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we just dance backwards into each other

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1.

 

Jungkook is hiding under the counter when Seokjin finds him.

 

“You know, I wish I could say this is the first time I’ve found you like this, and that I was shocked and concerned, but I can’t,” he sighs, topping up the coffee beans. “What’s the excuse du jour?”

 

Jungkook’s neck is starting to cramp up from the awkward position so he leans around the side of the counter to check if—nope. Jungkook tumbles back into the too-small space. He’s still there. Sitting by the window with his laptop open and most likely pretending to type, if the way he’s casting a searching gaze around the cafe is any indication.

 

“Don’t look, but Mingyu is here,” Jungkook whispers.

 

Seokjin looks, very obviously.

 

“I said d—oh my god, hyung.”

 

“This is the fourth day in a row. Didn’t you go on one date? What did you do to get him so hooked, Jungkook-ah?” Seokjin crouches down just to wink grossly at Jungkook before going over to the pastry cabinet and pulling something out for a customer.

 

“Don’t answer that,” Yoongi says as he walks back inside from taking a phone call. “And get off the floor, Jungkook-ah. Please.”

 

Hyung ,” Jungkook whines but he crawls out of his hiding spot on his belly. Seokjin sighs and pulls at the back of his collar to get him to stand up like a normal person.

 

“You’re boring,” Jungkook says.

 

“I’m your boss! Respect me!”

 

“Never.”

 

“That was the wrong thing to say, Jungkookie.” Seokjin pats his cheek condescendingly and the look in his eyes strikes fear into Jungkook’s heart. Seokjin marches past him with purpose, directly over to—

 

Oh no.

 

Seokjin is at Mingyu’s table. He’s got his back to Jungkook and he can’t hear what they’re saying but Mingyu suddenly looks around Seokjin. He makes eye contact with Jungkook and beams .

 

“Fuck,” Jungkook mutters under his breath.

 

“Good morning to you, too.”

 

Jungkook spins around, an apology on his tongue, but he deflates with a smile when he sees Hoseok leaning on his elbows next to the register.

 

“Hey, hyung,” Jungkook smiles brightly and Hoseok returns it tenfold. He looks good today (he looks good everyday), wearing his wireframe glasses and a big white t-shirt lazily tucked into denim shorts. A bright red bag is clipped over his chest; it’s covered in enamel pins of flowers and cartoons that Jungkook knows he hasn’t seen, but just thinks they’re cute.

 

“Why do you look like your skeleton is seconds away from bursting out of your skin?” asks Hoseok.

 

“Mingyu is here.”

 

“Again? Damn, can’t he take a hint?” Hoseok giggles, shamelessly looking over at Mingyu’s table like Seokjin had done earlier. Jungkook groans into his palms.

 

“I know. I told him that I wasn’t really interested, even though he’s a nice guy—the date just felt awkward and I wanted to go home halfway through dinner. Plus he ‘forgot his wallet’ and made me pay for everything. I don’t have that kind of cash, hyung.”

 

“Didn’t you guys just like, get ramyun from the convenience store down the street?”

 

“That’s not the point.”

 

Hoseok leans across the counter and wraps his delicate fingers around Jungkook’s wrist. “You’re a real romantic, Kook-ah.”

 

“Hey, don’t make fun of me,” Jungkook pouts. “I’m so good at dates. Just—I have to want to be on them.”

 

“I’ll take your word for it.” Hoseok winks and lets go of Jungkook’s wrist. He tries not to pout even harder at the loss and starts making an iced mocha for Hoseok without being asked. Hoseok coos his thanks at him and slides some cash across the counter that Jungkook slides right back.

 

They’re quiet while Jungkook works. The coffee machine hisses and gurgles. Then, out of the corner of his eye, Jungkook sees Seokjin move to a different table and Mingyu closes his laptop. Shit. Judging by the pattern of the past few days, that means he’s going to come over to the counter and try to have a conversation with Jungkook. It’s going to be awkward and painful and Jungkook can feel his face twisting already.

 

Hoseok hums. Jungkook looks over to find him looking back and forth between himself and Mingyu with a thoughtful expression.

 

“Hyung, don’t.” He’s not sure what he’s asking but Hoseok’s gaze locks onto him, and now he’s smirking. Jungkook hears the scrape of Mingyu’s chair across the floor and tries to telepathically communicate with Hoseok to go away because he doesn’t want him to witness this, it’s embarrassing enough already, but Hoseok doesn’t seem to hear his pleas. 

 

“I have an idea,” he says. Mingyu is zipping up his bag.

 

“Hyung, no.”

 

“It’s not bad, trust me.” Hoseok whispers. “You trust me, right?”

 

“Yeah...”

 

“Then play along.”

 

Jungkook wants to ask what the hell he means but Mingyu is already at the counter.

 

“Jungkook, hey,” he says, one hand gripping his bag strap and the other tapping a rhythm into the counter. “Busy morning?”

 

“Not bad,” Jungkook says, scooping the ice with more force than it requires.

 

“Cool, cool.” Mingyu bounces on the balls of his feet and just... stands there. “What time does your shift finish? I’m free later if you want to like, do something. Hang out.”

 

“Oh... I—”

 

“He’s busy,” Hoseok cuts in. Jungkook looks at him with a creased brow. He’s not busy. He’s the opposite of busy: he’s going home to three packets of Doritos and five hours of Overwatch, minimum. Unless—shit, did he have plans with Hoseok and he forgot?

 

“I am?” Jungkook tries.

 

“Yah, babe, did you forget about our dinner?” Hoseok rolls his eyes but he’s smiling fondly. “You’re the worst boyfriend ever. You’re lucky I love you.”

 

Jungkook almost swallows his own tongue. Babe??!!? Boyfriend?!!!

 

Hoseok’s smile tightens. He flashes his eyes at Jungkook and subtly jerks his head like, go along with it, so Jungkook just makes this constipated sort of laughing sound and says, “Uh yeah—yeah I forgot. Totally forgot. Sorry b-babe.”

 

“I forgive you,” Hoseok cries, reaching forward to grab Jungkook’s hand. He tangles their fingers together and blows him a kiss which isn’t abnormal Hoseok behaviour by any means, but his giggly babe is still bouncing around Jungkook’s skull like the old DVD logo and Jungkook can’t manage anything beyond a smile and a nod.

 

“O-oh that’s... Sure! That’s fine. I’m busy anyway,” Mingyu stutters. Jungkook had forgotten he was there. “Uh, I’ll see you around, Jungkook. Bye!”

 

He nods at them with a pained smile and legs it out of the cafe. As soon as the door closes, Hoseok and Jungkook look at each other with matching smiles. They both burst into laughter at the same time.

 

“Hyung, that was brilliant,” Jungkook wheezes. “ Thank you , oh my god.”

 

“Your acting could use some work, Kook-ah,” Hoseok smiles around his straw. “But that worked better than I thought it would. Hopefully he leaves you alone, now.”

 

Jungkook nods happily. Hoseok is still playing with his fingers, twisting the ring on his middle finger and playing a piano tune into his palm.

 

Jungkook tries not to read into the flutter in his stomach, because this is how they always are with each other. They smile a lot, they curve into each other, hold hands; fall together as they laugh, as they nap after eating too much lunch. It’s nothing new.

 

Still.

 

Jungkook has to run through every timestable he knows and then the capital cities of the world for the rest of his shift after Hoseok leaves to stop himself thinking about how nice it felt, hearing Hoseok talk to him like that, having someone look at them and think they were together. It was… well. It was really fucking nice.

 

And while Jungkook is wracking his brain for the capital of Norway, his brain decides to supply him instead with an image of Hoseok leaning far enough over the counter to fit his lips against Jungkook’s. He would’ve tasted like coffee and chocolate. Jungkook pushes the thought down by the throat.

 

2.

 

Yoongi tips the last of the red wine into his glass, savouring every last drop.

 

“Looks like it’s finished,” he says unapologetically. The glass is almost comically full. Jungkook drank most of the bottle, so he probably deserves it.

 

“I’ll get another one,” he says, standing up from the couch.

 

“Love you, Jungkook-ah,” Yoongi calls after him. It only just carries over the sound of the music and voices, too many people crammed into the living room of his and Seokjin’s new apartment. Jungkook smiles to himself and snakes his way through the crowd and into the kitchen.

 

“Oh! Hoseok-hyung. Hey.” 

 

“Hey, Jungkookie.”

 

Hoseok looks beautiful tonight. His legs are wrapped in black jeans with rips along the knees and he’s wearing a sky blue button down that is several sizes too big, flowing around his torso like water. He smiles at Jungkook, but his expression is strained. He’s standing pressed into the corner like he wants to become part of the marble countertop and he’s peering around Jungkook like he’s expecting someone else to come through the door. Jungkook looks over his shoulder to check, but they’re still alone.

 

“Are you okay? I haven’t seen you in like an hour,” Jungkook asks, walking over to find his bag. The kitchen feels like a weird sort of liminal space; the sound is all muffled and Jungkook actually feels like he can breathe. He should’ve come in here earlier.

 

“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just—hiding.”

 

“Hiding? From who?”

 

“Jimin.”

 

Jungkook snorts. “What did he do this time?”

 

“He’s trying to set me up with one of the guys Taehyung works with. Jaebum? Honestly, I wasn’t listening.” He runs a hand through his hair—his beautiful, dark brown hair—and Jungkook watches it flutter back onto his forehead with rapture. “He was super overbearing and I just. Needed a break.”

 

“So you’re hiding?” Jungkook asks, quietly reaching past Hoseok for the bottle opener. He imagines the cork is this Jaebum guy and stabs the screw into it with a little more force than necessary.

 

“Yeah,” Hoseok laughs tightly. “I thought I was being pretty obvious about how not interested I was, but he must be really dense or something because he just wouldn’t shut up.”

 

I don’t blame him , thinks Jungkook. He looks at Hoseok in panic, because he has a habit of thinking out loud when he’s had this much wine, but Hoseok is still watching the door.

 

“Jimin’s either going to drag me right back or kill me when he finds me,” he says with a bitter laugh and, well.

 

Speak of the devil and he shall appear.

 

A familiar peal of laughter comes from somewhere out in the corridor and Hoseok pales, gripping Jungkook’s forearm. “Shit.”

 

Jungkook’s brain does this thing sometimes, when he’s had a few drinks, where it shoves the most unhelpful and ridiculous and repressed thoughts right to the front and lights them up in gold and adds some firework noises around the edges so they’re almost impossible to ignore.

 

Maybe it’s the sight of Hoseok’s fingers wrapped around his wrist. Maybe it’s the olympic swimming pool of secret feelings Jungkook has about Hoseok, has had for almost two years.

 

Maybe it’s just the wine.

 

Either way, he says, “Hyung. Do you remember Mingyu?”

 

Hoseok looks at him with his features twisted in confusion. “What? Yeah I do but wh—”

 

Jungkook puts the wine bottle down and moves to stand in front of Hoseok. “Do you trust me?”

 

Hoseok looks confused for another beat before his eyes light up in recognition and a smile stretches across his face. He nods. Jungkook nods back and this time, it’s definitely the wine when he says,

 

“Get on the counter.”

 

“What?!”

 

The sound of Jimin’s voice is getting closer.

 

“Just do it,” urges Jungkook.

 

But Hoseok is still not moving and now the door to the kitchen is open and Jungkook surges forward with the blast of noise it brings, catching Hoseok by the waist and pushing him up onto the counter and kissing him with an open mouth, swallowing his noise of surprise. Jungkook doesn’t even have a second to panic because Hoseok immediately kisses back. His hands come up to fist the material of Jungkook’s shirt and he breathes in sharply through his nose, pressing impossibly closer and opening his mouth to let their tongues twist together.

 

Jungkook feels like he’s being consumed. He drags his palms down Hoseok’s sides and hooks them around the outside of his thighs. Hoseok spreads his legs further apart, pushing into Jungkook’s hands, shifting closer to him, pressing all up his front.

 

“Oh!” Jimin’s voice cuts through the noise of blood rushing between Jungkook’s ears. “Sorry, we’ll just. Wow, okay. Jaebum-ssi, let’s—go and talk to Seokjin about his... cutlery collection.” Taehyung whoops from further away but Jimin shushes him with a laugh and then the kitchen door closes, taking the noise back with it.

 

And that should be Jungkook’s cue to let go of Hoseok’s impossible waist and step back with a laugh and walk back into the party with his wine, like this was all just a funny inside joke.

 

But.

 

Hoseok’s hands have moved into his hair. And they’re tugging like they often do, but their mouths aren’t usually tangled together like this, a line of spit stretching between their bottom lips when Jungkook pulls back to change the angle before diving right back in, breaths coming in shallow and fast.

 

The sound of the door opening and closing a second time brings them back to their senses.

 

Jungkook pulls back from Hoseok and the sound of their mouths separating sends a fresh shiver down his spine. He stays close—close enough to feel Hoseok’s uneven breath cresting against his lips. “Is Jimin-hyung gone?” he asks quietly, uselessly.

 

His voice seems to rouse Hoseok—he blinks at Jungkook, slow and dazed like he does when he’s waking up from a particularly deep sleep. Jungkook can’t help but look at his mouth, at the shine of it, the way his bottom lip is a bit swollen. His stomach flips.

 

“Oh, yeah,” Hoseok says roughly. “Yeah, I think so.” God, even his voice sounds affected. Jungkook’s grip on Hoseok’s thighs tightens like a reflex and he really hopes that he’s imagining the hitch in Hoseok’s breath.

 

“Okay. Good. I think that worked.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

They just sort of stare at each other until Hoseok raises his eyebrows and smirks. “You gonna let me down?”

 

Jungkook lets go of his thighs like they’re burning him and steps back. He runs a hand through his hair and takes a deep breath to calm his heart rate. It doesn’t work. “Cool. Okay, well. I’m gonna...”

 

“Yeah. Me too.”

 

Hoseok is still sitting on the counter and they’re looking at each other again, searching. Jungkook hopes his face isn’t as open as his chest feels. He hopes he didn’t just do something colossally stupid.

 

But Hoseok is smiling at him and Jungkook can’t help but smile back, and it just grows and grows until they’re both giggling like idiots, falling into each other with laughter so forceful it loses its sound.

 

Jungkook thinks, not for the first time, how easy it could be between them. Part of him regrets what just happened because he knows now he’ll never forget how Hoseok tastes, cutting through the wine on his tongue like dark chocolate and sea salt. But a bigger part of him is doing somersaults because holy shit he just made out with Jung Hoseok. 

 

He wishes time travel was a thing so he could give his nineteen year old self a high-five and tell him, “It’s even better than you think.” He’d replay the last ten minutes of his life over and over and over until he had every sight and sound and taste memorised. He’d hold onto this moment for as long as the time travel gods would allow. 

 

“Hyung, do you think time travel will be possible in our lifetime?” 

 

Hoseok turns around from the sink with a quizzical smile and taps his chin, pretending to think about it. “No.”

 

“You don’t know that,” Jungkook says defensively. It sets Hoseok off again. 

 

“Then why did you ask?” he laughs.

 

Jungkook just takes a swig of wine and flees back to the living room. 

 

3.

 

“Why we couldn’t just get barbeque like we usually do?” Jungkook whines, flipping over to the pizza menu with a pout.

 

“Because it’s good to try new things, Jungkook-ah,” Hoseok says without looking up. “Namjoonie came here last week and said it was great. And you know how picky he is.”

 

“You’ve got a point.”

 

“I know.” Hoseok winks at him.

 

They get spaghetti and a weird tropical pizza to share. The conversation drifts through several topics before they fade into amicable quiet. Jungkook casts his eyes around the restaurant, stopping on a couple a few tables over. The man has just reached for something in his pocket and now he’s getting out of his chair and--

 

“Hyung! Look!” He grips Hoseok’s forearm. “A proposal!”

 

They watch as the man makes a short speech and his partner nods with shining eyes before she leans down to kiss him. Jungkook leads the room in a round of applause. And that would be the end of it, except a waiter goes up to them and Jungkook overhears the words congratulations and complimentary dessert of your choice.

 

Jungkook sits up straight and starts to frantically look around the table before remembering that he’s wearing his hoop earrings and reaches up to take one out.

 

“What are you doing?” Hoseok asks with narrowed eyes. Jungkook just grabs his left hand instead of responding and tests to see if the earring will fit on Hoseok’s ring finger. It does.

 

“Perfect.”

 

Hoseok’s eyes go wide. “Jungkook, no.”

 

Jungkook chugs his beer. “Get ready.”

 

“Jungkook-ah, we can’t even get married in this country.”

 

“We’re not getting married, we’re getting engaged,” he reasons. “We can go and elope in America or something. Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out. As soon as I get out of my chair you need to start crying. I want that chocolate fondant.”

 

Jungkook slides out of his chair and gets onto one knee next to their table. He starts up some ridiculous story about how they met, and how their love is deeper than the ocean and stronger than steel and a few other stupid metaphors. Hoseok’s acting is so terrible that Jungkook almost breaks, but they pull through and he wiggles the earring onto Hoseok’s finger and dives forward to kiss him on the cheek and wrap him in a hug.

 

There’s another round of applause but it’s a little more lukewarm this time. The same waiter from before approaches their table. “Congratulations! Two couples in one night! Sir,” he turns to Jungkook. Then looks at Hoseok and says, “Uh, sirs—would you like a complimentary—”

 

“Chocolate fondant please!” Jungkook says. “That’s the one I—we,” he reaches out to takes Hoseok’s hand, “would like. Thank you. We’re very much in love.”

 

When they’ve finished their main meal and the fondant arrives, Jungkook digs into it with gusto. Hoseok laughs at him under his breath. His eyes are fond as he lets Jungkook feed him a bite.

 

“What are you smiling at?” asks Jungkook.

 

“Nothing,” says Hoseok, but he’s still smiling. Jungkook returns it, helpless.

 

(Hoseok forgets to give him the earring when they leave. It makes Jungkook feel giddy.)

 

4.

 

Saying that the club is crowded would be an understatement.

 

Jungkook feels surrounded on all sides by bodies and noise and heat. There’s almost no air left. It smells like smoke machines and spilled drinks.

 

Jimin and Taehyung left to ‘grab drinks’ but that was almost twenty minutes ago, so Jungkook has a few ideas of what they’re probably doing instead. It doesn’t matter though—he’s happy where he is, buzzed enough to enjoy the rattling volume of the music, to move with the crowd as it ebbs and flows, to echo the way Hoseok moves his body with his own.

 

It’s a privilege, watching Hoseok like this. Jungkook wishes it weren’t so dark so he could see just how cleanly Hoseok moves through every change in tempo. 

 

When they met up with him in the line, Jungkook felt his mouth go dry. Hoseok is wearing all black: combat boots with the legs of his pants tucked into the top, a heavy silver chain clipped to the belt and a tight t-shirt covered in a harness that stretches deliciously across his chest. To Jungkook’s tipsy, lovesick mind, he looked like pure sin, one foot propped against the brick wall outside the club, hair in his eyes and teeth glinting under the street lights.

 

It didn’t help that he had looked Jungkook up and down when they approached and said, “Looking for something tonight, beautiful?” with his tongue in his cheek before exploding into laughter. And suddenly he wasn’t sharp and intimidating, he was just Hoseok-hyung. He pulled Jungkook in for a kiss to the temple, and then did the same for Jimin and Taehyung. Jungkook didn’t let himself feel jealous.

 

The DJ starts cycling through remixes of Western songs, half of which Jungkook doesn’t recognise, but he likes the way they feel under his feet, in the pit of his stomach, on the tip of his tongue. One with a particularly punchy baseline comes on and Jungkook sinks into it with a smile.

 

The lights start strobing. Hoseok is pushing his hair out of his eyes and then his arms are twisting into the air and then his fingers are on his throat and then,

 

his eyes are on Jungkook,

 

his hand is on Jungkook’s hip,

 

and his mouth is right by Jungkook’s ear.

 

“The guy behind me won’t take a hint,” he shouts.

 

Jungkook doesn’t even bother looking. This happens every time they go out. His friends are all maddeningly beautiful, and honestly, Jungkook has to deal with it too, and it would be an ego boost if people actually asked before they touched him. He puts his hands on either side of Hoseok’s waist and switches their positions.

 

When he goes to take his hands back, to move away and dance with a little more space between them, Hoseok stops him with a shake of his head and a smirk. He leans in again and shouts, “Trust me?”

 

The hand on his hip suddenly feels like a brand as the memory of Hoseok pressed up against him in a very different way rushes back, bringing a full-body wave of goosebumps with it. It was almost three weeks ago, and they haven’t spoken about it, of course they haven’t, but you better believe that Jungkook has thought about it at least three times every day since.

 

So this is probably (read: most definitely) a bad idea, but it’ll be a cold day in hell when Jeon Jungkook turns down any sort of challenge.

 

He moves one of his hands to the small of Hoseok’s back and slots a thigh between Hoseok’s. Hoseok grins at him like it’s Christmas, features dripping in sharp angles of shadows and neon. He brings his arms to rest on Jungkook’s shoulders and one of his hands moves to the back of Jungkook’s head, fingers threading through his hair and tipping their foreheads together.

 

And they’ve danced together before, of course they have. They’ve body rolled and salsa’d and held hands to do the wave back and forth for long enough to tire out their arms. They’ve danced at parties and clubs and in Jungkook’s bedroom, when it was still missing all of its furniture and Hoseok said you’ll never have this much floor space again and he dipped Jungkook so low they both fell over, laughing so hard they cried.

 

But this feels different.

 

This feels like dancing with someone who knows how your mouth tastes, how your breathing speeds up when you press your fingers in just right, how your skin heats up, how your voice sounds when it’s tugged from your lips.

 

This time, when the bass kicks in, Jungkook feels it like a sucker punch to the stomach because Hoseok also starts rolling his body, chest to stomach to hips like a wave, and Jungkook can feel the way his muscles shift under his shirt, picks up on the pattern and starts guiding Hoseok’s hips with his other hand, just lightly, just enough, again and again and again until—

 

Hoseok’s fingers tighten in his hair and then he’s pressing against Jungkook’s mouth, almost too hard—too much teeth and tongue—but Jungkook gives what he’s getting, pushing back just as desperately.

 

They’re still dancing, like it’s an excuse for what’s happening. 

 

Because it’s just—they’re just showing everyone that they’re not available tonight, they’re not interested. They just want to have a good time without being bothered by wandering hands and persistent strangers. That’s why this is... that’s why...

 

Jungkook’s knees almost buckle when Hoseok starts kissing along his jaw and down his neck.

 

If he felt overheated before, then this feels like he’s burning from the inside out. Hoseok leaves open-mouthed kisses up his throat and over his chin and Jungkook feels himself make a helpless noise, thankful that the music is loud enough to drown it out. When Hoseok slots their mouths back together, it feels like relief.

 

Jungkook doesn’t know whether to focus on the way Hoseok is grinding down on his thigh or the way he’s licking into his mouth or the way one of his hands has moved to his jaw and the other is tracing the waistband of his jeans above his ass. It’s all so much. It’s all so good. It’s a shame it’s not real.

 

Hoseok’s hand slides under Jungkook’s shirt and one of his fingers presses between his waistband, over the elastic of his underwear, and Jungkook’s hips jolt forward. He reflexively bites down on Hoseok’s bottom lip and feels the older boy gasp. Jungkook thinks, he liked that , and he thinks, i’m going to do that again, but suddenly another body is colliding with them in a flurry of movement and noise and silver hair.

 

They both break apart at the same time.

 

“We found you!” Jimin shrieks, a drink in one hand and Taehyung’s bicep in the other.

 

Hoseok recovers well, smiling at their friend and tugging him close by the waist. “We’ve been here the whole time!” he shouts, laughing and indulging Jimin in some sloppy body rolls.

 

Jungkook still feels too hot. He licks his lips; they feel bruised and they taste nothing like the drinks he ordered for himself.

 

“Jungkookie?” Taehyung says, standing in front of him. “You good?” He’s looking at Jungkook like he knows exactly what’s going through his head, because he does, because you can’t be roommates with Kim Taehyung and also keep your heartache to yourself. It’s dark and crowded and suffocating in this club but Jungkook feels far too seen.

 

“Yeah I’m—bathroom!” he shouts and turns away from his friends before any of them can offer to come with.

 

He hovers in the corridor outside the men’s room for two songs, just long enough to catch his breath and recalibrate without raising suspicion. Then he goes to the bar, orders a shot of vodka to burn the taste of Hoseok off his tongue for the second time this month, and goes back to his friends. 




5.

 

They’re halfway through the second episode of Tokyo Ghoul when the noises start.

 

Jungkook looks out of the corner to his eye to Hoseok sitting next to him on the bed. He’s watching the screen with an odd mix of concentration and disinterest (Jungkook has taken it upon himself to educate Hoseok about anime and pop culture in general, and he’s willing, but not always enthusiastic) but it doesn’t seem like he heard. Jungkook goes back to watching someone getting their leg torn off.

 

Two minutes later, there’s another one. Louder than the first and unmistakable. This time, Hoseok laughs under his breath.

 

“I didn’t know your walls were so thin,” he says.

 

Something knocks into the wall and Jimin’s high moan follows soon after. Jungkook sighs. “I’m used to it. I just like, tune it out.”

 

“There’s no way you can tune that out.”

 

“I’ve had a lot of practise.”

 

Hoseok laughs and it’s quiet again save for the sounds coming from Jungkook’s laptop so he relaxes a bit, focuses on the show so that his brain won’t latch onto how close Hoseok’s thigh is, how the shorts he’s wearing have ridden up where he sits. Or how his fingers are threading through Jungkook’s hair almost absentmindedly and he smells like Jungkook’s body wash because he took a shower before they ate dinner. This is just a normal Thursday night for them. They’ve been doing this for months. Jungkook wills his brain to shut the fuck up.

 

It seems like they’re in the clear until the noises start up again, and this time they’re loud and unavoidable and punctuated by rhythmic knocks against the wall.

 

“Alright, that’s it.” Hoseok closes the laptop and Jungkook makes a noise of distress. “Calm down, we’ll finish it later.” He moves it to the floor and then he shuffles to the headboard on his knees, clears his throat, and smacks the wall while he lets out a loud, drawn out moan. It’s over the top and obviously fake and it goes straight to Jungkook’s dick.

 

“What are you doing ?” he hisses.

 

“Oh yeah, just like that,” Hoseok chants, bouncing on his knees and slapping the wall again. He makes eye contact with Jungkook and winks. “Right there, Jungkookie, mmm—oh yes!”

 

The sounds coming from Taehyung’s room only get louder. Jungkook sighs. He puts his face in his hands and starts moaning like a porn star.

 

Hoseok chokes mid-groan and Jungkook looks up with to find his face flushed and eyes wide. Taehyung’s voice drifts through the wall and Hoseok blinks, recovering with a broken cry before snaking down onto the mattress to bounce on it. He jostles the bed enough that Jungkook falls half on top of him, laughing with his lips pressed together. It’s completely ridiculous and so obviously fake, but all of a sudden, Jungkook isn’t thinking about his friends in the other room anymore.

 

He’s thinking about his hands on either side of Hoseok’s body, planted into the mattress, close enough to the gaps in his tank top to feel the warmth radiating off his skin. He’s thinking about how it might feel to push his palms under the material and trace them up to Hoseok’s chest, along his collarbones, over his shoulders and all the way to his fingers.

 

Hoseok looks like he might be thinking something similar; his eyes are impossibly dark in the lamplight; his fingers twitch where they rest above his head. They’re both breathing harder than usual. Jungkook tests his theory by shifting his weight further to the right, so he’s hovering over Hoseok, and is rewarded by a sharp intake of breath and Hoseok’s dark eyes dropping to his lips.

 

He looks like he’s waiting for something, so Jungkook opens his mouth to come up with an excuse. Something about keeping up the act. Something about making it convincing (for himself or their friends? He’s not even sure at this point).

 

In the end, Hoseok doesn’t give him the chance.

 

He surges up to kiss him with his hands on either side of Jungkook’s face. He kisses Jungkook once, and pulls back just as quickly, eyes darting back and forth. Jungkook doesn’t know what he’s looking for but he knows he wants to kiss Hoseok again, so he does. He brings one of his legs over Hoseok’s hips and sinks into him, mouth to chest to thighs. It’s a strange sort of imitation of their position at the club, except this time they’re horizontal and in Jungkook’s bed and they can’t use alcohol as an excuse for the way their mouths and their hands are moving against each other.

 

It escalates quickly.

 

One moment Jungkook is ghosting his hands tentatively along Hoseok’s ribs and the next he’s pushing him into the mattress and making noises in his throat—high choked off whimpers that he presses into Hoseok’s mouth, his neck, the space behind his ear—and he’s rolling into Hoseok, guided by the hands on his lower back, and Hoseok is moving with him, chanting Jungkook Jungkook Jungkook under his breath and god, it’s all so much and he’s hard in his sweatpants and—

 

Hoseok sucks in a sharp breath when he feels it. His hands move to Jungkook’s hips and he grips them tight to stop his movements. He pulls his face away to look at Jungkook and oh fuck , thinks Jungkook, I’ve gone too far, I fucked up .

 

“Jungkook-ah, is this...” Hoseok swallows. “Do you want this?”

 

Jungkook nods. Of course he does. He’s wanted this for years. Maybe under different circumstances, but he’ll take what he can get, no matter how selfish and stupid that may seem. He’ll deal with the emotional fallout later. It’s probably worse that they’re doing this in Jungkook’s bed because it’ll make it that much harder to move on from, but Jungkook is good at this kind of thing. He’s had a lot of practise.

 

Hoseok’s face relaxes and he brings a hand up to brush the hair out of Jungkook’s eyes so gently that it aches. It’s hard to concentrate when Hoseok is looking at him like this but he nods again and smiles. “I trust you, hyung.”

 

Something shutters in Hoseok’s eyes. His face tightens before he can fix his expression and Jungkook panics—he leans in and kisses the crease between Hoseok’s brows. He doesn’t want Hoseok to think this is a mistake, although that might very well be what this is. But it doesn’t feel like it to Jungkook. It feels right. He wants this. He wants it so much.

 

Jungkook kisses Hoseok’s forehead until the frown lines disappear. Then he kisses his nose, his cheeks, and he hovers over his mouth and there they wait, breathing into each other. Jungkook feels like there’s a chasm between their lips instead of an inch, feels like his heart is going to beat out of his chest, until finally, finally, Hoseok tilts his chin up and closes the gap.

 

They move almost frantically: Jungkook gets his hands up the insides of Hoseok’s shorts and pushes Hoseok’s thighs up to bracket his waist before pressing their hips together again. “Fuck,” Jungkook gasps; Hoseok is hard against him.

 

Hoseok’s hands won’t stay still—travelling up and down Jungkook’s back, catching the hem of t-shirt and dragging the material up to bunch at Jungkook’s armpits, pressing his nails in ever so lightly on the way back down. The sensation makes Jungkook’s hips jolt forward like an electric shock. Hoseok giggles into his mouth and Jungkook bites down on his bottom lip as payback, revelling in the choked off sound he gets in return.

 

“Gorgeous, Jungkookie,” Hoseok mumbles into his mouth, bringing his hands to Jungkook’s ass and squeezing. “So beautiful.” He gets his hands under Jungkook’s sweatpants and pushes their hips even closer together. The friction makes Jungkook’s toes curl.

 

“Hyung, I’m—”

 

“I know,” Hoseok kisses the shell of his ear. “Just hold on for me, yeah?”

 

Jungkook nods into Hoseok’s neck. His forearms have slid under the pillow, bracketing Hoseok’s head, and they’re moving together like it’s something they’ve done a hundred times before.

 

“I’m gonna come,” Jungkook whispers into Hoseok’s overheated skin, speeding up without meaning to. It’s too soon, he doesn’t want it to be over, but every nerve ending in his body is on fire and he feels like an elastic band, ready to snap.

 

“Not yet,” Hoseok says, “wait, just—” He brings one of his legs down and flips them. Jungkook immediately seeks him out again like he’ll drown if he doesn’t have his mouth somewhere on Hoseok’s body.

 

“Jungkook, honey, I can’t help if you’re holding both of my hands.”

 

Jungkook relinquishes his hold and is instantly rewarded when Hoseok licks a stripe up his palm and pushes it down the front of Jungkook’s pants. “Oh my god,” he chokes out, stomach tensing as he bucks up into Hoseok’s grip. “’seok-hyung, fuck, oh my god.” He brings one hand up to grip Hoseok’s bare shoulder and the other fists into the sheets at his sides. Hoseok leans in to lick a stripe up the side of his neck at the same time as he twists his wrist and Jungkook scrunches his eyes shut, letting his orgasm crash over him in waves.

 

He barely has time to catch his breath before Hoseok is licking into his mouth again and grinding down on his thigh, hard and fast and desperate. Jungkook comes back to himself enough to get one hand on Hoseok’s ass and another on his neck, guiding his movements, letting himself be pushed up the bed a few inches with the force of it. It only takes a few seconds for Hoseok’s body to lock up and shudder as he comes with one long groan. Jungkook holds him through the aftershocks that shiver through his body.

 

Then it’s quiet, save for their heavy breathing.

 

Jungkook waits for the regret to crush against his ribs like it does when you swim too deep in the ocean without an oxygen tank. Waits for Hoseok to pull back with a look of horror and stumble out of the apartment without a word.

 

But it doesn’t happen.

 

“You’re so sweaty,” is the first thing Hoseok says, and it’s so normal and stupid that Jungkook collapses into laughter forceful enough to jostle Hoseok where he’s still lying half on top of Jungkook.

 

“Thanks, hyung.”

 

“It’s true,” Hoseok says, falling to the side and groaning. “I can’t believe I just came in my pants.”

 

“I can.” This earns him a slap to the chest that echoes entirely too loudly in the quiet of the room and Hoseok starts apologising profusely, but it’s ruined by the way he’s laughing at Jungkook’s look of pain.

 

“I’m going to the bathroom,” Jungkook says, slapping Hoseok’s hands away. “You can stay here and suffer.”

 

“Jungkookie, don’t you dare!” Hoseok starts to stand up but his face twists up in disgust and he sits back again. “Pass hyung some wet wipes, at least.”

 

Jungkook throws the packet at him and scurries out of his bedroom with a change of clothes. Taehyung and Jimin look up from the kitchen counter with matching smirks. Jimin’s eyes dip down to the clothes Jungkook is holding in front of his crotch and he sighs. Taehyung holds a hand out and Jimin digs for cash in his pocket and slaps it into his open palm.

 

“I hate you,” Jungkook says. Taehyung just waves the cash like a victory flag.

 

When he gets back to his room, Hoseok has changed into some of Jungkook’s pyjama pants and is lying half under the covers. He blinks sleepily at Jungkook and opens his arms in invitation. Jungkook wastes no time in snuggling right up to him, making himself small enough to fit under Hoseok’s chin and wrapping an arm around his waist to tug them closer together. Hoseok hums and begins to stroke his hair.

 

“All good, Jungkookie?” he whispers after a while.

 

“Yeah, hyung. Really good.”

 

And he’s so sleepy, but he holds off as long as he can, trying to keep this moment suspended. Hoseok’s hand goes slack in his hair after a while and Jungkook presses a kiss to his shirt, right over his heart, and follows him into sleep.

 

 

 

+ 1

 

They spend the whole next day together. Jungkook has the day off work and Hoseok’s workshop was moved to Sunday this week.

 

“Don’t you have anything you need to do?” Jungkook asks quietly when Hoseok suggests they go out for a picnic later. “It’s your day off.”

 

Hoseok looks at him like he asked why the ocean is wet. “It’s your day off, too.”

 

“Well, yeah.” But I don’t think I could never get sick of hanging out with you.

 

Hoseok comes around the kitchen island and hangs off Jungkook. “So it’s settled. We’ll go to the supermarket for food and then we can go down to the park.” He kisses the nape of Jungkook’s neck and goes back to cleaning the dishes.

 

Jungkook just watches his back, listens to him humming while he finishes his breakfast. He’s been waiting for the other shoe to drop all morning. When they woke up, would Hoseok be quiet or withdrawn? Or would he lash out towards the opposite end of the spectrum and be too loud, overcompensating for the awkwardness?

 

But, just as it had been last night, when Jungkook woke up, Hoseok just smiled at him like everything was normal. Like it was good.

 

He can’t complain, but Jungkook is still on edge. He’s stuck in his head the entire morning, as they walk through the grocery store holding hands, all the way to the park, as Hoseok shuffles through his playlist until he settles on a song he likes and starts to sing along.

 

Soon enough, the nerves get too much.

 

“What’s happening?” Jungkook blurts. Hoseok had been in the middle of a story about Namjoon stumbling home after class and thinking Hoseok’s bedroom was his own, and he looks at Jungkook, confused.

 

“Were you not listening again, Jungkook-ah? So rude. I was telling you about Namj—”

 

“No, no, hyung I mean.” Jungkook crosses his legs and rubs his palms up down his thighs. He gestures between them. “What’s happening? Here. With us. And don’t tell me we’re having a picnic.”

 

Hoseok’s face goes blank. His fingers pick at a thread in the blanket. “I—well... what do you think is happening?”

 

Jungkook tries not to groan out loud. Of course Hoseok would try and turn it back on him. Jungkook opens his mouth to pass him back the mantel, but he notices how Hoseok has broken eye contact; how the corners of his mouth have tightened. He's nervous, realises Jungkook. For some reason, it helps.

 

“I think.” Jungkook takes a deep breath and talks to the picnic blanket. “What I think is that we have pretended to be a thing, like a few times, and it’s a bit weird but you don’t seem to be... reacting to it? And I know I haven’t either, so it’s like, a two way street or... a double edged sword? I don’t know. Whatever. I just—I feel like. Shouldn’t we like, talk about it?”

 

Hoseok still isn’t making a sound.

 

“I know you hate talking about this stuff, hyung, and this is so weird for me but I just need you to tell me how you feel about it, because I don’t feel bad about it but that’s because I really like you and I think it’s actually been super nice, acting like that with you. Like we’re a--a couple. More than friends. And I wasn’t ever going to tell you but I guess that ship has sailed, so that’s uh... yeah that’s it. Your turn.”

 

When Jungkook finally works up the courage to look up from the blanket, his breath gets caught in his throat; Hoseok is smiling at him, impossibly gentle and soft.

 

“We are such idiots,” he says, and he sounds a bit choked up.

 

“What?!”

 

“Oh my god.” He laughs into his hands. “Jungkook, what have we been doing for the past like, 48 hours?”

 

“Is this a trick question?”

 

“Jungkook-ah, we had sex and then we ate breakfast together and we went grocery shopping and now we’re having a picnic in the middle of the day. Oh my god.”

 

“Oh my god,” Jungkook says, eyes wide. “Are we—”

 

“Yeah, I think so.” Hoseok starts laughing for real. “We’re dating, Jungkook-ah. For real.”

 

Jungkook scrambles over to Hoseok on his knees and kisses the laughter and the lemonade right off his tongue. “We’re so stupid,” he says between kisses. “I hate us.”

 

“I hate us, too,” Hoseok agrees, catching Jungkook by the waist and bringing him into his lap. “To be fair, I did kind of ask you last night. If you wanted this.”

 

“I thought you meant the sex! Like, did I want the sex! I thought you were just being especially serious about consent because of the powerpoint Namjoon-hyung made us sit through last month.” Hoseok starts cackling into Jungkook’s collar. “Hyung! You can’t expect me to read through that much subtext when I have a boner, and you were just—all under me and like—stop laughing !”

 

“Sorry, sorry,” Hoseok wheezes, leaning back. Jungkook catches his cheeks between his palm and presses them together until he stops laughing.

 

“But you’re—are you sure?” Jungkook says quietly. “Is this gonna work?”

 

Hoseok brings their lips close, close enough that Jungkook feels his next words more than he hears them.

 

“Ah well, Jungkookie. You’ll just have to trust me.”

 

Jungkook tilts his face to the sky and screeches.