect looking person I’ve ever seen.”

“Maybe you'll text me back this time,” Jeongguk says, rubbing at his eyes.

Namjoon stares at him. "Did you genuinely want me to text you back after the first time?"

"I did," Jeongguk says, looking up at him, still looking quite tired. “You're different than what I'm used to. And you live close by which is cool. Why are you concerned?"

Namjoon feels like he just won the Pulitzer Prize; it was such a vague compliment, he really has no right to feel this way, but he'll take it.

"I don't do this often."

"Casual sex? You've said that before. That's pretty much like saying 'I'm not like most guys', you know," Jeongguk's front teeth stick out from his lips again, like the typically do when he's attempting not to smile.

Namjoon laughs, tilting his head back. "I meant as an excuse for why I'm so bad at it."

"Ooh," Jeongguk suddenly says, reaching out to drag his finger down Namjoon's throat. "Sorry."

"No, you're right. It sounds stupid."

"I don't mean sorry for what I said, I meant...nevermind. Want a corndog?"

"I'm okay. Hey."

"Yeah?"

Namjoon thinks for a moment about whether or not this might be out of line before he says it. "I hope...whatever you were sad about in that photo is resolved."

He doesn't know why he says it, he thinks maybe it was an inkling of concern over how Jeongguk's face looked when he brought it up earlier. Whatever it was, it sort of clings to Namjoon. He doesn't want to derive pleasure from something that makes someone else feel bad.

"That's," Jeongguk says, slightly puzzled. "That's really nice of you. But don't worry. It's resolved."

Namjoon just nods, running a hand through his hair. He hopes he didn't make everything uncomfortable.

"Thanks, though," Jeongguk adds in the silence. "You're sweet," he smiles.

Namjoon gets home that night and realizes what Jeongguk meant when he touched his neck earlier: there are hickies all up and down his throat. Namjoon didn't even realize how much he was doing this, save for that one time. He winces. He'll have to wear a scarf.

 

Before bed, Namjoon's phone flashes.

Today 11:42 PM
the photographer was my ex
in that valentines shoot
i wasn't expecting to see him and it ruined my mood that's why i looked so sad
but now i just think about your dick when i'm reminded of that photo
so i win.🍆

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 4 - Mocha Dacquoise

It turns out Namjoon is not used to being fuck-buddies with someone who has a sexual appetite this voracious.

He wonders if Jeongguk is doing this with other men, like some sort of dick calendar, and whether Namjoon is penciled in next to others in between his days off from photoshoots and traveling. The thought makes him chuckle, but he doesn't think he's ready to make that joke out loud.

Namjoon has a hard time scheduling the ‘sessions’ because he has been so busy with work lately, with the holiday buzz boosting his blog’s readership. No one wants to disappoint their dates with poor dinner-dates during December.

That being said, he’s constantly horny.

He’s able to look at practically anything and remind himself somehow of how badly he wants to fuck Jeongguk. Sometimes, he’ll be typing a particularly descriptive passage about food and he’ll take a break to take a shower and jerk off. It’s slightly humiliating, it’s like going through puberty all over again.

At the same time, it's a blessing. Jeongguk is very easy to get along with, and almost anything he does outside of bed makes Namjoon want to fawn over him. He's playful but holds back just a little each time - Namjoon sometimes wonders if he's a different person with people he's seeing casually than he is with someone he's been dating or calling his boyfriend.

He thinks about Jeongguk's ex sometimes too - not in any nosy way, rather, with curiosity. He thinks about how he was compared to his own ex, like maybe they could have shared similar traits that led them both to this point. This point...like it's a destination on a set path or something, he's doing it again.

He also finds that Jeongguk is interested in almost anything Namjoon decides to talk about. Seeing as they meet for sex, specifically, this means they talk a lot before and after. It'd be weird to just jump in bed and hump the shit out each other, so Namjoon is thankful that Jeongguk likes to chat.

The days of sex are interjected with absences during which one or both of them are out of town for work. It’s lucky because Namjoon is having a hard time coming up with excuses as to why he can’t meet up with friends. He doesn’t really want to introduce them to Jeongguk, he feels a little embarrassed with himself.

There’s nothing innately disturbing about this type of sex-only consensus, but he’s an adult, and his friends have long since settled down with their respective boyfriends and girlfriends, he feels like they’re expecting him to do the same. Namjoon reckons Jeongguk’s friends are different and probably bond over a different sort of lifestyle even though he’s only a few years younger than Namjoon.

It’s interesting how much friends can shape your psyche for better or for worse.

The time spent apart from Jeongguk during these two months would typically be okay for Namjoon, but since he’s so goddamn horny all the time now, he settles for watching porn, which he hasn’t done in a long time. It’s not that he doesn’t enjoy porn, but once he hit a certain point in his development he started finding it harder to be aroused by and became more disturbed by the general power-dynamics. So, to be back here…it’s concerning.

Still, Namjoon is starting to get more comfortable doing the kind of stuff in bed he used to think was only reserved for his own fantasies and porn. Jeongguk obviously likes to wear outfits (particularly slutty, little ones), he likes interesting (sometimes uncomfortable) positions, and especially likes when Namjoon ties or pins him down to any sort of surface. He seems quite shameless about liking all these things, which all seem to go against how he might conventionally come across to another person in public. It’s part of what makes him so sexy. It's also part of what makes Namjoon so addicted to all of this sex.

It’s particularly embarrassing when looks down at his phone to see a phonecall from Jeongguk while he’s in the middle of violently stroking himself off at his desk with porn on. He slams pause and answers the phone because he has no shame or self-control; one hand is still wrapped tightly around his dick and the other holds the device to his ear.

“Hello?” He maybe sounds a little frantic.

“Hey, bud!”

“Hey,” Namjoon lets his dick go and reaches out for tissues, balancing the phone on this shoulder. “You’re back?”

“Yup,” Jeongguk says, chewing on something. He’s always chewing on something. “Did you miss me?”

“I- uh. Yeah, you could say that.”

“Did you just go for a run or something? You okay?”

Namjoon pauses. “I couldn’t find my phone,” he says, wiping at his hand.

“You know what I missed?”

“Hm?”

“Your fat cock.”

Ah.

“Are you busy right now?” Namjoon asks reflexively, his voice cracking, barely even saving a moment for thought before it slips out.

Jeongguk invites him over (after he laughs at him) and Namjoon immediately gets in his car and makes his way there because he has no self-control.

Jeongguk looks tanned and healthy, he's gained some weight while he’s been on his little vacation. He’s wearing a t-shirt and boxers, and from what Namjoon can see he doesn’t appear to have any sex bruises on him, implying he maybe hasn’t been fucked. Or at least fucked the way he usually likes.

His luggage is still lying by the door, undisturbed.

His eyes look tired but he’s high-energy, trying to wrestle with Namjoon every few minutes into their conversation, just out of the blue, for no particular reason.

He presently has Namjoon in a head-lock. “What’d you do this week?”

Namjoon struggles to pry free of his hold. “Just finished up some work, hung out with friends at some new restaurants.”

“Hm,” Jeongguk says, squeezing around his neck harder. “How come you never take me to these restaurants?”

Is that…

Would that be weird?

Namjoon manages to slip out of Jeongguk’s grip after he grabs his sides. “I’ll take you, if you’d like it.”

Jeongguk shrugs, his front teeth jutting through his small gap between his lips. Namjoon doesn’t wait for him to respond, he just leans in and kisses him. He gets his teeth, mostly, and some lip.

“Had a lot of sex while I was gone?” Jeongguk asks when Namjoon pulls back, barely even registering the kiss.

“No. Just masturbating a lot.”

Jeongguk laughs. “Oh? What do you usually masturbate to?”

Oh fuck. Namjoon doesn’t want to say he likes porn that seems ‘real’ because that generally means a couple fucking and staring into each others’ eyes lovingly. It doesn't get less adventurous than that. He eventually gets away with being vague about it.

Jeongguk ends up putting on some of his own favourite porn (very violent stuff), and asks Namjoon if he’s ever fucked a guy wearing only heels before. Namjoon says no, so Jeongguk leaves the room and comes back naked, in 6-inch red stilettos. After showing Namjoon he can still perform a fully functional crescent-kick, they have sex for two and a half hours.

“You can stay the night, if you want,” Jeongguk says when they’re finished and Namjoon is panting with a hand against his forehead. Jeongguk pulls off the heels and throws them off the giant bed.

“You sure?” Namjoon asks, not entirely down to drive back home while he’s this fucked-out and comfortable. They’ve never stayed the night at each other’s place before. He knows he would have never offered this, way too scared to guess what Jeongguk might think if he did.

He’s happy Jeongguk is the first to suggest it because it implies he doesn’t think it’s weird.

“Yeah, of course.”

They lie in silence - save for Namjoon’s breathing – for a few minutes. There’s a sort of suspended awkwardness. Namjoon has never spent the night with someone he’s having casual sex with, he doesn’t know what the proper protocol is. Is it weird to want to hold Jeongguk?

He doesn't think for long because eventually Jeongguk rolls over onto his side and they both fall asleep.

When he wakes up, Jeongguk is still snoring soundly, and when Namjoon whispers that he’s going to go he just mumbles in response.

Namjoon starts to rummage around Jeongguk's room, looking for his clothes. Jeongguk has a habit of throwing articles of clothing around when they’re undressing, so it takes Namjoon five minutes to find his other sock.

He has his pants on, staring in the mirror, thinking about various things he needs to do: shower, start working out again, get a haircut, finish his review. When he turns to the side he notices a mark on his back and positions himself to see properly. His entire lower back is covered in jagged scrapes and bruises from where Jeongguk’s heels dug into his skin as Namjoon fucked him.

Interesting.

He supposes he can add this to his growing list of thoughts to masturbate to.

 

Namjoon figures it isn’t weird to take Jeongguk to restaurants before they have sex. He asks Seokjin about his thoughts anyway, and then immediately regrets it.

“Oh you mean because it might imply you want to start a fucking family with him?” Seokjin asks as he’s slicing a stalk of celery with lightning speed, not even looking down once at his hands.

They’re making dinner at Seokjin’s place, just the two of them – to catch up. Catching up was never something Namjoon was nervous about, but after being sucked into Jeongguk’s void for the past two months, he’s a little concerned with where Seokjin’s questions might be headed.

“No, I just mean. I don’t want it to seem like I’m…I don’t know, buying him or something. God, that sounds so fucked up,” Namjoon says, rubbing at his head.

“Clearly you’ve never been on a Tinder date before,” Seokjin rolls his eyes, tossing the celery into a bowl using the knife and one hand. "So dramatic."

“I have,” Namjoon corrects. “I don’t generally worry about it. I guess I’m worried now because we’re just having sex. It’s casual."

Seokjin points to Namjoon’s head with the knife. “Nothing up there is casual when it comes to you. Everything is complicated.”

That’s surprisingly deeper than Namjoon was expecting for a dinner-time conversation.

“You take Taehyung out a lot, right?” Namjoon asks, immediately angry with himself for comparing the two situations. He fiddles with the chicken on the counter.

“Well, we’re dating. It’s different,” Seokjin says then looks up at him suspiciously. “Oh wait, I get it.”

“Get what?”

“You’re doing that Namjoon thing where you start convincing yourself something’s wrong with your system. Which means you’re probably starting to like this guy.”

“Nothing is wrong!” Namjoon says, slamming the whole chicken down on the cutting board. “I’m just. I don’t want to freak him out."

"You're friends with benefits, people go to restaurants with their friends."

Namjoon didn't think about it that way. Still.

"He wasn't really my 'friend' before we started fucking, though. We just hit it off, fast," Namjoon says, starting to ponder now if they're friends with benefits or just fuck-buddies. Is there a difference?

He figures friends with benefits have a deeper relationship than fuck-buddies.

“Well, you're friends now. Also, even if you did scare him off, why does it matter if it's not that serious to begin with?"

Namjoon sighs and looks at him. Seokjin still has the knife raised in his hand, waiting.

“Because the sex is great.”

He’s not necessarily lying.

Seokjin raises his eyebrows. “What’d I tell you about these models.”

“Yeah, see, I don’t like to think of them as ‘these models’.”

“I didn’t mean it like that!” Seokjin says, peeved. “I just mean they’re used to a certain lifestyle. We’re not used to it. Obviously they’re not all the same, but in terms of sex and stuff, dates. They’re typically more adventurous than people like you and me. But mostly you. It’s not a big deal, just take him to restaurants. Or don't, I mean, I'm not a relationship guru, I'm just saying. As a friend. Without benefits.”

Namjoon ponders for a moment. “Seokjin.”

“What? I’ll have you know I really like Taehyung, okay. And I thought that was a perfect explanation, what do you want me to do? Publicly apologize? I don’t appreciate you insinua-”

“Help me debone this chicken."

 

Namjoon invites Jeongguk to dinner a few days later. He asks him directly after they have sex, and honestly, he could have picked a better time but Jeongguk seems over the moon.

“How should I dress? Like, should I be formal?”

Namjoon wants to make a joke about how he has only ever seen Jeongguk in one formal outfit, but he doesn’t want to offend him accidentally.

“No, you can wear whatever you like,” Namjoon says as he slips on his t-shirt.

Jeongguk sits with his back against Namjoon’s headboard, slightly fidgeting on the spot, still naked. His hair is still disheveled.

“Is this a restaurant you’ve written reviews about?” Jeongguk asks excitedly.

“Yeah, actually. One of my favourites,” he says, smiling and running a hand through his hair. “Where are my glasses?”

“Here, I put them on when you passed out. God, your eyesight is bad,” Jeongguk says, handing the specs over to Namjoon. “Is that why you like to keep them on during sex?”

“Depends who I’m having sex with,” Namjoon says and Jeongguk smirks.

He takes a shower and when he emerges from the bathroom, Jeongguk has his clothes on, sitting on the armchair in Namjoon’s room, fiddling with an object.

“What’s that?”

Jeongguk looks up. “Oh, fuck. You look really good like that.”

Namjoon feels slightly shy, bringing the towel down from his hair. “Thanks.” He thinks Jeongguk is so out of his league that hearing him say he finds Namjoon attractive too is always especially nice.

“This is my polaroid camera. Hey, lemme suck your dick real quick.”

Namjoon hesitates at the frankness of the comment, but Jeongguk gets up, leaving the camera behind him on the chair.

“Right now?”

“Yeah, lie down.”

Jeongguk is so thorough and enthusiastic about sucking dick (he slurps and makes obscene sounds) that Namjoon feels like he needs another shower when he’s finished. He might also need a blood transfusion.

“So, how’s the photography going?” he asks weakly as Jeongguk chugs a bottle of water, sitting back on the bed, pleased with himself. His lips are bruised.

He shrugs. “I’ve been super busy with work, not much time to take photos. I’ve been trying to buy a lens I want for a while, but it’s expensive. That’s why I’m just fooling around with my polaroid.”

“That makes sense,” Namjoon says, propping himself on his elbows and tossing his towel over his limp dick. “I don’t think I’d be good at photography. I get too mentally involved with the situation I’d want to take a photo of.”

“I’d take a photo of you right now, if you let me,” Jeongguk says, adding the last part hesitantly. Namjoon hasn’t ever seen him look this shy. It’s so endearing.

“You can,” he says, after letting Jeongguk search his features for a while. He doesn’t think he’d make a good subject right now, with his half-wet hair and no clothes on. He feels like he’s not attractive when he’s so bare.

Jeongguk’s small mouth breaks into a smile. “I promise it’ll be tasteful. Not creepy.”

“I trust you.”

Jeongguk comes back and kneels by the side of the bed. “I wanna do a side profile. Just from your chest up.”

“Should I do anything?”

“No, just stay in that position, on your elbows like that.”

Namjoon waits and Jeongguk takes a particularly long time fixing the settings on the camera and maneuvering himself. He moves to the window to fix the curtains so the lighting is how he likes it before returning to snap a photo.

He leaves it on the bed as it develops and crawls on top of Namjoon. They make out for a few minutes. “Seriously, you look so hot right now,” Jeongguk says again when he pulls away from his mouth.

“Stop inflating my ego,” Namjoon says as Jeongguk starts kissing into the side of his neck.

“Smell so good.”

Jeongguk eventually reaches over and picks up the polaroid photo, staring down at it before turning it around to proudly show Namjoon.

 

Namjoon takes it and brings it to his face, squinting. “You’re really good at this. Seems hard to get a good photo when you don’t actually know exactly how it’s going to turn out.”

“It’s not that hard.”

Jeongguk is still straddling him, his shoulders reflect light like they might be wet but they’re not, they're just very smooth. Namjoon reaches out to run his hands down the slopes of his arms.

He’s taking Jeongguk to dinner and it’s entirely normal. He’s not breaking any friends-with-benefits rules, because (and Seokjin said this, so he can’t be wrong) friends go to dinner.

Jeongguk tilts his head to the side. “You okay?”

“Yup.”

“You know, when you saw me after you ghosted me. At the restaurant. You kept staring at me. It was really obvious and funny.”

Namjoon lets his hands move down to Jeongguk’s chest, lingering there before sliding down to his waist. “Can you blame me?”

Jeongguk shrugs.

 

Namjoon meets with Seokjin on Friday to help him with some menu phrasing. Min Yoongi, the sous-chef, is stressing out about something in the kitchen, looking like a miserable little ball of darkness, shifting from side to side as a kitchen worker nervously stirs into a tin bowl. “It’s not going to work that way.”

Seokjin is eating grapes, watching some video on his phone and laughing. "Come watch this, Joon. This monkey is throwing its shit at these two little kids. Serves them right, a monkey shouldn't be in a cage."

Namjoon settles his bag on the table next to him and glances at the phone. “An ape."

"Yeah, those too."

Namjoon looks across the kitchen. "You don’t seem concerned with that?” he asks, pointing to Yoongi, who has now removed his chef hat and is squeezing it in his hands like a stress-ball, his knuckles white.

“He’s really dramatic,” Seokjin says, switching off the phone screen. The statement is incredibly ironic, even the stirring cook looks over with doubt.

“I feel like he’s never dramatic. I feel like this might be an exact situation where I’d probably worry because of the fact that he’s never dramatic,” Namjoon says, picking up the menu draft from the counter.

“You should stop starting sentences with ‘I feel like’, it’s a sign of weakness.” Seokjin looks up, picking at the corner of his tooth. “We’re working on a mocha dacquoise cake. We’re not typically, you know, skilled in the pastry department. I just thought it’d be fun. It’s one of my favourites.”

Namjoon watches the cook frantically pour the mixture into another bowl as Yoongi mumbles next to him, hushed.

“Seems like a lot of fun,” Namjoon says unconvincingly.

He makes notes on the menu for about an hour as Seokjin and Yoongi speak and try different methods. Namjoon glances down at his watch and figures he should stop by Chimmy’s to pick up some sort of dessert for after he has dinner with Jeongguk tomorrow. He’ll probably get something strawberry, hoping it’s not overkill at this point.

He has a thought.

“Hey,” Namjoon says, waving the menu. “I made notes. I’m gonna head out. But uh, I know this guy. He’s really good with pastries,” he calls out as Seokjin’s taking his turn with the whisk.

He looks up, cocking an eyebrow. “Are you doubting my chef-ly abilities?”

“Yes,” Yoongi responds from next to him, his eyes bloodshot.

Seokjin keeps stirring, still glaring at Namjoon, then his face relaxes. “Fair enough. Tell me more.”

“He owns that bakery nearby, Chimmy’s,” Namjoon continues, and Seokjin nods.

“Right, right, I’ve seen that place. Well, what were you thinking? Because I’m not gonna go beg someone for help,” Seokjin pours the mixutre into another bowl, licking some excess off his finger and making a face.

“I just thought maybe one of you could chat a bit with him, I don’t know, sue me for trying to help,” Namjoon sighs, taking his bag.

Yoongi rounds the corner. “I’ll come with you.”

“Really?” both Namjoon and Seokjin say, at the same time.

“Yes. I’m fucking sick of this recipe, I’m sick of it. I’m sick,” Yoongi hisses, ripping off his white chef’s coat. The cook looks up in fear. Namjoon’s sure he just sent a button flying into one of their mixtures.

“I see how it is. Leave then! Traitors, all of you,” Seokjin says, gesturing his creamy whisk at them, sending droplets of mixture flying. “Except you Lee, what the hell are you doing, you’re still on the clock, put your apron back on.”

The cook stops untying the back of his apron and sighs.

 

Yoongi is quiet on the way to Chimmy’s, puffing on a cigarette. Namjoon likes him, he’s a smart guy who doesn’t waste time bullshitting anyone, but he seems to cave in on himself when he’s stressed out.

“Hey, it’ll be fine,” Namjoon says, nudging his arm and smiling.

Yoongi exhales smoke from his nose and looks up at him, grimacing. “Yeah.”

They get to the bakery just as several patrons are leaving, holding bags of pastries. They’re here 30 minutes before closing and Namjoon hopes the little baker isn’t overwhelmed.

Jimin pops his head out from behind the counter when he hears the door jingle. “Namjoon, hey! My man.” He rounds the corner and reaches out his arms for a hug.

Namjoon pulls him in then looks behind him at Yoongi. “I brought a friend. This is Yoongi.”

Jimin pulls back. “Hey, I'm Jimin,” he smiles, reaching out a hand.

Yoongi takes his hands, licking his lips and clearing his throat. “Hi.”

“I’m here for a cake and Yoongi is here to wind down,” he says as Yoongi glances down into the glass case of pastries, his mouth slightly open.

“That’s. That’s a dacquois. The meringue is incredible,” Yoongi says, looking up at Jimin. “Beautiful.”

Jimin immediately laughs as he usually does when he’s complimented and rubs at the back of his head. “Really? Nah. Nah, it’s just some old recipe.”

Yoongi is still looking at Jimin. “I’ll pay you a grand for it.”

Both Namjoon and Jimin laugh but it soon fizzles out when they realize how serious Yoongi is.

“They’ve been having a hard time with a mocha dacquoise,” Namjoon says as Jimin tries to formulate a response. “I thought I’d bring him here to look at your stuff, since you’re so good.”

“Ahh,” Jimin says shyly, wandering over to the glass case. “What are you having trouble with?” he asks politely as Yoongi continues to stare at the pastry, shifting to get different angles.

“Literally all of it, but this is perfect. That meringue. Could I buy one to try?” Yoongi asks, and Jimin nods.

“Yeah of course,” he runs behind the counter and cuts two slices, placing them on the counter. “On the house.”

“Stop ‘on the house’ing everything,” Namjoon says, putting bills on top of the counter next to the plates.

Jimin rolls his eyes. “It’s 8pm, these aren’t gonna be that fresh anyway.”

Yoongi sits down at a table and takes a bite. He puts his fork down, leans back in the chair until it’s on it’s back two legs, and lets out a slow, guttural groan.

Did he just cum?

“You okay?” Namjoon asks.

Jimin’s eyes are round and his mouth is in an open smile. “You liked it?”

Yoongi just hangs his head back in the chair, chewing quietly. He eventually lifts his gaze, letting the chair descend back down to its place. “How?”

It turns out Jimin is actually quite excited to talk about baking, and while Yoongi seems hesitant to keep him explaining his methods (thinking maybe they’re a secret), he’s adamant that there’s no real secret to it, you just have to be fast.

Yoongi is nodding, his mouth still slightly open, nodding as Jimin talks and gestures.

When they finally leave, Yoongi is bowing and shaking Jimin’s hand like he’s some sort of government official. “Honestly, it’s no problem. Oh, tell me if your boyfriend likes the cake, by the way. It’s one of my favourite recipes,” Jimin adds, pointing to the box in Namjoon’s hand.

“He’s…”

“Not your boyfriend, right, sure,” Jimin flicks his wrist before turning his attention back to Yoongi. “I’ll get a special invite to this dinner, right? Once you nail the cake?”

Yoongi smiles. “You’re the first on the list.”

“Remember, work fast. Don’t slip up, every second counts,” Jimin calls out as they leave, like he’s a life-coach.

“With meringues?” Namjoon adds.

“With everything,” Jimin says, almost ominous.

Yoongi is walking with an added bounce to his step as they make their way back to their apartments. “Wow.”

“Right? The guy is a pro,” Namjoon tightens his grip around the bottom of the box in his hands.

“I missed 90% of what he was saying,” Yoongi continues, glancing at him.

“What?”

“He was too attractive, I kept zoning out, but I couldn’t tell him that,” Yoongi continues, whipping out his phone to respond to the dozens of texts Seokjin has probably sent him during the last hour.

“I. I wish you maybe let me know somehow, because I didn’t retain any of that either, he was going so fast,” Namjoon adds, glum. “Actually, that’s the only part I got. Be fast.”

“It was great, it was invigorating,” Yoongi continues. “He seemed so excited about it all. I need like three more sessions to get it all in.” He gestures to his head with his hands like there are waves crashing against it. He doesn’t think he has ever seen Yoongi this energized.

Namjoon supposes it wasn’t a complete failure, if Yoongi’s mood has done a complete 180 from what it was earlier. He just hopes Seokjin sees this as helpful too.

 

 

Namjoon takes Jeongguk to a seafood restaurant. It's not high-end or incredibly well known, but it's one of Namjoon's favourites.

Jeongguk spends a very long time reading the menu. He's in a white button up (unsurprisingly) with black dress pants that hug his ass and thighs so perfectly, Namjoon's worried they might split when they sit down.

They talk about work and life, and Jeongguk mentions off-hand that he got a photography gig for an up-coming band. He looks really embarrassed when Namjoon congratulates him about it, as though it's not something he really wants to talk about.

Jeongguk is so vocal about certain aspects of his life but quiet about parts of himself you'd think might be worth more discussion. Namjoon himself finds it harder to talk about sexual things, or things relating to the stress of work than he does talking about his interests. Jeongguk is more likely to not mention things that would be conventionally important to a lot of people. Maybe it's just that Namjoon isn't close enough a friend for Jeongguk to open up.

“When did you first come here?” Jeongguk asks after they order, placing the menu down on the table.

Namjoon hasn’t really thought about this in months, but he supposes he should answer truthfully because he’s bad at lying. “My ex’s birthday.”

Jeongguk raises his eyebrows. “Restaurant birthdays are brave.”

“Why’s that?”

“How do you know the person you invited is gonna like it?”

“It’s a gamble, I guess.”

“Seems risky.”

“There’s risk in everything, don’t you think? I tend to toss after I know my chances, though.”

“Did it pay off?”

“Nope.” No, it doesn’t typically pay off. Chance has had a history of hurting Namjoon.

Jeongguk laughs and takes a sip of his wine.

“Well, you have nothing to worry about with me, you know I eat anything.”

Namjoon crosses his arms. “Do you enjoy everything, though?”

Jeongguk shrugs. “No one does.”

He supposes that’s some consolation.

Jeongguk eats about twenty oysters and an entire tray of scallops. Namjoon barely gets through one plate of food, because as usual, he's too intent on watching Jeongguk the entire time. He finishes off by ordering a giant plate of pineapple ice-cream.

Unfortunately, buried in the list of important things Jeongguk doesn't talk about, he doesn't tell Namjoon that he's actually allergic to pineapple.

They're on the drive back to Namjoon's apartment when Namjoon notices Jeongguk is being quieter than usual. "You okay?" he asks.

Jeongguk nods, looking quite queasy. "Yup."

"You sure?"

"Yeah."

Namjoon continues to drive in silence for a while before turning his face towards him again. "Jeongguk."

"I'm allergic to pineapple," Jeongguk says, staring back.

"What?" Namjoon says, pulling his car over to the side of the road.

"I just, like, kind of hoped I wouldn't be this time."

The engine is still running. "You hoped you wouldn't be? What does that mean?"

"Woah, electric cars are quiet, this is really nice," Jeongguk mumbles, reaching out to touch the dashboard. "Do you get a rebate for buying one?"

"We need to get you to a clinic."

"It's fine," Jeongguk stresses, but he doesn't look fine.  "I just get a stomach ache. I don't get, like, deathly ill."

"You look really pale," Namjoon says, and reaches out his hand, touching Jeongguk's forehead. It's slightly clammy. "I can't believe you wouldn't tell me this."

"Hey, you're really mad, huh?" Jeongguk looks at him, almost surprised.

"I'm not mad," Namjoon says. "I'm just...surprised. That you wouldn't say anything."

"I told you, I was hoping it wouldn't affect me this time."

"That doesn't even make sense..."

Jeongguk turns to him. " I didn't tell you because it's none of your business," he says, his tone sharp.

Namjoon raises his eyebrows and leans back in his seat, his hands still on the steering wheel. "Alright. I'm sorry."

"No, I'm sorry," Jeongguk says, and Namjoon seeing him push a hand through his hair from his peripherals.

"Sorry, it just...hurts. And I hate doctors so," Jeongguk mumbles, sounding small now. "I didn't mean to snap at you for caring."

Namjoon just sits there for a few moments, trying to decide the best course of action. "I know a good clinic close by, we'll stop in real quick, okay? Then I'll drive you home."

When he glances over, Jeongguk is staring at him, his eyes round. He has such large irises, Namjoon can't look away for a moment. "Okay," Jeongguk says.

The clinic is busier than usual, and they sit in the waiting room. Jeongguk is clutching his stomach at this point, trying to look like he's fine, but Namjoon can tell he's in pain. There’s a specific push in the front of his eyebrows that really works against his efforts. He looks disappointed too, like he was sure he'd be able to withstand this.

When he gets called into the room, Namjoon stays seated for his own privacy, but even yet, Jeongguk glances back slightly as though he maybe expected Namjoon to come inside with him.

Should he have? He said he didn’t like doctors. Just seems a little...intimate.

Jeongguk emerges about half an hour later, holding a small white bag. “Let’s get the fuck out of here,” he says, looking as though they just ran him through eighteen machines when in reality he was probably just spoken to and prodded gently by a doctor.

They’re in the car and Jeongguk slumps a little, crumpling the top of the bag. “I ruined that dinner thing, huh.”

“No, you didn’t,” Namjoon looks over. “I had a great time, actually.”

“Yeah? What part of the hospital waiting room was your favourite?” Jeongguk asks, sarcastic.

Namjoon laughs but then tsks. “Stop. I’m serious.”

“I know,” Jeongguk smiles. “I had a good time too.”

“What should we do? Want me to drop you off?” Namjoon really wants Jeongguk to just take it easy for the rest of the night. He’s not sure how to suggest that without sounding too involved.

Jeongguk’s expression wanes a little. “I mean, we can go back to your place? Unless you think it’s best I go home. I mean I get it, if you’re out of your mood.”

“I’m in a great mood, Jeongguk,” Namjoon stresses, smacking the steering wheel for effect.

Jeongguk takes the pills he’s given and takes a shower at Namjoon’s. He spends over and hour in the shower and Namjoon raps at the door with concern.

“I’m fine! Your shower-head has fucking great water pressure.”

Namjoon tries to not to imagine what he might be doing in there.

When Jeongguk gets out of the shower, Namjoon contemplates bringing him some of the cake he bought from Chimmy's but then thinks it’d probably be a bad idea. With Jeongguk's appetite, he'd probably make himself sick again. Instead, he brings Jeongguk tea (still untouched on the table) and digestive cookies (all gone), and sits with him on the couch, rubbing his stomach under the flimsy shirt he gave him to wear as he moans in possibly over-exaggerated pain.

“I’m never eating pineapple again,” he groans unconvincingly and Namjoon scoffs, rubbing in smaller circles.

“Right.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jeongguk’s pained voice melts into one of challenge.

“It means you’re cute, but I don’t think you have the self-control.” Namjoon’s hand travels down Jeongguk’s abdomen.

“Self-control? You’re the one reaching for my dick right now,” Jeongguk says, meaning to sound petty but he’s clearly smug.

Namjoon's fingers ghost back up to his stomach in shame.

“I’m very low maintenance,” Jeongguk says, burping softly as an afterthought and turning over onto his side on Namjoon’s lap.

They sit in comfortable silence for a few minutes and Namjoon listens to Jeongguk's soft breathing, his hand rubbing at his back now.

“It's getting late, you should probably sleep,” Namjoon walks his fingers out from under Jeongguk's shirt, eliciting a glum sound.

"I'll go home. I won't bother you."

"I told you you can stay. Actually, I'd prefer you didn't just go home by yourself tonight unless you're with someone. The doctor said you should monitor how you feel."

Jeongguk nods. "Sorry, again.”

“What?”

Jeongguk turns in his lap, looking up at him. “We were supposed to have sex and stuff, I wasn’t just trying to get dinner out of you, I promise. I'll make it up to you.”

Namjoon thinks of the man at the restaurant that he initially saw Jeongguk with and how quick Jeongguk was to dismiss him in his texts. He also referred to Namjoon as a ‘menu item’ - this wasn’t necessarily a dark notion at the time, but it kind of seems that way now after they’ve spent so much time together. He wants to bring it up, but he doesn’t.

Why would Jeongguk be trying to convince him he doesn't just want dinner?

"I...it's okay. I don't think that."

"'Kay."

I'll make it up to you.

 

Namjoon finds himself needing to suddenly escape from the couch; he gives Jeongguk’s ass a little pat before shifting himself out from underneath him. “Come join me when you feel like it,” he says, staring at Jeongguk sprawled on the couch, at his leg bouncing up and down on the cushion. Jeongguk watches him go to his room.

He gets ready for bed and crawls under his covers, pulling out his book. He's at a particularly harrowing part of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian when he hears his door crack open. That was fast.

“Can I come in?”

“Mhm,” Namjoon murmurs, still reading.

Moments later he feels the sheets shift, and a big, warm sensation crawls up his frame.

Jeongguk’s head appears from under the blankets, between the pages of his book. “What’re you reading?”

Namjoon lifts the book higher up so he can see the words. “Blood Meridian,” he says softly, reaching a hand down to touch Jeongguk’s hair. “Do you feel better already?”

“I feel great. What’s it about?” Jeongguk asks, clearly not genuinely interested, placing a small kiss on Namjoon’s chest, above the dipping collar of his shirt.

“A kid in Texas during the 1850s, gangs, violence,” Namjoon says, squinting at the page, his brain at a tense junction between the sensation against his chest and the horror occurring on the paper before his eyes. “Strangely, it’s really poetic.”

 

“Sounds creepy,” Jeongguk mumbles, and Namjoon feels his tongue lap at his chest. “You know, you’ve got a nice set of tits on you.”

Namjoon wants to slam the book onto Jeongguk’s head but he feels Jeongguk’s warm hand snake up under Namjoon’s shirt and grab at his chest - the urge disappears. “Do I?” he asks, instead, his brain rewired.

“Mm. Gonna give them a suck, hang on,” Jeongguk says, shifting his head down under the sheets again and slipping it beneath Namjoon’s loose shirt. Namjoons feels Jeongguk’s chin tickle his stomach as he makes his way up to his target.

Namjoon chuckles but it comes out slightly strained when he feels Jeongguk’s tongue swipe experimentally at his nipple.

“We were in the emergency room like two hours ago.” Namjoon has a hard time talking right now.

“Read to me,” Jeongguk’s muffled voice comes.

Only nature can enslave a man and only when the existence of each last entity is routed out and made to stand naked before him will he be properly suzerain of the earth.”

The licking stops for a moment. “Woah. That sounds so cool.”

“It does, doesn’t it.”

“What does suzerain mean?”

“An overlord. In control… despite being a part of a state,” Namjoon says, closing his eyes as Jeongguk begins to kiss and lick at his chest again, this time flattening his entire tongue against his nipple, long wet swipes. It feels unbelievably good. He can feel himself growing hard against Jeongguk’s hip.

“Read me more,” Jeongguk murmurs, almost inaudible, his own dick pressed against Namjoon’s thigh. He begins to roll his hips.

“I can’t,” Namjoon whispers, pressing the book down on the bed. He feels Jeongguk’s other hand reach up to the ignored side of his chest, squeezing and feeling the flesh there.

“Come on.”

Namjoon opens his eyes and weakly lifts the book back up towards his face. “The man…who believes the secrets of the world are forever hidden…lives in mystery and fear,” he mumbles and Jeongguk breathes out against his wet chest.

“You should do audiobooks. Then maybe I’d read,” Jeongguk giggles then gives a small, painful bite at the tip of his nipple.

Namjoon hisses and arches his back, feeling his dick twitch against Jeongguk’s hipbone. Jeongguk is criminally skilled with his mouth - as lowbrow-pornographic as that thought sounds in his head, Namjoon knows it’s true. He moans, low in his throat.

Jeongguk is humping Namjoon’s thigh now, hard, and he’s whimpering against his chest, which is a clear signal that he wants to be touched.

“Fuck,” Namjoon mumbles, his hand throwing the book against the bed and reaching up under the covers, curling his fingers through Jeongguk’s hair.

Jeongguk seems to be infused with a new sense of strength because he reaches up and rips the covers off from the top of his head. He shifts down fast, slipping his head back out from under Namjoon’s shirt and swinging his leg over to straddle him. “Take this off, Joon,” he says, tugging at the bottom of Namjoon’s shirt, his lips and chin wet with the effects of his licking session.

Namjoon could get off just watching this crazed version of Jeongguk sitting on top of him, his eyes wild with lust.

He slips his hands under the covers and grabs the hem of his shirt, pulling it up over his head – Jeongguk helps him.

The blankets are gathered at the foot of the bed now, and Jeongguk leans down on top of him, pressing their dicks together. Namjoon automatically reaches up to grab Jeongguk’s waist and Jeongguk pretends he’s confused. “What happened, don’t you wanna read anymore?”

“Still feel like you wanna barf?"

“No, I’m hungry again,” Jeongguk mumbles, moving his hips. He reaches down and presses both hands against Namjoon’s chest, still sore from Jeongguk mouthing at it earlier. He kneads the flesh there as Namjoon relinquishes Jeongguk’s waist to trail his fingers along his abdomen therapeutically.

“It’s hard to imagine anything inside this rock hard storage-unit could experience pain,” Namjoon mumbles and Jeongguk leers.

“You know what else is rock hard?”

“Don’t be vulgar,” Namjoon says, his hand dragging down to grab at Jeongguk’s dick, catching him off guard. Namjoon assumes if Jeongguk weren’t so adamant on always getting the last laugh, he might have been blushing right now. He begins to squeeze and release Jeongguk’s dick over his own pajama bottoms as he breathes unsteadily above him, his eyes closed, his hips still moving back and forth. There's something incredibly alluring knowing Jeongguk is wearing his clothes right now.

“What do you want me to do?” Namjoon hums softly as his hand moves.

“What do you want me to do?” Jeongguk repeats back almost immediately.

“I asked you first,” Namjoon squeezes harder and Jeongguk’s mouth parts slightly, his eyes still closed. He mumbles something, but Namjoon doesn’t hear it.

“Breathe, try again,” Namjoon says, sweeter.

“Put it in your mouth,” Jeongguk finally manages, his eyes opening, and Namjoon can’t believe he so courteously coaxed that out of him.

“Come here,” Namjoon says, either way, letting go, his mouth watering without planning on it. Jeongguk shuffles back so Namjoon can sit up. He immediately tugs down the front of Jeongguk's bottoms to reveal his dick, already dribbling.

“Just from sucking on nipples for a few minutes, huh,” Namjoon says, bemused, staring at it.

Jeongguk smiles, tilting his hips towards Namjoon’s face, his dick only centimeters away from his mouth now. “I’m not done with those yet.”

Namjoon reaches out and takes his dick, pumping it a few times, clumsily pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose, watching Jeongguk’s face carefully. He finally leans in and swishes his tongue against the warm head and Jeongguk groans, fisting the sheets down next to Namjoon's hips.

On one hand, Namjoon wants to take his glasses off. That way, he wouldn’t have to reach up every few minutes as he’s sucking dick to adjust them. On the other hand, he wouldn’t be able to see and savor every minuscule hitch in Jeongguk’s breathing, the way his brows knit, the way he rolls his eyes with pleasure under their lids, his pink tongue shining in his mouth. Namjoon thinks it’s maybe worth the slight facial discomfort.

So, they stay on.

Jeongguk is being especially vocal this evening, moaning with less inhibition. His cheeks are pink, his hair is pushed back in all directions, sweat is forming against his chest already. A small portion of his current state is probably a result of the ginger-medicine Namjoon forced him to take earlier. Whatever it is, he can’t help the small desire to stop sucking all together and just take Jeongguk into his arms to hold.

Jeongguk reaches down suddenly and takes the sides of Namjoon’s face as he sucks, thumbing his cheeks sweetly.

“Feels…so good. You’re so good,” Jeongguk manages to say through slack lips.

“Mm.” Namjoon continues to suck.

“What do I taste like?” Jeongguk asks expressively, his hand moving to the short side of Namjoon’s hair.

Namjoon leans back, keeping Jeongguk’s dick against his lips as he speaks. “Heaven.”

Jeongguk smiles, breathing through his nose playfully, both hands travelling to Namjoon’s forehead to push his bangs back as he begins to suck again.

“I’m-” Jeongguk suddenly warns, his hand gripping the side of Namjoon’s hair. “Stop.”

Namjoon mournfully lets Jeongguk’s dick fall out of his mouth with a small pop, watching as Jeongguk leans in to push at his shoulders.

“Lie down,” he says and Namjoon obeys, feeling the cool sheets pressed against his hot back.

Jeongguk pivots closer, reaching down to press his palms against Namjoon’s chest again, his eyes shining with excitement. “Have you been working out?”

Namjoon shakes his head, pushing his own bangs back again. They’re wet with product and sweat now, hard to manage. “Should I?”

“No,” Jeongguk says leaning down to lick at his nipple, then at the other. Namjoon’s flinches at the ticklish sensation, one eye closing. “You’ve just been looking fucking great lately.”

“Have I?” Namjoon asks, hoping he doesn’t sound as giddy as he feels from the compliment.

“Yeah,” Jeongguk says, sitting back up again and leaning forward to slide his wet dick along the center of Namjoon’s chest, without warning.

Namjoon figures if he had large pillowy breasts like in the porn videos he used to watch as a teen, he’d reach up and envelop Jeongguk’s dick between them. But he doesn’t. On the same note, this feels so fucking good that he arches up into the sensation anyway.

Jeongguk starts to hump against Namjoon’s chest, his hands pressed back and squeezing Namjoon's thighs for support. Namjoon tentatively reaches up to press into the sides of his chest anyway, channeling porn, and Jeongguk whines at the new friction. There’s a feeling of shame mixed with pleasure and a small ounce of pain as his hard dick remains untouched below the both of them.

 

Jeongguk’s hips begin to snap faster and Namjoon presses harder, creating more and more friction, feeling his chest become hotter as Jeongguk moves.

“Oh, fuck,” Jeongguk whines and lifts up, arching and orgasming suddenly, looking almost surprised with himself as he cums on Namjoon’s chest. He leans back a little too hard with his third spurt, watching in horror as it strings pleasantly across Namjoon’s glasses and upper lip.

“S-sorry, I wasn’t try- that was an accident. I swear,” Jeongguk says, his demeanor suddenly panicked.

Namjoon peers up at him through his stained glasses and can’t help the smile forming on his face. “Shh, it’s okay. I know,” he says, and he’s about to reach up to wipe his lips but Jeongguk’s expression is slightly unreadable when he touches at his wrist.

“What?” Namjoon asks.

“You look so fucking hot,” Jeongguk admits, dragging his finger up and down Namjoon’s stained chest.

Namjoon laughs, reaching up to take his glasses off and Jeongguk frowns. “I was gonna lick those.”

“That’s disgusting.” Namjoon grimaces, shifting uncomfortably against the bed, his dick still incredibly hard. He wants to ask Jeongguk to suck him, but he also feels bad because his stomach might still hurt.

Jeongguk looks at his outstretched hand quizzically.

“Come lie here with me,” is what Namjoon finally decides to say.

Jeongguk, still naked and pink under the lighting, grins and crawls forward, burrowing into the crook of his arm, reaching out to grab his t-shirt from the side of the bed to rub unceremoniously across Namjoon’s chest.

“I can’t believe you let me titty-fuck you.”

“Me neither.”

Jeongguk’s hand snakes down and presses against Namjoon’s dick. He inhales sharply.

“Don’t think I forgot,” Jeongguk mumbles, his head craning up to press a kiss against Namjoon’s jaw as he jerks him off under the blankets.

Namjoon tilts his own head down towards Jeongguk’s face and they kiss, their tongues rolling as Jeongguk’s hand moves against his dick.

There’s something different.

There’s something heavy in the kiss, with each rhythm they fall into, that escapes from between their lips and fills the air around Namjoon’s head. He’s not sure what’s happening, but it’s happening fast. He feels hot, like he might pass out or throw up – probably not the best time. He reaches out to take Jeongguk’s face, shifting to press him into the sheets, crawling on top of him and continuing to desperately kiss his mouth.

Jeongguk seems to be in his own world, his hands are moving up and down Namjoon’s arms and back, settling finally against his chest, his fingers splayed, squeezing, his legs wrapped around Namjoon’s waist. Namjoon is certain he just came, but he doesn’t even realize, he’s entirely too involved.

When they finally break the kiss Jeongguk is breathing hard and looking into his eyes, his mouth open.

Namjoon stares at his mouth then back to his eyes, leaning down to kiss him again, a short one, before flopping back down on the bed. The heavy feeling crawls out of his chest and they lie in silence save for their breath.

Namjoon wakes up suddenly in the middle of the night from a terrible dream he can’t remember. He feels like something is dug deep into his back, like a claw.

He reaches down in a panic and realizes it’s his book, the cover bent, still wrapped up in the sheets from earlier in the evening. He pulls it out and tosses it onto the floor, falling back into a dreamless sleep.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 5 - Pièce Montée

Namjoon wakes up a few days later thinking about his ex.

He maybe had a dream but he doesn't remember what about so it must not have been too horrifying. No doors slamming in his face this time.

He doesn't necessarily avoid thinking about his ex. He does avoid his name, though. It's never 'Yongjin', it's always 'my ex'. There's a form of detachment that makes life more comfortable, especially because they share so many mutual friends: friends Namjoon has been neglecting since they broke up. 

The thought of Yongjin right now seems to coincide with the thought of forming feelings outside of 'sex' for Jeongguk. Namjoon has no idea why - there might be a reason but Namjoon won't consider it because he gave up the idea of everything needing a reason years ago.

The present situation is almost murkier than his past. He can't even rely on his dreams; ever since meeting Jeongguk his reality has sunk into his subconscious and he's not even sure he's awake half the time.

Even if Namjoon wanted to stop thinking about Jeongguk, he couldn't.

Over the next week, Jeongguk starts to send Namjoon polaroids as little gifts. They’re anywhere from cute selfies to incredibly lewd photos of his asshole with toys in it, there’s really no way to know what he’s going to receive. Jeongguk will sometimes take photos of the polaroids and send it to Namjoon through texts, or Namjoon will go to get his mail from the apartment boxes and a few will fall out. (Once, in front of one of his neighbour; she glanced down at them in fear and quickly keyed into her apartment as though Namjoon were some kind of sex-crazed pervert.)

Jeongguk gains momentum from Namjoon's textual responses to these naughty gifts. He requests photos from Namjoon, but Namjoon hasn't sent a sexy photo to someone in years. When it did happen in the past, he didn't do a very good job. 

Jeongguk does an incredibly good job.

Namjoon cherishes the blatantly sexy poses: toys, liquids spilled against his spread cheeks (who took some of these photos?), but he gets the most satisfaction from the inconspicuous shots. Jeongguk has such an expressive face, Namjoon doesn't need to see the rest of him to know what he's doing. The polaroids that are neither suggestive nor blatantly sexual are the rarest and Namjoon typically spends the most time staring at them. Sometimes among the sex there'll be a photo of the horizon or some sort of stark, sober difference to Jeongguk's body that makes Namjoon pause and wonder why Jeongguk sent it to him. Was it on accident or was he looking for a different reaction?

Namjoon stares at a polaroid of a stone building with the lights on in only one of the windows. His phone is perched on his shoulder and he can hear Seokjin slurping loudly on noodles on the other end. ("The Michelin Star doesn't mean I can't appreciate a good instant ramen. I'm a down-to-earth world class chef.") He's packing for a wine symposium.

"What the fuck is a wine symposium?" Seokjin asks.

"I don't know but I'm invited to it," Namjoon squints, pressing his thumb against the polaroid of the building like he might be able to rub the lights on in another room. "A symposium about wine. In New York."

"Sounds fancy."

"Sure, I'll barely have time to explore the city. It's a whole weekend long. How serious are symposiums? I can get drunk, right?"

Seokjin chugs some sort of beverage on the other line, possibly beer. "You can get drunk at anything. Name one life event you can't get drunk at."

"Funeral.

Seokjin chews pensively for a moment. "You can totally get drunk at a funeral. It's just not a good idea, like I wouldn't recommend it, but you can. Actually, it might help."

"Right." Namjoon finally puts the polaroid down onto his desk next to a shot of Jeongukk's cum stained stomach. He picks up his sweater and throws it into the pile growing out of his suitcase. "I'm not even a wine expert, I think they just invited me because I featured that wine list with my pasta review."

"How are things with February?"

Namjoon pauses, standing up straight and staring at his own reflection in the mirror like it was the culprit behind the question. "They're great."

Namjoon is very bad at lying and Seokjin is very good at reading Namjoon's tone. Needless to say, Seokjin almost always wins these showdowns.

"Well, guess we gotta talk about it," Seokjin says, sounding mildly concerned. 

"I said things are great! There's nothing to talk about."

"No, no, no. I insist."

"I gotta go finish packing."

Seokjin crunches on the other line. "Next Saturday. Come for dinner. Tae is coming but don't worry, he tunes boring conversations out."

"Great."

Namjoon continues cleaning up remnants of discarded clothes from his floor then stops, spotting something beneath his bed. He reaches to grab it. It's one of Jeongguk's pairs of underwear, the sexy kind he wears beneath his sweatpants when he comes over. It must have slipped under his bed in the fray of them removing each other's clothes. He stares at it for a moment, feeling the soft texture between his fingers. After a few seconds of shameful contemplation, he brings the fabric to his face and breathes.

He groans and falls backwards onto his bed. The scent is heady and delicious, he feels his lower stomach fill with heat then immediately embarrassment.

New York is smelly and dirty and wonderful.

Namjoon barely sleeps during the weekend - as is typical when he goes on work trips. No time to sleep during his time off from the symposium, there's too much to see. Not very many people are friendly or patient enough to talk, but he doesn't blame them: depending on where you live you have to develop certain personality traits to adapt.

The symposium itself is pretty much what he expected. Turns out some people make millions of dollars off wine. He doesn't have a role, he's mostly just sitting at a table with other critics, listening to them chat about wine as he drinks and munches on appetizers.  Every now and then he'll have some input, but he's quiet most the time - many of them are much older and more traditional about cuisine than he is, he thinks they probably wouldn't enjoy the laid-back nature of his blog.

There are many speeches throughout the day (the event is eight hours long on a Saturday), and there are countless tastings. A beautiful sommelier flirts with Namjoon (Namjoon flirts back) and gives him his number. Namjoon folds the paper and puts it in his pocket, knowing he'll just throw it out when he gets back to the hotel. He's not in the mood for anonymous sex this weekend.

Back in his room, he orders food off the room service menu and forces down a highly acidic, mediocre salad as he watches politically charged news channels - it's really not much different than from back home. He glances out the window at the cityscape. Jeongguk would probably love this, all the bright lights.

He's thinking about Jeongguk again.

Jeongguk doesn't text him much while he's there, citing a busy week that seems to align perfectly with Namjoon's busy week. He's in another province back home for a photoshoot. He says it's some sort of fetish thing and that he's being paid a lot for it. Namjoon is happy for him; it's probably for the best to have these breaks, but Namjoon misses his presence. 

Namjoon typically enjoys solitude, but he suddenly finds himself afraid in the large, empty hotel room. It's the kind of fear that differs from what he might experience watching a horror movie, this is lower in his chest, a prehistoric fear.

He picks up his phone, staring down at his reflection in the black screen. He can smell the citrus from his salad.

Not worth it.

Namjoon leaves his hotel room after he finishes his salad and strolls to the Anthology Film Archives cinema nearby where they're showing Upstream Colour. He's enjoyed going to movies alone ever since he was a college student with long barren hours between his classes and engagements. Yongjin thought it was strange but endearing. The effect of the movie is strengthened by the fact that there's no one else in the auditorium. 

When he walks out of the cinema he's suddenly confronted by the fact that he's actually far away from home, as though the few hours of cinema made him forget where he is. He shoves his hands in his pant pockets and looks up at the sky-line. He was planning on going to the Empire State Building tomorrow, but the weather is strangely mild for 12:14am on a night like this. As he's trying to decide, searching on his phone to see if the building is even open, a group of loud, drunk friends make their way by him on the side-walk. One of them bumps into him quite hard accidentally.

Namjoon stumbles forward slightly and looks up to see the man turn around quickly on the spot, slurring a string of apologies as he staggers backwards. "Fuck sorry, man! Sorry! It's- that's a nice jacket! Love your jacket, man! Great look!"

"Thanks," Namjoon laughs back as the man is dragged away by his embarrassed friends. For some reason, the encounter makes Namjoon more certain that he wants to go to the top of the Empire State Building tonight rather than tomorrow. 

Apparently the last elevator up is at 1:15am and the building closes at 2am. He has time.

He hails a cab and chats with the driver who gives Namjoon suggestions about places he should visit before his flight back tomorrow afternoon.

The landmark is surprisingly quiet when he gets there. It's late, but Namjoon expected every corner of the city to be as busy as it looks in the movies. It's only him and a younger couple in the elevator.

His ears pop on the way up to floor 102 and when he finally steps out of the elevator he feels himself struck slightly with vertigo, like his body is not used to being up this high even though he often travels by plane.

It's colder this high up; he rubs the sides of his arms as he steps out onto the observatory deck. The closer he gets to the metal barriers, the more sparkling city lights he sees and the smaller he feels. He peers into one of the binoculars and surveys the lights, his hand pressed against the cold metal device. A few moments later his phone vibrates in his pocket.

"Hello?" 

"Hey. You in New York?" It's Jeongguk.

"Yeah. Did you get back from your shoots?"

"Mhm."

Silence for a few moments. 

"How'd they go?"

"Pretty good. Stole some nipple tassels."

Namjoon's breath catches in his throat. "Oh."

Jeongguk yawns then transforms it into a long, tired sigh.

"Is everything okay?" Namjoon asks and Jeongguk makes a sound similar to a laugh.

"Yeah, sorry. Just wanted to see what you were up to."

Namjoon's heart beats a little faster in his throat, like he was waiting for Jeongguk to say he missed him. "Funny you should ask, I'm on the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building."

"Are you serious? Now? Isn't it late? You're so lucky, I've always wanted to go there."

"It's beautiful. They're open til two a.m. I'm pretty much alone, I only see a few other people."

"You went by yourself?"

"Yeah." Namjoon almost says it, he almost says 'I wish you were here' like a love-struck loser.

"No cool American date?" Jeongguk asks.

"They're not really my type, I guess."

Jeongguk giggles on the other end and it sounds almost sweeter over the phone, thousands of miles away.

"Okay, well have fun by yourself up there."

Namjoon steps closer to the barriers and gazes out at the city. He quickly adds, "Wait, what about you? Other than your shoot, what have you been up to?"

Quiet on the other end again. He hears Jeongguk breathe out. "Nothing really. Jerked off. Can't sleep for some reason."

Jeongguk has never called him like this before just to chat.  Namjoon doesn't want to hang up.

He glances back when he hears talking and sees an employee making rounds, letting people know they're closing soon and they have to make their way back down.

"Ah, my voice puts you to sleep..."

Jeongguk laughs again. "No, you dork. You're just. I don't know. Maybe I'm used to you reading to me before bed, is that embarrassing?"

Why is Jeongguk doing this right now? Namjoon's heart beats even louder, he's almost afraid Jeongguk can hear it over the phone.

"It's not embarrassing. I'd read to you now if I could," Namjoon says breathlessly.

"That's nice of you," Jeongguk says, through a sleepy grumble. "Hey."

"Yeah?"

"I'll send you a cool photo, 'kay?"

"Okay."

"I'll let you go," Jeongguk adds quickly. "I'm falling asleep. You worked."

Namjoon laughs. "Sleep tight."

When Jeongguk hangs up, Namjoon still has the phone up to his hear like he might start talking again.

"Sir," a voice comes from behind Namjoon, nudging him back to reality.

"Right, sorry, I'm coming in now. Thank you," he responds to the employee, lowering the device.

When he gets back to his hotel, it's almost 2:30am. He takes a shower and crawls into the bed and opens the text message Jeongguk sent him.

He hopes he doesn't dream about him tonight.

Namjoon is so giddy about seeing Jeongguk when he gets back, he invites him over the very next day.

He invites him over before finishing his article, which ends up being his first mistake. He has to meet the deadline at 12am so the site can publish it that evening, and it really would have been a better idea to just submit this then call Jeongguk the next day but Namjoon is emotional and impulsive.

When Jeongguk gets there, they make out in front of his door for a good ten minutes. Jeongguk massages the front of Namjoon's pants as they kiss and Namjoon has to practically pry him off to stop from cumming in his underwear.

They chat a little and Jeongguk pulls out his phone, showing him him some of the fetish shots. They're incredibly sexy and Jeongguk laughs at the expression on Namjoon's face.

"Did you like the photo I sent you? I mean you responded but I wanna hear you say it."

Namjoon inhales sharply at the thought of pressing his thumbs into Jeongguk's tassel-adorned nipples. "Pretty much all I thought about the whole time. Fuck wine."

"Also, I got in trouble with the photographer because I played soccer with another model the night before and I got this crazy bruise on my back, look," Jeongguk lifts the back of his shirt to show the long, oval shaped purple mark above his tail bone. 

"Holy shit, that looks bad," Namjoon bends over to look closer.

"Yeah, he almost broke my back."

"Did you have any other fun? Besides getting injured?" Namjoon asks and Jeongguk turns around to look at him.

He stares at Namjoon like he's waiting for him to finish, like he had more to say. When Namjoon just gazes back, Jeongguk speaks: "Not really, just hung out. Ate food. I bet New York City was exciting."

"Yeah, it was fun, explored a little. I didn't see as much as I wanted to, they took that symposium pretty seriously."

"You're so fancy," Jeongguk says, making a face. "Did you do this with your wine?" He pretends he's swishing a glass under his nose and uses the other hand to fan the air towards his nose, then improvises, "Hm, I smell...peaches...no, grass! Some hints of chocolate. Tennis balls."

Namjoon laughs and swats at his hand. "Tennis balls? Really?"

"Food professionals taste ridiculous things."

"I guess that's true."

"I have something you can taste test," Jeongguk says jokingly, reaching down and grabbing the front of his sweatpants. It's a completely vulgar gesture made unexpectedly sweet when he grins into it, like he was almost embarrassed to say it.

Namjoon is so caught off by the act, he doesn't have time to react before Jeongguk reaches his hand out, pressing it against the side of Namjoon's face, guiding him in.

Namjoon figures now is the best time to lean back. "Wait, I'm. I have to finish something real quick."

This is Namjoon's second mistake.

"Oh? Okay," Jeongguk says, shifting back.

Namjoon pulls out a box of pizza from his fridge, placing it on his kitchen island. "I got some pizza last night. Well, I mean, it's flatbread technically. I have a slice left, want it?"

Jeongguk slips closer to him again, his hands dragging across the kitchen island's marble counter-top. "Sure," he says, watching Namjoon plate it for him.

Jeongguk's entire energy has shifted to suspense. Namjoon considers just ignoring the article, but then it would probably make what just happened even more awkward. That and the fact that he's just immediately tried to fix the situation by feeding Jeongguk. 

"How long do you need?" Jeongguk asks, watching Namjoon move across the living room.

Namjoon pauses and thinks for a moment. “Thirty minutes."

"Oh. Okay..."

What is he supposed to do? Admit he was feeling particularly lonely, particularly emotional (entirely too embarrassed to admit it), and the idea of Jeongguk lounging around with him really seemed like a good idea? 

“I waxed my butthole for you, you know," Jeongguk continues, teasing.

“You really don’t need to do that I told you," Namjoon reminds, sitting down on his chair.

“This is a weird dick appointment."

The suspense in Jeongguk's aura seems to have shifted to irritability. Namjoon doesn't know exactly what he's mad about, having to wait, or the implication behind Namjoon asking him to wait?

Namjoon underestimated how annoyed Jeongguk would be about this. 

He rolls around in his chair. Jeongguk is sitting on the couch now, scrolling through his phone, his entire demeanor quite cold.

Namjoon can’t help feeling slightly hurt and his own emotion annoys him. It's only thirty minutes, was it that heavy of a request?

“I’m sorry,” he says, reaching up to take off his glasses. He doesn't want to have to ask Jeongguk why he seems especially annoyed about something like this, and he doesn't want to have to explain why he needs to be around him. “You should go, you're right. I shouldn't have just invited you to wait."

Jeongguk glances up from his phone. Namjoon waits - not exactly for a response, just maybe to buy more time and come up with something else to say because Jeongguk doesn’t appear to have anything lined up.

Jeongguk has some sort of internal battle Namjoon can't place as positive or negative just from observation. He finally gets up and trudges over to Namjoon, reaching out his fingers, barely visible from the ends of his long sleeves, hesitantly tugging at Namjoon’s earlobe. “Are you stressed or something?”

The move makes Namjoon's entire body flood with warmth.

“Yeah. I didn't realize how soon this was due. I didn't think about it on my trip at all.”

“You should have just told me that.”

“I figured that would actually be a waste of your time.” 

“It’s not.” He tugs Namjoon's ear again. Was that the truth? “I think I'm just not used to waiting."

Jeongguk’s body language is quite sweet now, so it’s his chance. He reaches out and clutches Jeongguk’s small waist over the large hoodie, pulling him closer.

Jeongguk dips down to softly kiss Namjoon on the lips before placing another kiss on his jaw, then one down on his neck. It feels so fucking good holding Jeongguk like this, having his warmth around him, his scent strong in his nostrils, his hands pressed against his shoulders.

Jeongguk pulls away, reaching out to grab the bag of chips he dragged over from the kitchen, popping a few into his mouth. "Let me know when you're done."

"I will."

Namjoon doesn’t want to look up at Jeongguk because he knows his resolve will melt if he sees him in his stupid fucking hoodie. On one hand Jeongguk just unceremoniously reminded Namjoon that he's only here for his dick, but on the other hand Namjoon feels his heart squeeze at the thought of a lonely, bored Jeongguk moping around his apartment with chip crumbs stuck to his lips. 

Twenty minutes go by in silence.

“Can I come sit next to you, at least?” Jeongguk chirps hesitantly. He has his pants off, which is fairly typical. The more comfortable Jeongguk is the less clothing he wears.

“Of course,” Namjoon says.

He hears Jeongguk pad to the coffee table to drop the half-empty bag of chips. He drags over a small stool and sits down next to Namjoon, bringing with him the scent of his strawberry body-mist and a slight hint of potatoes.

Namjoon sees him lean in toward the screen, reaching up to adjust his hood. “Woah, you wrote a lot. You’re fast.”

Namjoon tries to ignore the flash of big bare thighs in his peripherals.

He types so fast, he's sure the entire thing is filled with grammatical errors. Jeongguk gets up with a yawn and stands behind Namjoon’s chair, placing his strong hands on Namjoon’s upper back and squeezing hard. He kneads at Namjoon's shoulders.

“You’re so tense,” Jeongguk mutters. “I feel three knots just here on this side.”

Jeongguk presses into a knot and Namjoon feels a ripple of pain, wincing at the sensation.

“Ahh-“

“Does that hurt?”

“Yeah,” Namjoon says, backspacing the error he just made in his article.

“Suck it up,” Jeongguk says, pressing in again.

Namjoon pretends very hard that this isn’t incredibly painful because it seems like such a normal thing to Jeongguk. “You can do it to me later. I love how it feels,” Jeongguk says, a consolation gift.

After about a minute of this incredibly painful sort of therapeutic torture, Jeongguk sits back down on his stool for another five minutes of silence. He then abruptly stands up and starts peering around Namjoon's desk.

"What's up?" Namjoon asks.

“I’m want a snack. Sorry. I'm being distracting, huh.”

“You're not being distracting. But you literally just ate,” says Namjoon, reaching into his desk for a granola bar. “Here.” He holds it over his shoulder for Jeongguk.

“That shit is fuckin’ gross.”

“Alright, starve then.” Namjoon tosses the bar down onto his desk, his hand joining his other fingers again on the keyboard. Jeongguk sighs and slumps in his chair on his phone again.

After a few more minutes, Namjoon shifts back in his chair, breathing out, his eyes scanning the computer screen.

Jeongguk lowers his phone and moves forward to look at his face. "What was that? Is that like a 'I'm finished' type of sound?" His hoodie is drooping down his forehead, but his brown eyes are full of excitement.

"It's a 'I think I'm finished, but I'm not sure' type of sound," Namjoon says, squinting at a paragraph. 

"Oh. Cuz I have an idea."

"Yeah?" Namjoon asks, backspacing through a few words. "What is it?"

"I have to show you, I can't tell you."

Namjoon clenches his jaw and goes limp in his chair, his hand still sitting atop his keyboard. "Show me, then."

He doesn't need to proof-read too much, the editor will take care of that. Still, he probably shouldn't just submit this shit without doing the bare minimum.

Jeongguk slips off the stool onto the floor and oh God, Namjoon sees him crawling under the desk. He feels him shuffling in-between his legs, then the sensation of warm hands gripping his ankles over his trousers before they circle to the back of his shins.

“You’ve got really sexy calves.” Namjoon hears from under the desk, and Jeongguk’s hands squeeze. “I've told you, right? They’re so big.”

Namjoon doesn’t respond and tries to multitask, focusing his draining will-power on rereading what he has just written. 

The sprouts were soaked to the perfect bite, the taste of sesame was slight and not at all overpowering.

Jeongguk’s hands move back to his shins, his fingers slightly pressing in and then rising up, traveling past his knees, onto his thighs, squeezing hard. He kneads at Namjoon’s upper thighs, and Namjoon reflexively spreads his legs.

“That’s what I thought,” Jeongguk says from between his legs. Namjoon refuses to look down.

Jeongguk’s fingers leave his legs and begin to deftly undo Namjoon’s belt. When he’s finished, he snakes a hand back down over his clothed, half-hard dick.

“I bet you’ve been hard since I came over.”

Fair assumption.

Jeongguk massages at Namjoon’s dick and mouths at his trousers, kissing his knee. Namjoon feels Jeongguk's tongue press against the fabric, soaking through it. Jeongguk hums in excitement, apparently having found a new fun kink. He continues to kiss up Namjoon’s leg, one hand working his thigh while the other squeezes and releases his dick.

“Hey,” Jeongguk says, stopping all movement, and Namjoon needs it back, so he finally looks down at him.

"You sure you're done?" Jeongguk asks.

"Yeah."

He’s staring up from between Namjoon's legs like some sort of beautiful creature in a lagoon. “You really didn't fuck anyone in New York?"

Namjoon looks down at him, his throat constricting. "Never," he responds to a different question, one he formed in his own head.

"Should I blow you?"

“Yes,” Namjoon breathes, one hand gripping the mouse, the other hand frozen over the keyboard.

Jeongguk grabs the uppermost part of Namjoon’s legs, using them to hoist himself forward, burying his face in Namjoon’s crotch. 

Namjoon loses his last few strands of sentience.

The risotto was especially creamy, paired with the sweetness of the yamhiauhbhklic 0 9wju oijjh

He squeezes his eyes shut, unable to stop a pathetic moan from slipping past his lips.

Jeongguk’s open mouth is pressed against Namjoon's clothed dick, his hands moving up to unbutton his pants, lifting his face away slightly just to tug the front down. Namjoon lifts his hips obediently as Jeongguk pulls. He barely has a moment to register what’s happening before Jeongguk’s mouth presses against his dick, traveling up and down the underside of his shaft, warm and wet, slicking the entire length with spit.

Jeongguk gives blowjobs like they're his main source of sustenance. Namjoon supposes it’s because of his oral fixation, his need to place every object he can find into his mouth. Namjoon reaches out reflexively with the last of his rational sense to press the hotkeys associated with saving his article.

Jeongguk’s fingers fondle his balls as he moves and Namjoon presses his head back against the swivel chair.

Eventually Jeongguk opens his mouth and fits the head of Namjoon’s dick into his mouth, suckling noisily. Namjoon moans, reaching down a hand to tug Jeongguk’s hood back, his fingers pressing his bangs away from his face so he can watch the shadow of Jeongguk’s lashes against his cheeks as he sucks. He strokes at his hair like that as he moves, drawing a sweet look from Jeongguk’s eyes.

He lifts off his dick. “I like when you do that.”

“Do what?” Namjoon croaks.

“Touch my hair like that when I blow you.”

“You're so fucking beautiful."

“Watch this.”

Jeongguk opens his mouth and circles it around the head of Namjoon's dick, maintaining eye-contact as he moves forward, taking Namjoon entirely into his mouth. Namjoon's dick hits the back of his throat and he stops.

Namjoon’s hands press against the sides of Jeongguk’s face, knowing full well he wants nothing more than to fuck his face like this until he cries, but then he’s also genuinely impressed at Jeongguk’s deep-throating capabilities. Namjoon tilts his hips only slightly, groaning at the sensation of his dick in Jeongguk’s tight, warm mouth, unmoving.

“Hey,” Namjoon mumbles when he sees Jeongguk’s eyes start to water, not from the sensation, probably from lack of air. “Th-that’s impressive. You can- move now.”

Jeongguk leans back slowly, Namjoon’s soaked dick falls from the front of his mouth. He breathes deeply and wipes at his eyes before grabbing at the base of Namjoon’s dick. “I could go for another 2 minutes if I wanted to.”

“I believe you,” Namjoon whispers, stroking at his cheek as Jeongguk jerks his dick with his hand. “Come here.”

Namjoon is staring at Jeongguk with adoration as he crawls up between his legs. “Wanna fuck me on the chair?”

“Yes,” Namjoon says, pressing his nose into the base of Jeongguk’s hoodie, breathing. Having sex in a swivel chair is obviously an incredibly unsafe decision but it's the only thing he can think about.

“Okay,” Jeongguk says, reaching down to pull the hem of his sweater up, revealing his tight white underwear, the pair he knows Namjoon likes. His dick is tucked up in the waist-band. Namjoon's eyes travel up Jeongguk's firm abdomen towards his face. Namjoon runs his hands over Jeongguk's stomach, feeling him flex beneath his fingers.

"Show off."

Jeongguk smiles, lifting his knee and sliding it to the right of Namjoon's thighs then hoisting himself up on the chair, straddling him. He bends down to kiss  Namjoon on the lips, deep, his tongue swirling.

When they break the kiss for a moment, Namjoon reaches out towards his desk. He hides lube and condoms around his apartment now like obscene little easter eggs. Jeongguk sits back on Namjoon's lap, pulling the bottom of his sweater up again as Namjoon grabs at his ass and hips, digging his fingers into his flesh.

Jeongguk wants to kiss again, so they do. Kissing Jeongguk is generally more tongue than it is lips, but Namjoon doesn’t mind.

He eventually gets the condom on and feels Jeongguk press his ass down harder on Namjoon's dick, almost hard enough to hurt. 

He rolls his hips, sliding back and forth on Namjoon's dick, the fabric of his underwear mostly disappearing between his ass cheeks. Jeongguk kisses him as he moves.

After a few moments, Jeongguk reaches down to pull the center of his underwear to the side, positioning Namjoon's dick against his hole. "Lube," he mumbles.

“Hey,” Namjoon says, gripping his waist. “Let me finger you first,” he mumbles, moving his underwear to the side.

Jeongguk sighs, his cheeks red. He likes 'the sting’, but Namjoon worries he’ll hurt him often. He slowly fingers Jeongguk, and it’s hard to maneuver his hand under him like this with the chair creaking beneath them. Still, he manages, and while Jeongguk initially seemed annoyed about dragging out the process, he has his head tossed back now, rolling his ass into both of Namjoon's buried fingers.

He stares down at Jeongguk’s spread legs, pressing down into his own thighs. There are bruised marks along Jeongguk's thighs and Namjoon assumes they're from playing soccer. He assumes.

"Okay I'm ready," Jeongguk exhales then reaches down and yanks Namjoon’s wet fingers out of his ass, moving to position Namjoon’s dick again. He pants as he moves down the length, gasping sharply then shivering when he settles back against his lap. Namjoon bites down on the inside of his cheek to stop from whimpering.

“That feels so good. Fuck,” Jeongguk rolls his head back as he moves up and down and Namjoon almost wants to hold his mouth shut so he stops talking; every word sends shock waves down his already hard dick, dragging time away from his ability to not cum.

Jeongguk’s thighs are tensed and he uses his own strength to bounce up and down, Namjoon is fairly certain he could do this for hours without getting tired. He keeps staring at the marks on his thighs.

He grabs Jeongguk’s waist, keeping the rhythm steady, making sure he sits all the way down before rising back up. Jeongguk whines but presses his forehead against Namjoon’s understandingly.

“Pretty intense soccer match," Namjoon murmurs, pressing his fingers into Jeongguk's thighs, where the marks are. He really can't help it. Maybe it's cruel.

Jeongguk's eyes open, his face still close to Namjoon. He looks almost hurt for a moment then kisses Namjoon instead of responding.

Namjoon reaches up a hand to move aside Jeongguk's hair, stroking the side of his face. He opts for some damage control: "I missed this."

'This' sounds more acceptable than 'you'.

Jeongguk nods. “Are you close?” he asks, using his super-human strength to completely disregard the pressure Namjoon’s placing on his waist and move at his own pace again, focusing his heat on the tip of Namjoon’s dick.

Namjoon just nods and leans his head back again; Jeongguk immediately ducks his face down and starts planting sloppy kisses on Namjoon's neck. The chair creaks.

He feels the surge building in his lower stomach and lets his hands rest on Jeongguk’s ass again, letting him finish the job, his brain too overwhelmed to come up with a better line of action. Jeongguk suddenly opens his mouth and bites down against the flesh of Namjoon’s neck, pressing his tongue flat against his skin. Namjoon is a goner at this point.

“Cumming,” is all he can manage and then a strained, embarrassing noise as he squeezes the globes of Jeongguk’s ass while feeling his orgasm rip through his body.

Jeongguk mumbles against his neck, kissing and licking at it, then moves back to look at Namjoon. "You know, you look hot when you're cumming."

"I've been told I have a beautiful O face," Namjoon mumbles with his head pressed back against the chair, slowly tilting his hips back to pull out.

Jeongguk scoffs then starts to roll his hips again. “I’m still hard, you know."

When Namjoon shifts his head to look at Jeongguk, he's tilting back slightly to present his dick to Namjoon like it’s a gift.

Namjoon moves his hands to Jeongguk’s stomach, traveling down the slopes, appreciating what he looks like right now before taking his dick in his hand. He begins to pump him hard, his other hand snaking behind his neck to pull his face down for an awkwardly positioned kiss.

It’s obvious Jeongguk is trying hard to orgasm at this point; going by his real stamina, they could be fucking for another hour or likely well into the next week.

Namjoon helps him out by slipping his other, lube slicked hand under his balls, slipping his finger into Jeongguk's ass and hooking it hard. Jeongguk’s entire body tenses immediately and he hiccoughs, leaning back further so Namjoon can do his work, but not without reprimanding him:

“Th-this is cheating,” Jeongguk mumbles. Namjoon watches his face change from embarrassment to pure pleasure. He continues, "Why are your fingers...so fucking long...:

"Better to fuck you with," Namjoon replies and while he thinks that sounded ridiculous Jeongguk smiles, his head lolling back, graciously accepting all of Namjoon's sex-talk no matter how bad.

Three or four more presses against Jeongguk’s prostate and he orgasms with a series of gasps, his hands gripping Namjoon’s shoulders, eyes squeezed shut as he cums all over Namjoon’s shirt. They sit there panting, and a loud snap resounds from the bottom of the chair.

“Oh my god.” Jeongguk pivots up off Namjoon’s dick and hoists himself back onto the floor, naked, glistening, cross-legged. He still looks drunk from their sex. “Did we break your chair?”

Namjoon is similarly fucked-out with the added bonus of not being able to move. He stays in his position on the chair, leaning dangerously against the tilted back-rest, still fully clothed with his limp dick hanging out onto his trousers. “I think so, yeah.”

Jeongguk crawls towards the bottom of the chair to examine it. “You might wanna get up, Joon. It’s gonna crumble. You’re gonna hit your head on the coffee-table.”

“If it’s meant to be then it’s meant to be,” Namjoon mumbles and he can’t see Jeongguk but he feels the energy of an eye-roll.

Jeongguk returns from quickly cleaning up in the washroom when Namjoon finally comes back to reality. He lifts his head up.

Jeongguk is still naked, unabashed. Why would he be when he looks like that? He does some stretches, pressing his hand gingerly against the bruise on his back.

He eventually moves to Namjoon's desk. "I might take you up on that gross granola bar, actually."

Namjoon mumbles a "Sure". After a few seconds of silence, he lifts his head.

Jeongguk is holding a granola bar in one hand. His other hand holds the February page from the pinup calendar - the one Namjoon stores in his desk like some kind of trophy.

Jeongguk is quietly looking at it, his expression quite unreadable. He eventually turns it over to Namjoon. "You kept this?"

"Yeah. I did," Namjoon doesn't have the energy to lie.

"Why?"

"You look beautiful in it."

Jeongguk keeps looking at the photo, biting at the corner of his lip like he's trying to decide whether or not he hates this moment in time.

Namjoon sits up straight in the chair, ignoring the horrible sound it makes. "I know you were upset in the photo, that whole...thing about your ex. I didn't know at the time. I just. There's something about it. It's not even sexual...I mean it is but-"

Jeongguk nods. "Yeah, I know. You said you wanted to hold me. Weird line but it worked."

"Are you...uncomfortable about the fact that I kept the photo?"

"No, of course not," Jeongguk says, looking at him. "It's really flattering."

He should get up from this damn chair. "You may need to help me."

Jeongguk laughs and puts the page down on the desk, making his way over to Namjoon, bending and slipping his shoulder under his arm to help him get up without snapping the chair.

"I honestly feel like I have to relearn how to walk," Namjoon says and Jeongguk winds his hand back and smacks Namjoon's ass, hard. Namjoon yelps. "What the fuck!"

"Did that wake you up?"

Namjoon rubs at the side of his ass, yanking his pants up with his other hand. "I guess...are you staying the night?"

Jeongguk blinks at him, considering. "No," he says after a beat. "I should go home." He grabs his hoodie and destroyed underwear off the floor and Namjoon suddenly remembers.

"You, uh. You left your underwear here, by the way."

Jeongguk raises his eyebrows. "Really?" he asks as he yanks his hoodie over his head and pulls his sweatpants on, commando.

Namjoon zips up the front of his trousers and shuffles into his bedroom, Jeongguk watches him from the doorway as he pulls the underwear off the table at the side of his bed. Namjoon pauses, realizing this probably isn't his best moment. He glances guiltily over at Jeongguk, who is grinning, and he holds up the underwear. "It's not what you think." He still has cum all over his shirt and it's probably not helping his cause.

"What do I think?" Jeongguk laughs.

"That I kept your underwear on my bedside table. To do things with."

"Uh-huh."

"I didn't. I literally found it right before I left for New York."

"Right."

"I just stored it there to remember to give to you."

"Of course," Jeongguk walks over to him, reaching up to take the underwear. "Oh, by the way. I read one of your articles the other day, about that bakery nearby."

"Chimmy's?"

"Yeah. Terrible name. But the article was super cool," Jeongguk says, staring down at the panties in his hand. "It's awesome for you to support local places like that."

Namjoon blinks at him. "Thanks...I mean, he's great, deserves the attention. You should try his stuff. You'd love it, lots of strawberries."

Jeongguk nods then looks up, closing an eye and pulling the underwear's band against his index finger, aiming it at Namjoon like it's a slingshot. He launches it and it hits Namjoon in his chest then falls into his hands. "You can keep it."

Namjoon is on the verge of emotional collapse the entire next week.

It doesn't help that his ex (Yongjin, just say his name) calls on Tuesday evening. 

The last time they met was months ago when they ran into each other at a shop - Namjoon ended the conversation quickly because he saw Yongjin's friend waiting awkwardly for them to finish talking. He couldn't stop thinking about what Yongjin had maybe told his friend. Terrible things, probably. Things about how bad of a boyfriend Namjoon was.

Yongjin called a week or two after their shop encounter and told Namjoon that he didn't hate him as though it were something Namjoon needed clarification about. They didn't talk after (at least not out loud), only through texts, always initiated by Yongjin, wondering if Namjoon was planning on attending their mutual friends' events.

While there's nothing sinister about their interactions, Namjoon can't help feeling there's always some sort of ulterior motive every time it happens.

The phone small-talk is surprisingly pleasant until Namjoon listens to what he really has to say:

"Oh. Minho saw you at dinner with a model."

It took about five minutes of small-talk to reach this point and when it arrives Namjoon still has a smile plastered on his face. He keeps it there while he talks, hoping the muscle arrangement might somehow affect his mood as well.

"A model? Who's Minho?"

There's a laugh on the other end of the line. "Hey don't get defensive, it's not a bad thing. Minho - come on, Taemin's boyfriend?"

"I'm not defensive," Namjoon says softly, trying not to give in. Why the fuck are they keeping tabs on him?

"Anyway, I called because you didn't respond to the invite for the high school reunion. You should come."

Namjoon can think of countless other things he'd rather be doing - painful things. "I might be busy that night. Saturday, right?"

Yongjin sighs and the sound is familiar and it triggers a rush of terrible memories all at once. "Come on. You can bring the escort."

Namjoon grips his phone so hard, his index knuckle cracks. He envisions himself standing in front of the door that day he missed the flight, having it shut in his face, holding all those flowers, hoping to be forgiven. He suddenly feels an emotion he hasn't felt in years: rage.

"He's not an escort. He's a friend. And thanks but I'll pass on the reunion."

"Joon, you know I'm kidding. Besides-"

Namjoon stops Yongjin before he can try to explain that being an escort is not a bad thing as though it was the career insinuation that bothered Namjoon and not the fact that he was clearly trying to be rude. Namjoon is good at spotting Yongjin's straw-men before they take argument form. "I have to go."

"Joon..."

Namjoon hangs up and throws his phone on the bed like it just caught on fire. He stares at the demonic thing.

He wishes he'd feel more relief now that the phonecall is over, but the bitter taste in his mouth only increases as the minutes go by.

The feeling grows too. 

He picks his phone up again, dialing Jeongguk's number. They haven't spoken since last week's intimate chair ordeal. He could have called any of his friends, but he goes straight for Jeongguk.

"Hullo - hang on, I'm putting you on speaker," Jeongguk's muffled voice comes. "I'm shaving."

"Hey. Wanna come over?"

"Now? I can't, I'm going to a shoot. Actually, I'm late." Namjoon hears him smacking the razor against the edge of his sink. "And I still have to get this fucking corset on."

"Do you need help?" Namjoon asks, hoping he can get away from the blanket of anger that has shrouded his vision. Everything in his apartment suddenly reminds him of Yongjin.

"Uh, sure? That'd be awesome, actually. But, wait, I won't have time for sex...I don't want you to have to-"

"Wait? That's fine. I want to come. I'll help you."

Jeongguk is quiet for a few seconds. "Okay."

The dark, rainy drive barely registers. When Namjoon stops in front of Jeongguk's apartment, he closes his eyes and breathes in and out slowly. He doesn't want to show up with a shitty attitude.

Jeongguk's door is unlocked.

"In my bedroom!"

Namjoon pauses outside Jeongguk's room. He has a corset half-on (the laces are all tangled) and he's wearing a pair of black loose underwear. He has one leg up on his bed with a toothbrush in his mouth, white paste trickling down his chin. His hands are reaching behind him, trying to grip the strings.

"Your ball is hanging out," Namjoon says, trying to distract himself from the feeling of utmost endearment he feels watching this.

"Yeah, you try wearing these. Your balls are way bigger than mine. Actually, I was thinking the other day that you have giant balls."

Namjoon uncrosses his arms. "Giant balls?"

Jeongguk laughs loudly, a glob of toothpaste falling onto his bed-sheets. " Your face! You looked so upset all of a sudden. It's a compliment, you have great balls. Fuck! Can you help me with this? I've actually never done it alone before."

Namjoon inches over and plucks the toothbrush from Jeongguk's mouth, tossing it on his counter. He puts his hands on Jeongguk's waist, pulling him back from the bed. He feels the skeletal ribbing of the corset beneath his fingers. "Stand straight."

"Have you tied one of these before? You smell nice."

Namjoon stares at the laces. "Nope. Thanks."

Jeongguk mumbles something but his mouth is full of toothpaste.

"Gross, go spit that out," Namjoon laughs, relinquishing his grip on the laces.

Jeongguk scampers to the washroom and then returns and takes a very compromising position at his vanity, back arched, butt pointed out. "Let's do it here, it'll be easier."

“What is this shoot supposed to be, what’s your, uh…role?” Namjoon straights up and moves back, adjusting his glasses and staring at the puzzle of black ropes in front of him.

“Some sort of sexy person or something,” Jeongguk says and Namjoon’s tuts.

“What? Too low brow for you?”

“No.” Namjoon smacks lightly at Jeongguk’s ass. “Come on, stand straight.”

Jeongguk straightens out and holds his arms slightly out.

“Huh...where do I even start?” Namjoon asks, taking two ends of the laces.

“You’re a smart guy, you’ll figure it out.”

Namjoon decides to start at the middle, the smallest part of Jeongguk's waist. He manages a few tugs and Jeongguk sighs.

“Come on, harder.”

Namjoon goes back to the first cross and tugs harder then moves down again.

“Tug it like you mean it.”

“I don’t want to hurt you.”

“Why the hell not?” Jeongguk looks over his shoulder, annoyed.

Namjoon stares at him from over the top rim of his glasses and Jeongguk laughs.

"Thanks for coming over to help," Jeongguk says after a few seconds as Namjoon struggles behind him. "You gonna tell me what's wrong?"

"There's nothing wrong," Namjoon says, yanking at the laces. "I just wanted to come by and help you."

"Right," Jeongguk says suspiciously. "Harder."

"Really?"

"Yeah, you'll take hours at this rate."

Namjoon pushes up his sleeves and tries again, getting about one cross down further when Jeongguk tells him to do it harder again.

He sighs and grabs Jeongguk’s arms, leading him forward; his bare thighs press against the front of his vanity so Namjoon can push and pull harder without knocking him forward.

He starts again, and this time he pulls the laces up, hard.

Jeongguk gasps. “Now you got it.”

Namjoon is pretty much sweating under his shirt now, this is harder than he thought. He needs to spend more time at the gym if he’s getting so worked up this fast over pulling some laces.

He tugs again, putting his elbows into it, and Jeongguk makes a sound that sounds suspiciously like a moan.

“Is this…getting you off?” Namjoon asks incredulously.

“No. Is it getting you off?”

“Yes.”

“I guess it’s kind of getting me off.”

Namjoon swallows a laugh and tugs back harder, this time grunting himself like he’s competing at a Wimbledon semi-final.

Jeongguk slightly falls forward on the vanity, using his hands to push himself back up. He breathes in deeply.

“I hope…they’re paying you…a lot for this,” Namjoon grits as he pushes his knee against Jeongguk’s lower back to get a better tug.

Jeongguk nods, out of breath. “Harder,” he whispers, but it doesn’t sound like he means it much, so Namjoon doesn’t acquiesce.

He finishes up the rest of the thing, and by the end of it, his hands are red and raw and Jeongguk’s waist is the prettiest thing he’s ever seen in his life. He doesn't know if it's done up correctly, but it looks amazing. He's almost proud of himself.

Jeongguk turns around, breathing out slowly. “How do I look.”

“I never considered,” Namjoon says, pressing his finger against Jeongguk’s soft, amplified pec. “How the front would look.”

“Why is your face so fucking red?” Jeongguk asks.

“I’d say a percentage because I’m so attracted to you, and another percentage because that was really exhausting.” Namjoon looks over into the mirror to catch a glimpse of himself; he looks more disheveled than Jeongguk.

“Let go of my waist, you’re squeezing,” Jeongguk says and Namjoon didn’t even realize his hands were pressed against Jeongguk's sides, he's almost able to enclose his fingers around Jeongguk's tiny center.

“Sorry,” Namjoon lets go and Jeongguk steps back gingerly, trying to tug his underwear down, but he can’t do it properly, his fat, soft dick flops out sadly over the band and Namjoon can’t help but throw his head back and laugh.

“Stop!” Jeongguk barks back, but he’s smiling too. “Help me.”

Namjoon reaches over to help tug down Jeongguk’s underwear and even though he’s staring directly at his dick, he feels more like he wants to take Jeongguk into his arms and cradle him than to do anything sexual. He’s so endearing like this, huffing and puffing. Maybe he's still reeling from the phone conversation with Yongjin.

Jeongguk grabs a sweater. "Help me put this on."

Namjoon helps slip the fabric over Jeongguk's head, guiding his arms through the holes.

"These, too." Jeongguk holds out a pair of sexy underwear as he struggles to lower the pair he's already wearing.

Namjoon kneels down. "Yes, sir."

Jeongguk slips his socked feet into the lacy holes and Namjoon slowly pulls the underwear up. He pauses, kissing the top of Jeongguk's bare thigh.

Jeongguk weaves his hand through Namjoon's hair and yanks his head back playfully. "No time, remember?"

"Sorry," Namjoon murmurs against his leg.

"Sweatpants next!"

It takes them about another ten minutes to make sure Jeongguk has everything, and even with Namjoon's help, he's still pretty late.

He looks funny in the car on the ride there: he's sitting with his back perfectly straight, but his head bent down at his phone.

"This is the place, right?"

Jeongguk finally glances out the window. "Yeah! That was fast." He slowly moves his arms around and uses his hands to shift himself off the car-seat and out the door. "Thanks again for helping. You didn't have to." He looks guilty.

"No problem, you look great," Namjoon says, staring at Jeongguk's face, having one of those moments where he remembers how attractive he really is.

Jeongguk smiles, his front-teeth peeping past the split of his lips. He pauses with his hand on the car door, the breeze fluffing his hair, then looks vaguely serious. "Is everything okay, by the way? You seem kind of...I don't know, upset. I could be wrong, I mean-"

"I was upset, but I feel a lot better now," Namjoon says, thumbing at the steering wheel.

"Oh, okay," Jeongguk smiles again. "If you want we could meet up after."

"I'd like that," Namjoon says, reaching out to pull and even out the strings poking from the bottom of Jeongguk's hood. 

"'Kay, I'll call you."

 Namjoon watches Jeongguk leave then groans, his hands still clutching the steering wheel. He pushes back against the headrest and closes his eyes.

Why does this feel so fucking painful? Every encounter is like a dull ache in his stomach. Arousal doesn't feel like this. The only similarity is the addiction.

He scrunches up his face, squeezing his eyes shut until he sees colourful shapes behind his lids. After a few moments he opens his eyes and shifts his head to the left at the condensed car window.

When he relinquishes his grip on the steering wheel, he feels the blood rush back into his hands. He yawns, wiping at the side of his eye with his fist and reaching out to draw a frowny face on the clouded window pane.

After a moment, he retracts his wet index finger into his fist and feels embarrassed. He wipes the face off with the back of his sleeve.

In the newly cleared lens of the window, he sees a child in a bright red raincoat waiting across the street with his mother. He's holding her hand as she puts some money in a parking meter.

The boy looks concerned, staring straight into Namjoon's car. Namjoon smiles, raising his hand.

After a moment the boy smiles back and raises his hand too.

Jeongguk does call him after his shoot, like he promised - he's completely worn out. They don't do much; in fact, Namjoon tries hard to steer the conversation away from sex because of how tired Jeongguk is, but Jeongguk insists on sucking Namjoon's dick.

Afterwards, Jeongguk lies on his back on Namjoon's couch, staring at the ceiling, his shirt pulled up to reveal his stomach (still sore and lined pink from the corset). His arm hangs off the side of the couch, loosely holding a glass of wine.

"Some of these photos were terrible, honestly I would have done a better job. The photographer was in a rush and just wanted to get out of there."

"Most people turn their hobbies into careers and it goes downhill from there," Namjoon murmurs. "I can't imagine someone trying to rush taking photos of you."

Jeongguk scoffs. "Right. Hey, did you finish your book?"

"Blood Meridian?"

"Yeah."

"No, I've been pretty busy," Namjoon says.

"Oh," Jeongguk replies. "Cos I wanted to know what happens."

"Why don't you read it yourself?" Namjoon asks. "I can lend it to you."

Jeongguk shakes his head. "Nah, it's more interesting when you tell me about it."

Namjoon is half-way through being endeared when his phone rings and Yongjin's photo pops up. Namjoon isn't sure why, but he hasn't changed the id for years. It's the two of them standing together. Yongjin's head tilted towards Namjoon's shoulder. They're smiling, but there's lens flare near the corner of Namjoon's left eye, making him look like some sort of evil villain. They had laughed about it after they took the photo and the rest was history.

It's strange because Namjoon has erased a lot of links between the two of them, but he's never thought about deleting the caller id, probably because a photo is just a photo. Until it's not. 

The image is locked to the cloud so it survives the sands of time and multiple device changes. 

Jeongguk glances down at the ringing phone and Namjoon hastily switches the sound off and flops it down next to him on the couch. For some reason, he didn't want Jeongguk to see, but it's obvious he already has.

"Ex?"

"How did you know?"

"The pain in your face."

Namjoon laughs pathetically. 

"What does he do?" Jeongguk asks, shifting up on the couch, putting his socked feet on Namjoon's thighs.

"He's in the film industry, he works as a publicist."

"Oh, wow, that sounds cool," Jeongguk says, then smirks. "Is this one of those things where you fuck someone like me to get back at him?"

"Someone like you?"

"I don't know, like, a revenge fuck," Jeongguk waves his hand. "Someone he'd get annoyed about."

Namjoon doesn't like where this is going.

"You're not a revenge fuck," Namjoon says. "You think I'm the kind of person who would do that?"

"No, I'm just kidding," Jeongguk says softly. He takes a large sip of his wine and runs a hand through his bangs but they just fall back into place.

"I don't think of you as a revenge rebound." Simple, right?

Jeongguk grins and waves his hand flippantly, "I know. I know." He crawls over to Namjoon, placing his hands on his thighs. "I'm. I'm sorry, by the way."

"About what?"

Jeongguk breathes in deeply like this is taking a lot of effort. "You helped me. Like, with the hospital, and then again with the photoshoot thing. And then I was an asshole that night when you had to write your article.

I'll make it up to you. That's what he said to Namjoon, like he owed him.

"You...you already apologized about this, it's okay, honestly," Namjoon doesn't want him to keep talking because he's afraid it'll just make him fall deeper into Jeongguk's void.

"I know, but. I'm trying to be mature okay, let me say sorry."

"I understand," Namjoon laughs. "I accept your apology." 

He feels sick. He wants to keep talking, he doesn't feel like having sex. He wants to know more about Jeongguk, he needs to steer the conversation away from own life. "You mentioned your ex, the photographer. Do you still see him?"

Jeongguk's face is only inches from Namjoon's, and he watches the space between his eyebrows pinch in annoyance. "Fuck no. Fuck that guy," Jeongguk says, flopping back down on his ass next to Namjoon.

"I figured he was an asshole."

"Yeah. But I knew that going into it," Jeongguk shrugs. "I knew it was going to be the same story."

"What's the story?" Namjoon asks.

"That anything more than 'just sex' ends up being horrible," Jeongguk says. 

"Why do you think that?" Namjoon asks, even though he's pretty much come up with what he knows to be the answer.

"First of all, most guys aren't looking for more than sex, anyway," Jeongguk says, and he doesn't look upset about it, he looks like it's just something natural to his life. Namjoon hates it. "So they'll lie and then I'll find out later."

"Lie about what?"

"About wanting to be more than, you know, sex," Jeongguk says, stroking at the pink corset marks on his stomach. "I mean I get it, I'm not exactly the kind of person someone would want to settle down with. My lifestyle."

"I'm sorry you've had such bad experiences," Namjoon offers. "But I don't think you should let that shape how you see yourself."

"I'm not sad about it, I prefer it," Jeongguk yawns and reaches for the bottle of wine - there isn't much left. "Mind if I polish this off?"

"Help yourself."

"So, I'm not a revenge fuck. Then why are you avoiding your ex?"

Namjoon does not want to tell him about what Yongjin said. Especially after Jeongguk just opened up about how he thinks people feel about him.

"Every time he calls me, I remember the kind of people I'm trying to avoid."

Jeongguk tilts his head to the side, curious. "Did he break up with you, or did you break up with him?"

"He broke up with me," Namjoon says, taking his glasses off and tossing them on the coffee table. He's suddenly weary, like simply saying Yongjin's name has drained him of life. "But I saw it coming. Sort of like you with the whole end-point thing."

Jeongguk finishes chugging the last of the wine and puts the bottle on the ground. His gaze is heavy now and his brown eyes seem less alert. "I can't imagine someone breaking up with you, you seem like such a catch."

But you're not looking for a catch. You've made that clear.

"There was so much wrong with me. But then there was so much wrong with him too," Namjoon mumbles. "I blame myself mostly, I felt bad about it for a long time but I was too scared to end it. I'm a coward."

"Cuz you were so used to it," Jeongguk says, rubbing at his tired eyes.

"Yup. But I'm glad we're not together anymore. I really...don't think he was a good person," Namjoon finally admits to himself as he says it outloud.

"Sometimes it takes a while to figure that out about someone."

"Yeah, it does."

"Well, this got depressing."

Namjoon laughs and yawns but it comes out more like an exhausted roar. He stretches out and crawls over to Jeongguk, pressing his hand against his shoulder. "That's enough. Let's kiss."

Jeongguk snorts and swings his arms and legs around Namjoon's body like he's some sort of marsupial. They kiss and Jeongguk hums into it, his wet lips pulling away to suck at Namjoon's earlobe. He's so warm and affectionate in Namjoon's arms, a million thoughts start to fire simultaneously within his skull.

The inevitable is rearing up behind Namjoon and he's not sure how much more of it he can withstand.

Still, as he stares down at Jeongguk underneath him, he wills himself to clear his mind for tonight at least.

 Seokjin is busy over his stove-top and Taehyung is sitting at the kitchen island, chewing on dried side-dishes. He's wrapped in one of Seokjin's robes with a slinky shirt underneath, and Seokjin steals glances at him every so often over as he pan-fries catfish.

Namjoon isn't quite sure how Seokjin sprinted so willingly from 'having fun' with Taehyung to 'happily in a relationship'.

"Babe?" Taehyung says out loud, fiddling with the snack's plastic wrap.

"Yes."

He turns on the seat, dried eel sticking out from the side of his mouth. "Can you use that sour stuff? The sour salt you used last time? That shit was so good."

Seokjin lets out a pleased sigh. "Lemon pepper, yep. Absolutely, Namjoon hand me the the celery seed. You're a quick learner, Tae!"

Taehyung smiles and turns back to the table, turning up the music on the bluetooth speakers.

Namjoon shuffles closer to Seokjin, handing him the small glass jar. "Is Taehyung good with food?"

"Absolutely atrocious. Can't cook a thing."

"Ah."

"I'd say you two are about the same, skill wise."

"Thanks."

Seokjin looks up at him. "So. How are things?"

"Seokjin." He watches his friend work a lemon zester as he sustains eye-contact with him.

He wants to unfurl all his thoughts out on the table next to Seokjin, the ones about Jeongguk and his feelings and whether or not he's doing what he's always done when it comes to relationships. He wants Seokjin to mention his well again and tell him he's being dramatic. But it's just so embarrassing.

Taehyung's presence also bludgeons the urges Namjoon has to talk; he's Jeongguk's friend, after all, and Namjoon doesn't want anything he says in a wine stupor make its way towards him.

Still, Seokjin senses Namjoon's pathetic demeanor, standing there and fiddling with the cap of the celery seed jar.

"Come on. Did you have a fight or something." Seokjin lowers his voice towards the end. 

"No. It's just complicated."

Seokjin glances up at him, wiggling his nose after inhaling a spray of lemon. "Are you complicating things?" He's likely on the verge of telling Namjoon he's scared of happiness again.

"Yes."

"Well, can't say I'm surprised."

"Okay. Honest question. Don't bring up my well. Do friends with benefits relationships ever actually work?" Namjoon asks, exasperated.

Seokjin slams the zester on the table and turns to face him. "The success rate is pretty low. But I've done it tons of times."

Namjoon narrows his eyes. "What if you were never really friends. What if you skipped that step?"

"You're not his friend?"

"I mean, I am now. But we didn't start as friends."

"You can become friends with someone you're just casually fucking," Seokjin bats back and Namjoon sighs.

"Seems like a clever way to say you're not falling in love with someone you're casually fucking."

Seokjin stares at him and Namjoon blanches.

"So that's what it is?"

"What?"

"You're in love with him."

"No." Namjoon's mouth is suddenly dry. "I just mean...maybe you were right about me not being adventurous. It's hard. I'm just-"

"What are you guys talking about?" Taehyung is looking towards them with a glass of guava juice raised to his lower lip.

"Nothing, baby."

Taehyung raises an eyebrow and shifts off the stool. "Are you talking about Jeongguk?"

Namjoon stares at Seokjin like a guilty dog.

Seokjin stares at the catfish in the pan instead of looking back. 

Namjoon puts the cap back on the kitchen counter. "We're talking about me, mostly. Why?"

Taehyung shrugs. "Just curious. Are you two still..."

"Namjoon is a man of honor, Taehyung. He doesn't kiss and tell."

"Sounds like he was kissing and telling a minute ago." Taehyung's shoulders slightly sag when neither of them make a move to respond, then he continues: "You know, you're really handsome, Namjoon."

"Wow, thank you." That was highly unexpected.

"That's what I've been telling him for years." 

Namjoon wishes Seokjin wouldn't keep talking about him like he has crippling self-esteem issues.

"You're different from what I'm used to seeing Jeongguk around."

"Oh?" Namjoon's heart slightly races at each mention of Jeongguk's name and after each speed-up shame follows close behind.

Taehyung nods. "Yeah. You have a kind face," he motions towards his own face then continues, "and smart eyes." So he's not an asshole.

"Smart eyes," Namjoon repeats, endeared. His face flushes under Taehyung's curious gaze.

"Does he usually surround himself with mean faces and dumb eyes?" Seokjin barks with laughter.

Taehyung shrugs. "I don't know. But it's a nice change."

It's sweet that Taehyung thinks their relationship is a 'nice change' but nice things are easily measured across different people with different wants and needs, Namjoon can't really feel happy about something being a 'nice change'. Namjoon doesn't necessarily think this is a nice change. Well, it was, but he's feeling that tightness in his chest again, the familiar fear of something becoming bigger than it was supposed to be. It's worse when he imagines he's the only one who feels that way.

This sort of sex only thing never lasted more than a few weeks in the past, and when it ended it was okay because Namjoon didn't have the time to feel attached. Now he feels like he's stretching the small satisfaction of sex over a long period of time and hoping it doesn't transform into something else. Jeongguk must either be very skilled at this or just very careful who he does it with - maybe he chooses people he knows he won't grow attached to. Or maybe he's already just completely shut himself off to the possibility of developing feelings. That hurts to think about.

After dinner, Taehyung is sleeping on the couch with his head in Seokjin's lap. He snores lightly as the two of them drink in relative, comfortable silence.

Seokjin is playing with the sides of Taehyung's hair, but he looks pensive.

Namjoon finally speaks, not necessarily to get a response, just to will it into reality: "I think I'm going to end things with Jeongguk."

Seokjin's face remains stoic, he's still touching Taehyung's hair. His answer says otherwise, though. "Or just tell him how you really feel and see what happens."

"I don't want to make him feel uncomfortable or obligated to return my feelings. He was just telling me how much easier it is not being in a relationship."

"But you're a different person. You know a new experience."

"I think he's already decided I'm like every other asshole he's been with."

The more he talks out loud about this, the more certain he becomes.

"I mean, you know best," Seokjin says, looking up at him. "I'm sorry I suggested this all to begin with."

"No," Namjoon shakes his head, reaching out his socked foot to push against Seokjin's leg. "Don't say that. These past few months have been amazing for my confidence and just...a lot of other areas in my life."

Seokjin nods then glances up from Taehyung. "You know. I never meant to make it seem like just because people have different careers or whatever that they're, like, different."

Namjoon takes a moment to understand what Seokjin is saying because it isn't actually related directly to what they were discussing, but when it settles, his heart grows very warm for his friend. "I know you didn't."

"I think I made it sound like just because they're used to a different lifestyle, they-"

"I get it."

"I think at the end of the day we're all looking for the same shit," Seokjin says, exhausted.

"We are."

 

 

From: ChimmyBakery@zmail.com

Subject: READ ME! :D

To: (You) kim.namjoon@jooneats.com

hey Namjoon long time no see!!!!!

Seokjin gave me this email and he said if I need you to answer something I should email your work account directly because otherwise you might not take it seriously heheheheh

anyway I sort of have a surprise unless Seokjin ruined it. he told me I can tell you and promised he wouldn't ruin the surprise but I'm not sure I trust him.

so yeah, you should come visit me :)

INCENTIVE:

I've PERFECTED SOME NEW PIES and I think you should come try them!

Also I heard you went to NYC and had a fun time i wanna hear about that! don't be a stranger ok

yours,

jimin