Chapter 1: Homework
“Hyung, did you finish my assignment for me?” Jungkook shouted, peering down at the papers on his desk, filled out completely in a handwriting Jungkook wasn’t familiar with. He’d stormed out of the apartment an hour ago to walk the pier, hoping it would clear his mind enough for him to come back and finish that very assignment. He’d been struggling with the analysis for days and he knew Namjoon had heard him complaining about it, so maybe his hyung had taken pity on him.
“What?” Namjoon hummed, appearing in Jungkook’s doorway with puffy, sleepy eyes.
Jungkook pouted up at his hyung guiltily, “Did I wake you up? I’m sorry, I just… thank you for helping me, hyung. I was having a really hard time and you didn’t have to- “
“What are you talking about?” Namjoon breathed, stepping up to Jungkook’s desk to check out the assignment. Each question was answered thoroughly and thoughtfully and Namjoon let out a low, impressed whistle. “Good work, Kookie.”
“What? You didn’t do this?” Jungkook squeaked, eyes wide. Who the hell else would have finished his homework?
“Of course not! Jungkookie, you know the only way to learn is to do it yourself, I would never just do an assignment for you. I thought you just finished it a half hour ago? I saw you working on it when I went to take another nap…”
“Hyung, what are you talking about? I haven’t been home in an hour.”
Both boys stared at each other in deafening silence, running through their memories over and over again. Jungkook knew he hadn’t just done it and forgot about it, he couldn’t even understand the answers scrawled on the paper, Namjoon had to have done it for him. But Namjoon had been napping for the last hour, only awake for a few minutes to walk from the living room couch to his bed – during which he’d seen someone in Jungkook’s room.
“Are you telling me that someone broke into our house to finish my homework for me?” Jungkook huffed in disbelief. Namjoon wasn’t the kind of guy to do his assignment, but he also wasn’t the kind of guy to lie about it if he had – he would have turned it into a teaching moment for sure. Jungkook was at a loss – he was beyond relieved that he didn’t have to think about his assignment anymore, but he couldn’t understand what had happened. His head was spinning, and he moved to sit on the edge of his bed, glaring at the paper as if it would spill all of its secrets. Namjoon’s warm hand on his shoulder startled him back to reality.
“Maybe you just forgot, Kook. You’ve been stressed, weirder things have happened. Take it as a blessing and move on.” Namjoon left him with a comforting pat, most likely returning to his bed since he’d gone to sleep at 7 am. Jungkook just ran his hands up his neck, through his hair, and down his chest – making sure that he was awake, and this was all real – before he threw himself back towards his pillows. Maybe he was just sleep deprived. Now that his homework was done, he could afford to take a little bit of time to rest.
Jungkook proof-read the assignment – it was perfect – and turned it in the next day so he could try to do as Namjoon said, but he couldn’t shake the strange feeling that crept up his spine every time he thought about it.
Chapter 2: Song
Jungkook scrolled idly through his folder full of different versions and edits of the same exact song cover he’d recorded two weeks ago. He clicked each of them and let them play for a few seconds before closing them and moving on, stuck in a perpetual state of review and hatred. He recorded covers of songs all the time, he had a nice portfolio on YouTube proving that he had a bit of talent for the hobby, but something was not clicking with this song. He’d even recorded a different cover a few days back that he loved and had immediately posted, he just couldn’t decide what the hell was wrong with this specific song.
Jungkook sighed and pushed away from his desk, heading to the kitchen to make himself a snack. He spotted Namjoon in the living room, his glasses hanging low on his nose as he turned the page of this week’s novel that he’d buried himself in. Jungkook smiled fondly and mussed the elder’s hair as he passed, earning the indignant grumble he was so very fond of. Jungkook adored his hyung, mesmerized by him from the moment they’d first met, and he thought often about how lucky he was to have Taehyung – the most extroverted social butterfly to walk the planet – as a close friend. Taehyung knew everyone on campus, so when he’d mentioned a year ago that THE Kim Namjoon – who Jungkook had seen in the performing arts building most days during the semester and couldn’t stop staring at no matter how hard he tried – needed a roommate, Jungkook had jumped on that opportunity immediately. Granted, it hurt his heart a little bit to get to know Namjoon so well without being able to snuggle up to him and tell him how much he was actually obsessed with him, but that was probably best for the both of them anyway. Namjoon was an amazing hyung, better than Jungkook could have ever asked for, and he was beyond grateful either way.
“What, Jungkook?” Namjoon asked softly and Jungkook jumped, realizing the he’d been leaning on the kitchen counter, staring Namjoon down for much too long to be comfortable. Jungkook cleared his throat, his cheeks suddenly burning hot.
“Uh, sorry hyung. Spaced out.”
Namjoon only chuckled in response and stood up, strolling towards the kitchen with his hands in his pockets. He felt Jungkook’s eyes follow him the whole time as he fished their bowl of fresh strawberries out of the fridge and extended them to the younger boy, shaking them once when Jungkook didn’t immediately take them.
“Oh, thanks.” Jungkook set them on the counter and pulled himself up to sit next to them, offering one of the bright berries to his hyung. He loved the way Namjoon smiled when someone fed him, his deep dimples flashing with each bite and he was always quick to return the favor, Jungkook excitedly biting the berry from Namjoon’s fingers.
“How’s the song coming? I’ve been checking up to see if you’ve posted it yet.” Namjoon teased, nudging Jungkook’s knee.
“Awful.” Jungkook sighed. “I can’t get it right, I don’t understand why. It just… doesn’t feel right. I’ve tried everything.”
“Do you want me to listen to it? Maybe a fresh pair of ears might help?”
“That would be great, hyung! You’ve always been so good at music, I wasn’t sure if you’d want to help me though, I know you’re busy…” Jungkook was already running back to his room, the bowl of strawberries in one hand, Namjoon’s wrist in the other. The elder was used him by now and only followed easily, sinking onto Jungkook’s bed by his desk comfortably. “So, I was thinking…” Jungkook’s words died off and Namjoon scooted forward, looking at the younger’s desktop curiously to see what he’d seen. On the corner of his screen was a sticky note with scribbled handwriting that neither of them had. Jungkook snatched the sticky note and read it over and over again, handing it to Namjoon to read as he pulled up his raw file to begin editing. The sticky note had specific directions written on it, levels of reverb and echo and bass specified, exact time stamps to add effects and manipulations. Namjoon raised a brow, about to ask if Jungkook had come up with this, but younger was snatching it back from him, eyes wide as he followed the directions exactly, hands flying across his keyboard eagerly.
“Jungkook, what are you-“ Namjoon stopped as Jungkook hit play, leaning forward eagerly in his seat as the song built with soft crashing waves, Jungkook’s ethereal voice rising from the ebbs and flow. Jungkook looked at Namjoon with wide eyes and his mouth gaping open, both of them listening intently to the soothing melody and layered voices. “It’s beautiful, Jungkook.”
“Did you give me these notes?” Jungkook demanded, flashing the sticky note at the elder desperately.
“No, I was with you the whole time you were away from your computer, Kook. You know that.” Namjoon huffed, taking the sticky note back and reading it again. Whoever had written them was clearly very familiar with composing music and editing songs and was tuned into the rhythms that would be most impactful. This was no accident.
“What the fuck is going on.” Jungkook hissed, replaying the song to soak up just how well the edits melded together. He’d never thought of using these specific modifications and especially not ever pairing them together, it was damn near genius.
“Maybe you have a guardian angel?” Namjoon hummed, though both of them knew how unlikely such a thing was.
They studied the song together for another hour, picking up just how each layer built off each other and where they complimented and mimicked and enhanced each other, still in awe and utterly lost at how it came together so beautifully. Namjoon told Jungkook once again to accept it and move on, though he wasn’t quite sure something like this was a freak incident anymore.
When Jungkook finally posted the cover – well into the wee hours of the morning after listening to it over and over in utter disbelief – he made sure to tack on a small credits section at the end, just one simple sentence. A special thank you to my ghost composer without whom this song wouldn’t have been possible.
Chapter 3: Lunchbox
“I’m telling you, some freaky shit is going on!” Jungkook hissed, slamming his hands on the table. Neither of the boys across from him seemed to be remotely bothered by his behavior.
“That doesn’t sound freaky, Jungkook. That sounds fucking awesome.” Jimin laughed, sitting back in his chair. “I wish I had some lucky spirit to do my homework.” He grumbled, crossing his arms petulantly, kicking the young boy beneath the table.
“You’re being haunted, and your ghost is doing nothing but solving all of your problems? Fuck you, Jeon Jungkook.” Taehyung huffed, taking a bitter sip of his tea.
“Come on you guys, who cares what’s happening, I need to know how it’s happening! Aren’t you even a bit curious?” Jungkook whined. He was extra moody that afternoon since he’d forgotten the night before to pack himself a lunch and ran out of the house in a late panic that morning, leaving his wallet on the living room table. His friends weren’t helping much either.
“Frankly, it’s not a pertinent issue right now, Jungkook. I have a presentation in twenty-four hours and I’m still the only one in this godforsaken group who’s done their slides!” Jimin hissed, pushing his laptop away from him with a frown. Jungkook huffed and sat back in his seat, pulling his backpack into his lap as his friends began to complain to each other back and forth. He was going to dig through his bag to see if he had a granola bar or maybe an old pack of candy somewhere to get him through his next class, but he stopped when he unzipped his bag to find his lunchbox stuffed neatly in the bag’s front pocket.
“SEE!” Jungkook squeaked, slamming the lunchbox down on the table with a loud crack! The boys across from him jumped, looking around sheepishly at the other students in the café. “I didn’t have time to pack myself a lunch today, I never leave my lunchbox in my bag overnight, how is this in my bag right now?”
“Maybe Namjoon hyung packed you lunch.” Taehyung muttered, completely uninterested.
“He hasn’t been home in two days, he’s visiting his parents! WHO packed me this lunch?!” Jungkook’s could feel his face heating up. He felt crazy, complaining about something so thoughtful and helpful, but if he didn’t pack it and Namjoon wasn’t home, what the actual FUCK was going on?????
“Can we move on? Congratulations, you have lunch. I, on the other hand, have a professor who is threatening to fail me because I ask him challenging questions in class!” Taehyung spat.
“No, you don’t ‘ask challenging questions,’ you never shut your big fucking mouth. Different things.” Jimin pointed out, turning back to his laptop to edit his presentation. Jungkook opened his lunchbox and found his favorite foods packed neatly inside, grinning happily as he ate and watched Taehyung threaten Jimin’s life with only the objects in his pencil case. Sure, he might be going batshit crazy, but at least he wasn’t Jimin or Taehyung.
Chapter 4: Just a Dream
Jungkook stirred awake as he heard a soft whisper, a chill running down his spine in the pitch-dark room. He shivered, realizing that his blankets had fallen off of him in the middle of the night. He sighed and pulled himself up, intent on grabbing his blankets and going back to bed, but his blood ran cold as he met a pair of dark, hollow eyes peering at him from the shadows in the corner. They looked just as surprised as Jungkook felt and instead of screaming, Jungkook’s voice got caught in his throat and he choked, eyes never leaving the apparition as he hacked up a lung. “Are you okay?” The same soft voice asked, and the eyes drifted closer, this time accompanied by a face and a head and a body, slowly emerging from the dark, growing more visible and solid with each second. Jungkook couldn’t fathom what exactly it was that he was seeing.
“Don’t die on us now, it’s not exactly fun.” A different voice grumbled and Jungkook’s entire body tensed, a second apparition emerging from behind the first. This one was shorter, arms crossed as if he was completely inconvenienced by being caught in Jungkook’s room at 4 am. They both stood still, staring Jungkook down in the dark and the young boy felt tears prickling at his eyes, his joints aching under the weight of the fear that wracked his body. He couldn’t comprehend what he was seeing.
“We didn’t mean to scare you.” The first voice cooed, drifting closer to Jungkook. “We’re not going to hurt you or anything.”
“I don’t think we could, even if we wanted to.” The other grumbled. He seemed to be a bit more bitter about the whole situation and if Jungkook could wrap his mind around it all, he might have found it entertaining.
“Yoongi, you’re not helping.” The first apparition scolded and Jungkook took a deep breath, flexing his fingers to try to get any feeling back into them. He swallowed the painful lump in his throat and straightened his back, as if he could take any kind of control over a situation like this.
“This is….” Jungkook tried, looking back and forth between the pair of unearthly beings. “This is not real.” He finally decided. The pale boys looked between each other, trying to respond to Jungkook, to no avail. They seemed just as taken aback as Jungkook was. “This is a dream. A weird, vivid, lucid dream.” Jungkook nodded, happy with his realization and tucking himself back into his blankets. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath and the longer he laid in the comfort of his own bed, the further away the memory of the apparitions grew. Just a dream, that’s all.
Chapter 5: Painting
Jungkook didn’t tell Namjoon about what he’d seen. He already seemed like he was going crazy and he didn’t need Namjoon to ship him out to an inpatient facility overseas. So, he chalked it up to a weird dream and tried to go on with his day as normal. When the lighting in his room shifted with the late afternoon sun, he lifted up his easel and balanced his canvas carefully, dragging both out into the living room where Namjoon was typing away on his laptop. “Are you working?” Jungkook asked softly, shifting his weight from foot to foot. “Cause the lighting is better out here.
“Yeah, I’ve got a proposal at the end of the week. But I really don’t mind.” Namjoon hummed, grinning up at Jungkook fondly. Jungkook ran to get his headphones – he always liked to listen to music while he painted – and stopped himself from humming along so he didn’t disturb his hyung.
Jungkook spent a few long minutes mixing his paints to get the tertiary colors that were apparent in this new portrait. Only when he looked up and stepped back, taking in the whole of the painting together, did his blood run cold as it had the night before. On the canvas before him were three boys, tucked into leafless trees, backlit by soft streetlights, but painfully familiar. He’d been painting mindlessly these past few days, letting the brushes lead him where they wanted to go, and only now when he looked closer, did he realize that two of the boys in his painting had been in his room just the night before. He knew he’d never seen them before last night, but… how?
A distant, weak memory of a soft whisper flooded his mind. ‘That’s me.’ The figures had been next to his canvas, they had recognized themselves in his work, even when Jungkook had had no idea.
A light touch on the tip of Jungkook’s shoulder sent him leaping nearly a foot in the air and Namjoon pulled him close, making sure he didn’t knock over his whole easel in fear. Namjoon plucked Jungkook’s headphones out and smiled apologetically, “I didn’t mean to scare you, I’m sorry Kook.”
“It’s okay. It’s… okay.” Jungkook gasped, running his hands over his face as he calmed down. It helped that the heat rolling off of Namjoon’s skin was warming him right down to his bones. “I’m a little jumpy these days, I’m sorry I freaked out.”
“It’s okay.” Namjoon grinned, running a hand through Jungkook’s hair to push it out of his eyes. Jungkook’s breath caught in his throat and he nodded slowly. “You seemed stressed out. I wanted to make sure you were okay.” Namjoon dropped his hands and stepped away, letting a cold breeze replace him and Jungkook shook himself into coherency. “This one is really cool.” Namjoon pointed at the canvas and Jungkook turned, the strange chill returning to him as he looked it over.
“Thanks.” He huffed.
Namjoon stepped forward and looked closer, tilting his head. “They look familiar to me.” He peeked over his shoulder at Jungkook. “Are they anyone we know?” Jungkook gulped.
“Nope. Just… strangers.” He shrugged, lifting the canvas off the easel and setting on the ground in the corner of the living room, mostly hidden by the bookshelf. “I don’t think I’m going to finish it, I’ll just… move on.” Jungkook scratched his neck as he strode to the closet that held his blank canvases and Namjoon’s extra books, retrieving a new one quickly.
Jungkook was able to start something new, but he couldn’t help but check up on the old painting the next day, just to see if maybe he’d been seeing things. Instead he found three sticky notes, each of them lined up above one of the figures in the painting. They read Yoongi, Hoseok and Seokjin.
Jungkook wasn’t doing well in trying to ignore it all.
Chapter 6: Apparitions
“Fine.” Jungkook spoke aloud into the dark, empty room in front of him. “Maybe… maybe it’s not a dream.” He bit his thumb and rested his chin on his knees, taking a few seconds to ground himself before – “Are you here? Can you show up, again?” Jungkook waited in silence, his heartbeat deafening in his ears as he waited. And waited. And waited. He was just about to give up, to admit that he was losing his mind, when he heard a soft voice from the same corner of his room.
“We don’t mean to scare you.” The boy spoke softly and Jungkook gasped, watching one of the apparitions emerge slowly and cautiously. He looked apologetic, head bowed, and hands clasped in front of him, making himself look smaller than he had been before. Jungkook looked him over, head to toe, trying to familiarize himself with the situation.
“Which one are you?” Jungkook asked quietly.
“Hoseok. You met Yoongi the other night.”
“And there are three of you?” Jungkook asked, looking around as if the others were going to show up too.
“Yeah. Seokjin spends more time in the kitchen and living room.”
“They’re here, right? I just can’t see them?” Jungkook gulped. This was so fucking weird.
“Can they come out too?” Jungkook asked this louder, looking around. He thought he prepared himself, but he still jumped when two more figures slowly began to appear next to Hoseok, still translucent, but visible either way. Jungkook’s breath stuttered and he grumbled. “Okay. Okay, this is happening.” He dropped his head and rubbed his temples. “There are ghosts in my room. Right now. For real. Okay. Yeah, this is fine. Totally fine. Cool, cool, cool.”
“You’re freaking out.” Yoongi huffed and Jungkook laughed, cold and humorless in response. He lifted his head and glared at the ghost incredulously until he threw his hands up in surrender, floating back behind Hoseok like he’d been scolded.
“Are you guys responsible for all this weird shit, then?” Jungkook demanded. He didn’t exactly know why he was angry, but he wasn’t sure how else to feel.
“We wanted to help you, Jungkook.” The third apparition – Seokjin – said and Jungkook raised a brow.
“Because you’re young and cute and talented, we wanted to make sure that you were taken care of.” Hoseok hummed. “You’re like… a younger brother. We like you.” Jungkook gaped at the confession.
“And we’re stuck here.” Yoongi added, very helpful. “There’s not much else we can do.”
“So, do you help Namjoon the way you’ve helped me?” Jungkook wondered. He hadn’t heard Namjoon talk about anything similar happening to him, nor had he seen any inexplicable things around his hyung.
“I prefer to fuck with Namjoon.” Yoongi laughed and Seokjin sighed, crossing his arms.
“I spend most of my time around Namjoon getting Yoongi not to mess with him.” Seokjin scolded and Yoongi rolled his eyes.
“He’s not…” Hoseok started, weighing his options of how to phrase it. “He doesn’t really need anything from us.” Jungkook only laughed at that, dropping his head again.
“Of course, he doesn’t. Namjoon hyung is perfect.” Jungkook chuckled.
“And you’re hopeless.” Yoongi added.
Jungkook’s head shot up once again. “Yah!”
“Yah? We’re older than you, Jungkook. Be respectful.” Seokjin scolded and Jungkook tilted his head, trying to understand if he was really getting scolded by a ghost.
“And you’re in our house.” Yoongi spat.
“Oh? Are you paying rent anymore?” Jungkook shot back and all three of their faces dropped. Jungkook sighed, rubbing his forehead. “Sorry, that was… insensitive.”
“It’s okay, Jungkook.” Hoseok hummed, drifting forward. “You’re right. We’re dead. That’s not gonna change. But as weird as it is for you – it’s weird for us too – we’re kind of stuck here.”
Jungkook nodded, trying to imagine his future in this apartment knowing that three souls are trapped within its walls. “How long have you been here?”
“We can’t remember much.” Seokjin pouted. “But there were three other sets of roommates before you guys.” Jungkook nodded slowly – he’d do some research the next day to find out they’d been killed in this apartment 10 years ago.
“And you can’t leave?”
“Not at all. Trust us, we’ve tried.” Yoongi muttered. “It just becomes a loop, we end up right back here.”
“Why did you just start doing… things-” Jungkook waved his hands, pointing towards his desk, at a loss for words.
“We try to stay quiet and hidden so we don’t freak out the tenants.” Hoseok started, ringing his pale fingers. “But you just… you were struggling, and we couldn’t sit back and just watch when we knew that we could do something about it.” Hoseok shrugged. “It takes more energy to move things, so we couldn’t help you with everything we wanted to, but…” Jungkook felt himself begin to melt at the sentiment, looking over the ethereal bodies hovering in front of him. He couldn’t stand thinking of being trapped in a single house for all of eternity, especially when you couldn’t do anything in that house, but these guys still had a level of compassion. They weren’t hostile, they didn’t want him out of their house, they were kind. Jungkook truly was a lucky bastard.
“Well… thank you, I guess.” Jungkook twisted his hands in his lap, looking through the trio in front of him. Weird. “Can you do me a favor?” They all nodded, their levels of enthusiasm widely varied. “Be nice to Namjoon hyung.” Jungkook caught the way Yoongi rolled his eyes. “He’s really important to me. Don’t freak him out, don’t make his life hard, don’t haunt him. Please?”
“Of course, Jungkook.” Hoseok and Seokjin agreed and Hoseok jabbed a transparent elbow into Yoongi’s ribs, coaxing a nod from the boy.
“And, I mean… he’s super clumsy so maybe… look after him too, a little? I don’t want you to do anything that you don’t want, obviously, because you’re already trapped here, and I can’t imagine it’s fun, so it’s not a chore that you have to do or anything, but… never mind.” Jungkook scratched his neck, looking down at his lap sheepishly. He was not asking some ghosts to look after Namjoon, this wasn’t real.
“We will.” Seokjin promised, and Jungkook peeked up through his lashes. “But it’s late, you should get to bed. We’ll be quiet, don’t worry.”
“Do you… stay in my room when I sleep?” Jungkook wondered.
“It depends.” Hoseok chirped. “Seokjin likes to wander the house but Yoongi likes your paintings and music-” an elbow in the rib from said ghost, “so we’re in here quite often.”
“Okay, house rule, then?” They nodded, waiting eagerly. “If you’re in my room, you have to be visible. No creeping on me, please?”
“Deal.” They chirped and Hoseok drifted forward. His ghostly hands gripped the comforter at Jungkook’s feet, his appearance rippling with the use of so much energy, and he lifted it up as Jungkook laid his head on his pillow. He was getting tucked in by a ghost, no big deal, totally normal, just fine. “Thank you, Jungkook. For not treating us like monsters.”
“You’re not monsters.” Jungkook yawned, tucking his hands beneath his head and closing his eyes. “It’s not your fault you’re dead.”
Chapter 7: Crush
Jungkook got used to his new roommates much faster than he ever would have expected possible. Yoongi hovered next to him with his legs crossed when he recorded and edited his songs, Hoseok danced around his room and helped him pick out his outfits and when Namjoon wasn’t around, Seokjin would rummage through the kitchen and make recipes that Jungkook helped him find online (none of them were very familiar with how much the internet had changed in 10 years).
“Kookie, you’re getting so much better at cooking!” Namjoon praised at dinner a few months later. Jungkook only smiled sheepishly, recalling how he’d only watched Seokjin cook, making sure he put everything back where it was supposed to go. “I’ll keep you around for the rest of my life if you keep cooking for me like this.” Jungkook blushed at the sentiment, resting his chin on his hand fondly.
“Would you re-sign your lease with me?” Jungkook wondered. He sometimes thought back to his freshman year in college when he would see Namjoon with his friends across the courtyard or watch him walking to the library from a third story window, always wishing to know the mesmerizing junior better. He was still astounded by how close he was to Namjoon now.
“Of course, Kookie! You’re an amazing roommate.” Namjoon hummed, slurping up his noodles excitedly. “You cook, you keep your space clean, you’re respectful and funny and kind…” Namjoon met Jungkook’s eyes, catching the sparkle as he stared at his hyung. “The window to re-sign is opening up soon, do you want to live together for another year? At least?”
Jungkook’s heart throbbed in his chest at the offer. It almost felt like a proposal, a commitment that Jungkook was all too willing to dedicate himself to. “Yes! You’re my favorite person I’ve ever lived with.”
“I’m the only person you’ve lived with besides your family.” Namjoon chuckled.
“So?” Jungkook pouted, twisting his noodles in his chopsticks idly. He took a deep breath and met Namjoon’s eyes again, before he lost the courage to speak up. “You’re like… one of my best friends.” Namjoon grinned brightly, standing up and scooping their dishes into a pile.
“You’re one of my best friends too, Kook. I love you.” Namjoon ruffled Jungkook’s hair as he breezed to the kitchen to wash the dishes, leaving Jungkook stunned in his wake. He didn’t think three words could make him feel so warm and he knew he was blushing brighter than a tomato, burying his face in his hands to hide from the embarrassment.
“Ah, cute.” He heard a disembodied coo and he jumped, looking around for the culprit, but of course they were hidden. He frowned and felt a chilly touch on his shoulder, the hand sliding across his back condescendingly and he groaned, swinging an arm out in the general direction of the touch.
“Someone has a crush.” Another voice whispered and Jungkook glared.
“Stop it.” He hissed.
“Oh, shit- oh, thank god.” Namjoon called and Jungkook jumped to his feet, running to the kitchen to make sure Namjoon was okay. “I dropped a glass, but it didn’t break.” Namjoon gasped excitedly, grabbing the glass off the floor. “That was lucky.” Jungkook grinned and leaned against the wall, crossing his arms as he watched his hyung finish the dishes, a soft ghostly hand pushing a precarious plate away from the edge of the counter.
Chapter 8: Opportunity
“So, when are you going to ask Namjoon out?”
“Excuse me?” Jungkook hummed, not even looking up from his sketch. He didn’t need to see to know that Seokjin was hovering curiously over his shoulder. So what if he was drawing Namjoon in his thick glasses and beanie from the day before? His hyung knew he liked to draw him, there was nothing wrong with that.
“We’re here every second of every day, Jungkook.” Hoseok called. He must have been somewhere near the bed, but Jungkook didn’t budge.
“And,” Yoongi started, clearly annoyed (but when wasn’t he?). “You’ve had a mad crush on him since probably before you two moved in together and we’ve spent the last year watching you follow him like a puppy and it’s starting to get sad.”
“We’re friends.” Jungkook countered, starting to smudge his shading meticulously with his ring finger. There was a long beat of silence and Jungkook sighed, leaving the sketch book alone and spinning in his chair. He wasn’t really surprised to find three pairs of raised brows glaring back at him. “What do you want me to do? We just signed a lease for another year together, I can’t just throw that down the toilet, can I? It’s too risky, it’s not worth it.”
“Not worth it?” Seokjin started, floating from one side of Jungkook to the other, as if he had any reason to pace. “Not even if you could hold his hand? Cuddle up to him on the couch? Kiss him?” Seokjin listed and Jungkook pursed his lips, trying to stop his blush with force of pure will. “Not even worth hearing him return your feelings and telling you he loves you, as more than a friend?”
“Hyung, what is this? An intervention?” Jungkook whined.
“Yes.” Yoongi deadpanned, settling next to Hoseok so they could cuddle up to each other. Jungkook had learned that they’d owned the apartment together when they were alive, engaged to be married, but they never made it that far. They were cute, admittedly, but Jungkook valued his friendship much more than a little crush.
“What if we could go about it cautiously? We’ll find out how he feels first, make sure you’re not jumping into anything-”
“You’re not spying on my hyung.” Jungkook spat, turning back to his desk.
“Fine, can we leave him anonymous love notes?” Hoseok chirped.
“I’ll write him a message in the steam on the mirror.” Yoongi hummed.
“What if I just started by making him lunch?” Seokjin offered and Jungkook’s no got caught in his throat. It was a harmless gesture, wasn’t it?
“Fine. You can make him a lunch, just… no notes. No heart shaped foods. Nothing suggestive, okay?” The apparitions frowned animatedly. “And let me give it him. He doesn’t need to have a heart attack from seeing a floating lunch box at 6 in the morning.”
“You’re no fun.” Yoongi huffed, rising off the bed and dragging Hoseok with him. Jungkook didn’t know where they were going, but he was glad they were leaving him alone for a while. He glared at Seokjin and the eldest sighed, moving to sit on his bed silently. It wasn’t exactly what Jungkook wanted, but it was good enough.
Until he got antsy. Even ghosts could fidget obnoxiously loud.
“Hyung, you’re driving me crazy.” Jungkook huffed.
Seokjin rose up again and moved to sit on Jungkook’s desk, looking down at him with soft eyes. “We want you to be happy, Kook. That’s all. And we know that Namjoon could make you happy.”
“I don’t even think he’s gay.” Jungkook hummed.
“Oh, he is. Or at least bi. Maybe pan.” Seokjin listed and Jungkook looked up at him with wide eyes. “What? We don’t try to spy, but when we’re trapped in this house, secrets get out!” He held his hands up innocently and Jungkook blushed, ducking his head. He didn’t know that about his hyung, but he’d never felt it was appropriate to ask him either. That was private. “Come on, let us help. It’s all we get to do around here.”
“You just want to let Hoseok try to play matchmaker.” Jungkook grumbled.
“He’s good at it! You have no idea how many of our friends he coupled up when we were alive!” Seokjin chirped and Jungkook frowned. When we were alive. “What?” Seokjin hummed, his cold fingers tucking Jungkook’s shaggy hair behind his ear.
“I’m sorry you guys were killed.” Jungkook huffed, pouting up at his hyung. They’d grown so close so fast – perks of having them around 24/7 – that Jungkook often forgot how strange his situation actually was. Seokjin smiled sadly back down at him.
“It’s not your fault. It’s unfortunate, but… it happened. At least we have you, now.”
“Are you really stuck here forever?” Jungkook whimpered. “You can’t leave, you can’t pass on? I can’t imagine growing old and… and moving out, knowing you guys will be here forever.”
“None of us really knows how it works. Maybe someday we’ll get to pass to wherever we’re supposed to go, but… we make the best of what we have right here, right now.” Seokjin was idly stroking Jungkook’s hair and the younger felt that it might have been a sweet gesture if the elder wasn’t so cold. Being dead must be very cold. “You know, that’s why we all really want you to try with Namjoon.” Jungkook raised an eyebrow. “We know how fast your life can be taken from you, how many opportunities you lose when you push them off until later. We don’t want you to regret wasting so much time when you could have had what you really wanted from the start, you know? We’re not going to force you to do anything, of course, but… think about it. You don’t want to miss out.” Seokjin patted his cheek fondly and disappeared, leaving Jungkook alone to his own thoughts.
Chapter 9: Lunchbox pt. 2
“What are you doing up so early?” Namjoon asked and Jungkook jumped, nearly dropping the lunchbox in his hands (luckily a cold pair of fingers held it steady for him). “Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.” Namjoon teased, walking up to Jungkook as he adjusted his button-up shirt.
“That’s okay, I, um… I just wanted to pack you a lunch. Since you have a big day, and all that.” Jungkook stammered, sealing the lunchbox and holding it out to Namjoon. The elder just raised a brow as he fixed his cufflinks. “What?”
“You’ve never made me a lunch before.” Namjoon pointed out.
“So why start now?”
Jungkook rolled his eyes and put the lunchbox on the counter, crossing his arms. “If you don’t want it, you don’t have to take it, I was just trying to be nice-”
“No, no, I’m sorry Kookie!” Namjoon cooed, rushing up to Jungkook and setting his hands on the younger’s biceps. “I really appreciate it. Thank you.” Jungkook ducked his head to hide his blush, but Namjoon pulled him close, wrapping his long arms around him and squeezing him tight. Jungkook didn’t hesitate to return the hug eagerly. “I was really nervous about this meeting, this helps a lot. Thank you, Kook.”
“You’re welcome, hyung.” Jungkook let his hand linger on the elder’s waist as they pulled away until he remembered the lunch box, pressing it into Namjoon’s hands. “It’s nothing much, I didn’t have a ton of time, but I hope it can give you some energy for your day.” Jungkook huffed. Namjoon patted his cheek and thanked him again as he got ready to leave, Jungkook rocking on his toes fondly until the elder locked the door behind him. Everyone waited a long, silent beat before a collective breath escaped the house.
“That went well!” Hoseok squealed, grabbing Jungkook’s hands and pulling him in a circle, nearly knocking him off balance. “I can hear the wedding bells in the distance. Listen! Do you hear them?” Jungkook swung a hand through Hoseok’s figure as he laughed, never more upset that he couldn’t physically harm the elder.
“And now?” Seokjin prompted, pointing the young boy towards his phone. Jungkook drafted the text message three times before Yoongi snatched his phone from his hands and sent it for him.
Hyung, I was thinking of trying a new recipe. Dinner and a movie tonight?
Jungkook bit his thumb and paced the kitchen until his phone dinged softly in his palm.
I would love that.
“Oh my god, you’re so in.” Yoongi gasped, grabbing for Hoseok to try to hide his excitement. “He’s gonna bend you over the dining table-”
“Yoongi!” All three other voices scolded and Yoongi frowned.
“What? Did you think they were going to stay abstinent their whole lives?!” Yoongi was always blunt and unapologetic and as much as it could be inappropriate, it was also always an amazing way to release tension. Laugher filtered through the house as Jungkook led the congregation back to his room, both in the hopes of taming the spirits and getting a few more hours of sleep. He needed his energy if he was really going to try to woo Kim Namjoon.
Chapter 10: Reveal
With Seokjin’s expertise, Hoseok’s undying positivity, and Yoongi constant doubt (Jungkook was competitive, what could he say?) it soon became routine to make Namjoon breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Namjoon had gotten a promotion that changed his hours from irregular and flexible to a rigid 7-4, so Jungkook found himself working on that same schedule soon enough. After all, he was a freelance artist/photographer/videographer/whatever else he wanted to do, so he’d never really had a schedule before.
It was comforting to wake up each morning and eat breakfast at the table with his hyung and know that later that day they’d have dinner together at that same table, it was domestic and soft and all Jungkook could have asked for. He would have been happy with just that if the spirits haunting his every waking hour weren’t so open about their own opinions.
“Make a move Jungkook, we’re getting bored.”
“He looks so handsome, at least compliment him!”
“I’m gonna start sneaking into his bed if you don’t.”
(And maybe Jungkook wasn’t exactly satisfied with the domestic act either).
He sent a very familiar text about a month after they’d started their new routine, but for some reason, his hands were shaking again. Dinner and a movie? The response was always positive, but Jungkook’s palms were sweating as he waited.
“I’m gonna…” Jungkook started, leaning on the kitchen counter as if he would lose his balance any second. “I’m gonna try.” He was barely even whispering, but he knew his spirits were hanging off of every word. “Tonight, I want to try to move things along.”
“Oh Jungkookie! Yay!” Hoseok shouted, shooting back in an easy flip. Yoongi groaned a soft finally as Seokjin touched Jungkook’s shoulder.
“We’re excited for you Kookie. Anything you want help with, we’re here.”
“I think I want to do it on my own.” The ghosts stopped their celebrations, raising eyebrows at the young boy. “You guys have helped me with everything, but… I need to make sure that I can do this on my own.” The spirits were reluctant to let him, but he wasn’t taking no for an answer and they couldn’t force him to let them help.
So, they watched.
They watched Jungkook clean the house top to bottom and back again, each surface glimmering by the time he was done. They watched him search for the perfect recipe for an hour and put together a soft playlist of Namjoon’s favorite songs and they waited eagerly for him to get back from the grocery store. They watched as he nearly burnt the steak – “It’s just… well done.” – and drop the vegetables and have to start over and spill water all over the kitchen floor. But they also saw the determination in his eyes as he simply started over, dedicated to making this perfect, to prove himself to Namjoon, to do it right. They were admittedly very impressed.
The spirits hovered around the dining table as Jungkook served Namjoon his dinner – he’d lit candles, bought a table cloth, and even stopped at a flower shop to get them a bouquet that sat in the center of the table – trying to be as quiet and tame as possible. They were good at not existing when Namjoon was around, but they could barely contain their excitement.
Jungkook was doing surprising well on his own, smooth talking his hyung, complimenting him and his work, flashing his irresistible bunny smile every few minutes. Something had changed in the young boy, he was no longer so afraid.
“Hyung… I’m really happy I have you.” Jungkook hummed, resting his chin in his hand. Namjoon mirrored him, their faces close as they both leaned in.
“Yeah? I’m happy to have you too, Kookie.” Jungkook blushed and tilted head, but he didn’t look away. Now was not the time to be bashful.
“What if…” Jungkook’s words got caught in his throat as he looked Namjoon in the eye, his heart rate becoming slow and steady under his hyung’s gaze. It seemed to hit him all at once, every feeling he’d ever had for Namjoon, every ounce of admiration and respect and love flooding over him like a tsunami. He had had something smooth and cheesy to say, but he couldn’t really remember it anymore – it didn’t matter anymore. He only had one thought left. “Can I kiss you?”
Namjoon’s grin blossomed, tugging at his cheeks and flashing his dimples and Jungkook’s heart soared as he scooted his chair forward, as close as comfortable with a table corner between them. “Of course, Kook.” Namjoon breathed. Jungkook’s eyes grew wide – he’d never expected such a response – but he tried not to overthink it as he leaned in. Namjoon was meeting him halfway, reciprocating his move, and Jungkook was sure he was going to choke until – their lips slotted together softly, uncertain and careful and so, so sweet. His heart did backflips excitedly, beating against his ribcage, and he moved to set his hand on Namjoon’s knee… and the sound of shattering glass startled them apart.
“What was that?” Namjoon gasped, standing up. Had it come from the table between them, Jungkook may have been able to blame himself, but it had come from the kitchen. Who had dropped something at such a crucial moment? “Hold on.” Namjoon stood up and went to check it out, but Jungkook was right on his tail, fingers clenched nervously. “How…” Namjoon looked over the white ceramic shards on the ground, looking up at the open cupboard where they kept those plates. “That couldn’t have just… fallen out, right?” Namjoon sounded as if he was short of breath and Jungkook panicked, biting his lip relentlessly.
“Maybe? If it was placed weird-“
“I made sure it was put back perfectly, I double checked. Holy shit!” Namjoon shouted as a collection of the shards on the ground swept across the floor on their own – there wasn’t a breeze in their house and even if there was, they were big ceramic shards, they couldn’t move like that unless- “Um.”
“Really?” Jungkook hissed under his breath, watching as the shards fell back to the ground – he could already tell it was Hoseok’s hesitant hand that brushed them away.
“Jungkook?” Namjoon looked at the young boy with saucer eyes, worried and scared and… confused. “This is weird, right?” He tried to confirm, but Jungkook didn’t look even remotely taken aback.
“Well…” Jungkook scratched his nose, looking at the broken plate again. No better time than the present, right? “I guess you guys should just show yourselves.” Namjoon looked completely lost until three figures began to manifest, all positioned very much like young children getting caught by their parents.
“Wha-” Namjoon stumbled against the wall, holding himself up as he looked from figure to figure, back and forth. “What the hell.”
“Namjoon, meet Hoseok, Yoongi, and Seokjin.” Jungkook huffed, slightly bitter that his big night had been overshadowed by a goddamn ghost reveal. “They were killed in this apartment over 10 years ago and they’ve been really quiet and respectful of our space, but they’re stuck here.” Namjoon looked at him as if he was crazy, as if he was going to snap and disappear. “I’m sorry I never told you, hyung.” Jungkook pouted, stepping up to the elder. Namjoon let him hold onto his elbow to keep him grounded as he tried to wrap his mind around everything.
“Ghosts?” He whispered, looking at Jungkook as if he didn’t want to make eye contact with the spirits.
“We’re not hostile, or anything.” Hoseok spoke up and Namjoon jumped, gripping Jungkook with white knuckles. “We’re just… stuck.”
“How long have you been here?” Namjoon breathed.
“Ever since we died. 10 years.” Seokjin spoke and Jungkook felt Namjoon squeeze his arm tighter.
“So, you’ve been here the whole time?”
“And I had no idea?”
“Like Jungkookie said, we try to keep a low profile.” Seokjin was wringing his fingers nervously and Namjoon gulped, standing up straight.
“How long have you known?” Namjoon demanded and Jungkook ducked his head, suddenly embarrassed for having kept such a secret.
“A few months.” He hummed.
“Months?” Namjoon gasped. “How am I so oblivious?” he whined and Jungkook looked up at him curiously. It seemed as if any bit of fear that Namjoon had originally felt had melted away, leaving him just disappointed. “We’ve had a haunted house this whole time and I didn’t know?”
“Are you okay?” Yoongi spat and Namjoon frowned.
“I’m learning a lot of new information today, ghost. Give me a break.” Namjoon shot back and Yoongi huffed, crossing his arms. “I think… I need a second.” Namjoon turned to Jungkook and took him by the shoulders, “Can we go back to our date?”
“Date?” Jungkook squeaked and Namjoon nodded. “Yeah. Yeah, of course. Are you… is this all okay?”
“Until our date is finished, I’m pretending none of this has happened.” Namjoon decided, taking Jungkook’s hand and linking their fingers, pulling him back to the dinner table.
“Really? Jungkook went back to sleep and Namjoon goes back to dinner? I thought we were supposed to be scary.” Yoongi grumbled, recalling the first night Jungkook had seen them. Seokjin just laughed and patted his shoulder fondly, helping Hoseok clean up the kitchen as the living couple began their evening again.
The spirits tried to keep their distance for the rest of the night, but curiosity got the best of them when the movie was nearly over, and they didn’t hear much noise coming from the living room. They slowly creeped out just enough to see Jungkook tucked against Namjoon’s chest, wrapped up in his long arms, and sleeping soundly. The elder was running his hands up and down Jungkook’s back comfortingly, eyes closed and cheek resting against Jungkook’s hair. Peaceful.
“Look at them!” Hoseok squealed, slapping Seokjin in excitement. They didn’t want to disturb the pair again, but they had one of the major perks of being ghost – spying.
(They would never admit how long they actually watched the pair sleep on that couch together).
Chapter 11: Interlude
“Have a good day at work, hyung.” Jungkook hummed, rocking on his toes to kiss Namjoon on the lips as he handed him his lunch box.
“Thank you, baby.” Namjoon purred and Jungkook blushed, waving fondly as Namjoon left the apartment. The second the door was shut, he was jumping like an idiot, covering his mouth so Namjoon didn’t hear him scream.
“Are you having a stroke?” Yoongi groaned and Jungkook ran up to him, barreling through him since Yoongi refused to solidify for a hug. Hoseok and Seokjin, on the other hand, were always happy to catch the young boy in their cold arms.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Jungkook chanted, his smile nearly splitting his cheeks.
“You did this all on your own, Kook.” Seokjin reminded him, cupping his cheek fondly.
“I’m just… I’m glad you guys are here, is all.” Jungkook sighed. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and sent Namjoon a text before he lost his courage. I know you’re still weirded out by all the… ghost stuff. But I think you’ll like them. Can we talk about it tonight?
Chapter 12: House Rules
“So, they did your homework?” Namjoon crossed his arms, looking at the ghosts with the disappointment of a father. “How can you expect him to succeed if he doesn’t have to use his own brain to solve problems?”
“Hyung.” Jungkook whined, laying his head on Namjoon’s shoulder. “They helped, that’s all.” Namjoon sighed, but he took Jungkook’s hand fondly. They’d collected in the living room – a family meeting, as Namjoon had called it – because with three new (old) roommates, they needed to establish rules.
“#1: No more doing Jungkook’s work for him.” Namjoon decided, scrawling the rule on a sheet of scrap paper. Jungkook whined, but he wasn’t going to argue.
“#2: I want a say in what music is getting blasted at midnight and 6 am.” Yoongi spat. “You’re deaf to the variety of melodies that exist, I’d like to educate.”
“#3: NEVER scare me in the shower.” Namjoon pointed, raising a brow when Yoongi laughed. It hadn’t happened before, but Namjoon had an irrational fear and he wasn’t about to let it be realized.
“#4: Namjoon has to stay out of the kitchen. We’ve been doing perfectly without you and I’ve seen the sort of destruction you can bring down upon this home.” Seokjin spoke matter-of-factly and Namjoon couldn’t help but feel attacked.
“#5…” Hoseok started, but he seemed to get embarrassed at the thought and shook his head instead. Seokjin poked at him until he sighed, scratching his neck as he spoke. “We’ve been… we’ve been stuck here for so long that we don’t remember much from the outside world. Can you… would you mind taking pictures, or videos, or something? Just whenever you’re out and about, so we can see? We miss it all, you know.”
“Ah, Hope.” Yoongi huffed, wrapping his arms around Hoseok’s waist. “I second that.”
“That’s reasonable enough.” Namjoon smiled sadly. He didn’t want to think about such a purgatory.
“#6!” Jungkook shot up, nearly elbowing Namjoon in his excitement. “My friends never believed me when I told them we were haunted, so will you guys help me scare them into believing? Oh, please, that’d be so perfect!”
“Yah we’re not haunting you.” Yoongi frowned. Jungkook pursed his lips and sat back on the couch, hanging his head in apology. “#6: Respect our existence, we’re not haunting you, we’re as much residents of this apartment as you are.” Jungkook nodded gently, eyes sad in embarrassment. “And #7: Of course, we’ll scare the shit out of your friends.” Yoongi smiled deviously and Jungkook laughed, reaching out to high five the ghost. Yoongi finally solidified enough to touch the younger boy, returning the high five eagerly.
“#8: Don’t mess with our appliances or electronics. That stuff is expensive, we don’t have the money to replace or repair it.” Namjoon added, pretending like he wasn’t encouraging the pranksters. (He wrote #7 down without hesitation, though).
Namjoon finally brought the meeting to a close when they had 27 house rules squeezed into every available space on the sheet and they hung it on the fridge for everyone to see. He stepped back and read it over, once again realizing that his household had gone from 2 to 5 in a split second… because of ghosts. What the hell.
“You’re being too cool about all this.” Jungkook hummed, wrapping his arms around Namjoon’s shoulders and resting their heads gently against each other. The simple gesture warmed him to his core and the butterflies in his stomach fluttered fondly. He could get used to this simple affection very quickly.
“Well… what’s the use in freaking out?” Namjoon covered Jungkook’s hands with his own, stroking his skin softly. “It seems a little ridiculous, yes, but… they’re here and that’s not gonna change. Unless we move out, this is our life.”
“Our life.” Jungkook sighed happily. He reached up to kiss Namjoon – quick and bashful as usual – until a disembodied whimper distracted them both.
“Don’t move out.” Yoongi whined. “I don’t want to have to deal with another set of strangers.” There was a beat of silence as everyone looked at Yoongi expectantly. “What? It’s exhausting trying to learn to tolerate people.”
“Oh, is that it?” Hoseok teased and Jungkook pursed his lips, turning to the ghost.
“Yoongi hyung… do you… like us?” Jungkook chirped and Yoongi rolled his eyes.
“I deal with you.”
“You like us!” Jungkook shouted and the room erupted in celebration and laughter, the ghosts nudging Yoongi as Jungkook ran through his cold presence and back again.
“Shut up! This is exactly why I don’t like you. Any of you.” Yoongi hissed, disappearing swiftly. Judging by the other spirits’ reactions, he’d left the room as well. They couldn’t help but laugh and coo – as grumpy as Yoongi could be, he was equally as adorable.
Chapter 13: Sub-zero
“Hyung, did you turn the air on?” Jungkook asked groggily, stumbling out of his room as he pulled on an oversized sweatshirt. It was only beginning to reach fall weather outside, but he’d woken up to sub-zero temperatures in their apartment. Jungkook found Namjoon in the living room, peering at their thermostat with furrowed brows. Jungkook sidled up next to him, pulling his arm over his shoulder and tucking into his chest to help them warm up. The thermostat read 21°c, normal. It shouldn’t be so cold.
“I can see my breath.” Namjoon grumbled, sighing out a puff of white. They pouted at each other, shivering in their bubble of confusion until a disembodied sigh caught their attention. Yoongi had always been the most private of their roommates, he didn’t spend much time around them if the others weren’t with him, so it was bizarre to see him alone in the middle of the living room.
“It’s Hoseok.” Yoongi whispered.
“Hoseok-hyung? What wrong?” Jungkook stepped forward and for once, Yoongi didn’t immediately step back. He hung his head and Jungkook’s chest squeezed at the sight. Yoongi was sad. “Hyung… what’s going on.”
“It happens every once in a while… Hoseok gets,” Yoongi pouted and crossed his arms, unsure of himself. He didn’t really do all the emotions. “He gets really depressed every couple of years. I’ve seen it happen three times now, it’s really… it can get really bad.”
“He can do this?” Namjoon huffed, hugging Jungkook from behind and burying his cold nose in the young boy’s neck.
“We have a lot of power, more than you know. Perks of the job, I guess.” Yoongi hummed. “You know we sort of keep it tame, for your sakes and for ours – we’re not trying to become power-hungry malicious spirits – but it sort of just happens when we allow the emotions to… take over. Since we’re just energy, it’s gets overwhelming.” Yoongi was trying to be straight forward about it all, but it was obvious that he was torn up. Hoseok was his love, his other half, it couldn’t be very easy to see him like this.
“Where is he?” Namjoon asked softly and Yoongi shrugged.
“He hides from us.” Yoongi grumbled. “It’s hard for us to truly hide from other spirits, but it’s possible and he knows how. He’s told us that he doesn’t want to bring us down when he’s like this, but he’s not exactly… subtle.” Yoongi looked towards the kitchen and for the first time that morning, the humans realized the lights were flickering weakly. In fact, they noticed that their entire house was in slight disarray, like someone had tried to move all of their furniture, then changed their mind and put it all back. It was eerie, to say the least.
“Um… why is he…” Jungkook tried to form a coherent thought, but he was distracted and worried and couldn’t keep his mind straight.
“I mean, he’s dead.” Yoongi shrugged. He moved to sit on the edge of the crooked couch, slouching hopelessly. “We all are. It gets to you sometimes… he misses everything, he’s stuck, he’s… miserable.” Yoongi looked as though if he could cry, he would be sobbing.
“Well… what if…” Jungkook wrung his fingers, looking at the other boys with wide, concerned eyes. “I think… I have an idea.” He pivoted on his heel and disappeared to his room, scurrying back before Namjoon could even ask Yoongi another question. “We’ve been a little distracted lately and our schedules are – whatever, it’s just an excuse – but we haven’t taken any pictures of videos for him yet… maybe that would help? Yoongi, you guys were together for a long time, right? Could you tell me where he used to go, any walks you used to take, any stores o-or cafes or places you would frequent? I could put together a whole walk through of his favorite places, m-maybe visit his family-” Jungkook was stumbling over his words, talking too fast for his mouth to keep up, clearly desperate to make his ghostly hyung feel better. It was such an endearing suggestion – and so helpful – Yoongi was taken aback by the offer.
“That might work.” Yoongi gasped softly, a pin prick of hope sparking in his chest.
The three of them huddled around the coffee table (the living couple wrapped in thick blankets) to map out what Yoongi could vaguely remember from 10 years ago. Jungkook’s wide eyes and desperation never seemed to dull and Namjoon couldn’t deny that he paid more attention to the young boy than to their plan. He loved the way Jungkook’s brows furrowed, how he licked his lips, how his eyes flicked back and forth from his phone to the physical map to his camera and back again. Namjoon couldn’t help himself when he scooted closer and startled Jungkook out of his focus with a hand on the back of his neck. “You’re so… so sweet.” Namjoon breathed, pulling him in for a soft kiss. He breathed in Jungkook’s scent and hummed against his lips, rubbing his back comfortingly until Jungkook pulled away to breathe.
“Hyung?” Jungkook’s cheeks were burning and he ducked his head, peeking up through his lashes bashfully.
“I love you.” Namjoon whispered and Jungkook’s mouth dropped open. Namjoon wanted to give him a disclaimer – he knew it was early to say such a thing – to make it seem like less of an important thing, but… it was important, and it was true.
“I love you, hyung.” Jungkook mouthed, not able to form actual words. He would have shot forward to smother Namjoon in hugs and kisses if he wasn’t so vehemently aware of the other boy across from them. He expected Yoongi to be looking at them in disgust or annoyance, but instead he was met with big, glittering eyes. “Hyung?” He squeaked and Yoongi looked down at his hands in embarrassment.
“Please help my Hoseokie.” He whispered.
They sped up their planning and Yoongi wished them luck on their way out of the door, praying silently that they could bring Hoseok out of his depression.
Jungkook filmed from the second they exited the apartment, holding the camera in front of him so Hoseok could watch it from his own point of view. His other hand was twined comfortingly in Namjoon’s and as they set foot on the street outside of their apartment, he panned down to show their hands together – Yoongi had mentioned they would always walk hand-in-hand – and started on their route. They filmed Hoseok’s favorite café – it had gone through repairs since they’d last been there 10 years ago, but it was still recognizable – and ordered Hoseok and Yoongi’s favorite drinks. Jungkook panned around the café, catching every detail, every passing face, every comforting reminder he could find. They went to the park nearby and he filmed the trees, the path, the frolicking dogs and blossoming flowers. He sat with Namjoon and filmed their feet nudging at each other, spent much too long filming the sunshine through the leaves of trees, and even made sure to zoom in on a squirrel that crept up towards them. No detail was too small for his trapped hyung.
Jungkook and Namjoon went from one corner of the city to the other, stopping in a convenience store, a dance studio, a hair salon, a restaurant, and every other place that Yoongi had mentioned might be familiar to him or Hoseok. It was wonderful to spend the day with Namjoon, but Jungkook was also highly concerned with how he portrayed the world for Hoseok – he wanted this to help so badly.
“Do you think we should head back?” Namjoon asked when the sun began to set. Jungkook was looking through the list of places on his phone, double and triple checking that they’d filmed every place they’d discussed that morning.
“Well, maybe would could-“
“Kook-ah, we’ve done everything.” Namjoon pulled the boy into his arms, cupping his cheeks so he would look him in the eye. “Hoseok is going to appreciate you no matter what, you’ve done more than anyone could have asked of you.”
“I just… don’t want him to be sad.” Jungkook whined and Namjoon kissed his forehead.
“I know.” He kissed each of Jungkook’s cheeks, the tip of his nose, and finally his lips. “Let’s bring the videos home, yeah?”
Jungkook’s hands shook nervously as they made it back to their apartment, stepping in behind Namjoon. Immediately they could feel that the temperature was closer to a livable human level and there was a bit of soft speech echoing through the thin walls. Namjoon raised a brow at the young boy and pulled him further into the apartment, following the sound until they found a huddle of ghostly limbs in Jungkook’s bed. The transparent trio were wrapped up in each other and Yoongi and Seokjin were taking turns speaking softly to the boy in between them. They were reassuring, finding the bright side, reminiscing about their spiritual adventures and Hoseok nodded as if he was listening, but it didn’t seem to be sinking in.
“Hyungs.” Jungkook chirped, catching their attention. “Can I… show you something?”
Jungkook and Namjoon sat against the headboard as the ghosts adjusted around them so they could see Jungkook’s laptop screen as the young boy uploaded his footage. He didn’t even say anything as he began the video from the start, setting foot out of this very apartment. He heard Hoseok let out a soft gasp at that alone – probably such an unfamiliar sight at this point – and the apparition was hooked from then on.
Hoseok watched the videos with wide, focused eyes, his lips parted just enough to make him look endearingly lost. The four other pairs of eyes weren’t so keen on the video, instead watching him soak up the outside world in the only way they really could at this point. They knew the view from the windows better than anything, but this was real. “Jungkookie.” Hoseok managed when the video changed to the hair salon that Hoseok’s aunt owned and operated. Jungkook watched as he thought he saw something glimmer in Hoseok’s eyes. He wasn’t sure if ghosts could cry, but Jungkook couldn’t stop himself from reaching out to cup Hoseok’s cheek, feeling the familiar dampness of tears.
“Hoseokie-hyung…” Jungkook whimpered, pulling the elder close. He’d solidified enough to accept the hug, clutching Jungkook close and tight as if he never wanted to let go. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry you were killed so carelessly, and so young. I’m sorry you can’t leave, that you’re trapped like… like a prisoner. I’m sorry you can’t have a family o-or see your loved ones o-or-” Jungkook choked on his tears and it only made Hoseok cry harder. The others slowly moved to cover them in their own hugs and comforting hands, not sure if any of their words would help, so they stayed silent.
“Jungkook, you didn’t have to-”
“I had to, hyung. I can’t see you like this. I need… I need you to be okay, okay? And I know that it takes time, this isn’t enough to make you happy, or whatever,” Jungkook hiccupped through his tears. “but we love you and I know Namjoonie-hyung and I are lucky to have moved into your house and it’s got to suck more than anything I could ever even imagine dealing with this and how can I expect you to be happy at all? But that’s not what I mean, I mean- I mean-” Jungkook whimpered and Namjoon cradled the boy again his chest fondly, rubbing his hair and cheeks and shoulders until he could calm himself down.
“Hoseokie-hyung, Jungkook cares about you a lot. He cares about all of you a lot – and, I mean, I do too. So even though we can’t change anything about your situation, we can’t actually make it better, we hope… we hope you can find some solace in us.” Namjoon muttered. It only brought more tears to everyone’s eyes and they piled together, desperate to give out and soak up as much comfort as possible.
They stayed curled up until the tears slowed and dried up, until the ghosts didn’t have the energy to remain solid beings anymore, until Jungkook and Namjoon had fallen into a soft, shallow sleep together. Hoseok came out on the other side of his depression faster than he ever had before and for the first time in the last 10 years, he was happy with the situation he’d ended up in.
Chapter 14: Party
Jungkook rubbed his hands together excitedly to as he ran to the front door, the doorbell ringing nonstop through their home. He whipped the door open to find Taehyung hammering the doorbell and he slapped his hand away, leading him and Jimin into the apartment.
“Long time no see, Kookie baby.” Jimin cooed, plowing into Jungkook’s body to squeeze him tight. Taehyung joined, attempting to lift the both of them up, until Namjoon strolled into the foyer with a soft cough.
When they were done bombarding the pair with affection and shouting, they began to move into the living room where Namjoon and Jungkook already had drinks and snacks prepared. They were genuinely trying to catch up with old friends, yes, but they also had an agenda for the evening. Yoongi was waiting in Jungkook’s room for his cue.
“So, how’s your little ghosty issue?” Taehyung teased when they all had stiff drinks in their hands and a familiar playlist coming from the speakers.
“Really great.” Jungkook chirped, kicking his legs up on the couch. “They basically did my summer finals for me, they’ve been editing my songs and videos, they catch everything that Namjoon accidentally drops so nothing breaks, it’s actually amazing.”
“You’re such a liar.” Jimin laughed, gulping down the rest of his drink and immediately pouring himself another. He had always been a heavy-weight, but he knew that about himself, so he downed alcohol like he was dehydrated.
“I’m not lying.” Jungkook pouted, taking Namjoon’s hand as the elder sat on the arm of his chair.
“Who cares about that, I want to know about this!” Taehyung shouted, taking their intertwined fingers into his own hand, shaking them excitedly. “I knew you had it bad for Namjoon, why didn’t you tell us?” Taehyung whined.
“Because you’re you. I’m not telling you that.” Jungkook shot. They talked about Jungkook and Namjoon’s relationship for a while, until Jungkook was sure they had forgotten about the ghostly topic. He excused himself to the kitchen and turned on the sink – their walls were thin enough that Yoongi could hear it as his cue. Just as he returned to the living room, he heard a concerning thump from his room and Jimin jumped, grabbing Taehyung’s arm with white knuckles.
“What was that?” He huffed, eyes wide.
“Sounds like it came from your room, Kook.” Namjoon hummed, standing up.
“Oh, come on. You guys are acting like it was a ghost.” Taehyung teased and Jungkook raised a brow. “You guys are so stupid, come on-” Taehyung stormed towards Jungkook’s room and shoved the door open, stopping to find that Jungkook’s entire desk had been overturned, all of his music equipment was scattered across the floor, and the desk itself had cracked completely up the middle. “Whoa.” Taehyung huffed, biting his lip as he looked at Jungkook over his shoulder.
“What the hell?” Jungkook whimpered, falling to his knees next to the massacre. “All my equipment… this is so expensive, I can’t- I can’t afford to replace this.” He gasped, choking on his own breath. He knew he could be a convincing actor when he needed to – (he also knew that Yoongi had set his equipment carefully on the floor before he overturned the desk and that he had a brand-new desk in his closet that he had yet to assemble) – he was going to milk this as much as he possibly could.
“Jungkook, what- how did this happen?” Jimin breathed, looking at the window that was closed and locked.
“There has to be an explanation…” Taehyung huffed as Namjoon stepped towards Jungkook and rubbed his back, speaking to him softly.
“It’ll be okay, baby. We can… we can see if your insurance will cover the damage? We can say it was a break in or something? Or if not, we can save up together-” Namjoon tried to comfort Jungkook convincing as the other pair hovered by the door, the concern in their eyes bright and wild.
Jungkook sighed and wiped his eyes, hauling himself to his feet. “I’ll… I can deal with it tomorrow. We’re catching up with friends tonight, right?” He forced a smile and started towards Jimin and Taehyung, turning them towards the living room again.
“Does this happen a lot?” Jimin asked softly.
“I mean, they don’t usually damage stuff that much, but… our stuff moves around all the time.” Jungkook frowned, reaching to finish his first drink.
“They?” Taehyung demanded.
“Well, I think we have at least two ghosts. One of them is really nice and helpful, but the other…” Jungkook shuttered and shook his head, catching the way the other pair gulped. “But they’re not really that active, hopefully that was all they’ll do tonight.” Jimin and Taehyung tried to swallow their fear with their drinks and loosen up to the music, slowly thawing out as the alcohol made its way into their blood. Jungkook and Namjoon drank liberally, comfortable in their home, and they were drunk faster than their guests, dancing up on each other in front of the speaker wildly. Taehyung was competing with their dancing while Jimin watched form the couch with pink cheeks and permanent smile, shouting out scores for each of their dance moves.
Jungkook lifted his hands above his head, one of them clutching a full cup, as he danced wildly, and a bit of the sticky drink dribbled down his wrist, staining his white shirt red. “Yah, put down your drink if you’re gonna be stupid, pabo.” Jimin screamed and Jungkook looked at him through his swimming vision, holding his drink out to the side and letting it go. It should have fallen to the ground and splashed and spilled everywhere, especially with how full it was, but instead only a few drips hit the floor as it stopped mid-air, held steady without a single surface within reach. Jungkook continued dancing as Taehyung froze and Jimin gasped, eyes glued on the cup. Jungkook gave them a few seconds to soak it in before he laughed at himself.
“Silly me, it’s just gonna get spilled there. Duh.” Jungkook tapped his head as he retrieved the cup from the middle of the air and set it on the coffee table as if was completely normal, resuming his slow dance with Namjoon. They were doing so well being nonchalant that only when Jungkook looked at his friends on the couch – Taehyung had given up on his dance – did he remember what they were doing. “Hey light-weights, take a picture of me and my boyfriend.” Jungkook demanded, pulling Namjoon close as Jimin retrieved his phone. He kissed Namjoon for the picture, flinching when the flash hit them, and only pulled away when they heard Jimin shout.
“What the fuck is that?” Jimin squealed and the drunken, kissing pair stumbled over to him. He held out his phone, pulled up to the picture he’d just taken, and pointed aggressively to the figure in the picture that stood in the corner of the living room. “That… that looks like… that’s a person.” Jimin stammered. “That’s a fucking ghost.” Taehyung snatched his phone, eyes growing wide as he studied the picture.
“You guys are stupid, it’s probably just lens flair.” Namjoon laughed, pressing kisses up Jungkook’s neck. They could tell the other pair was genuinely freaked because they weren’t teasing them about their PDA at all. Jungkook grabbed Jimin’s phone and turned it on him, snapping a few pictures of the stunned pair.
“Aw, cute.” He hummed, turning the phone back so they could see. Taehyung swiped through the few pictures, watching the white figure in the back of the photos move slightly with each frame.
“Jungkook, your ass is actually fucking haunted.” Taehyung spat, standing up. “I don’t what the fuck is going on, but I’m not staying to find out. Jimin, you coming?”
“Aw, hyungs-” Jungkook cooed, chasing after them. “Don’t go, they’re not scary.”
“You’re fucking crazy.” Taehyung hissed. The pair turned to leave, but they were stunned into silence when they saw the front door, blocked by three ghostly figures, heads tilted to the side with wicked grins on their faces.
“Leaving so soon?” Their voices echoed in unison and the screams that filled the apartment were deafening.
Jungkook couldn’t stop his laughter as he watched Jimin fall to the floor and he’d always had a contagious laught, so it didn’t take long before everyone but Jimin and Taehyung were cracking up.
“What is going on?” Taehyung whimpered, actual tears on his cheeks as he helped get Jimin off the floor. The other boy was sobbing, shaking with fear, and clutching onto Taehyung’s sweater desperately.
“We fucking got you, losers.” Jungkook laughed, clapping his hands as his body folded over. He earned a pair of vicious and confused glares and he took a deep breath to calm himself down. “I told you fuckers that we had ghosts, but nooo you just made fun of me for it!” Jungkook was drunk and excited and Namjoon caught him before he fell. “That’s what you get for brushing me off! I tried to trust you with my problems and you ignored me.” Jungkook crossed his arms, trying to keep himself steady enough to look serious. It didn’t last long before he was snickering again.
“Holy shit.” Taehyung dropped his head, trying to breathe normally again.
“The ghosts are real,” Jungkook started and Jimin snapped his head up. “But they’re really nice. I asked them if they would help me freak you out to prove a point. Meet Yoongi, Hoseok, and Seokjin. Our ghosty boys.”
Jimin and Taehyung looked at the spirits again, but this time they weren’t posed like every demon in every horror film, they looked… chill. They had moved to sit near the dining table, one of them hovering with his legs crossed above the table while the others leaned on it casually. They weren’t as intimidating that way, offering soft smiles and little waves.
“Jeon Jungkook, I almost died.” Jimin whined, reaching to slap Jungkook. “Of course, we didn’t believe you had ghosts! How can you blame us, you sounded crazy!”
“You’re my friends, you’re supposed to be the ones who believe anything!” Jungkook whined back and Jimin melted back onto the floor, sprawling out to ground himself in the real world again.
“Well, you proved it.” Taehyung gasped, rubbing his forehead. “So, that was all for show?” He looked at the spirits again, his blood running cold as they met his eyes.
“Yeah,” Hoseok chuckled, “we’re not mean.”
“Well-” Yoongi started and Seokjin pinched his side to shut him up.
“We’re just like roommates,” Seokjin chirped. “Just… invisible, body-less, dead roommates.” Jimin nodded slowly and Taehyung pouted. “But we like Jungkookie and he wanted to freak you out, we wouldn’t say no to that.”
“Jeon Jungkook, you lucky bastard.” Taehyung shouted. “How did you get three ghosts who do your bidding for you?”
“Yah, we’re not his servants.” Yoongi spat. “You just seemed like you needed to get knocked off your high horse.”
“Hey-” They both whined petulantly and Namjoon chuckled.
“Well now you know, and if you don’t mind, Jungkook was teaching me how to do that thing with his hips and I’d like to get back to that. If you still want to leave, you may, otherwise there’s enough booze to go around.” Namjoon pulled Jungkook back into the living room, getting handsy and sleazy right away.
“There’s enough alcohol and enough boos, fucking ghosts.” Taehyung grumbled and a squeaky laugh at his side startled him. Seokjin was bent over laughing and he reached out for a high five, complimenting Taehyung’s stupid joke as his cold hand slapped the young boy’s. It seemed to be enough to loosen Taehyung up and he giggled softly, reaching for his drink that he’d abandoned before. “Jiminie, do you want to stay?” He asked hopefully, but Jimin had already returned to the living room, looking at and through the other two ghosts, only one of whom was happily entertaining him.
With the knowledge of the other three, it was finally easy for everyone to relax again and the alcohol began to flow faster than it had before. They were loud and rowdy, and the spirits kept them on their toes, fucking with them when they were too drunk to pay much attention to anything. And when the party died down hard and fast, they scooped Jungkook off the bathroom floor and tucked the guests into the couches, cleaning up the cups and spills while the others slept like the dead.
Chapter 15: Consummation
“How are you the most prudish couple I’ve ever met when you already live together?” Yoongi grumbled, watching as Namjoon and Jungkook sat quietly on the couch, their thighs touching but that was it. Yoongi wasn’t a voyeur or a pervert or anything, but they had lived with Namjoon for a year before Jungkook moved in, they knew how insatiable his sex drive was. He was sure Jungkook hadn’t magically tamed the elder boy.
“What are you talking about, Yoongi?” Namjoon asked, not looking up from his novel. Jungkook was glad he didn’t look up, otherwise he’d see his blushing cheeks.
“I’m talking about how you’ve been dating for months now, you’ve said I love you, and you still sleep in separate beds. The walls are thin, we would know if you two had done something.” Yoongi earned a slap from Hoseok, but he didn’t look at all guilty about speaking up. “Is it us? Cause we can get far enough away that we won’t hear. It’s not like we would spy or anything-”
“Yoongi, you realize you sound like an actual pervert, right?” Namjoon hummed, reaching to set a hand on Jungkook’s thigh comfortingly.
“I’m just saying!” He spat. “I don’t understand why you’re moving so slow.”
“You’re just confused because you and Hoseok fucked before you even thought about dating.” Seokjin called from the kitchen and he earned a round of snickers.
“It’s none of your business, hyung.” Jungkook huffed, clearly very embarrassed. Namjoon smiled and wrapped an arm around Jungkook’s shoulders, cuddling him up and kissing his forehead reassuringly. Jungkook knew that Namjoon was very understanding and would never pressure him into something like this, but he also knew that he was the reason Namjoon wasn’t getting laid. He couldn’t help it that he was nervous.
Namjoon didn’t ask about it for the rest of the day, didn’t give into Yoongi’s meddling, but Jungkook couldn’t keep it off his mind. That evening when they were folding their laundry together in Namjoon’s room, Jungkook sighed and gave in to the intrusive thoughts.
“What’s wrong, Kook?” Namjoon asked.
“Are you not going to ask about what Yoongi said this afternoon?” Jungkook almost sounded angry, but he was far from it. He was already blushing.
“No. I don’t think it’s his place to ask and it’s not something I need to pry out of you. I figured that when you’re ready, you’re ready.” Namjoon shrugged, always so calm and sweet to Jungkook. How had he gotten so lucky?
“You don’t wonder why I haven’t been… ready?” Jungkook whispered, looking down at the laundry to avoid eye contact.
“It’s not my business.” Namjoon chirped, setting his own laundry down. Jungkook stayed silent, so Namjoon rounded the bed and pushed Jungkook’s hair back, waiting until the younger boy met his eyes. “I love you, Kook. That’s not going to change whether we fuck or not. So, if or when that’s something you’re interested in, I’m here, and if not, that’s okay.” Jungkook forced a smile, but Namjoon could tell it was fake.
“I’m just nervous.” Jungkook hummed and Namjoon smiled softly.
“It’s okay to be nervous. It’s a nerve-wracking thing.”
“But I’m not a virgin.” Jungkook frowned and Namjoon raised a brow. “I think… you make me nervous.”
“Did I say something to make you nervous? Kook, I don’t have any expectations o-or demands-“
“It’s not that, hyung.” Jungkook hung his head, turning to stand in front of Namjoon head-on. “It’s just… I like you so much that I still get nervous around you. Even when we’re not doing anything serious. I think I would panic.”
“Well, let me tell you a little secret.” Namjoon leaned forward, lips grazing Jungkook’s earlobe softly. “I like you so, so, so much, it’s actually crazy.” Namjoon leaned back to see his favorite little blush on the boy’s cheeks, making his heart flutter. “And you make me nervous, too.”
“Doesn’t seem like it-“
“Well it doesn’t seem like you’re nervous to me.” Namjoon countered and Jungkook chuckled, resting his head on Namjoon’s chest and soaking up all the heat he had to offer. “Everything you do gets me, Jungkook. It’s effortless and it’s perfect and it’s you.” Namjoon kissed the crown of his head. “So, you don’t have to worry about doing anything wrong, okay? Just be you.”
For the first time that next morning, the spirits witnessed them stumbled groggily out of the same room together. “Finally!” Yoongi cheered and Jungkook shot him a middle finger while Namjoon grinned with pride. He would have been fine waiting forever, but holy shit was it so good to not wait anymore.
They would never want to pump up the spirits’ egos bigger than they already were, but they wouldn’t be lying if they said that the ghosts were the reasons they were so very happy at that moment.
Who knew a couple of trapped spirits could be so good.