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Friendly Favours

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“Have I mentioned how great you are?” Jungkook’s sudden compliment interrupts Jimin’s studying, prompting him to look up from his textbook. “Did you do something different with your hair?” He gestures vaguely, “looks really good today. Whatever you’re doing, you should keep doing it,” and Jungkook says it all while smiling a smile that Jimin knows all too well.

Narrowing his eyes, Jimin pushes his hand through his hair as if Jungkook’s comment had reminded him that he hadn’t done so in a while. Jimin hadn’t done anything different with his hair, and he certainly isn’t going to take Jungkook’s out of the blue compliment as a simple act of kindness. They’d already been in the library for a good couple of hours at this point, meaning that Jungkook probably just recently worked up the nerve to ask whatever it was that he was about to ask.

Jungkook only ever really compliments him if he has a reason to.

“Are you trying to butter me up?” Jimin asks, a hint of a smile showing through.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about – hey, did you switch up your skincare routine, you’re just glowing.”

While Jimin would love to sit there and listen to all the random, bullshit compliments that Jungkook seemed so intent on throwing his way today, he’d much rather just get to the bottom of it so that he can resume his studying. “What do you need, Jungkook?”

“What, I can’t compliment my friend out of the goodness of my heart?” Jungkook places a hand over his chest, pretends as if he had just been deeply offended by Jimin’s words. “Do you really think that little of me?” He keeps up his melodramatic act, shaking his head. “I am hurt, Jimin. I can’t believe you think –”

“Last time you said something nice about me, you followed it up with: by the way, can I borrow some cash?” Jimin crosses his arms over his chest, amused.

“Okay, fair.” Jungkook concedes. “You got me there. But I paid you back, and I bought the popcorn the next time we went to see a movie.” He shrugs nonchalantly.  “So really, when you do favours for me, you’re doing yourself a favour, too.”

Even though Jimin rolls his eyes, a smile still finds its way to his face. He’d known Jungkook for a few years now, and one thing that had never changed about him was his tendency to be a bit of a brat. It’s not like Jimin ever minded helping Jungkook out here and there, and it’s not like Jimin is always the one giving and Jungkook is always the one taking.

Jimin and Jungkook do favours for each other all the time, because that’s what friends do. Whether it’s something as simple as buying a coffee for the other, loaning some money, proofreading a paper, or volunteering to be the sober friend while everyone else is having fun getting absolutely shitfaced, they help each other out all the time.

From the little things to the big things, Jimin and Jungkook have a balanced friendship.

But this time, Jungkook is acting a little different. This time, he’s skirting around the topic of what it is that he needs, and Jimin can’t help but wonder why that is. Usually he would throw a half-hearted compliment his way, and then just dive right in, asking for whatever favour he needed, and then Jimin would sigh and pretend like saying yes is a bigger burden than it really is.

But this time, Jungkook is hesitating.

Curiosity getting the best of him, Jimin props his elbows up on the table, resting his head in his hands, showing Jungkook that he has his undivided attention. “So…are you gonna tell me what you want?” He raises his eyebrows, voice lilting playfully. “Or do I have to guess? And if I have to guess, do I get a prize for guessing it right?”

“Jimin…” Jungkook gets a funny look on his face – something caught between amusement and embarrassment, his playfulness quickly subsidising. “Believe me when I tell you, there is no possible way you’re ever going to guess this.”

The sudden shift in his demeanour only tugs on Jimin’s curiosity that much harder, but at the same time, it causes him to grow wary. What could Jungkook possibly need that would make him act like this? It’s something that Jimin hasn’t ever seen before.

Jimin glances around as if to make sure no one else is lurking around and listening, and when his eyes find Jungkook again, he lowers his voice. “Did you commit a felony?”

“What – no.” Jungkook pushes out a breathy laugh. “Do you really think I’d do something that stupid?” Jimin’s face lights up, and Jungkook points an accusing finger at him. “Don’t answer that.”

“Did you spill coffee all over Yoongi’s textbook again?” Sometimes, that could be worse than committing a felony. And, since Jimin happened to be Yoongi’s roommate, when Jungkook had ruined his incredibly thick and incredibly expensive economics textbook, Jimin had been the one to bear the brunt of his cursing and complaining. Jimin couldn’t even mention Jungkook around Yoongi for a good couple of weeks without having him launch into a rant about how much of a pain in the ass he thought Jeon Jungkook was.

At least he stopped being so grumpy as soon as Jungkook paid him back for the damage.

“I didn’t ruin anyone’s textbook,” Jungkook says pointedly. “I only ever make mistakes like that once.”

Feeling at least a little relieved now that he knows Jungkook hadn’t gotten himself into any serious trouble, Jimin relaxes. Maybe Jungkook would just ask for a back rub or something, which Jimin sort of hopes he’ll ask for, because the last time Jungkook had given him a back rub, it had been one of the most painful experiences of Jimin’s life – Jeon Jungkook really doesn’t know his own strength…. Or maybe he had purposefully been so rough because he was a brat.

Either way, Jimin wouldn’t mind getting some revenge.

“Okay, then what is it?” Jimin snaps his fingers encouragingly, “spit it out, I have pages to read and notes to take.”

“Look…” Jungkook obviously doesn’t know how to say whatever it is that he needs to say, and he starts fidgeting, tapping his pencil against the table. “It’s a bit of an…unconventional request.”

“You’re an unconventional person.”

“Why thank you.” He flashes a sarcastic smile Jimin’s way. “We’re both so full of compliments today, aren’t we? That’s why our friendship is so great, you know. Just two supportive friends, always ready and willing to lend a helping hand–”

“Jungkook,” Jimin groans, his patience quickly diminishing. “Just tell me. Did you lose something? Do you have a late assignment? Want me to clean your bedroom? Tie your shoe? Scratch your back? Teach you how to do the shuffle? Did you forget how to use the laundry machine–”

“I need you to be my fake boyfriend!” Jungkook blurts out, eyes going wide, like he’s surprised those words had left his own mouth.

And Jimin is just as surprised.

Thoroughly taken aback by what Jungkook had just said, Jimin is only capable of sitting in stunned silence, unsure if that was supposed to be a joke or not, but Jungkook isn’t smiling, and it really doesn’t seem like a joke.

Jimin laughs anyway, uncertainly, because he doesn’t know how else to respond. Fake boyfriend? Jungkook really hadn’t been lying when he said it was an unconventional request. “Your…” Jimin hesitates. There’s no way he heard that right. “Your what?” Is this even real? He briefly wonders if this is some sort of prank, and if a camera crew is about to jump out from behind the bookshelves, because what the actual hell? 

“I know, I know.” Jungkook slowly holds up his hands, like he’s trying to tame a wild animal, and making one wrong move might cause it to lunge at him. “Weird, right? And I bet you’re wondering, why does Jeon Jungkook need me to pretend to be his boyfriend? Well Jimin, I’ll tell you. Me and Taehyung were drinking together one night–”

“Jungkook–”

“And I made a bet with him–”

Jeon Jungkook–”

“And basically, if I’m not dating someone by the end of next month, he gets to give me a haircut, and Jimin I don’t wanna be bald.”

This isn't the first time that Jungkook ever made a bet with his roommate, but this is the first time he’d ever made one so absurd. “Jungkook,” Jimin begins, not bothering to hide just how floored he is by his friend’s stupidity. “Why would you ever agree to that?”

“To prove a point!” Jungkook defends. “He says I’m picky.”

“You are picky.”

“Yeah but I shouldn’t have to pay for it.”

Sure, Jungkook is picky when it comes to who he dates, but he definitely isn't as picky when it comes to who he sleeps with. There have been many, many times in which Jungkook left Jimin at a party or at the club so that he could hook up with someone – but he only ever left Jimin if they were out with a group of friends. It’s not like Jungkook ever left him stranded all alone, because Jungkook is a good friend.

Jungkook isn't all that interested in relationships, and he’d been single for the three years that Jimin had known him for, and there isn't anything wrong with that all. To each their own, right?

Jimin wishes that Jungkook didn't think there's anything wrong with it, wishes Jungkook didn't feel like he has to defend his choice to stay single, wishes Jungkook wasn't so damn competitive.

But most of all, he wishes that Jungkook and his roommate didn’t share a single brain cell.

“Can’t you just ask him to forget about it?” Jimin tries, even though he’s fairly certain he already knows what Jungkook’s answer will be. “I mean, it’s a stupid bet.”

“We shook on it, though. And I can’t just back out of a bet – he didn’t back out of the last one, even though when he lost he had to post a picture of his bare ass on the university confessions page.”

“Wait what – smooth butt boy was Taehyung? I thought that it–” Jimin cuts himself off, puts Jungkook’s roommates naked bottom out of his mind, deciding that it’s not the most important thing at the moment. The most important thing at the moment is Jungkook and his impulsiveness, and Jungkook’s tendency to make bad decisions, and the fact that he somehow always ends up stepping in to help the guy.

Should he really help Jungkook out this time though? “Can’t you ask someone else? I mean, Taehyung’s met me before.” Jimin really doesn’t see how Jungkook expects this whole fake dating thing to work. “Doesn’t he know that I’m just your friend?”

“Well yeah…but friends can start dating, right? I mean, I don’t know how.” Jungkook furrows his brows, scrunches up his nose, “but it happens sometimes. And I doubt he’ll think anything of it – not if we’re good at faking it.”

Could that really work? Jimin goes quiet, nibbling at his lip, and there must be something wrong with him because he’s actually starting to consider helping Jungkook with this. He must be losing his mind.

If he goes along with it, then he’s just reinforcing Jungkook – teaching him bad habits, teaching him that he can keep making stupid bets, and that he’ll bail him out when he continues to make those stupid bets.

That’s not good. But then again… Jimin does like doing favours for Jungkook. Doing favours for other people makes him feel good, plus he cares about the guy – they’re friends. And even though it would be kind of funny to see what sort of haircut Taehyung would give Jungkook if he lost the bet, Jimin isn’t cruel enough to actually make him go through that.

“You know, it’s not that serious. Hair grows back.” Jimin is cruel enough to tease him about it, though.

“Jimin, come on.” Jungkook pleads, clasping his hands together, and it's really a sight to see, because Jungkook never begs for anything. He asks for a lot, sure. But he had never begged before. And he’ll probably never do it again. It’s not long before Jungkook snaps out of it, and he straightens up, maybe realizing that what he's asking for this time isn't just another ordinary small favour.

“If you really don’t want to, you don’t have to.” Jungkook waves his hand as if to dismiss the subject entirely. “I know it’s kind of weird, and I don’t want you to feel pressured. I guess I could ask someone else, but I don’t really know who, I just thought you’d be the easiest because you’re not really seeing anyone right now and–”

“I’ll do it.” Jimin can't believe this is actually happening. What is he getting himself into?

He knows it probably isn’t the best idea, but if they fake date, that means that they can fake break-up, too. It’s not like they’d have to keep it up forever, they’d only have to do it for a couple months, or for however long the bet was on for. It would be fine, right?

Why wouldn’t it be fine?

It’s just two friends pretending to be in an intimate relationship…what could possibly go wrong?

“Really – you will?” Jungkook perks up, eyes brightening. “Oh my god, you’re the best. I owe you one.”

Jimin smiles despite himself. He really does like doing favours for Jungkook; he always liked to see that hopeful spark in his eyes. “You owe me like, ten.”

“Noted.” Jungkook grins. “And don’t even worry, I’ll be the best fake boyfriend you’ve ever had.”

“I hope you’re my first and last.”

“Jimin, we just started fake dating, and you’re already thinking about fake marriage? Slow down, damn.”

“This is gonna be a really long two months.”

 ---

It’s day one of Jimin’s really long two months, and he’s currently sitting on the couch in Jungkook's dorm, trying to teach him how to hold hands.

“Jungkook, what are you doing?” He snickers. “Haven’t you ever held hands with someone before? You’re supposed to entwine the fingers.” He readjusts the hold that he has on Jungkook, makes it so that their fingers are interlocked. 

The whole transition from just friends to fake boyfriends is a little strange at first, but Jimin had expected that. Of course it’s a little weird. He and Jungkook had only ever been friends, they were only ever going to be friends, and it’s not like either of them had ever looked for something more in their relationship.

And yes, it’s weird and it’ll take time to get adjusted to, but it’s not as weird as it probably should be.

Maybe that just proves how good of friends they are.

“My bad,” Jungkook murmurs, evidently finding Jimin’s little lesson to be comical in some way. He holds up their hands, brings them closer to his face as if he’s trying to study them. “I didn’t know there was an art to hand-holding.”

“Well there is, and you suck at it.”

“I make up for it in other areas.” He shows off a rather suggestive smile, one that has Jimin tipping his head back, eyes rolling skyward.

“Oh my god.”

“What?” Jungkook shrugs, obviously happy with Jimin’s reaction. “There’s not really much need for holding hands when I’m fucking someone into my mattress–”

“Yeah, yeah, you have a lot of sex – you’re the alpha male, we get it, good for you. Do you want a gold star?”

“Shut up, I wasn’t bragging about how much sex I have, I’m just saying I’m not well versed in the proper way of hand holding–” Jungkook stops when he sees the satisfied look on Jimin’s face, and he elbows him in the side, which of course only succeeds in making Jimin even more pleased with himself. “You’re the worst.” Jimin and Jungkook are always teasing each other, always bickering about silly little things. It would never get old. “Anyway,” Jungkook continues, searching for a change in topic, “what’s the difference between holding hands this way and holding hands the other way?”

“Well…” Jimin glances down, sees the way that their fingers are laced together. “I guess this way is more…I don’t know.” He considers his words carefully. “Romantic? Intimate?” Holding hands with Jungkook isn’t awkward, because they’ve held hands before, they're friends after all, and it’s not like they had never touched each other, and it’s not like they’d never shown each other affection before. Granted, they’d never held hands for an extended length of time like this.

Now that Jimin thinks about it, he’s not entirely sure why they're even holding hands right now. Taehyung isn't even around, so it’s not like he can see them acting all coupley, it’s not like they have a real reason for holding hands right then and there.

But…practice makes perfect, right? It's probably a good idea to practice acting like a couple so that they don't end up looking like the mere friends they really are when they're around Taehyung.

Jungkook raises his eyebrows. “Yeah. I’m really picking up on those intimate vibes. Can feel the romance oozing from your skin.”

A breathy laugh escapes Jimin’s lips, and he finds himself simultaneously impressed and insulted by Jungkook’s way with words. The guy definitely isn't a romantic. “How do you manage to make cute, innocent things sound so…disturbing?”

“What can I say? It’s a gift.”

“Do you still have the receipt?”

“What, you don’t appreciate that about me?” Jungkook suddenly adopts a rather theatrical tone, pretending to be particularly miffed, and he slips his hand free from Jimin’s grasp. “You don’t recognize my talents – I feel totally underappreciated in this relationship.”

Even though this whole fake boyfriend thing is weird, even though it isn't normal in any way, shape, or form, Jimin still somehow finds this all to be…natural. It’s natural, because they’re just acting like they always act, they’re just kidding around with each other, and it’s all innocent fun.

Just a friendly little game.

Somehow managing to hold down his laughter, Jimin reaches out, taking Jungkook’s hand in his own again. “I’m sorry,” he says softly, because if he talks any louder he’ll probably end up laughing and shattering the whole illusion. “I’ll be more supportive in the future.” He squeezes Jungkook’s hand as if to offer some form of reassurance, thoroughly immersed in the act.  “Please don’t be mad at me,” Jimin hesitates a moment, and in the end, can’t resist adding in one last word, because this whole entire situation in general is just absurd, so why not exploit that absurdity for both of their amusements? He blinks up at Jungkook, a sickeningly sweet smile on his face to match the sweetness of his next word. “Honey.”

The corner of Jungkook’s mouth twitches, and it’s obvious that he finds this whole thing just as funny as Jimin does, and it’s also clear that neither of them are going to be able to hold on for much longer.

“Babe.” Jungkook begins, and Jimin has to slap a hand over his own mouth to keep from bursting out into laughter. “You know that I could never stay mad at you.”

Jungkook is absolutely ridiculous. No, they’re absolutely ridiculous. And maybe that’s why they have such a solid friendship.

They both break character now, dissolving into a fit of giggles on the couch, unable to handle their own silliness. Jimin wraps his arms around himself, eyes squeezed shut as he holds his stomach.

Maybe pretending to be Jungkook’s boyfriend wouldn’t be that bad. After all, it’s only day one, and Jimin’s stomach is already sore from laughing so much.

If this is all that this whole fake dating thing would entail, then Jimin thinks it’ll be relatively easy to get through. He and Jungkook would probably just hang out a little more often than usual, they’ll hang out in front of Taehyung so he can see that they’re “dating,” and they’ll hold hands every now and then.

That didn’t seem like the worst thing in the world – Jimin could handle it no problem. Who would ever have a problem with getting to spend a bit more time with one of their friends? Everything would be fine, just like it's always fine whenever he does a favour for Jungkook.

After all, that’s all that this is, right? Just another friendly favour.

Chapter Text

Jimin slowly cracks open his bedroom door, just enough so that he can peek out and assess his current situation, and the likelihood of being able to sneak out without Yoongi noticing.

Chances look slim, to say the least. Yoongi’s sitting out there at their kitchen table, typing away at his laptop, probably working on the same term paper that he’d started last week. It'll be virtually impossible for Jimin to slip out without Yoongi taking note of him, but Jimin has to try anyway. He doesn’t want Yoongi knowing where he’s going, because he knows what’ll happen when Yoongi finds out, and Jimin would rather avoid the embarrassment if he can.

After taking a moment to give himself a little pep talk, Jimin finally steps out of his bedroom, praying that Yoongi would be too absorbed in his work to notice him. Jimin holds his breath as he tiptoes his way to the door, continuously throwing cautious glances Yoongi’s way, and somehow, Jimin tricks himself into thinking that he’s actually being sneaky and that Yoongi won’t see him, but he doesn’t even make it halfway to the door before a voice cuts in to remind him that he’s not in a movie and he’s not a spy and Min Yoongi isn’t blind.

“Where are you off to?” The question nearly makes Jimin cringe, and judging by the look on Yoongi’s face, he knows exactly where Jimin’s going.

Knowing that there's no point in lying when Yoongi already knows the truth, Jimin rolls his shoulders casually. “Oh, you know,” maybe if he played it cool, Yoongi would cut him some slack. “I was just gonna meet up with Jungkook for some sushi, wanna come?”

“No, I’m good.” The corner of Yoongi’s mouth twitches, barely noticeable. “Wouldn’t want to intrude on your date.” Evidently, Yoongi isn't in the mood for cutting Jimin some slack.

This is why Jimin tried to leave without Yoongi noticing, this is exactly what Jimin had been trying to avoid. The teasing.

Hyung,” Jimin groans. It isn't the first of Yoongi’s teasing, and Jimin knows for a fact that it won’t be the last.

When he first told Yoongi all about Jungkook making a dumb bet with Taehyung, and how it somehow ended up with him getting into a fake relationship with Jungkook in order to help him keep all of the hair that he currently has on his head, Yoongi laughed. A lot. Like, more than Jimin had ever seen him laugh before. And then when Yoongi’s laughter died down, he proceeded to tell Jimin how ridiculous the situation is, and how ridiculous Jimin is.

Of course, Jimin had to agree with him, because he knows that it’s ridiculous, he’s fully aware of how outrageous the entire thing is. But still. He doesn’t need Yoongi to tease him and remind him of how ridiculous it is every time he went to go hang out with Jungkook, or every time he even mentioned Jungkook – this is like the whole Jungkook spilling coffee on Yoongi’s textbook fiasco, but ten times worse.

“I still can’t believe you’re actually doing this.” Yoongi shakes his head, the evidence of his amusement lingering on his face even when he turns his attention back to his laptop screen.

To be fair, Jimin can't believe that he's actually doing this either, but he’d already promised Jungkook that he would do it, and he can’t back out of it now, so all he can do is try to defend his own dumb decision (even though he knows there’s no intelligent way to defend it). “It’s only for a couple months – we only have to act like we’re dating when we’re around Taehyung, and it’s not like we’ll even be around him all the time.”

Yoongi snorts, sparing no mercy. “No matter how you try to justify it, it’s not going to change the fact that you’re currently pretending to be in a relationship with one of your good friends.” At least Yoongi seems to be getting a fair amount of entertainment from the whole thing. “I mean, seriously. What kind of cliché movie are we in?”

Jimin knows that there’s no possible way to win this battle, so he just gives up, and decides that running away from the ridicule is in his best interest. “As much as I would love to stay here and have you make fun of me for my stupid decisions, I’m gonna be late, so–”

“Yeah, don’t wanna be late for your date.”

Jimin shoots a glare Yoongi’s way. “I hope you get writer’s block.”

Seemingly unbothered, Yoongi simply waves his hand, shooing Jimin out the door like he’s deflecting the snide comment. “Have fun – make good choices. Don’t put out on the first date.”

"Hyung.”

Jimin will never live this down. Ever.

 

“Say ah.”

“Jungkook, you really don’t have to do this.” Jimin begs, even though he knows it’s useless. “In fact, please don’t do this.”

“Come on, Jimin. I’m your boyfriend now, let me take care of you.”

“Jungkook–”

“Here it comes,” with a teasing grin that nearly splits his face in half, Jungkook ignores Jimin’s pleas, and reaches across the table to feed him a piece of sushi.

Knowing that he doesn’t really have much of a choice, Jimin reluctantly opens his mouth, finally letting Jungkook feed him the roll. Not only does he have to endure the teasing from Yoongi, but Jungkook is just as guilty when it comes down to it. Jimin eyes Jungkook begrudgingly, mentally slapping the smug smile off of his face as he chews. “I can’t believe you made me do that.” He murmurs after swallowing.

Then again, maybe Jimin shouldn’t be surprised at all, because Jungkook always teases him – it's a big part of their friendship.

Jungkook shrugs. “We’re a couple now. We have to do couple things.”

“You’re having way too much fun with this.” But Jimin’s eyes are bright and crinkling at the corners, and it’s obvious that he’s having just as much fun with this whole thing as Jungkook is.

“I can’t help it, it’s pretty damn funny.” Smiling knowingly, Jungkook points at him with his chopsticks. “And I know you think it’s funny too – don’t even try to deny it.”

Of course it's funny – never in a million years would Jimin have thought that he’d be in a fake relationship with none other than Jeon Jungkook, and considering the sole purpose of them being in a fake relationship is to prevent him from getting a humiliating haircut, it makes it all that much funnier.

“Fine…” Jimin doesn’t even bother trying to conceal his own smile. “It is pretty funny.”

This time, when Jungkook leans over the table and offers a sushi roll, Jimin opens his mouth obediently. He opens his mouth, and Jungkook doesn’t even give it to him. Instead, Jungkook taunts him with it, bringing the sushi to his lips for a split second before taking it away. Jungkook does it again and again; he waits for Jimin to open his mouth, acts like he’s finally going to give him the sushi, but he never does.

It’s not long before Jimin gets fed up with him and the way he’s waving his food in front of his face, so he grabs onto Jungkook’s wrist, steadying his hand so that he can finally eat the roll.

“If you think I won’t break up with you over something as petty as that, you’re wrong.” Jimin threatens, but his tone lacks any real conviction.

“Sorry, but I just couldn’t–”

“You couldn’t help it.” Jimin finishes the sentence for him, and when Jungkook grins, Jimin naturally finds himself mirroring it. “I get it.”

They spend the rest of their lunch engaged in idle chit-chat, talking about random things like they always do, but by the time they’d finished their sushi and by the time they get their ice cream, the topic of conversation switches to something a bit more serious.

If you consider the subject of being in a fabricated romantic relationship with one of your good friends serious, that is.

“Did you tell anyone else about...” Jungkook pauses, gesturing to the space between them, “this?”

“This?” Jimin tilts his head to the side, spoon in mouth. “You mean did I tell anyone about how you asked me to pretend to be your boyfriend after you got drunk with your roommate and made a stupid bet involving your hair?” The corner of his lips quirk playfully. “Because if that’s what you mean, then I only told Yoongi about it.”

“Good. The less people who know, the better.” Jungkook stretches his arm across the table, and Jimin lets him steal a spoonful of his vanilla ice cream. “The only person I told was Hoseok.”

Hoseok is a good friend of Yoongi’s, as well as a mutual friend of Jimin and Jungkook – they mostly only see him at parties, but the three of them always get along really well, and it's always a good time whenever they all meet up.

“What did he say when you told him?” Jimin asks, helping himself to a little scoop of Jungkook’s chocolate ice cream when he offers it.

“He just kinda laughed.” Jungkook replies with a shrug, but his casual attitude dissipates within an instant, and he’s soon furrowing his eyebrows. “And then he totally attacked my character by asking if I could last without sex for two months.”

“Well…” Jimin presses his lips together to hide his smile. “Can you?”

“Of course I can!” Jungkook huffs. “I don’t really have a choice, anyway. If Taehyung finds out I hooked up with someone else when I’m supposed to be dating you, then I can kiss my hair goodbye.” Jungkook lifts his bowl, scraping out what was left in it. “Besides, what’s two months when I have two hands, right?”

“Really? While we’re eating?” Jimin sighs, shaking his head as he watches a silly grin spread across Jungkook’s face. “Why am I dating you?”

“Don’t know, there must be something wrong with you.”

“Very wrong.”

After finishing their ice cream, they remain seated at their table, both of them absentmindedly scrolling on their phones as they wait for the waitress to come around with the bill.

But, when Jimin glances up from his phone and notices that the waitress is heading their way, he forgets all about his phone. And when he sees the debit machine in her hand, he has to make a conscious effort to hide a rather devious smile.

“So,” Jimin gently nudges Jungkook’s foot underneath the table, which prompts him to raise his head and focus on him. “Since you’re my boyfriend and all, and you want to…” Jimin hums thoughtfully, and decides to use Jungkook’s words from earlier,“take care of me.” The waitress arrives at their table right at that moment, just in time for Jimin to bat his eyelashes at Jungkook and give him a sweet smile. “You’ve got the bill, right Jungkookie?” When he notices Jungkook tense up, Jimin has to bite the inside of his cheek to keep himself from laughing.

“Of course I’ve got the bill.” Jungkook plasters a forced smile onto his face, obviously being mindful of the fact that the waitress is there, and not wanting to cause much of a scene. “Anything for you. Baby.” He says that last word through gritted teeth, and pulls out his wallet.

Jimin maintains eye contact with Jungkook and shrugs his shoulders up to his ears, mouthing: couldn’t help it. He leans his head on his hand, watching as Jungkook turns to the waitress so that he can pay for their meal. If someone happened to be watching them, they’d see the way that Jimin’s smiling and they'd see the way his eyes are shining as he looks at Jungkook, and they’d think that he’s completely smitten with him.

Really, Jimin's just smitten with his debit card.

Yeah. This whole fake dating thing really isn't bad at all.

---

It’s almost been a full week since Jimin and Jungkook’s relationship status changed to fake boyfriends, and so far, things have been going relatively smoothly. Nothing much really changed between them, but now they teased each other a lot more, and every now and then they throw a silly pet name at each other just to elicit a bit of a laugh.

It’s almost been a full week, and Jimin and Jungkook are only deciding to show off their new relationship to Taehyung today. Up until this point, there had never been any real pressure on them when it came to acting like a real couple, because the only person they had to fool was Taehyung.

Jimin never had any reason to feel nervous, because there hadn’t been anyone to seriously scrutinize or question them. But now they're about to reveal their relationship to Taehyung, and the thought of finally telling him about it is making Jimin a little anxious, and he just hopes he’ll be able to fake it well enough so that Taehyung actually believes them.

Jimin and Jungkook are currently hanging out back at Jungkook’s dorm, watching Netflix on the couch, and pretty much just waiting for Taehyung to get back so that they can show off how head over heels they are for each other.

“Next time, I get to pick the movie.” Jungkook mutters, his arms folded over his chest.

“Why do you complain about every movie I pick?” Jimin rolls his eyes. This is nothing new – they always spend more time browsing through movie titles on Netflix than they spend actually watching the movie, and even after all the time spent searching for a movie, one of them always complains about the other’s choice, and then they spend the majority of the film half-heartedly bickering; either mocking the other’s taste in movies, or defending their own taste.

“I don’t hate every movie you pick – but you chose a romantic comedy this time.” 

Jimin raises a challenging brow. “What do you have against romantic comedies?”

“They’re predictable and totally unrealistic.” Jungkook replies easily. “Happy endings like that would never happen in real life.”

“Unrealistic? Jungkook, you love superhero movies.”

“What’s your point? Are you saying that superheroes don’t–” Jungkook snaps his mouth shut and snaps his head in the direction of the door, alerted by the distinct buzz of a key fob being inserted. “That’s Taehyung,” he says in a hushed tone, and he reaches out to make a grab for Jimin, “hold my hand! Pretend you like me!”

“Jungkook, you’re supposed to–”

Entwine the fingers, yeah yeah, I got it.” Jungkook hisses, clumsily lacing their fingers together.

Even though Jimin is nervous about having to act like Jungkook’s boyfriend in front of Taehyung, he can’t help but feel the urge to laugh at how flustered Jungkook seems to be.

Though, Jimin wipes the amusement from his face and scoots closer to Jungkook so that they’re now sitting with their shoulders touching. Even though they had almost a full week to plan how they're going to reveal it to Taehyung, and even though they had ample time to plan what they're going to say to him, they hadn’t really talked about it. At all.

And now they have no plan, and it’s too late to make one, and Jimin’s heart is racing and he finds himself holding Jungkook’s hand just a little tighter, and he wonders why they spent so much time giggling and plotting ways to exploit each other now that they're boyfriends, when they could’ve been spending time coming up with a convincing story to tell Taehyung–

“Kookie,” Taehyung calls out, and Jimin has to remind himself to stay calm and not to whip his head around when he hears his footsteps approaching. “What are you doing right now? I’m pretty sure I just flunked a test and I need to eat my feelings, so let’s go – oh.” He stops when he’s standing next to the couch, and only then does Jimin allow himself to look at him.

“Hey Jimin,” Taehyung says, offering him a bright smile as he shrugs off his backpack. His smile almost has Jimin wishing that they weren’t lying to him like this.

Taehyung is a nice guy, and he hadn't ever done anything to wrong Jimin, so he can’t help but feel a little guilty about deceiving him. But it’s too late for Jimin to get cold feet now. He gives Taehyung a smile of his own, and politely returns the hey.

“What are you guys watching?” Taehyung asks, and he hasn’t commented on the fact that Jimin and Jungkook are holding hands, and Jimin can’t tell if the guy had noticed that they're holding hands but just chose to ignore it, or if he actually hadn’t noticed it at all.

It hadn’t been clear whether or not Taehyung had noticed until his smile suddenly falters, and his eyes dart back and forth between Jimin and Jungkook, and now it’s abundantly clear that he’d noticed. “Um…” Taehyung nods in the direction of the TV. “Scary movie?”

All things considered, it really isn't that surprising that Taehyung assumes their close proximity and their hand holding is a result of them watching a horror movie.

But they’re not watching a horror movie. They’re just in a fake relationship.

“Oh my god, I completely forgot to tell you,” Jungkook pushes out a short laugh, like he’s stunned by his own forgetfulness. “Me and Jimin are dating now.”  

Well that was about as smooth as sandpaper.

 “Oh?” Taehyung’s face changes from shocked to confused to eager within the span of a few short seconds. “Oh are you?” He’s obviously conflicted, probably caught between his want to call bullshit and grill Jungkook with questions, and his duty to act polite and mannerly in front of Jimin.

“Yup,” Jungkook nods, and Jimin remains silent beside him, smiling, feeling incredibly self-conscious at the moment, and he’s not sure if it’s his own hand that’s sweating or if it’s Jungkook’s, but either way it’s clammy and uncomfortable.

“That is just…” Taehyung’s still smiling, but it’s not as sincere of a smile anymore. “I am just so happy for you guys.” Judging by the tone of his voice, he’s more skeptical of them than happy for them.

But then again, why wouldn’t he be skeptical? It’s not like Jungkook had ever talked about Jimin to Taehyung in a way that would suggest he liked him as something more than a friend.

“This is so great,” Taehyung continues, and he leaves for a second, only so he can grab a chair from the kitchen table, and he drags it over to the couch. “It’s so great, so unbelievably great.” He sits down in the chair and clasps his hands together in his lap as if he’s really struggling to contain his excitement. “And what a coincidence it is, too.” Taehyung might be addressing the both of them at the moment, but he’s only looking at Jungkook when he speaks. “What a coincidence that you guys started dating so soon after that little talk about how long you've been single for.”

Taehyung’s suspicious of them, there’s no mistaking that.

“Well what can I say?” Jungkook lets go of Jimin’s hand, only so that he can throw his arm over his shoulders instead. “Fate hits when you least expect it to.”

Taehyung raises his eyebrows as he examines Jungkook, like he’s trying to determine whether or not he should believe him, and Jimin finds that his own heart rate is doubling at the thought of him finding out the truth.

He promised Jungkook that he would help him, and he’s not exactly doing a very good job of helping him by sitting silently at his side. Jimin’s going to have to do more than that if he wants to make Taehyung believe them. He needs to actually put some effort in.

With a desire to help Jungkook motivating him, Jimin presses himself closer to his side. “I never thought it would happen, but…” When he speaks, Jimin feels both pairs of eyes on him, and his face grows warm. He can’t believe that he’s actually doing this. “I’m really glad that it did.” He wants to cringe at his own words, but instead, he wills himself to don a soft smile, and because he’s too nervous to look at Taehyung right then, he looks at Jungkook instead.

And when he looks at Jungkook, a sense of calm washes over him, and somehow, he finds himself relaxing. This is Jungkook. Jungkook is one of his closest friends, he’s someone that Jimin feels totally comfortable around, he’s someone that Jimin would do anything for, he’s someone that Jimin can always depend on.

He’s someone that Jimin loves to tease.

And in that moment, Jimin realizes that he had just been given such a wonderful opportunity to tease Jungkook.

“When Jungkook asked me out, I just had to say yes.” When he notices that Jungkook is eyeing him warily, Jimin bites the edge of his smile to keep it from growing too wide. “He told me that he knew I was the one from the moment he laid eyes on me, but he was always too afraid to ask me out.” Jimin sighs dreamily, eyes staying fixed on Jungkook. Well, this is what Jungkook gets for not coming up with an actual story about how they started dating. “And remember how you told me how special you think I am, and how you know you’re never going to meet anyone else like me in your entire life, and how you’d feel so lucky to call me yours.”

The corner of Jungkook’s mouth lifts slightly like it wants to turn into a smirk, and he’s looking at Jimin, and the light in his eyes is dancing, and maybe Jimin shouldn’t feel too pleased with himself, because whenever Jimin teases, Jungkook always gives it right back to him. He should’ve thought that through.

“Well I just had to ask you out and tell you how I felt about you after everything you said to me.” Jungkook starts, and it already looks like he’s gloating. “Don’t you remember how you told me how happy I make you? And how I’m the funniest, sweetest, most thoughtful, most attractive guy you’ve ever met in your whole entire life?”

“Mm, and the humblest, too.” Jimin mumbles, earning a subtle nudge from Jungkook.

Shaking his head, Jungkook turns his attention to Taehyung. “Let me tell you, he was adorable when he confessed to me. He was so nervous about it.” Jungkook looks back at Jimin now, resuming his smug expression. “Remember how hard you were blushing?” He reaches out, practically cooing as he pinches Jimin’s cheek. “Don’t you remember that, babe?”

Somehow, Jimin manages to keep himself from glaring at Jungkook, and he resists the urge to swat his hand away. “Of course I remember. How could I ever forget the happiest day of my life?”

“Really?” Jungkook smiles proudly and lets go of Jimin, and now Jimin’s cheek is sore from the wide artificial smile he’s wearing, and from Jungkook squeezing it…but Jungkook isn’t through with him just yet. “I thought you told me the happiest day of your life was when we finally had s–”

Honey.” Jimin interrupts, his voice lilting threateningly. Why did Jungkook always make it his personal mission to embarrass him? “Not now.” He warns softly, resting his hand on Jungkook’s knee.

“Sorry,” Jungkook hums, unfazed. “I forgot how shy you are. You’re just usually not this shy when we’re–” Jungkook cuts himself off this time, shutting up when Jimin starts squeezing his knee as hard as he possibly can.

Jungkook stares at Jimin, and he’s smiling, obviously incredibly pleased with Jimin’s reaction, and Jimin stares at Jungkook, and his eyes are narrowed as he silently scolds him. Maybe Jimin brought all of this upon himself when he initiated the whole teasing thing, but he didn’t think that Jungkook would take it that far.

He didn’t think Jungkook would say something to make his face feel uncomfortably hot. Jungkook is so going to pay for this, and Jimin holds his gaze, already thinking about how he's going to get him back for it, already plotting his revenge, but he’s ripped from his own thoughts when Taehyung clears his throat.

Jimin completely forgot that the guy was even there.

“Well... I’m glad you guys are so happy.” Taehyung says, and now his smile is a lot less dubious and a lot more awkward. That's good…right? “Anyway, I think I’m gonna go for a walk. I’ll leave you two alone…” He stands up from the chair and grabs his backpack, seemingly eager to make an exit.

“What, you’re going?” Jungkook asks, pretending like he’s actually disappointed that Taehyung is leaving. “Don’t you still want to get something to eat?”

“No, I’m good. I uh,” Taehyung looks at Jimin and Jungkook like he’s watching a train wreck and just can’t tear his eyes away. “I’m suddenly not really hungry anymore. Anyway, I’ll see you later tonight, Jungkook – and it was nice seeing you again, Jimin.”

At least they succeeded in making Taehyung more uncomfortable than suspicious.

And just like that, Taehyung’s throwing a wave over his shoulder and bidding them goodbye, and he’s leaving Jimin and Jungkook all alone once again.

The second that Jimin hears the door shut, he lets a scowl replace his smile, and he readjusts his position, putting some space between himself and Jungkook. “Why would you ever talk about that in front of him?”

“What do you mean?” Turning to fully face Jimin, Jungkook shakes his head, confusion written all over his face. “Talk about what?”

“Sex!”

“Sex?” Jungkook repeats, raising his eyebrows. “Technically, I didn’t even talk about it, I was about to talk about it.” He states matter-of- factly. “Besides, you’re the one who started it by trying to embarrass me first.”

“Yeah but you didn’t have to–”

“And we’re fake dating – we’re gonna have a lot of fake sex.”

“You don’t have to talk about our fake sex life to other people.” Jimin crosses his arms over his chest indignantly. “I’d rather that stay private.”

“It’s fake, Jimin,” Jungkook throws his hands up in the air, letting out a short, incredulous laugh. “It’s not even real–”

“Fine, then next time I see Taehyung I’m gonna tell him that the only way you can cum when you’re having sex is if you’re listening to the national anthem.”

Jungkook gasps. “Don’t you dare.”

“Why does it matter?” Jimin hums, assuming a rather passive aggressive tone. “It’s fake, right? So who cares?”

“Yeah but I don’t want him thinking that about me!”

“Well I don’t want him thinking anything about our fake sex life!”

Silence follows Jimin’s words, and in that silence, they simply watch one another. It’s quiet, and the air is heavy with tension, and even though Jimin doesn’t exactly know where that tension is stemming from, he knows it’s there. He watches Jungkook, watches as his frown fades so that it can make room for a crooked smile instead. “Is this our first fight as a couple?” And just like that, the tension evaporates like it had never even been there at all.

Jungkook,” Jimin tilts his head back, and he means to sigh in exasperation – like he’s frustrated by Jungkook not taking this whole thing seriously – but an involuntary laugh slips out instead. Why is he taking it seriously? What are they even arguing about, and why?

Jimin sinks into the cushions as he gives himself up to the hilarity of the situation, and pretty soon, Jungkook is joining in with him, and they’re both rolling around on the couch, and they’re laughing so hard that it probably can’t even be considered laughing, but maybe cackling is a better way to describe it.

Every now and then one of them tries to speak, tries to say something like: “did you see Taehyung’s face," or “why didn’t we come up with a story before we told him," or “I can’t believe you actually said that,” but it’s a real struggle for them to get their words out properly.

Jimin always has fun when he’s with Jungkook, but he doesn’t think he’s ever had this much fun with him while doing something so incredibly stupid.

Being Jungkook’s fake boyfriend – this silly little favour – might just be Jimin’s favourite favour that he’s ever done for him, and he still has the rest of this month, and all of next month to look forward to.

He can’t wait for all of the laughter that would no doubt come.

Chapter Text

Park Jimin doesn’t half-ass anything. When he starts a project, he always sees it through to the end, and he takes pride in his work. No matter what he’s doing, he wants to make sure that he’s doing a good job of it. He wants to do well in everything he does, and that includes wanting to do well when it comes to faking this relationship with Jungkook.

After what happened when they revealed that they're dating to Taehyung, both Jimin and Jungkook came to the agreement that it was in their best interest to step up their game. Sure, things could have gone a lot worse when they told Taehyung, but things definitely could’ve gone a lot better, too. They’re going to have to try a lot harder if they want to be convincing, and they’re going to have to do more than just holding hands and trying to embarrass each other whenever Taehyung happens to be around.

Maybe Taehyung believes them for now, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have his suspicions in the future, it doesn’t mean that he’ll never doubt the authenticity of their relationship.They can’t let Taehyung find out the truth. It’s time to finally get serious about this thing.

 

Angel Face?” Jungkook suggests offhandedly, tapping the side of his coffee cup. “Wait,” his eyes widen, “Love Muffin. That’s the one.” When Jungkook wiggles his eyebrows, Jimin nearly spits out his coffee.

Okay, so they're getting as serious about it as Jimin and Jungkook can get, which frankly isn’t that serious at all.

After their classes were done for the day, they'd met up for an afternoon pick-me up at the cute little campus coffee shop they frequent. They like coming to this one in particular since it doesn't get as crowded as the one near the library, plus this one has a cozy little booth tucked away in the corner, and ever since they found it in first year it had always been one of their favourite places to go.

Over the last few years, Jimin and Jungkook had talked about a lot of things in this booth, but they certainly never talked about this.

“I swear Jungkook, if you save my name as Love Muffin in your phone…” Jimin’s words are meant to be said as a warning, but the smile on his face takes away from it.

They’d been spending a fair amount of time trying to come up with new contact names for each other in their phones. After all, if they want their little act to be convincing, it's important that they pay attention to even the smallest of details.

“You’re right, it’s a stupid name. I have something way better for us.”

“Yeah?” Jimin tilts his head to the side, half intrigued and half afraid to hear his answer. “Like what?”

“What if my name in your phone is just Kookie,” when Jungkook’s mouth twists into a grin, Jimin knows that he’s in for a real treat, “and then I can save your name as Milk.” And when Jimin lays his arms on the table and buries his face in them, laughing, Jungkook continues on trying to explain himself. “You know, like milk and cookies? It’s like when someone says two people go together like peanut butter and jelly – but milk and cookies is way more original.”

Jimin thinks that the most original thing in this conversation is just Jungkook and his mind. The guy's really one of a kind. “As lovely as that is, Jungkook,” Jimin lifts his head, wiping a tear from the corner of his eye as he attempts to collect himself. “I don’t wanna be Milk in your phone.”

“Your loss. That could’ve been something really special.”

It’s like that for a while; the two of them bouncing ridiculous names off one another as they sip the coffees that they don’t even need considering the fact that they give each other as much energy as any espresso shot would. Somewhere between Hunny Bunny and My Precious (“Jimin, you realize that if you make that my contact name you’re gonna start associating me with Gollum, right? I don’t think either of us want that”), Jimin realizes that they’re getting nowhere with the whole naming thing, and he decides to switch gears and focus on a new task instead. While Jungkook continues pondering potential names (and voicing only the most outrageous ones he comes up with), Jimin focuses on choosing a picture of them for their lock screens.

What better way to show off their relationship than with a cute couples photo? He already knows exactly what picture he’s going to use, and it only takes a few seconds of scrolling through his phone before he finds it.

The photo is from a few years ago, but to this day it’s still Jimin’s favourite one of them together. It had been taken during winter break of their very first semester at university, and they’re on the beach back in Busan, all bundled up in puffy jackets.

Despite them both growing up in Busan, they only met each other after coming to Seoul for university. All of Jimin's friends from back home attended different schools after they graduated, so Jimin was all alone when he came to Seoul. Thankfully, Jungkook was in the exact same position as him. They had a couple classes together in their first semester, and as a result they naturally gravitated towards each other, navigating their very first year of university together (nothing brings two people together quite like the fear of being all alone in an unfamiliar place). And ever since then, Jungkook has been one of Jimin’s dearest friends. 

Everything always felt so easy with Jungkook, and hanging out with him and being himself around him came naturally from the very beginning.

Smiling, Jimin looks down at his phone, admiring his new background. In the picture, he's on Jungkook’s back as he gives him a piggyback ride, and he has his arms secured around Jungkook’s neck. Their hair is an absolute mess from the wind, and their cheeks are rosy from the cold, and their smiles are so wide that you can barely see their eyes. Jimin remembers how much they struggled with the stupid self-timer, and how long it had taken them to get a decent picture. It had been freezing, and Jungkook kept complaining about how his toes were going numb, kept telling Jimin they could just get a picture another time, but Jimin had been adamant about taking a good picture right then and there.

He’s glad that he’d been a little stubborn, because they got this picture out of it.

Jungkook hands his phone over to Jimin so that he can change his picture too, and pretty soon, they have matching lock screens. Even Jimin has to admit, it’s pretty cute.

“We’re that couple, aren’t we?” Jungkook says, but the realization seems to have him more amused than horrified. “Hey, I have an idea – why don’t you just change your name in my phone to whatever you want it to be, and then I’ll change my own name in your phone. And whatever the other person changes it to, we have to keep it like that – no renaming.”

“Deal.”

They swap phones, and Jimin immediately goes into Jungkook’s contacts to find his own name. He deletes the Jimin-ssi that it’s currently saved ashis thumbs hovering over the keyboard as he tries to come up with something decent. It’s not as if this decision is a particularly life altering one, but with the way Jimin and Jungkook are treating it, it might as well be.

Jungkook hums in thought, “let’s see, what do you want to see on your phone every time I text you? What about My Other Half. No–” his face lights up, and he snaps his fingers once, confidently. “My Better Half.”  His smile is as wide as it is infectious, and Jimin has to press the back of his hand to his lips, hoping to tame his own smile.

He isn’t quite sure if it’s normal to be having this much fun while pretending to date one of his friends, but he’s positive that if he was doing this with anyone else, he wouldn’t be laughing this much. As weird as it may be, he’s glad that he’s the one who gets to do this with Jungkook.

“Pick whatever you want, I won’t change it.” Jimin says, the same smile he’d been wearing since they met up that day still planted firmly on his face, and even though his cheeks are aching a little, he doesn’t mind. “I think The Reason I Wake Up In The Morning has a nice ring to it.”

“Oh, that’s a good one.”

In the end, Jimin decides to go with something simple, yet still nauseatingly affectionate. In Jungkook’s phone, he saves his name as My Baby, and isn’t shy about adding an excessive amount of heart emojis at the end, because he’s certain that Jungkook had chosen something equally as silly for himself.

But when Jungkook gives him his phone back, Jimin immediately regrets his decision. Jungkook saved his own name as My Everything with a single yellow heart beside it, which definitely isn't as over the top as Jimin expected it to be.

My Baby?" Jungkook reads, and he doesn’t even need to say anything, because the look in his eyes is already teasing enough. “Nice one.”

“Wait – I thought we were going annoying cute couple with it,” Jimin defends, warmth rising to his cheeks. “Let me change mine to something else.”

“Nope, we’re keeping your name as it is. And my name in your phone is annoying cute couple.”

“But not as much as mine is.” Jimin leans over the table, tries to wrestle Jungkook’s phone from him, but Jungkook fends him off with ease. “Jungkook, please let me pick something else.” Using force hadn’t worked out for him, so maybe he would just have to be civil and try using his words. “Do you really want My Baby with a bunch of hearts popping up on your phone every time I text you?”

“I think it’s funny.”

“Why won’t you just let me change it?”

“Because you don’t like it.” Jungkook says, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world.

Defeated, Jimin slumps back in his seat. “Ever since we started dating, you’ve gotten like, three times more annoying.”

Jungkook grins. “Just for you,” he throws a wink Jimin’s way, mirth dancing in his eyes.“My baby.”

“Six times more annoying.”

---

Before they started up their fake relationship, Jimin and Jungkook didn’t text each other that often. Usually they only texted one another if they needed something, or to make plans to hang out; they already had such a solid friendship, so there was never any reason for them to be constantly texting back and forth.

But things have certainly changed. They text a lot now.

Every time Jimin gets a text from Jungkook, he can’t help but smile when he sees the name lighting up his phone. Jimin smiles every time Jungkook texts him, but then again, Jungkook doesn’t even need to text him to make him smile. Jimin smiles whenever he sees the picture of them on his lock screen.

Nowadays, texting Jungkook has become a lot sillier, way more frequent, and a lot more fun. It’s so silly and so fun and so downright absurd that Jimin is constantly catching himself grinning down at his phone like he’s some sort of madman.

He can’t help it though.

 

Monday

[10:03am]

My Everything 💛:  Jimin I had a dream about you last night

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Awwww

My Everything 💛:  Ya I don’t remember much of it but I remember us driving through the desert and then at the end you died

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I thought you were gonna say something cute

My Everything 💛:  lol have you met me?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Yesand I thank god every night that I have

My Everything 💛:  Oh that was a good one

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Ikr

 

 

Tuesday

[9:46pm]

My Everything 💛:  Text me something nice and coupley, I’m gonna casually set my phone down and hope Taehyung sees it lol

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I was thinking about you all day today

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Baby I miss you

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Can you come over?

My Everything 💛:  Jimin!?! He saw it. Now I actually have to come over or he’ll think I’m a bad boyfriend wtf

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Nooo don’t come over I’m about to go to bed

My Everything 💛: Out of all the things you could’ve said, why’d you have to text me that?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  You told me to say something coupley and I did!

My Everything 💛:  I’m gonna go downstairs to the laundry room and just sit there for a couple hours so he thinks I’m at your place

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I actually can’t stop laughing

My Everything 💛:  At least one of us can laugh

 

 

Wednesday

[2:12pm]

My Everything 💛:  Wanna go out this weekend?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  You’re already my boyfriend, you don’t have to ask me out

My Everything 💛:  No I mean out out, like to the club

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Ohhhh

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Idk I have a pretty big test on Monday and then a project due Tuesday and I’m kinda stressing about it

My Everything 💛:  Ugh fine

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  You can still go out you know

My Everything 💛:  I mean I could, but it’s not like I can get with anyone. And you’re not gonna be there either so what’s the point

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  To get drunk?

My Everything 💛:  If I get drunk I’ll probably start flirting and then if word gets around, people will think I’m cheating on you or something

My Everything 💛:   I still can’t believe everyone thinks we’re dating now

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Might have something to do with the fact that we have to act like a couple everywhere we go

My Everything 💛:  You just might be right

 

 

Thursday

[4:01pm]

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Before you come to the library will you do me a huge favour?

My Everything 💛:  You want a coffee, don’t you?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  This is why we’re perfect for each other

My Everything 💛:  White chocolate mocha?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Yes please

My Everything 💛:  Want a muffin too?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I fall harder for you every day

My Everything 💛:  Anything for my baby

 

 

Friday

[3:29am]

My Everything 💛:  Have you ever thought about how weird it is that the easter bunny gives out eggs? Rabbits don’t lay eggs

My Everything 💛:  What poor mother hen is he stealing those eggs from? Is that considered kidnapping?

My Everything 💛:  I guess technically it would be chicknapping

[8:44am]

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I can honestly say without a single doubt that I’ve never thought about that, Jungkook

My Everything 💛:  But it’s weird, right?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Why were you up at three in the morning with those thoughts in your head?

My Everything 💛:  Don’t ask

 

---

Jimin doesn’t think it’s normal to feel as giddy as he does when Jungkook texts him – he knows he doesn’t feel that way when any of his other friends text him. It probably just has something to do with how silly Jungkook’s new contact name is. 

---

It’s early Saturday morning, early as in it’s two o’clock in the morning, and Jimin’s still up, still studying for the sociology test he has in a couple days. Or at least, he’s trying to stay up, but there are a few things working against him at the moment.  

The first thing working against him is that sociology is pretty damn boring, and he he’d been studying the same material all day long. The second thing working against him is the fact that it’s really late and totally past his bedtime. The third thing working against him is that Jungkook’s bed is really comfortable.

While Jimin had been spending the whole day studying, Jungkook spent the majority of his day with all of his books and notes in front of him while he either watched Netflix, or killed time on his phone. And now it’s two in the morning and Jungkook’s sitting at his desk with his earbuds in, still in the process of binge watching some random show (Jimin figures he’s already on season three by now), and Jimin’s falling asleep in Jungkook’s bed, sprawled out on his stomach.

With his sleepiness beginning to overpower his will to study, Jimin's eyelids slowly start to fall shut, his head lolling to the side as his grip on his pen loosens, and then it slips out of his hand. He only dozes off for a few seconds, but they're wonderful seconds, and then as soon as he'd nodded off, his head falls onto his textbook and he's suddenly awake again. Barely awake mind you, but still awake.

“Jimin.” Jungkook says, and Jimin doesn’t need to look over at him to know that he’s wearing a smile.

“Hm?” Jimin tries to straighten himself out, peeling a page from his textbook off of his cheek. “What’s–” he yawns, “what’s up?”

Jungkook closes his laptop and pushes it off to the side. “Tired?” He muses, swivelling back and forth in his desk chair. “You should really get some sleep. You’ve been studying all day.”

“I know.” But Jimin really doesn’t want to leave the comfort of Jungkook’s bed. He doesn’t even want to leave Jungkook’s room. It’s nice and warm in his room, and his desk light’s bathing everything in a soft orange glow and it makes him feel all cozy and safe, and Jimin really doesn’t like the idea of having to walk all the way back to his own dorms on the other side of campus. He really should get home, though. He lets out a soft sigh, forcing himself to sit up. “I should get going.”

“You’re not going anywhere,” Jungkook barely even gives Jimin time to finish his sentence. “Just sleep here. I’m not letting you walk all the way to your dorms and have you pass out on your way there or something.” His tone doesn’t leave much room for arguing.

But Jimin argues anyway. “I’ll be okay, seriously.” He smiles, finding Jungkook’s unnecessary concern to be sweet. Sure, he’s exhausted, but he doesn’t think he’s in any danger of falling asleep on the walk home.

“Yeah?” Jungkook’s eyebrows are raised like he’s trying to prove a point. “Remember in our first year when we tried walking back to the dorms after that party, and we ended up falling asleep in a McDonalds?”

“And then getting kicked out of the McDonalds?”

“Good times,” Jungkook leans back in his chair, sighing wistfully.

A rather lazy smile spreads across Jimin’s face, and without even realizing it, he’s laying down once more, eyes droopy with fatigue. “Or that time we fell asleep in the cab on the way home from the club?” It’s too much work to keep his eyes open at this point, so he just lets them close instead. “We’re lucky we’ve never been robbed before.”

“Or murdered.” Jungkook adds pointedly. “Which is exactly why I’m not letting you walk all the way across campus when it’s dark out, and when you’re already falling asleep in my bed.”

“I’ll be fine. I’m tired, not drunk.”

“You’re still falling asleep.”

“I can call…” Jimin’s words slur, his voice already laced with sleep. “I can call campus safewalk.”

“No, you can sleep in my bed. I’ll crash on the couch.” Jungkook’s chair creaks when he stands up, and Jimin groans softly as if he’s offended by the sound.

“I don’t wanna steal your bed. Just lemme rest my eyes for a sec, then I’ll go.” He may not have much energy, but he still has just enough to offer up a protest, even if it’s a rather weak one.

“You’re sleeping here, stop being so stubborn,” Jungkook mutters, and when there’s shuffling and the sound of rustling papers coming from right next to him, Jimin peeks his eyes open just enough to see Jungkook clearing all of his notes and books off of the bed.

“Thanks, Jungkook.” Even though Jimin feels a little guilty about taking over his bed, he knows that there’s no point in trying to argue anymore, because he’s already half asleep and Jungkook is already pulling the covers over his body, and he has no desire to move a single muscle. Jimin’s eyes close once more, and even though exhaustion is threatening to pull him under, he still manages to stay awake to ask just one question. “Wanna get breakfast in the morning?”

“Always.”

“Oh my god,” Jimin mumbles, voice getting muffled as he buries his face in a pillow. “I’m so excited.” He hears Jungkook chuckle softly, and vaguely imagines what sort of smile he’s wearing.

“Night, Jimin.”

“Night, Jungkook.”

 

The following morning, Jimin wakes up confused to find himself in a room that’s definitely not his own, but after rubbing the sleep from his eyes and allowing himself a moment to take in his surroundings, he remembers that he’d stayed the night at Jungkook’s. He must’ve been on a whole new level of tired to have passed out that hard.

He'd been exhausted last night, but now Jimin is fully awake and coherent, and now he can recognize what his sleepy self had been too tired to fully recognize last night.

Jungkook is really thoughtful.

Jimin smiles to himself as he curls up beneath the blankets. He notices how neatly Jungkook stacked his notes and books on his desk, while all of Jungkook’s own things are messily scattered about. Jimin thinks about how Jungkook had been worried about him walking home alone, he thinks about how Jungkook had tucked him in, and how he let Jimin take the bed and volunteered to take the couch without a second thought.

Jimin hopes that Jungkook had as good of a sleep as he himself had. He hopes he was warm enough – did Jungkook even have a blanket? Did he have a pillow? He wonders how long it took Jungkook to fall asleep out there on the couch. Troubled by the thought of his friend having an uncomfortable night, Jimin throws the covers off himself and hops out of bed. Maybe Jungkook is still sleeping right now, and maybe he could make coffee for him to make up for taking his bed.

It’s the least that Jimin can do.

But when Jimin steps out of the bedroom, he sees that Jungkook isn’t on the couch. Jungkook’s standing in the kitchen with his back facing him, and there’s already the distinct smell of coffee wafting through the dorm room, practically luring Jimin to the kitchen.

Looks like Jungkook beat him to making coffee, but Jimin figures he can just buy his breakfast instead when they go out to eat. 

“Morning,” Jimin hums, smiling as he approaches. “How’d you sleep?” He expects Jungkook to turn around and show off a good morning smile of his own, but he doesn’t. Jungkook keeps his back to him like he hadn’t even heard Jimin’s greeting. “Jungkook?” Jimin stops in his tracks, eyebrows drawing together when Jungkook still gives no sign indicating that he’d heard him.

Is Jungkook upset with him? What if he's ticked off about having to sleep on the couch? Or what if he's ticked off that Jimin stayed over in general? Jimin doesn’t know why that would upset him, but Jungkook’s definitely ignoring him right now. He can’t think of any logical reason as to why Jungkook would act like this unless he’s angry with him, and now Jimin’s mind is racing, trying to figure out what he did wrong, and he’s even starting to wonder if maybe he’d insulted him in his sleep or something.

“Is everything okay?” Jimin ventures carefully, taking cautious steps towards him. He’s close enough to touch Jungkook now, and he briefly considers tapping him on the shoulder, because there’s no way he’d be able to ignore that. Just when Jimin’s about to reach out to him, Jungkook spins around, holding a finger up to his lips to silence him while frantically beckoning Jimin even closer with his other hand.

Now that Jimin can see his face, he can tell he isn’t angry at all, and he looks to be more flustered than anything. Confusion is quick to replace Jimin’s unease, but before he can ask what's going on, Jungkook is talking in a whisper, words spilling over as he rushes to get them all out.

“I thought that I’d wake up before Taehyung but he woke up before me, and when he came out he asked why I was sleeping on the couch and I panicked and told him that me and you got into a fight last night, and he’s in his room right now but he’s making coffee and he could come out at any time, so we have to act like we’re mad at each other.”

“A fight?” Jimin murmurs. His nerves are getting all jumbled as he thinks about the last time they tried to make something up on the spot in front of Taehyung. He’d rather not have a repeat of that day. “A fight about what?”

“I don’t know, I just said a fight.” Jungkook shrugs helplessly. “What’s something we could fight about? What do couples fight about?” His eyes are wide, searching Jimin’s face for an answer he doesn’t have. “Leaving the toilet seat up?”

Jimin blinks. “Do you realize that we’re both guys? Or has that gone unnoticed by you this whole time?”

“I realize my mistake.”

Quieting down, Jimin’s mind scrambles to come up with a decent reason for them to be arguing, but he’s drawing a blank. “Well…” He nibbles at his lip, hoping that Jungkook has something realistic to offer, because he certainly doesn’t. “What are we fighting about?”

“Uh,” a frown creases Jungkook’s forehead, and he looks at Jimin as if he’d spontaneously started speaking some foreign language. “I don’t necessarily think I’d call this a fight, Jimin.”

“No, not this,” Jimin hisses, vaguely motioning at the air between them. “I mean what should we pretend that we’re fighting about? Oh–” He brightens, “what’s something I do that makes you mad?” Making something up obviously isn't working for them, so why not use something that actually gets on Jungkook’s nerves?

“Nothing you do really makes me that mad.” Jungkook murmurs, eyeing the ceiling in thought. “I guess…maybe when you don’t take care of yourself.”

Initially taken aback by Jungkook’s answer, Jimin feels the beginnings of a smile tugging at his lips. Why did it sort of feel good to have Jungkook say that? If Jungkook gets upset by that, then it must mean that he really cares about him.

“Like yesterday.” Jungkook drags his eyes back down to meet Jimin’s, and he frowns. “Yesterday you were studying all day, you didn’t take any breaks, and you didn’t even eat anything. And to be honest, it kinda pissed me off when I was trying to get you to take a break with me but you wouldn’t listen, or when I tried to get you to eat something and you wouldn’t do that either. Like, you need to eat, Jimin. Sometimes you’re so stubborn and it’s annoying as hell.” And then Jungkook says that and now there’s not a single trace of a smile on Jimin’s face.

I’m stubborn?” Jimin points at himself, eyes wide with disbelief. He’s speaking in hushed tones, still being mindful that Taehyung’s nearby in his bedroom. “Me? You’re the one that went to the trouble of getting into a fake relationship, just because you didn’t want to admit that you were picky.”

“We’re not talking about me, we’re talking about you. I know you’re serious about your grades and stuff, but sometimes you take it to extremes.” Jungkook scowls, and Jimin can’t believe the guy has the audacity to look that offended right now. “You were so exhausted you couldn’t even walk home last night.”

“You wouldn’t let me walk home!”

“Jimin, you literally passed out in my bed.”

“You didn’t give me a choice–”

“Oh yeah sorry,” Jungkook says, sarcasm dripping from his words. “I forgot that I tied you down to the bed and glued your eyes shut and forced you to fall asleep.”

“Well, you wouldn’t let me leave, so you might as well have–” Jimin stops talking within an instant, goes quiet the second that he notices the door to Taehyung’s bedroom slowly easing open.  

“I uh…” Taehyung begins timidly, taking a couple steps towards them, then stopping altogether. “I don’t want to intrude or anything, but.” He gestures at the coffee maker, and Jimin glances away, embarrassed that Taehyung caught them in the middle of their little argument. 

“Coffee’s ready, Taehyung.” Jungkook mutters, stepping away from the counter to make room for him to get to the coffee maker.

Jimin crosses his arms over his chest, head turned to the side, and because he’s too frustrated to look at Jungkook and too self-conscious to look at Taehyung, he glares at the fridge instead.

Sure, Jimin and Jungkook are used to bickering, but it's always more playful than anything else. They never argue like this. Jungkook gets on his nerves a lot, and sometimes he takes jokes a little too far, but it never upsets Jimin like this.

Maybe it’s all a consequence of the extra time they’ve been spending together.

“You know what,” Taehyung’s not rooted to the spot anymore, he’s moving again, but his eyes aren’t on the coffee maker. He’s heading straight for the door. “I think I’ll just stop at Starbucks or something.” He scoops his backpack up from off the floor on his way out, “see you guys later.” 

Jimin really doesn't blame him for leaving.

The door clicks shut, and the atmosphere’s so thick with tension that Jimin can practically taste it. He’s not used to fighting with Jungkook, he doesn’t know how to handle it or how to go about dissolving the tension. It just feels wrong.

Jimin shifts his weight from foot to foot, finally risks a glimpse at Jungkook. Even though the air around them is heavy, it’s not being weighed down with anger or bitterness. It’s more awkward than anything else. Jungkook doesn’t look mad, he’s just leaning against the counter now, cheeks puffed out as he stares into space.

It’s safe to say that the both of them are feeling more than a little puzzled about what just happened. Jimin didn’t expect their discussion about what they should pretend to fight about to turn into an actual fight.

It’s awkward because there wasn’t any reason for it to escalate the way that it did. How did it even escalate in the first place?

“So…” Jungkook says, dragging the out. Their eyes meet, and he rubs the back of his neck. “Do you still wanna get breakfast?”

“Only if you do.” Even though Jimin’s starving, he doesn’t want to sit at a table and eat with Jungkook if it’s going to be weird, but if they don't get over it now then it'll just make things even more weird for them. He wants the tension to leave, but he doesn't think that it will unless he addresses something. “Do you…” He hesitates, unsure if he really wants to know the answer. “Do you really think I’m that stubborn?”

“The most stubborn person I’ve met in my whole entire life.” Jungkook doesn’t even miss a beat. “And you’re one of my best friends, and you were still my first choice when it came to picking a fake boyfriend, and I’m still fake dating you, so that must mean it’s not that bad and that there’s something good about you too.” And even though there’s a playful glimmer in Jungkook’s eyes, there’s something undeniably sincere there, too.

“That was oddly sweet.” Jimin murmurs, his voice just as soft as the smile that’s now gracing his lips.

“That’s part of my charm.”

Being the good friends that they are, they get over the silly little spat as if it was nothing, and just like that, they’re out the door and are heading for the elevator.

“Hey, can we stop by my place before we go for breakfast?” Jimin flashes a persuasive smile Jungkook's way, hoping he won’t mind if they take a little detour. “I wanna change my clothes.”

“Really?” They step into the elevator, and Jungkook regards him with raised eyebrows. “Why didn’t you just borrow some of mine?” He asks, pressing the button for the main floor.

“Your stuff’s too big on me.”

“Are you calling me fat? Babe, the other day when I asked if those pants I was wearing made me look fat, you said no.”

Jimin hears the teasing lilt in Jungkook’s voice, sees the way he’s feigning an insulted expression, loves just how easy and comfortable things feel when he’s around him. Jimin tips his head back, his laughter echoing in the elevator.

 

Chapter Text

With his head bowed, Jimin smiles down at his phone and sinks deeper into the couch, fully absorbed in the conversation currently unfolding over text. He’s just lounging around back at his dorm, waiting for Jungkook to get out of class. Honestly, Jimin’s feeling more than a little impatient at the moment.

Jungkook seems to feel the same way.

 

[4:41pm]

My Everything 💛:  I don’t wanna be in class anymore

My Everything 💛:  I’m so bored I’m actually considering stabbing my pencil into my eye just for fun

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Babe don’t stab out your eyes, they’re my favourite part of you

My Everything 💛:  You’re right, I shouldn’t. If I go blind, I won’t be able to see you anymore

My Everything 💛:  No but seriously Jimin I’m so bored. I can’t do this anymore. Entertain me

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  You know, you should probably be paying attention to class and not texting

My Everything 💛:  You suck

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  You’re gonna get plenty of entertainment after class anyway so don’t worry

My Everything 💛:  Mm baby, are you saying what I think you’re saying?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I’ve been thinking about it all day

My Everything 💛:  Me too

My Everything 💛:  You’re making it really hard for me to concentrate right now

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Not like you were concentrating on your lecture anyway

My Everything 💛:  Yeah but now I really can’t wait until class is over. It’s all I can think about

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Yeah?

My Everything 💛:  You know I’m not gonna go easy on you tonight, right?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Good, I don’t want you to

My Everything 💛:  You sure?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I can take it

My Everything 💛:  We’ll see

 

“What the hell are you guys talking about?”

The voice coming from behind him startles Jimin so much that he nearly jumps right off the couch, and he actually lets out a little squeak of surprise. Even though he knows who the voice belongs to, he’s still quick to turn his head just to confirm that it’s Yoongi who had spoken, and not some random intruder.

Yoongi’s leaning over the back of the couch, squinting at Jimin’s phone, his face twisted into mixture of disgust and confusion. “What? Entertain…what?” He shakes his head like he’s trying to get over the shock of what he’d just read.

“What? What’s wrong?” Jimin asks, eyebrows drawing together as he tries to figure out what that look on Yoongi’s face is for. “We’re gonna go play pool in the lounge when he’s done his class.”

“Pool?”

“Yeah, pool. You know…billiards. The game with the balls and the sticks and the holes–”

“I know what it is, Jimin.” Yoongi snorts, his face relaxing. “The way that you and Jungkook text each other is just…” He trails off. “Never mind. Anyway, I’m off to the library.” He straightens up and ruffles Jimin’s hair affectionately. “Good luck with your pool game. Have fun hitting balls with Jungkook.”

“Hyung!”

It’s been a few weeks and Yoongi is still teasing him just as much as he’d been teasing him from the very beginning. Really, Jimin should be used to it by now, because it’s basically a part of their daily routine. Whenever Jimin happens to be texting Jungkook, Yoongi always knows about it, because the smile on Jimin’s face is a dead giveaway. And of course, Yoongi never misses an opportunity to tease Jimin about it.

It happens all the time, but Jimin still isn’t completely used to it. He expects the teasing, can see it coming from a mile away when Yoongi’s lips are playfully perking upwards while he eyes Jimin knowingly. Jimin expects it, but it still flusters him.

He knows that it’s all in good fun, and Yoongi’s words don’t ever upset Jimin – they’re just a little embarrassing to hear sometimes considering Jungkook is his friend, and nothing more than that. Jungkook is his friend, and maybe sometimes they jokingly flirt with each other (it’s just for fun though) and maybe they hold hands every now and then (only if Taehyung is nearby), but that’s because they have to do it. For the sake of preserving their fake relationship.

It’s all fine and fun, it’s all a big joke, and Jimin doesn’t question it. Nothing feels wrong about it, he’s just doing a favour for his friend.

And there’s nothing wrong with doing favours.

 ---

When Jimin shows up at the library that afternoon, he’s breathing heavy and his hair is a tousled mess, and there’s a light pink tinge staining the apples of his cheeks. He ran all the way from his dorm room to the library.

He’s late, and he hates being late.

Jungkook is already waiting for him at a table, his head down as he scrolls through his phone, because why would Jeon Jungkook actually be doing any schoolwork in the library? He only raises his head when Jimin collapses into the chair across from him.

Their eyes meet, and Jimin smiles apologetically. “Sorry I’m late,” he huffs, lifting his backpack onto the table.

Jungkook doesn’t say anything. His eyes flick from Jimin to his phone, Jimin to his phone, and then back again. He’s silent and smiling, watching Jimin with amusement etched into his every feature. “Late?” Jungkook finally says. “You told me you were gonna be here at three thirty. It’s three thirty-two.”

“Yeah, like I said. Sorry I’m late.”

Jungkook shakes his head, laughing underneath his breath. “Only you, Jimin.”

“I have an excuse for being late, though.”

“Oh good, otherwise I never would’ve been able to forgive you for those two minutes.”

Ignoring Jungkook’s sarcasm, Jimin pulls out a tin lunchbox from his bag, a little spark of excitement flaring within him as he pushes it across the table. “I made you something.” It’s not like Jimin had prepared Jungkook anything particularly extravagant – he only made him a ham and cheese sandwich, and threw in some carrot sticks and apple slices. It’s nothing fancy, it’s just a little favour in return for the smoothie that Jungkook bought him earlier that week.

“Yeah?” Jungkook raises his eyebrows, teasingly skeptical. “And what did I do to deserve it?” He asks, slowly sliding the lunchbox towards himself.

“Oh, nothing. Just a little thank you for being the best boyfriend in the world,” Jimin hums in exaggerated sweetness.

“Baby,” Jungkook places a hand over his heart, “you’re too good to me.” He lifts the lid off the container, and the way that his eyes brighten when he does makes Jimin’s smile grow. “No way – you honestly couldn’t have picked a better day to bring me food. I have a test coming up, which means I actually have to study.” Jungkook lifts his head, grinning. “Thanks, Jimin.”

On the rare days that Jungkook actually decided to take his schoolwork seriously, he always ate more than usual (which is really saying something because Jungkook always eats a lot). The only way Jungkook can buckle down and stay focused when he’s studying is if he’s snacking.

Jimin always liked that little quirk about him.

“No problem.” Jimin says, and it really is no problem. It’s never a problem, not when he knows that Jungkook genuinely appreciates the little things he does for him. “When’s your test, anyway?” Jimin asks, setting his bag on the ground after pulling out his books.

“In two days.”

“Have you even started studying yet?”

“Nope.”

Jimin rests his chin in his hand, sighing airily. “Only you, Jungkook.”

Before long, they’re immersed in a comfortable silence as they study. Jungkook munches on his sandwich as he reads over his notes, and Jimin can’t help but steal a glance at him every now and then. He’s glad that Jungkook seems to be enjoying the food, and knowing that he’s the reason for that barely noticeable – yet unmistakable – smile on Jungkook’s lips causes warmth to spread through Jimin’s chest.

It’s a welcome feeling, and makes studying more enjoyable.   

Whenever Jimin sits down to study, he really studies. He doesn’t get distracted easily, and every study session always proved to be a productive one for him. He doesn’t usually get distracted.

But today’s a little different. Today is different, and even though Jungkook is the one sitting across from him, he’s not the thing that end up distracting Jimin. From the corner of his eye, Jimin notices his phone lighting up with a text. He glances at it. It’s from his mom.

The faint smile that had been lingering on his lips is quick to fade when he reads the message. Jimin doesn’t usually get distracted when studying, but there are some things he can’t ignore.

He types back a quick reply to the text, his heart sinking the same way that the corners of his mouth do.

“Jimin?” Jungkook’s foot nudges him from beneath the table, and Jimin raises his head to meet his gaze. “You okay?” If Jungkook thought he was okay then he wouldn’t have asked, and he wouldn’t be looking at Jimin with those concerned eyes. “What’s up?”

It surprises Jimin how quickly Jungkook picked up on his shift in mood, but then again, maybe he shouldn’t be that surprised. After all, he’s not exactly trying to hide that he’s upset right now. It’s written all over his face.

“Yeah. Yeah, I’m okay.” Jimin answers slowly. He doesn’t want Jungkook to worry about him, but he’s not going to lie to him, either. What’s the point in lying when it’s clear that there’s something bothering him? Biting the corner of his lip, Jimin nods at his phone. “I just got a text from my mom. My grandma’s in the hospital. She was in there a few months ago, but she got discharged and was living back at home for a while.” He frowns. “I guess she’s pretty sick again.”

“Jimin…” Jungkook murmurs, the sympathy in his voice matching the sympathy in his gaze. And that’s all that Jungkook really needs to say, because Jimin gets it. He knows that Jungkook feels bad, he can see it just as clearly as he’d be able to see the blue sky above his head if he were to walk outside. Jungkook doesn’t need to say anything else, doesn’t need to offer any words of comfort, doesn’t need to recite some lengthy speech to give him a sense of solace.

Jimin doesn’t want Jungkook to do anything more.

He doesn’t want Jungkook to feel like he has to do something to make him feel better. Jimin is upset, but he can’t really do anything about the situation – no one can do anything about it. His grandma is in the hospital and it’s a shitty situation and it’s giving rise to a shitty feeling, but there’s not much to be done about it.

“It’ll be okay,” Jimin says, and he doesn’t try to show off a wide smile, he just offers Jungkook the faint one that he can manage. He nudges Jungkook’s foot back, offering him his own reassurance. “She was discharged before, she’ll probably get discharged again pretty soon.”

Jungkook nods, keeping his foot pressed against Jimin’s, even when they resume their studying. Truthfully, Jungkook’s subtle ways of comforting him are more effective than the grand gestures that other people might feel obligated to employ.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with what Jungkook is doing, but Jimin can’t shake his worries. He can’t ignore the sense of unease settling in the pit of his stomach. He tries to focus on studying, tries to use it as a distraction, but sitting in silence doesn’t do anything to quell his worries. Jimin stares down at his textbook, and even though he’s looking directly at the words on the page in front of him, he’s not reading a single one of them. He's lost in his thoughts, and the only thing that pulls him out of his own head is Jungkook's voice.

“Let’s go for a walk or something.” Jungkook’s words catch Jimin off guard, and by the time he raises his head to look at him, Jungkook is already starting to pack up his things. “I can’t study anymore, I'm spent.”

“But…” Jimin hesitates, growing increasingly confused with each item that he watches Jungkook shove into his backpack. “We've only been here for an hour – and I thought you said you really need to study.”

“I know, but I can’t focus right now. I think a walk would really help me. Besides,” Jungkook smiles at Jimin, playfulness lighting up his already bright eyes. “I’m starving. Don’t get me wrong, your sandwich was a nice appetizer, but to be honest I think eating it just made me even hungrier.” Jungkook pushes his chair away from the table, jutting his chin in the general direction of the exit. “Let’s go.”

“Jungkook–”

“Jimin.” He doesn’t even give Jimin a chance to say anything more than his name, it’s like he just knew that Jimin was about to object to his proposal. “I’ve been inside all day. I wanna go for a walk, stretch my legs and all that. It’s nice out today, too.”

Jimin knows that it’s a nice day out, and Jimin really wouldn’t mind going for a walk. Jimin also knows exactly what Jungkook is doing. Jimin doesn’t say anything, he just lets his eyes sweep over Jungkook’s face. He knows that Jungkook didn’t randomly suggest going for a walk for his own benefit. He knows that Jungkook is offering him a distraction – something to take his mind off of the worry. 

And as bad as Jimin may feel about them leaving the library when Jungkook had actually been serious about studying that day, he doesn’t want to say no to him. There’s a hopeful smile on Jungkook’s face, and Jimin doesn’t want to be the reason for that smile to leave his lips.

“Okay.” Jimin murmurs, and when he sees Jungkook’s eyes crinkling, a subtle smile plays at the corner of Jimin’s mouth, too.

He’s glad that he has someone like Jungkook in his life.

Since Jimin ran all the way from his dorms to the library earlier that day, he already knows that it's nice outside. But unlike before, now he actually gets to enjoy the weather.

Puffy white clouds lazily drift across the sky, and the sun is giving off just the right amount of warmth in those golden rays. There isn’t a strong wind, but there’s a subtle breeze that greets them every now and then, and Jungkook’s voice seems to float on that breeze; he talks so lightly and so easily that Jimin finds himself doing far more listening than talking.

Jungkook doesn’t seem to mind, though. Jungkook seems more than happy to do all the talking, he never stops and waits like he expects Jimin to offer something more substantial than the brief responses that he gives.

They walk for longer than Jimin expected them to, and they even find themselves walking all the way off campus, but Jimin barely even notices the passing of time. They end up stopping at a convenience store for dinner, and taking advantage of the weather, they eat at a table outside. Somewhere in between the walking and the ramen eating, smiling becomes just as natural as breathing does, and Jungkook even manages to coax out a few laughs from Jimin, too.

He only realizes how long they’d been out for after they finish their dinner, and when he looks up at the sky. Daylight is fading, and the sun is showering them in more of an orange light than a gold one now. The sun is starting to set, but Jimin somehow feels even warmer than before.  

Jungkook clears the table of all of their garbage, and when he makes his way back to Jimin after throwing it all away, he’s smiling.  “Wanna head back and watch a movie or something?” He asks.

“Yeah.” Jimin doesn’t even need to think twice.

They make it back to Jungkook’s dorm just before the sun finally sinks below the horizon.

Even though Taehyung’s home, they don’t watch their movie on the couch in the common area like they usually do when he’s around. Instead, they set the laptop in between themselves and get comfortable in Jungkook’s bed. Jungkook lets Jimin pick the movie, but Jimin isn’t paying much attention to it as it plays.

His heart is light and his chest is warm, and there’s a delicate smile on his face that he’s not even fully aware of. He wonders how it had been so easy for Jungkook to lull him into such a relaxed state of mind. He wonders why he had never noticed how caring Jungkook could be until recently.

Of course, Jimin always knew that Jungkook was a nice guy, he always knew that he was kind, and he wouldn’t be Jungkook’s friend if he didn’t think that he was a good person. But never before had Jimin felt this. He doesn’t even know exactly what it is that this day with Jungkook made him feel, but he knows that his body and his mind are both at ease, and he feels good. Content.

He’s glad he has a friend like Jungkook.

As the movie plays, Jimin’s eyes start to wander, absently exploring the room until his gaze come to settle on Jungkook’s hands. He tilts his head to the side, eyeing them curiously.

“What’s that from?” Jimin murmurs, reaching out to lift Jungkook’s hand from where it had been resting on his stomach. He inspects the top of Jungkook’s hand, bringing it up to his face.

“Hm?” Jungkook’s eyebrows are slightly furrowed, but he doesn’t pull his hand away, he just moves closer to Jimin to get a better look at his own hand. “What’s what from?”

“That,” Jimin taps the area in question, pointing to a rather large mark just below his pinky finger. It’s relatively faint, and it’s obviously an older scar, but Jimin hasn’t ever noticed it before.

“Oh,” Jungkook perks up after realizing what Jimin had been referring to. “It’s back from when I used to play basketball in high school. Some guy took a chunk out of my skin.”

Jimin’s eyes widen. “With his teeth?”

“No,” Jungkook shakes his head, laughing softly. “Just with his nails.” He points to another scar, this one near his thumb. “I have a lot of them, actually.” Adjusting his position so that he’s now facing Jimin, Jungkook offers him his other hand. “There’s more on this one.”

Taking Jungkook’s hand in both his own, Jimin takes his time with turning and maneuvering it so that he can get a good look at all the little cuts and scrapes decorating his skin. “I didn’t know guys were so catty…” He muses. Even though Jimin is studying Jungkook’s hands as if he’s particularly interested in them, he’s not necessarily fascinated by the scars themselves, but more so by the fact that after three years of being his friend, this is the first time that he’s ever noticed them.

“I can’t even imagine how scratched up girls must get when they play.” Jungkook says. “Some of them have claws.”

They sit there for a while, with Jungkook simply watching Jimin and allowing him to move his hand in whatever way he saw fit, letting him play with his fingers and letting him ask his questions. Eventually, they both quiet down again, and Jimin’s eyes turn to the movie. He doesn’t even notice that he’s still holding onto Jungkook’s thumb.

He doesn’t notice until there’s soft laughter coming from beside him, and when he turns to see what it’s about, he sees Jungkook grinning as he stares down at their hands.

“Oh my god, Jimin.” Jungkook’s shoulders shake as he snickers. “I never noticed just how tiny your hands are.” He slips his thumb out of Jimin’s hold and lifts his hand, his palm facing Jimin with his fingers splayed.

“Really?” Jimin isn’t convinced. “You never noticed?” He takes the hint, pressing his palm against Jungkook’s so that their fingers are aligned. “Because I’m pretty sure I remember you making fun of my hands more than once.” 

“Well yeah, I always knew that they were small, but I never realized they were this small.” Jungkook admits, obviously getting a fair amount of amusement out of their size difference as they compare hands.

Jungkook had never noticed just how small Jimin’s hands are until then, and Jimin had never noticed just how much he likes Jungkook’s hands being so much bigger than his own until then.

He wonders why he likes it.

When the first movie ends, Jungkook insists that Jimin pick the next one too, and an easy silence settles between them once more. Jimin gets comfortable, laying on his side facing the laptop, his hand beneath the pillow that his head’s laying on. He doesn’t really know why Jungkook’s bed seems to be so comfortable, after all, it’s the bed that the school provides, and is the exact same bed he has at his own dorm. It’s the same bed, yet he seems to sink into the softness of this one just a bit easier, and sleep seems to find him that much quicker.

Maybe it’s the bed, maybe it’s because of how long they walked for, or maybe it’s something else entirely. Whatever the case may be, Jimin’s eyelids are slipping shut and his breathing evens out, and it’s nice and warm where he is, and he doesn’t want to be anywhere else. When he falls asleep that night, he falls asleep wrapped up in a sense of security.

 

When he wakes up the next morning, he wakes up smothered in a sense of dread. Jimin’s eyes are opening before his mind is fully awake, and he jolts upright like a loaded spring. Like any normal human being, he’s usually a little drowsy when he first wakes up, but there’s no place for drowsiness this morning – not when there’s a wave of panic washing over him.

He reaches for his phone. 8:47am.

Not good.

Jimin scrambles out of bed, and the second that his feet are on the floor, his hands are raking through his hair, half because it’s a habit of his, and half because he won’t have any time to actually put himself together and properly comb his hair, because he’s definitely going to be late to class, and he hates being late. He hadn’t planned on staying over at Jungkook’s – he’s usually more responsible than this, and he’s seriously struggling to understand how he let himself fall asleep so easily.

Did he even get an invite to stay over? Was it rude to fall asleep the way he did? Why did Jungkook let him fall asleep?

Jimin shoves his hands through his hair again, but freezes the moment he looks at the bed, his fingers remaining tangled in his tresses.

Jungkook’s still sleeping.

Jungkook’s in the bed, he’s sleeping in the bed, they fell asleep in the same bed, and Jimin has absolutely no idea why the realization has his heart feeling like it’s tripping over itself.

It’s probably because he’s anxious about being late to class.

Shaking his head, Jimin turns his back to Jungkook’s sleeping body.

Clothes.

He needs to change his clothes, because not only is he wearing the exact same thing that he wore yesterday, but he slept in these clothes too. There won’t be time for him to stop at his place to change, but all of Jungkook’s things would be too big on him, and no matter how good of friends they are, he is not going to borrow his underwear.

But he feels gross in what he's wearing right now, and he needs something.  

He figures that borrowing a hoodie is safe. It only takes searching through a couple drawers before Jimin finds what he’s looking for. He removes the shirt he’s currently wearing, and hastily pulls the army green hoodie over his head. He recognizes the hoodie since Jungkook wears it all the time, and even though it’s a little big on Jimin, it’s better than nothing.

“Jimin?” Jungkook’s voice is thick with sleep, and when Jimin hears it his heart skitters in his chest.

Why? What's with all these heart palpitations this morning? Maybe he should get that checked out. 

He turns around to see Jungkook squinting at him as his eyes adjust to the morning light. There’s a tuft of dark hair sticking up at the front of his head, and there’s something about his messy hair and the way he’s blearily taking in the scene that has Jimin frozen to the spot.

“Sorry,” Jungkook mumbles. “Didn’t know I’d fall asleep like that, I guess I must’ve been pretty tired. D’you have class or…” He leaves his sentence unfinished, and suddenly his eyes are widening, and now not only does he look wide awake, but he seems surprised, too. “Is that…” He lifts his hand, too lazy to actually point. “Is that mine?”

The question snaps Jimin out of his stupor, and he looks down to remind himself of what he’s currently wearing. “Oh, yeah.” When he brings his eyes back up to meet Jungkook’s, he offers an apologetic smile. “Sorry, I didn’t think you’d mind. I can change if you want me to.”

“No,” Jungkook answers immediately. “No, I don’t mind at all, it looks–” He cuts himself off, clearing his throat. “I don’t mind if you borrow it.”

“What? It looks what?” Jimin frowns, holding out his arms as if to assess the sleeve length. “Does it look weird on me? Should I change?”

“No, it’s fine.” Jungkook rubs the back of his head, making his fluffy hair bounce. “Looks good on you. Cute.”

Cute?

Jimin knows Jungkook only said that to tease him, he only said it because they’re in a fake relationship and this is what they do now – they tease each other with nice words and horrendous pet names. That’s what they do. And the only reason Jimin’s heart is stuttering is because he’s already late to class and with each passing second, he’s going to be later and later.

That’s it.

Jungkook’s words are all part of the act, so Jimin plays it off like it is, and he rolls his eyes. But he can’t play off the heat blooming across his cheeks.

“Well aren’t you sweet.” Jimin murmurs. He grabs his backpack from where he left it on the floor next to the bed. “Anyway, I really gotta go. I’ll swing by later to drop off your hoodie.”

“Okay, no rush.” Jungkook shows him a lopsided grin, and Jimin knows that grin so well, because it’s the same teasing grin that he always wears. So why is it making his face feel warm if he sees it all the time? “Looks better on you anyway.”

Jimin blurts out a quick goodbye, and leaves Jungkook’s room before he overheats. He rushes out the door, rushing because he really has to get to class, and rushing to get away from whatever that was. He rushes down the hall and to the elevator, his cheeks burning and his heart racing, and he tries not to think about the way Jungkook looked at him, and he tries not to think about how his stomach fluttered when he said cute.

He tries not to think about Jungkook at all. He tries to think about the quickest way to get to class, and about what he’s going to eat today, and about how gross it is that he didn’t even get a chance to brush his teeth that morning.

But it’s really hard to focus on other things when he’s wearing a hoodie that smells exactly like the person he’s trying not to think about. 

 

Chapter Text

“Hey, Jimin?” Yoongi calls out his name from where’s he’s sitting at the table. He’s currently occupied with a crossword puzzle, and Jimin is busy washing dishes at the sink.

Yoongi is doing a crossword puzzle but Jimin hasn’t even said anything about it. Normally, Jimin would say something cheeky to him like only old men do crossword puzzles, but he knows that if he says that Yoongi will just fire back with something like only naïve university students with a thing for horrendously cliché romantic comedies would agree to fake date one of their best friends. And if Yoongi said that, well Jimin wouldn’t even be able to defend himself, because it’s true. Painfully true.

He had been naïve to think that nothing would change between him and Jungkook. Jimin isn’t exactly sure of what changed, but he knows that there’s change. There’s change, and he doesn’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it certainly doesn’t feel bad. It feels the opposite of bad, actually. He feels closer to Jungkook than ever before, and that’s really saying something, because Jimin already thought they were pretty much as close as they could get – it’s not like he ever felt there was some insurmountable distance was between them. He’s not sure how it had been possible for them to get closer than they already were, but it happened.

Considering the amount of time they spend together nowadays, it shouldn’t come as a real shock that he feels a deeper connection with him. It’s to be expected, it’s natural– predictable, even. The more time you spend with someone, the closer you’ll feel to them. Common sense.

That’s all there is to it.

“You were in psychology of human emotion last semester, right?” Yoongi questions, only continuing after Jimin makes a sound of acknowledgment in the back of his throat. “What’s the first of the five stages of grief?”

“Denial.”

“Thanks.” 

Denial.

The first of the five stages of grief is denial, but Jimin isn’t going through a grieving process, so denial doesn’t apply to him whatsoever. What does he have to deny? Nothing. Is he going to deny that he liked wearing Jungkook’s hoodie last week? No, because if he denies that then he would only be lying to himself.

He liked wearing the hoodie because the hoodie is soft and warm, and since Jungkook wears it often it means it’s well-worn in, and that always makes clothes even comfier. It’s a fact. He liked that he could smell Jungkook on the hoodie, because it reminded him of all the laughing and the smiling that being around Jungkook brings, and Jimin likes laughing and smiling. Who doesn’t? He kept the hoodie for a few days, because he kept accidentally forgetting it at his place. That’s it.

Park Jimin is not in denial because there’s absolutely nothing to deny.

 ---

“You like it when I feed you." Jungkook grins. "Don’t deny it.” He brings the chopsticks to Jimin’s lips, offering him a mouthful of noodles, and Jimin obliges, allowing Jungkook to feed him.

Jungkook feeding him is customary nowadays, and Jimin wouldn’t say he necessarily likes it. But he doesn’t mind it, and he doesn’t complain about it anymore. He lets Jungkook feed him because he’s pretty sure that Jungkook likes it.

“You guys are still doing this fake dating thing, huh?” Hoseok leans forward to take a sip from his straw, amused as he eyes the other two. He’s sitting across the table from Jimin and Jungkook in the cafeteria, and he’s been wearing that same peculiar smile he’d been wearing since the three of them met up for lunch.

Jimin commented on it, asking why he looked like a proud dad, and Hoseok said something along the lines of: I’m just glad my babies are finally happy.

Whatever that meant.

“Fake? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Jungkook says flippantly. “We’re madly in love, can’t you tell?” When he turns to Jimin to give him an affectionate little pinch on the cheek, there’s more than enough embellished infatuation lighting up his eyes to make Jimin let out a rather unflattering snort, causing him to nearly choke on his noodles. “See?" Jungkook turns to Hoseok again. "That’s the sound of someone in love.”

More like the sound of someone choking, but Jimin is too busy trying to properly swallow his mouthful to offer any sort of rebuttal.

“And you’re doing this all just to avoid getting a haircut? Seems like a lot of work.” Hoseok muses. He tilts his head, crossing his arms as he studies Jungkook. “Would a haircut really be that bad? Might give you a new style. Reinvent your look, you know?”

“Hyung,” Jimin brightens once he's no longer in any danger of choking, and he's glad that he can find some camaraderie in Hoseok. “That’s exactly what I said to him.”

“Yeah, well I don’t want Taehyung’s bitch shaved into the side of my head, thank you very much.” Jungkook taps the side of his Coke can pensively. “That’s not exactly the style I’m going for.”

“You really think he’d do that to you?” Hoseok looks doubtful.

“Nah, you’re right.” Jungkook waves his hand dismissively. “He’d probably just shave my head.” He leans over the table, turning grave. “And do you know how awful I’d look bald?”

Hoseok shrugs. “Probably not as bad as Jimin would look.”

“Hey!” Jimin’s starting to wonder why he hangs out exclusively with people who derive their pleasure from mocking him. If Hoseok was sitting next to him he’d smack his arm, but all he can do is narrow his eyes at him. “That was totally uncalled for.” He takes a moment to imagine himself bald, and after realizing that Hoseok is right, and that he wouldn’t look particularly appealing with no hair, he doesn’t say much more after that. He simply listens to Hoseok and Jungkook chatting, eating his food while he contemplates how horrible he’d look bald.

He only starts paying attention again when Hoseok mentions a party.

“You guys are going to Mino’s this weekend, right?”

Jimin needs a party, has to drink until he gets the mental image of his bald self out of his own head.

Jungkook scoffs, like he’s offended that Hoseok even needed to ask. “When have I ever missed one of Mino’s parties? I’m pretty sure Taehyung said he was going too, so we gotta put on a good show.” He turns to Jimin and fixes him with his signature grin, the grin that Jimin knows so well. “Right, baby?”

Jimin’s so good at acting like Jungkook’s boyfriend that he’s actually starting to think he likes it when Jungkook calls him baby. Maybe he’s getting too immersed in the role… method acting can be a dangerous thing. He shakes his head, stifles a laugh behind his hand. They’re pretty much a whole month into their fake relationship, but Jimin isn’t over the silliness of it. “You know I’d do anything for you.” But he’ll always play along.

Hoseok wrinkles his nose, but maintains his smile. “It’s kinda weird seeing you guys like this, but I gotta admit.” His smile widens. “You two make a very cute couple.”

Jimin hopes that Yoongi and Hoseok are never in the same room as him and Jungkook, because he doesn't think that he'll be able to take all that teasing at once.

 ---

Jimin may see Jungkook more than he sees anyone else, but even if they happen to be together 24/7, it doesn’t mean anything unless Taehyung can see how much time they spend together. After all, that’s the only reason that they’re hanging out so much– to trick Taehyung.

And even though their goal is to fool Taehyung, there are certain times when Jimin starts to think that maybe he’s fooling himself, too. Sometimes, he reads into things a little too much. Sometimes he makes things into something they're not.

Today happens to be exactly one of those days – a day where he overthinks one little thing, and then starts to question everything. It all starts when he gets a text from a certain someone.

It’s another regular Wednesday, and it’s another typical day of spending time with Jungkook. They’re taking a break from schoolwork (at least Jimin is, Jungkook hadn’t been doing any in the first place), hanging out on his couch and waiting for Taehyung to come home.

That’s when Jimin gets the text.

A text from a guy that he used to have a thing with last semester, but hasn’t spoken to in months. A text that doesn’t say anything special, it’s nothing more than the standard: hey what have you been up to, but it’s still a text that has Jimin biting the edge of his lip in an attempt to keep away the smile that threatens to take over.

In that moment, Jimin learns that he must be pretty damn awful at hiding his smiles, because now Jungkook is eyeing him quizzically and leaning over to get a better look at his phone. Jimin turns so that Jungkook can’t see the screen. Jimin isn't smiling because he's particularly interested in the person who just texted him, he's smiling because it's only natural to feel flattered that after all this time, the guy’s still thinking about him.

And maybe he's also smiling because Jungkook is being so nosy and is intent on finding out who had texted him. Maybe. 

“Jimin,” Jungkook’s voice lilts teasingly, and that playfulness in his tone makes Jimin want to play, too. “Who’re you texting?” He’s smiling, toying with Jimin just like Yoongi does when he knows that he’s talking to Jungkook.

But this is different. Jungkook doesn’t even know who texted him, which means that if Jimin wants to, he can give Jungkook a taste of his own medicine and toy with him right back. And he does want to.

“No one.” Jimin hums. He twists his body to protect his phone from Jungkook’s prying eyes. Naturally, Jimin’s secrecy only pulls on Jungkook’s curiosity.

“Yeah?” Jungkook edges closer, making up for the distance that Jimin tries to put between them.

“Yeah.”

“Jimin, come on. Who is it?” Jungkook is still smiling, but he seems different, more serious somehow. That playful spark of his isn’t as prominent anymore.

Jimin still wants to play, though. As strange as it may be, he sort of likes that Jungkook seems to be so interested in who the text is from. It feels like he has some sort of power over him. “Why does it even matter who I’m texting?” He asks, and with a tilted head, he feigns innocence.

“Because it does.” Now, Jungkook isn’t even smiling, and it has Jimin wondering when this stopped being a silly game, and when is started getting so serious.

Jimin comes back to his senses, drops the playful little act just as quickly as Jungkook did. “Well it shouldn’t.”

“Well it does.”

But it shouldn’t. It shouldn’t matter who Jimin is texting, just like he shouldn’t be enjoying the subtle edge in Jungkook’s voice, just like he shouldn’t even be entertaining the idea that Jungkook is jealous about who he’s texting, because why would Jungkook be jealous?

Jimin shouldn’t be thinking about any of those things, but he is, and that’s why he’s too slow to react when Jungkook surges forward and effortlessly swipes his phone right from his hand.

“What’re you–" Jimin protests, irritation raising his voice an octave or two. "Jungkook!” He lunges for his phone, but Jungkook retreats to the opposite side of the couch, intent on playing keep-away.

It’s a game again, Jimin knows it is because Jungkook is grinning, and even though Jimin doesn’t want to play anymore, he doesn’t have a choice but to join in.

“Why couldn’t you just tell me, hm?” Jungkook hasn’t looked at Jimin’s text yet, he’s finding too much enjoyment in watching Jimin struggle to take his phone back. “You’re not cheating on me, are you?”

Jimin rolls his eyes, wishing that that he was having half as much fun as Jungkook seemed to be having. “You know that I would never even dream about cheating on you.” He slides closer to Jungkook, which of course has Jungkook scooting farther away.

Just minutes prior, Jimin had been all giggly like a schoolgirl with a secret, had been more than pleased when Jungkook kept asking who texted him. But now Jimin just wants his phone back, and because he wants it, Jungkook won’t give it. That’s how these games work.

Jungkook is so set on withholding Jimin's phone from him that soon, he's laying on his back, his head on one end of the couch and his foot on Jimin’s chest to keep him at bay, and he’s smiling. At least, he’s smiling for a bit. Jungkook is smiling until he actually reads who the text is from.

Now, Jungkook just looks critical of him. “Really?” Jungkook lifts his head so he can properly look into Jimin’s eyes, putting the judgement in them on full display. “Youjin? Jimin, tell me you’re not going for Youjin.”

“Why does it matter?” Jimin mutters, finding it difficult keeping up with all the jumping back and forth from playful to serious. He’s about to get whiplash from it. “Why are you making it into a big deal– and can you give me my phone back?”

Jungkook presses his foot against Jimin’s chest, pushing him back when he tries to get closer. “I’m not making it into a big deal. You made it into a big deal when you wouldn’t tell me who you were texting.”

Jimin swats Jungkook’s foot away, unable to shake the feeling that he’d just been wronged. Why does it feel like he's being chastised? It’s not like he even did anything bad, so why is Jungkook looking at him like that? Frowning, Jimin holds out his hand, making one last effort. “Can you just give my phone back?” He pauses. “Please?”

“Are you actually gonna go for Youjin?”

No. No he’s not going to go for Youjin. “I don’t know!” Growing increasingly frustrated with Jungkook and his refusal to hand his phone over, Jimin is left with no other choice but to use force. He crawls over Jungkook’s body, nothing on his mind except for retrieving his phone. “Jungkook.” Jimin huffs, reaching out to wrench his phone out of Jungkook's grasp. “Seriously, why are you being so…” The scolding words that he’d been ready to say die on his lips the second that he finally wrestles his phone from Jungkook.

Now that he has his phone back, Jimin realizes where he’s sitting. He’s in a rather compromising positon, sitting right on top of Jungkook. Straddling him.

Before, he had been looking at his phone and only his phone, but now he’s looking at Jungkook, and now he feels like he has a significantly smaller vocabulary than before, and Jungkook’s gaze seems more intense than before, and everything is mixing together to make Jimin’s face feel hotter than before.

“You shouldn’t be talking to him.” Jungkook’s voice is soft and low all at once, and those words from his mouth go straight to Jimin’s heart, making it skip a beat or two.

“I’m…I’m not.” Jimin murmurs, intrigued by the unfamiliar glimmer in Jungkook’s dark eyes. “He’s the one who texted me.” He should get off of Jungkook, but Jungkook isn’t pushing him away. Why isn’t he pushing him away?

There’s no time to think too deeply about the why, and maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that’s a good thing, but what certainly isn’t a good thing is when Taehyung stumbles onto the scene. Jimin didn’t even hear the door opening, but he certainly hears Taehyung.

“Shit! I-I’m so sorry,” Taehyung sputters, his voice causing Jimin's head to snap up just in time to watch as Taehyung puts a hand up to his face, shielding his eyes. “I didn’t know that you guys were– Oh my god, I’m so sorry.” There’s a beat of silence, and then, “wait, no. No, I’m not sorry. The couch, Jungkook? Really? Can you not do it on the couch? I’d really appreciate that.”

With reddening cheeks, Jimin is quick to climb off Jungkook, but he doesn’t get a chance to offer up an explanation to Taehyung and tell him that they definitely were not about to do it on the couch, because the next thing he knows, Jungkook is grabbing his wrist and tugging him to his feet.

“Sorry, Tae.” Jungkook doesn’t even look over his shoulder when he speaks. He doesn’t look at Taehyung and he doesn't look at Jimin, he just drags him to his bedroom. “Won’t happen again.”

Jungkook pulls Jimin into the room and lets the door shut behind them, and now Jimin is standing there, dazed, facing a very unimpressed looking Jungkook. So many things just happened, and all of them are things that Jimin is struggling to make sense of, but amidst all the confusion there is one thing that he's almost certain of.

He's about to get scolded. 

“You can’t start talking to Youjin again.” Jungkook is making a final statement, not a suggestion, and Jimin doesn't bother to mask his bewilderment.

“Why not?” It’s not that he wants to start talking to Youjin again, but he wants to know why Jungkook is so against it. There’s a voice in the back of his head saying that Jungkook is jealous, because why else would he act like this? But Jimin knows better. There’s no reason for Jungkook to be jealous, because they’re friends, and friends don’t get jealous about that kind of thing.

“Because he knows Taehyung,” Jungkook’s eyes dart to the door, and he drops the volume of his voice. “I’m pretty sure they’re friends. Don’t you think it’s a little weird that Youjin decided to text you now? You guys haven’t talked in what, months?” Jungkook raises his eyebrows, and Jimin sort of hates that his words actually make sense.

“Yeah.”

“Taehyung probably put him up to it, asked him to text you. I bet he’ll show up to the party this weekend, too. If you talk to him, Taehyung’s gonna know that something’s up, and then this whole thing will be for nothing.”

This whole thing. Their entire fake relationship will all be for nothing if Taehyung finds out the truth. Jimin knows that it’s true, but those words still sound so harsh. He casts his gaze off to the side, thinking. What if Taehyung really did tell Youjin to text him, what if it was just a test? A test to see whether or not he’s actually with Jungkook. Jimin wonders why that thought hurts.

It’s not as if he likes Youjin all that much. They used to text quite a bit, but the extent of their relationship was flirting and making out at parties, and yeah it was fun, but it never progressed past that, and Jimin doesn’t feel particularly attached to him in any way.

He’s not upset by the thought that Youjin may have only texted him because Taehyung asked him to. So what is he upset by? Jimin shifts his weight from foot to foot, tentative as he studies Jungkook’s face. “Do you really think so?”

“I’m just saying, it’s a little convenient, don’t you think?”

“Maybe.” The more Jimin thinks about it, the more he realizes that Jungkook is probably right. Jungkook hadn’t been jealous. Jungkook hadn’t been upset that Youjin texted him, he’d been upset about the possibility of Taehyung finding out the truth.

“Even if Taehyung didn’t put him up to it, it’s still kinda sketchy that he decides to text you now, after you’re already taken.” Jungkook’s words make the corners of Jimin’s mouth lift in a rather humourless smile. Taken. Taken by his friend who’s only acting like his boyfriend so he doesn’t have to get a stupid haircut. “If Taehyung didn’t ask him to text you, then he’s probably only trying to talk to you now because he thinks you’re with someone else.” Jungkook shrugs coolly. “People want what they can’t have.”

“I guess.” Jimin knows Jungkook is right. He looks down at his feet, and he can’t believe he actually thought that Jungkook might’ve been jealous. He almost wants to laugh at himself for even entertaining the idea. There’s no reason for Jungkook to be jealous because they aren’t even together, and there’s no reason for Jimin to be disappointed that Jungkook isn’t jealous. There’s no logical reason for it, so why does he still feel a pang of disappointment?

“Do you miss him?”

Caught off guard by the question, Jimin blinks, his eyes landing on Jungkook once again. “What?”

“Youjin. Do you miss him?”

“We were never even together…” Jimin shakes his head, eyebrows pulling together. “There’s not really a lot to miss.” Jimin hesitates before he continues, but when he does, there’s caution colouring his voice. “Do you ever miss anyone that you’ve hooked up with?”

“No, but that’s completely different.” Jungkook says, and his reply comes so quickly that Jimin is tempted to believe it. “You and Youjin never even had sex. It was more of a feelings thing than a sex thing.”

“So? It’s not that different.” Jimin knows it is.

“It is.”

“How?” Jimin knows how it is. 

“Because if I actually liked someone, if I actually had feelings for them and if I wanted to be with them, then I wouldn’t just be fucking them.”

Jimin wanted to hear Jungkook say that, wanted to hear those words from his lips, wanted to know that even though Jungkook might not be interested in relationships, he knows what he would do and how he would feel if he if he ever wanted a relationship. If Jungkook actually had feelings for someone, he wouldn’t limit the relationship to just sex.

Of course he wouldn’t do that. Who would? 

Jimin opens his mouth, then closes it again, unsure of why it feels so dry. Is Jungkook worried that he still likes Youjin? Is he worried that because they didn't have a sexual relationship, he had strong feelings for him, and that those feelings are resurfacing? Obviously, there had been a point in time where Jimin had feelings for him, but not anymore.

When Jimin looks at Jungkook, there isn’t even the tiniest shred of longing that he feels for Youjin. Jimin swallows. “I don’t miss him.”

When he hears those words, Jungkook’s expression softens, melts into something kinder and more familiar to Jimin. “Sorry if I came across kinda harsh…” He tapers off, scratching the top of his head. “I just don’t want you to get hurt. And whatever his reason may be for texting you, I don’t think it’s a good one.”

Jimin finds comfort in Jungkook’s eyes. Jungkook cares about him, and his words alone are more than enough to make Jimin want to smile. There’s no need for a heavy mood, because he has Jungkook in his life, and Jungkook cares about him. So Jimin smiles. He lets all other thoughts dissolve away, so that the only thing left to focus on is Jungkook.

Jimin smiles because he wants to rid the air of whatever traces of tension are still lingering, and he smiles because smiling around Jungkook is easy. He smiles because that’s all he ever wants to do when he’s around Jungkook, he doesn’t want any more of the weird and awkward atmosphere that shows up whenever he reads too much into things.

He’s not used to dealing with Jungkook and tension, but he’s certainly used to dealing with Jungkook and teasing.

Teasing is what they do best.

“You know,” Jimin starts, and he makes sure that Jungkook is paying attention to his honeyed voice before he goes on. He only keeps talking when he notices the way Jungkook’s mouth is curving upwards in a telltale sign that he recognizes the playful tone. “There’s no one that could ever take me away from you.”

Jungkook is wearing a full-blown smile, and Jimin likes knowing he’s the person that gets to see that smile the most. “And I’d never let anyone take you away from me.” Jungkook's eyes are smiling too. “Because you’re mine.”

Jimin laughs because it’s silly and stupid and over the top, and because when he notices Jungkook scrunching up his nose and snickering, he has to join in with him. Jungkook’s laugh is infectious. Every time Jimin hears Jungkook laugh, he wants to keep him laughing like that. Jungkook deserves to laugh, and the world deserves to hear his laugh.

It’s a really nice laugh.

Not long after they've settled down, Jimin decides he should probably head back home. Jungkook offers to walk him back to his dorms, and Jimin doesn’t argue with him.

Just before he can leave his bedroom though, Jungkook stops Jimin at the door, smiling deviously. “Wait.” Before Jimin can ask what exactly it is that he’s supposed to be waiting for, Jungkook reaches out, using both hands to tousle Jimin’s hair into an unkempt mess. “There.” He nods once, satisfied by Jimin’s dishevelled appearance.

"Um," Jimin laughs airily. "What was that for?" He lifts a hand to fix his mess of hair, intending to comb through it to right every strand that Jungkook had wronged, but Jungkook playfully bats his hand down.

“We just had wild sex,” Jungkook smiles wryly, and ruffles Jimin’s hair once more for good measure. “Remember?”

The better question would be how could Jimin not remember Taehyung walking in on them, and then wrongly assuming that they had been trying to get it on out there on the couch. No way will Jimin ever forget that.

Jimin's face is warm, he can’t deny that, but the colour dusting his cheeks is more to do with the whole Taehyung situation than anything else. It certainly has nothing to do with Jungkook’s silly grin.

“Sorry,” Jimin hums sweetly. He pats Jungkook on the chest as if to console him. “I totally forgot.”

“How could you forget that.” Jungkook lets out a melodramatic gasp. “I’m offended.”

“Maybe it’s a sign you should step up your game.” Jimin shrugs nonchalantly, a noticeable bounce in his step as he turns for the door.

“My game is just fine.” Jungkook follows behind him. “What about your game? Do I need to remind you about how I slaughtered you at pool last week?”

“Doesn’t matter, because I’m gonna kick your ass at beer pong this weekend.”

“Jimin, you suck at games when you’re sober. You think you can win when you’re drunk?”

“Watch me.”

“It’s cute that you think you can beat me.”

Jimin wonders why cute is starting to become his new favourite word. He thinks that he likes hearing it a little too much.

 

Chapter Text

It’s 8’oclock on Friday night, and Jungkook is throwing his head back and downing his third shot while Jimin watches in horrified fascination. They aren’t even at the party yet. They aren’t at the party, and Jungkook is already taking shots with no chase.

Jungkook said that he wanted to get a buzz going before they actually headed over to Mino’s, so now it’s just the two of them drinking alone in Jungkook’s dorm. From the looks of things, it seems like Jungkook is searching for more than just a little buzz at the moment.

It’s not like Jimin is in any position to judge him for it though, and he knows that Jungkook has a decent alcohol tolerance.

“You’re insane.” Jimin notes with a rather indolent smile. He hasn’t had any shots yet, but he doesn’t need any– not right now, at least. Jimin is only one and a half coolers into the night and he’s already starting to feel it, and it’s way too early for him to start taking shots.

“No,” Jungkook smacks his lips and sets his shot glass on the table, and the grin that he’s wearing tells Jimin that he feels absolutely no shame. “I’m committed.” He rectifies.

“Committed?”

“Yeah, to getting drunk.”

“Jungkook,” Jimin laughs, and the sound of it is airier than it usually is, and when it bubbles up from his chest it feels better than it usually does. “If you keep drinking like this for the rest of the night, you’re gonna be making the ultimate commitment. Death.”

“Don’t worry, can handle myself.” Jungkook taunts. “Not everyone’s a lightweight like you.”

“We aren’t even at the party yet, and you’ve had three shots.”

Jungkook doesn’t even look up when he pours another one. “Four.” But instead of taking it himself, he pushes the shot glass towards Jimin. “And baby, I want you to be my fourth.” His cockiness spills over into his smile, and he raises the bottle to his lips in preparation for taking a swig straight from it.

Pressing the back of a hand against his own forehead, Jimin pretends to swoon, his other hand reaching out for the shot glass. “You’re such a romantic.”

Jimin doesn’t want to say no to taking a shot. He doesn’t want to say no because after being called a lightweight he feels like he has something to prove, and he doesn’t say no because the smile on Jungkook’s face is pretty damn convincing.

By the time they’re making their way over to Mino’s, Jimin is down two coolers, and had been suckered into taking not one, but two shots. He probably doesn’t need any more to drink. He doesn’t need any more, but he’s a university student and the night is young, and he’s already all smiles and giggles, and he knows that he’s going to be having a lot more.

The party isn’t very far off campus, so it’s only about a fifteen-minute walk for them – but walking is a very broad term. They don’t really walk, they stumble and bump into each other, knocking shoulders and hips, stopping for a second to laugh every time that they do.

It’s been a while since Jimin has gone out drinking with Jungkook, and he forgot how much fun they always have together whenever they go out together. Right now, Jungkook is doing a really good job of reminding him.

When they show up at the house, the party is in full swing. Inside, the air is already stuffy, and the loud music mingles with the sharp smell of hard liquor, all of it making Jimin’s heartrate feeling like it’s doubling in some sort of anticipatory response to all the excitement and chaos that would no doubt ensue.

In the living room, tables have been moved downstairs for drinking games, and couches are pushed to the walls to make room for people to dance. The mood lamps are set to blue, bathing the room in a cool mellow glow that contrasts with the heated atmosphere.

“Jimin.” Jungkook leans down, raising his voice so he can be heard over the music, and even in the dimly lit room, Jimin catches the spirited flicker in his eyes. “Let’s have fun tonight.”

Having fun is the only thing on Jimin’s mind. He locks eyes with Jungkook. “Let’s.”

Jungkook takes his hand in his own, and he doesn’t forget to lace their fingers together, and now Jimin finds himself feeling significantly more light-headed than he’d been just seconds prior.

It must be the alcohol kicking in.

Together, they wade through a crowd of people, and as soon as they make it to the other side, Hoseok comes bounding over with a half-finished drink in his hand and a broad smile on his face. He doesn’t say anything more than an enthusiastic “drinks!” as way of greeting, and with that, he herds Jimin and Jungkook into the kitchen.

Unlike the living room, the kitchen is well lit, meaning Jimin can clearly see that it’s already a mess with bottles and plastic cups littering the countertops. There’s a cooler full of beer next to the fridge, probably because it’s too full of alcohol to fit any more in it.

Mino always throws the best parties.

“Who’s down for shots?” Hoseok doesn’t even wait for a response before he’s taking charge, snagging the bottle of Fireball that Jungkook brought with him, and pouring them a round. Hoseok knows how to have a good time.

The three of them stay in the kitchen for a bit, chatting and drinking and laughing senselessly, and Jimin is feeling really good.

Like, really really good. He isn’t holding Jungkook’s hand anymore, but he stays pressed against the warmth of his side like he’s afraid to wander too far away from him. The only reason for it is because it’s convenient for him to lean on Jungkook when he doubles over and collapses in on himself while he’s laughing. Jimin may laugh a lot when he’s sober, but when he’s drunk he laughs a ridiculous amount, so it’s nice to have Jungkook there to steady him.

Soon after their second round of shots, they’re all teeming with alcohol induced enthusiasm, and Hoseok gets really chatty, launching into a recounting of very detailed, confusing, and admittedly morally grey story involving Yoongi.

Jimin hangs on to every word of it. 

 

“And that was the last time Min Yoongi ever went to a party.” Hoseok concludes. He looks off into the distance, staring at nothing, reminiscing in old memories.

“Wait.” Jimin holds up a hand, struggling to process everything that Hoseok had just revealed. He squints his eyes as if doing so would help him make sense of it all. “He stole their cat?”

Jungkook throws his head back and cackles from where he’s standing beside him.

“He didn’t steal the cat.” Hoseok draws in a deep breath. “Weren’t you listening? He thought that the cat was a…” The sentence doesn't get finished. Hoseok’s eyes light up when something in the living room catches his attention. “No way…” He grins. “That guy over there is from my history class– I didn’t peg him as a partier. I’m gonna go say hi to him, I’ll catch up with you guys later.” He bids Jimin and Jungkook goodbye, taking his cup with him to the makeshift dancefloor. “Hey, Namjoon!”

And just like that, Jimin and Jungkook are alone.

Well, they aren’t exactly alone because there are a few other people loitering in the kitchen, but they might as well be alone because they’re not paying attention to anyone else.

Jimin had been so absorbed in Hoseok’s story just seconds ago, but strangely enough, now he couldn’t care less about it.

The second that Hoseok leaves, Jimin’s eyes are on Jungkook, and Jungkook’s eyes are on Jimin. They stare at each other, silent and smiling, and right now Jungkook is all he can look at. For some reason, Jungkook looks a little different right now, but Jimin can’t quite pin down what it is that’s different.

There’s just something about the way that Jungkook’s eyes are lit up that’s making it difficult for him to turn away. Jimin doesn’t want to turn away. Maybe it’s Jungkook’s eyes, or maybe it’s the lopsided smile that he’s wearing, or maybe it’s how soft and fluffy his hair looks...

No.

It’s the alcohol. It’s definitely the alcohol.

“So,” Jungkook is the first to speak up, a certain smugness in his expression, and it has Jimin wondering what the hell he has to be so smug about. “One more drink and then beer pong?”

Beer pong. Right. That’s why Jungkook looks so smug – because he thinks he’ll win. Jimin can’t let that happen, he’s determined to beat Jungkook and wipe that smug look right off his face.

Lips perking playfully. Jimin hands his cup to Jungkook so he can fill it up. “Depends.” He hums, and instead of leaning against Jungkook now, he’s leaning against the counter. “You ready to get your ass handed to you?”

“I’d rather have your ass handed to me.” Jungkook says unflinchingly, pouring them both a drink. He’s even more shameless when he’s drunk.

If Jungkook said that to him a month ago, then Jimin would have been left standing there with his mouth hanging open, gaping at him like a fish out of water.

But he’s used to this now. They flirt when they’re sober, so flirting while drunk is nothing.

Jimin nods his head slowly, mildly impressed by how quickly Jungkook managed to come up with that in his drunken state. “Not bad.”

Alcohol makes it that much easier to flirt, makes it feel natural, and maybe they’re playing a dangerous game, but it’s still a game that Jimin wants to play.

Jimin knows that Jungkook is a flirt when he’s drunk, because they’ve partied together so many times, and he sees the way Jungkook acts when he’s out.

But Jimin hasn’t ever been on the receiving end of his drunk flirting.

He likes it more than he should.

“Right?” Jungkook looks pleased with himself, blatantly cocky as he passes Jimin his cup back, and this time it’s full. “I pride myself in my flirting capabilities.”

“I don’t know if I’d call that flirting.” Jimin muses. Jungkook might be a flirty drunk, but Jimin can be quite the flirt too, and he finds himself confident and encouraged by the glimmer in Jungkook's eyes. “It was more just like you saying you wanted to get in my pants.”

“Maybe.” Jungkook shrugs, mouth hidden behind his cup as he lifts it to his lips, but even so, Jimin can see the smirk in his eyes. “But you still liked it.”

“Baby.” Jimin’s voice is soft, peeking up at Jungkook through his lashes as he places his hand on his forearm to give it a gentle squeeze. “I loved it.”

The alcohol is officially taking over, it’s taking over Jungkook and it’s taking over Jimin, but Jimin doesn’t fight it. For some reason, he wants to give into it, wants to go wherever the tide may take him.

The harmless flirting is just that– harmless. It’s harmless, and it doesn’t mean anything. It’s part of their act. It’s fun. Jimin wants to get swept away in the act, and he’ll enjoy every second of it, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the here and now, because in a month it’ll all be over and they won’t flirt anymore, and they’ll look back at these ridiculous moments and joke about it.

So Jimin figures that it's perfectly acceptable to enjoy it while he can.

“Yeah?” Jungkook lifts his chin, nodding challengingly. “What else do you love about me, then? Pump my tires a bit more.”

“Your ego’s already big enough. You don’t need me to stroke it.”

“If you want, I can give you something else to stroke.”

Jimin digs his teeth into his lower lip, tries his best to hide his smile. Should he be enjoying flirting with his friend this much? Probably not, but he can’t help it. It’s shameless and it’s dangerous and it’s bordering on taboo and he likes it.

It’s thrilling in a weird sort of way, and Jimin doesn’t want to think about it too much because he’s drunk and it’s confusing. He doesn't want to think, he just wants to do. “Well if you’re offering…”

“Thank god.” Jungkook pushes out an exaggerated sigh of relief, turning around so that his back is facing Jimin. “Because my back is killing me.”

That’s all it takes to send Jimin over the edge. This is why Jungkook is so great, because he says things and does things that are so goofy and strange and he’s just so funny, and he knows how to make Jimin laugh better than anyone else.

Jimin lets himself go, squeezes his eyes shut as he laughs, and he tips forward so that his forehead presses against Jungkook’s back, and he laughs so hard he can’t stand straight.

It has nothing to do with the alcohol and everything to do with Jungkook.

Jungkook makes him as giddy, makes him as light and bubbly as champagne so that he effervesces with happiness, and it’s an addicting feeling and Jimin never wants it to end.

The two of them stay in the kitchen for a while longer, joking around and soaking up each other’s smiles, and somewhere in the midst of all the giggling and teasing, Jimin forgets that they’re even at a party.

That is, until Taehyung comes stumbling into the kitchen, serving as a reminder that Jimin and Jungkook aren’t the only two people on earth, and that the world isn’t spinning just for them.

It’s actually spinning because of the alcohol.

“Kookie!” Taehyung calls out gleefully. “Roomie!” He’s holding a solo cup, and when he ambles on over to them, dark liquid sloshes out of it. Taehyung is beaming, looks like the happiest of happy drunks, and when he's close enough to Jungkook, he throws an arm over his shoulder.

Truthfully, Jimin had completely forgotten all about Taehyung, and he definitely forgot that the only reason Jungkook had been flirting so much is because of Taehyung and the stupid bet.

It’s kind of a sobering realization.

Jimin sets his cup down, well aware that the most recent couple of shots he had haven’t even hit him yet, and he’s going to be in big trouble when they do. He should probably stop drinking.

“Kookie, have you gone pee yet?” Taehyung questions, eyes big and round, looking more excited than he probably should considering what he just asked.

“Pee?" Jungkook snorts, an easy grin finding its way to his face. “Why d’you wanna know–”

“Have you seen their shower curtains?” Somehow, Taehyung’s eyes manage to open even wider. “Oh my god, we need shower curtains like that for our place. I’ll show you, you gotta see them.” Taehyung starts to pull Jungkook away, neck craning to look over his shoulder at Jimin at the last second. “Don’t worry! I’ll have him back in a sec!” And before anything else can be said by anyone, Taehyung whisks Jungkook away.

Jimin is left alone in the kitchen, feeling considerably soberer than he’d felt just minutes prior. He picks up his cup again, only because he feels awkward standing there without it, and he goes to stand by the fridge to wait for Jungkook.

They only flirted so much to put on a show as Jungkook put it, and that’s all that this is– one big act and one huge lie.

It’s all a lie– Jungkook doesn’t really like him in that way, and Jimin doesn’t like Jungkook in that way. He shouldn’t like him in that way, but the alcohol is making his mind a muddled mess.

It’s just the alcohol making him feel funny things. He needs to stop thinking so much– there’s not even anything to think about. He’s Jungkook’s friend, and he’s doing a favour for him by pretending to date him.

That’s it.

Jimin stares into his cup. Maybe he really should have another drink after all, so that he doesn’t have to think too much anymore.

With nothing else to do as he waits around, Jimin lifts his drink to his lips, intending on downing the rest of it, but a voice coming from over his shoulder interrupts him and has him whirling around in surprise.

“Hey.”

Jimin’s lips part, and when he turns, he finds himself staring up at a familiar face. “Youjin.” He supplies brilliantly.

“Long time no see, huh?” Youjin chuckles. It hasn’t really been that long– only a few months, certainly not long enough for Youjin’s appearance to change drastically or anything. “How’ve you been?” The smile he’s wearing has Jimin smiling right back. Youjin is the same, he’s still well built (obviously still frequenting the gym), still taller than the average person, still looks incredibly intimidating if you don’t actually know him, but is still one of the nicest people Jimin’s ever met.

Despite what happened earlier that week with Youjin’s random text and Jungkook’s stern warning, Jimin doesn’t see anything wrong with talking to him. It’s the polite thing to do, after all. What’s he supposed to do? Turn his back on him and ignore him?

“I’ve been good, yeah.” Jimin nods. “Still drowning in schoolwork.” He holds up his cup, “still going to parties to try to forget about all the schoolwork.”

“Ah.” Youjin nods knowingly. “The life of a university student.” He leans against the fridge, shoving his hands into his pockets. “I’m glad you’re doing well…and look, while we're here right now, I just wanna say that if I ever did something to hurt you, I’m sorry.”

Jimin frowns, unsure where that came from. He takes a second to sort out a reply, confusion mixing with the alcohol to make is head spin. “Why would you say that? You never did anything–”

“When you didn’t reply to my text, I guess I thought I did something wrong.” Youjin shrugs.

Shit. Jimin inwardly groans, suddenly feeling like an asshole. He should’ve at least texted him back – offered him some sort of explanation instead of just outright ignoring him. Youjin didn’t do anything wrong at all. Their fling or whatever little thing they had going on fizzled out, as things like that do after a while. No one ever did anything to hurt anyone. 

“No, no you didn’t do anything wrong at all.” Jimin assures hastily. Does he tell Youjin that he’s seeing someone? Does he say that he didn’t see the text, or that he was too busy to reply? Either way, he’s telling a lie. “It’s just that I’m–”

“Babe.” This time, it’s Jungkook’s turn to startle Jimin.

When Jimin feels Jungkook’s arm slide around his waist, he shuts right up, body stiffening in surprise.

He’s glad for the loud music, glad for the bass that’s bumped up all the way, because Jimin is certain that if it wasn’t, then everyone would be able to hear the wildly sporadic thudding of his heart. Jungkook pulls him closer to his side, and there’s enough traces of possessiveness in the action to send a spark of excitement straight up Jimin’s spine.

“Sorry to interrupt.” Jungkook says. Even though there’s a smile on his face, it’s directed at Youjin, and it doesn’t appear the least bit inviting.

Unsure of where to look, Jimin lowers his eyes to the floor, heat winding its way through his body when Jungkook subtly squeezes his hip, and he’s suddenly losing himself in some sort of alcohol induced haze as his head becomes clouded with Jungkook.

“Do you still wanna play beer pong?” Jungkook murmurs, mouth dangerously close to Jimin’s ear.

“I-I, uh.” Words are hard.

Jungkook doesn’t give Jimin a chance to come up with something more substantial to reply with. He steers Jimin away from the kitchen without another word, and even though Jimin's mind is still reeling, he has just enough sense left to look back at Youjin, who’s watching him with eyebrows raised dubiously.

All Jimin can do is offer an apologetic smile and mouth sorry.

There may be a tinge of guilt that he feels about leaving Youjin when they were in the middle of a conversation, but Jimin isn’t necessarily upset with Jungkook.

He’s a lot of things, but he’s not upset.

“What did he want?” Jungkook mutters, a subtle bite in his voice.

It’s at that point in the night where Jimin has to keep reminding himself that Jungkook is his friend, and friends don’t get jealous. He has to keep telling himself that, because with everything that’s going on right now it’s easy to forget.

“Nothing, really.” Jimin tries to play it cool, tells himself his cheeks are only coloured all rosy because of the shots. “He just asked how I was, and why I never texted him back.”

“That’s it?” Jungkook sounds skeptical, looks skeptical.

“He’s a nice guy, Jungkook.”

“Every guy’s a nice guy when they want something.” Jungkook says flatly, his hand moving to the small of Jimin’s back, guiding him down the stairs.

Jimin knows he shouldn’t like Jungkook’s touch so much. But he does. He shouldn’t like thinking that Jungkook is jealous about Youjin. But he does.

It must be the alcohol.

Beer pong proves to be a total disaster (for Jimin anyway), and not only does he end up losing every round that he plays, but now the room is tilting in a way that defies the laws of gravity, and the last thing he feels like doing is standing.

He tells Jungkook that he needs to sit down, and Jungkook doesn’t hesitate to take the lead. He grabs Jimin’s hand and brings him to a couch that smells a little like sweat and a lot like stale beer. It’s a couch that has definitely seen its fair share of parties, and when they sit, the worn-out cushions have them both sinking into the middle, forcing their knees to knock together. 

There’s not much space left between them, but they’re both drunk and don’t mind the close proximity.

“How’re you feeling? You okay?” Jungkook’s concern does funny things to Jimin’s heart. “Or are you just faking it so that I feel bad for beating you in beer pong?”

And Jungkook’s teasing has the exact same effect on him.

Anything that Jungkook does right about now has Jimin feeling a little weird, but again, he chalks it up to his drunkenness.

“I never fake anything.” Jimin claims, a blatant lie. “And I’m okay. I’m just kinda dizzy, y’know?” He starts nodding his head vigorously, as if the more he nods the more convincing he’ll be, but the more he nods the more he's convinced that he's way too drunk. Once he stops his excessive nodding, he simply allows his head to loll to the side. “Okay…” A smile lazily spreads over his face. “Now I’m a lot dizzy.”

Jungkook grins in the cute way that he does when he’s drunk, and places his hands on either side of Jimin’s head as if to offer some form of stability.

But Jimin feels anything but stable. When he looks into Jungkook’s eyes, Jimin isn't just dizzy anymore, he's breathless too. He wonders if Jungkook can feel how hot his cheeks are.

“Better?” Jungkook asks, and his voice is so soft that it has Jimin wanting to lean in so he can hear him more clearly.

“Better.” Jimin can barely find his own voice; it’s hard to talk, hell, it’s hard to think when Jungkook is looking at him like that. Why is Jungkook looking at him like that?

Worried that he’ll end up losing himself in Jungkook’s gaze if he looks for much longer, Jimin forces himself to break eye contact, but even so, he can still feel the heat from Jungkook’s stare.

Jimin doesn’t want to look at Jungkook again, he can’t look at him again, so he looks over Jungkook’s shoulder in a feeble attempt to cool himself down.

He doesn’t end up cooling down though. In fact, what he sees when he looks over Jungkook’s shoulder has Jimin’s stomach twisting and his nerves jumping.

Someone’s watching them.

“Taehyung’s looking…” Jimin murmurs, something hot flaring up in his chest.

“Is he?” Jungkook rests a hand on Jimin’s knee, and the second that he does, he earns Jimin’s undivided attention.

So much for not being able to look at him. Now, Jimin wouldn’t be able to turn away even if he wanted to. Attracted by the light reflecting in Jungkook’s eyes, Jimin nods.

“And what about Youjin?”

Jimin isn’t sure if he’s the one leaning in or if it’s Jungkook, but now they’re close enough to breathe each other’s air, and now Jimin can feel Jungkook’s breath on his lips, and he smells like cinnamon from all the shots of Fireball he had, and Jimin wonders if he tastes like cinnamon too.

“I don’t know.” Jimin swallows. “I don’t care.”

“No?”

“No.” Air catches in Jimin’s throat when he notices Jungkook’s gaze dropping to stare at his lips.

“Promise?”

“Promise.” All Jimin can do is whisper.

And one second Jungkook’s hand is on his knee, and then the next second it’s sliding up his thigh, and there’s a tiny voice in Jimin’s head telling him to pull away now before it’s too late, but he doesn’t listen to it and he doesn’t pull away.

But Jungkook does.

Jimin is wrenched form whatever drunken daze he’d been in as soon as Jungkook jumps to his feet.

“Let’s go play flip cup!” Jungkook hauls Jimin up from the couch, not even sparing him a single glance before leading him back to where all the drinking games are.

Jimin doesn't really feel like playing games anymore. 

He doesn’t play flip cup. He doesn’t drink anymore either, he just sits back and watches Jungkook play. After what happened on the couch, he figures that it’s best to sober up, or to at least try to. Whatever just happened was all because of the alcohol, and Jimin doesn’t even know what that was, but he knows that it definitely shouldn’t happen again.

It was too close…too real.

So Jimin stops drinking for the night, fills his solo cup with water instead of alcohol.

Jungkook doesn’t stop.

While Jimin stands against the wall and sips on water, chatting to someone he knows from one of his classes, Jungkook throws himself into games, and he downs drinks as if they’re water. As time goes on, Jimin’s concern for Jungkook rises and his drunkenness falls.

Usually when Jimin goes out drinking, he sobers up pretty quickly when he decides to take on the role of being the responsible one and making sure that his friends don’t ruin their livers too badly. He probably should’ve taken up that role a while ago, but he thought that it was best to stay back so he didn’t interfere with Jungkook’s fun.

Now, Jimin feels that it’s his duty as a good friend to step in and ruin his fun.

He’s just about to push himself off the wall and abandon it in favour of saving Jungkook from taking another drink, but he stops when he notices that Jungkook is already heading towards him, striding purposefully.

“Jungkook?” Jimin frowns when Jungkook wordlessly takes him by the wrist, and the next thing he knows, Jungkook is pulling him away from the crowd, away from the music, away from everything.

He brings Jimin into a room, only letting go of him once the door closes behind them.

All night, Jimin had been letting Jungkook drag him around wherever he wanted, and he never really cared until now. Now, he’s just worried about Jungkook, and confused about why they are where they are now.

With his mouth curved into a subtle frown, Jimin watches as Jungkook unceremoniously plops himself down on the floor, back resting against the bed. Jimin isn’t sure whose bedroom it is, but there’s a heap of dirty laundry in the corner of the room, there’s a pile of books sitting underneath an empty take-away container, and the walls are covered in posters.

Could be any university student’s room.

“Sorry.” Jungkook mumbles, head lowered so that his chin is tucked to his chest. “I just had to get away from all of…” He vaguely motions towards the door, “that.”

Well, at least Jungkook isn’t too drunk to recognize that he needed to walk away from the drinking.

“Why’d you go so hard back there?” Jimin asks, making a conscious effort not to sound accusatory. He's not judging him, he just wants to know what prompted Jungkook’s sudden drinking spree.

“Needed to drown my sorrows.”

“Sorrows?”

“Never mind.” Jungkook dismisses. “Stupid joke. Sorry.” He groans. “I feel like shit right now.”

“Jungkook…” Jimin softens, wishing he could do something to make him feel better. He joins Jungkook on the floor, hugging his knees up to his chest. “Are you okay?”

“I may have had a little too much to drink.” Jungkook draws in a deep breath, holds it for a second. “I think it was the wine I chugged. I knew it was a bad idea. Wine is always a bad idea.”

“Wine? When did you have wine?”

“I don’t know, but it happened.”

Jimin sighs, just thankful that he decided to start drinking water when he did. Right now he’s not necessarily sober, but he’s sober enough to take care of his friend. He’ll always look after Jungkook. “Are you gonna be alright?” All he wants is for him to be okay, to feel comfortable and safe. “Do you feel like you’re gonna throw up?”

“No.” Jungkook raises his head, stares at the wall for a second. “I don’t know. Maybe.” He pauses, and despite the state that he's currently in, he still finds it in himself to turn to Jimin and offer up a dopey little grin. “Will you hold my hair back if I do?”

A faint smile twitches at the corner of Jimin’s mouth, and when he speaks, his voice is soft. “Baby, you know I’d do anything for you.”

And it’s true.

Jimin’s words have nothing to do with what alcohol is still lingering in his system, and his words have nothing to do with the fact that they’re in a fake relationship and he’s pretending to be Jungkook’s boyfriend.

Jimin really would do anything for Jungkook.

“Thanks.” Jungkook chuckles weakly, lowering his head once more so he’s looking down at his lap. “You know…I don’t know what I’d do without you.” He leans his head on Jimin’s shoulder. “I’m glad you’re in my life.”

Jungkook doesn’t usually say sentimental things like that. Jimin knows that Jungkook cares about him because of how Jungkook acts towards him, but Jungkook never says things like that, never makes any outright declarations, and even though those words are alcohol induced, those words have Jimin feeling some type of way.

When he hears those words from Jungkook, a lovely warmth settles in Jimin’s chest, and Jimin hopes that warmth will make its home there and stay forever.

This warmth doesn’t burn like alcohol does when it goes down, it doesn’t render him a lightheaded giggling mess, and it doesn’t cause his judgement to become clouded.

This warmth is grounding. With this warmth, Jimin can see perfectly fine.

He thinks that he might care about Jungkook more than he cares about anyone else in this whole entire world.

He never wants anything bad to happen to Jungkook. He hopes that life only ever gives him reasons to smile. He feels lucky that he has a friend like Jungkook.

Jimin rests his cheek on the top of Jungkook’s head, allows himself to enjoy the sweetness of this moment. He doesn’t know if they’ll still have moments like these in a month’s time when the bet is over...but he hopes they will.

“I’m glad I get to be in your life.” Jimin murmurs.

It’s quiet after that – quiet save for the dull thud of the bass and the muffled chanting of shots coming from the other side of the door. Jimin’s heart is quiet, it’s beating steadily, beating like it finally settled on a suitable speed.

He likes the pace it’s going at now– it’s an easy pace. Comfortable.

They stay in the bedroom for a while, hidden away from the party, only getting up when Jungkook says that he wants to go back home. Under Jimin’s supervision, Jungkook drinks a big glass of water before they leave.

The walk back to campus is nice.

The cool air is good for Jungkook, and when they’re almost halfway back, he claims that he’s feeling way better. He’s feeling so much better that he even offers to give Jimin a piggyback the rest of the way.

Jimin is skeptical.

“That's sweet, but,” Jimin smiles, unable to help himself. “Not even an hour ago you said that you felt like you might puke.”

“And now it’s not even an hour later and I feel fine, and I wanna give you a piggyback– I know your tiny feet get sore easily.”

“Well I won’t let you give me one.”

“Baby, please let me.” Jungkook gets down on his knees in front of Jimin, being his ridiculous self and begging.

“Jungkook," Jimin can’t contain his laughter, he tips his head back and laughs up at the night sky. "Why?” 

“Nothing would make me happier.”

It’s hard to say no to that.

Jungkook hoists him up onto his back while Jimin secures his arms around his neck, and with the streetlamps lighting their way, they head back to the dorms.

They lapse into an easy silence, and soon there’s just the din of traffic in the distance and the sound of Jungkook’s shoes on the pavement. Jimin enjoys the walk. He likes the gentle breeze ruffling his hair, likes that the busy city somehow seems so quiet, and he likes that Jungkook’s body heat chases away the slight chill in the air.

Most of the walk is nice, but some of it isn’t.

Even though Jungkook claimed to be feeling better, he still ends up puking on the side of the road just before they make it back to campus. He’s still giving Jimin a piggyback when it happens.

It’s pretty gross being on someone’s back when they’re leaning forward and retching, but it means that Jimin is in a perfect position to comb his fingers through Jungkook’s hair and murmur soothing words to him while he heaves. Jimin is just glad that he can be there for Jungkook when he needs him.

By the time they make it back to Jimin’s dorm, the effects of the fresh air are wearing off, and Jimin is starting to feel the effects of the long night kicking in. He climbs off Jungkook’s back so that he can let them in, and when he notices the way Jungkook has to brace himself against the wall during the couple seconds that it takes to pull his keys out of his pocket, Jimin has a feeling that Jungkook is considerably more tired than he is.

“You’re staying here tonight, right?” He leads Jungkook to the kitchen, and even though he’s asking a question as if Jungkook actually has a choice, Jimin won’t take no for an answer.

Jungkook looked after him when he had been too tired to walk back to his own dorms, and now it’s Jimin’s turn to return the favour.

“Honestly... I don’t feel like walking back right now.” Jungkook admits, back pressed against the fridge while Jimin fills up a water bottle for him at the sink. “D’you mind?”

“Course not.” Jimin assures. “You can sleep in my bed, and I’ll take the couch.” He gives the bottle to Jungkook, smiling. “It’s only fair.”

“Are you sure? I can take the couch– I’m gonna pass out no matter where I am. I can even take the floor.” There's a beat of silence in which Jungkook shuffles awkwardly, water bottle lightly swinging in his hand. “Or…if you want, we could both just stay in the bed. I’m cool with that, too.”

Jimin can’t think of a good reason to say no.

Or maybe he just doesn’t try to.

Sleep isn’t hard to find that night. Jimin falls asleep in his own bed, falls asleep next to Jungkook, and he falls asleep with a full heart.

They keep to their respective sides of the bed, but even so, Jimin can feel the comforting heat that Jungkook so endlessly provides, and he still gets the sense that he’s surrounded in Jungkook and his never-ending warmth. 

No one else can make him feel this way.

It’s only Jungkook.

Chapter Text

The first thing that Jimin notices when he wakes up the next morning is Jungkook’s absence. When Jimin opens his eyes, he can see a gentle stream of sunlight filtering in through the blinds, and it’s warm and pleasant, but it’s not Jungkook’s warmth.

He rolls over onto his side just to confirm what he already knows, seeing that the space beside him is empty. Sitting upright, Jimin tucks his knees to his chest, gaze lingering on what had been Jungkook’s side of the bed last night.

He wonders how Jungkook managed to wake up before he did when he had been the one who drank the most – Jimin doesn’t even want to think about what sort of hangover Jungkook woke up with. Thankfully, Jimin isn’t suffering from a hangover, he’s just a bit groggy and pretty confused about why Jungkook left.

Why does he kind of wish that Jungkook was still there? How does he already miss him if they’d been together just hours ago?

Jimin’s stomach churns, a strange feeling stirring up from deep within.

Maybe he really does have a bit of a hangover after all. Or maybe he’s just hungry. It’s probably close to lunch by now.

Curious about what time it actually is, Jimin reaches for his phone to check, but he ends up forgetting all about the time as soon as he sees the string of missed messages from Jungkook. As he reads the texts, the first smile of the day claims Jimin’s lips.

 

[9:55am]

My Everything 💛:  Morning sunshine

My Everything 💛: I’m surprised that I woke up before you did but you were out like a light when I got up and I didn’t want to wake you so I just walked back home

My Everything 💛:  Text me when you get up so I know you’re not dead

My Everything 💛: lol like what if you were actually dead when I woke up but I just assumed that you were sleeping but I was actually lying next to your dead body like that would be messed up

My Everything 💛:  Anyway I hope you’re not dead

My Everything 💛:  Also I might still be a little drunk

 

Jimin’s smile widens. Jungkook’s texts prove to work just as well as a shot of caffeine would, and he finds himself energized by Jungkook and the strange ways he has of showing sweetness. Stretching out on his stomach, Jimin rests his chin on his pillow as he types out a reply.

 

[11:20am]

My Baby 💕💘💗💞If anyone should be dead right now it’s you

My Everything 💛Ya I shouldn’t drink that much ever again

My Everything 💛And honestly Jimin…when I opened my eyes this morning I actually thought that I was dead.

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Aw why? You still feel sick? Are you okay?

My Everything 💛I woke up next to an angel. Thought I must’ve been in heaven

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I can’t believe you just said that

My Everything 💛Right? I’m getting really good at this coupley shit. Like I’m even surprising myself. I just gave myself goosebumps

 

They text for a bit longer, long enough for Jimin’s cheeks to bloom a warm pink, and long enough for them to make plans to hang out later. They plan on recovering from their night of drinking by eating junk food and watching movies together, and Jimin can’t think of a better way to spend the day.

When he steps out of his bedroom for the first time that morning, he finds Yoongi already in the kitchen, leaning against the counter with a cup of coffee in his hand.

“Morning,” Jimin hums a bright greeting, and there’s a smile lingering on his face, though he isn’t aware of it. The only thing he’s aware of right now is how strangely good he feels despite the fact that he’d been drinking last night. “Is there any coffee left?”

Yoongi lifts his chin in the direction of the pot. “Help yourself.”

While Jimin grabs a mug from the cupboard, Yoongi watches on with a rather strange expression, like he’s in on a secret that Jimin doesn’t know about.

Jimin is used to Yoongi’s playful stares and joking words, but the look that he’s getting right now isn’t how Yoongi normally looks at him when he’s teasing. It’s different somehow.

It’s not enough to make Jimin uncomfortable, and it’s not enough to dampen his spirit in any way, but it’s certainly enough to pique his curiosity.

As he pours his coffee, he glances over at Yoongi questioningly, even allowing a faint laugh to push past his lips. “What?” Right now, he feels too good not to laugh at least a little bit. “What’s up?”

“Nothing.” Yoongi answers simply, that peculiar look on his face staying there all the while. He lifts his cup, but doesn’t raise it high enough to hide his knowing smile. “You’re just glowing.”

---

Jimin thinks that he must be one of the luckiest people in the whole entire world. Luck must be on his side, or the stars must have aligned just right for him, or he must be on the good side of whatever god is out there. It has to be one of those things. 

Whether his happiness is a product of chance or fate or divine intervention, Jimin may never know which one it is for sure.

All he knows is that he’s happy. So, so happy.

Life is so good that he doesn’t even think it’s fair. He gets to see his best friend every single day – he gets to hang out with Jungkook whenever he wants to. Nowadays, his life is pretty much an endless series of laughing and smiling.

They’re already into their second month of the bet and the fake relationship, and Jimin honestly can’t think of a time in the past where he’s been this happy.

But he’s not just happy.

These days, Jimin feels whole. It’s like there’s not a single piece missing in his life, it’s like everything is in a state of perfect balance so that he doesn’t have a reason to worry about anything.

When you can find happiness in even the smallest and simplest things, then it might very well be a sign that your life is on the right track – that you’re living how you’re supposed to live.

With Jungkook, Jimin finds limitless happiness in even the littlest of things.

In this week alone, there have been countless instances in which Jimin realizes that his life is on the right track, and that there’s nowhere else he’d rather be. Two times in particular happen in the library.

When there’s someone who you can have an endless amount of fun with in the library, that’s how you know you’re spending time with the right person.

 

It’s Monday, and Jimin is trying to catch up on the work he should’ve done, but didn’t do over the weekend. Jungkook somehow convinced him that two full days of doing nothing was the best way to recover from the party on Friday, so all of Saturday and all of Sunday had been days dedicated to lazing around with Jungkook.

Jimin certainly didn’t mind it, and he wouldn’t trade those two days of doing nothing with Jungkook for anything…but now the weekend is over and he really needs to do his readings for his classes.

Jungkook showed up at the library about an hour ago, and he’s sitting across from him at a table, but Jimin isn’t paying much attention to him, only enough to know that he’s on his phone instead of doing any studying. In contrast, Jimin’s been sitting with his eyes down and his nose buried in his books for a good few hours now. He’s barely even lifted his head the entire time he’s been in the library.

His eyes might be getting a little dry and his head may feel like it’s getting a little crowded and maybe his neck is getting a little sore, but at least he’s getting things done. He’s being productive.

The unmistakable click of a camera going off interrupts Jimin’s streak of productiveness.

Searching for the source of the noise, he raises his head only to find that Jungkook is grinning at him as he holds his phone up. Jimin tilts his head to the side, brow wrinkling in confusion, and Jungkook snaps anther picture of him in all of his bewildered glory.

“Jungkook.” Jimin says. “What are you doing?”

Smile.” Is what Jungkook answers with, his eyes brightening with amusement.

It doesn’t exactly answer Jimin’s question.

Jimin doesn’t smile, he nibbles at his lip as he studies Jungkook, trying to figure out what it is that he’s trying to accomplish. He gives up just as soon as he starts, and tries asking again instead. “But why’re you taking pictures–”

“I haven’t seen you smile in like, a whole hour.” Jungkook shrugs, like doing this sort of thing is what normal people do when someone hasn’t smiled in a while. “It was getting weird, I couldn’t take it anymore.”

Jimin hadn’t been smiling because he’d been reading and because he needed to focus, and he stillneeds to focus.

Another click, and another picture is taken.

Jimin sighs.

“Jungkook, I have to–”

“You have to take breaks, too.” Jungkook raises his eyebrows, and one corner of his mouth is higher than the other one, showing off a certain playfulness. “Remember?”

Seeing Jungkook smile like that, has Jimin naturally wanting to mirror it. Jungkook is really something else, something that he can’t help but adore, and Jimin would love to goof off with him for a bit…but he needs to finish his work.

“Can we take a break in a bit?” Jimin asks.

“My photography services are in high demand, I have a tight schedule. It’s gotta be now.”

Jimin doesn’t want to give in, but the way that Jungkook is looking at him is coaxing his smile out to come play. He feels his resolve starting to falter, feels a smile coming through, but he tries to hold it off. “Just give me another hour, and then I’ll–”

“Smile wider for me, baby.” Jungkook encourages.

Jimin doesn’t even have to try to smile. Those words alone are enough to make Jimin smile so big that it has his eyes crinkling so that they’re smiling along with him.

“That’s the way.” Jungkook says with a satisfied grin. “Look right into the camera.”

“Jeon Jungkook,” Jimin shakes his head fondly. “You’re ridiculous.”

“And babe, you’re a natural.” Jungkook changes his angle, moving himself like he’s trying to be an actual photographer. “Fierce.” He takes another picture. “Stunning.” Another. “Beautiful.”

With each word that Jungkook says and with each click of his phone’s camera, Jimin’s heart leaps. There’s something in his chest that feels so light and airy that his laughter doesn’t have a choice but to come bubbling up to the surface.

Jimin doesn’t hide his smile, doesn’t try to swallow down his laughter. He surrenders to Jungkook’s silliness and dives right in with him, strikes silly pose after silly pose, swims in a sea of smiles and lets the waves take him wherever they may.

He knows that at the end of the day, he’ll always wash up on Jungkook’s shore.

 

The second instance in which the school library miraculously becomes one of the best places in the whole entire world all starts when Jungkook walks in, holding a coffee in each hand.

He awkwardly stands in front of the table Jimin is sitting at. “So.” Jungkook clicks his tongue, seemingly glued to the spot. His eyes dart back and forth between Jimin and the coffees.

“Um.” Jimin blinks up at Jungkook, unsure of what to say as he eyes the cups in Jungkook’s hands. He taps his pen against the table to fill in the uncomfortable silence trickling into the air around them.

“Well this is awkward.”

Jimin can’t believe that this is actually happening.

Setting his pen down, he slouches into the back of his seat with a sigh. “Jungkook,” he begins, a touch of annoyance in his tone. “It was my turn to buy something for you.” Making a grand sweeping motion, Jimin gestures to the two coffees already on the table – coffees that he brought.

“No, you bought the coffees the last time.” Jungkook stops being a statue and finally moves, setting the cups down rather aggressively. “It was my turn to buy them.” He takes the seat opposite Jimin, and they narrow their eyes at each other.

“No it wasn’t.” Jimin knows that he’s right and Jungkook is wrong.

“Yes it was.” Jungkook thinks that he’s right and Jimin is wrong.

“No.”

“Yes.”

It’s quiet as they stare each other down, neither of them willing to step back and admit to being wrong.

They spend a while in uninterrupted silence before Jungkook finally breaks it with an exaggerated exhale. “Well now what?” His question is more of a suggestion for Jimin to come up with a solution.

Jimin stares at the four coffees guiltlessly sitting in front of him. He considers them for a moment, then brings his eyes back up to meet Jungkook’s. “Well…we can’t waste perfectly good coffees.” He says slowly.

“Would be a sin.” Jungkook agrees.

They end up drinking two coffees each.

“Might be a good time to tell you I added an extra espresso shot in them.” Jungkook only offers up that little piece of information after they’ve both finished their coffees.

It doesn’t take them very long to feel the effects of the caffeine.

Jungkook’s leg starts bouncing and Jimin’s heart starts fluttering and they’re both so jittery that they're soon finding themselves falling into a caffeine inspired fit of laughter. They act like little kids hopped up on too much sugar, snickering in the most childlike way, finding anything and everything to be the most hilarious thing in the world. 

At some point they’ve moved so that they’re sitting next to each other instead of across from each other, and when they giggle they can lean in close to one another so that their heads are almost touching, not wanting to get too loud. They are in a library, after all.

No work ends up getting done, they’re brimming with so much energy that sitting still and studying isn’t just difficult, but it’s impossible.

Jimin laughs and smiles so much that his cheeks start aching and his stomach gets sore and he can barely even breathe properly, and it’s the most painless pain he’s ever felt, and he would gladly endure it for the rest of his life as long as it can be felt alongside Jungkook.

 

Jungkook makes Jimin happy, there’s absolutely no doubt about that. But Jungkook makes him a lot of other things, too. Some of these things are foreign to Jimin, some things are things that he doesn’t understand– things that honestly confuse the hell out of him.

Most of the feelings that Jungkook brings out of him are good feelings, feelings that Jimin hopes won’t ever fade.

Most of them are like that. But some aren’t.

 ---

It’s Friday, the end of another week, and Jimin and Jungkook are out getting milkshakes at a diner a few blocks away from campus. Earlier that evening they'd gone to see a movie, and after they're done at the diner they plan on hanging out for a bit more back at Jungkook’s.

Jimin spends more time with Jungkook than he spends alone. If they aren’t with each other, then they’re either in class or sleeping– other than that, they’re always together.

Jimin doesn’t have any complaints about it.

Today had been fun, just like every other day with Jungkook is, and Jimin is already getting ahead of himself, looking forward to the rest of the night with him.

They’re just getting settled into one of the booths near a window when their waitress comes over to them, wearing a big smile. And that’s when Jimin’s mood starts taking a bit of a turn. 

Their waitress is nice. A little too nice, but at first, Jimin doesn’t think anything of it. When she comes around the first time to bring them water, she lightly rests a well-manicured hand on Jungkook’s shoulder, and lets it linger there for a few seconds. Jimin notices it right away, but he thinks that maybe she’s just flirting and fishing for tips. Jungkook doesn’t really react to it, he just smiles politely at her, and he doesn’t seem to think it’s strange.

So Jimin shrugs it off.

When she comes around the second time to ask them for their orders, she giggles – giggles – when Jungkook tells her what he wants. That's when Jimin starts suspecting that she’s not just acting the way she’s acting for tips. She laughs as if Jungkook saying: “can I get an Oreo milkshake please,” is outrageously funny.

It’s not funny.

Jimin orders a strawberry milkshake for himself, and consciously has to restrain himself from glaring at their suspiciously friendly waitress when she turns on her heel, hips swaying as she walks away.

He wonders if they know each other. Or, it could be possible that she flirts this much with every good-looking guy who comes in, because yes, Jimin is well aware that Jungkok is good looking. Even though they're just friends, Jimin has two eyes that work perfectly well, and he knows that his friend is attractive– more attractive than the average person. In fact, it wouldn't even be a stretch to say that Jungkook is nice to look at. 

So, when their waitress comes around with their milkshakes this time, and when she doesn’t even look at Jimin once, Jimin doesn't exactly blame her. But he doesn't exactly like how much attention she's giving Jungkook. She takes it upon herself to place her hand on Jungkook’s shoulder again, and when she walks away after telling them (mostly Jungkook) to enjoy, she lets her hand slide across his back.

Either they know each other somehow, or she really wants Jungkook’s number and has absolutely no tact. Or maybe it’s both.

Jimin’s lower lip drops like it wants to turn into a frown, but he gets a hold of himself at the last second, managing to keep his outward appearance relatively neutral. He picks up a menu, fipping it open to a random page.

“You know her?” Jimin asks, voice coming out a little higher than he intended it to. He keeps his eyes trained on the menu as if he’s seriously thinking about what he should order. In reality, he isn’t reading a single word that’s written, and he already has his milkshake in front of him, and he doesn't want to order any food.

“I mean…I guess?” Jungkook doesn’t sound like he’s convinced by his own words, and Jimin glances up just to watch him eye the ceiling in thought. “Pretty sure I hooked up with her a couple times last year.” Shrugging, Jungkook leans forward to take a sip of his milkshake.

“Pretty sure?” Jimin puts the menu down, doesn’t even bother to feign an interest in it anymore.

“Well it could’ve been last semester, or it could’ve been last year.” Jungkook pauses for a moment, drumming his fingers against the table. “I don’t know, can’t really remember.” He doesn’t seem bothered by the fact that he can’t accurately recall.

In an effort to stave off the frown that's threatening to take over, Jimin focuses on his own milkshake, stirring it around the glass with his straw and purposely messing up the dollop of whipped cream sitting on top of it.

He had completely forgotten that Jungkook used to be into casual hookups, and the only reason Jungkook hasn’t been doing it lately is because of the stupid bet. They’re already on the second month of the bet, and Jimin has a feeling that as soon as the month is over, Jungkook will go back to having his fair share of casual sex.

Staring into his milkshake, Jimin feels his chest tightening, his heartbeat becoming laboured within in instant.

No. No, he’s not jealous.

They’re just friends, and friends don’t get jealous about their friends getting with other people.

Maybe he only feels the way he feels right now because he doesn’t want Jungkook getting hurt. He doesn’t want Jungkook’s feelings to somehow get hurt during one of his casual hookups.

He’s just looking out for Jungkook, just worried about him, just doesn’t want anything bad to happen to him.

That’s it.

They're just friends, and there's no room for that kind of jealousy in friendships. Jimin isn’t jealous, just like how Jungkook isn’t jealous.

No one is jealous. 

“Youjin messaged me again.” The words are out of Jimin’s mouth before he even knows that he’s saying them.

“Oh?” Jungkook’s brow twitches ever so slightly, and the only reason Jimin notices it is because he’s watching him so intently, waiting for some sort of reaction.

“I texted him back this time.” Yes, Youjin texted him again, and yes Jimin replied, and no he never planned on telling Jungkook about it, but Jimin never planned on doing a lot of things and yet here he is.

Evidently, things don’t always go according to plan.

When Youjin texted Jimin, he just said that it was nice seeing him again, and suggested that they catch up sometime. Jimin didn’t say yes but he didn’t say no either, he told him that he’s been pretty busy lately but would let him know when he has some free time.

Innocent enough. The only reason Jimin said it is because he felt bad about ditching him at the party and about ignoring him the first time he texted.

But Jungkook doesn’t know that. 

“Did you really?” Jungkook looks unimpressed already, even without Jimin's confirmation. 

“Mhm,” Jimin hums, somehow managing to maintain an air of innocence.

Jungkook doesn’t talk right away. He sets his jaw, taking a moment as if he’s trying to collect himself. “Jimin, I don’t wanna sound like a dick or anything,” irritation laces his tone, “but I told you not to talk to him.”

“You’d rather I just ignore him?” Jimin already knows what Jungkook’s answer will be.

“Um,” Jungkook lets out a short, rather humourless laugh. “Kind of.”

“I’m not that type of person. I feel mean when I do that.”

“Apparently, you’re not the type of person who can recognize when they’re being used, either.”

“He’s not using me for anything, Jungkook.” 

Jungkook reaches out for his milkshake, annoyingly smug as he raises his glass in some sort of pseudo-toast. “Thanks for proving my point.”

“How am I being used?” Jimin scowls, offended that Jungkook seems to think he's not only helpless, but oblivious too. 

“Because Taehyung and Youjin are friends, and Taehyung’s trying to get Youjin to–”

“Has it ever occurred to you that maybe Youjin actually likes me? That maybe no one’s making him do anything, that maybe he’s talking to me because he wants to talk to me?”

Jungkook goes quiet, doing a quick sweep over Jimin’s face before their eyes finally meet. “Do you want him to talk to you? Do you want him to like you?”

The intensity in Jungkook’s stare steals the air from his lungs, but Jimin doesn’t dare look away. “I never said that.”

“Then why are you texting him?”

Maybe Jimin shouldn’t have tried to see whether or not Jungkook is jealous. Maybe that had been wrong of him to do, but he can't take it back now. And now, he’s fairly certain that Jungkook is jealous. Even though he doesn’t know exactly why he’s jealous or how jealous he really is, the mere thought of Jungkook feeling even the faintest twinge of jealousy is enough to send a tingle straight through Jimin; from his fingertips down to his toes.

Jungkook must care about him a lot.

Jimin doesn’t know why he likes thinking that so much, and he doesn't dwell on it. What he does know is that they don’t need to be in the middle of a silly little fight anymore. There's no need to be so serious. 

There’s not even anything to fight about. They should be having fun like they always do, and Jimin wants nothing more than to exchange their scowls for smiles.

He thinks he knows how to make things right again.

“I’m not going to hang out with him or anything.” Jimin reaches across the table, carefully studying Jungkook’s face for even a hint of a smile – a spark in his eye or the slouching of his shoulders – anything that would suggest the easing of tension. “I’m just being polite, I’d feel bad if I ignored him again.” He slowly slides Jungkook’s milkshake towards himself, and while keeping his eyes on Jungkook and making sure that Jungkook’s eyes are directly on him, he takes a sip right from Jungkook’s straw in a teasing little act of defiance.

The corner of Jungkook’s mouth lifts, enough to let Jimin know that his playfulness is having the desired effect.

The tension is already fading, but Jimin wants to make sure that it doesn’t come back. As an added precaution, he tilts his head to the side, straw still in between his lips as he fixes Jungkook with innocent eyes. “You know you’re the only one for me, right?” He gives Jungkook everything; sweet smile, sweet stare, sweet words. “I’m yours.”

Jungkook is smiling freely now, openly amused by Jimin’s antics. “You’d better not forget that." His smile turns into something more akin to a smirk. "You’re the one that wanted to be called My Baby.”

They finish their milkshakes, and things are back to normal, they’re chatting and sharing smiles, and Jimin feels perfectly fine. The walk back to campus is fine, too. The sun is just dipping below the skyline, and Jimin can't help but admire how the clouds look stained with traces of the sunset – a deep orange that's just shy of red.

It's pretty, and everything is fine.

They’re just stepping onto school grounds when everything starts going south.

“You know…” Jungkook starts. And that’s how it all starts. With his comment. “That actually makes a lot of sense now.” He’s looking up at the sky, mouth slightly open and eyes alight with realization.

Curious, Jimin furrows his eyebrows. “What makes sense?”

“That Youjin texted you again. Taehyung’s been bringing him up every now and then. Saying he saw you guys talking at the party, asking if you guys still keep in touch." Jungkook shrugs. "Stuff like that.”

“Really?” Jimin adopts a casual front, watching Jungkook from the corner of his eye. “Probably to see if you’re jealous.” He says, attempting to remain innocuous.

Jungkook considers that for a moment. “Guess I should act jealous then.”

Act.

There's a pang in Jimin's chest, and he gets the sudden urge to look away. 

Jimin tilts his head down, watching his feet as he walks like he's afraid he'll stumble and trip over them. “Yeah.” He murmurs. He feels the urge to swallow, but there’s not even anything to swallow. His mouth is dry. “Act jealous. Just like how you acted at the party last week.”

It’s not real, this isn’t real. It’s an act.

There’s nothing but the sound of their footsteps on the sidewalk for a good few seconds before Jungkook finally speaks up. “Right,” is all he says.

Even though they planned on going back to Jungkook’s to hang out, Jimin isn’t in the mood for it anymore.

Jimin doesn’t know why he feels so strange, doesn’t know why it feels like there’s an empty pit opening up at the bottom of his stomach, doesn’t know why he’s more inclined to frown, or why smiling suddenly feels like a hassle.

Maybe he drank his milkshake too fast, or maybe he caught the flu and the reason he’s feeling so sick is because he’s actually getting sick.

He hopes he’s getting sick. If he gets sick then at least he’ll know why he’s feeling this way.

“Jungkook?” Jimin gets his attention, but doesn’t look at him when he talks. “I think I might just head back home. I don’t feel good.” He wants to be alone, wants to deal with whatever the hell he’s dealing with in private. 

“Really?” Jungkook sounds genuinely concerned, and Jimin likes it and despises it all at once. “You okay?”

Risking a glance at Jungkook, Jimin can’t help but notice just how normal he looks – like there’s absolutely nothing wrong. Is there even anything wrong? “Yeah, I’ll be fine.” Jimin doesn’t understand what’s going on. He’s never felt like this before, but he knows that he never wants to feel like this ever again. “I think I’m just coming down with something.”

“Oh. Well wanna hop on my back, then? I can carry you the rest of the way.” Jungkook offers. “This time I won’t puke, I swear.” Placing a hand over his heart, he shows his commitment to his promise.

“No, it’s alright.” Under normal circumstances, Jimin would’ve laughed. But he doesn’t exactly feel normal right now. “I kind of wanna walk.”

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Jungkook’s kindness grates on Jimin’s nerves.  

“I’m fine.” He can still see the sun, but it's not giving him even the tiniest sliver of warmth.

“You don’t look fine.” Frowning, Jungkook stops in the middle of the sidewalk, forcing Jimin to do the same.

“I’m fine. What do you want me to say?” Jimin shrugs his shoulders up to his ears, hand raking through his hair so that it falls back in place messier than it was before. “Like I said, I think I’m just getting sick.”

“Well I’ll walk you to your dorms, then.”

“It’s okay, you don’t have to.” Jungkook doesn’t have to walk him back, doesn’t have to act like he cares so damn much, doesn’t have to keep being so nice.

Because it’s an act, right?

“Jimin, come on.”

“It’s okay–”

“Let me walk you back–”

“I said I’m fine, Jungkook!” Jimin snaps, the sharp edge in his voice spurred on by the edge that Jungkook’s concern is pushing him towards. He’s not even teetering on the edge anymore, he’s falling right off of it. “I don’t need you to walk me back, I don't need you to do anything – I see you 24/7 – I just want to be alone, I’m with you all the time and I never get a chance to fucking breathe!”

Jungkook stares at Jimin, eyes widening in a way they don’t often do. Jimin rarely ever sees Jungkook looking so surprised, and even now when Jungkook does show it, it’s only for a mere moment. Within seconds, his eyes are reverting to their normal size, and there’s not even a hint of surprise in them anymore.

There’s not really anything in them.

Jungkook nods his head slowly, taking equally slow steps backwards, away from Jimin. “Okay.”

Not a single other word is spoken, not one by Jimin, and not one by Jungkook.

Shoving his hands in his pockets, Jungkook turns around, and walks away.

Regret immediately floods Jimin as he watches Jungkook leave. He feels like a complete asshole, wishes that he didn’t blow up at him like that. Honestly, he has no idea where that all even came from.

He likes hanging out with Jungkook a lot. He loves it. 

He doesn’t mind that they’re together so much, he likes being around him as much as he’s around him. Hell, Jimin would hang out with Jungkook all day every day if he could, and each second spent with him would be a second spent happily.

Jimin stares at Jungkook’s back as he walks away, and judging from the direction he’s going, he’s heading back to his own dorms. There’s the urge to call after him, to follow him, to try to do something to make up for the way he snapped at him.

But Jimin doesn’t act on the urge. With his stomach in knots, Jimin starts walking the opposite way, feeling a strange desire to just lay in his bed and stare at the ceiling or something.

It’s weird…he usually doesn’t feel like this when he’s getting sick.  

Maybe he’s catching a new strain.

Chapter Text

 

Jimin misses Jungkook.

They’ve only been apart for one day, and he misses him.

He thought that it was best to take some time to himself so that he could sort out his thoughts and try to piece together the reason why he snapped at Jungkook the way he did, but the only thing Jimin ended up thinking about was how awful he feels for getting mad at him, and how much he misses him.

There’s still that strange feeling settling at the bottom of his stomach, he still doesn't feel quite right, but Jimin knows he’s not coming down with some rare illness –  he actually knows why he feels sick.

He messed up. He messed up and yelled at Jungkook, and Jungkook didn’t deserve that, and he feels sick to his stomach thinking about the way he treated him.

Jimin isn’t upset with Jungkook at all, he’s only upset with himself. He never should have said any of that to him.

All Jimin wants is for things to go back to normal, he wants to go back to the smiling and the laughing and to all those wonderfully light feelings that Jungkook so easily coaxes out when he’s around him. But more than that, he wants Jungkook to know how sorry he is.

Jimin doesn’t know exactly why he got so upset on Friday, but he thinks that he has a pretty good idea about why it happened. For some reason, in the moments leading up to his outburst, he started doubting everything that Jungkook had been doing for him since they started their fake relationship.

He started thinking that every act of kindness, every sweet word, and every little thing that Jungkook did for him was all because of the bet and all a part of the act.

Jimin knows that isn’t true, though. He doesn’t know why he started thinking those things so senselessly, because he knows Jungkook, knows how beautiful his heart is, knows that he’s a good person. And maybe some of the teasing and some of the things that they say to each other is part of the act, but not all of it is.

Jimin knows that Jungkook cares about him.

Jungkook cares about him, he’s one of his best friends, and he should be thankful for that and there’s really nothing else that he could ask for. Because Jimin has everything he needs, doesn’t he? What more could he possibly want?

He doesn’t know what to do without Jungkook– he needs him in his life. That’s all that Jimin really knows, but isn’t that all he needs to know?

Saturday was spent without Jungkook, and it absolutely sucked, and he misses his best friend more than anything. He’s so used to being with Jungkook that now, being away from him for even a short time feels wrong.

From the very second that Jungkook turned his back on him and started walking away, all Jimin wanted to do was apologize. But he waits until Sunday to actually do it.

He wants to make his apology perfect. He wants Jungkook to know that he means it with all of his heart.

 

Sunday

[8:07am]

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Jungkook?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I’m sorry

[9:02am]

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I’m really really sorry

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I don’t know what happened I don’t know why I said that

[9:49am]

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I didn’t mean it and I’m really sorry

[10:14am]

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I’m not sick of you at all or anything like that

[10:40am]

My Everything 💛:  Just woke up sorry

My Everything 💛:  And it’s okay Jimin

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  No it’s not

My Everything 💛:  We’re not used to spending so much time together, I’ve literally never spent this much time with anyone else ever

My Everything 💛:  It was bound to happen to one of us at some point

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  It doesn’t matter, I still shouldn’t have snapped at you like that

My Everything 💛:  Seriously Jimin it’s okay

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  You know I like it, right? I really really really like spending time with you 

My Everything 💛:  I know

My Everything 💛:  I mean who wouldn’t like spending time with me?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I’m gonna let that slide for now

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  And if you’re not busy, do you wanna do something? Get a coffee? I’ll meet you at our booth?

My Everything 💛:  Damn. You just can’t stay away from me can you?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  Nothing in this world could ever make me stay away from you

My Everything 💛:  That’s my baby

 

Despite the teasing tone now, and despite all of their playful banter in the past, Jimin really does mean the words that he texts; there’s just something so special about his friendship with Jungkook.

Nothing could make him stay away.

Jungkook is a source of happiness, being with him promises an abundance of smiles and laughs, he’s a refuge; somewhere Jimin can always go to, and even at the end of his longest days he can still somehow feel energized as soon as he lays eyes on Jungkook.

That’s something special, and Jimin will hold on to that with everything he has.

Jungkook deserves to know just how much he values not only their friendship, but him as a person.

 

Jimin is sitting in their usual booth at the campus coffee shop, absentmindedly picking at the corners of a napkin. He already ordered a drink for both himself and for Jungkook, and while he hasn’t had a single sip of his coffee yet, he already feels like he’s in the midst of a caffeine high. It’s impossible for him to sit still.

Jungkook already accepted his apology and said that it was okay, and frankly Jimin is relieved that Jungkook even responded to his texts, but he still doesn’t necessarily feel good about it.

He needs to apologize to him in person, because Jungkook deserves a face to face apology.

Not only that, but...Jimin has something that he wants to give him.

Waiting for Jungkook is torturous. They agreed to meet up at noon and Jimin showed up almost half an hour before that, so maybe he only succeeded in exacerbating his own anxiousness by showing up so early, but he couldn’t just wait around at his dorm.

He starts fidgeting, taps his fingers on the table, on the side of his cup, on his knee, all while keeping his head on a swivel, constantly on the lookout for Jungkook. The longer he waits, the more nervous he becomes, and his hands are starting to get so sweaty that he actually has to wipe them on his pants.

Really, he shouldn’t be this on edge right now, because it’s just Jungkook – someone he’s totally comfortable around. So what’s with all the jitters?

Every now and then, Jimin digs his hand into the pocket of his jean jacket, making sure that the present he wants to give to Jungkook is still in there and that it hadn’t magically sprouted legs and walked off. He knows that the gift is silly, and maybe Jungkook will laugh at it, but Jimin still wants to give it to him.

Jungkook is one of the most important people in his life, and Jimin wants him to know that. 

Maybe that's why he's so on edge. Because of the gift. 

When Jungkook finally steps into the coffee shop (arriving exactly when he said he would), Jimin’s gaze rests on him, and his fidgeting comes to a stop. He’s still nervous, but just seeing Jungkook right now has some sort of calming effect on him.

At least, he’s calm for a good few seconds.

He’s calm until Jungkook looks at him and smiles as he walks over, and now maybe Jimin’s hands and legs have stopped fidgeting, but his heart is aflutter, and in that moment he realizes just how much he had missed Jungkook and his smile. 

As Jungkook slides into the seat across from him, Jimin has the urge to tell him just how much he had missed him, but he doesn’t say: Jungkook I missed you. “Jungkook, I’m sorry,” is what comes out instead.

Jungkook shakes his head, looking rather amused by the words that Jimin blurts out as soon as he sits down. “I know you are, Jimin.” His eyes are bright like they always are, and he already looks like he’s forgiven everything. “You already apologized, and I already said that it’s okay.” He gestures to the mug sitting in front of him. “Plus, you ordered me my favourite drink, so how can I realistically stay mad at that?

Even though he’s thankful that Jungkook seems to have already moved on, Jimin gets the feeling that he'd been forgiven far too easily. In truth, he doesn’t know if he’d forgive Jungkook so quickly if their positions were switched.

With his head cocked to the side, Jimin studies his friend’s face, but he finds absolutely no sign of resentment in his expression, finds nothing that would suggest he's still upset. But Jimin still feels incredibly guilty when he remembers the look in Jungkook's eyes after he yelled at him, and he wants Jungkook to understand how sorry he really is.  “I just…I want you to know that what I said to you wasn’t true, and I–”

“It’s not a big deal, Jimin. We’ve been friends for what, three years? And that was our first actual fight. Friends fight all the time, and friends forgive each other.” Jungkook shrugs, and there’s not even a trace of bitterness to taint his words. “That’s what friends do.”

With his lower lip tucked in between his teeth, Jimin’s eyebrows knit together. He still doesn’t feel like he’s doing enough, still doesn’t feel like Jungkook fully grasps what he’s trying to say.

“I don’t want anything to change.” Jimin says. The last thing that he wants is for Jungkook to doubt himself and to start questioning whether or not he likes spending time with him. “And I want to hang out with you just as much as we were hanging out before, I don’t want that to change at all. I know we were hanging out a lot but that never bothered me and it’s not going to bother me if we keep hanging out that much.”

He’s already starting to ramble, encouraged by the rapid beating of his own heart, and he can’t stop the stream of words coming out of his mouth. Jungkook is still watching him with those shining eyes of his, he’s still looking at him like he’s fond of him, and Jimin loves the way he’s looking at him but he hates that it’s making it hard to concentrate.

Forming coherent sentences is hard and thinking is hard, and before he even fully registers what he’s doing, Jimin reaches into his pocket and pulls out two rings– two rings that don’t really look like rings as much as they look like thin silver bands. They’re rather plain, but Jimin likes the simplicity of them, likes that something so simple can have such a deep meaning.

Because having Jungkook in his life is so, so meaningful.

Jungkook looks visibly stunned when his eyes land on the rings, and Jimin only has time to draw in a short breath before he’s rushing to push his words out.

“Me and Yoongi were out shopping yesterday and I saw these and saw they came in a set of two and they weren’t expensive at all, and when I saw them I thought about you– like you know when you’re a kid and you and your friends make each other bracelets and necklaces and stuff like that?”

He’s not even sure if he’s making any sense, but at least he’s speaking honestly. Jimin hastily picks up one of the rings and slips it onto his index finger in some sort of demonstration, like he’s worried that Jungkook doesn’t know what they’re for.

“When I was in elementary school, me and my friend had matching friendship bracelets and that’s what I thought about when I saw the rings, and me and you didn’t know each other in elementary school but I wish we did,” Jimin is talking faster than he can think but he can’t stop, “we could’ve traded snacks and played together at recess, and you would’ve beat me at every game but I still would’ve had fun. And I know the rings are cheap and stupid and cheesy but–”

“So cheesy.” Jungkook cuts him off, which Jimin is admittedly thankful for because it gives him a chance to actually breathe. “Probably the cheesiest thing in the history of mankind.”  He pauses long enough to draw attention to the delicate smile now gracing his lips. “But it’s sweet, Jimin. I’ve never…” Glancing down at the other ring left sitting on the table, Jungkook's smile widens ever so slightly. “I’ve never had anyone give me anything like this before. It’s sweet and it's cute and just very…” When Jungkook brings his eyes up to meet Jimin’s again, Jimin can see that the look in them is just as soft as the word he speaks. “You.”

If Jimin’s cheeks were warm before, well now they’re burning, making him feel like he’d just spent all day outside in the sun. Jimin bites the edge of his lip, shy in his attempt to tame his own smile. Despite his flushed cheeks and his urge to hide his face from the embarrassment of giving Jungkook something so overtly sentimental, there’s still a wave of relief that washes through him.

Jungkook didn’t laugh at him or seriously mock him in any way. In fact, he looks genuinely touched by Jimin’s gesture.

Holding his cup with both hands, Jimin presses his palms against the warmth of the glass, and when he watches Jungkook pick up his ring and slide it on his finger – the same finger Jimin put his own on – a new kind of warmth diffuses through him.

Jimin smiles down at his left hand, admiring how the simple silver band catches the light. Yes, it’s cheap, but he still thinks that it’s pretty in its own way. “I just wanted to make sure that you know how much I care about you, Jungkook. And how much I care about our friendship.”

They’d said similar things to each other before, but that had been under the influence of alcohol. Now, they’re both fully sober, and it makes Jimin that much meeker, but it also gives more weight to his words.

“You didn’t have to do this for me to know that, Jimin. I already knew.” Jungkook fiddles with the ring as he talks, sliding it up and down his finger. “But I mean…” Their eyes meet, and Jungkook grins that familiar grin of his. “This ring is pretty sick.”

The smile that breaks out over Jimin’s face is the widest smile he’s worn since Friday, and he’s happy knowing that there’s going to be a lot more of these kinds of smiles– with Jungkook in his life, there won’t be any shortage of them.

One of the best parts about Jungkook is that he doesn’t even need to do or say anything to make Jimin smile. He just has to be there, he just has to be Jungkook, and Jimin will already feel inclined to smile.

Though, when Jungkook clears his throat and shifts in his seat in a rather sudden and unexpected show of nervousness, Jimin's smile wavers ever so slightly.

“Uh, while we’re already on the topic of you doing things for me that you don’t really need to do…” Jungkook pauses, obviously not confident in whatever it is he’s about to say. “I kind of have another favour to ask.”

“Yeah?” Jimin lifts his chin in a nod, curiosity colouring his voice. “What’s up?”

“You’ve um…you’ve already done a lot for me, and I know it’s kind of unfair for me to ask for more since I only asked you to pretend to date me for two months– and I totally understand if you say no.” It’s Jungkook’s turn to ramble now, and Jimin can’t help but think that the way he’s stumbling over his own words is endearing. “But…I was thinking that maybe it would be a good idea if we keep it up for a couple more weeks even after this month is over. Just so it won’t look suspicious if we break up right at the end of the month. I get if you don’t want to, and I know it’s a lot to ask–”

“Jungkook, I’ll do it.” Jimin doesn’t even hesitate, doesn’t need to stop and think about his answer for even a second. “Don’t you already know?” The words fall from his lips effortlessly, naturally, and he feels them and means them with every fibre of his being. “I’d do anything for you.”

They still have a few weeks left in the month, and continuing their fabricated relationship for an additional few weeks won’t be any trouble at all. In fact, Jimin is glad that Jungkook asked.

He likes how much they’ve been hanging out ever since they started pretending to date each other, and he likes how things feel. He doesn’t want it to change, he wants things to stay exactly as they are.

Honestly, he was starting to get a little worried that when the bet is over, they won’t see each other as often. Jimin truly hopes that they’ll still spend this much time together even when they stop pretending to be romantically involved.

Jungkook smiles and says thanks just like he always does whenever Jimin does a favour for him, and Jimin says it’s no big deal, because it really isn’t a big deal at all.

 

Everything is back to normal, back to how it was before, and Jimin is happy.

Then again…maybe things aren’t exactly as they were before. Maybe things are just a little different. Jimin thinks that they’ve gotten even closer now, that their fight and their reconciliation solidified their friendship that much more. It’s stronger than ever now. 

Looking back on it, Jimin almost wants to laugh at how he blew up at Jungkook – he has no idea what came over him or what made him start doubting him. It had been silly, but in a way, Jimin is sort of thankful that it happened, because it gave him a chance to really let Jungkook know how he feels – to tell him how important he is to him, and the genuine love that he has for their friendship.

They spend the week in each other’s company; hanging out in their dorms, hanging out on campus and off campus. They hang out whenever they possibly can like they’re always trying to get their fill of each other, but can never seem to be sated.

Once again, Jimin gets the feeling that his life is headed in the direction it’s supposed to be headed. He’s pretty sure that Jungkook is one of the best people on this earth, and getting to be with someone as wonderful him makes Jimin think that he must be doing something right in his life.

There’s not one single thing out of place. Nothing feels wrong now, so how did things ever feel even slightly wrong before? It doesn’t make sense, but Jimin doesn’t question it much.

He just focuses on how good things feel now.

---

On the weekend, Jungkook stays in Seoul while Jimin heads home to Busan. He goes to see his grandma in the hospital, and it looks like she’s doing really well. They’re even talking about letting her come home within the next couple weeks.

Seeing that his grandma’s health seems to be improving adds to Jimin’s sense of happiness, and things only get even better when he gets to visit with his friends from back home.

A group of them go out to a bar on Saturday night, and Jimin’s spirits are soaring. The soju makes his cheeks flush and makes his heart feel even lighter, and the night is spent in a rather pleasant haze of obnoxious laughter and enthusiastic storytelling as he catches up with all of his friends.

He missed them dearly, and he couldn’t be happier that things worked out and that they were able to meet up. But, as the night wears on and as the drinks keep coming, Jimin starts to miss someone else.

Him and his friends leave the bar and move on to a club, and when Jimin hears the music and feels the bass, he lets the alcohol take him away and is able to get lost in the music for a while. He’s having fun and not thinking about much until he catches a glimpse of his ring and notices the way that the coloured lights are reflecting in the silver.

Jimin stops dancing, his gaze lingering on his hand, and without even knowing it, he’s pouting. He wishes that Jungkook was there with him. He knows it’s the alcohol doing the thinking and that it’s making him miss Jungkook and that it’s irrational to miss him when he’s only been gone for a day and when he’ll see him again tomorrow, but he can’t help it.

It may be irrational, but then again, don't most feelings tend to be irrational?

After telling his friends that he has to use the bathroom and promising them that he’ll be right back, Jimin weaves through the crowd of dancing bodies and heads straight for the restrooms. All he can think about is Jungkook. He wonders what he’s doing, wonders how his day was, wonders what he even did today.

He hopes that he had a good day and that he smiled a lot.

They'd texted earlier that day but Jimin only told Jungkook about his grandma, and that he was going out with some friends – he never asked anything about Jungkook. For some reason, in Jimin's intoxicated state, texting Jungkook right now is of the utmost importance. 

He locks himself in a bathroom stall, putting down the toilet lid so that he can sit on it, and he pulls out his phone, drunkenly squinting down at the brightness of it. The second that the picture of him and Jungkook on the lock screen comes into focus, he’s grinning like an idiot.

Cute.

As he leans the side of his head on the wall of the stall, Jimin feels the echoing vibrations of the bass, but he ignores that and ignores that he’s currently in a dingy club bathroom. He’s too focused on his phone, looking down at it as if he’s completely smitten with it.

 

 

[1:01am]

My Baby 💕💘💗💞Junk

My Baby 💕💘💗💞hahahfsff I meant Jungkook but it said junk

My Baby 💕💘💗💞im sorry

My Baby 💕💘💗💞ur not junk

My Everything 💛Was wondering when I’d get a drunk text from you

My Baby 💕💘💗💞aww were u waiting?

My Everything 💛I wouldn’t say waiting

My Everything 💛But I was definitely expecting

My Baby 💕💘💗💞that’s rally sweet

My Baby 💕💘💗💞rally

My Baby 💕💘💗💞rally

My Baby 💕💘💗💞R E A L L Y

My Everything 💛Struggling?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞little bit

My Everything 💛Seems like you’re rally having a hard time

My Baby 💕💘💗💞dont make fun of me!!

My Everything 💛Couldn’t help it

My Everything 💛Why are you texting me though, everything okay?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞ya everythins fine why

My Everything 💛Idk shouldn’t you be dancing or something?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞I dnt feel like it. I wanted to talk to u

My Everything 💛Loser

My Baby 💕💘💗💞Wnat me to stop txting u?

My Everything 💛I never said that

My Everything 💛:  Things are honestly kinda boring around here without you

My Baby 💕💘💗💞I miss u

My Everything 💛Wow you’re really drunk

My Baby 💕💘💗💞But I do

My Everything 💛Okay Jimin

 

Jimin doesn’t get a chance to say anything more. He must be a slow texter when he’s drunk, and he must’ve been gone longer than he thought, because the next thing he knows, a couple of his friends are barging into the bathroom, relentlessly banging their hands on the stall until he opens up. When he finally opens the door, they haul him back out to the dance floor.

Jimin doesn’t mind that much, because he’s feeling good from getting to text Jungkook.

Even though he didn’t get to ask him how many times he smiled or what he’s doing up so late or how his day was or anything like that, just texting him even for that short time was enough for Jimin.

The rest of the night passes in a blur, and by the time Jimin is back at home in his own bed, he’s more than ready to pass out in a deep drunk slumber. He checks his phone just before his eyes close for once and for all, and is lucid for just long enough to see that he’d missed a text from Jungkook.

 

[1:50am]

My Everything 💛I miss you too

 

Jimin falls asleep with a smile on his face, thinking that Jungkook might care about him just as much he cares about Jungkook.

And if Jungkook cares about him that much…well then that must mean Jungkook thinks he’s pretty special.

Jimin's never had a friend like this before. 

 

Chapter Text

“You cried?” Jungkook’s amusement pours out of his words and spills into his grin as he tilts his head back and laughs up at the sky.

“I had high expectations for my first kiss!” Even though Jimin takes on a rather defensive tone, it’s a struggle for him to act like he’s seriously offended. It’s not easy to pretend that he’s upset when Jungkook is laughing so hard, and when he knows just how silly the story of his first kiss actually is. “I felt robbed,” Jimin adds, a short laugh of his own escaping through parted lips.

He listens to Jungkook losing it beside him, and lifts his chin so that he can look up at the sky, all the while thinking that the sound of Jungkook’s laughter has to be one of the best sounds in the world.

There’s not much blue visible in the sky above their heads; the sun rarely pokes out from behind the grey curtain of clouds, but Jungkook fills in for the lack of sun. Jungkook has Jimin laughing, eyes wrinkling and smiling as if he’s squinting into the sunlight.

They're both currently sitting on the grass by the riverbank; Jimin's got his legs crossed and his arms stretched back behind himself, leaning his weight on them. They’ve been there for a while now, talking about anything and everything, both of them as lively as ever after having spent all day sitting through lectures.

Today in particular had been a rather boring day, and from his first class in the morning to his last class in the afternoon, Jimin had been looking forward to getting to see Jungkook.

Over the last few days, Jimin has come to find that the rings he bought for them are both a blessing and a curse. He loves them, because they’re a link to Jungkook and they speak to the strength of their friendship, and every time his wandering eyes land on his ring while he’s in class, he gets an instant shot of energy. That’s good.

But then, Jimin usually spends the rest of class restless, anxious for the day to be over so that he can hang out with Jungkook, and that’s not good. He doesn’t even have any classes with Jungkook this semester, and yet he still somehow manages to distract him during lectures.

Jeon Jungkook really is good at everything, isn’t he?

“Jimin, you were in grade nine.” Jungkook has calmed down enough to speak properly, but judging by the look on his face, he could break down again at any second. “How high could your expectations have been?”

“High enough for me to cry when I got home later that night.”

“What did you honestly expect?”

“I don’t know…” Jimin murmurs, but the telling smile that’s stretching across his face says otherwise. He glances at Jungkook and sees the way his eyebrows are quirked just like the corners of his lips, and knows that he’s not convinced.

“Is that so?” Everything in Jungkook’s tone calls a playful bullshit on Jimin’s response.

“Okay, fine." He gives in. "When I was young and naïve, I may or may not have been under the impression that a first kiss was supposed to be nothing short of magical.” Jimin shakes his head his past self, finding more than enough entertainment in these memories from middle school. “I thought it was supposed to be amazing and that there was supposed to be fireworks and all that stuff, but it was just…” He hesitates, nose wrinkling. “Wet.”

“Wow.” Jungkook snickers. “You were watching your awful romantic movies even back then, huh?” He stretches out his legs on the grass in front of him. “See, those movies poisoned you. Made you believe in something silly and unrealistic.”

“Yeah?” Jimin takes Jungkook’s little quip in stride, and has no trouble with doling one right back. “And how many times did you jump off the top of the stairs when you were a kid because you thought you could fly?”

"Leave me and my superhero movies out of this.”

“Touchy.”

“The scars are still fresh, Jimin.”

“The scars from jumping off the top of the stairs, or the scars from having your childhood dreams crushed?” Jimin figures he should get his fill of teasing Jungkook while he can – wasting an opportunity like this would be foolish.

Jungkook looks out across the water, like he’s reminiscing in painful memories of the past. “Both. Sometimes when I’m laying in bed late at night, I feel my wounds still weeping.”

“Sounds terrible.”

“It is.” He stops, only to make sure Jimin is watching him when a grin spreads across his face. “But it’s not as terrible as your first kiss sounded.”

“Jerk,” Jimin murmurs, but the way he’s smiling takes all the bite out of the insult. Their playful little back and forths always leave him in a good mood – not that he’d been in a bad mood before. But now, he feels even better. “What about you, then?” He challenges. “What was your first kiss like?”

Jungkook wiggles his foot in thought, and Jimin actively ignores the smug look he’d assumed after making his remark about Jimin's first kiss. “Do you count the time I kissed my neighbour underneath a slide at the park when I was like, six?”

“That’s actually really cute.” Jimin admits, smiling as he pictures an adorable little Jungkook getting his very first kiss. “But it doesn’t count.”

“Hm. Then I guess my first one was when I was in seventh grade.” Jungkook sighs in exaggerated dreaminess. “I confessed to a girl in the grade above me, we kissed behind the school, and then we never talked again.”

“Aw, baby.”

“Love is cruel…But at that time, the kiss was the best thing that ever happened to me.” There’s a playful glimmer lighting up his dark eyes as he leans over into Jimin’s space. “Definitely didn’t cry after it.” He teases.

“I never should’ve told you that. You’re never gonna let me live it down.”

“Never.”

“It got better when I got my first boyfriend later in high school – the kissing, I mean.”

“Your boyfriend’s kisses didn’t make you cry?”

Even though Jimin rolls his eyes, he can’t help but let out a soft laugh, too. “No.”

“Is that because you stopped believing in romantic clichés?”

“I guess.”

Jungkook smirks. “You still believe in them, don’t lie.” He knows Jimin a little too well.

Lowering his head, Jimin looks down at his lap in a vain attempt to conceal his smile from Jungkook. “Maybe.”

Really, Jimin hasn’t changed that much since his first kiss. He still wants the fireworks, still wants to be swept off his feet when he finds the right person, still wants to be left lightheaded and breathless when he finds who he’s supposed to be with.

He wants it, but he doesn’t necessarily expect it. Real life isn’t like the movies, and he knows that.

A comfortable silence settles into the air around them. Jimin looks out at the river, notices that the surface of the water is just as still as his heart feels. There’s a certain calmness about this moment, and Jimin likes that he can just sit next to Jungkook, and that neither of them have to say anything to fill in the little gaps of conversation, and that it never gets awkward.

He enjoys the quiet, allowing his thoughts to wander as his eyes do the same.

Talking about their first kisses gets Jimin thinking about other things, and he finds himself growing rather curious as he gives thought to these musings. They’ve been friends for years, but Jimin still doesn’t know every single thing about Jungkook. There’s a lot more he wants to know.

He wants to know everything.

“Jungkook?” Jimin ventures softly, and the second that the name leaves his lips, he has Jungkook turning his head to look at him, showing that Jimin has his undivided attention. Jimin remains sitting, but shifts his weight, keeping his legs crossed but lifting them off the ground so that he can wrap his arms around them. “Why are you single?”

“Single?” Jungkook’s eyes widen comically, feigning a surprised expression. “What are you talking about?” He does what Jimin expected him to do, makes a joke out of it. “I’m dating you, remember?”

“You know what I mean.” Jimin half smiles, because he’d feel weird if he didn’t smile at all, but he doesn’t really have it in him to give a full one right now. “Why don’t you ever go out on any dates or anything?” It’s not that Jimin thinks there’s anything wrong with staying single – he’s been single for more than a year himself, and he’s definitely not looking down on Jungkook for his choices.  

It's just that Jungkook hasn’t even been on a date since he’s known him, and there isn’t anything wrong with that either, but Jimin just doesn’t get it. If Jungkook wanted to date someone, if he wanted a relationship, then he could have one – he’s a great guy. He just doesn’t seem to want one, and Jimin can’t help but wonder why.

Even though Jungkook’s playfulness has subsided, the atmosphere isn’t tense in the slightest. They talk about this just as easily as they talk about silly, trivial things. It’s comfortable. “I don’t know…” He tilts his head from side to side, considering his words. “I guess relationships aren’t really my thing.” When he shrugs, it’s like he’s already figured all of this out about himself a long time ago. “Not that there’s anything wrong with them, but I don’t think they’re for me.”

“Have you ever been in one?” Jimin asks, innocent curiosity rounding his eyes.

“I had a boyfriend back in high school, but we only dated for a few months. To be honest, I don’t even remember why we broke up. Nothing big happened, I guess it was just kind of a mutual thing.”

“Oh.” For some reason, Jimin thought there would be more to it than that. He expected some awful story to explain why Jungkook had such a disinterest in relationships, he thought maybe a bad break-up in the past made him wary to try again. But it isn’t like that at all.

“Yeah. Besides, I don’t think I’d be very good in a relationship now.” Jungkook admits, eyebrows furrowing. “They’re kind of scary. I mean, think about it.” There's a brief pause in which his face relaxes once again and he smiles faintly, and Jimin gets the feeling that Jungkook is perfectly fine and perfectly comfortable with the way he’s living being single.

Jimin wants to be happy for him – happy that Jungkook is happy with himself. And he is happy for him…in his head, at least. But he doesn’t feel happy for him. He wonders if that makes him a bad friend.

“Seriously think about it,” Jungkook carries on, his smile turning crooked like it wants to turn into a teasing one. “I have to take care of myself and a whole other human being? I can barely even look after myself, how am I gonna make sure someone else is happy all the time? I think I’m too selfish for relationships.”

“You’re not selfish,” Jimin says, the words leaving his mouth just as soon as Jungkook’s words had left his. Jungkook is one of the most selfless people he knows, and the last thing he'd call him is selfish.

“Thanks, Jimin.” Jungkook chuckles softly, politely, in a way that suggests he thinks Jimin was just being polite by responding to him that way.

“You’re not.” Jimin is insistent at first, but the certainty in his voice ebbs away, and his tone shifts to something that’s more cautious, bordering on shy. “And…when you find the right person, doing favours for them and keeping them happy won’t seem like it’s work. You’ll do it because you want to do it, because you care about them. Not because you feel like you have to do it…”

Jungkook blinks at him, eyes staying on Jimin for a few seconds before he’s suddenly shifting his attention elsewhere. For the first time since sitting underneath the sunless sky, Jimin feels the slight chill in the air.

“Maybe you’re right.” Jungkook starts picking at the grass, every now and then pulling out a blade or two. “But I’ve been single for so long that I don’t even know what to do in a relationship. I don’t know how to be with someone, you know?”

“I guess.” 

“Plus, I like being single. It’s just…easier.”

Jimin wants to say something like: the easy way isn’t always the best way, but he doesn’t want to risk sounding too preachy. Who is he to tell Jungkook how to live his life?

“What about you?” Jungkook is brighter now, like he’s perked up a bit now that he’s changing the focus from himself to Jimin. “Why’re you single?” The curiosity he wears is identical to what Jimin’s had been when he asked Jungkook the same question. “You go on lots of dates.”

“I don’t go on that many.”

“More than me.”

“You don’t go on any dates. Ever.”

“Like I said, more than me.”

Jimin can’t help but smile. Of course he goes on more dates than Jungkook does, but he wouldn’t say he goes on a lot of them. At least, not anymore. In his first year of university he went on quite a few, but he’s since slowed down.

Jimin hums, eyes narrowing ever so slightly as he thinks about his answer. “Well, I like going on dates – I think that it’s fun getting to meet new people and stuff.” He says, bringing his knees up more so that he can hug them to his chest. “But it just never goes anywhere.”

The majority of the dates that Jimin goes on are good, and he doesn’t have much to complain about. Most of the guys are nice and they’re fun and he can’t be upset about that, but most of the time it just feels like he’s hanging out with a friend. There’s no real chemistry, nothing that makes him seriously want to pursue anyone.

"Yeah?" Jungkook looks up from the grass, a quizzical little frown on his face. "Why not?"

Jimin knows why it never goes anywhere. He’s still waiting for that spark. Maybe he does watch too many romantic movies. Maybe they really have skewed his perception of dating in the real world.

That’s why he never dated Youjin, that’s why they only ever flirted and why they only kissed when they were drunk. Because sometimes, intoxication fills in for that spark. Youjin is a nice guy and there's nothing wrong with him, but there's just nothing there.

Jimin’s last boyfriend was sweet to him, and of course Jimin liked him, but things still didn’t work out for them. They had a lot of chemistry in the beginning, but it faded drastically a couple months into the relationship, and in truth, Jimin wasn’t all that sad when they broke up.

Maybe he still has high expectations, or maybe he’s looking for something that he’ll never find...and even if he is looking for something he’ll never find, he still wants to look for it. Because he still wants it.

“I don’t know…” Jimin sighs softly, watching as more clouds roll in to form a dark grey wall so that there isn’t even one hint of blue remaining in the sky. “I guess I’ve always thought that when I find the right person, I’ll just know. And it’ll just happen.”

Jungkook nods slowly, looking out at the river. The wind picks up, rippling the surface of the once glassy water. “And you haven’t found that yet?”

When a slight smile delicately pulls the corners of Jimin’s mouth upwards, it feels sad, and it feels wrong. His smile feels like a lie. “I’m still single, aren’t I?”

“Yeah.” Jungkook twirls a piece of grass between his fingers, air passing through his nose in some rendition of a laugh. “Yeah, I guess you are.”

The sky is plain, it’s all dull and grey, and there’s not anything to see up there. Jimin looks at Jungkook instead of the sky. Jungkook is still looking straight ahead, he doesn’t know where Jimin’s looking, so Jimin openly stares.

He takes his time as he sweeps over Jungkook’s face, absentmindedly tracing his features with his eyes, and there’s so much to look at and so many little things he wants to admire that now he can’t look away.

The little mole on his nose, his doe-eyes and his pink lips and the way his brow is slightly furrowed in some sort of silent determination – all of that and so much more is Jungkook. All the little things about him come together to make the person that he is, the person that Jimin wants to spend all of his time with.

He looks on in silence, charmed by the way the wind ruffles Jungkook's dark hair so that it falls messily on his forehead.

A part of him wants to brush away those stray strands, but Jimin doesn’t dare move a muscle, he just watches Jungkook as Jungkook watches the water. The air is cooler now, and the sudden dip in temperature makes Jimin wish that he brought a jacket, but at least he’s wearing a long-sleeved shirt. Jungkook is just in a t-shirt.

He hopes that he’s warm enough.

“Jungkook." Jimin murmurs. "Are you…” he trails off, lips parting in muted surprise when he feels something cold land right on top of his head.

Jungkook seems to have felt something too. He turns his palm up to the sky, head tilting back like he’s silently asking for an answer.

It's silent for a good few seconds before the sky gives its reply, sending it down in the form of rain. A few more drops fall into Jimin’s hair, and it’s nothing more than a gentle shower, but he and Jungkook hadn’t expected it, and neither of them are exactly equipped for the rain. They turn to each other, eyes a bit wider than before, and a hush falls over them.

The rain starts slowly at first, and everything is quiet like it’s holding its breath – like the whole world has stopped moving except for the raindrops falling from the sky.

All Jimin can do is watch Jungkook. Watching Jungkook is like the calm before the storm. There's anticipation, and it's like staring up at the sky and being fascinated by menacing black clouds that promise torrential rain and jagged bolts of lightning and deafening peals of thunder.

Jimin just can’t bring himself to look away.

Maybe he’s stunned from the rain or maybe Jungkook’s eyes just look too pretty to turn from, or maybe it’s a little bit of both.

Not even when the rain stops lazily sprinkling and starts coming down in sheets instead does Jimin move. It's no longer a gentle shower; the rain's sole purpose now is to soak, and within a matter of seconds, Jimin is totally drenched. If it weren’t for Jungkook, then he would stay sitting there in the middle of the sudden downpour, some unknown force preventing him from moving.

Thankfully, he has Jungkook to snap him out of it.

“Come on!” Jungkook has to raise his voice to be heard over the pounding of the rain, and before Jimin can react, Jungkook grabs his hand and pulls him to his feet. Without saying another word, he starts running.

Jungkook is much faster than Jimin. He runs with a reckless abandon that’s hard to keep up with, but he’s holding Jimin’s hand, and Jimin is pretty much forced to match his speed.

Jimin doesn’t know how he’s not tripping over his own feet considering how fast he’s going, and he doesn’t have any idea where they’re even headed, but he doesn’t have the luxury of stopping to think. All he can do is keep pumping his legs as he and Jungkook splash through puddles on their way to god knows where.

The rain pelts his face and makes it hard to see, and the wind blowing directly at him makes it hard to breathe, and he's completely soaked from his head to his toes, and it’s wet and it’s uncomfortable. And Jimin loves every second of it.

He’s never felt so alive.

He tightens his hold on Jungkook when he feels their hands slipping, won’t let a bit of rain make him lose his grip, and even in the midst of the downpour, even though there’s not a single ray of sunlight breaking through the clouds, Jimin is warm.

Jungkook leads him to shelter, and they find refuge underneath a little wooden hut along the river. Only then do they stop running, and only then does Jungkook let go of Jimin’s hand.

They stand an arm’s length apart, panting, chests heaving as they catch their breath. The sound of the rain on the roof is almost as loud as Jimin’s heartbeat.

“And you thought your first kiss was wet.” Jungkook is wearing a lopsided smile when he speaks, and it has Jimin smiling right back, big and bright.

Jungkook saturates his life in smiles just as easily as the rain soaks through his clothes.

Jimin doesn't know how Jungkook can make even moments like these wonderful. His shoes are sopping wet and his clothes are sticking to him, and there’s cold water running down his back and he should be miserable.

But he’s not.

Instead of pouting, instead of whining, a bubbly giggle breaks free of Jimin’s chest. “I can now say with confidence that this has been the wettest moment of my life.”

“Sounds dirty.”

“It’s only dirty if you make it dirty.”

The rain hasn’t dampened Jungkook’s spirits either. With wet hair sticking to his forehead, Jungkook scrunches up his nose and laughs softly, and Jimin watches raindrops roll down the side of his neck.

Jimin’s heart skips one beat and then two – maybe it even misses a third, he doesn’t know, he can’t count. All he knows is that when his heart starts up again, it’s beating faster than before.

When he felt like this last time, it was at Mino’s party, and he’d been drunk and he blamed the alcohol for making him feel things he shouldn’t feel, and for making him think things he shouldn’t think about his friend.

But Jimin hasn’t had one sip of alcohol and yet here he is, feeling lightheaded and dizzy, standing there looking at Jungkook, thinking that he kind of wants to kiss the raindrops off his skin.

There’s more of a spark with Jungkook than there is with anyone he’s ever been on a date with, and it’s weird, because Jungkook is his friend. It doesn’t make sense. He shouldn’t feel this way about his friend, he shouldn’t feel like this when Jungkook stares at him the way he’s staring at him right now.

When Jungkook’s gaze doesn’t waver, heat blooms across Jimin’s cheeks, contrasting with the cold in the air.

Maybe he did watch too many stupid romance movies when he was a kid, maybe he still watches too many now, maybe they ruined him because now all he can think about is being kissed in the rain. He knows it’s wrong to think about that, and he can’t ever tell Jungkook what he’s thinking, because they’re friends and that’s not something friends do, and he doesn’t want to ruin their friendship because he can’t lose Jungkook.

He can’t.

Jimin draws in a shaky breath, shy as his eyes finally stray from Jungkook. He glances down at his feet, just because he needs to look somewhere else. “Your shoelace is untied.” Jimin notes in a murmur.

Just as suddenly as Jimin had spoken, and just as suddenly as the rain had started, it stops. Without the hammering of the raindrops on the wooden roof above their heads, the quiet is almost deafening.

“Huh?” Jungkook frowns, like he doesn’t understand what Jimin had just said, but his confusion clears up as soon as he looks down at his shoes. “Oh.” He chuckles awkwardly, dropping down to a knee to fix his laces. “Thanks.”

It’s lighter out now, like the sun is trying to break through the clouds and make up for the mess that the rain had made, but Jimin doesn’t want to move away from their shelter.

They don’t need to be there anymore because there’s no more rain to hide from, but Jimin is fixed to the spot where’s he’s standing in front of Jungkook, watching him as he ties his shoe like it’s the most interesting thing in the world.

There’s nothing captivating about it, but when Jungkook glances up at him from where he’s kneeling, Jimin feels captivated all the same.

They’re staring again. Jimin opens his mouth, wants to ask Jungkook what he’s staring at, knowing Jungkook could ask that exact same question right back, and he takes a second to look for his words, and just when he’s finally found them–

“My, don’t you two make a lovely couple?” Someone else’s voice yanks Jimin out of his daze.

He snaps his head in the direction it came from, finding that the source is an elderly woman standing just outside the shelter. She’s smiling at them dotingly, like she’s known them her whole life, and she’s all dressed up in a blue raincoat and matching rubber boots, holding an umbrella above her head even though it’s stopped raining, and she’s one of the cutest little old ladies that Jimin has ever seen.

“You know,” she carries on, “my husband proposed to me by the river, too.”

Jimin’s mind goes blank.

He blinks once, blinks down at Jungkook and sees that he’s still on one knee on the ground in front of him, blinks twice, blinks at Jungkook who is now wearing a stunned expression that Jimin is certain replicates the look on his own face, blinks three times, blinks back at the elderly woman, and can’t think of anything to say.

She looks so kind and sounds so nice, and Jimin doesn’t have the heart to tell her that there’s actually no proposal going on. Just shoelace tying.

“I thought I heard somewhere that you kids were waiting until you’re older to get married, but you two are still young. That’s the way to do it. My husband proposed when I was eighteen–” The sweet old lady cuts herself off, lifting a weathered hand up to her mouth. “I’m talking too much, aren’t I? I should leave you two to it.” She shakes a finger at them good-naturedly, kind smile stretching over thin lips.  “You two be good. Bye-bye now.”

Both Jimin and Jungkook raise a hand as if in a trance, waving in unison as they watch her walk away.

Jimin briefly considers pinching himself to make sure that wasn't a dream and that strange but sweet encounter really just happened. 

Jungkook slowly rises to his feet, and they both stand in stunned silence for a good few seconds. And those seconds are more than enough for the laughter to build up in Jimin’s chest. Soon, he’s erupting into a fit of giggles, and Jungkook isn’t far behind.

This is what they do. This is who they are.

“I mean,” Jungkook starts, and Jimin can hear the grin in his voice. “We do have the rings.”

Ridiculous. This is ridiculous, they’re ridiculous – everything about this and everything about them is completely and utterly ridiculous.

Jimin throws his head back in amusement, eyes squeezing shut as he surrenders to the hilarity of the situation, and he finds boundless happiness getting to laugh with Jungkook.

Jimin is happy. If he were to ask for anything more than what he has now, then he’d be greedy. Being Jungkook’s friend and getting to laugh alongside him should be more than enough.

This is who they are.

This.

He laughs at the misunderstanding, and he laughs at himself. Jimin laughs at himself for feeling the way he felt moments before the elderly woman interrupted them.

Maybe being in a fake relationship messes with Jimin’s head sometimes, makes him feel things that he shouldn’t feel. Maybe that’s what happens now.

Every now and then they slip into a strange world that they’ve never explored before, but then something from the real world always pulls them out and reminds them of who they really are – something always shatters the illusion of there being something more to their relationship. Maybe it’s a sign from the universe – a way of telling them they’re better off as friends.. 

They’re friends. They’re friends, and they’re laughing together at the silliness of what just happened, because it is so, so silly for someone to think that they’re not only together, but that they’re getting engaged, too.

Jimin knows that Jungkook is his friend, and he knows that Jungkook is wonderful and beautiful and that there’s not one single thing he would ever change about him. He knows who Jungkook is, and he knows who he is to Jungkook.

Maybe there are moments in which Jimin suffers a lapse in rationality and forgets that Jungkook is only his friend, but in the end, he always remembers. 

Maybe there is a spark with Jungkook, but maybe it's only their circumstances that light the spark. And maybe that’s just the way their friendship is now, maybe it’ll go back to normal when they stop acting like they’re in a relationship.

For now, maybe this is just them.

 

Chapter Text

One thing that Jimin certainly didn’t take into account when he agreed to be Jungkook’s fake boyfriend for two months, is the fact that being in a fake relationship is a total mindfuck.

At the start of all this, it hadn’t been too bad, he didn’t have much trouble distinguishing between his real feelings and the feelings he’s intentionally bringing out in order to give authenticity to their relationship.

But now, the lines are getting a little too blurred, and sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s a product of the lie that they’re trying to sell, and what’s a product of genuine emotion. Does being in a fake relationship give rise to feelings of affection towards Jungkook, or would those feelings have sprung forth on their own no matter what?

Jimin doesn’t know.

He and Jungkook may only be friends, but being in this pretend relationship with him is letting Jimin see him in a different light, and it’s showing him sides of Jungkook that he’s never seen before.

And Jimin likes every side of Jungkook that he’s shown. He likes each and every part that makes up Jeon Jungkook.

But it doesn’t mean he likes him. It could mean that, but it doesn’t have to.

And that’s what Jimin tells himself to make himself feel better, no, sane about this whole situation.

He’s just growing closer to Jungkook, and that’s all there is to it. Their friendship is deepening, and every day he finds another reason to be thankful for the friendship he has with him, but there isn’t anything more to it.

Did he briefly entertain the idea of kissing Jungkook in the rain last week?

Yes.

But that was only because he was caught up in the moment, and because they’d been talking about kissing and relationships earlier, and it kind of screwed with his head a little bit.

Jimin is good at lying to himself, and he also has quite the talent for pushing his thoughts and feelings to the side when they get too confusing, dismissing them completely and telling himself to deal with them another time.

Distractions help with it all, too. And, the best distraction from all of his complicated thoughts and feelings surrounding Jungkook is Jungkook himself. He distracts himself from Jungkook with Jungkook, which may seem a little backwards, but it works.

When his head and his heart are at war and when his thoughts and his feelings are getting all mixed up and tangled, all it takes is a word or a laugh or even a smile from Jungkook to remind him of the familiarity of what they’ve always been and what they’ve always known.

Jimin is comforted by the familiarity of his friendship with Jungkook.

They’re friends. After all, only friends could talk about the things they talk about without it getting awkward or uncomfortable. Only true friends can talk about this.  

 

“So, have you thought about where you want to go for our honeymoon?”

Jimin sets his pen down the moment Jungkook voices his question, and is more than eager to give him an answer. They’re sitting across from one another back at Jungkook’s dorm, and Jimin’s been studying diligently for a good hour now. He’s more than ready for a break.

Lately, it’s been much less of a hassle for Jungkook to coax him into taking breaks. Jimin doesn’t resist so much anymore. In fact, he often finds himself looking forward to studying, because studying with Jungkook means frequent breaks and going off on tangents about the most random things.

“Tokyo.” Jimin gives his firm reply. He clasps his hands together on the table in front of him, and does his best to keep his smile in check. “We should definitely go to Tokyo.”  He fails miserably, and ends up with more of a grin than a smile on his face.

“Tokyo?” Jungkook repeats. Jimin’s enthusiasm must be infectious in some way, because Jungkook is matching it, showing off a rather wide smile of his own. “What made you choose Tokyo?”

Even if talking like this – like an actual couple – is probably only adding to Jimin’s problems when it comes to discerning what’s real and what’s not in their relationship, it won’t change the fact that it’s fun to talk about things like this.

He wants to keep doing it, doesn’t ever want the fun to end. It’s what's familiar.

“It's not too far from home – and it wouldn’t be too expensive. And there would be so much for us to do and so much to see.” Jimin speaks keenly, like he’s put serious thought into his decision, like he’s already looking forward to the honeymoon that’s not even going to happen.

It’s all in the name of fun.

Maybe they can go on a friendship trip there one day or something.

“Only you would put so much thought into the cost and practicality of our hypothetical honeymoon.” Jungkook muses, shoulders shaking lightly when he lets out a short laugh.

“Well I’m a practical person.” Jimin answers, bright as ever, teeming with energy after his little studying session. “What about you?” He gently nudges Jungkook’s foot underneath the table, ignores the way his heart flutters when Jungkook nudges it right back. “Where do you wanna go?”

“I’d go anywhere as long as it’s with you.” His voice is airy and sweet, and there’s so much sugar coating his words that Jimin can nearly taste it.

All of that combines with Jungkook's unmistakably playful undertone and the faraway look in his eyes to make Jimin press the back of his hand to his mouth to stifle his amusement.

“Jungkook,” Jimin lowers is hand for only a moment so he can speak. “You can’t say things like that, and then make fun of me for watching romance movies.”

“It’s not me doing the talking,” Jungkook says, placing a hand over his chest as he speaks. “It’s my heart.”

“Well tell your heart to stop,” Jimin’s voice wavers ever so slightly, his laughter threating to make its rounds again.

“My heart won’t stop unless yours does–”

“Don’t you dare–”

“Because my heart only beats for you.”

Jimin can’t decide if he’s entertained or insulted by Jungkook’s exceedingly sentimental words, but whatever the case may be, he’s finding himself slumping back in his seat, laughing in disbelief.

“Where do you come up with these things?” Jimin wonders in awe. “I’ve never heard anything like it before.”

How does Jungkook come up with these things, and why does Jimin like them so much? How does Jungkook somehow always reduce him to nothing more than a giggling mess, and how does he never seem to run out of things to amaze and amuse Jimin with?

Every day with Jungkook feels like a new day, he’ll never get bored of him, and if Jimin can be certain of only one thing in life, it’s that he’ll never go a day without smiling as long as he has Jungkook.

“What can I say,” Jungkook shrugs. He holds his hand out, inspecting his nails in a deliberate display of casualness. “I’m a natural.”

“There’s nothing natural about what you just said.” Jimin teases, and he’s fully prepared for the playful bout of bickering that would no doubt ensue, but they’re interrupted before Jungkook can offer any sort of reply.

Taehyung steps into the kitchen at that moment, and even though Jimin completely forgot that Taehyung had been in his bedroom this whole time, he isn’t startled in the slightest. Even if Jimin had remembered, it wouldn’t have any effect on the way he's acting.

If it were still a couple months ago, and if they were still at the beginning of the bet, then Jimin would be nervous with Taehyung around them.

His heart would be thumping uncomfortably fast and his thoughts would be running rampant, and he’d constantly be trying to come up with things to say and things to do to prove that he’s in a romantic relationship with Jungkook.

But now, Jimin doesn’t pay any mind to those things. Now, he doesn’t have to monitor what he says, now he can talk and act freely without being worried about whether or not he’s acting like Jungkook’s boyfriend, because now the both of them constantly talk and act like they’re really dating.

“Hey guys.” Taehyung greets them with a nod, backpack hanging off one shoulder. “What’s up?” He asks, grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge. 

“Oh,” Jungkook may be talking to Taehyung when he speaks, but he’s looking straight at Jimin. “We were just talking about our honeymoon. Right, babe?” He’s as shameless as ever, and being the good friend that Jimin is, he won't leave Jungkook out to dry.

He'll join in with him.

“Baby, you're getting way too ahead of yourself." Jimin scolds halfheartedly. He turns in his seat to face an extremely surprised looking Taehyung, who has a bit of water dribbling down his chin. "Don’t worry," Jimin carries on with relative ease.“We aren't getting married anytime soon. We want to finish up our degrees and get our own place before any of that happens–”

“But it’s definitely in our future.” Jungkook finishes. He flashes a cheeky grin Jimin’s way, and Jimin’s heart does a double take.

He doesn’t think about the reason for the butterflies in his stomach, and instead he redirects his attention onto Taehyung once again. Jimin waits for Taehyung to burst out into laughter or to make some skeptical remark – he expects him to do anything besides what he actually ends up doing.

A brilliant smile breaks out over Taehyung’s face as his deep brown eyes light up, and there’s something so pure about the excitement on his face that Jimin knows it’s genuine.

“Seriously? Can I be the best man?” Taehyung’s words are so bright that they practically blind Jimin, leaving him stunned. “I’ll write a sick speech – I really know how to tug on the heartstrings. I mean, I know you guys probably have other people in mind for that already, but consider this.” He lifts a finger as if to strengthen his argument. “I saw your relationship mature. I knew you two when you were still just friends.” He pauses. “And I’ll plan a kick-ass bachelor party.”

Taehyung believes them. There’s not a trace of doubt that Jimin can see– he actually believes that they’re not only dating, but that that they’re planning on getting married too, and Jimin can't believe they actually got to the point where they can now confidently say that their act worked on him.

“Kim Taehyung,” Jungkook starts, his tone similar to the one he uses on Jimin when he’s teasing him. “I would be honoured to have you as my best man.”

Somehow, Taehyung’s grin widens. “Just remember this moment in a few years when you guys actually get married.”

“Believe me when I say I’m never going to forget this moment.”

Jungkook smiles, and Jimin knows him well enough to catch the hint of smugness in the way one side of his mouth is just a bit higher than the other, but Taehyung is totally oblivious to it.

Jungkook is such a brat. 

Jimin sucks his lower lip between his teeth to keep his own smile from spreading too wide. He still feels guilty for lying to Taehyung like this…but he can’t deny that it's funny.

Taehyung stays for a bit and idly chats with them, but it's not long before he's taking his leave, heading over to the library to study with some friends. 

“So…” Jungkook says, waiting a moment after the door clicks shut behind Taehyung. “He really believes us, huh?”

“I guess so.” Jimin murmurs. When he smiles this time, it feels forced. “We must be really good actors.”

“Oscar worthy.”

They slip into a period of silence, and Jimin takes it as his cue to start studying again. He dips his head, trying to find the paragraph he’d left off at in his reading.

Jungkook picks up a pencil for the first time in a while, only to start tapping it against his open textbook. “He’s gonna be really sad when we break up.” He says with a ghost of a smile.

Lifting his eyes, Jimin spares only a quick glance at Jungkook. “Yeah.” He forces his mouth shut before he can say anything more. The words are on the tip of his tongue, we don’t have to break up, and those words would be so easy to say but so hard to explain.

How could he ever explain that to Jungkook when he can’t even explain it to himself?

The second month is pretty much at an end, and they’ll keep this up for another couple weeks just so it's not suspicious when they break up, and then it’ll be done, and Jimin is struck with the realization that he’s scared for it to be done.

He doesn’t want it to be over, he doesn’t want this to end, whatever this even is. He wants things to stay exactly as they are.

What if everything changes after it’s done?

Shaking his head, Jimin scatters those thoughts and forces them to some obscure part in the back of his brain. There’s no need for him to think like that right now. For now, he should just enjoy everything while he can.

It’s not like Jungkook will suddenly turn into a stranger as soon as the bet is over. They’ll still be friends when it’s all said and done.

Just like how they were before.

“Okay, get back to studying.” Jungkook’s voice keeps Jimin’s thoughts from wandering too far. “You take way too many breaks. You’re kind of a slacker.”

“Jungkook, you make me take those breaks.” 

“I don’t make you do anything.”

This is what they do. The trivial arguing that’s more fun than aggravating; it’s what they’ve done since the beginning and what they’ll always do. It's what's familiar. 

---

There are a lot of things that Jimin likes. He likes the smell of the pavement after it’s just rained, he likes laughing until he can’t breathe, he likes early morning coffees, and he likes being Jungkook's friend.

There are a lot of things that make Jimin happy. He’s happy when he hears his favourite song on the radio, he’s happy when he makes someone else smile, he’s happy when he wakes up before his alarm goes off and sees that he can go back to sleep for a few more minutes, and he’s happy when he’s with Jungkook.

Jungkook always seems to be there during Jimin’s happiest days– he's often the reason for most of that happiness.

But Jungkook isn't just there on Jimin's best days. Jungkook is there for everything.

 

Everything about today had been awful.

Jimin hadn’t been given a single reason to smile all day, his heart is heavy, he’s drowning in his own worrisome thoughts, and it’s late and he should be sleeping and he wishes he was sleeping, but he knows he can’t sleep right now.

Digging his hands deep into his pockets, he tilts his head back to look up at the night sky. He opens his mouth, draws in a breath of cool air and lets it sting the back of his throat. He thought that going for a walk would calm him down, he thought it would somehow make him feel better, but it doesn’t do anything to offer any sort of comfort.

Jimin stops in the middle of the sidewalk, forces another shaky breath into his lungs, knows it won’t help him at all but still hoping that it will.

Jimin didn’t get to see Jungkook at all today. Today, Jimin spent his time in between classes studying for a test, and Jungkook had to meet up with some people later in the day to work on a group project, so they didn’t have a chance to hang out. 

But that’s only one of the reasons why today had been so shitty.

Today had just been one of those days where Jimin got the feeling that the whole world is against him; it was one shitty thing after another, and he couldn’t seem to catch a break.

All the little things started piling up, and now he’s being crushed underneath them all, and he wants nothing more than to get rid of this weight pressing down on him, he just wants to be able to breathe right again. Before he even knows what he’s doing, he's pulling his phone out of his pocket.  

“Jimin?” Jungkook answers on the third ring. His voice is thick, and it's laced with sleep. 

“Hey.” Jimin’s own voice cracks, but he ignores it, hoping that Jungkook will do the same. He feels guilty for waking him up, but he really needed to hear his voice. 

“Jimin?” There’s no trace of drowsiness in Jungkook’s words now. “What’s wrong?” His concern is evident, and Jimin can hear rustling in the background, probably him sitting up in bed. “Jimin, what’s wrong? Are you okay?”

Jimin doesn’t speak right away. "I..." He holds his breath for a second, doing everything he can to prevent the hot tears pricking the backs of his eyes from falling. “I kind of had a bad day.”

“What happened?”

“I uh… I guess it all started this morning when I spilled coffee all over my shirt.” He forces out a laugh, and it burns on the way out. He feels pathetic. “And then my literature prof ripped me a new one when he handed back my paper. Said he’s disappointed and that I could do a lot better.”

Jimin goes quiet, and a single tear finally spills over, making a silent track down his cheek. He bites down hard on his lip in an effort to keep himself grounded. “And then my mom called me, and they’re not letting my grandma come home anymore, and when I saw her they said she was getting better but I don’t think she actually is, and I’m so fucking worried about her, Jungkook. I don’t know what to do. And then after that I had a test and I couldn’t focus because all I could think about was her, and I’m pretty sure I failed, and then I didn’t even get to see you all day and I just wanted to hear your voice–”

“Where are you?” There’s a touch of panic on Jungkook’s end of the line, and once again, Jimin feels guilty. He doesn't want him to worry.

 “On a walk.” Jimin sniffles.

“Are you still on campus? What side?”

“South.”

“Come over.”

"Jungkook..." He wants to see him. Absolutely nothing in Jimin wants to refuse the offer, but it’s late and he feels bad for waking him up. Jimin shakes his head even though Jungkook can’t see him. “It's late and–”

“You’re close to me, right? Closer to me than you are to your dorms.”

“It's one in the morning, I shouldn’t have called you so late–”

“I don’t care, Jimin. Come over.”

When Jimin phoned him, he only wanted to hear his voice – he didn’t intend on going to see him. But there’s nowhere else he wants to go right now. He doesn’t know why he needs to see him, he just knows that he does.

So Jimin doesn’t argue any further.

Jungkook opens the door for him the instant that Jimin texts him and tells him he’s there. Jungkook doesn’t say a word. He just opens his arms wide, and that’s all Jimin needs, that’s all that it takes for him to go running into them.

Jimin buries his face in his chest, breath trembling on the way out as his tears start to fall. When he feels Jungkook’s arms tighten around him, he cries harder. He doesn’t know why, but he can’t stop.

At least they’re silent tears.

They stand there for a while; Jimin quietly crying into Jungkook’s shirt, tears staining the fabric while Jungkook holds him close, gently swaying back and forth. Everything is still so wrong, he’s still worried sick about his grandma, still can’t seem to stop those stupid tears from rolling down his cheeks, but now he can finally breathe.

And when he breathes in, he breathes in Jungkook – his warmth and his scent and everything comfortable and familiar to him.

Jimin doesn’t know how long they stand there for, but it’s long enough for the tears to slow down.

“Come on,” Jungkook murmurs into Jimin’s hair, talking for the first time since he got there. His voice is as delicate as his touch is when he pulls back and takes Jimin’s hand. “Let’s go lay down.”

Jungkook’s bed had always been comfortable, but it’s that much more comfortable when Jimin is laying in Jungkook’s arms. Jimin presses himself as close to Jungkook as he possibly can, and Jungkook holds him tight, tucks Jimin's head underneath his chin.

They've never done this before, and yet it still somehow feels familiar. 

Nothing about it feels wrong. Laying there with Jungkook feels like the most natural thing in the world. Jimin is exactly where he’s supposed to be. 

It’s not anything that Jungkook says that calms Jimin’s heart and eases his mind, and it’s not even anything that Jungkook does. It’s just Jungkook. It’s just him, plain and simple.

They don’t talk much, but nothing much needs to be said. This is how Jungkook comforts people, it’s his own way of doing it and Jimin is perfectly fine with it, wouldn’t want Jungkook to try to comfort him any other way.

Being with him is all Jimin needs. Even when everything going on in his life is so wrong, Jungkook can make things feel right. No one else could ever do that for him. Jungkook is the only one.

Jungkook has already done so much for him, and Jimin feels like a bit of a burden for asking for more, but he still finds his voice, still dares to ask just one more thing of him.

“Is it okay if I sleep here tonight?” 

“I wasn’t going to let you go even if you wanted to.” Jungkook answers softly.

Jungkook doesn’t need to say anything to fill Jimin with warmth, but Jimin still loves the words that he speaks all the same.

The only time that Jungkook lets go of Jimin all night is when he gets up to grab him a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt for him to change into.

The steady rising and falling of Jungkook’s chest coupled with his gentle breathing works just as well as any lullaby would, and it’s the sound that Jimin falls asleep to.

 

When he opens his eyes the next morning, the first thing that Jimin sees is Jungkook. Or, more specifically, Jungkook’s chest. It’s not a bad thing to wake up to.

He must have stayed snuggled up against him all night, and Jungkook’s arms are still around Jimin, meaning he must have held onto him all throughout night. Jimin smiles into Jungkook’s shirt, not totally sure why he’s smiling, but smiling anyway.

Even though Jungkook’s hold right now isn't as tight as it had been last night, it doesn’t make the feeling of being in Jungkook’s arms any less lovely. Waking up in Jungkook’s arms feels just as good as falling asleep in his arms.

And even though he would love to stay there for a while longer, he knows he should probably go. Taking care not to accidentally wake him, Jimin slowly draws back, but he stops when his gaze falls on Jungkook's sleeping face. 

The gentle morning sunlight softens Jungkook’s features, makes him look so peaceful and so cute that the last thing Jimin wants to do is wake him before he’s ready to actually get up. Making sure that Jungkook sleeps for as long as he wants to is the least that Jimin can do for him. So, when Jimin starts to slowly inch his way to the other side of the bed, he holds his breath, doing everything he can to be as silent as possible.

It takes him longer than it probably should, but eventually, Jimin manages to slide out of bed without causing Jungkook to stir too much.

He stands at the bedside for a moment, and while letting his eyes rest on Jungkook for a bit longer may be tempting, there’s a vague thought in the back of Jimin’s head saying that it might be a little creepy to watch his friend sleep. 

With that in mind, Jimin turns away from the sight, grabbing his clothes from the night before and heading to the bathroom to change. Thankfully, his first class today isn’t too early, so he’s not as flustered or as rushed as he’d been the last time he stayed over at Jungkook’s.

But just because he’s not in a rush doesn’t mean he intends to stay. Of course, Jimin wouldn’t mind staying, in fact, he finds himself thinking that it would actually be kind of nice to crawl back into bed with Jungkook and cuddle up with him again.

To feel his warmth so closely and to listen to the steady sound of his breathing. To close his eyes and just breathe in the light pleasant scent of the laundry soap that lingers on his clothes…

No, he shouldn’t stay. Jungkook already did so much for him, and he doesn’t want to intrude on his morning or anything like that.

Once he’d changed into his own clothes, Jimin sneaks back into Jungkook’s bedroom. He folds the sweatpants and the shirt that Jungkook let him borrow and sets them neatly on his desk, still doing his best to be as silent as possible, but as soon as he turns around he sees that there’s no need to be so silent anymore.

Jungkook is awake.

“Hi.” Jimin says, the first thing that pops into his head when their eyes meet.

“Hey,” Jungkook lets out a quiet chuckle, all deep in the back of his throat, and Jimin’s never heard him laugh like that so early in the morning.

It sounds nice. Jimin likes the way his heart flutters when he hears it, and he finds himself wondering about all the other types of laughs that he’s never heard from Jungkook. He wants to hear them all. 

“How’re you feeling?” Jungkook asks, sitting up in bed.   

Jimin considers the question for a moment. He's not good, but he's definitely not bad. And he even smiled when he woke up this morning, and that really means something. “Better.” It’s not as if all his worries have suddenly disappeared, but he’s better than he was yesterday. “I’m feeling a lot better.” And it’s all because of Jungkook.

"Good, I'm glad."

“Jungkook…” Jimin says softly. He doesn’t know how to even begin to tell him how grateful he is, or how much last night meant to him. But it really meant so much. Jimin smiles, and it isn’t as wide as it usually is, but it’s real, and his whole heart is in it. “Thank you. For last night, and just for everything.”

“You don’t need to thank me, Jimin. I’m always here for you.” Even if Jungkook didn’t say that out loud, Jimin would’ve known, because everything in Jungkook’s eyes tell him that he’s with him no matter what.

“You headed to class?” Jungkook goes on, and everything he says is proof of how thoughtful he is, everything he says fills Jimin with so much admiration and adoration for him. “It’s only an hour long, right? I’ll bring you breakfast or something when you’re out.”

Jimin doesn’t know what he did to deserve someone as amazing as Jungkook. He shakes his head slowly, and he can’t hide the fondness in his stare, not that he even tries to. “That’s sweet, but you don’t need to.”

“But I want to.”

Jimin has never been good at refusing Jungkook anything. “Okay...” He gives in easily, and when he does, Jungkook’s eyes light up and he grins so wide that you’d think he just won the lottery.

Jimin is glad that Jungkook can find happiness in something so little. Happiness looks good on Jungkook. Jimin hopes he can make Jungkook as happy as Jungkook makes him.

Moving to sit on the edge of the bed, Jungkook gestures at his dresser. “You wanna borrow a hoodie again?”

Jimin almost says no. He almost tells him that it’s okay because he has time to stop by his place and change, and that he needs to go there anyway to get his backpack. But Jimin doesn’t say that.

Instead, he just nods.

This time when Jimin wears one of Jungkook’s hoodies to class, it’s a black one. This one is still too big for him, and his hands are still hidden in the sleeves, and it’s still fuzzy and warm. This one smells like Jungkook too, and if Jimin closes his eyes and breathes in deep, then it’s almost like he’s still lying in bed with him, curled up in his arms. The safest place in the whole world.

Despite still being worried sick about his grandma, and even though yesterday had been an awful day, Jimin still finds himself smiling on his way to class today. It’s a faint smile, but it’s there all the same.

Once again, Jimin catches himself thinking that he must be one of the luckiest people alive. Even when there are countless things that are working against him and trying to make him frown, Jimin always has one thing to make him smile.

And maybe all he needs is one.

 ---

“Hyung?” Jimin murmurs one evening. He’s sitting at the table having dinner with Yoongi, but Jimin has barely even eaten anything. Lately, he hasn’t had much of an appetite.

It’s been a few days since Jimin stayed overnight at Jungkook’s, and every night since, it’s all Jimin can think about. No, it’s not even that night that he thinks about.

It’s just Jungkook. All he can think about at night is Jungkook.

Yoongi raises his eyebrows to show that Jimin has his attention, and Jimin suddenly finds himself feeling self-conscious…but there’s something that’s been eating away at him for days, and he needs to get it out of his mind and off of his chest.

“Do you think it’s stupid to believe in the one and all that stuff?” Jimin asks, and while his question is certainly innocent, he wishes he could’ve spoken with more nonchalance than he had.

“The one?” Yoongi repeats. He may be watching Jimin with amusement, but it’s not a mocking sort of amusement. The look on his face is more fond than anything else. “You mean the one as in the one you’re supposed to be with?”

Jimin nods.

“I think believing in it makes you a romantic, maybe even a bit of an idealist. But I don’t think that it’s stupid to believe in.” Yoongi answers honestly. “There’s someone for everyone, right?”

Jimin stares down at the food on his plate, every now and then poking at it with his chopsticks. “Well do you think…do you think you’ll know when you find the one?”

“Are you asking me, personally? If you think I’ll know when find the one?”

“I guess I mean in general.” Jimin isn’t sure if he’s scared or nervous to hear Yoongi’s response, and he's unsure of why he should even feel either of those things, but there’s something– maybe it’s anticipation – pooling at the bottom of his stomach, and he suddenly feels like he’s going to be sick. “Like, as people do you think that we’ll just know when we find the right person?” Chewing at his lip, Jimin hesitates for longer than he’d meant to. His voice sounds so small when he finds it again. “How are we supposed to know?”

“Jimin…” Yoongi breathes out, sounding sympathetic in a strange way. He shakes his head slowly. “I think you already know.”

Chapter Text

Jimin hasn’t ever been scared to like someone before.

He always considered liking someone to be an exciting thing; the butterflies and the softly spoken words and the smitten smiles that all go hand in hand with liking someone were always pleasant things to him.

But with Jungkook it’s different. Jimin hasn’t ever felt like this when he’s liked someone.

He likes him so much – more than he’s ever liked anyone ever before – and it’s exciting and exhilarating and absolutely terrifying.

Now that Jimin is actually aware (painfully aware) of his feelings for Jungkook, he has absolutely no idea how he never saw it before.

How did he manage to somehow attribute all of the times his heart fluttered and all of the times his cheeks got all pink and rosy and all of the times he felt light-headed and short of breath, to anything else besides him being completely and utterly infatuated with Jungkook?

Maybe it’s because he didn’t want to like Jungkook, so he kept telling himself he didn’t like him in that way. And quite honestly, he still doesn’t know if he wants to like Jungkook, because liking Jungkook is dangerous and messy and it could ruin their friendship, and he could risk losing Jungkook completely.

But he does like him, and he can't deny it anymore. God, he likes him so fucking much.

Apparently, all that was needed for Jimin to wake up and realize that he’s head over heels for Jungkook was a good talk from Yoongi. A talk that mostly consisted of Yoongi marvelling at how incredibly clueless Jimin had been.

Yoongi claimed that Jimin’s feelings for Jungkook were incredibly obvious – a statement which Jimin was quick to refute until Yoongi started pointing out the signs.

Signs such as the way Jimin had suddenly started filling up pages of his notebook with doodles of hearts while studying, or how his face would light up after getting a text from Jungkook, or how there was always a bounce in his step whenever he headed out the door to meet up with him, and how he couldn’t even say Jungkook’s name without having a smile break out over his face.

The end of his conversation with Yoongi went a little like this:

 

Jimin slumps back in his seat, head spinning, face hot, and heart heavy after hearing Yoongi go on and on and on about all of the blatant signs pointing to his feelings for Jungkook. "Okay, okay." Jimin sighs. "I’m stupid, I get it.” It’s honestly a little embarrassing to hear about just how naive he’d been.

“You’re not stupid.” Yoongi is quick to correct. “You’re just the most oblivious person I’ve ever met – and you’re so stubborn you wouldn’t even admit your own feelings to yourself. You’re probably one of the most stubborn people I’ve ever met.”

Jimin bites the edge of his smile. He almost wants to giggle. “That’s what Jungkook said…”

“Yeah. You’ve got it bad.”

 

So the good news: Jimin now knows he likes his best friend. The bad news: Jimin likes his best friend and he has no idea how he’s supposed to tell him.

All he knows is that he has to wait for the right time, and the right time is most certainly not while they’re still in the midst of this fake relationship. He has to wait it out – what other choice does he have?

Jimin has already thought of all the possible things that could go wrong if he tells Jungkook about his feelings too soon. If he tells him while they’re still pretending to date, then Jungkook might not take it seriously, might brush it off as part of the act and mockingly reciprocate the feelings, and that’s something Jimin definitely doesn’t want to happen.

For now, Jimin is forced to silently pine after him.

Hanging out with Jungkook now is just as wonderful as it’s always been, because Jungkook is still his wonderful self and that hasn’t changed at all, and Jimin still loves every second he gets to spend with him. But at the same time, being with him now is a lot harder than it was before.

Today in particular is really hard.

 

“Happy two-month anniversary, baby.” Jungkook says with a grin.

This is why it’s so difficult.

It’s officially the end of their two months together, officially the end of the bet, and right now Jimin is sitting at a table in a bakery, and Jungkook is standing in front of him holding a cake in the shape of a heart with Congratulations written in big loopy letters.

Jungkook makes everything so difficult. He does stuff like this while wearing that cute smile of his, looking at Jimin with his pretty eyes, and oh god Jimin feels like he’s about to melt.

This morning Jungkook texted Jimin saying that he had a surprise for him, but Jimin didn’t think it would be this.

Jimin has to fight with himself, has to pretend that he doesn’t feel a spark of excitement spreading from the tips of his fingers all the way down to his toes when Jungkook calls him baby, has to struggle to maintain a relatively neutral expression that still shows his smile but doesn’t reveal just how taken he is by everything Jungkook does and everything that Jungkook is.

But it’s so hard. It’s so hard when Jungkook is still pouring all of his enthusiasm into this fake relationship, doing things that are so over the top and ridiculous, and when he doesn’t have any clue about just how much his words and his smiles and his stares are affecting Jimin.

All Jimin can do is act like he’s still playing pretend too.

But it’s so hard to act when Jungkook is so sweet and when he looks the way he looks and when Jimin is now fully aware of how much he adores him.

He has to try though. “You got us a whole cake?” Jimin asks, gently digging his teeth into his lower lip when his smile threatens to spread wider than it should.

Jungkook’s smile on the other hand, has free reign over his face. “Well I wasn’t going to get us half a cake, Jimin. Don’t be ridiculous.” He’s just being himself, just teasing, just doing what he does best, and Jimin can hardly take it.

“Jungkook,” Jimin shakes his head slowly, and even though he’s doing his best to keep himself in line, even though he’s not ready to tell Jungkook how he feels, he can’t keep the fondness out of his eyes. “You are ridiculous.” The only thing more ridiculous than Jeon Jungkook is how much Jimin likes Jeon Jungkook.

“Ridiculously lucky to have you as my boyfriend.” Jungkook amends, his words accompanied by a rather smug expression. He sets the box down on the table, and takes a seat in the chair across from Jimin. 

Jimin rolls his eyes as if doing so would somehow help him play off the colour rising to the apples of his cheeks. “I’m really gonna miss you and your cheesy sayings when we break up.” Even Jimin purposely puts sarcasm into his words, he’s actually speaking the truth. He really will miss Jungkook’s silly romantic declarations.

“And I’m gonna miss saying them.”  

For some reason, Jimin thinks that Jungkook might be telling the truth, too. Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking.

“Speaking of breaking up.” Jungkook goes on to say, eyes down as he opens the lid on the cake box, giving Jimin a chance to admire him without worrying about whether or not the way his eyes shine for him are giving him away. “Have you thought about a breakup story yet?”

Those words temporarily suspend Jimin’s innocent admiration of Jungkook and his cute face.

“A breakup story?” Jimin murmurs, eyebrows furrowed in a silent request for an explanation.

“Yeah, you know. A story we can tell Taehyung that explains why we broke up.” 

Jimin doesn’t get a chance to make a suggestion, doesn’t get a chance to even think, because Jungkook is soon reaching across the table with a forkful of cake, and Jimin instinctively leans forward to accept the bite before he can speak.

It’s Jimin’s favourite – red velvet with cream cheese frosting, and the cake tastes that much sweeter when he notices the soft smile that Jungkook wears as he leans back in his seat and watches him. 

It’s hard to think of a breakup story when the only thing on Jimin's mind is how thoughtful Jungkook is, and how caring he is, and how much happiness he brings into his life, and how every day he somehow finds another reason to like him even more than he liked him the day before–

“Taehyung’s gonna see that we’re still friends after it, so it’s not like we can come up with some awful breakup story. It has to be a nice, easy breakup.” Jungkook muses, interrupting Jimin's thoughts.

He briefly wonders how long he’d been staring at Jungkook in silence for. God, he really needs to get a hold of himself.

Jungkook helps himself to a bite of cake, and as he chews he tilts his head from side to side, presumably considering his own question. “We could tell him that we like each other too much.” He suggests, a playful quirk to his lips.

Jimin can’t help but let out a soft laugh. “You think he’d believe we broke up because of that?”

“I don’t know, we could fake a doctor’s note or something to make it more believable. Say our obsession with each other was compromising our health.”

There’s more laughter from Jimin, more thoughts about how much he loves how easily Jungkook can make him laugh, more butterflies in his stomach when he notices how happy Jungkook looks when he makes him laugh.

Jimin forgets that he’s supposed to be controlling his smile, and now it’s as wide as ever. “We could tell him that our parents didn’t approve of our relationship.”

“Of course you would go all Romeo and Juliet with this.” Jungkook teases.

Of course Jungkook wouldn’t pass up on the opportunity to make a playful poke at the romantic in Jimin. “Trust me." Jimin assures. "The last thing I want is to go all Romeo and Juliet with this.”

“Why? I thought you’d be into that.”

Jimin raises his eyebrows. “Dying?”

Lips parting so his mouth hangs open, Jungkook’s eyes widen in a picture-perfect demonstration of surprise. “They die?”

“How did you not know?” Jimin blinks at him, simultaneously amused and floored by his lack of familiarity with the story. “It’s literally one of the most famous–”

“I don’t know, I’ve never read it. Thanks for spoiling it for me.”

Jimin doesn’t know what’s funnier, the thought of Jungkook actually sitting down and reading Romeo and Juliet, or the fact that he’s gone his whole life thinking it’s some cute, innocent love story.

Either way, Jimin is leaning forward over the table and giggling. 

And, because whenever Jimin seems to be at his happiest, whenever he feels like there’s nothing that can possibly go wrong, there always seems to be something that threatens to tip the scales and put that happiness on hold.

While he's in the middle of his smiling spree, Jimin’s attention is drawn to his phone that had been sitting face up on the table. It lights up with a text, and both him and Jungkook automatically glance at it. There are a lot of times when Jimin considers himself to be a rather lucky and blessed person, but sometimes (like right now) he can’t help but feel like he’s one of the unluckiest people too.

It’s a text from Youjin, and Jimin wonders why he had to pick now of all times to text him. They still text occasionally, but it’s always more friendly than flirty, and Jimin figures that the lack of flirting is because Youjin thinks he’s dating Jungkook.

Because Jimin straight up told him that he was.

Jungkook speaks up before Jimin can offer any sort of defense.

“You still talking to Youjin a lot?” He isn’t looking at Jimin, he’s poking at the cake with the fork, but Jimin has a feeling that if he could see the look in Jungkook’s eyes right now, it wouldn’t be very warm.

Is it bad that Jimin is relieved by that in a way? Is it wrong for him to be glad that Jungkook seems a little jealous? If Jungkook really is jealous, if he really is concerned about whether or not he’s talking to Youjin, then maybe, just maybe, it means that he has feelings for Jimin.

The very idea of it makes Jimin’s heartbeat double.

It may be kind of exciting to think that Jungkook might be a bit jealous, but at the same time, Jimin doesn’t want him to think that he’s seriously interested in someone else.

“Not really.” Jimin says honestly. He subtly brushes Jungkook’s foot underneath the table, and it’s just light enough for Jungkook to think that it could've been an accident, but still enough to make him raise his head and look at Jimin. He wants Jungkook to look up, wants him to look into his eyes and to see that he’s telling the truth. “I get a random text here and there, but we don’t really have much to talk about.”

“You know you can talk to him if you want to, right? The bet is technically over anyway.” Jungkook smiles fleetingly. “My hair is safe. If you want to go after him, you should.”

“I don’t want to.” Jimin stares straight into Jungkook’s eyes when he speaks. “I don’t like him like that.” He could say there’s someone else I like, but he doesn’t. Not now, he’s not ready, and he has no idea when he’ll be ready but he just knows it’s not now.

“Besides.” Jimin adds hastily, like always, looking for a way to bring them back to their comfort zone – the teasing and the playfulness and everything good about their relationship. Whatever their relationship even is. “You still have me for another two weeks.”

That must have been assuring in some way, because the effect it has on Jungkook is instantaneous. His shoulders relax, and his tone is rather upbeat when he talks. “What do you wanna do this weekend, then? It’s gonna be one of our last ones as a couple.”

The question catches Jimin by surprise at first, but not because he’s never heard that question before. It’s because he’s only just realizing that it’s been like this for a while now.

It’s never what are you doing this weekend? anymore, it’s always what do you want to do?  because it’s pretty much a given that whatever they’re doing, they’re going to be doing it together.

Jimin likes that a lot.

“Hoseok said he’s having a few people over for drinks on Friday night.” Jungkook adds, humming coaxingly, like he thinks Jimin is about to refuse. “He said we can stop by if we want.”

They always have a lot of fun with Hoseok, so Jimin is tempted to say yes, but a part of him is a bit unsure if it’s a good idea to throw alcohol into the mix when he’s already struggling to keep his feelings for Jungkook a secret.

When Jimin hesitates, Jungkook reaches over, holds a bite of cake right in front of Jimin’s face. “Come on,” he says, eyes gleaming playfully. “It’ll be fun.”

“Are you trying to bribe me with cake?” Jimin takes the bait.

“Is it working?”

“Maybe.”

If he doesn’t drink too much, then everything should be fine. He’ll only have a couple drinks, and he’ll look after Jungkook and make sure he doesn’t end up drinking too much like he did at the last party.

And he’ll definitely make sure their night doesn’t end like Romeo and Juliet. He'll make sure they don't end up as a Shakespearean tragedy.

---

The only tragedy that Jimin finds himself facing on Friday night is the tragedy of having to resist Jungkook when Jungkook is so irresistible.

Before they even get to Hoseok’s and before they even start drinking, Jimin is drunk. He’s getting drunk on Jungkook’s smiles, he’s drinking in every bit of him, is enamoured by every last drop of him, wants to keep taking shot after shot of Jungkook so that the lovely warmth spreading through his chest diffuses to all parts of him, so that he’s filled to the brim with a fondness so bright that it doesn’t seem like it’ll ever flicker out or fade away.

There’s nothing tragic about the sense of comfort he feels when he’s sitting next to Jungkook in the backseat of a cab, joking around on their way to Hoseok’s off-campus apartment. Yes, it’s still scary to like Jungkook so much, and he still has no idea when or how he’s going to tell him, but he doesn’t want to think about those things.

He wants to enjoy all the sensations that Jungkook inspires within him. He likes how full his heart feels, likes how much he’s smiling tonight, and he likes how he feels when Jungkook looks at him.

Every time their eyes meet, Jimin starts feeling a bit like he’s out on the ocean, feeling all light as he floats on top of the waves, and sometimes then when Jungkook smiles at him his stomach flips and he catches himself feeling a little seasick.

It may be strange...but he likes the feeling of it.

Maybe he’s a little apprehensive for them to finish these last two weeks together as a fake couple, because he’s nervous for what will become of them after it, but at the same time, he's looking forward to it. There’s a chance that when it’s done, Jimin might not have to keep resisting Jungkook and his wonderful irresistible self.

There’s a chance for them. There are a lot of times where he thinks that maybe, just maybe, Jungkook feels the same way about him. But Jimin will just have to wait for a bit longer until he can be sure. And Jimin can wait.

Jungkook is someone worth waiting for.

When they finally make it to Hoseok’s third floor apartment, he greets them at the door with a rather sheepish smile. At first, Jimin is confused about what the look on his face is for, but as soon as they step into his apartment, he clues in.

There’s not only a few people there like he said there would be. Hoseok informs them that a few of his friends invited a few of their friends who invited a few of their friends, and long story short, he’s now hosting more of a party than a quiet get together.

Most of the people there are upperclassman, and Jimin recognizes a few of them simply from seeing them around campus, but he doesn’t really know any of them. But still, that’s not a tragedy. Jimin doesn’t mind at all.

There’s only one person he’s going to be paying attention to all night, anyway.

“Sorry,” Hoseok says as he ushers them in. “I guess I could’ve texted you guys and told you about the change in plans, but when I found out how many people were coming I was busy going out and getting booze and stuff to make sure tonight doesn’t suck.”

“All good.” Jungkook shrugs. “Just means I’m probably gonna get more hammered than I planned on getting tonight.” When Jimin raises his eyebrows at him, Jungkook grins and reaches out to ruffle his hair. “Don’t worry babe, it won’t be like last time, I promise.”

“It better not be,” Jimin warns half-heartedly, more focused on combing his hair back into place than on seriously scolding Jungkook. “Or else you’ll be sleeping on the couch tonight.” Now that Jimin thinks about it, he can’t help but wonder how their night will end.

He wonders if maybe he’ll have an excuse to get to sleep in the same bed as Jungkook tonight. He hopes so. Getting to snuggle up with Jungkook sounded like the perfect end to the night.

“I see you two are still going strong.” Hoseok teases, leading them to the kitchen where a random assortment of alcohol bottles are all lined up neatly.

“Strong as ever.” Jungkook nods in confirmation, and when he reaches down to take Jimin’s hand, lacing their fingers together, Jimin’s smile is unstoppable. “You’ll get the wedding invitation soon.”

“Yeah? Do I get to be the best man?”

“Sorry, I already promised that spot to Taehyung.”

“Well make him be the flower girl or something else inst–” Hoseok cuts himself off, eyes narrowing as he fixes his attention on something happening over Jimin’s shoulder. “Why are they taking my lamp out onto the balcony?” He heaves out a sigh. “I gotta go see what’s going on.” Waving his hand, Hoseok gestures to the bottles on the countertop. “Pour yourselves a drink, make yourselves at home – I’ll try to catch up with you guys later tonight.”

They salute Hoseok goodbye and tell him good luck, and they’re still in a room full of people, there’s still so many things going on around them, there’s music and everyone is talking and there are some people dancing, but Jimin and Jungkook can’t keep their eyes off each other.

“I’ll make you a drink,” Jungkook offers, and even when his eyes momentarily stray from him so that he can size up the alcohol, his gaze gravitates to Jimin once again. “Do me a favour and find me two cups, baby?”

Jimin wants to cover his face with his hands and squeal. Instead, he just nods, tries to play it cool like his whole heart didn’t leap in delight when he Jungkook says that. He said that last word so naturally, so easily like it’s not even a part of their ritual teasing anymore, and Jimin likes that. He likes it so much.

Jungkook ends up keeping it simple, pouring them both a rum and Coke. When Jimin comments on it, saying something along the lines of “mm, a classic,” Jungkook responds by saying something like “I’m a classy guy.”

And as if to prove it, he places a delicate hand on Jimin’s back, a rather gentlemanly gesture as he guides him out of the kitchen. It almost seems like Jungkook is determined to make Jimin overheat and reduce him to nothing more than a puddle of goo tonight.

Both couches are taken by a group of people engaged in an animated conversation, so Jimin and Jungkook find somewhere off to the side to stand as they drink and talk. They have a few drinks throughout the night, but they aren't drinking to get drunk, and Jimin is honestly glad for that.

Jimin leans against the wall, tucked away in the corner, and Jungkook stands in front of him, so close that Jimin can practically feel the warmth radiating from him. It’s a welcome warmth. Jungkook stands like he’s trying to keep him all to himself, and hide him away from the rest of the party.

Jimin doesn’t mind one bit. He leans all his weight back against the wall, resting his head on it, lets it gently loll to the side while he looks up at Jungkook.

Being a little tipsy is actually a good thing, because now Jimin doesn’t feel like he has to hide so much anymore, now he can show every ounce of fondness in his gaze and he can blame it on the alcohol if Jungkook happens to ask about it. But Jungkook doesn’t ask, because Jungkook is looking at him with rather affectionate eyes as well.

And while he’s entranced by the way the light flickers in Jungkook’s dark eyes, Jimin is determined not to get too lost in them. He’d be perfectly fine standing there all night in silence, just staring into Jungkook’s eyes and falling harder for them with each silent second, but doing that would be dangerous.

So he tries to distract himself with talking instead. “I can’t believe it’s already been two months...”  Jimin says softly, a touch of wonder colouring his tone. Time worked in a funny way over the course of those two months. Jimin was barley even aware of the passing of time when he was with Jungkook.

“Right?” Somehow, Jungkook’s eyes get even brighter. “It honestly didn’t even feel like two months – it wasn’t even bad.” He pauses for a moment, lifting his cup to his mouth so that Jimin can’t see it anymore, but he’s pretty sure that Jungkook is wearing some sort of grin. “What do you think the best part about it was?”

The best part? Jimin bites the edge of his lip, but it does nothing to hinder the smile that spreads across his face. He’s not hesitating because he’s thinking, he’s not hesitating because he doesn’t know what to say. He knows what his favourite part was.

It was everything. His favourite part was everything, and he’s only hesitating now because he doesn’t want to give too much away by admitting that.

“I liked how much I smiled.” Jimin says instead, and he feels good when he says it – satisfied. It’s the truth, after all. He loved how much he smiled over these last two months. It’s not as if Jimin had a particularly hard time smiling before the fake relationship, but now smiling is that much easier.

He’s really fallen in love with the way Jungkook makes him smile.

And now Jungkook is looking at him with eyes as sweet as honey, and Jimin starts thinking he might be falling in love with the way Jungkook looks at him, too.

“What about you?” Jimin asks, words coming out so quick, spurred on by the way his heart is fumbling to find a suitable speed. “What was your favourite part?”

“Making you smile.” Jungkook doesn’t miss a beat, but Jimin’s heart certainly does.

He’s glad that he’s braced against the wall, because if he wasn’t, then he might just be overcome with vertigo that has nothing to do with the drink in his hand and everything to do with the person standing in front of him.

There’s a smile that stretches over Jungkook’s lips, half teasing and half something else that Jimin can’t quite pin down, and it’s bringing out a pink colour on Jimin’s cheeks and making him feel so light that he feels like he might just float away.

In an effort to keep his feet on the ground and his head out of the clouds, Jimin grips his cup a little tighter, just enough to hear the plastic give a little crack.  He ignores the way his own voice wavers when he talks. “What do you think the hardest part was, then?”

Jimin knows what his own answer to the question would be. The hardest part is right now. The hardest part is standing there looking at Jungkook, looking at everything he cares about and everything he wants to keep safe, and not being able to tell him how he really feels, not being able to wrap his arms around him, not being able to feel the press of his lips against his own when everything inside of him is longing for it.

But Jimin can’t do any of that, can’t say any of that, so instead he keeps quiet and waits for Jungkook’s answer.

“I don’t think there’s been anything hard about it yet.”

Again, Jimin finds himself struggling not to just melt right where he’s standing. He clears his throat, but even so, his words are quiet when they leave his lips. “Not even having to go a whole two months without sex?”

Jimin says it because it’s what Hoseok teased Jungkook about at the very beginning of this whole thing, he says it because it’s still within their playful comfort zone, he says it because he really wants to know what Jungkook will say. He says it because the alcohol buzzing in his system is giving him a bit of courage. 

“It wasn’t that bad." Jungkook answers, eyes sparkling in amusement. "Not when I had you to distract me.” 

Even though Jimin wants to smile back, he suddenly doesn’t feel like he has much of a smile to spare. Nothing is wrong, Jungkook didn’t say anything wrong, Jimin isn’t upset in the slightest, but he is certainly curious.

And god is he ever afraid. Afraid of what might happen the next time he goes out drinking with Jungkook, afraid that the next time they go out together, he might have to watch Jungkook take someone else home. 

“I guess you won’t need any distractions pretty soon, huh?” Jimin murmurs. 

“What do you mean?” Jungkook asks, eyebrows knitting together.

“I mean you can do that again soon.” Jimin hates the way his own words taste. “You can hook up with other people and not have to worry if Taehyung finds out about it.”

Jungkook's eyes do a slow sweep over Jimin's face. “Would it bother you if I did?” His voice is soft, his words spoken with a certain gentleness – a consideration that leaves Jimin feeling confused.

He blinks up at Jungkook, not quite knowing how to respond. What kind of question was that? Of course it would bother him, because he likes him and the thought of him being with someone else makes his heart fucking ache, but they’re just friends and if he tells Jungkook yes, it would bother him, then he would have to explain why it would bother him.

And that means telling Jungkook how he feels about him, but he’s just not ready to tell him yet. Not now. When he does do it, he wants them to both be sober.

“I…” Jimin starts, mind reeling, thoughts getting all jumbled and words fighting to make their way out of his mouth.  “Why?” He tries to brush it off, tries to make it seem like he’s not fighting with his feelings and his desire to tell Jungkook just how much he likes him, and his need to refrain from doing that. “Why would it bother me?”

“No reason.” Jungkook lets out a faint laugh, but this time when he laughs, there’s something off about it. “It was a dumb question.” He takes half a step back, and Jimin doesn’t feel so warm anymore. “Hey, I gotta go to the bathroom.” There’s still a smile on Jungkook’s face. “Be back in a sec.” But it’s not the same smile that Jimin knows.

“Okay…”

Jungkook turns around and heads for the bathroom, and Jimin is left alone on the wall, holding his drink in both hands, feeling a little out of place.

Had he said something wrong? It’s not as if Jungkook looked mad, but Jimin can say with certainty that he’s not happy. What did he do? Did he upset Jungkook? Jimin inhales deeply, wanting nothing more than to ease his troubled mind. He’ll get to the bottom of it when Jungkook comes back. There’s nothing he can do right now except wait for him, so Jimin does just that, doesn’t move from the spot where Jungkook left him.

But maybe that was a mistake.

The thing about parties is that if you’re standing all alone, looking dejected as Jimin imagines he himself looks at the moment, you’re pretty much acting as a magnet, drawing people over to come talk to you.

So Jimin isn’t necessarily surprised when he notices someone heading over to him, and he’s not surprised when the person stops in front go him and asks what he’s doing there all alone. The guy is a complete stranger, but he looks nice and doesn’t look like he has bad intentions, so even though Jimin would rather not be talking to anyone except for Jungkook right now, he indulges him.

Jimin hasn’t ever been good at ignoring people or turning them down, especially not when they haven’t even done anything wrong or offensive. And it’s not like Jimin has anything better to do right now. Jimin and the stranger make small talk, and end up chatting long enough for it to become a little flirty on the stranger’s end. While Jimin doesn’t flirt back, he’s nice enough to keep talking to him, nice enough to still offer a smile here and there.

They talk for far longer than Jimin thought they would. He expected Jungkook to come back at any minute, but the minutes go by and Jungkook still hasn’t showed up. Jimin assumed Jungkook would come straight over to him when he finished up in the bathroom, so he hadn’t even bothered keeping an eye out for him.

But maybe he should’ve. Because the second that Jimin actually starts looking and scanning his surroundings, he spots Jungkook.

Jungkook is near the kitchen, talking with a group of people that Jimin doesn't know, and he doubts Jungkook has met them before either. How long had Jungkook been standing over there for? Why is he over there and not with him? It almost seems like he forgot that Jimin is even there.

With a frown, Jimin notes that Jungkook isn’t holding a drink anymore. His hands are shoved in his pockets, and the strangest part about it all is that when Jungkook does happen to look over at him, Jungkook turns away the second that their eyes meet.

And it doesn’t look like he has any intentions of coming over.

Jimin’s gut twists uncomfortably, like he just drank a glass of ice water on an empty stomach. Panic flashes through him, a panic so sudden and so demanding that Jimin doesn’t have a choice but to act on it. When Youjn texted him that first time a month or so ago, Jimin thought that Jungkook had been jealous. Whenever Youjin would somehow come up in conversation, Jimin thought Jungkook was jealous. When they were at Mino’s party and when Jimin was talking to Youjin, Jungkook seemed jealous – he even seemed protective of him at that party. Just earlier this week Jungkook seemed a little jealous about Youjin.

But now Jungkook doesn’t even look like he cares that Jimin is talking to someone else. Jimin doesn’t understand. He expected Jungkook to come over, to do something – anything – besides standing on the other side of the room and acting like nothing’s wrong.

Or maybe nothing is wrong to him. Maybe Jungkook doesn’t care anymore, maybe since the bet is officially over now, he’s done with acting.

Maybe it was really an act all along, maybe he was never jealous, maybe Jimin only saw what he wanted to see. Maybe Jungkook doesn’t care at all.

Jimin wants him to care.  

The flirty stranger is still talking, but Jimin isn’t paying attention to a word he’s saying. His eyes keep going to Jungkook, but Jungkook never looks back. Not even once.

It feels like there’s a chunk of lead sitting in the bottom of Jimin’s stomach, weighing him down, and it’s uncomfortable and it hurts and he wants it to go away.

There’s desperation swelling within him, such an intense need to know for sure – to know if Jungkook still cares or if he’s lost interest now that the bet is done, now that they don’t have to keep pretending.

He needs to know. 

So Jimin flirts back. He flirts back hard. He tears his eyes away from Jungkook and forces himself to pour all of his attention onto the stranger in front of him. He offers up a bubbly yet meaningless remark every now and then, forces himself to smile more, puts a hand on the person’s arm when he leans forward and giggles, and it’s a good thing that he’s tipsy or else he never would’ve been able to pull this off.

Jimin hates every second of it, but luckily he only has to keep it up for a little bit.

He stops as soon as he notices Jungkook make a move.

Jungkook finally leaves the group he’s talking with. He takes a few steps in Jimin's direction, and Jimin’s heart jumps, and stupidly, he thinks that he’s coming over to him and that everything will be okay. But Jungkook doesn’t come to him. Instead, he stops to talk with Hoseok, who’s setting up a game of beer pong at the table.

It’s not a long talk. Jungkook says something to him, and Hoseok frowns a little and says something back, and then Jungkook shakes his head and gives his reply.

And then he’s turning around.

He’s heading for the door. Jungkook's leaving.

Before Jimin even knows what he’s doing, he’s pushing himself off the wall, following Jungkook out of Hoseok's apartment like there’s some invisible string tying them together, bringing Jimin wherever he goes.

He sets his drink down on his way out the door, anxiety clawing its way up his throat when all he can see is Jungkook’s back as he walks down the hallway towards the elevator. The quietness in the hallway is almost deafening. 

“Jungkook?” Jimin calls out to him, and when Jungkook doesn’t so much as turn around, he rushes to keep up with him. Jungkook tried to leave without even telling him, and Jimin doesn’t know exactly what that means but he knows it’s not good. “Are you okay? Why’re you leaving?”

“Because I want to.” Jungkook mutters without breaking his stride, without even casting so much as a glance at Jimin, not even when Jimin catches up to him and matches him step for step.

“A-are you mad at me?”

“Why the fuck would I be mad?”

Jimin nearly flinches. “I don’t know…” He knows perfectly well why. “When I was talking to that guy you seemed kind of upset…”

“Why would it bother me? Talk to whoever you want, flirt with whoever you want, date whoever you want, fuck whoever you want.”

They stop walking when they near the elevator, and Jimin is glad they’ve stopped, because he’s certain he would've tripped and stumbled over his feet if they kept going. 

“Jungkook, I-I’m sorry.”

They face each other, standing an arm’s length apart, but Jimin feels like Jungkook is getting further and further away from him. There’s no light dancing in Jungkook’s eyes anymore.

Another wave of panic washes over Jimin, and now he feels like he’s drowning in it. Did he go too far and is Jungkook lashing out because of that? Or does Jungkook really not care what he does? “I didn’t mean to–”

“You don’t have to apologize to me. I’m not your fucking boyfriend.” Jungkook spits. His lip is curled into resembling a snarl, and Jimin winces without even hearing Jungkook’s next words, already knowing they’ll sting. “I’m not mad. I don’t give a shit, Jimin. Do whatever you want. Do whatever makes you happy.”

Those words don’t just sting, though. They cut, too. The venom in Jungkook’s voice hits Jimin full force, leaving him stunned. He doesn’t know what to do, doesn’t know what to say, because he doesn’t feel like anything he says or does will make any difference at all.

Those words from Jungkook knock the wind right out of Jimin. I’m not your boyfriend. He knows it’s true, they aren’t dating and they never were, he was never his boyfriend and maybe he never will be. Jimin gets the feeling that he'd just ruined everything. 

The soft ding from the elevator pierces the stifling silence, and Jungkook doesn’t hesitate to step inside when the doors open. Like he just can’t wait to get away from Jimin.

Jimin stands there like he’s frozen to the spot, and the only thing he’s capable of doing right now is watching. He watches as Jungkook presses the button for what he can only assume is the lobby, and he watches as Jungkook fixes him with a stiff stare.

Jimin is scared, so scared of losing Jungkook, so scared of losing his best friend and someone he cares so deeply for in a way that extends so much further than just friendship “Jungkook,” Jimin swallows the lump in his throat. “I–”

“Have fun.” Jungkook says coolly, and Jimin doesn’t get a chance to say anything back. The elevator doors slowly slide shut, and Jimin watches Jungkook disappear right in front of his eyes.

Just like that, Jimin is left all alone.

And he's struck with the realization that Jungkook doesn't care. And if he does care, well then he sure has a funny way of showing it. 

Jimin is breathless, breathless because of Jungkook, but it’s not the kind of breathlessness he wanted. And it’s cruel in a way, because for so long Jimin had been wondering how he’ll know when he finds the one, and now he has his answer. He knows he’s found the one, because no one else would be able to break his heart like this.

What happens if Jungkook is the one for him, but he’s not the one for Jungkook? Jimin never thought about that before. He wishes he wasn’t thinking about it now.

There’s a stabbing pain in his chest, and his throat is raw and burning like he’d just swallowed something acidic. Like there's a dagger in his heart and like he'd just drank poison, and out of all the love stories out there, he kind of hates that right now he feels like he can relate most closely to Romeo and Juliet. 

Jimin doesn’t chase after him. He stands by the elevator like he’s hoping for Jungkook to come back, head down and hiding his face from the few people that happen to walk by. Tears well up in his eyes and make tracks when they roll down his cheeks, but he doesn’t wipe them away. Wiping them away would be useless, because he knows that they’ll just keep falling. 

Eventually, he gets a cab back to his dorm.

Yoongi is still up when he gets home, sitting on the couch watching TV. He turns his head when he hears Jimin walk in, and his eyes immediately widen and fill with concern.

“Jimin?”

“Hyung!” Jimin breaks down the second he sees him. He runs straight to him, everything he tried so hard to keep in during the cab ride spilling out all at once. “Hyung, you were wrong.” Jimin cries, an ugly sob tearing free from his throat. 

“What do you mean? What’s the matter, what happened?” Yoongi asks in a rush. He hates hugging, but he still pulls Jimin into arms, and Jimin clings onto him with everything he has, pressing his face into his shoulder. “Why are you–”

“You were wrong – it was stupid, I was stupid.” Jimin lets it all out, resigning himself to the tears. “I was so stupid.” His body shakes, pushing out his words on a trembling breath. “I’m so, so stupid.”

 

Chapter Text

 

Friday night

Jungkook’s POV

 

“Why would it bother me?” Jimin asks.

And Jungkook laughs. Because why would it bother Jimin? Why would it matter to Jimin if he sees him with someone else?

Jungkook laughs because he can’t believe he was stupid enough to ask that question, he laughs because he can’t believe he was stupid enough to actually believe that Jimin might have feelings for him. He laughs because if he doesn’t laugh, then he might end up crying instead. And Jeon Jungkook does not fucking cry.

What Jeon Jungkook does do in this particular instance, is excuse himself from Jimin’s presence before making a beeline for the bathroom. He needs to get a grip. He needs to reign in the swell of emotions wreaking havoc on his nervous system, and that means he can’t be around Jimin right now.

So he hides in the bathroom.

Honestly, Jungkook doesn’t really know how to deal with feelings. He’s not used to getting attached to people, and he definitely isn’t used to liking people in the way that he likes Jimin – in the way that makes his heart kick into overdrive, his stomach flutter, his palms sweat, his knees weak (and every now and then has him feeling a little like he’s going to puke).

The reason that Jungkook doesn’t get attached to people isn’t because he doesn’t want to get attached to people, it’s because there’s no one he’s ever felt particularly drawn to in a way that would make him seriously want to date them...no one except for Jimin.

Jimin is his kryptonite.

Everything that Jimin does draws Jungkook to him, and everything about Jimin is just so pretty that Jungkook couldn’t help falling for his pretty self.

Jimin and his eyes, his pretty eyes that disappear when he’s smiling all big and sunny like he always does. A lot of the time when Jimin smiles, Jungkook finds himself wondering how that pretty smile of his would taste on his own lips. When Jimin laughs, Jungkook can’t help but think of how pretty of a sound it is – it’s a sound that you can’t ever get tired of hearing; all light and airy and bubbly and bright.

And god, Jimin’s heart is so pretty too. He’s the sweetest person that Jungkook knows, he’s probably the sweetest person in the world, and Jungkook swears that if he keeps hanging out with Jimin so much then his blood sugar levels will become dangerously high, and one day he’ll end up in a sugar induced coma or something.

But death by Jimin’s sweetness doesn’t sound like a bad way to go.

Jeon Jungkook is so, so taken with Park Jimin.

But apparently, Jimin isn’t taken with him.

The one person that Jungkook actually has feelings for doesn’t even like him back, and right now there are so many thoughts spinning around in Jungkook’s head, but one thought in particular stands out to him: feelings suck. Feeling suck a lot.

Jungkook blames the fake relationship for fucking with his head. For making him think that there might actually be something between them when Jimin just made it clear that there isn’t.

Maybe it’s a good thing that Jimin doesn’t like him, because if they did end up dating, if they did end up together, then Jungkook would probably only let him down. He doesn’t know how to be a good boyfriend. He doesn’t know how to be a boyfriend. Period.

Jimin deserves to be with someone who can actually take care of him, who can actually make him happy. Even though Jungkook would do anything for Jimin, even though he would love to be the one to make Jimin smile, maybe he just can’t be the one.

Jimin is someone who deserves the whole world – no, he deserves more than that. He deserves it all; the stars, the moon, the sun, and everything in between. He deserves the whole universe, because it’s Jimin who sparkles like the stars, who glows like the moon, and who shines like the sun.

Jimin is the one that keeps everything in order.

And like the earth orbits the sun, Jungkook always finds himself orbiting Jimin. Even when he first met Jimin, and even when he only saw him as a friend, he'd always felt drawn to him in one way or another. 

Truthfully, Jungkook doesn’t know how long he’s actually liked Jimin for. He just knows when he finally became aware of his feelings. Funnily enough, all it took was one random conversation with Taehyung for Jungkook to realize his true feelings for Jimin.

The conversation happened the day after he and Jimin found themselves stranded in the middle of that downpour and the day after that cute old lady thought he was proposing to Jimin. Jungkook and Taehyung were sitting at the table in their dorm room, and while Taehyung was typing away on his laptop, Jungkook was typing away on his phone, texting Jimin. 

 

“You can stop now.” Taehyung says.

“What?” Jungkook lifts his head, looking up for the first time in a while. “Stop what?” His confusion only grows when he notices the look of amusement Taehyung is wearing.

“You’ve been humming an annoyingly happy song for the past…” Taehyung picks up his phone, glances at it, and then turns it towards Jungkook, showing him the timer he’d set. “Two minutes and forty-four seconds.” He puts the phone down. “I get it, you’re in love. But some of us around here are still single.”

Jungkook didn’t know he’d been humming. He also doesn’t know what to do with this information. “Sorry.”

Taehyung just smiles. “It’s okay. I mean, sometimes it’s kind of annoying when I’m hanging out around you two, and you guys are just making heart-eyes at each other and staring. But as your friend and roommate, I’m actually happy for you.”

“Thanks…”

“I’ll admit, I’m still mildly upset that I don’t get to have my way with your hair…I guess technically the two months isn’t over yet and you guys could still break up.” Taehyung pauses only to let out a snort. " But I doubt that’ll happen. I’m just glad you were so drunk the night we made the bet that you didn’t even come up with a penalty for me if I lost.”

“What?” Jungkook is pretty much only capable of one word responses at this point. His head hurts. His heart feels funny. His mouth is dry. He’s kind of scared. He vaguely wonders if he's dying. 

“Yeah. You never came up with something for me to do if you won and I lost.”

“Actually?”

“Dude, you were so hammered that night. All you said after we made the bet was: ‘I’m gonna make Jimin mine.’ ”

Jungkook’s mind goes blank. “I said that?”

“You don’t remember? Wow, you were more drunk than I thought you were. I mean, when you said that about Jimin I assumed you were kidding.” Taehyung shrugs. “But here we are.”

“Yeah.” Jungkook chuckles nervously. “Here we are.”

 

And now here Jungkook is, locked in Hoseok’s bathroom, staring at himself in the mirror, trying to calm himself down so that he can get back out there and face Jimin...even though he doesn’t know how he’s ever going to be able to face him ever again. It’s not that he’s mad at Jimin –  he isn’t the slightest bit mad at him.

He’s only mad that he let himself think for even a second that there was a chance for them. He’s mad at himself for liking Jimin as much as he likes him, but how can he not like him?

Everything that Jimin does is so beautiful, everything he does is enchanting in its own way, and there’s no possible way for Jungkook not to like Jimin.

Because Jimin is Jimin.

Jimin is Jimin, and everything that Jimin is, is everything that Jungkook wants. He’s drawn to him so naturally and so strongly, and he doesn’t know how he’d been so oblivious to his own feelings for so long.

But he’s known for a few weeks now, and now he wishes he still didn’t know, because everything was so much easier when he didn’t know. If he didn’t know, then he wouldn’t have to deal with the stupid ache in his stupid heart, and he wouldn’t be in this stupid bathroom at a stupid party trying not to think about how stupid he is.

Jungkook pours the rest of his drink down the sink, and fills his cup with water from the tap instead. He’s not drunk, but he’s still hoping that drinking some cold water will help pull him out of whatever kind of slump he’s in.

There’s no time for all this self-pity, and he can’t hide in the bathroom all night. He’ll have to face Jimin eventually, so he might as well just go out there and get it over with now.

They’re still friends, after all. He should be happy about that.

When Jungkook walks out of the bathroom though, the last thing that he feels is happy. The last thing he feels is happy, because the first thing he sees when he comes back is Jimin talking to another guy.

Jungkook freezes. His heart stops one second. And then the next second it sinks. And now he feels like he just took a plunge headfirst into frigid waters, and now he’s drowning – headed straight for the very bottom of the ocean floor.

He kind of hates that all he can think about is the Titanic right now.  

Jungkook wonders if it’s too late to run back to the bathroom.  

The thing is, Jungkook had been struggling all night. At the beginning of the night, he’d been struggling not to tell Jimin just how much he loves when he smiles, struggling not to tell him how pretty he is when he smiles. And the thing about Jimin is that he smiles a lot – way more than the average person – and tonight he seemed to be even more smiley than usual, so tonight was extra hard for Jungkook to keep himself in check.

Jungkook wishes he was still struggling with that.

Now, he’s struggling to stay afloat and to pretend like he doesn’t care that Jimin is talking to someone else.

Not wanting to intrude on Jimin's conversation when he probably doesn't want to be intruded on, Jungkook ends up standing with a group of strangers, who are nice enough to welcome him into their little circle. They’re talking excitedly, but Jungkook doesn’t have any idea what it is that they’re talking about – he can’t bring himself to pay attention to their mindless chatter.

All he can think about is Jimin, and as his mind is flooded with thoughts of Jimin, his gaze naturally wanders to him. He can never seem to keep his eyes off him.

Jungkook looks across the room, and at that very moment, so does Jimin. Their eyes meet, but Jungkook wishes they hadn’t, because now he’s forced to look away like he’s burned by the very sight of him. Like he’s looking directly into the sun and might go blind if he stares for too long.

There’s a thought in Jungkook’s head: how could Jimin do that to me? How can Jimin so easily jump onto the next guy as soon as he leaves for the bathroom? It feels like Jimin had just been waiting for the chance – like he’d been waiting for the two months to be over.

But then, just as soon as he thinks that, Jungkook realizes that Jimin doesn’t owe him anything. Jimin can do whatever he wants. There’s nothing forcing Jimin to keep pretending, the bet is over, and there’s nothing tying them together anymore.

Jimin isn’t doing anything wrong, he isn’t betraying him in any way because Jimin never promised him anything. But Jungkook feels betrayed all the same.

It’s not long before he dares to risk another glace across the room. And what he sees when he looks this time is Jimin giving that stranger the pretty smile that he stupidly thought was reserved solely for him. Jimin’s eyes are smiling too – he’s flirting – and he seems like he’s having fun, and Jungkook wants to be happy for him because he cares about him more than he cares about anyone else in this whole entire world.

But he can’t be happy for him.

He can’t do this anymore, he can’t stand around and pretend like everything is okay when there isn’t one single thing that’s okay right now.

There’s white hot heat snaking through Jungkook; a jealousy so foreign to him that it takes him by surprise, and he’s mad that he’s jealous right now. He doesn’t even have a right to be jealous, because Jimin isn’t even his.

Jimin isn’t his, but he can’t stand there all night, watching Jimin fawn all over some random guy. Jimin always told him that he didn’t like Youjin, that he didn’t have any interest in Youjin, and okay, maybe that’s true. But obviously, Jimin is interested in pursuing other people. Other people that aren’t him.

Jungkook feels like an idiot for thinking that there was potential for there to be something more between him and Jimin just because Jimin didn't like Youjin.

Jungkook tries to swallow down his jealousy, tries to shove down all the unpleasant feelings that threaten to surface. But he doesn't know if he can.

He needs to leave.

Jimin looks like he’s having so much fun over there that he probably won’t even notice if he leaves.

Jungkook finds Hoseok and tells him that he’s not feeling too good, and that he’s going to head home. He’s not even lying. Because right now, Jungkook feels like absolute shit.

He leaves without saying anything to Jimin, because why would he interrupt Jimin when it looks like Jimin is doing just fine on his own?

The air in the hallway is cooler than it was in Hoseok’s apartment, but it’s not cool in a way that calms him down. It feels more lonely than anything else.

“Jungkook?” Jimin's voice calls out to him, and somehow Jungkook feels lonelier than before. “Are you okay? Why’re you leaving?”

Even though Jungkook wants to be alone right now, even though he’s trying to get away from Jimin, they somehow end up in each other’s space again, like there’s something trying to keep them together. Like they're incapable of staying away from each other. 

Jungkook hates how his heart is conditioned to jump every time he hears Jimin’s voice. He hates how he still wants to believe that Jimin cares when it’s obvious that he doesn’t.

No, that’s not true. Jimin cares about him, and Jungkook knows that…he just doesn’t care in the way that Jungkook wants him to care.

So, when Jimin catches up to him and starts asking questions, Jungkook puts up an icy front and acts like he doesn’t care in that way either. That’s how he acts on the outside.

On the inside, he’s jealous. He’s jealous, and he’s frustrated that he’s jealous, and he’s hurt, and he’s never been hurt like this before because he’s never liked anyone like this before, and everything is swirling around inside of him, kicking up a torrent of bitter emotions, and he can’t stop the spiteful words that come out of his mouth.

The next thing he knows, Jimin is apologizing to him, saying he’s sorry. But the last thing that Jungkook wants is Jimin’s pity.

“You don’t have to apologize to me.” Jungkook snaps. “I’m not your fucking boyfriend.” He just wishes he was. “I’m not mad. I don’t give a shit, Jimin.” He’s lying. “Do whatever you want.” He can’t control Jimin. “Do whatever makes you happy.” Even though it hurts to think that there might be someone else out there better suited to make him happy.

Jungkook steps into the elevator the second that it opens. When he turns to look at Jimin, he sees that Jimin’s eyes are so big and they look so sad and even scared, and there’s a sharp pain in Jungkook’s chest when he sees it. But he forces himself to ignore it.

Is Jimin sad that he’s leaving? Is Jimin scared that he’d hurt his feelings? Jungkook doesn’t want Jimin to think he’s hurting because of him. He doesn't want Jimin to think he's hurt at all. 

“Jungkook,” Jimin starts, “I–”

“Have fun.” Jungkook doesn’t let him finish. He tells Jimin to have fun, but he doesn’t really mean it. The elevator doors slide shut, and the second that Jimin is out of sight, he slumps back against the wall, gripping onto the handrails so tight that his knuckles turn white. 

A heavy sigh pushes past his lips. It’s stupid, they were never even together, but it feels like they just broke up. He lifts a hand to rake his fingers through his hair, but the second that he lifts it, something catches his eye.

Something shiny and silver on his index finger, something that Jimin had given him. He remembers how shy and sweet Jimin had been when he gave it to him.

Jungkook laughs bitterly.

Jimin literally gave the ring to him as a friendship gift.

Friend-zoned by a fucking ring. Nice.

When he steps foot outside, he hangs his head and watches his feet as he walks, sucking in cold night air and letting it sting the back of his throat. He roams the streets for a while, trying to collect himself before finally calling a cab.

Taehyung went out to the bar with some friends that night, and he’s not home when Jungkook gets back to the dorms. At least Jungkook can be happy about that. He doesn’t want Taehyung to see him and ask what’s wrong, doesn’t want to have to tell him that he got into a fight with Jimin.

Jungkook doesn’t want to talk about it at all – hell, he doesn’t even want to think about it. He doesn’t want to think about what Jimin is doing right now at the party, doesn’t want to think about how easy it was for him to start flirting with some random guy, or how easily he seemed to forget all about him.

Jungkook doesn’t want to think about anything. So he just goes to sleep.

 

---

 

Jimin’s POV

 

It’s Monday.

It’s Monday and Jimin hasn’t talked to Jungkook since Friday night. There hasn’t even been a single text from him, but Jimin doesn’t know why he even expects Jungkook to text him considering the way he left on Friday night.

Jimin doesn’t necessarily expect Jungkook to reach out to him. He just wants him to. He wants him to so, so badly.

The majority of Jimin’s weekend was spent locked up in his room, scolding himself up for ever holding on to the hope that there could be something more than mere friendship between him and Jungkook.

Jungkook made it very clear that he doesn’t like him as anything more than a friend, and that he doesn’t care if he talks to other people, or even if he dates other people.

In fact, he remembers Jungkook’s exact words: talk to whoever you want, flirt with whoever you want, date whoever you want, fuck whoever you want.

Thinking about those words days after they'd been said stings just as much as hearing them the first time had.

Jimin is hurt, sure, but he isn’t mad. How can he be mad? If Jungkook doesn’t feel the same way about him, then Jimin can’t be mad at him for that – he can’t blame Jungkook for not liking him, and it’s not Jungkook’s fault that he doesn’t like him.

You can’t force someone to feel a certain way.

So even though Jimin is hurt, he can’t realistically be angry.

Yoongi tried talking to him on the weekend, tried telling him that he won’t know anything for sure unless he talks to Jungkook about it, but how the hell is Jimin supposed to talk to Jungkook about anything anymore?

He doesn’t even know if they’re still friends. Right now, it sure doesn’t feel like they are.

 

Jimin meets up with Yoongi for coffee after his last class of the day. Yoongi is the one who suggested it, and Jimin figures that he’s trying to cheer him up with sugary caffeinated beverages.

It’s a nice gesture, but Jimin doesn’t think it’ll make him feel any better about the whole Jungkook situation. Even so, he’s thankful that Yoongi is trying to help him out in his own way. They meet in the coffee shop, waiting in line together, chatting about how their days had been (Jimin’s had been shitty – all he could think about was Jungkook). When they make it to the front of the line they give their orders, and right after they do, Yoongi says he’s going to find them a table, leaving Jimin to stand by the counter as he waits for the barista to make their drinks. 

And who does Jimin see standing right in front of him, waiting for his own drink to be made?

None other than Jeon Jungkook.

Their eyes meet, just long enough for Jimin to see surprise flash across Jungkook’s features, and then just as abruptly as they’d locked eyes, both of them whip their heads around to look behind themselves.

Sure enough, Yoongi and Hoseok are sitting at a table together. It’s obvious they’d been watching, because as soon as Jimin and Jungkook look at them, they duck their heads and pretend like they hadn’t just been caught staring.

Of course they would try to set something like this up.

Jimin turns away from them, half annoyed and half grateful for Yoongi and Hoseok’s attempt to get them to talk. Because Jimin does want to talk to Jungkook, he still wants him in his life, still misses him so much that it hurts.

But he wishes that it didn’t have to come down to this. It’s kind of pathetic that their friends had to devise some scheme to get them to talk, when just a few days ago they’d been inseparable.

There's other students milling about, most of them zoned out on the baristas as they bustle around behind the counter. Jungkook is standing off to the side, noticeably separate from the small crowd that had gathered to wait for their drinks.

Jimin awkwardly shuffles to stand next to him, because it would be even more awkward if they stay away from each other and didn't talk at all. They're going to have to face each other eventually, right?

“Hi.” Jimin says when he comes to a stop at Jungkook’s side, but he doesn’t look at him when he speaks, and Jungkook doesn’t look at him either.

“Hey.”

At least they aren’t giving each other the silent treatment – that’s one thing that Jimin can be thankful for.

But he’s definitely not thankful for the awkwardness seeping into the atmosphere, permeating the air more easily than the smell of coffee does. It sucks that there’s this stiffness surrounding them, because after all, this is still Jungkook he’s talking to – the same Jungkook who knows him better than anyone else, the same Jungkook who is his best friend, the same Jungkook who's seen him at his lowest and highest points.

“So,” Jungkook’s voice cuts through the silence, but does nothing to dissolve the tension. “How was the party?” He asks with such indifference that Jimin doesn’t even know why he bothered to ask at all.

And why would he ask that question when he knows exactly how the party was?

Confusion creasing his brow, Jimin gives in, finally turning to look up at Jungkook. “You were there with me.”  

“And then I left.” Jungkook wears a rather passive expression, doesn’t give anything away in his eyes, and it’s so weird to see, because Jimin is so used to seeing his eyes full of lively light.  

“Well I did too.” Jimin murmurs. 

“With that guy you were talking to?”

“What?” Jimin’s eyes widen in disbelief, only for them to narrow the next second as he shakes his head adamantly. “No.” He’s hurt that Jungkook would say something like that, hurt that he would even think about saying something like that. Jimin isn’t that type of person, and Jungkook knows it. If Jungkook only said that to get a rise out of Jimin, well damn does it ever work.

“Did you kiss him?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because I didn’t know him!” When Jimin realizes that he’s raising his voice, he bites down hard on his lip, doing his best to keep himself from getting too carried away and causing an unwanted scene. “I didn’t even like him, Jungkook.”

“Could’ve fooled me.” Jungkook shrugs, and the coolness in that simple gesture vexes Jimin beyond belief.

“Why are you being such an asshole?” 

“Guess that’s just who I am.”

“Guess so.” Jimin snips, mimicking the cold edge in Jungkook’s own tone. He can’t help it. He’s so hurt, so blindsided and frustrated by everything that there’s no way he’s able to show the faintest shred of warmth right now.

If Jungkook wants to be petty, then he’ll give him petty right back. Jungkook hurt him, and Jungkook doesn’t care. So Jimin will act like he doesn’t care, either.

It’s a good thing he’s had a lot of practice with acting lately.

Jimin stares straight ahead, looking at some abstract painting on the wall behind the counter, not daring to look over at Jungkook and risk ruining his façade of apathy. “Glad you waited until the end of the two months to start showing how much of a dick you are.”

“Surprised you lasted a whole two months without throwing yourself at someone else. Must’ve been really hard for you.”

But it's impossible for Jimin to pretend to be unbothered after hearing that. He snaps his head in Jungkook’s direction the second those words are spoken. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

They’re only talking to hurt each other now, there’s no need for them to say such cruel things, but they’re saying them anyway, and they're saying them without remorse.

Jungkook lets out a rather harsh laugh, one that doesn’t hold a trace of humour and probably can’t even be classified as a laugh. “The second I leave to go to the bathroom, you start flirting with some random guy.” His smile is a mocking one, and Jimin would honestly rather see Jungkook glaring at him than seeing that cold smile of his. “Literally as soon as the two months are over, you’re throwing yourself at someone else.”

“I didn’t throw myself at anyone.” Jimin defends, the heat of his exasperation flaring up within him, and his face soon feels hot. “He came up to me.”

“Yeah, and it didn’t look like you minded.”

“What was I supposed to do?” Jimin is surprised he can even talk at all at this point, because with all the senseless accusation from Jungkook, he should probably be rendered speechless at this point. “Walk away? I was waiting for you exactly where you left me, and you didn’t even come over.”

“Didn’t want to interrupt you. Looked like you were having a lot of fun.”

“So you decided to just leave me all alone?”

“You’re a big boy, Jimin. You can handle yourself.”

“I was just talking to him, Jungkook.” It's not a total lie. He only started flirting with the guy when Jungkook didn’t seem like he was bothered by their harmless talking. “And you didn’t even bother coming over to me," indignation rises in his tone, "and then you just left me–” Jimin cuts himself off before he gets too carried away. He shakes his head, sick of the arguing, sick of how sick it’s making him feel. “Never mind. It doesn’t matter.”

It would only matter if Jungkook actually cares, but he said he doesn’t care. And Jungkook isn't exactly doing anything to make him believe otherwise.

They lapse into silence, and unlike all of the silences he’s used to sharing with Jungkook, this one is an uncomfortable one. Jimin isn’t even sure why they’re fighting right now. They’re in a public place, standing at the counter of a coffee shop, shamelessly bickering while in the presence of unsuspecting students who just want their afternoon caffeine fix.

It’s embarrassing, but it’s not as if Jimin is about to suggest going somewhere more private so they can argue. He doesn’t want to argue at all, he just wants them to be able to joke around with each other and tease like they usually do. 

Chewing the inside of his cheek, Jimin simply watches the baristas on the other side of the counter as they busy themselves with making drinks and calling out names – none of which are Jimin or Jungkook.

A part of him wants one of them to get their drink already so they can part ways and leave the tense atmosphere behind, but at the same time, he doesn’t want them to part ways, because at least right now he gets to see Jungkook.

He doesn’t know when he’ll get to see him next after this.

“Taehyung still thinks we’re dating.” Jungkook says before the silence becomes too unbearable, but their brief break in conversation hadn't melted his frosty display.

Jimin folds his arms over his chest, looking more like he’s hugging himself for warmth than crossing his arms. “So what?” He murmurs, hoping the curiosity in his voice isn’t mistaken for excitement. Even though he does feel a tiny spark of excitement.

“So it’s still going to look weird if we break up so soon after two months.” Jungkook replies easily. “You agreed to keep doing this with me for another two weeks even after the second month is over, and that means we still have a week left.”

“Are you serious?” Jimin hates so many things right now. He hates the way Jungkook talks so matter-of-factly, hates that it doesn’t feel like they’re friends anymore, hates that he’s happy that Jungkook still wants to keep it going for another week. 

He hates that this might be his last chance to get to spend time with Jungkook. Jimin hates that even though Jungkook doesn’t care, even though Jungkook doesn’t give a shit, his feelings for him are still the same.

Jungkook is still the sweetest person he’s met in his entire life, he’s still the only one that can make him smile when the rest of the world is dead set on making him frown, he’s still the person that Jimin cares for so much that his whole heart is fucking aching to pour all of his affection and adoration into him.

That’s still who Jungkook is, even if right now he’s not showing it.

It breaks Jimin’s heart to not be able to give Jungkook everything he wants to give him, but he knows his heart will only hurt that much more if he does give it to him, and if Jungkook doesn’t want it.

The only thing that Jimin can do is hope that this will all pass, that this will all go away soon and that maybe they can go back to how they were before this whole mess.

Then again, that might be the most painful hope of them all. Because acting is exhausting, and Jimin doesn’t know how long he’ll be able to act like he’s just Jungkook’s friend, or how long he'll be able to pretend that he doesn’t want anything more with him. He can’t keep it up forever.

Jimin can’t win no matter what.

He won’t win unless he has Jungkook, and he’ll never have Jungkook, because Jungkook doesn’t care.

Jimin wishes that he didn’t care.

He always loved doing favours for Jungkook, but maybe this was a favour he should’ve refused. He never should’ve agreed to pretend to date him for those two months.

A harmless, friendly favour turned into something so much more, turned into something not so harmless and not so friendly, and now Jimin is paying the price for that.

“You know what, never mind.” Jungkook says suddenly. “You’re right. Another week won’t make a difference to Taehyung.”

Jimin doesn’t even have time to think about his own words, and they're leaving his mouth before he can process what he's saying. “I’ll do it.” Even after everything that happened, he would still do anything for Jungkook. 

“You don’t have to.”

“I told you I would. If I tell someone that I’ll do something, then I do it.”

“Okay. You can come over tomorrow.” Jungkook pauses, but doesn’t look like he puts much thought into his next words. “Or Wednesday. Or whenever. Doesn’t matter to me.”

“Okay.”

“Yeah,” Jungkook’s name is called out by one of the baristas, and a second later Hoseok’s name is called out by another. Jungkook steps up to the counter to take the two drinks, and when he reaches out for them, Jimin notices something that has his chest feeling like its caving in and collapsing on his lungs so that it’s a little hard to breathe. “I’ll text you or something.” Jungkook isn’t wearing his ring.

“Okay.” Jimin hates how quiet his voice sounds.

“Bye.”

“Bye.”

Jimin’s eyes follow Jungkook as he walks over to Yoongi and Hoseok. He watches him hand Hoseok’s drink to him, and a few words are exchanged between them, but no one is smiling while they’re speaking.

Both Hoseok and Jungkook end up taking their drinks and leaving. On his way out, Hoseok offers Jimin an apologetic smile, but Jungkook doesn’t spare a single glance at him.

How did things turn so bad so fast?

Lowering his head, Jimin finds himself looking down at his own hand, spacing out as he stares at his ring. What’s the point of these stupid rings if Jungkook doesn’t even wear his?  

Jimin’s name is called by the barista, but he doesn’t hear it.

He just agreed to faking their relationship for another week, and he has no idea how they’re going to do it when all they can seem to do now is argue.

His feelings for Jungkook didn’t change, he still likes him so much and still wants to give him the world, but it feels like a lot of things have changed between them. Will they still be able to joke around with each other? Will they be able to laugh? Will they be able to even smile?

How are they supposed to convince Taehyung that nothing is wrong when everything is wrong?

Jimin doesn’t know how they’re going to do it. He figures he'll find out soon enough.

 

 

It’s Wednesday evening by the time Jungkook finally texts him. When Jimin notices that he has a text from him, his heart stutters in his chest and he smiles. But he also gets the sudden urge to frown.

Seeing that name lighting up his phone hurts so much. It’s almost mocking in a way.

 

 [5:22pm]

My Everything 💛Taehyung is gonna be home in like an hour, come over if you’re not busy

My Baby 💕💘💗💞Ok, I’ll head over in a few

My Everything 💛Cool. Bring homework or something so you have something to do. Or we can watch a movie, doesn’t matter to me

 

Jimin's frown easily overpowers his smile as he reads and then re-reads those messages. Doesn't matter to me.

Right. Because why would Jungkook actually care?

 

Chapter Text

 

When he shows up at Jungkook’s dorm, Jungkook doesn’t invite him in with the playful remark or usual smile that Jimin had grown accustomed to.

“Hey.” Is all that Jungkook offers when he opens the door for him. He moves to the side to let Jimin in, but even so, Jimin doesn’t feel like he’s particularly welcome there.

Jungkook looks exactly like he looked the last time Jimin saw him in the coffee shop; all calm and cool, with nothing to suggest that he has the faintest interest in Jimin being there right now.

It's not like Jimin expected anything different from him.

“Hi.” Jimin returns curtly, with all the politeness of a mere stranger, stepping past Jungkook into his dorm room. As he walks by him, he has to bite his tongue to keep himself from saying anything more. 

The way he’d been greeted by Jungkook already has Jimin’s heart sinking and temper rising. He wants to remind Jungkook that he’s doing a favour for him by being there, and that he really doesn’t have to be there right now, but Jimin manages to hold himself back. Saying something like that would only add fuel to a fire that’s already getting out of control.

“Taehyung’s probably gonna be here soon.” Jungkook says once he closes the door behind Jimin.

“Okay.” Jimin ventures a little farther inside, coming to a stop when he’s standing in the middle of the room. He tightly holds onto his backpack straps, feeling more awkward than he should feel around his best friend, and when Jimin notices the way that Jungkook is slowly crossing the room, practically dragging his feet on his way over to the couch, he figures Jungkook feels the exact same.

Again, Jimin finds himself wondering how they’re going to be able to fool Taehyung into thinking that everything is all rainbows and sunshine when they can barely even look each other in the eye right now. 

“So…do you wanna watch a movie?” Jungkook hesitates, making a vague gesture at Jimin. “Or did you wanna do homework?”

Homework is quite honestly one of the last things that Jimin wants to do. He knows he won’t be able to focus on anything school related right now, and he’s been racking his brain these last few days thinking about everything that went wrong and wondering how he’ll ever be able to fix it, and he’s so tired of thinking. What he needs is something mindless so he doesn’t have to use his brain at all. Jimin steps up to the couch, standing on the opposite side that Jungkook is standing.

“Is it okay if we watch a movie?” Jimin asks slowly, like he’s trying to test out the waters. He shrugs off his backpack, setting it on the floor. “I was kind of studying since I got home from class.” Which isn’t true at all – he spent all of his time after class hoping for Jungkook to finally text him. But no way in hell is he going to tell him that.

“Yeah,” Jungkook nods once, as if nodding more than that would give off the impression that he actually cares. “Fine with me.”

When they sit, they leave a noticeable gap between them, and seeing that empty space leaves Jimin’s heart feeling rather empty too. Even before they started their two months of fake dating, they would sit closer to each other than they’re sitting now. Now, they’re sitting like strangers on a park bench, and Jimin wonders if this is what it’s going to be like from now on.

“Here.” Jungkook picks up the remote. “You can choose the movie.” He reaches over, offering it to Jimin.

Glancing at the remote, Jimin looks only long enough to take note of the fact that Jungkook still isn’t wearing his ring. His heartbeat becomes laboured within an instant, but he only starts feeling really bad when his eyes drift to Jungkook’s other hand to see that there’s no ring on that one, either.  

And even though Jimin’s chest feels considerably tighter now than before, even though he kind of just wants to go home and curl up in bed and cry, he does his absolute best to ignore it all.

“It’s okay.” Jimin manages a faint smile, and holds on to the hope that it might do something for them – maybe it’ll ease the atmosphere, remind them that it is okay to smile around each other. Maybe it’ll distract him from the unease pooling at the bottom of his stomach. “You can pick it, I think I chose the movie the last time we watched one.”

Jungkook doesn’t budge. “I’m pretty sure that I chose last time.”

“Well then you can pick again. I don’t mind.”

“Just pick a movie, Jimin.”

Evidently, smiling hadn’t done a damn thing.

“Why can’t you just–” Jimin forces his mouth shut. No. No, they aren’t going to fight today, and they certainly aren’t going to fight about who gets to pick the movie. “Okay.”

The next couple minutes pass in silence as Jimin scrolls through movie titles. Deciding on a movie has never been this hard.

He can’t pick a movie that has even a hint of romance in it, because watching two fictional characters actually being happy together and actually ending up together will probably just make him upset and remind him that life isn’t like the movies at all. He can’t pick a comedy, because he doesn’t exactly have it in him to laugh at anything at the moment, and if they watch a whole comedy without laughing once then it’ll be awkward. He can’t pick a superhero movie, because if he does then Jungkook might get all pissy and accuse him of only picking it because he thinks that he wants to watch it.

So ironically, horror seems like the safest genre right now, and Jimin settles on a random one with a three and a half star rating.

The movie starts, and the distance between them hasn’t lessened one bit. A frown threatens to pull the corners of his mouth down, but Jimin manages to keep it in check. It’s just so hard to act like he’s fine when all he can think about right now is how the couch that he’s sitting on used to a place where he laughed so much. Now, it’s just a place of tension.

This couch is where it all started – it’s the very place they were sitting when they told Taehyung that they were together for the very first time. Jimin wishes he could go back to the beginning and do it all over again…but he doesn’t want to go back so that he can change something in the hopes that changing something would cause things to turn out differently.

And even if he did change something, he’s certain that no matter what he changed, and no matter how big of a change he made, time and time again, he would fall for Jungkook. Because Jimin is still certain that Jungkook is the one for him, and nothing’s going to change that.

The only reason Jimin wants to go back to the beginning is because he wants to go through it all again, because the beginning was so much better than the end is turning out to be.

They don’t get very far into the movie before there’s the familiar buzz of a key fob at the door. Jimin’s heart skitters in his chest, but the reason it does that isn’t because Taehyung just came home. It’s because at the sound of him at the door, Jungkook wordlessly reaches across the couch, sliding his arm around Jimin’s waist, pulling him to his side and holding him just like he always does whenever Taehyung happens to be around.

And something unexpected happens when Jungkook brings him in close. All of the tension, all the uncertainty, and all of Jimin’s worries evanesce into the air, and his heart is lulled into a state of ease.

Jimin lays his head on Jungkook’s shoulder, closed fist lightly resting on Jungkook’s stomach, curling up at his side the way he always does whenever they’re watching movies in front of Taehyung.

“Hey guys,” Taehyung says brightly, greeting them in passing. He doesn’t stop to talk with them or to ask what they’re watching like he usually does – he just throws a quick smile their way before he heads straight for his bedroom.

Jimin doesn’t move, and neither does Jungkook. They stay exactly as they are, and it’s not uncomfortable in the slightest.

It’s natural, it feels good, so good that Jimin unconsciously presses himself closer to Jungkook’s side. He thought this would’ve been awkward considering how things have been between them lately, but this is easy.

It’s as easy as falling for Jungkook had been, because even though Jimin doesn’t remember falling for him, he knows that it’s the easiest thing he’s ever done. Because he didn’t have to try, he didn’t even have to be aware of how he felt at all, he just did it – he just fell for him.

The warmth they’re getting from each other now seems to chase away the chill that had been in the air when Jimin first showed up that evening, and maybe right now it feels like spring, but a part of Jimin is still afraid that the bite of winter will come back as soon as he lets go of Jungkook.

So he should enjoy this while he can.

Taehyung reappears only a few minutes later, but he hasn’t come out to chat. “Alright, see you guys later.” He half whispers as he walks behind the couch, like he doesn’t want to interfere with their movie watching experience.

Jimin turns his head slightly, disheartened as his eyes follow Taehyung on his way to the door. He doesn’t want Taehyung to leave, because if he leaves then there won’t be any need for Jungkook to hold him like this – there won’t be any need for him to be there at all.

“What?” Jungkook frowns, craning his neck to face Taehyung. “Where are you going?”

Taehyung stops in the entranceway as he slips on his shoes. “I’m gonna get some food with a couple friends, and then I think we’re going to the arcade later. Why?”

“No reason…I just didn’t think you were going out again.”

“Oh. Yeah, I just came back to drop off my backpack and change.” Taehyung answers with a shrug. “Anyway,” he wiggles his eyebrows playfully, “enjoy the movie.”

Jimin and Jungkook say their see you laters, and as soon as they do, Taehyung is out the door and leaving them alone.

Their movie isn’t even halfway done yet, and Jimin's body is still flush against Jungkook’s, and Jungkook’s arm is still around him, and there’s absolutely nothing in Jimin that wants to get off this couch and go home, but he knows that there isn’t a reason for him to stick around anymore.

Still, he doesn’t move.

“You can stay if you want…” Jungkook says after a moment. “To finish the movie, I mean.”

Jimin doesn’t need to think about his answer for even half a second, but he makes himself wait at least three just to make sure he doesn’t speak too quickly and come across as too eager. “Okay.”

Maybe he’s being a little selfish by staying, but he doesn’t know when they’ll be able to do this again, so Jimin wants to be selfish. He wants to stay next to Jungkook.

Even once they turn their eyes back to the movie, and even once settle into silence, they don’t pull away from each other.

And even though Jungkook might only be letting him stay so he can finish the movie, Jimin honestly isn’t paying any attention to it at all. But he does use the fact that it’s a horror movie to his advantage.

Every now and then, he subtly presses himself a little closer to Jungkook. He can use being scared of the movie as an excuse if he needs to, but Jungkook never comments on Jimin’s proximity. In fact, there are times where Jungkook adjusts on his own, but it’s never to put any space between them, it’s always to draw Jimin in tighter, and he always does it after Jimin brings himself closer on his own. Like Jungkook is trying to offer him a sense of comfort.

And that’s the Jungkook that Jimin knows. The thoughtful Jungkook that acts with so much care and puts so much consideration into everything that he does. Jimin all but melts where he’s sitting, and slowly but surely, the corner of his mouth lifts, and soon enough a soft smile is gracing his lips.

It’s a faint smile, but he hasn’t really been able to genuinely smile lately, so it might as well be the biggest grin he’s ever worn. He wonders if maybe this is all they needed. Maybe now the bitterness will turn into something sweeter instead, and maybe they can forget all about their stupid arguing and go back to smiling and laughing.

Sure, it’ll still be a struggle for Jimin to ignore his feelings for Jungkook, but even that struggle would be better than the tension that had pretty much become the norm for them since Friday night.

Jimin spends the rest of the movie with that little smile on his face, and he’s more relaxed now than he’s ever been while watching a horror movie. The thing about movies, though, is that they always end. And after a movie's done, you always have to come back and face reality.

When the credits start rolling, Jimin finds his smile fading. He draws in a deep breath, preparing himself for having to abandon the comfort of Jungkook’s warmth, but before Jimin can even lift his head off of his shoulder, Jungkook puts on another movie.

He chooses the first one that pops up as a suggestion. And he doesn’t make any move to separate himself from Jimin.

“Um,” Jungkook clears his throat. “We should probably watch another one, just in case Taehyung comes back or something. It would look bad if he comes back early and you were already gone.”

“Yeah,” Jimin gently bites his lower lip, his smile lying just below the surface. “You’re right.”

The second movie passes in the same fashion the first one had. Jimin couldn’t care less about what’s happening on the screen in front of him, because all he cares about is Jungkook, and how right it feels to be with him like this.

It’s safe where he is right now, the universe is in perfect order, and it’s like they never even fought at all. Jimin can’t help but think that everything is going to be okay, that whatever falling out they had is now behind them, and that they never have to go through anything like that ever again.

Those thoughts and the feelings that those thoughts inspire within him are nice while they last. But they don’t last long.

When the second movie ends, so does Jimin’s sense of security. When this movie ends, Jungkook doesn’t put on another one, and Jimin knows what that means. They finally move apart, slowly inching away from one another, and Jimin misses Jungkook’s warmth the second that they do.

“Thanks for doing this…” Jungkook rubs the back of his neck, head turned just enough so that he can properly look at Jimin. “You can go if you want. And I guess maybe we can try again tomorrow when he’s actually here.”

Jimin nods. He still doesn’t know why Jungkook thinks that a few extra days of faking it will make any difference to Taehyung, but maybe he has a reason for it – maybe he hasn’t thought of a breakup story yet. Jimin doesn’t ask him anything about it though, because he doesn’t mind keeping this up for a while longer. If Jungkook asked him right then and there to keep doing it for another week, or hell, for another month, then Jimin would answer yes.

But Jungkook doesn’t ask, he doesn't say anything like that at all. He just says that Jimin can go if he wants to, and Jimin knows he should go, and he doesn’t want to hang around if he’s not wanted, but there’s something that he needs to ask Jungkook. Something that he managed to forget about while the movies played, but can’t bring himself to ignore now. He knows that if he doesn't ask now, then he'll lay awake in bed all night thinking about it. 

“Jungkook…” Jimin starts softly, a mixture of curiosity and caution lacing his words. He sits with his body slightly angled towards Jungkook, and he absentmindedly starts playing with his ring, nervously twisting the silver band around his finger. He’s more scared now than he’d been during either of those horror movies. “Why don’t you wear your ring anymore?”

Jungkook doesn’t reply right away. His lips part like he’s ready to say something, but he closes his mouth the next second. Jimin shifts his weight nervously, suddenly regretting asking the question. It would’ve been better if he just left without another word.

“I don’t know.” Jungkook finally says, and he’s all nonchalance and coolness, and suddenly spring is gone – and they skipped over summer and fall – and now it’s all winter again. “I just took it off and never put it back on.” He shrugs, but with the way that it has Jimin feeling, Jungkook might as well have slapped him in the face.

The effect on Jimin is instantaneous. Those words are a blow straight to his heart, and hot tears are stinging the backs of his eyes before he even registers just how deeply Jungkook's answer had hurt him.

Those rings meant so much to Jimin, he was so nervous the day that he gave Jungkook that ring, but he gave it to him anyway because he wanted Jungkook to know how deeply he cares about him, and how important he is to him. And the rings that mean so much to Jimin obviously don’t mean a damn thing to Jungkook.

Jimin looks away quickly, turning to the side and frantically trying to stop the tears that are on the brink of falling. He’s determined not to cry, determined not to show how upset he is, but his silence and the fact that he’d turned away is probably enough of an indication that something’s up with him.

“Jimin?” Jungkook edges a little closer. “What’s wrong?”

He sounds like he cares, but Jimin knows that he doesn’t.

“Nothing.” Jimin answers, somehow managing to keep his voice from shaking. “Nothing’s wrong.” He remains with his head turned, facing away from Jungkook, facing away from the one person that has the ability to make him happier than anyone else could ever make him, and the one person that has the ability to make him sadder than anyone else could ever make him.

“Tell me…”

Jimin doesn’t even know whether he's more angry or hurt right now, but both of those feelings are clashing, both of them bubbling up to the surface at once, and he whips his head around, letting Jungkook finally see his eyes and letting him be the judge of what emotion he’s feeling the most right now.

“Really, Jungkook?” Jimin’s tears haven’t fallen yet, but they’re still there, and he vainly tries to blink them away. “Really? You don’t have any idea why I’m so upset right now?”

Jungkook’s eyes widen. “Is it because of the ring? Look, I can go put it on right now, it’s not a big deal–”

“I don’t want you to put it on just to put it on!” Jimin can barely even see Jungkook anymore, the tears in his eyes making his vision grow blurry. “I don’t want you to wear it because you feel like you have to, or because you’re scared of hurting me. I want you to wear it because you care.” The first tear finally makes its way down his cheek, and then comes another, followed by another, and now Jimin can see Jungkook more clearly, and now he can see that Jungkook looks a little sad too.

The concern in Jungkook’s gaze matches the worried way he furrows his brow, the indifference he seemed so intent on displaying slowly starting to melt away. “Please don’t cry.” Jungkook murmurs. “I hate seeing you upset.”

Jimin wants to laugh, but it turns into a sob instead, and it burns when he swallows it down. “Then don’t look at me.”

“Jimin…”

Shaking his head, Jimin wipes at his cheeks with his hand, only for them to become wet once more. “I’m gonna go.” He stands up, but he doesn't get far. As soon as Jimin is on his feet, Jungkook reaches out, grabbing his wrist.

“Don’t. Don’t walk all the way home while you’re still upset.”

“Why does it matter whether I walk home now, or in ten minutes from now? Why do you care?” Jimin's eyes sweep over Jungkook, the pain in his gaze just as evident as the pain in his voice. “Why does it even matter to you, Jungkook?”

“Because I…” Jungkook trails off, and there’s panic in his voice, but Jimin doesn’t know what that panic is for, because now Jungkook is releasing his hold on him, and he’s obviously not panicking to come up with a way to get him to stay.

“Because what?” 

“Because I’m your friend.”

“Then act like it!” Jimin can’t control the volume of his voice anymore. “If we’re friends, then why are we fighting like this? If we’re friends, then what are we doing?” They spent two whole months pretending to be dating. And now Jimin feels like they’re just pretending to be friends.

He doesn’t understand where all this animosity is coming from, he doesn’t understand why it seems like Jungkook is trying to hurt him.

Is it because he hurt Jungkook?

“Jungkook,” Jimin speaks softly now, the sharp edge in his tone blunted by the worry gripping his heart – worry that he'd somehow upset Jungkook. “If I made you upset on Friday then I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to, and–”

“I’m not upset!” It’s Jungkook’s turn to yell now. “I don’t care – you don’t have to get my permission to talk to other people!”

Jungkook is the one sitting, and Jimin is the one standing, yet he’s the one who feels so much smaller right now.

“I know I don’t.” Jimin answers weakly. He’s been knocked down so many times that now he doesn’t even know if he should keep trying to get back up.

“Then stop worrying about it.” Jungkook’s words are spoken in staccato. “Stop worrying about me. I’m fine.”

“Yeah.” Jimin nods his head slowly. He grabs his backpack from off the floor, and when he starts backing away from the couch, Jungkook doesn’t try to stop him. “Yeah, me too.” The tears welling up in Jimin’s eyes say otherwise, they say that he’s far from fine, but he’s not going to hang around and let Jungkook see these tears fall.

He turns around, having every intention of making a swift exit, but he finds himself hesitating when he’s at the door. He knows that he should just go, he knows he shouldn’t say anything else, but it’s not like he has anything to lose anymore. He’s already lost it all.

Gripping the door handle, Jimin turns to look at Jungkook one last time. “And for the record,” Jimin starts bitterly, the taste of his own tears spurring him on. He knows he should stop while he’s ahead, but he already feels like he’s so far behind that it won’t even matter. Jungkook says that they’re friends, but everything he’s done since Friday night proves otherwise. “Friends don’t leave their friends alone at parties. And friends don’t tell their friends that they don’t give a shit about them.”

“Yeah.” Jungkook doesn’t even flinch. He remains sitting on the couch, cold eyes staring directly into Jimin’s.  “Well friends don’t do a lot of things that we do, Jimin.”

Jimin doesn’t say anything else. He leaves before they can hurt each other more than they already have.

 

 

He doesn’t hear anything from Jungkook the next day. They pass by each other on their way to class, but they don’t stop to talk. And that’s when Jimin realizes that they aren’t even friends anymore.

On Friday night, Jimin breaks down in front of Yoongi, all of his fear and anxiety bursting to the surface in a sudden onslaught of tears.

“Hyung, I don’t know what I did wrong.” Jimin buries his face in his hands, feeling pathetic for crying so much, but he just can’t seem to stop. “I miss him so much, but he doesn’t want anything to do with me.”

“You don’t know that, Jimin.” Yoongi murmurs, gently patting his back.

“Yes I do.”

“You have to talk to him about it – have you even told him how you really feel?”

“No,” Jimin sniffles, wiping his nose with the back of his hand. “But all we do now is fight, and I know he doesn’t like me back.” He shakes his head, lower lip trembling. “You don’t hear the way he talks to me, or see the way he looks at me. He doesn’t look at me the same way he did before.” Jimin chokes on a sob. “I-I just want him back, and I don’t know what to do anymore.” Soon, he’s crying so hard that if Yoongi said something else, he doesn’t even hear him.

---

 

It’s Sunday when Jimin finally hears from Jungkook.

 

 [3:44pm]

My Everything 💛Hey

My Everything 💛You still have my hoodie from a while ago, can I have it back?

 

Jimin stares down at his phone, stunned as he reads those messages over and over again.

This is what he gets when Jungkook finally decides to text him? He can’t believe that after days of not hearing a single thing from Jungkook, and after years of friendship, he has the audacity to send him that.

 

[4:03pm]

My Baby 💕💘💗💞: Yeah

My Everything 💛:  K well can you bring it to me? You’re the one who took it so I’m not going over there to get it

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  I’ll bring it to you, but don’t act like I stole it. You let me borrow it

My Everything 💛:  Yeah and now I want it back

My Baby 💕💘💗💞: I’ll bring it to you, calm down

My Everything 💛:  lol I am calm. I’m home rn so you can bring it now

 

Maybe Jungkook is calm. Maybe Jungkook is perfectly fine right now.

But Jimin sure as hell isn’t. He’s the farthest thing from calm.

Setting his jaw, Jimin hops up from his bed in search of Jungkook’s hoodie, and he finds it after only a few seconds of carelessly rummaging through his dresser.

In truth, he completely forgot that he even had it. It’s the black hoodie from the last time he spent the night at Jungkook’s. Jimin had cried in front of Jungkook on that night too, but on that night Jungkook actually comforted him, and Jimin actually felt like he meant something to him.

When he cried in front of Jungkook last Wednesday, Jimin didn’t get any sort of comfort, and all he got was the sense that he doesn’t take up anywhere near as much space in Jungkook’s heart as Jungkook takes up in his own.

Jungkook has all of Jimin’s heart. Every last piece.

And it doesn’t even matter.

With Jungkook’s hoodie tightly clenched in his hand, Jimin stalks out of his bedroom, out of his dorm room, and heads straight for Jungkook’s. He’s still hurting, his heart is still just as broken as it was before, but now, his pain is being translated into anger.

There’s absolutely no need for all of the coldness that Jungkook is giving him – why is he being so blatantly cruel? Why is he going out of his way to be an asshole? Jimin doesn’t understand at all, and not only does it hurt him, but it confuses the hell out of him too.

It’s a nice day outside, but the blue sky and warm sun and gentle breeze don't do anything to diminish Jimin’s irritation. If anything, the walk to Jungkook’s dorm only gave him time to think, only gave his annoyance a chance to fester, and by the time he makes it to Jungkook’s, everything is threatening to boil over.

The door to his dorm room is propped open with a shoe, and Jimin steps inside without a moment’s hesitation. Jungkook isn’t anywhere to be seen, so Jimin assumes he’s in his bedroom. If Jimin wanted to, he could simply set the hoodie on the couch and leave, and avoid a confrontation altogether. But Jimin doesn’t do that.

Instead of doing what the smart thing probably is, Jimin marches straight into Jungkook's bedroom, unceremoniously flinging the door open to see Jungkook lying in bed, scrolling through his phone, still not seeming to have a care in the world.

Jimin doesn’t say a word. He just flings the hoodie at Jungkook, but even so, Jimin doesn't get any sort of satisfaction from hitting his target.

“Wow.” Jungkook sits up, peeling the hoodie off his face. “Real mature.” He says, setting his phone aside before fixing those uncaring eyes of his on Jimin.

Jimin wants to scream. Or rip his hair out, or punch a pillow, or do anything that would help vent the inexplicably high levels of frustration tearing through him at the moment. In the end, he just points an accusing finger at Jungkook.

“Don’t you dare talk about maturity.” Jimin warns. “You’re not in any position to be talking about maturity when you’re the one who stormed off on Friday night.”

It always comes back to this, and it’s maddening to argue about the same thing over and over again and to never get anywhere, but they can never seem to stop going back to it. It's like it's the natural thing to do at this point. 

“Yeah?” Jungkook raises his eyebrows tauntingly. “And you showed so much maturity and so much self-control when you didn’t stop yourself from flirting with some stranger as soon as I left for the bathroom.” He scowls, repositioning himself so that he’s now sitting on the edge of the bed. “You keep saying that I left you, but you’re the one who ditched me first.”

“I didn’t ditch you!” Jimin shoves his fingers through his hair out of pure exasperation. “I was standing on the wall! And you could’ve at least–”

“What the hell could I have done?” Jungkook demands, every syllable punctuated with hostility. “Walk over and tell you to stop talking to him? I’m not going to control what you do, you're allowed to do whatever the hell you want!”

None of this even make sense anymore. Why are they fighting when there’s nothing to fight about? They shouldn’t have a reason to fight, because Jungkook said it himself – he said that he doesn’t care if Jimin talks to other people, but then he goes and acts like this. He acts upset that Jimin was talking to someone else, and it’s confusing and infuriating and Jimin can’t take it anymore.

He's done. He’s officially given up hope for them to ever be civil with each other ever again.

“Why are you even pissed off, Jungkook?” Jimin snaps, throwing his hands up in the air. “Huh? Why are you even mad?”

“I’m not fucking–”

“You don’t care, right? You said that you don’t care, and you said you don’t give a shit, so why the hell are you so upset with me?”

Jimin is met with immediate silence. The air is still, and it’s so rife with tension that Jimin can nearly taste it. He stares at Jungkook, and Jungkook stares right back with such intensity that Jimin almost has trouble holding his gaze. But he doesn’t back down – neither of them do.

“You really wanna know?” Jungkook finally says. His upper lip curls, and he rises to his feet, though he doesn’t take a single step towards Jimin. “You wanna know why I’m so mad?” There’s anger in his voice, but pain in his eyes.

Jimin doesn’t get a chance to wonder where that pain is stemming from, because Jungkook keeps going, keeps talking, and he talks with such feeling that all Jimin can do is watch in stunned silence.

“I’m mad because I’m mad!” Jungkook’s voice is raw, desperate in a way that Jimin hasn’t ever heard from him before. “I’m pissed off because you can do whatever you want with whoever you want, and I have no right to be pissed about it, because we aren’t even together, and you didn’t even do anything wrong!”

Jimin’s stomach drops. His heartbeat falters, and he’s hit with a fear so strong and an anticipation so sudden that it steals all of his breath away. What’s he saying? Why does he look so sad? What’s happening? Where’s this going? 

“Jungkook–”

“I’m mad because I don’t know how to do relationships.” Jungkook bites out, but whatever anger he may feel now seems to be directed only at himself. “I don’t know how to be in one, or how to take care of someone else. And you deserve to be with someone who can actually take care of you.” The heat in Jungkook's voice ebbs away, his tone softening at the end of those last words. "There." He shakes his head slowly, and even though he only pauses for a mere second, the silence between them seems to stretch on for so much longer. “You happy now?”

No. No, Jimin isn’t happy.

He can’t move, can’t seem to do anything right now but stare.

How can Jimin be happy when Jungkook doesn’t know how wonderful he is? How can he be happy when Jungkook doesn’t even know that he’s the brightest light in his life?

Jungkook is the only one who can make the world stop spinning when it feels like it’s going to fast, and he’s the only one who can make his world keep turning when his life seems to be at a standstill.

Jungkook is the one who can turn his tears into smiles, who can make him feel safe and warm even when he’s caught in the middle of the harshest of storms. Jungkook is the one who makes him laugh until he can’t breathe, and the one who makes him smile so big that he can’t even see.

Jungkook is the one who stays by him no matter what.

And if there’s ever a time when Jimin finds himself lost at sea, he knows the waves will always bring him back to Jungkook, to shore, to home.

Jungkook is the one – he’s the only one.

Even from the very beginning, even from the very first time they met, and even when Jimin only saw him as a friend and nothing more, there was always something about Jungkook. Something he’d never felt with anyone else in his entire life.

He never wants to lose that, he never wants to lose him. He can't, and he won't. 

“Jungkook…” Jimin swallows even though his mouth is dry, and it’s already so hard to talk, but he needs to. He needs to tell Jungkook the truth. “You know me better than anyone else does. You make me happier than anyone else ever could.” It’s getting a little harder to breathe, his nerves making his words nearly tremble on the way out. “And I just want you to be you. You don’t have to be anything different, you don’t have to change anything about yourself, or anything about the way you act.”

Jungkook’s lips part slightly, his eyes widening and going so round that Jimin can perfectly see the mixture of shock and wonder lighting them up, and Jimin’s heart is pounding so loud that he can’t even hear himself talk.

“Just be you." Jimin says, almost pleads. "Be you, because…” His heart is full, so full of affection that it has no choice but to spill over into his words. “Because I’m in love with you. I’m in love with you, exactly the way you are.” 

"You..." Jungkook blinks, eyes searching Jimin's face like he's trying to tell whether or not he's serious. “What?” He murmurs breathlessly.

And Jimin is ready to say it again, is ready to tell Jungkook that he loves him with everything he has, is ready to say it again and again because saying it the first time might have been scary but it felt so good, and all Jimin wants is for Jungkook to know that he’s loved.

But Jimin doesn’t say it again. He can’t say it again, he suddenly can’t find it in himself to say anything at all.

He’s not sure if he’s the one who stepped up to Jungkook, or if Jungkook is the one who stepped up to him – or maybe they met somewhere in the middle – he doesn’t know what happened, he just knows that now Jungkook is right in front of him, is standing so close that their chests are nearly brushing.

“You are?” Jungkook asks the question so quietly that Jimin probably wouldn’t be able to hear it if they weren’t standing as close to each other as they are now.

The look in Jungkook’s eyes is making it a little difficult to think of something to say, so Jimin just nods. He nods his head with fervour, wanting Jungkook to know without a shadow of a doubt that yes, he’s in love with everything that he is and with everything that he’ll ever be, he loves him more than he thought he could ever love anyone, and he doesn't think he'll ever love anyone like this ever again. He only stops nodding when Jungkook reaches out to him, taking his face in his hands.

Jimin’s breath catches in his throat, heart forgetting to beat when he feels the warmth of Jungkook’s palms gently pressing against his already rosy cheeks. Jungkook holds him with such a delicacy that Jimin can’t help but feel like he’s something to be treasured.

They’re standing close enough that he can feel Jungkook’s breath ghosting over his lips, and he can taste the sweetness of earnest anticipation in the air, and Jungkook is watching him with all the warmth of the sun and with all the effervescence of the stars, and Jimin knows that no one else will ever look at him the way that Jeon Jungkook looks at him.

And Jimin will never look at anyone else the way that he looks at Jungkook.

The tenderness in Jungkook’s eyes spreads across his face, and now there’s even a hint of a smile on his lips.

Jimin had missed that smile so much, and soon, a smile of his own is playing at the corner of his mouth. “Jungkook…” Jimin says softly. He allows himself to admire Jungkook, gaze slowly sweeping over his features, taking in every little detail and adding each one to the already endless list of reasons of why he’s in love with him. “I know you don’t watch a lot of romance movies,” his smile widens ever so slightly. “But this is the part where you’re supposed to kiss me.”

Jungkook is leaning in before those words are even fully out of Jimin's mouth.

Jungkook’s lips are soft yet insistent, and the moment their lips meet, Jimin’s eyelids fall shut and he gives himself up completely to Jungkook. They take their time, kissing with a slowness that burns so wonderfully, and it sets Jimin’s heart on fire, so that soon, he’s aflame with love. Each time that Jungkook’s thumb sweeps over his cheek, and with each and every press of his lips, Jimin can feel the heat of Jungkook’s love too.

Only when the burning in his lungs rivals the burning in his heart do they break the kiss. And the very second that they pull apart, they’re smiling – uncontainable happiness etched into their every feature.

Jungkook looks so perfect with his flushed cheeks and cute smile, and what Jimin sees in front of him has him feeling so giddy and so light and so, so in love.

Jimin had done his fair share of crying these last few days, and right now the last thing he feels like doing is crying. He knows that now isn’t a time to be crying, and he knows he shouldn't be crying, but the next thing he knows, there are tears filling up his eyes while he’s in the midst of the brightest smile he’s ever worn.

He doesn’t have time to turn away or to take a step back to hide his face, and when Jungkook notices his tears, he reacts exactly how Jimin expected him to react. And Jimin wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Are you…are you crying?” Jungkook is teasing, the playful gleam in his eyes says so, and the smile on his lips just confirms it. “Oh my god, was it that bad?”

Here it is, the affectionate teasing that Jimin loves so much – the teasing that had been a part of them from the start, and will be a part of them always. Because that's who they are. 

“Shut up,” a laugh bubbles up from Jimin’s chest as he dries his eyes with his sleeve. “It’s just allergies.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Jungkook leans in ever so slightly, his lopsided grin taking over his face. “Are you allergic to my kisses? Because if you are, that might be a problem.”

The corners of Jimin’s mouth twitch, only for them to be lifted even higher. “And why would it be a problem?”

“Because I really like kissing you.”

“Well, I guess you’ll just have to kiss me again to find out if I’m allergic or not.”

Their second kiss doesn’t last as long as their first one did. They’re smiling far too much for them to properly kiss, and then when they pull apart, they’re giggling too much to try again. They lean on each other for support, foreheads touching, teeth nearly touching as they collapse in on each other and giggle like little kids hopped up on too much sugar.

And even though Jimin doesn’t cry after this kiss, he kind of gets the urge to when Jungkook says I love you in the midst of their smitten laughing spree.

But Jimin doesn’t cry. He just squeezes his eyes shut, tilts his head back, and while listening to the lovely sound of Jungkook’s laugh, thinks about how lucky he is.

Jungkook was right. Romance movies are unrealistic. Because even out of all the happy endings that Jimin has seen on the silver screen, none of those happy endings could ever compare to this.

And Jimin was right too – life isn’t like the movies at all. Life is so much better.

 

Chapter Text

 

“Jimin…” Jungkook murmurs, and even though he speaks gently, even though his voice is soft and unobtrusive, Jimin knows for a fact that there’s absolutely nothing innocent about the reason why Jungkook just said his name.

Jimin isn’t even looking at him, but he doesn't have to look at him to know that there’s a smirk on Jungkook’s face right now. And if there’s a smirk on Jungkook’s face, then that means there must be a playful gleam in his eyes, and even though Jimin has seen that smirk and that gleam on Jungkook’s face more times than he can even count, he’s still tempted to turn his head to look at him just so he can see it again.

But Jimin doesn’t look over – he doesn’t even sneak a glance at him out of the corner of his eye, because if he gives in and if he looks over, then that means that he loses and Jungkook wins. So Jimin remains exactly as he is, sitting on the couch with his feet resting on the edge of the coffee table, laptop perched in his lap, fingers flying over his keyboard as he types up an assignment.

Jimin is actually trying to get a bit of work done, and Jungkook is actively trying to distract him.

They’re hanging out on the couch back at Jungkook’s dorm, but they aren’t hanging out to put on a show for anyone, they aren’t doing it and hoping that Taehyung will walk through the door and see them together. Jimin isn’t pretending to be Jungkook’s boyfriend. He is Jungkook’s boyfriend.

Jimin is dating his best friend, and he couldn’t be happier, and every day he seems to smile more than he did the last, and it’s only been a few weeks since they officially started dating, but everything about them is so natural that it’s like they’ve been together for so much longer. Jungkook is amazing and perfect and there isn’t one single thing that Jimin would change about him, and he is so so in love with him.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t think that Jungkook is annoying sometimes.

Jungkook is annoying – take now, for instance.

“Jimin.” Jungkook says again, more teasingly this time, and even though it’s his voice that initially draws Jimin’s attention, it’s what comes after that really gets Jimin. Jungkook earns Jimin’s undivided attention the moment that he starts trailing kisses down the side of his neck.

Caught off guard by the warm press of Jungkook’s lips, Jimin feels his resolve start to falter. He’s typing his words at uneven intervals now, and honestly, he isn’t even sure what it is that he’s typing anymore – he just knows he’s going to have to go back and do some serious editing before handing this assignment in.

“Jungkook…” the breath that pushes past Jimin’s parted lips comes out airier than he’d meant it to, making him sound more pleased than annoyed. His body reacts on its own, head naturally tilting to the side as if to allow Jungkook more room to work with, but even so, Jimin doesn’t look over at him. He doesn't want to give Jungkook the satisfaction of knowing how easily he can make him come undone – Jungkook is already cocky enough to begin with.

In an attempt to keep himself focused, Jimin narrows his eyes at his laptop screen in silent determination, doing his best to ignore the tickle of Jungkook’s warm breath ghosting over his skin.

But god, it’s so hard to think about anything that isn’t Jungkook right now. Despite putting up a valiant effort (even though it was rather short-lived),  Jimin’s head soon becomes totally clouded with thoughts of Jungkook. While Jungkook keeps planting those teasing little kisses on his neck, his arm slowly slides around Jimin’s waist, and Jimin can feel him smirking against his skin.

Jungkook knows how sensitive Jimin is – it only took a couple days for him to figure out exactly how to make Jimin melt.

“Baby.” Jungkook kisses the word into Jimin’s shoulder, and Jimin stops typing altogether the second he hears him say it.

That’s all it takes for Jimin to finally gives in. He finally turns to look at Jungkook, and is met with his signature lopsided smile, and there’s far too much smugness in that expression for Jimin’s liking. He has to fight the urge to kiss it away.

“Knew that would get you.” Jungkook is wearing something more akin to a grin now, and while Jimin is busy staring at him and trying to decide if he should be irritated or turned on right now, Jungkook takes it upon himself to grab Jimin’s laptop, and relocate it to the coffee table.

“Jungkook.” Jimin sighs as if he’s suffering some tragic inconvenience, but even so, he doesn’t make any attempt to stop him. “What are you–”

“It’s time for a break.”

“A break from what?” Jimin tilts his head back, laughing breathily. “You haven’t even been doing anything.”

“It’s not for me, it’s for you.” Once the laptop is safely out of Jimin’s reach, Jungkook turns to face him, putting the playful flicker in his eyes on full display. “I’m just trying to look out for you. Take care of you, you know?”

Even though Jimin rolls his eyes, the smile on his lips is unmistakably amused. “Oh, so you’re doing this all just for me?” He gives up on his schoolwork, far too swept up in Jungkook’s teasing little game to back out now. So, when Jungkook pulls him closer, Jimin loosely drapes his arms over his shoulders. “You’re so sweet to me.”

“Of course it’s all for you. Did you think I had some ulterior motive?” Jungkook cocks an eyebrow. “I’m offended.”

“You don’t look offended.” Jimin muses, absentmindedly playing with the fine hairs at the nape of Jungkook’s neck.

“No?” Jungkook's gaze drops to Jimin's lips. “What do I look like, then?” He keeps a firm hold on Jimin, dragging him closer, so close that Jimin decides to do the rest of the work himself, and he crawls right into his lap, straddling him.

Teasing had been a big part of their relationship when they were just friends, and it’s still a big part of their relationship. But the thing about their innocent teasing is that it’s changed a little bit, and now, it isn’t always so innocent.

“Like you wanna kiss me.” Jimin answers sweetly.

“Do you want me to kiss you?” One of Jungkook’s hands rests on Jimin’s hip, thumb rubbing slow circles over his skin. “Hm?” His other hand comes up to cup Jimin’s face, guiding him closer, close enough for them to breathe the same air, close enough for Jimin’s mind to become fuzzy with want. So close that Jimin wants to get even closer. “What do you want, baby? Want me to kiss you?”

Jimin’s breath catches in his throat, teeth sinking into his lower lip in an effort to keep himself grounded. He slides his hands down Jungkook’s chest, palms pressed firmly against him.

“Like it when I call you that, don’t you? Like being called my baby?”

Jimin feels heat blooming over his cheeks. When Jungkook calls him baby (or any pet name for that matter) it’s usually said casually, and it doesn't have quite this affect on Jimin. But sometimes, Jungkook laces the word with such sweetness and heat that Jimin can’t help but react the way he’s reacting now.

“Jungkook…” Jimin breathes out, letting his hands wander lower. “When’s Taehyung coming back?” He asks softly, but he doesn’t act with the innocence he speaks with when he hooks his fingers in Jungkook’s belt loops, giving an impatient little tug.

“Who cares?”

“Well I don’t want him walking in and seeing–”

“Seeing what?” Jungkook tilts his head to the side, showing off that cocky smile of his. “What’s he gonna see?”

“Well…” Jimin is aware now more than ever of how hot his face is. “You know–”

“Damn, Jimin.” Jungkook clicks his tongue. “Where did you think this was going?”

Jimin's eyes narrow within an instant. “Annoying.” He huffs. He shifts in Jungkook’s lap, intending to climb off, but Jungkook’s hands on his hips keep him exactly where he is. “You’re annoying, Jungkook.” Jimin says again, really wanting to drive the point home. “You’re so annoying, did you know that?”

“I think you’re just easily annoyed.” Jungkook fires back shamelessly.

“No.”  

Jungkook is annoying…but Jimin can’t ever be seriously annoyed at him. Not for very long, at least.

The corners of Jimin’s mouth twitch upwards, and he knows that any attempts to conceal his oncoming smile would be would be in vain. “You’re just really good at annoying me.”

“Can’t help it.” Jungkook grins. “You’re cute when you’re annoyed.”

“Yeah?” Jimin hums, biting the edge of his smile. “Well I’m about to get adorable here pretty damn soon.”

When Jungkook laughs this time, he scrunches up his nose a little, and now that’s impossible to even pretend to be annoyed at. “Okay, okay.” Jungkook relents. “What do you want?”

“I want a kiss.” Jimin says simply, winding his arms around Jungkook’s neck. “A proper kiss.”

Jungkook must want to kiss Jimin just as badly as Jimin wants to be kissed, because this time he doesn’t bother with ritual teasing, he just leans in, getting rid of what little space had been between them in the first place, and he finally, finally gives Jimin what he asked for.

“Needy.” Jungkook murmurs against his lips.

Jimin can taste Jungkook’s self-assured smile, and he’s definitely not willing to take that little comment lying down. “Annoying.” Jimin mumbles into the kiss.

They kiss with ease, lazily working their lips against each other, neither of them in a hurry to break the rather relaxed pace they’d started with. Jimin is settled in Jungkook’s lap like he belongs there, and Jungkook holding him there like he never wants Jimin to leave, and Jimin has no idea how he lasted as long as he did without this.

He could spend all day kissing Jungkook and never get tired of it, and he could spend all day talking to him and never get bored, and he could spend all day looking at him and won’t ever run out of things to admire. Jimin could spend an entire lifetime with Jungkook, and it probably still wouldn’t feel like it’s enough.

They’re always so eager to kiss and to touch, and to talk and to laugh, and to just be in each other’s company like they can never get enough of each other, because they can’t.

Jungkook starts to slowly rub his hands up and down Jimin's sides, the fabric of his shirt bunching up every now and then so that the tips of Jungkook’s fingers skim over his bare skin, sending a fresh wave of warmth washing over Jimin every time that it happens.

Jimin lets out a pleased little hum in the back of his throat, only to become even more pleased when he feels Jungkook smirking against his lips in response to it.

It didn’t take long after they became official for Jimin to fully realize and appreciate the duality of Jungkook’s smirks. Sometimes that self-satisfied quirk of his lips is the most irritating thing in the world, and sometimes it’s the hottest thing in the world – and sometimes it’s both.

But no matter what it is, Jimin loves it.

He threads his fingers through Jungkook’s hair, gently tugging, silently asking for more, more of his hands and his mouth and his smirks and just for more of him. Jungkook pushes his shirt up and smooths his palm over his skin, and Jimin presses closer in turn, their lazy kiss turning into something laced with a bit more heat, and Jimin lets his mind go blank, lets Jungkook take it over completely, lets himself be swept away by him and the warmth spreading all over his body, to places that Jungkook’s touch hasn’t even grazed over yet.

He’s so helplessly in love with Jungkook and the way that he kisses him, and there’s not one thing out of place, and everything is perfect; Jungkook is perfect, and his perfect hands are dipping lower and lower and pretty soon Jimin’s hips are sinking lower and lower and now he’s caught between wanting to push himself closer to Jungkook and wanting to pull Jungkook in closer to him.

Thankfully, Jimin doesn’t have to struggle with his conflicting wants for very long. Because when Jimin hears the door to Jungkook’s dorm swing open, all he wants to do is hide. A jolt of panic rushes through him, as soon as the door opens, and he abandons Jungkook completely, scurrying to the other side of the couch just in time for his face to flush a bright red.

“Hi guys,” Taehyung says when he steps inside. His eyes do a quick sweep over Jungkook and his messy hair and grinning face, and then he takes one look at Jimin and his crimson cheeks and lightly heaving chest. Taehyung promptly turns away from the scene. “Bye guys.” He says on his way past the couch, and just as soon as he came in, he's disappearing into his bedroom.

Jimin just sits there, heart flopping around in his chest like a fish out of water, and even when he hears the door to Taehyung’s room click shut, he doesn’t move.

If this was still a couple months ago, if Jimin was still only pretending to date Jungkook, then Taehyung coming home would mean scrambling to get closer to Jungkook. Now, he scrambles to pull away and act like there’s nothing between them at all.

It’s a rather drastic change… and Jungkook seems to think that it’s a rather funny one, too.

“Jimin,” Jungkook laughs, his whole face lighting up as he tips his head back. “What was that – I don’t think I’ve ever seen you move so quick, oh my god.”

“What?” Jimin’s eyes widen as he rises to his own defense. “I didn’t want him to see–”

“Us kissing?” Jungkook raises his eyebrows. “You do realize that what you just did makes it seem like we were doing more than just kissing, right?”

Jimin quiets. He takes a second to imagine how the scene must’ve looked to Taehyung, how ridiculous they must have appeared. Not much has really changed. Jimin always knew that him and Jungkook were ridiculous.

Sucking his lower lip between his teeth, Jimin tries to hide his smile. “I panicked, okay?”

“No shit,” Jungkook leans his head back, slipping down a little farther into the couch, overcome with another wave of laughter. “I wish you could’ve seen yourself.”

And Jimin wishes that Jungkook could see himself. He wishes Jungkook could see how good he looks when he’s smiling like this –  with his eyes brimming with so much liveliness that it brightens the whole entire room.

Jungkook is beautiful. So, so beautiful. Everything about him is beautiful; from his smile to his heart, from the way he talks to the way he laughs, and Jimin will be in love with him from morning until night, day after day after day.

He feels giddy knowing that Jungkook is all his, knowing that he gets to see that smile of his every day, and Jimin knows without a single doubt that he is the luckiest person on earth. No one else gets to see Jeon Jungkook smile as much as he gets to see him smile. And that reason alone makes Jimin infinitely blessed.

It’s not long before Jimin is slumping back against the couch himself, giggling alongside Jungkook.

One of the best things about Jungkook is that it’s so easy to laugh with him. A lot of the time when they’re laughing, Jimin doesn’t even know what they’re laughing about, he just knows that his heart is light and his smile is wide and all he has to do is tilt his head back and lose himself in a happiness so vast that it’ll never run out, and so real that he’ll never have to look for anything more than what he already has.

It’s this couch again, the couch that he’s laughed on more times than he can count, and Jimin can't help but marvel at how Jungkook has the ability to make a couch one of his favourite places in the whole entire world.

Then again…any place is Jimin’s favourite place if he’s there with Jungkook.

 ---

Despite being more than a month into their relationship now, it doesn’t feel like much time has passed at all. The semester is pretty much at an end, meaning summer is just within reach, and Jimin couldn’t be more excited for his first summer as Jungkook’s boyfriend.

The only thing standing between summer with Jungkook and freedom from schoolwork is final exams. And the only thing keeping Jimin from losing his mind and going crazy with stress over his upcoming finals is Jungkook.

 

Thursday

[6:11pm]

My Everything 💛:  Jimin what are you doing right now?

My Everything 💛:  lol jk I already know you’re studying

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  You know me so well

My Everything 💛:  Any chance you’re willing to forget about the studying for a bit and come hang out with me?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞: Awww. Do you miss me?

My Everything 💛:  Ew

My Baby 💕💘💗💞:  If you tell me you miss me, I may be more inclined to come hang out

My Everything 💛:  Ugh so needyyy

My Baby 💕💘💗💞: Say it

My Everything 💛:  Fine.

My Everything 💛:  I miss you

My Baby 💕💘💗💞: I miss you too

My Everything 💛:  You’re such a loser

My Baby 💕💘💗💞: Your loser

My Everything 💛:  I’m gonna change your name in my phone to “my loser”

My Baby 💕💘💗💞: Nooooo

My Everything 💛:  Don’t worry I won’t. I know how much you like your name now

My Everything 💛:  Anyway are we hanging out or not??

My Baby 💕💘💗💞: Please

My Everything 💛:  Wow so polite

My Everything 💛:  I’ll meet you at the main doors of the science building?

My Baby 💕💘💗💞: Okay!

 

Jimin doesn’t really know why Jungkook wants to meet there of all places, but he doesn’t question him about it. Even though he’d seen Jungkook just yesterday, Jimin is still so excited to get to see him today, he’s so excited to get to see him and his smile, and he finds himself practically skipping on his way over to the science building.

He’d been studying hard all week, and seeing Jungkook always gives him a little boost of energy. When he’s with Jungkook, he doesn’t have a care in the world – he doesn’t have to worry about his tests or about anything at all.

And Jimin loves that about him.

Jungkook is waiting near the front doors of the building just like he said he would be, and as soon as Jimin rounds the corner and has him in his sights, he’s beaming, breaking out into a half-hearted little run just to get to Jungkook that much quicker.

“Hey,” Jungkook calls out to him, grinning, and when Jimin doesn’t seem to have any intentions of slowing down, he opens his arms a bit so Jimin can jump right into them.

“Hi.” Jimin laughs breathlessly, wrapping his arms around Jungkook’s neck while Jungkook secures his arms around Jimin’s waist, lifting him just high enough so that his toes can barely graze the ground.  

Jimin isn’t usually one for public displays of affection, but since classes are done for the semester, there aren’t many people out right now to see the sweet spectacle. Besides,  Jungkook is wearing cologne, which isn’t something he normally does, so it makes him that much more irresistible, meaning Jimin is much less willing to let go of him.

They stay like that for a bit, hugging right in front of the main doors, Jimin smiling against the crook of Jungkook’s neck, thinking about how good Jungkook smells and how good Jungkook feels and just how good Jungkook is.

“Wow.” Jungkook chuckles, breath tickling the nape of Jimin’s neck. “You really did miss me, didn’t you?”

“Not at all.” Jimin murmurs, tightening his grip on Jungkook for a second before releasing his hold on him altogether.

They finally take a step back, staying an arm’s length apart, just so they can properly take each other in.

“No?” Jungkook sweeps his eyes over Jimin, and Jimin does the same to him, both of them openly admiring one another, both of them looking just as smitten as they looked after their very first kiss.

Jimin bites the edge of his smile, eyes crinkling at the corners. “Well, maybe a little bit.”

“Really?” Jungkook prods playfully. “Only a little bit?” He reaches for the door, holding it open for Jimin.

“Well…maybe a little more than a little bit.” Jimin pauses, now a bit less concentrated on his teasing, and a bit more interested in what exactly Jungkook has in mind for them. “We’re going inside?” Jimin asks, not bothering to hide his confusion as he steps through the door.

There’s not much in the science building except for classrooms and labs, and Jimin had assumed Jungkook just chose to meet him there, and then they’d walk somewhere to grab a bite to eat. But apparently, Jungkook has other plans.

“Yeah.” Jungkook follows him inside, and Jimin immediately notices the way his playfulness subsides. “There’s kind of something…” He trails off, his hesitation only tugging on Jimin’s curiosity that much harder. “Well, I’ll just show you.”

Now more intrigued than ever, Jimin falls into step alongside Jungkook, and with just one quick glance at him, he takes note of his slightly furrowed brow, and the way he’s chewing at his lip, and Jimin can clearly see that he’s a little nervous.

It’s a serious struggle for Jimin to keep his mouth shut and to stop himself from bombarding Jungkook with questions about what they’re doing there and what he has planned. He somehow manages to keep quiet though, and opts for simply enjoying the way his excitement is blending with his anticipation to send his heart into a fluttered frenzy.  

Jungkook ends up taking him to an empty lecture hall...but this lecture hall isn’t just any lecture hall. The moment that Jungkook leads him there, as soon as Jimin steps inside, his eyes widen, lips parting and gaze falling on Jungkook.

Even though Jungkook doesn't say the reason why they're there out loud, Jimin knows exactly why Jungkook brought him here out of all the other places on campus, he knows the meaning behind Jungkook’s choice. This is the place where he met Jungkook for the very first time.

There’s no one else around right now, but when Jimin looks to the very back of the lecture hall, he can see two cans of Coke and two bowls of what he assumes is food sitting on a desk, and he knows Jungkook set this all up just for him, and it’s so simple and so cute and Jimin is so, so in love.

“I uh…” Jungkook rubs the back of his head, looking so uncharacteristically timid, and it’s so endearing, and Jimin feels himself swoon. “I know you’ve been stressed about finals, and I kind of wanted to do something for you.”

Jimin seriously doesn’t understand how Jungkook ever doubted himself – how did he ever think that he would be a lousy boyfriend, and how was he ever worried about not being cut out for relationships? Jungkook is thoughtful, Jimin always knew that, but every day he proves to be more thoughtful than the last. And because of that, every day, Jimin finds himself loving Jungkook more than the last, and that’s really saying something, because Jimin loves him a lot.

“Jungkook…” Jimin shakes his head slowly, his soft smile holding endless adoration. “You didn’t have to do all this for me.”

“It’s not like it was that hard to do – I really didn’t even do anything. They keep the classrooms unlocked, and all I had to do was order some food and bring it here. It’s not much–”

“It’s perfect.” Jimin says, and he means it with all of his heart. He reaches down to take Jungkook’s hand, offering an affectionate squeeze. “You’re perfect.”

Jungkook’s smile is small, but it still lights up his eyes. “C’mere.” He murmurs, tugging Jimin by the hand, bringing him in to steal a quick kiss that renders Jimin just as light-headed as all the other kisses he’s ever shared with Jungkook have rendered him.

“Okay," Jungkook says upon pulling back. "Enough of that." While keeping a hold on Jimin’s hand, he leads him up the stairs to the very last row of seats where their food is. “Enough with the sweetness.” He throws a teasing glance over his shoulder at Jimin. “You’ll spoil our dinner.” 

Jimin laughs, and the sound of it is just as light as his steps are as he follows Jungkook. “I guess I’ll save it for dessert then.”

“Jimin, you’re so sweet that I don’t even need dessert.”

“Oh my god.” Pressing the back of his hand against his mouth, Jimin vainly attempts to hide his amusement. “Your lines get cheesier and cheesier every day.”

“I only do it because I know how much you love it.”

“I do love it.” Jimin sighs airily. “I really, really do.”

They sit down to a dinner of Coke and jajangmyeon, and it’s nothing fancy but it's probably the best dinner that Jimin’s ever had in his entire life. It’s definitely the best date he’s ever been on.

When they talk, their voices echo in the empty room, and when they laugh, it bounces off the walls, and the way that their laughter mingles together in the empty lecture hall makes it sound even better than it usually does – it’s almost melodic in a way.

Jimin hasn’t been in this particular lecture hall since his first year of university, for his introduction to psychology class, and being there now is bringing back a lot of memories. And of course, all of those memories involve Jungkook.

He remembers how Jungkook would always bring snacks to class, and how he always seemed to be fidgeting with his pencil or bouncing his knee, and how sometimes he would crack a joke in the middle of a lecture so that Jimin would have to slap a hand over his mouth to quiet his own giggling. The jokes that Jungkook said were usually awful…but Jimin always laughed at them anyway.

He wonders what sort of memories come to Jungkook’s mind.

With a playful little quirk to his lips, Jimin tilts his head to the side. “So,” he hums innocently, dragging out his pause for a little longer when he notices Jungkook’s eyes narrow in suspicion. “I know how you feel about me now…but I am curious about what your first impressions of me were.” It’s only natural for Jimin to wonder, after all.

Jungkook arches a brow, setting his chopsticks down momentarily. “Well, considering how we pretty much became friends the first day we met, you know my first impressions of you weren’t anything bad.”

“I know.” Jimin smiles, batting his lashes sweetly. “But I wanna know how good they were.”

“Of course you do.” Jungkook lets out an amused snort, and Jimin can’t help but lean over his desk a little, keen to hear what Jungkook has to say. “I don't know...you seemed easy to talk to, I guess. You seemed…nice.”

“Easy to talk to? Nice? That’s it?”

“Well you are easy to talk to, and you are nice.” Jungkook grins, finding humour in Jimin’s obvious want for something more substantial. “And I guess you seemed like the type of person who would sit at the front. Was surprised you sat all the way at the back.”

Jungkook certainly isn’t wrong for having that assumption – Jimin usually sits close to the front during lectures now. But during his first year, he was a little intimidated to sit at the front of the room, especially since he didn’t know anyone else.

“I thought I’d make more friends sitting at the back.” Jimin admits.

Nodding slowly, Jungkook picks up his chopsticks again. His gaze dips, looking into his bowl as he stirs his noodles. “I’m glad you sat at the back.”

Jimin doesn’t say anything for a moment. He just watches Jungkook, heart swelling in size as he takes him in. He thinks about the first time they met, thinks about how lucky it was that they ended up sitting right next to each other, and how relieved they both were when they found out that neither of them really knew anyone else there, he thinks about how easily they became friends, and he thinks about all the happiness Jungkook has brought into his life ever since that day.

“Me too.” Jimin says softly.

He really is. He is so, so glad that he sat at the back on that very first day of class.

After finishing their dinner and cleaning up after themselves, Jimin and Jungkook walk out of the science building, hand in hand.

It’s a calm, quiet evening. The sun is just starting to sink below the horizon, bathing the world in a soft golden glow. Summer isn’t here quite yet, but there’s a certain sweetness in the warm air that says they’re just on the cusp of it.

They walk in comfortable silence, their arms gently swinging, and it’s so easy to be with Jungkook, so easy to be with him and so nice not to have to worry about thinking of things to say to fill in the silence, and to not have to worry about what they’re going to do next.

Jungkook holds a special place in Jimin’s heart, and as they walk on, Jimin finds himself falling more and more in love with him, and there’s something that he gets the overwhelming urge to do – something he gets the overwhelming urge to say.

It’s not I love you, even though Jimin does love him. He doesn’t say I love you, but what he says is still evidence of how much he loves Jeon Jungkook.

“Jungkook…” Jimin begins, a certain delicacy in his tone, and when Jungkook gives a hum of acknowledgment, turning to look down at him, Jimin smiles gently. “Will you come visit my grandma with me next weekend?”

Jimin's grandma and Jungkook are two of the most important people in his life, and Jimin wants them to meet. He wants his grandma to meet Jungkook; the one who has his heart, the one who makes him happier than he ever thought he could be, and he wants Jungkook to meet his grandma – the smartest, kindest person he’s ever known.

Jungkook stops walking, coming to a halt in the middle of the sidewalk, forcing Jimin to do the same. “Of course…” he sounds a little taken aback, but his eyes are shining and he looks thoroughly pleased – almost proud. Like he knows just how much this must mean to Jimin. “Of course I will, Jimin.”

 Jimin reaches up, carefully brushing away a few stray strands of dark hair out of Jungkook’s eyes. “I love you.” He’s never been more certain about anything in his life. “And I know she’ll love you too.”

The next thing that he knows, Jungkook’s lips are meeting his own in an unexpected but welcome kiss. It’s a kiss that leaves Jimin breathless, one that makes his heart flutter and his knees feel weak, one that makes him curl into Jungkook, hands feebly grabbing at the collar of his shirt, like he wants to pull him right into him, because he can just never seem to get close enough to him.

The taste of Jungkook’s lips and the scent of his cologne drives his desire for more, the heat of his love flaring up within him, and all Jimin wants to do is love Jungkook.

“Jungkook,” he whispers, and as soon as Jungkook hears his name, he pulls off just enough so they can breathe. “Can we…” Jimin draws in a shaky breath, chest lightly heaving as Jungkook’s eyes wander over his face. “Can we go to my place?”

Jungkook swallows. “Let’s go.”

They make it to Jimin’s dorm in record time.

As soon as Jimin gets the door unlocked, he’s pulling Jungkook in, and they don’t get more than a couple steps inside before they’re picking up where they’d left off. Jungkook’s mouth is hot on Jimin's own, and the kiss is laced with a heady sweetness so strong and so addicting that every press of his lips is a plea for more.

They kiss feverishly, hands roaming each other’s bodies, tugging at the fabric of their clothes, and Jimin is so lost in it, is so lost in Jungkook, and the next thing he knows, his back is pressing against the wall, and Jungkook’s hands are pushing up his shirt, and Jimin turns his head to break the kiss, opening his mouth to say the only thing on his mind right now–

“I still live here, you know.” Yoongi's voice shatters the illusion of Jimin and Jungkook being the only two people in the world. 

“Hyung!” Jimin squeaks out, and while his face may have been hot before, now it’s hot for a whole different reason. Embarrassed beyond belief, he pushes back a dazed Jungkook, shoving him away, causing him to stumble back a few steps.

When Jungkook is a safe distance away, Jimin allow himself to take in his surroundings – something he wishes he would’ve done as soon as he stepped inside. 

Yoongi is sitting at the table, hands resting on the keyboard of his laptop, notes spread out before him, and sitting across from him is Hoseok.

Jimin and Jungkook had obviously just interrupted a study session, but neither Yoongi nor Hoseok look particularly annoyed by it.

In fact, Hoseok is grinning at them, eyes flicking back and forth between Jimin and Jungkook as he twirls a highlighter between his fingers. Yoongi on the other hand, is watching them with raised eyebrows, but one corner of his mouth is just a bit higher than the other, and he seems undeniably amused.

Jimin internally groans. He knows that Yoongi is going to tease him about this for the rest of his life.    

Of course, both Hoseok and Yoongi already know Jimin and Jungkook are together, but just because they know about it doesn’t mean Jimin wants them to see what they just saw.

He also doesn’t want to keep standing there underneath the heat of their teasing stares.

“We’re gonna go watch a movie in my room.” Jimin pipes up hastily, acting on his strong urge to flee the scene. “Good luck with the studying,” he adds in an excessively cheery tone. Jimin grabs Jungkook’s wrist, tugging him in the direction of his room, and Jungkook follows wordlessly.

But they aren't home free just yet. 

“Please keep in mind,” Yoongi says as Jimin and Jungkook pass by the table, “that it’s very quiet in here right now. And the walls are thin. And I don’t like listening to music while I study.”

“I like listening to music,” Hoseok chimes in, his grin widening. “I can put earbuds in.”

“We’re just watching a movie!” Jimin defends, his embarrassment raising his voice an octave or two. His face is so warm that he thinks he might be in serious danger of overheating.

Yoongi hums, not bothering to hide his skepticism. “Behave, Jungkook.”

“Me?” Jungkook snorts. “Jimin’s the one you should be telling to–”

Jimin yanks Jungkook into his bedroom and shuts the door before he can finish his sentence.

In the safety of his room, Jimin plops himself down onto his bed, sprawling out on his back as he waits for the heat blooming across his cheeks to fade away, and the rapid beating of his heart to go down. He can't believe that just happened. 

“So,” Jungkook clears his throat, and Jimin feels the bed dip a bit when he sits on the edge of it. “We aren’t really gonna watch a movie, are we?”

An airy laugh bubbles up from Jimin’s chest. "Jungkook," he props himself up on his elbows, seeing that Jungkook is watching him with a playful little half-smile. Jimin shakes his head fondly, smile widening. “They’re literally right outside my door.”

"So?"

Jimin just stares at him, not willing to budge on this one.

“Ugh, fine.” Jungkook heaves out a sigh, flopping down onto the bed next to Jimin, staring up at the ceiling. There’s a beat of silence, and then, “If you ask them nice enough, I’m sure they would leave for a little–”

Jungkook,” Jimin’s laugh is a bit louder this time, and when he lays back once more, his head falls on Jungkook’s chest, and he can feel Jungkook’s breath in his hair, tickling the top of his head as he laughs along with him.  

They really do end up watching a movie.

Jimin sets his laptop near the foot of the bed, because setting it between them would mean he wouldn’t be able to properly curl up at Jungkook’s side. And even though they’re watching a movie, Jimin isn’t really paying attention to it, not that that’s anything new. He usually finds it hard to focus on movies when he has Jungkook next to him.

Jimin’s eyes stray from his laptop, gaze idly wandering all around his room until it eventually comes to settle on Jungkook’s hand. He admires the ring on Jungkook’s finger, the simple silver band that matches his own, always reminding Jimin of how lucky he is to have Jungkook in his life. Jimin is so insanely thankful that he can give all of himself to Jungkook, and receive all of Jungkook in return.

His heart is heavy in the best of ways, heavy with love, saturated with nothing but pure adoration for Jeon Jungkook. Jimin is so excited for tomorrow, and for the next day, and for the day after that; he can’t wait to shower Jungkook in all the love he deserves so that his life is nothing but an endless series of smiles.

Jungkook is so special, is so good, and Jimin wants to make sure that his life is only filled with good things.

And while both Jimin’s head and heart are certainly full of Jungkook at the moment, it seems that Jungkook’s thoughts and feelings are all attuned to Jimin.

“Jimin?” Jungkook murmurs, the first word spoken by either of them since they’d started the movie.

Jimin lifts his head off Jungkook’s shoulder just slightly, only so that he can get a better look at his face. “Yeah?”

Jungkook’s hesitation is easy to pick up on. He shifts his weight, adjusting himself to sit up a little straighter, prompting Jimin to move with him. They’re still on the bed, but now they’re sitting face to face.

Jimin sits cross-legged, hands in his lap as he watches Jungkook. “What’s up?” Jimin asks softly, his interest evident. He can’t help but wonder what has Jungkook acting this way. It’s not that he’s anxious about hearing whatever it is that Jungkook has to say – he knows it won’t be anything bad – but he's certainly intrigued. He twists his ring around his finger, growing increasingly curious, and even a little impatient as he waits.

“So, I’ve kind of been thinking about this for a while now,” Jungkook finally says. He starts tapping his fingers on his thigh, fidgeting like he always does when he’s a little nervous. “I mean, I wasn’t thinking about it like super seriously or anything, I was just kind of tossing the idea around in my head and stuff,” he’s rambling now, and Jimin had always found his nervous rambling to be so incredibly endearing. “But I was thinking that maybe it would be kind of fun if we go on a trip together or something?” The corners of his mouth twitch into a self-conscious rendition of a smile. “Like, if we both get jobs for the summer, then we could save up some money and maybe in a year or two we could go to Tokyo or something?”

Jimin’s mouth falls open just slightly. He doesn’t even know what to say. His heart is soaring– he doesn’t understand how one person can be so perfect. How can one person make him so happy, so full?

He’s already thinking about their trip together – whether they go to Tokyo or somewhere else entirely – he’s already looking forward to it, already thinking about all the different things they’ll get to do, and all the new things they’ll get to see. He wants to do it all with Jungkook. He wants to see it all with him.

“I mean,” Jungkook goes on, glancing off to the side. “I just remember you talking about Tokyo that one time, and I know you said it as a joke and stuff, but I still think it might be fun if we–”

“Jungkook?”

The second that his name leaves Jimin’s lips, Jungkook is pouring all of his attention into him, fixing his bright eyes directly on Jimin.

And Jimin is enamoured to no end. No one else can ever make him feel like this. “Will you do me a favour?” Jimin asks with a smile.

“Anything.”

“Shut up and kiss me.”