Actions

Work Header

for better or worse (for the rest of our lives)

Chapter Text

“I, Park Jimin take…” Maybe it was the way he looked at him with contempt, maybe it was the way he felt his father’s glare on his back, or maybe it was the fact that there were so many people watching him say his vows of everlasting love to a man he barely knows, he felt his mind growing blank.

 

It was his wedding day and he’d forgotten his soon-to-be husband’s name.

 

He looks towards his mom for help. There, he sees a flash of sadness in his mom’s eyes before she quickly snaps into action and mouths his name.

 

“Jeon Jungkook.

 

A slight cough from the pastor gets his attention. He blinks and force his eyes from his mother and back to the front.

 

“—Jeon Jungkook as my to be my wedded husband to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”

 

He wants to laugh as he spits out his part of the vow.

 

For richer, for poorer? The only reason for this marriage was for richer, for his father to be richer.

 

He had laughed when he read those romance stories where the heroines were forced into an arranged marriage. Some of those women were just so pitiful, he couldn’t even muster the tears to cry for them.

 

Now, trapped in the exact situation, who was the one laughing? It wasn’t him for sure.

 

“You may kiss.” He blinked at the pastor.

 

Kiss?

 

He hadn’t thought of needing to kiss him.

 

There was a look of annoyance on Jungkook’s face before he smoothed it back to his usual impassivity.

 

The taller man turned toward him and leaned down so he could give him the kiss everyone was waiting for.  

 

He watches, as if it was in slow motion, as Jungkook gets closer and closer until he feels the other man’s breath on his cheek.

 

He swallows a quick shudder.

 

It wasn’t that he disgusted him.

 

Physically he was a good looking man; tall and broad, his cheeks chiseled, his nose perfectly symmetrical, his hair silky brown, handsome enough to pass off as an idol and Jungkook knew it.  

 

It was the thought of kissing a man he barely knew that made him shudder.

 

“Smile.” Jungkook hisses into his ear. “Or else people’d think I disgust you.”

 

He slips the hand further away from the rest of the audience to Jungkook’s waist and he pinches.

 

He hears the way Jungkook’s breath catches in surprise and he can’t help the small smile of victory that teases at the corner of his lips. “I’ll smile when I want to.”

 

He hears Jungkook’s sigh loud and clear before the younger man presses a kiss to his lips.

 

The kiss was over in a blink, chaste and quick.

 

It wasn’t necessary for either of them to keep the kiss going, especially since neither really wanted it.

Jungkook pulls away first and Jimin hates that feeling of absence, especially when he barely knows the man standing in front of him.

 

Jimin couldn’t help but to look over at his face as they walked down the aisle, arms linked for their very first time, the younger man’s face was completely blank.

 

Without looking in the mirror, he knows his face is equally blank.

 

After years and years of practice, it was easy enough to keep his emotions where they belong, in his heart and only there.

 


 

Jungkook had disagreed to this marriage, maybe the word disagreed was a too peaceful to describe his sentiments about his arranged marriage.

 

He had thrown a temper tantrum, as Jin hyung liked to call it, and a vase.  However hard he fought against the marriage with Park Jimin he couldn’t fight against his father’s will.

 

His father’s lawyer had said so in not so many words.

 

Whatever his father wanted, he got.    

 

He didn’t want to marry some snuck up, spoiled boy born with a silver spoon.

 

He didn’t want to spend the rest of his life tied down to some dude he barely knows.

 

Jungkook looks to his left, where Jimin was still standing stiffly beside him, tiny hands gripping his wrist in a fake show of affection.

 

He lets his thoughts wander as they smile politely as the rich and powerful come up to them with congratulations and insincere smiles hidden behind saccharine words.  

 

With trained politeness and patience, he utters his own thanks with appreciation.

 

Jimin smiles at the couple in front of them, the smile on his face looking a lot more real than his own.

 

It’s not until they’re alone, does he speak to his new husband.

 

“Let go, shortie. You’re wrinkling my suit.” He tries to hold back the bite in his voice as he mutters to Jimin but it probably didn’t work out seeing the way the shorter man flinches, ripping his hand away.

 

For a second he feels bad but he can’t help but bite down on a small grin when the smaller man opens his mouth just to snap it shut again a moment later.

 

Jimin scrunches up his little nose before he stomps off with an unpleasant glare aimed at his direction.

 

He watches as Jimin heads straight towards his equally short friend. Yeon Kim? Young Jae? Yun Gi? He shrugs away the thought and musters a smile as Namjoon approaches him with a polite smile, hand outstretched for a handshake.

 

Reminding himself he has to be polite to everyone in the wedding venue because god knows they’ll be useful in the future, he straightens up and promptly forgets about his husband.

 


 

He hated being called a shortie to the point of despising it.

 

Jimin especially hated it when Jungkook said it the way he did, not affectionately like Hoseok hyung did, but in a degrading way Jungkook’s tone implied.

 

“Jimin-ah.” He whipped around to find Yoongi standing behind him, unspoken concern in his eyes.

 

He takes Yoongi’s outstretched hand and attempts a smile.

 

“I’m fine,” he lies.

 

“Jimin.” Yoongi’s voice firm as he says his name.

 

Jimin takes his friend’s other hand and pushes the corners of his lips a little higher up. “I’m going to be fine. He’s an asshole but his father seems agreeable enough.”

 

Yoongi rolls his eyes before pulling him into a hug. “He better not hurt you or else I’ll beat him up.”

 

He giggles, leaning against Yoongi’s shoulder for a brief moment before he pulls away. “You couldn’t hurt a fly, Yoonie hyung.”

 

“I’ll scratch his eyes out.” Yoongi sports a small smile before he turns serious again. “I’m serious. We’re all here for you, just say the word and we’ll be there.”

 

The burst of love for his friend has his smile turning up the corners of his lips even more, this time the smile genuine and honest.

 

Yoongi opens his mouth, like he wants to say something but decides against it last minute, letting Jimin tug him away to where Hoseok and his other friends were.

 

“Jiminie!” Jimin opens his arms as Hoseok runs into his arms. “Congratulations!”

 

He lifts his eyebrow at his friend who just smiles awkwardly after that. “Thank you for coming, Seokie hyung.”

 

Hoseok peels himself away, making a big show of straightening out Jimin’s bow tie. “I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. You’re family and I would have skipped out of any dance practice to support you.”

 

Jimin smiles his thanks at his closest friend, but before he can say a word, Taehyung is speeding towards them, throwing a arm over Jimin’s shoulder as if they’ve been friends since birth.

 

“Jimin!” Taehyung jumps happily on the balls of his feet, jostling Jimin and almost elbowing Yoongi in the face. “You’re a Jeon now, can you believe it?”

 

“Jeon-Park,” he says for the sake of making things clear.

 

“‘Jeon-Park’ huh?” Taehyung rolls his eyes good naturedly. “Jeon-Park Jimin, the name is so long, you’ll get tired of saying that sooner or later.”

 

“Not in front of Jungkook, probably.” Jimin grins and Taehyung laughs before turning to Hoseok.

 

“Hey Hoseokie hyung, Yoongi-ssi.” Jimin doesn’t point out how obvious Taehyung’s attention is.

 

“Hyung is fine.” Yoongi, noticing he’s an afterthought, sighs and nudges Hoseok closer to Taehyung.

 

Both of their cheeks turn a little pink and Jimin can’t help but share a small smile with Yoongi.

 

Hoseok and Taehyung were so obvious with their crushes, he doubts it’ll be long before they start dating.

 

“I’ll bet you a twenty it’ll take them a month before they get together.” Yoongi whispers, eyes still focused on the two.

 

“I’ll raise you on that and make it at least 3 months.” Jimin watches as Hoseok playfully slap Taehyung on the chest. “Hobi hyung has always been obvious about his crushes but he’s never really been one to make the first move unless he’s sure they like him back. And with Taehyung, it’s hard to tell if he’s being friendly or flirtatious.”

 

“But I think it’s hard to predict with Taehyung’s actions.” Yoongi gestures to Hoseok and Taehyung, just as the latter steps closer to Hoseok, the boxy smile still on his face as he moves closer and closer only until they’re a few inches apart.

 

He sees the way Hoseok hesitates, a little apprehensive with Taehyung’s proximity but not rejecting.

 

“We’ll see who’s right about this.” Jimin says just as Namjoon approaches them.

 

“Congratulations, Jimin-ah.” Namjoon smiles and Jimin itches to poke the older’s dimples.  

 

There’s an uneasy expression that takes over Namjoon’s face not seconds later and Jimin instantly understands why.

 

“Thank you, Joonie hyung.” He gives Namjoon’s arm a small squeeze, hoping that the small action gives the older man a littler reassurance and easens up the guilt. “I’ll introduce you to Jungkook later.”

 

“I’ve already met him.” Namjoon gestures vaguely to where Jungkook probably is. “He seems like a polite young man.”

 

The snort slips past his lips before he can stop it and Yoongi laughs softly beside him.

 

Namjoon tilts his head to the side. “Is he not?”

 

Jimin thinks back to all the times they’ve met and shrugs. “Let’s just say he isn’t the worst but he’s definitely a brat.”

 

“That means you two are perfect for each other.” Yoongi quips jokingly. “Maybe your father found you ‘the one’ after all.”

 

Jimin gives Yoongi a purely unamused face as his friend goes as far to make air quotes with his own hands.

 

His father’s secretary lets out a chuckle, neither outrightly agreeing nor disagreeing with Yoongi.

 

He huffs childishly as Taehyung and Hoseok laugh along at his expense.

“What has all of you laughing like that?” Jin steps over to them, a glass of wine in his hands. “Was it the dad joke I told you last time, Jimin?”

 

Jimin sees the moment Namjoon is entranced and he doesn’t blame him at all. Despite Jungkook’s irritating behaviour, all his friends were friendly and gorgeous.

 

Jin smiles gracefully at Namjoon, a hand outstreched in his direction. Throughout the introduction, Jimin watches as Namjoon’s famous calm and collected composure shot to pieces as he stumbles through his name.

 

Jin, although calm in the beginning, stutters when Namjoon smiles, dimples out on display for the world to see.

 

With a roll of his eyes, Yoongi sighs, leaning over to whisper, “Am I only the one who missed the memo on your wedding being a singles event.”

 

“I would have prepared someone for you if you didn’t treat music as your one and only love,” he whispers back. “Even if I’m a taken man, I’ll still hold your hand, hyung.”

 

Yoongi holds out his hand as if to prove a point and Jimin takes his hand.

 

He takes it easily, entwining their fingers together. “See.”

 

Hoseok notices the action and instantly pounces, eager to tease them. “Cheating on your husband already, huh?”

 

The others laugh and take part in the teasing and Jimin feels a little better, forgetting that he has to spend the rest of his life with Jungkook now that they’re officially tied together.  

Chapter Text

“I’ve arranged a meeting with the Jeon’s family.” Jimin looks up from his breakfast. “Ask my secretary for the details.” That’s all his father says to him before he puts down his newspaper and walks away, the maid trailing after him with his suit jacket and his briefcase.

 

“He wants you to meet the Jeon’s younger son.” Jimin jumps in his seat as his father’s secretary seems to materialize in beside him.

 

“Namjoon hyung!” He puts a hand to his heart. “Don’t scare me like that.”

 

He gives him a gentle smile, his entire presence a stark contrast to Jimin’s father.  

 

“Sorry, Jimin-ah, I’ll try not do that again,” Namjoon says as he hands him a piece of paper, roughly ripped from its origin, with his father’s messy handwriting scratched across the paper. “Mr. Park would like for you to meet at the address written.”

 

“And why am I going there?” Jimin drops his fork and turns to the older, his eyes wide and expectant.

 

Namjoon coughs lightly, a clear sign he was nervous. “He wants you to marry the Jeon’s younger son.”

 

“Right.” He laughs at the absurdity. “Like my father would willingly tell the world his oldest son is gay.”

 

Namjoon stays silent.

 

His stepmother titters beside him, hands wringing around the handkerchief he’d brought for her a long time ago.

 

“Mr. Park would like to form connections with the Jeon enterprise and he was hoping you and the Jeon’s younger son would be able to do so.”

 

Jimin scoffs. “And if I say no?”

 

There’s an apologetic look on Namjoon’s face and Jimin understands why when Namjoon answers him. “Mr. Park has ordered me to remind you he has the ability to have Min Yoongi’s recording label disappear.”

 

He grits his teeth and feels his nails dig into the palm of his hand, hating how his dad used Yoongi’s situation over him every single time.

 

He could never go against his father whenever he brought up his friend’s situation.

 

Jimin would never do anything to risk both Yoongi and Hoseok’s dreams and his father knew that.

 

“That business deal must be worth quite a bit.” He scoffs, hating how his entire existence was all it accounted to for his father.

 

“I’ll talk to your father.” His stepmom gets to her feet, a determined expression on her face.

 

He smiles before pulling his stepmom back to her chair. “I’ll deal with this, mom.”

 

How could his stepmom, so soft and sweet, ever go against his dad?

 

There was nothing he could do and that’s obvious enough to the three of them in the room.

 


 

“You’re what?” Hoseok repeats incredulously, eyes wide in shock when Jimin tells his friends about his new fiance in their usual cafe.

 

“Surprise?” Jimin tries for a grin but it falls flat a few seconds later.

 

“You’re meeting your fiance tonight and you haven’t even seen him before?” Yoongi furrows his brows, a worried expression on his face.

 

Jimin nods.

 

“Do you at least know his name?” Yoongi questions.

 

“Of course I do. Namjoon hyung told me.” He shakes his head. “Of course father made sure to have him tell me all the details so I don’t embarrass him.”

 

Jimin had understood why his dad chose the Jeon’s son, they were powerful enough that having a gay son would be accepted without a blink of an eye, even those who didn’t like it would swallow their pride and congratulate them.

 

And he’s surprisingly fine with that.

 

He’d grown up used to snide remarks and dirty glances, now that he has a chance of getting rid of that, he’ll take it, even if it means if he’ll have to marry someone he doesn’t know.

 

Both Yoongi and Hoseok gape at him.

 

“Why didn’t you refuse?” Hoseok asks.

 

It’s an innocent enough question but he’s asked himself that enough times.

 

His father had so many things he held over him. One step out of place and his father would no doubt use it against him.

 

He’s always known he was destined for a loveless marriage but he just hoped he wouldn’t end up marrying some girl he barely knew.  Now, instead of a loveless marriage with a woman, it’s swapped with a man he hasn’t ever met.

 

He shrugs at his friend’s question, opting to give them the simpler version. “He barely finished his sentence and left the room, do you think I had the chance to even argue over it? If not Jeon’s younger son, then it’ll be someone else’s gay son.”

 

Yoongi wordlessly takes Jimin’s hand in his own, a sad smile on his face.

 

He lets Hoseok pull him into a hug, only to jerk away with a squeal when cold liquid seeps into the back of his shirt.

 


 

 

“I’ll be right there.” Jungkook groans into his phone.

 

There’s the sound of shuffling papers before Jin answers. “You should’ve been here 15 minutes ago. I can only stall so long.”

 

Jungkook juggles the cup of coffee in his left hand to his right, squeezing the phone between his shoulder and his ear to check his watch.

 

He had left the apartment on time, with a good 15 minutes to spare but Ji-eun had called him, complaining about something he barely paid attention to. He remembers hearing something about makeup and a dress but he doesn’t look too much into it.

 

Biting down on a curse, he quickens his steps. “I’ll be right there in 2 minutes.”

 

A sigh from Jin before he hears an answer. “No more than that.”

 

Haphazardly stuffing his phone into his back pocket, he blindly pushes past people in haste to get back to the office.

 

Slipping by a bulky man who steps out of the cafe, he runs straight into two men hugging it out on the streets.

 

Jungkook groans as he watches as his drink slips from his fingers and goes flying in slow motion onto the back of some dude’s shirt.

 

He’s digging into his jacket pocket for a tissue and the apology is on the tip of his mouth when the raven haired man turns to him.

 

Promptly losing his breathe, Jungkook freezes in his spot.

 

The smaller man has gorgeous eyes, full lips and a sharp, defined jawline.  

 

“You should have been more careful.”

 

Jungkook blinks his attention away from the beautiful man and turns to the attractive man’s friend who’d just spoken.

 

“You shouldn’t have been hugging in the middle of the street,” he snarks back.

 

“Yoongi, it’s fine.” The black haired man tugs at his friend’s shirt before turning to him. He gives him a small smile, eyes pressed into crescents and Jungkook feels like his breath was stolen from him. “Sorry for blocking the road.”

 

He licks his lips, mouth suddenly feeling dry. “No, I’m sorry for spilling my drink over you.”

 

There’s more he wants to say but he feels his phone vibrating in his pocket and he remembers that he has less than a minute to get to the office before his client leaves.

 

“Sorry about that.” He repeats and presses a business card along with a handkerchief into the blonde man’s hands. “Give me a call and I’ll pay for cleaning.”

 

He barely manages a glance at the other man before he dashes off.

 

He’s cute. That’s the last coherent thought he has before he remember’s Jin’s warning and picks up his pace once again.

 


 



“That iced-coffee jerk!” Hoseok shrieks, sticking his tongue out at the tall, broad man’s retreating back.

 

“Are you ok?” Yoongi asks.

 

Hoseok takes the handkerchief from his hands and begins to dab at his ruined shirt.

 

The concern on his friend’s faces has any remaining bits of righteous anger melting away.

 

He grabs Hoseok’s hand to stop his tirade. “I’m fine, it’s fine. I’ll just wear my jacket over it.”

 

“Are you sure?” Hoseok plucks at his shirt.

 

Jimin grimaces at the icky feeling of his shirt peeling and unpeeling from his body. “I’ll just go home and change.” He makes a face when he feels the coffee drip against his lower back. “I don’t think father would like it if I met my future husband in jeans.”

 

Hoseok wraps him in a hug, hands deftly avoiding Jimin’s little accident.

 

“Good luck.” Hoseok mumbles into his hair.

 

He squeezes his friend back softly.

 

“Tell us if he ends up being an asshole or if you want him in your asshole.” Yoongi jokes.

 

“Jesus, Yoons.” Jimin laughs, tugging his friend into the hug.

 

“I’m just saying.” Yoongi’s reply is muffled.

 

With one last grateful smile at his friends, he pulls away from them and heads home.

 


 

 

Jimin stalls as long as he can before he pushes into the upscale restaurant.

 

The hostess smiles at him and leads him to a private room near the back when he utters his name.

 

His father glances at him sideways.

 

“You’re late.” The words are quiet enough that only Jimin hears him.

 

“I’m on time.” He makes a show at looking his watch, making sure to keep his voice equally low. “6 minutes early, to be exact.”

 

His father lets out a sound of disapproval before gesturing for him to sit.

 

Before he even manages to take a seat, the Jeon’s younger son bursts through the doors.

 

“It’s you!” The other man points a finger at him.

 

His eyes widen as he recognizes the Jeon’s youngest son, the same good looking man who had spilled coffee on his shirt.

 

The same slicked back dark brown hair and the same round, doe eyes.

 

There’s a cough, reminding Jimin where he is and who he’s dealing with.

 

He composes himself and straightens up, just as the other man slumps into the chair directly across from his, probably not because he wanted to but because it was the only seat available.

 

There’s another cough, this time from the Mr. Jeon before the younger Jeon sits up properly in his chair.

 

Seemingly satisfied, Mr. Jeon begins to talk. “As it seems, you two know each other but introductions are still a must.”

 

His father finally speaks, seemingly polite as he introduces him. “I want you to meet my son, Park Jimin.”

 

The nudge from Mr. Jeon makes the other man grumble out his name, “Jeon Jungkook.”

 

They leave a while later after ‘announcing’ that they were betrothed, so they’d have time to bond.

 

Jungkook doesn’t look much more excited at the prospect of being married to him.  

 

As soon as their fathers leave Jungkook looks up boredly and expressionless. “You don’t have expectations from our marriage, am I correct?”

 

“Huh?” He pulls his eyes away from the food he was playing with.

 

Jungkook looks purely impatient as he uncrosses his arms. “Why are you going through with this marriage?” he says slowly.

 

“It doesn’t matter why I’m doing it.” Jimin gives up pretense of eating his dinner. “I have my reasons just as you do.”

 

“As you said, it doesn’t matter.” Jungkook lets out a small humorless laugh. “Don’t expect to get much from this marriage. No matter how much money my parents have, it’s never going to you.”  

 

“I’m marrying you, not your parents nor your parent’s money.” He drops his fork and it clatters loudly onto his plate. Their eyes meet when Jungkook finally looks him in the eye. “If I was to marry for money, you wouldn’t be the one I’d marrying.”

 

Jungkook just sits there and just stares at him for a moment.

 

“I’m fine with it as long as you agree with one thing.” Jungkook finally speaks up, voice firm.

 

He has to keep from cocking his head to the side. “Which is?”

 

“I have a woman I love and I’m not going to stop seeing her.” Jimin keeps his expression neutral and waits for Jungkook to continue. There was no way he’d let Jungkook see his weakness so early on. “I’m guessing that this won’t be a problem since you have your own man.”

 

It’s obvious who Jungkook was talking about.

 

He refrains from telling the taller man that Yoongi wasn’t his man, nor was he someone he was interested in romantically.

 

“This isn’t going to a real marriage.” Jimin wants to laugh, not because of what Jungkook said but because of his expression. Jungkook looked so serious. As if he’d fall in love with him. “It’s up to you if you want to go on with this marriage or not.”

 

By the way Jungkook tried to scare him off, he knew neither of them could get out of the marriage without consequences. It’s not like he had a choice either.

 

There were so many questions he wanted to ask but he held it in and stuck his hand out to Jungkook. “Let’s just get it over with.”

Chapter Text

 

Jimin rarely lies but whenever it came to Jungkook, he always seemed to be making up some fabrication of the truth.

 

The first time he lies about his fiance is to his mother.

 

He remembers how he blatantly lies when she asks about his first meeting with Jungkook.

 

He tells her that Jungkook was a gentleman and acted very nicely, when in truth, Jungkook had barely given him a chance to talk before he mentioned his girlfriend.

 

The only thing he doesn’t lie about is his looks, there was no need to lie.

 

When his mother asks to meet him, he knows there’s no escaping the truth.

 

It’s a few days later when they’re forced into a date to get to know each other.

 

Like an idiot, he arrives on time.

 

He waits at the coffee shop and stares out the window.

 

It wasn’t surprising Jungkook wasn’t here yet, his father had liked to tell him how busy the other man was, how lucky Jimin could marry someone like that.

 

He knows how many people would want to marry Jungkook. The younger is handsome, rich and good looking, the deadly trio that had every girl dropping to their knees in front of Jungkook.

 

He would have too before he realized how much of a jerk Jungkook was.

 

If it weren’t because he needed something from Jungkook, he’d be long gone by now.

 

It’s also then when Jimin finally sees the woman the younger’s in love with. He admits the woman was pretty, perfect in almost every physical way; long legs, small waist, perky boobs and silky, long hair.  

 

It was no wonder Jungkook was in love.

 

He watches Jungkook wrap his arms around the woman and kiss her gently on the lips before he opens the car door and carefully deposits her in the driver side of the car.

 

He doesn’t know why he’s looking but he just keeps staring at them, even if there is an uncomfortable feeling in his chest, his eyes seem to be stuck on the scene in front of him.

 

It’s only when the beautiful woman sticks her head out of the car window and Jungkook leans down to kiss her once again does he turns away.

 

He busies himself with his phone until he hears the chair across from his scrape against the floor in an annoying screech.

 

With exaggerated slowness, he looks up at his fiance.

 

“What’s her name?” Jungkook furrows his brow at his question, so he lifts his chin towards the window. “The girl you’re in love with.”

 

“Ji-eun.” And for some reason, Jimin think Jeon Ji-eun doesn’t sound too nice.

 

“She’s pretty cute.” That’s all he says before he turns back to idly turning his straw in his drink.

 

“Yeah.” Jungkook agrees easily, pride in his voice.

 

He swallows the sudden want for someone to talk about him with the same amount of pride, the same amount of love and keeps his attention on his smoothie that has long melted.

 

They sit there, not talking to each other until Jungkook grabs his jacket and stands from his chair.

 

Jimin drops his napkin and stares at the other man. “What are you doing?”

 

“Leaving,” Jungkook says it simply, it was quite obvious afterall.

 

Pushing down his self respect, he says, “I have a favor to ask of you.”

 

Jungkook gives him a look then slowly sinks back into his chair, a cocky grin on his face. “Go on.”

 

There’s a part of him that wants to wipe the smirk off the other man’s face but he needs his help so he holds that in. “I know you don’t especially like me that much, but can you at least pretend to like me when you meet my mom tomorrow?”

 

“I’ll see.” Jungkook answers offhandedly. “Depends on my mood tomorrow.”

 

“I don’t care if you’re a fucking selfish asshole to me but this is different.” He doesn’t give the younger time to respond. “I don’t care how you treat me when it’s just the two of us, can’t you at least do that much for me? That’s all I really want from you.”

 

Like the asshole he is, Jungkook raises his eyebrow and shrugs. “Maybe.”

 

With a roar, he gets to his feet, every intention of throwing the empty plastic cup and fling it at Jungkook’s head, but he doesn’t. Instead, he opts to stomp out the door, roughly brushing against the younger man.

 

Jimin knows it’s childish but he can’t help himself.

 


 

Jungkook lets out an involuntary growl when Jimin brushes by him, jostling his shoulder into the door.

 

The smaller man turns around, an eyebrow raised, as if challenging him.

 

He opens his mouth to snark at his soon to be husband, when Ji-eun brakes loudly beside them.

 

Neither he nor Jimin do much but continue to glare at each other.

 

“Jungoogie, can we go now?” He cringes at the nickname but turns to his girlfriend anyways.

 

He watches as Ji-eun slides out of the car, purposely letting her skirt ride up her thighs, and approach Jimin.

 

Even in front of Jimin, who’s pretty small himself, Ji-eun still looks tiny beside him.

 

He stands closer to Ji-eun, keeping an eye on Jimin in case the smaller man does anything. Although he doubts Jimin would ever do anything like that, he still moves behind Ji-eun protectively.

 

She gives Jimin a once over before she speaks. “Sugar, I hope you don’t mind that I’m keeping him today,” she says, voice dismissive, eyes sharp and unkind, before turning to him.

 

He’s told Ji-eun about his arranged marriage with Jimin and she had accepted it. Even after he’s told her time and time, she’ll be his priority, she still had her hackles raised around a man he probably will treat, at best, as a roommate.

 

“Keep him if you’d like.” Jimin’s voice is quiet but firm. “You’re doing me a favor.”

 

Ji-eun sniffs dismissively before turning to look at Jungkook.

 

“Googie, why have your tastes gotten so…” Ji-eun pauses purposefully, the break between meaningful. “Interesting.”

 

All three of them know it’s not a compliment.

 

“I didn’t pick him, dad did.” He feels slightly uncomfortable when he sees Jimin wilt, straight posture drawing into himself at his callous words and his guilt rears its ugly head.

 

He watches the way Jimin bites his lower lips, eyes casted downwards before he looks up again.

 

Jungkook doesn’t like hurting people but they drew a line between them for a reason.

 

Jimin turns to him, doe eyed. Their eyes meet for a while and Jungkook almost feels as if he’s drowning in them before the other man rips it away from his.

 

“I hope you two have fun.” Jimin says, voice tight. “I’ll get Namjoon hyung to text you the address for tomorrow.”

 

It makes him feel a bit guilty, just a bit, as Ji-eun hustles him to the car.

 

He looks back one last time and sees Jimin’s attention focused on his phone, calling for someone else.

 

Someone not him.

 

And that’s completely alright.

 


 

Jimin paces at the door until his mother catches him on the wrist, pulling him into the sofa beside her. “Jimin-ah, you’ll wear down the carpeting at this rate.”

 

He has no idea how Jungkook will act when they meet.

 

Fiddling with the cuffs of his sleeves, he waits until Jungkook arrives, all the time worrying about his soon-to-be husband’s actions.

 

Flinching when the doorbell rings, he jumps to his feet.

 

Namjoon walks in first, followed by Jungkook.

 

Jimin swallows when he sees Jungkook with his hair slicked back, broad shoulders and muscular arms stuffed into a tailored suit highlighting his slim waist.  

 

“Hello Mrs. Park.” Jungkook greets with a well mannered bow.

 

Jimin’s stepmom titters beside him, already half enamored by the younger man.

 

The rest of the afternoon goes by quickly.

 

Jungkook surprises him the most, he’s respectful, gentle and thoughtful, a dream husband every mother would want for their children.

 

Of course, no good deed is done for free, Jimin knows that this sudden spurt of Jungkook’s agreeableness is not done out of kindness but because it’s something he can hold over his head.

 

His mother is ecstatic over Jungkook and forces him to see him off.

 

Still in character, with Jimin’s mother watching them intently, Jungkook leans down, concealing his intention with a hug and whispers, “You owe me.”

 

He can’t help but smile gratefully at Jungkook because even despite Jungkook’s rough words, he was kind enough to do this for him, for a practical stranger.

 


 

It was a surprise to see Jimin in the club.

 

It’s not that he didn’t seem the type to frequent places like that, it was just it was Jungkook’s usual place, a place where he could relax without his dad breathing down his back, it was the last place he’d expected to see Jimin there.

 

Jungkook doesn’t watch the way Jimin moves, hips swaying to the music only to thrust aggressively as the beat quickens nor the way his whole body seems so in tune with the music, moving as if he was boneless.

 

“What are you looking at so intently?” Taehyung asks, peaking over his shoulder.

 

“Nothing,” he mutters as he shoves Taehyung’s pointy chin off his shoulder.

 

Taehyung shrugs it off, long have gotten used to it.

 

“Isn’t that your husband?” Jin asks, squinting at the flashing lights.

 

He doesn’t need to answer before Taehyung is off his seat and heading downstairs.

 

“Not my husband.” Jungkook makes a point.

 

Jin just shrugs. “What’s the difference a week or two will make?”

 

Letting out a sigh, he focuses his attention back on Jimin who’s grinding against a man, gaze intense but laughing as the other man drops a hand to his waist and tugs him close, back to chest.

 

Delighted cheers arise from the makeshift circle around them when the other man noses his way up Jimin’s neck, hands wandering all over as they roll of each other.

 

He sees the way Jimin lifts a hand to the other man’s cheek, eyes half lidded as he turns his head towards him.

 

Even if he knows they’re doing it for the audience, he didn’t like the way the other man is pressed against Jimin, his almost husband looking too comfortable to the touch for his liking.

 

He waits for Taehyung to show up to break them up but instead, he spots his best friend screaming and whooping at the very front of the circle.

 

It’s only until the song ends, slowly blending into another one, does Taehyung interrupt.

 

From where he’s watching, he sees Taehyung gesturing wildly with his arms, his usual boxy smile on his face as he yells over the music. He hears his name a few times before Jimin shakes his head and gestures to the other guy he’s with.

 

Rolling his eyes, he turns away from the spectacle and goes back to nursing his drink.

 

Jin who’d been silent the entire time, turns his head, giving him a knowing look.

 

“What?” The one word comes out a little too defensively because Jin pounces onto it.

 

“He’s cute, even cuter in person.” Jin says before facing the front again, probably watching as Taehyung and Jimin continue to talk. “No wonder you agreed to get married to him.”

 

He rolls his eyes, knowing what Jin was getting at. “I know you don’t like Ji-eun but even if I get married, she’s still staying with me.”

 

Jin opens his mouth to reply, probably to deny it, like the thousand of times he’s done it but Taehyung bursts into view, arms linked with Jimin’s.

 

His eyes meet Jimin’s brown ones before Jin jostles into him, knocking him off his chair.

 

He tries for a smile, at Jin’s nudging, but it probably ends up as a grimace by the way Jimin’s brows furrow together.

 

Taehyung introduces Jimin’s friends, Yoongi and Hoseok.

 

He recognizes Yoongi as the one he ran into before dropping his entire cup of coffee all over the back of Jimin’s shirt and Hoseok as the one dancing pressed against Jimin.

 

Jin and Taehyung instantly pull Jimin’s two other friend’s into a conversation.

 

He sees the way Jimin hesitates before he makes his way to him, an awkward smile plastered on his face.

 

“Another one?” It’s a joke, obviously but Jungkook still feels the need to deny it.

 

“Taehyung is just a friend.” He makes a face and shudders. “Like a brother.”

 

He can’t help but smile a little at the giggle Jimin lets out at that.

 

“He’s too nice to be yours anyways.” He looks slightly apologetic at the slight jab. Jungkook smiles his forgiveness. “Do they know about Ji-eun?” Jimin tilts his head in the direction of the group.

 

He gives him a look.

 

“I’ll take it as a yes.” Jimin answers with a small shake of his head paired with a small smile. “I’m guessing they’re not exactly close with her?”

 

Jimin isn’t wrong but he doesn’t need to say it outloud.

 

“What about him?” Jungkook tilts his chin at Yoongi’s direction. “He doesn’t mind seeing you practically dry hump someone else?”

 

“He…” Jungkook watches Jimin trail off, the other man’s eyes flitter towards Yoongi’s direction, an almost soft expression taking over his features. “I’m sure he doesn’t mind anymore.”

 

There’s almost something invisible, some hidden meaning behind Jimin’s words, something he can’t decipher and that irritates him to no end.

 

It was obvious there was something there, something he didn’t understand.

 

Jungkook isn’t used to being surprised and Jimin doesn’t cease to surpass his expectations every time.

 

He doesn’t question it any further.

 

It was Jimin’s private problem and it was going to stay that way.

 

But it doesn’t stop him from watching as Jimin’s eyes light up as his friends beckon him over.

 

Before he realizes it, his hands is already lifted halfway between them, almost as if he was making a move to have Jimin stay beside him.

 

Instantly, he drops his hand as if burnt.

 

“You don’t mind fraternizing with the enemy right?” Jimin asks jokingly.

 

He barely manages a smile before gesturing for Jimin to go ahead.

 

Again, there’s that little confused tilt of his almost husband’s head before the smaller man nods, skipping over to their friends.

 

God.

 

Their friends.

 

He hates to think it but their lives intertwining was going to happen sooner or later.

 

“Kook!” Taehyung yells, beckoning him over with his overly long limbs, almost whacking Yoongi in the face.

 

The shorter man looks purely unamused as he takes a big step away from Taehyung’s flailing limbs.

 

Jimin giggles, the sound light and airy, almost the sound of an angel’s tinkling laugh if anyone had to describe it.

 

Yoongi scowls and Jimin just throws an arm around the other goodnaturedly, whispering something that has Yoongi’s surly expression exchanged for a barely there smile.

 

“JK?” This time it’s Jin calling for him.

 

He blinks and blindly heads towards his friends.

 

Jin looks over Taehyung’s shoulder, an inquisitive but non-judgemental look on his face.

 

His friend doesn’t ask or say anything about it, just catches Jungkook up on their ongoing and ridiculous milk and cereal argument.

 

When he tells them he adds milk before cereal, all 6 of them look at him with almost matching looks of disgust.

 

Bickering back and forth, he forgets that he’s supposed to hate the man brushing shoulders beside him, hate Jimin for being the one who stands between him and Ji-eun’s happiness.  

Chapter Text

Jimin thought they were becoming friends, he really did. But it’s almost like Jungkook needed to make up for being so nice to him the last two times they met.

 

It doesn’t make the embarrassment hurt any less.

 

His eyes flit back to the couple dancing in the middle of the dance floor, all eyes focused on the two of them.

 

The smirk Jungkook sends him from the dance floor makes him want to push him off a cliff all over again.

 

And he blames Hoseok for all of this.

 


 

“I’m not going.”

 

Hoseok lets out a shocked gasp. “You have to go, Chim.”

 

“And why is that?” Jimin shifts on his bed so he’s facing his friends.

 

“For me? So I can have a reason to meet Taehyung again.” Hoseok throws himself on the bed. “Please? For your best friend?”

 

“You’ll have so many chances to see him again,” he grumbles halfheartedly. “I’m going to be stuck with Jungkook and Taehyung is his best friend. There’ll be a million of chances.”

 

“Chim-ah.” Hoseok purposefully drags out his name, whining. ”Do it for me?”

Jimin laughs as Yoongi rolls his eyes.

 

“Jimin-ah,” Yoongi says. “You know how your father is going to act if you don’t go.”

 

“I’m not going.” He even goes as far to pout childishly. “You know I hate those things.”

 

Yoongi scoffs but otherwise stays silent, he knows Jimin will give in sooner or later.

 

“Fine, but you two are coming with me.” He grins as Yoongi lets out a loud groan.

 

He was not stepping into enemy territory without his closest friends.

 

He notices Jimin the moment he steps into the room.

 

Jimin’s raven hair styled with his usual shaggy hair gelled so his forehead shows, Jungkook thinks there’s eyeshadow around Jimin’s eyes and he’s wearing a fitted black suit, emphasizing his slim waist.

 

He’s surprised to see Yoongi and Hoseok on either side of his fiance.

 

Watching them afar from his spot beside his family, he notices the way Jimin laughs with his whole body, leaning against Yoongi’s chest as he giggles over whatever Hoseok had just said.

 

Taehyung steps in front of him a little while later, blocking Jimin and his friends from view. “I can’t believe you brought her here.”

 

The older man’s eyes cut to where Ji-eun was currently standing, chatting with another woman Jungkook doesn’t recognize.

 

“She is my girlfriend.” Jungkook grunts.

 

“You know your dad is here today,” Taehyung whispers, keeping his voice quiet as he speaks. “How are you going to stop them from meeting each other?”

 

Jungkook laughs. “I’m not going to, you are.”

 

He continues to laugh as Taehyung mutters furiously behind him.

 


 

Jimin chews on his lower lip when he finds that Jungkook’s seat is placed right beside his.

 

On the inside, he knows there’s not much Jungkook can do or say to him in front of so many people, but he doesn’t want to play the loving, doting fiance in front of so many virtual strangers.

 

He clings onto his two friends when he sees Ji-eun turn to him from the corner of his eye. Meeting and greeting so many strangers had already taken a toll on him, he’s not ready for more conflict.

 

Before Ji-eun can take a step towards him, a man slips between them and he unwittingly lets out the breath he’d been holding.

 

Ji-eun frowns, dainty eyebrows drawn before she turns away with a huff.

 

The man stretches out his hand. “I’m Chanyeol.”

 

He stretches out his own hand. “I’m Jimin.”

 

Chanyeol was what most people would consider a pretty boy; neatly styled dark hair combed back to show his forehead, clean-shaven, bright eyes and dressed in a sharp, pressed suit.

 

He can’t help but compare him to Jungkook.

 

Chanyeol was a few inches taller than Jungkook, shoulders just as broad, but he still can’t but help prefer Jungkook.

 

Jungkook with his bangs falling against his forehead, with muscular arms that could crush him if he wanted to. The same Jungkook with his does eyes giving him an innocent image until he smiles that lavicious smirk that has girls falling to their knees left and right.

 

Chanyeol takes his hand in his own, a charming smile on his face.

 

He hears Hoseok gasp when the taller man kisses the back of his hand. Jimin instantly snatches his hand back, glancing around to make sure no one else saw the exchange.

 

Jimin’s rebuff doesn’t see to deter Chanyeol the slightest bit. “Want to dance?”

 

He returns the smile a little awkwardly.

 

“Maybe later,” he says just to send the other man away.

 

Chanyeol sends him a cheeky smile, it’s blinding and perfect, and he knows it. “I’ll take you up on that offer later then.”

 

The taller man doesn’t take the hint and stays, so with as much enthusiasm he can muster, he introduces his friends to Chanyeol.

 

They chat for a little bit more before someone calls out to their new acquaintance of sorts.

 

With a small smile, Chanyeol excuses himself from the conversation and heads off.

 

Jimin turns to his two friends once Chanyeol leaves.

 

“He’s easy on the eyes and the friendly soul you need in the world of stuck up.” Hoseok gestures to Chanyeol’s retreating figure. “Why didn’t you say yes to the dance?”

 

He laughs as Hoseok continues to complain about wasted opportunities.

 

Yoongi rolls his eyes once again and heads off to the food. He follows behind, Hoseok continuing his rambling as they go grab food.

 

It’s not long until they dim the lights and announce the official kick off of the party, starting off by a dance from Jeon Jungkook.

 

The spotlight shines directly on Jungkook and in that moment, Jungkook looks as if he’s belonged in the spotlight all this time, looking strikingly comfortable with everyone’s attention on him.

 

Just like everyone else, Jimin watches as the younger man strides confidently towards his direction.

 

His breathe hitches when their eyes lock.

 

And maybe, just maybe, he feels his heart skips a little faster.

 

The light from the spotlights glares down brightly as Jungkook stops right in front of him.

 

Jungkook leans down so his mouth brushes the shell of Jimin’s ear, “You thought I’d choose you, didn’t you?” The smirk suddenly looks so, so wrong on the younger man’s face. “And ask yourself, Jimin-ssi, why would I do such a thing? We may be engaged, but you do remember, we have no feelings for each other.”

 

It’s the first time he’s said his name and now was not the moment to be noticing that.

 

Jimin fights to keep his demeanor, to keep his face neutral as Jungkook straightens up with a self-satisfied grin on his face and moves to Ji-eun. He knows his cheeks must be ablaze with embarrassment but there’s nothing he can do.

 

There’s nothing he can say because Jungkook is right.

 

They weren’t anything until they faked their marriage and vows of everlasting love in front of their audience and even then, they weren’t anything.

 

It was a game both of them had to play.

 

A show they both had act out until every audience leaves.

 

He dimly realizes that everyone is watching the three of them. He’s well aware of the sympathetic looks that are thrown at him and a few mocking laughs hidden under the pretense of a cough.

 

In his mind, he imagines grabbing Jungkook by the tie and choking the air out of him and he does so only until he feels Yoongi grab his hand under the table.

 

He squeezes back in response to show Yoongi he’ll be okay.

 

It’s only when both Jungkook and Ji-eun have captured everyone’s attention as they gracefully glide across the dance floor, he notices that he has the silky tablecloth gripped in his hands.

 

Hoseok leans over Yoongi and gently pries it from his fingers and there’s the usual look of concern his friend has started to wear more often every since Jimin told them about his arranged marriage. “You okay?”

 

He manages a reassuring smile and holds in a grimace as he looks up to see Jungkook sneering at him from the dance floor.

 

Swallowing the urge to give flip Jungkook off, he nods. He doesn’t want Hoseok to spend the rest of the night fussing over him when he was so excited to come. “I’m fine.”

 

The look both Hoseok and Yoongi give him tells Jimin that they don’t believe him, not a single bit.

 

He opens his mouth to tell his friends he really was fine, but Chanyeol slips into Jungkook’s empty seat. “Can I have the dance now, love?”

 

“I’m not your love.” Jimin bites out, still embarrassed.

 

Chanyeol lets out a laugh. “That can be changed.”

 

He lets out his own laugh, but it’s bitter. “I highly doubt it since I’m engaged.”

 

“Well, you’re not married yet, we have time.” Chanyeol says with a happy lilt to his voice.

 

He had never been good with guys like Chanyeol, confident and flirtatious, knowing they could get away with a lot with just a smile.

 

Jimin sucks in a deep breath and mentally counts to ten before he responds. “I highly doubt my parents nor his would be very happy with that.”

 

He gives the taller man a small smile as he stands up to leave but Chanyeol grabs his elbow. “If we can’t be lovers, can I least have this dance?”

 

He looks to Hoseok and Yoongi but his friends just shrug unhelpfully.

 

Chanyeol winks at his friends and tugs him onto the dance floor before he can protest.

 

What he doesn’t miss is the glance Chanyeol gives to the model Jimin had been talking to earlier before they slip onto the dance floor along with other couples.

 


 

Chanyeol proves not just to be a pretty face but someone who’s also kind and funny but it’s hard to relax with the taller man when he has both his own father and his future father-in-law watching his every move.

 

He’s forgotten about Jungkook’s rejection and jokes around with both Chanyeol and his friends.

 

It’s not until he sees Chanyeol sneak a glance at the model again does he speak out about it.

 

“Why are you here, Chanyeol?” It’s not meant to be unkind, just confusion and curiosity in his tone of voice. “We both know it’s not really me you want to be talking to right now.”

 

He lifts his chin to the direction of Chanyeol’s interest.

 

Chanyeol chokes, jerking them both to an abrupt stop, and he gently pats him on the back. “You like him don’t you?”  

 

“Like who?” As a last ditch effort, he plays dumb.

 

“The model.” He grins as Chanyeol’s his paler complexion makes the blush on his face seem even more prominent under the lights. “What’s his name? I missed it earlier when we were talking.”

 

“His name is Baekhyun.” Jimin watches as the smile grows on Chanyeol’s face just at the mention of Baekhyun’s name.

 

They absently head towards the balcony, both quiet.

 

The cool night air is a refreshing contrast to the stuffy atmosphere of all the rich and powerful inside.

 

He’s the one to break the silence. “When did you fall in love with him?”

 

Chanyeol chokes on air once again and denies the statement once he has control of his voice.

 

Jimin just nods his head, trying to look like he believed him.

 

The taller’s snort tells him he’s failed.  

 

He focuses his gaze on Chanyeol expectantly and with a bit of hesitance, the other man begins to talk.

 

He tells him that he met Baekhyun at an entertainment company. They were barely in their teens when they first met. Unlike he did, Baekhyun hadn’t left the industry, choosing to stay as an actor-slash-model and in the years since Chanyeol left, Baekhyun seemed to still have misunderstandings about him.

 

He listens as Chanyeol went on and on about how amazing Baekhyun was and he doesn’t doubt it at all.

 

There was part of him who wanted someone like Chanyeol, someone who was so loyal and true with their feelings.

 

He knows that won’t happen in his lifetime but he wishes Baekhyun understands Chanyeol’s feelings and he wished the taller man luck with his pursual.

Chapter Text

Jungkook was watching Jimin only because he had to make sure he didn’t do anything to embarrass him. Afterall, they’ll be married in a few mere months, their names will be tied together forever whether he wants it or not.

 

Ji-eun whines for a drink, but nothing too fattening. He almost misses it when some guy guides Jimin from the room, barely catching Jimin’s narrow figure disappear from view behind a pillar.

 

He hurriedly flags down a waiter and gestures at him to get something for Ji-eun.

 

“I’ll be right back.” Jungkook smiles down at his girlfriend.

 

Ji-eun smiles back, facial features arranged into a gentle smile. “Be back soon, I’ll miss you.”

 

He’s tempted to press a kiss to Ji-eun’s lips but he doesn’t because his father is watching him like a hawk.

 

Before he can make it halfway to the room, his father stops him.

 

He glowers at his father as he tells him to locate Jimin and introduce him to the partners of their company.

 

Jungkook hated being told what to do, especially when he was about to do it.

 

With a few more commands, he heads off to where he’d last seen Jimin.

 


 

He’d recognize that smarmy, toothy smile anywhere.

 

“Jungkook!” He dimly hears Jimin screaming at him in the background but he doesn’t let go of Chanyeol’s collar. “Jeon Jungkook, let go of him! You can’t go grabbing people.”

 

He ignores Jimin, tuning out his fiance’s almost-frantic yelling.

 

“Park Chanyeol.” He growls out, voice low.

 

Chanyeol looking all too comfortable in his grip, just shrugs. “Jeon Jungkook.”

 

Jungkook shakes him just enough to dislodge that smug smirk. He snarls at the pretty boy. “You always seem to have this bad habit of flirting with people who’re taken.”

 

Chanyeol turns his attention to Jimin, eyes wide. “He’s the you’re getting married to?”

 

His small fiance steps up just as he’s about to reply for him. Small hands reach up to loosen his hold on Chanyeol’s collar.

 

Unwillingly, he lets go and takes a step back, tugging Jimin backwards with him.

 

“Yes.” Jimin doesn’t look him in the eye when he speaks, instead resolutely turning to Chanyeol.

 

Chanyeol shakes his head. “How unlucky for you, Min. I’m sorry about that.”

 

He steps closer to Chanyeol, keeping his voice quiet but deadly as he speaks.  “Don’t you dare get close to Ji-eun or my fiance ever again.”

 

“You can’t have it all, Jungkook.” The other man’s playful smile melts away into a somewhat serious look of disapproval. “You’re going to lose them both at this rate.”

 

He snorts.

 

As if he minded losing Jimin of all people.

 

They weren’t each other’s to lose in the first place.

 

He sneers at that when he remembers just how much of a mess Chanyeol’s own romantic problems were. “You deal with your own problems before you stick your nose into mine.”

 

With that he steps back and strides back inside, snagging Jimin’s wrist on the way.

 

Jimin, of course, squabbles at the back of his head all the way back inside.

 


 

They jerk to a stop behind a pillar so they’re not completely visible to the others in the room.

 

Jimin twists his hand roughly away from Jungkook’s grasp.

 

“What are you doing?” Jimin whispers furiously now that they were back in the main area where everyone was talking softly.

 

“I’m doing this for your own good.”

 

“You’re the last person to be worrying about my well-being.” His feet itches to take a step back, so he doesn’t feel the warmth radiating off Jungkook in waves but his stubbornness has him anchored where he’s standing.

 

“Park Chanyeol is bad news.” The taller man jabs a finger at the balcony. “Stay away from him.”  

 

“Who are you to tell me that?” Jimin lifts his chin resolutely, gaze firm. “I will choose who to talk to and who not to talk to.”

 

“I’m your fiance,” Jungkook bites out harshly.

 

“You are?” He lets out a scoff and jabs his soon-to-be fiance in the chest. “When have you ever acted like it? Unless showing off your girlfriend in front of your fiance is now considered a new requirement, I don’t think I can ever call you my fiance without laughing.”

 

Jungkook opens and closes his mouth but no words come out.

 

Jimin smirks at that, happy to know that he’s won their verbal altercation even if it’s at his own expense.

 

His own unworthiness to be loved.

 

Quickly shaking away the thought, as he feels Jungkook’s intake of breath, he interrupts before the other man can say a word. “I sincerely hope it’s the last time I’ll see you tonight.”

 

It’s cruel but he needs his space away from Jungkook, away from demanding and commanding men.

 

He gives Jungkook a small smile, one that doesn’t reach his eyes, and walks off.

 


 

Who was Jungkook to forbid him, he fumes. So consumed with his anger, he walks right into someone who he doesn’t even notice.

 

He quickly scrambles to straighten up the elderly woman he had bumped into. Making sure she’s carefully back on her two feet before he starts on his apologies, he quickly bows. “I’m really sorry, I wasn’t watching where I was headed.”

 

“Dear boy, I’m fine.” The laugh the older woman lets out is sweet and Jimin can’t help but smile along.

 

The elderly woman, Jimin learns her name is Sung-ja, is extremely friendly and he can’t help but be amazed that there were still people so nice and approachable.

 

“I haven’t seen you around here before.” It’s not unkind, just mere curiosity and Jimin understands.

 

“I rarely go to parties like this.” Jimin means the fancy food and the even more extravagant decorations.

 

“Forgive an old woman’s curiosity but who is your partner?”

 

He lets out a small chuckle at Sung-ja’s hopeful eyes.

 

“I came with some friends and my fiance.” He’s hesitant to mention Jungkook because he knows in society, not everyone is as accepting about those who stray outside the borders.

 

Sung-ja doesn’t even blink, instead she lets out a squeal, one worthy of a teenage at a boyband concert. “Fiance? Who?”

 

He laughs, knowing that gossip, no matter status, is enticing, especially when you’re the first to know.

 

The moment he mentions Jungkook’s name, Sung-ja perks up even more.

 

It’s not surprising she knows about Jungkook, probably everyone at the party and their mothers knew who Jeon Jungkook was.

 

Sung-ja shakes her head. “He’s always with that girl. The one who’s always playing with her hair?”

 

“Ji-eun?” He provides the name with a little reluctance.

 

“Yes, her.” Sung-ja shakes her head again. “I heard her father used to work for the Jeon’s but he got fired because he tried to steal from them.”

 

He makes a face appropriate for what Sung-ja was telling him.

 

But on the inside, he’s thinking, wondering if that’s how Jungkook and Ji-eun met.

 

Jimin learns a lot that night. He learns that Jungkook, just like Chanyeol, had trained at an idol academy, about to debut when he suddenly left.

 

He thinks it may have something to do with Chanyeol but he doesn’t dwell on it for too long, afterall, he has lots of time to explore that topic later if he ever wanted to.

 

He also learns that Jungkook has an older brother who’s married, something Namjoon hyung hadn’t told him.

 

No wonder the Jeon’s weren’t worried about grandchildren.

 

He spends the rest of the night by Sung-ja’s side, forgetting that he’d been snubbed by Jungkook, that the younger had embarrassed him purposefully in front of so many people.

 


 

Like an idiot, he watches Jimin walk away, head held high, still feeling the smaller man’s body pressed against him.

 

He knows he deserves those words even if he doesn’t want to admit it.

 

But they weren’t anything.

 

He was only a fiance by name and he had no right. He could’ve fought dirty and mentioned their images, mentioned what others will think if they saw Jimin and Chanyeol together but he didn’t.

 

It was one thing being hostile to Jimin, being a hypocritical asshole was another.

 

Pushing away thoughts of Jimin, he searches the room for Ji-eun.

 

He’d left her alone among the strangers.

 

Even if he knows she recognizes some people there, it doesn’t mean that she feels secure or safe among so many people she’s barely ever talked to.

 

With a little looking around, he spots her talking to Eunkwang just as she’d been doing so earlier.

 

He hadn’t paid too much attention to it, knowing Eunkwang was one of her few friends Ji-eun had in this so-called elite social circle.

 

He barely manages to take a step towards her when his mother intercepts, blocking his way with a flurry of expensive perfume and a disapproving shake of her head. “Where’s Jimin.”

 

It’s obvious it’s not a question but an expectation.

 

Not wanting the disappointed look following his every move that night, Jungkook gestures vaguely at the direction Jimin’s has walked off in.

 

His mother peers curiously. “Isn’t that Mrs. Kim, Jimin’s with?”

 

With a sigh, he follows his mother’s line of sight and spots Jimin smiling gently, eyes curved, at a small elderly woman.

 

“Yeah,” he answers noncommittally, turning his attention back on Ji-eun just as she smacks Eunkwang’s chest. “Think so.”

 

He misses the rest of his mother’s jabbering and squints as Eunkwang smoothes a hand down Ji-eun’s carefully coiffed hair. There’s no annoyed pinch of her brows or the hand smacking she’d done with him, instead she just smiles even wider.

 

With that, he abandons all calm and collected and strides towards his girlfriend.

 

Eunkwang drops his hands as if burnt the moment he sees him and Ji-eun’s smile drops from her lips completely only to be pushed up again in a fake smile.

 

“Hey, Jungoogie.” Ji-eun pulls herself away from the other man’s side and presses her body against his, slim arms coming to wrap around his waist.

 

He can’t find it in him to care that his mother is watching.

 

“How’s catching up with Eunkwang hyung?” His tone is a little curt.

 

Eunkwang takes the hint, murmuring out an excuse before he turns his tail and makes a run for it.

 

“Nothing much.” Ji-eun doesn’t even bat an eyelash as Eunkwang races off. “We were just talking about some stuff.”

 

He presses his lips in a thin line to stop himself from saying something he shouldn’t.

 

“Let’s not talk about him.” Ji-eun hurriedly says, as if sensing his irritation. “You disappeared for quite a while.”

 

“Yeah.” He’s about to expand on his one worded answer when he hears Mrs. Kim let out a loud squeal.

 

He turns and sees Jimin laughing, a small hand covering his mouth.

 

Mrs. Kim looks thoroughly enamoured by him.

 

And he feels that familiar sense of irritation, the same rush of annoyance that comes whenever he finds someone poaching his clients.

 

Mrs. Kim was an important figure and everyone knew.

 

He sees the eyes focused on the two talking, whispering as Jimin’s name is passed from mouth to mouth.

 

He’s not naive enough to believe that Jimin didn’t know who Mrs. Kim is.

 

An easy and prompt way to get himself known was to get himself on Mrs. Kim’s good side and Jimin had managed to do it in a night.

 

He doesn’t know if he’s more surprised or proud that Jimin managed to woo Mrs. Kim.

 

“Of course it’s him.” Ji-eun’s scoff has him turning back towards her. “Attention whore.”

 

“Ji-eun.” Her name comes out more of a reprimand than he’d expected.

 

Jungkook sees the way her lower lip trembles at the admonishment and he hurriedly presses her into his chest, whispering apologies as she lets out a sniffle.

 

“Sorry.” Ji-eun says softly. “I don’t mean to be so cruel. I-I don't even know why I said that about him. It’s just that he’s going to be your husband in a few weeks and I’m just so worried.” Ji-eun’s voice has already melted into a tearful whisper. “What if he tries to seduce you? What if you end up falling in love with him? Then what will happen to me? What will happen to us? I can't lose you.”

 

His heart strings tug at Ji-eun's barrage of worried thoughts hit him all at once. He knows he’s unfair to make Ji-eun wait on him, to put her in this situation.

 

He manoeuvres them outside, making sure Ji-eun’s face is hidden in his chest the entire time.

 

Once they’re safely in the car, he cups her cheeks gently. “Baby, I love you and only you. I won’t fall for anyone but you. I’m dating you and you’ll be the only one I think of.”

 

“Really?”

 

“I’m promise.” Ji-eun’s eyes are still wet with unshed tears and he presses a soft kiss to the top of her head. “I only agreed to marry Jimin because you said you’d be fine with it. But I don’t need to marry Jimin. We will be fine without my father’s money.”

 

“You can't.” Ji-eun pulls away. “It’s not the money I’m worried about. I don’t want you and your father to have a fall out because of me.”

 

“I understand. You said the same thing last time.” Jungkook cups her cheeks with his hands. “I just want you happy.”

 

“I’m happy with you Jungkook.” Ji-eun promises, placing a soft hand on his. “This why I want you to be happy as well. You’re the most well suited to take over your father’s company. Your older brother has his own family, he’s not interested in office politics. This is for the best.”

 

Jungkook sighs softly, knowing all too well that it’s true. His older brother had, despite his father’s vehement disapproval, decided not to succeed the company, and it fell onto Jungkook’s lap.

 

It’s not that he liked it anymore than Junghyun did.

 

But he’d grudgingly let his father arrange a spot for him in the office.

 

He started off as a team leader, slowly moving up the ranks under his father and Jin’s watchful eye.

 

And now here he stood, a vice president at the age of 25 with a girlfriend he loved.

 

He didn’t need much more.

 

He didn’t want for more, especially not Jimin.

Chapter Text

 

The wedding approaches, sooner than Jimin expects. He keeps thinking he has time, but hours turns into days and days turn into weeks and soon he’s wearing his suit, people running around him like chickens with their heads cut off.

 

After last time, at the party, he’s not sure how he’s going to face Jungkook.

 

The funny thing is, he can count the number of times he’s seen his fiance all with one hand.

 

When he laughs, both Yoongi and Hoseok turn to him with concern in their eyes.

 

It’s inevitable they’d be looking like that.

 

He was getting married, it was supposed to be the happiest day of his life but right now, he felt like throwing up. There’s an uncomfortable weight pressing on his chest, making him feel like he’s about to suffocate. Maybe if he told himself it was the right thing to do enough times, he won’t feel as nauseous.

 

“Are you sure you want to do this, Min?” He looks at Yoongi through the mirror, neither vocalizing his answer or gesturing it.

 

He, himself had no idea of what he wanted to do. Of course he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life with Jungkook but on the other hand, Jungkook wasn’t the worst his father could’ve chosen.

 

“Just say the word and we’ll kidnap you.” With that Hoseok lightens the mood and has him laughing.

 

He turns away from his two friends when he catches his mother’s reflection in the mirror.

 

Making his way to his mother still hovering around the doorway, handkerchief twisted into an unrecognizable ball. “Mom?”

 

“Are you sure you want to go through with this?” His stepmom asks.

 

He nods.

 

Both of them know it’s a lie but it’s fine.

 

It was just a wedding. Jungkook had his girlfriend and he had his friends. He’d expected a loveless marriage ever since his birth mother died. His father had changed into someone he barely knew.

 

His stepmom just steps up to him, wrapping her fragile arms around his waist. “I’m sorry, Jimin-ah.”

 

He rests his cheek against the top of her head. “There’s nothing you have to be sorry for. Jungkook is a good man, he’s respectful to his elders and he’s a kind person. I’ll learn to love him one day.”

 

They pull away and his stepmom tries for another smile before the wedding planner rushes into the room with the team of makeup artists behind her.

 

That’s the last of their conversation as he’s quickly pulled into the chair and his friends are guided out of the room.

 

All around him, there are people hurrying around to make sure the wedding is perfect but he can’t seem to find it in him to care if his wedding was perfect because what good would it be when he’s marrying someone he barely knows.

 

The thing is, he’s sure that if he weren’t the one wearing the tux and the bowtie, no one would have given him a second glance.

 

He closes his eyes and sighs.

 

It was too late to back out now.

 


 

With pomp and circumstance he becomes Jeon-Park Jimin.

 

And just like that, he promises to love a man he barely knows, for better or worse. He’s tied to Jungkook for the rest of his life whether he likes it or not.

 

He’s signed the contract to a movie he doesn’t want. In exchange, there’ll be a good reimbursement but it’s not going into his pocket but his father’s.

 

Chancing a glance at Jungkook sitting next to him, rigid and tense, he realizes Jungkook isn’t even paying attention to him, instead his attention is all focused on his phone.

 

Jimin thinks his husband is probably frantically texting his girlfriend, to soothe all those ruffled feathers.

 

He turns his attention back to his side of the window and lifts the bottle of water to his lips, only to freeze when the ring on his fourth finger catches the sunlight.

 

The ring was too elaborate, too overdone, too heavy on his hand.

 

He liked rings but not this one. Not like this.

 

It wasn’t even what he’d wanted in the first place.

 

He had opted for a simple wedding band, but his father had deemed it a ridiculous idea because why else get married to someone rich if you can’t show it off?

 

Jungkook’s ring, on the other hand, was classy and simple. It’s something he would have chosen for himself. Although Jimin hated to admit it, the ring fit him.

 

Jungkook turns his glare to him when the car stops abruptly and the bottle of water spills over onto the plush car seats.

 

“Sorry.” He grimaces before digging into his pockets for a tissue or a handkerchief, anything to wipe the water that had spilled onto the leg of Jungkook’s pants.

 

Jungkook shoves it away when he offers the tissues to him, wiping the wetness off his pants with a flick of his wrist. “You should have capped it properly.”

 

He doesn’t know why the reprimand sounded as if Jungkook was criticizing for even drinking water in the first place.  

 

“Getting married should be the happiest day of my life and now this is the worst day of my life, I don’t need you yelling at me on top of it!” He doesn’t know where it comes from but by the time he’s realized what he said, he’s already thrown the tissue onto Jungkook lap and a finger jabbed in the taller man’s direction.

 

Jungkook looks at him incredulously. “I didn’t force you into marrying me and you’re the one yelling! Now I’m yelling too, but you started it.”

 

When they hear Jin’s windshield wiper laugh from the front of the car, they look at each other and start laughing as well.

 

Too soon, they were are the airport, the plane ready to whisk them off to their honeymoon.

 

Jungkook pulls his suitcase from the Jin’s hands as soon as his feet touches the ground. With a smile in Jin’s direction, he doesn’t wait for him and just turns on his heel, moving straight to the automatic doors.

 

He smiles apologetically at Jin for Jungkook’s actions.

 

“I’m used to that brat.” Jin drops a hand on his shoulder. “Jimin, I know Jungkook may come off as a cold asshole most of the time, but he's just a baby on the inside."

 

"Right." His snort has Jin smiling a little ruefully.

 

"He's a good kid." Jin shrugs. "He just never learned how to express himself outside of the people he knows."

 

Although he doubts that, he's heard Jungkook's thoughts of him loud and clear, he nods anyways.

 

With one last bow and thank you, he bids Jin goodbye before he rushes after Jungkook, his own suitcase yanked along.

 

Like an idiot, he searches for Jungkook once he’s inside, only seeing mobs of people walking by. He’s about to pull his phone out his pocket when Jimin remembers he doesn’t have his number.

 

They were married but Jimin didn’t have something as simple as Jungkook’s number.

 

It’s ridiculous but he's not surprised.

 

When he sees long dark hair and an angelic face, he knows Jungkook isn't far off. And his husband doesn't disappoint. Jungkook seemingly appears out of thin air, leaning against the counter as he smiles down as Ji-eun.

 

It's a little unfair how his husband can sport such a gentle look, his does eyes wide open and the smile on his lips almost about to stretch apart his cheeks.

 

Jimin laughs mirthlessly, how could he have expected to spend their honeymoon together, he doesn't know.

 

He stays where he is and watches the way Jungkook ruffles Ji-eun's hair and pulls the suitcase from his girlfriend's arms and hefts it onto the belt for check-in.

 

Just as he’s finally gathered his wits to approach the couple, someone crashes into his suitcase and knocks it to the floor.

 

Chanyeol’s playful voice forces him from his thoughts. “Sorry Min, I was too entranced by your beauty.”

 

He rolls his eyes as Chanyeol bends down to pick up his suitcase. Instead of handing it back to him like he'd expected, the other man keeps his hand on it. “Why are you here?”

 

Chanyeol grins mischievously. “I’m running away from home.”

 

He makes a face. “Why? Is it because daddy won’t buy you a new car?”

 

The taller man just laughs and nudges him with his shoulder. “What about you? Where’s your husband?”

 

He sighs before he lifts his chin at the direction Jungkook and Ji-eun was in. Chanyeol looks over just as Jungkook leans down to give his girlfriend a peck on the mouth. It wasn’t an overly passionate kiss, but a smooth enough gesture to let it be known that it wasn’t the first time he’s done it.

 

Chanyeol narrows his eyes at the direction but doesn’t comment on it. He didn't need to. Everyone knows about Jungkook's girlfriend.

 

Only he was desperate enough to marry someone who was happily in a loving relationship, to ruin someone else's happiness, for the sake of his own loved ones.

 

Instead, Chanyeol puts his hand on the small of his back and guides him over to the couple, determination in his eyes.

 

Jungkook's glare is enough to tell him that he’s not happy with him or the man beside him.

 

“What is he doing here?” Jungkook spits out the question.

 

He opens his mouth to answer Jungkook's question, to make things clear, but Chanyeol beats him to it.

 

"I thought I'd even things up." Chanyeol shrugs, looking at Ji-eun before turning to look Jungkook in the eye. "It'd be unfair if you could bring your own girlfriend and leave poor Minnie here alone."

 

Jungkook frowns, dark brows forming a deep 'v'.

 

"Whatever." Jungkook throws the word at them, looking as if he didn't even want to spend a second longer with them. "I just never thought Minnie would be already fucking around with other men left and right, especially someone man he just met."

 

Jimin welcomes the anger coursing through his veins, it's better than the hurt he feels squeezing in his chest.

 

He steps away from Chanyeol.

 

When he's standing in front of Jungkook, eyes to nose, he brings his knee up swiftly.

 

Although he rarely ever resorts to violence, this time, he thinks Jungkook deserves it.

 

Jungkook doubles over in pain to the sounds of Ji-eun's gasp and Chanyeol's hysterical laughter.

 

“Don’t you ever say that again,” he says as he digs a finger into Jungkook's shoulder blades. “I said the vows and I’ll keep them even if you won’t.”

 

Having said what he wanted to say, he pushes past Jungkook and checks in his own luggage.

 


 

Making sure they're far away enough from the couple, he turns to Chanyeol still trailing behind him.

 

"You're not really coming with me, right?" He glances at the ticket in Chanyeol's hands.

 

If the taller’s smug grin was any indication, Jimin knows he’s not going to like his answer.

 

He snatches the ticket from Chanyeol's hands and sighs in relief when he sees it’s not where they were heading.

 

Jimin lets out a groan at his own naivety and smacks the other man on the chest for lying to him. “I can’t believe I almost believed you.”

 

Chanyeol just smiles at him playfully, completely unrepentant. “I can’t believe you actually thought I was coming along.”

 

The cheeky grin Chanyeol gives him has him smiling along.

 

“Jungkook blinds me to everything else.” When the other man lifts an eyebrow, Jimin realizes how he worded things and quickly backtracks. “I meant that Jungkook makes me so mad, I just—”

 

“Right.” Chanyeol cuts him off easily. “I’ll keep that in mind next time.”

 

With a annoyed sigh, he punches Chanyeol on the chest. “You know what I mean.”

 

“If you need me, call me, alright?” Chanyeol’s expression changes to one of concern. “I know we aren’t that close, but I mean it. I’ll come over and I’ll deal with Jungkook and Ji-eun.”

 

All of a sudden, he feels his eyes water, the genuine concern coming from Chanyeol is heartwarming and he’s happy to know there’s someone he can rely on.

 

He pulls Chanyeol into a hug. “Thank you, Chanyeol.”

 

There’s brief pressure on the top of his head before the other man takes a step back. “No, thank you for listening to me last time.”

 

They smile at each other before Chanyeol’s friend calls out to him.

 

He sees the way Chanyeol jogs to his friend who instantly starts chattering and waving his hands excited and Jimin feels a pang in his chest. He should've invited Yoongi and Hoseok along with him on the trip, at least he'd have fun on this forced holiday.

 

Maybe he was truly too naive to ever even think that it was a honeymoon, just the two of them, together.

“The return flight is written on the ticket. I’m sure you’re smart enough to know that.” Jungkook gives him a smile that doesn't even reach his eyes. “Let’s enjoy the honeymoon. Individually. And meet up at the airport when it’s time to go.”

 

He swiftly turns away from him when he finishes talking.

 

Jimin doesn't need to be told twice but still, he watches as Ji-eun links her arm through Jungkook's and struts off with Jimin's husband.

 

Ji-eun turns around, wriggling her fingers in a mocking goodbye.

 

When Jungkook turns around abruptly, he bites down on a smirk as Ji-eun is forced to spin around in order not to be pulled off balance.

 

Stubbornly, he stands his ground and lets Jungkook walk back to where he stands.

 

Jungkook doesn't say a word as he sticks the credit card in his direction.

 

With the offending plastic pushed further in his direction, he cocks his head to the side and waits for Jungkook to speak.

 

"Take it.” Jungkook sighs impatiently when he doesn't do as ordered. The taller man steps closer and Jimin feels their height difference all too well. "As long as you don't tell our parents about this."

 

His husband pushes the small plastic card into the pocket of Jimin's jeans and the whole time, Jimin has to remind himself to breath and not think about the way Jungkook smells like Busan and the ocean.

 

Like home. 

Chapter Text

 

It wasn’t how Jimin imagined his first time meeting his husband’s parents’ as their official son-in-law, but he also hadn’t thought he’d marry a man he barely knew, so being in a situation like this wasn’t an exact surprise anymore.

He closes his eyes and hopes that when he opens them, Jungkook’s parents wouldn’t be standing there watching Jimin’s supposed husband with his arm around Ji-eun’s waist, Jungkook’s mouth practically glued to her ear.

Turns out, just because you wish for it, doesn’t mean it’ll come true.

 


 

Jungkook waits for inevitable; his parents screaming at him, Jimin pushing the blame to him, and even Ji-eun adding fuel to the fire.

He honestly knows he deserves it for treating Jimin like that.

But it doesn’t come.

When he looks back to his parents, Jimin is already there, talking to them.

He hears him telling them about their great honeymoon that never happened. He hears him telling them how attentive and charming he was. He hears him telling them made up stories about their fun times just so his parents are distracted enough for him to quickly scramble into action and send away Ji-eun.

He does that quickly and pushes his luggage cart towards the trio.

The look his mother sends him tells him that she doesn’t believe whatever excuse Jimin made to cover up for him.

His father on the hand, cluelessly welcomes him back and asks about his time during the honeymoon.

Jimin smoothly slides his arm through his and pipes up, “I was just telling your parents how much fun we had at the pool.”

He gets the hint and quickly adds his own two cents, spouting bull about their fictitious trip.

Before his parents can ask anymore questions, he quickly announces that he was dying to get home.

He grabs Jimin by the elbow before he can walk away.

His parents walk ahead of them and he purposely hangs back.

Jimin gives him a confused little look before he shrugs him off and moves forward with his own suitcase, right behind his parents.

Jungkook knows he deserves that.

“Thanks.” He says it softly enough so his parents wouldn’t hear.

Jimin nods sharply.

What Jungkook doesn’t miss is the little smile on Jimin’s mouth when he lifts his suitcase into his luggage cart.

And Jungkook thinks, maybe, just maybe, they can get along.

 


 

His parents don’t tell them where they’re headed so Jungkook just shrugs before he leans against his chair and promptly falls asleep to the sounds of the car motor and Jimin chatting softly with their parents.

There’s a nudge to his ribs. With a groan, he opens his eyes to Jimin lifting his hand to prod him awake again.

“Where are we?” he mutters, glancing outside the window.

“Dunno.” Jimin answers as he tugs on his jacket. “Your parents said it was their gift for us.”

He looks out the window and he sees the apartment complex.

There’s no need to guess what his parents’ ‘surprise’ was.


It was obvious enough.

With a tired sigh, he ducks his head and pushes the car door open, keeping it opened until Jimin follows him out.

Jimin lets out a quiet ‘thanks’ and another one of those polite smiles before Jungkook notices Jimin’s mom waiting in front of the gates with a gentle smile on her face.

From all the times he’s seen Jimin’s mom, she’d been kind and easy to talk to. Jimin’s father, on the hand, was quiet and curt. He’d seen the way Jimin wilts around his father and for some reason Jungkook feels that niggling feeling in his chest, reminding him he’d forgotten something he doesn’t even know what he’s forgotten.

Both his mother and Jimin’s open the door to their new house with flourish.

It’s a nice enough apartment; big floor to ceiling windows spanning across one side of the room, nice modern furniture and a big television settled in front of the leather couch.

Jimin instantly leaves his side, moving to hug his mom and then Jungkook’s parents. “You didn’t have to.”

His father smiles. “It’s not a big deal. This way you two have your own privacy without us oldies in the way.”

Before the snort can even leave his lips, his mother levels a glare on him, as if knowing what he was about to do.

He’s not amused with the way their parents moved them into their new apartment without their agreement.

They never talked about their living arrangements after marriage but he assumed they’d live together because what would it look like to others if they lived apart after their grand wedding.

He doesn’t like it but he honestly expected it.

It was better just the two of them without either set of parents’ constant watchful eye.

They walk around the apartment and Jimin ooh’s and ahh’s over every little thing like it was a big deal.

He rolls his eyes when they stop in front of the bedroom.

The only furnished bedroom.

His mother spouts some lame excuse about not having enough time to proper redecorate all the rooms and he actually snorts out loud.

The entire apartment was perfectly decorated, just the 2 other rooms that were unsurprisingly bare of anything but the white walls.

HIs mom was as subtle as a chainsaw.

With a little more fussing from both moms, they leave on pretense of having to be somewhere, but it’s obvious they just want them to bond.

The moment the door closes, Jungkook tugs off his tie and throws it on the back of the sofa. “We can take turns on the sofa.”

Jimin frowns at him in confusion. “For?”

He lets out a tired sigh that has Jimin furrowing his eyebrows even further. “Since our parents seem to have purposefully left the other bedrooms unfurnished so we’d sleep together, it’s either we do as they planned or we take turns on the couch.”

“Oh.” Jungkook watches as Jimin fidget with his fingers, eyes cast on the sofa as he thinks. “We probably should do that. Take turns on the couch.”

He doesn’t understand the sudden bout of disappointment that makes its appearance.

Jungkook covers it well enough by gesturing at the sofa, hoping and praying that his voice sounds normal enough as he speaks. “I can take the sofa today, you’re probably tired from trip.”

It’s just a small attempt to get back on Jimin’s good graces, especially when the other man had saved his ass just a little while ago despite the way he’d treated him.

The small smile appears on Jimin’s lips again and for some reason, it makes him pleased that he’s the one who put that there, even if it’s just some tiny, meager thing like this.

“Thanks.” Jimin gives him a nod before he heads into the room, closing the door behind him.

Left out in the living room alone, he lingers around, not really know what to do when his phone vibrates in his pocket.

Glancing at his phone, he realizes it’s Ji-eun.

Jimin steps out just as he’s about to answer the call.

Their eyes meet over the sofa and Jimin takes it as an invitation to start talking.

“I forgot to ask earlier. Just wondering if you wanted to have dinner together.” Jimin offers shyly. “I don’t really know the area too well…”

Jungkook looks down at his phone then back at Jimin before pulling a semi-apologetic look. “Sorry, I made plans earlier.”

“Oh.” Jimin nods, an awkward smile plastered on his face. “Right, of course. Sorry I asked.”

His phone stops vibrating before it starts up again just a second later.

With a grimace, Jungkook turns his attention back to his phone.

In the moment he spends looking away, Jimin had retreated back into the room.

He lets out a frustrated sigh, running a hand through his hair before answering the call. Right now, he had to soothe Ji-eun’s ruffled feathers first after he’d sent her away the way he had earlier.

Later, Jungkook tells himself, he’ll fix whatever that was later.

 


 

He’s tired, he had every intention of laying out on the bed and sleeping through the rest of the day but Jungkook ruined that for him.

Feeling too much of a moron to have even asked Jungkook in the first place, he calls for his best friends.

Why would have Jungkook even said yes in the first place? He was merely a stepping stone to Jungkook, just as he was to Jimin.

In front of an audience, they played their roles but in the safety of the apartment without eyes on them, they were nothing more than strangers who were going to spend the rest of their lives together.

He almost agrees to meet up at the usual cafe until he remembers that it was where he’d first met Jungkook. Quickly changing his mind, he invites his friends over to his new apartment.

Yoongi and Hoseok agree easily, eager to see his new place.

They ask about Jungkook and the honeymoon. That’s inevitable.

Jimin has every intention of telling them everything but he’s tired of worrying his two best friends so he just smiles and lies.

He gives them a carefully edited version of the truth, telling them he had chosen to spend time alone, relaxing instead of spending a week stiff and uncomfortable beside Jungkook.

His two friends are good company, he forgets the burn of embarrassment until Jungkook comes back with Ji-eun hanging off his arm.

A tense silence settles around the 5 of them when Hoseok stops mid sentence to turn to the couple.

Hoseok smiles at Jungkook, smile faltering and a look of confusion replacing his features as he greets Ji-eun.

Yoongi just merely gives Jungkook a nod and they all lapse into silence.

Jimin wracks his brain for something to say to break the strained atmosphere but before he can even open his mouth, Ji-eun opens her mouth first. “Babe, why is that loser here?”

In an instant, he sees Yoongi’s shoulder’s tense and Hoseok’s eyes narrow into slits as his chin tilt upwards.

He opens his mouth to make a weak attempt at smoothing the ruffled feathers but Yoongi silences him with a look.

He blinks confusedly at his friend before Yoongi stands, making his way in front of his husband and his girlfriend.

“This is the infamous girlfriend?” Yoongi asks, turning back to look at both him and Hoseok.

Jimin doesn’t understand completely what his friend is trying to do but he nods.

“I have a name.” Ji-eun’s voice comes out sharp, voice pitching up an octave in offense. “Not that I’d tell any of that freak’s friends.”

Jimin bites his lower lip when he feels Hoseok stiffen beside him.

It’s as if Hoseok knows he’s about to stop Yoongi, his friend slips a hand around his wrist, half warning, half a gesture of comfort.

“Ji-eun.” Jungkook speaks up, a look of discomfort on his face. “That’s—”

“Here I thought she’d be some goddess with the way you described her.” Yoongi speaks as if Ji-eun or Jungkook hadn’t even said anything, a look of disgust twisting on his face. “But turns out she’s just some basic rando you can find on the streets.”

Ji-eun screeches, voice loud as she switches between screaming insults at Jimin and his friends and demanding Jungkook defend her honor.

Hoseok snorts beside him at a particularly loud scream that has Ji-eun’s voice cracking.

Knowing that it wouldn’t end, he quickly gets to his feet, forcing Hoseok along with him as he makes his way to Yoongi.

He meets Jungkook’s eye for a little bit. For a moment, it’s almost as if he sees something akin to regret in Jungkook’s expression. Before he can dwell on it, he turns away, wrapping a hand around Yoongi’s wrist.

His friend stubbornly stands his ground until Jimin pleads wordlessly with his eyes.

Things are already frosty, he doesn’t need anymore frigidity between them.

“Fine, have it your way. This bitch isn’t worth my time.” Yoongi lets out a loud sigh, jaw clenched as he turns away. “But please keep a leash on your bitch.”

He slides his hands down into Yoongi’s and whispers softly to Ji-eun’s indignant shrieks in the background. “Thank you, hyungie.”

The smile he aims at Jungkook barely pushes at the corner of his lips. It’s the best he can muster.

He understands that to a degree, it’s not Jungkook’s fault, but he can’t help the tinge of resentment against the younger man.

He turns away, pulling both his friends out the door with him.

That night, he stays over at Yoongi’s apartment knowing Jungkook is with Ji-eun and probably won’t miss him a single bit.

He cries even though he knows Jungkook isn’t his to cry for.

 


 

“Are you going to go back?” Yoongi asks, tugging the earphone from his left ear, focusing his attention on him.

Jimin shrugs. “I don’t want to.”

“But you have to.”

“But I have to.” Jimin repeats resignedly, pushing a plate of toast at Yoongi who just makes a face before shoving a bite into his mouth.

Yoongi sighs, pushing the plate back to his direction. “Eat before you leave.”

Jimin shakes his head and once again nudges the breakfast back to Yoongi. “Thanks hyungie but I’ve already had some toast when I was making your breakfast.”

His friend narrows his eyes at him. There’s a moment where Yoongi looks like he’s about to say something but he doesn’t.

With a thankful smile for both having Yoongi take him in and for him not saying what’s on the tip of his tongue.

 


 

Jimin goes out to watch a movie by himself since he doesn’t want to go back to the apartment or see Jungkook.

He sees the looks of curiosity and sympathy people give him but he ignores them all.

Meeting Jungkook’s father in the movie theatre wasn’t part of the plan. He hadn’t noticed him in the beginning when he had entered the darkened room.

Just as he’d been heading out of the theater, replying to his friend’s texts, he had run right into Mr. Jeon.

“Sorry—” He’s in the middle of his apology when he looks up just as Mr. Jeon looks up.

“Jimin?”

He had never thought of Mr. Jeon as the type of man to watch a movie all by himself.

“Mr. Jeon.” He bows in greeting. “It’s a surprise to see you here.”

“There’s no need to call me Mr. Jeon.” The older man gives him a kind smile. “We’re family already.”

Jimin smiles in return, hoping Mr. Jeon understands his appreciation for the older man’s welcoming words.

“My wife is out on a business trip so I came alone today.” They make their way out of the dim theater together. “What about you? Where’s Jungkook?”

“He’s with—” Jimin hides the grimace and quickly covers it with a smile on his own. “Jungkook said the movie was too much of chick flick.”

Mr. Jeon raises a brow and Jimin can see the resemblance between father and son with that small change of expression. “I raised him better than that.”

He bursts out laughing and shakes his head at Mr. Jeon’s mock insulted expression.

It’s only then does he notice the bouquet of flowers in the older man’s hands.

Mr. Jeon notices his eyes lingering on the bouquet. “I’m visiting a close friend.”

Jimin nods, wanting to know but knowing he shouldn’t pry.

“You want to come with?” Mr. Jeon offers.

Not knowing how to refuse and partially being curious, he nods again.

 


 

“I’ve brought someone to meet you, Min-ji.”

He stares at the photo staring back at him. Jimin recognizes the woman in the picture easily because she looks like him, older and prettier.

His birth mother.

When Mr. Jeon begins talking, he quickly pulls himself out of his thoughts.

He makes sures to stay quiet, watching carefully as Mr. Jeon looks at the photo with a fond smile tinged with something bittersweet.

“He’s grown into a fine young man, hasn’t he? You would have been proud to see him now.” Mr. Jeon sets down the flowers in front of the grave. “Our children married each other, just the way you always dreamed of. Si-hyuk has changed quite a bit since you’ve left him. He’s—”

Mr. Jeon seems to remember that Jimin was still standing there. With an almost embarrassed smile, the older man steps back and gestures for to him to go step up.

“Hey, mom.” He looks back at Mr. Jeon for help but he just nods his head. “I got married a while ago. Jungkook, that’s his name. He’s—” Jimin bites down on the words he he’d was about to use, remembering Jungkook’s father was standing a few steps away from him. “He’s a nice person, good looking and treats me well, so you don’t have to worry about me.”

He falters a bit because he doesn’t really know what to say after that.

Of course he’s visited his birth mother before but it had always been with his father and step mom but his birth mother had always felt like a stranger, someone he knew only from stories.

He knows his birth mother loves him, he knows. He’s seen all the photo albums of them together but he was too young when his mother passed away, it was hard to see her that way.

“I will be happy, we’ll be happy together.” He promises, hoping on the inside that it won’t be just an empty promise, but knowing all too well that it is what it is, an empty promise.

They had stayed there for a little longer after Jimin had stepped back to let Mr. Jeon talk to his mother again.

“All three of us, Min-ji, my wife and I were childhood friends.” Mr. Jeon’s expression is fond but sad. “The two of them had plans of marrying our children to each other when they had children, especially Min-ji.” Jungkook’s father looked so deep down in his memory lane that he didn’t say anything to bother him. “Although your father had never taken it seriously when the arranged marriage was talked about, he was the first one to agree to the arranged marriage.” Mr. Jeon looks apologetic when he turns to face him. “I know it’s despicable for me to say this but I know my son isn’t what you’ve dreamed of. I know marrying a man with a woman on his side isn’t what anyone in their right minds would want. That’s why we’re really thankful that you married my idiotic son.”

“You know about Ji-eun?” he gasps.

The older man’s simple nod is enough.

He feels a rush of betrayal and then embarrassment. The thoughts are running too quickly in Jimin’s mind for him to keep track of it, to follow through with everything.

They don’t talk the entire way back to the Mr. Jeon’s car.

The older man offers to take him home but he declines the offer gently, claiming he was meeting up with a friend in the area afterwards.

He tries for a smile but it barely makes it on his lips before it slips off.

Mr. Jeon doesn’t push, instead he just smiles gently, before giving him a pat on the shoulder.

It’s hard to make sense of the mortification and the sense of betrayal spinning around in his head, so he tries for one last smile before he turns away from Mr. Jeon.

Chapter Text

 

A loud bang wakes him up with a jump.

 

He makes his way to the door to see Jimin slumped against the door, eyes barely open.

 

The closer he gets to his husband, the stronger the smell of alcohol gets.

 

“Jimin-ssi?” He leans down and prods at his husband’s shoulder with a finger.

 

Jimin just groans, turning away to evade his attempts to wake him up.

 

He’s not close enough to hear what he slurs out loud but he makes out his own name.

 

He shouldn’t find it cute the way Jimin has his cheeks squished against his shoulder, mouth parted, but he does.

 

And he instantly feels guilty for thinking that way.

 

Vowing to spoil Ji-eun tomorrow, he squats down and debates whether to shoulder Jimin onto the couch or take him to the bedroom.

 

It was his day for the bed but waking up with a hangover on the couch would be a really bad combination. Even if he disliked Jimin, he didn’t want him to suffer.

 

Afterall, he was probably part of the cause for Jimin to go drinking.

 

Before he can decide, Jimin’s eyes pop open and he struggles to stand, hands waving in the air as he searches for something to prop him

 

He rears back to avoid getting hit in the face.

 

But it’s too late.

 

Jimin's flailing hand smacks him on the cheek.

 

Before Jungkook can even wrap his mind around the fact that Jimin had slapped him, Jimin wraps his arms around his neck.

 

“Diminie is tired.” Jimin slurs into his ear, breath warm against the shell of Jungkook’s ear. “Carry Diminie.”

 

He pulls at Jimin’s arms, hoping it’d dislodge him but the older just holds tighter, face pressed into Jungkook’s neck.

 

With a resigned sigh, he slips his hands underneath Jimin’s knees and one against his back.

 

Jimin lets out a squeal when he lifts him from the floor and to the air swiftly.

 

The squeal turns into a melodic giggle. “Diminie is flying!”

 

He barely manages to avoid dropping Jimin when the smaller man squirms in his arms trying to peer at the floor.

 

Belatedly, he realizes how light his husband is, how small his frame compared to his own.

 

The uncomfortable feeling surges to life again but he pushes it away.

 

He turns his attention to the sofa then to the direction of the bedroom.

 

Jimin’s laughs have subsided and he’s quiet.

 

When Jungkook looks down, he sees wet trail of tears rolling down Jimin’s cheeks and he panics.

 

Without thinking, he heads towards the bedroom, needing to quickly set down the crying man in his arms.  

 

Halfway to the bedroom, Jimin speaks up, words still slurred. “Diminie wants to go home.”

 

“You are home.” He answers softly, not knowing what to do with Jimin. They’re too much of strangers for him to know how to comfort the virtual stranger, also known as his husband.

 

“No.” Jimin sniffles. “Diminie wants to go home. Diminie doesn’t want to be a home—” Another sniffle escapes Jimin’s pouty lips. “—wrecker.”

 

“Who said that?” He ask through a clenched jaw knowing full well what the answer was going to be.

 

“Jungkookie’s girlfriend.”

 

“That’s…”

 

Not it.

 

He ignores the nickname, taking bigger steps towards the bedroom.

 

“Diminie wants Yoonie and Seokie hyung.” Jimin’s small hands clutches at his shirt, not even listening as sobs wracks his body. “Yoonie hyung will hold Diminie’s hand and Seokie… Seokie hyung will cuddle with Diminie when he’s sad.”

 

He opens his mouth to say he can do that just as well until he asks himself why would he do that? Why would he offer to alleviate the hurt of someone barely knows.

 

Jungkook doesn’t remember what Jimin says after that, only remembering that he’d detached Jimin’s grip around his neck and tucked him into bed, ignoring Jimin’s pleas to go home.

 

He closes the door behind him hastily, eager to get away from the clingy Jimin he had no business getting too close to.

 

Running a hand through his hair, he groans. He knows he’s unfair to Jimin. Neither of them wanted this marriage and from the looks of it, Jimin didn’t have a choice either.

 

He’d taken his anger out on Jimin, blaming him for everything that wasn’t his fault.

 

And now he’ll promise to make things bearable for the both of them.

 


 

Jimin emerges from the room the next morning, hair sticking in every direction, eyes puffy.

 

Jungkook watches as his husband squints at the sunlight filtering through the cracks of curtains.

 

“Asprin?” he asks.

 

He tries to keep a straight face but he can’t help the smile that teases at his lips when Jimin actually jumps in his spot, eyes blown wide only to wince when he jerks his head in Jungkook’s direction.

 

With a pained groan and slow actions, Jimin heads straight towards him, hands outstretched.

 

The cup of water and aspirin is downed quickly before Jimin arranges a smile in his direction.

 

“Thanks.” Jimin’s voice is low and raspy. “I needed that.”

 

Instead of asking where he’d been and why he’d been drinking like he wants to, he just smiles back in his husband’s direction. “I made lunch.”

 

“Thank you for thinking of me but I’m not hungry right now.” Jimin’s tone is courteous as he studiously avoids his eyes, looking at everything but him. “You can eat first if you’d like.”

 

It’s then does Jungkook realize, Jimin has always been polite to him until he’d ruined it by being rude.

 

“Let’s talk.” He tries to keep his voice light as he speaks, the entire time, his heart pounds in his chest as he waits for Jimin to answer.

 

With a brief nod that turns into another grimace, Jungkook presses Jimin into a chair as he sets the table with their lunch.

 


 

They have lunch in silence, the only sounds coming from the clink of their spoons against the bowls and plates.

 

His headache refuses to subside as he mechanically spoons soup into his mouth until it’s gone.

 

There’s a thrumming tension surrounding them he can’t explain.

 

He wants to know what Jungkook wants to talk about but by Jungkook’s tone, it’s probably something serious that will affect the both of them and he wants to give himself some time to think, to fully wake up.

 

It’s not until Jungkook watches him finish the rice in his bowl does he speak. “This marriage isn’t real.”

 

As if he ever doubted that wasn’t true.

 

Jimin lifts an eyebrows at him. “And?”

 

“I’m sure you don’t want to be married to me forever, right?” Jungkook asks.

 

He nods, a bit too eagerly.

 

Jungkook seems to agree by the way he frowns before he continues. “We’ll live together for a year. After that we can get divorced and continue our separate lives.”

 

He shrugs, it’ll be long enough to please both side of his parents. Plus his dad got the financial backing and the projects he needed. “I’m fine with that.”

 

Afterall, every show had a contract and theirs’ was no different.

 

“Before I have my lawyer write out an agreement, let’s set some ground rules.” Jungkook’s voice brooks no room for Jimin to say no.

 

“Fine.” Jimin bites out the word. “Then let’s talk about your girlfriend first.”

 

“What about her?”

 

“Don’t bring her back here.” Jimin refrains from calling the apartment, home.

 

It wasn’t home and it would never be home.

 

He knows he has no right to be asking anything of Jungkook but he can’t help it.

 

“If I don’t get to bring her home—” Jimin watches the way Jungkook hesitates, an expression of discomfort mixed between confusion. “You don’t get to bring any of your flings or boyfriends here.”

 

He hates how Jungkook always assumes he will be unfaithful during their marriage. Even if their marriage is a big scam, he’s not going to give into fleeting pleasure.  

 

Just a year and he can be with whoever he wants and Jungkook can be with Ji-eun.

 

Just one year and he won’t be treading on Ji-eun’s toes.

 

They’ll survive the year.

 

“I won’t,” he promises, knowing fully well that Jungkook probably won’t be able to hold onto his side of the promise. “As long you keep her away from me as much as  possible. And obviously, when it comes to my family, they absolutely must not meet her. If anyone asks about Ji-eun, you’re the one who explains.”

 

“Alright.” Jungkook agrees easily. “For appearances sake, we probably will have to attend events together and show the world how happy we are. If that—”

 

“No more than 4 events per month,” he says quickly, cutting Jungkook off.

 

Jungkook’s gaze lands on him, inquiring and with a hint of irritation. “Fine but we’ll have to do the usual; hold hands, play nice with the guests and pretend we’re sappily in love and shit.”

 

“Right.” Jimin squirms in his seat when Jungkook’s gaze doesn’t leave his face. “I can do that much.”

 

“Even kissing?”

 

He fights to keep his composure. “What would Ji-eun think?”

 

“Ji-eun would understand because we’re trying show the world the semblance that we’re in love, that we can blindside our parents with our divorce before they can do anything.”

 

Jimin hates that Jungkook makes sense, so he reluctantly agrees. “Not on the lips.”

 

“Unless we have to.”

 

Jimin fists the hem of his shirt in effort not to strangle his husband.

 

“We’ll come back to that later,” he says just to piss Jungkook off, to get back to equal footing. “Let’s talk sleeping arrangements.”

 

“You can have the master room.” Jungkook shrugs. “I can buy new shit and redecorate the other room.”

 

“That will take some time.” He comments lightly. “We can take turns in the master room until your room is ready just like you’d suggested in the beginning.”

 

Even if he disliked Jungkook, it didn’t mean he wanted the other to suffer.

 

“If you don’t mind.” There’s almost that thankful tone in his voice and Jimin doesn’t know what he wants to take of it.

 

“But if we’re going to do all that,”Jimin pauses purposefully, waiting until Jungkook looks up at him again. “You’re going to have to talk to your girlfriend.”

 

He doesn’t care when the hateful words and the scornful looks are aimed at him, maybe it’s because part of him thinks he deserves it for sacrificing Jungkook and Ji-eun’s happiness in exchange for his friends’ but he’s not going back down from that.

 

Both Yoongi and Hoseok have worked so hard to reach and have achieved what they have at the moment for him to rip it all away because of someone else, because of him.

 

“I will.” Jungkook acknowledges what he’d said with a firm nod. “She’s just insecure with everything that has been happening and I’ve been unfair to her.”

 

Jimin bites down on a scoff. “As long as you tell her not to insult or speak down to me and my friends and I’ll give you the same respect.”

 

“I know I’ve been unfair to you as well.” Jungkook finally looks away and Jimin feels as if he can breathe again. “And I would just like to apologize for that. Neither of us had wanted this marriage and if either you or I could, we would have avoided all this.”

 

The guilt sits heavily in the pit of his stomach.

 

He hates that Jungkook’s words affect him.

 

Even if he doesn’t want a single apology to be able to win him over like this, to have his defenses crumbled with a few measly words, Jimin knows it’s bound to happen.

 

He’s opening his mouth to accept Jungkook’s apology and to apologize himself when his husband just moves onto another subject. “I think that’s most everything right?”

 

Without thinking too deeply he just nods. “We can always discuss things later if anything comes up.”

 

“Alright.” Jungkook nods as well. “As long as we don’t stick our heads into each other’s business, we’ll be fine.”

 

“Right.” He nods without believing a single word.

Chapter Text

 

Jimin groans, smacking his hand over his phone as it blares loudly beside his ears.

 

It goes quiet and he rolls over for a few more minutes of blessed silence.

 

It’s almost as if he’d just blinked before the alarm starts ringing loudly in his ear again.

 

He swipes blindly at his phone with a loud groan but a loud clatter tells him that his phone had fallen to the floor.

 

With another loud groan, he presses his head further into the pillow and throws his blanket over his head, attempting to drown out his alarm, even if it’s just by a smidgen.

 

Loud stomps joins his alarm before everything goes silent.

 

“Jesus,” Jungkook’s voice is loud and irritated. “Do you mind?”

 

He stays unmoving, hoping that Jungkook would leave him alone if he pretended to be asleep.

 

“Jimin-ssi.” Jungkook’s voice is now right beside his ear. “Wake the fuck up and turn off your damn alarm before it wakes from it’s snoozing.”

 

Once again the mixture between embarrassment and irritation rushes over him and he can only get up.

 

Blindly reaching for his phone, he swipes his alarm off and sits up from the sofa with a loud groan.

 

“Let’s talk about this later.” Jungkook lets out a huff.

 

He nods his head in shame. “Sorry, I’ve always been a deep sleeper.”

 

“I’ll keep that in mind.” Jungkook’s voice has lost that irritated edge, now sounding tired. “Just go get ready for work.”

 

“Alright.” Jimin tries for a smile when he finally looks up. “I’m sorry about all that Jungkook.”

 

“Right.” Jungkook dismisses his apology with a flick of his hand before stumbling back into the bedroom.

 

He muffles a scream into his pillow when he makes sure Jungkook has the door closed firmly closed behind him.

 

Of all things that had to happen.

 

Jimin rubs a hand over his face before he hurries to the bathroom, wanting to make a quick get away.

 

Work would be less shameful in comparison.

 

Brushing his teeth with more vigor than needed, he tries to put the shameful memories behind.

 

Letting out another groan, he hesitates in front of the master room.

 

His work shoes were in the room.

 

The room where Jungkook was sleeping in.

 

He had already awoken Jungkook once, the second time in the same morning would have the younger hate him.

 

But he was going to be late for work at this rate.

 

So straightening his posture and putting on a blank facade, he knocks on the door.

 

Jungkook’s muttered curses slip from the cracks of the door and Jimin takes it as an answer to enter the room.

 

Walking in, he sees the way Jungkook is sprawled over the bed, long, tan limbs spread apart over the king sized bed.

 

He swallows when he sees that Jungkook is shirtless, defined washboard abs on display.

 

Ripping his eyes away, he glares furiously at his own reflection at the full bodied mirror and he sees flushed cheeks and messy bed hair he has yet to fix.

 

With a soft sigh, he grabs his shoes and makes a quick getaway, purposefully keeping his eyes averted from Jungkook’s figure.

 

Brushing his hair from his face, he tells himself that it means nothing.

 

It wasn’t anything embarrassing to admit that Jungkook was a good looking man.

 

It was normal.

 

In the back of his mind, he can almost hear Yoongi mocking him, reminding him that it was his own husband he was drooling after.

 

His husband who had a girlfriend.

 

The buzzing in his pocket reminds him that he was going to be late for work if he didn’t leave.

 

Shoving his wayward thoughts away, he jams his feet into shoes and shuts the door firmly behind him along with any thoughts with Jungkook.

 

 

 


 

It’s only when Namjoon comes back for the third time with the same document, still unsigned, does he comment on it.

 

“You look…” Namjoon, usually so eloquent with words, trails off, gesturing vaguely with his hands.

 

“Dead? Off? Absent?” Jimin supplies unhelpfully.

 

“Distracted.” Namjoon decides with a barely there grimace.

 

He takes the document from Namjoon’s hand and signs it off with flourish. “Still getting used to things.”

 

Belatedly, he remembers he’s supposed to be playing the loving husband but it’s Namjoon.

 

Although he’s his father’s secretary, he’s also a friend.

 

And logically, he was forced into an arranged marriage with Jungkook, there was a necessary period for them to get used to each other, to ‘fall in love’.

 

Namjoon doesn’t comment further on it, instead choosing to smile gently at him before leaving the room quietly with a bow.

 

He groans and rakes his bangs away from his face.

 

There was so much he had to do and here he was, thinking about Jungkook’s abs.

 

Luckily he doesn’t get much time to think before Sejun is knocking on his door.

 

“Director Park?” Sejun ventures hesitantly.

 

“Come in, Secretary Im,” he calls out, shaking away stray thoughts.

 

He reminds himself once again, he’s at work, there was a lot he had to do.

 

“Bae Jinyoung-ssi is here to see you about the Thailand project.” His secretary motions to the other man standing further behind him.

 

“Right.” He smiles, hoping that it softens the curt tone he’d used.

 

Sejun smiles back before stepping out of the room and closing the door behind him.

 

Jimin gestures for the other man to take a seat and without too much delay, they begin talks about budgeting and he promptly manages to put Jungkook out of mind once again.

 


 

“Director Park!” Hoseok hoots as he bounds into his office.

 

Jimin feigns a tired groan and his friend just laughs, ignoring his reaction completely as he flops onto the sofa.

 

He waves away Sejun, hoovering worriedly at the doorway, with a small nod paired with a smile.

 

“Teacher Jung, why are you breaking into my office?” He pushes away from his desk and takes a seat across from his friend on the sofa.

 

Hoseok pulls out the Chinese take away he’d brought with him. “Rehearsals got cancelled. Famous popstar Taemin couldn’t make it.”

 

He laughs at the face Hoseok pulls when he mentions Taemin’s name. “He’s not that bad.”

 

His friend makes a disgusted face. “Because he’s smitten with your ass.”

 

“He is not.” Jimin insists determinedly. “He’s just being friendly.”

 

Hoseok snorts as he pulls out container after container of food. “Friendly my ass.”  

 

He can’t help the unsophisticated snort he lets out. “Stop it.”

 

“Is this because you’re a married man now?”

 

He throws his chopstick wrapper at his friend’s head. “Stop reminding me.”

 

“I think the ring on your finger reminds you more often than I do.” Hoseok ducks uselessly as the wrapper lands on his lap. Instead of throwing it away like most people would, he just lets the wrapper fall to the floor. “Plus I don’t think Taemin would mind a tryst with a married man. No secrets leaked—”

 

This time, Jimin throws the wet wipe he’d been using at Hoseok’s mouth.

 

His friend spits out the wet wipe. “That was gross.”

 

“You’re the one whose gross.” Jimin makes a face as he watches Hoseok wipe his tongue with a napkin. “Who does that?”

 

“Me.” Hoseok throws both the napkin and the wet wipe into the plastic bag. “Anyway, how’s Jungkook?”

 

“Don’t know.” Jimin shrugs.

 

Sadly, that is the truth.

 

The first night, he stayed at Yoongi’s.

 

The second day, he’d stayed out and got drunk.

 

The third day, they talked about their contract marriage and that was it.

 

In the total of four days, they’ve barely spoke to each other.

 

And that’s what he’d expected.

 

“What do you mean ‘don’t know’?” Hoseok frowns at him, brows furrowed in confusion. “You two live together.”

 

He opens his mouth to give excuses but in the end he just shrugs. “We don’t really spend too much time in the apartment.”

 

“How is that possible?”

 

He shrugs again. “You wanna experience the joys of married life? I’ll gladly let you live it out for a day in my shoes.”

 

“Hard pass.” Hoseok dismisses the suggestion without a blink of his eye. “I don’t think I can do married life.”

 

He pushes the food closer to his friend, knowing he’s probably starved.

 

Hoseok smiles his thanks and shovels food into his mouth.

 

Waiting until Hoseok has a mouthful of food, he says, “You know Taehyung wants to get married right?”

 

Hoseok chokes and Jimin takes a photo just as his friend is about to spit out his rice.

 

Mercifully, he hands his friend a cup of water.

 

“I’m just saying.” He giggles. “Taehyung talked about all those dogs he wants to raise with his other half.”

 

“You win, you win.” Lifting his hands in the air, Hoseok mock surrenders. “I’ll stop asking you about your wedded life if you stop.”

 

Happy that he’s won, he nods and places a piece of kimchi on Hoseok’s spoon in apology.

 

His friend is easily mollified and goes back to the ball of sunshine he is.

 

And for the third time that morning, he pushes thoughts of Jungkook away.

 


 

By the time he gets home, Jungkook is awake and lounging on the sofa, his bed for the night.

 

“Hey.” Jimin tries for a greeting.

 

It’s awkward but they’ll at least have to treat each other as roommates if they want to make it out of the year alive.

 

“How was work?” Jungkook asks, but the way his eyes stray back to the phone in his hands tells him that the younger man wasn’t the least bit interested in his answer.

 

“It went alright,” he answers anyways.

 

Silence lapses between them and Jimin debates whether to stay for a little bit longer or escape to his room.

 

He remembers what happened in the morning and quickly ducks his head. “Sorry about this morning.”

 

“It’s fine.” Jungkook forgives him easily. “Junghyun was like that too. He used to sleep through all his alarms back when we still lived together. But it’s been a while since then.”

 

“Ah, I’ll try to do something about it..” He doesn’t know how to continue the conversation, especially after the tidbit of information Jungkook’s supplied. “I got a call from my lawyer.”

 

That gets Jungkook’s attention. He looks up, putting his phone aside. “Yeah?”

 

“He says we can go sign them anytime we want.” Jimin puts down his briefcase.

 

He’s about to shrug off his jacket but he stops himself before he follows through. In front of Jungkook, he couldn’t let his guard down.

 

It’s not like they had a lot to talk about anyways.

 

“That sounds good.” Jungkook hums, scratching lightly at the tip of his nose as he thinks. “I can pop over at lunch tomorrow. You free?”

 

He blinks when Jungkook directs the question at him. Maybe it because they’ve come to some sort of truce after their discussion of their contracted marriage, Jungkook has become nicer, not as harsh as he used to.

 

Just because Jungkook has changed, he’d never expected the younger to ask if he was free.

 

“I actually have a lunch meeting.” Jimin shrugs apologetically. “Maybe next week after work?”

 

Jungkook picks up his phone again and Jimin just stands there awkwardly as the other man scrolls through his phone.

 

“I can do after work.” Jungkook puts down his phone once again. “I can get my driver to pick you up along the way.”

 

He hesitates, not wanting to decline the younger man’s goodwill but at the same time, he doesn’t think he can survive too much time with Jungkook in the car alone.

 

If he drove himself, he’d have the freedom to leave anytime he needed to. Sure, they were on friendlier terms but it didn’t mean that they were friends.

 

He smiles, hoping Jungkook wouldn’t feel offended when he declined his offer. “I don’t want to bother you, so I can head to the office myself.”

 

“If that’s what you want.” Jungkook shrugs easily, barely blinking an eye at the rejection.

 

Jimin smiles again understanding that he’d been dismissed before he excuses himself back to his room.

 

Who was he to even damage Jungkook’s ego?

 

He was no one to Jungkook.

Chapter Text

Jungkook groans loudly, tugging the knot around his neck away from him.

 

His navy tie falls to the floor soundlessly. He glares at the offending object he’d been struggling with for the past few minutes before picking it up again.

 

By now, Jungkook knows what his father will say, what expectations he has, and wearing a tie to look respectful is one of them, so obediently, he loops the tie around his neck and ties it haphazardly as a last ditch effort.

 

Later, he’ll ask Jin to help him with it before he arrives at the venue.

 

He can already hear Jin’s tired sigh and see the roll of his eyes when he has the older fix his tie for him.

 

He’s still fiddling with his tie when Jimin pops his head in, raven locks once again styled and combed away from his face.

 

Compared to himself, Jimin looks like the definition of perfection.

 

“Ready to go?” The waver in Jimin’s tone betrays his nervousness.

 

He’s nervous as well.

 

It’s their first official public appearance, all eyes will be on them, watching their every move.

 

He’d never liked attending events or whatnot, it had always been Jin and Taehyung supporting him through all whenever he faltered.

 

Now, he had no one but Jimin beside him.

 

“Your tie is crooked.” Jimin comments lightly, gesturing to the tie hanging lopsidedly on his neck.

 

Saying that was just a nice way to word things.

 

Jungkook knows his tie is a mess around his neck.

 

“Do you—” Jimin starts off hesitantly, eyes averted to something behind Jungkook’s head as he speaks. “Do you want me to help?”

 

He looks to Jimin’s impeccably tie knotted around his neck and thinks of Jin’s nagging and he nods. “Thanks, that’ll actually help me out.”

 

Jimin’s smile lights up his face, eyes pressed into upturned crescent moons.

 

He wishes that the smile would never fade away.

 

The thought flashes through his mind so quickly, he barely has time to explain it away before he gets blinded by another of Jimin’s smiles.

 

The smaller man, who barely comes up to the middle of ear, steps closer to him, bright eyes focused on loosening the tie around his neck.

 

They’re close enough Jungkook feels Jimin’s breath against his neck and the shell of his ear.

 

He watches as the smaller man chews on his bottom lip as he carefully smoothes the tie out.

 

It’s almost adorable the way Jimin tiptoes to wrap the tie around his neck. He bows down slightly to give Jimin easier access which Jimin makes a face at before laughing lightly.

 

“I used to be really bad at doing my own tie as well.” Jimin comments lightly as he does his magic with the tie. “Namjoonie hyung had to help me with it all the time.”

 

He shouldn’t find it cute the way Jimin gives his friends nicknames but he does.

 

He can’t ever imagine himself calling Jin hyung ‘Jinnie hyung’. That would be weird.

 

“Yeah?” he prompts.

 

“Mhm.” Jimin hums nonchalantly. “It took forever but I guess I’m doing okay now. I mean if I can help someone else, it means I’m better than doing okay.”

 

Jungkook snorts. “Whoever invented ties can suck my dick.”

 

“They’re not that bad.” Jimin says between giggles.

 

“Right,” Jungkook says sarcastically. “They’re not bad when they don’t attempt to choke all the air out of your lungs or when they refuse to look the way they should when you have an important meeting.”

 

Jimin’s giggles have turned to full out laughs.

 

He feels his own lips quirk up a little, feeling immensely proud.

 

Before he can do anything stupid, like reach out and touch Jimin’s cheeks, there’s a sharp knock on the door.

 

Jimin’s breathe hitches, laughs lodged in his throat midway. Hurriedly, he snatches his hand away and steps away, putting some much needed space between them. Somehow during the short time they talked, his hand had ended up palm flat on Jungkook’s chest without either of them realizing it.

 

He clears his throat, feeling the awkwardness in the air, stale and uncomfortable in comparison to earlier.

 

“Come in.” His voice cracks and he grimaces.

 

Namjoon steps inside, shoulders straight, head held high.

 

“Joonie hyung.” Jimin greets the older, voice soft.

 

Namjoon’s voice is equally soft and endeared as he greets Jimin. He can’t help but feel a little out of place as he watches the two of them interact.

 

Almost as if sensing his unease, Namjoon turns to him. “Jungkook-ssi.”

 

He returns the greeting as naturally as he can.

 

A little more small talk and Namjoon guides them to the car.

 

He’s distracted from his own nervousness by Jimin’s constant jiggling of his leg.

 

“You okay?” He directs the question at Jimin who seems to not have heard so he repeats it once again.

 

Jimin jerks to attention, blinking a few times before he shakes his head.

 

Barely a second later, they turn to nods.

“I just feel bad that we’re doing this.” Jimin keeps his voice low, throwing a surreptitious glance at the partition between them and Namjoon. “We’re tricking both our parents into believing we’re y’know.” He gestures vaguely with his hands and Jungkook gets it.

 

In love.

 

He’s not too keen in saying that out loud either; in case Namjoon hears and because those four letters are reserved for Ji-eun.

 

“Yeah,” he answers Jimin’s gestures so he can keep going.

 

Jimin nods appreciatively at him before he continues. “How will they feel in the end?”

 

He understands.

 

He knows what Jimin is trying to say.

 

His mother had told him about their friendship with Jimin’s birth mother ever since he’d reached his teens.

 

He knows how important their friendship had been, Jimin’s mother had done so much, sacrificed years out of her own life when his mom had gotten pregnant with Junghyun.

 

As a single mother, it was hard, impossible to manage pregnancy, work and life in one person. Without hesitance, Jimin’s mom had transferred from her own university in America and had come back to Korea.

 

After Jimin’s mother’s death, he vaguely remembers his mom constantly bringing over a boy around his age.

 

He’s aware that the boy was Jimin.

 

He remembers how the boy had cried day after day. Until one day, he hadn’t. Instead, he’d aimed a crooked smile at him, pestering him to play together until Jungkook had said yes.

 

Grudgingly, he hung out with the boy, afraid he’d start crying once again and worry his mother.

 

And then he was gone.

 

Just like that, Jimin stopped appearing at their house and his mother had stopped bringing him over.

 

Easily, he’d forgotten about Jimin’s existence.

 

Now that Jimin is back into his life, he’s different.

 

No longer is he the crybaby he once was.

 

Now he stood poised and gracefully, seemingly unaffected by the words people may throw at him as his husband.

 

But he wasn’t as strong as he wanted to portray.

 

Jungkook can feel Jimin’s leg jiggling away beside him in the car.

 

“They’ll understand.” He tries to sound firm as he says those words. He needs to believe it. “They’ll accept it in the end.”

 

He drops a hand over Jimin’s smaller one, still fiddling restlessly with the cuff of his sleeve.

 

Jimin snaps his head in his direction, eyes wide.

 

Jungkook turns away, facing the window.

 

They talk the rest of the way there but sometime during the ride, Jimin’s leg stops shaking and his fingers stop twitching uneasily.

 

And for some reason, the feeling of relief settles over him.

 


 

Their arrival at the party has everyone’s attention focused on them once again.

 

It’s to be expected since they’re the main characters of the party.

 

Jungkook’s parents introduces them, going as far as to call them up on the stage set in front of the room.

 

Jimin gladly takes the fragile stem in between his fingers as one of the waiters hands him a glass of champagne as the float by.

 

He’s tempted to shove away Jungkook’s hand none too subtly pushing him forwards on the small of his back but he doesn’t.

 

The car ride felt like they were finally attempting to get to know each other a little better and he doesn’t want to ruin it.

 

Even something minor like that is progress and he doesn’t want to be the one taking them three steps backward when they’ve barely made it half a step forward.

 

Once they make it up on the stage, he feels the spotlights bright and hot, glaring down at them. He can barely see past the lights to the audience.

 

He plasters on a smile and twines his arm in Jungkook’s.

 

The show must go on and as the main actor, he was going to make sure their movie didn’t fail.

 

Mr. Jeon drones on about their marriage but everything sounds so foreign, almost as if he was talking about someone else. But he smiles anyways, like the good, obedient son and son-in-law he’s supposed to be.

 

Polite clapping rouses him from his thoughts and he forces himself to pay attention once again.

 

A good actor pays attention to what his audience liked and if he was going to play the part, he was going to make sure no one could criticise him.

 

Jungkook stiffens beside him.

 

He shifts, aiming his words softly at Jungkook’s ear. “What did your father say?”

 

Jungkook tilts his head down just like he did earlier, lifting a hand to cover his mouth as he whispers back. “He wants us to kiss.”

 

He tries to keep his expression blank when the words finally register in his head.

 

His fingers twitch around Jungkook’s bicep.

 

He knows there’s no avoiding it when both sets of parents look at them expectantly, so he turns resolutely in Jungkook’s direction.

 

Jungkook does the same and their eyes meet. Those brown orbs look at him, so wide and seemingly innocent.

 

Jimin tells himself it’ll just be like their kiss at the wedding.

 

It won’t mean anything, just a show for the audience.

 

Jungkook leans in, Jimin screws his eyes shut and they kiss.

 

There’s a blinding moment Jimin feels as if he sees stars behind his eyelids but he doubts it has anything to do with Jungkook’s soft lips pressed against his. He blames it on work and the stress he’s been thrown into.

 

His hands find Jungkook’s pristine white button down and Jungkook’s larger hands rest on his cheek and his waist.

 

One second, two and then three before Jungkook pulls away.

 

Whistles and louder clapping reaches his ears and instantly, he jerks away.

 

There’s an expression on Jungkook’s face he doesn’t understand before it falls away to the usual cocky smugness returns.

 

Jungkook’s grip on his waist tightens as he turns to face their audience.

 

Straightening out and releasing his grip on Jungkook’s shirt, he does the same, donning the show smile he’s long mastered when he faces front once again.

 

Act 1, Scene 3.

 

Tick.

Chapter Text

His heart didn’t flutter for Jimin.

 

It was just because of forced close proximity.

 

He has Ji-eun.

 

As if God himself had wanted to prove it, he finds Ji-eun at his doorstep. He had never intended to invite her but she throws a big tantrum, refusing to let him go. Big, fat tears roll down her cheeks and he can’t help but give in because he’s always been weak to tears.

 

It’s not the first dinner between his parents and Jimin but this time he knows it’s definitely going to be awkward as hell.

 

He tells himself he was hitting two birds with one stone as Ji-eun flounces out of the car, eyes dry.

 

Neither his father or mother looks especially pleased when he introduces Ji-eun as his friend.

 

His father gives him a look while his mother was all subtle jabs and annoyed grimaces.

 

He remembers the unreadable look and the tight smile that Jimin gives him the moment he sees Ji-eun.

 

He’d watched as Jimin said something to Namjoon before sending him off with a more sincere smile. And with his head held high, Jimin had swept past him into his parent’s welcoming arms.

 

Jimin stays away from him, keeping space between them even when they’re standing side by side.

 

He doesn’t say anything about Ji-eun nor does he really say anything to him aside from necessary politeness such as, ‘pass the salt’ or ‘thank you’. Jimin talks to him, just enough so it doesn’t seem like he’s purposefully ignoring him.

 

His parents, although less subtle, focuses their attention on Jimin, clearly giving Ji-eun a brush off.

 

Ji-eun is obviously unhappy about it but he knows she’s trying to keep the smile on her face for his sake.

 

He doesn’t know how to make his parents like her but she’s trying, taking the brunt of his parents’ dislike without too much complaint.

 

Even if he knows it’s not Jimin’s fault, he can’t help but feel the flicker of irritation flare to life as he smiles softly at something his mother had said.

 

He pulls the smaller man a away from the others, wanting just a short moment to explain himself.

 

And Jimin lets him, pilant as Jungkook tugs him to one of the spare rooms in the house to his mother’s curious and smug gaze.

 

“Jimin,” he begins when the door is locked securely behind him. “I’m—”

 

Jimin lets out a loud sigh, cutting him off.

 

His palms suddenly feel sweaty, his thoughts jumbled.

 

Like an idiot, Jungkook feels his mouth drying until he feels his mouth glued together.

 

Another sigh before Jimin speaks up again. “If you’re apologizing for bringing her, then don’t.”

 

Suddenly he feels like he’s disappointed Jimin so, so badly.

 

“Is… Is it okay?” He scoffs at himself, as if that made sense.

 

How could Jimin be okay with that?

 

“It’s fine.” The reply is too swift, Jungkook can tell.

 

It’s too fast for it to be genuine, so abrupt that he knows it’s not ‘fine’.

 

He pretends not to hear the waver in Jimin’s voice or see the storm raging in Jimin’s eyes.

 

Because if he pretends he doesn’t notice, he can pretend that everything is okay between them.

 

He can pretend he doesn't care about Jimin's feelings.

 

At all. 

 


 

Without needing to say anything, it’s obvious he’s mad at Jungkook.

 

Who brings their girlfriend to your parent’s place for dinner when your husband would be there and ask if it was okay?

 

Mr. Jeon looks uncomfortable, shooting him apologetic looks as dinner progresses.

 

Ji-eun looks too comfortable and smug by Jungkook’s side to just be ‘friends’.  

 

He scoots further away from Jungkook, making sure that there’s enough space between them so their arms won’t brush against each other.

 

He finds himself embarrassed, humiliated even but he doesn’t try to show it.

 

Just because they kissed each other a few times and fell asleep together doesn’t mean that they were anything.

 

Jimin keeps telling himself that he doesn’t want or need Jungkook’s kind words and soft touches but that lie had crumbled too easily the moment he saw Jungkook smiling endearingly at his girlfriend.

 

In that moment, he had to remind himself that he was the other man, not Ji-eun.

 

“How old are you?” He stifles the urge to ignore Ji-eun’s question and turns deliberately towards the petite woman draped over his husband’s lap.

 

In the corner of his eye he sees Mr. Jeon wince and turn his focus to his food.

 

“I’m 27,” he says simply, he doesn’t want to dignify Ji-eun’s question with more words than necessary.

 

“You, young thing.” Jimin resents that but swallows it for the sake of Jungkook’s parents who has been nothing but nice and friendly. “Are you sure you know what you’re doing? How are you sure someone your age won’t ruin—”  

 

“I’m old enough.” He cuts off Ji-eun’s thinly veiled insults and sends Ji-eun a small, tight smile.

 

His demons are doing swimmingly with or without Ji-eun’s slurs. He doesn’t need or want Ji-eun looking down on everything he’s worked so hard for.

 

He has enough of that with the senior shareholders criticizing his every decision.

 

With that he goes back to his dinner.

 

The dinner goes tense, way tenser than it was the first moment Jungkook showed up with Ji-eun at his side.

 

He stays quiet, not doing anything to unknot the tension that has settled over them like a wet blanket.

 

The pettiness in him forbids him from trying to smooth things over, so he stays quiet.

 

Jungkook can fix it. Afterall, he was the one who brought Ji-eun over despite their agreement.

 

There’s shuffling on his right and from the corner of his eye, he sees the way Jungkook pulls away from Ji-eun’s grasp.

 

He turns away resolutely, shifting so Jungkook and his girlfriend is out of view.

 

Out of sight, out of mind.

 

As the silence around the five of them starts beginning to turn stale, he’s tempted to do something. But Ji-eun’s annoyed huff reminds him why he shouldn’t in the first place.

 

He can practically hear the way Mrs. Jeon nudges her husband.

 

Mrs. Jeon clears her throat and Jimin lifts his head to look at the older woman. “I’m curious how you managed to rise up the ranks so quickly.”

 

He places his spoon down gently. “I started of doing part time at the consultancy since high school, then started working full time as I studied. I was lucky because both the people at the office and my university were so lenient with my schedules.” He smiles ruefully. “But in the end, what helped the most was my father’s influence that led the others into believing that I could be helpful to them.”

 

What he thought was his own hard work and sleepless nights had turned out to be merely his father putting pressure on the right people in the background.

 

Although Serendipity wasn’t under his father’s direct supervision, it was still a branch company and once his father issued a command, everyone jumped to follow.

 

“I’m sure that’s not true,” Mrs. Jeon says gently. “You were always a hardworking child.”

 

Ji-eun snorts and the atmosphere turns tense once again.

 

“I heard from your father you did a double degree on dance and business.” Mr. Jeon speaks up this time. “Must’ve been hard.”

 

He smiles gratefully at Mr. Jeon coming to his rescue.

 

“It wasn’t too bad.” He had hated his business courses with everything in his soul but his father would never have allowed him to merely major in dance alone. “I survived in the end.”

 

Polite laughter flit around the table.

 

“Do you still dance then?”

 

He nods. “Once in a while I help out with classes at my friend’s studios when I have time.”

 

“Oh, tell me when you teach, Jimin-ah.” Mrs. Jeon smiles widely at him. “I’ve been wanting to learn how to dance but I never got the time to.”

 

“I usually teach advanced contemporary, but they’re usually full. However, Hoseok, he’s the one who owns the studio, keeps a room for me to use anytime I need it, so whenever you’re free, I can arrange something, just for the two of us.”

 

“You’re such a sweetheart, Jimin.” Mrs. Jeon’s delighted laughter fills the room. “You’re so successful with both work and at the studios. Your parents must boast about you all the time.”

 

He quickly waves a hand in the air. “That’s not true.”

 

“Of course it is,” Mrs. Jeon insists. “Especially when compared to a receptionist.”

 

No one misses the intentional jab.

 

The look Ji-eun sends Jungkook is hysterical; her glare icy as if telling him to defend her.

 

But he says nothing and just hides a cough behind a napkin.

 

“Pass the potatoes.” He can’t help but laugh at Mr. Jeon’s attempt to smooth over the conversation.

 


 

He ignores Jungkook the rest of the dinner because there’s no need to talk to him.

 

The dinner ends and they ride home together only because Jimin can’t go home in a different car without it being to obvious.

 

So, gritting his teeth, he slides into the car.

 

In the background he hears Jungkook murmuring to Ji-eun as he sends her off in a taxi.

 

Jungkook is smart enough not to offer to take Ji-eun home in the car.

 

Jin turns around with a sympathetic smile on his face. “I would like to apologize on his behalf. Jungkook has always been a stubborn and just a little bit dense when it comes to other people’s feelings.”

 

He nods but doesn’t accept the weak attempt in gaining his forgiveness. It’s not Jin’s fault but he doesn’t have it in him to be magnanimous at the moment.

 

The older looks like has more to say but before he can, Jungkook slips into the car.

 

Jin gives him one last smile before he turns back ahead.

 

He doesn’t initiate conversation and Jungkook doesn’t try to start one either.

 

He knows it’s childish when he practically launches himself from the car and runs back to their shared apartment after he throws a quick goodbye at Jin.

 

Jungkook catches him by the wrist before he can lock himself away in the room. “Stay.”

 

“I’m not your dog,” he says, voice icy cold, without turning backwards to spar Jungkook a glance. “And please let go of me.”

 

He doesn’t do it.

 

“Don’t be like this, Jimin.” Jungkook’s voice is pleading.

 

He rips himself away from Jungkook’s hold. “I’m Jimin-ssi to you, so don’t call me with such familiarity. You’re the last person to be calling me anything but that.”

 

“Are you always like that when you’re hurt?”

 

Hurt feelings meant that Jungkook had enough of a hold on him that he had the ability to do that.

 

Jimin steels his jaw and turns towards the other man.

 

“So?” He spits out that one worded challenge. “What about it? You purposefully humiliated me in front of your family just to show me you can. I know how important Ji-eun is to you and I know I’m the one who stepped between you. Afterall, you’ve made it explicitly clear. But it doesn’t give you the right to do that.”

 

Jungkook reaches for his hand but he drops it halfway. “I just wanted to apologize.”

 

They stand there staring at each other. For a minute, he almost falls for those brown doe eyes.

 

Those innocent, youthful features has Jimin remembering that Jungkook is just a boy on the inside, barely 25, but already with so much on his thin shoulders.

 

He’s tempted but he doesn’t.

 

Once the curtains drawn, he can stop playing Jeon-Park Jimin and be Jimin he’s shoved to the back of his closet.

 

He’s not a carpet to be walked all over, so he spins around once again and locks himself into his room for the night.

 

Not this time.

 

One step forward, three steps backwards.

 


 

The next morning, he wakes up to find Jungkook in the living room, sitting with his legs spread, head hanging.

 

Jimin sighs tiredly before he walks by Jungkook to the coffee machine.

 

From the corner of his eye, he sees the other man stand and move behind him, mouth opening and closing but he doesn’t turn to the younger.

 

He can imagine bunny teeth chewing nervously on bottom lip and doe eyes staring a hole into his back and he feels his resolve weakening all too easily.

 

Without looking at Jungkook, he speak, “What do you want?”

 

There’s a moment of silence and Jimin wonders if Jungkook had left already but he hadn’t heard Jungkook leave so he knows the younger is still standing behind him.

 

“I wanted to apologize for yesterday.” Jungkook’s voice is surprisingly hesitant. “I know I shouldn’t have brought Ji-eun to the dinner yesterday but she’d been nagging about—”

 

Jimin lifts a hand to stop Jungkook. “You don’t have to explain.”

 

“But—”

 

He was mad and mortified yesterday, but today, he just doesn't want to think about it anymore.

 

To him, holding on to anger was always a little harder.

 

“Let’s just forget about it.” He lets out another sigh before he turns around. “But just don’t do it again.”

 

Jungkook nods enthusiastically. It’s a little out of character, especially for the younger but he doesn’t think too deeply about it. He plays it off as Jungkook not being comfortable with carrying the guilt of someone angry at him and he understands. “I promise.”

 

Promises meant nothing compared to a contract. They were nothing, just like a pinky swear between two liars.

 

He gives Jungkook a bland smile. “I’ll see you later, Jungkook-ssi.”

 

“Jungkook.”

 

He stops in his spot, head cocked to the side. “What?”

 

“Can you go back to calling me Jungkook?” There’s an almost boyish innocence to that question and Jimin can’t help but nod. “It’s a little weird to hear you call me Jungkook-ssi.”

 

This time his smile is more genuine as it pushes at corner of his lips. “You ought to get to work, Jungkook or we’ll both be late.”

Chapter Text

Jimin finds himself thinking about Jungkook once again when work becomes just a little less demanding.

 

His thoughts can’t seem to stray from the look Jungkook gave him after their kiss.

 

It wasn’t love for sure because that’s impossible

 

Unknowingly, his fingers drift to his lips and it’s almost as if he can imagine Jungkook’s slightly chapped lips pressed against his.  

 

“Jimin?” He jerks to attention to find Namjoon looking at him. By the expression on the older’s face, Namjoon has probably been calling him for quite a bit of time.

 

Shaking his head quickly, he pushes the thoughts from his mind, he attempts a smile. “Yes, hyung?”

 

“We’ve arrived.”

 

He chances a glance out the window and realizes that they are outside the apartment complex.

 

Hiding a wince, he scrambles for his belongings and quickly rushes out of the car with a hurried goodbye.

 

Imagining Namjoon’s warm chuckles laughing at him all the way up, he distractedly runs into Jungkook just as he’s toeing off his shoes at the doorway.

 

He lets out a squeak as he rams straight into Jungkook solid chest.

 

“You’re early.” Jungkook comments lightly, a strong arm snaking around Jimin’s waist effortlessly before he topples over.

 

Jimin clutches at Jungkook’s crisp white button up in effort to keep his balance.

 

Once he realizes how close they were, with one of his hands splayed over Jungkook’s firm chest, he briskly uncurls his fingers from the younger’s shirt. As if burnt, Jungkook pulls his arm from behind him and Jimin stumbles.

 

When he regains his balance, he notices that Jungkook has an arm lifted in his direction but the taller doesn’t reach out to touch him.

 

He clears his throat, hoping his voice doesn’t crack like a teenage boy talking to his crush. “I needed to get out of the office before I went crazy.”

 

“Ah.” Jungkook responds, voice calm. “That’s how I constantly feel like when I work overtime.”

 

Jimin hates how unaffected Jungkook is when he’s turned into mushy goo.

 

But he can’t help but laugh a little.

 

Their conversation sounds too normal, too much like two typical 9-to-5 office workers who’re complaining about their boring, monotonous life. They’re anything but that.

 

Jungkook joins in, laughing with his eyes crinkled in the corners.

 

Their eyes meet and for the first time, it feels comfortable between them. He doesn’t feel as if he’s walking on eggshells, like they can be friends.

 

The moment is ruined when Taehyung bursts inside holding a rectangle box in his hands.

 

(Later, Jimin finds out it’s a housewarming gift in the form of king sized bed sheets. And he doesn’t know what to feel about that.)

 

“Jungkook, help me.” The tall man grabs onto Jungkook with both hands, dropping the wrapped box onto the floor as he makes a exaggerated face of distress. “I have a date in less than 3 hours.”

 

Jimin takes a small step back just as Jungkook tugs his arm out of the other man’s grip.

 

“Don’t just burst into someone’s home like that, Tae.”

 

He recognizes him as Jungkook’s friend, met him briefly at the wedding before the other man had been whisked off by someone else.

 

“Sorry,” Taehyung apologizes, looking appropriate chastised before a boxy smile takes over his features. “You guys left the door open.”

 

Jungkook sighs, looking purely unamused. He then turns towards Jimin, lifting his chin in the other man’s direction. “I know you’ve met Taehyung before but again, this is Kim Taehyung, a pain in my ass.”

 

“Also childhood friend of 20 years.”

 

“And this is Jimin, my husband.” Jungkook ignores Taehyung as he’d never spoken, gesturing to Jimin.

 

Jimin manages to keep the surprise from his voice as he greets Taehyung. He’d never expected Jungkook to introduce him as his husband, especially to someone so close to him.

 

He’d expected Taehyung to know their true nature of their relationship, especially to have been such a close friend of Jungkook’s. But then again, he hadn’t told his own friends about their scam of a marriage.

 

“I bought you guys a housewarming gift.” Taehyung says as he picks up the abandoned box.

 

Jungkook’s laugh is light and hearty. “You’re a bit too late for that.”

 

A little more bickering before Jungkook leads them towards the sofas.

 

For a second Jimin hesitates, wondering if he should join them or just walk away. Jungkook takes the option out of his hands when he asks for Jimin’s drink preference.

 

It’s a little strange but he tells Jungkook the way he likes his coffee and settles in the sofa a little ways away from Taehyung’s seat. “How’s married life with Jungkook?”

 

“It’s a new experience.” He hesitates to tell Taehyung too much because he doesn’t know what Jungkook’s told his friend so he plays it safe.

 

“I don’t know how you manage to live with him.” Taehyung laughs. “He’s like an overgrown manchild sometimes with all his Ironman merch.”

 

Jimin files away that little tidbit of information, knowing that it’ll be useful in the future.

 

“I can hear you.” Jungkook complains, carrying their drinks on a tray.

 

“I know.” Taehyung answers jokingly.

 

Jungkook scowls at his friend before slapping him playfully. “What is it this time, Tae?”

 

For a moment, it’s like he’s seeing Jungkook in his natural habitat.

 

He’s playful and friendly, not the cold and indifferent man he is with Jimin.

 

“You remember the dude?” Taehyung asks once Jungkook settles on the sofa, in the empty space between Jimin and Taehyung, throwing an arm over the back of the sofa as if it was completely normal. “You know the one I met at the wedding?”

 

“The one who rapped on stage?”

 

“Yes!” Taehyung exclaims excitedly. “Him!”

 

“J-Hope?” Jungkook absently drums his fingers over Jimin’s shoulders as he hums in thought. “I remember it was something like that.”  

 

Jimin lifts his head, having a clue of who they’re talking about. “You mean Jung Hoseok?”

 

Taehyung nods enthusiastically. “Yes, he told me to call him Hobi hyung though.”

 

He laughs. “Yeah, he has a thing for nicknames.”

 

“Are you two close?”

 

“Why?” He smirks to Taehyung’s almost instant reaction, blushing fire engine red. “He’s a good friend of mine. I can put in a good word for you if you’d like.”

 

Jungkook joins in the teasing and they work together until Taehyung finally caves and admits that he needs help with planning his date with Hoseok.

 

It’s obvious enough with the blush high on Taehyung’s cheeks.

 

He doesn’t know how it starts but he joins in, helping Taehyung plan the perfect date.

 

Watching as Jungkook and Taehyung fight over possession of the phone, he can’t help but find it adorable.

 

It makes him feel as if he’s helping out his younger brother with his first crush.

 

He also likes to think it’s time Hoseok found someone who’d treat him right.

 

He thinks maybe, Taehyung could be the one.

 

It’s outright endearing when Taehyung lets out a loud shriek when Hoseok sends him a selfie out of the blue, captioned with ‘Do I look date-ready?’

 

Then, does he know that Hoseok is just as smitten, especially when his friend, who usually takes forever to reply to text messages, barely took a minute to reply.

 

“Do I reply back?” Taehyung asks, almost frantic. “What do I say? Do I call him?”

 

“You don’t need to panic.” Jimin laughs. “Trust me, he’s just as excited as you are.”

 

Taehyung gets up his seat beside Jungkook and moves to sit beside Jimin, latching onto his arm as he speaks, “Then what do I do next?”

 

Jimin bites down on a giggle when he hears Jungkook let out a huff of displeasure at being blatantly ignored.

 

“You can compliment his selfie.” Jimin suggests gently.

 

Taehyung nods beside him, looking he’s seconds from whipping out a notebook and taking his notes. “Do I say that he looks beautiful? Or should I say something about his smile?”

 

“Maybe you should mention the smile.” Jungkook suggests. “It’s more genuine.”

 

“Right.” Taehyung nods, fingers flying over the keyboard on his phone.

 

“Don’t forget to mention that you’re excited for your date.” Jimin reminds the younger boy.

 

Taehyung looks at him with wide eyes. “I already sent the text though.”

 

“You can just send him another one.” Jimin gives the younger boy a soft squeeze on the arm. “I’m sure he won’t mind.”

 

There’s a moment of hesitation before the younger types in what Jimin had suggested. “And then?”

 

“Let him know you’ll be there to pick him up.”

 

Taehyung nods, doing as told.

 

Jimin can’t help but smile fondly at Taehyung. “You’ll be fine.”

 

“I’ll hold you to that, hyung.”

 

Jungkook’s grunt is more evident this time. “You don’t get to call him hyung.”

 

“Then what am I supposed to call your husband?” Taehyung raises a brow teasingly. “‘Jiminie’ or ‘Jimin-ah’ or—”

 

“Don’t.” Jungkook’s voice is firm, no longer holding the playful hint of bickering it did in the beginning.

 

The air tenses and Taehyung’s finger twitches on Jimin’s forearm.

 

“Jungkook-ah,” he says lightly, hoping it would somehow lighten the mood just a little.

 

“Jimin-ssi is fine for him.” There’s a pout, a childish petulance to Jungkook’s voice.

 

And Jimin wants to believe that it’s Jungkook not wanting him to cheapen the moment.

 

It took them quite a ways to be able to call each other without the honorifics.

 

He turns a little towards Jungkook, resting a hand on the younger’s thigh.

 

Drumming his fingers on the same pattern on Jungkook’s muscular thighs as he did on the back of Jimin’s seat earlier, to get the younger’s attention. Once Jungkook catches his eye, he tries to gesture to Taehyung as subtly as he can with his chin.

 

Jungkook relents after a little while, fingers resume absently playing with the hair on the nape of Jimin’s neck. “You can call him Jimin hyung. But no nicknames.”

 

“Alright, you possessive piece of shit.” Taehyung leans over to punch Jungkook playfully. “You don’t have rub it in.”

 

Just like that the tension in the room eases away.

 

“Well you won’t be single for too long,” Jimin teases. “If things work out with Hoseok.”

 

Taehyung flushes red and the tense air between them dissipates.

 

They get back into planning Taehyung’s date. Somehow through their planning session, both he and Jungkook gets dragged into a double date.

 

He remembers doing the same thing on his first date, forcing Yoongi to join with his boyfriend. It’s easier, more relaxing to have someone he trusts, with someone who has more experience by his side. So, before he even realizes it, he’s agreed to the double date.

 

Hiding a wince, he angles towards Jungkook to check for his reaction.

 

The younger smiles his agreement and Jimin breathes a sigh of relief.

 

Although he knows Jungkook would do anything to help his friend, he doesn’t know if Jungkook would willingly pretend to be the loving boyfriend with Jimin in front of one of his best friends.

 

“You willingly want us to be spare tires on your first date?” Jungkook doesn’t sound unwilling, just a little surprised.

 

Taehyung nods. “I just get so nervous around him my words get so jumbled up.”

 

“Y’know,” Jungkook drawls lazily. “If you wanted to check out the rides beforehand, we better get going now.”

 

“Right.” Taehyung quickly scrambles to his feet. “You’re definitely right.”

 

“But remember, no roller coasters because Hoseok hyung is terrified of them.”  

 

And just like that, they end up getting pulled into the double date.

 

For some reason, Jimin is a little excited, almost as if it was his own date.

 

Maybe just a little, he wonders if it’s because Jungkook is being kind. And just maybe, he hopes it can last.

 


 

Taehyung didn’t lie when he said he was a mess.

 

Jimin grimaces as he hides behind the shelf of stuffed toys while Jungkook bites down on his lower lip, obviously trying his best not to burst into laughter. He doesn’t blame him at all.

 

It was a little ridiculous that Taehyung spent five whole minutes talking about the weather.

 

Earlier Taehyung had taken them to the amusement park, wandered around looking for the rides and snacks Hoseok would’ve liked before driving back to pick up the boy, leaving both Jungkook and Jimin at the park by themselves.

 

They made plans to ‘run into’ the soon to be couple, pretending that they were also at the amusement park themselves on a date.

 

And now, here they were, hiding in the souvenir store, behind a shelf of bunny ear headbands just so Hoseok wouldn’t spot them.

 

It’s as if Jungkook is unable to stand it anymore, he jams a pair of bunny ears over his head, slipping a matching one over Jimin’s head more gently before he gets to his feet from his crouched position.

 

“Taehyung!” There’s a look of mock surprise on Jungkook’s face as he speaks. “What are you doing here?”

 

Taehyung spins towards them, backpack banging into the table, bringing down the display of hand cream with it.

 

With red cheeks and even redder ears, Taehyung crouches down quickly, hands reaching for as many bottles of cream as he can.

 

Almost automatically, Hoseok follows, picking up stray bottles before they roll too far.

 

Exchanging an amused look with Jungkook, Jimin joins Taehyung on the floor, collecting the bottles. Jungkook following suit pretty quickly.

 

He hears Hoseok’s laugh as Taehyung headbutts him on the sides in his haste.

 

It’s only when they finish recreating the display, does Taehyung speak up. “Sorry about that guys.”

 

“That’s fine.” Jimin bites his lip in effort not to laugh. “But what’re you guys doing here?”

 

Hoseok gestures to Taehyung. “We’re on a date.”

 

“Really?” Taehyung turns to Hoseok with wide eyes.

 

Both boys’ face flush red when Hoseok nods shyly, reaching out to hold Taehyung’s hand.

 

Jimin nudges Jungkook, seeing the fond smile on his husband’s face.

 

“They’re cute, right?” Jimin whispers, knowing that the two won’t be able to hear him with the way they’re staring at each other.

 

Jungkook turns to him, hand reaching to fix the headband on Jimin’s head. “Yeah, can’t wait to stop hearing him complain about being single.”

 

“Same goes for Hoseok.”

 

“I do not complain.” Hoseok pouts, obviously having heard.

 

Jimin giggles. “You sure bout that, Hoseokie hyung?”

 

His friend makes a face before asking, “Want to walk around together since you guys are here as well?”

 

“You don’t mind?” Jungkook asks as he slings an arm around Jimin’s waist.

 

He hates that he’s hyper aware of the heat radiating from Jungkook’s body. Even when he tells himself that this is all for sure, for Taehyung’s sake, he can’t but help but feel conscious of the arm pulling him against Jungkook’s hard chest.

 

“Alright then.” Taehyung says, reaching out to take the headband and plushie from Hoseok’s hands. “I’ll pay first.”

 

At first Hoseok refuses, arguing that he can pay by himself.

 

“But I want to get something for you to commemorate our first date.” Taehyung says earnestly.

 

It’s so mushy that has Jungkook letting out a loud snort and Jimin giggling into his hands.

 

Hoseok gives in easily after that.

 

The cashier doesn’t blink an eye at the foursome, only scanning the items and monotonously uttering the total.

 

Taehyung nods, digging into his backpack for his wallet.

 

It’s only does a little time pass, when Hoseok worriedly asks if he should pay instead, does he realize the younger has probably forgotten his wallet.

 

It’s certain when Taehyung looks to him, eyes widened in panic.

 

Jimin drops his wallet on the floor purposefully before exclaiming in a dramatically, surprised voice, “Taehyung, is that your wallet on the floor?”

 

Taehyung looks to the floor before looking back to him, a confused expression on his face.

 

Jungkook catches on easily, bending to scoop the wallet into his hands. “You should be careful with your wallet.”

 

Eyes wide with appreciation, Taehyung takes the wallet, carefully opening it up to pull money out.

 

It goes smoothly without further complications.

 

That lasts until they reach the haunted house.

 

“I thought we were going to ride the spinning teacups.” Hoseok is almost paperwhite as he stares at the creepy poster in front of him. “Why are we lining up for this?”

 

It’s almost funny how Hoseok’s lower lip trembles.

 

He remembers the time they’d went together, the two of them screaming for their lives as fake zombies chased after them.

 

He leans past Jungkook’s wide shoulders to place a comforting arm around Hoseok’s waist. “While you went to buy a drink, we talked about it. The line was too long so Taehyung suggested we do something else before that and see if there’ll be less people later and Jungkook suggested the haunted house.”  

 

Taehyung rips his eyes away from the people exiting the haunted house, some looking exhilarated while others looking downright ready to collapse. There’s a look of worry that flashes through the younger’s eyes when he sees Hoseok’s pale complexion.

 

“We don’t have to go inside if you don’t want to Hobi hyung.” Taehyung steps closer to Hoseok. Taehyung reaches out to hold Hoseok’s hand but he stops before he makes contact, hand falling away to his side. “If you’d like, we could get snacks first and eat them while we line up instead.”

 

Jungkook places an arm around Jimin’s waist.

 

Not unfamiliar with the touch due to all the parading they’ve done at parties and dinners, Jimin’s not uncomfortable with the touch, just confused about it. He looks up at the taller but Jungkook isn’t looking at him.

 

With a swift tug from him, Jimin’s arm falls away from Hoseok and he finds himself pressed into Jungkook.

 

He sees the almost touch and feels bad. Without realizing it, he had unintentionally gotten in the way.

 

He ignores the large hands gripping his hips and quickly takes a step back as Jungkook nudges Taehyung closer with one hand, none too subtly.

 

He watches Hoseok and Taehyung, both cheeks tinted pink as Taehyung makes the move first, resting a hesitant hand on Hoseok’s shoulder.

 

Almost instinctively, Hoseok presses himself closer to Taehyung when a loud shriek reaches them from the inside.

 

“I’m probably going to regret this,” Hoseok says, clutching at Taehyung’s free hand. “But let’s try it out.”

 

He sees the way Taehyung squeezes Hoseok’s hand in support and he almost coos out loud.

 

“Taehyung, I suggest you wear some earplugs when you go in.” Jimin teases his friend. “It’s the only way you can keep your hearing alive.”

 

Hoseok huffs. “Don’t pretend you weren’t screaming beside me.”

 

“Oh?” Jungkook sounds intrigued and just by that one syllable, he knows his pseudo-husband is going to hold this over him.

 

“Yup!” Hoseok answers enthusiastically, his fear forgotten. “He was so scared he even threatened to fight them.” Jimin reaches out to quiet his friend but Hoseok ducks behind Taehyung. “The poor staff were so confused to have this cute, 5’6 pink haired mochi try to beat them up.”

 

“Excuse.” Jimin aims another weak slap at his best friend’s direction. “I’m 5’8.”

 

“Wait,” Jungkook tugs Jimin back by the waist once again. “So Jimin hyung tried to fight because he was so scared?”

 

“Yeah.” Hoseok laughs, obviously having fun in Jimin’s expense. “I actually do have a video of it.”

 

“How?” Jimin frowns at his friend, knowing Hoseok was terrified out of his mind to be doing any recording.

 

“Yoongi.” That simple answer has Jimin vowing to spam his best friend with texts early in the morning as revenge. “He sneakily took it when he was chasing you around.”

 

“I do have a question though.” Taehyung speaks up with his head cocked to the side. He pauses as if waiting for them to approve. Jimin nods and Hoseok gestures for him to continue. “Why do the two of you still call each other so awkwardly?”

 

“That’s right!” Hoseok chims in. “You always gives people nicknames. Jungkook is your husband, I thought you’d have a billion nicknames for him by now.”

 

“Oh.” Jimin says dumbly, mind blank with the sudden attack.

 

He turns to look up at Jungkook, hoping he has answer for him.

 

Jungkook shrugs. “We thought we’d try out nicknames a little later in the relationship.”

 

“You two are married.” Taehyung deadpans. “What more do you want?”

 

Jungkook’s jaw clenches. “Stay out of this.”

 

Taehyung doesn’t cower at Jungkook’s tone, instead shrugging it off easily. “If that’s what you want.”

 

“Excuse us for a minute.” Jimin says as he grabs Hoseok by the arm and heads far enough away that the two can’t hear them. “What are you doing, hyung?”

 

“What?” Hoseok shrugs carelessly.

 

Jimin chances a glance back to see both Jungkook and Taehyung staring at them intently. The latter looks away first, rubbing at the back of his neck, while Jungkook doesn’t. He can’t decipher the look Jungkook’s giving him. He holds eye contact for a little longer before looking away.

 

Hoping his cheeks aren’t flushed red, he turns back to his friend. “You know Jungkook and I aren’t like that.”

 

“I know.” Another careless answer. “But he sure isn’t acting like you two don’t have a thing going on.”

 

Jimin sputters at Hoseok’s absurd words. “What?”

 

“Don’t you see how possessive his actions are?” Hoseok slings an arm over his shoulders. “He has an arm wrapped around your waist like all the time.”

 

“That’s because it’s the easiest way to show people we’re a couple without overdoing it.”

 

“Okay.” Hoseok nods. “Understandable. Then explain why he has to do it now. Who’s going to see it?”

 

“You never know.” Jimin explains feebly. “There might be someone we know walking around anytime.”

 

There’s a loud sigh from Hoseok before his friend grips him by the upper arms, shaking him lightly as emphasis. “Listen to yourself, Jimin-ah.”

 

“Don’t say that.” Jimin shrugs away from Hoseok’s hold. “You know Jungkook has Ji-eun. You know that.”

 

“So?”

 

“What do you mean ‘so’?” Jimin huffs. “I’m not going to be the evil third party that rips them apart. I’ve already done enough, haven’t I?”

 

“I’m not telling you to do that.” Hoseok says, voice softened. “I’m just telling you to stop hiding behind that excuse and feel what you want to feel.”

 

“That’s absurd,” he says, hoping Hoseok just knows how ridiculous it actually is. “You’re absurd.”

 

Hoseok doesn’t have the chance to say anymore before Jungkook comes up to them. “You two done talking?”

 

Hoseok nods, swiftly moving back to Taehyung before Jimin can say a word.

 

“Do I want to know why he just winked at me?” Jungkook turns back to the duo for a little bit before facing him again.

 

Jimin groans. “No, you can just ignore him.”

 

The corners of Jungkook’s lips twitches upwards.

 

He lets out a giggle and Jungkook chuckles along with him, bunny teeth on display.

 

Jungkook’s warm laughter vibrates in his chest and Jimin feels that maybe they’ll survive the rest of the year.

 

His fingers pressed against Jungkook’s chest reminds him of what Hoseok had just said about Jungkook’s touchiness.

 

Instantly, he pulls his hand away, taking a step back so they’re not touching anywhere.

 

At all.

 

The frown on Jungkook’s face tells him he’s probably weirded him out with his sudden behaviour.

 

Jungkook wordlessly rearranges his headband once again.

 

“Wanna ditch?”

Chapter Text

They don’t actually ditch the date because Taehyung latches onto them, scared of being alone with Hoseok and embarrassing himself.

 

Nothing too surprising happens and the double date ends smoothly.

 

They go back to their usual lives and it doesn’t take long for them to settle in to the apartment.

 

He finally buys a mattress and a bed so they stop rotating between the sofa and the bed.

 

It’s better this way and he can tell Jimin likes it from the way he smiles at the news.

 

Jungkook knows how uncomfortable the sofa is, even if Jimin is tiny, the sofa isn’t meant for sleeping on.

 

They are starting to get along or learn to live with each other’s presence. Jimin doesn’t purposefully reach out to him and he understands, keeping to his own side of his room.

 

Without purposefully doing anything, the apartment feels more like home with every passing day.

 

He doesn’t know if it’s Jimin’s cologne or if it’s his shampoo but there’s always that smell of something like flowers and something sweet in every corner of the house.

 

There are more touches of the apartment being lived in.

 

Jimin has his pillows all over the couch, his jacket thrown over the chairs and his pastel cup sitting glaringly obvious among the sleek and modern kitchen.

 

He has his own stuff thrown around here and there; from time to time, he finds a sock thrown to one side, his cereal boxes spread over the kitchen counter and his slippers permanently placed in front of the door for when he gets back.

 

Until it’s not.

 

He gets home from work to find them missing from it’s usual spot to the right of the door. He sees the leather shoes placed neatly beside Jimin’s smaller pair of converse before he realizes that someone else is there.

 

Jimin knows they have an event in a little bit, plus he wouldn’t have brought someone back without telling him about it.

 

The closer he gets the more words he manages to piece together.

 

Curiosity gets the better of him and before he knows it, he’s standing in front of Jimin’s room.

 

The door is shut but he can hear the yelling, loud and cruel.

 

“You’re already enough of an embarrassment.” The voice is snide and obviously aimed to hurt. “I need you on your best behaviour at all times.”

 

Jimin’s voice is too low for him to hear but he can hear the hurt coming off the soft spoken tones in waves.

 

“That’s no excuse.” The other voice growls once again. “You don’t get to decide any of that. If you even treasure your friends, you wouldn’t be slacking off so badly.” Unconsciously, he presses closer to the doors as the voice gets more heated as time goes on. “You’re not even trying. I told you not to make me look bad in front of others and you just had to go and do the opposite.”

 

Although he hates to admit it, it takes him awhile before he recognizes Mr. Park’s voice. Park Sihyuk’s voice is not the cool and collected one he remembers hearing when they first met.

 

There’s a low murmur that he knows is Jimin and he can’t help but press even closer to the door.

 

He then remembers the time Jimin had flinched when Jungkook had lifted a hand to flick something off the smaller’s shoulder. Everything comes to an understanding almost instantly.

 

The thought that someone could hurt the small innocent man, who he’s promised one year of his life to, has his blood boiling. The realization leaves him so angry, he’s thrumming.

 

He straightens up and rips the door open, uncaring that Park Sihyuk is technically his father-in-law and elder.

 

The door bangs open and both men turn to look at him.

 

Seeing the way Jimin’s cowered into the chair, while Mr. Park looms threateningly over him has Jungkook striding into the room and inserting himself between the father and son.

 

When Jimin looks up at him with sad eyes, lower lip trembling, he feels the anger coursing through his veins but he tries his best to keep his displeasure out of his tone. “Mr. Park, if you don’t mind, we have somewhere to be in the moment.”

 

Jimin’s father agrees easily, allowing Jungkook to guide him out of the house and out of the door.

 

He tries for a polite smile and shuts the door firmly in the older man’s face before he heads back to where Jimin was.

 

Jimin had curled himself into a ball, knees against his chest and arms wrapped around his legs. He’s coiled so tightly into himself, he almost looks fragile.

 

Pathetically, he stands there watching Jimin rock back and forth for a little bit.

 

“I’m okay.” Jimin says, voice soft and broken, a contrast to his words. “I don’t need your pity.”

 

“I—” He falters, not knowing what to do.

 

There’s only the sound of Jimin’s soft sigh before they lapse into silence, Jungkook hoovering at the doorway until Jimin unfolds himself and gets to his feet.

 

He almost reaches out as Jimin stumbles a little before straightening to his full height. Without his insoles and thick heels, Jimin just comes up a little below the top of his ears.

 

Jimin’s eyes are still bright with unshed tears when he looks up.

 

The feeling of needing to protect the smaller man rears to the surface and Jungkook has to fist his hands into a ball to stop himself from reaching out to push away a stray strand of hair that had fallen into Jimin’s eyes.

 

“Let’s go out.” He doesn’t know where the impulsivity comes from. He blames it on Jimin. There’s a look in his eyes that has Jungkook wanting to wrap him up in bubble wrap and scream some common sense in Jimin’s father.

 

“We still have a little bit until we have to leave.” There’s hesitance to Jimin’s tone, his stance the same as he stares at Jungkook with suspicion.

 

He knows they have an event to get to but with the way Jimin looks at the moment, Jungkook doesn’t think he can stand to see Mr. Park without wanting to give him a taste of his own medicine.

 

They probably wouldn’t be missed either way.

 

“No, I meant to those real estate agencies.”

 

With Jimin’s inquisitive gaze focused purely on him, he feels the squeeze in his chest tighten. “Why?”

 

“I don’t know.” He shrugs. “We can muck around pretend we want to buy shit. Pretend to be those newly wed couples and gross people out.” He waves his arms in the air just to have something to do with them, instead of them just hanging stiffly at his side. “I mean, we have experience after all.”

 

“Is this what you do for fun?” Jimin lets out a soft giggle, eyes pressed into crescents. Without waiting for a response, Jimin nods. “Let’s go.”

 

And perhaps, Jungkook feels like he can breathe again without that heavy feeling weighing him down.



They actually do go around looking at apartments and fancy houses.

 

Their real estate agent had been snobby enough that Jimin didn’t feel too bad about wasting her time. It was obvious the woman had assumed they wouldn’t be able to afford any of the places she’d taken them but he knows Jungkook could buy all the houses and apartments they were shown without even making a dent in his bank account.

 

Jungkook had played the loving husband to a T, going to the point of even being overly mushy, wrapping a arm around his waist whenever the lady looked over. He played his part as well, cooing at the younger with exaggerated corny pet names, laying it on thick by resting his head on Jungkook’s chest.

 

They try to outdo each other with syrupy one liners that has his fingers curling inwards at the cringeworthy words that slip out of both his and Jungkook’s mouth.

 

“But babe,” Jimin whines, curling a hand around Jungkook’s in a blatant show of affection. “I like this one.”

 

“Sweet cheeks.” This pet name has Jimin’s smile twitching as Jungkook continues with a playful smirk plastered over his face at one upping him. “This apartment is too small for our kids. You know I was thinking we’d have enough kids for a baseball team.”

 

He bites his lip to keep from laughing as their real estate agent’s face twists into a barely concealed look of disgust.

 

Quickly, he faces away to hide his grin.

 

Jungkook pinches his waist and Jimin squirms away to no avail as his husband has an arm firmly wrapped around his waist.

 

“She’ll hear you, Snugglekins.” He pushes the sickening sweet nickname past his lips with every intention of having the other hear.

 

Seeing Jungkook’s grimace, he knows he’s won this round.

 

In part disgust and part shock, Jungkook’s grip around his waist slackens and he easily slips away in pretense of examining the view.

 

He gets a few moments to himself before he feels Jungkook’s warmth draped against his back. “Whatcha looking at kitten?”

 

Suppressing a shudder at the sudden heat seeping through the thin material of his button down, he tries his best to keep his voice playful as he turns enough to meet Jungkook’s eyes. “Just the view, baby bun.”

 

Jungkook makes a face at the nickname.

 

Belatedly, he realizes how fitting the nickname is for Jungkook.

 

“You’re better than any view possible.” Jungkook says it with so much sincerity, he almost believes it.

 

Maybe it’s Jungkook’s eyes, that are usually hard or blank, blown wide, sparkling with earnestness that Jimin can’t seem to look away from.

 

His cheeks feel hot and he quickly diverts his gaze.

 

He’s about to return the compliment when he hears choking from behind him and he has to hide another grin.

 

Purposefully playing innocent, he turns to their real estate agent. “Are you okay?”

 

The woman quickly composes herself and gives excuses and retreats from the room.  

 

They lapse into a comfortable silence. He’s not pressured to say something to fill the quietness nor is it stifling.

 

It’s easy.

 

He keeps his voice low, not wanting to ruin the peaceful mood between them. “Jungkook-ah.”

 

“Hmm?”

 

“Thank you for doing this for me.” He is grateful, immensely so, that Jungkook would sacrifice time to spend time doing something so silly with him just to cheer him up.

 

“It’s not a big deal. I had fun as well.” Jungkook says. The entire time, he has gaze focused on the view in front of them, but his arms remain wrapped around his shoulders.

 

And Jimin pretends it’s nothing out of the norm, ignoring the way his heart pounds so loudly he’s terrified Jungkook will hear it.

 

They stand like that until their agent steps back into the room.

 

Jungkook pulls away first this time.

 

And Jimin tries to ignore both the small twinge of something he feels and the way his heart stops trying to pound out of his chest.

 

But with all the acting aside, he actually takes an interest in one of the apartments. It’s high up with floor to ceiling windows, giving him a 270 degree view of the city from where they stand. He falls a little more in love as he watches the sunset with Jungkook’s arm around his waist, pressing him close to the warm and solid body of the younger man.

 

For a little while, he forgets his father’s thinly veiled threats and the harsh words his father had thrown at him and lets himself soak in the view of the city below him.

 

He lets himself believe he’ll be okay. He’s survived for so long, he’ll be fine.

Chapter Text

 

Jimin’s weekend comes in the form of an early morning awakening, also known as Jungkook’s mother barging into the apartment, past Jungkook standing stock still by the doorway.

 

“Jimin-ah!” Jungkook’s mom greets him, moving towards him and wrapping both arms around him.

 

“Hello, Mrs. Jeon.” He awkwardly pats at the older woman’s back.

 

He looks to Jungkook for help but his husband just shrugs back at him, looking just as confused.

 

Jungkook comes to his rescue, reaching out to pry his mom off of Jimin. “What are you doing here? Weren’t you going to have lunch with dad today?”

 

Jungkook’s mom flits away from Jungkook’s grasp, stepping into their open kitchen. “You guys look like you’ve been getting used to living here.”

 

In that moment, Jimin remembers that they’re living in separate rooms. Stepping close to Jungkook, he tugs on the younger’s elbow as he whispers, “The bedroom. Your mom is going to see.”

 

It doesn’t take Jungkook long to understand, his eyes widen and his mouth gapes open just a little.

 

Jungkook smoothly steps back and slips into his room.

 

Understanding what the younger man was about to do, he heads towards Jungkook’s mom just as she’s inspecting their fridge.

 

“But there’s not much in there.” The older woman shakes her head disapprovingly as she closes the freezer.

 

He nods. “We spend a lot of time at the office.”

 

“That’s not good.” Jungkook’s mother focuses her gaze on him and Jimin feels like squirming away. The same brown doe eyes staring back at him is too much like Jungkook’s but at the same time, they are too gentle to be the younger’s. “You’re too thin, Jimin-ah.” The older woman pinches his cheek gently, in an almost maternal gesture. “Where are those chubby cheeks?”

 

“I left them back in highschool.” Jimin giggles to dispel the discomfort in his chest, remembering how hard he’s worked to put that behind him. He’s confident in the way he looks now, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t occasionally look at himself and wish that he was just a little better. “I prefer to have jawline.”

 

“You were cuter then, Jimin.” Mrs. Jeon finally drops her hand. “This just means I have to fatten you up.”

 

This time the laugh feels a little more genuine. “I think Jungkook should be the one you start fattening up first.”

 

“Why?” Mrs. Jeon instantly adopts a worried look. “Is he not eating properly?”

 

Jimin smiles at the evident concern before placing a calming hand on the older woman’s arm. “He is, I just wanted to be in on the foods Jungkookie likes so I can bribe him whenever we argue.”

 

“You two are just so cute.” Mrs. Jeon laughs breezily. “Jungkook likes pizza, bread, or basically anything with flour. As for meat, he likes pork. There’s also banana milk if you really want to win him over.”

 

He giggles, imagining Jungkook sucking on a bottle of banana milk.

 

“Thank you for taking care of my son, Jimin-ah.” Mrs. Jeon’s voice is suddenly serious. “I know he hasn’t been the easiest to get along with and I want to apologize for the way we’ve treated you.”

 

He quickly shakes his head. “No, that’s—”

 

“No.” Jungkook’s mom says absolutely. “We shouldn’t have let Jungkook treat you so rudely. I was, and still am, mortified that Jungkook would still include Ji-eun into the picture with you here. Because of my own selfishness, I have dragged both you and Jungkook into this marriage but I believe that you two can be happy.”

 

Just like that, one more person who knows about Ji-eun. Although he’s known that for a long time, confirming it is a different feeling.

 

He feels a mix of gratitude and distance with Mrs. Jeon.

 

“Although I can’t speak for the both of us, there have been many moments I am grateful I met Jungkook.” He tells himself it’s not a complete lie and it’s not. Even though for most parts, his relationship with Jungkook has been frigid and unchartered territory, there has been moments he’s been obligated to Jungkook. “I am thankful to the Jeon family in many areas.”  

“Jimin-ah…” Mrs. Jeon looks up at him with watery eyes, completely unlike the tidy and neat woman Jungkook’s mom usually holds herself. “We should be thanking you for everything you’ve done for us.”

 

“I haven’t done anything.”

 

“You have.” The older woman insists. “You’ve done so much.”

 

“Thank you for saying that.” Jimin feels himself getting teary as he accepts Mrs. Jeon’s praise. “You’ve done so much for me when I first came as well. You accepted me and made me feel welcome.”

 

Mrs. Jeon wordlessly wraps her arms around him.

 

This time, the hug feels a lot more natural and Jimin finds himself accepting her affection.

 

He pulls away just as Jungkook appears back into the living room. “Why are you here mom?”

 

Mrs. Jeon lets out a loud sigh. “I think your dad is cheating on me.”

 

“What?” Jungkook’s eyes widen in surprise and Jimin finds himself letting out a gasp without knowing. “Are you sure, mom?”

 

He quickly maneuvers Jungkook’s mom to the sofas, easing her slowly onto the leather.

 

It’s hard to believe Mr. Jeon would do something like that. During all the times they’ve met, the older man always seemed so in love, so smitten with Mrs. Jeon.

 

He pulls away just as Jungkook kneels in front of his mom, the worry in his big eyes obvious for the world to see “Mom?”

 

Jimin steps away from the scene in the pretense of getting them a drink, knowing he shouldn’t stay. No matter how nicely Mrs. Jeon’s treated him, he’s just an outsider afterall.

 

Stalling as long as he can, he returns with two cups of tea, knowing Jungkook doesn’t like to drink coffee.

 

Jungkook takes the cup of tea with a brief smile at his direction before facing his mom again.

 

The older woman accepts the cup gratefully and before he can slip away, she grabs onto his hand, enveloping it in her’s. Left with no other option, he sinks into the sofa beside Mrs. Jeon, giving her a squeeze for comfort.

 

“He’s always going out for ‘business lunches’ with that secretary of his.” Mrs. Jeon wails. “Whenever I go to his office, he’s always out with her.”

 

Helpless, he just sits there as Jungkook attempts to soothe his mother’s worries. “I’m sure they really are just business lunches.”

 

“No.” Mrs. Jeon refuses stubbornly. “How many business lunches does he have to have to be going out every single day.” The older woman turns to him. “Right?”

 

Knowing he has to answer, he tries to think of something to soothe the older woman’s worries. “Mr. Jeon loves you, even I can tell. When I met him last time, he spent the majority of the time gushing over you.” There’s a look of disbelief on Mrs. Jeon’s face so Jimin continues. “Business lunches are really common, I take my secretary, Sejun, with me to lunch meetings all the time.”

 

“But not everyday.” It’s obvious Mrs. Jeon wants him to agree with her.

 

“Mom,” Jungkook says exasperatedly. “Don’t go cooking up imaginary scenarios in your head. We’ll talk to dad alright?”

 

“As if he’d tell you, if he was.” Mrs. Jeon scoffs.

 

Jimin gives the older woman’s hand another squeeze. “I’m sure you trust Mr. Jeon, right?”

 

“I do.” The answer is swift and confident.

 

“Enough to know he wouldn’t cheat on you?” He phrases it as a question but it’s not really one.

 

“I know.” The problem doesn’t lie in the alleged cheating but somewhere else, so he stays quiet, waiting for her to answer, knowing the rest of her worries will come out if he’s patient. The older woman’s grip on his hand tightens. “It’s just that I’m tired.”

 

“Tired?” Jungkook repeats.

 

“Tired of always chasing after him.” Mrs. Jeon looks down. “He’s always busy with work. When he comes home, he’s tired. We have dinner, barely say a word to each other that isn’t about work and then he goes to bed. That’s how it always is.” Jimin understands all too well, having his mother lose sleep about the same exact thing. “I just want him to pay attention to me sometimes, even mundane stuff like notice I got a haircut or take me out to dinner.”

 

Jungkook gets up from his position kneeling in front of Mrs. Jeon, moving to sit beside her instead.

 

When sitting like that, he can’t help but notice that the similarities between mother and son is even more pronounced.

 

He listens absently as Jungkook talks her down for a little while until he notices how tired Mrs. Jeon looks.

 

“Maybe we should let her stay here for the day.” Jimin whispers softly to Jungkook who nods in return.

 

Wordlessly, Jungkook guides the older woman to her feet. Mrs. Jeon does so, looking so out of it, Jimin feels bad.

 

He stays in the living room, both confident Jungkook knows what he’s doing and knowing he shouldn’t encroach any further.

 

Even by name and by law, he’s a Jeon, he’s not part of them.

 

Spending time with Jungkook always settled uncomfortably in the pit of his stomach. He knows there’s technically nothing wrong but it doesn’t stop reminding Jungkook is someone who's taken, someone who has someone he loves dearly.

 

Technically nothing wrong but all too wrong at the same time.

 

Afterall, it’s just an act. He can try to pretend as much as he can, but in the end, it’s all fake.

 


 

He distracts himself by doing the laundry they’d been avoiding for the past two days.

 

Jungkook finally comes out of the room, tiptoeing, when Jimin’s folding their clothes.

 

“How’s your mom?” he asks quietly.

 

Jungkook settles onto the sofa beside him, distractedly folding a towel as he says, “She’s calmed down now.” Jungkook nods before his expression turns weary. “I think my mom is going to be staying here for a bit until they get their shit together.” The younger man fiddles with the towel before he continues. “I hope it’s okay if she stays.”

 

“Of course I don’t mind.” Jimin says. “She can stay as long as she needs to.”

 

“You sure you don’t mind?” Jungkook repeats the question. “I mean we’ll have to pretend we’re in love and sleep together all the time.”

“I’m really okay with it.” Jimin nods, freezing before he can reach out to squeeze the younger man’s arm. “Maybe we can, y’know, nudge your dad in the right direction?” He suggests hesitantly. “Hint at a private room for the two of them and a candlelit dinner?”

 

Jungkook nods. “Yeah, that’d be good.”

 

“You know the restaurant near here, the fancy Italian one?” Jungkook nods again so Jimin continues. “Your mom said she wanted to go there but never had the chance to. I was originally going to go with Yoongi hyung, but if your parents are free, I can give them my reservation instead and arrange something a little more romantic for them.”

 

“Would you?” Jungkook lifts his head to look at him, the gratitude shining in his eyes.

 

He nods before looking down back at the t-shirt he’d been folding. “I don’t mind, if it helps your parents out.”

 

Jungkook reaches out, taking Jimin’s hands in his own. “Thank you so much, Jimin hyung.”

 

“I didn’t do anything.” He returns the smile. “I just hope your parents reconcile as soon as possible.”

 

“Stop belittling yourself.” Jungkook’s voice is firm, surprising Jimin so much, he jerks his head upwards to look at the younger man. “You’re so forgiving and kind-hearted it makes my heart hurt sometimes and you’re—”   

 

“Thank you, Jungkook.” He quickly stops the compliments before he turns too red and before he reads too much into the careless words. “Ji-eun is lucky to have you.”  

 

“I’m sure the same goes for whoever you’re with.” Jungkook agrees easily. “I’m lucky to be able to say you’re my husband.”

 

For now. That goes unspoken but understood.

 

Jimin doesn’t understand the sudden change in personality but he’ll take what kindness Jungkook is lavishing at him at the moment.

Chapter Text

“Do you want the left side of the bed?” Jimin asks, words awkward and stiff as he watches as Jungkook walks into his room, fresh from his shower. “Or the right?”

 

It’s a given neither of them can sleep out in the living room sofa.

 

“I don’t mind which side.” Jungkook rubs a towel over his wet hair, looking all too comfortable with their situation, shirtless. “I’ll just take the side you don’t want.”

 

“I’ll take the right side then.” He leans over the bed and rearranges the pillows Jungkook had thrown on the bed, in haste for something to do, in order not to drool over defined abs.

 

They lapse into silence and Jimin continues to fiddle with the sheets, not knowing what to do.

 

“I can sleep on the floor.” Jungkook offers.

 

“No, you don’t have to.” Jimin quickly shakes his head to emphasize his point. “It’s not a big deal, I used to—”

 

He bites his lip.

 

He used to, with Yoongi.

 

But that was the past.

 

Now he’s a married man.

 

He has Jungkook.

 

The same man who was staring at him inquisitively, looking at him without even blinking.

 

“Anyways, let’s just go to bed.” Jimin says, quickly, hoping his husband would drop it.

 

“Who—” Jungkook cuts himself off, closing his eyes in something akin to frustration. He watches Jungkook’s tongue poke at his cheek, an unwilling expression taking over the younger’s features before it melts away. “Let’s sleep. Mom’s probably going to barge in early tomorrow morning. Plus we have to make an appearance for dad’s seminar tomorrow.”

 

He nods mutely, not knowing what else to say.

 

Jungkook climbs into bed first, looking nonchalant as he drapes the blanket carelessly over his stomach, hiding the abs Jimin had been thirsting over. He follows along, sitting gingerly on the side before he swings his feet onto the bed, feeling more awkward than he did moments ago.

 

The bed shakes when Jungkook shifts on his side of the bed.

 

He twitches, fingers idly playing with his half of the blanket.

 

Chancing a glance at Jungkook, he finds the younger man staring back at him.

 

“Do you…” He looks away. “Did you brush your teeth?”

 

Again the bed jiggles under the weight. “I did, after my shower.”

 

“Oh,” Jimin answers dumbly. “Okay.”

 

The atmosphere is so stifling, Jimin wants to escape but he stands his ground.

 

“Are you keeping the lights on?” Jungkook asks, pulling at the blankets when he reaches out to put his phone on the bedside table.

 

“I am.” He blinks when Jungkook’s hand comes into view.

 

“Can I ask why?” Jungkook asks softly.

 

The sudden interest in his life has him taking a step back in his mind but he doesn’t question it.

 

“It’s a childhood thing.” Jimin tries to answer nonchalantly but it’s like the other man knows he’s pulling away, trying to build the wall between them higher because he wraps a hand around his. He still refuses to look Jungkook in the eye, adamantly looking down at their entwined fingers. “I was home alone a lot when I was younger. I just got used to having the light on when I slept.”

 

He tries to keep it brief.

 

It’s obvious Jungkook has different ideas. “How old were you then?”

 

“I wasn’t too young. Maybe around 5 or 6?” Jimin answers anyways because Jungkook always smelled like Busan, ocean and recklessness mixed into one package. He shrugs, shifting so he’s leaning more comfortably against his pillow, hoping Jungkook would take a hint to release his hand from his grip. “Dad hadn’t remarried then, so it was just the two of us and a handful of maids that took care of me.”

 

But he doesn’t let go, instead Jungkook just lifts their joined hands up and tucks the blanket higher over Jimin’s lap.

 

“Weren’t you lonely?”

 

“Not really.” Jimin lies. He was, he remembers all the nights he’d cried himself to sleep. “I had Yoongi hyungie and Hobi hyung. They took me under their wing as a kid and cared for me like I was their younger brother. I don’t know who I’d be without them.”

 

Jungkook goes quiet, tightening his grip on his hand, his thumb absently drawing circles over his knuckles. “You really treasure them, don’t you?”

 

“Yeah,” he admits quietly. “They’re all I have and I’ll do everything I can to protect them.”

 

“They must be lucky that you love them so much.” Jungkook’s voice is almost wistful, longing.

 

He finally turns to see a rueful expression on the younger’s face.

 

Jimin wonders if Jungkook had someone like that in his life.

 

Unlike him, Jungkook’s parents surely had a good relationship. It was obvious just by looking at his interactions with his mother.

 

“How did you meet Taehyung?” Jimin asks, both curious and wanting to remind Jungkook that he had someone who’d stand by him no matter what as well.

 

“The first time I met him, he’d been chasing a puppy.” Jungkook laughs, the bittersweet expression gone. Almost instantly, Jimin feels as if a breath of fresh air appeared and had blown away the heaviness in his chest. “The puppy literally had him running in circles.” Jimin giggles, imaginning adorable, kiddy Taehyung chasing after a puppy. “He actually did a few laps before he got dizzy and fell over. Then he saw me sitting in the sandbox, so he called me over and asked me to help catch it.”

 

“Did you help him?”

 

“I did. I was an obedient kid back then.”

 

“Hard to believe.” Jimin jokes playfully.

 

“Believe it or not, I was.” Jungkook slaps him lightly on the thigh, a small smile on his face. “So like idiots, we chased after Soonshim, that’s the puppy’s name. It’s like he took pity on us because we probably looked dumb, he stopped and let us catch him. Then Taehyung, somehow kept appearing at the park everyday and forced me go on walks with him and now here we are.”

 

“That’s adorable.” Jimin smiles. “I want to meet Soonshim.”

 

“You can’t.” Jungkook answers abruptly.

 

He tries not to let the hurt show on his face but it leaks into his voice anyways. “Oh.”

 

“No, no, no.” Jungkook spits out the words so quickly they get garbled in his haste to reassures him. “That’s not what I meant. Tae had Soonshin for a few years before he died. He has Yeontan now, he’s an adorable Pomeranian puppy.”

 

“I see.” Jimin reaches out and gives Jungkook’s arm a gentle squeeze.

 

Jungkook hums softly before uncurling his fingers around Jimin’s hand.  

 

Just like him, Jungkook’s probably been through the same experience of fake friends using him for money and connections, Jungkook moreso.

 

It was hard to find friends who had no impure intentions, who genuinely liked them for them.

 

“I have Jin hyung too.” Jungkook slinks lower until he’s laying on the bed. “Although I haven’t known him as long as I’ve known Taehyung, I don’t know what I’d do without him.”

 

Jimin copies Jungkook’s position, slipping under his covers himself. “I’m glad you have them by your side.”

 

“Me too.” Jungkook answers, voice a little slurred compared to before. “I’m glad you have Yoongi-ssi and Hoseok-ssi as well.”

 

And that’s the last of it.

 

They don’t talk any further.

 

Jungkook falls asleep first, eyes fluttering shut in the warm yellow glow of Jimin’s night light.

 

Looking at Jungkook like this, he seems so innocent, so breakable.

 

He blinks, forcing himself to turn away, so his back faces Jungkook, but not without whispering a soft, soft ‘goodnight, Jungkook-ah’.

 

He won’t pretend to understand the tender touches or the kind tones Jungkook had used, he’s just satisfied in believing that maybe, just maybe, Jungkook hates him a little less.

 

Jimin falls asleep to Jungkook’s soft inhale and exhale, arm pressed against Jungkook’s.

 


 

Unlike the way he fell asleep, he wakes up to a heavy weight pressing him into the mattress.

 

He squints at the sunlight slipping through the gaps of the curtains.

 

His groggy mind discerns the heavy arm draped over his stomach and a leg thrown over his thighs and he remembers how he’d fallen asleep last night.

 

Jungkook.

 

Jeon Jungkook.

 

He panics for a little bit, not knowing what to do before he decides on trying to slip out from before Jungkook wakes up. It’s better that than to have to awkwardly make conversation, especially after what happened last night.

 

He moves carefully, not wanting to wake up the other man.

 

But the option is taken from him when Mrs. Jeon bursts into the room, a bright smile on her face. “Good morning!”

 

Mrs. Jeon takes one look at them and smirks.

 

Jimin scrambles up into a sitting position, flinging Jungkook’s arm off of him immediately.

 

“What’s happening?” Jungkook groans, stretching languidly. “It’s too early to be awake, Jiminie.”

 

Jimin tugs Jungkook upright swiftly.

 

“Your mom is here,” he whispers frantically, hoping it’d get through to Jungkook’s sleepy haze.

 

The younger blinks owlishly at him.

 

Jimin sees the moment the words register in Jungkook’s mind because he jerks his head to the direction of his mother.

 

“Mother,” Jungkook whines. “Don’t just barge in.”

 

“What’s there to be embarrassed about?” The sly look remains on her face for a fraction longer before the older woman shrugs. “It’s not like I walked in on something indecent.”

 

“Mom!” Jungkook barks out, ears tinged red.

 

“I’ll take this in exchange for my embarrassing behaviour last night.” Looking completely unrepentant, Mrs. Jeon laughs. “I’ll leave you two alone but leave any hanky panky until tonight because I’m waiting for you two handsome young men to take me out for breakfast.”

 

One last wink and Mrs. Jeon shuts the door firmly behind her.

 

Jungkook groans loudly, burying his face into his hands.

 

Jimin feels like his cheeks are going to combust anytime soon with how hot they feel.

 

“I’m so sorry about my mom,” Jungkook says into his hands. “She doesn’t really have a sense of boundaries when it comes to me.”

 

He doesn’t know who’s more mortified but Jimin knows he would rather it not happen again.

 

“I’m just glad we didn’t sleep separately.” Jimin says lightly, hoping it’d someone easen up the awkwardness of the situation. “Imagine all the questions your mom would’ve had if she found you sleeping on the floor.”

 

Jungkook laughs, lifting his face out of his hands. “She’d pester us about it til the day we die.”

 

He lets out a small giggle before he unpeels the blanket off of his legs and gets out of bed. “Then let’s hope she never catches us aside from anything but our best behaviour.”

 

Jungkook copies his actions, throwing the blanket aside as he comes to a stand. “Alright, my little husband.”

 

Jimin hates that his heart leaps at Jungkook’s words, especially when they were so insignificant, just a throw away phrase they used for each other whenever they had to act their part in front of someone else.

 

“I’m not little.” Jimin pouts, crossing his arms. “Take it back.”

 

“I’m not scared of you.” Jungkook chortles. “You’re so pocket sized, I have to lend you a stool if you want to look me in the eye.”

 

Jimin stomps his foot. “I’m going to tell your mom.”

 

“Still not scared. You—” A yawn cuts Jungkook off midway. “—wouldn’t do that because you’d suffer from that too.”  

 

“I’m not the one who has to live with her after—”  

 

After we get divorced.

 

Jimin had forgotten that ‘they’ had a due date, especially after they’d been getting along more recently.

 

“Right…” Jungkook says as if he’d forgotten about it.

 

He looks away.

 

How could he? Jungkook probably counted down the days until he was free.

 

“I’m going to brush my teeth first.” Jimin quickly grabs his phone. “You can search up a good place for breakfast.

 

He doesn’t even wait for Jungkook’s answer as he books it out of his room.

 

It seemed that he always conveniently forgets about the fact that Jungkook wasn’t a permanent fixture in his life.

 

Like expired bread, wanting to keep it any longer would lead to no good.

 

And he knows.

 

So as soon as breakfast ends, he escapes to work.

 

He doesn’t return home until he has to meet up with Jungkook and Mrs. Jeon for the seminar.

 

A little space between them would do them both good.

 

He’d lowered the walls a little too easily for Jungkook to have been able to climb over with such ease.

 

If Jungkook notices the gap between them when they head into the lecture hall together, he doesn’t mention it.

 

Escaping under the guise of socializing, he leaves Jungkook behind.

 

From far away, he sees Sung-Ja and he approaches her, glad to see a friendly face.

 

“Jimin-ah!” Sung-Ja spots him and starts gesturing for him to come over.

 

He hurries towards the woman.

 

“You never mentioned you were coming.” Jimin pouts. “I bought you that Bluetooth key finder you wanted. If I knew, I would’ve brought it with me.”

 

“Sorry.” Sung-Ja drops a hand over the crook of Jimin’s arm. “I didn’t know if I had time to come until the last minute.”

 

“I forgive you.” Jimin says playfully, watching as Sung-Ja laughs along with him. “But you have to let me meet Brandley again.”

 

“He misses you, keeps meow-ing at me whenever I so much as bring up your name.” Sung-Ja gestures for them to take a seat and Jimin follows along obediently. “But Taemin tells me you’ve been avoiding him.”

 

When he had found out Taemin was Sung-Ja’s nephew, he’d been pretty surprised but at the same time, he wasn’t too surprised.

 

It was a small world afterall, especially in this social circle.

 

“I’m not.” Jimin makes a face. “I’m not as free as I used to be now that I’m married. Taemin hyung is a busy idol himself, it’s hard to find time where we’re both free.”

 

“Well, you know if that Jungkook boy isn’t treating you well enough, our Taemin is free.”

 

“I’m a married man.” Jimin says with mock indignation. “How could you suggest that I have a tryst with other men.”

 

Sung-Ja giggles. “I wish I met you earlier than the Jeons did, then I would have taken you for my own.”

 

“I always wanted to know how it would feel to have married to a beautiful, older woman.” Jimin jokes. “I’d be the target of envy.”  

 

“You’re such a sweet talker.” Sung-Ja pats his arm lightly. “But back to what I asked you before. How’s the boy treating you?”

 

Jimin shrugs. “He’s nice to me, as nice as he can be to someone who's taken away his chance of being with the one he truly loves.”

 

“Like you didn’t have that ripped away from you as well.”

 

“I didn’t have someone I loved at that time.” Jimin looks away, watching as familiar faces pass by without focusing on them. “It’s different.”

 

“Let’s stop talking about that.” Sung-Ja sighs. “You’re always so stubborn to your own faults.”

 

It’s not something he’s proud about.

 

He had many faults, keeping track of all of them wasn’t too hard. Afterall, everyone around him found it easy to remind him time and time again of what they were.

 


 

Just because the majority of the people have either gotten used to it or who have accepted his marriage with another man, doesn’t mean there aren’t people who aren’t as welcome to the idea.

 

Beom Soo was the glaring example of a closed minded asshole who thought they knew it all.

 

And Jungkook hated him with everything he had.

 

What got his blood boiling was the way the douchebag thought he was better than anyone, better than Jimin.

 

Right now, as he holds the dickhead by the collar, with Jimin sniffling in the behind him, he doesn’t feel bad for terminating all the contracts they once had with the Choi family factories at all.

 

“I dare you to say what you said to him again.” Jungkook growls, holding back purely because Jimin is clinging onto his back with his tiny hands.

 

“Why?” Beom Soo sneers. “You mad I insulted your pretty, pretty little plaything?”

 

“You think you’re so great don’t you?” Jungkook tightens his grip, letting out his own sneer. “What would your own wife say if she knew about all the teenage idols you’ve slept with, all the freshly debuted boys you’ve tried to get into your bed. The news stations must be super interested to hear about this too.”

 

Beom Soo lets out a roar. “You will regret messing with me.”

 

“Jungkook-ah.” Jimin’s grip on his shirt tightens until he feels nails digging into his waist. “Let’s not—”  

 

“Yeah.” Jungkook’s anger bubbles to the surface  shakes the man, curling his lips into a cruel smile. “I will regret if I don’t. I can’t have insignificant toothpicks like you thinking you can say anything you want to my husband and get away with it. I said it and I’ll do it. So if you even think about mentioning Jimin with your filthy mouth, if you even think about breathing the air he breathes, I will ruin you until you wish you weren’t even born.”

 

He finishes up his threat by throwing Beom Soo to the floor.

 

“Do you understand?” Jungkook places a foot dangerously close to Beom Soo’s fingers.

 

Beom Soo looks clearly shaken, nodding wildly, before he scrambles to his feet and makes his escape.

 

Certain Beom Soo’s gone, he turns back to Jimin, cupping a hand on Jimin’s cheek.

 

“You okay?” he asks softly, not wanting to raise his voice and scare the smaller man any further. “I’m sorry if I scared you back there.”

 

Jimin nods mutely.

 

He has to stop himself from cooing when Jimin leans into his touch, closing his eyes as he lets out an occasional sniffle.

 

Jungkook tilts Jimin’s head up, even knowing Jimin has his eyes closed. The need to know Jimin isn’t hurt anywhere else overpowers logic.

 

If he had been any later, Beom Soo would have done more than just corner Jimin, looking as if he’d devour him. He doesn’t think he can forget the utterly revolted look Jimin had on his face when Beom Soo reached out to touch his face.

 

“He didn’t do anything to you, did he?” Jungkook asks as he swipes a thumb over the tear tracks on Jimin’s face.

 

Even after crying, Jimin looked absolutely breathtaking under the moonlight.

 

The moonlight casting a soft radiance over Jimin’s cheeks, highlighting cheekbones and the soft curve of Jimin’s nose.

 

There was no doubt he was in the presence of an angel.

 

“No.” Jimin’s voice is soft and hesitant. “He just said some really gross stuff and touched me but other than that, I’m okay. You came before he could do anything.”

 

Jungkook feels his blood boiling again but he douses it as quickly as he can. “That’s not nothing.”

 

A flicker of a smile before it wavers and disappears completely. “I’m used to it.”

 

Jungkook grits his teeth in effort not to ask who he needed to beat up. “If anyone ever hurts you, let me know.”

 

Jimin’s eyes finally open, chocolate brown eyes wide and trusting as he nods.

 

Jungkook feels a little better when he’s rewarded with a smile, Jimin’s eyes scrunched up into crescent moons.

 

“Thank you, Jungkookie.” Jimin steps back and Jungkook’s hands falls uselessly to his side. “You were like my Prince Charming, dashing over to save me.” He flushes at the words that come out Jimin’s mouth so easily but before he can act on anything, Jimin presses on. “Let’s go back inside now. I’m sure people will find it weird that we’re both gone from our seats.”

 

“Do we have to?” He knows his voice is bordering a whine but he really doesn’t want to go back inside, especially with the mix of adrenaline and anger still thrumming in his veins. “It’s boring.”

 

“Your dad is the organizer of this seminar.” Jimin reaches out, taking his hand in his small ones. “It’d look bad if we weren’t there.”

 

“Fine.” Jungkook grumbles, allowing Jimin to drag him back inside to Jimin’s laughter of tinkling bells and wind chimes.

 

He thinks, maybe he could spend forever listening to it.

 

Chapter Text

It’s like he jinxed himself, thinking things were starting to be okay.

 

He was finally getting along with Jungkook and the rest of the Jeon family, but his luck never lasted long.

 

And then Ji-eun comes back in the picture and everything falls apart.

 

“You fag!” Ji-eun screeches pointing an accusing finger at Jimin’s direction.

 

He looks up from his documents to see Sejun helplessly trying to contain the tiny woman of rage.

 

One look at he knows it’s obvious Ji-eun has seen the articles, the rumors of him and Jungkook looking into adopting.

 

“I’m sorry, Director Park.” Sejun apologies between Ji-eun’s shrieks. “I tried to stop her.”

 

“It’s alright Sejun.” He smiles his forgiveness at his young secretary. “Could you please get Ms. Lee a cup of tea and call my husband and tell him I would like his presence as soon as possible.”

 

Sejun nods and hurriedly leaves, shutting the door behind him.

 

How Jimin wished he could just walk away in the pretense of having something else to do.

 

He thinks of his younger brother and grits his teeth.

 

For Jihyun’s sake, he’ll take Ji-eun’s anger.

 

“Ms. Lee.” He turns to the tiny woman in front of him. “If you don’t mind, I would like to understand why you’ve decided to storm into my office and insult me.”

 

Ji-eun is obviously agitated, even before he had referred to Jungkook as his husband.

 

“Stop trying to seduce him.” Ji-eun grabs a stack of paper and throws it onto the floor. “I can’t believe you would ever swoop so low to try to trap him with a kid. You’re so pathetic.” Ji-eun does the same with another binder, ripping paper from its origin in her rage. “As if it wasn’t enough when you fooled him into marrying an attention whore like you.”

 

Jimin clenches his jaw, wanting to have Ji-eun thrown out of his office but for his sake and Jungkook’s, he doesn’t.

 

Before he can formulate a reply, Sejun comes back with a tray.

 

He sees the way Sejun’s eyes widen as he surveys the scene in front of him. “Mr. Park, do I need to call security?”

 

“No, it’s alright.” Jimin nods as Sejun sets down the tea on the table. “Please tell my husband that Ms. Lee is in my office and request his immediate arrival.”

 

Understanding immediately registers in his secretary’s eyes and he knows he’s bound for the sympathetic glances and looks of pity.

 

Afterall, having half the public know your husband is cheating on you is enough to warrant those looks.

 

“Yes, Mr. Park.” With that Sejun disappears again, but time he sheds a worried glance back at him before closing the door behind him.

 

“Stop calling him your husband.” Ji-eun’s voice is eerily calm. “He’s not yours.”

 

Jimin stands his ground as Ji-eun creeps closer and closer. “Neither is he yours.”

 

“He is mine!” Ji-eun screams, swiping blindly, knocking down a few files and folders in her wake.

 

He winces, knowing everyone outside his room has probably heard. “Not according to law.”

 

Even if he knows it’s not a good idea to encourage Ji-eun’s rage, he can’t help it.

 

“Shut up!” Ji-eun’s face is red in exertion. “He can marry you a thousand times over but he won’t love you.”

 

“I know.” He admits.

 

He knows.

 

He’s known it the first time he saw Ji-eun that there was no space for him. Ji-eun and Jungkook, not Ji-eun, Jimin and Jungkook and definitely not Jimin and Jungkook.

 

Every actor could play the lover on stage but once the spotlights are off and the curtains are down, they naturally fell back to the one they truly loved.

 

And in this case, Ji-eun was Jungkook’s comfort, the one he could be who he was without the fake mask and the prying eyes.

 

“Then why are you still sticking to him?”

 

He hates the tone Ji-eun is using; the blatantly obvious way she’s looking down on him, tone haughty and disdainful.

 

“You should ask your beloved that.” He returns, tone calm knowing it would anger Ji-eun even more. “He’s the one who promised his forever to me. You—”

 

Ji-eun’s shrill scream cuts off the rest of the scathing things he’s about to say. “He’s not yours!”

 

“You’ve mentioned that earlier.” He knows nothing he says at the moment can calm Ji-eun and he can only hope Jungkook arrives earlier and take her away.

 

Ji-eun’s chest heaves. “Because it’s obvious a homewrecking gold digger like you wouldn’t understand.”

 

He doesn’t say a word because it’s partially true. He’s become someone he’s vowed to never become.

 

After all the dramas he’s watched, all the gold digging characters he’s scoffed at, he’s become one of them.

 

Marrying for money and fame.

 

And he hates it so much.

 

He hates what his dad has forced him to become.

 

But most of all, he hates himself for giving in to all of this mess.

 

An triumphant and purely snide look overtakes Ji-eun’s features.

 

She steps close to him, a smirk etched on her face and Jimin has to fight to stand his ground.

 

Leaning in close, she whispers, “I’m pregnant with your husband’s child so, don’t even think, for a second, you could ever tie him down with a kid.”

 

It doesn’t take a genius to understand what Ji-eun was implying.

 

His chest constricts until he can’t seem to breathe.

 

He’d truly become a homewrecker now.

 

“Mr. Jeon-ssi, Mr. Park is inside.” Sejun’s voice pierces through the haze and before he can even blink, Ji-eun’s upturned the cup of water over her head.

 

He can only gape dumbly when Jungkook storms through the door.

 

Large hands grip both sides of his shoulders. Their eyes meet and he sees some of the panic fade from Jungkook’s eyes. “Are you okay?”

 

He nods and those brown does eyes look away from him. The younger man’s attention is instantly on his girlfriend.

 

He sees the moment Jungkook connects the puzzle pieces together, although probably not the way it actually happened, but a conclusion nonetheless. The way Jungkook’s posture becomes rigid and his shoulders almost seem to expand, hands falling away from Jimin. Just everything about Jungkook seems to become larger than life as he takes note of the cup that had mysteriously rolled right in front of Jimin feet to Ji-eun’s white blouse soaked through.

 

Jungkook instantly strips off his jacket, throwing it around Ji-eun’s slim shoulders before turning to Jin, whispering an order he can’t hear.

 

He belatedly realizes that Jin is in the room as well, probably having followed behind Jungkook on the way over as he watches Jin guide Ji-eun out of the room, a hand on the small of her back.

 

There’s a moment where their eyes meet.

 

The older man is unreadable.

 

He knows that Jin has probably come to the same conclusion Jungkook has.

 

Ignoring the unwarranted heaviness in his chest for disappointing the older man who has been nothing but nice to him since they’ve met, Jimin turns to Sejun. “Sejun could you please close the door behind you and assist Jin-ssi if he needs anything.”  

 

Sejun hesitates, eyes wide open with worry. “But…”

 

“It’ll be okay, Sejun.” He promises. “Also please reschedule my meeting with the sales team.”

 

Jungkook’s scoff has Sejun flitting a concerned glance in the direction Jungkook stands, arms crossed and jaw clenched.

 

He nods encouragingly at his secretary and wishes he could leave with Sejun. He keeps the smile plastered on his face until his secretary closes the door behind him.

 

Eyes hard, Jungkook turns to him and he braces himself for the taller man’s  anger.

 

“You wouldn’t believe it if I told you I didn’t actually do it, would you?” Jimin starts off first, trying to keep his voice seemingly calm and unaffected.

 

Jungkook advances and Jimin wants to run so badly.

 

He knows Jungkook wouldn’t hurt him but the way the other man is, angry and entire demeanor hard, he’s just a little terrified.

 

His feet are glued to the ground, refusing to listen to his mind as Jungkook comes closer and closer.

 

“I never thought you’d stoop so low to do that.” Jungkook’s voice has lost all sense of gentleness it once held. His tone is low and calm but there’s an undercurrent of something else that makes him shiver. “I should have never, ever thought that you’d be capable of being kind to a woman that I love.”

 

He bites down on his lower lip, feeling his nails dig into the palm of his hand as he fights to keep his composure. “I—”

 

“You don’t deserve any more of my understanding.” Jungkook comes to a stop, anger radiating off him in waves, so powerful it almost knocks Jimin off his feet. “Ji-eun was right, you’re nothing but an attention-seeking, gold digger who looks no further than his own well-being.”

 

With that Jungkook spins around and storms out of his office.

 

Like a dam breaking from the heavy storm, the tears he’d been holding back blurs his sight. Even if he reminds himself he’s too old to be crying the tears spill down his cheeks anyways.

 

He doesn’t know what hurts more, the words Jungkook had spit at him or the way Jungkook had instantly sided with Ji-eun.

 

With shaky fingers, he dials for his Yoongi.

 

It’s obvious where he stands with the people around him and he knows no one, no one aside from Yoongi and Hoseok, will stand on his side, no questions asked.

 

The moment he hears Yoongi’s raspy hello, he cries. Ugly sobs rip from his throat as he hears Yoongi’s panicked voice.

 

He tries to focus on the older’s soothing voice but he can’t.

 

All he hears is Jungkook’s voice calling him a attention-seeking, gold digger over and over again.

 


 

He doesn’t know how long it takes Yoongi to come but he knows the moment he arrives and he feels relief rush through him. The doors bang open loudly and Jimin looks up from his pity party of one.

 

There’s no words exchanged as Yoongi grabs him gently by the back of his neck and tugs him close.

 

The feeling of relief hits him all at once and he almost melts. He buries his face into Yoongi’s chest, knowing his friend will take of everything he needs.

 

The soft rumble of Yoongi’s chest is soothing as he whispers sweet nothings over and over. He tightens his grip onto the older’s shirt, unwilling to let go.

 

The smell of sandalwood and the soft blanket candle he’d bought Yoongi before drift to his nose and it smells of comfort.

 

Yoongi was warm against him, running hot even, but he just felt so cold on the inside.

 

So, so cold.

 

When he finally calms down enough, he can hear Sejun fretting around in the background.

 

He lets out one last sniff before pulling away from Yoongi’s chest.

 

“Calmed down yet, Sunshine?” Yoongi’s voice is still soft and gentle, a big contrast to Jungkook’s hostile tone.

 

Yoongi brings a large hand up, cupping Jimin’s cheeks softly, brushing away tears with the pad of his thumb.

 

He lets out a shaky breath and nods mutely, eyes downcast.

 

It’s then does he realize what position they’re in. He’s perched on Yoongi’s lap, the older man’s back against the leg of his table, front of his shirt wet with Jimin’s tears.

 

Yoongi seems to understand him, just like he always does and doesn’t press any further.

 

Managing to get to his feet, he totters off Yoongi’s lap.

 

His friend doesn’t say a word as he stands, only opening his arms once again.

 

Needing the comfort, he wraps his arms around Yoongi’s waist.

 

He latches onto the wordless direction and shuffles after Yoongi as the older leads them outside.

 

They come to a stop and Jimin notes that they’re probably standing in front of Sejun’s table from his view of the floor, he recognizes that ugly plastic tree that’s been there since the day he started working at Serendipity.

 

Yoongi says something Jimin doesn’t pay attention to, focused only on the soft rumbling coming from Yoongi’s chest.

 

He shifts so his head rests against Yoongi’s collarbone as the older rubs absent circles on the small of his back.

 

After today, he knows everything he’s worked so hard for has already went crumbling down. Not just his image he’d worked so hard to build but his job at Serendipity will be at stake.

 

Afterall, how can someone like him be able to manage thousands of employees if he can’t even control his own emotions?

 

He’d just managed to lose everything in one afternoon but he can’t find it in him to care.

 

It was just easier than he imagined.

Chapter Text

 

His father tells him to stay away from Serendipity for the while, tells him to take a break.

 

He knows it’s not said out of worry for him but worry for the company image.

 

It’s not a break but an order to stay away.

 

He obeys the orders in Yoongi’s house.

 

He’s not ready to see Jungkook, not after all that’s been said and done, especially not after he knows Ji-eun has Jungkook’s child.

 

Even though he knows he deserves some of those words Jungkook had spit at him but they hurt.

 

He’s human enough that the words stay lodged in his chest, reminding him again and again. Long ago, the guilt of having taken Jungkook’s happiness from him has settled in his stomach, the uncomfortable feeling following him around every second of the day.

 

He doesn’t warrant Jungkook’s kindness as he’s the one who ruined his happiness after all but at the same time, it feels unfair he’s been taking the brunt of Jungkook’s frustrations when they’ve been thrust into similar situations without either of their consent.

 

Yoongi doesn’t press for him to explain, just wordlessly staying beside him when he needs it.

 

He’d spent the first day crying his eyes out until he’d fallen asleep on Yoongi’s bed.

 

He knows Yoongi needs to go back to work, so on the third day, he pushes aside his selfishness and tells Yoongi to go.

 

He knows the constant vibration coming from Yoongi’s phone is starting to become urgent.

 

“You should go back, hyung.” He picks up Yoongi’s phone and hands it to him.

 

Yoongi looks at the phone before muting it. “I’ve got time.”

 

Jimin can’t help but giggle at that. “You don’t. Sungwoon called me yesterday, crying because they need you back at the studios.”

 

“What about you?” Yoongi steps towards him, eyes donning that worried look he’s been wearing the past few days.

 

“I’ll be fine.” Jimin tries for a smile but it falls flat when Yoongi’s expression doesn’t change the slightest bit.

 

“How about you come to the studios with me?” Yoongi suggests. “The kids miss you. They’ve been whiny babies since it’s been a while since you’ve visited.”

 

He brightens up at the idea. “Can I?”

 

“I offered.” Yoongi says as he collects his laptop from the table and stuffs wayward papers into his bag.

 

He bounds after Yoongi, happy to have a source of distraction, even if he knows he’s merely a burden at the moment.

 


 

The knocking starts off firm but sparse only to sound continuously against his door when he doesn’t give acknowledgement he’d heard.

 

With a groan, Jungkook gets to his feet and rips the door open, a scowl on his face ready to tell whoever it was at the door to piss off.

 

His father had already been on his case for the past few days, always bringing up Jimin’s name and whatnot, probably having heard the mellowed out version from Jin.

 

His mother had been even worse, seeming to use every opportunity to nag at him. Without even mentioning either Jimin or Ji-eun’s name, it’s obvious what his mother is punishing him for.

 

He gets it. He does.

 

He understands that he’s been a bastard but he wants to think that he’s been an asshole with reason. It was normal for him to react the way he did seeing his girlfriend in that state, he’d like to think any boyfriend will react that way. But still, it doesn’t make his actions okay.

 

The guilt weighs in his chest but he buries it a little deeper, trying to forget about it for a little bit more, just a little bit more.

 

With exhaustion running deep, with both his parents’ constant badgering, he was in no condition to meet other people.

 

He falters for a second when he sees Yoongi standing there, glaring back at him.

 

For a second, he’s tempted to shut the door but instead he says, “What do you want.”

 

“Jimin’s laptop.” Yoongi answers flippantly, arm crossed at his chest.

 

A small, tiny part of him almost wishes that Jimin was the one who’d come to get it himself but he should’ve expected this. As if Jimin would walk in through these doors after doing what he’d done. He probably wasn’t that thick skinned.

 

He’s not comfortable enough with the thought of the older man wandering into his home, pretending to know where everything was, more than he did, so he says, “I’ll get it for you. Wait here.”

 

Yoongi acknowledges it with a small nod of his head and it’s probably the best Jungkook will get out of the other man.

 

Turning swiftly, he hurries towards Jimin’s room. But before he opens the door, he hesitates, hand hovering over the handle.

 

It definitely feels a little weird to be in Jimin’s room without him being there, just like it’d been too quiet the past few days without Jimin constantly humming under his breath or wriggling around to the music.

 

He doesn’t miss him.

 

He doesn’t.

 

Jungkook just wants to apologize because maybe, just maybe, he’d been too harsh on the smaller man without listening to his side of the explanation.

 

And he feels bad, his fists clenching when he remembers the way Jimin had looked up at him with tears in his eyes.

 

Remembering that Yoongi was still standing there, he pushes his way inside and grabs Jimin’s laptop, not before noticing that there were photos of Hoseok and Yoongi everywhere, but not a single photo of their wedding.

 

It’s expected but he still feels that little twinge of disappointment.

 

When he’s back at the doorway, shoving Jimin’s laptop at Yoongi’s hands, he speaks, “H-how is he?”

 

Yoongi snorts. “Are you sure you have the right to even ask about him?”

 

Jungkook grits his teeth in order not to snap at Jimin’s friend.

 

There’s an amused lilt to Yoongi’s voice when he does answer his question. “Thanks to the shit you did, he’s spent the past few days crying his eyes out. Not that you deserve to know.”

 

The guilt weighs heavily in his chest and the feeling of absence hits him so hard it almost knocks him off his feet.

 

“We both know you didn’t come all the way for something like this.” Jungkook snaps irritatedly, gesturing jerkily to the laptop, not wanting to hear anymore from Yoongi.

 

Yoongi expression changes in an instant, looking like he’s seconds from ripping his head off. “What I want is for you to jump off a cliff but since we both know it won’t happen, so I’ll settle for asking you what the fuck did you do to Jimin?”

 

“You have no right to be coming all the way to play high and mighty.” He jabs a finger in Yoongi’s direction. “Your boyfriend had the nerve to harass my girlfriend.”

 

“My boyfriend?” The harsh expression slips off Yoongi’s face to one of noticeable confusion. “You mean, Jimin, your husband?”

 

“Yeah,” he answers.

 

“Not everyone likes to have extramarital relations like you do.” Yoongi laughs, the laugh more like a sneer to Jungkook’s ears. “Jimin would never, ever resort to doing that shit.”

 

Jungkook tightens his grip around the doorknob in an effort not to react to the intentional jab.

 

He tries to keep his face neutral at the new piece of information.

 

He’d spent so long thinking that Yoongi was Jimin’s boyfriend only to be told they weren’t anything. “Boyfriend or not, he’s a real piece of work.”

 

“Do you expect me to believe that Jimin would do anything to your beloved?” A snort comes from the older man. “He returns money to the police station, gives the homeless the jacket off his back and cries over stray kittens. I don’t think he’s even capable of hating someone.”

 

“I know you’re not here to give me Jimin’s biography.” He crosses his arms, glaring down at the older man. “What the hell did he tell you?”

 

Yoongi’s demeanor goes rigid, eyes cold as they look at him. “Nothing because even if you’re a piece of shit, he’s determined to protect you for reasons I can’t even comprehend.”

 

“Right, like I’d believe that.” The words leave his mouth before he can even put a stop to it. “He probably was too ashamed to tell you how he threw a cup of water over my girlfriend’s head.”

 

He watches Yoongi’s expression carefully but there’s just a look of snide  amusement in the older man’s expression. “And you actually saw this happen?”

 

“No, I didn’t but—” Yoongi smirks and Jungkook falters.

 

Yoongi crosses his arms, mirroring him with a look of unaffected ease. “Because Jimin would just purposefully invite a woman he barely knows to his office just to upturn a cup of water over his husband’s girlfriend. If he wanted to do anything  like that, he would’ve done it a lot earlier.”

 

And he knows he lost whatever this was.  

 

“Y’know, I never had any intention of stepping between you two but the moment you made him cry, that was a different story.” Yoongi pins him with a cool gaze, making him feel like he was the scum beneath the older’s shoe. “Tell your girlfriend not to play victim because just as you’re a victim of your parents’ games, so is Jimin. If she wants to play games, I will gladly play with her but let her know, if she dares hurt even a strand of hair of those I care about, I will make her regret it. This better be the last time Jimin will ever shed tears for pieces of fuck like you two, or so help me.”

 

By the time, the words register, Yoongi’s already disappeared from sight and all Jungkook can do is hurl his shoe at the direction the older man had gone.

 

Seconds later, he hobbles after his shoe like an idiot, muttering curses the entire time.

 

He slams the door behind him, feeling even worse than he did before.

 


 

At night when all distractions are gone and all he has is the ticking of the clock as his only diversion, his mind flits back to Jungkook’s words.

 

Before he can delve too deep into another bout of self pity, his phone comes to life with texts from Jungkook.

 

“Where are you staying?”

“I’m sorry.”

“Please come back so we can talk.”

“I shouldn’t have said what I said. I didn’t mean it.”

 

He throws his phone aside without replying and sits up from the bed, reminding himself that Jungkook has a pregnant girlfriend.

 

A snort slips past his lips. As if Jungkook would care if he was sleeping on the streets or not.

 

Seeing the lights from the cracks of Yoongi’s room, he stumbles towards it.

 

“Hyungie?” He calls out, pushing the door open as he peeks into the makeshift studio.

 

There’s sounds of rustling before Yoongi replies. “Yeah?”

 

“Can I stay with you?” He fiddles with the hem of his shirt, looking down at his feet.

 

Yoongi’s slipper clad feet comes to view before he feels the older’s large hand smoothing it’s way down his back. “Of course, Sunshine.”

 

He shuffles inside, a hand wrapped around Yoongi’s shirt as the older arranges them inside the room before he closes the door behind him.

 

“Want to tell me about it?” Yoongi’s voice is low and smooth.

 

Jimin keeps his head bowed, avoiding Yoongi’s probing eyes. “No.”

 

“No, you can’t tell me or no, you don’t want to tell me?” Yoongi keeps up with the questions as he wraps a comforting arm around his waist.

 

He stays quiet, refusing to answer and Yoongi understands easily.

 

“Alright, I’m not going to push you. I’ll wait until you want to tell me.” The older’s voice remains warm and gentle. “Remember I promised you that we will always be there if things with Jungkook gets too bad. We’ll do everything in our power to help you.”

 

He nods into Yoongi’s shoulder.

 

Without another word, Yoongi tugs him towards his bed and he settles his head on the older’s chest once again.

 

The lapse into silence and he focuses on the rise and fall of Yoongi’s chest, hoping it’ll lull him to sleep.

 

“Do you miss him?”

 

He frowns at the absurdity of the question. “Are you sick, hyung?”

 

Yoongi sighs softly. “Do you?”

 

Realizing that Yoongi is serious, he shrugs as best as he can lying down sideways. “You can’t really miss someone you don’t know.”

 

There’s a thoughtful hum from Yoongi before he receives an answer. “You don’t have to know someone to miss them.”

 

He huffs because Yoongi is right.

 

“Doesn’t mean I miss him,” he says petulantly. “We’re not close enough for me to miss him.”

 

He refuses to think he could miss Jungkook, someone he barely sees for more than a handful of hours everyday.

 

“Alright, alright.” Yoongi chuckles. “If that’s what you say.”

 

He nods against Yoongi’s chest, grateful for the way Yoongi doesn’t push him into admitting anything he’s not ready for. “You know?”

 

“I know.” Yoongi answers, just like ingrained habit.

 

It’s enough for now.

 

Jimin wordlessly buries himself into Yoongi’s broad shoulders once again and lets the older baby him just for a little bit, until he’s ready to face the world again.

 


 

“Are you not going to go find him?” Taehyung jabs the canvas with his paintbrush a little too viciously.

 

Jungkook shrugs, knowing Taehyung can’t see him. “I know he’s staying with Yoongi-ssi.”

 

“Yeah because you stalked him like a crazy stalker.” His friend answers him offhandedly.

 

“I didn’t even need to with all the male posturing Yoongi-ssi was doing, it’s obvious where Jimin will run to.” he snaps irritatedly. “I just needed to know he’s safe.”

 

“And that’s it?” Taehyung throws down his brush a bit too carelessly near Jungkook’s feet as he turns to him. “You’re not going to do some romantic gesture and sweep him off his feet for forgiveness?”

 

“Why do I have to apologize?” he grumbles petulantly.

 

“Because,” Taehyung says slowly as if he was talking to a toddler. “You called him mean names.”

 

“Because he—”

 

Taehyung cuts him off by lifting a hand. “Can you confirm that Jimin really drenched Ji-eun with a harmless cup of water? It’s not like he murdered her or something, it’s not enough to warrant to be calling him shit. Plus if he was going to drench her, why call you over?”

 

“I—”

 

“You can’t explain it, right?”

 

He doesn’t answer because Taehyung is right.

 

Although, it’s possible Ji-eun did it to herself and he knows it’s completely feasible, he doesn’t want to admit it.

 

There were so many ways to deal with the situation and he’d chosen to be an asshole about it, chosen to let the situation and the midst of tears and panic get to him, he’d let Ji-eun influence him into thinking negatively of Jimin.

 

All the progress they’ve built, ripped down in one go because of him.

 

There was probably an explanation somewhere among the drama, he’d just missed it.

 

Because it was Jimin, he wouldn’t have done something like that.

 

He knows him.

 

Jimin was gentle smiles and even softer heart. Their first meeting had confirmed it whether he wanted to or not.

 

Considerate and thoughtful at all times, he knows whoever raised Jimin, was just as warm hearted because the Jimin who has forgiven him time after time had shown him that his heart was encompassing, even to assholes like him.

 

But at the same time, it’s hard to believe Ji-eun would have manipulated the scene that way so he stays in this lingo, not wanting to believe that either could’ve done something like that.

 

“So, going to apologize?” Jungkook nods, hearing Taehyung’s reprimand loud and clear. “I think flowers would be a good idea.”

 

He stops denying it.

 

His life will probably be a lot easier this way.

 

“I was thinking more of a cat shaped light night?” he ventures tentatively.

 

What he doesn’t mention is that he’s already bought the thing, the night light sitting in the back of his closet, reminding him at least once a day.

 

“That’s amazing.” Taehyung nods enthusiastically. “He loves cats.”

 

He knows, he’s the one who’s spent hours waiting for Jimin to stop playing with the stray kitten outside their apartment every time they head to an event together. He’s the one who picked cat fur off of Jimin’s clothes almost everyday.  He’s the one who spent money buying cat food because Jimin pouted with teary eyes when he talked about how malnourished the poor kitten was.

 

He also sees the way how chubby the little kitten has gotten with Jimin feeding her almost obsessively.

 

It’s a nice beginning for his path to apologies.

 

He can just hope Jimin forgives his cruel words.

 

Again, because all he seems to be able to do is hurt Jimin.

 

This time, it’s different because they’ve become sorta friends, meaning they trusted each other to a degree and he’d ruined all the progress they’ve made in one day.

 

He’s let Jimin down and this time, he really wishes he hadn’t.

Chapter Text

i'm sorry to do this but my laptop has died it's second death (read: I’ve been seeing the blue screen of death + my spacebar + some keys on my keyboard won't work no matter who i take it to T^T) probs because i've been using it since my late middle school days T^T 

 

so i just want to say, i won't be able to update anytime soon because i'll be computer-less until i scrape enough m o n e y to go fix it :< (read: n e v e r) i'll survive with those public library computers for now *cries* 

 

but anyways, if anyone wants to s u p p o r t me and be my suga daddy, you can check out my twitter: here (links to my s u p p o r t page) 

(i'll bribe u by letting u into where the magic is jkjk i'll bribe u with letting u into my google docs XD) 

 

and because i'm super sorry for throwing this sudden news on you guys, i'll letchu in on more of what happens next chapter

 

 

 

There’s a bag of rocks sitting on his chest, making it hard to breathe.

 

“You better apologize and don’t fuck this up.” There’s the hint of authority in his voice, the one Jin barely uses. “He’s been exceedingly kind to your parents and Taehyung when he didn’t need to be, especially with the way you’ve treated him.”

 

“I know,” he spits out the two words, hating how everything Jin said was true as he shakes off his friend’s touch.

 

“The two of you had your own reasons getting into this marriage thing, so don’t just put it all on him.” Jin’s expression turns soft. “I know you had your reasons just as he did but you can’t spend forever seeing him as the one who stole your chances of a happily ever after with Ji-eun.”

Chapter Text

Jungkook glares at the offending video playing itself on his laptop screen. 

 

He’s watched Ji-eun storm into Jimin’s room, sweep down everything in her path and drench herself for the fifth time and each time, it reminds him how wrong he is. 

 

The video replays itself and Yoongi’s words come rushing back at him, reminding how much of a shit he is. 

 

Even if he knows he has to confront Ji-eun about it, he doesn’t know how to. 

 

He’s always known Ji-eun has a mean side with her sarcastic barbs and snide comments but she’d never really shown that side to him before. 

 

Both Jin and Taehyung had complained about it but they’ve done it so often, it just rolled off him with every additional complaint. 

 

He remembers the first time he watched the video. 

 

Jin had sent it to him through email and he had opened it, innocently thinking it’d be another crack video Jin had found on the internet of him compiled of his stuttering through interviews, but it wasn’t. 

 

He had watched and heard every cruel word Ji-eun had spit out and in that moment, with his mix of emotions, he felt something akin to displeasure and anger all aimed at his girlfriend. 

 

In an instant, the guilt of what he’d said and the hurt he’s lavished on Jimin washed over him, dragging him into the ocean of guilt that had been festering in his chest. 

 

Nothing but the loud roaring, drowns out all his thoughts. 

 

For the first time, in a long time, he cries.

 

Swiftly, he wipes away the tears and he numbly replays the video, hearing every single of Ji-eun’s wicked insults and watching as Jimin folds into himself with every word. 

 

Now, on his sixth replay, he still feels the anger and guilt boiling in his veins for Jimin’s sake. 

 

Why hadn’t he believed Jimin? 

 

His husband had been nothing but kind and accommodating to him even when he had treated him like a piece of dirt. 

 

“What is it?” Jin says, looking a little harried with the large piles of folders in his hands. 

 

Jungkook quickly leans over to pause the video, the video stopping just as Ji-eun swipes down a mountain of files on Jimin’s desk. 

 

He spins his laptop so it faces his friend. 

 

It takes Jin barely a single glance before he nods. “She’s a sly little bi—” His friend glances at him quickly before shrugging. “Yeah.” He then proceeds to dump the folders on the chair in front of him, perching himself on the corner of the desk. “Glad I asked Sejun-ssi for a copy of the security tapes.” 

 

“How’d you even think about getting them in the first place?” he asks. 

 

Jin mutes the video before restarting it and Jungkook watches Ji-eun’s mouth moving up and down and forming cruel words he can’t hear. “Jimin’s secretary acted so hostile to Ji-eun so I asked him about it and viola, he sent me the security video.” Jin sighs, shaking his head as Ji-eun starts crying. “She’s a hella good actress.” 

 

“No one says ‘hella’ anymore, hyung,” he comments dryly. “And that’s not the point.” 

 

“Then what is?” Jin asks as he turns away from the video. 

 

Jungkook slams his laptop shut, tired of seeing the same scene replay itself again and again. 

 

“What am I going to do about Jimin?” 

 

Jin scoffs. “Of course you had to go call him an attention whore.” 

 

“I didn’t say that.” 

 

A raised brow says it all. 

 

But his friend-slash-secretary had never held back so he says it anyways. 

 

“Right.” Jin’s voice is sarcastic. “Because calling him a ‘attention-seeking, gold digger who looks no further than his own well-being.’ is so much better.” 

 

“I don’t need you telling me what I did wrong because I know.” He runs a hand through his hair, grimacing when it gets tangled into the gelled back sections. “I know I hurt him when I accused him of shit I shouldn’t have.” 

 

Jin furrows his brow. “Are you sure that’s all?” 

 

“What do you mean?” 

 

“Did you watch the rest of the video?” Jin opens his laptop at the shake of his head. A little clicking around and he turns the laptop to face Jungkook again. 

 

He braces himself for it when he sees video him slamming the door shut behind him. 

 

Jimin’s entire body seems to fold into itself, shoulders slumping as he focuses his attention on his phone. 

 

As if it wasn’t bad enough, Jin unmutes the video and he hears Jimin’s wretched sobs as he falls to the floor, crying so hard it’s obvious his shoulders shake and tremble even through the shitty quality video.

 

His heart aches so badly and his throat tightens. 

 

He hears Jimin calling for Yoongi, sobs cutting into his words as he speaks to his friend. 

 

And his whole world seems to crumble at the spot. 

 

Oh. 

 

Jin mutes it once again, turning his head away forcefully by putting both hands on his cheeks and forcing his head to face him. 

 

There’s a bag of rocks sitting on his chest, making it hard to breathe. 

 

“You better apologize and don’t fuck this up.” There’s the hint of authority in his voice, the one Jin barely uses. “He’s been exceedingly kind to your parents and Taehyung when he didn’t need to be, especially with the way you’ve treated him.” 

 

“I know,” he spits out the two words, hating how everything Jin said was true as he shakes off his friend’s touch. 

 

“The two of you had your own reasons getting into this marriage thing, so don’t just put it all on him.” Jin’s expression turns soft. “I know you had your reasons just as he did but you can’t spend forever seeing him as the one who stole your chances of a happily ever after with Ji-eun.” 

 

“I know,” he repeats with a barely concealed growl. 

 

Jin gets to his feet and leans over to ruffle Jungkook’s hair. “Good, just refrain from doing anything rash when it comes to either Jimin or Ji-eun, please. I’m not saying this as your secretary but as your friend and as your hyung.” 

 

“Thank you, hyung.” 

 

“You’re welcome, baby.” 

 

He huffs. “If you’re not going to help me with Jimin, then leave.” 

 

“What’s the magic word?” 

 

“How old are you?” He grumbles when Jin just crosses his arms. “Fine. Please leave, hyung.” 

 

Having heard what he wanted to hear, Jin uncrosses his arms and gathers the files. “Have fun grovelling baby JK.” 

 

He can hear Jin’s windshield wiper laugh continue even as the door shuts behind his friend. 

 

With a groan, he buries his face in his hands. Jin was useless when it came to these things and he just wonders what he has to do to relieve the vice grip around his heart.

 


 

When he tells Yoongi and Hoseok, his friends are furious. 

 

With every intention of keeping it to himself, he stays quiet at first but with both Hoseok and Yoongi combined, everything he’d been trying to keep a secret is out in the open. 

 

It hangs there until Hoseok surges to wrap him in his arms. 

 

He thinks he starts crying when he repeats Jungkook’s words but he’s not sure. 

 

Hoseok cries with him when he finishes. 

 

Yoongi is eerily calm. Words usually barely faze Yoongi, having learnt to have things roll off his back without much care but this time it was different. 

 

Jimin clutches at his friend’s arm, despite Hoseok clinging onto him, knowing what Yoongi was thinking without needing him to voice it out loud. 

 

“Hyung,” he implores. “Please don’t do anything.” 

 

“They hurt you.” Yoongi answers with his jaw clenched, carding his fingers through Jimin’s soft, fluffy hair. “He deserves at least a punch in the jaw.” 

 

Hoseok nods along. “Jimin, those aren’t words you of all people should ever hear.” 

 

“It’s nothing. This is why I didn’t want to tell you guys. I knew you’d become overprotective fathers sending away their daughters.” Jimin blinks away his tears. “Ji-eun has every right to be mad at me and Jungkook, he just, he wasn’t in the best state of mind at that moment, and, Ji-eun’s pregnant, it’s a given he’d be more protective and—” 

 

“Do you hear yourself?” Yoongi roars so loudly Jimin flinches at the volume. “You’re defending that son of a bitch who has been nothing but nasty to you ever since you’ve met.” 

 

“That’s not true,” he says quietly. “He has had his nice moments. Plus it wasn’t without reason.” 

 

“What’s the reason you won’t terminate the marriage?” Yoongi asks, straight to the point. “If you can’t find a way to end it, then tell us and let us help. Not that it should be too hard, now that Ji-eun is pregnant.” 

 

“I can’t.” He’s adamant about this. If he told either one of them, they’d hold the guilt so deep in their hearts and let it fester until it drowns everything out. He doesn’t think he can stomach the idea of seeing the disappointment on his friends’ faces. Afterall, he’s seen it too many times than he can count on his father’s face. “But I want to.” 

 

“Is it about Jihyun?” Hoseok ventures hesitantly. “Isn’t it enough he’s kicked him out? Is he still trying to threaten to take the baby away from him?” 

 

“They named her Min Ji, after mom.” Jimin offers softly. “I went to see them last week and Hana seems to be even more pale than last time. I can only do so much for them before dad finds out and takes everything away again.” 

 

Love had never been for people like him. 

 

He can only hope and pray Jihyun will receive enough for the both of them.  

 

“Fuck.” Yoongi swears. “I haven’t been to visit in a while.” He bites his lip in effort not to respond. “I’m guessing that’s not all.” Yoongi grimaces when Jimin doesn’t answer. “What type of fucking asshole threatens their own son?” 

 

“One who has no heart.” Hoseok spits out, joining Yoongi’s loud complaints of Jimin’s father. “This is one of the times I wish I had a rich and powerful daddy.” 

 

“If you’re considering to be a sugarbaby,” Yoongi says dryly. “I think J Hotel’s CEO is looking for one.” 

 

“I think if you get past the beer belly and the receding hairline, he’s not bad.” Jimin adds on. “I’m sure Taehyung would understand.” 

 

“I’m not—” Hoseok chokes and Jimin giggles in his friend’s expense. “That’s not what I meant.” 

 

“Why?” Yoongi jokes. “Is it because you don’t think you can see Taehyung as your sugar daddy? You two can break the norms, be all sugared up by your baby instead.” 

 

Even though Yoongi is the one who brought it up, he’s grateful his friend changes the subject for him. 

 

He’s not ready, he doesn’t think he’ll ever be ready for the truth but he has to be. 

 

Even though he always wondered how his play with Jungkook would end, he knows it’s going to break his heart and wreck everything he’s built because Jungkook was Jungkook. 

 

Jungkook was impulsive recklessness he had always forbidden himself to touch upon. He would become his demise, he knew it the second he laid eyes on those doe eyes that held the galaxy in them. 

 

He knew it from the beginning. 

 

He’d set them up to fail with his heart on the line, knowing it’d hurt so, so much in the end. 

 

But he gave in anyways because love, although not for him, didn’t mean he wouldn’t fall like every man did in the end. 

 

Even when falling, he knows the best way to break the fall because he’s so used to this. 

 

Every time, he naively believes someone will catch him when he falls but in the end, he’s all alone. 

 

Like knowing how to take a fall, he knows how to cut his losses. 

 

And that’s what he’s going to do. 

 

“I…” Both Hoseok and Yoongi stop bickering and turn to him with rapt attention. “I want to get divorced.” 

 

Hoseok wraps him into a hug again. 

 

“You have to tell us what’s holding you back, Jimin-ah. Three minds is better than one.” Yoongi says before turning to face Hoseok, speaking directly to him. “Though I don’t know if your’s would count for one, Seok.” 

 

Hoseok pulls away instantly, gasping indignantly. “I am smart.” 

 

Yoongi lifts an eyebrow. “You sure about that?” 

 

“What do you mean ‘Am I sure about it’?” Hoseok huffs, pulling Jimin towards him. “Tell him, Jimin-ah. Tell him who tutored you back in high school.” 

 

“Namjoon hyung.” Jimin giggles. 

 

“This is the ultimate betrayal!” Hoseok exclaims dramatically. “I’ve been forsaken by my own child.” 

 

He’s laughing so hard, he falls against Hoseok’s chest. 

 

Yoongi smiles fondly at him while Hoseok supports him from behind. 

 

And just like that, he knows he can do it. 

 

His two best friends will understand. They’re his family. He can trust them with his life. Even if they’re disappointed in him, they’ll still love him. 

 

So taking a deep breath, he tells them. 

 

He tells them his father had threatened him with destroying both Yoongi and Hoseok’s dreams. He tells them about his father threatening him with Jihyun and his family. 

 

Jihyun was innocent, just like Yoongi and Hoseok, he had done nothing wrong but refuse to get married to some woman in order to further his father’s business deals. Instead of accepting the fact that Jihyun had Hana, his father had thrown Jihyun out without a blink of his eye, putting the right pressure on the right people so Jihyun no longer had a job or any of his friends by his side. 

 

Jihyun, in return, had tried to reassure him by telling him friends that could be bought by money weren’t real friends in the first place. 

 

He had spent the last 4 years doing everything he could to support his younger brother and his family. Wishing he could do more than occasional visits and money transfers, he feels incompetent and worthless to have done the very thing that had his baby brother cast away. 

 

It feels like he’s failed. 

 

It’s quiet for a little bit after he tells his friends. 

 

Both of them not knowing what to do. Hoseok reacts first, burying his face into his hands, sobbing loudly, and then Yoongi. The oldest engulfs him in his arms, hiding his face in Jimin’s neck, entire frame shaking as he cries silently. 

 

“Jimin-ah, please.” Hoseok’s tone is almost pained as he hiccups through his tears. “Please be selfish for once. Love yourself more.” 

 

“I do.” Jimin says and winces soon afterwards. The words came out too quickly, too defensively. 

 

He’s always selfish. 

 

Always. 

 

Always, always taking and taking. 

 

It’s always been like that, both Yoongi and Hoseok taking care of him whenever he broke apart at the slightest hardship. 

 

What had he ever done for his two best friends?

 

Just this one thing and he was breaking down. 

 

This one sacrifice and he couldn’t even do it well. 

 

Both Yoongi and Hoseok look at him with twin looks of dismay and grief. 

 

The two things he hadn’t wanted to see. 

 

“It was the best option.” Jimin feels detached as he says that. Yoongi’s tears wet against his collarbone, he smoothes a hand over his friend’s blonde hair just as the older shudders. “In exchange for the happiness of the three people I love the most.” 

 

Hoseok lets out a wail and falls into Jimin’s arms as well. “You can’t just say that after you tell us we are the reason you had to marry that jerkwad.” 

 

“It’s not like that, hyung.” Jimin keeps one hand anchoring Yoongi to him and the other to wipe Hoseok’s tears from his cheeks. His heart clenches for having caused this. “I wanted to do it. I’m happy I could do something for you guys.” 

 

Yoongi mumbles something unintelligible into his skin before pulling away, cheeks streaked with tear tracks. “I’m going to kill him.” Yoongi repeats silently but firmly when Jimin looks at him inquisitively. 

 

“I’ll join you.” Hoseok promises. 

 

“No.” Jimin giggles despite the situation. “I’m not going to make weekly visits to jail because of you two.” 

 

“Well then what do you suggest?” Yoongi grumbles, still pouty. 

 

He smiles, his heart soaring with his love for his two friends. 

 

“I don’t know.” Jimin shrugs again. 

 

But this time, he has friends by his side. 

 

His heart feels so much lighter and it feels so much easier to breathe. 

 

He’ll be fine.

Chapter Text

He finally goes back to the apartment because he’s tired of wearing Yoongi’s clothes, using Yoongi’s hotel toothbrush and the 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash that makes his hair coarse and tangly.

 

Also because his father lifts the ban that was forbidding him from going back to Serendipity. 

 

He hates admitting it but he misses his pillow and his yellow throw always draped unmatched over the sleek leather couch. 

 

Although he didn’t miss work at Serendipity, he misses the people there. He misses the way Sejun would wave at him enthusiastically every morning or have Hoseok burst into his office without a care in the world, completely ignoring the fact he’d be having a meeting with other members of his team, most of all, he misses drowning Jungkook from his mind with his work. 

 

The closer he gets, the heavier the dread in his chest gets. 

 

His steps get smaller and smaller until he’s standing still, the door to his apartment is steps away but he can’t will himself to step any closer. His legs feel as if they’re cemented to the floor. 

 

The trepidation squeezes in his chest, refusing to release it’s vice grip around his heart. 

 

He tells himself he’s done nothing wrong but he’s always been a bad liar. 

 

Forcing himself to move, he heads towards the door, the keys in his hands gripped so tightly they dig into his skin, leaving a red imprint in the palm of his hand. 

 

One step, two steps, three steps, until he can reach out and touch the door. 

 

His hands hover over the lock but he can’t find it in him to push the key into the lock. 

 

He remembers Yoongi telling him that he’ll always be there if he needs him, reminding him that no matter what happens his two best friends will be right there. 

 

No longer a small child, he has to face his own problems. He can’t spend forever hiding behind Yoongi and Hoseok and letting them protect him from everything, so with shaking hands, he pushes the key inside. 

 

Before he can even turn the lock, the door is ripped open and Jimin almost loses his balance.  

 

“Jimin?” Jungkook’s eyes are open wide with surprise. 

 

Just that one word. It feels as if the words are burning through him, reminding him how much of a liar he’s become. 

 

Staring at Jungkook’s eyes, he can’t seem to look away, almost as if he was hypnotized. 

 

Almost at the same time, the hurtful words and a feeling of calm rushes over him, overwhelming him until he doesn’t know how to feel anymore. 

 

It’s all gone in a second when Jungkook’s words rip through him. 

 

A gold digger.  

 

There’s no context that’s lost in translation, no hidden messages in what Jungkook had said. That was all that he was to Jungkook. 

 

His life isn’t a trashy rom com where Jungkook says shit he doesn’t mean to hide his feelings and there’s a montage of Jimin finding himself away from Jungkook, only to have the younger realize he’s in love with him and would do anything to win him back. 

 

It’s not. 

 

He steps back before he even realizes it. 

 

A feeling of apprehension flares in his gut, overtaking every rational thought. Needles pricks at his fingers as he fights to keep his composure. 

 

He remembers Jihyun, Hoseok and Yoongi and he clenches his jaw. It’s not a big deal, he can suck it up and take anything else Jungkook will throw at him just a little longer. 

 

Once, he held hope that something could happen, that maybe Jungkook could see him more than just a homewrecker. Apparently, he was so much more, he was an attention-seeking, gold digger who looks no further than his own well-being.

 

It was true. 

 

He can’t deny it. 

 

Hope that he could get along with Jungkook evaporated along with any last threads of expectations he could get out of his scam of a marriage unscathed. 

 

He’s tired of bracing himself every time he sees Jungkook. 

 

But at least, now, things can’t get any worse than it already has become. 

 

He opens his mouth, ready to tell Jungkook he wanted a divorce but the words don’t come out. Like an idiot, he stands there, opening and closing his mouth. 

 

Later. 

 

He’ll tell Jungkook, later. 

 

He barely manages to look at the faux concern in Jungkook’s expression before he slips past him. 

 

Even though he hears Jungkook calling after him, he can’t bear to hear the words. They slur into one another until it becomes background noise. 

 

As usual, wishful thinking was nothing but wishful thinking. 

 

And once again, he finds himself finding his escape in Yoongi. 

 

His friend doesn’t even hesitate before he makes his way to Jimin’s place. 

 

He thought he could be strong by himself but just being near Jungkook proves him wrong over and over again. 

 

Yoongi wordlessly takes him in his arms. 

 

“I love you.” Yoongi whispers softly to him, pressing a kiss to the top of his head. 

 

The gentle words are kind and soothing for his heart, a pleasant balm over Jungkook’s harsh words.

 

Jimin smiles and says them back. 

 

He revisits those old feelings for the same reason he rereads all those romance novels he loves; to find comfort in familiar words even knowing the ending won’t change no matter what. 

 

The both of them know, their I-love-you’s have long become platonic reassurances, the comfort and security of knowing that they’d be there for each other no matter what. 

 

And for now, it’s what he needs. 

 


 

When he wakes up, Jimin is already gone. 

 

He knows it from the wet toothbrush and the mirror sticky with Jimin’s hair spray. 

 

Having spent the night in the living room, waiting for a chance the older would emerge from his room and listen to him, he hadn’t returned to his own room. Lying on the couch, imaging Jimin’s eyes rimmed red and voice raspy from crying, he feels his heart pounding uncomfortably. The incessant thump reverabates, reminding him of all he has yet to say and do for being so callous to Jimin’s feelings. 

 

The feeling of wanting to gather his smaller husband into his arms and erase all the pain he’d directed at Jimin is so intense, it overwhelms everything else until he’s left thinking only of Jimin. 

 

His husband doesn’t come out the entire night and Jungkook knows he deserved that. 

 

Instead, Yoongi comes over. 

 

Sharp eyes that bore into him before he wordlessly slipped into Jimin’s room. 

 

There’s no time for any feelings of jealousy or annoyance because Jimin’s sobs slip past the cracks of the doors and he feels so, so helpless not being to help knowing he was the one who had caused the hurt. 

 

He hates the feeling of guilt piling up in his chest and he wants nothing more than to resolve it quickly and rid Jimin from the tears in his eyes. Vowing to do that, he ventures a call to Ji-eun only to end up with voicemail again. 

 

Running a hand through his hair he sighs. 

 

The apartment is too quiet. 

 

Just like it had been for the past few days. 

 

He hates it. 

 

The silence is an overwhelming contrast with all the things he has yet to deal with. 

 

It’s not just his thing with Jimin and Ji-eun that had been falling apart at the seams but work as well. 

 

Work has been going shit. Everything had been going well until they had to partner with the Kim’s malls. 

 

Kim Sung-Ja, Jimin’s new best friend, had refused to work with them.

 

No amount of wooing or tempting contracts would get them to look their way. 

 

On the inside, he knows it’s because of Jimin. 

 

News travelled like the speed of light and Sung-ja was always first and foremost when it came to any rumors, especially in regards to Jimin, seeing that he had managed to woo every single person that came his way. 

 

Just like the world was trying to teach him a lesson, no matter what he did recently, everything always came back to Jimin. 

 

Jimin. 

 

He remembers seeing the smaller man’s expression the moment he saw him walk through the doors of their apartment. 

 

Something akin to fear and disgust mixed into the depths of his eyes in the fraction of a second before he dismissed him without a second glance. 

 

His heart ached. Although it wasn’t throbbing like it did before, now, it was a dull thump, reminding him again and again of what he was missing, the feeling of guilt suffocating as the image of Jimin’s eyes bright with unshed tears, once again because of him, sears itself into his mind. 

 

And Taehyung just likes to remind him so, leveling him with a disappointed gaze from where he sits on the sofa. 

 

“You’re so deep in that devil spawn’s ass, I don’t even have words for you.” Another sigh. “I can’t imagine Jimin would ever do something like that to Ji-eun.” 

 

“He didn’t.” Jungkook says exasperatedly. “I’ve told you that a thousand times.” 

 

Taehyung looks at him in disbelief. “Don’t pretend you weren’t the one who barged into my studio spitting complaints about Jimin just a mere week ago.” 

 

He yanks his pillow from under Taehyung’s butt. “If you’re here to tell me to apologize, I can only tell you I’m trying and I’ll keep trying. I never meant for it to go this far, I swear.” 

 

“Besides saying the words, what else have you done for him?” He stays quiet and Taehyung rolls his eyes. “Well, did the cat light work last time?” 

 

He doesn’t answer. 

 

The light had still been sitting in his closet, untouched, as Jungkook hasn’t found the right moment to give it to Jimin. 

 

With a sigh, Taehyung shifts, pulling out his phone from the pocket of his pants. “You know how pathetic it is when you know nothing about your husband, who literally lives with you.” Taehyung scrolls for a little bit before he shoves the phone in his face. 

 

He leans back and takes the phone from Taehyung’s grasp to find a list. 


“What is this?” Jungkook scrolls mindlessly through the long list. 

 

Taehyung plucks the phone from his hands before he can comprehend the messy jumble of words. “A list of Jiminie’s likes and dislikes.” 

 

“I don’t know when you two have gotten so close but that’s bordering creepy.” He doesn’t try to take the phone back. 

 

It had no meaning if he just reads it off of Taehyung’s hard work. 

 

“Don’t want it?” 

 

“Nah.” Jungkook rakes his hair from his face. “It’s not genuine if I do that.” 

 

“Alright, Mr. Romantic.” Taehyung shoves his phone back into his pocket. “Then before you go on your knees for Jimin, you’ve got to deal with Ji-eun.” 

 

Right, Ji-eun. 

 

He doesn’t know what to do with her anymore. 

 

They needed to talk but he doesn’t know how to broach on that subject. 

 

It stopped being about just the two of them when Jimin walked into his life with chubby cheeks and crescent eye smiles. 

 

“I think…” Jungkook struggles for the words to voice out his thoughts. “A break from each other would do us good.” Taehyung doesn’t say anything, only nodding encouragingly. “Just a little time apart from each other to figure out what we really want from each other.” 

 

“Do you love her?” 

 

He hesitates but the answer is already sitting on the tip of his tongue. It’s been there since Jungkook had agreed to his arranged marriage. 

 

He knows. If he truly loved Ji-eun, he would’ve thrown everything away, thrown away his life of luxury and spent the rest of his life with her. 

 

But he hadn’t. 

 

And because he hadn’t, everything had fallen apart. 

 

“No, not anymore.” 

 

Taehyung lets out a little squeal paired with seal claps. “I’m proud of you, Kook-ah.” 

 

“Thanks, I think.” 

 

Saying it was a breath of fresh air. 

 

One he needed badly. 

 

Until he had said it out loud, he hadn’t wanted to believe it. 

 

He can’t pinpoint the exact moment he had fallen out of love but he’s plenty sure that he’s staying by Ji-eun’s side purely due to the guilt of having had Ji-eun stay by his side for so many years without moving any further in their relationship. 

 

“You deserve better.” Taehyung says softly, voice devoid of the playfulness from earlier. “She’s kept you as backup for so many years.”

 

Everyone knows Ji-eun had initially set her sights on Junghyun in the first place.

 

He’s not an idiot, he knows too. 

 

Whenever he started dating other people, she’d shower him with attention, letting him believe he had a chance with her but whenever Junghyun even showed her a grain of attention, she’d be at his side at the blink of an eye. 

 

Junghyun was the older son, the better son, the more powerful one. 

 

It’s a no brainer who girls would flock to. 

 

He knew but at that time he had been so, so in love with Ji-eun. Everything she did, he had an excuse prepared. 

 

It wasn’t until Junghyun got married, then did they finally start dating. 

 

He had ignored it and wrote it off as a coincidence but deep down he knew. 

 

Even though he likes to think he was blinded by love, blinded by the fact that Ji-eun was the only childhood friend he had, aside from Taehyung, who had genuinely wanted to be his friend without targeting his money and his family’s background, he knew it was him who was the coward who didn’t want to admit that the girl who he’d grown up with had changed. 

 

The sweet and cheerful girl he used to know had slowly melted away as the years passed. 

 

She hadn’t always been like she is now. But she had become a different person after her father had left with all the money, leaving Ji-eun and her mother helpless. 

 

He understands and so did his parents, so they’d let Ji-eun and her family stay in their guest rooms until they were back on their feet. 

 

Everytime she cried, he’d grow weak. 

 

Now he knows, that wasn’t love, it was pity. 

 

He’d always thought, admitting that he’d fallen out of love would come with a lot of pomp and circumstance, but it’s easy, just like taking a deep breath. 

 

And just like that, he’s officially fallen out of love without him even realizing when exactly it’d happened. 

 


 

Even if Jimin treated him as if he was invisible, at least he was safe, he was there in front of Jungkook’s eyes. Even if he barely even spared him a glance when he came home, it was better knowing he was safe and sound, not from Jungkook’s selfishness but from the outside world. 

 

He feels pathetic, not knowing how to win back Jimin’s smiles.

 

“Never have I seen someone so lost in their own home.” 

 

“What?” Jungkook spins in his spot to find Yoongi regarding him over a cup of water. 

 

In the past two days, Yoongi hadn’t interacted with him aside from the direct looks of disdain. Jungkook had honestly expected more. He deserved more after seeing Jimin’s red, puffy eyes and red nose. But Yoongi hadn’t done anything more than glare at him. 

 

The light from the kitchen is the only thing that allows Jungkook to see Yoongi’s features, carefully arranged to look unaffected and relaxed. 

 

Yoongi leisurely sets down his cup on the counter, the same one Jimin uses on the norm, pinning him to the spot with his cat-like eyes. 

 

Jungkook almost leans over to snatch the cup away from Yoongi’s grip. 

 

“Just sayin.” The older man shrugs. “Last time I came over, looked like you didn’t even know where your own room was.” 

 

The apartment felt too empty and quiet and the entire period Jimin had been gone, he’d spent many late nights camping on the couch, absently watching drama after drama as they slowly blend into background noise, ears perking for any sounds of Jimin coming back. 

 

It wasn’t really home. 

 

It was too cold, too quiet without Jimin. 

 

It’s then does he realize that none of the shit around him meant anything without him, without Jimin. 

 

Home wasn’t the apartment but Jimin. 

 

With that realization, he panics. 

 

That couldn’t be. 

 

He barely saw the other man on their normal days, just a few hours everyday before they left separately into their own rooms.  

 

They barely knew much about each other. 

 

Sure, he knew Jimin’s everyday habits, he knew how giggly and cutesy Jimin was in the mornings with his eyes barely open enough to see, he knew how Jimin liked his coffee, he knew Jimin preferred Korean food and he knew Jimin slept curled up in a ball at night but that doesn’t mean Jimin was his home. 

 

There’s no way Jimin’s become his home. 

 

No way. 

 

“What are you still doing here?” He wants to slap himself after he asks the question. 

 

It was obvious why Yoongi was standing there, clad in pajamas. 

 

“Taking care of what you shit on.” Yoongi places the cup down on the counter. “Or should I say who, instead.” 

 

He knows. 

 

He doesn’t need Yoongi, of all people, telling him that. 

 

Clenching his jaw in effort not to say something he’ll regret, he mirrors Yoongi’s posture, arms crossed, seemingly at ease. “What happened between us, has nothing to do with you.” 

 

“Of course,” Yoongi hums. “Who am I to butt in when you can obviously take care of Jimin-ah?” 

 

That has his anger flaring and he loses the careless attitude he’d been trying to portray. 

 

“Stop trying to act as if he’s still yours,” he snaps bitterly. 

 

“Still mine?” Yoongi repeats the words with a tilt to his head. 

 

“Isn’t that what you’ve been trying to show me?” Jungkook gestures wildly to the direction of Jimin’s room. “You two keep hinting at it as if it wasn’t the world’s most obvious thing even if you try to deny it again and again.” 

 

“Even if we were something, you don’t have the right to get angry over this, asshole.” Yoongi’s voice is cold and every word coming from the older’s mouth is carefully calculated. “Not that you have the right to know, we’ve ended things a long time ago. I broke his heart, forced his hand until he ended us forever.” 

 

Jungkook wonders what Yoongi had done. 

 

It’s like Yoongi knows what he’s thinking, because he says, “I cheated on him.” The older’s voice is seemingly indifferent but by the way Yoongi’s hands are curled into fists, he knows Jimin’s friend feels anything but that.  

 

His chest clenches at the thought of Jimin having to go through the experience. 

 

Without thinking, his hands ball into fists as well. He has to remind himself it would not be a good idea to punch Yoongi, not when he’s on thin, thin ice with Jimin. 

 

“How could you do that?” To Jimin, sweet and kind Jimin who probably didn’t have a mean bone in his body. 

 

His traitorous mind reminds him he did indeed do the same to Jimin, if not worse. 

 

“Not that you can judge,” Yoongi says snidely. “Especially not after you’ve gotten Ji-eun pregnant.” 

 

What. 

 

“Ji-eun’s pregnant?” He parrots the words dumbly. 

 

Yoongi frowns, uncrossing his arms. “Didn’t she tell you?” 

 

“No.” Jungkook spits out that one word, hating the bitter aftertaste it leaves on his tongue. “Are you sure?”

 

Yoongi nods. “The bitch told Jimin, the day she trampled into his office.” 

 

It’s not his. 

 

He wants to laugh. 

 

They haven’t slept together ever since he’d gotten married to Jimin. 

 

It couldn’t be his. 

 

“You go ahead and digest the information.” Yoongi probably must’ve seen the expression on his face and taken it as shock. “I’ll go back to bed.” 

 

“Yeah,” he says absently. 

 

“But the next time we talk, you better have dealt with Ji-eun. I’ll take it personally if Jimin sheds another tear because of her. If she even touches a single hair on him again, you better be on your fucking knees.” 

 

With that Yoongi disappears back into Jimin’s room. 

 

Jungkook’s thoughts are left swirling in his mind.

 

He doesn’t know if Ji-eun had cheated on him or if she’d merely said it to one up Jimin but he just knows he can’t spend his forever with Ji-eun. 

 

Not now, not ever. 

 

If he had truly loved and trusted her, his first thought wouldn’t be of Ji-eun’s infidelity but of different reasoning. 

 

He wouldn’t be worried more of Jimin’s reaction than anything else. 

Chapter Text

 

His friends ease the pain but it’s only temporary and to Jimin, it feels like it will feel like that for the rest of his life. 

 

He’s fine.  

 

He’s okay.  

 

He’s grown to hate those two words so much.

 

They hang on the tip of his tongue every time he talks to his best friends and now, Namjoon as well. 

 

The world kept spinning and time kept ticking. 

 

There was no time for him to wallow in his emotions. 

 

Jimin knows he can’t rely on Yoongi forever, so he lies telling him that he’s okay. 

 

Even though Yoongi is unwilling, Jimin is adamant that Yoongi go back to living his own life instead of being Jimin’s 24/7 babysitter. 

 

It was time he stopped crying over Jungkook anyways. 

 

He tries, but everytime he sees Jungkook, his mouth feels so dry that he can’t seem to form any words. 

 

When he sees Jungkook, he recalls Jungkook’s cruel words, each scathing insult replaying in his mind like a broken record player until he can’t come up with anything intelligible. 

 

And he flees again. 

 

Everytime, he ends up at the studio, needing and wanting to have space for his thoughts. 

 

Hoseok spots him but he doesn’t go further than giving him a nod and a smile, having become used to Jimin showing up night after night. 

 

He flicks the lights on, squinting when the bright lights do nothing but emphasize how ragged he looks.

 

Throwing his bag haphazardly on the floor, he makes his way to the stereo and plugs his phone into the speakers. 

 

He allows the music to wash over him, drowning Jungkook’s voice in his head, even if it was just for a moment. 

 

The bass pounding in the background engulf’s Jungkook’s words with every beat, until all Jimin can think about is moving his body to the music, allowing himself to drown, sinking further and further until the only thing on his mind is dancing. 

 


 

Like an idiot, Jungkook had spent an hour outside the apartment complex once he had gotten out of work, searching for Serendipity, the kitten Jimin had named, until he’d found her curled around the small bed Jimin had bought it. 

 

“Hello,” he whispers softly, reaching out to the kitten. 

 

Serendipity regards him curiously before sniffing at his outstretched fingers. She lets out a soft meow before she presses her head into his fingers. 

 

He smiles, at least something was going right for him. 

 

“I missed you.” Serendipity meows again. “Alright, alright, I came out to find you because it’s too stifling at home alone.” He lets out a small laugh as Serendipity bats at his hand. “Also because I missed you.” 

 

He watches the cat play with the small toy he’d brought with him until he speaks up again. 

 

“Jiminie hyung must’ve been taking care of you really well,” he says smoothing a hand down her back. “You’ve gotten chubby.” 

 

Serendipity hisses at him, as if she understood his words. 

 

“Sorry, sorry.” He apologizes. “It’s a good thing. You were too malnourished when we found you.” 

 

Serendipity retreats from his hand. 

 

“I really wanted to take you in, I promise.” Jungkook calls out to the cat, feeling a little idiotic but nonetheless, he keeps his hand outstretched in Serendpity’s direction. “But neither of us are home long enough to take care of you. Plus, Ms. Song is a nosy tattletale. If she catches you, it’s going to be a pain in the butt.” 

 

Serendipity stays where she is with her back to him. 

 

Like a last ditch effort, Jungkook tries again. 

 

“I’m sorry I convinced Jimin hyung not to take you in. We really aren’t home enough to take care of you. And a little part of me was jealous I guess.” He admits, feeling a bit dumb to be confessing his worries to a cat. “We already don’t see each other much despite living together, with you there, I was scared he’d completely forget about me. It’s almost like losing a new best friend.”

 

Almost with a human enough sounding sigh, Serendipity comes back to him. 

 

“You’re too much like Jiminie hyung for your own good,” Jungkook says, gently running his fingers over the small cat beside him. “You shouldn’t give in so easily. Especially not after someone hurt you.” 

 

Serendipity ignores him, slipping from under his hand only to curl up on his lap. 

 

And just like that, he knows he’ll spend a little too long sitting there on the cold cement until Serendipity wakes up.

 


 

The clocks tick to midnight and Jungkook stays unmoving on the sofa. 

 

Even playing with Serendipity hadn’t taken his mind off of Jimin’s late hours. 

 

He flicks his eyes away from the clock and forces it back on the television. 

 

Somehow, things have progressed to the point where the main characters were kissing. He doesn’t even know how they got to the point when all he remembers was the two characters introducing themselves to each other.

 

Unconsciously, his attention drifts to the clock once again. 

 

A minute, just one, had passed. 

 

It was rare that Jimin ever stayed out that late.

 

He doesn’t know how long he sits there, pretending he was engrossed in the drama once again. 

 

Keys jingle and then the door opens, presenting a sweat soaked Jimin with flushed cheeks. 

 

Jimin’s eyes flicker towards him in surprise for a second before he looks away, closing the door behind him. 

 

He never realized indifference would hurt so much more than anger could ever. 

 

The smaller man slowly trudges to his room, shoulders drooping, betraying how tired he actually is, 

 

Swallowing hard, he follows after Jimin, not knowing what to do with himself. 

 

“Jimin hyung?” he ventures softly, as if he raised his voice any further he’d scare the older away. 

 

Jimin’s slim shoulders hunch together, making him look more fragile and breakable, reminding him that even if his husband was older, he seemed to be carrying a lot more than possible on those delicate shoulders. 

 

For a long moment, Jungkook stands there staring, waiting for Jimin to do something or even just acknowledge his existence but he doesn’t. 

 

“I’m sorry,” he says quietly and hesitantly to Jimin’s back. 

 

The older doesn’t turn around but he flinches. 

 

Like that, the both of them stay standing there, Jimin with his back to him and him taking in what he can get, stuck not knowing what to do. 

 

“After all you’ve said and done, all you can say is ‘I’m sorry’? Because if that’s all there is to it, I don’t want your apology.” Jimin’s voice catches on the last word and Jungkook has to swallow down the despair mixed with whatever feelings of dejection that had bubbled to the surface. “If you want Sung-ja’s help with your IoT project, then you’ll get it. You get your project and then we’ll get divorced.” 

 

“No, Jimin, please, that’s not what I meant,” he pleads. 

 

He needs Jimin to understand that he means it. 

 

“Then tell me.” Jimin spins around, eyes hard, so different than he usually is.  “Tell me you hadn’t thought about it even for a second, knowing I could be used for something like that. It was just so convenient the man you hated the most could be used like this.” 

 

“I…” Jimin waits for the rest of his admission with arms crossed, looking so cool and composed, so different than his usual smiles and soft, chubby cheeks. “I never did. If I truly wanted Sung-Ja’s help, I would do it through my own means.” 

 

“You don’t have to pretend any longer, Jungkook.” Jimin laughs, sounding bitter and empty. “I hope the three of you will be happy together.” 

 

“That’s not—” 

 

“I don’t want your apology, I want a divorce.” Jimin’s words numb him to the bone. Although he’s always soft and forgiving, the way Jimin is staring at him with complete and utter resolution, tells him this is not one of those times. 

 

Jungkook doesn’t even have to speak to know Jimin means what he says. 

 

He’s immovable. 

 

“You didn’t even try, Jungkook. You never tried for me.” 

 

Because trying meant there was a chance of losing and he’s terrified of what that meant. 

 

Losing. 

 

He laughs bitterly, either way, he’s lost. 

 

He’s lost the one person that treated him as if he was more than a wad of cash, the one person who understood him, the one person he could be blatantly honest without hiding his flaws because he knew they’d be there for him. 

 

He’s sorry for saying the words that had left his mouth, he’s sorry for treating Jimin like shit ever since he’s met him. 

 


 

 

“Welcome, how may—”  

 

“Ji-eun.” He watches as the tiny woman jerks in her chair, her phone clattering noisily on the table in her surprise when she recognizes him. 

 

“Jungkook?” Ji-eun’s voice is hesitant as she gets to her feet, hands twisting her skirt into a crumpled ball. “What are you doing here?” 

 

He looks over his girlfriend for a moment. 

 

It’s been a while since he’s seen her but looking at her, it’s almost as if he doesn’t recognize her. 

 

A part of him misses her but a part of him still resents Ji-eun for having done what she’s done to Jimin. 

 

He misses her like he missed his bed at his parents’ home. 

 

Just like Ji-eun, it’d been a permanent fixture in his life for many years but it doesn’t mean he’d keep it once he realizes it’s broken. It wasn’t love. 

 

It’s not completely Ji-eun’s fault, after all, he’s played the asshole to the T. 

 

“Since you’ve been dodging my calls and texts this past week, thought I’d come pay you a visit.” He plants himself at the edge of the desk, ready to hear Ji-eun’s excuses.   

 

“I’ve been…” Ji-eun hesitates, licking her lips nervously, a telling habit of how unsettled she is. “I— My phone hadn’t been working recently.” 

 

“Right.” Jungkook would’ve rather she just told the truth. “Is that why I see your phone on the table?” 

 

Ji-eun grabs fruitlessly at her phone, as if trying to hide it’s existence with her hands. “I…” 

 

“Ji-eun.” He loses his patience, watching Ji-eun fiddle with her phone, avoiding his gaze. “Explain. I just want to understand why you said what you’d said. It’s so cruel. The Ji-eun I used to know wasn’t like this. I don’t even know who you’ve become. You go clubbing, calling me at three in the morning drunk off your ass, a strange man’s voice beside you and you expect me not to worry or be confused about—” he waves his hand uselessly between the two of them. “—this.” 

 

“Sorry, Kook-ah.” Ji-eun’s gaze is watery when she looks back to him. “I was just so scared. It seemed as if you were getting further away from me everyday and I was so scared I’d lose you.” Her lip trembles. “He’s perfect. He has money and power and he has everyone on his side. I just can’t compare to him. No matter who it is, they always have praise for Jimin on the corner of their mouth and I just got so scared. What if you decided he was better than me? What if you didn’t want me anymore? What would I become?” Ji-eun grabs his arm, pleading desperately. “You can’t leave me.” 

 

“And so you went to Jimin hyung’s office and caused a big ruckus when all of this could have been solved if you had just talked to me?” He looks away, not wanting to be swayed by her tears once again. 

 

“I’m sorry, Jungkook-ah.” Ji-eun begs. “I didn’t mean to do it. I don’t know what came over me.” 

 

“It’s not me you should be apologizing to,” he says adamantly. “You need to apologize to Jimin.” 

 

“I will, Jungkook-ah, I promise you.” Ji-eun says almost distractedly. 

 

He brushes Ji-eun’s hand off of his arm and turns around to see what has Ji-eun seeming so faraway and distracted. . 

 

Although he’d expected something like this, he’d never thought it’d be Eunkwang. 

 

Eunkwang sees him, eyes wide before he turns around, pretending he hadn’t seen either of them. 

 

It takes an idiot not to be able to connect the dots. 

 

He laughs bitterly. “Of all people, you had to choose an idiot like him didn’t you?”

 

“That’s not it, Jungkook-ah.” Ji-eun hurries from behind her desk, a hand protectively cupping her stomach. “I can explain.” 

 

“Did you even think?” Unconsciously, he finds himself taking a step back before Ji-eun can touch him. “Did you even consider the exact situation we’re in right now when you ended up being pregnant with another man’s child?”  

 

Ji-eun jerks to a stop, the hurt taking over her expression from the rejection. 

 

Jungkook knows he’s being cruel, being heartless to the one and only woman’s he’s loved in his life. It hurts seeing that expression on her face, it’s hard being the one who inflicts the hurt on someone he had once loved with everything he had. 

 

He wants to believe that there was a time when they had loved so deeply but he can’t feel it anymore. 

 

Everytime he tries to, Jimin comes to mind before he can put a stop to that train of thought. 

 

Every moment he’s hurt Jimin goes through his mind again and again. 

 

In that moment, he feels like he can’t breathe.  

 

“Then explain.” His voice comes out cold and stony. “Explain why you told Jimin you’re pregnant with my child when we haven’t slept together for months.” 

 

“You don’t understand.” Ji-eun cries. 

 

“Then make me understand.” 

 

“You were never there when I needed you and ‘Kwang was there when I needed him.” Ji-eun sobs, tears rolling down her cheeks. “But I didn’t want to lose you. What would I be without you.” 

 

The inadvertent admission says it all. 

 

But he feels nothing, not the usual clenching in his heart whenever she’d cried, the feeling of needing to protect her from the world isn’t there no matter how long he waits. 

 

For so long, he’d thought her manipulative games were just a cover but now the words were out in the open, he doesn’t know if he’d prefer to be in the dark or have the blindfolds ripped so roughly from his eyes. 

 

He tightens his jaw in order not to play the blame game. Nothing good would come out of it. 

 

“If you didn’t know,” Jungkook looks Ji-eun in the eyes as he speaks. “We’re over.” 

 

With that, he walks out. 

 

Out of Ji-eun’s life.

Chapter Text

 

“Jiminie hyung, guess where I am.” Jimin pulls the phone from his ear to see if the playful, slurred voice is really Jungkook’s. 

 

It really is Jungkook. 

 

He stifles a sigh. 

 

They haven’t exactly been talking since he demanded for a divorce. He barely remembers seeing Jungkook for more than a short glance before they do their respective thing. 

 

And he did that. 

 

He stays out at the studios even later and sleeps at either Hoseok or Yoongi’s place at times when he really doesn’t want to face his problems because both options are better than seeing Jungkook’s face and feeling that painful clench in his chest. 

 

And then he wonders, why had he fallen for someone like Jungkook. 

 

The times Jungkook’s been an utter douche overrides the times he’s been nice. 

 

When he thinks of the younger man, the first word that should come to mind should be ‘asshole’ as his friends like to call him so much, but he can’t help but think of how Jungkook resembles a bunny, with his eyes blown wide when he’s surprised or when he’s zoning out. 

 

Somewhere on the inside, he wants to believe that Jungkook is a nice person because having lived together for so long, he’s experienced some of the younger’s more pleasant sides. 

 

But even so, no matter how innocent Jungkook looks, he’s made his thoughts of him clear. 

 

So he’s avoided the younger like the plague for the first few days until Jimin talks himself into believing that he'd be able to face Jungkook without breaking into pieces.

 

He remembers the first time they're alone together after he had demanded a divorce, he plastered that fake smile on his face and rambled on, not letting Jungkook get a word edgewise before escaping out of the room.

 

He promises himself, later, he’ll leave. 

 

He tells himself he’ll talk to Jungkook about that divorce and then he’ll put an end to things once and for all. 

 

A twisted part of him even wishes that Jungkook would treat him like back when they’d first gotten married so he'd be able to ruthlessly cut off any threads of affection he still felt for Jungkook, but the younger is adamant in treating him nicely.

 

And he tries his best to accommodate him, to be nothing but a friendly housemate and hope that his absurdly optimistic thoughts will disappear with every awkward encounter between them. 

 

But they follow him anyway. 

 

He presses the phone back to his ear and vows to only humor Jungkook for a little bit. “The bar?” 

 

“Correct!” Jungkook answers enthusiastically. 

 

It really wasn’t hard to guess with the loud bass pounding in the background and all the drunken yelling Jungkook was doing. 

 

“I’m at Epiphany.” Jungkook giggles and Jimin is caught off guard for a second hearing how light and easy the younger sounded.

 

“Is anyone with you?”

 

“Nope!” Jungkook’s reply comes so easily. “Jin hyung said he wouldn’t come with me after the fourth time. Said something about old bones.” 

 

Jimin muffles a laugh, having heard Jin say something similar the last time they met at a party. 

 

“Is Tae or Jin hyung going to come pick you up?” he asks, worried for the younger fully knowing he can take care of himself. 

 

“Nope.” Jungkook giggles again. 

 

“I’ll call Taehyungie to come pick you up alright?” 

 

“‘Dun wanna.” Jungkook whines into the phone. 

 

“Why not?”

 

“Taehyung hyung said I was too boring with my whining.” 

 

“Then who do you want Jungkook?” He doesn’t want to waste his minutes talking to Jungkook, not when their relationship wouldn’t go anywhere as they stand. “I can call Jin hyung, I’m sure he’ll come.”

 

“You.” 

 

Just like that, Jimin feels his heart skip a beat, his breath catches in his throat. 

 

“Jungkook…” He wants to plead, he can’t have Jungkook breaking his resolve just like this. 

 

“I want you Jiminie.” The playful tone is no longer there. Jungkook’s voice is serious and earnest. “I miss you.” 

 

He falters. 

 

His every little bit of resolve falters but he builds them back up, brick for every brick that falls. 

 

Jungkook didn’t want him. 

 

Jeon Jungkook didn’t need him of all people. 

 

And so he hangs up. 

 

His conscience forces him to send both Taehyung and Jin a text before he shoves his phone back into his pocket and pick up his keys to Hoseok’s apartment, knowing he’ll no doubt fret until he’s sure Jungkook is safely tucked in someone’s bed. 

 

But he forces the thoughts from his mind as he shuts the door behind him. 

 

Afterall, Jeon Jungkook and Park Jimin are better off apart, separate. 

 

(Later, when Jin hyung calls to tell him Jungkook was safe in his bed, he pretends he wasn’t worried the whole time.) 

 


 

And Jungkook hates it.

 

He hates the way Jimin talks to him like a detached stranger at times and treats him merely like a roommate at best. 

 

He hates the way Jimin gives him that smile, the one he gives to an acquaintance he doesn't know that well.

 

It’s so detached and fake. 

 

He's seen that smile a million times but he never thought it'd be directed at him.

 

They remain civil and it feels like that's all it'll ever amount to.

 

And he hates it so much.

 

But he ought to reap what he sows so he doesn’t complain. Afterall, what right does he have? 

 

Weeks pass just like that ever since his drunken debacle. 

 

They talk but at the same time, they don’t talk. It’s all polite nothings, never going past empty good mornings and goodbyes. 

 

It’s pathetic how much he doesn’t know how to fix things. 

 

With Ji-eun, it had been easy. Just an expensive bag or some jewelry and he’d be forgiven but with Jimin, it’s so different. 

 

He doesn’t know what he can offer in exchange for the other’s forgiveness. 

 

Jungkook watches helplessly from the corner of his eye as Jimin walks by him, his focus entirely on his phone, not even bothering to spare him a glance as he passes. 

 

He’s so sick of this. 

 

He misses those smiles Jimin sent his direction, the light giggles that slipped from Jimin’s so easily whenever they watched movies together on the sofa. 

 

Even if he’s undeserving of them, he misses their times together. 

 

His last encounter with Jimin, he’d been so busy trying to forget everything at the bottom of the bottle, it had failed spectacularly. 

 

The worst part is the fact that he doesn’t even remember what he’d said on the phone. He remembers drinking to forget Ji-eun but he doesn’t remember how it went from that to him calling Jimin. 

 

The worst part is that, after that, nothing changes. 

 

Neither good or bad. 

 

Seeing Jimin is a sadistic reminder of the fact that he’s screwed up once again. 

 

Jimin gives him barely a glance before he hurries to his own room. 

 

In a brief bout spur of the moment, he leaps from the sofa, grabbing Jimin by the wrist before he can shut the door between them. 

 

Jimin jerks when Jungkook manages to circle the older’s slim wrist in his grip, a gasp leaving his lips in surprise. 

 

Jimin doesn’t struggle to get away but Jungkooks knows if he wanted to get away from him, he could easily do so. 

 

“Can we talk?” 

 

He can see the war raging in Jimin’s head and he understands it all too well. 

 

Even he, himself, wouldn’t want to have anything to do with him after all he’s done. 

 

Jimin regards him with something akin to curiosity and confusion before he nods. Because even for all Jungkook’s done, Jimin always had a large heart. 

 

He leads Jimin to the sofa, grip loosening around Jimin’s, hoping and praying the other doesn’t pull away. 

 

He does and Jungkook’s heart sinks. 

 

They drown in silence when they settle on the sofa, space between wide as a gulf. 

 

He tries to muster the words but they don’t come easily. 

 

“I’m sorry.” He hopes his voice is genuine enough to convey how sorry he really is. “I shouldn’t have been such a bastard, shouldn’t have treated you the way I did, just because I didn’t want to get married to you. It was never because it was you.” He knows he’s never been good with words, but this time, he really needs Jimin to understand and believe him. “It was the situation I hated.”

 

“I never wanted to get married either.” Jimin’s voice is sharp. “I didn’t agree to this marriage thinking, ‘Oh, I’m doing this because I can ruin Jeon Jungkook’s relationship with his girlfriend.’” 

 

“I know.” 

 

“You don’t.” Jimin grits out. “You always act as if I purposely set out to ruin your life.” 

 

“Jimin, that’s not how I see you now.” 

 

“But you did see me that way.” Jimin says, small hands curling in his lap. “And maybe in some ways I did.” 

 

“That’s not—” 

 

“I know you had your reasons why you couldn’t say no but I had mine too.” Jimin cuts him off. “And because I knew that, I wanted us to get along, to try and make things work the best we could in the situation but you didn’t even let us try. I know I was in the wrong just as much. I shouldn’t have sacrificed your happiness in exchange for my own but I couldn’t watch the people I love suffer because I said no to my father. And I’m really sorry for that.” 

 

He stomps down on the urge to reach out and wrap Jimin in his arms. Like putting a bandaid on a stab wound he’d caused. 

 

“But that’s all in the past.” Jimin says, finally turning to look at him, the look of resolution clear on his face. “I’m leaving. I asked Namjoon hyung to bring over the documents next week. After you sign the divorce papers, you can just have hyung give it to me.” 

 

And just like that, the same panicky feeling comes surging back to life again. 

 

It feels like he’s running out of time, racing against the clock.

 

He’s losing Jimin, losing someone he never had because he made it that way in the first place. 

 

He made it so he wouldn't even have the chance to lose Jimin.

 

“But…” Jungkook trails off when Jimin’s eyes, shining with unshed tears, meet, and he can only trail off.

 

With an almost impatient sigh, Jimin continues like he hadn’t even spoken in the first place. 

 

“You can spend the rest of your life happily with Ji-eun and I’ll butt out.” Jimin comes to a stand. “Afterall, a relationship is a game only won by two, the third party will always be the loser.” 

 

At this moment, Jungkook doesn’t see himself a winner. 

 

He doesn’t even know what he’s won out of all this. 

 

All he can think about what he’s lost and lost. 

 

He’s always been so afraid of losing, he’d purposefully set himself up in a way he wouldn’t be able to lose. 

 

But now, he’s lost someone he thought he could ever lose.

 

Jungkook looks on helplessly as Jimin’s voice cracks, his hands raised uselessly when Jimin wobbles on his feet, shying away from him.

 

Somehow, this hurt so much more than putting an end to things with Ji-eun. 

 

And Jungkook isn’t ready to admit what that meant.

Chapter Text

“How dare you.” 

 

That’s the first thing Jimin’s father says to him and unsurprisingly, he’s not surprised. 

 

“Hello to you too, father.” Jimin rises from his chair. 

 

Sejun’s worried pacing from the background catches his eye. He sees his secretary nervously biting his lip, hands tugging uselessly at his tie as Jimin’s father stands rigidly in front of him, anger radiating off him in waves. 

 

“I have no time for your simpering games and sarcasm right now.” Jimin’s father bellows. 

 

“What do you mean?” He blinks up at his father, knowing it’ll anger the older man even more when he pretends to be half-witted boy his father always sees him as. 

 

There’s a low guttural sound and Jimin braces himself for his father’s fury. “It’s not enough I have a homo for a son, how dare you even think about getting a divorce with the Jeon’s son without my permission.”

 

He bites down on his lip. “I talked to Mr. and Mrs. Jeon, they were okay with it.” 

 

“Of course they were.” His father sneers. “They were happy to get rid of you so their son could marry someone better.”

 

He prays away his tears, knowing it was useless either way. Once the insults started, it didn’t stop for a while. 

 

After so many years, he’s learned that his father would never accept him as he is and he’s told himself over and over that he shouldn’t care but by the end of the day, it still hurts.  

 

“What do you want, dad?” He asks, losing patience in having to listen to his father’s insults. “The Jeon’s promised to continue the partnership even when we go through the divorce, you get what you want in the end anyways.” 

 

“Don’t be so naive.” Jimin’s father sneers at him. “I taught you better than this. A businessman is a liar, their words mean nothing unless you sign a contract on it.” 

 

Jungkook wasn’t like that. 

 

Neither were Mr. and Mrs. Jeon. 

 

He was sure of that. 

 

But he doesn’t dare say it outloud. 

 

“I can get Namjoon hyung to draft up a contract.” He offers. 

 

Jungkook would definitely sign it in exchange for his freedom. 

 

His father lets out a sigh, sounding completely fed up with him. “If it had been that easy in the first place, I wouldn’t have had you marry Jungkook.” 

 

“If I do it, you will stop threatening me.” Jimin crosses his arms, pretending to be stronger than he is, hoping his father doesn’t see through his act. 

 

And because it was his father, someone who doesn’t even know how he liked his coffee, Mr. Park doesn’t notice. 

 

“You’ve got some nerve.” His father smiles contemptuously. “If you even manage. I’ll leave your little misfits alone.” 

 

He brushes past the insults, apologizing inside his head to his friends, knowing if he doesn’t he would feel guilty. 

 

“What about Jihyun?” 

 

“What about him?” It’s obvious from his father’s tone, telling Jimin not to probe any further. 

 

But he does it anyways. 

 

“If I have Mr. and Mrs. Jeon sign the contract, you will leave him alone.” 

 

“That’s another matter.” His father snorts. “That measly contract isn’t worth that much.” 

 

The anger burns all the way from his stomach to his chest. He clenches his jaw in order not to say something he’ll regret. 

 

Of course his father wouldn’t let go of one thing he could hold over him. 

 

“He’s your son.” Jimin spits out the words. “How could you torment your own child until he’s so scared of you, he can’t even return home.” 

 

“He brought this upon himself. If he was worthy to be called my son, then he wouldn’t have disobeyed me.” The older man looks at him disdainfully. “Seems like I’m cursed with incapable sons no matter what I do.” 

 

Jimin swallows his words and his tears. 

 

“If you’re done, please leave.” Jungkook’s growl startles him and he jerks in surprise. 

 

Jungkook stands there, tall frame filling the door to his office and Jimin feels an almost instant sense of ease. 

 

It’s ridiculous the tickly feeling in his chest keeps showing up at the worst timing, especially when he doesn’t have the time to understand what it means. 

 

There’s a brief moment of shock that passes over Jimin’s father’s face before it smoothes back into impassivity. “Jeon Jungkook.” 

 

“Mr. Park.” Jungkook greets back coldly. “I would appreciate it if you didn’t come and insult my husband whenever you pleased.” 

 

Jungkook strides over, standing beside him, protective presence radiating off him in waves. 

 

They stand side by side, facing off his father. 

 

And it almost feels like they’re on the same side for once. 

 

There’s an annoyed tick on his father’s face and Jimin knows his father is losing his composure. 

 

“That’s my son.” Jimin’s father scoffs. “You have no right to be commanding anything from me.” 

 

“He’s my husband.” A protective arm is wrapped around him as Jungkook pulls him snug into his side. “I will do anything I can to keep him from getting hurt.” 

 

Jimin’s breath hitches at the words. 

 

But then he remembers, Jungkook isn’t for people like him and he stops hoping those words mean more than a ploy in front of his father. 

 

Jimin’s father snorts. “Right, like you would like someone like him.” 

 

He swallows hard, fighting to keep the tears at bay. 

 

The words the older spat at him was no different from the ones he used to say but this time they hurt so much more. 

 

Because he was right. 

 

Who would like him. 

 

He was Park Jimin. 

 

What could he offer Jungkook?

 

The only redeeming quality he had was his background, his connections. 

 

Aside from that, he had nothing. 

 

“Why wouldn’t I?” Jungkook’s voice is rough and hard. “Afterall, you should know your son is the kindest and most forgiving man in this world. He’s accepting and he’s so willing to see the best of people even when they don’t deserve shit.”

 

It feels weird hearing it from Jungkook, being that version of Jimin in front of Jungkook. 

 

His father looks as if he’s seconds from rolling his eyes. 

 

There’s that completely bored look on the older man’s face. 

 

And in that moment, he knows, they’ll never be like other father and son. 

 

His father didn’t love him. 

 

And probably hadn’t in a long time. 

 

Jimin reaches out to Jungkook, wrapping a hand around Jungkook’s wrist. 

 

Jungkook turns to look at him, eyes boring into him. 

 

In that tiny moment of vulnerability, he lets him in. He lets Jungkook see the hurt, the tiredness and the defeat in him. 

 

He watches Jungkook clench his jaw, the hard look in his eyes melting away to something almost human. 

 

The younger man twists away from his hand. 

 

The sharp sting of pain subsides almost instantly when Jungkook pulls him close by the waist instead. 

 

“You've already lost a son, unless you want to lose another one, you better be careful of what you say or do. After all Jimin doesn't need you. He isn't a child who can't feed himself.” He lets Jungkook prop him up, feeling the words vibrate from Jungkook’s chest. “He has me, the Jeons, he doesn’t need you.” 

 

He sees the moment the pure fury that crosses his father, but Jimin knows he won’t do anything, not when his precious money lays in Jungkook’s hands. 

 

“We’ll see about that.” WIth that his father spins around and stalks away. 

 

He watches his father leave until he can’t see him anymore and slumps. 

 

Jungkook moves away slowly, dropping his arm from his shoulders. 

 

He tries to look busy, anything in order not to look at Jungkook. 

 

From the corner of his eye, he sees the younger watching him. 

 

Unable to avoid it Jungkook’s stare anymore, he sighs tiredly and says, “What are you doing here, Jungkook?” 

 

“We have to talk.” That’s all Jungkook says. Jimin waits but Jungkook doesn’t offer anything else. 

 

He doesn’t know how to interpret those 4 words. 

 

“We could’ve talked at the apartment,” he says. 

 

“We could.” Jungkook answers, but the unspoken but we don’t, follows so closely, it’s unmistakable. 

 

“Fine.” He gestures for Jungkook to sit anyways. It’s his silent thank you to Jungkook and by the way the younger looks at him, he understands. “What did you want to talk about?” 

 

“I broke up with Ji-eun.” 

 

There’s a long moment of silence that follows. 

 

He doesn’t know what to make of that. 

 

“You’re horrible.” Jimin can’t help but make a face at that.

 

He knew Jungkook could be cruel, but not this cruel. 

 

There’s a look of confusion that flits across the younger man’s features before it registers. “The baby is not mine.” 

 

Oh. 

 

Oh. 

 

“Oh.” 

 

“Yeah.” Jungkook mutters wryly. “Found out last month.” 

 

“So?” 

 

“I just wanted to know where that put us.” Jungkook hesitates. “Y’know, our relationship and all that.” 

 

He glances up at Jungkook and he sees the does eyes, the uncertainty in the usually unwavering man in front of him. 

 

Like a loser, like a man starved for love, he almost lets himself fall.

 

But he lets all the hurt Jungkook had aimed at him, wash over him and the walls are back up, fragile but in place. 

 

“We are two people waiting on the divorce papers to be finalized,” he answers simply. 

 

There’s no Jungkook and Jimin anymore. There never really was in the first place. There was no place for him in Jungkook’s heart, Jimin knew that from the start. 

 

Even if there was a chance it could happen, it ceased to exist the day Jungkook looked down on him and called him an attention, gold-digging whore. 

 

He holds Jungkook’s gaze, pretending to be stronger than he isn’t. 

 

“I was hoping that we could change that,” Jungkook starts softly and Jimin has to pretend not to see how unlike himself Jungkook was being. “Because I’m in love with you.” 

 

At that, Jimin’s heart goes cold. 

 

Love.

 

That word held too much weight, especially for people like them. 

 

It feels like he’d lost. 

 

Those very words he’d been wanting to hear, it sounded so meaningless now. 

 

He looks at the younger man, expression blank. 

 

“Lying isn’t a good look for you.” He rolls his eyes, leaning against his chair, trying his best to look collected. “Don’t try to placate me.” Jimin bites out the words, finding it hard to rein in his temper. Whoever indulges in their temper first, loses. “You’ve spent everyday of our marriage telling me you don’t want me, showing me you have someone better. And now? You say you love me?” A disbelieving snort leaves his lips as he watches Jungkook try to reach out to him again. “How do you expect me to believe that when I’m just a consolation prize. There when you realized Ji-eun wasn’t who she was.” 

 

“That’s not fucking true.” Jungkook leaps to his feet. “I do love you, I have feelings for you.” 

 

“Don’t. Don’t say them again.” Jimin doesn’t think he can hear them again without wanting something, something he’s not supposed to have. “What do you want from me, Jungkook?” Jimin stands as well to level the playing field. “Just one second ago you think you love me, and now, it’s suddenly different. I’m not some convenient rebound for you to throw away when Ji-eun’s shadow fades.” 

 

“I just miss you.” Jungkook’s entire demeanor softens. Jimin watches detachedly as the younger rakes a hand through his hair, eyes sad as he tries to catch Jimin’s eye. “I missed you. Even when Ji-eun was by my side, I missed the way you laughed at my jokes with your whole body. I missed the way you made my whole life better. I missed your smile. I missed your clumsy ass in the mornings. But most of all, I missed you just being there.” 

 

Jimin thinks he imagines the wet shine in Jungkook’s big eyes. 

 

But he snorts at that anyway, cutting off Jungkook before he could say more. 

 

His resolve was weak. 

 

With a little more pressure and it’ll break.

 

And so he puts up a front, protecting that little resolve he has left to tide him over. 

 

“Do you want me to say I love you too?” Jimin’s entire demeanor is cold. “Because I can if that helps you with whatever feelings of guilt you have.” He shrugs, playing it cool. “I can say it now if that’s what you really need.”  

 

He tells himself he needs it, he needed some way to let out the steam, let out the confusing mix of emotions his battered heart was trying to juggle. 

 

No matter how wrong it was, he aims it all at Jungkook, hoping for something. 

 

Something aside from the crushing feeling of heartbreak. 

 

Jungkook seems to brush that off all too easily and Jimin hates it. 

 

He hates how accepting Jungkook was reacting. 

 

Even if he had aimed to hurt, he didn’t want to hurt Jungkook. 

 

Because it’s Jungkook and like a pathetic idiot, he had fallen for the very man in front of him. 

 

“No what I really want is to wake up to you in my arms, I want to come home to see you. I want to always hear you crack up at the most lame and ridiculous dad jokes. I just want you next to me.” 

 

He needs to hear the words, needs Jungkook to spew hateful words back at him.  

 

He needs his heart and his brain to understand why so they can stop mourning for someone he can’t have, someone he could never have.

 

Because hurting right now would be so much easier than falling completely for Jeon Jungkook only to realize he had never loved him.  

 

 “I get it. I really do.” Jimin avoids looking Jungkook in the eye because if he does, he’ll probably break into tiny pieces. “So you don’t have to pretend to keep this act going any longer. We can keep this from our parents. The contract will still stand.” Those words brings bile to his throat but he keeps going anyways. “Someone like me with so many insecurities that will ruin everything he touches, someone—” 

 

There’s a frustrated roar that is ripped from Jungkook’s throat. “Don’t you dare say that about yourself.” Jungkook’s voice booms loudly. “You are most selfless and the kindest person I’ve ever met.”  

 

“So what?” Jimin clenches his fist in order not to reach out. “That does shit when my friends and my family are suffering because of me.” 

 

“What?” 

 

He bites his tongue, hating that’s he’s said more than he should have. “It has nothing to do with you.” 

 

“You are my husband.” Jimin feels that little sense of victory hearing how tightly clenched Jungkook’s jaw is. 

 

“Not for long.” Jimin blindly grabs at the file in front of him. “Now excuse me, Mr. Jeon-ssi, I have a meeting to be at.” 

 

Jungkook’s big hand wraps around his bicep and heat sears through his thin white button up. 

 

He tenses but Jungkook doesn’t let go, nor does his tighten his grip. “Please, Jimin-ah.” 

 

For one second, he lets Jungkook’s gaze pierce into him. With his walls down, he knows he’s exposed, allowing Jungkook a peek into his disarray of emotions.

 

But just as quickly as it comes, he rips his gaze away. 

 

He hears the plead but this time, he can’t afford to offer his heart on a platter anymore. 

 

He twists his arm out of Jungkook’s grip. “Please see yourself out once you see fit.”

 

Because putting words to every feeling will just rip them further apart than they already are. 

 

And neither can afford that. 

 

Jungkook doesn’t stop him again.

Chapter Text

“Jin hyung, could you help me out with something?”

“What is it?”

“Did Jimin ever tell you why he went along with the marriage?”

“No.”

“Then could you please help me look into it.”

“What do I get out of this?”

“My eternal gratefulness?”

“I don’t need that.”

“I’ll pay for Gookmul’s petsitters.”

“That’s not fair trade for my superior services.”

“Don’t be so cheap, Jin hyung.”

“Is that what you’re supposed to be saying to someone you’re asking a favor from?”

"I'll give you a raise."

"It's not even your money."

"Fine, you can wear that stupid pink suit to work once a month."

"Once a week."

"Once every two weeks."

"Deal."

"Deal."

—-

“Joonie, please.”

“No, I can’t.”

“Please, with a cherry on top?”

“This is Jimin’s privacy.”

“What’s a little secret sharing between close friends?”

“This isn’t something I can share.”

“Joonie, we’re all friends. I’m sure Jimin wouldn’t mind.”

“...”

“I’ll throw in a kiss.”

“I—”

“And a date.”

“If Jimin ever asks, I’ll tell him it was all you.”

“Of course, Joonie.”

Chapter Text

“Thank you for coming today, Jimin.” Mr. Jeon smiles and Jimin forces himself to smile back at the man in front of him. 

 

Mrs. Jeon waves politely from her seat. 

 

He reminds himself that he was here for a reason, there was no reason to be cold to these two people who hadn’t meant too much harm. 

 

“Thank you for inviting me.” He allows Jungkook to pull out his chair but the irony doesn’t escape him. 

 

It’s the first time Jungkook’s done it for him and probably also the last time.

 

It’s the first time they’ve been in the room since their last fight. 

 

He had stayed over at Yoongi’s, hoping it would calm his head a little before the dinner. 

 

And it had, a little. 

 

Settling into his chair beside Jungkook’s seat, he tries for another smile at Jungkook’s parents. 

 

“You don’t have to be so formal, Jimin.” Mrs. Jeon smiles welcomingly at him from across the table. “Right, Jungkook?” 

 

He turns enough to see Jungkook rubbing awkwardly at the back of his neck. 

 

“Yeah.” Jungkook’s answer is awkward and he feels it deep in his bones.

They were going to be discussing his divorce with Jungkook, no niceties could hide it. 

 

On the inside he knows the Jeon’s are nice people, but he’s still terrified of how they’d react to this. 

 

His friends were on stake, he didn’t want to do anything to risk it. 

 

Conversation during dinner is stilted, mainly because Jimin is so nervous he can barely formulate a sentence. 

 

Jungkook glances at him a few times before reaching for his hand underneath the table. 

 

He lets Jungkook wrap a hand around his own, accepts the warm squeeze but he doesn’t return the gesture. 

 

After a little bit, Jungkook lets go. 

 

He regrets it the second after. Maybe he shouldn’t have been so unresponsive to the touch when he suddenly feels so uneasy the moment Jungkook retreats back to his own space. 

 

“We’re getting divorced.” Jungkook starts first, startling his own mother into a fit of coughs. 

 

“We heard about this from Jin-ssi but why?” Mrs. Jeon manages between coughs. “Why so suddenly?” 

 

“Yeah.” Jungkook agrees uselessly. “We tried but it just didn’t work out.” 

 

The excuse is flimsy and Mr. Jeon’s raise of the eyebrow says as much. 

 

“Did you really?” Mr. Jeon’s voice is gravelly and serious as he directs the question at Jungkook. 

 

Jungkook goes silent and Jimin sees the panicky look in the younger’s eyes as he tries to formulate an answer. 

 

“We both did.” Jimin answers in place of Jungkook. “We know how important this was to the both of you but neither of us are in the ‘right’ place at the moment. Jungkook is still young, he has so much potential with his current situation at the company, I’m just getting in the way of that.” 

 

He slips his hand onto Jungkook’s lap and the other instantly leaps at it, entwining their hands together. 

 

It should be weird. 

 

Just last night, they’d been breaking each other apart but today, they were holding onto each other as if it was a safety net. 

 

He doesn’t know if it was more for his own sake or Jungkook’s but he grips Jungkook’s hand just as tightly. 

 

“He will manage.” Mr. Jeon brushes aside the excuse easily. “He’s an adult, he can handle his work and his family if he needs to. Right?” 

 

Jungkook twitches and he smooths his thumb over Jungkook’s knuckles. 

 

“Yes, dad.” Jungkook says monotonously. 

 

“It’s unfair for me to bind him in a loveless marriage because I benefit from it.” Jimin really, really hopes the Jeon’s don’t take it to heart because he needs them to sign that contract. “He’s 25, he deserves to love anyone he wants to, not marry some man he barely even knows.” 

 

“Let’s not pretend he hasn’t.” Mr. Jeon is uncharacteristically cold, eyes sharp. “Ji-eun is a good example of why it shouldn’t happen again.” 

 

“Ji-eun was a bad choice but Jungkook is a good person.” He tries once more. “He just hasn’t had the time to look at the world, I don’t want to obstruct his future as a permanent stain.” 

 

Jungkook’s grip tightens and Jimin glances at Jungkook quickly to see him clench his jaw before he faces Mr. Jeon once again. 

 

“You can’t think that!” Mrs. Jeon exclaims. “You two got along so well when you were kids, I thought this marriage would be a good thing for the both of you.” 

 

In some ways, it was a good thing, just not for them, but for his own father whose seat was clearly empty but he doesn’t let it deter him. 

 

He hesitates, this felt too awkward saying it in front of Jungkook, even if it was all an act, it felt too real. 

 

Mrs. Jeon seems to understand because she subtly clears her throat and says, “Jungkook-ah, could you go check on our drinks?” 

 

Jungkook looks at him, as if waiting on his command. 

 

He nods and slips his hand from the younger’s. 

 

They all watch Jungkook leave. 

 

“As you were saying?” Mr. Jeon prompts. 

 

“It’s not just for him, but for me as well. Serendipity is just starting to get on it’s tracks, I’m the one who can’t manage juggling a marriage and a career with what I already have on my plate.” 

 

“You don’t have to make excuses and defend him.” Mr. Jeon intones. “I know you did try with the whole arranged marriage thing.” 

 

“That’s—” 

 

“My son has dangled his girlfriend in front of us enough times to know what has caused the situation now.” 

 

He wants to say it’s not true, to defend Jungkook but he can’t. 

 

There was no denying the truth.

 

Everyone in the room knew about Ji-eun’s existence. 

 

But he couldn’t just put all the blame on Jungkook. 

 

“It wasn’t just Ji-eun that was the problem.” Jimin fiddles with his sleeve now that he doesn’t have Jungkook to hold onto. “I let myself believe that I could marry someone I didn’t love and, you know, fall for him later on.” 

 

Mrs. Jeon lets out a sound that almost sounds like a coo. “You’re a romantic at heart, aren’t you?” 

 

Jimin tries for a smile but he knows it falls flat. “I tried to let myself believe I could be in a loveless marriage and be happy.”

 

“I’m guessing you don’t think you could see being happy with Jungkook.” Mr. Jeon softens, voice less harsh compared to before and he almost looks like the man Jimin ran into at the cinema. 

 

“Once upon a time, I could but not now. Especially not after I ruined his relationship with Ji-eun because of my own greediness.” 

 

That much is true. 

 

The guilt of ruining perhaps Jungkook’s happily ever after will haunt him for a long time. 

 

“It’s not your fault, Jimin-ah.” Mrs. Jeon moves from her seat and takes the seat Jungkook had vacated, patting his hand in a motherly gesture. “You weren’t the only one who made the decision to get married. Jungkook did it too.” 

 

But it’s not like either of them had a choice. 

 

“He didn’t have to.” Mr. Jeon confirms. “In the beginning, it was just a test of sorts—” 

 

“A cruel one.” Mrs. Jeon interrupts. 

 

“—to check if Ji-eun was with him for the money or if they truly loved each other.” 

 

“Jungkook could’ve said no.” Mrs. Jeon reconfirms her husband’s words. “He could’ve refused the marriage and worked up the company with his own strengths. In the beginning he did, but in the end, he took the easy way, went with the marriage so he’d still have the company shares because Ji-eun convinced him.” 

 

Like a little devil sitting on Jungkook’s shoulder. 

 

“I’m no better than he is.” Jimin shrugs. “I said yes to the marriage for my own gain.” 

 

“But it doesn’t take away from the fact that Jungkook was a nitwit for humiliating you.” 

 

“Thank you for telling me that and trying to make me feel better but no matter what you say, I don’t think we could’ve worked out with so many factors against the situation.” 

 

“I understand Jimin-ah.” Mrs. Jeon sighs. “I just wanted to try one last time.” 

 

“I’m sorry for being so harsh earlier on. Just wanted to make sure you two treated this seriously.” Mr. Jeon tugs at his tie, loosening the knot around his neck. “I want you to know this isn’t your fault. We completely understand and support the decisions you two made. Of course we would have loved for things to work out but after all, this is your lives, we can’t control it.” 

 

“I understand.” Jimin smiles, this time it feels less forced without the heavy weight sitting on his shoulders. “I hope there won’t be hard feelings between us because of this.” 

 

“Of course not.” Mr. Jeon agrees easily. 

 

“I know this is awful of us to ask this of you, but could you keep the news of the divorce in the wraps?” Mrs. Jeon asks, the expression on her face looking somewhat nervous. “Not forever, just for a little bit.”  

 

He cocks his head to the side, wondering why the sudden need to delay things. 

 

“We were looking into an acquisition at the moment and don’t want to spook our investors with any rumors or front page news.” Mr. Jeon tells him. 

 

He understands this all too well, especially with investors so large scale in the Jeon’s company, it must be a big deal. 

 

“But in return, would you consider forming a partnership with the Parks?” He instantly feels bad, making use of their weakness for his own good. “Just keep to the same terms even when Jungkook and I get divorced?” 

 

“Of course.” Mrs. Jeon promises without even hesitating. “We never thought about dissolving the partnership.” 

 

It’s just then does Jungkook come back, followed by a waiter holding all four cups, he smiles a little knowing that among all those cups of coffee, one cup held the hot chocolate Jungkook had tried to discreetly order. 

 

Jungkook looks at him, question in his eyes and he gives the other man a small nod. 

 

They’ll be okay. 

 

He’ll be okay. 

 

His friends will be okay. 

 

And that’s all he needs for now. 

 


 

“Are you sure my parents didn’t make you do anything you don’t want to?” Jungkook asks. 

 

Jimin sighs from his spot in the passenger seat. “No, they didn’t, Jungkook.” 

 

“Are you sure?” Jungkook twists in his seat, seat belt digging into his neck as he turns fully towards him. 

 

“Like I’ve said in the last 10 million times, yes, I’m sure. I want to do this. It’s just a few more events, we can play nice for the reporters and that should do it.” Jimin gestures to the front. “Light’s green.” 

 

Jungkook faces front again. “You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to out of guilt or whatever it is.” 

 

“I’m not.” 

 

It is but Jungkook doesn’t have to know. 

 

“They signed the contract after thinking about the pros and cons,” Jungkook says simply. “My mom can seem ditzy and sometimes over enthusiastic over some things but she’s a shrewd businesswoman through and through.” 

 

“Yeah but—” 

 

“No more ‘but’s. Although, I don’t mind yours.” Jungkook grins at the childish joke and Jimin lets out a groan. “Seriously though, you don’t need to keep the farce up if you’re uncomfortable with it.” 

 

“Yeah?” He gets a little distracted with the way Jungkook backs up the car, one armed, sleeves rolled up, showing strong forearms he had held onto just months ago as they walked down the aisle.

 

“No, I really mean it.” They slow to a stop as Jungkook slots the car into the parking spot. “If you ever feel uneasy about anything, just let me know and I’ll put a stop to whatever it is. Okay?” 

 

“Yeah,” he answers noncommittally. 

 

Jungkook unbuckles his seatbelt, the buckle banging loudly against the door as it zips back into place. He twists his entire body, placing both hands on Jimin’s shoulders, startling him into attention. 

 

He’s close. 

 

A little too close. 

 

And he remembers the words Jungkook had uttered so easily a few days ago. 

 

Those big round eyes seemingly so honest, luring him into believing those sweet lies. 

 

But even knowing they were what they were, Jimin finds himself wanting to believe it. 

 

In his mind, he knows he can’t have Jungkook, but it doesn’t stop him from hoping and dreaming.

 

As if Jeon Jungkook could be in love with him too. 

 

 “Jimin, I promise you, no matter when and what we’re doing, if you’re uncomfortable with the situation, just let me know and I’ll stop.” 

 

He blinks at the close proximity. 

 

It’s been a while since he’s seen Jungkook’s big eyes so close up, his long lashes and that little scar on his cheek. 

 

He swallows hard seeing Jungkook’s shirt stretch as Jungkook’s bicep bulges. 

 

The feeling of wanting to reach out and touch him overwhelms Jimin until he realizes what Jungkook is doing. 

 

The other man has a hand on his cheek, brushing his thumb softly over his cheek. Jungkook has his eyes fixed on his lips. 

 

He clears his throat and Jungkook darts his gaze away almost instantly. “We’re getting divorced in a few weeks, you can drop the act.”

 

“I don’t care if you think it’s an act or whatever, but as long as you promise me you will tell me if anything makes you feel uneasy.” Jungkook says in all seriousness. His usual large eyes are hard and fixed onto him and Jimin can’t even breathe without feeling like Jungkook will see how fast his heart is pounding. “Promise me.” 

 

“I promise.” Jimin shifts backwards enough that Jungkook’s hands fall from his face. “Do you want me to pinky promise you or something?” 

 

He hopes the joke is enough to cut whatever tension it was humming around in the car. 

 

“Yeah.” Jungkook jokes back. 

 

And just like that, whatever it was before is gone. 

 

Like a child, Jungkook sticks out his own pinky. 

 

Jimin looks at the finger Jungkook holds out in his direction. 

 

With a muffled giggle, they swear on it.

Chapter Text

Without his father, he knows Serendipity will take a hit. 

 

Without the small stream of clients referred from the main office, he can’t afford to keep the same easy atmosphere they have in the office. 

 

He hates it. 

 

He feels so useless having to rely on the one person he had set out never to rely on. 

 

Serendipity was his, he built it up with his own hands, from the small 3 person team to the hundred plus employees he had now. 

 

Admittedly, he had let things slack off a little being distracted with all the drama with Jungkook, but now, he vows to keep things on the right track. 

 

He had no one to rely on anymore. 

 

His father was no longer an option and Jungkook had never been an option in the first place. 

 

He’ll make sure Serendipity flourishes on it’s own without anyone else. 

 

It’ll be the only thing he thinks about. 

 

And it does work for most parts until Chanyeol shows up, easy grin on his face as he saunters inside his office. 

 

“Hey, Jimin!” 

 

Jimin watches dumbly as Chanyeol settles himself on the sofas, long limbs spread out confidently.

 

He gestures at Sejun, letting his secretary know everything was fine. 

 

Sejun bows and leaves the room. 

 

“Hey,” Jimin starts off hesitantly, rising from his desk to move in front of Chanyeol on the sofas. “What’s with the sudden visit?” 

 

“Just wanted to come visit a friend.” Chanyeol’s big briefcase of papers says otherwise but Jimin nods along anyways. 

 

“You did say you were going to be busy with a big project this month, what happened to that?” 

 

Chanyeol’s smile falters before it’s back up again. “He got a new boyfriend.” 

 

“Oh.” Jimin blinks at the sudden news. “Sorry.” 

 

“Not your fault.” With that the fake smile falls. 

 

“I thought you guys would get back together.” He pushes a bottle of water closer to his friend, not knowing what to say in the situation. 

 

“So did I.” Chanyeol shrugs. “Guess I didn’t do enough.” 

 

“Did you guys talk?” 

 

“Not really.” Chanyeol drops his head on the back of the couch, resting an arm over his eyes as he speaks. “He never really let me and I never really wanted to. Scared I’d lose him forever and all that shit if I put it out in the open.”

 

“He’d understand.” He probes a little at his friend, wanting to get him to try before he truly lost Baekhyun to someone else. “If he’s half the man you always gush about, he will understand. It was the circumstance, you were at fault but you were honest about it in the end.” 

 

“I almost got a girl pregnant and I didn’t tell him about it. Freaked out lied about it until I couldn’t anymore.” Chanyeol laughs mirthlessly. “I don’t think I’d forgive myself.” 

 

“That’s the thing, a true asshole wouldn’t have told Baekhyun, a true asshole would have just thrown money at the girl and told her to get an abortion.” 

 

“That doesn’t mean anything. I still slept with someone else.”

 

“That was before you guys were together.” Jimin presses further. “Baekhyun doesn’t expect you to be a saint. He just wants you to be honest and to tell him stuff so you guys can face it together.” 

 

“I’ll think about it, okay Minie?” 

 

Jimin wants to reprimand his friend, wants to force Chanyeol to man up and talk to Baekhyun about his problems but he’s just the same. He was hiding out in his office, avoiding Jungkook because he was scared. 

 

So instead he punches Chanyeol lightly on the arm. “Want to go on a day cruise with me?” 

 

“Why? Going to show me off as arm candy to get your asshole of a husband jealous?” 

 

Mostly because he doesn’t think he can spend too much time alone with Jungkook. Having his friend there would be a welcome distraction for the both of them. 

 

“If you’re up for being arm candy.” 

 

“Then I’ll take it.” 

 

Anything to stop overthinking. 

 

That’s something they can both agree on. 

 


 

“You’re home.”

 

Jimin startles and almost drops his keys when Jungkook’s voice pierces through the dimly apartment. 

 

He had been going home late at night in order to avoid the other, making sure Jungkook would be asleep by the time he got home they wouldn’t have to talk to each other. 

 

Some days, he stayed over at Hoseok’s or Yoongi’s place if he really needed to rest. 

 

His friends were accepting, easily taking his flimsy excuses without a question. 

 

But today was different. Yoongi was at Daegu visiting his family and Hoseok was off at a dance competition in L.A., so he had to go home. 

 

And there Jungkook was, leaning against his bedroom door in a loose muscle tee, arms crossed as they faced off. 

 

“Yeah.” Jimin glances quickly at the clock hanging above the tv to find that it’s still 1:09 am, barely a minute since he walked into the room. “Had some work to do.” 

 

It wasn’t a complete lie. He had been out drinking with Chanyeol but they did talk about the project Chanyeol was planning on hiring Serendipity for.

 

But Jungkook didn’t have to know. 

 

“It’s late.” 

 

“I know.” Jimin turns away from Jungkook. He didn’t need to explain himself. 

 

He can hear Jungkook padding closer and closer but he pretends not to notice as he continues to busy himself toeing off his shoes. 

 

“You smell like alcohol.” Jungkook murmurs, more to himself than to him. 

 

He doesn’t deem the comment with a reply. 

 

“The divorce papers arrived.” Jungkook’s voice is still quiet in the darkness. 

 

And like that, he found the reason Jungkook waited up for him. 

 

There was no one more excited to get divorced than the younger man was. 

 

“Good.” Jimin keeps his back turned to Jungkook. “You can leave it on the table and I’ll take my copy a little later.” 

 

This was so much easier. 

 

He didn’t need to face those doe eyes nor was Jungkook able to see the vulnerability written on his face. 

 

“Is that all you’re going to say?” It’s ridiculous how Jungkook almost sounds hurt. 

 

“Yeah.” Jimin replies as nonchalantly as he can. “Thanks for letting me know. You can go celebrate now that you’ve done your duty.” 

 

“Jimin.” Jungkook’s voice is sharp. “You don’t mean that.”

 

“Of course I mean it. Do you notice why we never make long term plans?” He doesn’t let Jungkook answer nor does the younger even attempt to answer because it’s obvious it’s a rhetorical question. “We’re only good at making temporary plans because that’s what we are. Temporary.” He tightens his hold onto his own briefcase. “That has ended so you can stop playing your role as the husband you never even wanted in the first place.” 

 

The tears burn and he prays for everything inside that they don’t fall until Jungkook is gone. 

 

But because it’s Jungkook, he doesn’t go running at the harsh words when he expects him to. 

 

“I want us to be permanent.” Jungkook grabs his wrist and spins him around. The papers, probably their divorce papers, Jungkook was holding crumple between their chests. Instinctively, Jimin’s hands brace himself on Jungkook’s chest so he isn’t crushed against the younger. 

 

He’s too close. 

 

With Jungkook so, so close, he can’t think properly. 

 

“I don’t.” Jimin doesn’t bother to look the younger in the eye, focusing instead on where Jungkook has his hand wrapped around his wrist. 

 

“You’re not temporary to me. You’ve made a crater sized hole in my heart only you can fill, don’t think you can say you’ll forget about me just like that and I’ll let you.” 

 

His phone rings and Jimin twists out of Jungkook’s grip almost immediately. 

 

It’s cruel but purposefully, he lifts the phone to his ear. 

 

“You get home alright?” Chanyeol’s voice is loud in his ear. 

 

“Yeah, I got home safe.” He ignores whatever it was thrumming in his veins, heat still searing through his body where Jungkook touched him. “You? Didn’t get kidnapped by some crazy substitute driver right?” 

 

“Said crazy can hear you.” Chanyeol’s driver jokes back. 

 

“Woojin hyung, you know I didn’t mean it like that.” Jimin giggles. 

 

“Stop flirting with my Jiminie and focus on the road.” Chanyeol’s reprimand is joking and he lets the two joke around for a little bit more before he speaks up. 

 

“I’m going to go get ready for tomorrow’s cruise so text me when you get home safe.” 

 

“Got it, love.” Chanyeol answers easily and he hangs up, knowing Jungkook was listening attentively to every word. 

 

“Who was that?” Jungkook’s voice has lost the quiet hesitance it held in the beginning, now it’s pure curiosity mixed with something akin to jealousy. 

 

“Just a friend.” He answers as nonchalantly as he can. 

 

“What friend.” 

 

“Even if I told you who, you wouldn’t even have a clue who it was. You never bothered to know anything about my life.” he says challenging Jungkook to say something brash. 

 

“I’m sorry.” Jungkook makes another grab at his hand and Jimin lets him. He lets Jungkook hold his hand but he doesn’t return the grasp, leaving his fingers limp in Jungkook’s clasp. “I’m sorry for every fucking shitty thing I did to you.” 

 

He thinks he hears the tears in Jungkook’s voice. 

 

“I’ll get over it.” 

 

“No.” Jungkook tightens his grip, enough that Jimin can’t pull away but not enough that it hurts. “I was an asshole. I put everything on you when I should’ve shouldered the consequences of my own decisions. You didn’t force me to get married. I let Ji-eun walk over me because I was insecure with her love and I was right to. She was just with me for money and because my brother didn’t choose her.” 

 

“I don’t really care to hear about your little ex-girlfriend.” 

 

“Right.” Jungkook sounds so subdued, Jimin feels the guilt eat at him little by little. “I just want you to know, I really am sorry for being so shitty in the past few months and even if this is irrational, I feel like I’m losing you.” Jungkook runs a hand through his hair, frustratedly raking upwards so his hair is a bird’s nest on his head. “And I don’t even know when I’ve gotten so scared of that happening.” 

 

He ignores the urge to smooth down Jungkook’s mop of hair and crosses his arms. 

 

“You had to have me to lose me. Even when we said those wedding vows, we weren’t anything, especially now that we’re divorced, we’re practical strangers.” Jimin bites down on his bottom lip, wondering for a split second if he should continue but he had always been lead by emotion. “So don’t be selfish, Jungkookie. I ignored all those ‘meeting’ calls you had, you should at least do the same for me, especially now that we’re officially divorced.” 

 

He knows he’s waving a red flag in front of a bull but anger is so much easier. 

 

As long as the anger blurred everything, it was easy to forget the hurt and push aside the part of him that would let things slide because it was Jungkook. 

 

They stand facing each other and this time, Jimin doesn’t back down. He watches Jungkook clench his jaw, fists clenched at his side and he doesn’t do anything but lift a brow. 

 

He doesn’t know how long they stand like that until Jungkook spins on his heel with a muttered curse and stalks from the room.

 

The door slams loudly, letting know Jimin know Jungkook has left the apartment.  

 

Another battle won but the satisfaction isn’t there. 

 

He only left feeling empty, wondering what good winning this would mean. 

 

It was what it was; Park Jimin against Jeon Jungkook, like it should be. 

 

The divorce papers left abandoned by his feet say the same. 

 

He was officially no longer Jeon-Park Jimin. The joy and the satisfaction isn’t there. Jimin just feels the feelings of resentment and misery stain the very thing they had both been looking forward to so badly. 

 

And just like that, in the utter darkness, he cries. 

 

Alone and empty. 

Chapter Text

Jimin squints as a camera flashes in his direction. 

 

Out of duty, he keeps his hand loosely draped in the crook of Jungkook’s arm as they board for the Cho’s cruise opening ceremony. 

 

It was awkward, the air tense between them. 

 

They hadn’t spoken since last night’s spat. 

 

Jungkook had showed up in the morning, eye bags a little darker than last since Jimin saw him. 

 

They had gotten ready in complete silence, after Jungkook had attempted to initiate conversation a few times only to be met with one worded replies from him.  

 

Although he had set out to be an adult about it, that plan had failed spectacularly. He had never formulated feelings into the equation. 

 

From the corner of his eye, he sees Chanyeol talking to Namjoon near the helm but it’s obvious his attention isn’t fully there. He follows his friend’s gaze to find Baekhyun standing there with some man he doesn’t recognize. 

 

That must be the new boyfriend. 

 

Just like a drama, when Chanyeol looks away, Baekhyun turns to look at him. 

 

In that brief gaze, he sees longing. 

 

The same longing he used to feel for Jungkook, longing for someone he shouldn’t. 

 

Before he can put more thought into it, Jungkook has a gentle hand on the small of his back, guiding him onto the boat. 

 

Once they’re out of view from the cameras, he subtly pulls away from Jungkook’s touch. 

 

Jungkook doesn’t mention it, instead the younger man just presses a glass of champagne in his hands. 

 

“Please be careful.” Jungkook says as if knowing he was ready to leave his side as soon as he could. “I know you know how to swim and we’re still docked but I heard it’ll be windy later so stay away from the rails if you can.” 

 

“You too.” He nods and tries for a smile in Jungkook’s direction. “Let me know if you need me.” 

 

He heads towards Namjoon and Chanyeol without sparing a glance behind him to check if Jungkook was following. 

 

They’d played their part in front of the cameras, they could afford to spend time apart in the guise of socializing. Afterall, it was a much needed break for the both of them. 

 

“Hey, Minie.” Chanyeol welcomes him into the conversation almost immediately as he approaches the two. “Namjoon just told me the news.” 

 

“What news?” Jimin looks to Namjoon who looks a little uncomfortable and he readies himself for the bad news. 

 

“Mr. Park was planning a new betrothal for you and has asked me to relay the information to Mr. Chanyeol-ssi and his parents on his behalf.” 

 

He shouldn’t be surprised with his father’s slippery ways by now but he can’t be astounded by the rate his father had moved on from his marriage with Jungkook. 

 

If the main actor of the play isn’t there, of course there will always be an understudy ready to replace him. In this sense, he knows Chanyeol is Jungkook’s intended replacement. 

 

It’ll be a little hard to play the role of a husband with someone else but he should be used to it by now. 

 

“Can’t believe you ended things with loverboy already.” Chanyeol says lightly, tilting his chin in Jungkook’s direction. 

 

Jimin turns enough to see Jungkook looking at their direction. 

 

Their eyes meet for a little bit before Jungkook looks away first. 

 

He turns back towards Chanyeol. “Please tell me you didn’t say yes.” 

 

“I’m offended.” Chanyeol jokes. “I am a catch.” 

 

He sees the small quirk of Namjoon’s lips and he can’t help his own grin. “Although I totally agree, that’s not what I mean.” 

 

Namjoon catching that he was intruding on the conversation, excuses himself and beelines towards Jin. 

 

He files that little tidbit in his mind and focuses back on the topic on hand. “Are you seriously considering it?” 

 

“Yeah, it’s not a bad idea.” Chanyeol looks like he was ready to drown in his glass of wine any minute. “It’d be nice to be married to a friend instead of some asshole like Jungkook.” 

 

“What about Baekhyun?” 

 

Chanyeol shrugs, eyes straying to said man. “He looks happy.” 

 

He wants to shake his friend.

 

In what way did Baekhyun look happy. 

 

That wasn’t what happy looked like. 

 

“You’re not.” Jimin steps a little closer, keeping his voice low so no one can hear them.

 

“I’m not.” Chanyeol admits. “But it’s time I moved on. It’s been almost two decades. We’ve both had enough.” 

 

“You two have tried for so many years, why give up now?” 

 

“I’ve treated him like shit when I had him.” Chanyeol sighs. “All the times I’ve fucked up, he just forgives and forgives but everytime, I feel like I’m just taking the light from his eyes or something.” 

 

“Then treat him better.” Jimin keeps pressing. “Once he takes you back, treat him like a king.” 

 

“No,” Chanyeol says firmly. “I don’t have the right anymore. He’s happier with him than he could ever with me.” 

 

He hears the regret heavy in his friend’s voice and no matter how much he pushes now, he knows it’ll fall on deaf ears. 

 

Chanyeol knew Baekhyun better than he ever could. 

 

This was Chanyeol’s decision, he shouldn’t meddle any further. 

 

He gives his friend a small smile. “Well then, arm candy, let’s do our jobs.” 

 

Chanyeol gives him a grateful smile and they make their rounds, focusing on their potential partner for their upcoming project. 

 


 

It’s only dinner when he’s anywhere near Jungkook again. 

 

They’re placed next to each other. 

 

“Saw you talking to Taemin earlier.” Jimin comments lightly, just to have something to talk about. “Didn’t expect that.” 

 

Jungkook nods. “He said you two were quite close.” 

 

“Yeah.” Jimin agrees easily. “His company often has Hobi hyung come up with choreo for concerts and MVs and I help out sometimes.” 

 

“Yeah?” Jungkook sounds surprisingly interested. “Thought you stopped teaching classes since Serendipity got busier.” 

 

“From time to time.” He notices the way Jungkook is angled to him without completely showing his back to the person sitting to his left. For some reason, that warms him to the core. “When Hobi hyung is short on staff or just beginner classes for little ones.” 

 

“Little kids are always cute.” Jungkook smiles gently at that. “Always wanted a son and a daughter.” 

 

“You do seem like a dad who’d play dress up and have tea parties and teach your kids every sport under the sun.” Jimin can’t help but return the smile. “I’ve always wanted sons myself, maybe 3?” 

 

“Why so many?” 

 

“It’s nice to have some noise at home, children always bring joy.” 

 

“True.” Jungkook nods. “Boys are pretty rowdy though.” 

 

He laughs a little, understanding what Jungkook meant. 

 

Before his birth mom had passed away, before his father had changed, Jihyun and him fought constantly over everything and anything.

 

But at the end of the day, his younger brother was family and he loved him, so he gave in to a lot of things they argued over. 

 

“Think my mom would’ve exchanged us to the devil for a marshmallow and an hour of silence.” Jimin comments wryly, remembering that exasperated look his birth mom reserved for them whenever they ran to her complaining about each other. 

 

“See this scar?” Jungkook points to his cheek and Jimin leans closer to look. “I got this from a fight with my older brother. We were fighting for the computer and it just happened.” 

 

He laughs, imagining little Jungkook fighting with his brother with skinny arms and small body, so different from now. “I don’t think I ever fought with Jihyun like that.” 

 

“You’d probably manage our kids well.” It’s probably an offhanded comment, but with that, everything jerks to a stop. 

 

He waits for Jungkook to backtrack, to take his words that had settled between them carelessly but Jungkook doesn’t. 

 

“It’s obvious you’d be a good dad.” Jungkook doesn’t amend his earlier comment and just keeps going as if he’d said the most normal thing on the Earth. “You seem like a doting dad.” 

 

He doesn’t know what to take of this. 

 

His thoughts were swirling too fast for him to keep track of. 

 

“You’re more of an extra manchild than a dad.” Jimin says once his thoughts pause from the bouncing around it was doing in his head and lets him form a coherent sentence. 

 

Jungkook laughs, not denying it at all. 

 

And some part of Jimin misses for the easiness between them. It’s weird, things have never been easy between them, there was always some hidden agenda whenever they interacted but this time, things are out in the open, he knows why he stands beside Jungkook, pretending seems to fade into truth. He can only hope that it’ll last forever. 

 

But there was no forever, their part of eternity in their vows had ended officially yesterday. 

 

He has to remind himself again and again for his heart to finally, finally understand Park Jimin and Jeon Jungkook don’t belong in the same sentence with happily ever after. 

 

The announcement for fireworks has everyone rushing out to the deck. 

 

Jungkook offers him a hand and he takes it without too much thought, too occupied from the other man’s earlier comment. 

 

They stop at the edge, the metal handrail icy to the touch but Jimin holds on anyways as the wind whips around him. 

 

Jungkook settles beside him, shoulders pressed against his. 

 

The first batch of fireworks light the sky with an assortment of colors and for a moment he lets himself enjoy them. 

 

“They’re super pretty aren’t they?” He asks Jungkook, tugging on the Jungkook’s jacket. 

 

“Yeah.” Jungkook’s voice is closer to his ear than he thought it would be. He turns to find Jungkook already looking at him. “It’s beautiful.” 

 

Jungkook’s eyes are dark and earnest as they bore into his own.

 

He suppresses the shiver of whatever it was buzzing in his veins and blinks his attention back to the fireworks. 

 

“You cold?” Jungkook asks as he’s already shrugging off his jacket. 

 

Jimin lets Jungkook drape the jacket over his shoulders and almost instantly, he’s drowning in Jungkook’s smell of ocean and home mixed into one. 

 

He pulls the lapels of Jungkook’s jacket close, letting himself enjoy this small bit of happiness for himself, just for a while. 

 

Jungkook moves to his left, blocking a large portion of the wind and Jimin allows himself to bask a little longer. Warmth sears through him, he doesn’t move, enjoying the way Jungkook’s warmth is pressed against his sides. 

 

He turns back to the display in front of them but they are no longer as exciting as it was before in comparison. 

 

And once again, his thoughts linger on Jungkook and he finds himself back to square one; maybe, sort of, kind of a little, little bit in love with Jungkook despite all the hurt he has caused him.    

 


 

He escapes Jungkook in guise for a bathroom break, getting a breath of air alone near the back of the ship when Chanyeol approaches him. 

 

Wordlessly, his friend leans on the rails beside him. 

 

“You’ve been ignoring him.” Chanyeol says after a moment of silence. 

 

It’s blatantly obvious who Chanyeol was talking about. 

 

“I’m not ignoring him.” Jimin answers with a shrug. “I just wanted to see if he’ll make an effort for once. I’m tired of being the one who loves more and the one who sacrifices more.” 

 

From the corner of his eye, he sees Chanyeol nod along. 

 

And he hates how even someone like Chanyeol can tell. 

 

“Let’s date.” 

 

“What?” He heard the words but they don’t register. 

 

Jimin searches Chanyeol for any trace of humor but all he sees is the seriousness on the other man’s face. 

 

“Let’s date.” Chanyeol repeats, this time less loudly. Jimin stays quiet, waiting for the explanation from his friend’s sudden declaration. “This a good opportunity to forget about the people we’re pathetically pining for.” 

 

“I’m not pining.”

 

“You’re not exactly subtle about Jungkook.” Chanyeol shakes his head. “It was obvious how butt hurt you were when he chose Ji-eun for the first dance that first time we met and today was just sad.” 

 

“I wasn’t butt hurt.” Jimin feels like he’s back in grade school with his weak retorts. 

 

Was he really that obvious? 

 

Sure, Yoongi always told him he wore his heart on his sleeve but he didn’t think he was that transparent.

 

“Denial isn’t the only river in Egypt.” Chanyeol teases. 

 

“I hate you.” 

 

“You can hate me but while you hate me, think about it.” Chanyeol plucks at Jungkook’s suit jacket still draped over Jimin’s shoulders. “I can be your rebound man, it’s obvious the two of you got divorced or else Papa Park wouldn’t be coming in my direction with a marriage certificate with your name signed on it.” 

 

“But—”  

 

“Plus we can to delay for time as we date. No need to jump into marriage again because of Papa Park breathing down your neck.” 

 

He sighs, knowing everything Chanyeol said was logical. This time round, rational might just work better for him. 

 

“And I’m guessing, I’m your rebound man for Baekhyun-ssi.” 

 

“Yeah.” 

 

It was easy to be honest with Chanyeol. 

 

He wasn’t harboring a crush on him and Chanyeol was right, there were more pros than cons out of this, even if they were going to be mutually taking advantage of each other. 

 

Everything points him to saying yes but then he remembers Jungkook and his stupidly innocent looking doe eyes. 

 

He remembers Jungkook tearfully telling him he loved him and he hesitates. 

 

Chanyeol levels him with a look. “You don’t have to answer me right now.” 

 

“I just don’t want to rush into things.” Jimin makes sure he words things correctly. “I literally just got divorced yesterday.” 

 

Emotionally, it’d probably been a lot longer than that. 

 

He’d spent enough time mourning for a relationship that had never built to last. 

 

“Think about it first.” With that Chanyeol pats him on the shoulder and leaves him drowning in his thoughts once again. 

 

He’d spent enough time mourning for a relationship that had never built to last. 

 

It was time to forget Jungkook and move on. 

 

He’s about to call after Chanyeol when the vibration in his pocket stops him from running after his friend. 

 

Pulling his own phone from his pocket, he finds no notifications aside from a text from Yoongi almost an hour ago. 

 

The vibration starts again, this time the staccato vibrations don’t stop. 

 

Realizing that it was coming from Jungkook’s phone, he quickly pulls the phone from the pocket. 

 

There’s no caller I.D. but he presses it to his ear. 

 

“Hello, Jungkook isn’t available at—” 

 

“Jungoogie, please don’t leave me.” It doesn’t take a genius to recognize who it is. “I was wrong. I shouldn’t have done that but you have to understand that—”   

 

“Ji-eun-ssi.” He speaks up before Ji-eun can start with the crying. “Call back later, Jungkook isn’t here to listen to your whining at the moment.” 

 

With that he abruptly hangs up. 

 

He feels a little guilty for a few seconds until he remembers every insult Ji-eun’s thrown at him and he promptly forgets about it. 

 

Curiously, he wakes Jungkook’s phone, wanting to probe a little in Jungkook’s life. 

 

What your phone lock screen says a lot about you and Jimin wanted to know. 

 

He blinks when he sees a photo of himself right behind a few notifications. 

 

It’s the one of him when he’d been sleeping in the car, red and blue scarf twined around his neck when they had to attend a charity event together back at Busan. 

 

He remembers it was near the beginning, when they had both been barely able to say a few sentences to each other without it lapsing into complete and utter silence. 

 

It had been a long journey to Busan and he’d fallen asleep under the tense silence. 

 

He stares until the screen turns black. 

 

That was something he didn’t expect at all. 

 

A photo of Gureum or a photo of his family, that was what he expected. 

 

Not a carefully edited photo of his face. 

 

It felt weird to see himself like that in Jungkook’s eyes. 

 

That wasn’t him. That was just pretty lighting and filters. 

 

Not him. 

 

Quickly stuffing the phone back into Jungkook’s jacket pocket, he pretends he never saw it. 

 

Because pretending has always been easier than seeing the truth for what it is.