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Settlement

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“So, there’s no prenup?” Jeongguk asks, fist clenching against his forehead as his eyes flutter shut, trying his best not to entirely lose his shit. “ Nothing ?”

 

He can’t believe the stupidity of his father. To marry a socialite, a fuckin’ gold digger , just like that, without a prenup and she just — she wants to take half of everything.

 

Half of Jeongguk’s money — his father’s money, half of Jeon Inc., half of his — their fucking life.

 

Something his father had worked so hard for, something he created all on his own. Threatening to be gone and to who? A gold digging fucking socialite.

 

“I — I didn’t think it was going to end like this, Jeonggukie,” his father sounds broken, miserable, but Jeongguk can’t find it in him to feel bad. He’s so angry. “I thought this one was going to last.”

 

Jeongguk sees red. He’s fuming, his body is itching with disappointment and frustration and just—

 

Breathe.

 

“It’s your fourth fuckin’ marriage, how could you have possibly thought—“ Jeongguk cuts himself off and sighs deeply, digging his nails into the flesh of his own palm. “Fuck — I’ll be there. I’ll come to Korea. I’ll represent you.”

 

His father lets out a breath of relief and Jeongguk wants to punch something. The runs his fingers through his hair and twists at it angrily, sharp pain from the root of his hair causing him to almost flinch. Jeongguk thinks he might lose his damn mind.

 

Was he surprised that his father had called to tell him he and his new wife are getting a divorce after less than a year of being together? Absolutely not.

 

Jeongguk had seen it coming before they even got married — hence why he never bothered to come to weddings after wife number two.

 

This wasn’t any different than his father’s other whirlwind romances — dating for a couple of months, marriage proposal, divorce papers signed before you’d even blink an eye. Jeongguk had never even seen her in person — never even bothered to learn her name. All the information he knew about her was from the newspaper he’d read online sometimes, and the pictures his father would send.

 

He knew, vaguely, that she’d been married numerous times before, just didn’t think anything of it.

 

It wasn’t any different than any other one of his previous marriages — except this. This time, he didn’t have a prenup.

 

This time, he made a huge fucking mistake that could cost them half their family fortune, and he needed Jeongguk to fix it.

 

Had called his London office, begging Jeongguk to represent him. To fix this mess, to try and salvage things.

 

Jeongguk would have said no and let his father learn the hard way if all that money wasn’t inherently his money, too.

 

He squeezes his eyes shut and loosens his tie that’s tightening around his neck, making it hard for him to breathe. The air conditioning blows in a cool breeze but the office feels too hot , too small, cramped up — he just needs to breathe.

 

Jeongguk just — he didn’t understand. His father was sharp on his tongue, clever, hard-working man who ran an entire empire, and just when it came to women… His self-preservation skills and decision making were so impaired that it was honestly beyond Jeongguk at times.

 

This marriage lasted for less than two years, and Jeongguk’s pretty sure they couldn’t have been dating for more than a few months before getting engaged and then married. Jeongguk didn’t attend the ceremony — it was honestly pointless. He had no interest in meeting or interacting with someone who was so clearly just after the lifestyle, who didn’t give a single fuck about his father, someone who was clearly going to be replaced sooner rather than later.

 

And he wasn’t wrong. Everything played out exactly the way it always did, only this time, his father fucked up. He fucked up bad.

 

“Thank you, Jeonggukie. I’m so sorry,” his father says, exasperation clear in his voice. Jeongguk doesn’t even feel sorry. It’s his own damn fault. “I know it’s a lot to ask but you know that this concerns you too. And you’re the best divorce lawyer I know and—”

 

“No,” Jeongguk interrupts, clicking his tongue. He looks through the glass door of his office where his assistant is sat behind her desk eating lunch, annoyance rising within him. They had a fucking cafeteria downstairs, he had told her not to eat here at least a thousand times. “That’s Namjoon. I’ll figure it out, though. See if I can get him to, uh, come to Korea with me. You’ll have to pay him a shitload of money, though—”

 

“Money is not a problem.”

 

“—because he’ll have to call in favors to have other partners handle his clients just so he could help me help you. God , do you even understand how fucking ridiculous this is? Fuck, I’ll have to have someone handle my clients while I’m gone. Do you know how much fuckin’ money that’s gonna lose me?”

 

“It’s gonna cost you a lot more if we lose this case, Jeongguk-ah. Billions and billions of won and I know it’s my fault and I shouldn’t have been so reckless and trust me, it’s eating me alive,” his father says calmly and Jeongguk wants to rip his own hair out. He tugs harder on the strands of his hair, gritting his teeth. “But what’s done is done and now we have to try our best to not let her have half of my — our company. We need to protect both our assets Jeonggukie. It’s not about how badly I messed because I know I have — it’s about handling this.”

 

It’s all true, it’s so painfully true that Jeongguk can’t even argue anymore, he’s defeated. What’s done is done and he can sit here and scream at his father’s stupidity, or he can get Namjoon and they can see what the options are.

 

He runs his hand through his hair and rubs his face — desperately trying to calm down. Everything feels so tight around him, so tingly — he doesn’t want to be in this goddamn office anymore. He needs a drink.

 

His father’s words ring in his head and he’s right , Jeongguk will lose a lot more money if his stepmother — the thought of him ever calling that woman stepmother makes him want to gag — gets his hands on it, and he can’t let that happen. Jeongguk needs to protect what’s his.

 

“I’ll get Namjoon and we’ll see what to do. It’ll take me a few days to get things handled here first but I should be down in Korea by next week. I’ll let you know when I book my flight,” Jeongguk finally says, resting his cheek against his palm. “Just — don’t talk to her, don’t talk to her lawyers. If they want something, refer them to me. Don’t say a fucking word. I mean it. Do you understand?”

 

“Yes,” Jeongguk can hear the smile in his father’s voice and he thinks there’s nothing, absolutely nothing to laugh about in this situation. There was so much money on the line it made Jeongguk’s skin crawl. “I understand. Thank you, Jeonggukie. I’m sorry this happened, just — thank you. I can’t wait to see you, despite the circumstances. Dad misses you.”

 

Jeongguk’s stomach twists with nausea, throat closes up. He hasn’t been down in Korea in two years. Last time he’d seen his dad was a little after he’d gotten married and was in London on a business trip, but other than that, Jeongguk’s been preoccupied with becoming a partner that everything else that wasn’t work seemed to take second place in his life.

 

Maybe not even second.

 

Jeongguk had missed him too, he was pretty sure — only not right now. Not after this conversation.

 

“I’m gonna charge you double than my usual rate, just so you know,” Jeongguk says with a sigh, leaning back into his chair. “And I’m expensive expensive.”

 

His dad chuckles from the other end of the line. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

 

They hang up and Jeongguk gets up from his seat, looking down at the city through the window of his office. He paces back and forth until his heart finally simmers in his chest and his lungs expand enough for him to breathe in some air again.

 

He walks over to the door, forcefully pulls it open and startles his assistant, but he can’t even bring himself to feel bad. She’s still young with a lot to learn, she’ll get used to lawyers being dicks, especially on a bad day.

 

“Kate, get me Kim Namjoon right now,” he orders, voice coming out harsher than he intended it to. “And I don’t care if he’s in a meeting or whatever — pull him out. It’s an emergency.”

 

His assistant — Kate — nods and Jeongguk slams the door to his office shut and plops down onto his chair. He stares at the laptop in front of him where he had been drafting a contract and just — it doesn’t look appetizing anymore.

 

He hasn’t eaten anything all day and he’s nauseous with the news his father had just dumped on him and fuck , he knew today was going to be shit day the second he woke up to a text message from his client complaining about her husband selling one of their vacation homes without her knowledge and just — Jeongguk needs to schedule a boxing session with his trainer tonight. He needs an outlet before he goes crazy or some shit like that.

 

“You called?” Namjoon enters his office without sparing him a look, busy typing out an email on his phone.

 

Namjoon was a partner and probably the best lawyer in the firm — never lost a single case, not even as an associate. He was probably too sharp for his own good, and Jeongguk was happy to have him in his corner. They grew up together, their fathers have worked together and their mothers were the best of friends — while Jeongguk’s mother was alive, that is.

 

Even though Namjoon was three years older they were inseparable throughout the years, so much so that Jeongguk had even followed him to fucking England when he had decided to go.

 

“Hyung, put the phone down,” Jeongguk says and Namjoon’s head immediately jerks up, their eyes meeting. “This is serious.”

 

“Shit, Jeongguk-ah,” Namjoon shoves his phone inside the inner pocket of his suit and pulls out a chair on the opposite side of Jeongguk’s desk. “What happened? Is it your dad? Is he okay?”

 

Jeongguk laughs bitterly and nods, running his fingers through his hair.

 

“Yeah, no, he’s fine, physically ,” he says. “He’s getting a divorce.”

 

Namjoon’s brows furrow and he slightly shakes his head in confusion, spreading his hands.

 

It’s not like Jeongguk had just told him some shocking news, they’ve already been through this — three times before. And it’s never really been an issue before, it was never been this dramatic of a delivery. It was always more like: “Oh, by the way, dad’s getting a divorce. Again,” while they’re having drinks after work or something casual like that.

 

“Okay, and?” Namjoon asks, eyebrows pinched together. “I don’t get it.”

 

“She wants half of dad’s shit.”

 

Namjoon’s expression remains the same. “Okay, so? They have a prenup. She’s not getting jack shit. She can try though.”

 

Jeongguk bites his lower lip. “Not this time.”

 

“What do you mean not this time?”

 

“There’s no prenup.”

 

Namjoon’s brows stay pinched together as he processes the information and then his eyes widen, mouth pops open and he gasps, leaning over Jeongguk’s desk.

 

“No fucking way.”

 

“Way. He just called me. Asked me if we — I could represent him and all that shit. I can’t fucking believe him hyung, I’m gonna have to fly out to Korea and I fucking hate to even ask because I know how busy you are but—”

 

“I’m coming with you,” Namjoon interrupts, face dead serious. “That’s hundreds of billions of won on the line. It’s not a fucking joke. Jesus Christ, I can’t believe he didn’t get a prenup, that’s like the basic fucking…”

 

Namjoon’s voice drifts off and he gestures powerlessly, looking at Jeongguk with such sympathy, it makes Jeongguk want to cry.

 

It’s not about the money — well, okay, it is about the money too, but it’s more about an outsider trying to take something that’s not theirs to take.

 

Jeongguk — he can’t let that happen. Because his father had built their company on his own, with his mother always overseeing everything, supporting him, cheering him on. She was the one who had encouraged him to even start his own business, stop working office hours, she was the one who always silently took care of the family from behind the scenes and losing half the company, to a fucking socialite felt like a betrayal. Towards his mother. And he could never let that happen.

 

He was okay with the girlfriends, with the wives, all of the coping mechanisms or whatever the fuck else he was supposed to call his father’s behavior after his mother’s passing, he was okay with it all because it was never any of his business but this — this hit way too close to home, in every sense possible.

 

This time, his father was reckless enough for it to affect them both, and Jeongguk just couldn’t let things go this far.

 

“Okay, well — the good news is, your father is already signed with us as a client,” Namjoon quickly collects himself, and that was one of the many things Jeongguk admired about him. How quickly he was able to push his personal feelings aside. Jeongguk wished he was half as good as that. “I’m going to let the senior partners know that we’re going to make this case the priority, and I don’t think we’ll have an issue with that judging by all the money it’s going to bring us and the fact that this is a high profile divorce case. So, you let me handle that and you make sure all your other cases are handled. I have a meeting in seven minutes and I have to go, but I’ll tell your assistant to book us tickets to Seoul for Monday.”

 

Namjoon gets up from his chair and Jeongguk follows, nodding his head. He exhales in relief and the tight knot in his stomach loosens after hearing Namjoon’s reassuring words, even though fear still seeps through his skin when he thinks about what he’s going to be hit with once he goes back to Korea.

 

It’s been two years and he did miss it quite a bit, even though he’s been living in London since he was practically eighteen. He missed his dad no matter how pissed off with him he was right now, even though every time he’d go back to Seoul, especially in the last few years — he’d have to deal with a new wife occupying their home, their family home his mother had decorated from start to finish, and that’s the only thing that stung throughout  the years. The only thing Jeongguk couldn’t get past was another woman living there, where they all lived as a family and so he just kind of — stopped coming home as often.

 

Drowning in work in one of London’s top law firms contributed to the lack of free time as well, so that was always considered a good excuse nobody was really going to question.

 

Jeongguk walks around back and forth in his office, trying to take deep breaths and calm himself down so he could actually get important things done with the rest of his day. It’s not worth it — stressing over this now, especially when there are no papers involved yet, no actual procedure, nothing.

 

For the time being, he relaxes just a little bit, sitting back behind his laptop, continuing to draft out a contract for one of his clients. Besides, with Namjoon in his corner — things were bound to be handled.

 

Jeongguk is afraid of how messy the divorce is going to get, if he is going to have to hire a PI, whose side the press is going to be on, all of it — just swirls and floats around in his head, stressing him out.

 

He’s not the type to crack under pressure, but it was one thing winning cases for his clients and another being on the receiving of things.

 

If he was honest with himself, he was terrified of how things were going to go.

 

———

 

It’s six in the morning when Jeongguk and Namjoon land in Seoul, and Jeongguk’s stomach is tied into so many knots it’s been keeping him up during the whole eleven hours they’ve been flying.

 

He’s frantically been looking over the papers his father had sent him during the weekend while Namjoon was sound asleep beside him, and even though Jeongguk hated admitting it — his father’s soon to be ex wife had a really, really solid case against him.

 

Namjoon didn’t seem as fazed — which felt both reassuring and not. Reassuring because it was a good sign, but also kind of not because it was Namjoon , and he was never fazed by anything. Besides, it wasn’t his family’s fortune that was on the line. Jeongguk couldn’t help but feel nervous for what was about to happen.

 

Still, Jeongguk knew he was a good fucking lawyer, maybe not as good as Namjoon was, but still good , nonetheless. And personal feelings aside, he wasn’t about to lose this case.

 

“Did you get any sleep?” Namjoon asks once they get inside of the car Jeongguk’s father sent for them, covering his mouth with his hand as he simultaneously yawns. “I slept like a baby.”

 

“No, I’ve been looking over the papers,” Jeongguk sighs, rubbing at his eyes. His head feels heavy on his shoulders and he needs to sleep, but he also needs to relax. Hopefully, soon enough he’s going to be tired enough that it won’t even matter whether he’s tense or not. “It’s just not good. She has every right to ask for half of his shit.”

 

Namjoon sighs and surges forward, placing his hand on Jeongguk’s knee, gently squeezing it. He looks at him over the thick rim of his glasses and Jeongguk forces himself to breathe.

 

“It’s going to be okay,” Namjoon says firmly, voice so full of reassurance that the knot in Jeongguk’s stomach immediately loosens. “I’ve seen the case and it’s honestly nothing we don’t deal with daily back at the office. Your emotions are running high because it’s your family that’s going through this but Jeongguk — we are good at what we do. Probably the best. If we have to play dirty, we’ll play dirty. She’s not taking jack shit. We have the settlement meeting on Wednesday and we’ll see how that goes, get a feel of what her lawyer is like, what she’s like. Trust me, if we have to play dirty, we’ll play dirty. We’re not losing this case. It’s not gonna happen.”

 

Jeongguk swallows, nodding his head. Namjoon’s words are spoken softly but firmly — and he knows his best friend is right. He leans further into his seat, chin propped into his hand as he looks through the window.

 

It’s all true. They’ve dealt with this type of cases before a million times — Namjoon’s never lost a single one, and Jeongguk’s own success rate wasn’t really that far behind. If they had to play dirty well — Jeongguk was ready to. He had played dirty before, and maybe it wasn’t something to brag about, but that’s how it worked. Especially if you were employed in one of London’s top law firms. Everyone played dirty.

 

That’s what made practicing law so fucking exciting.

 

“I know, like I know you’re right and we’ve had cases like this before,” Jeongguk rolls his eyes, wincing as he feels the sharp pain in flash through his temples. His head throbs and his eyelids feel heavy but his eyes still remain wide open. “But you know how protective I am of him. I just don’t want him to lose something he’d worked so hard for. He’s so… dumb when it comes to women and I’ve always told him to be more careful because I knew that all those rushed marriages and whirlwind romances will come back to bite him in the ass one day and the day has finally come — and it just gives me this horrible, unsettling feeling and I can’t stop thinking about all of the things that might go wrong.”

 

Namjoon cracks his neck and leans back into his seat, chewing the inside of his cheek as he intently watches Jeongguk.

 

“I know Jeonggukie,” he says quietly. “But listen — I want you to get some sleep when you get home. Take a sleeping pill or whatever if you need to, but I want you to get some good sleep. I’ll study case as soon as I get home to make sure we have everything covered. Tomorrow we can meet up either at my place or your place — either works — and we can do a final prep together. You’ll feel a lot calmer by Wednesday, I promise. Just try and relax.”

 

Jeongguk nods his head and lets his muscles relax, sinking further into his seat. His eyelids feel droopy but he still doesn’t feel like he can close his eyes — besides, the car’s just pulled up into the city, and they were going to be home soon.

 

Namjoon takes his phone out and starts replying to emails, fingers quickly typing on the keyboard and Jeongguk only wishes he had half the work ethic Namjoon did. He’d reply to emails anywhere and everywhere, draft contracts within minutes, and his mind was work-work-work at least ninety percent of the time. Except for when he was around Seokjin.

 

“When’s Jin hyung coming?”Jeongguk suddenly remembers their conversation from the other day, when Namjoon had mentioned that Seokjin would try and get days off so he could come to Korea with them. “I thought you said he was going to ask for days off at the hospital.”

 

Namjoon stops typing and his eyes dart up to meet Jeongguk’s, brows slightly furrowing.

 

“Oh yeah. Friday,” Namjoon says, lips curling into a small smile. “Thing is, he has so many vacation days he’s never used because you know how he feels about his interns and subordinates. He thinks every single one of them is stupid as fuck and can’t do anything without his supervision. He’s sure they’re all going to kill his patients, but I’ve managed to convince him to take some time off. It’s been a while since we’ve last been to Korea.”

 

“You came here last Christmas, right?”

 

Namjoon nods. “Yeah, you didn’t want to come because your dad’s wife had moved in.”

 

Right. Well — as bratty as it may seem, whenever someone would move into their apartment,  Jeongguk just didn’t feel comfortable staying there. He didn’t know those women, didn’t care for those women, didn’t want anything to do with them.

 

Still, a pleasant feeling settles within him as the car drives through the familiar neighborhood he’d grown up in, and Jeongguk feels excited to visit his home again.

 

He’d missed his room, missed the dark lavender and deep grey tones of their penthouse apartment, his mother’s favorite colors. Even though the circumstances under which he was coming back to Seoul weren’t the best — he did still miss it quite a bit, and he was kind of glad to be back.

 

It is just going to be he and his dad anyway, kind of like old times.

 

No matter how shitty the whole situation was, somewhere in the back of his mind, Jeongguk was still happy to be back.

 

The car pulls over in front of Jeongguk’s building and he lets out a breath of relief as he looks all the way up to his floor, quickly collects his luggage and says bye to Namjoon who still stays inside of the car, even though he lives right around the corner.

 

“Get some sleep , Jeongguk-ah,” Namjoon warms before Jeongguk closes the door. “We’ll talk tomorrow.”

 

———

 

First thing Jeongguk notices when he walks inside of his apartment — is that it looks nothing like it did the last time he was here. It looks nothing like his apartment. Their apartment.

 

Instead of the familiar deep dark tones, it’s all bright — white and green and yellow and it only makes Jeongguk’s headache double in intensity. His heart pounds in his chest and blood boils in his veins, and it’s all so fucking ugly and disgusting and Jeongguk fucking hates yellow—

 

“Dad?” He calls out, voice much harsher than he intended it to be. He can’t bring himself to care — he’d spent the last twelve hours staring at his father’s divorce papers and he hasn’t slept and he’s so exhausted and drained from all of this bullshit and he just wanted to get home and get some rest. “Dad!”

 

His father’s head pops up from the dining room and he smiles warmly at him, rushing over to help Jeongguk with his bags.

 

“Sorry, I was making breakfast,” his dad says, pulling him into a tight hug. “You look a little thin, Jeonggukie. Have you been eating well?”

 

Fury riles up within Jeongguk and he for the life of him can’t believe that out of all things, that’s the first to come out of his father’s mouth. If he’s been eating.

 

“Have I been — what happened in here?” Jeongguk turns on his heel, vaguely gesturing around the spacious living room. “What is all this? Why is it yellow ?”

 

Jeongguk hates yellow. He really fucking hates yellow.

 

He watches as his father’s face morphs into a mixture of sadness and regret, and it doesn’t really help — but it makes Jeongguk feel bad for snapping.


Still, not as nearly as bad as he feels right now, looking around the apartment he doesn’t even recognize , bright colors screaming at him and making it look like his mother had never even fucking lived here, and it makes Jeongguk sick to his stomach.

 

“About that,” Jeongguk tilts his head and presses his lips into a firm line as his father speaks, trying his best to not come off as completely disrespectful. “I’m sorry Jeonggukie, Jiyeon wanted to redecorate once she moved in, at first I was against it but she wanted to brighten up the place and, well…”

 

His father’s voice drifts off and he looks down, and Jeongguk’s heart tightens in his chest because he can see he really does feel bad about it.

 

“I’m sorry,” he looks up at Jeongguk again. “I just wanted to make her happy and I wasn’t thinking — I — we can call the designer and have him reverse everything. I didn’t throw away any of the old furniture or anything, it’s all in one of the storage facilities.”

 

It’s not about fucking reversing it back , even though that’s exactly what they’re going to do. They’re going to put everything back and make it look the way it had always looked. But it’s not about that — it’s about the fact that this shouldn’t have even happened in the first place.

 

God, his mother would have been devastated.

 

An alarm goes off in Jeongguk’s head. “My room. What about my room? Has that been redecorated also?”

 

His father gives him a small smile. “Your room is still the same. That place was off limits.”

 

A rock that’s been sitting on Jeongguk’s chest feels like it has been lifted and he releases a breath he didn’t even realize he was holding. He’s angry still but he’s way too tired to have this argument, just wants to get out of this awful looking room and wants to go lay down in his own bed and think about all the shit that’s going to hit the fan later.

 

It’s stupid, it’s reckless and it’s such a fucked up situation as a whole, but Jeongguk doesn’t have it in him to hold a grudge for too long. At the end of the day, that’s his dad, and Jeongguk loves him.

 

“You bet your ass you’re calling the designer and telling him to put everything the way it was, as soon as possible ,” Jeongguk tries his best to sound harsh and firm, but his voice just comes out hoarse and strained, cracking at the edges. “I’m really disappointed with this whole situation.”

 

His dad doesn’t even look at him. He just looks… sad. It breaks Jeongguk’s heart a little, but he has to say it.

 

“I’m disappointed that you’ve managed to put yourself in this position when I know you’re much smarter than this,” he continues, determined to say what he needs to say. “I’m disappointed that you let someone basically run over mom’s hard work. It’s not okay and I hope you know it’s not okay. We had an agreement that no matter who lives here, nobody touches anything.”

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

Jeongguk knows, he knows his father is sorry, he knows he just got caught up, too caught up again , and it’s not an excuse — but Jeongguk can’t stay mad forever. He has to do damage control, and he has to start now.

 

He’s thirty years old. He’s not a kid anymore.

 

“It’s — look, I’m really happy to see you dad. And I’m happy to be here just… not like this,” he gestures around the apartment again, unable to help himself from feeling nauseous every time he’s attacked by the yellow tones of it. “I think I’m just gonna — I’m going to go sleep. We can talk tonight. You’re going to work, right?”

 

His father nods, lips curling into a sad smile.

 

“Okay. Make sure to eat first — I made breakfast.”

 

Jeongguk huffs silently and shakes his head as he paces over towards his room.

 

“I’m really not fucking hungry,” he mumbles before he slams the door shut behind him.

 

———

 

“You’re joking when you say the entire place, right?” Namjoon asks while handing Jeongguk filed divorce papers and other documents they need to look over together.

 

With the settlement meeting being tomorrow, they had to prep together, and the first thing that left Jeongguk’s mouth when he stepped foot inside of Namjoon’s apartment was that his father’s soon to be ex wife had flipped their entire place upside down.

 

“No, everything but my room is fucking yellow ,” Jeongguk scoffs, taking his laptop out of his bag and placing it on the other side of Namjoon’s desk. “The whole apartment is white and yellow and green and it’s just a whole headache. Dad said she wanted to “brighten up the place”. Can you imagine?”

 

Namjoon shakes his head in disbelief, settling down in his chair. They both wait for their laptops to turn on and Namjoon takes out his notepad and a few pencils, handing some to Jeongguk.

 

“Your mom decorated that place just fine,” Namjoon says, clicking his tongue. “I would have flipped out if my step mother redecorated the place.”

 

“Ew,” Jeongguk’s face scrunches. “Don’t call her my step mother. That’s disgusting. I’ve literally never even met the woman in my life.”

 

Namjoon laughs and Jeongguk kicks him under the table.

 

“Lucky for you, I did some digging,” Namjoon says. “Not too much as I didn’t have enough time and the meeting tomorrow isn’t particularly important since we’re not settling anyway — and we’ll have a couple of months until the court date to hire a private investigator and dig out all the dirty laundry we need, but I’ve covered the basics.”

 

Jeongguk nods, eyes wide with curiosity.

 

“She has a son, did you know that?”

 

“No,” Jeongguk shakes his head, eyes narrowing. He barely knew anything about the woman, other than the fact that she was a Korean socialite with as many marriages behind her as his father had. “I barely know her name.”

 

“He’s our age or something, not that it matters,” Namjoon hums. “Thought you might know about him. But that’s not important, just something I’ve come across. What is important though, is that she’s had three marriages before this, and not a single one lasted over three years. And after a couple of phone calls I’ve managed to find out that she’s cheated on two out of her three ex husbands, however neither one of them had evidence sustainable enough to hold up in court, and to be fair, they’ve cheated on her too.”

 

Something sparks up inside of Jeongguk, and knowing that she has a son — makes him even more motivated to not lose this case. He’s not in the mood for doing charity work, especially not at his expense.

 

“So she’s done this before?” Jeongguk asks, crossing his legs. “Robbed people out of their money?”

 

“Pretty much,” Namjoon shrugs. “I’m not saying she actually targets people and does it on purpose, but she’s come out richer after every single divorce. So, she probably has a really good lawyer. I’m actually kind of excited to meet the bastard.”

 

A knot rises up to Jeongguk’s throat and he tries to swallow around it, even though his throat feels closed up and dry. That was kind of one of his fears — sure, he and Namjoon are good, one of the best in London.

 

But that’s in London.

 

Jeongguk didn’t know a single lawyer in Seoul, didn’t know how good they were, how dirty they played, didn’t know anything.

 

Still — Namjoon kind of had a point. Jeongguk too was excited to meet the bastard. The more he looked at the papers in front of him and the way Namjoon was taking notes of every single little thing — kind of brought that familiar feeling of giddiness back into his system.

 

He feels kind of… excited. Because at the end of the day, they’re here to do a job — a job they’re both really fucking good at.

 

“Do we know a good PI in Seoul?” Jeongguk asks, clasping his hands together.

 

Namjoon gives him a devilish grin.

 

“My father doesn’t own a top security firm for nothing,” he says and Jeongguk can’t help the smile that spreads across his face.

 

Maybe playing dirty wasn’t fair — but it was always bound to get the job done.

 

———

 

Jeongguk neurotically taps his foot against the marble floor of the lobby, waiting for Namjoon to finish talking to the receptionist. They’re twenty minutes early but Jeongguk already has his game face on, and he’s not in the mood for bullshit.

 

Namjoon returns and plops down onto the sofa next to Jeongguk, sighing loudly as he places his briefcase beside him.

 

“What’s the guy’s name again?”

 

“Park Jimin,” Namjoon replies, frowning down at his watch. “Your father should be here by now. You want to go upstairs and wait for him there?”

 

“Park Jimin,” Jeongguk grimaces at the name, and it tastes bitter on his tongue. “Yeah. Let’s go up, you know I hate being late.”

 

They go up to the twenty-fourth floor, both quiet in the elevator. It’s how they worked best together — both quiet before meetings, but still ready to tear anyone and anything apart.

 

It’s all about focus, and Jeongguk needed all he could take right now.

 

Once they’re out of the elevator they’re met with another reception desk and this time Jeongguk is the one to approach, suddenly feeling as if his bladder is going to burst.

 

“Good afternoon, how may I help you?” The receptionist chirps, pleasantly smiling at him. “Do you have an appointment?”

 

“Jeon Jeongguk and Kim Namjoon,” Jeongguk gestures behind him towards Namjoon. “We have an appointment with Park Jimin and Kim Jiyeon.”

 

She nods and takes a couple of minutes to look through her computer, nodding as she finally finds the scheduled meeting. She looks up at him again and smiles, slowly standing up from her seat.

 

“You’re a little early Jeon Jeongguk-ssi, but I’ll be more than happy to escort you and your partner to the waiting area,” she gestures towards one of the empty offices, one the glass ones where you could see everything inside of, that always made Jeongguk feel like a fish in an aquarium. They had those in London too — he absolutely hated them. “If you’ll follow me.”

 

“Actually,” Jeongguk interrupts impatiently, feeling as his bladder presses down onto his lower stomach even more, and he can’t help but be a little shifty on his feet. He shouldn’t have drunk all that coffee this morning. “If you could point me towards where the bathroom is, that’d be great. I need to freshen up.”

 

“The bathroom in this area is out of order. You can use the partner’s bathroom in the left wing of the building, or the senior associate’s one which is one floor below, right next to the elevator.”

 

None of that means anything to Jeongguk. All he hears is a bunch of useless information.

 

“Which one is closer?”

 

“The one on the floor below. It’s right next to the elevator, on the right.”

 

“Thank you,” Jeongguk says, already pacing back towards the elevator. “You go ahead hyung, I’ll be right there.”

 

Jeongguk has never felt more relieved to be taking a piss in his entire life, and all the coffee he’s had this morning was definitely a bad idea. Jeongguk wasn’t even that big of a coffee drinker — he just felt like he needed all the focus in the world. He was pretty jet-lagged with the time difference and everything, and he couldn’t risk being even remotely sleepy or unfocused in this meeting.

 

He washes his hands and splashes some water onto his face, satisfied with how calm he’s feeling despite the situation. He always functioned well under pressure, and it was comforting knowing that even though this is all so, so personal, he still feels like he feels for any other one of his cases: ready. Jeongguk feels ready.

 

He doesn’t notice when someone walks in until he feels eyes on him and he looks up towards the mirror — and his eyes meet with a pair of dark, gleaming ones, and something about the look inside of them send shivers right down Jeongguk’s spine.

 

Jeongguk turns around and the man doesn’t stop staring — rather looks at him with even more intensity.

 

“Hi?” Jeongguk arches his eyebrow, suddenly feeling intimidated.

 

Jeongguk rarely feels intimidated, but this guy just looks like… wow. High cheekbones, piercing gaze and dark, plump lips, silver hair and — he’s Jeongguk’s type. Jeongguk’s probably never laid his eyes on anyone that was more his type than this guy right here.

 

His frame is smaller than Jeongguk’s but his eyes still make Jeongguk feel so small , so tiny , and it’s ridiculous how just the sight of him almost makes Jeongguk’s cock twitch in his pants.

 

“Do I know you?” The man asks, voice low and smooth. It makes Jeongguk want to shiver again.

 

“I don’t think so,” Jeongguk frowns, taken aback by the question. “I don’t work here.”

 

“That explains it,” the man moves forward, brushing against Jeongguk’s shoulder as he leans over the sink, placing his hands under the running water. “Because if you did, I’d make it my mission to come to the associate’s bathroom more often.”

 

Jeongguk’s lips curl into a smirk and he gets it — he’s flirting with him. Maybe today wasn’t so bad after all, not if he leaves here with a settlement meeting that went well and this guy’s number.

 

“Maybe I should apply,” he shoots back, leaning against the counter. “But it would have to be for a partner position. I don’t like downgrading.”

 

“Partner huh,” the guy walks over to grab the paper towels, patting his hands dry before he tosses it into the trash can. “Good — that’s good. I don’t like downgrading either.”

 

“No?” Jeongguk asks, tilting his eyebrows. “That’s a pretty high standard to have.”

 

The guy laughs and it’s completely opposite than from what Jeongguk had expected — it’s so sweet and genuine, and his eyes disappear into tiny little crescents and he giggles like a fucking kid — and Jeongguk’s stomach drops and his chest fills with warmth, because he no longer looks intimidating, he looks beyond fucking adorable.

 

“Cute,” he replies, crossing his arms over his chest. “What brings you here then, non-employee?”

 

“Physiological needs,” Jeongguk grins back at him, feeling the tiniest bit of tension as it completely dissolves and disappears from his system. “That’s usually why people visit bathrooms, you know.”

 

He likes a little bit of mystery between them and besides — they’re just flirting. Jeongguk isn’t sure how much time he’s spent in here but he knows he doesn’t have much left — and he’s going to have to be bold and ask for the guy’s number. He’d be an absolute fucking idiot to just let him go.

 

“You’re funny,” the guy giggles at him again and then a phone goes off — not Jeongguk’s — and he quickly pulls it out of his pocket, frowning down at the screen. He huffs in annoyance and rolls his eyes, jaw clenching as he shoves his phone back inside of his suit. “ Fuck — look, I have to go. I have a meeting and it shouldn’t take long but — my office is on the twenty-fourth floor. Just go up to the receptionist and ask for Chim. It’s an office nickname — don’t ask, I don’t go by that. Just — this won’t take longer than fifteen minutes. My client and I won’t settle and they have no case. I hate beating around the bush and wasting time so just come by my office and I’d love to take you out for coffee or something, if you’re free, of course.”

 

A wide smile spreads across Jeongguk’s face and his heart jumps in his chest, familiar excitement resonating within him, bubbling underneath his skin. It’s been a while since Jeongguk has met someone that would keep his attention for longer than five minutes — and five of Jeongguk’s minutes cost a lot of money.

 

“I have a meeting I have to attend to as well, but it will probably take a while. I can swing by your office after I’m done,” Jeongguk says, shifting his weight as the butterflies in his stomach rile up. The more he looks at him, the more he likes what he sees. “If you’re too busy to go for a coffee, I’ll have to at least get your number.”

 

“You’ve got yourself a deal,” the guy says, rushing towards the door. “I’ll see you later.”

 

Jeongguk is left alone in the bathroom, stomach all riled up with butterflies and his heart flutters as he stupidly smiles back at his own reflection in the mirror. He really doesn’t remember the last time someone had managed to snatch all of his attention up within seconds , but Jeongguk wasn’t going to complain.

 

There was something about the way he looked at him, like he saw right through him, that made heat coil up in the base of his stomach, that made this day at least a thousand times better.

 

He runs the water again and splashes his face a few more times until he finally checks his watch and fuck — the meeting starts in two minutes.

 

He rushes up to the twenty-fourth floor, spotting Namjoon and his father as they impatiently wait for him, both clicking their tongues as he approaches.

 

“You’re late,” Namjoon tsks and hands him his briefcase, squinting as Jeongguk’s cheeks darken. “What took you so long?”

 

“London office called,” Jeongguk lies, looking away. He’s not about to say he spent the last ten minutes flirting with a really fucking hot guy in the bathroom. “I — uh, they have an issue with one of my clients.”

 

Namjoon squints again, the corners of his mouth twitching downward in disapproval. “It’s five in the morning in the UK.”

 

Jeongguk freezes, avoiding both Namjoon’s and his father’s gaze. Fucking Namjoon, he never missed anything . That’s why he’s so damn good at what he does.

 

Jeongguk fidgets with the hem of his suit, shrugging as casually as he could.

 

“You know how clients can get,” he says, voice smooth and even. “Frantic and what not, they don’t care what time of the day it is — they still expect you to pick up.”

 

Namjoon relaxes his shoulders and he lets out a sigh, nodding his head in understanding. “You’re right, I suppose,” he turns to Jeongguk’s father. “Clients can get really difficult. Are you ready for this? It’s not going to be pleasant in there.”

 

Jeongguk’s father nods, patting Namjoon’s back.

 

“I’m ready, Namjoon-ah,” he says. “Thank you for being here.”

 

Park Jimin’s assistant collects them from the waiting area and leads them towards one of the conference rooms, one of the more secluded, more private ones. Jeongguk is thankful for that — he really doesn’t feel like being watched as if he’s some kind of a zoo animal.

 

Jeongguk sets his giddiness aside and focuses on what he’s really here for — to show his father’s wife and her lawyer that Jeons are not to be fucking messed with.

 

They walk inside of the conference room and—

 

It can’t be. It has to be a mistake because — it can’t be.

 

The knot in Jeongguk’s throat tightens and his eyes are so wide they might as well pop out in surprise, but next to his father’s soon to be ex-wife, it’s him.

 

It’s definitely the man he’d just shamelessly flirted with in the associate’s bathroom, a man he’d seriously considered dropping down to his knees for just ten minutes ago.

 

There’s no other explanation — that’s Park Jimin. That’s Jiyeon’s lawyer. It has to be — it’s him.

 

“Is that Park Jimin?” Jeongguk hisses at his father under his breath as Jimin’s assistant leads them towards their seats, and Jeongguk’s heart feels like it’s going to burst out of its cavity.

 

“Yes,” his father whispers back, eyes wide and defeated as he looks over at his soon to be ex wife. “That’s Jiyeon’s son.”

 

Jeongguk’s stomach sinks and he swears his fucking heart stops — sharp pain piercing through his guts and everything inside of him goes into panic mode, and he’s not even sure if he still has control over his facial expressions.

 

His mouth pops open and anger riles up within him and he wants to fucking punch someone — Park Jimin preferably.

 

He meets Jimin’s gaze and the gag of it all is that he doesn’t even look fucking surprised, he doesn’t even look fucking intimidated , no — his eyes are sharp and focused, lips pressed into a thin line.

 

Had Jimin already known who he is? Does he think this is a fucking game ?

 

Because if so — it’s on. God it’s so, so fucking on.

 

“Before we start,” the tone of Jimin’s voice is cold as ice — nothing like it was in the bathroom just a few minutes ago. “I’d like to make it clear that we’re not settling. There’s no alternative option you can offer to my client that will make us want to settle.”

 

Jimin pauses, lips curling into a wicked smile. “Unless you’re willing to just write over half of your empire, of course.”

 

Jeongguk suddenly sees red and before Namjoon can even open his mouth to speak, he hears himself saying: “Absolutely fucking not, you gold digging pieces of shit.”

 

———

 

“Next time you let me speak, okay?” Namjoon huffs at him while they wait for the elevator together, his father having to leave a little earlier and go back to work while he and Jeongguk finished up. “There’s literally no need for you to refer to them as “gold digging pieces of shit” every two seconds. I think you’ve gotten your point across very clearly the first time.”

 

Jeongguk laughs, running his hand through his hair. “They deserve it. It’s what they are.”

 

“Park Jimin is one of the best divorce lawyers in fucking Korea,” Namjoon hisses back at him under his breath. “I’m pretty sure he’s got plenty of money all on his own.”

 

Jeongguk rolls his eyes and folds his arms over his chest as he patiently waits for the elevator. The meeting didn’t go nearly as well as Jeongguk had hoped it would — even more so because he was so distracted by Park fucking Jimin the whole entire time. Him being his Kim Jiyeon’s lawyer was one thing — but being her fucking son was another. Technically, that made him Jeongguk’s fucking step brother and it makes him sick to even—

 

It angers Jeongguk to even think about it, he can’t believe he was able to get played so easily , just because he didn’t bother digging deeper, doing better research because he figured nothing important would happen until the first court date, didn’t even consider the fact that he might be made out to be the fool—

 

“Jeon Jeongguk-ssi?”

 

Jeongguk looks over his shoulder and he’s met with Park Jimin’s assistant again, and he’s even more annoyed as she pleasantly smiles back at him.

 

“Yes?”

 

“Jimin-ssi asked me to escort you back to his office,” she says politely, tilting her head to the side. “There are certain documents he’s forgotten to hand over to you.”

 

“Namjoon hyung can go get those,” Jeongguk says, lips pressing into a tight line. “Right, hyung?”

 

Namjoon’s face softens and he nods, but is quickly interrupted by Jimin’s assistant.

 

“Actually, he requested you specifically,” she says firmly, a smile still plastered across her face. She turns to Namjoon. “Sorry, just following orders.”

 

“Go ahead, Jeongguk-ah,” Namjoon says and the elevator finally arrives. “I have to meet up with Yoongi for lunch anyway, we’ll wait for you at the restaurant, just come by when you’re done.”

 

Fuck, Jeongguk hasn’t seen Yoongi in like, a year. Probably since he’d last booked his modeling job in London and came for a visit. He takes a deep breath and relaxes as he thinks of seeing one of his oldest friends again, and he just wants to get whatever this is — over with.

 

He follows behind Park Jimin’s assistant quietly and tries his best to ignore his stomach as it rumbles with hunger, anger, disappointment — and all of the other piled up shit  he’s been feeling for the past week.


Actually, Jeongguk needs some good stress relief. He needs to schedule a boxing session at the gym.

 

“Just hand the papers over,” Jeongguk says blandly as he’s met with Jimin’s blank expression. His eyes are dark and intimidating, and they make Jeongguk feel all weak at the knees. “I have places I need to be.”

 

The corner of Jimin’s lips tilts and he crosses his legs, clasping his hands over his knee.

 

“No, you don’t,” he says firmly, eyes locked with Jeongguk’s. “Sit down.”

 

Before he can even protest he finds himself sitting down into an armchair placed right in front of Jimin’s glass desk, and it feels like his knees have given up on him. There’s something about the way Jimin looks at him that makes Jeongguk feel so angry but so fucking weak and so fucking turned on at the same time because his fucking face is just out of this world and it’s so fucking distracting and Jeongguk just wants to drop down on his knees and—

 

“Papers,” he repeats again, his voice not even sounding like his own. “Hand the papers over so I can leave.”

 

Jimin shifts in his seat, his tongue swiping across his lower lip.

 

“There are no papers,” he shrugs casually. “I lied. I just wanted to get you in here alone so we can talk.”

 

“We have nothing to talk about.”

 

“Really?” Jimin tilts his eyebrows, voice calm and collected. Jeongguk fucking hates it. “Because from what I gathered in the bathroom, you and I have a lot to talk about.”

 

Jeongguk scoffs, nervously running his fingers through his hair.

 

“Don’t flatter yourself,” he says, voice trembling. “You played me, good job. Now if you’ll excuse me I have somewhere I need to b—”

 

“No, you don’t,” Jimin dismisses him again, eyes so intent and dark that Jeongguk feels like if Jimin would try hard enough he’d have him do anything he wanted. “You were ready to drop down on your knees and have my cock in your mouth thirty minutes ago and now you’re sitting here telling me you have somewhere you need to be? We’re not children, Jeongguk. We can discuss this like adults. I’m my mother’s lawyer but that’s all I am — her choices don’t reflect my own and I’m not here to either approve or disapprove of her actions.”

 

“Cut the bullshit,” Jeongguk rolls his eyes, crossing his legs nonchalantly, looking through the office window. He notices something about the office — something that makes him even more uncomfortable.

 

Yellow. There’s a pop of fucking yellow everywhere.

 

“You knew who I was when you came into that bathroom,” Jeongguk continues, hands clenching into fists as he remembers how calm and collected Jimin had looked once Jeongguk entered that conference room. Like he had expected him to all along.

 

Jimin shakes his head, sighing exasperatedly. He gets up and walks over to the corner of his office, crouching down to reach for the bottle of whiskey that’s sitting in his mini bar. He fills up two glasses and places one in front of Jeongguk, curling his hand around the other one and taking a sip.

 

“I had no idea,” Jimin says, sitting back down into his office chair. “I was just as surprised as you are. The only reason I kept staring at you in the bathroom is that I found you incredibly attractive.”

 

Heat coils up in Jeongguk’s groin and he could swear his dick twitched in his pants but — that’s the wrong head to be thinking with at this moment. But still — it’s flattering. That someone as gorgeous as Jimin would find him attractive.

 

Not that Jeongguk thought he was ugly or anything — just didn’t think someone like Jimin would find him attractive.

 

“You’re so full of shit, honestly,” Jeongguk laughs, downing the whiskey and getting up from his seat. “You didn’t even flinch when you saw me enter that conference room.”

 

“Just because your poker face is shit, doesn’t mean mine is,” Jimin smiles sweetly, looking at him over the rim of his glass. “You might want to work on that.”

 

Jeongguk’s mouth pops open as Jimin stares at him through his lashes, and he’d probably be so beyond fucking angry if he didn’t find this so, so incredibly hot.

 

“Fuck you.”

 

“I was thinking it could be the other way around but hey,” Jimin shrugs, eyes locked with Jeongguk’s. “Fuck you, fuck me, I like it both ways.”

 

Jeongguk seriously debates to just grab Jimin by the collar of his button up and crash their lips together, let Jimin spread him open right on that fucking desk and just not think about the consequences and be reckless for like, five minutes but he — he can’t.

 

It’s a trap, and he knows it. He can’t fall for it.

 

“Goodbye, Jimin-ssi.”

 

“You’ll be back,” is all Jeongguk hears while he exits Park Jimin’s office, knees so weak he feels as if he might collapse any second.

 

The heat that’s all gathered up in Jeongguk’s lower stomach tells him that Jimin is absolutely right.










  




Chapter Text

Jeongguk wakes up in cold sweat, chest heaving as he tries to catch his breath. It takes him a couple of minutes to calm down and even out his breathing and he rubs his eyes with the heel of his palm — as if he’s physically trying to push sleep away.

 

“Fuck,” he mutters as his phone screen lights up the room, display showing it’s super early in the morning.

 

Jet lag has been messing him up pretty badly but also, Jeongguk couldn’t stop thinking about the case. Or worse — he couldn’t stop thinking about a certain lawyer representing his father’s wife.

 

Jeongguk shakes his head and straightens up in his bed. His throat feels dry and he sighs, debating whether he’s really going to get up and go to the kitchen to get a glass of water. He vaguely registers the rain that pounds against his window as he decides to get up and look for his slippers with the flashlight of his phone. Unable to find them, Jeongguk puts his fuzzy socks on instead, shivering a little once he completely throws the blankets off of himself and leaves his bed.

 

Oddly — Jeongguk feels kinda like he did when he was little, sneaking out of his room in the middle of the night so he could play with his PlayStation on the huge living room flat screen with the volume turned all the way down so he wouldn’t wake up his parents.

 

There’s no need for him to sneak around the house now, and if he’s learned anything, it’s that his father would sleep through a nuclear war. Still, he’s extremely quiet when he leaves his room, soft thuds of his footsteps echoing against the marble floor as he walks through the living room towards the kitchen, trying to be as quiet as possible.

 

The rain is louder in the living room as it hits against the large windows and Jeongguk sighs — autumn in Seoul was probably just as bad as it was in London. He was used to it, but he wasn’t a fan.

 

Jeongguk’s stomach twists at the yellow tones popping up everywhere, visible even through the foggy 5am morning light. It looks nothing like his old apartment and it makes him so angry and devastated all at the same time, and even when the designer returns everything the way it was — it’s still not going to be the same as it was when his mother had done the design.

 

It’s not going to feel the same.

 

Jeongguk takes a water bottle from the refrigerator and leans against the counter as he looks around and sips on it in the dark, nose scrunching at the white wood of the cabinets that used to be grey with black marble countertops.

 

He’s never been the one to like bright colors, and he was never sure if it was because of his mother’s taste — but even when dressing, Jeongguk preferred the colors to be dark and minimal. This whole aesthetic — this apartment right now, did nothing but make him uncomfortable.

 

If his room still wasn’t the exact same as he had left it, he would have probably been sleeping in a hotel by now.

 

Jeongguk finishes the water bottle and proceeds to make his way back into his room, scoffing while he passes by the large couch filled with green and yellow cushions. He stops by it and picks one up, debating whether or not to throw it into the fire place and let it catch on fire.

 

Shaking his head as he decides against it, Jeongguk freezes and quickly turns over his shoulder towards the direction of his father’s room — almost certain he’s heard some type of noise. It’s muffled and barely audible, almost kind of sounds like a giggle. Jeongguk tilts his head and takes a few steps towards the hallway where the master bedroom is at, focusing all of his attention on trying to make out the sounds over the loud sounds of rain hitting against the window.

 

He stands there for a couple of minutes and after a while, he’s not even sure if he’d imagined it, or if it’s just the rain hitting against the roof and the windows, making odd squeaky noises.

 

To be fair, it might be the air purifier in his father’s room but he isn’t entirely sure — he hasn’t been in there since he arrived back in Seoul. Master bedroom used to be one of his favorite rooms in the house, and before his father first remarried when Jeongguk was seventeen, he often used to sleep in that bed — even before his mother died.

 

Later, it just didn’t feel the same anymore, not after so many women had slept in it too.

 

Now, Jeongguk didn’t even want to take a peek inside of that room. The bed probably wasn’t even the same. The thought makes his stomach turn.

 

Jeongguk sighs and gives up on trying to figure out what the noise is and besides — he’s pretty sure it stopped anyway. It’s early and he’s still tired so he quietly makes his way back inside of his room, shuddering as he falls back into bed, pulling his blankets all the way up to his chin.

 

He doesn’t feel entirely sleepy even though he’s still tired, so he pulls out his phone and dials Namjoon’s number, staring up at the ceiling as he waits for him to answer the phone.

 

“Why are you calling me at five in the morning?” Namjoon answers after the second ring, the tone of his voice making Jeongguk chuckle.

 

“I can’t sleep,” Jeongguk says. He pauses for a moment, unsure if he woke up because of a nightmare, or because of the jet lag. “Still jet lagged. Are you at the airport?”

 

“On my way there,” Namjoon replies. “Jin’s flight lands at six. Actually, it’s good that you called — Jin says he’s up for some drinks tonight and you know him, he never sleeps.”

 

Jeongguk shifts in his bed, lips pursing as he considers the idea. He hasn’t been out in Seoul in ages. Still, he was planning to do a lot of studying for his father’s case, as he was already a bit behind Namjoon.

 

Which was absolutely ridiculous, considering Jeongguk was the one who got all of the information and papers first.

 

“I don’t know hyung,” Jeongguk takes his lower lip between his teeth, his hand rubbing the side of his face as he thinks about it. “I have to catch up on the case. I’m already behind you.”

 

Namjoon sighs on the other end of the line, quiet for a couple of moments before he speaks again. “You’re worrying about it too much and you’ve already ditched Yoongi and I for lunch after the settlement meeting.”

 

Jeongguk sighs. He felt too flustered and frustrated to join Namjoon and Yoongi that day — even though he had missed his hyung quite a lot. Not that he’d ever actually tell Yoongi that. He’d rather die.

 

“I apologized for that,” Jeongguk points out even though he does feel just a tiny bit guilty, and thinking of Jimin just makes him feel uneasy. “But seriously, I don’t know, there are things I have to look over.”

 

“And you really plan on doing it on a Friday night?” Namjoon snorts. “Really, Jeon Jeongguk, refusing to go out?”

 

Jeongguk can’t help but laugh. If anything — he was usually the one to drag Namjoon out after work. But this, this was different because this case was about his father. About him. He felt guilty if he wasn’t spending every hour just studying the case.

 

He gives in.

 

“Oh fuck you, I’ll come,” Jeongguk sighs. “Where is Hobi hyung, by the way? I called him like seventy times, but he’s not answering.”

 

Namjoon laughs. “That’s more like it. Ah — Hoseok is in Thailand on a vacation with one of his sugar daddy boyfriends or whatever. He’s coming back next week, Jin talked to him just before he left.”

 

That made sense. When Hoseok was on a vacation, he was really on a vacation.

 

“Oh, good. I thought he was dead.”

 

“Really now? You must have been really shaken up. Dying with worry.”

 

Jeongguk laughs at the dryness of Namjoon’s tone, and he sinks further under the covers. He feels better now — almost entirely forgetting the strange noise he’d heard earlier and the ugliness of his apartment.


“Shut up,” he says, rolling his eyes in the dark.

 

“Anyway, I’m pulling up at the airport right now. I’ll text you the details later but before I go — I’ve called the private investigator last night. You know, to look into your step mother and all of that. It’s going to be a little tricky but from what my father had said, he’s the best of the best. So don’t worry too much. We have a month before we have to go to court and do try to stay level headed and not cause any shit. If you happen to see her anywhere, be cordial or just don’t speak at all. We don’t know her and we really don’t need her suing you for harassment or whatever, Park Jimin is one ruthless son of a bitch from what my research has shown me.”

 

Jeongguk gulps. He’s honestly not surprised. Jeongguk really isn’t the one to be intimidated — but there was just something about Jimin that — just made him feel on edge in so many ways, he couldn’t even put his finger on it.

 

It made Jeongguk both drawn and repulsed by him all at the same time.

 

“If you need anything, contact Park Jimin. Or if you feel like you’re going to blow up at him too, tell me and I’ll contact him instead,” Namjoon continues and Jeongguk hears as his driver turns the car engine off. “Now go back to sleep, seriously. Jin and I will pick you up tonight for sure, but I’ll text you all the details when I talk to Yoongi later. I think we’ll get to meet that boyfriend of his too, which is nice.”

 

Jeongguk frowns. “Boyfriend?”

 

“Taehyung or something like that,” Namjoon says knowingly. “He’s also a model, I think. He showed me a picture of the guy at lunch the other day. He looks like a fucking doll, it’s insane.”

 

It stings a little that Jeongguk hasn’t really heard anything about this but to be fair — he did skip lunch the other day. Still — he did feel kind of excited to meet the guy. Especially because Yoongi had always been so damn picky.

 

“Okay, yeah — cool. I think I’m gonna go back to sleep now. Talk later, yeah?”

 

“Night, Jeonggukie,” Namjoon sighs into the phone as he gets out of his car. “I’ll see you later.”

 

———

 

Jeongguk had spent the majority of his day buried in paperwork, sitting on the edge of his seat, so anxious that he wasn’t even sure how he was going to pull through this case. He kept switching between a state of calmness and anxiety because honestly, none of this looked good.

 

By the time his father got home from work, Jeongguk felt more angry than anything else.

 

He genuinely couldn’t believe how reckless his father was. How stupid.

 

“Did you have dinner, Jeonggukie?” His father asks as he pokes his head through the door of his-now-turned-Jeongguk’s home office, loosening his tie as he just got home from work.

 

“Yeah — come here,” he gestures and his father walks inside, taking the chair on the opposite side of the desk. “Will you explain to me why you bought not one, not two, but three new vacation homes in the past year?”

 

His father’s expression shifts and he squirms uncomfortably in the chair, gaze sliding away from Jeongguk.

 

“I, uh — Jiyeon and I thought it would be nice to have a vacation home in Thailand—”

 

“And Indonesia and Pyeongchang?” Jeongguk interrupts, eyebrows twitching in frustration. “Really?”

 

His father’s cheeks darken, gaze dropping to his lap as he fidgets with the hem of his tie.

 

“So?” Jeongguk pushes, hands clasping on top of the paper pile in front of him. “Who’s idea was it?”

 

“Jiyeon's.”

 

Jeongguk scoffs, falling back into his chair, staring at the ceiling as he spins around in it. Of course. Of course.

 

“Those — all of those are going to go to her, do you understand that?”

 

His father stays silent, gaze fixed on his lap.

 

“Like, even if we win the case — and she doesn’t take half of your, our shit, she’s still going to get a lot more than she would if you had just had a prenup like you did with all of your other whores—”

 

“Jeongguk…”

 

“—and it’s so frustrating because you’re not a stupid man dad, or at least I didn’t think you were, up until now. This is ridiculous. You have so many new assets I wasn’t even made aware of. Even that aside, because you can buy whatever you want and you don’t need to report back to me, I still don’t get why you didn’t tell me about the prenup. I would have drafted one within a couple of hours and I would have come down to Korea if I had to and make her sign that shit.”

 

His father sighs, exasperatedly rubbing his hand over his face. Jeongguk looks at him intently, suddenly noticing how much older he looks. His parents were quite young when they had him — and his father had always looked good.

 

But now, sitting here in front of him he looks so unusually old. Maybe it’s just because he’s tired, exhausted with everything going on — Jeongguk doesn’t know and he isn’t sure, just sees how devastated his father looks, swears he’s aged like, ten years since he’s last seen him before coming here.

 

It makes his heart twist in a weird way, makes him feel bad — but it’s so frustrating, makes him so angry because maybe he wouldn’t look like that if he hadn’t put himself in such a shitty situation, maybe wouldn’t look like that if he wasn’t guilty.

 

Jeongguk didn’t — couldn’t understand how he would let a woman — or anyone for that matter — play him like this. Couldn’t understand how anyone could fall so head over heels with someone to not protect what’s theirs, to not think about the what if’s, to not think about the possibility of something — anything going wrong and just. Jeongguk didn’t get it.

 

Maybe it stemmed from his own failed relationships — and there were many. Still, Jeongguk never lost sight of himself, of what’s his, of the boundaries; but maybe that’s why things hadn’t worked out for him in the past. Jeongguk didn’t like his boundaries pushed.

 

His past partners would say that he was too “unreadable”, too “unapproachable” which frankly, Jeongguk thought was bullshit. Because first of all, he wasn’t, he just worked a lot and wasn’t into the lovey dovey romantic shit. To him, relationships were kind of like business arrangements — sex was just a bonus.

 

Maybe he had a short temper, maybe he had no tolerance for bullshit, but that’s just who he was. There was no changing that. Not entirely. Not that he really tried to, though.

 

That’s why this whole situation — his father being so in love that he let this happen, pissed him off beyond belief. Maybe it was also the fact that he was genuinely in love with someone who wasn’t his mother. Not that Jeongguk thought it couldn’t or wouldn’t happen, but it still kind of hurt. Even though it was slightly irrational.

 

“I’m sorry. Jeongguk-ah, I’m really, really sorry. What else do you want me to say?” His father sounds exasperated, voice cracking as he looks up at him, making his heart clench inside of his chest.

 

Truth is, Jeongguk doesn’t know what he wants him to say, because nothing he says isn’t going to fix this. He knows that; he feels bad for constantly grilling him, because it feels like that’s all he’s done ever since he arrived.

 

But every single time he opens the cause he gets this lump in his throat that makes it hard for him to swallow around it, makes it hard for him to breathe and just. God. It pisses him off to no end, and he feels angry all over again.

 

“Nothing — there’s nothing,” he sighs, waving his hand aimlessly in the air. “I’m just. I get angry all over again every time I open the case, dad. I’d say it’ll take me a while to get used to it, but it won’t. It could have been so easily avoidable, you know?”


His father nods, still looking crushed. Jeongguk’s phone buzzes on the desk, a text from Namjoon appearing on the display. He glances over at it, realizing Namjoon said to be ready in an hour.

 

It’s a little after eight and Jeongguk is kind of tired from staring at papers the whole day — but he could go out. He could loosen up and hang out with his favorite people, he could use a few drinks in his system.

 

“That’s Namjoon,” Jeongguk gestures towards the phone. “Jin hyung arrived today and I’m supposed to go out with them two and Yoongi hyung. I have to start getting ready.”  

 

His father’s lips curl into a smile at the mention of his childhood friends and he nods his head, slowly getting up from his seat. Jeongguk watches as he walks towards the door and a light bulb goes off in his head as he remembers his early morning trip to the kitchen.

 

“Oh by the way, dad?” His father turns over his shoulder, one hand on the door handle, tilting his eyebrows. “I was up getting water this morning and I was sure there was some weird noise coming from your room,” Jeongguk frowns as he tries to remember the exact sound, unsure of how to describe it. “A little high pitched. Squeaky. Something like that.”

 

His father stiffens at the door, brows pinched together for a split seconds before his expression softens. “Oh. It must be the air purifier. I replaced the old one and the new one makes some sort of a sound I guess, but you know me — I’m a heavy sleeper, so it doesn’t wake me up. I can turn it off it bothers you while you sleep.”

 

Jeongguk shakes his head, pushing his papers into a file and closing his laptop. “No need, I can’t even hear it in my room. It just freaked me out a little bit. I’m still jet lagged so I keep waking up at random hours and I just happened to hear it but I had no idea what it was. It’s all good.”

 

His father shifts his weight uncomfortably, looking a little uncertain as he stands by the door. “Okay. Good — if you’re sure. I’m going to go have some dinner. You have fun tonight and say hi to your friends, yeah?”

 

“You got it,” Jeongguk says without looking at him, too busy clearing out his desk.

 

———

 

Jeongguk looks good. It’s not like he’s vain or narcissistic, but he’s looking at the mirror and he likes what he sees. All of those boxing sessions with his trainer are paying off because Jeongguk really, really likes the shape he’s in.

 

He’s wearing a slim fit black turtleneck with a coat over it, black skinny jeans that accentuate his thighs a little too much and Jeongguk laughs at himself, thinking if he was in a better mood, he would probably end up getting laid tonight.

 

It’s been a while.  

 

The car is already waiting for him outside of the building and he jumps in, immediately throwing himself at Seokjin as he gets inside of the car.

 

“God, when was the last time all three of us were in Korea together?” Jeongguk asks as he settles between Namjoon and Seokjin, making both men huff in annoyance.

 

“I don’t know, Jeonggukie,” Seokjin replies, crossing his legs as he leans over Jeongguk’s lap in an attempt to snatch Namjoon’s phone away, “you tell me. You’re the one who’s refused to come down here for the holidays last time Joon and I went. Namjoon, seriously. Put the damn phone down. We said no work.”

 

Namjoon gives Seokjin a pleading look and he sighs, shaking his head as he gives up trying to take the phone away.

 

“And for good reason,” Jeongguk says, lightly swatting at Seokjin’s shoulder. “Are you familiar with the type of shit my father has gotten himself into?”

 

Seokjin nods sympathetically, biting down on his lower lip. “I am. Sorry about that. But you’re good — one of the best divorce lawyers in London, and you have Namjoon by your side. I’m sure everything will be fine.”

 

“Okay — no more work talk,” Namjoon interrupts, shoving his phone into the inside pocket of his blazer. “We’re supposed to have fun tonight. Yoongi and his boyfriend are already there, waiting for us.”

 

“Oh so now that you’re done with your work emails we have to be done too?”

 

“Correct,” Namjoon grins at him and Seokjin surges forward, leaning over Jeongguk so he could smack Namjoon’s thigh.

 

“Genuinely not sure why I married you,” Seokjin mumbles as he leans back into his seat, huffing and shaking his head.

 

Jeongguk laughs as he looks back and forth between the two of them, his skin vibrating with excitement. This feels just like old times — and he can’t wait to see Yoongi.

 

He has a good feeling about tonight, and when Jeongguk has a feeling, it’s rarely off.

 

———

 

“You’re thirty-four,” Jeongguk laughs, throwing his arm over the backrest, crossing his legs as he points over at Yoongi. “How are you still a model at thirty-four?”

 

Yoongi has just been telling them about his newest campaign for Tommy Hilfiger and it was honestly beyond Jeongguk how easy it still was for him to book high end brand photoshoots. And still, after being in the industry since he was like, well, probably sixteen or so, he was still so wanted by the designers.

 

“Because Jeongguk,” Yoongi rolls his eyes, “I have a face of a twenty-year-old. I know how to pose. I’m fuckin’ pretty. I don’t know, what do you want me to tell you?”


Jeongguk laughs and Seokjin frowns, propping his chin onto the palm of his hand.

 

“I’m still so confused,” he says, brows pinched together. “Why do you always book photoshoots but don’t do any runway stuff?”

 

“Because I’m fuckin’ short, hyung,” Yoongi purses his lips, looking at Seokjin through the strands of his dark hair. “Anything else or are the two of you done interrogating me?”

 

“Actually, I have another question,” Jeongguk teases, barely holding back a laugh as Yoongi glares at him. “When you say short, exactly how short—”

 

“Aren’t you like, losing all your money because your dad didn’t make his wife sign a prenup while his son is a divorce lawyer?” Yoongi sneers and in any other circumstances, if it came from anyone else, Jeongguk would have probably flipped out and caused a scene.

 

But — it’s coming from Yoongi, one of his favorite people in the world and Jeongguk knows it’s all in good fun. It’s all about one upping each other.

 

Namjoon bursts into laughter and Jeongguk flips him off, eyes darting towards the entrance of the bar they’re at. It’s an upscale place in Gangnam, the one where they all have open tabs, one they’ve been coming to since they were old enough to drink.

 

There’s a man approaching them — tall, light pink hair tied into space buns on top of his head, a loose black sweater hanging around his collarbones and ripped skinny jeans — and he looks like a million fucking dollars. Jeongguk’s jaw drops as he looks at the guy’s face, and he immediately knows — that must be Taehyung.

 

Damn, Namjoon is right. He looks like a fucking doll.

 

“Hello everyone,” Taehyung — Jeongguk assumes — smiles widely at them, bowing politely as he approaches their table, eyes locking with Yoongi as soon as he’s done saying hello.

 

Yoongi extends his hand and Taehyung takes it, pulling him into his lap as their lips crash together.

 

“Hi, baby,” Taehyung murmurs against Yoongi’s lips as he settles down in his lap, head jerking up so he could look at everyone again, politely waving. “Hi.”

 

He looks a little flustered and Yoongi’s arms tighten around him, eyes sparkling as he looks up at him. Jeongguk can see the immediate shift in Yoongi’s mood and he pretty much immediately decides he likes this guy.

 

There’s no specific reason — he just radiates this energy Jeongguk immediately feels drawn to, and his best friend seems so happy. Like so, so happy. Yoongi looks as if he’s just won the lottery.

 

“Everyone this is Taehyung,” Yoongi says, pressing his cheek against Taehyung’s upper arm. “Tae, this is Jeongguk,” he points at Jeongguk, “and those are Namjoon and Seokjin.”

 

Taehyung grins at them, eyes disappearing into small crescents. “It’s so nice to meet all of you. Are you guys lawyers?” He tilts his head to the side, looking at Namjoon and Seokjin across the table.

 

“No, I’m a neurosurgeon,” Seokjin laughs, shaking his head. “But the two of them are,” he points his finger back and forth between Namjoon and Jeongguk.”

 

“Oh, I’m sorry, my bad. Yoongi hyung said his friends were lawyers so I just assumed,” Taehyung blushes, arm slithering around Yoongi’s neck.

 

“Oh, is your friend coming?” Yoongi interrupts. “Your lawyer friend.”

 

Taehyung nods his head. “Right, that’s why I asked. He’s coming, just running a little late,” he turns to Yoongi. “Chim was stuck at the office until like, nine. He was on his way home to change while I was in the car getting here. I guess he should be here soon-ish.”

 

Jeongguk’s body stiffens as he hears the name Chim, but relaxes a short second later. It sounds vaguely familiar, as if he’s heard it somewhere before — but he can’t quite place it. Maybe it’s one of those names that are just familiar because of how common they are, and Jeongguk’s just heard it somewhere before.

 

He doesn’t dwell on it for too long as Taehyung starts talking about his latest modeling gig, and they all focus on listening to him and Yoongi talk.

 

Taehyung is funny and charming and there’s this calming aura around him that Jeongguk highly appreciates. He almost entirely forgets about his friend coming and he enjoys his drink, slowly sipping on his gin as they all talk.

 

He’s in a good mood — much better than he was prior to coming here, and he smiles to himself as he realizes that going out was a good call on his part; tonight was a good night after all.

 

“I’m so sorry I’m late,” the first thing Jeongguk sees is silver hair and a black leather jacket, and then his eyes meet with those dark, gleaming ones. It takes him a solid second to wrap his head around the fact that it’s Park Jimin he’s looking at, and he almost chokes on his drink. Jimin’s face remains expressionless as he looks down at Namjoon and Seokjin, bowing and smiling politely at the both of them. He turns back to Taehyung, completely ignoring Jeongguk. “The traffic was horrible and I got stuck at the office.”

 

Taehyung stands up from Yoongi’s lap and gives Jimin a hug, eyes darting towards Jeongguk.

 

“Oh my god, you’re both wearing turtlenecks,” he notices cheerfully, pulling Jimin to sit beside he and Yoongi, right next to where Jeongguk is sat. “Is that like, a lawyer thing?”

 

“Must be,” Jimin mumbles and Jeongguk scoots all the way over to the end of their booth, physically making as much space between him and Jimin as possible.

 

“Well, everyone, this is Park Jimin,” Taehyung announces and Jeongguk’s stomach painfully twists, throat closing up as he watches Jimin take his jacket off. “Chim, they’re also lawyers,” he points at Namjoon and Jeongguk.

 

He looks even better than what Jeongguk remembers from the other day, he’s so fucking intimidating, so gorgeous, and if he didn’t absolutely hate him, Jeongguk would be all over him right this second.

 

“Actually, we’ve already met,” Namjoon chuckles, adjusting his glasses in amusement. “We’re representing his mother’s soon-to-be ex-husband in their divorce case. That’s Jeon Jeongguk,” he points towards him. “But we’ve not had the pleasure of meeting each other informally. Kim Namjoon, nice to meet you.”

 

Jeongguk rolls his eyes, feeling the anger as it slowly seeps through his skin. It’s not like he and Namjoon have never been friends with the opposing counsel before — of course they were, it’s normal. What happens in court is what happens in court, and they were friends with lawyers from other firms. They’d often get drinks after closed cases — the loser always had to be the one buying.

 

However this, being friendly with this guy — Jeongguk wasn’t having it. He could see it in his face that he was a snake and that he would play anything and anyone however necessary for his own benefit.

 

“Park Jimin,” Jimin smiles sweetly, shaking Namjoon’s hand over the table. “I actually did my research on you after our settlement meeting. I must say I was really impressed. You’ve taken so many risky cases and you’ve managed to win them all.”

Seokjin beams at his husband and Namjoon blushes, gaze dropping down to his lap. “Ah, thank you,” he replies. “I’ve done mine on you too. You’re not so bad yourself.”

 

“Thank you,” Jimin grins back at him and the two easily fall into casual chatter, quickly joined by everyone else.

 

The air between Jeongguk and Jimin is so thick, so dense that it makes Jeongguk beyond uncomfortable, and he’s painfully aware of his presence right next to him. He falls quiet as he leans back into his seat, eyes closed as he tries his best not to blow up and ruin everyone’s night.

 

The odds of Jimin being Taehyung’s friend are fucking ridiculous, and Jeongguk is almost certain this is the world’s way of fucking with him. So he sits there, unusually quiet, trying his best to be mature, contemplating when it would be the most appropriate time to leave and get the fuck out of there.

 

When everyone orders their second drink, Jeongguk excuses himself and goes to the bathroom. He’s washing his hands when he hears someone enter, but is too immersed in his own thoughts to pay any attention.

 

“Jeongguk-ssi.”

 

Jeongguk’s head jerks up and his eyes are met with Jimin’s in the mirror, only this time, his expression is the same as it was that day in the associate’s bathroom. He’s wearing his jacket again, and it seems as if he’s ready to leave.

 

“Are bathrooms your thing?” Jeongguk tilts his eyebrows, walking over towards the paper towel holder, grabbing a few. “Is that where you stalk people?”

 

Jeongguk expects a comeback but instead — Jimin just tosses his head back and laughs. It’s so pleasant — melodic even, and the first thing that pops into Jeongguk’s head is fucking sirens.

 

“Jesus, why are you always so angry?” He asks, shoulders twitching as giggles fall from his lips. “I mean I can understand the settlement meeting but come on—”

 

“What do you want?” Jeongguk sighs, tossing the paper towels into the trash can and leaning against the sink. “Make it quick, because I’m leaving.”

 

Jimin looks at him for a long time before he finally rolls his eyes and sighs, giving up. “Look, about the other day — I really didn’t know. My mother didn’t tell me anything and I don’t even think that she knew, to be honest,” he says, leaning against the bathroom door. “Not that it matters. But you should really work on that poker face.”

 

Jeongguk snorts. “Fuck you.”

 

Jimin looks at him intently, eyes darkening as his lips curl into a small smile. “You still can,” he purrs, taking a step closer to Jeongguk. “Or I can take care of you. The offer from the other day still stands.”

 

Jeongguk’s breath hitches and he hates himself for staring at Jimin’s lips a second too long — but he can’t help it. He’s so fucking pretty he can’t even wrap his head around it.

 

“You do know that I don’t buy any of your bullshit, right?” Jeongguk refuses to take a step back and show any signs of weakness. “I don’t believe you for a second. You do know your mother made my father purchase not one, not two, but three vacation homes this year?”

 

Jimin raises his eyebrows. “And? How is that my problem?”

 

“It’s not — it just shows that your mother is a gold digging, conniving, lying piece of shit and that you are too,” Jeongguk says simply. “You could have the prettiest face in the world and I still wouldn’t fall for your bullshit.”

 

Jimin smiles widely, eyebrows wiggling as he takes another step towards Jeongguk. “So you think I’m pretty?”

 

“I — that’s not what I said,” Jeongguk narrows his eyes at him, lips pressing into a firm line.

 

“But that’s what you meant.” Jimin supplies, eyes twinkling as he looks back at Jeongguk. “What’s it going to take for you to believe me that I had no idea who you were and that my plan wasn’t to seduce you so I could have you thrown off this case. Anything you want — but I’ll only offer this once.”

 

Jeongguk’s first instinct is to laugh, leave the bathroom, go outside and catch a cab back home. But something — a tiny voice inside of his head tells him to stay. Tells him that he should ask for something ludicrous, just for the shits and giggles. Just to mess with Jimin. Just to see which one of them is willing to go further.

 

And honestly, Jeongguk has always been a sucker for games.

 

“Your mother’s divorce files,” Jeongguk says without thinking. “Do you have them?”

 

Jimin nods, face serious.

 

“I wanna see those,” he takes a few steps towards Jimin, dangerously leaning into his personal space. “I want you to show me.”

 

Jimin doesn’t even blink.

 

“Oh, I’ll show you anything you want,” he smiles sweetly, so sweetly that chills run down Jeongguk’s spine. “But for that, we’re gonna have to go to my office.”

 

———   

 

Jeongguk isn’t entirely sure what  he’s gotten himself into, but as he and Jimin ride the elevator to Jimin’s office floor together, he’s almost certain it’s too late to back out now. They’ve been sitting dangerously close together in the cab and Jeongguk’s cock was already half hard just with their knees touching.

 

Now riding the elevator, Jimin was almost entirely pressed to Jeongguk’s front, his ass so close to Jeongguk’s dick it was almost impossible for Jeongguk to breathe.

 

He wasn’t even thinking about the damn divorce papers, all he could think about was Jimin’s lips on his, Jimin’s hands all over his body.

 

The elevator doors open and Jimin steps to the side and lets Jeongguk walk in front of him, and Jeongguk is so focused on his breathing that he almost falls over when he feels Jimin’s firm hands on his hips, guiding him towards his office.

 

It’s at the end of the hall and it’s dark inside, and Jimin’s hands run down Jeongguk’s sides all the way to his thighs as they enter.

 

Jeongguk leans against Jimin’s glass desk as Jimin closes the door — not that it matters anyway, since the office walls are made out of glass.

 

Jimin notices what Jeongguk is looking at. “I’ve always loved an audience.”

 

He looks back at him, and Jeongguk’s stomach clenches, his cock twitches in his pants — and he’s genuinely not sure if he’s capable of asking for anything except for Jimin.

 

Jimin slowly approaches him, giving him time to push him away as he stands between Jeongguk’s legs. He looks down at his crotch and then back up at him, smiling as he reaches over to cup the side of his face.

 

“You really think I haven’t noticed that semi in your pants, do you?” He leans into Jeongguk’s ear, whispers. “You’re not nearly as slick as you think you are, Jeongguk-ah.”

 

When he pulls back, Jimin’s eyes are dark and glossy, making Jeongguk weak.

 

God, he’s so weak. He’s always been.

 

Jimin’s eyes run up and down his body and they send shivers down Jeongguk’s spine, and he knows he’s going to cave.

 

His mind is blank and he’s forgotten why they’re even here.

 

They’re so close he can practically feel Jimin’s breath on his lips.

 

Any moment now.

 

Tick-tock.

 

“What’s it gonna be, Jeongguk-ah?” Jimin’s voice is low and sweet, and Jeongguk can’t handle it anymore.

 

“Do it,” Jeongguk breathes, hands fisting the material of his shirt.

 

He vaguely notices his fingers are trembling, but it doesn’t matter. He’s got no inhibitions left. He wants it all and he wants it now. Jeongguk is too far gone to think about the consequences of this. He can’t stop himself, and he doesn’t want to.

 

“Say it baby,” Jimin coos but it sounds so fucking dangerous it goes directly into Jeongguk’s groin, making his cock twitch. “What do you want me to do?”

 

Jeongguk hesitates for a split second, before his hands slide down to the hem of Jimin’s pants, fingers messily unbuckling his belt.

 

“Me,” his voice is shaky and he can almost feel Jimin’s lips on his. “Do me.

 

A low chuckle emerges from Jimin’s throat and his hands slide underneath Jeongguk’s turtleneck, gripping at his sides as Jeongguk clumsily undoes the button of his jeans, eagerly shoving his hand inside of Jimin’s underwear.

 

“Oh baby, I’m gonna ruin you.”

 

Jimin’s cock is already hard and leaking precome, and Jeongguk is ready to wrap his fingers around it when Jimin smacks his hand away, aggressively grabbing at his jaw, digging his nails into the side of his cheek.

 

“So eager,” he laughs, his breath feeling hot and heavy against Jeongguk’s lips. God, he just wants to taste him. “Jesus, you really are a fucking lawyer. You have no patience.”

 

Jeongguk snorts, releasing his hand from Jimin’s grip and reaching for the hem of his underwear, wrapping his legs around him and pulling him closer.

 

“I don’t need it,” Jeongguk breathes against his mouth, their bodies pressed together entirely, lips only millimeters away. “You want this as much as I do so just shut the fuck up and get to work.”

 

Jimin laughs again and it sounds so fucking evil it sets Jeongguk’s skin on fire. His pupils are blown wide as he looks back at him, and Jeongguk shudders for what feels like the millionth time that night, hands firmly placed on Jimin’s hips as he hooks his thumbs under the waistband of his boxer briefs.

 

“I see how it is,” Jimin says, entirely closing the space between them.

 

First thing Jeongguk feels is Jimin’s tongue sliding against his lower lip and then licks hotly into his mouth, pressing their lips together, catching him off guard.

 

Jeongguk can’t stop the moan that escapes his lips and his hands slide under Jimin’s underwear again — this time reaching to grip at his ass. Jimin cups both sides of his face and kisses him hotter, deeper, messier — their tongues fighting against one another and Jeongguk is barely able to catch his breath.

 

“You gonna regret this, baby?” Jimin pulls back and murmurs into his ear, nails digging into the soft flesh of his thigh. “You gonna regret letting me fuck you?”

 

“Yeah,” Jeongguk breathes, eyes fluttering shut as Jimin moves to leave kisses down his neck, gently nipping at the skin. “Yeah I’m gonna fucking regret it.”

 

Jimin pulls back, locking their eyes. Jeongguk’s chest heaves and he tries hard to even out his breathing, tries to not tremble underneath Jimin’s touch.

 

It’s impossible.

 

Jimin lifts his hand and cups Jeongguk’s chin with his fingers, his teeth sinking into the softness of his lower lip, corners of his mouth curling into a wicked smile.

 

“Good,” he says, pulling Jeongguk closer, brushing his thumb against his lips. “I’ll probably regret it too,” he pauses and buries his nose into the crook of Jeongguk’s neck, taking in a deep breath. “Because you’re making me reckless, and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s when I’m being reckless.” Jimin pulls back and grabs Jeongguk’s jaw harshly, tugging him closer. Jimin’s nails dig deeper into his thigh, so close to his cock that he thinks he might come on the spot. “But that’s okay,” Jimin continues, parting Jeongguk’s lips with his tongue, eyes so dark they make him shiver. “Because I know you’re gonna make it worth it. There’s nothing better than a good hate fuck to start things off.”

 

Jeongguk is barely listening — he’s pulling Jimin closer again, pressing their lips together, shoving his thumb inside of Jimin’s mouth, panting so loudly that if anyone was here — the whole floor would have fucking heard him.

 

He doesn’t care — doesn’t give a single shit because he wants Jimin, wants this, wants it now, even though he knows he’s going to regret it. Because he knows better. He knows better than to fuck with the enemy.

 

Knows Jimin is bad news, but he has to have him. Jimin is bad, so bad that Jeongguk wants him, needs Jimin to ruin him.

 

And judging by the look on Jimin’s face, that’s exactly what he plans on doing.

 

He doesn’t have the time to second-guess or think about this, he already knows that he shouldn’t. But, he’s already kissing him back, their jeans are already undone, and Jeongguk is fucking leaking and needs this man’s cock inside of him right now, and he doesn’t plan to stop until he gets what he wants.

 

“Are you gonna keep talking or are you gonna fuck me like you’ve been promising you are this whole entire time?” Jeongguk asks, batting his eyelashes at him. “Because if you won’t, I always have these,” he dangles his fingers in the air, shrugging nonchalantly. “I can just do it myself.”

 

Jimin laughs again, low and dangerous, licking his swollen lips as he pulls away from Jeongguk.

 

“So fucking demanding,” he yanks Jeongguk off the desk and then manhandles him until he’s facing the office window, and Jeongguk feels Jimin’s palm as it presses against his upper back and next thing he knows is that the side of his face is met with the cold surface of Jimin’s desk. Jimin takes him by the hips and tugs him a little closer to himself, spreading his legs further apart with his foot, pulling his jeans down. “Just the way I like it.”

 

Jeongguk watches as the glass of his desk fogs up with his heavy breathing, and his whole body trembles with the anticipation and uncomfortableness of his position. He’s bent over and exposed, pretty much served for Jimin to do whatever the fuck he wants.

 

Jeongguk wants him. Right now.

 

He feels Jimin’s lips brush over the skin of his lower back and he shivers — but it’s not enough. Jeongguk wants him inside of him.

 

The corners of his lips twitch into a small smirk as he reaches behind himself and he knows he’s being a brat, just waits until Jimin notices—

 

His hand is smacked away with such force Jeongguk almost yelps, and Jimin quickly takes both of his hands, locking his wrists at the sides of his face.

 

“Do you want me to tie you up?” Jimin’s voice is low and raspy with arousal, and it makes Jeongguk’s cock twitch. It’s exposed and trapped between his leg and the desk, leaking precome as Jimin’s hand moves to grip at the back of his neck, pinning him down further into the desk. “Is that what you fucking want?”

 

Jeongguk opens his mouth to speak but is cut off with a moan that falls from his lips as he feels fingers of Jimin’s other hand press against his rim, all slick and lubed up — and Jeongguk isn’t even sure when he managed to find the time to do that.

 

All he knows is they feel wet and hot as they circle the sensitive skin around his hole, and he whimpers, causing Jimin to tighten his grip around the back of his neck.

 

Jeongguk feels him as he surges forward and his lips brush against his ear, his breath tickling Jeongguk’s sensitive skin and everything feels so fucking hot and tingly and Jeongguk wants more—

 

Jimin inserts a finger inside, simultaneously massaging his rim with his thumb, making Jeongguk gasp and squirm and push his hips further towards Jimin, asking for more.

 

“Want me to tie you up and leave you here when I’m done, huh?” Jimin’s voice resonates within Jeongguk and he trembles, eyes fluttering shut. “Leave you here for the whole night sitting all tied up and pretty on my desk so I can fuck you again in the morning when I come to the office,” Jimin inserts another finger and Jeongguk’s eyes roll to the back of his head, incoherent moans emerging from his throat as Jimin’s fingers scissor inside of him, and it feels so good, so wrong and so dangerous — like everything Jeongguk had ever wanted.

 

“Fuck,” Jeongguk mutters as Jimin fingers him open, the pleasant burn he feels against his rim as Jimin’s fingers curl inside of him, hitting his prostate. “Fuck, right there.”

 

“Yeah?” Jimin asks and pulls his fingers out, making Jeongguk whine and wiggle his hips, displeased with the sudden lack of contact. “Shut up.”

 

Jeongguk’s lips press into a firm line and he does as he’s told, closing his eyes as he tries to calm down and stop shivering, trying to focus on anything but the way his cock aches between his legs, and Jeongguk wonders if Jimin is going to make him come untouched.

 

Under any other circumstances, Jeongguk would probably laugh and have his hand wrapped around his cock already, but for some reason, he doesn’t feel like that’s going to be necessary tonight.

 

He doesn’t remember the last time he was so fucking turned on and his ears are fucking buzzing with anticipation, his skin is vibrating as Jimin slides his hand down his back as he moves away from him, and Jeongguk can vaguely hear the tear of the condom foil and the sound of lube squirting onto Jimin’s hand.

 

Jeongguk stretches his arms above his head and grips at the other edge of the desk, positioning himself more comfortably as Jimin tugs his hips closer and lines his cock with his entrance, pressing against the rim just enough to make Jeongguk desperately whine and try to push his ass against it.

 

“Shhh,” Jimin drags his nails down his spine, digging them harshly into the soft flesh of his lower back, simultaneously pushing his cock inside of Jeongguk. Jeongguk lets out a sound that’s something between a moan and scream — and pleasure bubbles underneath his skin, the burn in the pit of his stomach spreading like wildfire and he doesn’t even get to catch his breath before Jimin rams into him with full force, filling him up.

 

Jimin’s thrusts are hard and fast, angled so well his cock manages to brush against Jeongguk’s prostate every time, making his breath hitch in his throat, making his moans raspier with each push inside. Jeongguk can feel his mind go fuzzier every time he clenches around Jimin’s length, and his own cock throbs between his legs as heat pools inside of his groin.

 

The palms of his hands are wet with sweat and they messily slide against the glass desk as his grip loosens around the edges, and Jeongguk watches as tiny drops of sweat fall from the strands of his hair. He presses his forehead against the glass in an attempt to cool himself down, panting heavily as Jimin mercilessly pounds into him, his nails dug deep into Jeongguk’s hips.

 

“So this is what shuts you up, huh?” Jimin’s voice comes out strained and breathy, but he still fucks into him with such determination it makes Jeongguk feel so lightheaded and easy. “So cocky and full of anger until you get what you want,” he continues and Jeongguk feels his eyes flutter shut against his will, his stomach clenching around the heat in his stomach and he feels himself getting closer with each thrust. “Fuckin’ look at you. Falling apart because of how good I fuck you,” Jimin’s thrusts stop and he leans into his ear, voice somewhere between a whisper and a hiss. “It’s so easy, Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin picks up the pace again and Jeongguk’s eyes flutter open, vision blurring as he feels himself getting close, so close— “all you gotta do is let me fuck those anger issues out of you.”

 

Jeongguk’s vision goes white and he comes all over his leg, the desk, the carpet, whining and moaning as Jimin fucks him through his orgasm, thrusts inconsistent and messy as he chases his own release.

 

He wants to say something, wants to talk back, wants to tell Jimin that he’s the one who decides what happens, that he’s the one in control, but he feels so fucked out, his throat so dry, he’s barely able to talk. His whole body aches in the best possible way, and Jeongguk almost wants to laugh as he realizes that he managed to come untouched. He doesn’t even remember the last time that happened or if it happened — all he knows is that all of this, the excitement of fucking in an office building, the fact that he’s spread out all over Jimin’s desk, the possibility of them getting caught — kind of makes him want to get hard again.

 

Fuck, kind of makes him want to do this again.

 

Maybe he’s still coming down from his high and Jimin is still messily fucking into him, and the way his hips twitch Jeongguk knows he’s close — but all Jeongguk’s fucked out mind can think about is that he wants this to happen again, and he doesn’t give a fuck about the circumstances.

 

It’s kind of ridiculous, his cock is still spurting out come and Jimin whines as he starts coming himself — and all Jeongguk can think about is how fucking good Jimin has fucked him, how he’s eager to go again, how he has zero regrets — even though this isn’t even over yet.

 

Well, not entirely.

 

He’s in a complete haze and he vaguely registers as Jimin collapses on top of him, breathing heavily into his ear as his cock twitches inside of Jeongguk. His fingers tangle in Jeongguk’s hair, gently tugging at the strands, causing him to whine weakly.

 

“This — fuck,” Jeongguk breathes, eyes fluttering shut again as he tries his best to clear his head and form a sentence, “this — I —”

 

Jimin laughs breathily into his ear and pushes himself off of him, and Jeongguk feels his cock softening inside.

 

“I’m gonna pull out now, okay?”

 

“Yeah,” Jeongguk breathes, wincing subtly as Jimin gently pulls his cock out.

 

He stays laying there, sprawled across the desk, still trying to catch his breath. He’s not sure how the fuck Jimin is able to function, how the fuck he’s able to buckle his jeans back up, how the fuck he’s able to walk towards the trash can to throw the condom away.

 

Time doesn’t even feel real, his ears are ringing and he just stands there, his legs trembling as they’re barely able to support his weight, and Jeongguk wonders how pathetic and ridiculous he looks.

 

He hears footsteps as they approach and then feels Jimin’s hands on him, gently tugging him away from the desk while pulling his pants and his underwear back up. Jeongguk doesn’t even try to fight him off — too weak and dazed to even consider it. He feels Jimin wipe off the come off of his thigh before he entirely pulls his underwear back up and buttons up his jeans, his fingers gently intertwining with Jeongguk’s while he tugs him towards one of the yellow armchairs.

 

Jeongguk blinks weakly. Yellow.

 

He fucking hates yellow.

 

They’re visibly yellow, even in the dark, illuminated only by the city lights coming from the busy street. Jeongguk feels a little uncomfortable and he positions himself so that he’s more slouched in the chair and sitting partially on his lower back rather than his actual ass, and he genuinely wonders if he’s going to be able to walk out of here. Or worse — if he’s going to be able to walk tomorrow once the soreness actually hits.

 

Jimin crouches in front of him, gently wiping the dried sweat off of his forehead, brows pinched together and lips parted in what if Jeongguk didn’t know any better — would look like worry. He blankly stares back at him and he can physically feel his mind as it clears, his heartbeat as it simmers down, his breathing as it evens.

 

It takes a little while for shame to start seeping through his skin, settling right underneath the surface, slightly bugging him. It’s not a big deal — not yet at least, and Jeongguk just sits and aimlessly looks through the window, swallowing around the tiny lump in his throat.

 

He’s not entirely sure if he feels bad or not — if he’s mad at himself yet, but he’s getting there. Maybe he will be in the morning, when he’s not fucked out and hazy with how hard he fucking came all over that damn desk and carpet.

 

“You good?” Jimin pushes Jeongguk’s bangs away from his forehead, tilting his head to the side. He surges upwards and presses their lips together, kissing him so gently it almost throws Jeongguk entirely off guard. “Hm?”

 

Jeongguk’s vision focuses on his face once he pulls away and he realizes that he too looks like a mess — but he’s still fucking gorgeous. His lips are dark and swollen and the ends of his hair are stuck to his forehead, and Jeongguk realizes he’s having a hard time keeping his balance too.

 

Still, Jimin stays squatting in front of him, gently tapping some sort of a napkin (?) against his forehead, and Jeongguk can vaguely feel his fingers brush over the knuckles of his hand.

 

“Yeah,” Jeongguk breathes out, locking their gaze together. Jimin’s eyes gleam even in the darkness of his office, intently looking up at him. Jeongguk feels kind of small under his stare, and his toes curl inside of his shoes as uncomfortableness settles in the base of his stomach. “I’m — yeah. I’m good.”

 

“So—” Jimin begins and suddenly Jeongguk registers a sharp sound of heels clicking against the marble floor — and then Jimin’s face is illuminated by the light coming from the hallway. It takes him a couple of seconds to register what is going on but by the way Jimin’s expression shifts from something soft into icy cold, blank face and he quickly rises to his feet as the sounds of footsteps become much more louder.

 

“Mother.”

 

Jeongguk quickly turns over his shoulder and his eyes widen as he’s met with Kim Jiyeon — his father’s wife — right there, standing at the door of Jimin’s office at one in the fucking morning, after Jimin had just fucked his entire brains out—

 

His whole body goes into a state of panic and his muscles clench as he freezes in his seat like a deer caught in the headlights. Jiyeon’s mouth pops open when her eyes meet with Jeongguk’s, but she’s quick to collect herself, eyebrow arching as she looks back up at her son.

 

Jeongguk’s fucking skin crawls.

 

This is — this is so fucked up. This is so wrong, so fucked up, so reckless, so stupid and Jeongguk’s stomach twists in rage and he’s so angry at himself for letting this happen, for letting Jimin lure him and—

 

He realizes he’s never seen the papers. Jimin hasn’t shown him jack shit, and it’s not that Jeongguk expected he actually would — even though he has the right to ask to look at those but still — he lured him in here and Jeongguk was so weak, so eager to give him whatever he wants, so easy and fuck. There are a million thoughts that swirl through his head right now, what to do, what to say and anger riles up within him even more when he realizes that all of this — all of this might have been a set up.

 

Because what the fuck is his mother doing inside of his office building at one in the goddamn morning.

 

Unless, Jimin invited her here.

 

It’s too fucked up, way too fucked up for Jeongguk to comprehend, but it’s not entirely impossible. He should have known better — his mother is a gold digging piece of shit and she was the one who raised him — he couldn’t have turned out much better than her.

 

This whole thing feels like a fucking setup. They want him off the case. Want both him and Namjoon of the case because they know how good he is, they know how good Namjoon is.

 

It makes perfect sense.

 

And two coincidences in one night, first with Taehyung, and now with his mother. Jeongguk wasn’t going to fall for this shit.

 

“Jimin-ah,” she says, hand gripping so tightly around the handle of her handbag her knuckles have gone white. “What are you doing?”

 

She doesn’t look at Jeongguk anymore and he feels like he needs to get up, needs to leave right fucking now before he says or does something he’ll regret even more.

 

“Jeongguk-ssi and I were looking over certain things for the case. Making sure that the information we have about certain things are aligned,” Jimin grits his teeth, eyes avoiding Jeongguk’s. His adjusts his posture and clenches his jaw as he looks back at his mother, crossing his hands over his chest. “What are you doing here this late? On a Friday.”

 

She shifts her weight uncomfortably and finally looks at Jeongguk again, brows slightly furrowing as if she’s looking for some sort of confirmation from him.

 

Jeongguk wants to laugh. It’s so perfectly staged. If he could give them both an Oscar, he fucking would.

 

“Yeah,” he entertains the bullshit, his head clearing entirely as he decides to just play along. “We were looking over some papers. I was just heading out.”

 

Jiyeon nods and looks back at Jimin. “I was actually looking for you. I called you several times but you never answered. I needed to show you something and I couldn’t do it over the phone. You weren’t home either so I figured you were working,” her eyes dart back to Jeongguk for a split second before her gaze slides back onto her son. “I guess I was right.”

 

The three of them stand in uncomfortable silence as Jimin looks at his mother so coldly that Jeongguk almost bursts out into laughter. God, they’re good.

 

He finally clears his throat and starts making his way towards the door, passing by Jiyeon without even sparing her a glance. “Thank you for your time Jimin-ssi,” he says over his shoulder before he steps out into the hallway. “I’ll see you in court.”

 

Jeongguk leaves and paces towards the elevator as quickly as he can, anger and mortification twisting and turning inside of his stomach, heart pounding so fast inside of his chest he can’t even think straight.

 

He sees red and he cannot wait to get outside to spit at this building or fucking punch something or someone — and the truth is, he can’t even blame anyone but himself because this is entirely his fault because he’s that fucking stupid.

 

Sure — the sex was insane, but the fake ass concern on Jimin’s face as he was cleaning him up and wiping the sweat away from his forehead was all for a show; just to get him to stay there a little longer before his mother arrives.

 

Jeongguk should have known better. Fuck, Jeongguk did know better. It’s just that at that moment, he didn’t give a shit.

 

And now it’s going to come back and bite him in the ass. Literally.

 

He stands by the elevator and nervously taps his foot against the floor as he prays for it to arrive quickly when suddenly he feels a hand tugging gently at his shoulder.

 

“Jeongguk,” Jimin’s eyes are wide and sparkly with concern, lips pursed into a pout — complete opposite of what he had looked like just a couple of minutes ago while looking at his mother. “Jeongguk, I’m so sorry, I had no idea—”

 

“You set me up,” Jeongguk hisses under his breath, pushing Jimin’s hand away with such disgust it makes him take a couple of steps back. “Son of a bitch.”

 

Something flashes through Jimin’s eyes and Jeongguk can’t exactly place it, but if he had to guess — it’s almost as if he was hurt or offended by the gesture. Jeongguk doesn’t care. He’s so fucking angry he could spit on him — and honestly, he probably would, if he were sure that there weren’t any security cameras in the hall.

 

“Jeongguk,” Jimin tries again, voice softer, gentler. It’s like he’s talking to a child. It makes Jeongguk even more pissed off. “I swear to fucking god I had no idea she was coming. She has this habit of fucking showing up whenever she needs something done, I swear she’s fucking ins—”

 

The elevator arrives and Jeongguk lightly pushes Jimin away, not enough to actually move him, but hard enough for him to know that Jeongguk is done talking.

 

He’s so fucking done.

 

“Save it,” Jeongguk says stepping inside of the elevator. He angrily pokes at the ground floor button, annoyance spreading all over his body as it takes the elevator doors more than a few seconds to close. “You make me sick. Both of you.”

 

“Jeongguk—”

 

The door closes and the last thing Jeongguk sees is Jimin’s brows pinched together, no longer looking worried or regretful, but rather pissed off. Jeongguk snorts. That didn’t take long.

 

He leans his forehead against the cool metal of the elevator door, sighing loudly as he shakes his head.

 

“Jeongguk you dumb, dumb piece of shit,” he murmurs to himself, rubbing his face with his hands. He turns around and looks at his reflection in the mirror. He looks so fucked out it’s actually funny. “Fucking idiot.”

 

The flashbacks of how Jimin’s cock felt inside of him start settling in his gut and Jeongguk wants to fucking punch himself because he’s so angry, but can’t help the numb feeling of his lower body and how good it feels, how if the circumstances were any different he’d do it again. He’d do it right now.

 

He steps outside of the elevator and walks by the night guard again, shaking his head when he asks him if he’s going to be needing a taxi.

 

After stepping outside Jeongguk’s phone goes off with a ding! and he quickly pulls his phone from the inside of his coat.

 

There’s two messages there, one from Namjoon asking if everything was okay, and a second one from Jimin, which simply reads: You and I are not done.  

 

The worst part of it all is that it fills Jeongguk’s groin with inexplicable warmth.

 

He’s so fucking screwed.








Chapter Text

Jeongguk sighs, bent over his desk, staring at one of the contracts his assistant sent for him to look over. It’s late but he’s not tired, more so just mentally exhausted from constantly staring at the exact same words.

 

He’s had enough of looking over his father’s divorce case — the more he’s been looking into it the more frustrated he would get, so he decided it would be best to try and focus on something else, at least for a little while. To just check up on his clients back in the UK, make sure everything was running smoothly.

 

It was.

 

Which kind of made it a little frustrating for him — knowing that there were no other issues he needed to focus on. Because everything was being handled. Normally, if he was out on a vacation or some sort of a business trip, this is exactly what Jeongguk would want, exactly what he would expect. Now, he was kind of hoping something would go wrong — just so he could focus on fixing that instead. Just so he could feel like he’s good at what he does.

 

It’s not that he necessarily started doubting himself, though. It’s not that his confidence was entirely shaken or that he thought he was a trash lawyer or anything like that — he just needed an ego boost. Because the more he looked at his father’s divorce case, the less everything made sense and it frustrated him beyond belief.

 

The good news was, he managed to lay off his father and actually spend some quality time with him in the past couple of weeks. He generally seemed in better spirits and as much as he hated to admit it, and it helped Jeongguk feel a lot better too. His father dealt with pressure by burying himself in work — a trait Jeongguk most definitely inherited. To be fair, between spending time in the office until late at night and spending time with him on the weekends, Jeongguk was reminded how much work and family time can regenerate a person and honestly — his father looked so, so much better than he did when Jeongguk first arrived around a month ago.

 

He stretches over his desk and winces a little as flashbacks from a few weeks ago hit him, being bent over the desk in Jimin’s office, his hand firmly wrapped around the back of Jeongguk’s neck, pinning him down as he—

 

Jeongguk squeezes his eyes shut and shakes his head, chasing the thoughts away. His skin breaks out into goosebumps and he shudders, straightening himself in his seat, arching his back and fixing his posture. He entirely ignores the burn that settles in the pit of his stomach, the way it pleasantly stings, because — because it’s not right. He shouldn’t be thinking about that.

 

And thinking about that shouldn’t feel good.

 

He tries to focus his attention back onto the contracts but there are too many thoughts swirling in his head and all it does is make him feel hot and tingly all over. Jeongguk uncomfortably cracks his neck to the side, his t-shirt suddenly feeling too tight around him.

 

God, he hates this. He really does. It’s been happening ever since that night —  something would trigger the flashbacks and then he’d just get hot flashes, start feeling all tingly and excited and just. He hates it, because he doesn’t want it to make him feel that way.

 

He should probably be livid over the fact that it was all a setup, that nothing about it was genuine, that it was all just a game. He should be, but he’s not.

 

And that was even more frustrating — as if Jeongguk didn’t have a million things he was getting frustrated over on the daily. He used to think about it a lot — the way he’d always find something that would piss him off, something that’d trigger his anger or annoyance. It died down over the years, especially after puberty had passed — and Jeongguk had learned to set his temper aside in order to get things done.

 

But this, all of this — felt a little too personal. His family’s money was on the line, half of his father’s empire, and even Jimin, especially now after they… well, fucked.

 

It’s not that Jeongguk was the type of person to take hookups seriously, or to get attached to his one night stands. He definitely wasn’t, and, if anything — he was the one always reminding people to not get too attached to him. Especially when most of it meant nothing.

 

But what happened with he and Jimin was… different. Jeongguk had fucked the opposing counsel before. It was London, for fuck’s sake. Every upscale lawyer knew another and it just — it happened. But it was always just — that. Not a big deal. This felt different in a way that made Jeongguk’s skin break out into goosebumps, in a way that’d make heat pool inside of his stomach and his back all tingly.

 

He wasn’t entirely sure if the reason behind it feeling so personal was the fact that the case had everything to do with him, or the fact that it was so easy for Jimin to toy with him and make him feel so ambivalent. It might have been both and honestly — Jeongguk hated how he allowed Jimin to get under his skin so quickly. He wasn’t even sure what about him it was that made him so — willing to give up control, so quickly and so effortlessly that it actually made him feel stupid.

 

Yeah — Jimin probably had the most beautiful face Jeongguk had ever laid eyes on. His gaze was so powerful it made Jeongguk’s knees weak, his grip so firm and his cock so fucking g—

 

Jeongguk shakes his head again and aggressively rubs at his temples, hissing under his breath. Too distracted — he was getting too distracted and he just needed a break. Mostly from himself.

 

He gets up and walks around the office a bit, shaking his arms and cracking his neck a couple of times. It immediately relieves pressure from his joints, and he paces towards the window, widely opening it.

 

Jeongguk breathes in the crisp air, slightly shivering as the cold hits him. It’s on the brink of winter and it’s colder than it would be this time of year in England, but it feels kinda good. The fresh air is making his head feel a little clearer, makes him focus on not trembling as he breathes in and out rather than on Jimin and what they did on top of his desk a few weeks back.

 

God, the worst part is — Jeongguk doesn’t even think he regrets it. Not in that sense, at least. He doesn’t regret getting fucked — literally — he regrets getting played.

 

He sighs and closes the window with a loud bang, annoyed at his inability to stop thinking about it for longer than five minutes. It’s been like this ever since that night, even though Jeongguk honestly did try his best to push it away as far away as possible. The text Jimin had sent him still lingered in the back of his mind, but other than that, there was absolute radio silence. He hadn’t tried to track Jeongguk down, hadn’t tried to clear things up, and as much as Jeongguk was happy he didn’t have to face him and listen to the bullshit excuses, it also kind of stung; maybe because he was hoping Jimin would at least try and properly explain things, even if Jeongguk wasn’t actually willing to listen. Or believe him, for that matter.

 

Jeongguk was a lot of things, but stupid definitely wasn’t one of them.

 

His phone starts going off from where it’s sitting beside his laptop and Jeongguk feels the knot in his stomach loosen as he quickly walks over to his desk, relieved that he’s going to be occupied with something else for at least the next five minutes  or so.

 

“Well, it’s not like I’ve called you four times last night only to have Namjoon tell me you’ve changed your number,” Hoseok’s raspy voice echoes through the phone and Jeongguk’s lips immediately curl into a smile at the sound of it.

 

“Hyung,” Jeongguk plops down onto his chair, running his fingers through his hair. “It’s been weeks, where the fuck have you been?”

 

“Thailand, Japan and Indonesia,” Hoseok sighs, and Jeongguk can’t help but chuckle. “My sugar daddy boyfriend or whatever the fuck you want to call him had a lot of business he needed to handle and I had a lot of resting I needed to do. What can I say. What have you been up to? I heard about your dad’s divorce. What a bitch.”

 

Jeongguk groans, his eyes rolling to the back of his head as he spins around in his office chair. Over the past few weeks there’s been dozens and dozens of people he’s met up with — some friends, hyungs, old family friends — and he was just getting so tired of constantly explaining the situation over and over again. And even though Hoseok wasn’t in the country and probably didn’t know much, if anything — he really didn’t feel like going over it. Again.

 

Or at least, not right now.

 

“Yeah, it’s uh — a long story,” Jeongguk starts, but Hoseok immediately cuts him off.

 

It’s not really that long of a story but — Jeongguk’s just tired of repeating it.

 

“Don’t worry about it,” he says. “I’ve already talked to Joon and he told me pretty much everything there is to know. So, that Park Jimin guy is a real pain in the ass, huh?” Hoseok pauses, and then Jeongguk hears a low chuckle emerge from his throat. “Quite literally, right?”

 

Jeongguk’s cheeks redden and he suddenly feels a little too hot, embarrassment flaring all the way down his body as he awkwardly clears his throat. Namjoon. That bastard.

 

“Fuck off, hyung,” Jeongguk mumbles, awkwardly rubbing his thigh as Hoseok laughs on the other end of the line. “It was a one time thing. No big deal.”

 

Jeongguk is lying through his teeth, at least partially — but that’s what he’s good at. Hoseok doesn’t question it, doesn’t disagree — just laughs once again.

 

“Okay, well,” Hoseok stops laughing and Jeongguk blows the air out through his nose, feeling only slightly annoyed. Mostly with Namjoon — for even saying anything. And if Hoseok knows then, well. Yoongi knows too. “I have a meeting I have to get to, but are you free tomorrow night? You guys could come down to the club, Veil just got done getting remodeled. I’m throwing a proper re-opening party, it’ll be just like old times.”

 

Hoseok’s parents owned a ridiculous amount of nightclubs all throughout Korea and Japan, some which he had conveniently turned into underground strip clubs — much to his mother’s disapproval. His father, however, had always been on board since it was “good for the business” — or that was the argument he had used every time his wife would nag about it too much.

 

Still — it was undeniable, Hoseok was an incredible businessman, and all of the clubs under his wing probably made more money than any other of the clubs managed by his parents.

 

Jeongguk takes a second, breathes in. It’s been ages since he had last been to a party thrown by Jung Hoseok himself, and he would be lying if he said he didn't miss it. Not because of the party itself — there were plenty lavish ones thrown by his and other law firms back in London, but more so because the more time he would spend here, the more nostalgic he would feel.

 

It’s not that Jeongguk didn’t love London — he did, and he had always considered it his home, just like he did Seoul. Still, there was something about all of his friends being here and the situation he was in that just made him feel kind of… like old times. Made him miss it so much more.

 

“Yeah,” Jeongguk nods his head, staring out through the window. “I’m free. What day is it tomorrow, Friday?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Okay, yeah. Just let me know what time you want me to be there.” Jeongguk says, kicking his feet up on the desk. “I have some things I have to go over with Namjoon during the day, but other than that, I’m free.”

 

“Perfect,” Hoseok hums. “I can’t wait to see you, Jeonggukie. It’s been way too long.”

 

“Me too, hyung.”

 

They hang up and Jeongguk is left to stare at a blank spot on the wall as excitement bubbles up in his stomach, and he can’t stop a tiny smile from spreading across his face when he thinks about seeing his hyung tomorrow. Hoseok was always a good time, even though, ironically, he was the only one of them who didn’t drink.

 

There’s rustle outside of the door of his office and a couple of loud bangs, and Jeongguk involuntarily gets up from his seat to see what the fuss is about, sighing exasperatedly as he steps outside.

 

Jeongguk frowns as he stares at five unknown men in his living room, lifting up the massive yellow couch and carefully carrying it towards the front door. He’s not sure how they’ll manage taking it out without setting it apart first, but he doesn’t question it.

 

He’s just happy that it’s finally happening — his father had finally called the interior designer and they’re putting everything back the way it was.

 

“Dad?” Jeongguk calls as his head pokes from behind the wall, and he sees his father standing in the corner of the living room, brows pinched together as he stares down at his phone.

 

“Jeongguk-ah,” his father’s head jerks up at the sound of his voice, and he quickly shoves his phone inside of his suit jacket. “They’re just taking out the couches, the armchairs, and the coffee table,” he gestures around the living room. “Everything else will take a little while. We’re going to have to remodel the kitchen and the bathrooms, though.”

 

It’s not ideal — knowing that the kitchen and the bathrooms aren’t going to be exactly the same, but it’s better than having them like this. The way she decorated them. Jeongguk’s been pestering his father about calling the interior designer for weeks now, and he was just happy and relieved it was finally happening.

 

He was tired of constantly feeling annoyed and snappy whenever he’d walk into the house — god, he really fucking hated yellow.

 

“That’s fine,” he says quietly as he stands next to his father, subtly studying his face. He definitely looks much better than he did when Jeongguk first arrived, and he doesn’t look as… old. He looks — healthy. Maybe even happy. Glowing. Jeongguk can’t help but feel bad knowing that all that needed to happen was for him to lay off of his father and not add on to his stress over the whole divorce case for him to start looking and feeling better. “You’re home early.”

 

“I’ve cut some business meetings short,” his father says, eyes crinkling as he smiles at him. “Figured I could be here while they take the furniture out and put the old stuff back inside. What did you do today?”

 

“Had to look over some contracts for my clients back in London,” Jeongguk says, eyes intently following the workers as they carefully bring in their old coffee table. A familiar feeling of warmth settles underneath Jeongguk’s skin and it’s kind of ridiculous, but he feels as if he could hug the damn table. “Finally got in touch with Hoseok hyung. He’s back from Thailand or wherever he was at and we’re finally going to see each other tomorrow.”

 

His father nods, quickly pulling his phone out to check out the message that comes in with a loud buzz, frowns for a brief second and puts the phone back to the inside of his pocket — but not before Jeongguk catches it.

 

“Everything alright?”

 

“Fine — just work,” he quickly smiles, eyes darting towards the workers as they bring in the dark purple armchairs, Jeongguk’s favorite — and gently set them around the coffee table. “How is everything with your clients back at the firm? Everything going well?”

 

“Yeah, everything is being handled just fine,” Jeongguk purses his lips as one of the men places the armchair a little too close to the other one, and he clicks his tongue as he walks over to fix it. “I’m meeting with Namjoon tomorrow. He’s heard back from the private investigator about your wife and we’re gonna see if there’s anything we can use against her in court.”

 

Jeongguk watches as his father uncomfortably shifts his weight, his brows furrowing as he tries to figure out what’s making him feel so uneasy. Maybe it’s the mention of the divorce again — he knows his dad isn’t too happy about it. Knows it was her decision, but still. He can’t just not talk about it. Especially when he and Namjoon are having a meeting as important as that one.

 

One that could actually determine the future of this whole case. Jeongguk silently prays that there’s something — that the private investigator found at least some dirt on her. More specifically, Jeongguk’s keeping his fingers crossed and hoping for a good old fashioned affair.

 

“Are you sure everything’s okay?” Jeongguk asks, trying not to make the worry in his voice too obvious.

 

“Positive, Jeongguk-ah,” he feels his father's hand as it softly pats his back, and any shred of doubt he had quickly disappears at the reassuring gesture. Jeongguk knows he’s just stressed. Over everything. “It already looks better, doesn’t it?”

 

His father gestures at the couch that’s just been brought in, and Jeongguk’s lips curl into a tiny smile as he happily nods. It does — it looks so, so much better and he has to physically restrain himself from jumping on the couch and just rolling around on it.

 

It’s not ideal, and the living room is definitely not entirely turned back to normal — but it’s a start. And Jeongguk couldn’t be happier as he looks down at the furniture he had grown up with, the dark purple and grey tones gracing the otherwise bright room; there’s still pops of yellow and white here and there and the wallpaper needs to be changed — but it’s good. It feels… familiar. It almost feels like a part of his mother is there, in the room with them.

 

It might be silly, because it’s just furniture. It’s just the wallpaper.

 

It’s material things, and they shouldn’t matter. But to Jeongguk, they do. Not because he necessarily considered himself to be too much of a materialistic person, but it’s his mother who made their home what it was and who gave some sort of personality to it.

 

“I really hate yellow,” Jeongguk sighs as he looks at some of the yellow vases and the ugly wall paint. If Jeongguk was to look at everything aesthetically — the whole living room was an absolute mess and the colors made it look like a circus.

 

His father sighs, his hand traveling up to his shoulder blade, squeezing it tightly.

 

“I know. She hated it, too.”

 

There’s a lump in Jeongguk’s throat and he feels the back of his eyes as they slightly sting, and he takes a deep breath, trying to ignore the uncomfortable way in which his throat closes up. He’s not going to cry.

 

“Yeah,” he breathes. “Yeah, she really did.”

 

———

 

Jeongguk sleeps on the couch that night — it’s ridiculous, he knows, but it oddly makes him feel a bit closer to his mother. Sometimes, he wonders if the feeling will entirely pass — missing her, that is. Especially considering the amount of years that have gone by since her passing.

 

It’s not often that he feels that way, and he hadn’t — in a very long time. But, the feeling still comes back at times, manages to creep up on him even when he’s expecting it and he just wants to curl up in a ball and cry his eyes out.

 

He doesn’t, though. Not today, at least.

 

The day passes by pretty quickly as Jeongguk catches up with all of his emails and phone calls, and it’s not long before he gets a call from Namjoon, letting him know that their private investigator will meet them in a couple of hours.

 

It leaves Jeongguk with just enough time to get ready for Hoseok’s event to which he and Namjoon were going to go to together anyway, so he takes what could probably be considered the longest bath in the history of baths and throws on one of his best suits before he heads out the door.

 

“He’ll be here any minute,” Namjoon says as he lets him inside of the apartment, looking equally as dressed up as Jeongguk. “Oh good. I was going to call to remind you to throw your party clothes on before you come here, you know these things may take a while.”

 

“I’m just wearing a suit,” Jeongguk rolls his eyes and gently shoves Namjoon to the side, making him chuckle. He looks down at his watch and then back up at Namjoon. “Hoseok said nine, right?”

 

“We won’t make it before ten,” Namjoon shrugs as they walk together towards his home office. “Which is good, because I don’t want to arrive too early and get stuck entertaining Hoseok’s strippers.”

 

Jeongguk bursts out laughing as he remembers how years ago he, Seokjin and Yoongi paid a group of Hoseok’s strippers to follow Namjoon around the club and flirt with him all night, just so they could watch him get frustrated over and over again as he would try to order drinks, or literally — just talk to people.

 

Needless to say, Jeongguk still thought it was hilarious.

 

“Oh, by the way, did your parents go to that charity event thingy too?” Jeongguk looks around the empty penthouse, feeling only a tiny bit sad that Namjoon’s mom isn’t there to greet him. “My dad left earlier, and he mentioned something about picking them up along the way?”

 

Namjoon rolls his eyes. “If yaksik is what you’re worried about, don’t worry — mother’s made some for you earlier today.”

 

Jeongguk’s face lights up and his cheeks flush in bright pink — and he feels a little bit like a child. He’s felt that way quite a lot in the past couple of days, but it doesn’t matter. Yaksik has been his favorite dessert ever since he was a kid and nobody made it better than Namjoon’s mother did. Nobody.

 

They chat for a couple more minutes as Jeongguk munches on his favorite dessert, waiting for the private investigator to show up. It doesn’t take long before Namjoon’s phone goes off as the front desk informs them that he has a guest, and he quickly leaves to let him in as Jeongguk settles down in the living room and waits.

 

“Kim Minsu,” the private investigator bows quickly as he approaches Jeongguk, closely followed by Namjoon.

 

“Jeon Jeongguk,” Jeongguk quickly stands up, returning the bow.

 

Jeongguk notices that he’s a lot younger than he expected him to be, even though Jeongguk wasn’t entirely sure why he had expected someone older to begin with — although it could have been due to the fact he was recommended by Namjoon’s father.

 

“Let’s go to my office,” Namjoon mumbles and Jeongguk automatically starts walking towards the hall.

 

Once they gather around Namjoon’s desk, Minsu takes a large stack of files out of his briefcase and takes a deep breath, carefully looking at the markers on each file.

 

“Alright, so,” Minsu begins and Jeongguk feels his heart as it races inside of his chest, a faint knot tightening inside of his stomach. He’s nervous for what he might find out, but also hopeful — so hopeful that there’s something. Anything. “I’ve been following Kim Jiyeon for exactly a month now. I’ve dug through all of the records I could possibly find, asked around, talked to her friends, acquaintances.”

 

Both Namjoon and Jeongguk nod, and Jeongguk can feel his heart as it travels all the way up to his throat.

 

“I’m not going to bore you with minor things,” Minsu continues, handing them three cases of files each. “These are her past divorce cases — two of them, the first one has been sealed for whatever reason and I should be getting that within the next couple of days, so you will have access to that one too.”

 

Both Namjoon and Jeongguk immediately open the file with big bold letters with “divorce” written on it, quickly scanning over the papers like they’ve done at least a billion times before.

 

Jeongguk frowns as he tries to be as thorough as possible in the short amount of time he has to look over the papers, and everything seems pretty much regular and rather — boring.

 

Oddly enough — Jimin was her lawyer two out of three times, winning both cases without having to do as much as lift a finger. Still, Jeongguk’s attention drifts to figuring out what the deal with the first divorce was, or rather — why the documents are sealed. By default, divorce cases were public record, and in order for any of the files to be sealed, there had to be good reasoning behind them.

 

Meaning something would have to have happened.

 

Jeongguk puts the papers down and feels the adrenaline course through his body, and he can’t stop himself from squirming in his seat. He’s so curious, so eager to find out why the fuck those documents are sealed and he can’t help but feel that it’s exactly that that will give him what he needs in order to win this case and send Kim Jiyeon to the hell hole she crawled out of.

 

“Okay, so there’s nothing out of the ordinary here,” Namjoon looks over at him and Jeongguk nods, immediately agreeing. “Would love to see the sealed files, though. How fast do you think you’ll have them?”

 

“Probably within the next week,” Minsu replies. “Before your scheduled court date, that’s for sure.”

 

Namjoon nods, looking satisfied. He leans back into his chair. “Good,” he says. “We’ll need those as quickly as possible. Those documents might just save us a whole lot of trouble.”

 

Minsu nods and then the corners of his lips twitch and he smirks, looking very proud of himself for a moment. “Maybe,” he agrees, reaching for another file. “But I think I’ve stumbled across something better.”

 

Jeongguk’s eyebrow arches and he straightens in his seat, his heartbeat quickening again. “Oh yeah? And what’s that?”

 

He stupidly crosses his fingers underneath the table and he prays it’s an affair, prays it’s something that will actually be useful and substantial in court and—

 

Ding, ding, ding.

 

Minsu opens a file full of photos, and Jeongguk immediately recognizes Park Jiyeon with a man, late at night, in front of a five star hotel. He can’t tell who the man is as the photos are taken at night and looking quite blurry, but it doesn’t really matter — it’s enough.

 

It’s more than enough.

 

Legally, she’s still married to his father, and this is still considered stepping out on her marriage. Jeongguk’s whole case flashes before his eyes and he could literally pop a boner just by thinking about how amazingly he’s going to paint his father as a widower who got cheated on, victimize the living shit out of their whole family and wipe that smirk off of Park Jimin’s face—

 

“She’s having an affair,” Namjoon says, lips stretched into a wide smile. His eyes twinkle as he looks back at Jeongguk, and Minsu just sits with his hands clasped over his stomach, looking very pleased with himself.

 

“How old is the most recent one of these?” Jeongguk points to the photos, trying his best to hide the tremble of his voice.

 

“Taken two nights ago,” Minsu says. “I couldn’t quite catch the man as it was too dark and all of the hotel staff have to sign a non-disclosure agreement for the VIP guests, but one of my men is working on getting the credit card info as I’m assuming that if she’s smart enough — and I believe she is, they’ve both checked into the hotel under false identity.”

 

“And when has the first one been taken?”

 

“Same night Namjoon-ssi called me to request my services,” Minsu says, licking his lips. “And as you can see, they look very close.”

 

“Good — this is good. Excellent, even,” Jeongguk says. His father was served the divorce papers only a couple days prior to the photo being taken, and he and Jiyeon were never officially separated. Jeongguk can barely contain his excitement. “I want you to keep following her while we wait for the sealed divorce case files. I want you to keep tailing her until our court date, see if anything interesting comes up. Can you do that?”

 

“Of course, Jeongguk-ssi,” Minsu nods seriously. “Also — I have people working on hacking her email. It’s extremely well protected, but it doesn’t hurt to try. I’ll try to get my hands on whatever else I can.”

 

“Perfect,” Jeongguk leans back into his chair, feeling the familiar, comforting rush of adrenaline flare up inside of him, and after weeks and weeks of agonizing over this, he finally feels — calm. Like he’s not slipping anymore. Like he’s finally in control. “Is there anything else we might need to know about?”

 

“Her background, daily schedule, list of people she’s acquainted and close with are all packed up in those two files,” Minsu points at the closed file cases which are sitting right beneath the divorce papers. “Everything’s been labeled so it’s easy to navigate, and of course there’s a double copy for everything. Well — quadruple, if we consider both of your copies,” he gestures towards Namjoon. “That’s about it. I have another meeting I have to get to tonight, but we’ll most certainly keep in touch.”

 

“Alright, thank you so much,” both Namjoon and Jeongguk stand up from their seats and Jeongguk watches as Namjoon exists the office to walk Minsu out.

 

He feels a mixture of emotions but they all feel so good, and Jeongguk can’t even hide the grin on his face as he stares back at the compromising photos, and his heart continues to flutter in his chest as he feels the bubbling satisfaction resonate within him.

 

This meeting could not have gone better — and even though the tiniest part of Jeongguk feels a little bit bad that his father is being cheated on, he can’t quite bring himself to care. What he cares about is protecting his family’s money, and seeing the look on Park Jimin’s face once he brings these photos of his mother with another man to the judge.

 

Besides, that’s what Jeongguk is here for. His father will get over it, eventually.

 

“A whole fucking affair, huh?” Namjoon grins as he returns back to the office, plopping down onto the chair opposite of Jeongguk. “We really hit a jackpot with this one. Told you my father wouldn’t just recommend anyone.”

 

“We really did,” Jeongguk hums, closing his eyes as he feels content spread through him. Then — his eyes flutter open. “It would be ideal if we could find out the guy’s name before the court date. But even if we don’t, these still look bad enough.”

 

Namjoon lifts up one of the pictures and snorts, dropping it back down onto the desk. “Indeed they do. You were right. She is a gold-digging whore.”

 

Jeongguk shrugs, grinning back at him.

 

“You really think Jimin set you up that night?” Namjoon asks absentmindedly, playing with one of the pens sitting on his desk. “When his mother practically walked in on you?”

 

Jeongguk feels his cheeks flare up and he shifts in his seat, the smile fading from his face as his lips press into a tight line.


“Yeah,” he clears his throat. “I do. Which is obviously my fault, because I let him. But still, it all felt too forced. I mean come on — first he’s Taehyung’s friend and then suddenly his mother shows up to his office at one in the fucking morning? Two coincidences in one night seem very unlikely to me. Especially coincidences that could make me look bad, not to mention unprofessional.”

 

Namjoon goes quiet for a while, nodding slowly as he thinks.

 

“Right — it doesn’t look good. And I’m not saying — I don’t know Jimin. I’ve talked to him a bit and I’ve also sat down with him, Yoongi hyung and Taehyung for dinner last week, and he seems like a great guy. And I consider myself to be a pretty good judge of character,”  Namjoon taps the corner of his mouth and his gaze slides away from Jeongguk, focusing on the wall behind him. “But just because he seems great, doesn’t mean he is. Doesn’t mean he wouldn’t pull all sorts of shit so he could win the case. I mean, you’ve seen these,” he lifts the divorce papers Minsu had brought earlier and tosses them back onto the desk. “He handled two out of three of her divorces, and he won both of them with ease. And those men weren’t nobodies — they’re all rich and influential and well lawyered up. But — just — it wouldn’t make much sense, you know?”

 

“What wouldn’t?”

 

“That he set you up. With his mother,” Namjoon explains, fidgeting with the buckle of his belt. “I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m just thinking out loud. Like, yeah — it would make you look bad and unprofessional, but what would he gain? It would make him look just as bad, if not worse.”

 

Jeongguk bites the inside of his cheek, eyes wide as he tries to think about it from a different perspective. It just — it doesn’t make sense. Two coincidences in one night, one of them being Jimin’s mother, just seemed a little far fetched.

 

“I mean, think about it Gguk,” Namjoon says, straightening up in his seat. “He’s the one who fucked you. Not the other way around. In his office. Just — no matter how you really put it, it makes the both of you look bad. It doesn’t really benefit him in any way whatsoever.”

 

Jeongguk pauses. He hasn’t really looked at it from that perspective — not because it hadn’t occurred to him, because it had — but because he was determined to make Jimin be the bad guy.

 

What Namjoon was saying made absolute sense — it was a solid, logical argument Jeongguk already had sitting in the back of his mind, profusely ignoring it. Just, for whatever reason, when it came to Park Jimin, Jeongguk wasn’t too inclined on using logic.

 

Maybe Jeongguk’s poker face was shit, after all. Maybe Jimin knew the effect he had on him — he probably had it on anyone he’d set his eyes on. Maybe he did it for the shits and giggles, just to humiliate Jeongguk. To make him feel embarrassed.

 

“Maybe it was all just one big mind fuck,” Jeongguk shrugs, crossing his legs. “Just a game to fuck with my head.”

 

“Maybe,” Namjoon says, tone low and serious. “And it worked.”

 

Jeongguk’s gaze slides away from Namjoon and he looks at the grotesque painting that’s hanging right above his head, focusing all of his attention on it rather than the embarrassment that heavily sits in the pit of his stomach. He knows it’s true — it did work. Jeongguk hasn’t stopped thinking about what had happened even though a few weeks had already passed, and he couldn’t really keep it from Namjoon, either. He’d tell him everything, and to be absolutely fair — they were working together on this case — anything that Jeongguk did which could have potentially put the case into jeopardy, Namjoon needed to know.

 

“But luckily, we have this now,” Namjoon gestures towards the stack of papers Minsun had brought in. “And it’s pretty incriminating. No matter what she and Jimin pull, even if it doesn’t necessarily win us the case, it’s still going to be a really bad blow for them. We couldn’t have gotten any better news.”

 

Jeongguk laughs as he looks at the photos again. He forgets about being embarrassed, about that night with Jimin, but rather focuses all of his attention on what’s in front of him — something that’s a solid guarantee that this case is theirs.

 

“I couldn’t agree more,” Jeongguk hums. “The gold digging bitch is going down and not even her son will  be able to save her this time. We got them.”

 

“We got them,” Namjoon agrees, grinning back at him.

 

———

 

Jeongguk is in extremely good spirits when they enter Veil, one of Hoseok’s best working clubs. He and Namjoon had already decided in the car ride on the way there that tonight was going to be a good night, and that they were going to get properly drunk and let loose in order to celebrate the good news they’ve gotten today.

 

They unanimously agreed not to tell Jeongguk’s father anything just yet, but rather wait until a couple of days before the court date. As fucked up as it was, the idea of Jeongguk’s father being freshly devastated from the news one he appeared in court seemed like a good idea, especially if they were planning on getting in judge’s good graces.

 

The club is already packed once they get inside, but it doesn’t take them long to find Hoseok by the bar. He’s there with Yoongi and Taehyung — and Jeongguk can’t help the lump that rushes up to his throat as he instantly realizes that Jimin might be here, too.

 

The unsettling feeling quickly dissolves once Jeongguk remembers the pictures of Jimin’s mother with another man, and, if anything — he kind of wishes he would see Jimin here somewhere, just so he could silently gloat.

 

“Jeonggukie,” Hoseok face lights up and he rushes over to him and Namjoon, immediately pulling him into a smothering hug that leaves Jeongguk breathless for a couple of seconds. Rolling his eyes, Jeongguk wraps his arms around his hyung and lets Hoseok suffocate him to death. He’s wearing a dark purple velvet suit, and he smells exactly how Jeongguk remembers he does — all musky and dark. Jeongguk had missed him a lot more than he was willing to admit. “I’ve missed you.”

 

Hoseok pulls back and immediately throws himself at Namjoon who deeply sighs as he pats Hoseok’s back, trying to push him away before he too gets strangled.

 

“Where have you been,” Jeongguk asks as Hoseok lets go of Namjoon and hands them both a drink. “I’ve been here for a fuckin’ month and your phone wasn’t even on.”

 

Hoseok rolls his eyes, impatiently tapping his foot. “I was resting,” he explains. “And my sugar daddy had business he needed to take care of, so it was a win-win.”

 

“I can’t believe you’re still on your sugar daddy bullshit,” Namjoon sighs and takes a sip from his drink. “You and your family are one of the richest people in Korea.”

 

“Getting things for free while the money from your business just flows in is how you stay rich, Namjoon-ah,” Hoseok taps his temple with his index finger, tilting his brows. “Why would I spent my own money when there’s someone out there willing to spend theirs on me?”

 

Jeongguk laughs and downs his vodka-soda, looking around the club. It’s been remodeled and there’s neon purple everywhere, there are dancers hanging from the fucking ceiling, and Jeongguk knows that once it’s past midnight, this place will turn into a fucking sin.

 

“Have the back rooms been remodeled too?” He asks Hoseok just so he wouldn’t have to listen to him and Namjoon bicker anymore.

 

“What? Oh yeah,” Hoseok smiles sheepishly. “There are actual beds inside there now. You know, just in case.”

 

Jeongguk’s eyes widen. “Hyung. You’re not telling me you’re diving into prostitution—”

 

“It’s not for the damn strippers, Jeongguk-ah,” Hoseok snorts, lightly swatting at Jeongguk’s shoulder. “I don’t run a brothel. It’s for the VIP’s, you know — to give people some privacy. And I’m also sick and tired of everyone fucking in the goddamn bathrooms.”

 

“Oh,” Jeongguk feels a wave of relief, laughing as Hoseok hands him another drink. He doesn’t even remember how many times he’s had sex in one of the club’s bathrooms, and he almost feels bad for whoever had to clean up that place in the morning. “Good call.”

 

“It actually is,” Namjoon agrees. “Can’t even tell you the amount of times Jin and I had to use the bathroom in here.”

 

Hoseok looks as if someone had just puked on his shoes. “I did not need to be reminded of that.”

 

Jeongguk and Namjoon burst into laughter as the three of them slowly walk towards Yoongi and Taehyung, and Hoseok gently tugs on the sleeve of Jeongguk’s suit, pulling him back a little as Namjoon approaches the two by himself.

 

“By the way, that Park Jimin guy, he’s going to be here,” Hoseok mumbles quietly, looking genuinely apologetic. “Yoongi asked me because that’s his boyfriend’s best friend and you know me — I can’t say no to Yoongi. But don’t worry, I’ll make sure the two of you don’t cross paths tonight. I gave you and Joon and Jin hyung completely separate booths—”

 

“Hyung, it’s actually okay,” Jeongguk smiles and reassuringly squeezes Hoseok’s shoulder. “I actually wouldn’t mind seeing the bastard. Especially considering the good new Joon and I got from the PI tonight.”

 

“Oh?” Hoseok tilts his eyebrows. “Things are looking up?”

 

“More than you know,” Jeongguk winks and pulls Hoseok towards Yoongi and Taehyung. “So don’t worry about it. Taehyung-ssi, hello.”

 

“Jeongguk-ssi,” Taehyung gives him a wide smile and a polite bow, and Yoongi just gives him a light pat on the back. “How have you been?”

 

“Pretty good, and yourself?” Jeongguk replies in his friendliest voice, and truth be told — he actually doesn’t feel any hostility towards Taehyung. If anything, he’s liked the guy since he had first met him.

 

“I’m glad! Pretty good, a bit tired since I finished shooting like an hour or so ago,” Taehyung points at his face. “Hence all the glitter on my face.”

 

“It looks good on you,” Jeongguk says politely. “Oh and hyung — I didn’t know you were into space buns, too.”

 

Yoongi’s leaned against the bar with his eyes closed as he slightly moves his body to the beat of the music. He doesn’t look one bit interested in what’s going around him and Jeongguk would lie if he said the space buns didn’t actually suit him.

 

Yoongi pops one eye open. “I’m not,” he licks his lips and closes his eye again. “It was Tae’s idea. He says they look good on me.”

 

“Wouldn’t you say that they do?” Taehyung asks curiously and Jeongguk almost wants to laugh at how entirely opposite the two of them look. Especially considering Yoongi’s in all black while Taehyung is wearing a pastel pink suit that matches his hair. Jeongguk is just about to agree when Taehyung’s phone lights up in his hand and he smiles brightly, turning towards Yoongi. “Chim’s here,” he chirps and then his smile fades as he turns back to Jeongguk. “I’m uh — I’m sorry, Jimin is here and I inv—”

 

“That’s fine,” Jeongguk ignores the way his heart flutters and his lips curl into a tiny smile. “I’ll stay here with Yoongi hyung,” he adds as Taehyung quickly walks away.

 

“So, you and Jimin fucked, huh?” Yoongi’s eyes flutter open as Jeongguk settles on the barstool next to him. “How was it?”

 

“I like lawyers,” Jeongguk shrugs. “Not too memorable, considering I can’t really recall.”

 

He’s lying through his teeth, but Yoongi doesn’t really need to know that. Jeongguk does his best to ignore the way his stomach tightens as the events of that night flash before his eyes, and he doesn’t even want to acknowledge the way his knees feel all weak even though he’s sitting down.

 

“Really?” Yoongi’s eye pops open again and he arches his brow, body turning to face Jeongguk. “That’s not what I heard. Well, at least from Taehyung.”

 

“What did you hear?” Jeongguk tries to keep his voice as even and disinterested as possible, and he kind of wishes Yoongi would close his eyes again, just in case.

 

“I heard that Jimin liked it,” Yoongi shrugs. “Liked it so much in fact, that he talked about wanting to do it again. But you did not hear this from me. Taehyung would kill me if he knew I said anything. I only know because I overheard them talking.”

 

Jeongguk hates the way his heart flutters inside of his chest, absolutely despises the way heat coils up in his abdomen and the way his skin breaks out into goosebumps as he thinks of — doing it again.

 

He shouldn’t — it’s not something he should be thinking of doing, especially not again — not when he got so easily played the first time.

 

And this — he said she said, makes Jeongguk feel pretty fucking juvenile. But still, he can’t really help but let it go right to his ego. If Jimin had said that to Taehyung, he probably meant it. At least to an extent, no matter what his actual motive was.

 

Jeongguk squirms in his barstool. The club is packed but he wasn’t feeling necessarily hot up until right now, and he runs his fingers through his hair, sweeping it away from his forehead. He orders another vodka-soda, bouncing his leg as he waits for Taehyung and Jimin to come.

 

It’s funny how his mood and confidence shifted the second he realized he has the upper hand in this case now — and it might be petty and it might be childish, but if Jimin wants to play games, Jeongguk feels more than willing to play right now. Only he doesn’t feel like being the one getting played anymore.

 

Jeongguk’s jaw almost drops once his gaze shifts to Jimin — his silver hair swept back and his suit and tie fitting so tightly against his body that all Jeongguk wants to do is rip it all off him. His eyes are bright and shiny until his gaze settles on Jeongguk — darkening so instantly it sends shivers down his spine.

 

He likes it. Jeongguk likes the way his back arches almost instantly once their eyes lock, the way heat pools and spreads all throughout his body, setting his skin on fire. Likes the way the hair on the back of his neck stands up as Jimin moves towards him, his lips curled into a smirk.

 

They’ve been expecting one another and Jeongguk licks his lips as Taehyung and Jimin approach them, feeling overly cocky and happy with himself that this time, he’s not showing any signs of weakness.

 

Jimin stops by to greet Namjoon and Hoseok, gaze sliding away from Jeongguk, his face lighting up as he gives the two one of the sweetest smiles Jeongguk has ever seen him give.

 

It’s so fucking — it’s beyond Jeongguk. He doesn’t understand how Jimin can look so goddamn intimidating and dangerous, so bad it makes Jeongguk’s skin crawl and then just shift so suddenly, so effortlessly, and look like an actual fucking angel.

 

He watches as Jimin giggles at something Hoseok says, and it’s so fucking adorable that Jeongguk doesn’t even know what to do with himself.  He takes his phone out and sips on his drink, ignoring Taehyung and Yoongi kissing beside him.

 

Jeongguk sighs at the way his fingers tremble as he takes out his phone, sending a series of text messages to Seokjin, telling him that whatever he’s doing needs to get wrapped up so he could get his ass over here right this instant.

 

“Jeongguk-ssi,” Jimin’s silky voice makes its way to Jeongguk’s ear, so unexpectedly close Jeongguk feels his hot breath as it hits against his skin. “Long time no see.”

 

“Hyung,” Jeongguk replies sweetly, watching as Jimin’s brow slowly arches in amusement. “Drop the formalities, please. We’re family, after all.”

 

Jimin’s lips twitch and he tilts his eyebrows, looking only slightly thrown off by Jeongguk’s comment. Jeongguk can’t help but be pleased with himself. It’s not really a crack in Jimin’s poker face — but Jeongguk can tell he wasn’t expecting him to react like that.

 

“Interesting.”

 

Jeongguk smiles and shifts his gaze towards the crowd that’s going wild over a song that’s probably at least ten years old, and he wonders if he should go out there and just find someone to dance with.

 

That’s what he would typically do — besides, once Seokjin arrives, Namjoon is probably going to be a busy man. Jeongguk could make himself busy, too. And maybe, just maybe it would be kind of fun to see the look on Jimin’s face as he watches Jeongguk grind up against someone else.

 

“Drink?” Jimin asks as he leans over the bar, intently watching him. Jeongguk feels the chills as they run down his spine, tingling at the low of his back.

 

“I’m good,” Jeongguk lifts his half empty glass, bringing the rim to his lips.

 

“Suit yourself,” Jimin grins as he takes a shot while the bartender hands him a drink. “Catch you later, handsome.”

 

What Jeongguk doesn’t expect is for Jimin to hook his arm with Taehyung’s and drag him all the way to the dancefloor, leaving him alone with Yoongi again. Yoongi stretches his arms above his head and yawns, shrugging as he looks back up at Jeongguk.

 

“They do this a lot,” he says disinterestedly, pushing himself off of the bar. “Let’s go to Joon and Hoseokie.”

 

———

 

Jeongguk is having a good time. A really good time. Such a good time, in fact, that he’d only looked into Jimin’s direction like… twice. Times ten.

 

It’s not important — he’s sitting with his hyungs, listening to Seokjin as he drunkenly tells them about how miserable the fundraiser he went to with his parents before getting here was. He’s happy and pleasantly buzzing with alcohol in his system, sighing as his phone starts going off inside of the pocket of his suit jacket.

 

“Fuck, it’s my assistant,” he mutters in Hoseok’s ear. “Can I use your office? This might take a while.”

 

“Yeah, it’s still behind the private rooms. Take your time.”

 

Jeongguk spends at least half an hour making phone calls to London, when he would much rather be out there dancing and listening to Hoseok talk about his trips. It doesn’t entirely ruin his mood — but it does make him feel a bit frustrated, especially considering his assistant could do all of this on her own, without having to call him sixty fucking times.

 

He sighs in Hoseok’s office chair, eyes fluttering shut for a brief moment as he waits to make sure he won’t be getting any more calls before he goes back out there.     

 

“Taehyung did say he thought he saw you walk in here,” Jeongguk’s eyes open and he immediately spins around to face the voice that’s coming from the door, gaze locking with Jimin’s.

 

His skin is glistening with sweat and he looks so goddamn gorgeous Jeongguk just wants to lick it all off—

 

“I thought it would be a good time for us to talk.”

 

“I have nothing to say to you.” Jeongguk watches as Jimin circles around the desk, hands shoved in the back of his pockets. “And I don’t want to hear what you have to say, either.”

 

Jeongguk’s skin crawls. Jimin looks like a wildcat that’s circling its prey.

 

Only, Jeongguk doesn’t feel like a prey right now. He’s the one who’s in control this time. He’s not going to play these mind games — not anymore.

 

“Are you sure?” Jimin stops, eyebrows arched as his lips curl into a smirk. “Wouldn’t you be out this door already if that was the case?” He takes a step forward and Jeongguk has to make a conscious effort not to push his chair back. “I didn’t tie you up, did I? I mean, I would if that’s what you’re int—”

 

Jeongguk shifts in his seat, brows furrowing. “Enough.”

 

Jimin grins but doesn’t say anything else, hands still carelessly shoved into the pockets of his suit. Jeongguk’s heart hammers against the inside of his chest and he just — he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand how it’s so easy for Jimin, how he’s so fucking effortlessly intimidating, how he doesn’t have to even try to compose himself and Jeongguk — he realizes he has his nails dug deep into the leather of the chair he’s sitting in, his knuckles gone white and he wonders if Jimin knows — if he can tell.

 

“So?” Jimin asks, taking two steps forward, placing his palms against the desk and leaning over it — invading Jeongguk’s space.

 

This time — he can’t control himself. He instinctively pushes the chair back.

 

Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

 

“What’s it gonna be, Jeongguk-ah?” He asks, eyes so dark they make Jeongguk’s breath catch in his throat. “You gonna stay and hear me out, or are you gonna go back to the party?”

 

Jeongguk doesn’t feel like he’s in control anymore. He just feels the cold sweat as it coats his back and his knees feel a little weak as he takes a whiff of Jimin’s cologne and — fuck. The air between them is dense and thick with anticipation, and Jeongguk knows he should just leave. Go back to the party.

 

He knows they have absolutely nothing to talk about. But — he can’t. He can’t get up, he can’t help the curiosity, and he most definitely can’t help the unsettling burn he feels in the base of his gut, even though he’d give anything to just have it gone.

 

Even though he kinda likes it.

 

He takes in a short breath, crosses his legs as nonchalantly as possible. Maybe — maybe he doesn’t feel as in control anymore. Maybe he never did. But Jimin doesn’t need to know that.

 

“Speak up, then,” Jeongguk says, clasping his hands over his knee. “You have five minutes and then I’m getting the fuck out. I’ve spent too much time in here already.”

 

Jimin laughs inaudibly, making the hair on the back of Jeongguk’s neck stand up.

 

“That’s fine,” he licks his lips, brushing his thumb over the lower lip. The heat in Jeongguk’s stomach boils, spreading underneath his skin. “Five minutes is all I need, Jeonggukie.”

 

“Go on then.” He gestures. “I’m waiting.”

 

Jimin’s expression shifts and Jeongguk can’t quite place it — but he almost looks a bit frustrated, as if he’s on edge. He wouldn’t call it nervous, but it’s the closest thing to nervous as Jeongguk has ever seen Jimin be.

 

“I — well,” Jimin runs his hand through his hair, sweeping the silver strands away from his forehead. “This theory you have going on — that I set you up that night, when we had sex — it’s bullshit. I had no idea my mother would come into my office. How fucked up would I have to be to have my mother basically walk in on me fucking a guy over my office desk, like—”

 

“I don’t know, Jimin,” Jeongguk shrugs, pursing his lips. “You tell me. Just how fucked up are you?”

 

There’s a flash of something dark in Jimin’s eyes and he laughs again, tapping his index finger against the side of his jaw. “Oh, I’m fucked up,” he says in a velvety voice, and Jeongguk digs his fingernails into the flesh right above his knee in order to stop himself from shivering. Jimin’s expression shifts again, his eyes softening. “But not like that, though. Not like, I’d-call-my- mother -to-watch kind of fucked up. I do love an audience — but not — not my mother,” Jimin’s voice lowers and his eyes widen, and Jeongguk absolutely hates how genuine he looks. “I brought you to my office,” he continues, “how do you think it would make me look if she knew that we were fucking in there? If it would make anyone look stupid and unprofessional, it would make me look that way. Not you.”

 

Jeongguk thinks for a second, lips pressed into a thin line. “Or that’s what you want me to think, because it all works out for you, then,” he shrugs. “You could just be messing with me.”

 

Jimin leans over the desk, his tongue sliding against his lower lip as he looks at Jeongguk through the strands of his silver hair.

 

“Baby, I could make you think whatever I want to,” he says, and Jeongguk can’t keep himself from shivering anymore. Not when Jimin is this close. “But not this. This isn’t something I’d fuck around with.”

 

“Why then?”

 

“Why what?”

 

“Why did you fuck me, then?” Jeongguk asks, cheeks flaring up as he shifts in his seat. “Pretty sure you were supposed to show me your mother’s divorce files.”

 

Jimin snorts, rolling his eyes while he crosses his arms over his chest. “Because I’ve wanted to bend you over my office desk and have my way with you ever since I ran into you in that fucking associate's bathroom,” he says simply. Jeongguk can barely sit still. “Because you’re fucking gorgeous, that’s why. And because you have a sharp tongue, which would be much more useful if it was used on my dick, rather than on me, but hey — it’s hot either way. I like it.”

 

Jeongguk’s breaths come out short and he tries his best to not look too flustered, to not look like he’s turned on just by Jimin speaking. He’s not sure which head he’s thinking with at the moment — but he tries to keep the one on his shoulders as clear as possible.

 

“And I’m supposed to believe you’d so stupidly put yourself in jeopardy over a pretty face?” Jeongguk squints, his nails digging harder into his leg. Stay calm. “How stupid do you think I am? I get it Jimin — you wanted to humiliate me. To throw me off or whatever. It’s dirty, but hey — we all play dirty.”

 

“Trust me when I say that I don’t need to play dirty or humiliate you to win this case,” Jimin’s voice lowers and he chuckles. It sounds almost threatening. “I’m going to win it either way. And yes — for a face as pretty as yours, I would put myself in jeopardy, isn’t that exactly what you did too, though? I’m pretty sure it’s not my personality you fell for, you’ve barely seen a fragment of it.”

 

Jeongguk presses his lips into a line. He’s right — about the last thing, at least. What he doesn’t know, is that there’s no winning the case; not with the information Jeongguk has on his mother.

 

“My mother — her values don’t represent mine. Her and I are not close, despite what you may think. I would even go as far as to say that we don’t even like each other very much. I’m her lawyer — yes, but that’s about as far as our relationship goes.” Jimin’s face falls and Jeongguk’s brows tilt as he curiously looks up at him. He doesn’t look like he’s lying — but it doesn’t make sense.

 

“Why are you her lawyer, then?” Jeongguk asks. “If that’s the case, why have you handled the majority of her divorces?”

 

“There are a lot of things you don’t know, Jeongguk,” Jimin sighs, looking away. “And I’m not entirely sure if you should know them — especially because you’re so unwilling to listen. I keep trying — I keep telling you things, Jeongguk, you just gotta listen. But trust me when I say, I don’t need to humiliate you to win this case. I don’t have a single thing against you or your family, this is just another case for me. And I wish you’d just pause for a moment and stop running before you let me explain myself. You don’t necessarily have to like me, but I do think we have a lot in common, Jeongguk-ah. We could at least be cordial.”

 

Jimin’s eyes are big and sincere, not an ounce of dominance in his demeanor. It makes Jeongguk’s shoulders slouch and the rock that’s been sitting at the bottom of his stomach disappears, and he bites the inside of his cheeks as he quietly looks up at Jimin.

 

He doesn’t buy it — not entirely, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that Jeongguk is going to win this case, no matter what it takes and no matter what happens.  So — there’s no reason for him to not let this go. Especially now when he and Namjoon know what they know.

 

“Fine,” Jeongguk says, getting up from his seat, pacing towards the door. He makes sure to brush against Jimin’s shoulder as he passes by, locking their eyes together. “We can be cordial. But I don’t trust you for a damn fucking second.”

 

Jimin’s lips curl into a wicked smile and every hair on Jeongguk’s skin stands stiff.

 

“That’s all I need, baby.”

 

———   

 

Jeongguk isn’t entirely sure why he didn’t just throw a tantrum and leave when Jimin cornered him in Hoseok’s office, but now he’s absolutely regretting it. He’s standing behind one of the bars at the club, hand shoved into the ice machine as he’s dripping in sweat, the club so hot and so packed that Jeongguk can barely breathe.

 

He isn’t sure if it’s just the temperature or the way Jimin’s up on a dance floor, grinding against one of the strippers, and Jeongguk isn’t sure he’s ever seen anything so fucking sinful in his entire life.

 

Jimin looks back at him, his thumb brushing against his lower lip as his lips stretch into a wicked smile, eyes locked with Jeongguk’s as the stripper presses her ass right against Jimin’s crotch.

 

Jeongguk feels his cock as it hardens in his pants, and he takes one of the ice cubes and presses it at the back of his neck, eyes fluttering shut as he feels the cooling sensation spread against his skin.

 

He’s dripping in sweat and he’s so thankful Hoseok cleared this bar from the bartenders, letting him make his own drinks and fucking hide away if necessary.

 

Jimin stares back at him and Jeongguk watches as he gently pushes the stripper away and slowly starts making his way towards him, hand brushing through the damp strands of hair that frame his forehead.

 

Jeongguk swallows around the lump on his throat, ignoring the way his dick twitches in his pants as his eyes follow Jimin. He ignores the way his heart flutters once Jimin steps behind the bar, and his fingers curl tighter around the ice cube that slides against the back of his neck.

 

The lump in Jeongguk’s throat intensifies as Jimin comes up behind him, almost brushing against the side of his face as he leans to take one of the glasses so he could pour himself a drink.

 

“I thought we agreed on being cordial,” Jimin’s voice is husky and hot in Jeongguk’s ear, and he drops the ice cube to the floor.

 

It’s getting harder for him to breathe, his breath is hitched in his throat and his cock throbs in his pants as he leans against the bar counter, trying his best to not shiver when Jimin is so close to him, when he can feel him.

 

“Aren’t we?”Jeongguk swallows. “Aren’t we cordial?”

 

Jimin chuckles beside him.

 

“Here, let me get that for you,” he puts his glass down and reaches for the ice machine, taking an ice cube out and gently pressing it to the back of Jeongguk’s neck. Jeongguk shivers — he can’t help it, not when he’s being touched like this, feeling both hot and cold at the same time. He can’t fucking breathe.

 

“I thought we were supposed to be cordial, Jeonggukie,” Jimin purrs into his ear and there’s so much fire in Jeongguk’s groin he feels like he might explode. “But I don’t know how long we can stay that way if you keep looking at me like that.”

 

Jeongguk clears his throat, his eyes dead set on the crowd on the dancefloor. “Like what?”

 

He holds his breath as Jimin rolls the ice against the back of his neck, slowly gliding it down towards his upper back. Jimin’s other hand tightens around his waist and then slowly slides against his lower stomach, traveling down until it reaches Jeongguk’s crotch and—

 

Jeongguk’s lips pop open and he feels the rush of relief and adrenaline swirl inside of him, the back of his neck go numb under the cold ice and his eyes roll to the back of his head as Jimin’s fingers curl around his clothed cock, and he doesn’t even know what the fuck they’re doing.

 

“Like your dick is hard just by looking at me,” Jimin’s breath is so, so hot against Jeongguk’s skin he feels as if he’s going to fucking explode on the spot. “And I know it’s not because of the stripper.”

 

Without thinking, Jeongguk reaches behind himself and rubs his hand over Jimin’s cock, lips curling into a smile as he feels it sit hard and heavy in Jimin’s pants. “That’s not the stripper, either.”

 

“No baby,” Jimin’s lips brush against Jeongguk’s earlobe and he unbuckles his belt in one swift motion, his hand traveling underneath Jeongguk’s underwear, curling around the base of his wet cock. “It’s all you. You’re so fucking hard for me — so fucking wet.”

 

Jimin runs his thumb over the slit that’s drooling precome and Jeongguk whines as he shakily tries to support his weight, knees trembling as Jimin presses his cock right against his ass.

 

He runs his hand up and down Jeongguk’s length and Jeongguk can’t stop his eyes from rolling to the back of his head, can’t stop the small thrusts his hips instinctively make as he tries to fuck into Jimin’s hand, can’t help the moans that fall from his lips as Jimin jerks him off with one hand and runs ice down his back with another.

 

There are so many sensations that Jeongguk is feeling all at once, but his mind is absolutely blank — he can’t focus on anything else other than how good Jimin’s hands feel on him, how he craves more, wants more, needs more, how they’re out there in the open, how anyone could come up behind that bar at any second, how Taehyung and Yoongi are right across from them, dancing only ten feet away…

 

“I’ve been thinking about you for weeks,” Jimin hisses into his ear, his hand steadily running up and down Jeongguk’s cock. “It’s been driving me crazy — I can’t — I can’t stop thinking about you, fuck.”

 

Jeongguk feels Jimin’s lips press against the nape of his neck and his skin breaks out into goosebumps, his lips feeling like fire after the ice that’s just cooled him down, and his cock is so hard and throbbing in Jimin’s hand that he’s not sure how much longer he’s going to be able to take it.

 

“I — someone could come at any second, we should…” Jeongguk’s voice morphs into a whine and he tilts his head back as Jimin runs his thumb over the slit, his heartbeat quickening inside of his chest as he feels his stomach clench around the heat that’s coiling up and he — he won’t be able to hold out any longer. “You’re fucking insane.”

 

“I told you I like an audience,” Jimin murmurs against his ear, lips ghosting over the skin. “I keep telling you things, Jeongguk-ah, but you just refuse to listen.”

 

Jeongguk’s mind is hazy with all the pleasure that’s bubbling in his gut, and he whimpers as he feels like he’s going to come all over the damn counter any moment.

 

“Jimin I don’t think I can—”

 

Jimin immediately pulls his hand away from Jeongguk’s cock and slaps it so hard it makes Jeongguk twist and bend right over the bar counter, breathing heavily as his eyes lock with Yoongi’s and he tries his best to keep it together and pretend like there’s nothing odd happening — like they’re just out there getting drinks.

 

The way Yoongi’s lips curl into a smile and he gently shoves Taehyung and subtly gestures towards the two of them tells Jeongguk that he knows exactly what it is that they’re doing — and if he wasn’t so focused on his breathing and ignoring the burning ache and pleasure that’s swirling in his groin he would probably flip them both off and walk away.

 

“I didn’t say you could come, baby.” Jimin hisses into his ear, pulling him by the back of his neck and turning him around so Jeongguk could face him.

 

Before Jeongguk can even register what’s happening Jimin is grabbing him by the jaw and bringing their lips together, trapping his lower lip between his teeth and gently sucking on it before entirely pressing their lips together.

 

It’s hot and possessive, like Jimin is marking his territory, like he’s making sure that anyone who’s watching knows that Jeongguk is his — and right at this moment, maybe he is.

 

Jeongguk kisses him back with just as much force, his tongue parting Jimin’s lips and hotly licking into his mouth, his hands running down to his ass before he pushes him away and zips up his pants, not even bothering with the belt.

 

He takes Jimin by the wrist and tugs him towards the direction of the private rooms, determined to make them both get off.

 

Jeongguk is too overwhelmed to think about who might see them or how fucking bad of an idea this is, he just wants Jimin inside of him, all over him, however he can have him. He needs him now.

 

Jimin doesn’t ask questions and quietly lets Jeongguk drag him towards the private rooms. The security immediately recognizes Jeongguk and he and Jimin enter the first room available, their lips immediately crashing together.

 

Jeongguk aggressively pushes Jimin’s back against the door, pinning his arms above his head as he kisses him back, hot and deep and wet, so eager to just—

 

“Let me fuck you,” Jimin whines into his mouth and Jeongguk laughs, wrapping his hand around his throat and pressing as he kisses him again, parting his legs with his knee.

 

“No,” he smiles coyly, hand wrapping tighter around Jimin’s neck. The smile that spreads across Jimin’s face only makes Jeongguk’s cock throb harder in his pants. “Tonight we do what I want.”

 

With that, Jeongguk instantly drops to his knees and messily unbuckles Jimin’s belt, forcefully pulling his pants down until he’s face to face with the head of his cock, licking his lips before he presses his tongue against the slit, licking the precome off.

 

“Fuck,” Jimin hisses and his fingers tangle in Jeongguk’s hair for a brief second before the younger locks his hands around Jimin’s wrists and pins them back beside his thighs, all while swallowing the head of his cock. “Jeongguk, fuck—”

 

Jeongguk doesn’t think much — he lets go of Jimin’s wrists and digs his nails to the back of his thighs instead, pushing Jimin’s hips further towards himself, his cock deeper down his throat.

 

He feels the gag as it forms at the back of his throat, he’s drooling from the corners of his mouth and with each push of Jimin’s hips Jeongguk’s mouth surges forward to meet them, deepthroating his cock as much as he can, even as his vision gets blurry with the tears that slowly start running down his face.

 

“Jeongguk,” Jimin moans and Jeongguk feels as his thighs begin trembling, and as his hips jerk upward so he could fuck into Jeongguk’s mouth, the younger smacks his ass, his other hand traveling down to his underwear, wrapping around the base of his own cock. “Jeongguk, Jesus fuck—”

 

Jeongguk’s throat burns and he’s not sure if Jimin’s even moving or he’s literally face-fucking himself on his cock but — the tears are running down his face and his groin burns with unreleased tension from earlier and Jeongguk isn’t sure how much longer he’s going to be able to keep this up.

 

Jimin’s hips inconsistently jerk and Jeongguk can feel the muscles on his thighs clench and the way Jimin incoherently moans — he knows he’s close.

 

“I’m — baby — Jeongguk—”

 

Jeongguk spills all over his hand and he gags as Jimin simultaneously fills up his mouth, come and drool running down his jaw as his whole body shakes while he tries to swallow and jerk himself off through his own orgasm.

 

It takes a couple of minutes for him to swallow everything down and he drops Jimin’s half hard cock from his mouth and looks up at him, watching contently as Jimin looks down at him with wide eyes, chest heaving as he tries to catch his breath.

 

Jimin immediately helps him up, licking the come and the drool from the sides of Jeongguk’s jaw, kissing him gently as he cups his face.

 

Jeongguk’s mind is hazy with pleasure and exhaustion and his jaw is slack and it fucking hurts, but he can’t help the way he feels all pleased with himself.

 

“You gonna run?” Jimin asks inaudibly, voice so quiet and soft Jeongguk almost misses it.

 

He drops his head down onto Jimin’s shoulder, shaking his head as he breathes heavily.

 

“No,” Jeongguk barely chokes the words out. “Not tonight.”

 

———

 

Jeongguk’s curled up on the couch, watching a variety show as he quietly eats on his couch. He’s barely stopped thinking about the other night and every time he does — he gets hot flashes and his back feels all tingly. The way Jimin almost got him off in the middle of Hoseok’s club, the way Jeongguk sucked his dick like his fucking life depended on it, and thinking about it almost feels as good as it did that night.

 

Almost.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t even try to reason with himself anymore. He knows he’d do it again.

 

He likes the chase, and he likes to be chased. And now — with the information he and Namjoon have on Jimin’s mother, there’s really nothing that should be stopping his fun. If anything, the only person who might come out humiliated out of this if it ever comes to it is Jimin — especially with how convinced he is the case is his.

 

Jeongguk almost laughs.

 

When his phone rings and the words Park Jimin appear on the display, Jeongguk’s heart hammers so hard against his chest he almost falls off the couch. Jimin doesn’t — hasn’t called him or talked to him after the night in Hoseok’s club and there’s a tight knot that ties itself in the base of Jeongguk’s stomach, panic flooding through him as he picks the phone up from the coffee table.

 

If he’s calling, it has to be about the case. Jeongguk calms down at the thought.

 

“Are you home?” Jimin’s voice sounds robotic through the phone, and Jeongguk’s heart clenches.

 

“Yeah,” his brows furrow as he kicks the blanket off of himself, straightening up. “Why?”

 

“Come down. I’m in front of your building.”

 

The call ends before Jeongguk can even ask what’s going on.

 

Confused, he rushes down with his heart beating in his throat, unsure of what to expect. He spots a black window-tinted SUV and the car honks as he exits his building, and Jeongguk quickly rushes towards it as he crosses the street. The passenger’s seat window glides down as Jeongguk carefully approaches the car, and Jimin’s face pops up, half covered with large black sunglasses.

 

“Get in.”

 

Jeongguk does as he’s told and narrows his eyes at Jimin, his heart beating so loudly at the unexpected… well. Everything.

 

“What’s all this about?”

 

Jimin turns the engine of his car off and sighs, leaning back into his seat as he looks up. He stays quiet for a moment before he sighs again, slightly shaking his head.

 

“You said you don’t trust me, right?”

 

Jeongguk nods, confused.

 

“What if —” he cuts himself off, taking a deep breath. “What if I want you to trust me? What if I gave you a reason to?”

 

Jeongguk blinks at him for a second, and then he bursts out into laughter. It takes him a couple of moments to settle down before he reaches for the door handle, ready to exit the car.

 

“Very funny, I don’t have the time to play your little ga—”

 

“Wait!” Jimin snaps and Jeongguk feels his hand curl around Jeongguk’s shoulder, squeezing tightly. “Wait — just —” he reaches for something in the back seat and takes out a large file, settling it down on his lap.

 

He stares at it for a couple of moments, almost as if he’s unsure of what to do with it. Finally, he picks it up and carefully hands it to Jeongguk.

 

“What’s that?”

 

“It’s my parents’ sealed divorce case.” Jimin says, voice flat, emotionless. “Do what you want with it.”




  



Chapter Text

Jeongguk blankly stares at the file in his hands. It feels heavy and it looks old, a little torn around the edges. He looks up at Jimin, but his expression remains stone cold, jaw tightly clenched and Jeongguk can’t even see the look in his eyes through the thick frame of his sunglasses.

 

He swallows, brows slightly furrowing as he looks back down at the file.

 

“What am I supposed to do with this?”

 

Jimin shrugs, his grip tightening on the steering wheel. Jeongguk watches as his knuckles go pale, and he lets out a sharp breath before he responds.

 

“Whatever you want, I just told you,” he says with another shrug. “Look over it, read it, study it — whatever.”

 

“And what if I tell you I don’t want to read this?”

 

Truth is — Jeongguk’s heart hammers so heavily against the inside of his chest and all he wants is to open this and read everything right now, right this second. But, he’s trying to keep it cool. Besides, it could be one of Jimin’s games again, and Jeongguk just wants them to remain even, at least for a little while.

 

Well, as even as they possibly can be — at least in his head.

 

“Then I’d tell you you’re an absolute idiot,” Jimin squirms in his seat, sighing as his grip around the steering wheel loosens. He takes his sunglasses off and looks him straight in the eyes, making the hair on the back of Jeongguk’s neck go stiff. His skin breaks out into goosebumps and Jeongguk doesn’t know what the fuck about Jimin’s gaze makes him feel so weak at the knees, makes his breathing all shaky and uneven. But he — he likes it. “Trust me, I’d want to see that if I were you.”

 

He would have the copy of this exact same folder in his hands this time next week — Jeongguk knows. And he knows divorce documents don’t just get sealed. But — he doesn’t know what Jimin’s getting out of this.

 

What’s in it for him.

 

“Alright, and what’s in it for you?”

 

It’s a fair question to ask. He’d ask this question regardless if it was Jimin or anyone else in this car with him — if anyone from the opposing counsel ever gave him anything he could in any way interpret as useful, they’d usually want something in return.

 

Jimin tosses his head back and huffs out a little laugh, and Jeongguk carefully watches the exposed skin of his neck, swallowing heavily as Jimin’s lips curl into a smile.

 

“Interestingly enough, nothing,” he says simply, then his expression shifts. “Well — you could say I might have some personal gain. In a way. I’m not entirely sure but —” Jimin’s voice briefly drifts off and his gaze slides away, and he stares through the windshield for a couple of moments. “But I’m hoping this will make you at least willing to listen.”

 

Jeongguk scoffs, rolling his eyes as he shifts in his seat.

 

“Listen to who? To you? Why does it even matter?” He tilts his eyebrows, shrugging. “Me listening. We’re not on the same team, you’re after my father’s money—”

 

“See what I mean?” Jimin sighs impatiently, running his fingers through his hair. “You don’t ever want to listen. I don’t give a shit about your father’s money — it’s not like I’ll see a single won of it. I only care about the money I’ll earn from this case. My mother is a high profile client and me winning this will be a good look for the firm.”

 

Jeongguk scoffs. As if.

 

“Just — look over it,” Jimin ignores him. “You’re smart Jeongguk, really fucking smart. You’ll draw your own conclusions from this and then you’ll try to understand some things. Hopefully.”

 

Jimin frowns at the last bit, as if he’s not entirely sure whether Jeongguk is going to try to understand whatever it is that he needs him to. Jeongguk feels quite apprehensive but his skin is itching with the burning curiosity and he can’t wait to see what’s inside the file.

 

He doesn’t know what compelled Jimin to give him this and he sure as hell doesn’t trust him for a single second, but he can’t help the curiosity. He doesn’t care for understanding whatever it is that’s inside — if Jeongguk’s being completely honest, he just wants the dirt. Any he can get his hands on.

 

And if Jimin — if he’s willing to give it to him, then Jeongguk is not going to say no. Still, he can’t help but feel like Jimin is going to want something in return, that this somehow benefits him. He pushes the thought away, for now. He’ll cross that bridge when and if he gets to it.

 

“Alright,” Jeongguk shrugs, his fingers tightening around the edges of the file. “I’ll look over it. Can’t promise I’ll try to understand anything, though. Also — this doesn’t make me trust you one bit. So don’t get it twisted.”

 

Jimin’s eyes darken and he clenches his jaw, sharply blowing the air out through his nose.

 

“It could be a start,” Jimin says, voice low and silky.

 

“Why?” Jeongguk asks, returning the gaze he hopes to be as equally as intimidating. He doesn’t  think it is — not once he painfully realizes he’s in his Sanji t-shirt he’s owned since he was seventeen, and in his stained sweatpants. “Why would you give me this? Why do you want me to trust you?”

 

Jimin takes a deep breath, staring at Jeongguk with his piercing gaze. His features soften a bit as he tilts his head to the side, rubbing the back of his neck.

 

“That’s what I’m still trying to figure out.”

 

Jeongguk’s heart flutters in his chest and his gaze drops, his palms feeling a little sweaty and he digs his nails deeper into the file. He’s not sure why he’s nervous — what about this is making him nervous, but again, a feeling that all of this feels a little too personal awakens in Jeongguk, and he squirms in the passenger’s seat.

 

“You do know that what happened the other day—”

 

“— didn’t mean anything?” Jimin interrupts before Jeongguk can finish his sentence. “Yeah, I’m aware. Thought that was clear.”

 

Jeongguk feels a sharp sting in his gut and his heart clenches, even though, yeah — that’s exactly what he was going to say.

 

“Okay, then.”

 

“Okay.”

 

There’s silence before Jeongguk realizes he should probably leave the car right about now. But for some reason, he can’t look away from Jimin.

 

“None of it means anything, right?” Jimin’s smile is sly and the arch of his brow is almost mocking, and Jeongguk swallows heavily, ignoring the tight curl of his gut.

 

“Right.”

 

Jimin bites down on his lower lip, slowly nodding his head.

 

“Alright, Jeongguk-ah,” he says. “You can get out of my car now. I have to go back to work. Can’t spend the whole day entertaining you while you’re wearing that greasy Sanji shirt. Can’t even take you seriously.”

 

It takes Jeongguk a whole minute to realize that Jimin — he’s joking. His tone is light and playful, and he looks exactly like he had looked that day when they first met.

 

He’s so fucking cute. His eyes crinkle when he flashes Jeongguk a genuine smile and Jeongguk can feel his heart flutter and he, fuck — he smiles right back.

 

Worse, he giggles.

 

He giggles because his shirt is greasy and he looks fucking awful.

 

“Fuck off, hyung,” Jeongguk mocks, rolling his eyes. “Sanji is the best.”

 

He reaches for the door handle and lightly hops out of the SUV, the file squeezed tight under his arm.

 

“I have a reputation to keep up,” Jimin laughs as Jeongguk closes the door, and the passenger seat window immediately starts rolling down. “Oh and, Jeongguk.”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“You’ll be the one tracking me down next time,” Jimin’s voice is low and even, eyes dark and serious. Jeongguk almost shivers. “Trust me.”

 

Jimin starts the engine and speeds off before Jeongguk can even think to say anything.

 

———

 

Jeongguk’s hands are trembling once he’s back inside the apartment, fingers shakily opening the hardcovers. There are a lot of papers inside, and Jeongguk is literally buzzing with excitement. His heart beats fast in his chest, he holds his breath as he takes all of the papers out on his desk, eyes immediately scanning over all the information.

 

The divorce happened twenty years ago, right when Jimin was around ten years old. Jeongguk’s eyes scan through a bunch of useless information, not stopping until he finds what he’s looking for, the actual reason the files are sealed.

 

He’s not entirely sure what to expect — even though domestic violence was probably the first thing that popped into his head when he’d heard that the files were sealed. Still, Jeongguk searches the papers and—  

 

And — there’s nothing.

 

Jeongguk blinks in surprise, confused as he stands bent over his desk, trying to figure out what it is that he’d missed or overlooked. There’s nothing unusual in the file, except for the fact that Jimin’s mother got sole custody of him, even though there was seemingly no real reason for that.

 

She got the apartment and the car and Jimin’s father got, well — nothing.

 

Jeongguk frowns at the papers, trying to figure out what it is that he’s missing. If there’s some scandalous piece of information he’s managed to skip over. Jeongguk looks at the document dates, trying to figure out if Jimin’s purposely left something out, if there’s something, anything that would imply as to why the files were really sealed.

 

But the dates all seem to line up perfectly, there’s no documentation that’s missing, and everything looks fairly clear.

 

Only, Jeongguk doesn’t really understand on which grounds his mother got the sole custody of Jimin, since the only thing mentioned in the documents is that Jimin’s father is considered “unreliable” due to the fact that he’s unemployed. Which didn’t really make that much sense, but then again didn’t really matter, either.

 

Everything else is so perfectly lined up and clear and it literally makes no sense. If anything — the divorce was fairly quick and easy and there was not much drama to it. Jeongguk feels disappointment spread through his body and he leans back into his chair, sighing in frustration.

 

He taps his index finger against the corner of his mouth, thinking. The divorce is clean — too clean to have the documents sealed. There was no foul play, no domestic violence, no child abuse, nothing alarming that one would need to hide from the public.

 

So, there must have been another reason. A good reason. Jeongguk frowns, Jimin’s words from a little while ago replaying in his head. You’ll be the one tracking me down next time. He sighs, running a hand over his face.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t remember the last time he was this puzzled. He spends at least two more hours looking over the papers in detail before he finally gives up, shaking his head in defeat. As much as he keeps looking at the papers — there’s nothing. Everything is pretty much clear, except for the custody battle. All of the papers, and there’s a lot of them , are practically useless to him at this point.  

 

He spins around in his chair, fingers impatiently tapping against the polished wood of his desk. Jeongguk — he gets it. He’s curious, and that’s exactly what Jimin needs him to be.

 

It’s a good bait, he has to admit. Still, it doesn’t really help the fact that he now knows that these files aren’t going to do jack shit for their case. Jeongguk should have known — Jimin wouldn’t be giving him information as valuable as that, but he doesn’t really blame himself for assuming. Or maybe — Jimin needed him to be curious enough, so he’d offer him a deal. Or something.

 

There’s no way for Jeongguk to be sure, but he’s willing to find out. Curiosity is itching underneath his skin and he doesn’t know if it’s the lawyer in him or just sheer nosiness, but he has to know. And maybe, just maybe — some things will make sense.

 

He spins around in his chair again, still thinking. Jeongguk knows there’s more to the story. He knows. Otherwise those files wouldn’t be sealed just like that, with no valid reasoning behind it. He frowns, picking his phone up so he could call Namjoon. His father had always said — two heads can think better than one.

 

Just as he’s about to press dial, his phone starts ringing, Yoongi’s name popping up on the display.

 

“Hyung? I was just about to call Namjoon.”

 

“And I just about finished with some meetings which just so happened to be in your area,” Yoongi says lazily, sighing into the phone. “Figured you and I could have lunch. Catch up. Talk. Alone.”

 

Jeongguk furrows his brows, peering down at the watch that’s on his wrist.


“It’s nearly dinner time,” he says even though he’s already making his way out of the office and into the hallway, his eyes searching for his coat. “But uh, sure. Now?”

 

“Yeah, and I haven’t had lunch yet,” Yoongi insists, and Jeongguk can almost see the way his lips purse into a pout. “So if I say we’re having lunch, then we’re having lunch. I’ll be downstairs in like, five minutes.”

 

“Fine,” Jeongguk rolls his eyes, slipping his coat on while he holds his phone between his ear and his shoulder. “I’ll be down in two.”

 

Truth be told, trying to figure out what the hell was up with Jimin’s parents’ divorce case has kept him occupied enough that he hadn’t even noticed how hungry he actually was, and he could probably use some air. Maybe even poke around and see if Yoongi knows, if he’s heard anything.


It wouldn’t hurt to try, even though Jeongguk knew Yoongi wasn’t going to take it easy on him, especially not after seeing him and Jimin together.

 

He gulps and swings the door open, jaw tightening as a hint of nervousness settles in the pit of his stomach.

 

———

 

“So are you going to tell me what the deal is between you and Jimin or am I going to have to wait until you’re all full?” Yoongi asks as soon as they order, his chin resting in the palm of his hand.

 

Jeongguk carefully looks at him, studying his soft features. He assumes Yoongi’s been in meetings all day, but he doesn’t look tired — if anything, he’s glowing. When Jeongguk spends all day working, he looks like he’s been run over by a truck.

 

But Yoongi, even at thirty-four, looks good. He looks like a damn twenty year old. Jeongguk snorts to himself, making the elder questioningly raise his eyebrows.

 

“Where are the space buns, hyung?” Jeongguk teases as he uncomfortably shifts in his seat, knowing that he’s not going to be able to avoid Yoongi’s questions for too long. Yoongi never really let him get away with his bullshit, unlike Namjoon and Seokjin usually did. “They looked so cute on you the other day.”

 

Yoongi rolls his eyes, reaching to gently smack the back of Jeongguk’s head. Jeongguk can’t help the laugh that emerges from his throat, especially as the image of Yoongi from the other night flashes in his mind.

 

“You’re always so annoying,” Yoongi sighs exasperatedly, tucking his hands between his crossed legs as he scoots a bit closer to the table. “Taehyung likes them on me, so I wore them. They’re not that bad,” he shrugs. “But me and my occasional space buns have nothing to do with what I just asked you. So tell me, what’s going on with you and Park Jimin?”

 

Jeongguk silently watches as Yoongi accepts the meat plate from the waiter, immediately putting the pork belly on the grill between them. He listens as the meat sizzles and takes a deep breath, unsure of where to even begin.

 

It’s not like so many things had happened but they’ve affected Jeongguk in so many ways, he’s not even sure what to say. He’s kind of afraid to say it out loud — especially after his talk with Namjoon and what happened in the club the other night, and just seeing Jimin today and having somewhat of a… normal conversation — Jeongguk wasn’t too sure as to what he would even say.

 

Maybe, in the back of his mind, Jeongguk was afraid of what was going to come out of his own mouth.

 

“So?”

 

“I don’t know,” Jeongguk sighs, giving up. “Don’t look at me like that — I really don’t know. I don’t even know where to start.”  

 

“From the beginning,” Yoongi encourages, shoving a large piece of meat into his mouth. “Did you meet at your father’s settlement meeting?”

 

“Kind of. We met in his firm’s associate’s bathroom a little prior to the actual settlement meeting. I had no idea who he was. And you’ve seen the guy, he’s — well. He’s fuckin’ hot, that’s what he is. And we were both running on a tight schedule — obviously — and we kind of just decided to um, meet up when we’re done with the meeting to just go for a coffee or something,” Jeongguk feels the tip of his ears as they turn red, and he quickly takes a sip of soju. “I was so fucking stressed that day and then once I walked into that conference room and saw him I fucking flipped. He says he didn’t know who I was either but, uh — I don’t believe him. Or at least I think I don’t.”

 

Jeongguk isn’t sure whether he does or doesn’t — at least not anymore. Now that he doesn’t feel as angry about Jimin’s mother walking into the office that night and he feels good about the case, and he and Jimin have been… okay ever since Hoseok’s event — he just isn’t as sure as he was before.

 

Or at least, they’ve been cordial. Jeongguk didn’t jump down his throat in the car today and he… hadn’t put anything else inside the back of his own, either. He shudders, remembering the way his throat felt so tight around Jimin’s cock, the way he’d choke every time it would hit the back—

 

“Why don’t you?” Yoongi asks, tilting his head to the side. “Believe him, I mean. He doesn’t seem like a liar.”

 

“All lawyers are liars.”

 

Yoongi raises his eyebrows.

 

Jeongguk pushes the flashbacks away as quickly as they emerged in the first place, raising his eyebrows right back at Yoongi.

 

“He and his mother are after half of my father’s money,” Jeongguk says slowly, almost as if that’s going to help Yoongi understand better.

 

“What does that have to do with him knowing who you were before the settlement meeting?” Yoongi’s brows are pinched together as he flips the meat on the grill. “I mean, I get it — you’re paranoid and this is a really shitty situation to be in. I know you’re just trying to stay alert but, think about it — if they weren’t gonna settle anyway, he had no reason to lie to you about that, now did he?”

 

Jeongguk shakes his head. Technically, yes. But lawyers lie. They lie all the time.

 

“It’s like power play,” Jeongguk tries explaining, even though a slight sting he feels in the base of his stomach is telling him that Yoongi is probably right. “Basically. Like — trying to intimidate me. To show me that he’s one step ahead. You should have seen his face when I walked into that conference room, hyung. He didn’t even flinch.”

 

“Doesn’t that mean he just has a good poker face, though? From what Joon told me, you pretty much blew up on him right then and there,” Yoongi chuckles lowly, and Jeongguk clenches his jaw as he feels the embarrassment settle in. Definitely not his finest moment. “You probably should have kept your cool, like he did. I don’t think he’d lie about not knowing who you were. And even if he did, you still left with him that night we were all hanging out together at the bar.”

 

Jeongguk looks down, heat spreading across his cheeks, all the way down to his neck. When he spoke to Namjoon, Namjoon hadn’t really put things that way, but then again, he was always more mellow with his delivery of things regardless of how cutthroat he was in the courtroom. Yoongi, on the other hand, was straight to the point, no matter the time, place or the person. It was one of the traits Jeongguk loved most about him, even though he didn’t always know how to deal with it.

 

When Yoongi puts that way, Jeongguk realizes how irrational and ridiculous everything might seem to someone from an outside perspective. If Jeongguk were to really think harder about it, even Jimin probably thought he’s absolutely crazy.

 

But that goes both ways. If Jeongguk is crazy, then so is Jimin.

 

And Jeongguk wishes he could stay away. It’s easy when they don’t have to see one another, because even though he can’t actually stop thinking about him, he still has enough self-control to just leave it at that. He doesn’t need to pursue anything and frankly, now that he thinks about it — he’s not the one chasing Jimin.

 

He just doesn’t really know how to resist him. And if he’s completely honest, he doesn’t really want to.

 

“Yeah, and that was a mistake,” Jeongguk finally says, eyes avoiding Yoongi’s. He focuses on wrapping the meat and shoving it into his mouth. Jeongguk doesn’t even regret doing it, just regrets getting almost-caught. Or getting played. Or both.

 

“Alright then. So I’m assuming Jimin was just helping you get the ice out from behind the bar at Veil the other night?” Yoongi snickers and Jeongguk feels the heat as is it curls inside of his stomach, the memories of that night still a little too fresh. “And you dragged him into the direction of the private rooms just so the two of you could talk?”

 

“Shouldn’t have done that either but — I wasn’t thinking. Or rather I was, just with the wrong head,” Jeongguk’s lips curl into a smile after Yoongi chuckles, but it quickly fades as he continues. “It was on impulse, I —” Jeongguk sighs, then gives up. “He’s good. He fucked me stupid, I — it’s the weirdest fucking thing but there’s something about him and I just don’t want to stay away when he’s around. It’s probably the thrill of it, knowing he’s on the opposing counsel and my hatred towards him is probably fueling this shit even more but — I can’t say I don’t like it. Guess I like playing with fire.”

 

It’s not an excuse and it doesn’t really justify anything, but Jeongguk is thirty years old and he doesn’t need to justify himself. He knows what he’s doing — for the most part — and he doesn’t really need lecturing. But, Yoongi isn’t really here to do that and Jeongguk knows that. He could use a second opinion. Or in this case, third.

 

“There is something about him, you’re right,” Yoongi nods his head as he chews around a mouthful of barbecue. “He’s got an attitude to him, and that whole lawyer thing going, you know, kinda like you — but he’s much more poised, in a way. No offense.”

 

Jeongguk grins. “None taken.”

 

“But still, if the two of you are fucking in clubs now, wouldn’t that be something you should at least… I don’t know, talk about?”

 

“Technically, we’ve fucked only once,” Jeongguk corrects. “And it wasn’t at the club, we did, um — other things there. We uh, fucked in his office.”

 

“Brutal.”

 

“And then uh — his mother. She came.” Jeongguk watches as Yoongi’s eyes widen and the elder almost chokes on his food. “She didn’t see anything,” Jeongguk quickly clarifies. “But it was like, one in the fucking morning hyung and she just barged into his office. Who does that? And he wants me to believe that he didn’t tell her to come—”

 

“Woah, woah, woah. Slow down. First of all,” Yoongi interrupts, shifting in his seat. “I don’t think anyone would invite their mother to um — watch them fuck someone?”

 

Jeongguk rolls his eyes. “It’s not like that. She came after.”

 

“Doesn’t matter,” Yoongi waves his hand. “Pretty sure nobody would invite their mother for some post-fucking whatever the fuck it is that you think she was there for. I for a fact know that Jimin’s mom is like, crazy or some shit like that. Taehyung told me numerous times and I don’t think she and Jimin are even on good terms.”

 

Jeongguk swallows. Jimin had said the same thing the other night — that he and his mother aren’t really close. There’s no reason for Taehyung to lie to Yoongi about it, but it still doesn’t explain why Jimin is the one handling all of her divorce cases. There’s something Jeongguk’s been missing, something Jimin was probably trying to tell him but just didn’t really have the opportunity to.

 

It’s not that he feels bad for Jimin — he doesn’t. But maybe, listening to what he has to say wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all.

 

“That’s what he said too,” he nods. “But I just — I don’t know, hyung,” Jeongguk sighs, feeling as if his wall is going to drop any second now. “I just — I don’t know. Fuck.”

 

Yoongi is silent for a few moments, and Jeongguk just focuses on the way his heart pounds against the inside of his chest. It’s so dumb — but he doesn’t even know how to explain what it is that he’s feeling. It’s always been easy for him to just snap — to express frustration or happiness; but feeling a mixture of things Jeongguk wasn’t even sure what they were… that was entirely different all on its own.

 

But, it was Yoongi — and Yoongi challenged him to express himself.

 

All at once, Jeongguk decides he’s going to try. Solely because he’s so tired of it weighing on him, and he needs to try and make sense of it sooner rather than later. And because he knows he’s going to be hunting Jimin down after this.

 

Might as well do it with a bit of a clearer head.

 

“Okay — I don’t know if this will help or if it’s going to confuse you even more but,” Yoongi rests his elbows on the edge of the table as he subtly leans in, “it’s true what I told you at Veil the other night. Jimin really did tell Tae that he’d fuck you again. The way he puts it, I think Jimin genuinely likes you.”

 

Jeongguk tilts his head to the side, trying to ignore the way his breath hitches in his throat. He feels the chills as they run down his spine, tingling at the low of his back. Jeongguk doesn’t like the way this piece of information makes him feel. He doesn’t like how it almost makes him feel… validated. Makes him feel good.

 

“What makes you say that?”

 

“Just,” Yoongi shrugs, gesturing vaguely. “The way Taehyung worries about him when it comes to you. Like — he’s constantly reminding him to be careful and to protect himself and all that shit — and it’s not that Tae thinks you’re a bad guy, because he doesn’t. He actually happens to like you, but you get it. Jimin is his best friend and if Jimin didn’t have a… thing for you, I guess, I don’t think Tae would be telling him those things.”

 

Jeongguk swallows. His gaze drops to his own lap and he realizes that he’s been picking at his nails the entire time. Yoongi has a point and the words go straight to Jeongguk’s ego. He likes hearing that and there’s warmth curling inside of his chest and his cheeks feel hot and he hates how good it makes him feel.

 

“It’s like…” Jeongguk’s voice drifts off and he looks back up at Yoongi who’s curiously looking back at him, eyebrows raised. “We don’t even know each other, you know? I don’t — I get it, but at the same time I don’t. I don’t know him. He doesn’t know me.”

 

Yoongi shrugs again. “Maybe so. But that didn’t stop you from fucking each other. The physical aspect of it all is clearly there, especially since you’re so quick to drop to your knees.”

 

Jeongguk frowns. He wants to say something back, but that’s the reality of it and Yoongi — he’s right.

 

“I don’t want to like him,” Jeongguk admits quietly, poking at the meat that’s sizzling on the grill. “On a level that’s bigger than just physical.”

 

He feels a bit like he did back when he was in his early twenties, and stupidly enough, he doesn’t think he’s matured much since then. There are many aspects of himself that Jeongguk has worked on but expressing emotion and letting himself feel things other than happiness and anger just wasn’t one of them.

 

It was terrifying admitting it out loud — that he doesn’t want to like Jimin on a level that’s more than just physical. Deep down, Jeongguk had a gut feeling that if he actually let Jimin speak, if he was to actually hear him — he might feel differently about him.

 

And that just scared the living shit out of him. Especially with the divorce and everything just hanging above his head.

 

“I get that. You’re scared because to you, this case is entirely personal.” Yoongi nods, clasping his hands together. “I’m just saying, you know,” he pauses, shrugging. “Maybe it’s not that personal to him. And if you’re that bothered or affected or whatever, maybe you need to speak to him and just let him know that whatever it is that’s been happening, really needs to stop. So whoever is pursuing who should just… drop it, I guess?”

 

Jeongguk’s gaze slides away from Yoongi and he focuses on a spot on a wall behind him. Yoongi is right, but that option doesn’t sit well with Jeongguk, either. Nothing sits well with him, even though he knows he’s going to cave and probably do whatever he feels like doing at the moment.


“I don’t know if that’s what I want,” Jeongguk takes in a shaky breath, brows furrowing. His stomach twists at the confession and he swallows heavily, ignoring the way his heart skips a beat inside of his chest. “I saw him today, you know. Jimin.”

 

“Oh?”

 

“Yeah. He brought me his parents’ divorce files. The ones which were sealed and Namjoon and I’s PI said he’ll get it for us in the upcoming week. He brought the files to me himself.”

 

“Wait — sealed? Why?”

 

“Well, I don’t know. I’ve looked through them but there’s nothing. Literally nothing. It’s was a clean divorce and something is clearly up with that. I don’t know how that relates to my dad’s case or anything but yeah, I’m curious to find up what the fuck is up with that.”

 

“And Jimin, he just gave the files to you? Out of nowhere?” Yoongi squints. “What did he ask for in return?”

 

Jeongguk pauses. Silence hangs and he’s a little too aware of his own breathing as he tries to collect his thoughts.

 

“For me to listen.”

 

Yoongi’s lips curl into a tiny smile and Jeongguk can’t help but think he looks as if he’s just won some sort of a game.

 

“Well, maybe it’s time you do.”



—————



Yoongi’s words echo in Jeongguk’s head for the rest of that day, as well as the next one. He’d called Namjoon up once he got home, quickly summing up everything that had happened that day. Similarly to Yoongi — Namjoon thought he should hear Jimin out.

 

Jeongguk knew he didn’t really have a choice. He was too curious to find out what it was it that was missing from those divorce files, even though knowing that he’d have to hunt Jimin down made his stomach tied into a million knots.

 

Like a coward that he pretty much was but would never admit, he’d even asked Namjoon to come with him, but the answer was simple and pretty much immediate — no. Jimin hadn’t given the files to them both, he gave them to Jeongguk, and it was up to him to figure out the rest.

 

Jeongguk’s toes curl up in his shoes as he looks up at the tall building, one of many in Gangnam. It’s Jimin’s, Yoongi had texted him the address that afternoon, and Jeongguk had been standing in front of it like an absolute creep for the past hour or so.

 

It’s not that he couldn’t just call Jimin up and say “hey, come down, I’m in front of your building”, but the fact that he would have to see Jimin face to face made him so fucking nervous he couldn’t even gather the balls to press dial. For the entire past hour.

 

He doesn’t even know why he had waited until it was almost eleven at night on a Friday to get here, but he had been making excuses to himself the entire day and it was just… not working out for him anymore. Maybe he was kind of hoping Jimin wouldn’t actually be home at this time.

 

The curiosity that’s been bubbling underneath his skin for the past two days pushes him to press the dial button anyway, and before he could even change his mind and end the call, Jimin picks up.

 

“Jimin. Hi.”

 

“Told you you’d be the one tracking me down next time. Got questions?”

 

Jeongguk nods, then realizes Jimin can’t see him. “Yeah. A few of them, actually.”

 

“I thought so,” Jimin replies lazily and the knot in Jeongguk’s stomach tightens even more. “So, when do you want to meet up? I have somewhere I need to be tomorrow but—”


“Actually,” Jeongguk interrupts, nervously rubbing the back of his neck, “I’m in front of your building.”

 

Jimin pauses. “Right now?”

 

“Yeah, like, right now.”

 

They’re both quiet for a few moments before Jeongguk hears rustling on the other end of the line, and Jimin finally speaks. “I’ll tell the doorman to let you in.”




“If I’m being honest I’m surprised you haven’t called me yesterday. I was going to give you a few hours at best,” Jimin says, eyebrows raised as he steps to the side in order to let Jeongguk in. “I’m also surprised you’ve decided to show up at my place.”

 

“I’m surprised you told me to come up,” Jeongguk doesn’t miss the way heat slowly starts pooling at the base of his stomach as his eyes meet Jimin’s dark and gleamy ones. “Thought you’d just meet me downstairs.”

 

Jimin closes the door behind him and gently places his hand on the low of Jeongguk’s back, making electricity spread through him. It’s innocent — just so he could direct him towards the living room — but Jeongguk already knows it’s not. Nothing Jimin ever does is innocent.

 

At least not when it comes to Jeongguk.

 

Jeongguk tries to ignore the way hair stands up on the back of his neck as Jimin barely touches him, feeling a little out of breath as he paces towards the nearest couch. He plops down onto it, just vaguely glancing around the apartment. It’s huge — Jeongguk can take that much in.

 

He feels a little frazzled, his thoughts running a little too fast in his head. Perhaps it’s that he’s too aware of how alone he and Jimin are, but also afraid to just… sit down and talk to him like a normal human. Jeongguk is afraid that he might like it. Or worse, actually like him. Might like him a little too much.

 

“It’s late, there’s no need for us to be discussing these types of things while out on the street,” Jimin’s eyes narrow as he sits down almost right down next to him. Jeongguk has to physically restrain himself from flinching. “Do you want something to drink? Like wine? Whiskey? I think I might have some vodka and soju too, but I’d have to check.”

 

Jeongguk shakes his head, swallowing heavily. He could use a drink — but he doesn’t really want one. He wants to do this as clear headed as possible, he wants to hear Jimin out and he wants to decide for himself what he believes and what’s bullshit.

 

Oddly enough, Jeongguk feels like he would want to give Jimin an opportunity to trust him. And he’s not sure how he’s going to do that, but he’s willing to try. He keeps reassuring himself it’s only because of the burning curiosity that hasn’t left him ever since he had opened those divorce files, and that — for at least right now — there’s all there is to it.

 

Even the tiny voice in the back of Jeongguk’s mind knows that that’s absolute bullshit.

 

He’d be lying if he said Yoongi’s words didn’t echo in his head too — followed by Namjoon’s from just days ago. Both of his hyungs seemed to think that being Kim Jiyeon’s son aside, Jimin was genuinely a good guy. And, well, Jeongguk trusted both Namjoon and Yoongi’s opinion. Both were good judges of character, especially Namjoon.

 

Still — it’s hard. It’s hard when someone who your friends see as a good guy is literally after your family’s money. Even though he does claim it’s just business for him. The case is too personal to Jeongguk, but he wouldn’t trust anyone else to handle it. Even though he’s not even sure he himself can handle it.

 

“No, I’m good.”

 

Jimin tilts his eyebrows. “So?”

 

Jeongguk takes a deep breath. “I read over the case.”

 

“So I’ve figured.”

 

“I don’t get it,” Jeongguk admits, pushing his pride aside and ignoring the knot that ties in the base of his stomach. “I mean. I do, but I also don’t. It’s — the divorce is too clean. Too clean for the files to be sealed. So why did you give the files to me? When there was practically nothing?”

 

Jimin shifts, crossing his legs as he leans back into the couch, arm laid out on top of the backrest, right behind Jeongguk. He’s hyper aware of it, but he makes sure his eyes stay focused on Jimin’s — there’s a reason why he’s here and he’s not leaving empty handed. Not like he did last time.

 

“So you’d come ask me exactly that.” Jimin shrugs, lips pressing into a firm line. “Do you have any ideas as to why that might be? Why the files are sealed?”

 

Jeongguk frowns. He wasn’t expecting Jimin to ask him about his theory because frankly, he had none and too many all at once.

 

“Not sure,” he finally says, brows pinched together. “All that came to mind was domestic violence or maybe child abuse but there’s nothing about it in the files, unless something is missing. Which I doubt. Everything looks perfectly in order.”

 

Jimin shakes his head, a sad smile spreading across his lips. “No. Definitely not domestic violence nor child abuse, but it’s not good. The divorce in itself was clean, though.”

 

“Then how come your mom got sole custody of you?” Jeongguk asks, shifting in his seat. The nervousness he felt in Jimin’s presence slowly starts fading as he feels himself getting invested. It just doesn’t make sense. Any of it.

 

“Because my mother’s boyfriend at the time paid off the judge to give her sole custody of me,” Jimin says simply, eyes not leaving Jeongguk’s.

 

“Why? Did your mom cheat on your dad? Why did she—”

 

“Yeah, she did, but that didn’t matter,” Jimin’s gaze slides away from Jeongguk and he blankly stares at the wall in front of him. “To the judge, I mean. Nobody cared about what she did or what kind of a person she was or if she was a good parent on her own. The only reason she even wanted sole custody of me is so that she’d appear like a good guy in the whole situation and fuck my dad over. I obviously didn’t know at the time, but it all surfaced later on. Fucked everything up for me big time.”

 

Jeongguk stays quiet for a bit, unsure of what to say. Jimin’s expression is blank but his tone is soft, and he can’t help the way his heart twists in his chest. Without paying much attention to it, he instinctively scoots a bit closer to Jimin, their knees touching as they sit next to each other. He’s not really sure why he did that, why he moved, but Jimin’s eyes quickly meet his again, eyebrows tilted in question.

 

“I don’t—”

 

“It’s fine,” Jimin cuts him off, placing his hand on Jeongguk’s knee, eyes still focused on his.

 

His hand radiates warmth even through the material of Jeongguk’s jeans, but for what feels like the first time ever since he’d met Jimin — Jeongguk doesn’t feel like his gaze is intimidating. It’s intent and piercing, but he doesn’t feel shaken up by it. It all seems so… intimate. The look, the touch, the way Jeongguk’s first reaction was to close the space between them, even though he doesn’t know if that’s something Jimin would want.

 

Even though he doesn’t know Jimin. Or anything about him. At all.

 

It dawns on him for a split second, and he can’t think of an actual reason as to why he’d trust a single thing Jimin says. It doesn’t help that he sounds so sincere when he says things, but Jeongguk just — he doesn’t know.

 

Mixed feelings swirl in his stomach and for a brief moment, he considers pulling away. Jimin’s hand doesn’t move away from his knee and he almost feels as if Jimin’s fingertips are burning through his jeans.

 

“But why were the documents sealed?” Jeongguk presses. “If there was nothing that could really incriminate anyone, why would they be sealed? I mean, it’s all clean.”

 

He came here for answers, and he was going to get them. Whether he was going to believe Jimin or not was another story. Frankly, Jeongguk wasn’t sure what it would take for him to be fully convinced.

 

But, even more so, he had no idea how any of this related to his current issue, which was his father’s divorce case. Something was telling him it had nothing to do with it at all — but he still wanted to know. He was still willing to at least hear Jimin out.

 

For whatever reason.

 

“They weren’t sealed away because there was something incriminating there. For a long time, the records were public. My mother’s ex husband had them sealed when I was old enough to start getting interested in law.”

 

Jeongguk furrows his brows. “But why?”

 

“So I wouldn’t find out that my father wasn’t a piece of shit who kicked me and my mother out and try to leave her without a single won,” Jimin laughs bitterly, his hand shifting away from Jeongguk’s knee and running through his hair.

 

The spot feels cold all of a sudden, and Jeongguk finds himself craving for more.

 

“You could say that I spent around ten years or so without talking to my father, thinking he was a trash human being,” Jimin continues, locking his eyes with Jeongguk’s. It’s so painfully obvious how honest Jimin is — Jeongguk has learned to call bullshit a little too well over the years. But still — he couldn’t shake off his defense mechanisms, nor the reasonable doubt that was bubbling in the back of his mind. “Not that I thought my mother was the mother of the year or anything but — do you even believe me?”

 

Jimin’s gaze darkens and it catches Jeongguk off guard — he wasn’t expecting that question; not yet at least.

 

“I don’t — I’m not sure,” he replies honestly, because frankly, he isn’t.

 

On one hand, it all sounds so sincere, and Jeongguk wants to believe him. He probably even does, but — it’s just all confusing to him. He keeps thinking what Jimin’s ulterior motive could be, why it matters whether Jeongguk believes him or not. Why this whole story even mattered, especially if it had nothing to do with their current case.

 

“Do you want to believe me, Jeongguk?” Jimin asks, voice low and silky. He leans in, slowly and dangerously, but Jeongguk doesn’t pull away. “Are you even willing to trust me?”

 

Jeongguk holds his breath, his heart pounding so fast in his throat it might as well suffocate him.

 

“Would you trust you, if you were me?” He asks, happy with the way his voice comes out levelled and firm even though he feels as if he might choke. “Would you be willing to?”

 

Jimin bites down on his lower lip, his hand making its way to Jeongguk’s knee, sliding up to his thigh.

 

“Kiss me,” Jimin breathes and Jeongguk’s hands rush to cup his face, as if this whole time all he was waiting for was permission.

 

He doesn’t even think, doesn’t even let himself take a breath, just presses their lips together, sighing into Jimin’s mouth as he takes his bottom lip between his teeth. The kiss is slow but it’s deep, so painfully familiar it makes Jeongguk’s skin burn with want.

 

Jimin’s hands wrap around Jeongguk’s waist, travelling underneath his shirt, nails digging into the soft flesh of his skin. Jeongguk gasps, shifting a little as Jimin practically straddles his lap, running his hands down the elder’s back.

 

“Come on,” Jimin mumbles into his mouth, pulling at his shirt. “Let’s take this to the fuckin’ bed this time.”



———   



“See? This is how much I’m willing to trust you,” Jimin breathes into Jeongguk’s ear, his breath left to linger there, burning. His mouth ghosts over Jeongguk’s earlobe and he shivers, feeling as Jimin’s hand runs down his stomach, tightly gripping at the side of his waist.

 

The crimson blindfold stays firmly placed over Jimin’s eyes and Jeongguk’s breath hitches in his throat once he gently parts his lips and takes his bottom lip between his teeth, his hand slowly moving further down, stopping right above Jeongguk’s dripping cock.

 

“I just need to feel you,” Jimin says, pressing his palm down onto Jeongguk’s lower stomach. “The way you tremble beneath me, the way you clench around me, the way you taste. I don’t even need to take this off, Jeongguk-ah, I just need you to let me show you how much I’m willing to trust you.”

 

Jeongguk releases a breath, and it comes out sounding way more choked out than he imagined it would. He doesn’t even know how the fuck it came to this but — here they are. And Jeongguk is so turned on he feels as if both his mind and his dick are going to fucking explode.

 

His thighs are trembling underneath Jimin’s fingertips and he knows — he knows he can do whatever he wants. Jimin has a blindfold on and Jeongguk can do as he pleases but he — there’s something that’s keeping him paralyzed, right there at the spot, right as Jimin’s nose brushes against his neck, his tongue slowly tracing the side of it before his teeth sink into the soft flesh of his skin.

 

Jeongguk gasps — a loud moan escaping his lips and he digs his nails into Jimin’s shoulder blades, which only earns him a soft chuckle from the elder.

 

All at once — even though Jimin is the one who’s blindfolded, Jeongguk feels like prey. His chest heaves and it’s hard for him to breathe, and once Jimin grinds his hips against Jeongguk’s exposed cock, Jeongguk realizes he’s never really stood a chance.

 

“Fuck me,” he moans into Jimin’s ear, watching as his lips curl into a sly smile. “Take that thing off, do whatever you want just — fuck me.”

 

Jimin shifts, lifting himself up so Jeongguk can clearly see his face or — the lower half of it that’s not covered in crimson.

 

“No no, Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin whispers into his ear, his hand dangerously curling around the base of Jeongguk’s cock. “I already told you. I want to feel you.”

 

Fuck. Jeongguk’s eyes roll to the back of his head as Jimin’s fist slides up and down his length, his thumb running over the slit as precome drips onto Jeongguk’s stomach. He feels his muscles as they clench with every pump and Jeongguk just needs him to get inside of him.

 

“Shit,” Jimin hisses, his knee parting Jeongguk’s legs so he can get better access, lips brushing against the side of his jaw. Jeongguk shudders, arms firmly placed on Jimin’s shoulders, helping him maintain balance. “So wet Jeongguk, fuck.”

 

He can’t even respond, not with Jimin’s hand wrapped so tightly around his cock, sliding up and down in a steady pace, making heat pool in his groin, making him feel all tingly and hot.

 

“You’re gonna have to get the lube and the condoms baby,” Jimin presses their lips together, his tongue sliding against Jeongguk’s lower lip. “Can you do that for me, hm?”

 

Jeongguk frantically nods, then realizes Jimin can’t see him. “Uh — yeah,” his voice cracks around the edges and he doesn’t miss the way Jimin’s lips twitch at that. “Where—”

 

“That drawer on your right,” Jimin says as Jeongguk reaches over to the nightstand, clumsily opening the drawer as he tries to focus on keeping his breathing as even as possible while Jimin sucks at the soft skin right beneath his ear. “God, I — I haven’t even started fucking you yet and you’re already fucking trembling underneath me, Jeongguk-ah.”

 

“I’m—”

 

“You’re so sensitive, that’s what you are baby,” Jimin’s hand releases his cock and slides up the side of Jeongguk’s body, all the way up to his neck. He kisses him again, deep and slow, making it hard for Jeongguk to focus on getting what he needs  from the damn drawer because all he can feel is Jimin’s fingertips as they press into the soft skin of his throat and the burn that spreads like wildfire all throughout his body.

 

“Fucking — come on.”

 

Jeongguk finally gets what he needs and he slams the drawer shut, sighing into Jimin’s mouth as he continues kissing him.

 

“Here,” Jeongguk says, voice strained and breathy and he just wants — needs something inside of him.

 

“Gonna have to put it on my fingers, babe,” Jimin hums, face buried deep into Jeongguk’s neck.

 

His voice vibrates against Jeongguk’s skin, resonating deep within him, making his cock twitch. He’s not wearing a blindfold but he can’t even see, his vision too blurry with anticipation. If he wasn’t so damn turned on, he’d be embarrassed . He pops the lube bottle open and shakily takes Jimin’s hand, coating his fingers one by one.

 

The corners of Jimin’s lips curl into a smirk and Jeongguk swears that even with the blindfold on, Jimin can see him. He can see right fucking through him.

 

Jimin taps against the side of his hips and Jeongguk’s skin feels like it’s on fire, he can barely breathe and he just—

 

“Turn around,” Jimin says softly and it takes Jeongguk less than a second to get on his hands and knees, breathing heavily as he feels his thighs shake while Jimin runs his hand down his back. “Good. That’s just right. Good.”

 

Jimin’s fingertips feel electrifying against his skin and his breathing gets more ragged as Jimin’s hand travels closer to his lower back, sliding right between his cheeks, fingers gently circling around his rim.

 

Jeongguk lets out something between a gasp and a moan, pushing his hips further towards Jimin, making him chuckle.

 

“Come on,” Jeongguk hisses irritably, shifting clumsily as his thighs clench once Jimin presses his thumb against his rim. “Just fuck me already before I tie you up and fuck myself instead.”

 

He feels Jimin as he stiffens behind him and then there’s a firm hand wrapped around the back of his neck, pinning him down into the pillows, knocking the air out of his lungs. Jimin’s finger pushes past his rim and Jeongguk squirms, eyes rolling to the back of his head as he feels the familiar burn inside of him, making him arch his back.

 

"So fucking impatient Jeongguk, god," Jimin says, his hand still firmly keeping him in place while he pushes another finger in. "You really have a mouth on you. Be quiet."

 

Jeongguk scoffs and pushes his hips further towards Jimin, a low whine emerging from his throat   as Jimin's fingers curl up inside him. His cock feels wet and heavy between his legs and the burn feels so, so good inside him but he needs more and he needs it now.

 

Before he can even register what’s going on, he feels something wet press up against his rim and then Jimin’s tongue is circling around the muscle, pushing past it and — oh.

 

Jimin’s hands spread his cheeks further apart, his tongue pushing in and out of his hole, making Jeongguk’s pants hitch in his throat. It’s so overwhelming and he feels all of his muscles tremble and seize up, his cock dripping onto the satin sheets while he clenches around Jimin’s tongue.

 

He tangles his hands in his hair in an attempt to not touch himself, to just let Jimin do whatever he wants. He moans and whines and grits his teeth as Jimin works his tongue, and it feels so fucking good, but Jeongguk wants more, he needs more and he—

 

“Good boy,” Jimin’s breath feels hot and Jeongguk watches as he lifts himself back up, pushing his fingers inside of him again. “Such a good boy, Jeongguk-ah.”

 

“Shut the fuck up,” Jeongguk chokes out, eyes fluttering shut as Jimin’s fingers curl up inside him. “Shut the fuck up and fuck me.”

 

Jimin’s fingers are quick to pull out and Jeongguk can’t help the whine that emerges from his throat while he clenches around nothing, feeling a little too empty. He huffs, glaring at Jimin over his shoulder as if the elder can even see him.

 

“And I thought I told you to be quiet.”

 

Before he knows it, Jimin’s hand makes its way back to the back of his neck again, shoving his head back into the pillows while he undoes his zipper with his other hand. Jeongguk’s eyes flutter shut again, head buried inside the pillows as he breathes heavily, waiting for Jimin to put the condom on.

 

It takes him only a few of seconds, and Jeongguk could probably speed up the process if he turned around and helped, but Jimin’s hand is firmly wrapped around the back of his neck, and Jeongguk doesn’t feel like helping.

 

He does feel, however, the way Jimin’s cock brushes against his hole, teasing around it before he finally pushes inside, filling him up entirely. Jeongguk gasps and he feels the pressure as it builds up in his lower stomach, sweat dripping down the side of his face as Jimin starts works out a steady pace, hand still pinning Jeongguk down into the mattress.

 

Jeongguk’s moans are incoherent as Jimin rams inside of him, fucking him so good and deep he feels his mind going blank, his vision shifting from white to blurry, his breaths broken and he—

 

“It’s the only thing that shuts you up, isn’t it?” Jimin asks breathlessly, grip loosening around Jeongguk’s neck. “My fucking cock. The only thing that gets you to be fucking quiet.”

 

Jeongguk’s inability to respond only makes Jimin’s nails run down his back, and it feels so fucking good Jeongguk doesn’t even give a shit that it’s going to leave marks.

 

“Y-yeah,” he finally manages to choke out, whining as Jimin’s nails dig especially hard at the low of his back. “That’s what — fuck.”

 

Jimin rams into him with such force Jeongguk’s jaw immediately goes slack, tears gathering in the corners of his eyes as he brushes right against his prostate.

 

“Thought you were a big talker, Jeongguk,” Jimin purrs, pushing his cock out and then slamming his hips right back into him. “Then talk.”

 

Jeongguk can’t get a word out once Jimin picks up the pace again, his thrusts so deep he can’t even wrap his head around all the sensations he’s feeling at the same time — the way pleasure coils up in his groin, the way his cock leaks on the sheets beneath him, the way his back both hurts and burns from the scratches Jimin left and just —

 

All at once, Jeongguk’s vision goes white, his stomach burns as it clenches and he spills all over the bed, shaking as his orgasm runs through him, barely breathing as Jimin continues to fuck into him.

 

“That’s right baby,” he barely hears Jimin huff out, and then vaguely feels as his thrusts become more and more all over the place until he buries himself deep inside of Jeongguk, hands gripping tightly at his waist as he chases his own orgasm.

 

It takes a few minutes for Jeongguk’s vision to clear and for his ears to stop ringing, and he registers as Jimin gently pulls out of him, making him wince a little. He feels spent and exhausted, chest heaving and heart hammering against the inside of his chest, thoughts too scattered for him to even think about what the fuck just happened.

 

Jimin’s silver hair is damp and sticking to his forehead as he collapses next to him, taking the blindfold off and throwing it onto the other side of the room. Jeongguk feels an odd sense of relief as he realizes how fucked out Jimin looks too, his breaths all choked up as he stares at the ceiling.

 

They lay like that, in silence, their breathing heavy and Jeongguk feels like this time, he’s the first one to recover. He shouldn’t do it, doesn’t think it’s a good idea, but he can’t help it — his hand reaches over towards Jimin, fingers sweeping his damp bangs away from his forehead.

 

It’s when Jimin finally looks at him again — eyes big and watery. They stare at each other for a few moments before Jimin squeezes his eyes shut, swallows heavily, and then opens them again. He shifts to his side and scoots over closer to Jeongguk, his hand cupping the side of his face. His thumb brushes against Jeongguk’s cheekbone, and it feels so pure and intimate, it makes Jeongguk’s heart clench.

 

“You just fucked me with a blindfold on,” is the first thing that comes out of Jeongguk’s mouth, making Jimin snort in response.

 

“I really did,” he replies, shrugging. “I’d do it again. You could have done whatever you wanted to me. I’d let you.”

 

“Why?” Jeongguk asks, fingers still tangled in Jimin’s hair.

 

Jimin takes a deep breath, looking away for a moment before he sets his eyes on Jeongguk’s again, gaze darkening.

 

“Because, Jeongguk, I like you. I like you and I can’t help myself,” he brushes their noses together, his breath hot and tingly against Jeongguk’s lips. “And I — I want you to trust me. For whatever reason.”

 

Jeongguk doesn’t say anything, just lets his hand slide down the side of Jimin’s face, down to his chest. The elder’s heart skips a beat as Jeongguk places his hand over it, and it that moment, Jeongguk doesn’t care.

 

He doesn’t care about anything. He wants to trust Jimin.

 

“Do you?” Jimin asks, voice hopeful. “Do you want to try?”

 

Jeongguk nods, slowly, reassuringly. He leans in to leave a kiss on Jimin’s lips, nodding again once he pulls back.

 

“Okay,” Jimin breathes, resting their foreheads together. “Okay. Then you’re coming to Busan with me in the morning.”













 

 

Chapter Text

“You could just park in the garage,” Jeongguk yawns, jumping out of the car.

 

It’s literally the crack of fucking dawn.

 

“You won’t take long,” Jimin says, adjusting his sunglasses. “Besides, I’m not sure how good of an idea it is for us to be seen together here.”

 

Jeongguk shifts his weight, nodding. It’s probably not the best of ideas for Jimin to park the car in their garage, hence why he parked all the way down the street.

 

“But you literally parked in front of my building the other day,” Jeongguk points out.

 

Jimin sighs, and Jeongguk can tell he’s rolling his eyes even through his sunglasses.

 

“That’s different, Jeongguk-ah,” he says. “It was a Thursday and I was giving you files. I could have just been giving you something related to the divorce case. And we didn’t drive off together. It’s different now. It’s the weekend and I don’t want anything or any one to tick my mother off. She did use to live here, after all.”

 

“Fair enough,” Jeongguk finally agrees, not pressing any further. “I’ll try and hurry up.”



When Jeongguk enters his apartment, he feels just a little out of breath. He needs to pack an overnight bag because he and Jimin are going to Busan, and the thing is — Jeongguk still has no idea why. Jimin told him to trust him, and Jeongguk is trying to do exactly that.

 

He’s almost surprised to see his father sprawled across the couch and eating breakfast once he walks in, even though he shouldn’t be, considering his father’s always been an early riser —  even on the weekends.

 

“Jeonggukie,” he calls, eyes shifting away from the TV, eyebrows raised in surprise. “I thought you were sleeping.”

 

“I didn’t even come home last night,” Jeongguk mumbles, his heart racing. It’s so juvenile, considering he’s thirty years old and it’s not like he snuck out, but considering what he’s been doing and who’s been doing him, he can’t help it. “Speaking of which. I won’t be home today or, uh — tonight. Actually, I won’t be back until tomorrow night.”

 

He hates lying to his dad, hates going behind his back with the enemy, but it was all so he could get answers. Or that’s what he’s still telling himself.

 

“Oh?” His father’s eyes sparkle in an unusual manner and he perks up, setting his bowl on the coffee table. “Where are you going?”

 

“Countryside,” Jeongguk says without blinking, crossing his arms over his chest as he carefully studies the way his father moves. Considering they’ve been spending these past weekends together and Jeongguk was making an effort, he was expecting his dad to at least look a little… not upset per se, but something. He definitely wasn’t expecting him to look… almost excited.

 

Something twists deep in Jeongguk’s gut, but he can’t really tell why. All he knows is that something feels a little off, but he doesn’t have the time to figure it out. He needs to pack his shit and go back to meet Jimin, it’s almost eight and there’s a six hour drive ahead of them.

 

He leans against the door of his room as he closes it and takes a deep breath, eyes fluttering shut. Something is off, Jeongguk knows it, but all that floods his mind the second he’s alone is the image of Jimin with a blindfold, the image of Jimin sleeping next to him, looking all soft and fucking pretty while he’s curled up next to him and all Jeongguk could feel was content.

 

Even this morning, when Jeongguk woke up before Jimin had with his heart pounding heavily in his chest because he just didn’t know what the fuck it was that they did last night, he was so quick to calm down once he felt Jimin’s arm draped over his waist. It was so ridiculous — he woke up in a state of panic, confused as to what everything they said to each other the night before meant, and his first instinct was to run.

 

He didn’t, though, and soon enough Jimin’s alarm went off and he woke up too it was… awkward, so to say. It’s almost as if Jimin didn’t even expect him to actually still be there even though they had fallen asleep together, and Jeongguk couldn’t really blame him; he didn’t expect himself to still be there, either.

 

But, he did feel something the night before, and even though he didn’t want to think about it like that, it’s exactly what was pulling him to stay. And maybe, just maybe, the fact that he had promised Jimin he’d try and trust him was still resonating within him, and the second their eyes locked that morning, Jeongguk knew he was going to go through with it.

 

He shakes his head and squeezes his eyes shut, pushing himself away from the door and rushing towards his closet and shoving clothes into an overnight bag, his mind still a little over the place. Jeongguk is a thorough packer and he likes his things well organized, but today, he just wants to go.

 

Stupidly, his heart races at the thought of seeing Jimin again in just a few minutes, knowing that they’ll be locked in the car together for the next five to six hours. It’s painful to admit that he’s actually kind of looking forward to it, that he’s actually excited about it —  but it is what it is. For god knows what time ever since he’d woken up this morning, Jeongguk tells himself it’s only because he’s a step closer to unraveling things, whatever the fuck those may be.

 

He changes his clothes and rushes out through the living room, only stopping to say bye to his father.

 

“So you won’t be back until Sunday night, huh?” He asks without looking at Jeongguk, eyes glued to the TV.

 

Jeongguk stops, his eyes narrowing as he carefully looks at his dad. He’s looking at the TV, shoulders seemingly slouched but there’s something about the tone of his voice that makes Jeongguk’s stomach twist with suspicion, and he knows that something has to be off.

 

“Yeah,” he says slowly, suddenly forgetting he’s in a rush to get back to Jimin. “You don’t mind?”

 

“Oh no,” his father waves his hand and his gaze shifts from the TV back to Jeongguk, and he can tell that he’s doing his best to suppress a smile. He just can’t figure out why. “You should go take a day or two off. You’ve been working hard on this divorce and you do deserve a little break. It’s important to rest.”

 

Rest. Jeongguk’s father has never ever been an advocate for rest — that’s exactly how he managed to build his whole empire. If anything, it was always his mother who was constantly reminding him to take a break, to remind him that vacations are important, and frankly, ever since she passed, Jeongguk doesn’t really remember his father ever resting.

 

He’d work even on his damn honeymoons.

 

Jeons didn’t rest, and even though Jeongguk had inherited his work ethic and discipline from his father, he was also a lot more lenient than his father ever was — especially back in his law school days. So, the second he mentioned rest, around a million alarms went off in Jeongguk’s head.

 

“Rest?” Jeongguk arches his eyebrow, his grip tightening around his bag so hard his knuckles go white. He feels a mixture of anger and irritation — as he does every time he knows he’s being lied to. Only this time, it’s his father lying to him, and he can’t figure out why. “Since when do you find rest important?”

 

He watches carefully as his father shifts, that hint of a smile that was there just a second ago entirely disappearing as he straightens up in his seat. His father opens his mouth to speak and at that exact moment, Jeongguk’s phone goes off in the back pocket of his jeans and he quickly snaps out of it the second Jimin’s name pops up on the screen.

 

Shit.

 

He doesn’t have the time for this. He really doesn’t.

 

“I’m coming,” Jeongguk mumbles into the phone before he immediately hangs up, nervously shoving it back into his pocket. “I have to go. I’ll be back tomorrow,” he pauses, running his hand through his hair. “We’ll talk then,” he says firmly, shooting his father one last look before he storms off through the door.

 

His breathing evens out as he walks into the elevator, and Jeongguk knows he can’t think about this right now, or else it’s going to mess up whatever it is that he’s agreed to do with Jimin. It’s not like he even has any idea as to what the fuck is going on — but he knows something is up and his gut feeling is telling him that whatever it is, he’s not going to like it.

 

Jeongguk rushes down the street and finds Jimin parked at the exact same spot, tapping against the steering wheel in annoyance.

 

“There you are,” he huffs as Jeongguk gets inside and tosses his bag onto the backseat. “What took you so long?”

 

Jeongguk pauses as Jimin starts the engine, unsure if he should be mentioning anything at all. It’s none of Jimin’s business and frankly — he doesn’t even know what he’d say, just tries to suppress the annoyance he’s feeling and not fill the whole car with tension.

 

They’ll have to spend the next few hours together and there’s literally no need for him to make it more awkward than it’s already going to be.

 

“You good?” Jimin asks, eyes narrowed and this time, his tone is much softer.

 

It makes Jeongguk’s back feel all warm and tingly.

 

“I’m good,” he finally replies, even making an effort to give Jimin a tiny smile. “Let’s just get going, yeah?”

 

Jimin’s gaze lingers on him for a second longer than necessary, but he’s quick to nod and hit the gas, not asking any more questions.

 

This was going to be a long ride.

 

———

 

“This doesn’t have to be so awkward, you know?” Jimin says right as they’re outside of Seoul, sighing as he glances over at Jeongguk.

 

Jeongguk shifts in the passenger seat, and for a moment it’s like he forgot how silky Jimin’s voice is. They haven’t spoken a word since they started driving, and Jeongguk kind of just spaced out in the meantime.

 

It was nice outside and it’s been years since he’d actually been somewhere outside of Seoul, especially with a car. Even though everything was plain and the weather was dark and cloudy, he still felt an odd sense of excitement, kind of like he was a kid again.

 

The second he stopped being so aware of Jimin’s presence next to him he just kind of… spaced out. Just kept looking outside the window, thinking about everything and nothing all at the same time.

 

“Hm?” Jeongguk snaps of it, eyes setting on Jimin.

 

God, he’s gorgeous. Jeongguk studies the sharp line of Jimin’s jaw, the softness of his cheeks and just — he really is the most gorgeous man he’s ever laid eyes on. And Jeongguk wasn’t the type to be easily impressed. With anything. Ever.

 

“I said, this doesn’t have to be awkward,” Jimin gestures vaguely, eyes glued to the road. “This. Us. Riding in the same car together. We could… I don’t know. Talk?”

 

It comes out more so as a question rather than a statement, and Jeongguk carefully watches as Jimin takes his bottom lip between his teeth, gnawing on it for a couple of seconds before he releases it. It takes him a few moments and then he realizes — Jimin is nervous.

 

Jeongguk perks up at the realization, his lips slightly curling at the corners. It’s barely noticeable but Jeongguk catches it — and he’s damn fucking proud of himself for managing to. He’s finally the one who’s really, actually, entirely calm and Jimin is the one that’s practically squirming.

 

“Talk about what?”

 

Jimin’s jaw clenches and Jeongguk’s heart jumps, and he has to restrain himself from actually laughing. It’s a small victory but it’s victory nonetheless, and Jeongguk’s gonna take it for what it is. Jimin doesn’t say anything for a few moments and Jeongguk enjoys every second of it — maybe this trip isn’t going to be so bad after all. Maybe he was nervous for no reason.

 

“I don’t know, anything,” Jimin shrugs nonchalantly, but Jeongguk doesn’t fail to notice the way his knuckles go white as he tightens his grip around the steering wheel. “Like, uh… Do you want me to put on some music? What kind of music do you like?”

 

Jeongguk chuckles. “Music. That’s what you want to talk about?”

 

Jimin huffs, rolling his eyes. “I don’t know Jeongguk, we’ve already fucked so that’s out of the way,” he hisses, and Jeongguk’s confidence feels a bit shaky as his cheeks are quick to redden at that. It’s way too early in the morning for this shit. “We’re gonna be stuck in this car for five more hours. Might as well, like, get to know each other and shit.”

 

Jeongguk isn’t even sure why he’s blushing — he’s never really been shy to talk about sex or anything related to sex, but this just hits different. An image of Jimin wearing a crimson blindfold while fucking into him fills his head and he suddenly feels a little too hot and bothered.

 

Fuck, Jeongguk hates this. He really fucking does. He hates the way it’s so easy for Jimin to push him out of his comfort zone, the way it’s so easy for him to fuck with his head without even realizing he’s doing so. Jeongguk hates the way he’s so easy for him.

 

“How about you tell me why we’re going to Busan?” Jeongguk decides to ignore everything Jimin had said thus far, getting straight to the point.

 

Curiosity has been eating him alive and yes — while he has agreed to trust Jimin, he still didn’t know exactly what it was that they were doing. Especially in Busan. Jeongguk hasn’t been there ever since his grandmother died when he was a kid.

 

“You’re going to meet my father,” Jimin says and Jeongguk’s eyes widen, his breath catching in his throat and it’s almost impossible for him to not choke on his own spit.

 

“I’m going to what?” He had expected pretty much… well, anything but that, probably.

 

His stomach ties into a knot and Jeongguk must look like a deer caught in headlights because when Jimin glances over at him, his features soften and he lets out an airy giggle, throwing him completely off.

 

It’s always so beyond Jeongguk. It blows his mind every time how one moment Jimin can look so intimidating and rigid and the next he’s just like looks like an absolute joy, so soft and pretty and—

 

“Meet my dad,” Jimin repeats, still laughing. “Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite.”

 

It takes him a second to bounce back from that information, but Jeongguk manages. He doesn’t even attempt to keep his poker face in check — it’s not like it matters. He was expecting pretty much anything but meeting the parents, and suddenly, nothing makes sense all over again.

 

There’s an ounce of anger just bubbling right underneath his skin, making him feel hot all over. He’s not even mad at Jimin — he’s more so irritated with himself and his lack of ability to figure out what game it is that Jimin’s playing.

 

He’s constantly on his toes and at this point, Jeongguk has nobody to blame other than himself. And it’s so goddamn frustrating.

 

“And why would I be doing that?”

 

Jimin’s jaw tightens and Jeongguk’s eyes narrow as he looks back at him, watching as Jimin swallows heavily before he speaks again.

 

He knows it’s not the case — knows it’s stupid, but it almost looks as if Jimin’s physically swallowing his pride.

 

“Because you want my mother out. You have questions,” Jimin glances back towards him again, and his cheeks look slightly flushed. “And he has the answers.”

 

“Why can’t you just tell me yourself?”

 

“Because you don’t trust me, Jeongguk,” Jimin says firmly, his voice smooth and even despite the painful looking clench of his jaw. “And that’s something I want to change.”

 

Jeongguk decides to not push it any further. Maybe Jimin was swallowing his pride after all.

 

———

 

“Pop? You like pop?” Jimin’s eyes widen as Jeongguk turns up the volume on the radio. “Who would have known.”

 

Jeongguk grins, putting his feet up on the dashboard. He looks over at Jimin, watching as his skin gleams in the morning sun, looking so smooth and delicate. Honestly, Jeongguk doesn’t even care if his staring is obvious anymore. They’ve been driving for a few hours and things have been going so well, a lot less awkward and nerve-wracking than he initially thought they would.

 

He doesn’t even know why he’s surprised that Jimin is so easy going, that he’s funny and seems genuinely interested in what Jeongguk has to say, especially considering both Namjoon and Yoongi have already told him their thoughts.

 

And it’s not like Jeongguk was afraid that his friends judged Jimin all wrong. It’s not like he didn’t believe his friends were great judges of character — because they were. Especially Namjoon. What he was afraid of was them being right and the more time he spent with Jimin, the more that unsettling feeling seeped through his skin, because, Jeongguk kind of already knew that they were. And slowly, it was starting to scare the living shit out of him.

 

Because, if this is how he feels after only a night spent together and a few hours of them stuck in the car together, Jeongguk didn’t even want to know what he was going to feel by tomorrow night. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Jeongguk was silently praying for something to go wrong.

 

Anything.

 

“And what do you like?” He rolls his eyes in fake annoyance, watching as Jimin’s whole face lights up at the bratty tone of Jeongguk’s voice. “Death metal? Screamo? Metalcore?”

 

Jimin bursts out laughing and shakes his head. “No. But I thought you might.”

 

“You’re a terrible judge of character,” Jeongguk says dramatically, then pauses, scrunching his nose. “Well. To be fair, I did listen to all of the above when I was in high school.”

 

“You? An emo kid?” Jimin’s eyes widen in fake shock and he looks back at him. “I never would have guessed.”

 

Jeongguk huffs and lightly swats at his arm, straightening up in his seat. Jimin glares back at him for a split second before his features soften and he chuckles again, eyes setting back onto the road.

 

“What, like you didn’t have an emo phase?”

 

“Hmm, not really,” Jimin’s brows furrow, as if he’s trying to recall if he’d ever had one or not. “I did have a weeaboo phase, though. A Naruto one. It was bad.”

 

Jeongguk perks up at that and his heart stupidly pounds inside of his chest, and he feels like a kid all over again. He squirms in his seat and he has to remind himself that he’s thirty and not thirteen anymore, but knowing that Jimin used to love something he used to love too just… It feels good. It’s stupid, he knows, but he likes it. He likes that there’s things like that they have in common. Wholesome, innocent things.

 

“Really? Bet your favorite character was like, that snake Orochimaru or someone just as bad,” Jeongguk says sheepishly, watching as Jimin rolls his eyes.

 

He’s half joking and half taking a jab at Jimin — frankly, Jeongguk still believes this is all some sort of a grand plan, some kind of game Jimin is playing, he just needs to figure it out.

 

Or he needs to chill the fuck out.

 

“Absolutely not,” Jimin clicks his tongue, then slightly leans to the side and punches Jeongguk’s thigh, sending series of chills right down his spine. It’s playful and innocent but it affects Jeongguk way more than he’d ever show or like to admit, and he has to make a conscious decision to not gasp or squirm or do anything as embarrassing as that. “It’s Kakashi. Well Kakashi and Itachi.”

 

“Ah. The good guys.”

 

“Yeah. Misunderstood,” he sighs, eyes glued to the road. “Good, but misunderstood.”

 

Something twists in Jeongguk’s stomach and he can’t help but think Jimin isn’t just referring to the characters. His tone is even and serious, the playful grin on his face faded into just a tiny smile. It makes Jeongguk feel uneasy and just a tiny bit guilty for taking a jab at him, but then again — he has no reason to actually trust him.

 

Not yet at least.

 

“Mine was always Jiraiya,” Jeongguk clears his throat, tapping his fingers against the window. “He was funny as fuck.”

 

They stop at the red traffic light and Jimin fully turns to face him, their eyes locking and Jeongguk feels the familiar tingle at the low of his back again. Jimin’s gaze isn’t necessarily intimidating but it’s still piercing, brows pinched together, his lips pressed into a firm line and if Jeongguk had to put a finger on it — he’d say Jimin looks almost… sad.

 

“He was a little misunderstood too, you know,” Jimin says, voice low and serious.

 

Jeongguk looks at him intently, studying his features and the way his jaw clenches after he presses his lips back together. There’s a dull ache in his chest and he knows exactly what it is that Jimin’s aiming for.

 

“Yeah, Jeongguk mumbles, swallowing heavily. “He really was.”

 

Jeongguk knows they’re definitely not talking about Naruto anymore.

 

———

 

They stop to get food and coffee along the way, and they have less than a couple of hours left to drive when Jeongguk gets all squirmy. His legs feel all cramped up even though Jimin’s SUV is more than comfortable, he just wasn’t used to sitting in one place for so long and frankly, his ass was still kind of sore from last night as well.

 

Heat spreads from his cheeks all the way down to his neck as he glances over at Jimin who munches on his sandwich while explaining how driving to Busan always puts him in a good mood, no matter how shitty and stressful his life is.

 

As time passes, Jimin seems to be in a much better mood, leaned back into his seat, his head leaned onto the heel of his palm as he props his elbow onto the rolled down window. The wind ruffles through his silver hair and it almost makes Jeongguk want to reach out and run his fingers through it, to feel how soft it is, even though he knows.

 

He only partially listens as Jimin talks, too immersed in the way his lips move to actually fully focus. It’s only when Jimin glances over at him the third time and he snaps his fingers in front of Jeongguk’s face that Jeongguk snaps out of his haze.

 

“Sorry. What?”

 

“I asked,” Jimin huffs, “if you’re okay with us staying at a hotel. My dad’s place isn’t really that big and even though he loves having people over, I don’t want him to get all worked up over having guests.” He pauses, glancing over at Jeongguk. “Also, I don’t want to put any pressure on you, either.”

 

“Of course it’s okay,” Jeongguk blinks, brows furrowing. He hadn’t even considered staying anywhere else other than a hotel. “Wait. He knows I’m coming, right?”

 

“Yeah. I told him last night,” Jimin says. “He’d been expecting it. Especially after I told him I was going to give you my mother’s sealed divorce files.”

 

“He knows? That you gave me those?”

 

Honestly, Jeongguk doesn’t even know what he was expecting. Not to meet Jimin’s father, that’s for sure, but he also hadn’t considered that Jimin had told him he was going to give Jeongguk the files. He’s not sure why he sounds so surprised that Jimin wasn’t going behind anyone’s back here but — he is. Surprised.

 

He doesn’t know what to make out of all of this. Hours ago, when Jimin first told him he was going to meet his father, Jeongguk had done his best to just leave it at that, no matter how stunned he was by that information. Sometimes, certain things just needed to be felt out, and Jeongguk knew when he needed to go with the flow. This was one of those situations.

 

It all felt so delicate and new, and with this newfound… cordiality, between Jimin and him, he didn’t want to make things even more tense than they already were. Still, every time Jimin did something that he would interpret as genuine — it would catch Jeongguk off guard. And he hated that.

 

“He does,” Jimin nods slowly, shifting uncomfortably. “I, uh — told him about you.”

 

Jeongguk’s heart flutters in his chest, and the statement makes him feel oddly content.

 

“Oh yeah? What did you say?”

 

He watches as Jimin’s cheeks slowly turn into a light shade of pink and he can’t help the way his lips curl into a tiny smile as he watches him squirm. It’s kind of adorable, Jeongguk thinks, considering he’s usually the one being affected by Jimin breathing, while Jimin remains his calm and collected self. Jeongguk almost wants to giggle — but he doesn’t. Something in the back of his mind tells him that making Jimin uncomfortable or embarrassed isn’t going to get them anywhere, and Jeongguk isn’t sure what place he wants them to be in, but he knows he doesn’t want to make this harder than it already is.

 

So he doesn’t laugh. Or at least, he tries to not be too obvious about it.

 

“I told him the opposing counsel is giving me a really hard time,” Jeongguk watches as Jimin’s eyes darken as he speaks, the faint embarrassment gone as fast as it came in the first place. God, Jimin really is something else. “I told him I’m not entirely sure my mother’s worth it,” he glances over at Jeongguk and he tilts his eyebrows, unsure of what it is exactly that Jimin means. “But that I have to do my job. And that I also happen to not like losing very much.”

 

The sheepish grin on Jimin’s face sends chills right down Jeongguk’s spine and something riles up within him — probably his sense of competitiveness, and even though Jimin’s words only slightly piss him off, he gets it. He gets it because he also, happens to hate losing. No matter the scenario.

 

But especially not when it comes to law.

 

“That makes the two of us,” Jeongguk hums, putting his feet up on the dashboard again. God, his legs are cramping so bad. He can’t wait to get the fuck out of this car. They should have just taken the train — they would’ve already gotten to Busan hours ago. “I don’t like losing either. And I got Namjoon on my side. Who do you have?”

 

He’s only teasing — but there’s also truth to his words. Namjoon is on his side and he’s never lost a case, and if anyone can help Jeongguk deal with this, it’s him. With that, pictures of Jimin’s mother with another man flood his brain and Jeongguk smiles to himself. He has a piece of information Jimin doesn’t, and sure — while Jimin probably doesn’t like losing, which is understandable, especially considering his track record, he doesn’t know what Jeongguk knows, and that on its own is more than enough to give him a sense of comfort.

 

Jimin laughs, holding his hand up for Jeongguk to see.

 

“See this? I have this hand right here,” Jimin turns to him for a brief second, “which I’m gonna use to slap the living shit out of you if you continue to be so damn annoying.”

 

The smile on Jimin’s face is wide and as bright as the fucking sun, but it still manages to make Jeongguk’s skin break out into goosebumps. He huffs and rolls his eyes, lightly stomping his feet as he squirms in his seat. It’s so damn uncomfortable and Jeongguk just wants to get the fuck out of this car already.

 

“Looks like a perfectly good hand to be slapped around with,” Jeongguk shrugs, ignoring the way his skin heats up as he feels Jimin’s eyes on him. It’s usually Jimin who initiates the sex talk or whatever, but the opportunity is too good for Jeongguk to pass up on it. “I don’t think I’d be complaining.”

 

Jimin’s smile fades and his eyes darken, only the corner of his lips curled into a smirk.

 

“You like to get slapped around, huh?” He asks in a silky voice, making Jeongguk shiver. “Noted.”

 

Jeongguk’s heart races and he swallows, looking away from Jimin and focusing on the way the sun reflects on the buildings as they drive by them and suddenly — Jeongguk realizes. They’re finally here.

 

“Just remember,” Jimin adds, “so do I.”

 

He doesn’t remember the last time he was this nervous and relieved all at the same time.

 

———

 

They check into a hotel that’s supposedly not too far away from where Jimin’s father lives, and they get two separate rooms even though Jeongguk insists that Jimin doesn’t have to stay in the hotel with him.

 

He’d be perfectly fine on his own, and even though he would never admit it out loud — Jimin staying in a room right next to his kind of made him all sorts of nervous. Still, once they left their things in their rooms and met back down in the lobby, Jeongguk’s heart rises up to his throat, making it a little harder for him to breathe.

 

It’s almost silly how nervous he feels, knowing he was going to meet Jimin’s dad. Last time he’d met parents of someone he’d been fucking was… well, frankly, never. And Jeongguk — he knew this wasn’t like that. Just because he and Jimin had fucked a couple of times didn’t mean shit — they’ve both made that clear.

 

But there was something about the way Jimin had spoken to him last night and today in the car, that kind of, almost made him think otherwise.

 

The only relief Jeongguk feels is in his legs as they walk down the street and towards where Jimin’s father lives, and he’s happy that at least his legs aren’t cramping anymore even though his stomach tightens more and more with each step he takes.

 

Jeongguk’s a top class fucking lawyer. It’s so ridiculous that he would feel even a tiny bit intimidated by the fact that he’s meeting someone’s parent — but it’s just the fact that even though he’s had hours to adjust to the information, it still didn’t change the fact that he was fucking that man’s son. And all of it, just — all of it freaked the fuck out of him.

 

The building entrance they stop in front of is probably the worst looking one in the area, and Jeongguk’s eyebrows furrow as he watches Jimin unlock the door. The inside of the building smells like cleaning supplies and mold, and Jeongguk’s mouth pops open as he follows Jimin up the stairs, staring at the scraped paint on the walls.

 

A shithole is the first word that comes to Jeongguk’s mind as he looks around, and he almost finds it funny how the mold covered the ceiling is probably the best thing in this place so far which is… tragic.

 

Jeongguk forgets all about his anxiety as he continues to follow Jimin up the stairs, realizing that this place doesn’t even have a fucking elevator. To say that Jeongguk is confused is an understatement. Jimin is rich. Like… filthy rich. Maybe not exactly Jeongguk rich, but pretty fucking close. He and Namjoon had done their research. Surely his father could afford a better place than this. Or at least, Jimin could afford it for him.

 

The closer Jeongguk was getting to his supposed clarity, the more confused he felt each second.

 

Finally, they stop in front of the best looking apartment door Jeongguk has seen thus far, and he carefully watches as Jimin types the code into the digital lock, and as he carefully looks around, he realizes that’s the only door with that type of lock — at least on this particular floor.

 

Suddenly, Jeongguk doesn’t feel an ounce of nervousness anymore. He’s just curious to know what the hell is going on.

 

“We’re here,” Jimin says quietly as he opens the door, reaching behind himself to gently tug at the sleeve of Jeongguk’s sweater. It’s almost like a form of reassurement, like it’s supposed to let Jeongguk know that whatever it is he’s walking into — it’s okay. And suddenly, Jeongguk feels that way too. “Dad?”

 

“Jimin-ah?” A man barely taller than Jimin appears to greet them and Jeongguk immediately folds into a ninety-degree bow, staring down at the hardwood floor before he feels a light tap on his shoulder and straightens himself up again.

 

“Jeon Jeongguk,” he says, suddenly feeling a little flustered.

 

“Park Sungmin,” Jimin’s father says, warmly smiling up at Jeongguk.

 

He starts feeling a bit jittery again as Jimin wraps his hand around his wrist and gently guides him inside the tiny living room, and everything inside of the apartment looks nice and fairly expensive except for the fact that it’s so, so tiny. Not to mention the whole building itself is a damn shithole.

 

To be fair, it’s not like Jeongguk had ever looked down on people who didn’t have as much money as he or his friends did, because he didn’t, and this wasn’t about that. No matter how spoiled Jeongguk was growing up his mother would always make sure that he knew money was a privilege, and his father made sure that he grew up with a good work ethic. As much as a lot of things in life were handed to him, Jeongguk also worked hard for everything he had right at this moment.

 

This wasn’t about him looking down on anyone, it really wasn’t — he was just confused.

 

Jimin gestures him to sit down on the couch and then sits next to him, carefully watching as Jimin’s father sits on the chair right across from them. The apartment is so tiny it feels like Sungmin is basically sitting in the kitchen that’s connected to the living room, and all of a sudden, Jeongguk feels tiny too.

 

His and Jimin’s legs are touching and he feels Jimin’s body heat as it radiates even through the thick fabric of his jeans, and this place feels a little too hot, even though outside, it was everything but.

 

“So,” Sungmin’s eyes are set on Jeongguk and he smiles again, eyebrows tilting as he waits for either one of them to speak. “It’s nice to meet you, Jeongguk.”

 

“Likewise,” Jeongguk again nervously bows a little, trying his best to smile back. “Thank you for, uh, having me.”

 

“Jimin-ah, thought you said he was a mean, intimidating, hotshot lawyer from London,” Jimin’s father laughs, looking at Jimin. The teasing is lighthearted but it only makes Jeongguk’s palms sweat, and he feels more nervous that he had felt prior to coming here. God damn it. “All I see is a pair of extremely wide, adorable Bambi eyes.”

 

Jeongguk’s cheeks turn red and he doesn’t remember the last time someone compared his eyes to Bambi’s, but it must’ve been in like… elementary school. What catches his attention is the fact that Jimin had actually been talking about him — though out of all things, he didn’t expect him to call Jeongguk intimidating.

 

Actually, now that he thinks of it — it probably never actually happened. His father probably just added it upon the list of things.

 

If anything, Jeongguk had constantly been the one feeling like prey. Jimin was beyond assertive and intimidating, and Jeongguk found it hard to believe that he’d think of him in a similar way. It just didn’t make sense.

 

“I didn’t say mean,” Jimin mumbles under his breath, sighing as he leans back into the couch, spreading his legs a little more, so his entire thigh is pressed against Jeongguk’s. “He’s just nervous. I kind of sprung this whole meeting you thing on him this morning. He didn’t even know until we were already on our way here.”

 

Jeongguk perks up. So he did say intimidating. He makes a mental note to ask Jimin about that later.

 

Sungmin sighs, suddenly looking very tired. “You can’t just do things like that, Jimin-ah, and expect people to trust you and just roll with it,” his gaze slides towards Jeongguk, and he looks quite apologetic — Jeongguk’s just entirely not sure why. “I’m sorry,” he says, sighing again. “Jimin can be very… difficult. He’s not the best at expressing himself, and he should have told you about this beforehand.”

 

Jeongguk squirms, cheeks still feeling hot. He looks at Jimin who looks just as uncomfortable as he does, face flushed and his lips pressed into a tight line. For a moment, Jeongguk wants to laugh. He looks like a child who just got scolded and told to go stand in a corner.

 

“It’s fine — although, I’m not entirely sure why I’m here,” he admits, fidgeting with his fingers.

 

Sungmin nods, and Jeongguk feels Jimin tense up beside him. He’s never really seen him like that, and if it wasn’t disrespectful towards Sungmin — he’d keep his eyes on Jimin the entire time. It’s just. It’s so different. It’s so fascinating how the whole dynamic has changed the second they entered the apartment, and Jeongguk can’t really tell why.

 

Right off the bat — he can tell that Jimin’s father is a lot warmer than Jimin, and he seems… nice. For now.

 

“You’re Jeon Mingyu’s son, correct?”

 

Jeongguk nods.

 

“And you’re handling his divorce case with my ex-wife?”

 

He nods again. “Yeah. That’s right.”

 

“Okay, well,” Sungmin clasps his hands together over his knee, slightly leaning over the coffee table. “Jimin’s been handling Jiyeon’s divorce and legal cases ever since he was old or rather competent enough to. I don’t know what you and Jimin have going on, or how much Jimin has told you — but considering he just told you today that he planned on bringing you here to meet me, I’m assuming not much, if anything.”

 

Jeongguk’s mouth pops open, but he stays quiet, only glancing over at Jimin for a split second.

 

“Hey, that’s not fair,” Jimin grunts from beside him. “I did try to tell him, a few times,” he looks over at Jeongguk, gently shoving his leg. “He just doesn’t want to listen. Literally, the first thing I told him about my mother was that she’s fucking insane. And then again, when we were at Veil, I told you I’m not even close with her.” He turns to his father again. “He just won’t listen.”

 

Before Sungmin gets a chance to speak up again, annoyance riles up within Jeongguk and he glares at Jimin.

 

“Because it doesn’t make sense,” he grits his teeth, digging his nails harshly into the side of his thigh, trying not to lose his cool. “You talk in codes and expect me to trust what you’re saying when you’re literally, and I mean literally, the enemy. Your mother, whose divorce cases you handle, wants half of everything my father owns. And you expect me to believe this just isn’t some ploy to get me to—”

 

“If I may interrupt,” Sungmin cuts him off calmly, and Jeongguk’s lips immediately press tightly together, even though there’s a lot more he could say. Jimin looks just about as pissed off as Jeongguk does, but he doesn’t say anything either — rather leans back into the couch again and looks at his father. “The only reason he handles her divorce and other legal cases is because of me.”

 

Jeongguk blinks.

 

“I’m sorry — you?” He frowns, loosening the grip around his thigh as confusion floods his head again. “I don’t understand. What do you mean because of you?”

 

“Jimin, do you want to tell him?”

 

Jimin huffs from beside him, and Jeongguk locks their eyes together. He doesn’t get it — he really doesn’t, but at this point, he just wants to know what the fuck is going on and why he’s here.

 

“No. He won’t listen to me,” Jimin says softly, tone a little lower than usual. It sounds… sad, almost. “You go ahead. That’s why I brought him to you, anyway.”

 

“If you can’t tell, Jimin clearly sees something in you,” Sungmin laughs, and Jimin’s face turns so red Jeongguk almost laughs too. “Otherwise, he wouldn’t have brought you all the way here. I haven’t met a single one of Jimin’s boyfriends in my entire life. Which is honestly such a shame.”

 

“We’re not together,” Jeongguk and Jimin say unanimously and Jeongguk literally wants the ground to swallow him whole when Jimin’s father laughs again.

 

Honestly, he might as well die.

 

“Alright, alright, if you two say so,” Sungmin holds his hands up as if he’s surrendering, and Jeongguk doesn’t know when this room went from hot to boiling hot, but it did. “But regardless of that — I’m not going to sit here and keep you two for the next five hours when Jimin could be showing you around town. Point is — Jiyeon and I were married for ten years. Ten years out of which she had been cheating on me for around four, but it honestly could’ve been more, considering she’s the one who told me it was four years. That might as well have been a lie, like most things that happen to come out of her mouth. She and I worked at the same firm, and ironically enough, she was sleeping with our CEO.”

 

Jeongguk narrows his eyes, listening intently.

 

“She always aimed high,” he laughs bitterly, shaking his head. “Anyway, I accidentally found out when I came back home from a business trip once. Jimin was with his grandmother and the two of them were… well. In our home. Which was absolutely ridiculous, considering he’s a high profile figure and we lived in a good neighborhood — just not CEO of a large company good. Of course, I was beyond upset but honestly, I didn’t want to get a divorce. At least not right away. Mostly because of Jimin, he was just a kid, you know? So, her — well, now ex-husband but lover at the time really wasn’t happy that I wouldn’t give her the divorce and he just. Let’s just say they both wanted me out and her ex-husband had a way of getting whatever he wanted. So, I lost my job, was blackmailed into giving her a divorce and custody of Jimin which she wanted for her own selfish reasons, and then I was blacklisted from ever getting a corporate job in Seoul or frankly… anywhere.”

 

Jeongguk’s jaw drops in disbelief as he processes the information.

 

“And they — he did it only because you wouldn’t give her the divorce?”

 

“Pretty much,” Sungmin shrugs, nodding. “It was bad. She and I were on terrible terms after I had caught her. Jimin probably doesn’t remember much,” he looks over at Jimin who shakes his head, “but she and I… It wasn’t good. We’d fight and she was so in love with the guy and I just. I needed us to stay a family for Jimin. She was more attracted to the money and the high profile life. She’s always been that way and again, even though we were doing okay, we weren’t billionaires. I’m pretty sure she’s the one who instigated the whole thing. She was constantly saying how she can’t stand my “terror” anymore.”

 

“Terror?”

 

“Me wanting to stay together for Jimin was like a terror for her,” he simply says. “Story she told Jimin was that I had decided to kick the two of them out, try to take all of her money, all because I have a different family, and want nothing to do with them. I’d tried reaching out to Jimin countless of times throughout the years, but he wanted nothing to do with me.”

 

Jeongguk swallows, eyes wide in shock. It’s not that he had a good opinion about Jimin’s mother — she was nothing but a shallow, money hungry gold digger to him but this — this was a whole new level of crazy.

 

Selfishly, the first thing that comes to Jeongguk’s mind is his own father. And how dirty she’s willing to play to get what she wants.

 

“That’s just…”

 

“Fucking crazy, right?” Jimin huffs beside him. “I told you. She’s insane. And all she cares about is money, if you couldn’t already tell.”

 

“I haven’t seen or talked to Jimin in ten years,” Sungmin adds sadly, and Jeongguk’s heart tightens in his chest.

 

Suddenly, Jeongguk misses his mom. He misses his mom so bad.

 

“So, what made you, uh, look for your dad again?” Jeongguk clears his throat, looking over at Jimin. “Because I’m not sure I would have wanted to look for someone who I believed abandoned me.”

 

“Actually, it was Tae’s parents who did,” Jimin replies. “I overheard my step-father say something odd to my mother one day, in regards to my dad. And then I told Taehyung who told his parents and his dad hired a PI without telling me anything, and he found out… all sorts of shit. Starting from the fact that my dad works at a gas station in Busan, and that there never was any other “family”, like my mother had made me believe. Once they told me, I confronted my mother about it. She was already kind of looking to get a divorce, considering she was cheating on my step-dad with one of his business partners, and she basically blamed it all on him. I couldn’t do much at the time because he was the one paying for my degree but — god. Then one day, I got my dad’s address and I just. Drove. To Busan. Found him living in this shithole, barely making ends meet, because he couldn’t get a job anywhere else.”

 

“Jimin,” his father furrows his brows, clicking his tongue in disapproval. “Stop.”

 

“It is a shithole,” Jimin insists, then turns to Jeongguk. “Jeongguk, is it not a shithole? Honestly.”

 

“I — it’s okay,” Jeongguk lies, and his whole skin itches with how uncomfortable he’s feeling.

 

“Bullshit,” he rolls his eyes, scoffing. “I still don’t understand why you just won’t let me buy you a new apartment. Since you don’t want to quit your shitty job, or do anything else I tell you, for that matter.”

 

The silence which hangs is beyond unsettling, and Jeongguk is still trying to wrap his head around the whole bomb that’s just been dropped on him that he literally does not have the time to listen to Jimin argue with his father.

 

“Because you pay for everything else,” Sungmin says quietly, slouching his shoulders. He looks ashamed, and it only makes Jeongguk more uncomfortable. In a way, he wishes he could help, ease the situation, or something — but he just doesn’t know how. So he just sits in silence, still trying to process everything, trying to come up with all of the possible scenarios that Jimin’s mother could spring on them. “You pay the bills, you paid for the remodeling, the furniture, everything, and the only thing I can afford in this place is the rent. And this apartment is more than okay. You’ve done more than enough for me.”

 

“Is the ceiling leaking again?” Jimin suddenly looks up and squints, pushing himself off of the couch so he can take a better look. “It is, isn’t it? That’s the fourth time this year, dad.”

 

Just like that, the conversation shifts into an entirely different direction, and Jeongguk is left to collect his own jaw from the floor. Frankly, he’s happy that the attention isn’t on him anymore and that he has a bit of time to collect himself but this — all of this — woah. It’s too much all at once, and Jeongguk knows there are many other pieces of the puzzle missing from that story.

 

He also knows that this time around, he’ll let Jimin tell him. Everything.

 

Jeongguk watches the way Jimin worriedly looks at his father, watches how he fusses over how much he’s eating, as if he’s the parent and not the other way around. It’s so endearing and Jeongguk thinks he’s never seen Jimin in this light and he looks so genuine and full of love, that he can’t help but find him even more attractive.

 

All the prior uncomfortableness aside, Jeongguk loves seeing this. Loves seeing Jimin’s soft, mellow side, loves the way he giggles and the way he’s meticulous about everything.

 

It’s almost night time when Jimin finally decides they should go, and Jeongguk feels so at ease, that he almost kind of doesn’t want to.

 

Everything he’d heard today was so, beyond fucked, and he can’t help but remember the way his father had acted strange this morning. Something is off, something is not right, and it sets a series of alarms off in Jeongguk’s head.

 

Only right now, he doesn’t want to ruin this. He and Jimin are good.

 

Jeongguk just wasn’t sure for how long.



———  

 

“He’s really nice,” Jeongguk says, breaking the silence. “Your dad, I mean.”

 

Jimin’s lips curl into a small smile, eyes crinkling at the mention of his father. They’ve gotten back to the hotel and hopped into the car so Jimin could show Jeongguk around, and they’ve been driving in silence for quite some time, all while Jeongguk was still trying to collect his thoughts. He didn’t know what to make out of all of this, wasn’t even sure how to process everything. The more time he spent around Jimin, seeing the way he was with his dad, seeing him and not the intimidating hot-shot divorce lawyer facade, only made Jeongguk feel even more... Strongly, towards him.

 

In a good way. It was all exactly what he’s been afraid of.

 

“He is,” Jimin smiles widely, making Jeongguk’s heart jump. “He’s a good guy.”

 

Jeongguk fidgets with his fingers, then sighs, turning to Jimin.

 

“Can we stop somewhere?” He says, watching as Jimin’s eyes narrow. “I just want to talk. About this whole thing.”

 

“Stop? Right now?” Jimin tilts his brows, glancing over at him. “Jeongguk, we’re literally on a highway in the middle of nowhere because you said I should just keep driving.”  

 

“I don’t care, just stop anywhere,” he replies stubbornly, sighing as he stares off into the dark.

 

Jimin clicks his tongue but it doesn’t take him more than a couple of minutes to pull over, and the car tilts to the side as he stops somewhere a bit off the road. Jeongguk is quiet and he feels like his brain hurts, and as time passes, he only feels himself getting more and more lost.

 

“So?” Jimin asks, turning the engine off. “You wanted to talk. Let’s talk.”

 

“Just. That was a lot, you know?” Jeongguk says, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his palms. “I don’t know what to make out of all of that. Like. I guess I kind of don’t understand why you still have a relationship with your mother when she’s basically the spawn of Satan.”

 

Jimin cackles, lightly swatting at Jeongguk’s thigh. His hand stays there even after he stops, though, and Jeongguk is suddenly super aware of everything.

 

“She is, but her cases earn me the most money,” Jimin says seriously, gently squeezing Jeongguk’s thigh. “And the more money I get, the more I can help my father out. He works at the gas station, Jeongguk. He doesn’t even have enough money to pay his bills. And as long as I stay on her good side, she’ll leave him alone. It’s a win-win.”

 

“Do you think you’ll win this case?” Something inside of Jeongguk’s snaps and there’s that familiar feeling of competitiveness that just seeps through his skin. “Do you think you stand a chance?”

 

Jimin laughs and then his nails dig into Jeongguk’s thigh, but Jeongguk doesn’t even blink. He just feels the heat as it coils inside of his groin, and the air inside of the car suddenly feels a little too stuffy.

 

“Honestly, Jeongguk? Yes,” Jimin says and Jeongguk doesn’t know why but damn, that pisses him off. “They didn’t even get a prenup. I’m one of the best in my field,” he leans into Jeongguk’s ear, then whispers. “You don’t really stand a chance.”

 

Something inside of Jeongguk’s head clicks, and he takes Jimin’s hand and harshly pushes it away, glaring back at him. Jimin leans into his seat and smiles, and all Jeongguk wants to do is wipe that smug look off of his face.

 

He forgets about everything else — all he can think about is that Jeon Jeongguk doesn’t lose, and he sure as fuck won’t lose a case that’s so meaningful to him.

 

“Piss off,” Jeongguk hisses, watching as Jimin laughs in amusement. “You’re a fucking piece of shit.”

 

“And you’re such a child, Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin says, shrugging. “A few seconds ago you were confused and ready to talk things out. Now, the second I tell you that yeah — I don’t plan on losing, you flip the switch and start throwing a tantrum.”

 

Jeongguk doesn’t say anything. He’s been on a rollercoaster of emotion the whole damn day, and he honestly might as well be losing his goddamn mind. Maybe he is. Like, actually is.

 

Because if he wasn’t losing it, he definitely wouldn’t be sitting in a car with Park Jimin in the middle of nowhere in fucking Busan.

 

“It’s a turn-on, though,” Jimin smirks, voice low and velvety. “The brattiness. The talking back. The way you flip that switch and get angry in a split second. You know what’s hotter, though?”

 

Jeongguk doesn’t flinch or pull back when Jimin leans into his space again, his lips brushing against Jeongguk’s ear. His skin breaks out into goosebumps and he shudders, his breath hitching in his throat.

 

“The way you were so nervous earlier,” Jimin purrs, and fuck — Jeongguk is so tired of feeling like prey. He feels his cock harden in his pants and it just makes everything worse, because all Jeongguk wants is to finally be the one in charge. “The way you were so wide-eyed and fidgety, the way your palms got all sweaty and the way you kept jamming your nails at the side of your thigh. Don’t think I didn’t notice, Jeonggukie. I see everything. God. I wanted to ruin you.”

 

At that, Jeongguk snaps entirely, grabbing Jimin by the jaw and pressing their lips together. The kiss is all tongue and teeth, so dirty and filled with the pent up tension that was there since this morning, and Jeongguk — he’s not gonna be the one who gets ruined.

 

Not tonight.

 

He pushes Jimin away, looking at his swollen lips for a second before he quickly turns and works his way out of his jeans and underwear, ignoring the way Jimin’s eyes on him feels as if they’re burning through his skull.

 

“Pull the seat back and push it down,” Jeongguk orders, ignoring the way his cock is ridiculously hard between his legs.

 

They’ve barely touched and Jeongguk is basically fucking dripping.

 

“You’re gonna look at me when you’re talking to me,” Jimin says, not moving an inch. “Especially if you’re going to be giving me orders.”

 

It only pisses Jeongguk off even more.

 

“Fucking pull the seat back and push it down,” Jeongguk repeats, this time locking their eyes together.


Slowly, Jimin does as he’s told, pulling the seat as far away from the steering wheel as he can, then pushing it down until it’s almost leaned all the way back to the backseat. He unbuttons his jeans and pushes them down, only leaving his underwear on as he stares back at Jeongguk. Without giving it much thought, Jeongguk manages to hop over gear stick and straddle Jimin’s hips, pinning him down into the seat.

 

It’s going to be uncomfortable, Jeongguk can already tell, but at least it’s not as cramped up as fucking in a sports car.

 

He’s almost embarrassed by the way his cock drools precome onto Jimin’s shirt, but he’s too determined to do something, that he can’t even bring himself to care. All he knows is he wants to put Jimin in his place.

 

“What’s it gonna be, Jeongguk-ah?” Jimin asks, hands traveling underneath Jeongguk’s sweater, firmly gripping at the soft skin on his hips. “You gonna fuck the living shit out of me, hm?”

 

“I’m gonna blow your mind, that’s what I’m gonna do,” Jeongguk mumbles, eyes tracing down Jimin’s body. He can feel how hard he is and it takes everything inside of him to not grind his ass against it.

 

“Fucking look at me when I’m talking to you,” Jimin hisses, gripping harder at his waist. “What are you gonna do to me, baby?”

 

Jeongguk rolls his eyes and looks back at him, watching as Jimin’s eyes darken as Jeongguk’s hand travels down his stomach, stopping right above the waistband of his underwear.

 

“Gonna ride you until you can’t fucking talk anymore,” Jeongguk says. “That’s what the fuck I’m gonna do.”

 

“That’s what you want, huh?” Jimin asks, nails tracing over the side of his ribs, harshly digging into the skin as Jeongguk looks away for a split second. He whines and Jimin’s fingers rub soothingly over the spot before his other hand reaches up to slap him in the face. He’s not even startled, doesn’t even flinch, just moans as his hand grips tighter at Jimin’s shoulder, chest heaving as their eyes lock again.

 

“I told you to fucking look at me when I’m talking to you,” he purrs, his thumb making its way into Jeongguk’s mouth. God, Jeongguk feels like he’s going to fucking explode. “You wanna ride my cock until you come all over me?”

 

Jeongguk gulps, forcing himself to maintain eye contact. He breathes in, his grip loosening around Jimin’s shoulder and the next thing he knows — his palm is connecting to the side of Jimin’s face, slapping him right back.

 

He straddles his hips as hard as he can, trying to ignore the way his cock fucking throbs in his between his legs, and leans into Jimin’s ear, voice coming out all strained and caught up in his throat.

 

Jimin glares right back at him, his lips spreading into a vicious grin and Jeongguk feels like he’s going to lose his fucking mind if he doesn’t kiss him right now.

 

“Yeah,” Jeongguk finally says. “That’s exactly what I want to do, asshole.”

 

Jimin’s hand wraps around his throat and his eyes gleam so intensely it sends shivers right down Jeongguk’s spine.

 

“Let’s see what you got, baby,” Jimin hisses into his ear, hand tightening around his neck.

 

He’s ready. God, he’s so ready.

 

The grip around his neck feels so good and Jeongguk feels a little lightheaded from the instant pleasure it gives him — but he’s not the one getting toyed with today. He grabs Jimin by the jaw again with so much force Jimin almost yelps, his grip around Jeongguk’s throat loosening.

 

“Hands off,” he orders, and Jimin’s hand immediately drops. “Good,” Jeongguk leans down to give him a kiss, nipping at his lower lip before he straightens up again. “Condoms, lube? Do you have anything?”

 

“G-glove compartment,” Jimin breathes, and Jeongguk immediately reaches over, getting what he needs. “Fuck, Jeongguk, I’m so—”

 

“Quiet,” Jeongguk slaps him and the moan that emerges from Jimin’s throat goes directly into his groin, making his cock twitch. Fuck — he makes the prettiest fucking sounds. “Give me your hand.”

 

Jeongguk keeps their eyes locked as he squirts lube onto Jimin’s hand, and this — the power he feels as Jimin does what he’s told without saying a word — it’s everything. It gets Jeongguk even more turned on, and god — he really is going to blow Jimin’s fucking mind.

 

“Now open me up,” Jeongguk leans towards Jimin both so he’d let him have easier access to his hole, and because he really wants to kiss Jimin. “Get me all nice and ready for that big, fat cock of yours.”

 

Jeongguk whines as Jimin’s finger pushes past his rim, burying his face into Jimin’s neck, leaving a trail of kisses of the way up to his jaw.

 

“Good boy,” Jimin purrs as he inserts another finger inside of him, his other hand tugging at the hair on the back of Jeongguk’s neck. Jeongguk whines, his hand reaching to slap the side of Jimin’s face as his fingers curl up inside of him.

 

“I said be fucking quiet,” Jeongguk says, eyes rolling to the back of his head as Jimin simultaneously pushes his fingers in and out of him, and Jeongguk feels he’s going to fucking explode if he doesn’t get his cock inside of him right this second. “F-fuck, yeah, just like that.”

 

His own cock is pressed between the two of them and fuck — Jeongguk can’t fucking take it anymore.

 

“Condom,” he breathes, his hole clenching around nothing as Jimin takes his fingers out and Jeongguk lifts himself up, impatiently waiting for him to roll the condom down his dripping cock.

 

It takes Jeongguk a second to clumsily sink down onto his cock, gasping and clenching as Jimin firmly guides his hips. They stare at each other until Jeongguk’s sunk all the way down — and it’s so fucking satisfying to see the way Jimin’s eyes widen as Jeongguk takes his hand, firmly placing it around his throat.

 

He feels so fucking powerful, and the way Jimin listens, the way he doesn’t talk back — it’s exactly what Jeongguk wants. He’s got him. He’s fucking got him.

 

“You’re gonna choke me while I ride your cock, do you understand?” Jeongguk asks, tilting his eyebrows. “All while I slap the living fuck out of you, got it?”

 

It takes a second for Jimin’s lips to curl into a smirk, his expression oozing with cockiness and boy — is Jeongguk gonna slap that smirk right off his fucking face.

 

“Yes, baby,” Jimin says lowly, hand tightening around Jeongguk’s throat. “Like I said, let’s see what you got.”

 

Jeongguk whines as Jimin’s grip tightens, slowly rocking his hips as he tries to get a feel how hard and how fast he can actually move in this limited space. It’s tricky — but it’s not impossible, and fuck, Jimin’s cock feels so good inside of him.

 

He doesn’t know if it’s the hand around his throat that’s making it harder for him to breathe but his own cock fucking hurts with how turned on he is, and before he reaches over to slap Jimin again, he gives it a few strokes, just to relieve some pressure.

 

“Fuck,” Jimin hisses, and Jeongguk feels the sweat as it rolls down his back as he quickens the pace, fucking himself on Jimin’s cock like they didn’t fuck less than twenty-four hours ago. It feels so good, he feels so full, clenching around Jimin, and he hopes he won’t be able to sit for the next fucking week. “Fuck, Jeongguk. Hit me. Fuckin’ — hit me.”

 

Jimin’s grip around his neck only becomes firmer as Jeongguk slaps him again and again, all while bouncing up and down his length, getting closer and closer to his orgasm.

 

It’s so fucking — it’s so uncomfortable and he can barely feel his knees and his thighs, but it’s worth it — it’s so fucking worth it because he feels so good, the look on Jimin’s face is priceless and the moans that fall from his lips every time Jeongguk sinks back down on his cock or slaps him are the prettiest sounds he’s ever heard.

 

He’s close, he’s so close, and judging by the way Jimin’s eyes are rolled to the back of his head — he is too.

 

“Jeongguk — I will —”

 

“Shut up,” Jeongguk hisses, eyes squeezing shut as he feels the electrifying heat that feels like it’s going to burst at any given moment, the pressure too intense for him to even think straight.

 

His pace quickens and it’s close, he’s so close and — his vision goes white, his legs tremble so hard he feels as if he might collapse on top of Jimin at any second, and the next thing he knows — he’s coming all over him.

 

It’s like everything stops for a moment, and he can’t even breathe until it’s over and he feels sober enough to open his eyes again. He’s shaking, collapsing on top of Jimin, barely registering the slight pain he feels as Jimin takes his cock out of him.

 

Vaguely, he feels as Jimin’s arms wrap around him, and then feels his fingers in his hair, lightly pushing it away from his forehead. Jeongguk doesn’t even know if he’s capable to speak, but he tries anyway.

 

“I’m — did you—”

 

“I did,” Jimin replies in a strained voice, fingers tangled in Jeongguk’s hair and it’s only then that Jeongguk realizes that he’s trembling, too.

 

They lay like that for a while, Jeongguk unable to move, until he finally, finally gathers the last ounce of strength to return to the passenger’s seat. He barely looks at Jimin as he puts his clothes back on, a little too focused on tying his shoelaces while Jimin tosses the condom out of the window.

 

“Jeongguk, I—”

 

“I’m fine,” Jeongguk interrupts, glancing over at him for a split second before he drops his gaze again. Jimin’s cheeks are all red and Jeongguk knows that’s because of him and just — it was good. It was so good, and he doesn’t even know what came over him, and he feels kind of — he just wants to lie down. “Are you good?”

 

Jimin looks at him for a long while, possibly waiting for Jeongguk to look at him, but he can’t.

 

“Yeah,” Jimin finally says, voice low and even. He starts the engine, hitting the gas before Jeongguk feels his eyes on him again. “I’m all good.”

 

———-

 

Jeongguk startles as he hears a knock on his door, and he groans as he lifts himself up from the bed and heads over towards the hallway. It’s been an hour since they came back and Jeongguk’s lower body was in so much pain that all he wanted was to just lie down.

 

“Is everything okay?” He tilts his head to the side when he’s faced with Jimin, and he looks just as fucked out as Jeongguk still feels. “Do you, uh — need anything?”

 

Jimin is quiet for a few seconds and then he sighs, leaning against Jeongguk’s doorway.

 

“That — it was intense out there,” he says slowly, quietly, looking straight at Jeongguk’s eyes. “I was wondering if you were, um, okay.”

 

Jeongguk blinks and then realization hits him, and he gives Jimin a small, reassuring smile.

 

“Jimin, I’m fine,” he says, rubbing the back of his neck. “I don’t need aftercare. I’m good.”

 

“Everybody needs aftercare,” Jimin says, but Jeongguk is quick to interrupt.

 

“I don’t,” he interjects, folding his arms over his chest. “I’m perfectly fine.”

 

“— even me.” Jimin finishes and Jeongguk’s heart immediately drops, his stomach twists and his breath hitches in his throat, because he — he’s such an asshole.

 

Jimin looks up at him, eyes big and shiny and Jeongguk feels like absolute shit because he — god. He hadn’t even considered it. Didn’t even think about how Jimin feels, didn’t even consider he does feel.

 

The only thing he’d thought about was himself and just — fuck, Jeongguk feels like he could cry. He was so busy worrying about himself, not letting himself appear weak or whatever other bullshit that was swirling through his brain that he hadn’t, even for a second consider that yeah, that out there was intense, and not just for Jeongguk.

 

“Come here,” Jeongguk pulls Jimin to his chest without thinking, kicking the door shut behind them. He tangles his fingers in Jimin’s silver hair and it’s so soft that all he wants to do is bury his face in it, too. “Fuck, I’m so sorry. I’m — it didn’t even occur to me,” he mumbles, pressing his lips to Jimin’s temple. “I’m such an asshole. You keep being so good to me and I just.”

 

He pauses, unsure of what to say, how to explain himself. Jimin’s arms are wrapped around his waist but Jeongguk manages to clumsily maneuver them to the bed.

 

“You’re so beautiful, you know that?” Jeongguk mumbles, gently stroking his back as Jimin wraps his entire body around him, and Jeongguk’s heart aches in his chest because he knows Jimin coming to him meant that he managed to entirely put his pride aside. “So good to me, hyung. So good.”

 

Putting his pride aside is something Jeongguk is still unable to do. He’s so bad at this. They’re both so bad at this, and it fucking hurts.

 

They stay like that for what feels like hours Jeongguk stroking his back and whispering all the words of reassurance he knows Jimin needs. When Jimin finally untangles himself and looks up at him he looks so happy, and Jeongguk is almost caught off guard when he feels Jimin’s lips on his. Still, he kisses him back, deep and slow, hoping Jimin will get it.

 

Hoping that he knows that everything Jeongguk had told him in the past hour, he meant it. He wasn’t just saying it.

 

“Thank you.” Jimin says quietly, the corners of his lips curled into a tiny smile. “And you don’t need to apologize. I’ve never given you the impression that I need or expect anything from you, you couldn’t have known. But this — right now — thank you. I needed this.”

 

All at once, Jeongguk feels like the whole world is against him. Like the universe hates him and like it’s trying to prove a point.

 

It’s unfair how beautiful Jimin is. It’s unfair how his skin tingles every time their eyes meet, it’s unfair how soft yet sharp his features are, how intimidating he is, how his smile makes Jeongguk all warm and fuzzy on the inside while also keeping him on his toes.

 

Everything has been going so good, so well, and Jeongguk knows it’s all going to end the second they come back to Seoul. Thing is — he could get used to this. He could get used to waking up next to Jimin, he could get used to spending time with him, he could get used to getting fucked stupid every goddamn day and just — Jeongguk knows.

 

He knows how screwed he is.

 

He’s fucking with the enemy and even worse — he’s falling for him too.

 

“Jimin,” he stretches his arm out, sticking his hand under his shirt, palm traveling down Jimin’s bare chest. His skin feels is so soft.

 

Jeongguk wants to stay here. He wants to stay here as long as he can.

 

“Hm?” Jimin hums, lazily turning to face him again. He reaches out and brushes his thumb along Jeongguk’s cheekbone, so gently it makes his skin break out into goosebumps.

 

He breathes in, eyes fluttering shut and he tries to calm his mind, even though there are a million thoughts running through his head. His heart hammers against the inside of his chest and Jeongguk wants to disappear, wants to press his body against Jimin’s, wants to run, wants to stay, wants a million things all at the same time, wants nothing at all.

 

The hotel room feels like his safe space and even though Jeongguk knows he’s playing with fire, knows Jimin is dangerous, he still wants to stay here. He wants to stay here for at least a little while longer. Away from the bullshit, away from whatever it is that his father has going on — even though Jeongguk knows he needs to get to the bottom of it. He just wants to freeze time. Just for a day.

 

“Let’s stay here one more day.”

 

Silence hangs between them, only making Jeongguk’s heart race faster with every passing beat. Jeongguk’s hand travels up, settles right over Jimin’s heart — and his heart is racing too. So many thoughts swirl inside of Jeongguk’s head all at once, and he wishes that this — none of this had to be this hard.

 

He wishes he knew how to deal with his emotions better, wishes it wasn’t so easy for him to give into everything. Jeongguk just wants to process all of this with a clear head, but that’s just impossible to do while Jimin is lying right next to him.

 

If the circumstances were different, maybe none of this would’ve been as hard. Maybe then Jeongguk would just have to deal with himself since that’s hard enough to do anyway — and not deal with the entire fucking divorce, Jimin’s messy as fuck mother and all the other shit that’s just piling on top of it all.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t want to fall in love, but he can’t help but feel like that’s exactly what’s happening.

 

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea, Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin says quietly, his hand sliding to the back of Jeongguk’s neck, gently tugging at the strands of his hair. “I have to be in the office on Monday. My mother’s a very… demanding client.”

 

Jeongguk scrunches his nose, slowly inching closer towards Jimin. “But she hasn’t called you once ever since we got here.”

 

“She knows better than to bother me while I’m spending time with my father,” Jimin laughs bitterly, rubbing his hand over his face. “I don’t know, Jeongguk,” he turns to him again, pressing their foreheads together. “Fuck, don’t — I hate it when you look at me like that. Does all sorts of things to me. Fuck.”

 

Jeongguk’s eyes widen and he doesn’t know how he’s looking at Jimin but it leaves him breathless anyway, and his chest fills with warmth because — this is the first time that Jimin looks actually affected by him, same way Jeongguk is almost every single time. And they’re not even fucking.

 

“Just — one more day.”

 

Jimin sighs, eyes fluttering shut and they’re both silent for a few minutes.

 

Please, Jeongguk thinks. Just one more day.

 

“Okay. Yeah. Let’s stay for one more day.” Jimin presses their lips together, kissing him so deeply it almost makes Jeongguk run out of breath. “Just one more day.”

 

Jeongguk’s heart clenches and he swallows around the lump in his throat.

 

Yeah, he’s definitely falling in love.






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Jeongguk stretches his arms out, yawning as he rolls over to the other side of the bed. He bumps into Jimin who’s still peacefully sleeping beside him, the morning sun illuminating the side of his face, accentuating the golden tone of his skin.

 

He blinks a couple of times, eyes adjusting to the light, and he shamelessly stares at him — yeah. Jeongguk could really get used to this. Jimin’s face is puffy with sleep, strands of hair messily falling over his forehead, eyelashes fanning across his cheeks and then — Jimin’s eyes barely open and he looks up at him, lips spreading into a smile as he buries his face back into the pillow.

 

“Stop staring,” he mumbles, voice deep and raspy, cracking around the edges.

 

Jeongguk’s cheeks flush and he pulls the covers all the way up to his chin, looking away. He feels a little exposed, but Jimin just looks — he looks so fucking cute, it’s impossible not to stare. He’d be crazy not to.

 

“I’m not staring,” Jeongguk huffs, deliberately looking up at the ceiling. “I was just checking to see if you were awake.”

 

Jimin chuckles into the pillow and then pulls back, pressing his hands together and tucking them right underneath his cheek. He looks so young, Jeongguk thinks, even more so now that he’s all hazy with sleep.

 

“Mmm, you were definitely staring,” Jimin says, still smiling. “S’okay, though. I like it when you stare.”

 

Jeongguk clears his throat and keeps looking up at the ceiling, his cheeks still red with embarrassment. His mind goes back to last night, when Jimin appeared at his door — eyes all big and he looked so fucked out and almost broken — and it makes Jeongguk’s heart ache all over again.

 

He’d been so inconsiderate, so irresponsible — which would have been somewhat fine and excusable if he was still a teenager, but he was thirty fucking years old. It shouldn’t have had to come to the point where Jimin needed to seek aftercare, Jeongguk should’ve provided it already.

 

Thing is, it didn’t even occur to him. Not for a split second — because he was so far up his own ass to even consider that Jimin — he’s human too. It’s like some sort of epiphany or revelation dawned upon Jeongguk, like it needed to come to that for him to realize that no matter how intimidating and rigid Jimin may be at times, or in Jeongguk’s opinion, most of the time — it didn’t matter. He still should have been considerate enough to at least ask, without assuming anything.

 

Jeongguk still feels kind of bad about it, but it is what it is. He and Jimin had fallen asleep all tangled up together and honestly, Jeongguk could really, really get used to that. It just felt… right. There was no other way to put it.

 

“I’m sorry about, uh,” Jeongguk breathes in, eyes still focused on the ceiling. “Last night. I’m really sorry about last night. I know I’ve apologized already and you said it was fine, but I want you to know that I really mean it. I do feel bad for not realizing that you need it. The aftercare, I mean.”

 

Jimin blinks up at him, brows slightly furrowing and he inches a little closer to Jeongguk. He almost looks confused for a second, features soft and delicate until his eyes go a bit colder, his jaw tightening. The sudden shift catches Jeongguk off guard and Jimin’s piercing gaze sends chills right down his spine, making him squirm a little.

 

“It’s fine,” Jimin says seriously, corners of his lips curling even though the smile doesn’t reach his eyes. For a split second, Jeongguk thinks he’s said something to piss Jimin off, but then he realizes — Jimin is uncomfortable. Fuck. Jeongguk probably shouldn’t have brought that up. If it were him, he’d probably be beyond embarrassed about it.

 

Jimin looks too proud to be so openly embarrassed, but Jeongguk can tell mentioning that again has made the air between them a little too dense. He can sense it. But he just — he needed to apologize again. Make sure Jimin knows he truly is sorry and that it won’t happen again. He was just so… well. Too far up his own ass, to put it simply.

 

“I shouldn’t have mentioned it,” Jeongguk quickly interrupts, watching as Jimin’s shoulders slightly relax. “I just wanted to make it clear. That I am sorry. And that it won’t happen again.”

 

His cheeks flare but he keeps his eyes on Jimin’s — because Jeongguk doesn’t know how else to show that he’s sincere — other than never being so dumb and ignorant again. Jimin’s expression softens and this time, the smile he gives Jeongguk reaches his eyes, making his heart flutter inside of his chest.

 

“I know. I should’ve probably said something immediately, too,” Jimin admits, placing his palm on Jeongguk’s cheek, gently brushing his thumb over the cheekbone. “But you wouldn’t look at me and then you said you were fine, so I was like, okay, it’s not a big deal. But it’s been a while since I let someone do, um — that — so when we came back to the hotel I kind of lost it for a second. I was pacing back and forth around my room and just… yeah. It’s all good. I’m fine now.”

 

It’s true, Jeongguk didn’t really look at him. He just couldn’t. It was all so intense, fucking in such a cramped up space, air filled with hormones and tension and moans and sweat and just — it was all too much all at once for Jeongguk, even though he was the one in charge this time around. After it was done and Jimin’s face was flushed with Jeongguk’s fingers imprinted all over the side of his cheeks, Jeongguk just felt kind of — exhausted. Exhausted with a mixture of other feelings he couldn’t even begin to put his finger on, because frankly, he just thought it was all post-sex hormones hitting him all at once.

 

In a way, he kind of felt ashamed, too, even though he and Jimin had both wanted that. He was so busy trying to appear as if what had just happened hadn’t affected him — trying so hard to not appear weak, because Jimin never does that aftercare had completely slipped his mind. And it’s not an excuse, but it’s how he felt at the time and just. He’s barely able to process his own shit, let alone someone else’s. The only thing Jeongguk can do is apologize and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

 

“Yeah. Good, I’m glad. I’m not trying to be overly dramatic or anything, just,” Jeongguk huffs, shrugging, “aftercare. It’s important. I’m aware of that.”

 

Jimin’s smile widens and his eyes disappear into small crescents and god he’s so adorable it makes Jeongguk’s heart ache.

 

“Good,” Jimin stretches his arms above his head, disappearing underneath the duvet for a moment before his head pokes out again, and he kicks the covers off of himself. He reaches under the pillow and gets his phone out, frowning once he looks at the time. “It’s almost nine. You wanna sleep some more and then go get some breakfast and walk around or what?”

 

Jeongguk shifts, reaching for his own phone. Shit. Four missed calls from Namjoon — he had completely forgotten to tell him he was going out of town for the weekend. His body tenses up as he remembers his father’s odd behavior from yesterday and Jeongguk knows he needs to get to the bottom of it sooner rather than later. And he doesn’t have much time, especially with the court date being right around the corner.

 

His stomach tightens at the thought of that. Jimin had seemed so confident in himself last night in the car, to the point that he really pushed Jeongguk over the edge. He tries not to think about that much — after all, Jimin doesn’t have the information he and Namjoon have, and it’s none of his business, anyway.

 

Jeongguk watches as Jimin gets out of bed, ruffling his hair before he gets up. He still looks sleepy, and the bed hair and his puffy cheeks only make him that much softer and cuter looking and Jeongguk — he has to stop staring even though he knows that he needs to focus.

 

He needs to call Namjoon back and he needs to tell him that something’s up with his father’s behavior. Jeongguk thought about it for a little while before falling asleep last night, and even though his insides twist at the thought, he is pretty sure that having a private investigator look into what his father’s been up to and what kind of company he’s been keeping lately is the best way to go about things.

 

“I’m gonna go take a shower,” Jimin yawns as he circles around the bed, losing his shirt and tossing it onto Jeongguk who’s mouth slightly pops open as he stares back at Jimin’s bare chest. “Wanna join me?”

 

He gulps, blinking a couple of times as he sits up straight, just downright staring. God, he’s so hot, and Jeongguk genuinely doesn’t remember the last time he’s been this attracted to someone. Yeah — their chemistry was crazy and Jeongguk was painfully aware of that but when it came to Jimin there just wasn’t a single flaw he could point out, he was just — to him, he was perfect.

 

Physically. Well. Amongst other things.

 

Jeongguk really didn’t want to think about the last night’s realization but yeah — it was clear as day, even now, when he’s no longer feeling fucked out and wrecked, Jeongguk doesn’t really want to run — even though somewhere in the back of his mind, he does feel the urge to.

 

He’s terrified, but he doesn’t want to think too much about it because he really, really doesn’t want to freak out. He just wants to enjoy his time because he knows that as soon as they step foot in Seoul, it’s all going to be over. Jeongguk isn’t ready to get out of this bubble. Not yet.

 

But — he does need to call Namjoon. And he needs to do it without Jimin being around. And as much as he would love, and really, he would love to fuck around in the shower, this is probably the only time today he’s going to have an opportunity to make a phone call without actually worrying if Jimin’s going to pick up on something or not.

 

“I’d love to,” he says, sets Jimin’s shirt aside and pushes the covers off of himself, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed, ready to get up. He only then realizes how sore his bottom half is — especially his knees and thighs. It’s not like he hadn’t expected it, but damn. “But one of us has to go down to the reception and extend the room reservations before checkout.”

 

Jimin stops right in front of the bathroom door, eyes narrowing in confusion for a split second before he playfully rolls his eyes, hand resting on the doorknob.

 

“Shit, forgot about that,” he watches as Jeongguk puts his pants and sweater on, sighing as he twists the doorknob, slightly opening the bathroom door. “Shame. But you go ahead and do that then, we can meet downstairs in the lobby and then get some breakfast after?”

 

Jeongguk nods, reaching for his bag to get his wallet out while Jimin disappears behind the door.

 

“Oh, by the way, Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin pokes his head out of the bathroom right as Jeongguk is about to leave the room, catching him off guard, making him flinch in surprise at the huskiness of his voice. “No need to re-book my room. We won’t be needing it anymore.”

 

He winks at him and disappears before Jeongguk can even manage to say anything back. God, he knows he is in so, so much trouble.

 

———

 

Jeongguk makes his way down to the lobby, cancels Jimin’s room and books his own for one extra day, and then sits in the farthest corner he can, making sure he’s facing the elevator so he can see Jimin coming.

 

He quickly skims over the emails he’d received from his assistant and then dials Namjoon, hoping Jimin will take his time in the shower.

 

“Jeongguk? Where are you?” Namjoon answers the phone on its first ring, and Jeongguk almost laughs because he can practically see the way Namjoon’s brows are pinched together with worry behind those glasses of his. “I called your father last night but he just said you’ve gone to the countryside. To rest. Or something ridiculous like that. What’s going on?”  

 

Jeongguk sighs, running his hand through his hair. He has no idea how he’s going to explain this to Namjoon and keep it short — but he’s gonna have to.

 

Shit.

 

“Actually,” he starts, leaning back into the chair. “I’m in Busan. With Jimin.”

 

There’s rustle on the other end of the line and Jeongguk can literally hear him think.

 

“Okay. What are you doing in Busan?” Namjoon clears his throat.

 

“Well. You said I should hear him out,” Jeongguk immediately gets defensive, sinking further into his chair. He glances towards the elevator as a couple walks out but thankfully — Jimin is nowhere in sight just yet. “So I did. Hear him out,” — loud and clear — Jeongguk thinks. “Well, sort of. He said that if I’m willing to trust him, I should go to Busan with him. So I did.”

 

Jeongguk realizes how that might sound ridiculous, especially to Namjoon who wasn’t really too spontaneous in that sense.

 

“I said hear him out,” Namjoon sighs, sounding exasperated. Jeongguk chuckles. It’s barely nine in the morning and they’ve been talking for less than five minutes and yet he’d already managed to make Namjoon tired. “Not disappear to Busan with him for the weekend without picking up your phone for the whole day. Why are you there, anyway? Did he tell you something related to the case? Or are the two of you just out of town fucking?”

 

Jeongguk squirms, feeling his cheeks getting hot. Which is basically ridiculous, considering he loved to overshare details about his sex life, especially with Namjoon. Somehow, when it came to Jimin though, all of it just kind of hit different. And he wasn’t entirely sure why.

 

“No. I met his dad. He told me all about his mother and the divorce case.” He lowers his voice, eyes set on the elevator door. Jimin could come down any second and he really needs to get to the point. “I don’t have much time because Jimin’s going to come any second but — his mother is the actual Satan here. His dad lives in a dump, and the only thing he can afford is the rent. Jimin pays for everything else. You should’ve seen him, hyung. He’s so ashamed of the fact that he has to take money from Jimin. I’ll tell you the details when I come back to Seoul but. Yeah. Basically Jiyeon was cheating on him with his boss and all that good stuff, so they just got rid of him. Anyway… it’s not good. However, I’m gonna need you to run a background check on him. I believe him but…”

 

“...you just want to be sure,” Namjoon supplies, and Jeongguk sighs in relief. Namjoon gets it. He gets him. He always had. And Jeongguk doesn’t even have to go into detail. “And you need to see if the story really checks out. If he’s really poor and all that. Got it.”

 

“Exactly,” he continues. “I’ll send you the info I have about him via email. Also, hyung, my dad. Something is up. I don’t know what it is, but I have a gut feeling and you know I’m rarely wrong when it comes to those. Again, I don’t have much time because Jimin will come down any second but dad’s been acting weird, and I’ve noticed it especially yesterday when I told him I’ll be gone for the weekend. Can’t really explain it but he looked pretty thrilled to get rid of me for a couple of days. That’s beyond unlike him, no matter how tense things are between us.”

 

“I thought the two of you have been on good terms lately,” Namjoon says absentmindedly, and Jeongguk is pretty sure he’s writing things down as they speak. “You’ve chilled out a bit. Especially after the meeting with the private investigator.”

 

“We have been,” Jeongguk rests his forehead against the heel of his palm, eyes still set on the elevator. He really can’t have Jimin overhearing any of this. “But something is up. I have a feeling…” his stomach twists at the thought, a knot rising up to his throat. He really, really hopes he’s wrong. He needs to be wrong. Jeongguk lowers his voice. “I have this odd feeling he could be… I don’t know. Seeing someone? Maybe?”

 

He swallows heavily, realizing his mouth had gone entirely dry. Jeongguk really hopes that’s not the case. And if it is, he needs to get to the bottom of it, and needs to figure out who it is that’s got his father all weirdly smitten and he needs to put a stop to it immediately.

 

“Jeongguk, tell me you’re shitting me,” Namjoon pauses and Jeongguk hears the way his pen clicks as he drops it down onto the desk. “We can’t have any of that bullshit now. It’s a distraction and it can fuck everything up for us — do you want me to stop by your place and talk to him?”

 

“No, no,” Jeongguk quickly says, his heartbeat quickening. “Don’t. I’m not sure what’s going on. I just need you to get a private investigator to look into it. Okay? Please.”

 

Namjoon huffs, quiet for a few seconds before he speaks again. If there was anything Namjoon hated, it was clients who were messing up the case, and Jeongguk really, really didn’t want his father to be one of those. He’d been through this process way too many times to be doing anything stupid like that. Truthfully, the fact that it wasn’t his father's first rodeo in court was the only thing keeping Jeongguk from totally freaking out right now.

 

Maybe his dad was just going through a midlife crisis or some shit like that.

 

“Fine, but Jeongguk I swear to god—”

 

“I know,” Jeongguk interrupts, crossing his legs as he rubs the side of his face in annoyance. He knows. “That’s why I need to be sure if something is going on or if it’s even that. Maybe he’s just going through a midlife crisis or some shit, I don’t know. Maybe he’s about to close some huge deal. I don’t know, hyung, that’s why I need a PI to look into that.”

 

“Yeah, no, I get it. Fine, just — I really hope you’re wrong this time, Jeongguk-ah,” Namjoon’s voice flattens again, and Jeongguk feels his shoulders relax. He hopes he’s wrong too. “I’ll get that sorted immediately. Is that all?”

 

“Yeah,” Jeongguk wishes he could’ve gone into more detail, but he knows Namjoon trusts his judgement either way. “That’s all. Promise I’ll tell you everything in detail when I get back.”

 

“When are you coming back? Tonight?”

 

“No,” Jeongguk bites down on his lower lip, feeling tingles as they run down his back. “Tomorrow night. We, uh — decided to stay one extra day.”

 

Silence hangs and Jeongguk can hear Namjoon breathing on the other end of the line. He can’t tell if he disapproves or not, but he doesn’t imagine him being too thrilled, either.

 

“Okay. Just. Be careful,” Namjoon finally says. “Not that I don’t think Jimin is a good guy, just—”

 

“Hyung, it’s fine,” he cuts him off, sighing. “I’m not going to fuck the case up. Honestly, he’s not asked me about a single thing related to it. About my part. Our part.”

 

“That’s not what I meant.” Namjoon says, and Jeongguk goes quiet. He gulps around a tiny lump that forms in his throat, and he slightly shivers, letting out a breath. “I want you to be careful. Not because of the case. Because of you.”

 

Jeongguk’s breathing feels ragged and he squeezes his eyes shut — because he knows exactly what Namjoon means. Because even though Jeongguk would genuinely rather die than admit it out loud, Namjoon is one of the few people who knows how fragile Jeongguk can be.

 

Especially when it comes to feelings.

 

“I’m careful,” he shrugs, mostly to himself. He watches as two men walk out of the elevator, followed by an elderly woman, but thankfully — no sign of Jimin yet. “He’s… he seems nice, hyung. Like, genuinely. You should have seen him with his father yesterday. He’s so… different. Less, I don’t know. Intimidating, I guess.”

 

Namjoon chuckles. “That’s how you see him,” he says. “But I get it. I think Jimin is a good guy, I already told you. Still, I want you to be careful. The circumstances aren’t in your favor and just — you know how you can get. I don’t want you to hurt anyone. More importantly, yourself.”

 

Jeongguk feels warmth spread inside of his chest and he really, really appreciates this. He knows this already — but it doesn’t hurt to hear it from someone else. Especially from Namjoon.

 

“Yeah. I know. Thanks, hyung.”

 

“Shit — I almost forgot,” Namjoon raises his voice, and Jeongguk straightens up in his seat. He watches as the elevator comes down again and the door opens, and he literally feels nauseous as Jimin comes out, wearing black ripped jeans and an oversized yellow sweater. Yellow. Yellow. Jeongguk’s stomach flips and not in a good way.

 

“Hyung, Jimin is here, I gotta—”

 

“It’s not about the case,” Namjoon clicks his tongue and Jeongguk watches as Jimin looks around for a moment, expression confused before his gaze shifts and he finally spots him, and slowly makes his way across the lobby. “Or Jimin, for that matter. There’s a charity event my parents are organizing on Friday. I think it’s for some family whose house has been destroyed by the government or some conspiracy shit like that, I haven’t looked into it yet — but you gotta show up with your dad. You know the drill.”

 

Jimin comes up to him and Jeongguk can’t take his eyes off of the goddamn sweater. He feels nauseous. He fucking hates yellow. His hand tangles in Jeongguk’s hair as he stands right next to him, pressing his index finger to his lips and then waving his other hand — signaling to Jeongguk that he’ll be quiet until he finishes the phone call.

 

“This Friday?” Jeongguk sighs, tilting his head to the side as he feels Jimin’s fingers gently scratch his scalp.  “Dress code?”

 

“Yeah. Standard. Formal. Wear a suit. Black.”

 

“Okay, hyung. I’ll call you when I’m back in Seoul.”

 

They end the call and Jeongguk looks up at Jimin, swallowing heavily as he tries not to look at the yellow sweater that literally feels like it’s attacking him. Fuck, he’s really uncomfortable. It’s just a color, he knows, but it pisses him off so, so much, because all it does is remind him how Jiyeon redecorated their whole entire apartment to her own convenience and he just.

 

He needs to breathe. It’s just a color.

 

A color mom literally hated, are the first words that imprint in the back of his mind and he sighs, pushing himself up to his feet.

 

“You good?”

 

“Yeah,” Jeongguk says, watching as Jimin’s arm drops back to his side. “Namjoon hyung called about some charity event his parents are throwing on Friday. My father and I have to be there. Standard bullshit.”

 

“Ah, the Kims do love those,” Jimin rolls his eyes. “My mother goes to every single one. I’m assuming you’ll be seeing her there. I might have to come as well.”

 

Jeongguk feels a pinch of annoyance in the base of his stomach at the mention of Jimin’s mother, and paired with that yellow sweater Jimin is wearing, it really doesn’t contribute to his mood.

 

“Well, the Kims are extremely close to my father. They’re like my second family,” Jeongguk grits his teeth, trying to not sound too annoyed, but he kind of is. Irked. Just a little bit. “So I doubt she’ll be on the invite list.”

 

Jimin scoffs, wrapping his hand around Jeongguk’s wrist and tugging him towards the rotating glass door that leads out of the hotel.

 

“It’s a charity event, Jeongguk-ah,” he explains as they get out on the street, squinting in the morning sun. “They care about the money raised, not familial and interpersonal relationships.”

 

He’s right, Jeongguk knows that. Doesn’t mean he’ll like seeing her, though he knows he probably won’t really have a choice and that he’ll need to be on his best behavior.

 

“Whatever.”

 

“Anyway, shall we go get some breakfast?” Jimin asks, shielding his eyes with his hand as he looks around the street. “I’m fuckin’ starving.”

 

Jimin’s sweater looks even brighter in the sun and honestly, Jeongguk feels as if he’s kind of lost his appetite. His stomach rumbles regardless, but the nausea that settles in the pit of it is definitely not the most pleasant thing he’s ever felt.

 

It’s all so stupid.

 

He’s been on a rollercoaster of emotion for the past two days, feeling so vulnerable with just admitting his feelings to himself and just — it’s crazy how a minor detail like the color of Jimin’s fucking sweater is so quick to throw him off balance.

 

It doesn’t matter, it shouldn’t matter — none of it should matter, because it’s honestly not a big deal. Jeongguk doesn’t even know why he’s getting so worked up over it — Seokjin wears yellow all the time.

 

He breathes in, trying to calm down. It’s not even about the color. God, it’s not about the fucking color, it’s about what it represents. The way it’s not his sanctuary, the way his mother didn’t like it, and the worst of it all — the way his mother’s hard work was disregarded the second his father allowed Jimin’s mother to redecorate their apartment in that god awful — yeah.

 

“What’s with the sweater?” Leaves his mouth before he can even stop himself, and he quickly looks away as they slowly walk down the street.

 

Jimin looks at it in confusion, then back at Jeongguk. “What do you mean?”

 

“Yellow. You like it?” He clears his throat. “The color, I mean.”

 

“Oh,” Jimin’s expression softens and he laughs, grabbing Jeongguk’s hand and pulling him back as they stop in front of a traffic light that’s just gone red. Honestly, getting hit by a car doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

 

Maybe not hit, but a little nudge wouldn’t hurt. Just so he can at least snap out of it and stop letting every single thing annoy the living shit out of him. It’s exhausting. His own brain exhausts him. It’s wired all wrong.

 

“Careful! Yeah,” he continues. “I love yellow. Probably one of my favorite colors. It’s just so warm, you know?”

 

Jeongguk doesn’t know. Yellow is loud and obnoxious, kind of like the cars that are honking out on the street when there’s massive traffic in the city. It’s blinding and repelling, and there’s not a single warm thing about it. He can’t list a single one.

 

“Not really,” he admits, but he doesn’t want to make it a big deal, so he just shrugs, following Jimin as he crosses the street. “But to each their own, I guess.”

 

Jimin stops, looking up at him. “What’s your favorite color?”

 

“Purple,” Jeongguk says without thinking, just remembering how his mother always dressed in long, silky dark purple robes and how he’d grown up with the color always surrounding him. He watches as Jimin’s face smile slowly fades and he continues walking again, Jeongguk following right behind him.

 

“Of course it is,” he hears Jimin mumble. There’s a sigh and then a barely audible “everything with you has to be so difficult,” muffled by a fire truck siren.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t push it, because this is a pointless conversation to have right now. Jimin doesn’t know anything about his mother — and he possibly couldn’t understand.

 

“We’re here,” Jimin stops in front of a fast food restaurant, then looks back at him. Is this okay?”

 

“Yeah, it’s fine,” Jeongguk says, following inside.

 

Jimin could never understand. Jeongguk’s stomach painfully twists as he walks inside the restaurant, and realization hits him — he can never really, truly understand him. No matter how bad Jimin’s relationship with his mother is, at the end of the day, he still has her.

 

Jeongguk would take that over his mother being gone any day.

 

———

 

Things are less tense — at least on Jeongguk’s part, considering Jimin had been acting fine — after breakfast, and Jeongguk finally relaxes and enjoys the sun as they walk around the city.

 

Jimin shows him around, they even do a bit of shopping — and after a while, Jeongguk stops noticing the bright color of his sweater. The more time he and Jimin spend together, the more Jeongguk gets accustomed to his mannerisms, his sense of humor, the way he scrunches his nose when he says something silly, the way his eyes widen and he covers his mouth when something is really funny — and the less everything else bothers him.

 

They have lunch with Jimin’s father, and honestly — it feels so nice. Way different than it was yesterday. Less nerve-wracking, less stressful, and Jeongguk only feels slightly bad that he’d told Namjoon to run a background check on him.

 

He had to, though, and he’s sure that if the roles were reversed, Jimin would have done the same. It’s not that Jeongguk doesn’t trust him — but it’s not that he really does, either. He’s in this weird in between state, torn between what he wants and what he feels, and Jeongguk just wants to make sure he’s keeping both of his eyes wide open.

 

Because when there’s that much money on the line, like there is in his father’s divorce case, you should never, ever trust the opposing counsel. And Jeongguk, even though his gut feeling is telling him to relax, that it’s fine — doesn’t want to give into his feelings too much. Plus, he needs to be sure. There’s no way around it, he just does.

 

He likes Jimin’s dad. He’s nice, he’s funny and he seems kind, and Jeongguk can’t help but feel bad for him. It’s interesting to see how similar Jimin is to him, how their smile is the exact same and how there’s an undeniable resemblance in the way they carry themselves.

 

It’s a whole other side to Jimin that Jeongguk likes and that in a way, makes him feel safe. It’s the side that makes him almost trust him — but a voice in the back of his head makes sure he doesn’t give in too much.

 

If Yoongi could read Jeongguk’s mind, he’d probably tell him he’s paranoid, and now that Jeongguk thinks about it — he’d be right. He is paranoid. He probably always has been, at least to an extent. Jeongguk would rather die than let someone make a fool out of him, so it was always better to be cautious.

 

And in this situation, it was better to stay alert. For his own sake.

 

It’s just past dinner time when they get to their room, and Jeongguk’s all sore both from last night and from walking around the whole day. Busan is pretty, and even though Jeongguk kind of wishes they could have gone down to the beach because the day was nice, it was still a little too cold for that. Regardless, they had a good day.

 

Jimin changes out of his clothes and into something more comfortable, and Jeongguk lets out a breath of relief once he puts that awful sweater back into the bag and out of his face. Yeah, it’s not like it had bothered him the whole day, but somehow when Jimin climbs onto the bed next to him in his black shirt and dark sweatpants, Jeongguk feels so much more at ease.

 

He feels like he can breathe again.

 

They lay next to each other, checking their emails and scrolling through their phones in silence as the weather suddenly changes and rain starts pounding against the windows.


“Today was good, huh?” Jimin asks, putting his phone beside him, looking over at Jeongguk.

 

“It was,” Jeongguk locks his phone and tosses it onto the nightstand, massaging his temples as he yawns and stretches his body out. God, he’s still so damn sore. “I had a good time. Really.”

 

“We could always have a good time,” Jimin says, and oddly enough, this time, it doesn’t sound sexual in the slightest. Jeongguk’s not sure what to make of it. “I like spending time with you. I knew I would, but… I really like it.”

 

Jeongguk’s cheeks flush and his skin feels all tingly, Jimin’s gaze dark and intense but it doesn’t feel intimidating this time around. It’s just the two of them in a dark hotel room, soft sounds of rain filling the room as it hits against the windows and Jeongguk wants to melt into the mattress.

 

“You’re not so bad to be around either,” Jeongguk chuckles, happy that Jimin probably can’t tell just how red his cheeks are in the dim light of the room.

 

“That’s good to know,” Jimin says, voice still serious and even. He clears his throat, gaze sliding away from Jeongguk and up to the ceiling. “That you don’t just want me for, uh — fucking.”

 

Jeongguk’s brows furrow and his heartbeat quickens, a tiny bit of panic spreading through him, because he doesn’t know what to immediately respond to that. He hadn’t expected Jimin to go there.

 

“Um,” Jeongguk’s heart beats fast inside of his chest and his mouth goes dry, breath catching in his throat because he really, really isn’t sure what the right thing to say is. At least not without giving away too much, without making it obvious just how far gone he is. “That’s not — I’m not like tha—”

 

“Jeongguk it’s fine,” Jimin interrupts and Jeongguk feels his hand as it searches for his, and he almost winces as Jimin intertwines their fingers together. “I don’t care.”

 

“I care,” Jeongguk is quick to say and his stomach immediately drops, panic flooding his entire system because he doesn’t — he really doesn’t want Jimin to know that. Fuck, all of this is just so fucking ridiculous. “Not like — not like that. I mean, I do but I don’t — I don’t want you to think like that. I’m not — it’s not just the sex. I swear. I’m not that kind of guy, Jimin.”

 

He’s not. He’s just weak. He’s so weak for him it’s pathetic, and Jeongguk is convinced that if the rain wasn’t pounding against the glass, Jimin would be able to hear his heart as it drums so loudly inside of his chest.

 

“I know,” Jimin says quietly, and Jeongguk feels his palm as it sweats against his. Jimin is nervous, and it’s so fucking liberating to know.

 

He’d seen glimpses of that over the past couple of days but feeling it — it just lifts a lot of weight that’s been pressing against his chest.

 

“We don’t have to — what’s up with you and yellow?”

 

Jeongguk’s caught off guard again and his chest heaves as he takes a deep breath, exhaling it shakily before he speaks again. His stomach ties in a knot because — he doesn’t even know how to explain it so that it makes sense. Jeongguk’s not good at these kinds of things. He never has been.

 

“I just don’t like it,” he opts for the easy way out, ignoring the way Jimin’s tiny fingers curl around his. “It’s um. Too bright.”

 

“Bullshit,” Jimin’s hand squeezes his and Jeongguk jolts abruptly at the unexpected harshness of his tone. “You looked as if you were going to puke during breakfast. What’s up with that?”

 

Jeongguk takes in a sharp breath, thoughts racing a million miles an hour. It’s so uncomfortable, embarrassing even, that he’s so visibly affected by something as trivial as a color — and he’s scared that Jimin might even find it pathetic if Jeongguk told him what the real reason is. He’s not even sure if he can convey it the exact way he feels it — but Jimin has become a little too good at picking up on certain things and if they continue having whatever it is that they’re having, no matter how fucked up and dysfunctional, Jeongguk’s going to have to talk about some things.

 

“My mom,” Jeongguk begins, shifting uncomfortably. “She um. She didn’t like yellow. She’d always say it’s too bright and too obnoxious and that it should be the color that signals danger. It’s something I tie to her, in a way. Her dislikes often reflect mine because, well. I’m a lot like her. So I guess it just sort of makes me… weirdly uncomfortable.”

 

Jeongguk feels like he’d just word vomited, and he has no idea if what he’d just said sounds pathetic, or if it just makes no sense.

 

“Oh,” Jimin sounds like out of all of the possible reasons he’d listed in his head, this one didn’t make it to the list. “That makes sense. Are you close to your with your mother?”

 

Jeongguk snorts.

 

“I used to be,” he simply says.

 

Jimin’s brows furrow and he inches closer to him, resting his chin on top of his shoulder.

 

“What happened?” Jimin asks, and he sounds so genuinely curious that Jeongguk doesn’t even have it in him to get angry.

 

“She died,” he chokes out, turning his head away.

 

He feels Jimin go tense beside him and then he relaxes, kind of as if he consciously had to make himself.

 

“I’m — Jeongguk, I’m sorry,” Jimin says quietly, and his breath feels hot and tingly against the skin of Jeongguk’s neck. “I had no idea.”

 

“Some research you did on me then,” Jeongguk half laughs, still facing away from Jimin.

 

It’s too sensitive. The whole subject is too sensitive and Jeongguk doesn’t want to talk about it. It makes his skin crawl.

 

“I looked into your professional career,” Jimin says, his hand gently squeezing Jeongguk’s again. “Where you studied, your firm, your cases and all that stuff. I never looked into your personal life. I”m not my mother Jeongguk. I have boundaries. Your personal life is none of my business. Unless you want to make it.”

 

Jeongguk turns to face him again and Jimin’s eyes are big and hopeful, and Jeongguk doesn’t even try to stop himself when he automatically surges forward, pressing their lips together.

 

Jimin’s lips part and he immediately lets Jeongguk deepen the kiss, his arms wrapping around his neck. Jeongguk pulls back for a brief second, staring into Jimin’s eyes as the shadows from outside cover half of his face, but his eyes shine so brightly they could light up the whole room.

 

His heart tightens in his chest and Jeongguk tilts his head and kisses him again, sighing deeply as their bodies merge together.

 

“I wish I could,” he finally says, dropping his entire weight on Jimin who readily slides his hands down Jeongguk’s back, touch gentle and soothing.

 

“Yeah,” Jimin murmurs, resting his cheek on top of Jeongguk’s head, slowly stroking his back. “I wish you could, too.”

 

Jeongguk doesn’t know when he falls asleep, but he’s pretty sure it’s to the dulls sounds of rain and Jimin’s quiet humming.

 

———

 

There’s a loud thud and possibly a sound of something breaking when Jeongguk drops his bag to the floor and he whines when Jimin slams him against the door, both of them struggling to get rid of their jackets as their lips crash, tongues messily sliding against one another. It’s messy and desperate — like the last time they kissed wasn’t last night, but years ago.

 

But time is relative, and Jeongguk feels like they’re running out of it. He desperately wants to hold on to what they had in Busan — so close, but so far away. Now that they’re back, it’s not just the two of them doing whatever they want to — they’re enemies again. At least in Jeongguk’s head.

 

The entire car ride back, Jeongguk couldn’t sit still. He could have sworn the car still reeked of sex, and just the fact that he was terrified of the… stability, he and Jimin established over the past few days being gone, Jeongguk could barely breathe.

 

It was evident that Jimin kind of felt the same, squirming in his seat, constantly reaching over to touch him, whether it be his hand, shoulder, leg or face and just — it just made everything so much more unbearable, especially considering the fact that they were cramped up and stuck in the goddamn car for six hours straight.

 

Honestly, Jeongguk was surprised they made it to Seoul without actually fucking, considering that Jimin’s hand was on his dick ever since they were somewhere near Suwon, the air between them so thick and dense that he could’ve cut it with a knife.

 

Jeongguk felt ridiculous. Like some fucking teenager who wasn’t allowed to date so he had to sneak around with his boyfriend, wanting so desperately to spend as much time with him as he could but — that’s basically how he felt.

 

And judging by how harshly Jimin’s nails scratch against his ribs as he parts his legs with his knee, he feels the exact same way.

 

“Gonna ruin you,” Jeongguk shivers at the huskiness of Jimin’s voice, tipping his head back as Jimin’s hot breath hits against his skin, shivers traveling all the way down his spine, clawing at the low of his back. “Just you fuckin’ wait. Gonna ruin you so that you don’t even think about thinking of anyone else but me.”






“Tighter,” Jeongguk demands, eyes locked with Jimin’s.

 

Jimin’s cheeks are all flushed and pretty, and Jeongguk’s cock twitches in his underwear as he feels Jimin tighten the cuffs around his wrist. Tight. So tight he can’t move an inch.

 

Just the way he likes it.

 

“You’re very talkative tonight,” Jimin murmurs, grabbing his jaw, swiping his thumb across Jeongguk’s lower lip. “Maybe I should gag you as well, huh? Keep you quiet while I fuck you.”

 

Shivers run down Jeongguk’s spine and his hips jerk up, and yes — it’s been a while. Maybe he wants to be gagged.

 

“Maybe you should,” he shoots back, harshly biting down on Jimin’s thumb, smirking as Jimin yelps and pulls his hand back.

 

Jimin’s fingers grab his jaw again and he surges forward, face so close to Jeongguk’s he can almost feel his ragged breath on his lips.

 

“Gonna make it so fucking tight you can’t even let a sound out,” he gently slaps the side of Jeongguk’s face and his entire skin breaks out into goosebumps. Holy shit. Holy shit, holy, shit holy shit. Yes. “And then I’m going to fucking break you.”

 

“Do it,” Jeongguk orders, voice raspy and cracked with how fucking horny he is.

 

“Yeah?” Jimin arches an eyebrow. “That’s what you want?”

 

He nods, nudging Jimin with his leg as he slowly gets off of him, pacing towards his closet. It takes Jimin a couple of minutes to find what he’s looking for and even though Jeongguk tries, there’s no way he can get his breathing to be even. With every passing beat, Jeongguk’s cock only feels heavier between his legs, and when Jimin turns around and walks back to the bed with a black gag in his hand, Jeongguk can’t help the way his hips eagerly twitch.

 

“I’m gonna put this on now, yeah?” Jimin tilts his head to the side as he straddles Jeongguk’s hips again. “You sure you’re okay with this?”

 

“Quit being a little bitch about it and just gag me already,” Jeongguk hisses and Jimin’s lips spread into a devilish grin, and Jeongguk’s arousal only rises with that. Fuck. He’s gonna get it so good tonight.

 

Jimin doesn’t waste time and before he knows it, the gag is placed firmly into his mouth, strap tightened so firmly that Jeongguk can barely let out a whine.

 

“Good boy,” Jimin coos, gently cupping his face and surging forward to kiss the side of his jaw. “So pretty like this,” he murmurs, teeth scraping over the soft skin of his neck. “Could look at you all day.”

 

Jeongguk grunts, hips twitching underneath Jimin and he slowly starts to feel the pain around his wrists as he moves around, trying to get Jimin to do something.

 

“God damn it, you’re so fucking impatient,” Jimin quickly gets off of him and slaps his cock so hard it makes Jeongguk’s whole body flinch, cuffs imprinting deeper into the soft skin of his wrists and it all hurts so good it makes his eyes roll to the back of his head.

 

Fuck, he wants more. He needs more.

 

Jimin sets himself back between Jeongguk’s legs, coating his fingers with lube before he lowers himself, his other hand wrapping firmly around Jeongguk’s cock. Jeongguk’s eyes widen as he realizes what’s going to happen and before he can do anything in response, he feels Jimin’s lips around the tip and the sight of it — Jimin between his legs with his dick inside of his mouth makes Jeongguk want to scream and come on sight.

 

He feels Jimin’s tongue as it swirls around the tip, softly poking at the slit as he laps at the precome, licking him clean. Jeongguk blows the air through his nose, a whine emerging from the back of his throat as he feels Jimin’s other hand part his cheeks, his finger pressing against the rim until it finally pushes past the ring muscle, opening him up.

 

Jeongguk pants and chokes on his saliva as Jimin bobs his head up and down his length, tongue pressing at the veil and flicking over the slit, the slurping sounds of his mouth and Jeongguk’s dripping wet hole as Jimin pushes his fingers in and out of it filling the entire room, sending Jeongguk’s whole system into overdrive.

 

His muscles tense and tremble as Jimin sucks him off and fingers him at the same time, and Jeongguk can’t help the way his hips jerk, can’t help the way he squirms under Jimin’s touch, can’t help the way he chokes on his own spit every time he tries letting out a sound but can’t because he’s fucking gagged — can’t help the way his cock drools more precome every time the cuffs restrain his movement, cutting deeper into his skin and he feels as if he’s going to come any second now.

 

There’s no way for him to tell Jimin that the pressure building up in his lower stomach is threatening to make him explode at any second, there’s no way for him to let him know that he’s so, so close — but somehow, Jimin just knows.

 

He drops his cock from his mouth with a loud pop, pulling his fingers out all while he maintains eye contact. Jeongguk whines — not wanting him to stop, not wanting to feel so empty all of a sudden—

 

“Look at you, fucking crying for my cock,” Jimin lifts himself up and it’s only when he reaches to wipe the tears away, that Jeongguk realizes that his vision is all watery. He’d probably been crying as he was choking on the goddamn gag and he just fucking. God. It just feels so good. “Don’t worry, baby. You’ve been good. So that’s exactly what you’re gonna get.”

 

Jimin is quick to put a condom on and set himself back between his legs, lining his cock with Jeongguk’s entrance. He’s not gentle when he pushes in and he doesn’t need to — Jeongguk is so overwhelmed with pleasure when Jimin’s cock brushes against his prostate, and he whines and coughs when he slams his hips against him, setting a pace that Jeongguk knows is going to have him coming within minutes.

 

Jimin buries his face in the crook of Jeongguk’s neck as he thrusts inside of him deep and hard, biting down onto his shoulder as his hips uncontrollably jerk and Jeongguk doesn’t think he can handle this much longer.

 

He barely feels his arms, his thighs are trembling, his hole clenching around Jimin, his jaw is numb and he can barely fucking breathe but this — he’s never felt more fucking alive.

 

“Gonna come all over yourself, huh?” Jimin’s voice is low and husky with arousal, muffled as his face is buried into the crook of Jeongguk’s neck. “Gonna come all over yourself so I can lick you clean.”

 

At that, Jeongguk’s eyes roll to the back of his head and his vision goes white, the pressure that’s been coiling up in his groin suddenly releasing and his whole body fucking vibrates as he comes all over his chest and stomach, shaking and groaning as Jimin continues to slam into him, harder and harder as he fucks him through his own orgasm.

 

Jeongguk is sure that he takes at least a few minutes to regain consciousness and come down from his high, because when he does Jimin has already pulled out of him and released his arms from the tight grip of the handcuffs and set himself back between Jeongguk’s legs, slowly licking the come off of his lower stomach and chest while his eyes are dead set on his.

 

If Jeongguk could get hard again — he would. Jimin’s tongue is thick and long and the way he swipes it across Jeongguk’s lower stomach as he licks his come off is just… it’s a sight to see.

 

Jeongguk unties the gag and tosses it to the side, breathing out freely, watching as Jimin makes his way to his heaving chest, licking the last bit of come off of him. This time, he doesn’t swallow — instead he surges forward and presses his mouth to Jeongguk’s, tongue swirling inside of his mouth as he lets him taste himself.

 

It’s a mixture of come and saliva and it’s all salty and bitter, and Jeongguk takes it all, no questions asked. He’s never tasted himself before but he doesn’t care, it’s all so hot and intimate and raw and Jeongguk would do this a million times again if it was what Jimin wanted.

 

Finally, Jimin pulls away and giggles, cupping his face as he kisses his lips again and again before rolling off to the other side of the bed, right next to Jeongguk.

 

They lay like that, Jeongguk unable to look away, Jimin caressing the side of his face and occasionally kissing his cheeks or the tip of his nose — and Jeongguk doesn’t remember the last time he’d felt this good about himself.

 

Jeongguk wants this. He wants this every fucking day.

 

“Jeongguk,” Jimin hums, fingers carding through his hair. “Jeonggukie, look at me.”

 

Jeongguk’s heart clenches in his chest, throat closing up and he melts into Jimin’s touch. Fucking — why the fuck does all of this have to be so goddamn complicated?

 

He wishes his father wasn’t so fucking stupid and irresponsible, and he wishes Jimin wasn’t his father’s soon-to-be-ex-wife’s son. He wishes all of this was different.

 

Slowly, Jeongguk opens his eyes, placing his hand over Jimin’s.

 

“Yeah,” he breathes. “I’m looking at you.”

 

Jimin shifts a little closer, pressing their foreheads together as he slides his hand underneath Jeongguk’s and reaches down to cup his face, taking a deep breath.

 

“Good,” he mumbles quietly, almost inaudibly. “Now I need you to listen. Okay?”

 

Jeongguk nods, his heart hammering against the inside of his chest at their proximity, and it’s ridiculous how Jimin still manages to make him feel that way even though they’ve just finished fucking and Jeongguk shouldn’t even be able to get riled up because that’s how fucked out he is. Still he does, and this closeness, the fucking intimacy of this moment just — it does just that. It makes him shiver and it makes his heart ache and it makes him nervous and anxious all at the same time.

 

“Okay.”

 

Their eyes stay locked together and Jimin takes another deep breath, and Jeongguk has a feeling that whatever he’s about to say, isn’t something that comes easy to him. It only makes the chills run down his back faster.

 

“I’m not — I swear I’m not the enemy,” Jimin says, voice barely above a whisper. “No matter what happens now that we’re back in Seoul, Jeongguk, I promise you I’m not.”

 

Jeongguk’s lets out a shaky breath, pulling away a little. He buries his head into his hands and he just — all of this — it’s a lot. His head is spinning and they’re back in Seoul and they’ve just had mind blowing sex that had Jeongguk fucking crying and it’s all good, it’s great but… It doesn’t change the fact that Jeongguk is terrified of the outcome of literally everything.

 

He’s been sitting on pins and needles ever since he’d told Namjoon to get someone to follow his father around, and even though Sungmin’s story did entirely check out according to Namjoon — and that was a relief and a step in the right direction — it didn’t change the fact that falling for Jimin was probably the stupidest most reckless thing Jeongguk has ever allowed himself to do.

 

“I think I have to go,” he says quietly, untangling his legs from Jimin’s, wincing as he slowly gets out of bed. God, he really is wrecked. He looks over his shoulder as he sits on the edge of the bed, gaze locking with Jimin’s who’s still lying on his side, disappointment so evident on his face it makes Jeongguk’s heart break just a little bit.

 

“I’m sorry,” he adds, and he means it. But there’s no point in staying.

 

It’s late, Jimin has to go to work in the morning and Jeongguk has to look over the emails he’d so irresponsibly neglected over the weekend. It’s been good, so good, and Jeongguk never wanted them to leave, but real life waits and he needs to get his shit together and figure things out.

 

He runs his fingers through his hair and sighs, quickly throwing his clothes on, ignoring the dull ache in his muscles that are sending a clear message — stay. Lie down. Rest.

 

Jimin rolls onto his back, jaw tightly clenched as he stares up at the ceiling, and Jeongguk can’t tell if he’s pissed off or not — but it doesn’t even matter. Jeongguk needs to get the fuck out of here before he says something stupid, something that’ll make him vulnerable or exposed and make him an easy target.

 

He stands in the middle of the room, fully dressed, quietly staring at Jimin until he finally glances over at him one more time and then — he rolls his eyes and shifts to his side, turning his back to Jeongguk as he yanks the covers all the way so they’re covering his shoulders too.

 

“Make sure to close the door on your way out,” Jimin says, voice so flat and disinterested it makes Jeongguk’s gut twist in the most painful way possible.

 

He feels like all air has been squeezed out of his lungs, weight on his chest so heavy he can barely breathe. He stares at the back of Jimin’s head for what feels like an hour before he finally gets his bag and leaves, making sure to close the door to Jimin’s bedroom behind him.

 

It’s better this way.

 

———

 

Jeongguk’s week had been pretty stressful, considering he’d been on edge for the majority of it since Namjoon’s private investigator had no information about his father just yet, and also considering Jeongguk’s whole body was itching to see Jimin.

 

They hadn’t spoken a single word since Jeongguk left his apartment on Monday night, and honestly — maybe that was for the best.

 

It wasn’t like Jeongguk thought they were going to be inseparable after they came back from Busan, not after the way he left Jimin’s place and especially considering the fact that for the entirety of their trip he was well aware that after they come to Seoul, it was all going to be over.

 

Maybe it didn’t have to be, a tiny voice in his head supplies, but Jeongguk is quick to brush it off. The fact that they got… closer, in a way, was just more of a reason to keep a distance here.

 

Only, Jeongguk wasn’t sure if the distance was because he was protecting the case, or because he was protecting himself. Either way, he had almost expected Jimin to reach out, or to at least run into him while having lunch with Taehyung and Yoongi, or maybe even at Veil when he was having drinks with Hoseok, Namjoon and Seokjin.

 

Nothing. Big, fat, fucking nothing plus radio silence was all Jeongguk got.

 

But it’s better this way. Less temptation.

 

“You good?” Namjoon’s soothing voice interrupts Jeongguk’s self-deprecating thoughts and he slides his gaze away from the window.

 

“Mmm yeah,” Jeongguk shrugs, crossing his legs as he fumbles with the seatbelt. “Just thinking.”

 

“About how you’ll miss me when I leave on Saturday?” Seokjin pulls a sad face, sighing as he rests his head against the car window. “I know. Joonie is devastated too. But, none of my patients aren’t dead yet and I gotta hurry back to London to make sure they stay that way.”

 

“You’re leaving on Saturday?” Jeongguk blinks, voice flat and disinterested.

 

He wants to cackle at the way Seokjin’s expression shifts from a sad pout to flared cheeks and furrowed brows, and he reaches for his foot, ready to take his shoe off and throw it at Jeongguk.

 

“Yah, you little piece of shit—”

 

“That’s enough babe,” Namjoon sighs, gently placing his hand over Seokjin’s arm.

 

“I’m literally wearing a fifteen million won suit,” Jeongguk says. “That’s like, ten thousand pounds. And you were really gonna throw a shoe at me? Not to mention you’re literally thirty-five.”

 

Seokjin scoffs, waving his hand dismissively and crossing his legs. “I’m not worried about you,” he laughs evilly, eyes gleaming as he looks back at Jeongguk. “Jimin will put you in your place. Might tell him he needs to gag you again tonight.”

 

“Hey! What the fuck,” Jeongguk huffs, cheeks turning red in embarrassment. His gaze slides over to Namjoon who looks completely uninterested in the entire conversation as he types out an email on his phone. “Hyung!” He gently kicks Namjoon in the shin, making the elder wince in surprise. “What the fuck did you tell him?”

 

“Uh,” Namjoon furrows his brows, lowering his hands down to his lap. “Everything?”

 

“I thought we had an agreement to not tell him anything sex related anymore after that one time he embarrassed me in front of our colleagues,” Jeongguk hisses, his skin feeling all hot and tingly as he remembers the way Jimin put a gag in his mouth, the way he railed the living shit—

 

“Well, yeah,” Namjoon says, interrupting his thoughts again. “But I still tell him everything. So there’s that.”

 

“Lovely,” Jeongguk clicks his tongue, rolling his eyes as Seokjin laughs.

 

“Relax,” Seokjin says, reaching over to squeeze his knee. “Namjoon likes being gagged too, sometimes. Don’t you babe?”

 

“We’re here,” Namjoon sighs as the car stops, completely ignoring Seokjin while he jumps out of the car. “Oh and, Jeonggukie, not sure if Jimin’s going to be here. But he’s on the invite list, I’m pretty sure. I forgot to tell you.”

 

Jeongguk stops mid-way and looks at Namjoon for a moment before he hops out. His stomach drops and fuck — he had completely forgotten about that.

 

He was so busy thinking about Jimin, about how he’d not spoken to him or run into him this whole entire week — that it had completely slipped his mind that he might be at this goddamn charity event.

 

They make their way in and Jeongguk immediately runs to the bar, ordering a whiskey on the rocks and downing it before Namjoon and Seokjin join him again. He scans the room filled with all the rich as fuck people he’d grown up around; businessmen, investors, socialites and their to-the-core-spoiled children and just — well. Jeongguk is one of them. He’d always been one of them.

 

He was born into money.

 

Namjoon and Seokjin walk around and mingle — it’s Namjoon’s parents’ event after all, and Jeongguk can’t really be fucked with any of that. His father left for the event earlier than the rest of them and Jeongguk catches him talking to Namjoon’s parents and their business partners with the corner of his eye.

 

He sighs, orders another whiskey, and tries to mentally prepare himself for potentially seeing Jimin. He stands there, leaned up against the bar as he watches the crowd, quiet jazz music playing from the speakers and somehow giving him more anxiety than everything else.

 

It’s neither loud nor entirely quiet, and it just sounds downright annoying, making Jeongguk even more jittery.

 

And then — he spots him. First thing he notices is the silver hair and then the sharp line of his jaw, but it’s undeniable — it’s Jimin. He’s standing right next to his mother, his hand on the low of her back as the both of them laugh at something the two men standing in front of them are saying.

 

Jeongguk watches how proudly his mother looks at him, and as the two men walk away, Jimin drops his hand from his back, jaw clenching as he turns and takes a sip of his drink. He doesn’t notice him right away — and Jeongguk’s heart travels all the way up to his throat as he waits for their eyes to meet.

 

His mother says something and Jimin gives her a tiny smile, squeezes her shoulder and then gestures towards her empty glass, possibly asking her if she needs a refill. She shakes her head and pats Jimin’s back, giving him a warm smile.

 

Jeongguk can’t help the uncomfortable feeling that claws at his insides — they look… Jeongguk can’t put his finger on it. They look like mother and son.

 

They look… normal. He doesn’t really know what else he was expecting, but it wasn’t that.

 

Jeongguk’s head spins and he tosses his drink back, and he’s almost startled when he realizes that Jimin is staring back at him.

 

His jaw is clenched, eyes dark and cold, and then Jeongguk realizes Jiyeon is looking at him as well. His breath hitches in his throat and the nausea that settles in the pit of his stomach is so bad that Jeongguk feels like he could throw up the two drinks he’s just had.

 

Jimin’s eyes feel like daggers and his gaze is so sharp, so piercing and cold and nothing like it was just a few days ago — and Jeongguk’s whole head spins. He’s losing it, and the event hasn’t even properly started.

 

He needs to calm the fuck down.

 

Bathroom. He needs to get to the bathroom.

 

Jeongguk clashes with a waiter that’s carrying empty glasses of champagne causing him to drop the entire tray and smash the glasses all over the marble floor, stumbling as he mumbles the apology and flees the scene before anyone can actually see it was him.

 

By the time he reaches the bathroom he’s dying of embarrassment, but he what’s got him even more worked up is the way Jimin had been looking at him. So cold, so distant, so different, and Jeongguk is just — he can’t believe he’d fallen for it.

 

He’s never been more thankful for an empty bathroom at an event before, and he paces around back and forth, inhaling deeply as he tries to collect himself.

 

It’s fine. He can do this.

 

He splashes some water onto his face and breathes out, finally feeling his heartbeat simmer. It’s fine. It’s all just a big game anyway — and Jeongguk knows how to play games.

 

It’s okay. He’s okay.

 

He takes another deep breath before he walks out of the bathroom, finding himself face to face with Jimin.

 

“Oh my god,” Jimin reaches for his forearm and tugs him to the side, eyes wide and shiny, not a single trace of coldness from just a few minutes ago. “Are you okay?”

 

“Huh? I’m fine,” Jeongguk yanks his arm out of his grip, furrowing his brows. “Go back to your dear mommy.”

 

Jimin frowns, running his fingers through his hair.

 

“Jeongguk, I’m her plus one,” Jimin says, pressing his lips into a tight line. “What do you want me to do? It’s not like I can,” he looks around, lowering his voice. “It’s not like I can just come and act all friendly all of a sudden. She doesn’t suspect a thing and I just don’t want her — I don’t want any issues with her.”

 

“You just—” Jeongguk gestures vaguely, shrugging powerlessly because he doesn’t know how to express himself. He doesn’t know what’s bothering him. “You haven’t called or…”

 

“Called? Jeongguk,” Jimin sighs, rubbing his hand over his face in exasperation. “Jeongguk, is that what you wanted me to do? I thought your message to me when you left my place on Monday was loud and clear.”

 

Jeongguk shifts his weight, gnawing on his bottom lip. He’s so confused. He’s a fucking mess. He doesn’t even know what he’s doing. Just knows he wishes things weren’t this fucking complicated.

 

“I don’t — just go back to your mother,” Jeongguk’s stomach tightens as he remembers the way Jimin had looked at him back at the event and just — god. His and Jiyeon’s gaze — just. They were exactly the same. They looked so much alike, Jeongguk almost forgets all about Jimin’s father and the similarities he’d seen over the weekend. “You’re clearly your mother’s son. Go.”

 

“I’m — yeah, I am, but she’s not a good person, Jeongguk,” Jimin purses his lips, and Jeongguk’s heart clenches at how offended he looks. “I’m not like that. She’s my mother, but I’m not like her.”

 

“Yeah, well, at least you have a mother,” Jeongguk bites back before he can stop himself, feeling the back of his eyes as they burn. He’s not going to cry. He’s just so angry. “Maybe you should learn to appreciate that more.”

 

Jimin’s eyes widen and he takes a step back, and then his features soften and he looks up at him, smile so sad Jeongguk wants to fucking weep.

 

“Jeonggukie,” he starts, voice barely above a whisper. “Is this about you? Do you miss your mom?

  

“I don’t want to talk about that,” Jeongguk says, his throat closing up. “It’s not important. Forget I said anything.”

 

He’s not ready. Not here. Not now. He doesn’t know if he’ll ever be ready to talk about that. To be so exposed and vulnerable. Especially with Jimin. He doesn’t even know why he fucking said anything in the first place.

 

“Is that why you’re so angry all the time?” Jimin asks, voice sweet and tentative, making Jeongguk melt.

 

But he can’t. He physically can’t. He hasn’t talked about this since… Jeongguk hasn’t talked about it in years. He doesn’t even talk to his father about it. He doesn’t talk to anyone. And he sure as fuck isn’t going to talk to Jimin about it, no matter how… stable, things are right now. Or at least have been, before they came back from Busan. Jeongguk doesn’t even know anymore. And he sure as fuck isn’t going to talk about it in a hallway outside of the bathroom during a goddamn charity event.

 

“Jimin,” he says in a threatening tone, voice low and Jeongguk desperately hopes it covers up the panic he feels inside. His heart wells up to his throat and his palms are all sweaty — and it’s not like Jeongguk could have avoided this question forever; he had just hoped a simple shrug and “it doesn’t really matter” would be enough. But of course it wasn’t.

 

Not to Jimin.

 

“I don’t need a shrink,” he continues, shoving his hands into the pockets of his suit. They’re so sweaty. Fuck. “I told you it’s not important. Drop it.”

 

Jimin’s lips twitch and he folds his arms over his chest, crossing one leg over the other as he leans against the doorway.

 

“I’m not your shrink, Jeongguk-ah,” he pauses, looking at him for a little while longer than Jeongguk would like right now. “But fine. It’s not the time nor place so I’ll drop it.”

 

Jeongguk lets out a breath of relief.

 

“For now.”

 

“Jeongguk,” Namjoon’s voice echoes down the hallway as he appears and startles both of them, shoes loudly clicking against the marble while he quickly paces towards the two of them. “There you are.”

 

Jeongguk and Jimin watch as he approaches them, and Jeongguk can’t help but think he suddenly looks taller and broader than usual. Jeongguk’s whole body tenses up, and he knows this look on his face. He knows it a little too well.

 

Tongue poking the side of his cheek, brows pinched together and nose slightly scrunched — and Jeongguk knows that whatever it is, it’s not good. His eyes traveling down to the file Namjoon’s holding in his hand, his fingers gone entirely white with how hard he’s gripping at it. He feels the cold sweat as it forms around his temples, and at the low of his back, clawing at it uncomfortably.

 

It’s not good. Whatever new Namjoon has to deliver — it’s not good. Jeongguk’s vision goes blank for a second, and he already knows. It’s his father.

 

Seokjin follows right behind him, eyes wide and a pleasant smile plastered on his face — and Jeongguk knows that he’s here to defuse the situation. And he knows that he’s here to make sure he and Namjoon are left alone.

 

Namjoon’s eyes glance over Jimin before his lips press into a tight line, jaw clenching as he fixes his gaze on Jeongguk.

 

“We’ve been looking everywhere for you,” Seokjin says cheerfully, slithering his arm around Namjoon’s waist. “Jimin-ah, your mother’s been wondering where you are. I don’t think she’s too happy with her plus one disappearing on her, apparently some investors have been a little too pushy with her.”

 

Jimin looks back and forth between the three of them — scanning and studying their faces and the way the dynamic suddenly shifted — and Jeongguk can tell he knows something is up. And he knows Jimin knows it’s not good, either. He knows how to read the situation. He probably does it better than Jeongguk.

 

“Alright,” he finally says, eyes locked with Jeongguk’s. They’re filled with worry — and Jeongguk takes a deep breath because now is not the time to break down. “I better get back to her. Jeongguk—”

 

“Just go,” Jeongguk rasps, determinedly looking at Namjoon.

 

He sees as Jimin stops with the corner of his eye, shoulders tensing even though Seokjin is right behind him, his hand placed on his lower back as he guides him back to the event. Jimin doesn’t move until Jeongguk makes eye contact again, eyebrows arched as if he’s expecting something, anything—

 

“Just go,” Jeongguk grits through his teeth, watching as Jimin’s expression turns to stone, eyes dark and cold, making him shiver. “I’ll see you in court.”

 

Seokjin shoots him a sympathetic look and the two of them disappear around the corner, and Jeongguk gulps as his eyes lock with Namjoon’s again. Jeongguk doesn’t remember the last time he’s seen Namjoon so angry.

 

His anger was so different than Jeongguk’s — quiet, boiling, and downright frightening.

 

“Tell me,” Jeongguk finally says. “Tell me how bad it is.”

 

Namjoon opens the file slowly, gently, and Jeongguk hands shake as he hands it to him, wide open, two large pictures staring directly to his face.

 

Jeongguk’s blood runs cold.

 

In the first picture, his father is sitting at dinner in a secluded booth, with a seemingly younger blonde woman. Jeongguk can’t really tell, but she seems young — or it might be just the hair. In the second one it’s so, so painfully clear. It’s his father, in front of something that looks like a hotel, possibly even a motel — it’s undeniable. It’s his father with the same woman and this time, they’re kissing.

 

There are rocks sitting in the pit of Jeongguk’s stomach, his heart drums in his ears and he feels like he could kill someone.

 

“Fuck!” he screams as he turns around and his knuckles connect to the wall in front of him, fist smashing so hard against it that all Jeongguk hears is cracking sounds.

 

He pulls his hand back, chest heaving as he stares at the dent that’s slightly painted in red and then Jeongguk realizes — his knuckles are bleeding.

 

Namjoon doesn’t even flinch beside him, just quietly closes the file and tucks it underneath his armpit.

 

“Do you know if Jimin knows about this?”

 

“No — what?” Jeongguk’s breath is ragged and his chest hurts and he’s only vaguely aware of the blood that’s dripping from his knuckles down to the marble floor. “I don’t think he does. How would he?”

 

“You better be fucking sure he doesn’t,” Namjoon says, voice low and smooth. “Because if he does, he’s going to fucking eat us alive.”

 

Jeongguk shivers, the dull ache in his hand suddenly spreading through his whole entire body.

 

Yeah. That’s exactly what he’d been afraid of.

 

All Jeongguk wants to do is run. As far away from this and his feelings as possible.










Chapter Text

“You’re fine,” Seokjin says as he finishes wrapping up the bandages, careful not to hurt him. “Nothing’s broken.”

 

“Hurts like a bitch though,” Jeongguk sighs, slightly wincing when Seokjin drops his hand onto his lap. His knuckles stopped bleeding a while ago, and now his whole entire hand throbbed so badly, Jeongguk could barely move it. “I could have sworn I heard something crack when I punched that goddamn wall.”

 

“Of course you heard something crack. It was the wall,” Seokjin grimaces and closes the first aid kit, falling back into the couch as he tentatively looks over at him. “The drugs will kick in any second.”

 

Jeongguk sure hopes they do. Now that he wasn’t running on adrenaline anymore, the pain was so uncomfortable that Jeongguk couldn’t think about anything else. In a way, the pain was a good distraction — for the time being. He just felt exhausted.

 

They didn’t see Jimin again as they headed out through the back door — just making sure Jeongguk didn’t run into his father at the event and caused an actual scene. Now, they were at Seokjin’s house, a completely neutral territory, one place where there’s no people around who could make either Jeongguk or Namjoon lose their shit.

 

Or, most importantly, just Jeongguk.

 

His phone vibrates in the pocket of his pants again and Jeongguk clicks his tongue and takes it out, stomach tightening when he sees Jimin’s name written on the display. Again. He waits for his phone to stop ringing and watches as the number of missed calls from him goes from four to five before he shoves it back into his pocket.

 

There’s no way Jeongguk can deal with Jimin right now. He can’t think about anything else other than the fact that they had nothing, literally nothing substantial that would be useful in court, nothing that would win them the case or at least push it in that direction.

 

They were back to square one at best, and all Jeongguk could think about was the fact that there was no prenup, and all of the money his father was going to lose if they didn’t think of something.

 

“What’s Namjoon doing?” Jeongguk stares down at his bandaged hand, only slightly feeling the pain relief.

 

Seokjin sighs, shrugging.

 

“I don’t know,” he says, glancing over to the direction of his room to which Namjoon has disappeared to over half an hour ago. “Probably trying to figure out what your options are.”

 

Jeongguk rolls his eyes, wincing as his head slightly spins at the sudden movement. His eyelids feel a bit droopy and it’s probably the drugs kicking in and honestly — maybe it’s good to feel a little lightheaded. To feel like there’s not tons and tons of weight pressing down to his chest and shoulders, and maybe, even though it isn’t the time, he can relax.

 

Just for a little bit.

 

He yawns even though he’s not sleepy, and Seokjin shoots him a worried look, reaching out to gently squeeze at his thigh. God, Jeongguk feels exhausted. He’s not even sure if it’s the painkillers or just everything piled up, but he’s so, so tired.

 

Of everything. Of his father, of this whole entire situation, but mostly — he’s tired of himself. He’s tired of constantly feeling like he needs to prove something to himself, he’s tired of feeling like he constantly has to one-up Jimin, he’s tired of feeling things he has no idea how to deal with or express, and he’s fucking tired of being such a mess.

 

A part of Jeongguk things that this is his fault too — it’s karma for fucking with the enemy, for falling for the opposite counsel. It’s pointless even denying that there’s feelings, and Jeongguk thinks it could also be karma that he hasn’t even tried hard enough. It’s probably karma for everything that he’d ever done wrong.

 

Maybe he deserves it.

 

Thing is — Jeongguk knows that even if a ton of money goes to Jimin’s mother, he’s not going to be poor. His father isn’t going to be poor. None of them are going to be poor. It’s about the principle and it’s about what she would want — and if it’s half of his father’s company, well. To say the least, they’re fucked.

 

Realistically, Jeongguk knew she wasn’t actually entitled to half of the company — he and Namjoon had done their homework. However, she did invest in it for a period of time, even though she didn’t help build it — but even so, if Jimin were to play his cards right, and Jeongguk knew that he would, she’d get a share in it.

 

He didn’t want that. He didn’t want her anywhere near their family’s business. And thinking of the alternative option, if she were to get the assets, if she were to get all those billion won vacation homes which his mother had picked out and decorated only made Jeongguk’s stomach twist and turn with the unsettling feeling of nausea. Honestly, it stung like a bitch, but it was a better option than to let her in the company.

 

Not all of their homes abroad were decorated by his mother considering some where purchased after her death, but most were. And even though Jeongguk rarely went to any, especially in the last few years as he’d barely had any time to squeeze in a few days of vacation, he still didn’t want to let go of them. They were all like scattered pieces of his mother around the world. All decorated similarly to their apartment here, in Seoul, but all different at the same time.

 

All at once, Jeongguk feels like going to their vacation home in Singapore. Or Dubai.

 

Actually, he feels like going anywhere. Anywhere but here.

 

“As if there’s anything we can do,” Jeongguk says, falling back further into the couch as he feels his brain getting loopier with the effect of drugs. “My brain feels all fuzzy. The fuck did you give me?”

 

“I gave you the ones we use back home,” Seokjin grins, reaching to ruffle Jeongguk’s hair.

 

Home. Right. England. That was their home now. Jeongguk hasn’t thought about it for the past couple of months they were here — hadn’t thought about going back. He knew he had to at some point, of course, but he hasn’t actually thought about it. The fact that he’d have to leave.

 

He’s not sure if it’s the drugs that are making his thoughts go all over the place — but he’s too lazy to push them away. His mind is a bit hazy and he’s just a tad sleepy now, speech maybe getting a tiny bit slurred, but he’s well aware of everything.

 

At least he can still think straight even though everything is scattered. Kind of.

 

“I thought those were illegal here,” Jeongguk’s brows are pinched together as he slowly glances over to his hyung.

 

“They are,” Seokjin laughs, looking very pleased with himself. “I smuggled them in here. I just knew they’d come in handy. If MFDS here had any brains, they’d make these legal. They do wonders.”   

 

“You’re insane,” Jeongguk scoffs, feeling a little tingly as he melts more and more into the couch. “You could’ve gotten arrested. Or, I dunno. Gotten your license taken away.”

 

“Really?” Seojin raises his eyebrows. “They’re gonna arrest me? A Kim?”

 

Jeongguk pauses, and it takes him a bit more time than usual to process what Seokjin had said.

 

“You have a point,” he concludes, dangling his bandaged hand in front of his face, realizing the pain is entirely gone.

 

He’s at least ten seconds late to turn his head towards Namjoon once he finally gets out of Seokjin’s old room, joining them on the couch. He loosens his tie as he plops down next to his husband, tossing his glasses on the coffee table in front of them. Jeongguk watches as Namjoon sighs exasperatedly, rubbing at his temples with his eyes squeezed shut before he opens them again and looks over at him, a crease set deep between his brows.

 

Jeongguk’s brain is a little slow, but Namjoon looks worried.

 

“You okay, Jeonggukie?” He asks and then looks over at Seokjin, resting his hand on his thigh. “Is he okay?”

 

“He’s fine,” Seokjin smiles, then adds: “Nothing’s broken. I just gave him some painkillers so he’s a little loopy, but his hand is okay. He hasn’t broken anything.”

 

“Except for the wall,” Namjoon says, lips curling into a small smile.

 

“Except for the wall,” Seokjin agrees.

 

They sit in silence and Jeongguk can’t tell how much time has passed, but he does know his body pleasantly tingles and he feels as if he’s morphed into the couch. Beside him, Seokjin stares at the TV and Namjoon is typing out an email out on his phone, and Jeongguk can’t bother to bring himself to ask what their next steps are. So, he opts for staring blankly into the wall, sitting silently while vaguely listening to the news report that plays out in the background.

 

Suddenly, Jeongguk remembers all the missed calls he has from Jimin and shoves his hand into his pocket, clumsily digging his phone out. He’s surprised to realize that his vision is slightly blurred, and he struggles to dial his number, when suddenly a large hand reaches out and snatches the phone away from his hands.

 

“What is he doing?” Namjoon furrows his brows and puts his own phone to the side, curiously looking at Seokjin.


“He’s trying to call Jimin,” Seokjin clicks his tongue, locking Jeongguk’s phone and putting it between himself and Namjoon.

 

“Jeongguk-ah,” Namjoon begins, leaning over Seokjin.

 

“He called me like five times,” Jeongguk whines, weakly reaching for his phone, but Seokjin just gently pushes him back into the cushions. “I need to call him back.”

 

“Not now,” Namjoon says firmly, taking his phone and putting it inside of his pocket. “You can call him later when the drugs wear off, okay?”

 

“I’m fine,” Jeongguk sighs and he does, he feels fine. Maybe a little slow, but fine. “My eyes are droopy but I’m fine.”

 

“You’re literally high on painkillers,” Namjoon explains impatiently, turning to Seokjin. “How much did you give him?”

 

“Clearly not enough to knock him out,” he replies, eyes back on the TV. “He’s just being a nuisance.”

 

“Hyung.”

 

“Kidding, Joonie. I gave him the regular dose. He’s probably all loopy because he’s had alcohol at the event. He’ll be back to normal in a few hours,” he looks over at Jeongguk. “Are you sleepy?”

 

Jeongguk this about it.

 

“Not really,” he says. He doesn’t really, but he doesn’t feel too awake either. He’s in some weird in between state, and it’s honestly quite relaxing. But he also just kind of wants to curl up next to Jimin, and he can’t do that unless he calls him. “I just wanna call Jimin.”

 

“Later,” Namjoon says stiffly. “I already spoke to him. You can call him later.”

 

It takes Jeongguk a few seconds too long to process what Namjoon had just said, and he has to make an effort to widen his eyes in surprise.

 

“Is that who you were talking to on the phone earlier? Jimin?”

 

“Amongst other people, yes,” Namjoon nods. “I was also asking around about the judge. But yeah, I talked to Jimin. I think it’s a good idea for the three of us to have a meeting. See if we can all come to an arrangement that benefits us all,” he pauses. “Losing is not an option, Jeongguk. Maybe we can try to settle again. This time without his mother and your father involved.”

 

“So, like,” Jeongguk frowns, then pauses. “I don’t get it.”

 

Namjoon sighs, glancing over at Seokjin who’s now fully paying attention to their conversation.

 

“I want to see if there’s something we can do to minimize the damage, Jeongguk. And now that you and Jimin have… something going on, maybe that’ll help. Maybe he won’t be so reluctant to work with us. You said he’s not a massive fan of his mother and I don’t know — it’s worth a shot to at least try.”

 

“What about my dad? What are we gonna do about my dad?” Jeongguk asks, thinking that under any other circumstances, his heart would probably beat so fast at the idea of trying to settle things with Jimin alone. Because of the anger. Because of the adrenaline. Right now, he doesn’t even know how to properly react to that. “And the woman? What do we do about her? We need to track her down.”

 

His words come out slow and slurred, but he gets his point across. He knows that this is what he needs to focus on — but somehow the only thing that’s constantly coming back to him is the fact that soon enough, either way, all of this is going to be over.

 

And he’s going to have to go. Home.

 

Jeongguk is confused with trying to push the thought away and focus on what really matters — which is figuring out what their next steps are. He should probably just relax and watch the TV or take a nap or something but — he can’t. What he needs to do is help figure this out.

 

“I took care of it. I got a hold of my dad and told him what’s up. He’s going away on business to Osaka in the morning and he’ll take your father with him. Get him out of town for the week before the court date.”

 

Jeongguk pauses, processing. “And my dad said yes?”

 

“I don’t think mine gave him a choice. Probably said the business involves him. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’ll have to pray Jimin doesn’t know about any of this or that if he does, then that he somehow doesn’t have the photos.” Namjoon explains slowly, leaning over Seokjin. “We’ll find out tomorrow. There’s nothing we can do until tomorrow so let’s just… relax. Watch some TV tonight. Sound good?”

 

Seokjin hums in agreement, gaze shifting to Jeongguk. “He’s right, Jeonggukie. Just get some rest.”

 

Jeongguk swallows, his mouth suddenly feeling dry. His hand doesn’t hurt at all anymore, but his head does feel all sorts of foggy, and it’s becoming a struggle to stay focused and articulate his thoughts properly. Maybe if he hadn’t downed those two whiskeys like Seokjin said, he would’ve been more useful to Namjoon right now.

 

“Don’t we have to prep him for the—”

 

“Jeongguk,” Namjoon cuts him off, placing his hand on his thigh. “Tomorrow. You’ll think about that tomorrow. Let’s all just take a breather. I’m pissed off too. But we gotta think about damage control and we can’t do anything until tomorrow. So let’s just let it go.”

 

“He’s right,” Seokjin repeats, slumping further into the couch while he aimlessly flips the channels. “You guys can focus on whatever needs to be done tomorrow morning after Joon drops me off at the airport so I can go home.”

 

There it is again. Home.

 

The word swims in Jeongguk’s thoughts, and even though his whole body feels numb, something inside of his chest still tightens. Home. He’ll have to go home. Just like Seokjin. Because England is his home. And it has been for years. Jeongguk knows that.

 

“Home,” he repeats dumbly as his eyes droop, his vision watery and Jeongguk finally feels like taking that nap.

 

———

 

The next day, Jeongguk is almost as agitated and snappy as he was after he’d found out about his father’s… whatever she was. Girlfriend? They had no idea, but Namjoon’s guy was on it. At least that’s what Namjoon had said this morning after he’d come back from dropping Seokjin off at the airport.

 

“Did they leave already?” Jeongguk asks, nervously pacing around his father’s office. “He agreed to stay for the entire week until the court date?”

 

“Yes,” Namjoon doesn’t look away from the laptop. “Dad said he wasn’t too happy about it, but they left before I even came back from dropping Jin at the airport.”

 

“Okay,” Jeongguk takes a deep breath, eyes fluttering shut and his hands run to massage at his temples. He’d slept for thirteen hours straight and he doesn’t remember the last time he’d gotten that much rest, but now it was time to get back on track. To think of a game plan.

 

Anger was boiling underneath his skin ever since he’d opened his eyes in the morning, making his whole body tingly and itchy, but at least the painkillers wore off and he could entirely focus on what needed to be done.

 

His bandaged hand slightly hurt still, but Jeongguk was too angry and anxious about what’s to even pay attention on that. He needed to shift it in the direction of more important things. Important things such as possibly facing Jimin later.

 

“Okay,” he repeats, finally plopping down into a chair in front of Namjoon. “What do we do now? Look for the girl? Find the judge—”

 

“I called Jimin,” Namjoon closes his laptop and clasps his hands over it, looking at Jeongguk over the rim of his glasses. “I told him to come to your place at three.”

 

Jeongguk glances up at the clock. Twenty past one.

 

“Wait, my place?” Jeongguk frowns. “What’s wrong with meeting here?”

 

“Because it’s Saturday and my mother’s friends are coming over for lunch,” Namjoon sighs, leaning back into the chair. “We’ll have peace and quiet at your place. We won’t have to worry about anyone bothering us.”

 

Jeongguk’s stomach twists. He remembers how Jimin had parked down the street just last Saturday before they left for Busan, telling him that he wouldn’t want someone seeing them alone together and getting back to his mother, especially because it was the weekend. Maybe going to his place wasn’t the best of ideas.

 

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea,” he says. “For him to be seen inside of my building. It might get to his mother.”

 

Namjoon raises his eyebrows. “So what?” He asks, running his fingers through his hair. “We’re going to have a business meeting. Not an orgy.”

 

“I don’t — I’m not sure what you think we can achieve here.”

 

“Damage control.” Namjoon shifts. “Perhaps offer a better deal. Arrange assets so she gets the majority if not most, maybe some money too — but the company stays intact. Realistically, if she’s all about the money, if we’re — if you’re convincing enough, maybe Jimin will try and make her cave. Just accept our deal and stay away from the busness altogether.”

 

“I understand, but,” Jeongguk gnaws on his lip, crossing and uncrossing his legs. “I don’t think she would — I mean — she has invested in the company. There’s no prenup and her getting her share in it is almost inevitable. What we need is to figure out how to reduce that to a minimum. Like, to a percent at best.”

 

“Exactly. And now that you and Jimin have something going on, maybe if you just talked to him he’ll be more inclined to—”

 

“I’m not going to beg him, what the fuck.” Jeongguk furrows his brows and shakes his head in disbelief, squirming in his seat.

 

He’s not sure what the fuck Namjoon thinks is going to happen, but no matter what — Jeongguk isn't going to beg. He would never beg. Anyone. For anything.

 

“I’m not telling you to beg anyone, god,” Namjoon clicks his tongue and rolls his eyes, tone only a bit snappy. “That’s not what we do. We don’t beg, Jeongguk. We’re lawyers. We play our cards right. And if you play your cards right, we might get a deal that benefits both parties. Especially now that your father downright fucked up and Jimin might know about it.”

 

Jeongguk pauses, thinking about it. It makes sense to try and reason with Jimin again, see if there’s an alternative way they could settle and not leave it up to the judge. But, he doesn’t see Jimin budging, and he also doesn’t see how them having… a thing, was going to help.

 

If anything, all it did was fuck things up for Jeongguk. He had feelings he couldn’t just brush off or sweep under the rug, he felt the weight of them press against his chest every time he’d even think about him let alone be around him. Especially after Busan, everything just felt so… painful. Even after their conversation yesterday, where Jimin looked genuinely lost as to what to do or how to behave towards him, the way Jeongguk watched him and Jiyeon and the undeniable resemblance in the way the move, the way they look at people, Jeongguk was just so — he was so confused.

 

“Listen, Jeongguk. Jimin doesn’t know we know about his mother. Right? You haven’t told him?”

 

“Of course not.” Jeongguk snorts. “Who the fuck do you take me for?”

 

“Right, so we keep it that way. Look. Maybe if you talk to him — really talk to him — you can explain the situation, see if he knows anything and if he does, we see what could be done about it.”

 

Jeongguk sighs. “And what if he doesn’t know anything? Or what if he does, but just lies and says he doesn’t? I’d lie if I were him. He’s not stupid, Namjoon.”

 

The corners of Namjoon’s lips twitch slightly upward, and he leans over the desk, intently looking at Jeongguk. He feels the frustration simmer within him as he eagerly awaits Namjoon’s reply, though he doesn’t think anything he’ll say will be satisfactory. Not satisfactory enough, at least.

 

It’s not that Jeongguk isn’t willing to try and settle again, he’s just not convinced Jimin would budge.

 

“That’s why you’re the one who’s gonna try and get it out of him. The truth,” Namjoon clarifies. “He’ll tell you anything.”

 

Jeongguk grimaces, sinks lower in his chair.

 

“I don’t think so,” he pokes the inside of his cheek with his tongue, slightly shaking his head. “You’re overestimating…” Jeongguk gestures vaguely, “whatever it is that’s going on between us. We’re just — it’s just sex.”

 

To Jimin.

 

Namjoon’s eyebrows arch in surprise and he leans back into his chair.

 

“Doesn’t seem that way.” He finally says, wetting his lips. “For either one of you.”

 

Jeongguk stomach tightens, but he doesn’t say anything. He knows none of this is going to end well.





Jimin ends up not showing up until late afternoon, calling Namjoon and telling him he’s stuck at the office even though it’s Saturday. Jeongguk gets it — he’d made him miss a day of work and he himself worked Saturdays (and Sundays, for that matter) more times than he could count, especially during his associate days.

 

Something about the fact that Jimin calls Namjoon and not him, even though yes — Namjoon was the one who called this meeting in the first place — just doesn’t sit well with him. He only grows more anxious as the hours pass and he and Namjoon just sit in Jeongguk’s living room, both just checking on their cases overseas.

 

Jeongguk’s assistant is handling everything just fine, and he’s happy to know that at least all of his other clients are satisfied and all of his cases are going well. Maybe a minor distraction with something going wrong would have been fine a few weeks ago, but Jeongguk really, really can’t afford his other cases going even slightly off track. He can’t afford to focus on anyone else.

 

He doesn’t even know what the fuck to do with his father. He’d sent him two texts earlier, letting him know that he’d be gone on a business trip and won’t be back until the court date, apologizing for it being so sudden. Jeongguk didn’t even have it in him to reply. He’s still so angry. So disappointed.

 

As they wait, Jeongguk keeps thinking about how pointless this whole idea is. He doesn’t think Jimin would tell them anything, because if he were Jimin, he wouldn’t either. Unless something was in it for him as well. And frankly, Jeongguk doesn’t think there’s anything they could offer him that would make him budge. Jimin was pretty clear — this was all business to him. And as much as Jeongguk hated the fact that this whole case is so personal to him, he couldn’t really blame Jimin for handling his side professionally, with no emotion involved.

 

He would have done the exact same. So, while Namjoon remained positive about this whole renegotiation thing, Jeongguk’s brain was already working on other things. Looking for a plan B. The alternate solution. Or rather, getting to the judge and seeing if he’s willing to take bribes.

 

But then again — this was Seoul. Jimin’s territory. He’s probably on first name basis with the majority of judges. God. All of this was so frustrating.

 

When Jimin arrives, it takes Jeongguk a solid second to get his shit together. They’d seen each other just yesterday, but his heart still flutters in his chest and his stomach unpleasantly twists when their eyes lock.

 

Jeongguk’s not sure he’ll ever get over how gorgeous he is, and it feels that as time passes, it’s only getting harder. With his feelings in the way, Jeongguk feels that this — all of this — is a little too much. Maybe a little more than he can handle.

 

“Hi.” Jimin says quietly and there’s something about his demeanour that’s different this time. He walks in like he owns the place and it immediately irks Jeongguk, yes, but his voice is low and compliant and there’s no bite to his tone. He looks somewhat confused, Jeongguk would dare to say, and honestly, that’s totally understandable. Even Jeongguk is confused.  


“Hey, thanks for coming,” Namjoon shakes hands with him but Jimin’s eyes immediately travel to Jeongguk, look long and tentative, like he’s unsure of how to act. “Especially on such short notice.”

 

Jeongguk remembers the way he’d dismissed him yesterday, and there’s a tiny knot of guilt that tightens in his stomach. He’s so, so confused. Jimin must be too.

 

“Hi,” Jeongguk nods and then turns to walk back into the living room, heart pounding heavily in his chest.

 

He’d done this a million times. So many times. With other clients, other lawyers. He’d tried renegotiating the terms, settling under different conditions — all of it. And Jeongguk was good at it. He is good at it. But with Jimin, everything feels so different. His confidence feels entirely shaken, he’s affected by his sole presence, and he’s not optimistic about anything anymore.

 

“Sorry I couldn’t make it earlier like I had promised,” Jimin sighs, following behind Namjoon. Jeongguk watches as the two of them sit on the couch and Jimin nervously runs his hands over his thighs, looking around the giant living room. “I had some work to catch up on.” His eyes travel to meet Jeongguk’s again. “Nice place.”

 

Jeongguk swallows, looking around as well. The living room was entirely back to normal — the way it used to be — and the only thing left to remodel was the bathrooms.

 

“Thanks,” Jeongguk says sternly, clasping his hands over his knee, looking over at Namjoon. He’s fine. This is fine.

 

“So, what’s this meeting for?” Jimin’s gaze lingers on Jeongguk for a little while longer until he finally gives up, sighing and turning to look at Namjoon instead. “Sounded kind of urgent over the phone.”

 

“Right,” Namjoon nods, getting straight to the point. “So. Jeongguk and I were wondering if you’d be willing to renegotiate the terms with us,” he pushes his glasses up the bridge of his nose, tone flat and assertive. Just how it always is when he’s working. Namjoon leaves him the option to decline, yes, but his tone is pushy, cornering you just the way he needs you to be cornered. That’s why he was so good. “We want to try and settle again.”

 

Jimin arches his eyebrow, his tongue darting out of his mouth to lazily lick across his lower lip. He’s quiet for a few moments, expression flat and impossible to read. Jeongguk knows that he’s processing Namjoon’s words, weighing out the pros and cons, buying himself some time.

 

“And why would I want to do that?”

 

Jeongguk leans back, forgetting about the nausea that’s inhabited his lower stomach. He watches the two of them intently, carefully analyzing Jimin’s body language, and for the first time in the last twenty-four hours, he feels like himself. He feels like Jeon Jeongguk, a partner at one of the top law firms in London.

 

He’s not a nobody. He knows what he’s doing and he’s fucking good at it, damn it.

 

“Because,” Jeongguk jumps in before Namjoon opens his mouth to speak, and both men turn to look at him. “It’ll be in your best interest if you do. We don’t want to take this to court where this could go either way. If we settle, all of this can be over and both parties can be somewhat happy. And most importantly, Namjoon and I get to go home, and your mother’s claws stay away from my father’s business.”

 

There it is again. Home. Jeongguk hasn’t thought about going back home, hasn’t even mentioned it until it popped into his head yesterday when Seokjin referred to it as such. And it was. Home. Just like Korea was, only more permanent.

 

Something — surprise, maybe — quickly flashes over Jimin’s features, and Jeongguk knows he’s latched onto the same part that he’s thinking about. Home. If Jimin hadn’t thought about it either, Jeongguk knows he’s thinking about it now. He just doesn’t know how he feels about it. Does it sting the same way it does him? Or does he not care?

 

Jeongguk’s not sure. All he knows right now is that they need to make him renegotiate things. To make him reconsider.

 

“She’s not getting half of the company, even though she has invested in it. You know it’s unrealistic and ridiculous.” Jeongguk adds, eyes set on Jimin. “But I want to avoid her getting a share in it altogether. If it’s about the money, there’s other things we can offer. We’ll offer more assets.”

 

Namjoon nods, looking pleased with how Jeongguk’s handling the situation. Jimin shifts but his expression remains impassive, and Jeongguk mentally keeps his fingers crossed. If it were him, he’d probably decline, and he somewhat expects Jimin to get up and leave, but a part of him is also hoping he’ll stay. Just reconsider.

 

“That’s quite alright,” Jimin drawls, wetting his lips. His eyes are locked with Jeongguk’s, dark and intense, and Jeongguk’s stomach twists with nausea again. “Just over twenty percent is more than enough.”

 

“Absolutely not.” Jeongguk’s heart hammers against the inside of his chest, agitation spiking up and bubbling right underneath his skin just with the sole thought of it. “Jimin. That’s my father’s company. She’s not getting a share.”

 

“Like you said, she has invested in it,” Jimin shrugs nonchalantly, gaze sliding away from Jeongguk. “Should’ve told your father to sign a prenup.”

 

Jeongguk’s blood boils. Yeah. He should have. He just didn’t think he fucking had to. His father has been married enough times to know that himself, he’s always had a prenup no matter what. His father wasn’t — hasn’t been a stupid man, but with the things Jeongguk’s found out in the past twenty-four hours, he wasn’t entirely sure anymore.

 

The fact that Jimin says it so nonchalantly, so carelessly is what really hits home for him, but Jeongguk isn’t about to let himself snap this time. Now that he’s reminded that this really is just business for Jimin and not so goddamn personal like it is for him, Jeongguk’s determined to not give him the satisfaction.

 

“She’s getting five, at best.”

 

“Twenty-five.” Jimin grins, and Jeongguk almost wants to punch him.

 

“Right,” Namjoon interjects, defusing the situation even though it’s not necessary. Jeongguk’s got it together. For now. “And we’re well aware of that, Jimin-ah — that he should’ve had her sign a prenup. However, we want to try and reach an agreement that will have all of us walking out of here satisfied.”

 

Jimin is quiet for a while, expression flat and disinterested, but he doesn’t get up to leave, which Jeongguk takes as a good sign. His eyes linger on Jeongguk more so than on Namjoon and it makes him almost nervous, the way his gaze affects him so much all the time.

 

He’d seen him yesterday, but he’d also spent the entirety of this week just thinking about Jimin non-stop, and even though he’d never, ever admit it out loud, missing him. As pathetic as it felt, Jimin’s eyes on him make him want to squirm and he has to make a conscious effort not to — so he stays put, eyes set on his with no intention of backing down.

 

Come on, Jimin. Come on. Reconsider, Jeongguk stares at him harder as if that’s going to do something. Come on.

 

Even though he hadn’t been optimistic about this, he’s almost surprised with how hopeful he feels. Something flickers in Jimin’s eyes and — please, just please —   Jeongguk thinks this might be it.

 

Silence hangs, seconds pass, minutes even — and Jimin just keeps staring back at Jeongguk, a crease set deep between his brows. Jeongguk stares back at him, mentally repeating the words come on, please, reconsider, and at that moment, Jeongguk knows that he’s ready to offer everything — all of the assets, just to save the whole company.

 

Namjoon got that. He understood. They’d had countless of conversations and he understood why above it all Jeongguk so desperately clings to the company. It’s not just because he’s the sole heir to it, Jeongguk didn’t really plan of being the one directly leading it after his father retires. It’s the fact that he knew how much it had meant to his mother; she was the one who help build the business from the ground up, she was the one who told Jeongguk to be good and help his father with it once she’s gone and even though she was probably joking at the time, it wasn’t a joke to Jeongguk. Never has been.

 

He was desperate to keep everything together, to keep this, what started off as a family business still there — in the family. Having an outsider intrude on what he had considered his, theirs was just something Jeongguk could never, would never be able to stomach and just. He couldn’t let that happen.

 

If that meant giving up some of the vacation homes his mother had decorated — then so be it. Deep down, Jeongguk knew that those wouldn’t matter to his mother if she were still alive. But the company — something she was so deeply invested in and passionate about just like his father — that would matter. That would disrupt everything. Something that’s always been just theirs. Even though they haven’t existed since Jeongguk was fourteen years old. But it was something that he still panickedly latched onto — the idea of the family. He couldn’t keep his mother, but he could try and keep everything else.

 

That’s how it’s always been for him. Even though he had lived on a different continent, Jeongguk couldn’t bear having things taken away from him. That was enough. More than enough.

 

“I don’t think that’s what my client would want.” Jimin says calmly, his features still sharp, rigid. “I don’t think anything you have to offer would be of interest to her. I thought that was made clear in our initial meeting.”

 

Jimin’s voice sounds emotionless, robotic. The more he talks the more it’s so painfully clear that there are no personal feelings in this, not on his part — and Jeongguk’s gut twists. He’s talking calmly, professionally, and Jeongguk just wants him to fucking reconsider.

 

“Your mother—”

 

“My client,” Jimin clicks his tongue, eyes sharp. He doesn’t budge. He’s not going to budge.

 

“Your mother,” Jeongguk insists, feeling the way his patience is slipping and the tight knot that forms in his stomach, “is being unreasonable and making this way harder and more complicated than it should be. You know that. I know that. My father fucked up, yeah. But I’m not going to let him — us — take that big of a hit. You damn well know twenty percent couldn’t happen even if the judge shows up high on meth that day.”

 

Corners of Jimin’s lips twitch upward and he looks amused, though it mostly does nothing more but irk Jeongguk than anything else. This isn’t a joke to him. Suddenly, he remembers Namjoon’s words from earlier and it sparks up something within him — maybe if he played his cards right, they’ll get somewhere.

 

Jimin’s expression is quick to flatten as he speaks again, his eyes briefly darting towards Namjoon.

 

“Look. I don’t know what you want me to say here. I thought I was clear—”

 

“Your mother is a piece of shit and you’re seriously not going to even consider settling with us?” Words slip past Jeongguk’s lips before he can stop himself, tone much harsher than he wanted it to be.

 

Maybe it’s not the best of moves, and judging by the way annoyance flashes across Namjoon’s features, it probably isn’t. Still, Jeongguk thinks this might be a good way to push Jimin. At least push him to think about it a little more.

 

He just hopes he’s not going to push him to get up and leave.

 

“Jeongguk.” Jimin’s lips are pressed into a tight line, eyes dark and narrowed. Jeongguk’s heart thrums inside of his chest, breath catching in his throat. “I thought I made myself clear when I said that my mother’s intentions don’t represent m—”

 

“Oh yeah?” Jeongguk’s chest heaves and he can’t even stop himself when he says, “then why are you still her goddamn lawyer?”

 

It’s a stupid question. Beyond dumb, but it somehow manages to hit a nerve with Jimin and his face falls, his gaze softening and he looks really, really displeased. The question makes no sense — it’s not like Jeongguk himself had the strongest sense of morals. As a lawyer, he represented people whose views, beliefs and agendas he’d never agree with on a personal level, yet he still did his job the best he knew how. Because Jeongguk didn’t like losing. And because you don’t say no when a client offers you a shitton of money. And you also don’t say no if a client is someone who has a big name.

 

And neither does Jimin. And yes, maybe he doesn’t agree with what his mother is doing, with her demands, but it doesn’t mean he wasn’t going to do his job.

 

“Jeongguk.” This time the tone of disapproval belongs to Namjoon, but Jeongguk’s eyes are dead set on Jimin’s, and he’s not backing down.

 

He just wants him to crack. Just a little bit.

 

And he does.

 

Jimin turns to Namjoon, jaw clenched and tight, hands curled into fists.

 

“Hyung,” he says, sighing. “Would it be alright if…” his voice trails off, and he shifts uncomfortably. He tries again. “Would it be possible for Jeongguk and I to talk? In private? Just the two of us.”

 

Namjoon looks between the two of them and Jeongguk’s heart feels like it’s going to burst out of his chest. He quickly gives Namjoon a nod of approval and watches as he rises to his feet, shifting his weight once he stands up, kind of like he’s trying to decide whether leaving the two of them alone is the best of ideas.

 

“If you’re sure.” He’s more so looking at Jeongguk than at Jimin, and Jeongguk almost wants to laugh.

 

Nausea returns and swirls in the pit of his stomach, a knot rising up in his throat at the thought that he and Jimin are going to stay all alone. But at the same time, Jeongguk can’t help but think that Namjoon was right earlier.

 

If there is something, anything between the two of them, maybe Jimin would be willing to reconsider. All Jeongguk has to do is be convincing enough.

 

“I think that’s a good idea,” Jeongguk agrees and then gets up as well. “I got this. I’ll walk you out.”

 

At the door, Namjoon gives him a knowing look and squeezes his shoulder. He sighs, looking kind of uncertain and a little exasperated, but he still doesn’t object to leaving.

 

“Don’t fuck it up,” Namjoon says quietly, even though chances of Jimin hearing them all the way in the living room are close to zero. “He cares about you.”

 

Jeongguk throat feels tight at the words, and he’s unsure of what to say to that. Maybe he does care about him. But maybe he doesn’t. He has no idea. He has no fucking idea.

 

“I don’t know,” Jeongguk says, his attempt to sound careless failing miserably as his voice shakes with anxiousness. “But I’m going to try. I’ll make him settle. I’ll make him make her settle.”

 

Namjoon slowly nods, one hand gripping at the doorknob.

 

“Okay. Just — I know this is a fucked up situation but,” Namjoon says, running his hand through his hair, “make sure that whatever it is that you tell him in there to make him reconsider,” he shifts his weight again and Jeongguk’s brows furrow as he waits for the rest, “is a hundred percent truthful. If you’re gonna use feelings and all of that — at least make sure you’re telling him the truth.”


Jeongguk is quiet for a few seconds and then he swallows, nodding.

 

Make sure you’re telling him the truth.

 

“Or you’ll both end up hurt in the long run.”

 

———

 

When Jeongguk returns to the living room his head is spinning, and Jimin carefully watches as he sits back down on the couch.

 

“It’s a really nice place,” Jimin says conversationally, possibly trying to break the tension. “Even though I’m not a fan of dark purple.”

 

Jeongguk heart jumps in the most uncomfortable way possible, a sharp sting passing right through the pit of his stomach. What the fuck.

 

Anger bubbles up in his blood, coursing through his system, weight pressing down onto his chest as air leaves his lungs. Jeongguk doesn’t know if he feels annoyed or pissed off or disrespected, but it’s probably the combination of all three.

 

Suddenly, his hand throbs underneath his bandages, pulsing painfully and Jeongguk almost feels like ripping them off and setting his hand free. He hates how easy it is for his switch to be flipped, especially by Jimin, and he hates the way he’s not able to control himself the way he’d like to.

 

“Oh yeah? Should’ve come here a couple of months ago when all of this shit was yellow,” Jeongguk snaps, watching as Jimin’s brows pinch together in confusion. “Courtesy of your mommy dearest.”

 

A tiny “oh” leaves Jimin’s lips, surprise evident on his face.

 

“Oh is right,” Jeongguk continues, words still coming out harsh. “You know who decorated this place? My mother . Then yours came along and fucking ruined it all. So sorry you’re not a fan. Maybe I should’ve been considerate and let everything stay the way you’d prefer it to.”

 

Jimin’s face falls entirely and he looks hurt. Jeongguk’s heart is clenched in his chest but he’s too… riled up to feel bad. There’s no way Jimin could have known any of that, Jeongguk knows.

 

“I didn’t know,” Jimin says, genuinely sounding sorry. “I’m sorry, shouldn’t have mentioned it. I — what happened to your hand?”

 

It’s a way to change the subject and it works — Jeongguk’s attention quickly shifts and he focuses on the dull throb of it and lifts it up, examining the neatly wrapped bandages around it.

 

“Punched a wall last night.”

 

Jimin’s eyes widen in surprise and Jeongguk doesn’t even have the time to react when Jimin surges towards him, settling down next to him with ease, his tiny hands grasping Jeongguk’s bandaged one. Jeongguk doesn’t flinch or tug his hand away but his breath is all caught up in his throat, chest feeling tight with the how heavily his heart pounds and just — Jimin is so close. So close.

 

And Jeongguk’s missed him. He’s missed him ever since he left after they came back from Busan.

 

“Does it hurt a lot?” Jimin asks tentatively, voice low and fueled with worry. “Jeongguk, tell me. Does it?”

 

His whole body hurts chest tight and clenched, lungs barely pumping out air.

 

“It does.” Jeongguk says, and he means more than just his hand.

 

Being here hurts. This whole situation is painful. Everything is so, so complicated when it could have been simple, when it could have been avoided.

 

Jimin’s fingers ghost over the bandages and Jeongguk shivers, even though he is barely touching him. Even though he can’t even feel his fingertips on his skin.

 

“I called you yesterday.” Jimin says, voice a whisper. “You said I didn’t call you and so — so I called you, but you didn’t pick up.”

 

Jeongguk swallows, throat closing up.

 

“Jin hyung drugged me,” he lets out a tiny huff, rolling his eyes. His hand is still between Jimin’s and he’s so, so aware of it. He feels the heat of his fingers as they radiate through the bandages, and it takes a lot in him to not just melt into the touch. “Then he and Namjoon hyung wouldn’t let me use my phone until the pain meds wore off.”

 

Jimin’s tilts his head to the side, eyebrows raised in question. Jeongguk isn’t entirely lying — they did take his phone away once the drugs made him all loopy, but the reality is, he’d ignored five of Jimin’s calls earlier while he was fully aware. Jeongguk just isn’t sure if he wants to get into it.

 

“Why did you punch a wall?” Jimin asks quietly, his fingers slowly intertwining with Jeongguk’s, careful not to hurt him.

 

His heart jumps, his toes curling against the floor. Jeongguk’s mind races and he’s not sure if he wants to tell the truth but Namjoon’s words still echo inside of his head — make sure you’re telling him the truth — and somehow, lying doesn’t feel right.

 

Jimin’s made an effort to show him that he’s able to trust him, and while Jeongguk wasn’t sure he could do that just yet, he was at least willing to try and show Jimin the same thing. This was more than just a case. They were more than just this case. At least to Jeongguk.

 

“I, uh — kind of lost it. Namjoon’s given me some bad news.”

 

Jimin nods. “Right. I saw by the way he was looking at you and you back at him — something wasn’t right. Are you going to tell me what the news were?” He asks. “You don’t have to. I’m just asking if you are.”

 

Jeongguk swallows, gaze dropping onto his lap where Jimin’s hands are tightly curled around his own. He’s torn — if he says anything, then it’s over and Jimin knows. And if he decides to use it against them, then Namjoon’s words hold so much weight. Jimin is going to eat them alive.

 

He knows his inner conflict is valid, and he knows that he should be careful. Still, he opts for buying himself some more time. Just a few extra seconds to think.

 

“Jimin,” he begins, taking a deep breath once his eyes meet Jimin’s again. “Can you please, please reconsider settling? Make your mother reconsider. Please.”

 

Jeongguk knows he said he wasn’t going to beg — but this honestly doesn’t even feel like it. It comes out naturally, effortlessly, and he’s not even embarrassed about it. Not if it gets him to where he needs it to get him.

 

“Jeongguk.”

 

“Why are you so keen to help her out? Jimin. Come on.”

 

Jimin sighs, his fingers untangling from Jeongguk’s. His hand suddenly feels cold.

 

“Because, I’m a fucking lawyer Jeongguk, just like you are. Same way you wouldn’t budge if it were you. Like, I get it. I get it. You don’t want her anywhere near the company, don’t want her getting any money, I get all of that. I get that you’re upset and I get that you are angry and I get that the odds aren’t really in your favor. I get it. But I’m literally — literally just doing my fucking job.”

 

Jeongguk huffs, annoyed both at what Jimin’s saying, and the sudden lack of contact.

 

“I get it but come on. She’s not a good person. You’ve said so yourself.”

 

“I’m doing my job,” Jimin repeats, eyes narrowing.

 

“And I get that, but you yourself have said a million fucking times that she’s not a good person, the shit she did to your father—”

 

“...yet that has nothing to do with this case. And who says your father is any better than she is? For all I know he’s the exact same as the rest of my stepfathers.” The words come out sounding bitter, and Jimin grimaces. “I don’t know him. I’ve barely met him a couple of times.”

 

The sting Jeongguk feels almost makes him want to double over, but he doesn’t. Instead, his nostrils flater and his jaw clenches, and yes — his father may be a fucking idiot, but he won’t stand for anyone questioning his integrity or morals or — anything. It’s his father.

 

“He’s nothing like her. He fucking loved my mother and you know I would never ask you to reconsider if I —”

“What do I know? What do I even know about you, Jeongguk? Other than what I’ve created in my head, based on the tiny crumbs you’ve given me? I have nothing to go off of, Jeongguk. And there are so many things I know you are and over the last few months I’ve learned to read between the thinnest of lines but — what do I really know? What have you shown me?” Jimin is breathless, chest heaving. Jeongguk’s gaze drops to his fists, clenched together by his sides and his heart twists. It’s crazy how fast Jeongguk’s anger deflates because — he’s right. He’s given him nothing. Absolutely nothing. “I know I haven’t exactly opened up to you either, but I have tried to let you in the only way I knew how. You gave me nothing. Barely a fragment. The tiniest of pieces to the most complicated puzzle I’ve ever tried to solve and I’m trying, but I’m not fucking good at puzzles, Jeongguk.”

 

Jeongguk stays quiet, his eyes stinging. He doesn’t really want to cry but his throat is so tight it hurts.

 

“I’m sorry.” He doesn’t know what else to say. It’s been so hard for him to express himself, to let Jimin in and to figure out what to do with this whole case even with Namjoon on his side.

 

They’re quiet for a long time, and then Jimin inches a little closer to him again, resting his hand on Jeongguk’s thigh. Jeongguk slightly flinches at the touch, but once his eyes find Jimin’s again, his body eases up.

 

“Can I ask you something, Jeongguk?”

 

Jeongguk’s stomach drops. He nods, holding his breath. Jimin looks so serious, sounds so serious that he has no idea what might come out of his mouth. All Jeongguk knows is that they’ve resolved nothing, they’ve gotten nowhere, and he’s starting to feel as pessimistic as he felt earlier today.

 

“Is this hard for you?”

 

Jeongguk swallows. “Is what hard for me?”

 

“This.” Jimin gestures between them. “Us. The back and forth.”

 

Yes.

 

But something holds him back from saying it. The chills Jeongguk feels claw at the bottom of his spine warn him to not say a word. He can’t break yet. If that’s what Jimin is aiming for, he can’t break yet.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

Jimin takes a deep breath and his eyes flutter shut, his hand tightening around Jeongguk’s thigh.

 

“I mean doesn’t it drive you crazy that I — we can’t stay away from each other.” Jimin looks up at him. “I think about you all the time. And I can’t fucking stop. I try to let you in the only way I think you might let me and just — do you feel anything? Towards me? Anything at all?”

 

“I—”

 

“It’s not just the sex, right?” Jimin’s voice raises in pitch and he trips over his words, leaning in towards Jeongguk. “You said — you said you’re not like that. And I don’t think you are. So what is it, Jeongguk? Do you — do you feel something? Anything?”

 

“It’s not just the sex,” is all Jeongguk says, even though he wants to say more. He wants to, but the words just won’t come out.

 

Jimin’s face falls, eyes a little glassy. He nods slowly, kind of like he had expected more. Kind of like he’s disappointed by the answer.

 

“It’s not.” Jeongguk stubbornly repeats, and it’s like that’s the only thing he knows how to say.

 

“Then what is it?”

 

Jeongguk’s heart hammers against the inside of his chest, and he doesn’t know if he can say it. He’s terrified. So fucking terrified. His palms and back are coated with cold sweat and he has no idea why Jimin is pushing this. Even though one of them had to.

 

“You think you could ever live without me?”

 

It catches him off guard and he gasps, surprised with the sudden intensity of Jimin’s gaze.

 

No. Not anymore. Not without thinking about you all the time, at least.

 

“I could.” He’s lying through his teeth. His heart is clenched and stomach twisted, but he — he cannot say it. He physically cannot make himself say it.

 

Jimin’s eyes are dark and set on his, not a flinch in his traits. Not a hint of the glossiness or hesitence that was there just a few moments ago.

 

“Really? You could never love me?”

 

A lump swells up in his throat, suffocating him, ruining him.

 

What the fuck. What the fuck, what the fuck, what the fuck. Why in the fuck would he ever ask about love, why would he ever even bring that up?

 

Everything is moving so fast Jeongguk’s head spins.

 

Love. Jeongguk could love him. If only he let himself to.

 

“Never.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

No.

 

“Never,” Jeongguk breathes, voice raw, cracking around the edges. He’s going to break. If that’s what Jimin wants, he’s going to get it.

 

“Bullshit,” Jimin says and his whole expression cracks in a split second, eyes watery, hands shaky, and Jeongguk wants to die.

 

And then he realizes. Maybe Jimin isn’t going to break him. Maybe he’s going to break Jimin.

 

“You know it’s bullshit.” Jimin continues, eyes glossy but voice flat and even. He shifts a even closer to Jeongguk, so close that Jeongguk can feel his breath on his lips. “You could love me. Same way I’m going to love you.”

 

Jeongguk’s stomach swoops. Going to. He’s going to—

 

“Jimin,” his voice trembles, palms sweating. “Jimin just—”

 

“The difference between you and me is that even though you don’t trust me, I trust you,” Jimin says and Jeongguk’s whole body shivers once their lips brush together. “I’m gonna trust you.”

 

Jimin’s hands are in his hair, gently tugging at the strands. His hand slides down to the nape of his neck and he presses their lips together, adding more pressure as his tongue gently parts Jeongguk’s lips. Jeongguk breathes into the kiss, mouth opening so he could let Jimin's tongue in. The kiss is slow, intimate and it’s almost painful to feel the way Jimin so desperately licks into his mouth, and Jeongguk’s whole chest tightens so hard he feels like he’s going going to run out of air.

 

He lets Jimin kiss him and he presses his whole body to his chest, wanting to feel the way his heartbeats against his. It’s slow and so, so meticulous, like they have all the time in the world and it feels like Jimin wants to savor every second of it.

 

Jeongguk grips tightly at his shoulders because he doesn’t want Jimin to ever stop, even though he’s out of breath and his body aches, his knuckles throb, and he feels like he’s about to faint.

 

“Jeongguk,” Jimin’s voice cracks and Jeongguk whines against his lips, his head falling onto Jimin’s shoulder. “Jeongguk — I wanna feel you. Will you let me feel you?”

 

Jeongguk lifts his head up and searches Jimin’s eyes, brows slightly furrowing as he looks up at him.

 

“Wh—”

 

“I want you to fuck me, Jeongguk.” Jimin whispers, gently caressing the side of his face. “I want you to fuck me so bad.”

 

Jeongguk breath hitches and he nods frantically, his hands rushing to cup Jimin’s jaw and he kisses him hard, feeling as Jimin slowly lifts himself up and climbs into his lap.

 

“Wanna feel you,” Jeongguk mumbles as his fingers tangle in Jimin’s hair and, and he feels as his arms tighten around Jeongguk’s neck. “Wanna have you any way you’ll have me.”

 

It’s a slip up but Jeongguk is kiss drunk and on the verge of exploding, his emotions pent up and locked away for so long and he just — he doesn’t know how much longer he’ll be able to last without bursting.

 

He feels the dip of Jimin’s knees in the couch on either side of his thighs and he straightens up, letting Jimin kiss him for a little while longer before his hands slide to grip at the back of his thighs, slowly getting up and carrying Jimin all the way to his room.

 

Jeongguk legs work by muscle memory, steps slow and careful as he doesn’t stop kissing Jimin back, doesn’t stop nipping on his lower lip, doesn’t stop kissing cheek and the corner of his mouth as Jimin slightly pulls back to take a breath.

 

Somehow, Jeongguk manages to get them to his room without falling over and his heart beats so loudly once he puts Jimin down onto his bed because he wants him so, so badly, but also — he’s never really had anyone in his bed. Not since he was sixteen or seventeen. Not his bed here, in Korea.

 

He pauses for a second, pressing his forehead onto Jimin’s, taking a deep breath.

 

“God, Jimin,” he sighs, kisses him again. “This — god. All of this is just…”

 

“I know,” Jimin’s voice comes out strained and he keeps his arms hooked around Jeongguk’s neck, jerking his hips up to grind them against Jeongguk’s.

 

Jeongguk gasps at the sensation, lowers his body down so Jimin could get easier access, and kisses him hard and deep. Jimin clumsily takes Jeongguk’s shirt off and Jeongguk’s hands shake as he unbuttons Jimin’s, and it’s all so — it’s almost as if they’ve never done this before.

 

It’s like they’re both nervous and the amount of blood Jeongguk’s heart is pumping out makes his arms feel all sorts of numb and tingly, kind of like they’re not his own anymore. He doesn’t remember the last time he’s felt this — pressured to do good, to make Jimin feel good.

 

Frankly, he’s never really cared that much. But right now, he cares. And for whatever reason, Jimin is so nervous too. Way more visibly than Jeongguk is. His whole body is trembling underneath his and he whimpers, eyes big and glassy, lips curling into a smile as Jeongguk leans to kiss him again.

 

“You good?” Jeongguk murmurs against his lips, trailing kiss down the side of his jaw, all the way down to his neck.

“J-just go easy on me, okay?” Jimin’s voice is a bit shaky and Jeongguk pauses and pulls back, brows furrowing as he looks deeply into Jimin’s eyes.

 

He blinks a couple of times, the pleasure of Jimin’s hips rutting against his own slowing his thought process a bit.

 

And then, he realizes. Jimin. He doesn’t bottom. Or at least he hasn’t. Not in a while, at least. It’s so obvious.  

 

“Jimin,” he starts softly as it dawns on him, brows entirely pinched together as he sets himself between his legs. “How long has it been since you—”

 

“Too long, okay?” Jimin’s eyes dart away and he nervously gnaws on his bottom lip, nails digging into his shoulder blades. “Just. A long time.”

 

Jeongguk’s features soften and he breathes out, slightly tilting his head to the side, unsure of how to feel. God, this is all so fucked up. It’s fucked up beyond repair.

 

His heart twists in his chest and he feels the unwelcome burn in his eyes — but he’s not going to cry. He’s held out this whole entire time.

 

“Jimin,” he says, fingers ghosting over the side of his cheek. “Look at me. We don’t have to do this.”

 

“No,” Jimin’s voice comes out firm and determined this time, gaze darkened as it sets back on Jeongguk. It’s like a switch inside of him flipped, and he stills underneath Jeongguk. “I want to do this. I trust you. Are you looking at me, Jeongguk?”

 

Jeongguk’s heartbeat races as he looks back at him, and he only then realizes that he’s holding his breath. He doesn’t say anything — just keeps staring down at Jimin, heart hammering against the inside of his chest.

 

“I trust you.”

 

Jeongguk nods, crashing his lips against Jimin’s again and this time the kiss is hungrier, dirtier, and both Jimin and Jeongguk gasp as their teeth and tongues clash together, mouths open and breaths hot.

 

His cock fully hardens in his pants with nothing but the friction of Jimin’s hips as they grind against his, and his first instinct is to pull Jimin on top of himself and let him fuck him but — not today.

 

Jeongguk’s hand travels down Jimin’s stomach, his face buried in the crook of his neck as he nips at the soft skin there, and he unzips Jimin’s pants, shoving his hand right down into Jimin’s underwear.

 

“Oh shit baby,” Jimin’s head falls lower into the pillow as Jeongguk curls his palm around his cock, running his thumb over the wet slit. “Feels good.”

 

Jeongguk slides his fist up and down Jimin’s length, the anxiousness in his stomach disappearing as Jimin squirms and whimpers underneath him, the softest, prettiest sounds falling from his lips as Jeongguk slowly jerks him off, kissing the side of his neck.

 

“Fuck me,” Jimin breathes into his ear even though he continues fucking into Jeongguk’s hand, his voice cracked and broken with pleasure. “Baby I love this but — but I’m gonna need you to fuck me.”

 

Jeongguk pulls back and props himself onto his elbows, looking at Jimin’s eyes again, studying his features.

 

“Are you sure?” He asks again, because he really, really doesn’t want to make Jimin uncomfortable. And if he hadn’t done this in a while — then Jeongguk understands. He doesn’t mind it being the other way around, just like it’s been this whole time. “Don’t get me wrong — I want to fuck you, but not if you’re not sure.”

 

Jimin sighs, placing his hand over Jeongguk cheek.

 

“I’m sure. I told you.” He says. “I trust you.”

 

The words make Jeongguk move, and he instantly reaches for lube and condoms he’s been hiding underneath his bed ever he’s been a teenager.

 

He sets himself between Jimin’s legs as he coats his fingers, and Jimin’s eyebrow arches in amusement.

 

“Banana flavored lube? Really?”

 

“Shut the fuck up,” Jeongguk blushes but shoves his fingers into Jimin’s mouth instead, tracing along his bottom lip. His heart still pounds in his chest but this time, it’s because he’s fucking excited.

 

He’s excited to make Jimin fall apart right underneath him.

 

“Tasty,” Jimin mumbles when Jeongguk pulls his fingers out, and Jeongguk huffs out a laugh and gently slaps his cheek.

 

“Shut up, fucking brat.”

 

He’s wanted to say that for ages and his whole skin vibrates with excitement as he coats his fingers again and uses his other hand to entirely remove Jimin’s pants and underwear.

 

“Interesting,” Jimin chuckles but his voice goes quiet real quick once Jeongguk’s fingers glide down his perineum, spreading his cheeks so he could get to his rim.

 

He presses his lips to Jimin’s, kiss slow and gentle and he pushes a finger in, swallowing the moan that immediately emerges from his throat. He’s careful and pushes it in at a steady pace, making sure to glance over at Jimin just to make sure that he’s good — that he’s adjusting.

 

Jeongguk works his finger for a while, waiting for Jimin’s body to entirely relax so he could push another one. Jimin adjust quickly, moans soft and pretty and filling up the room and then—

 

“Another one.” Jimin breathes, kissing the corner of Jeongguk’s mouth. “Jeongguk, add another one.”

 

And he does — it takes Jimin more time to adjust, his body tense to the somewhat unfamiliar sensation, but he does, and he’s squirming and whimpering underneath him in no time. Jeongguk’s cock grows harder between his legs, and there’s a dull throb of pleasure and he can’t fucking wait to just release it all.

 

God — Jeongguk’s whole being trembles with anticipation.

 

He curls his fingers inside of Jimin, brushing against his prostate, and just watches the way Jimin’s eyes roll to the back of his head, eyelids fluttering shut in pleasure.

 

“I’m good — want, shit,” Jimin bites down on his lower lip, precome leaking all over his abdomen. “Gimme your cock. Wanna feel you — fuck — really fucking feel you.”

 

Jeongguk doesn’t need to be told twice — he gently pulls his fingers out, rolls a condom onto his cock and then settles back down between Jimin’s legs and shit. He needs a second.

 

He needs a second to just take it all in, Jimin all flustered and gorgeous beneath him, a sight even prettier than when Jeongguk rode him in the car. This — Jeongguk doesn’t think he could ever let this go. He can’t get enough of him, and shit — he really doesn’t think he could live without him anymore. He’d have him any way he could.

 

Jeongguk lines his cock with Jimin’s entrance and presses the head to his rim, gently teasing as Jimin whines, harshly swatting at his shoulder.

 

“Fuckin’ tease,” he says and there’s a feistiness to his voice that makes Jeongguk’s cock twitch. “Put it in already.”

 

Jeongguk laughs quietly but doesn’t budge, just keeps lazy circling the head of his cock around Jimin’s rim, watching the way his body reacts to him. Jeongguk wishes he could keep the image in his mind forever.

 

Jimin looks up, digs his nails deep into Jeongguk’s arm — so hard Jeongguk almost yanks his arm away, but doesn’t once he catches the way Jimin stares up at him.

 

“Come on, Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin’s voice is low and silky, eyes dark and gleaming. “Don’t you wanna ruin me? It’s about time.”

 

Jeongguk swallows heavily, heart pounding in his chest.

 

“Yeah,” he finally says. “Yeah I do.”

 

He pushes his cock in, slow at first — just in case. Jimin takes a bit of time to adjust to his girth, hands shakily gripping at Jeongguk’s shoulder blades and his eyes widen again — just like they had once Jeongguk brought him to his room.

 

“Shh, you’re doing so good,” Jeongguk kisses the side of his cheek, traces little kisses over his cheekbone, leaves a kiss on the tip of his nose. “So good. I won’t move until you tell me to. I’m all the way in now.” He kisses Jimin’s temple. “Won’t move until you tell me to, promise.”

 

He feels Jimin nod, then swallow hard. Then a shaky: “Move, Jeonggukie. You can move.”

 

Despite that, Jeongguk still takes a couple of minutes before he moves, and when he finally does, Jimin falls apart beneath him.

 

He starts off slow at first — slow and steady — just messily running his healthy hand through Jimin’s silver hair and kissing the side of his face or the corners of his mouth — whatever he can reach.

 

Jimin breathes and moans into his ear and Jeongguk can’t really contain himself much longer, he speeds up the pace — just a little bit — just to get the edge off of the heat that’s coiled up in his groin.

 

The way Jimin clenches around him makes jeongguk’s whole gut twist with pleasure, the adrenaline flowing through him and he kisses Jimin harder, trying not to let his hips pound too hard into him. It’s almost surreal how intimate it feels — more intimate than any of the times they’ve fucked so far — and his chest blooms with the strangest sense of fondness, protection, and everything good he feels towards Jimin.

 

Fuck — Jimin deserves better. Jeongguk deserve better. They all deserve better.

 

“Say my name.”

 

“W-what?” Jeongguk is breathless, lost with Jimin so tight and clenched around him, his nails dug in deep into his shoulder blades.

 

“S-say it. Just say it.”

 

“Jimin,” Jeongguk is breathless, not giving it too much thought. He’d give him anything he wants.

 

“Closer.” Jeongguk leans in, his lips brushing against Jimin’s.

 

He thrusts in and out, careful not to go too hard, careful not to hurt Jimin — and Jimin — he’s not complaining. His moans are airy and soft, filling up the room, filling up the silence between them and by the way he just clenches around Jeongguk, he can tell it’s exactly what he needs.

 

Even though his mind is clouded with pleasure and two things only — making sure Jimin is okay and getting himself off — somewhere in the back of it it dawns on Jeongguk; this is exactly what Jimin had meant when he asked Jeongguk to ruin him.

 

He didn’t mean fucking him so hard he couldn’t walk for days — he meant this. Careful and intimate and like this — all of this means something.

 

Jeongguk strokes his hair, kisses a spot right beneath his ear and whispers: “So good, baby. You’re doing so fucking good I’d never even want to think about anyone else.”

 

“Then don’t.” Jimin says. “Don’t ever think of anyone else but me.”

 

The words come out quiet, barely a whisper, but Jeongguk hears them, catches them, and they make his heart twist.

 

He thrusts inside a couple more times and then he feels Jimin’s muscles tense, his rim clench and his cock spills between them splattering come all over his chest and stomach. Jeongguk’s mind is in a haze when he comes a few seconds later, his hips messily jerking as he desperately tries to control them so he doesn’t go too hard — and the hot sting of pleasure feels like it lasts a lot longer than it usually does.

 

“You good?” Is the first thing he asks as he strokes Jimin’s hair, his vision still a bit blurry — but he has to check. “Hyung, you good?”

 

Jimin locks his arms around him and pulls him entirely on top of himself, not even caring that there’s come all over them. He holds him tight, breathing heavily into his ear, but not letting go. Jimin squeezes him so tightly he can’t even hug him back, so he settles for kissing the side of his face, his hair, his temples — anything to show him that it’s all okay. That it’s all good.

 

Once Jimin releases him Jeongguk slowly pulls out and rolls over next to him, takes his hand and intertwines their fingers together, looking deeply into his eyes.

 

“Are you good?” He asks again, even though he already knows the answer.

 

“Jeongguk,” Jimin holds their hands together, his fingers squeezing Jeongguk’s. “Jeongguk I need to tell you something.”

 

Jeongguk’s heart sinks and Jimin’s expression is unreadable — he’s fucked out and staring at their hands, not sparing him a glance. His chest is still heaving post-orgasm, and Jeongguk doesn’t know what there possibly is that Jimin needs to be telling him right now.

 

Unless he’s somehow hurt him. But that’s impossible because he was so careful and Jimin didn’t say anything—

 

“I know what Namjoon told you yesterday.”

 

Jeongguk blinks. Hard.

 

“What?”

 

Jimin’s lips twitch and he grimaces, eyes traveling to meet his.

 

“Well. I don't actually know. But I’m assuming.”

 

Jeongguk swallows. “Okay. What do you think it is?”

 

“It’s about your father. Having an affair.”

 

Jeongguk’s stomach drops and suddenly — he doesn’t feel his legs. He knows. Jimin knows. Fuck — Jeongguk feels nauseous. He knows and he’s going to fucking destroy them.

 

“So you know.”

 

“Of course I know.” He says, and Jeongguk’s hand goes limp in Jimin’s. He’s going to be sick.

 

“How long have you known?”

 

Jimin gulps.

 

“Since that night. The night you and I were in my office and just finished—”

 

“— fucking?”

 

“Yeah.” He finally says. “When we just finished fucking.”

 

“Okay.” Jeongguk’s head spins, and he doesn’t know what to say. A part of him had expected that he did, but a bigger part of him kind of didn’t. “How did she know? Had him followed?”

 

Jimin is quiet for a long time, fingers still playing with Jeongguk’s even though Jeongguk doesn’t feel anything anymore.

 

“No. Because she’s the one he’s been with.”

 

Jeongguk’s whole world swims. It’s like he’s been hit with a truck, adrenaline still pumping through his body after sex and just — it’s not possible. The woman in the photos was blonde, and Jiyeon’s hair is dark — there’s just no way.

 

“Not possible. The woman we saw was blonde.” Jeongguk’s voice shakes as he speaks. “It’s not possible.”

 

Jimin drops his hand and huffs out a laugh, rolling onto his back and staring at the ceiling.

 

“Yeah. Mother did always love wearing wigs,” he says and Jeongguk’s eyes widen in shock, and this time he feels like he’s going to have an actual heart attack. “She thought she was going to screw him over if she shows up in court claiming he’s still pursuing her and what not. That she feels “unsafe” so she has to wear wigs and what not. I’m not gonna use that in court Jeongguk — but I would have if you weren’t you.”

 

Jeongguk’s mind swims, hazy and clouded with all the information that’s just hit him. He tries his best to collect himself, to not let anger rile up within him because this — what Jimin is telling him — he never had to do that. And when he says he’s not going to use it, somehow, Jeongguk believes him.

 

Jimin’s eyes are big and genuine, and it doesn’t look like telling him this is easy for him, either.

 

“There. Now you know. It’s all her. I’m not — I won’t use it. Just because it’s you — I won’t. I was going to and then ever since Busan I just. It didn’t feel right. I can’t do it to you. You have this whole sense of unity with your father and I don’t have that with either one of my parents because, well. That’s just how I grew up. I’m trying to have it with my father now but it’s so hard because we live in different places and we’ve not spoken in so many years and just…” Jimin’s voice trails off and he sighs, then shifts to his side again to face Jeongguk. “We can renegotiate. We can find a mutual agreement that works. I’m willing to do that for you.”

 

Jeongguk swallows heavily, then places his hand on Jimin’s cheek, carefully studying his face.

 

“What’s in it for you?” He asks, but it’s not mean, nor malicious. At the end of the day, Jimin is a lawyer. This is how things work in their world. “What do you want?”

 

“Two things,” Jimin says softly, quietly. “But I’ll ask for the second one only depending of the answer to the first one is.”

 

“Okay. Shoot.”

 

“Do you feel anything towards me?” He repeats the question from earlier, and Jeongguk’s heart skips a beat, his mouth going dry. “Anything at all? More than sex?”

 

Jeongguk squeezes his eyes shut, swallowing around the lump that rises up in his throat. His whole being aches.

 

“I do.” He finally says, opening his eyes. “So, so much more than sex.”

 

Jimin doesn’t smile but his expression softens, and he leans in to press a kiss on Jeongguk’s lips.

 

“Okay.”

 

“And the second thing?”

 

“I want you to tell me about your mother.” Jimin says, and the knot in Jeongguk’s stomach tightens, hard. “I want you to open up to me. I want you to give me something.”

 

 






Chapter Text

Jeongguk gulps. His heart travels all the way up to his throat and he looks back at Jimin, unsure of what to say. Or where to start.

 

It’s been silent for a while now, ever since Jimin dropped that bomb on him: I want you to tell me about your mother. I want you to open up to me.

 

He wasn’t entirely sure if he was ready. He wasn’t entirely sure if he could. It’s been so, so long since he had opened up to anyone that wasn’t Namjoon or Seokjin or Yoongi — the one who understood him best, especially when it came to issues that specifically related to his mother.

 

Yoongi had lost his mom at a young age too, and he could always relate to him the most. He just got it. Not that Namjoon or Seokjin or say Hoseok weren’t there for him, but they didn’t understand it on the same level Yoongi did.

 

Jeongguk hasn’t really talked to anyone else about it. Well, Yoongi and his therapist back in the UK that Seokjin suggested he should see. However, after a certain period of time Jeongguk decided that therapy just wasn’t for him and that he could spend that precious time focusing on something else instead. Like, working.

 

Working was a form of therapy to him, even though Namjoon and Seokjin disapproved of that to the point where Jeongguk had to promise that once things in work got less chaotic, he would try therapy again. Only, it’s been three years since he had made that promise and Jeongguk still hasn’t returned to therapy, and things at work just got progressively more hectic.

 

He takes a deep breath, closes his eyes, opens them again. His heart somewhat simmers with the sound of Jimin breathing right next to him, and his eyes are so gentle, fingertips soothingly tracing up and down Jeongguk’s arm, making small circular motions. Jimin’s not been pushing him to talk even though it’s been a while since he’d told Jeongguk what it is that he wants, what it is that he needs from him.

 

“I’m sorry, I just—”

 

“It’s alright. Take your time.” Jimin’s voice is soft and quiet, and it’s like they have all the time in the world.

 

Maybe they do. Maybe if Jeongguk were to look at things from a different perspective and not like they’re all doomed and running out of time and all of this was make it or break it, then none of this would have to have an expiration date.

 

Literally, none of it.

 

He takes another deep breath and reaches out for Jimin’s hand, locking their fingers together. It’s hard enough that he has to process the fact that his idiot father is still seeing Jiyeon, even despite everything, but then again — he’s lying in bed, naked, with Jimin. The opposing counsel. Jiyeon’s son.

 

It’s a fucked up parallel to be drawn but — it’s still a parallel. It’s still bad. It still shouldn’t be happening. And worse — he shouldn’t be falling in love with him, yet here they were. He’s exhausted with everything that’s going on and just. He’ll talk to Namjoon tomorrow, and they’ll figure it out. And if Jimin is willing to renegotiate everything, maybe this won’t turn out as badly as Jeongguk now realizes it could have. They could try and get to a mutual agreement.

 

And shit, Jeongguk can’t believe he’d admitted that he has feelings. It just makes everything so real. So raw.

 

“I’m just. I’m trying to process everything,” Jeongguk says, bringing their intertwined hands to his lips, kissing Jimin’s knuckles. “Don’t even know where to start.”

 

Jimin shifts into a more comfortable position.

 

“We can start wherever you want. We can start with what you just told me.”

 

Jeongguk nods.

 

“Maybe we can figure out where we stand with each other first, feelings wise,” Jimin continues, and Jeongguk huffs out a tiny laugh because even this sounds a little like a business proposal. But somehow, he wouldn’t really have it any other way. “Don’t laugh at me. I’m not good at this.”

 

“I can tell.”

 

“Hey,” Jimin lifts his knee up and gently kicks at Jeongguk’s hip, “you’re no better. Fuck, you’re even worse. You’re so bad that I have to step up and play my cards right so I don’t scare you off.”

 

Jeongguk laughs again and this time it comes out like a full blown giggle. It’s kind of sad, but Jimin has a point. He is bad at this, always has been, but — now it’s even worse, considering the circumstances under which all of this has been happening.

 

“Yeah,” he says, lifting Jimin’s index finger and comparing it to his own. The size difference makes him laugh and Jimin’s cheeks flush in a light shade of pink, and he tries to wiggle his hand out of Jeongguk’s grip. It doesn’t work. “I know. I’ve always been bad at… well, this. These kinds of things.”

 

“Me too,” Jimin hums, giving up on trying to wiggle his hand out. “But if we’re both willing to admit that there are feelings here, I guess the next step is to talk about them. At least that’s what Taehyung said we should do.”

 

Jeongguk tilts his brows in amusement. “Taehyung? You’ve been talking to him about this? About, uh — us?”

 

“I mean, yeah, he’s been my best friend for like, twenty years,” Jimin says defensively and Jeongguk laughs again. He feels lighter, more at ease, almost as if Jimin didn’t drop a bomb on him only a short while ago. “He said that’s how he and Yoongi hyung get through their issues. By talking about their feelings and shit.”

 

Jeongguk pauses. Yoongi’s always been one to express himself well, however, his delivery was often a little too to the point and rough around the edges. Jeongguk, on the other hand, was rather dismissive. He had no problems with expressing his anger and handling conflict, but when it came to being vulnerable — that’s where Jeongguk would just automatically shut down. Because being vulnerable was a waste of time, and a liability.

 

Or so he thought. Jimin’s willingness to be vulnerable with Jeongguk only showed to go to his favor, and it made Jeongguk realize that he had lots to think about. A lot of things to rethink.

 

The more he thinks about it — the more it makes sense. If they talk, they’ll be able to come to some sort of solution, or to reach some level of clarity.

 

“Well. Maybe Taehyung has a point.”

 

The corners of Jimin’s lips twitch upwards and he gives him a small smile, tightening his fingers around Jeongguk’s hand.

 

”He usually does.”

 

Silence falls between them again but this time, it doesn’t feel as tense and unbearable. Jeongguk’s heart beats steadily in his chest, and even though he knows they’re going to address certain things and he’s going to have to open up, it doesn’t seem as terrifying now, because Jimin is bad at this too. He’s scared — maybe not as scared as Jeongguk is — but he’s still afraid, and this isn’t easy for him either.

 

“You said you were going to use this shit in court up until we went to Busan. Is that when you realized you, um. Feel something for me?” Jeongguk decides to get brave and asks, attempting to somehow try and wrap his head around all of this.

 

“No.” Jimin says simply, furrowing his brows. “I mean yes. Kind of. I’m not entirely sure. If I’m honest, I’ve wanted to pursue you ever since that day we met in that goddamn bathroom. Which is what I’ve been doing. But — I don’t know. I wasn’t sure if the pull was just sexual or whatever but, yeah. It probably didn’t seem like a big deal to you at the time and probably still doesn’t, but when I gave you my parents sealed divorce papers, I was honestly freaking out.”

 

Jeongguk vividly remembers the way Jimin’s face was expressionless that day when he’d told him to come downstairs, that he has something for him. His jaw was tight and clenched, his eyes hidden behind the shades and Jeongguk didn’t really think about it then — but Jimin’s rigid demeanor was just a facade. Just like how Jeongguk’s explosive anger is.

 

It’s all just a cover up.

 

“You were?”

 

Jimin raises his eyebrows. “Yeah,” he half laughs, gaze drifting towards the ceiling again. “I was shitting myself.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because things could’ve gone either of two ways. You could’ve either told me to go fuck myself because the papers didn’t contain anything useful for the current, ongoing case, or you would’ve gotten curious, like you did, and then I would have to let you in. Tell you things. Which is something I haven’t really had to do. Ever.”

 

Oh. Tingles run down Jeongguk’s back and his cheeks flare up, and he honestly feels bad for not even considering that. He thought it was all a part of a game, some way to lure him in, make him trust Jimin and honestly — it might have been, in a way, but Jimin was also trying to be brave. To see if he really can let Jeongguk in. And he did just that. He’d introduced him to his father, told him things he probably doesn’t tell many people and just — maybe it was okay for Jeongguk to do the same.

 

Just one step at the time.

 

“I — well. I haven’t really thought about it that way. That it was hard for you, I mean. I honestly thought that it was all just… means to get me to drop my guard down,” Jeongguk says honestly. “This whole thing has made me really paranoid. I’m not usually like this but… this case is really personal to me. It’s my dad and I just — I’m supposed to take care of him and yet I’m acting so reckless.”

 

Jimin nods, letting out a small sigh.

 

“I get that you’re paranoid. I’ve been trying to put myself in your shoes and it’s been so hard for me. That’s why I’m asking about mother. I’m just —” Jimin gestures vaguely, unsure of how to phrase it, “— trying to understand. And I can’t do that unless you tell me. And I care, Jeongguk. I didn’t think I would, I didn’t want to, but I do.”

 

“I care too.” Jeongguk’s heartbeat accelerates at the confession that just somehow manages to slip past his lips, but he doesn’t regret it.

 

It’s not a lie. He cares — even though he might not be showing it. Even though with every step forward, he takes two steps backward. Jimin’s gaze softens and he smiles again, then leans in to press a kiss on his lips.

 

“Good.” He says as he pulls back, taking his bottom lip between his teeth. “That’s — it’s good to know. That you care.”

 

“I do.” Jeongguk sighs, a sudden wave of relief washing over him.

 

He feels fine, he feels safe enough to tell him this. It feels right and he doesn’t feel like he’s still so trapped in his own head. He said it and he didn’t die, he didn’t burst into flames and just — it all feels like it might be okay.

 

“You know,” Jeongguk begins, wanting to get it out before paranoia creeps back in, before he starts overthinking again. “I’ve had a set number of people close to me ever since I was a kid. Namjoon, Seokjin, Hoseok and Yoongi’s parents were all friends with my parents before I was even born. And even though there’s a decent age difference between me and them, they always treated me like their little brother. And having grown up with them and even having been raised by them, in a way, I never really had trouble letting them in, you know? Because they were always in.”

 

Jeongguk pauses and looks at Jimin, unsure if he’s making any sense. He’s not entirely certain how to do this or how to convey his thoughts and feelings in a way that Jimin will understand what he actually feels, but trying is better than nothing. They’ve been going back and forth for way too long and maybe if Jeongguk just tries to explain himself, it’ll lift weight off of his shoulders.

 

“I get that. Taehyung and I have been friends since we were children. He was just always there, so I get it. I never had to warm up to him, it’s just kind of… it’s just always been the two of us and if I ever had any issues or troubles, he’d just know. Because he knows me so well.”

 

“Right,” Jeongguk nods, relieved that Jimin gets it. It only gives him a stronger urge to open up, to let Jimin in. Because it’s okay. “It’s the same with me. And when it comes to talking about feelings and shit, I just… I never really had to, because as my friends, they already kind of knew. But when it comes to relationships…”

 

“...you’ve never really had any meaningful ones?” Jimin finishes his sentence with a question, eyebrows raised.

 

Jeongguk gulps, feeling the insecurity seep back through his skin, clawing at the low of his back. It’s just a little uncomfortable to answer because he’s thirty years old with no serious relationship behind him, and Jimin is spot on.

 

“Yeah.” He swallows, looking back at him, trying to find a trace of disapproval in Jimin’s features, but there’s nothing. His eyes are soft but serious, and Jeongguk appreciates that there’s no trace of judgement in them. He’s not sure he could take any right now. “I’ve had a few relationships in college but — that was college. Not saying that relationships in college can’t be serious, just… it was all so different and new to me. I moved to a different country, there were so many dating rules I couldn’t keep up with and just the whole western culture that was something that took time getting accustomed to. And then in a blink of an eye I graduated and had to prepare for my bar exam and then I was determined to get a job without my dad’s help because I didn’t want to just be seen as this rich kid who’s had everything just handed to him. My parents had worked hard to get the business to where it is today and I just — I wanted to make both of them proud, even though mom had died a long time ago at that point. And then relationships stopped taking any sort of priority in my life, I guess.”

 

Jimin’s hand runs up to cup the side of Jeongguk’s face, his thumb softly brushing alongside his cheekbone. Jeongguk hasn’t said much just yet, but he feels exposed in a way, his skin hot and tingly with shame and embarrassment, even though nobody is judging him.

 

But nobody ever had to. Because all Jeongguk ever did was judge himself. He was his own toughest critic. His own worst enemy. It would usually push him to be better, to do better, but with this whole situation — it only seemed to drag him down.

 

And Jeongguk was getting tired of dragging himself down, of being so afraid all the time. If he wanted all of this to make sense, he would have to try and be brave too. Jimin’s at least tried to give him something — Jeongguk should at least try and give something back.

 

“How old were you?” Jimin asks after a few moments of silence and Jeongguk can hear the faintest shake of his voice. “When she… you know. How old were you?”

 

Jeongguk clears his throat, his palm heating up underneath Jimin’s and he feels the sweat around his temples. An uncomfortable feeling settles in the pit of his stomach and the base of his throat, his mouth suddenly feeling very dry.

 

It’s been sixteen years but sometimes, Jeongguk thinks it still hurts just the same. It doesn’t really, but considering he doesn’t talk about it, or at least he hasn’t — not for a while — it feels like it does.

 

“Fourteen,” Jeongguk clears his throat again, word feeling almost acidic on his tongue. “I was fourteen and — it happened so fast. I didn’t even have the time to prepare for what was to come.”

 

He falls silent, thoughts running a hundred miles an hour. There’s so much that’s gathered up in his chest, pressing against his lungs, mind swimming with thoughts and feelings that have suddenly piled up and Jeongguk has so much to say, so much he wants to share, but he also wants to stop right there. It’s so overwhelming all of a sudden, his skin burns hot and itchy with the uncomfortableness and it’s almost as if his body is physically rejecting to talk about that.

 

“I don’t think you can ever be prepared for that. No matter how much time you have.”

 

Jeongguk’s heart twists inside of his chest and his entire body melts into the sheets around him. He looks over at Jimin, eyes big and wide and he feels his throat tighten as a lump swells inside of it. That’s exactly what his dad always used to say to him when he was younger. Those exact fucking words.

 

Without giving it much thought, Jeongguk rolls to his side and extends his arms out to Jimin and pulls him close to his chest, tightening his arms around him as he holds him close. He can feel Jimin’s heartbeat against his own and the words are just so — always been so comforting and Jeongguk’s entire head spins and he just — he wants to tell him more. He deserves to know more.

 

“Hey. It’s okay.”

 

“I know.” Jeongguk pulls back, and he means it. “I know it’s okay. It’s just — my dad used to say that to me when I was younger. Like, “ah, we couldn’t have ever been ready, Jeongguk-ah,” or “you just cannot prepare for a loss no matter how hard you try.” And it just always stuck with me. It doesn’t fix anything but in a weird way, it’s comforting to hear.”

 

Jimin gives him a small smile, hand traveling back to cup his face. “Good. I’m glad.”

 

Jeongguk feels somewhat at ease, even though that unsettling feeling is still present in his gut and his skin still burns kind of hot. But it’s easier — the burdening weight has been lifted off his chest and the lump in his throat dissolves, making his breathing even again.

 

“Yeah,” Jeongguk breathes. “Yeah, just. It happened so fast, Jimin. Like one minute she was there, she was fine and we were planning on going to Singapore for a family vacation and then the next, just,” he feels the air slipping out of his lungs, it’s harder for him to breathe again and tears start gathering up in corners of his eyes and Jeongguk almost feels a little frantic. “Just. It was so fast. One day she just wasn’t feeling well and we thought it was the heat, you know, it was so humid and hot in Seoul and it was summer — one of those days where you just want to get out of your own skin because that’s how hot it is and everything feels warm and sticky and sweet and just disgusting overall. Our air-condition broke and we were waiting for the repair guy and it was so hot in the apartment. It was probably even worse with all the windows open and shit but. She collapsed in the kitchen. She was cooking me lunch and then she was supposed to go out with dad to some event or whatever and she collapsed and then — I don’t even remember. All I know is dad took her to the hospital, they were gone for hours and I was so confused and then later that day only dad came back home and said they had to keep her there and just. She never came home again. She died in the hospital three weeks later.”

 

His chest heaves as he just word-vomits all of this into the space between them, and it’s hard to look at Jimin because Jeongguk — he doesn’t want pity. But also, he doesn’t want to be judged. He’s had sixteen years to adjust to the loss, sixteen years to stop being a fucking baby when it came to talking about passing of his mother but Jeongguk — he feels so many things all at once. And he knows it probably wouldn’t have been as overwhelming if he talked about it more, if he let people in, if he opened up but — he doesn’t, he didn’t and he can’t, so it all feels so fresh.

 

It’s kind of like a bone that never really healed properly, that hurts with sudden changes of weather, that’s the first to break at the slightest of falls.

 

“That’s… wow.” Jimin swallows, and Jeongguk still can’t really look at him. “That must’ve been hard. Holy shit. Three weeks. That’s… that’s really fast. Wow. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, Jeongguk.”

 

Jeongguk shifts, chest still heaving as if he’d just ran a marathon. Jimin’s tone is apologetic but he doesn’t sound like he’s pitying him — and Jeongguk forces himself to calm down. He would always just tell people that his mother had passed away and leave it at that, but this felt different. Images of that hot summer day, his dad panickedly calling the doctor when his mom collapsed and Jeongguk didn’t even realize what was going on right away because he was too busy playing his PlayStation.

 

It’s painful to remember but he remembers it as if it happened yesterday. He remembers the confusion, the anticipation as he waited for his parents to come back home, the sheer panic and the twist of his stomach when his father returned alone that same night, when he had a gut feeling that something was wrong. So very wrong.

 

He remembers the devastated look on his father’s face, he remembers how he tried to keep it together while telling Jeongguk the bad news, how he tried to assure him that everything was going to be okay and back to normal, even though Jeongguk had this horrible, awful feeling that it wasn’t.

 

And it never was — never again. To this day, it blows Jeongguk’s mind how fast everything had happened. Out of nowhere. Yes, doctors immediately said that it was bad. But they also said she had more time. She said she had more time—

 

“Jeongguk?”

 

Jeongguk blinks, lost in his thoughts for a little too long. It’s only when he feels Jimin’s fingers underneath the corners of his eyes that he realizes he had started crying. His cheeks feel wet and he should feel embarrassed — usually would feel embarrassed — but this time he just lets Jimin wipe the tears away. Jeongguk doesn’t remember the last time he’d cried, especially in front of someone, but he can’t think about that right now. He’s exposed and vulnerable and Jimin’s hands cupping his face and his big, soft eyes make Jeongguk feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, even though his heart aches.

 

“I’m sorry,” he sniffles as the tears just run down his face, but he’s not sobbing. It’s just one of those things where you can’t really control the tears — you can barely feel them, but they just keep falling. He reaches to wipe them away with the heel of his palm and Jimin gently pushes his hand away, shaking his head. “Didn’t really think I’d start crying. It’s just that remembering isn’t really easy.”

 

“Don’t apologize,” Jimin says, voice low and soothing. “Maybe I should be the one apologizing. I pushed you to talk about something you didn’t want—”

 

“No, it’s fine.” Jeongguk cuts him off, and he means it. “I want to talk about it. I should talk about it.”

 

He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes, biting down on his lower lip. It’s a strange sensation.It hurts, his skin aches and he feels so fragile that he could break at any second but — now that he’s started, he doesn’t want to stop. He needs this. Needs Jimin to get it, to understand him and fuck, Jeongguk needs to understand himself.

 

“Like, you said that you don’t have a sense of unity with either of your parents. I’ve always had it. My mom would always emphasize how important family is. How we have to stick together. How we have to take care of each other. When she died, I only sensed a stronger urge to take care of my dad. A couple days prior to her — you know, she told me to take care of my dad and the company. And I know she was joking and that it was lighthearted and everything but I just — I took it seriously. To this day. And she was gone so fast, Jimin. So fast. The same night she died she was telling me she was feeling so much better compared to the past couple of weeks and I believed her and just…”

 

Jeongguk pauses, breath catching in his throat and his voice trailing off. He needs a moment, his brain feels like it’s overheating with the restless flow of thoughts and memories and feelings and he hasn’t let himself relive this in a really long time. Jimin’s wide eyes and steady breathing make him feel calmer, and there’s not a single ounce of judgement that he feels. Jimin is quiet, patient, and most importantly, he’s there. And Jeongguk feels like maybe, just maybe he’ll understand him, and he himself might make sense of it all.

 

“It was just me and my dad for years after that, you know?” He continues. “He was so lost without her and I took on the role of being his moral support, kind of like my mother was. He would always say I’m a lot like her. And I was in my early teens—”

 

“A literal kid,” Jimin interjects softly and Jeongguk nods.

 

“— a literal kid, just like you said, and it was true, I was so much like my mom. And to be honest, I also kind of subconsciously took in some of her traits that I didn’t really have before. Like, I would really love or hate certain things I knew she did even though I didn’t feel any particular way towards them. For example, yellow. Until she died, I never really felt any particular way towards it. Now, just seeing the color, especially in a certain context, makes me want to vomit. I guess that’s my way of staying attached to her even though she’s gone. I don’t comply with things she didn’t support so I don’t feel like I’ve failed her. I don’t want her to be disappointed in me.”

 

Jimin nods quietly and Jeongguk feels almost entirely at ease, because it doesn’t seem like he’s doing that just to please him. The more he looks into Jimin’s eyes, the more he feels like he actually gets him. It’s probably silly how attached Jeongguk still is to that whole situation, or rather how hard he’s trying to stay attached but — it’s never easy digging deep, and now he’s doing it. And he’s baring it all the best way he knows how.

 

Just as relief kicks in it’s quick to be replaced by the unsettling feeling of anxiousness because — he doesn’t know what question Jimin is going to ask him next. There are a million directions this could go in and Jeongguk really feels like he’d just run an entire marathon, and he’s not entirely sure if he’s ready to handle going deeper than this.

 

“It’s Saturday, you know?” Jimin says suddenly, catching Jeongguk off guard.

 

He blinks a couple of times — surprised Jimin is so quick to go off topic. Relief washes over him again, though, and he’s happy he has a few seconds to just breathe and not think about everything.

 

“Yeah. I know.” He replies, arching his eyebrow in question.

 

“So…” Jimin’s voice trails off and he starts running his fingers up and down Jeongguk’s arm, eyes set on his. “I was thinking, since I don’t have work tomorrow and Namjoon told me your father is gone for the week… maybe I could stay.”

 

Jeongguk’s eyes widen and he chokes on his own saliva. “What — here? You want to stay here?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“After hearing all of that?”

 

Now — Jeongguk knows, sees that Jimin understands. That he gets him. That there’s no pity nor judgement but still, it’s just a surface indicator of just how much baggage Jeongguk has. And that baggage isn’t going away any time soon.

 

But you are.

 

The words echo in his head and his stomach twists at the realization that yeah, it’s a matter of just a couple of weeks — a month at best — that he’ll have to go back home. His job, his clients and his apartment are waiting for him back in London and then all of this will kind of be for nothing. Jeongguk absentmindedly shakes his head and tries not to think about it, because Jimin — he deserves to know these things. He’s gone above and beyond trying to let Jeongguk in in his own way, trying to show him that he could trust him.

 

And while Jeongguk was always on the fence, always rejecting and pushing the idea away, he now realized that maybe it was alright to let this guard down and they could figure things out as they go.

 

“Is that a no?” Jeongguk realizes that he’s still shaking his head at his own internal monologue and when his eyes lock with Jimin’s, he’s quick to shake it even more frantically.

 

“No — no, I want you to stay,” he quickly says, voice rising in pitch. Jimin’s eyes soften and a small smile plays at the corners of his lips, and the first thing Jeongguk notices is that he looks relieved. It puts him at ease, too. “If you want to. You can stay here. With me.”

 

He hasn’t even thought about it properly, but he knows he doesn’t want to be away from Jimin. There’s no point. He’s here now, they’ve been talking and they’re alone — might as well make the most of it. Truthfully, Jeongguk’s missed him so much ever since they returned from Busan that even though this conversation is something really difficult and anxiety-inducing for him, Jimin’s sole presence next to him just feels right.

 

And he wants him there. He really does.

 

“You wanna get some food, hm?” Jimin straightens up and leans against the headboard, purple sheets sliding down his upper body and gathering around his waist. “We could order in and watch a movie or something. You know, like normal people.”

 

The way tension between them dissolves is instant, and Jeongguk is both confused and thankful that Jimin isn’t pushing him anymore. He could take a breather and by the way his stomach growls at the mention of food, he’s quick to agree.

 

“Thank you, yeah?”

 

“What for?” Jeongguk’s eyebrows furrow as he slips a t-shirt over his head, smoothing down the wrinkled fabric with his hands.

 

Jimin shrugs. “For being willing to open up to me regardless of the circumstances.”

 

Jeongguk’s eyes narrow and he watches as Jimin puts his suit back on and walks over to his closet, pulls out sweatpants and a t-shirt and without much thinking — hands them over to Jimin. Jimin looks up at him, eyebrows tilted in question as he takes the clothes, and a smile tugs at the corners of Jeongguk’s lips.

 

“That suit doesn’t really look comfortable.”

 

Jimin snorts and kicks off his pants, putting on the sweatpants instead. They fit tight around his thighs but they crumple around his ankles, and Jeongguk genuinely had no idea he needed the sight of Jimin wearing his clothes ever in his life until now. His heart flutters and damn — Jimin still looks so fucked out and so, so good, he can’t help but smile stupidly right at him.

 

“Thought you liked me in my suit.” Jimin arches an eyebrow and folds his arms over his chest, smirking right back at him.


“I’ve decided I prefer you in my clothes,” Jeongguk shrugs and hurriedly paces towards the door, not wanting Jimin to see the embarrassing way his cheeks flare up.

 

“Oh yeah?” Jimin follows right behind him and they settle back into the living room where Jeongguk turns the TV on and grabs his laptop from the coffee table, choosing to ignore him.

 

Jimin sits close to him, legs folded underneath him as he watches Jeongguk search for a restaurant to order from. Jeongguk ignores the way the tips of his ears still burn and he just offers Jimin a very dramatic eye-roll, and he seems to take the hint just fine.  

 

He can’t help himself every time he glances over to Jimin — and he keeps looking at him more so than on the food that’s plastered onto the screen right in front of him. It’s just that Jeongguk doesn’t remember the last time he’d given someone he was sleeping with his own clothes — it feels so strangely intimate and different and it’s probably ridiculous to feel that way, but it’s just the way things are. Jeongguk is aware that the fact that he’d talked a bit about his mother and really, truly tried to explain it the best way he knew how is probably what makes the air between them so much different now, and even though there was so much more to touch upon — it was a start. And Jeongguk was never willing to start with anyone else.

 

So yeah. Everything, all of it feels that much more intimate.

 

Jeongguk is surprised that they agree on what to order almost immediately — he and Namjoon would usually take at least thirty minutes to agree on something, then waste thirty more arguing about it. It’s a small thing to notice and be concerned about, but it gives Jeongguk a sense of joy. Because everything, absolutely everything with Jimin is so fucking easy and it’s just that there’s this whole other situation that concerns them both but especially him — that makes everything so ridiculously hard. Jeongguk thinks it’s not fair in so many ways, but he doesn’t have the energy to be mad at the whole world anymore.

 

He just wants to figure things out and maybe, just maybe let himself be happy. At least for a little while.

 

“Seriously though,” Jimin suddenly says as Jeongguk sets his laptop back onto the coffee table and hands Jimin the remote, “thank you. I mean it.”

 

Jeongguk lets out a breath, heartbeat slightly quickening. Jimin’s eyes are big and genuine, face serious — and even though what they talked about earlier was a huge step for him, he was well aware that he didn’t offer much. He was well aware that if anyone was in Jimin’s place they’d have a tougher time understanding.

 

“Stop saying that. There’s so much more I want to tell you, I just need...”

 

“...time to figure it out. I get it.” Jimin smiles at him, and Jeongguk tries his hardest not to reach over and cling onto his shirt and just melt in his arms. “I know. It’s so evident and clearly written all over your face how hard it is for you to even think about that, let alone speak about it.”

 

“How do you—”

 

“I think I told you this the first time we met Jeonggukie, but you really do need to work on your poker face.” Jimin huffs out a tiny giggle, eyes sparkling as he looks back at him.

 

Jeongguk smiles back, unable to get mad at the comment. He melts into the couch and lolls his head back onto the backrest, then gently swats at Jimin’s thigh.

 

“How about you find something for us to watch since you seem to have everything figured out, huh?”

 

Jimin taps the side of his temple with his index finger, smiling even wider. “Already got that figured out. You’re next, though.”

 

Jeongguk laughs as Jimin falls into the cushions next to him, aimlessly flipping the channels as pleasant silence falls between them for the first time that day.



“I keep thinking about what you said,” Jimin talks with his mouth full, startling Jeongguk as they’re eating in a room filled with nothing but the noise from the TV and the sound of their chewing.

 

“Hm?” Jeongguk’s brows furrow and he tries to keep his attention split between Jimin and the show that they’re watching.

 

“When you said that thing — how when your mom passed you took some of her traits per se, and made them your own,” Jimin clarifies, looking down at his bowl. “I did the complete opposite thing when my dad left.”

 

Jeongguk tilts his head to the side, intently looking at Jimin. He watches as he chews down and swallows his bite, setting the chopsticks down on top of the bowl and looking up at him. Jeongguk automatically does the same, and his stomach nervously ties into a knot as anticipation rises within him and he braces himself — because he’s not entirely sure of what’s going to come out of Jimin’s mouth.

 

“Oh yeah?” Jeongguk asks, just for the sake of it. He doesn’t want to come off as too eager to find out what Jimin means but — if Jimin’s going to open up too him too, then Jeongguk wants to soak all of the information in.

 

“Yeah. Like — I’m a lot like him, just how you say you resemble your mother. Well, while I was growing up, I’d make conscious effort to be nothing like him. I didn’t have much to go off because my mother got rid of him when I was like what, ten, eleven?” Jimin shrugs, running his fingers through his hair. He licks his lips and takes another bite of his food, absentmindedly nodding as he chews, as if he’s agreeing with his own inner dialogue. “I just remember trying my hardest throughout the years to be nothing like him. Because, you know. He was the piece of shit who left his own family just so he could start a new one.”

 

“Only he wasn’t.” Jeongguk supplies tentatively, heavily swallowing down the bite of his food because he’s not entirely sure if it’s was okay to say that. If it was his business to say that.

 

He hasn’t had many conversations like these, ones that don’t lack depth or vulnerability — and it’s almost thrilling, in a way. Because Jeongguk wants to know about Jimin, wants to know what he likes, what he doesn’t like, what makes him happy, what makes him sad, what makes him tick — he wants to know it all. He wants to know about his past, his present, and even though he knows it’s highly unlikely, maybe his future too.

 

Jeongguk would never describe himself as a pessimist, but the reality of this all didn’t seem too bright. That’s just how things were — but for right now, there was no reality. They were in their own bubble, their own world they’ve created themselves, and Jeongguk has desperately been trying to push away any thoughts that were threatening to ruin that.

 

“Only he wasn’t,” Jimin agrees, nodding his head again. “Thing is, my step-father I grew up with. He wasn’t a piece of shit. Really, none of them were. They were all good men just smitten with my mother, who would have done anything they could to please her. But, the one I grew up specifically. We got along really well, and he even paid a shit ton of money for my education, even though he really didn’t have to. But I think over the years, as my mother started acting out, he started feeling guilty for what they’ve done to my dad. That’s how I overheard them that one time. Pretty sure he was telling her they need to tell me what happened.”

 

“Right. That’s fucked up.” He has no idea what to say to that because — it’s just that. Fucked up. Jeongguk can’t even imagine himself not having a relationship with his own father, can’t even imagine either of his parents ever even attempting to get rid of the other.

 

“It is. But the thing is — I’m just thinking about how similarly yet so, so differently you and I grew up. And I feel like that translates a lot to how we carry ourselves, you know?”

 

Jeongguk’s not entirely sure. He narrows his eyes, head tilted to the side.

 

“Well, think about it. We both grew up without a parent, only mine was technically there the entire time. I tried to segregate from my father who was alive and well while you tried to stay attached to your mother in any way you knew how. But also — I kind of tend to face my issues head on and resolve them, while you keep it all inside and then you just… explode. That’s why I’m saying, so similar, but so incredibly different.”

 

He hasn’t really thought about it like that — but it does make sense. The way Jimin can read him even though Jeongguk gives him just crumbs to go off of never fails to blow his mind and make him feel exposed, but right now, it’s in a good way. It’s comfortable. They’re sitting on his favorite sofa, eating, watching a show, and it’s all so very domestic and Jeongguk feels safe.

 

“It’s because when my mom passed, I promised myself I was going to be there for my dad. Like, I just hit puberty and I was so angry at the world for taking my mom away so quickly,  I had no idea what to do or how to act, my dad was devastated and I just — I couldn’t be a burden to him when he was also suffering, you know?”

 

“Jeongguk…” Jimin reaches out to him, fingers intertwining together.

 

Jeongguk’s throat tightens again so he takes a bite of his food instead, buying himself some time. His hand curls around Jimin’s and he gently squeezes it, silently assuring him that he’s alright, that he’s good to talk.

 

“It’s fine,” he finally says, reaching to set his bowl completely aside. He scoots over a bit closer to Jimin, close enough that if he wanted to, he could lean in and rest his head on top of his shoulder. “Really, it is. But yeah. I didn’t want to be a burden to my father, so I just kept everything bottled up at all times. And the anger just grew more and more each day until it started getting unbearable. I think when I was around seventeen or eighteen when I just started snapping at people and lashing out. It would be so incredibly easy to piss me off to the point where I’d take it personally and I’d just go on a rampage. Hyungs were tolerating it for a while, probably a year or two. They’ve always had a soft spot for me and you know, they just felt bad. Until one day I flipped out on Yoongi hyung and he literally beat my ass.”

 

Jeongguk doesn’t expect it when Jimin bursts out into a series of airy giggles, but soon enough he can’t help but join in as well. He remembers it clearly — the day they were all hanging out at Yoongi’s house, pregaming before Seokjin’s birthday party in one of Hoseok’s lavish clubs. Jeongguk had been on edge for the entirety of that day — he had decided to stay in London until Yoongi’s modeling gig at the time was over so they flew back together a few days after Seokjin and Namjoon. Jeongguk was jet lagged and pissed to find out that his father had sent his driver to come get them instead of coming himself, and the alcohol just wasn’t hitting him right.

 

He’d snapped at Yoongi for not wanting to pass him the whiskey or whatever it is that he was drinking then, saying: “Not you servant, get it yourself, Jeongguk-ah.”

 

Jeongguk had hissed and sneered and been disrespectful towards him for the entire evening, and he clearly remembers the way Yoongi’s features darkened by each of his snarky comments, by each drop of honorifics. That is, until one point, Jeongguk had finally crossed the line and Yoongi’s had enough.

 

Now — Jeongguk used to get his ass beat over the years by Hoseok and Seokjin for the most part, especially when was nothing but a spoiled little eleven-year-old with no perception of how things worked in life. But Yoongi would barely ever raise his voice at him, let alone touch him. So for him to get so worked up to that point — Jeongguk knew something was going to have to change.

 

And it did. It wasn’t ideal, not to this day, but he learned to control himself, and diving into the field of law only helped him navigate his self-control. It didn’t lessen his anger, no, but he had learned to channel it elsewhere. Work. And the gym.

 

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be laughing but,” Jimin wipes the corner of his eyes and then bursts into laughter again, “I can’t believe you got your ass beat by Yoongi hyung. A thirty-four-year-old guy who wears space buns because his boyfriend made him.”

 

Jeongguk untangles their hands and swats at the side of Jimin’s arm, unable to stop laughing himself.

 

“Hey!” He pouts, crossing his arms over his chest. “You don’t get it. I was like eighteen or nineteen. I was a baby. Yoongi hyung could have wiped the floor with me back then. He didn’t, even though I really, really deserved it, especially considering he went through a similar thing I did, yet never acted out. It was a long time coming, but I learned my lesson. I was in a terrible headspace for years. So damn angry all the time.”

 

“And now?” Jimin stops laughing, eyes suddenly wide and glassy. “What about now?”

 

“I’m still angry,” Jeongguk replies honestly, words followed by a small shrug. His voice lowers and his eyes lock with Jimin’s, and he can’t help but shrug again, this time defensively. He takes his bottom lip between his teeth, gnawing on it as he carefully picks the right words to say. “I’m angry all the time, Jimin. I’m not angry right now, this second, but this time tomorrow, when you’re gone? I probably will be. It’s easy to control, hyung, but it’s not easy to not feel. I can’t just not feel.”

 

Silence hangs for a few moments before Jimin inches just a little closer to him, close enough that if Jeongguk wanted, he could rest his forehead against his. Oddly, he’s proud of himself for not bullshitting his way through this one — for not trying to act as if he’s unaffected, as if not every day is a struggle for him to just stay calm and level-headed.

 

“We come with a lot of baggage, huh?”

 

“You mean I come with a lot of baggage?” Jeongguk scoffs, rolling his eyes.

 

“Really? I didn’t know my father didn’t abandon me for like a solid ten years, my mother’s a crazy person, I have abandonment issues and I’ve decided the best way to get rid of them is to get attached to man who also has abandonment issues but deals with them by running away from everything while having anger issues on top of that. Yeah, you’re right. I sound great compared to you.”

 

“Fuck you,” Jeongguk grins and shoves Jimin, watching as he falls back into the sofa, air filled with his laugh. “You’re such an asshole.”

 

“Yeah, yeah,” Jimin props himself onto his elbows and then reaches for Jeongguk, pulling him on top of himself. Jeongguk manages to lose balance and falls right onto Jimin’s chest, the elder’s ready arms locking around him and he lets out a small grunt, brattily attempting to wiggle out of his grip. “Takes an asshole to know an asshole.”

 

Jeongguk chuckles and rests his head on Jimin’s chest, nuzzling into the fabric of his shirt. He listens to the fluttering heartbeat and it almost makes Jeongguk laugh out loud how closely it resembles his own. They lie on top of each other and Jeongguk’s mind swirls with thoughts again, only to bring that seeping feeling of unsettlement back in.

 

On one hand, Jimin’s steady breathing calms him down, Jimin’s scent mixed in with his own soothes his nerves but all Jeongguk’s mind screams at him this second is you’re in love with him, but you’re going to have to leave him. And Jeongguk doesn’t think he can lie here and talk about himself, let Jimin open up, act so domestic and close, like they’re a couple — without at least voicing it out loud. Because that’s the adult thing to do, and even though Jeongguk would often have to remind himself that he is one, he still knew that this conversation was inevitable. Especially now that they’ve scratched the surface.

 

“Jimin?” He calls, voice low and quiet and it takes Jimin a few seconds to hum back in response.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Just — you know that I’m gonna have to leave soon? To go back to England.”

 

Jeongguk’s heartbeat quickens and his mouth goes dry, eyes widening as he awaits for Jimin to reply. Jimin stirs a little underneath him, breathing still even and steady — and Jeongguk doesn’t really know what to expect. He almost wants to slap himself for bringing it up now, it could’ve waited a day or two or an entire week but just — with the way things have been progressing tonight, Jeongguk knows it has to be brought up sooner rather than later. Rip it off, just like a bandaid.

 

“Um — yeah. I’ve been thinking about that too, but…” His voice trails off, and alarms go off in Jeongguk’s head. His lungs feel heavy in his chest again, his stomach rumbles unpleasantly and it’s only then he realizes he doesn’t know what would even like for Jimin to say, what would put him at ease. Because there is no good answer, and there’s definitely not an immediate solution, especially for the stage they’re currently at. Which neither here nor there.

 

“But what?” Jeongguk croaks, annoyed at how raspy his voice sounds.

 

He hates that just his tone is giving it all away, but his face remains buried in Jimin’s chest and he refuses to look up at him.

 

“But…” Jeongguk feels Jimin vaguely gesture in the air before his arms settle around his back again. “I don’t know, Jeongguk. I guess that sort of depends on what we want out of this.”

 

Jeongguk’s brows furrow and he finally gathers the courage to look up at Jimin whose fingers are tracing small circular patterns into the dip of his back. “What do you want out of this?”

 

He feels Jimin stop and then his eyes travel to meet Jeongguk’s, and he lets out a small sigh. Jimin fiddles with a strand of Jeongguk’s hair and then he takes a deep breath, eyes slightly darkening. “I think my intentions have always been pretty clear, at least to an extent. I didn’t just ask you about your mother because I want something in return for agreeing to settle this. I asked because I care, but I didn’t think you’d be willing to give me anything unless I play my cards right.”

 

Jeongguk doesn’t say anything.

 

“Also, I agreed to settle. To renegotiate things. And I don’t settle. So I think it’s safe to say that the ball is in your court, Jeongguk. What is it that you want?”

 

His heart hammers against the inside of his chest and he knows that Jimin can feel it. Hell, he can feel it as it beats against Jimin’s chest too. Truth is, Jeongguk doesn’t have an answer to that. He wants everything, wants Jimin, wants to try and be together but he doesn’t know how much he’s allowed to want, doesn’t know if it would work, doesn’t even know how he would make it work even if he tried to.

 

It’s not just two different countries — it’s two different continents and Jeongguk isn’t really experienced enough in managing a relationship in the same city.

 

“You.” He says simply, because that’s the truth and it’s the least complicated of answers. “I want you.”

 

Jimin’s features soften and he cards his fingers through Jeongguk’s hair, brushing his bangs away from his forehead. He pokes the inside of his cheek with his tongue, hopeful as he looks back at him. Not even sure what he’s expecting — and he’s definitely dancing around the subject a little bit, but it’s not a lie. It’s definitely not a lie, Jeongguk wants him. Wants him more than he had ever wanted anyone before.

 

And they fit so well together, despite all of the bullshit circumstances that they’re in. Jeongguk knows that, and that’s what’s even worse about this whole situation.

 

“I want you too,” Jimin finally says, voice a whisper. “But what do you really want, Jeongguk?”

 

Jeongguk blinks, falling silent. He feels his heart beat in his throat, making it hard for him to swallow. Jimin’s eyes are sharp and determined, and Jeongguk’s the one who started this conversation in the first place — there’s no wiggling out of it now. It’s not like there’s a point in trying to either, it’s just that Jeongguk is terrified of saying that even if he would want to try, he wouldn’t have any idea how. And committing to it and then failing sounds even worse. Because Jeongguk hated feeling like a failure. Especially if the stakes were high.

 

“Honestly?” His voice shakes and he hates that it does, hates that it makes him feel weak and fragile, like he’s about to break at any moment. It’s even worse, because he’s not. He’s fine. Maybe a little lost, maybe confused, maybe afraid, but he’s not going to break. “I don’t know. I want you, want to be with you but — you live in Korea, Jimin, and I live in London. And it’s not like I can just pack my shit and move back here, I’m under a contract, I’ve built a name for myself, I have clients who are counting on me, I would need at least a year —”

 

“I’m not gonna ask you to move back to Korea, Jeongguk, even if we do decide to… try.” Jimin clears his throat, interrupting Jeongguk’s rambling. Jeongguk snaps his mouth shut, unable to look away from him. He swallows, slightly nuzzling further up into Jimin’s chest, right below his collarbone.

 

“You’re… not?”

 

“No,” Jimin replies firmly, hand still absentmindedly brushing through his hair. “At least I don’t think so. I thought about this ever since we went to Busan. What it would be like if you ever wanted me the same way I wanted you. There’s no easy way around it, Jeongguk. It’s not just the distance. My mother isn’t going to be happy, but that’s something I can handle. Can you handle your father disapproving of us? Even if we were to find  common ground, literally, could you handle your only family not being supportive of your relationship?”

 

Jeongguk eyes widen in surprise, his breath catching in his throat. It hasn’t even occurred to him, hasn’t even crossed his mind, but the thing is — Jeongguk probably wouldn’t know how to deal with it, not because he can’t handle his father, but because he’s never been in that type of a situation before. Still, his father is the last person who Jeongguk would listen to right now, especially considering the reckless things he’s been doing that could potentially cost him a lot more than a few billion won.

 

“I’m not even sure he would even disapprove. I’ve never heard him say a single bad thing about you, to be honest,” Jeongguk says, trying to recall if his father has ever said anything negative about Jimin. Nothing comes to mind.

 

Jimin scoffs, eyes rolling as he gently taps his fingers against Jeongguk’s temple. “That’s because he doesn’t know I’m splitting his son open on my dick more often than not. And that I’m very much in love with him.”

 

“You’re so fucking shamle— what?” Jeongguk chokes on his own words, lifting his head up from Jimin’s chest for the first time, blinking in surprise. He’s not sure if he’s heard him right, but the way Jimin’s heartbeat quickens underneath his palm — he’s pretty sure he has. “You’re what?”

 

“You heard me,” Jimin groans, slightly shifting underneath him. His cheeks are flushed pink with embarrassment and Jeongguk feels as if he’s going to fucking burst.

 

“I wanna hear you again.”

 

“I’m in love with you.”

 

Jeongguk’s heart twists and jumps and flutters and aches all at the same time and he doesn’t even think when he entirely props himself up onto his elbows and crashes his lips against Jimin’s, his tongue softly tracing down his bottom lip. It’s deep and slow and it’s meant to show Jimin the words he hasn’t said back yet — but Jeongguk means them. He feels them. He’s been feeling that ever since Busan.

 

“I’m in love with you too,” he says breathlessly, lips pressing against Jimin’s again, his hands traveling down to grip at the sides of his waist. Their kisses are deep and languid, tongues sliding against one another with hunger and determination. There’s no teasing, there’s no grinding — just the two of them kissing each other hot and senseless, trying to put words into touches.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t know how much time had passed when Jimin gently pushes him away, pushes the strands of hair away from his eyes and softly cups his face, looking at him with determination.

 

“What are we gonna do, Jeongguk?”

 

Jeongguk lets his head fall onto Jimin’s shoulder and takes a deep breath, shaking his head. He’s kiss drunk and confused, he’s so in love and he’s just — he doesn’t know.

 

“What do you think we should do?” He whines, lifting his head up to meet Jimin’s eyes again. “I don’t even — what do you even mean you wouldn’t ask me to move back to Seoul?”

 

Jimin squirms underneath him, huffing out a nervous laugh before he places both of his hands on the sides of Jeongguk’s face, pulling him down just enough for their gazes to be leveled.

 

“I — okay. Okay. How about this. I’m going to meet up with my mother on Monday, draft out a contract, call you into the office and see what we can do. She’s not going to be hard to please but I promise to make sure your father’s company isn’t involved in it. It doesn’t mean it’s still not going to hurt financially.”

 

Jeongguk frowns, then nods his head. Obviously. There was no prenup — it wouldn’t make sense otherwise.

 

“Okay.”

 

“After we settle that and both parties have signed, which is our first priority because I swear I’m not out to screw you over — how much time do you think you have left here? How much time can you buy until you absolutely have to go back to London?”

 

Jeongguk furrows his brows, lips pressed into a tight line. He takes a couple of minutes to think, weighing out all of the options and solutions, thinking about his priority cases, urgent cases—

 

“The best I can do is a month. There’s no way I could go a day over a month. I have too many clients, too many court dates…”

 

“Understandable,” Jimin nods, clearly lost in thought. In a strange way, Jeongguk finds all of this so, so endearing. They’re trying to figure out their potential relationship the same way they handle their business — and Jeongguk fucking loves it. He loves it so much it only gives him a stronger urge to be there, to be with Jimin, to stay with Jimin. “Then, say we have three weeks. Three weeks to be together without bullshit, without running, and see how we wanna move. Three weeks to figure it out. How does that sound?”

 

A knot in Jeongguk’s stomach that’s probably been there since this morning suddenly dissolves and he lets out a breath of relief, letting out a small giggle. His chest feels lighter, air flowing through his throat and lungs with ease, and Jeongguk feels at least a hundred pounds lighter.

 

But most importantly, for the first time ever since he came back to Seoul, Jeongguk feels hopeful.

 

“Alright,” Jeongguk finally says, watching as Jimin’s eyes sparkle and his lips stretch into a wide smile as he says the words, “I’m in. Let’s figure it out.”

 

“Yeah?” Jimin surges forward and kisses him again, loud and obnoxious. Jeongguk can’t help but giggle.

 

“Pleasure doing business with you,” Jeongguk mumbles against his lips, melting further into his touch.

 

“Pleasure doing you,” Jimin says and they both laugh out loud, Jeongguk collapsing on top of him with a shriek.

 

Three weeks to figure everything out.

 

Three weeks.














     




















Chapter Text

Jeongguk lets out a deep sigh and his eyes flutter shut as he taps his foot against the floor. He massages his temples and then he plops down onto the couch, propping his legs onto the coffee table while he waits for his phone to sound off at any given second. It shouldn’t take his father long to respond, especially considering the content of the message, and the fact that he was inevitably glued to his phone – just in case, as he would always say.

 

It’s been a couple of hours since Jimin left to meet up with his mother, words firm and reassuring in between goodbye kisses, promising Jeongguk that it’s going to work out, that he’s going to handle it. Under any other circumstances, Jeongguk’s stomach would probably be knotting with anxiety, but not today. Not after the last twenty-four hours he and Jimin have spent together. It’s sort of ridiculous how at ease Jeongguk feels right now, even while knowing that everything was pretty much in Jimin’s hands. If someone would have told him a couple of months ago that he would put his trust into Jimin to sort this out, that he would trust him enough to know, to feel that Jimin wouldn’t screw him over, he would’ve probably laughed. And it is kind of silly, and perhaps it’s even stupid – but it feels right. Trusting Jimin feels right. Especially now that they were in this together. That they decided that they were going to try.

 

Jeongguk thinks how ridiculous it is, the way his guard would drop down more and more with each word, each touch, each kiss, but that’s exactly what happened. And he had no regrets. Not a single one.  Spending the last twenty-four hours with Jimin just lying in bed, talking, laughing, eating and having mind-blowing sex sent Jeongguk all the way up to cloud nine, and maybe a sane person would tell him to be careful, to not go from one extreme to another – but there’s nothing sane about this situation and Jeongguk is so tired of keeping his walls up, of torturing them both.

 

And he couldn’t explain it – he didn’t know how, but – it just felt right. Deep down in his gut, Jeongguk knew that it was alright to trust him. It was finally okay.

 

His phone lights up in his hand, followed by the tickling vibration and an obnoxious ringtone which fills up the otherwise entirely quiet room. It’s his father – and Jeongguk hasn’t spoken a single word to him since the charity event. He’s been too angry and too disappointed to actually talk to him – but he also had other things he had to worry about. And it’s not that Jeongguk didn’t entirely get it, because that would’ve been a lie – even though he’d rather die than admit it out loud. He was practically doing the exact same thing with Jimin, but the stakes were way higher for his father. He had a lot more to lose. Yes, it sucked that a grown man would fall for something so stupid, would jeopardize everything, and the fact that all of this could’ve ended up differently if Jeongguk and Jimin weren’t… well, in love with each other makes Jeongguk’s blood boil.

 

“Dad,” he breathes into the phone, fingers fidgeting with the hem of his shirt while he stares at a blank spot on the wall. “Hey.”

 

“Jeonggukie! I’ve been trying to reach you since Saturday morning,” his father clicks his tongue, tone laced with disapproval. Annoyance spreads like wildfire underneath Jeongguk’s skin, hot and itchy all over, and his eyes fall shut as he takes another deep breath. There’s no point in snapping and arguing over the phone – especially because Jeongguk comes bearing potentially good news. “Where have you been?”

 

“I’ve been busy,” Jeongguk replies firmly, trying his best to keep his voice even. “I’ve been working on your case, trying to figure things out.”

 

It’s not a complete lie – he had been trying to figure it out. The means weren’t important if the end result was good and if everything goes well, the result will be better than his father deserves. God – Jeongguk can’t help but get riled up every time those photos flood his memory and he just. He cannot believe that he would be so stupid.

 

He’s aware that he’s not too far off himself – but he was definitely more in luck. Because Jimin felt the same way Jeongguk did, and Jeongguk finally believed him.

 

“So, is what you wrote in your message true?” His father asks, and Jeongguk almost wants to scoff at how surprised he sounds. “Is Jiyeon really willing to – she wants to settle?”

 

Jeongguk sighs, looking up at the ceiling. Well, the real answer is “no, but she won’t have much of a choice,” but instead he just says: “Yes. Her lawyer will be sending out a copy of the demands and all that shit by the end of the day. If everything goes well, we won’t have to go to trial.”

 

There’s a sigh of relief on the other end of the line, and a small smile tugs on the corners of Jeongguk’s lips. Despite everything, he’s happy that he could relieve his father of at least some stress – and he’s happy that all of this is going to be over soon, and then he and Jimin can focus on figuring things out. Together.

 

“Oh my god, Jeonggukie. How did you—”

 

“That’s not important.” Jeongguk interrupts, his eyes rolling to the back of his head. He can’t have this conversation over the phone, either. His gut twists at the thought of it, and he’s not looking forward to his father’s reaction when he finds out about Jimin, but – Jeongguk is quick to remind himself that his father is still sleeping with his soon to be ex-wife, who’s done nothing but try to rob him of his money. “What’s important is that Namjoon and I managed to handle this. No thanks to you,” he can’t help but add.

 

There’s silence on the other end of the line, and Jeongguk knows his father well enough to know that he feels bad, and it makes his stomach feel uneasy in an unusual way. He feels bad when he lashes out and talks back but – this time he really does deserve it. His father might not be aware that Jeongguk knows about him and Jiyeon — but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s happening.  

 

“I’m sorry, Jeongguk. I really am. I don’t know how many times you want me to apologize.”

 

Jeongguk lets out an exasperated sigh, rubbing his eye with the heel of his palm. He watches his toes as they curl with the slight spark of annoyance — and it’s even worse because his father sounds sincere. Still, sincere or not, Jeongguk is realistic enough to know that if Jimin wasn’t Jimin, and that if Jiyeon’s divorce attorney happened to be anyone else, they would have been screwed.

 

“It’s not about apologizing, dad,” he sighs, impatiently tapping his fingers against the side of his thigh. “It’s about whether you’ve learned from this or not. And I don’t think you have.”

 

“Jeonggukie. That’s not fair.”

 

But it is. It’s more than fair and accurate – whether his father wants to admit it or not. Still, there’s no point in having this conversation over the phone, especially considering it wouldn’t solve anything. Jeongguk would rather just give him the good news and leave it at that, at least until his father returns back home.

 

“Well – we’ll talk once you come back, okay?” Jeongguk forces himself to drop it, even though there’s still that light sting of annoyance in his belly. “There’s no point in arguing over the phone. I’ll probably have the list of demands by tonight. We might manage to avoid her going after the company, but I sure hope you’re ready to give up on pretty much anything else she asks for.”

 

There’s rustle on the other end of the line followed by a deep sigh, and Jeongguk recognizes it as a sigh of relief. He’d warned him about this even prior to knowing anything about the affair – this divorce was going to cost him a lot more than it would have if he had just signed the damn prenup.

 

“I know. Money isn’t an issue, we’re one of the richest families in East Asia – we have plenty. But the company — I can’t have anyone else meddle in it. And your mother – she wouldn’t—”   

 

“Exactly,” Jeongguk clicks his tongue, annoyance sparking up at the mention of his mother. He’d spend so much time talking about her this past day, remembering her – and he can’t explain why his father mentioning her just now irks him like this, but it does. Probably because Jeongguk feels like he’s the only one out of the two of them who has actually been trying to fix this while his father’s been acting like a mindless school girl. “She wouldn’t. Maybe you should think of my mother more often before you make any stupid decisions in the future, how about that?”

 

He bites down on his lower lip, mentally slapping himself. Jeongguk promised that he wouldn’t pick an argument right now, but he cannot help but take jabs. It’s frustrating because it could’ve been so easily avoided with a single signed document but then again – he wouldn’t have come to Korea, and he wouldn’t have met Jimin.

 

There was a silver lining in all of this – and it was the only person who was on Jeongguk’s mind for months now. Jimin.

 

“I don’t think I’ll be getting married again,” his father says and Jeongguk almost laughs at how unconvincing he sounds. “It’s not for me.”

 

“Give me a break,” Jeongguk snorts, crossing his legs. “That’s what you said after wife number two. You’re a hopeless romantic, dad,” his tone softens, and he continues, “and I bet you’re going to get married at least three more times. Hell, wouldn’t be surprised if you’re dumb enough to not sign a prenup again.”

 

They both laugh at that and while the situation is absurd – it’s still funny. Jeongguk feels slightly more at ease, less annoyed, and he’s glad he got this out of the way. Somewhere in the back of his mind, where there’s still that one tiny seed of doubt left, he hopes Jimin’s confidence about all of this is justified, and that he won’t let him down. That there won’t be a catch. Because Jeongguk’s choosing to trust him, he feels right doing so, and if anything were to go wrong, he’d probably spiral.

 

“Yeah, probably,” his father chuckles. “Thank you, Jeonggukie. I knew I could count on you. I don’t know what you did but – thank you. I’m so proud of you, always. You know that, right?”

 

Jeongguk’s whole body relaxes and he breaths out, pressing his phone harder to his ear.

 

“I know. You tell me that all the time.”

 

“It’s because it’s true. Is everything going well at home? I should be back Thursday night. Are you eating well?”

 

“Yeah. Everything’s good. I have to go now, but I’ll keep in touch. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear from Park Jimin.”

 

He cringes inwardly at the full use of Jimin’s name, and at how professional he’s attempting to sound. His father makes a non-committal sound and they exchange a few more words after they hang up, and Jeongguk finally feels a little lighter.

 

Not wanting to move yet, he stares blankly at the wall in front of him, feet still propped onto the coffee table. He checks the time, realizing it’s only been a few hours since Jimin left, and his stomach flutters with anticipation. With each minute that he’s gone, they’re closer to resolving all of this – and then the rest is just formalities.

 

Jeongguk sighs and rises up to his feet, slipping his phone inside the back pocket of his jeans. It’s Monday and he has shit to do, conference calls to make and meet up with Namjoon and Yoongi for lunch. As much as he and Jimin have already decided to figure things out once all of this is settled, he still needed to know what his hyungs thought about all of that. There were no people in the world whose opinion mattered more to Jeongguk than their two, and he was nervous about what they were going to think of all this – especially considering he and Jimin really had no solid plan.

 

He isn’t entirely sure if it’s support or advice that would benefit him best – and he’s a little scared of getting laughed at or worse – not being taken seriously. Not that he thinks either one of them would do it maliciously – but it’s still a possibility, because the whole thing might sound like it’s too much all at once.

 

But Jeongguk doesn’t feel like it is. He just wants this case to be sorted, and then he wants to try and focus on the person he’s in love with, even if it’s for a short period of time. To not worry if it’s okay for them to be out together, to spend time together, to be seen together and most importantly – if they click. If they’re compatible when there’s no bullshit, no competition, no push and pull and when they’re just… them. And Jeongguk could use some of that.

 

The next couple of hours pass uneventfully; he makes sure everything’s running smoothly at work, he glances over at his phone every now and again to check if Jimin’s gotten back to him – but there’s nothing yet. Jeongguk knows it’s going to take time, doesn’t think Jimin is just going to talk to Jiyeon and resolve anything within an hour, but his stomach still loosely knots as time goes by with no message.

 

He pushes whatever unsettling thoughts that are coming away and slips his coat on, ready to go meet up with Namjoon and Yoongi. He swallows down the slight anxiety that bubbles up in his throat and takes a deep breath, glancing over at his phone one more time before he leaves the apartment.

 

Both of his friends are already there when he arrives, and Jeongguk is truly happy to see them and he’s also excited to give Namjoon the good news, since he is the one who pushed him in the right direction, after all.

 

“You’re late,” Yoongi says disinterestedly, eyes fixated on the phone that’s in his hands.

 

“Sorry hyung, I had a conference call that took longer than expected,” Jeongguk grins as he slides into the booth next to him. “Have the two of you ordered?”

 

“No, we were waiting for you,” Namjoon says, eyebrows tilted. “You look… giddy.”

 

Yoongi sets his phone onto the table in front of him and turns to Jeongguk, dark eyes curiously scanning his face. Jeongguk shifts uncomfortably and rolls his eyes, huffing out a laugh.

 

“Stop staring at me like you’re a cop or something,” he mumbles, bumping his shoulder into Yoongi’s. “I look normal.”   

 

“No, you definitely look giddy,” Yoongi finally concludes and reaches for his phone again, sinking down into his seat. “What happened, Park Jimin fucked you stupid?”

 

Jeongguk glares back at him, though he can’t really be that mad considering Yoongi is absolutely right. Jimin did fuck him stupid just this morning. Still, his supposed giddiness has little to do with that and much more to do with all that went down between the two of them, and Jeongguk is left to debate when the best time for bringing that up would be.

 

“Something like that,” Jeongguk says but Yoongi’s face remains impassive, and he groans before he slides his gaze over to Namjoon. “Hyung. We talked it out.”

 

“And?” Namjoon asks, clasping his hands together and leaning over the table. “Are we going to court?”

 

Jeongguk shakes his head. “No. I mean – it’s not official yet, obviously, but Jimin is having a meeting with his mother as we speak, and he’s willing to settle. He’s willing to negotiate the terms so that she doesn’t get her claws anywhere near the company. It’s still going to be an expensive divorce though, which is what we’ve been expecting regardless.”

 

“Understandable,” Namjoon smiles, leaning back into his seat, relief evident on his face. “Did you tell him about the photos?”

 

“About that,” Jeongguk hasn’t mentioned anything to Namjoon yet, even though he had both called and texted over the weekend to make sure that everything was okay. “The woman in the photos – it’s Jiyeon. And I’m assuming the man we saw in the photos our PI took is my father.”

 

Namjoon chokes on his shot of soju and his brows furrow as he wipes the corners of his mouth with the back of his hand. “What?”

 

Jeongguk leans back, vaguely aware of Yoongi putting his phone back down onto the table again and intently staring at him. His lips press into a tight line and he shrugs powerlessly, not knowing what else to say. There’s nothing to add, and Jeongguk doesn’t know the details.

 

“Yeah. Jimin told me. He assumed that the affair is the reason you called the meeting and all that,” he says, consciously trying to stop bouncing his leg under the table. “And he’d known about it for a while now. But he’s not – he was going to submit it in court, but we talked and, you know. He’s willing to settle, and we can be done with this sooner rather than later.”

 

Namjoon is quiet for a few seconds – a rare occurrence, but understandable considering the bomb Jeongguk had just dropped on him. His expression remains flat and Jeongguk feels Yoongi shift beside him, propping his elbow onto the edge of the table and resting his chin on the back of his hand.

 

“You’re joking, right?” Yoongi is the first one to speak, eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “Your dad is seeing his mother? After everything?”

 

Jeongguk bites the inside of his cheek, nodding his head.

 

“Yup,” he says, popping the syllable.

 

Yoongi looks pained, grimacing as he shakes his head. He waves his hand in the air to call the waiter over, muttering a low “I need to order food before I hear about this shit, I swear to god,” and Namjoon and Jeongguk quickly nod in agreement.

 

“Hold on, let me take a shot,” Yoongi says after they’ve ordered their food, and the three of them clink their glasses, downing their drinks. “Okay. Let’s go again. Your dad did what?”

 

Jeongguk sighs, a small chuckle escaping his lips. He doesn’t necessarily find the situation funny, but Yoongi’s expression is laughable.

 

“Well, he’s clearly not over Jiyeon,” Namjoon jumps in, jaw clenched tight. “But the sole thought of how this could have gone just now really pisses me the fuck off. There’s nothing I hate more than clients misbehaving. Even if it is your dad, Jeongguk.”

 

“No, I know,” Jeongguk says, fingers tapping against the empty soju glass. “Like, I’m not sure if I’m angry with him or disappointed, or both. But I’m waiting until he’s back from the trip so I can actually talk to him. Hopefully by then Jimin and I will have the papers drafted and ready to sign so there will be less drama surrounding that, at least.”

 

“How do we know his mother isn’t just going to fire Jimin and look for a new lawyer who’ll be willing to go after the company?” Yoongi asks, and Jeongguk’s stomach twists. Every fiber in his body hopes that won’t be the case, and there’s a small ounce of panic that wells up to his throat. Jeongguk swallows heavily, trying to push it down.

 

“Jimin said I could trust him to handle her,” Jeongguk clears his throat, eyes subconsciously darting towards Namjoon’s, searching for support. “I’m trying to do just that.”

 

Silence hangs for a few moments, and Yoongi’s sharp eyes are full of suspicion, but Jeongguk doesn’t let that affect him. He’s trying not to think about the fact that it’s been hours without a word from Jimin, and he’s trying to not jump to conclusions. Panic is pointless, and there’s nothing Jeongguk can do right now. Plus, there’s something else that’s on his mind, that he’d much rather talk about. And that’s him and Jimin. Or rather, the idea of him and Jimin together.

 

“Jeon Jeongguk has decided to trust Park Jimin? Man, he really must have fucked you stupid.” Jeongguk is ready to glare at Yoongi but it’s when he meets his eyes that he realizes that he’s just teasing, and he lets out a quiet breath of relief.

 

He swats at Yoongi’s shoulder and Yoongi is ready to punch him back when the server arrives with their food, and Jeongguk’s stomach rumbles happily, focus shifting on the meat in front of him.

 

“So now that this case is about to close,” Namjoon says between bites, “have you and Jimin talked? About what the fuck you’ve been doing these past few months?”

 

Jeongguk puts his chopsticks down, sighing. He moves his bangs away from his forehead and carefully chews on his food, slightly nodding his head.

 

“Yeah,” he says once he finally swallows, nervously crossing his legs underneath the table. “About that. I’m – I told him I’m in love with him.”

 

“You what?” Yoongi groans beside him, also putting his chopsticks down. “Now why would you do something so stupid?”

 

Jeongguk blinks. “What do you mean? You were the one who encouraged me to pursue things with him. You were basically on his side the entire time!”

 

“First of all, I was never on his side. I was being objective and trying to help you get out of your head. That doesn’t mean I was encouraging you to lie to him, Taehyung is already paranoid enough that you’re going to hurt him and now—”

 

“Hyung,” Namjoon interrupts softly, eyes set on Jeongguk. “He’s wasn’t lying.”

 

Now it’s Yoongi’s turn to blink dumbly, and he watches Jeongguk with intent eyes. It takes a couple of seconds for his features to soften, and quickly enough his hand makes its way towards Jeongguk’s, squeezing it tightly.

 

“Is that – you really are in love with him, huh kid?”

 

“I’m literally thirty fucking years old,” Jeongguk mutters under his breath, cheeks flaring.

 

“Always a kid in my eyes,” Yoongi smiles.

 

Jeongguk feels hot and fidgety and he squirms underneath the table, because this isn’t a conversation he’s used to having. He clears his throat and straightens his back, placing his hands firmly on his thighs to stop his legs from bouncing nervously.

 

“It’s true, I – I really am in love with him. Been for a while now and just… I want to try and let myself be happy. Let myself trust him, maybe even relax a little bit. But, uh – there’s something I’d like your opinion on. Since both of you clearly have no problems being in long-term relationships.”

 

“Shoot.”

 

“So, we want to try and see if things between us could work out,” Jeongguk drops his gaze to the food again and picks up his chopsticks, shoving the food around the plate. “You know, in the long run.”

 

Namjoon and Yoongi look at each other – quickly – but Jeongguk notices. His stomach ties into a knot and he nervously swallows, waiting for either of the two to speak up. His eyes flick towards Namjoon more often than not, trying to assess what he’s thinking, but as usual, Namjoon’s face remains flat.

 

Yoongi is the first one to speak, lips puckered slightly. “Are you saying like, you’d want to try to be together after all of this is over?”

Jeongguk nods.

 

“I think it would be good for you,” Yoongi licks his lips, shrugging nonchalantly. “But I also think you need to be very clear and very precise about what you want. Your home is in London, Jeongguk-ah. Both of you are going to have to make some serious sacrifices if you truly want this to work. Do you think that’s something you would be ready for?”

 

He thinks about if for a split second before nodding his head again. It’s not something he isn’t aware of; he just isn’t sure how that’s going to work. If he and Jimin decide to make things work even after it’s time for Jeongguk to go back home – and Jeongguk wants that, wants them to work out – then yeah, some things will have to change. And as extreme as it sounds, he’s ready for it.

 

“I am. Ready, I mean. We have around a month before I have to leave. We said we’ll take three weeks to figure things out – if we want to try and make it work outside of Korea too. I’m just ready for this divorce thing to be over with, I’m exhausted of trying to fight my feelings, you know?”

 

“And both hyung and I told you not to,” Namjoon says. “Jimin is a good guy. But what are you going to do? Move back to Korea and risk the firm suing you for breaching the contract early?”

 

“No, I can’t just – I can’t just leave my clients. And Jimin said he wouldn’t ask me to move back here, just…”

 

Jeongguk vaguely gestures, hoping that one of them would fill in the blanks. He doesn’t know what the alternative option is, doesn’t know if Jimin would be willing to move to England, doesn’t really know anything because they haven’t really talked about it.

 

“So, how would it work? He would come to England?” Namjoon tilts his eyebrows. All three of them have stopped eating, and Namjoon and Yoongi’s eyes are intently set on Jeongguk. “All of that is something you need to think about. It’s clear that the two of you are in love with each other but I want you to be sure you know what you’re getting into.”

 

“What Namjoon here is trying to say,” Yoongi drawls, “is that we fully support whatever decision you decide to make. But we want you to be aware that sacrifices are going to have to be made, and you’re going to have to compromise if you want this to work. And you and Jimin will have lots of thinking and talking to do before you leave. Like, a whole lot.”

 

Jeongguk swallows. He understands that – it’s been in the back of his mind ever since they first mentioned it. They didn’t talk much yesterday, not about the future at least. They just wanted to enjoy the calm before the storm, and Jeongguk wanted to know the little things. Little things that make Jimin Jimin. How he likes his coffee in the morning, if he prefers movies or TV shows, what his favorite book is… the little stuff. Jeongguk wants to know everything.

 

But he knows there’s serious conversations ahead of them just… he just wants to know his hyungs support him, and he’s so, so appreciative that they do.

 

“Of course,” Namjoon agrees. “We don’t want you to get hurt. And I’m proud of you for accepting your feelings. I know that’s not something that comes easily to you.”

 

Jeongguk is about to say something really sappy but is interrupted by Yoongi’s loud groan, and his gaze slides to watch him pick up his chopsticks again.

 

“Now if we’re done having this sob fest,” he says, picking up a piece of meat, “I’d like us to finish our food before it gets cold.” He then looks over at Jeongguk, voice softening. “But we’re here for you, Jeongguk-ah. Whatever you need, we’re here.”

 

Jeongguk’s chest fills with warmth and he smiles back at them both, feeling a lot lighter than just a few hours ago. Somehow, he feels like everything’s going to work out in the end.

 

---

 

The knot in Jeongguk’s stomach tightens as hours go by and there’s still not a word from Jimin. He doesn’t want to call or text first, but the anxiety that’s bubbling up in his throat isn’t letting him focus on anything else other than staring at his phone. He can’t even focus on the show that’s playing on the TV, his eyes subconsciously darting towards his phone every time it lights up, and even when the screen’s not on, Jeongguk stares at it anyways.

 

Waiting is nerve-racking and Jeongguk’s never been a patient man, but there isn’t much he can do except just that. Wait. And hope for the best.

 

He takes a deep breath, eyes flicking towards his phone as it lights up yet again, fully expecting to be disappointed. However, there’s Jimin written in capital letters over the screen, followed by a loud ring and Jeongguk almost falls off the couch as he stumbles to grab the phone from the coffee table. His heartbeat quickens as he slides his thumb over the screen, swallowing heavily before he answers.

 

“Jimin.” He stops breathing for a moment, buzzing with anticipation.

 

“It’s over,” Jimin says and relief washes over Jeongguk, and for a moment he can’t feel his legs. “I drafted the contract and she’s already signed it. Are you free? Can I come over so we can look at it together?”

 

“Yes,” Jeongguk finally lets himself breathe. “Yes. Come over.”

 

Waiting for Jimin to come over is almost as nerve-racking as it was waiting for him to call, but there’s huge weight lifted off his shoulders now that he knows that everything went the way Jimin said it would have. For a moment, he lets himself be proud of the fact that he hasn’t flipped out once throughout the day, that he hadn’t let himself fall into a whirlwind of doubt, and most importantly he let himself do what he promised he would – trust Jimin.

 

It’s almost an entire hour later and it’s pitch black outside when the doorbell rings, and Jeongguk’s heart pounds as he rushes towards the door.

 

Without thinking, he crashes their lips together, and Jimin is stiff for a brief moment – almost like he wasn’t expecting it – before his body relaxes in Jeongguk’s arms, his mouth parting to let Jeongguk’s tongue in. Jeongguk kisses him deep and slow, both because he’d embarrassingly missed him during the day and because Jimin did what he said he would do.

 

“Jeonggukie,” Jimin mumbles into the kiss, his lips spreading into a smile. “You’ve got to let me in at least.”

 

Jeongguk laughs and pulls back, finally taking the time to look at Jimin. He looks tired, face a bit paler than it was this morning but then again – this morning he had every reason to be flustered, especially while he was pounding into Jeongguk. He lets Jimin inside and closes the door behind him, patiently waiting for him to rid of his shoes before he follows him to the living room.

 

“Hi.” Jeongguk says, a stupid smile plastered all over his face.

 

“Hey,” Jimin’s hand presses on the nape of Jeongguk’s neck, pulling him down for another kiss. “I got her to sign the papers.”

 

They settle down on the couch and Jeongguk’s heart beats loudly inside of his chest as he watches Jimin open up his briefcase, taking out a file with the papers. Jeongguk’s breath hitches in his throat as he eagerly reaches for it, a part of him almost not believing until he actually sees it on paper.

 

“I’m sorry I haven’t called or texted earlier. She’s very… difficult. We had a four and a half hour meeting and I had to push all my other meetings and then I got swamped with things I was supposed to do during the day and – yeah. I didn’t get off work until like, ten minutes after I called you.”

 

Four and a half hours. Jesus. Jeongguk figured it was going to take a long time, but not that long.

 

“So… how did she take it?” Jeongguk settles the file onto his lap and tilts his head, carefully looking at Jimin who loosens his tie and slouches back into the couch. He chooses not to look at the papers immediately, but rather let Jimin tell him first.

 

Jimin huffs out a laugh, eyes fluttering shut as he rubs his hand over his face. Tired, Jeongguk thinks. That’s what he looks like. Tired. He slowly shakes his head, shrugging. “Awful. For the first hour she was going off about how I stabbed her in the back, then she was threatening to fire me and get a different lawyer. She’s so… draining. God. Thankfully, all those years of dealing with her and handling her legal stuff have paid off because I managed to convince her that this is what she wants. There’s not a single percentage of Jeon Inc. listed in the demands. But the list is not pretty, nonetheless.”

 

Jeongguk hadn’t expected it to be. The hair on the back of his neck stands up when he just thinks about the ridiculous amount of money his father is going to have to cash out – but it honestly doesn’t matter. Money isn’t an issue and yeah sure, Jeongguk doesn’t want to give Jiyeon a single won, but it really, really doesn’t matter anymore. Especially when it could’ve gone a lot worse than it has. And he’s honestly thankful – mostly to Jimin.

 

“Shit. That couldn’t have been pleasant.”

 

“Yeah,” Jimin agrees, shrugging. “Mother is ruthless. She’s not happy with me, probably won’t be for a while, but at least the papers are signed. Go ahead and take a look.”

 

Jimin nods towards the file in Jeongguk’s lap and he doesn’t need to be told twice. He takes the papers out, eyes knowingly skimming over the documents and just as expected – the amount of money she’s asking for is ridiculous. So ridiculous, in fact, that Jeongguk’s blood bubbles up underneath his skin, but he sucks in a sharp, shallow breath instead and calms himself down, even though he can’t control the way his jaw angrily clenches.

 

There’s money, real estate, cars, vacation homes and what not listed in the agreement and Jeongguk thickly swallows down the words of disapproval. It is what it is – some things have sentimental value, but Jeongguk’s not going to nitpick now. He knows the company is the most important thing to his father anyways, and even though he’d been so naively and stupidly indulging Jiyeon’s games, Jeongguk doesn’t really want him to permanently suffer through the consequences.

 

And at one point – Jeongguk’s going to take over Jeon Inc., and he doesn’t want to deal with anyone else owning a single percentage of it. It’s going to be hard enough being the owner/second generation founder and dealing with an active CEO, but having someone else who’d have the power veto, or any type of decision making was just… no. Jeongguk wasn’t going to deal with that. Not after the amount of work his parents put into building the company.

 

It’s not something he’d thought much about over the years – taking over the company – but he always knew that was going to have to happen. So, when he had decided to permanently relocate to London, he and his father had to have the talk. But, until his dad decides to retire — everything’s put on hold.

 

Just like Jimin had said, not a single percentage of the company was on either of the papers, and Jeongguk allows himself to let out a breath of relief at that. His eyes flick to the lower right corner of the papers and there it is on both pages – Jiyeon’s signature. Something settles in the pit of Jeongguk’s stomach and it takes him a few seconds to recognize it as content – and Jeongguk’s so, so relieved he could cry. This whole case had been weighing on him for months, clawing at his skin and eating up his insides and on top of that, Jeongguk was so busy pushing away his feelings for Jimin, that everything felt ten times more intense now that it was… over.

 

Jeongguk stares at the papers, unable to wrap his head around it. They’re signed. All that’s left is for his father to sign them as well and then it’s – it’s over. He swallows heavily, eyes fixated on the papers in his hands and he’s – he feels good. It’s good. This is good.

 

“I know it’s not pretty.” Jimin interrupts his train of thought, making Jeongguk’s eyes dart towards him. He’s sitting closer to him now, Jeongguk notices, slightly leaning over his lap to peer at the contract. “It’s borderline ridiculous. But she wouldn’t settle for less, and this was the best I could do.”

 

“No, this is – this is good. I expected this.” It’s the truth, because he and Namjoon knew that even if they were to win the case, it would look something like this anyways. Sure, Jeongguk’s pissed off just looking at the numbers but it’s better than the alternative, and he knows that. “Especially with my father sneaking around with your mother, it’s good. He deserves some consequences, at least, I just… I couldn’t let those be permanent, you know. I love him and the company means everything to him, and I couldn’t just – thank you. For being willing to renegotiate and settle with us.”

 

Jimin takes the papers and puts them away on the coffee table, inching a little closer to Jeongguk. He takes his hand and intertwines their fingers together, surging forward to nuzzle his nose into the crook of Jeongguk’s neck. Jeongguk feels Jimin as he takes a deep breath and then releases it, making his skin tickle. His stomach flips and his body goes hot because Jimin’s skin feeling so, so good against his.

 

“I did it for you, you know?” Jimin asks, hands gripping at Jeongguk’s shoulders then sliding down his arms, sending electricity through his entire body. His eyes are dark and deep with sincerity, and Jeongguk wants to melt under his gaze. “If it was anyone else, I wouldn’t have. I did it for you. Only you.”

 

The words glaze over Jeongguk’s skin like a breeze, and the reassurance that Jimin did this for him, would only do this for him just – it makes him feel good. Makes him feel lightheaded and dizzy in the best possible way, makes him feel like he wants to curl up to Jimin’s side and let him kiss him senseless, until both of them are struggling to catch their breaths.

 

“I appreciate that – honestly, if it wasn’t for Namjoon hyung, I think all of this would’ve ended differently.”

 

Jimin pauses, hands stilling around Jeongguk’s wrists. He tilts his heads to the side, eyebrows slightly raised. “What do you mean?”

 

“Like,” Jeongguk nervously gestures with Jimin’s fingers still wrapped around his wrists, “he pushed me to be open and honest with you. Honestly, I was scared of telling you anything and you using it in court or something and just—”

 

“Breathe,” Jimin smiles, hands rushing to cup his cheeks. “I told you a million times that you can trust me. I’m not out to get you.”

 

“I know that,” Jeongguk says, nervously taking his bottom lip between his teeth.

 

“Now,” Jimin says.

 

“I know that now.” He agrees.

 

A beat of silence passes before Jimin surges forward and kisses the corner of his mouth, lips traveling down to his jaw, teeth gently scraping against the skin. Jeongguk breathes out, letting his eyes fall shut and his arms link around Jimin’s neck, shivering as the chills run down his spine.

 

Heat pools low in his stomach as Jimin’s breathing becomes more rapid once he moves down to leave kisses down the side of Jeongguk’s neck, hands sliding underneath his shirt and Jeongguk’s skin breaks into goosebumps as he feels the softness of his fingertips, making his heart jump inside of his chest. It’s always the same – Jeongguk feels so small, tiny, feels like prey underneath Jimin’s claws and it always feels so, so fucking good. He feels every touch, every breath, every look – feels it right in his chest, in his stomach, in his crotch – and he just wants to let Jimin do whatever he wants to him.

 

“Missed you today,” Jimin mutters, nails scratching against Jeongguk’s ribs, making him shiver. “Couldn’t stop thinking about fucking you this morning. Couldn’t stop thinking about how I just wanted all of this to be over with and for her to sign whatever bullshit I feed her so I can make you happy.”

 

Jeongguk’s body reacts to the words on instinct – his cock sits half hard in his pants and he pushes Jimin off of himself, letting him fall back into the cushions. He straddles his hips and Jimin’s hands are quick to settle on Jeongguk’s waist, eyes gleaming and hungry as he looks up at him. Jeongguk doesn’t even notice the way his own chest heaves as he dips his head down to take Jimin’s lip between his teeth, harshly sucking on it while Jimin’s fingers greedily jam into his sides.

 

The grunt that forms low in Jimin’s throat makes Jeongguk’s cock twitch in his jeans. Jimin reaches up and grabs him by the jaw, causing him to surge forward with a barely audible yelp.

 

“Did you miss me too, huh?” Jimin asks, voice so low and dangerous that all Jeongguk can do in response is let out a sharp breath which morphs into a whine as Jimin’s grip tightens around his jaw, fingers digging harshly into his cheeks. “Fuckin’ look at me when I’m talking to you. Have you missed me as much as I missed you, baby?”

 

“Y-yeah,” he mumbles, hand running to grip at Jimin’s crotch. “M-miss you all the time.”

 

With a pleased smile, Jimin releases Jeongguk’s chin out of his grip, reaching to slap at the side of his face before he settles his hand back on Jeongguk’s hip. “Fucking better have.”

 

Jeongguk’s whole body vibrates, flaring up as the arousal spikes up in his stomach and shit – he wants to feel Jimin, wants to be inside of him, wants to fuck him raw, wants to get railed – wants everything all at once. And judging by the look on Jimin’s face, he’s going to give him anything he wants.

 

“All the fucking time,” Jeongguk’s voice is low as he nips at the soft skin of Jimin’s neck, his free hand sliding up and down Jimin’s crotch, his heart contently fluttering when he feels Jimin is fully hard for him.

 

It never takes long – and for Jeongguk, Jimin doesn’t even have to touch him for him for his dick to start drooling. His mind is so clouded that he doesn’t even know why he ever wanted to deprive himself of this – of Jimin – and now that everything’s fallen into place, Jeongguk just… he just wants to be Jimin’s. And for Jimin to be his.

 

They can figure everything else along the way.

 

“Miss you when you don’t call,” he mumbles, pressing a kiss to Jimin’s collarbone as he unbuttons his shirt, “miss you when I don’t see you for weeks. Miss you even when you’re in the room but not paying attention to me.”

 

His cheeks burn hot with the confession, but he doesn’t care, his mind is filled with just Jimin, Jimin, Jimin and everything else just… fades away. It bleeds into white noise, he doesn’t care about anything but the way their bodies fit against each other, the way Jimin’s hands roam somewhere alongside his lower back.

 

“Yeah?” He hears Jimin breathe as he unbuttons the last button of Jimin’s dress shirt and exposes his upper body, and takes a second to take it in, to appreciate every inch, every muscle exposed. It’s not like Jeongguk hadn’t seen Jimin naked just this morning, and a bunch of other times at this point but – it hits differently every time. And Jeongguk just wants to soak him up.

 

“Yeah,” he says, slipping off the couch and settling between Jimin’s legs, feeling his cock as it drools precome in his pants once his eyes meet Jimin’s dark, intense ones. “M’gonna suck you off, okay?”

 

His cheeks are flushed when Jimin reaches to cup his face with his one hand, pushing a strand of his hair behind his ear. He worries his lower lip between his teeth as he fumbles with the buckle of Jimin’s belt, hands eagerly pushing his pants down.

 

“You can suck me off baby. You can do whatever you want,” Jimin’s voice is silky smooth as he continues pushing Jeongguk’s bangs away from his face, waiting for Jeongguk to free him off his underwear.

 

“Gonna suck you dry and then I’m gonna fuck you, okay?” Jeongguk asks, hating the way his tone sounds more as if he’s asking for permission rather than telling Jimin how he wants him – but it doesn’t matter, as long as he gets what he wants.

 

He watches the way Jimin’s expression darkens and a smirk pulls at the corner of his lips, tongue darting out to lick alongside his lower lip. Jimin breathes heavily and lifts his hips to help Jeongguk slide his underwear down his thighs, and Jeongguk’s hands almost shake as he rushes to grip at the base of Jimin’s cock. It’s wet and flushed pink and Jeongguk feels the physical urge to put it in his mouth, to swallow it whole, to make Jimin feel good.

 

“Am I gonna get you used to fucking me, hm?” Jimin hums softly, sucking in a sharp breath as Jeongguk brings his lips closer to the head of his cock, just enough for Jimin to feel his breath on it. He untangles his fingers from Jeongguk’s hair and curls them around the base of his cock, gently pushing it to smack against Jeongguk’s lips. It makes a wet sound that goes straight into Jeongguk’s groin, and he pants against the tip, tongue sliding past his lips to lap at the precome that’s gathered at the slit.

 

“Shit,” Jimin hisses as Jeongguk bats his eyelashes at him, making a show of licking around the tip before he closes his lips around it and sinks his head as close to the base as possible, pushing even once he feels it hit the back of his throat.

 

The sound he makes as he lifts his head up again is obscene, and there’s already saliva that’s gathered at the corners of his mouth and dripping down the sides of his chin, and Jeongguk’s eyes don’t leave Jimin’s for a second.

 

Jimin’s hand is back to twist at Jeongguk’s hair and he pushes him down the length of his cock, and Jeongguk’s first urge is to gag around it – but he’s quickly able to gain control of himself and push Jimin further down his throat. Tears prickle at the corners of his eyes as he struggles not to gag, tongue swirling and twisting around the base of Jimin’s cock. It has Jimin tipping his head back and grunting loudly, and Jeongguk has to resist the urge to reach inside of his underwear and touch himself.

 

Later. He’ll get his release later.

 

Jimin’s fingers twist harder in his hair and Jeongguk whines around his cock, his body trembling in rejection as it hits the back of his throat again. He knows it’s going to feel sore and fucked out later, but that’s what he wants. Spit dribbles down his chin and his vision is blurry, mind blank as he bobs his head up and down, and Jeongguk is solely running on the pleasure that Jimin’s moans give him. Every single sigh that slips past Jimin’s lips goes straight into Jeongguk’s groin, making his cock twitch.

 

At the kick of Jimin’s hips Jeongguk stills, blinking the tears away and waiting for his breathing to even out so he could take it – to prepare for Jimin fucking his mouth.

 

“Gonna fuck that pretty little mouth of yours,” Jimin mutters and jerks his hips up, his cock harshly hitting the back of Jeongguk’s throat, making him gag. “Pretty fucking mouth that’s been causing me nothing but trouble for months.”

 

Jeongguk wants to laugh at that but doesn’t; too busy focusing on the way his tongue swirls over the slit every time Jimin pulls his cock out, preparing to slam right back into his mouth again. He chokes and coughs and his vision is so watery he can barely make out the darkness of Jimin’s features as he watches him with hungry eyes, teeth sunk into the soft flesh of his lower lip.  

 

“Just like – that, Jesus—” Jimin pushes Jeongguk’s head down as his hips jerk up, and Jeongguk coughs again as he closes his mouth around the length. Jimin tips his head back and his thrusts slowly become irregular and more erratic, and he fucks into Jeongguk’s throat with more force than before – and Jeongguk fucking loves it. Spit and snot drip down his chin but Jeongguk doesn’t care – all he cares about is making Jimin feel good and focusing his breathing so he doesn’t gag too hard. “Gonna come right down your th-throat. Fuck.”

 

Jeongguk expects it but is still a little caught off guard when Jimin spills inside of his mouth, taste a little bitter and salty and he uses both of his hands to balance himself as Jimin fucks his mouth through the orgasm.

 

It takes a minute for his vision to clear up and he licks Jimin’s cock free before releasing it with a wet pop. Jimin’s chest heaves and he straightens up and reaches for Jeongguk, tugging him forward and connecting their mouths together. He kisses him deep and dirty, tongue gliding over Jeongguk’s teeth, his lower lip, tasting himself. Jeongguk pants into his mouth, feeling a little wobbly as he tries to balance himself on the heels of his palms, and only then he becomes aware of the almost painful way his cock throbs in his underwear.

 

God, he needs to fuck Jimin. He needs to fuck him right now.

 

“Need to fuck you,” Jeongguk says, voice coming out strained and hoarse. He pulls himself together enough to stand up to his feet, wiping the drool and come off of his face with his sleeve. Jimin eyes are unfocused, lip bitten raw and cheeks flushed as he sits with his half-hard cock pressed against his stomach, and Jeongguk thinks he’s fucking gorgeous.

 

And Jeongguk wants to fucking destroy him.

 

“Up,” he instructs, holding his hand out for Jimin to take. Jimin looks at the hand, then looks up and him, a smile spreading across his lips. He doesn’t take his hand, just stays sitting there, chest heaving, and eyebrows tilted as he stares back at Jeongguk.

 

“Get up,” Jeongguk repeats, nudging Jimin’s leg with his knee.

 

“No.”

 

Jeongguk blinks, word taking a couple of seconds for him to register. Jimin’s smirk is sly, and Jeongguk – he gets it. Jimin is giving him what he wants. He’s letting Jeongguk handle him – properly.

 

“No?”

 

“No.” Jimin repeats.

 

Without a word, Jeongguk turns on his heel and marches over to his room to get lube and condoms, ignoring the way his cock unpleasantly sits in his underwear. When he returns, Jimin is in the same position as he left him – his pants crumpled around his ankles, his dick out, hair ruffled and face flushed red. He’s so – he’s gorgeous to the point where Jeongguk thinks it’s unfair.

 

“Up,” he says again, this time not waiting for Jimin to say no. He yanks him by the collar of his blazer and Jimin yelps – immediately surging forward.

 

Jeongguk takes his chin between his fingers and pulls him up to his feet, leaning down to press their lips together. Jimin’s hands run to unbutton Jeongguk’s jeans as he kisses him back, and Jeongguk sighs with relief as Jimin pulls his underwear down and frees his cock.

 

It feels hot and wet with precome, and Jeongguk’s stomach flips when Jimin runs his thumb over the slit, his grip tightening.

 

“Hands off,” Jeongguk mutters and sinks his teeth into the flesh of Jimin’s lower lip, sucking on it before he releases it. Jimin smiles devilishly, hand firmly curled around Jeongguk’s cock, moving up and down at a steady pace. It feels good, so good that Jeongguk wants to fuck into his hand, but—

 

“I said, hands off,” he hisses, slapping Jimin’s hand away. Jimin chuckles lowly, raising his hands up in surrender before he leans in to nip at the side of Jeongguk’s jaw, simultaneously kicking his pants and underwear off. “Wanna fuckin’ – wanna ruin you.”

 

“Yeah?” Jimin asks, face buried in the crook of Jeongguk’s neck, sucking and biting at the skin. It’s going to bruise – and Jeongguk can’t fucking wait. He wants to be marked up, wants to see Jimin on him even when he isn’t there. “How are you gonna do that?”

 

Jeongguk grunts in response, Jimin’s teeth sinking into the skin, his hands snaking around his waist. His eyes flutter shut, and he lets himself get lost in Jimin just for a second before he manages to focus again, gently pushing him away so he could look at him. Jimin’s eyes are half lidded, lips swollen and cheeks flushed, forehead gleaming with sweat. Jeongguk doesn’t think he himself looks much better – there’s probably dried spit and come all over his face, his eyes are probably red-rimmed and puffy, but fuck, it’s worth it. It’s so worth it.

 

“I’m going to fuck you against this couch,” he says, voice low and raspy. “Turn around.”

 

“Turn me around yourself,” Jimin replies, eyebrows tilted as he bites his lip.

 

Jeongguk’s stomach swoops at the words and his cock twitches, and he’s just – he wants to get inside Jimin. Now.

 

He takes Jimin by the shoulders, forcefully turning him around, shoving him over the backrest of the couch and chuckling when Jimin yelps as he doubles over.

 

“You said to turn you around myself,” Jeongguk says innocently, mouth watering as he looks down at the way Jimin’s spread underneath him, helpless and ready to get fucked. “I was just doing as I was told.”

 

“Fucking brat,” Jimin mutters under his breath, glaring at him over his shoulder.

 

Jeongguk reaches for the lube and squirts some onto his hand, then places his palm on the low of Jimin’s back, just soaking up the view. Slowly, he runs his hand along the crack, fingers stopping just above Jimin’s rim. He listens to the way Jimin sucks in a sharp, shallow breath and then gently presses his thumb against it, mindful to not go too hard too fast. He massages his finger around the rim, paying attention to the way Jimin’s breathing shifts and the way he starts letting out tiny huffs of pleasure, steady and pliant under him.

 

It’s hot – the way Jimin is bent over the backrest of the couch, sighing and huffing in pleasure as Jeongguk pushes his index finger inside, his free hand rubbing circles into the small of Jimin’s back to help him relax. Jeongguk’s only fucked him once before and – he doesn’t want to rush this, and he definitely doesn’t want to make Jimin uncomfortable. He wants him to like it, he wants him to feel good and he wants him to beg for more.

 

“Doing so good,” he praises, adding another finger in, leaning over to whisper in Jimin’s ear. “Gonna take me so well, hyung.”

 

Jimin whines and it takes him a couple of seconds to lift his head from where it’s buried in his forearm, brows pinched together, and he slurs: “What are you being so fucking gentle for? Not gonna fucking break, Jeongguk-ah.”

 

Jeongguk sneers, curling his fingers inside and once he feels the way Jimin clenches around them, his other hand mindlessly reaches for his own cock, lazily stroking it as he opens Jimin up.

 

“Fuck are you camping down there for? Just fuck me already,” Jimin grits through his teeth, and without much thought, Jeongguk’s hand connects to the soft flesh of Jimin’s ass, smacking it harshly. Jimin moans and Jeongguk – he doesn’t think he can take it anymore. “Ah – shit, if I knew you were gonna take this long I would’ve fucked you instead.”

 

Shaking his head, Jeongguk laughs at how annoyed and flustered Jimin sounds. He pulls his fingers out with a wet sound and reaches for a condom. It takes him a second to put it on and line his cock with Jimin’s entrance, body trembling with anticipation as he pushes past his rim. Jimin lets out a muffled whine, head dropping down to his arm again, and Jeongguk feels like he’s going to fucking explode.


Jimin feels so hot and tight around him, and Jeongguk’s stomach flips with pleasure, moaning as he steadies his hands on Jimin’s hips. He pushes his cock all the way in, eyes rolling the back of his head as Jimin whimpers, and he has to pause for a moment, both to let him adjust and to let himself breathe. It’s overwhelming because Jeongguk is so consumed with him, with the noises that slip past his lips, the brattiness and the talking back and just – he’s everything Jeongguk would ever want, and with every second, minute, hour – day spent with him, he’s just more sure of it. He’s been sure of it, just wouldn’t allow himself to think about that.

 

He’s never going to need anyone else. Because even though he’s the one in control, he’s the one that’s about to fuck Jimin raw, he still feels like he could fall apart and drop to his knees for him at any given second. And that’s what Jeongguk wants. He wants someone to make him feel like he’s both in control and ready to lose his mind all at the same time.


“M-move,” Jimin breathes, voice strained. “Move, Jeonggukie. Fuck me like you mean it.”

 

On command, Jeongguk jerks his hips back, pulling out just enough so he could slam into Jimin. His mind is blank, his sole focus the heat he feels around his cock, the way Jimin clenches around him, the way his moans fill up the living room, the way pressure builds up in his stomach.

 

His fingers dig deep into the sides of Jimin’s waist, his bottom lip tucked between his teeth as his brows pinch together while he focuses on thrusting in and out, pace quick and merciless as he loses himself more and more—

 

“Harder,” Jimin pants and Jeongguk obliges, hips slamming into Jimin, chest heaving and his mouth going dry with every whine, every moan that comes out of Jimin’s mouth and he feels himself getting close, feels the way his gut twists and clenches with pleasure.

 

It’s a brutal pace Jeongguk’s set for himself; his shirt unpleasantly sticks to his sweat-slicked back, the strands of hair are dripping and his eyes sting, but he can’t even bring himself to care – too immersed in how wet and hot Jimin feels around him, too focused on chasing his orgasm.

 

The pressure builds up in his stomach to the point where Jeongguk knows he can’t take it anymore, and he lets go – vision going white as his eyes roll to the back of his head, sweat dripping down his face and just – Jeongguk’s whole skin feels like it’s been on fire and someone’s just put it out.

 

Dark spots fill his vision as it starts clearing up, and it’s only then he registers the way his nails are dug deep into Jimin’s sides as he was fucking him through his orgasm, and he only feels a little bit bad at the fact it might bruise. It’s only when Jimin speaks again, voice cracked and breathy, that Jeongguk realizes where he is again.

 

“Think I stained your couch,” Jimin says, and Jeongguk blinks at him in confusion.

 

They both burst into laughter after a few seconds and Jeongguk leans in to pepper Jimin’s lower back with kisses as he slowly pulls out, careful not to hurt him. When Jimin turns and leans back onto the backrest he’s sweaty and his face radiates that post-fuck glow and Jeongguk can’t help but surge forward and press his lips to Jimin’s, kissing him slowly and carefully.

 

“It’s a leather couch. Fuck it.”

 

Content blooms inside of his chest as Jimin smiles up at him, and Jeongguk feels like suddenly, all is right in the world. He’s exhausted, the back of his thighs throb and he really, really needs a bath but now that Jimin is here, now that everything is sorted – Jeongguk lets himself feel.

 

He lets himself feel all of the things he’d been suppressing for a while now, and he’s almost overwhelmed with just how content he feels. There’s not a doubt in his mind that all of this is going to work out.

 

Not a single one.

 

---

 

“Did you tell your mother about us?” Jeongguk asks, fingers intertwining with Jimin’s.

 

They’re sprawled across Jimin’s couch, limbs tangled together, and Jeongguk feels just the way he was hoping he would all this time. Happy.

 

Things have been going well between them, or if Jeongguk can say so himself, fucking amazing. There’s nothing about Jimin that can put him off or change his mind about this and for the first time in – well, ever – he’s determined to make things work. Only he doesn’t have to do much, everything is good all on its own.

 

Jimin shifts a little, gaze sliding from the TV and setting on Jeongguk, brows slightly furrowed. “Did you tell your father?”

 

Jeongguk slightly chuckles. “Actually, yes.”

 

Jimin’s eyes widen and he untangles himself from him, sitting up straight. He blinks in confusion a couple of times, mouth popped open.

 

“When?”

 

“Uh, yesterday.”

 

It’s true. His father had returned from his trip a few days ago, but Jeongguk really didn’t see him much other than to hand him the divorce papers, up until yesterday. As soon as he got back, he got swamped with work, and Jeongguk was totally understanding of that. Only, he was itching to have a serious conversation with him addressing the Jiyeon situation, and he finally managed to, yesterday.

 

It didn’t go smoothly at first – Jeongguk’s been sitting on it for way too long. As expected, he blew up. It was honestly mind-boggling, and he just couldn’t understand what the fuck his father had been thinking. After the initial tantrum, Jeongguk had calmed down. He eased his breathing and took a seat, guilt seeping through his skin and settling in his stomach as his father curled in on himself, clearly embarrassed both that he got caught and that he let himself do something so reckless. Jeongguk had regretted yelling almost immediately – besides, what he was doing wasn’t that much better, it just had a better outcome.

 

And his father really didn’t have any excuses other than – he’s in love with Jiyeon. How was Jeongguk going to argue with that, especially when he’s been fucking her son behind everyone’s back? That’s when he pulled himself together and really sat down to talk things out.

 

Because Jeongguk hated yelling, hated lashing out on his father. He hated himself every time he’d do that, but nine times out of ten, he’d deserved it – and Jeongguk just couldn’t control his temper all that well.

 

That’s when he told him about Jimin. He sat down, took a deep breath and told him about everything that’s been going on because now that everything was over, and his father’s only been left to sign the papers – there was no point in not telling him. Jeongguk wants this to last, plans for this to last and just – he would’ve found out sooner or later. And considering his father is the only family he has, Jeongguk wasn’t going to keep that from him.

 

Not when he was bound to find out sooner or later, especially since he and Jimin didn’t really bother refraining from public affection. It’s not like they would go out much or anything – and it’s not really that either of them really had time for that – but the possibility of Jeon Jeongguk, heir of Jeon Inc. and Park Jimin, Kim Jiyeon’s son being spotted somewhere and making some sort of stupid ass headlines was too high for Jeongguk to not say anything.

 

Besides, he’d wanted his father’s support. He wanted his father to know that he was trying to make things work, trying to be happy.

 

He hadn’t really believed him at first, and Jeongguk was almost getting frustrated again with having to explain everything. But honestly – he’s not sure if he’d believe himself right away, either. Then, his father thought it was some sort of punishment. That Jeongguk was trying to get back at him for being reckless and almost compromising the case – and honestly, that’s not something Jeongguk would ever do. It’s only an hour later that he’d realized that if it wasn’t for Jimin – if it wasn’t for Jimin being in love with Jeongguk – that this case would’ve taken a whole different turn.

 

“What did he say?” There’s a crease that’s set deep between Jimin brows, bottom lip worried between his teeth. “Is he… mad?”

 

Jeongguk shakes his head no. “He’s not mad. I wouldn’t say he’s really thrilled about it, either, but he’s definitely not mad. He said he’s glad I’m trying to be happy, even if it was with a guy that tried to rip him off for half of his money,” he laughs, watching as Jimin shifts, folding his legs. “But he said he thinks you’re a good guy, even though he’d only met you on handful of occasions.”

 

 Jimin doesn’t say anything, and a knot slowly begins to tighten in Jeongguk’s throat. He’s not sure if he’s said anything wrong, if he shouldn’t have said anything, if—

 

“Okay. Wow. That just made me really fucking nervous,” Jimin says, sighing in relief. “Jesus, Jeongguk-ah. I’ve been shitting myself over you telling your father. I thought he was gonna like… I don’t know. Cut you off or some shit, or be really fucking mad or—”

 

“My dad’s not like that,” Jeongguk narrows his eyes, corners of his lips twitching. “He would never cut me off. I don’t think he could ever really be mad at me either – disappointed, yeah – but mad? Not really. He’s not like that.”

 

Jimin looks back at him. “Yeah. Yeah that makes total sense. It’s just – sorry I assumed. Guess it’s something my mother would do.”

 

“So, I take it you didn’t tell her.” Jeongguk said, and he doesn’t really feel disappointed.

 

He just feels some type of way.

 

“Well, no. And I’m not going to until your father signs the papers,” Jimin says, caressing the side of Jeongguk’s face, gently pinching his cheek. “Which he should be doing any day now, right? It’s been a week, Jeongguk-ah.”

 

Jeongguk sighs. He knows it’s been a solid week since his father had gotten back from wherever the fuck Namjoon’s dad had dragged him to in an attempt to get him away from Jiyeon, but he also decided to be understanding when his father finally decided to open up and tell him how hard all of this is for him.

 

And Jeongguk – he doesn’t like it – but he gets it. He’s in love with her despite everything, and he just needs a little bit of time. To process that it’s really, truly over. So, Jeongguk had felt bad for yelling at him earlier and simply said – take your time, but it has to be done before I get back to the UK.

 

“I know. But he’s in love with your mother and this whole divorce has been really hard on him. Why else do you think he’s been acting so fucking stupid?” Jeongguk huffs. “And from what I’ve gathered, she’s not been returning any of his calls ever since the day you made her sign those papers.”

 

Jimin snorts, falling back into the couch, head tilted back as he stares down at the TV. “Typical mother. Can’t use him for anything anymore, so now she’s over it. Honestly, how can he not see it?”

 

Jeongguk shrugs. “I don’t think he’s not seeing it. He’s just… sad about it. I think he’d known the entire time, just couldn’t help himself. And maybe he’d hoped that things would change along the way.”

 

“That makes sense. That’s how I felt when I first realized I was in love with you, you know? Couldn’t really help myself, even though I was sure it was all just sex for you. But I didn’t want to stop, either way.” Jimin says, and Jeongguk’s cheeks flush pink. “Turns out you’re just as whipped as I am. But I uh – I did tell my dad. Also.”

 

Jeongguk tilts his eyebrows, even though this doesn’t come as a huge surprise to him. If anything, it makes more sense for Jimin to tell his father, than Jiyeon.

 

“Oh yeah?”

 

Jimin nods. “Yeah. He’s – he’s really happy for us, Jeongguk-ah. He thinks you’re good for me.” It’s Jimin’s turn to get all flustered and he fidgets with the hem of his shirt, gaze dropping down before he adds, “I’ve never told him about a single boyfriend of mine. You’re the first.”

 

Jeongguk couldn’t stop the grin that spreads across his lips even if he tried. His body buzzes with excitement and it’s stupid and probably a little juvenile too – but it feels good. Knowing that he’s the first – he’s Jimin’s first in something, and it makes him happy. Really fucking happy.

 

Makes him feel almost as if they’re even. But then Jeongguk realizes – he’d never really asked Jimin about his past relationships. Not that it was really any of his business, because that was in the past and this is now, but still. Jeongguk feels like it has to be… healthy. To know these things. And Jimin already knows he’d mostly had flings in the past. Nothing serious, nothing substantial, nothing that was worth it.

 

Curiosity spikes up within him and Jeongguk squirms, looking at Jimin, then at the TV, then back at Jimin. If he doesn’t ask right now, he won’t be able to stop thinking about it. Ever.

 

“Has there ever been a boyfriend… that was worth your parents knowing about?” Jeongguk wants to smack himself at how stupid the question comes out. The fuck does that even mean? “I mean like – have you ever introduced anyone to your mother? Or your stepfather, or – you know. Anyone.”

 

Jimin hesitates for a moment, then nods his head yes. It’s not that Jeongguk doesn’t expect that answer, but he doesn’t expect the way his heart oddly sinks at that. Just a little bit.

 

“Yeah. Just one guy, though.”

 

“So, you’ve been in a serious relationship before?”

 

“I’ve been in a serious one when I was in college. Lasted two and a half years.”

 

The sting of jealously Jeongguk feels is unexpected, making his lips twitch in surprise. It’s different, it’s new – and it doesn’t really feel good. Jeongguk furrows his brows, annoyed at himself for being so immature. It’s not even that he feels insecure – just doesn’t feel right thinking about someone being with Jimin the way he’s with him right now.

 

“Oh.” Jeongguk hates how disappointed he sounds, so before he can stop himself, he adds: “Were you in love with him?”

 

He instantly regrets it. He shouldn’t have asked, it’s none of his business, and he knows that if the answer is yes, he’s going to feel worse than he’s feeling right now. It’s too late to backtrack though – and Jimin’s eyes are dark and serious when he speaks again.

 

“Yes. I was.”

 

Oh. And there it is – that ugly sting that curls at the base of his stomach, and twists, twists, twists until Jeongguk wants to punch himself. He knew he shouldn’t have asked, but he’s more annoyed with himself for being bothered by this. It’s stupid and irrational, it’s unfair to them both and Jeongguk doesn’t want to seek reassurance but—

 

“Like you are in love with me?”

 

Jimin’s features soften and he lowers his head, eyes leveling with Jeongguk’s. He presses their foreheads together, noses brushing against each other and Jeongguk’s heart beats so loudly in his chest, he can feel it all the way up in his throat.

 

“No,” he says quietly, voice barely above a whisper. “Not even close.”

 

It doesn’t put him entirely at ease, but it still spreads warmth underneath his skin. He feels like an idiot for even starting this conversation – but he has to know. And fucking hell – Jimin is thirty-two years old. It’s normal that he’d been in love before. It’s okay. And it’s also okay that Jeongguk hadn’t been. Both is okay, both is valid, and people all have their own pace for things. And it’s alright that it makes Jeongguk feel some type of way – and it’s not like he’s going to blame or guilt trip Jimin over being in love with someone when he was in college. Jeongguk just – he’s just jealous. And it’s okay to be a little jealous sometimes. He’s jealous because he cares.

 

“Okay,” Jeongguk lets out a breath of relief, and Jimin giggles as he pulls back and realizes that this is something that’s oddly been weighing on him. “Thank god.”

 

Jimin gently swats at his shoulder, rolling his eyes. “You’re so dramatic. I’ve been drooling after you since the second I saw you, and yet here you are, getting insecure on me.”

 

“Not getting insecure,” Jeongguk mutters, protesting. “Just – dunno. Feels good when you tell me you’re in love with me.”

 

It feels good when you tell me I mean to you more than other people had, Jeongguk wants to say, but doesn’t.

 

“Is that so.” Jimin quirks an eyebrow, an amused smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. He leans in, presses his hand to the nape of Jeongguk’s neck and pulls him in for a kiss, their lips pressing firmly together. “Then I’m very much in love with you, Jeongguk-ah.”

 

They kiss for a long while, tongues lazily sliding against one another, their hands running up and down each other’s sides and Jeongguk is happy and content until – until he starts squirming again.

 

“What is it?” Jimin asks, eyes narrowed as he pulls back to look at him.

 

Jeongguk huffs, his heart skipping a beat. He gnaws on his bottom lip, eyes fluttering shut because he doesn’t want to ruin the moment – but he feels like he needs to ask. He needs to ask because they haven’t spoken a word about it since the night Jimin came back with the divorce papers.

 

“Just – you’re in love with me, right?”

 

Jimin’s lips pull into a smile. He leans in, kissing him again. “I didn’t realize that you like hearing it so much that you need to hear it every twenty minutes, but yeah.”

 

“No, that’s not why I’m asking,” Jeongguk mumbles against his lips, interrupting the kiss. Jimin pulls back again, brows furrowed in confusion.

 

“What is it then, baby?”

 

Baby. Jeongguk wants to melt.

 

“It’s just. We said we’ll try and figure things out, right? If we want to be together and all that. Well, I’m leaving in like, what? A week?” Jeongguk clears his throat, gaze sliding away from Jimin. His heart pounds inside of his chest, and he hates having to have this conversation because everything between them has been so smooth, so good. And he’s dreading leaving. “And there’s not a doubt in my mind that I want to be with you and I just don’t know if you—”

 

“Oh. Oh.” Jimin laughs, kissing his temple. “Silly baby. There’s not a doubt in my mind either. I just said – I said that to give you some space to you know, have an out. If you ever felt like you needed one. But I thought it was clear as day that I want to be with you. Like, for real. I need you, Jeongguk-ah.”

 

Jeongguk’s stomach swoops at the words and he blushes, heat spreading across his cheeks, down to his neck.

 

“Okay but then – you also said you wouldn’t ask me to move back to Seoul. So… London? Would you really just… leave everything here and come to London?” Jeongguk nervously curls his toes, because this isn’t like him – to take initiative when it comes to these things, to be an adult about it. “Like, I just, I don’t know. I can’t tell if it’s one of those spur of the moment type of things, or something you’ve wanted to do for a while.”

 

Jimin rubs the back of his neck, uncertainty flashing over his features. His face immediately flattens – but Jeongguk doesn’t miss it. Because Jeongguk sees everything. And it makes his stomach twist uncomfortably, because that can’t be a good sign.

 

“There’s not much to leave,” Jimin licks his lips, gaze dropping to his lap. “I mean, my job, yeah but – I have connections everywhere. I’m good, and people know that. A lot of family friends work overseas, and I wouldn’t have trouble, especially not with my resume. And you know, I’d only really be leaving my dad behind, but it’s not like I see him much outside of holidays and occasional weekends. So that doesn’t change much.” He sighs, running his hand through his hair. “And you know, I have been thinking about it. Moving somewhere else. I thought maybe Japan or Hong Kong, because those are close and I’m always so jealous of Taehyung for never being in one place, and I thought that a change of scenery would be nice. So… why not London? I’d move there. And I’d have you there. And Taehyung is there five out of twelve months a year. Plus, I could use a break from my mother.”

 

Jeongguk breathes out, feeling a little lighter, even though the image of Jimin’s worried face from just moments ago doesn’t really leave his mind. Something stirs up inside of him, and he doesn’t – he’s not sure what it is – just knows it’s not a good feeling.

 

“But let’s drop that for now, okay? We’re together and… we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, yeah?” Jimin asks, nuzzling into the crook of Jeongguk’s neck, leaving a wet kiss there.

 

Jeongguk’s eyes flutter shut, heart tightening in his chest.

 

“Yeah,” he breathes. “Yeah, okay.”

 

But it doesn’t feel okay. For the first time in weeks, he doesn’t feel so hopeful about the future.

 

---

 

“You want the whole office to hear what a fucking whore you are for my cock, huh?” Jimin purrs, his nails scraping down Jeongguk’s back.

 

Jeongguk shivers as Jimin’s fingers inside of him curl up and then spread apart, opening him up.

 

“Want my secretary to hear you beg for it, don’t you?” He asks, sliding his fingers out before he jams them inside again, hitting Jeongguk’s prostate, making him whine. “Because I’m pretty sure I told you she doesn’t leave until I do. So, you’re either really fucking disobedient, or really determined for the whole floor to fucking hear you.”

 

Jeongguk bites down on his lip, trembling. The whole building is quiet, it had already been that way when Jeongguk arrived. Jimin had to work late, has his cases piling up and Jeongguk decided it’d be best if he brought the divorce papers his father had finally signed himself. He wanted to make sure they’re delivered, and he wanted an excuse to see Jimin.

 

He’s leaving in a couple of days and considering Jeongguk’s schedule is more flexible now than Jimin’s is – he does what he needs to do to see Jimin. And if that means going to his office after hours, staying in his apartment and working from there if necessary – then that’s exactly what Jeongguk is going to do.

 

“You’ve decided to quiet down after all, huh Jeonggukie?” Jimin continues, and there’s nothing Jeongguk can do other than bury his face into his forearm as he’s helplessly bent over Jimin’s desk. “Shame. Kind of preferred you when you were loud.”

 

He slides his fingers out of Jeongguk and a wet sound fills the room, making Jeongguk flush. Jimin’s secretary is right around the fucking corner, it’s barely eight o’clock at night, it’s fucking Tuesday and Jeongguk is about ready to get filled up so good he won’t be able to leave this office for the next three hours.

 

Jeongguk whines at the lack of Jimin’s fingers inside him and pushes his ass back, hoping it’ll make Jimin insert his cock inside of him faster. Instead, all it earns him is a slap across his cheek, making him grunt as he surges forward, his cock trapped between his thigh and the desk.

 

He remembers this all too well. The first time they fucked. Only, it was complete darkness, the only light coming through the window of Jimin’s office and Jeongguk was staring down at the city that’s spread out in front of him.

 

This time, however, he’s doubled over and facing the door of Jimin’s office, right where anyone and everyone can see him, only if they decide to come visit. It makes his hard pound with fear and embarrassment, makes his cock stiffen and drool precome all over the carpet. The cleaning lady is going to have fun with that one.

 

“Just fuck me already,” Jeongguk grits his teeth and then Jimin’s hand is on the back of his head, nails digging into the scalp.

 

“Then fuckin’ stay still,” Jimin hisses and Jeongguk can’t help but whimper, squirming as Jimin lines his cock with his entrance.

 

Jeongguk trembles, mouth lolling with a sharp breath he lets out, his body going limp as Jimin pushes his cock past his rim. It takes Jeongguk a second to adjust before he hisses at Jimin to move, and Jimin’s heavy breathing is an indicator that that’s what he plans to do.

 

He pulls out just enough to slide back in and slam his hips against Jeongguk’s ass, making his cock painfully twitch as it stays trapped between his leg and the desk. It’s painful and the position is uncomfortable, but the pain is exactly what’s going to get Jeongguk off without even having to touch himself.

 

“Shit,” Jeongguk says as Jimin groans, slamming deep inside of him, making him feel so, so full. “Shit t-that’s right. Right f-fucking there.”

 

He hears Jimin huff out a laugh, nails digging into Jeongguk’s sides as he tries to balance himself. Heat pools inside of Jeongguk’s groin every time Jimin angles his cock so that he hits that spot right there, and Jeongguk pushes his ass back to meet his hips every time his cock slides out.

 

“God, I love fucking you,” Jimin pants, hand reaching to messily ruffle Jeongguk’s hair. “Fucking – love you.”

 

Jeongguk drools onto his sleeve, barely registering the words as they’re muttered lowly and through Jimin’s teeth, his pace quickening as Jimin chases his release. Jeongguk’s vision swims, white spots all over and he just mumbles a “love you, love you fucking me,” because it’s true, everything feels true as pleasure curls and twists inside of him, his cock throbbing with pain and it feels good – so fucking good and he’s about to come right there all over the goddamn desk, all over the goddamn carpet, just like that first time.

 

Whatever it is that Jimin says next is something Jeongguk can’t make out. His ears ring, his eyes roll to the back of his head and with another uncomfortable hit of his cock against the edge of the desk as Jimin rams into him, he comes with a loud whine, entire body shuddering as Jimin fucks him through his orgasm.

 

His back and legs muscles clench, his release shooting pure ecstasy through him, and Jeongguk doesn’t care how loud he’s being, doesn’t give a shit if Jimin’s entire office has lined up in front of the office to watch. Doesn’t give a single shit.

 

“J-Jesus. Fucking shit,” Jimin stills inside of him, hips jerking as he empties inside of Jeongguk, and Jeongguk feels so sore, so sensitive all over that all he manages to let out in response is a weak hum of content.

 

It takes him a little while to get back to his senses, the scratches on his back starting to pleasantly burn and bring him back to reality. He’s entirely lost track of time and he has no recollection of Jimin pulling out, but once he feels him pull his jeans and underwear back and gently tug him back up, his whole heart fills with affection and all he wants to do is bury his face in Jimin’s chest and stay like that forever.

 

“You good baby?” Jimin asks, kissing his face. He pushes Jeongguk’s hair away from his face, wiping the sweat away from his forehead. “C’mere.”

 

Jimin plops down onto his office chair and pulls Jeongguk onto his lap, holding him close until their breathing steadies entirely. Jeongguk’s mind is blank, sense of time still not coming back to him and he just leans in – presses his lips to Jimin’s, his heart tightening at the way their mouths burn against one another.

 

Jeongguk leaves in a couple of days. The divorce is over. All of the papers have been signed.

 

Nothing is tying them together anymore. Nothing. And even though Jimin had said he’d be willing to move to London; they haven’t discussed any details. Haven’t said down and put all of the options out on the table.

 

Panic wells up in Jeongguk’s throat. They’re running out of time. They need to—

 

“I leave in two days.” Jeongguk says, his voice sounding like it belongs to someone else.

 

“I know.” Jimin’s voice is soft, quiet, hand resting on Jeongguk’s cheek, thumb brushing over the cheekbone.

 

Silence hangs. It hangs longer than Jeongguk would like it to.

 

“What am I going to do without you?” Jimin finally speaks, his hand tangled in Jeongguk’s hair while the other one cups his cheek. He pushes his fingers through it, letting his bangs flop back.


Jeongguk nuzzles into the touch, letting out a shaky breath.

 

“What am I going to do without you, huh Jeonggukie?”

 

It’s like Jimin is talking to himself more than he’s talking to him – eyes lost in Jeongguk’s as he cards his fingers through his hair, so slowly, so gently that Jeongguk wishes he could stay like that forever.

 

“I don’t know,” he finally says, because it’s the truth. He has no idea, and neither does Jimin. Any clarity that he thought he might have by now is just simply not there. If anything, things have never been less clear.

 

Everything was just so much more difficult. Jeongguk didn’t think it ever would be – but it was, it is, and his internal panic only rises with each passing beat. Truth is – they’re nowhere. They’re lost and they have no idea what they’re doing, no idea how to move forward, no idea what they want – other than each other.

 

For the millionth time that week, Jeongguk thinks there really is no light at the end of the tunnel. And he’s fucking terrified.

 

---

 

It’s five in the morning when Jeongguk’s alarm finally goes off, and the knot in his stomach tightens to the point he feels nauseous. Jeongguk hasn’t slept for a second, eyes refusing to fall shut because the thoughts in his brain just keep swirling a thousand miles per hour.

 

Jimin had slept peacefully beside him, shifting to one side of the bed and then back to Jeongguk throughout the entire night, and even when he was pressed to his side, his arm draped over Jeongguk’s waist, Jeongguk had still felt cold throughout the entire night.

 

He wasn’t sure how he would explain it if someone had asked, but it’s like that ugly, shuddering feeling that claws at the low of your back and makes shivers spread all over your body. The knot in Jeongguk’s stomach has been there for days now, but today, it honestly feels unbearable.

 

Jeongguk is dreading leaving for the airport. But he has to. He has to go.

 

“Jimin,” he whispers, gently nudging at his shoulder. Jimin shifts, his lips pressing into a firm line, but he doesn’t open his eyes. Jeongguk tries again, gently brushing his nose against Jimin’s, dipping his head to leave a kiss on the corner of his mouth. “Hyung, hey. It’s time. Get up.”

 

Jimin whines, reaching out to wrap his arms around Jeongguk’s neck, burying his head to his chest as he presses their bodies together. He mumbles something Jeongguk can’t quite make out and his heart tightens as he presses his lips to Jimin’s hair, breathing in the familiar scent. God, Jeongguk’s going to miss this. He’s going to miss this so much.

 

Fear seeps through his skin because even though they’ve spent the last few weeks talking and learning about one another, they’ve really not… come up with a proper solution. And that’s both of their faults.

 

Jeongguk’s been dreading this day, dreading bringing up anything substantial because it’s been giving him so much fucking anxiety but – they’re both at fault.

 

“Don’t want you to leave.” Jimin’s low voice vibrates against Jeongguk’s chest, resonating within. “Can’t you stay a little longer?”

 

Jeongguk wishes he could. He really wishes he could.

 

“No,” he says, tugging Jimin a little closer as he shifts to straighten himself up and lean against the headboard. “I wish I could, but I have to go. My flight is at seven. I have work on Monday.”

 

Jimin pokes his head from where it was buried in Jeongguk’s chest, peering at him with one eye open. His face is puffy with sleep, skin so soft and silky, hair all ruffled and Jeongguk can’t stop himself from leaning in and kissing him deep and slow, because he’s only going to be able to do it for a little while longer.

 

“But you’re all packed up, right?” Jimin purses his lips as Jeongguk pulls back, his hands fisting the material of Jeongguk’s shirt. “You packed last night. We don’t have to go right now.”

 

Jimin’s pout makes Jeongguk’s heart ache and he rests their foreheads together, taking a deep breath. “No. Not right now.”

 

*

 

The car pulls up to the airport and the lump in Jeongguk’s throat feels like it can’t get any bigger. His stomach is swimming in the disgusting feeling of nausea, and he doesn’t think he can handle it anymore – he can’t even breathe properly. Jimin hasn’t spoken much during their car ride from Seoul to Incheon, eyes dark and focused on the road. The tension between them is so thick it could be cut by a knife, and Jeongguk’s palms sweat even though the first thing he did when he hopped into Jimin’s SUV was roll down the window.

 

It’s hard to breathe and it’s even harder to swallow, his mouth dry and feeling like paper. Jeongguk wonders when it’ll pass, the dreadful feeling. When he gets on the plane? When he lands in London? When Jimin is by his side again?


He doesn’t know and he can’t take a good guess, either.

 

Jimin turns the engine off and then turns to him, but Jeongguk is too scared to face him so stupidly he just – hops out of the car and walks over to the trunk to take his suitcase out. He keeps his head down and Jimin quietly walks over so he could help him, and his fingers tremble as he tries to grab and pull at the handle.

 

“Jeonggukie…” Jimin begins, voice quickly trailing off as Jeongguk frantically shakes his head no.

 

“Let’s just. Let’s go in, yeah? Let me check in and get that out of the way and then we can—”

 

“Yeah. That’s fine. Anything you want.”

 

Jeongguk types his passport number wrong so many times that he manages to fuck up the self-check-in machine. He’s flying first class, so fortunately he manages to get that done quickly, and he and Jimin walk towards his gate in silence. A lump in his throat swells with each step they take and Jimin’s arm is tucked underneath his own, his body just slightly leaned into his as they walk together.

 

He can’t help it – he wraps his arm around Jimin’s shoulders, and his eyes flutter shut as they approach Jeongguk’s gate and just – he can’t take this anymore. He can’t take the silence, can’t take the fact that the time is ticking and just.

 

Jeongguk takes a deep breath, swallowing around the lump in his throat.

 

“It’s okay, Jeonggukie,” Jimin gives him a smile, eyes shiny as he looks up at him. It looks more like a grimace, Jeongguk thinks, but he still appreciates the effort. It hurts. His whole skin fucking hurts and it feels like he’s suffocating because he – he doesn’t know what to say, but he also doesn’t want to say goodbye.

 

It feels overly dramatic, it’s not like they’re saying goodbye forever. They will sort this out, or… at least Jeongguk hopes they will. The terrible gut-wrenching feeling isn’t letting him just calm down and not think about it because – it’s not a good feeling to have. And it’s definitely not promising.

 

“It’s not – I don’t want to leave.”

 

“Then don’t.”

 

Jeongguk sucks in a shaky breath, then huffs out a laugh. God, he fucking wishes.

 

“I have to go, hyung.” His voice is soft and mellow, barely louder than a whisper. The airport around them is busy, people running to make their flights on time, saying bye to their loved ones but Jeongguk honestly feels like it’s just the two of them there. “I wish I could stay but… I have to go.”

 

It’s not like Jeongguk can’t terminate the contract with his firm early or pull some standard bullshit and get fired – because he can. But he feels a sense of responsibility towards his clients, wants to keep his reputation. Contrary to this whole case being a fucking disaster, Jeongguk is a really good lawyer. A respectable lawyer. A lawyer people ask for. A lawyer people demand.

 

And he doesn’t need to be stripped of off his license for pulling stupid shit. Instead, he and Jimin need to figure their shit out. Somehow.

 

Jimin laughs and it sounds so bitter it makes Jeongguk’s gut twist. He runs his fingers through his hair, sighing. “I know, Jeongguk. I know, fuck – that’s not how I meant it. I know you can’t just – stay. I know that. I just. I’m gonna miss you. A lot.”

 

“What are we gonna do?” Jeongguk whispers, heartbeat quickening. His throat closes up and he leans in to rest his forehead against Jimin, breath shaky and shallow. “Tell me we can figure this out.”

 

Jimin’s hands travel to cup is face, gently tugging him down so he can press their lips together. His lips are soft, but the kiss feels harsh, desperate almost and Jeongguk only feels a little relieved when Jimin nods his head into it.

 

He pulls back, eyes glassy and Jeongguk just wants to curl up in a ball and die. That’s all that seems plausible right now, because he hates goodbyes. Doesn’t even do goodbyes, never even let his father accompany him to the airport, always had their driver do that. It’s just easier. Less to think about. Less to feel bad about. Less things to regret.

 

“We can and we will, okay?” Jimin sounds convincing but doesn’t look like it – and if the situation didn’t feel so heartbreaking and if Jeongguk’s skin wasn’t breaking out into goosebumps with every breath he takes, he would maybe even tell Jimin that he’s the one who needs to work on his poker face. But this isn’t a game – not anymore. It’s their lives now, and Jeongguk hasn’t even left, yet he’s already freaking out. “Look at me.”

 

Jeongguk does, he’s been looking at him the entire time. Like he wants to soak all of him in, before he has to go through his gate and fucking – leave.

 

“Look. We talked about this.” Not really. “We’re going to be fine. It’s just for a little while, and I swear, I’ll get everything sorted and fly over there and we’ll just – we’re gonna be together. Promise you’re gonna see me sooner than you think.”

 

Jeongguk’s heart clenches.

 

“Promise?” He asks, vaguely registering his flight number being called out on the speaker that echoes through the airport.

 

Cold sweat washes over him and he just – he feels like even though Jimin is in his arms right now, he’s still slipping away. This entire time, they’ve been too confident and now when push comes to shove Jeongguk knows, and he knows Jimin knows – this is not going to be good. It’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to just be okay – but Jeongguk chooses to somehow stay hopeful.

 

He forces himself to be.

 

“Promise – Jeongguk, I swear. Okay? I promise,” Jimin pushes his bangs away from his forehead, carding his fingers through Jeongguk’s hair. “It’s fine. We’re gonna be fine. This is just temporary until everything’s sorted but. We’re gonna see each other way sooner than you think, you won’t even notice that any time has passed by. And we’ll text and FaceTime and whatever else we need to do to make time go by faster. Deal?”

 

The words don’t really put Jeongguk at ease, but at least his heart simmers inside of his chest. He nods his head, doing his best to ignore the way his eyes sting, because Jeongguk is not going to be the guy who sobbed at the airport. He doesn’t know how to deal with the internal sadness that’s gnawing on his insides, so he just swallows the tears down and presses his lips to Jimin’s again, kissing him one more time.

 

Jimin’s arms link around his neck, pressing their bodies tighter together and the kiss is messy and desperate, and Jeongguk doesn’t want to let go – but the speaker announces the last call for his flight, and his heart sinks down to his feet as he feels Jimin slowly pull back.

 

He’s on the verge of tears, much like Jeongguk, but he’s trying not to show it. Panic rises within Jeongguk, not that it ever really went away – but he’s more aware of it now. He has to go.

 

He really has to fucking go.

 

“Go,” Jimin says, forcing another smile. “It’s fine – let’s not make a big deal out of this, yeah? We’re in love with each other – it’s fine right? Gonna see you before you manage to lose a case.”

 

Jeongguk huffs out a laugh and shakes his head, kissing Jimin’s forehead, then pressing another kiss to his lips before he squeezes his hand, looking back at his gate number.

 

He has to go. He really has to go.

 

“Yeah it’s – right. It’s – I’m in love with you too.  So in love with you.” He rasps. “But, uh. Let’s not make this pathetic. That’s not – it’s not us. It’s not a big deal.”

 

Jimin’s face lights up and for the first time that day, it’s sincere.

 

“Yeah?” He takes a step forward, kissing the corner of Jeongguk’s mouth. “Good. That’s all we need to be okay. I’m in love with you,” he repeats, as if Jeongguk hadn’t heard him the first time.

 

As Jeongguk’s hand slips out of Jimin’s and he walks towards his gate, he can’t help but feel like that’s just not enough. Being in love is just not enough.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t sleep for the entirety of his flight, mind swirling with thoughts and worries about how the fuck they were going to get through this.

 

---

 

“Hey, hyung. You got a minute?” Jeongguk knocks on the side of Namjoon’s glass office door, leaning against the frame.

 

It’s just a little past lunch time and Jeongguk hasn’t had a single free minute since he’d entered the office that the morning. He’s exhausted – it’s been non-stop work ever since they’d returned from Korea and Jeongguk genuinely didn’t think he was going to get swamped to the point of barely having time to breathe. It’s hard, and time zones aren’t helping either – and he and Jimin are barely talking.

 

It makes his heart ache because Jimin is on his mind all the time, and there’s not a single second that Jeongguk doesn’t wish he was there. He keeps telling himself to just push through a little more – work will get less hectic, he’ll have more time, everything will sort itself out. Only, it’s been three months and the knot in Jeongguk’s stomach only tightens more each day, the lump in his throat swells up a little more, and the feeling of panic seeps through his skin slowly but surely – and Jeongguk isn’t sure how much longer he’s going to be able to ignore it.

 

“Yeah. Come in,” Namjoon lifts his head up and gestures Jeongguk to sit in the chair opposite of him. “What’s up?”

 

Truth is, Jeongguk isn’t entirely sure. He’s been on edge all day; he hasn’t talked to Jimin in almost a week because time zones definitely weren’t working in their favor and when they’d talk it just be… brief. Because neither of them has time. And if one of them does – that person being Jimin much more than Jeongguk, the other is busy. Plus, Jeongguk works weekends because there’s so much to do, he’s supervising associates, and he’s just… so overwhelmed. And lonely. And sad. And terrified that whatever it is that he and Jimin are doing – isn’t going to last.

 

It’s terrifying to admit, so Jeongguk doesn’t do it out loud. He’s sick just thinking about it. But he has a gut feeling, the one that keeps him awake at night, and Jeongguk’s gut feeling is barely ever wrong. He just prays that this time, it is.

 

“I don’t know. I have a minute to finally breathe and just…” Jeongguk’s voice drifts off and he shrugs, feeling a little lost.

 

“Figured you’d do it in here?” Namjoon asks, taking his glasses off.

 

Jeongguk nods, not knowing what else to say. Sadness curls up inside of his chest, dull and persistent but it somehow feels stronger today than it had felt the past few days. He’s not sure if it’s because he hasn’t been sleeping well or if he’s just at his breaking point but – Jeongguk feels so many things at once, and the feelings manifest through the unpleasant burn of his eyes.

 

But he’s not going to cry – Jeongguk’s not going to cry at work. He’s just exhausted and not optimistic about the future.

 

“Yeah,” is all that leaves Jeongguk’s mouth as he blankly stares back at Namjoon, unsure of what to say. He doesn’t even remember why he’s here.

 

They sit in silence for a few minutes and Namjoon intently watches him, and Jeongguk just needs this. Needs a moment to escape, needs a moment to breathe. Namjoon doesn’t push him, doesn’t interrogate him – just lets Jeongguk be. It takes a little while, but Jeongguk gets it together, chest tightening as he thankfully nods at Namjoon.

 

“I’m sorry. I’m just – overwhelmed. With... well. Everything.” Jeongguk shrugs, rubbing his hand over his face. “I’ve been so tired and just. I don’t know. It’s been hard. Without Jimin.”

 

Jeongguk swallows, his cheeks heating up. It’s not that it’s embarrassing to admit it out loud, but it makes him feel exposed, like he needs to cover up and hide away. Namjoon’s eyes are understanding and the corners of his lips twitch downward, and he clasps his hands together as he leans back into his chair.

 

“You miss him?” He asks.

 

“I do. I miss him all the time and we barely even speak and like – the time difference is fucking us up, we’re both busy and when we get to talk one of us is usually exhausted and like. We have no solid plan for when we’re going to see each other next, have nothing figured out and just – I feel like this won’t last much longer.”

 

Jeongguk’s heart hammers against the inside of his chest, eyes widening. It’s so defeating to admit out loud, but it really doesn’t look good. It’s been a few months and just – he knows Jimin misses him too. He hears it in his voice even when it’s thick with sleep and exhaustion, feels it even through the short, vague messages they exchange when they manage to catch a bit of free time, and because Jeongguk knows this, feels this – the thought of it not working out just hurts that much more.

 

He’s not sure if he’s being dramatic or not, but his gut feeling is just not promising and if anyone’s going to give him sound advice, it’s Namjoon. Jeongguk trusts his friend to tell him when he’s being too much – only Jeongguk doesn’t feel like he’s too much right now – he feels like he’s not enough.

 

“Shit, Jeonggukie,” Namjoon sighs, rubbing the back of his neck. “I mean. I know things here have been crazy and that you haven’t been talking much but – did he say anything? Like, anything that’d make you think he’s not in this or—”

 

“No, no,” Jeongguk quickly says, shaking his head. “Nothing like that. I know he misses me but we just – we’re on two different continents. I don’t know when I’ll be able to go back to Korea again and he’s also working and he says he wants to come here but – you know, he doesn’t really have time. So, we’re nowhere at the moment. No solid plan. Nothing.”

 

Namjoon nods his head absentmindedly and Jeongguk just shrugs, his stomach twisting with anxiety. It’s scary to admit it out loud, but Jeongguk has to. He also knows he needs to talk to Jimin – actually have a proper conversation with him, so they can come up with some sort of a game plan, otherwise Jeongguk feel like he might actually lose his mind.

 

Three months isn’t a long time, but with panic that wells up inside of him, Jeongguk’s not sure how much longer he’ll be able to take. He’d never done this before, never felt something that run this deep for someone, never had to deal with long distance – never had to try to make things work. And if he was to ever put his efforts into something, those things would always work out, because Jeongguk works hard and he’s not a quitter. But this – the whole feel of it was entirely different. Jeongguk had put his efforts into things and situations, not people. Not like this. It’s all strange and new and it’s just not going the way he’d imagined it would. Not that he had any idea of what it would actually be like, only he didn’t think it would go like this.

 

Or rather, that it wouldn’t really be going, at all.

 

“Seems to me that the two of you need to talk. Really talk,” Namjoon finally says. “It’s been what – three months now, since we’ve been back? You have to make sure you’re on the same page, otherwise it’s going to become an issue.”

 

“Yeah.” Jeongguk nods. “You’re right, just. I kind of feel like I’m maybe even scared of starting that conversation. Just because I feel it could go south real fast. Because if you were to really look at things objectively, they don’t look promising. And if neither of us can do anything about it right now, well… I think the direction this is headed in is pretty clear.”

 

There’s a slight shiver Jeongguk feels run down his back, and he really doesn’t want to think about this. He has to, but he really, really doesn’t want to, especially not during work hours. Still, Jeongguk’s barely had any free time, and Namjoon has also been swamped, so even though this might not be the best time to talk about this, Jeongguk feels like he has to.

 

“Just don’t – don’t shut him out Jeongguk-ah, okay?” Namjoon asks, propping his elbows onto the desk. “Don’t do that. Don’t run, just – he cares about you. It’s so clear that he does. It’s been written all over his face since that night in Veil. Try to find time to talk it out. I’m sure you two will figure something out.”

 

Jeongguk soaks up the words, slightly nodding his head. Namjoon is right, Jeongguk’s first instinct is to run, or at least just shut down, because that way lack of success hurts less. Or he can at least pretend it does. If you pretend you don’t care about something, it’s easier then, right? But Jeongguk knows that Namjoon is right – he knows he needs talk about it, needs to tell Jimin how it’s making him feel.


He just needs to find the time.

 

“Thank you, hyung.” Jeongguk breathes out, truly feeling thankful that even though Namjoon’s busy too, he’s still here for him. “Seriously. I’m sorry I bothered you with this, I know you’re drowning in paperwork.”

 

Namjoon waves his hands dismissively, like he doesn’t want to hear it.

 

“Jeonggukie, I just want you to be happy. It’s been a long time since you’ve let yourself be happy and if Jimin is your happiness, I want you to keep it,” he says. “And if you need anything, I’m always here for you. Both Jin and I are.”

 

Jeongguk rises up to his feet, small smile tugging at the corners of his lips. He doesn’t necessarily feel better, but he feels lighter. He feels like a part of the weight that’s been pressing down onto his shoulders has been lifted, and he’s glad that he managed to grab a few minutes to speak to Namjoon.

 

It’s not as if it has necessarily solved anything but being reassured that he has Namjoon in his corner helps. Having someone to just talk to helps.

 

And Jeongguk is determined to take his advice – he’s not going to run, not from this. Not from Jimin. The distance is already big enough as it is, and Jeongguk doesn’t need to put more between them.

 

He leaves Namjoon’s office with the lump in his throat feeling just a tiny bit smaller.

 

---

 

It’s weeks later that Jeongguk finally manages to get the whole weekend off work, and his stomach knots with anticipation because he is finally, finally going to get to talk to Jimin. Face to face.

 

Well, as much as FaceTime allows it.

 

Jeongguk’s not feeling hopeful. His mood has been getting progressively worse as days went on, and with each day passing that they didn’t get to talk, Jeongguk was feeling like everything was about ready to slip through his fingers.

 

He paces around his apartment, running his fingers through his hair. He breathes in and out a couple of times, glances over at the clock in the hallway, and Jimin’s about to come back home from dinner with Taehyung any second now. He nervously looks at his laptop, waiting for FaceTime to sound off, and he’s not sure what he’s going to say or how he’s going to say it – but he just knows he needs to let Jimin know that they can’t go on like this, that they need a set, solid plan as to when they’re going to see each other next, and he needs to let him know how much he misses him.

 

Even though he’s expecting it he’s still startled when there’s an incoming call, and his heart hammers against the inside of his chest as he settles down on the floor in front of the coffee table, slightly adjusting the screen before he answers.

 

Jimin’s face appears on the screen and Jeongguk’s breath catches in his throat, heart clenching because all he wants to do is reach out to him and touch him, but he can’t. He looks even more beautiful than the last time they talked, and Jeongguk could swear that the pain he feels is physical.

 

“Jeonggukie,” Jimin chirps, eyes crinkling as a smile spreads over his lips. “Finally.”

 

All at once, Jeongguk curls up on himself. A lump rises up to his throat, swelling and making it hard for him to breathe. He’s not gonna cry, he can’t cry, it’d be so stupid to cry—

 

“Hi.” He says, voice hoarse. “Hi, hyung.”

 

Jeongguk knows that if Jimin were here right now, he’d cup his face and press their lips together, knows that he’d run his fingers through Jeongguk’s hair and tell him he’d missed him.

 

“Your hair’s gotten longer since the last time we talked. How long has it been? Two, three weeks?”

 

Jeongguk swallows, nodding sadly. His throat aches but he doesn’t want to break down right now. He wants to hear about Jimin’s day, about his week, wants Jimin to tell him about his dinner with Taehyung, wants to tell Jimin about his day, his week, his conversation with Namjoon, just – everything.

 

He wants to work up to everything.

 

“Something like that,” he agrees. “Too long, either way.”

 

“I agree,” Jimin says, resting his chin onto his hand. “You’re off today, right? And tomorrow?”

 

“Yeah,” Jeongguk sighs, trying his best to ignore the way his fingers ache to reach out and touch the screen. “First free weekend since I… got back here.”

 

First free weekend if four months. He’d have a day off every couple of weeks and if the circumstances were the same as they were before Jeongguk went back to Korea, he wouldn’t have minded one bit. He loved work.

 

“Damn. They’ve really not been letting you guys breathe?” Jimin asks, lips pursed. “Guess it’s not been much better here, either. But at least I have the weekend to unwind.”

 

Guilt twists in Jeongguk’s gut, even though he knows that Jimin isn’t saying that to make him feel bad, and he knows it’s not his fault, but he just can’t help it. He wishes they could talk more, wishes he had more time, wishes time zones weren’t fucking them up but… It’s nothing he can control, even though he really, really wishes he could.

 

“Yeah. How was your dinner with Taehyung?”

 

“Good!” Jimin says, shifting in his seat. “Actually, I got to see Yoongi hyung later as well, he came to pick up Tae and take him to his place. Did you know they have some shoots booked there for September?”

 

Jeongguk wrinkles his nose, trying to remember if Yoongi had told him anything the last time they spoke. Truth be told, he probably had, Jeongguk just can’t remember. It’s good to know, but also, it’s September – and Yoongi is in London every year around that time, considering he’s almost always booked for Fashion Week. It’s good to know that he’ll see his hyung but – that’s not who he’s dying to see. He’d much rather talk about when he’ll get to see Jimin.

 

“Uh, he must’ve said something, but I forgot. Makes sense, though. He’s always booked for fashion week.” Something riles up inside of Jeongguk’s chest, and he hates how shaky his voice sounds. Hates how his whole body aches, hates the way Jimin looks good, looks just fine without him and Jeongguk feels like he’s falling apart on the inside.


He knows – he’s sure Jimin misses him, he feels it, just – it’s hard. It’s so hard and Jeongguk knows he bit off more than he can chew, knows he really had no idea what he was signing up for, but he can’t find it in him to regret it. Because he doesn’t – doesn’t regret Jimin, could never regret Jimin but… all of this is too much and just not enough.

 

And he just needs them to sort it out. Somehow. Jeongguk can wait – he’ll wait as long as he has to just – he just needs to know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Needs to know what it is that he’s waiting for.

 

“Mmm,” Jimin hums in response, brows furrowing for a second as he shifts again trying to adjust the camera. Jeongguk’s stomach twists. He’s so damn beautiful. “How have you been, hm? I miss you so much. I think about you all the time, Jeonggukie.”

 

Jeongguk’s eyes flutter shut, and he swallows heavily when he feels them burn behind his eyelids. It’s not fair, he doesn’t want to cry. He doesn’t want his whole chest to hurt, doesn’t want his throat to close up. Doesn’t want to feel so lost, so helpless and so damn terrified.

 

“Yeah, I –” Jeongguk’s voice finally cracks around the edges and he shakes his head, burying his head in his hands. He doesn’t really start crying, it’s a dry sob that shakes through his body but he’s just so, so overwhelmed with feelings he’d barely had time to process.

 

“Jeongguk, hey, hey,” it’s almost as if Jimin tries to reach out to him through the screen but then realizes he can’t – and that just makes everything ten times more heartbreaking. “Hey. Baby, hey. Jeonggukie, it’s okay. What’s wrong?”

 

Jeongguk shakes his head again, digging the heels of his palms into his eyes, sighing loudly.

 

“Baby, if you cry, I’ll start crying too,” Jimin says, voice low and soft. It sends shivers down Jeongguk’s spine, makes his skin fucking ache and he hates this. He doesn’t want to be sad, he doesn’t want to make Jimin sad because Jimin’s been nothing but good to him, and he just wants to be able to see him, to touch him and just. All of this, it’s too much.

 

“I don’t want you to cry,” Jeongguk pulls himself together, surprised that there’s no tears staining his cheeks. He’s somehow managed to swallow them down. For now. “Don’t want you to cry, I’m just. I’m so sad, Jimin. It’s like there’s this dark cloud lingering over my head all the damn time and I can’t stop thinking about you, can’t stop thinking about us, how we have thing figured out and I’m tired of feeling like we’re living on two different planets, you know?”

 

Jimin falls quiet, guilt flashing over his features and Jeongguk immediately feels terrible. Because it’s not about making Jimin feel guilty, that’s not what he wants. He doesn’t even think Jimin is at fault, doesn’t think either of them are – at least not entirely, but he’s just trying to address this the best way he knows how. He’s trying to take Namjoon’s advice and apply it the best way he knows how but – he really doesn’t want Jimin to feel guilty. About anything.

 

“Just don’t,” he squeezes his eyes shut, nails digging into the side of his thigh. “Don’t feel guilty, okay? I don’t want you to feel guilty, nothing is your fault. I’m just trying to tell you how I feel, so we can communicate, right? So we can figure out what to do.”

 

Jimin’s watery smile breaks Jeongguk’s heart and now it’s his turn to feel the guilt as it claws at his back.

 

“I’m sorry, Jeongguk-ah,” Jimin says, sucking in a breath. “I’m sorry. I know this isn’t good for us, to be apart for this long but just – things are crazy at work. I know you understand because it’s the same for you, I know that, just. I want to come see you. More than anything. I know I’ve promised you we’ll see each other sooner than you think and that never happened because the universe clearly fucking hates me and I just can’t – I can’t just leave because I have ongoing cases and I really, really want to see you, Jeongguk-ah. And it’s killing me that I can’t, it’s killing me that we’re apart and I see how fucking sad you are, I hear it in your voice and it fucking breaks me that I can’t do shit about it and—”

 

Jimin’s chest heaves and he groans in frustration, eyes glistening with tears as light catches in them. It hurts, so, so badly that Jeongguk can’t just reach out and pull him tight to his chest, hold him close and stay like that until everything is okay.

 

“I know. I know, Jimin, I know,” he says, and he means it. He’s not just saying that, he means it. He does know. “I just – we need to come up with some sort of solution. I can’t get days off until Christmas. There’s no way – I’ve been in Korea for too long. But December is so far away, Jimin. Can you – is there any way you can give me a day? A month? Something?”

 

Jeongguk’s throat closes up and his heartbeat quickens, stomach tying into a knot as he waits for an answer. A beat passes in silence and a terrible, terrible thoughts comes creeping in, making his skin crawl. He’s not going to get an answer, because Jimin doesn’t have one for him.

 

He can’t tell for sure, but he’s pretty sure a tear runs down Jimin’s cheek and he sighs, shaking his head. When he speaks again his voice is strained and low, each crack of it breaking Jeongguk’s heart more and more.

 

“This was supposed to be easy; you know. I was going to finish the ongoing cases I’ve had, then talk to some of my connections and look for partner positions there. I’m good, Jeongguk. I’m really fucking good, any firm would be fucking lucky to have me, right. And of course, I could breach my contract, and pay it off, I could, but my clients, I just don’t feel right—”

 

“I get it. I wouldn’t be able to, either. I get that,” Jeongguk hates that he does. Hates that he understands, but he does. And he can’t get angry at that, even though he wants to. He really can’t, because it would be so, so hypocritical. “I just. What do we do? What are we going to do, Jimin?”

 

Jimin’s words hit Jeongguk like a truck, knocking all air out of his lungs. His eyes widen, vision blurs and he – he’s expecting everything but that. Everything but this.

 

“Maybe… maybe we need to just. Maybe we need a break from each other until everything just… sorts itself out.”

 

Jeongguk’s blood runs cold.

 

“What do you mean a break?” Jeongguk trips over his words, mouth going dry. “What do you mean a break, we’re not even on the same continent what could you possibly need a break from—”

 

“Not like that. Not like that Jeonggukie, I don’t mean – fuck –” Jimin runs his fingers through his hair, and now Jeongguk is sure – he’s crying. Fuck, Jimin is crying and he’s saying they should take a break and panic courses through his body, making his hands all sweaty and trembly and Jeongguk squeezes his eyes shut, hoping if he closes them hard enough, he’ll disappear. “Not like that, I just mean. I see how hard it is for you. And it’s hard for me too, us not talking, not seeing each other and just. Maybe. Maybe if we don’t feel obliged to talk, maybe if I’m less selfish and if I can let you move on to someone better, someone who’s there if the opportunity presents itself so you don’t have to always wait for me and always wonder and listen to me make excuses and I promise I’m not making them I just – I want to see you, Jeongguk-ah, I really do, I just don’t want you to stop living your life because you’re waiting for me and I lied to you – I said I’ll be there sooner than you think and I fucking lied and you don’t fucking – you don’t deserve that. It’s not fair. You’ve never had anything serious and I feel like I’ve promised you so many things I just can’t see through right now.”

 

A sob tears from Jimin’s body and he buries his head in his hands, aggressively shaking it. Jeongguk feels as if everything crumbling down, tears staining his cheeks and all he can do is hiccup pathetically as he stares back the screen, because that’s all he can get.

 

“I don’t want to move on to anyone else. Who else would I move on to, you’re all I think about, you’re all I ever wanted what the fuck—”

 

“You deserve to not wait around and I just. Jeongguk. I hate not being able to promise you anything. And I’d feel even worse if I was to tell you something now, if I was to say that yeah in a month or two I’ll be there and everything will be fine like it’s supposed to be and I will try Jeongguk, I promise I will, just. I feel like I’m not good enough, I feel like I’m letting you down and you’re sad, Jeongguk-ah. You’re so sad and I fucking miss you and I want to hug you and kiss you and tell you that everything is going to be okay because I’m so in love with you still but I just don’t think I can keep doing this. It’s not fair to you and it’s – if you find someone else, if there’s someone else, I want you to go for it, okay?”

 

Jeongguk stares at the screen in disbelief, tears running down his face and he just – he doesn’t know what to say. He doesn’t even know how they got to this, it wasn’t supposed to be like this – they were supposed to figure everything out, they were supposed to talk this out, Jeongguk was supposed to voice his concerns like normal fucking human and Jimin was supposed to voice his and they were supposed to come to a solution and just. This wasn’t supposed to happen. He wasn’t supposed to be… getting broken up with.

 

It’s hard for Jeongguk to understand how exactly it came to this because everything just seems like a blur. He feels blindsided, in a way – because it feels like Jimin is running. For the first time, now that Jeongguk isn’t running, now that he’s trying to come up with some sort of solution, he – he opened up first and he wasn’t supposed to get shut down. Not like this.

 

And it’s not even that Jimin is literally shutting him down, because Jeongguk thinks that would probably hurt less. It’s – it makes sense, what he’s saying makes sense and Jeongguk understands because that how he feels a lot of the times but… breaking up – it’s not a solution.

 

But Jeongguk doesn’t know what to do, and he doesn’t know how to stop it. Because he’s not fucking good a this. He’d never done this before. He’d never been broken up with he’d never – he’d never been in a fucking relationship.

 

“Jimin. It hurts me when you say that,” Jeongguk says, and he doesn’t recognize his own voice anymore. “I’m not – I don’t want to be with someone else. That’s not what I’m trying to do here. I’m not trying to rush you because I’m after some meaningless dicking. I want us to make this work.”

 

“But you’re miserable. Fucking – look at you. We barely have time to talk, and I – Jeongguk, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, okay?” Jimin sniffles, rubbing his eyes with his knuckles. They’re red-rimmed and swollen, and Jeongguk’s stomach flips with nausea as it tightens around his guts. “I didn’t know – I didn’t think it would be that hard, and I didn’t think I would miss you so much and I just. It kills me. I’m miserable too but seeing you like this, and you’re so, so disappointed in me and I know you’re gonna say you’re not, but I see it—”

 

“Jimin, I swear to fucking god I’m not disappointed in you,” Jeongguk tries weakly, but judging by the way Jimin stares off into the distance somewhere, he doesn’t think there’s much use of it. If anything, with every beat of silence that passes, Jeongguk thinks Jimin’s mind is more made up. “You can’t – you can’t leave me like this. You promised.”

 

Regret and guilt flash over Jimin’s face all at once and Jeongguk’s stomach swoops, his skin crawling because he – he shouldn’t have said that. He immediately wishes he could take it back, but it’s too late, it’s out there, lingering in the distance between them. It’s not how he meant it, but the way Jimin flinches, grimacing as he shakes his head and buries it back into his hands, Jeongguk knows that that’s how he took it.

 

And he wishes he kept his mouth shut; wishes he wasn’t so fucking bad at this. Wishes Jimin could handle the distance, wishes Jimin was better at this too but… he’s not. And Jeongguk – he knew that. Not the extent of it, not the exact way even though Jimin had always been telling him but – now he realizes. And it feels like a slap in the face because when he was running, Jimin would run after him. Now that Jimin is scared, that he’s ready to run, Jeongguk has no choice but to let him.

 

“Exactly. I promised and I – and I want to be with you, Jeongguk-ah. But until I can give you what you deserve, until I’m certain of what and when and where and how – I have to let you go. It’s not fair to you. You’re fucking miserable,” he repeats and Jeongguk suddenly feels like he could hit something. “We should… let’s just take a break. From each other. And I don’t mean it like let’s never speak again because I’d rather die but. If you’re going to be happier not speaking to me, that’s okay too. I want you to be happy, Jeongguk-ah. I know how much you’ve struggled to let yourself be happy and if in the meantime, you find someone, I will respect that. And I’ll try to be happy for you. But I don’t want to torture either one of us with this anymore. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into and I now – I don’t know what to do because I’m losing my fucking mind.”

 

And there it is. The “I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.”

 

Jeongguk stays quiet, his heart pounding so loudly it rings in his ears. He can’t really argue with that. His mind is blank, he sees red everywhere and all he wants to do is punch a wall and break something. His breathing becomes more rapid, increasing with every beat of his heart and Jeongguk doesn’t want to do this anymore. He doesn’t want to have this conversation and he doesn’t want to hurt anymore. He wants his head to stop throbbing, his skin to stop aching and he sure as fuck can’t stand the sight of Jimin sobbing in front of him – fucking right there in front of him, and he can’t even reach out to hold his hand.

 

He can’t do shit.

 

Jeongguk can’t do shit, can’t even make Jimin feels better about himself, assure him that he doesn’t think this is his fault.

 

“So, now what? That’s it?” Jeongguk asks, but it feels like he’s floating outside of his own body. “You’re leaving me?”

 

“I’m not trying to – it’s not like—”

 

“So, you’re leaving me,” Jeongguk ignores whatever it is that Jimin is trying to say, voice trembling and cracking. “Breaking up with me. Whatever.”

 

“I want to be with you.”

 

“Except you can’t.”

 

“I – I don’t feel like I can. Not right now. I don’t feel like I’m enough and I’m not used to feeling like I’m not being enough. We barely talk, we can’t even see each other, I don’t even feel like we’re in a relationship, and I knew this was going to be hard and I’m not saying you’re not worth fighting for because you are just – it’s me. I don’t know how to deal with this and when I figure everything out, if you’ll still have me, I’ll try. Try and fight for you, Jeonggukie, I promise.”

 

“I didn’t think this conversation was going to go like this. I was hoping we’d figure something out.” Jeongguk laughs bitterly, shoulders shaking and his whole body just – hurts. “Well. I guess we have figured something out. Just not what I was hoping for.”

 

Jimin looks broken, and Jeongguk can’t even find it in him to lash out because Jimin radiates regret, even through the screen. It’s just that Jeongguk feels like he can’t make him change his mind, and he gets it – gets that Jimin is afraid, gets that he had no idea what he was signing up for but if Jimin wants to bolt, wants to feel less pressure on himself – then Jeongguk is going to let him run.

 

If that’s what he needs, Jeongguk is going to let him do it.

 

And it makes him feel like a fucking coward.

 

“I’m sorry.” Jimin says, face puffy and swollen and Jeongguk knows he means it, and it shatters his heart into a million pieces.

 

He’s quiet for a long while before he simply says: “I know.”

 

---

 

Jeongguk stares through his office window, watching the traffic down on the street. He doesn’t remember the last time it had been this sunny in September, but like Namjoon had said that morning, today was a good day.

 

Or it was supposed to be. Jeongguk isn’t entirely sure, even though it’s late afternoon and he’s just dismissed one of the junior associates and sent him to fetch Namjoon. It’s late afternoon, and Jeongguk still can’t decide if today is a good day.

 

He hasn’t been able to for the past two months. He’s not sure a single day in the past two months had been good, but it is what it is. Jeongguk’s not going to sit and cry about it, he’s just going to continue to act the way he’d been acting thus far – like a robot. Or at least, that’s what Seokjin had called him the other day when Jeongguk was over at his and Namjoon’s place.

 

Truth is, Jeongguk doesn’t feel like a robot, he feels hollow. He feels empty inside, he feels like his insides just dully ache to the point where he’s just entirely numb and doesn’t really feel anything. And it’s been like that ever since Jimin dumped him.

 

He flinches at the thought, mouth twitching downward and his eyes narrowing in physical rejection. That’s not even the right word – he doesn’t know what the right word is because he doesn’t feel dumped, he doesn’t feel – he hadn’t felt unwanted, just… He still didn’t understand what happened.

 

It’s not like he and Jimin hadn’t spoken at all, they’ve talked… three times. Through text. And it was all Jimin reaching out, trying to be friendly, and all three times Jeongguk just shutting him down with a one-word reply.

 

Not that it stopped Jimin for trying to keep the conversation going in a somewhat friendly manner, but it was too much too soon for Jeongguk. So, the last time they spoke, Jeongguk had told him flat out and simple: I miss you, and if you don’t miss me back, don’t text me.

 

And it’s been three days since he’d sent out that message, without so much as a response. It felt like a sharp stab to his gut.

 

“Jeongguk-ah?” Jeongguk turns on his heel, facing Namjoon who’s gently knocking at his office door. “That kid you sent said you’re ready to go. Seokjin’s on his way. Shall we?”

 

Jeongguk nods, kicking his chair back behind his desk and grabbing his coat from the hanger, following behind Namjoon. “Yeah, let’s get out of here.”

 

As it usually is after five, the bar is fucking packed. It’s almost six and it feels as if all the employees that have emerged from their offices are already smashed, and it’s nothing unusual. But aside from wanting to get trashed, Jeongguk really wishes they would have picked out a more intimate place, because today – Yoongi and Taehyung are coming, and Jeongguk really wants to catch up with them. But this place was their usual, place they always went to after work, and it was super close to where the two of them had their photoshoots.

 

Besides, this place had some stupid brand of whiskey that Yoongi simply couldn’t get enough of, so they were stuck here. Jeongguk tries not to get annoyed. People who get trashed as early as five thirty pm are usually out by eight. It was the general rule Jeongguk had learned during his second week of work. He laughs to himself, shaking his head. Brits.

 

Yoongi and Taehyung are already there waiting for them, both laughing at something with drinks in their hands. Sadness curls around Jeongguk’s heart. They look so in love. He hates admitting it, but he’s jealous, even though he’s happy for them. He’s happy for his hyung. He just wishes he could be happy for himself, too.

 

“Joon-ah, Jeonggukie,” Yoongi’s eyes meet theirs and he smiles brightly, jumping down from his seat and rushing over to them. Taehyung stays behind, chin propped onto his hand as he fondly stares at them.

 

“Hyung,” Jeongguk wraps his arms around him, letting himself go limp in Yoongi’s grip.

 

Yoongi is quick to let him go and go to Namjoon, leaving Jeongguk face to face with Taehyung. He looks good – Jeongguk hasn’t seen him since he’d left Seoul, but he looks good, his hair is dark and framing his face, and for the first time since he’d met him, Jeongguk notices, he’s not wearing space buns.

 

“Where are the space buns?” Jeongguk asks as he and Namjoon settle to sit across from them, and it’s then that he decides that he’s going to do his best to make today a good day. He deserves a good day. One good day. “You almost look incomplete without them.”

 

Instinctively, Taehyung reaches to run his hand over his hair, right where the space buns usually sit on top of his head.

 

“Fuckers at the shoot needed a natural look,” he clicks his tongue, but there’s no bite to his tone. If anything, his eyes glint with some sort of mischief, and Jeongguk’s gaze slides to Yoongi who looks oddly… energized. Jeongguk sighs, assuming they’ve fucked right before getting here. “And we didn’t have the time to stop by our hotel. How’ve you been, Jeongguk-ah? How’s work?”

 

They order their drinks and chat some more, and Jeongguk feels a little looser after his vodka-soda. Yoongi and Taehyung tell them about the shoots they have booked throughout the next couple of weeks, Yoongi looks over to his direction than he usually would, being a little more attentive – and Jeongguk figures he’s just trying to not step on his toes.

 

It’s a little strange, but Jeongguk doesn’t question it. Yoongi and Taehyung get squirmier in their seats as time passes, but Jeongguk doesn’t mention that either. He’s managed to successfully avoid talking about Jimin for an hour straight, even though both of them have tried bringing that up, and as bad as Jeongguk feels that his avoidance has clearly created some sort of tension at the table – he really doesn’t want to ruin his own night. He’s on his second vodka-soda, and he doesn’t want to be crying by the end of his third.

 

And he’s hoping that the both of them will understand.

 

“So, what shoot do you have booked next?” Jeongguk pretends he hadn’t heard Yoongi ask if he’s talked to Jimin recently, his eyes darting towards Taehyung. “Givenchy, right? Are you excited?”

 

Taehyung licks his lips, eyes sliding away from Jeongguk and focusing on something behind him, that glint from when they’ve first arrived at the bar suddenly back. He perks up in his seat and Jeongguk looks over to Namjoon, then at Yoongi, but the two of them are too immersed to pay attention to him.

 

“Yeah, I—” Taehyung’s voice drifts off and Jeongguk frowns, leaning into Namjoon’s ear.

 

“Is Seokjin hyung supposed to come?”

 

“I – what?” Namjoon looks somewhat irked that his and Yoongi’s conversation has been interrupted, and he quickly glances at his watch. “Yeah. In like an hour, when his shift is over.”

 

Jeongguk frowns, turning back to Taehyung whose eyes are dead set on him, all bright and sparkly, matching his wide, obnoxious grin.

 

“What?” Jeongguk suddenly feels a strange sensation in his stomach, swallowing heavily.

 

“Jeongguk-ah. There’s someone here who wants to see you,” Taehyung says softly, his tongue lazily swiping across his bottom lip.

 

Jeongguk’s mouth goes dry and his vision swims for a second as he turns to look over his shoulder, feeling like someone had kicked all of the air right out of his lungs.

 

Jeongguk can’t believe his fucking eyes. He swallows, mouth feeling like cotton.

 

“Jimin.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Jeongguk blinks, mouth popped open as he continues staring over his shoulder. He squeezes his eyes shut and then opens them again, just wanting to make sure. But there’s no denying it – he’s not hallucinating. Jimin is right there.

 

Right there in front of him.

 

For some reason, the first thing that comes to Jeongguk’s mind is how tall Jimin looks. Taller than he remembers – and for a second – it’s all Jeongguk can think about. He has no idea what he’s supposed to say, or how he’s supposed to react. Jeongguk isn’t even entirely sure how he feels.

 

His heart beats so loudly inside of his chest that for a moment, all noise fades away and he can only focus on the way it rings in his ears. Jimin’s silver hair is pushed back, his white sweater hanging loosely around his shoulders, back jeans fitting tightly around thighs and he looks so – he looks so heavenly and so sinful all the same time. He looks better than Jeongguk remembers, and he’s not sure how that’s even possible.

 

Jeongguk’s breath catches in his throat and his lungs feel so tiny and useless and everything around him is a blur. His gaze locks with Jimin’s, and it’s like his skin melts into his bones and he’s been missing that warmth for way too long.


It’s like he feels everything all at once and nothing at all, and Jimin is coming closer, he’s impossibly close and then—

 

“Hey, Jeonggukie.” Jeongguk’s eyes widen and he just stares, mouth agape. He’d forgotten how soft and silky Jimin’s voice is, and no amounts of phone calls or FaceTimes can substitute hearing it in person.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t know what to say. He’s not sure if he wants to scream or cry or both, isn’t sure if Namjoon had even noticed that Jimin is here, right here, within arm’s reach.

 

“Jimin,” Jeongguk repeats slowly, grasping onto the first word that flashes in his mind. He hates it. Hates how much this has thrown him off, how much it’s affecting him. But Jeongguk lets himself be shocked, allows himself to take as much time as he needs to process this.

 

“Hi,” Jimin’s now standing right by his chair, so close that Jeongguk can smell the musky undertone of his cologne, and it brings Jeongguk back to months ago, when he would bury his nose in the crook of Jimin’s neck and breathe in until he’s lightheaded and content. “Is it okay if I sit with you?”

 

Jeongguk swallows. The hesitance in Jimin’s demeanor as he taps his fingers against the edge of the table is something that Jeongguk isn’t used to seeing all that much. He’s nervous, his gaze soft and gentle on Jeongguk and he can’t help but notice that he looks a little… off.

 

Sad, it dawns on him. He looks hesitant and sad. In that moment, Jeongguk realizes – he’s probably terrified. This is probably a lot for him too.

 

“Of course,” he replies, gesturing towards the empty chair at the head of the table, right by his side.

 

Jimin visibly relaxes, a small smile tugging at the corners of his lips and Jeongguk realizes that the whole table had fallen silent. It takes Jeongguk a second to register that everyone’s just staring at him, probably waiting for him to either blow up or storm off. Jeongguk doesn’t do either. He curls his fingers around his drink and brings the rim of the glass to his lips, slowly sipping on the ice-cold vodka-soda, hoping that it’ll somehow make him snap out of it.

 

Namjoon is the first to clear his throat. “Jimin-ah,” he says, slightly leaning over the table. “Wasn’t expecting to see you here. It’s… good to see you.”

 

Jeongguk feels Namjoon’s hand on his knee, gently squeezing. He’s looking at Jimin, but he still reaches out to make sure he’s alright and Jeongguk can feel his muscles relax and he takes another sip of his drink, just enough so he feels the pleasant warmth that bubbles right at the base of his throat.

 

“It’s good to see you too, hyung,” Jimin smiles widely at him, fixing his posture as he straightens up. “How’ve you been?”

 

Yoongi sits back in his chair, exchanging looks with Taehyung as they both kick back their drinks, looking fairly pleased with themselves. Jeongguk can’t tell if they’re the ones who’ve orchestrated the whole thing, but he knows they’re the ones who’ve told Jimin where to find them. It’s clear that Namjoon had no idea and with the way Taehyung soothingly rubs small circles into Jimin’s back – it’s blatantly clear that he did.

 

Suddenly, all the Jimin questions he’d been avoiding for the past hour and a half make sense – Yoongi and Taehyung were trying to assess the situation.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t know how to act, so he just sits and looks back and forth between his hyungs, feeling a little lost. The numbness fades as he’s closer to finishing his drink, but he really doesn’t know what to say. Small talk sounds so trivial, so stupid, and Jimin’s not pushing him to speak. He’s talking to Namjoon, gaze locking with his from time to time, making his skin tingle – but he’s not pushing it.


He’s not entirely sure whether he appreciates that or not, and soon enough all four of them are talking, Namjoon’s hand still resting on Jeongguk’s knee, squeezing tightly from time to time; just a reminder that he’s there. Jimin orders a drink, downs it in one go, orders another one.

 

The shift in his energy is evident as soon as he chugs his drink – he looks more like himself. Jeongguk would even dare say he looks more confident. The air between them is thick, the tension is high, but Yoongi, Namjoon and Taehyung do their best to defuse the situation.

 

“What brings you here?” Jeongguk cocks an eyebrow, interrupting whatever trivial conversation that’s been unfolding in front of him. He puts his empty glass down, finally feeling less overwhelmed and more… determined.

 

Jimin pauses, his hand tightening around his glass until his knuckles go white. All of the noise fades away and Jeongguk can only focus on the way Jimin’s jaw clenches as he looks down at his drink, then back up at him, locking their eyes together.

 

“You.”

 

You. Jeongguk’s stomach swoops, mouth lolling open to let out a strained breath. It’s not the answer he was expecting, but it’s somehow the answer he’d been hoping for. Electricity shoots up through him, sending shivers down his spine. Jimin’s eyes are dark and serious, but there’s a hint of something apologetic in them, making his gaze so, so incredibly soft.

 

“You, Jeonggukie.” He adds, voice so low that only Jeongguk can make out what he’s saying. For a moment, he forgets there’s other people sitting at the table. It’s just the two of them, air so filled with tension that Jeongguk finds it hard to breathe. He’s thankful that he’s sitting down, feeling a little weak at the knees as Jimin’s gaze intensifies, piercing right through him.

 

He had missed this. He had missed this since the day they parted ways at the Incheon Airport, and even though Jimin is here right now, looking at him, Jeongguk still misses it. Because even though Jimin is here, they are not together. And there’s so much Jeongguk wants to say, kind of feels like he wants to word vomit, but he gets a hold of himself, feeling the pressure of Namjoon’s hand on his knee, anchoring him.

 

“That so.” He hums in response, heart fluttering inside of his chest. Jeongguk is really trying to play it cool, to not curl in on himself and act like a hurt puppy. Because he is hurting, but he doesn’t want to make a scene here, and he also doesn’t want to chase Jimin away.

 

“Yeah,” Jimin’s eyes flick towards his half-empty glass and he sighs, slightly shaking his head. “Do you – listen, I know this is an awkward situation, but I swear I’m not trying to make you uncomfortable. That’s why – is why I kind of crashed your little get together here. So you could tell me to fuck off or just leave yourself or whatever but – Jeongguk-ah. I would really like for us to talk. And I’m not saying we have to talk right now or even today, but – would you be open to it? For us to talk. At some point?”

 

Jeongguk feels Taehyung’s big intrusive eyes on him and he can’t help but shift a little in his seat, trying not to visibly squirm. He appreciates that Namjoon and Yoongi are at least pretending to have a deep conversation, and Namjoon’s hand doesn’t move from his knee even when he calls the waiter over to order more drinks, nor when he answers his phone when Seokjin calls.

 

It’s comforting and it’s almost as if it’s allowing him to think clearer, which is silly because Jeongguk is a fucking adult but he’s just so – caught off guard. Even though it’s been at least twenty minutes since Jimin got here, it just feels surreal. But being lost and even a bit confused doesn’t change the fact that Jeongguk knows he doesn’t want to waste time.

 

He’s ready to talk – he’s been ready ever since that last FaceTime call they had, and he’d spent the last couple of months going back and forth in his mind, trying to figure out what he could’ve said differently, done differently, what he could’ve added, and – it was pointless. Now that Jimin is right there beside him, it’s totally pointless to think about that, but Jeongguk wants to talk.

 

The bar suddenly feels too small and too crowded all at once, even though the number of people has probably drastically decreased since they first arrived. Suddenly, Jeongguk itches to leave. Itches to get some fresh air.


“I – yeah.” He gulps, clumsily sliding down from his seat. Namjoon’s hand slips from his leg and he looks at him, eyes filled with concern. “Just – need a second. Some fresh air.”

 

He stumbles past the tables and grips at his tie, aggressively loosening it even though it’s not actually choking him. His whole suit feels tight around his limbs, like it’s pressing down onto his skin and trying to suffocate him. Once he’s outside his head stops spinning, he breathes in and waits for his heartbeat to simmer, and his whole body relaxes.

 

Jeongguk leans against the brick wall, eyes fluttering shut as he’s trying to think. He wants to talk to Jimin.

 

What brings you here?

 

You.

 

“Jeongguk. You don’t have to leave,” a soft voice snaps Jeongguk out of his thoughts and he opens his eyes, gaze meeting Jimin’s. “I – well, fuck, I’m an idiot. I don’t know what I was thinking coming here out of the blue. I should’ve called you but when you sent me that message the other day, saying that you miss me and that I shouldn’t text you back if I don’t miss you but – I wanted to show you and I – god. I’m an idiot. But please don’t leave. I should leave, and we can talk – whenever you want to. If you want to. No pressure.”

 

Jeongguk blinks, sucking his bottom lip between his teeth. Slowly, he shakes his head no, ignoring the way his heartbeat kicks up again. He doesn’t want Jimin to go, he just needs a second to collect himself.

 

“I don’t want you to go,” he finally says, sighing. “I just – I think I’m in shock. I wasn’t expecting you to show up. Of all people.”

 

Jimin runs his fingers through his hair, huffing out a laugh of relief. Jeongguk is almost surprised by the way his energy shifts so quickly, how he’s so careful with his words and his approach, and he remembers how different it all was almost a year ago now, when they first met.

 

It’s not that Jimin’s intimidating aura isn’t there anymore because it is – but he’s not trying to corner Jeongguk. He’s giving him all the space he needs, all the room to breathe, all the outs if he needs them. And that – it warms Jeongguk’s heart. Makes him think that even though they’ve been apart for months, they still fit. Jimin still knows what he needs and how he needs it.

 

“It’s… yeah. I know I haven’t told you anything but, I thought maybe – I don’t know what I thought. A part of me wanted to surprise you, to show you that you know, I’ve been trying and I’m making this happen but I guess another part of me thought you’d want nothing to do with me if I told you I’m coming.” Jimin says, fidgeting with the hem of his sweater. “Then I got your message the other day and thought it was perfect timing, but now I realized I should’ve texted you back and said I was at least going to show up. I think I got overly excited and then seeing the way you just… kind of shut down in there made me realize it was probably a stupid decision. Honestly, I kind of expected you to blow up on me, so seeing you just internalize everything makes me even more fucking nervous.”

 

Jeongguk looks at him for a long moment, processing. Maybe it was in-character for him to lose his shit and get pissed off, but he doesn’t feel like that now. There’s nothing to be pissed off about. Jeongguk’s been sad and hollow on the inside, but he hasn’t been angry. Now, he’s just… surprised.

 

“I wanna talk,” Jeongguk licks his lips, shoving his hands into the pockets of his slacks. He looks down to his feet, then cracks his neck to the side and straightens his back up against the wall. “I don’t want to talk tomorrow or in a week or in a month. I don’t want to waste any more time, Jimin. I want to talk now.”

 

He’s a little breathless after the words leave his mouth, but Jeongguk feels determined.

 

“Here?” Jimin looks around, eyes flicking around the busy street.

 

Jeongguk laughs, genuinely, for what feels like the first time that day. Or maybe even that week. He doesn’t even know anymore.

 

“No. We could go somewhere more… private, I guess?” Jeongguk blushes as the words leave his mouth, even though he’s really not implying anything.

 

“We could go to my hotel,” Jimin says. “It’s not exactly close to here, but—”

 

“My apartment is nearby,” Jeongguk says, heart fluttering as a sudden wave of confidence washes over him. “Ten-minute cab ride even with the traffic. Is that okay with you?”

 

Jimin pauses, studying Jeongguk’s face. Anxiety spikes up in his stomach as he waits for Jimin to reply and he wants to add that’s he’s not like – it’s not that he’s expecting anything, just… that’s where he feels most comfortable.

 

“Yes – of course – yes. It’s more than okay,” Jimin says, eyes sparkling. “Anything you want, Jeonggukie.”

***

 

When Jeongguk drops his keys onto the kitchen isle and Jimin follows closely behind, that’s when it really hits him. Jimin is here. In London. In his apartment. For a moment, his vision blurs and his breath catches inside of his throat and Jeongguk really, really needs to sit down.

 

He plops down onto his sofa, gesturing for Jimin to come sit down and trying his best to ignore the way a lump swells up in his throat as Jimin curiously looks around the apartment before he joins him.

 

“Nice place,” Jimin says, looking at the art hanging off the living room wall.

 

“Thank you,” Jeongguk clears his throat, getting rid of his tie and throwing it onto the coffee table. “I decorated it myself.”

 

“Oh?” Jimin tilts his eyebrows, turning to look at him before he walks over and finally sits down. He’s not too close to Jeongguk but he’s still within arm’s reach and somehow, that feels oddly comforting. “You have good taste.”

 

“Got it from my mother,” Jeongguk mumbles, rubbing the back of his neck. He clears his throat again, trying to shrug of the uncomfortable feeling that claws at the low of his back. “You wanted to talk. So – let’s talk.”

 

It feels a little juvenile, the way Jeongguk’s passing the ball to him, but at the same time – Jimin is the one who said he wanted to talk. Jeongguk doesn’t know where to start, but he’s sure hoping Jimin does.

 

“Right. Well, first – about the last time we actually… talked, I want you to know that I freaked out,” Jeongguk winces, but he doesn’t say anything, just lets Jimin continue. “I freaked out and I didn’t know how to handle it, so I just shut you out. Thing is – and I’m not trying to make an excuse, just trying to give you some context – I’ve been miserable without you and the lack of contact we’ve been having, but I honestly felt it was all my fault. Because I explicitly told you to not even think about moving back to Seoul, I put all of the responsibility on myself and honestly, I just wasn’t seeing it through and then seeing how bad you felt because of me – I couldn’t take it. I didn’t know what to do with myself.”

 

Jimin’s eyes are dark and serious, any ounce of insecurity he was radiating – gone. He’s serious, and he wants Jeongguk to know that.

 

“I regret reacting the way I did,” he continues, propping his elbow onto the backrest and leaning his chin onto the heel of his palm. “I regretted it as soon as we ended that call, but I couldn’t just – I couldn’t just call you back and go like, ha-ha, just kidding, I take it back, you know? Because who does that. Who just changes their mind – anyway. As time went by, I just continued convincing myself that I made the right choice, not because of me, but because of you. I wanted you to have the freedom to do whatever you wanted without having to constantly think of me, and I thought if you had that then maybe… I don’t know, you’d be happier? And if you happened to meet someone along the way then… I’d still try and come here, for me, you know? And I would do my best to be happy for you. But I want you in my life, Jeongguk – need you in my life, however you’ll have me.”

 

Jeongguk’s heart hammers against his ribcage, and the words are so soothing and comforting he could actually cry. It’s perfect. What Jimin is saying is perfect. But—

 

“It’s not right, what you did,” Jeongguk says, folding his legs. “I don’t hold it against you, and I understand where you were coming from, but it wasn’t right. I was trying to let you know how I felt so we could come to some sort of a solution. I opened up – for the first time I opened up about not just the good stuff and you just – you can’t do that, Jimin. Just like that. Without a warning. It’s not right.”

 

Jimin’s teeth sink into the soft flesh of his lower lip, guilt flashing over his features. Jeongguk’s stomach twists. He’s not trying to make him feel bad, but he needs to let him know that the way things went down that day – it doesn’t sit well with Jeongguk, and he had been going back and forth trying to figure out where he’d gone wrong for months.

 

“I know—”

 

“Let me finish,” Jeongguk interrupts, chest heaving as he takes a deep breath. It’s hard and uncomfortable remembering how awful that whole day had been, but it’s even harder talking about how it made him feel, explaining how it affected him when it makes him feel so weak and embarrassed. But Jeongguk’s thirty years old, and if he had learned anything in the past year – it’s that even if something is uncomfortable and embarrassing or whatever, he has to tell Jimin. He has to speak up if he wants things to get better. And Jeongguk doesn’t want Jimin to run the next time things don’t go their way, and he doesn’t want to run either. “I’m not – I’m not holding a grudge. You didn’t – you didn’t break my trust or anything, but you did hurt me, even though you thought it was going to hurt less for me to be alone than with you, but not really with you. Don’t know if I’m making sense—”

 

“You are.”

 

“–but my point is, I missed you so much Jimin. I miss you every fucking day. And I can’t help but wonder what it is I’ve done wrong that day for you would blindside me like that, or if was really just you panicking and not knowing what to do.”

 

Tentatively, Jimin inches closer, and Jeongguk’s stomach clenches with the proximity. Suddenly, he realizes that he hasn’t touched Jimin yet – not even once. Not even by accident. Even during the taxi ride, they sat far apart from each other. Jeongguk realizes his palms are itching to just reach out and – but not yet. Not just yet. He knows that this conversation needs to happen and that he needs to make sure – to be sure that they’re on the same page.

 

“I promise you, it’s just me. You haven’t – Jeonggukie, you’ve done nothing wrong. You were trying to communicate and I just… I don’t know. I got overwhelmed and I was already feeling guilty and I just lost it. I promise it’s not you. I dealt with it in a completely wrong way. And I’ve been feeling so, so guilty.” Jimin says, voice low but Jeongguk picks up on the subtle shakiness of it. “It’s been eating me alive and on top of that I’ve been missing you so, so much and just – just want you back, want us back, Jeongguk-ah.”

 

Jeongguk stays quiet, clasping his hands together and leaning his cheek onto the backrest of the sofa. Warmth curls inside of his chest and he watches Jimin as he fumbles with the silver rings on his fingers, bottom lip sucked between his teeth as silence hangs between them.

 

“How long are you staying here for?” Jeongguk asks, running his hand through his hair.

 

“Two weeks,” Jimin says. “I’m apartment hunting and then I’m going to have to go back to Korea for a week or two to see which stuff from my place I need shipped here, but other than that, I’m here to stay. I’m here for good, Jeonggukie.”

 

Jimin reaches out and puts his hand over Jeongguk’s, and Jeongguk feels like can finally, finally breathe. His hand is cold, but his touch is soft, gentle, and Jeongguk instinctively intertwines their fingers together, his heart clenching at the way they just… fit. Jimin’s skin feels so soothing against his, and it’s not like they’re doing anything but holding hands, but it feels so intimate, and Jeongguk’s been longing for this for months.

 

He’s here for good. He’s moving here. Jimin’s words echo in Jeongguk’s head and he’s wide-eyed and his heart is racing and everything – it feels like everything is falling into place, and he’s been waiting for this for so, so long.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t even notice he’s gotten teary-eyed until Jimin quietly asks him, “can I touch you, Jeonggukie?”

 

He nods, stomach swooping as Jimin’s hand travels to his face, thumb gently wiping away the tear that’s threatening to escape from the corner of his eye. It’s electrifying and Jeongguk wants to surge forward, wants to feel Jimin’s lips on his, wants to soak all of him up, wants to curl up to his side and never ever leave again, wants to breathe in all of Jimin, wants everything all at once.

 

“It’s been hell without you,” Jimin says, his hand cupping Jeongguk’s jaw. “I think about you all the time. I can’t – fuck, I can’t believe I’m touching you right now.”

 

It’s almost as if Jeongguk can’t believe it either. It’s so surreal – so good, so familiar and intimate and Jimin’s fingertips feel so soft as they brush against his skin, settling at the side of his cheek. Jeongguk shifts, nuzzles into the touch and breathes out, eyes fluttering shut as he lets himself have a moment to just enjoy this.

 

“How come you’re finally relocating here?” Jeongguk looks at him through his eyelashes, voice deep and thick. “What changed?”

 

Jimin drops his hand back to his lap, and Jeongguk almost wants to whine at the sudden lack of contact. He refrains himself from doing so, though – and he’s not going to, not until they’ve addressed everything there is to address. Or at least everything he can think of right now.

 

“I don’t really think change is the right word,” Jimin says, gnawing on the hangnail of his thumb. “It’s not like I didn’t want to come here before, it’s just that things kept piling up and I didn’t know how to handle them. And after I so stupidly ended things with you, I started panicking. It kind of ended up being a good thing, the panic. It, uh – it pushed me to move and sort out what I needed to sort out at work, to pull my connections with some of the senior partners and I got in touch with one of mother’s friends here, an attorney that’s been trying to recruit me for ages. He’s a name partner in one of the best firms in London and he offered me a job on the spot. I signed the contract today. I start as I soon as I get settled here.”

 

“Oh?” Jeongguk’s interest sparks up, and for a moment he forgets about how much he wants to feel Jimin’s hands on his skin. “Which firm?”

 

“Yang & Sullivan. I suppose you’re familiar with them.”

 

Jeongguk tilts his head back and laughs, his whole body vibrating as laughter shakes up through him, and Jimin’s expression slowly morphs into confusion, brows pinched together.

 

“What?” He asks, his thumb making its way back to his mouth and he nervously chews on it. “What’s so funny?”

 

Jeongguk covers his mouth with his hand, shaking his head. There’s warmth that spreads through his entire body and he feels like today is the first day in weeks that he’s genuinely laughing – happy and bubbly and just – of course Jimin would go to Yang & Sullivan. One of his firm’s main competitors. Seven times out of ten when Jeongguk is in court, the opposing counsel is from fucking Yang & Sullivan. His eyes shine bright as he looks at Jimin and just – it makes sense. Of course Jimin would go there. Jeongguk doesn’t even know why, but it makes him happy. Jimin is here in the flesh, he’s here to stay, he’d signed a contract with one of his firm’s biggest competitors and for the first time in months, Jeongguk genuinely feels that somehow everything’s going to fall into place.

 

“Yang & Sullivan are our like, biggest competition,” Jeongguk grins, rubbing a hand over his face. He watches as the crease between Jimin’s brows fades and realization flashes over his features. He snorts and covers his face with his hand, shoulders shaking as he huffs out a laugh. “One of our name partners used to be super tight with Sullivan. Needless to say, they despise each other now. We work on a shit ton of cases together. Last three cases I’ve dealt with, the opposing counsel was from Yang & Sullivan.”

 

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Jimin rolls his eyes, but there’s no bite to his tone. Much like Jeongguk – he’s smiling, eyes sparkling as he looks back at him. His cheeks are flushed pink, breathing a little shallow and Jeongguk doesn’t even want to think anymore, just reaches out and tugs at Jimin’s leave, urging him to come a little closer. Jimin does – moving forward so their knees are touching and if Jeongguk leans just half a centimeter in, he’d probably be able to feel Jimin’s breath on his lips. “That’s just – no. Not even gonna question it. Not even gonna pretend to be surprised.”

 

Jeongguk wrinkles his nose and shakes his head again, giggles slipping past his lips and he just can’t help it – because everything feels like it’s eventually going to work itself out, and for some reason, it doesn’t seem as terrifying anymore, even though they’ve been apart for months.

 

“It just kind of makes sense, you know?” Jeongguk shrugs, watching as Jimin slowly nods in response. “And like – I honestly thought I wasn’t going to see you until Christmas and now you’re going to be working like two fucking blocks away from me and like. Shit. Doesn’t feel real. At all.”

 

Jimin looks at him, eyes big and serious, and for the hundredth time in the last three hours, Jeongguk wants to melt.

 

“I’m here, though,” Jimin reaches to touch his face again and this time the touch feels hot, his hand sliding around Jeongguk’s neck, pressing at the nape and pulling him close enough that he can rest his forehead against Jeongguk’s. Jeongguk can feel his breath on his lips now, his heartbeat racing because they’re so, so close and he wonders when the right time is, if it’s okay to just kiss Jimin, if that’s how things are supposed to go and he’s not sure – because Jeongguk’s never done this before. He has no idea how this works, just knows his hands are itching to reach out, he’s burning hot and he needs to feel Jimin, wants to wrap his body around him and never let go of him again. “I’m here, Jeonggukie. I’m here and I want to be with you, if you’ll have me back. And even if you don’t want me back right now, I can wa—”

 

“No,” the words leave Jeongguk’s mouth before his brain can make the authorization, but he means it. “No, I – of course I want you back. What the fuck, Jimin, I never even wanted us to break up in the first place. Like yeah, it did suck that we weren’t talking as much as I had hoped we would and yeah, I had probably been miserable, but when we ended things it’s not like I felt… better, or anything. Maybe less pressured, or less anxious but still, I don’t think I felt better in any way.”

 

Jimin’s eyes flutter shut and he moves his hand up Jeongguk’s neck, fingers gently scratching against the scalp. It sends chills down Jeongguk’s spine, makes his breaths all shaky and he reaches to rest his hands right above Jimin’s knees, palms sweating as he feels Jimin’s body heat radiate through his jeans.

 

It’s a completely different setting, and Jeongguk can’t even remember the last time he’d had someone other than Seokjin or Namjoon over at his place. The concept of having Jimin in his apartment, existing, breathing, touching him is so comforting and so overwhelming all at the same time. Jeongguk’s not sure if he’s wrapped his head around it yet.

 

“I feel so bad, Jeonggukie,” Jimin whispers, fingers twisting in Jeongguk’s hair in desperation. “So, so bad. We’ve struggled so much to get where we were, and I feel like I threw it all away the second it got hard. And it wasn’t – that’s not what I wanted to do. I had no idea just how hard it was going to be and I have no prior experience with long distance – and that’s not an excuse, because you’ve handled all of that way better than I have but just – know that it’s a decision I immediately regretted.”

 

Jeongguk presses his lips together, squeezing his eyes shut. Distantly, he realizes he’d slightly dug his nails into the fabric of Jimin’s jeans, and for a moment, something painful settles inside of his stomach and he doesn’t want Jimin to hurt, even though he knows, feels he’s been hurting, same way he has.

 

“It’s –” Jeongguk doesn’t want to say that it’s okay, not after he’d told Jimin that what he did wasn’t right. His shoulders slouch as he exhales and opens his eyes, wetting his lips before speaking again. “It’s going to be okay. We are going to be okay. I want – I don’t want to waste time. I want us to pick up where we left off, even if it’s hard.”

 

“You mean that? You’re not… furious with me or anything?”

 

Jeongguk shakes his head no. It’s the truth – he hadn’t been mad – not even that day when Jimin broke up with him, nor the day after. Sad, upset, hurt, confused, yes, but angry – no. Not really.

 

“No,” he takes Jimin’s hands into his own and tilts his head, nose brushing against Jimin’s. His eyes are closed and Jeongguk almost feel dizzy with how thick the air between them feels, how scorching Jimin’s hands feel in his – and he doesn’t think he can take it anymore. “Jimin – can I—” he untangles his hand from Jimin’s, fingers running to curl underneath his chin instead.

 

“Yes,” Jimin breathes and Jeongguk’s heart jumps inside of his chest, and he holds his breath as he moves, so impossibly slow, wanting to savor every moment.

 

He tips Jimin’s head back with his fingers, watching as Jimin’s lips slightly part and then his eyes flutter open, their eyes locking for a long moment of anticipation before Jeongguk finally moves.

 

Jimin’s lips feel searing against his, soft and wet and sweet, and Jeongguk has to pause for a second and release his other hand from Jimin’s grip and run it through his hair instead, fingers twisting the strands and gently yanking his head back so he could add more pressure to the kiss.

 

Jeongguk’s eyes are closed but it’s like his vision swims anyway, he sways a bit to the side, whimpering as he presses his lips further onto Jimin’s. Jimin’s firm hands grip at his shoulders as to keep him in place and Jeongguk licks alongside his lower lip, pressing his body against Jimin’s, gripping at his hair, whimpering as he kisses him over and over and over again like Jimin’s going to slip right through his second at any given moment.

 

His lips part to let Jimin’s tongue in and once he feels it glide against his Jeongguk really, truly wants to explode. His chest heaves and his lungs are running out of air – but Jeongguk doesn’t care. All he cares about is how Jimin’s lips feel on his, the blistering heat of their breaths and the content that curls up in his chest is what Jeongguk had been yearning for months now, and he feels so fulfilled, so whole and even though he’s all hot and tingly and desperate – he never wants this feeling, this moment to disappear.

 

“Baby,” Jimin mutters against his lips, a smile curling at the corners of his lips. He runs his fingers through Jeongguk’s hair. “My pretty baby. I’ve missed you so much.”

 

Jeongguk grins, dropping his head against Jimin’s shoulder, skin tingling as he feels Jimin’s arms wrap around him. It’s only then that he notices that he’s almost entirely seated in Jimin’s lap, his legs thrown over his thighs and he buries his nose in the crook of Jimin’s neck, breathing in the familiar scent of his cologne, pressing a kiss right at the juncture. Jimin hums, lips pressed to Jeongguk’s hair.

 

They’re silent, both breathing heavily and Jeongguk’s hands are fisted in Jimin’s sweater, tightly gripping at it as if he’s desperately holding onto him, making sure that this time, he’s not going to lose him.

 

“We’re together now, right?” Jeongguk pokes his head out and looks at Jimin, cupping his face. “This is it, right hyung?”

 

The barely-there wrinkles at the corners of Jimin’s eyes intensify as he brightly smiles at him, kissing the tip of his nose. “I don’t plan on losing you again, Jeonggukie. Good luck getting rid of me now.”

 

Sheer happiness bubbles up underneath Jeongguk’s skin, feeling electrifying and just right, and it feels exactly how Jeongguk always thought it would. It feels both satisfying and so, so scary, but it also feels like it’s worth it.

 

Jimin is worth it. He’d always been worth it.

 

“Don’t want to get rid of you,” he says, resting his head back against Jimin’s shoulder. “But you should be prepared to get your ass kicked in court. This is my territory.”

 

Jimin’s whole body vibrates as he bursts out into laughter, tipping his head to kiss Jeongguk’s temple. His hand ruffles through Jeongguk’s hair, gently tugging at the strands so Jeongguk would look up at him.

 

“You fucking wish, brat.”

 

Jeongguk’s smile widens and his eyes flutter shut as he lets head fall back, arms snaking around Jimin’s waist as he presses his body further into his. Quietly, he listens to the way Jimin’s heart thrums against his chest, pace very much matching his own.

 

At that moment, Jeongguk knows that everything is going to be okay.

 

 

***

 

“Oh my god, you’re impossible to deal with,” Jimin groans, kicking his shoes off at the door as Jeongguk flips him off and marches straight towards the bedroom. “It’s not my fault your client is a fucking moron.”

 

Jeongguk huffs and walks straight towards the closet, tossing his blazer into the laundry basket. He then unbuttons his shirt, letting it fall down onto the yellow carpet of their bedroom. He almost wants to flip the carpet off, too. Fuck yellow.

 

And fuck his client.

 

“Jeonggukie, come on,” Jimin appears in the doorway, voice soft and concern, but Jeongguk isn’t fooled. He can see the way the corners of Jimin’s lips are curled up into a smirk, his whole expression looking much more amused than Jeongguk would appreciate. “Baby, it’s just a case.”

 

Jeongguk knows it’s just a case – and it is. But it’s the second time Jimin’s won in an embarrassingly short period of time, and Jeongguk’s pride just couldn’t let that go and swallow it down easily. It’s not that Jeongguk is actually mad at Jimin – and he knows Jimin knows that too, he’s just mad that he lost, and he was planning to pout and whine about it for the rest of the day.

 

Living with Jimin had mostly been a bliss – Jeongguk could never imagine not living with him or being without him ever again. It just didn’t make sense. But sometimes, in moments like these, Jeongguk wishes he and Jimin wouldn’t come home together – or at least not at the same time, because he knows, he just knows how much Jimin is enjoying this right now. Because when the roles are reversed, Jeongguk enjoys it all the same.

 

It’s healthy – the competition, and the mind-blowing sex that follows is definitely worth every embarrassing moment that losing entails. What’s even healthier, in Jeongguk’s opinion, is the support they give each other, the advice Jimin gives him whenever he’s stuck on a case, the way he’s able to lean on him and vice versa. The way Jeongguk had introduced Jimin to all of the important people in law, the way Jimin had infiltrated and assimilated into his daily routine, blended in with all the people, acquaintances and business partners with such ease it almost blew Jeongguk’s mind.

 

The first couple of months had been hard – and Jeongguk had been expecting that. It took them a little while to work out what exactly works from them but once they had figured it out – everything began running smoothly. And Jeongguk couldn’t be happier.

 

And even now, even though he’s feeling mad and embarrassed and like a sore loser that he is – it doesn’t change the warm feeling that curls inside of his chest every time he looks at Jimin, and there’s not a doubt in his mind that this man right here is the only man that he’ll ever love like this. Like nothing but him matters.

 

“It’s the second one you’ve won this month,” Jeongguk says, voice oozing bitterness, but he doesn’t even care. He’s so mad he could punch a wall. “And I just know you’ve tampered with the evidence. I don’t know how, but I know you did.”

 

The sound Jimin lets out is somewhere between a snort and a laugh, and Jeongguk purposely turns his back to him because if he doesn’t, he feels like he actually might strangle him.

 

“And what exactly have I tampered with?”

 

“I don’t know,” heat coils up in Jeongguk’s stomach, frustration spreads across his skin and he doesn’t – he hates losing, and he especially hates losing to Jimin. He focuses on unbuttoning his shirt and hanging it up in the closet, ignoring the footsteps he hears behind him. “But I will find out.”

 

“That’s what you said last time, so how are you gonna do that, baby?” Jimin’s voice is now dangerously close, breath hot in Jeongguk’s ear. His hands make their way around Jeongguk’s waist and pause at the hips, sliding underneath the waistband of his pants. Jimin’s chin is leaned against Jeongguk’s shoulder, and Jeongguk suddenly feels hot, his anger morphing into something more intense, something that makes him all weak at the knees. “Haven’t you learned by now that I’m the best of the best, huh Jeonggukie?”

 

Jeongguk hates the moan that escapes him, brows furrowing and jaw clenching tight – but he doesn’t even attempt to move Jimin’s hands away. They slowly slide underneath the waistband of his underwear, fingertips tracing down his hip bones, and Jeongguk shivers with the chills that trickle down his spine.

 

It’s embarrassing how fast Jeongguk’s cock hardens in his pants, how fast arousal gathers up in his lower stomach and how sensitive his skin is against Jimin’s electrifying touch, but it’s all the same, always.

 

“You’re such a piece of—” words catch in Jeongguk’s throat as Jimin’s hand wraps around the tip of his cock, thumb smearing the precome that’s gathered at the slit.

 

“Of what, baby?” Jimin purrs in his ear, making his whole skin break out into goosebumps. “Piece of shit, hm?”

 

Jeongguk’s mind blurs and he feels all hot and wet and—

 

“Y-yeah,” he chokes out, ignoring the way his heart skips a beat.

 

Jimin sneers, grabbing Jeongguk by the forearm and forcefully turning him to face him, his fingers curling around his jaw.

 

“God, such a filthy mouth you have on you. You’re lucky it turns me on,” Jimin licks his lips, eyes gleaming. “So, what’s it gonna take for you to forgive me this time, Jeongguk-ah?” Jimin’s gaze is so rough and intense, making Jeongguk feel small. “Tell hyung, and I’ll make it happen.”

 

Jeongguk whimpers, sucking in a breath as Jimin presses his lips to his, hand releasing his jaw and making its way back to Jeongguk’s waist, slipping underneath his underwear to grip at his ass. His cock twitches, sitting low and heavy in his slacks, friction feeling uncomfortable against the soft fabric.

 

Jimin’s tugs him towards the bed, gently pushing him and Jeongguk lets himself fall back, not taking his eyes off Jimin’s. He watches him through his eyelashes and his teeth are sunk deep into his lower lip as Jimin climbs on top of him, tipping his head to the side to leave a wet kiss right underneath Jeongguk’s jawbone.

 

Shuddering, Jeongguk takes Jimin’s bottom lip between his teeth, gently sucking on it, letting his eyes fall shut. He kisses him, deep and slow, tongues gliding against each other as Jimin straddles his hips, taking him by the wrists and locking his arms above his head.

 

“Come on baby, I know you’re not the type to be quiet for too long,” Jimin murmurs, gently nibbling at the soft skin of Jeongguk’s neck. “Tell me what it is that you want.”

 

“Eat me out,” Jeongguk shamelessly breathes out, ignoring the way his cheeks heat up at the words. “Then fuck me stupid.”

 

Jimin’s gaze darkness and he smiles – evil and victorious, and Jeongguk’s cock drools in his underwear, skin firing up every time Jimin shifts on top of him.

 

“Say please.”

 

Jeongguk snorts. “Absolutely not. You owe me.”

 

Jimin quirks an eyebrow, folding his arms over his chest. “Do I now.”

 

Jeongguk’s gaze slides away from Jimin and he purposely stares at the headboard, refusing to say another word. He knows what he’s doing and his whole skin itches with anticipation, and just like he’d been expecting – he feels a sharp sting as Jimin’s hand connects to his cheek, turning his head back to face him. Jimin immediately rubs at the spot he’d just hit, cooing as he leaves another kiss at the corner of Jeongguk’s mouth.

 

“I told you to say please.”

 

He rolls his hips and Jeongguk’s cock throbs harder in his pants – and he can’t help but squirm and whimper, demanding more friction, needing so, so much more.

 

“Please,” he gives up quicker than he’d anticipated, and the burn from the slap goes straight to his groin. Shit – Jeongguk just wants to get fucked. “Come on baby, eat me out. Show me you’re sorry for winning today.”

 

“But I’m not sorry,” Jimin says, his hands traveling down Jeongguk’s bare chest, index finger circling around his nipple, making Jeongguk’s breath hitch in his throat. “But you already know that.”

 

His fingers quickly unbutton Jeongguk’s pants and in the next moment he’s sliding off his lap and off the bed, aggressively pulling them down along with the underwear, exposing Jeongguk’s leaking cock.

 

“But how can I ever say no to you, Jeonggukie,” Jimin stares down at his cock and he looks fucking hungry, tongue swiping across his lower lip as a smirk tugs at the corner of his lips. “I was never able to, so I’m not gonna start now. Turn around, ass up.”

 

Jeongguk’s mouth salivates and he’s immediately on his hands and knees, letting Jimin manhandle him and tug him closer to the edge of the bed.

 

“Hands behind your back,” Jimin orders and Jeongguk’s mouth lolls open as he gasps but does as he’s been told anyway. He shoves his face into the silk sheets and tries to balance himself, placing his hands on the low of his back. It comes as no surprise to him when he feels the material of Jimin’s tie around his wrists, tightening until he’s barely able to move, but not enough to entirely cut off his blood circulation. “Perfect.”

 

Jimin hums in content and Jeongguk’s whole body flushes as he feels his nails run down his sides, scratching, leaving red marks all over. Jeongguk loves it – loves the way these are going to look after he takes a steaming hot bath later.

 

He moans once he feels Jimin’s wet tongue press against his rim, leaving a wet stripe along the crack. Jeongguk trembles, struggling to balance on his face and knees, palms sweating as his cock drools onto the mattress.

 

Jimin presses his finger right at the ring muscle, slowly pushing it inside as his tongue licks around it. “So pretty and stretched from this morning,” he purrs, taking his finger out and immediately pushing his tongue instead, making Jeongguk’s eyes roll to the back of his head.

 

Jimin’s tongue is long and thick, filling him up just the way he wants, and he clenches around the wetness of it, stomach twisting with heat and pressure of arousal that vibrates through him. The feeling is both liberating and restricting, and Jeongguk can’t help but squirm as Jimin’s tongue pushes in and out, swirling around the inside of his hole, stretching him open.

 

Jeongguk is a wobbly mess by the time Jimin’s opened him up, tongue lapping, noises so obscene and wet that Jeongguk doesn’t think he’ll be able to last long. He feels the fabric of the tie cut into his skin uncomfortably every time he squirms and it’s the only think keeping him sane, the only thing refraining him from coming on the spot with just Jimin’s tongue inside of him.

 

“God you taste so good,” Jimin says and Jeongguk can hear him stand up, probably ready to get the lube. “I could eat you out all day. But there are more important things I have to get done.”

 

“Yeah? Like what?” Jeongguk asks, voice strained and whiny and he feels all empty and desperate to get filled up.

 

“Like add another win to the score board,” Jimin says and Jeongguk hears the squeal of the marker as Jimin writes down onto the white board, and for a split second, he forgets how empty he feels – and all he wants to do is murder Jimin.

 

“Are you fucking kidding me?” He hisses, squirming on the bed, trying to wiggle his hands out of the tie and choke Jimin with his bare hands. “You fucking – fuck you. I can’t – fucking piece of shit.”

 

Jimin lets out a muffled laugh and Jeongguk can practically see the amused look on his face – the one Jeongguk wants to punch right off because he knows how full of himself he looks.

 

Bastard.

 

“So, it’s okay when you do it, but when I want to do it it’s a problem?” Jimin clicks his tongue in fake annoyance, grabbing the lube as he approaches the bed again. “So selfish, Jeonggukie, wow.”

 

It’s the truth – if Jeongguk had won the case today he wouldn’t even wait to take his shoes off – he’d be running towards the bedroom to write down his win. Jeongguk loved competition – but only when he was winning.

 

Jeongguk hears the bottle cap pop open and then the sound of Jimin unzipping his pants, and the next thing he feels is Jimin slick cock pressing against his rim, his hands grabbing at his hips, jamming his nails into the skin. He whines, burying his face further into the sheets and without much of a warning – Jimin pushes his cock all the way inside with a wet slam, knocking all air out of Jeongguk’s lungs.

 

It’s unexpected and it builds more pressure inside of his groin, vision blurry with dark spots scattered everywhere. Jimin pulls out and slams back into him again, grunting as Jeongguk breathes out again, muscles on his thighs spazzing as he clenches around Jimin’s length.

 

He squirms again and then wails as the material of Jimin’s tie cuts into his skin, immediately soothed with another thrust of Jimin’s thick cock – and Jeongguk’s mind goes into a haze.

 

Jimin’s pace is brutal – fucking him stupid and Jeongguk can’t help but tremble and fall apart underneath him, clench around his cock over and over again, crying and moaning as wet sounds fill the room, as Jimin occasionally surges to leave a kiss in the dip of his spine, as his hand cards through Jeongguk’s hair and he tells him how pretty he is, how much he loves him – and the pressure and the arousal is so intense that Jeongguk simply can’t take it anymore and he comes all over the matters, body twitching and jerking as an orgasm jolts right through his entire body.

 

His mind is blank, vision filled with dark and white spots and he buries his head into the sheets and hisses as Jimin fucks him through his own orgasm, thrusts scattered and inconsistent and Jeongguk just closes his eyes and focuses on how full he feels – how he hopes he’ll be wrecked for the rest of the week.

 

Jeongguk slightly winces as Jimin pulls out, pressing kisses onto his lower back as he unties him, his arms going limp as they hit against the mattress. Jimin sits down onto the edge of the bed and pulls him onto his lap, pushing the hair away from his sweat slicked forehead. He presses a kiss to his temple, then his nose, then his mouth – and Jeongguk huffs out a tiny laugh as he weakly kisses him back, distantly realizing how the muscles of his thighs throb.

 

“Baby are you good?” Jimin asks, taking one of his wrists, soothingly rubbing tiny circles into the skin. He then presses a kiss to it, eyes flicking down towards Jeongguk’s as he finally falls back into reality, coming to his senses. “God, you’re so pretty all fucked out like that. I’m so fucking lucky.”

 

Jeongguk snorts, vision focusing, and he forces his arms to cooperate with him as he straightens up in Jimin’s lap, briefly staring at the come stain he’d made on the newly changed sheets.

 

“I’m the lucky one,” he says, and he means it with his whole heart. Jeongguk doesn’t know how he managed to get this lucky, isn’t even sure if he’d deserved it. “We’re gonna have to change the sheets. Again.”

 

Jimin grins, cheeks flushed, and his silver hair stuck to his sweaty forehead and he bites down onto his lip before he says: “You know, we could pull out that new yellow set I bought the other day.”

 

“You fucking wish,” Jeongguk rolls his eyes and pushes himself up from Jimin’s lap on wobbly legs, trembling as he walks to the closet to pull out the newly bought package. He peers down at it, the yellow satin sheets staring back at him through the clear material and he can’t help but laugh, head shaking because – god, he’s so whipped.

 

He walks back and throws the package onto the bed, pressing a wet kiss to Jimin’s grinning face before he walks off to the bathroom to get himself cleaned up.

 

“You coming?” He asks, smiling back at his boyfriend as something deep and earnest twists inside of his chest. Jeongguk is so happy his fingernails ache.

 

“I’m right behind you.”

 

Yellow is Jimin, and it could never sound bad to him ever again.

 

 

***

 

Jeongguk taps his fingers against the edge of the table, legs crossed as he stares towards the entrance. He’s only been here a few minutes and the uneasiness is already seeping through his skin, just a hint of anxiety settling right underneath. It’s not three o’clock yet but Jeongguk had purposely arrived early, just so he could sip on some iced water and calm his nerves.

 

He’d probably rather be anywhere else but here, but Mayfair isn’t too far from his and Jimin’s apartment in Westminster, and he had already promised himself he’s going to get this done whether he likes it or not. Jeongguk never liked falling short on his promises, even if they were to himself. Besides, it’s not all that bad, considering he actually likes this restaurant. He likes the private atmosphere of Lucky Cat, likes the exclusivity of it, likes the way lights are dim and how he doesn’t feel like everyone’s just staring at him or listening in.

 

What he’s not too happy about is the fact that he’s actually going to have to sit here throughout the entirety of a meal, because that’s what the plan was. It’s fine, though. Or at least that’s what he’s been telling himself the whole way here.

 

Jeongguk takes his phone out, making sure his assistant hadn’t forgotten to send flowers to Jimin’s office – royal lilies – his absolute favorites. Jeongguk still can’t believe this is the second birthday of his that they’re spending together. He almost laughs to himself as he remembers the way Jimin whined “can’t believe I’m thirty-fucking-four, I was literally twenty yesterday,” and then shoved his face into the pillow, fake crying as Jeongguk kissed his earlobe, whispering “happy birthday baby,” over and over and over again.

 

He has big plans for tonight. Huge plans, really. Hoseok’s night club in Soho had opened a few months ago – though Jimin hadn’t really known that, and Jeongguk had been planning a huge surprise for him there with all of his friends and work colleagues, even managing to fly in a bunch of people from Korea. Thing is, Jimin had insisted he didn’t want to do anything big, and he’d maybe even felt a little bit down when Taehyung had called earlier that week, falsely letting him know that he wasn’t going to be able to make it, but that Jimin should enjoy himself regardless.

 

So – the plan had been simple, they were going to go to the nonexistent opening of Hoseok’s club for some drinks, just casual; and then Jimin was in for a huge surprise. But Jeongguk couldn’t think about that now – he had bigger fish to fry, and bigger things to focus on. The anxiety of everything going smoothly later on in the day could wait.

 

His eyes dart towards the entrance and he swallows heavily, stomach tying into a knot. He straightens his back against the maroon velvet of the dark booth his sat at, and he clears his throat. There’s a fairly loud sound of shoes clicking against the parquet, and then within seconds a low, soft:

 

“Jeongguk-ah. Sorry I’m late.”

 

Jeongguk would rather stay in his seat than get up and bow – but if that’s what he has to do for this afternoon to go smoothly, he’ll do exactly that. A lump swells up inside of his throat as he doubles over into a hundred and eighty degree bow, staring down to his shoes for a few seconds before he straightens up and returns to his seat.

 

“Hope you haven’t been waiting long.” The voice is smooth and silky, and Jeongguk can’t get over how similar to Jimin’s the tone is.

 

He can never get over the resemblance in their mannerisms, the way they carry themselves, the way they both look at people with sharp, intense eyes and just – Jeongguk takes a deep breath. This is going to be uncomfortable.

 

“Ajumma,” Jeongguk watches as she sits down, setting her bag down by her feet. “It’s alright. I haven’t been here that long.”

 

Jiyeon smiles at him, and it’s one of those smiles Jeongguk truly hates – corners of her lips slightly curled upwards, her nose slightly scrunched up and her brows tilted – and it’s almost as if she’s mocking him. And knowing her, she probably is.

 

“Ajumma, huh?” Jiyeon asks, eyeing the waiter that’s slowly approaching their table. “You’ve never been big on honorifics. This must be really important then.”

 

Jeongguk shifts, narrowing his eyes. Luckily, he’s quickly saved by the server who approaches their table almost immediately after Jiyeon settles down in her seat.

 

They order even though Jeongguk doesn’t feel hungry at all, but he appreciates the wine bottle Jiyeon gets for the both of them. The liquid is cool and pleasant as it glides down his throat, and he picks at the pieces of his sushi before he finally locks his eyes with Jiyeon’s.

 

“So, it’s Jimin’s birthday today,” Jeongguk starts, crossing his legs.

 

“I’m well aware,” Jiyeon cocks her eyebrow, sipping on her wine. “Last time I checked, that’s the reason I flew here in the first place.”

 

“Right,” Jeongguk rolls his eyes, lips pressing into a tight line. He really, really doesn’t like this woman, and no matter how hard he tries, he can’t pretend to for long. Best he can do is be cordial. “Well, I assume I should get to the point, then.”

 

“It’s not really like you to beat around the bush, Jeongguk-ah,” she waves her hand, dark eyes gleaming at him. “So, I suggest you do just that.”

 

Thing is – Jiyeon doesn’t exactly hate him. Truth be told, he’s not even sure she really dislikes him. She likes to keep him on his toes, a trait Jimin much likely gets from her. He’d only actually spoken to her on handful of occasions, and for whatever reason, no matter how much he’d despised her because of everything that had happened between her and his father – and her and Jimin’s father – Jimin did love her. It’s not like Jimin thought she was a good person, or that he had made excuses for her behavior, but she was his mother and he did love her in his own way.

 

And Jeongguk couldn’t really argue with that. Ever.

 

So, when Jeongguk decided he wanted to do this, he’d realized it wouldn’t sit well with him if he didn’t talk to Jiyeon too.

 

“Tonight, we’re going to Hoseok hyung’s club in Soho,” Jeongguk says, a knot tightening in his belly. “I’ve organized for all of Jimin’s friends and coworkers to be here. I’ve even flown some people out from Korea, including his father. My father is here as well.”

 

Jiyeon nods, taking a tiny sip from her wine. She looks poised and calm and collected, and Jeongguk realizes she probably already knows where he’s going with this.

 

“I’m not your biggest fan, obviously,” he says truthfully, and a smile tugs at the corners of Jiyeon’s mouth. Fucking bitch, Jeongguk thinks. “And I don’t think you’re a good person. But for whatever reason, you mean something to Jimin, and he does love you.”

 

“And whatever you may think, I love him too.” She interrupts softly, placing her wine glass in front of her.

 

Jeongguk thinks she probably does, in her own fucked up way.

 

“He loves you, and I love him,” Jeongguk continues. “And with that being said, it wouldn’t sit right with me if I were to do this without asking you as well. I’ve already spoken to Jimin’s father and he’s given me his… blessing, or whatever.”

 

Cold sweat trickles down his spine and he suddenly can’t feel his hands and Jiyeon’s gaze is so dark and intimidating that it makes him shift in his seat.

 

“But – I need to ask you – or rather tell you, whatever,” he mumbles, jamming his fingers into the side of his thigh. “I’m planning to propose to Jimin tonight. In front of all of our friends and family. And I would like you to be on board with that. And I would also… like you to be there.”

 

Jiyeon doesn’t look one bit surprised, a smile still plastered across her face. Jeongguk exhales shakily, palms sliding down his slacks as he attempts to wipe the sweat off. It’s difficult – it had been difficult even when he had asked Jimin’s father – maybe a bit less nerve-racking, but still difficult, nonetheless. But he already knew the outcome of that, and his father had been ecstatic. His own father too – he was so, so happy about that, happy that Jeongguk was happy. He’d grown to love Jimin and honestly, Jeongguk never understood anyone who didn’t.

 

“Well.” Jiyeon’s voice is soft and quiet, brows tilted in amusement. “That’s – expected. I’ve been expecting it for a while, really. Whatever you may think Jeongguk-ah, I do love my son. And even though you’re a spitting image of your mother, you’re a lot like your father. You’re a good kid.”

 

“I’m thirty-two years old,” Jeongguk says and instantly regrets it, realizing it’s exactly that that makes him sound like a child.

 

“And yet you’re a kid to me,” she grins, propping her elbows onto the table. “But you’re – you’re good for him. I see how happy Jimin is when he’s with you. I see how happy you make him. And I want my son to be happy, even if it’s with my ex-husband’s kid. That being said – you have my blessing, or whatever it is that you need from me. And I’ll be there tonight. Give me the address and the time and I’ll make it happen. Wouldn’t want to miss it. Jimin is going to be ecstatic.”

 

Jeongguk hates the relief he feels, because he doesn’t want to need Jiyeon’s approval, and he doesn’t want her approval to mean anything to him, but it does. The excitement that bubbles up right underneath his skin almost irks him, but he’s happy that this is over. He’d been dreading this moment for weeks, but it happened, and it’s done and over with and yes – Jimin is going to be ecstatic.

 

They had talked about getting married before, and he hadn’t had a doubt in his mind that Jimin was going to say yes. Jeongguk just couldn’t wait to hear the word come out of his mouth tonight.

 

“Good,” he says, biting down on his bottom lip in an attempt to stop a smile. “That’s – good. I’m glad you’re on board.”

 

Jiyeon leans back into her seat, crossing her legs with a smug look on her face.

 

“So, you’re gonna marry my son, huh?” She asks. “You do know that just brings me a step closer to that company of yours?”

 

Jeongguk wants to laugh and punch her in the face all at the same time. The fucking audacity.

 

“And you do know that Jimin and I will sign a prenup, right?” Jeongguk tilts his eyebrows, huffing out a laugh. “I’m not as stupid as my father.”

 

Jiyeon tips her head back and laughs, all light and airy. She’s teasing him – he knows, but it still pisses him off. It’s so easy for her to get right under his skin and he hates her for it.

 

“I really like you, Jeongguk-ah. You’ve got a sharp tongue,” she says, swiping her thumb across her lower lip. “But I’m just teasing. I’m not interested in that anymore.”

 

“Found a new victim?” Jeongguk can’t help but ask.

 

“You could say that,” she waves her hand, shrugging nonchalantly. “But I do have to say, thank you for asking me. It means a lot to me that you did.”

 

Jeongguk doesn’t need validation. Not from her – but he’s happy because he knows Jimin will be, too.

 

“Good,” he hums, taking his wine glass and kicking back his drink. “I have other shit I have to attend to, so if it’s alright with you, I’d like to get the check and get out of here.”

 

Jiyeon smiles, teeth on display, eyes bright. She vaguely gestures at the empty plates in front of them,

 

“Fine by me.”

 

 

 

 

Jeongguk steps out on the sidewalk, breathing in the polluted London air, his eyes fluttering shut as his lips curl into a smile. It’s over and done with, and it all went better than he would’ve ever expected.

 

His phone vibrates inside of the pocket of his pants and he pulls it out, smile widening as he reads the word Jimin on display.

 

“Hey baby,” he answers the call, heart fluttering inside of his chest.

 

“Jeonggukie,” Jimin breathes on the other end of the line, sounding all flustered. “No – not those files you stupid fucki—yes. Thank you, finally,” he hisses at someone Jeongguk probably thinks is his assistant, and he can’t help but giggle as he shakes his head. “Sorry baby, my assistant is a fucking dumbass. Yes, hi. Oh my god, I’m fucking swamped today, I hate my life.”

 

“I see your firm is treating you well on your birthday,” Jeongguk jokes, slowly starting to walk towards where the cabs are lined up.

 

“Yeah, no shit,” Jimin huffs, and Jeongguk can practically see him rolling his eyes. Fondness curls inside of his chest and he’s – god, he’s so excited for tonight. “But I’m calling because I just got your flowers. Baby, you shouldn’t have,” his tone softens, voice soft and sweet. “But they brightened my whole day. You brightened my whole day, you know that? Even though I’m really fucking old.”

 

“You’re not fucking old,” Jeongguk rolls his eyes. “But I’m glad they did. We’re on for tonight still, right?”

 

“Of course,” Jimin says. “I can’t wait. Listen baby, I have to go, but I love you, okay? Thank you for the flowers. I love you so, so much, Jeonggukie.”

 

Jeongguk feels like he could burst. “I love you more.” He breathes, his stomach swooping at the words. God – it never changes. The feeling when he hears it never ever changes.

 

“I love you too, baby,” he says, teeth sinking into his bottom lip. “Can’t wait to see you tonight.”

 

“Bye, pretty,” Jimin giggles into the phone. “Wear something nice for me, okay?”

 

“You got it.”

 

They end the call, and Jeongguk almost wants to cry with how warm and content he feels.

 

God, he can’t wait to marry the fuck out of this man.